Wine-Induced Ramblings on “The One”

I’ve always been a firm believer in “The One.”  That someone is out there in the world who will be your perfect match; will be the person God intended for you; the person who you’re meant to spend the rest of your days with.  It may not be easy to find them, and it may take going through some very wrong people to get to them, but they’re out there.  I’ve seen it. 

I’ve seen it in the faces of my parents, my sister, my uncle, my best friend.  I’ve seen high school sweethearts finally say “I do” after years of long-distance, I’ve seen friendships finally turn into long-lasting love, I’ve seen a man go through heart-breaking hell, to finally find and marry the woman he’d been searching for, for many years.  I’ve seen it.

But, I’m starting to fear that maybe it doesn’t happen for everyone.  How many people out there end up with someone who isn’t The One.  How many people settle for second best, and may never know it?  For as firm a believer as I am in God’s Plan, what if His plan means that The One and you aren’t meant to be together in this life?

What if you think you may have seen it, may have felt it, but for reasons out of your control, you can’t reach out and grab it?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  Have you ever met someone who took your breath away, within minutes of meeting?  Who seemed to meet all the qualifications your heart had been holding out for?  Someone who you find yourself missing, even though you barely know him?  Someone who, when you’re having a lovely conversation with a blind date, abruptly throws himself into the forefront of your mind, and makes you suddenly wish you were getting to know him better, instead of the “just okay” guy you’re having drinks with?

What happens if you meet The One, but never get a chance at it?  Does that make him NOT the one?  I’m not sure.  What if you never get the chance to find out?  I know I’m not making much sense – two large glasses of Sangria and a Pumpkin Blizzard sugar-high can do that to a blogger – but my head is spinning with Should I’s and What If’s and the worry that I may never meet The One, or that I already have but didn’t know it for sure.  That The One may have waltzed in and out of my life just as quickly as I was flipped head over heels. It makes you feel completely insane, completely, and utterly get-me-a-straight-jacket irrational. It may even make you feel pathetic. 

But what if, while you’re sitting alone on the couch on a Friday night, eating more ice cream calories than you care to think about, you’re missing out on the greatest opportunity you’ve ever been presented?  While you’re holding onto the thought that “everything happens for a reason,” and “whatever is meant to be, will be”  something inside of you is SCREAMING to do something about it.  To avoid the What Ifs, and makes the Should I’s seem so much more appealing.  But in the end, your fear overcomes the courageous voice inside of you, and turns the screaming into soft murmurs.

How many people have missed their chance with The One, because the murmurs never found their voice, because the fates had other plans, because eventually you give up on the Should I’s and What If’s and find second best, even if you don’t know that’s really what he is?

What if, for this hopeless romantic trying so hard to hold onto her beliefs, it turns out there really is no such thing as The One?

What if…

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5 Cute & Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

Halloween is quickly approaching – do you have your costume yet?  I’m not the craftiest person when it comes to anything that involves sewing.  I literally failed the “SEWING ON A BUTTON” test in Home Ec.  Pathetic, right?

At any rate, every year, I like to find cute & easy DIY  Halloween costumes.  A) They make me think I’m actually crafty.  B) They save me lots of money.  C) They usually fit better than the plastic and pleather costumes from retailers.

This year I’m going as Minnie Mouse – more to come on that – but I love perusing the web to see all the creative costume ideas of others.  Here are 5 of my favorite costume ideas:

Diet Coke Cans

These are SO cute, aren’t they!  All you need is some felt, scissors, fabric glue 0r Stich Witchery, and a cheap gray or silver tube top dress.  This would work for any canned beverage – heck, any canned food.  How funny would it be to go as a can of pumpkin?

Loofa

When I first saw this, I had one of those “I wish I thought of that!!” moments.  Actually, I think that’s the title of my Pinterest Board I originally had this on haha.  I think it’s brilliant and adorable, and lucky for us, I found a great How-To from E-How Style.  Just be prepared for people to make awkward jokes about showering with you…

Toddlers in Tiaras

Singer Fergie rocking a Toddlers in Tiaras costume.

I can’t say I’ve ever watched the show, and don’t even get me started on how much I DESPISE the Honey Boo-Boo spinoff in all of it’s disgusting glory.  However, this costume is too cute, current, and quick to put together that it’s one of my all-time favs.  All you need is an old or thrift store prom dress, a plastic tiara, a sash, and a pacifier.  Add is some seriously big, curly hair and wild make-up, and you’ll be good to go.  You can also take a nod from Fergie and carry around a stuffed animal all night, but that could get weird.

Taco Bell Hot Sauce

It’s probably because my bff and I are in love with the clever sayings on the real packets (and the entire taco bell menu,) but whatever the reason, I’m obsessed with these costumes.  Starting-to re-think -the- whole -Minnie -Mouse- idea obsessed.  Again, a cheap tube top dress, some felt, some glue, fabric you can print the logo on, and a sharpie is all you need!

Witch

You absolutely can not go wrong with dressing up as a witch.  It’s like the LBD of Halloween costumes… Quite literally! A sexy LBD, some striped or fish-net stockings, your favorite black heels, and a hat from the Halloween store.  Throw in some bright red lipstick, some long fingernails, and you’ll be the hottest witch in town!

I also found a MUST-HAVE tube top dress tutorial.  It’s so easy, I think that even sewing-challeged me could do it, and it would work for so many DIY costumes.  It’s from the Rock, Paper, Scissors Costumes tutorial from LaurenConrad.com (another of my favorite costume ideas).

What is your Halloween Costume going to be?

XO – Stephanie

Wedding Wednesday: The Icing on the Cake!

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

I was just thinking about how I’d love to be sitting outside a bakery right now, on this rainy fall day, sipping a latte and eating something delicious.  Then I remembered it’s Wednesday and was inspired to nose around Pinterest to find some beautiful wedding cake ideas to share.

There are INFINITE ways to decorate a wedding cake.  Not only are they a perfect way to express your wedding’s theme, but they’re also the backdrop for some important wedding moments – think cake smash!! While I’m all for beautiful things, it’s also important to remember that your cake should be equally pretty and delicious!  Afterall – cakes aren’t cheap, and you definitely want to get the best bang for your buck!

Here are some of my favorite looks:

Not only am I a big fan of square cakes, but I can’t get enough of the purple damask pattern, metallic gold, and sparse cascading flowers.  It’s romantic, vintage, and has just enough going on.  Not to mention – despite all the gorgeous decor – it still looks yummy!

I can’t believe this is actually cake!  This rustic beauty is a true work of art!  I love the way the feminine flowers are peeking out of the masculine “wood.”  It would be a perfect centerpiece for a rustic/romantic wedding.  I can’t help but picture a setting like the cottage’s forest in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs!

I’m a sucker for all white weddings, and especially all white wedding cakes.  The one pictured is one of the most ornate cakes I’ve seen, and there’s something refreshingly beautiful about the monotone color palette and intricate details.

I featured this cake on last year’s Wedding Wednesday: Autumn Chic inspiration board.  I had to include it in this post, as it is one of my all-time favorite looks.  I first saw the un-iced cake concept when Hilary Duff married former NHL hockey player Mike Comrie in 2010. She liked the look because it was “vintage” and added to her wedding’s cozy theme. She also said she isn’t a huge fan of sweets, so nixing the icing personalized the cake to her liking – something to keep in mind if you don’t have much of a sweet tooth!  The look is not only vintage, but rustic, and screams of “down to earth” and “home.”  This Spiced version is the perfect centerpiece for an Autumn wedding.

Actress Hilary Duff and husband Mike Comrie cut their wedding cake.

Whoever designed this His and Her’s cake is genius!  The bride and groom are both represented in this beauty, and combines the growing trend of having a groom’s cake, without the extra cost.  In a world where weddings can be all about the bride, this is a great way to give your groom some attention too.

Who says a wedding cake has to be made of perfect tiers and flawless fondant?  Not me!  This Sandcastle cake is the perfect example of making your wedding cake truly your own.  Why stop with a castle? I also found this little gem:

Here are a few more looks I love:

I also came across a very helpful article from The Knot today – “Wedding Cakes – Our Top Tips.”   It has some seriously great advice, so be sure to check it out!

What is your favorite wedding cake design?  What did your wedding cake look like?

XO- Stephanie

These Are a Few of My Favorite Memes

I hope you know I was singing this title to the tune of “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.”

meme
[ meem ]
  1. cultural characteristic passed down generations: any characteristic of a culture, e.g. its language, that can be transmitted from one generation to the next in a way analogous to the transmission of genetic information

Oh, Memes.  In this age of technology and social media, memes have become hilarious and truthful tidbits of mankind as we know it.  They are a fabulous internet fad that brings joy, laughter, and a feeling of community to all who read them. I can no longer imagine a world where we don’t have these sassy photo captions to express ourselves.  I can no longer imagine a world where I don’t laugh my butt off on Pinterest and Facebook, and anywhere else they catch my eye.

And speaking of catching my eye, here are some of my favorites – 10 Actually:

And the greatest one I’ve ever seen…

Oh, Memes – Thank you, from an entire generation who is enjoying your spunkaliciousness as it litters our social media pages.  And thank you, THANK YOU for giving us hours upon hours of photos with Ryan Gosling telling Hey Girl everything she’s ever wanted to hear.

What are your favorite memes?  Please share! I need more!!

XO -Stephanie

Fall Fad: 5 Favorite Owl Finds!

I’m not sure how or when, but I’ve become OBSESSED with owls.  It probably has something to do with their enormous popularity right now.  Yes, if you haven’t noticed, a huge fad this fall is Owls.  The best part about the fad, is that they’re CUTE owls with big awesome eyes, and sweet demeanors.  They’re everywhere – from necklaces, to soap dispensers.  I’ve got a small collection gathering in my kitchen decor, and keep finding more items I’m in love with. In no particular order, here are my 5 Favorite Owl Finds:

1) Yellow & Gray Owl Pillow with Chevron Stripes

Owl Pillow by whimsysweetwhimsy

Hello ADORABLE!  This cutie-pie is 12″x11″ and filled with poly-fil 100% premium polyester fiberfill.  It’s the only one of its kind, sold by whimsysweetwhimsy, but lucky for us, it has brothers and sisters of equal cuteness!  I can just picture it perched on my couch, brining sweet fall colors to my living room.  LOVE IT!

2). Cooking Owl Day Apron

Cooking Owl Day Apron from ModCloth

You know I’m already addicted to ModCloth, and now I have even more of a reason!  With this sweet apron, spending time in the kitchen will be a hoot! Get it? HOOT! Cheers for puns! Ah, I kill myself… Anyway I love the pattern, and the chocolate and robin-egg blue hues together. The touch of lime green makes this to-die-for.  I can just imagine this hanging in my kitchen… Someone please disable my PayPal account!

3) Owl Soap Sleeve

Owl Soap Sleeve from Bath & Body Works

Now this I actually have already.  I never paid much attention to the Soap Sleeves from Bath & Body Works – usually I was too distracted by the awesome 6 for $20.00 deals – but this one caught my eye, naturally.  I stock up on these soaps to last me the whole year, and this sleeve is the perfect accessory.  It’s currently perched on my kitchen sink, and fits easily over my fall-scented foaming soaps.  It’s a great and inexpensive way to bring this trend into your home.

4) Liz Claiborne Owl Ring

Liz Claiborne Owl Ring from JcPenney

This owl ring by Liz Claiborne for JcPenney is a fantastic fall accessory!  I love the cute eyes and purple and pink stones.  It also has a stretchy band, so it’ll fit any finger on your hands.  It’s definitely a statement piece, and would pair perfectly with everything – from an LBD to a white tee and jeans. The best part? It’s only $10.00!

5) Owl Coaster Set

Owl Letterpress Coasters from LuckyBeePress

Nobody likes water rings, so these cute coasters are here to save the day! They are hand-printed on heavy weight coaster stock by LuckyBeePress.  Each coaster measures 3 1/2″ in diameter, and they’re really inexpensive.  The Etsy description says they’re great for a hostess gift, and I couldn’t agree more!

Have you found any trendy owl items that you’re obsessed with?  Tell me in the comments below!

XO- Stephanie

To Stop and Smell the…Pumpkins!

I feel like I’m always losing time.  I could swear I was just pulling out my flip-flops from their winter hiding place and planning all the awesome things I was going to do in the sunny summer months.  Now, I’m scouring my sweater shelves for something to keep me warm as the crisp fall air is blowing in, and thinking of all the things I didn’t make time to do.

I need to start living in the moment more, stop thinking about what happens next, and stop wishing I had more time to do things, and just start DOING them.  Fall is my FAVORITE season, but it’s also a quick one.  I’ve learned that if you don’t take time to enjoy it, all the leaves will be gone, and we’ll be decking the halls with Christmas lights before you blink an eye!

So, this year, I’ve made a To-Do list of things I always love to do, things I wish I’d made time for last year, and things I’ve never done before:

I’m going to hang it on my refrigerator as a reminder to “stop and smell the roses (or pumpkins!).”  This Fall, I’m going to make time to enjoy the season with family, friends, and lil’ ol’ me.

Want to do it with me?  Print out the to-do list or create your own!  What’s your favorite Fall-thing to do?

XO – Stephanie

2 Women, A Garage, and a Mattress… in parts.

Upon moving into our new mountain home, a friend’s house, we learned that the previous tenant had left her bed. After much deliberation and short game of musical mattresses, we managed to solve the dilemma. The last hurdle was to get the not-utilized-at-the-moment-mattress into the garage. We decided the loft was cleaner than the ground floor. then realized, we have to go up….
Problem 1: we wrapped the mattress in plastic
Problem 2: we didn’t wait for our other roommate
The result: hilarious.
My roommates 1983 premium quality mattress, lovingly named “The Taco” now folds completely in half, something like the above… but without the cage to contain it. Picture two women running at each other, QUEEN mattress in hand and then
trying to shoulder push it through the door and up the lawn. Insert face-plants 1 & 2.

Yep… just a little left. got it!
what is stuck on? what’s it stuck on! (Heeeave) WHAT.IS.IT.STUCK.ON?!!!
Inline image 2

My face is stuck… my FACE is now STUCK. I can no longer breathe! Why won’t it move?!! HEEEAVE. HEEAVE. WHERE IS IT STUCK?!
But when you’re on barely-railed, unfinished, garage loft stairs….
Inline image 2

not a lot to grab onto up here…
The Mattress did make its way to the top after approximately 3 face plants, (1 of them while running), a shoe loss, a roll in garage dirt and a multiple near death experiences.
Although we came SO CLOSE to it ending a little something like this I, in fact, DID NOT come flying down at my roommate.
Loves,
Margaux

Wedding Wednesday: Claire Pettibone Bridal Gowns

Happy Wedding Wednesday!

Last week, I stumbled across Claire Pettibone’s website and fell head-over-heels for her dreamy, vintage-inspired couture designs. With ornate details, whimsical fabrics, touches of color, and delicate glamour – these gowns are perfect for a bride who’s looking for a unique dress that’s sure to make a lasting impression.

Pettibone has three collections: Windsor Rose China, Beau Monde, and Continuing Collection.  Like each dress, each collection has its own voice, but all the gowns seamlessly inspire an aire of romance that cannot be ignored.  Think Old-Hollywood meets Pride and Prejudice meets 21st Century Glitz and Sex Appeal .  SWOON.

Here are some of my favorites:

Claire Pettibone “Luna” – photo from Pinterest

“Sophie” – Claire Pettibone – photo from Pinterest

“Midnight” – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

“Provence” – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

“Dew Drop” – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

“Orange Blossom: – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

“Madame Butterfly” – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

“Toile Francais” – Claire Pettibone – Photo from Pinterest

For a look at all her bridal gowns and to find out where you can purchase one, visit http://www.clairepettibone.com/bridal/.

I simply can’t decide which one is my favorite.  They’re all so beautiful! Which gown do you like best?  Tell me in a comment below!

XO – Stephanie

I’m “Mad about Mashed!”

Hey Twenty-Somethings! What happens when one foodie of a blogger gets invited to a Mashtini taste-testing event and takes her equally food-loving sister?  A whole lot of MMMMs, and YUMMMs, and very, very happy bellies!  A few weeks ago, Sister and I were honored to attend the VIP Mad About Mashed event held by Bob Evans… and they made a Mashaholic out of me!

Sister and I at the Bob Evan’s Mad About Mashed Event! Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

The event was held to celebrate Bob Evans Food Products having the #1 best selling refrigerated mashed potatoes in America.   I have to admit, until that night I’d never tasted these renowned spuds, but I can now attest that they are DELICIOUS – especially the way Executive Chef Dave Eisel prepares them in the new Bob Evans Mad About Mashtini Recipe Collection.  The collection isn’t debuting until August 19th – National Potato Day –  but lucky for you I’m here with the whole scoop – of ‘tatoes!

Mad About Mashed Mashtini Bar – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Sis and I divided and conquered the mashtini bars, where we piled high our martini glasses full of fluffy, buttery, starchy goodness, and a whole lot of genius toppings.  We tried all six kinds, and every time we got to a new flavor, we thought we found a new favorite. The truth is – they were all SO good, and so perfectly different, we simply couldn’t choose the winner!

Here’s a breakdown of the awesomeness:

American Regional/Club Mashtini

This is classic Americano here, with toppings mirroring a Club Salad – diced ham and turkey, shredded Swiss and American cheese, and crumbled bacon.  There were also toppings like pulled pork, ranch dressing, broccoli florets and cheddar cheese sauce.  So, so, SO good!

Mad About Mashed Toppings – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Mediterranean Mashtini

This may have been Sister’s favorite – It had so many of her favorite pasta and salad toppings.  I thought her eyeballs were gonna pop out when she saw them!  She piled her spuds high with balsamic roasted portabella, parmesan crisps, grilled marinated chicken, basil pesto sauce, prosciutto and an italian mix of stewed peppers, onions and tomatoes called Pepperonata.  This dish takes you right to the heart of Italy friends, and boy is it worth the trip!

Taco Mashtini

This may sound a little weird at first, but I promise you it’s really good!   Bob Evans Zesty Hot Roll or Original Roll Sausage, sour cream, green onions, diced tomatoes, pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips, and pickled jalapenos, give the mashed pots a fantastic Southwestern kick.  Bobby Flay would be in heaven here.  It’s a taco PLUS Grandma-Style spuds – how could you go wrong?!

Taco Mashtini from Bob Evans Mad About Mashed event. Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Carbonara Mashtini

Bob puts a new spin on an old Italian classic with this recipe.  Crispy prosciutto pieces, warm peas, crispy fried shallots, and skewered grape tomatoes top potatoes flavored with Boursin cheese.  Boursin is a soft creamy cheese, similar to cream cheese, so you can imagine the extra richness it provides.   Delizioso!

Wildfire Mashtini

This was the last one we tasted, and it may just be my favorite.  This baby has an important not-so-secret ingredient – Bob Evans Wildfire BBQ Sauce. The sauce has the perfect blend of smoky-sweet flavors, and I’ve never had anything quite like it. Seriously, it’s SO good!  The potatoes sit in a bed of this liquid heaven and are topped with scallions and breaded popcorn chicken, that’s also been smothered in the sauce.  All I have left to say is YUM!

Wildfire Mashtini – Mad About Mashed – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Sweet Swirl Mashtini

This last recipe is for the sweet-tooth in all of us.  Bob Evans not only carries regular mashed potatoes, but they also have Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Now, this combination may seem odd when you read it, but you’re just going to have to believe me when I say it’s MOUTH WATERING!  The potatoes are topped mini marshmallows, crumbled bacon, honey roasted pecans, and warm maple syrup.  Kids, it’s like Autumn you can eat.  This is a great side to serve for holidays, and if you like Sweet Potatoes, you’re sure to love these!

Mad About Mashed – Sweet Swirl Mashtini – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

I really can’t say enough good things about these recipes, and the Bob Evans products I tasted.  And just so you know, this is not an advertisement.  I was invited to the event as a blogger, to share my honest opinion, and honestly, you just need to try these tasty ‘tatoes!  Maybe you can throw a VIP Mashtini Tasting party of your own!  According to Chef David’s demonstration I watched intently, they’re really easy to assemble.  Not only that, but your guests’ taste-buds will be happy, and they’ll be really impressed with your trendy menu.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the official release of these recipes, and in the meantime, get yourself some refrigerated mashed potatoes.  You may become a Mashaholic too!

With that, I leave you with some more pics from the awesome event and send BIG THANKS, from Sis and me, to Bob Evans and Brunner for inviting The Twenty Something Blog! 🙂

Chef David Eisel showing us how to make the magic at Mad About Mashed. Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

I got to meet the genius chef! Mad About Mashed – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

Yum moment photo op! Stuffing our faces with the Wildfire Mashtini. If you can’t tell by my silly smile, I was in Foodie Heaven! – Photo courtesy of Bob Martin from Cwenar Photography

* * *

Which recipe sounds the best to you?  Have you ever had a Mashtini of any kind?  Share your thoughts in a comment below!

XO – Stephanie