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How I Got My Groove Back: Mantras For The Single Girl Arsenal

By February 24, 2017 General, How I Got My Groove Back
Mantra on the beach

What is a Mantra, you ask? For those of you who don’t already know, a mantra is a statement that is repeated frequently. When said and felt as if it is true, over a period of time, we begin to grow into that person. It becomes a part of who we are. I like to do mine first thing in the morning on the beach or in the evening as I am falling a sleep.

Victoria advice on mantra

Every girl should have at least one mantra to help her feel confident and beautiful. Here are a few that I have picked up in my lifetime and cultivated as my own either through books, movies, or self reflection.

• I am a woman unlike any other – The Rules by Ellen Fein 

• Not every man is worthy of my love. Those who are must prove themselves. – Unknown Movie

• God renews my life. – Then I take a moment and sit there and receive God’s renewal. Whether I receive divine inspiration or not, the goal is just to be in receiving mode. This one has been life changing for me.

• Every day and in every way I am a strong, confident and successful woman. I am enough. – Me. I developed this mantra through deep introspection. I found that I was not feeling strong, confident or successful at the time. To say that I am has helped me to become that which I am meant to be.

My advice to you: Say one or all of these daily. Or perhaps you have some mantras that are suited just for you that you would like to practice. It is not enough to just speak them, but you must also feel them in your heart. I like to say mine when I first wake in the morning and as I am falling a sleep at night.

I have some additional literature that I would like to share with you if you are feeling unattractive and down on yourself after a break up. A great read to help get you back on track to being the Goddess that you are is Mama Gina’s School of Womanly Arts by Regena Thomashauer. Several years back I had the pleasure of attending one of her events in New York City and the energy of all the women who attended was amazing and very inspiring.

So many people have been through something similar in a break up. If I can share what I have learned through my experience, then perhaps I can help to show women their worth and bring them a lot of happiness.

If you have a mantra that you would like to share with my readers, I would love to hear it. Please leave your comments in the section below.

 

 

 

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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – So Take It Easy

By February 20, 2017 General, How I Got My Groove Back

Recently my guy of 8 years and I had broken up. If you are reading this, perhaps you or someone you know is experiencing the same. Whether or not the break up was mutual or one sided, if you are at all like me, it can be devastating to learn that your partner has already moved on with someone else. Instead of feeling deflated, the best thing to do is pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Maybe even partake in a LITTLE retail therapy. Notice how I stressed “little”. One word of caution to all of my heart broken sisters; the use of pinot noir while shopping online can result in maxing out your credit card. I highly advise against this under the current circumstances.

How to deal with a break up

If you are committed to moving on and reclaiming your wonderful goddess selves with me, then its time to put down the pepperoni pizza and lets do this! The sting of my break up has left me feeling less than pretty. So my first order of business is to take care of me. After spending a few of months allowing myself to be sad and working through my 5 stages of grief, I am ready to move on to my next phase.

Time to hone in on renewing my body and mind while nurturing my soul. If you only do one thing a day to make yourself feel better, then you are well on your way to a healthier and blissful you. My thing today was Yoga. I took care to really tune in to my breath and poses. On each exhale I focused on releasing a little more pain. On each inhale I breathed in the light of my soul. This simple practice, along with the stretching and poses, helped to change my disposition and set a positive tone for my day. Even 10 minutes of tuning in to one’s self can help to release some of the pain and discomfort we feel from our loss. By the weekend we just might be ready to have a nice evening out with the girls where we don’t feel the need to mention “what’s his name” in a fit sobs and tears.

Tending to one’s self is most important when experiencing a loss such as a break up. I found some wonderful online yoga practice that only takes about 20 minutes. You might enjoy them too.

Yoga For A Broken Heart – Unconditional Love by Yoga With Adriene

Yoga For Weight Loss & Flexibility Day 1 Workout – Fat Burning 20 by Courtney Bell Yoga

I have tried both practices and like them very much.

This inspiring and funny T-shirt  just might help brighten your day “Signs You Might Be A Mermaid”. >> Click here if you would like to order one

signs you might be a mermaid shirt

In sharing this post I hope to help others deal with the loss of a break up. Perhaps you would like to share your stories. What are some of the things you have done to help you cope with a break up? Will you share them with my readers in the comments section below.

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Victoria’s Recipe Box: New England Clam Chowder In a Bread Bowl

By February 20, 2017 Dinner Party, food, General, Party Ideas, Recipies
New England Clam Chowder In Bread Bowl

 

Even though I am now officially a Floridian, I still have wicked cravings for New England Clam Chowder, or as we like to call it, chowda. This recipe is one of my very favorites because it is served in a bread bowl. The first time I made my chowder in a bread bowl was for a 4th of July party some years ago. After my friends and family oohed and aahed over the buttery, creamy, and savory dish, they then delighted in eating their chowder-seeped bowls. It was both fun and comical to watch. I miss those days. If you are intimidated by the thought of making bread bowls, don’t be. They are quite easy. I will explain how in my recipe below.

I am making this for my girl’s night in this Thursday. My Floridian girlfriends are sure to love this dish. Some have never even had New England clam chowder before, so it is sure to be a treat. I will be pairing my dish with some wonderful wines all under $20. But first I must consult with Ashley who is a wine expert at Wegman’s back home. So be sure to check back for the perfect wine pairings to compliment my dish. Update! Here is a link see my selection of the perfect wines to go with my New England clam chowder dish. Your guests will agree.

Bread Bowl Ingredients
Frozen Bread Loaf

Directions For Bread Bowl
Thaw the bread loaf. Cut 1 loaf into 4. Let it rise according to package instructions. Arrange on a cookie sheet and bake according to package instructions. Let cool. Cut off the top of each loaf and scoop out the center to make it into a bowl. Set aside.

Chowder Ingredients
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 stick of butter
1 onion, chopped
1-2 tbl of flour
1 10 oz can of Chicken of the Sea whole baby clams, drained and juice set aside
1/2 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (Knore is my favorite)
2-3 russet potatoes, cubed (I like to keep the skin on)
sprig of rosemary, chopped
sprig of thyme, chopped
3 cups of half-and-half, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper to taste

Chowder Directions
Cook bacon and set aside.

In a large stock pot over medium-low heat melt butter. Add onions and cook until slightly translucent. Sprinkle in flour and stir creating a roué. Slowly stir in clam juice from canned clams, water, and bouillon. Add potatoes, rosemary, and thyme. Cover and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender. Approximately 10 minutes. With a fork, break apart the potatoes. Slowly stir in half and half and clams. Cook until chowder is heated through. Be sure that you don’t bring it to a boil because you don’t want the half and half to curdle.

Ladle chowder into bread bowls, top with bacon and a sprig of rosemary or thyme for a garnish. Serves 4.

What wines would you pair with this dish? Leave your comments below. The Do Tell A Belle audience would love to hear them.

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Victoria’s Recipe Box – Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba Cocktail

By February 20, 2017 Cocktails, Dinner Party, General, Party Ideas
Captain Morgans Rum Cocktail Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba

 

If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail for your weekend party, this Nutty Lemon Lime Rumba is one to try. Inspired by my dear friend Leslie, you will love how the lemon and lime aids compliment the coconut flavor of the coconut rum perfectly.

I like this spiked lemon/limeade cocktail because it uses fresh citrus fruits, which is a great alternative to the sugary sour mix. If you don’t want to squeeze lemons and limes to make the simple syrup recipe, a quick and easy route is to combine equal parts lemon and lime-ade. It saves time for when you are in a crunch.

Ingredients
5 lemons
5 limes
5 1/4 cups water
simple syrup to taste
Captain Morgan’s Parrot Bay Coconut Rum

Juice the lemons and limes. In a small saucepan combine the sugar and 1 1/4 cups of water. Heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved into a simple syrup. In a large pitcher combine juiced lemons and limes, simple syrup, and remaining water. Chill the lemon lime aid for about 45 minutes (or longer).

Place ice, 1 1/2 oz of coconut rum and 2 1/2 oz of lemon lime aid in a Boston Shaker. Shake and strain into a serving glass with ice. Garnish with fruit and serv.

download rum cocktail recipe

Are you having friends over for a night of cocktails? Perhaps you would like to send them home with this fun cocktail recipe card. It is easy to download and print on cardstock. >> DOWNLOAD YOURS HERE

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Gifts For Your Bridesmaids

By February 19, 2017 Boutique, General, Party Ideas
bridesmaid proposal gift idea, bath and body spa kit

“Made my skin feel so soft”

He popped the question! Now how will you ask your besties to be a part of your special day? When it comes to weddings, it can be the little things that really make those that are closest to you feel special. “Bridesmaids are often the unsung heroes of wedding planning. They wear whatever dress you choose, plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and stand by your side during the ceremony. So it’s important to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication with a totally amazing bridesmaid gift.” says Holly, owner of Little Flower Soap Co.

When it is time to ask your bridesmaids to be your go-to-girls for your wedding deciding on what to give them can be a challenge. Plan a girl’s brunch and bubbly at your home. Serve mimosa’s, quiche, assorted fine chocolates and fruit. I like to keep it simple and yet elegant.

To set the mood, light some aromatherapy candles and play some soothing spa music. Provide your favorite spa prep kit for you and your gals to enjoy. When the time is right, pop the question with a special card and a spa gift.

If you are at a loss for what to give, let me just say, I can’t get enough of these exquisite spa essentials gift boxes. They are sure to create a delightful aromatic experience. Little Flower Soap Co. is a charming bath and body shop with bath products that are beautifully hand crafted by perfecting essential oil recipes that are healing, smell wonderful, and are tastefully packaged. They make the perfect gift for all of the tireless work that your Matron of Honor and Bridesmaids will do to help make your day the best day ever.

bridesmaid spa gift set

“I’m in love with this spa gift set!”

This Natural Spa Gift Set in the above photo includes: 1 lip balm of your choice, 1 soap of your choice, 1 four oz bath salt in your choice of Lavender or Pink Grapefruite, 1 muscle rescue balm tin, 1 skin rescue balm tin, 1 gift box with navy grosgrain ribbon and gift tag with your personalized message. The Little Flower Soap Co has an impressive 5 star rating on Etsy. And as a special gift to my readers, Holly is offering 10$ off your order is you use promo code: SWEETPEA10 >>Shop Spa Gift Sets Here

bridesmaid gift idea bath salts, salt scrub handmaid soap

“Everything smells so good! My bridesmaids are going to love these.”

Relax and Restore Gift Set Lavender Soap Detox Bath Salts spa gift for her- All natural lavender gift set features their most popular soap, Lavender Lemongrass, and an 8 ounce jar of Detoxifying Dead Sea and epsom lavender bath salt, 1 bar of lavender lemongrass soap, 1 natural gift box tied with navy grosgrain ribbon and custom gift tag. >>Shop Spa Gift Sets Here

What are some gifts that you have given to your bridesmaids. Our readers would love to know. Share in the comments section.

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Victoria’s Recipe Box – Dairy Free Cream Of Mushroom Soup

By February 18, 2017 General, Recipies
diary free cream of mushroom soup

For all those who are lactose intolerant, starting a vegan diet, or simply cutting out dairy from their diet, you are going to love this recipe! Anything with mushrooms makes me nostalgic for my younger years. They remind me of my dad and mushroom picking in the woods of New England. Afterward my dad would make a savory dish of sautéd mushrooms with onions, bacon, and sour cream. My savory mushroom soup recipe reminds me a lot of his dish. I have supplied the complete recipe below for you to try and love for yourself.

Ingredients

4 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion chopped
6 oz baby bella mushrooms sliced
2-3 oz shiitake mushroom sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/cup beef stock
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Handfull chopped arugula
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 slices maple wood bacon cooked and broken to pieces

Directions
In a large pot over medium heat melt two table spoons of coconut oil. Cook the mushrooms until they begin to turn a golden color. Remove them from the cooking pot and set aside.

Melt the remaining coconut oil in the same pot. Add the onions until tender. Add the garlic and cook for approximately 30 seconds longer. Add the white wine. Cook for a few minutes so that the alcohol burns off and the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan come up.

Add the coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk for its creaminess) and beef broth, stirring until a consistent and creamy sauce takes shape. Lower the heat and stir in the mushrooms and allow them to simmer slightly for 5 – 7 minutes.

Turn off soup. Stir in arugula and parsley. Top with bacon pieces.

Serves Four

dairy free cream of mushroom soup recipe

Do you LOVE this recipe? Get your downloadable cream of mushroom soup recipe card and share it with your friends. Create a gift by adding some or all of the ingredients into a basket along with this recipe card.

Remember to check back often for more recipes.

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Bora and Josephe’s Real Florida Beach Wedding

By February 17, 2017 General, Party Ideas, Wedding Planning
bridesmaids, bride, wedding bouquet white blue and purple

Real Florida Beach Wedding Ideas

Wedding reception

beach wedding reception ideas

Florida Wedding Bride and Groom

real florida wedding beach wedding

beach wedding ideas sunglasses

beach wedding ideas

beach wedding sign idea

beach wedding photography

Wedding photography courtesy of  Frank “The Bald Guy” Donnino, South Florida Wedding Photographer

When it comes to weddings, there is nothing more romantic than a beach wedding. Especially Bora and Joseph’s wedding held on a beautiful day at the Grand Plaza Resort on St. Pete’s Beach, Florida. Their color pallet is as bright and vivacious as the day, with the bridesmaids rocking their royal purple dresses designed by Azazie. Floral design by 2Birds Events. Band/DJ by Joe Lorenzo of EXPERT Productions.

starfish beach wedding invitation set

Starfish beach wedding invitation set designed by Victoria of VG Invites. >> Order yours by clicking here

real florida wedding ideas

What do you love most about this beach wedding? Leave us a comment below.

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Cheesecake Filled Strawberries

By February 16, 2017 breakfast, Brunch and Bubbly, Desserts, Dinner Party, food, General, Recipies

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The other day I made my Pineapple Coconut Carrot Naked Cake and I had some left over cream cheese frosting. If you have found yourself in the same predicament, then you will love this recipe. It is simple. First cut the tops and tips off your strawberries, scoop out the center, and fill with cream cheese frosting. You will want to sprinkle some graham cracker crust (or cinnamon works nicely as well. I am in love with cinnamon and cream together) over the top to finish it off. Arrange on a platter. I do a little volunteer work at my local art center. I brought these in to share with the group and they absolutely LOVED them! If you are making this recipe from scratch read on for directions on how to make the cream cheese filling.

cheese cake filled strawberries

Ingredients

1 bushel of strawberries
5 graham crackers crushed
1 package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (or any cream cheese you like) softened.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions

Cut the tops and the tips off of your strawberries so that they won’t topple over when placed on a serving tray. Scoop out their cavities.

Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until smooth. Spoon into a piping bag. Fill the cavities of the cored strawberries with the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.

Arrange on a dish. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Bon Appétit!

Have you tried these? What do you think? Share your comments below.

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Jocelyn and Chad’s Real Florida Wedding

By February 14, 2017 General, Party Ideas, Wedding Planning
Real Florida Weddings

Wedding photography courtesy of  Frank “The Bald Guy” Donnino, South Florida Wedding Photographer

Real Florida Weddings

Real Florida Weddings

Real Florida Wedding Picture

Real Florida Weddings

Real Florida Weddings Music

Real Florida Wedding Cake

Mood Shot Real Florida Wedding

Florida offers many wonderful settings for outdoor weddings. But none more magical than the wedding of Jocelyn and Chad held at the Powell Crosley Estate in Sarasota, FL. After months of planning and much anticipation, their vision of the perfect wedding came together beautifully thanks to the Natalia Day of Days Remembered, Flowers By Fudgie, Alex, the cake designer from Pastries by Design, Brandon, the guitarist from Bay Kings Band, Lori the make up artist and stylist from Destiny & Light, Bridesmaid Dresses by Azazie, Tuxes by JF. Ferrar, and Premier Party.

Real Florida Wedding

Tell us about your real Florida wedding in the comments below.

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It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To – How to deal with guests who cancel at the last minute.

By February 12, 2017 General, Party Ideas
do tell a belle

If you are reading this article, then no doubt you are throwing or have thrown a party where guests have canceled at the last minute.

I feel your pain. A lot of time goes into the planning and preparation of a party. To cancel at the very last minute is down right rude! Right? Well it depends on why your guests are canceling. Some things can’t be avoided. The proper thing to do as the party host is be gracious and understanding no matter what the excuse is. If they continue to cancel on you, perhaps it would be a good idea not to include them on your guest list for future events. But remember to always be a gracious host because this is what your friends and family will remember about you and about your party.

To help you cope with the disappointment, try focusing on something positive about the situation. It could be that you have plenty of left overs and don’t have to cook for the week. Or that there is less cleaning up to do after the party. It might even be that you have more time to spend with your guests who do plan on attending. 

No matter what, be happy when your guests arrive. Refrain from gossiping about those friends or family members who canceled at the last moment. After all, the guests who do show are there to have fun. So try not to be angry, disappointed and stressed. …unless you don’t want anyone to show up to your next soiree.

When you see your friends after the event and they ask, “how was your party?” Tell them with a sincere smile that it was great and we all missed not having you there. People will remember and like you for how you make them feel. So keep it positive even though you may be disappointed in them. Your disappointment too shall pass.  

Have you had someone cancel on you at the last minute? Tell us how you handled it.

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