Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm never going to survive...unless I get a little crazy.*

When it comes to eating I'm a bit like that girl with a know the one, When she was good,She was very good indeed,but when she was bad she was horrid!

Honestly when I make up my mind to stick to something I do and then I'm so good! I have turned down things that I love when I'm good. I know when I'm good I have the will of steel, I can turn down all my favorites even when literally placed in front of me. Then something happens..something always does. I don't know how it starts. Maybe with "just a taste" then a few days later "a bite" and suddenly I'm thinking "OK I will start again on Monday." Only it's only Wednesday and somehow the knowledge that I'm going to be "good" again on Monday creates a feeding frenzy. Two donuts and a bag of chips in one day? Of course!
I know I'm setting myself up in a vicious dieting cycle.
Funnily enough I only identified it as I was typing!

So of course this Monday I'm starting again..well actually I'm starting on Sunday. Figured it was March 1st so why not start then? But what is going to change this time? Well this time I'm going to do something a little bit crazy....

Starting today I'm going to take a photo of my scale, with me on it. My numbers are going to be here in all their weighty glory. Basically I'm going to embarrass myself into sticking to it! So here for all to see is my starting weight...

Some stats:

  1. I'm 5'6.5"(that half inch is really important!)
  2. I'm 31 years old
  3. According this online BMI calculator it's 26.8 which is overweight.

*Kudos to you if you know this song lyric!

The Goldilocks of Venues

Bah! For some reason my drafts are not being saved! Grrr.

Lately I've been feeling a bit like the Goldilocks of venues.
Too BIG!
Too small!
Too expensive!

I'm waiting to hear back from a place that I think might be my "just right" so I can go and take a gander. Verbally it sounds like the place of my dreams! It's actually in a building that I know and love, it's recently renovated, reasonably priced, allows us to bring in our own booze, is centrally located and the views! One side looks down into one of my favorite Toronto places and the other, well the other looks out onto the city. I'm basically in love with it before even seeing it. Which I know is bad, because if I hate it I will be so sad. It always sucks when you find out your crush is a big fat jerk! You know?

Nothing can move forward until I have a venue!

And since I'm talking about venues...Ever since I started reading wedding blogs I've started to have the sneaking suspicion that I am the only person in the world that doesn't know someone who owns a farm, ranch, mansion, retreat, magical forest where I can have my wedding.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Say Cheese!

I LOVE cheese. I have loved cheese as long as I can remember, my dad even taught me the alphabet by cutting out letters from cheddar and if I knew what letter it was I could eat it! I swear that this is the reason I could read by the time I was 3.

Without a doubt our wedding will have cheese involved during the meal at some point..probably more than once! Then I saw this.

It's a cheese cake! Honestly when I first saw it I thought "Wow they've made the cake look like cheese!" and then I saw that it was actually made of real different cheese wheels! This "cake" is from a company called A Cheesy Alternative based in Niagara region.

Everyone knows about Niagara Falls, which are pretty spectacular to behold. Well not that far from the falls is Ontario's wine region and some of the most beautiful wedding spots around. Niagara on the Lake is one of my favorite towns to visit and if you ever get a chance to visit it I highly recommend it, it is a bit touristy but in a quaint way and not in the same way that Niagara Falls is. If you were looking for a sweet place to elope that has it all or even a destination wedding Niagara has it all.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The easiest decision!

Even before I was engaged I knew who would be in my bridal party. I didn't even have to ask them because I knew they always knew they were going to be my girls. I guess that's what happens when you have known your best friends for more than half your life and have only one sister.It will most likely be the easiest decision I make!

My second bridal party decision was also rather easy. My ladies are all different heights and shapes, one of them lives in Ireland, and two of them are students. I wanted to find a store that had a lot of different bridesmaids dresses, had online shopping and were reasonably priced.

Why hello David's Bridal! That's where I found these lovelies!

I love that the first and last one have similar neck lines but different silhouettes! I've been in love with the last one since I first laid eyes on it!
Also the "Dress Your Wedding" tool is so fun to play with! It reminds me of playing with paper dolls!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Photography wish list.

I forget how I stumbled upon JM photography but I instantly added them to my favorites and even though since I stumbled into their land of loveliness they have switched blogs and sites maybe 3 times I keep following them around the internet like an in awe groupie.

These are the types of photographs I would gladly get another job for. They seem to be a very cool young married couple who just happen to have major talent pouring out of their cells. Oh and they seem to like good music too. Sweet.

All photos by Because JM and from their blog Today JM.

All of their work checks serious boxes on my photography hunt..except of course the price box. They don't have it posted anywhere that I can see now but I read that they start at 4000 dollars. Which is quite reasonable for something I consider to be art. I have friends that ask around that for their pieces but alas unless I decide we should elope and have lunch at a greasy spoon with two witnesses this is what I would spend the rest of my budget on.

That and a kick ass week in France.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A long weekend!

This was our 9th Valentines Day together, even though I have never made a big deal about this particular holiday this year I was excited. Why? Because this year we got a fridge! I know a major appliance isn't really the most romantic of gifts but if you had seen the yellow clunker that was in our kitchen before compared to our all stainless steel bottom freezer that now stands in it's place you too would be a happy cat!

BUT it didn't even stop there! After getting out of the shower on Valentines day I noticed a small Sephora bag! In it was a new perfume! AND he bought me two bottles of red wine!

We spent the day making beer in our basement from a recipe I had picked that included New Zealand Kamahi honey, orange blossom water and orange peel! It's going to be a great summer beer!

My whole weekend was perfect.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One chance is better than none.

I have never been one that would be described as "lucky". Sure I won a trophy for a drawing in when I was 6 years old and the odd scratch and win has forked over 12 dollars but I have never entered a contest and won or wanted something and suddenly it lands in my lap. Luck might be a lady but she ain't my friend it seems!

Oddly enough I have a friend who literally seems to make wishes and within a week or a month they literally become true. She's one of my bridesmaids so maybe because she's going to be part of my day some her luck will bite me in the tuckus.

Right now I am entering a contest open to people who live in my province. It is the fairytale wedding contest and I have every single appendage crossed that the name they pick out is ours.

It is wedding worth 25grand AND a honeymoon worth 5grand.


Imagine being handed almost everything you needed? The only things not included as far as I can tell are hair and makeup, photography, music and invites. Everything else? DONE. You even get a wedding planner!

I know it's a long shot and that many, many other people will be entering. I suppose having a chance though is better than not right?

Its funny though because even with a budget like that I'd still want to keep things relatively similar to my 6000 dollar budget. I guess it would just be on a bigger scale.

Wish me luck!

Five Questions!

Katie from The Indecisive Bride sent me 5 questions(I'm keeping with the number 5 theme this week!) I don't know why but I love answering questions and surveys...maybe it's ingrained in my brain from the years I spent taking magazine quizzes to find out if I was a good kisser or what kind of hair suits me! Ack imagine basing your hair style on a quiz!?

1. How much time do you spend per day on wedding blogs?
I probably spend more time than I think but my best guess is 45 minutes to an hour maybe more! There is just so much out there that I don't want to miss some awesome tip or idea by being lax on my blog reading!

2. Where is your favorite place to shop for shoes?
Real shoe shopping usually leads me to The Bay. I tend to only buy shoes when I have to! Fantasy shoe shopping though takes place in Holt Renfrew, Zappo's and various other online stores that have shoes that cost a whole pay cheque!

3. If you could live anywhere in the world, what would it be?
In the country in an old farm house. Preferably somewhere warm, maybe the south of France or Italy.

4. How many kids do you want to have (if any) and how soon?
I want two. The Mister seems to want one. I've had more than one fortune teller tell me 3 and I've always had a feeling I'd have twins as they seem to run in my family.

5. Name one thing you do that your fiance can't stand!
Hmm..probably that I don't take the dishes out of the dishwasher or do things when I say I'm going to. But I am going to do them, just not that very moment after I say I am!!

Here are the directions:1. Leave me a comment & your e-mail address saying, "Interview me." If you dare.2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (You get to choose the questions.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Five for under 500!

After saying out loud(wait is the Internet out loud?)that my budget for a dress was 500 bills I got busy browsing discount bridal sites looking for some dresses that I could see myself trying on for size. So here are 5 dresses that are all UNDER 500! Coming in under budget means extra for the finishing touches!

This DaVinci dress comes in at 386. I would take off the ribbon and add something like one of these

Left:Twigs and Honey

From left to right:

A stunning lace Maggie Sottero Destinations dress that comes in at 414. It reminds me of a Monique Lhuillier number except for without the added zero on the end!

The Goddess in the middle is OC by Oleg Cassini which will cost you a jaw dropping 299 dollars at House of Brides. Just add a laurel crown and some strappy flat sandals and you can be Aphrodite for the day.

This last one was the most "traditional" one I could find. I think if your on a budget and you want something more traditional it's best to go the very simple, less is more route and make it unique with outstanding accessories. This dress from Forever Yours can be yours for just 399. That works out to about 4 dollars per button down the back!

In my opinion I saved the best for last. It's another Maggie Sottero Destinations dress I think the bottom lace peaking out is really something and the sleek silhouette although not for everyone is so classic.
I really think it's stunning and proves that you don't need to spend over a grand for a wedding dress.

Blogs I heart!

I stumbled upon Creature Comforts a while ago when I was obsessed with decor and crafting blogs. Ez always has something wondrous, beautiful and often ethereal to inspire me!

It's blogs like this that make my life so much easier when I can just show The Mister what on earth I am babbling about when it comes to design ideas I want to make out with.

Seriously here are two randomly picked photos from the's like the best most beautiful design potluck ever!

All images from Creature Comforts

Monday, February 9, 2009

I know Montreal!

For a brief moment today I entertained the idea of having our wedding in Montreal. Montreal is very special to both of us as we go there at least once a year together and if I had to live in any other city in Canada it would be there. We heart Montreal.

I even IM'd The Mister and said "What would you think of getting married in Montreal?" and he replied "Ohhhhh!"

Then I started researching it a bit. If we got married in Montreal it would be at city hall I mean look at it!!
It's beautiful! Compared to Toronto's city hall....Yeah and the wedding chambers? blech.

So I got more and more excited, we could go for a couple of days and do things with our friends and family and have our reception at one of our favorite restaurants! I started thinking about going to the flower market in the morning.

I IM'd my another friend and asked "Would you come to my wedding if it was in Montreal?" of course he said yes but then added that although it would probably cut down on guest numbers it would also be a pretty expensive wedding for those that did come. He figured a minimum of 500 dollars. I realised he was right. I couldn't do that to my friends and family.

It wasn't a big dream or anything just a whim that I thought might be fun. I've also thought about renting out a cottage for a week in the fall but the price of that was pretty hilarious. I've thought about the restaurant option but the bar tab for that would be so much more than renting a place for a grand and bringing in our own beer and wine that we love and not beer and wine we can afford at restaurant markups.

So I'm back where I started which is fine with me.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wedding trends of 2009.

There has been a recent trend in wedding blogging that seems to reflect the current economic state. That trend? We all seem to want nice weddings for less money.

Here's a fun exercise to do. Call up a limo rental place, ask how much a limo would be for your wedding day, I'm willing to bet it's well over a few hundred dollars. Then a couple of days later call up and ask how much a limo would be for a pick up to go to a sporting event or something of the sort, was it a less? Probably.

It's incredibly frustrating that as soon as you throw the word "wedding" into the mix suddenly that gives vendors the right/ability to jack up the prices. Is it because they know that there is a breed of bride that will not even blink when they are told their bouquet of calla lilies will cost 200 dollars? If I sent my sick aunt the same amount of callas but not wrapped in a silk ribbon I bet it would be more like 50-75 dollars.

Now I know that there is extra time and detail and not to mention talent spent on wedding items such as cakes and flowers but if your even the tiniest bit resourceful or know someone who is (and we all seem to know one person at the very least who is skilled and crafty like that!) then why are we paying top dollar for the same-ish end result? I know that vendors fees are also based on talent and there are some really awesomely talented vendors out there, but if all I want is a simple white buttercream icing cake with some flowers on top why am I being charged hundreds of dollars just because it doesn't say Happy Birthday?

Image from Martha Stewart

Seriously take the flowers off this much do you think it would be? Add a really awesome topper or some flowers on top and instantly it goes from birthday to wedding.

So strange.

I used to buy and arrange flowers for an office I worked at. For 80 dollars tops in winter I would buy enough flowers for two GIANT arrangements. I'm planning on doing a DIY photo series on this blog because frankly ladies I've had it up to here with paying more because we want to have the weddings we want.

As well I think there is a lot of pressure to use conventional vendors. When planning a wedding think about the weddings you've been to. Do you really remember the organza overlay on the table? The ornate 5 tiered wedding cake? I'll admit I only remember ONE wedding cake from all the weddings I've been to and I was in the wedding party so I actually was more involved in the wedding than a guest. Favors? Same thing. I remember a couple of them but more often than not I can't. The ones I do remember were always the most cost's, homemade cookies, homemade soaps.

What I do remember is the ceremony, the food(good and bad.), the music, the love and the fun. Everything else? I'm not going to say it's a waste of money but I think there are ways we can all be cutting costs without cutting style. We just all have to start thinking outside the prettily wrapped wedding industry box.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

So tired. So, so tired.

Ladies and gentlemen(like men read wedding planning blogs! At least mine doesn't which is why he thinks I'm a bit nuts probably!) I am exhausted. More exhausted than I have been in a long time! I was ready to hit the pillow at about 9pm! Today we walked around the city for about 6 hours. The weather was unseasonably warm and it felt good to be outside without worrying about extremities freezing if they weren't covered.

It was probably one of the best days all winter.

Today we got beer brewing supplies and ended up carrying them the rest of the day. We went from one end of the city to another to buy exotic honey and taste about 10 different honeys before settling on one! I never realised how different honeys can taste some of them were woody and some of them incredibly floral and the different colours! I can see it becoming a new culinary obsession with us. Similar outings have turned us into beer nerds, cheese nerds, chocolate nerds, mustard nerds..oh gosh at one time we counted the different mustards in our fridge and we had 20 different types and flavors and not one of them just plain! I probably shouldn't even be admitting such things! We all have something I guess! Some people really love shoes or art..we love random food items!

Anymustardfreak....after the honey tasting we hoofed it up to get a tour of a venue I dig. The tree house one. We couldn't really go outside to the tree house but we saw the inside area that we were interested in. Even with out 55 max people it would still be too big and the guy who gave me the tour wasn't the guy who I'd been dealing with in email and he was really nice but he also never stopped talking and name dropping. I don't know if it's an event thrower thing or a city thing but name dropping always seems to irk me with some people. So we get the tour and finally it's time to talk dollar signs. He asked what our budget was and I said
"We're having 55 people at most so our budget is 6500-7000"
I swear his eyes rolled into the back of his head at that very moment.
"Well...the rental fee is 3500." Although it included tables, chairs etc, etc. They do have a new space off site that is smaller and about half that price so were going to look at it this week. So we'll see.

I'm starting to wonder if a restaurant would be the way to go. I think that the bar tab alone would be more than a rental fee...but it could be an option.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Champagne tastes on a bottled water budget.

The other day I wrote down every name of every person we would invite to our wedding.

The number only came to 52. The number would raise a bit if I invited some of my mother's relatives that still live in her hometown but I haven't seen some of them since I was 14 and as for my mother's mother...well I doubt she would come even if I did invite her. Ahh family.

Based on the theory(whoever came up with this theory obviously did so a very long time ago in a very small town!!) that you should budget for about 100 dollars per person for your wedding that brings me in at 5200. I stare at that number and know that I with some mad skills I could probably add an extra 800 dollars to that and bring the whole thing in at 6000.

Six thousand. Six, zero, zero, zero. 6-0-0-0.


Sounds like a lot when you just say "oh I'll have 6000 pancakes" or "The lady that lives in that house has 6000 cats" I mean it's a lot of dough in a normal world but in the wacky world of weddings I might as well be saying "I'm having 13 people and my budget is 666."

In a world where people don't seem to blink at paying 2000 dollar on a dress that they will wear once, get filthy and then pay more money to have it put in a box to be shoved into storage!

6000 is basically spare change. It's the money that the wedding industry found while looking for the remote control in the sofa cushions!

I've read that you should budget 50% of your budget for the venue and food. Ka-ching! 3000(and that is a laughably low number in these parts. A number some places just charge you to walk in the door!)

After that the next big thing for me is photography...I might luck out on this part because one of my bridesmaids (who knows she's one but hasn't been "officially" asked yet) somehow knows about a million people who all adore her and she might be asked to send out a notice asking for a favor or two. Fingers crossed. But lets say that doesn't pan out...2000 for that.

That leaves me with....1000 for every thing else. Not much for invites, flowers, decor, outfits, officiant, wedding license, music, favors, cake and the million other things I'm totally blanking on because my brain is swiss cheese...melted swiss cheese at that! mmm...cheese.

I've already checked out invites, since there are so few people invited I might even go the handmade route...but honestly on our budget I might want to save the time and most likely pain in the ass that I would undoubtedly make it due to my serious paper addiction and my bizarre ocd compulsiveness. Plus on this budget every thing is going to be done DIY handmade crafter styles.

So lets say I have to find a dress for 500, preferably under and only slightly over if I throw in some over time because "oh my god this is the dress!" gut reaction.

My parents whole wedding in the 70's cost 500 dollars. THEIR WHOLE WEDDING!!!
This is a fact that my mother just loves to bring up.

I have been entering online contests daily in hopes that some luck is sprinkled on me and I win something! I have never been particularly lucky though so unless some sort of universal shift happens I think my best bet will be online, a sample sale, going across the border to Filene's or pre-owned. My wonderful former boss also told me that if I wanted I could borrow her dress.

I will tell you a secret though. I'm going to do something incredibly dangerous. Something a bit childish and selfish and probably it will land me with a broken heart and a maxed out credit card.

I'm going to try on dresses that are far beyond my budget. I am going to go into the fanciest wedding boutiques and try on dresses that have price tags higher than my whole budget. Even though I know that even if I fell madly hopelessly in love with a 10 grand Oscar de La Renta(which even at a 7 grand discount I could not afford!) I could not and would not put myself into more debt for a dress. Even if it was the most lovely dress that ever lived and I would totally wear it grocery shopping and to friends houses for parties once I got it shortened! TOTALLY!

Image Source

Le sigh.

There are some really great dresses out there to be found. I just have to figure out what I want because I seem to have champagne tastes on a bottled water budget.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I got all kinds of fancy this weekend!

This weekend was all kinds of magical.

I met up with two of my lady friends for some shopping in the area of Toronto called Yorkville. My one friend is getting married this June. It's her second marriage and she's just having a small intimate family dinner at their favorite restaurant. She had decided that she wanted an outfit that she would be able to wear again and again but also something incredibly beautiful and stylish. Looking for her dress was not on the agenda, we were just going to walk around and go into the boutiques. Typical ladies day out.

Until we entered Chanel.

This was my first time in Chanel, I'm not sure why because it's not like I have "CANNOT AFFORD ANYTHING HERE!" tattooed on my forehead. But it's the sort of store I feel scared to enter on my own, to me it's like a gallery filled with wonderful things that I'm allowed to touch and I was certain that I would somehow touch a jacket and a button would fall off in my hand and I would get arrested for vandalism or some such thing. Yes I have a very active imagination.

Any hoo...we headed up to the area where they keep clothes which really does feel sort of like a gallery, there is only one of each piece on display and they are displayed beautifully. There were vases stuffed with white roses and it was incredibly calm and incredibly quiet! My friend decided to try on two outfits, the first a black woolly number that was beautiful but far too heavy for her June nuptials. The next outfit was a classic white Chanel suit with silver running through it. The size they gave her to try on was miles too big for her tiny frame and it looked stunning but it's hard not to in a suit that costs as much as a car! She felt it just wasn't right and suddenly on a whim asked to try on a dress she had shunned earlier as being too casual. It was a white shift style dress with a matching sporty zip up jacket. As soon as she walked out you could tell her heart was skipping a beat. They say when you know, you know, and she knew. We could tell.
I cannot find the actual dress online, but it is from the Spring Summer 09 collection. It's so her and so perfectly the combo of beautiful, classy, fun and versatile. She can dress it up or dress it down so easily it boggles my mind!

After finding a jacket that was the right size from a room that seemed to be behind a hidden wall panel a seamstress was brought out and the dress was pinned for alterations. She paid for it as we acted like we'd been given a hit of drugs in our clapping of hands and squeals of joy at being there while she found her wedding dress! Fresh from our Chanel high we headed over to a cheese and wine bar and proceeded to eat cheese and go over the details of what just happened!

I suggested she get a fascinator for her are a couple I found on etsy! So pretty!

Gilda by SmittenXOXO who Carly featured on A Disney Bride a few weeks back.
This Birdcage veil with giant rose by Satanica is making me reach for the smelling salts!
Getting a bit Sex and The City there is the GIANT flower option from madebymadeleine.
Another stunning birdcage veil this time from Artikalnyc.

With so many accessory options to brides these days how does anyone ever get married? My search for just four fascinators was so hard there are so many that I wanted to link to! I had to limit my love to just four and it feels so wrong!

I'm so honored and happy to have been there while my friend found her dress, plus I got to live vicariously through her purchase which kept me on a Chanel induced high well into the next day! It's not every day that you meet up for coffee and end the day with a wedding dress!