Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Christmas Family

I'm not a fan of Christmas. I've come to realize that it's a great holiday to look forward to when you have children around, however without them it's just a stressful time of year. I stopped exchanging presents with my friends, my family and even my own husband! In place of gifts I'd rather them make the time to see me over the holidays. That might make me sound like a Scrooge in a way, but on the other hand if someone was to need my help over the holidays, there's nothing that will stand in my way of making someone else's Christmas great! 

Every year my supervisor at work asks our shift if we would like to sponsor a family for Christmas and help the family have gifts to open from Santa. I always love helping out the families we are given because every year it's a different family, whom has a different reason of needing our help. This year we were given a family with 6 children, all between the ages of 2-12 who is being raised by a single mother.  Within a couple weeks we recieved the information on the family and their wish list. Something was different about this family. While in the past, we've had the children ask for their most favourite toys and things to do. With this family most of the kids had asked for underwear, socks and jeans. 

Most kids I know, don't ask for those things. That means they must REALLY need it. With the collection of gifts from my co workers we were able to get most of what was on their lists. With the cash donated from the rest of my shift who didn't want to shop, a couple girls and I went straight to Walmart to tackle the rest!! 

It was so much fun picking out all the games and toys we thought they'd love. Imagining their faces on Christmas when they open these gifts were getting us so excited!! We managed to get everything on their lists and then some! Even managed to grab extra gift cards for Walmart and Fortinos in case the mother wanted to get some extras. 

Once we got back to work, the girls I went shopping with we're beaming with excitement over the purchases we made. We definitely felt that this group of kids will have a great Christmas with what we picked out for them. Every child had approximately 10 gifts to open, with every item on their list purchased and then some! 

The rest of our shift finished the gifts by wrapping them all ready for pick up. 

I can't stress how happy this has made me knowing that this mother doesn't have to worry that their kids won't get anything for Christmas. I hope these kids have a great holiday this year :)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Our Sweet Beginning

September 14th 2013 couldn't have gone any better if it tried.

That's the day we were both anticipating for months and months, as the pressure kept building up on things that we needed to do and complete before our wedding day. To say that we were tired of wedding planning was an understatement. Whomever said that wedding planning is fun, must have had a wedding planner assist with all their plans because it definitely is not. Then again I'm quite the pre planner and I'd rather carry out my ideas instead of asking someone else to do it. Which means I created my own stress for the most part. (the first step is admitting, right?)

I had set the alarm on my cell phone to wake me up at 7:00am. I wanted to give myself enough the time to take it easy and not rush. When I heard my alarm, this is what I got....

Gosh I was so excited when I saw that! Today is the day!!! 

That morning instead of rushing (because I only have one speed in order to get shit done) I had my girlfriend Tiffany come to my house to do me and my bridesmaids hair and my sister's friend Nora come to do our makeup. If I can recommend any thing to a bride, it would be to have your appointments come to you! It was great not having to drive anywhere to get myself ready. I also know how lucky I was that I had friends in the hair and makeup industry that were able to come to my house for the day. While they got me beautified, I got to smile to the camera and sip on mimosas.

Before we were to leave for the ceremony I had my photographer Crystal Hahn from Crystal Hahn Photography, come to my house with her assistant to capture moments of my family and I getting ready for the day. During this process my bridesmaids would be in those photos as well. Because I have such a large group of best friends that I've had since I was little, it was difficult to have them all in my wedding party. They all mean so much to me and it would have been awful to only pick one or 2 of them. I wanted them to be apart of the day in a special way so I asked them if they all could come to my house that morning as well for some special photos with my photographer. They all were able to make it and it made for some amazing photos! Here's that I mean....

Once we arrived to the venue for the ceremony, I started thinking about how important this moment approaching meant to me. I have thought about this moment since we started the wedding planning. Oh who am I kidding!! I've thought about how this moment was going to go ever since I wanted to get married. As I watched my bridesmaids go down the aisle one by one, I began to get choked up thinking about the man I love, waiting for me at the end of that aisle as our friends and family are sitting  there watching this fantastic moment happen. I didn't want to cry! This was a happy time! I decided that I would get to the beginning of that aisle when it was my turn and yell out "I love you Paul!" But I goofed at the last minute and just ended up yelling out "Hi Paul!" which was just as effective because everyone laughed and it made me smile. No tears only smiles! Just what I needed :) So needless to say, I wore that smile all the way down that aisle and throughout the WHOLE ceremony. 

After the ceremony we went off site to a winery to have our wedding party photos done. The day was gorgeous but TOO sunny for photos! Can you believe it was TOO sunny? Who would have thought that a cloudy day is what a bride should hope for? Haha! So we took most of our photos in the shade. Regardless of where we were, our photographer captured beautiful shots of the most memorable day. 

When we arrived back at our venue the party was just getting started! Dinner was great and the speeches didn't run on (like some weddings that I've been to!). Then it was time for Paul and I to give our thank yous to everyone who had attended. While I began my thank you speech to my dad, I looked at him across the dance floor sitting in his seat begin to cough. I continued with my speech thinking that he probably wasn't even listening because he was coughing. I noticed he still continued to cough and couldn't stop. It was then when he stood up, unable to breathe as he was choking. Now all my guests turned to him, I stopped speaking and someone began to give my dad the Heimlich. This moment was awful. All I kept thinking was "C'mon dad get through this" I thought here's the moment no one here wants to see happening, my dad choking and dying on my wedding day while I'm giving my thank you speech to HIM. During this moment I spoke into the microphone asking someone to start calling 9-1-1 while one of my guests who was a doctor shouted out to the man doing the Heimlich to go lower to help hurry the process. FINALLY my dad stopped choking. Everyone looked like where scared to death and he looked embarrassed. We all had the same scary thought for a moment there and were still feeling it. How do you recover from that? I tried to reassure my guests "Ladies and gentlemen, you may think I'm a drama queen. Well here's where I get it from. Our very own drama king!" 

I went over to my dad once I had finished my thank you speech to ensure he was really ok. He said that he had taken a drink of water and it went the wrong way. He tried to cough to get it out and be discreet about it since I was speaking. Once he realized that he couldn't get it out, he then knew that he needed assistance and that's why he stood up gasping for air. That's when he told me that he wasn't comfortable doing the dance that we have practiced and prepared for, for the father/daughter dance. I can't say that I was surprised. He told me that he was embarrassed and he didn't want to jump around after he just pulled that scenario. I just agreed with him and went over to the DJ to tell him that my dad wants to change our music to just one slow song instead of the track that we had prepared.

The only other person who knew about this dance that we had planned other than Paul was my sister Kelsey. I went over to her and told her that dad didn't want to do the dance anymore and to not bother recording it. Boy, Kelsey wasn't having that!  She knew that we had practiced and this was the only time that we would ever have the opportunity to do it. She went marching over to my dad and told him just that. After a few moments of her arms moving about while trying to convince him, I went over to them. I asked what we were doing, and my dad turns to me and says "I guess we're doing it!" YES! I quickly walked back over to the DJ while Paul was dancing with his mom and told him that the plan was back on and we were going to do our dance!

Here's how it happened:) 

I was lucky that a friend of mine caught these moments on camera too! 

My dad catching air during Gangham style:) 

It was awesome! Everyone loved it and settled into party mode right after that! I was so happy with the outcome of our dance because I wasn't sure if everyone was ready to party after that blip with my dad.  However, after seeing how excited we both got and how much fun we were having, I'm sure everyone realized he was ok and it was fine to get the night moving.

I couldn't express how much fun the rest of the night was. Everyone who had stayed for the dancing, jumped on the dance floor like we were on trampolines, were sweaty as if they just completed whole marathon and stayed until the lights came on! I couldn't have imagined a wedding like that. It was phenomenal! I'm so glad I got to spend that day with everyone I love and marry the man of my dreams. I'm a MRS!!!! <3

Saturday, 2 November 2013

My last trip as a MISS....to Vegas!!

My sister and I had always spoke about going to Las Vegas for one last girls trip before I got hitched. I had never been and after hearing about bachelorettes in Vegas and seeing The Hangover (a few times!) how could I not want to go there to celebrate my last time as a single woman?!

The day before our flight, I was packing my things when I got a text on my phone. It was a picture message that looked like this. 
It was a contract that my sister Kelsey had wrote out for me. She told me that I had to party as hard as I did when I was her age. Ugh.... man I partied pretty hard when I was her age. I'm sure I wouldn't be able to do that again. Hahaha!! I signed it when we stopped off at Cathie's and even had Cathie to sign as a witness. Nothing was stopping us now.... En route to Viva Las Vegas!

My sister Kelsey and my bridesmaid Cathie were such troopers on our drive to the airport.  I'm the worst person to travel with to the airport and even worse when I'm the one driving to the airport! For some reason my anxiousness kicks into over drive and I get worried that I forgot something or I'll get lost on the way and we'll get held up from getting to the airport. I usually will check my carry on luggage for my passport a few times on the way. I never got the chance to do it this time. Thank goodness! But those 2 girls got to sit back while I drove and drink their strawberry "traveller" drinks. Needless to say, I think they got the better end of the deal. 

Once we boarded that plane, it was time to get my drink on!! A little rum and coke never hurt anyone! Here's us before getting our drink on:) 

When we arrived to Vegas it was smooth sailing. We checked in to the Mirage Hotel and went straight to our room. As soon as we got there Kelsey surprised me with a bride to be sash and penis sunglasses to kick off the beginning of the bachelorette celebrations!! 

 We booked the Mirage because A) it's one of the better hotels on the strip and B) it is showing LOVE by the Beatles! Only bummer was we didn't get to see LOVE :( it played for one night while we were there and that was the night we were just getting in. Dang!

The rest of the trip kind of went like this.... drink, eat, laugh, drink more, sleep, repeat.

On Tuesday was our big night to the Australian Thunder Down Under!! I was so stoked to go to this show. It's definitely a show for bachelorettes. Hahahahaha!! I laughed the whole time. Unfortunately you can't take pictures at the show (I can't blame them!) but I did manage to get on stage TWICE and got this hilarious photo with them :)

The next day was so rough for me. I'm sure the girls were hung over as well.... I'm not 100% sure how they felt because it seems like I was the only one complaining. LOL While we werewalking through the Venetian hotel we stopped at an Oxygen Bar and got some.... oxygen? Got a little massage while getting rejuvenated and didn't feel so hung over afterwards. Just what I needed!

Our girls trip was just what I needed to kick off my wedding festivities and I couldn't thank my 2 girls enough. They rock!!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

How to TuTu tutorial

I have to admit, I'm not Suzie Sewer. I can barely thread a needle, never mind sewing a whole costume! A few years ago I really wanted to create the Black Swan costume. A crown, corset, dancing shoes and a tutu was required to complete it. That tutu I had in mind was to mimic a professional ballerina's tutu. What was I getting myself into?! 

Well I'll tell you, I finished it alright. 12 layers and all. I wish I had someone to show me how to make a tutu when I was trying to create that one. So I had a great idea! Why don't I take step by step photos of the tutu making process during the creation on this years costume?? It's a NO SEW tutorial on how to make an easy wearing tutu. 

First, you need to make your way to your fabric store of choice. Choose the tulling colours desired to create this fun tutu. I wanted a few different types of colours in mine so I didn't need as much of each colour. I suggest to get a yard of tulle in each colour for 3 or more colours, per tutu. If you are doing a solid colour tutu, get 2 1/2-3 yards depending on the length and size you're going to make. 

You will also need;
-ribbon (to tie the tutu around waist)
-measuring tape

Then unravel each colour on a flat surface (ex: I rolled it out on the floor to allow myself more room to work with). Then start on one end and keep folding up the tulling until you have the whole yard (or 2) rolled up. (Side note: this part was extremely annoying for me so if you get frustrated don't worry. So was I!)
Now I suggest to have a measuring tape or something to be used to gage the width of the strips that you will the cutting the tulle into. I set my tape measure at 4 inches and continued to cut them around that size. 

Once you have all your strips, you can unravel them to see how the length suits how long you want your tutu. My strips were incredibly long so I cut mine into 4 separate pieces PER strip! I also wanted a shorter tutu so that's why I was able to get 4 pieces out of every strip. 

Get your ribbon out and wrap it around the waist of the person or thing your making the tutu for. Give your ribbon some slack as you will need extra length in order to tie up the tutu when the tulling process is complete. I gave myself half an arms length on each side in order to tie it. I put it around my waist again to measure it with the extra slack. I knotted one end to mark the start of where I can start adding the tulle and knotted the end of where I will stop putting the tulle. 

Next when the tulee is all cut, take one strip and fold it in half. Take the middle of the strip and place your thumb and index finger to hold its place. 

Wrap it around the ribbon and pull the tulling with those 2 fingers around the ribbon. 

Now you can pull the tulling through the loop you made with the middle of your strip around the ribbon. 
Pull the tulling through all the way until it's made a knot around the ribbon holding it in place. 

I used 4 pieces of every colour in each bunch. This allowed for the colour to be more vibrant and stand out in sections. Because the tulling is thin naturally you may want to group the same colours together to create a bolder look as I had done.

When you have knotted all your tulle strips on your ribbon, fluff your tulling out to allow it to stand out (if making a short tutu) or straighten the tulling out if creating a long tutu skirt. And there you have it......

Friday, 4 October 2013

Halloween Fever

Halloween is hands down, my favourite holiday. I love how it's held in October where the leaves are changing and the air is becoming more crisp. The kids are excited over the holiday to collect candy and dress up as their favourite character. Dress up! I looooooove to dress up!! THAT's probably why I love Halloween so much. Costumes and candy. 

Over the past few years I've been buying tickets to a Halloween ball in my hometown that put on one hell of a party. I feel as if I'm past the age of bars and clubs for Halloween. Mostly because everyone around me is either wearing lingere and bunny ears, or they don't care to even dress up! When I first went to this Ball, I had no idea what I was in store for. It seemed as if this what I had been missing during Halloween! Every party goer there was not only dressed up, but their costume had shown that an effort was put into the making of it. I loved it!!!

So for every year after that, I've attended this Halloween ball at the Scottish Rite and had a blast with my friends. The first year (2008) I went as an aerobics instructor. 

The second year (2009) I wanted to try to put some more effort into my costume. Lady Gaga was really popular at this point and figured copying an outfit of hers might work in my favour! Here's the photo I used of her to be inspired by for the makeup application. 

My third year (2010) I thought I would challenge myself even more with my costume and my makeup application techniques and go as something wild and colourful. I saw the movie Avatar and knew that was what I should try to duplicate! I ordered contacts, fangs and practiced my makeup before putting it on the night of the ball. Luckily it all worked out and I won for Best Costume! How cool!! 

My fourth year (2011) I was in full Halloween mode. I really wanted a challenge after last years successful costume and wanted to make my entire costume from scratch. Again I wanted to go as a movie character and Black Swan grabbed my attention. I loved the dark psychotic image the character portrayed and believed it would be something definitely up my alley. I ordered contacts again (they MAKE the makeup come together), made my 12 layer tutu, my corset decals, moulded the clay for my crown and hair piece. I got to wear this costume twice that year as I went to 2 costume Halloween parties. I won best costume at one and most sexy at the other. So much fun! 

Last year I didn't spend much time on my costume because I had just came back from a trip. 

But this year I'm hoping to allow my creative side to go nuts and expand my costume closet with some great new pieces! I'm hoping with some creative freedom I can design my own character! Candy Queen here I come!! 
Stay tuned to see how it turned out!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Million Dollar Smile

Just like the wedding has come to an end, so has my mouth's freedom. I had braces on for the last 11 months and because my wedding was coming up during my treatment, my orthodontist said that she can make sure I get them off for a little while during the wedding. How fab! My teeth can be freeeeeeeee!

As soon as they were off, I asked my sister Kelsey if we could get corn on the cob for dinner that night. Haha!!! I hadn't had a few different foods during the whole time my braces were on. So I didn't stop there! I also managed to eat caramel popcorn, whole apples and chicken wings:) 

But alas, the 2 1/2 weeks without my braces have come to an end and I got them put back on today. It isn't as horrible as I remember when I first got them put on. It's like riding a bike..... For a long time. Anyways here's a few pictures of my before teeth, and my gorgeous teeth without my braces and my brace face now. Let's hope they aren't on for more than the next year! 

Ew how gross is this picture? Look how crazy my teeth look! The wire isn't even in a straight line. This was October 18 2012.

Oh my wedding day! Look at that smile! I couldn't stop smiling all day :) Can you believe that my treatment isn't done? Could have fooled me!

And here's today. Buh. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Falling off the wagon

With celebrations, comes along drinks (alcoholic and non), chicken or steak dinners and my favourite... Cake! Needless to say that when Paul and I got married and the weeks leading up to it, we celebrated every chance we got. And we had many opportunities to! 

It's been 2 weeks since I've stepped foot in a gym, it's been longer than that since I've ate "clean" food and my body is paying for it. I kept telling myself "tomorrow you can kick your butt in the gym. So tonight enjoy this rum and coke and pulled pork sandwich and the dessert you keep eyeing". Haha.... Well it doesn't take much to convince me to spoil myself with food, and I gave myself that line probably everyday day for the last 2 weeks LEADING up to my wedding! Now that I've been married for over a week.... What's the hold up girl? I'll tell you what..... It's just so frickin hard to get back into that routine. Damn straight. 

Waking up early, get in my workout, drink my protein shake, prep my meals for the next 2-3 days and continue to be conscious of what foods I'm putting in my mouth if I go out with friends. It's practically a full time job having this lifestyle. But my body is finally telling me it's had enough "celebrating" and it's time to get back to normal. 

Today I start my "Operation Lean Halloween/Honeymoon" journey. It began by getting up earlier than I would on a regular day off and heading to my boot camp class at Total FX. It absolutely sucked getting up and convincing myself I HAVE to do this. But I went and survived so what was I whining about? Oh ya... Because I was being lazy!  

To hold myself accountable I've taken some photos of myself and what I look like today. I'm not proud at all of what I look like but everyone starts somewhere right? 

Oh and I haven't weighed myself either so who knows what poundage I'm at. I personally don't care. It's all about how I feel. So let's feel good shall we??

Saturday, 21 September 2013

My Bridal Shower

On Saturday July 28th all my favourite women in my life "showered me with happiness" before our big day. This day was filled with emotion and surprises. I had my beautiful bridesmaids setting up the hall and perfecting a fun party. 

The shower had taken place in a building where there was 2 floors so it was only right to have my guests be greeted by a sign to ensure them the party was here and where to go!

When they got inside they were greeted by my bridesmaids and given some direction on how the party was going to flow. Instead of having my guests sign a book to remember their attendance, I thought it would be hilarious to have the ladies fill out a personalized Mad Lib story to share their "advice" to the bride!

After they wrote their "advice", they were given ballots to guess how many gowns I tried on before finding the ONE! 

I found this cute wee birdcage from Michaels that I just adored as decor and thought it would be great to have cards placed together instead of scattered all over the table. 

I had made a sign to countdown the days until my wedding where I become a MRS! From the day of the shower there was 48 days until the big day :)

The centrepieces were handmade by my sister Kelsey and I. My sister was gracious enough to give me her empty  liquor bottles, where I then cleaned them out, took off their labels and spray painted them with gold spray paint. The paint I was originally looking for was a rose gold. I couldn't find the rosé gold anywhere! So I used gold and it turned out exactly the shade I was looking for! Just a touch of baby's breath to complete the look for everyone's tables. 

All my ladies were treated to alcoholic and non alcoholic bridal shower inspired punches. (Note: the names that describe the punch desired!)

My gorgeous bridesmaids! 

Cheers to a wonderful shower!

One of my bridesmaid made the sweetest cake for the party!

Lastly all the guest left with a martini glass filled with my favourite Lindt chocolates. Chocolates and Cheers!