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I got a maple syrup guy...

30 October 2013

I pride myself in having a "guy" for just about anything. Car's broken down? I gotta guy. Need a bang trim? I gotta guy. How about raw maple syrup? I got a guy for that one too!

It was our honeymoon...




...and we just arrive in Jamaica. If you have ever been on a Sandal's vacation you'll know that when you arrive at your destination you get put on a shuttle to transport you from the airport to your resort. The size of the shuttle depends on how many passengers are being transported. In our case we were with only one other couple. Turns out these sweet friends were not on their honeymoon but rather soaking in vacation before their busy season. 

Through conversation we came to learn they Linda and Jeff were maple syrup farmers from VT. I never met anyone from VT before! Let alone maple syrup farmers! Throughout our stay we would bump into Linda and Jeff around the resort and we made sure by the end of our trip that we would exchange contact information. Linda promised that they would send a little something from VT when they got home.

Well, we expected a small bottle of maple syrup as a tester but when the box arrived, it was heavy!! 




Turns out they sent us a 1/2 gallon of their product!! We were floored and it has since become one of the greatest stories from our honeymoon!  Since meeting them in 2012, we order about a 1/2 gallon a year, sometimes two, now that I am clean eating. Maple syrup and honey are the only two sweeteners that I use. And man this stuff is delicious!! It puts the synthetic crap to shame!! If you want ordering information, please feel free to email me (tobemrscollier@gmail.com) I'd be happy to put you in touch with Jeff and Linda.




Yummy Vegetarian Egg Roll Recipe

29 October 2013


The second Asian-cuisine recipe that I decided to tackle besides my go-to stir fry. And I was pleased! Have you ever made egg rolls? If not, you should check them out! Crispy and delicious! Not to mention incredibly easy!!!



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Using Marshmellow, my food processor, I shredded onions, carrots, turnips, and radishes. You can also do this by hand. Then using about 3 tsp of sesame oil I sautéed them up until the components were soft. I have also tried using beets in the same mixture. I seasoned the mixture with a bit of ginger, course ground pepper, sea salt, coriander and cumin. Then at the last few minutes I added a handful of sauerkraut to add some tang! You can also use rice wine vinegar if you aren't a fan of sauerkraut. 

Next lay out your egg roll shells so they are in a diamond shape and brush lightly with coconut or olive oil. Place your contents in the middle of the diamond and fold the bottom point over the contents creating a slight roll. Next, fold over both right and left points and continue to roll upwards toward the top point of the diamond. Lay the egg roll folds down and spread oil on top to generate that crispy crunch! 

Bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes until crispy and brown. Make sure they cool a bit before eating because these suckers are HOT out of the oven!!

Let me know what fillings you try! I'm always looking for ideas! 




Meeting Blogging Friends in Real Life

28 October 2013

[First, the awesome, extra special giveaway has ended and a winner has been contacted. Please stay tuned for reveal! now for the post....]



Peacoats & Plaid


Why do you blog? Is it a creative outlet for you in your life? Do you blog for the extra income? Are you a fan of documenting your life? Or do you blog to make friends with similar interests?

Well, I started blogging because I had recently gotten engaged. But that's old news! [You can read more about my story in the "about me" section.] But I've realized that I truly love the friendships that I've been able to develop through blogging. Do you have fellow bloggers that you comment regularly on each other's blogs, text, chat, Skype or even hang out in real life? I do!

Take my "big" Ashley at Let's Get Bananas. A few months ago she and some fellow Texan bloggers visited Nashville and I had the opportunity to brunch with her. Or Chelsey at Patti Cake. When I found out she lived 10 minutes away from my work, we just had to meet for coffee! Then my dear Amberly who lives in UTAH and I have been keeping up for awhile. Not only do we have tons in common thought Google Hangout we found out we pretty much have the same couch! Lastly, there is Kelsey, my first recipient of a Cara Box in Nebraska who sends me the most amazing snap chats throughout the week! Thank God for technology because I would never have the opportunity to connect with these women! 

Have you met any of your blog friends? Within these past two weeks, I have met two of my friend bloggers for the first time. Now, I don't know about you but it sort of feels normal. I mean, non-bloggers would totally think it was strange but really it isn't. It it reminiscent of a blind date but not so blind because you know what they look like and you hear their voice through their posts. But my favorite part of meeting blog friends is adding an audible voice. Jackie at Health, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness just relocated to Nashville and she and I had a chance to sit down for pizza and a pumpkin patch visit last weekend! And this past Saturday, I met up with my first Cara Box Exchange sender, Cassie at A Southern Pair! We chatted over chai lattes at a local coffee shop that tastes like Christmas. No big deal. 

So you might be wondering what Mr. Collier thinks about all of this? Or how do you explain to friends that aren't bloggers about your blogging friends? Well friends, I've gotta say that I am loud and proud about my blogging and fellow bloggers that I meet up with. In fact, when Jackie attended the pumpkin patch with me, I was the first time I was able to introduce a blog friend with my real life friends from Church and she fit right in! And I was so pleased that she was able to join us!

Tell me about meeting your blogging friends and how you deal with the blog/real life friend balance. Is it weird? Super awkward? Or just fun?

Twinkle lights in the Twilight at Cheekwood

25 October 2013


Last week, I took the high school girls at church to this amazing exhibit at the Cheekwood Botanical garden here in Nashville. It was gorgeous seeing thousands of lights twinkling in the night. Fortunately, it wasn't too terribly cold! 

The artist, Bruce Munro made the lawns dazzle! If you are in the Nashville area, I would highly recommend it! 

Here are my 5 tips for making the most of your time at Lights!

1. Prepare to saunter so wear comfy shoes!

2. Check out the schedule for live music before you go! During our visit they had a jazz band and a cellist. 

3. Grab some hot chocolate or tea on your way to Cheekwood. You can bring drinks inside and so take advantage on these cold nights. Nothing says romantic like cuddling up in the brisk weather with hot cocoa in hand!

4. Buy your tickets online before arriving! 

5. Take a least 2 hours to take the entire exhibit in.



Prototype Mama


The giveaway for the 30 days of streaming videos from Suzanne Bowen goes until Monday! Don't forget to enter!! Spread the word, lovelies!


A few little changes around here

24 October 2013

If you haven't noticed, To Be Mrs. Collier (TBMC) has gotten a face lift. That's right! I've opted for a full blog design. What made me take the leap? Previously, I have been responsible for my entire blog design within the confines of the blogger platform. I'm NO expert in html coding and web page building so I decided to call in an expert.

But who do you choose? I decided to look to my favorite blog designs. And that led me to Laura. She is the creative genius behind my design as well as the lovely Emily at Newlywed Moments. In fact, it was her blog that led me to hire Laura. My "wants" were clean design, simple construct and plenty of white space with fresh colors. Laura continued to communicate with me over 30 days. She shot a design at me and after critiquing it, we settled on the final design.  

What was I looking in a blog designer? Well, first and foremost I had no idea! I found Laura to be incredibly thorough and so if you are talking to a designer, make sure they are asking you questions about what you like, what you dislike and how you want your blog to be branded. And I can't discredit the price! 

Speaking of branding, another update that you'll notice is that I purchased my domain name! It was so easy! One more step towards more serious blogging over in these parts! I comparison shopped and found that Go Daddy was the least expensive. Then I found a few tutorials and was rockin' within the hour! 

So where do you stand? Are you thinking of taking your blogging to the next level with design? What has held you back?

Don't forget, it is week 6 of the Transformation Challenge and to celebrate I'm giving away 30 days of free online streaming fitness classes from Suzanne Bowen! Tweet every day to get the most entries!


Thankful for Unconditional Love

23 October 2013

Hey lovelies! I'm so glad Sarah has asked me to be here today. My name is Samantha and I blog over at Life Style Love - you might recognize me from this post. I like to blog about love, clothes, recipes, diy projects, and life in general. You can read a little more about me here.
Almost a year ago my husband and I moved 4 hours away from our hometown and I feel like it has really shown me the things in life that I am most thankful for. I tend to be a very Type-A / OCD person and can get way too absorbed in work, my to-do list, and other things that I let stress me out. The love I share with my husband, along with my family and my friends, is what keeps me sane. It keeps me from literally crying during a stressful day at work or from spending an evening sitting on the couch and eating Ben & Jerry's out of the carton. {Oh wait, I did that once.} Those people help me remember the real important things. And out of all of those things, the one I am most thankful for is unconditional love. 
If you are married, you know unconditional love. If you have loving, forgiving, and supportive parents, you know unconditional love. If your friends are like your family and accept you for you, you know unconditional love. It's that feeling that no. matter. what. you will be loved.

I think unconditional love is one of the best gifts to receive and one of the best gifts you can give. It's sad to think that some people grow up without every knowing this kind of love or what it feel like. The way my parents loved me and our family is one of the best things they could have taught me. I look forward to the day that I can share this with my own kiddos. Being in a marriage where you know you will be loved no matter what is probably one of life's greatest experiences. Don't let yourself forget how the way you treat somebody or love somebody can be life-changing. It's easy to get caught up in the things we think are the important things; but try to remember the reason we're all here: to love and be loved.

What are you most thankful for? Are there certain people in your life that you go to when you need to be reminded of those things?
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BarreAmped Transformation Challenge Week 6--BIG GIVEAWAY!!!

21 October 2013



Ok friends! It has literally taken all that I have to keep my mouth shut about this giveaway [I can't believe I did it!!]. I am beyond pleased with my results both physically and mentally with the BarreAmped Transformation challenge that I just had to contact Suzanne Bowen (creator of BarreAmped) to bring you, no matter where you live, access to her fitness method. She offers online streaming videos for $10 per month but I am giving away 30 days of streaming videos for free! 

And what better way to ring in the half way mark of my 12 week challenge as well as jump start your own fitness!! Are you excited?! 







Peacoats & Plaid




Halloween Costumes Round Up 2013 & TN Bloggers Link Up

18 October 2013




Yeah. We're awesome. 

Halloween is one of those unique opportunities where you can let your hair down and be goofy without any judgement. In fact, the crazier or more witty the better in my book! Mr. Collier and I have showed up as Waldo and Wenda (my personal favorite) and have portrayed the classic Barbie and Ken. But we haven't quite made the decision to dress up this year which pretty much leads me to this post. 






Adults













Kiddos















What are your plans for Halloween? Will this be a costume year for you?


That time I was a cheerleader...throwback thursday

17 October 2013



I was super hot in middle school. You should have seen all the boys lined up in the yard! #TBT

Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk Product Review

16 October 2013




I went to get my brows waxed the other day [ the day after being paid for a babysitting gig] and I received a wonderful compliment from the aesthetician. Let me preface this by saying that I only see her once or twice a year and faithfully maintain my brows on my own the majority of the time. So it has been AWHILE. She took one look at my mug and said that my skin looked amazing and asked what I had been using. 

I have very sensitive skin and don't really use products with fragrance. Everything I use on my skin is hypoallergenic. When I do wear makeup, I go Bare Essentials all the way! Actually, my skin care routine is quite boring! But I found this great product, Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk that I had to share with you because I love it!

It smells lovely, is organic and makes my skin feel silky smooth. 

What do you use on your face?

Taste of Tuesday Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza

15 October 2013



I am from Chicago and it turns out that makes me a sucker for pizza. What camp do you live in? Are you a deep dish or thin crust sort of person? I am a resident of thin-crust. Turns out, making homemade pizza isn't difficult and it can be healthy if you are mindful of your ingredients.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

After rolling out the dough, I brushed some olive oil on the top and threw it in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or so so pre-bake. I love, love, love crispy crust! Because I'm clean eating, I had to get creative with the toppings. I used tomato paste and oregano as the sauce because most pizza sauces have all sorts of sugar and additives. Then I added some broccoli, onion feta and mushrooms. I've never been to Italy [yet] but I feel like this recipe is very close to authentic pizza. If you are interested in sponsoring me to verify this for a fact, please let me know! Have a wonderful Tuesday sweet friends! And check out Let's Get Bananas for the Taste of Tuesday! 


Transformation Challenge Measurements--Week 4

14 October 2013



Happy Monday! I'm pretty pumped about my results over the last four weeks! You can check out my other progress updates here

Previous stats:

Stats:

Arms: 12"

Waist: 30"

Abs: 31.25"

Hips: 40"

Thighs: 24.5"

Weight: 149 lb

Life, Style, Love--October Sponsor Spotlight

09 October 2013


I am beyond thrilled to introduce my October Sponsor, Samantha at Life Style Love. She is just awesome! She knows who she is, she is grounded in faith, and is totally in love with her husband, Parker! The met at the beginning of high school, a typical boy and girl shamelessly flirt, grab a label then start dating officially when they were a little older. Just after graduating they married and have been living in the high life ever since [they just celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary]. Their own fairy tale! For fun, Samantha and Parker spend their free time with family and friends, like their besties Samantha's recently engaged brother and his fiancee. During the summer you can meet her at the lake!    




Loving the Lake

Samantha is quite the creative type...just ask her barista at Caribou Coffee [I LOVE CARIBOU ]! She digs a 16 oz. skim latte with a mixture of hazelnut and marshmallow! I would have never mixed those two flavors but she swears by it! [I'll be trying this next time, Samantha] With her cup of coffee or glass of wine in hand, she digs blogs by 20-30 somethings who write about their life and provides inspiration of how to be healthier, to be a better wife, pray more, run, laugh or create something. Speaking of making something...Samantha loves her Hobby Lobby! Especially with the fall and her brother's wedding coming! Check out her awesome DIY jewelry rack and wooden headboard! My girl's got some skills! [Seriously, Life Style Love is one blog that you must follow!]




Life Style Love started after relocating to a brand new place from their lifelong hometown of Fargo. She blogs about her weekends, the food on her table, DIY projects and her personal goals like fitness and healthy living. As far as blogging goes, she hopes to keep making her blog better and growing her readership. But she is the first to point out that numbers aren't what it is all about. It is about relationships, connecting and sharing our lives as bloggers. She is looking to get her blog "out there" in the blog-o-sphere and in my opinion, she has a wonderful blog--everyone should know Samantha! Be sure to stop by and check her out. I mean how could you not?! She'll be hanging out with me for the next 30 days! So take off your shoes and stay awhile! 

I only provide one big-time sponsor spot per month which allows all my attention to focus on you, your blog and promoting the wonderful things that you say and do! Interested?  Visit my sponsor page or email me for more info!