Wedding Obsessions

This week I have become obsessed with the idea of making a “vintage” door for our wedding…I can’t stop watching tutorials in my spare time.  I love to have a project (can’t stand wasted time sitting around) and this is definitely my next.  Overall, wedding planning has been a blast.  I’m in love with our venue, our florist, and how everything is coming together.  I wanted to share some pictures that have been inspiring me lately for the big day !

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(i already have and LOVE my dress…but this one is so striking)

Anyways, thought I would share some of my favorites.  Crossing my fingers I can make them happen!   Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

xo-j

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Fall Wreath

Fall is my absolute favorite.  And since it is already Christmas according to stores, I wanted to make a fall craft that wasn’t completely pumpkin centered and would work through Thanksgiving time.  This is a really easy diy that doesn’t break the bank or take up your whole week.  I love how this turned out!  If you feel like making your own for the house or as a sweet gift, the directions are below…

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WHAT YOU NEED:

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Yarn – I got a sort of mustard and white really thick knitting yarn
Decorations – I bought a cheap fall bouquet and some berries from Michael’s
Wire wreath base
Scissors

DIRECTIONS:

1. I bought two colors of yarn because I wanted to have a guide for where I would place my decorations.  I did about an 8 inch section of white yarn.  A bit of advice here is to wrap the yarn around your hand and only do small sections at a time.  If you try to use the whole 40 yards you are going to go insane wrapping it, so cut it into smaller sections.  First, as easy as it sounds, make a knot around the wire rim and begin to wrap.  Wrap this section a bit loose but also very thickly so that you will be able to stick your decorations through later.

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(do you see my special helper in the background?!)

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2. Take your second color and begin to wrap around the rest of the wreath.  Like I said above, do this in smaller sections, hiding your knots as you go along. Wrap this really tight. I found the best way was to wrap 3-4 ahead and then push them down tightly.

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3. Here is what you should now have:

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4. I decided to take the remaining yellow yarn and go over the section again but loose and chunky.  This gives the wreath a lot more character.  (I know, I just said character describing a wreath).  Also, don’t forget to make sure your dog is badgering you the ENTIRE time and stealing your yarn.

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5. Now decide how you would like your decorations to look.  I did mine first on the table so I could see how they looked best, then began to stick them through the white portion of the wreath.  I cut up the bouquet making sure to give myself enough wire on the back of each flower to wrap it through…

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6.You are done!  Now hang it up or give as a gift!

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xo-j

Best Turkey Burgers

Since we are a no-beef house I’m always trying to find new recipes for chicken and turkey that don’t take a ton of time, but are really tasty.  I loosely based making some turkey burgers last night on my meatballs and whoa, so good.  I’m all about easy and not having to go buy bizarre ingredients that cost way too much (why does every food network recipe require me to spend $60 on spices I will never use again?!).  Here ya go:

TURKEY BURGERS

What You Need:

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1 pound ground turkey (I use the white meat 93% fat free super healthy one)
1/8 cup breadcrumbs
1 egg white
1 tsp onion powder
1/8th cup chopped parsley
1 clove diced up garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8th cup Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix everything together in a bowl except the Worcestershire sauce

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2. Once that is all mixed up really well, then pour the W. sauce on top and mix it all again.

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3. Make that disturbing looking meat into some patties!

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4. Cook the burgers in a pan.  I used about 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Heat the oil first, then add burgers.  Cook them for 2 minutes on one side and then flip (this way both sides get brown and they don’t fall apart).  Flip them a couple times through the cooking (about 15 minutes on med-high with cover)

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5. Add your toppings!  I used munster cheese and made some sauteed spinach (with soy and garlic powder)

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6. Enjoy that amazing (and healthy) turkey burger on a toasted bun!

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Promise you, these are awesome.

xo-j

Lately

I was in NYC again last week for work for only 24 hours but I was able to cram in two lunches with my favorite lunch partner, and most importantly found my bridesmaid dresses with Lauren and Adie!  I wish I could share pictures of that, but it’s a secret (plus, I was able to try on my dress next to them so I really can’t share any pics!).  Here are some other pics from life lately…

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(halloween treats are the best)

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xo- j

 

Waking Up

For anyone who follows me on Instagram this is a repeat, but I thought I would share what it is really like to wake up with Rondo, since pictures and stories do not to his weirdness justice.  This is a typical morning, Ron is under the covers, and then when he decides he is ready he will emerge and being his lick attack.  Such a maniac…

Chowdahhh

Since it’s started to get cold here I keep having cravings for soup.  Anyone who has ever met Jay knows he is obsessed with soup (it’s weird) so it works out when I get the urge to try out a new one! This weekend, while Reggie was visiting (!!), I decided to try out a clam chowder crock pot recipe, and oh man, so good.  I did make some changes to the recipe and thought I would share what I did…

CLAM CHOWDER in the CROCK POT

WHAT YOU NEED

4 – 6 1/2 oz cans of minced clams (with the juice)
1 cup chopped onion
5 potatoes chopped up
2 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
3 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup half & half
3 cups milk (I used skim)
5 tbsp corn starch
Parsley for garnish

(The recipe called for 8 potatoes, 3 cups water (no stock), 1/4 tsp pepper, 4 cups half and half, and 3 tbsp corn starch…I read a bunch of the comments and ended up using the mix of recipes and it came out perfect.  I can’t imagine fitting more than the 5 potatoes in the soup!)

DIRECTIONS

1. Chop up your onion

2. Chop up your potatoes (I left the skin on)

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3. Cook your bacon in a pan until it is nearly done.  Then add your onion to the pan and allow to cook until soft (about 5 minutes) with the bacon.  Then remove from heat and crumble/chop up the cooked bacon.

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4. Add the clams, bacon, onion, potatoes, s&p, water, & stock to the crock pot.  DO NOT add the milk or corn starch.  Allow this to cook on high for about 4 hours.

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5. Once the soup has cooked for 4 hours, mix 1 cup half & half with the cornstarch and add it to the soup.  Continue to cook for another hour.

6.  My crock pot by this point was completely filled to the brim, so once I had allowed the corn starch mix to cook for an hour I poured the soup into a big pot and added the remaining 3 cups of milk then.  I allowed it to heat up on the stove for about 15 minutes.

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7. Cut up some bread and enjoy!  I ended up loading a ton more black pepper and hot sauce into my own bowl, but each person likes their own level of spice so I didn’t add it to the full pot.

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If you have the time on a Sunday to chop things up and wait for this to cook, it is totally worth it!

xo – j

my true love

Yea, ok, I’m obsessed with Rondo…If I’m in a room Rondo is there, if I leave the house he is upset, he sits outside the shower and waits for me to finish, he sleeps curled up in my legs at night, and we spend everyday all day snuggling together.  Anyways, I just want to share a few of my favorites from lately…he cracks me up…

The beckoning sexy man:

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The iwanttosleepyouarereallyannoyingme:

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Jay was away a couple weeks ago and I wanted to send him a picture of me kissing Rondo’s head…this is the result…

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He was cold the other day in the car so I moved a towel up front for him.  I looked over and this is what he had done…and yea, he is asleep.

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This one is the norm: ears flipped back, paying attention to your food…

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The den/my office downstairs gets so cold.  We decided to share my sweater.  Again, most pictures he ends up licking…

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And for good measure, I was at my parents house last week while working out of NYC and I got to see Cali the weirdo.  She is eating my hair tie here…

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That’s all for now!

xo – j

Panda

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When I told you we have had visitors every single weekend, I wasn’t kidding.  It has been awesome having all our friends come to visit our new place.  It also makes us (I’m guessing Jay too) feel really special that everyone is willing to travel here to see us.  We love you guys!

Last weekend Amanda came to visit from DC!  We’ve been friends since 1st grade which is basically forever! We went on a hike to the top of Blue Hills on Saturday morning.  Rondo was in heaven!

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(i made almond croissants (ok i heated them), she bought us the amazing stamp you see in the corner there!)

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Love you Panda!  Thank you for coming!

xo- j

Easy Bean

I have said this time and time again, my Mom is the most amazing cook.  She makes the simplest things beyond delicious.  This is one of the easiest recipes to make on a weeknight and it is not only healthy but really tasty!  Mom, I’m sorry to tell the world that you are the queen of easy cooking…but it’s all so good who cares!

BEANS & VEG RECIPE

WHAT YOU NEED:

2 cans of beans (sometimes I use kidney sometimes black, other times a combo, does not matter)
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp onion salt
A bunch of vegetables (different every time, but ALWAYS diced tomatoes):
Frozen broccoli
Frozen greenbeans
Can of corn
Water chestnuts (seriously anything you have)
Can of diced tomatoes
Cooked Rice (I use trader joes ready rice that you cook in the microwave)
1 cup or so of mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat up all those vegetables…that’s right, throw them in a pan together frozen or canned who cares and cook them.  The only thing is make sure anything canned has been drained.  This will take about 5 minutes.

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2. Add the beans (make sure they are drained)

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3. Stir it all up and add the garlic & onion salt (do this to taste, I use more like a tbsp of garlic salt, and I use a lot of red and black pepper)

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4. Let that cook up for about 10 minutes or until you see some bubbles. And in the meantime cook up your rice.  Trader Joe’s is seriously amazing for this, it’s 2 minutes in the microwave.  Once you see bubbles, do a taste test to see if you have the right amount of seasonings.  Then mix it all together…

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5. Now top all that mixture with cheese (again, I use a ton)

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6. That is it!  It seems like it would be bland or boring but it is hearty and extremely delicious!

Enjoy this amazing weeknight meal!

xo- j

New York

All these posts are so behind!  Last week I was in NYC to train for my new job all week and before last week mania with visitors, wedding, and a really sad loss in our family.

As far as the new job goes,  there is a lot to learn!  It was so fantastic to spend some time with my family and see my friends while I was down in NYC.  Luckily for this new position I will be back in NYC quite a bit so I won’t have to miss anyone too much!

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(lunch with lunch bff, and dinner with my girls (and tom!))

IMG_1775(following my babes to dinner…and on the way we saw Taza’s husband! Adie and I are in love with them)

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(drinks in bryant park)

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See you in a few weeks NY!

xo – j