Today Is The Day...

Today is the day.
That I've been dreaming of my entire life.

I will put on my gorgeous dress, and yellow shoes.
Choke back tears as my father grips my arm and walks me down the aisle to my prince charming.

My one and only.
My love.
My rock.
My confidant.
My best friend.

I absolutely cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
Sharing laughter, tears, struggles, victories, and everything life will throw at us.
We'll stand together.

Let's take the plunge. Share life's adventures.  Forever.





I love you. 


Savory Fall Recipes {with Launna from Letters from Launna}


Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Launna of Letters from Launna.  
She is so incredibly sweet, and her comments and emails to me are constantly uplifting, supportive, and downright kind.  
Our blogs are different - but I love that.  She gets down to the nitty-gritty and is so insightful.  

And no, she doesn't use the word amazeballz.  
But she's still amazeballz. 

And she's got some delicious fall recipes to share with us today:

***

Now that we are starting into Fall, I love to cook food that fills the air with awesome smells and taste delicious.  Currently I am on a cleanse and unable to eat all this really yummy food but it doesn't stop me from desiring it when the weather becomes cooler. 

I don't usually write about recipes but when Jess asked me if I would like to guest post on her blog, I felt this might be more like the type of thing she would write about.  I do love to write, mainly I write about my own life and things that inspire me. 

I went to a restaurant probably 12 years ago and had the most delicious mulligatawny soup I have ever eaten. I have tried to replicate it and this one came the closest in flavor, I mix the heavy cream in completely once it is all cooked





Mulligatawny Soup
Ingredients

    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    1 carrot, diced
    1/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
    4 cups chicken broth
    1/2 apple, cored and chopped
    1/4 cup white rice
    1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half - cut into cubes
    salt to taste
    ground black pepper to taste
    1 pinch dried thyme
    1/2 cup heavy cream, heated

Directions


1.  Saute onions, celery, carrot, and butter in a large soup pot. Add flour and curry, and cook 5 more minutes. Add chicken stock, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer about 1/2 hour.
2.  Add apple, rice, chicken, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.
3.  When serving, add hot cream.
Believe it or not I was nearly 30 before I ever had a Chicken Kiev, homemade ones are the absolute best.  I do buy the frozen ones for convenience but when I take the time, making them by hand is always worth the time.  





Chicken Kiev

Ingredients


For the herb butter:


    8 tablespoons butter, softened
    2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
    2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    juice of 1/2 lemon

For the poultry:
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1 egg, beaten
    1 cup fine bread crumbs (you may need more)
    Canola oil for frying

Directions
1.    Begin by preparing the herb butter. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Some of the lemon juice may remain separate. Mound the mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and mold into a log. Cover completely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard.
2.    Meanwhile flatten the breasts by wrapping them in plastic wrap and hammering them with a meat hammer or a rolling pin until they are about 1/3 inch thick. Don't mangle them - just get them on the slender side.
3.    Prepare three shallow bowls for dipping: one with flour, one with the beaten egg, and one with the bread crumbs.
4.    Remove the hardened filling from the refrigerator and slice into eight equal portions (each piece should be a little less long than the breast is wide). Place a piece of butter towards one end of each breast and then roll the meat up tightly round the filling. Tuck in the edges and any stray bits as you roll. Press firmly together.
5.    Dredge each roll thoroughly in flour, then egg, and finally in bread crumbs. Be sure everything is well coated. Place the rolls on a plate and refrigerate for 1/2 hour before frying.
6.    When you are ready to fry, add oil to a depth of about 1 inch to a sturdy deep pan. Heat the oil to 375°F. Carefully add the rolls one at a time. Fry for about 15 minutes (exact cooking time will depend on the size of your rolls) turning as needed with metal cooking tongs to completely brown the rolls on all sides and cook throughout.
7.    Drain rolls on absorbent paper and serve immediately. Watch out when you cut into these as the filling is likely to squirt out.

***
Whew, those are super fancy - right?  I hope to give these a try one day! 
Thank you so much, Launna for guest posting today! :) 
Want some more Launna?  She'll be back to share a sinful brownie recipe! 
Until then, you can follow her blog :: twitter ::  pinterest 


Downton Abbey + Cheesecake

Today, it is my pleasure to bring you the amazing Helen.  A woman after my own heart.  We share a deep passion and love for Downton Abbey (and cheesecake).
You see, she lives over in the UK so she gets to watch it before me.  
Not fair. Amiright? 

She's making it up to us with a little treat, though...

***

Howdy (imagine the hat) Jess is More readers. It's Helen here from Eat.Enjoy.Live.

You have me to entertain you whilst Jess is away getting hitched and sunning herself in Mexico.
Hands up everyone who thinks Jess is going to be the most gorgeous bride #Iwannaseethosehands.
I agree!

Are there any Downtonites reading this? Yes, I did just make that up, Downtonites, consider it officially hash-tagged #downtonites.  You have to promise me your not going to get jealous....I watched Downton on Sunday! In fact I watched it whilst eating this cheesecake, and drinking tea, you can't forget the tea #I'malady

Fresh strawberries, cream cheese, biscuit crumbs, melted butter. The perfect English summer dessert, only in autumn.

Only 4 ProPoints too #getin!


Serves - 2

12 strawberries, hulled, and cut into small chunks
60g light cream cheese, whipped
2 biscuits, crushed
1 tsp butter, melted
5g whipped cream
10g sweetener

Mix together the melted butter and biscuit crumbs. Form into individual tins and leave to cool.


Mix the cream cheese, strawberries, whipped cream and sweetener. Spoon into the tins and leave to set for at least 4 hours.


I'd love for you to come over and visit me at Eat.Enjoy.Live. I promise I won't give anything away about Downton :)

***

Ugh - she's done it again with a de-lish recipe that is both good for your tummy and your waistline.
Please go do yourself a favor a check out her blog stat.


WW: Tips for a Budget-Friendly Wedding {and a FREE Printable}

I don't think Jeni needs any formal introduction.  She is such an awesome bloggy bud, and just the bomb-diggity.  And she's got some REALLY great tips for brides-to-be.  I wish I had this list before I started planning! 

***




Hi everyone! I'm Jeni - the girl behind the Two.Shades.of.Lovely blog and owner of the Two.Shades.of.Lovely shoppe! In honor of Jess' upcoming nuptials - I wanted to share a little post with you all soon-to-be-brides on how to throw a budget friendly, yet fabulous wedding! 

Scroll to the end of the post for your very own free wine label printable!

Between finding the perfect dress, selecting a memorable venue, serving only the best food and drinks, and dancing the night away in style, weddings can be expensive....but they don't have to be.

Below I've compiled a little list (because I will gladly take any opportunity to make a list), and a free printable on how to stick to a small budget, while still achieving your fairy tale wedding.

1. Remember, this is YOUR wedding

There was a time where weddings "had to" fit a certain mold. That is not the case anymore. Remember, this is a special day for you and your soon-to-be husband to celebrate the love you two have, not to live up to other people's expectations. If all of the wedding magazines tell you that you "need" a $1000 veil, a poofy dress, and a full meal served at your wedding, but you'd rather stick to no veil, a tea length dress, and appetizers, do it!
*My husband and I had a pretty "unconventional" wedding. We did cocktails and appetizers, our groomsmen wore converse, we had cotton candy and a photo booth - what some may see as not elegant enough, or unconventional, was a version of our fairytale...Quillen style!

2. Use those talented friends and family!

Do you have a friend that bakes with the best of them, perhaps a cousin that plays in a great band, a Great Aunt that knows her way around a sewing machine? Use those skills to your advantage and ask for some help! Always offer to pay, but at times family and friends will offer large discounts on their services or even use their offer to help in lieu of a gift.
*I can't express enough how much this helped turn our wedding into an absolute dream. I am blessed to have a sister-in-law and brother-in-law whose visions are impeccable and they had the skills and materials to help with so many decorations! We also knew a family friend that DJ'd our wedding, and countless friends to help on the big day to set up!

3. Skip the Four Course Meal

One of the largest costs in weddings are catering and food services. If you are looking for a way to cut out hundreds, sometimes even thousands of dollars, alter your menu. There are plenty of other suitable options for food for your big day. Just keep in mind, that if your wedding is during a typical meal time, note on the invitation the type of food that will be served.

*My husband and I were looking for ways to lower our cost of our wedding. We opted to do our wedding at dusk, and serve "heavy appetizers" and cocktails. We had amazing finger foods, great drinks, and a cake to die for.

4. Something Old...

There is nothing better than giving an old family heirloom new life. If your grandmother has her veil sitting in a trunk somewhere, even an old wedding set locked up, the personal touches will save you money as well as give your wedding a heartfelt personal touch.

*I used my grandmother's old butterfly broach on my dress for the big day. Looking back at the photos, just seeing the broach made me remember I was carrying a little piece of her on that day.

5. Don't Sweat the "Small Stuff"

When your wedding doesn't come with a large budget, sometimes things will have to be left out. But I can assure you that you if you use paper napkins in the place of cloth napkins, an I-Pod playlist instead of a DJ or full band, or store-bought bouquets in place of large florist arrangements, your guests and you will still have had a memorable special wedding.

Some of the easiest ways to cut additional costs are to skip some of these things for the Big Day:

Skip the DJ - with technology these days, you'll be able to have an amazing sound track by compiling you and your soon-to-be's favorite songs with the help of an i-pod, tech savvy friend, and some speakers.

Skip the elaborate cake - instead, how about some of these adorable mason jar cakes for each guest, a cupcake tower like this, or sticking with a good ol' fashioned pie for a fun spin on the cake tradition.

Skip the Florist - if you don't believe me, check out some of these store-bought flowers that were turned into gorgeous wedding bouquets! (Here Here & Here) Instead of large floral arrangements for centerpieces, you can opt for something a little different. We used some local twigs and river pebbles for ours.

Skip the traditional rehearsal dinner - dinner for all of your family, your wedding party, and everyone's plus ones can add up....quickly! Turn this otherwise expensive event into a light-hearted relaxing night before your big day! This can be anything from a pizza party, to a backyard barbeque. Our rehearsal dinner was a backyard barbecue hosted by my husband's family - we played horseshoes, bocce ball, laughed around the fire, and had some nice relaxing time before the stress of our wedding day.

Now - to the fun stuff!


I did a little DIY project for wine bottles at our wedding. They made a great keepsake, and were a cute way to use budget friendly wine and dress them up (everyone loves "TwoBuckChuck" from Trader Joes right!?)
Clink this link to take you to your very own printable for some fun wine labels.

*They can also be used for other things, think - cards, gift wrap, mason jars, glasses, drink coozies, the possibilities are endless!*
***

Didn't she have such a fantastic and gorgeous wedding?!  
Aaaaand it looked like a TON of fun.  
BIG thanks to Jeni for stopping by today. I heart you to the max. 


Top 5 Beauty Products {with Cassie from Live.Laugh.L0ve.}

I loooove me some Cassie over at Live.Laugh.L0ve. She is also one on my faves on Twitter.
Go ahead and follow her...go on.

She has got some great beauty products for us to try out today
...and she's even got a little discount for all you Jess Is More readers, too.

***

Hey yall! I'm Cassie & I blog over at Live.Laugh.L0ve. 


I am a wife. daughter of God. Mommy to two adorable sweet boys. Writer. Dreamer. Fashion wannabee. & lover of all things handmade. I own a little shop called The Spontaneous Designer but my real newly found passion lies in my new business. I am a Virtual Assistant and I absolutely love it. Use code {Jess is more} in the referral spot on the form to get 10% off the first package you buy on my VA website! 

Today I am going to share my top five beauty products with you!

One - I love, love, love E.L.F. Eyeshadow!! It is so pretty and long lasting!

{Via}

Two. Misikko hair shine shield.
Ever since I won this in a giveaway - I use it everyday. My hair winds up so soft and pretty, I adore it.

{Via}

Three. Mascara.
If there is one thing I hate leaving the house without, even if I don't wear any other make up - I have to wear mascara & I love the one below. It's the only kind I use and it works wonders for my eyelashes!

{Via}

Four. Lip gloss.
I love me some lip gloss, unfortunately - hubby doesn't like kissing me when I have it on. So normally if I put it on in the morning, I don't reply it throughout the day.

{Via}

Five. Last but not least, nail polish.
I didn't always like nail polish or painting my nails and some days I still don't - but I love when my nails are a fun color!

{Via}


Those are my top five! What are yous?!

Thanks so much Jess for having me here today!!

***
Whelp, as soon as I get back, I think a Target trip is in order {always}.  
I loooove that these products are amazing, yet affordable too.  We all need a little budgeting in our lives!

Thank YOU so much, Cassie for stopping by today. 

Also, guys, if you are overwhelmed with emails, blog posts, tweeting, sponsors, your shop, and all of the madness that we bloggers subject ourselves to - please go check out her virtual assistant services.  

She can help a sista {or brotha} out!


Must Watch Fall TV {with Christine from A Day in the Life}

My friend Jaidaly and I (I'm on the right)
Hey guys! I'm Christine and I blog over at A Day in the Life. My blog is really about everything that goes on in my life and everything that interests me. I'm finishing up school in the wonderful city of Chicago while starting out my career at the same time. Right now, it's just trying to find that balance between the two so that I can keep some part of my sanity. One thing you'll notice is that I'm a huge Hollywood fan. I'm always wanting to watch new movies and find out who's dating who. Like, that whole Blake and Ryan secret wedding? I was the one who told my friends about it, on Facebook of course. Another thing you'll notice is that I'm a huge Britney Spears fan. Sometimes I realize I go a bit overboard on the Britney posts and I take a step back but somehow she always ends up creeping up whether it's a song, quote or reference to something. Another thing you should probably know is that I'm obsessed with TV. I watch pretty much everything. So today, I'm going to give you a little sneak peek to a series of posts that are going to end up on my blog in the next few weeks. I call this...wait for it...Fall 2012: TV Style. I know, corny. Another thing, sometimes I make really bad jokes. Moving on, I'm going to give you guys some of my favorite TV spots so far this season.

X FACTOR

Found on Breatheheavy (link)

Britney before she entered the very first round of auditions in Austin. I seriously love this girl. 

THE VOICE



I love Stevie Wonder and I love this performance. I wish that they showed the judges fighting after because it was pretty funny.

THE NEW NORMAL


GIFs found here
Ok, if you haven't started watching this show, you need to get out of whatever rock you're hiding under and catch up. This happens to be the first comedy I've religiously watched since Friends. I'm addicted and satisfied withe every episode. A little side note, this guy, his name is Andrew, totally reminds me of my cousin (who's name is not Andrew).

GLEE




Probably one of my favorite Glee performances ever. I just love Lea Michelle. I've been a fan of hers since way before Glee. You heard it right. Spring Awakening people. The same thing that gave the world Jonathen Groff, one of the loves of my life (there are many).

WHITE COLLAR


GIF found here
Ok so maybe this one doesn't count for fall but who doesn't love looking at Matt Bomer? Really?

If you liked my post and want to read, watch and look at more come on over and follow me! I love meeting new people and making new friends. You can also stay updated by liking my Facebook Page and adding me on Twitter!

***

Oh man, my DVR is going to be overloaded now.  Can't wait to catch up on some TV goodness when I get back!



And Away We Go!

We're leaving early this morning for our 
wedding road trip / wedding / honeymoon / road trip 
Extravaganza! 

Tonight, we'll be in St. Louis
Tomorrow, Atlanta
Wednesday - Sunday, Orlando for the BIG DAY
Monday - Saturday, Mexico
aaaand then 
Monday - Tuesday, back on the road to Minneapolis. 

Whew!  It's going to be crazy, but soooo amazing. 

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for the latest Jess happenings! 


 

Please stop back!  I have a TON of great posts planned for you all. 

Miss you already!


Happy Fall!

Today is the first day of Fall. 

It's definitely feeling like that today in Minnesota.

Fall is the time for:

Apple orchards, hay rides, cider, changing colors, scarves, and yes -
even a Pumpkin Spiced Latte.





 

{these photos are all mine - taken at a local orchard two years ago}

I am a little bummed that we'll be missing some prime Fall weather, but we've got a busy few weeks planned that I wouldn't change for anything.

Enjoy your first day of Fall, my lovelies!



High Five for Friday

Hola, my lovelies
{just practicing for Mexico} 

How was your week?  Let me tell you somethin' 
All of the other weeks when I'm like all: "wah wah wah, I'm soooo busy..."
You know what I mean.  
I was lying to you.  
This one was cray-cray-crazy. 

WTF is up with the photo quality?  Sry, peeps. Grainy it is.
(1) Mexico travel documents.  Can't wait to get my hands on a margarita.

(2) What post wouldn't be complete without my adorbs pup? {eating something}  
She's at day care today, getting all tired for the road trip. 

It was a perfect way to forget about all of the stress right now.  
Thank you so much, ladies. 

(4) My co-workers "surprised me" with a bridal shower - 
[technically it wasn't a surprise because it's my job to monitor everything]
Buuuut they think they did.  It was incredibly sweet, nonetheless.

(5) No photo needed.  Because it's Friday. And we leave in two days. And I'm not packed. 
And there's no accurate way to portray that. 

How was your week? 

Photobucket


It's OK...

Its Ok Thursdays

That I have to get rid of 1.5 gigs of crap off my iPhone before I can update to ios6... 

To want to fast forward to 9/29, get hitched, then get the heck to Mexico...

That I haven't had a PSL {Pumpkin Spiced Latte} yet... 

That I'm not packed...

That my place cards aren't printed...

That I can't.stop.talking.about.my.wedding... 

That I forgot my phone today, and I feel absolutely LOST...

To say amazeballz...

To end wordz with a "z" 

To spend 30+ minutes a day stalking checking Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram... 

That this post doesn't contain a photo... 


What's okay with you today?  Link up here.  


Bloggers + Painting + Wine =

A super amazing night!

Last night, a few of us MN Bloggers got together at a place called The Paint Pub.  
It was so much fun!

For a pretty cheap rate, you get the canvas, a talented instructor/guidance, all of the painting supplies, and all of the joy that comes with creating your "art." 
They also serve adult beverages and food.



First and foremost, we had to chit-chat:

with the lovely Andrea
with the amazing {and tall!} Bridget 

Eeek! And I finally got to meet Jen

We decided to paint the Stone Arch Bridge -- an iconic landmark that crosses the Mississippi River with a beautiful view of the Minneapolis skyline.

"Easy" Steps to Create Your Masterpiece 


Gather paint, whilst not squirting it on anyone (I had a near miss here...)

(1)Tediously draw black outline of bridge (agonize over crooked lines)
(2) Paint blue all over, mix in some 'reflections' in the water (begin to think you can actually do it)
(3) Apparently this was the "easy" part (no)
(4) Curse all of the buildings in downtown Minneapolis - confuse what should be black, and what should be grey
(5) Make a hot-mess of your paint
(6) Gaze at your amazing work of art

Oh, the concentration 
Our instructor was a lovely lady and she handled us crazy bloggers SO well.
After the third hour, she got a little sassy right back to us, which we all thought was hilarious.
"Helga" became her new name.


After a few glasses and a few hours later, we FINALLY finished.
(We used Helga's gorgeous version for this photo)


It is such an amazing group of ladies.  We always have so much fun!
I can't wait until our next get-together coming up soon!

And a BIG thanks again to the great folks at The Paint Pub.  I will definitely be back!