Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Wedding Cake

Our beautiful wedding cake made by the local french bakery,
Of course, everything in our wedding was monogrammed,
including the cake.
The flavors we chose for our cake were
L'Orange: Buttercream and almond cake flavored with Grand Manier brandy
alternating layers with
Fraiser: Light genoise cake with fresh strawberries, Kirsch and Mousseline

Our rehearsal dinner cake was made by a local bakery, Graul's Market.

It was a red velvet golf themed cake for hubby. It looked, and tasted, great!

And this my friends, was our runner up for a rehearsal dinner cake. We thought it would be so fun and cute for a Baltimore wedding!

And now I'm officially craving our wedding cake!
Just think, we have the top layer frozen in my parents freezer to eat later this week...
I think I'll stop by the bakery and get a little slice of each cake, you know, just in case our original cake didn't hold up.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bridal Shower Gift Makeover

When you are looking for a bridal shower gift, do you run to the registry, or find a gift on your own? I love registries because I know it's something the bride and groom need and will like. However, I also like to add a little spice to the gift and think of a special way to give it. Here are some of my ideas that I have used in the past.

1. Find a apron at a local store. Take it to have it embroidered with the bride's new monogram. Pair this with something from registry (cookbook, baking dish or utensils, endless ideas)

2. Photo coasters. I actually did not give this as a gift, but I received it at one of my showers and loved it! Photo coasters can be found at Crate and Barrel and you can put pictures of the couple in each coaster!

3. If the couple registered for a cookbook holder, try pairing it with cookbook that they might enjoy! (That's actually the gift that is pictured above)

4. Serving dish from the registry paired with tea towel and serving utensil tied on top.

5. You could always do a theme: find a basket at a craft store and pick a theme, such as outdoor deck party. Add some of the margarita glasses that the couple registered for and add some margarita mix, salsa, and maybe an appetizer cookbook.

6. Baking dish (such as the 13 X 9 pan) off the registry with ingredients to make brownies and tied together w/ a famous recipe of yours.

7. Who really wants to get those napkin rings that the couple registered for? Now you do! Just take napkins and get them monogrammed and pair it with the rings and you have a lovely gift!

8. How about glass canisters for the bathroom from Crate and Barrel? You could spruce it up by getting them monogrammed, or even leave as is and fill with cotton swabs, Q-tips, etc.

9. Ceramic canisters for the kitchen can be a great gift and you can add baking ingredients and cookie recipe of yours.

10. How about a cute serving platter? Pair that with some fun cocktail napkins and a recipe of yours. Now, the bride is really ready to entertain!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mmmmm....Maryland Crab Cakes!

1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup mayo
squirt of lemon
1/4 to 1/2 packet of McCormicks Classic Crab Cake mix
Pat of butter on each crab cake
Mix all ingredients together.

Make into little cakes.
Top with butter on each cake.

Broil for 6-8 minutes.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday Wellness: Try This!

Try substituting...

Avacodo for mayo

Stevia for Sugar

1/2 cup applesauce for 1 egg in baking recipes

Greek yogurt for sour cream

spinach for iceburg

herbs for salt

vinegars for dressing

crushed bran flakes for bread crumbs

ground turkey for ground beef

Have a Happy and Heart Healthy Day!


On another note, have you read this yet?!

LOVE it!!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Hershey Park Happy!

This weekend I got to enjoy a fun filled girls weekend for one of my very best friends' bachelorette party in
Our friend, Jamie, made these cute shirts for us to wear in the park.
They read:
Kate's Sweet Escape
And the back of the shirts read
Bride to Be, Matron of Honor, and Bridesmaid
They were not only cute, but kept us together in the park, as we could find each other easily!

Hershey Park has a new ride, Farenheit.
Just take a look...
For our first ride of the day, it was intense, but super fun!
And after the park (and a tour of Chocolate World),
we had dinner at Harvest in Hershey Hotel.
The Soon to Be Groom had this sent to our table for his bride...
How sweet is that?!
It's Key Lime Pie...one of the bride's favorite desserts!
He's a keeper just for that! (Well, and for many other reasons, too!)
So, no new recipes for today's Tuesday Treat, but I thought this might cause your mouth to drool anyways from the thought of
lots of chocolate
Key Lime Pie!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monogram Monday: Croakies and Cases

Even though it's been almost a year, I still get overly excited to see my new monogram on anything!

The latest monogrammed items: Croakies and Cosmetic Cases!

I ordered both of these items from Pink Azalea and they turned out just as I hoped!

I have been enjoying using my croakies during the last half of the summer and can't wait to pack my cosmetics in my new case for our anniversary trip in two weeks!

Next on this wish list from Pink Azalea:
Round Trinket Tray

I think this would look lovely with our married monogram in our house!

Hope you find some great monogrammed gifts at Pink Azalea and have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nook Book

Look what came in the mail this week?!

I'm so excited that my Nook has a little home now.

And it's a beautiful home, at that.

Love at first sight...

The Lilly Pulitzer Secret Garden Cover
found at
Barnes and Noble

All images courtesy of Barnes & Noble


On another note, want one of these?

Head over to Pink Martinis and Pearls and sign up for the giveaway!!! Ends August 29th!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Have I ever told you how much a home means to me?
Not a house, but a home.

 One day, in the future we plan to move to expand our family.
When we move, I'm sure we will shed many a tear leaving this home and all its memories.

One day we will move to be closer to our parents (so they can perhaps cuddle up with their granddog and future granchildren while we are out on a date?!)
And here are some photos of bedrooms that I have found and love!!! I thought it would be fun to share with you!

It has my traditional taste, with colors of hubbys' liking (granted, hubby really doesn't care all that much, but he prefers the blues and yellows and states, "No flowers!" I can do that!
Bedroom # 1

Oh, if we were only to have this gorgeous window! I LOVE lots of light in the house! It just makes me feel better instantly!
And the spode plates on the wall...LOVE! I already asked for them for Christmas!
And all of the ginger jars!
And the bench at the end of the bed (I'm sure there is a more sophisticated name for it).
And the rug!
Actually, I just LOVE everything about it!

Bedroom # 2

A fireplace in the bedroom!!! How romantic!

Again, I love this room because its very bright. I love the bench at the end of the bed, the dark wood furniture, and the two little chairs with matching ottoman! I think I might have to steal the painting over the fireplace! It reminds me of a painting I saw when we were in Nantucket. It was the most beautiful painting I have ever seen. It was of a little Cap Cod yellow house with beautiful flowers. Absolutely gorgeous. I kick myself everyday for not purchasing it and shipping it home, as it would have gone beautifully with the colors we are loving. Oh, if only I could think of the store name and call them up!

Semi-bedroom # 3

O.K., I'm well aware this is NOT a bedroom. However, these are the colors we love and it's inspiration for us in many ways. I love the blue walls with accents of yellow in the room. And the light coming in through the window! I love the chair which has been recovered in a beautiful fabric. (Mom - close your eyes/cover your ears. I plan to "borrow" my moms beautiful chairs from her living room and recover them to match our decor in our house! *Mental Note: MUST get Mom and Dad to downsize and move soon!* OK, you can open/uncover now, Mom)
I also love this rug.
This room is a little too busy for me, but you get the point.
I can just see it now, you all will see me in Calico Corners with my mom and MIL picking out fabric with my laptop on the counter, trying to describe what I want from my blog!
* Newlywed Note: But for now, we have our dream home. Our Home Sweet Home
because home to me, is where my hubby will be.
"A house is built of boards and beams, but a home is built with love and dreams."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wednesday Wellness: Protect Your Face and Look Beautiful

Do you remember the days of having a "white face" from all the sunscreen you wore just to protect your face from sun damage?
I'll never forget my mother taking a picture of my boyfriend (now hubby) and I on the beach and saying, "Lauren, your face looks so...white."
But I had to use certain sunscreens so my face wouldn't breakout. It was a vicious cycle...my skin always felt nice before the beach, and then with all the sunscreen, I came home with tiny little breakouts all over. YUCK!
GONE are those days!
Now, I have a beauty routine for each and everyday that leaves my skin smooth and free from sun damage, all while glowing.
First things first...
Neocutis. Oh how I love thee! I first tried these products when doing a dermatology rotation for clinical and I instantly fell in love! I use the Neocutis Bio-restorative Cream every day for my moisturizer, along with the Lumienere Eye Cream. The Journe I also use, but when I go in the sun. Its slightly tinted (so it doesn't give you that white look) and is great for moisturizing too! Its rather expensive, but totally worth it!
Next step, Clinique's Almost Makeup.
I use this as a foundation, but like it states, it does not feel OR look like foundation AT ALL.
This, also has SPF 15 in it to protect me from those harmful rays!

I then use my Trish McEvoy pressed powder and bronzer.
OK, so I do not use this product when I go out to the beach, but I do use it every other day.
Her powder also has SPF 15 in it!

And during the Nordstrom annual sale last week or so, I also got this baby...
"Flawless Lip"
It is supposed to be used like a primer on your lips to keep your gloss on longer.
So far, I think it works, but not much longer. I like the smooth feel of it though!

And with the help of Flawless Lip, my Clinique lip gloss stays on longer, even if its only a tad bit longer, to help protect against those rays with the SPF too!

Now, you can look beautiful at the beach, all while staying protected against the sun!
Of course, now my hubby says, "Why are you getting all dressed up for the beach?" Ugh, men!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Treats: Peanut Butter Brownies

So, the hubbster has been away for a little while and I decided when he came home he needed a treat! Now, I've recently made quite a bit of treats with nuts and coconut, which the hubby does not prefer, so for him, I started with some of his favorite ingredients...chocolate chips and peanut butter and this is what I came up with....
Peanut Butter Brownies
Brownie Base
brownie mix box
eggs, vegetable oil, water for brownies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
Chocolate Topping
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1. Mix brownie mix and ingredients called for to make brownies. Bake in greased pan at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
2. Beat all filling ingredients until smooth.
3. Spread filling on brownies.
4. Microwave chocolate chips and butter for one minute.
5. Stir chocolate until smooth.
6. Spread chocolate topping on peanut butter filling.
7. Let sit for 30 minutes.
I popped them in the refrigerator and let them harden to make easier for cutting into squares.
8. The hardest part: Trying not to eat them before hubby comes home!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monogram Monday: Stationary

Who doesn't love monogrammed stationary?
And how much cuter is the stationary when it's bright and colorful like this?!
It's the Bees Knees Flat Stationary by Lilly Pulitzer which you can find at Paper Concierge.
A little expensive, but too cute to be forgotten!
And how about sealing it up and stamping it in style with a monogrammed stamper?
Perfect way to send a little note to friends!

Friday, August 13, 2010

National Relaxation Day

This Sunday, August 15th, is National Relaxation Day!
I wish I was here...
Instead, I will be at home this weekend.

I plan on relaxing by...

Having a nice cup of coffee in the morning...

Perhaps get a pedicure...

Maybe sit by the pool with my girlfriends...

And read a little from my Nook
What do you plan to do on National Relaxation Day?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Money Madness

So, this weekend, we were supposed to get these...

....but instead, had to "tune up" my car.

Saving money is hard. Very hard. We have been saving up for our future home in the county. You would think, as long as we have been saving, we would have a mansion. No, friends, that's not the case. We are working hard, but we are not millionaires by any means. This summer has been very frustrating, as my hobbies of shopping, and "beautifying" myself with manicures, pedicures, haircuts and color, facials, etc, have all been put on the back burner. You see, I have been putting all my favorite things to do on the back burner in order to save, save, save. However, I know that money is better saved up in our account for that beautiful house I have in mind one day with lots of little feet running around. Of course I would love that new fall Lilly dress, Tory burch flats, a manicure, and a nice spray tan, but do I really need a new dress? A manicure every two weeks? No. I would love it, but I dont need it. And I've come to realize the difference between want and need. So, I've searched online to find some activities to keep me busy while still saving up for the future. I thought I would share with you all, as I know everyone is budgeting these days....

1. Check out your local calendar. Even on Facebook, there are sites to "like" that you can get updates on. I currently "like" 365 things to do in Baltimore. Some events you may have to spend money, but with the many updates they send, I have found many events to attend without any or much expense.

2. Visit your community library. Not only do they have books, but also CDs and DVDs. If you have children, this is a great place to take them for story time. It's air conditioned, free, and educates the kiddies! You can also rent a movie for just $1 at your closest Redbox (which is usually right in the grocery store)

3. Community Sports. I don't know if your town is like ours, but there are always games going on around town. From softball to kickball there's something for every season! Even if you don't want to play, you can always take a walk around the park with the pup and watch for a little while!

4. Bake!!! :)

5. Play board games.

6. Organize your bills. (I know, sounds like fun, huh? But, you will get it done and it will be worth it in the long run so you don't have any overdue bills that would make you spend more money!)

7. Clean out your garage or basement. Get everything together in piles for the Goodwill or for a yard sale. Great way to earn a little extra cash, plus your home will thank you for the cleaning and organizing!

8. Organize a potluck dinner with your friends! Even better in the summer, you can have a deck party outside!

9. Cook some meals for the week. This way, you won't be as busy during the week and have a little time for some R&R after a long work day!

10. Learn to quilt, knit, or needlepoint. This hobby can turn into many lovely gifts for friends and family. But be careful, this can become an expensive hobby, too!

11. Get all those home maintenance items checked off your "To Do" list! It will be easier to sell your house one day with everything kept up to date. Plus, you won't have to put all the money into upkeep at one time, if you do it periodically.

12. Organize all your photos in albums. If you are like me, you have a million pictures, photo CDs, etc hanging out in some box. I always say, "one day I really need to do this." As Nike says, "Just Do It!"

13. Read a book. Go to the library to check one out, or have a swap with friends to share great reads. (Or even a swap with your Nook books!)

14. Catch up with old friends. You know that friend you have been meaning to call? The one who you know will be a forever long conversation that you just haven't had time for? Do it now. It will make you feel so good inside that you spent the time catching up.

15. Deep clean your house. Scrub from top to bottom. Even steam clean the carpets. It will look great the next time you have guests over and you won't have to run around with your head chopped off right before they come.

16. Make homemade cards.

17. Puzzles.

18. Volunteer at the local hospital, or a place of interest for you. Bring the kids along (if it allows) to teach them a valuable lesson.

19. Make Christmas lists. This way, you can buy the items when you see them on sale throughout the year.

20. Write a letter to your future children or grandchildren.

21. Sharpen all those kitchen knives that you have been meaning to for months.

22. Visit with the elderly. Family or not, this will boost their spirits in no time!

23. Start a book club, or join one!

24. Take the kids to the playground. Or offer to take your friends' kids. It will give your friend some time to themselves and you will get some exercise playing!

25. Clean out your closets. Make a pile for the Goodwill, or have a swap party with friends.

26. Go on a hike. Research your local trails and try it out with a friend.

27. Go on a bike ride and enjoy your local scenery.

28. Take a long steamy bath and pamper yourself at home. Who needs a spa? Just pour yourself a glass of wine, lock the bathroom door, and don't come out until you are ready. (Just make sure you have someone watching the kids!)

29. Play with your pet.

30. BLOG! Start, or work on your own blog, or blog hop to see what great things others are posting about!
*Newlywed Note: Times may be tough, but as long as we work together and have similar goals, I'm sure the outcome will be worth it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wednesday Wellness: Healthy Summer Dinner

My Favorite Summer Dinner...

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
1. Mix together the following ingredients in a small bowl:
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp thyme
2. Cover the tenderloin with about 2 tsp olive oil.
3. Sprinkle the spice mix over the tenderloin.
4. Pop on the grill!

Roasted Red Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Quater 1 and 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes (serves 4).
3. Toss potatoes with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp chopped rosemary.
4. Spread potatoes out on a baking sheet and sprinkle salt and pepper.
5. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and crisp outside, but tender inside. Stir occassionally while baking.
*Note: Now this is my favorite way, however, since it's summer time, we like to throw everything on the grill. To do this toss the same ingredients in the bowl (potatoes, olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper). Spoon onto a greased piece of aluminum foil and seal together. Grill for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes tender, stirring once.

Cucumber Tomato Salad
1. Slice, dice, and/or chop some tomatoes, cucumbers, and about half of a red onion (or whatever your taste buds desire!).
(I use cherry and grape tomatoes year long, however, this time of year I use a nice juicy big tomato from produce stands I find)
2. Toss tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion in medium sized serving bowl.
3. Dress with Italian dressing and mix again.
4. Top with feta cheese and toss lightly.

Corn on the Cob
1. Find the biggest pot to fit all your corn.
2. Let the water heat up while you shuck the corn.
3. Once the water is boiling, toss in the corn and cover with lid.
4. Boil corn for about 5-10 minutes.
5. Remove corn with some tongs and dress it up as you prefer...butter, salt, pepper, old bay...the options are endless!

And for dessert...

Why not try Mom's Hot Milk Cake with fresh strawberries or Double Chocolate Mocha Trifle?


On a side note, what did you all do last night?
Because, I went to see....

The Black Eyed Peas!