DIY At Home Chinese Buffet

8D2784EB-5C00-4ED0-A119-93F37A54C673Anyone else massive fans of Chinese buffets? I know I know, they can be super unhealthy and a lot of people have a problem with food sitting out all day and dozens of people hovering over it. I however look past these small hang ups and enjoy all it has to offer. Where else can you get fried rice, pizza, sushi, and soft serve ice cream all in one place? I’ll wait.

I feel like our love for the Chinese buffet stems from our Gigi’s (grandma) love for it. When we were younger we would go to her house, help her with yard work, and be rewarded with $20 and a trip to the buffet.

We looked forward to these days the most, so it’s no wonder why we love a place so much.

This year for our Gigi’s birthday, we all decided instead of taking a trip to our favorite place we would recreate it at home.

Yes fresh fried sugar donuts and all (Hope has the recipe coming soon)!

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So here are a few tips on how you can create your own buffet at home!

  1. Get all of your buffet sauces ready! Soy sauce, duck sauce, yum yum sauce, etc. Almost all stores carry these sauces and have a large variety of them as well.
  2. Plan your menu and stock up on your favorites. We made sure to have plain white rice, fried rice, sweet and sour chicken (and meatballs!), garlic green beans, beef and broccoli, and FRESH SUGARY FRIED DONUTS (If you don’t know what I mean then you are SERIOUSLYYYY missing out).
  3. Don’t forget the silly things they have at the buffet like cheap pizza (we picked our up for a $1 a pizza 😂), plain chicken nuggets, jello, etc. It adds a quirkyness to it (and makes it feel even more like the restaurant).
  4. Make sure to take a stroll down the frozen food aisle and pick up a few Chinese inspired apps! Egg rolls, crab rangoon, etc. They are usually pretty cheap and a lot easier and less time consuming than trying to make your own!
  5. Last but not least don’t forget to pick up some chopsticks!

We had so much fun celebrating her birthday this way and I think we have found a new tradition!

What are your favorite birthday traditions? Have you ever created a Chinese buffet at home?

As always,

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Easy Pom Pom Hat DIY

Who doesn’t love a super cute pom pom hat in the winter or a super simple DIY (and if you don’t love either, lets just pretend you do for this posts sake). I am guilty of wanting every pom pom, tassel, rhinestone and pearl embellished beanie I come across recently. My pockets however are not as happy with them as I am. Especially when the latest added to my “want list” comes in at over $200… Yes $245 (to be exact) for one hat.

After a few minutes of sadness and FOMO over this hat, I decided to do the next best thing. I’d make it myself.

This DIY will take you under 15 minutes and will make you feel super cute while you are staying warm this winter!

What you’ll need:

  • One plain beanie (your color choice)
  • Two fur pom poms (we bought two fur pom pom key chains and took the chains off)
  • Color coordinating string
  • A sewing needle

Directions:

  1. Figure out where you want to place your fur pom poms and mark it on your hat.
  2. String your sewing needle and start from the inside of the hat. To make sure that your thread does not come loose, I like to bring my needle back into the inside of the hat and tie a knot with my working string and the ends.
  3. I then bring the needle back to the outside of the hat and I attach the pom pom so that it is firm in place and does not feel too loose.
  4. When it feels secure enough for my liking, I bring my needle back into the inside of the hat and I tie it off with the ends of the string that are inside.
  5. Repeat on the other side and DONE!

I am super happy with the finished product and I can’t wait to make more!

As always,

Romantic White Pumpkin Fall Decor DIY

It is officially my favorite time of the year. The weather, the food, the drinks, the movies, and the DECORATIONS!

I wish I could live in a world where fall was year round (think Halloweentown type of world).

Every year I try to switch up my decorations a little bit and this year I was drawn to white pumpkins and romantic hues (rose gold, dusty rose, etc.). I ran around all of my favorite craft store stomping grounds looking for something that spoke to me. I stumbled down an aisle of Michael’s and it was like the heavens opened up.

I found exactly what I was looking for. One solo white pumpkin and enough dusty rose colored flowers to make any romantic heart happy. To make the whole thing that much better, everything was 40% off.

I was able to make this gorgeous centerpiece for under $20!!!

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For this centerpiece you will need:

  • One carvable white pumpkin from any craft store
  • Three small bundles of flowers in your desired colors
  • Rose gold metallic paint
  • Hot glue gun

Here is how I did it…

1| Cut the top off of the pumpkin

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2| Paint the top of it rose gold

To achieve the drips on the pumpkin, I took my rose gold craft paint and mixed it with some water so it would run down the sides of the pumpkin when I painted the top. Below is a picture of the exact paint I use for any of my metallic paint needs.

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 3| Once the paint is completely dry, I take a hot glue gun and glued each bundle of flowers to the bottom of the pumpkin so they don’t shift around. I had one large bundle of flowers that I glued to the center and then placed the two smaller ones to the side.

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There you have it!

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Added bonus to the flowers I got was that two of the bundles came with a pine cone, a baby white pumpkin, and the cutest gold gourd. I didn’t have to look for these little additions or pay extra for them!

What are some of your favorite fall decor DIYs?

 

As always,

Capture

DIY: Hula Hoop Wreath

For my engagement party I wanted to add a few one of a kind decorations to the mix. I searched Pinterest high and low looking at hundreds of pins until I came across the cutest wreaths. Want to know what they were made out of!?!?!

HULA HOOPS!!!!!

I kid you not. They looked so cute and I knew they were just what I needed. So I headed to the craft store to gather the few materials needed and got to creating.

Here is what you’ll need|

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  • One hula hoop
  • A can of spray paint in your desired color
  • Artificial vine with flowers attached (you can also add extra individual flowers like I did for added fullness)
  • Jewelry or floral wire
  • A piece of foam poster board to carve out the name or word you wish
  • A hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • A large piece of glitter craft paper

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Hula Hoop Wreath Steps|

  1. First I spray painted the hula hoop with my bright gold spray paint that I picked up from my local craft store.
  2. Once the paint was dry I took my vine and wire and wrapped a little more than half the hoop with the vine. I also added a few extra, big white flowers to make the wreath look fuller.
  3. While I was putting the wreath together, Ethan was writing out my soon to be last name and cutting it out with an exacto knife.
  4. After he was done with the name, I took a glue stick and glued the name to the back of an ultra glittery piece of glitter craft paper. To make sure it really stuck, I then took my hot glue gun to the few places that need a little extra help sticking together. If you did not want to do this step you can always spray paint your name or word.
  5. Once the name was put together, I hot glued the name to the edge of hula hoop (MAKE SURE WHEN YOU ARE CUTTING OUT THE NAME THAT IT IS LARGE ENOUGH TO BE GLUED TO THE SIDES!)
  6. That is it! To hang this wreath up we just placed it on a nail we had on our deck. You can also use twine or a color complimenting string.

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I hope you enjoyed this quick little tutorial. You can also head to our youtube channel where I put up the DIY video that accompanies this tutorial!

HULA HOOP DIY

 

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As always,

Capture

 

 

 

 

5 Websites You Need For Your Wedding

Hi guys!

Another Monday is here and I am hitting it head on and trying to nail down some wedding plans. Before I got engaged (read my engagement story here!), I thought planning a wedding was picking a venue, buying a dress, and choosing a cake. How wrong I was. I never really thought of all of the other little things it took.

After being initially overwhelmed, I got really excited to tackle all of the details (both big and little). Now for the big obstacle… Where to start. I want my wedding to be unique and was struggling with how to do that.

In my one visit to a bridal shop in my area I looked at bridesmaids dresses and accessories and was not the biggest fan of what they had to offer. The dresses had no character and in my opinion kind of all looked the same. When I looked for decorations that matched the theme I had going on in my head, I hit yet another dead end. So I took to the internet and soon found exactly what I was looking for.

Below I am sharing the five websites that have helped me immensely in my wedding planning journey!

1| Azazie

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This site has honestly been a god send to me. Like I said before I was unhappy with the bridesmaid dresses I was finding and I wanted something different. Here was my something different. Azazie has SO MANY OPTIONS! Not only do they have endless style options (long, short, long sleeve, strapless, etc.) they also have endless color options. My colors are mauve and burgundy and Azazie had the exact match.

Here are a few perks to the site besides their vast inventory:

  • Color swatches FullSizeRender(173)FullSizeRender(172)

Perfect for making sure everything matches, helps with picking out the linens, and perfect to add to your bridesmaids proposal boxes so that your ladies know exactly what color they will be wearing.

  • Renting your dress

One thing that sets Azazie far apart from the rest of the sites I have stumble across was the fact that they let you rent your dress before buying it. Yes, for just $10 you or your bridesmaids can rent the dress of their choice and try it on before committing to it.

  • Low Prices

To sweeten the deal, all of the bridesmaid dresses on the site are about $150 and below. So your girls won’t have to break the bank to be part of your big day.

BONUS: They also have cute wedding dresses which are also super affordable!

2| Etsy

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This should be no surprise here. Etsy has close to 2 million listing for your wedding needs. The only problem that you may run across is that there are SO MANY options. Searching for wedding signs will bring up 100,000 options, but searching wooden calligraphy signs will give you a lot less and will make your life easier. So the key to all of this is to search specifically.

3| Amazon

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You come to Amazon for all of your other needs so why not for the biggest day of your life. Amazon, just like Etsy, has endless options for your wedding. I am using Amazon for a lot of my centerpieces (endless flower options and mason jars!) and for the flowers that I am putting up everywhere around the barn.

4| Oriental Trading

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Growing up, my mom used to get Oriental Trading catalogs in the mail all the time. While I was only about ten years old, I would always flip through the pages and circle the things I wanted. Now that I am an adult I am going back to them to find a lot of things for my wedding. They have super affordable favors, platters for my cookie table, and things to add to my centerpieces. Like with Amazon and Etsy, it does take a lot of searching to find the good stuff.

5| Flower Sites

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I’m all about being the DIY bride and I am always on the look out for sites that help me do that. Look no further than these two sites. They have a vast inventory of flowers that you can put together yourself. You buy the bundle and put them together any way your heart desires. These are only two of the dozens of sites that offer a similar service. Kukka not only offers bouquets, but also centerpieces.

 

I hope that this helps you with starting your wedding planning. Do you guys have any sites that I should check out for my wedding? I am always up for suggestions!

As always,

Capture

 

 

 

The Best Gifts for the Grads in Your Life

‘Tis the season for graduations and graduation gifts. While it is easy to throw cash into an envelope and call it a day, I always love to give a gift that the grad will remember forever.

Sophia just graduated this past weekend and her graduation party is coming up next month which means it is time to brainstorm the best gift for her. Below are a few unique ideas for gifts to give to the grads in your life this year.

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1♦ A Gift Card Wreath

While cash is always a nice gift, it is also nice (and much appreciated) when you receive gift cards to your favorite restaurants. This comes in extra handy when your grad is going from high school to college and they want to eat somewhere that is outside of their meal plan (cafeteria food gets old fast… trust me). You don’t have to drop a lot on this either. Give a $10 gift card to Subway, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks mixed with a few $5 gift cards to Wendy’s, Burger King, or McDonalds ($1 menus for the win!). Your grad will be forever grateful.

To assemble this wreath cut a circle out of a poster board and use double sided tape to fix the gift cards to it. If you want to get a little extra with it, make a few dollar bill flowers and place them between the gift cards.

Here are a few examples that I found on Pinterest.

 

Graduation Gift Ideas | Eighteen25:
From eighteen25.com
Cute Gift Idea-Make a festive wreath and fill it with gift cards!:
From crazylittleprojects.com

2♦ Everything Laundry Basket

I was truly blessed in college to never have to worry about heading to the laundromat since I commuted from home. Some other grads are not so lucky and can’t count on mom to do their laundry once they start school. So why not help them out a little with a fully loaded laundry basket. Here is what I would add that would help out more than you know:

  • A laundry basket
  • A laundry bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softners
  • Scent boosters for the wash
  • A mason jar full of quarters

It is that easy and so useful for their first semester at college.

3♦ Custom jewelry or money clip

The internet is saturated with fun jewelry for the new grad in your life. From bangles, to cuffs, to necklaces, to rings, the options are truly endless. Especially when these jewelry designers give you the freedom to personalized your product down to the type of metal your prefer.

An alternative gift to money in an envelope is a custom stamped money clip that reads “oh the places you will go”:

Graduation Personalized Money Clip in Copper-Graduation Gift-Gift for Graduation-Moneyclip for Dad
From etsy shop: TheLandlockedDogTwo

Bonus points if you slip a little bit of money into the clip.

Or you can customize a bangle with the college they are attending or their name:

Personalized graduation bangle, 2017 bangle, custom name bracelet, gift for graduate, high school senior jewelry, 2017 graduation present
From etsy shop: Love1Oak

Also if you didn’t know by now, I also hand stamp bracelets and other objects that are perfect for the grads in your life. Take a look at what I have to offer at

Born to Be Designs!

4♦ Custom College Sports Gear

While I did love the shirts that Pitt offered for sports, after two years I feel like they never offered anything new. Why not give your grad a personalized sports shirt from my girl Nikki at Belle and Whistles!

She offers sports gear like none I’ve ever seen and since they are so fashion forward, they are perfect for your grad.

5♦ Gift cards to their local grocery store

This goes along with the gift card idea posted earlier. Find out what school they will be attending and see if there are any grocery stores within walking distance (or a short bus ride) and give your grad a gift card there. Giving them a little bit of home with them. While it is fun to go out to eat and see your friends everyday, sometimes it is nice to go back to your room after class, make a little meal for yourself, and binge watch Netflix.

I hope this post gives you a little idea of gifts you can give to your grad this year.

Do you guys have any fun presents that you have given or are planning on gift to your grads? If so what are they?

As always,

Capture

Mondays with Mo: Seafood Linguini!

Happy Monday!

So if you read my post about my trip to Mexico, then you know I had quite possibly the best meal of my life. That is really saying a lot since I LOVE to eat and I have had some of the most amazing meals in my 24 years of life.

This amazing meal came at the rehearsal dinner of the wedding we attended. We ate at the cutest poolside restaurant that overlooked the perfectly lit up beach.

The four course meal started with crab cakes and stuffed clams. Both were good but nothing out of this world. Those were followed by a tomato bisque that was equally tasty but still nothing stellar. For the main course you could choose between four things. A salmon plate, a grouper plate, chicken parmesan, and a seafood linguini.

At our end of the table, Ethan, I, and our two friends decided to each order one and share (my idea because I wanted all four…).

I chose to order the grouper which was served with your typical whipped potatoes and seasonal veggies. I was super happy with it… That was until I tried the linguini that Ethan ordered…

IT WAS SOOOOOO GOOD!

I don’t think you guys understand. I have an intense love for seafood and this meal was the perfect pair of it all. The clams, the lobster, the perfectly sauced noodles. I was hooked. The rest of my trip all I wanted to do was go back to the restaurant and order it again and again. Sadly that did not happen…

So when I got home my mission was to recreate this meal so that I can enjoy it again and again.

To Pinterest I went. I scrolled through hundreds of recipes (not an exaggeration). I picked out a few recipes that looked like they would work and I meshed them together.

Here is my version of the BEST SEAFOOD LINGUINI EVER!

Ingredients:

  • Shrimp
  • Scallops
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Linguini (duh!)
  • Butter
  • Onions
  • Parmesan Cheese

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1♦ When I went to the store to pick up these ingredients I originally was going to buy shrimp and scallops separately until I stumbled upon these pre-made skewers. They were a life send and so much cheaper than buying them separately.

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To start I placed the seafood, a heavy spoonful of garlic (I loveee garlic so I used a lot, but if you are less of a garlic lover then you can use less. It is all up to you.), and a 1/4th of a cup of onions.

2♦I let the onions caramelize and the seafood brown (while the water is boiling), and then I added a half a stick of butter. Once again, use more if you love butter or less if you aren’t such a fan. This recipe is not an exact science.

3♦ Once everything is simmering, I add a half pint of heavy whipping cream, a handful of chopped parsley, and a cup of parmesan cheese.

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And here you have the closest thing to seafood heaven.

I drained the linguini and added it right to the sauce pan and there you have it!

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I was pleasantly surprised with how close this dish was to the one I originally fell in love with and it was so easy to make.

Another perk is that the sauce base works well with any other type of protein whether it be steak, chicken, or any other type of seafood.

What are some of your favorite recipes? What is your favorite seafood dish that I should try next?

As always,

Capture