Wednesday, 31 August 2011

WFW: Girl Portaits

Before we got started on portaits, I had to take a minute to re-enact a scene from veil shopping.  MOH Micah and I were stupidly amused with my ghost impression both then and on the big day.

But then it was time to take some girlie portaits.  Ross and I opted to forgo the currently en vogue "First Look" in favour of the traditional "not seeing each other until I walked down the aisle".  I've always loved that moment in a wedding when the groom sees his bride for the first time and wasn't willing to pass up seeing Ross' expression.  But!  We also wanted to expedite the portrait process, so we had the photographers take any pictures that didn't involve the 2 of us together before the ceremony.

First, we took some photos of three very important ladies.

Me and my beautiful mom

Me with my Grandmother.

Me and my G'ma.  (One of my absolute favourite photos from the whole day)

As you can see, I went with small hand tied posies for my mom and the grandmothers.  I think they're so pretty and I've always thought they looked much nicer than a big corsage pinned to a pretty dress and messing it up/pulling it weirdly/distracting from the dress itself.  Next up, the younger ladies and I headed to the sanctuary for some more pics.

We were quick and efficient with our photos. 

The classic "pretty ladies" shot.

The "goofy ladies" shot, in which we 
are parodying MOH Micah's inability to wink properly.

Then I got one on one shots with each of my 3 bridesmaids.

And a shot with my beautiful cousins/ house party ladies.

And just like that we were done.  We hustled back to the parlour where we'd been getting ready to hide out as guest were due to start arriving any minute.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Sniff sniff

I don't know if this product exists in America, but I never noticed it before moving here.   They are basically double sized tissues.  I have to say, I'm not a fan.  

I think it's because (gross info time) when I blow my nose, stuff comes out and I want to throw it away.  That feels wasteful because there is so much clean tissue left, but I'm not going to carry around a tissue half filled with snot- cause that's gross.  Duh!  

So, I already wasn't a fan of this product, but then they went and poked the bear that is my crazies* by putting out a new commercial:

So, the gist of the ad seems to be that they have a new package that will cause the tissues to be annoyingly easy to lose and hard to find.  Who is the ad genius who came up with that?!  Seriously.  Am I the only one that doesn't get this as a concept for an ad campaing.  "Kleenex:  We'll irritate you real good!"  

I swear, every time this ad comes on the TV my blood pressure goes up and I have to stop myself from yelling at the screen.  I have no idea why it gets under my skin so much.  I guess that's just my crazies for you.

What drives you needlessly crazy?

*I am fully aware that Kleenex doesn't know who I am or do anything to intentionally provoke me.  I'm being humorous  not delusional :)

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Word of the Week


Definition:  people who don't like to wear clothing.  as a way of life.  or something.
Used in a sentence:  I really don't understand naturistnudists.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Cultural Smackdown: Breakfast battles

We're going on a cruise next month with my dad's side of the family and I will tell you the number one thing I'm looking forward to about the trip:  breakfast!

Delicious, scrumptious, American breakfast!

Pancakses!  Waffles!  French toast!  Biscuits (not the cookie kind, the warm buttery bread kind!)!  Hash browns!  Bacon (the good American kind!)!  Some tasty fruit!

This is definitely an area where Ross and I agree, hands down, that America totally kicks British butt.  

The Full English Breakfast is an institution.  

The image above is pretty typical.  As you can see it's a pretty heavy meal.   On the plate, you see a sausage, black pudding (not always included, but a must in certain parts of the country), bacon, egg (can be scrambled or fried), hash browns, mushrooms, beans, and tomato.  Not pictured is the fried bread, which is like french toast, but just bread and butter really.  There is a vegetarian option usually available that involves removing the meat and adding more mushrooms generally.

The biggest difference I think is that American breakfast has a pretty heavy "sweet" component (sure mixed with savory), but the British is entirely savory.  

Sure I realize that I can cook the foods I am missing at home (which I have done), but it just ain't the same!  If only there was an IHOP in town... I guess I'll just have to wait until the cruise ship and it's delicious all you can eat food...

What do you think?  Is there a clear winner in your opinion?
My expats out there, what breakfast food do you miss the most?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Honey Apple Banana Cake

For Ross' birthday, I made a new cake that turned out surprisingly well.
This cake is surprisingly healthy in that it doesn't contain any butter or oil!

Check it out.

I started by preheating the oven to 205C/400F.
Then I took my handy apple cutting device.  I pulled back the peeling bit so that just cut and cored, but didn't take the skin off.

 I used it to cut up 3 apples (I sort of wish I'd used 4).  After I pulled the apple coil off the device and then sliced it down the middle so I had a bunch of little curved pieces, which I scattered on a large baking sheet.

Next I drizzled honey all over the slices.

I also took a cap full of vanilla extract and drizzled that too.

Then I put the apples in the oven for about 10 minutes.  Oh, how heavenly it smelled!
While this was going on I set out my over-ripe bananas to thaw.  (If a banana in our house gets the wrong side of ripe, I just throw it in our freezer and then I can defrost it when I want to bake something banana-y.)  There were actually 3 bananas, but I took this picture after I'd already peeled one.

Once my bananas thawed, I peeled them and put them in a large bowl.

Then I used a whisk to mash 'em up real good.

Then I added 1/2 cup of sugar.

And mixed it in with the mashed bananas until it was nice and blended.

Next I added a 1/4 cup of honey.

And then 2 eggs.

Then 1 3/4 cups of plain flour.

By now my apples were done.  This is what they looked like when I pulled them out of the oven.  I then turned down the heat to 175C/350F.

Then I added 1 tbsp. of baking powder.

and a pinch of salt

And a teaspoon of cinnamon

and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg and mixed it all together until it was smooth!

Next I used coconut oil instead of butter to grease the cake tin.  This is another healthy tip, as coconut oil is INSANELY good for you.  (It can also be used as a fabulous skin moisturiser!)  Don't worry, though it smells  pretty strongly of coconut, it doesn't make the cake taste of it at all.

Next I put my cooked apple slices on the bottom of the pan.  Here's where I should have used fewer slices, unless I had used 4 apples, and then I could have used a few more.

I poured the batter in the tin and then used the rest of the slices to make a pretty flower design on the top of the cake.  Again, it would have been much prettier if I'd had even more slices.  Then I put it in the oven for one our and 10 minutes.

The cake came out looking very nice and smelling fabulous.

I'd say that many people wouldn't have thought this cake was very "birthday-ish", it is almost like a breakfast cake.  It's spicy and dense.  It stayed moist for several days and Ross loved it!

Happy baking!

(Recipe adapted from this recipe.)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

WFW: Dress Up

While my mom hit the hair and make up chair...

It was finally time to get bride-i-fied. 
Oh my beautiful dress (which is now in a big plastic tub in Bridesmaid Nicole's attic).

Check out that gorgeous embroidery and beading!

The girls helped me step in, while the photographer preserved my modesty.

I squished "the girls" while Cindy and Micah worked the zipper.

Once I was locked and loaded we had a nice laugh. 

Next the girls helped me step into my shoes.

It took a surprising amount of help to balance and straighten the straps.

A shoe (along with my other accessories) close up.  I spent a long time looking for the perfect shoes.  I wanted something that was pretty, re-wearable, and not too high of a heel.  I ordered and returned probably 10 pairs of shoes from (thank you awesome return policy!) before settling on these.

I wanted to participate in the "somethings" tradition, but my open shoe was giving me trouble when it came to the final part "and a six pence in her shoe" (which many brides leave out).  Ross provided me with a six pence which I ended up super gluing to the sole of my shoe.
You can see it in this picture.

 And a close-up.

And the final part of my ensemble, the veil.  My beautiful, long, delicate veil.  I loved the dainty row of beading just around the edge.

Erin (the hair/make up artist) helped with the placement of my veil.

And that was it!  I was all brided up.