29 April 2011

Friday Favourites- Royal Wedding Edition

There are so many things that I am inspired by on a daily basis. Whether they be fashion items, recipes, popular culture events or even just random occurrences and so I decided to blog a weekly Friday Favourites section, with this being the first!

Today was an extremely important and joyous Friday as it also happened to be the wedding day of Prince William and Catherine Middleton who are now known as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. To honour this, I've focused this post on all of my Royal Wedding "favourites". I absolutely loved being a part of this day even from so far away as it brought back so many happy memories of my wedding day....especially when our colours were so similar and the reading read was also the one read on ours.... it brought me many smiles!

Here are my favourites:
5. High Tea Parties - Fancy teas, scones, preserves, Devonshire cream, tiny gourmet sandwiches and petite fours? Count me IN! I booked a high tea party to enjoy with my bridesmaids before our big day last summer and it was such a fun experience. Royal Wedding fever this week inspired many a tea party around the world...including a tiny one in my living room.
Our first selections at the Windsor Arms High Tea last summer.
4. Understated Elegance - The entire broadcasted day seemed to flow effortlessly and with such ease. Every aspect of the wedding from the decor to the transportation just exuded class and elegance. However it was Kate's complete attire, that for me, portrayed such an element of understated elegance fit for a Princess.  Yet everything still truly reflected her own style which made it just that much more beautiful! 
She changed into another Alexander McQueen stunner for the reception!
3. Ceremonial Uniforms - Red Specifically - I secretly was hoping that Prince William would wear his Irish Guards uniform solely for the fact that it resembled the one my husband wore on our day. I have a serious weakness for men in uniform...scarlet ones to be specific of course!
2. Collective Celebratory Crowds - There is nothing more spectacular than the coming together of hundreds of thousands of strangers from around the world in celebration of love and marriage. I was in absolute awe as I watched the crowds assemble and a huge smile crept across my face as the collective cheer of joy was heard in the Church after the exchange of the vows. Together... anything is possible!
The crowds at Buckingham Palace
1. "Wait Till You See Her" - My absolute FAVOURITE moment of the entire event was when Prince Harry took a sneak peek for Prince William as Kate was walking up the aisle behind them and whispered to his older brother " Wait till you see her".  Made me shed more than a few tears!
Just so very sweet!
It looked to be such a spectacular day and exciting moment in history. Some question why the world was so involved or what the point is in investing such time and effort into this wedding.... for me its because every now and then its OK to be removed from the doom and gloom. Its OK to show genuine happiness for two people who are in love and its OK to believe in fairytales and happy endings...every now and then. 

22 April 2011


Who can resist the infamous sugar-coated marshmallowy icons of Easter otherwise known as Peeps?? Although I can't eat them, I still love to bake with them! They make such cute Easter baking creations. I wanted something fun, bright and yummy to bring in to school and when I saw these at Love From The Oven I decided I needed to try them out. Living in a small town, I don't have access to many baking necessities like candy melts and with being so busy with work, I hadn't had a chance to venture into the city. 

I knew this recipe called for white chocolate candy melts, but all I had at my disposal was good ole Bakers White Chocolate squares. Everyone knows that when melted, white chocolate isn't exactly white but moreso a cream/pale ivory. That wasn't what I had in mind for bright and fun... so I added a few drops of blue food colouring to the melted chocolate and it looked fantastic!

I also realized, after one failed attempt and the loss of a Rice Krispie treat, that you really need to scoop out the melted chocolate from the double boiler instead of trying to dip it directly. Apparently the marshmallows and butter in the treat don't do so well in heated chocolate... ;)

I LOVE how they turned out though and more importantly so did the kiddies!


17 April 2011

Let's Eat...CAKE

Who doesn't love cake for breakfast? If I could have anything for breakfast...it would definitely have to be cake. However, when I decided to bake this cake it wasn't even remotely close to breakfast time! I baked it Saturday evening but I just couldn't wait and I figured Sunday morning would be here eventually! ;)

Now it wasn't smooth sailing while trying to bake this... I somehow managed to set the stove on fire and in my frazzled state decided to make it into a bunt cake. Now how did I manage to almost burn down my kitchen and make a crumb cake into a bunt cake? I will blame it on my eagerness to have a few slices!

We don't have a microwave in our home *GASP*... and I don't think we ever will, however while trying to melt the butter while making the batter.... the butter dripped onto the stove and ignited! AAAAH.... luckily my husband came to the rescue and I continued my baking merrily. Then came the decision of which pan... and the original recipe called for a muffin pan, but I'm cupcake-ed & muffin-ed out and so for some reason my bunt pan called out to me. It wasn't until the cake was done baking that I realized my error.... its a crumb cake and therefore would be ruined if it's turned over as one would with a bunt cake.... Nonetheless... the incredible smell of warm vanilla and blueberries with a hint of lemon made it all better... and I just cut a slice directly from the pan ;)

The yummy recipe was adapted from the talented What's Gaby Cooking.

15 April 2011

Water For Elephants

If you are looking for a good read... you need to pick up Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen! I haven't had the time lately to be fully immersed in a book (unless its geared towards children aged 6-10) but my interest was peaked when I kept hearing about this one. I decided to put a hold on it at our local library and once I read the first few sentences... I was hooked.

I will admit... I read it in one sitting.. it was THAT good! I just couldn't put it down. It was heart-breaking and stomach-wrenching at times and yet full of love all at the same time. I'm not one for "fluff" stories and if I'm reading a book, I'm looking to be transported into it and its characters... and Water For Elephants did just that. 

The movie based on this story is apparently coming to theatres next week but I don't know if I want to watch it. Movies tend to ruin books for me because the pictures I draw in my mind never correspond correctly with what is portrayed on screen. 

So tell me... have you read the book? What did you think? Will you go see the movie? In the spirit of this book and the pictures in my mind... I created the following Etsy Treasury for some fun eye-candy!

06 April 2011

It's HERE!!

It truly felt like Christmas morning when I tore into the box holding my new mixer!! I marvel at how the smallest things can always bring the hugest smile to my face. I have been eyeing the KitchenAid mixers for as long as I could remember and I spent endless hours researching just the perfect one.

So when the moment was finally at hand... I didn't waste a precious second placing it on our counter top and of course breaking it in.

You would think that the very first thing I would choose to make with it would have been some form of gourmet or complicated dessert....but nope...soft and chewy PRETZELS! I have virtually no arm muscles to speak of and what better way to get a real feel for its abilities then to have it knead the dough for me?

I must say....it was quite an odd feeling to just stand there and watch it do all the work. That is not something I'm used to in the least and in a strange way... I started to miss "the work" associated with baking from scratch but after a few melancholy seconds, I quickly realised what a wonderful and beautiful creation this thing is!!

So... here it is...in all its glory along with the yummy pretzels!

KitchenAid Professional Standmixer
Its a perfect addition!
These were incredible straight from the oven!

01 April 2011


The beauty about our little town is that in just an hour's drive, we are in the hustle and bustle of city life again. It makes for a wonderful escape every now and then and so to celebrate our upcoming 10-year anniversary, which I believe to still be relevant despite the fact that we are married now, (even though hubby might not agree...hehehe) we decided to venture into the city for some Fondue at The Melting Pot  yesterday.

We absolutely love this restaurant for its warm and cozy atmosphere and of course... the Fondue experience! We started off with the traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue followed by Salade Nicoise.

Then the main event: The Fondue Fusion

Collection of Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon, Peppercorn NY Strip, Chicken Provencal, Roasted Garlic Shrimp, Duck a l'Orange & Ratatouille Goat Cheese Ravioli served with a large arrangement of dipping sauces.

I tried my best to save some room for the absolute best part of Fondue...the CHOCOLATE! We decided to try the Chocolate S'mores which is milk chocolate topped with flambeed marshmallows and graham crackers.

It was served with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, cheesecake, oreo and graham cracker crusted marshmallows, pound cake and brownies.

We had a fantastic evening out, which is really a rarity with our overlapping work schedules, however its not every day we celebrate 10 years together. So if you've never had Fondue before... I would say its an absolute must-DO the next time you have the opportunity.  My next venture will be try it at home! 

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