So I have a lot more time on my hands since I finished summer school so I looked to all my blog stats for the past month to see what people were creeping on or searching to come across the blog. Here are the most popular posts (PS - I wrote "hottest" post and then I thought I sounded like a nerd so I deleted it...). The titles link back to the original post if you want to see more!
1. Highlights of Joni's Wedding - I found out that if I added titles when I linked my posts to Facebook, and added "with" - it was posted on other people's walls and more people saw the post. So Joni and Blair, you have so many people who love you. You are BY FAR the most clicked people on my blog this month, haha. If you really love these two, I also did a post on Joni's Tea Shower, and her Bachelorette Weekend.
2. Dining Room Curtains - This is also related to the most searched term which was "Emmie Kvist Curtains" which are the ones we have from Ikea in the dining room. There were also a lot of searches for navy blue dining rooms, and I got a few comments on liking both the colour and the curtains from multiple people, which was nice. I wrote this post way back in October so it was surprising it was so popular this month - usually the ones I post most recently on Facebook make up most of my stats.
3. Bedroom Posts - this one was more from people clicking the tag "bedroom" on the sidebar, and the main posts in there this month were about the guest bedroom painting and decorating, Other than that, there were only posts from the end of the year last year in January about upcoming projects, and way back about our master bedroom decor.
4. Adam's Wedding Posts - all of them! This took over most of the stats, which again, is probably due to the fact that I tagged the friends and family who were in the posts on Facebook, and I did so many posts about the wedding in general. The first one was the wedding outtakes, then the father-daughter dance, followed by the ceremony, the reception, and even their launch party from before the wedding. Even did posts about the showers - one at Great Cooks and one at her Dad's House.
5. Shopping - again another tag search - I had to actually go back to the blog to find out what is in this category. I do quite a bit of shopping, but never remember to take pictures or post about it. Maybe I'll do that this week with all this time. Anyway, some posts covered shopping in Vancouver, and buying stuff for the house. Nothing exciting in this category, but if you want some great outfit and shopping posts, visit my friend Veronika's site at Veronika's Blushing!
6. Basement - Again, haven't done much to the basement for a while, which actually requires a post itself - it is a disaster, haha. This is good, I'm thinking of more posts to write. So the first post is about free house projects, of which I have done one, so I should get on that! If you go further back, there are a few posts on the progress here, here, here and here. By the way, the shelving no longer looks like this because it is overrun by books - new organization will have to happen because colour just isn't working for me anymore!
7. Sideboard Project - probably the one I am most proud of. I think it really makes our dining room look great. This was done in December and it took a while to do everything. The Ikea cabinets were first, then the base, and then the stained poplar top. The decor changes quite a bit (it's much different than the picture to the left and that was taken in May), but overall I still love this room. Now for more dinner parties so we have an excuse to use it.
8. Painting - another category search - we have definitely had some painting adventures both in this house and in the condo. I do most of the painting, although when Matt helps, he does the harder stuff - all the trim and edges - because I can't stay in the lines very well. Here are the posts: painting the basement, the master bedroom, the dining room and living room, the linen closet, the HBC painting, and the guest bedroom. Up next for us are all the hallways and the kitchen!
9. Kitchen - in this category we have the little butcher block island I built from Ikea, the kitchen chalkboard, and the some painting projects for spring and summer (of which the kitchen is one!)
10. Decor - lots of posts in this category, and besides a few mentioned above, there was one about spring and summer decor, and even all the projects from 2011. Way back was all the Christmas decor, the dining room mirror project, and just some mini-projects here and there. Most of my inspiration now comes from Pinterest, so I need to do more posts that link to my boards there, and I need to look at them more often to keep inspired!
Search Terms: Emmie Kvist Curtains, Science of Married Life (probaby one of my coworkers navigating), West Elm Tangle Rug (we have it in our living room), Paint Colours - Moonshine vs. Revere Pewter (both Benjamin Moore), Yellow and Grey Decor, Unfortunately I Married to Science (this one made me laugh), Peter Fallico - Married (don't know if Peter is married, although he is gay, so probably about 50% of you readers are out of luck trying to snag him), Finger Numb - Spraypaint (ohhh yes, so many people have had similar experiences! - *Update - it did eventually get feeling back in it, but it took over a month!*), Pax Wardrobe (ohh geez, what an ordeal!)
Referring Sites: Google (obviously) - so many countries - but the main ones are the US and Canada, Facebook (and Mobile), Pinterest, My Wedding Planning Site (probably still linked from The Knot), and then other search providers like Bing and Yahoo. By the way, that picture on the right is my most recent Pinterest desire - peanut butter chocolate cheesecake...wow.
So in June I finally took the leap and got an iPhone 4S, and of course, I love it! It's fun to play around on the apps and it's nice to have access to info when Matt and I have random questions we want answered (which is a lot, haha). I finally connected my phone to the computer and dumped all of the pictures I have taken in the past two months, and here are some of them:
Row 1: My parents bathroom reno (must post pictures of the finished product soon), Joni's bachelorette party games, Hope and Meg post singing-fest at the bachelorette, cozying into the bunkie after a day at the cottage, and sweet and sour meatballs Matt made.
Row 2: Jessica and Eden at a wedding shower, Matt in Niagara, view of the falls from Windows by Jamie Kennedy, and us in Niagara
Row 3: More Niagara pictures from our wine weekend
Row 4: Matt with tabby, amazing chemistry cake on the last day of classes, picking guest bedroom paints, paint being chosen and now the painting begins (Benjamin Moore's brown horse), and Joni's wedding vows
Row 5: Hand holding part of Joni's wedding between Matt and I, Jamie got jealous and held Matt's hand too, sisters at the wedding reception, Lynn and Pete's toast to the bride, and red peonies from the wedding
Row 6: Cottage long weekend celebrating Canada Day
Row 7: Canada Day fireworks, Mat in the DR, Adam and I and his ultra-white teeth (reminds of Ross on Friends), Adam half asleep when he should have been awake on his wedding day, and my wedding hair
Row 8: All ready for the wedding, the beach in the DR, the pool in the DR, George on a very hot day, and short ribs that Matt made.
1. Grilled Peaches:
I wanted to make this dessert this weekend, so I did! They turned out great, and it's really easy. Hollow out peach halves, and fill them with ground biscotti (they use amaretto macarons but the biscotti was more readily available) and a bit of amaretto blended together. Note that they say to grind the cookie using a mortar and pestle (which as a chemistry teacher I own more for geeky science decor's sake), but found it easier to just bundle the cookies in a towel, place on a cutting board, and smash to pieces with a hammer - also very therapeutic! Bake for about 25 minutes at 325 F or until the tops of the peaches are golden. Top with whipped cream (they used sour cream) and garnish with cocoa powder. Nice summer treat! It was delicious, but don't use too much amaretto as I did...you'll feel a bit tipsy if you added the leftover unbaked cookie mush to the surrounding treat.
Pinspiration pic - via (it's in Polish but Google Chrome will translate it)
My version - pretty good I think!
2. Caprese Skewers:
For Joni's shower I wanted to make a bite-size version of a caprese salad. I found the Caprese Pop on PInterest, and thought it was a bit too complicated (there's an actual mix of things within the pop). Instead I used toothpicks and skewered a piece of basil between a grape tomato and boccacini. Matt's mom has a great balsamic glaze, so I added that too. A week later, I saw a post for pretty much the exact version of it that I had made the week before - weird! They went really fast and were a big hit.
Original Pinspiration via
After the fact Pinspiration via
My version at the cottage
3. Caprese Panini
Do you see a theme? I was missing Italy I guess and had a craving for pesto, so grilled panini with tomato, mozzarella, pesto and chicken it was!
Original Pinterest post via
Also just found this grilled cheese version via
My version (although Matt helped grill after I prepped)
What cooking Pinspiration have YOU wanted to try lately?
Follow me on Pinterest here.
*Wrote this post last night and updated it a bit just now*
Well it's just under a month into the summer vacation, so what have I done? Well, for the long weekend we went to the cottage. See more pictures of that here.
Then from Tuesday-Saturday after that I tried my best to not go crazy from boredom. I pretty much did all the little things on Tuesday - cleaned the house, organized my school stuff, got groceries, and went to the gym. By the time Matt got home I was wired and bouncing off the walls. The next few days were similar, so I immersed myself into bad TV and blogging and scouring Pinterest (more on that soon). A few days before the trip I did get my nails and toes done - I went to Tips Nail Bar on Danforth and it was a great place. The women that work there are so friendly and I will definitely be going back there this week! Here are my beachy toes via Instagram (that's right, I now have an iPhone, finally!):
Then the trip took us away to the Dominican for the week. Before I left school, I casually mentioned to the summer school principal that if they really needed a teacher for science, I could be available. Well, it turns out that they needed me, because I got many calls and emails throughout the trip, and I ended up getting grade 10 science (my usual summer course) for the next two weeks. I had the Monday we got back off, but then on Tuesday I was back to school. Typical summer kids - not bad, but annoying - 6 hours a day with most kids would do this to me, though.
Last Thursday I had dinner with Jessica, Carolyn, and Stephanie at Leslie Jones on Queen. We had a good meal and caught up - last saw Jess and Carolyn at Hixmas in December, and Steph not in a year, which is so sad. It was good to see all the girls, and found out Jessica moved and of course has her little baby Sophia - I'm planning on visiting her for the first time in the next few weeks!
The whole weekend was really a Leslieville/Riverside weekend - Friday Matt and I went to Goods & Provisions for dinner (SUCH good food), and then to see Batman (very good too). Saturday we had brunch at The Commissary - had an apple and brie french toast on a croissant - wow - it was yummy. We walked around the street for a while and went into all the furniture stores and antique shops. There were a few things I liked but didn't love enough to purchase. After all that food, there were a few days of hardcore working out that followed.
Tuesday Megan came over and we gossiped about The Bachelorette (yay Jef, ohh Ari - that breakup was super awkward), boys, and our summers. We had some sushi, and went to see Spiderman in 3D - much better than the Toby Maguire ones - Andrew Garfield is a way better spider!
Now it is Thursday night, and I'm not feeling so great. I swear Marta, if you got me sick, I am NOT going to bring you Starbucks tomorrow (PS it is now Friday and I'm actually feeling much better)! The exam was today, and of my 13 kids, only one failed (which is better than some years), and now I only have to be there tomorrow until 10AM to give kids their marks, give in all my paperwork, and pick up my paycheque (PS once again it is now Friday and I am DONE - yay summer!)
What will I do for the rest of the month? Well Sunday is Meghan's baby shower at The Lakehouse. Next week will be a boring week again, but I'm hoping to get some more cleaning, organizing, and gym-ing done, plus some cooking adventures! Next Thursday we leave for Vancouver, and we're there until Tuesday, for Adam and Emily's wedding on the 4th (also Matt's birthday - must get him a gift soon - PS I did that today at Yorkdale). When we get back, it is our 2nd wedding anniversary on the 7th. Year 2 is cotton...he's probably getting a t-shirt (PS got him something today, haha). Then who knows for the last 3 weeks of summer...some painting, decorating, gardening (oh how I've been avoiding all the dead plants), and relaxing! Oh yeah, and at some point I'll prep for my upcoming school year.
Okay, done with the "dear diary" style blog post. Have a great weekend!
Last wedding-related post for a while, haha. These are Adam and Jessica's wedding reception pictures. Once again, the wedding was at the Majestic Elegance Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic.
Wardrobe change - another Banana Republic dress I got in May
Bride and groom between ceremony and reception - Adam changed his sweaty shirt too.
Peek through the foliage at the reception site - the Wet Bar (photo from Lynn)
Closer look - lovely tables and buffet setup
The friends - Melissa, Tom, Joel, Miranda, Andrea, and Mike
The groomsmen and Mike - looking sharp!
Sweetheart table - sweet indeed!
First dance pose
All eyes on them
Such a gentleman
The Emcee - uncle Brian! He did a great job!
Speech by Jessica's dad
Waiting their turn
Dad's speech (more like 12 minutes - not 5!)
Signing the guestbook
The boys - friends since elementary school!
My mom wanted another shot with the wardrobe change
Joel and Miranda
Joey's best man speech
Joey is really quiet. We were all wondering what he would come up with and people's reactions.
He blew everyone away - his speech was perfect - such a good balance of humour and love. Great job, Joey!
Amanda's maid of honour speech
Such obvious love for her little sister
Mother-son dance (oh how I hate using my flash)
Took lots of pictures of this while playing with camera settings
Adam's face is great
Father-daughter dance - to see more crazy dance moves from these two, check out my last post here.
All the dancing has pulled some of the bustle loose
Matt had his dancing shoes on
My parents take dance lessons, so they did a dance too!
Very good arm position!
Cake cutting - Matt took these next few while I signed the guestbook
Such a great picture, but will he do it?
Oh yes, he did. She was such a good sport!
Amanda had her MOH duties cut out for her this day!
Bouquet toss time! Wait a minute - who is that on the right. Yes, that is Matt's happily married mom.
Well, it was the Dominican, so it's okay!
But who will catch it?
It was Miranda! Okay Joel, you have a year - so get cracking!
*BTW- I gave my bouquet to Joni on my wedding day and she is now happily married!*
Look at this beautiful woman and her dad.
*I changed her diapers when she was a baby, and on this vacation, we were drinking and dancing together. Weird*.
Little brothers rocking out to some LMFAO.
Slowing it down.
Jessica's parents danced a bit too!
Melissa helping Eden with the guest book. Apparently she didn't need help because she wrote her name all over it!
It was quite hot, so a bit of a dip in the pool was just what was needed!
Okay guys - time to tell everyone the truth. Eden is really Adam & Jessica's daughter, not her sister.
She's 5, they've been together 10 years - the math works. Admit it.
*So kidding...but that would have been a great Christmas rumour...*
Yep...definitely not his kid, although she is quite a man-stealer
- she's had her eye on Amanda's boyfriend Josh for quite some time. (photo from Lynn)
Oh the night was not over - to Coco's we went!
What's up next now that the wedding posts are over? Some pinspiration (Pinterest inspiration), an Instagram roundup, and what I've been doing with my summer besides going to and editing photos from weddings!
Oh no - this was not just a normal father-daughter dance at my brother's wedding. It started off that way with Jessica and her dad all sweetly dancing (you'll see those pics when I do the reception post later today), but then the music cut and changed and a full choreographed dance number ensued - it was great, but the lighting was not. Here are the blurry sepia-converted pictures I got to capture the moment:
Oh yeah, and then all 4 daughters, then the whole wedding party jumped in. Incredible.
Here are some pictures from Adam & Jessica's ceremony, plus some of the family pictures on the beach afterward:
Ceremony site on the beach with white and turquoise decor - from Lynn
Some flowers to add to the decor around the hotel - from Lynn
Matt and his parents - those fans were a great idea!
My parents and I - from Lynn
Adam waiting with his best man, Joey
Joel and Elle
Tom and Marnina
Maid of honour Amanda
Boys all ready to go
Eden as flower girl
Ring bearers Emmanuel and Ben
Yep - had both my SLR and my point-and-shoot!
Jessica's sisters (notice the onlookers behind - there's more of them to come...)
Adam looking to his bride in the distance
This guy's looking at the same thing!
Here she comes!
Close up of Adam
Everyone was a bit squinty in the bright sun
View of the back of the dress
A hug for dad - from Lynn
And for the groom-to-be!
*Oh yeah, and the photographers got in the way of most shots...haha*
Starting the ceremony - read in Spanish and translated to English (some translations better than others...)
A reading by Jessica's grandpa
Asked if anyone objected to their marriage - Adam is giving people a stare down!
Best man with the rings
More bling for Jessica
Hands are a bit swollen in the heat...
Now one for Adam too
I read a poem - I like this one with my parents on either side of the picture
The boys are super excited...
Husband and wife!
Editing kissing pictures of your brother is weird...
I love the flowy dress
Signing the papers
And now the groom
Maid of honour's turn
And finally the best man (the table is small and he is very tall)
Tom is bored so a bit of air guitar will pass the time
The officiant is off to do yet another wedding!
Time to see everyone
Jessica takes the lead - what a good start to the marriage!
Time to drink!
Champagne for everyone
Cheers! - from Lynn
Right before my brother ran into me and knocked champagne all over the top of my dress... - from Lynn
Cheers from Matt's parents!
Listening to the photographer's instructions
Run down the aisle as we throw petals - Joey smoked my brother in the face with them - haha
My brother's eyes taking a rest with Matt's shades
Time for more pictures - the wedding party
The boys getting pretty using each other's sunglasses
Josh - the only picture I have of him - I want to see his pictures!
Bride's siblings (yep, all 6 of the them plus her)
Whole family now!
Father and son
Much smaller groom's family
Both families now!
Adam and I - both married now!
Mom and her kids
Dad with his kids
Mom and I
Matt and I (see what I mean by the squinty eyes?)
Bride and groom - more kissing on the beach
Looking out to sea (the few without random swimmers in the background)
Love this picture of Eden on the beach
Awww - Joey and Tom love - our single boys of the trip
Whoa - Tom is now with Joel? He's taken Tom!
Her bouquet was a bit like mine with all the roses
Adam cooling in the semi-shade
That flowing dress again!
Time for a drink in the lobby between ceremony and reception
About to head back to change for the evening
Stopped to take some pictures around a million chairs
Family shot - from Karen
Bride and groom inside to cool off - from Karen
Last post will be the reception - so many more photos to edit still, be patient!
So I was going to do just one post with the wedding ceremony - before, during, and some beach pics, but there are far too many! So this is just the pictures from the wedding day before the ceremony begins! Most are from my SLR, but the few that are from others I'll mention in the caption.
Hair - this was done in the salon in 20 minutes...they do a lot of weddings here!
*Time for a cold bath and some makeup - it is HOT!*
All cleaned up - dress from Banana Republic - another Trina Turk collection dress (yay petites!)
Parents of the groom (and my parents too, haha)
Jessica's brothers and ring-bearers Emmanuel and Ben
Adam writing a "letter" to Jessica - good posing little brother!
The wedding party boys - Joel, Joey, and Tom, plus Emmanuel and Ben
Adam - very patiently allowing multiple people to take pictures (the pro photographers were not that patient)
Father and son
Girls weren't allowed, but my mom ignored this rule (and dragged me down with her)
Fixing the collar
My brother annoyingly standing on his toes to be even taller than me...
Pretty sure I am pinching him right now to stay on his feet
After we got kicked out of the boys room, I popped in to see the girls
*Jessica was not allowed to dress until her photographers saw the dress*
Great hair by Marnina and makeup - eyelashes still on at this point
All the pretty flowers having a soak
Matt patiently hanging around waiting in the cool AC to go down to the hot beach
Heading down - ceremony in 20 minutes!
Mom and her friends Nancy, Kirstie, and Brenda
Cousin Tara and Uncle Brian
Mom and her sister Karen
Mom's family - sister, niece, and brother
Peter and Kirstie
Aunts Jay and Andrea
Matt and I - staying inside until we absolutely have to go outside
Another - why? Because once we get outside, Matt's already squinty eyes are pretty much shut in every single outdoor sunny picture...
Even inside it was hot. What to do? Stick you head in the fridge.
Left - Me on August 7th, 2010. Right - Adam on July 11th, 2012.
Like sister like brother!
Mom and I - taken by Lynn
Parents and us - taken by Karen
Sneak preview of next ceremony post - taken by Lynn
Outtakes meaning all the other pictures other than from the wedding day. I came home with about 1100 pictures between my SLR and my little point and shoot, although I probably had closer to 1800 at various times, as I maxed out my SLR's card about halfway through the wedding reception and had to delete all the blurry, closed-eyed duplicates I had to keep the night of photos going. Here are some pictures from our week in the sun (most from the point and shoot):
The beautiful bride to be all smiley and happy during the flight to Punta Cana
In contrast, this is what I look like 3 hours into the flight entertaining a 5 year old (ohhh I can see my future...)
Arrived early to the Majestic Elegance, Punta Cana, DR - what a great impression this places makes!
Oh wow...what a great room!
*Although the only time I used that jacuzzi was to cool down between ceremony and reception*
Such pretty flowers everywhere
Great seating area - perfect for drinks
Oh thank you Cesar (our butler), you knew I'd need this!
*He also left apple-cinnamon "aromas" for us eat night*
View from the balcony (the beach is just to the left)
Yes, I need a drink. This is after 4.5 hours of flying and over an hour of baking heat and carrying around luggage.
First night was the "white party" on the beach...most wore white...
Start the week off right with shots of mamajuana...oh geez...
Impromptu Latin dancing by my parents and Stewart and Nancy
Dance party on the beach - sandals off ladies!
YOU! Shook me all night long...
*Party has moved to Coco's*
I think at this point Adam is doing back crawl...we had a few swimming-related dance moves...
Don't exactly remember why, but Jessica just threw her drink on the ground at Adam's feet for something he did...and then full on princess pouted...it was awesome!
Day # 2 - first full day in the sun. Actually went to the gym to start, and then relaxed by the pool in the shade
Despite my weird hair (it is still half wet and therefore flopped to one side of my head to keep the volume up before I am in public), and my rolls of fat showing, I like this picture, haha. Mmmm champagne!
Night # 2 - Surprise - cobalt blue seems to be the colour of the night!
Dinner at the Italian restaurant - Jessica's mom Penny with one of her boys, Emmanuel
After a wardrobe change and a quick dance at Coco's, we headed to the beach!
Day # 3 - Spent the morning at the spa with the girls getting a mediocre massage while the boys played golf
*Actually it was sort of a couple's massage - Amanda and I got real close...*
We spent the rest of the day lounging, taking it easy, went to dinner with Matt's parents at the steakhouse, and then went to bed early, as Day # 4 was the wedding! More posts on that to come, I promise. Then something bad happened...Matt and I got sick from something we ate for about 24 hours, which wiped out Day # 5 completely...so on to the evening of Day # 6:
Martinis and Sax on the Beach - yes, my petite Banana Republic maxi dress is still 3 inches too long...
The boys wore pink...but just long enough for me to snap this picture...
...then Matt promptly changed into blue
...and missed my group picture from the balcony. Wait a second...what is going over there on the right?
Oh yes...this happened. Wow. So glad I didn't have to eat at the same table as then that night...
Matt's mom enjoying a Cosmo
Aunt Jay with mom
Had dinner at the Japanese restaurant - yes that is a pineapple on fire, which I'm pretty sure they reuse all night...
Day # 7 was the last one - spent the morning walking with Lynn along the beach, and the afternoon reading in the shade (love my mom's Kobo - so convenient and teeny). Then dinner at the French restaurant - yum lamb!
My jungle dress appropriately matched the surroundings
View of the lagoon in the courtyard below our room
Last day - time to go. Goodbye refreshing pool...
Goodbye super cozy and shady beds...
Goodbye ocean and beach!
Hope to see you again soon!
More pictures to come of the wedding day, both ceremony and reception - I promise!
School's out for summer!
Anyway, this is about Canada Day weekend at the cottage with the family - here are some pictures from all the relaxation, eating, and drinking we did!
Friday night - finally done school and enjoying a glass of wine with the in-laws.
Matt playing in the water after a Saturday of golf for the boys
Jamie totally got in trouble for jumping off the boathouse...
Some of a lot of food we ate that Saturday night -asparagus bundles, salmon, flank steak
Matt with friends Lynn and Sandie
Lynn with her boys
Matt with his wine
Jamie with his cat. Tabby does not look impressed.
This would have been a very appropriate picture had we been in the city this long weekend...
Happy Canada Day!
Great Canadian decor
The family friends all around to celebrate
Jamie forced to wear something "Canadian" - he eventually borrowed one of Pete's golf shirts
Red and white food, including the caprese skewers we made!
Group shot in our red and white!
Best of the multiple pictures I took of these three...oh boys...
The boys - Pete, Jim, Bruce, and Jay
The boys talking sports
Singing Oh Canada before dinner
Matt making me laugh and who knows what!
Matt...and the amazing boathouse of the neighbours behind!
Enjoying the sunset
Very artistic, Matty