Chris, above, is always photogenic.
Carolyn and Jess, below, are always hilarious.
|The Science of Married||
Yesterday Steph got married!!! Steph was the maid of honour at my wedding, so I was really excited to celebrate with her. Their reception was at the Cambridge Slit Barn, which was beautiful - very rustic and pretty at the same time.
This sums up Steph in one picture. Love her.
Love this shot of the boys laughing with the bride
I know her eyes are a bit closed but it really shows off some of the accessories and gorgeous bouquet, which her sister in law, Natalie, did for her. Natalie has this incredible eye for decor and all things pretty.
I really only posted this so you could see my first dutch braid attempt, haha.
Queen's Girls! We miss you Holly B!
Her step dad's vintage car - he drove her to the ceremony in it.
The groom and Carolyn
Inside the barn
Pretty table decor
Jay was the answer to almost all the shoe game questions.
Jay does this dance to Footloose that is just great. I've seen it at least twice before, haha.
To the bride and groom!!!
Outtakes from testing the light while we were waiting for cabs.
Chris, above, is always photogenic.
Carolyn and Jess, below, are always hilarious.
I went to Tips a few times two years ago in the summer, and then again last summer. Then I pretty much got addicted. I go about every 3-4 weeks to get Shellac on my nails, and now that it's summer I get my toes done too (just regular polish though). I love this place so much. This past year they moved from the space above to a ground-level space. They have one long table for manicures and everyone just sits and chats together. It is like a family there and I feel so comfortable with the ladies who work there. Their pedicures are done without those big loud massage chairs too, which I love because you can actually hear one another and talk, or just relax quietly. The place is so clean and I couldn't recommend it enough. Mainly for my nails I go to Miyuki, but since she's been on maternity leave and before I was a regular I've been to Melissa, Naomi, Nargis, and Oksana.
I took screen shots of Instagram on my phone as it won't let you save them, and I didn't have them all on my phone anymore.
Nails from Summer 2012
All the rest from 2013-2014. I almost always get some sort of blue on my nails & toes!
The above right is I think my favorite - I'll probably get that again next Christmas!
Current nails as of last week
**Just a little disclaimer that Tips doesn't know I am writing this, they did not compensate me (monetary or services) or anything like that. I just love them so much and am sharing my love with approximately the 5 people who read this blog, haha.**
Just a little project I did with some extra wood from the basement. I designed it, Matt made it, and I painted it! I just wanted to put a little bit more of that turquoise from the butcher block and stool into the kitchen.
Here is the raw wood product
Little nook by the stairs - I'm going to die dye those spoons in the paint too, along with a few other colours.
Pulls from Anthropologie, Swan apron from Home Sense
My kitchen is getting brighter and brighter!
Walking past Casa Loma on my way to "Dressing for Downton" at the Spadina House
(pronouced Spa-deena - who knew?)
My cast of "Into the Woods" at their finale show
First ice cream truck of the year!
Easter "nest" cupcakes - carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut and mini-eggs on top
Family trampoline time
Gave my hedgehog some hair with a mustard plant (lasted for about 3 months - pretty good)
I always get tulips at St. Lawrence Market
I had a whole bunch of bananas that were too ripe - so made banana-chocolate cupcakes
Teacher Day at the zoo. Saw the new pandas and polar bear cub, and this peacock strutting his stuff
Getting out the outdoor patio furniture and stringing up the lights
Painted this little shelf and decked it out with some Anthropologie pulls (more on this later)
Hydrangea cupcakes - didn't use buttercream so they melted pretty quickly into a tie-dye delicious mess
Mother's Day love
Had my family over for a Mother's Day BBQ
One of many cat love pics of Earl Grey (my neighbour's cat who pretty much lives on my porch)
Florals for spring (only the tulips are real)
May Long Weekend at the cottage with Moose (right before he swatted at me, I'm sure)
Decorating for the Music Banquet.
The students picked pale yellow and I accented it with leafy greens and bright pinky-orange flowers.
Marta and I - work wives
Nothing like a little coordinated dancing from my awesome music students
Go Jays Go (I'm wearing a Jay's shirt, I swear!)
That Jays Game was followed by apps and margaritas at El Catrin in Distillery
...and then Ed's real scoop. And then we walked home. So Roger's Center to distillery to Queen & Broadview to home. That was about 3 hours of walking, but it felt good!
Last rehearsal of the year with my students :(
Enjoying a drink outside one warm spring evening
I heart gelato
Marta and I at Wonderland for our performance at the Music Festival
Happy 25 years Skydome!
The Roots concert outdoors
Just a few sweet Tea-cher gifts.
So remember THIS POST when it was all about our basement storage project from the beginning? Well our basement sat like it was at the end of that post for a LONG time. Part of that was Mat travelling and the rest just not knowing exactly how we wanted it. Well in May we finally came up with a plan and in June we bought the wood. Matt honestly did all of the purchases, building, sanding, priming, and painting in 3 weeks. He worked really fast so there are a few instagram pics along with my DSLR. I just couldn't get down there enough to capture every moment (probably to his relief!).
Where we left off...
The purchases - pine
First off was building the base to level everything out. Toronto houses = uneven everywhere.
Looks like a ladder
I love the pictures where he is deep in thought.
Base is secured, frame is built.
Half shelves done
Closet section secured and shelves for outdoor cushions above
Checking to see the closet doors work - Ikea closet doors made into sliding rollers
Ikea doors checked for size too!
Had to do the junction box and plug you can see too. Better than the dangling one that was there before...
Last check of everything before painting
Painted! 2 coats of Benjamin Moore's White Dove in Semi-gloss latex paint.
All the ledges are for adjustable shelving - none, half, or full shelves anywhere along the bottom
Next step is to do a few touch-ups, put the doors back on, and put everything away. Touch-ups tonight, doors tomorrow, and next week will be organization central. Thank goodness for summer holidays!!! I'll do a complete before and after once it's all done. Stay tuned!
This past weekend we were up at the cottage and Matt wanted to do a "New England Clam Bake" but since I've never had clams and they're not always a crowd pleaser, we changed it to to a crab boil. Pretty much means we cooked a whole bunch of stuff over the fire in a big pot. It was delicious.
Pretty much Matt doing everything while we watch.
Potatoes were done first, then corn, chorizo, crab legs and shrimp all in wine and herbs.
Taking a beer break
Dining Al Fresco on the dock
Thank goodness for timers and remotes
Oh yes, and wine.
Cooked the mussels last as we ran out of room in the big pot
Note - you need a REALLY BIG pot.
The lake was a great way to wash hands after all the butter and oil.
Beautiful - happy summer!
**UPDATE: Adapted recipe HERE.**
A few days after I did this cake, I decided to have more fun with some birthday/St. Patty's Day cupcakes for Jamie and I at a family dinner. The cupcakes themselves were pound cakes, and the icing was a Bailey's infused. Not a butter cream this time, but there was still some butter in there for sure! Here are the results:
Fun bubble spikes
Grassy clover field (the same tip I used for the pink cake)
Ummm this one failed just a bit...
Rosettes - my favourite!
I honestly just went on Pinterest and googled the Wilton tips I had and there were so many tutorials and videos! Please I want to practice more but I don't want to eat all the cake...sooooo feel free to put in some requests so I can practice! I have the Martha Stewart cupcake book!!!
Each year I have a few March Break goals. Last year it was mainly to paint the kitchen and redo the grout. Well this year I took a more relaxing approach. It was much more enjoyable!
My goals. Though "make bunting" was not one of them, I think it turned out nicely and matches my kitchen colours.
First night of the break we went to dinner with our friends Jeff and Liz at Goods & Provisions.
Jeff, like me, likes to takes pictures of food.
Sunday dinner by Matt - coq au vin blanc with potatoes and bacon.
Birthday Manicure from Miyuki at Tips Nail Bar
It was tbt so I decided to do a collage of past birthday fun
Lie to me and tell me I don't look 31!
Oh yeah, remember THIS CAKE? I made that. No big deal.
My brother and Jessica had us over for dinner the following day - pretty tulips!
Delicious salad my parents brought. Going to modify it a bit and add quinoa for dinner tomorrow.
I said no birthday candles so instead I had to blow out a tea light from the bottom of the Eiffel Tour
Okay so many I am really proud of this cake.
See how Adam's right eye is more dilated than the left? Yeah he got beat up by a nerf gun by a child...it's a sensitive topic. That's why I'm writing about it here. LOVE YOU!
Then we listened to some records - love the baby blue player!
I am very proud of my first attempt at fancy cake icing for my own birthday cake this week. Matt and I went out to dinner on Thursday for my actual birthday, but since we were headed to my brother's house to celebrate the following evening, I decided to make a birthday cake!
The recipe I used for the cake is Martha Stewart's White Cake. White because it has only egg whites and no yolks (or "no yellows" as I couldn't remember the word yolk when describing it yesterday...). The recipe says it yields 3 9-inch rounds, but I used 4 8-inch rounds, though they weren't completely full, which was fine. 4 layers is a LOT of layers...
You will need a lot of butter (though to be fair some of that was for the buttercream icing)
And room temperature eggs...
And of course good old cobalt KitchenAid mixer
Adding the colours was not that challenging. I added the pale pink to the entire mix, poured about a quarter of it into the first baking pan, added some more colour and mixed, poured, etc. Oh by the way, I have Wilton brand gel food colouring - it makes the cake and icing less runny. There is an actual pink colour, it's not red. I would suggest investing in the colour set - I've had them a long time and you only need a tiny amount to get a lot of colour. Once it's cooked, it doesn't look as pretty because of the slight browning of the outside due to the flour llining, but if you scrape off a bit you will see that indeed the inside cake is the perfect pink colour!
Ghetto but effective way of warming up butter without melting it, haha.
The icing is Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Vanilla Bean. The vanilla bean part just entailed slicing open a vanilla bean and putting it in the egg/sugar melting mixture (the first step in the recipe), and then removing it along with any large pieces once it was all melted together. You can use vanilla extract too, but this just adds more vanilla flavour to it. You NEED to make sure that for both the cake and icing, that the butter is room temperature, especially the icing. I made enough icing to ice between each of the layers and ice the sides, but then I only did a bit of fancy icing before I ran out. The butter I had sitting out for the second batch was not as warm so it made for a lumpy buttercream. Luckily a quick Google search led me to using my hair dryer to warm the buttercream while it mixed which completely smoothed it out!
The above is what one batch of buttercream did. With so many layers I ran out, but I just made another half-batch which finished the job. I tinted it a bit darker to do the middle layers once the top was done, then again to do the bottom. I used the exact same method as I did for the cake. Note to people - gloves may be beneficial...
Yeah it lasted for a while...
And now for a ridiculous amount of beautiful cake pictures - I am very proud!!!!
The piping was done using a Wilton 2D tip. I literally just squeezed down and pulled up. Really simple and quick - honestly. This tip also makes pretty roses if you swirl it, but this was my first try so I stuck to the basics.
OOoooooOOOOohhh almost too pretty to eat...
It was really tasty...though again, 4 layers is a lot of cake...
6 people only polished off that much - definitely will serve 15 easily!
I looked back to see that though I did a post for Adam in 2012, I did not in 2013. Sorry little brother! Wishing you a great birthday! I love you, despite your annoying habit of buying everything you want and having absolutely no ideas for birthday presents, and despite the fact that every time you give ME a present, it is sealed with hot glue and impossible to open without using my teeth like a savage.
Here are some Instagram pictures from the past year of him (as I still have yet to recover my hard drive!)
Our joint birthday/Olympic party celebration a few weeks ago
This past Christmas
Eating smoked meat in Montreal this past summer
A bit tipsy with balloons in April
Plus some older ones...
Oh his wedding day in July 2012
UOIT grad (him commerce, me education) in 2007
His prom! 2003?
Haha, Halloween...probably 2003 or 2004?
Birthday...not sure what year. 2006?
Punta Cana in Spring 2004
Last gem - Fall 2001. First day of school. I did that to his hair...