Nutella Bites: Tried and tested Pinterest recipe

I bought Nutella from Costco. This means I have A LOT of Nutella. When I need a recipe, my go-to resource these days is Pinterest (follow me!). I decided to go with this pin because I already have all the ingredients, except the powdered sugar.

The directions are so simple, I had to make it right away, even though it was 9:30pm. All you have to do is whisk all the ingredients together, spoon 2 tablespoons of the batter into a muffin tin, bake for 20 - 23 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

For the full recipe, head over to Vancity Buzz!

How do you eat Nutella?



What do you need to know before hiring a wedding planner?

When I was younger, I was convinced I'd spend $10,000 on a dress, and of course I'd hire a wedding planner. Fast forward 15 years, reality sets in. My dress costs less than $2000, and I don't have a wedding planner.

I still wanted to hire a planner when I first started planning my wedding. I don't have one creative gene in me, but I am particular about what I DON'T like. My problem is that I don't know what I do like!

I started asking for wedding planning quotes over a year in advance. Getting married in a small town has its perks, but it also means there are limited number of vendors per industry. Wedding planning was one of these limited industries. The best, and really, only wedding planner was already booked on my date. So I asked for quotes from planners in Vancouver, gritting my teeth about paying for their travel costs the whole time.

In the end, I opted for a day-of coordinator instead of a full wedding planner. A day-of coordinator is a fraction of the cost of a full planner. She will confirm your vendors, choreograph the rehearsal, handle any last minute emergencies, and basically anything you need on your big day.

A lot of brides try to save a few bucks by having friends or family be the day-of coordinator. However, for us, we want our guests, and family to enjoy our big day. After all, we're spending all this money for a great celebration. The last thing we want is for our guest or family to worry about is if we would like the way they set our table.

By hiring a professional, you can dictate exactly what you want. If you don't like the way something is, all you have to do is ask it to be changed, without having to worry about hurting the other person's feelings.

Here are some things to think about when considering hiring a wedding planner or day-of coordinator:
  1. Does your budget allow it?
  2. What do you need the planner to do? Many planners offer partial packages where they takeover where you left off. You could also customize packages where the planner only deals with specific aspects of your wedding, such as, caterers, rentals, or decor.
  3. Meet with several planners to get a sense of what they can do for you. Do you have a "good" feeling about the company? Go with your gut!
  4. How busy are you leading up to the wedding? If you are working 80 hours a week, plus other responsibilities, chances are, you won't have time to actually plan your wedding.
  5. How big is your wedding? If your wedding is small, you can probably handle everything yourself. It's a different story if you have 200 guests.
  6. What is the minimum you'd be happy with? This is a strange question. But does your budget fit with your vision? Are you happy with a lesser quality to fulfill the quantity?
  7. At least hire a day-of coordinator!!! If you take anything away from this post, this is it. Don't ask your family or friends to coordinate for you. It might get tense on the day when something they do doesn't match the vision in your head. Save the stress, spend the money. Just hire the day-of coordinator!!
What are some of your wedding planning tips?



Lemon Blueberry Loaf!

It's been a while since I've posted about my epicurean adventures here. That's because I've been contributing to Vancity Buzz. A local lifestyle blog about all things Vancouver.

I baked this Lemon Blueberry Loaf recently as part of my series "Pinterest Recipe Wins". I love this recipe because of the intense lemon flavour. If you're not a lemon fiend like I am, you can still make this recipe without the lemon extract.

For the recipe, head over to Vancity Buzz! I'll post some of my other Pinterest (follow me!) recipe experiments soon!

What's your favourite lemon recipe?



Engagement pictures are done! FINALLY!

We've been engaged for over a year now, and we JUST got our engagement pictures done. We didn't book Justin from Three Sixty Photography until June last year, and by them he was knee deep in wedding season. We thought about doing our photos during Winter, but we're not really winter people.

It was a beautiful morning when I went out to get my hair and makeup done. My regular hairstylist needs a couple months notice, and we booked our date so late, I had to find a "random". I was debating between Blo or Holt Renfrew Salon. Since the prices were pretty much the same, I decided to go with Holt's. I was not disappointed! By the time I finished hair and makeup, which took about two hours, the skies were beginning to cloud over. By the time we got to our first location, 49th Parallel, it was a MASSIVE downpour. At least we were inside was all I could say. Justin made us feel so comfortable, and he was able to make Chris laugh, which is no easy feat. When we were done at 49th Parallel, it was still pouring rain. But we decided to go on with our second location anyway, Queen Elizabeth Park. I'm so glad we decided to keep going because by the time we arrived, it had stopped raining, and was just slightly overcast, which is the perfect lighting for photographs!

We received about 100 photos to print, and share as we wished. Here are a few of our favourites!

Here are the obligatory "engagement photo" poses for the family.

Do you know what to look for in a photographer? Check out my previous post!



DIY Wedding Signs

I've been collecting DIY ideas on Pinterest for over a year now. It's finally come time to execute some of these ideas. First up - directional signs! I got my inspiration from signs similar to this one on Pinterest:
My mom is a very crafty person. She makes jewelry, dolls, pictures out of pressed flowers. I, however, am not crafty whatsoever. I collect ideas and ask her to make them for me. Unfortunately, she's been out of town, so I've been left to my own devices. Luckily Chris' sister is artistic, so I got some help from her.

We started off by getting some wood from Michael's. They were about 2' x 5". The original plan was to paint the writing on the wood. But we were at the Penticton Farmer's Market and saw a vendor selling signs with etched writing. We decided to do the same. Off we went to Wal-Mart, and we got some wood stain, and a wood burner. Chris' dad trimmed the wood pieces for us so they are like arrows. Chris' sister wrote on the signs with a pencil (I have terrible writing), and I got to work burning the wood.

Here is the finished product! The top sign only has one coat of stain, the others have 2 coats.

I took my time so I got the depth and width I wanted for each letter, but it was definitely worth it!. The wood was about $2.00 each, the burner was $15, and the stain was $7. We still have lots of stain left for other projects. If you're interested in the signs, shoot me an email! We would love to start a business doing this!

What are some of your DIY projects for your wedding?