Sincerely Carolina

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Anniversary Hooplah!

by caroline

This past weekend Dan and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary! I can't believe how fast time went, but then I also look back on the last year and it feels like 18 years rolled into one with all of the things we've done! Our wedding was hands down one of the most perfect days of my life thus far. I still can't believe it happened exactly the way I always hoped it would.

As a kid, I was not one to have wedding dreams and wishes, but the one hope I did have was that I would some day get married in Boldt's Castle, the historic castle that stands on Heart Island in the 1000 Islands on the St. Lawrence River (read the tragic love story behind the castle here). My family and I have been vacationing on the St. Lawrence River for most of my life, a tradition passed along through my mother's family who also called the 1000 Islands their vacation spot while my mom was growing up. Each summer we would visit the castle or drive by it on the boat, I would concoct fairytale dreams of some day being a bride on that island.

When it came time to actually get married, doing so in a castle seemed so far-fetched and I put it aside as a princess-y dream that would never be fulfilled. But when my sister informed me that getting married at the castle was really not as difficult as I thought it was, I realized that we were actually going to make this thing happen.

And, boy, did we ever:

Our guests, the weather, the ceremony, our photographers (April and Alyssa), the reception at the Wellesley HotelEVERYTHING — was divine. I am so thankful for that day and this last year. Dan and I had a wonderful time just being "us" this weekend, starting with a project …

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As y'all know, Dan and I recently moved, and with that we earned a lot more apartment space than we are used to having. Major bonus with only one (very small) downside: We feel like we need to FILL all of that space. Still, we have promised that instead of rushing to find every last item, we will just take it slow and accumulate pieces as we go. I'm learning extra space is OK.

Our number one item to find was chairs for our chair-less dining room table, so on Saturday we hit up a few local garage sales. We found Dan a desk chair and a small nightstand, but we were finding next to nil when it came to chairs for the table. My energy was starting to wane when we hit up our last spot (Oh, you know I had the classifieds circled and a map of all of the sales) and spotted these beauties:

Using our imaginations we decided these bench-style chairs were the coolest things ever, and that a quick re-upholstery job would easily turn them from "eh" to fab. Hello, JoAnn Fabrics! We're calling the fabric we chose "love birds". :D

I'll admit: Dan was much more the "doer" in this project while I was the observer. But they turned out wonderfully, right? (All thanks to my observing … duh.) Just goes to show you don't have to be Martha to get down with your crafty self!

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On Sunday we had planned to head out to Glen Helen in Yellow Springs, OH to walk around and do a bit of hiking. Before heading out, we packed up a lunch, which included this yummy potato salad recipe I spotted a couple of weeks ago after picking up a bag of these fellas:

The company, Tasteful Selections, has various bags of potatoes that come in all different shapes and sizes. I picked these little ones, the Sunrise Medley Potatoes, and made the recipe for Sunrise Medley Potato Salad with Apples that was on the back of the bag. These potatoes are small enough that they can stay whole for the salad (YAY – no chopping!), but I would imagine if you can't find them, then you would be able to just use another type of potato cut them for the potato salad.

Here are the details with a few of my own alterations:

Sunrise Medley Potato Salad with Apples

(Print me!)

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. Sunrise Medley "one bite" potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup light mayonaise
  • 2 Tablespoons all-natural honey mustard
  • 1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium green apple, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

NOTES: I decreased the onion by 1/4 cup because it just seemed like too much. I also swapped an additional 1/4 cup mayonnaise with the addition of honey mustard. The recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of celery seed, but I didn't have it on hand, so I just went ahead without it and the same goes for the 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley that were also included in the original recipe. Make it vegan by using a gluten-free vegan mayonnaise, like Reduced-Fat Vegenaise, and swap the honey mustard for Dijion.

Directions

In a medium saucepan, bring potatoes and slat to boil; simmer 14-17 minutes or until fork tender, Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed, and cayenne pepper; stir until smooth like dressing. Add onion, celery, apple and parsley to mayonnaise mixture, tossing to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

When potatoes are cool, fold into mayonnaise mixture. Refrigerate for several hours or until ready to serve.

Can be made a day in advance before serving.

After we packed up our lunch in our nifty to-go cooler (a present from Dan's parents because we travel so much and with that comes packing a lot of food!), we set out for Glen Helen, somewhere between home and the 25 minute drive there we realized we were starving! So, we set out our blanket and had lunch before we hiked.

I packed one of my all-time favorite sandwiches: Cucumber slices, sprouts, lettuce and light mayo on gluten-free bread. My mom used to pack us these sandwiches when we were in elementary and middle school. At the time, I let my ego get in the way and was a little embarrassed when the other kids would point at my carrots and sprouts sticking out from my (then) whole wheat bread. But now, I'm so thankful my mom passed along to me healthy food options at such a young age. It obviously stuck with me! I gave this guy a 2011 spin by smearing on a bit of goat cheese. Deeee-lish.

And no picnic is complete without watermelon …

… and ant friends, right?

A perfect picnic lunch! With our tummies feeling happy it was time to hit the trails:

Large dog or bear? I'm going with a bear …

Green-tinged picture because we are under a moss-covered rock!

Glen Helen is absolutely breathtaking and it's impossible not to walk through and appreciate all of the little beauties it has to offer. We hiked for a little more than an hour and by the end I was definitely feeling the 4-mile run I had already put in that morning. I was pooped!

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After such a busy Sunday, we decided to keep Monday (our actual anniversary) fairly low-key and just chill out. We took breakfast and lunch slow (sitting at our newly chair-adorned table!), looked through our wedding album and watched the homemade video Dan's aunt made for us. Last on the three-day weekend anniversary extravaganza list was dinner. Who knows why I decided to work corn on the cob in there — it just looked so good in the store! In addition to the ill-fitting corn, I had crispy fish (y'all need to try this recipe — I'll post it soon) and Dan had chicken, and we both enjoyed a side salad.

Champagne toast:

After dinner, Dan cut into our cake top and we were both amazed by how beautifully preserved it was. My sister did the handiwork on this one — BEST MAID OF HONOR EVER!

I, unfortunately, couldn't have the cake because last year at this time I was not yet diagnosed with Celiac disease! Therefore, our cake was not safe for me, so Dan appreciated it for the both of us. At our wedding, our cake was served with a berry sauce, so Dan paired his slices with some raspberry sorbet. He said the cake was unbelievably good and even better than he remembered. I will have to copy my sister's technique for her wedding next year and be sure hers is equally well-preserved!

I was going to make gluten-free brownies for myself, but I found that I was quickly losing steam, so I decided to instead snack on the cute M&M's my mom and dad had made for us:

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Whew! Did I really just fit that all in there?! What a wonderful weekend — I hope you all had a great one, too!

I'm wondering: Do you think it's OK to step away from the "real world" every now and then, and just soak in the moments?