Friday, January 22, 2016

friday //

Happy Friday my friends! Even though it was a short work week, I'm happy the weekend is here!
Sharing a few of my favorite finds from this week...

// I love the Smith & Hawken line at Target, especially their wreaths! I've been trying to decide what I want to get to hang on our front door for the spring, and I love this green wreath with a little splash of purple canary grass.

// The idea of a reclaimed wooden wedding sign is so cute! I would like to have one perhaps leading into our reception area - and I think it is maybe something I could make instead of purchase...what do you think, easy enough to craft?? ;)

// I am in desperate need of a winter coat. I got one on sale last year...and hate it. It has started to venture into the single digit temperatures here in Ohio now, so I really need to find something, and fast! I love this faux fur parka from Zara (seen on Tanya Burr during her Vlogmas videos).  

// In case you missed it, I attempted to re-create this delicious recipe from Skinny Taste the other evening, and it turned out pretty great! Check out the post here

// Favorite look of the week! Crystalin Marie in a cowl neck sweater, black vest, leggings, and wellies - such a perfect casual winter outfit!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

spicy california shrimp stack

You know when you get in a groove with recipes and start making the same things over and over again on repeat? Well, Aaron and I have been in that groove, and I am getting sick of eating the same in an effort to mix it up, I went searching for some new, easy recipes to try!

- Limited ingredients
- Relatively simple 
- Vegetarian (fish is okay)
- Kids will eat

I found this great recipe from Skinny Taste that reminded me of a giant sushi - yum!
There was quite a bit of prep, but once everything was cooked and chopped, putting them together was simple and fun! Basically, you layer everything in a 1 CUP measuring cup and then flip it upside down to create a little "stack"!

skinny taste recipe

I was worried that once each wouldn't be enough, but I was full before finishing it! 

  • 1 1/3 cups cooked short-grain brown rice (from 1/2 cup uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 cup diced cucumber (about 1 small)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium)
  • 4 teaspoons sesame seeds 
  • 4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce

skinny taste recipe


Cook rice (I used a rice cooker - it took about an hour).
When rice is done, add rice vinegar and stir.  

Cook shrimp and cut into 1-inch cubes. 

In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives. 
In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.

Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoon of avocado, then ¼ of the shrimp, and 1/3 cup rice. 

Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  

Sprinkle with Furikake and drizzle with 1 teaspoon soy sauce and sriracha mayonnaise.  
Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

wedding planning // the venue & date

I finally have some updates on the wedding planning front! 
We picked a date and booked a venue :)

fall wedding

We live in Columbus, OH...but I have never wanted to get married here...or even in Ohio for that matter. My mum's side of the family is from Scotland and both Aaron and I thought it would be amazing to get married over there in a castle (hello fairytale!) ...but whomp whomp...turns out that would cost an arm, a leg, and basically your first born back the the drawing board it was.

My dad's side of the family is from Asheville, North Carolina. I spent my childhood at my grandma's house in the mountains and love the scenery and just overall vibe of this gorgeous Appalachian town, so I started looking for venues in that area. I found one that I instantly fell in love with, but was broken-hearted to find out they were completely booked for all of 2016. It wasn't meant to be though, so I moved on and ended up finding the equally as amazing venue...Mountain Magnolia Inn

asheville wedding
This is a gorgeous late 1800's Victorian Estate tucked into the Blue Ridge mountains with amazing grounds and breath-taking views. 
Just what I was looking for to host my small mountain wedding.

asheville wedding

asheville wedding

Here are some pictures of the venue from recent weddings they've held...




So exciting, I get butterflies every time I think about it! In 9 months from now - on Monday, October 3rd, 2016 - I will be marrying my best friend and soul mate under a 150 year old walnut tree in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina <3 

Friday, January 15, 2016

friday //

This week has been a wild one. Work is crazy, school started back up...and I haven't had time to get much else done. 

My birthday was on Tuesday, but a part from a few nice gifts from my co-workers and some lovely birthday messages from friends and family, there wasn't much celebrating. Aaron was out of town for work and we had celebrated last Saturday. He took me out for a lovely date night, complete with dinner and a Star Wars in IMAX 3-D, which I had been dying to see. 

I have managed to pull myself away from the crazy for a few minutes to share some of my recent favorites (and not-so-favorites) with all of you!

// I am always in search of good moisturizers. I have such dry skin, and they are truly a beauty must-have, for both day and night. I came across this list of top rated moisturizers and was happy to see a couple of things. First of all, this team did a lot of research behind these products before deciding to label them "the best" - you can see all their criteria in the article. Secondly, the majority of those listed are from cruelty-free companies - Dermalogica, bareMinerals, Juice Beauty, and Sunday Riley! I'm interested to try some out, especially since most are moderately priced!

// I've ordered our Save the Dates! They are from Minted...and this isn't a picture of the one I chose, because I want to reveal them in their own post. I am SO excited for them to arrive and finally send them out! 

// Thanks to Instagram, I stumbled upon an adorable Etsy business called Double Dobes Barkery. As you probably already know, I have two dobermans, so I was instantly drawn to this account due to the name. Then, I saw that they sell handmade dog treats that are all natural with limited (real) ingredients. I was so excited, I immediately ordered two types - and bonus - they will stamp your fur baby's name on the treats too! My dogs LOVE the them and every time I go to the cupboard, they come running, thinking they are going to get one ;)

// Now for a favorite actor passed away on Thursday. When I found out, I nearly broken down in tears while sitting in my office at work. Alan Rickman was not only talented, he represented a huge part of my childhood by flawlessly bringing my all-time favorite literary character to life. It's amazing how someone you don't personally know can affect you so much, and I am truly heartbroken to see him go. 

// Another wedding-related item! I ordered a custom-made flower crown from the super talented Stevi Sherman for our upcoming engagement pictures. I can't wait to see what she creates for me. Her work is beautiful and very fairly priced...check out her Etsy site "Missstevimarie" :)



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

year 28

Happy Tuesday ladies!

I am now officially in my second to last year of being a twenty-something ;)

I had a lovely weekend celebrating my birthday with Aaron, which makes up for the fact that all I am doing today is working, then going to! 
But, I'll share all the weekend fun in a post tomorrow! xx

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 resolutions

I have always liked the New feels like a blank slate and the perfect time to set new goals for yourself. I thought I'd share mine for this year...  

// vegetarian & cruelty free
I officially stopped eating meat at the beginning of December, but I have included it my resolutions and I plan to continue to work on it throughout the year. Same goes for cruelty free, which we started in our household this past summer...but again, I want to continue to work on it and find new products and brands to support!

// diet & exercise
The standard one that seems to appear on everyone's list ;) ...but I fell out of my healthier routines this past year. I blame grad school, but I'm done making excuses and want to get back to where I am comfortable. This also includes starting to dance again...I've already been looking into finding adult ballet classes in Columbus. 

// stress-free wedding
As I start to really dive into wedding planning, I want to do my best to get it done without tons of stress (this may be a total pipe dream...but hopefully I can make it a reality). The date is set, the venue and photographer are be on the lookout for some wedding posts soon! 

// savings
Aaron and I have been working on this the past couple of years, and we are getting better...but there is always more room for improvement. Buy less, save more!

// reading
There are so many books piling up on my nightstand, and I never seem to make the time to read them :( I definitely want to work more on this. My goal is to take a few nights a week where I abstain from defaulting to the TV, and grab a book instead before bed! 

First up:

What others do you ladies suggest??

Sunday, January 3, 2016

petit vour december - cruelty free beauty box

I'm loving this past month's Petit Vour beauty box! 

The December box - "Oh What Fun" - included a great variety of items:

Mai Couture Blush Papier
Blissoma Natural Deodorant
Zabana Essentials Glow Stick
Kani Botanicals Petal Polish Rose Face Mask

Mai Couture Blush Papier // 
What an interesting concept! I can imagine these would be great to throw in your purse for touch ups on-the-go. As a non-blush user, I wasn't sure if I would like these at all, but they are subtle enough that I actually liked how they looked on my skin! Having redness in my skin to begin with, I have always hated adding "flushed" color to my cheeks, but these truly are lovely faint colors with a bit of shimmer.

Retail for $17.50 for 50 sheets - box contained 4 sheets (value est. $1.40)

I am SO excited to try this. When making the switch to cruelty free products in our house, finding a deodorant has been one of my biggest challenges. I haven't liked any that I've tried from typical stores, and I haven't had a chance to try any of the "higher end" ones such as Blissoma - so imagine how happy I was to see this in the box this month! If I end up liking this deodorant, I will DEFINITELY be ordering the full size product off their website.

Full size is $14.99 - this trial size is est. at $9.00

An interesting product, not sure yet how I am going to use it, but it is listed as being a balm stick with micro-shimmer that gives you a glow - wherever you want to apply it, body or face! 

Full size provided in box - retails for $9.95

I can't wait to try this out - I love rose scented beauty products! The pouch is resealable, which is great since it looks as if there is enough for more than one use. 

Full size is $28.00 for 4.5 oz - value of sample est. around $5.00

So...for the $15.00 price tag, this box contained at least $25 worth of great product!
Pleased as always and excited for next month's box!