Cupcakes and Sunshine: January 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Salted Caramel Brownies in a Jar


Y'all. You guys. Y'all...

I've made something rich and decadent. and delicious. and absolutely adorable in every way. And I think you are going to NEED to check this recipe out...


Salted. Caramel. Brownies. In. A. Jar.


So chocolate-y and sweet and the soft brownies and the salted caramel sauce and the buttercream frosting! to.die.for.


I was planning on having these tomorrow for the Super Bowl... and ended up eating mine tonight. Oops.


But that's okay because they are a BREEZE to make. Seriously. So I will be whipping up another set of jars asap.


They are perfect for dessert, Super Bowl parties, showers. They pretty much work for anything and any occasion. (or no occasion at all) 

You need one box of brownie mix. I used Betty Crocker's super cheap brownie mix and (added 2 chopped Hershey Bars to the mix...it's my secret ingredient to dressing up all brownie mixes) 

Prepare the 9x13 brownies exactly as the box says and let cool. Cut brownies into squares and layer with salted caramel buttercream and salted caramel sauce in 8 oz. Mason Jars. Absolutely INCREDIBLE y'all. Incredible. 

Let me know when you give them a try! 

Recipe: 

1 box Brownie Mix (mixed with 2 chopped Hershey Bars)

Salted Caramel Sauce: 

1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of whole milk
1 stick of salted butter
1 1/2 tsp of sea salt

1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and boil for 5-6 minutes. 
2. Add milk, butter, and salt. Bring to a low simmer. 
3. Let simmer for 6-8 more minutes. 
4. Pour into a glass jar and let cool. 

Salted Caramel Butter Cream

2 sticks of butter
1/2 lb. of powdered sugar
3 Tbs. milk
3 Tbs. of Salted Caramel Sauce (from above)  

1. Blend with blender until smooth 


^^^Layer all of the above in a 8oz Mason Jar and enjoy!




















Monday, January 26, 2015

Recipe Sneak Peek


Good Monday morning, friends!

How about a recipe sneak peek to start off your week?



I've been working on this tasty recipe for Epting Events and my good friend Jenny helped me put this little video together. The recipe is on its way this week!

Hope your Monday is off to a great start!



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Things I'm Loving this Weekend...


1. Today is National Peanut Butter Day....


I'm celebrating and snackin' on Good Spread. <----

2. Pretty weather. We walked around the park today and did some interval running with the pups. Absolutely gorgeous!

3. This article: Loving the changes that are happening in media and big stores across the US.

4. Sending out Sunshine boxes!


I am raising money for my mission trip this spring, and you can purchase a Sunshine Box HERE to send to your best friend, sister, mother, neighbor, yourself! Let me know if I can personalize them in any way for you!

5. Athens Church 10-year Anniversary and Joni's 21st! So many birthday celebrations tomorrow. I'll have more updates about party celebrations coming to ya this week.

6. Zooey is visiting this week. She is a PB lover too...


Happy weekend, friends! I hope it is restful and full of happiness!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Day in the Life!

Goodmorning and happy humpday!


I absolutely love reading others' Day in the Life posts! I think it's so interesting to see how everyone's days are different, so I've decided to do one of my own. Here is a typical hour-by-hour day in my life!

5:30am: The alarm goes off. Sometimes I feel like snoozing, but most of the time I'm up and going because I've started going to bed around 10pm. (life-changing bed time. I suggest it.) I'm throwing on gym clothes, setting out my breakfast for when I get back from the gym, and maybe* making my bed. (this one is iffy and depends on the day)

6:00am: I arrive at the gym, turn on my Chris Tomlin Pandora channel, and run a mile or two on the tredmill. Lift some quick weights or do a couple of plank holds, and then I drive back to the house. Nothing too intense.

6:15am: I'm heating my hot tea. This morning it's one bag of Green Tea and one English Breakfast tea bag and +one pack of Stevia. I jump in the shower and then eat breakfast while my hair is drying.

7:00am: I pick up my daily devotional and have a little quiet time while I'm eating breakfast. This morning I'm reading Dashing Dish's new devotional and having a chocolate banana protein smoothie. I'm also reheating my tea.

7:40am: Checking email, folding laundry, putting on makeup.

7:50am: I'm out the door! My internship starts at 8am. Thank goodness it isn't too cold outside and I'm not scraping ice off of my car windows. Spill my tea on myself. Thank goodness I'm wearing a dark jacket.

10:00am: Now leaving from my internship and headed to classes. I check my agenda and schedule to see what classes I have while I'm on the bus...What is even today's day of the week? Oh yes. Wednesday. The MLK break through me off schedule a bit. This morning I have Fashion Merchandising. After class, I eat lunch and then I'm back on the road to my internship again.

3:15pm: Hooray! Done with classes and internship duties. Now on the way to the grab gas and head to the grocery store. What should I make for dinner tonight? Anything quick, easy, and preferably carb-loaded sounds good! A box of pasta and organic spaghetti sauce it is. I would love to cook since it is my absolute favorite thing to do, but cooking for one right now (especially during the weekdays) just isn't time-worthy. I grab a couple of cans of soup too. Soup is always good.

4:30pm: Arrive at home, make more tea (surprise, surprise!), check email. Lots and lots of email. Do some freelancing work for another job, plan some blog ideas, check FB and Twitter and Instagram. Yes, my jammies are on now.

5:30pm: Reading, reading, reading. So much to catch up on for other classes. Lots of highlighting and sticky notes. I may check Instagram, Twitter, FB, and text in between chapters. You know...read a chapter, get to check Instagram. That's studying motivation, right?

6:00pm: Dinner time. That spaghetti and pasta is everything. Usually I'd be heading to a PRSSA meeting, but they are only every other Wednesday. I love PRSSA meetings, but it is just nice to catch up on some reading while I'm eating dinner and chatting with roommates.

7:00pm: Now deciding on places to intern this summer. This is when a bit of panic sets in...what in the world am I going to be doing this summer? Should I do what I want to do or do what will be best for my career? What do I want to do with my career? What do I want to do after college? WILL I BE HIRED? OH WOW WHAT IF I don't have a job!? What if I don't love my job!? What if I don't believe in the values of the company that wants to hire me?! What if the company I want to work for doesn't want to hire me!? What if, what if, WHAT IF!?!

This is when I have to remember Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Now reading that verse over and over. These what-ifs aren't going to get the best of me today.

8:00pm: More chatting with roommates, more reading, checking things off of my to-do list, doing my weekly chore in our house (this week it is wiping down the counters-not a bad one. Thank goodness I don't have dishes duty this week!) Trying to organize some here and there. This is when I do most of my planning in my planner.

9:00pm: In bed. I may get up and pop some popcorn while I read a couple of chapters in #GirlBoss. It's a good book y'all. I probably play a few games of Trivia Crack here and there too until I fall asleep.
 

And that's pretty much a day in my shoes!

I hope your Wednesday has been wonderful. We are almost to Friday! We can do it, y'all!!!



Friday, January 16, 2015

First Pure Barre Class at Pure Barre Athens


Y'all, this past week I was able to try out my first Pure Barre fitness class at Pure Barre Athens and it was a BLAST!


At first, I was super nervous. I always feel so intimidated trying out new fitness classes! But as soon as I signed up, the Pure Barre instructors put me right as ease. I was sent an email detailing everything I would expect for my first class- what to wear, what to be prepared for, and the structure of the class:



I wore a pair of yoga leggings, a tank top, and brought a pair of socks along with me. I was told all equipment would be provided.

Here is a pre-Pure Barre selfie. I was too excited.... 


I was greeted at the door by Connie- the Athens Pure Barre owner- and our instructor for the next hour. She showed me around and told me about all the equipment we would be using. She also showed me all of the cute workout-wear you can purchase right in store.


I. wanted. it. all.

The class was high energy and the upbeat music kept me motivated from the start to the end. Connie did an amazing job encouraging us the entire class. We did lots of small, controlled body movements that BURNED.

Y'all, my abs and legs and arms and everything were on FIRE. I didn't even know that I had muscles in some of those areas. But my soreness today revealed to me that I, in fact, do have muscles in those areas.

What I loved about Pure Barre:
  • No one really cares what you look like and/or if you are doing everything right. I thought everyone was going to be a Pure Barre professional in there! But everyone was so genuine and kind!
  • I LOVED that Connie walked around and helped us with our posture and form. I LOVED knowing that I was getting the most out of my workout time.  
  • The music is incredible. I believe the best workout classes are ones where you are feeling the burn, but you totally forget you are working out. The music had me in the zone!
  • The soreness I feel today! I can feel every muscle in my body.... every step I take. And I love that! It was a good workout.  
  • Once you complete 100 classes, you get to sign the "100" Barre and join the "100 Barre club" 

How fun and motivating is this?! I definitely want to get my name up there!

My thoughts: I think you should take a Pure Barre fitness class ASAP. It is so much fun and very different from any other class I've taken before. The instructors are really encouraging and make you feel so comfortable throughout the class. It was a great workout and I'm looking forward to taking another class soon.

If you are looking to try a Pure Barre Athens class you can reach them through...
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Phone:  (706) 850-4000


Monday, January 12, 2015

Healthy, Happy New Year! {Banana Berry Beet Smoothie Recipe!}


Good Monday morning, friends!

Classes have started back and I feel that now that I know how my schedule is going to be, that I'll be checking in more often from now on!


How are your New Year's goals going? Are you still sticking to them? If you can recall my 21 New Year's Goals list, I wanted to give you a little update of how mine are going, if I'm staying on track, and goals that I still can keep working on. I also have a DELICIOUS, healthy New Year's smoothie recipe that will help keep you on track of your New Year's goals if you're hoping to be a bit healthier in 2015:

1. Have quiet time EVERY day: YES! I've been setting my alarm clock early to make sure this is a priority. I have enjoyed reading this devotional and the Message Bible each morning.
2. Blog at least twice a week: Ummmm...Not quite. But I will be from now on :)
3. Make my bed every day: YES. I've made my bed everyday. And it is a life changing habit, I tell ya! 
4. Meal plan once a week: YES. I meal plan on Sundays and dinner prep for the week ahead. It keeps impulse purchases out of site/out of mind, y'all.
5. Start a savings plan: I've started it. But this ain't easy for me, y'all. Purchasing food/eating out is my weakness. I need to continue working on this one!
6. Paint something...anything...often: Not yet. I haven't painted a thing. Hmmmph.
 7. Send Snail Mail once a week: YES! I dropped some "thank you" cards by the post yesterday :)
8. Be more SPONTANEOUS: Well, nope! I haven't done a spontaneous thing in the past few days. Should I plan ahead to be spontaneous!? hahaha. Kidding. Sort of. :)
9. Read the ENTIRE bible: Yes! I've read through John and Luke and will be reading Ruth next.
10. Put some action behind my Pinterest boards: I've pinned some more things, but haven't done any crafting or recipe-making lately. This needs to happen!
11. Visit 4 New Cities: Anyone want to go on a roadtrip? I haven't crossed any of these off my list just yet.
12. Keep up with my Etsy Shop: Adding some new items tonight and tomorrow!! The proceeds will go towards my mission trip this spring break.
13. Fall more in Love with Jesus: YES! I pray that I will continue to depend on Jesus more each day!
14. Work Out 2x a Week: YES! I make sure each day starts with quiet time and fitness. I'll be doing a blogpost on this one soon!
15. Keep my car ORGANIZED and CLEAN: I cleaned out my car a bit this weekend, but it could use a good vacuuming.
16. LOVE Selflessly: I want to work on this one this month!
17. Read a Book for Fun Once a Month: YES! I've been reading #GirlBoss and it is incredible. SO inspiring and it sucks me in for hours!
18. Learn How to Use My Camera: Ehhh, I could work on this one.
19. Memorize a Verse a Week: YES! We memorized Romans 1:16 this week using this Youtube Video. We know the handmotions and dance moves. Yes, we are really that cool. :)
20. Learn Calligraphy and Practice Lettering: Haven't started this one just yet. 
21. LISTEN more. I need to work on this one too! 

And now the recipe you've been waiting for...



Banana Berry Beet Smoothie. Is it not the prettiest smoothie you have ever seen? 

It's SO easy too. Toss a few berries, a banana, some beet juice (that gives it it's beautiful color!), and some almond milk. 



I like to have this smoothie after classes and it usually holds me over until dinner time. You need it in your life!

Best Ever Banana Beet Smoothie:

1 frozen banana
3-4 strawberries (frozen is okay!)
1/2 cup of beet juice (this comes from a can of beets you can buy at your local grocery store. add extra beets to salads)
3/4 cup of milk (I used almond milk, but regular and soy are okay!)
Drizzle of honey (to taste) 

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth. Serve with striped straw!

Enjoy friends! Hope your week is off to a great start! 








Monday, January 5, 2015

If We Were Having Coffee Right Now...


...I'd tell you that I have an hour break before my next class and I'm currently snacking on a mozzarella and basil bagel-thin sandwich I made this morning. and it is absolutely incredible.

I'd tell you the Fashion Merchandising class I just walked out of intimidates me like no other! I think the only time I've ever picked up a copy of Vogue was the few minutes of waiting time at dentist/doctor's offices. But after the 90 of us each introduced ourselves and our favorite fashion trend (I said leggings. obviously), I've decided I need a tulle skirt and more lace everything. But I'm LOVING learning about all of these trends and it's challenging me in the best of ways. I like it a lot.

I'd tell you I went to the gym very, very early this morning. & it wasn't even open yet. So that was a bit embarrassing! The workers told me it wouldn't be open for another 30 minutes. oops. But it gave me more time to soak up the quiet, still morning. And I loved every bit of that! Mornings are my love language.

And in that time, I made scones and bacon and biscuits for breakfasting with my roommates. Because I thought it would be a good way to kick off the new semester!


And who doesn't want a delicious breakfast on the first day of school? (I used THIS biscuit recipe)

I'd mention that I start my internship at Epting Events this week and I think it is a dream come true! I get to work behind the scenes at a wedding/event planning business!? I'm pretty excited.

I'd ask you if you knew that The Bachelor starts tonight and I'd invite you to our Bachelor viewing party at 8. I've already picked up the sparkling grape juice and heart-shaped chocolates. Wear  your plaid and cowgirl boots because this season takes place in Iowa, y'all :)

...and finally, I'd tell you how grateful I am for all of the thoughtful gifts from friends and family that I am still finding places for and organizing.


I have been rearranging all of my new books and I can't wait to start each and everyone of them!

Hope your Monday has been wonderful, friends!

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