breakfast, the best meal of the day // apple-cranberry oatmeal


breakfast, the most important meal of the day right? well that may be easy to say it isn't always easy to do. growing up i never had the discipline of sitting down and actually eating before i would head out the door for school but as the years have gone by, i have realized the importance of taking the morning in, pausing from rush to get out the door, and actually taking time to eat breakfast. for the most part i make a breakfast smoothie for chad and i every morning. with him not being a big breakfast eater, he still manages to have a healthy meal before work with out actually having to chew ;) but as for me.. i have become quite the breakfast lover, especially oats (i love granola and monster cookies.. ) some days when i am wanting a quick breakfast that takes less then 10 minutes i whip out my favorite oatmeal. even if you aren't a fan of the sticky traditional oatmeal you have to give this one a chance. i promise, there is no stickiness. oatmeal is a great way to start you day because it is a whole grain and is filling, full of fiber, and even may lead to lower cholesterol, a much better choice compared to sugary, processed cereal.

apple-cranberry oatmeal, serves one

1/2 cup old fashion oats
1  cup water
dash of salt
dash of vanilla
slice of butter
juice from 1/2 lemon
granny smith (or any variety) apple, cubed
handful of orange flavored dried cranberries (can be found at trader joes)
sliced almonds
some brown sugar or maple syrup if desired, this oatmeal turns pretty sweet with the little butter, lemon, and vanilla, but if you want to sprinkle a little dusting of brown sugar that never hurts ;)

1. in a small sauce pan, boil water with salt. upon boiling, add 1/2 cup oats and reduce to simmer. add vanilla and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
2. once water is absorbed add butter and lemon. remove from heat.
3. in a small bowl add the cooked oats, apples, dried cranberries, and almonds.
4. eat right away! nothing worse the cold oatmeal. :)

** if you wanted to make this a real time saver you could use quick cooking oats in the microwave (but don't buy the prepackaged flavored kind, there is a lot more "stuff" in there when it is actually cheaper and healthier to buy the quick cooking oats plain, then add the flavors in naturally such as maple, cinnamon, etc.). i personally like the flavor of the old fashioned oats better but somedays you need something QUICK like in less then 2 minutes. so the plain quick cooking oats are a great swap out. i personally have never added the other stuff in the recipe to to the plain cooking oats but if i were to do so i would probably omit the vanilla, butter, and lemon ( i don't think it would stir right into the quick cooking oats), keep the apples, dried cranberries, almonds, and add brown sugar to help sweeten it. just an idea to help you get that breakfast in and out the door on time!**

now i challenge you to make sure you take time for breakfast, even if it is just 15 minutes of peace quite and your food, because mother knows best and she always said breakfast was the most important meal of the day!

whats for dinner / 03


what is for dinner... or rather my question the majority of the time. what is for desert. no meal is complete with out a slice of something,  lately i have been craving chocolate. i have always been a chocolate lover, however i used to avoid the chocolate cakes,cookies and so forth. but recently my taste buds have changed and now i gravitate towards it.  with valentines day coming up i thought i would share some of the chocolate recipes that have recently caught my eye.

1// 2// 3// 4//

friday links


happy weekend! i hope everyone is staying warm with polar vortex round two. we luckily escaped and are spending some time in florida. i have been doing lots of reading on my trip and came across a few articles i thought would be worth sharing.

where to travel to in 2014

10 vegetables/ herbs that you can re-grow again

what city you actually should live in

interesting facts about homeschooling

emojis in real life

are we missing the point in marriage

beautiful photos taken by a russian mother of her children

37 things to do before you get old

... and the image source

hope you have a lovely weekend, and stay warm!

coffee love and a blog friend


well since i am gone in florida for the next few days i have a blogging friend "stopping by" beka and i met via blog world and both have an instant love for coffee... which to be honest, how can you not love coffee. and because of our love of coffee we thought we could give some away and help everyone warm up in this polar vortex round two. so with no further ado, let me introduce beka and share the information regarding the giveaway

an escape out of the tundra!


well folks, chad and i are taking a trip and escaping the cold. to florida! we are hoping for excellent weather, but to be honest anything will be better then these bitter cold days that have been hanging around minnesota. as i type thing i am bundled up with wool socks, slippers, wool sweater and a hat. ( i may be a little dramatic or may attribute this extreme coldness to my poor circulation. either way i am freezing!)

anyway- good bye snow and cold, i'll be exchanging you out for sun, beaches, and a swim suit!

follow our warm adventures via instagram- chad & heather

a story about a chocolate tart and a french lady


let me first start with a quick story, i have been a lover of french things for quite a while. so when i stumbled upon mimi thorisson after she was featured in my one of my favorite magazines, bon appetit, i quickly became in love with her french country lifestyle.

she is chic, beautiful, and an amazing cook. essentially, all things i aspire to be.

as i was reading through her blog i found a recipe for a chocolate tart and thought of how amazingly perfect that treat would be for our anniversary dinner (i have a thing, i always home-made our dessert for special occasions, we may go out to breakfast/lunch/dinner, but dinner, thats always me). so i made it. and i have to say it was impeccable and the best chocolate tart i have ever eaten. this will be the desert i want in heaven.

and that leads me to part two of this little tale. everyone should have chocolate tart, especially on anniversaries.

here is the recipe via mimi thorisson.

hope you enjoyed my little story about mimi and the delicious tart, and that you can make up a special occasion soon so you can impress all of your friends with this treat!

mimi thorisson's chocolate tart

250 g/2 cups plain flour
150 g/ 2/3 cups butter (softened at room temperature)
30 g/ ¼ cup sugar
60 g icing/ ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
80 g/ ½ cup ground almonds
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
1) In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until the mixture forms a homogenous dough. Shape into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2) On a floured parchment covered surface, roll out the dough to fit your tart pan.  Line your tart pan, leave 1/4 inch/ 1 cm overhang.  Gently press the edges of pastry against the interior of the tart pan ring and prick the base with a fork. Use a piece of leftover dough to press down the edges (this trick will prevent any over-stretching or finger marks).
3) Cover with cling film and place in the freezer for a least an hour (the longer the better).  This is a good trick to prevent shrinking.
4) Cut out a piece of parchment paper and line the bottom of the tart.  Place beans/marbles/any oven proof weight and blind bake in a preheated oven 180°C/ 350°F for 10 minutes.  Remove weight and parchment paper and bake for a further 3-4 minutes, or until slightly golden.  Set aside
For the chocolate filling:
120 ml/ 1/2 cup double cream/ heavy cream
60 ml/1/4 cup  full cream milk
150 g/ 1/3 pound dark chocolate
15 g / 1 tbsp salted butter
1 egg
1) Switch the oven off and keep the door semi-closed (leave a tiny gap open).
2) Break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl.  Set aside.
3) In a saucepan, add milk, cream and butter.  Bring to a soft boil and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Mix well until chocolate has melted completely.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg and pour gently and slowly in the chocolate mixture, mix well.
4) Gently pour the mixture into the tart and place in the oven (switched off) for 15 minutes.Close the oven door.
5) Take out from the oven and leave to cool and set for minimum 2-3 hours.

**** as of the whip cream, i did not used mimi's. rather i created my own variety and served the tart with mixed berries (which was an excellent choice!)  
for my whip cream i used
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped. 
whipped until light and fluffy.

enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! 

the first year


when they say time flies, they really aren't kidding! chad and i celebrated our first year of marriage yesterday. it was the fastest, best-est( i know this isn't a word), year in my life. to celebrate we decided to dedicate an entire weekend doing the things we love the most. antiquing, exploring, eating, drinking coffee and eating (extra emphasis on the eating. what better way to celebrate marriage then food?! especially when the food is really, really good). it was spent laughing and reminsing about the events that have taking place over the year. so much happens over a the span of year and it was crazy to think of all of the trips and adventures we experienced. so many great memories, big and small.

 ** milk shakes and burgers for lunch, yum!**

**downtown stillwater, mn. they still had a little christmas cheer hanging round which made my heart so happy! the snow was falling so it almost felt like we were walking through a snow globe**

marriage is an amazing thing that changes the way you view one another. first of all, you have to pick get to your partner but then you must choose to love them selflessly over and over. in all of the good and the bad, you get to do life with another person. it is truly an amazing, but selfless act. i am so thankful that i have found the perfect companion to journey through life with. happy one year chad, i'll love you forever.

recipe // cilantro bean tuna spread


growing up, it was always tuna sandwiches on sunday afternoons. my family and i would arrive home from church, and open that can up of tuna, mixed in a little mayo, cut up some celery, and presto lunch was served. i remember my sister laurel getting so frustrated at my parents, "tuna, again?!" she was always sensitive to scents and hated that weekly smell of tuna.

though i can't say i was a fun of tuna back in the day, i have really grown to like it and found that the canned (or no-canned) goodness has lots of great meal potential aside from the classic mayo-tuna sandwich. i remember the first time i saw a tuna spread and thought, you can actually eat that stuff with out being on a sandwich?! yes heather, yes you can. anyway! i have slowly been incorporating tuna back into my diet and have to say why was i hesitant for so long. tuna is actually pretty dang good for you. obviously, it is fish so it naturally contained anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. it is a cheap source of protein and all around flavorful. i have been playing with how to get it into my diet more, when i created this recipe late one night. i had been staring at this little can of tuna thinking, what am i ever going to do with this. then it hit me. i was trying to do some meal prep for the next day, knowing that i would be going straight from work to school with no time to stop at home for dinner. while trying to figure what to do with this tuna, i thought, why don't i make a modified,better tuna sandwich! i dont really know what to call this recipe so i am going to simply call it a spread. i ate it as a salad but it would pair nicely as a lettuce warp or onto of some crackers!

cilantro bean tuna spread

1 can olive-oil packed tuna
1/2 can cannelloni beans, drained
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 apple, diced
1/2 tsp capers, drained
2 stalks celery, diced
juice from 1 lemon

mix tuna, beans and yogurt into a medium sized bowl, add cilantro, onion, apple, celery, lemon, salt and pepper. mix well.  enjoy as a lunch, appetizer, or side at dinner! 

one of my favorite things, nordstrom


one of my favorite things in life is nordstrom. that place makes me so excited to find quality, fashionable items (purses, shoes, clothes and skin care) products all in the same place. that is why i am joining in to help one of you win a chance of a hundred dollar nordstrom giftcard! truly what could be better? personally i have my eye on the swedish hasbeens or these mocassins. click below to enter!

images source credit

a story of a graduate student and all of her college textbooks


its that time of year again... time to go back to school. this little break of mine was so nice and sweet and to be honest i am not ready to be back in classes. i don't feel like i got all off my to-do list, didn't read as many books as i wanted to, but the time has come and school has begun! in looking for textbooks i always go through the battle with my checkbook. being a newlywed as a graduate student is extremely tough,its time consuming, mentally taxing, and not to mention expensive. to help save the expenses i have used textbook rental companies, such as  Campus Book Rental which i have found to be extremely reasonable for this newlywed on a budget! 

reasons why i love campus book rental

*you can save 40 to 90% off of bookstore prices
* there is free shipping both ways
* can highlight in the textbooks (my personal favorite!!)
* there is very flexible renting periods
* campus book rental donates to the non-profit, operation smile, with each textbook rented

campus book rental also started this new program called, rent back, which allow you to rent out your old text books, (check out HERE and HERE). for some reason i decided to keep the majority of my textbooks from my undergrad degree, and now have a big pile in my office of textbooks i never use. oops. not to mention i keep adding to this pile each semester. chad always is asking me, are you really going to use all of those books? i nod my head yes (but as i write this post i think, am i really, am i really going to re-read those books again?!) i love the idea of this rent back program because it allows you as a student to earn additional income with an item you already have. 

though i may complain about school from time to time (this year has really kicked my butt)  i love it so much. and i truly do love all of my reading assignments because i am nerdy like that. and most of all i am thankful for the opportunity to learn. now if only school was a 9-5 job with no additional hours i would be set. ;)

how do/did you save money while attending school? i would love to hear your tips!

2013 favorites // by holly


First off, I would like to say hello to all of Heather's lovely readers, I am so thrilled to be guest posting here, on one of my daily reads. Heather and I were talking about what to post about on each other's blogs and since we both enjoy fashion, why not share our most loved items of 2013? So as I look back at 2013, I would have to say it was a fun one and I ended up discovering a lot about my personal style. The five items I am sharing with you are each different in their own way and range from comfy to bold to girly. 

1. These lace up booties pretty much never left my feet this past fall and winter. They are so unbelievably comfortable and look nice with skinny jeans or dresses. I am definitely looking into purchasing another pair (or two) in one of the many other colors Breckelle's offers!
2. If I could define my summer by one staple piece it would be chambray. Once I purchased my first chambray shirt, I quickly purchased two more - I could not get enough! They are very versatile and easy to wear.
3. Geometric prints, I noticed, were very popular and the bold prints helped give my wardrobe the little spice that it needed.
4. Whenever I am in doubt of what to wear for the day, I can always turn to a nice, comfy dress. There is just something so carefree about them that make them so enjoyable to wear. Long sleeve dresses were especially nice during the cooler months of spring and fall.
5. Glitter and sparkle made it's way into my closet this past year with these fabulous sandals, they added the perfect amount of femininity to my outfit and made me feel a little extra girly. Hopefully I didn't wear them out too much because I am looking forward to taking them out for a spin this next summer!
What were some of your favorite pieces for 2013? I am always looking for a hidden gem or two to add to my closet, so please share! 

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

About Me:

Holly enjoys the simple things in life. A delicious cup of hot cocoa, outdoor exploration, a good movie, and the whimsical world of fashion. A graphic designer by trade, she has high hopes of opening her own design studio one day, while in the meantime spending her time freelancing and blogging.


Holly Marie
graphic designer
website  +  blog

polar vortex fashion inspiration


i hope you have managed to stay warm during the polar vortex these past few days. i know that i have been putting on extra layers and have been taking full advantage of scarves, hats, and sweater, specifically  turtle necks. here is a little fashion inspiration, being warm can be cute.

source// 1, 2 , 3

stay warm, bake cookies!


hope everyone is staying warm out there! here in minnesota it has been extra chilly with temps in the double digit negatives and even the public schools have been cancelled for two days in a row, a very rare thing here in minnesota. these bitter cold days can be a little dreary, but, there are lots of good things about them too-  your coziest wool sweater is extra warm, tea sounds good all day long, and the sun is extra shiny (see, all about perspective!). in the midst of the coldness i was thinking to think of fun things to do indoors like, building a fire, watching netflex, and my favorite.... baking! yes. baking is a great and fun thing to do when you have nothing else better to do then to be indoors (though i have to say i love it in every season). i am known for my cookies. just ask any of our friends and they will tell you that at the kirsebom house, there are always cookies.  and because i feel that cookies make every occasion a little better what better day to share this recipe with my friends. this way if anyone needs a little encouragement on these bitter january days, you can bake the best chocolate chip cookies around! this recipe was adapted from chad's grandma dorothy. dorothy is the cutest 91 year old lady i know, and was an extremely active cook in her younger years.  i hope to follow after her legacy!

grandma dot's chocolate chip cookies

3 cups flower
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick of butter, plus a little extra (like a tablespoon or two more)
2/3 cup vegetable shorting
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
as many chocolate chips as you would like, my favorite are the ghiradelli 60% cocoa

1. preheat oven to 350
2. in a large bowl, mix flower, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar. put off to the side
3. in a large bowl or kitchen aid mixing bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, butter, and shorting. beat until creamy about two minutes. add vanilla. then add eggs one at a time until batter is smooth.
4. slowly incorporate the flour mixture. adding a little at a time until the batter is smooth. do not over mix!
5. by hand, add in the chocolate chips. drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.


ps. i also updated the recipes feature on my blog (right side, blue button) if you would like to take a look, or click HERE

a look back at 2013 // part one


2013 was a good one. looking back, it is hard to pick out the highlights because it was so, so good. a few weeks ago i decided to look back on my posts from the beginning of 2013. it was so fun to see how this little blog of mine has changed (VERY much so) and also to see all of the crazy fun things that have happened through out 2013. with that, here is a quick summary of what happened around these parts in 2013. i wrote out a summary of each month, if you hover over certain texts, there will be a link to a post that originally described the event. when i began this post i didn't realize how much stuff happened over the year. great and wonderful things, but due to how big the post was getting i decided to break it up into two parts (easier for the eyes ;) )

...  the year started off with chad and i getting married in january. we celebrated with our closest family and friends in the heart of downtown minneapolis at the historic city hall. (see HERE, HERE, and  HERE)

we then escaped off to the Caribbean for a 10 day honeymoon (it is the best thing to get married in the winter, because then your honeymoon feels amazing, especially if you are coming from the midwest!) it was tough but we managed to pack for our trip in only one suitcase for the both of us! 

chad and i slowly started to figure out what life together looked like as mr and mrs! it was a journey, but such a good one. it started with the st valentines day , where we kept it simple and enjoyed  an amazing chocolate cheesecake. in this time, i switched from watching a beautiful toddler, to working with a precious little 7 month baby. in march i really started to become obsessed with frenched themed books  , i began to become obsessed with all things french, food, books, culture. i began to truly understand it and love it all. my desire for travel continued to increase and i want to go back to europe (hopefully in 2014!) chad and i began juicing, which then lead to us being smoothie/juice obsessed for our breakfasts (and even still, we are drinking one every morning!)

april came around and all of a sudden, it was sprummer! (spring + summer) we had some amazing warm days... which then followed with some snow in may (love you, minnesota.) however one of the warm days was easter! later in the month chad introduced me to glam doll doughnuts, which i was obsessed with, until i found out i was gluten intolerant. these first three months of marriage flew by. the little babe and i did lots of fun adventures including going to the walker art museum, which she totally loved. :)

in may, i celebrated my birthday some close friends, attended my best friend katie's wedding, and began planting my little garden! it was also in this time (may) where chad and i became a little obsessed with grilling.

in june we celebrated chad's birthday with a dramatic storm causing the power to go out at pizzera lola, i ordered my second pair of saltwater sandals, in which i lived in the rest of the summer. i shared five things i learned about marriage in the first five months. the little babe and i made lots of trips to the minnesota zoo and she started to become much more active! my grandma also shared with us, how she gots swag.. ;)

part two, later this week!

saturday mornings // winter


reasons why i love saturday mornings// winter edition:

-it is the one day of the week where you can stay in your pajamas until noon
-you can sleep in ( i kinda suck at this part, does 8am count as sleeping in?) and spend a few extra minutes in those flannel sheets
-there is unlimited, delicious, freshly brewed chemex coffee 
-you can cuddle up with a cute husband while reading a book
-the pretty snow falls, and you like it, especially because you know you don't have to drive in it
-whenever you finally want to make breakfast, it can be a big brunch (my favorite meal, ever!)
-you put on wool socks and don't have to worry about them getting sweaty in your boots

why do you love saturdays?

winter layers


hat// parc boutique jacket// tj maxx sweater// c/o our world boutique shirt// jcrew pants// american eagle shoes// clarks

so remember my new hair cut. well, i still have the same feelings towards it (don't love it, nor hate it). when you cut off so much of your hair, it almost feels like apart of you is missing! my whole style feels different! and with this new hair cut... i have started to change up my style a little bit, by becoming a hat girl. over the pat few months i have really started to like hats, they add such a simple touch to a great outfit. all around accessories are the best way to spice up an outfit. so i have been wearing lots of hats, which i have been loving... but i still felt like i was missing an accessory. then it hit me! layers. it has been quite chilly these last few days in the mini-apple, so i have been gravitating towards lots of warm layering clothes. sometimes this makes you feel bulky and blah, unless you have the perfect layering accessory. like this lovely sweater. a simple. plain jane outfit, but mixed with some accessories, you kinda start feeling cute again! because everyone needs a little layering love in their life... our world boutique is giving away $50 shop credit to one honee bee reader, if that doesn't cheer up the winter blues i don't know what will ;) also... not to mention it is a brand new year and who doesn't like some new clothes to mix up your style in the new year.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

hello 2014!


happy new year! it's 2014! wahoo! we started the new year by hosting a few friends over to play rummy and to sip on whisky. it wasn't the most eventful, but it was relaxing, fun, and time well spent. as the new year start i began to jot down a few little goals of mine. i always think resolutions are fun and can be a great motivating tool especially for a goal setting planner like me. this year my goals/resolutions aren't very complex or life changing. more just little ways to make my life more meaningful. i am trying to do this whole intentional living thing. it is too easy to let things just slid on by! with that.. my 2014 goals

* go to the library more (and don't get as many late fines... oops)

* start more adventures in the kitchen: continue trying new recipes. start researching more food groups, gain a better understanding of where my food is coming from, join a CSA, eat more  vegetables (and try to convince chad to as well ;) ), give more food away, host more friends over for meals, expand my little garden, not waste as much food, make my own vanilla extract, 

* make an epic gluten free cake, and then have people over to eat it

* stop checking my phone as often when around friends, go one day with out using my phone, learn to be content in the moment

* love in all circumstances, be a better wife, sister, daughter, and friend, do a random act of kindness, surprise friends with gifts, be there for more people

* take better care of my skin, aka shower more and increase sunscreen use

* be healthier, try being more active by getting to 10k steps a day, run, run, and run,  eat more veggies (again)

*go on a european country, try new food, and then come home and try and recreate it, take tons of pictures, and actually do something with them.  

*write more, give more hand written cards, utilize cute stationary, call friends that i haven't seen in a while

*splurge on good food, chocolate, and things that make me feel fancy ( face lotions, nice soap, ya know that type of stuff) save on things that are not needed: avoid making dumb last minute purchases, buy only quality clothes, don't always buy into sales (they somehow make me spend a lot of money and gain a lot of unnecessary stuff), chew less gum, buy less stuff. 

* be more intentional with my relationship with the lord, continue to do daily devotions, give more away, be open to serving, give to those in need, pray daily, trust in his timing, pray (yes, again)

as you can see... nothing too epic here, nothing to specific like loose ten pounds or take a photo everyday. but just little things that i hope to do in the next year to be a better me- one that is more in the moment, a better friend, a happier person. i am excited for this year and what is to come. 

do you have any resolutions? what do you have planned for 2014?
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