November 18, 2014

Homemade Chicken and Kale Soup

This past weekend we had Scott's sister, dad, and our baby nieces in town. We got to show them the venue (they loved it!!), did lots of movie watching, smores making by the fire, and music playin/singing in the garage. I also attended my girlfriend Nicole's baby shower, can't wait for Baby Anthony to be here!! The family left yesterday and we are always sad to see them go, but we are pooped! Looking forward to a weekend filled with relaxation and good food at our Friendsgiving on Sunday.

Rylee is gettin' some teeth!! // Nicole's Baby Shower

It has been pretty chilly in Austin the past week and a half, but I am loving it. Winter is my favorite... I love the winter clothes,fires at home, I love any excuse to cuddle up super close to Scottie and Huxley (and Bailey now) and then of course all the Holidays where I get to see my family who lives 8 hours away and Scottie's family that lives 5 hours away...

Last night we were excited to get home and start a fire imediately, and I knew I wanted to make a soup! I already had most of these ingredients on hand, so I literally just had to stop and get a bunch of kale for $1, and I was ready to go! This recipe is SO easy and while we're on this Yeast Free diet right now trying to trim down for the wedding, it was able to fill us up perfectly and we even had tons extra to bring to work today. 

Homemade Chicken and Kale Soup
servings, 8
time, 15 min prep, 45 minutes

2-3 Large Chicken Breasts
32 oz Organic Chicken Stock 
1 Bunch Kale
6 Organic Carrots
1 Bunch Celery
1 Onion
Sea Salt and Pepper

1. Prep: chop kale, celery, carrots, and onion, and set aside for the soup.
2. Using a stockpot, bring 32oz organic chicken stock to a boil, and refill the 32oz. container with water and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and add chicken and all other ingredients except for the kale. Lower heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes. Chicken will be fully cooked - you can hold the chicken with a spoon against the pot and should be firm.
3. Shred Chicken (easy as removing chicken from pot to shred with 2 forks, and putting back in).
4. Stir in the kale.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve piping hot.


November 10, 2014

DIY: Bridesmaid Invite Boxes

Happy Monday, friends! Oh what a fun weekend it was for us... we had our best friends Ashley and Justin in town with their little nugget Annalee from Dallas to spend the weekend with us. We stayed up way too late, had breakfast casserole and mimosas the next morning, stayed up way too late again the next night - I felt 19 again! It was SO fun, we miss them so much. The weekend was even more special, because I asked Ashley to be my Matron of Honor.

From the moment I met Ashley, back in 2010, before she and Justin were even engaged, I LOVED her! She is like an older sister to me, and we just click when it comes to about anything. I could always go to her for advice and call her at 2am if I needed her, everyone needs a friend like this! But that isn't the only reason why I asked her to be MOH. Justin and Ashley have a relationship that is truly special, inspiring, and REAL. They have a love for each other that I admire, and I believe that when it comes to having a Matron of Honor, it is someone who is wise in their ways , who knows the beauty and hardships of marriage, and is an example... and that's what she and Justin are to us. Scott also asked Justin to be a groomsmen! It was a wonderful moment that I will never forget. Cue tears! I just love our Gamboa family.

Bridal Boxes

Over the past few months, I had seen some Pinterest Ideas (can be the worst and best thing while planning a wedding FYI!) about how to ask your bridesmaids formally to stand by you on your wedding day. I really liked the concept of a keepsake box for future use, but a lot of the colors made me cringe and I definitely didn't want to buy them all on Etsy it just would get way too pricey! SO I decided to make my own with inspirations of the colors of the wedding. 

We are having an outdoor spring wedding, and I wanted to incorporate a rustic, Texas feel mixed with antique/vintage accents. As I'm not the biggest fan of the trendy mint and coral look, I like the softer pallets of it. Like a sage color, succulents, mixed with baby's breath and soft peach colors with ivory and lace. So I had an idea of what I wanted when I went to pick up supplies.

I don't call myself a crafter, in fact a lot of DIY projects just scare me and I'd MUCH rather just buy the darn things, but since this was a meaningful gift I wanted it to be special. I went to Joanns and picked up the following:

3 Cigar Boxes - Unfinished
3 Picture Keepsake Boxes - Unfinished
A Couple Yards of Lace Fabric
1 Set of Peach Ribbon
1 Set of Mint Ribbon (They didn't have sage but it came out looking pretty!)
3 Sets of Mint Decor Flowers, Lace Decor Flowers, and Peach Decor Flowers (2 or 3 packs)
1 Pack of Foam Brushes

By the way, everything was from 25-50% off at the store, I couldn't believe it seeing my receipt, it was so cost friendly!

They did not have stains at Joanns so I stopped by Home Depot on the way home and got an English Rustic stain. I had never stained before so I was really nervous but OMG I love it! It is SO easy!! My Maid of Honor Suzy and I stained the boxes together with a few cocktails. SO fun!

I "wing'd" it when it came to decorating the outside of the boxes. I have 6 bridesmaids, so I saved the picture keepsake boxes for the Maid of Honor, MOH Jr, and Matron of Honor, and decorated the cigar boxes for my other ladies.

I really love the way that they turned out. All I needed was a glue stick, a glue gun, and some random creative ideas I'd get each time I did a new box. I downloaded a free printable from for the "Will you be my?" and also wrote each bridesmaid a personalized note with a picture.

I filled the boxes with little tissue crinkles I got from HEB for about $1, and this is what I put in the box: 

Mini Champagne Bottle
Body Scrub
2 Perfumes
Nail Polish
Blingy Necklace
Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
Will You Be My Bridesmaid Cardstock
Letter to the Bridesmaid
Picture of us

I can say that this was SO fun for me to do, and meant so much to each Bridesmaid. I love these ladies so much and I wanted them to feel special and I think I did just that! Now for Raelyn, our little Flower Girl... she is about to be 3 years old, and so I what I did for her was a frame with a little poem, to be replaced with a picture of us together on my wedding day, her in her beautiful little gown she'll be in. I had 2 leftover flowers from my crafting so I hotglued them to a frame I already had, did the poem and decor on and printed it out as a 4x6 to fit in the frame. When Helen read it to Raelyn it was the sweetest thing!

So that's it! I still haven't given my Maid of Honors (Yes I have two, childhood friend and little sister) theirs because there is still some brainstorming and something else special I am wanting to do for them.

How did you ask your bridesmaids to stand by you on your big day or how do you plan to? I want to know! :-) 

November 4, 2014

We picked a date!

When Scott and I got engaged, it happened to be a few weeks right after my best friend, so we didn't rush in choosing a date until we knew what her date was going to be. I also wanted to enjoy just being engaged to my best friend after SO many years wishing, waiting, and hoping to someday be his wifey... and this day had finally come!

When I found out that she had picked her date in October which was 1 year from both our engagements, I knew I'd have to choose to have a short engagement, or a long engagement (1.5 year), and that's when the stress started seeping in. At first, we thought March 2016 would be perfect so we could just save all this money and take a long time planning. Well, the planner in me honestly was MORE stressed about that than doing things faster, and so we decided that we'd both rather have a short engagement, set realistic goals, and get to planning! After all, I already had planned my dream wedding in my head for years (okay, since I was like 5), and already knew the gist of what we wanted. PLUS! I have waited this long to marry the man of my dreams, why would I want to wait another 1.5 years to tie that knot!? 

So we set a month. May 2015. We knew this would be a perfect month being 7 months away at the time, and needed to get to Venue Shopping. 

Venue shopping is hard! Some places are financially based on the Food and Beverage to waive your venue fee, or it's Venue fee PLUS Food and Beverage and PLUS all these extras, I had heard of this main venue that 3 of our friends have been married at, and it was really appealing to me being on the lake, with an indoor reception area. But I kept looking around to compare options with many other venues. 

We have been hoping to find a perfect mix of rustic, Texas-y, outdoor/indoor, beautiful venue that has everything we could want. And we finally found that place.

Vintage Villas

We originally planned on having a smaller wedding, but due to some (awesome) circumstances where they needed this date booked for the larger venue as 3 weekends in May were still open, they came down tremendously on the price for what we were getting and after it already being my favorite, I knew this was the one. We toured and saw beautiful Villas with antique furniture placed, balconies that overlooked Lake Travis, and both the Ceremony and Reception area was just breathtaking. We cannot wait to tie the knot on...

May 2, 2015!!!