// No-Bake Refrigerator Dalmatian Cake

I love me a good no-bake dessert! Yesterday we spent the first part of the afternoon at our neighbor kid's birthday party, and then afterward I decided to come home and get busy in the kitchen. We were planning on having our neighbor friends over later in the evening to watch Pitch Perfect 2 (!!!) so I wanted to make something yummy that we could all enjoy. I decided to default to our go-to dessert: 4 layer Dalmatian Cake! It's not actually a "cake", hence the "no bake" part of the title. But it's delicious! I've been meaning to share it for a year or two now, but later is better than never, right?
I already had all of the ingredients on hand since I went to Walmart last week and picked up the Pitch Perfect 2 dvd and had this dessert on the brain. It was super easy to whip up in no time and after a couple of hours in the fridge it was beyond perfect. Normally we make it once every few months or so, and we leave it in the fridge with a spoon so we can just grab a bite here and there. That might sound silly, but this dessert hits the spot, and a little goes a long way. We sent half home with our neighbors last night but half of this casserole dish will last us a solid week. If you're having friends over or going to a get together, make this! I swear it will be a MAJOR hit!

No-Bake Refrigerator Dalmatian Cake

prep time: 25 minutes
serves: entirely too many (ha!)

1 package regular Oreos
6 tbsp melted butter
8oz cream cheese
1/4 c sugar
3 1/4 c milk 
(2) 3.9oz packages instant chocolate pudding
12oz Cool Whip
Semisweet chocolate chips

Step One: Put all 36 oreos in a gallon ziplock bag (Yes, all 36! Resist the urge to eat a few! Or don't. Do your thing!) and crush them up. Dump them in a bowl and add your 6 tbsp of melted butter. Transfer this mixture to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and press them into the bottom to form a crust. Pop the dish in the fridge while you prepare the next layer.

Step Two: Mix 8oz cream cheese with a mixer until fluffy. Add 2 tbsp cold milk, 1 1/4c sugar, and 1 c Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crushed Oreo base.

Step Three: Mix your 2 packages of instant chocolate pudding with the remainder of your milk (just under 3 1/4 c). Stir well and let sit for 5 minutes. Once the pudding has thickened, spread it out over the cream cheese/Cool Whip layer.

Step Four: Spread the remainder of your Cool Whip over the top of the pudding layer. (We have the best luck with scooping the Cool Whip out and letting it soften up before spreading it). Finish your dessert off with a sprinkle of semisweet chocolate chips. Place it in the fridge for a couple of hours so it can set. (The Oreos get so soft!) Then eat your hearts out! 

Looks delicious, no? YUM!
Have y'all seen Pitch Perfect 2 yet? Mike and I saw it in theaters the night before leaving for Mexico and oh my lawd! We were rolling! I can think of very few sequels that lived up to the original movie's hype, but PP2 does just that. Our neighbors hadn't seen it yet so it was fun to watch it with them. When I dropped into our local Walmart I scooped up the Blu-Ray/Soundtrack combo pack because it came with a CD featuring some of the most memorable songs from Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (but only while supplies last, so scoot to it!) Linden and I popped some popcorn and had a little dance party that afternoon. He loves "Cups" (I do, too! I can't help but belt out the entire thing haha) You should see that kid dance! Anyway, I'm pretty sure everyone got a kick out of the dessert and the movie, so we basically had a pretty awesome Sunday night. No complaints here!

xo KB

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ThePitchesatWMT http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

// Things I Love Thursday v.238

♥ this! ♥
this color palette ♥
this gorgeous and colorful photo ♥
this place! ♥
these marbled candy apples (there's a DIY!) ♥
this is stunning ♥
this comforter! ♥

// A cave of crystals was discovered in Mexico and it is UNREAL! Seriously, so stunning.

// Have you seen Christina Ricci dressed as Morticia Addams?! HOLY MOLY!

// Two women started a hashtag encouraging others to #shoutyourabortion. I know this will be controversial, but what isn't these days?

// Are you following me elsewhere? Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest (leave your links below if you'd like!)

What are you loving this week?

xo KB

// Hibiscus Garden

Happy first day of Autumn, y'all! This outfit isn't very "Fall-ish" but that's okay. I love the contrast of the Kelly green and bright red/orange hues. This little number is from VooDoo Vixen's Summer tropical line (I'm always tardy to the party!). It's such a lovely dress, not unlike the other VooDoo Vixen pieces that I own. I did make the mistake of getting a size too big, so I need to adjust the straps some. Other than that it's perfect! And it has pockets! The tell tale sign of a great dress is that it comes with pockets. Am I right?! I'm head over heels for so many dresses on the VooDoo Vixen website. Seriously, go browse around. I guarantee you won't be able to scan through without finding something you love! I was feeling a little sassy so I opted to dust off my MIA Jukebox wedges for this outfit. I miss when I'd wear heels or sassy shoes each day, but it's basically just a recipe for disaster if I were to do that while chasing Linden.

This week has been really really good so far, so I'm crossing my fingers it continues throughout the remaining part (and then carries over to next week!). Things are coming up Milhouse over here! I'm hoping to get all of my ducks in a row and then I'll share all the exciting stuff that's happening. Right now I just need to go give some attention to this week's grocery list. Ugh. Anyone want to come do that for me?! haha Happy Wednesday!

xo KB

Felicity Tropical dress c/o VooDoo Vixen
Charter School cardigan via ModCloth
ModCloth belt
MIA Jukebox wedges
Lily Jade Madeline bag (c/o)

// A Spontaneous Date Day

Yesterday Mike and I were at home with Linden and I was piddling around the kitchen when he told me to get dressed and get in the car. What? It's not very often Mike is restless on a day off. Usually he prefers to hang out at home, sleep in, and maybe play a little too much Xbox. I was caught off guard by his comments, but I didn't miss a beat! Dressed and ready, we hopped in the car with the intention of paying a bill and exchanging some sheets at Target. Yeah, I know, super romantic! Mike kept driving though, and it while it took me a few minutes to realize it, we were long past Target. I asked where he was taking us and he said we were going to go out for lunch in downtown Franklin. My heart! A spontaneous date day in my favorite town! 

I miss living in downtown Franklin so much. Every time we're there I tell Mike I'm ready to move back. I love living in our little town, but my heart will always be in Franklin. It was a bit early for lunch when we got there so we totally did take advantage of exchanging Toby's sheets and picking up a few things for ourselves. Afterward we headed downtown and changed our lunch destination from Merridee's to Mellow Mushroom. Linden was stoked! That kid devoured his meatballs and broccoli! Mike and I split a pizza. Spicy buffalo chicken for him and Maui Wowie for me. YUM! After lunch we strolled around downtown, got some iced coffee, and just enjoyed a slow afternoon. We had to head back home shortly after though, so we could get Toby from school. It was just the little pick me up I needed to start the week off right!

Mike isn't spontaneous very often, but when he is, I love every minute of it.

xo KB

PS; My necklace was made by the insanely talented Natalie of Bright Star and Buffalo! I'll share more photos of it soon!

// DIY "Rustic" Wedding Gift Basket

Gift baskets are my love language. Whether someone is moving into a new house, having a baby, celebrating a birthday or, in this case, getting married, I love to put together a little basket of treats. Gift baskets can make for the perfect wedding gift idea, or help get a bachelor/bachelorette party started. No matter if you're crafty or not, a gift basket is a way to add a personal, "handmade" touch to gifts, even if you buy them all ready-made at the store. Mike and I have a wedding coming up that we're attending and we thought we'd put together a little "rustic" inspired basket for the bride and groom. Their wedding is being held at a local barn, like ours, so I tried to think of things that made us happy when our wedding day rolled around (next month is our 3 year wedding anniversary, y'all!) 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't make almost everyone I know a hand painted sign for their home. It's just what I do. My signs were born from our wedding and they've been such a large part of our lives ever since. I wanted to do something fun and different for this one though, so I did it all in gold! I also added in some Goo Goo Clusters because that's some real Tennessee pride haha We gave those as part of our favor baskets (see! More baskets!) at our wedding, too and these sweet friends were in attendance. Mike gave all of his groomsmen cigars and small bottles of liquor, so we added in some Havana Honeys cigars for the groom. Mike may or may not have picked up another pack of them to enjoy himself. I just like to oogle the packaging personally! (To sign up for free coupons and to find a retailer near you, visit Havana Honeys website here.) Also tossed into our basket was a large mason jar travel cup (because what is more rustic than a mason jar?!) and a seasonally appropriate candle. I even added in a little plant because one bit of advice we heard when we got married was to "Wait to have babies until you can successfully keep a plant alive together." Uh, well, we didn't exactly follow that advice. All of my plants are basically dead. But my kids are alive, so there! Take it or leave it, right?
What about you? What's your "go to" gift for weddings that you attend? Or better yet, what's some advice you've been given about being married, but maybe disregarded? I bet y'all have some good things to share!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥ 

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #havanahoneys  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

// Things I Love Thursday v.237

♥ this! ♥
these crispy zucchini tacos ♥
this is my dream kitchen ♥
this looks like a nice place (ha!) ♥
these bold birdhouses ♥
these strawberry macarons ♥
this bib! (and this entire shop! i'm obsessed!) ♥
this sweet photo ♥
♥ this diy unicorn pinata ♥

// Help fund a female tattoo studio called The Scarlet Letter. I loved watching their video, and I really love how well designed their Kickstarter is! Go support these ladies!

// 20 clever DIY projects using old cardboard boxes.

// If all disposable plates and cups were compostable, the world would be a better place.

What are you loving this week?

xo KB

// Bits + Pieces - v.1

Hey friends! I thought I'd take a little time to just "catch up" with all of you. I realize there's so much going on in my life off of the internet and I haven't really shared much of that over here! I've been keeping busy with so many projects lately. 

One thing I've been pretty involved in since the start of the year is my local babywearing group. I know I've maybe mentioned the group here or there, or maybe some of you have seen it referenced on my Facebook if we're friends. Back in January/February, I took a little workshop to become a babywearing educator and leader in my local group. Ever since then I've spent the last Tuesday of each month helping families get the feel for babywearing and to find the perfect carrier. I've certainly made my love of babywearing known, but I really enjoy the fact I get to help others love it, too. Through our local group I've met some of the most amazing women. Incredible mothers and wonderful people. They've been a support group for not only me, but other local moms and caregivers. I know I'm surrounded by good people in that group, and I'm proud to call them friends. Some meetings are spent helping dozens of new families while other meetings are low-key and we just sit around and chat about life for 2 hours. I love how laid back and casual everything is. It has really helped me realize how much I enjoy being a support person for people. I certainly don't expect everyone to be as excited about it as I am, or even "get it", but it is something I truly enjoy.
Another offline thing I've become pretty involved in is my local doula network. By supporting families in the babywearing group, I noticed how much fulfillment I get from being able to help. Through many channels and networks, I've come to befriend so many incredible women who help their communities at large, and I'm aspiring to do the same here. I never really imagined I would become so passionate about something like birth and postpartum work, but I'm eager to pursue this side venture for a bit. I'll save most of the details for another post, but I'm excited to take my postpartum workshop here in Nashville on Sunday. I've learned so much about myself since having Linden, and I'm continuing to discover myself, too.
Mike is six weeks into his new job and we're really starting to hit our stride at home. I've been responsible for so much more now that he's out of the house 40-50 hours a week, but I'm learning a lot, too. I've been cooking... like an adult! I've said it a hundred times before, but cooking is not my forte. It's not something I ever really enjoyed before, but now that I'm starting to get better at it, I'm finding joy in creating a meal from start to finish. And I'm not talking about things from the microwave! (Another perk to training for postpartum work! Cooking skills!) I'm always on the hunt for new, simple(ish) recipes that the kids will eat, so if you have any favorites, I'm all ears!
The Summer season seemed so short to me, but maybe I'm just feeling a little guilty for not taking more advantage of it. I had a lot of ups and downs this Summer, too but I'm hoping the new season will bring a sense of calm and freshness. I've been working with the windows and doors wide open the past week and it's incredible what it has done for my mood! I know Winter will soon follow though, and I'll have to deal with the shift of energy yet again. Any tips for how to battle those gloomy months?!
This certainly isn't everything I wanted to put out there, but I guess it's a good start! I promise to check in more frequently and chat about life and all its happenings. How about you though? What have you been up to? Let's chat!

xo KB