healthy snacking with harvest snaps

I’ve been working overtime lately so I’m in my office a lot more now. For me, it’s key to have delicious (and nutritious!) snacks with me at work. This helps me to avoid the vending machine and the inevitable sweet treats that are always in an office environment. Well I tryyyy to avoid those things at least. And the best way to do that is to bring my own snackies. Since I’m a vegetarian, I try to bring a variety of snacks like fruits, veggies, nuts and other healthy snacks. So I was excited to try the new Harvest Snap snacks.

harvest snaps - harvest snaps -

Harvest Snaps are yummy snapea snacks. They are baked, gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, and low in sodium and fat. I love that these snacks come in a bunch of yummy flavors, satisfy your savory cravings and are a great guilt-free option. I bring a serving to work and they are great to munch on when my afternoon salty snack craving hits. And I love the other Lunchspiration ideas from Harvest Snaps, so don’t miss those either. I got to try out these fantastic flavors – lightly salted, wasabi ranch, caesar, tomato basil, black pepper and onion thyme. They’re are super tasty but if I had to pick a fave, I would go with the super yummy Tomato Basil.

Harvest Snaps is such a fun brand so don’t miss the below YouTube video. And share some ways you like to have healthy snacks ready to enjoy at all times.

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

wedding wednesday – music

wedding wednesday -

Welcome to another Wedding Wednesday (and happy Thanksgiving Eve!) Today I’m going to change things up a bit and, instead of showing you one million photos, I want to talk about one of the most important details of our wedding – the music. (Including complete Spotify playlists of all the music we played!) Last week I talked about how important music used to be to me. So when we were planning our wedding, the music was really important to us.

We are lucky that one of our friends, Chad, gifted us his dj skills for our wedding. He has been roped into doing the music for the last few weddings of our friends and he does the best job ever. For one, he is great at announcing all the necessary dj-ish things such as the bridal party introductions. He personalized our intros and made them fantastic. And having some you know do the intros helps to ensure that everyone’s names will be pronounced right too which is a plus. As for the music aspect, our venue had some available speakers but Chad rented some extra speakers too. Then I made 2 separate Spotify playlists (one for cocktail hour/dinner and another for dancing) and he hooked up his laptop to play the wedding music. Our venue had a great place for him to setup and he could still enjoy the wedding since he was also a guest.

wedding wednesday -

Another plus to having your friend be your dj is that I told him to absolutely not play songs I hated. And then I told him if any guests bugged him with dumb requests, to just blame it on me. Done and done. Since our wedding was smaller and  I love dancing, the wedding music was super important to us. For weeks before the wedding, Jarrod and I discussed songs that we loved and songs that would be great to dance to. We wanted a good party atmosphere so we just chose a few slow songs. We mostly played newer upbeat dance songs but we made sure to throw in some classics so there would be music that everyone loved. Oh and we also wanted to play some fun but suuuuuper inappropriate songs so we saved those for later so as to not immediately alienate everyone. Songs that would fall into this category include “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj and “I’m on a Boat” by The Lonely Island. I felt bad for possibly offending the old people but then I decided “I’m 32, this is my wedding and I’m going to do what I want.” No one freaked out so it’s fine. (Oh and the song the bridal party walked out to was “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, who our sweetie Bowie was named after.)

For our first dance, Jarrod and I danced to “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” by Elvis Presley. We don’t have “a song” so it took awhile to decide on something. Some songs that were meaningful to me weren’t so much for him and vice versa. We both like newer indie rock bands and threw around some ideas from those bands, but we ultimately decided that a classic song was the way to go. I told him that I wanted a song that we could randomly hear anywhere and be like “awww it’s our wedding song!” so this one fit the bill. (And it was played at a wedding we went to last week so it has totally happened already!) I danced to “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart with my dad. My mom and sister were huge Rod Stewart fans around the time I was born and my family tells me that they were going to name me Rod Stewart if I had been a boy. Yikes. But having a love for Rod in the family, this was a perfect choice. Plus my dad likes to tease me that I’m like Peter Pan because I don’t want to grow up, so it worked great. Jarrod and his mom danced to “In My Life” by the Beatles because he remembered always listening to the Beatles with her when he was younger.

For cocktail hour and dinner, I had a vision of playing my favorite songs from musicals, older songs that weren’t really “dance-able,” and random things like music from Dirty Dancing. My goal was for people to be like “aw I love this song!” to one song and then go “what the hell is this?” to the next one. A fellow musical lover friend said he walked into cocktail hour and heard a song from Wicked playing and was like “yeah, this is Jackie’s wedding.” Luckily Jarrod let me go wild with some weird choices. Thanks honey.

And the last extra special music thing we had at our wedding was that we had a personal accordion player. Need more info? Some weddings do the traditional bridal dance where guests dance with the bride and gift a dollar (or more) to the couple. I’ve been to lots of weddings where this happens and I don’t know if it’s a regional tradition or what. Where Jarrod is from (which is only like 1.5 hours away from where I grew up), it’s a Polish tradition for the bridal dance to be done to polka music. I had never heard of this tradition before but went to a few of his family’s weddings where they did this. It’s a little random but the music is really upbeat and fun. Jarrod’s mom’s close friend’s husband was kind enough to play live polka music for us on the accordion and it.was.AWESOME. I kinda hate being the center of attention so I was a little nervous to do the dance but it was super fun (and tiring!) You only dance with each person for a few seconds so it goes pretty quick and it’s a nice way to say “hi!” and “thanks for coming!” again to guests. Oh and it’s tradition to give the people a shot of something light like Peach Schnapps at the end. Which one of my bridesmaids did, until the bar ran out and gave her shots of whiskey instead. But she kept telling people it was schnapps. Ha oops.

So this is the longest post ever and it’s a holiday week and no one probably read this far. How did you choose your wedding music? Did you love/hate your dj? Any unique wedding traditions that you did? And have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

add some spice to thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving this week, we all know that our kitchens are going to be full of activity. And it’s a perfect time to spend some time with your significant other and let your unique cooking skills shine. Jarrod and I aren’t the best cooks but we are trying to eat better and spend more time together cooking. Everyone has gotta eat, right? Luckily we have some great new tools to help make cooking easier. A great place to get everything you need for great meals is the Target Wedding Registry – you can get all the tools and ingredients you need for tasty meals all season long. Target Wedding wants couples to add some spice to their Thanksgiving by bringing both of their personalities to the table this year.

thanksgiving with target -

Threshold 20 Piece Silver Melio Flatware | Threshold Bistro Ceramic 16-Piece Dinnerware Set | Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware | Anchor Hocking Oven Basics Bake Set | Calphalon Kitchen Essentials 20-piece Utensil & Gadget Set | Threshold Brampton Classic Glass Drinkware Set | SONOS PLAY: 5 Wireless HiFi System | Riedel Vivant White Wine Glass | Houdini Corkscrew | Threshold Lattice Runner – Gray
One thing I am excited to make this year is this cheesy broccoli and cauliflower gratin recipe I shared a few months ago. This is a great side and a good way to add some veggies to your Thanksgiving (or to any meal)! Above I also chose some fun items from Target and Target wedding that would be perfect for any meal. I need to get that wine opener and I already have those glasses and I love them! Plus the SONOS PLAY is perfect for playing your favorite music while you are cooking up a storm.

cheesy broccoli cauliflower gratin - jade and oak cheesy broccoli cauliflower gratin - jade and oak

Yummmmm cheeeeeese. We’re excited to celebrate our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple. Luckily both of our families live closeby so we love that we get to see both of them for holidays. This year we are having dinner with Jarrod’s family on Thursday and then we’ll be with my parents on Friday. Best of both worlds and I can’t wait to eat my face off!

What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?  What are some of your Thanksgiving tips or your unique traditions? Also Target wants to give one of my readers a $25 giftcard – woohoo! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

some little home updates

So I told you all about our new home plans on Monday. So we have been working on some little home updates lately. I’m just mad we didn’t do these things a long time ago so that we could’ve enjoyed them. First up, we had the front door repainted and had a new front light installed.

front door - front door -

I’m a bad blogger and didn’t get a good “before” photo. Oops. So below is a photo from my diy Valentine’s Day wreath and you can see the color of the old door and how the paint was chipping and the door was cracked. I love how classic it looks now with the red door. We also had the lock fixed up too since the door is a million years old and hard to open. We thought about replacing it originally but it’s a solid wood door and it goes with the style of the house. Having the lock fixed and the door painted was a cheaper option that turned out great.

front door -

Next up, we also had our dining room chandelier changed out. It’s a little more traditional than my taste but I thought it went better with the room/house so we chose it for resale, rather than the more modern one that I originally wanted. We got the light fixture at Home Depot. Below you can see it and ooooold photo of our dining room from when we first moved in and had barely any furniture.

dining room - dining room - dining room -

So there are some of our updates! I’ll share more with you guys soon. We had our handywoman do these projects for us and it’s so nice to have her to be able to do small things for us around our house. She can do some larger projects too, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. I am thinking that our next house will need some decent renovations, so we will be calling her up. But if we need bigger renovations, we’ll probably go with a contractor, which is cool but a little intimidating since I’ve heard some horror stories. Recently I heard of which is a third party that gets involved in a mediation-style role in case disputes come up, so it’s good to know that’s an option. Working with contractors can be overwhelming so it’s nice to know you have mediation options if things unfortunately go south.

So anyone else doing some little home renovations/updates? Or plans to do some little fix-ups around your house?