Friday, February 27, 2009
Can you believe - £18 (about $50 Canadian) for a tin and platinum-plated with crystals and an undisclosed fake diamond (presumably cubic zirconia, but who knows) engagement ring and wedding band set? The only problem I would have is I don't know how sturdy tin is. But if it lasts as well as gold or solid platinum, then why not? Upgrade when you can afford it ... or not at all ... whatever you want!
Thanks are owed to The Professional Bridesmaid for doing the intel and sharing this story with me!
(I will post on the blog award I've recently been nominated for. I thank you so much for the nomination, and will respond on Sunday or Monday).
Thursday, February 26, 2009
And yet it doesn't feel real. The wedding, I mean.
(I know I'm ready to be married; it's the wedding that doesn't feel real, not the marriage.)
P.S. If I'm lucky, I'll have a sneak peak of our engagement shoot tomorrow!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I was drooling over some cocktail rings, when I saw these three rings, two of which look like engagement rings, and one like a wedding band.
(A traditional looking engagement ring.)
(A very large ring ... one that is probably too large for most people's tastes.)
(A popular style of wedding band.)
Think of the pros of crystal:
- Avoid diamonds, which avoids all the potential social issues surrounding diamonds (though I did this post a while back to address socially responsible diamonds, crystals are another way to ensure you are avoiding "conflict diamonds")
- Actually be able to afford the ring (particularly a bonus for couples on a restricted budget)
- Have something a little different without skimping on quality
The biggest con? It isn't a diamond. Or even any precious gemstone. And that is a big deal to lots of people. The diamond on our fingers is, to many of us (if not most of us) a social symbol, a status of what our fiancé can afford, the equivalent to a man's muscle car or model train collection or whatever other expensive collection or trinkets some other people (often, though not always, men) use to show off status.
So I ask ...
Do you think a crystal engagement ring would be thrifty and creative in these times, or just plain cheap?
Monday, February 23, 2009
So I bought acrylic paint and made 5 of the mini calla lily boutonnieres into mango calla lilies. They're gorgeous: I have a bit of red on the tips, blended into orange then into yellow. they are based on the following picture:
Now what do you think I should do? Rinse the calla lilies to try to remove the paint? Leave the paint as-is, and hope it doesn't rain? (Though I think that'll guarantee it will rain.) Do you know of any sealant or spray that will reduce / prevent running of the paint?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Aren't they cute? There's something missing, though. It looks like it would be better if there was something on the bottom. Silk berries? A bow?
(I'll explain why they can only be worn in dry weather tomorrow.)
Friday, February 20, 2009
But I love Snippet & Ink for its inspiration. Who doesn't?
I am asking you to please choose to mail or e-mail a letter to your politician to get oral chemotherapy drugs the same coverage as intravenous chemotherapy drugs.
It turns out the first treatment for my mom's cancer is a pill, an oral chemotherapy drug. We were shocked to find out just two days ago that that the Ontario healthcare system does not cover many oral chemotherapy drugs, include the drug my mom needs. It is the only chemotherapy that will work for my mom's rare type of cancer. This drug costs $8000 per month (yes, eight thousand dollars), and requires the patient to take it for months or even years! My parents are fortunate that the drug will be mostly (not totally) covered by their drug plan. Her first month of drugs still cost $1600. After she goes over some a cap in a couple months, it should be fully covered, but we're waiting to get confirmation.
I wonder, though, how people of lesser means could afford such a costly drug?
Here is how you can help: please take the time to send a letter to the Premier of Ontario, your local Ontario MPP and/or the Ontario Minister of Health. Tell these elected politicians that you think Ontario citizens deserve to have oral chemotherapy drugs covered the same way intravenous chemotherapy drugs are covered.
Use this post as a template for the letter and email you're sending - feel free to use it verbatim or modify it how you like!
Here's a list of names and addresses to get you started:
Premier Dalton McGuinty
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Or use this electronic form: https://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp
The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
The Honourable David Caplan
2062 Sheppard Ave. E.,
North York ON M2J 5B3
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MPP for Kingston and the Islands (where we live)
The Honourable John Gerretsen
Suite 2, The LaSalle Mews, 303 Bagot Street
Kingston, ON K7K 5W7
Or email: email@example.com
P.S. Whether you choose to support this cause or not, I thank you for reading this post, and for your thoughts and well wishes!
Update: also, feel free to join my new facebook group (yeah, slightly clichéd, I know, but hopefully effective): "Ontario Government: Cover Cancer Drugs".
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Subject: Oral chemotherapy drugs in Ontario
Dear Premier McGuinty,
I am writing you today to express my shock and disgust that many oral chemotherapy drugs are not covered through the Ontario Healthcare System - either through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODP) for cancer, or through the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). It was recently reported on CBC Radio's "Ontario Today" (air date Wednesday, February 18, 2009) that cancer patients who require oral chemotherapy drugs, dispensed by pharmacies, may have to pay for this cost themselves.
Although drug plans may cover part of the cost of these oral chemotherapy drugs, and emergency plans exist to help some folks without drug plans, this coverage will not help all individuals. How can we justify funding the equally exorbitant costs of surgeries and intravenous chemotherapies, but not the costs of many oral medical treatments?
Cancer patients in Ontario deserve the best. In Ontario, we have access to one of the best healthcare systems in the world, but it is shameful we don’t have access to one of the best public healthcare systems in the world.
Cancer patients need to be focused on their recovery, not on the financial burden their treatment creates for their family. I find it frustrating and appalling that if the cancer patient's recommended treatment was surgical or intravenous, it would be covered by OHIP; however, if it is a pill form, it is at the cancer patient's expense. This is unfair and not what we expected of our Ontario healthcare system.
It is time the government re-evaluate the coverage of oral chemotherapy drugs in Ontario.
YOUR NAME HERE
Now, I must say, I'm not cool enough to have my own contests. You'll have to go to Once A Bride's blog to enter. But so far, the odds are pretty good: just one entrant.
So click here to go enter. Good luck!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I agree with the spirit of her post, but I would do a few things differently. So here's my post on the subject!
Here is my interpretation of how I address envelopes:
- When the couple has the same last name, it is listed as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" on the same line.
- I do not typically name couples as "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" because I do not like to identify women through the identity of her husband. She has a name, too! I would list "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" or if I knew them well, just "John and Jane Smith" or "Jane and John Smith" (depending on if I know the couple as "John and Jane" or "Jane and John"). (Unless, of course, I know the woman prefers to be known as Mrs. John Smith. But I don't know any women like that.)
- The woman's name is listed first when the couple has different last names, because of the old expression that ladies come first. At least, that's why I think it is.
- Two women married or in a common-law relationship? I would either list the person I know best first or list them alphabetically. Ditto for two men. (Of course, if their names don't fit, I would put them on two lines, but that's only if the room's tight!)
- A couple with different last names? Technically, I believe the etiquette book I've read says that if they're married - the names are on the same line, but if they're not married - their names go on different lines. Personally, whether they're married or in a common-law relationship, I'd probably list them on the same line. Unless they didn't fit on the same line! So "Jane Jones and John Smith" or "Ms. Jane Jones and Mr. John Smith"
- A woman who's a doctor in a relationship? I'd list "Dr. Jane and Mr. John Smith". Or if different last names, I'd list it as "Dr. Jane Jones and Mr. John Smith". (Or just "Jane and John".)
- If I'm sending mail to a little boy, I do send it to "Master Smith", because I think that's a cute title for little boys (under 12). If I'm sending mail to a little girl, I send it to "Miss Smith". When I send it to two sisters, I write to "The Misses Smith". I can't recall off-hand how to address it to two brothers, but I think it's "The Messrs. Smith" or "The Masters Smith".
- For unmarried adult women, I typically send it to "Ms Smith" unless I know she prefers to be known as "Miss Smith".
Honestly, if my name was Jane, I probably wouldn't change my name to Smith. And I certainly wouldn't name my son John Smith! :)
And that's my response to Meg's post! Feel free to comment, or write your own post on how you do it!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
*His name is not actually Charlie Brown. But I'm not publishing his real last name on the blog - I try to avoid publishing anyone's real last name!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
We decided against a cruise, for a few reasons. First, we wanted to do a tour and some free-touring on our own. For the cruise we liked, we'd have had very little time to do things before and after our trip. Second, they are more expensive, and although they include breakfasts and dinners, they don't include any excursions. Bus tours do include many excursions, most breakfasts, and some dinners.
- We arrive in Paris on June 8
- Travel around France for a few days
- Head to London
- Visit our beloved London (we've been there together) for a few days
- Do this tour:
- then head to the south of France to hang out on the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) and Provence.
Hey, if we're going to splurge anywhere, why not on our honeymoon?! We will get home on June 27.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I worked for a year contract doing health & safety for a big pharmaceutical company (at the time, the biggest in the world), at their manufacturing facility and quality laboratory in Small Town, Ontario.
During most of the time I worked for Big Pharma in Small Town, Ontario, I lived with Crystal in her gorgeous house. Just gorgeous. Crystal also worked for Big Pharma, doing some quality job. I forget her title, but she reviewed lab reports of lab tests to ensure the drugs were within the specified acceptable range. Let me tell you, there were no recalls when Crystal was on the job! I think most of her reports were for consumer products - lotion, mouthwash, hand sanitizer - so sometimes she got samples.
Crystal is from Cape Breton, a large island in the north of Nova Scotia. Cape Breton is known for its Scottish population, and there are lots of hints to the Scottish roots - including a college in which students speak gaelic!
This is a picture of Crystal and me at a barbecue / horseshoe tournament in July, 2007:
Let me just say, for all Big Pharma has a bad reputation, they are truly doing some great things. In my opinion, they deserve to have their patents extended but also be more stricly regulated. In my facility, we were NOT a research facility, so I don't have first-hand experience, but a drug takes about 20 years and potentially billions of dollars to develop. That's a long time and a lot of money. From development of the drug to testing to clinical trials to approval (and that doesn't include the hundreds more drugs that are "duds" and never make it to approval). However, a patent only last 27 years (don't quote me, but I think that's what it is). So, the drug company only has around 7 years to make money on it. Of course they're going to charge a fortune for that drug - that's the only time they have to recoup their investment! Once the patent is up, all the generic drug companies have the right to use the other company's ingredient list to make the drug, too, without investing in research and development. I firmly believe patents should last longer, but that prices should be a bit better controlled, so the company can still make their money, but prices are fixed so that consumers aren't screwed. (Drug prices in Canada are way cheaper than in the US, partially for that reason.) Generic drug companies don't make new drugs, they just make existing drugs, so if Big Pharma won't make new drugs for heart disease, cancer, or migraines, we don't get new drugs! Yes, I don't agree with all of Big Pharma's actions, but they do some very good things.
Rant on Big Pharma over.
Friday, February 13, 2009
The reason I post with that song title: I thought I'd give google adsense a try. No idea if I'll make any money on it, and to be honest, I'm not banking on it! But I thought I'd give it a whirl. Why not, right? (And I have visited some of the links other bloggers have on their google adsense. Some of them are good website; some, not so much. But it can't hurt to look.)
I'll let you know if I make any money on it! (Feel free to click on the links if the topic is of interest to you. Feel free to ignore it if it doesn't look useful.)
I've posted an update to the story on the original post I put yesterday about today being Friday the 13th. Click here to view the update.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
So here's what I fantastize about getting if I were to win:
A Monique L'huillier "copy", $800:
Oh, and why am I entering when I already have a dress? I could get a party dress for the reception! That's why. I'd like something to dance in!
You should enter, too! So, what are you waiting for? You know what to do! (The above dresses are between sizes 10 to 16.) Click here to enter! Good luck!
My mom's not superstitious - other than believing full moons bring out the crazies to the hospital. She's a nurse, and she used to work in emerg (that's more often referred to as e.r. on tv shows). She's worked in ICU the past 15 years - intensive care, where the sickest of the sick go, which requires some of the best nurses (often determined by test marks) and only takes doctors with double specialties. She likes that they don't get the same crazies on full moons (though some patients with psychiatric disorders, geriatric illnesses or dementia will react more erratically, it's not the same). She's also worked in NICU (premature babies) and CCU (cardiac care). As you might guess, it was in emerg that she particularly hated working on full moons. Anyway, I digress.
We just want to know, to get answers. And we want good news. (Damn, we're selfish, eh?) You may think I'm weird, to keep on with normal life (as much as possible). But that's what I have to do.
Oh, and I'm on the road right now. Or I should be. Many of my posts are written the night before, and set up to post first thing in the morning (usually 7 or 8 am). I don't know why I'm in that habit. I just am. Normally, I'm brushing my teeth around 7 am. I have to be at another office (2 hours away) for 8 am, so if I'm not on the road when this is posted, then I'm going to be very late!
Update: it's treatable, but not curable. Meaning, they might be able to stop growth, or maybe even shrink the cancer, but there is no cure to beat it. The good thing: it is treatable. Not all cancers are treatable, and in fact a couple other types of kidney cancer are not at all treatable. So we focus on the good. We are thankful for the good.
Thank you for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
MOH Joce chose the same dress as BMs Emily, Kristy & Crystal. I was surprised because it does show a bit more cleavage, but for her it came down to the fact that she liked the corset-style back so much more than the more modest top with the zip-up back. It's her choice. :)
See, the frustrating thing (for me) is that I don't care that much, but there are so many choices that I'm just worried whatever I do pick, I'll regret it later. Or worse, my bridesmaids won't like it.
But, it's done. The deposits have been made - a 50% deposit.
So that's that - no point in second guessing myself!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Why can't I decide on anything?!
Monday, February 9, 2009
PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com is sponsoring a contest for a free wedding dress up to $1500. Not too shabby!
A couple of the dresses on there have not been used, which makes for a bargain. Unless the bride says she changed her mind in the post, don't ask why the dress has not been used. You don't want to know. :)
In addition, several of the dresses advertise that they were "only worn once". Um ... is that really a "selling feature" that you only wore your wedding dress once? There are exceptions - such as destination brides who may wear their dress again to their hometown reception after getting married, or the rare two-day bride (like Cyd) - but most brides only wear their dress once*. If you get re-married, wouldn't it just be tacky to wear the same dress you wore for your first wedding? And for what other reason (other than the two I listed) would you wear your dress more than once? I'm just saying!
You can enter once per day per email address up to February 28th.
*Or the even more rare nut-job who wears her dress to restaurants/bars in August for no reason other than to wear her dress again! If you see two ladies doing that in Watertown or Kingston, that's just Cyd & me getting the value out of our dresses. And maybe a free martini or two.
This is the most sucessful he's been in the past year and a half. So, here's hoping he stays clean and kicks the habit for good.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
You can read all about it here, because it was so well summed up. Being Wade's birthday, I shouldn't spend any more time blogging than I "need" to; although "needing" to blog is subjective. I say I do; Wade says I don't. :)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
I also get that everyone loves J.Crew bridesmaid and wedding dresses. Myself included, even though I've never been inside a J.Crew.
And everyone who loves the J.Crew dresses likes to point out that they're so cheap!
Um ... that is where I disagree. Most of the bridesmaid dresses seem to be around $300. Yes, they have sales, but colours and/or sizes may be limited. As for the bridal gowns, with a few exceptions around $300 and a few exceptions around $3000, prices tend to be $1500-$2000.
Oh, and J.Crew isn't in Canada, so you have to bribe a friend in the States (if you have one) to accept the dresses at her place, then send them on to you.
So, while I respect that $300 for a bridesmaid may be cheap for you, and I'll admit it's not bad, except that it's in American dollars. Which right now means it's closer to $350-375.
Here's what I'd like for bridesmaids' dresses, if money was not an object and I could afford to buy the girls their dresses:
There's also this dress by the Dessy group that I like too:
However, I wanted to find dresses that were around $200. The dresses I chose are only slightly more than that. But I do love those J.Crew dresses! Swoon! :)
Friday, February 6, 2009
Don't you just hate her? :) Then you meet her and realize you absolutely adore her. She's fun, loving and adores crafting and baking. I met her at the end of first year university (March or April 2001) and then lived with her for 3 years. I was a little more messy then (okay, a lot more messy), but she likes things to be kept very clean, so I drove her nuts a few times. Now that I'm less messy, I feel very bad for that.
The "deadline" for everyone to pick their bridesmaid dress and get sized was coming, so I sent a reminder email out. Kristy responds, saying: "I'm sorry that I haven't been responding to your e-mails in the past couple of weeks. Things have been busy as usual, but that's not really any excuse. [...] I feel like such a terrible friend/bridesmaid, and I totally understand if you're frustrated with me. If you decide that I'm too much trouble & you'd rather have one less bridesmaid, I understand." I promptly emailed her back and told her that she was being silly!
I am honoured that Kristy is going to stand up for me at my wedding, and I know we'll have lots of fun getting ready together!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Then I noticed that because of two new followers, my blog can't display all the followers in one thingy (the application thing in the side bar).
Whew ... I was worried Carly and Jenny didn't love me anymore.
P.S. My newest followers, The Wedding Corner (tonight), Miss Want (this morning) and The Professional Bridesmaid (a couple days ago) are all great blogs, too. I suggest you visit them!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
They're from Bella Figura and they haven't been ordered yet. I had entered a contest to win $350 on Snippet & Ink, but I didn't win. My odds were better than the lottery, but not quite as good as Bridechka's first giveaway. I would have used the money to purchase the response cards. Since I didn't win, out of financial necessity, I'm going to "DIY" the response cards. I'll show you that project when I do it.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
The only concern I have is that the sweetheart neck on the second dress does dip low, and shows off "the girls" on women with an ample bosom. It's very flattering on women whose cups are not "over-flowing".
Update: What I meant to say is that it's flattering on smaller "girls", but shows off the girls in an unflattering manner on larger "girls". I just wanted to clarify what I was trying to say.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Only 22 people voted for the three bodice options, half of you picked a v-neck (11), whereas of the other 11 bodice votes, almost twice as many of you would rather wear sweetheart (7) than strapless (4). I'm wondering if that means one of you did not like any of the options? Anyway, MOH Joce inititally agreed with most of you, preferring v-neck so she could wear a proper and non-strapless bra. I made her try on a bunch of dresses, including a v-neck option, a sweetheart neckline and a strapless neckline, Joce was torn between the strapless and the sweetheart.
Again, only 22 of the 23 of you voted for the length options. Does that mean that 1 of you did not like any of the length options? Mini-skirt, maybe? :) Anyway, most of you (15) preferred tea-length dresses, over floor (5) and sweep (2) options.
For the cut or shape of the skirt, 3 of you like ballgowns, 14 prefer a-line, and 4 of you like trumpet (mermaid). I presume that means 3 of you didn't like any of the options? The problem with full ballgown skirts is they are cumbersome, and can become quite hot. The concern many of you have with trumpet style skirts is probably that only certain body-types look good in this style. A-line skirts are universally flattering.
I gave my bridesmaids between two dresses, one of which is the sweetheart-strapless, the other is a strapless bodice. When looking at all the dresses, Joce vetoed the v-neck dress. Both dress are floor-length and a-line. I really struggled between the floor length, which is timeless, and the tea-length, which is fun. Ultimately, there are more floor length options, which helped me to make the decision.
I am also wondering if those of you who didn't vote on some of the categories did not have a preference? Anyway, I'm glad I got so many votes, to gauge what you would like in a bridesmaid dress when you're the bridesmaid!
Tomorrow, I'll re-post the 2 dresses the girls are chosing between.