Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Favorites Homemade Chicken Salad

Happy 2018!

Can you believe we’re already 22 days into the New Year? It seems like just yesterday we were gathered around the TV, watching the ball drop and counting down to 2018. The New Year brings new beginnings, new goals and new resolutions.

Like most of America, one of our resolutions is to get healthier. Oh, I know, I know….we all probably say it, but as January 1st came and went, so did our first day of another Whole30.

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Here we are, 22 days in and feeling great! You might remember we began our Whole30 Lifestyle about this time last year. It was fantastic. We lost a few pounds, felt great, slept great, craved healthy food and then….Football Season happened. While all of our hard work didn’t go down hill, we did notice all the changes and honestly didn’t like how we felt. Together we pledged to continue what we started in 2017 and get back on the Whole30 Bandwagon.

We’re often posting photos on Instagram of our daily dishes and are constantly getting comments and messages asking “What’s the recipe,” “Can you send me your favorite whole30 dishes,” or “Oh my goodness! That looks so good! How did you make it?”

Seriously, I love the Whole30 love! It gets me so excited to continue this journey, play with recipes to make them compliant and share our story with you. I’ve loved connecting with friends over the Whole30 and helping each other continue this journey for whatever reasons they have for doing it.

You can betcha for weeks and months to come our weekly Monday’s Menu will be Whole30 inspired. Most of the recipes have come from Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 books, Whole30 Recipes on Facebook or Instagram and from a few of my favorite Whole30 Bloggers. Wherever we find the recipe, we will make sure to add the link and give credit where credit is do.

One of my favorite Whole30 recipes comes from Anya’s Eats, Homemade Chicken Salad. It is a great basic recipe and is so versatile- you can really make it your own! Which is exactly what I’ve done.

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Homemade Chicken Salad

  • 2-3 chicken breasts or equivalent in leftover roasted chicken (dark meat is fine too)
  • 32oz oz chicken broth (only if you don’t have chicken pre-made)
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ⅓ cup celery, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped (I use about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼-1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Foods mayo (I use 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste ( I use about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup chopped grapes, into forths

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If you are cooking the chicken, place in a large pot and cover with chicken broth. Or if you’ve got your Kamado Joe is hot, Adam will often inject the chicken with broth, season with salt & pepper and pop on the grill.
  2. Bring to a boil then turn down to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Chicken is done when it falls apart very easily.
  3. Drain broth and place in large bowl.
  4. If you are using leftover chicken, you can start here. Place chicken in a large bowl and pull apart with two forks until shredded. (TIP: Put your chicken in your Kitchen Aid stand mixer, attach the dough hook and turn on high to shred the chicken quickly and easily)
  5. Add onion, celery, pecans and spices and mix together with chicken. (Add grapes here.)
  6. Add mayo and mix until fully combined. Start with ¼ cup and add more if you want it to be less dry.
  7. Serve with celery sticks, sliced cucumber, or over a bed of lettuce. SO GOOD y’all!

I love this recipe. Like I said you can really interchange the ingredients and make it your own. Trust me…you won’t even know its Whole30 and not your normal Chicken Salad! The Primal Kitchen Mayo is delicious!

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Adding the grapes and a few more ingredients helps to make the dish go further. It lasts us a week of lunches in our home and if you’re on the Whole30 you know how wonderful it is to not have to be in the kitchen all the time.

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Do you have a favorite Whole30 Chicken Salad recipe? Have you made this with your own additions? Share your recipes with us! We’d love to give them a try too!

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We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

FaLaLaLa Fett’s Countdown To Christmas

The Christmas Holiday Season is my absolute most favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s the chill in the air, the joyous smiles radiating from everyone’s faces or the fact that I’m an {almost} Christmas Baby. Christmas has always been my favorite. Always.

We had all intentions of beginning our Christmas Countdown on Wednesday, but alas…here we are on Sunday, eight days to go until the Big Man shows and I am just sitting down to write this post.

So lets begin by backing up a few days and get caught up on our countdown.

Day 12 is for Traditions.

One of my {our} favorite Christmas Traditions began our first year of marriage. Christmas is a wonderful time- cheerful, full of family and lots of love, but it can also be a stressful time- I am sure you can all relate. Running from home to home visiting family, shopping and wrapping until the last minute, Christmas parties, are you tired yet?

Our first Christmas Adam and I were with my parents in Peachtree City. We spent the night on Christmas Eve at their house, woke up to gifts from Santa, followed by our usual Christmas Brunch. We packed up in our PJs, headed back to Atlanta to FaceTime with Adam’s Family from Michigan, change, have supper and meet up with his family that is local to Atlanta. Long story short…things didn’t quite go as planned. By the time we got back to our house in Atlanta making a fancy Christmas meal was not in the cards. Everything was closed and all we had was a Frozen Pizza, which is exactly what we had. Frozen Pizza on our Kate Spade China. Classy! Our brand of choice? Screamin’ Sicilian.

Three years later it is one of the things we both look forward to. It’s our time to enjoy the holiday together – just the two of us. Don’t get us wrong, we love spending time with our families and taking part in all the holiday fun, but there is something so comforting in spending time together, relaxing and enjoying the Christmas night just us two {for now anyways.}

This year the pizza is already in the freezer and depending on how our Annual Tacky Sweater Party goes we will hopefully have some Slush to go with it!

Does your family have a holiday tradition? Share your favorites with us!

PS: Wouldn’t you know after all these years I don’t have one single photo of our Christmas suppers?

Day 11 is for Elves. 

Before “Elf On The Shelf” was a thing…I had a Elf. He stayed at my Grandparents- Honna and Grandaddy’s-  House. I don’t remember his name or what his “powers” were, but I remember him having a little felt outfit, hat and shoes. He was a special Elf that us kids could not touch unless we had permission. He typically sat on the fireplace mantle and watched our every move. IMG_6531.jpg

Another Christmas tradition that Adam and I now have incorporated into our holiday season is our visiting Elf, Dewey. Dewey is a joyful, energetic, full of life Christmas Elf that makes his way to the FaLaLaLa Fett’s on December 1st. He helps us countdown to Christmas by bringing holiday surprises, planning Christmas themed Dates and of course sending reports to Santa. Why should kids have all the fun? It’s so fun having a little Christmas Spirit in the house and see just what tricks and treats Dewey has up his sleeve!

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Does your family have an Elf or two roaming around this holiday season? Tell us all about him or her! Are they as tricky and mischievous as Dewey?

Day 10 is for the Perfect Christmas Tree. 

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If you’ve followed us the last 3+ years, you may have seen our previous posts about our Christmas Trees. Yes, you read that correctly. We have multiple trees at Christmas.

I grew up with 6 artificial Christmas Trees. Each one had it’s own theme- from Gingerbread to Barbie and the Great State of Texas to Sports for my brother Joey. Six different rooms in my childhood home was home to a tree at Christmas time.

Adam on the other hand, well….thats where our story about the “Perfect Christmas Tree” comes into play. He grew up with a Fraser Fur Tree. His family would go out to a local farm in Michigan, cut down their tree and haul it home. Well friends…that is us. The FaLaLaLa Fett’s turn Griswold Family Christmas.

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Photo credits: www.rainforestislandsferry.com

We can’t just drive a half mile down the road to our big box home store or a mile to the nearest local Christmas Tree lot, instead we take a little 3 hour tour to North Carolina. The closest place to Atlanta where Fraser Fur trees are grown.

Are we sounding more like the Griswold’s now?

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Photo Credits: http://www.people.com

The two of us pack up the car, drop Samson off at his Tonna and Buddy’s and hit the road for North Carolina around the first weekend of December. Our first Christmas we went up to the Highlands, while the last two years we made the trip to Asheville.

What an ordeal it is! Adam is SO picky. My only requirement is the tree be skinny to fit in a particular spot in our little condo. Adam on the other hand…oh lord…let’s just say our tree hunt ends up with a few good laughs and a great topic to remission on for the next year.

He spends hours looking up the farms in the area- scoping out prices and reviews. Then once we get there we drive from farm to farm, in and out of the car, up and down the mountains of North Carolina to find the perfect tree.

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It can’t have holes of any kind. The needles can’t be droopy or have any dead spots. It can’t be too short. It can’t…it can’t…it can’t… The man’s list goes on and on. By the time we find out tree, Adam cuts it down using an old fashion saw and we get our picture with her, there is normally mud on his jeans, sweat dripping from his forehead, and me…there just “cheering” him on.  {Of course you would never know any of this by the looks of our pictures! HA! HA!}

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This year we came across the true spirit of Christmas and restored our faith in humanity a bit while on the hunt for our tree. We had already visited two other farms in Asheville. The first one didn’t allow us to cut down our tree, the second had extremely over priced {to the tune of $200+} for a tree the size we needed and by the time we pulled up to our third farm without a tree it was just about closing time.

The owner greeted us at our car, asked what we were looking for and said, “Come on. It’s just me, but I’d be happy to show you what I have.”

It was after looking around a bit and finding a tree we realized he only took cash or checks, something neither of us had with us. The Farm owner said not to worry about it and send him a check when we got home!

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Y’all, is that not the BEST story? In the world we live in today you rarely come across someone that would have faith and trust in a total stranger like that. Just goes to show there is still kindness in the world and by sharing it with others, we can all make the world a happier place to call home.

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Are you a real or artificial tree fan? How many trees does your family have? Tell us your stories!

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Day Nine is for Nostalgic. 

Is there something that is now part of your Christmas that you had growing up? Perhaps an artificial tree? An “Elf on the Shelf”? Or even the tradition of cutting down your own family tree?

In our home we have slush. Ah, the Famous Fett Family Slush.

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{Well, that is what our friends call, but it actually started on Adam’s Mom’s side of the family.}

Growing up Adam’s family always had Slush at Holiday Parties. There was “Fun Slush” for the Adults and “Kids Slush” for the kids…if you catch my drift. {wink wink} Think of an ice cold frozen Slurpie from your local Seven-Eleven, but BETTER!

Adam tells stories of his Grandma Yonker making it every year. Green was for kids and red was for the adults. There’s a secret to making it and let me tell you people…its a sneaky, sneaky drink. If Slush is invited, there will be no Grinches at our parties!

The FaLaLaLa Fett’s have incorporated it into our Christmas celebrations. Every year we host a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party and the Slush is a staple. Our friends talk about it all year- those that have come in years past tell the new comers all about it. Everyone is warned early on. Uber to the party the Slush will get you!

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We always get asked, “What’s in this? How can we make this? Can we have it at all your parties?”

Until last year Adam would NEVER give out the recipe for Slush. Sort of like my Strawberry Cake. It’s a Family Recipe, you don’t just give those out.

{Ah, but when you do you, don’t ever give out the full recipe. Their’s just can’t be better than yours!  Sorry friends!} 

Now the infamous Slush recipe hangs proudly in our Kitchen for all to see….hence the reason to why Adam now “gives it out.” Last Christmas we received our favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas gift from Adam’s parents. They know how much we both love incorporating our family’s traditions into our Christmas and what a big part of our FaLaLaLa Fett Christmas Slush as become.

Together they made a frame for the original, hand written Slush recipe by Adam’s Grandmother, who is no longer with us. The frame has a little wire basket attached with some of his Family’s favorite holiday recipes and extra cards for us to add some of my family’s and recipes we create together.

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I absolutely love it. 

Now when friends ask about it, we jokingly say we don’t give it out. If they happen to notice the recipe hanging they are more than welcome to take a picture, but Adam doesn’t go into detail about how its made, what all exactly is in it and how to make it just perfect.

Cheers!

Day Eight is for eclectic. 

I’d like to think our holiday decor is somewhat eclectic. The artificial tree is more funky, free spirited, glitz and glitter, while the real tree is more antique, filled with old fashion Santas and old wooden toy ornaments. All the other decor in the house goes along with those two themes.

Of course ANYTHING I see with “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,” Happy HOLLYdays,” or something about Holly in general I just have to have. We basically have a little Santa’s Workshop in Atlanta, GA. Adam may or may not love it…

One decoration that I absolutely love and I know he appreciates too is my antique ceramic tree. While these are all the rage now popping up in Vintage stores or replicas  in big box stores, mine is truly a priceless antique.

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Like most of our favorite things on this year’s countdown, a ceramic tree was something I grew up with. My Mom had one she purchased her first married Christmas, I believe. Someone at the school she taught at handmade them. Our green ceramic tree covered in tiny multicolored lights always sat on our entry way table for all to see. It was always my favorite thing to put up when our family came together to decorate the house for the holidays. To this day, it is still one of the “jobs” I help Mom with when I come over.

Two years ago, right around Christmas, my 100+ year old Great-Grandmother Gran passed away.  She left behind a ceramic tree, similar to my Mom’s for me. It is the first decoration to go up. The last one to come down and of course it’s home is on the entry way table. She is dusted with snow and adorned with miniature pink lights. She is perfect.

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Does your home have one theme for Christmas decorations or is it more eclectic? Do you have one favorite piece? The Christmas Season is our most favorite time of the year. We love our stories, but would love to hear yours too. What makes your house feel like a home over Christmas? What makes your heart the most joyful this time of year?

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

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Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

 

Friday Favorite: Garlic Zoom

Adam says, “If vampires were real, they wouldn’t come near our house!”

Apparently I like garlic…..a lot.

If a recipes calls for two cloves of garlic, lets add four! Making steam veggies? Drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle a little salt and pepper, and a heaping tablespoon of chopped garlic.

Now, when I do make veggies Adam asks that I not add anything and he will doctor his up himself because “All (he) tastes is garlic!” Whoops! Guess I am fond of garlic!

One of my favorite kitchen gadgets is the Chef’n Garlic Zoom. If you cook with fresh garlic you will love it too! You no longer have to spend a long time chopping it- hoping you don’t cut yourself or using all of your energy to squeeze it out of a fancy garlic press all thanks to this handy little invention!

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Photo Credits: Google

I got my Zoom in as a stocking stuffer a few years ago and don’t know how I ever chopped garlic without it! It is such a favorite in our household. I gave the Zoom as a gift to a couple of my girlfriends last Christmas! We have used it while making multiple BLUE APRON meals this week!

How does it work?

Simply pop the top. Put a few peeled garlic cloves inside the ball. Close the top and roll.

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Photo Credits: Google
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Photo Credits: AliExpress

As the Zoom rolls, the small blades inside chop the garlic in seconds!

Take a look at this YouTube video to see exactly how it works! You can grab the Zoom online, at Target and I have most recently seen it at TJMaxx! Trust me when I say, if you use the Zoom it will be your FRIDAY FAVORITE too!

Do you already have a Zoom? Let us know what you think! As soon as you order and use yours- tell us how it goes! You will LOVE IT!

We hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam  & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Baby Porchetta with Balsamic Berries & Arugula

If you know me, you know I love Rachael Ray! From her 30 Minute Meal Days to her Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine, I follow it all! While flipping through a recent issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray I came across our Monday’s Menu Meal: Baby Porchetta with Balsamic Berries & Arugula.

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Ingredients: 

1/4 lb sliced pancetta or 6 slices of thinly sliced bacon

2 Tbsp chopped rosemary (we used fresh from our herb garden)

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tsp lemon, zested

1 tsp fennel seed

1 to 1 1/2lbs pork tenderloin

Salt & Pepper to taste

Olive Oil for drizzling

1 lemon, cut into wedges

1 cup sliced strawberries

1/2 cup blackberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1/4 cup dry red wine

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar

Handful of Basil, torn

Large bunch of arugula, about 3-4 cups

4 ciabatta rolls or other crusty rolls

Steps: 

Preheat oven to 375°. Heat large skillet over medium heat. {We used our Le Creuset Pot}

On a sheet of parchment paper, arrange the bacon in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, and fennel seed. Season the pork with salt and pepper and place on the bacon (longways). Roll the bacon up and over the pork. Using kitchen string, tie 4 or 5 knots along the pork to secure. Drizzle the wrapped pork with EVOO and add to skillet, turning until brown. {See photos from Rachael Ray magazine below}

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Transfer the skillet into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Take our and let the meat rest 10 minutes before drizzling with the juice from the lemon wedges.

Mix washed berries, wine, vintage and let sit 15 minutes. Toss with basil. Top rolls with arugula and place the berry mixture on top.

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Yum-O! This was such a delicious meal y’all and fairly easy to make! Looks much more difficult than it actually was to make! Love those types of dishes.

Would love to know how it turns out for you if you give it a try! Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are! Happy cooking!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

Throw Back Thursday: West Coast Wanders {Part 2}

Up and at ’em again! You’d think after a long day of touring six wineries Adam and I would relax by the pool at the Meritage Resort. Yea right! We have more vineyards to see and wines to try!

If you missed our Tuesday Travels post, take a look and get caught up on our two day trip to Napa Valley.

Friday: 

@HeliHubby and I started our Friday morning with a late Breakfast at The Boon Fly Cafe. Wow y’all! Talk about good eats! You’ve got to make a stop if you’re in the area and start with their “Bakers Dozen Donuts.” So not healthy, but oh so yummy! They are mini cinnamon/sugar donuts served with a variety of jellys to dip the in. Yum! Yum!

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Adam had a omelet and I ate the Poppa Joe’s Egg in a Hole…so so good! Really, can you tell how much we enjoyed it? I can’t wait to go back!

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Our first Winery of the day, was Bouchaine Vineyards.

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They are the oldest winery in the region and are now a locally owned boutique style winery. We can not say enough wonderful things about this tasting.  Our tasting guides Alli and Tyler were the best we had our entire trip- they could not have provided a better experience! Both were extremely knowledgable about the wine and the wine making process. We loved that we could tell they both genuinely loved their job. We found another delicious sweet wine here too! We can’t wait to return!

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After our tasting at Bouchaine we stopped by Etude for another quick tasting. Their tasting cost is a bit more expensive than most wineries in the area, however, we were able to taste very high end bottles. (Wines that Adam and I would never buy-way too pricey for us!) A great experience though!

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From Etude we went to Artesa Winery.

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The tasting room is very unique, it’s built into a hill- you’d never know it was there!

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Artesa has a large outdoor tasting area- awesome views of the grounds and the valley area. On a beautiful sunny day, it is the perfect spot to sit, relax, take in the views and taste the wines!

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Artesa had the “youngest crowd” and was the most busy out of all the wineries we visited. It actually felt like we were at a club fighting to get to the bar for a drink. While there we met an older couple that was part of their wine club and they could not even get service. The views were awesome, but not worth going back to and fighting the crowds. We each had one glass of champagne and left. Disappointing.

Our final tasting of our trip was at Domaine Carneros. {You can see the grounds of Domaine Carneros from the observation deck of Artesa.}

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We planned to visit this vineyard midday, because they are one of the very few that serves food alongside their tastings. (at an additional cost) It is definitely worth paying a little more though! Reservations are required, we planned about an hour at each winery tasting prior in order to make it in time for our reservation. Again, another site with gorgeous views and a large outdoor tasting area.

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Adam and I each did the Grande Champagne tasting with the Charcuterie Plate. (A selection of artisan meats served with sliced baguette.) Our host was an older French gentleman- he just loved Adam and I! He brought us out an additional dessert Champagne to try along with some dark chocolate to top off our visit! It was another favorite spot added to our list!

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We loved our time in Napa and can not wait to start planning a trip back. We could literally spend weeks out there and not see everything! Have you done a wine tasting trip out to Napa or Sonoma? We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite vineyards to tour? Wines to taste?

Watch for another Newly Newlywed Tuesday Travels post next week! We’ll be sharing our trip down to San Francisco through the Muir Woods and over the Golden Gate Bridge, plus all the things we did in the city!

Don’t forget to follow these spots on @twitter too!

@MeritageResort 

@BoonFlyCafe

@BouchaineWines

@EtudeWines

@Artesa

@DomaineCarneros

So sad to see our Napa Valley trip come to an end, but we will be visiting again soon! Now to continue Adam’s birthday celebration in the city! We will share all the details soon!

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Hope you are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds not experts!