9 Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings

Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings - Paper Swallow Events

If you're anything like me, one of your favorite parts of the holiday season is all of the delicious treats that only seem to come around between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I have a few staples that I look forward to making annually, but I love adding a new recipe or two to my archives. Here are some delicious treats that would be perfect for your holiday gatherings!

Salted Caramel Taffy

I have friends who do a family taffy-pull every winter. This salted butter caramels from A Beautiful Mess sounds just as delicious and a whole lot easier!

Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings - Paper Swallow Events

I adore white chocolate! (My college roommate and I used to make white chocolate chip pancakes together on the weekends.) These white chocolate pumpkin cups by OMG Chocolate Desserts sound like they would be worth every bit of effort it would take to make them so perfectly adorable!

Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings - Paper Swallow Events

Cheesecake is always such a decadent treat during the holiday season, and the addition of pumpkin to these cheesecake bars by Roxana's Home Baking makes them even more seasonal. 

Peppermint Swirl Cupcakes - Paper Swallow Events

Aren't these peppermint swirl cupcakes by Land O Lakes the cutest?! They would be so perfect for your Christmas parties this year. Especially if you do a gingerbread house decorating party!

Gingerbread Roll Cake - Paper Swallow Events

While I was at college there was a local deli that had a pumpkin roll that all of my friends always swooned over. This gingerbread roll cake by Roxana's Home Bakery reminds me of those days and looks perfectly scrumptious for any of your holiday parties this year!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge - Paper Swallow Events

Fudge is always a good idea, and this peanut butter pumpkin fudge by Crazy for Crust is perfect for this time of year! What's the most unique flavor of fudge you've ever made?

Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings - Paper Swallow Events

Perfectly adorable for both children and adult parties alike, these melting snowmen cookies by Betty Crocker are definitely one of my favorite ideas for this year!

Flourless Chocolate Coconut Cake - Paper Swallow Events

I LOVE a good flourless cake, and this flourless chocolate coconut cake by A Beautiful Mess sounds heavenly! I love the addition of coconut to spice up a more traditional dish.

Yummy Treats for Your Holiday Gatherings - Paper Swallow Events

Another take on the classic cheesecake, this Christmas candy ricotta cheesecake by Roxana's Home Baking would be great for your ugly sweater parties or after Christmas dinner. 

What are you making this year? Any traditional desserts that you're looking forward to?

xoxo, Stacia

According to My Clients: Maddie

According to My Clients: Maddie - Paper Swallow Events

"From the time I first contacted Stacia about being a part of our wedding day, she was exciting, enthusiastic, and so helpful! In addition to our first consult, she corresponded with me throughout my entire planning process. Our detailed "month-before" meeting was one of the best things! Even though I have been in and around the wedding industry for years, she brought up things that hadn't even crossed my mind as a bride, and always had great advice and tips!

Stacia was a godsend on our wedding day! She got there early, and worked so well with all of the other vendors. She was extremely organized, and went above and beyond with our decor and all the special little projects we had put so much time into. Between rain plans and our caterer showing up late, she handled "crisis" situations so that we didn't have to. I was never stressed or worried knowing that she was taking care of it all!

If you are looking for a planner or coordinator for your wedding day, talk to Stacia! If you don't think you need a planner or coordinator for your wedding day, talk to Stacia! It is the best decision you'll make as a bride, and completely worth it to be stress-free on your big day!"

- Maddie, Bride

(The photos in this post are compliments of the talented Morgan Trinker. You can see Shane + Maddie's Hunter Museum of Art wedding here. It was such a joy to be part of their beautiful day. Maddie was truly a joy to work with and I am so thankful for the relationship that we formed during the planning process.)

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Hello lovelies! Today my friend Britney is taking over the blog for a new monthly column about health and fitness. Britney is so passionate and knowledgeable about these topics, and I am so excited that she's willing to share her knowledge with you! These are things all of us struggle with, but that can be particularly difficult while wedding planning/navigating the holidays. I hope you enjoy what she has to share with you! xoxo, Stacia

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

Hello, Britney here! This is the beginning of what Stacia and I hope to be a monthly food and health column- and I couldn't be more excited about the possibilities and topics we have planned for you! Food and fitness are two of my greatest passions, and I am honored that Stacia has asked me to share a bit of what I have learned with you. 

I am always on the search for a good dish that will help reduce anxiety, calm nerves, relieve stress, and promote restful sleep. And even more so during the holidays when we are surrounded with requests to buy more! give more! want more! eat more! And with the added stress of compromised immune systems, it’s no wonder we find ourselves simultaneously longing for and dreading the holiday season. (Or is that just me?)

So I've compiled a list of some of the essential vitamins and minerals along with recipes for my favorite winter comfort foods to help you relax and enjoy your holiday season. Not foods in the typical sense of comfort food, but in the true sense- foods that will leave you feeling comfy and happy throughout the craziness that is the most wonderful time of the year.

1. Magnesium and Calcium

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events
Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

Did you know that when your body is low on magnesium, it typically craves chocolate? Magnesium and calcium (both present in raw cacao) promote muscle relaxation, as well as hormone balance. So next time you are feeling tense, grab a handful of raw trail mix or mix up a quick kale salad (this dressing keeps great in the fridge for up to a week for even faster salads!)

Other foods high in calcium and magnesium: Broccoli, cashews, pumpkin seeds, almonds, Swiss chard.

2. Vitamin C

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

With cold season upon us, our immune systems are working overtime to keep us healthy and functioning at our best. Vitamin C helps give your immune system an extra boost- which is especially crucial when suffering from chronic stress or fatigue. Try a green smoothie or a Vitamin C smoothie for an extra boost of naturally derived vitamin C. 

Other foods high in Vitamin C: Broccoli, strawberries, kiwis, citrus fruits, kale, spinach, red bell pepper.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

Often in our search for ways to cut calories, anything with a high fat content gets eliminated from our diet. However, omega 3 fatty acids are essential to improving mental clarity and reducing inflammation-two symptoms of fatigued adrenal glands. Consider adding fish (wild caught salmon, mackerel, and anchovies are a few of the best) to your weekly menu or switching out salad dressing oils for those higher in omega-3’s.

Other foods high in Omega-3’s: Hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, avocado, fish- and their (cold pressed, virgin) oils, grass fed beef.

4. Protein, Manganese, and Vitamin E

The pituitary gland is the producer of all the hormones in your body- including the stress-regulating ones. Eating foods that support and assist the pituitary gland in the production of hormones will help keep you balanced and raise your metabolism. Try substituting pasta and white breads for those higher in vitamin E and protein- such as farro, barley, rye, quinoa, and brown rice. Or add them to a salad for an even healthier meal. 

Other pituitary-supporting foods: Leafy greens, nut butters, cauliflower, whole grains, legumes.

5. B Vitamins

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

All B vitamins help convert food to fuel, but B1, B6, B12, and folic acid (B9) are especially helpful in cognitive function (think memory, learning, anxiety, and depression). Try substituting bean flour as a thickening agent in your favorite soup, sauce, or pot pie for an extra boost of vitamin B (and protein!).

Other foods high in B vitamins: Leafy greens, poultry, seafood, grass fed beef, bananas, legumes, whole grains.

Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events
Stress-Relieving Foods to Help You Stay Healthy During the Holidays - Paper Swallow Events

And of course never underestimate the power of a good workout session for relieving stress and tension! Join a hot yoga studio, attend a local spin class, take up kickboxing, or host a weekly DVD workout session with your friends. Not only will it help raise your metabolism and slim your figure, but exercising also releases endorphins - the “feel good” hormone responsible for positive moods. (And how could jumping around and punching things NOT lower your stress?)

May your holidays be restful, your homes cozy, and your loved ones near,

Britney

Looking for ways to stay fit this holiday season without having to brave the cold or join a gym? Britney is an independent health and fitness coach with Beachbody and a Shakeology distributer. For more information on her upcoming challenge and fitness accountability groups, or how you can get Shakeology - the healthiest meal of the day, visit www.beachbodycoach.com/britneyammen or email her at Britney.ammen@gmail.com.

Shane + Maddie: A Metallic Museum Wedding

Shane + Maddie's Mixed Metals Museum Wedding - Paper Swallow Events

When Maddie contacted me about being involved in her wedding I couldn't have been more thrilled! Maddie second shot my wedding and we'd gotten to know each other here and there through mutual friends and events. Even from the little I knew of her, I knew that this wedding was going to be so much fun! Maddie is one of the most crazy driven people I've ever met! (This girl moved to D.C. the day after their wedding, went on their honeymoon, and then got back just in time to start law school. I don't know many people who could have managed that!) It was so much fun to correspond with Maddie throughout her wedding planning process. She had a vision for the day, and it all came together so beautifully!

I didn't get a chance to spend much time with Shane before the wedding, but through out little interactions I could tell he was just crazy about Maddie. They were so much fun throughout the entire wedding day, and I loved seeing them laugh with each other and their families as they got married. It is obvious that they are a couple who is surrounded by people who care so much about them, and it was so special to be able to peek in on parts of that love. I have been having such a hard time choosing images to share from the day because there is just so much joy packed into each and every one. 

Shane + Maddie, you two are one in a million. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your wedding day! I truly wish you both the best and hope that your adventures beyond your wedding are many and wonderful!

xoxo, Stacia

Vendors
Photographer: Morgan Trinker Photography | Venue: The Hunter Museum of Art
Caterer: Goetz Catering | DJ: DJ Terry | Florals: Humphrey's Flowers
Invitation Suite: Maddie K. Doucet Photography & Design (the bride!)
Cake: Amanda Daniel | Hair + Makeup: Shannon + Payton June | Dress: Enzoani
Officiant: George Lockhart | Event Coordination + Design: Paper Swallow Events

Congratulations, you two cuties! xoxo

It's Paper Swallow's Birthday! (Giveaway)

Paper Swallow's Birthday Giveaway - Paper Swallow Events

Lovelies, I can hardly believe that it's already been a year since I launched this website and got super serious about this wedding planning business of mine! So much has happened this past year, and I'm not quite sure how to put it all into words (working on that), but I do know that I am just so thankful. So many great things have happened this past year because of this company, and there are so many great things coming in the next years. I can hardly wait to see what's going to happen next! 

In celebration of PSE's one year anniversary, I wanted to do a little giveaway to thank all of you who have encouraged, supported, and worked with me as this business grows.  You all are such blessings and I treasure all of your words and our experiences together. You all are a HUGE part of making my dreams a reality!

Paper Swallow's Birthday Giveaway - Paper Swallow Events

To thank you, I wanted to give away a few of my favorite things. I'm giving away 5 rolls of beautiful washi tape and 5 fold over elastic hair ties (my favorite kind!) to one of you fabulous people!

TO ENTER: Just leave a comment below letting me know your favorite part of the Christmas season! For bonus entries you're welcome to like my page on Facebook or follow me on  Instagram, but neither of those are required. If you do either of those things, just let me know in your comment so I can be sure to count them! The giveaway will be open until 11:59 PM on 11.30.14. I will contact the winner within 48 hours.

Thank you so much for being such wonderful friends, clients, clients-become-friends, and followers this past year!

SO MUCH LOVE!

xoxo, Stacia