Whimsical Weddings!

Yes, you may think this is a silly post since well, I'm already married but I'm one of those girls that just loved the whole wedding planning process. Beginning to end it was all so much fun:)In fact, I enjoyed it so much so that I had contemplated a career change to become an event planner but instead opted out of this idea and decided to fill this void by helping my girlfriends who are engaged plan their weddings.
Besides the beautiful celebration of a wedding it is always so exciting to see every couples unique style; from the color scheme, to the table arrangements, to the music, to the bridal attire, to the first dance, wedding cake, invitations, etc. All this is a direct translation of either the couple together or for those guys that just don't care about the planning, a direct translation of the brides style and personality.
It seems to me that weddings are becoming more and more creative over the years as brides experiment with different headpieces in place of a traditional Vail or choose to have an outdoor barn-type wedding instead of a traditional ballroom reception. This is what makes weddings so beautiful in my opinion, anything goes and it makes it even more exciting as guests to arrive at an event that we guess will appear a certain way but surprises us in a completely nontraditional gorgeous way.
If your in the middle of your wedding planning or wish about getting married in the near future my suggestion to you is to enjoy it all. Enjoy sharing time with your family in the planning process, and enjoy being creative to plan a celebration that both fits your style and an event in which you have always dreamt of. You only get married once so, you might as well do it right!

Delicious Low Calorie Cranberry Sauce

Low Calorie Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce on my turkey during Thanksgiving and leftover turkey sandwiches but I know how much sugar is added to canned cranberry sauce. This year Ryan's stepsister made a delicious cranberry sauce using splenda sugar substitute instead of granulated sugar and it was amazing! It didnt have that artificial processed flavor and texture that the canned cranberries have and I loved the fact that she used real cranberries which kept it's whole fruit form when cooked. I look forward to making this recipe not only during the holidays but throughout the year on top of Halibut and Chicken to add some extra flavor without all the extra calories!!

6 servings
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granular
1/2 cup water
3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned

COMBINE: cornstarch, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granular and water in a medium saucepan, stirring until SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granular and cornstarch dissolve. Stir in cranberries and orange sections; bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 5 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to pop and mixture begins to thicken. Set aside to cool. Cover and chill at least 3 hours.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 cup
Calories 50
Calories From Fat 0
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 4g

as compared to canned Cranberry Sauce
Calories 86
Dietary Fiber .6
Sugars 22g


World Vision-The Ultimate Christmas Gift

As we start to brainstorm our wish lists for Christmas this year let's try something new! Instead of asking for that extra pair of shoes or iPhone that isn't really necessary, let's consider giving a gift to someone in need and really making a difference. World Vision is an amazing organization whose mission is to offer a variety of different ways to give to the less fortunate. You can sponsor a child, provide emergency aide, donate products among many other options. The website is very easy to use and there are so many different options to give that your sure to find something that you feel is important.
As I get older the "things" in my life become less significant and doing something that benefits others becomes more important. My family has donated the last few years to World Vision both sponsoring children and also donating money for water and sanitation, money for education, and even donating animals such as goats and chickens for food and for the ability for others to make money.
World Vision is a great way to give back and before you ask for items that aren't needed browse around the website and make this Christmas unique by giving the gift of help which will be guarenteed to warm your heart.


Healthy Pumpkin Pie

If your like me then your a HUGE fan of pumpkin pie! All these years I had imagined that pumpkin pie was a pretty healthy alternative in comparision to many other dessert options however, after I was informed of the calories and fat I became less intrigued with this pie. Pumpkin Pie you have failed me!!! In an attempt to satisfy my pumpkin pie love during the holidays my mom and I came across a crustless pumpkin pie recipe which we tried and found to be absolutely DELICIOUS.

You use splenda, egg whites, and non fat milk subsitutions to make the pie low fat and by doing so you get a delicious dessert at only 64 calories for 1/4 slice of a 9'' pie and 0 grams of fat compared to 320 calories for 1/8 slice of a 9'' pie.

Regular Pumpkin Pie Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Pie (1 piece (1/8 of 9" dia))
Calories 320
Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Carbohydrates 40 g
Cholesterol 65 mg
Protein 7 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g

Crustless Pumpkin Pie Recipe
• 3/4 cup splenda sugar substitute for baking
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
• 4 egg whites
• 1 can (15 oz.) 100% Pure Pumpkin
• 12 oz. skim milk

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into eight small ramekins and place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Serve with a small dollop of whipped cream or cool whip.

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Being grateful means recognizing and appreciating all of the abundance in our lives. We acknowledge our means and give thanks for them. Living in a state of gratitude means not only acknowledging those material and tangible things, but also acknowledging the intangibles as well. Those are the things we most take for granted because we cannot readily see and touch them in our lives. It is not until tragedy strikes that we begin to really see those things that are unseen to the naked eye."

"When we live from that place of gratitude, then I can witness to the abundance in my life"

Being thankful opens us up to receiving all kinds of wonderful blessings. When in a state of gratefulness, we acknowledge our true selves & radiate this energy to others


Sassy Sparkles

So, my great friend Amy just did an amazing blog about sparkles this season and I decided to kindof copy her (bc she is brillant) and also do a blog on sparkles. I'm a girly girl so I've loved sparkles for some time but this season it seems to be especially in.

I started thinking about sparkles more seriously after I had watched Oprah's favorite things yesterday and she featured the sparkly new eddition of the Ugg boots. They are a bit to much for me personally but I know that sparkles are in this winter and uggs tend to be very successful so, I figure there are many people out there that will snatch them up this holiday season. Sparkles add a statement to any outfit and nail polish companies as well as shoe companies have also tuned in to this growing trend. I especially love the 3 nail polish colors below that I have pictured (copper, mauve and black). Also, many shoe designers are making sparkly pumps that you can wear out for a fun look. I especially love a classy outfit such as jeans and a blazer with a pop of sparkle on the feet. It's unexpected and will be sure to catch everyone's eye.


I Give Thanks

The last couple years I have made an effort to write down all that I am grateful for in life around Thanksgiving time. Taking a couple moments to write down a, "I give thanks" note can be very meaningful and forces you to sit and think about the past year and all that has occurred. Of course life will be a mix of joy and pain but being able to look back on the things you are grateful for will put focus on life's meaning and what is important to you. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with Family and Friends and fully embrace this Holiday for what it is. A day to cherish those close to you and to give thanks!

I Give Thanks
I give thanks for my wonderful family who have shaped the person I am today,
I give thanks for my husband who consistently makes me feel beautiful inside and out,
I give thanks to the friends that lift me up in difficult times and laugh with me through life’s joys,
I give thanks for God who has guided me through a life of happiness and loves me even when I’m in the wrong,
I give thanks for my health and the ability to live life free from pain,
I give thanks for giving my mom health when we thought we might lose her,
I give thanks for having the means to work hard and play hard in life and travel to the most gorgeous of places,
I give thanks for the amazing home I share with my husband and all the memories we have created in it,
I give thanks for recognizing my talents and embracing them,
I give thanks for the confidence I have developed in myself, it’s been a long road but I’m in a great place in my life right now,
I give thanks for taking a leap of faith and moving to San Diego where I have met life long friends,
I give thanks for coming into Ryan’s family with open arms and open hearts,
I give thanks for finding a job I am genuinely happy in,
I give thanks for freeing my grandma from pain and taking her to a place I know she is happy in,
I give thanks for my trip to Italy which has always been a life long dream,
I give thanks for recognizing areas I can improve on in life and not being ashamed of this,
I give thanks for the people I surround myself with and the valuable lessons they have taught me,
I give thanks for having the means to eat healthfully and having the knowledge to know that a healthy body is a healthy soul,
I give thanks for my husbands gentle push to challenge myself and to enjoy all life has to offer,
I give thanks for a future that looks bright and exciting and knowing that having my loved ones around is all I need,
I give thanks for my consciousness to live in the present and embrace each moment,
I give thanks for having parents that love me unconditionally and gave me the constant support I needed growing up,
I give thanks for the friends that feel more like sisters and knowing that they genuinely want what is best for me in life,
I give thanks for the place I’m in at this exact moment knowing that I am not perfect but feeling okay with this
I give thanks for Thanksgiving and sharing this holiday with loved ones.

Love your family, embrace your friends and always give thanks for the life you have and person you are!

What are you thankful for this year?


Get Your Craft On!

I had some girlfriends over yesterday for alittle card crafting party. I converted our kitchen to Michael's craft store and we had plenty of tasty treats and adult beverages to spice it up. Crafting is exhausting so it's crucial you have the fuel to get through it. It was so much fun to make cards with my friends and spend the rainy day inside just hanging out. I look forward to another craft party in the near future!


Life...You Live and You Learn

9 Powerful Life Lessons from Confucius:

1. Just Keep Going
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

If you keep going down the right path, you will eventually get to your intended destination. The hard work is being consistent; anybody can do right for a day. The person who succeeds is the person who stays committed despite the circumstances.

2. Your Friends Matter
“Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.”

Your friends are a prophecy of your future; where they are is where you’re headed. It would serve you well to find friends who are going where you want to go.

3. Good Things Come With a Price
“It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.”

This explains a lot! It’s easy to hate, it’s easy to be negative, it’s easy to make excuses. It is love, forgiveness, and greatness that require a great heart, a great mind, and a great effort.

4. Sharpen Your Tools First
“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”

Confucius said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Whatever you are called to do, if you are to succeed, you must first be prepared.

5. To be Wronged is Nothing
“To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.”

Don’t sweat the small stuff; to be wronged is no great offense. Don’t let the wrongdoing of others ruin your day. Don’t let they’re negativity occupy your thoughts. To be wronged is nothing!

6. Consider the Consequences
“When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

Solomon said, “He that is slow to anger is greater than the mighty.” Always remember to keep your temper in check and to consider the consequences.

7. Make Adjustments
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

If its looking like you’re not going to make your goals this year, now would be a good time to adjust your plan. Don’t accept failure as an option, adjust your sails, and you will sail safely to your goal.

8. You Can Learn From Everyone
“If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

You can and should learn from everyone, be it a crook or a saint. Every life is a story filled with lessons ripe for the picking.

9. All or None
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

Whatever you do, do it with everything, or don’t do it at all. To succeed in life requires your very best, give your very best, and you will live without regrets.


Office Makeover!

Before After!
My dream is to decorate my own work office and I was able to somewhat do it today! I didn't have much time nor did I want to spend any money. After realizing that my new job would allow me to work 4 days from home and only 1 day in the office I knew I needed to makeover my guest room/office to a place that fit my style and a place I would be inspired to work in. I have always been very influenced by the space around me and thrive in an area I feel is organized and fits my unique style. I am really happy with the way it turned out and I was happy to incorporate a couple of my grandmas antiques so that it reminds me of her. Take a look!