Category Archives: texas

Life Lately

I know I’ve been a little absent from my blog lately!

In the past few months, my full time job became a little more hectic and a lot more stressful. However, I’m working on a few things, and planning on blogging full time in the near future.
In fact, I’m pretty excited about several things that are coming together. Stay tuned!

But for right now (and for the next few weeks), my posts will be very few and far between!
So, for those of you who don’t follow me on Instagram, i thought i’d write a “life lately” post via my steady flow of Instagram pictures.

We have been slowly and steadily working on finishing up our home. And by finishing? I mean that I am aware we will never be “finished”. But I do feel as though things are finally all in place.  In fact, I love it around here right now. I just want to stay inside all day and enjoy it!

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Comforter: Target photo 1

Pillows: Ikea
Shelf: West Elm

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Canister Set: Target

photo 3 copy 2 Mirror: Ikea
Lamp: Ikea

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Stoneware Vase: Target
Lamp: Bushwick Hardware

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Polka Dot Vase: Target
Peacock Chair: Thrifted
Throw: Target

We have also been soaking up the last few days of summer weather here in Texas. Which, ironically, seems to be following us deep into Fall. I can’t tell you how upset that makes me. I can, however, be happy that we still get to take Penny on long, barefoot walks to the park every day after work. I can’t really complain about that.

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She also enjoys the comforts of home. And claiming chairs as her own.

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We have been decorating for Fall and enjoying lazy nights at home, watching our favorite Fall TV shows while yummy smelling candles burn.

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This candle smells SO incredible. All of the scents are just wonderful, but this one smells just like a Christmas tree! Check them all out on Sydney Hale Co.

And, of course, I have been on a baking spree.
I love when the chilly nights blow in. It makes me want to wake up early and bake pumpkin flavored things. My go-to’s have been cinnamon rolls and pumpkin bread.
I can’t stop. I won’t stop. I will, however, increase my running routine to offset said delicious baked treats. That’s fair, no?

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(I will have to post a recipe for these delicious gems, soon. PUMPKIN cinnamon rolls!)

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Oh, and that’s my handsome husband. Just because he’s cute.

Pants: Target
Shoes: Target
Shirt: Gap
Jacket: Banana Republic

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There is something so wonderful about shifting temperatures right before a new season begins.  I love the surprise of waking up extra early one morning for a quick run, and realizing the air has a little bit of a chill to it.  It makes getting dressed in the morning a little more bearable.  Now, I know as seasons change, people are always wishing for that cooler weather to come a little sooner.  Part of me feels that, but the other part of me wishes people would just let seasons be seasons.  I am guilty of hurrying along the end of summer, but in the midst of a cold winter?  I always wonder why I wished the warm temperatures away….
The grass always seems greener on the other side, hmm?

Last week was really busy around the Hugghins household. (Hence the lack of blog posts!) Chad and I decided to plank panel our kitchen, and well, it turned out to be quite the project. I love the finished product, though! I have always loved the “white” look.  I think it might be the perfectionist in me.  Loving when things look clean and pretty. (That’s a double edged sword, mind you!)  And also, I was surprised how quickly Chad said yes to the all white kitchen! Every time I buy a piece of furniture, he says “as long as you don’t bring it home and paint it white!”
Guilty.

Anyway, we are hustling and bustling to get the inside of the house finished before Fall rolls around.  As soon as that chill is in the air, to the outside projects we go!
We have plans to dig up the yard and finally get our hands dirty.
But until we aren’t dripping with sweat and swarmed with mosquitoes? That project is on hold!

Until then, another summer dress, of course!

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Dress: c/o Savoir-Faire
Shoes: Target
Clutch: Gap

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Cotton Candy Sunrise

When I received this gorgeous dress in the mail from Shabby Apple, so many different photo opportunities came to mind. I loved the simple beauty of it. The fit, the length, the details. Chad and I had been talking about waking up early to enjoy a Texas sunrise one morning, so I thought, why not take a few photos while we are at it?

Sometimes, on the weekends, Chad and I will hop in the car and cruise around with the windows down.  Sipping a cold drink, summer just blowing through our hair. And all of a sudden, i’ll get the urge to drive down this long, winding country road just around the corner from our house. I’ll call out “wait, wait! turn!” and our car slowly makes it’s way down the road that turns old rundown buildings into corn fields.

There is something about a country road that just soothes my soul.  I love the beauty of the wide open spaces.  I love watching the tall grass blow in the wind like waves in the ocean. Reaching out across the horizon, as if begging the sun to bend down and kiss the tops of each grain of wheat.  I close my eyes and breathe it in.  Fresh air.  There is nothing in this world that beats the smell of wildflowers and freshly cut grass.  A historic prairie home sits at the top of the hill. Overlooking miles of corn fields and crops.  We dream about living there some day. A farm of our own with chickens, a few toddlers running around barefoot and causing trouble. Maybe even a horse. It’s a completely different world three minutes down that road.
Leaving reality and diving headfirst into the untouched beauty of nature just gives my heart the jolt it needs.  There is something so peaceful about it. It makes me feel whole.

So that morning, we drove down that road, past the oceans of grass, past the prairie house as it was waking up to greet the day, and we found the perfect spot.  A field of wheat that had recently been harvested.  There was something so raw and natural about it as the sun came up over the trees.  The light was a soft pink and everything felt a little bit like cotton candy. A cotton candy sunrise.  A magical, quiet moment in a loud and busy world.

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Dress: c/o Shabby Apple
Necklace: c/o Chain Crochet
Shoes: Target
Bag: c/o Lulu*s

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Now, go enjoy a morning sunrise this weekend. You’ll thank me for it.

Mama’s Blackberry Cobbler

 I’ve decided that baking is my therapy.
Some people run. Some people eat lots of candy (okay, I’m guilty of that too) and some people shop until they drop. Me? I like to take all of my stress out on the kitchen.
Flour everywhere. Sugar in my hair. Egg yolk on the floor.
If the kitchen isn’t messy when you’re done, you’re not doing it right.

This past week was really stressful for me. I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason, honestly. I think it’s just a really big itch. An itch to do something new.
And I think because I can’t really scratch that itch (seeing as i’m not sure what that itch is) I took that stress and baked it into one large, scrumptious, mouthwatering blackberry cobbler.

And now I want to share that steamy, delicious love with you, too.
This is actually my mom’s recipe.  I have very fond memories of climbing up onto the barstool and watching my mom roll out pie crust. She was oh, so meticulous. Making sure everything was just right. (Now I find myself rolling out dough in just the same manner)  I would rest my hand on my face and just watch and watch as she rolled and perfected. Rolled and perfected. Throwing me and my brothers a piece of pie dough every now and then to keep us busy.
And at the end of the afternoon, the delicious smell of ooey gooey blackberries would waft up to my room (which was conveniently located just above the kitchen) and i knew it was almost time to gobble up the first bite.  I can almost smell it now.  Isn’t it funny how childhood memories are the most memorable ones we have? I love that.

Now, where to begin. Ah yes, the dough.
This is just a standard “from scratch” dough recipe.
Really simple.
Let’s get started.

The Dough:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 16 T COLD unsalted butter (equivalent to 2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Step 1
In a mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar; mix on low to combine.

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Here’s the tricky part. Make sure your butter is REALLY cold. Don’t take it out of the fridge until you are ready to use it.  Cut the butter into pads and add it to the mixture.

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Now, I did this the old fashioned way.  You don’t want to completely mix the butter in, so I took two knives (using both hands) and cut the butter into the mixture.  Sounds difficult, but super easy.  Mix until it resembles corse meal, with pea sized pieces of butter remaining.

Step 2
Slowly add the ice water. Mix on LOW for a few seconds until dough is crumbly, but holds together when you pinch it.  Add water as needed.
This process will make your dough extra flaky when you bake it. Yum!

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Step 3
Split the dough in half.  Form each dough into a round ball.  Do not knead the dough, as you want delicious pockets of butter when baking. Transfer each half of the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap.  Secure tightly and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.  Now you will have two disks ready for the bottom and top of your crust!

Step 4
When dough is ready, remove both disks from the refrigerator. Start with one disk.

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Grab a deep pie dish.  On a floured surface, roll out one of the disks to cover the bottom of the dish. I like to leave a little dough hanging over the sides so I have extra to pinch at the end.
(Sidenote: Roll out and slice a few strips of extra dough to use for the pie filling! I’ll explain later!)

Blackberry Filling

Ingredients

  • 6 cups of blackberries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 T. lemon juice

Step 1
Now that you have the bottom of the pie crust prepared, lets start with the filling!

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First, wash those blackberries! I was lucky enough to find big, juicy ones at the local farmers market.  Next, toss together all of the ingredients.  It will seem as though there is quite a bit of the flour mixture and not enough liquid, but toss to cover all of the blackberries.

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Step 2
Use 1/3 of the blackberries mixture and pour on top of the uncooked pie crust in the prepared pie dish. Throw in a few of those strips of pie dough. These will be a little doughy surprise when you cut into the cobbler.  Don’t skip this step.  It’s a delicious, doughy secret.

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Repeat this step again, and then top with the last 1/3 of the blackberry mixture.
Ready for this? More butter. Before you add the top of the crust? Just slice a few pads of butter and place them on top of the finished blackberry mixture. Just a little extra yumminess.

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Step 3
At this point, you are done with the blackberry mixture, and ready to top the cobbler with the other pie crust.  Roll out the dough and either top it with normal pie crust (which is totally acceptable and just as delicious! If you do, before you place the crust on top, make a few slices in the middle with a knife. About half an inch apart. This will let the cobbler bubble through a little at the end of baking and you will know it’s ready!
I created a lattice crust.  It was super easy! (Find a tutorial for that here!)

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Pinch the outsides of the pie. I use my thumb to make an imprint and then pinch the sides together. You can do whatever pleases your little heart.

Step 4
This is an important step and a lovely trick my mama taught me.
Before you place the pie in the oven, brush a little milk onto the crust and sprinkle with sugar. This will make that crust a beautiful golden brown color.

Step 5
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
**If you notice the edges of the crust burning, you can open the oven and wrap them in a little bit of tinfoil. This will allow the middle to continue baking and keep the outsides from burning. Another fun mama fact. Aren’t they the best?**

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ENJOY THAT LOVELY cobbler.  I like to have a little bowl when it’s still hot. There is something about warm cobbler that just tastes like a warm, summer day.
Chad likes to top his with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, to be exact.  This IS Texas, y’all.

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