Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

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Caution: I am going to anger the Thanksgiving purists with this post! I am one of those people that celebrates Thanksgiving and then quickly gets in line to trample people for sale items. Insert “GASP!” here. I know. I know, but it is a bonding experience for my mother and me. We are very competitive and really enjoy that aspect of Black Friday. It’s fun to see if you can actually accomplish all that you wanted. I am not a camping kind of girl, but like camping in line for the sales. Maybe it’s because I’ve convinced myself that I am getting a prize/prizes at the end. We “camp” the right, though! We bring lawn chairs, blankets, drinks, food, entertainment, and plenty of hot hands warmers to last the night. While we wait, we go over the circulars one more time and make sure we know what items we are supposed to get. We use theblackfriday.com to get all of our info.

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Finally some beanie weather

Don’t get me wrong, I am already very grateful for all that I already have, but I just really enjoy all the Black Friday hullabaloo! I love Thanksgiving as well since it is a time where our family comes together to give thanks and the food is out of this world. Unfortunately, I am in the middle of my wedding diet, so I can’t partake in the holiday goodness. I will just creepily watch people eat the goodies, and I will have to just live through them. I pretty much like every kind of Thanksgiving food, but the treats and all of the different mashed potato and sweet potato recipes are a close second and third. What are some of your holiday favorites?

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Hunger Games

I’m excited to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” tonight with one of my best friends, Kali! I am not a huge reader, so the fact that I read this whole trilogy is a big deal. Therefore, I feel like I should really do it justice by seeing all the movies as soon as they come out and act like a fan girl no matter how old I am!

More Wedding Planning

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That wedding checklist is getting shorter every day! Finally got the guest list finalized and sent out most of the save-the-dates! We decided to send out photo magnets ordered through Vistaprint. It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped, though. The first order came in the mail quickly, but they cut off part of my fiance’s head. Call me picky, but I decided that was not good enough! I called Vistaprint to get a reorder, and was surprised at how easy with which they were to work. I explained the problem, and they promptly told me they would redo them at no charge. I received the new/perfect order 3 days later. I plan on using them in the future despite the mistake because of how respectfully it was handled. Everyone makes mistakes, but how you handle it really shows your colors!

 

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We also picked a boutique and flavors for our macarons! After doing some quality testing at a few establishments, we decided to go with The Sweet Boutique. The macarons were so moist yet crumbly. I know a lot of you probably despise the word moist, but it was the best word to use. The Sweet Boutique was also the only boutique we spoke with that said they would tailor the macarons to my colors and seemed excited to do it. The others had an attitude and seemed put out by me just asking if it was even an option. After happily sampling, the flavors that were chosen were almond and vanilla. I know, pretty plain flavors, but I wanted one of the flavors to be vanilla since everyone likes vanilla and less likely to cause an allergic reaction. I’m still trying to be a thoughtful bride…we shall see how long that continues! I don’t want guests to be scared to try something because it is an unfamiliar flavor. While I was there sampling, the bakers gave me some good advice. Usually when I receive unsolicited advice about the wedding, my eyes inadvertently start rolling, but this was different. They simply reminded me that you cannot please everyone, and we need to choose things that we like regardless of what 200 other may like. It was exactly what I needed to hear and helped me with my indecisiveness. Vanilla is also an easy one to tailor if I choose. The almond flavor is by far my favorite! It tastes so similar to the almond cannoli served at D’amico’s Italian Restaurant. So deliciously addictive. There is a hint of cherry in there, but not overwhelming. I love every single thing about this flavor, even the almond slices served on top. We are using the macarons as part of the candy bar display to add a little more variety. I may be partial because I chose them or because I have been dieting, but these macarons were out of this world. i would willingly give up a day of meals to just eat these all day without regretting it later! If you have a sweet craving, I suggest you check out The Sweet Boutique!

“Healthy” Cookies

In an effort to stay on my diet but give in to my sweet tooth, I attempted to make some cookies from scratch. They weren’t your ordinary cookies, though, because cookies aren’t really on my diet (shocker!). For being considered healthy, they were super easy to make and took very little time. I also made some healthy frosting to go with them.

The ingredients:

Cookies:

3/4 cup Stevia

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting:
2/3 cup Stevia
1 1/2 tablespoons non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine apple sauce and Stevia until well mixed.
3. Add egg and vanilla and continue to mix.
4. Combine flour and salt in another bowl. Add gradually to egg mixture.
5. Take roughly a tablespoon size portion of dough and place it onto a lighty greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take out of oven and remove from cookie sheet.
8. To make the frosting, combine Stevia, yogurt, and vanilla. Add water according to consistency of frosting.

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The review: These are a great alternative for the cookie craver on a diet. There is a definite difference in texture from a real cookie, but they satisfied the craving. They even rose without using any baking powder or soda. The icing was also a win, but not quite as good as I had hoped. I could really tell I used Greek yogurt, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just had that unrealistic idea that it would really be exactly like real icing. Overall, this was a solid cookie recipe for a diet and I will probably make them again!
 
Have you ever made a “healthy” version of something? How did it turn out?

Feeling Sassy

I was feeling sassy and a little over it today while finishing up the rest of our wedding registry. You would not believe how many people thought I worked at the store since I was walking around with one of their scanners. I mean, I can see how that would be a reason to think I might, but I was wearing leopard print and bright red lipstick. C’mon, people!

Happenings This Weekend

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The fiance and I finally got some registering done! It was really fun and like shopping, but without the stress of actually spending the money!

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I also went back home for a couple days to spend some time with my family…and maybe get a few personal things done like my hair. I have been using the same colorist since middle school and am terrified to go to anyone else. So, I drive 1.5 hours to get my hair colored every couple months. I usually stick with the same “touch up my highlights” look, but decided to go a little darker for the winter. For the first time, in a long time, my hair is the same color as my eyebrows. If you are a woman, you can understand my excitement over this! While I was home, I became very close to the new kitten my parents have. He was dropped off on the street and wandered into my parents’ garage, and has stayed ever since. He is so sweet and looks much healthier than he did when he arrived. He is a bit weird, though. He has a big obsession with feet, but I am not complaining! HELLO?!…free foot massage! I will have him trained in no time at all!

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We also put some delicious Vietnamese and Chinese food in our tummies before I left for the weekend. Vy’s Kitchen is amazing! I am partial to the fact that they do not put mushrooms in their hot and sour soup. I love everything else in the soup like the tofu and fungus, but I have a hard time with mushrooms. Yes, I am aware of how ridiculous that is! Besides soup, we enjoyed some spicy pho, a pork and rice dish with egg on top, and a pork vermicelli bowl. All were spectacular, especially the pho.

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The main reason we went was for soup since Blake, my fiance, was feeling under the weather. After I lysoled every single thing and quarantined him, we found out he wasn’t contagious anymore and only had a virus. Phew! I had feared it was the flu. We lucked out so far! Since he was stuck in a room and had no way of communicating with me, Blake sent me this text message to solve any communication problems while he was quarantined. Wow! Every once in a while he does something really funny without trying, and those are the times he is the funniest.

Christmas Came Early

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As most people know, I am an Aggie, and a lot of my family also went to Texas A&M. The football team recently played their last home game of the season. Kyle Field is now getting renovated to become bigger and better, so they have dug up the grass that has been on the field since 2005. The end of an era! I am always trying to figure out what to get my Dad as gifts, and I jumped at this opportunity to get a neat gift for him. My parents attended A&M and have had season tickets in the past. They watch the games every weekend in their outdoor kitchen. I purchased only an individual square for their yard, which came with a certificate of authenticity. I didn’t expect that, and now realize it is pretty cool to know all about the grass and when it was used. Even though football is a team sport, it will awesome to have a piece of grass on which Johnny Manziel played! The Aggies have always been a part of our home, but now they will be even more so! I can’t wait to see his reaction.