I don’t know about the rest of you, but my man is HARD to buy for.  He tends to purchase the things he wants/needs on his own. Anything else he wants is technology related and seriously buying computer gadgets or as he says “nerd books” isn’t that much fun for me.  Annnnddd clearly getting him a gift is all about me, right?!?! Hahaha.

Personally I am not a huge fan of giving (or receiving) big gifts on valentines days.  All I really want is a card and some roses, which is totally reasonable if you ask me. :)  Valentines day is the perfect time to buy something fun for your plus one.  Here are a couple of my favorites present ideas …

Collar Stays

I got the husband collar stays from red envelope for Christmas and all I can say is they were a BIG hit.  Kind of fun and flirty and oh so perfect for a holiday based around being in love.

Steampunk Cufflinks

The hubby gave these to his groomsmen at our wedding as bridal party gifts.  Everyone loved them and I’m convinced they would also make a fabulous vday gift.  There are a number of cufflink designs looks sold on Etsy.

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

Cordless Helicopter

Given to my husband by his parents for Christmas.  Unfortunately I can’t take credit for this gift idea. He definitively enjoys playing with the helicopter, but Sophi (the dog) keeps him from doing so more often than not.  Sophi barks at the moving object and then immediately runs for cover … it is pretty hilarious!

And some additional ideas:

Happy Gift Giving and Happy Valentines Day (soon)!!

xoxoxo

My friend invited us over for Sunday football and was already planning on making all the classic football foods.  After sitting on the couch debating on what I should bring, I decided on hummus. It is healthy, yummy and I can snack on it for the whole game without getting sick of it. :)

I took a number of different recipes from online and came up with this yummolicious hummus!!  It is a prefect party item, appetizer or food to bring to a football viewing.

Here’s how the hummus comes out and it takes less than 15 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

2-3 garlic cloves
2 cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved (save a couple of chickpeas for garnishing)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 lemons squeezed
2 tablespoons liquid from the chickpeas
Olive Oil

Put all the ingredients in the food processor (except the olive oil).  Start processing and slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil at a time.  Unfortunately when I made the hummus this afternoon I eye balled the olive oil until it looked/tasted right.  If you’ve purchased hummus from the store or ordered it at dinner you will have no problem with assessing if you’ve added enough olive oil.

Once it is done place it in a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes or more.  The hummus can be served chilled or at room temperature.  It tastes great with pita bread, carrots, chips or really any vegetable.

Add a little paprika and the chickpeas you reserved as a garnish.  You can also add a little extra olive oil on top if desired.

Happy Cooking!!

We got engaged in October and by the time we found our photographer, signed the contract and thought about scheduling our e-session it was FRRRREEZING outside.  After giving it some thought we decided to wait until April to do our engagement photos.

A larger number of people use their e-pics on their save the dates (STDs).  Since our save the dates went out priority to even booking the photographer we were going to have to find other ways to use the pictures.  When we received our ~120 engagement photos I started wondering what we were going to do with all these pictures.

We did the typical print a few and put them up around the house as well as place a few favorites on the wedding website.  But it just didn’t feel like enough and I started to think there just HAD to be more we could do with all these cutsie pictures.

I found five fun ways to take advantage our engagement pictures!

All of the engagement photos were taken by Korie Lynn Photography

1.  Guest Book

Part of our photography package included a guest book.  The hubby and I chose our favorite pictures and then our photographer designed and printed the book for us.  If it isn’t included in your photo package it’s a super easy DIY project.  Photobooks can be created on Shutterfly, MyPublisher, SnapFish, Blur and the list of places goes on and on.

Check out our book:

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

2.  Framed Collage

We had a frame with pictures we weren’t loving anymore.  We printed our top 9 photos and voila …

3.  Table numbers!

I had serious issues trying to decide what to do about table numbers.  I thought about naming each table a Washington Monument, wine bottles, luminaria with numbers and gosh probably a dozen other things.

In the end we picked our favorite engagement pictures added numbers with Photoshop … printed the pictures and purchased some plastic picture frames.  It was a super easy DIY and pretty cheap too if you ask me.

Looks pretty … right?!

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

4.  Thank you cards

These were a HUGE hit with our friends and family.  We chose two different pictures and used Photoshop to add “Thank you” to the images.  I ordered them from Shutterfly, however like the guest book there are a ton of places you can order customized photo thank you cards.

5.  Custom Stamps for the wedding invitation

I wish I could take all the credit for this idea, but my mom really pushed me to follow through on this idea.  I had toyed with buying custom stamps for the invitations, however I wasn’t sure if it was worth the extra money.  In the end I decided it would be fun and I ordered the custom stamps from Zazzle.com.  The stamps come in three different sizes so you have your choice of how big you want the stamp to be.

Tip: Make sure to take the invitation to the post office prior to buying the custom stamps so you know what postage rate you will need to purchase.

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

So there are my engagement picture tidbits.  How have you (or your friends) used engagement pictures?

Happy Planning and DIY!

Brrrrr it’s cold out there and today was the first snow fall of the year!!!

Cold weather = chili night at our house and to be specific turkey chili!  My husband swears he’s going to be made of turkey, because of how many turkey based meals I make. LOL. He cracks me up.

Now I’m not saying by any means that I don’t like beef, but in things like chili using turkey or beef doesn’t make a difference to me.  Turkey is lower in fat so I often use it instead of beef.  You can totally use beef if that’s your preference with this recipe.  Either way it will taste great … in my humble opinion. :)

**This recipe was updated on November 4, 2014**

Ingredients:

1.25 pounds ground turkey
1 can chili beans in medium spicy sauce (not drained)
1 can dark red kidney beans (drained)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juice)
1 can tomato paste
1 large onion (chopped)
1 red bell peppers (seeded  &  chopped)
⅓ jalapeno pepper (seeded & minced – use less if you don’t like things spicy)
4-6 cloves or 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
½ cup beer (or substitute in water)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less to taste)
½ teaspoon paprika

Chop the red pepper and drop it into a big enough pot to hold all of chili.   I like to add a little vegetable oil to make the veges soften quicker.  Then chop your jalapeno, garlic and onion and drop those in as well.  Saute until they are tender.

In a pan over medium-high heat ground turkey.  Break into small pieces and cook until browned. Drain off any excess fat.

Once the vegetables are cooked add the turkey (or beef) to the big pot.  Next, add in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and beer (I usually use water and to me it tastes the same).  Then add chili beans (with the sauce), kidney beans, fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste.

Season with chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour stirring occasionally.

Makes 6 servings.  If you have left overs it makes for a fabulous lunch the next day or later in the week!

I served it with homemade corn bread and it was YUMMY!

Happy Eating!

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While wedding planning I found a blog on Weddingbee about photo-sharing.  The idea is guests upload their personal photos from the evening and it’s shared with everyone who attended the wedding.  Since I am absolutely obsessed with pictures, I figured this was a must have for our wedding.

I initially planned on creating the business card (using VistaPrints) as the blog describes and placing one on each person’s table with the menu card.   Then I could use the extras as reminders in the thank you cards.  However they came back with a TYPO (total fail on my part) so they went into the trash.  In the end I decided to make the escort card and photo-sharing card one in the same.

Check them out:

DIY Wedding Escort Cards, Table Tents | Life's Tidbits

DIY Wedding Escort Cards with Photo Sharing | Life's Tidbits

I purchased Avery Small Tent Cards, 2 x 3.5 Inches and downloaded the free template on Avery.com.  Although figuring out how to feed the paper through the printer so everything was facing the right way proved to be difficult the end result was exactly what I wanted!

I used the filigree images from our wedding invitations (also DIY) and the calligraphy font (which we downloaded for free) initially for the envelopes.  Reusing details from our other paper wedding products made the escort cards match the other paper items.

Cost: Avery Small Tent Cards ~$18 (plus cost of ink for printer) … pretty cheap if you ask me!

A couple of tips:

  • SPELL CHECK, spell check and have someone else spell check it too!
  • use regular paper white paper and print in gray scale for test pages.
  • mark which way the paper should be fed for each section very clearly.
  • set your printer to “high” quality instead of standard.  although this uses up more ink the difference, in my opinion, it totally worth it.
  • buy a bigger pack of escort cards then you think you will need.  inevitably you will have to reprint a couple for whatever reason:)

Here’s how the cards looked all set up and ready to go:

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

Photo Credit: Korie Lynn Photography

Happy DIY!

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