Best Buy makes planning your wedding registry fun with these top five picks

Some think that picking out the engagement ring is tough – and in some cases it is. The right “size, shape, color”, is it new or something that is a family heirloom. When it comes to picking out your registry, you can breathe a sign of relief because Best Buy wedding registry takes all the stress out of your wedding planning with home goods that you’ll both enjoy. These are my top five picks from Best Buy to help any engaged couples new life together the best.

1 – TV anyone? This is awesome for gathering around for date night, simple movies and let’s not forget all the sports that your spouse (and possibly you too) will love to watch with family and friends.tv1112 – Technology is key in the 21st century. How about new matching mobile devices, music players or laptops? This makes staying in touch and getting those thank you notes off to your guests easier.  They also have an awesome “Geek Squad”, that can help you with any of your computer related questions. phone11

3 – New appliances may be needed in your new home and how about that washer, drier or stainless steel wine fridge you’ve had your eye on. While these may seem big-ticket items, they are great for “Group Gifting”. What’s that you ask? It allows gift-givers to give any amount they want, so couples can ask for the gifts you really want and not worry about price point. Great for your officemates or bridal party who want to pool funds for your gift.wine22

4 – It’s party time and a new stereo and/or speakers will set your party off right! Music systems will help with amazing surround sound for parties both in and out of your home. Placing your speakers near or via blue tooth, will have your guests enjoying every moment.musicsstem1

5 – I don’t know about you but nothing makes for a great party but awesome food and cocktails. That’s why a microwave, toaster, blender or coffee maker must be on your registry. Fun food just completes your new home and cocktails  or coffee make everything meal perfect all year round.coffee1

Best Buy has a great choice of gifts that will fit any registry request. Remember that all items $199 and over can be considered for their “group gifting” option. This allows you to ask for what you really want, without asking your guests to spend more than they are comfortable with—so dream big. Remember Best Buy Wedding Registry has Free Shipping, No Minimum.  So whatever your “Top Five” products, big or small, expensive or affordable, all ship for free saving your guests money.

So check out Best Buy and take the stress out of your registry planning. Now back to finding the perfect dress….

While a huge Best Buy fan, this is a sponsored post and I’ve been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Get Physically and Financially Healthy the John Hancock | Vitality Way

Its finally SPRING!! YIPPIE!!

Now is the time to get moving and even small steps will help you not only get fit, but lead a healthier and longer life. John Hancock teamed up with Chris O’Donnell, star of NCIS: Los Angeles to help us all recognize that getting healthy means physically, emotionally and financially. Even small steps are better than no steps right? Working in partnership with Vitality, John Hancock is offering an entirely new kind of life insurance that rewards you for living a healthier lifestyle.  What would you do with #5MoreNow?Infographic_LiveHealthier_915x6731-copy

The John Hancock | Vitality exclusive partnership is offering a new kind of life insurance that integrates wellness benefits with life insurance products. This means you will really save on your premiums. The more you save, the more you are rewarded. So how does it work? After you complete your life insurance process you take an online Vitality Health Review to help determine your “Vitality Age” (it just means your overall health). Then you receive a personalized goals assessment to help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. To help you along, John Hancock will give you a free Fitbit to track your progress. SCORE!! As you gain in your “Vitality Status” you can earn even more savings and rewards. For example, Policyholders can earn travel, shopping, and entertainment-related rewards and discounts, including half-price Hyatt hotel nights, 20-50% off major brand cruise packages, and gift cards from leading retailers like Whole Foods, REI, iTunes, Starbucks, Fandango, and more.5More_small

This is a wonderful opportunity and truly important for you as a new couple. Life insurance isn’t something that one thinks about immediately or at all…until it’s too late. Honestly, it should be one of the first things you do together as a couple. Protect each other. Get healthy together and in the end you will save a lot of money on medical expenses.

You can find out much more by going to the John Hancock website http://www.jhrewardslife.com/ This is the best investment you can make for yourself and each other.

 

 

Breakups to Makeup and Sephora get married…well, sort of.

Breakups to Makeup, known for its unique accessories featuring quirky cosmetic-related slogans, has partnered with SEPHORA COLLECTION on a new accessories assortment, launching on Sephora.com and SEPHORA stores across the US and Canada starting today, April 10, 2015. You’ll be able to find “LOSING YOU HURT BUT LOSING MY MAKEUP BAG WOULD BE A TRAGEDY” and “I WOULD CRY BUT MY MASCARA IS DESIGNER”, as well as a SEPHORA COLLECTION exclusive clutch with the phrase “LIFE IS SHORT, WEAR MORE MAKEUP”.

life is short

The goal of Breakups to Makeup has always been to encourage the artistic expression and empowerment that many makeup enthusiasts feel makeup has brought into their lives. We are beyond thrilled to become a part of the beauty wonderland that they have created.” – Angelique Velez, Founder, Breakups to Makeup

So no surprise that these two would come together all in the name of beauty.

Retailing at $24 USD, they can be used as a statement piece or a travel bag to fit easily inside of your kit or suitcase. Made with a natural colored canvas material and are screen-printed with different catchy quotes on the front, definitely not your usual makeup bag!

www.breakupstomakeup.com

Wine Wednesday: Wine-Braised Pork with Chestnuts and Sweet Potatoes

Legendary chef Jacques Pépin sears pork shoulder to make a terrific crust, then braises it slowly with stock, wine, chestnuts and sweet potatoes until it’s meltingly tender.

 

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  1. One 4-pound boneless pork shoulder
  2. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  3. Pepper
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 5 parsley sprigs, plus chopped parsley for garnish
  9. 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound vacuum-packed roasted peeled chestnuts (3 cups)

Season the pork with the 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Heat a large cast-iron casserole over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cook until all 
of the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook over moderate heat until the pork is golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, wine and parsley and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat, turning once, until the pork is just tender, 2 1/2 hours. Add the sweet potatoes and chestnuts, cover and cook until the pork and sweet potatoes are very tender, 30 minutes.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sweet potatoes and chestnuts to a platter. Strain the jus into a bowl and degrease with a spoon; season with salt and pepper.

Slice the pork and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Garnish with parsley and serve with the jus.

Make Ahead The braised pork can be refrigerated overnight and reheated before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Medium-bodied Côtes du Rhône is rich enough to go with this pork and has enough fruit to go with sweet potatoes.

 

Wine Wednesday: Spicy Korean Grilled Pork

Pounding slices of pork tenderizes the meat, making it thin enough to take on the flavor of the marinade and allowing it to cook fast enough to stay moist.

Bill Kim Spicy Korean Chili Marinated Pork w/Soba Noodles. A120306 Food & Wine Grilling Olympics June 2012

  1. 1 cup Chinese fermented black beans (5 ounces); see Note
  2. 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
  3. One 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  4. 1/2 cup Korean chile paste (gochujang); see Note
  5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  6. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  7. 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  8. 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  9. One 3-pound trimmed boneless pork shoulder roast, cut crosswise into twelve 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing

Put the fermented black beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and coarsely chop the beans.

In a food processor, combine the black beans, garlic and ginger and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chile paste, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar and blend well.

On a work surface, pound the pork slices 1/8 inch thick. Lay one-fourth of the pork slices in a large, shallow dish and coat with one-fourth of the black bean marinade. Repeat with the remaining pork and marinade for three more layers. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the pork from the marinade, leaving just a thin coating on the meat. Brush the pork with oil and grill over moderate heat, turning every 2 minutes, until nicely charred and cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Chinese fermented black beans and gochujang are available at Asian markets and from amazon.com. Or substitute an equal amount of Chinese black bean sauce or any kind of Asian chile paste.

Serve With

Vegetables or chilled noodles.

Suggested Pairing

Tannins in red wine can intensify the heat in chiles, so for this dish, look for a fruit-forward Grenache-based wine.

Best Buy has a wedding registry with your name on it.

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With so many things to do before your big day, how about making life a little easier when it comes to your wedding registry? Did you know that Best Buy now has a wedding registry?!? I KNOW!!

I’m a real fan of Best Buy. It’s been a long time since a store has the latest products that fit my lifestyle and me. I have a feeling it’s the same for you. So when you and your partner start to build your registry, think about what you really need and your lifestyle. Best Buy really has the best selection of things you may need for you home and if you need help setting up your new device, the geek squad is always available. Now that’s service!ProductGroup

So why Best Buy? Look, do you really need another set of sheets or dishes? I didn’t think so. Giving your guests your registry from Best Buy will assure you that you get what you want and need to continue to build your home. You will also get the items you are truly excited to receive. That great new camera (to use on your honeymoon), perhaps that fitness tracker (to help keep you fitness goals on track) and my personal favorite Bluetooth speakers so you can play your favorite tunes on beach days or outdoors.

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One of the key benefits to this registry vs others is “group gifting”. This means your guests will spend what they want, and you’ll get what you want. There is free shipping, which is an added bonus so no gift, no matter how big or small will get to you AND there is NO minimum PURCHASE required. That’s a win-win for everyone.

So when you’re looking for the best in products, best in sales staff, the best for you, look no further than…Best Buy!

 

Disclaimer: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

Wine Wednesday: Short Rib Stew

I got this from a chef in my neighborhood. I’ve tried it and OMG!! This is sooo rich and amazing.  What chef does the day after (if there is any left) he makes sliders. So…if you try this on Friday night…how about some sliders for the weekend football game?  Hmmmm.  Enjoy!

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3 1/2 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups dry red wine

3 cups veal or chicken stock

6 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice

1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped

8 sage leaves, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

 

In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the flour. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Working in batches, cook the short ribs over moderately high heat until browned all over, about 6 minutes per batch. Discard the oil.

Return the meat and any juices to the casserole. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, 8 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, 2 hours.

Skim any fat from the stew. Stir in the carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onion, mushrooms, thyme and sage. Cover and simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Juicy, berry-rich Shiraz. Southern French Reds. Chilean Cabernet Sauvigno or Sangiovese from Tuscany. With the Sliders – any wheat beer goes well.