Savory Sundays: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Scampi

Anyone remember me mentioning all those supplies I bought for mosquito repellent candles in my Lemon Rosemary Chicken recipe? How about my goal to eat less grains in my post with the Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes? Well, here is a dish that makes the most of both! The left over limes from my would-be candles and low-carb zucchini noodles make this recipe healthy and satisfying. Two things I love to pair together!

G was craving some shrimp this week and scampi sounded good to me. However, I wanted to use up some ingredients I already had in the fridge and pantry. I also didn’t want to go full out Cheat Meal mid-week by throwing the buttery shrimpers on top of some noodles. So I improvised and wooh-la! Another meal to find permanent residence in our cook book.

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House Hunting Adventures v. 1

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but here it is officially: G and I are house hunting. Our current apartment lease is up in August, but we have the option to renew for another year if we would like. Though it looks like this is the most likely route we will take, we are casually working with a realtor and viewing potential houses. It has been a fun experience so far because we are able to see what we like and dislike, what we’re willing to compromise and not, and not feeling rushed as we look.

The Michigan housing market where we live is absolutely crazy. There are double the buyers than there are sellers, and that leads to many houses only being on the market for hours before they’re under contract. Though we do not feel rushed to purchase a home, if we ever do come across one we love and can picture as our own home, then we have to be prepared to JUMP. Luckily we haven’t felt that urge yet, but we sure have come across some very unique adventures in the houses we have viewed…

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How To Write Wedding Thank You Cards

Now that the wedding is over, there are a few items on G’s and my to-do list to complete such as legally changing names and addresses, reviewing vendors, and finding a place for all our wedding decor. Yet the most pressing of these necessary post-wedding items is writing our thank you cards.

Our friends and family traveled from near and far to celebrate with us on our Big Day and we received many nice gifts as well. The task of writing close to 100 thank yous seems a bit daunting, but it’s an oh-so-important task and we plan to block out time on our calendars to take care of these notes every night over the next week.

Are you at this point as well and are avoiding the task because you don’t know what to say? I gotcha, girl. Knowing how to word thank you notes is something many brides struggle with after the wedding. It is easy for wedding thank you cards to feel like an overwhelming and anxious task! But as long as you can muster up a few heartfelt words, you are free to use the same thankful wording over and over… and I’ll even help get you started!

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Reblog: A Short List Of Things Worth Doing For Self-Care

On Friday I talked about what I believe self-care truly means and how ugly real self-care can be. This might mean taking a good, long look at yourself and finding solutions — whether easy or difficult — to fix the issues prohibiting you to be your best you. Figuring out those solutions can be a chore in itself, but making habits to better yourself is hard too. Want some ideas on small steps you might be able to take? Angelo Caerlang over at Thought Catalog came up with an awesome list of thing worth doing for your self-care. Take a look!

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Savory Sundays: Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I am not eating many grains so I am limiting my consumption of breads, pastas, and rices, as well as staying away from white potatoes. That means I am attempting to be as crafty as possible when it comes to carb-infused and starchy foods. Cue the riced cauliflower, zucchini noodles, and sweet potatoes!

This particular recipe caused some hesitation with me. I love buffalo chicken and I love sweet potatoes, but I am not a fan of mixed foods. (I’m that person who cannot have her food touch. I even have a special separating tray at my aunt’s house to use at holiday gatherings. Ha!) So contemplating eating this slow cooker buffalo chicken inside a sweet potato had me debating my life choices.

Then I tried a bite and my world changed.

This recipe is unbelievably tasty. The spiciness from the hot sauce and the sweetness of the potato make for a dynamite flavor! G and I already looking forward to the next time this little dish is made for dinner.

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The Ugliness of Self-Care

Today I want to talk about self-care. True self-care. Not the romanticized and trendy version the world is constantly pushing down our throats. Not the bath bombs and face masks and #treatyourself high-dollar purchases and ritual meditations the world seems so eager to focus on for peak lifestyles.

No, I’m talking about real self-care. The self-care that is often a very unbeautiful thing.

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5 Things I Would Do Differently While Wedding Planning

For those of you who have been following Uncorking Peonies since September 2017, you know I had big dreams when it came to my wedding. Having coordinated and planned over 100 weddings and events, it was finally my time to plan my own Big Day.

My color palette was dusty rose and navy with silver accents. I’ve always loved the more rustic and laid back parties, and my wedding was no exception. I opted to have my bridesmaids choose their own dresses to fit their personal styles and budgets. I created my own decorations with hodge-podge findings and borrowing from family members and friends. I utilized my resources to design the look and feel of the perfect wedding. And the perfect wedding it was.

I loved our wedding day down to the very last detail. But would I do anything differently? Yes. Now that I am past the sparkle and glamour that made our wedding so spectacular, here are five “bigger picture” details I would consider changing should I ever happen upon a time machine:

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Biggest Loser Challenge: Starting Line

A friend of mine posted on Twitter and Facebook a few weeks ago inquiring if any of her friends might be interested in a weight loss challenge this summer. She said it has been a goal of hers for months to lose some weight and get back into shape but that she needed some sort of challenge to push herself. She needed the push for positivity, accountability, and fun during her journey to a more healthy lifestyle.

Her post rang a bell inside me. Truth be told, I’ve gained more weight over the past six months than I care to admit. Where most brides attempt to lose weight for their weddings, the stress of planning my Big Day actually caused me to gain enough weight to bring the scale to the heaviest I’ve been in years. Not only is the scale glaring at me, but my own reflection is too. I can see the weight gain. I can feel it in my clothes. And I can feel how my confidence levels have shifted and the changes in the way I carry myself — I’m slowly resorting back to Old Ashley. Someone I do not wish to meet again.

Unlike the old days though, I know what caused my physical change. Even though I was keeping to weekly meal plans, my weekend habits hung me over a cliff and my scarce workout sessions threw me off completely. While some may fast during stress, I tend to overcompensate by snacking. I also allowed myself to have one (or a few) beers each night to “calm myself.” All in all, my healthy habits have been on a standstill for 2018.

Fortunately, choosing one’s health can never come too late. And today begins a six week journey with 26 other people towards the starting steps of losing weight, gaining fitness, and getting back on track. Today begins our own Biggest Loser’s Challenge.

And I aim to win.

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Wedding Pictures Sneak Peek

What?! Two posts in one day? Whoa, Ashley, what’s gotten into you? Our wedding, friends. Our wedding is on my mind today and I MUST share this post with you. Right. Now.

Our wedding was the thing dreams are made. I am still in awe of how beautifully powerful the entire day was, and I will forever hold the memories made during that celebration as one of the best days of my entire life. One of the worst parts about your wedding day is how quickly time passes. It seemed one moment I was eating breakfast with my bridesmaids, then I was nervously standing in front of the altar holding G’s hand, and then I was walking through a tunnel of sparklers leaving the party. The day could have moved a fraction of the pace it did to allow all those memories to have more time to form in my memory bank. But alas, it did not.

Fortunately, our amazing photographer Staci of Dear Olive Photography is a goddess in her trade and documented our day flawlessly. Seriously, guys! Look at these sneak peeks she leaked on social media this week:

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