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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Think Outside the Box

I plan and coordinate about 8 - 10 weddings a month so unfortunately they all run together after awhile.  That's why I absolutely LOVE seeing new ideas and brides stepping outside of tradition and making their wedding and event to remember.  There's nothing wrong with tradition, and I know I've mentioned this before, but your wedding is the perfect time to showcase you and your fiance's personality!  Don't be afraid to be silly or quirky or just different than every other wedding you've already seen...who says Weddings have to be stuffy and conservative??  Here are a few cute/funny/different ideas I've pinned on Pinterest to share with my upcoming brides:

Hilarious 'Day After' Photos of Bride, Bride's Mother and Bridal Party: 


And how many blank RSVP cards have you seen and have absolutely no idea what to write?  I love this option:


Or this one:


Why not skip the traditional Engagement Photo on the Gift/Guest Book Table and get something like this?


These could also serve as Save the Dates (made smaller obviously) or a great gift to give a couple after their big day!

And we all know hiring a photographer is a must - but why not capture your guests personalities with a super fun Photo-Booth!  These pics are so much better than cheesy group shots at the dinner table...


Don't forget to add a bag of props and signage to really encourage extra fun!


Photobooth pics can also be used as a part of your guest book instead of everyone just scribbling their name in a book....are you really going to read a list of signed names for years to come?  I highly doubt it - so why not have the photobooth print out the pics immediately and have your guests write their well wishes next to their funny pics!

And who said anything about your table numbers being numbers?  Why not black and white pics of past Hollywood Actors to give your wedding a very Hollywood/Glam Vibe?

The above pic actually came from one of the weddings at my place of work:-)

And I'm sorry, but the same tired black suits for the guys are so over-rated...why not try a khaki or gray suit? 



And last but not least, give your guests favors they will actually USE:


The orange 'koozies' above read: To have and to hold and to keep your drink cold' funny and true at the same time:-)

What other different Wedding Ideas have you seen?


Monday, November 7, 2011

Crock-Pot Heaven

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since my last post.  Tourist Season in SW Florida is in full effect and has been taking a huge toll on my time.  Speaking of my lack of time; my weeknight dinners with the BF have taken a huge beating along with my social life.  I am so exhausted when I come home from an event that the last thing I want to do is cook a big dinner.  Enter my new found love of The Crock-Pot.  I received this glorious gift over a year ago when we first moved into our new home, but for some reason, I have NEVER used it!  Shame on me for I knew not the powers of this gem.  Leave it to my other love, Pinterest to give me hundreds of Crock-pot recipes to try.  I literally throw all the ingredients on the pot before I leave for work and when I come home, Voila!  My meal is done and absolutely fabulous.

Here are three fool-proof recipes that Katina and I have made in the past two weeks:

Crock-pot Angel Chicken


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 8-oz. pkg. fresh button mushrooms, quartered

1 6-oz. pkg. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced

1/4 cup butter

1 0.7-oz. pkg. Italian dry salad dressing mix

1 10-3/4-oz. can condensed golden mushroom soup

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 of an 8-oz. tub cream cheese spread with chives and onion

Hot cooked rice or angel hair pasta 


1.  Melt butter in a saucepan
2. Add in italian dressing packet
3.  Stir in soup , wine and cream cheese until it combines and melts
4.  Cut up mushrooms (I used all button)
5.  Place mushrooms on the bottom of slow with chicken....pour sauce on top...close top and cook on low for 5 hours....

Spoon Chicken onto Pasta, Rice or even eat all by it's divine self!

Crock-Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches



  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (17.5 fluid ounce) bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided
  • 1/2 (1 ounce) package dry ranch salad dressing mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise  (I actually used Jalapeno Ciabatta Rolls - to DIE for - but any bread of your choice will do)


  1. Place the chicken breasts into a slow cooker, and pour in 3/4 of the wing sauce and the ranch dressing mix. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours.
  2. Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter, and shred the meat finely with two forks. Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls, and splash with the remaining buffalo wing sauce to serve.

This recipe made so much that we ate sandwiches for two days.  On the third day, I ate this cold, as a dip with tortilla chips.  Talk about a meal that keeps on giving.

The next recipe comes from Recipe Gurl's Kitchen.  I don't eat red meat but plan on making this for the BF since Pot Roast is his fave comfort food.

Crock-Pot Company Pot Roast


  • (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth 
  • (.35-ounce) package dried morel mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper 
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
  • medium onions (about 3/4 pound), quartered 
  • (16-ounce) package carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces 
  • 16 small red potatoes (about 2 pounds), halved 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • 1. Combine roast, soy sauce, and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  • 2. Bring broth to a boil in a small saucepan; add mushrooms. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a cheesecloth-lines colander over a bowl, reserving broth mixture.
  • 3. Remove roast from bag, reserving marinade. Sprinkle roast with pepper, gently pressing pepper into roast. Combine reserved marinade, mushroom broth mixture, and tomato paste; stir well, and set aside.
  • 4. Place mushrooms, onion, carrot and potato in a 6-quart electric slow cooker; toss gently.
  • 5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast, browing well on all sides. Place roast over vegetables in slow cooker. Pour tomato paste mixture into pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Pour tomato paste mixture over roast and vegetables. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. Reduce to low-heat setting, and cook 8 hours or until roast is tender. Place roast and vegetables on a serving platter; keep warm. Reserve liquid in slow cooker; increase to high-heat setting.
  • 6. Place flour in a small bowl. Gradually add water, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add flour mixture to liquid in slow cooker. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Serve gravy with roast and vegetables.

I hope you enjoy these delicious, time saving and easy dinners!!  

Amanda and Katina

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ahhhh...fall is in the air...and so is the smell of pumpkin.  Literally.  But that's just my new Scentsy scent in Pumpkin Roll. 

Ever since I got the delish scent - I have been craving anything and everything with pumpkin it it.  When I found out we had to make a dish for a Going Away Party the other night at work, it was the perfect excuse to make a pumpkin dessert.  I am of course partial to cupcakes, so pumpkin cupcakes seemed ideal.  I found this recipe on (one of my most fave mags and websites for recipes) and couldn't resist.  They came absolutely fabulous so I had to share with all of you.

Here's the recipe:


Makes 24 cupcakesHands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 40m


  • 18.5-ounce box yellow cake mix (plus the ingredients called for in the package directions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 8-ounce bars cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 24 pieces candy corn


Heat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners. Prepare the cake mix as directed but with the following change: Add the pumpkin pie spice and substitute the can of pumpkin puree for the water called for in the package directions.

Adding the pumpkin puree turns the batter this rich golden orange color - YUM

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Spread on the cupcakes and top each with a piece of candy corn.

The BF obviously stole one!
How cute did these turn out?!  And let me tell you, they were so easy to make and a huge hit at the work party!  

What fall flavors are you craving?


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Vintage Glam Inspiration

As Katina's (aka Recipe Gurl) Wedding gets closer (okay it's still 8 months away but in Wedding Time, that will be here in the blink of an eye), we seem to rely on Pinterest more and more everyday to house our constant ideas and inspirations.  For Katina's Vintage Glam Wedding, here is what we have been inspired by lately:

Who said your Bouquet has to be Flowers??  Step outside the box and use vintage jewels instead!

Vintage Frames with Old Family Photos

Rehearsal Dinner Inspiration 

Mixed Matched Votives, a Must for the Centerpieces

Nothing says Vintage like a Lace Gown 
Milkglass and Baby's Breathe - So Sweet
(All Photos can be found on our Pinterest Board)

What has inspired you lately?


Amanda and Katina

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pinterest Dinner: Spicy Thai Noodles

I swear I spend way too much time on Pinterest.  But I have to say it's totally worth it since the past couple of recipes I've made from my Food Board have turned out absolutely fabulous.  There's nothing better than sitting at work, thinking about what on earth I'm going to make for dinner that night, and instead of aimlessly scouring the internet, searching for god knows what - I just head to my Pinterest and pick something off my "Food" Board knowing that it will never let me down.  

Last week I made the BEST Cheesy Enchiladas which I found on Pinterest...and tonight I made Spicy Thai Noodles - a dish I 'pinned' awhile ago but finally got around to making.  The dish comes from the uber cute blog, A Small Snippet.  If you love chinese/thai flavors with a little heat yet don't feel like buying a zillion thai ingredients, this dish is for you.  It was made with items I already had in my house and turned out amazing!  Here it is:

Source - I'm sorry, I was lazy and didn't take any of my own pics!


1 Box Linguine or Angel Hair (I actually used regular ol' Spaghetti b/c that's all I had!)
1-2 TBSP Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Sesame Oil
6 TBSP Honey
6 TBSP Soy Sauce
Green Onions, Cilantro (I absolutely loathe Cilantro, so I subbed Basil for this), Peanuts and Sesame Seeds


Boil Noodles.  Drain.
Chop Green Onions, Cilantro, and Peanuts.
Heat Both Oils and Crushed Red Pepper over Medium Heat in a Small Pan.  (2 TBSP Makes This Dish VERY Spicy - I used just 1 TBSP and it Still Turned out Very Hot).
Strain Out Pepper and Reserve Oil.
To Oil, Whisk in Honey and Soy Sauce.
Toss Mixture with Noodles.
Refrigerate Overnight or Until Cold (I did NOT Do This...Me and the BF Were Way Too Hungry so We Ate This Warm!)
*I Also Sauteed One Small Chicken Breast in the Vegetable Oil and Added it to the Pasta for a Little Extra Protein*
Before Serving, Top with Onions, Cilantro (or Basil), Peanuts and Toasted Sesame Seeds.


Thanks Again to Leana from A Small Snippet for this Quick and Yummy Meal!  

If you are lacking creativity in the kitchen, you seriously need to check out Pinterest and get inspired!


Friday, October 14, 2011

Tiffany & Co. Necklace from Mary and Dyer

As a woman, I swear there is nothing better than finding a Tiffany Blue Box with it's little white ribbon arrive at your front door step.  Wait, there is only ONE thing better than that......and that's if the little blue box is a prize I won for FREE!  Here's the deets:

One of new fave fashion blogs, Mary and Dyer, just held their first giveaway for this little baby:

All I had to do was 'Like' them on their Facebook Page (which I would have done anyways)and bam, I was entered to win this fabulous necklace.  I NEVER win anything and I swear I have the worst luck out of anyone I know, so I was not expecting to win this whatsover.  So imagine my shock when I found out on Facebook that I had actually won! 

I, of course, wore it the very first day I received it:

So here's a HUGE thank you to Kat from Mary and Dyer for hosting such a wonderful Giveaway Contest.  If you haven't checked out her blog, I suggest you do so immediately:-)  She is always posting her super cute outfits and sharing her beauty advice:

Kat from Mary and Dyer

Oh - So excuse the iPhone photo above of my me and my huge melonhead - that pic does my hair no justice, but here it is in extreme close-up:

I get asked on a daily basis how to do this - it's seriously the easiest thing ever, so I will post a tutorial to this very soon! 

Thanks again Kat for my necklace - I LOVE IT.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

China Cabinet Project: Finally Complete!!!

Okay so MONTHS after my first post on this, I have finally finished that beast of a china cabinet and could not be happier with the turnout.  It took so much longer than I anticipated, but so worth the wait.  I hastily purchased several fabulous fabrics to put on the back panels, but in the end I settled with a Vintage Gold paint by Martha Stewart.  Let me tell you, I love this color so much, I'm in the process of hunting down other things in my house that I can paint with this stuff.


I think the gold really enhances all of the antique pieces with the contrast against the new pieces.  

Here it is again BEFORE:

Old Fashioned and NOT Working with my Style

My Muse:


Sorry mom and dad - it's not that I didn't appreciate this beautiful antique, it just wasn't meshing with the style I'm trying to achieve in my new home.  

So without further adieu, here is the FINAL result:

Side View Without Any Accessories

Front View Without Accessories
It almost took me just as long to pick out and organize the perfect accessories to display.  But I think I did a pretty darn good job:

Fully Accessorized

What makes me so happy about the cabinet is that every single item I've displayed has some sort of history or meaning to either me or the bf.  The above picture shows an old autograph book that belonged to my great-grandmother, Amanda Caroline Fromm, for whom I was named.  This book dates back to 1897 - how cool is that?  The little girl in the frame is my grandmother Fromm as a baby.  Those books belonged to my grandfather; they are actually from the Harvard University Library - where he went to school.  That glass pitcher - well that has been in my family for centuries.  I'm ashamed that I don't know the full history behind that thing.  I just know that it's beautiful.  

Below is the room as a whole:

Please excuse the hideous chandelier.
Next steps:

~Replace Chandelier with something like this:


~Find Fab Rug

~Hang these Peacock Prints on Either Side of Cabinet:

Source glad this project is over.  On to the next project.........stay tuned to see what that may be:-)