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At Southern Weddings, we’re big believers in family dinners–cell phone-free quality time spent at the table with your significant other. One of the best tools to have in your arsenal in order to make that happen? An inventory of delicious, healthy meals that can be prepared quickly and easily after a busy day of work. That’s why we love Dana and John of Minimalist Baker, and their commitment to sharing recipes that consist of 10 ingredients or less, use only one bowl, or take under 30 minutes to prepare. Their blog is a fantastic resource for making those family dinners happen, and we’re so excited to introduce this Kansas City couple to y’all!

Thanks so much to Whitney Knutson for these sweet photos!

By day: I’m a recipe developer, professional food photographer, and content creator for Minimalist Baker. John is the designer, technical guru, and brand strategist for Minimalist Baker, among many other roles.

How they met: We became familiar with each other through a group of friends who were in the same college church group in Wichita, Kansas (where we grew up). We first met at a dance party a friend of ours hosted. John says we locked eyes on the dance floor, but it wasn’t until months later that I fell for him and we began dating.

Their wedding: Our wedding was on a chilly day in March 2010, and it was simple and elegant. Since we were only engaged for a few months, the planning process went rather quickly. Friends and family watched us exchange vows at our church, and a dessert reception nearby followed. We may be biased, but it was kind of perfect.

Meal planning: I do the meal planning! Every Saturday, I plot out the week ahead and make a grocery run on Monday for everything we need. The grocery store is my happy place.

The cooking: That’s me again! John isn’t big on cooking, but thankfully, I happen to love it.

Favorite meal-related memory: There are so many, but I’d have to say eating sushi together during our trip to Bali, Indonesia last summer. We’d had a long day of lounging on the beach, and we got all dressed up and went out for dinner. I remember our time being particularly sweet, and John making me laugh a lot (which he does frequently).

Top ten favorite recipes:

1. My Favorite Vegan Pizza: I make this simple, healthy pizza every Sunday. It’s our favorite standing meal tradition.

2. Crispy Baked Peanut Tofu Stir Fry: I make some version of this dish every week. I love how bold the flavors are, and how it yields crispy, perfect tofu every time, even without frying!

3. Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes: This pasta gets thrown into our meal rotation at least every other week. I’m a sucker for white sauces, and this one satisfies my cravings every time, no dairy required.

4. Vegan Chai Ice Cream: Hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever made! I’m smitten with how creamy and perfectly spicy and sweet it is.

5. One Bowl Gluten Free Banana Bread: This is the most tender, moist banana bread I’ve ever had, and I love that it’s gluten free! I whip up a batch any time I have overripe bananas.

6. 5 Ingredient Detox Smoothie: I make some version of this smoothie most mornings for breakfast. It’s a simple way to squeeze more greens into our diet, and the tart-sweet flavor and creamy texture are near perfect.

7. Baked Herb and Pistachio Falafel: I’m a sucker for Mediterranean food, and this dish by Sara of Sprouted Kitchen satisfies my falafel cravings every time.

8. Chickpea, Spring Onion, and Tuscan Kale Panzanella Salad: I could eat this salad by Laura of The First Mess every day for the rest of my life and be one happy woman. Every time spring rolls around, I find myself reaching for this recipe as often as I can.

9. Shawarma Nachos: This recipe from My Name is Yeh looks like absolute perfection. This is technically cheating because I haven’t made it yet, but it’s on my menu plan for this week! I mean, look at all those flavors and textures! Amazing.

10. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Pancakes: Hands down, my favorite pancakes of all time, and the recipe that started it all on Minimalist Baker. I whip them up whenever I’m craving pancakes (which is rather often). I love their moist, slightly dense texture and how they taste just like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, only healthier!

We’re so grateful to Dana and John for sharing their favorite meals with us! Be sure to follow along with them on their blog, Minimalist Baker, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Laura reply

    Love this and love Dana to bits. These photos are so wonderful!

  2. avatar Mandy volpe reply

    Love this and totally agree that dinners around the table are important. I think I will try those oatmeal pancakes!

  3. avatar Kathy Mader reply

    What a fun article. Minimalist Baker is my favorite food blog. I thought you were going to show us some wedding pictures, though :)

  4. avatar Best of September | My Recipe Network reply

    […] did an interview with Southern Weddings about how we met, what our wedding was like, and what our 10 current favorite recipes are. Check […]

  5. avatar Best of September 2014 | Minimalist Baker Recipes reply

    […] did an interview with Southern Weddings about how we met, what our wedding was like, and what our 10 current favorite recipes are. Check […]

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Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up

by in Main on

Happy Saturday, y’all! Can you believe it’s already the last weekend of April? After such a long winter, the thrill of spring definitely hasn’t worn off yet, especially with the string of perfect weather days we’ve had in Chapel Hill. As of this week, we’re finally settled into our new office space (check out #TheOfficeReno for sneak peeks!), and are having a little shoot on Monday so we can share the results. It is pretty wonderful, and we can’t wait to give y’all a tour!

See more from this engagement session (of our Blue Ribbon Vendors, Feather and Twine!) by Michelle Boyd on our Facebook page!

In case you missed it this week…

Get to know Katherine of Kate McDonald Bridal in this week’s Designer Spotlight.
We’re looking for reader models (and a horse and a puppy!) for a V8 shoot in Charlottesville! Details here.
We teamed up with Freixenet to create a lovely, spring-inspired bridesmaid luncheon.
In Ask SW, we shared our tips for finding vendors.
Say howdy to some of our newest Blue Ribbon Vendors!
Bess and Ben’s Charleston home is so gorgeous and cozy! Take a tour on Southern Newlywed.

As seen in V7, Kelli and Michael‘s love story and wedding are like a Texas fairy tale.
Kalie and Bradford filled their historic Southern mansion venue with navy and blush details.
Kristen and Clay‘s Kentucky wedding included a Lowcountry boil and s’mores–yum!
Rachel and Shaman‘s Keswick Hall wedding looks so cozy and joyful.

More weekend reading:
The answer to one of our most frequently asked questions: when to use which monogram?
Even four years later, we’re still smitten with this wedding‘s classic details.
Tons of tasty, healthy recipe inspiration in this Southern Newlywed post with Minimalist Baker.

Have a lovely weekend, and congratulations to anyone getting married!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah Elizabeth reply

    So beautiful, love the photos and the round-up! xx

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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I’ve recently become very interested in small space living, and couldn’t be more excited that we have a diminutive dwelling to share with y’all today! Kelly and Andrew have packed every inch full of meaningful mementos and inspired finds, and I know you will love taking a peek inside their Birmingham carriage house home. Hugs to Jean Allsopp for sharing these lovely photos!

P.S. Ready for another tiny carriage house? Don’t miss Meg + Josh’s tour!

The couple: Kelly Kinnaird, 25, and Andrew Kinnaird, 25
Years married: One year and three weeks – we made it!
Where you live: Homewood, Alabama
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Kelly is a graphic designer who recently launched a custom wedding invitation business. She loves dark nail polish, salty foods, and warm socks. Andrew works as a manager in telecommunications, making it possible for you to get cell phone signal at large venues. He loves dabbling in videography, fixing things, and kayaking after a good storm. We were both born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We fell in love in college over four years of undeniable chemistry, late night Frosties, great music, love letters in Maine, and genuine conversation.
What is your favorite part of being married? We have such a wonderful, deep friendship that began long before we dated. Now that we are married, we love that we get to just hang out with each other every single day, deepening that friendship that brought us to love in the first place.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? To truly have a fulfilling, successful marriage, you must completely let go of yourself and your needs and serve your spouse daily. When you become selfless and intentional on a daily basis – not just every once and a while or when it is convenient – needs are met, hearts are filled, and the relationship thrives. It is a choice every day.

Do you rent or own? We are currently renting an adorable carriage house in Homewood, Alabama. It’s a quaint little area that looks straight out of a movie. We walk to the library, the park, coffee shops, stores, restaurants, and more. We are only minutes from downtown Birmingham, which makes it easy to pop downtown for a night out with friends or to visit the market on Saturday morning. We plan to rent here for a while longer while we save for our first house. We are not sure where we will end up in the next few years, but we currently love making Birmingham and our carriage house our home.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. I think we are still trying to figure out how to perfectly mesh our styles. Being a designer, my taste changes constantly, but usually hinges around an eclectic aesthetic with classic basics. Andrew is usually on board, but he believes comfort is most important, so we have to work through finding pieces that fill the house with comfort, but are still well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. We tend to like similar colors and are good at staying within a certain budget, so we always find a compromise.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? I think we would both agree that the time between our ceremony and reception was our absolute favorite. We didn’t see each other before the ceremony, so directly following it was our first moment to really spend time together. That moment allowed us to fully absorb this idea of being husband and wife. It was incredibly intimate, and it felt as if our photographers weren’t even there. Every time I look at those first photographs of being husband and wife, it still feels as surreal as it did in that moment.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have a wall we dedicated to a handful of our favorite wedding photographs. The wall is on the stair landing between our first and second floor, so we pass by our favorite memories multiple times each day. We also have a few film shots scattered throughout our home.

What most makes your house feel like home? We feel very attached to our carriage house and sometimes wonder why we would ever leave. It is just so quaint and makes all gatherings feel intimate and personal, which in turn makes our four walls a home. I would also say our dog Reagan, who brings noise and unconditional love, our candles that bring warmth and light, and our plants that bring fresh air and color.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We splurge on quality pieces we hope to pass down to our children, like our solid wooden dresser or antique sitting chairs. However, we buy those pieces secondhand to save a little, while also ensuring better quality. We seek out pieces at estate sales, thrift stores, and on Craigslist that we recover or finish to bring them up to date. For the trendier or more modern pieces, we are regulars at Target, Home Goods, and Ikea.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use most of the items on a weekly basis. I would have to say either our beloved silicone utensils (I don’t know how I lived without them), our cast iron skillets (yes, multiple – we are from the South, after all), or our gray quilt (by day, it is a throw for our bed, but by night, it is a giant blanket for living room hangouts).
Who cooks dinner? I gladly do! I love to cook. I have been slowly building my knowledge over the years and love the sense of satisfaction and community a good meal can provide. I look forward to the day where I have perfected enough homemade dishes to pass a recipe book on to my children.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We could live off of Mexican and Thai food. If we are looking for a quick weeknight meal, you can bet it will be a Mexican-inspired dish. Usually, it involves seasoned slow-cooked chicken, black beans, cheese, corn, avocados, roasted vegetables, and a homemade zesty Greek yogurt topping. On the weekend, you may catch us going to our favorite Thai restaurant to get our respective favorite dishes. The Thai restaurant is where our relationship began six years ago, so it holds a special place in our hearts (and our tummies!).
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I love collecting old family recipes and tweaking them to our personal tastes. I also love coming across fresh, modern blogs such as Minimalist Baker, A Couple Cooks, and Half Baked Harvest, as well as the classics such as Martha Stewart and Southern Living.

How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? We are self-proclaimed penny pinchers. We are known to only go out to eat if we split a meal or have a coupon, but we are okay with that! Andrew and I agree wholeheartedly on how we handle our finances – we set a strict budget, pay everything in cash (except basic online bills), and save aggressively. I personally handle our finances, but at the end of the month, we sit down together to look over our spending, savings, and financial goals. However, we do factor in some leisure money within that budget for the occasional concert, pair of shoes, or nail salon visit :)
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Our favorite date night involves a good movie marathon. We walk down to the library and check out a handful of movies. We then make a palette out of an air mattress and lots of blankets, and cuddle up for a night full of movies and popcorn.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Andrew has a gift of loving people well. How I got so blessed that he chooses to selflessly love me every day is beyond me. He is eager to help, always putting my interests before his. I try to best serve him through taking care of all the business of the house. I work from home, so I try to clean regularly, pay the bills, grocery shop, and cook, so that when he comes home from work, we spend our time having genuine conversations and experiences rather than adding worries or chores onto his busy work day.
Do you have children? Our furbaby Reagan is just perfect for us now. We are recently married and want to spend the next few years soaking up new places and spaces. We love to travel and want to take advantage of that while we can. But, we feel very called to have our fair share of children (we are hoping for four!) and we look forward to that season when it arrives. We know the Lord’s plans are perfect and we can’t wait to see how He will shape our little family over the years.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… how incredibly rewarding it is. Yes, it is work. Yes, it is challenging. However, the reward is greater than anything I would have ever imagined. How it is possible to feel so fulfilled, loved, and cared for by another human is beyond me.
This year, our family is most excited about… enjoying the nest we have been building over the last year. We have finally finished up all the side projects within our house and are thankful to be able to spend the next year reaping the benefits of the home we have built together.

We’re so grateful to Kelly and Andrew for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Deliver Paper Studio
Kelly’s instagram
Deliver’s instagram
Andrew’s instagram

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

emily Written with love by Emily

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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