Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Dance Down the Aisle

I was pointed to this youtube video today by the hand of the amazing Mix Mingle Glow blog. Would you ever do something like this?

I admit I teared up a little as I waited for the bride [though her dance moves made me wonder if she'd even practiced] but the heart in this display of love is just huge and this couple is lucky to have this memory!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Vendor Hiring Guide

Photo Credit: Blue Orchid Blog

As soon as I saw this post come through my Twitter feed yesterday, I knew it would become my Wedding Wednesday post. Blue Orchid Designs is a wedding planning firm based out of Arizona, New York and DC and their blog is chock-full of useful information and inspiring images and ideas. Owner Liene Stevens also fronts a wedding industry social media consulting company called Splendid Communications with a great blog for vendors called Think Splendid. It is definitely some of my fave blog-candy around.

Yesterday she posted a compact little guide for brides on her blog to help them hire the necessary vendors to make their day a success. It is a compilation of posts from a series she authored over the course of a few months all neatly packaged together as a printable e-book. The Wedding Vendor Hiring Guide has useful information for hiring your wedding planner, florist, DJ, officiant, caterer, photographer and more. It covers some basic and not-so-basic questions to remember when interviewing your vendors and serves as an excellent jump-off point for your wedding planning if you are just starting.

Enjoy your free download!


Monday, July 13, 2009

Etsy Monday: blackbirdfashion Sock Monkeys

So one of the perks of being an auntie is to be completely and utterly over-the-top on gift giving occasions, right? My [basically] sister's baby Jackson just turned 7 months old a few days ago, but I am already hunting down the perfect theme for his First birthday in December. I've been throwing around ideas like 'Jackson in 'One'derland', Vintage Circus and Alphabet Blocks. I bought a Sock Monkey a few weeks ago at, of all places, Shoppers Drug Mart, in hopes that I would find more adorable items to complement this theme and create an amazing birthday party out of it. The first thing that went through my head when I saw it on the shelf was 'Our Little Monkey Turns One!', how cute would that be on invitations? I turned to Etsy for some more inspiration...

Photo Credit: blackbirdfashion

blackbirdfashion on Etsy has given me a decidedly large push in this direction. Just take a look at her beautiful sock monkeys and 'socktopi' [yes, she makes something called a Socktopus!]. All of these little monkeys are giving me incredible inspirations- they are all so cute, especially these Siamese twins, 'Julius' and 'Edsel'!

She has some 'baby' monkeys that are smaller and are actually made from sweaters and sport a pattered 'fur' like this striped cutie below.

I will keep you updated on the theme that is ultimately chosen for Jackson's First Birthday, but this is a clear frontrunner to me. Do you like Sock Monkeys? What theme do you think should be used for Jackson's party?


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Relaxation

Photo Credit:

Weddings are stressful, no bones about it. Leading up to the wedding, you can go through a range of emotions that you didn't even know existed! You may be dealing with budget issues, guest list anxieties, trouble securing suitable vendors, DIY projects up to your eyeballs - all on top of your regular life which can cause stress. Your stress can lead to unwelcome visitors like neck and back pain, anxiety, fatigue, raised blood pressure and a number of other symptoms that don't lend themselves well to your wedding-glow.

Since I am going to the spa today with my sister to get a massage, it started me thinking about brides [and grooms! and bridal parties!] getting a stress-relieving massage on their wedding day or the day before. I have been working on a number of different events lately that have me working at all hours of the day and a massage is definitely what I need to help melt away some of my tensions. I am getting headaches more frequently and I know that even just a few minutes on the table make me feel infinitely more relaxed... I am looking forward to it, needless to say! The same can work for brides on their wedding day. It doesn't have to be a full body 90 minute rub-down, even just an upper back neck and shoulders massage for 15-30 minutes can ease the stress and prepare you mentally for your big day. It can be a wonderful group activity for the key members of the wedding party so that everyone has a clearer head and is a little more zen. You deserve to be pampered on your wedding day, so why not look into bringing a masseuse or massage team in for a treat? Many spas offer bridal and group packages, so be sure to inquire about the different rates available.
Photo Credit: GreenBliss EcoSpa

Bridal Yoga might also be a cool way for you to bliss out and connect with yourself just before your wedding. Inquire at your local yoga studio to see if you can arrange a private gentle yoga class the week of or day of your wedding for you and your wedding party.

Are you planning any relaxation treatments on or just before your wedding day?


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tasty Tuesday: Corn on the Cob

Photo Credit: stevendepolo

Is it weird that the boy's parents and my parents haven't met yet? We've been together for nearly two years, but Saturday will be the first time they've ever formally "met" each other. We are a little nervous, but I know it will go great. His mother is making a wonderful big meal for everyone which will include a roast and corn on the cob. Do you like corn on the cob? I was never much a fan of it as a kid, but I grew to really like the sweet crunch and hot juiciness of the delicious kernels. Smothering it in butter is my favourite way to enjoy the summer delight, but there are dozens of alternative toppings that you can try.

Canadian Living Magazine rounded up some interesting flavours to sample. Here is one I might try:
Provence Butter:
1/4 cup butter, softened; 1 tbsp Dijon mustard; and 3/4 tsp herbes de Provence.

How do you like to eat corn on the cob?


Monday, July 6, 2009

Etsy Monday: wevegotpaper Letter Set

Another cute party favour find for Etsy Monday, wevegotpaper 's sweet little Swirly Ivy letter set. These would look great in a gift basket for your bridesmaids! They would also be a perfect 'last-minute' hostess gift to have at the ready for impromptu visits to a friend's. Bonus points" wevegotpaper is Canadian!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Frugal Friday: Will Anyone Notice?

There are hundreds, even thousands of ways to reduce the cost of your event. One great way to cut back? Ask yourself the following question whenever you find yourself coveting an upgrade or detail that you are having a hard time justifying: "Will anyone notice if we don't do/have this?". I recently had a meeting with one of my clients and we were discussing menu options from a list from our caterer. She was undecided between entrees and wanted to choose two different ones to satisfy everyone, even though she knew mostly everyone would be happy with the one [cheaper!] option. So I said to her "Your guests will enjoy this option very much, and if you don't offer them this other choice in addition, how will they know any different? They will simply enjoy the meal that they are served.". Needless to say, she nixed the idea of the second entree and stuck with only one, saving over $500 on catering costs.

Of course it is fun and fulfilling to work on small details of your event to make it your own and exactly as you envisioned it, but it is realistic to know that some guests probably won't notice or appreciate as much as you had hoped. If you have a budget to accommodate as many details large or small as you wish, then by all means, go crazy with as much as you want! But if you are looking for ways to trim your budget, give this trick a try and see how many things, when you take a step back and rationalise, really won't matter to you in the long run. Remember that events are about you and your guests having a great time and anything that will cause you stress or financial woes is not worth getting in the way of that goal!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

everyone loves cupcakes: Canada Day Edition!

As promised, here is a picture of the patriotic cupcakes I made for Canada Day. I wish I had more pictures, because they were so cool! They were vanilla cake with a red icing injection inside. I used this method to "fill" the cupcakes with my sweet surprise. They went over great!


Thirsty Thursday: Cuba Libre

Photo Credit: Mike Fleming
Have you ever been to Cuba? If you have, there is no doubt you indulged in at least one Cuba Libre! If it weren't for rum punch, this would have easily been the favourite drink of my group of friends when we went to Cuba last February. Here in North America we just call them "rum and cokes", but the Cuban way [Spanish for "Free Cuba"] is a much more exotic and fun name for this IBA official cocktail. The origins of the popular libation are fuzzy and somewhat contradictory to say the least, but one thing is for certain: this highball is one for the ages!


In a tall glass [highball] filled with ice, add 1 1/2 oz rum, 1/4 oz fresh lime juice and top with cola. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Do you enjoy Cuba Libres?


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

party phD: Canada Day

Photo Credit: Rick Harris

Canada Day, formerly Dominion Day, is a Canadian federal Statutory Holiday celebrated on July 1st. Canada Day commemorates the July 1 1867 signing of the British North America Act [the Constitution Act] which joined the British North American Colonies Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and and the Province of Canada into a federation of 4 provinces and established the Dominion of Canada. It took some time for Dominion Day to catch on, mostly because many Canadians considrered themselves British subjects for a long time still after Confederation.

Canada Day is celebrated in many different ways across the country, varying from culture to culture. The range of activities includes fireworks displays, barbeques, concerts, face painting, air shows, festivals, citizenship ceremonies, parades and parties. Canadians flock to these [mostly outdoor] events draped in flags and wearing red and white clothing and accessories to show their national pride. Many events are televised on national television, especially fireworks shows and concerts featuring big name Canadian artists.

Since Canada Day is so close to the United States' Independence Day, there are actually some festivals that celebrate the friendly bond between the two countries during their time of patriotism. Detroit Michigan and Windsor Ontario hold the annual International Freedom Festival and Buffalo New York and Fort Erie Ontario celebrate with the Friendship Festival.

As a proud Canadian, I will be sharing Canada Day with my friends today at a backyard BBQ. I made some cute Canada Day cupcakes which I will post a picture of tomorrow. Happy birthday Canada and happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!

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