Thursday, November 15, 2018

Try It Thursday: Spice Bundt Cake

I'm sharing another tried and true recipe today!
This one is from a cake I made for my mom's birthday. 
We had been away for a wedding the night before, so I knew my parents wouldn't be back in town until later. 
I wanted to make something for her, so I opted for a spice cake since that's her favorite!

It's simple and easy and tastes delicious in the end!

Items Needed for Cake:
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
Ingredients on Cake Box plus 1 Egg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Items Needed for Glaze:
1 C. Brown Sugar
1.2 C. Heavy Cream
4 Tbsp. Butter, cubed
1 C. Powdered Sugar
1.4 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1. Mix cake mix and spices together.
2. Add ingredients on the cake box plus extra egg and beat on low for 1 minute.
Change speed to medium and mix for 2 more minutes.
3. Pour batter into greased bundt cake pan.
4. Bake according to package.
5. Let cake cool for 10 minutes
6. Invert and let finish cooling.

7. In saucepan, combine brown sugar, cream and butter.
8. Stir over low heat until butter is melted.
9. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil while stirring. Boil for 3 minutes, and then remove from heat.
10. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla.
11. Stir until smooth and drizzle over cooled cake.

*Credit to Chocolate, Chocolate and more for this awesome recipe!

This recipe was so light and sweet!
I wanted to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Enjoy it with a nice glass of milk!

Monday, November 12, 2018

What's Been Happening

Hey There!
It's been a super busy October! 
I always feel like I'm going strong in the blog world and then one thing pops up and soon it's another thing and then it's a few weeks and I haven't made a single post!!

We started out October in NYC!
It was Fair Break, so we enjoyed an extended weekend in the Big Apple. 

A few weeks later I headed to D.C. with our 8th graders!
It always seems like it's a great idea to go as a chaperone, and then by the third day I remember why I have second thoughts every year!
This year was eventful, and not so much in a good way. 
We were busy as chaperones!

After getting back from D.C. I recovered a bit before heading off to see my favorite team play!
My dad, brother and I headed to Pittsburgh to watch our team take on the Cleveland Browns!

I was back home for a few days before heading to the amazing Business Boutique in Nashville!
What an inspiring and motivating conference!
I loved this so much!

We are back home and enjoying life in the village. 
All this being on the go, or maybe it's just life as a teacher has me down with a cold. 
I spent the weekend catching up on grading, watching Hallmark movies and more Hallmark movies and enjoying relaxing on the couch for once. 

I'm hoping to share more about our travels and some great fall recipes when I get a chance to get all caught up!
Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Workout Wednesday: 30 Minutes Full Body Workout to Burn Calories!

Today I have another great workout for you that only takes 30 minutes including a warm-up and cool-down.

It's from PopSugar Fitness.
I've really grown to love these videos over the summer.
I used to be a huge fan of Jillian Michaels, but they took her videos off of YouTube, so now I'm Team Anna!

It starts with a 10 minute warm up to stretch and get your muscles moving.
Then, you do three circuits.
Each circuit has three moves and you do each of them twice.
You go through the circuit once and then repeat it and move on to the next circuit.
You end with 2-3 minutes of stretching.

I love that you don't get too bored with these moves because you are moving on to the next move before you have time to get bored, and then you get to come back to it again for the second time around in case you were struggling with it or didn't get to master it on the first time around.

My favorite circuit is the second one.
I love the V-ups and side to side jumps!

When you're done, you will be wringing wet and feeling good!
Try it out!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Favorites:Travel, Greenery, Cakes, Teacher Memes

Happy Friday!
It's a Friday Favorites kind of day!

As always, I'm linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea
We're sharing our favorites from the week.
Grab their graphic and linkup with your favorites from the week, too.

Travel Meme

One of my co-workers sent this to me over the weekend!
I laughed and couldn't agree more!
So many of my friends have either had a baby or are having their second baby.
One co-worker just announced she was pregnant and here I am determining where we will vacation to next year!

Image result for people are having babies and i'm like which country will i visit next

I love children, but I'm just not ready quite yet. 
I don't want to look back and say "Wow, I wish we would have done that!"
Trying to live with no regrets, so that means being an older parent, and coincidentally enough my parents were older parents. 
I'm a-okay with it!

Winter Wreaths/Garland

I'm looking for some outdoor wreaths/garland. 
I've found a few options that I like but still can't decide which one is my favorite.
Take a look and let me know which one is your favorite!

Mountain Meadow

White Berry Cypress

They're all from Balsam Hill.
I've heard of and seen Balsam Hill before, but I was reminded of it yet again while I was watching Hallmark movies over the weekend.
I'm totally open to a different brand, but here's my worry.
I've seen and attempted to buy, even bought other pine products in the past and they show up and look super fake!
I want something that looks real and is of good quality!
If you know another brand that falls into that category, please let me know!!

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

This was a busy baking week in our kitchen. 
I needed to make two cakes for a church dinner on Wednesday, so I thought why not make something for the 8th grade team meeting that I would be hosting in my room that day as well. 
I ended up with Snickerdoodle cupcakes (from Shay's bundt cake book) for the team meeting because it's much easier to grab something and eat in a school setting than it is to sit and eat with a fork. 

From there I decided to make the same cake recipe but in bundt cake form for church, along with a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. 
It was a busy night baking, but it's always worth it!

Outfit of the Day

It was 31 degrees when I left the house on Thursday. 
It's crazy that a week ago it was in the 80's and I was still wearing sleeveless tops. 
On this morning I wore a jacket and booties for the first time this fall. 
I snapped this picture and sent it to my cousin who bought these cute booties for me. 
They are the brand Thursday, so I had to share that I was wearing my Thursday's on Thursday!

Many of hours and a hot mess later here is the same outfit without the jacket!

Teacher Memes

Every week we have a team meeting in one of the teacher's on our team's room. 
We rotate and each take turns hosting the meeting, which means preparing the agenda, hosting the meeting in your classroom, and running the discussion of the meeting. 
Each week the agenda includes two teacher memes. 
I really loved finding this one earlier in the week. 
It makes me smile and laugh at the same time, and if you're a teacher, you know it's TRUE!

We are looking to have a somewhat rainy weekend, so I think we are going to try to make the most of this evening and get yard work done and enjoy the outdoors. 
I'm hoping to get out all of my winter clothes on Saturday and organize and put away summer clothes. 
I have a pile of essays to grade, and I'm currently off to a professional day of meetings and fun teacher-stuff!

Monday, October 15, 2018

NYC Days Two-Three: 2018

We had a long day on Saturday in the city, so we opted to stay in bed a bit longer and didn't make it back into Manhattan until around noon. 

If you missed my Day One post, check it out here!

It was noon and we had just eaten breakfast, but we were already hungry, so when we saw an ice cream truck, we were all in!

Enjoying our ice cream on a warm September Sunday in the Financial District!

We meandered around, enjoying the beautiful day and scenery, and then headed up to 42nd Street to hop on the Big Bus for an Upper Central Park tour.

We rode up Eighth Avenue and around Harlem and then down Fifth Avenue. 
We opted to get off at the intersection of 104th Street and Fifth Avenue because we hadn't ever walked the park that far north. 

We got off and found a sanctuary garden. 
It was beautiful, quiet and stunning!

We walked south until we made it to the reservoir. 
We walked around it and then decided to stop and grab a hot dog for a snack.

We just finished our hot dogs and were walking behind the Art Museum, which we hadn't been to before when I looked up and saw three familiar faces.
I'd never seen these faces in real life, so I stopped and looked again, and then when she spoke I knew it was actually them!
Kelly Ripa!
Be still my heart!
At this point Alex had no idea that she was right beside us. 
I didn't want to act like a crazy person, so I waited a bit longer and then said "It's Kelly Ripa and her kids-Joaquin and Lola and their dog-Chewy!"
I'm sure some people would have rushed right up to her, but I didn't have the heart to disturb their Sunday walk through the park. 
Just a family enjoying some family time!

We walked back down through Central Park and then headed to Union Square to meet up with Alex's sister and her boyfriend.
We ate at Max Brenner's Chocolate Shop. 
I had the macaroni and cheese and yummy!

For dessert we tried the tiramisu!

We were going to head back down to lower Manhattan to head back to our hotel since we needed to be up super early the next morning. 
On our way we stopped in SoHo at Georgetown Cupcakes!

The next morning we were up bright and early, just like we were headed to work, only we headed to the Today Show!
We were in a rush and for some reason I didn't bring my wand cover, so I actually forgot my wand at the hotel and we had to swing back by to pick it up on our way home.

We made it, went through metal detectors, got our Today badge and found our spot!

I read that you had more of a chance to meet co-hosts if you stood on the 49th Street side. 
We did just that. 

We got to see Al Roker and shake his hand and then just missed out on Hoda, but we did get to see an interview that she and Savannah did with the founder of a Breast Cancer organization. 

I was standing at the perfect spot to make eye contact with Hoda as they were doing the interview! :)

At the end of the show we went behind Studio 1A to see them inside.
We saw Savannah checking her phone and Hoda waved at us!
What a fast paced job. 
I can't imagine this is life for them every. single. day!

From the Today Show we headed back up to Central Park because it's our favorite area. 
We strolled around and stopped at The Smith to eat. 
It was still breakfast, so I had scrambled eggs, hash browns and some greens. 
We sat outside, and it was all so delicious!

Even though we could have stayed in Central Park forever, we took one last stroll and headed for home!

Central Park will forever be one of my favorite places!
I went there for the first time on a red-eye bus tour when I was a freshman in high school.
I think the first time you ever see the city is the most magical time, but I love going back again and again!
Next year I am excited because I think we might stay in the city!
I'm already narrowing down our hotel search to find the best place for us!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

NYC Day One: 2018

Hello Staten Island Ferry!
Our recent trip to NYC might have been our best one yet!
The really fun part about this is we almost didn't go!
I felt like there were so many things for us to do at home, but we went away because we're only young once, so might as well do it as we can!

I woke up bright and early to get ready for the Saturday taping of the Today Show. 
Last year we got ready and trekked into the city only to find out that they weren't taping that day!
Of. All. Days.
This year I was smart enough to check the TV Guide when I got up. 
There was a golf tournament instead of the Today Show, so I went back to bed and enjoyed my four more hours of sleep!

We got up on Saturday, ate breakfast at the hotel and then left for the city. 
Here we are aboard the Staten Island Ferry, ready to head for Manhattan!

It's always good to see Manhattan for the first time!

We walked around the lower-east side of Manhattan. 
It is so pretty and family-friendly. 
I always tell Alex that if I lived in Manhattan that this is where I would live!

We stopped at Brookfield Place for a cupcake!
Oh my delicious! 
This was my favorite dessert all trip!
So moist and yummy!

We sat down to eat my cupcake and saw that there was yoga going on. 
How neat to have yoga right there looking out at the water and they even have headsets to hear the instructor!

I really have no idea what this is called, but it was a grassy knoll and looked out of place, so we went up it.

We walked and walked and walked and enjoyed the beautiful morning and ended up at the High Line. 
We got on up top and walked for a bit and then headed to Chelsea Market.

From Chelsea Market we headed to Little Italy for lunch.
We ate at Da Nico's. 
We've eaten there before and loved it, so we returned. 

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so we sat outside. 

The fettuccine alfredo was excellent!
I'm not sure what the seasoning was, but Alex said it reminded him of what his great-grandma used to make. 

 Complimentary zeppole for dessert!

 From there we headed to Times Square and decided to buy tickets for a bus tour. 
It was good for 48 hours, so we thought we would see a bit of the city that we've never seen before. 

There wasn't that much time in-between, but we thought we should eat something before the bus tour. 
We headed to Connolly's for dinner.
This also allowed Alex to watch a little college football, so he was pumped about my pick.

Fish and chips for the win!

We headed down to catch the 7 o'clock bus but ended up standing in line for about an hour. 

We chose to sit in the back and were ready to go!

 Here we are in Brooklyn looking back at the city!

Freedom Tower!

We then headed up to the 86th floor atop the Empire State Building. 
It was such a beautiful night!
I highly recommend going to the Empire State Building at night. 
The money was so worth it!
Alex could have stayed for hours!

And that was Day One. 
I really thought we wouldn't stay in the city that long. 
I brought school work to do and thought we would get back in time to relax and do some of it each night. 
On this night I think I went to bed around 2 and that was just getting back to our room and showering, no school work!
The city is so fun and busy and there's never a lack of things to do.