WIAW – Healthy Broccoli & Cheese Soup


Happy Wednesday! I think we all know that means that today is What I ate Wednesday, so let’s get to it. I also have a soup recipe below because I am clearly obsessed with soups during this cold streak (and of course today is 70 degrees)!



Breakfast: 1 egg + 1 egg white, Muenster cheese, strawberry jelly and a bagel thin. Best part? The yolk breaking!

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Snack: Clementines & Almonds. Standard

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 Lunch: Healthy Broccoli & Cheese Soup (recipe below) + Honeycrisp Apple



Snack: Think Thin Caramel Bar (Yum!)

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Dinner: Salmon, brown rice & Sugar snap peas

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Dessert: Clean Oatmeal Cookies


I made the soup on Sunday which is definitely a keeper! It’s extremely healthy and clean. Adam and I try to eat as clean as possible 80% of the time – Our goal is to have a six-pack by Summer… Who else thinks I won’t ever get there? I like fro-yo too much!

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Broccoli Cheese Soup


  • 10 oz frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
  • 1.5 cups Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 6 baby carrots, chopped (Or 1 large)
  • 1/3 cup Nurtional Yeast (Don’t be scared of this!)
  • 2 tablespoons Romano Cheese


  • Heat olive oil in a soup pot on medium
  • Add onion and garlic – Cook til translucent, 3 minutes.
  • Add flour and whisk in Almond Milk and Vegetable Broth until no lumps remain
  • Add Bay Leaves, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper
  • Bring broth to boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes – Stir occasionally so bottom doesn’t burn
  • Remove bay leaves discard
  • Add carrot & broccoli
  • Cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes more – or until veggies are tender
  • Add nutritional yeast and romano cheese.
  • Blend until smooth (Or a little chunky if you like to taste broccoli)
  • Serve hot




Wedding Recap: Details

Ahhh, just when you thought the wedding posts were over! This will be the last actual wedding post and I have a Honeymoon post planned for Thursday.

As a detail oriented person, I really appreciate small details at weddings and yes, I notice them. I know most people wouldn’t notice that we served pink and grey (our colors) m&m’s with our ice cream sundaes, but things like that were important to me (and drove Adam crazy.)

This post is all about the details… Get ready for a lot of pictures!

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I ordered our invitations from a seller on Etsy. Etsy was no joke my best friend throughout wedding planning. Yes, I’m a crafty person but I honestly didn’t have time to get too crafty! I loved these so much and got message after message on how much everyone else loved these too.

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I had a vision of lace and hearts for my place card and my aunt really helped that come to my life. She was such a big help and is so amazingly talented. I hope she starts her own Etsy shop soon!

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Our guest book was another Etsy find. I found this shop that actually hand painted the tree (instead of screen printing) and fell in love. We had it mounted on foam and matted to help with sturdiness throughout the night.

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My friend Ali had a large birdcage at her wedding for her cards that I thought was beautiful so I asked if I could borrow it. She told me to keep it so I changed the look!  My cousin spray painted it grey and I placed the lace and flower inside, wrapped the crystals on the outside and made a ribbon sign for the front of the cage.

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I rented the pink tool box and night stand from Rusty Love Vintage Rentals (very affordable!) and my aunt made the adorable Happily Ever After starts here sign. I wanted something to hold the programs and my vision came out perfectly.

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I wanted paper bag programs but I could not for the life of me figure out how to design them on a computer myself. I ended up ordering them off this shop on Etsy (shocker) last minute and she did an amazing job! She even stuffed them with grey, pink and white pom poms because I didn’t want birdseed. You can kind of see the pom poms being thrown here.



 (one of my favorite pictures from the wedding)

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I also rented the dresser as part of the “alter”. Our florist provided the pergola and chandelier that I also added on last minute. It’s kinda like my brain didn’t work until 2 weeks before the wedding.

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My veil was custom-made from the lace on my dress. I absolutely loved this statement piece and wish it wouldn’t have been so windy so I could’ve worn it longer.

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My ring bearers held 2 custom pieces as well. I made the bottom piece (which did NOT turn out how I expected, but still worked) and bought the top one from this shop on Etsy. Side note: How cute are they??

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Something else I ordered last-minute were the menu cards. I wanted ones that wrapped around napkins and begged this company to make them for me ASAP. You can also see the lace linens I rented on the table.


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Table numbers were mirrors I found at the dollar store (woohoo!) and my Aunt drew on them with paint pens. Thank goodness for someone with good hand writing.

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We chose to have flip-flops at our wedding for guests to feel comfortable while dancing. My friend helped me make the tags for them so guests didn’t have to rummage through and find their size.


We had pictures of us as children on the bathroom doors. Me for Women and Adam for men…obviously.


I purchased the Cake topper on Etsy (I think?? but can’t find the link) and it was made of swarovski crystals. The candles you see around the cake I handmade with pearls and votives I bought at Michaels.

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On the bar we had a few signs with our signature drink… This baby is potent.

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My favorite detail was the heart I had stitched in to the bottom of my dress. It was made from one of my Uncle Chuck’s dress shirts who passed away in 2008.


Which leads me to our donation, in memory of my Uncle Chuck. ❤

I have a few more details but can’t seem to find the pictures… If I come across them I will do a continued post.

PS: My vision came together with the help of this little lady. I hired her 5 days before my wedding and SHE ROCKED!

Questions: What was your favorite detail of your wedding?





100 Calorie Clean Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Every night after dinner I HAVE to have dessert. 3 weeks ago it was Trader Joe’s Powerberries, 2 weeks ago it was Vita Tops and last week it was Peanut Butter Crunch Toast.


Not the dessert every night, of course. But the eating preservative filled desserts before bed time.

This week I was determined to be prepared so I made a batch of cookies (that should last for 2 weeks!). These cookies are a little under 100 calories a piece, clean and have the perfect crunch.


Clean Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies 


  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp divided Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 3/4 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 organic brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a bowl stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • Mix coconut oil and brown sugar until creamy in a separate bowl
  • Add soymilk, 2 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour and vanilla to oil and sugar.
  • Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients
  • Combine oats and vegan chocolate chips
  • Scoop tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets
  • Bake 14 minutes until light golden brown
  • Remove from oven and let cool


Sunday Stuff 1/27

Peanut Butter S'mores Banana Bread - It was delicious but I put it in a pan that was too small so it overflowed and didn't look pretty.

Peanut Butter S’mores Banana Bread – It was delicious but I put it in a pan that was too small so it overflowed and didn’t look pretty. 


Who will buy me a $700 pair of sunglasses?

Who will buy me a $700 pair of sunglasses?

Rainbow Chard, Walnuts, & Pear Salad

Rainbow Chard, Walnuts, & Pear Salad at Whole Foods




Salmon Mango and Avocado Sushi Roll

Salmon Mango and Avocado Sushi Roll 

Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s 


Vegan Broccoli "Cheese" Soup and Cheese Quesadilla

Vegan Broccoli “Cheese” Soup and Cheese Quesadilla


Clean Eating Cookies with Almond Milk

Clean Eating Cookies with Almond Milk

Hope your Sunday was as nice as mine!

Wedding Recap: Wedding Video

I’m not ready for the wedding recaps to be over! I’ve had so much fun going through our pictures one by one and telling our story out of them. Below is our Wedding Highlight video. If you have doubts on whether or not to get a Videographer – I highly suggest you cut back on something else to make it work. We also received a 30 minute video and a 2 hour-long video on a DVD. I know our kids will love it one day 🙂

Alyssa and Adam from Bowen Films on Vimeo.

Video: Thomas Bowen Films

WIAW – Spinach, Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

Happy Wednesday! It is absolutely FREEZING here so I hope wherever you are, you’re nice and warm.

Here’s a look at my daily eats – I took pictures Monday since I was off. It’s easier than explaining to your co-workers why you’re taking a picture of an ugly dollop of hummus. Head on over to Jenn’s to see what other people ate!


Breakfast: I got to try the new Banana Chobani (so good!) – I added some of that Peanut Butter Toast Crunch and blueberries on top.

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Snack: Honeycrisp Apple and PB2

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Lunch: Spinach, Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup (recipe below) + Crunchmaster Multigrain Crackers

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Snack: Carrots & Spicy Hummus + Clif Z Chocolate Chip Bar

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Dinner: Sesame Ginger Salmon, Roasted Baby Broccoli and Brown Rice

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Dessert: Sugar Free Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows – trying to keep warm

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If you’re looking for a way to keep warm – This soup is perfect! I served Grilled Cheese with the soup to make it the ultimate comfort meal.


Spinach, Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup (Crock Pot)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package of chopped onions, celery and carrots (bought at Trader Joes)
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 package of lentils (bought at Trader Joes — if you can’t find maybe 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils)
  • 36 oz Vegetable Broth (Low Sodium)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cans (15 ounce) fire roasted tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach


  • Add everything to crock pot except spinach.
  • Cook on Low for 10 hours or High for 5.
  • Set it and Forget it.
  • Add Spinach 5 minutes before serving and remove Bay Leaves – Spinach will wilt due to heat.
  • Serve with Grilled Cheese or Crackers


 Questions – What is your favorite soup?

Wedding Recap: The Reception

After our pictures it was time for the fun to begin!

I had Adam pick the song for our bridal parties entrance and his choice was Europe – The Final Destination.

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Adam and I chose to be introduced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Adam Kartzman to Calvin Harris – Feel so Close.

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Honestly I felt that this part was SO awkward! We picked a clubbish kind of song so I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to fist pump or what? Ha, looking at this picture reminds me how weird we felt with all eyes on us.

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Our first dance song was Making the Movies Jealous. I asked the DJ to invite others on the dance floor after a minute of us dancing because we really didn’t all eyes on us. I know, weird when it’s our wedding!

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Next came the Horah… Adam had no desire to do this but it was important to his parents so he went along with it.

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Then the scary part..

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Adam’s friends were a little rough trying to throw him out of the chair… Luckily I had family members!

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The DJ asked everyone to grab their place card and head to their respective table.

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We had 19 tables with 10-12 people at each and a separate head table for the two of us.

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While everyone else was  being served their salads we were served dinner so we would be able to eat. We chose Filet & Crab Cake with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a corn relish to serve to everyone so there were no confusions.

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My Father in Law kicked off the speeches for the night! His speech was filled with memories and well wishes for a lifetime of happiness.

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My Maid of Honor shared memories full of laughter and a few tears.

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Adams best man shared plenty of laughs and a few embarrassing moments as well – He had to get him back from his wedding last May!

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We finished up with a blessing from my mom which was very sweet and sentimental.

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After Adam and I made our rounds of thanking people for coming it was time to hit the dance floor.

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Our DJ was AMAZING and I couldn’t recommend him enough. He kept everyone on the dance floor from age 3-90 all night long.

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He also added uplighting to our room in a light pink color. We had about 18 lights around the room to give it a warm feeling.

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Halfway through the reception we had our cake cutting.

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I am giving Adam the “Don’t you dare smear cake on my face” look.

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Whew. Mission completed.


We also had a grooms cake for Adam but served it the night before at the Rehearsal Dinner.

I changed right after the photographer and videographer left (video on Thursday!) to a BCBG dress I found at Saks a couple of months prior.


I also removed my shoes because my feet were KILLING me. Classy, I know.


The night ended around midnight and I can honestly say this was the best night of my life. It’s hard to explain how perfect everything was in a couple of blog posts but I hope you enjoyed me sharing our memories with you. I feel blessed to be married to such an amazing man and I can’t wait to celebrate our love for each other year after year.


All Wedding Posts will be here for future reference.

DJ – DJ Kopec

All pictures taken by MB Photography

Cake and Grooms Cake – Creative View Confections



Shrimp Fra Diavolo

I’ve never been a marinara girl.

When I was younger and it was pizza night, I would remove the cheese and wipe the sauce off with napkins. Then I would eat the cheese and the dough separately while throwing my sauce blotted napkins in the trash.

I never said I was normal…

Cheese has always been my go to but now that I’m more mature (haha) I eat my veggies(fruit) too.

Saturday night Adam and I joined forces in the kitchen to make a spicy dish, Shrimp Fra Diavolo. We both love anything spicy and this didn’t disappoint. Like chug two bottles of water at dinner while you sweat spicy.


Shrimp Fra Diavolo


  • 8 oz Linguine (We used Trader Joe’s Spinach & Chive)
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  • While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon garlic and shrimp. Sauté for 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to pan – sauté 5 minutes or until softened.
  • Stir in remaining rosemary, red pepper, basil, fennel seeds and oregano. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in lemon juice, crushed tomatoes, salt, and diced tomatoes – cook 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Return shrimp to pan – cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over pasta.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan on top if desired.


Sunday Stuff – 1/20

Green Tea (Thanks Britt for the cup!)

Green Tea (Thanks Britt for the cup!)

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Awkward picture while walking into the grocery store. Details here.

New grocery store finds!

New grocery store finds!

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Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday

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Lunch – Leftover Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Clean Eating Oatmeal Cookies... Recipe still needs tweaking

Clean Eating Oatmeal Cookies… Recipe still needs tweaking

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Sweet Potato, Lentil & Spinach Soup. Sorry about the mess!

The Peanut Butter Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I might eat the entire box today.,

The Peanut Butter Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I might eat the entire box today.,

What to wear to a bridal shower

I know it’s still January but my calendar is filling up quick with bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings and more! I’ve gotten the question “What should I wear to a bridal shower”? a few times so I thought I’d write a post on it. While there’s not a specific dress code for the event there are a couple of “known” general rules.

1. Do not wear jeans. Bridal showers are girly! When you aren’t sure what to wear – Wear something on the dressier side. It’s always better to be overdressed than under dressed.

2. Don’t wear white! That is the brides color for the day…even if she doesn’t wear white, you shouldn’t be in it. A white dress top or white pants is OK but an all white dress is a definite no-no.

3. While we’re talking about colors you should also save your Little Red Dress and Little Black Dress for a different occasion.  Red is a “look at me” color and black is associated with funerals. Keep it fun!

4. Accessorize. Your going to be in a room full of women… even though you aren’t the center of attention you should still look put together.

5. Style your hair! Try a low up-do, a side fishtail braid or a twist back. Pictures will be taken – feel pretty!

Here are some of my top picks!

Bridal Shower

Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

Questions: What do you think is an absolute no-no to wear when attending a bridal shower?