Four Girls, Four Shapes, One Dress, TwoBirds

Ladies and Gentlemen everyone that is in our wedding party has something to wear! This is a momentous occasion and another big check mark off the ol’ to do list.

Originally I had told the ladies to find a grey dress. Any grey dress would do. I didn’t care what the style was as long as it was grey – heck I didn’t even really care what shade of grey – if you like I’m sure I’ll like it was my philosophy. Well, sista went looking and she came back with the following report – “grey does not appear to be the colour this season.” Shoot.

The reason for my original instructions were two fold: first, when everyone can pick their dress they get to pick something that looks good on them, and that they’re comfortable with financially; second, each of my four lovely ladies are completely different shapes. We’ve got heights from 5’7 – 6′, and of course each girl has something about their body that they’d rather not draw attention to. Skip the headache I figured. Do it Yourself.

Alas, it was not to be. But the wonderful world of blogs came to my rescue. I know there’s a few BTBs out there so to you I give you my list of wedding blogs I follow. Style Me Pretty (like 5 posts a day), Green Wedding Shoes, With This Ring, and Wedding Obsession – the last is even Canadian! Style me Pretty did a post on Twobirds Bridesmaids dresses I sent it to Sista and she quickly agreed these were worth a look. Better yet, they just opened a store in Toronto.

About a month ago Sista and I went down and she gave it a whirl. Ready to sign and seal it as soon as she put it on, we scheduled an appointment for this past Saturday when BFF Kate would be in town from the great West. The five of us went across Queen Street, after dropping the Boy at the 14 inning birthday Jays game.

The dress is honestly magical! I want one. Luckily there are only 2 sizes and Sista and I are the same size so I fully intend on stealing hers once I have an occasion that calls for it. (Shh don’t tell her). It’s one dress (a silk/jersey blend fabric – dressy and soft and according to the girls so comfy), 4 lengths, and can be wrapped a minimum of 15 different ways – put a little imagination and creativity in there and the options are basically endless. Plus, there’s an iPhone App complete with videos for your wrapping ease.

The greatest testament I think is how these four very different lovelies all wore the exact same dress one after another, and each of them looks unique and beautiful.

We’ve put the order in for 4 of them in slate grey (dress above is chocolate brown – there’s got to be some surprises right?). They should arrive in about 10 weeks (hopefully plenty of time to be unaffected by a pending postal strike). Love Love Love it and would HIGHLY recommend it. Endorsement from BFF Kristyn – “That was the easiest dress shopping experience I have ever done. EVER.”

Maids of Awesome Dresses – CHECK!  Actual styles they’ll wear – To Be Determined

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Havin’ a Party that’s Friendly to all

The Boy is turning the big 3-0 this week.  We celebrated in style this weekend with a 14 inning Blue Jays game (I skipped that part and was SO happy I did – I would have been grumpy for sure), and some good ol’ fashioned BBQ.

The Boy and I got prepared the night before cleaning up and making a TON of hamburgers and turkey-burgers.  We wanted to make sure our party was friendly to all of our guests and happily that included a couple of preggos and a couple of veggies.  Do you know all the things that preggos can’t eat? It’s a lengthy list. So we made some adjustments.  I thought I was making myself some “Challenge” friendly food in the process – two birds one stone kind of thing – but apparently the options I provided were too intriguing and I ended up with a turkey-burger (not a terrible choice – so it’s okay) instead of my anticipated portabello mushroom burger.

I had a lot of requests for recipes so I thought it would be easiest to blog about it and trick those kids into coming here to get them everyone could enjoy!

In all the hoopla I completely forgot to take pictures – Worst. Food Blogger. Ever.  You’ll just have to trust me that it all looked delish and tasted great.

To start – Garlic Bread. Pretty standard mince a BUNCH of garlic and mix it with butter and spread across non-naturopath approved bread.  We like to barbeque our garlic bread – it gets super crispy and delicious that way.

Caesar Salad: Did you know that most people don’t make their own salad dressing? This always surprises me.  It’s so easy to make your own dressing and WAY healthier – you know exactly what’s in it!  My normal Caesar Salad dressing includes an egg – preggos can’t have raw eggs – so I had to turn to Google to find a different recipe.  I ended up using a very similar one to my original.  It’s apparently a Rachael Ray recipe and you can find it here.  I added more oil and WAY more garlic (probably 4 cloves and I just throw them in the blender whole).  Are you seeing a theme?  If you’re ever eating at my house please tell me if you have a garlic allergy or aversion to it for some crazy reason, otherwise I might kill you.

Burgers: I made a few different kinds and I know everyone has a different way to make home made burgers – but here are my highlights: GARLIC – lots of it. Ground Flax – a bunch.  Onions, green pepper, whatever other vegetables have been in the fridge a while (this batch featured broccoli and a second pepper) – all thrown in the food processor and pulsed to a pulp.  Sneak those veggies in there and makes great filler.  I also find between the veggies and the flax it makes for a more fibre filled burger – which makes my “Challenge” tummy happier.  I also throw in a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese.

Toppings included – lettuce, tomato, cheese, dill pickles (yuk), avocado, tzatziki, ketchup, mustard, relish, red onions.

The other burger option was a marinated portabello mushroom.  I only bought 5 and I thought the Boy and I would have a couple left over for the week.  WRONG.  These were a HUGE hit.  Portabello mushroom burgers were marinated using this recipe from Canadian Living. The longer you leave them soaking the better I think.  I’m thinking if you were to put them in a large ziploc bag for a while in the marinade they would be even more flavourful – but either way they’re still pretty good!

DESSERT!

For dessert the Boy LOVES Baskin ‘n Robbins Pralines and Cream ice cream cake. BUT he was worried there wouldn’t be leftovers. So I made cupcakes instead! Martha Stewart One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes were not only delicious but SUPER easy and baked perfectly – I love Martha for that.  I frosted them with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream – adding 8oz of melted dark chocolate to this recipe and reducing the sugar to 1 cup.  I was also out of white sugar so I used brown.  I didn’t know how the meringue would hold up – but it turns out, it doesn’t make a difference.  I frosted 20 cupcakes with the buttercream but preggos and their lack of eggs were causing problems again 🙂 so I used some of the leftover vegan chocolate mousse as icing for the last 4 (hey, if they can’t drink they should get extra cupcakes!).  Unborn baby friendly and super easy!

All in all I think everyone had a good time and I was able to keep up with the challenge pretty well without being a pain in the butt or missing out on all the deliciousness I made.

The Boy was happy to spend the day with all of our friends and he got his favourite birthday treat for dessert at his second birthday celebration on Sunday.

 

Looks like the Boy got some birthday sun! (He was too quick for my action shot)

 

Great start to birthday week!

YouTube Friday – This one’s for the boys

The Boy doesn’t watch YouTube Friday.  He says it’s not his favourite feature.  Sometimes he’ll watch – but most of the time he skips it.  He’s not a big YouTube fan actually – I know can you believe it?

My brother does watch YouTube Friday – unless of course I post anything with any kind of depth.  Then he’s out.  Feminist poetry slamsNo thanksMuppets? Yes please.

Came across this one this week and thought of my dear brother.  I didn’t even know there was another movie coming out – add Jason Segal and Amy Adams to that and I am sold

But since this isn’t coming out until November – I thought I’d also share a couple of the long list of movies I’m looking forward to this summer.

The Boy will not be going to Vegas or Thailand for his bachelor party.  His BFF is getting married next year and they are going to Vegas for his bachelor party.  I have already informed the Boy that What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas does not apply to married people… or STDs.

I’ve got some serious reading and movie watching to do before I can end the series. Good thing the Hunger Games series will start next year or I might not know what to do with myself!

The Boy and I both agree this movie would be great to see as an entire wedding party – though coordinating a movie date with 10 people in the summer, when one lives in Edmonton might prove to be difficult

 

What are you looking forward to seeing in theatres?

The Cat Came Back – Clean Eating 2.0

From yesterday’s post you’ll recall I love my Naturopath Dr. Bizios.  I saw her for about a year or so but then I started working full-time and thought since I was doing so well, I should stop seeing her.  Things were stressful but I was doing okay.  Then I moved in with the Boy – a carnivore at heart.

The Boy is usually willing to try anything I make but is adamant on one thing – “I don’t like beans.”  Bah! It’s not terribly easy to make vegetarian meals that are filling and not full of cheese without beans. Thanks Boy. Nonetheless we compromised and I would make about one vegetarian meal a week – Meatless Monday if you will.

The pain started to come back.  I never returned to dairy full out – I probably haven’t had a glass of milk in about 5 years. But there is always ice cream in our house.  And usually there’s cheese. Yogurt was always on the good food list with The Bizios – so there is always yogurt around too.  But basically – I got lazy.  I was stubborn to cook two meals for two people.  And the Boy is a big guy – so even when I made vegetarian meals that he would eat – he would be into a bag of chips straight afterward, which meant dinner wasn’t enough… and also he has a chip problem.

What sent me back to Dr. Bizios was the UTIs coming back.  I tracked them for a year and sure enough every 3 months I was back at the doctor or in the emergency room getting another prescription.  Like clockwork.

So in December I went back.  I called The Bizios and said I needed to come back. She has worked her magic and I am getting back on track and most importantly I have been UTI free for the last 5 months.  Hooray!

There’s just one problem with The Biz.  She has this little habit of being preggo every time I start seeing her.  And sure enough at the end of June she’ll be going off on maternity leave – “for as long as it takes to no longer feel sleep deprived.” Since this is her third little one – I’m guessing it’s going to take longer than 6 weeks.

At my appointment last week we discussed my stress levels and my progress. By and large things are going really well,  but when I stuck out my tongue she called me on it (I told you she’s psychic).  “Meaghan – how’s your eating?”  Crap.

It’s okay.  But I know I could be doing better.  She asked that I really be conscious of my eating for the next 6 weeks until my next appointment.  She wants to leave me in good health when she goes off for her baby vaycay.

So, I thought about it.  And I’m going to give it a whirl – living allergen free is on my 101 list after all.  I know what I need to do and I’m a HUGE advocate of the benefits of whole food eating.  I don’t eat a lot of processed food but how I’m combining those foods could be better.

It’s not going to be easy.  The Boy is I’m sure reading this and having a heart attack that we’re only going to eat granola for the next 6 weeks.  But I think it’s necessary.  My energy will be so much better – and last time I was diligent about it I lost nearly 25 pounds. While I didn’t put all of that back on – I’m just saying the timing is okay with me.

The Twenties Roar is not a food blog.  It’s a little bit of everything blog – and it’s definitely a “me making sense of the world and of myself” blog. So to keep true to both of those platforms I’m going to blog about my foodieness on a new page within The Twenties Roar – you can find it at the top – The Challenge.

The Challenge is to eat cleanly as much as possible (I’m just sayin’ it’s the Boy’s birthday next week – there will be cake and I will be eating some)  To experiment with new recipes.  To meal plan.  And to do it all while continuing to feed a 6’8” Boy – without making 2 separate meals as much as possible.

I’ve kind of started this week. But the posts will start in earnest next week.  Complete with recipes I’ve tried and where the hurdles are and how I’m managing them.  After my next appointment we’ll let Dr. Bizios and my tongue be the judge.  Fingers crossed we both get a passing grade.

Clean Eating Challenge

I heart someone.  Yes, the Boy of course. But someone else.  Her name is Dr. Bizios. She is my Naturopath.  She makes my tummy happy and she is psychic.  I started seeing her about 3ish years ago.  A while ago.

At that time I was a sick little girl.  I had insane stomach cramps after everything I ate.  Routinely I would be curled in a ball on the couch after dinner while my tummy did somersaults and I was sure it was making a break for it.  On top of that I was getting Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) every three months.  Like clockwork. Eventually I simply got sick of being sick.  And I turned to Google.

I think finding my Naturopath through Google might be the exact point in history where I became obsessed with Google.  I now stand firm that Google always has the answer.  It found my Dr. Bizios after all.

I digress.

Dr. Bizios or “The Bizios” as we refer to in our house started me on an allergen free diet (Basically, no wheat, no sugar, no dairy (yogurt is okay), no red meat, limited chicken and turkey, no eggs, no soy, limited fruit, no black tea… a few other things I’m probably forgetting too). She’s tricky The Bizios – she said “Let’s try this for a month” and each month I went back to her we “tried it” for one more.  Slowly but surely I started to feel better.  I was less bloated and I didn’t feel like I was going to die after eating.  My tummy and I were becoming friends again. (Dr. Bizios would say this is misleading – I did not in fact have problems with my stomach – I had problems with my gut, and my liver, my kidneys, my bladder and my intestine)  The UTIs stopped.  That was probably the best part. I had one more, treated it naturally and they were gone for good. I lost close to 25 pounds.

It was glorious.

Then I started working full-time and was living about an hour out of the city – when traffic was decent.  I stopped seeing Dr. Bizios.  It was very sad.  But she stayed with me in spirit and even inspired the tagline of my blog.  On my last visit she said “Oh Meaghan, this is just SUCH an exciting time!”  I laughed at her.  It didn’t feel exciting.  It felt stressful. 

Then I moved in with the Boy.  It was exciting. But it was also a big change I was taking on and my healthy food consciousness started getting lazy.

More on that tomorrow.

Going Legit

I know I’ve referred to W-day as the day the Boy and I go legit. But that’s not what I’m bloggin’ about today.

The Boy and I spent our long weekend golfing and I went legit.

As per my 101 in 1001 list – I counted every stroke.

124 BABY!

Now all I need to do is beat it by 10 strokes.
Success doesn’t come without sacrifice.  I seem to be locking my fingers too tightly

That’s a bruised pinky if you can’t tell.

Totally worth it.

The Boy really didn’t want me to post my score card – because he wasn’t happy with his score (and because I can’t find it today). So instead here’s a picture of the Boy – the serious golfer.

I’m loving Instagram right now – it makes my iPhone pics so much more fun!

114 here I come!

YouTube Friday – This one’s for the Girls

This is going to seem random.  It’s seems that way because it is.

The first video was discovered by a friend of mine and it is such a hidden gem and the timing is just crazy.

I give you – deleted Friends scene The One Where Racheal Tells – (Or the one where Monica and Chandler go on their honeymoon)

The second video – is more of a tribute.  BFF Kate is in town for a WHOLE week and I thought I’d welcome her with a classic that is definitely ending up on the “to play” list on W-day! (Kate – I suggest we start practicing our choreographed dancing!)

Ahh, Billy Joel.  This reminds me – I’ve got to start working on our DJ play and do not play list.

So if you’ve got requests – I want to hear them!

Have a great LONG weekend!

Mmmm…. chocolate

Does this boy look like he’s enjoying something delicious?

He’s enjoying some raw vegan chocolate mousse.

3 simple ingredients into the food processor.  Blend.  Pop it into the freezer for a few minutes if you want.  Or for a few days (if it lasts that long).

It’s not the Boy’s first time with these little experiments.  He knows the right questions to ask.

“What’s in it?”

It’s not my first time either – I made sure he admitted to liking it before I told him

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup agave nectar

2 avocados.

Both boys response when I told them….

“It’s avocado?!”

*dramatic pause*

“That’s pretty cool.”

Cool indeed.  And delicious.

For other ways to use the recipe and more cool things to do with avocados check out Loves Veggies and Yoga.  And special thanks to A Handmade Story for the inspiration!

Tuxedos or Suits? That is the Question

We have gone back and forth. Back and forth. Tuxedo or suit.  Tuxedo or suit.

In my original w-day vision, I saw all the boys in suits.  They didn’t match.  They were all grey.  I figured what better time for the Boy to get a suit that fit him well, than for his wedding.  I even considered made-to-measure.

My mom’s original vision was tuxedos.  “It’s a formal wedding and you’re in a traditional white dress – the guys should all be in tuxes,” she said. “Boys will not want to buy a grey suit, if they’re going to buy a suit they’ll want a black one,” she said.  I listened.

I considered the tux option.

Then w-day expenses started creeping up and a quick look into a made-to-measure option for the Boy quickly threw that idea out the window.  And I found a grey tux.  Hmm… decision made?

We decided we would do some investigating into the tux option.  We went to Moores – they did not have a grey tux option.  They had grey vests under black tuxes – would that work?  No.  We went to Tip Top Tailor who is partnered with Freeman’s Formalwear and had this picture in their brochure.  I asked if they had one that we could see – for colour and to get a better idea.  No.  We would have to order it from the picture. I asked if they had orange ties to go with it.  Yes!  Our sales person then proceeded to show me swatches of peach, pink and brown all the while trying to convince me that what I was looking at was orange.  As I continued to veto what he showed me he really won me over by asking, “Does she ever say yes?”

Not to you jerk.

We were on the fence given the cost of renting (for this particular tux we would be looking at about $250 by the time we added a vest and shoes) and that we weren’t really finding something we loved.  The Boy ended up vetoing the entire tux when I showed him pictures from a Style Me Pretty blog of a wedding party in this tux.  Too light he said.  I agreed.  While September 10 is still very much warm weather – this dove grey is a summer colour.  We’re getting married in the fall.  We wanted a darker grey.

Back to the drawing board.

This week I heard on the radio that Moores was having a sale.  So I checked out their site and not only was it a sale – it was BOGO – for suits! The Boy and I went in on Thursday night to see what we could find.  We found 3 different options for him and learned that EVERYTHING was BOGO in the store, so all of the groomsmen could get a suit for half price. Only hiccup – the sale ended on Sunday.

The Boy made several calls and sent many text messages but we were able to get all of the groomsmen measurements, 2 of them in person and another was able to meet us virtually at Moores in London BOGO shopping with the Boy’s dad. After much debate back and forth our wonderful sales person Liz (she was awesome if you’re in need of a suit in York Region – she’s worth the drive to Newmarket) was able to pull a suit for all of the groomsmen and a different one for the Boy.  She then pulled shirts and gave us a wonderful tip – since I’m not wearing true white the boys should not wear white shirts since my dress will look dirty when standing beside them.  Brilliant.  I never would have thought of that.

"Umm... you two aren't standing right beside each other during the ceremony are you?" ~ our sales associate Liz

At the end of an hour all 5 boys plus the Boy’s dad had suits and shirts for w-day. For the groomsmen they ended up with a $525 suit and $80 shirt for $342.  SCORE!  $90 more and they get to keep it.

The best part?  The 8 different items I got to check off the website checklists.  Grooms and groomsmen attire – researched, decision, purchased and ordered.  Check Check Check and Check!

These boys are SUITING UP! I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Strong independent woman – seeks tire changing mate

The plan was to go to the gym after work on Friday.  But Mom emailed and asked if I’d like to go for a tea.  That always sounds better than going to the gym so… off I went.

We had a delightful date but when I got in the car and started to drive home and I felt the car shaking – and like the tire was flapping in the breeze.  I reparked the car.  I got out and found this

Flat.

Dead flat.

Here’s the thing.  I work at a women’s centre.  I tell women to be prepared.  To be independent.  To not put themselves in dangerous situations.  To not rely on others – male or otherwise.  I’m a hypocrite.

I have NO idea how to change a tire.  NO IDEA.  It’s not getting the tire off – I know that’s the struggle for most women, (we tend not to be strong enough to get the bolts loose – and at the centre we recommend that women have a rubber mallet in their trunks to whack the wrench).  I can’t even get myself to that point.  I don’t know how to work a jack.  No idea.

So I called the Boy. He came to get me.  When he got there he looked at the FLAT tire and after serious consideration of just leaving the car in the parking lot for the night – he busted out the emergency air compressor and blew up the tire.

It seemed to be working so he decided we would drive the car home and deal with getting a new tire over the weekend.

Then he said something simply ridiculous.

“Okay, so drive it home and I’ll meet you there.”

Ummmm…. what? No.  I told him – you drive it home, it’s dangerous I’ll drive the safe car and you drive the sketchy car – it is YOUR car after all.

His response?  “But the seat is set for you!”

Because that’s impossible to fix.

What a boy.

He drove it home and I followed and when we got home – we listened to the air we JUST put in the tire rush out like a deflating balloon.

We can’t put it off any longer… we need new tires.  And I can’t put it off any longer – I YouTube’d it and learned how to change a tire.