Phew. Can you guys believe it? Another year has passed and it has been nothing short of incredible. 2015 has brought so much change, accomplishment, and most of all, joy into our lives. I graduated college with my Business Management degree, Oliver turned 3 and got to see the ocean for the first time, Sam and I explored a new city in Canada for our anniversary, and I was promoted to a new department at work. I've been embracing change big time this year and positive things have come from that. Besides my personal life, Anna Elizabeth Events has seen quite a few changes and milestones itself. As I was looking back through all of the blog posts that were published in 2015, I was blown away by how very different the writing style, photography, and even the aesthetics of my website were at the beginning of the year versus the end. It truly proves that all of the seemingly small details and extra hours worked add up over time to bring about a massive change. Looking through this year in review made me feel like it has all been well worth it. We partnered with some fantastic companies, gained a ton of new, supportive readers, connected with other inspiring bloggers, created some DIY creations, shared delicious recipes, and so much more.
All in all, it has been a memorable year but, I would have to say that the highlight of 2015 for me was my college graduation ceremony. The moment that I walked across the stage and looked up to see my family, I felt overwhelmed with support and accomplishment. I was truly proud of myself for achieving something that seemed so far away just a year prior. I am forever grateful for the experience that I have gained but, I also couldn't be more excited to begin the next chapter of my life now that it is over. And what better way to begin a new chapter than with a new year?
With a new year comes new resolutions, new promises to myself to enable growth and happiness. I made a list of resolutions last year before beginning 2015. Some I kept and have made a difference throughout this year but, others I forgot all together. So, for 2016 I've decided to really home in on only 2 resolutions. These include being more adventurous and easygoing. Now that my focus doesn't need to be on my undergraduate studies, I am anxious to put myself out there and try new experiences. I want to make time to travel more, to introduce myself to people that I otherwise would be too timid to say hello to, to be more bold with even the most trivial things like eating out at a restaurant. I also want to plan less and go with the flow more. If something doesn't work out how I imagined, I want to move along rather than letting it upset or bother me.
2016 is going to be a great year. I can just feel it. Or... maybe that's the champagne going to my head. Either way, thank you as always for supporting and reading Anna Elizabeth Events throughout 2015. I appreciate all of the kind words, the helpful feedback, and unwavering support. Below, I'm looking back at a few of my favorite AEE posts from 2015. I hope you all have a very safe and happy New Year! 3...2...1 *Pop* Fizz, Clink (As Kate Spade herself would say).
Blue Apron / Mercer's Wine Ice Cream / BeauBowTies / UnOriginal Americain /FLOAT Annapolis / LuLaRoe Jess
Emoji Smoking Slippers / Father's Day Gift Box / Make + Style Modern Shelves / Hanging Copper Closet / Making the Ultimate Holiday Gift Basket / Easy Floral Thanksgiving Pumpkin / St. Patrick's Day 'Lucky You Garland / Leather Earring Travel Holder / Tie Dye Summer Garland / Christmas Advent Calendar
Inside My Home Office + Closet Transformation / November Styling / My Weekend Guide to the Farmer's Market / A Canadian Escape /DogMom: My Dog Doesn't Play Well with Others / Keeping it positive on the blog / 20Something: I am a dog mom /Fall Traditions / Living with your Significant Other / Generating The Good: Brainstorming 101 / 24 Hours in Georgetown DC / My Travel Guide to Baltimore
Holiday Glam / Weekend Coffee Break / Off Duty Street Fashion / Date Night with A Pop of Red / Weekend Wear
Experimenting with Korean Beauty Products / Staple Beauty Buys for Summer / Experimenting with Face Masks / Grow Your Own Aloe Vera Facial / Your Simple Guide to Wheatgrass Shots / Staple Beauty Buys for Fall
Food & Cocktails
The Best Homemade Spiked Eggnog / Challah Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Chocolate Ganache / Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches / Summer Grilled Fish with Tomatoes and Herbs /Valentine's Day Fro-Yo Puppy Treats / The Best Homemade Canadian Poutine / LazyGirl Summer Sangria / DogMom Peanut Butter Bacon Birthday Cake / Homemade Fall Ricotta Gnocchi with Pancetta, Mushrooms and Gorgonzola Sauce / LazyGirl Chocolate Fudge Snickers Stuffed Cupcakes / The Ultimate Fall Cheese Board / Healthy Banana Split Yogurt Parfait
Want more? Read last year's Reflections + Resolutions: 2014 to 2015
What was your highlight of 2015? Have you made a resolution for the new year? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.
Happy New Year, everyone!
XO Anna Elizabeth
We all know that during the Winter especially, it can become tempting to indulge in festive desserts, decadent dinners, and high-calorie cocktails at every opportunity. After all, we are celebrating a number of holidays one after the other. That's why it's important to balance out the not so good stuff with some healthy (but, equally as tasty) options.
Recently, yogurt has been my go-to for a quick and simple breakfast to keep me satisfied throughout the morning. So, today I'm sharing my twist on a banana split in a much healthier, breakfast-style way. Hey, it doesn't hurt that they're pretty too.
Tip* to make the yogurt layers even when assembling, use an icing piping tip to fill.
Good morning! I hope you all had a lovely holiday surrounded by family, friends, and good food. I took two days off from the blog to enjoy Christmas and stay in the moment, which I believe a lot of you did as well. Our holiday was filled with hot ham melts, ornament disasters, Christmas light shows, matching presents, and a ton of competitive Scrabble. All in all, I would say that it was definitely a success. This weekend I'm refusing to put on pants and do anything but finish all of the Christmas movies we forgot to watch and champagne I forgot to drink.
What about you guys? Will you be vegging out on the couch like me this weekend or jumping straight into the chaos of New Years planning already? Either way you decide to go, I've brought you a few of my favorite links from around the web this morning to entertain, motivate, and inspire you for the weekend ahead:
This week on AEE // DIY: Making the Ultimate Holiday Gift Basket, My Secret Weapon for Cooking During the Week
I hope that you all enjoy this beautiful holiday weekend!
As always, don't forget to keep up with me via Instagram (@anna_elizabethevents) , Facebook, and Pinterest to get the first peek at new content coming to AEE.
XO Anna Elizabeth
We all know the struggle of getting home at 6 o'clock from work each night during the week to the looming question of, "So...what are we going to have for dinner?" Sometimes it feels like a never-ending battle. The choices are (a.) find a recipe online, go to the grocery store to gather ingredients, and cook the meal from home - all the while starving, mind you, or (b.) order takeout for the 4th time that week which will have you feeling defeated whether you're looking at your scale or your bank account. The struggle is real (hashtag, hashtag), as the kids say.
Sam and I feel the constant pressure of eating healthy foods but, sometimes fall short because of our busy schedules. Although I'd rather not admit it, oftentimes during the week, we resort to greasy take-out, a frozen pizza, or nothing at all. We love cooking together and trying out new techniques in the kitchen but, it can become expensive when we're buying what feels like 100 different ingredients to make one flavorful dish. Even more frustrating is after we create a new meal and the leftover ingredients go bad before we have a chance to use them again.
So, when Blue Apron offered me the opportunity to try out their home cooking subscription service last week, I was more than excited to say (a.k.a scream) yes without hesitation. Especially during the holiday season, between buying gifts, attending functions, and keeping up with the blog, it can become utterly exhausting to think about making yet another trip to the grocery store on top of all that. Needless to say, this product came into my life at the perfect time. Blue Apron provided Sam and I with 3 easy date nights last week to get away from all of the chaos and work as a team on mastering a new recipe and enjoying it together all without glancing at the television, work, or our smartphones.
Included in my first box that Blue Apron sent me, we had 3 meals for dinner that could have been on the menu at any number of restaurants that Sam and I frequent in the city. We received Tamarind-Glazed Cod with Lime Rice & Cucumber Relish, Harissa Lamb & Beef Burgers with Roasted Carrot Fries, and lastly, Roasted Chicken & Potato Latkes with Savoy Cabbage & Apple-Mustard Chutney.
What I've found helpful if you're a first-time Blue Apron customer, is to take a look on their website when you find out what recipes and ingredients you'll be receiving to read some of the customer reviews and tips on how to make the best of your dish. There is an entire community of Blue Apron customers online available to consult with that have tried out the recipes themselves.
Another pleasant outcome of cooking with Blue Apron is that it exposes you to using spices, foods, and techniques that otherwise you wouldn't even think of. It broadens your horizon on making meals from scratch at home in the long-run. For example, as someone that loves to cook and share recipes, I had never even tasted Jicama, Celeriac, or Harissa Paste, much less tried to make my own potato latkas for the last day of Hannukah. Sam and I felt like we were taking advanced cooking classes all week from the comfort of our own kitchen. It didn't hurt that we then got to devour these incredible meals that we so proudly made on our own in less than an hour.
When you sign up for your first box, you can choose from a 2-person or a family plan with 2 to 4 recipes per week (with no commitment or fees). Blue Apron food is sourced from small family farms and artisans so, when you consider that the price per serving comes out to be about $9, it makes the choice simple. Each box comes fully refrigerated, and has perfectly portioned ingredients so that there is no need to waste time measuring or, even worse, wasting produce that goes unused.
And, since the holidays are literally just around the corner and you're still shopping for last-minute gifts (you naughty girl, you), surprising someone special with a subscription to Blue Apron is an expert-level move. You don't have to worry about shipping before Christmas Day, which is, if we're being honest, practically impossible at this point. And, if you really think about it, you're gifting them with the most useful gift anyone could possibly give. Everyone's gotta eat, right? So, a box of fresh produce, a cooking lesson at home, and a date night with their spouse? You're basically a genius.
Now for the goodies: My first 50 readers get TWO free meals with their first Blue Apron box! Redeem now by following this (link) to their website and clicking "Redeem Offer" at the top of the page.
This post was done in proud partnership with Blue Apron. All words are my own and were not influenced throughout the creation of the post. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that allow Anna Elizabeth Events to run successfully.
Do you use a fresh food subscription service to make cooking easier in your household during the week? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
XO Anna Elizabeth
We are very quickly winding down to Christmas morning and chances are that you're currently fenced in by a pile of unwrapped gifts. That feeling in the pit of your stomach that tells you that over the next 2 days you'll be wrapping and taping and decorating and labeling every.single.one. is unnerving. I get it. So, since the holidays are the most likely time of year to be giving gift baskets and you want to spend your precious time doing something much more meaningful than wrapping gifts (like watching ELF for the fourth time in a row), I've decided to share a few of my quick tips on creating the perfect gift basket for someone special in your life.
01. Know your budget. It can be astonishingly easy to go over budget on a gift basket because you are trying to fill in blank space. Make a plan before starting your gift basket for how much you want to spend, a few items that you'd like to include, and where to find those items most frugally.
02. Know your person. Are they an aspiring chef? Are they a social media mogul? Do you find them sneaking away on spur of the moment adventures every weekend? Know what your person likes so that you don't end up with a basket full of items that you know they won't actually use. It's nice to make a pretty basket but, it's better to make a useful basket.
03. Find a vehicle for your gifts. This can either make or break the look of your gift basket. I recommend finding something that will be useful down the road and fits well with the theme of the person or home it is going to. Remember, this is part of your present to them so, it is ok to spend a reasonable amount on it to make sure you are getting a sturdy and long-lasting item. That being said, I got mine from Michaels using a 40 percent off coupon and I'm in love with the look and feel of it.
04. Get a range of gift items. Some of the items that are my favorite for gift baskets include: bottle of local beer, cable knit scarf, antique cocktail glasses, specialty chocolates, cooking spices or salt, mason jar candle, hand painted ornament, something witty, and something decorative.
05. Don't forget the finishing touches. I recommend wrapping some of the smaller gifts in the basket to give it an unknown element. Arrange the gifts to provide a nice balance of textures. If you included a cable knit scarf or sweater, place that at the bottom as a cushion for the remainder of the gifts. Lastly, to make your gift basket look even more grand and exciting, don't forget to pick up an over-sized holiday bow to attach on one side.
I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial on making your own ultimate gift basket! What are your essentials for giving a gift basket during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.
XO Anna Elizabeth
This morning for the first time in what feels like ages, I get to work and communicate with you from the comfort of my own bed. Is it weird that I haven't owned a working laptop for the past 4 years? I'm definitely still getting used to the feel of it but, it will be a nice change for mornings like these when I crave the snugness of a warm comforter or am away from the house for a weekend trip. It couldn't have come any better time, anyway. After arriving home at 1:30 this morning from my work holiday party, I have no plan of getting out of bed anytime soon. Coffee, please!
I truly can't believe how quickly this holiday season has flown by already and that we have only days until Christmas. I shared my very last holiday gift guide on the blog yesterday for those of you who prefer to do last-minute shopping online, and I got sucked in by one too many of the gifts myself.
This weekend is all about celebrations for us after all, if you hadn't noticed already, I finally graduated from college on Thursday with my Business Management degree. It has already felt like such an enormous weight has been lifted off my shoulders, So, it seems quite fitting that the remainder of my holiday parties should take place this weekend as well. Tomorrow, Sam and I will be traveling to Pennsylvania to gather around family for a cookie bake-off, secret Santa gifting, and definitely a ton of holiday photos.
So, what are your plans for this weekend? Are you wrapping up your holiday shopping, putting the finishing touches on your tree, or just plan on relaxing while watching the chaos erupt around you? No matter what your plan is,, I've rounded up a few ideas from around the web that I think will surely inspire and motivate you to enjoy the holiday spirit for the next two days:
This week on AEE : My Winter To-Do List, Holiday Glam, Holiday Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers under $25
I hope you all enjoy this lovely weekend!
Don't forget to keep up with me via Instagram (@anna_elizabethevents), Facebook, and Pinterest to get the first peek at new content coming to AEE.
XO Anna Elizabeth
Hey, you last minute shoppers! As we've all been reminded of countless times, we only have mere days until Christmas. That means that you should have your tree up, presents wrapped, and Santa's cookies baked, right? Yeah, me either. But, today is the day. I'm determined to complete my holiday shopping at last so that I can finally rest and enjoy the next few days leading up to the big event. So, today for my last holiday gift guide of the season, I'm bringing you a few of my favorite small but worthy stocking stuffers under $25:
01. because this glitter screams holiday season $23
02. to keep your little toes warm (and cute) $4
03. to boost your spirits and make you laugh $15
04. in case you forget $9
05. because you're an adult $10
06. to keep your skin soft and clear throughout the winter $22
07. to remind you what to ask your passengers every 10 minutes $12
08. the simplest way to make your morning tea $20
09. i mean, who doesn't want to put this tape on everything anyway $5
10. because there's at least 50 ways to cook mac + cheese. so... there's that $17
What do you stuff your stockings with for the holidays? Leave me a note in the comments below.
XO Anna Elizabeth
Welcome to Anna Elizabeth, my creative space for fashion, recipes, styling, tutorials, figuring out how to run a successful business... and all of the little moments in between!
I N S T A G R A M S
Now trending .
1 A Change of Pace
2 Rosemary Grapefruit Cocktails
3 Sunday at the Apple Orchard
4 Dark Romance
5 Lace-up Suede / Festival Style
6 Plaid and Chambray
7 Pecan Toffee Cookies
8 Leather and Satin
9 London Fog Tea Latte
10 Rosemary White Bread
UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE,
ALL IMAGES ARE MY ORIGINAL COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL SO PLEASE BE KIND AND DON'T USE MATERIAL WITHOUT CREDITING AND LINKING BACK TO ANNA ELIZABETH EVENTS. BUT FEEL TOTALLY FREE TO SHARE, TWEET + PIN AWAY!
CONVERSELY, IF I FEATURE AN IMAGE OF YOURS THAT YOU SEE MIS-CREDITED OR WOULD LIKE TAKEN DOWN, PLEASE LET ME KNOW AND I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT RIGHT AWAY.
SPONSORED POSTS OR GIFTED ITEMS WILL ALWAYS BE NOTED AS SO.
ANNA ELIZABETH EVENTS CONTAINS PAID ADVERTISING BANNERS AND SOME POSTS CONTAIN CONTEXTUAL AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS THAT WE MAY RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE A PRODUCT I'VE LINKED TO.
ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% MY OWN, AND ALL PRODUCTS RECOMMENDED ARE THINGS I TRULY LIKE OR USE.