Apple Crisp Recipe for Fall!

Fall is here and today it became apparent that I have not yet officially embraced the new season. My neighbours have autumn wreaths hung on their doors and everywhere I look on social media people are sharing photos and recipes of the late summer harvest. Am I the only one that didn't go apple picking this weekend? I really, really wanted to. Instead, I cheated a bit and used store-bought apples to participate in the act of welcoming fall through food. I made a delicious apple crisp. I would highly recommend picking your own farm-fresh apples first, but for the purpose of satisfy a craving, any apples in your fridge would do the trick. The bonus about this apple crisp is that it contains no wheat. Ground oatmeal works wonderfully as a substitute for flour. It's also super easy to make. Apples Apple dish So easy, so yummy! Here's the recipe. Topping: - 1 cup oats - 1/4 cup brown sugar - 1/4 cup butter - 1 tsp salt Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grind 1/2 cup oats in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining 1/2 oats, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Stir. Filling: - 5 apples, peeled and cut into slices - 1/4 cup brown sugar - 1/4 tsp cinnamon Combine together filling ingredients in a bowl until the apples are well coated. Transfer to a 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with topping. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden brown. Enjoy! 🙂
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Wedding Checklist: What We’ve Done So Far!

I had my first pre-wedding nightmare last night. I dreamed that I was cutting out pictures for photo collages while attempting to do my own makeup. My dad was in the background painting an arbor and my mom was forcing me to calm down and drink some tea. This was two hours before the ceremony. I woke up in a cold sweat and vowed to be more organized on my real wedding day. Without Roger to console me (this was at 6:30am), I stared at the bedroom ceiling and went through a mental list of all the things we have checked off. We're at the 10 month mark now and contrary to what my subconscious believes, I really am on pace with preparations. Just three hundred and seven days to go!! I have TheKnot.com to thank for keeping me organized. This is my homescreen when I sign  in on my mobile... IMG_5427.PNG And outlined below is what we've done so far (compiled as much for my mom's sanity as it is for mine!) Engagement Party - My parents threw us a beautiful soirée back in July to celebrate our proposal. It's hard to believe we've been engaged for 6 months already!! July 12 - Best wishes Venue - We're officially tying the knot in my hometown. The ceremony and cocktail hour will be held by the lake and we will traverse to the main building for the dinner and reception. Eganridge Reception Whenever I'm home for the weekend my mom and I visit the venue for inspiration. So far we have seen the set-up for four different weddings, all of which have been pretty minimal in terms of decor. I fully intend to make better use of the tree for our ceremony--it needs some brightening up, don't you think? Eganridge Decorator - We have hired an event planner to provide some of the essential decor for our day: flowers, linens, window/ceiling drapery, and chairs. The pretty details will be a mixture of Etsy purchases and DIY crafts made me and any helping hands. I'm SO excited to go into decorating mode, but I'm saving this until the spring. Photographer and Engagement Photos - We found a local couple who specialize in wedding, engagement, and family photography. Natalie did such a fantastic job with our e-session, we are so excited for her and her husband to photograph our wedding day! britney and roger-21-1 resize Wedding Dress - I found "the one" that I can't wait to wear! Finding the perfect dress was an adventure to say the least. After trying on almost 30 styles, I went back to the very first one I tried on and bought a slightly different version of it. My first fitting will be in 5-6 months; I knew dresses took a long time to order, but I was not expecting such a long wait. I'm happy to say it's one worth waiting for. Guest-list and Table Arrangements - Roger is a spreadsheeting genius so we have the most advanced Excel document outlining who's invited and where they'll be sitting (with floor plan included.) He also crafted an interactive budget to track payments, savings, and projected costs. It's pretty fancy sexy. Wedding Table Seating Save the Dates - We designed our cards on Minted.com and had them shipped from the States. We also purchased a custom-made stamp with our names and return address for the envelopes. If anyone has received one, take a look at the back inscription... I bet you would have never guessed that it was Roger who wrote such a beautiful summary of our love! Save the date (Location blocked) photo-481 Gift Registry - We're officially registered with Hudson's Bay! Scanning items with the gun was as fun as it sounds. Bridal Shower - May 24th (currently being planned by my lovely and oh-so-organized Maid of Honour, Tiffani) Bachelorette - June 13th (see comment above) Bridesmaids Dresses (soon to be crossed off) - I found a girl on Etsy that makes beautiful dresses. I'm loving this exact colour and style! Not everyone feels comfortable in a strapless dress, so the neckline can be altered accordingly. My Maid of Honour is going to order first and if she loves it, we'll have all the girls follow suit. Bridesmaid Dresses Officiant (almost crossed off) - We have arranged a meeting with someone next month and hopefully we can have her marry us! There are still a few BIG things I'd like to get crossed off before December (the 6-7 month mark). I'll keep you posted as the planning unfolds! - DJ/Entertainer - Choose suits for the boys (that's Roger's department) - Choose shoes/accessories for the girls - Decide on what we're doing for the late-night treat (Sundaes?) - Arrange accommodations for out-of-town guests Okay, I can breathe now.
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My New Life Mantra

I am happy. I am healthy. I am loved.  That's a mantra I learned in yoga the other day and I've spent my entire weekend trying to live by it. It's amazing how nine little words can put everything into perspective. It's also amazing how restorative a good stretch and meditation can be. It took me a while to listen, but my body and my mind were whispering to me to get back onto the mat. After feeling not quite 100% my optimistic self, I discovered what my soul was missing. How can one expect to be both a warrior and sun goddess in life without building the framework in yoga class? In the kerfuffle of activities and late nights at work, I abandoned my practice over the summer months and to my dismay, my absence caused a substantial decrease in my flexibility and balance. I did attempt intense poses the day after Leg Day (which in hindsight wasn't the smartest idea), but even the simple stretches seemed to hurt. On a positive note, I was still able to be a bridge and a bird with ease! I attended three classes last week and I already am feeling entirely more put together. When life gets you down it's so important to have an outlet to release stress. For me, it's venting to my family (thanks mom and Roger for putting up with me), Ujjayi-breathing it out in yoga, and forcing myself to think positive thoughts until they block out the negative ones. The nine word mantra really resonated within me during my last practice. The key to happiness is seeking every possible way to be happier in the moment you're in. That's why I am focusing on the light. Here are a few of the most happy things in my life right now and the reasons why I am truly blessed:
  • I have a fiance that wakes me up with hugs, puts gas in my car for me, makes me feel instantly better at the end of a long day, gets frozen yogurt with me at 11 o'clock at night, and makes me homemade rice pudding and hot tea
  • I'm getting married in 10 months to my best friend, who also happens to be very handsome
  • We set up our gift registry and are ready to mail out our Save the Dates
  • My bridesmaids are all fantastic (so happy you all love the dresses!) and my maid of honour is an absolute rockstar, keeping all the girls in the loop and me on track with planning
  • I have a job that allows me to live comfortably and contribute to my savings
  • Roger starts a great new job next week
  • I have the most supportive and fun family who are more than willing to help out with wedding plans and will love me unconditionally even if I move farther away
  • I started online courses towards getting my Book Publishing Certificate--a step towards pursuing what I love
I am happy. I am healthy. I am loved. I've known it all along, but I have yoga to thank for bringing the awareness back. Namaste!
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Exploring Vancouver

I think I'm in love with the West Coast! After a breathtaking drive through the mountains, Roger and I had the pleasure of staying in downtown Vancouver, BC for four nights and three whole days. On our first night--a Tuesday--Roger treated me to a fancy dinner at West Restaurant. From the gluten-free bread to the peanut-free truffles, the menu effortlessly catered to my many allergies and their signature cocktails were delicious. Our first course was preceded by a palette cleanser and consisted of fries with a truffle aioli mayo. For our entrees, Roger had Duo of Fraser Valley Pork with Okanagan Cherry Jus and I had Organic Chicken with maitake mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and nettles. We were fully satisfied by the quality of the food and our waiter's attentiveness. 5 stars! The gourmet strawberry and dark chocolate truffles were my favourite. In hindsight, I should have bought a box. IMG_5003IMG_5007IMG_5011 We walked back to our hotel room via the Granville Street Bridge and caught our first glimpse of the city skyline and the Granville Island Market. I'm terrified of heights and even though we were only 27 metres above the ground, I made sure Roger held my hand for the entirety of the jaunt. Little did I know that I should have saved my scaredy-cat antics for later on in the week when we took on more legitimately harrowing heights. IMG_5013 If I lived in Vancouver I would visit the Granville Island Market every Saturday to buy fresh produce and artisan cheeses. It has absolutely everything you need to craft a local-inspired smorgasbord of delectable eats. We made the rookie mistake of having a big lunch downtown before perusing the market selection; we would have much rather eaten on the island. Instead we watched the street performers and went in and out of little shoppes. I fell in love with a papery that sold speciality wrapping paper, greeting cards, books, and the like. Roger was apparently not the first, nor even the hundredth customer to make a joke about Quidditch when we stepped into the Granville Island Broom Company. Did you know that it's good luck for the bride and groom to jump over a broom at their wedding? We should have bought a broom! There were just too many to choose from. IMG_9635 Getting a photo of Roger in front of the Rogers' Chocolates store was not up for debate. IMG_5038 After the market, we did some more exploring around Robson street and Yaletown. I sunk into a state of girlie bliss at Sweet Bake Shop where everything is pink and absolutely wonderful. From the chairs at street-side to the stand-mixers inside, nothing was short of perfection. So pretty! Unfortunately only the cookies were gluten-free and I was still full from lunch. If their baking was even half as amazing as their decor, I would be thoroughly impressed. IMG_5020 Champagne and cake for breakfast... yes please! IMG_5022 IMG_5021 IMG_5018 Roger was finally able to pull me out of my element before I bought every item in the place. The next day, we embarked on a bicycle adventure through Stanley Park and looked like ultra-tourists in our matching Old Navy sweaters, which we were forced to purchase for the impromptu summer rain. We biked the perimeter of the park and worked up quite the appetite for Japadogs--Japanese hotdogs. I don't fancy hotdogs, but these ones were interesting and gourmet. IMG_5049 IMG_5051 IMG_5053 IMG_5057 IMG_6074 IMG_3531 Our commune with nature did not simply end that afternoon. I faced my fears (reluctantly) and thanks to Roger's encouragement, took what felt like a thirty minute gondola ride up Grouse Mountain (really it was six, tops.) There we made friends with two grizzly bears and enjoyed dinner atop the peak of Vancouver. IMG_5075 IMG_5101 IMG_5082 IMG_5092 photo-476 IMG_5085 IMG_5110 Moments before our descent a thick cloud rolled in and quite literally enveloped the mountain. Luckily for me, it made the downwards gondola ride less scary--we could not see a thing! IMG_5107 I feel like our time in Vancouver was perfectly split between exploring the city, dining at restaurants, shopping, and enjoying the landscape. Stay posted for my final Vancouver blog post. I'm going to be sharing pictures from our day trip to beautiful Victoria Island!
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