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Vegetarian pho

pregaming with coffeeHi everyone!

Hope y’all had a great weekend! We were blessed with beautiful crisp, cool fall weather in Akron, so I took advantage of it by going hiking (twice!) and on a quick run yesterday. Also hit up my local favorite, The Lockview, for some adult grilled cheese and fall craft beer, then indulged in some crazy hot chocolate beverage at Angel Falls Coffee in Highland Square that literally sent me and Chris into a coma. Like, we passed out for two hours on the couch. I don’t know what happened, but it probably had something to do with consuming grilled cheese, beer and what was essentially five melted candy bars in less than two hours. *shrugs*

Speaking of food, here’s that pho recipe I promised! Like every recipe I post on here, this sweet and spicy noodle soup is very easy to make and tastes pretty gourmet without all the effort. For my carnivore friends, you can easily add chicken or pork to this dish, but it’s definitely not vital — the shrooms + noodles are surprisingly filling. And even if you’re not a huge mushroom fan, these little dudes taste amazing after being sauteed in some hoisin sauce. I also highly recommend adding a bit of sriracha; it really enhances the flavor.
pregaming with coffeeI cannot emphasize enough how savory this is! If you’re looking for a new fall staple that’s not something heavy like mac and cheese, pumpkin spice lattes or green bean casserole, give it a try. Though I won’t judge you for indulging in any of the aforesaid comfort foods :)

Vegetarian Pho
(adapted from Oh My Veggies)


  • 64 ounces of your favorite veggie broth
  • 6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger OR 2 tablespoons dry ginger
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (find it near the soy/duck sauce at your grocery store)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 14 ounces cooked rice noodles
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced (I only used one, which was sufficient)
  • Sriracha sauce, to taste
  • (optional) 8 ounces bean sprouts
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, to serve

In a large pot, combine the vegetable broth, green onion, ginger and salt. Bring to a full boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the broth is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about six minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the hoisin sauce and sesame oil and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the mushrooms, about one minute more. Remove from heat.

Divide the rice noodles between four to six large bowls, then fill each bowl with the broth. Stir in desired amount of sriracha in each bowl, tasting on occasion to determine spice level. Add bean sprouts (if using), sliced jalapeños, shiitake mushrooms and top with fresh cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


That’s a wrap for now! Also, there’s STILL time to enter my ring giveaway! Entries must be submitted by tomorrow night, (11:59 p.m. Eastern) so don’t delay!

- Gina


Weekly brew: Week of September 7, 2014

pregaming with coffeeHappy Friday!

This week flew by so fast, I can hardly believe it. Yesterday was the first REAL fall day in Akron — and not gonna lie, I actually sort of enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to squeezing in some hiking this weekend!

As usual, here’s what I’m loving this week:

  1. Iggy Azalea’s “The New Classic.” This album’s been out for a bit, but I just now discovered that it’s the perfect running playlist. I’ve never had so much fun listening to music while exercising. I also have never wanted to be best friends with someone so bad in my life. MARRY ME, IGGY.
  2. The new iPhoneRight, because you thought I was going to ignore this? Pretty sure more people watched that keynote than the last State of the Union. Regardless, it looks beautiful and I may continue to sell my soul to Apple in the near future.
  3. DIY coffee scrubs. I made one myself by mixing together coffee grounds and coconut oil, and it’s … magical. Coconut oil does wonders for your skin, (think your favorite moisturizer and multiply it by 1,000) and the coffee is energizing and exfoliating. Give it a try, but make sure you do it in the shower. Shit gets messy.
  4. These Report bootsI **might** use my Cashback Bonus to pay for these.
  5. Haunted Fest. This inaugural event is shaping up to be pretty promising. Zeds Dead, A-Trak and some other electronic artists will be coming to Columbus for a big costume dance party. Having spent the last six Halloween weekends wandering around the cold streets of Athens, Ohio, I’m ready for a change of pace … and a chance to dance my booty off.


Also, just want to remind y’all that my ring giveaway is now live! Don’t miss the chance to win some free and pretty stuff!

Have a great weekend!

- Gina


9th&Elm Ring Giveaway

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rings: 9th and Elm | clutch: Lou Lou

Hi all!

I’m exceptionally pumped to bring you today’s post because it’s my first-ever giveaway! Woohoo!

I’ve been on a bit of a dainty jewelry kick as of late (see: this). So when I was approached by 9th&Elm to do a review of one of their billions of gorgeous handmade products, I knew I had to get my hands on something small and pretty.

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rose ring: TJ Maxx circa 2006 | phone: not the iPhone 6

Of course, when one visits 9th&Elm, one is bombarded by an overwhelming amount of unique and lovingly made items. But I do have to say that their jewelry section is absolutely phenomenal, and I love their mission of supporting independent designers. The website is essentially a compilation of every single cute boutique you’ve ever been in in your life. It’s the bomb.

I’ve worn these rings ever since receiving them in the mail, so needless to say, I’m in love. I adore their delicate look, and they’re extremely true to size and don’t fall off my tiny alien fingers. Plus, the designer mailed the above-the-knuckle rings to me in a pretty little package along with a handmade wish bracelet! It’s the little things like this that make shopping through 9th&Elm so special.
pregaming with coffee

So to clarify, the randomly selected winner will receive one set of two above-the-knuckle rings and the choice of one of the following:

To enter, just complete a few easy tasks via the below link. The more tasks you complete, the more entries you’ll gain! This giveaway is exclusively open to U.S. residents and starts at midnight tonight (technically tomorrow morning) and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16. Good luck!

>>> Click here to enter the giveaway! <<<


Street cred

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clutch: Lou Lou | sunglasses: Body Central | necklace: gifted | tee: H&M | pants: Urban Outfitters | sneakers: Vans

pregaming with coffeeHappy hump day, everyone!

A recent trip to Chicago led me to this super comfy look. Whenever I’m packing for a visit to a big city, I initially envision myself strutting around in heels like Carrie Bradshaw (tutu included). And then I remember that walking around in uncomfortable shoes (and, let’s be real, clothes) sucks, big time. So I did myself a favor by keeping it easy with my trusty Vans, a plain white tee and some slouchy pants that I hardly ever get to wear.

pregaming with coffeeTo give my neutral look a bit of a pop, I sported this new cobalt clutch that I scored back in Annapolis. I love the fun texture and bright color; my coworker says it looks like an 8-bit video game, which I’ll take as a compliment.

I topped it all off with a statement necklace that my mom gave me for my 19th birthday. I’d completely forgotten about it until I rediscovered it at home, and now I’m wondering how I’ve survived this long without it. It’s so pretty!

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Photos by Chris.

Anyway, I have a public service announcement to make: my next post will be a GIVEAWAY, so be sure to check back tomorrow for details on that! Because who doesn’t love free stuff?

Have a fantastic day!

- Gina


Secret garden

pregaming with coffee

headband and earrings: Lou Lou | necklace: unknown | top: F21 | skirt: Charlotte Russe | shoes: Vans

pregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeeHi guys!

I’m back from a lovely weekend in Chicago. We never made it to the bar-cade, but we did grab a super filling brunch, (complete with apple mimosas, never would’ve thought of that myself!) hit up Crossroads Trading Co. in Lakeview and rode the Navy Pier Ferris wheel. A short but sweet trip! And now I’m ready to stop traveling for a bit. -_-

These photos were taken a few weeks ago when I visited Annapolis with my family. It was hot as hell that day, but pretty nonetheless.

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All photos by Em.

I visited a store called Lou Lou that was way too adorable for its own good. I wanted to buy their entire inventory, but settled for this vintage-inspired headband and delicate little paper crane earrings. Annnd a sweet cobalt clutch, but I’ll show that off in another post!
pregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeeI hope you’re all enjoying your Monday so far! Take it easy :)

- Gina

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Weekly brew: Week of August 31, 2014

pregaming with coffee
T G I F, yo!

Give yourself a pat on the back for getting through the first week of the month! I personally love September – the weather’s still beautiful, but you get all the cute fashion and delicious food that comes with fall. But I’m holding off on whipping out my boots for at least another couple weeks. I want to savor the sunshine as much as possible.

I’m going to Chicago today to hang out with my boyfriend and his cousins. I’m excited to explore the biggest city in the Midwest, eat deep dish pizza and go to some bar-cade thing he keeps talking about. Video games and beer? Sounds good!

Anyway, here’s a recap of what I’ve been loving this week:

  1. This Moby/Skylar Grey track. Her soothing vocals + his mellow beats = double dreamy.
  2. Danica Patrick. I went to my first NASCAR race last weekend in Atlanta, which was surprisingly really fun! Knowing absolutely nothing about the drivers, I decided to root for the sole female … and she came in sixth place! Way to be a boss in a male-driven (ha!) sport, girlfran.
  3. This photo of the Little Rascals stars, in present day. Without a doubt, one of my favorite childhood movies. Stymie looks the exact same, and Alfalfa is kind of a babe? Weird.
  4. Pho. I made a big pot of this flavorful Vietnamese dish for the first time and oh man, is it good. The perfect fall comfort food. Recipe will be on the blog next week, so stay tuned!
  5. Pumking. Fall is hands down the best time of the year for food and beverage. This guy costs about $8 per (granted, enormous) bottle at the grocery store, and it’s totally worth it. If dessert were a beer, this would be it.

So if any of you are already thinking ahead to Christmas … just go to the store and buy a million bottles of Pumking to tide me over the rest of the year. :)

Have a beautiful weekend!

- Gina


Summer scene

pregaming with coffeeHello there!

First of all, thank you everyone for the kind words about my darling kitty. It hasn’t been easy but your support has really helped. My fam and I appreciate it!

Moving forward, I wanted to take some time to share some photos I snapped throughout the summer. I frequently take photos on my iPhone, (see: my Instagram) but on the rare instance that I have my actual camera with me, I get to truly almost capture the beauty of my surroundings. As September kicks off and the season winds down, it’s fun to look back and see all the different scenery I got to experience over the summer.

This most certainly isn’t everything, but for the sake of your page load and free time, here are some of my favorites from the past few months.
pregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeepregaming with coffeeHope all of you can look back on your summer with fond memories, too!

- Gina



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