Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Midweek Randoms {July 31, 2013}

Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday! I'm linking up this week with Megan from In This Wonderful Life for midweek randoms!

  • How can it possibly be the last day of July?! HOW? My parents always told me that time goes by more quickly as you get older and they weren't kidding! I just wish my summer didn't fly by so darn fast! :(
  • Speaking of summer ending, I went to school yesterday and Monday and got a LOT of work done! This will be my seventh year teaching and I'm telling you, I've never been more calm and productive. I always get crazy stressed out and can barely think straight because of everything I'm trying to remember. Daniel and I have been praying these last couple of weeks that I will have a calm and peaceful mind and be able to get a lot accomplished. The Lord has completely answered that prayer and I'm so grateful. I am way ahead of where I normally am at this time of year and I started in a new classroom that was packed up in boxes. Praise the Lord! I can enjoy this last week and a half of summer without that burden! You can go here to see how my classroom looked after we worked last week. Here are some pictures of how it looked when I left yesterday. I still need to put some things on the walls, but a lot of that will come as I teach different concepts.

This is my favorite spot in the room right now. Colorful and cozy... :)

  • I found a super fun trick yesterday while I was working at school. I needed to write items for my "wish list" on Post-it notes and I thought it would look so much nicer if I could just print straight on the Post-it notes. {I know, totally unnecessary, but I'm an elementary school teacher! Things like that make me happy!} I knew that I'd seen somewhere {probably Pinterest} that there is a template for printing on Post-it notes so I consulted Google and found one! Here's the template and directions if you want to try this. The template is for 3x3 Post-it notes, but of course, I wanted to print on apple shaped ones. :) I just centered the apple Post-its as best as I could in each box and it worked perfectly! I was so excited!! It really is the little things...
The font I used here is CK Handprint.
Here's my finished wish list. If parents want to donate an item to our classroom, they'll just take that apple off the tree and send the item to school with their child. I've done this at our "Meet the Teacher" event every year and it's really helpful!

  • We had our family cookout last Saturday and my brother and his wife brought the BEST smoked pork. They own a restaurant called Holy Smoke BBQ in Gadsden and it is so yummy! Their fried okra and french fries are amazing! And of course, the pork is incredible, too. You should totally check it out if you're in the area! We were sad when all of our leftovers were gone!
  • And last, but certainly not least, I finally got my cheesecake fix. We went to The Cheesecake Factory to get our half price cheesecake and it definitely did not disappoint. Even after two weeks of careful thought and deliberation, I still struggled to make up my mind when confronted with the huge case of cheesecakes and that crazy long menu! I powered through, though, and went with the Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. I had never had this kind before, and oh my. It was the perfect balance of cake and cheesecake. There were also layers of peanut buttery caramel! Divine! Daniel ended up going with the Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake. A boring choice, in my opinion, but he's more of a "straight up" cheesecake person so I guess it makes sense for him. ;)

Well, I think that's all my randomness for today! I hope you have a fabulous rest of the week!! :)

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Oreo Truffles {3 Ingredients!}

We had our family cookout this past weekend and it was so much fun to see everyone and get to spend some time together {and eats lots of food}. I realized late in the evening that I had not taken one picture. Not one. :(

Well, I guess I took one picture. These Oreo truffles. Yes. I first made these two years ago for Christmas and they were such a hit that I've made them for several of our family gatherings since. My nieces and nephews especially love them. And of course I do, too. They do involve Oreos, after all. :)

These truffles really couldn't be easier and the results are fancier than you would think considering how easy they are to make! You only need a package of Oreos, one package of cream cheese, and white almond bark {found in the baking section of your grocery store}. You could also dip them in chocolate almond bark, but my favorite is the white.

You definitely need to try these for your next party! I'm pretty sure they'll become one of your favorites, too! :)

Oreo Truffles
Makes approximately 30 truffles
Printer Friendly Version

1 package Oreos (reserve one Oreo for sprinkling)
1 (8 oz) package light cream cheese
1 package white almond bark

  1. Place all but one of the Oreos into a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs.
  2. Add the cream cheese to the food processor and process until the mixture is fully combined.
  3. Roll the mixture into one inch balls and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Dip the truffles into the melted almond bark and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to set up. To garnish, sprinkle with Oreo crumbs, drizzle with melted chocolate, etc... Store in the refrigerator.


  • I use my Pampered Chef small cookie scoop to scoop the truffles and then I roll them into balls.
  • If the almond bark is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil at a time. This will also give it a nice shine.
  • To dip, place a toothpick in the truffle, dip into the almond bark, lift the truffle off of the toothpick with a fork, and then push the truffle off of the fork with the toothpick.

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly

Friday, July 26, 2013

{5 on Friday} July 26, 2013

Happy Friday! I hope y'all have some fun plans for this weekend! We'll be busy tonight and tomorrow morning cooking, cleaning, and getting ready for our family cookout tomorrow night! I'm so excited to get everybody together for lots of food and fun! Last year, we played some Minute to Win It games and it. was. hilarious. {Ummm, Face the Cookie? Too funny!} I'm thinking I need to look up some new ones for us to play this year.

Anyway, I'm linking up with Darci at the good life blog for 5 on Friday again this week. Here's a little of what's been going on around here lately along with a few of my favorite finds from the week!

On Tuesday morning, I got to go see a movie with my sister and Vanna. It's things like this that I will miss so much when school starts in just a couple of weeks! If you're in Birmingham and have kids, you should really check out Carmike Cinemas in Lee Branch. They do a movie for kids every Tuesday morning and it's only $4 {even for adults}! It includes a little tray with popcorn, fruit snacks, and a drink, too! Vanna was so cute carrying her little popcorn tray. She's growing up way too fast!

So do y'all remember how I talked about how I've been obsessing over what kind of cheesecake I'm going to order when Daniel and I go to The Cheesecake Factory for our annual "back to school" date? Well, do I have some good news for you {and me}! Looks like I'm going to get to go twice because next Tuesday, July 30th is National Cheesecake Day {what a wonderful day!} and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating by offering any slice of cheesecake at half price!!! It's true! Squeal! We'll be there, for sure! Looks like I'll get to try two of these! :)

So I was doing laundry this week and I found the coolest tip for folding t-shirts. It is so speedy! I actually had fun while folding about 15 of Daniel's white t-shirts. It was like a little game! I know, that's a little strange, but if I can make folding laundry more fun, I'm all for it! A neat stack of uniformly folded t-shirts makes me happy! Anyway, here's the video. I only had to watch it twice {with a few pauses here and there} before I had it down pat!

And speaking of laundry, I am definitely guilty of doing this {especially during the school year}!

Daniel and I went to the school on Tuesday night so he could help me do a lot of the heavy lifting stuff. I had to move my classroom this year so getting ready for the school year is going to take a lot more work. This is what we walked into.

And don't forget about the closet. I'm tempted to just keep the door closed and forget about it. Oh wait, I'll probably need some of that stuff. Anyway, we actually got a lot done in just a few hours. I'll probably head back for a couple of days next week and then *try* to forget about school for the last week and a half. Here's what the classroom looked like when we left.

And here's a little bit of weekend humor for you...a lovely collection of engagement photos that will make you happy you're single. You're welcome.

And just for fun, here's one of our engagement pictures from three years ago! :)

Whatever you end up doing this weekend, I hope you have a wonderful one!! :)

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weekend with Vanna + Homemade Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream

I mentioned last week that our niece, Vanna, was going to spend the night with us for the first time on Friday. Oh my goodness, we had so much fun! When my sister and Vanna first got to my house, she spent some time exploring the room my mom and I had set up for her that afternoon. My mom is so good at doing those kinds of things! She even brought a vase of fresh flowers for the bathroom! :) Vanna loves fresh flowers and helping Nana in her garden.

Later that afternoon, Vanna and I got busy making homemade ice cream! I had plans to make an apple crisp the next day, so we made cinnamon bun ice cream to go with it. {You can find the recipe at the bottom of this post.} She is such a good little baker. She poured all the ingredients in and mixed everything together!

We couldn't help but taste a little of the ice cream mixture before we put it in the freezer. We could tell that it was going to be really good! Vanna loved it!

After our ice cream was in the freezer to get "freezy" {as Vanna said}, we played until Uncle D got home. We played her favorite, the fishing game, for awhile and then decorated foam picture frames with LOTS and LOTS of stickers! :) {She takes after me...}

Once Uncle D got home, we ate a quick dinner and then headed to the park for an outdoor showing of "Wreck It Ralph."

It was such a cute movie! Since it was an outdoor movie, they couldn't start it until it was almost dark which meant the movie ended around 10:00. Kind of late for a 4-year-old, but when we asked her if she wanted to go get milkshakes at Sonic, she was totally up for it! We were amazed that she didn't even start to fall asleep on our way there! I know, milkshakes at 10:30 might sound a little crazy, but that's what aunts and uncles are for, right?! Vanna agreed. :)

The next morning, we continued the sugar fest by going out for donuts at Daylight Donuts! Vanna told us that she wanted to bring the donuts home to eat because it's "cleaner" there. :) I'd have to agree. The donuts there are amazing, but they could really work on their dining ambiance! :)

We spent the rest of the morning playing the fishing game some more, decorating more picture frames, coloring, drawing, tossing around a beach ball, reading books, and making apple crisp. We had such a fun time with our sweet Vanna!!

Later that afternoon, my sister, brother-in-law, and parents all came over to try Vanna's homemade cinnamon bun ice cream and apple crisp. I have to say...I was definitely right that this combo would be a winner. Here's the recipe! :)

Cinnamon Bun Ice Cream
Printer Friendly Version

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
3 T. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

  1. Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks in large bowl.
  2. Whisk sweetened condensed milk, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla in large bowl. Mix well.
  3. Fold in whipped cream.
  4. Pour into a 2-quart container and cover. Freeze overnight.
To see step by step photos of this method, visit this post.

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly

Monday, July 22, 2013

Home Is Where the Heart Is {FREE Printable!}

I live in Birmingham, Alabama, but I'm originally from Ohio. I didn't move to Alabama until I was 23 years old. My brother and his family have lived in Alabama for a long time, so I'd spent a lot of time here before I moved. Shortly after I graduated from college, my sister's husband got a new job in Birmingham. I knew my parents wanted to retire somewhere in the south, so I thought it would be a good time to start considering a move myself. I'm someone who really needs to be close to my family so about six months after my sister and her husband moved, I made the move, too. It was scary. I had never lived on my own, I didn't know anyone in Birmingham other than my sister, I didn't have a job. But I knew in my heart that the Lord wanted me to take this step. He has blessed me so abundantly with a life that I absolutely love down here in the south. It's also where I met my sweet, Southern husband. :) So, I can truly say that right here in Birmingham, Alabama is where my heart is. It's my new home. When I moved from Ohio, I thought that it would always feel like home...and, in a way it will. But Alabama...this is where my heart feels at home.

I've seen prints like these in several different places and I thought it would be a perfect addition to our home office. I'm trying to add things that are truly meaningful and tell our story rather than buy random things just to fill the space. It's a slow process, but I know I'll be much happier with the results in the end.

I know this will only be for my Birmingham friends, but I thought some of y'all might like to print one of these for yourself. {Friends from other states, see the bottom of this post!} I made it in several different colors. Just click the links below to download your own 8x10 copy. :)

Instead of printing mine with my printer, I uploaded it to the Walgreens photo website and ordered an 8x10 print. They're regularly $3.99 each, but I found the coupon code ALLTODAY33 on RetailMeNot and got 33% off. My print ended up being $2.88. Yay! :) And just a heads up, that coupon code expires on July 31, 2013.

Here's how mine turned out. I love it!

Okay, so for my friends from other states, I can do this printable for you, too! Just click here to visit my Etsy shop and use the coupon code RICHLYBLESSED to get 20% off! You can also choose from 30 different backgrounds {including chalkboard}! Yay! Hope y'all like this one! :)

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly

Linking up with Chef In Training

Friday, July 19, 2013

{5 on Friday} July 19, 2013

Happy Friday! I hope y'all have had a great week! My summer is wasting away so quickly so I did a whole lot of nothing {productive, at least} this week. I get that way when I know life is about to get crazy. This closet is waiting on me at school...and I'm not looking forward to it. But, I still have a few weeks and I will savor every minute! :) Here's my five on Friday for this week.

Daniel was involved in a pretty intensive men's Bible study called Top Gun for the last ten months at our church. Just some of the things it focused on were how to study and apply Scripture, marriage, parenting, ministering within the church and community, and accountability with other Christian men. Last Friday night, they held a dinner and "graduation" for everyone who had completed the program. It was such an awesome experience to hear Daniel and these other men talk about what they had learned and how they'd grown closer to the Lord. I'm so excited that the program is going to continue this fall and that Daniel will have an opportunity to lead other men in the study.

I have been wanting a framed chalkboard for such a long time now and I just could not seem to find one that was the right size, frame color, style, etc... I just happened to be talking about it one night in the office while Daniel was in a Google Hangout with one of his friends and it just so happens that his friend makes them! He made me one in the exact color, finish, {distressed ivory} and size that I've been wanting! I love it and can't wait to use it!

Every year, Daniel takes me on a "back to school" date the weekend before school starts. I tend to, umm...stress eat, around that time of year. Carbs are my favorite. We went to Cheesecake Factory a couple of years ago and I almost chased the waiter down when he took our bread basket away that still had a little bread left in it. Ummm, kindly ask the people that are eating if they're finished before snatching bread away next time?! Anyway! We're going to go back to Cheesecake Factory this year for our date and I've already been obsessing over the cheesecake menu online {wanting to know what I've been up to this week? :)} trying to decide what I'm going to order for dessert. {Who can decide what they want on the spot with a gigantic menu like that? It takes time, people!} Right now, I'm torn between Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake, Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake, and Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. Seriously, how am I going to decide? This decision most certainly does take three weeks to think about!


Anybody else watching Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls? It's insane. Daniel totally wants to do it {he's crazy}, but he would definitely have to find a partner that is anybody that is not me. The minute they tried to get me to eat a fish eyeball {like a giant fish eyeball...this was no goldfish eyeball}, I'd be out.


Our niece, Vanna, is spending the night with us tonight for the first time. I remember spending the night with my aunt and having so much fun! We are so excited! Right now the plans are to go to an outdoor movie at the park, make homemade ice cream, and play our little hearts out. I'm seeing lots of "Let's Go Fishin'" in our weekend. :)

I hope y'all have a fabulous weekend!! :)

post signature
Follow on Bloglovin  follow us in feedly