Here comes the bridal shower gifts

So this weekend I attended my first bridal shower and unlike most stereotypes, it was actually really fun and a far better experience than I could have even hoped for. It actually was a display shower, which I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the difference between that and a bridal shower before hand but now I am well aware and completely support display showers over bridal showers any day!

So for those of you like me who have no idea about all these crazy wedding traditions, let me give you some background.

A bridal shower is a traditional party prior to the wedding where female friends, family, and soon to be family come to watch the soon to be bride open presents and dote on how lovely her new kitchen appliances are. Sometimes there is food, sometimes games, but most of the time they are usually rather boring except for the bride and her mom.

A display shower, in my personal opinion, is a far better approach to this tradition. Instead of spending hours opening presents, the guests are asked to bring their gifts unwrapped. They are placed on the table and left for others to gander at at their leisure while the main focus is on food, chatting, and party games.

Although the traditional “bow hat” may not always arise with a display shower, good bridesmaids never let that humiliation not exist and will scrounge one up or have a back up just incase.

The display shower I went to ended up being a blast. Mostly because my table was occupied with highly entertaining folk. They all had an excellent sense of humor, made games competitive, and the conversation was fun. The food was great, the prizes were themed baskets made by the bridesmaids so were actually were worth winning, and tensions were low because none of us really had anything to do with the wedding except attend and be happy for the couple.

The best part however was hands down when the groom surprised the bride. Generally the groom does not attend the shower and stops by at the end to help bring the gifts home (if it is not hosted at the house). However this particular groom raised the standard. Instead, he came in all dressed up, brought roses and surprised the bride. He individually welcomed and thanked everyone for attending and then helped clean up and take everything home. Sure it was at the end of the shower but still, what a classy act.

So what do you say? Display shower? Must be bridal shower? What’s your family’s tradition? What did you do or plan to do?

Aside from the few random prizes I won, the party favors were these hand made soaps. I thought it was a cute pun. Soap from a shower!

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“They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”

I’ve been dying to do a little baking lately, and I figured a Sunday afternoon would be perfect. Would’ve been better if it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, but alas, busy day or not, baking was completed. As you may have noticed at one of our earlier posts, I like to use locally made jams/preserves in my baking/drinks/cooking…anything, really. Maybe it’s because I for some reason have so many of them? Regardless, expect to see more of these in the future. Next time potentially with a rose petal cake. If anyone has suggestions for things to do with rose petal jam, please leave them in the comments. I’d love to get ideas!

Meanwhile, today’s baking! I was in the mood for thumbprint cookies, and had marmalade lying around. Switched out plain marmalade for lemon, and amped up the cookies with some cinnamon, and we were in business!

My roomies gobbled about a half dozen of them up already. It’s still summery, but I think the cinnamon brings it to be a bit more of a fall-transition cookie (not just applicable to wardrobes! 😉 haha)
Check it out below and let me know what you think.

xo SA

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1 cup butter, sliced (2 sticks)
¾ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 c lemon marmalade

Cream together the butter and sugar, then slowly add the other ingredients (minus the marmalade). Once all mixed, place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies at 350`F for 8 minutes and then take them out of the oven. Make a thumbprint in the middle of each cookie and place a small dollop of marmalade. Then place back into the oven for another 5-7 minutes, or until the cookie is done.

Cheers to that!

You should all know by now that I’m the queen of fun cocktails. Whether they be classics reinvented or something I’ve whipped up out of boredom, I’m always one to experiment with my liquor. Given that my roommate is part Peruvian part Chilean, you should’ve expected this recipe to come sooner or later..
For those of you who have never had the chance to experience Pisco Sours, I highly suggest you do. ASAP. All the ingredients should be found at your local liquor/grocery store, you will just have to dig a bit.

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Some history on the drink for you courtesy of our friends at wiki:

The cocktail originated in Lima, Peru, and was invented by Victor Vaughn Morris, an American bartender, in the early 1920s. Morris left the United States in 1903 to work in Cerro de Pasco, a city in central Peru. In 1916, he opened Morris’ Bar in Lima, and his saloon quickly became a popular spot for the Peruvian upper class and English-speaking foreigners. The Pisco Sour underwent several changes until Mario Bruiget, a Peruvian bartender working at Morris’ Bar, created the modern Peruvian recipe of the cocktail in the latter part of the 1920s by adding Angostura bitters and egg whites to the mix.
In Chile, historian Oreste Plath attributed the invention of the drink to Elliot Stubb, an English steward of a ship named Sunshine, who allegedly mixed Key lime juice, syrup, and ice cubes to create the cocktail in a bar, in 1872, in the port city of Iquique, which at that time was part of Peru. The original source cited by Plath attributed the invention of the whiskey sour to Stubb, not the Pisco Sour. The oldest known mentions of the Pisco Sour are from a 1921 magazine attributing Morris as the inventor and a 1924 advertisement for Morris’ Bar published in a newspaper from the port of Valparaíso, Chile.
Chile and Peru both claim the Pisco Sour as their national drink, and each asserts exclusive ownership of both pisco and the cocktail. Peru celebrates a yearly public holiday in honor of the cocktail during the first Saturday of February. The two kinds of pisco and the two variations in the style of preparing the Pisco Sour are distinct in both production and taste. Thus the Pisco Sour has become a significant and oft-debated topic of Latin American popular culture.

And most importantly, the recipe…

In a blender, mix:
1 egg white
3/4 c sugar
1 c pisco liquor
7-8 large ice cubes

Once blended, add in 1/2 c freshly squeezed lime juice, and blend once more.
(note: the traditional way is to use key limes, however regular ones work just as fine)

Pour in to glasses and add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

each batch makes about 5 servings.

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They look good, right?
If you’ve never had them before don’t let the raw egg white freak you out! You don’t taste it, I promise 🙂

Enjoy!

xo SA

When I leave, I brush my teeth with a bottle covered in shellack

A few days ago, I received a free water bottle from Victoria’s Secret with a pink purchase. Don’t get me wrong, I do love VS for many reasons but I was very disappointed with this gift. The picture in the coupon showed a little dog inside then bottle and I was under the impression that it would be like a refreezeable ice cube that I could keep in there but I was mistaken. Unfortunately, the dog is a cloth toy that really serves no propose and can’t even be used to be jewelry stand due to its size. The bottle was also the most plain, boring, simple bottle I had ever seen. Sure it was free and a nice size but of course I had to change the the fact that it was so plain.

While I have always stickered and doodled on my bottles and nalgenes, I wanted to tackle this bad boy a little differently.

Along with the useless dog, the bottle came filled with mirror/metallic confetti so I decided to give it some life instead of throwing it away.

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It was a little hard to photograph because of the reflective quality and fact that it was empty but I hope you get the idea.

Have you redecorated your bottles? Tips? Or better, send us pictures!

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.”

You may want to rethink your next happy hour….We’ve all heard about the effects of drinking, and especially the toll it takes on our bodies long-term. Of course, by the end of our college days, we come to this conclusion ourselves to some extent (your first 2-day hangover will do this to you), but what effect does this REALLY have on us? And in particular, our outward appearance. In our twenties and thirties we frequently see older adults who look aged as a clear sign of drinking, but most of us assume we probably aren’t partying as hard as them…but are we really?

Well, in an effort to cut down on excessive drinking, the government of Scotland has released a new app aimed at mhealth, specifically with regards to how alcohol, over a ten year time period, can change your outward appearance. While many consumers may not binge drink, the frequent glass of wine with dinner or at happy hour with friends still adds up over time, and this is meant to bring attention to that fact. The app is called “Drinking Mirror”, and I highly encourage you to invest in the 99cent download. At the least, it’s a great thing to bring to the pub and keep your friends amused for hours. But really, it will have you seriously rethink that second glass of wine this weekend. I for one was horrified with my results.

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Based on what you know of the effects of heavy drinking, do you think this app is an accurate account of what you’ll look like in 10 years? Will it change your drinking habits?

xo SA