24 October 2016

Our Second Jack-O-Lantern

Behold! Our second jack-o-lantern together. Alex is pretty skilled when it comes to knife skills. I love how his cyclops jack-o-lantern turned out.

22 October 2016

My All-Time Favourite British Shows

I grew up watching British shows. At a young age I fell in love with their sense of humour and from it, spawned a lifelong love of all things British. I remember watching PBS most Saturday nights, catching up of British shows that I had never heard of and loving every minute of it. Now, thanks to Netflix and Hulu, the world of British shows is right at my fingertips. With that being said, I thought it would be fun to share my top 5, all-time favourite British shows with you.

Keeping Up Appearances
Hyacinth Bucket (or as she'd lead you to believe, Mrs. "Bouquet") is a social snob, one that you can't help but love to see how far she'll go to well, keep up appearances. Her relatives are low class and something she tries very hard to hide from other people within the community (especially when her senile father is consistently picking up women). This show is riddled with moments that make you laugh so hard and cringe in embarrassment at the drop of a hat. Her poor husband Richard gets the brunt of Hyacinth's demanding ways. While her neighbor Elizabeth finds herself on the receiving end as well.

Black Books
Bernard owns a bookshop. He's also an drunk, anti-social asshole. With the help of Manny and Fran, Bernard is forced to become more sociable - much to his disdain. This leads to a lot of chaos. No matter how much Manny tries to spruce up the bookshop he seems to always get sucked back into Bernard's nihilistic view. This show is truly perfect and has so many hilarious twists and turns within it. Keep an eye out for when Manny gets drunk on absinthe or when Manny and Bernard try to replace a very old, expensive wine by making it themselves.

The Young Ones
This show is a look into the lives of four students sharing a house together. Think of this as an edgier version of the Odd Couple but with really good musical guests thrown into the mix. You have the punk - Vyvyan, the hippie - Neil, the wannabe anarchist - Rick, and the charmer - Mike. These slapstick, turned surrealist plots have a way of keeping you on your toes. Musical guests included Motorhead, The Damned and others. This show is rich with 1980's alternative comedy.

The Vicar of Dibley
Geraldine, the new vicar of a little town by the name of Dibley baffles the town's people at first because she's replaced the previous male vicar. This show is chock full of random humor from Geraldine's ditzy friend, Alice to the bizarre farmer, Owen. Geraldine is sweet and extroverted in a unique way. She takes the town of Dibley by surprise and manages to affectionately win over their hearts. This is a sweet, good hearted comedy with little bits of real life circumstances that everyone can relate to.

The IT Crowd
This show is centered around the I.T. department of a odd company by the name of Reynhom Industries. Roy, Moss and Jen are stuck in the basement. Jen knows nothing about computers and finds herself at the nerdy whim of Roy and Moss. Let's not forget the depressed and Cradle of Filth obsessed goth, Richmond, who hangs out in I.T's side closet. Just so you can get a feel for the show, one night Moss heads over to a German's house whom he met through a personal ad. Moss originally thought the German was going to teach him how to cook, only to find out that the German was actually a cannibal - hilarity ensues.

Other British shows that I love and can't leave out:
Little Britain, Red Dwarf, Father Ted, Come Fly With Me, The Detectorists, Only Fools and Horses, Friday Night Dinner, As Time Goes By, Absolutely Fabulous, The Old Guys, Last of the Summer Wine, That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Do you have any favourite British television shows that you can't seem to get enough of? Leave a comment below letting me know which ones they are!

19 October 2016

How We Get Into the Halloween Spirit

how we get into the Halloween spirit
It sucks to live in Florida when all you want to do is see changing leaves and feel a chill in the air. But lately, Alex & I have been trying to channel what autumn and Halloween is all about by recreating it within our home. We have autumn-scented candles and delicious baked goods like my homemade pumpkin chocolate chip bread. The other day Alex & I stocked up on some Halloween decor and decorated. I even came across bat and pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters!

The Halloween festivities have also begun as well. During the month of October we watch a lot of Halloween-esq movies. Hocus Pocus & Beetlejuice are my all-time-favourite movies during this time of year. Speaking of movies, last Friday Alex & I went over to my parents' house to watch Dracula, Dead and Loving It. This coming Friday we're also going to watch Transylvania 6-5,000 with my parents. Which is a movie that none of us has seen before.

Alex's jack-o-lantern 2015
Another thing Alex & I do to get in the Halloween spirit is construct an awesome jack-o-lantern. Alex did a really awesome one last year (as you can see on the left). This week Alex is finally going to carve our jack-o-lantern. And I plan on making pumpkin spiced cookies with my new cookie cutters.

If you're looking for a festive nailpolish idea, be sure to check out my DIY Ghost Nails that I did last year.

Don't forget to check out our X-Files Mulder & Scully costumes from last year too!

What do you normally do to get into the Halloween spirit?

16 October 2016

Healthy Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

A week ago it started to get cool in the morning and I relished every moment of it because I knew it would be fleeting. So, once the chill was *momentarily* in the air, a full blown need for "everything autumn" kicked in. Thus, this healthy, but delicious, version of pumpkin bread was born.

It doesn't take too much effort to make this bread either. It's a quick bread so all you have to do is throw in the ingredients and let the house fill with a very, delicious smell.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper in an 8 inch loaf pan.

In the bowl, beat the sugar, applesauce and coconut oil together - don't beat it for too long. Add the eggs, beat well. Don't worry if it looks clumpy it's just the coconut oil. Add the vanilla, pumpkin and bananas, beat on medium speed until well mixed. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixer, mixing until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan before serving it. Or you can do what I did: take a bread knife, cut a slice and enjoy the warm, pumpkiny goodness. The bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.

If  you make this, let me know if you like it or not!

10 October 2016

To all the days here and after...

Yesterday was one of those perfect days that I can't help but write about. Alex & I woke up, had coffee & breakfast together and listened to music all morning. We watched the Dectectorists (an endearing British show) and made plans for the day. At first we were going to go to a pub, but at the last minute, decided to get a six pack of mixed beers, as well as everything else we needed to make lunch and dinner. It turned out a much better idea too.

Alex made delicious cubans for lunch and we shared three bottles of beers for taste testing.

Here's what we tried (along with their ratings - because we're nerds).

Lazy Magnolia's Sweet Potato Cream Stout - Alex: 3 1/2 stars, Danielle: 3 stars
Terrapin Liquid Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter - 2 stars from both of us
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter - Alex: 4 stars, Danielle: 4 1/2 stars

We still have three other beers to try at some point today too!
For dinner I made chicken korma curry, which I was pretty happy about because Alex liked it a lot. As for the Dectectorists, we finished both of it's two seasons yesterday. We can't wait until the third one comes out.

Oh yeah, Saturday was pretty amazing too. We had late lunch at a local mexican restaurant, La Carreta, and spent some time in Coliseum of Comics. Later that night we headed to 801 E. Main for a pumpkin-chata. We ended the night walking around Lake Mirror and enjoying the not-so-hot weather.

04 October 2016

My Best Friend's Wedding

I wanted to write this yesterday, but after this insanely busy weekend, I opted to spend all day doing nothing with Alex. True bliss, I tell you! Anyways. On Sunday my best friend got married and it was perfect.
I spent all day Saturday with her; helping her get everything in order. It was a busy and long day. And the whole time, Megan managed to remain calm. I on the other hand, was not. She was as graceful as I expected her to be. Megan has been such an amazing friend to me - but honestly she's so much more than that. She's like another sister. She has seen me at my worst and still accepts me. She has helped me through difficult transitions and has always been there for me no matter what. She's been my rock when I was scared, my shoulder to cry on in hard times and my cheerleader when I felt damned. And on Sunday I was able to watch my beautiful, best friend say yes to the man she knew she wanted to marry on their first date.
I still cannot seem to put into words how incredible it was to watch my best friend marry the man of her dreams. I stood up there with Megan and her sister. I stood up there and cried as Megan read her vows to Justin. And my heart was left feeling very full because I knew the day my best friend had waited for, for so long, had finally come.
Major thanks to Laura for being a great friend and an amazing photographer. As you can see in the first photo, she's super talented.

Megan & Justin - I wish you many years of endless love and happiness together.

29 September 2016

Wedding Update: No. 2

Since I wrote the first update, back in June, we haven't got too much done. But the biggest thing we
did do was book our honeymoon. We're going to New Orleans and staying in the French Quarter!
And the best part is that we are flying there. Which is pretty neat since we've never been on a plane together. I'm so excited about this. I cannot wait to show Alex all of my favourite haunts and have him fall in love with that place too. If you know me, you know I've been there three times already - and have a special place in my heart for the town. It just so happens, that Alex has always wanted to go there so it worked out.

I was thinking that sometime soon I would post a New Orleans Travel Guide as well. That way I can keep track of the places Alex would like to go and the places that I would like to take him. So keep your eyes open for that.

So in other wedding news, here's what we've done:
  • sent out our save the dates (digital + print)
  • decided on our formal wedding invitations
  • constructed our wedding website
  • finished our registry
  • decided on who will be catering our wedding
  • we're working on narrowing down the ceremony time
  • compiled decor items (I need to start making them)
  • booked our flight and hotel for the honeymoon
  • chose the bridal party and groomsmen
  • bought my dress
  • bought Alex's outfit
  • decided on wedding bands
  • decided on the rehearsal dinner venue 
  • started the day-of timeline
Be sure to stay tuned for more wedding updates in the future. It's getting close - we only have 128 days left until we get married.