Archive for the ‘Allie’ Category


Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

How quickly this year has passed! So quickly, in fact, that I haven’t even had a chance to upload our holiday photos until now. Here’s a quick recap from December and early January over the holidays…

[flickr id="6716335001" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

We sent out our “thank you” cards from the wedding about a month after we got back from our honeymoon. (Yes, honeymoon and wedding photos still to come!) I’m really proud of the cards that we made! I basically designed every single thank-you card individually in Photoshop and we printed them off at Moo… so each person who came to our wedding got a different and unique photo collage card of the actual honeymoon gifts they gave us. We also made little mini cards with snapshots from the wedding. Everyone got a mini card of Allan and I, and most people got custom mini cards with themselves in the photos! I think they turned out great and were worth all the time we put into them!

[flickr id="6716334565" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Early December it was time for the annual “Erection Party”* aka annual ugly sweater Christmas party that one of my best friends @amyburrows puts on (*refers to erecting the Christmas tree). It’s always an amazing time and brings in friends from all around BC.

[flickr id="6716331023" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Dressing up as Christmas-y as possible is definitely encouraged.

[flickr id="6716330539" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Allan and I…

[flickr id="6716330405" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Annual group photo…. Grrrrrr!

[flickr id="6716327213" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"] [flickr id="6716326817" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Then it was off to our work Christmas parties for some drinking and dancing with our coworkers. Mine was at Canvas Lounge and Allan’s was at the Earls in Yaletown… just the same as every year, we have our Christmas parties on the same night which makes it tricky for booting around from one party to the other! We decided to dress up a little this year (Pronovias for me and Hugo Boss for Allan). I have some better pics of the dress from our honeymoon so I’ll make sure I post those up too.

[flickr id="6716326521" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"] [flickr id="6716326243" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Two more fun social events included my brother taking our whole family to the Nutcracker at Queen Elizabeth Theatre… it called for dressing up in a little fur (Halston Heritage) and a long dress (thanks to Liv for always helping me pick out dresses!). It was also really nice to have my parents out since they never get to go out! The holidays were also a great time to catch up with old friends from high school, in particular getting to see my girlfriends at Kim’s bachelorette!

[flickr id="6716325845" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Then before we knew it, it was already Christmas morning and Allan and I hosted our first ever Christmas morning breakfast at our place. It’s usually at my parents’ home but for the first year ever we decorated and were given a waffle maker as one of our wedding gifts… so it’s been full-steam ahead on throwing breakfast parties in our apartment. Christmas morning breakfast was extra special… we got double-smoked applewood bacon from Oyama on Granville Island and made three sauces: strawberry, blueberry and cinnamon apple from fresh fruit.

[flickr id="6716325199" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Christmas afternoon was spent at my parents’ home and the tree was overloaded this year with our cousins and their kids coming over too.

[flickr id="6716324411" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

For stocking stuffers this year I gave out some of my favourite chocolates!

[flickr id="6716323775" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

[flickr id="6716323401" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Allan and I also spent a little extra time this year wrapping up our presents extra fancy with papers/bows from Ikea and Paper-ya on Granville Island.

[flickr id="6716322881" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

I love love LOVE the homemade cards from one of my friends Lindsay. She makes these cards by hand and the attention to detail is beautiful! My family really appreciated receiving these crafty cards this year!

[flickr id="6716322607" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Allan definitely cleaned up this year with new Bauer hockey skates, a complete Shun Japanese knife set and block, a Shaw Gateway & Portal, a new Bern helmet and a Canucks jersey! I got a new GoPro 2, an Alexander McQueen scarf, a gold necklace from my parents, wine glasses, and much needed new pink slippers!

[flickr id="6716322275" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Christmas dinner and dessert was amazing with tons of turkey, chicken, beef short ribs, tiramisu and some lovely wines. Allan and I also brought along a bottle of port from Portugal that we purchased on our honeymoon.

[flickr id="6716321771" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Here’s our family photo this year! I couldn’t resist wearing a sparkly sequined dress for Christmas. Family love!

[flickr id="6716320927" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

Lastly, it was time for New Years. We headed to the Shangri-la this year for an awesome party with a VIP table! It was worth the splurge to have a place to sit down and we all really enjoyed all the champagne and appetizers made by MARKET. It was so fun to spend time with our best buds. Liv, I have some awesome photos of you that are far too hilarious to post ;)

[flickr id="6716319897" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"] [flickr id="6716319727" thumbnail="small" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

There was lots of dancing and fun to be had. I didn’t get our guys in the photos but they are there too!

[flickr id="6716319335" thumbnail="medium" overlay="false" size="large" group="" align="none"]

The rest of our break we spent baking, cooking and just relaxing. We finished three video games (Assassin’s Creed, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Splinter Cell: Conviction) and I finished reading the entire Millenium series of books by Stieg Larsson “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) novels. I also recently finished the Hunger Game series so I’ve been doing a lot of reading!

It's puking snow! Lines filling in... Awesome day with friends :)

Not to mention lots of snowboarding at Cypress, Mount Washington, and Apex Mountain…

All in all, a very good holiday break! Now it’s back to work…

How was your holiday break?


Monday, December 12th, 2011

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

For the very first time since we’ve moved in together (that’s 4 years now!), Allan and I decided to decorate our little apartment with Christmas decorations. And let’s face it, when I say “Allan and I”, I really mean me, since Allan would much rather be playing video games than doing holiday decorations ;) Plus, I’ll be honest — I’ve been suffering a little bit from wedding withdrawal, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to do floral arrangements, place settings and entertaining :)

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

Over the past two weeks, I’ve decorated our home space, the common room at work, and my parent’s house. I’ve been elfing it up this year for some reason! Normally we do Christmas completely over at my parent’s place as they have space to do the big tree… and while Christmas will most definitely still be over there, we are having my folks over for Christmas breakfast this year and wanted to prep the apartment in advance. I decided to do a silver and champagne Christmas theme with red accents.

Festive Flower Arrangement

Champagne and Silver Place Setting Starting to arrange flowers


We hosted a holiday dinner party this past weekend with Trev & Crista and Mat & Ali and managed to find some space for our pop-up table. Seating 6 around this table in our apartment is difficult, so swapped our normal computer desk for a “rolly” desk that we can roll into a different room when we have people over. Awesome! Then it was time for new place settings! I also did all the floral arrangements with fresh roses and Christmas greens.

Low Festive Flower Table Arrangement

Low flower arrangements with large red roses and berries.

Christmas Table Setting

I really like the way our place settings turned out and I think they are versatile enough to use all year round. Or do you think it would be too much for normal entertaining?

Silver Wreath

Here’s a silver wreath we used to bring some festivity to our kitchen.

Fresh Pines and Peppercorn Wreath

And my favourite… a fresh wreath with peppercorns, pinecones and tons of greens… smells so good!

Christmas Decor

Our side table was replaced with some silver Christmas trees and mercury glass candle holders…

Christmas Decor Christmas Decor and Wine

… a couple other accents here and there with reindeer and more candles.

Aftermath of Festive Dinner Party

The aftermath of our dinner party with some holiday decor on our coffee table and a festive throw blanket.

Clarifying Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Making Chocolate Decorations Making Spinach and Beets for Pasta Colouring

I find cooking for 6 people really hard to do with plated dinners, so we did quite a bit of prep the previous night. I learned how to clarify butter for the first time (awesome for searing scallops at an extremely high temperature). I also toasted the pumpkin seeds, prepped the chocolate decorations and the veggies to give the pasta some colour.

Kobe-Style Beef Short Ribs Butternut Squash Cooking Brown Butter Sage Sauce Peas and mint for the puree

The next day, we put the kobe-style marbled beef short ribs in the oven for four hours and got the butternut squash soup going. Some photos of our prep with making the sage sauce, and the minted pea puree.

Making Striped Ravioli Spinach and Beet Striped Ravioli filled with Wild Mushrooms or Butternut Squash

Allan did a really nice job with the striped raviolis. We did beet-coloured ravioli for the butternut squash filled ones, and spinach-coloured ravioli for the wild mushroom filled ones.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Oil with a Parmesan Crisp

First course: Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil, finished with a Parmesan Crisp … we always seem to make this one when other people come over! (recipe)

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Double-Smoked Bacon

Second Course: Seared Scallops in a Minted Pea Puree with Applewood Double-Smoked Bacon

Braised Beef Short Rib with Cauliflower Puree and Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Third Course: Braised Beef Short Rib in a Red Wine Reduction with Cauliflower Puree and duo of Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce (recipe)

Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration

Fourth Course: Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration and Strawberries (recipe)

Our Festive Apartment

Overall I think our dinner party went well and our apartment is looking festive! I think we’re all set for the holidays…. can’t wait for Christmas! Can you believe it’s only 2 weeks away now?

What are your holiday plans this year? Are you going to decorate your place?

[Valid RSS]
About This Blog

My Picture

This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

Recent Comments
  • OHM: Your wedding looked like so much fun! I love all the little touches....
  • Cathy: Wow — amazing photos! I love how outdoorsy you got with your...
  • Denise Chavez: The decor is beautiful!!
  • JonIchinomiya: I luuuuuv this beach! I used to surf it ever weekend for about...
  • T.: Great pics! Congrats! What a lovely wedding.
  • Elsa: wow, your wedding was BEAUTIFUL :D the pictures are AMAZING but I think...
  • Hokkaido Shred: You surfed in your wedding dress?! OUT. OF. CONTROL. I like...
  • Lais: Congrats! Love your wedding pictures. It really look like you had an...
  • johnyrobertsmith: Great shots, Allie! You both look great in the pictures...
  • Jennifer Findlay: Hi Allie…tho se are absolutely stunning photos. You...
Twitter Updates

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter