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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Bridesmaids dress alternative

We’ve all heard it before when it comes to bridesmaids dresses:

“What you’ll love most about this dress is that you will be able to wear it again.”

Sure.  I love my girlfriends and all, but I’ve never been able to find another occasion to wear any of my bridesmaids dresses.  Not to mention the crazy costs that go into buying a dress that you didn’t pick out and getting it altered.  Geesh, it becomes expensive to be a bridesmaid!

So for our wedding, I wanted to do something different.  I really did want to give them a dress they could rewear, starting with, letting THEM pick out the dress.  I gave them a swatch, and a few style options and asked them to tell me what their favorite choices were.  I also didn’t want them to spend an arm and a leg for it, so where did I go?

Forever 21.

Yes, Forever 21.  No one’s dress was more than $30-$40.  My goal was to give them a fun and flirty date night dress.  I also let them pick out their own shoes and necklace.  I wanted it to be about them, what style they felt comfortable in, and to buy stuff they liked and could reuse.

No longer do you need to go only to a bridal store to find all your bridal parties outfits.  Even Stephen, he wore a suit from Express after the unflattering choices we found at a men’s tuxedo rental place.  So, you just never know what you will find at the mall for your wedding.

Trader Joe’s Turkey Grain

Now living in Jacksonville, I do miss a few things from California that I put at the top of my list each time we visit Southern California. One of these things we’re lucky to have brought to our new home thanks to my Mom. This is Turkey Grain! I remember being in a Trader Joes in San Diego one day after church when they were sampling this amazing dish! We find ourselves eating it at least once a week and we’d love to share it with you today!

In order for this dish to work you’re going to need only 3 main items. These items are Trader Joe’s Harvest Gain, Jenny-O Ground Turkey and General Tso’s Sauce.


The Harvest Grain can only be purchased at Trader Joe’s. Dear Trader Joes, please come to Jacksonville!!!! The Ground Turkey & Iron Chef General Tso’s Sauce can be found at your local supermarket. Here are the directions:

Step 1: Bring a pot of water on the stove to a constant boil. Put half of the Grains bag into the pot. Stir a few times. Let it come back to a boil. After it is back to a boil. Let it boil for 10 min.

Step 2: While the pot is coming back to a boil. Cook the ground turkey on the stove and get it into as many small ground pieces as possible.

Step 3: After 10 min of boil. Pour water out of the pot. Then put it into the pan with turkey. Mix it all together.

Step 4: Pour the entire bottle of General Tso’s sauce into the grain and turkey. Stir and let it simmer for 10 min while stirring every 2 min.

Congratulations! You have successfully created Turkey Grain!

To add something fun to the mix, Scarlett came up with the idea of adding some chopped up asparagus! It makes it 10x better!

If you do end up making this, please let us know and post a photo of it on our facebook page!!

Sarah & Kyle are Married! // Jacksonville Wedding Photographer

As we drove across the bridge to Club Continental, the rain started to pour down. By the time we arrived, the weather had cleared up beautifully for Sarah & Kyle’s wedding day. I’ve always said, God shines on wedding days and always seems to clear it up somehow. Walking into Sarah’s getting ready room and her composure the whole day, I kept telling her, “You are the calmest bride I’ve ever seen.” She didn’t want to stress. She just wanted to simply enjoy her wedding day. Though it was a hot and muggy August day, the wind swept in to provide a breeze for their ceremony next door at the Winterbourne Inn. With the hanging oak trees surrounding the venue and the wrap around porch, Sarah & Kyle’s wedding had a sweet Southern charm to it as they celebrated the night away in the old historic home. Sarah & Kyle’s unconditional love was inspiring to witness, and we had a blast laughing at all of Kyle’s funny one-liners throughout the day.

Congrats Sarah & Kyle!! Here’s our favorites from the day!

Courtney & Andrew are engaged! // Jacksonville Engagement Photographer

While Andrew was at college at University of Florida, Courtney was visiting some friends and met Andrew during her visit. They instantly hit it off and have been dating mostly long distance ever since. Then Andrew went in the Army and got orders that starting next week, he will be stationed in Afghanistan for a year. Back in April, they actually already eloped so they could be married before Andrew headed overseas, but are planning a big wedding for when Andrew returns next year. Andrew wanted to leave Courtney with some fun photos of their love that she can enjoy while they endure the life of a military couple in the coming year.

Here’s some of our favorites from their cowboy themed photoshoot!

Our chalkboard wall.

It’s been a little over 4 months, and every day of being married, we’re still realizing what a beautiful gift marriage is from the Lord.

One of our favorite things in our newlywed house is our chalkboard wall in our bedroom.  We wanted to create a place in our house where we can surprise each other with fun silly encouraging notes to each other.  With all the pre-marital books we read during the time of our engagement, we learned how important it is to continue building each other up once you become husband and wife.  So when we learned that you can buy chalkboard paint, we decided to dedicate a whole wall to have as a sacred place we can continue to remind each other how much we love each other.

What’s something you can do today to remind your loved one how much you love them?  It’s the little things that go a long way.