These Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting are the perfect Fall cupcake! Soft and full of spice!

Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting -- simple recipe using a cake mix but tastes homemade!

Why don’t stay at home parents get paid real money? Who was it that decided that raising a toddler isn’t income worthy? Because let me tell you something friends, IT. IS. WORK.

I just don’t understand how there isn’t tax revenue set aside somewhere for being a parent. Have you seen the stuff the government pays for? Surely paying for human beings isn’t outside the realm of possibility? I mean, there are probably billions spent on secret alien stuff, we all know it.

Also, the even dumber thing is that OTHER people get paid to watch our kids, just not us. It’s like, hello, you don’t get paid for staying home, but if someone else comes to your home to watch your kid, you have to pay them. With what money, that’s what I want to know. Because I sure as heck didn’t get any for changing infinity poopy diapers and dealing with a child who is on a very intentional chocolate pudding diet.

Pumpkin Cupcakes Image

Can a kid end up hospitalized from eating too many containers of chocolate pudding?

Is scurvy a real thing or did we just invent that to scare our kids?

Why doesn’t Amazon offer wine as part of their subscribe and save program? Isn’t wine as important as toilet paper and applesauce pouches?

I’m asking these questions for a friend, obviously. But…I need answers as soon as possible, please.

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe Photo

If you’re looking for a yummy and easy Pumpkin Cupcake recipe, I might just be your new best friend — these are fabulous. I did use a cake mix this go around, but they could totally pass for homemade! They’re soft and pumpkin-ey and just lovely. I ain’t mad at the cream cheese frosting either. I mean…hello Fall cupcakes, are you single?

These Pumpkin Cupcakes are definitely on permanent Fall rotation around here — they’re pretty perfect . Enjoy!!

These Oreo Cheesecake Brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream! Fudgy homemade brownies are topped with creamy cheesecake and full of cookie pieces.

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies

Want to know something totally weird about me?

I get irritated when someone calls me without warning me first that they were going to call me.

Honestly, I have always felt like this was a normal thing to be annoyed about. I’m all, “HELLLOOOOO, texting exists for a REASON. What if I was in the middle of something and couldn’t talk? What if I was in the bathroom or at a pediatrician’s appointment? You don’t know my life. You can’t just call me all willy nilly like it’s okay to have a spontaneous conversation with voices without even allowing me to CLEAR MY SCHEDULE. Gah.”

Because I am going to tell you something –my normal friends and I  clear it via text before we have real voice conversations. It’s a whole big thing.

Also? If someone texts and asks me if I have time for them to call me, I assume someone died or is in the process of dying. I go into the fetal position and have already worked out a eulogy before the conversation even takes place. Apparently my brain has decided that phones are only used for actually calling if death is imminent.

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies Photo

Then the other day I got a call and of course, I went through my “Gah, no text? You don’t know my life” monologue and then I stopped and realized that I am completely weird. I mean, it’s a ringing phone. I have decided that I need a warning that my device is going to ring, giving me the choice as to whether or not I actually answer it.

What is the world even coming to? I don’t know. I have issues.

Wanna know why I have issues? Because I spend my day with a toddler and brownies, cut off from society. Also, say weird things at inappropriate times. I tell the truth when I should lie. Real time conversations that don’t allow me to delete and retype and stare at the text, thinking carefully before I send it. I know my iMessage text bubbles pop up for infinity — I probably deleted what I was ACTUALLY going to say forty-eight times. Real voices do not allow for that.

We are all better off this way.

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies Photo

Also? Brownies make the world a better place.

This recipe is pretty dang fabulous. I used my favorite, one bowl homemade recipe, adding chopped up Oreos and a thick and creamy cheesecake topping. They are so easy to whip up!!

Oreo Cheesecake Brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 10 Oreo Cookies, chopped
  • Cheesecake Topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of all purpose flour
  • 5 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and cocoa powder until smooth and thick. Stir in sugar until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Fold in the flour until just combined, then fold in the chopped cookies. Spread evenly in prepared pan.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about a minute. Add sugar and beat on medium about 30 more seconds, until combined and fluffy. Add vanilla and flour, mixing on medium low until combined. Add egg, scraping down side of bowl and beating on medium low until smooth. Pour over brownies, using a sharp knife to marble just slightly with the brownie batter. Sprinkle cookie pieces evenly over the top, pressing in gently.
  4. Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before serving.

These are incredible! Enjoy, friends!

Simple Menu Plan for Busy Weeknights

Happy weekend!

If your house is anything like mine, football is on a LOT over the weekend (if so, take a peek at these). I find myself sitting with my husband and doing things like paying bills or browsing Pinterest — it’s also a GREAT time to take care of a menu plan and grocery list.

Of course, I am all for having my husband help around the house, but grocery shopping is not his forte. I have sent him to the store SO many times, only for him to come home without things on the list, the wrong brand, or the wrong things in general. I love him, but it’s not worth the time it would take for him to get it all figured out. So he helps me with bathing Lucy Goose or putting laundry away, and I keep a firm handle on all things grocery related. It works.

Be sure to print out a grocery list/menu planner to help you keep it all organized! Happy cooking!

OvenBakedFajitas

Monday: Oven Baked Fajitas

This meal is SO great and incredibly easy. Pop this in the oven, get out some shredded cheese and flour tortillas and you’re good to go! I normally make some rice, too.

*photo credit

BakedZiti Tuesday: Baked Ziti

I have been making this from Allrecipes.com for YEARS. I always get asked for the recipe. It’s incredibly good and easy to whip up! I always half ours, and we still have tons leftover after 3 servings.

*photo credit

CheesyChicken Wednesday: Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Another family favorite that is kid friendly. I started making this about 4 years ago — my boys LOVE it. It’s so easy, you just make it in the crockpot.

*photo credit

BeefTips

Thursday: Beef Tips and Rice

Another easy crockpot meal that my husband and son love. I will most likely serve this with mashed potatoes since we are having rice the day before.

*photo credit

PotatoHamChowder

Friday: Potato, Ham, and Corn Chowder

How amazing does this look? We love potato soup and we love ham, so I’m excited to try this out.

*photo credit

 

Have a great week!

Heard a lot about highlighting but need a simple tutorial? I’m sharing how to make your skin look glowing and flawless in minutes!

Three Minute Highlight -- how to get flawless, glowing skin every time!

Wanna talk about make-up?

I read a lot of beauty and make-up blogs and it seems like EVERYONE is all about highlighting and contouring right now. Instagram has been taken over by it too, with even men getting in on it in a hilarious way. My favorite!

I’ve taken some time to try to learn the highlight/contouring thing, but it’s just not sensible for every day. Honestly, there is hardly any occasion that merits an extra hour of painting brown lines on my face. I DO, however, LOVE a quick highlight. It’s a fabulous way of achieving that glowy, flawless look that makes you look twice at someone’s make-up. And it’s SO easy!

If you’re a fan of the more matte look, you won’t love this. But if you’re a dewy, sparkly kind of girl, this is for you!

I strayed from my normal photos and decided to do a video this go around. Which is basically a nightmare. Hello computer, I am talking to thin air. Weird. Please note that I am a hand talker, there is no fixing or changing that about me. You’ll always know how excited I am by how quickly my hands are flying around. Sometimes people get injured, what do you do.

That’s it! Easy, peasy, right?

Hopefully my video didn’t scar you for life, I assure you it DID scar me for life, but sometimes you just have to give things a whirl. I am hoping with a bit of practice I get better, so if there are other beauty videos you’d like to see, let me know! I’m here to help :)

Highlighters

Here are a few of my favorite highlighters — the first one is an eyeshadow, but it works great as a highlighter as well. It’s also the eyeshadow I was wearing in the video.

1. Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten

2. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

3. Bare Minerals Illuminating Mineral Veil

4. NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic

Brushes

Here’s the brush I used in the video – I LOVE it! I’m also linking to a less expensive option that would work fabulously as well.

1. It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush/Concealer Brush

2. Real Techniques Setting Brush

 

If you’re interested in the make-up I had on, I’ve linked to all the products below:

Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Sucre
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Diffused Heat
Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten
Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Black Velvet
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Pure Beige
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Powder

 

Thanks for reading! Have a great day!