Sep 222014
 

Rehearsing for the Big Day!

I’ve only been in two weddings before, my brother’s and my best friend Rachel’s. Both had a rehearsal the night before and a dinner. I didn’t really know what it all entailed though, except that it was a good time to remind everyone in the bridal party not to walk too fast down the aisle and then go eat and drink to celebrate. :)

The day started with a run with my brother and his wife and then I got a mani/pedi with my mom, my sister-in-law and cousin Anna. Being pampered was nice and I’m glad I splurged a little and got the hot stone massage and paraffin wax for both the mani and pedi.

wedding

Traffic on Friday was a nightmare and a bunch of us ended up being late to the rehearsal (including me and Michael). I got there so frazzled and stressed from sitting in traffic for over 45 minutes (45 minutes to inch about 2 miles). I took a little breather and then tried to relax. Stress stress!

wedding

wedding

It was getting REAL! It’s weird, I’ve been with Michael for over 6 years and we’ve lived together for 5. All this time I never thought anything would change or be different getting married–other than changing my name really…but it did feel different. The few weeks leading up to the wedding I was very emotional. Some of it was stress (I am NOT good with last minute stuff, I like to take care of things as soon as possible, get them done, then relax. You can’t do that with wedding planning. So much of it has to wait til the very last minute.). Most of it was happiness and excitement. There was definitely nervousness.

I found myself emotional and very sentimental. I’d hear songs on the radio that we had picked for the wedding and I’d tear up. I was imagining the ceremony, the whole evening, and just feeling all the emotions. It was crazy. I wasn’t expecting to feel THAT MUCH about everything. Like I said above, we’d been together for so long!

wedding

The rehearsal was casual but I wore a dress just to be fancy.

wedding

Anyways, the rehearsal went great. It didn’t take very long and I am SO grateful that we hired a wedding coordinator for the day-of. They actually took over the planning and details about two months before the wedding, finalizing the vendor stuff and taking care of the little details. This was the best thing we spent money on. Knowing that someone else was going to take care of everything and make sure it runs smoothly was such a relief. I’m a control freak and try do everything, so it was good she was there.

wedding

We had the rehearsal dinner at The Matador Tequila Bar. We chose the one in SE Portland, and don’t confuse it with the dive bar on NW Burnside. ;) The last time Michael’s dad was in town we went to a few different places to figure out which one would work best and it was a fairly easy decision. The food at The Matador is consistently good and I’ve never had bad service or bad food there. Also, I love Mexican food!

wedding

I got a lemon drop drink, ate some chips and salsa and then we ordered a few jalapeno appetizers for the group. We had the back room of the restaurant and it fit all 29 of us pretty well. Mmm bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with goat cheese. So amazing!

wedding
wedding

I mingled, I ate a little bit, a drank a little bit. Michael’s dad gave a short speech that got me a little teary eyed. Everyone was lovely and I just felt all the love and happiness in the room!

wedding

And someone got me a shot. :)

wedding

It was a very hot day and didn’t cool down until pretty late in the evening. I think we ended up leaving the restaurant at 10, a lot later than I had planned.

wedding

Michael drove Rachel and I to our hotel downtown where we were spending the night. :)

wedding

wedding

I didn’t sleep well the night before. I’m sure most people are like that. But man I was TIRED in the morning! Lots of coffee later…my mom picked up Rachel and I and we all went to get our hair done.

wedding

wedding

wedding

To be continued….

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Aug 182014
 

My friend Star came over for dinner and to help us write our wedding ceremony. She’s the officiant and we both have been working on the ceremony and vows for a bit now on our own. It was time to come together and make it all fit.

Since she’s a vegetarian, I wanted to make a recipe that was veggie friendly and that also used up some of the zucchini from our garden. I found a few different frittata recipes and decided to make one of them. I used two different frittata recipes to make my own. I liked the spicy ingredients in this recipe, but I also liked that the other recipe called for ricotta cheese (which I needed to use up).

Zucchini Ricotta Frittata Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Calories per serving: 410

From: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/zucchini_ricotta_frittata/

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, or one larger one, washed and sliced into thin rounds (about 3/4 pound)

Instructions

  1. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add the ricotta and Parmesan and beat to combine. Add the salt, freshly ground black pepper, basil and thyme and beat to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch oven-proof stick-free skillet on medium high. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer, add the zucchini slices. Stir so that the zucchini slices are all coated with some of the oil. Cook, stirring only occasionally (if you stir too much the zucchini won't brown), until the zucchini slices are lightly browned, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove zucchini slices from the pan with tongs or a slotted spoon to a bowl. Let cool for 30 seconds or so, and then stir the zucchini slices to the egg mixture.
  3. Reheat the skillet. There should be a couple of tablespoons of oil left in the pan, if not, add some. When the oil is hot, pour the egg mixture into the pan. Do not stir it. Reduce the heat to medium. Let the egg mixture cook. Run a spatula along the edge of the frittata, separating the cooked edges from the pan. Let the egg mixture cook until the bottom is golden brown and the top is beginning to set, about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Set the top rack 5 inches from the heating element in the oven. Preheat the oven broiler. Once the top of the frittata has started to set in the pan on the stove top, remove the pan from the stove and place it in the oven. With the broiler on, the door of the oven needs to be open. You can let the pan's handle stick out from the oven through the open door. Cook under the broiler until the top starts to become lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  5. Alternatively, instead of using the broiler, you can place a plate face-down on top of the skillet. Flip the skillet over to release the frittata on to the plate. Then slide the frittata from the plate back on to the skillet. Let cook for a couple of minutes more until the bottom side gets browned.
  6. Slide the frittata out of the skillet onto a serving plate. Let cool for a minute or two and serve.
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The recipe called for 6 eggs and said it fed 2-3 people. I think it actually fed more like 5 people. We each had a fairly large serving and there were two more servings left over (which I had one for lunch the next day). I put most of the spicy jalapenos on one side of the frittata and used the banana peppers on the other because they are less spicy and that was for Star.

photo 2-1

The recipe called for cooking the frittata on the stovetop for 5-6 minutes. I ended up cooking it for more like 10 I think. It was really jiggly and a little too wet still. This was the first time I made a frittata so I used some of Michael’s experience to figure out when it was ready to be baked. Perhaps using a cast iron skillet is why it took longer…? Who knows.

photo 1-1

It was looking much better. I put it in the oven under the broiler. Again, the recipe called for 2 minutes. I did more like 3-4 minutes. I took it out twice and tested it with toothpicks to see if it was done. It was pretty obvious when it was done. Here was the finished product:

photo 4

Star brought over  a loaf of olive ciabatta bread from New Seasons. It’s A-MAZING. Oh my gods, between the three of us we almost ate the entire loaf of bread. I can’t remember the last time I had this bread–maybe a year ago? It’s not something I eat very often and usually when I eat bread it’s the Costco gluten free stuff. So this was quite a treat! I also brought out some of the pickled red onions I made. Star LOVED them. :D

photo 3

We sat outside on the deck and listened to the kid’s football (or soccer) game going on in the distance. The crickets were singing nearby and the there was a lovely breeze that cooled down the hot day. I had a glass of the Trader Joe’s Coastal Sauvignon Blanc wine (it’s fabulous) with dinner and lots of water. Dinner was good but Michael and I both agreed that it needed a meat. Chorizo would have been nice. I think diced ham would be great, too. The dish would definitely be better with some salty, flavorful meat in it. Despite that, it was a decent vegetarian meal and Star loved it so that’s what counts.

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After dinner we worked on the ceremony. We ended up getting it done, a rough draft that still needs a little tweaking, but it’s done. One more thing to cross off the to-do list!

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I also printed out a bunch of poems I liked. One of my friends will be reading a poem during the ceremony. I narrowed it down to four and Michael read them all and picked his favorite. The runner up, that I still love, is this one:

TITLE UNKNOWN
~ By Carl Sandburg ~

I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be.

I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals.

I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little.

A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.

The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud wherein the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working for a larger and finer growth.

Not always shall you be what you are now.

You are going forward toward something great.

I am on the way with you and therefore I love you.

Isn’t that wonderful? Still love it. We ended up choosing something else for my friend to read. TBD. Star is Najavo and we are including a Native American blessing in the ceremony as well as some other elements that mean a lot to me. Michael seemed more interested in the words, as I was more interested in the symbolism, and he picked out things he liked for the vows from various print out examples. I liked all the ones he picked, as well as a few others. Despite what he says, there will NOT be the words “obey” in our vows. :P

On Sunday I went to yoga and then spent some time in the yard pulling weeds (god it’s been never ending this summer!). After that we went to Cartlandia for lunch. I got a buffalo chicken wrap in a spinach tortilla from the Good and Evil Wrap. I love that place and was craving it lately.

lunch

SO GOOD. After lunch we had a dance lesson. The DJ we hired for the wedding also teaches dance. I brought the shoes I am going to wear for the ceremony (my grandmother’s shoes) and also my favorite pair of heels just in case. They had converted their garage into a dance studio. It was pretty nice. The private lesson was an hour and we got a discount due to hiring them for the wedding.

I have some dance experience. I took ballroom dancing classes but it was over a decade ago. At that class I learned the basics of ballroom dance–tango, salsa, box step, etc. I remember it being hard and a  really good workout. I was hoping some of that would come back to me once we started but…not so much.

dance

Lynn and her husband Mark taught us how to dance to our first song and showed us a few choreographed moves. It was so hard! It just didn’t come naturally like I thought it would and I felt like Michael and I were out of sync often. I also noticed that *I* try to lead too much. It’s just not in my nature to follow. LOL. We spent an hour with them and when we switched partners and I danced with Mark or even Lynn, I was impressed with how good they dance. I also noticed that I danced better with them because they were confident leaders. I think Michael and I need a LOT of practice still!

We may end up doing the typical prom dance sway if we don’t practice…

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