Monday, March 30, 2009

Diversion

We're going to have to take a break from wedding posting for second because a) there are actual THINGS going on in my LIFE! and b) I'm inching ever closer to the actual post on the wedding itself and I want to hold off on that until I have the professional photos in (should be very, very soon!)

So . . . lets talk about food.

While on vacation, since we're eating out every freaking night and day, Boy and I like to save up ideas for new recipes to recreate at home. This trip, I picked up a few good ones, all of which I have made at home since we got back (yes, we've only been back a week or so but WE NEED TO EAT anyways!) and one of which I took photos of for your viewing pleasure.

Allow me to introduce: Butternut Squash Lasagna.

I can't give you a recipe because 'recipe' is too technical a word for how I made this. I totally winged it. Like, I've never even held a real live butternut squash before and I had no clue what I was doing when I hacked into it. I told Boy as I was cooking that we'd be lucky if we didn't wind up calling in for pizza.

I chopped and peeled the squash (not even sure the peeling was necessary acutally) and diced up some carrots . . . tossed those in a covered baking dish with some brown sugar and olive oil and salt for about 1/2 an hour at 375. Then I made a white sauce and melted in some Italian cheeses, tore up some fresh mozzerella, pulled out a pack of no-boil lasagna noodles and assembled the whole shebang. 35 minutes covered at 375, then about 10 uncovered.

Lo and behold, it was pretty awesome. Didn't hold together very well but I've never met a homemade lasagnae that did. It would've been even better if I'd had whole wheat lasagnae noodles but I couldn't find them . . . even at Whole Foods! Anyone ever seen any?

Before I made the lasagnae last night I did a marathon cooking session to get ready for the week: Tabouleh, Black Bean Salad, Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, and prep work for Wagamama inspired Soba Noodle Soup and Potstickers later in the week. I wanted to be uber prepared with lots of fresh food in the fridge for this week because . . .

. . . I start my METALWORKING CLASS on Wednesday! I'm so freaking excited. I've wanted to learn to make mounts and set stones and use TORCHES and HAMMERS for so long. Boy and I talked about me taking a class over our honeymoon and as soon as I got back I looked into it and found a class (at my alma matter no less!) starting WEDNESDAY that looked just perfect for me. I signed up right away and I can't wait to learn all sorts of new jewelry skills! I'm gonna have an ANVIL, peeps! RAD!

Oh, and then there are the spoons. Boy and I got a few gift cards to Crate and Barrel as wedding gifts and we went this weekend to look at flatware. We found a set called Mix that we both liked, but the real big draw was that the set had matchign SOUP SPOONS! Check out the photo. Aren't they ADORABLE?! They make me ridiculiously happy. I have no idea why but they do. LOVE!

Hope you all had killer weekends :D

Friday, March 27, 2009

Moving Along


The day after the super-awesome dress photo session, we spent some time reviewing the photos, squealing when we saw really good ones, and repeatedly telling Boy that he was "NOT ALLOWED TO SEE!!!". It was all very, very mature.

We spent the Sunday touring the palace. We spent a lot of time checking out Hampton Court's Tudor Kitchens. The kitchens are just next to our Fish Court apartment, which was the master pastry chef's quarters in Tudor times. While chatting with the Tudor Cooks (who are actually all food historians!) we found out that this was because the apartment, being close to the ovens and fires downstaris, was usually quite warm; an asset when working with sugar. My parents have stayed in that apartment something like TEN TIMES without ever knowing that little gem of information. So needless to say it was really cool chatting with the cooks and learning all sorts of neat things!

Boy, his dad and I went down to the Tiltyard Cafe on the palace grounds, where we'd been told they had historic food for sale. Boy and his dad each got Wild Boar and Sausage Casseroles. I got a cheese and onion stuffed potato and tried not to vomit. But really . . . the Tudor Cooks work hard on recreating recipes for Palace visitors and it must've been kinda cool to taste something historic like that! I only wish the Tudors had been a little more vegetarian friendly ;)

We had dinner that night at Hamptons Restaurant at the Mitre Hotel, across from the Palace, then rounded up the evening with a truly awesome GHOST TALK given by our good friend Ian: Hampton Court's resident paranormal expert! Our palace friends Malcolm and Denise came out for the talk as well, and brought thier wedding photo album to share! They were married at the Palace, in Henry VIII's Tudor chapel! Ian's talk added so much to our experience, and especially to Boy's family's experience as they'd never been to the Palace before! It was a truly fantastic addition to our say at HCP.

So . . . notice how we're three blog posts in and NOT EVEN IN WALES YET?!?! I warned you guys: its going to be a LOT to tell back!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Running of the Bride

When we stay at Hampton Court Palace we have the run of the place at night after closing and in the morning before opening. Thats how, over the years, my dad has managed to get spectacular photos like these.

When the whole wedding trip plan was first coming together, and we had decided that we'd kick everything off with at stay at Hampton Court, my dad mentioned that he'd like to take some photos of me in my dress at the palace. I was concerned, of course, about getting the dress dirty. So I limited the idea to photos in the courtyards only, and not in the gardens. The Tudor courtyards are really my favorite part of the palace anywyas.

We woke up fairly early that first morning and I spent some extra time on my makeup (but none on my hair, didn't even brush it!) and my mom and mother in law helped me get into my dress. We shut Boy off in the apartment living room, my mom, dad; sister, brother and mother in laws all grabbed their cameras, and we were off!

We started in the doorway
of our Fish Court apartment

Then moved into one of my favorite parts of the palace, Master Carpenter Court, where we got caught by the HCP custody staff! And I told them this is how I ALWAYS dress on Saturdays, nothing amiss! ;)









Then past
the Queen's Staircase
To Clock Court

And we caught bits and pieces ON VIDEO!

Honestly? This whole wedding-dressed run through was probably the most fun I've EVER had. Or had up until the wedding day! You really can't get closer to the fairy princess fantasy than running though an empty palace in a ballgown. Even typing that sentence . . . like, WOAH!

While it was outside of our budget to actually have the wedding itself at Hampton Court, I feel so lucky to have been able to take these photos and incorporate the Palace into our wedding celebrations. My parents and I have made so many amazing friends there and I was thrilled to introduce everyone to my new family as well! The night following the dress run through we had a party for all of our Hampton Court friends at The Albion, a nearby pub. Photos here! Much fun was had by all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The First 48 hours or so



I spent the night before we left for the UK doing all manner of totally unnecessary things around the house. Like scrubbing out the freezer. I'd done so much of my packing and work so far in advance that I was more or less ready to go . . . but I couldn't sit around just waiting to leave because that would make me ANXIOUS!

Around 9pm I pulled out my jewelry bag from my suitcase, just to make sure everything I needed was in there, and discovered the QUEEN MOTHER OF ALL TANGLES in my wedding necklace. I worked on it for a while but when it became obvious that I was going to cry before managing to unkink the knot, Boy took over. I fell asleep in a pile of clothes on the bed and he stayed up until 1am working on the necklace instead of packing. If I hadn't known he was a keeper before, that pretty much settled it.

I managed to get myself manicured and out the door with minimal pain and suffering the day of our flight. Waiting at the airport is never fun, but we were so excited to FINALLY be off that we managed to make the best of it.

Then, the flight. While I doubt there's any way for a 10 hour flight to ever be GOOD, this one had more than its share of downs. We DID get bulkhead seats which was a MASSIVE FREAKING SCORE! However, the airline managed to "forget" about my vegetarian meals somehow . . . and while its not like I was flying for the fantastic food, I'd kinda been hoping for SOME kind of dinner over the course of those miserable 10 hours. Its not like I could nip out and buy a sandwich, you know?!

Our stewardess flat out told me that the online booking system messes up meal reservations all the time (!), then offered to bring me "extra salad" (four leaves of white lettuce and a slice of tomato, I'd need 18 of them to even approach "meal" status). She walked away and I lost it, just started bawling. Boy immediately took over, there's no way to describe it other than to say he went into husband mode. He asked if I was getting my period (yes) and immediately said "Thats not why you're crying, I know" (it was) and proceeded to guilt the stewardess into giving us free drinks by telling her we were newlyweds. Then I found a box of Cheez-Its in my purse and all was more or less well with the world again.

When we arrived at Hampton Court Palace, Boy's family (all but his dad) were already there. For those who haven't heard this spiel before, my parents rent an apartment inside the Tudor section of Hampton Court every year through the Landmark Trust. We took the bus into Kingston for ATMs and groceries then went out to dinner that evening at the newly redesigned Prince of Wales with our friend Trevor from the Hampton Court custody staff and his wife, Jackie. Veggie sausages and mash and a pint of Guinness later, we were good as new! Then off to bed since I had plans to wake up early the next morning for a little wedding dress tryout . . .

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back! Married! In possession of 800,000 photos!


You guys, it was unreal. I'm still processing it all (mentally, in addition to photo-sorting-ish-ly). But suffice it to say off the bat that there is nothing I'd have done differently or a single thing that went awry.

We had sun, CRAZY glorious sun; shocking and totally out of character for North Wales pretty much EVER, let alone in early March. Our officiant and our photographer were both wonderful, they both far exceeded our expectations. The Castle Hotel where we all stayed and ate for three days was phenomenal. I don't even know if there are words to describe the amazing service, and AMAZING food, we recieved there!

I'm going to tell this all back to you chronologically, starting tomorrow! I want to sit down over the next few days and really do the whole experience justice. But for now, I'm going to share my two favorite photos (so far!). Both were taken by my dad, our professional photos are due back any time now, they were mailed today!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Um, . . . SQUEE!


I think that might have been the squee to end all squees. See you all in 3 weeks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

ZOMG

Yeah. Pretty much!

I'm done packing. More or less. But you guys could help with one final concern! Which dress do I bring? They're the same but one is cream and one is black. The cream one is more bride-y, but I've already worn it to my shower so I have wedding related photos in it. The black is more versatile, possibly more London appropriate. I'd be styling the dresses more or less the way they appear in those photos. The other dress I'm bringing is forest green.

Halp?!

Also, should I bring this sweater? To wear with long sleeves under, of course. All of the other sweaters I'm bringing are long sleeved . . . and more form fitting. Do I need the short sleeved option?

I'm so glad I have a blog and blogfriends to help me with life's real challenges.