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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: How to Address Envelopes

Happy Wedding Wednesday!
I have a fun topic to share today, how to address envelopes for your formal invitations. Your wedding invitations may be one of the only times you may send formal correspondence, but I personally love to formally address all of my special mail including Christmas, Birthday and Thank You Cards. It just adds a special little touch when you get something that says Mrs. Jennifer Holmes in pretty handwriting.
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To start, let's chat about a few special tips:

-- The outer envelope should be more formal with titles and first names. The interior envelop can be informal leaving off first names (ex. Mr. & Mrs. Holmes), or leaving off titles and last names (ex. Rick and Jennifer). This depends on how close you are with your guests.

-- On the outer envelope, guests' names should be written in full, including social titles (Mr., Ms., Mrs., etc.)

-- The names of married couples are usually written on the same line and the names of unmarried coupons are usually written on two separate lines, with the partner you know best written first. If you know them both equally, write them in alphabetical order.

-- Children under 18 can be included on their parents invitation. The children's names can be included in the interior envelope. If you aren't using an interior envelope, I have been known to include them on the outer envelope or list them as "& family."

-- Not including children's names on the invitation typically implies children are not invited. However, some guests may assume they can bring their children. So if you are concerned with this, you can have your immediate family and/or bridal party reach out to guests to confirm this.
-- When inviting a single person, not including "& guest" implies they are not able to bring a guest. Again, if you are concerned about this, have your immediate family or someone from the bridal party confirm.
-- It's traditional to spell out the words in the address, as opposed to using abbreviations.
Here are a few examples for addressing invitations:
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{ Married Couple }
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{ Married Couple with Different Last Names }

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{ Unmarried Couple Living Together }
-- There are many other examples, including an interactive tool that will generate how to address envelopes for almost any situation over on the Wedding Paper Diva's site. 

-- The return address traditionally goes on the back flap. In some cases it is written out, or you can find some fun address labels or a stamp like we did for our invitations.
-- Take a completed wedding invitation to the Post Office with you to purchase your stamps. Have the postal worker weigh your invitation to calculate how much postage your wedding invitation will need. Our invitation wasn't too heavy, but because there was a ribbon holding the pieces together it was too thick to go through automation, so I had to pay for extra postage.

Does anyone have any other tips they learned when addressing your wedding invitations?

Linking up with Wedding Wednesday.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Watermelon Fiesta

Usually about every other week or so, and sometimes weekly, we have a Mexican night. Last weekend Rick and I decided to pull out all the stops and have a Watermelon Fiesta complete with homemade salsa and skinny watermelon margaritas. It was the perfect way to enjoy Mexican during the Summer time.

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So what all do you need to have a Watermelon Fiesta?

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Watermelon Margaritas
Recipe is per drink

-- 2 oz of fresh lime juice
-- 3 oz of tequila
-- 3 oz of fresh orange juice
-- handful of watermelon
-- 1-2 tbs honey to sweeten to taste

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake and pour.

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Watermelon Pineapple Salsa

-- 2 cups of chopped watermelon
-- 1 cup of chopped fresh pineapple
-- 1 handful of cilantro
-- 1 small cucumber seeded and chopped
-- 1 jalepano pepper seeded
-- Juice of 1 lime
-- 1 tomato chopped
-- 1 tsp sea salt
-- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
-- 1/2 ground black pepper

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.

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Mexican Corn
Makes 4

-- 4 ears of corn
-- 6 tbs olive oil
-- 6 tbs mayo
-- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
-- 1/2 tsp salt
-- 1/2 black ground pepper
-- Juice of 2 limes
-- Cilantro
-- Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix olive oil, mayo, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. Peel back the corn husks and remove the silks. Spread the olive oil/mayo mixture on the corn and then replace the husks. Place corn on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 mins rotating corn halfway through. Remove the husks and sprinkle with lime juice, cheese and cilantro.

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Steak Fajitas

I like to season a nice strip steak with salt, pepper and chili powder and then grill to medium. I like to serve with some satueed peppers, salsa and guac and a side of Mexican Corn...yum!

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Our Flower Garden Part 1

A few weeks ago I shared our vegetable garden, and today I wanted to share our front flower garden. Now there is a reason behind why this is Part 1, and I'll share a little more about that here shortly.

The last couple of years we really haven't invested too much in our front flower bed. I did plant a peony bush a few years ago, and transplanted my hydrangea bush when I moved in (which sadly has never really taken to this spot). Last year we were supposed to have our basement fixed (which took a whole 9 months to happen...but that's another story), and we weren't sure if that was going to cause our flower beds to be dug up. Thankfully it didn't, and since that was all taken care of, and with wedding debt almost being paid off, we figured now was the time to invest in some nice plants.

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This spot is really shady, which I think is why my hydreanega bush just isn't doing very well. I've tried some part-sun plants here before, and they never really worked too well, so this year I decided to go with mostly shade plants.

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My peony bush, which bloomed the first part of June did really well this year. In the past I've only had maybe 3 or so flowers, but this year I think I counted 9. It's also much bigger than it's ever been, so I'm curious to see if it gets bigger every year. This plant gets completely cut back each year and regrows brand new branches each  Spring, so it's interesting that it keeps getting bigger and bigger as it's not like it is continuing to grow each year. I'm thinking we either had the perfect Spring for it, or it's just finally getting established. Or maybe I'm just lucky :)

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These tall purple plants were planted about 3 years ago, and let me tell you they just keep coming back year after year. It's really weird because they close up every evening and open up during the day. They kind of grow out of control by about mid-Summer, so this is about the best they are going to look...especially considering their future...but that story is still to come.

The green plant with the pinkish/red flowers between them had Firefly in the name, which is exactly why I purchased it. I'm a sucker for cute names (and packaging), what can I say.

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This is another one of my favorite plants. I love the white accents on the leaves and the light blue flowers.

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The salvia plant above reminded me of a butterfly bush I had at my home long ago. Someday I would love to have another one when I have more room for one. I keep telling Rick I want a huge garden someday that fills up our whole backyard. And I want a big wooden farm table with a crystal chandelier right in the middle of it so we can entertain in my enchanted garden.

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My Mom got me some really cute bedding plants at the Farmer's Market in my hometown, and this one I loved because it was called Strawberries & Cream.

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Here are a few more, along with some phylox that I was hoping would have flowered a little more. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to do here. I figure it's either going to die-off, or grow so wild I won't know what to do with it. Oh and do you see that white dusting, that is a bunch of dandelion seeds that caused so many weeds in my garden. I was ready to just remove the entire top layer of mulch to try and get rid of them. Next time I'm going to try and figure out a way to remove them before they turn into weeds.

Ok so here is where we get to the reason behind Part 1. Two weeks ago we had a knock on our door and a group of men were standing outside explaining that the condo board had contracted them to replace our sidewalks and patio. I should have been super excited to have this taken care of, but we had received no notification this was happening, and we were informed some of our plants would have to be removed...woomp, woomp.

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So this is what we came home to two weeks ago, with a good portion of my plants dug up and piled up in front of our fence. Some got saved, a few were completely killed, and my poor salvia plant is still hanging on for dear life (you can see it dug up and thrown on the pile in the photo above, it's really sad looking now).

A week later, the patio was finally finished (thanks to so much rain), and over the weekend I headed back to Lowes for more plants. I got everything planted over the weekend, so I'll have to take a few more pictures and share part 2. I'm happy with how it all turned out, but I'm not happy about spending more money and not being able to use our front door for a week (especially when we had company over for the 4th of July). Condo boards are nice when it comes to them paying the bill (thank you for the patio and the fixed basement), but they are kind of a pain in the bum when it comes to not being able to control what's going on with your home. I guess there are pros and cons to everything right??

Still to come...the reveal of hopefully our final garden...crossing our fingers!!

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekending with Friends and the Farmer's Market

Happy Monday!

Another weekend has come and gone. We had a nice weekend that was a good balance of having fun, but also getting a few things done. We finally had a weekend with not a lot of plans, so it was great to relax a bit but also get some things done around the house. More to come on our project later this week.

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++ I kicked off the weekend by getting my hair cut and highlighted on Thursday night. It was long over due for a hair cut and my roots had grown out way too much. I love getting my hair cut because they do such a nice job straightening it out. My hair is naturally very wavy, especially in the back, and I have an awful time getting it straight. Also, the humidity these days is cause my hair to be out of control frizzy. I tried a few products over the weekend, and there are a few I still want to try to help control this frizz. If anyone has any good suggestions, please send them my way!!

++ On Friday night, we went with one of our favorite couples to the funny bone. Rodney Perry was the headliner and he was hilarious. I'll be honest I had no idea who he was at first, but I later found out he was the co-host of The Mo'Nique Show on BET and was also in Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family. We all laughed the entire show and would definitely go see him again if he was in town.

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++ On Saturday Miss Abby had a pedicure appointment. She does not like going to the vet for anything, including a nail trim, but she does like riding in the car. So we had to get a little car selfie in before we got home.

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++ After Abby's appointment we went to the Farmer's Market in Powell for some goodies. We got eggs, potatoes, zucchini, sunflowers, bacon, chicken sausage and the most amazing strawberry mint jelly. We had some of the potatoes and zucchini with the chicken sausage for dinner, and then had the bacon, eggs and toast with the strawberry mint jelly the next day for brunch. Besides the jelly, the bacon was our favorite and we both decided we need to go back again and get more.

++ Sunday night we had a little Mexican fiesta for dinner, and more to come on that delicious meal. One hint, there was lots of watermelon involved. Recipes to come!

Not super exciting, but a good relaxing weekend. It was a beautiful day on Saturday, and we are both kicking ourselves for not making it to the pool. Hoping for nice weather this weekend, so we are both crossing our fingers!!

Did anyone have any fun plans this last weekend? Hope you have a great start to the week!

Linking up today with Biana from B Loved Boston for Weekending.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

4th of July Wrap-up

Can anyone else believe that the 4th of July has already came and went? This Summer...let me correct that...this year is going by so fast.

We had a fun-filled 4th this year and spent the majority of the weekend with family. I didn't take a ton of pictures because I wanted to just enjoy the moment, but did have a few I wanted to share and document to look back on. They may not be Pinterest-worthy, but they do make me smile and think of good times.

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The only patriotic picture I have is of one of our many desserts from the weekend. I received this trifle dish as a wedding shower gift, and made my first trifle last year, also for the 4th. When I told my family I was making this, they all got super excited. It's such a simple dessert to make, but so delish, and perfect for Summer. You just need a store-bought angel food cake, 2 tubs of cool whip and lots of strawberries and blueberries. Simple as that!

So the plan for Friday was a pool day for my family. Rick had to work, but my family was going to come earlier in the day to hang out at the pool, and then we were going to cookout once Rick got home for work. Well, it was cold and rainy, so instead we went to lunch, and then headed on over to Cabela's to show the kids all of the taxidermy animals. Kind of a weird adventurer since it was just me, Mom and Sarah and the two kids, but everyone seemed to have a fun time. And all of the guys were jealous they weren't invited.

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{ Can you believe how big they are??? }

The kids loved seeing the animals, although I don't think they realized they were real animals at one point in time. They did enjoy the part where you got to hear the different animals noises. I'm sure we totally annoyed the other shoppers.

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They also enjoyed trying out some coonskin hats. I think Izzie was trying to give her best coon impersonation?? 

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I'm not a huge camo girl, but I did kind of like this North Face jacket. It kind of reminded me of an animal print, and I love the hot pink accents.

After our field trip, we headed back and did get a little pool time in. I have no idea how the kids didn't freeze themselves in the pool. My brother had a hard time getting in, but the kiddos swam for about an hour. Their teeth were chattering by the end, and we still had to drag them out of the pool. Then it was back to the house to begin dinner.

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Izzie wanted to get in on the action by wearing my cupcake apron. Such a ham!

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One of my favorite parts of the cookout was our Pineapple Sangria. It consisted of 1 bottle of white wine (I think I used Chardonnay), 1/2 cup rum, 16 oz of pineapple juice, 1 sliced orange, 2 sliced limes, and about 1 cup of chopped pineapple. We made this earlier in the day so the flavors would mix together, and then we served it with a little Sprite. So refreshing! We got about 4 - 5 servings out of this, so I would double for a large group.

After dinner the kiddos got to play with some sparklers and some snaps before heading home.

The next day we traveled North to visit with Rick's family. I didn't get a single picture, but we had some amazing food and some great family time. Rick's brother-in-law is an amazing chef, and he made burgers for lunch and the most amazing ribs that I'm still thinking about for dinner. We enjoyed a little fireworks thanks to the neighbors down the street and then set off a few fireworks of our own.

We also had a great time celebrating our 1st anniversary and Rick's sister and brother-in-laws's 10 anniversary. We had 2 amazing cakes and Rick's parents gave us this beautiful crystal bowl that I can't wait to decorate and display in our home. I'm working on the perfect spot, so I'll have to share soon!

Hope everyone had an amazing holiday weekend. Did anyone do anything fun? Or had any yummy food? Please share :)

A look back at past 4th of July festivities: 2014 & 2013
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