Being Home…And Beets

Well we are finally home for a week or so. Then we are heading back north for Kurt’s birthday. So. Much. Travelling. After staying at my mom’s for a while (or anywhere for that matter) it’s so nice to come back and be in my own space. I really miss cooking for Kurt and I in our own kitchen when we are away for extended times. It’s just so enjoyable to be in my own space. We’ve been eating from the garden and biking to the market just down the street. The corn is ready and it is fantastic this year.

Anyways, we’ve had quite a few beets from the market and from thinning out our own patch. Beets are one of those brilliant vegetables where the entire thing can be eaten. Beets greens and beets are so different, yet both are delicious.

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As for greens they are great in salads or sauteed. Really anything you’d use other greens in works.

Photo Book- Year Two

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It’s that time of year again. I’m back to making photo books (this year I’m making two- one wedding one). I’m using Picaboo again because I got another deal. Seriously, never pay full price for one of these things. I’m fairly frustrated with the website this time though. Nothing seems to have changed so it might be just me (or my increasingly slow computer).

I’m just at the point where I’m going through my pictures and choosing which ones to use. I’ve noticed that we don’t take very many pictures of ourselves. We honestly have more pictures of Homer in boxes that we do of ourselves from this year.

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Okay, this is Homer ON a box, but you get the idea.

Going through the pictures, I can see the stuff that we’ve done, but it’s almost like we’re absent from it. I know it’s because we are the ones taking the pictures, so it is hard to include ourselves. But from now on I’m going to try to make an effort to take more people pictures. I want us to be included in our family photos. This year we will become masters of the timer setting on our camera!

Wedding Advice

Now that the wedding it all over I though I would offer some advice on things that I did that helped/things I wish I had done.

1. Have a plan, but be flexible

I think we did pretty well with this one. We made things work despite the weather and made the best of it. There are a few things that I think I should have planned out a bit better ahead of time to avoid some confusion and chaos though. For example having a list of who is doing what and what should be done when would have helped.

2. Make sure everyone knows their role

I wish I had done a better job of this. I felt like when we were setting up we didn’t really have enough help because a lot of our help took on their own projects (which weren’t necessarily things I wanted done) and so we didn’t really have enough help setting up outside. Also people brought things without letting us know so we ended up with a lot of things that we didn’t need. This is probably would have been hard to avoid without hurting people’s feelings, but I
wish I could/would have told people, if you want to help you can do such and such, and everything will be taken care of. Maybe this is just my family and their communication/listening problems though!

3. Assign someone to bring you food/drinks

This may sound strange and unnecessary, but I would seriously suggest it. I went the whole day without having anything to drink and this caused a serious migraine later in the day. It’s important to stay hydrated and fed, but you may not remember with no much else to do.

4. Ask someone to take pictures of everything set up

I didn’t do this and so we don’t really have any pictures of everything set up before people arrived.

5. Have a list of pictures for your photographer

My aunt did the photography and she made sure I did this before hand. It really helped keep things orderly and it made sure that we got pictures of all of the groups that we wanted. I’ve been told by friends that they were so disappointed when they got their photos and realized that they didn’t have one with their brother, or whatever.

So there you have it, five pieces of advice from a recent bride!

Leftovers Stirfry

After the wedding we had heaps of food left over. We divided it up and sent some to various places, but we were still left with lots. Here is one recipe that I made to try to use some up.

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I used some mushrooms, broccoli and carrots from the veggie tray and well as three leftover sausages.

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I chopped an onion and added it to a hot pan with a little sunflower oil. After the onion had browned a little I added the broccoli and carrots. I threw in a little water to allow the vegetables to steam a little.

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I chopped up the sausages and added them to the pan along with the rest of the vegetables. I made a sauce with minced garlic, honey and soy sauce and poured it over the meat and vegetables.

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I served it over rice. It was a very good meal and it didn’t feel like I was eating left overs. Tasty, quick and not too much chopping, definitely a winner!

P.S. Sorry about the crappy phone pictures, I don’t have my camera cord right now.

DIY Guestbook

These days guestbooks come in all shapes and sizes, and most of them are not actually books. I wanted something that could be displayed and not just tucked away after the wedding destined to end up as clutter. I found what I was looking for on etsy, but they were way out of my price range so I decided to make my own.

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I ordered some little paper hearts in the colours I wanted. You can easily do this yourself with thick scrapbooking paper and a punch or one of those fancy paper cutting gizmos if you have one. We just bought ours because we were super overwhelmed with all of the colour choices in the store, so by ordering the hearts are choices were limited. I also bought a shadow box from Ikea and a piece of scrapbook paper that fit the hole.

On the day of the wedding I had the hearts in a jar with a small bowl beside it. I had a chalkboard explaining to my guests to pick a heart, sign it, then drop it in the bowl. I know if you buy them, they come already put together, but I thought it would be better for the hearts to be loose and not glued down yet in case someone made a mistake.

After the wedding I took all of the signed hearts and counted how many I had. I decided to add some blank hearts in just so that it fit the space better. I ended up using 81 hearts so my display is 9 hearts by 9 hearts. The hearts then all had to be folded. Putting it together was a little stressful at first. I determined the centre of the paper and put a glue dot on a heart to attach it there. I worked in rows gluing on hearts with the opposite glued down each time (this will make more sense if you look at the picture). I didn’t use a pattern, I just tried not to do the same colour twice in a row.

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All in all the project cost less that $40 and took about an hour to assemble. I think it is a really cute way to remember the guests at my wedding and it’s a nice sort of 3D piece for the wall.

Wedding Decor- The Little Things

I tried to keep things as simple as possible for the wedding. I didn’t worry about the plain wooden chairs we had rented from a nearby community centre. I didn’t have any fancy typical wedding décor. I just did I what I thought looked nice. The location where we had the wedding (my grandparents’ farm) is beautiful enough that I didn’t need too much stuff.

We had flowers everywhere. Planted all over the yard, hanging from the tent, and as I’ve already talked about, on the tables. I also bought little lanterns that were placed in different places.

For the tables we had white plastic table cloths (from the dollar store), burlap runners (which we cut ourselves from a bolt to save money), and then the clusters of flowers and mason jars. I had candles in the lanterns and mason jars, but they never got lit. Because of the weather, they probably wouldn’t have lasted long anyways!

We had two white tents set up. We originally wanted to put the food in them, but because of the constant threat of rain we put the tables and chairs in them. The same chairs were used for the ceremony and the lunch, we just turned the chairs. There were hanging baskets with flowers and paper lanterns hanging from the tents.

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We also had a wooden gazebo, which my dad built earlier in the summer. This was where we housed the guest book, favours and gift table. After the ceremony, we moved everything and put the salads and desserts there. The food for the bbq was outside. In the gazebo I had flowers, lanterns, and pictures hanging.

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For a ‘guest book’ I had small paper hearts for people to sign, we also had a matte for a picture that someone gave us. For favours, I had the seed packets and someone brought bagged jelly beans. I also prepared little buckets with toys for the kids.

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All in all, we didn’t have too much for decorations, but because the ceremony was at 11, there’s no way we could have got more set up. Everything looked beautiful, colourful and simple and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!