Bachelorette Party-ing

I flew to Seattle a week before the wedding and got to spend a few days getting in some father daughter time.  I even got my dad to help decorate the mason jar jugs and bags for everyone for the party!

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2 of my bridesmaids landed on Wednesday, Laura and Stephanie.  Laura and I used to work together when we were stationed in California in the Air Force.  Stephanie is my maid of honor’s cousin who I also met while living in California.  It was nice to spend some quality time with them.  We all stayed at my dad’s that night and had my step mom’s famous pot roast feast, with some margaritas of course!

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My dad dropped us off at our hotel downtown the next day and waited for all the other girls to get in.  Amanda, my maid of honor and Kelly drove up from Sacramento early that morning the rest of the girls flew in from London, Vegas, and Texas.  We all walked to the local Whole Foods to pick up snacks and dinner and spent the rest of the night hanging out and catching up.  It had been a few years since I last saw some of the girls so it was so fun just hanging out doing nothing!

1 of many elevator selfies!

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The next morning, we had a walking food tour of Pike Place Market on the agenda.  Our tour guide was so fun and funny!

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All the food places we stopped at were awesome and we didn’t have to wait in any lines.   We had some of my favorite fresh cinnamon sugar doughnuts

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smoked salmon, seafood chowder that was the best I’ve ever had, Oprah’s favorite mac & cheese at Beecher’s, chocolate covered cherries & pecans, and lastly crab cakes that were to die for from Etta’s, a Tom Douglas restaurant who also did the catering for our wedding!

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market

A fish stand in the market is famous for watching fish throwing, and I kindly got volun-told that I had to catch a fish! I caught it, so at least I didn’t make a fool of myself.

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After the food tour, we all headed back to the hotel to chill out.  My mom landed around the same time so I took a walk to her hotel so I could see her since I hadn’t seen her since last May.

Once I got back to the hotel, we all started getting ready for the night.  The girls decorated our hotel room and got the drinks and games in order!

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We went out for sushi for dinner

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and our next stop was a place called Key on Main- a dueling piano bar.  Has anyone ever been to one of these places before?!

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It was a lot of fun! The pianists can basically play and sing any song which was pretty cool, and they had a bunch of gear to add beats and extra music in.  Basically someone pays to request a song for them to play, the more the pay, the quicker it will get played, and if you want them to stop whatever song they are playing you have to pay a dollar more than what the person paid to request it.

dancin There was another bachelorette party going on, and the poor girl got called on stage and had a very inappropriate song sung about her, so I knew it was only a matter of time till it was my turn!  I was in the bathroom a little bit later on, and I heard them calling my name to come on stage, I had to pee and had no intentions of rushing back out there! When I walked back out, they caught me and I had to get on stage for my roasting, it was hilariously inappropriate!

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We stayed there for another hour or so, and I realized one of my favorite old school burger joints were right around the corner.  My dad used to go there when he was a teenager, it’s a old school little place, cash only and no special orders! Cheeseburgers were needed!

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Amanda and Kelly had stopped at Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland on their way to Seattle and I had a nice surprise waiting for me when we got back, and it was creme filled and delicious!

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We had an awesome night, and I was glad it wasn’t a very late one since we had all day festivities planned the next day.  Mason jar decorating at my aunt’s followed by my bridal shower, and then out for my little brother’s birthday.

It was so great to have such a great time with all my family and close friends from different points in my life.  I was so happy we all could get together and have so much fun, I’ll cherish those memories forever!

 

 

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I’m back as a Mrs!

Hey Y’all!

Greg and I just got back from our honeymoon yesterday and we are back to work and reality!  Our time in Seattle was a whirlwind!

I flew in a week before the wedding to get everything finalized with the venue and pick up our marriage certificate.  A few of my bridesmaids started flying in on Wednesday and the rest of them came in on Thursday and we all stayed downtown in a hotel for a few nights for the bachelorette party!

Saturday was spent at my aunt’s house decorating all the mason jars for the reception and my bridal shower, after that we met up with the guys that night at a Minnesotian restaurant.  It was so great to have all our friends and families from all over the world together.

Sunday was our rehearsal at the church and our rehearsal dinner was at my cousin’s house where everyone was invited since we wanted to spend as much time with everyone while we could, and Monday was the big day!

Here are a few pictures from the wedding:

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I’ll be back with pictures from the bachelorette party shenanigans :)

 

 

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Wedding Cra-za-zee-iness!!!

We are in single digits, 8 days until I leave for Seattle, and 16 until the wedding!! I feel like we have went from slowly and casually getting all the big stuff, flowers, church, DJ, reception taken care of to 90mph of trying to get a million things done at once!

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Since we have so many out of town guests and a limited time with them all we’ve been trying to plan a lot of things that include everyone.  Our wedding total is only 76 people but our rehearsal dinner will be about 50+!  My cousin has kindly let us her house for it so that it’s a more casual environment and easier for everyone to get to talk to everyone.

My bridal shower is the day before the rehearsal, where all the girls will also be getting together beforehand to decorate the mason jars that will be on the tables for the reception.  It will be so much fun to have a crafty, girly filled day with all the important women in my life! My aunt has requested my order for famous cupcakes for the bridal shower afterwards that she always brings to family gatherings.  Strawberry cheesecake, nutella, and salted caramel, yes please!   That weekend is definitely going to be filled with all.the.food. My little brother’s birthday is also the same day as the shower so all the family were planning on going to my Aunt & Uncle’s favorite local bar to celebrate, it is going to be a non-stop weekend!

Even though my bachelorette party is in Seattle, I hadn’t planned on doing anything in London, but a friend of mine from our small group at church planned a surprise “Hen” party for me! It was so sweet of her.  We went over to another one of the girls house, we walked down the street in all our bachelorette party gear and picked up our dinner to take back and just hung out followed by cups of Nespresso coffee and When Harry Met Sally! What a crazzzzy night!20140731-141132-51092605.jpg

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My bachelorette party in Seattle is starting off with a morning walking food tour of Pike Place Market.  We get to stop at tons of little food stalls and restaurants throughout the market, and my favorite fresh cinnamon sugared doughnut place is on the list, I can’t wait! We are going to play some games back our hotel room after that.  Have dinner reservations at a sushi restaurant, which I’m so excited for because I seriously haven’t had sushi in like 2 years.  We have a reservation at a bar called the Duelling Piano Bar which is supposed to be a hit for bachelorette parties so that should be fun, and then see where they night takes us! My alcohol tolerance is currently zero so I’m a tad worried about how Ill handle the day and night, especially with a full day ahead of us!

Can’t wait to make more memories and for more shenanigans with my bridesmaid’s & co!

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Laura&steph

Have you had to manage a ton of out of town guests for anything? Any tips for helping things run smoothly?

If you’re in the Seattle area and know any fun bars or really good restaurants, lemme know!

 

 

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Five on Gettin’ My Booty Bride-Ready Friday!

1. Count down

We are in the 50s peeps! I can’t believe there is only 1 full week left of June, so that means there are only 7 weeks left until I fly to Seattle the week before the wedding! We still have lots of little things to get done, and one of them is picking our first dance song, suggestions are more than welcome!

20140620-210225-75745072.jpg2. Slim down

I’ve really been making an extra effort this year to have the reigns a little tighter on my eating and stick to clean eating as much as possible.  I don’t think I’ve ever ate so many vegetables in my life! Eating lots of veggies is the only thing that really fills me up and keeps me full.  I usually roast a ton of veggies for dinner and any leftovers I’ll throw in a big salad for my lunch the next day.  I’ve lost 14lbs so far since January 1, and am now trying a lower carb, high protein & high fat approach.  I only started this week and so far so good! I definitely feel a lot fuller for longer and don’t feel the need to eat as often as I did previously, and am eating slightly less because of this.

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tumblr_nmindy I really want to work on toning up now too, so I’m going to try and get a lot more weight lifting sessions in and stop relying so much on just cardio.  These last 5lb are gonna be the hardest, so gotta get my butt into a worthy Hawaiian bikini bod!

3. Pecan Brownie Mini Cheesecake

I usually been having a protein pancake made with oatmeal, or some cereal after dinner, but since I’m nixing the evening carbs I needed to figure out something else to get my sweet fix.  Enter pecan brownie mini cheesecakes! Not a bad trade off!

photo 1 I adapted this recipe, but only made 6 cheesecakes instead of 12 so split the recipe in half.

  •  Add 1.5 pecan halves chopped up to the bottom of each muffin cup
  • In a microwave safe bowl mix 1/4 cup any nut butter of your choice (I used Peanut Butter & Co Mighty Maple mixed with almond butter) with 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil for 30 seconds or until melted.
  • Add 1.5 TBSP of cocoa powder
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar substitute
  • Mix all together and divide between the 6 muffin cups on top of chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350F (176C)
  • Whip together: 1 package (80z, or 200 grams)  lightest cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar substitute, 1/2 cup fage 0% greek yogurt, 1 egg, 1/4 cup low fat milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pour over chocolate crusts
  • Bake until set, about 25 minutes
  • Wait till they are cooled to eat, or stick them in the fridge for a couple hours for later

For one cheesecake


               Calories
Carbs Protein Fat Fiber Sugar
166       9 10 10 2 5

These are duh.li.scious.  The pecan chocolate topping tastes exactly like a brownie.  I just wanted to eat the tops off of all of them.  I eat the cheesecake part first and save the brownie piece for last, and finish it off with a swig of milk!  I think I’ll definitely try and make some brownie concoction with those ingredients!

4. Apron from Mom 

The only veil I found that I really liked was from David’s Bridal that I saw when I was back in Seattle for Christmas.  I didn’t have any luck finding anything similar here,  so I ordered the David’s Bridal one online to my moms house.  She was definitely taking her time sending it, and it turns out because she was working on this Texas apron for me, I sure love my Momma!

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5. Dress alteration

I had my wedding dress alteration on Wednesday, and couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing because my veil came in the mail that day too.  I was worried how my veil would look with the dress since I hadn’t tried them on together, but I loved my veil and they go together perfectly!

tumblr_mp0zyr6gNB1qi9722o1_500What’s happening in your neck of the woods? 

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Five on Friday- Bonjour Paris!

So I am suuuuper late posting this, and it feels like it was forever ago already! We surprised Greg’s mom with a trip to Paris and tickets to the French Open for her 70th birthday.  We took the Eurostar Saturday morning, it’s so handy taking a train from London straight to the city center in Paris, and it only takes about an hour and a half, crazzy!

1. Site seeing 

We were staying right by the Arc de triomphe, hello Eiffel Tower!

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The sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  Basilique du Sacre couer.  I love going to see old churches in European cities.

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If you walk to the top of the church, behind it you will find Montmartre.  It is where a bunch of artist sell their paintings and will also paint your portrait.  There are tons of little cute cafes up there where you can get crepes, coffee, and croque madames, yes please! Paris May 2014 008

This is favorite place to go there.  The waiters are dressed up in french outfits, and you can sit by the window and watch all the happenings and artists in the square.

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2. Schwartz’s Deli

Some friends of mine went to this restaurant and said how good it was.  It had really good reviews on Tripadvisor, and they all said there was always a wait to get in because it was so good.  Me and Greg love our Reuben’s so it was a must visit on our list.  There was about a 20 minute wait when we got there, and the burgers that were coming out were huge and looked so good.  So as usual, we decided to get a bacon cheese burger and pastrami Reuben and split them, so good!

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3. French filled desserts! 

My carb dependent self was most looking forward to allllll the French pastries, baguettes, and crepes.  Our first day Greg and I split a hot ham and cheese baguette.  I hadn’t had a baguette in I don’t know how long, and it was duh-li-scious!

On the walk back to the hotel, after the Deli, we stopped at restaurant advertising crepes.   Nutella and banana crepe!

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and another one as our last meal before leaving Paris. Paris May 2014 055I also had a freshly made almond croissant, but inhaled it in about 5 seconds so didn’t get a picture.

Since I have a cookie butter obsession, we walked by a Haagen-Dazs and I saw they had Speculoos ice cream.  Wouldn’t be leaving without it!

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4. French Open

We were there on the first day of the tournament on the main court, so we got to see Federer and Serena Williams.  We were really hoping to get to see Nadal though. After one of the matches we left the stadium and were walking around and look who we almost bumped in to!

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5. Seine Boat Tour

Our last day we only had a few hours to try and site see, so we decided to take a boat cruise.  The cruise started at the Eiffel Tower, and was about an hour.  We got to see Notre Dame Cathedral, so cool!

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Five on Friday- Speculoooooooos!

1. Zombie Blitz- Last Saturday Greg and I went to our 1940s WWI Zombie Blitz, it was so much fun! When we got there some sirens went off meaning we had to get to our air raid shelter.  Bombs were dropped nearby and we were trapped in the shelter and had to crawl through a completely dark zig zagging tunnel to try and find a way out.  The first room we found, there was a zombie girl locked up in a cell that was going crazy and trying to get us, so we ran out into a room that had a dead body on an operating table.  We heard some people coming so we ran upstairs and could see everything down below in the room.  Nazi soldiers and a doctor came in to show the soldiers the experimenting he had been doing on dead bodies and brought the dead body on the table back to life.  Once they left the room, we left with the dead guy chasing after us.  We found a room to hide in,  and a few minutes later the Nazi soldiers came in yelling at us like crazy, shooting off their guns and told us to face the wall with our hands behind our backs! Luckily British soldiers came in t0 save us and we ran out and through a maze with loads of other zombies chasing us and one on stilts, so scary!  At the end they let us shoot a fake gun that actually felt, sounded and sparked like a real gun in a room full of zombies coming straight at us. Luckily we finally made it to safety and survived!

Blitz

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2. Cauliflower pizza We have been having lots of cauliflower lately and I was craving a healthier pizza.  Most of the recipes I found used tons of cheese, which I guess helps to keep it in one piece but I wanted to try and keep it lower calorie and only used a little bit of grated mozzarella. It held together pretty well until I tried to move it from the pan to my plate and then it fell apart.  I probably had too many toppings! Oh well, it was still good.

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3. Get Hammered- Some of our friends who recently got married just moved into a brand new house and we went to stay the night with them last Sunday night.  They moved more out into the country, and it’s such a cute little quiet place.  I was looking up some housewarming gift ideas on Pinterest, and loved this “get hammered” gift idea.  They really like wine so I knew this would be a good gift for them.

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4. Run- Tomorrow is my Nike Women’s 10K run.  Unfortunately the forecast is very strong winds and rain, so I’m still debating whether to go or not.  It would take about an hour to get there on the train, it doesn’t start till 8pm, and I’d have to go by myself so not sure how I’m feeling about that one now.

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5. Speculoos coffee syrup- I recently ordered some Lotus cookie butter from Amazon, and got an email with this new cookie butter flavored syrup! I haaaaaaad to get it.  I got it in the mail a few days later, and tried it out at work.  Unfortunately, but probably fortunately, it doesn’t really taste anything like it so at least I won’t be finishing the bottle anytime soon!

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Any fun weekend plans? 

Tips on a better cauliflower pizza? 

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Five on Friday- Sweet Potato Rosemary & Garlic Biscuits

Happy Friday!!

My mom sent me this cute picture of her cat napping in the window.  This is how I felt this morning, and am thankful it’s Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow!

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1. Electric Run- Last Saturday night we ran the 5K Electric Run.  It was held atWembley Stadium, and the course was pretty much running around the stadium and back.  They had different stopping points around the course where music was playing and people could stop and dance and take pictures.  Once you finished, they had a stage with dance music playing where everyone gathered and hung out dancing there.  There was also beer, burgers, and fish and chips available for purchase after, it was funny seeing people walking around with pints of beer after a run!

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2. Liverpool - Tomorrow we are driving to Liverpool to watch Everton v Manchester City, it should be a good game and I hope we win!  It takes about 3 hours to get there, so it’s going to be a long day of sitting!

3. WWII Zombie Blitz-  For Greg’s birthday I got him a zombie apocalypse experience.  It is set in the 1940s during WWII and the story is Nazi Soldiers have been experimenting on people and they have turned into zombies.  We some how become apart of the story and I imagine we will be chased by a few zombies!

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4. May Day- Monday the 5th is May Day here, and we get the day off work! Apparently it is the time of the year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom.  I guess the government thought it would be a shame to spend the day cooped up inside when we should be outside enjoying spring.  Thanks again Queenie!

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5. Sweet potato rosemary & garlic biscuits-  Since I’ve been on my venison kick lately, when I was having one of the steaks, I realized it tasted a lot like breakfast sausage.  Unfortunately McDonald’s breakfast sausage sandwiches has been the only place here to get anything similar to my ‘Merican breakfast sausage. Once I realized I’ve found a very tasty, and much healthier replacement, a healthier biscuit had to follow!  I wanted something with more sweet potato, less flour, and no butter.  I loosely followed this recipe.  It said it made 7-8 biscuits, but the pictures were very deceiving and they were more like donut hole size than biscuits so I made reshaped them and made 6.

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Sweet potato rosemary & garlic biscuits

6 biscuits

Ingredients

wet:

1/4 cup low fat milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pre-cooked mashed sweet potato ( cook a sweet potato in the microwave for 5 minutes and mash)
1 Tablespoon  canola oil
1/3 – 1/2 tsp salt
season with as much garlic powder, onion powder, and dried rosemary to your preference
Dry:
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  In a bowl mix  milk and vinegar and let sit to curdle for 2 minutes. Add  sweet potato, salt, seasonings, oil to the milk, Mix well.
In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and soda. Add 1 cup of the flour mixture into the sweet potato mixture and mix till just about combined.  Add more flour if needed to make a soft stick-ish dough. Mix only until just combined, do not over-mix or knead. (a total of 5-6 mixes or folds in total). Pat down the soft dough onto parchment to about a 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a little flour if needed if the dough is sticky.  I weighed my dough and evenly divided them and formed into 6 biscuits
Nutrition information
Number of servings  6
Ingredients Calories Carbs Protein Fat Fiber Sugar
Allinson – Wholemeal Self-raising Flour, 135 g 446 83 16 3 12 3 Ico_delete
Sainsbury – Sweet Potato (Loose), 105 g 101 22 1 0 3 1 Ico_delete
Sainsbury’s So Organic – Rapeseed Oil, 14 ml 116 0 0 13 0 0 Ico_delete
Meijer – 1% Lowfat Milk, 0.25 cup 25 3 2 1 0 3 Ico_delete

                                            Calories     Carbs      Protein      Fat        Fiber      Sugar

Total: 688 108 19 17 15 7
Per Serving: 115 18 3 3 3 1

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