The Berger Bungalow

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookie
Posted on:12.05.2016

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

Something about the holiday season always puts me in the mood to make others happy, and give. We moved into our new home a few months ago, and wanted to come up with a fun way to spread the holiday cheer to all of our new neighbors, so we decided to make one of my favorite cookie recipes!!

We made our grocery list and headed over to our local Walmart to pick everything up. First, we started shopping for the actual cookie ingredients. This was easy because we had almost everything at home already, we just had to pick up some macadamia nuts, and white chocolate chips! 

Next, we searched for containers to put our cookies in and ribbon to decorate them with. Last year, I brought some avocado deviled eggs to a party, and found these amazing Holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. I knew they would be the perfect addition for our cookies, so I tracked them down in Walmart to use. They are great because they are so festive and sturdy! They come in limited edition red, green and prints for the holidays if you shop between 10/29-12/24. Not only are they fun and colorful, but they also have a Quik Clik Seal™ which keeps them secure and helps prevents spills. The top lid has a tight seal along the top of the container, yet it also has a large tab to make opening really easy. This was really important to us because we were delivering our cookies in the rain, so a tight seal was extremely necessary! The best part about Rubbermaid TakeAlongs is that they are microwavable, dishwasher and freezer safe! I don’t know about you, but this is how I shop for any kitchen item. If it can’t go in my dishwasher, it isn’t coming in my kitchen. ;)

When we got home, we started baking! We ended up making about 100 cookies in total for our neighbors, which took just about all day. It was so much fun! When we delivered them, all of our neighbors were so thankful, and excited. I definitely recommend gifting your neighbors randomly if you haven’t before. It was such an awesome experience! Today, I want to share with you the recipe that I baked for all of my neighbors. This cookie recipe is perfect for the holidays, and one that many do not automatically think about when making a Christmas cookie. I think you will love it!

Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

- 2 1/4 cups of flour
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks of softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A dash of almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup of macadamia nuts
- 3/4 cup of dried cranberries
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Add your flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in to your mixer. Give it a good stir to make sure it is all mixed together. 
- Add all of your liquids in and mix it up, making sure there are no dry ingredients at the bottom of your bowl. 
- Once everything is mixed together, add your white chocolate chips, cranberries and macadamia nuts. Mix everything together.
- On a greased baking sheet, create small balls of cookie dough. I use an ice cream scoop to make it easier! 
- Bake your cookies for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Enjoy! 

Have you ever gifted your neighbors with a holiday gift? For more great holiday inspiration, click here!
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The Well Life Book Review
Posted on:11.30.2016

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today, I wanted to come to you with an awesome book review. I have really struggled with reading lately with my schedule being so busy, but as soon as I picked up this book, I was hooked! 

I honestly do not know where to start with this review, or how to organize it. The Well Life is packed with SO MANY amazing tips, thoughts, tricks, and ways to improve your life throughout the entire book. Before reading, I looked up who wrote it. The authors, Briana and Dr. Peter Borten founded The Dragontree which has many resources for creating an “exceptional life.” I automatically knew that this book would be something special. Even just reading their “about me” section calmed me. 

The Well Life focuses on a complete transformation to create balance, happiness and peace. I love how this book doesn’t just jump into what we currently need to be doing. It starts from the beginning - Part 1 includes understanding what we were going to be learning, figuring out how to individually optimize your wellness, releasing emotional baggage (probably my favorite chapter because everyone needs this!), and creating your own world through your word. Part 2 is where you take the information you have learned and actually put it to use, or to thrive. Part 3 is all about figuring out who you are and what you want in life. This may initially seem like a lot to read, but the way it is written is so easy to read. The book honestly flew by! 

I recommend this book to anyone that is looking to improve their overall life and become a happier person (which we could all use)! They have amazing preorder incentives going on right now, if you are interested. If you preorder today, they will send you 1 copy of The Well Life and you will also receive: 

"Inspiration for Your Well Life: 50 Bits of Wisdom for a Life of Happiness, Peace, and Balance E-book (normally $9)
Our unending love and gratitude ♡♡♡"

If you purchase more than one book, you get even more amazing incentives! You can go purchase the book here. Once again, I highly, highly recommend it to anyone that wants to find more happiness and peace in their life. 
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My Nightly Routine
Posted on:11.28.2016

Thank you Smile Brilliant for sponsoring this post!

I have always had trouble falling asleep. No matter if I have had the busiest day, or if I’ve sat on the couch all day, I know that going to sleep could be an issue. Over the years, I have figured out that if I have a set routine for bedtime, it helps me so much! When I do my routine, I typically fall asleep faster and also sleep longer, and better. I wanted to share my nightly routine with you guys just in case anyone else out there has trouble falling asleep like I do!

My Nightly Routine

Step 1: Lavender Essential Oil + Tea
My lavender oil is a serious must-have when going to sleep. Lavender has so many health benefits and has commonly been used to help insomnia, anxiety, and depression. I always put it on an interval setting so that it lasts throughout the night! Before I start getting ready for bed, I also sip on some hot tea with honey. This helps me relax so much!

Step 2: Facial Care + Moisturize
The next step in my routine is to wash and moisturize my face. I hate going to sleep with a dirty face, and I always sleep 10 times better when it’s clean! On top of that, I always have to moisturize my body, especially in the winter. I hate dry skin more than anything else. I also use a light self tanner on my face to give it an extra boost of hydration and some color.

Step 3: Whiten My Teeth
Like the rest of my list, this is extremely important to me. I used to use white strips pretty regularly, but I never got the results I wanted so I tried this professional teeth whitening gel from Smile Brilliant! They send you custom fitted teeth whitening trays and syringes filled with teeth whitening gel and sensitivity gel (for those with sensitive teeth!). Coffee stained teeth is a big no-no to me, and I want to avoid it at all costs. This teeth whitening kit is amazing - I literally got the results that I have been trying to get white strips for years, as you can see in my pictures. I also love the fact that it is SO affordable compared to having your teeth professionally whitened at the dentist. It is literally the same process that you would get in the dentist office, so you are saving not only money, but also time. Check out this article to find out information you should know before purchasing your set, and you can even win a set by entering in the giveaway at the bottom of this post!! 


Step 4: Read
So, for the longest time I would check Facebook and other social media websites before bed, but I realized that this is not helping me wind down at all. Instead, it’s waking me up and making it harder for me to fall asleep. Now,
I try to read an actual book for an hour or more while I wait to finish whitening my teeth! 

Step 5: Turn Out The Lights
When I’m done whitening, I make sure my alarm is set and I turn out the lights to get a good nights rest! 

This concludes my nighty routine! Everything I do helps me fall asleep faster, and also helps me stay asleep longer. If you are interested in purchasing your own Smile Brilliant kit, check out this video and enter my giveaway below. I just know that you will get white teeth before you know it!! 

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Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
Posted on:11.23.2016

Ian and I first tried this Turkey recipe at my sisters Friendsgiving the other week, and it was definitely a success! This recipe gives you a really juicy turkey with crispy skin. Isn’t this just the dream turkey?! So, so good. With other recipes, you get a dry turkey with amazing skin, or a really juicy turkey with floppy skin. Yuck. Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. It’s pretty easy, and so good! 

*Make sure your turkey is completed thawed. It takes a long amount of time to thaw a turkey (sometimes even days), so please read the instructions before attempting to cook this frozen.
*You can add different seasoning if you desire to! Make it your own and spice it up (literally). ;)

An Easy Thanksgiving Turkey

1 turkey (ours was 22 lbs)
2 sticks of butter
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary
salt + pepper
garlic powder
3 stalks of celery, cut in thirds.
two small onions, halved.
two carrots (not baby carrots), cut in thirds.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325F.

Step 2: Clean and prepare your turkey. You need to make sure to remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. I typically run a bit of water in there just to double check that I got everything out. 

Step 3: Soften your butter in the microwave and then mix your thyme and rosemary into it. Sprinkle a good amount of salt and pepper on to your turkey on your first side, and then take your melted butter herb mixture and rub it all over the turkey. Make sure you get in all of the creases, too! Flip the turkey over and do the same - sprinkle with a good amount of salt and pepper, then rub your butter mixture everywhere.

Step 4: Make sure your turkey is breast side up in a roasting pan, and stuff the celery, carrots and onions into the empty cavity. Depending on how big your cavity is, you will need more or less vegetables.

Step 5: Stick a meat thermometer in your turkey, tent your turkey with foil and stick it in the oven.

Step 6: 30 minutes later, melt your butter, and brush it all over your turkey.

Step 7: Baste your turkey with melted butter every 45 minutes to an hour from here on out. When your turkey temperature reaches about 145 degrees, take the turkey out, remove the foil and baste your turkey for the last time. You are also going to raise the oven temperature to 425F. This is going to brown your skin to make it crispy.

Step 8: When your turkey temperature reaches 165 degrees, take it out of the oven and let sit for about 30 minutes before you carve it.

Step 9: Enjoy!! :)

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10 ways to pull off a romantic date night in when you are busy
Posted on:11.21.2016

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

Dating is a huge part of every successful relationship, no matter if you are married or not. Ian and I have been so busy lately between all of our commitments and daily errands, and it honestly has been so incredibly hard to find time to spend together. We try to go out on date nights at least two times a month, but this past month, we only had time for one. I decided that I needed to take advantage of the limited time we had together, so I put together an easy in home date night!

No matter how busy you are, finding time to spend with your loved ones is so important, and definitely do-able if you actually put in the effort. My in home date night was easy, quick, and a lot of fun. I believe you can do the same with your significant other no matter how little time you get with them, and I have even put together tips to help you pull off the perfect in home date night. This date night can happen after a busy day at work, or a day full of errands and you don’t have to spend hours on cooking, cleaning, or setting up which is perfect for a busy lifestyle.

10 Ways To Pull Off A Romantic Date Night In

1. Add Romantic Decorations
Putting up decorations to make it romantic is challenging for some, so let me give you a few tips to make it easier! Seasonal decor is an easy way to add some decorations: pumpkins for October, pinecones for November, and greenery or a garland for December are a few examples of ways you can add seasonal decor. Also, candles are an absolute must! Dim the lights and turn on the candles to make it romantic. All of the decorations that you see on my table were sitting around in my house - on my mantle, in my Christmas box that we already took out, in our bathrooms, etc. There is no need to shop for decor - find your own in your house to save on time and money!

2. Put Your Technology Down
Nobody likes a date that stares at their phone the entire time. We have become a society that focuses so much on social media, but take my word for it: you don’t need to snapchat you entire date night for the world to see. If you really need to take one picture, then only pick up your phone for that one.

3. Set The Mood With Some Romantic, Soft Music
Putting on some romantic music is easy and takes no longer than a few minutes, at very most. I love using Spotify because they have so many playlists for you to choose from. This is easy so that you don’t have to spend time creating your own list, but if you do have the time, that is a way to make it extra special! 

4. Cook An Easy Meal Together
This step is the one that can take as much or as little time as you want it to. We don’t have a ton of time to cook lately, so we opted for cooking MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bowls for dinner! As most of you know, Ian and I try to live a healthier lifestyle most of the time, so these were perfect because they were quick, and so easy to fit into our date night, or in general life! Plus, is was such an easy way to substitute veggies for meat, which we try to do pretty often  We tried the Chik’n Pot Pie, and Chik’n Tikka Masala options both which had 100% vegan chik’n strips that are lightly seasoned and only 150 calories with 23g of protein in them! How amazing is that? They also have veggie bowls that have steak strips and veggie sausage crumbles™ in them, as well. The good thing about MorningStar Farms Veggie Bowls is the fact that it’s not only for vegetarians. They are great for people on the go - all of the families that are pulled in different directions each day, the busy working people, and also the general health-concious people. Ian was shocked when I told him that the bowls didn’t have real chicken in them. These bowls really are for everyone and are great for all ages, demographics, and lifestyles. 

5. Pop Open A Special Bottle Of Wine
To us, wine makes everything better and more romantic! We love sharing bottles of wine that we find together. It brings us back to the time we found it together, and gets conversation started about fun times.

6. Light A Fire To Keep Warm
This is something that is only useful during cold months, but it is such a romantic touch. I don’t know what it is about fires, but they add so much romance to an evening. Maybe it is the dim light it puts off, or the warmth, but it always adds extra romance to the evening.

7. Curl Up On The Couch And Rent A Movie
So, obviously this won’t work for those of you that don’t have enough time for a movie, but luckily, we pushed off our bedtime a bit so that we could fit this in, and it was so worth it! Who doesn’t like to cuddle and watch a romantic comedy?!

8. Get Creative And Set Up Camp In The Living Room
We loved this! We just moved into our house a few months ago, and this just changed things up so much. It was so fun to do something simple, yet so different! We made sure we put down an air mattress for padding, but if you don’t have an air mattress, just be sure to pack on the blankets so that you are comfortable for a good nights sleep!

9. Break Out The Board Games, Or Other Activities That You Like To Do
I don’t like games, but Ian loves them! We have so many board games tucked away in our closet, and we definitely need to put them to use more often. This was an awesome time to take advantage of them. We pulled them out and began to play. We had a couples shower before we got married, and our guest book was actually a jenga set, so we got to play with the jenga set and relive our couples shower. So neat! 

10. Focus On Your Time Together
This is the most important step, and I guess it technically could go hand in hand with putting down your technology, but hear me out. If you don’t put time and effort into your significant other, your relationship will fail. We don’t get much time together, so when we have the opportunity, we do our best to actually focus on each other. We not only put our phones down, but we consider how the other feels, and what they want. Ian knew I didn’t want to play many games, so we limited those. I knew that Ian didn’t want to watch another romantic comedy, so we changed paths. If you actually focus on each other, it makes your time together so much more meaningful!

Have you ever had an at home date night? Next time, try picking up a MorningStar Farms® Veggie Bowl so that you can have more time to spend with your loved one instead of spending so much time on cooking, and cleaning!
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Lexus UPTOWN Uncorked Event Recap
Posted on:11.18.2016

Last night, Lesley and I headed down to King Plow in Atlanta for the Lexus Uncorked event and had an absolute blast! We both worked long days and were really tired from work, but as soon as we walked into the building, that definitely changed. As we first arrive, traffic was so backed up and that's how I knew that it was definitely a fun, popular event and I was definitely right. Lexus knows how to throw a party! 

Let me start off by saying that the cars they had were GORGEOUS. They were shining throughout the night with their beautiful leather and perfect exteriors. I wish my pictures did them justice. 

Wine was provided by Constellation brands featuring Meiomi and Saved Costal California Wines. I had previously tried Meiomi, but I hadn't even heard of Saved before. I tried the Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, and the blend that they provided. All were amazing, but I definitely have to say that the Rose was my absolute favorite. That was surprising to me because I typically go for reds. This Rose was light and crisp instead of your typical sweet rose. I think that is what sold me on it! I definitely see that bottle of rose in my wine fridge in the near future! 

The food that was provided was signature dishes from top chefs and restaurants around the Atlanta area and these did not dissapoint, either. The chefs and restaurants that attended were Agua Azul, Star Ch3f, Chez Montier, Twisted Soul Cookhouse & pours, Chef Rob's Caribbean Cafe & upscale lounge & Tony Morrow's Real Pit BBQ. All of them had amazing food! Some of my favorites were the Salmon and rice dish, a seafood crostini and THIS (my absolute favorite): 

The meat on this baby was SO tender and flavorful and the goat cheese added the perfect amount of cream to pull the dish together perfectly. Below, you can see the rest of our amazing dishes and a few other pictures from the fabulous event that Lexus threw! Thank you so much to Lexus for having us! 

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Keeping Up With The Things I Love
Posted on:11.15.2016

This post was sponsored by DePuy Synthes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Three years ago, I decided to run my first 5k. I trained using an app that taught me how to go from sitting on the couch to running a 5k in just over a few weeks. I practiced and practiced until I thought I had it down. What could go wrong? The day of the race, I woke up early, and I was so excited to conquer the miles in front of me! To my surprise, not even one mile in, I physically could not run anymore. I had the worst pain that I have ever felt in both of my hips. I had no idea what I had done to them because I trained so hard. I talked with my doctor, and we figured it out - I trained on flat land, but the race was full of hills. He diagnosed my with hip tendonitis, and told me to take it easy for a bit.

I was so disappointed, especially since my sister and husband both had joint problems, as well, and ran the race totally fine. I asked my sister, Katie about her knee problems and she told me: "When I hurt my knee it was the worst pain, minus childbirth, that I have ever experienced. My knee was constantly swollen, painful, and it was very unstable. Walking and going downstairs were difficult, never mind any athletic activity. As an avid runner and skier it was important that I get it fixed, so I could resume the activities that I loved as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle. The surgery and rehab were painful, but worth it! For PT, I used an amazing athletic trainer who got me back into shape quickly. Now, I have no limitations. I am back to skiing, running half marathons, etc. My knee is amazing.” 

Why could Katie run it even after having knee surgery, but I couldn’t when I had no prior joint pain at all? The answer is because no body is the same. Everyone experiences different symptoms and pain when they do have joint problems, and this is exactly why you need to talk with your doctor when you do have joint pain instead of making assumptions. I asked my brother, Robert Titelman, who is an orthopedic surgeon why it is important to talk with a doctor when you have joint pain. He told me, “It is important to talk to the doctor because you may be doing more damage to the joint by ignoring it. Also, the longer it goes, the harder it is to make it better without surgery.” 

To this day, I still have issues with my hips every now and then, and it really holds me back from doing some of my favorite activities. When suffering from joint pain, life can definitely feel like it’s on hold. When my pain was really bad, I know I definitely felt like I was missing out with my loved ones when they wanted to do an activity that I couldn’t. I found myself sitting out instead of finding a solution to my pain. I stopped cooking, playing with the dogs, baking, walking, and even going to any event where I had to stand for a long period of time. I couldn’t keep up with the things that I loved, and that was pretty depressing. I finally had to tell myself that I couldn’t miss out on anything else - I had to “Hit Play” on my life so that I wouldn’t miss out on anything else with my friends and family.

Do you have joint pain? There is no reason to miss out on your favorite activities. Instead, talk to a doctor about a treatment option that will work for you so that you can “Hit Play” on your life! You can find a physician who can help you out at this website. I am so happy that I talked with a doctor about my pain because now I am back to doing all of the things that I love!

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