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Oct 25, 2016

Styling the LuLaRoe Carly


Hi friends!  I can't believe how long it's been!  We've had such a crazy busy summer and fall, and wedding season isn't over yet!  (Check out what we've been up to over at Mountain Gap Photography!)  I'm hoping to be back here a lot more regularly as the fall winds down, but suffice it to say that it feels good to be writing again.

I wanted to pop in today to show of my pup (who is all grown up!) and one of my favorite fall styles....the LuLaRoe Carly dress!

Angelene of LuLaRoe Angelene McKinney invited me to try out this gorgeous, comfortable dress for fall, and offered to gift one lucky reader with $50 in LuLaCash to shop with her (so make sure you check the end of the post for details!)

If you're not familiar with LuLaRoe, it's a fashion company that seems to be everywhere these days!  Some of the most comfortable pieces in my closet are LLR (in fact, I'm lounging in a pair of their leggings right now!) and I love how versatile each piece is.

In this post, I'm styling a beautiful burnt orange Carly dress.  The Carly is great because it's light, perfect for layering (throw it over leggings for the colder mornings), or on it's own during the summer, or some unusually warm fall weather, like we had last week!  It's also great whether you're heading to a meeting or just hanging around the house and running errands.  It's easily one of the easiest to wear dresses that I have in my closet!  The stretchy material and hi-low hem make it comfortable and flattering, and I love pairing it with a cute necklace and pair of ankle boots!

If you'd like to try out a Carly of your own, then definitely enter to win some LuLaCash with Angelene!  Here's how:
1.  Join Angelene's Facebook group
2.  Follow Angelene on Instagram for style tips
3.  Comment on this post to let us know that you joined Angelene's group!

Entries will be verified and contest is open to US entrants only.  Winner will be chosen Friday, October 28.  Good luck!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!  CONGRATS TO HAYLEY N.  HAPPY LLR SHOPPING!







Jul 1, 2016

Indulgence for All!




Hi, I'm Betsy, and I have sweet tooth.  I looove anything sweet, but my absolute favorite is anything ice cream.  And I married a man who loves it too, which is why we served idea cream as our dessert at our wedding and not cake.  

AJ and I rarely go to the grocery store without bringing home a little something sweet, and my new favorite treats are the Skinny Cow Chocolatey Dipped Ice Cream Sandwiches!  They come in deliciouse Vanilla Bean Dream, Ultimate Chocolate, and Creamy Caramel, and have creamy ice cream with chocolate wafers dipped in a thick, velvety, chocolatey coating!  I love picking up a box for myself!

However, as most women know, the men in our lives love to indulge a little as well.  In our first year of marriage, I've learned a lot about all of the things AJ steals from me....like the covers, my french fries, my shampoo, and now, my Skinny Cow treats!  In fact, I had picked up a box just for this post, put it in the freezer totally sealed, and when I went to grab it out, found it open with two of the ice cream sandwiches missing.  Talk about perfect timing!  (To be fair, I steal all of those things from him as well!)  

That's one of the things I love most about married life, however.  It's so much fun to share life together and get to share all of the things that make us each happy...whether that be ice cream treats or a snuggly down comforter.  Life is just more fun when you do it together!  

Grab a box of Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches the next time you're at the grocery store and share them with your guy!






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

Jun 24, 2016

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ & Sweet Potato Fries

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine. #TrueTeaTaste


May was an absolute crazy month...we moved, we went to Disney (again), we kicked off our wedding season, and we tried to get into a good rhythm of living in our new place, cooking more often, and enjoying the start of the summer season.  

Part of that rhythm has been learning to meal plan and utilize my favorite kitchen appliance...the slow cooker! I mean, what's better than throwing some stuff together in the morning and coming home to a delicious-smelling house and meal ready for eating?  

One of our favorite things to eat any time of year, but especially in the summer, is BBQ.  We love going to our local BBQ place and sitting out at a picnic table and enjoying some home-cooked sides, delicious pulled pork, and sweet tea.  So last week, I decided to take one of our favorite meals and replicate it at home.  I got a pork roast, pulled out the slow cooker, and came home to a yummy pulled pork BBQ.  One of our favorite sides is sweet potato fries, and we've been serving up this easy and healthy baked version with everything lately.  They've got a great salty-sweetness to them and they pair so well with just about everything.

This meal just screams summer and makes me think of all of the picnics and outdoor eating we'll be doing this season!  We got to try out Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea, which paired perfectly with this delicious summery meal!  It comes in multiple varieties (including black, green, and rooibos!) with three levels of sweetness (AJ loved the Sweet while I went with Sorta Sweet!) and is made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial anything, so it's a great compliment to any meal!  

Read on for recipes for both the pulled pork and sweet potato fries, and enjoy! 


SLOW-COOKER PULLED PORK BBQ

WHAT YOU NEED // 
3lb pork roast (shoulder roast preferred)
1/3c apple cider vinegar
1/2c packed brown sugar
1/2c ketchup
1/4c BBQ seasonings (look for a bbq seasoning package in your grocer's spice aisle!)

WHAT TO DO // 
Place your roast in your slow-cooker, trim off any large pieces of fat as much as possible.  
Mix vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and seasonings in a bowl until combined.  Pour mixture over your roast.
Cook roast on low for 8hrs or high for 4hrs, until it easily pulls apart.  Using two forks, shred the roast and pull it apart to created a pulled pork BBQ.  Remove any pieces of fat as you shred.
Serve on toasted brioche buns!

BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES

WHAT YOU NEED //
4-5 small-medium sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Garlic

Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
Pierce sweet potatoes a few times with a knife or fork.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes, adding more time until sweet potatoes are slightly soft.  
Slice potatoes (we slice them into circles, but you can go for a more traditional "stick" fry shape as well) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Try not to overlap them too much.
Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic over them.
Bake for 20min, turning over halfway, or until they reach a desired crispness.  Serve and enjoy!






You can find Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea in your local Giant Food store.  It comes in multiple varieties (we tried the standard Unsweetened, Sorta Sweet, and Sweet varieties as well as the Sorta Sweet Honey Green Tea and Rooibos new varieties!)  Look for the awesome new packaging on your grocer's shelves and stock up for summer!  



What is your favorite summer dinner recipe?

May 26, 2016

The Guys Behind the Blog // May


It's crazy that May is almost over and it's time for another Guys Behind the Blog!  If you're just seeing one of these posts for the first time, you're in for some fun!  Each month, Laura of According to Laura Jean and I host a link-up with five questions for you to ask your guy...whether that be a husband, finance, or boyfriend (or whatever guy is in your life!) 

This month is the PERFECT month to join in with us, whether you're just starting or have been a faithful Guys Behind the Blog participant because we're doing a summer edition, "Would You Rather?" style!  That means that your guy literally just has to pick his answer from the options we've given.  Of course, if he has some snarky comments about his choice, we'll welcome those as well. :)


1.  Would you rather have to wear your swimsuit to work OR have to carry around a large beach umbrella open all day at work?
Well, the swimsuit one, I guess I could wear a shirt, right?  So that's not even that weird....the beach umbrella would be tough because my office is tiny.  

2.  Would you rather play on an MLB team OR get to tour with your favorite band all summer?
Tour with my favorite band.  

3.  Would you rather go to the beach and forget your towel OR go to the beach and forget your sunscreen?
I'd rather forget my towel.  If I forget my towel I'm only wet for a little bit, but if I forget my sunscreen, I'm burned for a few days man.  

4.  Would you rather take a week-long vacation to anywhere in the world OR take a month-long vacation but have to stay within 100 miles of home?
Week-long. 

5.  Would you rather get to have as much ice cream as you want this summer, but only be able to get vanilla OR only get to have ice cream three times this summer, but you can have whatever flavors you want?
Vanilla.  That's a dumb question.  (for what it's worth, his favorite flavor is vanilla, so for him, this one was obvious.)


Link up below and join us this month!  We will be releasing questions for next month ASAP! 

May 3, 2016

Blackberry Punch

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


I first discovered Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale last spring and instantly fell in love. Ginger Ale easily tops the list of favorite bubbly drinks for me, and adding in that subtle blackberry flavor makes it even better.  

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warmer is to eat outdoors and have friends and family over to enjoy the weather and some grilled food! These types of gatherings tend to just pop up in my family...someone will decide in the afternoon to have everyone over for dinner, so it’s great to have a quick go-to beverage recipe up my sleeve to whip up at a moment’s notice.  

I love making these little casual gatherings a little bit fancier just by serving something special and unique, so this Blackberry Punch is perfect (and impressive) for whipping up at any time, but it’s also a great addition to any bridal shower, birthday party, or even an impromptu girls’ day! In fact, my mom and I also served this punch at my brother and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner last year and it was a huge hit!  


WHAT YOU NEED //
+ Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale (12-pack or 2 liter)
+ Fresh blackberries
+ Cranberry-Lime seltzer
+ Fresh or frozen cranberries
+ Raspberry sherbet
+ Rosemary sprigs

To make this easy punch, simply combine the Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale (one can will make one 16-oz glass, or you could combine the entire 2 liter bottle with other ingredients in a punch bowl), 1/3c seltzer, and a generous scoop (one per glass) of the raspberry sherbet.  Be careful...the sherbet will cause the soda to foam and may overflow the glass, so add it slowly!  Top with a few blackberries and cranberries and a sprig or two of rosemary, and Voila!  You have a beautiful, unique drink that’s sure to wow your guests!




Doesn’t it look delicious?

I easily found Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale at my local Giant Food Store! It’s available in both a 12-pack of cans and 2 liter bottles, both perfect for making this delicious Blackberry Punch!  Made with real ginger, Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale is only available for a limited time between March-May 2016, so grab it and bring feel-good refreshment to your next gathering before it’s gone!



HAVE YOU TRIED CANADA DRY® BLACKBERRY GINGER ALE?  WOULD YOU SERVE THIS PUNCH AT YOUR NEXT GATHERING?

Apr 28, 2016

Guys Behind the Blog // April


I can't believe it's been two whole months since AJ and I last participated in Guys Behind the Blog.  Life has been absolutely crazy while we've dealt with some medical stuff these past two months, so a HUGE (like, ginormous!) thank you to Laura for carrying this banner solo as I've completely slacked!


But I'm happy to say that we're back...so here we go!


1 // In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?

I still like to sleep, I'm still laid-back to the point where people think I'm dead (and actually, that happened when I was little at a Thanksgiving once).  

2 // What does family mean to you?

Family means not having to pretend.  You should feel at home and like you don't have to keep up appearances to make you look better.  Just to be able to relax and let your hair down (get it....cause I'm talking to mostly girls...I don't have long hair, but they do!)

3 // How would your family or closest friends describe you?

Probably perfect.  They'd say he's perfect in every way and makes no mistakes ever.  (Don't write that) (Oh, I'm writing that.) (You're a jerk...I was just kidding, man.)

4 // What’s your fondest childhood memory?

Probably when I was little, on a Sunday after church we'd go to my Grammy's and the whole family would just lay around the house watching the Eagles.  And we'd all take naps wherever we were.  And now I do that all the time!

5 // What words of wisdom would pass on to your childhood self?

Maybe....be smarter with your money and save money.  In high school, I had a job and spent all my money, like every doofus with a high school job does.  And now, if I would have saved it I'd have more of it, so....yeah.


So for May's questions, we thought it would be fun to do something summery to kick off the start of summer!  As we got to brainstorming, we thought it would be super fun to do a Guys Behind the Blog with a little bit of a twist!  

So here's Summer at Guys Behind the Blog....Would You Rather style!  Link up with us on May 26!

1.  Would you rather have to wear your swimsuit to work OR have to carry around a large beach umbrella open all day at work?
2.  Would you rather play on an MLB team OR get to tour with your favorite band all summer?
3.  Would you rather go to the beach and forget your towel OR go to the beach and forget your sunscreen?
4.  Would you rather take a week-long vacation to anywhere in the world OR take a month-long vacation but have to stay within 100 miles of home?

5.  Would you rather get to have as much ice cream as you want this summer, but only be able to get vanilla OR only get to have ice cream three times this summer, but you can have whatever flavors you want?


Apr 26, 2016

Team Gettis Goes to Disney


Back in February, my dad was having some radiation when his nurse popped in the room and asked if she had heard that my parents were going on vacation.  They were not, and said nurse knew that and was just being a little sneaky.  It turned out that his medical team was planning to nominate mom & dad for a trip through For Pete's Sake, a cancer respite organization based in Southeastern PA.  A few days later, my parents got a call that FPS wanted to send them to Florida for a week at the end of March/beginning of June.

My mom and I immediately began plotting how AJ, Mark, Natalie, & I could go down with them, and we threw around a few ideas but eventually dismissed it as we just weren't sure how we would afford the trip and take the time off of work with everyone's crazy schedules.  

My parents' trip started coming together....flights were booked, tickets were received, and it was all thanks to For Pete's Sake...they literally didn't have to worry about a thing.  Then, we got some news that changed everything.  My dad's doctors were suspicious of leptomeningeal disease, meaning that the cancer had spread to his spinal fluid.  They did a lumbar puncture to take some fluid, which confirmed the diagnosis.  Lepto is aggressive and hard to treat, and the prognosis wasn't good.  (Thankfully, due to a new medicine that Dad's on, he is now doing better than we could have ever imagined...God is good!)  We knew we all needed to be on this trip, and through an appeal to FPS, they lifted their restriction on who could stay in the house with my parents, allowing all four of us to come as well.  We were also gifted flights by a generous family at church, and everything just kind of came together.  Looking back, it's still kind of unbelievable how blessed we feel as a family.  Having a support system around you while you're battling this disease is so, so crucial.

Anyway, back to Disney.  My parents flew to Orlando on the Tuesday after Easter, and Mark, Natalie, AJ, and I followed on Wednesday night.  We hit Magic Kingdom on Thursday and then went to Universal Studios on Friday (which was decidedly not as magical, hence prompting a return to the wonderful world of Disney on Sunday).  Saturday ended up being a rest day, which was perfect since it rained all day (though we did get a family shoot in with the awesome Jordan Emmitt Photography), and then it was back to Disney for Hollywood Studios on Sunday.  The four of us kids flew home Monday and my parents came back Tuesday. 

The one thing I wanted going into this vacation was for it to not have a cloud of despair hanging over it.  When we all stepped on the plane, we went into the week not knowing what the future was going to look like.  I was so worried that we wouldn't be able to let the fear of the unknown and the worry of this disease go and that it would cloud the week for us.  But it didn't.  For Pete's Sake's motto is "Take a Break from Cancer" and it was exactly that:  a much-needed break from years of battling this monster.  







If you want a full account of our trip, check out Mark's vlogs!

Day one: 



Day two:



Day three:



Day four:  



Day five:

Apr 18, 2016

5 Steps to Hydrated Skin

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dove, but all my opinions are my own. #showerawaydryskin #dovedifference #dovepartner  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


Guys.  This weekend, the weather was perfect.  Like, shorts and a sweatshirt perfect and I wore my sunglasses all weekend and couldn't I just live outside forever? perfect.  And I keep having to remind myself that it's only April and we have so many more glorious months ahead of this beautifully warm weather just so that I don't squeal with excitement and want to bottle it all up.  I mean, really, whatever it was about this winter just made me really long for spring.  And going to Florida at the beginning of this month didn't help either.  (I'm starting to think that maybe AJ and I should just move down there.)

In all seriousness, though, one of the things that always hits my radar about this time every year is the normal "getting ready for summer routines" that I find myself needing to get into.  And as I get older, one of those things that always makes that list is getting my skin healthy.  I think it's just the cold of winter that does me in:  it's dry and sucks moisture right out of my skin, I'm a million times less likely to put lotion on because I hate the feeling of putting clothing over freshly-lotioned skin, it's chilly so I want warm drinks and I drink far less water.  It's kind of just the perfect storm of dehydrating my skin and it never really catches up to me until it's time to start donning shorts and skirts again and I see my dry desert legs.  So now that things are heating up, it's time to put that spring routine into practice, and this year I've written down 5 easy steps that help me get into the habit of loving my skin.  I’ve partnered with Dove to tell you all about their New Dove Dry Oil Collection featuring their Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar and Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash. And I'm also excited to share a few other tips with you for keeping your skin happy and healthy!

1.  Drink Water!  
Ok, this probably seems super obvious, but it's not always easy to do!  I have a pregnant friend who's husband recently scolded her for her lack of water drinking and told her "water is the essence of life!", which of course we made fun of, but he's right!  It's amazing how much better your body functions when you consume the recommended amount of water each day!


2.  Love your Skin from the Outside In, Starting in the Shower
My new favorite cleansers are Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar and Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash, and I'm finding that starting your day off right while you're in the shower. Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash maintains and nourishes skin’s protective layer during cleansing and replenishes 12x more skin natural nutrients than competitors while the Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar contains ¼ moisturizing cream and Moroccan Argan Oil to gently cleanse and care for your skin, leaving it soft and smooth.


3.  Make It Easy
I'm on the go all the time, but especially in the summer.  Between hitting the gym (and sometimes showering there), sleeping over at my in-laws, or even just traveling, I've found that being prepared and thinking ahead can make keeping up with any habit easier.  I love the Dove Dry Oil Beauty Bar for it's portability, so I keep a box of it in my on-the-go bag.  It's also great for packing in a carry-on, and will definitely be in mine when we head back to Florida with AJ's family next month!


4.  Exfoliate
One of the best things you can do for rough, dry skin (can you say hello heels and elbows!) is to exfoliate it!  Helping your skin by getting rid of the old allows the new to really flourish!  I love keeping an exfoliating sponge or pumice stone in the shower for a quick exfoliation of my heels, and even better, to schedule a few pedicures throughout the summer...a little pampering plus good-looking nails?  Yes, please.  


5.  Wear Sunscreen
Ok, this might not have quite as much to do with keeping your skin hydrated as it does about just keeping your skin healthy in general, but can I take the opportunity to stress how stinking important this is?!  I used to think that I didn't need sunscreen, that my Italian roots would just help me to "tan, not burn" (despite the fact that I did indeed burn) and that I was untouchable, but after my mom's ocular melanoma diagnosis last year, I don't mess around anymore.  My makeup has SPF in it, I wear sunscreen if I'm in the sun, I try to be smart about being in the sun, and my skin is thanking me for it!


Did you know that 9 in 10 women are concerned about having dry skin?  Dove Dry Oil Moisture Body Wash goes beyond basic moisturizing to help women nourish and protect their dry skin, which is one of the things I love about it!  Check it out while combatting your winter skin this year!

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR KEEPING YOUR SKIN HYDRATED?

Apr 11, 2016

Your Best Summer Legs with the Schick 7-Day Challenge

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Schick, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pmgschick #7dayshavechallenge #ad http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV


If you follow me on social media, you probably noticed that our family headed south last week.  We were gifted a trip through an awesome organization here in PA (more to come on that soon!) and we got to spend a few really relaxing days in the Florida sunshine.  It was a great retreat and I loved spending time with our family while enjoying the warmth!

It also reminded me how excited I am for that beautiful season...summer!  I never realize how much I love summer until winter is here, and with snow in PA this weekend after spending last weekend in 90-degree weather, I really am ready for constant sunshine and hot days.  Our trip also made me realize that my legs were so not ready for summer!  Not so much in the hairy department, but just in that dry, harsh winter way.   Even Quincy is excited for those warm summer days!



Since shorts weather is (hopefully) not too far away, I partnered with Schick to get my legs summer-ready in just seven days by taking their 7-day challenge!  The 7-day challenge is easy: just shave with Schick Hydro Silk Razors and Skintimate Island Berry Breeze shave gel for seven days, and then feel the difference...your legs will be silky smooth and moisturized!

I typically don't have to shave my legs every day, but usually shave every three or four days, and even less in the winter.  But since I was really concerned with getting some moisture back into my dry skin, I decided to fulfill the challenge to the fullest, and lathered up with the shave gel and did a quick shave every day for a week.  Just a few extra minutes in the shower and it was amazing to see the difference!  I was able to breathe new life into my legs by adding that simple regimen into my shower routine and I'm so happy to report that my legs will be looking good when it's time to don my shorts again.

Let's talk about the products a bit!  The Schick Hydro Silk Razor actually hydrates your skin...I don't think I can say that I've ever had a razor that does that!  Pair it with the Schick Hydro Silk Shower Hanging Refills, and you're never far from a new razor blade.  They hang right in your shower, making it easy to store them where you need them and giving you a great shave every time.  The  New Skintimate Island Berry Shave Gel is a great first step in caring for your legs.  This moisturizing shave gel gives you a close, comfortable shave and healthy-feeling, smooth legs.  Finally, the Skintimate Silky Skin is packed with a Moroccan Oil, Vitamin E, Olive Butter, and Sunflower Seed Oil and helps replenish your skin's natural moisture! 





So what do you think?  Would you take the Schick Hydro Silk 7-day challenge?
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