Saturday, January 31, 2015

Something Saturdays (1/31/15)

I'm super talkative and this article sums up many of my feelings about it.

This week I went to an open call for the best acting/modeling agency in Cleveland. I think it went pretty well so fingers crossed!

This weekend I'm working at the International Motorcycle Show in Cleveland, yesterday was my first day and it was fun so hopefully today and tomorrow will be too!

Oh and apparently tomorrow is the Super Bowl! If you're looking for some great food to eat/serve during the big game check out this post from last year :)

Posts from this week
Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette
Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Brownies
Amy's Original Bridal Hangers Review

Recipes from the blog that I made this week
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse (Love and Olive Oil)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Baklava (The Domestic Rebel)
Hands down the best thing to ever happen to baklava.

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Galavant-Well....I suppose this is not just a one-off mini series. Now I need to hope for a season 2! (and also--Buffy fans...did you spot Giles as Galavant's dad??)

Resurrection-I'm so conflicted...was Preacher Jim right? I hope not. Poor baby :(

Pretty Little Liars-Great. Now they're breaking up all my favorite couples. Stupid PLL.

Hindsight-I still love this show. Lolly needs to get Jamie off the drugs. I have no clue what should happen in Becca's love life but her new job is perfect!

The Vampire Diaries-Well I cried a good amount when we thought Liz was dead and Caroline called her "mommy". And I'm so upset that Luke's plan didn't work and that he lost :( Stupid Malachi

Parenthood-so many emotions. So sad that it's over :(. I liked how they showed some of the future for the family (another baby for Crosby! And another baby for Joel & Julia---I had a feeling they'd end up conceiving another baby. That happens so often, I hear, after adopting {this was verified by the show creator in this article}-them adopting Victor's sister was something I didn't see coming going into the finale but it was so sweet. And Amber seems married with a new little one {which is apparently the hubby's from a previous relationship} as well and Ryan obvi. has some sort of custody for little Zeke. That's nice.) And even though we knew it was coming...Zeke's passing was so heartbreaking. *sigh* Oh were one of the best shows ever. You'll be missed.

Reign-Man...that whole Catherine thing was very Shakespeare-esque. Poor Greer. Poor Kinna. But at least Francis and Mary's relationship is improving.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram

Friday, January 30, 2015

Amy's Original Bridal Hangers Review

I wish I had my wedding pictures already. I realize my wedding isn't until June but I just know that the wedding photos I will have of these hangers are going to be so much better than mine. I mean...isn't most of the point of these super cool hangers that they're adorable in photos? Pretty sure it is.
In case you've never heard of this concept: it is a current trend to have personalized hangers for the bride and/or bridal party with names (or titles etc. --such as "Bride") bent into wire for the hangers, and sometimes something engraved on the hanger itself-mostly to be used as a photo prop (not to say that dresses can't hang from them--they can and they do. Just so long as they hang from the sturdy hanger and not the soft, bent, wire). I was lucky enough to receive personalized hangers for myself and my gals from the makers of the original bridal hanger--Amy's Original Bridal Hangers!
Back in 2010, Amy (who has a background in Interior Design and has has a business of creating beautiful handmade things since 2005) and her husband began selling the original personalized wire wood hangers. And from there they became a phenomenon! Something fun I discovered throughout chatting with Amy is that she is a fellow Ohio-an! She's from the Columbus area and is really all about supporting that community (she's even currently offering a 10% discount off all purchases made in Ohio!)
Ok--let me explain the options you have when ordering these hangers. First of all-they make childrens' hangers, which you see, above, I got for my 3 flower girls.

But, assuming you get adult hangers: 
  • First you get to choose what color of wooden hanger you would prefer. For most hangers you have the option of white, black, blue, natural light wood (what all of my hangers, excluding the one I got for myself, are), or brown wood-which is the color of the wood on my hanger (there are a couple exceptions where you could choose cherry stained wood, distressed wood, etc.). 
  • Next you decide whether you want the wire kind of hanger or just engraved (you do have the option to do both as well!) Some engraved hanger options include a heart with your and your fiance's initials, your wedding date, bridal party position (ie Maid of Honor), your and your fiance's names...etc (and the engraving could be positioned in the center and/or on the arms of the hanger, or whatever really.) On my bridal hanger I have "Kayle and Michael" on one side and "June 20, 2015" on the other. 
  • If you do decide you want the wire you have some more options here, as well. You can just have a monogram (so in my case that would just be a "C" for my future last name). You can just say what your title is (Bride, Mother of the Bride, Bridesmaid, etc.). You can have a heart. You can have hearts in conjunction with some of these other options. It can say, "I do" or "Mrs". You can have a first name (like I did for my bridal party-Alexandra, Shannan, etc.) Or, like for my hanger, it can say your new married name ("Mrs. Crofford"). There are probably some other options too-like I said...customizable...but you get the idea.
  • Most of the hangers automatically come with a bow made of ribbon (I requested mine without but you can do whatever your heart desires)--choose what color ribbon you want. Simple enough.
  • Extraaaas! You can add a full-on monogram to the center of your wooden hanger (where it has the first initials from your and your fiance's first names on either side and the middle letter is the first letter of your married last name. So for me that would be MCK.) As we discussed earlier you can add engraving to the hangers. And then there's my personal favorite--Amy will hand paint a gorgeous flower in the center of the wooden hanger for you. I, obviously, requested a red rose which is probably my most favorite thing in the whole world. But, as you can see on this page, she's painted various kinds and colors of flowers so just send her a request and she'll do it! It's a perfect way to incorporate your wedding flowers in a creative way.
So...yeah. I got 5 hangers for my bridesmaids that say all of their first names. I got 3 child hangers for my flower girls that say their first names. And I got myself an engraved hanger, with a painted red rose, that says "Mrs. Crofford" and I'm crazy excited about it! The hangers for the girls are part of their gifts for being in the bridal party and I highly suggest them as an awesome (fairly inexpensive) gift idea!

To find out more about Amy's Original Bridal Hangers check out her Etsy shop and website to keep up to date (you never know when she'll run a sale-currently their hangers are 20% off!) on twitter and facebook.

Disclaimer-I received complimentary personalized hangers from Amy's Original Bridal Hangers (minus the cost of shipping) to facilitate this review-I was under no obligation to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Brownies

These brownies are delicious. And they're not just delicious in a, "they're delicious for a healthy dessert" kind of way, but just in a, "they're tasty yum yum" kind of way. They happen to be gluten-free, dairy free, low in sugar (they're mostly sweetened with honey), and low in fat (and that fat comes from eggs and good for you almond butter!) And-bonus-they don't even have any weird ingredients. In fact, if you don't have almond butter you can just use peanut butter or any other kind of nut butter. EASY!
I seriously almost don't even know why I would make regular brownies because these are THAT good. Like...super chocolatey and gooey and soft. They're not bitter. They're not gummy. They're not lacking in sweetness. The only real difference you can notice is that you can taste honey (although Michael said he didn't taste it, so I might just be more sensitive to it?)--but when warmed up you can barely detect the honey either!
The almond butter lends the fat (but in a healthy fat kind of way) and structure to the brownies and helps them taste rich and decadent (you barely taste it, almond butter has a subtle flavor-it just helps these be fantastic), honey and just a little bit of brown sugar sweeten them, and unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips make them oh so chocolatey without all the sugar but with all the antioxidant goodness and tastiness!

Game changer-that's what these brownies are.
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