February 25, 2011

Friday's Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things:

Their work is really awesome... check it out!

Personalized!! Great Gift for your DOC.

Don't See your state (ie RI) ... she'll make it for ya. How cute?

Love this, cuz' you can use it year after year.
Plus Liz (of Linda and Harriett) has a 7 degrees of separation (well 1 degree)
so I like to plug her stuff!

February 24, 2011

Recipe of the Week: A filling soup for you!

I never really went to Venus de Milo at all until a few years ago (I know! What kind of Rhode Islander am I!) but my mom always made the soup...

The other day armed with some ground beef, a huge thing of frozen veggies and needing a recipe-- I decided a good filling soup was the way to go. I was thinking in the back of my mind of some recipe and then it came to me "venus de milo soup!". yum.  It was really good- -and there was so much of it-- that we had it for dinner, and I've had it everyday this week for lunch at work (and I still have some left!).
The total cost of this meal is about $10 bucks so it's worth it (my new thing is making food last on a smaller budget). Plus you can do it all in one pot (make sure its a big one)

I had to google a few recipes, and play with it a bit to get it right and here is what I came up with:
I assure you it doesn't look 1/2 as appetizing as it tasted!
Here's How to Make it:

1 lb Ground beef (I used 97% lean)
1 bag frozen assorted vegetable (use a classic mix like corn, peas, green beans..)
1 large (36 oz) can or box of chicken broth
1 can of beef broth (8 oz) <--- some recipes called for all beef or all chicken- I ended up using a mix because I thought all beef would be too salty and not the right taste but all chix. broth wasn't really what I was "going for"
2 cans diced tomatoes (some recipes called for stewed, its up to you. I liked that I didn't have to "cut up" the tomatoes and could just dump them in, thus saving time)
1 clove garlic
1 yellow onion

Brown the onion, add garlic, brown 1 minute.
Add ground beef and cook until browned

Slowly add beef broth- let this simmer about 5 minutes (clean up your work space, you know I'm big on that)
Add chicken broth
Add frozen veggies
Stir and let simmer about 20-25 minutes

Add in dice tomatoes- one can, then stir, then add the second
Add a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, and a dash or Italian seasoning (quick dash)

Stir it all up.

Let it simmer another 15 minutes or so before serving.

All in all it takes about an hour start to finish and you'll have an obscene amount of left overs :)

Wedding Photos

Last night's talk around the table with friends was about photos. I know previously I've shown some engagement shoot inspiration for really great photos. But then what about the wedding day? I pulled together a few great photos I've spotted. I looked for some that basically any bride could do, no matter where or when the wedding. Put these on you "must take" photo lists for your photogs....

this is my favorite shot. Its just about catching it at the right time

another reason to add "chapel length veil" to your list!

February 18, 2011

Etsy Love

I could talk about Etsy day in and day out. But, sometimes there is just SO much stuff to sort through.
I noticed my photographer starting posting some of her fav. etsy things she saw onto her FB page... and I thought "good idea!".

I went through and found some of my favorite wedding things and have them here for you to browse through- along with the Etsy shop you can find em' in.

Happy Etsy-hunting.









February 11, 2011

Bake it up!

I know I promised a fake it roast recipe this week, and I didn't fulfill that promise. Sorry- it was a super crazy week. I needed to grab a new car and on top of it met some knotties on Monday night for a GTG in Prov.

At any rate, not wanting to disappoint-- I had been searching for a non-typical fun thing to bake for Valentines day.

I think I found it in this recipe. Not only is the ingredient list short- they come out cute, and offer some red for the holiday!! A win win if you will. Ps. these are a recipe from Magnolia's bakery in NY

So here's the recipe:

Strawberry Squares Servings: 24 Size: 1 2-inch square Old Points: 3 pts WW Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 138.2 • Fat: 4.7g Protein: 2.1 g Carb: 21.7 g Fiber: 0.1 g

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup canned strawberry pie filling
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting 
  • baking spray
Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray Baking Pam in a 13 x 9- inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla. Add the flour and mix thoroughly.

Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.  With a small, sharp knife (or toothpick), score into twenty-four 2-inch squares.  Place a teaspoon of pie filling in the center of each scored square.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar before cutting and serving.

I can't give myself the credit for these- they came from Gina's Skinny Taste blog.
Head over there and check out the pics she took:

February 10, 2011

Save The Dates- Calenders

Discussion from some knotties on my month board (aug 2012) sparked some Save the Date ideas.

There are honestly a million cute ideas. And I have a few up my sleeve. I do think I want to incorporate a photo however...but that might change.

At any rate. Here are some cute ones I saw for "calendar" options. One is a DIY, and I've posted the link.

 It's really hard to narrow down what you love and pick. And I love these. Not sure they will make my final cut of the direction I'm going in, but that doesn't mean they aren't a top contender and also are soooo uber cute.

The Free template for this can be found on weddingchicks.com

It's Official

I got such a huge response to the necklaces that I made last week, and requests for them-- that I added them to my etsy shop. NOW... my etsy shop is WAY under construction. Don't mind the bad low-res image at the top, or that I have 3 items for sale. I want to make a plethora of bracelets and necklaces to start posting-- and may try my hand at some headbands as well. So for now here is the "early" unveiling to you guys. Once the shop is up and running in a little bit of a better format then I will "go public" (IE facebook lol)

Here's the link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lavitamigliore

New Lines Everywhere!

Wow, new bridal lines are popping up all over. JCrew extended their line, the New White line that I have highly advertised from Vera at DB, and now Anthropologie. They are coming out with a bridal line: bhldn.

Here is a link with some preview pics on their soon-to-be updated site: http://www.bhldn.com/

Also, the girls over at one of my favorite blogs: 100 Layer Cake were invited to sneak peak some of the goods. Take a look at this:

photos courtesy of 100 layer cake

February 8, 2011

Countdown Till' Vera Release 2 days!!

So a few weeks ago I received an email from DB stating that there is a "pre release" event on February 10th!!

It's just around the corner- two days away until I can get my hands on/touch/feel/embrace/love etc a White by Vera dress at DB.

Some photos are below of the entire line. You can see them on David's Bridal.com now under "Vera Wang-White"

I got an invite for the preview day a few weeks back- so if you are interested in attending just call your local store to find out if they have them coming in on the 10th and tell them you'd like to join in the madness too!

Here are some photos from the DB collection:

ps. I'd also like to mention that one of the above dresses is a STRONG contender for what I may wear on my wedding day :)


February 2, 2011

This week's Fake it

So it came to me today, while home on a "snow day". Ya know while I was "working from home"....it came to me when I was bored and decided to cook. That as someone "getting married" guess what, you will more likely than not come home and have to cook for 2.
No more PBnJ's and a bag of Doritos in front of the Bachelor. No more take out on speed dial...its time to start saving (you have big things on the horizon...houses, kids, traveling, etc)...so roll up your sleeves and start cooking! So i have decided to every week feature a "fake it, don't make it" dinner that I have made myself.

Disclaimer: By no means am I an excellent cook. But at some point you realize that you will not be able to eat what your fiance or husband can every night  ( I warn you now you can't... I learned this LATER rather than sooner--so be forewarned before your hips start expanding!)... But we do as a couple, sit down at a table and eat together usually about 5 times a week... and you start to realize that you want the person on the other side of the table to be happy with the meal--- but that doesn't mean having Mac n Cheese or pizza every other day.

For the last year and a half, I have perfected a few "fake it" recipes that are by NO MEANS at all garment- -but they got a good response from TJ and so I figured they'd become my staples... and now I will share them with you.  Believe me, if you have never lifted a wooden spoon before you can do these!! Think of your mom, she's probably a great cook right? But, you know what,...even SHE started somewhere.

So without further rambling.
 Today's Fake it Recipe: Penne Pink Vodka (in ode to my Bridesmaid Mox because it always reminds me of her.xo.)

Here is what you need:
1 Can tomato paste (the small one)
2 small -8oz-cans tomato sauce (I prefer Hunt's or Pastene btw)
2 oz vodka (think a shot glass, or a nip)
1 pint light cream (now here's the thing this will taste infinitely better if you use 1/2 cup HEAVY cream--but in the essence of trying to save some calories on this.. I use the whole pint of light cream-- I've never done the math to see the caloric difference though--so I wouldn't be astonished if there wasn't much of a difference)
Fresh Basil (you can do without, but it makes it feel so fresh an authentic)
Clove of Garlic
half of a small onion (sorry, I don't know, maybe that's 1/3 cup!?)
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
olive oil

Ok, so I don't really have measurements, but I promise you will understand what I mean if you follow along.
Put a drizzle (ok so figure like 2 tsp) of olive oil in your pan...
Add the clove of garlic chopped
Add the onion

Keep pan on medium and saute.

Next, Take the two tomato sauce cans and add them to the mix. Turn stove to low

On low, stir and add in tomato paste.

Let it sit on low for a few minutes (this is when I clean up the onion peels and throw away your tomato sauce cans-- see multitasking...

Now measure out your vodka

Add the vodka. Stir it around for a bit... on low
Now, add the cream little by little. I do a bit of it at a time. Again, not sure how much-- just drizzle it... maybe like 1/4 of the pint at a time... got it?

Ok now.. here's the big thing. Add in a BIG dash of Italian seasoning...Like shake it out of the container 4-5 times.. big shakes

Add one shake of Garlic powder

Add one Basil leave. Cover and let this simmer on low-- you know, throw in the laundry do whatever....
(I'm writing this post while mine simmers)

Test it.. You will know right away if you need more vodka if you can't taste it. Sometimes I add a bit more olive oil and a little bit of vodka-- again like one shake of the bottle....

Then you get this:

I put it over Penne (I prefer smart taste...less calories..)
Add some fresh grated cheese.. a good cheese goes a long way
add a basil leave chopped on top and you have a "fancy" dinner for two-- cheaper and better than eating out and he will think your sooo grand and  a fancy cook :) Promise.

NEXT WEEK's FAKE IT: A Roast (yes like a legit Roast.. and I promise you can do this)