Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The BEST French Toast Recipe {Blueberry-Maple French Toast}

Since Drew and I have been married, I have made the same thing every year for our Christmas breakfast. It's that good. The other day we had Drew's family over for breakfast and I decided to make our Christmas morning favorite, Blueberry-Maple French Toast with Blueberry Sauce. Today I decided it was time I share the recipe with you. Are you excited?
Cast of Characters:
1 large loaf (1 pound) of French bread, crust removed
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 dozen large eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/3 cup your favorite maple syrup

For the Blueberry Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup blueberries

Start by cutting the bread into 1 inch cubes. Spread half of the bread cubes on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Then cut the cream cheese into small cubes and scatter over the bread cubes. Scatter the blueberries evenly on top and cover with the other half of bread cubes.

Mix the beaten eggs, maple syrup and milk together in a large bowl. Pour this over the bread mixture then cover the dish tightly and refrigerate overnight. Make sure to remove the dish 30 minutes before baking the next day.

Preheat the oven to 350. Keep the dish covered with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes until ingredients are set.

While the French toast bakes you can start on the blueberry sauce. Yum. Combine the sugar, water, cornstarch and butter in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly! Then stir in the blueberries, reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the blueberries start to burst. It's actually pretty entertaining to watch blueberries burst.

Last, slice the french toast and serve with the warm blueberry sauce.

Are you in heaven yet? Please tell me you will be making this recipe.

Recipe taken from: The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas, which also includes my favorite hashbrown casserole recipe!

Monday, March 17, 2014

T.G.F.S.B. {Thank God For Spring Break}

One huge benefit of teaching is this little thing called Spring Break. Even though I'm not going anywhere that involves the ocean or temperatures above 60 degrees, I do want to cross some things off my list and enjoy my new found freedom while it lasts so...

I will be making this...{Happy St. Patrick's Day!}
Click here for full post on this delicious Corned Beef recipe
 I will be drinking out of these...
I plan to finish reading this...
 I'm going to shop for an outfit like this:
Pin from here
I'm going to perfect my chocolate chip cookie recipe:
Recipe from here
I'm going on a lunch date with this girl:
I'm going to sleep in, take a walk every day, go on more lunch dates, and just relax. This little break is much needed and I plan to enjoy every.single.second.

Do you still get to enjoy this wonderful thing called Spring Break?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Operation: "Surprise the socks off of Betsy"

I have been thrown 2 surprise parties in my life and honestly they are some of my favorite memories. Never do you feel more loved than when someone makes an effort to really surprise the socks off of you. This weekend Drew and I headed to Indy to be at a surprise 30th birthday party for one of my college girlfriends. She had NO idea that a few of us were going to make the drive to see her and it was so sweet to be able to be there to surprise her. After having just spent an amazing weekend with my college girlfriends in January we all thought it would be months before we would be together again. We are on a roll. Next up...a little Michigan beach getaway in June. I can't wait to see these girls again and see what other surprises may be in store this month.
Thanks to Betsy's photographer friend Kiel for a few of these great pictures!
Don't you just love surprises?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello/Goodbye Link-up #8

I am excited for what March is going to bring this year. I am feeling hopeful about this new month and can't wait for the adventures and surprises it will bring. Each new month is a fresh new start on life and personally, I plan to enjoy every second of it. Here are a few things I am saying hello to this month! Link up below to share yours...

Hello March, Goodbye February
Hello Spring and long awaited sunshine (minus the 7-10 inches we are supposed to get tomorrow)
Hello 11/22/63, Goodbye The Husband's Secret
Hello flowers, Goodbye Christmas lights (yes we just took them down this week, oops)
Hello Spring Break, Goodbye school for a week
Hello to 12 years of total togetherness with my favorite guy
Hello bachelorette and birthday parties, Goodbye having a free weekend in March
Hello long awaited second Skype date with Tara
Hello Cornbread Chicken Enchiladas
Hello hiking boots, Goodbye snow boots
Hello OPENING DAY, the real first day of Spring
Hello first pedicure of 2014, goodbye neglected, naked toes
Hello Root Beer Stand, Goodbye healthy eating

Link-up Rules:
-Follow my blog in whatever way you choose: Bloglovin, Facebook, GFC
-Grab the Hello/Goodbye button below and add it to your post or link your post back to my blog
-Go visit some of the other bloggers who linked up and see what they are saying hello to this month

This link up will be open from March 1st-4th and will reoccur the first of every month!

Nestful of LOve

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Book Club Picks

So I'm kind of obsessed with Goodreads. As nerdy as it may sound, I have been having so much fun finding new books to add to my Want to read list and rating books I've already read. I just finished The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. Find me on Goodreads to see what I thought...

As I've been thinking back on some of my favorite books, I started thinking about the books I have most loved discussing with others. So I came up with a list of the books I would recommend to book clubs looking for a new book to read. The books I picked are not necessarily the best books I have ever read, but they are worth reading and are great books to discuss for the content and the twists and turns that lie within. 
Book club picks

What books would you add to this list? My book club needs a new book for March!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another check off the list {Krohn's Conservatory}

It's been a while since Drew and I checked something off of our Cincinnati Bucket List. This weekend we changed that when my friend Betsy was in town. We knew the weather was going to be glorious on Saturday so we decided to do something that involved the outdoors...enter Krohn's Conservatory, which can be found within Eden Park. If you live in Cincinnati and you haven't been to either one of these places, make plans to go. You won't be sorry.
The conservatory is beautiful and the special attraction going on now through March 30th is called Avant Garden. Did you pick up on the play on Avant garde in fashion? Clever, right? I only know that term because of Project Runway. Anyway...for about an hour and a half I actually felt like I lived in a warm climate and I loved every second of it. The conservatory was bursting with color, I could hear water flowing from a waterfall and I feel like I even added a few freckles to my collection because the sun has not kissed my skin in way too long! It was a lovely day and I can't wait to go back in April for the Butterfly exhibit!

I highly recommend Krohn's Conservatory to help you get rid of your winter blues!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy things on a Friday

God continually surprises me with his faithfulness. No matter how many things in your life that seem to be going wrong, he is always worthy of praise. After a few hard months, God has really been blessing me in big ways lately. Here are a few things that have been making me smile...

1. Our couples small group: Drew and I have been praying for what seems like forever for a group of couples to grow spiritually with and we finally found what we've been searching for! 
2. A special meal: One of my student's parents invited me over for dinner at their home after school one evening. My student's dad is from Kenya so they prepared me an authentic Kenyan meal complete with a traditional tea after dinner. I felt so spoiled and loved on!

3. Being a bridesmaid: My friend Bekah asked me to be a Bridesmaid in her upcoming May wedding. I said YES of course! She is going to be a gorgeous bride, right?
4. Songs from Frozen: This video is making me extremely happy. If you love the song "Let it Go" from Frozen, you have to watch it! I've only watched it about 10 times in a few days...no big deal.
5. My sweet little family: They always make me happy. So thankful for them.
6. Blates: The blog world continues to bless me. I am so happy to have made such real and unexpected friendships from the internet. It still sounds weird saying it, but it's true. I got to spend my Valentine's eve dinner with Erin and we had a great time trying out a new Cincy restaurant.
7. Getting things for ridiculously cheap: My sister in law and I went to a frame sale at an old warehouse Downtown and scored big time. I got all of these awesome old frames for 15 bucks. I can't wait to play around with them!
So there you have it...things that are making me happy lately! 
What's been making you happy?