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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: 



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


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Or this one:

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



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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...


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

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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?

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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? 

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

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

What other different Wedding Ideas have you seen?

xoxo,
Amanda

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


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Ingredients:



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 

Directions:

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 cooker...top 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

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Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  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

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Ingredients:

  • (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

Directions:

  • 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!!  

xoxo,
Amanda and Katina