Cupcakes and Sunshine: July 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back in Session!

Wooo! I'm back to the blog world! The to-do list has been a little crazy lately and I just feel like my creative juices have been at a halt. Props to all the moms and full-time workers who come home and put their creative talents to use in addition to their busy schedules. and then on top of that- blog about it. I'm impressed x100000 and need to learn your secret ways. Please do share!

Can y'all believe that school is almost BACK IN SESSION? The school supply isles are crowding over at Target and boxed snack school-lunch displays are plentiful at the grocery store. It's been a great summer, but I am quite somber to see it go!

It was full of lots of fun... 

(at Chickfila Headquarters!)


Awkward selfies...

^^(This is what happens when I try to be a fashion blogger. One day, friends. One day.)

Good Eats...

^^(Spinach dip at Kumquat Mae in Athens)

^^(THE most incredible Mediterranean bowl at GUSTO in Atlanta)

Sweet treats....

^^(obviously an ice dream...)

^^(Ice-Cream at the Atlanta Ice-Cream Festival from Jake's. SO good y'all. So good)

And even better company....

(Yes, I consider a good book good company. Especially if it involves Harry Potter.)

I've tried assuaging my anxious mind about the back-to-school season with fun fall things that I'm looking forward to... 

1. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
2. Fall-scented candles (!!!!) 
3. UGA Football

...and I'm hoping the above list will provide some comfort and coping as the first day of classes approaches. ;) 

How's your summer been?! Looking forward to August?! Happy, happy Thursday friends!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Meal Planning Monday: July Edition

Happy, happy Monday! I'm checking in really late today because life has been a bit busy and my evenings are typically a lot more relaxed than my mornings.

I'm so excited I wrote down my July goals a couple of days ago, because I have found it a lot easier to stick to them with written accountability!

One of my July goals? Meal planning. I hate to say it...but recently I have fallen into the bad habit of having a protein bar & a La Croix sparkling water or a bowl of cereal and fruit for dinner instead of really planning out meals for the week. As y'all know, I absolutely LOVE to cook. But I have recently realized that I do not enjoy cooking if it is just for myself. I love cooking for others, sitting around a dinner table with friends, having conversations and laughing while taking turns sauteing stir-fry veggies and making a mess in the kitchen. That is my cooking style.

But in college, this style of cooking isn't always the easiest. Especially since cooking for and with others can be pricier (than a bowl of cereal) and during the summer time, not many people are around until classes begin again in the fall.

A few days ago, I was invited over to have dinner with one of my favorite families and my inspiration to cook a delicious meal was instantly rekindled. We had a delicious, homemade meal prepared by hand and I remembered how wonderful it was to make a handmade meal, take time to cook with delicious ingredients, and to be creative in the kitchen. It just felt so home-y and inviting!

I've created a meal plan this week to inspire me to make something homemade and delicious! There is no way a bowl of cereal compares to a handmade meal! I've found some incredible recipes from my favorite bloggers on Pinterest that I am going to make this week: 

*these pictures are from the blogger's sites. go check 'em out!

Monday: Pinch of Yum's Crockpot Quinoa Chicken

Y'all. This is currently in my crockpot and it already smells incredible. So excited that there is enough for leftovers throughout the week. Lunch tomorrow!!

Tuesday: Earthfare's Hot bar "fast food"
Earthfare is a small all-natural grocery store we have in Athens and it is very similar to Whole Foods. They have a hot bar where there are many delicious dinner choices you can choose from. I consider it healthy "fast food" since everything is already cooked for you. I'm not cooking dinner Tuesday night because I have a fro-yo meeting with my small group girls. But HEY! I'm not skipping out on a homemade meal.

Wednesday: Two Peas & Their Pod Grilled Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin-

I think this one looks incredible. I purchased a pork tenderloin for a really good price at Trader Joe's and I'm so excited to try this one out. I will most likely be making it in the crockpot instead of the grill though. The crockpot has become my best friend this summer since everything cooks itself while I'm at work!

Thursday: Six Sister's Stuff Black Bean Soup

It's not really hot soup season, but I have all of the ingredients on hand and I'm always down for any meal that goes along with tortilla chips and guac!

Friday: Dinner out with friends!
I'm meeting up with my good friends Ellie and Krista this weekend and we may have to stop by Atlanta's ICE CREAM FESTIVAL on Saturday. (I'm so excited I can barely stand it)

Happy, happy Monday friends!
What's on your meal plan this week?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Things I'm Loving Thursday

1. Coffee catch-up dates with good friends:

2. FLASH SALES at Stella & Dot: (40% off y'all!) 

3. Dinner meet-ups at local Athens hotspots:

4. My good friend Brynn's new food blog:


5. This video:

6. The Lively Show podcasts:

7. Rodan + Fields spa nights (&selfies):

R+F truly is this much fun.

8. The fact that it's almost Cow Appreciation Day:

9. This creative 'dirt' cake I found on Pinterest:

11. All things Anthropologie:

12. This nifty honeycomb shelf DIY:

Happy Friday eve, friends!! Have a rockin' Thursday!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7 July Goals

Hello, hello! How is everyone's Wednesday going so far? I just realized it's been a LONG time since I've set some monthly goals. So I'm putting them down on paper this July for some accountability! Want to join me?

1. First up: Meal planning. I neeeeed to meal plan. There are SO many benefits to meal planning each week:

Meal planning allows you to...
  •  use what you have on hand
  • avoid impulse grocery purchases (um. yes. I do have a problem with this)
  • know what to expect each day 
  • prep and prepare for meals beforehand 
  • stick to a grocery budget 
  • eat healthier meal choices
  • plan accordingly for eating out/coffee dates
I definitely want to meal plan this month and know what I am buying before I head out to the grocery store. Here are a few links to some of my favorite meal-planning sites:

My Fitness Pal

Budget Meals

Money-Saving Mom Recipes 

2. And on the meal planning/saving note, I would love to start budgeting again. Last year, I did some intense budgeting. But it's been a while since I've really thought about where my money is going and I really want to get back in the swing of things this month. I would love to get back to Haiti (or other world travels!!!!) ASAP & with a budget in mind, this will be so much easier!

 3. July goal #3: Put on the sunscreen!! I have a great post coming your way about this one that I'm pretty excited about. Protect the skin your in. EVERYDAY!

 4. July goal #4: Walk at least an hour each day.
 I've been petsitting this little cutie this past week... getting outside has been really easy. But I really have been neglecting walks lately and I would love to make them a habit again. Cue the long walks, podcasts, and Pandora channels. Outdoors, I'm coming for ya! 

5. Goal #6: Sponsor one of the sweet children we met in Haiti.

It has really been on my heart lately to sponsor one of the kids we met on our trip a couple of weeks ago. The 410 Bridge offers the opportunity for you to help supply school supplies & support children's education so that they are able to attend school. Can't wait to do this!

6. Goal #6: Be intentional. This is a broad goal, but lately I feel like my mind has been everywhere. I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed with projects and to-dos that I haven't really sat down and been intentional with my time or those who mean the most to me. I need to clear some of the mind-clutter (& maybe some physical clutter too) so that I can be present in conversations, actions, and life!

This is an link for lots of intentional-living posts that have really inspired me: Intentional By Grace

7. and finally.... Goal 7: SOAK UP EVERY DROP OF SUMMER. I can't believe it is going to be gone before we know it. I just want to soak it all in and make the most of my time before classes start back.

Hope your summer has been full of sunshine!


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