Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Amazing Family

Our family is amazing. They all got in on the hilarity of our formal pictures and that sure makes them special.

This one is actually my favorite though, I love the looks on everyone's faces and just all the fun and movement that's going on in this picture.  I'm sure this one will be getting some wall space in our house soon.

My dad's side of the family.

My mom's side of the family.

With Zeke's side of the family.

With my grandmother, from my dad's side.

With my grandmother, from my mom's side.  Isn't her outfit stunning!  It makes me think of Diane Keaton or someone else classy like that. 

With my mom, my aunt, and my grandmother aka the Ibarguen Girls.  Having the four of us all together was really special for me since we haven't all been together in one place at one time in quite a few years.

With all the Pease, Beckstrom, and Zwan cousins!  I thought this photo would be fun since it captures a generation of Zeke's side of the family.

With my stepsisters.  They played an important part in our ceremony in starting our binding together.

With Zeke's brother and sister-in-law and our adorable, and highly active, niece and nephew!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Slow Cooker Sundays: Bean and Potato Chili

This was fully experimental chili as I've been feeling a bit meated-out as of recent but they had a chili cook-off at my work which left me craving some chili and cornbread!

Perfect timing too as today was our first snow of the season here in Seattle!

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large sweet onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cans kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 green bell peppers, chopped
2 large yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and chopped with skin on
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 bay leafs
1 tsp salt

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onions.
Cook on medium low heat until translucent and softened.
Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, and ginger.
Cook on low heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture into the slow cooker.
Add the crushed tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes, beans, chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, bay leafs, and salt.
Set time for 5 hours on high.

We'll be serving this tonight with the same cornbread recipe we made here along with honey butter.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Holiday Banner

I've been trying to think of ideas of what to do with the 200 feet of burlap bunting we made for the wedding and one idea I came up with was to do a little holiday banner to hang in our living room window.  My favorite holiday items are of course the ones that say "peace", so I decided to use that.

First, I cut out the letters from a tomato cotton fabric by hand. Second, I cut the jute twine in between each  burlap triangle, because they were over a foot apart and it wouldn't have looked too good that way.  Third, I sewed the letters onto the each burlap triangle with a fairly wide zig zag stitch with a tomato colored cotton thread.  Fourth, I tied the flags together and cut the ends short.  Fifth, I made little slip knots on each end to hang it!

The banner fit perfectly in our living window and I'm thinking of making a smaller one for our kitchen on the left.  I think "joy" might be the appropriate holiday word!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Wedding Party

We had an awesome wedding party.  

While we could have easily had a huge one, we decided to keep it small to make it easier on us and so we wouldn't burden too may of our friends with the extra expenses of being in a wedding party. 

Our wedding party was perhaps a bit unconventional and further proof that you don't have to do what you see in all the wedding magazines.  I had a maid of honor and a bridesmaid.  Zeke had a best man, a groomsmaid (yes, you read that right groomsmaid...), and a groomsman.  We also included our officiant in our wedding party since if he wasn't officiating the wedding, he would have been a groomsman anyway.

Further proof that our wedding party is awesome.

And if you really needed's a bit more!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Brides Side

Here I am with my lovely ladies!  Right next to me is my maid of honor and then my bridesmaid.  They're dresses were also made for them by Amanda Archer and I actually pitched the idea for these dresses because I wanted one myself!  I had actually found it and bookmarked it on etsy to save my pennies for about 6 months prior to the wedding.

Looking through all of the photos of the three of us, I notice that there are a really high proportion of them where we're all laughing. And I realized that those are actually my favorites and why these two are my favorites.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pretty Pretty Bridal Pictures

So many of the photos that Claire took are the best pictures I've ever seen of myself, so I guess I do get say that I was darn pretty for our wedding!

This picture is one of my favorites and don't let the photo fool you, that horse was HUGE!

These last two are my probably my absolute favorites because they make me think of the beginning of a fairy tale.  Love them!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Slow-Cooker Sundays: Turkey Chili & Cornbread

So this is actually the first time I've ever made chili from scratch and it turned out pretty well! It had just the right amount of spice and flavor but it lacked body, if that makes any sense. I based my recipe off of the Cuisinart Slow-Cooker Cookbook, but made some changes based on the things we like and don't like. I keep reading that "real chili" doesn't have beans in it, but that's always been my favorite part! You can't have chili without cornbread and honey butter, so we took this recipe from Gluten Free Girl and altered it just a bit.  Recipes are below...

Turkey Chili

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 lbs ground turkey thigh meat
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/4 medium sweet onions, chopped
1/6 cup chili powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of kidney beans
1 green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch squares
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp fresh ground sea salt

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned.
Transfer turkey and any remaining liquid in pan to the slow-cooker pot.
Add and heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil to the skillet on medium heat.
Add the garlic and onion to the skillet and cook until translucent and softened.
Add chili powder, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, and ginger to the skillet and heat on low heat until fragrant.
Transfer the onion mixture to the slow-cooker pot.
Add and stir in the diced tomatoes, green pepper, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, and sea salt to the slow-cooker pot.
Cover and set the slow-cooker for 6 hours at low heat.

Gluten Free Cornbread
From Gluten Free Girl's Website - with my changes in Blue

1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal

Preheat the oven to 425°.
Combine the flours by sifting them into a large bowl. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir.
Combine the eggs, melted butter, and coconut milk in a small bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid. Stir with a rubber spatula until everything is combined.
Stir in the cornmeal, whisking fast, until it is just combined. Do not over stir.
Pour into a greased 9 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Slide it into the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sides of the cornbread are slightly shrinking from the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting Ready - On the Brides Side

So I can't do my own hair in any special way, in fact I don't even know how how to really use a curling iron.  Our wedding coordinator found Alisa from Heidi's Studio and she did a great job with what I wanted.

I did however do my own makeup after taking a lesson at the Source Spa & Salon in Ballard.  And I actually did a great job!

Us ladies all ended up being ready about 40 minutes early so we had some time to relax and eat some guacamole and chips.  We hung around in the kimono style cotton robes that I purchased for us all from Pretty Plum Sugar.

I also got to spend some time with my mom, which was absolutely wonderful.  She was a very helpful and calming influence in the morning, which I am so appreciative of.  What a great mom!

She helped me get all zipped up and set in my dress, which I'm sure wasn't as complicated as most wedding dresses, but it still required zipping assistance.

Overall, it was a very easy and relaxing morning.  We did have over 40 minutes of downtime after getting ready.  I felt sort of anxious the whole time because I just wanted things to start moving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Awesome Dress & Gear

I got my awesome dress custom made by Amanda Archer. It was a long process (if you remember the original sketch was quite different) but in the end it turned out absolutely perfect!  I wanted a dress that I could really dance in and twirl.  The color is also more of a cream then a white and that band in the middle is a midnight blue. At the bottom is one layer of custom tulle as well. 

For the ceremony, I wore Reef flip flops.  The ladies had the same ones but with brown straps rather than cream colored.

I didn't wear a vail and the only thing I wore in my hair was a single blue cornflower made out of an ultralight clay that was custom designed and made by Midori Designs.

After dinner I changed into some flats to prepare for dancing.  I found these on sale at DSW, they were so cute and comfortable and just a little flashy!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Our Wedding Rings

We got our wedding rings from the same place that my engagement ring was from, Brilliant Earth. Both are recycled platinum and hammered.  My ring has a line of Australian sapphires set in a channel.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Our Flowers

Our wedding coordinator recommended our florist, Floral Design by Reina, to us and we couldn't have been happier with her!  Reina was incredibly generous with us and our budget, had amazing ideas, and ended up saving the day when things didn't work out as planned.

After we got engaged and started thinking about flowers, the only thing we knew we wanted for sure was pampas grass, and then we got some other ideas that we posted about here and here. And I knew for sure that I didn't want a big poofy bridal bouquet because I'm not really big on flowers to begin with. Reina was able to come up with some great ideas and flowers we had never heard of.

And then it was the night of our rehearsal dinner and our wedding coordinator, Beth, had a phone call for us from Reina. Poor Reina had to explain to us that due to the unusually cold weather she wasn't able to get the California poppies and blue cornflowers that we had wanted.  But, she had already come up with a back-up plan which even involved altering some other blue flowers to individually look like the blue cornflowers.

To be honest, when we got the call and Reina explained what had happened, it was totally disappointing.  And when the flowers arrived the next day, it was a little disappointing not to see the flowers we had pictured for our wedding. But in the end it totally didn't matter and I certainly was not thinking about our flowers while I was eating our delicious food or dancing my heart out on the dance floor!