Friday, 28 September 2012

Happy for Friday

It's almost the weekend! Some weeks feel longer than others. Sometimes you do everything right, but somehow it's not good enough. I guess that's what weekends and beaches and amazing husbands are for. J and I are heading to a place called Happy Adventure. This is actually the name of the town. I'm thinking it's a good end for a brutal week.

- I've been loving this blog lately.
- We've been eating lots of Shake n Bake tofu. Really good. Also, greens with parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, and balsamic. So simple, but so good.
- My latest baking thing is coconut flour. Loving coconut banana chocolate ship muffins.
- I've been checking out some Newfoundland blogs. Some are pretty cool.
- Jon is loving this expensive, healthy mac n cheese I've been making. Here in Gander, the ingredients cost around $15.
-we are watching In Treatment marathon-style. Addicted.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

on winning a car (part 1)

(the day of the win with a cruze. note: this is not the actual car i won)

so crazy. i got a message on my phone saying that i was a potential winner of a contest i had entered at the drugstore. the message said i had to contact them within two hours. i called back right away, thinking maybe i would win a gift certificate or something. the lady on the phone said she had to record our phone call due to the value of the potential prize. my stomach jumped a little. she asked me a bunch of questions, like if i had any family members who worked for SDM or GM. then she asked me a skill testing question. i had ten minutes to get the answer. we were driving to work at that point, and i was starting to feel super excited. she said she would call back in 5 minutes for my answer to the skill testing question. i did the math twice, then had j do it. i was confident the answer was 119. i wrote it on my hand. as if i would forget. she called back as i walked in to work. she said i had the correct answer. i asked her what my odds of winning something were now. she said i had won a car. i asked her if she was kidding. i asked her if she was serious. i was practically hyperventilating. she said i had won a 2013 chevrolet cruze eco. she said i had to sign a release form within 2 hours to make it official. i flipped out. i ran to a computer, printed off the release form, signed it with shaking hands. faxed it. made it official

the thing about winning a car is that i didn't earn it. other crazy exciting moments in my life, like getting accepted to grad school or finding out i had passed my board exams, were earned. and when j asked me to marry him. it was crazy exciting, but it is something that made sense in my life. winning a car is just totally out of the blue. it is totally random. and there is something very unique about that. i am so lucky i got to experience the feeling of winning a car.

i don't have the car yet. i am so curious. are there any secret fees? are they going to try to sell upgrades to me? do i get to pick the colour? do i just go pick it up at my local dealership? i will write about all these things once i have the car. so excited

Monday, 24 September 2012

on the weekend + thoughts on easy friendships

there's nothing like friends who have known you for a long time. in the case of jess and i, 13 years. 

(no icebergs, but at least they tried the beer) 

(local real estate) 

(on the way to twillingate) 

(self timer) 

(checking out the minky whales at crow head) 

(a little hike around crow head) 

(lighthouse love)

when i was growing up, moving every two years, i was always so jealous of friends who had known each other since kindergarten. there's something really comforting about friends who know all your stories, who were part of them. ever since jess and i met, she has been a constant in my life. she is tight with my whole family. she knows all my stories. ours is a really easy friendship that doesn't require much maintenance. i am lucky.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

sweet sunday

These past few days have been pretty crazy. I won a car. And an old friend from high school came to visit. 

The phone call about the car came on wednesday while we were on our way to work. I will definitely write more about that later. We had our first visitors ever to our home in Gander. Jess and I have been friends since I first moved back to Canada. We had fun catching up, drinking Iceberg, visiting a craft fair, and viewing whales. More on that tomorrow. We are off to enjoy this sweet, rainy sunday.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

small town truths

(an iceberg in Twill this time last year)

i love living in a small town. really, i love that after a year of living here, we know a lot of people. when we go to the grocery store, most of the cashiers know that we bring our own bags. when we play pool on sundays, we chat with the bartender, who is also the cosmetician at the drugstore. people give us stuff all the time. jam, moose, pasta, cod. maybe this happens in big towns too.  

but. yesterday i was described as "foreign" by a patient. they were concerned that my accent was too strong. really, i grew up in the maritimes, and have very little accent. same with my husband. 

also. we have our very first visitors from the mainland coming to stay with us this week. so we needed a bed, and sheets. my neighbour gave us a bed. so then we needed sheets. we do not shop at the store that starts with wal- and ends with -art, so when it came to buying sheets, we had zero choices. it's true. there is only one place in our small town to buy sheets. i ended up going to a liquidation type store in twillingate to get "feels like egyptian cotton" sheets. the only kind they had. 

anyway, there are pros and cons to life in a small town. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

notes from the weekend

(freshly painted wedding rings) 

(part of a sweet package from an old friend

(finally reading that ubiquitous book...not loving it) 

(some instant pics from the night before our wedding) 

(ran the terry fox run and got this cool sticker)

- i am allergic to white gold. the doc recommended i use clear nail polish, but i prefer using my fav
- reading 50 shades, just to say i did. not really feeling it at all. 
- the polaroids from the wedding festivities = fun to flip through
-terry fox is a good run to do. there's not a lot of corporate sponsorship, so more of the money goes to the cause, instead of paying people's salaries and advertising. 
-we watched the doc "wasteland." really, really good. our new thing is to watch itunes rental of the week, and this was it. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

happy friday

so glad it's friday. tonight we are volunteering to plant trees right outside town. we are also planning to sharpen our pool skills, and run 5K for terry on sunday. 

also, i've been blogging for a year now. this past year, i've blogged about a bunch of things:

-a visit to the local chinese food restaurant, highlights
-getting into a car accident with a baby moose
-making paleo ice cream (so good. i make it all the time)
-double rainbows (and true love)
-wedding budgets (we didn't spend much on our photographer)
-newfoundland weather (6 month winters)
-healthier peanut butter cups

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

our wedding: a few b&w pics

just a couple fav pics with my parents on our wedding day. love them and love j. happy wednesday!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

the best spelt bread ever

so j pretty much only eats spelt bread. i really dislike the stuff you buy at the store. so after many tries, i figured out a good recipe for bread maker spelt bread. i am no pro baker, so the bread machine is really my style. but i just tried the no-knead technique. insane. best bread i've ever had. i can't even explain how awesome this bread is. and easy.

no-knead spelt bread (adapted from here)

4 cups spelt flour + more to sprinkle
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
cornmeal or wheat bran for the top (i used cornmeal)
*1 large cast iron or ceramic pot with lid (i used the inside of my slow cooker. i had to take the plastic handle off, and fill the tiny hole where the screw was with a bit of foil. worked perfect)

1. in a large bowl mix flour, yeast, salt together. add 1.5-2 cups water. dough will be sticky and shaggy. put some plastic wrap on top and set aside for 12 to 18 hours (the closer to 18 hours, the better)

2. dough should have bubbles on the surface. flour a working space and place dough on it. sprinkle with more flour, and fold it over onto itself. cover with the plastic wrap for 15 minutes

3. using a little more flour, shape dough into a ball. coat a dishtowel in cornmeal, and place ball of dough on it. then sprinkle more cornmeal on top, and place another dishtowel on top of the dough. leave for 2 hours or so. it should double in size

4. at least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, place the pot in the oven as it heats to 450 degrees. when the dough is ready, take the heated pot out of the oven. take the top dishtowel off the dough, and using the bottom dishtowel, carefully dump the dough into the pot. it will look messy. 

5. place the lid on the pot and bake for 30 minutes in the oven. then take the lid off and bake for another 15 minutes or so until it is golden brown on top. let cool. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

our wedding: budget

j and i had a special savings account for our wedding. for the year we were engaged, we both put money in it every month. it made the actual month of our wedding easier. we weren't stressed about the costs at all. 

while we were planning our wedding, i kept a list of all the money we were spending on the wedding. we didn't have a set budget, but i thought it would be interesting to look back at how much things were when we got married. i was surprised about the things that ended up costing the most...

this is what we actually spent broken down into percentages:

alcohol (shots, wine with dinner, drinks from the drink tickets we gave each guest): 13%
food (dinner and dessert): 20%
decor (from an awesome company in moncton, plus shot glass favours): 10%
transportation (flights for j and i, shuttle for guests, rental car, hotel rooms): 20%
bridesmaid stuff (dresses, earrings, pedicures, limo): 12%
jon's suit, our wedding rings: 10%
wedding coordinator, photographer: 10%

wedding dress: gift from my parents
flowers: gift from my parents
hair: gift from my sister
cake: gift from my aunt
"dress rehearsal" wine and cheese the night before the wedding: hosted by my parents

having my flowers done as a gift was huge. i chose some of the most expensive flowers, and insisted that the table centerpieces be in square, clear glass containers. mom ended up buying quite a bit of glassware that we never ended up using. she would send me pics of trial runs that she did, then we would make changes. we skyped near the end so i could really see all the details. when i imagined my wedding, flowers were always top priority for me. i can imagine that the flowers probably would have been 20% of the budget. or more. i was really happy with how the flowers turned out.

also, my bridesmaids ended up going to the mall the night before the wedding to buy shoes for themselves and me. i had already ordered 5 pairs of shoes twice (aka we now have 10 pairs of beige shoes that were never worn), but neither seemed right. i really struggled to find shoes i liked (also, i am not really into shoes), and was planning to wear an old purple pair of wedges my sister had. but in the end the girls got me the light blue ones i wore, and they were awesome. they are now part of my sister's shoe collection.

Friday, 7 September 2012

happy friday

we are back to fake fridays around here, but it still feels good. this weekend j is flying across the province in a private plane to play golf. pretty lux. i'll be trying a few things in the kitchen, and making use of my gym membership. 

i am working on a little post about our wedding budget. secretly that is the thing i am most interested in when i read about other weddings. i'll have that up on monday. have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

our wedding: reception details

we had our reception at the crowne plaza hotel in dieppe, new brunswick. i had never seen it (or anything, really) until the day before the wedding. i thought it was really beautiful. the checkered floors might not be for everyone, but i liked them

our room set-up. i loved it. the floor, the lighting, the orchids along the wall of mirrors. i loved how everything was white. and the room was really small, so it felt cozy with our small guest list. i was pretty into those white balls over the dance floor. so cool. 

the centerpieces took over 8 hours to put together, and they were really heavy. we spent a lot of time deciding on the flowers, and in the end we went with a variety of roses and hydrangeas, and also succulents. i loved how they turned out. lots of guests took home an arrangement at the end of the night. 

i know a lot of brides really focus on the paper products like invitations, programs, place cards. but we were set on having a green wedding with no paper. so our place cards were dental floss. we thought it was a tacky but fun detail.

we did not want cake. we are not huge fans of wedding cake, or cake at all. we debated cupcakes, but in the end my danish family gifted us with this traditional danish celebration cake. it had 17 layers of an almond pastry. it was actually a hit with the guests, and another kitschy detail. we also did a danish skoal (cheers) with vanilla vodka in custom shot glasses. loved it. 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

why our wedding day was NOT the best day of my life

seems like everyone always says that their wedding day is the best day of their life. it's always up there with graduations, the birth of your children, the day you bought your first house. but our wedding day wasn't like that for me...

when j and i started talking about getting married, we debated all the options: a traditional wedding in his hometown, a beach wedding down south, a backyard wedding at my parent's house, a wedding at a cabin in the woods where all the guests would stay for the weekend. the truth is that eloping at our city hall sounded the best to us. but we knew that both our families would want to be present at our wedding. and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for our guests (only family and very close friends) to come to our celebration. so we planned a wedding that was a perfect compromise. it was outdoors, it was in a city that was easy to travel to, the guests and wedding party were all able to stay in the same hotel for the weekend. it was all good.

but really, i could not be more uncomfortable being the centre of the attention of over 50 people at once. so by design, our wedding was never going to be an event i would feel relaxed and happy at. i was so relieved when the dancing started at the end of the night. finally everyone was not looking and talking about me (and j). there were other great moments during the weekend, like connecting with friends i hadn't seen in a while, and having a morning-after breakfast in the hotel restaurant.

and the moment when i slid a ring onto j's finger was amazing. i barely noticed everyone else at that moment. but the best day of my life is the day j asked me to marry him.

maybe other people feel the same way as me about their weddings? ps, we got our pictures back! they are so cool.  i'll do a few posts with the pics.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

on the weekend: gros morne mountain and more

(enjoying some wine during supper)

(the entrance to the gros morne mountain hike)

(a very scenic hike)

(we encountered this sign after hiking over an hour)


(sweet little Rocky Harbour)

what an awesome weekend. we finally hiked gros morne mountain with a few friends. this was probably the most intense hike i have ever done (and i did machu picchu in peru). there was a solid hour or so of climbing on all fours up a landslide of rocks. the hike was 16 K, and took us over 5 hours. we could barely move at the end of it. strangely, there is something really awesome about making your body super exhausted. the wine and hot dogs we had afterwards were pretty sweet. during the hike, we kept saying we would never do it again. but now that a day or two has passed, i think i would. 

hotel review: gros morne cabins, rocky harbour, gros morne national park, newfoundland

we stayed in these cabins for the weekend in gros morne national park. it was a 5 min drive from the hike, which was super convenient.

price: around $225 per night for a two bedroom. there is a kitchen and a bbq too
bathroom: clean, nothing special
pool: no, but there is a huge indoor pool with huge hot tub 5 min away that is only $3/person entrance
breakfast: there's a skillet and a toaster
wifi: yes and free.
tv: we watched lots of hgtv while nursing our sore legs after the hike
location: rocky harbour is really cute, and close to the good stuff in gros morne
parking: free
notes: this cabin was perfect for two couples. there's a little convenience store that sells overpriced condiments and necessities. good idea to get groceries before entering the national park if you plan on making your own meals. also, we spent an hour at the indoor pool and loved it. tons of kids, but the hot tub was pretty empty.
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