An Irish Background

In honor of #ThrowbackThursday today, I decided to take a look through my pictures from my trip to Ireland last Spring. I went with my college choir and I don’t even know where to begin on telling you how great it was. Can you say that you were in Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day? I can. That trip was one of the best experiences of my life, stepping out of my comfort zone in the midwest and traveling overseas to a beautiful place full of music and history. Seriously, if you ever want to hear some legit live music, head over to any pub in Ireland and you won’t be disappointed.

Anyway, this background’s image was taken at the Cliffs of Moher in Liscannor, Ireland and it is THE prettiest view I have ever seen. I know that this snippit image on the background totally doesn’t do it justice, so do yourself a favor and do a google image search – and then sit back and take in the green Irish grass. You might almost even be able to smell the salt water. Links to download below, enjoy!

Ireland Background | Arranged on Essen

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Life in Squares 01

Life in Squares | Arranged on Essen

I’ve decided to start a new column, “Life in Squares” that I’ll post every once and a while where I choose some fave squares from my Instagram and give a little recap. Giving a caption to instagram pictures is one of the hardest things, I think – you have to be cute and creative but keep it simple and somewhat short but it also has to make sense with what the picture is… so this is my way of expanding on the sometimes really bland and boring captions. #SorryAboutIt!

01. Snow. In the midwest, you never know when the first snow of the year is going to be – this year, it was November 9th. A little early, but then again… it’s the midwest so it really shouldn’t come as much of a shock to us true northerners. I remember multiple times it has fallen on Thanksgiving day, and I always thought it was so perfect and magical because you’re already spending the day inside with good food and good company, so it just makes sense to welcome in the christmas season on that day. Instead this year, it has been hard to resist listening to christmas music already, and we still have a couple weeks until Thanksgiving even rolls in!

02. Can we talk about Anthropologie? So, whenever the catalogue comes in the mail it’s like a kid in a candy shop for me – I want everything! Let’s get real. Working in an Anthro store would probably be the best job. Being surrounded by all their clothing, and don’t even get me started on their home decor. I would live in that place if I could.

03. I can’t even believe that this square is from a few weeks ago when all you needed was a light jacket or sweater to go outside and the sun was still shining and the fall colors were still everywhere. As I type this, I’m looking out a window onto the Eau Claire campus and all I see is white. Don’t get me wrong – I love the snow, too. But I think we got shorted on the whole fall season this year a little. It ended so quick! I’m not quite ready for bundling up with a puffy coat, hat and mittens before heading outside. The day this square is from was so much fun – my mom and I were out shopping for new decor for our basement facelift project and we found some great stuff! *I promise I’ll share more about that once it’s ready! Still working on some of the finishing touches.

04. This eucalyptus branch is my new favorite part of my apartment! I bought a bundle of the stuff from the St. Paul Farmer’s Market a while back and had it hanging to dry in my room for what seemed like the longest time. I’ve been itching to do something more fun with it than just let it dry out. When it was finally ready and I had enough time to sort through all the pieces, I went crazy. I have a good amount of it just hanging out in a vase on a shelf in my room but then this branch got the lucky spot on my empty bathroom wall that I’ve been unsure of what to do with since move in day. I love how something so simple like a eucalyptus branch can put the finishing touch on a room that looked so empty and blah before.

Follow along on Instagram for more frequent squares!

Quiche, please!

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Quiche recipe | Arranged on Essen

The past few weeks, we have been obsessed with quiche around here. It has been a main meal made for the past two weekends, which leaves us with delicious leftovers for the rest of the week. And, since the past few weeks have been crazy busy – the leftovers have been much appreciated. The ingredient that gives this quiche the BEST flavor is the cheese we use. Apple smoked gouda cheese is the key. I swear by it.

Quiche recipe | Arranged on Essen

Quiche recipe | Arranged on Essen

I always used to think that quiche would be this difficult, extremely difficult thing to make. My mom and I made it while hosting my cousin’s bridal shower in July. I was surprised at how easy and quick it was!

Quiche recipe | Arranged on Essen

The BEST Quiche recipe :

You will need:

1 cup shredded Gouda cheese ( we like this brand )
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion ( or about 1/3 cup ), finely chopped
5 oz. package of diced pancetta ( or 1/2 lb of bacon )
1 cup mushrooms
handful of spinach
6 eggs
1 cup half and half
handful of cilantro, basil, parsley ( any and all herbs are good in this! )
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pre-bake the pie crust ( we just use the Pillsbury pie crust that you can get by the refrigerated cookie dough in your local grocery store ) for 5-7 minutes and cover the crust with tinfoil so that it doesn’t burn – remember, you’ll still be cooking it for a good amount of time with the fillings in it! Pre-baking the crust helps to ensure a good crispy, flaky crust – yum! Shred your cheese and layer it on the bottom of your pie crust. Chop your vegetables and saute them until they cook down about half in size. The portions of veggies listed above seem like a lot… but trust me, they shrink! Feel free to sub in or sub out any of those ingredients and quantities, it’s a really flexible recipe and tastes great vegetarian as well! Layer in your veggie mixture on top of your shredded cheese. I like to use my single portion blender to make the egg mixture in – it makes for a really light, fluffy quiche in the finished product. Combine your eggs, half and half, herbs and spices in your blender and blend until everything is incorporated. Pour the egg mixture on top of your veggies and throw it in the oven for 35-40 minutes, rotating halfway through. I like to keep the aluminum foil on the crust until the last five-ish minutes of baking to ensure for a golden brown crust instead of burnt! Let it stand for about five minutes to let it finish setting and then cut it and devour!

Happy quiche-ing!

A belated Halloween Post

It has been a while since my last post, oops! The last few weeks have been crazy busy around here. Halloween was a week ago already! We didn’t have any big plans around here, just handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters who came around! I got home on Friday afternoon to my sister carving pumpkins with her friends and quickly realized that our house doesn’t have any decorations! I remember my favorite part of going trick-or-treating as a kid was always picking out my favorite house that was decorated the best.

Easy DIY Halloween Decorations | Arranged on Essen

To make up for our lack of decoration this year, I came up with the idea to quickly trace out some friendly ghosts and BOO’s on regular printer paper and after cutting them out, taping them to our marshmallow skewers that we use when we have a bonfire! Then I just stuck them in the bushes at the walk-up to our house and in some of the empty plant pots we have hanging out by our front door!

We also had some spooky music playing from a spooky sound effects playlist on Songza on some speakers we set outside to spook some of the trick-or-treaters out.

Easy DIY Halloween Decorations | Arranged on Essen

Easy DIY Halloween Decorations | Arranged on Essen

I wish I would have been able to get a good picture of our Jack o’ Lantern windows that I came up with at the very last minute. This was the easiest thing ever. We draped a white bed sheet over the curtain rod in the windows upstairs and used black duct tape in the shape of a jack o’ lantern face and then left the lights on in those bedrooms so that the shadow of the jack o’ lantern faces were shown outside for all the trick-or-treaters walking by! This was the closest picture I could find that had the same effect!

What are some fun Halloween decorations you like to spook those trick-or-treaters out with?