Hi all! I hope you’re having a good week so far! I have been having PB&J’s as my lunches for weeks, maybe even months now soooooo I figured I should change things up a bit! I wanted something cold, fresh and didn’t involve cooking anything, so I made these Greek Chicken Bowls with tons of fresh ingredients and flavors from Trader Joe’s. These are filling, perfect for making ahead and really hit the spot! I am already so excited for lunch today to have it again. I actually have missed meal prepping…yup I said it. To be honest, when I tried meal prepping in the first trimester, by the time lunch came I was craving something totally different or was actually a little grossed out with what I made, so that is why I was sticking to the PB&J. Now, I am able to eat more foods again and I definitely wanted to make lunches with a little more nutrients in them! These are healthy, have carbs, protein and fat and kept me energized until my 3pm snack! Okay, now let’s get into this super easy recipe. Feel free to sub anything you want here to make it yours. Mine made 3 portions, honestly I did not measure, so just wing it! Follow me on instagram for more recipes!
Grilled chicken (I get mine pre-made from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup of dried couscous (this is the only thing I measured)
Tri-colored grape tomatoes
Feta cheese, I like the block and then I cut it up!
Italian bomba hot pepper sauce
Olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Fresh lemon juice
Side whole wheat pita bread
Make the couscous as directed and fill each container with desired amount.
Cut up everything and place it in your containers.
Top with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Serve with whole wheat pita bread (or whatever kind you like!) on the side.
YAY! We found out some amazing news on January 4th that we were going to be expecting a little baby in September!!!! We are so thrilled and have been so excited for the past 15 weeks or so. There is SO much to learn, so much excitement and we can’t wait to grow our family. My first trimester was a little rough, wowwww I have never ever been so tired, growing a tiny human is A LOT of work. I took naps almost daily, grabbed a bagel with cream cheese and pork roll like everyday and that nausea…oh baby. BUT it is all worth it in the end and I am 15 weeks now and my energy is back-hence the amount of explanation points in this past paragraph. I can’t wait to continue to share this beautiful journey with you all!
Before we found out the babies sex we were convinced we were having a baby boy! I obviously just wanted a healthy baby, but you know secretly was hoping for a baby girl. My Nana who most of you know is SO close to my heart was one of the first people we told about our baby on the way. She was so happy and excited and told us, “I know the baby is a girl, she has to be!”. My sweet Nana passed away in February…I am so happy to have so many memories with her and have learned so much from this amazing woman who was in my life for 30 years. We plan to honor Nana by giving our BABY GIRL (yup, Nana was right, as always!) Nana’s name, Irene as our daughters middle name.
So now, I am staying active by walking as much as I can. Feeding baby girl yummy fruits and of course eating lots of delish foods. My relationship with food has never been better, I am finally intuitively eating and enjoying myself, I hope to continue this post baby! I am excited to see myself grow, WOW…never thought I would say that one. Of course I know it may be hard with some body image issues I have shared, but this is all so worth it. My body is growing a little baby and that is beyond amazing! I am planning on giving myself grace throughout this pregnancy and welcoming the changes. We have less than six months to go and I plan to also cherish this time. NOW, time to start planing the nursery….so much fun!
Thank you all for joining us on these next steps of our life! Baby girl is already so loved by you all!!! Follow along here for all the updates! PS: Amazing photos by Lauren Anzevino!
Hi! There are only two days left until St. Patrick’s Day, but these Corned Beef Empanadas are PERFECT to make with your leftovers! So don’t fret if you cant make them before Wednesday, because you most certainly can make them after! I love me some corned beef and cabbage with carrots, my mom used to always make it when I lived at home and it was so yummy! I wanted to do a twist on this because lets just say…Mark eating cabbage and carrots was not happening (unless I hid the cabbage..hehe.) So there became these yummy empanadas that we enjoyed! They were simple to make with just 5 ingredients! You fry them up (or you can totally try baking them to make them a tad healthier, I would try 20 minutes on 350.) They were cheesy, savory and delish dipped in dijon mustard. I served myself some roasted carrots and sweet potatoes on the side for some veggies! Soooo, let’s dig into this recipe it is a YUMMMMMY one.
Goya empanada shells (10), you can find these in the freezer section (take them out of the freezer the day you want to use and defrost them in the fridge)
Shredded or cut up seasoned corned beef, about 2 cups you’ll need (I made mine the day before in the oven and it made more than enough)
5 slices of swiss cheese or a handful of shredded cheese
1 cup of coleslaw mix
5 or so chopped dill pickles (if you like them, or you can omit)
Dijon mustard for dipping
Fill in the middle of each goya shell with corned beef, swiss cheese, cole slaw and pickles. You will have to eye this one, don’t put tooo much!
Fold in the edges with your fingers and then go around the edges with a fork to close together to make sure they are sealed.
Heat a pan with 1/2 inch of vegetable oil (or whichever you prefer) for about 3 minutes on medium high.
Add 5 empanadas in at a time and let them fry for about 2 minutes on each side, you will have to stay near and eye them. They are done when they are browned on each side and crispy!
Lay out flat on a paper towel and then wait about 5 minutes to serve with Dijon mustard. You can serve the next day by baking them on 350 for about 10 minutes to warm them up. ENJOY!
Hi guys! It has been quite bit since I have posted, but I think this recipe will redeem me. Let me tell you…this is a YUMMY ONE. It may be one of my favorite recipes. It has been so gloomy and snowy and rainy in NJ and I wanted to make something comforting and warm. I LOOOOVE jalapeño poppers, my first ones I had were from Arby’s and I fell in love. Something about the warm cream cheese mixed with the jalapeno and spice. So…I have had some kielbasa in our fridge for a bit so I figured, let me try mixing the two flavors and wow, I really out did myself. This is creamy, spicy, hearty and I def nailed comforting. I won’t go on too much longer, because I am honestly just super eager to share the recipe so that you can all make it! Enjoy! It is an easy one for sure and perfect for one of these cold nights.
1 box of pasta, I used Banza shells, but use your fave!
1 package of kielbasa, I used Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa (you can also replace with chicken or broccoli)
6 jalapeños, chopped (take out the seeds)
4oz of cream cheese
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1/8 cup of chicken stock
panko for the topping
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
Cut up the kielbasa into bite sized pieces and saute with chopped jalapeños on medium heat in a saucepan for about 5 minutes until browned.
In the meantime, boil your pasta. Drain your pasta and add back to the pot. Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken stock, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Mix together until creamy and cheese is melted.
Add kielbasa and jalapeños into the pot and then pour over into a casserole dish.
Add additional cheddar cheese, jalapeños, panko and red pepper flakes to your liking.
Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serve on its own or with a veggie like broccoli! Enjoy it, it’s a yummy one!
I hope you enjoy making this recipe! Be sure to follow along on instagram for more yummy and easy recipes at jamie.devergillo. Have a great week ahead!
Hi! If you don’t know me, my name is Jamie and you can find me over at @jamie.devergillo on instagram, where I share pieces of my life with you. Come say hi! I can’t believe it has been over one month since our beautiful wedding on September 26th. We are still in awe of how perfect the day was and honestly would not change a thing. From the details coming together, the 73 degree weather, our closest family and friends surrounding us, amazing music and I can go on and on and on. It was a truly a day that I will remember forever and we have so many memories from it. I wanted to share a little bit about our wedding, in hopes that if you are wondering about the logistics and costs of a backyard wedding, I can help you out a little. We had originally planned for 150+ guests, but due to covid and safety reasons we has to scale the wedding back and had 75 guests. We provided masks, hand sanitizer and we encouraged social distancing.
Please keep in mind that we do live in New Jersey, where cost’s are a little high. I also want to preface that I am very lucky to have the space that we got married in. We got married in front of the barn my Poppy built and then we walked across the field to celebrate in my parent’s backyard. I do believe that this kind of backyard wedding can be beautiful in any backyard, but I am truly lucky to have grown up in this open space. I also want to mention that we had my good friend Lauren, who has an eye for design, help us out tremendously with decor and set up. We could not have pulled off such a beautiful wedding without her and saved tons of money by not having to hire a wedding planner or buy a lot of decor. My dad also had his good friend at L&A tent company help us out with costs ($1000) for rentals of chairs, tables, lighting and the cute bathroom! I will be sharing ballpark costs, but please remember that each vendor will fluctuate, based on your own wants and needs. My mother is obsessed with budgeting and excel worksheets and she helped us keep the wedding within our budget! Okay, so now that you have a little background, let’s get into it! I can’t wait to share our vendors and show you photos!
The ceremony was in my Nana’s backyard, in front of the beautiful red barn that my poppy built. I have always dreamed of having my wedding here since I was a little girl. My dad grew up in my Nana’s house and when my parents got married, my Nana and Poppy gifted my parents half of their farm land, for them to build a house on. My father and poppy built the house I grew up in, just a short walk through the field. As a little girl I would spend a lot of time with Nana and Poppy and would run across the field to visit them, this was where I walked down the aisle, with my dad by my side. My dad whispered as we were walking down, “don’t be nervous, you have walked down this aisle thousands of times, you got this”. After the ceremony, our guests walked across the field to my parent’s backyard. Everything was open air. We had socially distant tables, hay bails for people to sit on, cocktail tables for people to enjoy drinks, a picnic blanket space and more. I am one lucky girl to have had the chance to get married where I did. Cost: $0
THANK YOU to my very good friend Lauren at @laurenstewarthome for all the help with decor! Lauren watched facebook marketplace like a hawk for amazing pieces, her father dropped off garage sale items that we used and she came over and brought so much of her own decor and helped set up everything the day of. This wedding would not have been so beautiful and have such simple and amazing touches without her. I was obsessed with the detail, all of the signs she made for us and every placement of decor. I am so appreciative of her because this is really how I was able to tie my visions all together. Cost: $0 (this probably would of cost about $2500+ if we went with a day of wedding planner to set everything up and paid for all of the decor)
Dress and Hair:
I LOVED my dress. I first went to White House Bride the day before Thanksgiving with my mom and my MOH. I thought I would just look around and try on a few things and then come back another day. The dress I chose was the third dress I tried on and I ended up pulling the trigger that day. I said YES to the dress almost instantly! White House Bride and the owner Stacy were amazing throughout my whole process. Always making sure I was comfortable, making sure I felt beautiful each time, and ensuring my dress fit perfectly before the big day. I went with a Essense of Australialace ballgown that looked A-line. It fit my waist perfectly, had shiny straps and then a full skirt with tulle and gorgeous train. It was so ME, but a little something extra and I felt beautiful in it. When Mark turned around for the first look he said, “woah, this dress was made for you!” Cost includes dress, alterations and bustle. Cost: $2200
My bridesmaids wore dresses from David’s Bridal they all picked out their own style, but all had the color Merlot on. Each bridesmaid looked absolutely gorgeous and I am so happy with the color choice for Fall!
For my hair, I searched #njbride until I landed on Samantha’s page at Brides By Sette. I knew I wanted Sam to do my hair and my bridesmaids because of her photos! She actually showed the front views of her previous brides hair. I fell in love with her personality and the beautiful work on her page. Everyone was so happy with their hair and we all felt beautiful! I went for a Taylor Swift vibe hair style which was loose and pulled back but not toooo curly. Thank you Sam! Price includes a trial and day of style. Cost: $260
To say I was obsessed with my flowers is an understatement. Jing, the owner of Hex Acres went above and beyond and she pulled my entire vision together. Jing was amazing to work with from the start, she sent us a proposal right away and I knew I wanted to work with her. Her detail, organization, way she pulled my vision together and willingness to work within my budget, I can’t thank her enough. I LOVE flowers and knew I wanted ones with color yet simple and beautiful that they were not overwhelming. The flowers on the barn door are were my favorite part and my Nana has not stopped raving about them. Follow Hexacres for tons of inspiration and if you’re getting married in the tri-state area, you must reach out! Let these pictures speak for themselves. WOW. Cost: $2500
Food and Drinks:
For food, we did not want a sit down dinner (due to covid). We really wanted a more cocktail and mingle style party (we wrote this on invitations by saying, “cocktail reception to follow”, so that guests did not expect a full steak dinner). We chose Falco’s Catering who served hors d’oeuvres for 2 hours. Their staff was amazing and safe and set up tables with the hors d’oeuvres we picked out, guests came up and chose what they wanted and they walked away with a full plate of food. We picked 13 different hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and they even made lumpia (a filipino favorite) for us! They also had cheese plates for each guest and finished the night off with serving coffee. Heather was amazing to work with throughout the process to ensure everything went smoothly! We had one chef, three wait staff and one drink staff. This price included linens for 14 tables, plates, utensils, and napkins. Cost: $3600
Next up we had a Pizza Vita food truck come for 2 hours! This was a guest favorite. Each guest came up to the food truck and picked from their five choices of delicious brick oven pizza. Plain, Margherita, Pepperoni, Sausage and Mushrooms with Truffle Oil. Each guest walked away with their very own personal pizza box of their choice. Mark and I had a few slices at the wedding but also brought a full box of pizza to enjoy at the hotel. It was SOOO yummy! Cost: $1500
We ended the night with ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES. Lexylicious came for the last hour and served warm cookies with ice cream for each guest out of their adorable pink ice cream truck. This was so much fun and we decided to have this instead of cake! Mark and I shared a confetti cookie with cookies and cream ice cream! I remember it tasting soooo yummy and we def should of got a second one! Cost: $900 (we had a 10% off coupon)
For alcohol, we had to buy it all! We had everything as a self serve station where you can come up and get your own drink. We had a signature drink called “The Bedminster Tea”, which was iced tea, lemonade and Titos. (guest fave!) We also had white claws, beer, wine, soda and water. Our favorite part was the Whiskey & Cigar cart that came out towards the end of the night, everyone LOVED this! Cost: $950
We used Posh DJ’s and Christian was amazing! We knew that we wanted to keep a DJ, even though things looked a little different. We loved Christian’s vibe and how he listened to our safety needs. He played all the songs we loved + added more to keep the good vibes going! Posh DJ’s was amazing to work with and incredibly organized and talented. I can’t suggest them enough for your wedding music! Cost: $ 2500
As you can see throughout this entire blog post, Lauren Anzevino is SO TALENTED. I have been using Lauren as my photographer for over a year now and she makes everyone feel so comfortable. Mark was so nervous for our engagement photos and after meeting Lauren and having our session, he felt extremely comfortable and had so much fun. Lauren captured our wedding, our emotions, our detail and our JOY throughout our wedding day and I can never thank her enough. Lauren is your GO TO photographer if you live in NJ or NYC. She is amazing and a pleasure to work with every single time. Now how will I choose which photos to hang in our home and print in a book?! All are absolutely breathtaking, thank you! We had 7 hours of shooting. Cost: $2200
Ugh, it was amazing reliving the wedding again through photos. It was the best day ever and felt like a fairy tale. Thank you to all our family, friends and loved ones for making this day so special. I hope you take the time to check out these vendors if you are having an upcoming New Jersey wedding. All of them were honestly 10/10 and I could not ask for anything better. Our goal was to stay under $20,000 for the wedding and we averaged around $16,600, which includes everything listed above. We are very lucky to have already had the beautiful farm venue and many connections between my dad’s friends and our own. I hope this helped a little with the ballpark of costs for a backyard wedding in New Jersey. It is 100% doable to have under $20,000 and there are many pieces that can be taken out or added in to stay within your own budget. Please feel free to ask any questions and check out my instagram for next chapter updates. Click here for more photos!