December 31, 2012

Almond Pound Cake

In preparation for New Years Eve celebration, I decided to whip up some yummy dessert. Growing up my grandmother had the best Rum Cake, yet sadly I don't have the recipe.  I decided I would instead try an Almond Pound Cake. Stephen and I sampled a bit and oh. my. gah! I nearly fell over when I had the first bite. Needless to say, it might not make it til tonight. 

Warning: So good it might be hard not to consume the entire cake. 


1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
3 cups sugar

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
In the bowl of a mixer, butter and sugar together and then add sour cream. Mix the flour and baking soda together and add to the butter mixture. While mixing, add the eggs and finally add the orange and almond extracts and mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Once out of the oven, I added some whip cream and black berries.

Happy New Year's Eve!! 2013 is going to be epic!

December 30, 2012

New Year Party Decorations {DIY}

New Years Eve. Hanging out, reminiscing on the past year, and being with friends to kick off the new year right. What more could you love?!

My most memorable new years eve was spent with some college friends in Times Square. It was one of the coolest nights ever I will remember it always.

This year, were going to be more low key, but I want to help make it just as memorable - and without breaking the bank. Here are some cute ideas from Pinterest to decorate the house with and help get in the spirit!

Before packing up the tree, grab some ornaments and fill them with candy or popcorn kernels. These make the perfect noise makers to ring in the new year. You can add glitter to make it more festive.
Guests can roast marshmallows since its finally chilly outside :)

Picture via

Simple decorations around the house using construction paper and old wine corks to add a countdown.

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Keep Calm and Kiss Me at Midnight in a picture frame in the entryway.

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Gather all clocks around the house to decorate on your food table.

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Happy almost 2013! I am thankful for you all!

December 28, 2012

That Friday Blog Hop

I love the blogging world! All the ladies I have met  are encouraging and helpful with growing a blog and sharing information. I'm excited to participate today in That Friday Blog Hop.

The hosts: Rebecca @ Let Them Eat Cake and Chrissy @ A Lil' Dash Of Diva. Hop around, have fun, and find lots of fun blogs to enjoy!

So here is what we ask from all of you lovely people.

1. Follow the two hosts
2. Follow the week's special co-host
3. Grab the button, share it everywhere to spread the word

Let Them Eat Cake

Let Them Eat Cake Photobucket
Thanks ladies for hosting such a fun hop! Happy Friday!


Things that make me smile

A note pad and pen to write my to do lists....

A hot cup of tea after dinner with an English tea bag clip...

A sweet baby niece teething on my hand...

December 27, 2012

New Years Resolution

Its still shocking that Christmas is over. Seriously, this year it came and went by with just a blink of an eye. AND now were gearing up for 2013? Time really seems to fly the older I get...

I'm not one to usually make New Year Resolutions, but I do love hearing what others plan. The one's I've heard most often already are to lose weight, drink less Cokes, take more trips, volunteering, or the like. I applaud those and wish everyone luck in their resolutions!

My goal this year is simply to enjoy life. Whatever is thrown at me, I know the Lord is in control and I trust his plans. I have much to be thankful for - my husband, parents, siblings, friends, job, home, health, blog, etc. I know my 2013 resolution isn't spectacular, but I am reminded daily that life is a gift, on the good days and on the bad ones.

I'm ready for 2013 and all that it has to bring! What are your New Year Resolutions?

December 26, 2012

BirchBox Sign Up

I've been seeing a lot of blogs lately mentioning this thing called a Birchbox. Naturally, I was really curious as to what is was they were all talking about. And oh boy am I excited when I looked into it!

A Birchbox is a lot like a magazine subscription, but way better! For $10.00 a month, you get a box in the mail that is filled with beauty and lifestyle products that are high end brands. I am always tempted to run into CVS and stock up on the cool products I want, but I would break the bank if I did that.

After looking at their website for 2 seconds, I immediately signed up. I can't wait to get the confirmation email that says it's my turn!!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, we wish you a wonderful celebration of our Savior's birth. 

December 24, 2012

Christmas Sharpie Plate {DIY}

I have the cutest plate in my kitchen on display - but I wanted something festive for Christmastime.

Luckily, I had a white sqaure plate begging to be used. Inspired by a Pinterest project I found, I grabbed a Sharpie marker to create the fun Christmas dish.

Finer nail polish

Turn your oven to 350 degrees to start heating up. Make sure to wipe off your plate first and make sure it is good and dry before writing on it.

Draw. If you make a mistake use your nail polish to wipe off the blunders.

Bake your dish on 350 degree for 30 minutes. Let cool and ta da!

December 23, 2012

Liebster Award!

A special thanks to Marquis@ Simply Clarke
for nominating me for the Liebster Award!
The Rules
1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.

11 facts 
(1) I love God
(2) I  married my best friend almost a year ago
(3) I could eat cheese at every meal
(4) I am obsessed with the clothing line Jolie and Elizabeth
(5) I workout in spurts - I will exercise profusely for a month and then drop it cold turkey
(6) When I sneeze it sounds like I cough with it
(7) I wear contacts and glasses but really want eye surgery one day - oh the dream of waking up and seeing in the morning
(8) I love Monday nights because its when our small group meets
(9) I like fires during the winter and watching movie
(10) I am slow sometimes to pick up jokes
(11) I wish I were British sometimes and talk in a British accent
Marquis's Questions for Me
1.  What is your Favorite Movie?
Wow, I would have to hands down say the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. I could seriously watch that movie everyday!
2. What was your favorite vacation?
Our honeymoon to Jamaica. It was relaxing, warm and so fun to have time to relax - and on such a beautiful island too!
3. Current Favorite Song is?
Since its Christmastime, I'm going with Michael Buble's version of White Christmas. I have replayed that song on Spotify about 30 times a day!
4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Hmm, I would have to say checking cell phones when your talking to them. Makes me sad when texting is more important than having a conversation face to face. 
5. If you could be any Disney Princess, who would you be?Why?
Easy, I would be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I played Belle in high school at my performing arts studio and volunteered at a children's hospital. I think first she is the Disney princess I look most alike (brown hair, ha) and I love that she is so selfless in giving her freedom up for her dad. That is a cool chick!
6. What is your best childhood memory?
Only one?! Hmm, I had so many wonderful times with my 3 siblings, it would be impossible to pick just one. 
7. What is your most embarrassing moment? 
 I tripped recently in a meeting and pulled the phone system down with me - in front of a lot of people!
8. What is the oddest thing in your purse right now?
Is it odd to carry around a tea cup candle in my purse? You never know when you might need it. ;)
9. What is your occupation? Why?
I work for a technology company in the Human Resources department. My friend told me about the position and thought I would be a good fit. 
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I would love to live in Europe for a year or two. It would be hard to convince my husband though - he isn't too keen on overseas living. 
11. What is something most people don't know about you?
 I would like to take naps like they are going out of style. I love an afternoon nap and wish I could take one everyday. 
Now I get to nominate my favorite new blogs!
I Nominate
Heather @ For H.evans Sake
Lauren @ Simply Free
Brittany @ Myers Family
Brooke @ bits of Brooke
Carrisa @ Eskimo Kisses
Brittany @ These Happy times

My 11 Questions
1. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
2. What was your favorite vacation?
3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
5. If you could be any Disney Princess, who would you be?
6. What is your favorite music genre?
7. What is your most embarrassing moment? 
8. What is the oddest thing in your purse right now?
9. Do you have a New Year's Resolution? What is it?
10. What are your top 3 TV shows currently?
11. What is something most people don't know about you?

December 21, 2012

Things that make me smile

A beautiful poinsettia gifted to us by a friend...

A Christmas bow on the mailbox....

Our stockings that are hung by the chimney with care...

Happy Friday!

December 20, 2012

Homemade Hot Chocolate

A favorite past time of mine is to curl up next to a hot fire, watch a good movie, snuggle down with a blanket and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. Life so often seems to fly right past me and moments like these help relax.

Anyway, I digress...This past week while enjoying one of these relaxing moments,  I decided I wanted to make my own healthier/tastier version of hot chocolate. I guess in that time of chilling, I realized I was drinking pure junk. In a normal packet of instant hot chocolate the main ingredients are corn syrup, artificial flavors and some other words I cannot pronounce. I decided I was done with that cup and going to make a new one where I knew everything that was being added to it.

I grabbed 1/2 tea spoon of unsweetened cocoa, 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup and 3/4 cup of warm milk and took a sip. WOWZERS! It was delicious! I was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted. It tasted much better than the hot chocolate packets and is healthier too! Thumbs up on all accounts. I am definitely going to have to make this a daily routine in our household.

Please forgive the half empty cup of coco. I drank it down before I even thought of taking a picture! Hmmm, I might need to run make another cup of this right now....

December 19, 2012

Reindeer Cookies

I had a gloomy day at work and wanted to come home and make something that would cheer me right on up. I thought about what I wanted to make and nothing was coming to mind. Then, poof..I remembered the nutter butters that were on my desk and I knew what I wanted to create - reindeer cookies!

This was such a simple and no-stress snack I whipped up in no time. I think I am going to have to make these with my nephew and nieces over Christmas.

The other good news about this project is that there are hardly and ingredients and you don't have to bake it!

Nutter butter cookies
Classic white frosting
Mini M&M's

Zip lock bag/sandwich bag
First, I grabbed some white frosting and add it to my zip lock bag. With this new pipping bag, I clipped the bottom of the bag with scissors allowing only a tiny opening. This allows me to easily squirt the frosting where I needed it.
I took my nutter butter cookies and opened them into two halves. From there, I put a dot of frosting at the top of the cookie and one at the bottom.

Then, I took a knife and cut the pretzels into antlers. When I tried to break them apart, they crumbled - the knife was a great solution to keep the pretzels from breaking into a million pieces.

I added my pretzel antlers at the top of the cookie on top of the icing dot  and placed the other half of the cookie back on top.

Then, I put two small dollops on the top of the cookie for eyes and one at the bottom for the nose. Some of my dots for the eyes smeared together, but I figured it gave them more character anyway. Who wants perfect cookies anyhow? ;)

Lastly, I took some mini M&M's and placed them on top of the frosting. I chose blue and brown M&M's for the eyes and a read nose for each to look like Rudolph. 

I think they turned out pretty cute! They were super easy and yummy in my tummy! !

December 17, 2012

Holiday movies

I love holiday movies. I wait all year to watch them and within the span of 4 1/2 weeks leading to Christmas I cram them all in. My absolute favorite holiday movie is A White Christmas. Stephen took me on a surprise date a couple years back to the gorgeous Alabama Theatre in Birmingham to watch this movie. It was one of the best dates ever - beautifully restored theatre, a song and dance movie and my special man - can you say swoon?!

This week I'm going to head over to the Alabama to watch Elf and It's a Wonderful Life. Have to get those two in before it's to late!

Merry Christmas!

December 14, 2012

Wedding weekend for my friend!!

Today and tomorrow are going to be special because one my dear friend is getting married! My precious Kristina is a bride to be!

Kris and I go way back. Our history together started off in elementary school in Mobile where our love for beanie babies (who doesn't love these little guys) and other such cuteness sprang. We went to separate middle and high schools but became good friends again late high school at youth group. We ended up both going to Auburn University (Can I get a war eagle?!!!) where we roomed together for 3 years.

And both our jobs led us Birmingham, to roommates again right before I got married, to our engaged and married small group.

What a blessing this chick has been in my life. She has always been a constant, a loving friend, an encourager, someone who makes you have a good ole belly laugh, the BEST story teller ever, and a beautiful example of a Godly woman!
College roommates (Disclaimer: the drawn in girl is real, just not in this picture)

Dorm mates sophomore year. We went all out for Halloween! If you can't tell, I'm Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Me and Kris junior year of college at our apt. ready for a Christmas party

Birmingham Halloween 2 years ago. Only a couple of weeks after I had met Stephen.

On my wedding day. I could not have imagined it without her.
To all the brides out there, best wishes and enjoy the plannign and the day. It goes by so quickly. Enjoy those too who joyful stand next to you. They turly are the best.

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