Monday, February 19, 2018

9 Days in Ethiopia: Part I

If you've ever been to a developing country, you know how much the experience changes you. I traveled to Haiti during college for mission work and it affected me so deeply that I still carry it with me every day and it is a huge part of why I opened my Etsy shop and started writing this blog. I will go in to detail about that some other time, but here is a photo of me with some of the kids in Haiti. Check out the Mortel Foundation if you want to learn about one of my favorite organizations!
The only other opportunities I've had to visit developing countries were during Caribbean vacations, so those limited me to the walls of the resorts. But this opportunity to visit Ethiopia came in November, and Brian and I knew we had to do it. He has never been to a developing country, and I was eager to explore one with him in a place we had friends living and working. It provided some level of comfort despite my anxiety for visiting an exotic country with a lot of uncertainties. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Women's Watches: Classic & Versatile

I am a bit of an old soul...I love a mix of vintage and industrial, classic and stylish. My new JORD watch encompasses all those characteristics- it is handcrafted from Koa hardwood, with the option of personalization.
When I first saw the JORD watch pop up on Instagram, I was immediately intrigued.  I love reclaimed wood. I use reclaimed wood in my home d├ęcor, from laundry room shelves and unique candle holders, to pantry signs and old fruit crates. I even used reclaimed wood in various aspects of our wedding details. There is something classic and versatile about natural wood, so the thought of wearing it on my wrist made my heart flutter.
My JORD wood watch pairs well with all of my jewelry; it doesn't clash with gold, silver, or colored jewelry, most importantly, my sapphire engagement ring. Over the years, I’ve had several watches: rose-gold, white, and silver.  Each one, I bought liking the watch itself.  The challenge was putting on earrings and necklaces that didn’t clash with the watch. The beauty of the JORD watch is that it is made of natural wood, which goes with everything.
My watch is the Koa and Burl style of the Fieldcrest series. If you want to gift it, you can get it engraved with a custom message. I opted for the standard watch for myself.  The back of the watch is engraved with the location and date it was made.  Mine was made on 8/9/2017 in St. Louis, which happens to be the week of my 1 year wedding anniversary.   
It is important to note that because the watch is made of wood, it does require some maintenance.  JORD recommends applying finishing oil (included in watch purchase) every 6 months to keep the wood conditioned.
JORD offers a variety of men's watches and women's watches to suit different styles. I think it is a classic, versatile choice for anyone who wants a watch that transitions well between jewelry styles. I want to give you the chance to enjoy a beautiful watch too! That’s why I'm partnering with JORD to give one lucky Old, New, & a Riverview reader a $100 gift card to use on any JORD Wood Watch! And if you aren’t the winner, you’re still lucky in my book because you get a 10% off coupon code!

The giveaway will close 2/18/18 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the 10% gift codes will expire on March 4, 2018.

Good luck, friends!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by JORD wood watches. That being said, all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own. I only recommend products or services I personally use and believe you, the reader, will enjoy.
Luxury Wooden Watch

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My Top 8 Bubble Sleeve Dress Picks: A 2018 Wardrobe Must-Have

Bubble, balloon, puffy sleeves (whatever you want to call them) were big in the 80s. They were puffy around the shoulders and tapered in at the wrists. Now, they are back in style, but with a different twist. The new bubble sleeve is slimmer at the shoulder and gradually widens until cinching at the forearm or wrist. I purchased a bubble sleeve dress from Marshall's less than 2 weeks ago and have worn it three times since. It is comfortable and versatile, and I've received numerous compliments when wearing it. It's functional for work or going out and can be worn with flats, boots, or mules. It easily transitions from spring and summer with open toe mules or wedges, to fall and winter with a vest, tights, or over-the- knee boots. Clothing that transitions through all four seasons gets an A in my book. It is an essential component to a functional wardrobe. So today, I'm sharing a few of my favorite bubble sleeve dresses for you.

1. Black Diamante Embellished Shift Dress from Dorothy Perkins
2. Bubble Sleeve Sweater Dress from Alexandra Roo Boutique
3. Until Tomorrow Print Babydoll Dress from Nordstrom
4. Sweater Knit Mock Bubble Sleeve Dress from Belk
5. Embroidered Balloon Sleeve Skater Dress from Nordstrom
6. Babe Bubble Sleeve Sweater Dress from Swank Boutique
7. Travel Dramatic Sleeve Dress from Boston Proper
8. Bubble Sleeve Sweater Dress from Haute Rebel
I've even included a few maternity picks! Both of these options are from Dorothy Perkins. Gray options and plus size are also available.

1. Maternity Jersey Frill Sleeve Skater Dress from Dorothy Perkins
2. Maternity Black Soft Touch Balloon Sleeve Shift Dress from Dorothy Perkins
If you grab any of these adorable and functional bubble sleeve dresses (or find more great options), I'd love to see how you style them! Tag me @oldnewriverview on Instagram or Facebook! I may even update my post to add your recommendations!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Taco Cupcakes: Last Minute Super Bowl Finger Food

Are you looking for an easy and scrumptious finger food to add to your game day celebration? These taco cupcakes take less than 20 minutes to throw together, and even less time if you precook your beef or turkey. They are basically like eating a taco, but without the mess, and your guests will love them. My husband ate 5 as soon as they came out of the oven...I kid you not!
Taco Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 mins.
Cook Time: 10-12 mins.
Serving: 12 cups

1 pkg. Pillsbury Biscuits
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
1 tbs. minced onion
1-2 c. shredded cheddar or mexican cheese
1 c. chopped roma tomatoes
Sour cream to taste
Alpine touch (substitute=a mixture of salt, garlic, pepper, and onion powder) to taste

Brown ground beef, add taco seasoning, and drain. Mix in minced onion. Separate biscuit dough , fit into ungreased muffin tin, pressing dough up the sides to the top. Spoon 1 tbs. cheese into cups, followed by 2 tbs. ground beef,  then 1 tbs. tomatoes. Continue this process until cups are filled to the the top of the pan with as little or as much of each ingredient you prefer. Sprinkle remaining cheese (1/4 c.) onto filled muffin cups.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Flip pan to pop muffins out with ease. Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with alpine touch. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hot Cocoa Gathering: How to Host a Cozy Girls' Night In

The winter months can often leave us feeling depressed and unmotivated to get out with our friends. When it's snowing, windy, and bitter cold, the only thing we want to do is stay in and watch movies in our pj's. What if I told you you could host a gathering to catch up with your girlfriends while relaxing in your pj's in the comfort of your home? That's right, ladies! This winter, host a cozy girls' night in, a hot cocoa gathering, where you can sip delicious hot cocoa, watch a movie or play board games, catch up with your girlfriends, and snack on all the savory and sweet treats you can gather. If you are like us, you can even add a little extra heat (wink wink) to your beverage. I miss those nights from college and my early 20s spent laughing and feeling so connected to my friends, without a thought or care in the world besides our weekend plans! This felt like one of those nights, full of laughter. You know, the kind that makes your belly hurt! Keep reading to find out how to host one yourself!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread

Back in December, I spotted a hazelnut shortbread recipe using toasted hazelnuts in Real Simple magazine. I was feeling a bit creative and decided to try it with Nutella instead. While it might work, I kind of butchered them. I over-baked them because I did not think they were finished when the Nutella was bubbling and they hadn't appeared to harden whatsoever. But 20 minutes later, they were too hard. They pretty much crumbled in my hands...maybe it was too much Nutella, or maybe Nutella just doesn't bake well. I guess you can't put it in everything... ugh basic 30 year old 'that time of the month' female problems, am I right?!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our Journey with Infertility: Part II

On November 13th, I went to Hopkins for outpatient laparoscopic surgery to have one of my Fallopian tubes removed, otherwise referred to as a Salpingectomy. I was nervous and apprehensive because going in, my surgeon discussed the different results with us. He told us the plan was to remove my blocked tube, but if he saw any scar tissue or damage to my other tube, he would remove those as well. The uncertainty was a little scary because having both tubes removed gave us a different prognosis and outlook for fertility and getting pregnant. But I wanted the tube (and frankly anything else damaged) removed because of the concern of it rupturing or causing issues if I did get pregnant.