January 30, 2009

And All The Stars Shine

Um, love.

Love. Love. Love. Friday Footwear is incredible today. I seriously have the winter blues after looking at these gems.

To find out more and drool all day long, head over to .: Dikuza :. They are the creators and you know what? Not outrageously priced!

January 29, 2009

She's in Love With the Boy

Valentine's Day is approaching! Stuck on what to get this year? Start cruising places like Etsy for ideas. Here are some gems that I found ...

Is your loved one a poker fan? .: crimsonking :. have these wonderful aces up their sleeves!

Possibly frivolous but what man doesn't partake in the odd beer or two? The perfect carrying solution is brought to you by .: RobertoSand :.

.: dahlhartlane :. can make you a little something to remind your beau you want to grow old with him.

iLove courtesy of .: blytheking :.

.: solidio :. knows belt buckles are back!

Love love LOVE this journal by .: greentrikepress :. It's made from a leather couch!

Music and money fan? Maybe he just likes to keep things in order. This clip by .: sudlow :. is groovy.

Beautiful claddagh engraved olive pen by .: WoodenPenWorks :.

This is something that's perfect for the man in your life that takes pride in looking his best! They are engraved shirt stiffeners by .: chrisparry :.

And what man wouldn't think this is the coolest?! .: 8milecreekdesigns :. has put together a clock made from the hubcap of a 1969/70 Mustang!!!

Whatever you chose, remember to have fun with it this year :)

January 28, 2009

Skin Care Part 3 - Serums & Eyecare

Now that we're all familiar with cleansing, toning and moisturizing, the next step to acheiving great skin is the use of Serums & Eyecare. Here's where things get interesting and overwhelming, but of no less importance than your first two steps.

Serums are boosters, typically used in conjunction with a day or night cream. A few drops gently patted on the face before your moisturizer is the normal application process. However, it's always best to check with the individual line representative first. Serums will increase water, regulate oil, clarify, nourish, repair, firm, tighten and tone. There's a serum addressing every issue we have. They are effective for their repairing and boosting qualities, plus are an additional layer of protection to the face. An ideal item for your winter regime.

When treating eyes, always remember that they are a separate entity to your skin and must be indulged with products formulated for the area itself. There are creams, gels, cream/gels, or roll-ons.....designed to lighten, smooth, de- puff, de-stress, and again firm, tighten, or tone. Whatever formula you select, eye care is best applied in teeny tiny amounts placed on your ring finger and gently patted in a circular motion around the entire eye. Think of tapping the product right on the bone, above and below.

Before shopping for serums and eye care, take a real close look at all areas of your face. Use glasses, magnifyers, or 250 watts if you need to. Study your eyes, lips, cheeks, and nose thoroughly, in order to set achievable goals for areas you would like to improve. Be honest but realistic about the performance you expect from your skincare line. Remember....it's just a jar of cream.....not plastic surgery!

For those that see crowsfeet or creppiness, maybe a lack of firmess in the mirror, focus your solution with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to feed and bind the cells with water. Plumping the cells shrinks the length and depth of fine lines. Vitamins A, C and E will fight the ageing process by neutralizing free radicals making this skin appear more firm, youthful and bright. And calibrated fruit acids (AHA's) will smooth the skin by maintaining its own natural renewal process. AHA's repair cellular damage while easing fine lines and improving the overall clarity of the skin.

If lines are not whay you see but darkening of the skin is, then your solutions must reflect. Hyperpigmention, dark undereye circles, age and liver spots, uneven tone and sun damage......are all conditions that can be effectively treated with committment and dedication. The most important thing to remember is that once you start a mission to even out a skin tone, you must continue as it is a progressive lightening process. Eye creams or serums that contain horse chestnut, bilberry extract, AHA's, hydroquinone, and vitamins A & C are ingredients that assist with fading uneven tone. Products of this nature must be used faithfully, usually twice a day for best results.

What if you see broken capillaries.......those little red "spidery" veins frequently found around the nose and cheeks. They are the result when blood no longer pumps through the tiny capillaries. This weakens the capillary walls which causes a loss of elasticity, with a final collapse into what we see as a broken blood vessel. The primary causes are environmental damage, lfestyle choices, age and hormones.

With this condition, an ounce of prevention certainly is worth a pound of cure by using sunscreen and making healthy lifestyle choices to begin with. But cosmetically speaking, you can treat broken capillaries with serums containing anti- flammatories like chamomile, horse chestnut, lavender and zinc. All of these components will help reduce the redness and visibility of broken capillaries.

Regardless of what your skins challenges are when you look in the mirror, rest assured there's something on the market for every woe you face. Look at your skin frequently and thoroughly, know how it functions at it's optimal, and use items that will treat your concerns specifically. And if you'd like an opinion or some guidance, book a 30 minute no charge consultation to get you on the road to healthy, beautiful skin.

January 23, 2009

Running To Stand Still

My goodness I've let Friday Footwear slip! No pun intended with this weather we have in Ontario.

Instead of focusing on an actual shoe, I wanted to ask if anyone else has come across one of these in their travels ...

This is the Rakku. I've seen it at The Bay many many times and I've made fun of it many many times. Why? I'm not entirely sure. It just seems very humourous to have a ferris wheel of shoes in one's home.

Any thoughts? Maybe some of you have it! ;)

January 22, 2009

By Changing the Script and the Scene

Oscars time!!!

For movie junkies like me, here are the nominees in case you didn't catch it first thing this morning ...

Best Picture:
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Reader”
“Slumdog Millionaire”

Richard Jenkins, “The Visitor“
Frank Langella, “Frost/Nixon“
Sean Penn, “Milk“
Brad Pitt, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button“
Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married“
Angelina Jolie, “Changeling“
Melissa Leo, “Frozen River“
Meryl Streep, “Doubt“
Kate Winslet, “The Reader”

Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, “Milk“
Robert Downey Jr., “Tropic Thunder“
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “Doubt“
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight“
Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, “Doubt“
Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona“
Viola Davis, “Doubt“
Taraji P. Henson, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button“
Marisa Tomei, “The Wrestler”

David Fincher, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button“
Ron Howard, “Frost/Nixon“
Gus Van Sant, “Milk“
Stephen Daldry, “The Reader“
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

For a complete listing, check out .: The Official Site :.

I'm thinking of my predictions and at the same time, perhaps a contest is in order. I'll get my thinking cap on :)

January 21, 2009

In The Name Of Love

As Tarriell described below, her engagement session with .: Irina Photography :. was this past December. Since we got the story from the bride-to-be's point of view, I wanted to get the experience from Irina and Mihkel, too. They were kind enough to sit down and go over a lot of things with us!

Susan says:
Thanks for taking the time out to sit down with me, Irina & Mihkel! After seeing Tarriell & MM's photos, I had to get the vendor point-of-view and give you both a shout-out, too!
First question, for those who don't know or who are maybe on the fence about it, what typically happens during an engagement session and who should get them?

Mihkel says:
An engagement session is simply a portrait photo session for a couple soon to be married. Nowadays these sessions reflect the lifestyle of the couple (locations, habits, activities) and the emotions between the couple (romance, love, excitement). Irina and I would meet with the couple at a location that means something to them, it can be a coffee shop that they enjoy together, or the grounds of the University they attend or a nearby park. Sometimes we are lucky to photograph the couple in THE location where the proposal happened! Our goal is to capture the real moments, whether they be lovely or quirky. We ask the couple to be themselves, pretend we are not there and for them to 'go about their business' ; this allows for an honest interaction between photographer and the couple. The goal is to create a collection that reflects the true spirit of the couple's engagement, something they can take away with them for years to come.

Irina says:
These sessions are for couples who desire a collection of images that showcase them in a natural and fun way. Most couples plan to use the images during their reception, either in a custom guest book or display their collection in a slide show during the reception dinner.

Susan says:
Take us through Tarriell and MM's session. How did you come up with the locales? Was it really as cold as Tarriell says? ;) How long was their session?

Mihkel says:
The weather was miserable the night before(it rained all night) and the morning offered us bleak glimpses into the possibilities for a workable afternoon. Ottawa's 3 feet of snow had begun to melt from the rain, overloading all drains and leaving large puddles to contend with. When we arrived at 1pm, the sun made brief appearances however the wind began to pick up. Yes it was cold! The clouds persevered even while the wind picked up sending chills down my spine. We carpooled from Tarriell and MM's home to Carleton U since the location has many buildings and covers a vast landscape; we thought it would make for a great starter location. If a location doesn't work then we discuss other options, we never force our clients to stick to a maximum number of spots, that would ruin the experience for both of us. We always consider the client's expectations while also ensuring that we produce work worthy for their collection. Irina braved the cold to capture some wonderful images along side the water and then inside Carleton's many hallways . I focused purely on some candids and then decided to 'keep an eye on the car'. After trying a few other locations we headed to Starbuck's for some coffee and relaxed for a bit. One last location, in the car ride back we said we would capture them in their most common and comfortable place - their living room sofa in front of the TV. Good for the clients, good for the photographer - anything to produce real images. By this time we had gone over our typical 2 hour session almost surpassing a 3rd. Their dog barked a few times to announce it was our time to leave, ending an afternoon of fun and craziness.

Susan says:
What stood out to the both of you about this couple?

Mihkel says:
It is common for shy or nervous individuals to become goofy with our instructions. Or maybe they just like to play rough. At times it seemed as though they were acting in front of the camera yet after behaving the whole session like young crazy lovers, it became clear that true love influences the mind in ways we cannot control.

Susan says:
Can you tell us something we may not know about Tarriell?

Irina says:
Those types of secrets are for us to keep!

Susan says:
It's been a little while since the session. How long does it typically take for your clients to receive digital files and then any photos they've ordered?

Irina says:
After each session, we typically show teaser images on our blog {www.irinaphotography.squarespace.com}. Once we have completed the final image selections for the session collection, images are posted in an online gallery for the client to view; this is approximately 2 weeks after the session. Our engagement sessions include a credit for studio products, to which they have unlimited options to decide how to use! Print orders typically take 2 weeks to process.

Susan says:
I have to ask ... you serve both the GTA and Ottawa ... are you two nuts for travel? ;)

Mihkel says:
I like to travel so any excuse to get out of town is great for me :)

Irina says:
I grew up in Ottawa and my family is still there. We have the luxury of being in both places quite often and enjoy every minute of it!

Keep Reading ...

January 14, 2009

Stars of the Show

Recently, I got my first taste of wedding stardom. It was a blast of reality on just how not “real” or comfortable that stardom can be.

That taste came one sleety, dark and gloomy day in late December, when MM and I had an engagement photo shoot here in Ottawa with the fantabulous team from Irina Photography.

And while the photos themselves don’t show it, the whole shoot was one of the stranger, more surreal experiences of my life.

It all sounded good in theory. Do a professional photojournalistic shoot of the two of us together just being us. The resulting photos would be reminders to one another of each other that woud would help to assuage the long loneliness of being separated from one another for six months by MM’s overseas military tour. Setting aside our self-acknowledged and often-demonstrated lack of ability to be photogenic, for one day we would be be the stars of the show, the focus of attention. We actually thought of it as a kind of practice for the Big Day, when all kinds of people would be watching with all kinds of recording devices.

Well, if that is practice, I cannot say I’m looking forward to that aspect of the reality of being the stars of our own wedding show. It is one thing to snap a few photos of yourselves while on vacation, or on a special event in your life. It is quite another to have two people following you around with cameras blazing on a cold nasty day, coaxing you to “act natural”. So you do your best to ignore the cameras, and you walk hand in hand, smile, kiss, whisper sweet nothings and cuddle up to your beloved on a park bench as if it were any other day.

But if it were any other day, you’d be at home together cuddled under a blanket on your comfy couch with a favourite DVD playing on the flatscreen. You would not be outside in the freezing rain of a December afternoon in your best coat and jeans, walking next to the frozen Rideau canal, with your hands freezing cold, your feet soaking wet, the wind whipping the hair in your face and your eyes tearing up so bad from said wind that you can barely see the man you love standing in front of you. You would not be sitting on a freezing cold and wet slab of concrete, wondering if you should have worn your waterproof ski coat and earmuffs instead of your new pretty photogenic coat and scarf, with a bare head and hands. On any ordinary day, MM would not set foot on my university campus, let alone trudge through mounds of melting snow and freezing ice to go into one of the buildings for ten minutes and pretend, with me, to admire the mosaic artwork of the walls that, normally, from him, would elicit only perplexed stares and slightly catty comments. You most definitely would not be out playing in one of the childrens’ playgrounds on base, calf-deep in wet snow, trying not to fall flat on your butt while you nevertheless frolic in the snow as requested and try to show to the world and the cameras how much you love each other while dreaming of your flannel pajamas, your warm duvet and a good strong hot coffee.

I can’t tell you the number of times MM remarked to me during our three and a half hour shoot “this is soooo frickin’ weird!”. I’d have to agree. While the end result was definitely worth it, and Irina and Mihkel showed that even MM and I can be photogenic if shot by the right people, I would not want to have to repeat that more than once in a lifetime.

But, luckily, with MM being the star of my life show, I don’t expect to ever have to repeat it again.

January 13, 2009

Hiding Place

Nearing the end of the day but it was just brought to my attention (thanks Katie!) that today is National Delurking Day.

(this pic is obviously from last year but it's still cute ;))

Do you pop by and not say anything? I know you're out there since I do look at my stats ;) But why not take today (or whenever you come across this post) to come on out and say something? Even if it's just a 'hi'! Since the holidays I've been poorly neglecting things over here but this little place on the web seriously is a big piece of my daily life. I would love to know that you come by to have a quick glance.

Who knows ... by introducing yourself, we may become new friends!



January 11, 2009

Top 3 colours for '09 Brides

Oh the colours! There are whole websites dedicated to wedding colours alone! This very VERY important decision could make or break your wedding! (okay, kinda, not really, but doesn't sound dramatic and really important?!)...

Choosing a colour is a personal decision. I have brides who know right off the bat what they want to do - they have the swatches, they have the flowers to match and even convinced FH that he would look great in the colour!

Still struggling with what colour to do for your wedding? Here's my top 3 colours for '09 so far.

#1 - Chocolate brown & friends. This colour has a lot of fans and friends. Many brides are using this colour along with celadon, champagne gold, pink, powder blue and in the fall with oranges. The new BFF to chocolate brown this year is yellow.
I'm a fan of this look. It's a very earthy, yet fun colour combo - but make sure your yellows are in the same family! Make sure your BMs all buy the same yellow instead of having school bus yellow, goldenrod and bumblebee show up at your wedding!

#2 Celadon (aka wasabi green/pistachio/sage green). This colour is very fresh that can be used throughout the year. I love using it, but again, with every colour, make sure you use complimentary colours. The likelihood of you finding everything in this colour for everything from your invites to BM dresses is very good, but make sure you have a swatch when shopping around!

#3 - Teal/aqua/turquoise. 3 very different colours from the same family. This colour is very summer - fresh and clean or in the winter with silver accents. Teal is the breakout colour of the bunch as it can be used in an ornate fashion with lots of little details like damask or similar patterns. Very lovely!

I'd like to give a special mention to aubergine/eggplant and plum. My new fave colours. This colour is the new chocolate brown - its very easy to compliment - pinks, golds, ivory and sage green are great companions.

Whichever colour you do choose to go with, make sure YOU love it! After all, you have to look at those pictures in 20yrs and not ask "what was *I* thinking!

January 6, 2009

Somebody Take Me Back ...

Happy 2009 Everyone!

I trust that a fine break was had by all. This year I had the luxury of taking the time off with my husband so we were able to visit many friends and family, spend quality time with just the two of us and even spend time playing on our new Wii ;)

One of my big projects last month was something hopefully many of you are using right now ... mini jewel case calendars! All clients and some special friends should have received them by now (let me know if you haven't) and I do have a handful left! If you would like one of these desktop gems simply email me at inquiries @ momentsthatshine.com with your name and snail mail. I'll give it a week or so and then depending on how many people request them (you don't have to be a bride-to-be!), I'll pull names out of a hat and send them along!

Since we're already in January, I'm going to send these off on a first come, first serve basis ... only a few left! :)

Little bit of background on the calendars ...

They're all upcycled (meaning they have been made using materials from other projects ... no two are alike!), inserts are double-sided to reduce on waste and the graphics are all new to the Moments That Shine library so they can be used on any invitation needs you may have. I had a blast putting them together!