Monday, June 5, 2017

wedding 101

Having recently experienced the entire wedding planning process and the exciting day-of festivities - I've found that I have a refreshing new perspective when reading wedding articles... Worries that caused me sleepless nights and things that I endlessly scrutinized over sorted themselves out and the day came together more perfectly then I thought possible. I can now sit back and laugh at myself for over-thinking almost every little detail.

With wedding season having already begun, here are a few links that are sure to be helpful for brides-to-be and wedding guests alike ::

- the phones/ipads/cameras urks me to the core! (We actually added a little note to the ceremony program, asking people to not take photos, rather engage and be present throughout the ceremony.. (almost) everyone respected our wishes)

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- I took D's last name, and let me tell you, I have heard my share of other peoples opinions... (I get that not everyone is on the same page, but be respectful of others decisions) 
- I've been forth coming about certain costs with particular friends, but having to dodge the "how much did your ring cost" or "how much was the florist bill" questions is really awkward

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- #3 : we did a first look and it was one of my most favorite moments of the day - it's private and so so special - doooo it! 
- #4 : we had four long harvest tables and sat smack dab in the middle of everyone - it was perfect being surrounded by our bridal party, their partners and having our parents right behind us 

Friday, June 2, 2017

happy weekend

{ the sweetest vase with cottage grown flowers }

I'm welcoming the weekend with a full embrace. Looking forward to catching up on sleep, getting out on my bike and making some healthy, delicious food. 

Whatever you're up to, enjoy your weekend! xx

{ a sea-themed print in the bathroom }

{ new favourite drink spot @ cocktail bar }

{ views of park dale }

{ delicious dinner at black hoof }

{ beautiful blooms from hunt & gather, our local florist }

whole 30: work week update

We've made it through the first work week of Whole 30! Thankfully, it wasn't as tough as I was expecting. I didn't suffer much from withdrawals and I had overall good energy levels throughout the week. 

We started our days with a big breakfast feast - a variety of eggs, a fruit salad. and a cup of coffee. 
For lunch we packed big salads with lots of veggies, avocado, prosciutto and a hardboiled egg. 
My favourite snack this week was apple with almond butter. We also found dried fruit (without sulphates!) at a local health food store.
Our schedules pulled us in different directions this week, but we managed to cook some delicious dinners too. We had guests over on Tuesday and served marinated flank steak with cilantro sauce and ginger lime grilled shrimp, which was a big hit. And we made turkey bolognese with spaghetti squash that will definitely be a new go-to comfort food recipe. 

It's Friday night and I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'd love a glass of wine. But five days in, I'm invested in seeing this through!

One of the goals of the program is to break bad habits - a few of mine would be frequent consumption of alcohol and sweets! I'm missing dessert but know the cravings will get easier as I go. I did make a Whole 30 compliant treat tonight for the sunny June days ahead - mango and coconut milk popsicles will be sure to cool us down and will be consciously consumed and enjoyed.

Monday, May 29, 2017

whole 30 : day 1

Pre-wedding included a whole lot of working out, watching what I ate and prioritizing my health. Post-wedding has been the happiest three months of my life, but I took a month off workouts and have been eating and drinking whatever I want. Three months later, it's caught up to me. It's resulted in weight gain and not feeling too great about myself. 

When friends recently told us about Whole 30, an eating program they had been following, we agreed it was something both D and I needed to do for ourselves. We purchased the guide book, the cookbook and prepared ourselves over the weekend to get started this morning. One of our faults, in our normal daily lives, is laziness and not preparing ourselves to succeed in eating healthy - so we're making it a priority for the next 30 days. 

The breakdown: The Whole 30 Program
Length: 30 days

(but the goal is to break bad habits and form a new relationship with food, which would obviously continue past 30 days)

Restrictions: No Dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt), No Gluten or Grains (bread, oats, quinoa, rice), No Sugar (no processed but no natural sugars either, like honey, maple syrup), No Legumes (beans, soy), No Alcohol 

(the idea is to remove foods that are best known for causing inflammation and problems, removing them, letting your body heal - them systematically reintroducing them (after the 30 days))

What we'll be eating & drinking: Fruits, Vegetables (except corn and peas), Meat, Eggs, Nuts, Coffee, Sparkling Water

I weighed myself this morning and took note of how I was feeling (any aches and pains) and have started a note in my phone. I expect to miss sugar the most and have a hard time saying no to patio beers - but am determined to stick to the program for 30 days, no cheating! 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

the 'it' summer bag

If you follow any fashion bloggers, you'll know the above bag (more commonly in natural of white) is the bag of the summer. I like the look, but I tend to stray away from styles that are so popular. 

Here are a few other options, still on trend but with a uniqueness that is sure to get noticed. Best part, they're all under $70 from Zara.

Oh, and while we're on the topic of summer bags - this is the bag on the top of my wishlist...
(if only I had a birthday at the beginning of summer)

Friday, May 12, 2017

birthday baskets

We celebrated a good friends birthday recently with lazer tag and a pizza party. It was totally reminiscent of younger days, (admission: I had actually never played lazer tag), and while we might have been the oldest kids at lazer quest, we totally had a blast.

D and I went in on a gift with another friend and we came up with the idea of putting together a basket of treats, given the birthday boy is a total 'foodie'. The finished product was filled with a mix of savory, sweet and spicy goods - from different Toronto hot spots and a Roncy specialty grocer.

Here's what went in the basket:
- a Bellwoods Brewery beer ($6)
- Terroni pepperocini ($9)
- Cumbrae's original spice rub ($6)
- fancy sea salt ($6)
- handmade caramels ($1.50)
- whiskey barbeque sauce ($8)
- root beer syrup (that you mix with tonic) ($11)
- bacon chocolate bar ($5)
- a Toronto key chain holder ($12)
- bakset ($7)
Total Cost (with tax): $80

I wrapped it all up with cellophane and a big bow and it turned out so well, it might be my new go-to gift for upcoming summer events.

You could totally mix-up what you include, depending on the occasion... 
House Warming: organic cleaning products, candle, ceramic key dish
Summer BBQ: grilling utensils, paper napkins, fancy ketchup or mustard

Tip:: Dollarama and Home Sense are great spots to stock up on wrapping essentials to keep on hand -  I always have a few rolls of cellophane and different ribbons. I also recycling wrapping stuff where possible - the paper filling actually came with a wedding gift and I just put it in a ziploc, saving it for later! Another idea, when you see cute, affordable items - pick them up! I love having little memento's on hand for last minute gift giving.

Monday, May 8, 2017

hand loomed rug

Simple concept, elevated execution. The texture of this wool rug is so luxurious, I could only imagine stepping out of bed on a cold winter morning. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

happy friday

Living two blocks away from High Park has it's perks. D and I woke up early on Wednesday morning and rode over to the park to check out the cherry blossoms (and beat the crowds). We brought a thermos full of coffee and sat among the trees and then snuck into Grenadier Cafe for an early bird breakfast before heading back home and off to work. It was unexpectedly wonderful, and a nice way to break up the week. 

D's parents are back in town this weekend for another visit before they head back out West. We're booked at the Drake tonight for cocktails and it'll be fun to show them around one of our favorite spots. We have a couple of busy weeks coming up, and this weekend kicks things off. Hoping to balance the busy with morning coffee and enjoying the spring sunshine. Whatever you have planned, enjoy your weekend xo

{ last weekend marked the one year anniversary of getting engaged (lots has happened in a year!) }

{ cute decor at Oak Island, the newby on Ossington }

{ seriously good eats at When the Pig Came Home }

millennial pink

Millennial pink has taken over the design world as of late - fashion, beauty, interior design has all taken note, picking up on the popularity of the color and I'm loving it.
 These J.Crew looks has be inspired to work more pink into my wardrobe. With blond hair I always strayed away from it, feeling it was a little too girly, but I'm loving the pink on pink - look #1 is my favorite!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

house crush

Confession: I have house fever. You know like some ladies have baby fever? Well, I have house fever. My mind is over run with the desire to buy and decorate a home as of late! Maybe getting married has increased my feelings on the idea, but I'm hoping we can somehow get our foot in the door of this crazy Toronto real estate market!

I came across this Parisian apartment and while I typically trend towards neutral palettes, there's no denying the amazing use of color and pattern in the space. Book marking this one for future inspiration. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

book club

My most recent read was Jessi Klein's "You'll Grow Out Of It". It was and enjoyable read and Jessie was hilarious and earnest. She's one of the writers for Amy Schumer and you really just feel like you're chatting with a girlfriend over wine. I admittedly LOL'd a few times while reading. Perfect read to kick the summer off.

I'm hosting May book club at my house and I chose Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff as our next read. I haven't been the best at keeping up with the reading, but seeing as it's my choice and I'm hosting, I don't really have a choice. I started it this morning and it seems intense but I'm already hooked.

Loved this article about how to read more, and feeling inspired that I can get through this one before the deadline. I've also just gotten Kelly Oxford's new book and cannot wait to start it, as more of a light, comedic read!

What are you reading these days?

my wedding day look

Oddly enough, when I began dress shopping, I didn't have a clear image of how I envisioned looking on my wedding day. With it being a winter wedding, I knew I'd get to wear some of the furs that have been handed down and lent to me, but I started dress shopping with a very open mind. My mom was kind enough to accompany me to 9 different appointments before I ended up choosing my dress. 

I decided on a simple Theia dress, knowing that I would change the neckline (it used to be a boat neck across the front) and add bridal buttons all the way down the back of the dress. The crepe fabric was one of the selling points, it was flattering and so comfortable. I ordered my dress at Sash & Bustle and all of the ladies were SO helpful and wonderful - and after visiting quite a few shops, I loved the vibe at this sister-owned boutique in Leslieville. 

I had fun throughout the day switching my look up with different fur coats. The shorter brown and long black ones were my grandmothers (you can see her initials in the brown one!) and the ostrich shrug was D's grandmothers, lent to my by his mom. They photographed so beautifully and kept me warm for all of our outdoor photos! 

I hired a hair stylist and make up artist from Jen Evoy Studios to come to my parents house the morning of the wedding. They worked their magic on me, my bridesmaids and the mommas. It was so nice being able to wake up at home, and just feel comfortable getting ready in a familiar setting. I had gone for a trial to figure out the look I wanted and the girls replicated it perfectly on the day of.
I loved having my hair up and pulled back from my face; I didn't have to worry about it all day long and it withstood the windy weather. My make-up look was heavier then what I wear daily and felt appropriately 'me'. A girlfriend applied a gorgeous set of eyelash extensions and I added extra volume with faux acrylic strip lashes the morning of the wedding. I wore a Dior lip gloss that I've used for other weddings - it stays put and doesn't need constant re-applying. 

Photographic evidence of a very goofy moment, trying to 'fluff' my own train! 

Because the dress was so simple, I knew I wanted to add some sass and details for an extra special flare. I chose a Karen Willis Holmes overlay skirt which was detachable, and a Theia beaded jacket. Put together, they totally transformed the look of my plain white dress. I wore just my dress for our first look, then added the two pieces to walk down the isle and Drew was so surprised - the first thing he said was "did you change!?" - it was such a sweet moment. Then I got to surprise everyone by removing the skirt and jacket to enter back into the reception after cocktails! 

It turns out that my months of working out paid of, because when I tried my dress on for the first time it was really big. All three pieces, the dress, skirt and jacket needed some serious altering. Sash & Bustle suggested getting in touch with Meghan at Shoppe & Tailor, who was so lovely and super-duper talented. She worked her magic and after five appointments, I left totally in love with my look.

I knew I didn't want to wear a necklace, so I searched and searched for the perfect earrings. The ones shown in the photo were originally set in brass and were clip-ons and were from an Italian designer that sold out on the website I found them on. As I kept looking, I kept coming back to these, knowing they were exactly what I wanted. I ended up finding the same pair on another website and ordered them right away! The ladies at Anice Jewelry helped me switch the clips out for posts and coated the brass in rhodium to achieve the silver look I wanted. They ended up being a significant investment by the time I was done, but they were perfect. I loved how they looked with my pulled back hair.

I also checked the "something old, borrowed and blue" boxes off with the bracelets I wore. I borrowed my mom's diamond tennis bracelet and paired it with an antique bracelet that was my maternal grandmothers which had beautiful blue stones in it. The layered look felt modern and simple.  

I gave some hints about a general look that I liked, but D had my engagement ring custom designed secretly all on his own. He blew me away with how beautiful it was. We worked together with the same jeweler to create our wedding bands. I asked for a simple 3/4 diamond band with a hidden setting, so the stones look really round. It turned out exactly how I wanted and I'm so in love with my rings. D went with a really cool, unique design using yellow gold and black onyx. It's a statement piece that looks so handsome on him.

I used my grandmothers beaded purse to carry a few things with me throughout the day. I've coveted this purse for years and it felt so special getting to use it on my wedding day. And I loved my Badgley Mischka shoes that I found at Nordstrom. They were delicately beaded and had a small kitten heel, which was comfortable enough to keep on almost all day and night! 

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I felt so good the day of our wedding. I had worked hard to get in good shape and the different pieces of my dress came together beautifully. I loved walking up to D and surprising him with this dress that I had been hiding for months, and the costume changes later in the day only added to the fun. I've got my dress cleaned and boxed, ready for storage. I look forward to pulling it out in a few years and reliving the memories created while wearing it. 

Dress: Sash & Bustle
Hair & Makeup: Jen Evoy
Shoes: Nordstrom
Furs/Purse: Vintage
Earrings: Iossellani
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Alterations: Shoppe & Tailor
Photographer: Hugh Whitaker