Saturday, September 3, 2016

Reggie Turns Three (& the Best Gluten Free Cake Ever!)

I can't believe my baby is three! She's my third baby, and today is her Golden Birthday because she is turning three on the third of September.

To celebrate, we invited friends to swim at my in-laws pool for one last hurrah before they drain it after Labor Day. Only a few of our friends came, but it was a great little celebration!

I also found an amazing gluten free cake recipe! I made it in three parts too. I saw this idea on Pinterest for creating a heart by cutting a circle layer in half and then putting each half on two sides of a square layer. I didn't have the fresh pumpkin like the recipe called for, so I tried a can of cooked pumpkin puree. It was really good, though you could definitely taste the pumpkin flavor.  Still really yummy though!

The Not-Buttercream icing was astonishingly good!
Everyone was deeply impressed (myself included) that something made from cauliflower and avocado could be so delectably decadent! I highly recommend you check out these recipes!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Roasted Zucchini mini "Pizzas" (What I ate Aug 28, 2016)

I know this idea is all over pinterest and the internets. . . I just thought I'd take some pics and offer my own recommendation.

It's a super easy recipe/concept.
Although you may find variations and tips all over for how to do it, I basically sliced up a zucchini, arranged the slices on a baking sheet, basted them with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and then roasted them at 40 degrees F for about 10 minutes.


Then pulled them out and added some shredded cheddar and sliced grape tomatoes (which by the way were amazing! My friend gave them to me fresh from her garden!) with some more salt and pepper. . . .

Then popped them back into the oven until the cheese was sufficiently melted.

It was a delicious, comforting meal for me. Though honestly, nothing like pizza.
they didn't hold together once I started cutting into them, as the olive oil made the cheese were slip off; but the fact that they didn't look as pretty was really not a concern for me, because I was hungry and they were tasty. :}

Update: October 13, 2016

I made these again today, and used a little less oil. I also cooked them a bit longer and let the cheese get a bit crispy, and I added italian seasoning on top of the tomatoes before I put them back into the oven. All these changes made it even tastier than last time!
Thanks for reading and let me know if you try it!
~Julie :}

*Julie Surprise is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Super Easy High Protein Snack!

We sometimes shop at NPS for groceries and though they often are not known for healthy meats in their frozen section, we were fortunate enough to find these thin cuts of beef by Simple Truth that had no weird additives that I can't eat. (I.E. MSG, Gluten, Sugar Etc.) They were about $0.50 each or something, so we bought a bunch of them and I depended on them as my source of meat for a couple of weeks. They are as thin as lunch meat though, so finding ways to eat them took a little extra thought since sandwiches are not really an option. (If you wanted gluten free meat, why would you want it in a sandwich anyway? I mean, I guess you could use gluten free bread, but I'm personally not a fan. Hmm, maybe that's why these ended up at NPS.)

Anyway, so most of the time I'd warm these cuts up on the griddle, season them according to my mood and tear them up to eat over a salad. However, on this particular day, I think I was out of salad greens, or maybe just feeling lazy; (Possibly both). So I warmed them up as usual, (though I think I just stuck to some simple salt and pepper this time,) and then topped them with some goat cheese and green onion spears. I thought they were pretty tasty, and were a great easy high protein snack so I thought it might be worth a share.
Hopefully it will at least inspire someone to the possibilities that come with a no bread diet. You wouldn't have to warm them up, I just prefered that method since they still had a little blood on them. I prefer my meat a tad more well done.
Hope this helps someone out somewhere, and if you try it, I'd love to hear what you thought!
Have a fabulous day!
~Julie :}


Thursday, July 28, 2016

An F.Y.I. for the short shy

Examiner.com folded ealier his month. I was their Salt Lake City Budget Fashion Examiner a couple of years ago, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. 

And so, we have once again arrived at 'the golden hour' of Summer. Whether you will be spending these last few precious weeks far from home on a much needed getaway or scouring the hottest back to school sales at your favorite local store; either way, you'll want to take advantage of the warmer weather and the clothing that pertains to it while you still can.
We are about to cover a potentially delicate topic today. One that leaves many a local lady looking awkwardly the other way. However, have no fear, whatever your preconceived notions about this Summer clothing item may be in regards to both yourself and others, we are here to clear some stigmas and prove to the doubters that it is possible for a any person, no matter their shape or size to look well in shorts.
That's right. Shorts.  Okay, so maybe not all of you cringe at the idea of donning these cousins of the Capri which bare a little more leg than your pioneer ancestors would have thought proper.  Anyone outside of Northern Utah may even think this cautious introduction completely unnecessary if not  insane. Yet, here in this rather diverse hemisphere and admittedly unique culture which has often been labeled as “The Bubble”; we feel that there are quite a few things going against this member of the apparel family that has rendered it a bit of a black sheep.

Though we try not to recall a time when we've seen someone wearing cycling shorts that were at least two sizes to small, we try not to dwell.
Transversely, others have just as easily made the mistake of choosing a pair too large, or simply the wrong pair for their figure. These things do happen, but they need not set your against shorts altogether.
To say no one looks good in them is a blanket statement that we are about to disprove.
Of course, it may not be your opinion of others that has you shying away from baring your legs. If are one who hasn't slipped into a pair of shorts since you were fifteen and your tactless boyfriend remarked that your legs reminded him of chicken legs--Not explaining whether he was referencing a raw drumstick or a chicken's actual scaly, stick-like leg--Well, toss those insecurities aside! this article's for you.



If you want to add curves:
For those ladies who are embarrassed to bare super thin, less shapely legs, you may rejoice that the shorts best for your body type are some of the most fun and fashion forward. To add curves look for pairs that are a bit curvy in and of themselveslike this pairHigh waistline shorts are a great way to create curves by emphasizing your natural waistline. Fun details like pleatsbuttons, gathers, big front bowscuffs, bold colors and/or patterns are also great for your body type and light, flowing fabrics will not only feel wonderfully breezy but will look wonderful as well. Many styles may even look more like skirts. If your legs are particularly twiggy find the happy balance between fitted and gaping. Koolot styles are especially un-flattering on super thin legs when they are quite wide yet cut very short. If your legs are rather long, lean toward longer pairs of shorts to balance this. We suggest mid thigh to knee length as the best for you.

To add a slimming effect:
On the other end of the spectrum, those ladies who feel shy about baring a shapely thigh need not fear! There are plenty of styles out there that not only keep your quads covered but also offer a flattering, slimming effect as well. The trick is to find that length that hits you right where your thigh naturally begins to taper toward to knee. (Never cutting yourself off at the widest part of your thigh). Stick with either single toned neutral fabrics or vertical stripes if you want a pattern.
Flat fronts
 and more fitted (though not skin tight) straight leg cuts are also great. 
Keep it simple. Avoid going too big or baggy, as well as details like pleats, tiny floral prints and pockets that pooch out. Also stay away from thin fabrics as they will not offer the support you need. Some experts say to stay away from cuffs, but we think that is something you'll have to experiment with yourself as we feel it varies from case to case. Cuffing also might be the best way to figure out your perfect length. Wearing casual heels or wedges will also add visual length and definition.

To add length:
If your legs are on the short side, the trick to adding length is actually to go for shorter length shorts. 4-5 inch inseams are best. (Knee length shorts actually just make you look shorter by cutting you in half visually).
This info may seem intimidating at first, but just think how this can really benefit you. This means that those super cute little board shorts that are often worn as cover-ups at the lake or pool will look amazing on petite little you! Granted, you may not want to put on mini shorts as an everyday attire option, yet you can still take advantage of the style in special circumstances like if participating in a sport, like tennis or jogging; when your everyday attire would be too hot or restrictive.
Pairing your shorts with wedge sandals or heeled sneakers will also add length to your legs, while keeping with the casual vibe. Also, vertical stripes can add length, but avoid them if you are already quite thin.

So you see, there are a lot of options out there! Hopefully these tips will help you in narrowing down what styles will best fit your needs (and that truly does fit. Remember, if there's a muffin top involved, you are NOT too big, the shorts are too SMALL.) Now go for it! Find that pair that's perfect for you and enjoy letting the sun shine on those stems for a bit before it's time to bundle up them again. 


Happy basking!

The Mirror Has Two Faces: What to Watch Out for When Buying Secondhand Clothing

Examiner.com folded ealier his month, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. This one is part of a two part article looking at the two sides of buying clothes on a budget.


The Mirror Has Two Faces: What to Watch Out for When Buying Secondhand Clothing



Probably most of us on a budget know all too well that clothing does not have to be brand name or even brand new to be fabulous and fun. You can go shopping in your friend or sister's closet (with permission of course), you can get vintage clothes from older relatives, you can shop at the D.I., factory outlet stores, consignment shops or other second hand stores.
There are a lot of options out there and though it can take some serious time, finding usable used clothes can be like a treasure hunt and really can be fun and exciting. When buying secondhand though, do remember to check the item carefully before purchasing.
Be sure to check for:
  • Holes
We know this may seem obvious, but sometimes the holes themselves are not. To avoid any possible regret later take the item into a dressing room and check every inch of it for even the tiniest of holes. If it is knit material or has some stretch then gently stretch it as you search so that nothing will be missed. Be sure to check near the shoulders and around the collar or waistband areas front and back, along the side seams and the bottom edges as well as across the middle.
  • Ripped seams
This check will be easier since you can follow along each seam pulling each side gently and easily discover if there is an area where the seam popped.
  • Stained underarms
It often surprises us how often shoppers forget this important detail. When you try on a top or dress raise your arms in front of the mirror and look for even subtle discolorations. Also, this may seem gross but you also really ought to smell the armpit area. The hugest regret we have ever discovered in buying secondhand is the discovering that certain items seems to have “perma B.O.” from who knows who! Even after repeated washings and special treatments it often proves to be a lost cause that some stinky shirts are simply beyond salvation.
  • Missing buttons/broken zippers
This can even be an issue with new items occasionally so it should already be a part of your shopping routine. Always test zippers, don't forget coat pockets make sure you have tested them all, even the hidden inner pockets that some winter coats have. Also always test all the buttons. We know it is time consuming but better to spend a little more time than to take something home that you'll never wearing because the first time you tried a prominent button split.
  • Loose threads
Sometimes loose threads can be simply that, extra threads that just happened to become attached and are not part of the garment. By gently pulling on any that you find you will soon see whether the items has any that will be of later concern.
  • Other stains
This means stains around the collar or anywhere else on the body of the garment. Collar stains can sometimes be remedied by soaking them with shampoo before washing, but even this may not prove to be a permanent solution. Often it seems that once something is stained, especially with oily substances they will remain stained, or the stains will continue to resurface as the oil continues to grab new dust. Also try it on in a well lit dressing room and stand back looking for general discolorations or fading. We've also found it helpful to sit down in the garment, especially if it is pants or a skirt and look at your lap for a few minutes. This is when the tiny flaws and stains usually appear that were invisible before. Like when you're waiting at the doctor's office or are sitting in church. Don't let those places be the location in which you discover flaws in your clothes. Think about this ahead of time and you'll have much more peace of mind and be able to focus better in that important work meeting.
  • Signs of wear
Probably the most overlooked item on this list. Signs of wear can mean anything from slightly sheer elbows on a cardigan or sweater, or slight pilling or fuzziness on a knit top. Even if the pilling is not too bad, scrutinize the material carefully and ask yourself how much longer it will last before it starts to look too shabby for church. Even if you never intend to wear it to church, this is a good gauge to go by.



The same rules apply when buying used online. Be sure to ask questions if you aren't sure of the quality. Even if it seems perfect, the seller may be hiding something so it would be best to verify this list of questions with the seller.

Photo Credits:
Photo by Nathan Cox, Getty Images. Catherine Tyldesley attends Manchester Pride 2012 on August 24, 2012 in Manchester, England.
August 24, 2012 License 


CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: A lady browses vintage clothing in a shop during Day 3 of the Vintage at Goodwood Festival on August 15, 2010 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Vintage at Goodwood) 

The Mirror Has Two Faces: Redefining Your Perception of Affordable Fashion

Examiner.com folded ealier his month. I was their Salt Lake City Budget Fashion Examiner a couple of years ago, so I have decided to repost all my articles here on my blog. This one is part of a two part article looking at the two sides of buying clothes on a budget.

Do you set reasonable limits when it comes to budget fashion? Do you carry healthy perceptions about yourself and in how you view money?
Today's focus is going to be a little more philosophical as we examine some seemingly opposing ideas behind budget fashion. 

The word budget is relatively versatile and can be used as a noun, adjective and a verb. When examining the various definitions it is easy to see which ones are most prevalent in our particular culture, or rather, foremost in our thoughts when we hear or read the word 'budget'.  
The most common definition would be the adjective form of the word, which describes something as being cheap or reasonably priced. Yet the actual noun simply means an allotment or a predicted amount of resources over a short period of time. If we examine this definition we find that the specifics of this amount will vary from person to person. 

We have found that in writing about budget fashion it has been a matter of some perplexity to know how to write articles that will apply to all budgets. We disagree with the idea that anything we write about must all be as absolutely cheap as possible, especially because some people really will not ever want to purchase second-hand. There is nothing wrong with this. Though our current culture is very much enamored of the idea of applying the three R's of being eco-friendly, there are some definite, though often overlooked cons that are often concealed behind the more obvious pros of wearing secondhand clothing. So we have also written a sister article today that covers all the things to watch out for when shopping second-hand to help you avoid these cons as much as possible. 

As for this article we are not only going to acknowledge that secondhand is not for everyone but would like to help all our fashionable readers re-evaluate their perceptions of what is affordable and what they personally feel to be expensive. Consider that perhaps you have been limiting yourself by how you define these two words in your own life.



Some of my readers may be familiar with Carol Tuttle. A local of Draper Utah, Carol is an entrepreneur and author who is known for her life changing energy healing techniques and in more recent years her personal beauty profiling system that she bases upon her theories about each person's individual expression of energy and movement. Carol's program, “Dressing Your Truth” has been life changing and empowering for thousands of women, by encouraging them to look at themselves in a new way and discover their true nature and learn how to best emphasize their own natural type of beauty.

In these videos Carol discusses how our personal perceptions of money are often false beliefs that we have been indoctrinated with throughout our lives. She offers some energy healing techniques for purging the limiting beliefs and replacing them with affirmations that will allow us to know that our personal beauty is not at all related to the size of our budgets.

We love the positive affirmations and ideas behind Carol's message and hope that in sharing this today we will encourage all our lovely (or handsome) readers to realize that they are not defined by their budgets and that perhaps they can even manifest a larger budget and elevate their perception of value and worth.

While trying our best to be smart shoppers may we not forget that some standards should be kept high. You are worth more than stained, worn or hole riddled clothing and you deserve better than this. I think often, in our Salt Lake culture, because of how we were raised, some of us can get so caught up in being thrifty that we become stingy and become personal martyrs, by denying ourselves many basic needs. Fearing that wanting nice things makes us worldly we settle for truly less than we ought to and then our self esteem suffers because we have in essence told ourselves that we're not worth it. That we're not good enough to have a nice dress or a hole free pair of socks or jeans. Let us remember that for most of us with these limiting beliefs we have also been taught to seek after anything lovely, of good report or praiseworthy. For those who recognize this teaching, you might also remember that the Temple standards are very high. All clothing is spotlessly white, furniture and d├ęcor are immaculate, clean and in good condition. If our bodies are our temples then we should dress them accordingly and never settle for something so obviously beneath us. Not even on laundry day!

One philosophy we love is that if you couldn't wear it to church, you shouldn't have it in your closet. Many who have traveled outside of the US might have noticed that of all the civilized nations we dress the most slovenly. Perhaps we could change this reputation at least within the salt Lake Community. Let us make this dream a reality as we all strive to be better at celebrating our personal beauty and fashionable tastes. 

Photo Credit: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 23: A woman walks past a sale display at Pitt Street shopping mall on December 23, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. As retailers like Kathmandu, JB-HI Fi and Billabong report poor pre-Christmas sales, many stores are dropping prices to battle for last-minute shopper dollars to help boast the seasonally low offline retail numbers. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images) 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Breadless Butter Snacks Part 2

Here is another great way I've found to get more butter in my diet without involving bread or grains.

Some of you might remember my old nostalgic snack from childhood; basically a banana based "ants on the log". Well, it occurred to me about a year ago that I could try eating a banana with regular butter instead of peanut butter . . . I'm not entirely sure how it all came into my head, but I'm thinking it has something to do with banana cream pie, and also, coconut cream pie.  Back when I used to eat regular pies, like at Thanksgiving, those two flavors were my absolute faves. Especially the coconut cream one. So one day I decided to try putting (non-sweetened) coconut on a buttered banana.


It was so tasty! Quite a different experience from the peanut butter banana, but really good . . . possibly better!

I do still like the peanut butter version, but most of the time I will choose a coconut banana over the former recipe because it really does remind me of coconut cream pie! I usually like to sprinkle just a touch of sea salt on top to enhance the coconut flavor and also because the banana is already so sweet and the butter so mild, it's nice to add a bit of contrast.

 My husband and kids all approve of this snack too, so if you miss coconut cream pie (or banana cream); or if you are just looking for a new way to add some more butter to your diet, I would highly recommend this snack!

Totally delicious! Light, sweet, and creamy and with nothing but benefits!

I recently also bought some clean toasted coconut flakes from Thrive Market and the lightly toasted flavor really added to the experience!


For more great butter snacks check out my other post here.

Strawberry Season Snack! (Plus, PB'n'J . . . Salad!)

I love strawberry season!  There is no fruit that makes me quite so happy as a fresh springtime strawberry! This fruit is so versatile in recipes as well as fantastic all on it's own!

We were able to get 2 lbs of fresh strawberries over the weekend from Costco and I am greatly enjoying them!

My absolute favorite way to enjoy strawberries is to stuff them/make them into little 'sammies.'
We like to use softened cream cheese sweetened with a little local raw honey. Sooooo, good!


These snacks feel like an luxurious indulgence, yet they are so healthful and easy that there's really no reason why they couldn't become a regular thing! At least during strawberry season.

Another way that I enjoyed them this past weekend was on a salad. Now I have been eating strawberry spinach salad for over a decade, but this time I decided to try a little experiment based on my Peanut Butter and Honey Salad.

Since I had strawberries available, I figured it was about time I tried out my favorite sweet salad with a strawberry "jam" twist! I didn't actually make jam though . . . All I did was crush some of the berries in a bowl with my potato masher and stirred in a bit of honey (which proved to be unnecessary because the berries were already plenty sweet.) and then I drizzled this raw strawberry goodness over my salad along with my usual peanut butter dressing and some sliced strawberries.
It was lovely!

 If you love strawberries as much as I do, and/or if you miss having a good ol' PB'n'J sandwich because you cannot digest bread anymore; I recommend you try this salad! It's superbly refreshing!



Friday, April 15, 2016

Peanut Butter & Honey . . . Salad?

One of the most useful things I've learned about food since I cut out grains and cane sugar is that anything that makes a good sandwich can make a better salad!

Yes! It's true! Just think of your favorite sandwich combo, and then replace the bread with a bed of greens. Some of the possibilities here seem obvious . . . BLT, Philly Steak & Cheese, Meatball,  Tuna salad, BBQ chicken, Taco, etc . . . What wasn't so obvious to me was that this truth is not limited to savory sandwiches.

One of my favorites from my childhood was Peanut Butter and Honey. Especially if the peanut butter was crunchy. I liked smooth peanut butter with jam/jelly combos, but for some reason the combo of honey with nut chunks has always been extra yummy to me.

Since I've been married, yet before I discovered my digestive issues with bread, my family would often make peanut butter honey sandwiches for lunch. We discovered adding a layer of regular butter to the bread was key to making it extra good---Not too dry, and it kept the honey from soaking into the bread. (And Elvis: PB and Banana was also a family fave.)

After discovering that I couldn't eat bread anymore I gave up on the idea of enjoying this flavor combo for a few years. it was sad though, and hard. Then last Summer after watching my husband and kids still enjoying their PBHs I suddenly had the inspiration to try it out with my sandwich to salad theory. I had already been eating things like chili, stir-fry, stroganoff, bbq meat, and other such dinner menu items over salad. (It's also true that anything you can eat over pasta or rice is great on salad.)

Anyway, I tried it, and . . .  Surprise!!!!!
It was AMAZING!!! The nostalgic flavor I had missed was there in full force! It was even richer and more satisfying than a sandwich because I didn't have the flavor of bread competing with the PB and honey. Spinach is especially good at disappearing into the background and allowing other flavors to shine.  After enjoying this discovery for a few months I finally managed to take some photos to give some of you some inspiration of all the many possibilities this salad combo offers.

Start with a bed of salad greens . . . in this case organic baby spinach, and organic Spring Mix from Costco.
 Put about a tablespoon each of peanut butter* and butter* into a small dish and place in the oven on warm until the butter is melty.
 Stir until you have a smooth peanut butter dressing.
 Top your salad with the dressing . . .
 Drizzle on some local raw honey* . . .
 Here are some other optional toppings that you might enjoy to bulk things up:

If you are adding nuts, especially almonds, be sure to crush them so they are easier to eat over your salad.
 Slice your bananas . . .
 Add sliced apples if desired (I usually don't do the apples, I prefer the bananas by themselves; but you know, you can use what you have.)
 I always put salt and pepper on my salads, even my sweet ones because I like the way it enhances all the different flavors.
 Another possible seasoning that works well with PB and Honey is cinnamon.* (If you can get real, fresh cinnamon, that will of course be a plus.)
 Mix it all together and enjoy!
Mmm, the taste of nostalgia blended with high nutrition and success are so very sweet!



*Julie Surprise is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

Clean Chocolate "Ganache" Icing

Last September, I posted about Flourless Chocolate Zucchini Cake.   If you notice, I said in the recipe to divide the batter between three 9" pans. I actually only used two of those layers for the cake you see in the pictures on that post. That was on a weekday, so I actually saved the third layer for the weekend so I could serve my parents some cake when they had time to drop by.
Part of the reason for this decision was because on my daughters birthday, it was getting late and I figured after frosting two layers that it looked good enough, and we should just go ahead a light the candles so the kids could get to bed. (I think we were also low on frosting after those two layers.)

As I also mentioned in that post, when I talked about how to make the frosting, that I usually grind my coconut sugar in an effort to make the frosting more smooth. However, when it came time to frost the final layer on Saturday morning, I had the idea to melt the coconut sugar instead, when making new frosting.  We've made coconut syrup for pancakes before when we've been all out of honey or maple syrup and it is really good. So I figured, it ought to work. . . . Aaaaand . . . Happily . . . .

It totally worked!


I don't think I'll ever grind my coconut sugar again! This icing was so smooth and delectable!


Plus it was a lot quicker to melt the sugar than to grind it.


So here's the revised recipe with this new technique included.

Chocolate "Ganache" Icing
Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the coconut sugar in a small saucepan with the water over low heat and stir until smooth
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter/oil, stirring again stir till smooth.
  • Transfer syrup to a stand mixer or mixing bowl and beat in the salt, adding the cocoa a little at a time until well blended and smooth.
  • If the consistency is too runny, chill for 10-15 minutes then whip. 
  • Be sure the cake is well cooled before you ice it.
  • Top with fresh berries if desired and serve.

  • I think my parents were pretty impressed with how the cake turned out. Which is good, because I know they have had a hard time adjusting to my cleaner eating habits, and I think they have been doubtful in the past that clean desserts can really be as tasty as their processed counterparts. 


    This cake really was delicious though! So fudgey, smooth, rich and chocolaty! 




    I hope this recipe proves useful to someone out there, and I hope you enjoy eating it as much as I did!

    Thanks so much for reading!

    ~Julie :}

    *Julie Surprise is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

    Thursday, April 7, 2016

    A Comprehensive List of My Wedding Theme Pinboards

    I love planning weddings! I helped both of my two older sisters plan/prepare for their weddings before I had the chance to plan my own, (almost eleven years ago now). 

    Since then, I've changed and learned so much about myself, so I think perhaps I feel like I want to help other brides really go for what they really like, instead of what they think is expected of them.


    For the past few years, since I joined Pinterest, I've had the opportunity (twice) to help a young bride plan her wedding day. . . I really adore coming up with, and collecting great ideas and themes for parties and weddings. I sometimes think I should have pursued a career in event planning!

    Still, I'm quite happy where I am, and am content to share my findings with others through the use of my pin boards.

    The only real problem with this is, I now have so many boards (seventeen wedding boards alone!) that it becomes  tricky to direct people who might be interested in seeing what I've collected, to find them.
    I realize that anyone who goes to my Pinterest profile could easily feel overwhelmed and lose interest in skimming through all my other boards before they ever find anything relevant. I know how it is to be busy and anxious about planning your wedding and not feel like you have the time to sort through a lot of non-relevant stuff. Thus, I have decided to create this post which will include a linked list of all of my wedding themed boards. This way a bride can skim through a comprehensive list and will only have to click on the boards that truly interest her.

    So, here we go!

    First off, we have my basic wedding board. "Ideas for the Ultimate Wedding"
    This one is not themed; it is simply a collection of cool, creative, smart ideas that could apply to any wedding to make it that much better.

    Then I have a board with inspirational Wedding Cake Ideas. These are unique and interesting cakes that I feel all have something a little bit special about each of them.

    Next we come to a board dedicated to bouquets & flowers, (or alternatives to flowers,) mainly focusing on the bridal bouquet, but also touching on possible types of flowers, color schemes, and possible centerpieces.

    Then, just because so many people are thinking outside of the box these days, I've dedicated an entire board to "Non-Traditional Wedding Ideas." Like my ultimate wedding board, these could apply to just about anyone, and are just some fun, creative ways to make your wedding your own.

    If the more casual or non-traditional ideas don't really appeal, and you want everything as luxurious and fancy as possible then you might like my "Ultra-Romantic/Lacey Details" board.
    This board features everything lacy, elegant, ruffly, frilly, fluffy, opulent and even downright gaudy. Satin, lace, pearls, bling and gold accents galore!

    On the opposite end of the scale, we have the "Country/Rustic/Boho" board for all things, quaint, rustic, casual, comfy and relaxed.

    If you feel like less is more, and just want things to be clean and simple, yet still with striking elegance, you might like my "Modern/Graphic/Asian"  inspired board. Paper lanterns, simple color schemes and graphic design elements all come together in this board to make a bold, yet classy statement.

    If the sleek modern look isn't your thing because you'd rather be out doors exploring an enchanted forest or secret garden, then you just might like my "Whimsical Woodland/Nature Themed" board.
    This board focuses on the beauties of nature, like birds, butterflies, and flowers (obviously) all accented with moss and natural wood accents.

    Taking slight turn from this theme, we tame the wildness of nature by bringing in some unexpected elements and quirky details with our "Vintage Shabby Chic" board.
    While still quite close to the beauty of nature, this fun theme brings in interesting everyday items, just as an antique typewriter, an old suitcase or even some vintage jewelry to dress things up with some old fashioned romance.

    Speaking of old fashioned romance, if you love classic novels and tea parties I have also created a lovely board called "High Contrast/Literary/Cameo Theme". This board is inspired by cameos, painted teacups, silhouettes and books in general. Whether you adore all things Austen, or are into the slightly more quirky Alice in Wonderland vibe, this board offers lovely ideas for decor and refreshments, and well as color schemes inspired by the printed word. Literally. Crafty decor made from book pages, or black silhouettes and accents against soft, pastel hues create an elegant yet cozy environment.


    Another theme inspired by paper is the Pinwheels Theme. This board also features other whimsical elements such as hot air balloons, bicycles, paper airplanes and kites. All colorful items that could create a fun-loving, breezy wedding environment for all invited.

    Similarly, another fun object to base a theme off of, is the simple key. My Keys Theme board features a lot of creative ways to integrate keys into your special day.

    I have some more generally themed boards based on the season. Most of my other boards could easily work for Spring, so I do not have a board specific to that season yet, but I have the other three seasons covered.




    Lastly, I have a board of ideas for Wedding Colors,

    as well as a board that lists a few recommended wedding venders local to the Salt Lake area.

    I sincerely hope that this collection of amazing wedding ideas can help many brides make their wedding day truly memorable, and may I congratulate every single one of you, and wish you joy!