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!


Where the Heck I've Been...

Happy AUGUST 29th, my friends!

Can someone please explain to me where August went? I can't quite believe that September is just a mere 3 days away...and that my last post was exactly one month ago on July 29th.

My blogging always tends to slow down in the summertime, but I hadn't intended to take a month long hiatus.

What's been keeping me from this space, you  might ask?

Well I do have 3 pretty good excuses: I'll share a little bit of what I've been up to...


Those of you that follow along on Instagram, know that we got this little black beauty in mid-July and she has completely captured our hearts! Yes, I have become that crazy puppy mom, and I wouldn't have it any other way. She is spunky, smart, and a huge snuggle bunny! That being said, her presence also resulted in a month long running hiatus. I mean, how could you possibly expect me to run, when that time could be spent with this sweet thing? I did get back on track with my running last week. Now to get back on the barre and blogging wagon! Be on the look-out for a big Millie post coming soon....I've got a lot of photos to dump, y'all!


In addition to a long weekend in Charleston for a bachelorette party, we also spent a week in Orlando with my family. Throw in some weekend trips, and we've been on the go non-stop! Can't wait to share our Florida adventures with you! Maybe I'll make a goal to have them posted by the end of September!? 

A NEW JOB...again!

As if getting a new puppy wasn't enough excitement for one summer, I also decided to get a new job! I start today! Before jumping into talking about my new role, I must acknowledge that this move is bittersweet, as I am leaving behind an important mission, and some pretty amazing people! I was overwhelmed last week, when my coworkers presented me with the incredibly thoughtful gift pictured above. A 1940s Austrian oyster plate to add to our collection (signed on the back by all my coworkers). To top it off, I received four vintage-Richmond cards full of well-wishes, with a special board that I can use to display them as art, as well. The gift brought tears to my eyes and I will treasure it always. It's amazing the mark people can make on you in just one year! 

Now onto the new adventure: As y'all know from a slew of posts last summer, I left my teaching career about a year ago and joined the non-profit development (aka FUNdraising) space. Though I do miss working with kiddies every day, the decision to leave teaching was one of the best of my life. I have been so much happier this last year, and love that I'm still in a career where I truly know I am making a difference. At the very beginning of the summer, a friend reached out sharing a job description with a message saying "I know you aren't looking, but this position sounds perfect for you!" I hemmed and hawwed for about a week before deciding to apply. Though happy in my last position, I always knew that I would need a broader position next to make my experience more well-rounded. I hadn't intended to seek that new position quite so soon, but decided that I had nothing to lose by trying. I am excited to be starting this new adventure, working for an organization that directly serves kids. It's also the next best step in terms of experience. Whereas in my former position, I was working with mostly a portfolio of corporate partners, I will now work with a portfolio of individual donors, gain event experience, create a junior board, and more. It is the perfect next step towards achieving my ultimate career goals! Wish me luck!

Do these excuses make up for the serious lack of blogging?

I am certainly hoping that my next post won't be on September 29th! I'll aim for at least one post next week!

What have y'all been up to?

Good summer?

Have a great day!