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Archive for the ‘Wedding’ Category

My Dress is Here!


I slept absolutely terrible the night before last, so by the time Corey’s alarm went off at 6:15AM, I was already wide awake.  He convinced me to go for a run with him.  Somehow, he’s become some sort of marathon runner in a matter of days, and our usual 3-mile distance (which was quite a feat for me) has turned into 5 or 6 miles for him.

I like to run.

Luckily, I was able to threaten his life effectively enough that he stuck to a 3-mile route this time.  I actually hung in there pretty well, up until the very end, where I may have dropped a few F-bombs.  But, I survived!


I started the day with a bowl of Quick Cooking Oats with 1/2 tablespoon of natural peanut butter stirred in, topped with fresh blueberries.

After breakfast, I headed to the bridal store to…drum roll please…


I was so excited, but at the same time, really nervous.  I originally purchased my dress in ivory, but at the last minute, I changed it to white without seeing that version of the dress, or even trying it on.  Risky, I know.  I was so happy when I put it on and realized that I loved the white 100 times more than the ivory.



Now that my dress is actually in my house, I can’t stop thinking about it!  I’ve already tried it on twice 🙂 .  4 more months until I can actually wear it!


I was starving by the time I got home, and one of my favorite childhood meals was calling to me.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup! I heated up a can of Amy’s Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque:

And served it alongside a toasted whole wheat bagel thin, topped with a melted slice of Meunster cheese.


Being the coupon lovers that we are, Corey and I couldn’t resist a “Buy One Meal, Get the Other Free” deal at a brand new Panera that opened by our house.  I ordered French Onion Soup and half of a Greek Salad.


Healthy Enchilada Casserole + Wedding Dress Shopping

Last week, my mom and sister both drove to Orlando to visit!  We had big plans for Tuesday- it was time to find my wedding dress!

When they both arrived on Monday, we spent some time catching up, and then I got busy on dinner.  I decided to make a recipe that I knew is a crowd pleaser- my Healthy Enchilada Casserole!

Healthy Enchilada Casserole

Servings: 9


6 whole wheat tortillas, cut into triangles

2 cups low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (or Mexican blend)

1 can reduced-sodium black beans

1 can Vegetarian Refried Beans

1 can Mild Rotel Tomatoes

1 can Diced Tomatoes

1 can Low-Salt Corn

1 can Enchilada Sauce

1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded OR

4 cooked chicken breasts, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a baking dish, spread 1/4 cup of the Enchilada Sauce in the bottom.

After cutting the tortillas into triangles, make a single layer of them on top of the sauce.

Using the back of a spoon, spread each slice with a small amount of refried beans, using 1/3 of the can.  (It does not need to cover each piece completely)

Next, combine the black beans, corn, and both cans of tomatoes in a mixing bowl.  Use a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the mixture on top of the tortillas and refried beans.  Top with 1/3 of the shredded chicken, and then a 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.  Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce over everything, and then repeat these steps (starting with the tortillas) until you have 3 layers.  Sprinkle an extra layer of cheese on top of the last layer.

Place in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.  For the last 2 minutes, turn on the broiler.  Remove from the oven, and cut into squares using a spatula.  Serve with hot sauce, salsa, or fat-free sour cream!


Later on, my party animal of a sister managed to convince me to go out with her and Corey’s brother, Drew, and his friends, to one of the bars down by UCF.  I agreed, and left my responsible fiance at home in bed, since he had work the next morning.

My friend Daniel came with us, so I wasn’t the oldest person in the place.  Wait…he’s younger than me, so…yes, I was.

We had fun, but Lauren was not a happy camper when I woke her up bright and early for a day of shopping!  Muahahahaaa…

I don’t want to reveal too much about my dress, because I do plan to explain everything about it in full detail after the big reveal, also known as…our wedding!

Let’s just say that the day was a success.  My bridal consultant said I was the fastest bride she’s ever had!

Here’s a little teaser to hold you over for the next 5 months:


Orlando Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show

Yesterday was quite an adventure for Corey and I!

Somehow, I was able to convince Corey to go with me to the Orlando Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show.  OK, that’s a lie- I agreed to write a 9-page essay for him if he went.  Whatever works!  We haven’t gone to any bridal shows yet, and I’ve always been curious as to what exactly goes on at these popular things.

When we showed up, we registered and paid the entry fee, which ended up only being $10 for both of us (as opposed to the $20 we were expecting to spend).  I was pretty excited when they gave us “Bride” and “Groom” stickers!

Corey was just as excited, I’m sure.

When we walked in, there were brides everywhere.  Many came with their bridesmaids, Moms, or their Maid-of-Honor’s.  I knew this because most girls were wearing shirts that said what their role was!

There were a few large rooms set up that had displays of formal wear for the men, and a place to try on samples of wedding gowns for the women.

Another room, called the “Reception Room”, was set up to display several different examples of tables with centerpieces and place settings.  They were extravagant, to say the least.

We stood in line to grab a sample of ice cream from a company called Three2OH, which specialized in liquid nitrogen recipes!

We both agreed that this ice cream was pretty fabulous- it was much creamier than normal ice cream.  I wanted to finish every bite, but Corey made me throw it away so we could go into the next room!  How rude.

The main room had hundreds of booths set up, and I was already in heaven when we walked in and saw the first one.

I still don’t know exactly what the booth was advertising, but I was obsessed with the shiny balls that were hanging down!  I’m really into special lighting and, well, anything shiny.

We walked around perusing the different booths, and, my favorite part, tasting a thousand a few cake samples!  One of our favorites was by a place called Sprinkles, which I have always told Corey is my dream place to have a cake made, simply because I love the name!  I’m tough to please, aren’t I?  Look at how adorable this cupcake is that they had on display:

Several vendors were handing out samples of real food, which we were happy to have after all the sugar.

One of my favorite vendors was handing out samples of their custom-made chocolates, which I think would make great favors for guests.

We entered several drawings throughout the day, but I never get my hopes up for that kind of stuff, because, well, I’ve never won anything in my life!  I was excited when I got a phone call today saying our names had been drawn for a “bridal package” from one of the vendors!  The only catch was that they wanted us to go for a meeting at a hotel pretty far from us to watch a culinary demonstration, and then we could pick one of two prizes- free wedding bands from a website (don’t get too excited, they were hideous) or 2 nights free stay at a certain hotel.  After some further deliberation, and talking to Kelly, who got the same phone call, I decided it was too sketchy.  Oh, well- it was fun to think I won something, even if just for a few minutes!

Guess Who’s Back…Back Again…

Holyyyy technical difficulties, people!

I’m happy to say I have worked out the kinks and Cooking With Carly is back!

When I first came across my space issue, I was in the middle of writing a re-cap of my Memorial Day Weekend.  I hate for it to go to waste, so I’m going to start up where I left off!  I will be updating again soon, with a nice looong re-cap of everything I’ve been up to in the passed two weeks!


Did my post title make anyone flash back to this Backstreet Boys song? 🙂


Memorial Day Weekend

On Friday, Corey and I had a Groupon to a little Italian restaurant called Tolla’s.  We had been there once before and the food was great, so we were excited to go back.

I started with a glass of Cabernet:

And some crusty bread, dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar:

Typically, whenever I visit an Italian restaurant, my entree decision is never a difficult one.  I proved this point, yet again, by ordering the Eggplant Parmesan.  It came with a house salad with balsamic dressing:

I was very disappointed when my meal arrived.  I was not a fan of the heavy breading and “chicken finger”-like appearance of my beautiful eggplant!  Corey and I both agreed that our meals (he had the Chicken Marsala) were not nearly as good as the first time we visited Tolla’s.  However, we knew the one thing that would turn our frowns upside-down; Tolla’s Tiramisu!  We have never forgotten how good their delicious Tiramisu was the first time we went there, and how the waiter told us that a little old Italian man makes pans upon pans of it and distributes it to all the authentic Italian restaurants in the area.

And then, this came:


I don’t know where this tiramisu came from, but it was certainly not the delicious slice of heaven we had last time we went to Tolla’s!

Overall, we were very un-impressed with our meals, and sadly, we will not be visiting Tolla’s again.  *Sigh*.

The next day, we went on some wedding-related errands- including looking at ceremony sites!  We went to a park called Azalea Gardens.

While walking up to the entrance, we spotted a strange sight.

I just wanna know where I belong!

This little duck…er…swan?…um…what the heck IS that thing?!

It looked like one of those white Ibis (I totally looked that up) that you sometimes see (at least, in Florida) walking in the street or near lakes, except it had webbed feet like a duck!  The saddest part was that it just sat there, and didn’t even attempt to fly away or even waddle away.  We think it was sick or dying, and Corey gave a valiant effort to try to convince me to take it home and nurse it back to health.  I didn’t think Bella would be very happy about that!

Don't even THINK about it!

We left our sad duckibiswan, and explored the garden.  We didn’t have a guide or anything, so we were left to our own devices to try and determine where a wedding ceremony might actually take place.  We decided this looked like a logical spot:

It had a beautiful view of the lake:

After further research, I discovered that this spot is suited more for small, family weddings.  The search continues!

Our Engagement Pictures

I almost forgot that I promised to show you the pictures from me and Corey’s engagement shoot!

My “big sister” in my sorority, Jessi, has become a phenomenal photographer, and has quite the little business going.  She truly has an eye for capturing moments, not to mention, she makes my food pictures look like Bella took them.

She is so creative, and came up with some really unique and fun shots of Corey and I! These are my favorites. Enjoy!



If you live in the Orlando or South Florida area and need an awesome photographer for ANYTHING- weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, engagement shoots, maternity shoots…Jessi Caparella with J Photography is the girl for the job!  For more information or to see her work, please check out her Facebook page and “like” J Photography!

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