individual-mini-mason-jar-apple-crisps

The apple crisp desserts from my cousin Mark & Lisa’s wedding last month inspired me to make some at home for us to have on hand for dessert or toss into our packed lunches as a midday treat. They’re perfectly portioned so that you get a nice dessert without overindulging.

We mostly use glass jars and containers to store food at home.You can wash and reuse them many times, and I don’t have to worry about any chemicals from the plastic leeching into our food. You could also give these away to neighbours and friends, and they can reuse the glass jars too.

individual-mini-mason-jar-apple-crisps

Whenever we bring desserts over to our friends’ houses or to family dinners, I always have to think up ways to keep the cookies from cracking or the frosting from smudging on a cake. With these jars, you can add the lids on top, tuck them in a basket and be on your way. No worries about anything getting messed up while you’re traveling.

The fact that these travel so well makes them perfect for packing in our lunches and they can easily be reheated at work. You can make a big batch ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or even stock your freezer.

/ / /

What you’ll need:

Makes 10 (4oz) jars · Printable Version

Filling:

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp butter, cubed

mini-mason-jars

Preheat oven to 375°F and grease ten 4 oz mason jars. Place the jars on a large rimmed baking sheet. This will make it easier to fill them and also put them in the oven.

sliced-apples-apple-crisp

In a mixing bowl, combine filling ingredients.

individual-mini-mason-jar-apple-crisps

 Evenly distribute the filling into the jars.

(more…)

I’m writing to you this morning from beautiful California. This is officially the 29th state that I’ve been to in the US and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites. I am definitely going to need to bring Garrett back with me one day. The trip has been amazing and I can’t wait to share more about it soon!

/ / /

pacific-ocean-huntington-beach-california

Toes in the Sand: Yesterday I officially stepped into the Pacific Ocean for the first time…and to think that only four months ago I was standing in the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island, Georgia on our honeymoon. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to travel so much this year and experience some truly great places. I definitely been bit by the travel bug!

hyatt-regency-huntington-beach-california

Speaking of great places, check out my hotel room at the Hyatt Regency in Huntington Beach. The whole resort is really beautiful, with little ponds and grottos, but it’s this big comfy bed and the mountain of pillows that called to me. See the wicker chair and ottoman on the left? That’s actually where I’m writing this post, with the patio doors open so I can see the ocean. Even three days later, this is totally surreal. Thank you to the folks at Behr Paint for putting me up in this lovely room!

Cottage Floor Makeover: I got an email from my aunt this week that after seeing the pool deck makeover that I did at my parents’ house with Behr DeckOver, she tried it in the screened in porch of her family’s cottage.

behr-deckover-prep-floors

They started by cleaning and prepping the floor…

behr-deckover-gray

…and it was quickly transformed into a clean, even surface that felt great under their bare feet.

behr-deckover-porch

Here how it looks now with their funky retro couches and cottage decor. It’s so great to hear about other people having awesome results with this product. I can’t wait to try it on my parent’s back porch next spring and give it a makeover too.

fall-hike

Fall Hike: After all the excitement of BlogPodium last Saturday, it was nice to have a Sunday that was just relaxing and chill. My dear friend and bridesmaid Alison came over to hang out, make some lunch and go on a hike. Whenever we get together, we never stop talking from the moment we see each other until we sadly have to part. I actually have a funny little story with her from earlier this spring at the wedding:

When she showed up to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding this spring, I offered her wine at dinner and she said she couldn’t drink that weekend because she had a bad ear infection and was on antibiotics. I didn’t think anything of it, but that night I had a dream that she was actually pregnant and just wasn’t telling me. The next day we were over at the cottage working on the flowers and I told her about my dream. We laughed it off and she reminded me of how overactive my imagination is. (It really is. I have the weirdest dreams.)

On the day of the wedding, once all the dancing had started and the party was in full swing, her and her husband pulled me aside to tell me that my dream was actually real and that I’d guessed it way before they were ready to let people know, haha. It was seriously such a great way to end an already awesome day. I couldn’t be more happy for them and I can’t wait to meet their little one later this year!

homemade-chicken-noodle-soup-buttermilk-biscuits

It was chilly out on Sunday, so before our hike we worked together to make a homemade chicken noodle soup and southern buttermilk biscuits baked in the skillet. It was such yummy comfort food and got us all warmed up for our hike in the woods, and it was so much fun to work on it together.

/ / /

I’m off to pack my suitcase and fit in one last walk by the ocean. It’s been a great trip, but I can’t wait to see Garrett and the dogs tonight. It looks like it might be a nice weekend back home and I hope we can get outside for another hike. Hope you have an awesome weekend too!

Last weekend, I met up with a few hundred of my fellow Canadian bloggers for BlogPodium 2014 at the beautiful Fairmount Royal York in downtown Toronto. At first I was nervous walking into this room with so many people that I only know through their blogs, then I ran into some friends from BlogPodium last year and it put my mind at ease. When I started to think about it, it’s pretty cool to be in a room with so many like minded people who are also trying to use this new and crazy medium to share their stories with the world.

blogpodium-2014

I took some photos, but of course I was having a great time talking and my big camera didn’t get out of my purses nearly as often as normal. Thankfully the folks at Flow Photo shared their photos so that I could show you more of what went on!

blogpodium-2014

The speakers and presentations this year were incredibly inspiring and insightful. I filled my notebook with new ideas, inspirational quotes and about a million things that I still need to look up more on.

blogpodium-2014

I also got the chance to lead my own roundtable discussion about being an efficient blogger and finding new ways to organize your content. I came prepared with chocolate bars because I’m sure everyone can use a mid-afternoon sugar rush somedays (I do!). It ended up being a great discussion with some other bloggers about not only how we manage our content, but how me fit it into our day-to-day lives. It was so much fun to talk about it together and share our stories. I love hearing how other people do things differently or the same!

blogpodium-2014-indigo-chapters

There were so many amazing booths set up this year with different brands for the bloggers to connect with. It was awesome to catch up with the ones I knew and meet some new ones too

blogpodium-2014-chapters-indigo

The folks from Indigo were there – and you all know how much I love Indigo. I think I touched just about everything in this display – so many great textures and fall colours.

blogpodium-2014-HGTV

I loved these cute colourful quilted pillows over at the HGTV booth. They look so cozy!

blogpodium-2014-urban-barn

Urban Barn used to be one of my favourite shops to check out when I lived in Toronto, so I was excited to see what they had in stores right now. There were some great vintage inspired signs, luxe pillows and fluffy throws that I would have been happy to take home.

/ / /

I left the conference feeling really good about where the blog is now, where it’s going and the new ideas I’d took away with me. I woke up the next day with my head spinning with ideas and projects. I even had some time on the plane to California yesterday to hammer some of them out.

blogpodium-2014-team

A big thank you for Jennifer Flores and her amazing BlogPodium team. All their hard work and creativity made this into an incredible event that inspired so many people in our community. I can’t wait until next year!!

Thank you cards are an important part of any wedding. They let your guests know how happy you are that they came to celebrate your big day with you and that their thoughtful gifts were greatly appreciated. When Garrett and I started looking at thank you cards, I went over to Wedding Paper Divas. I’ve seen some of the invitations that they print and I really admired the quality of the paper and the designs, so I was excited to see what their thank you cards were like too.

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas

Garrett and I both wanted to go with a card that had photos from the wedding and Wedding Paper Divas has so many great options with the photos that it was hard to choose! In the end, we had to narrow it down to a few of our favourite options. Their website is super easy to add your photos in and create a preview to see how the cards will turn out with your own images.

It came down to the final three choices:

#1 Celebrate Your Love in Grey

This one was just photos of the two of us and I loved all the rustic elements in the background of the pictures.

#2 – Sincere Script in White

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas

With six spaces for photos, this card gave us more space to add in some more of our favourite shots, like the silhouette, barn, my bouquet and our whole awesome wedding party.

#3 – Sealed Squares in Navy

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas

We had lots of touches of navy in our wedding, from the bridesmaid dresses to the groomsmen ties, so this navy was a nice option – and it let us share more photos as well.

It was really hard to pick which one, but we ended up going with style #2 and changing the bottom right photo to one that was a closeup. The cards are about 4.10″x 5.25″, so I recommend making sure that the photos you pick fit well with that size. To be sure, I printed out a test sheet before I submitted the order and I was really glad with how the pictures helped share the story of that wonderful day for us. Bingo!

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas

Once we placed our order, the team at Wedding Paper Divas worked on the proof and sent it back to us for approval. When the cards arrived, we were so pleased with the quality of the paper and how clear the printing was.

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas-return-envelopes I’m so glad that we upgraded to have our return address (with my new married name!) on the back of the envelopes. It saves you from straining your wrist writing your address out over and over again.

I also ordered a few extra cards in case I made mistakes and I’m glad I did because we had unexpected gifts show up later this summer and it was nice to have the extra cards on hand. (and I did make mistakes…like signing my own name with an extra “a” once…like three isn’t enough! So glad we had extras!)

photo-thank-cards-wedding-paper-divas

Next came the task of actually writing the thank you cards. I set up a thank you card writing station in our dining room with everything we needed to get started – cards, envelopes, stamps (I found these cute rose ones from Canada Post), a black gel pen and a list with all the people to send cards to and the gifts we received. Any evening that Garrett and I were both home, we took the time to write a few until my hand cramped up. This is what typing all the time does to your writing skills!

I’ll admit that it took longer to write them than I’d thought, but we really wanted to sit down together and write personal messages from the heart to everyone that came – and that takes time. Wedding Paper Divas has a great guide for thank you card wording and etiquette, which came in handy too!

/ / /

Disclaimer: I was sent thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas to review. All opinions are my own and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these thank you cards to any brides and grooms who want to create a personal way to thank their guests!

Garrett’s parents have a huge vegetable garden in their backyard and we always ended up bring some home when we visit them. Last year I was able to make Homemade Stevia Extract and Tomato Sauce with some of the goodies they gave us. This year they handed us two MASSIVE zucchinis and I just didn’t know what to do with them. I roasted some, sauteed some more and there was still a ton of it leftover. The only logical thing left was to bake with it.

double-chocolate-zucchini-bread

And why not add a little chocolate in there for good measure? This Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread recipe is similar to the Chocolate Zucchini Muffins I shared four years ago, although it’s a little heavier on the chocolate and uses honey (which I still have plenty of leftover from the Honey Jar Wedding Favours), plus more zucchini for the moisture.

 

What you’ll need:
Printable Version · Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1-1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a loaf pan.

double-chocolate-zucchini-bread

In a large bowl, cream the vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla together. In a another bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir to combine. Stir 3/4 cup of chocolate chips into the batter.

double-chocolate-zucchini-bread

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

double-chocolate-zucchini-bread

Let the bread cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes, then gently remove from the pan and allow to completely cool before slicing. This is always the hardest part for me because it smells so good and I just want to dig into it right away.

double-chocolate-zucchini-bread

I usually give in and cut a piece from the end while it’s still warm, then slather a little butter on there for a decadent treat. Yum!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...