Sunday, May 20, 2012

Homemade pizza in my new kitchen

We moved into our new house over a week ago and I haven't been able to cook much in my new kitchen. I know! So sad! So tonight I whipped up a homemade pizza!
Mixed Vegetable and Vidalia Onion Dressing Pizza ~
My mother-in-law, Jenny, uses Vidalia Onion Dressing instead of tomato sauce on her pizzas. I had never heard of Vidalia Onion Dressing but I was pleasantly surprised that it was vegan.  During our last visit, she made 2 large vegetable pizzas, 1 with cheese and 1 without. She is so accommodating! I really lucked out in the in-law department! :) Needless to say, the pizza was delish. This is my second time making a veg pizza inspired by Jenny.

Pizza Crust (I used a premade wheat crust but in the future I will make homemade dough which I think would add more flavor)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 green bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/4 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/4 sweet onion - thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup Vidalia Onion Dressing
Large Tomato - sliced
1/4 cup olives - sliced (I used kalamata olives but any olives would taste wonderful)
Nutritional yeast, oregano, black pepper and salt to taste.

Preheat the oven at 425 degrees.
Crisp up the crust in the oven while sauteing the peppers, onions and mushrooms in the olive oil, about 5 mins.

Spread the dressing onto the pizza crust.

Scatter sauteed vegetables over the dressing.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast in a thin layer over the vegetables and then top with tomatoes, olives, oregano, salt and pepper.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are golden brown.  Serve immediately!

 Check out our new dinning room!

I love the new colorful rug, don't you? ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Going Back In Time: Toole Wedding

I don't think anyone can prepare themselves for how time consuming it is to plan a wedding (or expensive for that matter.) It is worth it though. When the day finally comes, it's the most wonderful day in a girls life! LT and I had 5 months to plan our wedding. Thank goodness we had so many people helping us. Some of my friends spent hours and hours each week helping with decorations, ideas, plans, details that I would have never even thought of. Things like, creating schedules for the wedding party, having props for formal pictures, stocking the bathrooms with advil, mouthwash, stain removers, and tampons, decorating a mantel with our pictures, and so much more.

The ceremony and reception were held at the Sarasota Polo Grounds.
Sarasota Polo Club

This patio is where the Ceremony was held.

Here is the inside of the Club House where we had our reception.
We knew right away that this was the place for us! It was beautiful and it gave us the indoor and outdoor space that we needed and wanted. It was a little pricier than we hoped for but they were by far the most flexible about letting us set up on Friday, have the wedding on Saturday and clean up on Sunday.

Venue: Check! Date of the wedding: Check!

It wasn't hard to choose our Officiant. Our very good friend and Pastor at our Church, Nic Williams.
Pastor Nic Williams
 We really love this guy! And his wife, Lory, and 2 kids, Aubrey and Noah. Great people!

Officiant: Check!

So far so good.

We decided to hire a Photographer from our Venice Area Young Professional's group. In the beginning, she seemed to know her stuff and was very enthusiastic about doing our photos. We purchased a 4 hour package which included a 2nd photographer and a few prints. She also gave us a mini session to use for engagement photos.

These were the "sneak peak" photos that she posted on Facebook which I did not see until my friend texted me asking me what I thought about the pictures. (Actually, she asked me how the photographer managed to give me 5 chins in the 4th photo shown above. ~ gotta love Katie's honesty! ) LT and I were unhappy with all of them except for the ring picture. I wanted to be sure that she understood the "look" we were going for so I requested to see the rest of the photos. It had been 2 months since the photos were taken and we only got to see these 5 pictures. Since the wedding was 5 weeks away and these photos were not a good representation of what we wanted for our wedding photos, we decided to let her go as our Photographer. 

We were without a Photographer and it was just weeks before the wedding. Luckily, we found Christine Nicole Photography. She was amazing. Super sweet and very accommodating. Her prices were a bit higher than the previous Photographer but I guess when they say, "you get what you pay for," it's true! In the end, we were so happy with our choice to hire Christine. 

Photographer: Check!

Let's talk hair. I love love love my hair guy, Steve. Poor poor Steve. He got to see the mini bridezilla in me. It took SEVERAL hair trials to make me happy. I kept changing my mind about what I wanted my hair to look like. Here are a couple pictures of the hair trials.
Here is the 1st try. The extensions felt glamorous but it also felt a little fake and unnatural.
Here is the 3rd or 4th try.
Final product. Simple sleek updo.
Hair: Check!

Shopping for my dress was a lot of fun! I tried on a couple dresses in Dallas with my Mom.

But ultimately I got my dress in Sarasota. There will be plenty of pictures of my dress later. :)

Dress: Check!

Looking back, all the plans went pretty smoothly. I wish I would have enjoyed the moments instead of stressing out so much.

I was so excited when our families and friends started arriving into town. Suddenly all of the planning started to feel real.

Gma and Hayley

Dad and Daniele

Mom and Chris

Katie, Us, Felicity and her bf, Luke

Uncle Dickie, Brenda and Beth
Ricky and Ang

Chris and LT having fun :)

The day of the wedding was so relaxing. I spend the whole day being pampered by my family and friends. It was such an amazing experience. I often wish I could relive Oct 15, 2011 over and over again. I think the pictures can tell the rest of the story...

More great photos on my uncle Dickie's blog:

I hope you enjoyed our wedding story! Thank you to all of you that were there to help us physically, emotionally, financially and just being in our lives. Love y'all!