Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf With Cinnamon Drizzle

Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Happy Wednesday! While you are reading this post, I'm signing away on our closing papers. Yep, husband and I are officially homeowners, and it is such a dream come true! If you've been around this blog for any time at all you know I am just bursting to decorate and put my touches on our house. Of course, I'll be blogging it all here. Anyways, back to this chocolate pumpkin loaf and its scrumptious goodness.

Fall and baking are my loves. And they just so happen to go hand in hand with one another. Tomorrow is the first of September and that's enough for me to unofficially deem it the start of fall. Pumpkin everything may now commence! In honor of that, I'm combining pumpkin + chocolate + cinnamon drizzle for a fall-fabulous dessert. May you enjoy it in the morning with a cup of coffee or late in the day as a treat while your baby naps or you take a little break from work. 

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 stick of butter, melted
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 TSP vanilla
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk
    • 2 cups canned pumpkin
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 TSP pumpkin pie spice
    • 1/2 TSP baking soda
    • 1 TSP baking powder
    • 1/2 TSP salt
    • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • milk
    • cinnamon 

  • What You'll Do
    • Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of you bread pan. Place it in the pan and spray it with cooking spray (this will help get the loaf out so easily!). Set it aside.
    • Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, then add the sugar. Add the butter, vanilla, and buttermilk. Stir until well combined. Next fold in the pumpkin puree.
    • In another bowl combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. 
    • Divide the batter in half. 
    • Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave then add one of the batter bowls along with the cocoa powder. Stir until all is well combined. 
    • Begin putting the batters into the pan. Start with the pumpkin first to cover the bottom. Then add dollops of the chocolate pumpkin batter. Use a knife to swirl the two together. Repeat this step until all the batter has been added to the pan.
    • Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean after being inserted in the middle. Let the loaf cool.
    • Once the loaf has cooled, begin making the drizzle. This process does not use measurements. It's simply by sight and taste. Combine the powdered sugar with several splashes of milk until you find a desired thickness. The thickest it can be while still easily dripping from a spoon is best. Add just a splash of vanilla and as much cinnamon as you prefer. Drizzle the icing over the loaf (which you have pulled out of the pan). Cut and serve right away.

Enjoy this fall goodness, friends! Make a loaf or two and share it with a neighbor or friend to ring in the first day of September tomorrow! I hope you have a lovely Wednesday! xo

Life Lately No. 1

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Life lately has been, well a little crazy. Greer has been sick (thank you for all of your kind words on my IG post; I never got around to responding, but I read them all and so appreciated each one), my house is a M.E.S.S and full of boxes, and we are in the final stages of buying our home. Closing is tomorrow (eek!!). So to get out of the house, step away from all the boxes, and soak in the last of our summer evenings in Virginia we made a date-night out of last Wednesday. 

After dinner at Zoës Kitchen, a new addition to our town that we will be frequenting often, we made our way to the Drillfield for an attraction put on by the college. Leave it to me to read the start time wrong (I read the start time as the time it actually ended). So we missed it, but we made the best of our time on campus. A highlight....the changing leaves that are starting to pop up in the trees and on the ground. 

What's life been like for you lately?

Autumn Must Haves

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Earlier this week, the temperature was in the low 70's and my fall-loving heart was about to explode. Goodness, it felt amazing to open the windows and let the cool breeze waft in while burning my Autumn Afternoon apothecary candle. Since we bought a house and we'll be moving in the middle of September, I haven't been able to decorate for fall. And y'all know that under any other circumstances my house would already be spruced up with all things autumn. Just see last year's décor and the year before that. I've always been and always will be a mid-August fall decorating kind of gal. Well....except this year because my house is full of boxes and everything is packed away. But, that hasn't kept me from dreaming of fall and how I'll decorate my new house! 

To bide my time, I put together some of my very favorite items for making things all cozy and fall-like in your home. From blankets for wrapping up in and cotton garland for draping over your mantel to a carafe and mugs for sipping your pumpkin coffee, I've got you covered on the essentials. 

And here are some fall pieces that aren't pictured, but that I absolutely adore!

Pre-lit Rattan Pumpkins (my pre-lit vine pumpkins are some of my favorites) || Pumpkin-shaped Pillow (you'll be seeing this in my décor this year) || Harvest Beaded Pillow

What are your favorite items for autumn decorating?? You better believe while I'm decorating that I have a candle (or two!) burning to really set the mood for autumn! And in the spirit of almost-fall, Twine & Cotton is offering 10% off of your candle order now through this Saturday!! Use this coupon code on your order:


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Thank you for supporting this blog!

Dutch Oven Pot Roast

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
In almost three years of marriage husband and I have unsuccessfully tried to figure out the perfect recipe for pot roast. We've tried it in the slow cooker, in the oven, and have yet to find a recipe and method that we love. We're picky about it too, which makes it that much more difficult to settle for any ole pot roast. 

Then this last Sunday happened. Let me first say, Sunday is my favorite day for a slow cooking meal where the aroma fills up your house while you rest and relax in the family room with your people. Any who, on this particular Sunday we finally found the best way to not only cook, but season a pot roast for pure perfection. And the two of us couldn't have been giddier about it. Maybe I was the only giddy one, husband was just very pleased with having a meat-heavy meal :)

  • What You'll Need
    • 3-4 lb chuck roast
    • 1 lb bag, whole carrots (peeled)
    • 1 large, yellow onion (quartered)
    • 5 garlic cloves
    • 32 oz beef stock
    • 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 TBSP dried parsley 
    • 1 TSP thyme 
    • Salt & pepper for seasoning
    • Olive oil
    • Brown rice (for serving)

  • What You'll Do
    • Drizzle the dutch oven with olive oil. Put on medium/high heat.
    • Salt all sides of the roast. Put in the hot oil and sear on each side for 6-9 minutes until the meat has turned dark. 
    • In a separate bowl mix the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme
    • Remove the meat from the dutch oven, and add the quartered onion around the edge of the pot. Place the peeled carrots in the middle. 
    • Tuck the peeled garlic cloves into the folds of the roast. Next place it on top of the carrots.
    • Pour the beef stock mixture over the meat. Bring it to a low boil, and let simmer with the lid on for 3-4 hours or until the meat falls apart.
    • Serve over rice (we used Brown Minute Rice, prepared 15 minutes before the meat was done).

This meal turned out perfectly. Truly, I could gush over it again and again. The meat was super tender, falling apart as we separated it in the dutch oven. The carrots and onions were the perfect complement. This will definitely be one of our staple meals this fall as the weather cools off and the air gets crisp. Our house smelled delightful from this dutch oven pot roast cooking all afternoon. If you're a morning church-goer, this is a great meal to put on when you get home. Serve this pretty pot roast roast + veggies over rice and you've got a wholesome, delicious meal for your Sunday evening. 

Also, if you don't have a dutch oven, I couldn't recommend getting one more! We absolutely love ours (it's a Cuisinart we found at a great price at TJMaxx a couple of years ago)! We cook a ton of meals in it from soups and this pot roast to artisan bread. It's worth investing in!

Here are some options if you're looking for one: 

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Thank you for supporting this blog!

His Last First Day of School Ever!

Monday, August 22, 2016
It's back-to-school in this house today! But it looks a lot different than sending of tiny tikes with too-big backpacks and matching lunch boxes. Instead, I'm sending off my twenty-something husband to his first day of his last semester of graduate school and his last first day of school ever. This has been a long time coming, my friends! Do you remember his very first day of grad school two years ago?!

Although there have been moments when time seems to crawl along, for the most part this graduate school journey has gone by so quickly, especially when we are looking back on it. If you're new to the blog let me catch you up...husband is a mechanical engineer pursuing his master's degree while working full-time, being a husband and a new dad. He's been a rockstar over these last two years, and I know that he is going to finish out these next four months strong. He makes me one proud lady.

Come December, when the snow is bristling about, the temperatures in the mountains of Virginia are cold enough to make you wish you didn't have to leave your house, and all the Christmas décor is out, we'll be celebrating all of his hard work as he graduates. It's going to be a very sweet milestone for this guy of mine. A very deserved celebration indeed!

Do you remember last year at this time when I was swooning over what husband's back-to-school picture would look like with a baby girl on his hip?!?! Well here it is, and I'm all kinds of heart eyes over it. Husband is setting a wonderful example of pursuing dreams, excelling academically, holding down a career, and being present at home for his little girl. She is so very lucky to cal him daddy, and I'm thankful for his dedication to being the best not just for me, but for her. A rockstar, I tell you, he is a rockstar. And he even agreed to take these first day of school pictures for a third year in a row....have I told you enough how much of a rockstar he is???

This year, since it's his last semester and all the encouragement and kind words to finish strong are welcome, I thought it would be fun to leave some comments for this guy! He's behind a lot of my blogging, from helping to take photos and being my right-hand man on DIY projects to taste-testing recipes. So if you feel inclined, let's cheer him on! The next four months will be strategic and time-consuming as he finishes his thesis paper, and I want him to feel all the support as he takes it on! 

Greer and I are so proud of you husband, more than you know! xo

And for a little look into the past:

Just A Swingin'

Thursday, August 18, 2016
One of my very favorite childhood things to do was to swing. To see how hard I could pump my legs and just how high that would take me. So you can only imagine my excitement when the time finally arrived to take Greer swinging. I hoped she would love it and not be timid about swinging. And y'all, she loved it. She's always been a huge fan of the breeze blowing through her hair and being rocked. Combine the two and you have a very delighted baby. It makes me all the more excited to move into our home and put Greer's own swing up. There's a tree with the perfect branch in our new backyard just asking for sturdy rope to be wound around it with a sweet swing hanging from it. 

If you love baby smiles keep scrolling for our swinging adventures. Plus, we captured some time on the playground. We think she's going to be a huge fan once she's old enough to navigate it herself. Her pure joy is contagious, and she's going to melt your heart, I'm telling you now. And her sun hat, oh that sun hat that she nows prefers to take off instead of leave're going to swoon!