SPENDING A WEEK IN VEGAS - RECAP PART 1

28 September 2017

Now that I'm finally on the road to recovery (geez, it's been a long one!), I figured it was time to chat about our time in Vegas. Let's just hope reliving it all doesn't send me crawling right on back to bed. As I mentioned in the last post, Vegas took a tole on my fragile self. But, from what I've heard, if we all came back rested and refreshed, then we were probably doing something wrong while we were there.

It's funny because before we left, and even while we were there, people seemed so surprised when they heard we'd be spending a full week in Vegas. Now I can finally see why! It's not that there's not enough to keep you occupied for seven days, it's that there's too much, and trying to keep up with it all will eventually wear you out. Or, in my case, confine you to a bed for a few days when you return home. Lesson learned. 




But just like with most places, Vegas can be however you want it to be, and while every day and night weren't filled with experiences that would make it in another Hangover movie, our friends and I did try to keep busy and take advantage of the time we had there, and we also tried to live it up and do a few things that we wouldn't normally do otherwise because...YOLO! If my recovery time didn't make me sound old, then that saying probably did, hey? I don't even know if anyone says that anymore, but it was definitely the saying of our trip. That, and the flying money emoji symbol because Vegas sure is damn expensive and every day we just kept laughing (or sobbing) as we watched all of our money fly off to never ever land.

It was our first time going to Vegas (but not for our two friends who went with us), so not only were we excited to get away and hang out with our friends, but we were also excited to see what Vegas was all about. We had a few shows booked before we left, and we had an idea of a few things we'd like to do, but for the most part we kept our days unplanned - a decision that often back fired on the four most indecisive people ever! But somehow we managed to make it through and fill up our days, even if it did take an hour of 'I don't care's' before we left our hotel.

We had about 8 or 9 hours of travelling ahead of us, but luckily with a 6am flight and a 4.5 hour time difference, we had arrived and were checked into our hotel, the MGM Grand, by the early afternoon. Since the MGM is located towards the beginning of the strip, we didn't get to see much of the flashiness that Vegas has to offer on the drive there, but we sure did get a glimpse of it when we walked into our hotel. With the boxing ring and gold lion statue right at the entrance, the huge lobby with tv screens playing loud music, the crowds of people, and the ginormous casino that we had to walk through to get to our rooms, we were immediately struck with that unique Vegas feel, and we knew right then and there that we were in for some real fun.





Our first impression of our hotel, besides it fitting right in with the atmosphere, was that the rooms were nice and clean, but on the smaller side. We were staying in the west wing, and from what we heard, the rooms were bigger in other sections of the hotel. But the hotel itself was awesome (did I mention oversized?) and there were so many great restaurants and bars inside that you didn't even need to leave if you didn't want to. And their outside pool area was ahhmazing, but I'll get into that a little later. Overall we were happy with our hotel choice.

While it was located on the strip, if I were ever to return and prices were similar, I'd probably first look at hotels located a little more in the middle. We ubered quite a bit towards the end, because after a few nights of two girls walking miles in heels, we quickly realized it was better to dish out a few extra dollars to save whatever was left of our poor feet. And something tells me even the guys in their comfy shoes didn't mind getting picked up and dropped right off at the door. While everything looks pretty close from a distance, you'll quickly realize that the strip is deceiving. And plus, at the MGM, it takes a good ten minutes to walk to your room once you're even inside. #saveyourfeet





Day 1: Checking in to the MGM Grand, exploring the strip, dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, frozen cocktails at Fat Tuesday's, drinks at the Skyfall Lounge, late night snack at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill.


After checking in and changing into our shorts (hello crazy high Vegas temps!), we were off to hit up the famous strip. After walking our legs off and only making it as far as Ceasers Palace, we stopped in for an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. It was here where we had our first cheers to the beginning of a great week we had ahead, and to thank our friends again for the best wedding gift. It was also here where Todd pointed out Katy Hearn and Haydn Schneider- fitness gurus we've been following on Instagram for quite some time. But this wouldn't be the only people that Todd would scout out during our time in Vegas. As he would say, "I'm just like the beagle!". I swear he has an act (or a nose) for finding high profile people!

After eating, and while hopping around from hotel to hotel on the strip, we stopped into Fat Tuesday's for the most potent drinks. We didn't have any room left after our meal to enjoy our cheesecake, but somehow drinking our body weight in frozen drinks made sense. But I mean, can one even say they've done Vegas if they didn't walk the strip with a 2 foot drink? I didn't think so!

My first impression of the strip? Flashy, definitely flashy. Just as I expected. But, it really wasn't so much of the actual view of the strip that caught my attention, it was the inside of the hotels that did. Going in each and every one of them is an adventure in itself because they're all so unique and they all offer so much to see and do!

Later that evening we went to the Skyfall Lounge in Delano to enjoy some classier looking drinks and the beautiful view that the city has to offer. It was a great way to end our first day in Vegas. Actually, that's a lie, I just remembered we ended it with stuffing our faces with pizza and truffle fries when we got back to our hotel. Okay, so an even better way then to end our first day!









Day 2: Breakfast at Avenue Cafe, roller coaster at New York-New York, Ice bar at Minus 5, milkshakes at Holsteins, shopping at Miracle Mile shops, dinner at Dicks Last Resort, Zumanity Cirque du Soleil show, Coyote Ugly Bar.


Gosh, even writing all of that is making me feel tired. I don't remember this day feeling busy, but it definitely sounds like it was. We didn't have anything planned during the day, so after eating breakfast at our hotel, we wandered around a bit deciding what we should do. As I mentioned before, it was the usual start to our day.

After pretty much swearing off roller coasters years ago, somehow I ended up on the one at New York-New York. As soon as I was locked into my seat I started questioning what I was doing. But here's the thing, I hate not experiencing things that everyone else is doing. If everyone else around me is having fun, then gosh darnit I want to be right alongside them having fun too, even if it means not actually having any fun at all and wanting to throw up the entire time. Ha! But, thankfully it was a short ride and that no breakfast foods arose during the process. I'm even more thankful that no one decided to do any more crazy adventures that week because my anxiety and I could not have taken anything else.

It was then off to the Ice Bar at Mandalay Bay to have some drinks in freezing cold temperatures and to laugh at ourselves for dishing out money to go there. Did you ever do something that turned out to be so worth it just because of how ridiculous it was? Well that was the Ice Bar for us. We had paid money to put on winter jackets and gloves to go to a freezing cold bar that was completely empty. But it turned out to be a really fun(ny) experience nonetheless. We all agreed that maybe it would have been better (although not as funny) at night, and with a lot more people present.

Next was boozey milkshakes at Holsteins. OMG, you guys! If you ever go to Vegas, skip a meal and head here instead. I promise you they'll taste as good as they look. I can not, however, promise you that you'll fit into your clothes for that night. Or for the rest of your time in Vegas for that matter.

We had a busy night ahead and it started off with dinner at Dick's Last Resort. This is a casual restaurant where the staff purposely treat you like crap and poke fun at you. The four of us agreed that the food wasn't very good at all, but we did have a few laughs while we were there. It was fun to try, but after doing it once you wouldn't feel the need to ever go back again. Then it was off to our first cirque du soleil show; Zumanity. We thought the show was great and the acrobatics part was amazing. We discovered later though that it didn't hold a candle to the second show we'd see later in the week.

We ended the night at the Coyote Ugly bar and this turned out to be one of the funnest (and least sober) nights of our trip. The atmosphere was just plain fun and very laid back. We watched girls dancing on bars and other people from the crowd getting hauled up on the stage all night long. If you're looking for a non-club night in Vegas, I'd highly recommend this place (although my memory and judgment could have been a teeny tiny bit impaired from that night!).








Wait, that's totally a lie again. We actually ended the night at an Oxygen bar where Todd and our friend thought getting oxygen (and massages!!) at 3am would help with their hangovers in the morning.  FYI - it doesn't! Not at all. 




But, you'll hear all about the hangovers that occurred on Day 3 on the next post.

Disclaimer: Due to the integrity of myself and others, only 5% of the photos that were taken in Vegas are shown.

Until next time.

CURRENTLY I'M....

22 September 2017

Happy Friday! Thank god we made it to Friday. I've only been back to work a few days since returning home from Vegas, but boy has this been one heck of a week. Actually, the last few weeks have been pretty craaazy, and if you've ever been to Las Vegas then I'm sure you sure know why. But if not, lemme tell you, that place is definitely not for the weak...aka me!!!

I'm currently feeling like I've been ran over by a garbage truck, so with that said, I figured a "currently" post to ease myself back in was the way to go. Luckily these posts don't require much too much thought or brain power, which is exactly what's needed right about now because there's really not much, if anything, left upstairs at the moment. 

WONDERING: When I'll ever recover from Vegas? Oh, and how much cold medicine is too much to consume in 12 hours? We had the best time on our trip, but I have definitely been suffering since we've been back. Between the non stop week and the horrible cold I caught the last night we were there, I have been feeling completely run down and defeated. I've been sleeping and popping cold pills like crazy over the last few days, so I'm waiting any minute to start feeling like my old, pre-Vegas self! You won Vegas, you won!




THINKING: About, despite my body shutting down on me after, we had such a great time in Vegas! We had 7 full days (and of course nights) of non stop fun with our friends, and I can't believe it's over already. The weather was great, the food was great, the shows were great, you name it...it was all great. Expect a recap as soon as I come back down from all the cold medication I've been consuming!


WATCHING: I finished watching the last episode of Bachelor in Paradise a few days ago and, I gotta say, I really liked this season. I actually have the last episode on again as I'm writing this for some background noise and to drown out the ringing in my ears from this cold!! That's probably not the smartest idea because for every sentence I've written so far, I catch myself being glued to the tv for like ten minutes or more. How can one concentrate when they keep bringing up the Dean love triangle? So, did you watch? What did you think? At the beginning I debated about doing weekly Bachelor in Paradise recaps, but with the busy summer I had and with the show airing two times a week, I figured there was no way I could keep up with that. This girl knows her laziness!!


LOVING: This bracelet my sister (and nephews and niece) gave me as part of my birthday gift. I'm absolutely in love with it, and it's something I'll wear a lot and cherish forever! I gave her the "Mama Bear" one when she was pregnant with her third child, so I love that we now have matching ones. Such a cute gift!




LOOKING FORWARD TO: Digging out my fall clothes and embracing the cozy fall fashion (and maybe adding a few things in the process too). Hey, if you can't beat 'em, you join 'em, right? While I wish that summer could stay for a little bit longer, I do look forward to (mostly) everything that comes along with the next season. Hopefully we'll spend more time at our cabin soon because cabin days and nights in the fall are the best - cuddling up in a mountain of blankets while reading a good book with the stove on and a cup of coffee (and having nothing else to do...or more specifically, not having the option of doing anything else) sounds like perfection to me!


WANTING:
With that said, ALL OF THE CUTE FALL CLOTHES! What's some fall things you're loving right now?


NEEDING: To layoff the junk food, eat a vegetable (garden) and to hit the gym ASAP! You don't truly appreciate just how much better you feel when you're taking care of yourself than you do after you return home from a vacation that involves no sleep and no movement but all of the food and all of the drinks. I say that as I'm chowing down on a big bag of Doritos....


IN SHOCK THAT:  Kylie Jenner is pregnant! What?!? Todd just told me so of course I had to get on Mr. Google to see if it's true, and gosh darnit it seems to be.


Okay, this has taken me way longer than I thought it was going to (damn you, Bachelor in Paradise reruns) and I'm sweating like crazy (damn you, cold), so that's where I'm going to have to end it for tonight. Have a great weekend! Oh, and happy first day of Fall!

Tell me, what are you currently up to?

Until next time.

MONDAY'S THOUGHTS

11 September 2017

Originally this was supposed to be a "Friday's thoughts" post, but since I didn't get it finished on Friday, I put the computer away and decided it was going to have to be a "Monday's thoughts" one instead. So, with that said, happy Monday! How was everyone's weekend? Let's start this off with a little weekend recap, shall we?


WEEKEND: We had our nephews 5th birthday party on Saturday and then later that night we went to Todd's brothers for some food, drinks, and a game of Cards Against Humanity. It's been a while since we've played this, but my gosh did we have fun! I've realized over the years that the 'make or break' of this game is who you play with, and I think we must have had thee best people playing because I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard before. The belly type of, tear flowing, almost pee your pants laughs are definitely good for the soul, people!





BIRTHDAY: The weekend before last was my birthday and I had a great long weekend both celebrating and doing lots of relaxing! Todd and my mom were both out of town that weekend but I had some great friends who made the day extra special for me since they knew I'd be spending it alone. In the afternoon I was so shocked when I answered the door to see two of our friends holding a cake, flowers, and a Tim Hortons coffee for me! How unbelievably thoughtful?! Then later that night another one of my friends and I went out and had a great time over some food and drinks.


FALL CANDLES: While I'm still in denial that fall is quickly on it's way, I decided to stock up on all of the Bath & Body Works fall candles during their sale this weekend. Does it get any better than your house smelling like pumpkins, marshmallows and leaves? I think not!






OUR NEW BACHELOR: Arie, the runner up from Emily Maynard's season, was picked to be our next bachelor. Guys, were you as shocked as I was about this? I have a confession - I never watched Emily's season, so I feel totally out of the loop on this one. But, it's been so long since his season that I'm pretty sure even if you did watch, you kind of feel out of the loop too. How do you feel about it? Were you aboard the Peter train too? It looks like I'm going to have to go back in time and watch his season before the next one starts.


THE AWFUL HURRICANES: It's been absolutely devastating hearing about the damage and horrible affects that's been happening in the Carribean and the United States over the last few weeks. I really hope these hurricanes come to an end really soon and that everyone (and their loved ones) stay safe.


NEW WATCH: Todd got me a Daniel Wellington watch for my birthday and I am in love! I've been loving the simple look of these watches for a while now and the one he surprised me with is such a beautiful one. Good job, hubby! Up until this point I've owned one watch (a Michael Kors one that's like 5 years old), so it was definitely about time that I added another one to the collection.






WEDDING TRAILER: We got our wedding trailer back this week!! Eeeek! We're so happy with how it turned out and it makes us even more excited to see the full video. I can't wait to share all about our wedding with you guys soon.


iPHONE7: Someone dropped their phone and completely cracked their screen a few weeks ago. Unfortunately that someone was me. Since my apple care was expired I had to do an upgrade, so I finally went this weekend and got myself a new phone. Yayy to not being afraid of cutting my fingers anymore while using my phone. So far I see absolutely no difference though between the 6s and 7, besides the new headphones that I have to use now.


GOING TO VEGAS: For a wedding gift, our friends gave us tickets to go to Vegas together and we're leaving in just a few days!! Vegas plane tickets as a wedding gift?! Can you believe that? I swear I looked like a deer in headlights when we opened their gift the day after the wedding. I have never been so surprised over ANYTHING as I was over this, and I don't think ANYTHING will ever top this! The time is almost finally here and I'm so excited to hit the strip and see what Vegas is all about since we've never been before. Something tells me we're in for a lot of fun though. Please take it easy on us Vegas, we're fragile now!!!






That's it for now. Enjoy your week, everyone!

Until next time.

OUR REHEARSAL PARTY

07 September 2017

And I'm back and ready to share all about our rehearsal party. If you want to know how I was feeling earlier that day, you can read all about it here. Or, I can save you the ten minutes and just tell you that it was on this day when the wedding emotions finally kicked in and were sky high. But luckily, after a little mini stress attack, they went back down to normal and all was feeling great in the wedding world again!

The wedding emotions did kick back in again though, but they wern't feelings of stress or anxiety or worry. Nope, not at all! They were some of the best feelings that one could ever experience, and they happened just only a few hours later at our rehearsal.




Early on in the wedding planning, after the majority of the bigger decisions were made, we immediately started talking about what we wanted to do for the night of our rehearsal. We knew we wanted to do something because rehearsal parties are thee perfect way to kick off the wedding celebration. It's a chance to get some people to meet, others to come together again, and it also gives the couple a bit more time to spend with those they may not get to interact with as much as they'd like to on the day of the wedding. 

We just loved the idea of having more time to spend with our family and friends, simple as that. There's very, very few opportunities in your life when you can get everyone together, so why not take advantage when you can? I probably would have handed out an itinerary the week before the wedding, planning out every single minute of every single day so we could all be together if it was acceptable. It's not by the way, I already looked into that!

Since I couldn't go that crazy, I simmered down a bit and planned for a few fun things instead. Thursday night would be the rehearsal party, Friday would be a girls day and then a family dinner at Todd's brothers, the wedding would be Saturday, and then on Sunday we'd have a small get together at my parent's house.

Thursday night, and not Friday, was picked for the rehearsal party for two selfish reasons; so we could prolong the weekend fun, and most importantly, so that everyone could really enjoy themselves that night without having to worry about making it to the wedding on time. Alright, I'm sure it would have just been me and Todd worrying about that part, hence the selfish reasons, but gosh darnit it was our wedding and we wanted to let loose and have fun too!! And we did!! Boy, did we ever! And the best decision that was made during the entire wedding....was that one right there, friends!

The night started with the actual rehearsal at our wedding venue. As usual, we were running late, so with the mad panic of trying to make it on time, there wasn't much time to think about what exactly it was we were walking into. And it was all of our parents and bridal party and close friends just standing inside our venue, looking at us! We had walked into the best feeling EVER. It's a feeling that's hard to explain, but it's certainly one that I will never in my life forget. Never!

As special and as loved as I had felt at my bridal shower and bachelorette party, it was this moment right here that really put it over the top for me. With everyone around us and the excitement of the wedding being just two days away, I was officially on, what they'd call in the wedding biz., the wedding high.  And I did not want to come back down ever again....



Our wedding venue - Johnson's Geo Centre


After a quick run through of the wedding order (practicing both inside and outside because of the predicted weather forecast), we were all then off to the Quidi Vidi Brewery for some food and drinks. We love it here and so we thought it was the perfect casual place to choose for our rehearsal party. While we didn't have many out of province guests, it was still nice to party with local beers and true beautiful Newfoundland scenery all around us.


Our rehearsal party venue - Quidi Vidi Brewery


Besides the location, another thing that made this an easy choice for us was having the option of bringing in our own food or hiring a caterer here, instead of going somewhere like a restaurant or pub that only allowed us to order from their set menu. We ordered in pizzas and salads for the bridal party, their spouses and our parents, and then we opened the place up a little later to other family and friends where we had a caterer bring in different food trays and appetizers for everyone. By saving some money this way, we were able to do the one thing we really wanted to do for everyone, and that was to have an open bar! 









And it didn't take long that night for the drinks to get pourin', the music to get going, and the place to start filling up! It also didn't take very long for me and Todd to keep looking at each other with big smiles on our faces saying, "BEST NIGHT EVER"!! Because it truly was! But, before we knew it, it was around 1am, the brewery was closed, and there were eight of us piled into my dad's truck ready to go back home. Night 1 of the wedding festivities was over and I already wanted to slow time down.


My parents!!
I'm so thankful for all their help with this night!


The next morning all Todd and I could talk about was how much fun we had the night before. That's another great thing about choosing to have your rehearsal party two nights before the wedding - if you were planning on being apart the night before, you still get to stay together after the rehearsal and you get to talk and talk and talk not shut up about it in person.

And did I mention if you drink too much and sleep too little and end up having to wear sunglasses the next day it won't be at your wedding?

You guys, rehearsal parties are my favourite! 

Until next time.

FEELIN' THE WEDDING EMOTIONS: THE DAY OF THE REHEARSAL

04 September 2017

Now having the time to look back, I'd like to think that I was a pretty care free bride-to-be! Okay, okay, maybe 'care free' isn't the right word of choice, especially when it comes to describing anything to do with my personality, but I was definitely not as high strung over the wedding as I expected I was going to be. Oh how I wish my husband (yes, still strange) was here next to me so he could chime in and add his two sense on me and my emotional stability during that time. But, honestly, I think I did a pretty darn good job holding it all together if I do say so myself!!


Meeting our commissioner.


My mom would also be a good one to ask (which, surprisingly, I've never done), because I'm pretty sure she had a shield just waiting to be worn whenever she was around me the week of the wedding. That's the one great thing about mom's though, they're sure not afraid to tell you when you need to relax and come back down to planet earth. Because I guess that's another thing about mom's, unfortunately they're usually the ones that are right smack dab in the middle of any meaningless melt downs or self destruction that's taking place.

Actually, now that I'm forcing myself to dig up any horrific wedding behavioural examples that I may have taken part in, there is a time or two that I remember being slightly annoyed and a teeny tiny bit dramatic. But maybe I'll save those examples for another day because, after all, I'm trying to make a point about how awesome and mature and sensible I acted most of the entire time.

It was on the day of our rehearsal though, just two days before the wedding, when it seemed like all of the emotions that I probably should have experienced throughout, came crushing down and hit me all at once, at that one very moment.

I had the week leading up to the wedding off from work, and while we were super busy getting things done and packing for our honeymoon, I must say I felt pretty good and calm. We even had some out of town family members stopping in for visits and it was so fun (and surreal) seeing them and knowing that they were here all because of us! As the saying goes, I was cool, calm and collected.


Meeting our photographer.


But then came Thursday afternoon. Everything seemed to be piling on top of me, and all of the nerves and excitement and stress started to rush on in. I started to cry and I could not stop. It wasn't because of one thing or one feeling, it was just the weight of it all finally breaking through.

I had people emailing and calling and asking a bunch of questions, I was thinking of things that still had to be done, not only with the wedding, but with the rehearsal that night (which I ended up passing off completely to my mom that day. Seriously, my mom is the best!!), and I was worried about the weather, and whether our house was clean enough for everyone to get ready there, and I was also feeling very afraid that no one was going to have any fun!!! I know, I know, it's silly, but I swear there's something that happens during a wedding that completely knocks out any chance of realistic thinking.

From what I've been told, these are all normal, albeit slightly strange, bridal worries. However, when you're the type who really cares about people enjoying themselves, hosting a few big events in one weekend can sure take a toll on a type A, anxiety induced, over analyzer type of girl! Have you forgotten about the part where I mentioned about how awesome and mature and sensible I acted most of the time? Please don't!

I'd like to believe that as prepared as you are for the big day, nothing truly prepares you for the emotions that you're going to feel the day before or the day of the wedding, or in my case, two days before and the night before (but we'll get to that second part later). In most cases, you are on one hell of an emotional roller coaster, and you're just grabbing on and holding tight.




I honestly believe that regardless of how much time passes, there's certain things about our wedding that will stand out and be remembered for years and years to come. And it was the comforting and reassuring conversation that Todd and I had as I was crying that will always be one of them. It didn't have anything to do with the teeny meltdown that I was having, but it had everything to do with us and how I felt about him right then and there.

While I can't say that going forward I didn't worry at all about the weather, or the fun factor, or who was going to pick up the cake or flowers, or having to write our thank yous (and you get that the list goes on and on), I can say that I remember looking at Todd in that moment and just being soooo happy and thankful that I was going to be marrying him in a few days.

Just for the record - normally me stressing over the weather causes the hair on Todd's back to stand up like no other. I was, as a lot of people would say, "blessed", that he put his own feelings aside that day and loved me through the crazy times, because after all, isn't that what marriage is all about, folks?

Okay, so since I got a little carried away with the actual day, I'm going to have to save the rehearsal party that happened that night for another time.

Tell me though, what bridal meltdowns have you been through or witnessed? Let me (and others) know that we're not alone and that we've all been on this crazy bridal roller coaster together!

Until next time.

TURNING ANOTHER YEAR OLDER & SEPHORA'S BIRTHDAY GIFT

01 September 2017

Happy Friday, friends! How has the week been treating you? Thankfully it's the weekend, so hopefully it'll only continue to get better from here. This weekend is a long one, and it's also my birthday weekend!! You would think that a combination like that would make for a big and adventurous weekend, but it looks like it's going to be more of a low key one than anything. And as I'm writing this, and feeling a little tired from the work week, that actually doesn't sound too bad right about now.

Although my drivers license shows that I'm turning 32 tomorrow, I swear sometimes you'd think I was pushing 70. While the wrinkles and grey hair and random body aches seem to be sneaking in at an exponential rate now, it has more to do with the enjoyment that I get from staying home and going to bed early more than anything. Wait, who am I kidding? I can't blame my age, I've always loved those things! I guess that's what you would call introverted at it's finest right here, friends!




It seems there are always two times during the year that I look back and catch myself doing some self reflection - leading into a new year and around my birthday. I like reflecting back on the past 12 months because it makes me appreciate where I am, right now, and what's happened for me to get here. To be honest, this has been the fastest year of my life (thank you wedding planning!), and reflecting back on it has only reconfirmed that. Isn't it funny though how a year can go by soooo fast, but when you piece together all that you've done and experienced and been through, the timeline doesn't seem that short after all? 

While a few things have changed (working a new job, becoming a WIFE - still sounds so strange, friendships, and crossing off some places on our travel bucket list), a lot of things have remained the same (like my obsession with the snooze button, coffee, and chips!!).

And with reflection comes looking ahead. I have no idea what 32 is going to bring, but I do know that I feel full of anticipation and I'm ready to embrace turning another year older (as long as it still comes with unlimited supplies of coffee and chips, but maybe with a little less of the "getting older" weight gain). I feel like I've been craving change more than ever, and I hope this is the year that I make some of those changes, regardless of how big or small they are.


How true!


Moving on to what birthdays are really all about - the presents!!! Ha! If there's one thing you can count on from Sephora, besides emptying your wallet, it's remembering your birthday and giving you a "free" birthday gift. We all know quotations are necessary when you drop enough money in their store to pay for the gifts for the entire world. You continue to suck us in like no other, Sephora!

But I was really excited when I saw what Sephora was offering this year for the birthday gift; the Tarte lip and cheek set. As both a lover of Tarte and mini make up products (especially in lipsticks and blushes), I could not have asked for a better gift option. The colours looked exactly like what I would buy with my own money, so it was a triple win!

What I found out after was that the blush was in colour Paaarty, and that's actually the same blush our makeup artist used on a lot of us girls the morning of the wedding. In fact, my sister liked it so much she went out after and bought a full sized sample herself.




After wearing these products a couple of times this week, here's my thoughts:

  • This was my first time using the Creamy Matte Lip Paint, and I was pleasantly surprised with the texture and how it felt on my lips. It wasn't at all sticky or drying. While it's a matte finish, it doesn't seem to completely dry or set in like other matte lipsticks. But, I actually liked that more because 1) the formula looked better on my lips and 2) it felt quite light to wear as opposed to other matte lipsticks.

  • With that said, I did find it best if I blotted my lips after applying to get rid of any excess product.

  • I was, however, a bit disappointed with the lip colour, Birthday Suit. While it looked more dark pinky- mauvey in the bottle, on my lips it was definitely more brown. It's not that I didn't like the colour on me, I did, and in fact I have several similar shades that I've purchased myself, but I was expecting (and excited for) more of a pinky undertone than what I got.

  • Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty was the solid winner. It''s very pigmented (make sure to use lightly at first...I may or may not speak from experience), applies nice and smooth, and the colour is a beautiful pinky-peachy one. 



Tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Paaarty
Tarte's Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit


Overall I'm quite happy with Sephora's birthday gift this year. They're definitely products I'll wear again and again, and I think they both compliment each other really nicely when worn together (even if the blush does have more of a pink tint on me than the lipstick does). Thanks Sephora! Happy early birthday to me! :)

Have you tried any of these? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts!

Until next time.

GIRLS NIGHT IN: MY BACHELORETTE PARTY

30 August 2017

Oh, bachelorette parties! The event that most brides-to-be look forward to almost as much as they do their wedding day. Almost! Whether you're the bachelorette or the good friend helping her celebrate, I'm sure we can all agree that it can be some of the best times ever. And while it's probably not going to be the last hurrah with them, it's a great way to get your closest girlfriends together and live it up before going off into the married world.

How I felt about my bachelorette party was absolutely no different. It was a night that I was anticipating since the wedding date was finalized. And it turned out to be a night that I'll both equally never forget, nor ever remember! To be more specific, as you've probably already guessed, it was the first half of the night that I'll never forget. The second half? Well, I'm sure you've guessed that part too!




In case you need some help though, let me take you back to Sunday morning, June 18th, the morning after the party. It was around 8:00am when I finally opened my eyes and looked around the room to get my bearings as to where I was and to what happened the night before. After looking down at myself in my bed wrapped up in blankets, I noticed I was wearing only my bra and my spanx. You know, both the least sexiest or comfortable thing one could possibly ever wear to bed. With another quick look around the room I saw my dress hanging over our closest door and a white sash saying "Bride To Be" draped over our tv. It was then that I quickly realized that I left (or got carried...tomato, tomatoe) my own bachelorette party early. Between the realization of missing half my party and the feeling of pure sickness that came over me, I rolled over and smacked Todd, yelling at him to grab me a garbage bucket. But to my surprise, the garbage bucket was already next to my bedside from the night before…thanks to my lovely ladies!!

So, now that we got that part out of the way, let's talk about the actual night. There's no need to grab yourself a bucket if you want to continue reading because it only goes up from here!

When my girls started asking me about what I wanted to do for my bachelorette party, after throwing out a few ideas, I quickly settled on having a good ole fashion house party. At 31 years old, house parties with just the girls are very few and far between (see: never).  See, that should have been my first inclination that we were bound for trouble! We're not 19 anymore and we just can't handle it like we used to (again, see: not at all). Or, maybe it was the fact that because we rarely go out anymore, the excitement caused us to head out of the gates too fast, charging at full speed. While I didn't make it across the finish line, from what I was told though, it was a hard race for the rest of the group too!!






There were 11 of us girls in total, and I could not have asked for a better group to celebrate with, and I truly mean that. They all mean so much to me and never in my life have I had the chance to have them all together at once. A special mention goes out to my friend living in Edmonton and my sister living in Ontario who both came home earlier than the wedding so they could be there too. Why can't bachelorette parties be every night?  Oh, right, because of that earlier story, Renee!





The night actually started off quite calm with everyone just chatting and catching up. But then entered Burt Reynolds. Not the actual human, but the shot. It was all fun and games until we actually played a game, the underwear game, where I sucked at guessing who gave me which pair of underwear. The upside was scoring enough underwear to get me through weeks without having to do any laundry. The downside? Having to drink those shots every time I guessed wrong, hence the early departure!




The girls then asked me some bachelorette party appropriate type of questions that were asked to Todd prior, and I think we all had fun listening to both mine and Todd's answers. It's a real good thing though that dads don't go to bachelorette parties because I'm pretty sure we both would have died hearing some of those answers! Luckily for me, it's just my mom that now knows the "strangest place we've ever had sex"!!

And then before we even reached the best of the playlist, a full on dance party was happening right in the middle of my friends floor. Leave it to girls to always find their way dancing no matter where they are, hey?!

The last thing the bridal party had planned was for us to be picked up by a party bus when the clock struck twelve. I don't know why party bus's are so much fun, but they are, and they always seem to take a party up a notch (I blame the pole!). Unfortunately for me though, the party bus brought me down quite a few notches, and before I knew it, with only a few spins around the block, the bus was turning back around to bring the bachelorette home.


The lovely bridal party!


But I guess if there's one night that you gotta be put to bed by your friends, I guess your bachelorette party would be the night! And as disappointed as I was the next day about having to go home early, Todd kept reminding me, "it's all about the story". And a great story we had...by all of us! Needless to say it was a good thing we had a few days to recover before the next festivity - the rehearsal party!

The bachelorette party was another reminder just how lucky I am to have such a great group of friends! They all made me feel so special, and I'm so thankful they all came out to help me celebrate...and to also help put me to bed! My bridal party did such an awesome job planning this night. I was amazed when I walked into my friends house seeing all of the decorations and all of the little details they put into everything. It sure did feel like the best party setting ever!

One last thing, what about Todd and his party? Usually a bachelorette party does comes along with a bachelor party. Todd and his friends had their party the same day as us ladies, so there were multiple couples who were out for the count the entire weekend. While I don't know all of the details from Todd's bachelor party, I can leave you with this picture....


And that my friends would be my husband there in the middle!!


Until next time.

FULLER WALLETS, BELLIES & HEARTS: MY BRIDAL SHOWER(S)

23 August 2017

I actually started this post a while back, but of course little ole lazy me decided to just let it sit there collecting dust instead of actually finishing it. Well, it's now a few months later, but here I am, dusting off the cobwebs and trying to fill in the missing pieces. 

To get these wedding posts going, I figured it was best to start with the pre-wedding celebrations! While I wish I had of posted these right after they actually happened, I thought it was best to do so now before getting right to the main and good parts...the actual wedding and the honeymoon. I know what I'm like and if I don't do it now, the wedding post will (eventually) go up and these other ones will never make an appearance. And while they may not be the main events that's happened recently, they sure still mean an awful lot to me.




I remember after Christmas thinking about all of the fun wedding things that would lay ahead in the next five or six months. I love having fun things to look forward to (I mean who doesn't!!), so my excitement just thinking about it all was unlike no other. That's the thing about weddings, it's not just about that one day. While obviously that day is huge and probably one of the most significant and meaningful events that will happen in your life, there's a whole lot more excitement that comes along with that day too.

And, for me, it had absolutely nothing to do with being the centre of attention or the focus of the celebrations, but rather it had everything to do with us being surrounded by family and friends and celebrating together.

The first official pre-wedding celebration was my bridal shower in my home town the beginning of April. Bridal showers in my small community usually consist of inviting everyone, and not only from my community, but from many other ones too!! While it wasn't the intimate type of shower that I would normally go for, Todd's mom loves planning these types of showers and she really wanted to throw one for me, so I was in no way going to turn it down!




Believe it or not, I was actually pretty nervous that morning!! Did I mention that I don't work well when I feel like all eyes are on me?  I remember thinking that if I was nervous now, I was going to be in for a real treat in a few months time! Let's just say that a little pill known as Ativan was probably going to be on speed dial the day of our wedding!

By clinging to my closest family and friends, it turned out be a great afternoon! I went to a lot of these showers with my mom growing up, and it was a pretty surreal feeling sitting down in the same place and thinking about how I was now here for my own. Between that feeling and getting to see some familiar faces I hadn't seen in a while (not to mention the great help towards the wedding expenses), it was the perfect kick start for the rest of the celebrations that were about to come.

The second festivity was a Jack N' Jill shower for me and Todd. I mentioned the idea to my mom in the new year, and with the help of my bridesmaids, they planned the perfect celebration for the both of us at our house the end of May. It's funny because people kept saying they had no idea what a Jack N' Jill shower was or what's supposed to be involved, and my response to that was always "me neither"!! I just knew that a casual little party that involved both me and Todd and our couple friends sounded pretty darn fun. And fun it was!




Besides all of the chatting and eating and drinking, the highlight of the day was definitely playing the newlywed game. I could have played this all. day. long! It was so fun comparing what me and Todd had written for answers and seeing what the other said. I learned that Todd's favourite body part of mine is my boobs, he likes blondes better than brunettes (only because he can spell blonde and not brunette...I almost died later when he told me that), and that the animal my mom most resembles is a sloth (and I did die when we both held up our sheets with the same animal written...sorry mom!!).

Another fun thing that the girls planned was they asked everyone to write a little memory of either myself or Todd (or both) and to leave the note anonymous so we could guess who had written it. It was definitely a great way to add some memories and laughter all in one!!


Two of my bridesmaids! The other two live far, far away from me! :(


Ahhh...I'm already getting a little sad thinking back on all of the fun that we had and thinking about how thankful we were, and still are, for everything that everyone did for us!! That reminds me - my bridesmaids gave me the best wedding gifts, one which was a spa gift certificate. I thought about using it before the wedding (because hello stress!), but I'm soooo thankful I didn't because a spa day in the near future sounds like heaven right about now.

I seriously can not thank our parents and our bridal party enough! I'm tellin' you, I have never felt more loved in all of my life....and the bridal shower(s) was just the beginning of the huge appreciation we'd feel through it all!

Until next time.