These are a few of my favorite things

I'm linking up with The Nester today for her "Favorite Things Under $30" Link Party!
Here are five of my favorite things (at the moment):

Burt's Bees mango butter lip balm ($3.00)
The regular peppermint version burns my lips, especially when it gets cold outside. But this mango one tastes yummy and keeps your lips super soft!

Silk french vanilla creamer ($2.50 at most grocery stores)
I'm mildly lactose intolerant, and trying to take milk out of my diet as often as I can. This creamer is so good, and when you put it in your coffee you can't tell the difference between it and half-n-half. I also like the coconut milk version of this...yum!

Champion sports bra from Target ($16.99)
I'm not a busty girl by any means, so this sports bra is perfect for any exercise I want to do. Yoga, lifting weights, running on the treadmill...I have this bra in 3 or 4 different colors and wear it almost every time I go work out. It's so comfortable and cute!

Bath and Body Works candles  ($19.50 but they run a 2/$20 often)
This one, creamy nutmeg, is one of my favorite scents. I also like anything that smells like I've been baking, and the lavender vanilla aromatherapy one. These candles last for a really long time and have a strong (but not overpowering) scent. 

Also from Bath and Body Works...
warm vanilla sugar body spray ($12...but you can almost always get it on sale)
This is my go-to scent almost every day. I like the way it smells, my boyfriend likes the way it smells, and I always get compliments when I wear it. Although I like wearing Juicy or Lucky for nights out, this scent is perfect for going to school or hanging out. 

That's my favorite five under $30...what are yours? Leave a comment and let me know! :)



No postings in 5 days...I'm such a slacker. But I have excuses aplenty. My boyfriend flew in last Friday and spent the weekend with my family. Then I got the sniffles (which are still pushing against me), and if I'm not at school I'm sleeping or trying to complete my final projects.

Maybe I'll think of something to write about later today or tomorrow. But until then, enjoy these pictures of adorable sleeping animals. I'm off to my next class.

(all images courtesy of Pinterest...of course)



Sorry for the lack of posting over the last couple of days...I've been enjoying my break by being lazy, cooking a lot, eating even more, and spending time with my lovely (and only a little dysfunctional) family. ;)

Of course, Thanksgiving isn't complete without sweet potatoes...
Sweet potato casserole to be exact. My dad and I are usually the only ones who eat sweet potatoes, so last year was my first year to make them for Thanksgiving. I went with the "cut them into chunks and bake them" route, and while it was yummy it just wasn't what I was looking for. This year I looked for sweet potato recipes, and found this one from "How Sweet it is" (see my post here) I used it as the springboard for this years' sweet potato casserole. Oh my goodness it was so good. I was up late last night and was still craving it at 1am! Here's how I made it
(8-10 servings)

For the sweet potato part you're gonna need:
*2 lbs sweet potatoes (that ended up being 3 medium-sized ones for me)
*1/2 cup milk
*3 tbs brown sugar
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1/2 tsp allspice
*1/2 tsp maple extract (this is optional but wow it made this taste yummy)
*1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel sweet potatoes and slice into small chunks. Boil them in a large pot until tender enough to cut with a knife (about 20 minutes). 

Let them cool, then put chunks into a bowl with the other ingredients.

 Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. You may need to use a little bit more milk to do this, but start with 1/2 cup.

Spread into an 8x8 glass dish.

For the crunchy part you're gonna need:
*1/3 cup flour
*1/3 cup oats (not quick cook)
*1/3 cup pecans, chopped into little pieces
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1 tbs brown sugar

Mix all of these ingredients together in a small bowl
Sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture in the glass dish. Top with mini marshmallows (of course!), and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Then broil it for 5 minutes, or until the marshmallows are browned on top. Remove and let cool before serving.


Sugar & Spice

Looking back, the last thing I baked was at the very beginning of this month {coconut cupcakes}. General busy-ness plus the fact that I'm trying to eat more healthy food and less junk means that the relationship with my kitchen is limited to bowls of cereal, quick stovetop meals, and hot tea. But this afternoon after class I drove back home, where I was met with a big, cozy kitchen, a fridge full of ingredients, and a mom who will need help with Thanksgiving. I get a little jittery just thinking about it...but that might be the cup of coffee I had this morning. 
Nevertheless, I seriously cannot wait to get back in the kitchen and create delicious foods for a group of people who will truly appreciate it: my family. Then my boyfriend is coming down on Friday morning, and my "brother"/bff will most likely be with us for the weekend as well. My sister's boyfriend may even stop by! And you know what that means? I get to cook more food. Eep. Here's my cooking "wish list" for this week:

Ham and cheese sliders I made and wrote about here

Homemade cranberry sauce from Martha Stewart 

Baked potato soup from The Small Things

Bacon & onion biscuits from Family Feedbag

"Light" sweet potato casserole from How Sweet it is

Hopefully some of these will be showing up this week...Yum!


Working Women

When working in the clinic, we're expected to dress in "clinic" clothes. That means no jeans, flipflops, inappropriately exposed skin, or distracting jewelry, along with a list of other "do's and dont's". Once I'm actually a speech pathologist and make real money, these are the sort of work outfits I plan on wearing. Just because you have to dress professionally doesn't mean you have to be boring! Here are three outfits to spice up your workday.





I want to dress up every day
I want to create beautiful food
I want to learn how to do new things
I want to have a stronger faith
I want to feel more connected to God
I want to go crazy
I want to stay up too late and get up early
I want to snuggle
I want to take midday naps
I want to be fit
I want to have a healthy relationship with food
I want to be unique
I want to be independent but...
I want to spend time with those I love
I want to make things
I want to try my best in school
I want to volunteer
I want to spend more time with children
I want to build relationships with my brothers & sisters in Christ


Preventing the Holiday Crazies

We are now entering the holiday season, and thing tend to get a little crazy. Between all of the cooking, spending time with family and friends, parties, eating, shopping, and the final weeks of the semester, we've all got a lot going on. 
I'm a big list maker. I like being organized, and anything that helps me put my life in order is a blessing. I'm thinking at least a few of you have to feel the same way, so here are a few freebies I've compiled to help get you through the next month or so.

First, CollegePrep is having a giveaway for a KnockKnock "Holiday Survival Kit". If you've never heard of KnockKnock, you really should check them out. They have tons of cute organizing items, from notepads to sticky notes, all with a fun flair.

Wonder Forest has a free printable Holiday Gift List to organize all of your holiday gift giving. This is a dream for my Type-A personality.
(image from WonderForest)

jessicaNdesigns has a cute gift tag printable to ensure that all the gifts you give have that extra dash of pretty. I'll definitely be printing these out to use on my Christmas presents!
(image from jessicaNdesigns)

2AllSorts made up a pretty cute elf-adorned "to-do" list. This one's pretty general, so you could use it for your groceries, gifts, or anything else! I just can't get over those adorable elves. :)
(image from 2AllSorts)

 Remember my Fall Bucket List? Here's a Winter one I found on Pinterest. I can't wait to get started on it! These activities seem a lot more do-able. Join in with me and complete some of these Winter "musts".
(Image originally pinned by Patsy Clements)

That's it for now...there will probably be another post like this before Christmas arrives...I told you I like being organized. ;)
Hope everyone had a great weekend!


Ponytail Princess

I'm usually on the run from sun-up to sun-down, so I have little time for my morning routine. I treasure those extra minutes of sleep, especially on those cold mornings when it's even more difficult to get out of bed. I at least take the time to put on makeup every morning, but rarely have time to fix my hair. Add that to the fact that I forgot my straightener AND my curling iron back at home, and you've got a lot of ponytails and messy buns. 

I long for the day when I have both the time and ability to make my hair look something like these:

I do believe part of my Thanksgiving break will be dedicated to finding quick and easy hairstyles that I can actually learn how to re-create. 
If you're like me and would rather just pull your hair back than try to (unsuccessfully) style it, I've got awesome news. Jamie at The Simple Things is having a giveaway for some pretty cute ponytail holders made by The Olive Tree. Go check it out and enter to win! 
Hope everyone has a great {hair} day! :)
Holiday Giveaway


Words to remember

This week has been ridiculously jam-packed and difficult. Final paperwork for my client, 2 tests, and a couple of papers that are due soon (as well as a few other things) have led to an overconsumption of coffee and a severe lack of sleep. So I'm sorry for not posting as much. I'm going to share some nice thoughts that helped me get through this week.

I can't wait for the day that I can honestly say this.
{all images courtesy of Pinterest}

And with that, I am off to bed. Yeah, it's only a little after 9:00. But when you haven't slept normally in like 5 days it tends to throw everything out of sync. Goodnight lovelies! 


Deck the Halls

I know it's only the middle of November. I know we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. I know it's still in the 70s (yay for Texas winter). But I still want to decorate for Christmas. I bought my very first Christmas tree from Michaels last week. It's 4 feet tall and was only $20 on sale! I just couldn't pass that up. And of course it has multicolored lights (I'm not a fan of the white ones). I will probably be setting it up this weekend before I go home for Thanksgiving break. I know some of y'all may want to shoot me right now, but what's the harm in a little bit of early holiday cheer? With the amount of work I will be facing in the last few weeks of school, I'm definitely going to need it. 

The only problem I'm facing is this: I still need ornaments to go on my tree! I bought 2 boxes of clear glass ornaments in hopes that I can transform them into something pretty. I'm just so indecisive. Should I go with a theme? A specific color? Do I want designer or homey? I'm leaning towards eclectic, but since I haven't actually bought anything yet I'm constantly changing my mind. Here are a few adorable ornaments from Pinterest that have caught my eye:

You know I couldn't get away without showing a coffee one for me (and a hockey one for the boyfriend). The best thing about these ornaments is that they would all be pretty easy to make. There are even tutorials for some of them! I know what I'll be doing to procrastinate the next couple of days...

Tell me about your Christmas tree (or trees!). Do you have a theme? Is it the same every year or do you tend to switch things up? I'd love to hear your ideas! :)

my tree and fake snow waiting patiently to be put out