Today I wanted to share our engagement story because I had said I would. And, because it was a month yesterday since Adam proposed. I had honestly thought maybe we might get engaged in the spring this year – definitely not in December. It wasn’t a surprise for many of our friends and family though, I’m sure. As they had said upon hearing of our news, “About time!!” I guess it was the next step for us – we had been together 4 years and bought a new house just last year together. And of course I had thought about it as well – but it did not go quite as I had thought it might, which is why I was so shocked when he asked.
We had looked at rings on a trip to vegas (ahem – no vegas weddings) for fun, which was more than 2 years ago. We never seriously considered anything, I was still in school and wanted to wait, rather just looked for fun.
I had jokingly told Adam that when he did it (propose) I had a few things to consider – an engagement wish list if you will. I had asked that it be: not at night (too dark for an engagement), not outside (again, dark at night and cold), not in public (not one of those giant Will You Marry Me flags after a flash mob or something), and not on And/Or near a major holiday or birthday, including and most certainly not a Christmas engagement (I just thought it was so cliche and everyone does it then!) (no offence to those who got engaged on christmas.. :) This might sound incredibly bossy – and I’m sure it is ;) but those who know me know I over plan everything (I am a teacher after all) and I had a vision of what I thought my engagement might be. Although I know the girl isn’t supposed to have a say in the matter.
Well – Adam sure showed me.
SO – what did Adam conjure up for his proposal? To start, our Anniversary is December 23 (our first date), so we always have a tradition of visiting Stanley Park to ride the Christmas Train as it was one of our first dates. However, 4 years ago Adam, being a guy, didn’t realize you might need to pre-buy tickets to such a popular Christmas event, so we showed up and it was sold out. Thus, we make it a point to pre-buy our tickets each year for our Anniversary and actually get to ride the train.
It was a regular anniversary night, or so I thought. We were getting ready and Adam kept bugging me to ‘bring your good camera’ which he hates bringing anywhere because it’s so bulky. I though OK fine. We brought the big good camera. I hadn’t noticed, though he said later on “weren’t you wondering why I was wearing a tie?” – we get dressed up for our anniversary, but not super dressy – seeing as how we are only going on a miniature train ride.
I was actually quite sick feeling the entire weekend before our engagement. Adam had kept saying “just feel better for Monday” (our anniversary.) I had made reservations at a restaurant downtown, but thought I might feel too sick to eat a seafood dinner so we cancelled them. Then, on the way downtown we thought no we better go, so we re-booked them. As a point to not get me hangry before dinner Adam decided we better grab a quick snack beforehand (he knows me well). This lead us the the Wendy’s drive-through downtown to grab a junior hamburger. Right, pre-dinner snack. After that we were actually quite full. So, we cancelled dinner reservations, again.
We walked around downtown browsing the stores and looking at the Christmas decorations. I had forgotten my toque so Adam bought me one as it was quite chilly out. We made our way Robson Street and walked through the Fairmont to see the Christmas Trees. Adam asked if we wanted to grab a drink or an appetizer from the lounge, but I declined. We walked until we found ourselves at the urban fare market and decided to nibble on a slice of pizza. A burger and pizza. How romantic we are.
Before heading towards Stanley Park for the Christmas Train we ended up at a favourite bakery to grab a doughnut as a ‘dessert’ for the train ride. We stood in line for almost an hour waiting for our turn, nibbling on the doughnut and taking some pictures of the pretty lights. We boarded the train and rode along with the other passengers taking in the twinkling lights and music.
After the train had ended he kept insisting we get a picture afterwards, somewhere nice and quiet. I had said sure, although we never really take pictures on our anniversary. So we walked around for a minute when a lady and her daughter had asked me to take their picture in front of the pond in the park. I said sure, and then Adam had said “Could you take ours?” She said yes, and I gave her my cell phone (even though we had carried around the bulky good camera all night.) Adam, as nervous and corny as ever had said something about dropping something (from the camera I assumed), then dropped down on one knee and held out a small blue box.
I. Was. Shocked.
Immediately I began crying. I could never have imagined this was how he would propose. Fortunately the woman who was taking the picture knew exactly what he was about to do and switched my phone from camera to video and recorded the entire proposal. By the time I looked up there was a crowd of 20 people standing around us, 2 firefighters (they put on the event) and, last but certainly not least, Santa Claus himself had joined us. Oh yes.
It was outside, in public, at night, on our anniversary a day before Christmas Eve and it was absolutely perfect. I was completely shocked and incredibly happy. Looking back I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Adam knew that I would never in a million years be expecting it at that moment so he knew it would be the perfect surprise.
And I was.
Now, for a healthier snack than our engagement dinner (though a burger, pizza and a doughnut all sound good too.) I discovered the company GoGo Quinoa last week and shared the Quinoa Rice Crispy recipe earlier this week. After perusing their website I found a whole bunch of delicious recipe I wanted to try. This was definitely one of them. They’re healthy, crunchy and chewy and the perfect snack on the go. These will most certainly become a staple in our household.
Quinoa Coconut Bars
Crunchy, chewy Quinoa Coconut Bars are perfect for a snack or even a quick morning breakfast on the go (just omit the chocolate drizzle)
- 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 3/4 cup oatmeal, uncooked*
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
- 1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 Squares Dark Chocolate, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 8x8" baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place quinoa, quinoa flakes and oatmeal onto a cookie sheet lined with baking mat or parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes, stirring once.
- Meanwhile, add peanut butter and honey to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until melted.
- Remove quinoa and oatmeal from oven and mix with nuts and coconut in a large bowl.
- Pour peanut butter and honey sauce over the mixture and stir to combine.
- Press into the 8x8" baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, until edges are just slightly browned.
- Allow to cool for 45 minutes then cut into 12 pieces.
- Drizzle tops of each bar with the dark chocolate and allow to cool until set.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Adapted from GoGo Quinoa, Super Healthy Kids
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Fall has made its arrival.
The mornings are chilly.
There’s a crisp to the air.
The leaves have begun to let go of the trees and fall around us.
While I was standing in the classroom this week I looked outside to see beautifully coloured leaves falling and twirling in the wind. It’s amazing how quickly one season ends and another begins.
We went downtown Sunday to the trade show and ended up walking around the city in the pouring rain. We ducked into the mall for a while and when we emerged it was sunny.
That’s Vancouver for ya.
This whole week has been a combination of sun, rain, wind, and storms. You can never be sure of what will come next which means leaving the house in boots and returning in flip flops/flats while peeling off the heavy sweater I thought I needed.
Layering is best in Fall. Especially a Vancouver Fall.
Layering is also good when it comes to granola. Layers of yogurt/almond milk/granola/fruit.
I made this granola after seeing it on this site. I thought it sounded perfect – since I have a love for bananas and crunchy granola. I changed it slightly and doubled the recipe, granola doesn’t last long between Adam and I.
It’s perfect to bring to school because it is nut free; I have to leave my beloved nut butters at home while I work because of students’ allergies. Though I did switch to Sunflower Seed Butter during my practicum earlier this year. I needed that recess apple + nut butter fix.
Ps. Recess as an adult? Awesome.
I like my cereal cold, really cold. You can definitely freeze this granola and eat it right out of the freezer with a splash of ice cold almond milk.
Or, you can have it over yogurt like Adam does.
I read a tip that you should keep the granola in the oven after you have turned it off, so that it dries fully throughout and you have crunchy granola – unless you like chewy granola, then take it out after the timer goes off.
Simple delicious banana granola
- 2 cups oats (wheat-free, gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut (optional)
- pinch of cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking tray with baking paper or silicone.
- Combine oats, quinoa flakes, coconut, seeds, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly mash the banana with a fork. Add the coconut oil and mix well.
- Add oats to the banana mixture and mix well. Make sure everything is coated and has a clumpy texture.
- Spread the granola on the baking tray. Bake for about 15-18 minutes. Turn the granola over halfway cooking time.
- The granola should be golden brown and crisp.
- Turn off the oven. Let the granola cool in the oven until completely cold.
- Serve or store in an airtight container.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
This week I had a sort of blogger realization, like a late start on my new years resolution type thing. As I was trolling my usual daily obsessions (Fitnessista, Kath Eats, Cupcakes and Cashmere, House*Tweaking , Clean Eating Chelsey, to name a few.. trust me, there’s more, including a few new to me ones) I felt like I was cheating them. While I visit them daily, I fail to let them know I have visited, and appreciate their posts and content. Then I thought about my own blog. While I can see the visitor count on google analytics, you don’t always see the same thing in the ‘comment’ section. I love when I get comments because it means someone connected with what I was talking about, or were just happy to find a new recipe. While I always read these blogs I rarely actually comment or join in the discussion. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I like just being ‘in the background’ and reading the comments that others write, instead of contributing myself. Though, sometimes I do feel like commenting but the platform is rather annoying (captcha = annoyance). Plus, there are so many friendships and connections that can be made through blogging, lots of which have already brought me to meeting some local favs like Alicia Fashionista, and Smelly Danielly who I met last year after meeting in the blogisphere.
So, I guess my blogger resolution for this year is to contribute more. Instead of just reading through a post, or, worse, skimming it and simply ‘pinning’ the picture for a recipe to use later, I will actually contribute and leave a comment to add to the discussion, or simply to let them know I liked their post. More than once will I not even read the entire post, though I love looking at the pics and reading some captions. However, that blogger took the time to write it and I should take the time to read it. Just like this post – I’m hoping someone will actually read the whole thing, and not pull a move like I usually do… A little goes a long way when you’re just beginning a blog and are eagerly waiting for the first comment – I remember those days of checking the analytics right at midnight each night. Hopefully in return I’ll also meet some new ‘commenters’ who might be a ‘ghost’ like myself.
I also made it a new goal to blog three times a week on a schedule (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) and a Sunday post for a weekend re-cap. So far we’re 2/2 this week! Hopefully I will be able to stick to these goals and resolutions! With my long teaching practicum starting up I am already feeling the crunch! Hopefully some time management and prepping / planning will help with this!
Did you make any new years resolutions? or perhaps a resolution for your blog? maybe starting a blog??
Speaking of weekends, this past weekend our adorable little niece came by for a visit – and some cheerios. Uncle Adam is the typical uncle doing silly things and making weird faces (note below). We played in the kitchen for a bit and then took a nice, but chilly, walk around our new house and the neighbouring developments. She also was a mini-taste tester for the granola. Usually she wouldn’t be able to have any because she isn’t allowed Honey yet, but luckily this granola is honey-free. She also stole her first dried cranberry off the floor – babies have hawk eyes. I have heard of olive oil granola before but never made it myself. I like the idea of less sugar in granola as it tends to be quite high in sugar and overly sweet. I cut the sugar way back from 1/2 cup originally, and left out my usual love, the chocolate chip. This is simply delicious. I cut up a banana and a mandarin, topped with the granola and splashed with almond milk for breakfast and it was ah-mazing. Not overly sweet, but just enough to curb the sweet tooth that is still in over drive since the holiday binge.
Bulk sections are great for granola because you can get any sort of nuts/seeds you like in the exact amount you want. I threw in some quinoa flakes I found for the first time in the bulk foods section
I also love that you can get unsalted, raw nuts instead of buying those pre-packaged trail mixes that are overly salted and contain a lot more sugar. I leave the salt out of this one completely.
Olive Oil Granola
3 cups rolled oats, gluten free/wheat free
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup almonds
2 tbs brown sugar
dash of cinnamon
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped up
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, quinoa flakes, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon. Add olive oil and agave. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until golden brown and well toasted and fragrant.
Remove from oven and stir.
Add in cranberries and apricots and mix again. Allow to cool completely and store in container.
This is delicious on its own, over yogurt, or in a bowl with fruit and a splash of almond milk (or other milk) for breakfast.
recipe adapted from NY times