Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Recipe: Bacon wrapped pimento cheese stuffed okra

I grew up mainly in the lowcountry of South Carolina. But because neither of my parents are Southern, I did not eat a lot of Southern cuisine when I was a kid. I probably would not have enjoyed much of it anyway because I was such a picky eater. I'm a quarter Italian and I did not even like spaghetti sauce for the longest time!

Over the years my palette has expanded greatly. One food item that I did not give a chance until a couple years ago was okra. It took living in California and having dinner with a friend from Washington state for me to try it. And it was delicious! Of course, it was the fried variety so how could that not taste good?

Fast forward to moving back to the South... We have planted our vegetable garden and I included okra. It has been growing quite nicely lately and I have amassed a lot of okra from it. I did not realize okra has such beautiful, delicate flowers.

Having never cooked it before, I searched Pinterest for some recipes. I found one that sounded perfect... bacon wrapped stuffed okra! The actual recipe calls for a shrimp filling. I'm still a picky eater; I don't eat seafood. But I was planning on making pimento cheese with our homegrown pimento peppers. Wouldn't that taste amazing stuffed inside a bacon wrapped piece of okra? I think so!

Fourth of July gave me the perfect opportunity to try this dish. It was easy to assemble and tasted FANTASTIC! It is just as good as fried okra...if not better.

For the pimento cheese, I kind of followed the recipe from Eleven Magnolia Lane. It's OK, but I've had better. I just have to find the recipe! Feel free to use your own favorite recipe or store bought (if you have to).

For the Okra, I followed the instructions from I Heart Publix. The recipe suggests using regular bacon and not thick cut bacon. I happened to have thick cut and it worked out just fine.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Design: Play Date

One of the "unofficial" socials of the summer for our base's spouses' club is a play date. From listening to parents, I have learned that play dates are popular. They seem like a fantastic way for parents to get some grown up time while the kids run around and burn off some energy. Sounds like a win-win!
Fonts Used
Play Date (how appropriate, right?)
Franklin Gothic Book
Milasian Circa Personal

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Design: Summer Dinner

Do you ever feel stressed out and tense and you're not entirely sure why? I have been feeling that way lately. My jaw has been really tight and I have to keep reminding myself to relax. The worst part is that I do not really have that much to be stressed about. I have a few events coming up, but nothing I really need to be overly stressed about. On the plus side, it has made me get down and do some yoga. I have been so slack about working out lately (hmm...that probably has something to do with my stress level). I found a new yoga channel through a Pinterest post; it's called Yoga with Kassandra. She has a lot of Yin Yoga videos which focuses on holding poses for a few minutes so you get a nice, deep stretch. I thought these videos would help me de-stress a little bit. I've been enjoying them so far.

One of the events I have coming up is a dinner with my Alumni Chapter. Really it's an excuse to have dinner with my friend, Cheryl. She might be the only one RSVPed so far, anyway. But that's OK! I used to stress out about lack of participation from people in the group. But I have learned (and still have to remind myself of this from time to time) that it doesn't matter who actually comes. All that matters is that I give them the opportunity to build and develop relationships. Only they can choose to use the opportunity.

For the dinner, I created a simple invitation. It follows the template I've been using for these types of events. But I do love the background I found on Shutterstock. It's perfect for summer!

Fonts Used
KG Hard Candy Solid
Bell MT

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Design: Coffee

I am having a blast creating fliers for our base spouses' club. We recently voted to merge with the Enlisted Spouses' Club which means I will have many additional projects to work on. Yay!!! I have started to prep a few items such as a newsletter and trifold. The project I have had the most fun with so far has been creating some new logo options. I cannot wait to see which one is chosen! I have a favorite, but I will share more about them soon.

An event we have coming up is a coffee meet up. The summer is really casual and we do not have an "official" socials, but I'm glad they have a couple events planned. A lot of people move in the summer, so it is beneficial to have an event for people to get their "feet wet" with our group.

Fonts used:
Rhumba Script NF
Bodoni MT
Milasian Circa Personal

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Design: Movie Night

My creative outlet has a new beneficiary and I could not be more excited! I am now officially the PR chair for the Officers' Spouses' Club (OSC) here at our current base. I loved this position so much at our last base and and I am so thankful the spot at this base opened up for me. I am just getting into the swing of things and will not have a whole lot to do until the end of summer since the club takes a break over the summer.

Knowing that I would be in this position and because I anticipate organizing more Alpha Omega Alumni Chapter events, I decided to purchase a Shutterstock subscription. Whenever I make invitations or fliers, I find so many cute images from Shutterstock. But to use them (without the annoying watermark) you have to buy them or have a monthly subscription. I was tired of being limited.

For my first OSC flier, I was asked to create something for the upcoming movie night. They have these once a month. I downloaded my first Shutterstock image. It was so hard to choose because they have thousands of images. I plan to use this template for each month's movie night but update it with the new movie. It will be quick and easy to edit and post.

Fonts used:
Bodoni MT
Milasian Circa PERSONAL

My goal for the OSC PR position is to create some new "branding." We may be merging with the Enlisted Spouses' Club and a fresh look sounds like a good idea. Part of new branding is finding some go-to fonts. My newest addition and my pick for the new logo is Milasian Circa PERSONAL. I love finding new fonts!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Design: Summer Retreat

One event that has been on my mind since helping create the Alpha Omega Alumni Chapter is a retreat. However, since the start of the chapter I have lived out of state. This makes planning a trip of this nature hard to execute. Now that I am back in the state, this was one of my priorities for this summer.

We are doing some fundraisers to help bring the cost down. Our first was a flower fundraiser through Flower Power. It was not hugely successful, but I like to try things out to see how well they do. That way we know if it's worthwhile to do again in the future. It was really easy to organize. I highly recommend it if you have a fundraising need and have some gardeners in your group.

Our group was interested in going to the mountains for a retreat. Originally I was planning on Hendersonville, North Carolina. Charles worked at a summer camp up there and we have been several times. It is a cute town, but a little off the beaten path so it isn't too busy or crowded with tourists. However, a couple of the other ladies suggested Asheville. I have only been there once, but it was at the tail end of winter. So I am looking forward to experiencing it in another season.

We will be discussing topics from the book Messy Beautiful Friendship by Christine Hoover. I just started the book and am really enjoying it. It addresses a lot of issues that I struggle with. And it sounds like most, if not all, women struggle with the exact same things. It should provide some good discussion in our group.

Fonts used:
Just Realize

Friday, May 12, 2017

Design: Beach Day

I absolutely love being back in South Carolina! One of the best things is the ability to plan get-togethers for the alumni of Alpha Omega. While living out of state, I was able to plan or help plan the annual Alumni Weekend, but a lot of ladies find it hard to attend. We have folks living all over the state and I like to encourage people in the various areas to meet together. Being back allows me to facilitate these gatherings.

Currently I'm about 2 hours from the beach and it has been calling me. I thought it would be fun to organize a beach day with the Alpha Omega Alumni. Summer is always busy with people traveling, so I am not sure how many will be able to come. But I figure I have to at least try.

Fonts used:
Hawaiian Punk