Monday, February 21, 2011

Wedding Social..........Say What?

Being a Manitoban we have Wedding Socials…now I am sure anyone who isn’t from Manitoba is like what is that? What it is, is an event or giant party that the engaged couple throws at usually a local community centre hall, has a hired DJ, sells cheap alcohol and has a silent auction. We sell tickets, which are usually $10 and any money we make from the night helps toward the wedding. I am not sure what the history or why it’s only people from Manitoba that to do this. But we do!

These are usually held about 6months before the wedding. That’s not saying that they won’t be held before or later then that. That just seems to be average.

Now planning a Wedding Social is a lot of work. And honestly is just another stress before the wedding. (As if we needed anymore) But being a good Manitoban we will be having one. Our date is set for April 16th. And its coming fast! I am currently in the stage of organizing all the silent auction prizes. Back in the day we would find lots of local business that would donate. Now however, it requires the generous donations of friends and family. We also may purchase some extra add-ons to the prizes ourselves.

Being the graphic designer I am. I designed our tickets and will also create a banner for the social. My fiancé and myself are large nerds and I wanted to bring that into our wedding somehow. I decided the social would be the place as its less formal and it’s okay if our relatives don’t understand it.

Check out my fun 8-bit ticket design. The banner will have the same theme. I think I will even add font on each side that will say “Player 1 press start, Player 2 press start”.

Yeah I am super nerdy!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pizza is a gift from the Heavens!

In my household, pizza is a best friend. It is our friend that is there for us when we are sad, when we are happy and it brings us together with other friends. Yes I know I am talking about food. But that’s just what pizza is for us!

Our love for pizza can also be a problem. The problem is it’s too easy to get caught up in the greasy fatty goodness.  And also the convenience of dialing up and having it delivered to our door. As you all know, I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle. So without ditching our best friend I have had to start making it all from scratch at home. And lucky for us, I love to cook!

This past Friday I did it up! 

Whole Wheat Dough


 ½ teaspoon sugar
1 package dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons EVOO
½ teaspoon salt
Cooking Spray


1.    Dissolve the sugar and yeast in warm water in a bowl, let stand for 5min
2.    Add flour, salt and oil to the yeast mixture. Stir until it forms into a dough. You may need to add a little bit more flour if mixture sticks to your fingers.
3.    Knead for 5 min

4.    Spray large bowl with cooking spray, place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
5.    Place the bowl in a warm place for 60min. (I usually put it in the oven that I had preheated at 200c for 1 min and turned it off.)
6.    Punch dough and form into a ball, let sit for another 30min.
7.    Place some flour on counter top to prevent the dough from sticking and roll it out into whatever shape you have for a pan.

We love garlic, so I take some EVVO and garlic powder, mix it up and spread it all over the crust before I put the sauce and toppings on it…soo good!


I used a recipe from The only thing I did is add ½ tablespoon of basil and used fresh minced garlic. We love LOVE garlic.


Now for the part my fiancé loves helping out with, the toppings! Today we had roasted red pepper and asparagus. (I cut them up, tossed some EVOO on them and baked at 400F for 15min, tossed them a few times so they didn’t stick). We also had red onion, black olives, tomatoes and prosciutto. I then sprinkled some low fat mozzarella cheese with basil sprinkled on top.

Bake your pizza on a pizza stone or a pan at 350F for 35-40min. Or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.


Nom Nom Nom!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome)

I apologize for my lack of blog posts. I had planned to talk about a night I had with my girlfriend on Saturday, however due to a tragic loss to a friend of mine, I haven’t had the energy to think about anything else.

Today I had to watch two amazing parents say goodbye to their young baby boy. We hear about SIDS on TV and in the news. But it’s not something you could ever think could happen to you or someone close to you. No parent should ever have to say goodbye to their child.  Today with the current medical advancements we have we are still unable to explain or help prevent SIDS. I ask that you help learn and support such a cause. Help prevent the loss of something so dear.

RIP Kyle
My thoughts and love to your family

Find out how you can help:
Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
American Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Institute

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick Chickpea Salad

The other day I needed to make a quick easy lunch. I had a can of chickpeas, so I thought I would work with that. My fiancé isn’t a huge fan of chickpeas but I was determined to make them Mr. S approved!

This can be a cold salad or used in a wrap. I am on a low carb diet, so I decided not to have mine in a wrap as the chickpeas will have some carbs already in them. Mr. S however enjoyed his in a whole wheat wrap.


1 can of chickpeas
1 plum tomato
½ cup of chopped spinach
¼ cup chopped zucchini
1tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp of EVOO


1. Heat EVOO in pan, add spinach and stir.
2. Add all ingredients but spices. Heat for several minutes.
3. Add spices, mix and cover for 3-5min.
4.Take off heat, put in bowl and place in fridge for 1 hour.

Chickpeas are so full of healthy benefits that I recommend them to anyone!

How do you eat your chickpeas?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Engagement Photos!

After we were engaged I wanted to first book my venue for the reception and then find a photographer. Now designing birth announcements, family photo/holiday cards I have had a good introduction into local photographers.  I always really enjoyed working with client's photos from one photographer. And always joked that she would be "my" wedding photographer.

Note to any couples out there looking for wedding photographers, if you feel the photographer isn't really "into" doing your wedding, then say no, walk away and don't look back. They may look good on the internet, but if something doesn't feel right when you meet them, Scrap em! Trust me, best advice ever.

I contacted the photographer, she emailed me back quickly, seemed so happy to do my wedding and we met in the upcoming week. We both loved her just as much as we loved her work. I can't stress how happy I am with this decision. Jennifer Lee has been AMAZING! Her work speaks for herself!

I have red *orange* hair, so I was wanting to take photos in the fall. Well living in Winnipeg, we can NEVER predict the weather, even more so in later days of October. It can go from leaves just turning orange/yellow to snow being on the ground and never leaving for MONTHS!  So with fingers and toes crossed we booked our engagement photo date. Due to gross wet and cold weather we had to rebook. Finally when the date came, IT WAS PERFECT!

Those of you out there debating the whole "engagement photo" idea. Here is my advice, do it! I wouldn't have if it didn't come in our wedding package. But I am soo glad we did. It gives you a GREAT feel for how your photographer will be on your wedding day. It's just one less thing not to worry about. It's "practice" as Jennifer Lee told us in our first meeting.

Here is a few of our engagement photos!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Insanity

This past Sunday was of course the Super Bowl. Now in my house this is HUGE! Even more so since my fiancés favorite team is the Green Bay Packers! As tradition would dictate I would be making Chili and other snack foods for a bunch of football fans.

Normally I would be making a very healthy dish of chili if this was a normal day. But I spoiled my fiancé and made some that wasn’t so much. However healthy substitutes can be easily made!

1lb Extra Lean Ground Beef
1lb Hot Italian Sausage
4 (15oz) cans chili beans, drained
2 (28oz) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6oz) can of tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chili peppers, seeded and chopped
4 cubes beef bouillon
½ cup beer
¼ cup chili power
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar


1 Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. Brown ground beef and sausage. Drain any excess grease.

2. Pour in chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste

3. Add onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chili peppers, bouillon and beer.

4. Season with chili power, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika and sugar. Simmer on low eat for at least 2 hours. 

5. After two hours I will taste and adjust for spices if needed. I then let it cook another hour. The longer it simmers the better it tastes. I always make this the day before so it sits all night in the refrigerator.

Just reheat on stove the next day on low.  Serve with buns.

The boys LOVED it!

Now we had many sides, one which was Restaurant-Style Buffalo Chicken Wings. I baked these instead of deep frying them. I may be letting my fiancé cheat a little....but that was just TOO much. The boys seemed to really enjoy these as well.

We also had Guacamole I made. This recipe is great!!

On top of all that we had some smoked dried homemade meat my fiance's father makes, it's delish! We also had 3 year old cheddar cheese and crackers. As well as salmon slices, salsa and I think that's everything???? All I know is I have soo much food left over!!

And for the big game that inspired all this food.....well that was a HUGE WIN FOR THE PACKERS! Good job boys :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Featured on Blogger Bride!

Hey check out my Blogger Bride!! 

 Are you planning on going to a wedding show? Well read here first!!

Let's talk about HIIT baby!

Okay so it's not nearly as fun as my title makes it sound. In all actuality it’s a sweaty mess, but it does burn fat off quickly and seeing my improvements from each session are very rewarding.

What HIIT stands for is High Intensity Interval Training. Now what does that mean you ask? Well i'll tell you, it means you will do bursts and rests. So in my situation I run around the track at my gym. I will run as fast and intense as I can till I cant anymore (Kim calls it the “Forrest Gump Run”), I will then jog for half a lap, walk a full lap…..and then do it all over again. I will do between 8-10 rounds in total.

What’s really great is that I am not doing long amounts of cardio, I am pushing myself as much as I can in short bursts with rewarding rests. It honestly doesn’t give cardio a bad name anymore, well almost. A great trick my trainer Kim taught me is when I am sprinting to vision someone chasing me and trying to kill me. I often joke it’s her trying to Kill me……I joke I joke…..I think?

You can also do this on a treadmill, for example 3 min on 6.5 and then 2 min on 3.5 for 20 min.

So go get your butt out and do some HIITS! I promise the results will be worth it!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Parchment Salmon Delish

One thing about me is I LOVE to cook, and what I love even more is cooking for someone else. Before I met my fiancé I never cooked. But after we moved in together I found it quickly becoming one of my favorite hobbies. When I started my healthy lifestyle my cooking had to change, and it became more challenging. Not a bad challenge, a great one! I now strive to find delicious healthy meals.

This is one of our favorites!  We have this at least once a week. The vegetables for the sides change depending on what I have on hand.

Salmon is amazing! From a health stand point it is just jammed packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids. And every 4-oz serving will provide you with nearly 30gm of protein!! Oh and don’t forget it tastes awesome!

This recipe is pretty quick and very easy.


2 Salmon fillets
1 Lemon
Fresh dill on stem
2 tsp of EVVO
Pinch of kosher salt
Pepper for taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Fold a large sheet of parchment paper and cut out a heart shape about 3 inches larger then the fillet. Unfold paper and place the fillet near the fold.

 Take a very small pinch of kosher salt and rub it on the fillet. I try not to use salt in food, but just a tad rubbed on the salmon adds a nice bit of flavor. You can use Sea Salt, but I like to use kosher salt as I feel I can grab a pinch of it easier. This step is optional if you are on a low salt diet.

Cut a lemon into 4 halves, take one half and squeeze it over a fillet. A trick I learned is to squeeze lemon over your hand to catch any seeds. Don’t throw away the lemon half, as we will use this later. Drizzle a bit of EVOO over the fillet

Place a stem of dill on top of the fillet. Take left over lemon half, cut it into two and place both on fillet. Sprinkle pepper over for taste (optional).

 Fold paper to enclose the fillet, and make small overlapping folds to seal the edges. Start at the curve of the heart.  I usually will brush EVOO on the edges before I roll them up.

Place in oven for 15min or till salmon flakes with a fork.

For my side dish today, I had asparagus and brussels sprouts on hand. I just threw them in my vegetable steamer. For taste, ill squeeze some fresh lemon over top of them.


 Nom Nom Nommmmm........
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