Sunday, November 21, 2010


Well. Big news in the Wellfed Newlywed camp! We're planning a house renovation and we just hired our architect, Jenny Francis! Hooray!!! It's definitely something I'd like to chronicle online, both for our friends, and for other people thinking about renovating, so I'm in the midst of deciding if I should start up a separate blog or figure out a way to put a renovations page or something on here. I'm an interior designer by trade, so I've been on the flip side of the coin pretty often! I think a lot of homeowners go into a renovation expecting an Extreme Home Makeover or Trading Spaces type of situation where it takes a week, a couple thousand bucks, and WOW a whole new house appears! Nothing could be further from the truth, believe me. The next year of our lives is going to be fun, frustrating, draining financially and emotionally, and ultimately, rewarding. I've heard how the first year of marriage is often the hardest, but I also know doing a house renovation is one of the most stressful things you can put your marriage through, so hopefully by the end of this we won't have killed each other and at the very least still be sleeping in the same bed ;)

Over the past three weeks we've met with about five different architects, each bringing different perspectives and strengths to the project. Ultimately we decided to go with Jenny, who I had met years prior doing an interview for school when she worked at 3rd Uncle, an incredible design firm in Toronto. What struck me about Jenny is that she understood that while the exterior of our home is important, we also have to live here and thus the interior is just as important. I really wanted to create a cohesive project, exterior and interior, so I didn't want an architect who was going to be very hands off about the interiors. Jenny's experience and incredible creativity is going to create a really special home for us, and I think there's a lot I can learn from her during this process. Hopefully the skills both Dan and I bring to the table will help to make this a really successful project and I think we'll all work really well as a team. Our house gets measured up Tuesday morning and our first meeting to begin programming and planning with Jenny is on Wednesday. 

All I can think about is that I have to start packing up the house! This time next year I should be sitting in my new house! Oh my goodness!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Bacon Jam - Yes you read that right

I've been doing a lot of talking about weddings, and not so much about the food part lately. So, let's try to balance that out by something awesome: Slow cooker bacon jam. Oh my gosh my world just changed!!! I subscribe to the Everyday Food magazine, which is a Martha Stewart subsidiary. It lights up my mailbox regularly, I'm never let down by it. This month had a section on bacon. I am a bacon fanatic. I want to eat bacon wrapped bacon. I have a dream of one day opening a store that only sells bacon. How amazing would that be?! Just different types of bacon. Oh my gosh. I digress. Back to bacon jam. It's dead simple and ridiculously tasty. I'm just waiting for Dan to get home so I can slather it on some cheese!!! Actually I don't think I'll be able to wait that long, who am I kidding?!

Slow Cooker Bacon Jam
(from Everyday Food magazine, Issue 78, Dec 2010)

Makes 3 cups
Active time 30 mins
Total time 4 hrs

  • 1.5 lbs sliced bacon (a package and a half approx), cut cross wise into 1" pieces
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced small
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 brewed coffee
1. In a large skillet brown your bacon, stirring occasionally until fat is rendered and bacon is slightly browned, about 20 minutes. 
With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat from skillet; add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup and coffee. Bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, about 2 minutes. 
Add bacon and stir to combine.

2. Transfer mixture to a slow cooker and cook on high uncovered until liquid is syrupy*, about 3.5 - 4 hours.
3. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool then refrigerate in air tight containers, up to 4 weeks.

 * My mixture never went "syrupy" per say, but it did reduce down a lot. It turned out fine anyways. Yum!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pro photos sneak peek

I have a confession to make. I've been holding back on you. I've had these photos for a while now and I've selfishly kept them to myself. I'm sorry. I thought I was helping everyone by going through the events of the wedding, the days after, and the honeymoon chronologically. Now I see it is never right to hold back professional photos. Ever. You know why? BECAUSE THEY'RE AMAZING!!!! No one should be deprived of these puppies! LOL! Many thanks to Justin and the whole Stillmotion team (yet again) for their brilliant vision and insane talent. We couldn't be happier with what we've seen so far and we know the best is yet to come! Here it goes folks! Enjoy!

This is our friend Pat in our Winnebago. A lot of our story is told via the Winnebago which I think is adorable. It was such a focal point in the wedding, I love that our photographers and cinematographers used it as the vehicle to tell our story (har har). 

Dan putting hooks in to attach my signs to.

The tent FINALLY goes up. Jeez. 

Our good friend Luke vacuums to make the Colonel "white dress ready". I'm not sure it's possible for the Colonel to ever be that clean. 

My suite at the Millcroft Inn. 

Isn't my husband so handsome?! He's on the way to pick me up for our "first look"! So exciting!

My mom found this booklet of "Things you must do to make me happy" lists for me to check off each day for Dan. I did one up for him and put it in his groom's gift :)

I love this photo. Swoon. 

My nephews were escorts for our moms and my stepson was our ringbearer. While explaining to the kids that the wedding is essentially a big party and that they would have very important jobs, they each asked "Will there be cake and balloons???". How can  you say no to that much cuteness?! So each of the boys got a big white balloon with their initial hanging off it because I'm an awesome auntie/stepmom. 

Dan writing out his vows. Apparently his phone died and no one had a charger so it was mayhem because he thought he wouldn't have his vows for the ceremony. I kept these cue cards, I hope our kids will enjoy looking at them some day!

The order of the day for our caterer, the incredible Ezra Title of Chezvous Dining. Our wedding meal was oh so delicious. He put so much thought and love into our day, we couldn't have chosen a better team.

My vintage cake topper from Value Village that cost $0.69. The bride used to have a lovely long veil, but my cat Smee decided it tasted delicious, so she's very chic in her birdcage veil now!

Holla! Pop Shoppe pop!!! Do you hear the 80's calling?!

Our first dance. Awwww. 

My beautiful aunt and her husband. I love this shot. 

As an added bonus, a few days ago Justin posted this photo for me. I love all the layers and I think it feels a bit Halloween-y although it could just be the season getting to me ;)  The pin-up girls are 70's Penthouse swizzle sticks, part of Dan's grooms gift along with a bottle of scotch, my boudoir photos, and some snacks. Apparently when you put them in liquid their clothes disappear. Shocking! The text that's running down the centre of the photo is from the vintage wooden box I put Dan's gift in. And of course, on the bottom we have our old school cake topper. Hawt stuff huh?! I love the creativity at Stillmotion, it just blows me away!

Break out the popcorn

My intention was to post about the honeymoon again, show you a few more fabulous photos, brag a bit more about how relaxing and incredible it was.... BUT something amazing has happened. Our cinematographer has posted a mini-movie for us!!! It is a-mazing. Oh my gosh. Our final movie will be 20-25 minutes and I can hardly wait to see it if this is an indication of what's to come!!!

veronica + dan // the colonel from stillmotion on Vimeo.

I also have pro photos to share. I was trying not to put the cart before the horse here, but I'm just too excited about what our amazing team of photographers and cinematographers at Stillmotion has come out with that I'm going to explode if I don't share it with you right now!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simply put : Heaven.

I didn't get lobster ceviche after my last post, but Halloween candy is a good second best. Back to the beach. So we pretty much spent 10 days that went like this:
  • Wake up

  • Put on bathing suit
  • Jump in ocean

  • Walk over to main palapa for coffee and breakfast

  • Stare out over beautiful vista of beach and ocean while digesting

  • Jump in ocean again or Dan's favourite: Jet ski

  • Read on comfy chairs on dock

  • Lunch

  • Swim some more

  • Read in hammock
  • Nap in hammock

  • Swim
  • Get ready for dinner
  • Dinner

  • Play cribbage in Palapa

  • Bed
Yep. Big days! But oh my gosh so relaxing. I went through six books in 10 days. Heaven I tell you!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Belize Bound!

After we made grandparents happy, we packed up and left for Belize. Truth be told, I wasn't looking forward to our looooooooooooooooong journey: three flights, a taxi, and a boat. Plus getting up at 3am to get on a plane is not my idea of fun, but as the saying goes, keep your eye on the prize right?! We flew American Airlines which I quickly discovered is not my favourite airline. We got on the plane and the pilot made an announcement that it may be a bumpy flight, so sit down, buckle up, stay out of the way of the flight attendants, and if we were lucky we'd get a drink. Ummmm okay, thanks?! We got to Miami (not bumpy but the seat belt sign never went off, I suppose so we'd all stay out of the way), and had a 4 hour lay over. First of all, MIA is not a good name for an airport. Seriously, who thought of that?! It made me think of Lost which really isn't a show you want to think about before you fly over the Gulf of Mexico. Secondly, there is nothing in that airport! We eventually sat down in the Jose Cuervo restaurant because you know, Mexican food and tequila is exactly what you should eat before getting on a three hour flight... Ooooh boy. Eye on the prize, eye on the prize. 

Waiting in MIA. Hopefully our luggage isn't MIA. 

Then we boarded our next flight to Belize City which was relatively uneventful. Thankfully I slept through most of our flights so it wasn't too bad. Plus I do have to say in American Airlines defense that they gave us bulkhead rows on both our flights since Dan is 6'-1" and fitting into a regular seat is pretty squishy for him. The lady in Toronto did it without our asking, and in Miami I asked at the counter if they could change it "as a gift for my husband for our honeymoon". Making the cute new bride face works like a charm I tell you! 

Back to Belize City. It's an adorable little airport with comfy wood benches, very tropical feeling. 

We were sitting with a few other people waiting for flight number three to Dangriga via Tropic Air. They called everyone up but told us to sit back down. A tiny airplane rolled up and everyone got on.

Note our sad luggage still sitting on the tarmac.

I'm thinking to myself: If we're not getting on that little plane, just how little of a plane are we taking?!

OH. That little plane. Ummm great. It's a four seater, although how you would wedge two people into the back, plus luggage is beyond me. Somehow they fit Dan in the back with our two bags and my purse and I got to sit in the co-pilots seat. Good thing I'm not scared of flying.


The views over the Belizean country side were beautiful. We flew over their orange and grapefruit groves, which are their major exports (mostly for juice). It was such a cool intro to our vacation. A private plane on our way to our private island! 
When we got to the Dangriga airport (which is essentially a portable on a tarmac), we met Peter, our lovely host at the Royal Belize. After months of corresponding with him, it was wonderful to finally meet him face to face. It was like visiting with an old friend right off the bat. Peter packed us into a trusted taxi and we followed him to the nearby port. Now when I say nearby, if you were driving the same distance here in Canada it would be say a 8-10 minute drive. In Belize, this translates into 20-30 minutes depending on how much it's rained lately and which roads you take. There are very few paved roads, and even the ones that are paved are very much in disrepair and have HUGE pot holes and if it's rained lately they may be fairly washed out. It takes a while to get places, but it's a nice drive and our driver Manuel was great to chat with.
Peter got us onto the boat and then our REAL adventure began! Interesting fact about the majority of boats in Belize. A lot of them were actually used in drug running from Colombia. They have huge coolers in the centre and once the drugs are delivered, these boats (worth about $100 000+) are ditched along the coast of Belize, Guatemala, etc. and are then reclaimed and salvaged by locals. The coolers are removed and the boats are good to go! Pretty crazy huh?! 

Our awesome host and self proclaimed "Captain of the Island", Peter

I had a few moments when we were about to touch down in Dangriga where part of me thought "There's going to be no one there to meet us. This can't be real. We can't be going to a private island." When we got this first glimpse of the island, I knew we had found our ultimate heaven.


When I saw this sign, I knew we were in for ten days of custom tailored relaxation.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but it actually says "finally" with an arrow. Freaking adorable.

We met the rest of the staff and were handed pina coladas and some homemade lobster ceviche to help us get over our long day of traveling. Such a hard life. Writing this now I'm wishing I could go back tomorrow!!!

 This quickly became our favourite spot in the main palapa.

Since my mouth is now watering thinking about lobster ceviche and I'm semi-depressed that it's currently 8 degrees here in Toronto, I'm going to take a break from blogging and have a bite to eat. I'll return tomorrow with more photos of our ridiculously pampered and awesome honeymoon!