September 30, 2008

All the Light in Your Eyes

For quite some time I've been vigilantly reading a blog I came across when clicking on link after link. I'm not exactly sure how I found it or what was posted to make me click on the RSS feed ... some mysteries shouldn't be answered ;)

The blog in question is by Jennifer S. called .: Earth Friendly Weddings :. I absolutely love how Jennifer keeps things light, humourous and so educational!!! Her aim is to help her readers find new and exciting green ways of life and showcasing funky new products they should look out for. From that quick description you may come to the conclusion that Jennifer's business is planning, something to do with research, maybe even teaching ... nope! Her main love is actually invitations. Beautiful invitations, I might add. Please visit her main site called .: Earthly Affair :. for details on how she's saving the planet one step at a time :)

There's another reason I wanted to give Jennifer a shout out ... she's agreed to pop over here to be a guest author! We're hoping it will turn into a recurring piece so give her a warm welcome and encourage her to keep writing!

Thanks Jennifer ... looking forward to your reads ...

Let’s Go Shopping Baby Then We’ll Go To A Café

You may have noticed that I don't often cruise Etsy for jewelry. It's not that I don't like what there is ... far from it! I just don't look at it very often as I make my own (.: old samples :.).

Some designs have been catching my eyes though so I thought I would do an accessory-themed Etsy week!

Love this idea. Vintage pieces aredefinitely all the rage but how about jewelry made from vintage china? These 'matching' necklaces are by .: TheBrokenPlate :.

Mayan numerology is a system of lines and dots that can be used to commemorate a special day. .: naturalezanica :. has incorporated this art into gorgeous rings!

.: BridalEmunique :. has this spectacular piece made with organic pearls ...

This vintage hand-etched necklace by .: found11objects :. is a favourite of mine. There's something so timeless and romantic about the locket ...

Are you looking for a wedding band outside of the traditional gold or silver? .: ShadeJewelry :. may have what you're looking for ...

Recycled vintage jewelry makes up this bracelet by .: jewelrybyallison :.

More vintage! This starburst brooch by .: jdziurznska :. is such a stunning accent piece ... and affordable, too!

How about something for the men? These cuff links by .: dedalo :. add a great touch of class!

Not quite jewelry but an accessory just the same! This colourful headband from .: houseoftelsa :. is great for everyone from the bride to the bridal party to guests!

And my favourite of the week is completely frivolous ... but so me ...

Being a computer geek, this CTRL-ALT-DEL necklace by .: capitolagirl :. is perfect for me. Gift time ;)

Before You Buy Fall Makeup......

Clean Our Your Shoebox!

This fall, I'm amazed at how many different shade statements the cosmetic companies are showing.

For the eyes, I've seen everything from reds, golds and burgundys, to smudgy shades of slate, pewter, and concrete. Soft, earthy tones never go out, and some manufacturers are creating "the smokey eye" with emeralds, coppers and gun metals.

With all these different color stories, how does any woman know which ones are best for her.

Before you go off buying the latest and greatest trends, you may want to go back to basics and see exactly what you have, what you need and what you're not using. Whether you keep your makeup in a cosmetic bag or opt for the ever popular shoebox, think of the fall and spring seasons as ideal times to clean out, throw out and freshen up. Yup...PURGE YOUR MAKEUP BAG!

If you're like many women, you have a vast assortment of cosmetics you've collected over the years when "Dallas" was the top rated show and frosty, blue eyes were in. It's old, outdate and definitely not hygienic. Broken items, especially powders, will only cause you grief as they will inevitably sprinkle over your freshly laundered blouse forcing a wardrobe change you weren't prepared for. Unused things in our lives....whether they are big or small....are always clutter.

Your very first step is to overcome your separation anxiety and set aside one hour to pull out and inspect your cosmetic items.

Start with your mascara. If you've had it for 3 months, it must go. Mascara tubes harbor bacteria and should always be replaced every 3 months whether you use it daily or not.

Then, get rid of the antiques and the colors you just won't wear anymore. Remember ladies....we must age adjust our makeup so if you're 30+ and have nothing but glitter filled makeup, you need to update and introduce some mattes into your arsenal.

Work your way into lipsticks and smell each and everyone. You will know if it's off simply by a funny smell. Or, feel the texture....if it's dry, gummy, or streaky when you apply it to your hand, then it's no good. Wand glosses can also harbor bacteria, especially if a person gets cold sores or sun blisters. Again, three months maximum for these.

I could go on and on, but you get the point....out with the old and battered first.

Your next step would be to book an hour with me to go through what's left. I'll help you with items you're unsure about purging, try to maximize the use of what you already long as it's suitable, and recommend the best items to fill in what you're missing.

You'll get a full makeup application, using yours and mine, that gives you an updated look and some fresh new items to work with. This service is complimentary every fall and spring when you purchase Wink Cosmetics.

And, if you find yourself wanting to toss it all and start from scratch, then allow me to customize a full face for you with the 10 cosmetic items that will take you from day to night, from season to season and from outfit to outfit.

So ladies, think about this. What would you rather have.....a shoebox filled with years worth of cosmetics that's cost you way more than you think....OR....the ten essential makeup items.....which is all you need....customized and demonstrated just for you for under $200?

For more tips, tune into Lifestyles With Rita Nave on Tuesday Sept 30 on Channel 12 CHEX TV at 5:30 for Makeup In Motion's segment on "Purging Your Cosmetic Bag".

September 29, 2008

I Love Your Crazy Heart

Stumbled upon some funky centrepiece ideas today so I thought I'd pass them along. You absolutely don't have to keep your table with just flowers (it's nice when you don't, actually!) or if you do want flowers, there are some great ways to display them ...

Creative use of a placemat ...

Single vases with single stems ...

Not-so-real flowers ...

How about fruit?

Getting ready for the holidays ...

And my favourite centrepieces at the moment ... plants!

So get out there and use your imaginations, folks. This can be the perfect project to show off your personalities :)

September 26, 2008

I am slowly going crazy... 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5, 6, switch!

Last night was my first official night of minimal sleep, due to thinking about my upcoming wedding. Today marks 22 days from the “Big Day”! I kept tossing and turning, waking up, and having a difficult time falling back to sleep. When I was sleeping, I was dreaming about the wedding, but don’t ask me what I dreamt about, because I honestly cannot remember.

Every bride out there dreams about her wedding. Hmmm, let me rephrase that. Every bride out there dreams about what can go wrong with her wedding. Yes, that’s more accurate. And every bride out there can confirm that we call these dreams “Weddingmares”! I thought today I would share some of mine with you :)

Weddingmare #1
I’m at the church, fully dressed, waiting for the day to start. I realize that I am not wearing my veil and begin to panic because I don’t know where it is and the ceremony is about to start. I’m scrambling, running around, looking for someone (anyone!!) to help me, and no one is to be found. Then, I turn, and there’s my fiancé. I immediately begin to cry because a) I’m not wearing my veil, which was part of my attire and b) he saw me before the ceremony.

Weddingmare #2
The ceremony begins and everything is going as planned. Beautiful! My fiancé and I are at the foot of the alter, and our priest is saying the more beautiful words I’ve ever heard. Then, he pauses, looks behind us and I turn to see what he’s looking at. I see my future mother-in-law trying to quietly sneak out of the church. The priest questions her, and her reply was “Oh…. Well, Square One is having a side-walk sale today, and I don’t want to miss it!”

Weddingmare #3
I’m in a room before the ceremony and my dress is falling off. Literally. I’m standing there physically holding it up. In my dream, the dress was a corset back, and whoever did me up that morning, didn’t tie it up properly. Holding my ta-ta’s, I begin to run down the hall, looking for my matron of honour, or a bridesmaid to help me fix the error, but no one is to be found. The only person I could find was my young niece who has no idea what to do to fix it. I immediately start to cry. Then, suddenly, I’m surrounded by all the women in my life, who begin mocking me, calling me a “bridezilla” for crying over something so trivial.

I’m not the only one who suffers from these weddingmares. Oh no. In fact, my fiancé has had several himself. I’ll share two of them with you.

Fiancé Weddingmare #1 (in fact, this is a recurring one)
Fiance wakes up, it’s the morning of the wedding and he has not written his speech yet. He begins to panic. (NOTE: I’ve told him that this is his subconscious warning him to start writing his speech!!)

Fiancé Weddingmare #2 (this one made me laugh!)
We’re all at the church, and fiancé is waiting at the front, like all grooms do. The ceremony begins, but it’s turned into a Broadway musical, where the groomsmen are dancing with jazz hands, and the bridesmaids are sashaying down the aisle. Fiancé is looking around confused, not knowing what’s going on, and not sure what to do himself.


I keep reminding myself that we’re just 3 weeks away, then all the weddingmares will be over and we can begin to enjoy our lives (and hopefully a good night’s sleep!) as husband and wife!

September 25, 2008

Oh, Let's Go Back To The Start

Somehow, this one blog entry (my first ever) has taken me about a month to write. I just could not figure out what I could blog about first, but I realized the best thing would be an introduction!
So here I am.

My name is Nicole and I am a second year student at the University of Guelph. I am in commerce, for Tourism Management. No, I'm not going to be a travel agent. I am (as of now) going to be an event planner.
I know that you can take courses, or specificaly take "event planning" at college, but I am a pretty indecisive girl, and thought my best bet would be to get a BCOMM to at least keep my options open and learn all about business. And I REALLY want my work to include travel, so I think it fits perfectly.
So how did I decide on this? It was a huge step for me, and if I decided when most of my friends did, I would be going to OCAD for art design. But I decided to take a year off after high school, and ended up planning my prom. And I realized that I can put my creativity and organizational skills together perfectly through event planning. The more I researched it, the more I loved it.
I finished my first year, and found out how great the field of hospitality and tourism is. Just imagine having about 200 students and teachers who are dedicated to making other people happy and comfortable. How jealous are you now?

When summer came, I started looking for a job. I really wanted experience, but I didn't think there would be much available in the Durham area. But after a search on google, I found some great hits. The company I was most impressed by was Moments That Shine.
After looking through the site and the stunning portfolio, I contacted Susan who agreed to meet with me. We really hit it off and she (and Sophie and James) let me shadow at their wedding. It was an amazing experience and I was luckily asked back to continue to work with Susan. My summer with Moments That Shine confirmed my thoughts about event planning, and I'm even more excited to be back at school working towards my goals.
And that takes us to about now (however, leaving all those great weddings out). Before I left for Guelph, Susan asked if I would be interested in blogging and I thought it would be a great idea. This is a field that is slowly becoming more popular, but still needs some exposure. So as I learn more about it, I would like to help others learn too. So for my time here, I'll be the "rookie" and hopefully I will be able to pass on my new-found-knowledge about this wonderful industry!

I'm Thinking About Eternity

Registering for your wedding gifts can be daunting. Many couples head of to HBC (no offense), grab the scanner and start aimlessly picking objects just to get it done. Fear not ... there are options out there! I'm talking about other big department stores, either. In fact, I'm going to completely shift the focus over to eco-conscious ways to register.

There are many stores in the GTA where you can register for linens, bath items, candles and even furniture and they're environmentally friendly. A great one is called .: Organic Lifestyle :. located in the heart of Yorkville.
They have bamboo towels, hemp shower curtains ... even clothing if you feel so inclined!

This isn't the only green store in the area though. Try doing a Google Search or use a great directory like .: Ecosource's Green Guide :.

A few other favourites of mine are placing a note on your invitation (or good old-fashioned word-of-mouth) saying you would be honoured if people donated to a specific charity in your name. It will make your guests feel good and you'd be contributing to cause near and dear to you.

For those who are budget conscious, set up a registry with your travel agency. Most agents are experienced in this now and are only too happy to accommodate. The great part for you is your honeymoon is a lot easier on the wallet. Do something special for your guests though. Designate each thing as something Jane or Bob contributed to an snap a photo. When you get home, tuck that in your thank you note.

And lastly, if you have everything you need and really don't wish for your guests to give anything, say so. This isn't easy for everyone but it's worth a shot!

Belles, bubbles and...ballet?

As I said last week, guys can surprise you. They will have opinions on things that you’d never expect and then be completely unconcerned about other issues.

The wedding dress is one of those things. I never expected MM to care much about what I’d wear, short of seeing me in some sort of dress on The Day. Being a typical Canadian guy, I didn’t think MM would really have many opinions one way or another of how I should look.

Yet again, I was wrong.

He caught a glimpse of my computer screen the day after our wedding planning chat. I was browsing a few of the big Internet bridal dress retailers, and had one dress in particular zoomed up on my browser window.

MM: “what IS that?”

Me: “Um.. it’s a wedding dress?”

MM: “What? Really? Where is the rest of it?”

Me: “Rest of it? What do you mean?”

MM: “There is no top on it!”

Now, this dress I was looking at was no Vegas-themed cut-down-to-there and slit-up-to-there sexy backless and short number. By today’s bridal dress standards, it was pretty normal. Done in pale gold silk taffeta, it had a strapless sweetheart beaded bodice, shirred waist, trumpet skirt with swirls of embroidery at one hip and along the hem and a lace-up corset back with chapel length train.

Somehow though, this fairly standard and current wedding dress style bothered MM. His “no top” comment was my key to understanding this newly perplexed man.
Me: “No top? Oh… you mean it’s strapless?”

MM: “Yeah. Strapless is slutty. Whatever happened to modesty at weddings?”

MM then looked directly at my face, down to my chest, then back to my face, ending up staring once again at the dress on my computer screen.

I got the confusion. Given that I’m busty, I too have worried about how I’d keep the girls “locked and loaded” as they say on one of my fave TV shows, What Not To Wear) in a strapless gown. But I’d seen plenty of wedding pics online by then to know that somehow women manage. I’d also read the stats in the wedding magazines that said something around 80% of gowns made today for brides were strapless. But, while I, too, found it a bit odd, I don’t think I found it as scandalous as MM apparently did.

Since then, he’s looked at dozens of dresses with me, online and in magazines. He’s commented on many of them, in very vocal terms, and he apparently has a whole repertoire of ways to describe female bridal fashion.

For a silky slinky charmeuse number:
“Too nightgown-y”.

For a full skirt confection made of multiple layers of tulle:
“Wow! ballet princess”.

Upon assessing a gown with gathered pickups all over the skirt:
“Why is the skirt torn up like that? Or … dented? Yeah, dented… it looks like iron kept getting caught in all that material. What is the deal with that?”

For a very lacey A-line with full crinolines underneath:
“Looks like a knitted toilet roll cover, like grandmas make”.

While I laughed at more than a few of these observations of his, they also stuck with me. Now, as I head out today to try on wedding dresses for the first time at a Maggie Sottero trunk show, I’m going to have a little MM devil on my shoulder, giving me a running guy commentary on each dress as they show it to me or try to coax me into it.

And I’m going to be worried about straplessness and whether anyone will notice the colour of my eyes or my earrings if I wear a strapless gown.

Thanks luv.

Photo credit: Toilet doll by Etsy seller lkscraftcreations

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September 24, 2008

Take a Walk When Autumn Comes to Town

It's my favourite season! Minus the havoc it wreaks on my sinuses, that is.
With the chill in the air, I was inspired to find Etsy goodies all about material. Some won't keep you warm all day but they're sure to delight just the same :)

This shawl by .: Ellita :. may be for summer but what a great colour for all of you autumn brides!

Also from .: Ellita :. is this 'Ghost Bride Veil' ... eek! ;)

This may not be material but because but because of the woven look, I had to include it! Love this ring by .: galit :. ... love the price, too!

How about this completely hand-knit dress by .: thesorceress770 :.? It comes with a matching shrug ... great alternative for off-beat brides!

This will *not* keep you warm. Not during the wedding anyhow ;) This garter is by the appropriately named, .: GarterLady :.

Do you need gift ideas for your bridal party? These clutches from .: keykalou :. are colourful and funky!

And my favourites this week?

First is a very simple, yet warm idea. A knit tie! Can be worn on a man or woman and it's also made from 100% recycled yarn. Yay .: littlepurls :.

I also LOVE this shrug wrap by .: luxe :. It's warm, soft and so delicate!

September 22, 2008

The Brain of a Bride-To-Be

Yesterday was my 30th birthday, and I have to admit, it was probably my best yet! It was a smaller celebration than usual, but much more meaningful. If you’re keen on your astrology knowledge, you’d realize that I’m a Virgo, which brings me to the topic of today’s post.

I’m a Virgo, through and through. Just to give you an idea, let’s analyze the traits of a Virgo.

The Pro’s
Modest and shy
Meticulous and reliable
Practical and diligent
Intelligent and analytical

The Con’s
Fussy and a worrier
Overcritical and harsh
Perfectionist and conservative

I pride myself on my perfectionist ways, my organized planning and even though it’s not a very nice word, I openly admit that I’m quite anal when it comes to planning and details. I also have an unbelievable memory that all my girlfriends envy, and my fiancé fears. Heh ;) I can recite, word for word, conversations that I’ve had with people, I can tell you what you were wearing the first time I’ve met you, and I can give you teeny tiny minute details to events that have happened in the past. So yes, it’s something my fiancé fears.

As a bride-to-be however, some external force takes over your body and even the most anal Virgo (*ahem*, me) loses some of her abilities. This, my friends, is what brides-to-be affectionately refer to as “Wedding Brain”. And I, unfortunately, am suffering from it.

I’ve forgotten to hand in my invoices at work (which is huge because without it, I don’t get paid!), I have the same 2 envelopes sitting by my front door to be mailed (for about 2 weeks now!), I’ve borrowed a friends book and have finished it but continually forget to bring it back to her, I keep telling my friend the same story over and over because I cannot remember that I’ve already told her (how embarrassing!) and I cannot count the number of times I’ve turned to someone and said “Shoot… I was going to tell you something but I completely forget what I was going to say!”

Needless to say, given my normally infallible memory, my friends are all testing my forehead for fever while asking “What’s wrong with you?!”

I always said that I wouldn’t be one of those brides that continually talks about her wedding, or who vacates all other areas of her life to focus on her wedding, but I have to be 100% honest with you…. It’s truly difficult to prevent this from happening when something so huge consumes your life. I’m just one of those lucky girls who has lovingly patient friends who smile and pat me on the head while I stare blankly at them because I’ve forgotten something else.

Hmmm… maybe this is why us brides have bridesmaids? So they can be our brains during our planning process ;)

September 19, 2008

I am a Beauty ... It Just Takes Me Four, Five Hours a Day

Pretty much every woman wears makeup. And I'm going to take a really big risk and say most will want makeup worn on their wedding day. Well, whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a makeup artist, you should be educated about what's touching your skin.

I'm not a saint (stop gasping). I've worn makeup and makeup with chemicals for years. I've been wanting to change to something more organic for a while now but as far as priorities go, it wasn't #1 on my list. Then my eye happened. Let me explain. To any of you who haven't had the 'pleasure' of seeing me in the past little while, it looks like someone clocked me in the right eye. It honestly looks like a fresh punch. I've been to the doctor a couple of times and he chalked it up to allergies. I was told to stop wearing makeup until it clears up (which it STILL hasn't). Perfect opportunity to get rid of my old makeup and look for something more natural! It wasn't easy but it was done.

My first stop was actually the place for me ... Pure + simple spa. They carry two lines of organic cosmetics that I ended up sampling. And I have to give a shout out to the ladies working there ... amazing customer service!

There are really only a couple of things I use regularly ... concealer and eye shadow. According to staff, I don't need concealer (did I mention I love them?) but I picked some up because I like to have it handy. .: Jane Iredale :. has a luscious line I've fallen in love with. Some benefits:
* Non-comedogenic, will not block pores.
* Virtually no allergy risk. All products have been sensitivity tested.
* Broad-spectrum UVB and UVA protection - up to SPF 20.
* Anti-inflammatory, helps to calm and soothe irritated skin.
* Very water resistant rating by an approved FDA lab.
* Complete coverage for skin conditions like acne, rosacea and redness following treatments like chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
* Contains no talc or parabens.
* Composed of inert minerals that cannot support bacteria.
* Environmentally aware.
* No products have been tested on animals

Over to eyeshadow. I'm an eyeshadow junkie. I could have bought every colour in the store. I decided to switch from the Jane Iredale line and take a look at .: Pure + simple's own line :.
So many shades and so little time! I particularly liked how light everything felt on my face. And how much fun is this ... the colours can be used on lips and cheeks as well! Did I mention the prices are less than Sephora? Yes ladies ... check it out. Pure + simple has four locations in Toronto but if you don't live here, don't despair ... you can buy their products online!

Happy shopping :)

September 18, 2008

I'll Be There For You

Woohoo! Coming soon practically across the street from me ...

Why am I so excited? Besides not having to go to Starbucks, Tim Hortons and the like, I now am going to have a coffee house around the corner where I'm going to be able to support a local small business. Annnnnd ... it's FAIR TRADE COFFEE!!! To learn more about fair trade coffee, visit the .: Fair Trade Toronto :. website.

This is something I've wanted to touch on for a while now because it really does apply to events as well. Many people don't realize that some of the things we take for granted in life can be made more socially conscious. Everything from favours to invites to your honeymoon has a fair trade alternative. A great resource can be found .: HERE :. and I fully encourage you to check it out! One that caught my eye is .: Handmade Expressions :. I love this guestbook!

Get out there and research the good in the world! :)

What Men Want

Guys can really surprise you sometimes. You think you know them really well, almost inside out in fact, then they hit you with a new piece of information that has you going “whoooa! Never saw that coming”.

Or is it just wedding planning that does that to them?

This has happened quite a bit recently, in some surprising places. When MM and I sat down in a little village pub one evening a week after the proposal, we knew we’d be discussing wedding plans. When, who, how much and definitely what. We were able to quickly agree on our overall style and feel and a bunch of other details. Like a lot of guys, MM is pretty laid back about this stuff and tends to acquiesce to my vision of the way things should be. We both agreed that weddings can get stupid expensive if you aren’t careful and we wanted to have money left over from his deployment windfall to have a fab honeymoon and a nest egg for a house down the road. We agreed to cut corners where possible and not spend on un-necessary things.

But then the talk turned to clothing; specifically to how we and the wedding party should dress for the event.

And that’s where it happened...

Me: “I was thinking I’d go to a few consignment shops and check out their wedding dress section. You can get some really beautiful gowns cheap that way.”

MM: “Used? You were thinking of buying a used dress? Nuh huh, no way. Get a real dress”.

Me: “ A what?” … *lots of blinking as I scrambled to think of what to say* … “They are real dresses.”

MM: “ But they have been worn before right? So they’re used. Ick.” *scrunch face of disapproval*…. “No, You should buy a proper dress.”

While I was still reeling from this info and trying to figure out what it was about a worn-once wedding dress that caused him to balk so hard, the conversation turned to the male attire for the party.

Me: “What were you thinking of wearing? Your dress uniform”?

MM: “Gah! No, no way. *visible shudder* I’ll wear a suit, I guess. Or a tux, sure. And maybe my dress brogues from the uniform, because no civvie shoes can shine that hard. But no way I’m wearing my uniform”.

I suggested the dress uniform because I am proud of who he is and what he does for a living, and I wanted him to feel comfortable and be himself on our “big day”. Since he is a military man, I thought it logical he’d want to wear his uniform. The refusal and the shudder perplexed me.

Now, I’ve heard his take on being out in public in uniform before and I’ve seen it first hand while having coffee at a doughnut shop before work or grabbing groceries with him after work. The stares, the whispers, the frowns of disapproval, the weird people who pull their children away as if they’re afraid MM will go postal on them or something equally stupid. That is when he is in his “combats” as they’re called; the green camouflage-printed baggy pants tucked into dull black combat boots, the equally baggy jacket over a military green tshirt, all topped by a green felt beret with his regimental cap badge on the front crest area. However, I’ve never heard him react too much about his dress uniform. Granted, he rarely ever wears it. Being army, he gets to go to work in his combats (or “pajamas” as the guys laughingly refer to them, because of how comfortable they are). Other military branches have to wear their dress uniform daily.

So why not his dress uniform? Stares from non-military people at the wedding? They’re all family and close friends, it shouldn’t matter, right? Or was it that he figured he’d want to forget for one day the fact that he was a military man and just be a regular guy? Was he wanting to wear a kilt, since he is proudly Scottish?

All plausible possibilities. But as it turns out, none of these are the reason.

The reason? I asked.

Me: So why not your uniform?”

MM: “Have you seen the colour? That sickly pale green shirt? Ugly! And the jacket makes me look fat.”

And there you go. My colour blind and rather buff proud military man refuses to wear his dress uniform because the colour is ugly and he doesn’t like the way it makes his tummy look.

Yep, guys. They can definitely surprise you sometimes.

…more in this story about our wedding planning to come next week

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September 16, 2008

I'll Be There To See The New Green Leaves Grow

I opened up my email on Monday to find one from The Wedding Co. that made me smile. Remember when I made that post about a flower I had discovered last year that's a bit unusual? It seems they have discovered it now, too! Finally I've scooped them ;)

To read my original post about the blushing bride flower, .: head over here :. but keep reading to see all of the information The Wedding Co. dug up ...

Belle Fleur

A blushing bride bouquet has set The Wedding Co.'s hearts aflutter and because we'd never seen this bloom before, we thought it was definitely worth sharing.

A few short weeks ago, Holly Coll-Black married her fiancé, Rupert Duchesne; she carried a bouquet of blushing brides created by florist Lidia Tacconelli (Fiori) . Holly had requested a bouquet that was a little different from the standard issue and one that would tie in the gold and pink tones she had used throughout her decor. Though she suspected something green and white would be ideal, the pink, green and white blooms of the feathery serruria florida from the exotic Protea family were chosen based only on Tacconelli’s suggestion that they would be perfection.

Holly’s favourite aspect of the flowers was that they photographed beautifully and garnered many comments from guests, “they were quite different,” she says, “ and now they’re drying in my garage!”

You’d think, with a name like blushing bride, that this flower would be overused for bouquets and wedding flowers when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth…at least today, and in this part of the world.

In the eighteenth century, so legend goes, the flower was exploited for its feathery foliage and soft colours. In southern Africa, suitors were known to propose with a bloom of the wild flower in their lapel, the darker the pink the flower, the more serious their intention. While the name blushing bride might have come from its colouring, it may also have been earned as the suitor’s intention was apparent to all, much to the embarrassment of his bride to be. Unfortunately, it seems these flowers were over-exploited and disappeared for over a century until accidentally rediscovered. Though carefully sustained since, the flower has only been successfully gown as a crop since the mid ‘60s.

Tacconelli says she is always on the lookout for the unusual and since finding them has used blushing brides whenever it’s appropriate considering their limited colour palette and availability. The Protea family is considered highly exotic for Canada, coming primarily from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, probably because of this, blushing brides are less familiar to florists, uncommonly used and always a delightful surprise.

Photo by Storey Wilkins

Makeup Lessons - Private or Group ... Get Educated On How To Work With Your Features

At Makeup In Motion, we firmly believe that makeup should be used to enhance one's natural features and bring them out to their fullest. It's not meant to compete with a woman's beauty, it's simply meant to highlight the best of the best. Whether it's your dark, romantic eyes, your full, pouty lips or your wonderfully, high cheekbones, the right color placed in the right area, can enlarge or reduce a feature instantly. Using colors that compliment your eye and skin tone, textures that are right for the individual and simple application techniques, any woman at any age can learn to work with her own uniqueness.

In come makeup lessons. At Makeup In Motion, we provide private lessons or group sessions...whatever suits your need. Both are great options and cover the entire face from top to bottom, but each is a bit different in format.

Private makeup lessons are conducted at Makeup In Motion's home studio. They are 2 hours in duration and we go through each feature step by step. Makeup In Motion does half the face while the client learns hands on how to do the other half. Eye and face charts are provided along with color charts that detail what we've used. Step by step instructions are also provided to clients who prefer to work this way. Price is $50 and are one on one only.

Group lessons are a great idea for bridal parties, teen birthdays, or women's pampering events. They are held at your venue of choice. The lesson is a hour long and demonstrated on the hostess. Again, we cover the full face, and provide valuable information and techniques that all women can apply to themselves. Each guest then receives a 20 minute makeover creating her own special look. All guests go home with color charts, eye and face charts and our famous Wink Cosmetics wand gloss in our most popular shades. Price is $35 per person based on 6 people and usually lasts about 4 hours.

So if you really want some solid advice on how to work with your features, take the guess work out of applying color, and put your best face forward everyday, then book a lesson and enjoy a transformation that still looks like you....only better.

September 14, 2008

Time in a Bottle

Does anyone have one for sale, or could someone perhaps point me in the direction of where I could purchase a bottle for myself?

Honestly, when did life get so busy? I remember summer vacation feeling like “forever” as a child. Those 2 months off from school were endless, but now it seems like a tease more than anything else. I’m sure that growing up we all thought that things would become easier as we got older, but we all have to face the harsh reality that life, in fact, becomes more complicated as we age. Throw wedding planning into the mix and you may as well wave ‘sayonara’ to your social life until you become a Mrs. I actually had a situation come up where my fiancé and I were trying to find time to get together with a girlfriend of mine and her husband and we were looking nearly 2 months ahead because of our commitments.

No, we’re not that popular. We’re just that busy.

Looking at my wedding guide, I have a very busy 5 weeks ahead of me (eek, I actually felt a tummy flip-flop at the “5 weeks” comment!) Confirming vendors, chasing down last minute AWOL RSVPs (that’s another rant all on it’s own!), dress fittings (more for my bridal party than for me), coordinating our bridal party and families, and well, finding time to take care of myself (if time allows!) Saddest part of it all? It’s my 30th birthday next weekend and I’m not sure I’ll have time to celebrate!

Hmmm.... I just had a thought. For my birthday, maybe I could ask for “Time in a Bottle” as my gift! I’m sure I could find a few people who love me enough to chip in together!

I need to learn to shut my mind off this late at night. Or perhaps just skip that extra cup of coffee after dinner ;)

September 12, 2008

The Morning After....

Or well, in this case, 2 mornings after.

Like most brides, I’ve decided to join a local boot camp to whip my body in shape for the “big day”. Seeing that my wedding is just over a month away, I’ll admit, I’m pushing myself just a little bit further than I normally would. I’m lucky in the sense that my dress will hide a lot, however the bikini I’ll be wearing the week after is not as forgiving.

Have you ever heard your muscles scream? I rolled over this morning (well, truth be told, I tried to roll over this morning) and heard a yelp. I swear it was my glutes and quads screaming in protest, but quickly realized that the yelp came from my mouth. I quickly slapped my hand over my mouth and looked at my fiancé to make sure I didn’t wake him up, and made a mental note to curse my boot camp instructor after dealing with my “rolling over” issue.

For the first time in 2 years, I was thankful for having a platform bed. Normally I loathe the thing, because I have a habit of either stubbing my toe or banging my shin into the base, but this morning it was a blessing. I think I actually heard the angels sing! I managed to grab the headboard with my left hand, and the platform edging with my right, and slowly but surely rock myself onto my left side, with minimal discomfort, settling myself to lazily doze off once again.

And of course, once in my desired position, the alarm went off to start my day. Damn that Murphy and his laws!

So now, I'm sitting on my couch, laptop in reach, blogging about my aches and pains. But on October 18th, when I slip my dress onto my recently boot camped body, I wouldn't have it any other way.

September 11, 2008

She Walks These Hills

I promised this post to someone quite some time ago and feel so bad that I haven't delivered yet! Fear no more ... the Etsy Veil Post is here! More specifically, I went on a hunt to find some more out-of-the-ordinary veils or alternatives. Here are some of my favourites ...

*Love* this Etsy vendor. I could easily buy almost everything they have in stock. .: whichgoose :. comes up with funky designs all the time and although this one is more traditional, it doesn't disappoint. You have to go to the page to read what it actually is made from ...

Feathers, anyone? Contact .: hairfascinators :. for this bit of whimsy ...

Perhaps you have more of a flare for the dramatic. .: wildspirits :. can help you out there! It may not be a veil but it makes a statement, that's for sure!

You also don't need to have a veil cover your whole face. This one by .: portobello :. gives you the feeling of being a traditional bride without burdening you with a bunch of material ...

Bring on the birdcage! .: SmittenXOXO :. has put together a simple design sure to delight ...

This is cool. Each beaded flower (one on each side) has a hair comb on the back of it so you can easily attach it to your hair. .: qgdesigns :. has made it simple for you to adorn the birdcage look with the modern twist of today.

Maybe not for everyone but I had to include this design by .: satanica :. For those who would like to wear a hat (all the rage right now!), this retro look may just be what you've been searching for ...

How romantic! I chose to feature this blusher veil by .: CRBoggsDesigns :. purely for the 'awwwwwwwe' factor. Make sure you go to the link to check out the detailing on the material itself ... tulips!

Almost my pick of the week, look at this birdcage (yes, I love them) by .: qgdesigns :. By itself it would be pretty basic but when you look at the closeup of its side, you're instantly struck by the beautiful feathers ...

And that brings me to my favourite find ...

Yes, I know it isn't a veil but as someone who refused to wear one because she was convinced her oddly-shaped head would be showcased, this is a great look. .: GarlandsOfGrace :. has put together a simple concept and made it a piece of art. Hurry because I might snap it up myself!