Sincere Wedding Invitations

As I’ve mentioned before, we are in the process of planning our wedding, which will be taking place in July. Last week we tackled one of the biggest jobs, the invitations. I knew from looking around online that these can cost a huge amount of money and I really wanted to avoid that, so here’s what we did.
I browsed around to get some ideas of what I liked. I wanted them to be simple, to set the tone for the day, I also wanted them to be fun. I designed the invitations on Word, because I am familiar with it and couldn’t use Kurt’s fancy programs. I used different fonts and colours to make it fun, and included some really simple graphics. I put the really important information on the card, and included a website where everything else could be found. My mom was worried that older people wouldn’t be able to access the website, but they can also call us or get help from someone else.

I designed the invitations so that 3 would fit on a piece of 8.5×11. This way we saved paper. We were going to print them at home, but for a better quality of colour we went to Staples and had them do it on cardstock. It cost less than ten dollars. We used an exacto knife and cutting mat to cut them down to size.

I addressed them all by hand. I know it’s nice to have fancy labels or stamps, but I really don’t think that is a sensible use of money when on a budget. I’d rather put the money into thing that people will remember, not something destined to be garbage. I did buy a cute stamp at Michaels to put on each envelope. I also just bought plain white envelopes at the dollar store. This was mostly because I couldn’t find coloured envelopes in standard size.
After everything was addressed and stamped we added personal messages on the backs of the invitations. For more distant family and friends it was a simple ‘hope you can make it, we’d love to have you there’, that sort of thing, but we made it more personal for closer people.

The biggest cost was actually the stamps so my advice for this is to buy them really early since they are always going up in price. I didn’t get special one’s either.

So, there you have it, our way of making cheap invitations special.

Happy Birthday to Me- Part 2

Well another birthday has come and gone. It was really nice. We did stuff, but we also relaxed, played MasterMind and ate great food.
Saturday evening we had my choice birthday dinner, which strangely was two foods that I wouldn’t normally choose but had been craving lately: sloppy joe’s (Mom style) and potato salad. This was the crown jewel though:
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I really can’t express to you how good it was just out of the oven. Wow.
The next morning, on my actually birthday, Kurt made me birthday cake pancakes. Although he’s terrible at following recipes, they came out great.
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I will leave you with my pancake face:
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Happy Birthday to Me

Sunday is my birthday. I love birthdays, especially mine! Currently I’m very sick with a horrible cold. The kind of cold one can only catch from spending too much time in a kindegarten class. Hopefully the birthday magic will take it away.
For my birthday, I’m hoping someone will make me these:

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And this:

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I’ll let you know how it goes!

*Pictures linked to owner.

Butternut Squash Soup

We’re still trying to make it through our Fall squash. I think next time we will buy a bunch of small squashes instead of 2 giant monster squashes. I wanted soup and we didn’t have very many veggies, so I busted out the butternut. My method was to saute onions, chopped celery, and garlic. I chopped and peeled some of the squash, then threw that it. I added water, then a spoonful of chicken base (it’s like really concentrated stock, a paste almost). I put in a bay leaf, salt, pepper and a little tomato juice then left it for a while. After the squash was soft I pureed it and added cumin, chili powder, chopped kale and some Isreali couscous. I let it simmer a little longer for everything to cook down.
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We ate it with corn muffins. It will filling and delicious, but there were enough flavours in it for the squash to not be overpowering (a problem I often have with squash soup).

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Food Rich

I read this article and I thought it had a lot of truth in it. How often do we feel like there is nothing to eat, despite having a fridge and kitchen full of food?
We’ve been trying to eat what we have in our pantry before we move and then par back to just what we really need, and will use. I’m going to try to do this with our freezer too.
I think too often people buy something just for one recipe and then the ingredient sits there. I find myself coming up with recipes just to use up what we have. I think it would be better to only buy foods that we love so that we have more enjoyable meals.
I think it’s important that trying to live simply extends to our food as well. This doesn’t have to mean eating less good food. To me it means eating healthy, fresh foods prepared simply. I think simple meals are often more enjoyable that complex ones.

Lazy Friday Dinner

Sometimes, on Friday night, or really any other long, busy day, it’s perfectly okay to just grab a bunch of food out of your fridge, throw it only a plate and call it antipasto. I was calling it toddler food, but I think this name makes it more acceptable. Heres’s our example:

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We each took half the bowls and chose something to fill them. I chose kiwi, avocado and clementines. Kurt chose pickled carrots, sharp cheddar, and dill pickled. We also had a venison steak on the side (a gift from a hunter in the family…we do eat meat sometimes). This kind of meal is especially great if you’re moving soon and don’t want to move all of the preserves you got for Christmas from people, also if you want to clean out your fridge.