Bike Riding, Farmers Markets, Pumpkin Crafts & Beautiful Weather

I’m sitting in one of my go-to spots, ChopShop Co., enjoying an açaí bowl. The pleasant notes of the Beatles’ “Blackbird,” dance around the shop as patrons walk in and out, letting a flood of sunlight pour in with each cling of the opening door. The floors at ChopShop are a rustic pale wood, with iron shelves along the perimeters, the walls made of brick with an accent wall of deep grey.

This has been one of my favorite weekends in a while. It was so wonderful in every way. Because the weather here in Arizona is finally starting to cool down, Brayden and I got to go on a date we’d been wanting to go on for a while now.

On Saturday morning, we stepped out of our home, where the crisp morning dew and the rain from the night before still lingered on blades of grass, large droplets on our cars, and puddles in the street. The night before, we had rode around on our bikes at dusk looking for frogs near the water. I picked up every single one we found, with the exception of a particularly big froggy dude. (Psst, I really love frogs! I had way too much fun searching for them).

Back to Saturday though, our plan was to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and cloudy skies we had so been hoping for. We live right against a park called the “Greenbelt” that spans from north Tempe to north Scottsdale in a long, thin stretch. The bike paths in the park take you anywhere you want to go, provided you’re going a significant way north/south. We also live just a few miles from Old Town Scottsdale, the lively, cultural district of South Scottsdale. We ended up riding our bikes along the pathways of the beautiful, lush green park to catch the Old Town Farmers Market.

At the Farmers Market, we sampled tons of different locally grown/made foods. Side note: I’m really proud of Brayden for stepping out of his comfort zone and trying some things I know he normally wouldn’t want to try. We picked up some organic Jonagold apples to make an apple pie with some time soon. (We have a rad, homemade apple pie recipe I’ll definitely be sharing!)

Brayden holding an apple at the market
Brayden holding an apple at the market.

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After we had finished walking around the market, we sat down for breakfast at a place called the Daily Dose, where I got a ridiculously delicious plate of Nutella french toast (um, yes PLEASE).

Spending this time with my best friend and favorite guy in the whole world, exploring outside in this gorgeous weather–it really struck me with a deep sense of gratitude for what I have. Even though it can be easy to continuously want more and more things, I’m so thankful for the things that are already in my life.

To top it all off, we just had to complete our autumn day with a pumpkin-related craft. We picked up a few pumpkins from the grocery store and spent the rest of the daytime painting them. Brayden painted a “Goomba” face from Super Mario. It’s so adorable.

Brayden's Goomba pumpkin and my mini
Brayden’s Goomba pumpkin and my mini “Day of the Dead” and gold pumpkins.

And here’s where I end up at this current moment, sitting in ChopShop on a Sunday morning, awaiting Thursday when Brayden and I fly to Seattle for our four-year anniversary. I. Can’t. Wait. ❤

xo

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A Change of Seasons and Cinnamon Sugar Scones (I’m Back!!)

Wow, it’s been a while. Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me on this venture of mine. This summer I went through a lot of changes that took up nearly all of my energy and my creative flow. Because I was so consumed with my own thoughts and what was going on, I couldn’t produce anything that felt organic–that I felt proud of.

These changes, however, have brought on what I think will be a new stage in my life, and I’m really excited for that. One of those changes was finally moving in to a house instead of an apartment, and we’re completely in love with it. After all of the turmoil, the exhaustion and the tears, I’m really happy with where everything in my life has ended up. I’m ready to finally start moving forward with the things I love again, and hopefully discover new things as well.

Part of my way-too-long hiatus from blogging had to do with feeling like my work, again, wouldn’t be organic. I’ve talked about it before, that I never want to try to create something when it feels forced. I want everything I put out there to be genuine and real. You can feel that it’s coming from my heart, and I can put something out there that I am proud of. I think I’m at that point again, and I can’t wait for all of the new projects I want to work on. I have something that I think is really cool in the works, but it’s just in the wee baby stages, so we won’t talk about that just yet 😉

However, I do want to make some changes to this blog as well. Baking is my absolute favorite thing in the world, so most of my content will probably still center around baking. But I also want this blog to serve as an outlet for all of my creative projects and adventures. Adventures in travel, food, fitness, personal goals, and the like. Anything at all, really. I hope to share more personal stories and experiences with exploring my wanderlust and my dreams of seeing new places. Hopefully, I can transform this blog into a little story book of my world. I hope you will choose to come on this new journey with me.

And of course, the first post back after several months just wouldn’t be complete without a sweet, warm little baked good to bring in the autumn season. (Did I mention fall is my favorite favorite favorite time of year!? <3)

I made these cinnamon sugar scones for Brayden and I for breakfast with my go-to tea, apple cinnamon oolong. With a richly buttery flavor and just slightly sweetened with honey, maple, and a sprinkle of sugar, these scones were such a delightful treat to have on a quiet morning. Inhaling the deep scents of cinnamon and butter fill my heart with happiness. You know me, I adore a warm, doughy breakfast treat.

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

They’re also just so versatile. You could alter the recipe to make any flavor you’d like ❤

Cinnamon Sugar Scones

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, just slightly softened

1 egg, separated

2 1/2 tbs honey

1/2 tbs pure maple syrup (or 3 tbs honey if you don’t have syrup)

1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup whole milk + 1/2 tsp white vinegar)

For the cinnamon sugar topping, use whatever ratio of cinnamon and sugar that is desirable to you. Same with the icing–simply powdered sugar, a dash of milk and just a drop of vanilla.

Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400º F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter using a large spatula or wooden spoon, then use your hands to achieve a crumbly texture.

In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk, honey and maple syrup. Separate the egg and set the whites aside for now. Add the yolk to the buttermilk mixture and stir until combined.

Then, add the buttermilk mixture to the other bowl and mix just until everything is uniform.

On a floured surface, roll the dough until it is about 8 inches in diameter and half an inch thick. Cut the dough into eight pieces like they’re pizza slices.

Transfer them to the greased pan and spread a light coat of egg white over each of them. Then, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon sugar over the top. Pop them in the oven for 10-11 minutes.

When they’re looking golden brown and smelling like buttery heaven, set them out to cool for about 5 minutes. Then, drizzle a light coat of glaze over the top of each. Pair them with a nice big mug of tea and grab someone you like to enjoy them with!