Happy Holidays!

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J for Jamie Blog | Mieuli Christmas Card 2014

While my cinnasants are baking in the oven, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy holidays this year. Thank you for following along on JforJamie through all the adventures, projects and heartbreak this year. Words can’t express how grateful I am for having this creative outlet through which I can share my life. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, from my family to yours.

Card design by Chris Mieuli.

 

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Sprout by HP

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J for Jamie Blog | Sprout HP
I had the opportunity to try out the new Sprout by HP and it’s so much fun! It’s a touch-screen interactive creativity station with a fully functioning computer. I think the best part of the Sprout is being able to easily merge tangible objects with digital designs. Now I can incorporate real-life objects with the Sprout camera, add my hand-drawn designs with the stylus pen and then print my creations to our wireless printer. The computer, tablet and camera all work interactively together so there’s a lot of freedom to create. I’m excited to see what I can do with Sprout for my future posts. For now, see my first Sprout creation below, featuring our holiday card!

J for Jamie Blog | Sprout by HP

J for Jamie Blog | Sprout by HP

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Gift Idea: Papirmass

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J for Jamie Blog | Papirmass

I have another perfect gift idea for you. Give someone the gift of art with Papirmass, an affordable art subscription service that offers a surprise in the mail every month. Founded by husband-and-wife duo, Kristin and JP, they’ve mailed over 45,000 prints to art lovers around the world and they’re just getting started! I love getting snail mail and this would be the perfect holiday gift. Each print has a theme with a featured artist on one side and poem or story on the other. Kristin graciously sent me a few prints and it’s impossible to decide which one is my favorite!

Until the end of the year, subscriptions are only $60 each when you purchase two (because it’s fun to give, but it’s also fun to receive). That’s just $5 each for 12 art prints, delivered once a month all year long. Or, you can purchase a 2014 Folio containing all the prints from the last year at 50% off the retail price, with a subscription to follow. Plus there are six new FREE Downloadable Gift Cards, so you can print, wrap and put it under the tree. With Christmas only a week away, this is the perfect gift and you don’t need to worry about not receiving it on time!

J for Jamie Blog | Papirmass

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photos by Papirmass

Gift Idea: DIY Pinhole Camera

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J for Jamie Blog | Viddy

Kelly, founder of the Pop-Up Pinhole Company, created her first pinhole camera as a project in college. She has since developed it into a beautiful screen-printed do-it-yourself camera that you construct and use at home. It comes with all the tools to put it together and uses real medium format or 35 mm film.

It’s such a brilliant idea, I was thrilled when Kelly reached out and gifted me a VIDDY of my own. Chris enjoyed helping me put it together and we stopped a few times on a road trip we took last weekend to try it out. We both love film photography and this was a fun way to use film and get a refresher course on the basics of photography. I can’t wait to develop and share the photos we took!

The VIDDY is the perfect gift for someone who loves cameras or photography and J for Jamie readers receive 20% off with code JFORJAMIE, expires January 10, 2015.

J for Jamie Blog | VIDDY Pop-Up Pinhole Company

J for Jamie Blog | VIDDY Pop-Up Pinhole Company

As with all featured posts, I only partner with companies I personally endorse.
The Pop-Up Pinhole Company is one of those companies.

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photos by Provided by Pinhole Pop-Up Company

Packing for Europe

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J for Jamie Blog | What I Packed

I had a lot of anxiety about overpacking for our 3 week trip to Europe. I tried my best to pack only the essentials and clothes that were versatile in color as well as material. I actually wore everything I brought but I’ll admit, I was pretty sick of my clothes by the third week. However, I think what I brought worked out well for traveling so I thought I’d share. The weather was cold in every city we visited and I ended up wearing my jacket most of the time with a top and sweater underneath. Hope this helps for those of you with upcoming travel plans!

JforJamieBlog | What I Packed

4 Hats

These were a lifesaver in the cold! The beanies were great for days when we were doing a lot of sightseeing and walking around (also covering up bad hair days). I would wear the turbans more at night when we went to dinner when I’d get a little more dolled up.

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4 Sweaters

Because I was limited in space, I only brought four sweaters, all that were versatile and neutral colored. I would layer a top underneath for warmth and I’d throw on different necklaces to switch it up a bit.

JforJamieBlog_Tops

10 Tops

I found these great long sleeved tops by Leith from Nordstrom. They were the perfect layering top and I got them in black, grey and burgundy. I also had a mix of white short sleeved tops and some long button-up tops.

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5 Pants

In hindsight, I would have just brought 5 pairs of the thicker Zara leggings I had because they were comfortable and warm. The jeans I brought didn’t fit well for some reason and the yoga pants I was hoping to pass for leggings were just too thin for the cold weather. They were, however, good for layering under other pants.

JforJamieBlog_Underwear

Underwear

I brought enough socks and underwear to last about 2 weeks. This way I wouldn’t need to worry about doing laundry very often. I also brought about 4 bras which seemed like the right amount. That little bag is an undergarment bag I made that has a section for clean underwear and another one for worn.

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Luggage

I limited myself to one medium sized hard-sided suitcase, a carry-on and 1 backpack for my purse. My carry-on is from Kate Spade Saturday and it’s just perfect! It held a lot of stuff that I wanted easy access to but it easy to tote through the airport and train stations and it fit perfectly under my seat on the plane. The bottom compartment is great for throwing in a pair of shoes and other bulkier items. My Baggu backpack was also perfect because it freed up my hands to take photos. I also like the hidden side-pocket so I could easily access my wallet without being too worried about it being pick-pocketed. I also brought a small wristlet (not pictured) that I used when going out to dinner.

 

Other handy things I brought:

– Compress travel bags – these were a lifesaver and saved so much room in our suitcases
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Travel adaptors - this might be obvious but we had ones that had USB plugs which were great for charging up our phones
– 
Disposable toilet seat covers – if you’re a germaphobe like me, be aware, public European toilets do not come with these
– 
Nice travel shampoo + conditioner – the Kiehl’s travel-sized shampoo and conditioner lasted me the whole trip and was definitely good to have after long days of traveling. Plus, you never know if your hotel or apartment will come with amenities or what they’ll be like.
– 
Air Repair Rescue Balm – oh my goodness, I love this stuff and I swear by it. It’s a lipgloss and can be used as a skin salve. It definitely kept me moisturized in the cold harsh weather.
– 
Travel journal – my friend Hailee gifted us a custom journal for our trip and it was perfect to jot down what we did and ate everyday. I love having a detailed record to look back on and it’s quite handy for future blog posts!

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photos by JforJamie

Guest Blogger: Breanna Holderby

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Breanna Holerby

Hello California, I’m home! As I unpack and recover from our whirlwind trip, my very good friend Breanna of Honey and Brie, agreed to share one of her favorite and unique recipes, cinnamon roll croissants! Or should we call them cinnasants? Bree has always been amazingly creative and a great cook so I’m so flattered she’s sharing the love on my blog today. If you want more delicious and healthy recipes complete with beautiful photos, check out Breanna’s blog. I’m so excited to be back in our own kitchen and to try out this recipe. Enjoy!

by breanna
I came up with this recipe when I had some leftover homemade pastry dough. It was breakfast time, and cinnamon rolls were calling my name. But in all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of cinnamon rolls. They’re usually too dry and boring for my liking. I end up only liking the gooey center, and then there’s just a bunch of dry outer crust leftover. So then I had the brilliant idea to use my leftover pastry dough instead of yeast dough for cinnamon rolls! The result was a delicious hybrid of a cinnamon roll and a croissant. The pastry dough puffs up in the oven and becomes super flakey, and the center is still gooey and delicious. And the best part is that you don’t have to wait for the dough to rise like you do with regular cinnamon rolls! You can make the pastry dough the night before and fill it with the cinnamon-sugar filling and slice it ahead of time. Then, you can wake up in the morning and just throw them in the oven. These would be the perfect Christmas morning breakfast!

Ingredients

Puff Pastry Dough
– 1 1/4 cups spelt flour (or just regular flour)
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 stick plus 5 more tablespoons of cold butter, cubed
– 5 tablespoons ice cold water

Cinnamon Sugar Filling
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1 tsp cinnamon

In a bowl combine the spelt flour and salt. Add the extra cold cubes of butter and cut the butter into the dough until the butter is about marble/large pea sized. Carefully add the 5 tablespoons of ice-cold water and mix together. You may need to add another tablespoon or two, depending on your dough. You don’t want the dough to be too wet, just to hold together if you squeeze a handful of it. Be careful not to overwork the dough, it should be slightly crumbly.

Shape the dough into a 6 x 6 inch square, wrap in saran wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, place dough on a well floured board and roll out into a 15 x 8 inch rectangle. Fold the dough into thirds, gently wrap in saran wrap again, and place into the fridge for another 30 minutes. Repeat this step two more times (three times total). Once you have completed the find step, roll out into a 15 x 8 inch sheet and add the filling.

For the filling, in a small sauce pan, add two tablespoons of butter and swirl it around, allowing the butter to turn golden brown. This may take several minutes. Once the butter has browned, remove the butter from the pan and transfer to a heat proof bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon.

Using a basting brush, brush the browned butter onto the dough. Evenly sprinkle on 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture and gently roll up the dough like you would cinnamon roll dough. Cut the dough roll in half, then each piece in half again, until you have 12, 1-inch slices. Place the slices in the fridge overnight if you want to make these ahead of time.

Place each slice in a greased muffin tin and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until the rolls just barely start to brown. Remove from oven and toss each roll in the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

Breanna Holderby

 

Breanna Holderby

 

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Breanna Holderby

J for Jamie Blog | Guest Blogger, Breanna Holderby

 

J for Jamie Blog | Guest Blogger, Breanna Holderby

 

 

J for Jamie Blog | Guest Blogger, Breanna Holderby

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photos by Breanna Holderby

Travel Update II

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We’re getting ready to do some un-cyber Monday shopping on the Avenue des Champs-Élysée, but first, here’s a little travel update.

We’re on the longest leg of our trip in Paris and I could get used to the Parisian life! Before France, we spent a few days in Amsterdam, riding bikes around town, visiting the museum and of course, eating lots of delicious food.

My morning croissant is waiting for me so I’ll say au revoir for now and have a great Monday!

Follow our adventures on Instagram by searching #chrisandjamietravels.

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Guest Blogger: Cultural Chromatics

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To keep with the travel theme, I asked my lovely friend, Nanette of Cultural Chromatics, to share her favorite spots in San Francisco because I think San Francisco is one of the best cities in the world to visit. Check out Nanette’s local guide to San Francisco and then head over to her blog to get delicious recipes, follow along on her travels and get some great design and style inspiration.

by nanette
Hi everyone! Nanette reporting in. Fun fact: Jamie and I go way back– in fact our moms were best friends in high school! Ironically, we only saw each other maybe once or twice as kids, and recently reunited at Blogher 2014. We both happened to be attending and met up for the first time in years, literally. As you can probably tell, we hit it off right away, much to the joy of our moms as well. It’s a little bit of a Cinderella story– the blogger edition! And so, I’m honored to be guest posting on Jamie’s blog while she’s exploring all of what Europe has to offer (and lesbereal, I’m a litttttle jealous too).

As a Bay Area native, San Francisco is near and dear to my heart. Packed in this tiny little town is a treasure trove of wonders that would take weeks to explore. But what if you only had one day? Well, then that makes a little difficult. With my cousin visiting from Hong Kong recently, it inspired me to think– what would be a perfect day in San Francisco for me? What places and space would embody the spirit of San Francisco for both a native and a tourist? After much rumination and of course, field research, I bring you a perfect day in San Francisco. While I wouldn’t claim that it’s THE perfect day for anyone and everyone, to me, this day in San Francisco is a perfect, scrumptious little bite of all the amazingness that SF has to offer. Enjoy! *All photos by me unless otherwise noted.

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To kick off my day, I’d get an early start by hitting up the Alemany Farmer’s Market. While most tourists like to head to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, I love hitting Alemany because it really represents all of the people and produce SF has to offer. From your Chinese grandmother to your downtown interior designer, people come from all walks of life to this market. Prices are reasonable and the selection is vast. No ridiculously expensive organic etc. etc. food here. Just real produce from passionate farmers.

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Next up, B. Patisserie. I have to admit, it’s a both a blessing and a curse that I only live a few blocks away. Famous for their kouign amanns, this place is my happy place (my pants can’t say the same, but that’s a story for another day). I love everything about this place- from their bright yellow chairs to their stunning desserts to their macaroon art display, this is definitely a must-see.

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For such an urban city, SF sure has a lot of parks. While Dolores (ie hipster central) and Alamo Square (Full House houses) might be the most famous, my personal favorite is the underrated Alta Plaza Park. Located on top of a hill in Pacific Heights, it has an breathtaking view of the city, an off leash dog section, and a very well maintained kids’ playground. I love bringing my dog here on a sunny day where she can sniff all the grass and play with the loads of other dogs that frolic here.

After stuffing my face with B. Patisserie, I’d head to the Divisadero Corridor to take a walk and see everything it has to offer. From a vintage kitchen store to a coffee shop with the best toast ever to a taxidermy, the Divisadero corridor has it all. I’d start on Haight and Divisadero, and then make my way down to Sutter. You’ll definitely see a lot!

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Finally, head to the Mission for dinner. There are so many amazing restaurants packed in just a few blocks it’s almost overwhelming. Start off by grabbing some drinks at El Techo de Lolinda, a rooftop bar, for tasty drinks and a view. Cap it off with dinner at Foreign Cinema, an utterly beautiful restaurant that plays silent movies in their courtyard. Their lofty ceilings and gorgeous, rustic wood design makes the interior design lover in swoon. (Pro Tip: reservations highly encouraged, or if not, go at 9pm or afterwards).

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photos by Nanette Wong

Travel Update I

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I can’t believe it’s been a week since we started our trip! Time is just flying by. So far, we’ve visited 4 cities (and countries!), Copenhagen, Brussels, Prague and Berlin. You can follow our adventures on Instagram by searching #chrisandjamietravels. Auf Wiedersehen!

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IMG_2758-0.JPGPrague

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Guest Blogger: MontgomeryFest

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Montgomery Fest

While I’m traveling, I asked Annie of MontgomeryFest to guest post about one of her favorite cities while living abroad. I love that she chose one of my favorites, Venice, Italy. Check out her blog to read more about her adventures abroad and now in San Francisco. Thanks for sharing Annie!

by annie
Four months after our “I do”s, my husband and I boarded a one-way flight to Brussels, Belgium, where we essentially had a two-year honeymoon. We enjoyed living in the capital of the European Union, but our priority was travel. Any chance we had, we were off exploring another part of the continent. Paris was our default if we found ourselves on Saturday morning with no weekend plans. Italy became my spirit country. And we felt it necessary to greet Croatia in person when they were welcomed into the EU in July 2013. Every city was an interview for where we plan to retire and every language became a door into another local’s home. To pick a favorite is quite easily the hardest thing I could do and the most prevalent question I receive. There’s a favorite for every category, season, sparkling wine. So, if I have to pick one to share with you, I wanted it to be dreamy. And the epitome of dreamy has to be Venice, Italy. This city with its pinks and deep turquoise waters and the gondolier characters straight out of story books – it’s the stuff of dreams, is what it is. I will tell you this – Italy is magnificent and it’s definitely no secret, so off-season is key. We went the first of November and enjoyed the fall breeze and crowds only the size of American tourist cities. The perfect itinerary includes getting lost through the narrow streets that dead end at waterways, catching vaporetti (or water buses) to tour other islands, and dining off the beaten path, that’s where you’ll find the most authentic hole-in-the-wall-best-meal-of-your-life restaurants. We heartily believe in dining where the locals dine, not the tourists. I’m still left in amazement over this incredible city, so I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking..

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photos by Annie Montgomery