OUR TRIP TO MAUI

30 April 2017



I've spent, what feels like, forever going through all of our vacation photos deciding which ones should make the cut, and I still have, again what feels like, a bazillion that I want to share!! One thing I did realize while I was going through all of our pictures though was just how much I love doing these travel recaps. I love getting to see our trip all over again, and it's such a great way to remember things that you'd otherwise forget. We've only been back a little over a month and I'm actually feeling a little foggy on some of the things already. But thankfully I'll be able to come back here in the months or years to follow, and I'll be refreshed again in no time.

The downside to these recaps though is that they actually do take forever. So much work goes into these posts. Between the organizing, editing and the uploading of the photos, and then writing the post, it's so time consuming. But, not to worry because they are one of my favourites to do!! 

I figured for now I'll just chat a little bit about our time in Maui (with those bazillion photos, of course), but I'll do another post on more of the details of our trip later (things we did, where we ate, where we stayed, etc). And hopefully if you're ever thinking about going there yourself, this recap might help you (like other bloggers posts did for me....I'm a firm believer that bloggers give some of the best travel experiences out there).  So, let's get started! Maui, here we come...again!!




Maui was definitely our type of vacation spot! It was the perfect mix of relaxation with great weather and beautiful beaches, but it also had soooo much that you could see and do. Since we arrived late at night, the very next morning when we woke up early (thank you, time difference), we hopped in our jeep rental and just started driving, eager to explore every inch of the island!! From the moment we left our hotel, we were amazed at how beautiful the scenery was. Everything was so green and lush, just perfectly manicured, and you couldn't help but immediately feel just how laid back everyone was around us. I guess how could you not be laid back at a place like this?

We loved that you could drive for only minutes and find secluded beaches that you never knew existed. We loved seeing the surf boards tied on everyones vehicles at every stop we made, and then later seeing all of those suffers in action in the crazy waves!

Driving around Maui was a breeze, which made it so easy and much more enjoyable getting to explore new places. Although I wasn't the driver, it took me no time to get my bearings as to how to get around, and that speaks volumes because I swear I'm the worlds worst person at finding my way around new places!

Another thing we discovered pretty quickly was just how expensive Maui was though. The hotels, the food, the drinks, you name it, it was super costly. 
And since we were staying at a resort during the last few days we were there, we especially found it hard getting used to the prices since, up until then, we had only stayed at resorts that have been all inclusives. Unfortunately (or fortunately for my wedding diet), I wasn't able to drink my usual jugs of pina colada before noon! But have no fear, we made sure to make lots of purchases from the liquor stores. Every morning before we left, we always made sure that our trusty little ten dollar cooler that we bought was with us and, of course, loaded down! 






We got very, very lucky with the weather while we were there. The few days leading up to our trip I had my eye on the weather like a hawk. A very obsessive hawk, might I add. Todd really loves this about me. Ha! Actually, I think this is one of the things I do that bugs Todd the most (this, or leaving every single cupboard in our kitchen left open!)! But I just can't help it, I really can't, especially when our trip is supposed to involve 99.9% of outdoor things!

So yes, I creeped the weather channel hard before we left and it was calling for rain the first 5 days that we were there. Of course I was disappointed, but I kept trying to tell myself that maybe Hawaii was like the Caribbean; just a downpour of rain for an hour and then sunny blue skies for the remainder of the day. But unfortunately when we arrived that first night, it was raining...hard. And after a few hours of tramping through the water in my flip flops, I was beginning to realize that these next few days might not just be quick rain showers.

The next morning though started off great and my spirits were completely lifted, until about lunch time when the rain struck again. I have never seen rain like that in my life. Within hours some of the roads were being shut down due to the flooding (leaving us stuck in traffic at one point for over an hour). So when we returned to our hotel later that evening, I did what any normal person would do; I sat on the edge of the bed all night, crossed legged, watching every news and weather channel on the tv. And I think my heart sank a little when I heard every single one of them telling me that flood warnings were issued all throughout Maui over the next few days. Say wha?!?

We decided to push off some of the bigger things we had planned to do while we were there for the first days, but ironically, every day after would pass and there wouldn't be one rain drop in sight. Not one. After about three days in (even with heavy rainfall warnings still being issued), there was no more attention given to the weather, and we had an entire trip filled with beautiful days! The weather gods had definitely come through for us!!!

So, the point of that whole story is that 1) the weather on our vacation was fantastic, 2) don't pay too much attention to the weather forecast, and most importantly 3) I'm a little crazy! You can ask Todd for further verification on all three of those if needed! :)




On our flight back home, me and Todd got to talking about some of the things we enjoyed the most about our trip. It's a fun little thing we usually do at the end of a vacation; just talking about our trip overall, reliving some funny stories and then picking some of our favourite things.

We both agreed that our funniest story happened on our first night there. While it was definitely a "you had to be there" type of moment, I'll share the gist real quick - it involved somehow winding up at a fancy restaurant that was way over our budget (and preference) in our beach wear, soaking wet, with our backpacks on! To this day, we still don't know how they didn't turn us away!!! We were too embarrassed to leave again, but still too embarrassed to actually enjoy our meal. I don't think we have ever laughed so hard (and eaten so fast) at a restaurant before. Todd says he'll forever have the image of me walking in with my backpack on and my head held high!!

One of my favourite things about Maui in general though had to be the beautiful sunsets. Just like with the rain, I have never seen such beautiful sunsets in my life. There were times I would rush out of our hotel room just to make sure I wouldn't miss seeing them!!

I mean....just look!!


As for some of our favourite things that we did?  Well, I'll chat allllll about that in the next post!

Until next time.

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.