Joanna Gaines’s Lemon Bars

Joanna Gaines’s Lemon Bars

One of my favorite desserts of all time is Lemon Bars. I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember, but they especially gained significance for me during my freshman year of college. My mom shipped a care package to me around Valentine’s Day, and guess what?! The package contained lemon bars. I’m a sucker for thoughtful gifts and this one was one of the most thoughtful. I wasn’t expecting any kind of gift at all, and when I received a mail slip my heart exploded in happiness.

When I found out Joanna Gaines was publishing a cookbook, Magnolia Table, I knew I wanted a copy. Joanna does so many things well, and her passions for her business and family always inspire me. She puts her family and faith first and everything else follows. I’ve read the Gaines’ previous books, and they always provided me with great perspective. For instance, in this season of my life, I’ve really been struggling with focusing on the present. Joanna wrote about the importance of finding happiness in each season of life, and she even spoke about her own struggles.

So, when the cookbook arrived at my doorstep, I eagerly paged through it (I haven’t even had a chance to read it all yet, but I’m so excited to get to it). However, even though I haven’t had the chance to read all of it, I did find the lemon bar recipe, and I couldn’t resist. I had to make them right away.

9789710B-E905-47F1-ACF3-E1FD554EBCB5.jpeg

Isn’t the picture from Joanna’s cookbook gorgeous? One of the things I loved most about this recipe is how simple it is. It was easy to make and didn’t take a thousand ingredients. I’m so used to getting a cookbook and finding a relatively separate dish made super complex, but Joanna doesn’t do that. Her recipe only takes seven ingredients, and I already had them all at home – no special runs to the grocery store necessary.

And no surprise, when I was done, the end product was perfection.

9E20DDA1-A2A6-4F23-A55D-E7F1876B0962

I know, I know, it’s not a beautiful picture. It was dark and I had no natural lighting, but if you guys could only smell my kitchen! Also, I need to acquire a sifter. My powder sugar is embarrassingly clumpy. If you want to donate to my cooking cause (in the form of a sifter), you can click this link here. I wanted to eat them immediately, so it was torture to wait for them to cool. However, I persevered and it was so worth it.

2FB87BDB-6B88-42EA-A0BB-EB80D1C1B708

Yum, so good, right? Snacking on these is a treat. So what’s my take on Joanna’s cookbook? Well, I’m only one recipe in, but my review is in: the cookbook is great. It’s thought-filled, practical, and tasty. I can’t wait to try all the recipes!

F2A9FD09-D24B-4E1C-BD0C-26686FF0DDBF

The Earrings I’m In Love With

The Earrings I’m In Love With

The other day I was scrolling through Twitter and happened across a post that caught my attention. It had been retweeted by one of the accounts I followed, but the post itself wasn’t from someone I followed. It was another one of those, “please retweet” posts. I looked, and it was from an artist. Most of the time I see posts like this, the art is incredible but not really of interest to me. I’m not in a stage in my life where I need to commission many portraits. However, this post wasn’t about portraits; it was about jewelry. Food inspired jewelry.

Like most humans, I love food. A lot of the images the post showed were of fruit (and they’re totally cute), but I was curious to see if the creator had a wider variety, so I visited the website listed in her bio. There, I found a wonderful array of food inspired earrings, and I quickly happened upon the dessert section. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a long time lover of desserts. Even better, this artist has pie earrings. Did you hear me? Pie. I love pie. I’m obsessed. I’ve even written about my love of pie before.

Anyway, I instantly fell in love, and now I’m plotting my purchase of these earrings. This is the picture from her website:

blueberrypie

Are they not the cutest? But don’t worry. If pie isn’t your thing, the artist also makes earrings that look like pizza, avocados, donuts, bacon, and more.

Even better, if you love the looks of these earrings as much as I do, but you don’t have your ears pierced, have no fear. After the artist’s post took off, she took the feedback interested customers gave her and said she’d soon be producing other types of jewelry in the too! So keep your eyes open for clip-on earrings, bracelets, and necklaces!

The only downside to these cute-as-pie pieces? At $20 a piece, the jewelry isn’t priced horribly, but since the artist lives Grand Cayman shipping can take awhile and be expensive if you want to be able to track your shipment. Is that a deal breaker for me? Definitely not.

Have any questions? Reach out the artist on Twitter. She seems super friendly and she’s super on top of things!

My Favorite Wedding Dancing Shoes

My Favorite Wedding Dancing Shoes

I love shoes. Honestly, I think it’s the first thing that I bought for my wedding, and in the end, I purchased two pairs of shoes for my wedding. I wore a pretty pair of ivory silk heels for my wedding, and sparkly rose gold Kate Spade Keds for the reception. Could I have made it through the reception with heels? Yes, probably. But honestly, if you can justify buying two pairs of shoes, then why not do it? Also, the reception was way more fun in Keds.

Picking my wedding shoes was easy. If you ask my mom, she’ll tell you I’ve always been in love with “unpractical” shoes. I was in love with my four inch heels, and they made it a lot easier to kiss my husband who’s a whole foot taller than me. Luckily for me, I’m decent at walking in heels. Decent enough to confidently walk down stone stairs and through a grass yard to the place of my ceremony. But, I’m not good enough to comfortably rock four inch heels while dancing for hours on end, which is why I knew I needed to get sneakers. My sneakers were also an easy choice because I’ve loved Keds for as long as I can remember. I also wanted to add color, and I’m obsesses with soft tones like blush. Much like my lifelong obsessions with unpractical shoes, I’ve also had a lifelong love of sparkly things, and so my final decision was simple. Just like that I had both pairs of my wedding shoes.

Of course, as we enter the start of a new wedding season, I can’t help but get lost in the new wedding shoe options, particularly those best suited for receptions. Here’s my most current round up:

Rifle Paper Co. Queen Anne Sneaker x Keds $60

101570308

You can get these beauties in white or black, and while I personally would feel way more comfortable rocking the white and gold, I can imagine the bride with the cool vibe style who would totally rock the black style.

 

Rifle Paper Co. Champion Floral Print Sneaker $60

Or

Rifle Paper Co. Anchor Lively Floral Slip-On Sneaker $70

 

I’m seeing how long I can hold out before I purchase these pretty blue ones! These Keds and Rifle Paper Co. team up are perfect for the boho bride. You can choose to go more neutral or add a pop of color. I’m seriously in love. Think of all the miles you’ll get with these shoes after the wedding!

NIKE LUNAREPIC LOW FLYKNIT 2 $140

lunarepic-low-flyknit-2-womens-running-shoe-4vtnkemw

Are running shoes more your thing? Then, maybe you’ll love these metallic magic-looking shoes from Nike. Nike’s website says they were created to help you tackle your longest distances, but I bet they’d also be good at helping you tackle your most important day. These beauties come in many colors so you can match them to your wedding; however, I favor this Sunset Glow shade.

 

What shoes are you planning dancing the night away in? Not a sneaker bride? Any sneakers I missed that you have to have for your special day? Let me know in the comments below what you’ll be rocking!

What To Do At The Start Of Spring

What To Do At The Start Of Spring

We all know the saying – March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. So far, March is definitely on track to live up to that old adage. While temperatures hit the 50 degree range last week, this week has started off with a winter weather advisory. I’m missing the sun already.

Instead of bemoaning what could be, my husband and I took advantage of the great weather we had this weekend, and we made the best of the warm weather while we had it. So what should you do with your time at the start of spring? Here’s my suggestions:

  • Get Outside – Growing up in the Midwest and being a spring sport athlete all through college taught me to have thick skin, especially when it comes to fickle weather. I’ve played softball while it was snowing, and while that’s never too fun, it does make you appreciate those first days of spring when things are first thawing and you can finally feel the sun on your skin again. Since my husband and I both love the outdoors, we made sure to get outside this weekend, first, on a trip duck watching, and then taking our cute little dog out for an extended playtime.

 

  • Embrace the color green – As the temperatures begin to drop again, I’m remembering that I can look to my little seedlings that I started indoors a couple weeks ago even if the grass outside is still far from green. I also bought more flowers this weekend because they brighten up any space and it’s a nice reminder that nature is near even when the low temperatures keep you from otherwise enjoying it.

 

  • Smile (everything has it’s season) – Sometimes when you get a taste of better weather, it feels especially bitter to have the sunshine disappear. It’s important to remember that there is a time and season for everything, in life and in nature. It’s easy to want to rush through the days to get to what’s ahead, but there are great things happening right where you are right now – even if the weather isn’t the greatest. Gloomy, cold gray days give us the perfect excuse to curl up inside with a warm beverage and catch up with our favorite book. I don’t know about you, but I can always use more time to read. It’s days like today that remind me to be thankful where I’m at each and every single moment. We just have to smile and look for the good in the situation we are currently in.

 

It’s March (That Means It’s Officially Spring)

It’s March (That Means It’s Officially Spring)

It’s officially March, and I’ve been itching for some sunshine. The thought of spring is so near I can hardly stand it. I’m about two seconds away from taking an irrational weekend trip to somewhere with a warm beach.

If you’re worried about me, don’t worry. You don’t need to be. I’ve been channeling my desire for warmer weather and brighter days into my gardening, and oh boy, those little seedlings have been taking off.

Growing up, my mom always had gardens at home. I always got to help her plant the vegetables and flowers, and it became a regular part of my life. After growing up, getting married, and moving away I felt a strong desire to continue gardening, so I started my journey this spring (Okay, it was still winter, but I was dreaming of spring) by visiting a local gardening store and picking up a few seed starter trays and a few packets of seeds.

image1

My husband and I started that batch of seeds a few weeks ago and out of my jalapenos, sweet peppers, and tomatoes, we’ve started to see a handful of tomato seeds sprout. Then, last weekend, I convinced my husband to drive me around town to a handful of other gardening stores where I picked up some bulbs, seed packets, and a few of those nice greenhouse seed starter kits.

image1

Holy moly, those greenhouse kits are worth the money you spend on them! Almost all my seeds have already started to sprout in about a week’s time. Now I’m looking at my poor little greenhouse-less seed starting trays and they look so sad in comparison, and so many poor little seeds aren’t getting the love they need.

image2

I showed our by-chance gardening experiment to my husband last night, and I convinced him it that it would ultimately be wise to go get another greenhouse kit and plant more peppers and tomatoes. He’s the sweetest, and I’m lucky he loves growing things as much as I do because our cozy little apartment has been taken over by my gardening habit. Though, he has asked me on multiple occasions what I plan to do with all the plants once they’re full grown because they surely won’t all fit on our balcony!

While I’m waiting for my little seeds to sprout and grow, I’m filling my love of flowers with with beauties that I can buy and arrange myself. I truly feel like Claude Monet when he said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” And my husband would agree. He’ll never forget how big our floral budget was for our wedding, but hello, flowers and greenery totally build the atmosphere! Most recently, I truly channeled spring when I picked up some daffodils, tulips, and ranunculus.

image3

I’m glad it’s March and warmer days are on their way, but I still can’t wait for a nice dose of sunshine! Until then (and if we’re being honest, even then), I will fill my days and windowsills with pretty flowers!

The Words Everyone Is Decorating With

The Words Everyone Is Decorating With

On the night of January 30 a new episode of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper aired. If you paid attention to the styling, or even just the final reveal, you would have seen the words “I Can And I Will” in big letters on the bathroom wall.

joanna

The phrase “I can and I will” was first popularized by actress Gina Rodriguez in her 2015 Golden Globes acceptance speech for Best Actress in a TV Comedy. In her speech, Rodriguez said, “My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today is a great day. I can and I did.”

Since Rodriguez’s Golden Globes speech, “I can and I will” has become an anthem for people all across the world, with the phrase’s popularity possibly culminating with Joanna Gaines’s use of it on Fixer Upper. Luckily, you don’t need Joanna’s design expertise to add the catchy and encouraging phrase to your living space.

 

1. Prints

print

Prints of this message are plentiful. It’s easy to find a style and design that will match your personal aesthetic. Prints are also easy to incorporate into almost any space. Simply hang them on an empty space of your wall or add them to a bookshelf or desk.

 

 

2. Letter Vinyls

vinyl

If you like Joanna’s individual letter design, that’s an option for you too. You might not have access to Joanna’s great team of craftsmen, but you do have access to Amazon where you can find these similar letter vinyls.

 

3. Pillows

pillow

Are you all out of wall space? Well, then maybe a pillow with the phrase would be a better option. It looks cute and can easily be added to any armchair, couch, or bed.

 

4. Signage

rustic

If signs are more your pace, then you can find plenty of options for those as well. Signs are great options because they can be personalized to fit with your home’s aesthetic. Do you find yourself gravitating to natural or rustic designs? Then a wooden sign, like the one above, might be the perfect fit.

Do you like adding motivational sayings and phrases to your decor? How do you plan on incorporating it?

My Wedding Is In A Magazine

My Wedding Is In A Magazine

I have exciting news: my wedding was published in The Pink Bride Magazine. Planning my wedding was a great experience. I loved focusing on each little detail, while still making sure the big picture looked good. It turns out that my hard work paid off, and I got to see my wedding printed in the pretty pages of a magazine.

b0bd7b2d-6af2-404f-b262-f0acab7c3b51.png

Of course, my wedding wouldn’t have been what it was without my incredibly talented and kind vendors. I cannot thank them enough for their stunning work.

Working with my vendors has seriously given me a love for the wedding industry. From flowers to photography to catering and beyond, I love watching all the pieces come together.

Now, I’m immersing myself in the wedding industry, embracing all my little passions, and exploring all the styles and trends. Stay tuned for more wedding commentary coming your way. I can’t wait to write more about all the little things that go into planning and creating a wonderful wedding experience for the couple and their guests!