Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I made 'Steak Diane'!!!

Those of you who knew me really well in my early days of marriage will appreciate this more than those of you who didn't, because of how disastrous I was in the kitchen due to a bizzare lack of confidence for something so ... not frightening. Since I have overcome my fear of cooking, I have cooked mostly new recipes. Mum and Dad are both fabulous cooks, so I've 'wisely' avoided cooking things from our family cookbook, because then I didn't know how badly I was messing up :) (I was about to say 'makes sense, right?', then I pictured James' face when I say that about something like this).

The other night I asked James to pick up some meat on the way home from uni 'anything! - I haven't decided what's for dinner yet!', and he got 4 big steaks for $6, which I was very happy with. He even said "And we don't even need to eat them all tonight!" It had never occurred to me that we would.

I used the first steak in a stir fry with veg on rice.

Last night I used the second to make Steak Diane, because I passed the recipe in the book, and realised how EASY it was!!! And I already had all of the ingredients, AND it was QUICK!! Sadly for James I had decided to use only one steak each night, so we shared... but it waaas enormous, and we filled up on bread...and this is terrible but we were out of veggies and I didn't manage to get to the shops, so that's literally what we ate: Steak Diane, and bread. Lucky the Steak Diane was good!! :) You should have seen James' face though, when I put one plate with a lone steak on the table between us. Haha.

Tonight, I think I will make Chop Suey with the third, and I will definitely make sure I stop at the shops and get some veggies :)

Any ideas for steak 4??

Monday, April 12, 2010

Our Fabulous Wedding

I love weddings! My little sister Bethany is getting married this year, and has started planning her day. She doesn't want to have the reception at an ordinary function centre, or in a chapel rec hall. I was looking online at wedding venues and ideas, and I started of course to think back on our wedding. It was a pretty fabulous event.

I woke up on a beautiful Friday morning (23rd November, 2007). I went out to the kitchen where members of my family were running around cooking, sewing and getting things ready, and was shooed into the shower. I spoke on the phone to my Grandma Taylor, ate 2 profiteroles for breakfast, then straightened my hair:

The photographers (deep grey)arrived and started taking photos of us getting ready. I got dressed and Mum drove me up to the temple.

We then got married in a Temple Sealing at the Brisbane Australia Temple. This was the most important and precious part of the day, and was witnessed by a few members of our close family and friends. By getting married in the temple we are sealed for Time and all Eternity, not just 'till death we part'. Because we believe that families who are sealed can be together forever, it is hugely important for us to participate in this kind of marriage.

We got some photos at the temple:

We got some photos across the road from the temple, at the city lookout:

We drove in James' uncle's car to the Botanical gardens and had a picnic lunch:

Then we walked around the gardens for a while for photos:

In Brisbane city there's a giant outdoor stage right on the river, in the botanical gardens. Lots of outdoor concerts are played there, and I've actually performed there in an orchestra. It's called 'Riverstage', and Mum (who should be a wedding planner) had the brilliant idea of hiring it for our wedding reception!

Mum organised chairs and tables, plants, screens, beautiful flower table centrepieces, and did all the food. This was in addition to the wedding dress, bridesmaids' dresses, and a million other tasks! She did everything on the tables - the candles, special pens, place setting cards, programs, everything! It all looked beautiful:

The reception started at 5pm, on the roof of Riverstage, with hors de oeuvres and a string quartet:

You could see the temple across the river from the roof:

We then went down to the stage and after Uncle David explained the temple sealing, we exchanged rings. We did this because James' family aren't members of our church so couldn't attend our sealing in the temple.

After that we had dinner and some speeches. There were no photos taken of the gorgeous table where the amazing buffet was set out, but it was beautiful and incredible! In the photo of Jonny speaking you can sort of see one of the flower arrangments...

Then started the surprises for the evening.

Mum thought it would be special to have some things about the wedding that we didn't know were going to happen. The first one James knew about, as it was him, singing me a song! He has a fantastic voice, but I had no idea he planned to sing at our wedding! He sang 'Always and Forever', by Luther Vandross, and his mum and Tammy sang back up. He made me sit on a chair in the middle which was a bit awkward, but it was 'so romantic!' :) You can tell from my face that of course, I loved it!

Then we cut the cake (I knew this was going to happen):

Next was our 'first dance'. We had planned a fun first dance to a Lional Richie song (we love Lionel :), and had it choreographed. What we didn't know, was that Mum had organised to have boxes of rose petals showered over us as we began!! It was such a beautiful surprise!! (You can see the food tables a bit more in these shots...)

Then we danced with my parents, then James' parents...

Followed by everyone dancing...

...until we were all upstaged by the surprise entrance of Elvis!!! James' Koro (grandfather) loves Elvis, and does all of his songs, in his special Elvis suit Nana sewed for him!! Mum organised for him to pull out an 'impromptu' performance in the evening. He was a HUGE hit:

At the end of the night, as we left, the last surprise was that everyone attending the wedding lined up on both sides of the driveway with sparklers, so that we went through a pathway of them. It was beautiful and fun!!

Sadly the photographers had left by then, and I don't have any photos of it, but it was a beautiful finish to a beautiful night.

In summary, Mum did a beautiful job, and thought of everything. Many friends and family helped her to make it special.

Our temple sealing is everything, but we had a wonderful time in the beautiful, elegant and fun reception Mum and others did for us. Thankyou Mama!!! :)

...and now I'm really excited and can't wait to help with whatever we do for Bethany!! :)