Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Week!

I can hardly believe that my WEDDING WEEK is finally here! I am no longer counting in weeks, I am counting in DAYS!! I am over-the-moon with excitement. Now, if i could just get some SLEEP and stop checking the weather every 3 minutes. Thankfully, I ran most of my errands and finished lots of last minute details over the weekend, so hopefully I can enjoy these last few days before I am officially a Mrs!
Last Wedding To-Do List:
-Pack up all the ceremony/reception decorations
-Pack wedding day bag
-Pack for honeymoon
-Pick up rehearsal dinner dress from alterations
-Pick up wedding dress from bridal boutique
-Get my ring cleaned
-Finish wrapping gifts
-Finish bridal luncheon place cards
-Order bridal luncheon cupcakes
-Call all vendors with a final headcount
-Pedicures with mom and sister

On another exciting note - I picked up my bridal portrait CD from my photographer, Dianne Personett this weekend. Although I am dyyying to post all 483 pictures, I will leave you with my favorite ring shots until after the wedding!

Isn't she incredible? I swoon over her creativity!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Honeymoon Destination

In just 10 days, Matt and I will be relaxing on powder-soft sand on the glorious island of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I am so looking forward to our romantic getaway. I keep catching myself daydreaming about diving the dazzling coral reefs, hiking the tropical rainforests, and eating at the sumptuous restaurants under sparkling moonlight. I cannot wait to kickoff our marriage by indulging in pure tropical splendor.

Punta Cana is world-renowned for its stretch of white sand (the longest in the Caribbean) and its collection of impressive resorts. We will be staying at the all-inclusive 5 star luxury "Majestic Elegance Resort" resort for 7 blissful days!  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crock Pot Lasagna

Please a crowd with this flavor packed lasagna, which slow cooks to bubbling perfection in a crock pot. 

You Will Need:
{1} tbs. olive oil  
{2} jars (each 24 oz.) spaghetti sauce 
{1} lb. whole-milk ricotta cheese 
{2} tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
{18} ruffle-edged lasagna noodles (not no-boil noodles) 
{1} 8 oz bag Mozzarella cheese
{1} 5 oz bag Parmesan cheese
Thinly sliced fresh basil for garnish
slow cooker liner

Place your slow cooker liner in your crock pot, then spread a thin layer of the sauce on the bottom of the pot.
Cover the sauce with a single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (about 3), breaking the noodles as needed to fit. Spread about 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over the noodles.
Top with about 2 cups of sauce, then sprinkle with about 1 cup of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
Repeat the layering 4 more times, starting with the noodles. 
Cover and cook on low until the noodles are tender and cooked through, about 4 hours.
Preheat oven to broil. Transfer the slow-cooker pot to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. 
Let the lasagna rest for 20 minutes before serving. Garnish with basil and serve immediately. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Sassy Water

Looking for a way to perk up those 8 glasses of water that you should be drinking every day? Look no further…I present to you Sassy Water! Not only is it tasty, but sassy water is touted as a way to help you shed some extra pounds around your midsection by eliminating a buildup of contaminants, fat, and excess water weight. 
8.5 cups water
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, sliced thin
1 large lemon, sliced thin
12 mint leaves

Find the print recipe here.
Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher and refrigerate overnight. I highly recommend picking up an infusion pitcher to skip the straining step!
original post photo
The next morning, strain (if not using an infusion pitcher) and drink all 8 ½ cups throughout the day.
Repeat for 4 days in a row...trying your best avoid any other beverages (coffee, soda, alcohol, etc.)

Why it works: Cucumber is natural diuretic, contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps the body release stored excess water. Ginger boosts metabolism, helps cleanse out your system and soothes your GI tract. Lemon juice also helps to cleanse and alkalize the body. Mint helps settle your stomach and aids in digestion.

April 2016 update: due to the overwhelming popularity of this recipe I updated (some) of the photos. Thank you all for the comments and recommendations on this delicious drink!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bridal Bootcamp

With only 17 days left until our “I Do’s,” it is time to get serious about getting in wedding day shape! Not only am I hoping to shred a few pounds to feel fabulous in my dress, I would love to be more excited about all those new bikinis I’ve bought for the honeymoon!  
Here is the beauty regime I am going to try my absolutely darndest to stick to so I can sparkle as I walk down the aisle! 
Workout: I have been getting up early 3 to 5 days a week to workout with "tough-as-nails" trainer, Jillian Michaels. If you want to work your booty off in 20 minutes you should definitely invest the $8 in her DVD! She is seriously TOUGH. On opposite days I have been running outside as much as I can before it gets too chilly!

Diet: ehhh! I dread "dieting," so I am going to make a valiant effort to write down everything I eat and control my portions. Oh, and I've promised to cut out my afternoon guilty pleasure - freshly baked cookies from the cafeteria at work. 
Water: For some reason I can never accurately keep track of how many glasses of water I drink a day. I usually just try to drink enough to have to pee every 20 minutes. ha.

Sleep: 8 hours minimum, no exceptions. ever. Am I the only person who sets their alarm a half hour early just to feel like getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep?
Face: I have terribly dry skin that flakes all year round. Recently, I have {literally} found Hope in a Jar and it has dramatically improved my skin. I use it twice a day, coupled with my amazing Nutra Sonic cleansing system, and my skin now has a nature glow that I never knew I could have!
Whitestrips: I invested in the Crest 3D Advanced Vivid Strips to brighten my smile.
Tanning: I am laying in the bed 2-3 times a week.
Vitamins: I take lots of vitamins a day, but my hands-down, all time favorite vitamin is BIOTIN. I swear by this supplement and cannot tell you how amazing it works. Just after a few weeks you will see shiny, healthier, and longer hair, drastically fuller eyelashes, and serious nail growth! is $3 a bottle at Target!

Any other tips for a gorgeous wedding day glow? What did you do to prepare for your big day?

Monday, October 17, 2011

DIY Burlap + Lace Hair Applique

So after making those darling burlap boutonnieres for all the groomsmen, I decided it was only fair to make something equally super duper cute for all the bridesmaids! So without further adieu, I present to you…burlap and lace hair appliqu├ęs!  

So cute, right?! I am going to give these to all the girls to add to their up-dos!

You Will Need: 
Cereal box-weight cardboard
2” lace trim
1” lace trim
Extra long bobby pins
Elmer’s Glue
Hot glue gun
Embroidery floss and needle 
Stiffen Stuff

Step 1: Trace and cut circles out of the cardboard, one per each applique. {I used a ½ measuring cup as a stencil}

Step 2: Trace and cut circles out of the burlap, one per each applique. {I used a ½ measuring cup as a stencil

Step 3: Glue burlap circles on top of cardboard circles and trim.

Step 4: Cut the 2" lace into 12" pieces.

Step 5: Thread the needle through the bottom of the lace.

Step 6: Starting from one end, gather the lace by gently pulling the thread

Step 7: Once you've pulled the thread tight, join the ends of the lace together and tie your knot in the thread. Cut excess thread. 

Step 8: Place a large drop of hot glue in the middle of the burlap circle.

Step 9: Press and hold flower on top of glue for a few seconds

 Now for the top layer..!

Step10:  Cut the 1" lace into 6" pieces. 

Step11: Repeat steps 5 - 7. Place a large drop of hot glue in the middle of the flower, and press and hold the second layer on top.

Step12: Add a drop of glue to the middle and place your button on top.

Step13: Once dry, flip your flower over and carefully glue your bobby pin to the cardboard. {Be careful not to use too much glue so you don't glue your pin together!} 

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