Monday, October 31, 2011

{life} parents weekend is the best kind of weekend.

I love, love, love Parents Weekend in Tallahassee.

Last year my parents were on a plane for their two week anniversary trip in the south of France and the south of Spain during parents weekend. Needless to say, I made sure they came this year!!

It was so much fun taking my mom and dad around Tallahassee and southern GA. FSU shutout NC State and it was cool enough to wear my boots - a perfect weekend if you ask me. :)

Here are some pictures from all of the festivities - 

BBQ, bonfire, and beer at Kelsey, Ashleigh, and Amanda's place!

Mother's Pinning Ceremony at the house.

I hope that y'all had a great weekend too. :)

PS. Happy Halloween!
PPS. Happy 29th anniversary Mom and Dad!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{blog love} fill-in the blank friday

Linking up with Lauren from The Little Things We Do today!

1.   When I was a kid I wanted to be a prima ballerina  when I grew up.

2.   As an adult, my dream job would be  a travel channel or food network show host. (What I am realistically setting out to be is a school counselor.)

3.  W hen I was younger I wanted to be just like  my mom   .

4. The childhood Halloween costume that I remember most was when I was a pumpkin and my best friend was Jasmine. (See below!)

5.  My favorite childhood toy was   BARBIE! I could sit for hours by myself or with my friends playing with Barbie and friends.

6.  The time I got into the biggest amount of trouble when I was a kid was when I    Um... I can't remember. I listened to my parents so I didn't get in trouble too often.

7.  I get daily inspiration from   bloggers and Pinterest!

Pumpkin & Jasmine :)
Circa 1996?
Happy Halloween weekend friends!
My parents are coming into town this weekend for the Parents Weekend game.
They should be here in a few hours. Can't wait. :)

Make sure you link up with Lauren!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{recipe} pumpkin cheesecake bars

Oh my.

What is it with me and cheesecake?
Every time I see a recipe for it all I want to do is run out to the store and buy cream cheese.

I think I might need to go to pumpkin rehab soon.
Yes, those are indeed pumpkin spice hershey's kisses and pumpkin candy corn on the plate with those cheesecake squares - pumpkin cheesecake squares.

I really have no words to describe how delicious they are.
I can't wait to make these for Thanksgiving!


for the cheesecake:
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature (2 1/2 8oz boxes)

for graham cracker crust:
  • 18 graham crackers (2 sleeves)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar

*whipped cream to top - I used the whipped cream from the can. Oh so easy.

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl crush graham crackers with your hands. Add sugar and butter and mix well. Press graham cracker crumbs onto a lined (parchment paper or silpat) jelly roll pan. Bake for 5 minutes until toasty. Remove and reduce oven temperature to 325.
  3. Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream and vanilla in a large bowl.
  4. In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger. Beat until light and fluffy then slowly pour in pumpkin mixture. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Pour batter onto baked crust and bake for 50 minutes until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let cool completely before cutting into small squares and topping with whipped cream.

Don't be surprised if you get lots of requests from friends to come over after you make these.
Just sayin'.

Monday, October 24, 2011

{life} tailgates, football, and pumpkins - oh my!

Four of my girlfriends came into town this weekend! I haven't seen two of them in over a year so it was a wonderful time catching up. The best part is that we all completely picked up where we left off... and chatted about our future reunions. We decided that we will be going to the tropics... and to wine country... and to the mountains.  Um. We better all get rich soon!

At happy hour with my grand-little and great-grand-little!

It was a home game weekend against Maryland. 
Some of us didn't had football tickets so we just tailgated and skipped the game.

Looove Deirdre!

Roomies tailgating!

Luckily, two of my friends didn't have to leave Tallahassee until today so yesterday we had all day to get brunch, go to a pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, and drink cider. :)

This pumpkin was so crazy looking!
Woody and Jessie!

We did our initials :)

It was so nice seeing all of our friends this weekend.

I hope that y'all have a great week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

{fashion} OOTD - interview attire.

Quick OOTD post today! 
I have to study for clase de espanol now. :(

Shirt: Lilly Pulitzer - on sale at Dillards
Skirt: Merona - clearance rack at Target
Wedges: Mossimo Supply Company - Target
Outfit worn to... an interview, Wells-Fargo, and Publix.

Have a great day!
It is almost FRIDAY! :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{fashion} OOTD + Fall Fashion

Yesterday, a very peculiar thing happened. I was laying in bed trying to take a nap when all of a sudden ideas for outfits started flashing through my mind.  I blame you Pinterest.

I have never been an incredibly fashion-forward person in the past. My style has changed a great bit since going to college but I always find that I never have enough accessories to really make an outfit special. Pinterest exacerbates that feeling.

Here are a few of my favorite fashion pins -

Love the color in this.
Wonderful date night outfit.
Perfect for a night out during fall.
Casual, comfy, cute.

Obsessed with the jewelry.

I want loafer heeels!
Perfect layering.

Fall fashion is my favorite. There are so many more layering and jewelry options to choose from.

Here is what I wore today.
It is another Myspace-esque picture. Sorry about it.

Sweater: Ralph Lauren - TJMAXX
Tank: Mossimo - Target
Jeans: Citizens of Humanity - Nordstrom
Boots: Ciao Bella - DSW
Watch: from a Tallahassee boutique
Bracelet: Gift - from a Cincinnati boutique
Earrings: Gift - Brighton
Outfit worn to.... class and a Teach for America meeting.

I did my hair again using the no-heat technique. It didn't get quite as curly this time. 
I think it is because I washed it and let it dry right before twisting it around the headband.

PS. Today is the first day it has gotten legitimately chilly. So happy! :)

Have a great day friends!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

{recipe} giant M&Mookies

Oh yes.

I am on a cookie obsession kick.

Remember how I said I used to hate baking?

Well, I take it back now. But only if we're talking cookies (1) (2) (3) or cheesecake.
Oh, and banana bread
Cake? Cupcakes? Normal bread?
I'm still scared of you.

Cookies are so cute and easy and delicious.

I made these twice within one week.

I gave one batch to my newly added great-grandlittle, Kelsey.
The other batch was mailed in a care package to my far, far away boyfriend in NYC.
He received them in the mail on Friday.
They were gone by Sunday.

Boyfriend approved means they have to be GOOD.

Try them out. But you better make sure you save a few for yourself before sending them on their merry way out of your kitchen. I totally confess to eating a million one over the sink while they were still warm and gooey from the oven. YUM.

I think I will add more candy pieces to these cookies the next time I make them.
You know, like this week?
You have been warned roommates.

Giant M&M Cookies
Recipe credit to my favorite food blogger, Jessica, from How Sweet It Is!


  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup m&m’s (or something else that you love) 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined (and look like the first picture above). Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. Fold in the m&m’s.
  3. Divide the dough how you choose (1/4 cup portions for 18 large cookies or 2 tablespoon portions for 36 smaller cookies). Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and then squish both halves together. Place the dough rough-side up on a baking sheets. If you’re doing large cookies, I’d leave about 2 inches in between each.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes (large cookies) or 8-12 minutes (small cookies) or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool completely then dig in!
I made the "small cookies" and they were still huge. It didn't make 36 cookies for me. More like 21 both times I made the recipe. I'm not sure how I always manage to mess up the numbers.

I think I might buy Halloween-themed candy pieces to put in the next batch I make.
I love Fall.

PS. Does anyone watch the show Revenge? I thought the previews for it looked really cheesy but then my roommates and I watched all four episodes on-demand on Sunday. We are OBSESSED.
And the must-watch shows list grows even more....

xo, Jen

Monday, October 17, 2011

{beauty} no-heat curly hair: it works!

My hair does not like to hold curl.


It is the type of hair that falls out on the right side of my head (that I just curled) before I even finish curling the left side.  It doesn't help that I live in Florida. Humidity + resistance to curl in the first place = sad, sad me. It also takes me forevaaaa to curl it. I have long, fairly thick hair so I am looking at around 45 minutes spent to end up with just plain wavy hair. 

Exhibit A:

My hair was curly as can be before I stepped outside.

I have seen a lot of "time saving & no heat" tutorials floating around the blog world recently and was quite intrigued.

Particularly by this video: 

I thought to myself, I have a headband that will work perfectly for this!
And I usually watch TV for a bit before going to bed... might as well make that time useful and style my hair for the next day!

Here is another tutorial - in pictures this time:

IT WORKS FOR REAL! I tried it last night.

Sorry for the creepy Myspace-esque picture and my messy room. It was 7:20 AM. :(

You get the picture?!

I pinned my hair into a half-up / half-down style this morning because the curls were really intense and I didn't have enough time to completely work them the way I wanted.

I love this method though! My hair is still pretty curly (8 hours later) & it was a really fast way to look more polished in the morning. Yay for finally dressing like a real person for class and for not automatically grabbing a hat, t-shirt, and Nike shorts. (Give me a tiny break? I have 8 AMs everyday!) I really think that I will use this no-heat curl method more often. :)

By the way, I was awake by 7 AM and out the door (dressed, makeup, hair, and coffee) by 7:30.

Time saver extraordinaire. 

Have you tried a no-heat curling method before?

xx, Jen

{recipe} warm quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash


I'm guest posting today at Melissa's blog - A Flower Child in the City.

It looks kind of scary.

It tastes delicious.

Leave Melissa some love and tell her you found her blog through mine. :)

xo, Jen

Sunday, October 16, 2011

{life} a day in pictures - fall festivals

Pumpkinfest in Havana, FL

A Christmas tree farm in Havana, FL?

North Florida Wine & Food Festival at Doak Campbell Stadium

I ran into my sorority sisters, Erika and Meghan!

I hope you had a great weekend!