WORDSWAG: The App Every Blogger Should Have

Happy Monday everyone!  I'm stopping in this morning to share a new app I just love!  I am not the type of person who usually buys apps. I mainly use Instagram, Pandora, iHeart Radio, Bloglovin, etc...which are all free.  This one, I couldn't pass up. 

Whether you are a full time blogger or an occasional instagrammer, WORDSWAG is the newest app you need to have.  Seriously bloggers- you will love it.  It's basically like having a sophisticated PicMonkey on your phone, without the thousands of different design options.  It allows you to create beautiful, magazine quality images by incorporating your own descriptive overlays.  I will be using this app for all my food pictures from now one.  I like the style better than what you can get with PicMonkey. 

Pin them.  Blog them.  Share them.  It's all about the look and feel of the design you create for any given image.  It's very fun to use and the little music makes me giggle.  Extremely simple too with only a few steps.  You can edit on top of your own pictures or use premade templates on the app.  Use your own personal quotes or sift through the hundreds of them available through the app. 

The app costs $1.99 (a one time fee).  Well worth it in my opinion as I spend about $5 each month on PicMonkey so I can get access to use the Royal features.  So in total, it costs very little money to be able to have access to professional grade blog design tools.  Bloggers everywhere will benefit from these two resources.

Here is a snapshot tutorial:

Choose to work with photos on your cell phone (left) or with premade templates (right).

Here is an example of how I branded one of my newest pictures with this app.  Stylish!

Lots of templates to choose from.


More templates.  I love the sparkles, shimmers, and bling of course!



Once you have picked a template, you will see this.  Double tap!

Choose from a variety of quotes or type in your own custom one (ex. recipe title).  Save.

Pick a cool font & format at the bottom (use the numbers to change text format).

I also made a food one (cropped for Instagram) using a picture I took of fresh blueberries this summer. So cute! LOVE!

Pic Saved. Time to share!
  

I hope you enjoyed this WordSwag tutorial!

xo,
Ginny

The Perfect Summer Wine


I am so excited to tell you all about this wine I stumbled upon this summer.  It's one I would not normally choose because it is white wine and I am a tried and true red wine girl but the minute I saw it, I grabbed it.  Sometimes those random split second impulse buys pay off big in the end.  :)

The wine I'm obsessing over is the Barefoot Refresh brand in Crisp White.  It tastes like Sprite mixed with champagne and a splash of lemonade.  It's so refreshing and delightful.  Even if you are more of a red wine drinker, this wine is definitely one that you will enjoy.

I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a delicious new wine to try during the warmer months of the year.  It's perfect for summer!

Chill it well before serving!  Pair it with a cucumber watermelon salad or with your favorite chips and salsa!

I photographed my Crisp White Wine in one of our beautiful wedding gifts: the Mikasa Cheers wine glass set in Polka Dot.  These are extremely chic and feminine looking wine glasses and I think every bride should put them on her registry.  They are adorable and perfect for the gal who loves to entertain!

CHEERS!

Wine: Barefoot Refresh in Crisp White
Wine Glass: Mikasa Cheers in Polka Dot





Cucumber Watermelon Summer Salad


Mmmmm.  Watermelon!  It just screams summer, doesn't it?

I made this simple dish for me and Matthew for the 4th of July to go along with our grilled hamburgers.  It was such a huge hit.  Nutritious and guilt free eating. :)

The fresh mint in combination with the sweet watermelon and kick of the red onion is sure to please any palate.  It's such a simple little side, perfect for a summer picnic or for a shower.  Be sure to refrigerate any leftovers in a tightly sealed container.  This only stays fresh (and yummy) for about 2 days then it will just get soggy- so eat it up quick!

Find the recipe below! I hope you enjoy this delicious cucumber watermelon summer salad!





Cucumber Watermelon Summer Salad
 (Makes 2-3 servings)

This recipe takes 10 minutes.

2 cups seedless watermelon, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced and seeded
2 tbsp sweet red onion, finely minced
1 tbsp each cilantro and fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Chill for about 1 hour.  Eat.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Yum!!

Bridals

Good morning everyone! It's great to be back.  I am so excited to share a few of my bridals with you today.  On May 4th, 2014 I married Matthew at the Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.  It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon garden wedding with all of our family and friends.  Matthew and I are so excited to finally be husband and wife and to begin our life journey together as one.  Thanks so much for everyone who helped make our wedding day possible. xo

While we wait on our wedding pictures, I want to share a few of my favorites from my bridal portrait session that was shot back in March.  The shoot was held at a small private farm in Raleigh, near the NC State campus.  The vast farmland allowed for beautiful natural light images and the tall blooming white dogwoods complemented my ivory wedding gown perfectly.  

About the Look

I really loved my bridal look.  It was simple, elegant, and modern.  While I heavily considered getting a lace gown, in the end, lace just wasn't for me.  I wanted more of a chic modern look, meaning, I wanted something a little less traditional, hence lace, and a little more sweet, simple, and stylish all rolled into one.  The hand crafted rosettes and diamonds on the waist and hip areas, in combination with a traditional sweetheart neckline and ivory dupioni silk fabric really met all of those requirements for me.  Rosettes are so trendy right now so when I saw them on this Martina Liana gown, I thought they were stunning and perfect for a Spring garden wedding.  I choose a mermaid silhouette because I am a very curvy woman and I believe in showing off your curves even as a bride.  My accessories, including a soft pinky nail, were subtle and added that small touch of needed glam. 

Dress: Martina Liana (Style #345)  from Lana Addison Bridal
Earrings: NADRI
Bracelet: Versona
Nail Polish: ESSIE in color Muchi Muchi


Gluten Free Almond Snickerdoodle Cookies


Over the last 4-5 months, Matthew and I have made a lot of positive changes in our diet.  Not that our diet was ever bad by any means because it wasn’t. We always eat very healthy, and indulge in our guilty pleasures occasionally, but these changes were much needed and ones that were necessary for optimal health. 

Back in November we faced some personal health issues that in turn, forced us to do things differently and in the end we are extremely better off.  We drastically cut out of our diet white flour, white refined sugars, and gluten, and started using a lot more organic foods and snacks at Trader Joe’s versus the regular supermarkets.  We weren't using these products in excess or anything but just getting rid of them for the most part has really paid off in the long run.  We feel great.

The snacks at Trader Joe’s are a lot healthier and provide taste and nutrients in place of just sugar and fat like the majority of stuff on the supermarket shelves.  (I will write a post on my top Trader Joe’s foods and snacks at some point because I do want to share them with you.)

We started cooking and baking with almond meal and coconut oil and using clover honey (amazing!) as a sweetener.  All of the ingredients I just mentioned are natural, healthy, and a delicious substitute in every day baking and cooking. 

Note: Cooking with coconut oil is really simple to work with, adds great flavor and health benefits, and the replacement ratio is 1:1 for vegetable oils, butter, and margarine (liquid fats).  That means, if a recipe calls for one cup of butter or margarine, just substitute it with one cup of coconut oil. 

Our favorite snack to come out of this diet change is definitely our Gluten Free Almond Snickerdoodles. Matthew and I call them, “Snickerdudes” for short. (: They have quickly become me and Matthew’s favorite cookie ever.  I bake these 2-3 times a week for us to have on hand for easy to grab snacks.

Here is the recipe! I hope you enjoy them!


Recipe: Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookies

Note: I would highly suggest using a KitchenAid mixer or an electric hand mixer to mix all the ingredients together! I found through trial and error that it makes all the difference in the world.

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients
2 cups almond meal (Trader Joe’s is recommended)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients
¼ cup clover honey (I HIGHLY recommend clover over any other honey for this recipe)
4 tablespoons of coconut oil (if your coconut oil is solid at room temp, just hold the jar under running hot water for 1-2 minutes and it will liquify)

Topping
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions 

Set oven to 350 degrees F
Mix topping ingredients together into a small bowl and set aside

In a KitchenAid mixer or regular mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients together
In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together
Add wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients

Scoop out a small spoonful of the mixture and ball it in your hand until smooth (should be about 1 inch thick)
Roll the ball into the topping mixture so that all sides are evenly coated
Place on a cookie sheet
Do this until all the mixture is gone and you have 12-14 balls on the cookie sheet
Using a fork, flatten each ball to about 1/4 inch thick.  Try to keep it in a circular shape.
 
Bake for 9 minutes and no longer!

Enjoy!

Makes 12-14 Gluten Free Snickerdoodle Cookies