Monday, 12 August 2013

Saving the date

To announce the date of our upcoming nuptials we decided to do them in.... Pictures!!

Our friend Adam from asked if he could do some shots of us. He had the idea of shooting them on the rooftop of a downtown apartment and in the old freight elevator in the building. We had an absolute blast doing these! He is so talented, wouldn't you agree? 

Here's our save the dates! Which one would you pick?

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Our engagement photos

I know, I know... We're getting married in 35 days (omg only 35 days!!!!!) but there once was a time where we were a NEWLY engaged couple. 

When we first got engaged, I took in every tip, suggestion and post I could about planning a wedding. But nothing was as fun as scrolling through Pinterest and sorting through photos upon photos of ceremonies, wedding blogs and my favourite...... Photographers posts. 

How dreamy is it when you can see two people so in love, with that "spark" being captured by a photographer so involved in that moment! I love to scroll through those photos. I don't even care that I don't know these people being photographed. There's nothing quite like the LOOK of love :)

I told Paul that the most important thing about our wedding other than actually marrying him (because he's such a babe!) was having someone to share our day and making a memory of it for us. He was letting me take the reins in finding "the one" who was going to be there for our celebration of love. I made it my first mission to find and book our wedding photographer. I referred back to those photos I've been looking at but most of those Pinterest posts were for photographers in the states. Hrm... I need to start looking more local! So I took my search to Facebook. I posted a status that read something along the lines of "recommendations for a wedding photographer would be greatly appreciated!"  No sooner did I press that "enter" button to post my status, did I receive numerous recommendations for fabulous photogs! Ahhhh this is what I needed!!  

As I went through all the posts, I wrote down all the photographers company names and went to each of their websites. One by one I would check them off giving mention if I liked them or not. One of the first few recommendations I received was for a photography company named Crystal Clear Imagery. I kept going back to her website after every other photographers site I saw. Her images were stunning. They were simple, soft, romantic and she really kept her focus on what was important..... The love between her couples. 

After searching through all the recommendations, it was clear that my choice was to contact Crystal. From there the rest was history! We emailed back and forth, we met and absolutely loved her! We booked our engagement photos with her in September, she recommended 6pm for a beautiful glow from the sun and couldn't have asked for a better day. (Except the humidity, but we experienced a lot of that, that summer) 

Here's some of the photos she got of us that day. 

We brought some chocolate kisses and champagne to celebrate with!

I also got this ampersand sign made as a prop! It worked quite well don't you think? 

My ring marks the spot on top of the island of Hydra in Greece where he popped the question!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Food is my drug: my next journey.

Oh gosh. Would you read that title? Food is my drug? Well I'm not kidding. I love food just as much as the next guy. Unfortunately my run with food has had a halt at the beginning of the year. Sure I've endulged every now and then when the opportunity presented itself, but I sure have stopped from eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. You see, this year I had turned the dreaded....dun dun dun.... 30. And I'm sure any girl (or guy for that matter) can vouch for me when I say that a 30 year old's body definitely doesn't look or feel the same as a 20 year old's. But I wanted to make sure that THIS 30 year old was going to do something about that!!

Since my birthday is always tangled up in the Christmas holidays, I get all the goodies, dinners and drinks pilled up from the holiday parties RIGHT before my birthday. Who wants to diet during the holidays and miss all the wonderful, delicious, sweet tasting flavours of the season? (ugh I'm drooling) Well not me! While I was hoping that the food and drinks of the season were going to be the worst thing that I'd have to battle with, we got a phone call from my grandpa to tell us that my Nana is very ill and has been transported to the hospital with not much time left to live.

We all knew it was coming to this as she has been slipping deeper and deeper into her Alzheimer's and was at the point that she could no longer remember that she needed to eat. We were told by the hospital staff that she caught the flu, she was on pain medication so she would be in comfort and it was only a matter of a day or 2 before she would be passing away. Those holidays were rough, as us siblings went to the hospital every day during the day to sit by her bed and watch her, hoping that she wouldn't have to suffer any more. We would leave the hospital to go to my grandpa's and sit with him in the evenings so he didn't have to be alone. Afterwards I would go to my own home and grieve myself. And what made me feel better? Eating my feelings.

It wasn't easy grieving for her when she was still around. Grieving but still going to see her in the hospital. Also knowing it could be any moment that she was going to slip but she was lasting longer than expected. My mind was battling this concept. My Nana was a tough lady and she finally passed after 6 days in the hospital on Thursday December 27th 2012. 

Now onto comfort my grandpa. I went to see him everyday for the next 2 weeks to make sure he was ok. Of course he wasn't. He just lost the girl of his dreams whom he'd been with for 52 years. Sitting with him and consoling him helping him grieve, making sure he's not drinking alot of alcohol (hard hard task!), getting him to eat, getting him to shower and getting him to change his clothes. When I would come home at night from being with him, I was exhausted! Not only that, but I didn't  give myself a chance to grieve while I was with him, so when I got home it was my chance. And how would I do that? By crying, drinking alcohol and eating anything. Sigh....

Along comes my birthday. A day I have been waiting for.... Well,  for 30 years. I showed that I was happy on the outside but I was still so sad on the inside. My birthday came and went and I was still eating like crap, feeling like crap and missed my Nana like crazy. After a couple weeks of this, I couldn't stand it any longer. I took a look at what I was doing versus how I was feeling. Is there anything that I can do to change this feeling? I couldn't necessarily stop missing my Nana, but I knew I could try to stop feeling like crap if I tried. But how? Depression and anxiety started settling in my life and I had already battled these feelings before. I didn't want them back in my life again! I wasn't going to go on any medications again. I needed to take a good look at myself and see what I was putting in, that could affect what was coming out. Bad food= bad mood. Better food= better mood. Good food= good mood! Hey I think I'm onto something?!
I was already involved in a workout group that I meet up with 2 times a week in a boot camp type setting. Our training is based on conditioning and HIIT classes. These classes already helped me feel better but I needed more! You know when you want more, you just want more! :) I then began to start researching how to train myself in the gym properly. I found that by working out once a day, that my focus would curb my anxiety. Score! 

Putting my new found research to the test (clean eating and working out) and realizing its working, i decided that I was going to dedicate myself to this better living. 

Some times we need to hold ourselves responsible and I needed to do just that. I had taken control of those ugly feelings and replaced them with positive ones and more structured days where i'd schedule gym "meetings" with myself. I also decided to take progress pictures to see my dedication through the weeks. Then I got the guts to post my first "before" photo on my Instagram to take full responsibility in my new life style change. Here's a picture I started with on January 2nd. 

Now lets fast forward to now, August 8th, a whole 7 months later. There's been bumps in the road and trying to stay on track has been no easy task. Wedding planning, family drama and a busy job adds onto my days. I have 37 more days until I marry the love of my life and I'm gearing up to be in the best shape of my life! Now that I've said that, I'll keep myself accountable by updating here as well :)

Here's my first real progress pic after 2 months. I was feeling great and loving the changes! 

It's awesome when you start seeing your muscles form underneath the flab you're hiding!

Straight flexing:) 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Our romantic getaway.....from dating to engagement!

In the winter of 2011, I started mentioning that I wanted to visit Italy. Some of the reality shows that I was watching at the time was visiting there and it made me start thinking how badly I wanted to go. I mentioned it to Paul and he agreed. He had never been there either and what a great trip it would be for the both of us!

Little did I know that this trip was going to be different than any trip we've ever been on before. We've been down south a few times and taken weekend getaways to popular cities but this was going to be epic. This was going to be a trip of a lifetime. I could just feel it! We were both so excited planning this trip overseas. We decided we'd like to visit Greece as well as Italy during this trip. How romantic!

As we put together every detail of our stay, many of my friends and coworkers would mention that they had a feeling he was going to propose on this trip. Was he? I didn't want to know, all I knew is that this trip is going to be perfect for the life we were now living.

Before we started to plan the trip Paul had asked me what style of rings I had liked, when in fact I've never actually figured that out! Because we had never spoke about it before, I never wanted to tease myself by looking for the ring of my dreams. So with that being said the only engagement ring designer that I knew of on the top of my head, was NEIL LANE. For any girl who doesn't know who NEIL LANE is, shame on you! (just kidding) But he is by far one brilliant jewelry designer. The first ring that popped up on my screen was this gorgeous pink cushion cut diamond with 2 half moon diamonds on either side, shining like a beautiful diamond should. I turn to Paul and tell him, "This! Something like this!" I wasn't expecting an actual ring like that, but to show his dedication he actually contacted their company and inquired about the ring without me knowing. A few days went by and he told me that he had contacted Neil Lane and received a response on the ring I had shown him. They advised that it was a 10 karat diamond and unfortunately retails for over 7 figures. Whoa! I have great taste!

Now we are finally gearing up for our romantic getaway. Our flight was taking us to Athens, Greece where we would be staying in a little town in the suburbs of Athens called Glyfada. If you google it, it's describes as the "Beverly Hills of Greece"! Ha! How cool :) It definitely was a vacation spot. We had spent our days eating and drinking and just being in love. The days were hot and sunny, where the nights were warm and wonderful. We spent separate days touring the ruins in the Parthenon and taking a speed boat to one of the prettiest closest islands called Hydra.

While on this island, it was hot hot hot! We would walk along the sidewalk steps and ventured this small island of beauty. Then it was time for lunch and a beer. We stopped at this charming restaurant that over looked the ocean at the edge of a cliff. The view was stunning and there was not a cloud in the sky.  After the lunch he asked if we could sit along the cliff  to look at the view. Holy was it breath taking! He began to get all mushy (he's pretty lovey dovey but this was suspicious) and started suggesting that he'd like to see what the view is like from higher up. We left this gorgeous spot and walked up the pathway to a spot where a lonely bench was sitting with absolutely no one around. We have a seat and again take a look around. It was gorgeous! We both agreed that we had never seen anything quiet like it. Now mind you because there are no clouds in the sky, it's friggin HOT! Paul suggests that we move soon because it's so hot. I decide, why wait... let's just go now? He tells me to wait he's not ready to leave that spot.

Then begins to tell me he how much loves me.
Me- "Well I love you too"
Paul- "I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you"
Me- "Me too!"
He turns to me and says "Will you marry me?"
Me- "Of course I will!"
Then in true Paul fashion, he says "Good! Because I've been carrying around this ring since the beginning of the trip". He reaches into his bag he's been carrying during our trip and takes out this silver ring box and opens it up. There sits the most beautiful ring I've ever seen! In the Greek sun it sparkled like I've never seen a ring sparkle. How stunning! Oh boy... my heart just jumps when I think of that moment:)

For the rest of that trip I would turn to Paul and look at my ring and giggle. We're getting engaged! I couldn't believe that I was going to marry this man I love! We decided to keep the engagement to ourselves until we arrived home and could tell our friends and family personally. It was hard to keep it to ourselves but what a great secret to keep! Mind you along our trip in the restaurants in Rome and Florence, we'd tell complete strangers about our secret. Hey, we were never going to see them again! Why not!

So here we are, 14 months later, 40 days away from our wedding day, I'm I'm even more in love with him than I ever have been!

Here's a shot of the Hydra Island In Greece, just a short time before Paul was about to pop the question!

Yes I tried to coordinate my outfit with their country's flag. I thought it was suiting LOL

Our first photo as fiances. We're engaged!! :)

The proposal spot <3

The bling! I like to call her Beyonce because he liked it and put a ring on it:)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

....and so it begins!

Last weekend I had my Pinterest inspired Bridal Shower. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to compliment my own shower, but it was so sweet and everything I pictured it to be! :) It was such an important day to me having all the females whom I've shared such amazing memories with, be altogether in one room to celebrate with me. What an amazing feeling:)

The Bridal showers in my circle of friends have usually been put on by their mothers and mother's in laws, to shower the bride before she walks down the aisle, with a day of festivities with the brides female friends and family. But because of the lack of mom in me and my siblings lives, my sisters wanted to put this together for me. I have been looking forward to this day for so long, knowing how much planning and organizing goes into a party like this. Needless to matter how many obstacles we ran into, the day went on and I loved every moment of it.

I definitely felt like a bride-to-be that day! I was lucky enough to have my wedding photographer attend my shower and capture all the special moments that I will be able to relive all over again! I haven't received those edits back yet, but in the meantime here's some photos that I stole from my sisters and friends Instagrams.

Here I'm holding the most beautiful cake that has ever been made for me by my bestie/bridesmaid and on the right is the wine label that was made in honour of my shower from one of the sweetest ladies I work with whom now is one of my good friends. 
I'm glad my sister remembered to grab a photo of us with her camera! Here's my maid of honour/and sister Kelsey posing with me after the shower. <3