Dessert First: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Getting back into the school routine is challenging (also apparently the blogging routine. I don’t want to talk about how late this post is). I’ve found that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my class schedule is rigorous, forcing me to bring snacks for the entire day. If I don’t properly fuel myself with a good breakfast, my stomach starts growling less than an hour into my first class of the day.

This week, that changed. I decided I needed to find a simple recipe that would prepare a week full of meals for quick breakfasts I can pop in my backpack for on-the-go, or quickly grab while I’m rushing to get dressed in the morning.

Of course, my constant problem with breakfast foods is my desire for sweetness. It should come as no surprise to most people that the Macaron Queen herself has the world’s worst sweet tooth. Unfortunately though, most of the easy breakfasts to make can be rather savory: scrambled eggs, bagels with cream cheese, sausage and bacon. Given, there are plenty of options for the sugar-obsessed as well. But I’m tired of how repetitive parfaits, fruit salads, and artificial cereals become in the morning time. I wish I had time to make delicious crepes or waffles every morning – but the time commitment cannot simply be met.

Enter: mini homemade cinnamon rolls.

These are a lifesaver. They’re fun to make, easy to prep, and incredibly addictive.

I found this recipe on Pinterest when I was searching for dessert recipes. I love that they’re tiny, so you can make lots at a time. As well, they taste delicious warmed up in the microwave or cold straight out of the refrigerator. Can you say “win-win?”

I highly recommend these to the average sweet tooth college students like me, with really any experience level of baking. These morning treats are worth the 15 minutes of your Sunday night, and you’ll be thanking yourself all week long (unless you eat them in one sitting).

 

Mini Homemade Cinnamon Rolls with Maple-Vanilla Icing

Makes about 8 cinnamon rolls; source: Iowa Girl Eats

 

Ingredients:

 

For the Cinnamon Rolls:IMG_0412

  • 1 tube of crescent roll dough
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Light brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbs butter

 

 

 

 

 

For the Icing:IMG_0421

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 tsp syrup (the original recipe calls for maple syrup, but let’s be honest: I’m a cheap college student. Regular syrup is just fine)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon to taste

 

 

 

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven according to the package of crescent rolls. Mine said 375 and it baked to perfection
  2. Lay flat four of the eight crescent roll pieces onto a clean, floured counter.
  3. Match the pieces to create a rectangle and pinch together the seams. Flip, and pinch on the other side as well
  4. Take a rolling pin and flatten out the rectangle.
  5. Melt the butter in the microwave and then brush (I used a spatula) to spread an even coat of butter all over the dough
  6. Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon and brown sugar to preference
  7. Carefully begin rolling the shorter side of the rectangle. I stopped every few seconds to spread butter on the roll to make sure the cinnamon and sugar continued sticking.
  8. Once the dough is rolled into a cylindrical shape, cut into six pieces. Tip: I did six pieces because I only have a 6 muffin tin tray. But you can cut them according to how bite-sized you wish the cinnamon rolls to turn out.
  9. Place the mini cinnamon rolls onto a greased muffin tin and bake according to package. Mine cooked in 13 minutes.
  10. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, whisk together all the ingredients for the maple-vanilla icing.
  11. Once the cinnamon rolls have baked, pop them out of the muffin tin and drizzle with the maple-vanilla icing. I then stored mine in a Tupperware in the fridge.

 

 

 

Stay Healthy in 2015

It seems like I can never catch a break. Every time I blink my eyes, I’m sick again with some a-typical infection or strange cold. Although I’m very disappointed in myself for not posting a blog post last night, I sincerely believe I’m allowed a mess up given that I had a rash from h2t that resulted in a rather late night visit to the ER (#SO to my boyfriend for being awesome).

Even though I posted about cold season and flu season just a couple months ago, it seemed almost too fitting to write about how to stay healthy for the rest of the winter season and 2015. Here are a few things that have kept me going through all my weird illnesses – and the lovely ear infection/staff infection that resulted in my lovely V-day colored rash.

1. Green Tea

I’d be lying if I didn’t say my best friend and I are addicted to green tea. We’re constantly on the search for the best (and cheapest) green tea on the market. Green teas are perfect for a pick-me-up at any time in the day because it’s lightly caffeinated without resulting in a regretful caffeine crash later on. My personal favorite: Celestial Seasoning’s Green Tea (but I also might be biased because it’s a Colorado company).

2. Eucerin

This stuff is a life saver for skin. When I was home for the holidays with my family, my entire face suffered from the intensely dry Colorado air, and I quickly discovered an intense need for a thicker moisturizer. I ended up buying the Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Cream. I’ve been using it day and night (even though it’s technically just a night cream) and my face is loving all the moisture. This cream is soft and sensitive, which is perfect for the winter time. With my sudden rash (I know, I’m probably grossing anyone out who’s reading this), Eucerin felt the most amazing and relieved the quickest.

3. Drinking Water

Often times, drinking water is something I naturally forget to do. But I really want to start making the effort to try harder. I’m excited to start my year off right with a brand new water bottle from ello. It’s glass so that your water can stay pure and fresh, which makes me want to drink it at any opportunity I can get. The amount of water recommended for daily intake varies depending on your body size and weight, but I think that it’s smart to have a glass with every meal as well as a couple water bottles full throughout the day.

4. Making a Regular Sleep Schedule

My best friend from Colorado and I were recently discussing how easy it is to sleep in when the opportunity presents itself. Then again, it’s really rough on the body and completely throws off your mental clock. Recently, she replaced her one day without morning classes with a cycling class in the mornings. Even if it means getting up early, taking a little extra time to get ready and prepping for the day ahead, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is the key to a healthy body and happy mind (i.e. don’t do what I did over break when I was sick and sleeping on the couch for hours).

5. Read Books

I don’t know if this is a scientifically proven thing, but I swear it’s magic. Reading books is a great pass-time that I feel is quickly slipping through the cracks. Even if you read one book every month or during the rest of the colder lonely months, it’s nice to put your mind at ease and do something for yourself. You can choose whatever type of book you want and watch yourself as you travel through time and space with the main characters. Facebook will never be able to compete with the feeling of pure ecstasy books provide when the knight finally rescues the princess from that inevitable fire-breathing dragon (or the princess rescues herself … because feminism).

Remember: Stay healthy in 2015, unlike how it’s been so far for me.

 

 

My Favorites: YouTube Vloggers

I think the best way to start off a new year is by exploring all the possibilities of hair, beauty, fashion and DIY that YouTube vloggers have to offer. After a long stressful day of class, there’s nothing more relaxing than watching a new video from one of my favorite YouTube vloggers.Sometimes, I’ll admit, I like to watch them while I’m getting ready in the mornings. Even just as background noise, its soothing.

YouTube vloggers are inspiring, as if I could just use their advice and create a brand new Jen the second after the video ends. Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorite beauty, lifestyle and fashion vloggers to kick off January for you. I’m certain you’ll like at least one of them.

 

Beauty:

1. Essie Button

essiebutton

Estée is one of the beauty vloggers who I just want to be friends with. Her haircut is chic. Her humor is adorable. And, overall, her videos always put me in a great mood. The best videos to watch are her “empties” and her monthly favorites. Honestly, sometimes she is the sole influence on what products I buy because our hair is about the same length and our skin type is very similar.

Check out my favorite Essie Button video HERE.

 

2. MakeupByTiffanyD

makeupbytiff

Tiffany’s videos are the kind that I make a mug of tea and grab a snack for. These videos can be quite the commitment since some of them reach at or above the 30 minute mark. But when you do watch one, it’s completely worth it. Tiffany has a way of making her videos very conversational, as if she’s directly talking to you, the viewer. Plus, she has the cutest little Southern twang.

 

Check out my favorite recent MakeupByTiffanyD video HERE.

 

3. MakeupByAlli

makeupbyalli

I discovered Alli at the beginning of this school year. She’s very talented at more dramatic looks. I love watching her videos before doing my makeup for a night out with the girls, or before a dressy party. She’s skilled at darker smokey looks; ANY of her tutorials would be perfect for New Years looks or Vday (which is quickly approaching, EEP).

 

Check out my favorite MakeupByAlli video HERE.

For a less dramatic MakeupByAlli video, I highly recommend THIS video.

 

Lifestyle/Fashion:

1. LaurDIY

laurdiy

Lauren is my best YouTube discovery yet. All (or at least most) of her videos are DIY projects that are equally beautiful as they are affordable. Lauren is one of those YouTube vloggers, like Essie Button, who can relate well to her subscribers, and she knows how to joke around with herself (like with her Holiday Ugly Sweaters video). Lauren’s videos are short and simple, almost anyone could follow her DIYs for an afternoon full of crafting fun.

 

Check out my favorite LaurDIY video HERE.

 

2. Aspyn Ovard

aspynovard

Although Aspyn is a few years younger than me, she has a certain Bethany Mota charm about her (without the overwhelming popularity). Aspyn’s fashion videos are very affordable, often using pieces from department stores. Aspyn always seems to include her boyfriend in her videos, which I love. They have great advice for dates that are applicable for any friends or couples. Check out some of her recipe videos too – they’re easy to do, especially for the lazy ones like me. This girl is definitely on the rise.

 

Check out my favorite Aspyn Ovard fashion video HERE.

 

3. Wendy’s Lookbook

wendyslookbook

Many people might recognize Wendy from her viral scarf video. And I would not be the first to admit that I’ve watched it many times before I get dressed in the mornings, just so I can find the perfect way to position my scarf. My favorite is “The Celebrity” style. But Wendy is so much more than just scarfs. This woman has amazing videography skills for a simple YouTuber, and her personal blog website is phenomenal. Unfortunately, her style is a tad too expensive for the average college student like me. But hey, a girl can dream right?

 

Check out my favorite Wendy’s Lookbook videos HERE and HERE.

New Years Resolutions

I never really understood New Years resolutions. I would always write them down on a fancy sheet of paper and decorate them with doodles and pretty colors. When I was younger, I thought it was fun to coordinate the number of resolutions with the new year, i.e. in 2008 I had 8 resolutions. But as the years went on, it got harder and harder to keep my resolutions with my chaotic life as a student with homework, jobs and other priorities.

This is the year that I vow to change everything. It’s the first Monday of the new year, and here I am at the Starbucks in my hometown, sipping on a cappuccino as I reevaluate my life and attempt to fix the issues that persisted the previous year.

Here I am, about to bare all my resolutions for the world to see (or rather, the 20 people who might happen to read my blog posts: HI MOM). Though rather random, I hope that these resolutions serve to craft a better Jen, a more responsible adult Jen who is able to take life by the reins and say “Yeah, I got this”. So here goes nothing, and yet everything at the same time.

 

RESOLUTION #1: Update blog once a week. Use the week before to plan and begin writing the posts. Upload post on each Sunday night. Although this specific blog post is going up on a Monday. Just ignore the tardiness.

 

RESOLUTION #2: Take control of personal finances. This resolution includes financial planning, becoming better at saving, eating out less (which opens the door to more recipe blog posts), and spending less money on unnecessary expenses (including Starbucks. HELLO KEURIG)

 

RESOLUTION #3: Become an avid flosser. Teeth are important.

 

RESOLUTION #4: Organize, organize, organize. I vow to become better with my school work, my work as an editor and my personal life. Planners are essential.

 

RESOLUTION #5: Use spare free time wisely. Replace Netflix and Pinterest with yoga and dance class. Free time should benefit my future well-being instead of restricting my potential happiness.

 

Got advice for keeping New Years resolutions? Comment below!