Monthly Edition



Happy New Year! January 1st might be my favorite day of the year.  I love all the hope and excitement for a new year, making plans to better myself, and fresh start on everything.  I have a few resolutions in mind and I’m making plans to achieve them. 

With the start of this new year, I’m removing the “Field Trip” section of the newsletter.  Field Trips will still be posted on   A new section, “Project,” which will focus on projects I’m doing around my apartment, will take its place.  If you hate this idea, let me know and I will bring back field trip.  


After a stressful holiday season, I’m focusing on pouring a glass of wine and relaxing this month with some comforting classics.  As I look out the window onto a grey, cloudy, rainy landscape, I would love to be wrapped up in this sweater from Madewell.  I ordered a pair of moccasins to pair with it.  If I could only wear one shoe for the rest of my life, it would probably be moccasins. 

My dear friend, Liz, sent me a beautiful candle from her company, Arome Candle.  Look for an unboxing video on my Instagram next weekend.  I love the scent profiles and designs of the candle. 

When January arrives, my skin and hair start to dry up.  I’m rehydrating this month with Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizer Cream and Olaplex hair repair treatment.  

I recently started experimenting with pour-over coffee.  I do love my Nespresso and French Press, but I have been curious to try one of these for awhile.  I ordered one made by Bee House, a Japanese ceramic company, but I’ve seen these around everywhere.  My favorite coffee is this blend from Commonplace, a Pittsburgh coffee company.  


Commonplace Coffee, Ceramic Coffee Pour Over, Madewell Sweater, Moccasins, Olaplex Hair Treatment, Kiehl's Moisturizer, Location F Wine, Arome Candle

Book Club

I'm still working on some of the books from my December reading list, but here are the next two I'm hoping to read: 

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup - The rise and fall of Stanford drop out Elizabeth Holmes and her start up, Theranos, which promised to revolutionize health with a drop of blood, but couldn’t deliver.  

American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey into the Business of Punishment - After his release from imprisonment in Iranian, a Mother Jones reporter takes a job as a prison guard to learn about incarceration in American from the inside. 

I'm naturally more drawn to non-fiction than fiction, but I'm hoping to read more fiction this year.  If anyone has any great novels to recommend, please let me know. 


Entry Closet 

As I mentioned last issue, I recently organized my hallway coat closet.  Just a few little touches go a long way.  I replaced all the mismatched hangers with uniform wooden ones from Ikea.  Next, I used wire locker bins to organize the other items we store in the closet (shoe care, reusable bags, and winter accessories). 

Earlier this year, my Mom helped me come up with a system to make more shoe storage.  We had a piece of wood shelving cut at Home Depot to fit the length of the closet and set it on top of two Ikea baskets.  Rob and I use the shelf for are most worn shoes and bins underneath to store out of season shoes. 

We have a paper bag in the closet for glass recycling.  Our apartment stopped accepting glass, but I refuse to throw it away.  I just periodically take it to Target, which offers recycling for all sorts of things. 

While it may seem a little over-the-top, I did find it helpful to make a diagram of what I wanted for the closet before actually re-arranging it.  If I needed to, I would have also used this diagram for product information and measurements to make shopping easier.  

On the wall opposite of the closet, we use a shaker peg rail to hang coats and bags.  I think this touch really makes the apartment look homey.  It is easy to hang a jacket up there and keeps them from winding up other places.  

In The Kitchen

Granola Bars

I’m trying to cut back on individually packaged foods, and the two last hold outs for me are yogurt and granola bars.  While I don’t think these are perfect, I do think I’m off to a pretty good start with the granola bars.  I did some research and I think it culminated in something that is definitely a granola bar.  Here’s the recipe: 


2 cups quick oats (not instant oats) 
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped into small pieces 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds 
1/4 cup almond flour 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon flakey sea salt 
Zest of 1 medium orange 
1/4 cup honey 
1/4 cup maple syrup 



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8 x 8” baking dish with parchment and spray with cooking spray.  I used a 6.5 X 8.5” pyrex refrigerator dish because that was the closest thing I had, just do your best.  

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.  Add the honey and maple syrup and stir until mixture is all coated.  Transfer into the prepared baking dish and press firmly into the pan until it is well packed.  


Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Let it rest at room temperature for at least an hour before cutting into bars.  If you don’t wait, it will all crumble apart.  If it does all crumble apart, don’t worry, now it’s just regular granola, which is pretty great.  

This recipe can be easily adapted to suit different tastes / to use up what you have in the cabinet.  I already had most of the ingredients on hand which is why I went for cranberry-orange.  The nuts, dried fruit, and other flavorings are totally flexible.  

If anyone has any great granola bar tips or recipes please send them my way!  


Copyright © 2019 Inge Moran, All rights reserved.

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