Austin Recommendations, Please!

Happy Monday readers!

Did you have a good weekend?

Ours was wonderful!

Friday night, we had two fun couples over for dinner, and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning with them talking and laughing. Saturday was low key. We went to see a movie with my dad and got an early dinner; and yesterday, we headed over to some of our best friends' parents' house for an oyster roast! I wish I could rewind a few days and do it all over again!

Today, I'm reaching out asking for your help.

Whenever I travel, I find myself heading to the blog to ask you all for tips. In fact, many of our trips, have almost been entirely planned via blog comments!

We're headed to Austin shortly to celebrate the wedding of one of Bryce's best friends from VMI.

To give you an idea of the "free" time we have to fill:  We'll have about half a day once our flight arrives to get settled and maybe grab a bite to eat before getting ready for the rehearsal. The next day, I'll have about half a day to myself while Bryce attends to groomsman's duties. I definitely plan to stop by the Katie Kime flagship store. What other spots should I visit downtown? Good shops? Somewhere I could grab a solo lunch? Then, post-wedding, we'll have about a day and a half to explore and do all things Austin: Where should we go for brunch these days? What about for a fancy date-night dinner? Any "attractions" we should fit in? We're staying right in downtown.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Have a great day!


Pumpkin Poke Cake

Happy Hump Day readers!

I'm trying so hard to get back into the groove of regular blogging, but life has just been crazy!

Today, however, I do have a fun fall recipe to share with you.

I have to admit...I'm not obsessed with all things pumpkin (gasp!). I love to indulge in pumpkin bread or muffins this time of year, but I certainly wouldn't fall into the basic pumpkin-crazed category.

That being said, a few weeks ago,  I hosted a potluck happy hour with some of my old work friends, and decided to make a pumpkin treat for admittedly basic former co-worker Emily, and, it was good enough to share here. The pumpkin obsessed in the group, even all indulged in seconds.

Pumpkin Poke Cake 
(recipe credit: Something Swanky)

1 box yellow cake mix
14 oz pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (I didn't know what this was, but referenced this recipe)
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz tub Cool Whip
1/2 bag Heath bits
Caramel Sundae Sauce (I opted for a salted caramel version)
Chocolate Syrup (This was my own personal addition to the recipe)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together dry cake mix and pumpkin puree: Do not add additional cake ingredients listed on the box. I also added a bit of water to the batter in this step, to smooth the consistency.

Pour batter in well-greased 9x9 baking dish (I used a pretty scalloped pie dish for presentation.)

Bake at 350F for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cake cool completely.

Using the bottom of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the top of the cake.

Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the cake, aiming to fill the holes.

Refrigerate cake for 60 minutes to allow the condensed milk to soak into cake. (I let my cake soak overnight, as I was baking late and needed to go to bed!)

Spread the Cool Whip over the top of the cake. Drizzle caramel sauce and chocolate syrup over Cool Whip. Sprinkle Heath bits on top.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight. (I iced in the morning before work, so it refrigerated approximately 10 hours before serving!)


Are you a pumpkin fanatic?

What are some of your favorite fall recipes?

Have a great day!


Etsy Love: The First Snow

Happy Hump Day readers!

How is your week going?

Mine is jam packed and super busy, which makes it equally exhausting and fast.

I have a big work event tonight, and am hoping things will slow down for a bit from here.

Today I have a new Etsy find to share with you: The First Snow.

I just stumbled upon this shop, and it is pure perfection--such a find, in fact, that I almost want to keep it all to myself; but alas, I will share with you, friends!

The First Snow is based in Denver, Colorado and has the sweetest selection of paper goods.

I'll let the products do the talking...

How darling is this bunny in a flower crown?

But wait, there's an owl too...and it's equally adorable!

If you're in the market for birthday cards, they have lots of great options:

Also love this swan one!

I feel like this one has a bit of a vintage feel.

If this birthday girl paper doll isn't fab, I don't know what is!

This paper doll is equally as wonderful for the gardening gal in your life
...for her birthday, or, just because.

These next two are perfect for the ones you love most:

I would put this in a frame...actually, I'd frame all of these cards.
First Snow gallery wall, anyone?

This foxy card packs just the right amount of sass, don't cha think?

And finally, ready or not, Christmas is right around the corner!

Have you shopped The First Snow before?

What's are your favorite sources for beautiful paper goods?

Have a great day!


Five on Friday

Happy Friday readers!

Is it just me, or has this week felt like the longest ever?

It has been raining here pretty much nonstop since Monday night which has certainly put a damper on things...it looks like the weekend ahead should be clear, though!

Today I'm linking up with the lovely Five on Friday ladies!

The cover of this month's House Beautiful

If the weather doesn't take a turn for the better and things stay gloomy outside, I wouldn't mind curling up with this latest issue of House Beautiful! That kitchen...mega swoon! I majorly need that island in my life...and those pendants. Speaking of kitchens, Bryce finally agreed to paint our cabinets white, something I've dreamed of for years! As long as I agree to keep our front door black, he's okay with us doing the interior painting projects I've been wanting for quite some time! I'm not sure how quickly we'll get around to it, as the house needs a few other things worked on first, but I am documenting it here as proof to hold him accountable to our agreement! 

Chris Stapleton

Last week we were listening to Van Morrison radio while cooking dinner, and the station was killing it! Several Chris Stapleton songs played during the course of the evening and I think he now counts as my new music obsession. Are you a fan?

Fall Fashion

I am seriously struggling with the fact that fall weather isn't quite here yet. It finally feels cool enough today that I'm wearing my riding boots. On my fall wish list this year is: a plaid, non-blanket, scarf, a cream colored Patagonia vest, and some trendy clogs! What's on yours?

Ultimate Fall Salad

Since starting my new job, I've been eating more salads. I pack my lunch most days, rather than going out or home, and have been trying to make big salads that I can eat throughout the week. I am dying to make this Ultimate Fall Salad with kale, butternut squash, and farro! I think some crispy prosciutto would also be a great addition! What are your favorite salads that stay good throughout the week?

This Photo

Credit: J&D Photography

How gorgeous is this sneak peek of my UVA bestie Anna's wedding!? I can't wait for all the pics to be revealed in the next few months! Standing by her side all weekend was so special and it was an incredible weekend! I can't wait to share more details with you!

What's on your mind this Friday?

Fun weekend plans?

Does it feel like fall where you are?

Have a great weekend!


Curb Appeal: Doormats

Happy Monday friends!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

Mine was just about perfect! Bryce was traveling, which I typically hate during the weekends, but this weekend, I enjoyed having some "me" time. We've been going, going, going for the last month or so, and I didn't realize just how badly I needed to recharge!

During my recharge, I found myself extra inspired. The start of fall, or perhaps just finding time to "stop," got my creative juices flowing and I'm excited to say that I have a list of about 10 blog post ideas ready for the coming weeks!

Today's post is all about curb appeal. It should come as no surprise to my seasoned readers that I love driving around looking at houses. I could spend an entire day, just driving around my favorite Richmond neighborhoods, admiring the homes. Aside from architecture, what really makes a home stand out is it's curb appeal. Those exterior details that beg you to come in.

I spent a little time working on our fall curb appeal yesterday and am smitten with the results!

Millie likes the new fall decor, too!

Recently when thinking about curb appeal, some favorite Instagrammers (I'm talking to you DiffMiller and Mrs.AndreaLee) have been majorly putting fun doormats on my radar!

When it comes to doormats, I'm partial to coir, and thought I would round up some of my recent favorites!

(our current doormat)

(see DiffMiller's here)

(see Mrs.AndreaLee's here)

And in honor of Halloween being right around the corner...

How do you add curb appeal to your home?

Have you pulled out your Fall decor yet?

Have a great day!