Walnut Arugula Pesto + 5 Ways to Eat It!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

 Pesto! One of my favorite things to eat, one of my least favorite things to buy. I feel like it's so expensive for how little you get. The other day I discovered how easy it is to make your own and I'm never ever turning back. Plus, customized pesto is like Build a Bear for adults, right?!

You need the basics-- parmasean cheese, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic for each recipe but then the fun comes in! You can add any greens you want (spinach, basil, arugula, the possibilities are endless) + any nut you want (walnut, pine, cashew,  pistachio, peanut? Now I'm dreaming of a Thai pesto!) and any extras you may want to toss in. Today I'm keeping it simple but I'm already scheming up my next pesto for y'all.

 I used this Ninja Chopper to make our pesto and it was seriously a breeze! This was one of our amazing wedding presents we received and at first I was worried I wouldn't use it that often, so wrong. It's basically a smaller, easier version of my food processor. It's nice when I'm not needing to make a large bulk of things vs. my food processor I still use for hummus and things like that. If you don't have a Ninja Chopper or Food Processor, you can also use a blender! I highly suggest investing in a Ninja Chopper though, it's only $24!

Starting with arugula as your base makes for a peppery pesto, it pairs so well with the lemony notes. I love having pesto on hand for quick meals or an Italian date night. It's even better that it's great to make ahead! 

Makes 2 Cups
1 Cup Arugula 
1/3 Cup Walnuts
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Combine everything in your blender/chopper
2. Store in the fridge for up to a week

It's seriously that easy! I felt like I was cheating you out of a post with that little bit of instructions, so I'm also sharing five recipes that I love that include pesto. 

1. Naan Flatbread Pizzas -- For a fun and sweet twist, add sliced dried figs. SO YUMMY
 3. Mixed with Butternut Squash Ravioli -- I buy this one from Whole Foods and it's so yummy
4. Mixed in your scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes! 
5. Spread over chicken breasts with mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes and baked in the oven! One pan dinner happiness! 

I'm constantly finding new ways to use it, too. Last night I tried a baked cheesy pesto pasta and it was heavenly! I'll share the recipe here soon. If you try it out, I would love to know what you think or which combo you try! xo

Home, Please: Our Living Room

Monday, January 23, 2017

If you're anything like me, you are constantly thinking 'Next summer we will replace those tables, in the fall we will order a new rug'. It's a disease, y'all! I think it's worse since I'm home working so often, I'm always thinking Oh! I could move that there and that there and that there. But!!! I can finally walk into our living room and not feel like there are a million things I need to change. In fact, right now I can't think of anything I want to change. Sure with the changing of seasons, I may switch out a few pieces here and there --nothing major! 

If you've been following for a while now, you've seen our living room go from this to this to now this! The new couches we recently got, made our living room look so different that I had girl's thinking we moved to a new house! It's crazy how many different ways you can decorate a space. 

Looking back at the first time I shared our living room and it feels like foooorever ago! I cannot believe how far we came and how little money it took to get here! You won't believe how affordable these couches are, really I think you could purchase all the 'larger' pieces in our living room for under $1200! 

If you asked RJ what he cared about when decorating our living room, I can pretty much guarantee the main things he cares about: being comfortable while watching TV, something that makes sense with the dogs (we almost bought a navy couch but were worried about the dog hair showing up too much), and that I'm happy. 
When I was picking out pieces for our living room, I tried to make sure everything was neutral. I love the polished look of double couches, furs and mirrored accents. I added an edgy twist with mixed metals and statement pieces.

If you're trying to decorate/redecorate, be patient! It's a lot of work, takes a good chunk of money and won't happen over night. Save, save, save for pieces you want because they'll eventually become part of your memories! We've already had so many laughs on these new couches, and I love snuggling up on them! Can you believe both of these couches actually recline and go all the way flat for a full size bed?! One of our favorite things to do is pull the coffee table close to one and play board games all night. 
If you're trying to save money or even just go for a unique look, antique and thrift! Making something new again is fun and refreshing, plus saves major dollar bills.  

One of the main question's I get is 'How do I keep everything looking like this while living with a man?!'. Girls I hear ya! They're messy, they do the silliest things (I give RJ baskets for everything, yet everything always ends up next to the basket..why??), and they have five million cups. 
First. Coasters, lots of coasters! Second. That little box in the middle of our table holds all our remotes! It's become a life saver. Finding a spot for everything is huge for an easy clean up. Which leads to.. Third. I tidy up every night, it helps keep things from becoming overwhelmingly dirty and it's so nice to wake up to a clean home. If you spend about 15 minutes walking through your house picking up, it's so  easy to keep it clean.

I'm always so excited to share a peek into our home with you guys! I wish I could invite all of you babes over to snuggle up on the couch with the pups and Netflix binge-athon. If I could make one more big change I would replace our fan, we just don't use it that much in the den and I would love a pretty gold fixture! Since this isn't our forever home, I'm trying not to make any big changes just furniture and decor updates! I'm sure little things will change as the year goes on but I will be sure to share them all. xo 
Big Pieces: 
| Couches (6 colors, Under $350!!) | Coffee Table *On Sale | Chair *On Sale | Record Player Table (Refurbished Antique Sewing Table) | Floor Lamp  | Electric Heater | Gold Lanterns | Fur Blanket | Pillows: Fur *On Sale, Medallion *On Sale, Gold Polka Dot (Hobby Lobby) | Record Player | Mantle (1920's Antique) | Blanket Ladder (Made by Babe <3) | Rug *On Sale | Custom Dog Portrait |

End Tables: 
| Mirrored Tables *On Sale | Blue Round Vase

Coffee Table:

Bookshelf : 
| Bookshelf, I'm dying for this one | Google Home [℅] | Game Box | Face Planter | Square Vase (Holding my wedding bouquet!) |

Our Wedding: The Ceremony

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Last Wednesday, I shared the morning of our wedding day including our first look and getting ready. This week I'm so, so excited to share our ceremony! 

I originally planned our whole wedding, flip flopped.. I wanted to get married in the barn and have our reception in the courtyard area. The week of our wedding we had beautiful weather. 70 degrees and sunshine. The day before our wedding, the temperature started to drop. We rented heaters, but the temperature just kept dropping. The night before brought in rain, freezing temps and 16 mile per hour wind. I was so sad that everything I planned had to be completely redone two nights before our wedding, but the barn was beautiful and it would be better than all our guests freezing to death! 

About an hour before the ceremony started, the bridal party and groomsmen went separate ways. This was the last time I would see RJ until I walked down the aisle, so it was the perfect time to add my skirt to my dress. Since we did a first look, I wanted to change up my dress for the ceremony. I knew it would be the perfect way to surprise RJ and honestly I couldn't decide on just one dress! Since I was a little girl, I've doodled what I wanted my wedding dress to look like on the sides of my school papers. To see that vision come to life was incredible. This convertible dress is what I've always dreamed of and besides marrying RJ and having all our family and friends around us, the dresses were my favorite part. 

The ceremony started with Apple Cider Mimosas for the guest and guitar serenades. I love live music so it was an important detail to have a guitar player during our ceremony. I loved how his music sounded when we were booking him, but honestly I cannot remember what he sounded like the day of the wedding haha! He could have played heavy metal and I wouldn't have noticed. 

We wanted to keep our ceremony short and sweet. My husband was nervous about speaking in front of so many people and I was worried I would just being crying the whole time. Our officiant did an amazing job of delivering the exact ceremony we wanted. Light and easy, but still heartfelt and meaningful. My favorite part of our ceremony was praying over our hands. The prayer was to bless our hands that will help each other through good times and hard times, also praying for our hands that will hold and care for our children and praying for our hands that will care for each other when we're old. It was so sweet. 

During our ceremony, there was a surprise. We originally planned to have the dogs at the venue in the morning, and planned to have one of RJ's best friends take them home before the ceremony. We ended up not having time to take them home, but I didn't even know they were still at the venue. The boys were getting ready in the White House, so I never went in there! Before the ceremony Babe locked the dogs up in the front room. They could see us out the window, but I never noticed them. During our prayer, we kept hearing the front door to the house behind us opening and closing. It was so windy that day so I figured it was just the wind blowing the door. That's when we heard everyone starting to laugh. It wasn't the wind blowing the door open, it was the dogs opening it to sneak out! First, Dallas ran out and our coordinator grabbed him off to the side and placed him in the back door. A few minutes later, Doodle ran out and ran right to the bridesmaids! Dallas sure wasn't going to miss out on the fun, so he ran back out and ran right to the groomsmen. The way they ran exactly to the correct sides and just sat there was crazy. Neither of them made any noise or tried to run throughout the crowd, it's like they knew what was going on and had to be a part of it. Y'all know how much I love the dogs, I was so happy they made their way to our special moment. Everyone thinks we planned this but it was truly a surprise!

As soon as the ceremony was over, I felt so many emotions. We did it. We were married, after all the stress of planning our wedding, after five years of dating, after dreaming of this day my whole life.. we were married! I was so excited to celebrate with everyone and just enjoy the night with no more stress about how the wedding would go. Next week I'll be sharing our reception and also a breakdown of each of our vendors, what I liked about them and why I chose them. 

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