one week a mrs.

Boy oh boy! It seems like just yesterday that I announced I got engaged, and now it’s already one week since we got married.

To say it was a perfect day would be an understatement, the sun was shining, our friends and family were there, and most importantly, I got to stand with my husband and let everyone know how happy I am.

Sure there were hiccups, like forgetting the rings and the marriage license, or having the seating arrangement you worked hours on a little messed up, but with a little help from our friends, the ceremony went beautifully. These kinds of things contribute to the sheer perfectness. Perfect doesn’t mean that everything goes exactly the way you planned, it means rolling with the punches and floating through the challenges gracefully.

We worked really hard to make the day comfortable, and intimate at Temple’s Sugar Bush. The day was a perfect representation of us. We had our wedding favours “Doggy Bags” which I designed and my mom made dog shaped sugar cookies, they came with a promise to donate to Sit With Me Dog Rescue instead of traditional favours.

I think I surprised shocked some at how calm I was leading up to the day, and on the day itself. I wanted to take every moment in, and I knew freaking out about the unfinished things was going to cloud that. I found myself just taking a breathe and looking around me. Here I was, with my closest friends and family around me. They were all there for me and us. There’s something incredibly special about taking a moment and realizing that. 

At a certain point, you have to give in that the certain things just won’t get done, and that’s okay. I assure you, I haven’t always been this calm with things. I actually thought I’d be a lot more high-strung around it, and surprised myself a bit as I glided through the engagement and next thing I knew it was our wedding day.

I’m an organization freak queen; Sure I’ve got a spreadsheet to keep myself on track, and a binder which is well organized, but that’s how I stayed calm. If it was chaos and I felt unorganized, I would have stressed. I am, by nature, the type of person that likes to keep track of things in some sort of way.

All in all, it was amazing. I promise i’ll get back to the “food stuff” soon, but for now, here are my top 5 tips to getting married with grace:

  • Find an online resource for you that works and is organized in a way that makes sense to you. For me, that was Wedding Wire. From keep track to budgets, to invitations and seating charts, this website (and app) allowed me to plainly see what was coming. You can also share it with your family or bridal party so they can see what the remaining to dos are.
  • Get as much done ahead of time as possible, and accept that if it doesn’t get done, it’s okay. There were a couple of things that I was dead set on doing, and I actually didn’t really realize until the day of that they didn’t get done. And guess what, your guests won’t notice either. 
  • Keep your family in the loop. It wasn’t so hard for me to do that – I was excited and wanted to let my parents know what was going on. I quickly realized that important details weren’t making their way to the other side of the family, and so I took the time to fill them in whenever possible. When you’re a planner, it’s easy to forget that you have a support system around you ready and willing to help.
  • Things will happen that you didn’t expect. Breathe. Sure there were a few things that happened leading up to the day and on the day that wasn’t in the itinerary, but just take a second, look around you. These people are here for you, and that’s incredible.
  • Take it in. I heard from a lot of people that the day goes by so fast that you don’t really have time to take it in. I say this to that: Make the time to take it in. As a bride, your day likely starts off pretty early, grab that cup of coffee and sit with your bridesmaids as they get their hair done, and move around to see how the other members of your bridal party are doing. Sit in silence, soak it up. It takes a conscious effort, but you’ll be thankful you did.

With that, we are SO thankful to everyone who helped make our special day perfect. From a fantastic wedding party who helped set the low-key tone, to parents who showered us with love and support. THANK YOU!

an update

hi+there

it’s been a while hasn’t it? If you’re expecting a recipe or an amazing kitchen story this time around, you’ll be a little disappointed! 

You know the saying when it rains, it pours? Well it’s been torrential. 

These last 6 months have tested my patience, my resiliency, and my overall ability to just keep on keeping on. I would definitely describe myself as a pretty well-balanced person who’s pretty good at looking at the big picture, planning ahead, but things change.

I know, i’m being vague, so let’s cut to the chase. Kevin and I were involved in an accident in November, which started a series of challenges. His poor Jetta, his pride and joy, was written off, and we’ve been dealing with the complications ever since. An accident affects you, not just physically, but emotionally. He was so attached to his car, it was sad to see how affected he was by it.

I haven’t been able to shake it off, and that’s why the ultimate radio silence on the blog. I wanted to get back to things, I really do, and every once in a while I get these moments of light where I think maybe, just maybe I can swing it. Maybe getting back to blogging about life and making our house a home isn’t so hard, maybe it’s not such a time commitment, but other bloggers will be able to appreciate that there’s more to it than just taking a pretty picture and typing up some words.

You’ll remember that I’m also getting married in June (eek, 58 days), and I’m involved in an amazing dog rescue called Sit With Me. I’m an expert multi-tasker, i’ve got a spreadsheet for everything, and details for my details, i’m organized and proactive and detail-oriented beyond belief, sometime too much (sorry to my rescue fundraising co-chairs!) But this accident has changed something inside me. I can’t quite juggle my projects the way I used to, and sadly, my blog has taken the brunt of it.

I will get back to it soon, I hope, it’s a great outlet, and I know it. It’s a great community of people as well. I must admit, this post was/is scary to write. I feel very bare in writing it, I feel like I’m partially admitting failure, like I can’t keep up.

In due time, I hope to reconnect with the brands and businesses I had started forming partnerships with after the Food Blogger Conference 2014, and really start kicking things into gear. But for now, we’ll take care of each other.

nutella drop cookie

I know this might not seem right to start talking about just yet, but the next couple of months will fly by with entertaining and get-togethers, and these nutella drop cookies are just what you need when you’re in a time-crunch.

There’s 56 days until Christmas, I know, it might seem a little scary, and you might already be looking for more time in your day. Entertaining shouldn’t be hard, or a chore. I’m a HUGE fan of stupidly easy recipes, and I think that’s why drop cookies have a special place in my heart.

You might cringe at the thought of a cookie exchange, but when you’ve got cookies like these Nutella Drop Cookies in your back pocket (okay, maybe not literally), you shouldn’t fear. Cookie exchanges are some of the most fun, and easiest ways to knock off your holiday baking.

Let’s get real for a second, who says cookie exchanges have to only happen around Christmas? Halloween is coming up, round up some friends and whip up a batch to share. We get so caught up in what should and shouldn’t be based on what everyone else tells us. Let’s start something new, stray away from the “normal” and make a new normal.

There’s nothing stopping you from creating a new and different tradition. You know those times you talk to your friends, or overhear a stranger talk about their halloween/thanksgiving/christmas tradition? Pipe up, and offer the idea of a non-traditional cookie exchange. In fact, I think I may have inspired myself!

But for now, here’s the nutella drop cookies

nutella drop cookie
Yields 20
Quick, easy, and delicious drop cookie
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup nutella
  2. 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  3. Splash of vanilla
  4. 1/2 cup milk
  5. 1/4 cup sugar
  6. 1 3/4 cups your fav. cereal (I used cornflakes in the picture)
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, combine and melt all the ingredients except for the cereal over low-medium heat.
  2. Once the mixture is well mixed, remove from the element, and add your favorite cereal.
  3. Stir well.
  4. On a lined baking sheet, drop mixture by the tablespoon full, or to desired size.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Drop cookies will keep approximately 1 week stored in an airtight container in the fridge or up to 4 months in the freezer.
porch&table http://porchandtable.com/

we need community

I recently came back from the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference in Vancouver, and if I learnt anything there, it’s that we need community.

You might think of community in a different way than I do, or the next person, but it’s the idea of power in numbers. One of the sessions focused on Finding your niche as a blogger, a feat I am strill trying to overcome. In this session, Aimee from Simple Bites spoke about the power of blogging community. In a world that is filled with food blogs, look to your online neighbours as resources, not competition. Work together to create, rather than tear down.

FBC2014 - Nicole & LauraThe conference was a place for me to build my community, find the people I could relate to, and connect with. It was here that I met Nicole for the first time. Nicole is the blogger over at Culinary Cool, and though we hadn’t met in person before, we connected online and when we did get together, it was like meeting my Regina-twin.

We’re so focused on being better versions of ourselves and others, that we often forget that we can actually benefit from allying ourselves with our so-called “competitors.” We also live in a digital world, we don’t need to live next to each other anymore to be a part of a community. Send an email, connect via facebook, or reach out by text, the possibilities that you will find might astonish you.

Generally, most of the people we meet are willing to help, if you have a question that you think another blogger might be able to help or answer, don’t be shy: send them a message!

I’ve been away from home for almost two weeks now, and I’ve got to say that especially given the recent events that took place in Ottawa, I feel closer to the friends and family, and community that I have. In times of crisis, and in joy, you want to know that you can turn to the person next to you (or virtually next to you) and let them know you’re thinking about them.

That’s all for now, we’ll be back at it with recipes in the next few days!

Food Blogger Conference here I come!

The day has almost arrived for me to jet off to Vancouver and attend my first ever Food Blogger Conference!

I’m both nervous and excited, but I know it will be an amazing time to meet the faces behind the blogs, and to tap into the immense resources of having great minds in one room.

Laura at porch&table Food Blogger Conference 2014 Golden TicketYou might remember a little while back, I won the “Golden Ticket” to attend the conference, and I actually remember the exact day that I decided I should commit to going. Spending money on myself isn’t something I’m particularly good at. Sure there were things that I could do be doing at home, but every once in a while you need to take that jump and do it for yourself.

This also marks my first trip on my own that’s not for work – it might not seem like a big deal, and it is “just Vancouver” but it’s a big deal. It’s a foreign concept to purposely put myself in a situation where I’ll known no one personally, I’m much more comfortable on the other side of the table at a booth, talking about someone else or company project.

The Food Bloggers of Canada group has been so receptive, and has given us all the tools to have the best time possible. I think as a new food blogger, it’s easy for me to celebritize other food bloggers, they’re the people I’ve been reading for years, and I get giddy when one of them follows me on twitter, I can only imagine how I’ll be when I come face to face with them!

So, for now, all I can do is take a breath, and take it all in. Vancouver, Food bloggers, here I come!