Effortless Entertaining: Charcuterie

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's no secret that I enjoy entertaining. For any reason or no reason at all, I will find something to celebrate! I love the gathering, the socializing, the toasting, and most importantly the festive details that go into making any occasion feel special.

I used to spend the days leading up to an event preparing several dishes, planning an extensive menu and baking, but then LIFE happens, and basically I don't always have time for that. This doesn't change the fact that I still want to host a great party and really create something unique for my guests to enjoy. And so, out of this was born my love for charcuterie trays!
If you've never heard of charcuterie, it's basically a fancy French word for cured or cooked meats. Essentially, what I am talking about is meat and cheese tray with a twist, but I love referring to it as charcuterie. (In reality, it's more of a cheese, fruit, cracker, spread, meat and nut tray, lol.) I am very adventurous when it comes to trying new meats, cheeses, spreads and garnishes and there is really no right or wrong way to do it, which is part of the fun!

Some of my favorite things to use:
Hot Pepper Jelly + Cream Cheese
Brie + Goat Cheese
Pretzel crackers and/or sourdough baguette
Green grapes
Almonds + Pistachios
Prosciutto + Salame
Mustards and/or fun spreads
I always have a few different cheese, crackers, green grapes, and a variety of meats and nuts. I love perusing the aisles of small markets to see what I can find, but I also love Trader Joe's selections! I've linked a few of my favorite things I like to use above, but have fun with it and let me know if you have any other questions!

Falling for Oils: A Fall-inspired Make & Take Party

Monday, October 16, 2017

I recently hosted a gal's night for a festive make & take party! We sipped champagne, laughed until after midnight, and created a few DIY's using Young Living essential oils. A night with the girls is always SO good for the soul, I'm telling you! I love having a reason to get together and I thought this party would be the perfect way to welcome fall and create fun things using oils, so that's just what we did!
Anyways, a little background about oils if you're curious...(if not skip down to the pretty party pictures.) I started using essential oils earlier this year and I've never looked back! I was so curious about them and one night at bunco my friend Stephanie and I started talking about them. I was instantly determined to start incorporating them into my life and to learn more about the benefits and soon after bought my starter kit. I chose Young Living because it's hard enough to worry about everything that goes into your body and with these oils, I don't have to be concerned with what they are mixed with or if they will harm me because they are 100% pure.

I use oils for many things. Just ask my Dad, he jokes everyday, "Do you have an oil for that?" and the answer is always YES! I'm not saying oils are a cure all because they aren't, but for me it's a simple and natural change I've made in my life that supports me in so many aspects of my life. I used to absolutely be obsessed with candles and would burn them everyday. I no longer do because I now diffuse oils! I don't use a bunch of generic and harmful cleaners, instead I use Thieves and lemon to clean my house. When my muscles are aching, I turn to my oils instead of popping a pill. We sleep better at night. These are just a few ways I use oils daily, but the list goes on. 
THE best pumpkin dip recipe here!

I'm learning more everyday and have so enjoyed introducing my friends to oils. If you're curious like I was, let me know! 

29 Forever

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

So last week I turned 29.

For the first time since I can remember, I was actually apprehensive about a birthday. I am usually giddy with excitement and one that is known to go all out to celebrate, even if that means planning my own birthday with a blow up slip n' slide in the backyard like I may or may not have done last year...

This year it felt different and somewhat depressing if I am being transparent. It seems like so much has been going on in our lives and it's hard to face the reality that I am quickly approaching 30. The past two years or so have been so full of growth, learning, love and loss. Most importantly, LIFE! It's happening so quickly and perhaps it is the stage of life we are in where we see glimpses of the future and also pieces of the past fading away that leaves me wanting to live in this exact moment for as long as possible. But as we know, nothing lasts forever.

I must say I was completely wrong about my birthday. The day started and ended with such love that I cannot imagine a better day. I usually stop for coffee at my parents each morning before work since we live in the same neighborhood, and when I arrived my Dad told me my Mom been called into work early. I found this a little odd, but he played it well. Little did I know when I pulled into work, there she was waiting for me with balloons, the most gorgeous succulents for my office and a piece of chocolate cake. She is truly the best Mom!

When I walked into work, my office was decked out by my office gals with birthday banners, more chocolate cake (I sense a theme) and the sweetest card about "just winging it." It was absolute perfection for this card lovin' gal.
The day continued with gorgeous flowers from my hubby, nonstop texts, cards and phone calls with well wishes, and by the end of the day, I don't think I can remember a time where I felt so LOVED and lucky to have that many people who cared about little ole' me. I have always valued being thoughtful above all else, and it was so nice to feel that I was being thought of in return.
I kicked off the evening with a fun dinner out to a restaurant I had been wanting to try with my family. It was delicious and the service did not disappoint! Not to mention, the Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the background. The ambiance was definitely my cup of tea, so classy and it felt like we took a step back into time!

We ended it with more ice cream and my sweet cousin who is a waitress at a nearby restaurant serving me a flaming birthday shot (that I had to have help finishing, haha) and returning home to sweet gifts. Is it a sign that you're getting older or just more practical when you ask for a vacuum for your birthday, because I did. And my wish came true! You guys, I am now the proud owner of a roomba! Praise hands!
Anyways, it's still my birthday month and I plan on doing a little more celebrating with some of my best gals this weekend and I forsee us kareoking to Taylor Swift's "Feeling 22" because, well we can.

Cheers to another year and being #29forever!