Saturday, January 31, 2009

Congratulations, Bella!

Bella from Blabber & Blunder is getting married today, before heading to a honeymoon in Jamaica.

Cake toppers

Cute cake toppers from etsy are on the wedding blog of Nicole and Jesse.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Honeymoon Ideas

So, here are some of the ideas we're floating around:

  • 15-day cruise (Rome to London with stops along the way)
  • 14-day cruise (London to Rome then back with stops in both directions)
  • 10-day cruise (Rome-Cannes-Barcelone-Naples-Rome)
  • 10-day bus/train tour London to Paris
  • 8-day bus tour London to Paris
  • 8-day regional French tour (Normandy-Loire Valley)

Just some of our thoughts. We're totally undecided, and I'm pouring through the tour books and on-line. I planned a trip for us to New Zealand (3 1/2 weeks) just over 2 years ago, and Wade thought I did a good job, so I'm apparently the trip planner. That trip was mostly free touring, meaning we rented a car and I had our itinerary, activities and hotels / hostels / campgrounds booked along the way. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. However, for this trip, I'd almost just rather sit on a boat or bus for most of the time, with some "free touring" before or after. I don't know why - I just would rather be looked after this time. It's more expensive, of course, and you have more rules (departure times, tour times, etc), so there are of course disadvantages, but you don't need to think as much!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wedding Planning

So here's the thing: wedding planning is still going on. Sort of. Currently, we have a "list" of things to get through in January.

So far, here's what we've done this month:
-Made centrepieces (here, here, here and finally here)
-Booked my transportation to the church and our transportation to the reception
-Decided on bridesmaid dresses
-Registered for gifts at 2 of the 3 stores
-Made boutonnieres (upcoming post will be done on this)

Still to do in the next 2-3 weeks (not quite all done in the month of January, but you know ... whatev!):
-Book our rehearsal dinner venue
-Order the tuxedos
-Register at the 3rd store (actually an affiliate of the 2nd store we registered at)
-Decide if we want a videographer or ask a friend to videotape
-Book our honeymoon
-Meet with our tentative day-of-coordinator to find out if she's a match with our personalities (I am already sure she is, but Wade needs to be sure, too)
-Book the florist

So, needless to say, we're busy. Almost every day is wedding planning / doing, in order to get things done. Plus, some other things have come up in our life, that, well, distract us from wedding planning. So, posts have been less interesting: many brief posts. So I apologize, but please keep reading - there's more to (slowly) come.

Hmm - another tag?

I'm it again!

Rachel tagged me with a new questionaire. This is like those emails that really circulated in the late '90s / early '00s that were so popular.

Here are the rules:

Step 1: respond and rework—answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
Step 2: tag—eight other un-tagged people will be tagged.

Make a list of things you can see without getting up: laptop, tv, Wade, blanket, bank statements, 40% off coupon for Michaels, CDs, books on bookshelf.
What were you like when you were five? I talked a lot, wanted to learn to read, and liked doing all sorts of crazy gymnastics things (things that would break me now).
What are you wearing now? Dark brown pants (very wide-legged pants), a gray 3/4 sleeve shirt and socks (I'm at home, so I'm not wearing shoes.)
What color is your bedroom? Blue
What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? Wedding magazines. Before that I read "Beedle the Bard", the J.K. Rowling novella. Before that I read "The Other Boleyn Girl".
Do you nap a lot? No, but I like naps!
Who was the last person you hugged? Wade
What's your current fandom/obsession/addiction? Blogging
What was the last thing you ate today? Hummus & crackers
What was the last thing you said aloud? "Grilled German Crackers" (I was guessing something on "Wheel of Fortune". I knew it wasn't right, but I was guessing! The right answer was Grilled German Bratwurst, in case you're interested.)
What websites do you always visit when you go online? Blogs, blogs, blogs. Email, banking, or CBC News occassionally. Then some more blogs.
What are you listening to right now? A commercial for something. I'm not really watching. Wade's watching "Wheel Of Fortune", and I'm looking up every now and then, guessing at puzzles.
Do you prefer watching movies at the theatre or at home? Home.
If you could have any super power, what would it be? I'm with Rachel: reading other people's minds would be useful.
What is your favorite weather, and why? Those hot (not humid) summer days when it's still warm at night. Yum.
What is your most challenging goal right now? Keeping occupied at work.
Say something to the person who tagged you: I hope my wedding is as memorable and fun as yours that I'll wish I could go back in time to re-visit it!
If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? New Zealand, in Abel Tasman Park or the Bay of Islands.
Favorite vacation spot? New Zealand or London
What is your favorite children’s book? Paper Bag Princess. The Princess rescues her Prince from the dragon, but he no longer wants her because she's "messy". So the Princess says: "Ronald ... you are a bum!" Best. Line. Ever.
Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: Chocolate, ice cream, and other desserts.
If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be? That's a hard question. So I'm changing it ... to ...
How many times have you been on a plane? Too many too count. I flew a lot for a job one summer, so probably at least 40 times. I guess that's not too many to count, but I don't think I could sit down and count it.

So, to all my followers (all 18 of you), consider yourself tagged and answer this survey! (Unless you've already answered, in which case you're exempt.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Broke-Ass Bride: Green Wedding Contest Update!

Because the Broke-Ass Bride is a cool blog led by a fun lady: you should click here to support her goal to win a honeymoon!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Non-wedding: Children's Charity Snubbed by IOC

Right To Play is a non-governmental organization (NGO) devoted to ensuring marginalized children (girls, children with disabilities, impoverished children, refugees and former child soldiers) get time to learn how to play sports, providing them with guidance, love and teaching them sports values.

I first learned of Right To Play through Clara Hughes, possibly one of my heroes. She is a Canadian athlete who has won medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, in bicycling (bronze in 1996) and speedskating (bronze in 2002 and gold in 2006). Up until recently, Canadian athletes did not get money for receiving Olympic medals (that changed recently, though our athletes receive less than the average of other countries). At the time Clara won her medals, she did not receive any money. However, she was inspired by an athlete (Joey Cheek) who donated all his medal winnings to Right To Play. In spite of not receiving money, Clara donated $10,000 of her own money, in honour of her gold medal win, to the charity. How cool is that!

However, the IOC won't allow Right To Play to promote itself at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the London 2012 Olympics, nor the 2014 Russian Olympics, as it has been allowed to do at the Olympics since 2000. It has been covered in The Toronto Star, Sports Illustrated and CNN, has been acknowledge on the Right To Play website.

Yep, that's the Olympic spirit.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Scottish and Chinese Celebrations

Yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns, a famous Scottish poet and composer. Ever heard of him? Robbie Burns Day is "celebrated" in Scotland and pockets around the world. The only "official" celebration I ever attended was in Southern England (go figure), in which Scottish food (including haggis) was served followed by Scottish country dancing. Fun!

Here's one of his most famous love songs:

And probably his most famous song (at least to North Americans):

For the auditorily astute, that song was featured in the Sex and the City movie.



And today marks the start of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year, the start of a celebration for many people of Asian descent, not just Chinese. Lai-see (red envelopes filled with money or candy) are given to children (and sometimes unmarried young adults), which would have to be my favourite part having received them a couple times. I know there are traditions that respect elders, but the cornerstones I know are fireworks, dancing and celebration, and lots of eating. Kinda like most Western "holidays".


I say we celebrate everyone's holidays. Why? Well, it teaches us about other culture's beliefs and traditions. And (more importantly) celebrations are fun, so why not celebrate?!

So I say:

  • Slàinte, sonas agus beartas! (Health, wealth and happiness in Scottish gaelic)
  • Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Cantonese wishes for the New Year)

Honest - to - goodness!!

I was tagged by Once A Bride and In The Waiting Line to accept the Honest Scrap Award. You can guess the criteria to be nominated for this award by the name of it. To accept the award, I must tell you 10 random facts.

So let's dive in:

1. I talk. A lot. And often quite quickly.
2. I didn't get on an airplane until I was 23.
3. I think I have some sort of hearing problem - sometimes I truly don't hear Wade when I'm concentrating on something else. He gets mad at me, but I truly don't hear him.
4. I am the only female in my generation: I have 2 brothers and all my cousins are male.
5. My mom's a nurse.
6. I work in health & safety (applying my graduate degree).
7. My first dog was a lhasa apso named Chu Chu. My second dog was a mutt named Tippy.
8. I drive a Honda Civic: fuel efficient and high safety ratings!
9. I wear glasses. I've worn glasses since I was 18, but had very good vision up until the middle of my teenage years. My vision isn't bad, and in fact I don't need to wear them all the time (but I do). I don't like glasses, though: I don't like when they get dirty (which is very easy), when they fog up or when they get wet. I find contacts irritating, however, and rarely wear them.
10. I like random facts. I find those stupid tidbits that most people ignore to be fascinating. Here's proof:
-Humans can only live a few days without water - but we can live weeks or months without food.
-Christopher Columbus tricked people in the "new world" into doing / giving what he wanted by convincing the natives he had many powers. He said that he could take the moon out of the sky if he did not get his way. He knew by studying the lunar cycle that a lunar eclipse was coming that night, and used that to threaten the natives.
-Giraffes have the same number of bones (vertebrae) in their necks as humans (or most other mammals). They just bigger bones. With joints.
-You know those Impressionist paintings of Paris? The painters had to imagine the trees. Shortly before that time, Paris was restructured, and the trees were re-planted. At the time of the Impressionists, those trees were just saplings. They painted them as if they were big trees, imagining and hoping that's how they'd looked in the future.
-And loving random facts is why I love trivia!

So those are the ten facts.

I nominate and tag the following blogs for the award:
And she's rambling again
Girl Learning Along The Way
Jestor (formerly known as Tea Tales)
London Bride
Nicole and Jesse
The Sweetest Occassion

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Registry Fun

Yesterday, Wade & I registered at The Bay and Sears. It was fun (for me). I used to work at Sears, and knew how their registry worked. I assumed The Bay's was the same. For American and British readers, I will tell you a brief amount about both stores. Sears is a basic department store in Canada - unlike the American version, which is mostly hardware. The Bay is a bit of a Canadian institution, with a similar position as Macy's or Harrods (maybe not quite as "posh", but we're a little more laid back in Canada than the US or the UK). The only difference with The Bay is that the quality and "posh-ness" of each store depends on the market it is located in. For example, The Bay on Bloor Street in Toronto or at Bayshore in Ottawa has far nicer (and more expensive) than The Bay in Kingston.

I was surprised to see how much nicer The Bay's registry is. We registered at The Bay first. We walked in and sat down with one of their consultants, who explained the registry and gave a few suggestions. Yes, those suggestions are to increase the number of items we register for, but we followed some of her reccomendations when we thought it was useful, and did not use the recommendation when it was not. Also, for registering, we got 2 bridal magazines - the same magazine - one was the winter issues and the other was the spring issue. And we got 2 champagne flutes. I was very surprised. Then we got the scanner.

If you've registered with a scanner, you know how fun it can be. I let Wade use it, because I knew it would increase his enjoyment. Or decrease the likelihood of him getting bored. I picked out things we needed and things we liked, pointed, and he "shot".

After The Bay, we stopped at the food court on our way to Sears. At Sears, it was the same ol' drill, the one that I knew when I worked their in high school. Get the scanner, go scan. That was it.

It paled compared to The Bay's registry program, where we sat down and met with the consultant, were given advice, and so on.

Anyway, the day was fun. We're going to Home Outfitters (a division of The Bay that has a slightly different focus) to register there, too, later today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Safety Saturday: Back Care 2

In last week's Safety Saturday post, I told you how our spine is a natural S-curve, made up of vertebrae (the bones) and discs. The discs are made up of the annulus and a nucleus: the annulus is like a tire, and the nucleus is like a doughnut inside that tire.

One thing I didn't mention: the discs and the vertebrae are all connected to each other. Each disc is attached to each vertebra. When you twist your back, your discs twist (bones don't "twist", so the disc, specifically the "tire" (annulus), is what twists).

Have you ever been on a tire swing? They're pretty sturdy. Have you ever tried to TWIST a tire? It doesn't happen easily. But if you do it enough, what do you think will happen to the tire? Eventually, with enough twist, the tire might form little tears.

Same thing with your back.

If you twist your back, especially in an uncontrolled manner, little tears, or microdamage, can form in the "tire" (annulus) of your disc. The more you twist, especially when carrying weights, the more damage occurs.

Of course, I'm not referring to controlled twists when you're working out. I'm referring to uncontrolled lifting and twisting. For example, when you're loading the groceries into the trunk, and you're twisting back and forth from the grocery cart to the trunk.

What could you do to reduce this damage? As you "twist", move your feet, so that you're not twisting your back, but your whole body. Am I describing that right? Whenever I deliver training, I always demonstrate, so I'm not sure if I've described it right.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fugly Fridays

Um yeah ... so I'm a little dumb. So I picked the name of these posts as "fugly fridays" because I liked the alliteration. I thought "fugly" was just a way of saying super-ugly or über-ugly or very-ugly.

Apparently not.

I just found out it is actually an abbreviation, or a portmanteau, of' ugly. I'm not offended by swearing in some contexts. I do use swear words occassionally. I just try not to do so regularly, and I try to avoid it in print altogether.

I can't believe I didn't realize that. I'm a little naïve sometimes.

I also changed my focus on last week's post from pictures of horrendous weddings (and I would argue that the Fugly Fridays I featured were ugly to anyone's sensibilities) to featuring horrible stories. I also read a Buddhist teaching that if something is not beneficial, one should not say it. I'm not Buddhist, but I think many of its teachings are good, ethical ways to live, and are in balance with concepts in many religions, including Christianity. I think that ideal, of not saying things that are not beneficial, is a small step I can take to become a better person. Honestly, it'll be hard, but I'm going to try.

In that effort, I think that evaluating actions that I do not wish to embody is a better focus for my future "Fugly Fridays".

What do you think of this change? Will you still read the posts?

P.S. I will still look at those pictures of the ugly dresses and wonder, "what was she thinking?" Don't get me wrong here!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do something good for someone good!

I received this email from The Broke-Ass Bride, aka Dana aka Miss Meatball:

Please forgive the mass mailing. It ain't usually our style, but we're in a tight competition and we're pulling out all the stops! This may be our only shot at a proper honeymoon, so we really need your help to make it happen!
For the next eight days we need your votes via the Trees Instead Website, to help us win a free honeymoon and a plethora of eco-responsible prizes! Each day we will send you the link to the page and the answers to the questions, so all you have to do is click, fill in a few words and vote.
We were kicking butt, but our competition is a pastor who seems to have gotten his entire congregation voting for him, and now we're down 300 votes. Our only shot is consistent voting via the website. If we get your vote each day we think we have a good shot at winning.
For those of you who don't know: Hunter and I are finalists in a contest to win a honeymoon to Costa Rica and have trees planted in the names of all our wedding guests. For those of you who do and have been voting, Thank you Thank you!
You can vote once a day on their website from any IP address (IE vote once from home and once from the office:-) The best part is you don't have to register anywhere or give your contact info away. Just fill in and click submit! In only 2 minutes each day, you could really change our lives!
The Link and the answers:
On their website: *VOTE THROUGH JAN. 29*
Go to
Note that the questions change up every other day or so...
Today's Answers: Name of the Couple: Hunter Stiebel and Dana LaRue
Wedding date: May 24, 2009
Where is the TI Planting Location in ALASKA: Friends For a Green Alaska Reforestation Effort
Title of Valentines Day Page: Go Green for Valentines Day
Sentence Below the Title @ the plant a memorial tree in israel: Plant a tree in Memory of a loved one in the Holy Land
What would you rather give, flowers or a tree as a sympathy gift (this one is up to you:-): Yes or No
You are amazing for helping us out. Well, heck you're amazing without helping us, but you're just that much more dashing now! Please pass this along to anyone you think would like to help a couple who are full of love, and feel free to post it anywhere you think would be helpful! :)
Thanks again,
Dana (aka Broke-Ass Bride and Miss Meatball), and Hunter

P.S. The Broke-Ass Bride is also a great blogger and resource, so if you haven't already, go check her out!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A little perspective

Wedding planning has been fun, so far. And it probably will continue to be fun. In spite of the wedding planning coming up ... the rest of life goes on.

Yesterday's post was incredibly fun, and got a lot of posts from first-time posters. (Thanks for the blog love!)

I have different things on my mind today. (Well, that, and I can't book something fun every day - we'd run out of money!) Something more important is weighing on me today.

Today, I am reminded about marriage. I, and lots of other bridal bloggers, are in the process of planning weddings. Some of us are planning laid-back soirée; some of us are planning über formal and swanky affairs. But whether in your parent's backyard or the Ritz Carlton, we're all doing the same thing: we are marrying our great love. Whether he or she is your one true love, your soulmate, your other half, or your best-friend. We are speaking vows to love that person, no matter what, for the rest of our lives, in front of the rest of our loved ones.

Let's keep that in mind, shall we?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Look what we booked today ...

This will take my parents & I to the church, then take Wade & I from the church to the reception:

Stand tall

American readers and friends: I am proud of you today. Stand tall and be proud of what you've done.

Monday, January 19, 2009


It seems like everyone else made New Year's resolutions to become healthy or fit or tone up. I didn't. I decided I wanted to do become healthier, improve my cardiovascular health and tone up. But it wasn't a resolution.

I did, however, sign up for a twice a week (Mondays & Wednesdays) aerobics class. The classes started a couple weeks ago and will run until the first week of April. The program is run by the city's recreation department. The program costs $73, which is odd because the city also has a similar aerobics program that is also one hour in length, but only runs once a week, yet it costs $75. I don't get understand. But I digress.

Tonight is class # 5.

And later this week, I'm going to try the 30-day shred that everyone in the bridal blogging community seems to be talking about. Especially Cyd.

Update: I bought the 30-Day Shred tonight on the way back from aerobics. Aerobics was all intervals. Ow. So I doubt I'll do the 30-Day Shred tomorrow. I'll let you know what I think once I do try it.

Thanks for the feedback!

I appreciate everyone's comments on yesterday's post.

To clarify a few things:

  • MOH Joce helped me eliminate the search from about 15 dresses (which she tried on!) to those 3. We both had "veto" power. MOH eliminated two v-neck styles. (I comment on that because the majority of you have voted you yourselves would prefer a v-neck style.)
  • Dress 3 comes with a built-in crinoline; hence the extra fullness.
  • Only 2 of the 4 bridal party members have tried on those 3 dresses: MOH Joce and BM Emily. MOH Joce preferred to fullness of dress 3, but really liked all 3 of the dresses. BM Emily liked dresses 1 and 2 best, but she really looked amazing in dress 2.
  • I was worried that dress 3 would look like too formal.
  • I have emailed to all 4 ladies that they may choose between dresses 1 and 2. In the email, I sent a list of the closest stores they can contact to try them on. For BMs Emily & Kristy, they both had about 10 shops to choose from. For MOH Joce, there are 2 local shops. And BM Crystal has 1 shop, which is unfortunate, but I figure maybe I can convince her that means she needs to visit me soon to try on the dress here! :)

Oh, and I am still seriously thinking of what some have suggested (including a girl at the bridal shop) to let MOH Joce wear dress 3. I'm not sure; she'd look so different from the others. Maybe she could wear dress 1 or 2 with a crinoline for a little more fullness. What do you think?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bridesmaid Dresses

BM Emily came up this week-end. We went to look at the bridesmaid dresses. I forgot my camera (oops) but got the model numbers so I could look them up.

Here are the 3 dresses:

All 3 dresses are Alfred Angelo styles.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Safety Saturdays: Back Care

This will be a series of ... I don't know how many parts. I haven't decided. Let's talk about back safety. Remember in the last Safety Saturday Sunday post when I talked about how wearing heels can hurt your back? Well, I thought we should talk about your back. When your back hurts, your quality of life is impacted dramatically.

So let's just review some anatomy. Our back is curved into an "S" (well, sort of): the "curves" actually strengthen our back.

The top portion (roughly our neck) is the "cervical" portion of the spine. Next is the thoracic spine. Our lower back corresponds roughly to the "lumbar" spine. And the bottom is the saccral spine (also called the saccrum) and the coccyx (coccygeal spine, or the tail bone).

Our spine itself is a series of vertebrae (the bones in pink) connected by discs (purple with the blue centre). Each disc is actually made of two things: an annulus (purple - think of this as a car tire) and a nucleus (blue - think of it like a jelly doughnut).

The spine is strong when in its natural S-curve. What would happen if you twist or bend that strong "rod"? The tire is strong and somewhat flexible, but what would happen if you overstretch a car tire? And what would happen if you squish a jelly doughnut? I'll get into the relevance of why I ask those questions in future posts.

Fugly Fridays: Bridezillas

I have seen on countless blogs girls who bemoan "the dreaded bridezilla". But how many of us become bridezillas? Does anyone who actually act outlandishly realize they are doing so? I don't think so, personally. People can't actually realize they're acting the way they are.

So what is a bridezilla? According to
wikipedia, bridezilla is a portmanteau of the words bride and Godzilla (yeah, you probably figured that out). It is a generic term used to describe a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride who aggravates family, friends and bridal vendors in the course of planning her wedding. A bridezilla attempts to achieve a "perfect" wedding day.

Are you trying to achieve a "perfect" day? Do you view your wedding day as "your big day"*?

If so, these are red flags that you may become a bridezilla.

Your day will not be "perfect"**. It just won't be. Get over it. But if you have a good attitude, it can be a great day, regardless of weather, your future husband's cousin showing up in an ivory dress (honestly, who does that?!), or even if you (gasp) trip and fall while walking down the aisle (as long as you're not hurt, you should laugh this off).

The next view "Fugly Fridays" will deal with the "bridezilla" nature.

Let me leave this post with a story, as I'll try to do for all bridezilla posts:

"L" and "B" are friends. B is known for being thrifty (ahem - cheap). B becomes engaged and asks L to be a bridesmaid. L and B, and the other bridesmaids, go dress shopping. B finds a bridesmaid dress she likes, though L doesn't like it, she doesn't say anything (not being her wedding). Two days later, B asks L to no longer be a bridesmaid because L doesn’t look right in the dress.

*Yes, I know that in my blog title I say that this blog is the "journey to our big day". But do I view it as "my big day"? I'll let you judge that for yourself.

**Note: with a positive attitude, in retrospect your day might seem like it was perfect, in spite of any glitches. Just be prepared to roll with those punches if you need to!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bridesmaid Dresses and Suits versus Tuxedos

I've almost got the bridesmaid dress problem sorted out. I think I've narrowed down my choices to 3 dresses, with the help of MOH. Since BM Emily is visiting from Toronto this week-end, I am going to put her to work to look at those 3 dresses and see what she thinks.

Arg! It's such a hard decision!

And tonight, Wade & I are going to start looking at suits/tuxedos. I'm sure we won't decide tonight, but we have to start somewhere! I'm still not sure what look I want (dark grey suit versus black tuxedo) because I like both so much. So we need to make Wade try on some suits & tuxedos for me! I think he's partial to tuxedos, based on what he's said, but even within the realm of tuxedos there are many options.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Year's Resolution

I said I don't make resolutions. And I don't. But a few days into the New Year, I decided to make one. I wanted it to be easy. I wanted it to have an impact. I wanted to succeed.

And so, I made a resolution to take my travel mug to the coffee shop whenever I get coffee on my way to work at least 4 out of every 5 trips.

I don't get coffee every morning. I didn't want to create a resolution to remember my travel mug, but if I forget once then I've failed. And I didn't include week-ends, because sometimes I'm out and about, and I decide to get a coffee. Well, if I didn't know I was going to get coffee, I can't bring my mug, can I?

This won't have a huge impact. But I will reduce the number of paper cups I use.

This past spring, Wade & I decided we'd take our own re-usable bags to the grocery store. We forgot a few times, but now it's such a habit that forgetting is rare. And honestly, those re-usable bags are quite convenient: they hold a lot and we don't have to worry about the handle breaking or the bottom giving out. When I reflected on our success with this one small goal, I decided to repeat it with travel mugs.

One step at a time, people!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weee! I'm going to learn more ways to be green!

I won a book on ways to become eco-friendly, The Green Bride Guide from That Bride (aka Mrs. Avocado). There are tips such as this tip for buying a vintage dress: "Did you know a size 12 dress from 1940 is a size 8 today?" (I did know that, but I don't know why I knew that. I'm pretty sure wedding dresses follow that "old" size chart, which is why you're usually 4 sizes larger in wedding dresses than street clothes.)

I promise to share some tips from the book on my blog.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Practical Wedding: Sponsored Post: Free Wedding Dress Giveaway

For those who are still looking for a wedding dress, or wouldn't mind a second dress, or (like me) are doubting their first dress, there's a contest to win a free wedding dress from

I found out about it from Meg, at A Practical Wedding.

You can enter once every day until February 28th. Click here to enter the contest!

So along with your voting for The Broke-Ass Bride every day (until January 31) to win her a honeymoon, you can also vote for yourself every day (until February 28).

So what are you waiting for? Get voting!

Gift for child attendants?

I started to think of gifts for our child attendants: 2 flower girls and 2 ring bearers (well, I suppose the elder ring bearer is more of a junior usher, and his gift is taken care of).

What do you think of this idea: personalized books?

Flower girl C likes Scooby Doo, so I think she'd like the Scooby Doo themed book available on the website.
Flower girl L likes dancing, figure skating, and generally being artistically expressive through movement. I think she would enjoy this book.
Ring bearer K plays soccer in the summer, so I think he'd like this book.

I like the idea of giving books. I like to encourage the academic development of children. I also like the idea of personalization. I had personalized pencils and pens. However, "Krista" isn't a common name on personalized items, and when I was a kid it was even less common. My aunt actually had my full name engraved on pencils - that's really neat, especially when you're 9! My brothers both received personal books from that same aunt (I didn't because I was already too old for the books that were available at that time). I suspect my aunt actually ordered from the very same company that I've discovered on the internet - the titles of a couple books are very familiar.

Anyway, what do you think of this idea?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Safety Saturdays Sundays: Foot Health

Foot health is very important to our overall health. Reflexology, a concept in Eastern medicine in which our feet (and hands) have “zones” that correspond to the rest of our body. I don’t understand it, nor do I know if it works, but I do believe that our foot health can contribute to our overall health.

Here are some common medical ailments that may afflict our feet:
•Bunions -- a protrusion at the base of the big toe, which can become inflamed. Bunions often develop over time from wearing narrow-toed shoes (eww).
•Hammer toes -- toes that curl downward into a claw-like position.
•Calluses and corns -- thickened skin from friction or pressure. Calluses are on the balls of the feet or heels. Corns appear on your toes.
•Plantar warts – warts on the soles of your feet (warts are an infection).
•Fallen arches -- also called flat feet.
There are many causes of these ailments, including heredity factors (if your parents both had flat feet, you’re more likely to have flat feet), other illnesses (especially diabetes), age (our feet change as we age), weight (if you’re overweight, your feet have more weight, and thus stress, on them), and shoe choice.

Here’s some advice for wearing shoes:
•Consider shoes with cushioned soles if you wear dress shoes.
•Compare the shape of your foot and the shape of the front of the shoe. Choosing shoes that better match the shape of your foot will create less pinching.
•Lower your high heel height by even an inch.
•Do lots of stretching for your calf muscles if you’re active in sports. Lean against a wall with one foot forward and one foot back. This is especially important if you wear high heels at work, since your calf muscle undergoes shortening and will be over-stressed once it is placed in a lower sports shoe.
•Consider using insoles, which can add a lot of cushioning to your shoes. The insoles can be trimmed to fit a dress shoe and can also be shortened to reach just the ball of your foot so they don’t make the toe box area of the shoe too tight.
•Wear good quality running shoes or walking shoes; this will make shopping, prolonged walks or your journey to and from work more comfortable.

Shoes, while a common cause (or at least capable of exacerbating existing problems or triggering problems to which you are hereditarily pre-disposed) of foot problems, are not always the cause of women’s foot problems. If you have foot pain or other foot problems, you can visit your doctor or a podiatrist.

Did you know that wearing high heels can cause headaches? High heels change your posture so that you can maintain balance. Your posture (back) changes its alignment, which can stress your back and neck muscles; neck muscle stress can lead to headaches.

I am not making any of this up: I found all the above information on these two reputable medical webpages: Canadian Podiatric Medical Association and Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Congratulations, London Bride

London Bride got married today! Actually, in London it's just after midnight, but oh well! London Bride is one of my favourite bloggers, and with a cake topper like this:

I'm sure it was a wonderful day!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Updated To-Do Lists

Last night, Maid of Honour (MOH) Joce & I went to look at bridesmaid gowns. After seeing all the super-cute bridesmaid gowns that are just regular dresses that girls wear on the wedding day, I had been looking around at stores as the Christmas dresses were being cleared out. However, I was unable to find a dress that did not scream "Christmas" or "holidays" or "New Year's Eve". So, I went back to the only real bridal store in town to look at dresses again.

This store carries After Six, Alred Angelo, and others. We looked at a couple Alfred Angelo dresses. In retrospect, maybe we should have looked at a couple After Six dresses; their dresses are so nice and flowy. But there were 3 Alfred Angelo dresses we liked - I let MOH have veto power, too. Honestly, I was trying to canvas my bridesmaids as much as possible about the different styles they would prefer to wear. It may be my wedding, but if they're shelling out $200 (egad! I'm asking my friends to pay that much for me?!) then I should at least make sure they'll like what they're wearing.

I've never been a bridesmaid. I can't wait to be one - to have that honour, to plan my friend's bridal shower, to have fun planning the games, to plan and go on her bachelorette party, and to wear a fun, matching dress. I love bridesmaids' dresses. I love taffeta, silk, organza, and I do enjoy pouffy, over-the-top silhouettes. And I look forward to wearing one. But I'm asking my bridesmaids to get their feedback, so they can wear something they like.

Here are some of the things my bridesmaids like / dislike:
-MOH Joce does not like much ornamentation, but she does like detailing (pick-ups, ruching, etc.).
-BM Emily does not like bows or sparkles on the front of dresses.
-BM Emily didn't like bows in the back of the dress, either.
-BM Kristy does not like low-cut ... well, none of the girls particularly like low-cut tops, but Kristy (ahem) really doesn't appreciate it!
-BM Kristy & Emily don't like low backs.
-No one seems to have a huge preference between floor length and tea length
-All 4 ladies have told me whatever I decide is fine (well, that may be, but I want them to be happy!)

Hence why my January poll (I seem to put up a poll every other month) is about dresses. Readers, tell me what you would like to wear as a bridesmaid!

Fugly Fridays 4:

Isn't this a charming picture?


Yes, this is the exact image we'd all hoped the photographer would catch on our wedding day. Clearly, his rude action turned his bride into a screaming banshee (as demonstrated through her screaming monster look).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spoiler Warning: Little Centrepieces

Now on to the little centrepieces! I walked into Pier 1 the other day, on a whim because the Boxing Day week sales were still on. And I came across these little Christmas decorations:

There were 15 of them left, so I snatched up all 15!

But my wedding's in June, and these are clearly Christmas ornaments. I did a little deconstruction work by pulling everything out of the styrofoam:

I put the white rose and the plain green leaf back in to each container:

And ended up with this:

By the way, each little rose centrepiece cost:

Can you read that? The tag says $9.00 but they were 75% off: that's $2.25 each! Not too shabby - I couldn't have bought the little containers, styrofoam and silk roses for that price.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Spoiler Warning: Floral Centrepieces 3

There's even less to show you of the final of the tall centrepieces - remember the orchids and hydrangeas? - this one has only one picture.

And this one was almost as easy as the hydrangeas.

I started with:
-3 eiffel vases
-Dozen silk peonies ($6.99 each, I think, but again, I'd have to check)
-2 hangy thingies, each having several hangies (you'll see what I mean in the picture; $9.99 each)

I put the peonies in the vase. I cut the hangy thingies of the branch, and spread them around the peonies.

And I came up with this:

So I call these vases the "peonies with tendrils" because I don't know else to describe them.

What do you think of the "tendrils"?

Need a little wedding inspiration?

Go to Cyd's blog The Sweetest Occassion

Here's my favourite part:
Of course it doesn't feel like you, because for most of us, this is a once in a lifetime occasion. It's only natural that some elements of the day will feel surreal and different.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spoiler Warning: Centrepieces (Part 2)

In addition to the orchid centrepieces, I made 3 tall white peony centrepieces and 3 tall white hydrangea centrepieces.

For the hydrangea centrepieces, I needed:
-15 silk hydrangea stems ($8.49 and $9.99 at Michaels, all purchased 50% off)
-Glue gun & lots of glue gun glue
-3 tall Effeil vases (will check the price next time I'm at Michael's)

This project was easier than the orchids. I started with the hydrangeas and removed some of the excess stems.

The hydrangeas are on the left in the above photo

The hydrangea centrepiece is on the left (beside an unfinished orchid centrepiece)

So, now I have a question: what do you think? Obviously, the tall centrepieces will be spread out amongst the many short (very short) centrepieces. These centrepieces look very different. Will they look weird or out of place to be in the same room as each other? (They will be long tables)

"Ground Control to Major Tom ... "

In five months, we'll be getting married! Where has the last year-and-a-bit gone by since we got engaged? As I pointed out on my birthday last month, the fact that I'm marvelling over the passage of time means I'm an adult.

According to the knot, we have 140 items left to-do, 16 of which are overdue.

Here are my priorities of what to do in January:
-Order invitations
-Order bridesmaid dresses
-Look at tuxedos/suits
-Decide on a florist

So those are my goals for January! I'll keep you posted. I figure, once it's April, we're into crunch-time, so I'd like to have as much as done as possible!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Spoiler Warning: Centrepieces (Part 1)

I made 4 types of centrepieces. Partially because I couldn't decide between the flowers (I like orchids, hydrangeas, roses and peonies) and partially so the tables won't be too matchy-matchy. I also vary the height of the arrangements. So of the arrangements are gloriously high and others are very short.

I created with the following items:
-3 tall white orchid centrepieces
-3 tall white hydrangea centrepieces
-3 tall white peony centrepieces
-15 short white rose centrepieces
I will also have around 50 frosted tea light holders that I bought super-cheap this summer.

Today, I'm going to review how I made the orchid tall arrangements.

Items you'll need:
-3 Floral balls (um, $3.49, I think, all purchased with a 40% off coupon or a rare 50% off coupon
I chose white floral balls instead of the green ones so that if I didn't cover the entire surface it wouldn't be obvious
-15 (estimated) silk orchid stems ($6.49 at Michaels, all purchased 50% off)
I had lots of orchids, so I just added more and more orchids for a really full floral ball
-Glue gun & lots of glue gun glue
-3 tall Effeil vases (um, not sure the price, I'll check next time I'm at Michael's)

I started by taking the orchids off the stem:

I found leaving about 2" to 3" of stem on the orchid worked well. Then, I used the back of the stem to poke a hole in the styrofoam ball. I took a picture of the ball with the hole, but it didn't turn out so well! After you've poked the hole in the ball, put some glue on the stem of the orchid:

I put the orchid back into the hole I just poked:

Save the stem of the orchids! They will stabilize your floral ball when it's done. I poked some of the balls with the stem as the first step, others I poked the stem into the ball as the last step or near the end. Neither step worked exceedingly better than the other - if you do copy this, play around with the order to find out what order you like best.

When I thought I was done, I wasn't. I decided the orchid balls on their own weren't enough, so I used that elasticky clear necklace material to hang some orchids from the orchid ball. I could have used fishing line (and it would have been even more clear!) but I was too lazy to go get some. Ah well!

The finished product:

What do you think?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Engagement Party

So, at the suggestion of Jane, I downloaded the program for my camera. And I can update you on two projects: engagement party invitations (today) and centrepieces (tomorrow).

Wade & I hosted an engagement party on the Sunday of the long week-end in February (called "Family Day" here). We invited most of our aunts & uncles, some of our cousins, and most of our closest friends. It was a good, but exhausting, day, and I couldn't have done it without the help of bridesmaids Kristy & Emily. They were god-sends that day.

I applied my scrapbooking skills to card-making. I can't break down the cost, but I bought pearlized pink cardstock and heart images. Then I cut the cardstock in half and folder it in half to make each invitation. I glued the heart images onto the front and wrote a note inside each card inviting that person to attend.

Each invitation was unique:

I chose to go with pink because the engagement party was just days after Valentine's Day. Plus, I like pink, but would not subject Wade to that much pink for our wedding.

I love the way these invitations turned out!

I loved these invitations so much that I almost hated to mail them out. But I did - reluctantly! Our parents were invited to arrive at 1:30 p.m., the rest of the family was invited to arrive at 2:00 p.m. - we did that so our parents could meet each other without the complete chaos of everyone else. I also put an end-time on the invitation of 4:00 p.m., so people had an idea of what to expect. Unfortunately, Wade's parents showed up closer to 2, so there was very little time for my parents to chat. Oh well!

We invited friends to arrive at 3:00 p.m., and again put an end time of 6:00 p.m. (or maybe it was 5:30 p.m. - it's hard to remember now). I wanted an overlap of family & friends, but I knew we didn't have enough room in our house for everyone. I was trying to create a flow of people arriving and a flow of people leaving, so it would only be crowded for so long. Most of our friends arrived around 3ish, as requested. (1 couple was late, but they're unfortunately always late. I think I may tell them the wedding is starting an hour earlier than it actually is so they'll be on-time!)

Bridesmaids Emily & Kristy were there from the start - actually they came up the night before! They helped me prepare, cook food in advance, and were staying with me for the week-end. I intended to be cooking - putting things in the oven, pulling them out, on a schedule all afternoon. I wrote out the schedule so there was going to be a steady stream of food, but I ended up being so busy introducing everyone & making sure everyone else was entertained. Bridesmaids Kristy & Emily stepped up and kept the food coming, and even dealt with a few unexpected requests!

Our family started to leave around 4:00 p.m, with the last family member leaving close to somewhere between 4:30 - 5. Kristy headed home around 5ish, because she was going to drive 2 hours to get home. Friends started to leave around 5:30.

I had a pink heart theme, as I mentioned, and I bought the decorations (a heart shaped wreath, red and pink "Chinese" style lanterns and pink helium balloons) right after Valentine's Day - everything was on sale! I'm trying to remember the menu. It involved two large veggie trays, one fruit tray, a shrimp ring, various baked foods from M& M Meatshops (puff pastries, spring rolls, spanakopita, etc.). The pièce de résistance for Wade was the mini hamburgers that we made - Wade had fun looking after that portion of the foods. You should have seen Wade's face light up when I suggested we have mini-hamburgers! There was white wine, beer, fruit punch with heart-shaped ice cubes (some ice cubes were just water, others were cran-raspberry juice). My favourite part was the heart-shaped pink cupcakes that Kristy, Emily & I baked in the morning! Emily was spending the night again.

When all was said & done, Emily, MOH & I went to Kelsey's for appetizers & drinks - not that we needed more food, but just to hang out & relax!

I wish I'd had the time (& had remembered) to take pictures of the actual party and food!

A little perspective?

In case you're feeling the end of Christmas blues (I love Christmas, and am always a little sad when it's over), just remember, it could be worse.

You could have the post-wedding blues, like these girls:
Source: Cyd, via Miss Trini, via Ruby Slippers. It's a popular video.
Are you not laughing at putting things in perspective? Because you should be!

The Broke-Ass Bride: Need a "favor" from you!

The Broke-Ass Bride: Need a "favor" from you!

Do you not follow or regularly visit the Broke-Ass Bride? Yep, you probably do. She is also know as Miss Meatball on Weddingbee.

The Broke-Ass Bride, aka Dana, aka Miss Meatball, has entered a contest to greenify her wedding. (Yeah, I know that's not a word. Oh well!) And she's now one of the finalists. To help The Broke-Ass Bride with the contest, click here to support her entry to win an eco-friendly honeymoon or an eco-friendly runner up prize such as carbon offsets.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Safety Saturdays!

Women love candles.

It's true. It's such a girly thing to like candles, but yet so many non-girly women I know also like candles. Candles are a ubiquitous hostess gift. They are used to create a soft glow, a romantic ambiance, a relaxing bath, and so many other reasons.

But most of us are bad about leaving the room "for just a minute" with a candle lit.

Friday, January 2, 2009

"Apparently we've started a trend"

On Christmas Eve, my friend and bridesmaid Crystal got engaged. In October, my friend and bridesmaid Kristy got engaged. And on New Year's Eve, my cousin T (who, according to family legend, at one time vowed to never get married) proposed to his girl-friend J.

I told Wade about this latest engagement, and his response was that he thinks we've started a trend.

Yeah, Wade, it was all us.

J showing off her ring:

Dude! Sweet! (think of Crush from Finding Nemo)

Wade really likes movies (I do, too, but Wade really likes them) so we watch everything except scary movies - action movies, dramas, chick-flicks, and even kids movies. Finding Nemo is an amazing kids movie. If you haven't seen it, you should. Dude!

Why do I tell you this? Well, when I was informed that yesterday's post was the featured post at Worth a Thousand Words, my first thought was "Dude! Sweeeet!," the way the turtles say it.

You should go to Worth a Thousand Words and enter the contest by commenting on the picture. The winner gets his/her blog posted and gets a gift card for $10 to Starbucks. Awesome!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

May your 2009 be filled with happiness, love, blessings, challenges and accomplishments.