Thursday, October 31, 2013


Do y'all know what that is? It's my name on the Board of Law Examiners' bar exam pass list! 

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support throughout this process... it's a HUGE weight off my shoulders to have this behind me and move on! 

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand. It is I who say to you, "Fear not, I will help you." Isaiah 41:13

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Little Update

Okay, time for a life update! I know I've been pretty bad about posting ever since I started work but we're still adjusting to life with two demanding jobs. I generally work a lot later than Jeff, so he's been taking on a substantial portion of the cooking dinner duties during the week which is definitely a change. He starts his new position on Monday though, so who knows what will happen then!

Work is going well. It's keeping me busy, but I actually have considerably more free time than I did when I was in law school (just a lot less control over when it happens). Fall is finally starting to reach Houston, which means it's convertible weather and fall decorations weather and pumpkin baking weather, so I'm a happy camper! I'm so looking forward to enjoying a holiday season during which I don't have to study for finals… It's going to be so wonderful!

Bar exam results are supposed to come out tomorrow afternoon… and they get posted on the Internet for everyone to see. So, you know, if you know me in real life and know my last name and everything feel free to look it up tomorrow (around 2 PM?). We have no idea exactly what time they'll be posted, which means all of the first-year associates in my office will have our fingers on that refresh button all morning. Should be a productive day. I wouldn't say I'm worried about it… more like cautiously optimistic. But it's kind of really important, and I'd so appreciate it if you said a prayer or two for me between now and then. I just really want to have the whole thing over with and behind me!

I'll be sure to post tomorrow and update you once I get the bar results (or not… if I fail I'm probably not going to want to talk about it…), and I hope to be back to some sort of regular blogging schedule soon!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Okay, so I forgot to take a photo of these after I cut them up into their cute little squares. So you can just look at the finished pan and imagine them cut into the little squares, okay? Haha! This is a great "skinny" alternative to most sugary pumpkin treats because it has a bit less sugar, uses whole wheat flour, and is full of healthy pumpkin and carrots! Yes, carrots! 

Recipe adapted from here.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter (or butter substitute)
2 eggs
2 large egg whites
1 15oz can pumpkin pie filling
2/3 cup finely shredded carrot

For the cream cheese topping:
4 oz light cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp milk

1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and baking soda.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, egg whites, pumpkin pie filling, and carrots. Beat until well-blended.
3. Add flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.
4. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spread, and spread pumpkin mixture into the pan.
5. To prepare the cream cheese topping, mix cream cheese, sugar, and milk until smooth. 
6. Drop globs of the cream cheese topping all over the pumpkin batter and swirl with a knife to create a marble pattern.
7. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then cut into squares.

(dry ingredients)

(all mixed)

(butter and sugars)

(wet ingredients)

(wet ingredients mixed)

(pumpkin mixture in the pan)

(cream cheese topping ingredients)

(cream cheese topping)

(globs on top of the pumpkin mixture)

(marble pattern)



Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I love this time of year for lots of reasons, but one of the big ones is that it's the season for baking pumpkin goodies! Basic pumpkin spice bread is great, but when you add chocolate in the mix... it's perfect

Recipe adapted from here.

1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips, divided

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, eggs, oil, vanilla, and sour cream until smooth.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until smooth.
4. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
5. Grease & flour a loaf pan (or line it with parchment paper). Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top.
6. Bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is lightly browned.
7. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes or so, then remove loaf and let it cool completely on the wire rack.

(dry ingredients)

(wet ingredients)

(wet ingredients)

(adding wet ingredients to dry ingredients)

(adding in chocolate chips)

(ready for the oven)

(all done!)

(cooling on wire rack)



Monday, October 7, 2013

DIY Fall Arrangement!

I've been trying to add a few fall decorations to my collection, especially things that can last all the way from September to November (without being Halloween-specific or Thanksgiving-specific). To that end, I made a quick little DIY arrangement for our entryway table! It's a quick and easy DIY project that anyone can do!

What You Need:
four small brown glass bottles, labels removed (mine were from Session Lager beer)
wooden letters, spelling "fall"
1 pack of wheat from a craft store
paint for the letters
hot glue gun & glue sticks

What You Do:
1. Paint the wooden letters and let them dry.
2. Cut four pieces of ribbon, and hot glue both ends of the ribbons to the back of the letters, forming a loop.

3. Take four pieces of wheat out of the bunch. Cut off the "stem" part, and hot glue one "bloom" part to each of the letters. Slip the letters over the mouth of each bottle.

4. Divide the rest of the wheat bunch into four even parts, and stick the wheat in the bottles!

Ta-da! Easy-peasy, right? 

Happy fall, y'all!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Funfetti Cookies

Funfetti cookies are a delicious and easy dessert. I've been making (and devouring) them since my sophomore year of college, when my roommate, Kristen, introduced me to them. The recipe used to be on the funfetti cake mix box, but last time I bought some they had changed the packaging, so I thought I'd better put the recipe on the blog before I forget it (and if any of you haven't had the pleasure of making these yet, now you can!). 

Recipe adapted from the old Pillsbury funfetti cake mix box. 

1 box funfetti cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

1. Mix all ingredients to form a dough.
2. Shape dough into small balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the balls slightly.
3. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes.



(cookie dough)

(ready for the oven!)

(slightly flattened)



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Last Year's Fall Decor

I never got around to blogging about my fall house decor last fall (it was a busy semester!), but I did take photos, so I figured I'd kick off this year's fall with last year's photos!

The dining room is always one of my favorite places to decorate for fall. The combination of dark wood furniture and natural light in there just makes it perfect for fall decorating!

I created a centerpiece out of some candleholders, a wooden "FALL" decoration, and some things I purchased at the pumpkin patch!

Our everyday dishes, some clearance napkins from Bed Bath & Beyond, and some old Pier 1 napkin rings finished it off!

The wine unit got some fall flair as well...

I filled the Crate & Barrel tealight holders with fake fall leaves: 

The console table wasn't left out either:

I filled the piano room vase with mini gourds from Dollar Tree, and I switched the ivory candles over the piano for light orange ones:

The antique table in our entryway got a little fall arrangement as well...

A little pumpkin candy jar got put in the kitchen...

The living room got a few little fall touches on the entertainment center...

And on the powder room door...

Of course, I put my fall wreath on the front door:

I made a small little arrangement with leftover flowers from the wreath, and it ended up in the powder room:

I tend to change up my holiday decorations every year, so it'll be interesting to see where all these things end up this time around!