The Adventures of a Freelance Writer and Editor

Archive for September, 2011

Food Friday: Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

One of my favorite dishes is homemade sweet potato fries. They are so delicious, healthy and easy to prepare. Here is my recipe.

1) Slice one to two sweet potatoes. If you have a food slicer, you can do thin strips. If you are using a knife, wedges will be easier.

2) Place sliced sweet potatoes on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. I usually use cinnamon on half the tray and salt and pepper on the other half, but feel free to experiment.

3) Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Flip, and bake for another 6-10 minutes. If you like them more crispy, you can cook them longer. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn.

Enjoy!

Wedding Wednesday: Beach-Themed Bridal Shower Ideas

A few weeks ago, I hosted a bridal shower for one of my best friends. Check out these pictures for shower planning inspiration.

 

I was obsessed with this cake! The bakery used sugar to create “sand.”

For prizes, we gave away flip-flops and beach towels.

Instead of a guest book, we had each guest fill out a personlized recipe card and place it in this engraved recipe box.

The bride’s goody bag had a beach towel and bridal flip-flops. The favors were wine glasses and little beach bags filled with salt water taffy.

These mason jars were filled with shells and a floating candles. We used them to decorate the table, then acutioned them off at the end of the shower.

We had a special princess sandbucket for the flower girl.

We got these adorable flip-flop picture frames at Michael’s.

Thrifty Tuesday: Homemade Vegetable Broth

One of my favorite books about saving money is Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree. The book covers everything from pets to grocery bills. This past winter I started making my own chicken stock after finding instructions in this book. Yesterday, I made homemade vegetable broth for the first time. It was super easy. All you need is vegetable scrapes and water. You simply boil the vegetables and water in a giant pot for about an hour and a half. Then, voila. You have vegetable broth.

A Refreshing Weekend

Most weekends I stay home and relax with my hubby. Our excitement is usually a movie on the couch and maybe a pizza, but this weekend was busy, busy, busy. Friday we had dinner with the family, which was nice because it had been a while since everyone got together. Saturday, I spent all day setting up a wedding at a winery. (It was beautiful!) Saturday night, we went to a “Farmers Dinner,” which auctions off produce and livestock to benefit children with disabilities. I came home with bags of apples, sweet potatoes and three chickens.

Sunday, I attended a bridal shower at a golf course. It was beautiful and the food was amazing. Then Sunday night, we had a surprise dinner for Gram’s 90th birthday. (Yes, you read that right: 90th birthday.) That was fun because we had dinner in the room we got married in almost eight months ago. Plus, Gram is the coolest old woman I know.

After all the excitement this weekend, I woke up refreshed and ready to get back to work today, which is good because I have a busy week ahead: a few writing projects, some time in the flower shop, a day as gym teacher.

Stay tuned to hear all about it.

What I’m Reading Now

I don’t have much time this weekend to read. Today, I’m setting up a wedding with A Garden Party Florist, and I have plans to attend a benefit dinner tonight. I do have a few books on my reading list though.

I am finally reading The Help. I am only a few pages in, but it is really good so far. I want to see the movie as soon as I finish the book.

I also plan on pre-ordering Ellen’s new book Seriously…I’m Kidding. I think Ellen is hilarious, so I’m sure the book will be great.

Well, enjoy your weekend!

Salted Caramel Mocha… My Newest Obsession

It has been a very busy week. Between work and my personal life, I am exhausted. Thank goodness I have a fun-filled weekend planned. Plus, it is supposed to be rainy all weekend, so I have permission from the weather gods to sleep as much I wish.

To kick the weekend off, I plan on treating myself to a Starbucks salted caramel mocha. They are my latest obsession, and I have been craving one all week. I don’t know what it is about coffee (especially hot coffee), but a $5 latte from Starbucks (or my favorite local coffee shop) really brightens my day. It is almost like the high you get from buying a new pair of shoes or finding an awesome jacket for 70% off, but it costs less than $10.

Some days I do feel guilty for spending so much money on coffee when I can make it for almost nothing at home. (I have to limit my trips to the coffee shop to one or two days a week. Otherwise, I would be broke.) Occasionally, I get brave and attempt to make my own fancy beverages in my kitchen. This summer, I mastered caramel and mocha frappucinnos, and I also created my own smores frappucinno. It is never as good as the barista’s creations, but it is a close second when you don’t feel like getting dressed to leave the house or you only have pennies in your wallet.

This morning, I was searching for a recipe to make my beloved salted caramel mocha at home, and I found a recipe I can’t wait to try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Starbucks Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate Recipe

Wedding Wednesday: 5 Unique Wedding Shoes

This week I had the pleasure of writing this fun blog post: 5 Unique Wedding Shoe Ideas. Here are a few places to find the great shoe styles featured in this article.

Cowboy Boot (Brown)

Cowboy Boot (White)

Miz Mooz Bon Bon Halyn

Blue Converse

Blue Heels

Pink Glitter Heels

Barefoot Sandals

For more great shoes, check out these links.

Cowboy Boots on Amazon

Heels on Amazon

Converse Sneakers on Amazon

Dress Shoes

Free Shipping Over $20 at MyFavoriteShoeStore.com

Free Shipping on all orders thru September 30th with coupon code LSFREESHIP

Reduced up to 40% – Women’s Footwear at Infinity Shoes. Click Here.

Designer Shoes – Save up to 65%! + 10% off designer brands

Extra 20% off Steve Madden Shoes

 

Photos Courtesy of Amazon.com and Infinity Shoes

Wedding Wednesday: Recent Blog Posts

Here are links to my recent wedding posts. Be sure to check back next week for fun topics such as male engagement rings and fall aisle decor!

DIY Place Cards (For other great place card ideas,check out Amazon’s selection. When I got married in February, I bought alot of my wedding supplies from Amazon.)

6 Alternative Bachelorette Parties

3 Reasons to Get Married in the Winter

Five Ways to Decorate Your Aisle for Fall

Male Engagement Rings

After the Shower

I am busy recouping after spending all weekend cooking, cleaning, organizing, and hosting a bridal shower. My legs and feet are sore from walking up and down my two flights of stairs while carrying heavy boxes (and from wearing heels). So instead of blogging today, I am going to lay on the coach and watch Ellen. I spent the morning being productive (ghost writing an article and a press release), so now I am going to be lazy.

For now, here are a few pictures from the shower. I will share more on Wednesday.

 

 

Me and the lovely Holly as we wait for the bride to show up

The bridal party (minus one)

Saturday Book Review: The Digital Mom Handbook

If you check out my bookshelf, you will realize that I am a sucker for books about writing, business and making money. As an entrepreneur, I am always looking for advice from successful people about starting a business. I am particularly interested in stories that involve writing.

A few weeks ago, I was wandering around Barnes and Noble, and I stumbled upon The Digital Mom Handbook: How to Blog, Vlog, Tweet, and Facebook Your Way to a Dream Career at Home by Audrey McClelland and Colleen Padilla. Although I’m not a mom, I am a blogger, and I use social media to market myself and my clients. I picked up the book hoping to learn a few things from these impressive women. If they could create businesses and raise children, I should be able to start a business before I have children.

Here’s my verdict: the book is perfect for beginners. If you are intimidated by blogs and social media, it is a step-by-step guide that will help you overcome those fears. It is also very useful for moms because it talks about the challenges of juggling family and career and provides information on how to connect with other mothers. However, even if you are an experienced blogger without children, you can still pick up a few pointers from these ladies and the real moms they interview in the book. My favorite part of the book is the list in the back that features their favorite mom blogs. I always love discovering other bloggers.

Thanks Audrey and Colleen for writing a book that will inspire women. Just because you’re a mom (or one day want to be a mom) doesn’t mean you can’t have a thriving career.

Check out these sales going on at Barnes and Noble!

40% off Baby Books, Board Books, Nursery Rhymes & Picture Books!

Save up to 90% on Textbooks, plus Free Shipping at BarnesandNoble.com!

Best Selling Paperback Sale! Buy Two, Get your Third FREE at BarnesandNoble.com!

 

Disclosure: Sales links are sponsored by Barnes and Noble. However, the book review and my purchase of the book above weresolely my choice, and I was not compensated for this review.

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