Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wedding Tip Wednesday: Save Those Envelopes!

I'm writing this as Mr. 3 and I head south for Christmas (7.5 hours in the car people!), but I figured this is a time sensitive post, so I wanted to get it out to all my favorite readers and brides!

dI've been getting stacks of Christmas cards over the past couple of weeks (hate wasting pretty paper?  see our Posh Purpose ideas for reusing/repurposing greeting cards here and here) and I've been saving all the envelopes with return addresses so I will have the most current address for my upcoming save the date/wedding invitation extravaganza!  I figure keeping these envelopes will save me a ton of time in having to call up my guests or stalk them on to find the appropriate address.

So as your cards come rolling in or you think about your post Christmas clean up, make sure to keep your envelopes in a central place instead of chucking them in the trash with the leftover egg nog, fruit cake, and mistletoe!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Break

Hey y'all

Melinda and I will be taking a break for the Christmas season. If we feel inspired, we will post, but otherwise our schedule will be put on hold. BTW, check out Martha's December issue for really beautiful wrapping ideas!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

OMG Amazing Chocolates!

I just received a gift of L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates and oh my goodness they are delicious. And beautiful! And if you ever find yourself in Boston, NYC or Walpole NH you should def buy some. I've eaten three or four already and I love each and every one!

Yes, that is a chocolate - with a tail :) !!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wedding Website, a la Google

At first, J and I started our wedding website at the Knot. While I'm sure that interface would work with most people, we became very frustrated at how limiting it was. I decided to check out Google Weddings to see what sort of website options they have. Overall, our experience has been great! I love the template we picked out, and it is pretty easy to operate. Also, we were able to buy our domain for very cheap ($4 for the year) from another source and use it on our Google site. When I was working on the Knot, it looked like I had to buy the domain from them for a much higher price or deal with I much prefer the more personal look of our own domain, especially for $4 rather than $15 or so!

The only issue I have with the site currently is that when I try to delete pages that I do not want, the template is uncooperative. The tab for that page remains, and is clickable. However, once you click on it you get a message that the page does not exist. It is a bit annoying, but it is Google so I'm sure there is some way to fix it.

As far as I know, Melinda has not started her wedding website yet. Since she has less time for planning, she has been focusing on the more time sensitive details, but look forward to hearing about her preferences in the future!

Sound Familiar?

The Doghouse Diaries
Click on the picture to view larger :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trousseau Tuesday: J.Crew & Blue Nile Sales!

If you still have a ton of shopping to do for Christmas, I highly recommend that you check out the sales going on at the J.Crew warehouse.  The daily specials are as follows:

I'm also super excited to see that J.Crew has a new location in Asheville, NC for all of our NC readers!  I love Asheville, so this is just another reason for me to pay a visit!

If you need to throw your man a clue or a hint for a sparkly present (and save him from making a gawdawful purchase, i.e. a tool of any kind or an unfortunate domestic goddess item*), check out this deal from Bloomspot (it's like groupon!) for gifts from Blue Nile, an online jewelry store.  Pay $50 for $100 in jewelry or $250 for $500 in jewelry.  All diamonds are certified and conflict free, metals are sustainably sourced, and each item comes with a lifetime guarantee.  You must order by December 16th for Christmas delivery, but the deal doesn't expire until March 31, 2012 (making it ideal for any men who like to plan ahead for Valentine's Day!).

Tell me....have you found any good deals out there?  If so, share, share, share...I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping (no hate mail please), but I'm always in the market for a personal present at a good price!

*Domestic goddess item: any appliance or product involving cooking or cleaning, i.e. an iron, skillet, blender, steamer, or vacuum

Monday, December 12, 2011

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

I made this red wine chocolate cake recipe this past weekend, and it was pretty good. It is a denser cake that goes well with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting also goes well with just a spoon, so there wasn't much left by the time the cake cooled off.

I added extra cinnamon, but I think it would be equally delicious if I had just stuck with the recipe. The extra cinnamon comes out in full force, so don't add more unless you love cinnamon. Let us know if you try it out!

Smitten Kitchen has such lovely photos!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tree Status Update

The tree is still topless - but I still have high hopes of my crafting ambition!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trim the Tree!

J and I are decorating our Christmas tree tonight. We have the R&B/Pop Christmas station playing on Pandora and I may even make a topper for the tree this year!

We got the tree and decorations last year, but I never found the right tree topper. I had grand hopes of making a tree topper, but never got around to even buying materials for such a project. Fortunately, J was very understanding of the topless tree. He doubts my ability to actually finish (and apparently start) a project. I will make one, though, and blog about it for accountability! I love Christmas!

2010 Tree (topless)

Once J and I relocate to a more permanent location, I think I want a white tree, for feathers of course :)

Munchie Monday: Lemony Roasted Shrimp Pasta

Last week I was looking for a recipe that was quick, but a little more involved than throwing together a frozen feast* from Trader Joe's (poor Mr. 3...since he proposed I haven't had enough energy to try out new recipes, so the frozen feast has been a reoccurring meal at my dinner table).  Harris Teeter had some Argentine pink shrimp on special and I had a lemon.  Those were my "inspiration ingredients."  After a quick Google search, I found a recipe from Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa).  Usually her recipes are much too involved for me...but I was intrigued by the idea of roasting shrimp (which I had never done before!).  Her recipe makes 6 servings, so I cut all the ingredients in half and I gave Mr. 3 a much larger portion (he's 6'2 and can afford the extra pasta carbs...I'm 5'3 and still have to find a wedding dress...)

1 lb shrimp (the Argentine shrimp are fairly large in size, so I just used a half a pound)
1/2 lb of angel hair pasta
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/8 cup plus 1/2 tbsp. of good olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter (I love Land O'Lakes)
Sea salt
Black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.   Start boiling water for pasta, add in some olive oil and salt the water.  Peel and devein the shrimp. Season with the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on the shrimp. 

After the oven reaches 400 degrees, spray a cookie sheet with some nonstick spray and lay the shrimp down in a single layer across the pan.  Cook for 6-8 mins, making sure to check them so they don't over cook.

After water reaches a boil, throw the pasta in.  Angel hair cooks in about 3 mins, so make sure to watch your timing.

To make the sauce, melt butter on low heat.  Zest lemon and juice the lemon (you can put both the zest and the juice in the same container. Once butter has melted, throw in the lemon juice and zest, the 1/8 cup olive oil, and about 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.  Whisk together.

Drain the pasta and put in bowl.  Throw in the shrimp and toss all of it with the sauce.  This dinner should take you about 20 minutes from start to finish.  Serve with a side salad.  For variation next time, I might also throw in some mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. 

The roasted shrimp were soooooo good.  They came out perfectly cooked and tasted much richer than boiling them (could be the olive oil though, ha).  Mr. 3 LOVED this dish and now calls it one of his favorite meals.  He liked it so much he walked over to the kitchen and found some bread to soak up the left over sauce.  This recipe also makes a great date night meal if you want to make an Italian dish, but don't want the garlic breath to go with it!  Let me know what you think!

*A frozen feast is what I call it when I randomly throw together frozen veggies, a sauce, and some frozen (although dethawed) meat together.  Often it takes on an Asian form...i.e. orange chicken and veggies.  Bless you Trader Joe's for making it easier on us stressed out brides! 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pottery Barn Sale

Pottery Barn has a great 20% off sale, including their Christmas decorations! Some items also have free shipping so definitely check out that link to see if there are any lovely pieces to spice up your decorating scheme.

Melinda and I both love these gilded pears - and now you can get nine for $13 and free shipping! You can never have too much glitter :)