Mother's Day Brunch

 Image Credit:  Honestly Yum

Image Credit: Honestly Yum

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you lovely women out there! To honor your mother for all of her hard work and unconditional love on this special day, treat her to a fun Mother’s Day brunch! Make sure her mug is full of fresh coffee, or spice things up with a bubbly mimosa, and prepare her one of our favorite brunch items: french toast! Check out these fun variations on the classic recipe below!


 Recipe by:  Hungry Couple

Recipe by: Hungry Couple

 Image Credit:  Hungry Couple

Image Credit: Hungry Couple

Ingredients (2 Sandwiches)

  • 1/2 lb. (Approx. 8 strawberries), hulled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 Slices brioche or challa bread
  • 4 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/4 Cup whole milk or half and half
  • Butter for sauteing
  • Powdered sugar for serving

Instructions

Add the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar to a bowl and let sit for about 15 minutes to macerate.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Spread the mixture equally on each slice of bread, spoon two of the slices with about a quarter of the sugared strawberries each and top with the remaining slices of bread.

Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow bowl and dip both sandwiches into the mixture. Turn over and dip the other side as well.

Melt butter in a large skillet and add the dipped sandwiches. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the bread is a light golden brown. Serve warm with a dusting of powdered sugar.

 Recipe by:  Taste of Home

Recipe by: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 12 slices day-old sandwich bread
  • Optional toppings: butter, maple syrup, fresh berries and confectioners' sugar

Instructions

In a shallow dish, whisk together first five ingredients. Preheat a greased griddle over medium heat.

Dip bread in egg mixture, allowing to soak 30 seconds on each side. Cook on griddle until golden brown on both sides. Serve with toppings as desired. Yield: 6 servings.

DIY Facials & Scrubs

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 IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

IMAGE SOURCE: THE FREE SPIRITED

Need a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to exfoliate your dry skin to get a new glow? There are so many face scrubs that are easy to mix together using common household ingredients! These scrubs are a great way to give your skin a fresh start all while saving money in your wallet!

 IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

IMAGE SOURCE: MORE

1 tsp granulated sugar
1-2 drops water
1-2 drops orange, lemon, lavender oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Gently rub the scrub onto your clean face. Rinse with cool water and pat dry with a towel.

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently rub into skin. Rinse clean with warm water.

 IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

IMAGE SOURCE: HOMEMADE FOR ELLE

½ fresh lemon
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Combine lemon and olive oil in a bowl. Whisk in the honey, then gradually add in the sugar. Apply to face in gentle, circular motions. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with warm water.

¼ cup uncooked oats
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup olive oil

In a food processor, pulse oats until they are broken down but not powdered. Transfer oats to a small bowl and add in honey and olive oil. Add a thick layer of the scrub to your clean face and massage for 60 seconds, then continue to leave on skin for an extra 5-10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and pat dry.

Creative Ways to Pop the Question

 IMAGE SOURCE: BLOGLOVIN

IMAGE SOURCE: BLOGLOVIN

One of the most stressful and exciting days, aside from your wedding day, is the day you decide to propose to your significant other! With a once in a lifetime chance, you want this proposal to be perfect and memorable for the both of you.

 IMAGE SOURCE: ALBERTO LAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

IMAGE SOURCE: ALBERTO LAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

 IMAGE SOURCE: WEDDING PARTY

IMAGE SOURCE: WEDDING PARTY

Take your loved one to your favorite place, one that is special for the both of you. By proposing at, let’s say, your favorite park, restaurant, or beach, it will make that place even more special!

To make it very public for everyone to see, try having a skywriter spell out your proposal in the sky, or have a plane with a banner trailing along asking the big question!

Have a flash mob or a public band/choir to help build up the excitement of asking your significant other to spend the rest of your life with you!

 

 image source: cultural bindings

image source: cultural bindings

Want a more sentimental and private proposal? Go to where you two had your first date together! It will make that day and place incredibly sweet and special!  

Send your lover on a scavenger hunt using notes and clues that include memories, inside jokes, and photos of you both. The overall hunt will tell your love story, and end in a proposal! 

 image source: lovely rustic weddings

image source: lovely rustic weddings

Similar to a scavenger hunt, leave little love notes around your house for them to find, leading up to you with the ring!

Husband Appreciation Day

 Image Source:  Bridal Musings

Image Source: Bridal Musings

 

 

It’s time to show your incredible husband all the love and appreciation he deserves! This year, National Husband Appreciation Day falls on April 15, and showing appreciation to your husband should come very naturally on this day (as well as the rest of the year!). To celebrate the lucky man in your life, set up a special date night for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company. Whether it be reminiscing on your wedding video, creating a scrapbook for him filled with memories between the two of you, or cooking him a delicious meal, today’s the day for him to relax and absorb all the love you give him! Try one of our favorite go-to date night recipes below! 


 Image and Recipe Source:  Averie Cooks

Image and Recipe Source: Averie Cooks

 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions (half of a 1-pound box)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, de-veined, and cleaned with tails off (I prefer 12-15 count shrimp)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, optional

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and set aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  3. Stir in the garlic powder.
  4. Add the shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes total, or until just pink and cooked through. Flip shrimp halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary based on size of shrimp and pan used; don't overcook or shrimp will become rubbery and tough.
  5. Add the lemon juice, optional lemon zest, and stir briefly to combine.
  6. Turn the heat to low, add the pasta to skillet with the shrimp, and toss to combine and coat. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and make any desired tweaks (add more salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice, etc.). Serve immediately. Dish is best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat gently prior to serving.

Save the Date Mistakes

 The main purpose for distributing save-the-dates is to give your wedding guests an advanced notice of when your big day is. By sending them, your guests are able to take off work or arrange travel plans far in advance in order to celebrate your wedding day. Although save-the-dates are simple and easy to send out, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make:

The main purpose for distributing save-the-dates is to give your wedding guests an advanced notice of when your big day is. By sending them, your guests are able to take off work or arrange travel plans far in advance in order to celebrate your wedding day. Although save-the-dates are simple and easy to send out, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make:

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 Image Source:  Esty

Image Source: Esty

 

Save-the-dates should be sent 4-6 months prior to your wedding date. A couple should only send them once their venue is also booked, in case your dream venue is booked the day you already printed on the save-the-date.

Be sure to add your location to the save-the-date for guests who are located far away. By doing so, guests are able to secure travel accommodations!

The worst is customizing your save-the-dates and receiving them in the mail only to notice spelling or grammar mistakes. Be sure to proof read everything before ordering them!

 Image Source:  The Knot

Image Source: The Knot

Save-the-dates should only include the couple's names, the wedding date, location, and wedding website (if applicable). The actual wedding invite will contain more details for guests. Keep the save-the-dates short and simple!

National Chocolate Mousse Day

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Attention all chocolate lovers! Today is National Chocolate Mousse Day, and what better way to recognize one of the tastiest foods than to share one of our favorite mousse recipes with you! With just a few ingredients, you'll be on your way to chocolate heaven!

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8 ounces Milk Chocolate Chips

6 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups heavy whipping cream

¼ cup powdered sugar

IMG_5762.JPG

1.     Melt the milk chocolate chips and water in a saucepan (double boiler)

2.     Whisk the vanilla in the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature

3.     Whip the cream until it makes soft peaks, and then add the powdered sugar

4.     Fold the cooled chocolate mixture into the whip cream mixture until it is well combined

5.     Top with extra whipped cream or chocolate drizzle and enjoy! 

How to Pick the Right Color Palette for Your Skin Tone

Picking out what to wear may be the hardest part of your day, especially trying to decide what colors to wear. You may not realize this, but just like matching your makeup to your skin tone, your skin tone plays a large role in which colors compliment you the most; therefore, we have made you a go-to guide on what colors to lean towards based on the tone of your skin! 


If your skin tone is warm and has a golden undertone and olive complexion…

Oranges, Golden Yellows, Ambers, and Reds

Olive, Turquoise, Magenta, Orchid 

Taupe, Creamy Whites

 
 
Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 3.39.22 PM.png
 

If your skin ton is cool and has a blueish undertone with fair or very dark skin…

 
 

Ruby, Bright Rose, Pinks

Bright Blue, Royal blue, Emerald, Lilac

Gray, Navy, Winter White 

Hot Spring Lip Colors

What better way to welcome the new spring season than with new, fun lip colors?! It’s time to put away the dark shades until next winter and embrace the bright lips: Spring 2017 is all about color! Take a chance and try out some bold colors, such as bright pinks, corals, and even orange. If you typically lean towards a subtler shade, try a rose lipstick that will still leave you feeling and looking fabulous! 

Another way to wear your pout this season is with the addition of glitter! Make glitter your signature color, whether you want to rock the glitter top-coat over your favorite lipstick or even on your bare lips! 


Name *
Name

St. Patrick's Day Signature Drinks

Looking for a festive, simple crowd pleaser for an upcoming St. Patrick’s Day party? We love these fun signature drinks!

 Image Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings

Image Credit: Martha Stewart Weddings


 Image & Recipe Credit:  3YummyTummies

Image & Recipe Credit: 3YummyTummies

Ingredients 

  • 1.5 ounces of Midori
  • 1.5 ounces of Vodka
  • 1.5 ounces of Orange Juice
  • 1 C. Ice
  • Optional Garnishments:
  • Green melon
  • Green Sugar for rim
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Dip rim of martini glass into honey and then sugar until coated.
  2. Combine Midori, Vodka, Orange Juice and Ice in a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake vigorously until combined and cold.
  4. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with green melon.
  5. Notes: Green sugar is easily made by mixing sugar with green food coloring until desired shade of green is achieved.
 
 Image and Recipe Credit: Tipsy Bartender

Image and Recipe Credit: Tipsy Bartender

Ingredients

  • Green Apples
  • Melon Balls
  • 4 Leaf Clover Cookie Cutter
  • 6 oz. (180ml) Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Apple Juice
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Sour Apple Pucker
  • 4 oz. (120ml) Midori Melon Liqueur
  • 2 Green Apple Sodas
  • 1 1/2 oz. (45ml) Blue Curacao
  • Apple Juice
 
 Image and Recipe Credit:  Tablespoon

Image and Recipe Credit: Tablespoon

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/4 cups lemonade
  • 2 envelopes unsweetened gelatin
  • 3/4 cup lime vodka
  • 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • Green food coloring (green + neon green recommended)

Instructions

  1. Pour lemonade into a small saucepan and sprinkle unflavored gelatin on top. Allow to soak in a minute or two. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until gelatin has dissolved (just a couple of minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Pour in vodka and sweetened condensed milk and stir to completely combine. Separate evenly into three bowls or measuring cups.
  3. Using green and/or neon green food coloring, add enough to achieve 3 different shades of green. Start with just one or two drops – you can always add more, but you can’t take away. Suggested mix: For light green, use 1-2 drops green + 1-2 drops neon green. For medium green, use 2-3 drops green + 2-3 drops neon green. For dark, green use 5-6 drops green + 5-6 drops neon green.
  4. Place shot glasses on a tray and pour the light green layer into shot glasses about 1/4 of the way full. Put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. While shots are setting, cover the other 2 mixtures with plastic wrap to keep warm. If any separation occurs, simply stir again before pouring the next layer.
  5. Once first layer is set, evenly pour the medium green layer into the shots and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Finally, add the last layer and allow to set for at least another hour.
  6. When ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream and gold sprinkles.

DIY Literature Concept Wedding

Nothing is as comforting as the smell of a new book and flipping page after page as you get lost in the story. Why not tie that comfort feeling into your wedding day? There are so many ways to create simple yet classy literary decorations for your big day! 

So elegant and so easy! Grab a stack of your favorite books to create your own personal center pieces! Add your favorite quote of the book or spruce them up with some flowers! 

Sprinkle the love of your favorite pages and create these simple heart page cut outs for confetti. Whether using the confetti on the tables or on the aisle, your guests will love the simplicity and creativity of incorporating books pages! 

Why not walk down an aisle filled with your favorite book quotes and passages?! This aisle runner can also function as a great backdrop for gorgeous wedding portraits.

Need tablecloths? By attaching various pages of books together, you have the perfect tablecloth runner for your guests to enjoy while they indulge in their meals! 

How to Contour

Contouring and highlighting your face are tasks that every girl wishes to master. Although we are not all equipped with a glam squad to flawlessly apply our makeup like Kim Kardashian, we have found an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to get those cheekbones chiseled and those eyes bright with just a few simple steps using different shades of your favorite foundation! All you will need are three different shades of foundation: your skin tone, one that is one or two shades darker than your skin tone, and one that is one or two shades lighter. 

1. Prepare your skin and apply your normal skin shade foundation as you typically would.

2. Use the darker foundation and start “tracing” your face: your temples near your hairline, the hollows of your cheekbones, and your jaw line. For a starter tutorial, it is easy to make a giant “3” on each side of your face, with the top of the “3” tracing your temple, the middle your cheek, and the bottom your jaw. 

3. Use the lighter foundation to highlight underneath your eyes, the bridge of your nose, forehead and chin.

4. Blend the created lines smoothly with a makeup sponge or beauty blender. 

5. To finish, lightly apply loose powder on the entire face.

Tada! You now have that flawless facial structure and glow without needing that glamor squad! Go out, try different shades, and happy contouring! 

2017 Fashion Trends

New year, new trends! To get our minds off of the cold weather, it’s only appropriate to start thinking about updating your spring wardrobe. To help you get started, we’ve looked into this year’s hottest fashion trends for spring 2017, filled with nothing but fun colors, bold stripes, and even some creative textures! Have fun and happy shopping!


 
 
 

Stripes are the new “classic white tee!” Whether bold or subtle, adding some stripes to your wardrobe will spruce up your outfit fabulously! 

 

In need of some comfy footwear this season? Lucky for you, sneakers are in! Patterned sneakers, textured sneakers, or platform, they are sure to give you that chic look all while keeping your comfort as your #1 priority! 

2017 is looking bright! This season's colors are pointing toward different shades of pinks and yellows! Nothing will give your wardrobe a fresh new look than a pop of color! 

No longer just for your sneakers! Creative new ways to (literally) tie together your clothes. From shirts to dresses, you can spruce up any outfit with some fun ties and laces! 

Winter Skin Hacks

Colder weather in these winter months calls for some extra TLC for your skin! Dry, flaky, irritated skin is not fun to deal with, especially while dealing with low temperatures as well. To solve all of our winter skin problems, we have found some effective and inexpensive ways to give your skin the attention it deserves!

Use thicker and heavier creams and moisturizers 

Unlike ordinary lotions, creams and moisturizers include more oil than water, and are more hydrating than lotions alone. Moisturizing your skin in the cold winter months is a great way to get that hydration and glow back! Try brands such as Aveeno and Olay to get that glowing skin back without breaking the bank.


Coconut oil and Argan oil

Coconut oil is essentially the solution to all of life’s problems (not really—but we can pretend). In addition to repairing split ends and damaged hair, coconut oil is great for your skin as well! If your skin stays oily in the winter months, try a lighter oil, such as Argan oil.  You can apply the oil directly to your skin or mix it with your regular daily moisturizer!


Hydrating Skin Mask to Wear Before Bed 

After a long day, nothing is more rewarding for your skin than treating it to a deep moisturizing and hydrating mask. It is recommended to wear a mask shortly before going to bed, as your skin works throughout the night exfoliating itself. 


Exfoliate!

Exfoliating is a great way to remove dry and flaky skin! Try to use circular motions rather than a back-and-forth motion while exfoliating to reduce harsh movements on your skin, which could lead to further irritation.

How are You Spending Your Valentine's Day?

The most lovable day of the year is quickly approaching: Valentine’s Day! Whether you want to put on your favorite heels and go out on the town, or slide into your comfiest slippers and enjoy a cozy night in, we have fun ideas for both date nights for you and your loved one!


Time to strap on those heels and get fabulous! Although cliché, going out to a romantic dinner for two is a great way to celebrate this day of love. Add a festive pop of color to your look with some deep red lipstick shades and a bright red statement skirt. Split a bottle of wine and end the night with some delicious dessert! If you want to stray away from the typical dinner date, slip into something cute but more comfortable. While still adding some color to your outfit, try a deeper shade of red skirt matched with a long sleeve shirt to keep that flirty look! Sign up for a cooking class and create a meal together or attend a paint bar night, where you can enjoy that bottle of wine all while making masterpieces together.


Don’t feel like making reservations or spending much money? No problem! Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the comfort of your own home. Instead of taking that cooking class, try making a meal at home together. Keep it festive with a pizza in the shape of a heart or learn something new by making your own sushi rolls! Kick your feet up and enjoy each other’s company in something cozy yet chic, such as leggings and an oversized cardigan matched with some natural, softer makeup tones. End your night watching some of your favorite films together while snacking on some yummy homemade desserts like chocolate covered strawberries!  


Pondering what to make for your date night in? We have got you covered! Spicy Clams with Spaghetti.

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 18 littleneck clams (about 1 1/2 pounds), scrubbed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon thinly sliced stems

1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Increase heat to medium-high and add clams. Cover and cook just until clams open, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard unopened clams.

3. Stir in butter and parsley leaves and stems. Add pasta and toss to coat, adding reserved pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is loose and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

Create Ways to Ask Your Bridesmaids

Yay! You're engaged and now it's time to start planning! Your wedding day is a day that you are surrounded by your friends and family including having people stand by you as you make this commitment. Being a bridesmaid is an exciting role to play in a wedding, but it also is time and money commitment that you are asking them to make, so why not show your appreciation from the start.

Here are our favorite ways to ask the big question and get your bridesmaids excited about the wedding and all the exciting events that come with it!


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We love custom gift baskets! They are a great way to present your bridesmaids with a gift filled with goodies. We love when the baskets are mixed with items for the bridesmaids to use in their everyday lives but also items that represent your wedding.


 

Can't ask in person? We suggest going old school and write a letter. Checking the mailbox to find a sweet note in that pile of bills is always a nice surprise! Since we love all things Rifle Paper Co. paper goods, we suggest popping the questions in a beautiful note card! Best part of writing a letter? It becomes a keepsake for your friend as a reminder of how strong and supportive your friendship is.

A Letter always seemed to me like Immortality, for is it not the Mind alone, without corporeal friend?
— Emily Dickinson

 Photography: Bryan Gardner

Photography: Bryan Gardner

 

 

What better way to pop the question then with Rose! Or even better, Rose with a personal message! Veuve Clicquot Rose in Clicq'Call Box, allows you to record your message to your bestie. Cheers to a fun journey to the alter, filled with love, laughter and many a night of wine and DIYing!


Giving a gift that is personalized shows the recipient that you took the time to create something just for them. We love the idea of custom totes. These tote bags are great for everyday use but also to carry essential items around on the wedding day.