Fiesta Friday: links I love and things to celebrate

things to celebrate happy weekend links

We used to go to Olive garden a ton before we had kids. I feel like their quality has not been the same in the last few years. One of my favorite items (besides the lemon cake they used to have on their dessert menu) is their Zuppa Toscana soup. I recently found this recipe and looking forward to trying it.

Love these words about being yourself.

Recently bought this vitamin C facial toner that is supposed to hydrate, brighten and reduce pore size. I bought it based on reviews it received on Amazon. I’ve been using witch hazel for years but have felt my skin becoming more ‘dull’ with age. After a week of using 1-2 times daily, I obviously haven’t seen huge results yet, but I have felt that my skin has been more hydrated and supple. The toner hasn’t had any negative effects like over drying, breaking out, etc. I’ll keep you updated on more results!

 

 

Fiesta Friday: links I love and things to celebrate

things to celebrate happy weekend links

Every fall during the holiday season I like to make cranberry orange bread with a lemon glaze. I have an old recipe I’ve been using for years but I might try this one from Bless this Mess this fall. Doesn’t this look delicious?!

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I’m dying over this adorable pet fox, Juniper! I would love to have a fox around the house, and he’d kind of look like Bruce with the fox ears, ha!

juniper pet fox

My family is in town for Thanksgiving, we’re looking forward to showing them our favorite BBQ in Austin and also exploring San Antonio!

 

 

Fiesta Friday: links I love and things to celebrate

things to celebrate happy weekend links

The cacti in Texas are so beautiful and I love these cupcakes by @houselarsbuilt (Instagram) they looks so real!

cacti cupcake house lars built

My friend from VA, Julie, has been doing these awesome bus stop costumes the last few Octobers. She picks a different costume everyday when she picks up her kids from the bus stop. She does this to show kids it’s ok to be different – isn’t that so awesome?! She is not only a great friend but an amazing person and mother to her five kids! (Instagram @busstopcostumes)

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 I love fall desserts and this apple pumpkin bundt cake looks delicious and not complicated!

applebundtcake

Crock Pot Ranch Chicken

My sister in law shared this delicious and easy recipe (found here) and I’ve adapted it. It is very simple and requires little prep and little cooking time! I may be the last person on earth to discover this, but earlier this year I heard the easiest way to shred chicken – using a hand mixer/Kitchen Aid/Bosch mixer!

crock-pot-ranch-chicken easy dinner recipe

crock-pot ranch-chicken easy fast dinner recipe

Crock pot Chili

I’ve used my Crock-Pot more this year than ever because we have church from 2:30-5:30 PM! PM! It’s the latest we’ve ever had church and a little crazy because Tessa usually naps from 2-5 pm. By the time we get home a little before 6, everyone is starving and having dinner ready to be served at 6 has been key. Most all my recipes come from Pinterest and this chili recipe I found from a google search a few years ago and have adapted it. It’s requires little prep and little cook time! We usually serve it topped with sour cream and cheese and cornbread muffins (I use Jiffy ) on the side.

crock-pot-chili-1 easy fall dinner recipe

easy crock pot chili recipe

 

Fiesta Friday: links I love and things to celebrate

things to celebrate happy weekend links

Where are the most underrated travel destinations?  The top country on my travel wish list in included on this list! As are a few other places I’d love to see (Morocco, Peru, etc).

It’s getting a little cooler in Texas, but some of these popsicle combinations sound delicious, especially the mango one!

popsicle-ideas

This recipe for pumpkin cookies sounds so good! I’ve never used pumpkin spice baking chips and sounds like it could be a game changer.

Cake mix cookies

During freshman year at BYU, circa 2001, my roommates (who are still my best friends!) and I discovered cake mix cookies in a random cookbook at a grocery store. We didn’t actually buy the cookbook, just memorized the recipe ha,ha. They require just a few ingredients, very little prep/cook time, can easily be doubled, tripled, etc and can be adapted with different flavors –  the easiest recipe ever!

CAKE

So simple, huh?!

There are SO many varieties and mix ins – here’s a few I’ve tried and love:

  • Lemon cake mix + white chocolate chips (pictured)
  • Funfetti cake mix (or you can us white or yellow cake mix and add your own sprinkles)
  • Chocolate cake mix + toffee chips
  • Strawberry cake mix + white chocolate chips
  • Chocolate cake mix + Andes mints (you can crush and mix in, or right when the cookies finish, add half an Andes mint on top, smush it around with a spoon and it will melt and be the ‘frosting’)

(baking directions are the same for all varieties)

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Dessert Night

We’ve moved around quite a bit (ok, 10 times in 10 years of marriage!) and we recently started a new tradition we do shortly after moving in; it’s a fun way to make instant friends: dessert night!

We usually invite 5-10 families/couples from church and sometimes it’s just people we’ve only seen at church and have never met or have briefly talked to. It’s a great way to enjoy each other’s company, meet new people, and have delicious desserts. Ours are super casual on a Sunday night after dinner time. We usually make 4-5 desserts.

This last dessert night we hosted we made raspberry lemonade tarts, symphony brownies, lemon white chocolate chip cookies, and peach cobbler (with Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream).

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