INDULGE | Holiday Peppermint Puffs

Sometimes you never know what to do with those pesky candy canes. 

Candy canes are great, and everyone indulges in a few around Christmas. But the problem is that you usually end up with boxes of them. Instead of throwing them away, why not try making something with them?

Enter my latest creation: Holiday Peppermint Puffs. As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.'s Yum Squad, I was asked to develop a recipe featuring their peanut butter & candy canes - an excellent way to use leftover candy canes {which were probably used to decorate your tree - am I right?}. And I think I've come up  with something pretty tasty.

You can make this in any shape you want, really. Puff pastry is pretty moldable. I made one giant rectangle, and then with the leftover dough I made a couple small "pies". I actually like the pie shape better because it holds all the sauce!

I used both White Chocolate Wonderful & Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter - but you could omit the Dark Chocolate Dreams sauce and just use melted chocolate instead.

You'll need:
1 box of puff pastry
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
6 T. Whipping Cream
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
1 T. Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter 
Candy canes

.1 Allow pastry to thaw. Place pastry in desired baking sheet or pan and bake according to packaged directions.
2. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
3. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, combine white chocolate chips, 3 T. whipping cream and White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter. Allow to melt, stirring so the chocolate doesn't burn. Remove from heat. 
4. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, combine dark chocolate chips, 3 T. whipping cream and Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Allow to melt, stirring so the chocolate doesn't burn. Remove from heat. 
5. Pour white chocolate sauce (as much as desired) over the puff pastry. 
6. Drizzle dark chocolate sauce over puff pastry. 
7. Crush candy canes and sprinkle over the top. Cut and serve!

Do you have any candy cane hacks? Share the tips with the hashtag #CandyCaneHacks. And if you're looking to buy some awesome peanut butter - PB&Co. is offering their products for 25% off ALL MONTH! Just use the code YUMSQUADLOVE (in all caps!) on their website.

Now... do you wanna win some PEANUT BUTTER?! Here's how you can win (1) jar of White Chocolate Wonderful and (1) jar of Dark Chocolate Dreams! Each of the following things counts as ONE entry, so you can use the Rafflecopter below to enter! The more you do, the more chances you have to win! Giveaway ends NEXT MONDAY (December 8).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Airport Travel For Bloggers

The holidays are quickly approaching - which means, for a lot of people, that it is time to travel. If you are a blogger, travel can be extremely important for your blog - sharing your holiday outfits, favorite recipes, DIY gifts, and more. 

Traveling as a blogger can also be extremely difficult because of the amount of techie stuff you use - ie. cameras, laptops, external hard drives, etc. This is especially complicated if you are flying and don't want to check any baggage. How on EARTH do you fit everything you need into a carry on?

Below I have a list of items that I take consistently when I travel - or at least, items similar to those I use. I've also got some tips to make your life easier while flying, as a female blogger...so read on!
| Old Navy: Satin Tote |
| Raven & Lily: Ashoka Canvas Tote |
| TOMS + Target: Arrow Zippered Clutch
| Buckle: Mint Sunglasses |
| Travel toothbrush, check your local drugstore |
| Apple: iPad |
| Canon: EOS Rebel T3 |
| iPhone Charger: Similar |
| Various Stores: Travel Compact Hairbrush |
| Sugar Paper: Gold Polka Dot Journal |

Tip: Only bring the essentials
I know this sounds difficult. I always overpack when I travel, but when I'm flying, I want to avoid paying for checked baggage at all costs. So limit your bags to one carry-on (I typically use the brown weekender bag pictured above - I love it because you can squish it into small spaces) and a purse (I want that Old Navy tote for Christmas!).

Tip: Bring a purse in your purse
I highly recommend bringing some sort of canvas tote that you can roll up and stick inside your carry-on purse. That way, if you buy anything extra while traveling, you have somewhere to put it. If nothing else, the second purse will make your life easier (you can use the tote as your purse for the week so you don't have to unpack your carry-on purse!). 

Tip: Bring an iPad, not a laptop
Tablets are way easier to pack and take up less space - which is perfect when you are trying to pack light. You can do all your blogging on your tablet and use a family member or friend's computer if you need to upload photos.

Tip: Plan ahead for car rentals
If you need to rent a car for your traveling, I recommend getting this figured out BEFORE you get to the airport. I've only used a rental car once - a co-worker rented it, and the process seemed like a hassle. And it wasted my time when all I wanted was to get to the hotel and sleep. I recommend checking out RelayRides - they are available in many different cities (including Cincinnati), and you can schedule the whole thing IN ADVANCE. Boom. Super quick & easy. You can even make money if you want to let someone else rent your car. Check out where you can find them in your city HERE!

Tip: Don't pack hair care items
You really don't need to spend money on travel size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If you're staying in a hotel, most hotels provide that stuff (and replenish every day!). If you're staying with friends or family, you can buy some when you get in town. It's not worth the space in your carry-on!

Tip: Roll your clothes
Seriously, this saves SO MUCH SPACE and allows you to pack a lot of clothes in a tiny space. Also, bring items you can mix & match, and wear multiple times. The fewer things you bring the better.

Tip: Always carry a journal, pen & camera
As a blogger, you never know when an idea for a post will strike. You could talk to some really cool shop owner and want to remember details of your conversation. Or maybe you like to make to-do lists (like myself). Whatever the reason, a journal is necessary. And so is a camera, so you can have plenty of pictures to blog about (you can use your camera phone if nothing else, and it saves space!)

So, there you go. I hope my tips will help you a little bit this holiday season!

What are YOUR travel necessities?


Comfy Monday

Sunday & Monday are my glasses day. Meaning, they are pretty much the only day I ever wear my glasses. On these days I like to get a little dressed up to compensate for the fact that my glasses make me feel grungy.

& sometimes, you need a pop of color to brighten up your grungy Sunday/Monday blues.

sweater, Old Navy |
| shirt, Charming Charlie |
| necklace, Old Navy |

I've been really getting into fashion lately, which is unusual for me. I used to hate statement necklaces; now I love them. And I would be okay with a t-shirt and sweatpants every day. 

Not anymore. 

I LOVE this shirt I got from the clearance rack at CC. It was something like $10 and I now consider it a staple. The shoulders, which you can't see in the picture, are peach colored. 

I feel comfy & cozy in this combo, which is PERFECT for fall.

What are your fall staples? 

See you soon, loves!


Urban Eden

I've lived in Cincinnati my entire life, but until recently I've never had a desire to explore it. I interned at Cincinnati Magazine for a few months in college, and that was when I actually developed a desire to learn more about my city.

Over-the-Rhine (OTR) is the up and coming part of Cincinnati right now. There are tons of cool bars, restaurants, and boutiques - with more opening shortly! It's a great place to hang out, whether you are looking for a quiet Saturday morning or loud and crazy Friday night.

I recently took an entire Saturday and dedicated it to exploring OTR. I'll be sharing all about my adventures over the next few months, but I'm going to start with what I think was my favorite experience of the weekend.

Welcome to Urban Eden. I walked in and initially just thought it was a cute little shop that sold work by local artists - pottery, paintings, jewelry, jams, notecards and more. It definitely was - but the experience I had made the shop so much more than just an art boutique.

The owner, Julie, greeted me when I entered the store. I asked her if I could take some pictures for Passing Daisies, and her answer was, with a smile,  "Sure, as long as you only post nice things!" Naturally - how could I possibly say anything bad?!

Let me tell you - Julie knows everything. Seriously. I was blown away by her knowledge about the city and her willingness to tell me all the details about everything she sells. She knew every artist, where they lived, and what their most popular pieces are. She could tell me why she decided to sell their work and how their pieces related to Cincinnati history. We also talked about Senate, known primarily for their gourmet hot dogs and creative street food. She disappeared for a minute and came back with her personal, autographed copy of the restaurant's new cookbook (I want to buy it!).

"I wanted to show you this!" she said. She flipped through the pages and pointed various things out to me, all because I had mentioned that I loved food and had heard good things about Senate.

All I can say is that Julie is AWESOME. And check out Urban Eden, even if you don't buy anything. The customer service alone will bring you back the next time you're in town.



Life gets kinda crazy sometimes, doesn't it?

A lot has happened since September. Going through a break-up, traveling virtually non-stop for work (Lexington & Frankfort, KY + Farmington, Minnesota), and having to buy a new car (RIP Landon, my '95 Pontiac Grand Am) are what I would consider the top 3. So September and October have left me rather scatter brained and exhausted. Which has actually inspired a lot of songwriting - a new hobby of mine.

Thank goodness I love traveling. I wish it was for enjoyment rather than work, but I still get to explore the city in my free time. I'm currently in Lexington until the end of next week, so I'm doing my best to explore every nook and cranny - especially local favorites. Good thing I've basically been living in Lexington during the week since August because I'm finding tons of hidden gems!

I've learned recently that travel is a part of who I am. I love it. I find joy in exploration. So I keep planning little weekend trips to different, not so far away places. And because I love what I find, I want to share it with you. So PD is now going to take a little bit of a different angle. It will definitely still be about food and memories (which is key to the vision of PD), but it will also be about where I go on my travels. And this gives me a good excuse to practice photography! Soon I'll talk about Lexington, KY and Columbus, OH and Mammoth Caves, KY. 

Pretty things in Mammoth Caves, KY.

Before the end of the year I'll probably return to Columbus, as well as journey to Cancun (so excited!) and do a "stay-cation" in Cincinnati (Over the Rhine, specifically), along with a small Thanksgiving break trip to a place TBD. Next year I'm planning to go to Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA, as well as a potential trip to Greece and Italy (still only a maybe right now) and possibly a missions trip to South Africa. And I will DEFINITELY be returning to New Orleans in July for the fourth time!

I'd also like to show you some places I went and never blogged about -  NYC & Albany & Paris (VA, not France) & the Bourbon Trail (KY) $ New Orleans.  And did I ever blog about my 3 weeks in Europe back in 2007?!

So many adventures completed, and so many more to come. I've got some wanderlust in me.

Stay tuned, friends. Some good things are coming!