Wednesday, April 23

RSVP's

You've stressed about printing the invitations. You've stressed about putting them together and stuffing envelopes. You haven't even gotten to the most stressful part which is waiting on the replies. I cannot even stress enough that this is excruciating. Will more people than you had planned on attending reply with a Yes. Will less people than you wanted be able to attend? Will someone fill out the RSVP card with the wrong number of guests, and you'll have a wrong count. Will someone bring someone else at the last minute? It's all stressful. You're counting numbers so you can have the right amount of food for your guests and any little snag will feel like you're reeling. The good news is that when you send out the invitations you know about 25% of the guests are going to reply back with a no. So unless you over invited you probably won't end up with more people than you had originally planned. You cannot count out the possibility.

You've had a rough count in your head for awhile, and you'll be sad to see that people you thought wouldn't miss it just can't make it. Try not to take it to heart, because summer is a busy season for all with vacations planned months in advance. Remember that the people coming to celebrate with you are doing so out of love. They are coming to share in your joy. The people who can't come don't hate you. They are quite overjoyed for your union, but they will have a glass of champagne for you elsewhere. Remind yourself to feel the warmth of that bond as well.

I won't say don't stress. I know that you will. I know that I do. You'll just have to take deep breaths and count each one as they come in. You'll have stragglers too. You'll be so mad when the date you've set for RSVP's to return by passes and you have to call people. Remember that your life revolves around your wedding, but they have a million others things going on. They didn't want to stress you out so try to have patience. It is much easier said than done I know. I'll try to practice what I preach!

How do you de-stress?

Tuesday, April 22

What To Get Mom For Mother's Day

Oh no, Mother's Day is coming! What should you get mom? Honestly, I struggle with this one EVERY year. My mom has a birthday at the beginning of May and then bam it's Mother's Day, and I've used up all my cool gifts for her birthday. Or let's be honest, I've made her something entirely awesome that she pretended to love just like she did when I was a little one. That might be a bit of a stretch since I tend to make things that are a bit more useful these days, but we can all laugh at ourselves a little, right? The dilemma with Mother's Day is real though, and I'm here to share with you a few ideas I found on Pinterest that your mom will probably love.
The best gifts for mom are gifts that speak to her personality. These are the things you remember your mom loving when you were a kid or some awesome new hobby she just picked up. If your mom loves to crochet, like me, then you could pick her up some new hooks, stitch markers, or even a trusty stitch counter. She's more of a gardener? Make her a garden hose wreath! She loves chocolate? Buy some Colt's Chocolate or make her some awesome cupcakes. I could end up doing both! My mom can't have chocolate currently, but I know Beeble's mom loves it. It's really just about being aware of the things you see around you. It could even be about making something old new again.

Maybe your mom has a project around the house that she's been dying to get done, but she hasn't had the time. You can easily put your DIY skills to work helping with that project. I know that when Beeble and I were in TN for Christmas we set up my mom's home office. This gave her a new computer, desk, and storage space. It made it easy for her to set up the computer for her nephews to use or to even be able to see her emails full screen! It didn't take us much more than a couple of hours, and she had a whole new room that she loves!

Your mom doesn't need anything done? Spend the day with her! One of my favorite items that I pinned was the Mom-osa bar. You buy a little champagne and some orange juice, and you spend the morning chatting and catching up with what's going on in her life. This gives her time to spend with you and relax away from any of her commitments. She doesn't drink? You can just serve orange juice or her favorite tea.

Mother's Day doesn't have to be complicated, but we should all take the time out to appreciate the people who raised us. I haven't had to celebrate Father's Day in a great number of years at this point but just know I'll speak the same when it rolls around. Our parents gave us so much of themselves so the least we can do is take a day out of our lives to celebrate the fact that we're still alive and able to function because of the lessons they taught us or helped us learn on our own.

Monday, April 21

Here's A Little Swiss Twist


I took off yesterday in order to celebrate Easter with my friends here in Los Angeles. I hope those of you who celebrate also had a wonderful holiday. Today life kicks back up into full swing though boys and girls. This week and the next few following it are going to be very busy so I'm just going to be honest and say that I'll be cutting back to 5 days a week until after the wedding. I will be posting Sunday-Thursday from now until July 1st when I will go back to the 7 day a week schedule. I realized that with all the wedding planning, upcoming parties, birthdays, and other shenanigans that I was going to have to make it all fit. I hope you'll forgive me!
That being said I promise that you can still expect amazing recipes from me to you! You'll still be able to expect wedding planning updates and trends. Plus, you'll get the added bonus of me having more time to work through it. There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing with you guys.
Today I decided to go with a little bread recipe, because you can't have a holiday meal without it. At my house growing up, we'd buy the ready made rolls that you'd have to let rise for a few hours on top of the oven, but I wanted to try something different for Easter. We pulled out the family recipe books and found this winner from Beeble's collection and wah lah you have a delicious and soft loaf of bread for everyone to enjoy! You'll have to let me know when you try it and how much you love it. I ate it with a little cream cheese and kiwi jalapeno jam. Delicious!

SWISS TWIST

Print

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ - 1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 package Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 3 cup unbleached bread flour
  • ¼ cup instant nonfat dry milk solids
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp. cold water

DIRECTIONS:

  • 1. Combine ¼ cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve yeast and let stand until bubbly, about 5 minutes. If the yeast mixture doesn’t bubble, then the yeast is not active.
  • 2. With the steel blade in the processor measure flour, dry milk, oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and salt into work bowl. Process until mixed, about 10 seconds.
  • 3. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture. Process until blended, about 10 seconds.
  • 4. Turn on processor and slowly drizzle just enough remaining water through feed tube into flour mixture so dough forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl, just barely. Process until ball turns around bowl about 25 times. Turn off processor and let dough stand 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 5. Turn on processor and gradually drizzle in enough remaining water to make dough soft, smooth and satiny but not sticky. Be careful not to put too much water in the mixture. Process until dough turns around bowl about 15 times.
  • 6. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface or marble board. Shape into ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • 7. Check to see if dough is proofed by placing two fingers in the mixture. If the indentation stays, the dough is proofed. Punch down dough.
  • 8. Cut off about ½ cup of the dough and reserve. Divide remaining dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into strand 25 inches long. Braid the strands together.
  • 9. Divide reserved dough into 2 equal parts. Shape each part into strand 25 inches long. Twist the 2 strands together.
  • 10. Place twisted strands over the top of the braided dough, tuck ends under and pinch to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet with cornmeal lightly sprinkled on it.
  • 11. Beat egg and cold water. Brush mixture over dough.
  • 12. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday, April 19

Drinks for Spring/Summer

Today, I wanted to share with you a few recipes that I found around Pinterest this week. 1. Moscato Strawberry Lemonade
I really wish that the pin had linked back to the original source, but this is one I definitely plan to make for our Easter Celebration. What goes better with good friends than a cool and refreshing spiked lemonade?
Diane, A Broad
I love aqua fresca, and we are actually have one as the signature drink of our wedding so when I saw this Watermelon Agua Fresca Mimosa I knew it was a must try for our next brunch. Who wants to come over for bottomless mimosas and eggs bene?
Sparkling Green Apple Limeade
And finally a nice Sparkling Green Apple Limeade for those of you who prefer to remain alcohol free. This one looks super refreshing for a hot day out here in Southern California. I know that we will probably be trying this one closer to the wedding.

What are your favorite summer drinks to make?

Friday, April 18

Am I A Feminist?

This is a question I've been asking myself a lot the last few days. It all started the other day on Facebook. A friend posted the comic below:
Rosalarian.com
I have to say that this type of description is why I cringe at the word feminist. I cringe, because I think of the kinds of women who look down on me for the life choice I might make. It's the look of judgement that comes from your peers as you say things like your dream job is to be a stay at home mom. It's the look of oh the horror! It's the moment that people, especially other women start to judge you. "What about your independence?" They ask. They envision you having to ask before spending every dime and not being knowledgeable about current events. This is the kind of behavior that made me hate the word feminist and also not feel like I was one.

What is feminism?

Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women.[1][2] This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

That's the definition according to Wikipedia. When I talk about the tenants mentioned up there, you'll notice that I don't sound quite so far off base. I believe that women should be able to make equal pay for equal work. I believe that women should be able to run for political office even on the highest levels. I believe that women should have the right to vote and have a say in other political decisions. I believe that women should be allowed to gain as much access to a great education as their male counterparts. What part of me isn't feminist?

The part of me that isn't feminist seems to be non-existent yet I don't and wouldn't identify myself as one. Why is that?

Simply put I cannot align myself with a group of people who seem to be judging my future decisions in a narrow scope. Women shouldn't judge other women based on their decisions. We should be happy that women are allowed to make decisions that best suit their situation. We should celebrate that none of us are the same. We shouldn't be pigeon holing each other into what any individual or group thinks is right. We shouldn't judge each other more harshly based on a decision to not be in the workforce if that decision isn't detrimental to the life of that individual or vis versa. Each side of the coin has pros and cons.  We have complaints. We feel the grass is greener on the other side. All of that is human nature.

Let's take time this weekend as we celebrate Easter to think about how we react to other women in our life. Are we supportive? Do we celebrate their success? Have we helped each other? I think these are truly questions that we need to be asking ourselves and we really need to rectify things if the answer is no.

Thursday, April 17

The Crop Top is so Hot Right Now

Kid Cudi from Getty Images at Coachella Music Festival
Fashion experts around the nation agree that the crop top is an in look this summer for women, but they seem to disagree on whether or not it works for dudes. I'm not here to harp on Kid Cudi's fashion but quite frankly I don't see a problem with it. What I do know is that the crop top will not be a fashion trend I'll be following at least not for a few more months. This is one of those trends that is definitely meant for someone with a certain body type in my opinion, but if you feel comfortable rocking it then go right ahead!

Will you be sporting a crop top this Spring?

Wednesday, April 16

The Playlist

Playlists are always hard for me, because I love music. I have been working on this list for weeks now, and it is in no way final. I listen every day to different radio stations, which helps me select songs about love or romance. Then I try to pick songs that will work well together for the wedding playlist. I wanted songs that vary in tempo but that also feel good. I knew that based on how I envisioned my wedding that I was going to need something to keep people dancing throughout the night. I want bodies up out of chairs with drinks in hand ready to party!

I'll be honest with you guys and say that for me a playlist is important for any party. The playlist is an easy way to set the mood for what kind of night you want your guests to experience. You can use a soft playlist for a quiet dinner at the house with friends or something a little more rowdy for a birthday party! You can make your party anything you want it to be with the right music playing, and I promise you that people will remember it.

What's on your daily playlist?

Tuesday, April 15

How to organize your cards in a neat manner.

I like to send cards, but I like to send thoughtful cards for the most part. I like to send cards that we have picked out with a particular person in mine or at least something that is particularly funny for a certain event. It was with that in mind that I knew we were going to need a place to store my ever growing collection of cards and this tutorial was born.
A few weeks ago, we were trying to buy furniture to organize my office, which involved a trip to Ikea. The best thing about Ikea is that they always have cheap solutions to problems you didn't even know you had. Okay, so maybe I can get a little carried away in the store sometimes, but you can't really go wrong with the build your own organization boxes, or I suppose the correct word is assemble. The only other things needs for this project were scrapbooking paper and a sharpie ultra fine tip retractable.
I started by assembling the box! This is probably the best place to start, because you can see the exact size of the box you'll be using. Mine was not tall enough to stand the cards up, but I was able to lay them on their side perfectly.
I cut the first piece of paper to the size of the box and then used it as a guide for all the other pieces of paper. I had about 4 different patterns of light pink paper to choose from so I tried to vary it from piece to piece. The scrapbook paper I had looked like something made for a baby shower, but you can play around with whatever you have laying around the house.
Now it's all about labeling the sections for the people you intend them to go to eventually. This is important if you're not buying generic birthday cards although I have a section for those because you never know when you'll get invited to a last minute birthday party for a friend, and you want to have something ready to go!

This project makes me happy though, because I know that I can walk into my office and look in the section marked for each type of family member and locate cards for my mom, his mom, aunts, uncles, or friends with just a few flips. Plus my card collection is ever growing!

What kinds of cards do you like?

Monday, April 14

Hot's Kitchen Hermosa Beach Date

Beeble and I signed up for How About We Couples to see what kinds of dates they had to offer us, and we started out with one that suited us very well. Plus, I was very pleased with the service that How About We provided us for this date. I'll get to that in a minute, but if you're interested in learning more you can go here. If you click the link, it does give me money toward future dates with Beeble, however you can go to How About We directly if you're opposed to that.

We booked this date last week as a double date through the site. I received an email later saying that the date was only available as a single. Of course I wrote them a nice email in return saying that they had let me buy it as a double so it wasn't my fault, and they needed to fix it. How About We contacted Hot's Kitchen and within a matter of hours my double date was honored. It was fast and easy customer service from How About We, and the four of us were set for an awesome date afternoon. It's always great to get away from the city and out toward the shore with great friends. The beer and tacos were only an added bonus.

The date included a custom beer flight per person, which included any beer sold in the pint glass, and one taco per person. It was a pretty good deal for the price we paid for the date. Of course we were able to order more above and beyond what was included so long as we were willing to pay for it. As you can see from the menu there were so many options and they weren't what you normally expect at the local taco restaurant.
The beer menu was just as diverse. Plus this gives you a few of part of the taco menu. These were not your average tacos.
I'm not a beer person so I only finished one of these. It was the Angry Orchard Apple Cider on the right. This is probably my favorite "beer", and it tastes quite like apple juice. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time reviewing beer here. I just wanted to show you what the custom flight of 4 4oz pours looked like. The little surfboard carrier was pretty sweet.
Now it was taco time. This is the fried chicken taco, and oh my goodness did it taste like home. The taco included one piece of fried chicken covered in mashed potatoes with gravy plus cornbread crumbles. Is there anything more Southern than that? It was absolutely delectable. Not pictured is the Cubano taco that I devoured before this. It tasted just like my favorite sandwich, the Cuban! I was seriously in love.

I would definitely recommend Hot's Kitchen to friends, and I would definitely be willing to return. Service was a little slow at first, but I think the food more than made up for it. Plus, the waitress was super nice once she was at the table.

Sunday, April 13

Invitations and Crunch Time

Don't be confused by the Heather up there, because it's still me. I've chosen to use my middle name for this blog, because quite frankly I always got a little annoyed by my first name. I was 1 of 8 in my graduating class from high school, and it has been a theme ever since. My middle name was a little more original and made me happy.

You may have been wondering where I was yesterday though, and I wanted to explain that I was busy writing out invitations, tieing up invitations, and getting everything ready to mail. We are now in crunch time. I do not plan to miss any future posts, but I will keep you all aware of the situation as I am able to do so.

Tomorrow's post will be a review of a restaurant we are eating at this afternoon with some friends.