OUR SAVE THE DATES

25 April 2017


Since a few of our left over save the dates have been sitting in our desk drawer collecting dust since we've handed them out a while back, I figured I should probably dust the cob webs off them and share them here before they accidentally get thrown out when we decide to declutter our spare room and Todd goes on his usual cleaning rampage of throwing out everything that we own. I guess in his defence, if it's never been used then it probably shouldn't be taking up space. In my defence though, some things have meaning and sentimental value. But in his defence again, if he could talk, he'd say that birthday cards with only the writing of "Love, such and such" doesn't really count.

I'm getting a little off topic here! Somehow I went from talking about our save the dates to talking about one of the many examples that results in some bickering and compromising in our household! But back to the topic at hand! The whole insight into our relationship can wait for another time!!




I knew I wanted to send out save the date cards from the moment we set a wedding date and started in on the planning. With a (very) long engagement, I figured most people would need a little reminder that a wedding was actually happening!!

I originally saw this save the date from Minted on The Daily Tay's blog. I remember loving theirs so much, and I thought it would be perfect for us! It had an option for a picture, and the timeline made it a little more different and a way to make it a bit more personalized for us.

Boy meets girl: in 7th grade and he admits he didn't like her
1st date: at a bar on George Street in 2004 (after one too many drinks)
Lovestruck: after many late night drives and lots of laughter
She said yes: and then they take forever to pick a wedding date :)

We also ordered our wedding invitations from Minted, and I can honestly say they were so great to work with. They're great with customizing things you need, and the shipping was super fast too (especially to this Canadian here!). If you're ever thinking about ordering anything from Minted, keep an eye out for discount codes but they're available quite often.

We thought it would be a good idea to take our own picture since 1) we wanted to save some money and 2) we thought it was a little late to get engagement photos done at this point. About 10 minutes in to setting up the tripod in our living and both of us sweating profusely, we both realized it was a bad, bad idea. I honestly don't think I'll ever forget that day; going back and forth between laughing hysterically and bickering some more! After going through the 50+ photos that we had taken, the one we decided on just magically appeared amongst all the 49+ hilarious ones!! I don't know how many times Todd said, "oh my god, the photographer better know what to do with us on our wedding day". I really hope Todd is right! 

I think our save the date turned turned out great, but boy did we certainly have to work hard to look cute that day! Let's hope there's not as much sweating and bickering on our wedding day (but I'll definitely take even more laughter please!!).

Until next time.

WHERE I'VE BEEN (AND OTHER LIFE UPDATES)

21 April 2017

Well, hello there! It feels like it's been an eternity since I've last been here. As usual, the longer I go without writing, the harder it is to get back into it. It's funny because the majority of times with blogging I complain that I never have anything to write about, but lately I feel like I almost have too much to write about, and that's causing me to avoid it all together. And as we all know, that makes absolutely no sense, because it only makes it that much harder for you later. I swear that is the story of my life with everything summed up in that paragraph right here! Oh Renee, the holes you continue to dig for yourself. I'll never learn....

But, I really, really, really want to get back into the swing of things and get back to some sort of normalcy with blogging again. Starting is always the hardest with anything, right? So for now, I figured I'll start by sharing part of the reason (that first paragraph obviously explains the other half) for the absence.



We went on a vacation!!!!

It was a 3 week (almost!) vacation that included visiting my sister and her family in Toronto, then our friends in Edmonton, and then some relaxation in......beautiful Maui!! It was such a nice few weeks, and it's so hard to believe we've been back a month now.

My sister had a baby at the beginning of February, so I was so happy to finally be able to see my new niece (who was around three weeks old at the time), and to spend time with my two favourite boys. I can only imagine what it's like to have children of your own because it's unreal how much I love being an Aunt and just how much I love those kids. Every time I'm with them I catch myself just thinking about how much love I have for them...while the other times I'm thinking about how exhausted I am trying to keep up with them! Just from my brief experience, three kids is not for the weak! ha! But I guess triple the work means trip the love!




From there it was off to Edmonton to spend the next 5 days with our friends who we hadn't seen in almost two years! It was definitely worth the wait because we had the best time with them. It was our first time in Edmonton and they were such great tour guides showing us around the city. But honestly, some of my favourite moments were the ones spent hanging out in our pyjamas on their couch, just talking and laughing. Even though we call and text quite a bit, I guess there's still nothing like good face to face time with your friends!!




We were also able to help our friends little boy celebrate his 2nd birthday while we were visiting. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I think one of our favourite nights there was staying up late and decorating their house for his Mickey Mouse party. With lots of chips and drinks supplied to the adults (as well as lots of inside jokes that would carry on throughout the rest of our visit), there was definitely no shortage of laughter!! By the way, if anyone needs the letter 'N' in a Mickey font, we totally got you covered! Those things are hard to find...trust us!



And then from there we were off to Hawaii, but I'm going to have to save all of the details on that for another day week. I am hoping to share all about our trip real soon though, I just have to go through the million photos that's still sitting on our computer waiting to be organized. Although I am so not looking forward to that part, I am sooo looking forward to sharing it with you because we absolutely LOVED Maui. It was one of our favourite trips to date!!

Okay, so what else has been going on? Oh yes, the countdown to our wedding....

The wedding. People, we are a little over two months away from getting married. Two!! I feel like I'm officially starting to get lured over to the wedding dark side because my mind has been consumed with nothing but wedding thoughts lately. If I'm not making decisions, then I'm thinking about what decisions I have left to make. And if I'm not doing that, then I'm thinking about the actual day and hoping everything will go as planned (yeah, I laugh at this one too!). I'll move on from the wedding talk for now though because I'm sure I'll be sharing a lot more about all of that real soon!

The wedding diet. Ha! Okay, I know I said I was moving on from the wedding talk, but this doesn't really count! So to sum up, I have been having the hardest time with losing weight, and I have been for quite some time now. Since we've been back from our trip though I've changed things up quite a bit, and I'm hopeful that I'm going in the right direction. Time is-a-ticking my friends. At this point, all I can hope for is that I can feel the best I can on my wedding day, so I'm trying to remind myself of that when I get extremely frustrated or discouraged. But again, I'm hoping to get into this more later.

The Bachelor.  I know Nick's season of the Bachelor has been over for a while now, but I never did get a chance to finish recapping his season. I was so sad about this because 1) I actually enjoyed doing them and 2) I was soooo close to accomplishing what I had originally set out to do. So close! I guess there's always another million seasons to go though! But what did you think about the finale? Were you surprised? Were you happy with Nick's choice? I was pretty confident in my prediction of him picking Vanessa from the beginning, so I wasn't very surprised with the ending. I'm such a sucker for this show though because I always route for these couples so hard after, and Nick and Vanessa are no different. It's funny because sometimes I feel like the majority of the people I'm following on Instagram are the couples that came from the Bachelor and Bachelorette. Kaitlyn and Shawn? Check! Jojo and Jordan? Check! Sean and Catherine? Check! 

Other than that, things have been pretty quiet around here over the last month. The weather over the last week has been absolutely horrible, so I'm continuing to hope for warmer temperatures and sunny skies soon. Sephora's 15% off sale has been happening over the last few days, and while I did manage to make a purchase (or two :)), I've been having to use some serious self control to not order as much as I did during their last sale because #WEDDINGSCOSTAFORTUNE!!!

That's it for now!

Until next time.

BACHELOR HOMETOWNS: SHOPPING & MUDDING & MORE OH MY!

23 February 2017

Ahh, the week of the hometown dates! The week that's always one of my favourites of the season to watch, even if it's also the week that reminds me just how bizarre the Bachelor really is. I mean, isn't it all fun and games until we hear the Bachelor asking multiple girls dads for their daughters hand in marriage? Can you imagine those poor dads? Even if some of them do just play along with the bizareness of this part of the show and give them their blessing, it still has to be really, really strange for them knowing that there could be a teeny tiny possibility that they actually do engaged. Again, bizarre I tell you, bizarre!

But, saying all of that, this is when I find the show takes a turning point, for the better. The drama has drastically dwindled and we know a lot more about, and are a lot more invested in the four girls that are remaining. We get to see them in their hometowns with their families, and it's always fun to watch how the Bachelor fits into that piece of their world.

Raven's hometown date was up first, and hers was one of my favourites to watch. The first part of their date seemed so fun, and dirty!!! Did anyone else notice Raven and Nick's clothes at the beginning when they were about to climb those....what are those things called? They were full of mud, even before we got to see them biking through the mud. Something tells me those two parts of the date were switched in the editing room. You can thank Sharleen Joynt for making me take notice of all those sneaky editing changes!! She's the master of detectives at them!




Her family seemed so unbelievably kind and sweet, and how amazing was it hearing the news that her dad was cancer free? There were a few parts when they were talking, like when Raven was telling her dad she would rather walk down the aisle alone than have anyone else do it, that I caught myself filling up a bit. I also loved it when her dad told Nick he didn't expect to like him, but he did! 

Raven is definitely someone that I continue to like more and more with every episode. She seems so fun and so genuine and honest too. I also really like her and Nick together, although I do wish at this point they had a little more chemistry (you wouldn't say it though from the image I shared above). I'm just not completely sold on the two of them yet, although I still am rooting to see it!

Rachel had the next hometown date. As much as I love Rachel, and Rachel and Nick as a couple, I found it hard to watch her hometown date with the same interest as the other girls knowing there's no possibility they'll end up together. Again, why oh why did they announce her as the next Bachelorette already?  I wish they would have waited at least until after the episode she gets eliminated. I am curious to see how that part goes down, though. Do you think Nick lets her go next, or do you think she leaves herself?


Image
"Cheers to you being the Bachelorette" - Nick

Next was Corinne's hometown date in Miami, and I have to say I loved this one! I feel like she's totally playing up the part of how she's perceived, and I actually like that. What's that saying, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em? Or maybe she does just love shopping that much and that's where she really did want to take Nick on her hometown date. Either way, it was fun to watch and I'm actually liking her and Nick together more. I can't believe I'm saying that, but they're really fun together and fun to watch. But my goodness does this girl have expensive taste! I can't believe she bought Nick a $3000 dollar outfit! I'm pretty sure Nick's gonna have to keep her around until the end now so he can at least justify that purchase!!



And then there's famous nanny Raquel. Gosh I loved her too! We got to see she's a real, sweet woman who cares for Corinne, and not just a nanny who fetches cucumber slices! 

Vanessa's hometown date took place in Montreal and, of course out of the four hometowns, it would be raining during the one in Canada. #Typical. Seeing her students get so emotional when they saw her again made me pretty emotional too. I absolutely loved how she brought Nick there for the beginning part of the date because you could tell how much she loved her job and her students and it was really great to see. 




Her family was definitely the toughest on Nick out of all the other families, especially her dad. While I completely understood where he was coming from, I guess I just would have enjoyed her hometown a lot more if he could have just played along with the bizareness of this part of the show and pretended that he loved Nick and was over the moon excited for them. But unfortunately this is the real world, and I guess because he loves his daughter so much, some tough questions had to be asked (and answered). It got real awkward there for a while when Nick was asking him for his blessing. Real awkward! 





"It's yes or no!!" - Vanessa's dad asking Nick if he asked the other girls families for their blessing.

Here's the part I wish I could find out - is the lead required to ask each of the girls fathers (or mothers) for their blessing to get engaged to their daughters? Is it just pushed by the producers or is it actually part of the contract? Obviously there wouldn't be much of an interesting show left after this point if we saw them only ask one of the parents, but I'm really curious to find out what the rules actually are! I honestly felt so bad watching Vanessa after she was told by her dad that Nick also asked the other girls parents.

As we all know at this point, I'm definitely a Vanessa fan (the girl can speak three languages for pete's sake, but not Spanish, Nick!) and I'm still predicting she's going to be the last girl left standing! Since I have been thinking that for a while, I did find it a bit strange when Nick said to her family that he and Vanessa haven't talked much about the future and where they would be living and such. Maybe he's just avoiding the discussion of having to move Canada! #AlsoTypical. Even though we have seen Nick shed quite a few tears so far, it has to be a good sign if he teared up when talking to Vanessa's sister about not wanting her to get hurt.

The episode left off with a knock on Nick's hotel room door from none other than Andi. Andi! I'm curious to see how they'll be around each other and what she has to say to him. Ughh I hate these cliffhangers....

What did you guys think of the hometown dates? I'd love to hear!

Until next time Bachelor fans.

WEEKEND RECAP: CABIN FEVER AT IT'S FINEST

18 February 2017

Last weekend was one of those weekends that just didn't go according to plan. Aren't screwed up travel plans such a bummer? But as we all know, sometimes plans never go the way you exactly want them to, so sometimes you just kind of have to sit back, learn to go with the flow a bit, and laugh and drink and eat your sorrows away. And that's pretty much what we did this weekend.

After taking a couple of days off of work, we were all really excited for our long weekend on the west coast of Newfoundland. We woke up early Thursday morning to start the trip since we had about a 6 or 7 hour drive ahead of us. It actually took us longer than we expected because we ended up stopping at every place along the way for multiple coffee breaks, food breaks, and of course pee breaks. I swear I'm worse than a child on road trips having to stop every hour.




We also stopped at the two most important places before getting to our final destination; the grocery store and, of course, the liquor store. Not knowing we'd be spending the next few days inside with nothing really else to do, now looking back, stocking up on those essentials (alcohol definitely counts as an essential when you're cozying it up with friends, right?) beforehand turned out to be the wisest decision we'd make the entire time. Unfortunately there weren't too many good decisions made after this point though!!

We spent our 3 nights in a two bedroom chalet at the Humber Valley Resort. It turned out to be the perfect little spot for the four of us. The place was fully equipped with everything we needed, although we did end up taking our own Keurig machine just to be on the safe side! Major essential! Oh the things coffee addicts will do! We each also had our own huge bedroom and bathroom with jacuzzi tubs, which was definitely a nice touch.

Since it was late that evening when we arrived, we just put on a couple of pizzas and ended the night with some drinks and board games...a theme that would continue throughout the next couple of days!




It had been 5 years since myself and Todd had been skiing at Marble Mountain, so we had been looking forward to hitting the slopes ever since we decided to make the trip. On our first morning there, with sleep still in my eyes, I immediately rolled over, grabbed my phone and checked the ski conditions. When I read the mountain was closed due to the weather conditions, my mouth dropped! But after getting some breakfast and waiting around for a couple of hours, the ski hill decided to open again so we all suited up as quickly as we could and were on the mountain by noon.

After about an hour skiing in some windy and snowy conditions, we were then given the bad news that they were closing again. In fact, at this point, the whole town was shutting down because of the weather. So, back to our chalet again it was.

Being stuck inside on a snow storm with friends and a fridge full of "essentials" in the early part of the day made for quite an interesting night! By the time dinner time had rolled around, we had turned the simplest of board games into drinking games. Trivial Pursuit, Battle of the Sexes, Bounce Off, you name it, we found a way! The rules are really easy actually - you win, you make someone else drink, you lose and you drink.




So needless to say, our plan of getting up and out the door early the next morning fell through...a lot! But after a slow start and forcing ourselves to pull through, we dressed back up in our snow gear and headed out to find some snowmobiles to rent for the day. We should have known that on such a beautiful day, and with the entire town being shut down the day before, we were going to be completely out of luck. And so we were.

The four of us sat in the truck for the next little while debating about what our plan was going to be. At this point, skiing wasn't much of an option considering we'd only get about two hours in. Since we were all out of winter activity suggestions (and still a little under the weather, might I add), we decided the most logical and practical thing was to find somewhere that served homemade french fries! Ha!!

After a hardy meal, we ended up going back to the chalet where some of us took a nap and some of us decided to take advantage of the jacuzzi. I was in the later group! The rest of the evening was spent watching reruns of 'How I Met Your Mother' (another theme that was carried throughout the trip), and we never left again only to go to the closest store because we had run out of junk food! Are you sensing another common theme?




The next day it was time to go back home. We all agreed that we'd push the drive off a little later so we could get skiing for a couple of hours because after all, that was the main reason for this entire trip!! And that was the only thing we actually got right over those last few days - we were packed with the vehicle loaded and the chalet cleaned and on the road to Marble Mountain by 9am. It was a beautiful day and we were all happy to be out in the fresh air again! The cabin fever was officially over!!




In the early afternoon we were on our way back home, and there were a lot less coffee and food breaks this time. Of course there were still a few pee breaks!! We made it home just in time to go straight to bed for work the next morning.

Lessons learned:
- Allow yourself enough time in case of bad weather and hangovers!
- But it's probably best to avoid the hangover at all costs!
- Make sure you're stocked up on the essentials and that you have good company if things don't go according to plan!
- You can always make the best out of any situation!

Until next time.