Tuesday, March 24, 2015

#MarryingAMariotti...Part 2: JG's Bridal Shower

I am sure many of you have noticed that it has been fairly quiet around these parts for the past couple of weeks.  My apologies for that, but sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging.  And by life getting in the way of blogging I mean that I have barely had time to breathe.  Although life has been crazy, it has been filled with some wonderful moments that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

Last month we celebrated JG at her bachelorette party and this month we were lucky enough to celebrate her again at her bridal shower.  The shower was held at The New American Bistro in Folsom, PA.  We had the entire place to ourselves for the morning and were able to set up for an amazing shower.

Brunch buffet set up




Of course the shower wasn't a surprise to JG... we all know how she likes to be prepared for things and how she would want to be dressed appropriately, so she did know what was going on.  BUT that didn't stop her from pretending to be surprised when she came in the front door.

We had a great time with brunch and mimosas followed by a delicious lunch.  After lunch it was time for games, presents and of course lots of picture taking with the bride-to-be!!


The beautiful bride to be with the bridal party

The bride-to-be with her mom
These ladies are part of the reason I survived down here when I first moved down here!
The bride-to-be and her maids of honor
The Original Three
JG was definitely showered with love by all who attended and we can't wait to head to Mexico in a few weeks to watch JG and DM tie the knot!!

Do you have any fun events coming up to celebrate friends or family?

Monday, March 23, 2015

#ILoveAdoreMe

I received these products from AdoreMe complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  All thoughts and opinions on the product are my own.

When I found out I was getting the Influenster #XOVoxBox that came with the ability to try AdoreMe I was thrilled.  I mean what girl doesn't love getting to buy new bras and underwear... and I was going to get a set to review on my blog... to me that was a win, win situation.  

When I first heard about AdoreMe I was a little nervous that they weren't going to have anything cute in my size.  Those of you who are bigger chested definitely know the struggle of trying to find lingerie that fits well, looks good, and also makes you feel good.  And those of us who are bigger chested also know that a lot of specialty stores (think Victoria's Secret) mostly cater to smaller women, so my skepticism may have been a bit warranted.  So imagine my surprise when I started to look around the AdoreMe site and found that there were a ton of cute options to choose one... making it really hard to choose just one set to review! 

Some of the fun options bigger chested women have to choose from... these were my favorites
... & the winner is....
Once I finally made my purchase I was of course super anxious for it to get here.  I definitely didn't need to worry about it getting here in a timely manner as I placed my order on a Monday, it shipped on Tuesday, and it was here by Thursday!  Talk about quick turn around time!! And the best part about it was that I didn't even have to pay for expedited shipping... AdoreMe items all ship withing 3-5 business days.  

Everything fit perfectly and it was seriously so nice to get something that made me feel cute instead of making me feel frumpy like most bras you get at the store for bigger chested women.   I love that I was able to finally find a bra that is not only supportive, but looks great too (& doesn't break the bank... each set is only $39.95 for VIP members)!! Not that anyone besides me knows that I am wearing a cute bra, but there is just something about knowing that I have something fun on that makes me feel so much better about myself... and let's face it ladies, feeling good about yourself is definitely half the battle!!

Besides selling awesome bra and panty sets, AdoreMe also has some great sleepwear, swimwear and other fun items.  I will definitely be ordering from AdoreMe in the future and looking forward to each and every order!!

These pjs look super comfy!!
Perhaps for Mexico?
Because I love you all, I am giving you the opportunity to purchase your first set of lingerie from AdoreMe for only $25!!  That's right, you can get a matching set for just $25!! Just use my referral link here and you will be able to get your first set from AdoreMe for $25... and that my friends is a steal!! How many places can you get an adorable matching lingerie set for only $25?! Not many!! And when you sign up to be an AdoreMe VIP (for no additional charge...  you just have to look at your showroom between the 1st and 5th of the month and either make a purchase or choose to skip the month) you get discounts on their site ALL YEAR LONG!! 

Thank you Influenster for introducing me to AdoreMe!! I think I have found a lifetime friend and I wish I had known about them sooner! 

Do you have any products or companies you have been introduced to that you wish you had known about sooner?


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Different Take on a Classic Recipe... Cheesy Stuffed Meatloaf

Growing up as a kid I was never a huge fan of meatloaf.  I always thought it tasted funny and I needed more mashed potatoes than you could ever imagine to just cover up the taste of it.  Fast forward to adulthood and I still don't like meatloaf all that much, but one day my mom decided to make a cheese stuffed meatloaf for us and it was then that I decided that meatloaf wasn't that bad.  One of the things that I LOVE about this recipe is that it is one of those that has a bunch of suggested ingredients, but is one where you can basically throw whatever you want in the mix to make it your own.

So without further ado... here is a delicious recipe for cheese stuffed meatloaf!!



Cheesey Stuffed Meatloaf

Ingredients:
Ground Beef
Bread Crumbs
Garlic Powder
Seasoned Salt
Seasoned Pepper
Parsley
Worcestershire Sauce (I only used 2 shakes because I am not a huge fan of the taste of this, but need it for the consistency)
1 Egg
Sliced Cheese (I used Sharp Cheddar and Colby Jack... pre-sliced from the grocery store of course)
*Anything else you want to add*
I added:
     Parmesean Cheese
     Paprika
     Red Pepper Flakes




Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease meatloaf pan.
3. Add all ingredients to mixing bowl.  *Note: there are no amounts to any of the ingredients because it is basically all done to taste. You can add as little or as much as you want to the meat*


4. Mix together.


5. Add half of the meat mixture to the pan.


6. Spread slices of cheese evenly over the meat.


7. Top with remaining meat.


8. Bake at preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (since getting a new meatloaf pan we have only been baking it for 45 minutes, but prior to the new pan we cooked it for closer to an hour)
9. Enjoy!


Do you think meatloaf is a classic comfort food? Do you have any fun takes on meatloaf?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

#tbt... TSO Concert

A few years ago I was having a really hard time coming up with something to get Mark for our anniversary and ended up deciding to get him tickets to a TransSiberian Orchestra concert as a gift.  I wasn't sure if he would like it, but I was hoping that the combination of the music and special effects would be a fun time for both of us.  Plus, for those of you who know me, you know that for our anniversary I really enjoy getting gifts that we can use together.  Let's just say that the TSO Concert did NOT disappoint and I think that at some point in the future I would really like to try to get tickets to see them again!!











And of course this post wouldn't be complete if I didn't share a video (or 2) of our experience with you!! 



Seriously.. the music, lights, sound effects, fire, etc. did NOT disappoint and I can't wait until we have an opportunity to go see them again!! 

Have you ever seen TSO in concert? What is the best concert you have ever been to?


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Blogger 2 Blogger Book Club: The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Much like my post yesterday, I am going to start with apologizing for being late to the link up party for this, but I don't like to post Friday-Sunday, so when the link up falls on a Friday I am almost always going to be late to the party.  The sad thing is, this is the FIRST month since I started participating in this book club that I actually finished the book on time, so I could have actually linked up on time if I had written a post on a Friday.  

Anyways, for February the Blogger to Blogger Book Club book was The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks.  I hadn't read a Nicholas Sparks book in a while, so I was excited to give this book a try.  I used to be a sucker for anything by Sparks and the fact that I knew this book was being made into a movie made it a good choice for a book club book in my eyes! So today I am linking up with Kelly over at Kelly's Kinda Crazy for the #Blog2BlogBC linkup!! 

{via}
The Longest Ride tells the love story of Ira Levinson along with the love story of Sophia and Luke.  Though their love stories span different time periods, they three of them become linked together in a way you wouldn't have imagined.

Ira is a 91-year old war veteran who is still mourning the loss of his wife Ruth when he gets into a horrible car accident which sends his car careening off the side of the road.  He finds himself stuck in his car for days with his only comfort being the memories of his wife.  Ira can sense Ruth in the car with him, and having her spirit there... reliving all their good memories together... helps him to stay alive until he can be rescued.

While Ira is reliving his life with Ruth, Sophia and Luke are in the process of falling in love despite their very different backgrounds.  Sophia is a senior at Wake Forest majoring in Art History... she is originally from New Jersey and is the daughter of hardworking immigrants.  Then you have Luke.  Luke is your stereotypical cowboy... from the fact that he lives and works on a ranch, to the fact that he rides bulls competitively to make some extra money.  The two meet at one of Luke's competitions and the rest is history.  After Luke protects Sophia from her crazy ex-boyfriend the two end up spending lots of time together and end up falling in love despite their many differences.  

One day as Luke and Sophia are returning from a trip to the cabin, Luke discovers Ira's car that has run off the road.  While Sophia calls 9-1-1 for backup, Luke tries to do what he can to make sure that Ira is ok.  Eventually help arrives and Ira makes it to the hospital where Luke and Sophia wait to make sure he is ok.  Although Ira does not make it, he will end up being entwined in Luke and Sophia's life for many years to come.  

When I first started reading this book I wasn't really sure how I felt about it or if I was even going to like it.  I knew that I had enjoyed Nicholas Sparks books in the past, but just wasn't getting the best vibe from this book at the very beginning.  THEN I discovered that one of the main characters, Sophia was a Chi Omega from New Jersey who was in the process of falling in love with a country boy and I was pretty much sold.  Now you may not think that those 3 things have much in common, but basically they describe my life... I am a Chi Omega... from New Jersey (not too far from where Sophia was from)... and I fell in love with (and married) a guy from the middle of nowhere.  The more I kept on reading, the more I could see some similarities between myself and Sophia and it made it really easy for me to relate to the characters in the book.  Plus, the more I read the more intrigued I was by Ira and Ruth's love story so I just didn't want to put the book down!!   This is definitely a book that I would recommend to others... especially if you are looking for a love story that you can relate to!

Now for the #Blog2BlogBC portion of this post!! This is where I answer a few discussion questions (3-5 according to the book club rules) regarding The Longest Ride.

one// Sophia and Luke come from very different worlds.  What do you think draws them to each other? Do you think opposites attract?

I guess I kind of addressed this in the review portion of this post, but the fact that Luke and Sophia come from very different worlds really has no bearing on their relationship.  I think they are drawn to each other because of their differences, but also because they both have many of the same values.  They both value hard work.  They both value their family.  They both value where they came from.  They both have goals and dreams.  Just because they come from different backgrounds does not mean that they can't have a successful relationship.  Obviously I definitely think that opposites attract because in some ways I married a guy is my opposite... but I think that is why we work.  Sure Mark and I have many of the same values... family, education, honesty, etc.... but we also have many differences... I enjoy going to see shows on Broadway for fun and he enjoys Sprint Car racing at the dirt track.  Can we do these activities together? Absolutely.  Being with someone is all about compromise and just because you are opposites does not mean that you can't enjoy what the other person enjoys... when you are with someone who is opposite you in some respects it helps you to grow as a person.  Yes Mark is my opposite, but he is also my other half... he is what completes me.  Two opposites can come together to make a whole. 

two// Ira decides to enlist in the air force in WWII, and returns unable to have children.  Because of this, he decides to break off his engagement with Ruth.  How does this affect Ruth and Ira's relationship? Would you have made the same decision?

When Ira came back from WWII unable to have children, he felt like he was unworthy of Ruth because he knew that she wanted to have a family one day.  The problem with all of this was that Ira didn't tell Ruth what was going on at first, he just wanted to end their relationship.  When he finally told Ruth what had happened with him, she was understandably upset, though I am not sure if she was more upset about the fact that they wouldn't be able to have children or because Ira felt he couldn't tell her up front what had happened to him.  Deep down Ruth knew that Ira was the only one for her and after getting over some of the hurt, she and Ira begin to renew their relationship.  If anything ever happened where Mark and I were unable to have children there is no way that I would leave Mark because of that.  Yes I want to have a family one day, and yes I want to have that family with Mark.  But if it turned out that we couldn't have kids on our own, that doesn't mean that we can't have a family together, it just means that we would have to explore other options for how to make our dreams of having a family come true.  Sure if I were in Ruth's position I would have been hurt that Ira felt he couldn't tell me what was going on at first, but that wouldn't make me stop loving him any less and wouldn't make me want to leave him because of that. 

three// Luke claims he needs to keep competing to save the ranch, but Sophia thinks he has other reasons.  Can you understand both positions?

I can definitely understand both positions in this argument.  Luke feels he needs to keep competing to save the ranch because he feels that he is the person who put the ranch in jeopardy in the first place.  Luke's guilt definitely plays a HUGE part in why he is doing what he is doing.  I also felt like through reading the book that Luke felt like other than the ranch he didn't have much to live for, so competing to save the ranch was one way to make sure that he wasn't living his life in vain.  When he met Sophia that all changed and the thought that he could perhaps die while riding finally started to sink in for him.  I also think that until he rode Big Ugly Critter again he wasn't going to stop riding.  He needed to face the one thing that had made his life a living hell and until he proved to himself that he could face the beast, he wasn't going to be satisfied.  

four// Ira makes the auction of his art collection his final letter to Ruth.  What does his decision say about the importance of sentimental value and monetary value? Did this book make you feel differently about your own life and the things you value?

Ira's decision to give the collection to the person who bought the portrait of Ruth shows that he valued sentiments and feeling over money.  Ira wanted to make sure that the art collection went to someone who was deserving and who would value it the way that he did.  Ira knew that there were many people out there who wanted the collection purely to say that they had this famous painting or that famous painting... but for Ira the art collection was so much more.  For Ira the art collection showed the journey of his life with Ruth and that is something that you can't put a monetary value on.  Memories have no monetary value, but memories can make us whole and keep us going even when we think we have nothing left to live for.  This book definitely reminded me that money isn't everything.  What is important is the memories that we are making.  Whether it is cooking dinner together at home on a Saturday night... going to a hockey game... watching a movie together on the couch... exploring a state park... going out with friends... we need to make the most of every moment and make the memories count! 


Have you ever read The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks? If so, what did you think about it?
Are you reading anything good right now? I am always looking for book suggestions!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Blogger Men Tell All - February Edition (Just a Little Late)

"I'm late. I'm late. For a very important date."

I fee like that should be my motto for all of these link ups because I swear every month I am explaining why I am late and can't actually link my post to the link up.  One month I will be on time for all of them, but February just wasn't that month for me.  Once again the end of the month has passed me by, BUT I am not going to give up an opportunity to interview the husband for a blog post, so we are just going to have TWO "Blogger Men Tell All" posts for March... the very late February one and then the March one!



one// What is your favorite winter hobby?
Mark: Snow.
Me: That isn't a hobby.
Mark: Everything about snow. Any activity involving snow. And hockey.

two// Did you do anything special for your blogger on February 14th?
Mark: I helped make you dinner.  I took you shopping for a gift that we couldn't get.

*Note* I desperately need a new winter jacket and we went shopping for one, but had more luck finding bathing suits than we did winter jackets... seriously, when did they stop selling winter jackets in the middle of winter?! Although I think part of the problem is I am allergic to down, so that kind of limits my jacket choices. 



three// What is your favorite candy?
Mark: Peeps.

four// Which Rom-Com would  you choose to watch while you snuggle up with your Valentine?
Mark: What?!
Me: I'm guessing you don't know what "rom-com" means?
Mark: Uh huh.
Me: Romantic Comedy
Mark: I don't know.
Me: Can I pick one?
Mark: I guess.

*I am pretty sure he would just let me pick one anyway lol*

five// Who, in your opinion, is the best U.S. President ever?
Mark: Teddy Roosevelt
Me: Why?
Mark: Why do I need a why?
Me: Because I want to know.
Mark: Because I said so.

Well, there you have it friends... another month of interviewing the husband!! Check back later this month for March's edition of "Blogger Men Tell All" and don't forget check out our fabulous linkup hosts, Samantha at The Samantha Life and Becca at Becoming Adorrable along with the blogs of some of the lovely ladies who participated in the February link up!!

Blogger Men Tell All

Monday, March 2, 2015

#MarryingAMariotti... JG's Bachelorette Weekend

After working a crazy week last week (& getting very little sleep) I was super excited for a weekend away with some amazing ladies to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of my bffs, JG.  JG got engaged last year and shortly after announcing her engagement asked me to be one of her bridesmaids.  I couldn't have been more thrilled to be asked to be a part of her special day (she was a part of my wedding, so I couldn't imagine not being there for her) and obviously said yes.

O3 does a wedding!!
BFFs at my wedding
Fast forward to this weekend, it was time to head down to Baltimore to celebrate her bachelorette.  After work I headed to JG's apartment to pick up her and KT for an O3 (Original 3... yup, that is what the 3 of us call each other) road trip!!! The trip down was fairly easy... until we drove past the hotel somehow and ended up in a sketchy area of Baltimore, but we eventually found our way and were able to get the party started!!






After a quick dinner of pizza and some drinks we headed out for Night #1 of fun in Baltimore.  We headed to a bar in Fells Point where we had a night full of dancing, drinks and overall good times.  I can't remember the last time I drank and danced that much... after all of the hours I have put in at work already this year I was in desperate need of a night like Friday!!  




Standard O3 bathroom picture


Saturday we didn't do too much as more friends were arriving during the day. We did venture out to Fells Point once again to grab some food before heading back to the hotel to get ready for Round 2!







Saturday Night we headed to Power Plant Live! where once again we were able to drink and dance the night away.  Saturday was incredibly fun and had the added fun of the "Bachelorette Dare" game.  Once we all had a few drinks in us we spent a lot of time completing our dares and taking lots of pictures to prove that we had done them! 

O3 ready for Night #2




The "Married Ladies" ... don't worry, we still got it and know how to have fun!!


We had such a fun weekend celebrating the bride-to-be and I can't wait for her bridal shower this month and her wedding next month in Mexico!!!

What did you do this weekend?

Today I am also linking up with Krista at The Quinntessential Mommy and Mandy at Odds and Evans for their Meet Up Monday Linkup!! So don't forget to check out their blogs as well as some of the fabulous others who have linked up today!!