Sep 27, 2016

9 Years Of Dating & Our Trip Thus Far

I don't know if people don't celebrate their 'Date Anniversary' after a couple gets married, but I always like to acknowledge it to Zach because it's how we first started! I was a sophomore at a college called Loras in Dubuque, IA. I had just finished a summer where I was single and had one of the best 3 months of my life with my girlfriends, road tripping to various states, staying up late watching movies and chatting, going on a few dates and there and finally finding myself.

Zach and I had met previously in an Education course together that Spring but we were both dating other people at the time and knew one another briefly. When I saw that Zach was in another course of mine that fall, we sat next to one another and chatted about our summer, plans for this semester and ideas for Halloween that would be in a few months. After getting to know him better for a few weeks, I really enjoyed his company and his friendship. We would laugh about everything, had similar hobbies and interests and just seemed to really understand one another. It was easy to see how he had so many friends both with his football team buddies, but really so many people on campus.

He asked me on a few 'dates' although we always laugh because I never wanted to consider them one. I was too nervous in all honesty but the more we were together, the more we started getting close feelings and slowly falling for one another. To say I feel in love with Zach in a matter of weeks, is pretty true. I'm sure all our friends thought we were crazy to be so serious so quickly but when people say 'you know, you know' it's so accurate! Fast forward to me finally wanting to be officially and asking HIM to be my boyfriend ( I know right.. ) we called one another our boyfriend and girlfriend September 27th, 2007.

Looking back now as I sit in our hotel room in Vienna, Austria, college graduation later, a Master's degree, 3 moves across states and the country, 2 homes and 1 daughter later, we've come so far since our college days. It's incredible the life we've created together and to say I'm blessed..well I always gush at how I really do feel that way.
Alright I'm super gushy mushy today and thanks for getting through all that with me ;) But you really want to know how our trip is going right? Obviously it's been amazing so far. The views are incredible and while the weather has been a bit rainy off and on, it doesn't stop us from sight seeing, popping into local breweries for a taste of delicious homemade hops or chowing down on authentic Viennese food. Walking the streets my very own Grandparents walked gives me goosebumps at times!

I'm off to do a bit more exploring today so have a great Tuesday everyone!

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Sep 26, 2016

Frozen Pumpkin Spice Frozen Yogurt Bark

Hey everyone! While I'm off in Europe today, I'm so excited to introduce a delicious fall recipe I know you'll love from my sweet friend Emily from Robust Recipe! Go check her out and let me know what you think of this delicious fall sweet treat!
You know how it’s not even officially October yet and everyone is talking about pumpkin spiced lattes and pumpkin spiced this and pumpkin spiced that? And you so badly want to jump on the pumpkin spiced train and enjoy all the warming, yummy baked goods. BUT you don’t want to bake because it’s still kind of warm were you live - I’m looking at you Florida – that’s when you need this Pumpkin Spiced Yogurt Bark in your life!
Don’t worry you can still make this Pumpkin Spiced Frozen Yogurt Bark even if you are living in a cooler climate. I won’t discriminate.
I know you’ll love this Pumpkin Spiced Frozen Yogurt Bark: It’s creamy, refreshing, pumpkin-y, with plenty of warming spices, and topped with crushed pistachios for a little crunch. Who doesn’t want that?!

Best part is that Pumpkin Spiced Frozen Yogurt bark is super easy to make. All you do is mix up all the ingredients and spread it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, top with some crushed pistachios and pop it into the freezer for 4 hours! The hardest part is waiting for it to set up! Then you cut it into pieces and enjoy straight from the freezer.
Pumpkin Spiced Frozen Yogurt Bark has protein from the Greek yogurt so it makes a great snack or even a healthy dessert. Plus it lasts for up to 1 month in your freezer so you can always have it on hand – snack prepping FTW!
Let’s embrace fall my friends – wherever you happen to live by making a batch of this tasty Pumpkin Spiced Frozen Yogurt Bark! I see all the pumpkin spiced goodies in your near future!

Serves: 8 to 10

1 ½ cups plain, fat free Greek yogurt (can sub fuller fat yogurt for a richer consistency)
½ cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (depending on how intense of spice flavor you like it)
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
¼ cup crushed pistachios, roasted and salted (can sub any other type of nut your prefer)

Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper so that the edges of the parchment paper are overlapping the edges of the baking pan. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the crushed pistachios. Taste and adjust flavors as needed. Add more pumpkin pie spice if you want more warming spices, or more honey for more sweetness etc.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Use you spatula to spread the mixture out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios over top of the yogurt mixture. Gently press any bigger pieces into the yogurt so they stick.
Place the yogurt bark in freezer for 4 to 8 hours or until the bark is completely set.
Once the bark is set remove it from the freezer and give it a minute to warm up a little. Use the edges of the parchment paper to lift the bark from the baking pan, and transfer it to a cutting board. Use a large chef’s knife to cut it into pieces, any size you prefer. Immediately place the bark into an airtight container and store it in the freezer. Enjoy pieces straight out of the freezer. It will keep for up to 1 month.

What's your favorite pumpkin dish?

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Sep 24, 2016

8 Reasons You Should Fall in Love with Card Games

Happy Saturday! I have such a fun guest post for you today. Meet my fun friend Maria who will be sharing about 8 reasons you should fall in love with card games! I actually love playing card games with friends so this was a great idea! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Pic Courtesy: Pixabay

With recent advancements in technology, it can be easy to spend hours and hours on mobile phones and laptops playing games. However, we believe that the good old card game is still the best option and we have 10 reasons as to why!

Get Away From Technology - As we have said, the world is full of technology and sometimes it can be great to get everyone to turn off their phones and play a classic card game. Whether you use your mobile for business or personal reasons, card games can be a good way to put it down for a couple of hours.

Include Technology - On the other hand, you might find that you don’t have a pack of cards anywhere nearby and in these scenarios mobile apps can be helpful. Not only will you find good card games, you will also have fun.

Can Be Played Anywhere - Another reason why you should love card games is because they can be played absolutely anywhere. Whether you are relaxing in the park or just at home, you can play as long as you have a pack of cards.

Teach Lessons - For children, card games are a great way to learn important skills. Firstly, they will learn the importance of spending time with family. Secondly, they will learn various problem-solving skills as well as boosting numerical understanding.

So Many Options - Nowadays, there are so many different card games that you are never likely to get bored. In addition to the classics that will never fade away, there are also so many card games like the Rummy, Poker and Teen Patti card game.

Competition - Sometimes, card games can get a little heated until the room goes silent because everyone wants to win. As long as this doesn’t get out of hand, a little competition is good for everyone.

Valuable Time Together - The great thing about card games is that they require very little understanding as there are so many easy games to play. Once everyone has learned, you can play with friends, family, or even colleagues and it can be a good opportunity to bond as a group.

Relaxing - There is no denying the fact that life can be stressful, but card games are a brilliant cure. The fact that they have lasted for centuries isn't a coincidence, it is because they allow us to relax and get away from the stresses that life has to offer!

Maria Antony is a digital marketer at Gamentio. She is specialized SEO, content marketing & conversion rate optimization. A computer engineer by education, passionate about social casino gaming and also she loves to write and read about updated gaming technologies.

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