My Favorite Instagram Accounts and Why They Inspire Me

blog-linkup-february-instagram

I’ve linked up with the lovely ladies behind The B Bar (as well as a ton of other bloggers) for this month’s blog linkup: who are three of your favorite Instagrammers and why? To say that I’m addicted to Instagram would be an understatement. Instagram is by far my favorite social media outlet, so naturally, narrowing my favorite accounts to just three was really hard!! Here’s who made the cut:

Instagram_JennaRaeCakes

Jenna Rae Cakes- Jenna Rae, self taught baker and cake designer, owns a bakery in Winnipeg and specializes in custom cakes. Let me put this out there right away: this Instagram account makes me want to move to Canada and eat my way through her bakery!! Her Insta-snaps give me a daily dose of inspiration, both for food photography and making beautiful sweets that look too good to eat (but surely taste amazing.)

Instagram_NoemeiRowsky

NoemeiRowskyNoelani’s Instagram game is on point! I love seeing her daily setups of beautiful flat-lays and colorful foods, all representing effortless style. Her snaps reflects a light, airy aesthetic that makes her Instagram flow beautifully.

Paris in Four Months roundup

Paris in Four Months – Carin Olsson, photographer and blogger behind the blog Paris in Four Months, delivers inspirational images of beautiful details from her travels and the ultimate Parisian lifestyle I dream about. Her snaps create an instant getaway, making Paris my number one dream vacation spot.

If we’re not already following each other, you can find me Instagraming here! Who are your three favorite Instagrammers and why?

Be sure to check out the rest of the participant’s blogs and their favorite Instagram accounts throughout this link up:

The B Bar • Annie Reeves • Alyssa J Freitas • Cake & Lilies • Liska Monet • The Not Quite Adult • Equal Parts of a Whole • Carrie Loves •A Loyal Love • Paper and Skyscrapers • Glitter, Inc. • SKC Marketing • Shenanigan-ska • Elana Lyn • Sponsored by Coffee • Always Craving • All The Pretty Stars • Business Betties • Perfect Enough For Us • Always Anita • A Little Leopard • A Girl for Granted • Tortoise in the Sun • The Yuppie Files • Healthfully Ever After • Urban Pixxels • Roam + Golightly • Preppy Panache • Brikasia • White Cabana • Idalia Photography • Little Wild Heart • Wearing Pearls • The Everyday Adventurer • Splendor in Spanglish • Life Modifier • Post Grad in Pumps • Alessandra Marie • Random Little Faves • PR Girl Diaries • Caitlin Cawley • Modish & Main • 26 and Not Counting • Pretty Much Design Studio • Grace Notes • Girl in Betsey • Something Good • Life with the Champions • Pattern Me Pretty • Simply Nicole • The Fashionable Wife • I Am Amber Nicole • Southland Avenue • English Mamma • Cake Over Steak • York Avenue • Jenn Inspired • Hitha on the Go • Beauty and the Pitch • Cedar and Rush • Luv in the Bubble • Des Moines Darling • Cheyenne Mojica • Step Brightly • Soak and Simmer • A Touch of Teal • Paris vs The World • Style and Free • Lovely Friend • A Few of My Favorite Things • The Blue Bijou • PR Blonde • Leigh Clair • Moonlight Chai • Meg Biram • Victoria McGinley

Chai latte cupcakes

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Writer’s block- the inconvenient situation for writers and bloggers everywhere when nothing comes to mind. You can try typing out several sentences only to delete them furiously. Writer’s block is especially inconvenient if you’re working under a deadline. Thankfully, I currently am not but have in the past. But when I recently had a bout of block, my first instinct was to take a break from my mind and computer, make a cup of coffee and take a moment to enjoy it. Then I remembered that I’m trying to limit my coffee intake to only one cup a week. So instead, I opted for a cup of chai latte.

I had the realization that it had been forever since I’ve had a sip of this warm, milky, spice-infused indulgence. Sometimes you have to really just ENJOY a drink and all of its notes, whether it be coffee, chai latte or wine. As I enjoyed my cup of chai latte, I couldn’t help but think about the cupcake version of this delectable drink. I mean, how good would that be?

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2_Chai Latte Cupcakes

After my cup, I eased back into fighting off my writer’s block and tackled my task at hand- completing my resume. I then immediately started planning for these Chai Latte Cupcakes I was suddenly craving.

For this recipe, the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg flavors really struck a chord with me, as did the velvety icing mixed with the moist texture of the cupcake. I sprinkled some dark chocolate shavings and drizzled some mocha chocolate syrup used for coffee, as well as dusted nutmeg, on these babies-both perfect garnishes for these bites of chai heaven.

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Whole Wheat Berry Muffins

1_Whole Wheat Muffin

Let’s talk about whole wheat and berries. So because I’m on this health kick, I’ve really been sticking true to my word of (mostly) clean eating, getting back into shape and trying to get more nutrients from fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. I’ve been trying to experiment more with recipes too by making small changes, such as switching out all purpose flour for it’s whole wheat counterpart. Baby steps!

As far as berries are concerned, I have a whole lot of them, and other fruits, both in fresh and frozen form. There are certain fruits I prefer fresh, but having a freezer full of frozen fruit is so convenient for me- not only do they not spoil within a few days, they are great for making my morning smoothies and for baking purposes, like these whole wheat berry muffins.

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Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts

Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts

There’s nothing I love more than a good homemade doughnut and I think many of you can agree with me on that! Chocolate, vanilla bean, pumpkin, with or without icing, sprinkles or just plain, I love all doughnuts in any shape, size and flavor. I think there are many benefits of making your own homemade doughnuts, including decorating them how you want, playing with the flavors and most importantly, easily being able to double the recipe. Chances are, you might already have all of the ingredients readily accessible in your pantry, making homemade doughnut-making easier.

I was scheduled for a trip to Iowa to continue flipping a home I recently inherited, until the New York snowfall hindered my plans by causing my flight to be canceled. So naturally, after I settled back into my apartment, I had the itch to bake something chocolatey. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry to make these chocolate espresso doughnuts. Part chocolate, a bit of espresso and a whole bunch of deliciousness.

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The spongey texture of these chocolate espresso doughnuts pairs perfectly with the thick chocolate glaze, making you reach for both a glass of milk and a second doughnut. I think it’s best to eat these right off the bat, but in case you’re wondering, these taste just as good after being frozen. My boyfriend is away in Atlanta on business until Friday so I froze most of these for him (and let’s be honest, diet discipline purposes for me!) but I did just try one that’s been frozen and it tastes just as fresh as the day I made them! Just store them in an airtight tupperware container and layer the doughnuts with wax paper to keep them from sticking to each other.

Chocolate Espresso Doughnuts

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#MonroeFamilyFlip: Bathroom Renovation Progress

If you’ve been following along my flipping journey, I’ve really been looking forward to posting this for a long time. (If you’re new, welcome! I’m flipping a house I inherited and this is my journey!) When I think back to just a month ago, there were some major changes in the house, but the bathroom still had not been started. Now I’m happy to report that we’re really almost done!

Besides the kitchen, I think the bathroom will be my favorite renovation of the house. I’m finally starting to see a difference in the bathroom progress! Here’s a couple before pictures of the bathroom:

Before Bathroom Transformation

The bathroom before needed major cleaning and due to the brown wooden vanity set, the mix-matched walls and the lighting, the color scheme of the bathroom was just severely outdated. In the picture on the right, we had actually taken out the shower sliding door, a matching wooden cabinet above the toilet and a wooden mirror medicine cabinet. We also had removed some of the tiling as well.

Right off the bat, I knew the bathroom was really small. It’s the only bathroom in the house (there is actually a second bathroom but it’s not finished yet so for now, there’s really only one bathroom) and I wanted to make it functional yet modern. I felt like my biggest mission was to make the small bathroom appear bigger and more spacious and although I really wanted to add a bathtub, I thought a fully tiled, stand up shower would really elevate this bathroom from dingy and outdated to modern and spectacular.

Another element I wanted to change up was the use of space. For example, think back to the absent medicine cabinet and storage cabinet above the toilet I had mentioned before. I’m sure the previous design was intended to add storage to the small bathroom but instead only achieved a crowded space. So another way I wanted to achieve more space is by using a pedestal sink instead of a vanity, having my contractor move the toilet a few inches and using open shelving and a flat mirror.

White Bathroom inspiration

White window trim: Before, the trim of the window in the shower was thin, so I definitely wanted to update the trim and make it thicker and bolder.

White subway tiles / black and white penny tiles: Like everyone else on Pinterest, I’m in love with the look of white subway tiles. Can you blame me? These tiles can make any space look so clean and classic. I knew I definitely wanted the subway tile shower and loved the way the black and white penny tile looked with them. I’m really happy with the design choice I made because the bathroom has taken on a modern yet classic style that I think the future owners of this house will love.

Medium grey grout: I didn’t want white because it would show soap scum more and I didn’t want black because I felt like that would be too much, so I picked a nice medium grey.

Clear glass shower doors: These glass doors a great way to maintain that openness in the bathroom and make it look more spacious than it is.

Other bathroom details: I went with a brushed nickel scheme for the sink and shower hardware, and we actually added a ventilation system to help air circulate through the small bathroom, preventing mold overgrowth and mildew.

Obviously we still need to add the toilet, sink , shelves, etc., but we were waiting on replastering, priming and painting the bathroom walls. Now that the walls have been done, the contractor will be adding all of those items as we speak! Here are some progress pictures of the bathroom throughout the whole journey so far:

Before Bathroom Transformation 2

Before Bathroom Transformation 3

Before Bathroom Transformation 4

This bathroom is SO close to becoming completed! I think it will be fully finished in just a couple weeks, and I can’t wait to share the final look!

Thank you for reading and following along on my #MonroeFamilyFlip: Bathroom Renovation Progress! Stay updated on my flipping journey by checking out the hashtag #MonroeFamilyFlip on Instagram !

{ inspiration images via Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, Handcrafted in Virginia, and Pinterest }