He Knows That The Taste Is Such, Is Such To Die For

To be perfectly honest, Eric and I haven’t been overly inspired to cook much lately.  Between the wedding, holidays, random plans with friends and family, differing work schedules, going out to eat, and just not feeling it, we haven’t done a lot in the kitchen.

That being said, we did try a recipe recently that I’d been eyeing for months.

I first came across this recipe on Pinterest, and was pleasantly surprised to discover it came from a blog I’d previously used to make some healthy, delicious meals: Skinnytaste.  If you’re not familiar with this blog, you should definitely check it out.  She posts a lot of really flavorful low fat recipes, and most of them (the one I’m about to share with you included!) don’t seem like “diet” recipes.  She also posts the calories, fat, protein, etc. found in each serving of each recipe, so you can trust that you really aren’t consuming 1500 calories when you dig into your meal.  And since a lot of us will resolve to lose weight in the new year, it’s the perfect recipe to end 2013.

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See?  This definitely doesn’t look low fat!  Personal photo.

Cheeseburger Casserole

Recipe taken from Skinnytaste (www.skinnytaste.com)

Adapted very slightly by me (and Eric)!

Note: This was very much a joint effort.  Eric actually probably did more than me, so I definitely wanted to give him the credit he deserves!

Ingredient List:

  • 1 box uncooked whole wheat rotini pasta (The original recipe calls for less, but we wanted plenty of leftovers.)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, finely chopped (We used red onion, but you can substitute a white onion if you’re not a fan.)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (or the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic if you’re pressed for time)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (We were lucky enough to have some very fresh straight-from-the-farm beef available to us.  Eric has some cousins who own and operate a farm in western Nebraska, and his parents gave us some of the meat they’d picked up on their last trip to visit them.  The difference in taste is very obvious, and it definitely made this casserole even more flavorful!)
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste (The original recipe calls for half this amount, but we wanted a thicker, more tomatoey sauce.  If you don’t think you’d want so much tomato flavor, use the measurement given on Skinnytaste.)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill pickles

Instructions:

1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Spray a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray.

3.) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

4.) Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions.

5.) Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).

6.) Stir in the garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

7.) Add the ground beef and cook until browned, seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.

8.) Stir in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and Dijon mustard.  Let the sauce bubble gently until it’s slightly thickened (this should only take a few minutes).

9.) Pour the drained pasta and meat sauce together, mixing thoroughly.  Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared dish.

10.) Top with shredded cheddar cheese and bake approximately 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

11.) Sprinkle the chopped pickles over the top before serving.

12.) Enjoy!  This was an incredibly filling meal on its own, but it would also be great paired with a salad or a cooked vegetable.

All That Lovin’ Must’ve Been Lacking Something If I Got Bored Tryin’ To Figure You Out

I haven’t written a Music Monday post featuring a favorite album in almost 3 months (the last one can be found here: Funny Thing About Money For Sex, You Might Get Rich But You Die By It), so I thought it was time for another.

I’ve mentioned my love for Tori Amos in several music-related posts, but I haven’t given proper attention to any of her work … Until now.

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Although this isn’t a personal photo, I was lucky enough to see her perform live back in 2002.  It was every bit as magical as this picture suggests.  Image courtesy of http://www.yessaid.com.

The album I’ll be discussing today is a true classic in the minds of many, and with good reason.  That album is Under the Pink.

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It’s hard to believe this album will be 20 years old in 2014!  This is just another case of a great musician creating work that can really stand the test of time.  Personal photo.

Under the Pink, her sophomore album, has a much different feel for me than her debut, Little Earthquakes.  The songs are richer somehow, creating a more “full” sound than the generally much quieter songs on her first release.  Although it is still most certainly a piano-driven album, several of the songs are taken to new heights with the addition of other instruments and gorgeous background vocals (including an appearance by my beloved Trent Reznor on the haunting track “Past the Mission”).  To me, this was a preview of the more experimental work she’d produce over the next few years (most notably Boys for Pele and From the Choirgirl Hotel).

But this isn’t an album review.  Not really.  I mean, it’s pretty obvious from my first sentence in this post that I adore Under the Pink.  This is more of an opportunity to share something I love with others.  And, as with my previous posts highlighting a specific album, I will be listing out my personal favorite songs along with my favorite line(s) from these songs.  Though her lyrics can definitely be cryptic at times, I’ve always been able to draw some sort of personal meaning from each of her songs … Whether or not that meaning is what she had in mind when she created those words.  I think that’s part of the beauty of her music, though.  It can be interpreted in many ways, but in the end, it’s always meaningful.

* Cloud On My Tongue

Personal Favorite Line(s): You’re already in there/I’ll be wearing your tattoo/You’re already in there/Thought I was over the bridge now/Over the bridge now/I’m already in circles and circles and circles again

* Icicle

Personal Favorite Line(s): I think the good book is missing some pages/Gonna lay down, gonna lay down/And when my hand touches myself, I can finally rest my head/And when they say “take of his body,” I think I’ll take from mine instead

* Cornflake Girl

Personal Favorite Line(s): They must’ve paid her a nice price/She’s puttin’ on her string bean love/This is not really, this is not really happening/You bet your life it is

* Past the Mission

Personal Favorite Line(s): Hey, they found a body/Not sure it was his, still they’re using his name/And she gave him shelter/And somewhere I know she knows/Somewhere I know she knows/Some things only she knows

* Baker Baker

Personal Favorite Line(s): He says that behind my eyes I’m hiding/And he tells me I pushed him away/That my heart’s been hard to find

If there are any other Tori fans reading this, how do you feel about Under the Pink?  Would you agree that it’s a classic album?  What are some of your favorite (or even least favorite) tracks?

All The Photos Came Out Lonely, But We, We’re Not Alone

I’m going to make a confession.  It may be shocking to many readers of this blog (at least those who follow my Tasty Tuesday posts and know how much I enjoy cooking), so prepare yourselves.

Last year for Christmas I received a KitchenAid stand mixer from Eric, and I didn’t even take it out of the box until this December.

I know, I know … This makes me sound like a horrible, ungrateful bitch.  Trust me, that wasn’t the case at all.  I was beyond excited to receive it.  Need proof?

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Just look at the excitement on my face!  I was so surprised when he gave it to me!  Personal photo.

My issue was this: I was a little intimidated by the stand mixer.  I may love to cook (and, if I may say so myself, I’m actually pretty good at it!), but baking is another story.  Although I really wanted a KitchenAid stand mixer, I wasn’t 100% sure I’d know what to do with it if I got one.  But I did (and still do!) want to become a good baker … So it’s worth a few failed attempts with the KitchenAid.  Maybe I’ll eventually get it right.

Today’s post is an ode to my desire to become a good baker.

This week’s list: Ten Delicious Looking Things I Want To Bake Soon (Using My KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Of Course!)

10.) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oreo Chunk Brownies

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Image courtesy of http://picky-palate.com.

The dessert recipes on Picky Palate always look so amazing (and somewhat disgustingly rich!), but I usually just admire them from afar.  Now that I’m planning to start baking more regularly, these recipes just may come in handy!  Eric and I are huge fans of pumpkin and chocolate (as you may have guessed from my last Tasty Tuesday post), so this would be the perfect place to start!

The original recipe can be found here: http://picky-palate.com/2012/10/29/pumpkin-cream-cheese-oreo-chunk-brownies/.

9.) Key Lime Pie Bars

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Image courtesy of http://www.browneyedbaker.com.

I’m a huge fan of Key Lime pie.  Eric likes it, but I love it.  These Key Lime bars look so simple and refreshing.  Although it’s hard to get out of the more fall/winter flavors at the moment (hey, it’s December and let’s be honest … I can eat pumpkin stuff all year long!), this would be the perfect dessert to ring in spring and/or summer this year.

The original recipe can be found here: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2013/06/19/key-lime-pie-bars/.

8.) Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream

dark chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream

Image courtesy of http://cassiecraves.blogspot.com.

Cassie Craves is one of my favorite cooking/food blogs because her recipes are often fairly simple and not overly time consuming.  Although I’ve tried a lot of her main dish and appetizer recipes, I haven’t really given her dessert recipes much attention.  These cupcakes immediately caught my eye because as much as Eric and I love pumpkin and chocolate, we probably love coffee and chocolate even more.

The original recipe can be found here: http://cassiecraves.blogspot.com/2011/11/dark-chocolate-cupcakes-with-coffee.html.

7.) Tiramisu Cheesecake Bars

tiramisu cheesecake bars

Image courtesy of http://cassiecraves.blogspot.com.

While looking through the Cassie Craves blog for baking inspiration, I also came across this little gem.  Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts of all time.  And while I’ll freely admit that I’m completely intimidated by the thought of making actual, from scratch traditional tiramisu, these cheesecake bars look completely doable (and completely delicious!).

The original recipe can be found here: http://cassiecraves.blogspot.com/2009/12/tiramisu-cheesecake-bars.html.

6.) Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

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Image courtesy of http://www.annies-eats.com.

I love looking through the blog Annie’s Eats.  Her pictures are always gorgeous, and the recipes I’ve tried have turned out very well.  I love fruit-based desserts almost as much as I love chocolate-based desserts, and these cheesecake bars look amazing!

The original recipe can be found here: http://www.annies-eats.com/2010/08/13/lemon-blueberry-cheesecake-bars/.

5.) Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Biscotti

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Image courtesy of http://www.annies-eats.com.

This is yet another recipe from Annie’s Eats.  She has several delicious looking biscotti recipes listed on her blog, but this one looked a little simpler (which is important since I’ve never made homemade biscotti before).  I also love the peanut butter and chocolate combination (though I’m sure there are very few people who don’t love these flavors together!).  I’m a huge fan of biscotti, so I think it would be pretty awesome to try making my own.  I should definitely try this soon!

The original recipe can be found here: http://www.annies-eats.com/2010/12/20/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-biscotti/.

4.) Cranberry Dark Chocolate Muffins

Cranberry-Chocolate-Muffins

Image courtesy of http://www.letsdishrecipes.com.

When I was in college, there was this adorable (and amazing!) little bakery within walking distance from my dorm on the main street of the town.  It was there that I discovered my love for cranberries in breakfast goodies.  Scones, muffins, breads, biscotti … You name it.  So when I came across this muffin recipe, I knew I’d have to add it to this list.  I can’t wait to make these!

The original recipe can be found here: http://www.letsdishrecipes.com/2013/12/cranberry-dark-chocolate-muffins.html.

3.) Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

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Image courtesy of http://lovintheoven.com.

One of my friends (who also happens to be one of my coworkers) has made this exact coffee cake several times for work potlucks.  And it’s good.  She sent me the link to the recipe after I raved about how awesome it was the last time she brought it in.  She’s a much more seasoned baker than I am, so I can only hope I can recreate the perfect blend of flavors and textures when I try making this.

The original recipe can be found here: http://lovintheoven.com/2010/02/chocolate-chip-coffee-cake.html.

2.) S’mores Cookie Bars

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Image courtesy of http://lovintheoven.com.

After my friend sent me the link for the chocolate chip coffee cake (mentioned above, in #3), I started checking out other recipes on the blog.  Lovin’ From The Oven has some amazingly tasty looking baked goods recipes … I can definitely see using this blog many times in the future as a resource when I want to use my KitchenAid stand mixer and need some inspiration.  These cookie bars are no exception.  I mean, do I really even need to explain why these made the list?  Come on … They contain the flavors of s’mores.  That was enough for me!

The original recipe can be found here: http://lovintheoven.com/2008/12/day-11-smores-cookie-bars.html.

1.) Red Velvet Oreo Brownies

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Image courtesy of http://sallysbakingaddiction.com.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that red velvet cake has a special place in my heart.  My grandmother used to make a red velvet cake every year for Christmas.  I’ve had many types of red velvet cake since then, but none have ever compared to the simple goodness of her recipe (which is unfortunately a bit of a mystery since she didn’t actually make it the way it was written in her recipe notes).  Eric and I made sure we included red velvet as one of our cake flavors for our wedding since it has such an important meaning for me (and it didn’t hurt that we both love the actual taste as well!).  As you can see, I love all things red velvet … So when I saw this recipe, I was like, “Oh.  My.  God.”  This looks so rich and decadent!  It also looks a little intimidating since there are so many steps and “parts” of the brownie to assemble … But maybe one day I’ll feel brave and just go for it.  I mean, I can’t live my life without tasting one of these!

The original recipe can be found here: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/05/red-velvet-oreo-brownies/.

If anyone reading this is into baking, please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes in the comments!

But She’s Never Been The Kind To Be Hollowed By The Stares

As I may have mentioned about a hundred times, I haven’t read much at all this year.  That being said, I still want to share reviews from the books I read during 2012 … And then hope that with the new year comes a renewed love for reading.

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Image courtesy of www.goodreads.com.

Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon

255 pages

Back in August, I shared a review about another of McMahon’s novels, Promise Not to Tell.  I gave that book three stars because everything just sort of fell apart in the end.  I also hated the fact that I figured out who the killer was early on, and that she resorted to the supernatural to explain away certain things.  It just seemed so out of place since the rest of the book was pretty realistic and read like a “normal” murder mystery.  (If you’re interested in a more detailed review, you can read that here: Just Because I Lost It Doesn’t Mean I Want It Back.)

I thought Island of Lost Girls was much better.  Granted, Promise Not to Tell was her debut novel so I’d expect any following books to be better.  I think that’s just natural for most authors … You’re writing more, so you’re getting better.  The whole “practice makes perfect” idea.

The premise of this book is a little strange, which is actually part of the reason I was initially drawn to it.  Rhonda Farr, a recent college graduate, makes a stop at a gas station before a job interview and sees something so surreal she doesn’t even realize it’s a crime in progress.  A giant white rabbit (yes, a rabbit) gets out of a car, gets a little girl in another car (whose mother is inside the gas station) to come with it, and the two leave together in the rabbit’s vehicle.

As the realization of what just happened hits Rhonda, she decides to throw herself into the search for little Ernie Florucci.  In doing so, though, she begins thinking about another missing little girl she once knew … Her childhood best friend, Lizzy, who disappeared years ago.

Like Promise Not to Tell, this book alternates between the past and present.  While I was kind of like, “Oh, Jennifer McMahon is doing this again?,” I felt like it actually worked a little better in this book.  (Though maybe I just felt that way since I thought it was a more effective book overall.)

One thing I liked about this book was the fact that it wasn’t clear until the reveal (at least not to me!) who had taken Ernie Florucci and why.  Not only that, but I didn’t think the twist in the Lizzy subplot was obvious, which was refreshing.  There were clues throughout that made more sense as everything was revealed, and I appreciated that by the end I felt more like “Oh, she did a nice job tying everything together!” as opposed to “But what about x, y, and z that never made any sense?”

I was actually pretty satisfied with the ending, and I think I will probably give another one of her books a read in the future.  There was another one I saw on Amazon a while ago that sounded pretty good called Don’t Breathe a Word, though I do dislike the fact that it has such a similar title to her first novel.  (I probably shouldn’t judge, though … I’m terrible with titles as well.)  I think I might also read another of her books called Dismantled, though the plot sounds a bit like she was inspired by Pretty Little Liars or something similar.  I guess that’s not really a bad thing, though, since that show has done a pretty good job of sucking me in.

I would recommend this book to others, and will probably reread it at some point in the future.  With books like this, though, I definitely have to wait a considerable amount of time before reading it again … Otherwise, the plot twists aren’t very exciting.  I like to forget a lot of what happens in a book before reading it again so it feels fresh.  (I know that sounds kind of weird, but it’s really not.)

My rating for Island of Lost Girls is FOUR STARS.

Yes, They’ll Nosh The Love Away But It’s Fair To Say You Will Still Haunt Me …

Although Christmas is already over, I still have this incredible urge to go shopping.  Sometimes I just need to get some fun new clothes, a gorgeous new handbag, or some awesome new music or books.  It’s a sickness, really.

Anyway, for this week’s Friday Lounge post I’ve decided to share a few of the pricier things I’m currently lusting after.  (And who knows?  I’ve been told that some of my gifts are coming a little later, so there’s still time!)

Michael Kors Large Specchio Harper Tote

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Image courtesy of http://www.michaelkors.com.

I am in love with this handbag.  Everything about it is perfect, from the color to the unique chain detail.  I’ve been in the market for a grey purse for quite a while, and this is exactly what I was looking for.  I’ve been holding out because I wasn’t sure I really wanted to drop $328 on a new handbag right now (especially after paying for a wedding and Christmas gifts!).  But maybe I can convince myself that it’s worth it.

Frye Melissa Harness Zip

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Image courtesy of http://www.thefryecompany.com.

I’d actually like these boots in black since I most often wear black (or grey), but this was the main image on the website.  They do have several gorgeous colors available, but at $398, I don’t think I could really justify buying more than one pair.  I’ve been looking for a pair of leather riding boots for a while now, and Frye also makes “wide calf” options (which I may or may not need due to my muscular calves).  

The Galeazza Shift from Anthropologie

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Image courtesy of http://www.anthropologie.com.

This is such a beautiful dress and it really fits my style (even down to the headband the model is wearing!).  The only problem is that it’s $275 and I don’t really have an opportunity to wear dresses that often … So I really can’t justify spending that much.  But oh man, it’s gorgeous!  

Gucci 54mm Sunglasses from Nordstrom

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Image courtesy of http://www.shop.nordstrom.com.

I love sunglasses.  I constantly rely on them while driving, but I also think they’re a fun accessory.  These Gucci sunglasses are awesome with the two tone color scheme, and I think the shape would be incredibly flattering.  Unfortunately, $280 is a little steep for sunglasses … Though I’ve always told myself I would completely splurge on a great pair of designer eyewear.  One day.  

Tiffany Cobblestone Diamond Band Ring

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Image courtesy of http://www.tiffany.com.

I know I won’t be getting any jewelry from Eric any time soon, which is totally fine.  I’m more than happy with my engagement ring and wedding band!  I am allowed, however, to drool over other pieces.  This band is funky yet classy, with alternating sizes and cuts of diamonds.  It’s definitely the most expensive item listed here so far at $4600 (for my size, anyway!), but it’s what I picture when I think of getting a right hand ring.  Maybe for our 10 year wedding anniversary?  (Hint hint, Eric!)

Asscher Diamond Stud Earrings from Blue Nile

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Image courtesy of http://www.bluenile.com.

The final item I’m currently lusting after is a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings.  As you may have guessed based on my choice of an emerald cut diamond for my engagement ring, I adore step cuts.  Although I’d prefer to eventually build my own pair of diamond studs on Blue Nile (the option is there, though I wasn’t able to locate a setting other than the one featured here when I was poking around), I’d want something very similar to this.  Asscher cut with great specs, white gold, and nothing larger than 1 carat (total weight).  Absolutely stunning … And absolutely expensive with an expected starting price around $2375!

So there you have it … My current personal (expensive!) wish list.  If you were to add some higher end items to your current wish list, what would they be?

Do You Harbor Sighs Or Spit In My Eye?

This week’s Tell All Thursday post is based on yet another of the 30 day blogging challenge topics.  (Side note: I feel like it’s going to take me forever to get through all of these topics.  On the bright side, I’ll have Tell All Thursday topics for the next couple of months or so!)

This topic is actually something I had some difficulty writing about because I struggled with how much I should divulge on a public blog.  

This week’s topic: My Opinion On Cheating

I’m going to be completely honest here … I’ve cheated in the past.  This isn’t something that everyone knows (though I told Eric about it near the beginning of our relationship).  I’m not going to say that it was completely justified or anything, but I was much younger (15 years old) and definitely not over the ex-boyfriend I cheated with.  I knew it was wrong at the time, but in the moment it oddly felt right.

The boyfriend I cheated on and I were not serious at all.  I mean, I guess it was somewhat serious for an early high school relationship (we spent most weekends together and I received a piece of jewelry from him as a gift for … My birthday, I think?).  But really … I was 15.  I didn’t know what I wanted out of life (for the most part anyway), and I wasn’t very invested in the relationship.

Again, this is not to say that I think what I did was okay.  It wasn’t.  I never came clean to him, so unless one of my friends told him I cheated, he never knew.  I’m not proud of the fact that I cheated … But that doesn’t change the fact that I did it.

I don’t excuse cheating, though.  If you’re not that into the relationship/the other person, just end it.  That’s what I should have done back then, but I was young and dumb and afraid of being single.  (Ahhh high school.)  I eventually broke up with the guy I cheated on, though it was difficult … He really didn’t want to let me go, so it went from “I want to break up” to “Okay, we’ll take a break from one another for a while” to “Seriously, we need to break up right now!”

As I’ve gotten older and further removed from that moment in time, I know that the old “once a cheater, always a cheater” saying isn’t always true.  I would never cheat on Eric.  Not only could I never hurt him in that way, but I also have absolutely no desire to be with anyone but him.  I married him for many reasons, but above all else, I married him because I love him.

So what do I think about cheating?  It’s really never okay.  I mean, regardless of how serious the relationship is, someone is bound to get hurt eventually.  So … Don’t do it.  As I said before, if you’re not into the other person anymore, just end it.  That’s the right thing to do.

So Give Me Something To Believe ‘Cause I Am Living Just To Breathe

First of all, Merry Christmas (to those who celebrate) and Happy Holidays to everyone else!  I felt I should at least acknowledge the fact that this is, in fact, a holiday (despite the fact that I’ll be writing about wedding related things).

Anyway, I’m not really sure where I should pick up with regard to wedding planning.  As I mentioned in my last Wedding Wednesday post (well over a month ago, yikes!), I wanted to cover as much as possible regarding the actual process of getting everything ready before diving into the recaps.

I guess the next thing I should discuss was the moment everything got really real.  That was an important moment during wedding planning, after all!

The weird thing about wedding planning is that, no matter what you’re doing, it never seems like it’s a real event.  Everything is just an idea.  Even when you’re making payments, it still doesn’t seem like that money is really going toward anything tangible.  

I think that “Oh my God, this is really happening!” moment is different for every bride.  For some, it may be when they say yes to the dress.  For others, it may hit as they handwrite the names and addresses on the invitation envelopes.  But for me, it was something else.  

For me, it was the day I picked up my wedding band and tried it on for the first time.

Selecting our wedding bands was as important a process as choosing the engagement ring.  Eric and I both wanted to make sure our bands were “forever” bands … Just as my engagement ring is my “forever” ring.  Sure, people upgrade all the time … But that’s just not our style.  We’re both a little too sentimental for that.

I knew from the start that I wanted a Tacori band to match my engagement ring.  I also thought it would be really nice for Eric to also have a Tacori band so that the styles matched.  When I first mentioned this to him, he wasn’t so sure he really wanted or needed such an expensive wedding band.  The thing that eventually sold him on Tacori (besides the fact that the rings are undeniably gorgeous, of course) was the fact that their men’s wedding bands come with a free stainless steel “sport band,” which is perfect for wearing to work and the gym.

We went back to Greenberg’s (which is where we got my engagement ring and the only jeweler in Omaha that is an authorized Tacori retailer) for our wedding bands.  We’d gotten in touch with them to provide the style numbers of the bands we were most interested in to ensure they were all available for us to try on.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures of each of the bands we tried on.  I do remember a few of the options I initially considered, though, and can at least provide the images from the Tacori website.

I wasn’t as crazy about this one with my engagement ring, but I tried it on because I wanted to see how a straight wedding band would look against the scalloped band: 

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This is Tacori Sculpted Crescent Style #41-15.  It’s a beautiful band, but it just really didn’t work with what I already had.  Image courtesy of http://www.tacori.com.

The next band was one I had my eye on from the beginning.  It’s the perfect match for my engagement ring: 

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This is Tacori Sculpted Crescent Style #46-2ET.  If I had gone for this band, I would have ordered a half eternity, as the eternity bands just aren’t comfortable (in my opinion, at least).  Image courtesy of http://www.tacori.com.

Although this band looked amazing with my engagement ring, something still wasn’t right.  

I’d come across a very similar band on Tacori’s website prior to shopping for wedding bands and specifically requested that it be brought in to the store.  It matched my engagement ring very well, but had a unique detail that made it incredibly beautiful and interesting on its own.

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This is Tacori Sculpted Crescent Style #47-2ET.  The band they had available to try on was in rose gold, but it still gave me an idea of what the ring would look like should I choose to order it.  Personal photo.

After trying this ring on, I was completely sold.  I loved the combination of bezel set diamonds with the round diamonds in the scalloped band.  Luckily for me, Eric loved it too!  We ordered a half eternity band in white gold (to match my engagement ring).

The result?

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I couldn’t get a great photo of the band in the box, but you can still get the idea.  I couldn’t be happier with it!  Personal photo.

As for Eric, he was pretty sure of what he wanted.  Although he tried on a couple of other rings, he was very much drawn to one specific style.

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This is Tacori Sculpted Crescent Style #66-6S.  The details on the interior of the ring match the details of my engagement ring and wedding band beautifully, which was something we both appreciated.  Eric also loved the fact that the band wasn’t too thick or too thin and that it wasn’t shiny (his top priority when selecting a wedding band!).  Personal photo.

We ordered his band in white gold to match my rings.  The result?

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Again, this picture isn’t the greatest, but you can still get the idea.  Eric really loves his band as well!  Personal photo.

And here they are together:

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Personal photo.

And finally, the “Oh my God, this is really happening!” moment once I got home from picking the rings up at Greenberg’s.  I slipped the band on with my engagement ring in an effort to get a good photo to send to my mom, and in that instant everything suddenly seemed real.  I was getting married to the love of my life!  The rush of emotions was overwhelming … But most of all, I was incredibly excited.  I couldn’t wait to wear the ring all the time!  Not just because it was amazing and beautiful, but because of everything it would symbolize.

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Personal photo.