I promised Tyler I wouldn’t do this. He didn’t want a big fuss made about the gender of the baby and initially wanted to wait until birth. So a “reveal” was definitely out of the question.
He slowly started to change his mind and warmed up to the idea of finding out. We booked a little Babymoon to Rome for Father’s Day and he was in charge of opening the gender card whenever he felt the time was right.
After a long dinner and walk along the Tiber River, he decided that it was time…. and I’m still beaming….
Thanks for all the love…it wouldn’t be the same without sharing this journey with you!
PS I know I still owe some wedding photos….and I promise they will come (that’s a promise I WILL keep!!)
Hi guys! I know I took a little unplanned blogging hiatus…. but I have been working on something else pretty important ;)
I’m so excited to tell you more about the surprise honeymoon Tyler planned (clearly he did a fantastic job…!) … and should probably recap the wedding at some point, but I’ve been bursting to share the news and couldn’t wait any longer.
Have a great weekend and thanks for checking in on us!
Well…I had the best of intentions to kick off 2014 with Tyler’s annual recap post, but the reality is that work, wedding, life and preparing to be gone for a month have us pretty consumed.
There is light at the end of this madness, though – our wedding! In only a few weeks, we will be exchanging vows and celebrating with our families and friends. I could not be more excited to marry Tyler – in the midst of wedding band shopping, seating chart planning and number crunching, I find myself having these moments of “who cares? I just want to be married!!”
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try my best to let some of the details go (gasp!) and savor these last days of our engagement.
If you have any “final countdown” advice…I’m all ears!
Hello, friends! How were your Christmas celebrations? Ours was pretty quiet with the three of us at home, but sweet and just right as we prepare to leave for the wedding in only six weeks!
Hope you were cozied up somewhere nice with people you love… and have had a chance to relax in these last couple days of 2013!
I’m over the moon that some of our best friends are visiting right now, so I’ll leave you with some quick photos of our Christmas before I venture out to take these ladies on their first Ottolenghi experience :)
Christmas morning….coffee in bed while we opened our stockings
Tyler made us croissant french toast for breakfast… it was sooo good!
Our annual Christmas morning walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park
After our walk, we stopped by the Churchill Arms for a cheeky pint before heading home to get dressed for dinner.
I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!! Are you done shopping, wrapping, decorating? Tyler and I will be cozied up at home just the two of us this Christmas – it’s a bit different than the crazy family holidays we both grew up with as kids, but since we will be seeing everyone so soon for the wedding, we decided a quiet little Christmas at home sounded just right.
It won’t stop us from making a big ‘ole Christmas brunch though! If you are still putting together your menus for Christmas morning, you should add this to the list! I can tell you from experience they are a crowd pleaser and what’s even better is that you can make the mix ahead of time to easily serve a crowd – win, win!
In Portland a few months ago, we had brunch at The Urban Farmer – their Bloody Mary bar was unreal. If you follow me on Instagram (abuchanan217) you may have seen a photo of this gorgeous little set up:
Tyler’s Mom did an incredible job replicating the elaborate Bloody Mary bar at my bridal shower – complete with the candied bacon! She was sweet enough to share her tasty recipes below – enjoy!
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. pure maple syrup
1/2 lb. thick-sliced, applewood-smoked bacon
Preheat oven to 375. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a wire rack on top.
Combine the brown sugar and pecans in food processor (or blender) and process until pecans are finely ground. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne and pulse to combine.
Add the maple syrup and pulse again to moisten crumbs.
Cut each piece of bacon in half and line up on the wire rack. Evenly spread the pecan mixture on top of each piece of bacon and press.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the topping is very brown but not burned. (If under-baked, the bacon won’t crisp as it cools)
The Best Bloody Mary Mix
1 quart (4 cups) V8 Juice
1 cup vodka (or let people add vodka themselves)
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 T. lime juice
3 T. Worcestershire Sauce
3 T. prepared horseradish
2 T. hot sauce
1 T. Manzanilla olive juice
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
In a large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or even overnight.
Garnish with all or some of the following:
Pickled green beans
Mini mozzarella balls
Dill pickle spears or slices
Bacon (Regular and/or Carmelized)
I would like to dedicate this post to one of my dear friends and bridesmaids, Robin. To the girl who loves Bloody Marys more than anyone I know and whose dance moves are good enough to start a Wobble flash mob at Friendsgiving – this one’s for you, girl! xo
A couple weekends ago, I was whisked away to the Cotswolds for a surprise Bachelorette (AKA Hen-Do) weekend with some incredible ladies.
Lauren stopped by my flat on Friday afternoon to help pack… giving scenarios to get the right outfits without giving too much away (i.e “If you were doing a cookbook shoot with Gwyneth Paltrow, what would you wear?” Haha… umm what?!) I truly had no clue where we were going, but she didn’t spill any secrets as we made our way to the train station.
When we arrived, she stalled a bit and then finally led me around the corner to find a group of smiling faces complete with a welcome sign!
Anna, the brains behind this whole sneaky weekend, planned everything so perfectly, I truly couldn’t have done it better myself. She’s a keeper, that’s for sure. (Love you, Anna!!)
(…that just reminded me of “You sneaky Mom!!” Have you guys seen it? It’s hilarious. Sorry. Easily distracted…)
We boarded a train to somewhere I’d never heard of, popped a few bottles of champagne (our fellow passengers thought we were awesome, I’m sure) and ventured out into the countryside. Midway through the journey, I was given a box with “clues” – the photos slowly revealed our destination: the Cotswolds!!
We checked into The Wild Rabbit, ooohed and ahhhed over the decor and cozy fireplaces roaring in the connected restaurant/pub,
and quickly snuggled into a corner table for wine and an indulgent meal.
The next morning, we grabbed a quick coffee and croissant at the hotel and headed toward Daylesford Organic Farm where we all indulged in a yoga class, massages at the spa,and mulled wine at lunch before heading back to the hotel to rest up for our evening out.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was actually an impromptu gathering by the fire for games, stories, wine, and cheese. It was just so fun to get to spend some quality time with the girls in such an incredible setting, I already can’t wait to go back!
We dressed up and went to dinner at a place called Wild Thyme which was perfect for a Bachelorette weekend..
although it was far from wild, I think we all had a good time ;)
We woke up the next morning and headed back to Daylesford for a Champagne Brunch Cooking Class. The instructor showed us a few different dishes which we attempted to replicate while sipping champagne in the most gorgeous kitchen I’ve ever seen. The morning was topped off with a tour around the farm before heading back to the train station.
Everything was perfect – and I truly wouldn’t have changed a thing about the entire weekend. I felt so spoiled and totally loved – these girls were amazing!! If you are visiting London anytime soon and have a day or two to spare, I highly suggest a weekend in the Cotswolds!
Happy belated Thanksgiving, friends! I hope everyone had a great time and wore their stretchy pants like me ;)
I’m so thankful for all of you – thank you for reading, commenting, emailing, encouraging…this is such a special little place for me and it wouldn’t be that way without each of you. (raising my virtual glass) – Cheers… this one’s for you!
Our Thanksgiving was so fun… we gathered around a folding table and devoured our meal by candlelight. I think the best part was that most of the group was celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time (babies + Brits). It was fun to watch them daintly put together their plates (the Brits, not the babies. Obviously) and then stare with wide eyes at the mounds all the rest of us Americans assembled. We made our country proud :)
Big Ben Pumpkin Pie – photo courtesy of Lauren, pie courtesy of this yummy recipe. I’d definitely make it again!
I’m slowly acquiring a taste for pumpkin pie… I’m not sure why it took me so long because I’ve loved all other things that have pumpkin as a main ingredient. But I have to say, I’m just not the one jumping up and down for a slice. I’d rather have more stuffing. Or maybe just a different kind of pie?
If you too, aren’t the biggest traditional pumpkin pie fan, or just want to add something new to the usual Thanksgiving menu – check out these five alternatives below.