6 Top Tips For The Ultimate Bachelorette Party

November 30, 2018

Today's guest post is super helpful for anyone helping to plan a bachelorette party these days. Things have definitely changed in the past decade since I got married. All the tips here definitely fall in line with what I've seen girlfriends planning recently, and let me add... get a life size cutout of the groom. It's hysterical every time I've seen it. 

If your best friend is about to tie the knot, then you will certainly want to plan the ultimate bachelorette party for her. Bringing all of her closest friends together to celebrate this important moment in her life is a lovely gesture, but it is also an enormous responsibility, which means you will want to take the time to plan the perfect party.

Understandably, this is a daunting task, but below are six top tips which should help you to organize a bash that will stand out from other bachelorette parties and make for an unforgettable night that everyone will enjoy and remember fondly.

1.            Activities & Games

Having a range of activities and games planned is vital because this will create fun and it can break the ice (these are particularly good if not everyone knows each other). There are many bachelorette party activities and games to consider, but a few good examples include cocktail making, spa treatments, pole dancing, and escape rooms.

2.            Uniform

Having some kind of uniform in the way of personalized t-shirts or themed outfits is great fun and a good way to unite the party. Plus, it can also make it easy to find everyone if you are out in public! The bride-to-be should have a distinctive outfit so that everyone knows whose bachelorette party it is; a sash is an effective way to do this.

3.            Relaxing

Although you will want to have plenty of fun and excitement, you could also schedule some time for relaxing as it can all be a bit much otherwise. Vaping is a great way to do this, and it can be a fun activity to do together. You can get kits and various flavors from places like Ultimate Juice.

4.            Social Media

Social media has become an important part of weddings in recent times, and this includes the bachelorette party. Be sure to take photos and encourage others to take pictures throughout the party and use a personalized hashtag so that you can quickly view all of the photos in one place as a nice reminder (just be sure to check permission for photographs with the other guests first!).

5.            Party Bags

Making party bags for everyone is a nice gesture which will allow the memory of the party to live on. You can fill the bags with all kinds of items, but be sure to make some of these unique and personalized to make them more memorable and meaningful.

6.            Handle Practical Aspects

Once you know what you want to do on the bachelorette party, you need to handle the practical aspects so that it is seamless. It will involve collecting money, bookings, arranging transportation and having a schedule. This is not a fun or glamorous side, but it is of utmost importance.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to organize a brilliant bachelorette bash which the bride-to-be loves. It is an enormous responsibility which can make it a daunting task, but with careful planning, you should be able to organize the ultimate party which is fun, memorable and seamless.

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No Bake Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

November 28, 2018

I've been holding onto this recipe for months. I initially made it as part of a recipe contest... but later realized I was in a pregnancy fog and there wasn't a dessert category. So here ya go, my holiday no bake cheesecake that never got posted. 

This no bake cheesecake is a take on my favorite Christmas cake recipe combining orange and cranberry flavors. This give a nice tangy taste to offset all that heavy holiday food. 

It's also light enough that it would accompany any summer meal well. 

No Bake Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

1 cup of finely ground gingersnap cookies
3 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter

2 8 oz packages of cream cheese
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
Zest of 2 large oranges
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Stir together gingersnap crumbs and sugar. Melt the butter and stir until it looks like wet sand and holds together. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat cream cheese and condensed milk on medium high speed until fluffy. Stir in orange zest and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl beat the heavy cream to stiff peeks. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture. 

Pour 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture into the spring form pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Top with 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce, spread thin. Layer another 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture on top, spreading evenly and topping with remaining cranberry sauce. Top with the last 1/3 of the cheesecake mixture. Chill overnight and serve. 

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Meal Pinning Monday

November 26, 2018

I've got 3 weeks left before I'll allow myself to workout again. But this week marks starting the nutrition part of Faster Way to Fat Loss again. I'm planning to work backwards through the pregnancy program to get back into things. I know it'll take some time since I had to stop working out at 30 weeks. My back is constantly reminding me that my core is shot to heck and back after that pregnancy.

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers. If you don't pin your recipes feel free to just share what you are cooking.

Monday - Grilled Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

Tuesday - Grilled Chicken and Zucchini

Wednesday - Smothered Pork with Rice and Brussel Sprouts

Thursday - Sheet Pan Sausage Potatoes and Broccoli

Friday - In & Out Burger with Fries

Saturday - Christmas Party Food! 

Sunday - Eating Out

Breakfast - My go to breastfeeding smoothie - Chocolate protein powder, handful of spinach, 1 cup of cashew milk, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/4 cup oatmeal, banana, 1 tbsp flax meal, and ice to get the consistency I want. (the goal is to end with about 16 oz of liquid after the ice... but volume wise it's about 4 cups.)

Lunch - Burger Bowl

Snacks - Nuts and Fruit
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Tummy Time, Guitars, & Baths

November 21, 2018

It's really been nice having Thanksgiving break sandwiched into my maternity leave. I know Christmas will be just as nice, one week back and then two weeks hanging out as a family with no work interruptions. 

Anyone else wish they could live the retirement life when kids are little and work later? I don't necessarily want to stay home just me, but have all 4 of us home all the time. Wishful winning millions thinking? Yup. 

We've had quite the adventure this week so far. Monday we went to the music store to get Jeremy his Christmas present. Harrison is getting to experience my childhood with my grandfather through his father. I really loved going to the music store with Pop as a kid. Really all my music memories are centered around my grandparents, he played in a band and at festivals for decades. I'm secretly planning on having Jeremy put new strings on our kid guitar and stealing it when I go home at Christmas. 

I should also add, my husband has replaced me as the music store person with Pop. Last time we were home he went with Pop to have coffee with the owner, and honestly I love that he can relate to my grandfather with music. 

There's also been a first attempt with tummy time with this kiddo.

He slept.

Harrison thought spent it saying "Aww" and "Hey Bebe" a dozen times. It's super cute how he talks to his baby.

And of course, bath time. I initially thought separating them out like the Moms On Call schedule calls for would be easier. It isn't.

Instead what I've been doing is getting Harrison started, then bathing Elliot int he Puj tub, dressing Elliot, finishing Harry's bath, putting number 2 down, and then finishing Harrison's bedtime routine.

What I'm really excited for is when they can bathe together. Right now Harry doesn't understand why Elliot can't just be handed to him in the tub. But recently I've seen this tub seats and I think I'll grab one when Elliot can sit up. Harrison will enjoy it for sure.

In fact, I just think it'll be fun to see Elliot react to Harrison. As soon as ole Harry gets a giggling audience he will be beside himself.

And now to get ingredients to make my Cookie Butter Bread Pudding to take to Thanksgiving tomorrow.
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Popcorn Boobs

November 16, 2018

When it comes to breastfeeding a second baby what I always see are images of little girls pretending to baby wear and nurse baby dolls. 

What I don't see are images of what big brothers do.

Being 3 1/2 and having never seen someone nurse a baby means you don't entirely get the concept.

You see we play the "got your nose" game half to death at this house. It has expanded over the past two years into "got every body part you have... and pretending to eat it." The game went a step further and he now pretends to throw up what he ate. It's a sick, sick version of "got your nose" that I would prefer never reached that last level.

So knowing that, you can see how Harrison would think nursing the baby is the baby literally "eating mama."

With that back story let me explain what happened the other night.

Harry has been on a popcorn kick and Jeremy was popping some in the microwave for him. He was getting irritated about something so I tried to distract him by pointing out the popcorn sound. Anything to prevent a meltdown over who knows what.

Well at the exact instance that the popcorn began to pop, and Harrison turned to pay attention to the popcorn and what I was saying... Elliot decided to unlatch.

So here we are with my boob out in the open in the process of swapping sides and burping and Harrison sees his brother eating and knows my boob is the source of whatever that entails.

That nutty 3 year old took off running towards me and got eye level with my boob, utterly (no pun intended) convinced that my boob was making the popcorn sound.

Just picture that in your head, an boob/eye level toddler saying "Oh WOW, ooo, wow, cool!"

Y'all I could not catch my breath from laughing. This is seriously going down as one of those memories I do not want to forget.
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Mahon-Menorco Cheese, Ham & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

November 14, 2018

When we were in Puerto Rico about 5 years ago I had the most amazing breakfast sandwich in San Juan. To be totally clear, I ate that sandwich every single day we were in San Juan for breakfast. 

So when it came time to come up with an entree for the Mahon Cheese Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge I went straight to the idea I have been sitting on for years now. 

Even better, my little Spanish inspired sandwich uses real Spanish cheese. 

This ham, egg, and cheese sandwich sits somewhere between the breakfast sliders my mother made when we were kids and something slightly more special with the fig preserves added to the mix. 

I used the Tender Mahon-Menorca Cheese for this recipe and with its sharp taste the addition of fig preserves and dusting of powdered sugar really balanced the strong flavors. This is the younger of the three Mahon cheese options having only been cured for 21-60 days. It's the softer cheese of the three with a buttery taste. 

Mahon-Menorca Cheese, Ham, & Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Serves 4
4 Sweet Hamburger Buns (such as the Hawaiian Bun variety)
1/2 lb thin sliced ham
4 eggs, fried
4 tsp fig jam
4 thin slices of Tender Mahon-Menorca Cheese
Butter, for frying eggs and toasting the bread
powdered sugar for dusting

Assemble the breakfast sandwiches with a teaspoon of fig jam on one side of the bread. Top with two slices of ham, a slice of Tender Mahon-Menorca Cheese, and a fried egg. Place the top of the bun onto the sandwich and toast in a buttered pan until cheese is warm. Dust the sandwich with powdered sugar and serve hot. 

I made some of the sandwiches with a runny egg, but for mine I fried it hard. Anyone else a fan of a fried hard egg?

Mahón-Menorca Cheese can be purchased nationwide at Whole Foods, and
at other fine retailers such as Fairway Markets, Harris Teeter, Saveway, Kroger, Murray’s, Central
Markets, Costco, Gourmet Garage, West Side Markets, Zabar’s, Central and Town & Country Markets in Seattle and at the best specialty stores all over the country.

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Must-Read Wedding Planning Tips

November 13, 2018

Planning a wedding is a massive job, and you should be prepared to have it take up a lot of your time and energy. Give it your all but also know when to schedule in breaks and make sure you’re doing a good job of taking care of yourself too.

While you want all to go perfectly, realize that there may be a few obstacles or setbacks you’ll likely have to deal with along the way. Keep it all in perspective as you plan and remember that it’s about the love you and your future spouse have for each other that matters the most.
With that in mind, what are the best wedding planning tips to follow?
Prioritize Your Desires
Planning a wedding will require you to think about a lot of different aspects and elements. What will help you out the most is prioritizing your desires and deciding early on what matters to you the most, such as:
·       The date
·       The venue
·       The outfits (dress and suits, for example)
·       The cake
·       The catering
·       The music
You may not be able to have it all, but at least this way, you’ll be securing what’s most important to you first and foremost. You’ll definitely want to make sure you’re organized and follow a plan of attack, so you don’t quickly become overwhelmed as you start to tackle the logistics.
Create & Follow A Budget
Another wedding planning tip that will help you find success as you prepare for your big day is to create and follow a budget.
Weddings are expensive, and there are a lot of details that go into getting ready for your special ceremony and reception. Also, you’ll want to think about where you two want to head after the wedding on your honeymoon!
Don’t panic if you’re short on cash for the big day or the getaway afterward. What you can do is research your financial options and make a good decision about how you’re going to go about securing the funds you need for your getaway. Regardless, it’s a wise idea to start saving money early as soon as you know you’ll be planning a wedding.
Do Your Homework
What’s going to help you out the most as you plan your wedding is to do your homework and research up front. Instead of making assumptions or going off of what someone else did, find out the facts for yourself. Investigate the following:
·       Potential wedding venues
·       Potential photographers
·       Florists
·       Caterers
·       Musicians
Look into each aspect carefully before concluding what it is you want and can afford. Collect contact information and important details as you seek out your options so that you can compare them at a later date.
Involve Your Spouse
Although your future spouse may say they don’t want or need to be involved, it’s in your best interest to get on the same page! Having you do it all may be an easy answer, but it’s possible this approach will create arguments later on as your wedding day gets closer. Sit down and make sure you both see eye-to-eye on some of the most significant and most important decisions before handing over money to any vendors. For example, it’s possible they will want to be involved in choosing the music for the wedding but won’t mind if you pick out the invitations.
Focus on the Food
Guests may forget about some of the details that went on during your big day, but they’ll always remember and judge how the food was! If you want to ensure your wedding is one to remember, then focus on selecting delicious menu items and having enough food to go around. You’ll be sure to hear about it if you skimp in this area or choose to serve only fish to people who you know don’t eat it.
Therefore, you need to have a wide variety of options and make sure guests are always being fed some type of fare as soon as the drinks start flowing. Take time reviewing your menu choices and attend a tasting so that you know for yourself what the dishes look like and will taste like on your wedding day.
Be Flexible
Remind yourself that there are a lot of moving parts and that not all you do will likely go as planned. It’s a wise idea to remain flexible and always prepare for the worst, so you’re never caught off guard. Have a backup plan in place for some of the most essential aspects in case you need to make changes at the last minute. Being rude or throwing a fit when you face challenges are only going to make you feel upset and the people around you uncomfortable. Know that you did your best trying to prepare ahead of time and let that be enough. It may help to hire a wedding planner if you’re someone who’s exceptionally rigid so that they can help you make sure all goes smoothly.
Enjoy the Process
Remember that your wedding day is a special and unique occasion that will most likely only happen once in your lifetime. One tip to keep in mind as you prepare is to relax and enjoy the process because soon enough, it’ll be all over and a memory of the past!
Have fun securing the details and planning your dream wedding because ultimately people want to see that you’re happy. Recognize when your stress levels begin to rise and take a step back so that you can compose yourself and then start fresh the next day. It’ll be a much easier job for you when you stay calm and concentrate on all that’s going right.
Your wedding day is a chance for you to show off your personal style and preferences and celebrate the love you have for your significant other. Take advantage of these tips to help you stay on track and have a rewarding experience pulling all the logistics together. Most importantly, stay in the moment the day of your wedding, so you have the time of your life and are able to witness all of your hard work pay off.

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