The Berger Bungalow

My favorite [healthy] way to cook Okra
Posted on:5.12.2016

Our weekend trips to the local farmers market have left us with tons of okra to cook. At first, I had no idea how to cook it other than frying it (the best way, of course), but I knew that we needed something a bit healthier. I researched a lot about cooking okra and saw that most of the recipes left it slimy. Let’s be real, who wants to eat slimy okra? Not me! I decided to try and bake it and it actually turned out great, so I wanted to share it with all of you!! Let me know what you think if you end up trying this recipe.




Baked Okra

- Turn on your oven to 400.
- While your oven is heating up, wash your okra, pat it to remove some of the extra water & put it on your pan. Put some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder on the okra, and shake it around making sure that all of it gets coated. Feel free to play around with the spices - I love changing it up and adding different flavors, but this is my basic recipe!
- Once the oven is ready, place your pan in and set your timer for 15 minutes. Once your timer goes off, flip your okra. Your goal is to get the okra brown and crispy on all sides. Continue in 15 minute increments, until all sides are brown and crispy. It usually take me about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Enjoy! 


If you loved this recipe, check back next week to read about another vegetable on the plate above! <3
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Graduation Party Memory Bottles
Posted on:5.09.2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #BestSummerMemories #CollectiveBias


Have you ever heard a song that automatically brings up a past memory? For me, lyrics bring life to past memories, and current events. This weekend, I had a surprise party for Ian’s graduation & I got so beyond excited when I found these Coca-Cola™ and Diet Coke® “Share a Coke and a Song” bottles at CVS! We are so lucky that we have a CVS within walking distance from our house; anytime I need something at the last minute or on the way out of the house, I can just stop by and pick it up. In this case, it was so convenient to grab these Coca-Cola bottles on my way to the party! Love it.


I wanted the party to have personal touches, so I decided to take these Coca-Cola bottles and pair the lyrics with special memories from his college years. His family and friends helped brainstorm with me, and we came up with great memories to go along with the lyrics. The best part is that if you download the Shazam app (available on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Android, etc.), you can “Shazam” the lyrics and play the songs to match your bottles. This would be perfect for a summer event where you need a playlist! 

The party was so much fun! I am beyond thrilled that it ended up being a surprise. In our house, we cannot keep anything a surprise. Christmas gifts get opened early and Ian even proposed out of the blue because he just couldn’t wait, so I am extremely proud of myself that I accomplished keeping this a surprise! His school colors were gold and black, so I decorated with all gold, black and a bit of white. I truly believe that the small details are so important, so I made sure to stick with my colors with almost every detail. From the balloons, napkins and even the graduation cap on his cake to the Coca-Cola graduation memory bottles, everything was black and gold! I absolutely love how the tags I created brought life to past memories while also focusing on the excitement of his new life transition of being a full time accountant!



How to make graduation memory bottles:


Step 1: Figure out your party colors!
Unless you are having a rainbow colored party, this is the most important step. Creating a specific color scheme is essential to the look of your party. Once you figure out a color, you can get all of your small items for your bottles like the tags, a permanent marker, and string.

Step 2: Grab your Coca-Cola bottles, and other items from CVS.
This is a must, obviously! I purchased pre-made tags, but you can also buy paper, string and a hole puncher and make them yourself. All you would need to do is put a hole in the top and slip your string through it.

Step 3: Focusing on the lyrics, come up with quotes, or memories to write on your tags.
If you are throwing a graduation party like myself, come up with memories that took place in the years they were in college. If you are throwing a birthday party, you could come up with memories from the past year, or their entire life. Be as creative as you can! 

Step 4: Have other family and friends come up with memories, as well.
I love this step because it allows memories not only yourself, but memories from every portion of their life with their closest friends and family. I love one memory that Ian’s dad shared on one of the tags. Last summer, they went hiking and got lost. They were trying to find a mountain and ended up walking into a neighborhood somehow. Memories like this make this party favor or decoration, so come up with all of your best ideas!

Step 5: Tie your tags to the bottles and showcase them!
Find a creative way to showcase them. I love the idea of handing them out as favors, but I just put them in a drink bucket so that guests could reminisce on their memories with Ian while at the party. So much fun!



There you have it, you’ve now created your memory bottles! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. Have you seen the Share a Coke and a Song bottles at CVS yet? Check out the Best Summer Ever Deals at your local CVS. Buy 2 20oz bottles of Coca-Cola products for $3!!
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April Recap // May Goals
Posted on:5.02.2016


Happy May! My favorite month is finally here and I’m thrilled. So sorry I haven’t been posting much lately - you can still follow along with me on Snapchat (lexrose5) and Instagram! Ian and I are going through a bunch of major changes right now, and I just really don’t have much time to write, BUT I promise as soon as we figure some stuff out, I will be posting more than ever because I do have a lot of content to go out for you guys. Just stick with me through this weird phase! :)

April Recap:
This month was so much fun! I accomplished some of my goals, we celebrated a friends wedding & the end of tax season, and we started going to the farmers market each weekend (it was hard to do that during tax season). We also decided that we are going to try to buy a house in the next few months, so this is what has been taking up most of our time. Trying to get pre-qualified for a loan, figuring out a location we would like to live in, looking at houses, and figuring out some of the details that go along with all of that is HARD work, and really stressful, BUT we have narrowed down an area that we are looking in. It’s still a pretty big area, but that’s a start! YAY! 

For my goals - we celebrated the end of tax season, and my grandma’s 90th birthday which was so much fun, I grew my Instagram to 3,500 (but then it went down like it always does. Y’all, when you are growing your social media accounts, don’t be scared when you lose followers. It happens EVERY DAY, but if you are growing a genuine following, you will always gain them back plus more)! I am at 3491 right now, so it is still a growth either way, and I am sure it will go back up to 3500 in no time. I read two books, got my hair cut (ugh), made veggies a HUGE part of my diet - we have been having veggie plates at least once a week now, and I have been drinking more water. SUPER proud of myself this month!! 

April in pictures:

Ian survived his second busy season and I survived walking in these babies all night. Plus, is it really an after party without gangsta glasses, wine and puppy kisses? I think not.




Our beloved rental house that we’ve been in for 4 1/2 years is officially on the market, and we have started the process of buying our first home. Stressful, but it will be worth it in the end!


My Grandma turned 90, and she rocked her crown and champagne balloon at dinner. 



We’ve been hanging out on the square A LOT lately. Taste of Marietta was a success, we’ve been walking to the farmers market each weekend, and look at some of the amazing fruits and veggies we got!





Congratulations to these newlyweds! We loved celebrating with you.



Proof that I got to 3500 ;) 




May Goals


Like I mentioned above, I am SO excited that it is May. We have so much to look forward to this month, and I cannot wait to share it with all of you.

My goals this month are:

1. Finish getting pre-qualified for a home loan! (Shoutout to Erika Eubank with Freedom Mortgage) - if you’re in the Atlanta area, definitely use Erika. She is the best! 
2. Celebrate Ian’s graduation!!!!
3. Celebrate my birthday (May 26) <3
4. Drive around the areas we are looking in for a home and try to narrow it down even more.
5. Blog at least twice a week.
6. Gain more followers on Snapchat (lexrose5) - but don’t follow me if you don’t like tons of dog, food, wine, or videos/pictures with the filters (especially when I drink). Haha! 
7. Celebrate Mother’s Day.
8. Spend more fun times with family and friends. 
9. Hopefully go to Matilda’s opening day (it is still up in the air because of work).
10. Step up on my FitBit game. I constantly forget to charge my FitBit, so I never record a lot of my steps. This week, I’m in a steps competition with a bunch of fellow bloggers and I am so excited about it. Hopefully I can remember to charge it...
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Local Atlanta // Taste of Marietta Recap
Posted on:4.25.2016




The Taste of Marietta is a local festival that I have attended for years. Over 75 restaurants, and other vendors come together on The Marietta Square and provide guests with “tastes” of their food for under $5. 

We are so lucky that our house is within walking distance from the square because it is extremely hard to find parking for this event, so we always end up getting a group together, and walking over. This year, we arrived around 11:45 and quickly realized that they didn’t start serving alcohol until 12:30. We did a few laps around the square and scouted out what we wanted to eat and drink. Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of the food (which was amazing), but I did get a few pictures of us! 



This year, we ate Oysters from WR Social House, White Corn Grit Fritters from Seed, Blackened Ahi Tuna with pineapple soy and sriracha mayo, and a pulled pork slider from Big Shanty Smokehouse. We also had tons of great drinks. WR Social House/The Butcher The Baker had an amazing strawberry drink with champagne, we had beer from the many stands around, and we ended the day with cocktails at WR Social House, and Pizza from Marietta Pizza Company. It was a great day filled with tons of food! 



What is your favorite spring or summer festival?
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The Perfect Weekend + Giveaway!
Posted on:4.15.2016





It’s finally Friday! I felt like this week was never-ending, but we made it, and to celebrate I wanted to share with you all what my perfect weekend would look like! If I had the perfect weekend in my hometown, it would look something like this:

I would get off work on Friday & meet Ian and a few friends for dinner at a fun restaurant. In the summer, we would meet at Matildas, a local music venue & bring a picnic! We would have a few cocktails, or glasses of wine, an amazing dinner, and then head home to get a good nights rest!



On Saturday, we would wake up and head to our local farmers market. We have the best vendors that come, and we are able to get all of our fruit, vegetables, meat, and more to last the entire week! On our way home, we would stop at a local coffee shop, or juice bar & we would sit and read, and do a little work on our computers while relaxing outside. As you can see in the pictures, I absolutely love to brighten up my laptop, and this custom skin was the perfect way to do it! Caseapp has amazing custom cases and skins, and my readers will get 20% off their orders with the code: “BUNGALOW20”. Make sure to take advantage of that deal, and also enter my contest below. I’m giving away a free case or skin! Thanks Caseapp! You will absolutely LOVE being able to customize your skin or case. It was so much fun, and now I want to make another one with my monogram on it! 



After our coffee or juice, we would go home and cuddle up on the couch with a big glass of wine, a cheese board with a romantic movie on! We might or might not get off the couch until dinner time, and when that time rolls around, we would go to a romantic restaurant on the square that serves local, seasonal food. SO good. More wine and cheese and good food happens, and then we would go home and just relax for the rest of the night again!

To me, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, so we would do just that! We would sleep in, and grab brunch at our local french restaurant, then we would go get a pedicure and relax for an hour or so. If we felt like it, we would run to Whole Foods and grab anything we needed for the week. Then, we would come home, and once again, cuddle up on the couch. Can you guys tell that one of my favorite places is the couch?! Hahah. Of course I love going out, but my weeks are always so busy that when the weekend rolls around, most of the time I just want to be in sweatpants relaxing! For lunch, we would try out a new restaurant & maybe go get a massage, or find a new place in the city that is really cool. After a few hours of exploring (or getting massaged), we would end up back at home with more wine, making a Garnish and Gather meal together! We would finish off the night relaxing on the couch once again...




What would your perfect weekend look like? Don’t forget to enter into my giveaway below so that you can win a case, or skin for your phone or computer. :) 



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Spring Cleaning Checklist + 10 Tips To Power Through Your List
Posted on:4.12.2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyPledgeCastle #CollectiveBias Spring is here, and that means you are pulling out all of your warm weather clothes which is so exciting! The not-so-exciting part of that is all of the dust bunnies and dirt that were stuffed under your beds and closets with those colorful items. Lucky for you, I’ve already tackled most of my spring cleaning this year, and I wanted to go ahead and give you a few tips and a spring cleaning list to knock it all out! For a few years now, Ian and I have been talking about buying a house, but we are waiting until he finishes grad school to actually go through with it. In the meantime, we have been trying to find ways to still enjoy the house we are in. Even though we think the house we are currently in is not what we want in the long run, it really is the perfect place for us right now. It’s where we first started out as a dating (and married) couple, and we have really enjoyed all of the memories we have made there, so far. One thing that I have noticed is that a clean house = a happy house, so I like to buy the best products out there to keep it spick and span!


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In preparations for my long spring cleaning list, I headed over to Kroger and picked up a few new cleaning products so that I didn’t run out! I use Pledge® products because they have so many daily uses. The products I ended up getting were: Pledge® Lemon Clean Spray which can be used for cleaning so many surfaces including marble, leather (a huge bonus in our house), plastic, wood, laminate, and more! It features Allergen Trappers® to remove dust and 90% of the allergens found in dust. This is also really important for us around pollen season. They also have Pledge® Orange Clean Furniture Spray which has all the same benefits, just with an orange smell which I loved! I also purchased Pledge® Multi Surface Everyday Cleaner with Glade® Rainshower® which was amazing! It’s an all-purpose cleaner that contains a worry-free formula to clean up all of your messes and smudges. It also removes dust and 90% of the allergens found in dust. The last product I picked up was Pledge® Lemon Wipes. I love, love, love to have these around my house for small messes, or to clean up the kitchen when I’m done cooking. It has a fresh lemon scent, and has a ton of benefits. It features Allergen Trappers® and they’re so quick and easy to use.


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Sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated and power through a cleaning day, but I have a few tips that could help you out! Check them out below and let me know what you think!! 10 Tips To Power Through Your Spring Cleaning List 1. Turn on music! Music always helps me stay on track because cleaning in a quiet home is boring. The good thing about cleaning is that you are constantly moving around which gives you the ability to have a dance party while cleaning (keep it interesting)!! Music helps you power through a cleaning session because you have something distracting you, just make sure to put on music that gets you excited so you can sing and dance along.

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2. Make a list to stay on track. 
This is probably my favorite tip. Making a list not only helps you stay on track, but the feeling of checking off an item is so rewarding! You are definitely going to want to keep going when you can actually see your progress on paper.

3. Section out the house.
Sectioning out the house can help a lot so that your cleaning list doesn’t seem too daunting. Focus on one room at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Before you know it, you’ll be on your last room!

4. Eat a healthy meal before you start, and stay hydrated! This is such an important tip! I have definitely started cleaning before eating before, and it just doesn’t work for me. I always end up getting hungry in the middle of cleaning a room, and end up taking a break that lasts a few days! Once I sit down, I just want to keep sitting. Eating before you clean will help you stay on track and not need to take a break until you are done! Make sure to also stay hydrated. I love drinking a big glass of water with lemon in it while cleaning. 5. Knock out the hard tasks first. Knock out the hard tasks that you are dreading most first! This will ensure that you will get them done instead of putting it to the side. If you knock out the hard things first, everything else will be a breeze! 6. De-clutter before you clean. There is nothing I hate more than a cluttered house! Free up your counter space by going throwing out what you don’t need, or finding room to store the things that are not essential. During my spring cleaning, I also love de-cluttering my drawers. This really helps get out all of the dust and dirt sitting around my house. 7. Mix it up with a cleaning party! A cleaning party can be so much fun. Invite your closest friends over, and exchange refreshments (or have a cleaning party at your house, and then at their house the next week) for cleaning! You could make dinner, have a pizza party, or agree to take them out for drinks and dinner in exchange for helping you. Make sure to make it fun by keeping the music loud and having a few snacks around the house. 8. Start at the top and work your way down. I am almost positive that you have seen this cleaning tip before. If you start at the top and work your way down, it helps immensely. If you start from the ground up, when you do clean the ceilings, or counters, you are going to have to go back over the floors again because of all the dust falling! Starting from the top down ensures that you will not have to clean anything twice. 9. Don’t be afraid to make it fun. There are so many ways to make cleaning fun! You could re-arrange furniture to make it feel new and fresh, buy fresh flowers to make your home feel more inviting after cleaning it, or even throw a party after your spring cleaning to keep yourself motivated. 10. Reward yourself when you’re done! This tip is so important! I love rewarding myself when I am done with my spring cleaning because I accomplished so much. Go get a manicure and pedicure, a massage, or take yourself out for a nice dinner and a movie. It will be so nice to reward yourself after scrubbing your house all day, and think about how great it will feel to come home to a clean house!



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Have you started your spring cleaning yet? Feel free to print and use this list, check out Pledge on Facebook, and head over to Kroger and pick up your Pledge® products to help you get started!

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How To Create A Romantic Breakfast In Bed + Dutch Baby Recipe
Posted on:4.08.2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MySignatureDish #CollectiveBias

Finding romance in everyday life can definitely be challenge for a lot of couples, but it doesn’t have to be challenging, or stressful! Instead of focusing on elaborate plans once or twice a month, concentrate on small ways to make your partner happy throughout the week. This will not only make you and your partner happier, but it will also keep the love alive and romance flowing through your relationship. A fantastic way to surprise your partner is by creating a romantic breakfast in bed. I prepared a breakfast in bed the other morning for Ian, so I have a few tips that could help you out. Check them out below:



How To Create A Romantic Breakfast in Bed

-  Before you start cooking up a storm, there are a few things that you will need to get started. 

1. Calphalon Signature™ Stainless Steel 12” SS Omelet Pan
I purchased my Calphalon Signature™ Stainless Steel at Macy’s the other week (you can find both Stainless Steel and Nonstick online here), and I am obsessed with it! I use Calphalon for my cookware whenever I get a chance because of their amazing full lifetime warranty on all Calphalon Signature™ items. This omelet pan is absolutely perfect for all my needs - it is huge, so I never have to worry about squeezing in my food, and it is also stove and oven safe! The triple layer aluminum core is fused between stainless steel which makes it not only beautiful, but also durable, dishwasher and oven safe, and suitable for all cooktops! This was a huge deal to me because you need a pan that can go in the oven for my Dutch Baby recipe (you can find the recipe below). I definitely recommend getting one for yourself. Look at the cute Calphalon section in Macy’s!


2. A breakfast tray, or platter
Have you ever tried to hold a plate, fork, spoon, knife, napkin, and drink in your hands while in bed eating? It is a hard task! Grab a breakfast tray, or huge platter so that it is stress-free and less messy.

3. Flowers, and a small vase
This is not a necessity, but what is more romantic than flowers when you first wake up in the morning?! Small details make all the difference in the world!

4. All of your recipe ingredients
You don’t want to forget these! Make sure to use high quality ingredients.



 - Plan out your menu, and write down your ingredients in advance!

This is an extremely important tip because you do not want to be stressed the morning of, or night before shopping for all of your ingredients! Planning out your menu will help you get organized before your breakfast, and writing down your ingredients will help you shop with ease. The most stressful thing would be to forget an ingredient and have half of your breakfast finished before you realize it! Staying organized is the key to success!!! 


- Plan a time that works for both of you

Make sure the time and day that you pick works for both of you! If your partner has a busy morning, it probably isn’t the best time to pull off a romantic breakfast because he/she will be stressed out. I would suggest picking a relaxing weekend, or a day where you know that you have a few hours together in the morning so that it is stress-free and relaxing.

- Set the mood

Light a few candles and turn on some soft music. Make sure the music comes last, or else you will wake up your partner! If they do wake up, make sure to have a magazine, or newspaper ready to go so they can read while they wait. Details are everything! Don’t know any romantic songs? No worries - I’ve created a short list for you below!






- Make it special & personalized

Make sure to make this breakfast in bed about them! If you know what their favorite flowers are, get them. If you know they hate eggs (even if you love them), skip them. This is for them, so make it perfect and catered to what they love. Below, I am sharing with you the recipe that I made for our breakfast in bed. If you are looking for a high quality, impressive dish for a breakfast in bed, or even for a brunch with guests, this is the perfect dish!


Dutch Baby Recipe



Ingredients:


Calphalon Signature™ Stainless Steel 12” SS Omelet Pan
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups raspberries & blackberries (or berries of your choice)

Instructions:

- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees
- Melt your butter in your pan for five minutes in the oven
- Mix together your eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, sugar and salt. Make sure to mix until all clumps are gone
- Pour your batter into the pan, and place back in the oven for about 20 minutes (check it around 15 minutes).
- Mix your mascarpone, lemon & confectioners’ sugar together. If it is too thick, add a bit of milk to thin it out
- When your dutch baby is finished cooking, take it out & add your mascarpone on top along with your berries. You can either place your mascarpone in the center, or sprinkle clumps around the entire dutch baby.
- Enjoy!










Have you ever had a breakfast in bed? Don’t forget to use high quality ingredients, add tons of small details & cook with quality cookware, like my Calphalon Signature™ Stainless Steel Omelet Pan to make your gourmet meal!
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