Cupcakes and Sunshine: November 2014

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Merry, Merry Countdown!


Goooood Turkey Day morning, friends!

0 Days until Thanksgiving! (Currently snuggled up in slippers and watching the parade!)


1 Day until Black Friday! (I'm going to be doing most of my shopping online. I may brave the crowds at Macy's. They have some cute boots I'm after...)

4 Days until ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas! (A few months ago, I got really excited and made the following calendar. Please feel free to print it out and place front and center on your refrigerator)


11 Days until the last day of Classes!  (AMEN is all I have to say to this one)
27 Days until Christmas! (Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!)

This past week, my good friend Carly met me in Greenville and we were able to conquer some Holiday shopping... Southern food feasts (post coming later!)....



hot coffee....


 lots of hot coffee...


 and some cupcake shopping at the Chocolate Moose in downtown Greenville:


It was a fun, chilly day exploring the city.

I hope your Thanksgiving is full of memory-making and turkey and mac & cheese and sweet potato casserole. Thankful for YOU! 








Friday, November 21, 2014

Red and Green Christmas Giftlist Wishlist


Good morning, good morning! Happy Friday morning!

It's currently 5:53am. I really do not know what in the world is going on with my sleep schedule this week. I don't have to be up until 11 on Fridays, but couldn't sleep past 4:30am this morning. So I'm soaking in this crisp, chilly morning...sipping on hot chai tea, with a heated blanket, and catching up on to-do's. It's actually really nice. So I'm not complaining!

Before I bring to you my Red and Green Christmas Giftlist Wishlist I want to catch you up on some fun things that have been happening around here.

We attended the Georgia/Auburn game this past weekend, and it.was.cold. Very cold. But we had a great time cheering our Dawgs to victory!


Remember a few weeks ago at one of our first Georgia games this year when Lottie the Rottweiler (AKA Lottie the Rottie) was just a baby pup? We were able to see her again this past weekend and she's now so grown up!


They all grow up so quickly!


Something else I need to catch you up on is how adorable my roommates are! My roommate, Kelsie, made these cakepops that absolutely stole my heart this week:


How stinking cute, right? I may have to make some of these for Turkey Day next week!

And one of my sweet friends, Erica, who blogs over at Spoonful of Imagination (and is quite possibly THE craftiest person I've ever met! & just so happens to be one of my roommate's sisters!) sent me this fun package a while back and I just had to tell you about it!


I have been wearing my "Love is Patient" t-shirt nonstop! love it.

So now that we're a little caught up, let's get to that Red and Green Christmas Giftlist Wishlist- a giftlist wishlist of all things red and green since it's that time of season! (our tree is up! and yes, I've already watched Elf and Christmas Vacation in my Christmas jammies)


 So whether you are gifting to others, or wishing for yourself, you can find all giftlist wishlist items here:

1. Ashley Brooke Designs Jingle Juice Travel Mug
2. Minnetonka Hi 3-Layer Fringe Boot
3. Victorias Secret Dreamer Flannel Pajama
4. Green KitchenAid Stand Mixer
5. Essie Nail Polish Collections

Happy shopping and happy Friday, friends!

Check out my Gifts that Give Back Christmas Giftlist Wishlist HERE!











Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Snack that Gives Back!


Goodmorning on this chilly, chilly Tuesday!

I am so excited to talk to y'all today about one of my favorite companies: Good Spread!


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N9CIXIM


Good Spread is an amazing one-for-one peanut butter company that gives a packet of therapeutic food to malnourished children across the world for every jar of PB purchased.


http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N9CIXIM

If you remember my Gifts that Give back Giftlift Wishlist from a couple of posts back, Good Spread was one of my top picks! It is some of the BEST peanut butter I've had as well, with sweet hints of honey in every spoonful.

Peanut butter is definitely one of my favorite snacks. I even have a special peanut butter spoon with my name on it:


Not only am I putting Good Spread on my Christmas list for myself, I think it will be a great gift to give! And knowing that it is a snack that gives back make me so, so happy!

You can order Good Spread right through Amazon and have it shipped to your door in 2 DAYS and if you use coupon code "GAPEANUT" you will receive 10% off your order! I'm linking up some of my favorite peanut butter recipes that you can try out with Good Spread.

Like my Peanut Butter Pumpkin French Toast:


These Classic Peanut Butter Cookies:


Egg White Oatmeal is a healthy way to start off your morning with a scoop of PB!


 and I want to make these Peanut Butter Brownies RIGHT now:


Help spread some good this holiday season and let me know what recipes you are going to make with Good Spread!

Happy, happy Tuesday!



Friday, November 14, 2014

A Fiesta for Breakfast!


Boy, oh BOY! Do I have an incredible recipe for you this morning! Some mornings I really want a delicious, healthy and hearty breakfast. (I think all this chilly weather amplifies this wish x10) But I just don't have the time before I am running out of the door scrambling through my to-do list.



But this recipe is SO easy. and delicious. and it is like a fiesta in a bowl! Not only does it taste great, but it is packed with protein and fiber to keep your energy levels up all the morning long. And it is ready before you can say "fiesta for breakfast!" 


Spray a pan with a little olive oil, crack two eggs in the pan, scramble them with a fork, add your favorite cheese (I use cottage cheese or mozzarella!), heat until cooked. Put eggs into a bowl, add a spoonful of beans, salsa, and avocado slices. DONE! So easy, so delicious, so healthy. Let's have a fiesta! 

Happy fiesta Friday, friends!



Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ABC's of Me!


It's humpday! Woohoo! We are halfway through the week! Almost there! This afternoon, I was reading Tristan and Kristin's blog and came across a super fun post that I absolutely loved! I decided to do the ABC's of me as well, so you could get to know me a little better. 

A.  age: 21, but I often am told I look much younger. I am currently in the process of leading a middle school small group at my church and all of my middle schoolers look older than me!

blowing out the birthday candles!

B. birthday: October 12th. Columbus day!

C. color:  this is a TOUGH one. probably because I win the "Most Indecisive" award. I like the color yellow because it is happy and bright, but I love wearing shades of blue and blue makes me so happy as well! I think those are my top two.

D. dogs: Vizlas and Chocolate labs. Can't wait for the day I have a schedule where I can spend time with a pup and adopt! I don't follow many animal instagram accounts, but @VizlasofInstagram has stolen my heart. 




E. experience: Italy. I started a baking business in high school- Sweet Travels- so that I could travel abroad. The travel bug continues to bite me each day and I am wondering if I should start baking again. Italy was a dream but I would love to visit Paris, London, Greece, Spain, China, and Japan!



F. fear: I have emetophobia. The fear is real y'all.

G. guilty pleasures: 19 Kids and Counting. LOVE this show. And the Kardashians. Yes. My two favorite shows are the most contradicting of shows. But I can't get enough of either of them. Oh! and milk chocolate chips. by the handful. Currently have a fist-full.

H. height: 5'2. But maybe 5'3? I think I have grown an inch since college. crazy, right?

I. injuries: I've done a lot of crazy things (I cheered for many years!), but I have never actually broken a bone. I bruised my tailbone once while cheering in high school. But I think that is the extent of my injuries. I fall down the stairs weekly though. And stub my toes often. Do those count?



J. job: Oh wow! This question has been on my mind SO much lately! I am currently praying for a job I LOVE. It is my dream job to be a mom and to have my own business while working from home, but until then I am hoping to get a few internships up my sleeve. I would love to intern this spring while going to school and possibly intern in the Atlanta or Greenville area this summer.

K. kids: I have no kids, but I want a house full some day!

L. love:  My roommates are currently the loves of my life right now! Hahaha! I love their hearts, their encouragement, and their selflessness. They inspire me each and every day!


M. most missed: my sweet cousins! I traveled to South Carolina last weekend to visit my cousins and Jackson-the newest baby in our family.


The baby fever is real! I can't wait to hold him again soon.



N. nicknames:  my family has called me Haley Boo or just "Boo" since I was little, but I often go by Hales, Haley Bug, and the occasional Haley-Mae.

O. one wish: to go to Disney World. Sometimes when college gets busy, applications get tough, and life just seems difficult...I close my eyes and pretend I'm a kid again at Disney World.

P. picture that describes you:



Q. quote- this one:



R. restaurant: I have a LOT of restaurants I love. I think restaurants are my love language. So here's my list: True Foods Kitchen, the Last Resort, Marietta Diner, Mon Amie, Zoe's Kitchen, Flip Burger, J. Christopher's, Panera Bread, Tacqueria Tsunami, Big City Bread, La Dolce Vita, Tupelo Honey, Flying Biscuit Cafe, Which Wich, The Cheesecake Factory, Luna's Living Kitchen, Fern, to name a few.

S. siblings: I have a half-brother, half-sister, and stepbrother but I grew up as an only child. And now I live with 6 of my bestfriends and we are so close I'd consider them my sisters.


T. time of day: I LOVE the morning time. Sometimes I wake up at 6am so that I can soak up the peaceful moments before the day begins and have some quiet time with the Lord. I love knowing that each day is a new day and a new start!

U. unusual habits: I drink a LOT of Honest Green Tea. I have to make my bed in the morning, and if I don't, I make it before getting in the bed at night. I like to have my back popped for me a lot. I take melatonin everynight to help me sleep. I take surveys through ePoll surveys online to earn giftcards. I eat peanutbutter with a spoon straight from the jar.



V. vehicle: I have a silver Camery. Her name is Pearl. She is great.

W. worst pet peeve: When waiters/waitresses at restaurants pack your leftovers FOR you! I don't know why this irks me so much, and I know they are being helpful...but I can pack my own leftovers. Sometimes I may not want certain leftover items in the box, and I want to arrange my food so its nice and pretty for the next day.

X. x-rays: I think my teeth- for braces and wisdom teeth- are the only things that have been x-rayed. Unless a CT scan counts as an x-ray? I had one of those a couple summers ago.

Y. yummy food you make: Magic Cookie Bars. They are my favorite thing. And I rarely make them because I have ZERO self control around them. I used to lick the sweetened condensed milk can while making them. Gross, right? LOVE that stuff. If someone would like to make a pan of Magic Cookie Bars and then ration them out to me so I still have self control, I would be forever grateful!

Z. zoo animal: Sloths. One time at a job interview I was asked... if I could be an animal, which one would I be. It was the most random question that I hadn't prepared for. I said the first thing that came to mind: A CheetahSloth. What?! Yes. A CheetahSloth. I told the interviewer that I would have to combine two animals- a cheetah because I could get things done quickly...and a sloth. So that I could relax and rest when needed. When the interview was over, I felt kind-of blehhh about my answers. I sent the interviewer a "Thank You" email for allowing me the chance to come in and learn more about the business and to interview with him. I then attached a "CheetahSloth" that I had created on photoshop. You know...a cheetah body with a sloth head in a forest of trees. Well, I got the job the next day! Sloths are my goodluck charms. and get me jobs.

Happy humpday friends! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

THE BEST MONDAY. EVER.


Good morning friends!

This week began with a GREAT start. I really don't think I've ever had a better Monday! I received a text during class from my good friend Ellie asking if I wanted to head to Atlanta to try out True Food Kitchen and go to The Grove at Passion City Church.

I had no plans scheduled for the rest of the evening, so of course I said YES! Spontaneous trips to the ATL for good food and time with good friends and Jesus!?

I'm a planner, and I'm usually quick to say "no" to things if I haven't planned them ahead of time. Spontaneity isn't typically my forte. Which is NOT okay! God has called us to a life of adventure and trust in His plans! And I'm SO glad I trusted His plan for Monday night, let go of my agenda, and said YES on the spot.

Krista, Ellie, and I headed down the road to Atlanta right after classes and had the BEST time! Before arriving at The Grove, we stopped for dinner at True Food Kitchen...


Y'all. I'm pretty sure everyone in the restaurant thought we didn't get out of the house much. We were SO excited that all of the food was organically raised, healthily prepared, made-in-house, delicious, unique... we were giddy.



We took about 100 selfies of our excitement. And had our waitress take some pictures of us too.


The menu was incredible in all ways^^. There was a juice bar. Everything was made in house and local. It was GREAT. I snuck some pictures of the chefs preparing, chopping, and slicing our food right in front of us:


The atmosphere was modern and chic. True Food Kitchen GROWS their herbs and veggies right outside of the restaurant:


Ellie, Krista, and I were absolutely giddy, I tell ya! We ordered a couple bowls of the Kale salad- marinated with lemon juice, parmesan, and bread crumbs.



And we shared the spaghetti squash casserole with house-made chicken sausage and mozzarella. (SO FRESH AND DELICIOUS) It was a dining experience I will never forget.



 Then we headed right down the street to The Grove- which is a monthly gathering of worship and praise for women in the Atlanta area at Passion City Church:



It was absolutely INCREDIBLE to see thousands of women- young and old- overflowing into the isles, sitting on the floors around chairs, and packed into the church to sing sweet praises of God's love! I had chills the entire night as women shared their stories and testimonies and how God has influenced their lives and changed their hearts for Him! The main focus of the evening was Grace in the NOW and Gratefulness in the Unknown. Often times, we focus on the future and what's ahead and completely miss the NOW and how we can be serving and resting in God's word in the present.

After a great night of worship, we headed back to Athens. But let's not forget our Publix stop three minutes before they locked the doors to grab unpictured pints of Ben and Jerry's (Americone Dream and Half-Baked) that we shared on the way back. It was an unforgettable, incredible Monday!

I hope your week has been off to a great start as well! Happy Tuesday morning, friends!




Saturday, November 8, 2014

gifts that give back giftlist wishlist


Happy Saturday, friends! We are off to the Santa Shop to do some shopping and browsing and prepare for the holiday season ahead. I already have my 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family countdown and have pulled out all of my Christmas jammies. Let the holidays BEGIN!



Most of the time I like to do my Christmas shopping along and along during the holiday season. I know there are some Christmas sticklers out there who think Christmas should be celebrated once Thanksgiving is complete, but I feel the holiday season starts when the weather is chilly. And I can give thanks and celebrate Christmas at the same time, ya know?

So I've made a list of some of my favorite online shops and goodies of where I will be purchasing some gifts this year. It has really been on my heart lately to help those in need this season and I love that each of these shops gives back to those who need it most!

Although I'm a HUGE fan of the 25 Days of Christmas shows...holiday sugar cookies... hot cocoa... and mistletoe scented candles... I feel that loving others, praying for those in need, and giving time to encourage those in the community and across the world is what this season is truly about!

Here is my Gifts that Give Back Giftlist Wishlist 2014.

1. Good Spread: Good Spread is an AMAZING one-for-one company that sends food to malnourished families across the globe for every jar of peanut butter purchased. And y'all, this peanut butter is absolutely delicious! I put it on everything. And can go through a jar in a week. You can now purchase Good Spread on Amazon and have it at your door with 2-day shipping. (Use Code: "GaPEANUT" at checkout for discount!) It's a win, win, win. For my PB-loving friends, you will be getting Good Spread for Christmas. SURPRISE! :)




Read more about the company HERE:
Purchase HERE:

2. iSanctuary Purpose Handcrafted Jewelry: These jewelry pieces are handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. I love how empowering this company is and that is provides care for young women rescued from sex trafficking.

Love these colorful bangles:


Find out more about the company HERE:
Purchase HERE:

3. Headbands of Hope: The story behind this business absolutely warms my heart! For every headband purchased, a headband is donated to girls with cancer and $1 is donated to fund childhood cancer research. Love these bands!


Story behind the bands HERE:
Purchase bands HERE:

4. Threads: Threads employs at-risk teens and helps fund their educations. Many of Threads employees are first-generation college students who dream of becoming doctors, broadcasters, writers, and engineers.


Learn about the business and shop: HERE

5. fh-Food for the Hungry: I love that you can make direct donations to purchase shoes, dairy cows, and water purification packets for across the world. These purchases can be LIFE changing for hunger-stricken areas in Kenya or a community in Haiti.



Read about fh: HERE
Donate: HERE

6. Janji: Janji is a running apparel brand that provides water to those in need. There are many countries which lack the means to provide safe drinking sources. In Haiti, 3.6 million people lack access to safe drinking water. Love this shop!


Read about the Janji HERE
Shop Janji HERE

I hope your Saturday is great, friends!

Question of the Day: When do you start your holiday shopping?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Let's talk about FLIP Burger in Atlanta


Hello, hello friends!

Remember how I teased you about an upcoming FLIP Burger Boutique post yesterday? Well don't you worry, I didn't forget!


If you are ever in the Atlanta area, FLIP Burger needs to be one of the first stops you make. Seriously. I think I crave it 24/7. And DON'T even let me get started on their sweet potato tots and fried pickles...


Each burger is carefully crafted at this modern burger boutique, creating a "chef-driven dining experience that gives all your senses a night out." (I think my tastebuds need a night out every.single.day after trying FLIP Burger)


FLIP Burger uses organic beef patties and only the finest ingredients and condiments that are made in-house each day!

Syd ordered the "Oaxaca"-with beef, avocado, cilantro-lime mayo, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.


I ordered the Turkey burger with Monterey cheese, crushed avocado, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, and the most amazing pomegranate ketchup!


 and my good friend Carly ordered the Butcher's Cut with beef, crumbled bleu cheese, caramelized onions, soy truffle vinaigrette, frisée, pickled shallots, red wine jam...



Wow. Yes. I know. Incredible.

We passed on their Nitrogen milkshakes this time (to save room for Jeni's), but I've had them before and they are AMAZING. (get the nutella s'more shake!)

FLIP Burger is one of my favorite restaurants in Atlanta and a burger experience! I'm already planning my next trip there. (and craving their tots right this second!)

I hope your day is fantastic! Happy humpday!

Question of the day: What are some of your favorite unique restaurants?




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