Friday, February 27, 2015

#WeddingPaperDivas Sample Kit #IC

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Wedding Paper Divas. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
By now, you all know that I'm planning my wedding. (Which is less than 4 months away, btw!) And I've encountered various kinds of brides and ways of approaching a wedding. I am 100% that girl who has pictured my wedding forever and the main theme and aspects of the wedding that I've always dreamed of? They're happening. I've always wanted to get married in the church I grew up in-and I am. I've always wanted to wear my mom's dress-as I am. I've always wanted lots of red roses. Happening. I've always wanted red and white as the colors-yepp. And then in the couple years leading up to my actual engagement, Michael and I had settled on various aspects of our future wedding. So...suffice it to say....we have a very clear vision and it is being realized!
And that vision is being consistently realized in every aspect of the wedding--not the least of which is the stationary! It's always super important that your stationary (save the dates, invites, thank you cards, bridal shower invites, etc.) are cohesive with your entire wedding--they're oftentimes the first (and last) impression your guests will have about your wedding so make sure you get the whole thing off on the right foot! One amazing place to turn when you're looking to order your stationary is Wedding Paper Divas.
Wedding Paper Divas is your ultimate destination for your wedding stationary needs! I actually ordered my Save the Dates from them this past summer and I ADORE them! One thing that makes them my fave is the affordability (and they constantly have some sort of sale or discount offer!) I also really like their free designer review feature (after you order and before your stationary ships you'll get fully customized proofs sent to you from a real, actual, person and you can even email back and forth with them if necessary until you are 100% satisfied and approve them! On that same note I have had various conversations with customer service about a few different issues and they always are great about addressing and fixing any issues.) They have a ton of options (that are constantly expanding to keep up with the latest trends)-that can also be customized in a variety of ways! In addition to having custom color options, there are plenty of designs that include the option to add photos so you can tell your own special love story (with engagement and/or wedding photos, etc.!), plus there are a variety of trim options, sizes, fonts, formats (postcards, magnets, tri-fold, and so on), luxe paper types (ranging from signature matte to pearl white shimmer), premium printing techniques (ooh la la thermography and engraved and more!), PLUS complementary DIY options (which include ribbons, belly bands, gift tags, and such).

So many options that it can almost seem a bit tricky on what to choose, hm? LUCKILY you have the option of ordering free samples to help you make your decisions!
First of all-you have 2 options when ordering samples. You can order the Wedding Paper Divas sample kit (completely FREE!) and you'll get 5 invitation samples as well as an entire packet with color swatches, paper options for you to feel, a page about fonts, etc.! (They even give you a discount code!) It's a great way to get started.
The other thing you can do-especially if you have a few particular wedding invitations that have caught your eye-is order 1 free sample of each invite that you're considering. Normally you pay $1 per sample for this, however (for a limited time) you can use the code FREETRY and get up to 8 wedding invite samples for free! When you do this you not only get to touch and feel and get a real idea of the invitations you have your eye on but you also get more information about your options (envelopes, colors, fonts, etc.)

I did both!
Now, Michael's uncle owns a printing business so we've already ordered our wedding invitations from him. But I did order my bridal shower invites (for 2 of my showers) and thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas, so I used the sample kits as sort of a way to see how the paper types for those stationary items looked (since they were included in the kits) and to sort of have fun and decide what invitation type I would have gotten from them if we didn't have a family member hooking us up! Every invitation sample that I received-from both kits-was beautiful. I loved how the rich red and red lantern colors came out (which is great since I chose those colors for my thank you cards and bridal shower invites) and I actually prefer the simplicity of the signature paper types, which, again, is good! Since that's what I am getting. Really, the sample kits give you all the tools you need to help you order the perfect stationary for your special day! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Multi-Nut Butter

I've been sitting on the idea of making a nut butter with a variety of nuts for awhile. And then I recently realized that I actually have 4 varieties of nuts, right now, in my kitchen. So it was nut butter time!
As I've mentioned quite a few times before--making homemade nut butters is unbelievably easy and so entirely customizable. You can add pretty much anything you want to it--honey, chocolate, vanilla, etc. Or you could add nothing and just let it be an ultra healthy nut butter! This is the same. I've given you the amounts of nuts and the varieties that I used but you can completely mix it up to suit your own needs! And your end result is a delicious, healthy, natural (and no-stir!) nut butter!
For my multi-nut butter I had almonds and peanuts as the predominant nuts (peanuts have a good amount of oil so that way I wouldn't need to add oil during the process. And almonds are ultra good for you!) and then walnuts (which I don't love but are some of the healthier nuts) and pecans (which taste oh so good but are prob. the least healthy nuts). And then I just added a smidgen bit of salt and honey. And now I have a delicious, creamy (of all the nut butters I've made this one doesn't get as thick and hard in the refrigerator-which I looove) thing to spread on my pancakes, toast, or to bake with!

Get on board and get your food processor ready!

Multi-Nut Butter

Author: Kayle, "The Cooking Actress"

Makes approximately 14 oz. of nut butter.
Note: This recipe is 100% customizeable, all amounts and ingredients are suggestions. You are welcome to change up the ratios or the varieties of nuts according to your own personal preferences. It should be noted, however, that keeping a larger ratio of an oilier nut-such as peanuts-will help prevent you from needing to add oil later on in the process.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 oz. pecans
  • 1.5 oz. walnuts
  • 5 oz. unsalted peanuts
  • 6 oz. unsalted almonds
  • Oil (coconut, canola, peanut, or olive oil)--if needed
  • Optional-sea salt (or kosher or table salt) and/or honey, to taste
Preparation:
  • Add the nuts to a food processor. 
  • Process the nuts--they'll become coarse in texture, eventually they'll form a ball, and then eventually it will break down into a gritty paste and then a smooth nut butter. This process may take awhile and it may seem like it won't break down, but it should! (If it has been awhile-like 10 minutes-and the mixture still hasn't formed a paste then add a little bit of oil as needed for it to break down. This should only happen if you're using a lot of drier nuts--such as almonds. In this recipe the peanuts oils help counteract that).
  • Taste the nut butter and add salt and/or honey if desired. If adding the salt or honey process for another minute.
  • Pour into a storage container (such as a mason jar or a cleaned out peanut butter jar-so long as it has a lid) and serve or store! Store in the refrigerator for about 1 month (will only last about 1 week at room temperature and it will have a very runny consistency if not refrigerated).
See--I have pictures of the stages for you! You're welcome :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Peanut Butter Compost Cookies {Gluten-free}

Ok before we get into tasty cookie talk...I need to make a confession: I overcooked them. Like...I either didn't set the timer or didn't hear it go off or I don't know what but all I know is that I'm lucky I decided to go check when I did or all I would have had to share today were blackened hockey pucks.

Luckily these cookies still turned out fine (Michael actually likes the fact that they're probably less soft than they would have been if baked for the proper time)-good, in fact. But I haven't overcooked cookies in QUITE some time, so I just needed to come clean about it. Glad that we got that out of the way.
You know what's great about compost cookies? You can pretty much throw in any random stuff you have into them. I happened to stay fairly close to the ingredients listed in the original recipe but that is because I just so happened to need to get rid of some of those things. Like...guys...I have so much shredded coconut. And I rarely use it. And cornflakes--I have them. Rarely use 'em. So, this recipe was super helpful (although, admittedly, I did not use up much of them...maybe I should make 5 more batches?)
Once again we're doing the healthyish cookie thang. Peanut butter and nuts are the main source of fat (and it's a good kind of fat). There's a minimal amount of flour-like substance that is used to help hold them together (I used almond flour, you can use some other sort of thing, or...just regular flour. Your call. But if you use a non gluten flour-such as oat flour or almond flour-then these cookies are gluten free! Hooray!) And um...yeah you get it. I love how chock full of mix ins they are (you almost think there's not enough dough to hold it all but, don't worry, there is!) so they're full of varying textures and flavors. An adventure for your tastebuds! And I def. dub them able to be eaten for breakfast. And cookies for breakfast are as wonderful and miraculous as unicorns.
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I love it when you try & want to share recipes you found here! Please just rewrite in your own words, use your own photos, & always link back to me! Thanks! :)

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