High Five for Friday!

This week has definitely been one for the books! It's been super busy, but extremely fun! I'm planning on getting back into some sort of blogging routine next week, so that will be good!! Let's get started with this High Five for Friday!
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1. THE WEDDING. My younger brother Collin got married on Monday to his gorgeous now-wife Keirstyn! The wedding was beautiful! I was a bridesmaid and my other brother, Peter, was the best man. I'll have a full post with pictures coming soon, but here's one for a preview. We had a morning wedding with a breakfast reception. The theme was Enchanted Forest, and it definitely was!

2. FAMILY. I love events like weddings because all friends and family try to come out for a visit! All of my mom's brothers and sisters came to Omaha for the wedding, and we only get to see them maybe once a year! So, of course, we had so much fun catching up and hanging out! We had  a pool party the night after the wedding, and brunch too! I'm the oldest of 21 grandchildren, and Collin was the first to get married. Lots of little ones (who aren't so little anymore) running around together!

3. MURDER MYSTERY PARTY. This may be cheating a bit, but last Friday night I went to a murder mystery party that my friend hosted! It was set back in the 1930s in England, and it was super fun! There were 8 of us there, and we had dinner, dessert, and tried to figure out whodunnit! Pictures coming soon!!

4. SPACE. Since my brother Collin has now moved out, I am able to use his table for a desk! I still need to find "real" furniture, but this is the best I've got right now! I finally have a desk to get ready in the mornings and to work on things. It's so nice to be able to have a place to do that. I'm planning on doing a little room tour soon!

5. SELFIE. I'm ending this week with my new favorite selfie! Weddings are a great time for these type of photos, and this one was snapped last Saturday before the rehearsal dinner. :)

So what's been going on in your neck of the woods?! I feel out of touch, since I've been so busy lately! Tell me your favorite thing from the week down in the comments!! I'd love to hear from you!

Much Love, Allie
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Go VoxBox Unboxing!

I was once again given the chance to receive a box of goodies from Influenster to test out and review for you all! This one is called the Go VoxBox, and is all about living a healthy lifestyle. I can't wait to try all these products out! Make sure you're following me on all my social medias to see further reviews on these products!


Influenster: http://www.influenster.com/
Go VoxBox: http://www.influenster.com/badge/go-voxbox
Playtex Sport Fresh Balance: http://bit.ly/1nxXorM
Vitamin Shoppe Next Step Fit N Full Shake: http://bit.ly/1pohrZs
Blue Diamond Blueberry-Flavored Almonds: http://bit.ly/1iw45CT
Profoot Triad Orthodic Profoot Care: http://bit.ly/1wtl5Dl
Profoot Pedi Rock: http://bit.ly/RGCcRq
Aqua Spa Bath Soak: http://bit.ly/RGCnvZ
Muller Yogurt USA: http://on.fb.me/1iw4PI0

Do YOU want to become part of Influenster and try out free stuff? Leave your email address in a comment so I can email you an invite!

My Other Influenster VoxBox Unboxing Videos:
J'Adore VoxBox: http://bit.ly/1hCHPad
Violet VoxBox: http://bit.ly/1hCI1X6
Dasani Drops VoxBox: http://bit.ly/1iwclmh

Much Love, Allie
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A Healthy Chai Hot Breakfast!

You all probably know by now how much I love chai! Take out the tea, and you basically have delicious spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and cardamom. That sounds a LOT like what's in pumpkin pie spice. Once I discovered that, pumpkin pie spice doesn't only have to see daylight once a year! So, today I'm showing you how I create a delicious breakfast of steel-cut oats that tastes like chai!!

Sometimes I get tired of the normal oatmeal, or even other breakfasts. This is a different option that's healthy and tasty too! You can get these steel-cut oats at your local grocery store. Mine came from Whole Foods. Wake up on the right side of the bed with this breakfast that only takes about 40 minutes total to make! Let's get started!

Ingredients:
Steel-Cut Oats
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Butter
Milk, Cream, etc.
Sweetener of choice
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Start by preparing you steel cut oats like it says on the tin. Mine offers the option to cook them in milk or water, but I recommend just doing water (you don't have to watch it as closely). We will add all the creaminess at the end!

Cook until all water is absorbed.

Once your steel cut oats are cooked, add in one small pat of butter, one tablespoon or so of milk, pumpkin pie spice to taste (about 1/2 tsp.), and a sprinkle of your sweetener of choice (I'm using Sugar in the Raw). 

Mix it all up until smooth.

Taste test!!

And you're done! Enjoy!

I love this breakfast because it's healthy, filling, and easy to make! If you're in a hurry, get your oats going right away, and let them cook as you get ready (just don't forget to stir them occasionally!!).

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?! What flavors do you love in your oatmeal?!

Much Love, Allie
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SPRING COLLECTIVE HAUL

Happy Friday! Yippee! Today I have a lovely fashion and beauty haul for you guys, with some randoms thrown in! I've collected these bits and pieces over the past few weeks, and I can't wait to show you! Make sure you let me know the awesome goodies you have picked up lately in the comments below!!




Head over to my YouTube video page to get all the details on what I hauled!

Now for a little extra fun! This week (after filming the video) I headed over to Walgreens. As I was strolling through the hair aisle, I found that the Loreal Advanced HairCare styling products were on sale for $3.99 a piece! And then, I browsed for online coupons and found a coupon for $3 off when you buy two! So I got the LOCK IT Weather Control Hairspray and the SLEEK IT Strand Smoother Serum-Spray. Together, they would have cost about $12 originally. But I got them both for $5!! Definitely check it out at Walgreens this weekend! I can't wait to try them out! Head over to the Walgreens online coupons to clip the coupon to your store card!

Much Love, Allie
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Lemon Cake Truffles

I love this time of year, with all the fun parties and such! Everything from graduation parties to bridal and baby showers, with some weddings and summer shindigs thrown in! With all these events coming up, there's a definite need for easy, yet interesting and different recipes! I recently co-hosted a bridal shower for my brother's fiancée, so I thought I would share some of the recipes I used for the event! Today, we are going for the sweet and tart combo: Lemon Cake Truffles!!
These were so fun to make, and only require a little bit of baking! I contemplated calling them "Lemon Cake Balls" because that's basically what they are, they're Lemon Cake Pops without the stick! Now you can absolutely add the stick for another cute element, but I was pressed for time, plus, I think they turned out just as adorable! The colors for the shower were coral and aqua, hence, the two colors of truffles. Feel free to add whatever color you want!

For the frosting, I gleaned from Sweetapolita's Lemon Frosting Recipe, but halved it and added my own twist.

To get started, you will need:
1 box of a Lemon Cake Mix
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
Zest of 1 Lemon
2.5 cups powdered sugar
Fresh juice from half a lemon
1/8 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
White Almond Bark
Food Coloring (optional)

The How-To:
Prepare your cake from the mix, and bake it in the oven. Make sure you do not overbake it! Underbaked is better than overbaked.
 
While the cake is in the oven/cooling, make the frosting:
Put butter (at room temperature) and lemon zest in a medium bowl. How much lemon zest is completely up to you. I like my frosting zinging, especially because we aren't adding anything to the cake, but it's your choice!

 Cream butter and zest with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.
 
 Slowly add in the powdered sugar, and beat on low until smooth.


Add in the whipping cream, and mix until combined.

Squeeze in your lemon juice, to taste. Again, I'm leaving it up to your taste buds! I just love when the tang meets the sweetnesss of the outside coating!

Add in the vanilla, to taste. You can also sub this out for lemon extract, but I didn't have any on hand.

Mix until everything is combined and smooth and has the texture of frosting. If it's too wet, add more powdered sugar. If it isn't wet enough, add more lemon juice or whipping cream.

 Move back to the cake. Your cake shoud be completely cool before this, so if you need to pop it into the refrigerator for a bit, feel free to do so! Make sure when you bake it, you line the bottom of the pan with parchment, and prepare the pan with butter and flour so it comes out easily. Break up the cake and place it into a large bowl.

Using your hands, crumble the cake into small pieces until it looks like the crumbles are even in size. Feel free to remove any overdone parts as you go through. You don't want those chunks in your cake truffles!

Your cake will already be pretty moist. To get a feel for this, grab a handful and squeeze it in your hand. The cake should form together.

Add a little frosting at a time. I mean, a SPOONFUL at a time! You'll only need about a fourth of the amount of frosting, but that's OK! Less frosting will make for a better textured truffle. Use your hands to mix in the frosting well.

Once you feel that your truffles will stick together well, use a small ice cream scoop to keep the balls around the same size. I only filled the scoop up about 2/3 of the way.

Form your cake into balls, and pop them into the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Prepare your almond bark by melting it in the microwave and then adding the food coloring. I started off with three squares for each color, but had to go back and melt three more for each, because you'll need quite a bit to coat all the truffles.

Once your truffles are nice and firm, take them out of the freezer and dip the into the almond bark. Let the excess drip off before you place them on wax paper to set.

And you're done! Dip all the truffles, let them harden, and you're good to go! If you prepare these ahead of time, I recommend keeping them in the fridge or freezer, because there is dairy in the frosting.
One cake should make about 24 truffles. You defintely could make two cakes, with the same amount of frosting!

Trust me, these are a hit at parties, and they are the perfect sweet treat bite!

If YOU decide to try this recipe, please post a picture to twitter or instagram and tag me (@allieelliott) and use the hashtag #thegypsyteacher so I can see your yummy creations!

Happy baking!
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