Monday, October 23, 2017

Weekend Recap: My Brother's Birthday!

This past Friday was my brother's birthday!  To celebrate him, we all headed to Indy for a super fun weekend.  Since this time of year is busy for me at work, we waited until Saturday morning to head up that way.  Luckily for us, the drive was uneventful.  The plan once we got there was to enjoy a late lunch and then hang out until a hockey game that evening.  Lunch was super delicious - hamburgers with all the fixings, kidney bean salad, chopped salad, 'Oprah' fries (the baked fries from Oprah's cookbook), chips and raw veggies.  Yum!  I am hungry just thinking about it.  My brother's dessert of choice were pumpkin cookies from our hometown bakery.  Since I am a bit difficult and don't really care for those, I instead had an apple with caramel sauce - works for me!  The day was absolutely gorgeous so shortly after lunch we headed outside to play with Jack and enjoy the nice weather.  I have mentioned this before, but my sister in law became a realtor this summer (check out her YouTube channel here!).  Her agency hosted an event at the Indy Fuel game Saturday, and we got to attend as her guests.  I haven't been to a sporting event in awhile, so I was excited to go.  I feel like live games are always so fun!  It did not disappoint and we had a lot of fun.  The day was a long one, so we left before the end of the game, but the Fuel won!  The next morning we all had breakfast together, before heading out.  

It felt like a super quick visit, but it was so nice to all be together.  I am thankful the holidays are right around the corner because that means even more time together!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Favorites

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a few cents of commission at no additional cost to you.

1.  Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in At the Barre.  I have been on the hunt for a nude / beige / brown nail polish from Essie's gel line.  While I have a ton of regular polishes in those shades, I mostly just use the gel line for my finger nails because it really does last so much longer.  I found this color and I think it is my new favorite for fall.  It's such a pretty nude and is super subtle - I feel like it has a very classic look, which is what I was looking for.  It looks a little peachy / pinky online, but trust me when I say it is definitely a beige color. 

2.  Capital Gaines by Chip Gaines.  I pre-ordered Chip's new book and finally got it in the mail this week.  I was a big fan of The Magnolia Story, and I shared with you how much my mom and I absolutely loved our trip to Waco here, so you know I just had to get this book.  When I first got it, I quickly read the Foreward (written by Joanna) and then Chip's note and contemplated reading on instead of finishing the current book I was reading.  I resisted and now that I am finished with my other book, I am ready to read!  I will be sure to report back next month when I share my October book review.  

3.  I asked for recommendations on how to season turkey burgers in yesterday's post and I got a couple good ideas I am planning on trying.  First, from Sarah - she suggested using Montreal Steak Seasoning, BBQ sauce and Panko.  I love Montreal Steak Seasoning for beef burgers, so I am sure it will be just as tasty with turkey.  Second, Amanda suggested using Lipton soup mixes.  Once I read that I remember one of my friends saying that is how her dad makes burgers - such a good idea!  If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave them below!  

4.  I shared the below picture on instagram this week from my work wear of the week post and I think it was one of my favorite outfits I wore last week.  While I love it, I am a bit sad that today's outfit is looking the same because it is back in the 80's...luckily fall will be back on Sunday.  I cannot wait!  

5.  The Essential Planner from Peacock Paper & Gifts.  I have mentioned Kelsey's planners before, but wanted to bring attention to them again!  If you are like me, you love planners, and while there are some good ones out there, they aren't necessarily as all encompassing as you want.  They may have the majority of things you need to keep yourself organized, but I feel like there is always one or two things missing.  Enter The Essential Planner.  Kelsey worked super hard on creating a product that I think we will all find truly essential to our lives.  There is a page for your budget, for your meal planning, a spot to put reminders on who you need cards / gifts for that month...really the list goes on and on.  It's all these little things that she has thought to include that I think adds up to a really great planner...and it all is available for a super good price.  I have spent some money on planners in the past, and I think that this planner gives you more, at a lower price point (daily - $36, weekly $30).  And to make it even more reasonable, Kelsey is offering a 20% off discount code, EMILY20, to anyone who may be reading this and interested in getting a planner for themselves or for someone else as a gift.  I personally chose to go with the weekly planner in the navy dot, and also got the same one for one of my friends.

Linking up with AndreaErikaApril, and Katie.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Recipe Round Up: September 2017

I did a really bad job of tracking if I made anything new last month, but the one recipe I remembered and jot down is definitely worth mentioning...and perfect for the season.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt Cake from Mix & Match Mama.  I honestly don't think I have ever made a bundt cake prior to this.  I had the pan, because that is what we use to make monkey bread, but never a bundt cake.  I had book club coming up and wanted to make something new and seasonal for fall.  I knew Shay had a ton of bundt cakes to choose from, so I checked them out and settled on the Pumpkin Spice Latte Bundt cake.  It was super easy to make, and came out beautifully.  I was a bit nervous, because every time I try to make banana bread, it is never done in the middle and I was worried that this would be the same case for a bundt cake since I had never attempted one before.  There was no need to worry!  I followed the directors to a T and it came out perfectly and so very pretty.  If you don't want something too sweet, I think you could eat the cake as is, without the frosting, or sprinkled with a little powdered sugar.  I was doing the whole thing, so I whipped up the icing once I got home before I needed to head out to book club.  I think you could halve the icing recipe, because I put a good amount on the cake and still had a ton leftover!  Also, I added in a bit of extra cinnamon to counteract some of the super sweetness of the frosting.  Verdict?  Everyone loved it.  It was DELICIOUS.  I am definitely going to plan on making this again, although for my personal tastes, I will pair it with the frosting from my mom's pumpkin squares.  To me, cream cheese frosting and these flavors just go together!  Although I may add a bit of cinnamon.  Either way - I highly suggest making this.  One of the girls from book club took some for her family and then I brought the rest to work and it was gone by the end of the week.  

That's all I have for this recipe round up, but I was hoping that you all could help me out a bit.  I am looking for a good season mix for turkey burgers.  Just straight up seasonings, like garlic powder, onion powder - that type of thing.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Linking up with Annie

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Work Wear for the Week Vol. 9

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Sharing another week of work wear with you all today!  All the outfits are below are what I wore last week to work.

Monday - One of my go to looks when I just do not want to think about pulling together and whole outfit.

Dress - Tahari (also really like this Tahari dress, too!) | Shoes - Calvin Klein | Earrings - Kendra Scott

Tuesday - Another go to look!  I love wearing this to work because it is comfy, yet still put together.

Sweater - Banana Republic (old) | Pants - Loft | Shoes - Calvin Klein | Earrings - Kendra Scott | Belt - Express (old - similar)

Wednesday - My very favorite dress!  Every time I wear this I get a compliment!

Dress - Eliza J (different color - on sale!) | Shoes - Calvin Klein | Necklace - Kendra Scott (old)

Thursday - I love to bring this top out in fall.  The colors are just so perfect for the season!

Top - Halogen (old - this top is the same brand and I love the floral prints!) | Pants - Loft | Shoes - Calvin Klein | Earrings - Kendra Scott

Friday - This is my 'it's fall, but it's also 80+ degrees outside'.

Top - Loft (old) | Jeans - NYJD | Booties - Vince Camuto (on sale!) | Earrings & Necklace - Kendra Scott

Linking up with The Blended BlogJenn and Jessi.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Aunt Becky's Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Aunt Becky passed along this cookie recipe to my mom years ago and they have been one of my favorites ever since.  They are super easy to make.  I used to make them all the time when I lived at home throughout the years.  They were something I turned to making when I was upset over a boy, or just bored.  I have some funny memories associate with these cookies, too!  I remember once the flour mixture going everywhere, because I just dumped it all into the mixer and just turned it on.  Or another time when I dumped a bag of chocolate chips in, only to realize that the bag was one of those big ones, and had double the amount!  Whoops! 

I made these cookies for trivia night this past weekend and only came home with two.  I've made them for all kinds of people - family, friends, co-workers, parties / outings and  I have yet to find a person who does not like them.  I think it's all due to the secret chocolate!  It's key when making these!

Aunt Becky's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick butter flavored Crisco
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 package hot chocolate mix (I use Swiss Miss)
1 package Hershey's semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix butter flavored Crisco, brown sugar, egg, milk and vanilla until creamy.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda and hot chocolate mix.  With your mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture.  Once fully combined, stir in chocolate chips.  Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes.  Cool for about 3 minutes, then transfer to wax paper or a wire rack to fully cool before storing in an air tight container.  This yielded me a little over 3 dozen cookies.

It had been awhile since I last made these and I do not know why, because I was reminded at just how darn good they are!  I promise if you try them, you will not be disappointed!

Linking up with Erika, Ashley,  The Blended BlogLindsay and Whitney.       

Monday, October 16, 2017

Weekend Recap: The Middle of October

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It's been awhile since I have done a weekend recap!  Mainly because there were link ups I wanted to participate in, but also because there wasn't much to share - the past few weekends have been pretty darn low key and uneventful.  This weekend was a full one, so let's get to it.

I ended up only have to work a little later than normal on Friday, which was definitely nice!  I didn't do much at all that evening, other than stop at the library to pick up some books I had on hold, and then catch up on shows.  And check my mail, which was a good idea, because I had some goodies in there!  The fall candle from Magnolia Market (thanks, Mom!) and a new sweater from Nordstrom that I have been eyeing for awhile.  

Saturday I was up early to do some grocery shopping.  I was participating in a trivia night that evening, so I wanted to make some yummy things to take.  Grocery shopping first thing Saturday morning is ideal - the store was relatively empty and everything was fully stocked.  Funny story about my trip, though.  I called my mom on my way to the store because I couldn't remember what kind of chocolate chips I needed for the recipe I was making.  So my mom tells me, I do my grocery shopping and literally as I am putting the groceries into my car, I realize I didn't even buy any chocolate chips.  Back into the store it was - thank goodness I hadn't left yet!  I would have been super annoyed with myself.  I took a walk while it was still a little cool before  I indugled in a pumpkin bagel and a PSL.  After that it was time to bake some cookies!  I made my Aunt Becky's chocolate chip cookies which are so delicious - recipe will be coming to the blog soon!  I wanted something sweet and something not sweet for the trivia night, so I made Bachlorette Party Dip, which is always delicious.  It was just such a nice and relaxing morning / afternoon.  I had some time to kill before trivia night so I decided to go through my shoes.  I got rid of 4 pairs and have about 6 that I need to decide on.  Odds are most of those will be out, too.  Some I really love still, but they are looking a bit worn and I think it's time to just let go.  The trivia night I attened was at my church.  One of my friends went with me and then we were on a team with a girl from church and her friends.  We were the 'young' table, and I am sad to say that we got last.  They had an option to 'rent a teen' and we were joking that we need to 'rent a senior' for our table to help with some of the questions that were before our times.  It was super funny - one of the guys at my table, who was a last minute replacement for someone else, ended up being an intern at the company I work at!  Just goes to show how small of a world it can be sometimes!

I had high hopes to go for another walk Sunday morning but when I got up it was raining...and dark.  Instead I watched RHOC before getting ready for church.  Sunday school and church were good - we sang the best song during worship called 10,000 Reasons.  I am admittedly a bit more traditional when it comes to music at church, but I absolutely loved this song!  After church I went out to lunch for a few of the ladies before running some errands.  I was on the hunt for a mug for my boss for Boss's Day and had no luck whatsoever.  I did however pick up a new fall candle.  I jumped the B&BW fall candle train and grabbed Leaves since it was $10 off 3-wick candles.  I now understand the hype - it smells so good!  Something I noticed when I was out - there are SO MANY Christmas items out already.  Hallmark, World Market, Bath & Body Works...what in the world?!  We aren't even past Halloween yet!  It's only half way through October.  I could not believe it.  I gave up on the mug search and headed home to spend some more time in the kitchen.  This time I made my mom's homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Mix & Match Mama's Spinach and Swiss Meatballs.  I had been craving soup since I wasn't feeling well last week, so now I have some to eat on this week, as well as a few portions in the freezer for next time!  The meatballs were delicious, as always, and I plan on using those for lunches this week.  Side note - when I made the meatballs I didn't have red onion, so I just used dried minced onion, about 2 Tablespoons and I left out the dijion mustard.  It was a super productive afternoon / night in that sense, which is always nice when starting a new work week.  As I write this, I am ending the night with Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and painting my nails.

Hope you all had a great weekend and a great Monday!

Linking up with Biana.        

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Favorites...Fail

Hey all!  Happy Friday!  I have no Friday Favorites post for you today, hence the 'fail' in the title of today's post.  This week has just been an off one.  I haven't been feeling the best, which throws everything out of wack a bit.  Since I haven't been feeling good, I haven't made it to the gym, which is a bummer because I was on such a roll last week - being consistent, feeling good - all that!  In addition to feeling a bit blah, work started getting busy on Wednesday.  I actually don't mind being busy at work like it has been the past few days.  I love being super productive and the day just flies on by.  That being said, I am tired.  My brain is tired.  The idea of having to think of 5 things to talk about for todays post was just not happening yesterday.  My mind was literally blank!  So instead, I came home after working late, had a wonderful homecooked meal, watched RHONJ and then decided to write this quick post before heading to bed.

I'm headed to a trivia night at church this weekend which should be a lot of fun, so wish us all luck!  I am terrible at these things, but always enjoy participating, especially when it's for a great cause.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!