Cupcakes and Sunshine: October 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fashion Friday: Fall Edition

Woooo, it's the WEEKEND! And I couldn't be more excited about it. I've been wanting to bring y'all a Fashion Friday post for a while now and I am SO excited that my sweet cousin, Anna-Marie, is here today to share some of her favorite fall tips and finds.

Anna-Marie and I go way back. As in bestfriends since diapers back.
& Anna-Marie has always had an incredible sense of style: 

circa 2000
After seeing her most recent senior portraits done by Avery's Photography, (<---- you have to check out her work! incredible!) I knew I had to share.

hat and top: francescas, pants: forever 21, booties: apricot lane boutique
How gorgeous is she!? And she just so happens to work at Francesca's while finishing up her senior year and is my style inspiration.

She knows what's up.

I decided to ask her a few questions about her favorite fall looks for today's Fashion Friday post.

suede dress: Collection's boutique, necklace: francesca's, booties: tilly's

H: What are your favorite looks this fall? 
A: Although I still swoon over the flannels and sweaters and booties and vests of the season, my newest obsession has been suede! Suede skirts, suede dresses, suede booties... I want them all!

H: What are your favorite ways to dress up a flannel?
A: Flannels are so easy, that's why I love them! I love pairing a simple plaid button up with a long stone pendant and/or a fur vest. I also love using flannels as cardigans or wrapped around my waist for a retro/grungy style! 

H: Best fall shoes? 
A: Is this even a real question?! Booties!!! There are so many different styles within the classic bootie: suede, open toe, fringe, combat, wedged... There's so much diversity and every bootie can compliment an outfit in its own individual way. 

flannel: francesca's, vest: old navy, jeans: macy's, booties: old navy

H: Any savvy shopping tips? 
A: Don't be a store-snob! Although I love genuine-boutique and name-brand shopping, I realize that money does not grow on trees! Many styles that appear in individually owned boutiques can be found at common franchises such as Francesca's, Express, Old Navy, Target and even Forever 21!! The more money saved, the more opportunities to shop and keep up with the newest styles and trends. 

thanks so much for sharing Anna-Marie! Love these tips and can't wait for more fashion friday posts to come! 

happy weekend, y'all! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now....

....I'd tell you that there isn't anything I love more than coffee dates!

...and I'd probably be really honest and tell you this has been a tough semester! And I may or may not have had a few breakdowns over homework and projects and to-do's and I'm very thankful for roommates who give hugs and words of encouragement generously and fill my heart with truth and scripture and love. Thank you, thank you! (Carly, Sydney, Kelsie, Mary Cate...y'all deserve all the hugs in the world!)

If we were having coffee right now...

I'd tell you I am LOVING this fall weather so much. Because of the cooler weather, I've been able to walk to all of my classes and it has been a great quiet time and all the crunchy leaves and change make my heart smile. I'm a big fan of change.

If we were having coffee right now...
I'd ask if you are a fan of fans? I just received a new ceiling fan in my room and I am head over heels in love with it. I'm a fan fan. And still sleep with three going at all times. It's weird. Are you a big fan fan? Because I know can't be the only crazy one and there are more raving fan fans out there. 

(last year at Vertical Reality)

...and I'd mention that Vertical Reality is this weekend and I am SO excited! Vertical Reality is where I first met my 8th grade girls small group last year, and I've been able to to lead them since then at Athens Church. Vertical Reality is my FAVORITE. I'll be running on a little bit of fall weather and coffee and a lot of Jesus! VR, we're coming for ya! 

If we were having coffee right now... 
I'd tell you I'm conflicted. I'm conflicted because I LOVE my work. I love my work place. I love my work staff (family). It's what I want to do with my life and I know I am in right in the right place! But school. I am conflicted because of school. I sit in class each day learning about things I am not interested in and what I don't want to do in my life. And I am struggling with balancing what I want to do with what I have to do. I'm so stretched and spread at the moment that I'm at the "C's make degrees" thought process at school and I'm really just trekking through and trying my best to keep 1 Corinthians 10:31 in mind..."whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

It's a toughie! 

If we were having coffee right now, 
I'd ask you if you are as excited about the new emojis as I am!? Did you even communicate with someone if you didn't include an emoji?

...and then I'd ask if you have baked anything fall-related and delicious lately. If we were having coffee, I'd show you some of my favorite fall recipes which include:

my Mini Apple Pie Caramel Apples:

my Go-To Pumpkin Muffins:

and my Campfire Truffle S'mores Brownies:

I want to make (and eat) them all (right now).

and finally, I'd conclude with HEY! Let's grab another coffee real soon because life's too short to not have coffee (or cocoa) dates! happy humpday, friends

Thursday, October 15, 2015

22 looks like....

Can we do a quick little Throwback Thursday? 
20 looked like....

21 looked like....

But I think 22 is going to be the best year yet. If you follow me on snapchat (haletotheyess), then you may have seen a preview already of what 22 looks like...

(in addition to lots of  TSwift songs)

22 looks like...

Surprise trips to Atlanta...

Chickfila and the sweetest of friends....

& trips to The Grove:

 Birthday surprises from the best...

 cupcakes on cupcakes....


 A weekend at Catalyst:

 and so much more. So very thankful and grateful for all of 21. I never would have imagined that I'd be living with the best of friends, working at the best of places, surrounded by so many wonderful opportunities and people each and every day. Jesus has worked in some incredible ways and I can't WAIT to see what's in store for 22!

Happy, happy Thursday friends!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Guest Blogging: Sydney White and Krochet Kids

I am so excited to have one of my very best friends (and roommates), Sydney White, guest blogging today about her travels and adventures with Krochet Kids this past summer! I love highlighting wonderful companies with great missions and Krochet Kids is a good one!

Hi Cupcakes and Sunshine readers! I am really excited to be guest blogging today and talking to you about my favorite non-profit, KK intl. I had the amazing opportunity to intern with them this past summer at their HQ in Costa Mesa, CA.

During my time there, I learned a lot about what true impact looks like and how sustainable change requires investing in the whole person. It was an incredible three months and I am very grateful for them, as well as Haley giving me this opportunity to share about it with you now!

KK intl. is a non-profit empowering women in Uganda and Peru to rise above poverty. Through a combination of jobs, education, and mentorships, women are equipped with the skills, education, and resources they need to change their circumstances for good. It’s more than giving and it’s more than aid; it’s empowerment that allows women to have a sustainable, independent future.

You can learn more about the KK intl.’s model and impact here! I also highly recommend watching this video that showcases 45 women who recently graduated from the program. (I also highly recommend a box of tissues cause I may or may not have teared up.)

Another awesome thing about KK intl. is that every product they make is hand-signed by the person who made it! By including this tag, you know exactly who made your product and you have the opportunity to read their story and send them a personal thank you note through the website! Over the summer, I got to read through thank you notes written from supporters across the globe. It was really encouraging to see first-hand the power of stories and how connecting creators and consumers serves to validate and encourage both parties. I’ve learned that amazing things happen when you choose to prioritize relationships above all else.

Lastly, since this is Cupcakes and Sunshine (and since it was one of the biggest perks of the summer), I would be crazy not to mention that one of the best parts of living in Southern California for three months was the food...

I lived down the street from a 24-hour donut shop and within walking/biking distance of some of the greatest taco joints in existence, so I mean it when I say that these foods (and the heavenly acai bowls) were the crux of my diet… and one of the many reasons I need to go back.

It was a summer well spent, and I am forever grateful for the friendships made, adventures had, food eaten, and the opportunity to learn from and be a part of the KK intl. team!

Thanks again to Haley for having me! Have a great Monday! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Favorites: Fall Edition 2015

ahhhhhhh fall is THE best season. And October is THE best month. I've always wondered if I've liked October so much because it is my birthday month. And then I took my birthday out of the equation and October still is my favorite. Comfy flannels, cozy mugs of coffee, fall movies, jammies, all of it. it's all great.

So on that note, I've decided to share some of my very, very favorite fall finds for Friday favorites!

1. Up first: all things pumpkin. Get ready for pumpkin overload. I baked these gluten free pumpkin spice donuts this morning using Edible Ash's recipe and they were absolutely incredible.

2. I warned ya about pumpkin overload. Trader Joe wins for all things pumpkin...



3. My Leaves candle is my favorite. At first I couldn't find a fave, but after many hours of contemplation (and candle burning), Leaves is the winner. Closely followed by Bath & Body Work's Sweater Weather.


My good friend Kristin, who's in my Ballroom class this semester, and I totally matched this past week^^^

5. Fall weather and runs!!

Y'all, I am not a runner. But I'm trying, I'm trying. & it's finally cooled down a bit. My other good friend Krista called me yesterday and asked me if I wanted to go on a 5-mile group run with her in the next hour. She encouraged me and pushed me through it. So I had to snapchat it out there because I RAN 5 MILES AND THAT NEVER HAPPENS. (thanks Krista for all the encouragement. you the bomb)

6. THESE M&Ms. A friend from work gifted these to me. And I'm usually an M&M purist. only original M&Ms please! But these are SO GOOD. (thanks bunches, Dana!!) 

7. Fall polish's. Essie Exotic Cinnamon Plum

I neeed to get my hands on this color^^^ definitely a fall favorite.

&that concludes my fall favorite finds for Friday Favorites today! Hope your weekend is wonderful, friends!! (and go dawgs)


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