Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new year's eve wishes, resolutions & other ramblings

Like most years, I am having difficulty thinking of a resolution. I could set my goal to lose the weight I gained over Christmas (woops - I was at my goal weight.) I could resolve to get more fit & toned. I could set a goal to invest more money in my RSPs (similar to the IRAs or 401(k) in the USA or the ISAs in the UK). Or maybe my resolution should be to plan my wedding.

But I've already set these goals for myself.

I almost don't believe in "resolutions". Most people's resolutions seem to fail by the end of January. How many people say they're going to get in shape this year, only to stop going to the gym by Valentine's Day? Or quit smoking, but start puffing before the first month of the year is even over.

Instead, I set long-term goals as I need them. I've spent the last year and a half losing weight. Very slowly, much more slowly than 1 pound per week. But it was continuously going down (well, mostly continuously going down) until a couple week's ago when I reached my goal weight - since Christmas, I now have to get back to goal weight. I also want to become more fit, and that is something I've been struggling with. I have bursts of a month of being good, then I'll be lazy for a month. I just signed up for a twice a week aerobics class, and Wade & I will be doing our once a week ball hockey (yep, in a school gymnasium and everything). If I can be motivated to even do one at-home work-out or video per week, that'll give me four solid (one-hour) work-outs a week.

But those aren't my resolutions. Just goals. Yes, I know you might point out that resolutions are goals. They somehow feel different to me, and I feel like my success is more likely if it's just a goal instead of a resolution.

So what will my resolution be? Maybe I won't have one. I don't have one every year.

Or maybe I should make my resolution something that I know (or highly anticipate) will happen. So, my resolution could be to get married in 2009 (specifically June 6th). Then I have a higher likelihood of success.

But that feels like a cop out.
So maybe I should just go another year without a resolution - just spend a little time reflecting, think about my goals for 2009 (and longer-term) and call it a day.

Engagement Story (final)

And to finish off the Engagement Story (you can read the "cliffhangers" from parts one, two, three and four):

Well, let me lead up to Christmas (remember how I didn't want to be proposed to on Christmas):

Usually the week-end or two before Christmas, my parents have a big Christmas party. There's lots of food - veggie trays, shrimp trays, pastries, cheese, followed by either a roast, cold cuts or lasagna for dinner, then chocolates, baked goods, and various other dessert items. They've been doing it as long as I can remember. Family, friends, family-friends - everyone's there. Well, last year it was two week-ends before Christmas (Saturday, December 15).

Wade lives in my hometown, so while I lived 180 km, I was home (well, at Wade's our house) for that week-end. The day of the party, I had picked up most of my Christmas gifts and was going to wrap all of them (or as many as I could!) before it was time to head over to my parents' house. I really enjoy wrapping gifts, but I'm not that good at it. Oh well! I sitting on the floor, almost done wrapping, when Wade came down to have me "chat" with my stuffed giraffe, Twiga (named after one of the giraffes at the Toronto Zoo). Yep, we're nuts, we play with a couple of my stuffed animals.

(This is Twiga, in case you wanted to meet my beloved giraffe. My Twiga has lopsided ears, like the real Twiga.)

Anyway, I'm wrapping, and Twiga wants a kiss. This may seem odd to you, but it was in fact quite normal for us. So I give Twiga a kiss and go back to wrapping. And Wade's pretending to talk to Twiga. Again, normal for us.

I don't remember the entire conversation, but here's an exerpt from Wade's conversation with Twiga (Twiga whispers into Wade's ear, apparently, and Wade repeated her answer to me):
-What's that, Twiga?
(Pause and listen)
-Krista's going to be the centre of attention at her parent's party tonight?
[My birthday had been 6 days before, and I hadn't seen anyone in my family in about a month.]
-What's that, Twiga? What?
(Confused look)
-Krista can't call me her boy-friend anymore? Huh?
At this point, I looked up. I had been sitting on the floor to wrap the presents, so I sat on the couch next to Wade. Wade shows me Twiga, and points at her horn. Yep, the ring was there. And had been there for the past 5-10 minutes.

So that's how it happened.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tell what do you think?

I'm trying to think about accessories for me and for my bridesmaids. I know, I know, I haven't picked out the bridesmaid dresses yet, but I want to have ideas of the styles.

So ... what do you think?

Let me know which of these clutches (if any) you prefer:
1. Aldo bowtie clutch (gold or silver)
2. Aldo funky zipper clutch (black or red)
3. Payless clutch (lace)
4. Aldo snap kiss-lock clutch (bone)
If you don't like any of these clutches, feel free to let me know what you do like.

Let me know which of this jewellery you prefer (max 3):
1. Aldo bowtie necklace (gold or silver)
2. Aldo "rose" necklace
3. Beaded necklace (etsy seller juliejongleuse)
4. Aldo colourful bracelets (black, gold or purple)
5. Sears beaded bracelet
6. Dangling earrings (etsy seller firelilyjewelrygems)
7. Drop earrings (etsy seller kaskaad)

These items are just meant to give me an idea of what accessories I should pick, if I want a cohesive look. The other option is just get everyone to accessorize themselves! After all, they all are stylish ladies.

Engagement Story (Part 4)

I've already told the beginnings (parts one, two and three) of the engagement story. If you hadn't guessed, we did pick the setting I loved and told you about. We put in a different diamond, you know, one that was a good quality but not perfect (the diamond that was in the setting was 0.67 carat nearly perfect diamond, clarity VVS1 and a D colour). I overheard the jeweller tell Wade my ring would be ready in 2 weeks. So I couldn't resist almost a month later asking about the ring (well, Wade says it was less than 2 weeks later but it felt longer than that). I was informed procuring the diamond took longer than initially estimated. I remember only asking once more about the ring; Wade says I asked a few times. Funny how we remember differently? :)

I should also mention we lived 180 km apart. I was working on the last month of a contract, so we were a 2-hour drive away from each other! We saw each other about every-other week-end.

About a month after he got the ring, my birthday was approaching.

Let me now quantify that I had told him I didn't want to be proposed to on my birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, or any other such cheesey occassion.

But my birthday was fast approaching, so guess what I was thinking? We went to The Keg two days before my birthday for my birthday dinner.

Nope, no ring.

The day before my birthday was the staff Christmas party, so I knew he wouldn't propose then.

I was a little tired on my actual birthday as I had had a good time the night before.

I never dreamed Wade would propose on my birthday ... and he didn't.

And home Wade went, because the week-end was over.

To be continued ...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Goals for 2008

These are my goals for 2008:
-Eat healthy every day
-Be productive at work
-Blog the remainder of our engagement story
-Create a new year's resolution (and think of a new year's resolution)

Do you think I can achieve these goals? I didn't set lofty goals: I only need to achieve these goals for the next 2 days. Then it's a whole new year!
That's all I have to say today. More tomorrow!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Congratulations, Crystal!

And Congratulations, Crystal! My bridesmaid, Crystal, got engaged on Christmas Eve. Two of my good friends and bridesmaids are now engaged (Crystal and Kristy).


P.S. Yesterday, during the Boxing Day Week sales, I bought a new camera. Woohoo! So I can actually start using a camera and putting pictures my computer again. The only downside is I have like 100 pictures on my old digital camera that I have no way of getting off my computer. In case I haven't mentioned it, I have no way to get pictures from my camera onto my computer. I lost the program for my computer to recognize my camera, and it was only on my parent's computer, and their computer had a meltdown, so I have no idea how to get these 100 pictures off my old camera and printed.

The camera is 4 years old. I was told 2 years ago that it was "obsolete" (which pissed the hell out of me, because frankly something that's two years old is "old" in technological terms, but it should not be obsolete!).

Engagement Advice?

This is my blog, so I can offer advice and opninions. If you don't want my advice, please stop reading this post.

I wrote this post because I was thinking "what advice would have been helpful for me to know a year ago?" So here are some things that would have been helpful to know when Wade & I started planning:

1. Don't buy anything. Not yet, anyway. It may be a great price, but it's a waste of money if you don't use it. You shouldn't buy anything until you have an idea of the date (or at least time of year), location, and what both of you want for your wedding!

2. Enjoy the initial excitement of your engagement. Don't worry about planning anything for at least 2 weeks, but even 1 or 2 months (or more) is perfectly acceptable. People will ask questions, but just explain that you're just enjoying yourself now and will start planning in the spring.

3. Go to bridal shows and do all the bridal things you want to do. Take your fiancé if you want to get his opinion (I dragged Wade to one show, and he didn't mind it). Then go to another show with a friend. Then go to another show with the same or other friends. If you're into bridal shows for the ideas you can get, go to as many as you want. But many friends have limited excitement for your engagement. Unfortunately, most of your friends are just not as into your wedding as you are. This won't be true of all friends, but if you have a friend who has gotten / is getting wedding-overloaded, don't drag that friend to multiple bridal shows.

4. Read magazines. My favourite, by far, is Martha Stewart Weddings.

5. Visit (free) websites, such as: Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot and Brides.

6. Go to blogs. For a starting point, look at "My Blog-Stalkers" (aka bloggers who follow me, all of whom I also follow), as well as my blog roll ("Who I Blog Stalk", aka blogs I read). Then go to The Bride's Café, The Bride's Guide (the blog of Darcy Miller, editor of Martha Stewart Weddings), Something Old, Something New and finally, Snippet & Ink. I follow all four of those blogs, but they are not in my blog-roll because they are pretty much all updated every week day, so I read them every week-day.

7. Of course, there's also WeddingBee. There was quite the controversy when it was bought out by e-harmony earlier this year, and since the change I don't find the quality of comments on the boards to be as good. My favourite blogger was Mrs. Lovebug (who no longer posts for WeddingBee, but her original posts are still available), but I'm now partial to Miss Glitter (aka Carly from Westside Bride, my "blog-twin" who appreciates organized messes & messy organization)! If you read the WeddingBee boards, take what you read with a grain of salt.

8. Don't buy anything yet. Not until you've discussed with your date, theme (if any), colours (if any) and desires with your fiancé. If you've always envisioned a bubble gum pink coloured tea party, and your fiancé hates pink and tea parties, you may have to nix that idea. If you've wanted to get married on the beach somewhere south, and your fiancé wants to get married in your hometown, again, you're going to have to discuss compromises, such as getting married down south then having a reception in your hometown or getting married in your hometown then honeymooning down south. Either way, don't buy a thing, no matter how good the deal, until you have an idea of the date (or at least time of year), location, and what both of you want for your wedding!

9. Enjoy the first few weeks of your engagement! It's such an exciting time.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Safety Saturdays: Holiday Safety

Most of this advice is common sense, but some of it may be new to you. And remember, common sense isn't so common anymore!

Fresh Tree Safety:
-Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily
-Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace or heating duct
-Make sure the tree does not block doors or windows (so it doesn't block you from an exit during an emergency)
-Never use lighted candles on the tree (honestly, that should not be a surprise)
-Remove the tree once it starts to dry out




Decorations:
-Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive
-Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes (this combination is highly combustible)
-Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree because if they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard (I'll be honest, I never thought of that)

Lights:
-Use properly certified light strings/sets (CSA, ULC, or other appropriately certified)
-Use the proper lights for the environment: make sure your outdoor lights are actually safe for outdoor use
-Inspect light strings/set before use: check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty
-Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees (a faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact)
-Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house

Candles:
-Place candles away from absoutely anything that could catch fire
-Never leave burning candles unattended
-Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets

The Fireplace:
-Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace (they burn rapidly and generate too much heat)
-Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use
-Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks
-Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire (again, I hope this advice does not come as a surprised)
-Use only seasoned and dried wood
-Never leave the fire unattended or let it smolder
-Don't use Christmas trees for firewood

Be safe this holiday season!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Faaaabulous!

I have been tagged by Bridechka (of the blog Bridechka and the Wedding) and Carly (from the Westside Bride aka Miss Glitter at the WeddingBee) because they think my blog is faaabulous!
Here are the rules: List 5 obsessions/addictions that you have, and tag back to the person who gave you the award. Post the rules. Tag 5 more people!

In trying to think of five obsessions, I asked Wade what I'm obsessed with. He didn't hesitate to say "me" (being him, not me). I will refrain from putting that tidbit of information into my top five, as with blogging: it ought to be evident from the number of posts and the theme of this blog that I am "obsessed" with both.

My five obsessions/addictions:

1. Travelling. I haven't done a lot, but I love to do it. I've visited Europe (the majority of my time was in England, though I had opportunities to visit France, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic) and New Zealand, as well as several provinces in Canada. So far, Nova Scotia's my favourite province.

2. Interneting in general. I said I wouldn't include blogging in my "obsessions", but I email, facebook and check out websites such as CBC Newsworld quite frequently.

3. Occupational Health. This is my career and it is a passion. I truly believe that no one should come home any differently than when he/she went to work. In this day and age, we can prevent every occupational illness, including cancers (e.g. lung cancer in asbestos workers), musculoskeletal disoders (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome in office workers), and psychological/psychosocial illness (e.g. mental trauma for a retail worker who is robbed at gun point). Want more information on how to prevent these illnesses? Visit here, here, here or here.

4. Canadian comedies. The cheesier the better. My favourites are Corner Gas (this is another good clip) and The Mercer Report (a couple other clips here and here).

5. The Olympics. You need proof? Click here. Although it is starting to loose its lustre - holy doping scandals Batman! How is it possible that one woman gets bronze, silver and gold in the same event? Um, because the two people who placed above here were disqualified for doping infractions. Way to go, Beckie Scott, for refusing to cheat! Beckie placed third, and was upgraded to silver when the gold medalist tested positive. Then the new gold medalist tested positive, so Beckie was again upgraded to gold.

My five nominees:
1. Mother and Bride
2. The Sweetest Occassion
3. M and M Wedding
4. Broke-Ass Bride
5. London Bride

P.S. Go visit Bridechka and the Wedding and Westside Bride - they're fabulous blogs, too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We all know Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. But did you know Santa's a Canadian citizen? It's true - the Canadian minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism awarded him citizenship.

Did you also know that the Northern Magnetic Pole is located in Canada? It's true! However, the Geographic North Pole is currently contested between Canada, Russian and the USA as being in each's respective waters. (The North Pole is on the frozen Arctic Ocean, so all 3 country's claim it's in their waters. It has yet to be resolved.)

Did you know that Santa's also started his trip for this year? It's true - he started yesterday evening (December 23 - 6:00 p.m. Eastern time)! Click here to view NORAD officially tracking Santa! NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defence (yeah, the acronym doesn't quite match up!), a jointly Canadian and American defence of our air. They have been tracking Santa for over 50 years, and are happy to report he's never missed a Christmas yet. In some years when the weather is bad (like THIS year), it's all thanks to Rudolph!

Finally, did you know you can mail Santa a letter and get a reply from him? His address is:
Santa Claus
North Pole, Canada
H0H 0H0
And Santa will write you back if you give your return address! I used to write him as a kid. And I wrote once in university (a group letter from my 3 roommates and I) because one of the roomies had never written him before!


And click here to read my favourite Christmas story that I've read almost every Christmas Eve for many, many years! Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Although it's been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!

Wade & I have been dating since October 2002. Our first Christmas together, only 2 1/2 months into dating, Wade came to my grandparents' dinner. And I went to his family dinner, too.

(His family's Christmas dinner consists of aunts, uncles and cousins. everyone does their own thing on Christmas day. The entire family dinner is a day or two or three before Christmas, to accommodate shift working and other schedules.)

We continued this pattern every year, until 2005. When I came home from grad school that year, I stayed at Wade's house the entire break, for the first time. It was weird not waking up in my bed at my parent's house on Christmas morning. But Wade & I got up and went to my parent's house around 9:30 (before my brothers woke up anyway), so I was able to do my Christmas morning ritual at my parent's house (with Wade there).

After my morning ritual, we'd go to Wade's parents to open gifts. We'd get there around 11:00.

My mom would always do brunch after the gift opening, but so would his mom. So how did we decided where to go for brunch? His mom's house. My mom's brunch was a fun tradition, but his mom's brunch was steeped in memories and tradition because it used to be Wade's beloved Nanny (grandmother) who would host a brunch. Wade's mom took this tradition on a couple years after Wade's Nanny passed away. Given the memories and sentiments in this brunch, I felt it more important to have brunch there. Especially since we went to my parents first-thing.

After brunch at Wade's parents, we go to my grandparents for Christmas dinner. Grandma does an early dinner (4:00), so it's quite the filling day.

And that's been our Christmas tradition since 2005. This will be our fourth repetition of it.

It was very hard to change things a little, especially since I absolutely adore traditions. But it is nice now that I've developed a tradition with my (then) boy-friend (now fiancé, next year husband).

Do you have any Christmas (or other holiday) family traditions you love? Have you changed any traditions to form a new tradition with your your boy-friend / fiancé / husband / spouse? What traditions do you now share?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cans for Comments!

Congratulations, Cyd, for turning 84 comments into cans! With her matching friends and bloggers, that turned into 252 non-perishable food items.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Engagement Story (Part 3)

"And now temporarily back to our regularly scheduled programming"

I emailed the jeweller with a ring that I liked. This is the exact image that I emailed him:
I sent it one week, and we were going in that Saturday to discuss different designs.

The wax ring is an outline of a design. It is used as a cheap mock-up of the design. It can be easily made and changed until you get the design you want. Here are examples of wax rings:

The jeweller showed me a wax wax ring. The side of the ring was perfect, but the stone was "sideways", which I didn't love. In case you aren't sure what I mean by sideways, this is what I mean:

After explaining what I was looking for, the jeweller said he'd look for something else. Frankly, I was impressed by how quickly he was able to get the wax ring of different designs. I went back to swooning over that incredibly expensive ring with the amazing setting that Wade would not pay for. (Don't think this is one of those fairy tales where he saves us and buys the incredibly expensive ring for his beloved. Wade doesn't work that way.) Anyway, it was a pretty ring.

That's when the jeweller reminded me that I could get the diamond in that ring changed. The diamond in the setting was a 0.67 carat nearly perfect diamond. It was VVS1 and around a D or E colour.

As the jeweller had told me before, the diamond in the settings can all be changed. The diamond in that ring, he explained, was nearly perfect. A diamond with a lesser clarity and colour would still look perfect to the naked eye if the cut is done properly. He gave the example of an SI2 or I1 clarity with a colour of H, I or J. You or I wouldn't be able to tell the difference, even under magnification. He said a trained eye would be able to spot the difference only under a magnifying glass.

But the ring didn't have the side profile I liked. It had little diamonds in the side, kinda like this ring from Charm:
The jeweller took the ring away to look at it, but I wasn't quite sure what he was doing.

He came back saying that he could remove those little diamonds and expose the side of the ring.

To be continued again ...

Update: This ring looking started in September or August 2007. I emailed the jeweller November 5, and we met with him on November 10. Remember our "engagiversary" was December 15. What happened in the meantime? You'll have to wait until after Christmas to find out! This week will be devoted to Christmas posts!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Safety Saturdays: Walk Safely in the Winter

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), almost 12,000 Ontarians visited an emergency room in 2002–2003 after falling on ice. Although older individuals (over 60) were most likely to require a longer hospital stay, the majority of injuries occured to adults aged 40-59 (30%) followed by the 20-39 age group (24%).

Think about it: 1/4 of falls on snow/ice that required a visit to the emergency room happened to the 20-39 age range.

So what can you do to prevent a fall?

First, dress appropriately. When you know there is (or could be) snow or ice on the ground, you should wear appropriate shoes. Avoid smooth shoes and heels; opt for non-slip, grooved soles. You can change into your pretty shoes when you get to your destination! When the weather's bad, we understand that you'll change your shoes when you get to work.

Second, walk smart. The Canada Safety Council has this advice for walking safely on snow and ice:
-Slow down and pay attention to walking;
-Keeping your body as loose as possible, spread your feet approximately a foot apart to provide a base of support to stabilize you as you walk;
-Keep your knees loose and let them bend a bit to keep your centre of gravity lower to the ground, and further stabilizes the body;
-Keep a wide base of support - try to keep your feet spread out one foot wide;
-Turn your toes out slightly (like a penguin)
-Hold your arms out to your sides to increase your balance;
-Take small steps, placing your whole foot down at once and shifting your weight slowly/evenly.

Some people prefer to shuffle their feet, which is fine as long as you place your whole foot on the ice at once and keep your base of support one foot wide and keep your hands at your sides (not in your pockets).

Obviously the best thing is to prevent a fall. But if you do fall, try not to fall on your spine or your head. The best thing you can do is relax your muscles. Ha - easier said than done! But try to protect your back and head.



Evidently, Southern Ontario is in the middle of "snow-mageddon". Picking that name is just inciting panic. Yes, there's been more snow this year than normal (for mid-December), but we've certainly seen this much snow in past years. The trouble is that 3 pretty big snow storms in 5 days (Wednesday, Friday and tomorrow). However, driving and walking safely is possible! Just many people forget what's important when they're doing last-minute shopping or running late to a dinner party. Be safe and remember what's important! No one will mind if you're late!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Not-so-Fugly Friday: "Rings that I do Like"

Here's a post to serve as a counter-post to today's Fugly Friday post. "Rings that I do like."

To counter the 1.5 carat heart-shaped ring from Zales, I like the 1.5 carat pear-shaped ring from Zales for $9899: I also like the 1.5 carat marquise ring from Zales for $6899 (you may recall that Zales has a 3+ year payment plan): For those who find the marquise cut too "pointy" but don't like the pear-shape, this 1.5 carat oval-cut ring from Zales is another lovely option for $6899:

As an alternative to the identity-crisis crossover band, I would go for one of these three options (left is $349, centre is $379, right is $999) all from the The Shopping Channel:











For the final ring, which is multiple smaller diamonds grouped together to give the appearance of a larger diamond, I didn't like the shape (square diamonds making a rectangular shape). However, I like this ring from Charm ($799):

Just some ideas, to give you an idea of what I do like. So you don't think I'm totally negative.

Fugly Fridays 3: Jewellery

Well, I am running out of content for Fugly Fridays. The reason is that I am trying to differentiate between what is truly ugly and what is personal taste. There is a huge difference, and I don't wish to insult someone's style because it's not mine! I think we would all agree that last week's Mother-of-the-Bride and the first week's brides were just ugly. But sometimes what someone thinks is ugly is actually just not their taste.

I'm going to do a post on engagement rings that I find tacky, clichéd, or otherwise dislike.

This ring is a cliché. I don't particularly like hearts, but I outright dislike heart-shaped diamonds. I find myself surpressing an urge to gag when I see someone wearing this:
Source: Zales. This ring is available for $12,899 USD, or if you have a Zales card, you can get it for $387 per month. If you somehow got a zero-interest Zales card, it'll only take 33 1/3 months to pay off. So this ring will take you 3 years to pay for!

This ring looks like the designer could not decide on which style, so a multi-styled ring was created. I don't like the ring because it looks like someone couldn't decide on what they wanted, so it became a hodgepodge:
Source: The Shopping Channel. This ring is just $119. That's because it's made with authentic diamonelle. Diamonelle is The Shopping Channel's own brand of cubic zirconia.

I don't actually mind the next ring. In fact, it's not bad! I just find that the type of woman who wears this style is often wearing lots of other jewellery. You know, with an average of 4 rings per hand, and possible a couple strands around the neck, or one strand with several pendants. And too much jewellery looks gaudy together.
Source: Charm. This ring sells for $999.

This ring isn't bad. I just think it's too big. Unless you're 6'2" and have a large frame, this ring has huge potential to look big and out-of-place. You know, where the ring extends to your knuckle:
Source: diamondringforever.com. This ring is "just" $14,400. I presume that's American dollars.

I'm not sure what it is I don't like about this ring. I suspect it's that it's the square (rings) meshed into a rectangular shape. I'm picky that way. I like emerald-cut, princess cut and even (in the right setting) oval-cut. But this is just all over the place. It's princess-cut in an uneven setting (2x3) trying to emulate an emerald cut.
Source: Charm. This ring sells for $799. That's one major advantage of having several smaller diamonds into a ring: you save a lot of money.

What do you think of my ugly-ring pronouncements? Do you have any fugly rings to share? Send me the link in the comments section or email me the file: a (dot) canadian (dot) bride (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'll return to my regularly scheduled engagement story on Sunday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Engagement Story (Part 2)

Well, from the last post, you can guess which jeweller I felt most comfortable with. I had done my research, and knew the 4Cs of diamond. In fact, I've liked jewellery for as long as my mom can remember. (Even long than I can remember! In grade school, we had to do a speech every year from grade 3 to 8, and in fact in grades 6, 7 and 8, I did 2 speeches each year (1 in English, 1 in French). It was some public speaking program. The point I'm not-so-eloquently making is that my grade eight English speech was on birthstones.)

Anyway ... I'm off topic. (As usual.)

I felt like a valued person in TresOrs. I did not feel pressure. The saleslady's eyes did not flash dollar signs when she found out what we were looking for. She did not pressure us to buy. She just answered our questions, and asked some questions about my/our preferences.

I did find one ring that I loved ... then found out the ring cost $10,000. Sigh. A lot over Wade's budget. (I'm not exactly sure what Wade's budget was, but I know it wasn't that.) Plus, the ring wasn't exactly what I wanted. Close, but I'm picky. It was a princess cut diamond with just a few small diamonds along the shank of the ring. I was looking for a princess or other square cut (princess cut is the most popular square cut, but there are other cuts, such as asscher and radiant.

Anyway, the feature that I just looooove is when you can see the side of diamond. Like these ring examples:











So we went back once to keep looking and talk with the jeweller. He indicated that he could either bring in other rings for me to look at or design a ring. He indicated that there are many one-of-a-kind (or very few-of-a-kind) rings out there, but the fact that it's already been designed means we don't have to pay design fees.

He was quite honest in discussing ways to save money. He reviewed the 4Cs again (cut, colour, clarity, carat), and explained why cut is the most important. (A good cut can make a lower quality colour and clarity appear better.) He seeks out only well cut diamonds. When I expressed my desire to get Canadian diamonds to avoid conflict diamonds, he explained that jewellers purchasing from reputable sources that rely on reputable processes cannot get conflict diamonds. It's just not possible.

Anyway, at this point, the jeweller asked me to send emails of rings that I liked (not a problem - I had a whole folder of saved rings.) Then he'd see what he could find that's similar, and let me know when we could go back in.

(Note: in the end I decided to get a Canadian diamond, due to their quality, to reduce my carbon footprint and support the (kinda) local economy (well, local being 2000 km / 1250 mi away from the "local" Canadian diamond mines versus over 10,000 km / 6000 mi to the African mines).)

To be continued ...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Engagement Story (Part 1)

Wade & I had discussed getting married. We knew we would get married, it was just a matter of when. Eventually, we started looking at rings for a few months, on-and-off, by popping into a jewellery store every now and then. We started off looking at the mainstream chains. I liked very little of what I saw of these rings, but I found a couple that I liked at Charm. We kept looking, but there isn't exactly

Then we started looking at small jewellers in the area. We had heard good things about one well-known local jeweller so we went downtown. This is the kind of store where the owner is on-site. We had many questions, and he was very enthusiastic in showing off his custom work and answering our questions. We were in the middle of asking a question when another customer entered the store. The owner excused himself, explaining that he would only be a moment because this customer was just picking up a custom-made ring. However, the owner and the customer proceeded to discuss the features of the ring for several minutes. I think the customer was a doctor, that cocky kind of doctor that no one wants to see in the emergency room (and none of the nurses or other staff want to work with). But I digress.

When the owner finally returned to us over five minutes later (for something that would only take a moment), we finished up our conversation and left. The owner encouraged us to look around, because he was sure we wouldn't find anything better. When we left, I told Wade that even though his rings were gorgeous, he was rude. But, if his rings were the best ...

We decided since we were downtown, we should take his advice and look around.

The next place we went to was another small locally owned and operated store. Neither of us had heard of it, but it was charming. The lady working there was so helpful. Her eyes did not light up when we told her what we were looking for. (If you've ever been shopping for an engagement ring, you know the look.) She was kind, showed us their collection (from several designers, as well as from the owner), modify existing pieces, or completely design something for us. She answered our questions, showed off their existing jewellery, and made us feel truly welcome. We never felt the same "salesmanship" we felt from the previous jewellery store.

We continued on our trek to one more jeweller. This place was another small, individually-owned jeweller. Two ladies appeared to be working there, and the lady who helped us was very friendly. And there was a sale, with almost the exact ring that I wanted. However, when we said we weren't purchasing that day, we got the subtle sales pressure. The sale was ending very soon (in fact, at that point, we noticed the sign actually said the sale was ending that day) and we shouldn't pass up such a great sale.

So we left.

There was lots to think about.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day?

Evidentally, it's Snow Day in blog-o-land. Or so I've been informed by Rachel at Girl Learning Along The Way, who was informed by Sabrina at Introverted Wife.

Need proof? Click here.


P.S. There's no snow on the ground here. Oh well! Someone stoke that fire in the fireplace (the one that I wish I had) for me!


Oh, and Wade proposed to me exactly a year ago yesterday. One of these days, I'll write about it. Promise. Just not sure when I'll get around to it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Exhausting Saturday

On Saturday, I had 4 children over to bake, 2 will be our ring bearers (well, technically 1 ring bearer and 1 junior usher), and 2 will be our flower girls. The 2 boys are brothers (R and K) and the 2 girls are sisters (L and C).

You've already met R (11 years-old) and K (4-almost-5-years-old), sons of the best man. The girls are the daughters of a groomsman. L is a 7 year-old girly-girl who loves to dance, figure skate and wear pretty dresses. C is a 4 year-old sweetie who likes to follow her sister around. You can tell C will be less girly than L. Their daddy is hoping C will take up hockey because he says there's no way L will!

Now don't go thinking I was left all to myself! R and K's mommy was with me. And she had the foresight to bring a camera, although the batteries died after about 3 pictures. She's promised to email me those pictures to me! (My camera hasn't worked in months, and I've been too lazy to replace it. It's too old to fix - almost 4 years old means there's nothing to support the camera. Hmm, that's what Boxing Day sales are for.) But I digress.

Baking on Saturday was lots of fun. I do wish I had been a little better prepared, but it still worked out well. I wasn't feeling great on Friday, so I made sure to get rested up and feel better for Saturday, which meant that the Friday night prep-work I was going to do did not get done. Oh well, it worked out.

I had not officially asked any of the kids to participate in the wedding, though I know C and L's daddy told them. So I asked all the kids to participate.

I asked the K to be ring bearer and R to be a junior usher (and walk with K down the aisle). R is just growing like a weed, and I think R would feel like a little boy if we asked him to be a ring bearer. R would be much more happy having a bigger role. R then explained to his brother what the ring bearer does.

Then I asked L and C to be flower girls together. L was thrilled to wear a pretty dress, and knew what she was doing because a friend of hers had been a flower girl. C did not understand, but I explained that she would wear a pretty dress and walk before me down the aisle. C solemnly informed me that she already has a pretty dress she can wear, and it's black. I told her she might be able to get a new dress just for the occassion, but C told me she is happy with her black dress. I told her that she might grow out of her dress by then, so she might need a new dress anyway!

All in all, it was a fun day, and I can't wait to post a couple pictures of the delicious mess we made!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Weight Loss

Google "bride weight loss" and you'll get "about 7,000,000" results. That's a lot of results, many of which are selling weight loss plans. There are websites devoted to weight loss (such as www.fitness-for-brides.com/), webpages of established weight loss websites (such as www.cardiocorebootcamp.ca/page/BridalParty.html), unsafe weight loss techniques (such as http://bridalweightlosscenter.com/), and news articles (such as http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/apr/09/fashion.women). Please note, that I am not endorsing these websites. I am just pointing out the varying websites and webpages addressing the goal of bridal weight loss.

The news article includes statistics and reports such as:
-A report in Newsweek indicated that 70% of US women who were engaged were trying to lose more than 20lb in time for their wedding, and of those who were trying to lose weight, more than 20% were taking an approach that the researchers perceived as "extreme", including downing laxatives, vomiting after meals and adopting a new-found smoking habit as a way to stave off hunger pangs;
-A bridal body image survey for a UK wedding magazine indicated that 91% of respondents intend to lose weight for their wedding, as well as rhinoplasty (aka a nose job) (7%), breast enlargements (8%) and breast reductions (5%);
-And anecdotal internet forums in which brides discussed starting a strict diet 18 months before getting married, buying dresses three sizes too small as an incentive and living on 1000 calories a day (half the recommended intake).

That's a little too extreme.

Now, if you are losing weight in a healthy manner (such as through healthy eating and exercise), you can expect to lose up to 2 lbs a week at the absolute most. That's it. One pound is actually more the normal expectation. There are no magic pills that are safe for weight loss: everything out there has side effects.

If your goal is to lose 20 lbs before the wedding, you should have 20 weeks before the wedding. 20 weeks = 5 months.

If your goal is to lose 50 lbs before the wedding, you should have 50 weeks! That's about a year!

Unless, of course, you have dress fittings, which typically are finished 2 to 4 weeks before the wedding. So add 2 or 4 weeks to those numbers. And never buy a dress a size too small. If you don't fit into your dress, you're screwed on your wedding day!

And do you even need to lose weight? Consider that. If you are happy with your weight, or are just interested in toning up, then don't feel pressure to diet.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Safety Saturdays: How to sit!

Here are the features what a good computer chair should have:
-Height adjustable (we're not all the same height, after all);
-5 pronged base (for stability);
-Lumbar support (lower back support) that is height adjustable (meaning you can move the back of your chair up and down);
-Arm rests that are height adjustable.

Do you have all these features? Here are a couple of good (but possibly expensive) examples:











Ideally, the seat pan (where your bum sits) is not too small nor too big (think of Goldilocks!). What's too small? If the back of your legs aren't suppported by the seat, putting pressure on the back of your legs, it's too small. What's too big? If the back of your knees are pressed into the seat, it's too big.

Ideally, your lumbar support is height adjustable. Put the lumbar support so that it's in the small of your back. Don't have a lumbar support? Put a pillow or towel or something else into the small of your back to support it.


If you don't have these features, what can you do to improve your existing chair?

If your chair looks like this: there may not be much you can do. Try adding a pillow to support your lower back.

So, now matter what your chair looks like, try to consider your body positions. Here's "ideal" body positions:



The chair in these drawings is not ideal, but it's to show your body positions. And remember, no one position is ideal if you're staying in that position for many hours. Change your position slightly! And get up and move!

I type this from the couch, with my legs crossed. Though, I'm at least sitting back in the couch! Why is sitting back group? My back muscles don't get fatigued from sitting up for an extended period of time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fugly Fridays 2: Mother-of-the-bride

Today's "fugly fridays" is on the theme of mother-of-the-bride dresses. As you may have noticed, mother of the bride dresses (and mother of the groom dresses) tend to look like this:

which on real people (not models), turns into this:

and this:

Doesn't everyone look happy? I think so. These women may be traditional and conservative, but I'm thinking the clothing is similar to what they would wear to any formal occassion.

However, this look is not for every mother of the bride / mother of the groom. Here's proof:

Yes, that is the mother of the bride, who forgot to put a top over her push-up bra.


Update: did anyone notice that in the normal family photo (second photo in the post, with the bride & groom, both parents, bride's sister, groom's brother and groom's grandmother) the mother of the groom was wearing ivory? I only posted the picture looking at the mother of the bride (in the blue dress), but upon looking more closely, I noticed the mother of the groom is in an ivory dress.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm "it"

I was tagged recently by Rachel at Girl Learning Along The Way and by Cyd at The Sweetest Occassion to share some random facts about myself. (Evidently, I'm "it"!)

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you (done)
2. Post the rules on your blog (done)
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself (below)
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website. (below)

So here are 6 random facts about me:

1. I used to figure skate, and though I wasn't very good, I loved it. I started when I was in grade 2 (1988) and kept skating until the last year of university (2004). But I rarely watch it on t.v. because it makes me miss it (even though I couldn't do what they do on t.v.!)

2. On some types of pizza (not all), I like ketchup (that's catsup for American readers). My dad always did that, so it was only as a teenager that I discovered this was an odd habit.

3. When I was almost 3, I wanted a cat. My mom kept saying no. Finally, I just asked my dad, who said yes (apparently, he couldn't say no to me). My mom was not impressed. When I was around 7 or 8, I developed an allergy to cats. Pepper, who was a very good cat, lived to 23. Yep, 23. I am only minorly allergic to short haired cats (like Pepper), whereas I am very allergic other breeds (long-haired cats and siamese cats seem to be worst). Neither of my parents like cats very much, though Pepper was such a nice cat that I think they liked her.

4. I met my best-friend, and maid-of-honour, in grade 9 gym class (1995).

5. I stopped eating meat this summer (though I still eat fish) after what Wade & I call "the incident". Basically, I got grossed out by the way something was prepared (even though I'd seen it prepared before). I felt so nauseous whenever I ate meat that I decided to stop eating it. And I miss steak and ham the most, but it's worth it to avoid the nausea after eating.

6. My first trip on an airplane was in January 2005 to England. I was 23. While in England, I took a half-dozen flights around Europe (in addition to trains & bus trips). Then the next summer, I had a job that allowed me to travel some of the country, requiring a bunch of flights. I've now flown more times than I can count. The longest flight I was on was the trans-Pacific crossing from LA (of which I've only seen the airport) to New Zealand with Wade in December 2006 / January 2007.

Oops, I tried to be random, but I realize two facts were about food. I guess you can tell where my mind is!

I choose to pass these off to (in alphabetical order):
And she's rambling again
Bridechka and The Wedding
London Bride
Mother and Bride
Tea Tales
The Sweetest Occassion
Westside Bride

Update: Cyd The Sweetest Occassion tagged me just before Rachel at Girl Learning Along The Way, but I somehow didn't see the tag. Sorry Cyd - I usually read your blog everyday! So I have removed Cyd from my tag, and have added Cyd to one of the two people who tagged me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Meet our ring bearers

A little boy was in his aunt's wedding. As he was coming down the aisle he would take two steps, stop and turn to the crowd alternating between the bride's side and the groom's side.

While facing the crowd, he would put his hands up like claws and roar...and so it went, step, step, ROAR, step, step, ROAR...all the way down the aisle.

As you can imagine, the crowd was near tears from laughing so hard by the time he reached the pulpit. The little boy, however, was getting more and more distressed from all the laughing, and was also near tears by the time he reached the pulpit.

When asked what he was doing, the child sniffed back his tears and said, "I was being the Ring Bear..."


When I was sent this email, I burst out laughing. I think it's hilarious.

Without further adieu, meet our "ring bears":

Almost-5-year-old (on December 26) "K", the best man's younger son:
When we're visiting this family, K goes to best while we're still there (having a 7pm bedtime). Before bed, K gives "high fives" to most guests, although I get bedtime hugs. K is so cute.

11-year-old "R" is the best man's oldest son:
Although technically too old to be a ring bearer (per the etiquette books), R will do a fine job as a member of the wedding party. How could I ask K (the younger brother) to participate, when we are just as close (perhaps even more so) to the older brother? We have 4 groomsman (well, technically one is a groomswoman, but he doesn't appreciate me calling him that) and 1 best man. It's a small church, so I think that we will only be able to fit 3 (maybe 4) of them as ushers. So, we can't really make R a junior usher. I may ask R what role he'd prefer in the wedding party: ring bearer or junior usher. If he prefers to be a junior usher, he'll escort his brother down the aisle (then we can give R some other duties, because he will feel so proud to have responsibility). If he wants to be a ring bearer, then he and his brother, K, will be co-ring bearers (but R will also have other duties, because we know how proud he is to have responsibilities). Sound like similar duties? :) Whatever R wants to be called, it's important to Wade & me that he participate.

Aren't they adorable? And they're well-behaved (for kids! they still need to play and run around!), polite and loving boys.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quick update

I'm away for the next couple days for work. Tonight, a large group of coworkers went out for dinner at the Keg. I started this job just last Monday, December 1st, but somehow it was mentioned that it was my birthday (did I let it slip? Oops). At the end of dinner, a delicious "Billie Miner" ice cream cake with candles arrived for me and all sang Happy Birthday.

Mmm ... more ice cream cake.

By the way, I thought birthday calories didn't count. But when I stepped on the scale on Sunday (for my weightwatchers online weekly weigh-in) I had gained a couple pounds. Hmm ... I need to further investigate this possibility that birthday calories count.

And thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Birthday ... Thoughts ... Travel

I turn 27 at midnight on December 9th (in 3 hours), though I wasn't actually born until 4:45 pm. My mother's due date was November 27th, so she was more than ready to have her first child.

Since I went away to school, every year on my birthday, my mom calls me, usually sings "Happy Birthday". A couple years ago, she also started asking me if I feel old for being xx years old (whatever age I was turning). I respond by asking her if she feels old to have a daughter who is xx years old. She would laugh ... Until last year, when she told me yes, she did.

My mom can't call me tomorrow because I'm going to be driving to Waterloo (4 hours away) for an afternoon business meeting. I don't come back until Thursday. Of course, she can call me, but not first thing in the morning - I'll be up before her!

I have been reflecting on my last birthday as an unmarried woman. I would hesitate to say a "single woman", because I don't view myself as single. I am engaged to be married to the man I have been dating for just over 6 years. What does this mean to me? Not much, frankly. I view marriage not as a new beginning, nor as the end of "singledom", but as a continuation of a relationship. This is, literally, our next step together.

Once upon a time, when I was probably 16, I remember thinking to myself that I would get married at 27. I don't know why. I thought 30 was old (ha!), and 25 was too young (I had read a study divorce rates are much higher in people who marry under 25). So 27 seemed good. Don't ask me why. I don't want to create a self-fulfilling prophecy; I don't think that I had a "vision" or "foresight" into my future. I think it just worked out this way. After undergrad, I wasn't ready to marry. I marvel at those who do marry right out of undergrad (and I wonder how many of them are truly ready or if they just feel it's the next thing to do?). I went away for grad school, though at that point I figured I would marry Wade, I was 3 hours away. I also wanted to be financially stable before getting married. Wade & I didn't want to get engaged until I had a job somewhere nearby. After grad school, I got a job 2 hours away, so that didn't make sense to get married then. As that one-year contract was winding down, I got a job in the area. It was time to make this next step. I'm ready to get married, not because I need or want to be married (like so many girls, frankly), but because I want to marry Wade.

So how do I feel turning 27? Well, when I turned 23, 24, 25, even 26, I had these "wow, I'm an adult" moments. Now, I don't have that. I guess I understand that I'm "grown up". I do wonder where the years have gone, that I'm now 27 (but I was recently told that the fact that I wonder where time went means I'm old!). I do look forward to the future. And I think "27" will be a good year :)

(Oh yeah, and the ice cream cake Wade got for me on Saturday was yummy. I had too much and had a tummy ache after. Maybe I'm not so grown up after all!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Dancing Queen ...

I'm also thinking about maybe getting ballroom dancing shoes. Not because I know how to dance (though after watching Dancing With The Stars, I'd like to), but because ballroom dancing shoes are supposed to be sturdy and comfortable. I'm afraid of wearing shoes that are uncomfortable because it's not necessarily safe to take your shoes off and dance barefoot. What if there's broken glass or something on the ground? I would hate to need stitches on my wedding night! (I'm a safety professional and a worry-wart. I think about these things, both from professional embarassment and due to excessive worrying.)

Besides, ballroom dancing shoes are that bad. In fact, they can be cute. Click here or here for a couple cute examples.

And wish me a happy birthday dinner party! I'm having a few friends over tonight!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ergonomics on your computer!

Today's post is about ergonomics of your computer screen. Have you noticed that if you're on the computer for quite a while that sometimes you get a headache? That's often because of the eye strain. I'm going to review a couple common causes of eyestrain today.

If there is a window, the extra light from it can create glare (direct or indirect/reflected), which can cause eyestrain and headaches. Ideally, if you have blinds, you should shut them on bright days and on overcast days. If you don't have blinds or can't easily adjust them, you can still reduce glare by positioning your computer monitor at a 90 degree angle to the window (i.e. the window should be at your left or right).

• Try not to sit with the window directly in front of you (direct glare). It is very hard on your eyes when the computer screen is between you and the window: the pupils of your eyes should constrict (get smaller) in response to the light from outside (to let less light into your eye). However, the pupils dilate (get wider) in order to read the monitor - your eyes will to let more light in than they want.
• Also, try not to position the window behind you. The computer screen, even one with an anti-glare screen, can easily reflect light (indirect/reflected glare), which is bounced back into your eyes. The light reflecting off your computer screen should cause your pupils to constrict, but the pupils will actually dilate in order to read the monitor. Again, your eyes will let more light in than your eyes want.
• This biological response of a pupil dilating in spite of the light will let more light into your eyes than your eyes like, which could cause eye strain. Click here to read more about how your eyes respond to light (dilation / constriction responses).

And you should learn the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes of computer work or reading on the computer screen, take a 20 second break in which you look at an object at least 20 feet away. This gives your little eye muscles a break from reading the screen. Think of it as an eye rest.

Now that you know where in the room you should position your monitor, and how to take eye breaks, I have a question for you.

Which of the following screen / font colour combinations is the best (least strenuous) for your eyes?
a. A dark background with bright colours (such as green or red)
b. A dark background with light colours (such as white, cream or yellow)
c. A white background with bright colours (such as green or red)
d. A white background with dark colours (such as black, brown or blue)

I will post the answer in the comments tomorrow. If you're not afraid, feel free to post your answer (or guess!) in the comments box. Check back tomorrow to find out the answer.

Safety Saturdays

Ergonomics is the interaction between a person and his/her environment (equipment, machinery, tools, etc.). Ergonomics is not a regulated term in Canada, and I don't believe it's regulated in the USA. I have no idea about Britain. What are the implications of an unregulated term? It means any company can make any item and call it "ergonomically correct". But in reality, ergonomically correct means something is right for you. For example, my ergonomically correct computer station will probably not be ergonomically correct for you.

Ergonomics is essential in any interaction between a person, machine, thing or the environment. Here are some examples:
-Road signs are large, with a large, clear font, and often very few words. These features ensure signs are easily visible to, and understood by, motorists (reducing distraction and making the roads safer). Road signs have been designed (ergonomically) to minimize distraction and confusion to drivers.
-In new cars, the spedometer is often higher up on the dashboard than it used to be. By being closer to the windshield, you reduce the amount of time your eyes are off the road (making you a safer driver). Dashboards are often designed to be used by the average driver with minimal distraction, reducing the time your eyes are off the road.
-Good office chairs should be adjustable: by height (for shorter/taller people); by backrest height (that bump goes in the "nook" of your back, but not everyone's "nook" is in the same spot); and even the armrest height (our arms aren't all the same length). Remember how I said the term "ergonomics" is not regulated? Anyone can make a chair and call it "ergonomically correct".
-Some power tools are designed in such a way to reduce the weight, balance, or vibration of the tool. All these factors make the tool easier to use and reduce the risk of injuries.

Next up ... Interacting with your computer! (Later today)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fugly Fridays 1

Think of Fugly Fridays as Friends don't let friends wear/do this at their wedding. Of course, if the person making the questionable decision is not a close friend of yours, you do not have permission to question the bride to her face, nor do you have permission to publicly denounce her choices. You keep those thoughts to yourself or save them for a blog. That's what nice people do. We may not like those rules, but we are aware that we want to be nice people. And if we're ever in doubt, we try to read a little Emily Post or Miss Manners.

But if it's a close friend - tell her kindly but honestly why we are concerned about her choice. That's just what nice people do.

Consider that my rider.

So this is my first post on Fugly Fridays. I'll be honest, I don't know how long this post will last because I may run out of material. I've posted on ugly dresses here and here. After another couple posts, I may run out of ideas.

My aunt forwarded me an email with this dress in it: I was absolutely shocked, but was "lucky" enough to find it again on tackyweddings.com.

Why didn't anyone tell this girl that her boobs were hanging out? Or did she not have any friends? Honestly, because if I had a friend who looked like this, I would at least try to tell her that she forgot to put on the top of her dress.

I thought this error must be so egregiously obvious that no one else could possibly have forgotten to wear a dress that covered her breasts?

But alas, I was mistaken. This poor girl also did not notice that either her boobs were hanging out or that she forgot to put the top of the dress on:
Dress also from tackyweddings.com.

And hey, I just noticed that I'm over 100 posts: this is my 101st post. Wow, I have a lot to say. Or I just like to read my own thoughts. Either way!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Theme Days

So, copying many, many, MANY previous blogs, I'm going to try theme days. For two reasons: 1, it's fun and 2, it directs my creative juices into a post.

And it makes it easier to plan.

So here's my thought:

Fugly Fridays
Yes, "fugly" is a rather vulgar term, but it so perfectly describes the wedding attire that I will post on. When they're that ugly, they're fugly.

Safety Saturdays or Sundays
I work in health and safety, so that way I can rant about safety. I think my first post will be on computer ergonomics. Not at all related to planning a wedding, but with the amount of time I (and probably you) blog-stalk, proper computer ergonomics is very important.

So those are my thoughts.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wedding Porn

Minds out of the gutter!

I'm talking about these:












(Manolo Blahnik on the right, Christian Louboutin in the middle, and Jimmy Choo on the right. All famous shoes.)

As stunning as they are, however, they are very bad for the following body parts: back, calves and feet. I can't wear them. But that doesn't mean I can't admire how pretty they are.

I know I'm not the only bride-to-be who admires pretty shoes. My blog-twin Carly at Westside Bride has posted on her love of peep toe shoes more than once. My nearly-neighbour (or as she spells it, neighbor) Cyd at The Sweetest Occassion has posted on shoes as her something blue, debated shoe height (much like I have) and even invited me to share J.Crew purchases. (Thanks again!)

So why do brides loooove shoes so much?

Is it because the dress is such a public expression of the bride's style (often a hybrid between what her mother wants, what she thinks her future husband wants, and what is appropriate) whereas the shoes are a private expression of the bride's style (and let's face it, can be as wild or conservative or showy as the bride wants, especially if she's wearing a floor length dress)?

Is it because so many of us like pretty things, including shoes, but often feel limited by our daily budgets, so that when we get a genuine occassion to splurge we do so willingly?

Or is it because not-so-long-ago, bridal shoes were restricted to this, this, this or this?

What do you think?

Go-Go Team Practical (led by Meg)

I love Meg at A Practical Wedding is fantastic. I've said it before when Meg posted on Mmmm.... gender stereotypes.

And now I'm saying it again.

You must go read this post (if you haven't already) on A Practical Wedding: How I Tamed The Registry.

Michael's Coupon Time!

You know you're going to use it. Drag along your fiancé, BFF and mother. Then you can use 4. Then go again tomorrow and again on Friday. Assuming everyone agreed to go with you everyday, that's 12 half-off items!


Note: I couldn't convince that many people to go that many times in that many days, unless I had something I really needed, and asked really nicely. Really nicely. And possibly bribed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Other reasons I like December!

More birthdays to celebrate in December!

Today would have been my Nanny's (grandmother) birthday. She'd have been 85 (I think). As her only granddaughter, and since we shared a birth-month, she gave me her birthstone ring about 10 years ago. With her arthritis, she couldn't wear that ring any longer. It was very meaningful when she gave it to me. I may not remember her age, but I always remember her birthday. And think of her.

Today also would have been my first dog's birthday. Chu Chu was a lhasa apso, who today would have been 210 in dog years (or 30 human years). She was 14 when she died. Her name was Chinese, but we don't know what it meant. Chu Chu was a very good dog, a very protective dog who seemed to think of my brothers and I as her children. In all honesty, I probably only remember her birthday because it was the same as my Nanny's. She was my first dog friend, and I loved her. (Aside: We had no way of knowing second dog's birthday (Tippy) because she was adopted from an owner who couldn't handle her. And my parent's current dog (Yogi) was adopted from the humane society (the dog was abandoned there), so her exact birthday is unknown, too.)

Today is also Britney Spears's 27th birthday:


I am not a huge fan of Britney Spears (though I did like her back in the "Hit Me Baby" days). I remember her exact birthday and age because my friend Teresa was born the exact same day in the exact same year. I've known Teresa since grade 2. Which works out to 20 years. Wow, that's a long time to know someone. Teresa is my much older and wiser friend. A whole week older!

So, Happy 27th Birthday, Teresa!

This picture is from Teresa's wedding in August 2006. This isn't the most flattering picture - a woman who is that voluptuous should NOT have been photographed squatting by the flower girls. But I assure you it was a lovely ceremony (although it was very quick - this girl is not a big fan of being the centre of attention).