Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yankee Swap Fail

During my office holiday luncheon yesterday, we played Yankee Swap, aka Dirty Santa, which is just a holiday grab bag where steals are allowed. This is what I pulled:

Yes, that's right.  It's a head massager.  I have spent the last day trying to figure out which one of my co-workers bought this, wrapped it and then brought it to the office thinking that this was the best gift that $10 could buy. I can't use this thing--my long hair alternates between pure frizz and Chia Pet puff. There's no way I can stick this contraption in my hair and not expect a huge knotted mess after ten seconds.

At least I didn't get the five pairs of pink plastic earrings from the tween accessory store Claire's though--that went to my male colleague and no one would trade with him.  I should have followed my instincts and picked my own gift, which was a gift card to a kickass coffee shop. Fa la la la laaaaa....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I always manage to be in New York on the night of Santacon.  I don't know how this happens but every year on a Saturday afternoon right before Christmas as I wait on the platform for the train at whichever station I happen to be at, there are inevitably crowds of people, mostly in their early twenties, dressed as Santa or Santa's slutty lady friend, usually drunk and falling over or singing Christmas carols loudly and off-key.  I am so lucky.

This weekend wasn't as bad as it's been in the past, mainly because my friend and I stayed far away from the West Village (last December, Washington Square Park was seriously trashed in a majorly sad and wet toilet papered kind of way), but we were still able to see our share of Santacon celebrants.  There were droopy Grinches, Cindy Lou Whos, Buddy the Elfs, reindeer, and even one streetwalker-ish Mrs. Claus (there were probably more but we were distracted by the Santas walking in front of taxis and buses--seriously).

I don't think there's ever been a time when I felt so carefree that I would go walk around a city completely obliterated wearing clothes resembling lingerie and screaming at strangers in the street.  I guess I'm just not that kind of gal, but looking at this poor girl who was next to me on the ride home, I think I'm okay with that. xo

Friday, December 14, 2012


I know I'm not the only one who finds it near impossible to digest today's horrible shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. This is not far from where we live, not far from where I went to school, and way too close to where Anthony works. It's not the proximity that is haunting me, but rather the pure senselessness of this devastating act. Six adults and twenty children were killed in a really heinous way for no reason and the country is filled with infinite sadness.

There have been more than ten mass shootings in America this year. That is a scary number. Each story makes me more sick; violence is not the answer, especially when you are talking about innocent victims.  The people who were killed this morning, especially the children, were innocent and unsuspecting.  They were cheated of a long life, and their families were cheated too.  Simply, it's unbelievable to think that a fellow human would ruthlessly kill five-year olds.

Enough. I'm no philosopher, nor am I a great thinker by any means, but these killings have to stop.  We all need to love more and respect more and do everything we can so that this never happens again. My thoughts are with everyone in Newtown, especially all of the families affected. And even though people may say I'm too optimistic and possibly too much of a pacifist, I truly pray for peace. xo

Image courtesy of thefancy

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Better to Give Than Receive

Confession: I don't really like to shop (I know, I can hear all of the gasps from here).  However, I love giving gifts so shopping becomes my main activity during Christmastime. In the past week, I feel like I've been to every store in a fifty mile radius, usually emerging empty-handed. I don't buy things just to buy things, and sometimes, it's just not easy to find that perfect gift.

I have been exercising major self-control when it comes to my purchases lately.  Buying some of my most-coveted items for some of my favorite people has resulted in me wanting to keep everything for myself.  Not very charitable of me, I guess. I can only hope that I have friends who like to share because there is no way I am gifting this awesome cookbook without the hope of borrowing it and making lots of the teeny, tiny food featured inside. xo

Image via FB via weheartit

Monday, December 10, 2012

Apartment Living

Without a mantle, or a staircase, or even a window ledge in the living room, we decided to hang our stockings on the bookshelves using giant binder clips. Honestly, I love that we put them there right between my poetry books and the travel guides.  One of my favorite parts about living in a small apartment is that at almost any time, you can look up and see all of the things you love together in one place.  xo

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Afternoon Tunes

I cannot stop singing this Muse song today.  Did I mention that my office is almost completely silent and I keep singing over and over again, in a soft voice, "M-m-m-madness, M-m-m-madness...?"  Not so good if I'm trying to keep up the illusion that I'm sane. xo

Monday, December 3, 2012


We booked our honeymoon this weekend: four nights in Toronto, five nights in Montreal. Neither of us have ever been and we're both so looking forward to it.  I have lists of things I want to do in both places, and our hotels in both cities look gorgeous. Now, we're not only excited for the wedding but for the long well-deserved vacation that will follow.  How romantic, albeit chilly, Canada will be in April! xo

Photo courtesy of Official Montreal Tourism site

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Note to self: the next time I decide to be cute and make a festive Sunday breakfast complete with Christmas tree-shaped eggs, remember to grease the cookie cutter.

How do those cooking blogs make it look so easy? At least the eggs tasted good; I guess it's the thought that counts. xo

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Snowman Invasion

This is the stairwell in our building.

The head of the condo association decided that the holiday decoration theme this year would be "snowmen." Every day, a new snowman in some incarnation appears. First, it was the snowman gift bag hanging from the handle on the laundry room door. Then, it was the plush snowman balanced on top of the fire extinguisher box. Now, they are lining the ledge along the stairs.

It's kind of like they are slowly closing in on us, but I don't feel threatened enough yet to actually buy some snowmen accessories and join in. Ask me again in a few days. xo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Empire Records Strikes Back

One of my favorite movies, Empire Records, has been on television every single day this month. This weekend, I even watched it twice. But that's nothing compared to the hundreds of times I watched it as a teen and then well into my college years, usually on VHS.  To me, it still holds up today even with the absence of technology throughout the film (I love that cassette tapes actually appear in the background more than once).

Has anyone else ever wondered where this move was supposed to take place? I always thought New Jersey since Lucas rides his motorcycle to Atlantic City late at night with ease, but after a quick Wikipedia search, I learned that Empire Records is supposed to take place in Delaware.  I also found out that that it was widely considered a flop despite the number of the actors that wound up becoming famous after they shot the film.  Apparently, Wikipedia can inform and crush hearts at the same time.

What I love most about Empire Records is the honesty and the camaraderie between the characters. I always wanted a group of friends like that, and a place where you were welcome at any time, whether it was to listen to music or just eat in the back room. And the film is so distinctly 90's, a time when things were simpler: less electronics and more time spent with actual people. There's warmth in the familiarity, and maybe that's why I keep watching it.  I don't think there will ever be a time when I don't covet Liv Tyler's plaid skirt and AJ's shabby man-cardigan. Word. xo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Better Late Than Never

It may be a few days after Thanksgiving but I'm still thankful for so much and I hope that feeling follows me into December.  On Thursday, I was pleasantly surprised that my apple pie came out as pretty as it did, and I was able to watch about half of the Macy's Day Parade while preparing dinner and enjoyed every minute.  My grandmother usually makes the stuffing but my mother took over this year and it was delicious. It's silly how sometimes the smallest things make us happy.

But most of all, I'm thankful for Anthony, who truly is the best part of my life.  I couldn't ask for more in the partner department, that's for sure. xo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Love is...

spending a cold Saturday night at an empty Panera Bread with your fiance instead of going out on the town. It was one of those wonderfully mellow nights spent with warm bowls of soup and lovely conversation, and I'm thankful that Anthony wanted to spend that time with me, even though it was less than eventful. But I guess that's just love. xo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello, Beautiful!

Now, I didn't cry when I picked out my own wedding dress, but I almost always cry when I watch Say Yes to the Dress. That show is the reason I even considered (for about ten seconds) going to Kleinfeld's in Manhattan and trying on $5,000 wedding dresses after I got engaged last year.  It's safe to say that I was more than a little excited when I got to see Randy Fenoli speak at Yale last Thursday.

Randy was just as sweet and color-coordinated as I knew he would be, and his catch-phrase is "Hello, Beautiful!" The room was full of college students who hung to his every word as he told us his life story.  He's been through plenty of hard times, but he tries to empower himself and everyone around him to be the best that they can possibly be.  He was positive and uplifting, and I can't think of a better way to spend a chilly November afternoon.

I took thirteen photos and unfortunately, this is the best one.  Trust me, Randy was adorable.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hosting Thanksgiving

In less than a week, there will be a group of ten people invading our small apartment, ready to gorge on turkey, stuffing and pies.  I can't remember a time when I've been so anxious about making mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all that we have, but I still worry about the silly logistics. Will we have enough soda? Where are we going to get four extra folding chairs? And my personal favorite: are people going to mind the twenty minute drive to our place?

The one thing I am majorly looking forward to is watching the Macy's Parade with Anthony while eating breakfast on Thursday morning before the guests arrive. I've been waiting to enjoy those few hours since last fall.  xo

Image courtesy of Design*Sponge; I can only hope that our table looks half as good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

'Tis the Season

It's 'red cup' time again! I'm not sure why, but sipping from these cheerful Starbucks cups really makes it feel like the holiday season has arrived. And I don't even mind admitting that I enjoy the jazzy, peppy piped-in festive music that will start playing everywhere from supermarkets to gas stations. Now, it's time to start Christmas shopping...

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Gentler High School

Spotted: At a high school in Fairfield county in the first floor girls' restroom, this very polite graffiti was scribbled on the back of the door of the second to last bathroom stall:

In case you can't make it out, the top comment says "Obama is the Bomb Diggity" with a fluorescent yellow "Romney is a sack of Poo" written next to it. And don't forget my favorite: "You are beautiful" in black marker. So positive and inspirational. I think everyone likes encouragement when rushing in the bathroom during third and fourth period.

I just love how PG-13 these writings are.  When I was in high school, the stairwells, lockers and restrooms were all covered in nasty sentiments and negative thoughts, the c-word and t-word thrown around liberally. Hardly anyone ever mentioned politics in regular conversation, nonetheless took the time to scrawl their beliefs in a public place.  I know this is a small sample size, but I think I like the new attitude of today's youth. xo

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bulldogs All Around

Today at work, everyone in my office received one of these awesome Yale "Handsome Dan" Bulldog stress balls. I immediately put him on my desk, front and center. 

You know how some people bring little mascots on vacation and then take pictures with them in really cool locations (think of the Travelocity gnome popping up in a family picture at the Grand Canyon)? I can totally imagine taking Handsome Dan all over the world with us, propping him up on Anthony's shoulder in every photo. Let's face it, this rubber dog has a face for close-ups. xo

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Panda Cam 24/7

How can you possibly watch this panda cam, which is streaming live from China, and not feel 200% better? If I was still a tween, I'd put panda stickers all over my notebooks and not even feel embarrassed. xo

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today's Election Day--did you vote? I did!

I actually got a sticker this morning--score!

It's about 11:00pm right now and the polls are reporting slowly. I'm anxious, and excited, but nervous.  When I voted this morning, I closed my eyes tight for just a moment after I filled in my ballot with the designated black marker.  It's such a privilege to vote and it's important to realize that there are so many people around the world who don't have that right.  And to think that women have only been able to vote in America for less than a century. We've made amazing strides in the past 100 years. 

I can't wait for the rest of the results to trickle in! xo

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


On Monday, while Hurricane Sandy's winds battered against the windows, I realized that Anthony had proposed exactly one year ago during that crazy October snowstorm. It was a sweet thing to remember even if we were in a less than ideal situation. We had to evacuate our apartment early Monday morning due to extreme flooding and spent two days at my brother and sister-in-law's place waiting out the storm in safety. Wise words: when authorities tell you that there are going to be twenty foot storm surges after high tide and that you need to evacuate, just leave.

After watching hours and hours of storm coverage, all I can say is that I'm thankful. Thankful that we had a dry, warm place to stay, thankful that there was minimal damage to our home and my parents' house and my grandparents' home. I keep thinking about New York City just a mere distance away. The flooding, the blackouts, the hospital evacuations--the events from the last few days have been terrifying and I'm sending all of my very best thoughts south to New York.

We're lucky that only our parking lot is flooded, and that we only lost our cable and Internet. And we were lucky to just ride the storm out together. xo

 Our parking lot and the street in front of the parking lot

Our street

Sunday, October 28, 2012


We played a marathon game of Monopoly with friends last night and I won.  I never win at anything and I completely destroyed this game.  Not bad, considering I haven't played Monopoly in about fifteen years. #realestatemogul

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nashville Is Killing It

Three episodes in and I'm totally hooked on Nashville. It's a modern-day country version of Dynasty, but with fewer shoulder pads and gorgeous actors who do their own singing.  I literally gasped at the end of tonight's episode.  I already cannot wait for next week's episode. xo

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Libraries, Book Love and Party Dresses

One of the things that bothers me most about living in Connecticut is how isolated I feel from the literary world, even though I'm quite close to New York City.  There are so few local readings and signings, so few writer groups.  It's like there's this huge community so close, but yet so far away, and I'm lucky if I can travel in to attend one event per year.

With that, I guess I don't really need to tell you how thrilled I was to learn that Emma Straub was going to be at the Darien Library.  She's the author of one of my favorite short story collections and just came out with a novel that I cannot wait to read called Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures.  The reading was fabulous (Emma read two passages from her new book), and I loved the question-and-answer session at the end.  The questions were thoughtful and interesting, and honestly, Emma was so sweet and nice that I think she would have answered questions all night if people kept asking (you know you like how I'm saying 'Emma' like we're friends, right? ha!).

So at the end when I lined up with all of the extremely beautiful and well-dressed (lots of leopard print in the crowd) Darien ladies (yes, I was wearing corduroys and using a tote bag as a purse, why do you ask?), my shyness ruled and I became an awkward fangirl.  I think I told Emma how much I loved her short story collection.  I think I told her how much I enjoyed her reading. But I didn't tell her which of her short stories were my favorites (Puttanesca and the Franny stories) and I didn't gush about how exciting I think it is that she worked with Lorrie Moore.  I didn't even ask her if she liked writing short or long fiction better.  Social anxiety is no joke, my dears.

What I can say now though is that I had a great time last night listening to wonderful fiction surrounded by people who love books.  Thanks so much to the Darien Library and to Emma Straub for such a wonderful event.  xo

P.S. Emma was rocking an adorable pink party dress and brought a batch of homemade brownies to the reading. I don't think she could have been sweeter.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Mondays

I brought a plate of pumpkin pie streusel bars to work today and put them out in the communal kitchen, where they were eaten very quickly by my co-workers.  Sometimes it's nice to be nice, especially on a Monday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn, aka Corn Mazes are Kind of Scary

I don't like being scared and I hate dressing up.  Obviously, Halloween is not my favorite day, but I do love fun activities so I was all for a trip with a friend to a giant corn maze last week.

Now I know why scary movies always seem to have people walking around lost in corn fields.  It took about an hour to maneuver through the maze and it was daytime, but I still got a slight panicked feeling when we hit another deadend or when the corn rustled for no reason.  We couldn't see over the stalks so I wound up feeling a bit trapped too.  Spooky.

Also, does anyone know what farmers do with these hay rolls? And how do they get them like that? Do they unroll them for the horses? So many questions about farm life from this city girl. xo

Monday, October 15, 2012

That Trendy Spaghetti Squash

Have you ever had spaghetti squash? I'm not a squash/zucchini person but this fall seems to be the season of the spaghetti squash so I decided to get with the trend. Once I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and sprinkled with salt and pepper, the only thing left to do is let the squash roast for an hour.  When it's done, I scraped with a fork and wound up with a bowl full of a healthy bizarro version of angel hair pasta. I actually really liked it , although the consistency is odd. Bonus: this is the easiest side dish to make and I believe even the most inexperienced chef can pull it off successfully.

I was also able to use my new apple slicer, which I bought six months ago at a Pampered Chef dem (I didn't know what else to buy; $100 for a terracotta-like sheet pan that I'll never use didn't seem like a logical purchase).  It took me almost a half hour to cut up the apples for my apple crisp but the results were delicious and tasted just like autumn.

Currently, I'm sporting a huge bandage on the top of my right hand due to a mishap involving a hot oven and an even hotter Pyrex casserole dish filled with apple goodness. I'm calling it a battle scar and just patiently waiting until it's healed so I can stop applying neosporin.

How was your weekend? xo

Friday, October 12, 2012

What's for Lunch?

Just a few years ago, New Haven had only two food trucks. Now, there are six to ten that rotate around the city, parking on the streets during lunchtime. I visited the Fryborg truck for the first time today with a co-worker and it was more than worth the trip. 

The menu is simple with Belgium-style french fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, dessert grilled sandwiches and a variety of drinks.  I ordered the special of the day, a Black Forest melt on pumpernickel, which was pretty good but needed more time to cook.  The fries were yummy and you get to pick your own dipping sauces from a large list of choices (the Old Bay mayo ruled).  The real stand-out though was my co-worker's sandwich, which was a combo of warm marshmallow fluff and peanut butter on grilled white bread.  It was so delicious that I think I may actually have to break down and buy a jar of fluff so I can make one for Anthony.

I mean, New Haven's food truck scene isn't as hopping as it is in New York, but it's definitely growing.  Everyone deserves a chance to buy gourmet food from a converted bread delivery truck, right? xo

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Target Finds

A trip to Target is never boring.  Here are some highlights from my last visit:

Halloween = Unicorn costumes for infants and toddlers
("My horn can pierce the sky." --The Office)

Next to the Halloween section was an emerging Christmas section. My favorite item? The glittering, light-up holiday lawn flamingo.

Method sprays and soaps with Orla Kiely-designed packaging were on sale. Irresistible.  I chose a practicable all-purpose cleansing spray with a ginger-pear scent.

Also, I bought a new conditioner that smells like fruit punch and I now find myself craving Hawaiian Punch after every shower.  All in all, good times.  xo.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Little Music For a Wednesday Night

Have you ever seen Stranger Than Fiction? Anthony and I saw it a few years ago when it first came out and it's a movie that really stayed with me. As a writer, I'm half in love/half terrified of the theory that the characters I create in my fiction might actually be real.  There's a part that I think about often when Will Ferrell's character brings his love interest, Maggie Gyllenhaal, a box of flours because she's a baker.  Whoever thought that a box of flours would be more romantic than a bouquet of flowers?

P.S. This is a clip of my other favorite part. xo

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's Not Autumn Without a Trip to the Orchard

Every fall, Anthony and I go apple-picking.  It's a trip that I look forward to every year; we take our time walking the rows of trees, fill two large bags with apples, stop off at the farm store for cider doughnuts and then head home so I can make apple crisp, which we usually eat for dinner.

When we woke up on Sunday, it was overcast, but we decided to head to the orchard anyway.  Yeah, that's right. We apple-pick in the rain. 

Yesterday, I had three apples for lunch. And on deck for this weekend: apple pie.  Welcome, October. xo

Monday, October 8, 2012

Movie Mondays: Happy Edition

Happy Columbus Day, everyone! Most people are off today, but I'm scheduled to be in the office. Anthony is out of town for work most of this week, but we had a nice, albeit rainy, weekend before he left.  And with this wonderful crisp weather, it finally feels like October.

Saturdays have become our day to explore Netflix streaming options.  Last week, we watched the first season of Portlandia and this week, we watched the documentary, Happy.  I've been into documentaries lately (thumbs up to Being Elmo and Kings of Pastry, which both made me cry), and after reading that Joanna from A Cup of Jo put Happy on her list of top docs, I was excited to watch.

This documentary is half science, half social science, and explores the feeling of being happy.  Some of the poorest countries in the world rank higher on the "happiness" meter than America; what's bogging us down? Simply put, lots of things contribute to our happiness levels, but we can ultimately make ourselves happier.  People who are driven by intrinsic goals (relationships, personal growth) are generally happier than others who are driven by extrinsic goals (money, image), and supportive friends and family make people happy. 

The clips interspersed between the stats feature people who have had misfortune but still find a way to be happy. The communal living situations in Denmark were so interesting (20 families in one large house by choice!) along with the man who works at the Home for the Dying in India caring for terminally ill people. The film made me feel very human and as the credits rolled, I actually felt a bit happier. It's all about mindset and appreciating what you have, not what you need, and I'll be the first to admit it's easy to forget that sometimes.

What did you do this weekend? See any good movies? xo

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Soup, Now With Spherical Carrots

So I love Panera Bread.  I can never decide what to get because I want one of everything on the menu.  Today, I tried the seasonal soup, which was Chicken Stew with a cheddar scone-like biscuit.  It was really delicious and filling, and perfect for fall, but as I was eating I noticed something odd: the carrots were spheres.  Are they pressed together bits of carrots, like a chicken nugget concoction but in vegetable form, or did someone use a melon baller on a bag of carrots? Perplexing, but still tasty...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Search for New Glasses

I've been wearing glasses since I was eleven years old.  My first pair had huge round frames in a speckled pink-and-white pattern and covered the entire top half of my face.  I thought they were so cool and instead of wearing them just to see the blackboard, I wore them all the time.  This might have contributed to how horrible my vision is today. At this point, if I don't have my contacts in, I probably could not distinguish between my mother or my male boss standing in front of me.

I've had the same pair of glasses for eight years, and even though I have yearly eye exams, I actually never update the lenses.  The last time I drove with my glasses on, I decided that it was finally time to replace the old prescription.  And why not get new frames at the same time?

I've been looking at Warby Parker glasses for a while and decided to go ahead and take advantage of their try-on program.  All I did was pick five pairs that I really liked and Warby Parker sent them to me to sample for a few days.  That way, I can wear them around the apartment and see what they really look like on.  It was so exciting to receive the box in the mail.  I would highly recommend doing this.  I was really hesitant about ordering glasses online but Warby Parker does everything to make sure that you love the glasses that you wind up purchasing. 

After much consideration, I decided on Fitz in Whiskey Tortoise.  They are similar to the frames I have now but a little larger and bolder.  And finally, I can see clearly. xo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Entertaining, a.k.a. Everyone loves Cookies

We don't have people over often.  Our apartment is just too small to entertain large groups (we actually still have boxes in a few corners from when we moved in about a year and a half ago--shhhh....).  My father's birthday was last week and since it fell on a Wednesday, we celebrated on Sunday.  Anthony and I dug out the folding chairs and invited everyone over to our place.  We had a simple lunch of baked pasta, and my brother made a pie, but the hit was the batch of chocolate chip cookies that I baked that morning.  Initially, I had planned to make ice cream sandwiches using the cookies but people weren't really interested in assembling their dessert.

In retrospect, the cookies were probably too soft to stack with ice cream anyway.  Lesson learned: I didn't need to fuss so much with the pasta and the salad.  I just need to make sure I always bake fresh cookies when expecting company.  xo

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Get Baking: What Sounds More Delicious Than Something Called Cookie Butter?

I hadn't heard of cookie butter until a few months ago.  I was aimlessly walking around Trader Joe's one night and decided to buy a jar just to see what it would taste like because it sounded so delicious.  In case you've never had it, cookie butter is the consistency of peanut butter but tastes like gingersnaps and graham crackers (or the Belgium cookie speculoos).  It's the kind of thing you can eat little by little by chipping away at it a spoonful at a time.

Last Sunday was unofficially bar-dessert day.  I not only made a batch of peach crumb bars but I also used the cookie butter to make frosted speculoos bars with this great recipe from Butter Me Up, Brooklyn

Note: I was going to substitute in nectarines for these peach bars, but for some reason, the nectarines were all moldy inside.  Inside and around the pit.  Fruit can be unpredictable, even if you did just buy it (thanks, Stop & Shop!) so I improvised and used apricot preserves.  If I were to make these again, I'd make sure the layer of preserves was thicker, but I loved the crust and the crumble on top, which are coincidentally the same dough.

                                    Yup, here I am letting all of the hot air from the oven escape while I take a photo.

The speculoos bars wound up being a hybrid blondie-gingerbread cake concoction. Somehow, I baked them too long. I think they were a bit dry but they paired perfectly with a cup of coffee.

The frosting was very sweet, almost too sweet for me, but interestingly enough, it didn't taste that sugary when it was spread on top of the speculoos bars.  They complimented one another perfectly.

If you can, pick up a jar of cookie butter.  I'd love to try some different flavor combinations, like cookie butter smeared on celery sticks.  Thanks to Brown Eyed Baker and Butter Me Up, Brooklyn for the great recipes.  xo