Food for May

The Boy and I… well mostly I tried something a little new this month.  We… well I wrote down what we had for dinner on the calendar.

It looked a little something like this

I tried this to help me with meal planning.  The Boy and I cook almost every night – Thursdays are usually a take out night, anyone else hate cooking on Thursday? But we spend a WHOLE lot less and have a LOT less waste if we go to the grocery store with a plan.

1 full month in I can honestly say – it’s kind of helping. My hope is it will continue to help more the longer we keep it up.

Down to business:

This month I finally made Peas and Thank You’s Chewy Energy Bar from the Peas and Thank You Cookbook.  One word. Yum.  I also made them school snack safe by making them with Sunflower Butter instead of nut butter so the Boy can pack them for school without brushing up on his EpiPen skills. Win-win. Sunflower butter for anyone out there also feeling the nut-free schools bummer, sunflower butter tastes pretty close to peanut butter but since it’s seed and not a nut – it’s good to go.

I also made the Asparagus Soup (don’t overcook the asparagus), Fajita Quesadillas and Quinoa and Cranberry Salad all from Vegan Cooking for Carnivores.  The Boy added chicken to the salad but other than that he was happy with all the results.  If you’re looking for a new cookbook – check that one out.  It’s also available in an e-book!

A little side note I always freeze some of the leftover soup in mason jars which gives me an easy lunch when leftovers are either meat or sparse.

Looking at the calendar it’s funny the majority of our meals are just out of my little head.  For the most part we keep it pretty simple. Stir-fry. Pasta with veggies. And we’ve cooking a whole chicken at the beginning of the week.  It gives the Boy chicken for the whole week and only has us actually cooking meat once a week.

I did make a few things that I can actually share and better yet – both were delicious!

Artichoke Feta Garlic Bread it was our contribution to our sibling dinner.  Pretty Yummy!

And last night I made this Quinoa Broccoli Casserole – The Boy said “It was pretty good considering all the things that I don’t like in it”  I thought it tasted like Broccoli and Cheesey goodness from my youth.  But better.  Filling. And yummy.  I made a half recipe since that’s all the quinoa I had, but it made the perfect amount for two dinners and two lunches.

I told the Boy it must have been good enough if he’s taking it for lunch!

Have you heard that June is Salad Month? I don’t know that I’ll be committing to a 30 day salad challenge full out, but I am looking forward to seeing what Angela at Oh She Glows comes up with to inspire me all month!

Follow along with #saladaday

It’s time to play the music

After a couple hours of photos and after our guests had printed in and enjoyed some apps (which rumour has it were delicious) it was time for us to join the party.

This was probably an example of when we should have listened to our DJ.  But I didn’t. It was fine.  But it probably could have been better.

Our wedding party danced their way in to a song from a little movie called Juno. For those of you who were at our wedding – you may recall this was also the song that played on our wed-site.  The Boy said you wouldn’t notice.  I said, I didn’t care (but only because I knew you would).

If I was a flower growing wild and free
All I’d want is you to be my sweet honey bee.
And if I was a tree growing tall and green
All I’d want is you to shade me and be my leaves

All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a river in the mountains tall,
The rumble of your water would be my call.
If you were the winter, I know I’d be the snow
Just as long as you were with me, when the cold winds blow.

All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were a wink, I’d be a nod
If you were a seed, well I’d be a pod.
If you were the floor, I’d wanna be the rug
And if you were a kiss, I know I’d be a hug

All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

If you were the wood, I’d be the fire.
If you were the love, I’d be the desire.
If you were a castle, I’d be your moat,
And if you were an ocean, I’d learn to float.

All I want is you, will you be my bride
Take me by the hand and stand by my side
All I want is you, will you stay with me?
Hold me in your arms and sway me like the sea.

And then a separate song for us.  Now this is where we probably should have listened to our DJ.  I picked (and I say I because the Boy was no help when it came to these decisions) The Muppets Theme Song by OK Go.

I seriously heart the Muppets and when I heard this version last summer I thought – brilliant.  The only problem is – there is about 60 seconds until the appropriate introduction of the guest star. 60 seconds doesn’t seem like long until, you are dancing awkwardly with your new husband in the lobby. That’s what the DJ tried to tell me.

I was having fun.  The Boy was confused – why couldn’t we just go inside.

So we came in a few seconds early and the clapping from our guests may have drowned out our wedding party introducing us.


We made it. We we were married. And really, these were minor details that no one noticed except for me.

And maybe the DJ.

I’m Still Looking Up

Just a quick little post.

First – thanks for your wonderful comments last week. I knew I wasn’t delusional Toronto stay action hands down does not count as a honeymoon. The Boy has been informed of is loss accordingly.

Second – I was yogiing last week (convinced I am getting slightly stronger btw) and the instructor played this song twice in the 75 minutes. And now…

I’m obsessed.

Of course it wasn’t my first time hearing it but something about trying to hold those warrior poses and holding the chaturanga while listening to the words “I won’t give up” and “God knows we’re worth it” just made me love it that much more. As a small aside that’s one of the things that I like about this yoga. The music. I’ve never done yoga with music before but this place always has a sound track going and not always filled with typical yoga tunes. Florence and the Machine yoga anyone? It is hard to dance with the devil on your back!

Anyway I thought I’d share my new fave. And get you in the mood for a wedding music post tomorrow.

What songs are you loving right now?

Any yoga soundtrack recommendations out there?

Was it or Wasn’t it

Okay kids, I’m looking to you.  The Boy and I are in the middle of a VERY serious argument.

Did we just go on our honeymoon?

Last weekend was the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada (for my American friends Canadians celebrate the birthday of our reigning monarch on the Monday around the 24th of May each year – regardless of when their actual birthday is. It is rarely referred to as Victoria Day and more typically referred to as May 2-4. Every year, Ontarians think it’s going to be a beautiful weekend for outdoor activities and typically it is cold and rainy.  This year it was GORGEOUS. The more you know!) Sista and the Physicist went to Kingston and Prince Edward County and the Boy and I went to their apartment in Toronto.

It was our first weekend “away” together – without additional family members, since we’ve been married.

So I give you 5 reasons why it may have been our honeymoon and 5 reasons why it definitely was not.

  1. It was our first weekend away together since we’ve been married. (This is basically the Boy’s only point).
  2. We went out for fancy dinner.
  3. We split a bottle of wine at dinner for the first time ever.
  4. Some of us tried new foods – the Boy had Elk.
  5. We discovered new areas of a city we love.

And now the truth (yes I realize there are 6 here – hey if he wants it to be equal he should write his own post):

  1. We went less than 60km away. That is not very far.
  2. We did not have any accommodation costs – we even brought our own sheets.
  3. We went to a baseball game.
  4. We did not buy anything to commemorate our trip – not even matching fedoras.
  5. We went home early.
  6. I took a total of 13 pictures. 7 of which were of the Boy sitting 3′ from me saying “Why are you taking my picture?”

Obviously to document our honeymoon that you keep insisting we are on darling. Why else?

Settle the score – what say you? Did our Toronto weekend count as our honeymoon?

Also – since it obviously does not count – any suggestions?

There’s a baby coming

Calm down. Of course it is not a giant ginger baby.  Although we did recently go on our honeymoon – or did we? More on that tomorrow.

No.  There is a perfectly wonderful friend baby coming in just a few short weeks and do you know what that means? I should stop knitting socks and start making some progress on the projects I started in January!

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  Knitting until my hands cramp.  And not blogging.

Nothing like a deadline.

Now, I obviously don’t want to give away the surprises but I will tell you this – every time my mom and grandmother look at what I’m knitting they say “I hope this is for you!” No it is not.  Calm down.

It is for a soon to be born, sure to be perfect little someone.  The perfect kind of baby for a newly married Ginger and Giant.

One you get to give back.

Send speed and agility to my needles.  And patience.  I’m getting bored and I’m pretty sure this baby is getting ready to make his/her appearance regardless.

Muscle Beach 2012

We call our rooftop patio Muscle Beach.  At some point during our first summer here, our neighbour was throwing a bench press.  The Boy decided it was just what our patio needed. Other than that first night, it has never been used. But it adds character I suppose, and a name for the patio.  Muscle Beach. I told the Boy that we could part ways with it when we move from here.  The Boy says we’ll see.  We’ll see indeed.
Anyway, last weekend we opened up the beach and this was our conversation:
Boy – “Can you keep a journal of what we plant and when we planted, and update it every year?”
Me – “Yes”
10 minutes later
Boy – “Do you have a book to write down what we planted and track how well it does?”
Me – “No”
Boy – “How are you going to keep track?”
Me – “I write a blog, maybe you’ve heard of it?  That’s kind of what it’s for – keeping a history of things.
Boy – “Haha, oh yeah!”
So as per the Boy’s request – this is the 2012 Muscle Beach Round Up,
This year we got our crap together early and we planted on May 12. (The Boy wants to keep track of the date we plant.  I think it’s an OCD thing)
We’ve still got a couple of plants that need to go in, but so far we’ve got:
  • Golden Peppers
  • Purple Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Chives
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
Potatoes are new for us, and so are Purple and Golden peppers (which means I can cross another one off my 101 in 1001 list). We did red peppers last year, and had sad little plants that each produced a single pepper.  The Boy went out to “harvest” and the squirrels/raccoons had beat us to it – they were all half eaten.
This year we’re trying to not crowd our containers.  While one tiny little plant looks pretty silly in a giant pot off the start, I’m hoping if we give them more room to grow, we’ll have more luck.
We’re picking up more pots this weekend, so I’d still like to add kale, and green onions.  The Boy wants to try broccoli but I think we’re too late. We try lettuce pretty unsuccessfully each year as well – but I’m thinking maybe this year will be the year.
This is our new Blue Jay friend – the Boy is very excited about his presence and made me take about 50 pictures. 
I’m cool with him as long as he stays out of my plants!

Flowers – Oh the Flowers!!

Our flowers were done by two different vendors, one for bouquets and boutenierres as well as the large flower arrangements for the head table and church and a whole other person for the centrepieces.

Both were stunning.

The bouquets etc. were done by a local store Cassidy’s in Newmarket.  They were exceited about my orange and gray vision but I had a few doubts.  First, when we went to confirm everything what I thought was generating a brainstorm list turned out to be the actual list of all the different types of flowers that would be in each bouquet.  So much for simple. Second, when I picked up the flowers for the cake they were arranged in really old-school traditional round toppers. To be honest I dropped them off with the cake lady and told her – feel free to pull them apart and use what you want… she did.  It may have lead to a small panic attack on my end but to be honest, by that point – what was I going to do about it?  Nothing.  So I hoped for the best and moved on.

However, when they were delivered OMG stunning.

The church flowers were traditional and nothing to really write home about as far as blow your mind fantastic in a church but once they were brought to the venue and combined with the smaller arrangements that were there.  Again, stunning.  Really really pretty. And A LOT of flowers! Mom was sending them home with anyone who would take them!

The table centrepieces were a whole other story. They were the beautiful work of a new friend of my parents.  Again, I was a little nervous because I really didn’t know what I wanted. I became almost completely overwhelmed when we went flower depot shopping but they ended up being another wonderful example of “trust the experts” – absolutely gorgeous.  For the centrepieces I wanted to make sure that the people I wanted to take them home got them, so I included a note on the back of selected place cards with a special thank you for all of their help and support asking them to please accept the centrepiece as a small token of our appreciation.   For the most part it worked, I think… but I know there were a few people that were supposed to get one that didn’t – sneaky non rule following guests!

The biggest pro of the centrepieces? They lasted.  Jan told us they would. She made the trek to the flower depots and picked up flowers as fresh as they could possibly be.

I loved that.

A Special Post for Some Special Moms

You know you must be special ifni post on theweekend for you.  But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wish two very lovely moms a very Happy First Mother’s Day.  You are both doing an amazing job with you little ones and both have started blogging! I couldn’t be prouder.  Looking for an awesome new blog to follow?  Well, BFF Kristyn’s is private so I can’t help you there. But you can find Ms. Suzanne and beautiful baby C (oh and papa Pete too of course) at their new home Bike, Banjo & Baby!

As for a gift for this very momentous day I give you the artistic narration of Mr. Samuel L. Jackson.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mommies out there. I wish you a joyful day with your families and sleeping children tonight!!

Happy Birthday to MOM!!

It’s Mom’s birthday today. So in celebration, I give you five fast things my mom taught me:

  1. How to knit. Even though I can’t go as fast as her (The Boy was once watching both of us knit and told me he thought my “sticks” might be broken) and I can’t figure out how she doesn’t take her hand off the needle – she still passed the love of yarn on to me. And that is awesome.
  2. A love of books. Seriously, is there anything better than teaching someone to love to read? It takes me to different worlds, let’s me learn new things. And that is awesome.
  3. A love of cooking – and more specifically cookbooks. I can envision the Boy and I having this argument for the next 50 years. But come on new books give you new delicious meals and treats to try and love. And that is awesome.
  4. Mother bear instincts. Mom loves her kids. Always. Even when they screw up. Even if they screw up big time. And Mom loves anyone her kids bring home be it a friend when you are 5 or a giant when you are 20. Unless of course they hurt you. Then watch out -she’ll hurt you. And that is awesome.
  5. A healthy relationship. I think my siblings would agree that while books and knitting and new treats are nice, the most important thing that Mom taught us was how to love your spouse and what to expect love to look like in return. She has shown us that arguing doesn’t get you very far and that just because the other person does something that drives you crazy doesn’t mean that you don’t love them. It’s okay to take time for yourself and it’s okay to take time away from your kids. And it leaves you with a life that is full and happy and a whole lot of fun. And that is awesome.

Happy Birthday to the greatest Mom I know. XOXO

At the Table

Guests sat down to place cards that were colour coded by meal choice. It’s really likely that no one noticed that except for me, but it made me calmer.  It likely didn’t help the catering staff any, since I had already provided them a spreadsheet with each person’s name, meal and location at the table. But like I said, it made me feel better.

In addition to their place card, at each guest found a box of two truffles with one of three tags on it,

And a personal and heartfelt thank you from The Boy and I. I saw this idea on a blog post over at Style Me Pretty and fell in love.  Since as the bride and groom you don’t really get the chance to talk to everyone as much as you would like and you really don’t get to give a heart-felt thank you to each and every person, I loved that this gave me the opportunity to really think about why each person was there and what we wanted them to know about how we felt about them.  We were genuinely so touched that so many people travelled from out-of-town and across the country to be with us on our wedding day. We wanted every person that was in the room, in the room – and were thrilled they were able to make it. So we told them.

I debated FOREVER how to put together all the information I wanted at the table and finally decided to go the SUPER easy route and print it all on a prefolded silvery/gray card.  Done.

At each table the card held their table name and symbol on the outside, and inside the evening’s menu

And a description of what we were doing as a thank you.

Now you might be thinking, but wait – aren’t the truffles your thank you.  Yes, they were. But our lovely friend Carley made all 300 truffles as a wedding gift to us, so were able to do both. We made a $175 donation to Kiva, so every other table had the story of a different woman entrepreneur – 7 in total. I’m also happy to report that as of last week we have reinvested in another 5 entrepreneurs and 3 of our original loans have been paid back in full.  I love Kiva – it is an awesome concept.

The last little touch was custom-made M&Ms in orange and gray on each table. They had our initials, “I Do” 9-10-11 and various pictures.  They were so sweet (and delicious) and were not only a fun addition, but a throw back to the M&M machine that lives in my parent’s basement that is always full when there is a party.  It’s not a family party without M&Ms.

There was of course one more big touch that really made the room – and that of course, is the flowers…