Keep Moving Forward

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

This summer has been a whirlwind of a busy work life and an even busier personal life. With plans almost every weekend, a great relationship that is flourishing and two weddings right around the corner–it’s been quite an adjustment with my workload getting shifted around. This weekend I will be in Wisconsin Dells for one of my friends wedding festivities prior to her big day in a few weeks, and I fly out for a business trip Monday morning.

With staff changes in our office, this quote made my morning–reminding me what a great opportunity of growth I have experienced lately in the workplace. Keep your head held high, opportunities are given to you for a reason, let those opportunities help you grow. Have a wonderful weekend!

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The Perfect Chocolate Lovers Cake

Blackout Chocolate Cake | the best chocolate cake with a chocolate chip exterior just to be a little OMG. pinchofyum.com

Last week I made this delicious chocolate cake for my boyfriends birthday, and it was AMAZING. If you don’t love and I mean love chocolate, this cake isn’t the one for you.
Not only was this cake easy to make, it was SO moist. I hate when cakes are dry. This one held its moisture for 4 days without getting even a tad on the dry side. If you don’t want a tall cake, keep it at two layers. I made three layers and it looked marvelous.

For the chocolate cake:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (we use DeLallo) **I did not use any in mine 
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt (we use Chobani whole milk yogurt)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3-4 cups of chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9-inch round cake pans. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide evenly between the three cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until the cakes are set. Let the cakes cool for a while.
  2. Frosting: Cream the ingredients (except chocolate chips) until smooth.
  3. Assembly: Stack the cakes up, frosting between each layer, around the outside, and on top. Chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Chocolate Chipping: Cover the cake with chocolate chips wherever desired. *My chocolate chips ended up melting beforehand and I instead added some thin mint Girl Scout cookies crumbled on top and some full thin mint cookies displayed in a circle on top, which turned out delicious too.

Happy Baking!

Work Week Meal Prep

Sundays are my favorite day to meal prep for the week, and after last weekend–it was needed! I love any form of eggs (egg muffins, scrambled, hard boiled), but this week I decided on egg muffins, one of my favorites.

The reason why I am so drawn to egg muffins and hard boiled eggs is because they are the perfect compliment to my morning shakes. They give you nutrition and the satisfaction of something to eat.

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Egg Muffins: Feel free to use/swap whatever ingredients you like–mushrooms, spinach, etc.
-5 eggs
-1/4-1/2 cup bell peppers (whatever color desired)
-1/4-1/2 cup diced ham
-1/4-1/2 cup turkey sausage crumbles
-1/4 cup shredded cheese
-1/4 tsp desired seasoning (I used pepper)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of the muffin cups with nonstick spray or butter. Mix your eggs in a bowl, add seasoning if desired. Dice and chop whatever ingredients you desire to have in your muffins. Fill the bottom of the muffin cups with your ingredients, evenly distributing between the cups. Fill the cups about 3/4 full with the egg mixture. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top if desired.

Bake the muffins at 350 degrees until they were firm and golden brown. Let them cool and remove from the tins and into a container or plastic bags. They are great warmed up and will last all week.

Lunch: 
For lunch this week, I prepped chicken and rice, enough for the week.

Baked Chicken:
-2 lbs fresh chicken breasts (trim the fat)
-1/2 tsp pepper or your choice of seasoning

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim excess fat from the fresh chicken breasts. Line a pan with aluminum foil (not necessary). Spray the foil or pan with nonstick spray. Lay the chicken on the pan and sprinkle with pepper or your desired seasoning. Bake until chicken is fully cooked throughout. Let cool before placing in fridge.

Brown Rice:
-2 cups jasmine brown rice
-Rice cooker

Directions: Pour your desired amount of rice (I did about 2 cups) into the rice cooker. Fill the cooker with water so the water level is a half finger tip high over the top of the rice. Place cover on rice, cook until soft. If the rice isn’t cooked all the way through, you can add a bit more water and continue to cook. Let the rice cool before placing in the fridge.

As for my shake recipe, this is the recipe I have been making lately for breakfast to go with my egg muffin.
Morning Protein Shake:
-1 scoop protein powder (Chocolate Whey)
-1 tbsp PB2
-3 ice cubes
– 2 cups skim milk

Blend together and enjoy!

My Nighttime Skincare Routine!

Hello loves! Welcome back 🙂 Today I’m going to be sharing my nighttime skincare routine. I have a bunch of tips and tricks on how to help keep your skin clear, clean and wrinkle free! If you’d like to see how I keep my skin free of acne then just keep scrolling. 🙂

After having my makeup on for about 7-8 hours, I just feel disgusting, haha. The last thing I want to do is have my makeup on for one more minute! Which leads to the first step in my night routine, taking off my makeup! I use the Equate Makeup Remover wipes from Target. They’re super cheap and work really well to take off all my mascara and foundation. One tip I have for you when taking off your makeup is to be gentle. Your skin is fragile, especially around your eyes! I like to press the makeup…

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