Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
I don't know why popovers aren't more of a thing? Are they a thing where you live?? All I know is I had never heard of one, much less had one, until a couple years ago via this bloggy-verse I inhabit. And I looove them! They're like...part pastry, part roll, part donut (like, the freshly fried dough kind, not the Dunkin Donuts kind). And how easy are popovers to make? SO. DANG. EASY! Again...why are these not more of a thing??!
Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
I don't know what it is...but there's something about biting into a crunchy coating of butter and cinnamon sugar, and then being greeted by an airy, yet chewy, center that is just...heaven.

I would not be too surprised if I saw a little baby angel fly out of one of these lovelies. True story.

I mean...magic has got to be involved. Somehow a tiny little amount of batter rises up into these gorgeous pillars-like....what's the science involved?? I have absolutely no clue. Sooo....let's just call it magic.
Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
If I was one of those super cool people that I see all the time on Instagram or that I knew back in NYC, I would create a beautiful tablescape (with some stunning flower arrangements-maybe peonies-in a vintage "oh I just had this laying around and it happens to be super artsy" kind of way. Ditto to a bunch of mismatched plates and maybe mason jars as glasses.) and serve brunch to my super cool group of friends, and I would probably have mimosas (using fresh squeezed orange juice), local and organic milk, a bunch of beautiful jams and honeys, European butter, waffles, French toast, and various pastries-INCLUDING these popovers.

Well...even though I am positive I could never in 100 years make the rest of that artsy, hip, lovely brunch happen, at least I've got these cinnamon sugar popovers!
Cinnamon Sugar Popovers
Theoretically you could coat these popovers in anything you want (omigosh I wonder if I tossed them in powdered sugar if they would taste even more donut like??!) but...cinnamon and sugar just scream DELICIOUS BREAKFAST to me! You can also drizzle some honey on there. Or serve with jam. But...again...I liked them just like this.

Don't mess with perfection my friends! 

...Unless you want to, totally do what you want.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels

Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels
I dare you to take a bite of a waffle that is crisp and chewy, with pockets of caramelized sugar, that (according to my brother) "tastes like a cookie", and NOT became a full on addict.

I'm gonna stop you right now: YOU CAN'T!

Just ask Hayley....and...I'll admit it: ME.
Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels
I have found that the #1 food related thing I miss from NYC is probably the liege waffles (the "other" Belgian waffle. It's essentially like the long lost, prettier, more talented, and overall better sister of the Belgian waffle we all know and grew up with) from Wafels and Dinges. It makes me sad that it took me so long to discover them...I only had a year with those flavorful little beauties. And I didn't even appreciate them fully (I mean...I did but like...not enough) until I knew I would be leaving them. Before leaving NYC I probably ate 3+ of those waffles that I dubbed "my last"...but then...I'd see another truck...and I had another! #noregrets
Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels
Anyway, I had anticipated that I would go through sugary-waffles-from-heaven withdrawal so I bought myself some pearl sugar before I'd even made the move home (I had it shipped to my mom's house).

And then, as fate would have it, I found myself in possession of a jar of Nutella-my dinge (topping) of choice! Obviously it didn't take me long to tackle making my own homemade liege waffles!
Browned Butter Belgian Liege Wafels
To make the liege waffles you make a thick, yeasted dough and fold in big old chunks of pearl sugar. The pearl sugar chunks caramelize in the waffle iron and create those gorgeous sugary bites as well as the crisp exterior, while the yeasted dough gives us a chewy structure. 

...and this recipe called for melted butter, so I decided to brown it. Typical Kayle move.

Did I notice the browned butter? Ermmm...a little. Not a huge difference. Def. not a necessity. 

Did I love 'em? OF COURSE! They're so PRETTY! And they were sooo delicious, especially smothered in nutella with a good dusting of powdered sugar, and when you get a goood bite of caramelized sugar! 

Are they as good as Wafels and Dinges? Not quiiite (but close!) I think the dough might have been a smidge over-yeasted. That's ok, I'll just continue my quest and try more recipes!

Oh noooo....more liege waffles? Gosh darn it. Life is hard.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Something Saturdays (7/26/14)


Sunday/Monday I has a slumber party/girl day with my 14 year old cousin Brianna. We made egg-less cookie dough and went shopping and had oodles of fun!

Tuesday I had my first-paid-modeling gig in Ohio-I did a photo shoot for Jay Kossman photography and it was tons of fun! I can't wait to see the shots and show you guys :) PLUS we shot in Chagrin Falls, which is where we took my engagement photos so I had some major deja vu. Plus it meant I got to get myself a treat from Jeni's ice cream again :D This time I tried their chocolate hazelnut ice cream sandwich and ooooh it was SO DANGED GOOD! Amazingly rich and dense chocolate ice cream sandwiched between chewy and nutty hazelnut cookies and then rolled around the edges in chopped hazelnuts (pictured in the instacollage below). Om nom nom!

Wednesday we had our 2nd cake tasting and-while the cake was pretty good and the owner was lovely, we decided that we didn't like the cake as much as our 1st place, and the price was actually higher. So that one was a no. We also went to check out Bocca Grande with some of our parents, as a potential rehearsal dinner location, and I think that is what we're going with! The location is very close to the church, the owners are lovely, the food is good, and the prices are just great. Would I like it if the locale was a smidge fancier? Yes. However, I'm prioritizing money for the actual big day and not worrying too much about the rest of it.

Thursday we had cake tasting #3 and it is definitely in the running! The owner was really nice and the cakes were delicious-great textures all around. The big WOW factor was their buttercream, though: I'm not usually a fan. It's too sugary. But their buttercream was PERFECTION-not too sweet and just so creamy and delicious, I kept going back for more! The price is good too. So #1 and #3 are both in the running (I'd say the cakes from #1 look better more consistently. But the price is better with #3. Hmmm). We have 3 more tastings to go! (this tasting is the one pictured in the instagram collage below.)

Today I'm working a promo job at the Soap Box Derby for the movie Box Trolls! It's going to be a long (10 hour) day but it should be fun :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tyrrells English Chips Review and #GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Oh those Brits...they sure know how to make some good chips (or crisps...whatever you wanna call 'em!)

Tyrrell's English Chips just launched in the U.S. this past fall and I am so excited to introduce (or re-introduce if you're lucky enough to have already tasted the yumminess!) you to my new favorite snacks!

Tyrrell's English Chips are hand cooked in small batches on the company's farm in the beautious English countryside, and are made from only two super special potatoes (the Lady Claire and Lady Rosetta) that are sourced from 10 local farms (so the quality of the chip is consistent through the year!) Every flavor is gluten-free, hand-cooked in small batches with all natural ingredients, and most are vegetarian and vegan friendly too! HAPPY SNACKING FOR EVERYONE!

I was lucky enough to be able to try a bag of each Tyrrell's chip varieties and they were each so flavorful and perfect!
You wanna try these chips for yourself? Find Tyrrell's at a store near you! Or enter to win this...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Almond Peanut Butter

Almond Peanut Butter
I'm like a walking advertisement for making homemade nut butters. I always tell people about it and they look at me like I'm crazy (or they'll even ask "...isn't there butter in peanut butter?"....*sigh*). But seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough:

Almond Peanut Butter
Allow me to break down the entire process:
Throw nuts in food processor (or powerful blender).

...that's it.

The only time it might get a smidge more complicated than that (which is still insanely easy) is if 1. You decide to add in other stuff like chocolate, honey, salt, etc. Which involves--throwing those things in with the nuts. Again...that's it. OR 2. If you're using a drier nut (such as almonds) you may need to pour in a little oil (olive oil, peanut oil, canola, coconut, etc.) That's all. I'm not kidding when I say ANYONE can make this.
Almond Peanut Butter
Now, although this nut butter has almonds in it-it is paired with the very oily peanuts which means this is a super duper easy one. I just put the nuts in there, let them go, then I had tasty tassssty almond peanut butter!

Enough about how easy it is to MAKE this almond peanut butter, let's talk about how easy it is to LOOOVE to eat it! Before I moved to NYC I had never had a nut butter other than peanut butter-heck, I didn't even know they existed! One day someone mentioned how almond butter was healthier and I tried it and was like "Eh it's good but not as good as my good 'ole pb!"

As I've already mentioned, almond butter did grow on me. However, it could never replace peanut butter in my heart. But now...I DON'T HAVE TO CHOOSE! I get all the best flavors of almond and peanut butters in one place, and the health benefits of the almonds get in there too.

Really....I can't think of a better thing to spread on my toast. Or waffles (speaking of which, keep an eye out for a particularly special waffle recipe next week!). Oooh or maybe bake in cookies??

Endless possibilities. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
Just accept this fact: If a sweet recipe calls for melted can be pretty certain that I'll ending up browning it. As long as we've all agreed to this, we can carry on being friends. Glad we had this talk.

So yeah. These peanut butter cup blondies looked great to begin with, and they're only made better by browning that butter!
Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
The texture is lovely-chewy and soft yet sturdy. Then you have the mellow peanut butter punctuated by dashes of rich peanut butter cup bites. And the added complexity of the browned butter adds just that little extra special something. 

And you can whip these yummies up in one bowl! (I a skillet for browning the butter. Worth it.)
Browned Butter Peanut Butter Cup Blondies
I made these lovelies to take to my grandma's for her 4th of July pool party. Did they go over well?

My cousin Christian (who is 16) ate at least 3 and kept saying, "Kayle...THESE ARE SO GOOD.", his little sister, my cousin Brianna, ate 1 (even though she's "sensitive to peanut butter" ! She insisted it was worth it) my brother ate 2 and 1/2, my cousin's husband ate about 2, and I don't even know who all ate what else, all I know is they were gone pretty darned quick. My Aunt complained that I should have cut them into smaller pieces because they were so rich! Josh (my bro) and I agree that we think she's crazy but hey, to each their own. 

Perhaps you should be the judge?
(You know...for science...)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Something Saturdays (7/19/14)

Here we are again!

I spent 2 days at Conneaut Lake with Michael's dad's side of the family-they go for a week in July every year and it's always such a blast!

I love Weird Al-and he's back! The best is all the comedians in the video! My favorite song he released this week would have to be Word Crimes, though. Entertaining AND informative! :P

Posts from this week
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
Healthier No Bake Cookies
Engagement Photos by JTate Design

Recent links bookmarked (visit my Pinterest for more)
Roasted Almond, Chocolate Chip, and Cocoa Nib Cookies with Smoked Sea Salt (Joanne Eats Well)
Yeeeah. Read the name of these cookies. AMAZING.

Movies/TV Talk (assume there'll be spoilers)
Girl Meets World-I finally saw it. Thoughts: Maya is practically doing an imitation of one young Shawn Hunter, if he were a blonde girl in a sparkly outfit. Farkle is doing the same with early Boy Meets World character Meekus. This whole thing has been Disney-channelized (aka over the top, awful acting and lots of bright colors). And finally...WHAT IN GOD'S NAME HAPPENED TO BEN SAVAGE'S NOSE??! WHY IS IT SOOO POINTY?!

True Blood-Awww Eric and Sookie again! But also...Sookie and Bill. And more fun flashbacks! I don't care what anyone says, I'm enjoying this season so far (much more than the past few)-plus hoooray they saved almost everyone!

Teen Wolf-I sort of hate that Liam kid, as well as all the assassin stuff. Still love Stiles.

Married at First Sight-Have you heard about this show? Um...I sort of love it. Don't judge me.

Hot in Cleveland-Hm, I wonder how long Joy and Mitch will last? Until the season finale perhaps? Stupid show has made me crazy pessimistic about the characters' relationships.

Pretty Little Liars-Cmon Aria, give in to Ezraaaa. And the chances of the awesome twist ending from the books happening is looking less and less likely...which is annoying.

Instagram Latel(a few highlights from this week on Instagram)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Engagement Photos by JTate Design

A summer engagement session by JTate Design.

Here they are! All my favorite shots from mine and Michael's engagement session!

The pictures are exactly what I hoped for-romantic and natural and happy. I absolutely love them and am so grateful to Joe, our photographer, for his amazing work and I cannot wait to see the beautiful job he'll do on our wedding day!

Photography by JTate Design
Hair and makeup by Beauty Therapy
Photos location is Chagrin Falls
"Models" Michael and Kayle :P

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Healthier No Bake Cookies

Healthier No Bake Cookies
 Low fat.
No added sugar.
Gluten free*.

These are not words I would normally associate with tasty, delicious, no-bake cookies.

But all of that has changed!

*gluten free if you use gluten free oats.
Healthier No Bake Cookies
No-bake cookies have a special place in my heart from my childhood. I loooved 'em. Still do!

And really, you'd unhealthy can they possibly be? It's just like chocolate, pb, and oats, right?

Um...I guess not?

It's ok all, THESE no bakes are pretty much just chocolate, pb and oats (and like...honey, a smidge of coconut oil, and vanilla. All pretty good stuff!)
Healthier No Bake Cookies
You may notice that my cookies don't seem super coated: I've made an adjustment for that in the recipe. I had too many oats apparently. It's ok though, they were still super delish. A bit crumbly, but still full of that familiar chocolatey peanutbuttery flavor. 

Plus-they're an awesome way to avoid turning on the oven in the hot summer weather! Wins all around!

Grab a glass of milk and dig in!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna

 Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
My picky eating is a much bigger problem in the savory food world than the sweet (I mean...we can all agree chocolate and sugar and butter are delicious, amirite?) So I get SO. GOSH. DARNED. EXCIIITED when I find a new dinner recipe! Like...sure....they're pretty much all variations on each other (chicken? check. garlic? check. some kind of cheese? check. A carb? CHECK) but....I mean...whatever...they're sort of different...
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
Anyway. So like....I love chicken. I love garlic. I love lasagna.  I love Parmesan. Sooooo let's be real: Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna was MADE FOR ME TO LOVE AND TO EAT! (I've made it twice already)

And ya know what's sort of dope (yeah. I just said dope. dealwithit!)? I used MY OWN,  freshly grown, parsley to top this lasagna and for the pictures!! FRESH HERBS ARE THE BESTEST! (yes....I said the word dope and then I said "bestest". I'm a complex woman.)
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
This lasagna tastes like...home to me.'s a cross between lasagna (of which I actually love my mom's mom's recipe and use it to this day.) and this chicken noodle casserole dish that was probably made every week or every other week growing up because I WAS OBSESSED with it. This dish is like those....but better. It's probably gonna be made a lot from now on. It doesn't even take long to make (especially if you use pre-cooked chicken)! *happy dance*
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
I know even my mom would like this recipe. And she's just as picky as me. It was funny, my cousin Megan asked me the other day "Do you eat like your mom or like normal people?" To which I replied, "Somewhere in between...." My mom got a bit offended and insisted she eats way more things than me-which used to be true. Now I'd say we're probably even. We both eat things the other won't, but for the most part we're both pretty basic. I, however, am much more open to new foods than my darling mother (I like to cite the dreaded incident where I made her my just chicken pot pie recipe and she PICKED OUT ALL THE SCALLIONS! Like....what?! She insisted she'd gag if she ate one, to which I told her the flavor was there regardless! Agh!) Anyway...yeah. She'd like this. I'm pretty, darrrrn, sure! In fact-I think I'll make it for her soon! Hooray for having that option!
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
I mean...I don't know what else to say. Garlicky sauce, cheese, noodles, chicken. 

You obviously are gonna love it.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna

Slightly adapted from Pinch of Yum

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
Serves 9-12.
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp. minced garlic (4-5 cloves)
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 10-15 no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded, chicken (rotisserie adds great flavor, but you can also just bake/roast up some chicken)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese (I've also used mozzarella)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Optional-fresh herbs, such as parsley
  • In a large saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, stirring to avoid burning.
  • Add flour, poultry seasoning, and salt. Whisk and cook or about 1 minute.
  • Add milk, 1 cup at a time, stirring until slightly thickened before adding the next cup. Continue cooking until thickened, smooth, and simmering. Remove from heat.
  • Grease a 9"x13" with nonstick cooking spray and preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  • Cover the bottom of the pan with broken lasagna noodles (3-5), half of the shredded chicken, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup water (this helps cook the noodles), and 1 and 1/2 cups of the prepared sauce. Repeat this 1 time. Top with another layer of noodles, the final 1/3 cup water and 1 and 1/2 cups sauce, and the Swiss (or mozzarella) cheese. 
  • Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil and cover the top with breadcrumbs. Bake 5-10 minutes, until golden and bubbly. 
  • Sprinkle with fresh herbs and let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Garlic Parmesan Chicken Lasagna
I baked this with love. For you!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Something Saturdays (7/12/14)

Once again, much fun was had this week!!

I spent the weekend at my mom's house due to all the family festivities (I live about 30 minutes from my fam.--excluding my brother who lives about 10 minutes away. He also stayed at my mom's last weekend.) I had a blast getting to spend time with more of my mom's families at the 4th of July party, and I got to see the beautiful fireworks! Sunday was a pool party and, as always, that was fun too--especially watching my cousin's 1 year old start to walk (and realize HOW FAST she can crawl! Like a little rocket, she is!)

Michael's cousins from his mom's side of the family (all the adult cousins, excepting 1) came over to our apartment for a big night of games and food and fun! Michael's mom! It was insane! Gotta love Italian families!

We booked our videographer: Just Perfect Video. Lowell, the owner, has been a professional videographer/editor for quite some time and he is just the sweetest man. This was definitely the best value for our money-a decent price for HD, professional video of our day. :) Yay!

We also had our first cake tasting with a bakery-I won't reveal the name of any of the bakeries except the one we end up booking, but I will say that the cake we tasted was wonderful. The white cake with vanilla mousse was the best white cake I've ever had-the texture was fluffy and almost angel food cake-like, and the flavor was so buttery and delicious-not boring at all! It's a definite contender.

...I also may have gotten all of my engagement photos in. And maybe if you check back on Friday you can see all of my favorites! (Now I just need to figure out which ones to use for our save the dates! and wedding website! And guest book! And figure out if I want to order prints? And if so how many?! )

Friday, July 11, 2014

Freezer Strawberry Jam for #StrawberryWeek

Freezer Strawberry Jam for #StrawberryWeek
For once I just shut my mouth and followed directions. I made my mom's recipe. 
Which is the Sure-Jell (pectin) recipe. 

And you know what? It rocks!

I guess some things shouldn't be fiddled with.
Freezer Strawberry Jam
My poor mom. Sometimes I'm a bit too hard on her. When she told my brother that we were going to make this jam he scoffed at her, saying, "Kayle probably won't want to make your jam, she'll want to make her own!"

Because I'm a snobby meanie pants.

But this time that was not going to happen! I trusted in my family and their time-honored tradition of making this recipe, and it was totally the right choice.
Freezer Strawberry Jam
Mom and I made this jam together, as a team. So I'm pretty sure we put some magical mother-daughter bonding love in there. Which is probably why it tastes so amazing. Plus all the sugar. Yeah. It's probably both.

Michael took one bite of a piece of toast loaded up with this jam and he said, "THIS is what strawberry jam should taste like!"
Freezer Strawberry Jam
Recipe could not be simpler. You just mash some gorgeous strawberries, add in some sugar, cook a little pectin, mix mix mix, let sit, then freeze! DONE. Super easy. My mom made like a triple batch so we ended up with a ton of jam! It got given to aunts, uncles, grandma, etc. So we spread the love via spreading the strawberry jam!

This was the first strawberry recipe I made and now it is my final post for #StrawberryWeek-how perfect! Ending it the way it began.

Mmmmm mmmm mmm.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Pie for #StrawberryWeek

Fresh Strawberry Pie for #StrawberryWeek
I finally did it! I was a good fiance' and made my Michael a strawberry pie. Michael loves pie. Like...looooves it. It might have something to do with the fact that, when he lived at home, if he was feeling down his mom would make him a pie. Actually...from what I understand...she just makes a lot of pie in general. Anyway, Michael also looooves strawberries. Like-if he sees a strawberry item on a menu he gets crazy excited. So, I dedicate #StrawberryWeek to Michael!
Fresh Strawberry PieDue to my fiddling with this recipe and using some honey in place of the sugar, and just in general it not being his mom's pie, I was a liiittle nervous watching Michael eat it. Hoping, praying he would like it. He took a bite, made a sound of "mmm.", nodded his head, and said "It's really good".

HOOOORAYYY! I felt like I was in that commercial, "Hey Mikey-he likes it!"
Fresh Strawberry Pie
I can really appreciate how pretty this pie is. Aesthetically speaking...I LOVE it. Red is my favorite color and I love the vibrancy the strawberries give to it! Michael always complains that all the foods I like are shades of brown. He's not wrong. My foods aren't pretty like his!
Fresh Strawberry Pie
Most strawberry pies that I've experienced are made with Jell-O. Which I am not knocking. But I just adore the simplicity of this recipe. It's just a few real, pure ingredients coming together and creating a lovely, classic, rustic pie that I feel like my great-grandma could have made. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the best :) And it honestly takes, like, no extra effort! You make crust, you bake crust. You slice strawberries and put them in the crust. And you make a quick and easy strawberry sauce, pour that over, chill it and-DONE!

Fresh, refreshing, comforting, fruity, wonderful. Strawberry season being used to its full potential.

Ah I love summer!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade {from-scratch} for #StrawberryWeek

Strawberry Lemonade {from-scratch} for #StrawberryWeek
Welcome to Strawberry Week! It's a week...declared as such by me....because I went strawberry picking...and then made a bunch 'o' strawberry things...and thought it would be fun to post all the recipes back to back...and give it a hashtag...and thusly....#StrawberryWeek. And it's summer. Which means it's strawberry season. Which means a happy happy Kayle and Michael! 
Strawberry Lemonade {from-scratch}
These are some of my favorite pictures I've taken. I attribute this to:
  1. my new photo set up. 
  2. fruit is photogenic.
  3. I don't know. Luck?
Strawberry Lemonade {from-scratch}
Making this strawberry lemonade is slightly complicated, messy, takes a bit of time, a good amount of ingredients, and obviously not as cheap or easy as buying it.

But is it totally worth it? YES!

At the end of it you have a gorgeous, refreshing, summery drink that would be a BIG winner if you served it at a party. Michael really loved it (in spite of requests for more sugar, which is not unusual for my sweet-toothed boy) and agreed that I should definitely make it sometime when we have a get together/party. 

Fruity, pretty, tart and sweet at the same time...what more could you ask for from a summer drink?

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Something Saturdays (7/5/14)

Did you have a good 4th of July? I actually just got some things done at home but this weekend I'll be celebrating big time! My mom's cousin has a party every year that I'm attending tonight (this is the first time I've gone in 5 years! The last time Michael and I had just started dating-like...a couple days in...and I brought him! He's working so he can't come this time but I'll just talk about him a lot to make up for it :P) and there will be fireworks and then I'll spend the night at my mom's and go to church with her in the morning and then to my grandma's for her 4th of July pool party!

Michael and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Wednesday by going mini-golfing and to Outback Steakhouse and then watching The Princess Bride. A pretty good day I'd say. :)

Then Thursday I got to take Michael to go see Occasions (where our reception is being held) and to discuss a few things with our on-site coordinator. Then we ended up having his dad and stepmom and my mom join us for a monthly buffet dinner they hold there (it's a great way to taste some menu items to help up make our selections come wedding time!)-I was so giddy it was ridiculous. I LOVE IT! I couldn't be more thrille to have our day there! (fun fact: earlier that day my dad came over to install our garage door opener and later on we went to Michael's mom's to hang we saw all of our parents in 1 day. We think that may be a first!)

In other news:

Elephants are my favorite. They're just the cutest.

Speaking of romaaance...I might have a few (understatement) engagement pictures to share with you :D All of these pictures are by Joe Tate of JTate Design and I LOVE them (and can't wait to see more!) (My hair and makeup are also courtesy of Beauty Therapy.) Sorry if you don't care about the pictures-just scroll on past 'em to the rest of the round up! (and don't forget to tune in on Monday for #StrawberryWeek!)
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