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!