Monday, August 31, 2009

His and Hers

OK, the countdown is on... 6 days till I'm married, and 4 days till we will be on the road to Fernie... yup, that means some things are getting deleted from the DIY dreamlist!! BUT, more importantly, things getting done at a rapid rate (can you hear the optimism... the reality is things are taking longer than I ever expected them to, but heh, they're getting done) (2nd bracket: the sneeze just reminded me tell you that, as expected, as soon as the defense finished, my body started releasing all of the stress I have been holding on to the last few months, and I am now sick?!?! I asked my body so firmly to stay healthy until the defense was over cause I couldn't handle being sick... why didn't I ask it to hold on until the wedding?! oh well...)

So, this post is allll about my new favorite tool: the circle punch, and my new favorite supply: the full-page labels (P.S.... seriously, how did I live before the full-page labels?!?! They are so friggin awesome!). First things first... our OOT bags, or shall I say, baskets! I can only show you some of the items that are going into the basket, since my step-mom has gloriously offered to assemble the apple crates (I guess those aren't baskets?!) complete with croissants, homemade cherry jelly, coffee packets, and I really don't know what else. But, to add our personal touch to it, the circle punch and labels made a big appearance!!

I formatted a page worth of labels, in different colors, and pre-cut them using scissors (this was my first punch, so I soon realized that at least one edge had to be cut pretty close to the edge of the circle, but in no time I got the hang of this new trust tool... look, there's even a window to make sure everything is lined up (told ya, total newbie!!)

My stack of purple and green labels:
And the candy supplies: my favorites (lindt chocolate, and hot tamales), his favorites (after eight bars and nibs), small clear plastic bags, and of course, the labels! What I didn't get a picture of was the beef jerkey we ALWAYS pick-up when we drive to Fernie, which of course was labelled as a favorite of the bride AND groom, and a couple packs of gum for good measure!!
All the goodies labelled with hearts:

And the stack... a couple will go in each basket (we are only doing baskets for the 4 houses we have rented, which will have about half of our guests... the rest are in individual hotel rooms, and we drew the line there... I know, I tried to avoid the special treatment of the house guests, but what can I say??)
And since we're on the topic of circle punch and labels, here's a glimpse into their second use... gift tags!! (PS: don't you just love those adorable round purple tins I wrapped the girls' head pieces in?? Now they have the perfect storage case for them!!)

The gift pile seems so small... how did I go so broke buying a wee-little basket of gifts??
OK, I warned you, labels and circle cutters... my new best friends!!

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dr. Bride

OK, I am actually back... after a successful PhD defense!! I'm not gonna lie, it was probably the hardest day of my life, but in the end, I heard the words "pass", so I am a happy girl. I would have LOVED for it to go more smoothly, and I have spent a few days feeling sorry for myself, and mourning the loss of those 2 hours that I had envisioned being confident, strong, and impressive, and am now coming to terms with the fact that they simply were not my best hours, but it's ok... I passed, and life goes on. Thank-you all for your kind words of support, it really did mean a lot!!

OK, I am actually back... as a bride 8 days away from getting married?!?! WHAT?? I know I know, catch your breath, relax, and hold on for the ride!! I can't believe the wedding is almost here, and I have been so MIA with you guys I barely know where to start?? We leave for Fernie on Thursday next week, so I have a mere 6 days left to get everything ready... the only problem is, I don't know what to do?! The defense took EVERYTHING out of me, and I am finding it difficult to convince myself to get up and get productive. On top of that all, the PhD was definitely a stress on the important relationship... with me and my man... but I know in the end it will make us stronger. The only unfortunate thing, is it coincides with the inherent stress of wedding planning (time, money, emotions, energy... the works!). So, we are going to try to spend some time today on us, just good ol' fashioned fun time together putzing away in the garage (yes, on wedding DIY stuff, but still, it will be fun!), and trying to bounce back from the last couple of months where it has admittedly been all about me, with very little attention paid to him. I know we will get through it, and in 11 short days, we will be drinking wine together in France, as husband and wife... yes, we can get through this!!

BUT, because I have been so negligent here for a long time, I will share some goodies with you... nothing will be in order, all is random (like the thousands of thoughts swirling around in my head right now... someone to deliver bouts.... Cajun appetizers?!.... remember to bring steamer.... did I ask P to bring Cranium or did I just think about asking.... get licence renewed... YOU GET THE POINT RIGHT!!).

Today though, let's talk about the rehearsal dinner... otherwise known as the welcome BBQ! We have decided to throw a casual lunch at the wedding lodge, to which all of our guests are invited! And yes, a LOT of them are coming... 90 to be exact! So, my mom and step-dad, famous for their steaks, are bringing 90 AAA Alberta (the best!) beef tenderloin steaks from their butcher, and grilling them up with some homemade baked beans, and my grandmas buns... with a little Caesar salad thrown in for some greenery! Most of the food has already been cooked and frozen, which should make the process pretty simple. We aren't afraid of the big parties (we have a cabin where we regularly have 30-40 people over for steak!), but this is definitely one of the biggest ones we have done!! What does this have to do with DIY... well, this isn't all that creative, and definitely not challenging or even original for that matter, but, it is still worth sharing (I hope you agree!):

UTENSILS: you might remember this post about Ecoware utensils, so you've maybe already seen these before, but here are a few more details...

I bought green and white IKEA napkins (super affordable, nice and big, and pretty thick and soft!). I bought 100 white and 100 green, which I believe came to something like $12 or $15. We are also using the utensils for the day-after-brunch, but yes, we will definitely have MORE than enough!

Rolling utensils is not too exciting, but for those of you without waitressing experience (I have rolled quite a few 'roll-ups' in my day!), I thought I would show you the process:

You definitely want to leave some of the utensil showing (I think they are adorable!)

Because our napkins were pretty big, and I was a bit anal about how the final product looked, I folded the corners of the napkins in, to ensure a straight edge at the end:

To secure the roll-ups, I used some of that homemade paper (in purple) that feels like fabric. This paper ended up being awesome. Because of the texture, it rolled really easily, and laid smooth (sometimes a normal paper will get creased/crunchy, and in my opinion, doesn't look as clean as these turned out). The lady from the paper store that I bought it from told me definitely don't use a glue stick... she suggested double sided tape. BUT, double sided tape just got caught up in the fibres of the paper, while the glue stick worked really well! (Just a note about the paper, I bought one sheet for $5, and cut it into strips ~1" wide, and maybe 3" long... I did 200 roll-ups with it, and still have some left over!!)

The finished product front and back. You can notice the nice straight edge on the back (and I made sure the folds were such that the edge would land on the back and not the front of the roll-up... I told you I was anal!)

The stack getting bigger:

Kinda cute right? But wait, since we're on the topic of welcome BBQ, I thought I would share with you the outfit... and I am just gonna put it out there... I think I almost like this dress more than my wedding dress... yup, I said it! I LOVE this dress... it is just so unique and fun that I want to where it at every possible opportunity. I will likely be overdressed for the party, but heh, it's my party right?! And I'll over-dress if I want to ;) So without further adieu... The first 2 pics are taken in the dressing room at BCBG when I was trying to convince myself that since it was waaaayyyyy over budget, I would take pictures of it just so I could think about how it felt, but that there was no way I could afford it!!

The super cute embellishment:

And even though it TOTALLY broke the bank... I bought it!! And, I have already worn it to one wedding (check out me with my man back in July...)

Whew... first post in a while... sorry it was so random!! How are y'all doing?! I've missed you!!

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

the countdown is officially on... 3 and 14

Hey All,

I had a glorious weekend with mom-daughter-sister spoiling, QT with the nephew, and the most amazing non-shower shower a girl could ever ask for!! As soon as I get pictures, I will share, but in the meantime, I have to put this in print so I will actually believe it:

In 3 days I will have a PhD!!!
In 14 days I will have a husband!!!
wowowowow!!! Where has the time gone?! It was a fast (I'm talking short people, like I can still remember the smell of the Vietnamese soup we were eating when he proposed 8 months ago short!!) process from returning from Austria to do PhD research, to completing (almost) that PhD and becoming a wife, and to be honest, I am having a bit of trouble catching my breath!! I am finishing up my Defense presentation right now (hence the short diversion to update you!), and it is truly unimaginable that these 2 HUGE life accomplishments are within arms reach... someone pinch me!!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009


OK, so it's probably only edgy in my mind, but heh, it's all about how you feel right?!

I went in to my hair trial with basically no inspiration photos... my poor stylist right?! Well, she's a friend, and luckily we were able to take our time, she had a bit of her own vision, and she knew I was pretty easy going about it all. My dress is a deep-V neckline, with a cross in the back... the cross in the back is really the only visually interesting aspect of the dress (not in a bad way, I like that it is simple), and I knew I didn't want to hide it. I also knew that I like my hair pulled back, especially when eating (and eating RIBS!!), so it doesn't get all up in my food yo! BUT, my man likes my long locks, so I knew it still needed some sexy curls... who's confused yet?? Well, here are the results:

from the side, showing off my veil and headpiece from Miss Myra

from the front
A better shot of the makeup in natural light

So, I was feeling pretty good about the first go... but something just wasn't right. I looked too "CUTE", and cute is definitely not my thing. I knew my hair had to come down a bit, it was just too cheerleader-curl-ish... Instantly I knew the 2nd round was better:

From the front... better right?

And from the side:

OK, so it was really close, but I was still feeling a bit chipmunk-ish... yes, I have an extreme phobia of fat-face-syndrome! I definitely gain weight in my face first, and since I have been working really hard to NOT gain weight, I needed to make sure I didn't have fat-face-syndrome... something was just telling me it needed a bit of tweaking. Jordy, my hair and make-up guru asked what was on my mind, and I told her I needed a bit more lift at the front... and... voila: the final product:

What do you think?? Did we get it right? I always love her makeup, so I knew she would do a great job, and the hair really turned out perfect... just like I had pictured! Another thing off the wedding to-do list!! VICTORY!!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Man's Look

This is a detail that started way-back-when... I dunno if you remember, but I had some issues with an etsy seller (catch up on the rant here). I didn't want to specify the seller in case something terrible had happened, and as it turned out, there was apparently some sort of 'family emergency' that made it difficult to fill the order. I tried to overlook everything, but was hoping at least for some sort of apology for being totally MIA for over a month, but alas, I didn't get an apology, and after another 2-ish weeks, I finally got our... ties!!

We ended up going with etsy's Cyberoptix ('Ties that Don't Suck'). Because I have been in such an 'execute' mode lately, I hastily gift-wrapped these suckers to give to our groomsmen before I got a picture, but the picture shows you what my man's tie looks like (gold on beige). The three ties for the guys were printed on khaki, which is slightly darker than my groom's, and they were printed with ink matching the girls' dresses... remember?

The ties really do look great... we are both really happy with how they turned out, and hopefully the boys will love them too! The engine print really suits my man, who is all about cars, and swears one day the Alpha Romeo that is sitting in our garage will be spiffed up and we will drive to the coast in it with the top down!! I had my eye on a fiddlehead print, but let's face it, this is one of his only ways to show his style, and he loves the print! I wish that everything had happened more smoothly with the seller, especially since I know how great of reviews she has had from so many of you blogging-brides. I have already purchased one of her ties for my man as a stocking stuffer last year, and, well, it did not make it in time to get stuffed. To be honest, I'm not sure if I will buy from her again, but rest assured, those of you willing to wait will end up with a product you love... the ties really do rock!!

Another quick note about bridal-party-fashion... my sis, MOH, best friend, and now... MOM TO BE... can't fit into her bridesmaid dress?!?! We both knew there was a good chance she would be pregnant at the wedding, but the dress she got was well suited for a small baby-bump. Well, as this is her 2nd baby, her 'small' baby bump is a little bit bigger than expected, and, yup, last week, with less than 30 days till the wedding, she broke the news... the dress simply did not fit. She had already been out shopping, and found a cute maternity dress she liked (which fit in with the color scheme), but then I found out the price... $250+. Now, considering the cost of bridesmaid dresses, this isn't bad, but one of the main reasons my girls were able to pick out their own dresses, was to give them the opportunity to stick to their own budget. If you remember my post about their gorgeous mis-matched dresses, my sis originally paid something like $60 for her dress... so I was really not keen on the idea of her spending nearly $300 on a replacement. Well, next to etsy, my favorite wedding shopping store is ebay!! And yes, I found her exact same dress, one size bigger, brand spanking new, for around $60 including shipping!! WAHOO... crisis averted!!

The best part... the tie that I got color-matched to this exact dress, still matches!!

So, with the ties, the groomsmen are taken care of (easy-squeezie, they're wearing their own black suit, white shirt, and black shoes!), and my groom was one step closer to being dressed!! Check and Check!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

2 the North Tuesdays... Edition #4

Alright, let's get back into it... Canadian wedding elves! Again, my apolologies for my blogging hiatus, I've had a few other things on my plate as of late ;)... BUT, without further adieu, here we go..

2 the North Tuesdays - Edition #4
Fuller Edge Photography

I know I have already given shout outs to the infamous Canadian Photographers over at Still Motion, but I gotta tell you, the team at Fuller Edge is rockin' my world right now. After stumbling upon their site and fishing around, I came to realize that they are part of the Little Black Book over at Style Me Pretty... small world this whole blog land!! Anyways, about the team... they are a husband and wife team, who claim their style is a mix of "vintage and sexy"... honestly, I personally think they ooze sex... in an oh-so-fabulous way!! I LOVE their work, and the pics make me wish I was as sexy as their brides!! Feast your eyes friends: (NOTE: all pictures are from the Fuller Edge blog)

aren't these blue sequin shoes to die for?!

hello... bride on a piano?? I want that to be me!

gorgeous lighting!

this makes my heart swoon...

downtown Calgary... my home!

Love this pic on the river... definitely love the creative lighting!

So, I hope you have enjoyed the eye candy as much as I did!! Fuller Edge is based out of Calgary, AB (yup, I live here, nope they're not my photogs...). They do amazing work, I drool over their sexy photos, and I wonder, every time I look at these, what it would be like to be a sexy bride!! I love our photographers, but if I could have two weddings, these guys would shoot the second one!! Maybe they do boudoir?! If you are in the area, of having a wedding in the rocky mountains, contact Fuller Edge (and then send me some of your photos!!). Fuller Edge, another killer Canuck Wedding Elf!!

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Hello my long lost blog-friends!!


from here

WOW, is all I can say... the last few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life, but somehow, I have made it out alive. Thank-you all for your words of support, I really did feel you cheering me on as I wrote wrote wrote, cried cried cried, and wrote wrote wrote! The support I have received from family, friends, and strangers (well, you know how it is, technically you all are strangers, but I feel the friendships that this blog has built!) has been overwhelming, and it really is true that it takes a community to raise a child (and in this case, the child was my thesis!!). I know I have sooooo much to catch you up on, and of course, I haven't forgot that today is Tuesday, and I definitely have some catching up to do on the 2 the North features, and all is coming your way. I am 19 days away from being married (holy crap... how did that happen?!), and a mere 8 days away from defending my thesis... yes, it will be non-stop until the wedding day!! I have tonnes of DIY details to share with you (that's pretty much all I've been doing since I submitted my thesis!), updates on dress and hair, bachelorette parties to share, and of course, lists miles long... so stay posted, cause I will be writing like a mad-woman the next couple of weeks to share this process of last-minute wedding planning with you!!

Thanks again to all of you for being my little blog-cheering-squad, and I can't wait to share more fun stuff with you (let's face it... there really is nothing fun about thesis writing!!).

talk to you soon... almost-a-bride, almost-a-doctor!!

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