Smile, It’s the Weekend

As my previous posts indicate, I am a soon-to-be social worker. I love what I do, and I know that it is what I am meant to be doing. That being said, it is really difficult work sometimes. While I see some great moments for people, I am more often present for moments of struggle, loss, or death. It is fulfilling work, but it is also draining. By the time I get to Friday afternoon I usually need something lighthearted, touching, or funny to separate myself from work. From now on, I will be posting things on Friday afternoon that make me smile or laugh. I think it will help me transition into the weekend, and I hope that it will help anyone else who just needs to see a little bit of good in the world.

I didn’t think of this idea until late last night, so I’m going to cheat and post today instead. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember this moment from Miss Congeniality . . .

perfect date

So awkwardly awesome.

Yesterday, I saw this adorable video of a man finding out he’s going to be a grandfather. The look of pure joy on his face is priceless.

I LOVE Parks & Rec. It’s probably my favorite show on TV right now. All of the characters make me laugh for different reasons, and I appreciate that the show can be touching without being corny. This is a little old now, but it still makes me laugh:

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#Blessed

Finally, I recently became a big Jimmy Fallon fan, and this video of jokes for a depressed panda cracked me up. I believe one of his writers is actually dancing around in that suit.

Now I’m off to Brewgaloo for a fun afternoon with friends. Have a great weekend!

Brunch Bundt Cake Recipe

In the eloquent words of William Wallace, “FREEEEEEEDOOOMMMMM!” I officially completed all of the fieldwork for my social work degree today. I enjoyed my internship, but I am ecstatic about having a few weeks off.

Since it was my last day, I made a brunch bundt cake as a small thank-you to the people who made my internship a great experience. It’s certainly not a healthy recipe, but it’s great for sharing. This cake is perfect for breakfast and brunch because it’s sweet, but the sherry keeps it from being too sweet. The flavor is reminiscent of coffee cake.

*RANDOM SIDE NOTE: In my family we call it Aunt Dolly’s Brunch Bundt Cake, but I have a confession. I couldn’t pick out Aunt Dolly in a crowd. In fact, I have no clue how she is related. All I know is that she makes a great bundt cake. Thanks Aunt Dolly, whomever you are!

Without further ado, (Aunt Dolly’s) Brunch Bundt Cake:

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3 3/4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter flavoring
  • 3/4 cup cream sherry
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (any kind)

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons milk (any kind)

Instructions

1. Beat first six ingredients together for 6 minutes. The batter will thicken and take on a stickier consistency.

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2. Mix sugar, cinnamon, and nuts together.

3. Put 1/4 of batter in a greased bundt pan. Sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture.

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4. Add more batter (but less than half of the batter remaining). ย Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.

5. Add all remaining batter.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

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7. Mix glaze ingredients together and pour on warm cake that has just been removed from the pan.

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I think my brand new bundt pan and the cooking spray I used resulted in an unusually crispy cake. It is not normally this dark. Thankfully, the cake was still moist and delicious!

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8. Serve warm and enjoy!

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How To Meal Plan Online

It’s Hump Day! Even more exciting, tomorrow is the last day of my social work internship. I have enjoyed being an intern, but I’m definitely ready for my 3 week break before I start working. Right now I’m making a brunch bundt cake as a thank-you to the team that I worked with this year. I’ll post the recipe for the cake soon.

Tonight I want to share my meal plan for the coming week. I use a website called Say Mmm. Say Mmm is great because ย you can link recipes, plan meals for the week, and generate a shopping list. I start off by creating my meal plan based on what I already have in the house and what’s on sale at the grocery store. Here’s what I came up with for this week:

Screenshot 2014-04-23 20.59.47

After I make my meal plan, I use Say Mmm to create a shopping list. The ingredients needed for the recipes automatically appear in the shopping list, with the exception of typical staple items such as salt, pepper, etc, which are noted on the recipe page. You can then manually add any other items you need such as snacks or non-food items. Here’s what part of my list looked like this week:

Screenshot 2014-04-23 21.19.56

I look at the list on my phone when I go grocery shopping. The mobile webpage actually has check boxes that cross out the item after you select it. I am such a list person so I love checking everything off.

Meal planning is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. I’m a weirdo and enjoy meal planning, but I know it can be difficult to find the time to do it. I’ve found that tools like those on Say Mmm really speed up the process and keep me from making multiple trips to the grocery store. Please feel free to share your meal planning tips, challenges, and questions. I hope that you find this information useful!

*I was not contacted or compensated by Say Mmm. I just find the website incredibly useful and wanted to share!

How Brown is the New Pink Got Its Name

If you don’t know me in “real life” I bet you’re thinking, What the heck does “Brown is the New Pink” mean? Well, this is definitely NOT a fashion blog. I believe a sense of style is required for those blogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

The name of the blog emerged from my recent wedding, which I will post about soon. My maiden name is Brown, and my new last name is Pinkerton. Some of my friends from college came up with the hashtag #brownisthenewpink for the wedding. I thought it was cute and funny, and it stuck with me after the wedding.

Screenshot 2014-04-21 22.13.22

When I was brainstorming names for the blog, Brown is the New Pink seemed fitting for all of the new beginnings in my life right now. In the last 2 months I moved into a new place, got married, got my first job, and I graduate and start my new job in less than 1 month. With all of the changes, I feel like I am starting fresh with a new name and a new outlook on wellness. Hence, Brown is the New Pink.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Ways

It’s always tough getting started. I’ll be posting inspirational quotes every Monday to get the week started off right. Please feel free to make suggestions!

There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways. ย -Mother Teresa

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! It was absolutely beautiful here in North Carolina. After such a long, dreary winter, I am more thankful for this spring than ever before.

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Derek and I went to church this morning with his younger sisters Elisa and Randi. I feel blessed to have such wonderful sisters-in-law. I’m glad we could spend Easter together! After the service we headed back to the house for a delicious Easter lunch followed by a walk around the neighborhood. If you’re not familiar with Wilkesboro, it’s in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, and the land is gorgeous.

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We headed back to Durham in the mid-afternoon to get ready for another busy week. In my family we have a tradition of getting Dairy Queen blizzards on the way home from trips, so we stopped and got some ice cream. I got a mint Oreo blizzard. It was divine.

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The first time I got Dairy Queen with Derek was right around when The Dark Knight Rises came out in theaters. I don’t remember the exact circumstances around why this happened, but Derek started saying “Get me a blizzard!!” in his best Christian Bale-style Batman voice. I thought it was hilarious, and now the Batman voice comes out every time we go to Dairy Queen. I love it.

Now on to finishing up a few things for my LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL, EVER! I’m just a little bit excited about finishing my degree. Have a great week!

Easter Egg “Nests” Recipe

Happy Saturday!

Despite setting an alarm, Derek and I slept in until 11:40 this morning! I couldn’t believe it. I haven’t slept that late since undergrad. I think the insanity of the last few months is finally catching up with me.

A few hours later we left Durham and headed to Wilkesboro, where Derek’s family lives. It’s a quick trip since we have to head back tomorrow afternoon, but I’m glad we could make it to celebrate Easter. It’s our first holiday as a married couple!

After we arrived, I made these delicious little Easter egg “nests.”

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These were SO easy to make. If you’ve ever made haystacks before, it’s exactly the same except you add Reese’s Pieces Eggs. Enjoy!


 

Easter Egg “Nests”ย 

Ingredients:

  • 1 11oz bag of butterscotch chips
  • 2 to 4 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 6 oz show mein noodles
  • Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Pastel Eggs
  • Wax paper

Instructions:

  1. Put butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. (It took me about 1 min 30 seconds total.)
  2. Add chow main noodles to the melted butterscotch and peanut butter mixture. Mix well.
  3. Scoop out 1 to 2 heaping spoonfuls of the mixture and place on wax paper.
  4. Gently push noodles into a nest shape and place Reese’s Pieces eggs in your “nests.”
  5. Allow the nests to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before eating.

 

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