Marv + Kate | An Outdoor Finger Lakes Wedding

My oh my, it’s almost been a year since I last updated. Say what? But honestly I don’t feel bad about that. The flow of life is like seasons, a time for everything, and the past year has been one of the best seasons I’ve ever had yet. Let me catch you up a bit on what has happened since my last post last May.

I completed my 100 Day Project. I got engaged. I planned our wedding (in 4 months). My husband and I bought a house in Lancaster, PA. We got married. I moved from Upstate, NY to Lancaster, PA. I started a new job. I joined a new church. And I’m trying to settle into a new life, a new family, make new friends, and learn my way around a new area.

Did I say ‘new’ yet? Hello, change.

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It has been oh so good. I love married life. And though I miss my family and friends like crazy this changes has been good for me. In the uncomfortable, growing pains sort of way. All that said this season of life has been a break from my old, normal, routine and now I’m trying to find my new normal. Maybe the season of life is shifting or maybe it’s hints of Spring coming but I’m feeling a new inspiration to be creative again.

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I want to start blogging again. I’m hoping to have some content since I’ll be starting 2017’s the 100 day project again tomorrow (April 4th). I haven’t announced the details yet. I’ve also been working on making our new house a home lately so I want to update a bit about that as well. But until then here are few photos from our wedding.

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Our bridal party. How are we so blessed to have these beautiful people as our friends?

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My nephew Carson is always the flirt.

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Having a the amazing Sari Esh set up the Hors d’oeuvre table was such and win. Thanks for making my foodie dreams come true.

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My bridesmaid Ruth helped me create all of the concrete candle holders for the centerpieces. What was supposed to be a one day project turned into a 3 day affaire. But she helped until the end because she’s cool like that.

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The photos are dreamy. I could gush about David and Sarah for days. They played such a huge role in making our day peaceful and smooth. I will treasure these photos for years to come.

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What can I say? This was the most magical days of our lives. There was a ton of work to do in the month leading up to the wedding day and all the people closest to us stepped in and stepped up to make our wildest dreams come true.

Marv and I could never repay everyone enough for all that was done for us. The people in our lives are incredible. Thank you all.

I could have posted 400 more photos because I am in love with them all but for your sake I condensed it down to the highlights. Here’s a sneak peak into our wedding day.

And a few credits to the people who made our day.

Photo and Video: David and Sarah
Flowers: Anne Lapp
Hair: Patricia Stoltzfus
Make-Up: Beka Caitlin
Venue: Private Residence
Caterer: Bev Weaver
Hors d’oeuvre: Sari Esh

Bike Around the Finger Lakes (Keuka Lake Edition)

I love to bike. It’s my favorite form of exercising next to running. I like the simplicity of running in that all the equipment you need is a pair of shoes (and sometimes not even that if you’re a barefoot runner like I was one summer) but biking I love because of the free falling feeling you get when going down the hills and the far distances you can cover. Exercise for me always had to have a point outside of getting fit, I couldn’t exercise for the sake of exercise. I need to be going somewhere or doing something with my exercise. You won’t catch me in a gym lifting weights or running on a treadmill. My 20 Before 21 list needed to have some exercise items on it and biking around the Finger Lakes seemed like the perfect choice because it included biking and an end goal: win win.

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Let me introduce you to the Finger Lake. It’s a collection of 11 lakes in Upstate New York, most of the are long and skinny giving them their unique name. Legend has it that the lakes were formed when God was finished created the world and he touched it, resting his hand on Upstate New York and leaving an imprint of his fingers. It’s not the most happening area but I personally think it is one of the most beautiful places to live as far as vista goes. The lakes are all different sizes with the three longest being Cayuga, Seneca, and Keuka. Goal number #12 was written rather tentatively as “Bike around the Finger Lakes” I had a dream of biking around all 11 lakes. I realistically knew that I would be very hard pressed to find enough time on the weekends to do all of that biking since one lake could take an entire day to bike around. I gave myself some leeway and said that idealistically I would do all 11 lakes, realistically I would do the three largest (222 miles total), and most likely I would do one. So far I’ve only completed Keuka lake. But friends, that’s still 44 miles!

The Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes

I like biking by myself, it doesn’t bother me, but for a bike ride this long it certainly helps to have a friend along to encourage you to not give up, convince you to take an adventurous detour, or simply keep you company. My friend Rufus (Ruth) decided to join me. We got started on a Sunday morning, meeting in Penn Yan, the town on the north end of the lake, around 10:00 am. We geared up, and headed out Route 54 deciding to go down the west side of the lake first. The west side is less developed and a little hillier so we wanted to knock out those hills at the beginning while we still had the energy and optimism to do so. Keuka is a great lake to bike around because the road stays pretty close to the lake most of the way so you constantly have an amazing view. We started in Penn Yan and we arrived in Hammondsport at the south end of the lake in about 2 hours though we were biking at a leisurely speed.

Pardon my cheesin' on this photo. I must have been happy or somthing.

Pardon my cheesin’ on this photo. I must have been happy or something.

Hammondsport is a cute little touristy town that was once voted America’s Coolest Small Town, by readers of Budget Travel magazine. You can see why, the town is very small with the business district being a few streets with a park in the center. It’s charming and the people are friendly. Several of the restaurants have docks so boaters can dock their boats and stop by for a bite to eat. Rufus and I stopped for some ice cream which made us so cold on this chilly day that we immediately had to go right up the street to a cafe and grab some coffee to warm ourselves. We spent about an hour in Hammondsport exploring little shops and chatting with their owners. We headed out towards 14A, the road that runs along the east side of Keuka lake and made one last stop at the Olney Place for a break and some water to rehydrate ourselves.

The route with mile markers.

The route with mile markers.

That last 3 miles of the ride were definitely the hardest for me. I was tired, sore, and losing will power fast. Having Rufus there to keep me going was a necessity. We finally arrived back in Penn Yan around 3:30 pm. I was so very tired yet not very sore which surprised me since I had only gone biking one other time this summer. I figured I wouldn’t be in shape for it but my body seemed to handle it pretty well. At least that’s what it seemed like until 7:00 am on the following Wednesday.

To be continued.

Learn How to Wakeboard

I was a nervous, bashful child who was scared of dangerous things such as water that was deeper than I was tall and sports that involved strapping my feet to a board and sliding at a high rate of speed over slippery surfaces. My first attempt at snowboarding involved me butt-sliding the whole way down the trail, over and over again until the people on the chair lifts started clapping for me. Apparently that’s insulting. Jerks! I put a fair amount of physical activity items on my 20 Before 21 list but they were all sports that I can do and actually enjoy – mainly biking – so I knew I had to put something more challenging on it as well.

The choice: Wakeboarding.

Before this summer I don’t think I had ever tried wakeboarding before. Or if I had it didn’t end well and I wiped it from my memory. Some friends of mine have a boat so I drafted them (they kindly invited me) to go wakeboarding. The first night we went out I tried about 5 different times to get up but never succeeded. I’m told that the one time I almost made it up but it definitely didn’t feel like it. The second time we went out I was determined to get up. I only have 8 more months to finish up this list and most of that time will be an Upstate NY winter which means no wakeboarding. I got in the water, tightened my boots, held on tight, yelled “ready” and…

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Ta da!

It was amazing, fun, and satisfying to know I accomplished something intimidating. Of course, my brother got in the water after I was finished and demonstrated all his boarding skills.

Here’s a bonus clip of my brother failing a jump just to make myself feel a little less athletically impaired.

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Make Ice Cream

I am so excited to cross the first thing of my newly started 20 Before 21 list. Last summer ice cream making was one of the things I wanted to do but never got around to. So of course I added it to my list since that means I would have to do it. I’m not sure how I will punish myself if I don’t complete this list but whatever I do it’ll be pretty severe. With that in mind I figured I’d better get serious about this ice cream making business. So begins the story of the 20 Before 21 Raspberry Ice Cream Adventure.

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Scattered across our back woods, nestled in the hedgerows and thriving near the stream, are dozens of wild black raspberry bushes. My childhood was filled with summers days spent running barefoot through the trails, swimming in the creek, and fort building in the woods. We, my siblings and I, would complete our dreams of being indians by gathering our own food. We ended up gathering only raspberries, quickly learning that the round red berries were inedible. According to the cowboy and indian novels we read acorns are edible but that’s false as well. Since raspberries were the only food source we’d race down to the best picking spots and try to get the biggest blackest berries first. We’d pick the bushes clean and end up stained and satisfied. Eventually our mom would send us out with a big bucket and direct orders to put the berries in the bucket and not our mouths our else we wouldn’t have any raspberry jam for the winter. That would scare us enough to get at least 75% of the berries in the intended location.

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With berry season in full swing and my brother coming in with a bucket of them every so often I figured it would be the perfect flavor for my ice cream. A quick search on the internet brought up a Blackberry Ice Cream recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Since that amazing cowgirl’s recipes have never once let me down I decided this was the one. It’s a custard recipe which roughly translates to “way more heavy cream than God intended man to consume.” The berries where mashed and heated then the resulting syrup was strained to get rid of the seeds. The fruit syrup was then added the the custard base which resulted in a beautiful rich purple color.

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After dusting off the neglected ice cream maker I filled the cylinder with the custard and surrounded it with salt and ice. I plugged the machine in. I understand that old timers won’t get that part since “when they were a kid they had to crank it by hand until their arm fell off” but ain’t nobody got time for that. Then I waited 25 minutes because that is how long it takes for ice + salt magic to happen. Once the machine started running hard we cracked open the top in peeked inside. a taste test was in order and double dipping may or may not have followed. I couldn’t get over this ice cream. It was rich and creamy like a gelato and gloriously color. The freezing had only darkened the purple hue. I photographed it then glorious dairy bliss ensued. I ate entirely to much of it. I ate it on waffle cones, and in a bowl. I ate it plain, and with dark chocolate shell drizzled on top. I ate it straight out of the ice cream maker then later, straight out of the box. Basically I just ate it however and whenever I saw fit.

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This was a good and tasty way the start off the 20 Before 21 list.
The End.

P.S. It’s very rich so if you make it remember that a little goes a long way. Then again, a lot goes and even longer way;)

FLX Wienery: Delicious in Dundee

As requested in this instagram post here is my review of the new FLX Wienery.

At my job we have this team building activity called Work Perk (which in my opinion sounds too much like ‘work twerk’ for me to be truly comfortable with it). It happens once in every quarter of the year. A certain amount of money is given to each team member then they have to collectively decide what they want to do with it. It often gets spent on lunch or dinner for the entire team which was the case this quarter for my team. We debated over a few different restaurants finally deciding to try out a brand new restaurant just down the road from us. It’s called the FLX Wienery and is located in the building that was formerly R.E.D.S. Hots (formerly Wixon’s). We did a little research before hand to make sure it wasn’t a total hole-in-the-wall. The menu seemed unique with interesting item so with our minds at ease we loaded up our vehicles and headed south.

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The location and exterior aren’t fabulous, although the giant metal pig sign out front made me smile (sorry, no picture). The interior was large and open with plenty of seating. The decor was nothing exciting but a coworker who had been there when it was still R.E.D.S. Hots said it had definitely improved. The Ronettes and Sam Cooke crooned over the speakers. Propped against the wall was a large window pane which served as the menu, the items neatly written across the glass in black paint. There long list included burgers, fries, poutine, shakes, malts and of course weiners.

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I wanted to try a weiner but didn’t feel like making that decision so I instead got the Blues Artist. It’s a burger topped with blues cheese, bacon, fried egg, and fried onions. The blue cheese (yum!) was plentiful and the fried onions tasted somewhat like buffalo chicken. All of this deliciousness was sandwiched between two very plain jane white bread burger buns, which was the only thing I didn’t like about the burger. I also ordered some lemon cilantro home fries (served in a terra cotta flower pot) and a ginger beer, which ended up being a lot of food. You could definitely split the fries with someone.

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I was feeling adventurous so for dessert I ordered, get this, fried Nutella. I love Nutella, I smear it on everything and eat it by the spoonful right along side my peanut butter so I had to try this. I don’t love deep fried foods so I had no idea what to expect. It came out as one giant fried ball with a toothpick jabbed into the side, somewhat resembling a fried Oreo cookie. I took a bit and at first all I got was a mouth full of fried dough, meh, but then out of it seeped warm, rich, sweet, creamy, comforting, calorie laden Nutella. It was good in the unhealthy kind of way. I don’t know if I’ll ever crave it again but it was interesting to try.

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All in all it was a fun casual place and very impressive for being in Dundee (not to pick on Dundee but…yeah). It’s only a few weeks young so it’ll be fun to see where it goes. While you won’t leave here feeling healthy it a great place to grab a quick bite for lunch and try something interesting. Next time I’d like to try their poutine, quinoa + flax salad, and/or some caramel + bacon ice cream.

You can find their website here. They have strange hours so make sure you check them before you head over. Currently their hours are Thursday-Monday 11:30-6:30.

So tell me, do you think fried Nutella sounds appetizing?