Monday, September 30, 2013

{photo credit: me}

oh, hey. didn't see you there. i was too busy staring at myself in the mirror. because have you seen me today? i look fabulous. 

you know how you feel after you get a great new haircut and maybe a sassy new shirt? like a shirt with glitter letters that says something like "gonna be a star!" on it? that's how i feel. except that instead of a new haircut i got a new header and instead of glitter letters i got social media buttons. 

i really liked my blog before, but it needed a kick in the blog pants. something to give it a little oomph. nothing too drastic but i wanted a new design to create a little more cohesion and a little less patchwork quilt. 

i'm loving the result! still want to do a few tweaks here and there and maybe play around with the font a bit more, but overall i am very pleased with the new look. i keep opening up new tabs on my browser to watch it pop up on the screen. it's like playing peek-a-boo with myself. i get this silly grin on my face when i see my new header on the screen. gross. 

i can't take complete credit for this makeover even though i really want to. the wonderful people behind mlekoshiPlayground really know their stuff. thanks for your help and wonderful customer service!

like what you see? i know i do.

stuffed cookie dough brownies

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{photo credit: me}

i've been teasing you in previous posts about these brownies. honestly, i wanted to keep them all to myself. i wanted to have all the stuffed cookie dough brownies for my very own and eat them with a big spoon straight from the pan while wearing my pink bathrobe. but then i remembered, i already did that.

these brownies will change your life. they will make you believe in love again. they will soften hearts of stone and bring big, burly men to their knees. they have the power to make the lame walk.

you see, these brownies contain magical ingredients called peanut butter and chocolate. shala-kazaaam.

{photo credit: me}

cookie dough stuffed brownies


1 box betty crocker fudge brownies, prepared according to package directions for a 13×9-inch pan
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 to 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

in large bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar until creamy. stir in mini chocolate chips by hand. spread mixture atop baked brownie mixture in pan.


spread melted chocolate atop cookie dough mixture until you can no longer see any of the cookie dough. refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 30 minutes. cut into bars to serve.

for recipe source, click here

{photo credit: me}

the lovely list. part twenty.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

{photo credit: me}

fun grand opening party at gather. gather is a new coffee shop/handmade store/creative hub located in downtown cary. they offer work spaces for creative entrepreneurs and classes like block printing, sewing, branding and marketing, and many others for anyone interested in learning a new skill. such a great space. i can't wait to sign up for one of their classes!

{photo credit: me and amy}

celebrating katie and joe's wedding. katie was one of my very first friends when i moved to raleigh three and a half years ago. over the labor day holiday weekend, we got to celebrate with her as she married her fiancĂ© joe. they're both teachers and they met at the elementary school where they work. how cute is that?

{photo credit: me and amy}

taylor swift concert with amy and liz. so. much. screaming. we had an absolute blast rocking out with an arena full of tweens. no shame.

{photo credit: me}

new batch of greeting cards. i especially love the biggest fan one.

{photo credit: me}

drew holcomb and the neighbors concert with lori. it was my second time seeing them, and, once again, i was smiling during the entire show. drew and ellie win the award for cutest couple. also overheard this conversation between the two guys next to us.
first guy: "dude, she (ellie) is so hot. look at her smile."
second guy: "i knowww."
either "smile" doesn't mean what it used to mean or this guy was just that sweet and innocent. dawww.  

{photo credit: me}

road tripping with my older brother to visit our younger brother at uncg. walking around and seeing all of these tiny people made me realize how old i'm getting. oh, to be a college student again.

what's lovely, ya'll?

things i'm looking forward to

Friday, September 13, 2013

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i think it's important to have things on your calendar to look forward to. a coffee date with your best friend, a weekend trip, a new movie, or a trip to goodwill with a crisp $20 in your pocket.

anticipating a fun event gives me energy and excitement. i'm generally very happy and content with simple, daily pleasures like morning coffee, a favorite show on netflix, or even taking a new class at the gym, but sometimes life calls for something big. something to really anticipate. something that compels you to pick up a red sharpie and cross off days on your calendar.  

right now i have a few things that i am really looking forward to. 

taylor swift concert tonight. yes, taylor swift. that energetic blonde girl who sings about breakups. you know her? my roommate loves her with a capital L (as in LOOOVES), and when i saw that she was coming to raleigh, my friend liz and i jumped at the chance to surprise her with tickets. her current tour/album is red so i've got red lipstick, a bottle of sparkly red chanel nail polish and a new red mini skirt that i snagged at the gap outlets for $5. it feels like one of those nights. 

a trip to nashville next month. my friend carrie and i will be attending donald miller's storyline conference. i've been a fan of donald miller since i read blue like jazz way after everyone had read blue like jazz. i had heard a lot of good things about it, but i felt it to be pretty hyped, so i waited it out. i didn't read it until last year, but i get the hype now. it's really awesome and helped bolster some of the patches in my faith that were a little weak. the storyline conference is meant to encourage you to make your life more meaningful not just more productive. i'm excited not only to travel to nashville (never been!) but also to hopefully gain a little more perspective and direction for my path and purpose in life.

a trip to england for thanksgiving. this might just be the most exciting that has ever happened to me second only to that time i won mix cd's from a blog giveaway. long story short: my roommate is moving to england in november so my friend liz and i decided to go with her. no, not permanently (too bad), but we are planning a week-long vacation in jolly old england. our good friends ben and brian (amy's boyfriend) are currently stationed there so we will be spending time hanging with them, sight seeing, visting harry potter world, drinking at pubs, watching time pass on big ben, and hunting down prince harry because prince harry. our flight is booked so now i am saving my change in a piggy bank so i can afford a few souvenirs while i'm there. i hear it's quite pricey. 

i will most likely be flat broke at the end of all this, but in my experience, traveling and sharing moments with your friends and making memories are always well worth it. this is what savings accounts are for, right?

so, what about you? do you have things on your calendar that you're looking forward to? a fun concert or dining out at a new restaurant? visiting a friend? an art class you've signed up for? please share! i'd love to hear what you're anticipating. 

grab bag love

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

{photo credit: me}

a few weeks ago i was feeling rather sorry for myself so i sat on my couch and drank wine from the bottle and ate dessert straight from the pan that i had baked it in and watched an awesome movie and shopped online. 

total therapy. 

this is what i bought. 

grab bag love. it's the same idea as birchbox or umba box where you pay a little money and you get a sweet package full of goodies delivered straight to your doorstep. in my sugar induced frenzy i decided that i had to have one for myself. 

i browsed through the variety of bags you could choose from. 

1. some sort of health nut bag. think kale chips and chai seeds. yeeeah, nope. (i would like to point out that they now have a junk food bag filled with things like gummy bears and chocolate truffles. where was that when i needed it?)

2. a domestic goddess bag. considered it for a moment. then looked down at the pan of dessert that i was shoveling into my mouth with a wooden stirring spoon. neeext. 

3. the original grab bag. original is a pretty safe word. this i could handle.  

here's what was inside. treats. treats for me. 

{photo credit: me}

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oh, how i do love new trilly trollies. i'm really excited about the stationery. the bag is pretty awesome, too. canvas totes manage to pull off that whole "casual chic" look that i, personally, will never be able to master. (black yoga pants and a long sleeve tee is an outfit, ok?) at least my bag will look good when i'm schlepping down the street. and my face if i start using those little skin care jars. but they're so cute i may just line them up on my bathroom counter and look at them.

grab bag love is what's up. go buy one even if you're not in need of retail therapy. 

september mix

Saturday, September 7, 2013

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hello, september! i just got a little thrill from writing that. september. that word just rolls off my keyboard. 

september is a big deal. and i don't mean because the pumpkin spice latte is back. which is pretty cool if you're into that sort of thing. pumpkin flavors and steamed milk and whipped cream and all that nonsense. (just messing, i'm into it). 

september is a big deal because this means that i have won the war. i have made it through summer. i have sweated and melted and withered my way through the dark months of humidity. i have submerged myself in enough pools and sat in enough cool, dark movie theaters and waited out enough days in my frigid apartment and now, like a miracle from on high, september is here. 

it's still pretty toasty, but we have had some beautiful glimpses of the upcoming season. on a few mornings, i have walked out to my car and felt a cool breeze. heavens above, a breeze! 

and i even wore a sweatshirt outside last night. well, i put on a lightweight, 3/4 sleeve sweatshirt, and i sat on my porch very still after the sun had set. but it still counts. 

oh, september. i could just burst. but instead i will settle for music. 
here's to you, beginning of fall! here's to you. 

september mix

skip the charades : cold war kids

love don't go : the family crest

as i am : paper bird

don't give up : way yes

bravado : lorde

red hands : walk off the earth

i think i like you : david ramirez

nuvole bianche : ludovico einaudi

to build a home : the cinematic orchestra

i want you so bad : OK go

happy september!

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