Keep Calm and Wedding On

What is one to do two weeks before 15 months of planning finally comes together?

Or should I say…How do you spend your second to last weekend before your wedding?

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Truth be told, I am close to losing my mind!  I am way less organized than typical me and I spend a lot more time getting my nails done.  It’s quite odd : )  My weekend started Friday night meeting my mom for a manicure.  Still trying to finalize my color…

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Then we went home for a late dinner and an early-ish bed time.  Saturday morning started bright and early with a workout.  More kick boxing which should be on every bride’s list of things to do and of course a bunch of pre wedding push ups and sled pulls.

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Then I was off to teach my kids yoga class.  We had a special guest, my friend who just took the Rainbow Kids Yoga class in Chicago and her adorable daughter, who joined us for yoga showing the kids that every body and every age can yoga!

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From there, I was back home to meet my mom for lunch at our favorite local sandwich place, followed by some wedding related shopping.  We lured my sister in law out to the suburbs with the promise of wine and of course a morning espresso from our new machine. I should mention that the BOY, my brother, and a crew of guys were down in Louisville sampling the bourbon and BBQ for the BOY’s bachelor party this weekend.

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The night began with a cheese plate and pink bubbles (aka rose) and proceeded as expected.  We abandoned dinner and sat out back for hours eating cheese and snacks, sharing stories of the past, and making many plans for the future.  Eventually, I put everyone to work prepping flip flops for the dance floor bins.

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As always, we stayed up WAY too late and drank WAY too much wine.  So everyone was more than pleased to start their Sunday with a frothy espresso!

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After breakfast, we attacked Home Goods with enthusiasm filling our cart with fall décor and household goodies.  We had a few other shopping stops before settling onto a bench in the afternoon with well deserved full bowls of fro yo.  By afternoon, everyone parted ways and I got myself to work around the house while listening to the Bears game.  I took a huge zucchini from a coworker’s garden last week and promised to return with bread.  Sadly, he wasn’t looking so good.  Since I was still in the mood to bake, I switched over to pumpkin bread.  I mean, it is officially fall!

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This bread baked up perfectly, turning out moist and delicious!  It was a nice end to my busy weekend cleaning up the house with the windows open and the smells of fall flowing throughout.

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Monday was just as busy as the rest of the weekend. I packed in a workout, my last dress fitting, a meeting with the hotel, a phone conference with my florist, a trip to the grocery store, amongst everything else and was done just after the BOY returned from his weekend away.  With just 11 days to go, life has been a bit chaotic, so I’ve been keeping calm with tons of yoga…as noted by all my post yoga selfies…

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And surrounding myself with the support of my friends and family!

Just trying to Keep Calm and Wedding On : )

 

Pumpkin Bread

From Simply Recipes

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup (240 ml) pumpkin purée
  • 4 ounces (1 stick, 112 g) butter, melted (can sub 1/2 cup light olive oil)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions

1 Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

2 In a separate bowl mix together the pumpkin purée, the melted butter, beaten eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined and there is no more dry flour in the batter. Do not overmix! If adding chopped pecans or walnuts, stir them in.

3 Butter the insides of an 8 x 4 x 3 -inch loaf pan. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Put in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until a tester poked in the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then run a blunt dinner knife around the edges of the pumpkin bread to gently separate it from the pan. Invert it to loosen it from the pan and put the loaf on a rack to cool completely.

Bombshell Brownies & Apple Pie Bites

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Besides sitting around and drinking espresso in my kitchen (thanks to my amazing new Nespresso machine and milk frother that I am totes obsessed with), I’ve also been baking.  I know…it’s about time…right?!  At least that’s what my coworkers said!

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If these don’t get your mouth watering, I don’t know what  will : )

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Now on to the baking…when in need of recipes, there are countess options on my Pinterest board but one of my go to blogs for incredible desserts is Cookies&Cups.

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Enter…Bombshell Oreo Brownies!

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw I had a bit of a cocoa mishap.  Well, honestly a HUGE, my kitchen is covered in chocolate, situation.

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But I will tell you, it was totally worth it for these mouth watering brownies.

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My coworkers were thrilled to see that I had leftovers and agreed that this new recipe is a keeper!  After my brownies were baked, I went out for a quick bike ride before returning to the kitchen for another round of baking. 

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This one was a little more simple but just as tasty.  Because we just started the new year, apples and honey are customary, so an apple recipe was a MUST.

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This is a Pinterest favorite and something I knew that I needed to try!

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The ease of using crescent rolls saves time with this recipe without sacrificing any taste!  While the apple pie bites baked, Cooper found a hiding place in the kitchen where he could observe the action and seek out free tastes.

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My pie bites were a bit bigger than they should have been (they were harder to wrap than I thought they would be), but with a little extra butter, they browned perfectly and were sweet and delicious!

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Note: I recommend serving them warm with homemade ice cream, but cold for breakfast the next morning works too!

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And by the way, Homemade ice cream is also perfect for your brownies!

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Happy Almost Fall Ya’ll!!!

Bombshell Oreo Brownies

From Cookies&Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 25 Oreo cookies coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C
  2. Line 9×13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Add in salt and the cocoa powder and mix on medium until combined, 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the white chips.
  7. Spread half of the batter into pan. Top with the Oreos and spread the remaining batter on top.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes until center is almost set.

 

Apple Pie Bites

From The Blond Cook

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, and additional apple pie spice for sprinkling on top of crescent rolls
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter, set aside.
  4. Arrange crescent roll triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture onto each triangle.
  5. Sprinkle each triangle evenly with the chopped pecans.
  6. Place an apple slice on the wide end of each triangle. Wrap crescent roll dough around each apple.
  7. Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter. Sprinkle lightly with additional apple pie spice.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Oh September…I Love You Too!

Even though the days are shorter, my mornings darker, and the weather cooler, I still love me some September.  I mean…the changing leaves, the football, not to mention the chili…Mmm! It’s a good month to curl up on the couch with my kitty and enjoy the fresh air and fun!

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Before I get too excited about September, I need to check in on August goals.  A little late, I know, but I’ve been a little busy : )

August Goals

Sleep More (get back up to 8 hours)-Oh man…I failed!  Vacations don’t always equal sleep when you are dancing at the club until the wee hours, and during the week nights, I’ve only been getting about 7 hours a night.  I definitely feel it!

Slow Down (and breathe)-Vacation helped with this one, but I would say that packed weekends have had me feeling more frazzled than refreshed.

Keep it Clean (especially on vacation)-I would say that I’ve been doing a good job of staying clean and healthy while also indulging in local faves.  Nashville had some amazing food!  Bonuts anyone? And I baked up two awesome new recipes…coming soon!

Find Wedding Shoes-I think I’m down to two!

Balance Work/Life– #thestruggleisreal

 

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September Goals (for what’s left of it)

Bike More

Blog More

Get Wedding Organized

Keep Calm

And Enjoy the ride!

 

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#21Days!!!

Unplanned Unplug

I’m back again…

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I swear I didn’t plan to be gone from the blogging world for that long, it just sort of happened.  No I haven’t been reading blogs either so there is much to catch up on!  I’ve just been slammed on so many fronts and at the end of the day just didn’t have the time or energy to talk about it.  Enter in a scheduled ‘down’ weekend.  Well if you can call cramming errands into your Friday night and a workout, teaching a kids yoga class, and a facial into your Saturday all before 2pm ‘down’ time?!

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Anyways, in case you’ve missed me, here’s what I’ve been up to…

Nashville was wonderful, catching up with my girls, eating amazing food, and listening to fresh, live music!

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Bonuts from Biscuit Love…Mmm!

 

Devouring chocolate fondue with my amazing coworkers at All Chocolate Kitchen!

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Like, I really DOVE right in : )

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Celebrating our last wedding shower!

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My Bridesmaids

 

Followed by family fun and a birthday dinner at Cooper’s Hawk!

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And then my sister in laws 30th birthday party!

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Drinking PSL’s (Pumpkin Spice Lattes)

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And doing office coffee runs

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Trying out wedding nails

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Baking!

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Doing tons and tons of yoga!  And prepping for this morning’s classes…

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Freaking out that my wedding is only 4 weeks away…

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I’m hoping to be back up and running now as a blogger, so more updates, recipes, and pictures to come! 

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I hope!