Wedding Party Gift Ideas

As I was catching up with the Blogosphere, I saw a post that my friend Courtney just published about the gifts she made/purchased for her wedding party and it inspired me to expand a little and share my Pinterest board “Wedding Party Gift Ideas”.  The board also contains some great options for the fellas that I hadn’t originally thought of.

Follow Alaina Bos Photography’s board Wedding Party Gift Ideas on Pinterest.


I recently just stood up in my friend Amanda’s wedding and she thought of EVERYTHING and totally spoiled us while she was at it!!  She gave each attendant two totes (One personalized), flip flops, inserts to make our shoes more comfy, a “No Ugly Crying” hanky, an earring, necklace, and bracelet jewelry set, a clutch, and blotting papers. I could be forgetting something so Amanda, if you’re reading this, correct me if I’m wrong;)

Do you have some awesome gift ideas for wedding attendants?  Leave them in the comments!

You can also click here to sign up for the Alaina Bos Photography Newsletter to get more tips like this.

curried chicken fajita and berry margarita recipes

While shopping at the store the other day, I came across a wheat, gluten, dairy, and soy-free fajita making kit!  I couldn’t believe it so I decided to pick it up and try it out.  This product is not available in the States yet but Whole Foods Probably has something similar.

Initially, I was looking for a really simple meal for Jon and I for dinner but once I got going, all these ideas came to mind.  I’m a huge fan of curry and after eating a lot of it on our recent vacation, I thought, “ooh, I’m going to make curried chicken fajitas”.  After I started on that I figured I should make guacamole too because I already had all the ingredients on hand.  I followed this simple recipe from allrecipes.com.

And what else could possibly make a meal better than a little booze?  I had just gone grocery shopping so there was lots of fresh fruit on hand so I text Jon and said, “bring home some tequila”.

So, after a little R & R and blogging break, I’m back today so share my curried chicken fajita and berry margarita recipes with you!  Now I can’t totally take all the credit because I had a kit and also drew inspiration from this recipe, but I ended up modifying it quite a bit.

This recipe will fill two bellies to the max and there will be enough left over for lunch the next day:)

curried chicken fajita and berry margarita recipes

Curried Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • chicken fajita kit (or if you don’t like all those preservatives in the spices, you can make your own easily with my favorite recipe here)
  • 2 large chicken breasts sliced into chunks
  • 2.5 tsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp ground ginger, salt & pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/3 cup chicken stock
  • coconut oil for pan frying
  • 1/4 of a large purple cabbage
  • 1 cup of diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced sweet potato
  • 1 onion (I like sweet or Vidalia)
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Heat a dollop of coconut oil in a pan and then add the sliced chicken.  Season with salt & pepper.  Let cook for approximately 5 minutes on each side (depending on the size of your pieces)  It doesn’t have to be completely cooked because it will boil in the curry sauce, but you want it to be 75% done.
  2. While the chicken is cooking slice up the peppers, onions, cabbage, and cucumber and set aside. Dice up the sweet potato up and pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Whisk together coconut milk, chicken stock, 1/3 of the pack of fajita seasoning (or 2 tbsp if you made your own), curry powder, paprika, ground ginger, and minced garlic.
  4. Add the sweet potato to the pan, and pour the curry mixture over the chicken pieces and let simmer for approximately 15 minutes (until it thickens).
  5. While the curry is cooking, add some coconut oil to another pan, throw in a little garlic, and sauté the peppers and onions.  Sprinkle the remaining 2/3 pack of fajita mix over the peppers and add salt & pepper if desired.
  6. While the peppers and onions are carmelizing, toss the cabbage, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice, and olive oil in a serving bowl.

To Serve:

You can either wrap all this goodness in a tortilla, or you can do what I did and eat it without the tortilla for a grain free meal. I layered the cabbage slaw, peppers, and then placed the chicken curry on top.  Then I served it with chips, salsa, and the guacamole.

Berry Margarita Recipe

Take 1.5-2 cups of berries and add to a blender.  I used strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.  Add one cup of Tequila (Patron is my favorite, but we used Cuervo Silver), 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier (I used honey liqueur and a tangerine), the juice of one lime, and 1 cup of simple syrup (dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup of water either on the stove or in the microwave).  Blend until smooth.

Place a little salt and sugar on a salad plate and rim your glasses.  Pour over ice and ENJOY!

I am not usually much of a chef (I usually only follow recipes with 5 or fewer ingredients), but these curried chicken fajita and berry margarita recipes were too good to keep to myself!

If you make any or all of these recipes, I want to know what you thought!!  Drop me a line or leave me a comment:)

Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing Amanda and Doug’s marriage celebration.  These two lit up the room with their magnetic personalities.  Amanda looked effortlessly timeless and beautiful while Doug was calm, collected and handsome as ever.

I’m so excited to share this Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview with you today…The full blog post is coming soon!

Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview

Amanda and Doug chose to have a First Look and see each other before the ceremony.  I love when couples do this because it allows them to have a nice quiet intimate moment together before the day unfolds (and I get to capture it all).

Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview
Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview
Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview

Amanda, really!  Could you be any more gorgeous??!!

Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview
Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview

Doug and Nathan (The Best Man) have been buddies ever since they met during college in Peoria, IL.

Adler Planetarium Wedding Preview

Amanda and Emily (MOH) also met their freshman year of college and after not hitting it off initially, they forced themselves into a 2 hour car ride for another friend’s wedding.  During the trip, they both realized they had many similar interests & a crazy serious love of Christmas, and the rest is history!  Boom.  BFF’s.

If you’d like to receive notice when Amanda and Doug’s Blog Post becomes available, click here to get on the list and see all the photo goodness first.  You’ll also receive notice when the online gallery becomes available.

If you’re newly engaged and looking for tips on planning your wedding photography, click here to get the goods!

 

 

  • Linda Rau - these are fabulous!!August 12, 2014 – 9:44 pmReplyCancel

3 Day Juice Cleanse Review

For the longest time I have been considering a 3 day juice cleanse.  I had been reading about the health benefits of cleansing and after mentioning it to my Mom, we decided we would try the 3 day juice cleanse from Beyond Juice Detroit in Birmingham.

I didn’t really want to cleanse to lose weight but thought it would be a good way to get started on a path to better health.  A couple years ago I did a 21 day cleanse called the Clean Program and had really great results so that also encouraged me to try this cleanse.

Overall, I really think that juicing is good for your health because the juice contains many of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are found in a whole food.

Research shows that the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in juice:

  • Can increase your energy levels
  • Can strengthen your immunity
  • Can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and inflammatory diseases
  • Juicing can facilitate weight loss (but you have to keep up a healthy diet & exercise as well.

3 Day Juice Cleanse Review

The night before the cleanse, we picked up our 18 bottles of freshly squeezed juice (a piece) in a nice cold pack box/ cooler from Beyond Juice.  Each day you are supposed to drink 6 bottles so we created the schedule of having a juice at 8, 10, 12, 2, 4, and 6pm.  I liked this schedule since it actually took me about an hour to drink each bottle (they are 16 ounces each).  There were 10 different flavors that you consumed throughout the 3 days.  The cleanse is completely customizable so if you’re not a “newby” juicer you can choose your juices to suit but since my Mom and I were beginners, we just went with the recommended series of juices.

The Juice Flavors

  • Green & Lean- Cucumber, Collards, Celery, Spinach, Kale, Apple, Parsley, Lemon, & Ginger
  • Earthy & Clean- Apple, Beet, Spinach, Lemon
  • Lemon & Aid- Lemon, Cayenne, Maple Syrup, Filtered Water
  • Smooth & Settling- Jicama, Pear, Carrot, Pear, Pineapple, Ginger
  •  Crisp & Calm- Apple, Parsley, Celery, Lemon, Ginger
  • Cinnamon Cashew Mylk- Cashews, Cinnamon, Dates, Sea Salt, Agave, Filtered Water
  • Lush & Looks- Grapefruit, Orange, Cucumber, Pineapple
  • Lime & Aid- Lime, Lemon, Mint, Agave, Filtered Water
  • Herbal & Healing- Spinach, Cucumber, Apple, Basil, Mint, Lemon, Lime, Ginger
  • Ginger & Aid- Ginger, Lemon, Filtered Water

The Verdict

Although I thought all the juices were fairly tasty, my Mom was not a huge fan of the Green & Lean because she thought it was very bitter.  I didn’t really like the flavor added by the Agave nectar… And it’s really not all that good for you to begin with so I could have easily gone without the added sweetness.

Over the course of my last cleanse, I really noticed some positive health benefits such as cleared sinuses, a heightened sense of smell, and decreased bloating and stomach issues.  During this cleanse I did not experience any such health benefits, although I did lose 3 lbs of water weight.

Because the purpose of this cleanse was just to get healthier, I was disappointed with how I felt during the cleanse.  I was SO HANGRY the entire time and also very sluggish and tired.  Upon the conclusion of the cleanse, even digesting fruits and vegetables was really tough and something I obviously did not do enough research on beforehand.

So… My overall opinion of this 3 day juice cleanse is this: If you’re already a healthy clean eater, you may not experience some of the benefits you may have expected.  Because I already consume a primarily gluten and dairy free diet, I just don’t think the cleanse was worth the sacrifice of not eating for the 3 days because I didn’t see the health benefits I expected to.

Would I do another juice cleanse?  Absolutely Not.  Do I think that “juicing” can improve your health? Certainly.  I definitely have experienced the health benefits of consuming nutrient rich juice, and I just think it tastes good.  So yes, I will continue juicing, but you won’t hear me recommending a juice cleanse to anyone anytime soon.

Have you ever done a cleanse?  What did you think of it?

Today I’m sharing my Prague Travel Photos with you!  At the end of June I had the opportunity to take a “girl’s trip” with my college roommate Krista so I jumped at the chance!  Krista and I were roommates our freshman year of college at Michigan State.  I always love getting together to see her and spend time together because she is always positive and always has a good attitude about life.  We had a fab time together!

One of the really nice things about Prague and the Czech Republic in general is that it’s VERY affordable compared to most places in Europe.  We were able to eat and drink as much as we wanted and I think my entire trip (Flight+Hotel+Food+Drinks) was under $500 for 3 nights without totally roughing it by staying in a hostel or eating crappy food.

Prague Travel Photos

We went on a walking tour that started in Wenceslas Square with is part of “New Town” Prague.  This is the site of several historical events and it’s still used today for many types of public events/gatherings.  The square is named after the St. of Bohemia, “St. Wenceslas”.

Prague Travel Photos

We took a stroll past the National Theatre, where Czech Opera was born.  The theatre is still open today and also houses the Czech Ballet. In the “Old Town Square” we visited the Prague Astronomical Clock (above right).

Prague Travel Photos

The Old Town Square is famous for it’s churches and the “Prague Astronomical Clock”.  There are also a bunch of hotels and restaurants in this area.  I recommend heading to a roof top in this area for a gorgeous view of the Old Town.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

Our tour guide was totally sweet and taught us a bunch of Czech words for communicating conversationally.  I personally think the Czech language is quite complicated and it is pronounced nothing like you would think!  The Czech people were really appreciative if you gave it a try though.

Prague Travel Photos

The Astronomical Clock is affixed to the Old Town City Hall and still functions.  Every hour there is a little “show” where the statue of “Death” rings the bell and a turn table of Saints (Walk of Apostles) makes its way across an opening at the top. There’s an astronomical dial and a calendar dial.  It’s a local superstition that the clock must be cared for properly or the city will have bad luck.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

Many of the addresses in Prague are not numbered.  For example, in the photo of the hotel above, you will notice the green frog.  The address of this building is simply “the house of the green frog”.

Prague Travel Photos

Most of the streets in Prague were hand laid in marble.  Imagine how many people it took to build a street back then!  Crazy!

Prague Travel Photos

The famous “Charles Bridge” is a landmark in Prague built under the rule of Kind Charles the 4th.  Until 1841 it was the only connection between the Old Town and the Castle Quarter.  The bridge contains 30 Baroque style statues on several different Patron Saints.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

The view from the middle of the Charles Bridge was one of my favorites in Prague.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

St. John of Nepomuk was thrown from the Charles Bridge for inviting to Prague an enemy Bishop of the King. There is a ritual that touching his statue and the cross with 5 stars will ensure your return to Prague someday.  Touch the stars with your left hand and make a wish;)

Prague Travel Photos

The “Venice” of Prague complete with a lock bridge inspired by Paris.

Prague Travel Photos-0026
Prague Travel Photos-0027

The Vltava River has 18 bridges across it!

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

Pilsner Urquell is the official beer of Prague…Although beer is HUGE there and there are so many different kinds your head will spin!  We went for a visit to the Prague Beer Museum (which is actually a bar) and sampled at least 10 different kinds.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

Our last historical stop was at the Prague Castle which is the official residence and office of the Czech President. It is supposedly the largest ancient castle in the world and is the place where many prior Czech Rulers reigned.  The Prague Castle was huge.  There are churches, palaces, halls, and gardens.  You could probably spend all day there and then some but by this point, I just wanted to eat tasty food and drink good wine.

Prague Travel Photos

The facade on the cathedral was a beautiful mosaic.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

Brass Balls…Need I say more?

Bride at the Prague Castle

I managed to snap this photo of a bride… Short wedding dresses and Chuck Taylor’s are all the rage over here…

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

The cathedral was full on amazing stained glass.

Prague Travel Photos
Prague Travel Photos

I just couldn’t get enough of the Charles Bridge…especially with all the little umbrellas poking out over the top on this rainy day.

Prague Travel Photos

After a stop for some beers and food, we made our way back across the Charles Bridge.

I truly loved Prague and would recommend a few days there just to soak in the culture and admire the architecture.

Thinking of planning a trip and don’t know where to go?  Click here to see more of my travel posts.

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