Fall Recipes: Pear Preserves

Pear Preserves Recipe

Homemade Pear Preserves Recipe

Pear Preserves Recipe

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My grandma (lovingly known in our family as Nina) and my mom have been making homemade preserves since I was a little girl. Fig, pear, blackberry… you name it! Each time I spent the night at my Nina’s house, she would make her homemade biscuits and serve them with her homemade preserves. I would eat until I was stuffed! They were always so delicious! This past weekend, my husband and I spent the weekend at his parents’ house and they have a beautiful pear tree on their property. We left with a giant bag full of beautiful pears! There is no way that the two of us could possibly eat all of these before they went bad, so I decided to make a couple of jars of pear preserves! I made a smaller batch since it is just the two of us, but you can easily make are larger batch for more jars. They are delicious and make for adorable gifts! I’m super excited to share a jar with my mom and mother-in-law! This was my first try at making preserves by myself and I am pretty pleased with how they turned out! Ready to get started? Here is what you need for this tasty fall recipe: 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • ½ Cup of Brown Sugar
  • ½ Cup of Water
  • 4 Cups of chopped or sliced pears
  • Canning Jars With Lids
  • Copper Chef
  • Giant Stockpot
  • Tongs
  • Towel

Pear Preserves Recipe

Let’s Get Cooking!

It is time to prep your jars! I will admit I struggled with this part. As I was on the phone with my mom and my Nina, I kept having them tell me how to do this part over and over! I purchased a 12 pack of Kerr Regular Mouth Jars. I was nervous doing this on my own for the first time; so I used this guide to help me with the process of preparing the jars and processing the jars once I filled them with preserves! Before you can put the preserves in your jars, you must boil the jars and the lids. I didn’t purchase any special tools or a pressurizer; I just used a deep saucepot and tongs to handle the hot jars. I boiled the jars for the recommended amount of time in the guide above and kept them in the hot water until I was ready to fill them with the preserves.

Pear Preserves Recipe Copper Chef

Add your chopped pears and water to your Copper Chef and bring to a boil. The Copper Chef made such a difference! The Cerami-Tech Non-Stick Deep Dish Pan made it so much easier to let all of the gooey goodness simmer without sticking to the pan! I highly recommend purchasing a Copper Chef ! I wanted to make sure my pears were super soft, so I had the pears boil for about 10 minutes before adding the rest of my ingredients. Just watch this closely and stir occasionally.

Add all sugar to the mixture and stir.

Leave uncovered and boil for 10 minutes. Bring heat down to a medium-low temperature and let simmer for 1 hour; stir occasionally.

Once your pears are soft and you have a thick consistency, add the pear preserves to your jars leaving about ¼ inch of space between the preserves and the lid. Your jars will be very hot! If you don’t have a cooling rack, I just used a pair of tongs to remove the jars from the pot of water and held them with a thick towel to fill them. If there are any air bubbles in the jar after you add your preserves, use a rubber spatula between the jar and the preserves to remove any air bubbles. Wipe off the edge of the jar and secure the lid on the jar. Repeat this step until all of your jars are filled.

Put your sealed jars back in the pot of hot water and make sure the water covers the jars completely. Bring the pot to a boil and boil the jars for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and move the pot off of the burner and allow the jars to cool in the water. Once the jars have cooled, have them sit upright for about 12 hours. If your jars have properly sealed, the middle of the lid will not pop up and down. I was so nervous that I didn’t’ do this part correctly because if they don’t seal, there will be bacteria growth! The next day, I tried to lift the lid with my fingers and I couldn’t! This means I had a good seal. Again, since I didn’t have my mom or Nina with me, I was super nervous about this part, so I kept referring to this helpful guide from Ball and Kerr.

Pear Preserves Recipe

We decided to go ahead and open one of the jars the next day because they just looked so yummy! When we opened the jar, we heard the pop sound that lets you know it was properly sealed! Success! These pear preserves turned out so yummy and I was super proud that I didn’t destroy these yummy pears on my first try. They are perfect to serve with gourmet cheeses and artisan bread for a dinner party and they are delicious with biscuits and scones! I added fabric and twine to the top of two jars to give as fall gifts to our mommas! I hope you enjoy!

Pear Preserves
Yields 3
Homemade Pear Preserves
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup of Sugar
  2. ½ Cup of Brown Sugar
  3. ½ Cup of Water
  4. 4 Cups of Chopped or Sliced Pears
Instructions
  1. Prep Your Jars (Refer to link in blog on how to do this)
  2. Add your chopped pears and water to your Copper Chef and bring to a boil. Watch closely and stir occasionally.
  3. Add sugar to the mixture and stir.
  4. Leave uncovered and boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Bring heat down to a medium- low temperature and let simmer for 1 hour; stir occasionally.
  6. Add pear preserves to the jars.
  7. If there are any air bubbles in the jar after you add your preserves, use a rubber spatula between the jar and the preserves to remove any air bubbles.
  8. Wipe off the edge of the jar and secure the lid on the jar.
  9. Repeat this step until all of your preserves are in your jars.
  10. Boil and seal the jars to seal. Refer to link in blog post for this process.
  11. Enjoy!
The Sassy Southern http://thesassysouthern.com/
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How To Make A Going Away Gift Basket

Gift Basket

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. Right? Ugh, that expression is so much easier said than done. One of my best friends moved to Illinois this summer. Her husband received an incredible job opportunity and they just couldn’t pass it up! Thankfully, the move is temporary, but it will be for a couple of years. She is a southern girl through and through and I knew she was going to feel homesick moving so far away from home. I wanted to give her things that would remind her of home and comfort her when she was feeling stressed, exhausted, and homesick. Instead of buying her one thing for her new home, which is GORGEOUS by the way, I decided to make her a going away basket full of little reminders of home. Each part of the basket went with a different letter and each letter included an encouraging scripture card that fit that occasion. I started each letter with, “Open When You are Feeling….” My hope was that each gift and letter would help her feel better during that moment. I made her a total of 6 different cards. 

Gift Basket

Open When You Miss The Sweet Sweet South

Going Away Gift Basket

There are certain things that remind us of home. For this part of the basket, I wanted her to have a taste of home when she started feeling homesick. A local jar of Texas salsa, two mini bottles of wine, and a letter full of all things Texas.

Open When You Can’t Even

Moving Gift

I knew there would be moments where she would just be over it! Sometimes, you just need to get in your jammies and chill out! This gift included one of her favorite types of candy, a romantic comedy, popcorn and wine. This letter reminded her that home is not where you live, but who you live it with and to enjoy every second of this new chapter.

Open When You Feel Stressed

Gift Basket Idea

We all experience stressful days, but being far from home with a house full of boxes definitely does not help. For this part of the basket, I included a bottle of wine, homemade essential oils bath salts, and a book to read while soaking in the bath.

Open When You Have Your First Snow Day

Gift Basket

Moving from Texas to Illinois means a major change in weather! She would finally have a real white Christmas! I wanted to make sure that she stopped and enjoyed the moment. I included a mug from Magnolia, (I have a matching one) candy canes, marshmallows and plenty of hot chocolate packets!

Open When You Need A Mollie Day

Moving Away Gift Ideas

One of our favorite things to do is to open a bottle of wine, sit on the couch in our jammies and talk late into the night. We are also really big fans of Target. It is our magical place that takes all of our worries away. For this occasion, I included a bottle of wine, a Target gift card, and a card reminding her to call me anytime, day or night.

Open When You Open and Unpack Your Last Box

Moving Away Gift Basket
Unpacking is exhausting! I wanted her to have something to look forward to and clearly there are few better ways to celebrate than by popping a bottle of champagne! I made this letter a celebratory letter to help encourage her about their fantastic new journey!

For the actual gift basket, I purchased this beautiful wicker basket from Target. I knew that this would be something she could also use in her home for décor and storage. I packaged everything together and made her promise not to open it all at once!

Have you made a going away basket before? What would your Open When cards say?

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EASY Two-Ingredient Crockpot Chicken Recipe

Crockpot Chicken Recipe

How many nights do you want to make a delicious and healthy dinner, but you just don’t have the energy? You know the scripture in Matthew, “…the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”? I find myself in that position way more than I would like! That usually leads to eating out or a frozen pizza and that really doesn’t help our fitness or money-saving goals. So I started experimenting with fast, but healthy recipes that would also make for great next day lunches! This two-ingredient crockpot chicken recipe quickly became a staple on our weekly dinner menu! It is the perfect protein for so many dishes and is just so tasty! I think you will be shocked to learn just how easy it is!

Two Ingredients Crockpot Chicken

Crockpot Chicken Ingredients

  1. 4 Raw and Rinsed Chicken Breasts
  2. 1 16 oz. Jar of Pace Chunky Style Medium Salsa

Directions

Place all 4 pieces of chicken in your crockpot and cover with the salsa. Place the lid on the crockpot and select the setting for 4 hours. Go have a glass of wine, read by the pool, or head to the office while the amazing invention that we call the crockpot works its magic! After four hours, take the lid off and watch with amazement as you are able to shred the chicken with a fork!

Shredded Chicken Recipe

Crockpot Chicken Recipe

Two hours in. Looking and smelling so yummy!

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Recipe

Tada! You are done! How easy was that? This chicken is cooked to perfection and is so delicious! You can serve this in a salad, on nachos, or with a side of veggies for a low carb option! This week, I already had the ingredients for tacos, so we decided to have some shredded chicken tacos. Jeremy (my hunky husband) really likes when I serve this Chipotle style with beans, rice, and guacamole on a salad! However you decide to eat it, I can assure you that you will absolutely love it! Enjoy!

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Baby Door Hangers For The Hospital Door

Floral Hospital Door Hanger

Oh how I love sweet babies! I am not a mommy yet, but I absolutely LOVE all of the babies in my life. One of my favorite types of parties to plan is a baby shower. That is such an exciting day for the mommy and daddy-to-be. One of my favorite things to make for a baby shower is the baby door hangers for the hospital door. It is such a beautiful way to welcome the sweet baby into the world and it helps set your door apart from the other doors in the hospital. It also looks fantastic as part of the décor at the baby shower! After the baby is born, just fill in their birthday, time of birth, weight, and height! I removed the sweet baby names in my photos for privacy, but you get the idea. Check out a few baby door hangers below for some inspiration and learn how to make your very own baby door hanger here!

TuTu Cute

Tutu Baby Door Hanger

This tutu themed baby door hanger was so fun and SO easy to make! I had never made a tutu before, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I read this tutorial to give me an idea on how to get started. Once I learned how to tie the tulle around the wreath, it was super easy from there! I just purchased a foam wreath from hobby lobby and covered it with fabric. It turned out tutu cute!

Floral

Floral Hospital Door Hanger

Oh I just love this wreath so much! I will share my full blog post from this shower soon, but as you may have guessed from the wreath, this shower was a floral theme. It was oh so easy to make and it really didn’t cost as much as you might think! I purchased all of my supplies from Hobby Lobby. They put their flowers half off every other week and I just used my 40% off coupon for my supplies that weren’t on sale.

Tropical

Tropical Themed Hospital Door Hanger

I became obsessed with pineapples and flamingos after planning this tropical themed baby shower! This wreath was so fun to make and I absolutely loved the pineapple monogram from Build A Cross!

Initial

Baby Boy Hospital Door Hanger

This adorable door hanger was for a precious baby boy! I wanted to do something a little more masculine, so I decided to just stick to a giant letter for his initial. I incorporated the colors of the baby shower and used some wooden dots to add some depth.

I’m always looking for new inspiration! Have you made any hospital door hangers to welcome a sweet new baby in your life?

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Easy Shrimp and Sausage Foil Packet Recipe

Shrimp and Sausage Foil Packet Recipe

Y’all! It is officially fall and I could not be happier! Football, sweaters, and pumpkins! Oh, I love this time of year. I don’t know about you, but as the colder weather starts rolling in, I find myself getting much more creative with new recipes in the kitchen! As I was heading out to the grocery store for the week, I checked to see what random items we had left over from the recipes I made the week before. You know, trying to use everything possible, because, well, let’s save all the money! I have also made it a game. Like how creative can I be this week?

Anyway, my husband absolutely loves shrimp. While I love the idea of shrimp and I think there are so many delicious recipes out there, my taste buds will never know. Yes. I’m allergic. But thankfully, I’m not so allergic that I can’t cook it for the sweet husband. I had some frozen shrimp and corn from other recipes I had made earlier in the month, so I decided to grab some sausage and make one of his favorite meals! I purposefully did not include potatoes because we are both trying to do low carb, but you can easily add potatoes to this dish. Just boil the potatoes with the corn to make sure they are soft enough. Since I can’t taste test shrimp recipes as I go along, I rely completely on my husband’s review. He promised it was delicious, so I’m trusting his opinion! It is SO easy to make and cleanup is a breeze! This recipe serves 2, but it is so easy to double or triple the recipe for a dinner party! Ready to get started? 

Easy Shrimp and Sausage Fall Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ear of corn cut into 4 pieces. You can use frozen or fresh.
  • 20-30 pieces of shrimp depending on how hungry you are! Make sure the shrimp are peeled, no tails, and deveined. You will divide the shrimp between the two foil packets. If you have frozen shrimp, make sure it is fully thawed.
  • 12 ounces of your favorite sausage
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter, melted

Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. of Lowrey’s seasoning
  • 1 tsp. of paprika
  • 1 tsp. of Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. of Parsley
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of PepperRecipe Card

Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Step 2:
Boil the corn for 4-6 minutes. Drain.

Step 3:
Add your sliced sausage, corn, and shrimp to a large mixing bowl. If you are using potatoes, add them to the bowl as well. I chose Hillshire Farms Beef Polska Kielbasa Sausage. It is already cooked, so it is ready to heat and serve! I was worried that it would cook too much, but the hubs said it was perfect and so delicious! If you are not using precooked sausage, make sure you cook it ahead of time.

Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Step 4:
Add the seasoning mixture and melted butter to the bowl and squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Gently stir all of that yummy goodness around to make sure everything in the bowl is evening coated.

Shrimp and Sausage Recipe

Step 5:
Spoon out half of the mixture onto one piece of your aluminum foil cutout. Bunch the foil together at the top to create a foil bowl. Make sure it is completely closed at the top. Repeat.

Shrimp and Sausage Foil Packet Recipe

Step 6:
Bake both foil packets at 400 for 20 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and white in color. Add a lemon wedge to the foil packet and serve!

Easy Shrimp and Sausage Foil Packet Recipe
Serves 2
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Ear of Corn Cut into 4 Pieces
  2. 30 Pieces of Shrimp; Peeled, No Tails, Deveined
  3. 12 Ounces of Your Favorite Sausage
  4. 3 Tablespoons of Butter, Melted
Seasoning Ingredients
  1. 1 tsp. of Garlic Powder
  2. 1 tsp. of Onion Powder
  3. 1 tsp. of Lawry’s Seasoning
  4. 1 tsp. of Paprika
  5. 1 tsp. of Cajun Seasoning
  6. 1 tsp. of Parsley
  7. Pinch of Salt
  8. Pinch of Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Boil the corn for 4-6 minutes. Drain.
  3. Add your sliced sausage, corn, and shrimp to a large mixing bowl. If you are using potatoes, add them to the bowl as well. I chose Hillshire Farms Beef Polska Kielbasa Sausage. It is already cooked, so it is ready to heat and serve! I was worried that it would cook too much, but the hubs said it was perfect and so delicious! If you are not using precooked sausage, make sure you cook it ahead of time.
  4. Add the seasoning mixture and melted butter to the bowl and squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Gently stir all of that yummy goodness around to make sure everything in the bowl is evening coated.
  5. Spoon out half of the mixture onto one piece of your aluminum foil cutout. Bunch the foil together at the top to create a foil bowl. Make sure it is completely closed at the top. Repeat.
  6. Bake both foil packets at 400 for 20 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and white in color.
  7. Add a lemon wedge to the foil packet and serve!
The Sassy Southern http://thesassysouthern.com/

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Fall 2017 Target Dollar Spot Home Décor

Target Dollar Spot Fall 2017

I don’t think I have ever gone into Target without buying something that I didn’t initially intend to purchase. This has become especially hard since the Target Dollar Spot is so amazing! Seriously, their seasonal home décor is fantastic! Everything is under $5 or less and it is absolutely beautiful! I went in today for groceries and walked out with home décor for fall and I don’t regret a single purchase. I’m sure I already missed out on some other beautiful pieces, but I was pretty pleased with my selection this weekend! Here is what I found and what I paid for each piece of decor:

Thankful Wooden Cookbook Stand: $3
Target Dollar Spot Finds Fall 2017 - Cookbook Stand

How adorable is this cookbook stand? There is something about fall that makes me want to make every recipe in the world! I love experimenting with new and old recipes and I’m usually scrolling through my iPad or combing through a recipe book. This stand holds both perfectly and it sure does sit pretty all on its own. This was totally worth the $3!

Leaf Plates: $3
Target Dollar Spot Fall 2017 - Leaf Plates
If we are being totally honest, I really don’t need these leaf plates, but they were just too precious not to purchase! They look fantastic in photos and they are the perfect size to serve a treat with afternoon tea! I purchased this crème color, but they also had a lovely green pumpkin set.

Target Dollar Spot Fall 2017 - Clear Vase

Clear and Copper Vase: $5
Floral Stems: $3 per stem (3 Stems Displayed In Photo)
So let’s be honest, vases can be ridiculously expensive! That is why I was jumping up and down when I found this beauty for only $5! These floral stems were only $3 each and they look fantastic inside of the vase. This beautiful pairing was only $14!

Garland: $5 Each
I just love this garland. It just adds that perfect touch of fall to any centerpiece or table. I still can’t believe I only paid $10 for two stands!

Target Dollar Spot Fall 2017 - Pumpkins

White Pumpkins With Purple Succulents: $3 Each
I am in love with these pumpkins! Not only do the colors match my home and my Alma Matter (Go Frogs!), but they are just too creative! Target also had a few other color options, too! These stylish babies were only $3 each! The other white pumpkin with the gorgeous gold stem was not a Target Dollar Spot purchase, but it was a Target purchase from last season and I love it!

Green Plush Pumpkin: $3
I just loved the color of this plush pumpkin to break up the white in the other pumpkins.

If you love Target as much as I do, you know how quickly their items leave the Target Dollar Spot shelves! I found my goodies this weekend, but they could be gone in a flash! Have you visited Target lately? What new finds did you purchase for your lovely home?

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DIY Bath Salts Using Essential Oils

One of my favorite things about going to the beach is how soft my skin feels after being in the ocean all day! Since I don’t have the luxury of living on the beach, the next best thing is relaxing in a hot bath with essential oils bath salts. They are so easy to make and they make your skin feel oh so smooth! They also look pretty fantastic on the side of your bathtub! Ready to get started? Here is what you need for DIY bath salts!

Ingredients
•Stunningly Beautiful Jars
•Epsom Salt (I buy Dr. Teal’s from Target)
•Your Favorite Essential Oils (I personally use Young Living)
*Make sure to use skin friendly oils to avoid skin irritation
•Glass Mixing Bowl

Directions
Add 10 drops of oil to 1 cup of Epsom salt. The amount you measure out will depend on the size of your jar. My two favorite recipes are Lavender with Stress Away and Peppermint with Lavender. Stress Away is an oil mixture from Young Living and it smells amazing! This oil is made up mostly of Vanilla and Lime and includes several other oils in its mix. Part of the fun is finding your perfect scent!

These DIY bath salts are fun to make and they make a fantastic gift! My hunky husband even loves soaking in a tub full of these bath salts after a workout! Epsom salt helps reduce inflammation and is great for sore muscles! Each essential oil has so many combinations you can make and it really is so easy!

I am always looking for relaxing and refreshing combinations to make! What are your favorite oils to add to your bath salts?

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5 Ways to Incorporate Your Wedding Day into Your Home Décor

How To Incorporate Your Wedding Day Decor Into Your Home Decor | The Sassy Southern

You spend so much time, money, and energy planning your perfect wedding day. When the day finally arrives, it is over in a flash! Thankfully, you have your wedding, photos, video, and memories, but what do you do with all of the small decor details that you worked so hard to perfect? As I was planning my wedding, I knew that I would want to keep certain things from the day as a way to always remember the big moments as well as the smaller moments. Here are 5 ways I incorporated my wedding day into my home décor!

Unity Ceremony
Unity Ceremony Idea for a Christian Wedding - Home Decor

We had mixed emotions about doing a unity ceremony at our wedding. We knew we wanted to do something, but we couldn’t find something that fit us as a couple. We were familiar with some of the popular ideas like the unity candle, the sand ceremony, and the tree planting ceremony, but none of those screamed us! We had selected Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 as our wedding verse and wanted to make sure our pastor incorporated this into our ceremony. As I was looking for unity ceremony ideas on Etsy, I found this beautiful wooden board with three cords and our wedding verse! One cord symbolizes the groom, one cord symbolizes the bride, and the cord in the center symbolizes Christ. As a couple, you braid the three chords together during your ceremony to symbolize your commitment to making Christ the center of your marriage. We instantly fell in love with this idea! Not only was the concept absolutely perfect for our wedding and our relationship, but the board is absolutely beautiful! We were able to customize the look and it is now part of our home décor above our kitchen cabinets. It is something we see every day and is a constant reminder of our vows and the importance of keeping Christ at the center of our marriage.

Home Decor

Toasting Flutes

Wedding Decor and Home Decor

Most venues provide toasting flutes for the bride and groom on the wedding day, but I wanted to have flutes that we could use to celebrate many more firsts and celebrations in our marriage. We chose a pair of gold flutes by Lenox. They matched our wedding, but they also matched our wedding china and home décor. Not only did they look absolutely stunning in our photos and in our wedding video, but they bring me so much joy every time we use them! We just celebrated our 1-year wedding anniversary and it was so much fun toasting with the same flutes we toasted with on our wedding day. Cheers to so many more years!

Wedding Day Toasting Flutes in Home Decor

Wedding Favor

Home and Wedding Day Decor

Wedding favors are a beautiful way to thank all of your guests for celebrating with you on your perfect day. But how on earth do you select the same favor for 250 people with completely different taste? The first year of our dating relationship, I was working for an event planner. At one of the events we planned, they had the Original Butt Sketch as one of the vendors. If you aren’t familiar with this concept, the artist poses you in an oh so classy stance and sketches you in under three minutes. Why is it called a butt sketch? The artist sketches you from behind! While the name might not scream classy wedding favor, it really is such a beautiful keepsake. My boyfriend (now hunky husband) and I absolutely LOVED our first sketch and I told him that night that if we got married, we would have them at our wedding. Fast-forward six years and that is exactly what we did! Instead of a traditional wedding favor, we had The Original Butt Sketch at our wedding as wedding favors for all of our guests. This was also really special for us because we had our first sketch from when were dating framed and on an easel for our guests to see as they were having their sketches done. We now have our first sketch framed above my bedside table and our wedding sketch framed above my husband’s bedside table. This was such a beautiful way for us to bring our wedding into our home décor for many years to come!

Our Butt Sketch Artist sketching us on our wedding day!

Wedding Bouquet

Wedding Day Flowers

This is definitely not a new idea, but it is a classic one! Dry your wedding bouquet and have it displayed in a vase in your home! I know there are mixed reviews on this idea, but I personally love having my bouquet displayed in my home! Every time I look at it, I’m reminded of that beautiful day. And let’s be honest, you (or your parents) spent a pretty penny on those lovely flowers, so let’s make them last, shall we? Since we left for our honeymoon the morning after our wedding, my mom took my bouquet home and hung my flowers upside down to dry out. One of my bridesmaids did the same with her wedding bouquet, but she put her flowers in a basket above her kitchen cabinet! However you decided to display your wedding flowers, drying your wedding boquet is a great way to keep part of your perfect day with you after the wedding day.

Home and Wedding Decor

Photography

Wedding Day Photography

Well, of course, you have wedding photos in your home. That is the whole point, right? The classic shots are a beautiful reminder of your perfect day, but what about some of the other 900 photos from your day that you don’t necessarily want on the wall in your foyer, but you would love to see on a regular basis? To start, I highly recommend having a professional wedding album displaying each part of your day. We have ours displayed on our coffee table and it is a great conversation piece when you have guests over. We also had photos framed of each of us getting ready the day of the wedding. I have my husband’s photo next to my bathroom sink and he has my photo framed next to his bathroom sink. Every morning as we get ready for our day, we are reminded of the day we started our lives as husband and wife. While this is something small, it puts a smile on my face each morning.

Home Decor

Your wedding day will always be a day to remember, but it is really the beginning of your beautiful new life. How did you incorporate your wedding day into your home décor?

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11 FREE Encouraging Scripture Verse Printables

Free Scripture Printables

Life can be stressful and sometimes you need a little more encouragement than usual. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the demands of life, I remind myself that I work to live, I don’t live to work. Nothing is worth stealing my joy. Much easier said than done, right? So, when I find myself having a Mollie Meltdown, I start to pray and I walk away from whatever is stressing me out; even if only for a moment. Sometimes, even just doing the dishes while I pray will help me calm down and realize that whatever I’m stressing about, really isn’t that bad. I started putting scripture card graphics around my home as a constant source of encouragement. These truly do bring me joy and encouragement throughout my day and I hope they will help you do the same! Enjoy!

He will be our peace. Micah 5:5

Encouraging Scripture Verse Micah 5:5

Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Encouraging Scripture Verse

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Hebrews 13:5 Scripture Verse

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Encouraging Bible Verse Isaiah 41:10

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Jeremiah 29:13 Scripture Verse Graphic

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Scripture Verse Matthew 19:26

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

Encouraging Scripture Verse 1 Corinthians 16:14

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 26:3 Bible Verse

Everything is possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23

Encouraging Verse Mark 9:23

She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Encouraging Scripture Verse Proverbs 31:25

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

Bible Verse Matthew 6:34

I hope these will encourage you and keep you joyful and anxiety free! Click here to download your free scripture verse graphics!

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5 Reasons You Should Book Your Honeymoon at a Sandals Resort

Like every girl, I not only wanted a dream wedding, but I also wanted a dream honeymoon. While some stay traditional and have the groom plan the entire honeymoon as a surprise, my groom-to-be knew me very well and decided to let me be a part of the planning; I was oh so thankful for that decision. We found a travel company at one of the bridal fairs we attended and had them help us narrow down our search. We knew we wanted somewhere tropical, not in the United States, and somewhere neither of us had been before. We finally decided to go to the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas! I had, of course, heard of Sandals resorts before, but I wasn’t sure if they would really live up to their hype. But oh goodness gracious did they ever! Here are 5 reasons you should book your trip to the Sandals Royal Bahamian TODAY!

Everything is All-Inclusive
Yes, there are tons of all-inclusive resorts out there, but not like Sandals. They have thought of things to include that I didn’t even know I wanted until it was presented! You will never be hungry or thirsty and there are so many exciting adventures and activities that are included in your stay.

The Food and the Drinks
I’ve been to other resorts where the food is really only great in one restaurant and just so so everywhere else. At Sandals, all of the food is delicious! The Sandals Royal Bahamian has 10 restaurants and 8 bars. Two of the bars are swim-up bars in two of the pools. The drinks are all delicious and the bartenders are always willing to create new concoctions for you to try! Out of the 10 restaurants, there is only one where you have to make a reservation. There really is a cuisine for everyone and it is all just so delicious! One night, we had dinner at 5 PM and then went to a different restaurant at 9 PM for a second dinner. I’m not even embarrassed to tell you that. They also stock your room daily with sodas, water bottles, and juices. You also have a full bar with vodka, rum, tequila, and gin. It is ALL included in your all-inclusive fee! There is also daily room service that is delicious!

You feel like Kings and Queens
The second you step foot in the Sandals lounge at the airport, you immediately feel like royalty. They escort you to their private bus and drive you to the resort. Once you arrive, they immediately offer you a cold towel and a drink. They have you sit in their beautiful hotel lobby and help you check-in on an iPad. While you are checking in, they take your bags and have them delivered to your room. The staff then gives you a tour of the resort as they walk you to your room. That is just the beginning. Every staff member we encountered was FABULOUS! They wait on you constantly and will stop what they are doing to do mini photo shoots with you. The resort is absolutely spotless, but we hardly ever saw people cleaning! They are very sneaky.
The resort also doesn’t overbook. We never had a problem getting a table, finding a cabana or pool chair, or having plenty of space in the pool.

The Private Island
The Royal Bahamian has a private island that is only a 5-minute boat ride from the resort. You can take a boat every hour starting at 9 AM with the last boat coming back at 6 PM. They had a restaurant, pool and swim-up bar on the island. They also had a spa on the island! You can check out snorkeling equipment at the resort and take it to the island to snorkel. It was so secluded and romantic. It felt like an absolute dream! There were hammocks in the water, comfy beds and cabanas on the beach, and private cabanas overlooking the ocean. We were just walking the island and stumbled upon this cabana. We camped out here for about 3 hours. It was absolute paradise.

The Activities and Excursions
When you arrive, you are advised to meet with the concierge to schedule your tours for the week. There is a schedule in your room for that week’s activities and tours. All of this is included in your stay! Quick Tip: Make sure you plan out your week the first day you arrive so that you don’t miss out on any of the activities. While only one of their restaurants, Kimonos, requires reservations, you will want to reserve your spot as soon as possible! It is very popular and their spots fill up fast! We took a snorkeling cruise, went on a shopping trip and tour of the city, and a rum tasting at John Watling’s Distillery. This was honestly the best Pina Collada I have ever tasted! They have paddle boats, sailboats, water trikes and kayaks that you can check out for the day. They even have a giant chess board on the property! Sandals also ropes off their area of the beach and water to ensure that guests of the resort are the only ones on that part of the beach. If you are interested in excursions outside of Sandals, there is a travel agency at the resort that will help you book additional excursions during your stay. They have truly thought of everything!

If you are looking for a relaxing and exotic getaway, I highly recommend the Royal Bahamian. That was our first Sandals experience, but we are excited to go to Sandals Ochi in Jamaica this summer for our first wedding anniversary! I hope you enjoy your vacation as much as we did! Check back for highlights from that trip soon!

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