Rethinking Hospitality


Rethinking

I know that I see a ton of great blog posts that address opening your home and serving food as a way of showing Biblical hospitality. There are a lot of verses that support the home as the center of Christian hospitality. (Here is a great resource!) As we just passed Thanksgiving and are getting close to Christmas, I would like to address some other ways of thinking of hospitality.

There are a myriad of reason that people are unable to leave their homes or travel to your home. Some of these people may seem perfectly healthy, but invisible illnesses or social anxiety can contribute to isolation. According to the CDC 1 in 2 American adults suffer from a chronic illness. Not all people are housebound, but sometimes it can be difficult for people to make it to dinner after working, on a bad day, or a flare in symptoms. The CDC says that a quarter of people with chronic illnesses have significant limitations in their daily activities.

I would encourage people who read this to think about their peers, their neighbors, coworkers, and members of their churches. They may be people that you interact with on a daily basis–people who you see every Sunday morning–people you wave to as you go to work. What you might not realize is that attending church on Sunday morning wipes them out for the rest of the day; working a full day is more than they can do without damaging their health; or that you wave to them in the neighborhood, and they really wish that you would be a friend because being sick is very lonely. As I get older, I know that family is so very important, but there is still the 26 year old in me who wants friends. I want girls to laugh with, talk about make up with, and generally have a good time. My “good time,” though, looks a lot different than it did before I got sick. Now a good time is a movie night, not trying to get to three Christmas parties in one night.

I know that when I was in middle school, my Sunday school class would go visit the church members who were homebound; however, there are many people who are much younger that need some extra attention and care. I know that no one purposefully leaves their 20-something friends out, but not every 20-something has the physical capabilities that other people have.

Tips for Hospitality:

+ Be understanding when someone has to cancel at the last minute.
+ If you know someone is sick, offer to bring them food. If they don’t need food, just the offer can bring them a lot of joy because they won’t feel abandoned.
+ Try to plan events that would allow a sick person to be more comfortable. A dinner that is drop in or not on a Friday night would be a good alternative.
+ Ask your friend how you can help them! Maybe they would like a Christmas tree, but decorating the tree might pose a problem. Bringing cookies, sharing some hot chocolate, and decorating a tree would be very fun. They may need help shopping for Christmas gifts, wrapping presents, or even unpacking the Christmas decorations.
+ Meet your friend for coffee/hot chocolate. Sometimes it is nice for a sick person to get out of the house, but they can’t be gone for long. And one on one might be better for some people.

+Think about non-food centered, restful activities:

-Christmas movie night
-Ornament decorating (this allows for sitting down and standing up as needed)
-Assembling gifts for charity (example: Operation Christmas Child, etc.)
-A relaxed game night or afternoon. Something like Apples to Apples or Scategories. Laughing is great medicine. Prolonged strategy games can be too exhausting.
-Anything that is on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon might be easier for people who have a hard time getting up and are exhausted by the evening.

People suffering from chronic illnesses are also likely to be very isolated. So, if someone who is chronically ill has you in their life, they are very blessed. You can easily increase the blessings in their life by being purposeful in showing them hospitality in the season of celebration.

Categories: Cervical Dystonia, Health, Holidays, Sick, Tips
A Short Engagement: How to Plan

Do you want a short engagement?  The below list is not an exhaustive list of short engagement tips, but they are 10 important tips, I think. I know that a lot of people want long engagements, or the timing isn’t right to get married quickly. That’s the beauty of relationships–every single one is different!

short engagement

The Knot’s website would lead you to believe that everyone is engaged for a year or more. All of the wedding checklists that I looked at estimated planning time and work that could be so intricate that you would need a whole separate planner, from your daily planner. As I Googled for information on short engagements, there was little information to be found, sadly.

When Brian proposed last fall, we knew that we wanted a short engagement. Not only did my health not allow for tons of wedding planning–I simply couldn’t drive to and from venue to venue and make decisions. An elopement was talked about, but we really wanted our families to be a part of the special day.

short engagement

 

10 Tips For a Short Engagement:

  1. Remember that you’re planning a marriage, not just a wedding. No matter what your wedding ceremony and reception look like, in 10 years, your marriage will not be affected by it.
  2. Find an officiant. Make sure that you know all the requirements for marriage and schedule your counseling sessions and meetings. A short engagement can put a time constraint on fitting in the sessions (we needed 6), so we had to make sure to have them all prescheduled.
  3. Pick a venue. You can look at tons of them, but a little internet research should narrow it down for you. Your short engagement will mean that you should only look at the venues in your price range that are available on the dates that you are thinking about. You may need to be flexible with your date. Remember, too, that a lot of specialized venues will either overcharge for food or require you to obtain an ABC license. If you are going to need an ABC license, start that process immediately.
    Talk to friends and family about using any land or buildings that they already have available. In my case, my parents’ house was the perfect place for a reception. I’ve had other friends who were able to use lake front land that belonged to family friends or even their relative’s backyards.
  4. Set the guest list. It’s your wedding. Talk to your respective families about how many family members need to be included. From there, you and your fiance will need to fill in the rest of the list. Do it quickly because you won’t need to bother with Save the Dates.
  5. Set up a wedding website. Since you won’t be doing Save the Dates, having a website is essential. In fact, we sent out the website ahead of time, once we finalized the guest list. We still had people RSVP through the mail, but all the relevant information was on the site.
  6. Find a dress. I found a great place in Charlotte where the salespeople don’t work on commission. I went in with an idea of the type of dress that I wanted, but told them not to show me anything that couldn’t be ready by my wedding date. I ended up placing an order for my dream dress, but had a back up in case they couldn’t get that one in time.
  7. Skip the non-essentials. I didn’t have a bridal shower. My bachelorette party was at Wine & Design. My husband didn’t have a bachelor party. We didn’t take engagement photos, and I didn’t do bridal portraits. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. Instead, I feel like I gained a lot more by preparing for our marriage through counseling and reading books, plus spending time with my husband-to-be.
  8. Research, research, research. I did a ton of research from the comfort of my own recliner. You can use lists from The Knot to remember what you’ll need, like a photographer, caterer, etc. The best parts of our wedding came from referrals from friends. We worked with the best photographers ever, who were personal friends of a friend.
  9. Keep it Simple. I was blessed to have my mom be able to do most of the planning for me, since I was sick and working. Since it was at her house, she took over decorations. I bought some things on Etsy, but she did a great job making the house look like a dream. We gave her free control over the food. We stipulated BBQ, but other than that, we didn’t care. Instead of going back and forth on menus, cake flavors, and what drinks to serve, we just asked her to make a decision and stick with it. If I had been doing that part of the planning myself, I would have gone with the same approach.
    Also, you aren’t going to remember the little details. Your guests might comment on how cute they are, but no one will care. Seriously. The only little details that I remember are because the photographer captured them in a photo.
  10. Have fun! It might be a short engagement, but you can still enjoy it. As one coworker of mine told me, my wedding day would be the happiest day of my life, until I had children. On the day of the wedding, I barely ate any of the food, enjoyed chatting with my bridesmaids, and of course treasured marrying the love of my life.

Since I didn’t do engagement photos or bridal portraits, my talented husband is going to take bridal portraits for me around the time of our one year anniversary. I’ve lost 30 pounds so far, since the wedding, so we’re just going to clip it in the back. Honestly, I think that I will be much happier with them. Once we’ve finished with the dress, I will be donating it!

Categories: Tips, Wedding
Personal Journaling: 5 Tips On How To Start

When I created my 101 in 1001 list, I put “create a personal journaling habit” on the list. I am happy to say that I’ve crossed that one off the list. Not a day goes by without my trusty journal!

personal journaling 2

5 Tips For Starting Your Personal Journaling Habit:

  1. Buy something pretty that you’ll want to use!
    I have tried this a few times, but I always bought a journal that wouldn’t lay flat. Instead, this time, made sure that my journal would stay open as I wrote in it. There is nothing more discouraging than fighting to keep it open while you write.
  2. Pick a place to write.
    I tend to sit in the same place every time that I write. Now, I associate sitting in that spot with writing. Additionally, I also tend to drink my favorite Rooibos tea when I write–usually at night.
  3. Just start writing!
    When I first started, I simply wrote down the events of each day. I wrote what I did. I wrote how I felt. Sometimes, I would reflect on those events, but other times, it was more of a middle school diary.
  4. Dig deeper.
    Now I don’t just recount my daily events. Yes, I write about what I did or am going to do, but I reflect on the implications. It is cathartic to simply write out my feelings, uncensored. I write my prayers, no matter how pretty or unpretty they might be.
  5. Use a structured journal.
    A simple Amazon search pulls up all types of structured journals that can help you with anxiety, depression, or certain stages of life. I’ve seen a few fun ones that encourage your artistic and creative sides, too! (I haven’t tried it, but Wreck This Journal appears to be a best seller on Amazon).
    Instead of using these, along side my “digging deeper” during my personal journaling, I use the space in my journal to work through workbooks that accompany different devotionals or books that I am reading. For example, I am using The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes by Robert S. McGee.
Categories: blogging, Tips Tags: ,
Fave & Easy Recipes: Losing Weight

These are a few of my favorite recipes that my husband and I have been making since I embarked on my weight loss journey (which you can read about by clicking the link) in January! These are just things that we make–I also eat a ton of fresh vegetables, yogurt, cheesesticks, and Grazebox snacks to keep me full throughout the day!

favorite recipes

{I know that I am not a food photographer, so I won’t even try!}

Breakfast:

Taste of Home Breakfast Casserole: My husband loves this one. I started out my journey by having this for breakfast. It’s one of my favorite things, and I still eat it as a treat. If you’re starting out and have a higher calorie allotment, try using full fat sausage to get used to this creation, instead of whatever you were eating before. Trust me, it’s better than fast food. Now my husband has reduced the milk to 1.5 cups and adds half a bag of spinach (chopped) to the recipe. This one freezes particularly well, if you pre-slice the servings.

Egg whites & Veggies: No recipe. Most mornings, it’s just pouring some egg whites in a bowl, adding frozen vegetables, and microwaving!

Entrees:

Mexican Quinoa: We tried a bunch of variations, but this one has been our favorite. It’s the most flavorful!

Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls: Especially if you plan on freezing this, don’t overfill the rolls. We do a thin spread to cut down on calories and make it easier to freeze. Also, the original recipe is a little bland, so throw in your favorite Italian spices! I have something called “Italian Spice Mix.”

Rosemary and Mustard Baked Chicken: This one is simple to make! If you haven’t had time to prepare the day before, you can easily make this and serve it within the hour.

Slow Cooker:

Turkey, Sweet Potato, and White Bean Chili: When you click this link, you’ll notice that it’s actually called “No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili,” but that just wasn’t good enough for me. I was highly disappointed the first time that we made it because it called for 20 oz of ground turkey, but only made about 4 decent sized servings. Instead, I double all of the vegetables and spices, plus add 2 cans of Navy Beans and cinnamon. The key here is cinnamon! You all won’t regret it!

Slow Cooker Garlic Sweet Potato Mash: I won’t lie. I eat this one as a snack. It’s so good!

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast: We serve this on good bread–aka the kind from the deli. In the words of my husband, “I would pay for this.” So, I guess he means at a restaurant.

Snacks:

Skinny Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Scones: I love this, but because I love it too much, it is on limited rotation.

Black Eyed Pea Dip: I have never taken this to a party where people did not absolutely love it. I can’t stress how good it is. Watch your portions!

tealdivider

I would love to make more of my own snacks, instead of relying on “diet” snacks and protein bars, but when I weigh the cost and time vs the convenience, the store bought stuff wins–for now. I definitely try to watch the sugar in each serving and make sure that there is protein. If anyone has great snacks that they make, please send them my way!

 What are your favorite “lite” recipes? Snack recipes?

Categories: Food, Health, Recipe, Recipes, Tips, Weight Loss
Manicure Q&A with Megan

My friend Megan, from Madly Maudlin Megan, has the most beautiful nails. My nails are not so pretty. So, I am always asking her questions.

She’s here today to answer some burning questions that I have about nails, nail polish, and making my manicure last!

Here is a sample of her fancy, fancy nails:

tiffany-manicure.jpg

What is your number one tip for a great, basic manicure? I’m not sure I can do all that fancy nail art yet.

I would say that my number one tip is to take your time. If you rush a manicure, it will definitely show in the finished product. Wait a few minutes between coats of color. If you apply coats too quickly, you can actually remove color from the previous layer, or get bubbles between coats. Also, try to wait about twenty minutes after finishing before using your hands a lot. Although a good top coat can cut down drying time, it’s always good to still be careful to avoid “dents” in your manicure.

What are the most basic and necessary products for a pretty, long lasting manicure?
Top coat, top coat, top coat! I cannot tell you how many people have come to me complaining that their nails chip immediately after painting. I ask them, “What kind of top coat do you use?” And they usually reply, “Oh, I don’t really bother with that.” Here’s a hint: THAT’S WHY YOUR MANICURES DON’T LAST! There are so many choices out there, but my top choice is Seche Vite. I’ve reviewed it and talked about it several times on my own blog. I have tried many different brands of top coat, and none work as well as Seche Vite, nor do they dry as fast.

41mNWVtRCTL._SY300_

Other products may not be necessary, but I think that a nail strengthener and a ridge-filler or base coat are very helpful for keeping your nails healthy and strong and helping your manicure last. I’ve always had pretty strong nails, but I became obsessed with using nail strengthener after I got acrylic nails about a year ago. Acrylics can do some serious damage to your natural nails, especially if you don’t remove them correctly. Nail strengthener helps re-harden your natural nails and protect them from breaking as much. A base coat or ridge-filler just provides a smoother canvas for applying color, and I think it helps the color “stick” to your nails.

What brands are your favorites? Which do you recommend the most?
My favorite brand is definitely OPI. I honestly think they have the best formula and the best brushes. The creamy formula and wide, flat brush makes it easier to apply a smooth coat of color, even if you are a novice at painting your nails. Plus, they have the best names for their colors! Other favorites include China Glaze (they have excellent glitters), Orly, and Essie.

mini-nail-haul

What are your top favorite brands/colors right now–for summer?

Well, obviously during the summer, people tend to go for more bright colors. Typically, people reach for hot pinks and corals more during the warmer months. Both last summer & this summer, a lot of brands have been coming out with really bright or neon colors. A cult favorite is China Glaze’s “Flip Flop Fantasy.” It is a really pretty neon peachy pink. As with a lot of neons, each coat goes on kind of thin, so you’ll need two or three coats. Also, be aware that a lot of “true” neons chip more easily than other colors. I really don’t know why this is the case, but in almost any brand, you’ll find the formula to be thinner and much easier to chip than non-neon colors. If you’ve read my blog, you know that I’ve been super excited about the latest OPI Neon collection. A lot of people have actually complained that the colors are not truly neon. I agree that not all of the colors in this collection are exceptional, but I think a few are actually really nice, though they are more bright than truly neon. One of my favorites is “You Are So Outta Lime!” It is a nice lime green, but it doesn’t look like a highlighter. I think it’s very wearable and doesn’t look as “young” or “immature” as some neons tend to look. Another bright color that I really like for summer is China Glaze’s “Bottoms Up,” which is a beautiful “Nicki Minaj” pink that pops perfectly against a tan. You also cannot go wrong with any of the colors in OPI’s Brazil collection.

I think it’s also nice to wear more understated colors in the summer as well, especially since almost everyone wears the brighter colors. Some people don’t like to wear bolder colors to the office anyway, so sometimes a more neutral look is more appropriate. OPI’s “Mod About You” is one of my absolute favorite pinks. It is a really pretty bubblegum pink that isn’t very bright. It has a nice blue undertone, which makes it look great on lighter skin tones as well. Essie’s “Adore-A-Ball” is also great for a more natural looking manicure. Expect it to be pretty thin and light, but if you want to make it more opaque, go for three coats. If you still want to try a more summery color, but want to steer clear of the brights, Julie G’s “9 to 5” is a good choice. It is a really pretty light peach that I am absolutely loving this summer. Julie G polishes are relatively new, and you can only get them online or in Rite Aid stores, but they are very cheap and there are tons of colors to choose from.

Mango-polish

Is there anything else that I need to know to recreate some of your favorite nail looks?

Honestly, I recommend practice. I used to be absolutely terrible at painting my nails. I still sometimes make a pretty big mess of it, but I’ve gotten a lot better with practice. Once you feel confident that you’ve relatively mastered a basic, monochromatic manicure, you can start to experiment doing different things. One of the easiest looks to create yourself is a french manicure. You can do a traditional one with a neutral color all over your nail and white tips, or switch it up and use different colors that complement each other. One of the looks I like is a nude-colored polish with neon tips. As you get more comfortable, you can try more and more looks. Also, reading tutorials and professional tips helps a lot.

What got you interested in making your nails so darn beautiful?

I actually used to rarely paint my nails, largely because I didn’t think I was good at it. I also became frustrated with the amount of effort I put into painting nails that would chip within a day or two because I didn’t have a good top coat. However, around the time I was a junior or senior in college, more colors started becoming available and popular, rather than the typical pinks and reds. I love color, so I was interested in being able to incorporate more color into my everyday look. I started getting mint green, different shades of purple, greys, and browns. Also, I’ve always loved makeup and crafting, and nail art is kind of a combination of the two. Plus, I think a manicure is a nice way to look more polished (no pun intended!) everyday, no matter what you’re wearing or where you’re going.

Did you really wear your mother’s shoes from the 80’s to my wedding, and they looked totally perfect and contemporary?

Hahahaha, yes, I did! My mom had actually gone through her closet shortly before your wedding and was getting rid of a lot of her 80s clothes (finally!) and asked me to look through some of the things. She had a couple of pairs of pointed-toe flats/kitten heels in various colors. I like wearing flats with nicer clothes, especially those with pointed-toes, because I don’t like heels and the pointed-toe makes my legs look longer. Anyway, one of the pairs actually matched some of the jewelry I was going to wear to your wedding, so there ya go! I guess it really is important to invest in classic staples that can withstand the coming and going of trends in fashion…

shoes

Categories: Meet a Blogger, Tips
Flat to Fabulous: This Product Will Change Your Hair Forever

A few weeks ago, I did the big hair chop. My hopes were to make my hair look thicker. It helped a lot, but I’m always on the lookout for a product that will make my hair look even thicker. I read an article from Glamour the other day about Kaley Cucou’s even shorter new hair. While I love looking at celebrity hair, I get a little frustrated because I know that I can never replicate the look. I asked my stylist about thicker hair that I saw in a photo, and she said that it all came down to products, and that kind of volume would never last.

Little did she know that the article about Kaley Cucou’s new hair would unlock that secret for me!

The secret is Kenra Professional Platinum Dry Texture Spray. I bought mine from Amazon because I wasn’t sure if I would find it at Ulta.

texturizing spray

 

I used a volumizing mousse when I dried my hair. The after shot is just a few sprays of the texturizing spray.

032

Before:

005

003

After:

011 015

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Tips
Slow Days

sick day

I’m not talking about the violently ill, throwing up from the flu kind of sick days. Those suck. No way around it!

I’m here to give a few tips for surviving those last few days. Whether it’s chronic illness, post operation, or just a weird summer cold–or maybe it’s raining all day Saturday and you just don’t feel like leaving the house!

Obvious Tips:

  • Netflix binge. We all know you’ve been dying to see Dawson’s Creek from start to finish.
  • Eat junk food. Serotonin. It’s science.
  • Read a book. If you are a bookworm like me, you have more books on your shelf than you might ever read, so finish up what you’ve got going on and read some more!

Other Favorites:

  • Turn on your favorite music. If you’re anything like me, you don’t listen to nearly as much music as you did in the good old days. Turn iTunes on shuffle and just enjoy listening to your favorites!
  • Meal planning. I tend to put this off, but if I can sit up and use Google/Pinterest, I can usually pull together 5-6 crockpot recipes and a grocery list for my husband. That way, we can get cooking the next weekend.
  • Sit outside. If it’s the summer, I like to wait till it cools off in the evening and get a little bit of sunshine. It warms my always cold body and boosts my mood.
  • Along the meal planning and organizing lines, I like to fill out my calendar. It’s usually wishful thinking, but I’ll figure out when the next Pops in the Parks is, when it might be a good Saturday to go to the farmer’s market, or when I can visit my grandparents. I’ll be honest, most of my plans don’t work out, but they do give me something to potentially look forward to.
  • Call your family. If I’m feeling well enough to talk, my grandparents love it when I call.
  • I also email all of my friends. They’re probably sick of it. 🙂
  • Of course, I jot down all of my new blog post ideas.

How do you stay sane when you’re stuck in the house? I always wish I could use the time to clean the floors, organize clothes, etc., but the last time I did that, I hit my appendectomy stitches with the mop handle! 

Categories: life thoughts, Sick, Tips Tags: , ,
On-The-Go Photo Editing Apps

Earlier this week, Lisa {of Lisa Loves John} did a post on her favorite photo apps. She had some great suggestions, which you should check out.

I shared a few of my favorites, along with some examples. Lisa suggested that I should show how great some of them are, so here we go!

I love to use my husband’s super fancy camera–not that I’m all that great with it–but as a lifestyle blogger, I don’t exactly want to carry around a huge camera all of the time. Like most people, I always have my phone, so I snap a quick picture, so I can capture the moment, but get back to living my life. So, this is why these are my “on-the-go” apps. When I do use the bigger camera, I use my computer to edit the photos.

before and after

Big Lens:

This one is great for creating the look of a higher quality camera. Not only can I lighten the photos, but I can fade the background, which is nice to bring focus to my subject and maybe hide some clutter.

2014-05-19 16.24.22Josie looks cute, of course, but her face is so dark that it’s hard to really see her. Also, the background is a little messy.

So, using Big Lens, I manually outline her, using my finger.

josie edit

Big Lens let you hit the Auto button to make any corrections, which is usually spot on! Sometimes, though, I do have to add back a little more of the red outline.

josie 2

The result is pretty nice!

josie 3

I don’t always do the final step, but if you see the HDR switch at the top of the screen, which I highlighted with an arrow, it sometimes helps make the colors of the photo pop even more. Below is the final result!

2014-06-06 07.51.00

 

Categories: blogging, Tips
Backyard Makeover

So, you may have read about the awesome garden that my husband built in our backyard. I absolutely love it and can’t wait for fresh vegetables and herbs.

backyard makeover

While we were at it, we decided to go all out and completely makeover the backyard (and front porch area).  I’ve always dreamed of having lights in the backyard, so this was the best project that we’ve done, in my opinion. It gives it a retreat-like feeling, so I can feel like I’m on vacation on a Tuesday, or feel like I’m having a fancy party, when it’s just a few friends!

The Backyard

012

013

014

031

047

035

 

071

072

132

159

164

 

Did I mention that the lights give everything a super nice, soft glow at night? Love it!

Front Yard:

045

049

051

 

Sorry for the picture dump, but in this case, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words!

What you can’t see in the picture is the fire pit and chairs in the center of the patio. It was just too difficult to get a good angle of all of that, plus, it’s hot and who wants to see a fire pit? We usually move the chairs to a shady area. We’ve had to surrender our matching table to our dog Josie, because she thinks that it is her seat. Now we have a hand-me-down table from my parents that is just big enough to hold drinks and a candle!

Categories: Crafts, Decor, Tips Tags: , ,
Coffee Bar

Coffee Bar

When I first bought my house, I wanted a special, dedicated area for coffee. Like, a coffee bar! As a busy single lady, my house ended up looking more like a dorm room than a house. After a few months, I upgraded the furniture, but I never did anything very special.

While Brian and I were dating, we definitely bonded over our insane love for coffee. I mentioned to Brian that I wanted to put in a coffee bar. He nodded in agreement that it would be a good idea. Of course, when we got engaged, we registered for many coffee related items. Plus, combining his things with mine made for a very nice collection. I told him that we should create that coffee bar, but he seemed confused. Brian confessed that he really had no idea what a coffee bar would look like. I went to Pinterest and showed him a few ideas.

After a trip to Southern Marketplace, a fabulous furniture/home store in North Carolina, we settled on the above piece. It holds all of our bar ware, as well as extra coffee cups.

Recently, we got a Moka maker (like a stove top espresso maker), so we had to add some espresso cups and plates to our collection.

Favorite Elements

 

Overall, the piece is very functional, since we have more things for the kitchen than the kitchen can hold. Additionally, it makes for a fabulous entertaining piece. On Sunday afternoons, it is great for letting people mix and create their own coffee and hot chocolate concoctions. On Friday nights, however, it easily converts to a bar, when I pull out the ice bucket and put away the coffee cups!

I highly recommend getting flavored syrups and pumps for the syrups, if you plan on entertaining. Also, sometimes it is nice to make yourself a fancy coffee before you leave for work. Brian and I love the sugar-free white chocolate flavor the most. Another great combination is the vanilla with hazelnut! My friend (also named Sarah) introduced me to ordering “French Vanilla” lattes at Starbucks. I wasn’t much for Starbucks at the time, but that totally changed my mind. Sarah explained that the French Vanilla flavor was hazelnut mixed with vanilla. So, when Brian and I went to World Market to pick out flavors, I had to have those two! Now I can make them at home. I even add a little fat free whipped cream, if I want to feel really special.

Yummm

Well, this post is making me thirsty. Time for an espresso, I think!

 photo BlogHopButtonFinal_zps99116d5e.png

Categories: Tips, Uncategorized