September 2012 Archive

The HGE Drink Diaries: Velvet Smooch Shake

I’m a junk food eater. And I never thought I’d catch myself saying that but I have a weakness for food that’s so good it’s bad. If it’s chocolately, sugary, sweet or some form of pasta or carbs, then you can bet I’ll enjoy devouring it. So while I’m over here finding the motivation to chomp out on a head of broccoli you can head to your kitchen to whip up this delicious milkshake that would clearly suffice as the perfect breakfast substitute (well maybe not for breakfast but then again this girl had two snack size Snickers this morning so with me anything really goes). Introducing the second drink in the HGE drink diaries:

Velvet Smooch Shake

• one pint Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream
• four shots of coffee flavoured Baileys
• 1/4 to 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
• 2 to 4 white chocolate baking squares
• loose sweetened coconut flakes
• a couple big handfuls of ice

The drink wouldn’t be practical as a signature drink but instead something to enjoy with girlfriends or as an after dinner kind of dessert. It’s very rich, smooth and sweet but who ever said these things were bad? With that being said, to make two good sized shakes you’ll need a pint of Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream (go big or go home), some Baileys (the more the merrier), some white chocolate for your glass rims, some loose sweetened coconut flakes and last but not least some whipping cream. I told you this drink was low in calories right? :) Oh, don’t forget the ice cubes too. Those are always quite necessary in shakes.

To start, melt your white chocolate baking squares in a heat-proof bowl over the stove top (in a shallow frying pan filled with water) constantly stirring the chocolate so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. White chocolate is super sensitive so watch yourselves, my brothers and sisters. This melting technique is the same one I used to make these little cuties over here too.

Pour the melted chocolate into a bowl wide enough to comfortably fit the rim of your milkshake glass, dip and twist your glass rim in the chocolate and then roll a few times in a bowl of loose coconut flakes to cover as much as the chocolate as possible. Let your glasses sit upright as the chocolate hardens with the coconut stuck to it. Try to refrain from licking the chocolate off.

You can scoop, or just dump the entire pint of ice cream into your blender.

Followed by a little bit of the good stuff. Also known as coffee flavoured Baileys. Or any flavor will really do. I put about 4 shots of Baileys into the blender so that’s two shots per milkshake which was enough to taste but not too much that you felt like running to the washroom to throw out your drink if someone were to give it to you because it was too strong. When you’ve added in your Baileys be sure to eat all of the leftover melted chocolate sitting in the bowl feeling all lonely and stuff.

Then you’ll toss in a few handfuls of ice, before you blend everything up really good. Once most of the ice chunks sound like they are blended in well, you will add in your whipping cream. Puppy mouth spout cream holder is optional but way cute. I poured about 1/4 to a half of a pint of cream into the blender. I’m not sure if this really did much for the shake in the end but I sure felt ten times better and that much more satisfied just knowing it was in there so don’t hold back on the cream, my friends.

Once it’s all mixed up you can pour in your rimmed glasses only to finish with a pretty straw and coconut garnish.

Et voila!

Men love this stuff too. See? Happy husband.

See more drink recipes here. And go say hello to Kelly Braman for the lovely photos :) She’s the best xoxo

Happy Anniversary, Shawna and Mick!

A year ago today I arrived to a downtown Toronto hotel to check on a bride as she got ready for the biggest day of her life. Surrounded by her sweet friends and adoring Mom, she couldn’t stop smiling and genuinely looked like one of the happiest brides I’ve ever seen. Across the street from the hotel waited a groom, decked out in the most suave of suits, perhaps a little on the nervous side, just waiting for his gorgeos bride to finally arrive and begin their forever together. Shawna and Mick remind me a lot of Andrew and I which could be why I have a soft spot in my heart for them. Shawna is Canadian and Mick is from Australia so if there’s anyone who understand how difficult it is to pack up and gain residency is a new country all in the name of love, it’s me. Shawna and Mick, enjoy your specail day today and always and never lose that love you have for one another. It was a pleasure being a part of your big day and an honor to watch your relationship as it continues to grow. Big hugs xoxo

And the amazing above photo was snapped by the sweet Assaf Friedman. Love him! See more from their day, here :)

Our Wedding Anniversary

Andrew, today I checked over on The Knot and it’s been 731 days since we said I Do. Two full years of things we never imagined. Year two in my opinion, is much harder than the first. Because sometimes the excitement from year one goes away, and unless you can work together as a team marriage can be really kind of hard. But you’ve been such a constant rock for me. You tolerate me, my weaknesses, my bad habits. You encourage me, believe in me, and most of all continually love and nurture me. When I think about it there’s nothing incredibly special about you and I together. Except that I think our love story is the sweetest of them all. Here’s to dozens of more years together eating cake and at our cores, being simply put, happy xoxo

More of our wedding can be over viewed here and here. And our one year anniversary over here. In the meantime I will be trying to juggle half a work day with half a day of anniversary celebration prep so this little lady is off to multitask like never before. Lots more goodness coming you way this week so hold tight my friends and soak up that sunshine. Happy Monday!

Claire + Doug {E-Session by The Goodness}

Sometimes simple is best. If there’s one thing I love about my job (I know, I know, ‘But Rhi, it seems you have a LOT of things you love about your job!’) it’s the lessons my clients teach me. And that would be the big one I’ve learned from Claire and Doug time after time. Over the past year and then some I’ve worked with these two (well mostly Claire, really :) to plan a wedding day celebration that is going to be beautiful and meaningful but best of all, simple in the most perfect of ways. Claire and Doug have a sweet story, a remarkable relationship that’s easy to admire the second you encounter them together and a warmness about them both that would make any wedding planner feel as downright lucky as I do to have them as clients.

Their gorgeous and uber rad engagement photos were shot last fall in Santa Monica where they used to live. They actually were able to go back to the spot were Doug proposed to Claire which you can read more about over here, but this past spring they made the move back to Chicago where they can now start their happily ever after together. Lisa and Geoff you captured Claire and Doug so wonderfully. I cannot wait to meet you tomorrow and work together Saturday! And Claire and Doug, I could just squeeze you both. Enjoy the next few days of whirlwinded-happiness (I totally just made up that word) xoxo

I’m fairly confident it isn’t fair to be this gorgeous. Check out Claire’s baby blues :)

Love this little series and that awesome neon green wall too. Just in time for the neon trend to start!

Isn’t this shot fab? I’m diggin’ the vibe of this photo and love that huge tree.

And a few more beautiful photos. I love the romance in these. And if you’re looking for my pick of what photo from Claire and Doug’s engagement session should go on a canvas, this would be it. I’m a big softie for negative space, and if that negative space is pure white I’m all over it. Claire and Doug, canvas this beauty up and hang it in that gorg condo of yours!

At the spot overlooking the water where Doug proposed…

And enjoying a little bit of that gorgeous sun before it disappears past the horizon.

Ok wait this needs to also be blown up canvas style.

And maybe just for kicks this one too.

I love the bright lights in the background. But I especially love the looks on Claire and Doug’s faces. I think I can probably expect to see these same expressions more than a few times this weekend. Thanks a ton for sharing these photos with me, Lisa and Geoff, and happy Thursday, friends. Enjoy the rest of this chilly but sunny fall day. Catch you all tomorrow xoxo

Pep Talk Tuesday {Just Keep on Swimming}

For all of you bloggers who continue to blog day after day even if you get just two comments on a post that took hours of work, for all of you designers who stay up until midnight, or 1:00 am or 5:00 am because you know you your clients are going to just love their table rendering/invite design/highlight reel, for all of you Moms and Dads that struggle to find the balance between parenthood and your professional career, for the professionals who go the extra mile, or the extra three miles even if it means spending your own money or putting in more time than others, for the 55 year olds going to college for the first time, for the high schoolers setting out to raise thousands for a good cause, for the wedding planners that pray every night to book just one more wedding so you can pay your bills and pump gas next without hesitation, to the bakers and pastry chefs who can’t lift their arms the next day thanks to the hundreds of fondant sugar roses they were lovingly creating the day before, to the business owners who hate twitter, dislike facebook and are confused with blogging but still try to figure it all out because they know it’s important, to the student balancing their graduate studies with two part time jobs, to the entrepreneurs who work on weekends, who work past 5:00 pm, who miss birthdays, trips and happy hour, because they have goals, dreams, aspirations, crazy crazy out there aspirations, who put rebrands, business cards and a new office desk chair before trips to Europe and fancy new cars, to everyone and anyone that has ever been told no, no thanks, try again, and not this time, to anyone who understands the value of hard work but may feel so totally frustrated and alone in the moment, this one’s for you.

Just keep on swimming. You can do it. And it’s WORTH it.

Photo via Kelly Braman.