My aunt Karen got married last Saturday at the Toronto Wedding Chapel at Yonge & Eglinton. It was an intimate affair of less than 30 people and here are some pictures I took (though I tried my best to stay out of the photog's way so there are some odd angles, haha). Enjoy!
Signing of the Register
Drink and be Merry
Cutting the Cake
Dinner & Dancing
This past Thanksgiving weekend Matt and I headed up to the cottage as usual, but this time it was just us kids. Specifically, us plus Jamie and Hope and their friend Jordan. So we had to cook all of Thanksgiving dinner without any parental advice, but it was really fun!
Fall salad - arugula, apple, craisin, toasted pecans and toasted pumpkin seeds, cranberry relish vinagrette
Jamie did the turkey
Stuffing (and bacon from the turkey)
There was also root mash - potatoes, parsnips, celeriac pureed instead of just potatoes
Daily dose of Moose
Oh yeah, I also have a post of just pretty leaves coming up...
My mom threw my aunt a wedding shower last weekend, and here are a few pictures from the lovely afternoon of ladies and tea parties:
My last minute addition - chalkboard welcome. I wish I had had more time to do pretty fonts!
Jessica made lavender sea salt scrub using her own garden lavender - smells wonderful!
My mom, the hostess - beautiful in pearls!
That wicker chair has been used for so many showers!
Matt picked some great flowers for me when I was running out of time
Devil's food chocolate cupcakes with buttercream - yum!
May have gone bunting overboard...
Now it's a real tea party
2 tea services - we were serious
David's tea fall variety pack - I recommend pistachio cream - delicious.
Prepping lunch and drinks
Lemon-lime sparkling water cocktail with rosemary
My aunt Karen in her signature colour
The bride-to-be with her maid of honour
Haha, little cousin Alyssa made a bra out of wrappings
Love the gold - very Princess Leia
Last one (I don't think my mom knew I was taking a picture)
My aunt Karen is getting married in October and she asked me to take a few engagement pictures of her and her fiance Ian. At first I told her no and freaked out a bit because although I LOVE taking pictures, I am in no way a professional, I don't know how to use Photoshop, and I just didn't want to disappoint her with horrible pictures. She assured me that they just wanted a few shots and that I should try it out, and so I agreed. I actually had a lot of fun doing it! Although the pictures are in no way professional, they at least capture a little bit of the love I saw today which made me really happy. We took the pictures at Mount Pleasant Cemetery (in the gardens, relax). Here are just a few of the pictures I took:
They hadn't seen me yet
The one above is my favourite!
She has a pretty iris claddagh ring with an emerald
It looks like Ian is dripping from the fountain here
Oh wow - the hair and the wall are great together
(I see my grandma and my mom in her)
Had to include a random bike and basket
Ian was trying to make Karen skip - she was having none of it. This made me laugh a lot.
Yes, a bit morbid but I was testing the light and it turned out really well.
There is an even better one but it says "Barber" on it and I didn't want to freak Hope out!
We went to The Ex on Friday night with Jamie and Hope (who called it a fun fair). I took lots of pictures - brought my 50mm lens and went to town. There were just so many colours!
Fair Grounds in the Evening
Okay so the first two are actually me just playing with my lens - sun in front
Sun behind - much better!
This game is always in the same spot each year - Mr. Frog!
With the CN Tower beyond
This is one of the few I could do when I was little
Row upon row of games and rides and food
You could not pay me enough to go on any roller coaster here
I remember riding the Polar Express when I was younger
Pretty...but so scary
Ferris Wheel (warning, there are a lot of pictures of this)
Swing set for grown ups!
I wish I went on this to get a view from above
The "sweet spot" for this game
Only the start of bright lights to come
Shooting water...this was harder than it looked
Food & The Farm
No thank you, Epic Bacteria. No cronut burger for us!
I did, however, eat poutine for dinner and mint chocolate chip ice cream! Matt had 3 tacos - 99 cents each!
And then Jamie and Hope arrived. He got a deep fried Twinkie. Gross.
To the animals! Hello, Alpaca.
Baby turkeys! See you at Thanksgiving!
Hen-Turkey hybrid. Don't ask.
Ohhhh so many cute piglet butts!!!
Since it was promoting farming, this pen was not titled "pigs" but "pork."
Sad Cow. I would be too if I was cooped up and milked multiple times a day...bet it's a lot like maternity leave!
This goat was great. He was so jealous of the goat in the other pen getting attention!
Hope & Jamie Being Silly
You steal my camera, I post your pictures. Jamie and his piercing eyes, haha.
Dancing? Least blurry of 59 shots.
Hope's planning something...
At the end of a great dance/rap session. Thanks for the 80 pics. I thought of making a GIF out of all of them.
Fair Grounds at Night
Oh that's not the end of the ferris wheel...
Crazy ride I guess? Matt took this.
And this. I'm really not mad, I swear.
Look how long my hair is getting!!!
Only clear shot I got - it was moving around fast without a great pattern. Hope says "Oh gross. Don't post that picture. I look like a fat disgusting 10-year old boy" I don't see it. I think its amazing. So fun.
Just love the colour combo - turquoise and red!
The boy. I love this lens!
Great end to the night.
Hello tiny donut - I will cover you in cinnamon sugar and eat you very soon!
While in Vegas, I got a text from my sister-in-law Hope saying "COME BACK TO MEEEE" - I guess she missed me. This was Thursday, so I asked if she wanted to come over with Jamie for a BBQ. I also invited Jessica and Adam. Saturday worked best for all, so that was good. Well I sort of forgot that we were flying home late Friday night and arriving home by 9 AM Saturday morning. Well just call me Martha because we slept until noon, I cleaned the house, Matt got groceries, and we threw together a backyard BBQ in a few hours. It also helped that Jessica made a delicious cheesy french onion dip appetizer and Hope made a yummy apple berry crumble for dessert. We did a fruity salad (from a Comfort of Cooking recipe), grilled bread with prosciutto (from a Barefoot Contessa recipe), and hamburgers with grilled corn. Lots of drinks and laughs with both sides of my family made a really good night. Plus we got to show off our bench seating and string lights!
I realize now that we did not invite Meg (I think I thought she was working) - Meg if you were home all sad and lonely I'm sorry and I will take you to dinner this week!!!!! Love you littlest sister!!!!!!
Bread, cheese, prosciutto, garlic, parsley, olive oil - assemble & BBQ - yum!
(adapted from THIS recipe)
Arugula, strawberry, peach, cucumber, goat cheese salad with a balsamic reduction
(adapted from THIS recipe)
Yes, Adam is wearing a leopard print snuggy!
Good weekend - let's do it again really soon!
Matt had to go to Round Mountain, Nevada, for a last minute business meeting, and his work was nice enough to put me up for a few days while he was down there. His meeting was on Wednesday, so we left Tuesday morning, arrived in Vegas Tuesday morning (gotta love time differences), he headed up to Round Mountain (about 4 hours away), and went to his meeting the next day. I stayed in Vegas, and he got back here Wednesday night in time for our third anniversary. We stayed Thursday and Friday and went home Friday night, arriving home Saturday morning (gotta hate time differences). I paid for only my flights and meals, and lounged around while he was gone (probably would have done that back in Toronto anyway). I didn't bring my DSLR, so these are all iPhone photos.
Weather check prior to the trip - looks good! No humidity, hot and sunny.
View at the top of the strip of our hotel - Mandalay Bay
Oh yes, that flash of blue above was our rental car - the bright blue Mustang. Very flashy, but just honestly what they had in terms of a mid-sized car. I'm pretty sure the guys at the mine site made fun of Matt for it!
Also shown is the famous "welcome to las vegas" sign, and the view from our room of the "beach"
Tuesday night solo dinner - went to Fleur in our hotel, sat at the bar, and had an amazing caprese, plus the sea bass, plus some wine. Very proud of myself for going out to eat. Wasn't nearly as awkward as I thought it would be!
After a Wednesday of relaxing outside by the pool, cooling off with Shark Week and Starbucks
Anniversary dinner outfit - trying a new peachy shade.
Matt drove around Nevada looking for a florist open at 9 pm. Awww.
One of many delectable parallel courses at Aureole.
Happy 3 Years!
Thanks, multiple waiters (seriously, we were not left alone for a second! Guess it was a slow night...)
Evening wandering - directly beside us was the Luxor
And beside it Excalibur
"I don't wanna be a princess!"
Then New York (fun hotel)
Thursday wanderings - all of the above hotels were not there 5 years ago...
Aria was one of my fav hotels - beautifully decorated and the least smokey.
Ohhhhh Paris (said like par-ee)...
Closest I'll get to France for now!
Okay this looks gross, but it was pretty much the best food I've ever eaten.
Crepe, with nutella, caramel, creme fraiche, bananas. Wow. I felt so sick after - totally worth it.
The Cosmopolitan hotel. Can you say SATC?
From Michael Kors in the forum shops - my 3rd anniversary gift - leather!
Dinner at Julian Serrano Tapas - wow this was also a great meal.
Just one of the great decor areas of the Aria hotel
Caprese, done with marmalade and pesto too, in layers
Oh we need to get dessert...
Jean Philippe gelato
Went to see the Cirque show "Ka" - so incredible
(though I was terrified the entire time that another person was going to fall off unintentionally)
Last day - brunch at Verandah
Why is food in the States often in such huge portions compared to Canada?
Aquarium and shark reef!
Have you ever pet a stingray? They are very soft.
(Hope got stung by a little one on her honeymoon...Jamie wouldn't pee on her...#lovefail)
Schools of fish
Wow scary when it goes above your head...
Oh yes, we did this. Going to 3 things was cheaper than just one - so we did the shark reef, Titanic, and Bodies. We had been to the reef before but Matt wanted to go again. Titanic was cool to see all the artifacts - my mom would have really liked it. I loved Bodies because it was so science-y and I never went when it was at the Science Centre here (Body Worlds). This one, however, was more explanation of all the body parts versus the bodies in random poses - much more educational. Matt, however, was pretty much traumatized by it. Wimp.
Lunch at "Gonzalez Gonzalez" in New York (I missed you when I saw this Dawn!)
They called this a "salad" - I ate 2 bites.
View of the Mirage
The Venetian (great shopping here)
Bellagio fountains set to Frank
So overall the trip was good for the fact that I didn't have to pay for half of it, we ate great food (but way too much), and saw a fun show.
BUT...We first went in 2008 and we definitely thought we hardly saw any of it. We were wrong - we saw all the best parts. Going back this time I realized how crowded, and hot, and smokey it truly is. Really, you can smoke everywhere, so most hotels you wanted to go in to either see the sights or escape the heat were really just hazy and made me feel sick. Especially if the stores or restaurants were right beside the casino, where people smoked the most. Also it was sad to see people just sit at the slots for hours on end like pod people. I'm not really a gambler, so I guess I don't really get the appeal. There are people on the streets everywhere trying to sell prostitutes and drugs, and it's so busy everywhere. Definitely won't be going back again just to see the sites!
The first weekend we were home all summer it was Matt's birthday on Sunday, August 4th. He turned 30, so now he is old like me, haha. Since his favourite restaurant (and mine, too!), is not open Sunday, we went out to dinner on Saturday night. Goods & Provisions is by far the best place for great food and wine - and its in Leslieville, not too far from us.
Us 30 year olds...
Matt in candlelight of Goods & Provisions
Saw this early Sunday morning on Instagram from his mom
First Sunday morning stop to Matt's fav coffee place for a drink on the patio - Te Aro
Picked up some steaks for dinner and some "boy" birthday flowers
Enjoying our patio
Plus some Pinot Noir and bread with olive oil dip from Caroline's wedding
Yep, BBQing his own birthday dinner. I offered to cook but he wanted to do it!
Love our lights
Steak and loaded potato and tomato - yum. As good as The Keg!
Finished off with some cupcakes from Yummy Stuff. These were oatmeal maple bacon
WHAT? A post about home decor? The first since May you say? I know - I'm a horrible home decor blogger. But, it is called "science of married" and a lot of the things I do being married do not involve home decor, haha. But now that I am home from summer travels I want to get back into some of the home stuff, as we usually do in the Fall. i signed up for another Apartment Therapy "Cure" - which is the Style Cure this month. Probably won't get it done this month, as it involves re-styling an entire room, and I'd rather just do some updates, but I'm sure it has a lot of good advice, one I get around to reading it all...
So, onto the backyard lighting. You remember that Matt built our bench seating and table from this post HERE, and we ordered some cushions for it, returned them as they did not really work, and ordered some more. We also wanted to put up some string lights to have a little backyard oasis, and this is the process:
Way back in June we used string to get a rough idea about the length of the string of lights we would need. We wanted the lights to go from the closest tree to the deck to along the kitchen back wall, and back, roughly 3-4 times. Once it was strung up the way we wanted, I cut it down and measured all the pieces, which ended up being just under 100 meters in length.
We didn't get around to putting the lights up until the beginning of August because we were away so often. Matt had made some sort of trigonometric spreadsheet (that's what you get when you marry an engineer), so whenever I say "we" in this post, I actually mean "Matt". I think most of you figured that out already, though. I more had input on the type of lights, arrangement of lights, and height.
Matt screwed in bolts and clips to 4 spots along the brick and one larger one to the tree. The clips made it easy to adjust all the wires once in place if we wanted them lower or higher.
We originally wanted to get the lights at Target. They had them on sale, but were sold out well before I ended up going to see if they had any. They were also strings of 25 m, and you could attach 3 sets together before overloading. Since they were sold out, we looked at Pottery Barn ones, which were way too much. Matt ended up finding a set of 100 on an eBay "Novelty Lights" site, which were about $90 for the full set of 100. We chose green wire (instead of white) so that the string didn't show at night, and white lights. You can get a lot of variations from this site, and they shipped in about a week. They also included 25 extra lights, as they are quite breakable. We hung the wire first, then added the lights in to minimize jostling. We've had them up for just over a week and none have broken yet!
Just one with our patio set - more on this for Matt's birthday post and a family BBQ we had this past weekend coming up!