How to have an epic Christmas party!

I have ALWAYS wanted to be apart of all types of parties, such as costume parties, Christmas parties, New Years parties and everything in between. Well this year I decided that my family will  host their first annual Christmas party and I am so excited! Our party of course was centered around having a lot of food. I created a list of things that you have to have to make your party epic! It’s not that hard, it’s definitely fun but it does take a little effort. 

  • Invitations
    • We ordered our invites from zazzle.com, Zazzle is always doing some kind of discount on their invitations and they come out so nice! I did some research with other invitation websites but for me this was the best one. I was really happy with how they turned out. 
  • Food
    • On our invites we wrote “bring your favorite dish”. This, for us, was a MUST! Of course we love cooking and we would do it happily but it relieved a lot of stress on us to have our guests bring dishes also. We definitely made some cookies which I have posted the recipes on here and a few appetizers. We actually ended up cooking A LOT of food, way too much for a traditional potluck but I’m not complaining, I ate all of it. 
    • Chocolate covered oreos (my favorite!)
    • Dulce de leche bars
    • Coconut and white chocolate cookies 
  • Decorations
    • Our house is always decked out for Christmas so this aspect wasn’t too hard. We did go to Home Goods, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby  to get anything new. 
    • We bought decorated Christmas plates (paper) and napkins from Marshalls. 
    • We created our hot chocolate bar from items from Hobby Lobby. 
  • Drinks 
    •  Hot chocolate bar
    • Wine (multiple bottles)
    • Sparkling cider

  • Entertainment 
    • As for entertainment, we decided to have the ultimate Christmas album playing the background, Mariah Carey! Along with classics such as Frank Sinatra and Justin Bieber (haha!)
    • We also decided to play some Christmas games such as:
      • Christmas Trivia
      • Name that Christmas song 
      • Christmas Charades 
    • We provided gifts for the winners. We had chocolates, a pasta kit, and candles from Home Goods, Pier 1 Imports and TJ Maxx. (Thank God for those stores)

Overall, our party was awesome and I’m glad we finally ended up having it. 

If you have any tips of how to make a party great please do not hesitate to share!

Have a great day! 

Love, 

Harvest Salad

Let me tell you a little secret about myself….. I hate salad. I think this hatred stems from people thinking that I should love them. I was a vegetarian for about 2 and 1/2 years and I refused to base my food intake around this dish. My mother always talked so much crap! “How can you be a vegetarian if you don’t eat salad?”, so annoying. 

Well for this past Thanksgiving I decided to do a salad anyway because truth be told, they can be delicious and fun. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries 
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of feta cheese 
  • 2 sliced apples 
  • 1 container of spring salad mix
  • Salad dressing (we used a mixture of Rice wine vinegar, dijon mustard olive oil, salt and pepper)

Salads are pretty easy to make, just put all the ingredients together! We waited to put the dressing on until we were ready to eat it and it was delicious. 

Let me know if you try this recipe out! 

Or if you have any other salad recipes that I should try. 

Have a great day! 

Love, 

A trip to North Georgia

The very first trip that Jacob and I took together was to the mountains of North Georgia, Clayton to be exact. It was absolutely amazing and we have been going back ever since. The mountains are so beautiful and the wine is perfect. 

If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation look no further, North Georgia is where you need to go. I have compiled a list of vineyards that we’ve been to and added the ONE place you have to hike. 

Vineyards

Oh the vineyards! I was not a wine person before meeting Jacob but after traveling here and trying different wines I have come to love it. Some of the vineyards that have helped with this and that are worth visiting are:

12 spies vineyard 

          It is so beautiful and everyone that works there is super sweet. They offered us pumpkin bread while we were trying the different wines, which was a plus! They also have the BEST mulled wine, I never knew it could be so good! (Jacob and I have been trying to make mulled wine and we just can’t get the recipe right, if you have any recipes you’d like to share please do!)

At 12 spies 

Yonah Mountain Vineyards

         This place is extremely special for Jacob and I (you guys will find out why in November 2019!). It’s beautiful, relaxing and just an overall oasis. The staff is friendly and the place itself is so nice. 

In their breezeway
That mountain!

Sweet Acres Farms Winery 

We came across this Winery because of Groupon. For Christmas I bought Jacob and I tickets to go ziplining and they came with wine tastings for this amazing winery. It was a relaxing place that had a lot of fruity wines that I have never tried before. Definitely a place to visit if you want unique wine. 

Hiking

Hiking has become a love of mine. Jacob actually proposed to me while we were hiking at a waterfall, I know, I know best proposal ever!

The first place we ever hiked together was Tallulah Falls Gorge.

Tallulah should be on the top of your hiking list!

I was honestly scared to hike this. There are so many stairs (not the scary part) and you have to basically hop rocks (the scary part)! They’re slippery and YOU WILL fall into the water. The nice thing about December is that it’s cold, so not only are you getting wet but you’re also now freezing! But the view is absolutely beautiful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 

If you have any questions about North Georgia or any suggestions please let me know!

Have a great day

Love, 

How we stay connected

       Currently Jacob and I are working on a semi-long distance relationship, given, we do see each other on the weekends, but even that is difficult. It’s really hard, at least for me, to go on throughout the week without him. But we have come up with some ways to stay connected throughout this distance and I’m going to share them with you!

  • Phone Calls
    • This is an obvious one but I think it still needs to be addressed. Jacob and I call each other every chance we get. Waking up in the morning, on our way to work, during our breaks, leaving work and we ensure we have FaceTime dates at night. Honestly, sometimes this can be just a tad bit annoying. For example, I might get busy with something and start stressing out and answering the phone isn’t really something I want to do, BUT after our phone calls I always feel so much better. They are definitely worth it.
  • Audio messages
    • When Jacob and I cannot talk over the phone I leave audio messages and he always receives a lot of those! I have learned that audio messages are extremely beneficial to both our relationship but also for me. It’s like a diary, I tell him what I’m thinking, what has happened to me and everything in between. It is very therapeutic. 
  • Nightly devotionals 
    • This is definitely the most important one. I think it is extremely important that Jacob and I push each other to be better Christians and do devotionals together. So at the end of our FaceTime dates, before we say goodnight, I bring out my devotion journal and my nightstand Bible. We read the devotion and reflect on what the message was.  I think this is crucial to being closer and maintaining our relationship.

Semi-long distance is not fun, I will be the first to say it, but it’s important to work through it and put in a lot of effort! 

If you have any tips or advice I would love to hear all about it!

Have a great day, 

Love, 

Dulce de Leche Bars

Another dessert?? Yes! We are getting so prepared for this Christmas party and eating all the sweets and this dessert is just that, sweet! 

If you’re looking for a unique sweet that’ll make everyone fall in love then you have definitely come to the right place!

Ingredients:

  • 2 & 1/2 cup of unbleached flour
  • 1 4-ounce can of dulce de leche
  • 1 cup of softened unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate 
  • 3/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Steps:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and have a rectangular deep baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready. (You will be layering your bars in this pan.)

  1. Mix together your flour and salt.

     2. On medium speed mix together your butter, sugar and vanilla until combined. 

     3. Once your butter, sugar and vanilla is creamed, slowly fold in your flour and salt mixture. ( I recommend adding in 1/2 cup at a time.)

     4. Once everything is mixed together add this to your prepared pan. Flatten the dough down in an even layer.

      5. Bake this dough for 25 minutes or until lightly brown. 

      6. Once done, let it cool down for about 30 minutes or until cool. (I know, I know, a lot of waiting but it is needed!)

     7. After your base is cool you are going to spread the dulce de leche in an even layer. 

     8. Now the bars have to be refrigerated for about 25 minutes, I just placed them in the freezer to speed up the process. (Yes! We are almost done)

     9. While the bars are cooling, in a bowl, melt your chocolate chips. The best way to do this is to melt them in increments of 30 seconds and stir it to prevent it from burning.

   10. Once your chocolate is melted and your bars are done cooling you can add on that final layer of chocolate! (About time!) Make sure this layer is thin and even. 

   11. Now place your bars back in the freezer, this time for only 10 minutes! 

    12. And you are done! Finally! Take a knife and cut it however you’d like.

I hope you guys try this recipe and you enjoy it! It’s the perfect dessert for anytime of the year. 

Let me know of any other recipes that I should try!

Have a great day!

Love, 

Coconut and white chocolate cookies

In preparation for our upcoming Christmas party, my sister and I have been practicing making cookies. Yes, we need to practice. I am in no way a strong baker, honestly I’m more likely to burn the cookies than to make anything edible.

But lo and behold! A super simple recipe that is fail proof! The ingredients included are basically all normal household staples besides probably the shredded coconut and white chocolate chips.

This recipe is definitely worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups of unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces of white chocolate chips (or however much you like)

Steps:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and have your baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  1. Mix together your flour, baking powder and salt. IMG_2754
  2. On medium speed mix together your butter and sugar until combined. IMG_2755
  3. Once your butter and sugar is creamed, on low speed slowly add in your flour, baking powder and salt mixture. (To do this we added in about 1/2 a cup at a time)
  4. Fold in your white chocolate chips.                                                                                            IMG_2757
  5. Refrigerate your dough for about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Once refrigerated, take tablespoon sized portions and roll them into a ball.IMG_2759
  7. Roll the balls in the shredded coconut.                                                                            IMG_2756
  8. Place the balls on your baking sheet.                                                                                          IMG_2763
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly brown.
  10. AND YOU’RE DONE! (let them cool down before you try!)IMG_2764

This recipe is super simple and the cookies came out better than I expected. I hope you guys try this recipe and if you do let me know! I’d love to hear about it. Or if you have other cookies that we could make for the holidays I would love to hear about that as well!

Have a great day!

Love,

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Best local spots in Augusta, Ga.

I have compiled a list of my favorite places in Augusta and the surrounding areas and made a perfect day out list!

I love local restaurants, stores and businesses in general. It’s nice to see hard working people and supporting them makes me feel like I’m helping their lives just a little.

Of course there are plenty of restaurants and stores all around Augusta but this is what my perfect day would consist of.

Breakfast:

Manuel’s Bread Cafe

On Saturdays and Sundays they offer brunch buffet and it is amazing. There are shrimp & grits, scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and tons of pastries.

IMG_9414

Lunch:

Pho Bac

Pho Bac offers authentic Vietnamese dishes and I always get their Pho, its amazing.

IMG_2719

 

Mid-day dessert:

Two Mom’s Kitchen

Two Mom’s knows good cookies! Their sugar cookies are made with almond extract which makes it so special.

IMG_2316

Date Dinner:

Frog Hollow Tavern

I have yet to take any photos of this amazing restaurant but they have Gouda mac and cheese which is too DIE for!

Drinks:

Craft and Vine

Craft and Vine is owned by the same people that own Frog Hollow and they have unique cocktails and AMAZING pizza!

Shopping: 

Final Cut

Final Cut is always a good idea.

Check out my previous post about this store.

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I have fell in love with Augusta because of places like these and others that I will post about in the future.

If you have any restaurants or stores that you love I would love to hear about it!

 

Love,

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