C9 Power Core

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I was assigned my first VirtualVox, a coupon for a C9 Power Core or Power Shape Bra from Influenster and it seriously couldn’t have come at a better time.  I had just been thinking the day before about how I need more workout gear.

It was so hard to choose which one I wanted because there are so many fun patterns and colors. I ended up going basic (no surprise) with the grey but will likely be back for the coral and black and white options.

I haven’t had much luck in finding very supportive sports bras over the years but this one certainly passed the test. I tried it out while doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and seriously couldn’t have asked for more support. Not only did it provide support but boy was it comfy! It’s hard to find a bra that does both of those things.

The bottom strap does excellent at holding things up and the fabric is great at holding things in. I definitely recommend this product, its a great quality for an awesome price!

Head on over to Target to pick one up and see for yourself!

I just opened up my Influenster App and it looks like I might have more product reviews coming your way. Wish me luck!

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Holy Signage!

Have you ever seen all the wedding signs on Pinterest? Cute right? 

Once we got into planning I realized just how many signs we will need. I’ve gotten a few done but still have a long way to go. 

The  signs you will need of course depend on venue, activities, etc. 

I’ve got the following on my list but I’m sure there will be more. 

  • Welcome 
  • Ceremony
  • Menu
  • Games/activities
  • Directional 
  • Social media
  • Ring bearer 
  • Our story 

I’ve also got bridal party intro and memorial on my list but I’m not so sure those will qualify as signs. 

So like I said there are signs all over Pinterest but once again if you have a silhouette machine, you’re golden.  It also ended up being cheaper because the ones online go for about $45 a piece! 

I picked up a few chalkboards and wooden poles from Hobby Lobby to put them in the ground but I also happen to have some really thick black cardstock laying around so I’ve been using that too(hello free!).  

I used US Cutter to order the vinyl. They have some pretty good deals. I ended up with 6 rolls,  15 ft each of adhesive vinyl and 2 rolls of iron on for almost $100. 

Now you can make your signage as simple or intracite as you want but remember you will have to weed your design and sometimes smaller designs are harder. 

Again, I made this project more complicated by having some of the words be multiple colors. You really don’t have to do that to make them look good. 

How did I do it?

I started by creating a file through Adobe Illustrator but you can use the silhouette software too. 

Type in your text, have the machine cut the design and get to weeding!

After you’ve weeded (removed what you don’t need) you just place the design on transfer paper and then put on the board  

Now my fiancé will tell you I’m not the neatest person when it comes to anything so I didn’t measure or try to make sure it was straight but you probably should take the time to do so 😜 I wasn’t as concerned just because I know people will walk past them and likely not look back. 

The wedding party sign is actually my favorite but I won’t post that until I finish the border and blur out the names to protect those whose names are on it.  

In the meantime check out our yummy menu! I got this chalk board on sale for $8 at hobby lobby! 

   

  

 

Baked Chicken Tacos 

 Another hit in this household! I originally felt bad because I told Zach I was making some tacos and to come over if he’s hungry. Then I remembered her anti veggies and panicked. Well turns out he loved em! 

What you need: 

1 lb cooked shredded chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil 

½ cup diced onion

1 7 oz can diced green chiles 

1 10 oz can diced tomatoes (drained)

1 packet taco seasoning

½ can refried beans (optional)

½ cup queso  (optional)

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese 

10 standing taco shells 

The Process:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add in onions and allow to cook for 5 minutes or until softened. 

2. Add in chicken, tomatoes, chiles and taco seasoning. Stir to combine and heat until simmering. Once the pan begins to simmer turn down heat and allow to cook for 5 more minutes. 

3. Grease a 9×13 pan. Stuff each taco shell with a spoonful of brand and fill will chicken mixture. Leave a little room so you can put some queso and shredded cheese on top. 

4. Add your desired amount of cheese and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 

So easy and done in 30 minutes! You can also add jalapeños, sour cream, salsa or any other toppings you like. This is a recipe you can have a lot of fun with.  

Before and after: 

   

Like I said, Zach could hardly wait so that’s why two are missing lol. 
 

Save the Dates

Or STDs lol. Sorry I had to. It just drives me crazy EVERYtime I see that acronym. 

So this is where things really got real. 

Save the dates. Now technically I should’ve sent them out in December but unfortunately we just got them out in the mail yesterday. 

Aye! That’s one way to describe the process. 

So first you establish the guest list and then your family decides to say screw your list, you need to invite these other 20 people you didn’t think of. 

Queue the awkwardness of turning them down. Now of course if your parents or whoever are contributing to the wedding they should have some say but sometimes you just have to have a limit. 

For example, my grandma feels it’s necessary for me to invite her whole church congregation. Lol, not really but she did try to slip her pastors address in there when I asked her for her list. 

This really is a hard choice because you don’t want someone feeling left out but we all have budgets and the wedding industry makes it hard enough to cut corners. Cutting the guest list is probably the easiest way to save money. 

My strategy? I’ll put them on my ‘B’ list. 

This is a great reccomendation I’ve seen online. Sometimes people even create a 3 tier list. We luckily didn’t have that many people to worry about. 

Basically you send the save the dates to your ‘A’ list and then depending on how many no responses you receive for  invites you send out invites to the ‘B’ list. 

Hopefully if they are on that list they aren’t too close with anyone on the ‘A’ list and won’t find out you even had save the dates. 

Now do I have an intention of actually sending them to my ‘B’ list? Nope. But hey it helps get them off my back. Maybe if they suggest someone I actually know, I will follow through with sending them. 

Sorry but if I thought of 250 people before I thought of your suggestion, then they probably aren’t significant. 

So I got SUPER lucky because my mom is a graphic designer so I put her in charge of my website and print material. It honestly is pretty cheap to have things printed. I would definitely recommend buying a template off etsy or designing your own and having them printed vs ordering from a company.  

Envelopes can be pricy though. Who knew there were so many options for liners? 

The most expensive thing for us was postage. Now we went a bit overboard (thanks to my designer mom) and ended up with heavier save the dates that cost 71 cents a piece to mail. You probably should consider this before you decide to add an item with the save the date. 

Another thing to remember. Do NOT order your save the dates or invites based off your total guest list. You’ll end up with double or more of what you need. Make sure you order enough for each address/family. I think we ordered about 20-40 extra just to be safe. 

It’s always good to have a few extra for last minute pop ups and of course a scrap book! 

So here’s what we sent:  
 
Again. The carnival theme and that banner. The banners are cute but very very time consuming. –  I’m going to hang one in my office! 

We used our silhouette cameo machines to cut out each banner flag and then strung them together using twine. 

I ordered the custom stamps from Zazzle is was like $100 cheaper than other sites I found and I got them within a week of placing the order. 

We also used a sharpie with a holder in the silhouette machine to address the envelopes. Time consuming but much better than paying or doing them yourself. Not to mention my handwriting is similar to that of a three year old so I wasn’t even going to try to tackle that task. 

I’m so relieved they are done and sent out! They might’ve taken 8 hours and 6 people but we made it!!  

Bacon Wrapped Errything

    
Okay okay so the infamous Velveeta makes a debut again on this plate. But hey- everything else was made from scratch. I promise! 

  
Our goal was to save money this Valentine’s Day so we stayed in all weekend. I decided to make Marks favorite meal, meatloaf. 

And of course,  if I’m ever going to get him to eat his veggies, I have to wrap them in meat. 

I always hate when I find a recipe on a blog and I have to scroll through the whole damn write up just to get the recipe so here is the recipe first! 

Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf

What you need:

  • 1 ½ lb ground beef
  • Package of bacon ( I recommend thick cut) 
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 2 cloves of garlic 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 tablespoon of butter 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire 
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme  
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1 cup fried onions 

The Process:

  1. Heat skillet on medium heat. Dice onion and add to skillet with butter. Allow onions to carmelize for about 5-7 min. 
  2. Dice and add garlic to skillet for about 3 minutes. 
  3. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil 
  4.  Combine, ground beef, milk, egg, Worcestershire , breadcrumbs, thyme and milk in a mixing bowl. 
  5. Add in onions and garlic.  Mix together (you’ll prob baby need to use your hands) but be careful not to overwork the meat.
  6. Shape the mixture into even discs of meat. Depending how big you make them you should end up with 6-10 discs. 
  7. Wrap a slice of bacon around each disc and place on baking sheet. 
  8. In a small bowl mix together ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Scoop this mixture on top of each disc. 
  9. Place fried onions on top of ketchup mixture. 
  10. Bake in oven for 1 hour and 35 min or until bacon is crisp and golden. 

It’s delicious I tell ya! I do not typically like meatloaf but as my papa said “wrap it in bacon and it’s like filet mignon”. 

 Onions and garlic almost done   

  

I actually forgot to mix in the onions before forming my discs so the pan is a little messy from me redoing them. 

 
 Wrapped up in deliciousness. 

 Toppings added. Mark likes extra ketchup so I squeezed some more on his. That’s not for me though. Too sweet! 

Pop em in the oven and they come out like this. Now I probably should’ve pulled them out a bit sooner but they were still great. 

   
  
As for the Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, that’s easy! 

What you need : 

  • Bundle of asparagus 
  • 1/2 cup Soy sauce 
  • Bacon 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 

The process:

  1. Line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Separate  the  bundle of asparagus into smaller even bundles. I used 5-6 stalks per bundle. 
  3. Wrap each bundle in bacon. I start from the head of the stalk moving to bottom but it doesn’t matter. 
  4. Place on baking sheet. 
  5. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add in soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Brush the soy sauce mixture on top of the asparagus. I actually end up just pouring it over to make sure all stalks are covered. I also added some freshly ground pepper for taste. 
  7. Place in oven at 350 and bake for 45 min.

Here’s a before and after:

  
 
  

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers 

  
Yumm! So this is actually the first meal I made for Mark when we started dating. 

It’s super easy and if you do no fries, carb free 😜

What you need:

(Serves 4)

  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 1 lb roast beef
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • ½ small white onion 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire 
  • Provolone cheese

The process: 

  1. Cut the top of each bell pepper, remove seeds.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 and grease a glass pan. 
  3. Put your peppers in the pan and place one slice of provolone at the bottom of each pepper. 
  4. Dice up your onion and garlic. Put them in a skillet over medium for about 5-7 minutes. 
  5.  Slice roast beef and add to pan along with mushrooms and Worcestershire.
  6. Mix and allow ingredients to cook in skillet for approximately 10- 15 minutes. 
  7. Scoop the roast beef mixture into your peppers. Top each one off with a slice of cheese. 
  8. Cover with foil and bake  for 15 minutes. 

Now for the fries. These are super super easy. I always keep a bag of potatoes around for this purpose. They make a easy and versatile side. 

They are nothing special but I had our friend Zach over. He is definitely the pickiest eater I’ve ever encountered and he was raving over them. 

What you need:

  • 5 Idaho potatoes 
  • Garlic salt 
  • Lawrys Seasoning 
  • Olive oil

The process:

  1. Wash and scrub potatoes. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil (this will make clean up way easier)
  3. Slice potatoes into about ½ inch thick strips. 
  4. Put slices into a medium bowl along with about 2 table spoons of olive oil. Mix until all potatoes are coated. 
  5. Add in 3 table spoons of Lawrys and 2 table spoons of garlic salt. 
  6. Mix until evenly covered. 
  7. Place potatoes on the baking sheet. (You may want to grease the foil also) Bake for 30 minutes at 400. 
  8. Remove from oven, flip potatoes and place back in oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool and serve. 

You can always play around with the flavors. Sometimes I add Cajun seasoning or Parmesan depending on the entree. It’s hard to go wrong.  

Photobooth Props. 

One of my goals this year was to blog once a week and I unfortunately missed one.  – So I’m here to catch up. I’ve found its kind of a hard task because I’ve been working on projects for my bridesmaids and I want to keep them a secret so I can’t put them up yet. 

One thing I can share is my photobooth. 

Photobooths have become a huge hit for all events over the years. I actually lived in an apartment complex in college that provided free beer by the pool every Thursday and they even had a photobooth there. 

Here’s a throwback to then:

 
I’ve been exploring options for the wedding and decided to do a DIY photo booth. I’m using the “dumpster couch” I posted about previously but havent figured out much else beyond that so I’ll do a full write up once that’s figured out. 

For now I’ll share the props. 

I received a silhouette cameo for Christmas and a ton of books of cardstock so I figured I would make some props for the photo booth.  You can always buy templates from the silhouette store or elsewhere online but I decided to go the free route and make my own. ( I did have a free credit to the store so I bought the “photo bomb” prop.)

I used Silhouette Studio to make the majority of them but there were a few that required more detail so I used Adobe Illustrator. 

All you need to do this is:

Silhouette Cameo

Cardstock

Glue gun 

Skewers 

I had a wine and fondue party awhile ago so luckily I had a ton of skewers at home. 

So like I said, this is super easy. You make up your designs on whatever software. Send it to the silhouette to cut, weed it and glue the cardstock to the skewer. 

Easy and free! One of my favorite projects so far. 

I also found this awesome suitcase to store the props in for a few bucks at a thrift store. 

  
 You will see that I used multiple colors for some. There’s so many options which is what makes this a fun project.

Here are some of the props I made:

   
  

Have any of you made your own photobooth or props? Any unique props  you recommend?