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Sep 30, 2015

Let's Talk Insurance





I turned 26 this month, and let's just say I really liked 25.  I work at a job I love, but only part-time.  Thankfully, I have some creative outlets that supplement that income, and up until this year, I've been able to stay on my parents' health insurance.  However, now that I'm 26, that last part changed and over the past few weeks, I've been facing the task of choosing the right insurance plans.  From health insurance to accident insurance to life insurance, there are a plethora of plans out there and sometimes it's hard to know what you need, how much you need, and when you need it.

Fortunately, I rarely go to the doctor.  Most of the time that I'm in my doctor's office, it's for my yearly check-ups.  But we can't predict sickness, whether it be just a simple sinus infection or a much more serious illness.  And so, insurance, obviously, is important!

We probably all know about your typical medical, dental, and eye insurance, but did you know that there are other voluntary plans that you can purchase to supplement these coverages?  I've teamed up with Aflac to answer some basic questions about open enrollment and these plans!  As I've been researching health care options, I've found myself scratching my head on more than one occasion.  


What exactly do you mean by Open Enrollment?
Fall is open enrollment season for most companies in the US.  It's a time when employees are able to review the benefits offered to them by their employer and choose policies that meet their financial and healthcare needs.  Taking the time to research your options can help you choose the right protection for you and your family.

How do I know what my health care needs are?
It's rare today that benefits options are one-size-fits-all.  That's why voluntary insurance can help.  Voluntary policies are available so that employees can select a plan to best suit their own needs, as well as the needs of any dependents they may have.  

What is voluntary insurance?
When an unforeseen medical event occurs, many people will find themselves needing to pay copays, deductibles, and treatment costs, and 66% of workers would not be able to afford these costs.  Voluntary policies complement your major medical coverage and help pay for those out-of-pocket expenses.  The cash benefits of voluntary policies can also be used to help pay living expenses such as rent, gas, groceries, and more.

What voluntary insurance policies are available?
There are a variety of voluntary policies available through Aflac, and they include Critical Illness Insurance, Accident Insurance, Cancer Insurance, Hospital Indemnity Insurance, Life Insurance, and Disability Insurance.  These policies can supplement your major medical insurance and help you handle the out-of-pocket costs associated with an of these unforeseen medical events. 




Even if you're young and healthy, it's worth considering these voluntary policies when examining your insurance coverage.  AJ's grandfather always said that you don't have insurance for when you're healthy, you have it for when you're not.  He is so right!  We never plan for a major medical event to happen, but it's good to know you have the reassurance of insurance and supplemental plans so that all you need to worry about is getting better when you face something unforeseen.  

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sep 28, 2015

Girls' Night In


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #ThePitchesatWMT http://my-disclosur.es/OBsst

This weekend was nothing short of busy.  It was amazing and wonderful, and exhausting, but the Gettis family now has it's newest member, as my brother, Mark, and his girl Natalie tied the knot on Saturday!  My parents hosted the rehearsal dinner in their backyard, so AJ and I spent much of the week helping them get ready for it, decorating, and helping with food prep.  Friday was a long day and Saturday was even longer, so by the time Sunday afternoon hit, we were pooped.  

After church on Sunday, AJ and I brought his brother home with us to watch some football and hang out with my parents.  Once the game was over, the boys headed upstairs to play some video games, and my mom and I were ready for some girl time, good food, and a great movie.  I had picked up the limited edition Blu-Ray and DVD combo pack of Pitch Perfect 2 at Walmart earlier in the week, so we put on our PJ's and made some fun movie-night food, and snuggled under some blankets to watch and laugh!


If you're planning a girls' night in for your next movie party, you can't miss out on Pitch Perfect 2, and a pumpkin-themed menu to go with it, because it's so perfectly fall!  You'll also need some cozy clothing, socks, blankets, and a great couch to curl up on!  

Here's what I'd suggest for some movie-watching snacks:
Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Butter
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Pumpkin Pie
Popcorn, of course!

PUMPKIN PANCAKES WITH MAPLE BUTTER //

It's a bit insane how easy pumpkin pancakes are to whip up!  Simply add a quarter to a half cup of pumpkin and some cinnamon to your regular pancake batter, and cook as normal. You can even add chocolate chips or nuts!  For the maple butter, using a hand mixer, simply whip butter and maple syrup together.  I always start with just a bit of syrup and taste it when I've whipped it together.  Remember with both the pancakes and the butter, you can always add more pumpkin/syrup!


PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES // 

Another crazy easy recipe, pick up your favorite pumpkin spice creamer and ground coffee.  Start a pot of coffee.  If you have a milk frother, then froth your creamer with that, but if you don't, you can froth creamer by slowly heating it over your stove, constantly whisking.  Once the creamer is warm and you have a nice froth, add the creamer to your coffee and top off with some foam...and you have an at-home PSL!


PUMPKIN PIE // 

For pumpkin pie, you'll need a pie crust (store bought is fine!), a small can of pumpkin, a can of evaporated milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 c sugar.  Beat the eggs and then add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, & sugar.  Stir in pumpkin and then gradually add the evaporated milk.  Pour into your pie crust and bake at 425ºF for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350ºF and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the pie is firm and doesn't jiggle.  Let cool, slice, and top with lots of whipped cream!








My mom and I loved Pitch Perfect 2!  We were big fans of the first movie, especially because musicals hold a special place in our hearts, so we were ecstatic when we heard a second movie was coming out, and it didn't disappoint!  We highly recommend making it your pick for your next girls' night!

Head to Walmart to grab the exclusive Pitch Perfect 2 Blu-Ray/Soundtrack combo pack. Soundtrack includes some of your favorite songs from Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2 (while supplies last)

Sep 27, 2015

New Barber Foods Chicken Cordon Bleu with Roasted Red-Skin Potatoes

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySpecialMeals #CollectiveBias


We're a month into newlywed life, and I don't know where September went, but I do know that this wife stuff is tricky business.  Especially when it comes to the feeding-my-husband thing.  I'm still working on adjusting to married life and cutting out some of the business, and so sometimes, I maybe forget that dinner is something that we should be eating.  Oops!

So as I've been figuring out how to be a good wife who doesn't forget to put dinner on the table, I've discovered a few go-to meals that AJ and I love!  One of those is Chicken Cordon Bleu and my mom's roasted red-skin potatoes.  


Barber Foods' Chicken Cordon Bleu has been a staple in AJ's house for a long time, and so it's kind of a no-brainer dinner because I know he already likes it.  We found these chicken breasts in three varieties (Cordon Bleu, Broccoli Cheese, and Chicken Kiev) in our grocery store's freezer section, and the new and improved Barber packaging was easy to find!  I had never had these chicken breasts before, but AJ commented on the new recipe, saying that he enjoyed the crispier breading and ruler flavors of the chicken!  

These chicken breasts took about 33 minutes in the oven to cook, which was the perfect amount of time to get a side dish together to go along with them.  We simply took them out of the packaging and placed them on a baking tray and then put them into the pre-heated oven, following the instructions on the box.  When our timer went off, we checked that the chicken was heated to 165ºF and then pulled them out to let them sit for a few minutes.  Plate them up with some of your potatoes, and wha-la...happy husband!  (I loved how Barber made me look really good as a wife!)  These chicken breasts were really the highlight of our meal, and I ended up making them a few nights later again!


Roasted Red-Skin Potatoes // 

These potatoes are an incredibly easy (and delicious) side-dish, and pair well with so many main courses!  They've been a staple in our family's kitchen for a long time, and are definitely going to be a staple for AJ & I!

WHAT YOU NEED // 
A few red-skinned potatoes (I use 4-5 small ones for AJ & I)
Olive Oil
Parsley
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder

Wash your potatoes and then stab them a few times with a fork or a knife.  Pop them in the microwave and hit the baked potato button, if your microwave has one.  If not, start by putting them on for 4-5 minutes, then check them and add time as necessary.  Once your potatoes are soft (like a baked potato), remove them from the microwave and slice them.  Put the slices into a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic (all to taste), and then put in the oven at 350ºF for about 20 minutes, or until a bit crispy on top!  



I found Barber Stuffed Chicken Breasts in our grocery store's freezer section...look for the new, eye-catching box and enjoy Barber's new recipe!  You can grab this coupon to save $1.00 off of your next purchase of Barber's Original Stuffed Chicken Breasts!  Check out Barber's Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest for more recipe inspiration!



WHAT SIDE DISH WOULD YOU PAIR WITH BARBER STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS?

Sep 25, 2015

Show Your Spirit // NFL Style, 3 Ways



Remember how I told you earlier this week that AJ has me watching football each weekend?  Well, if you know that we're from the Philly area, it's probably not a surprise to you that we're Eagles fans. (And if you know me, it's probably not a surprise that this team is breaking my heart.  Seriously.  I can't take it.)

Last Christmas, AJ's grandmother gave me my first piece of NFL gear.  When this season rolled around, I knew that one shirt wasn't going to cut it.  I wanted to go all-out with a hat and a few more shirt options!  I went to NFLShop.com to check out this year's line of team apparel and was amazed...did you know they make NFL team dresses?!  For real.  NFLShop.com was a great one-stop shop for all Eagles gear, and I ended up picking out the girliest (cue the sparkles) hat, a cute tee, and a sweatshirt.  And just like that, I'm ready for football season and my husband is so proud of me!

I love getting a little creative with my wardrobe and wearing pieces multiple ways, so I came up with a few different ways to show your team spirit.  While jeans and sneakers are a great pairing for your team gear (and are listed in this post), they're certainly not the only way you can show your support for your favorite team!


LOOK 1 // 
When the game is on a Sunday, I'm often headed to someone's house to watch right from church.  Because I work at my church, Sundays are a work day for me, and so sometimes, I like to dress up a bit.  While there are many Sundays that I wear jeans, there are plenty that I love throwing on a skirt or dress!  Pairing my Eagles boatneck sweatshirt with a comfortable, stretchy skirt and boots allows me to show my team spirit while still looking work-appropriate.  This is also a great outfit for a day in the office!






LOOK 2 // 
For look 2, I went with the classic jeans, tee, and a hat.  I'm a huge fan of baseball caps for those days when your hair just won't cooperate.  You can't deny that this classic is great for a day of running errands, attending a game, or just hanging around.





LOOK 3 // 
Finally, my third look pairs my Eagles tee with a chunky sweater, leggings, and a pair of flats.  This is definitely a great outfit for a weekend brunch or even a day in the office.  Because I sit in meetings or at my desk most of the day, I love being able to dress comfortably and this outfit hits the nail on the head!  Once the weather gets a little colder, swap out those flats for boots and this outfit transitions perfectly into winter!




If you're in need of some new team gear for this football season, be sure to check out NFLShop.com for a great selection!

HOW DO YOU SHOW YOUR SPIRIT AND STYLE YOUR TEAM GEAR?

Sep 24, 2015

The Guys Behind the Blog // September


It's time for another Guys Behind the Blog, and I'm so excited because this time, I'm welcoming my husband to the blog!  (That's really fun to say.) 

If this is your first time finding this link-up, here's the run down:  each month, Laura of According to Laura Jean and I come up with five questions that we want your guys to answer.  You sit down and interview your boyfriend/husband/fiance in whatever straightforward or sneaky way you want (casual dinner conversation, a full-on video interview, emailing him the questions...whatever works!), and then on the last Thursday of the month, we post a link up where we want to see what your guys have to say!  The link up stays open for a whole week and you can join in at any time!  It's a fun way to get your guy involved in the blog world, and we always have fun getting to know one another's other halves a little bit better!  

So without further ado...here's what AJ has to say about desert islands, his dream job, and why we can never decide on dinner plans...



1 // What's the silliest thing you and your significant other have needed to compromise on?
Hmm...I'm not sure.  We have to compromise on who has to make the decision on what we're doing for dinner almost every night.  We're the most indecisive people to ever walk the earth.

2 // If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 must haves would you bring with you?

My wife (though I guess that's probably not good for you), a copy of The Martian because I could read that a million times, and a cookbook centered on coconuts, because I assume they would be plentiful.

3 // Talents aside, what is your dream job?

What my degree is in...music production and stuff.  If money wasn't a factor, I'd want to own my own studio.  

4 // What are three things on your bucket list?

To go to Europe at some point in my life...that seems like a fun thing that people do.To live in Montana, because there are no people there, and that's my favorite kind of people.
To win a Grammy at some point for something, even if it's just like I got someone coffee while they were making an album.


5 // What kind of date is your favorite to go on with your significant other? (Romantic, fun, spontaneous, etc.)

Spontaneous!  Crazy short trips are usually my favorite.  A few days ago, Betsy randomly said "Let's go to the beach!" and we couldn't because I had worship team practice, but I wish we had...that would have been fun.

And
here are our questions for October's link up!  The October post will go live on Thursday, October  29th and stay open through November 6th!  Now grab your guy and join in with us and submit your link below!  This month will be open through next Friday.

1 // We’re headed into fall, which means cooler temps for most of us…are you a warm weather or cold weather kind of guy?

2 // What's the best Halloween costume you've ever worn?
3 // What's your favorite Halloween candy? 
4 // What are your favorite parts of fall (ex: football, the weather, Thanksgiving, etc)?
5 // How do you feel about pumpkin spice lattes? (As a joke question hahaha)


Sep 23, 2015

Forever Fick // Our Rehearsal Dinner


I have to start this post off by saying that our family is the bomb dot com.  We are so ridiculously blessed to call this wonderful group of people our siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends and our rehearsal dinner, and entire wedding weekend for that matter, wouldn't have been as amazing as it was without them.  

AJ's mom and dad hosted our rehearsal dinner at his Aunt Debbie & Uncle Todd's house.  Debbie (who is also my boss) and Todd are the ultimate hosts...they love using their home for parties and celebrations, and even built a huge picnic table and fire pit for our dinner!  

When AJ's mom asked us what we envisioned, all I told her was that I wanted laid-back, just like our wedding.  Our bridal party was made up of mostly family (my girls were my best friend, Jen, my soon-to-be sister-in-law, Natalie, AJ's sister, Amanda, and my cousin, Chelsea, and AJ's guys were his brother, Lucas, my brother, Mark, and my cousins, Matt & Zac), so I really wanted things to be small and intimate and just a fun evening to hang out with everyone.  

They pulled it off even better than I could have imagined!  It was catered by our favorite BBQ restaurant and involved a huge square picnic table, a bonfire, and an ice cream truck!  AJ's Uncle Todd was able to capture some images of the evening for us and I'm so happy to have a few pictures of this special time with some of the most special people in our lives!












WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR REHEARSAL DINNER?  IF YOU'RE NOT MARRIED, WHAT ARE YOU ENVISIONING FOR YOURS?

Sep 22, 2015

Football-Inspired Coke Cake Pops

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareYourSpirit #CollectiveBias


I don't know how it happened, but this fall, I find myself a football fan.  AJ and his family have always supported our local teams, but my family wasn't always big into football (we're baseball people, actually).  But when AJ started following his beloved team through the off season, I knew we were in for the long haul, and with a ring on my finger, I was climbing aboard the football train.  

Truthfully, watching football has actually been really fun so far.  AJ even put me in his fantasy league, and my competitive side has been enjoying following my players and watching to see how they do every week.  As a girl who went to high school, college, and grad school all at schools that didn't have a football team, it's proven to be kind of exciting to catch the football bug.  Plus, my favorite part is gathering together with family to watch the game and cheer on our boys!

This past weekend, we headed to AJ's aunt and uncle's to watch some Sunday football after church.  AJ and I decided it might be fun to make some football-inspired Coke cake pops for our watch party, and they were a huge hit!  

We had heard of Coca-Cola cake before, and decided to try it out, and friends, it's delicious!  The addition of Coke in the recipe makes the cake so moist, which is awesome in cake pops!  We also wanted a clever way to display our cake pops, and AJ came up with the brilliant idea to create a football field out of a foam rectangle.  It was really fun to make and everyone at the party was really impressed!

Read on to get the recipe and full instructions for making these delicious desserts and our football field cake pop stand!



COCA-COLA CAKE POPS //
(This cake recipe adapted from the Duncan Hines website.  See original here.)


WHAT YOU NEED // 
Devil's Food Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 package of chocolate pudding mix
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 c of Coke (just less than 1 can)

HOW TO // 

Mix the cake mix, eggs, chocolate pudding mix, and oil with a hand mixer on medium until combined (the batter will be very thick).  Once these ingredients are combined, slowly add in the Coke.  Mix until smooth. 

Bake the cake at 350ºF for 30minutes in a greased 13x9" pan.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  


CREATING & DECORATING YOUR CAKE POPS // 


WHAT YOU NEED // 
1 can of icing (I used fluffy white)
Melting/Dipping Chocolate (I chose milk because it's my favorite, but you could do dark or white as well!)
White Icing (this cookie icing worked, but was a bit runny...maybe try a gel icing if it's available)
Sprinkles or colored sugar in your favorite team's color!
Lollipop Sticks
Wax Paper

HOW TO // 

Once your cake is cool (I broke mine up with a fork upon pulling it out of the oven to help it cool faster), crumble it into a large mixing bowl.  Then, add in your can of icing and mix well with your hands.  This will turn the cake into a play-dough-like consistency (and make your cake pops oh-so-fudgey and delicious).  

For the cake play-dough into balls (or footballs) and stick a lollipop stick into them in a drilling motion.  (You may want to first dip the end of the stick in icing before putting it into the ball.)  

Place the cake pops on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet (not touching) and then stick them into the freezer.  I left mine in overnight, but you just need to freeze them until they're firm and no longer malleable.  

Once your cake pops are frozen, melt your dipping chocolates.  Pull the cake pops out of the freezer and dip them individually into the melting chocolate.  Tap off the excess and then dust them with sprinkles or colored sugar.





FOOTBALL FIELD CAKE POP STAND //


WHAT YOU NEED // 
12x18" Green Foam Rectangle (available at your local craft store)
White Paint Pen
Yardstick

HOW TO // 

Making the Football field was pretty simple. First, I measured a half in in on every side and, using the paint pen and yardstick, created a border around the entire rectangle.  

Next, I measured halfway down the 18" side, and drew on my 50 yard line.  I labeled this line with "50" like on a football field. 

Then, from each end line, I measured 1.5" in towards the 50 yard line and I drew another line across.  This area became my end zone.  I wrote "TOUCHDOWN" in each end zone just for fun, but you could put your favorite team's name or mascot!

The next part was the trickiest.  I had to determine where to put the 10, 20, 30, & 40 yard lines on each side of the 50.  I determined that ever ten yards would be about 1 3/8 inches.  This would give me the most even markings.  I marked these intervals on each side of the 50 going towards each end zone.  Then, I drew lines straight across and marked each line with the appropriate yardage.  (These were a bit harder to read, but even the presence of some writing there looked better and more authentic than leaving it blank).  

Once all of that was done, my field was ready to hold my cake pops!  I stuck my cake pops around the field as I decorated them, and then was able to slide the whole "field" back into the freezer to help the cake pops set completely.  







To go along with our cake pops (and in them!), we picked up a pack of Coca-Cola at our local Sam's Club.  We love shopping at Sam's because it's basically a one-stop shop for all of your party needs, and they have really convenient and easy Order Online and Pick Up in-club features on their website, which makes shopping even easier.  We were able to pick up some snacks as well as our favorite soda and had plenty to share with everyone!  Sam's Club is also carrying a great 28-pk of Coke and Diet Coke, which is the perfect size for your next tailgate party!




HAVE YOU EVER MADE COCA-COLA CAKE?  
WHAT FOOTBALL WATCH PARTY ESSENTIALS DO YOU LOVE TO SNACK ON?
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