Friday, June 27, 2014

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday! I am so glad the weekend is here, but what an eventful week it has been! 

Here's a look back at some exciting things that happened this week.

1. I went to Chicago last weekend and came back on Monday! My Aunt and Uncle live in Chicago and my relatives from England were visiting, so my mom, brother and I took a road trip to visit everyone. It was amazing; Chicago is truly one of my favourite places to visit. I just love visiting and spending time with family.

2. I did my first ever guest post! Be sure to check out my Summer Healthy Chickpea Salad recipe on Tattered to Taylored. You should also follow her blog - it's pretty cool.

3. Work has been very busy this week and that has made the time time just fly by - sometimes that is a wonderful thing!

4. I have been making a dent in my son's fourth Hot Wheel's birthday party decorations and I'm so happy with them so far. I can't believe Eric is turning four; crazy!

5. My husband and I are heading out for my birthday dinner tonight. My actual birthday is next week but we'll be up at our cottage so we're celebrating tonight. I can't wait for a date night; it's been too long!

How has your week been? Be sure to link up with Lauren Elizabeth to tell us about it!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Long Weekend Recap: Chicago Style

Hi everyone! This past weekend I took a road trip with my mom and brother to go and visit some relatives living in the Chicago area. It was actually a four day weekend for us and boy was it fun! We timed our trip perfectly because my relatives from England were also visiting! It was so good to see everyone.

Here's how our weekend went down!

 This is Emma, my Uncle's adorable Bulldog.
 A sandwich from Potbelly's. In one word: amazing!
 We were right on time for the annual Zombie Walk!
 The Brits.

If you haven't been to Chicago or area yet, I highly recommend you go. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kid Friendly Wedding Day Tips

This past February I had the opportunity to stand in as the ‘Best Woman’ for my best friend’s wedding. It was such a nice day and I am so happy I was able to be involved in the celebration of Sean and Robin’s special day (congratulations to you both!). My son was also involved in the wedding and served as the Ring Bearer (along with two flower girls).

Involving children in your wedding day is really something special, but since children can be unpredictable you’ll want to ensure they play the appropriate role for their age.

There are so many roles that children can take on including a Junior Bridesmaid/Groomsmen, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl, Junior Usher and Reader (reading a script or poem during the ceremony). This is an exciting time for the kids you’re involving, but there are some tips and tricks that I’ve come up with that will make the involvement easier for you and them!

This isn’t to say that your three year-old ring bearer won’t run up and down the aisle or that your four year-old flower girl will just dump the basket of flowers petals at the end of the aisle (which is both cute and entertaining), but it will make things run more smoothly.
Rick Denham Photography Wedding Prep Flower Girl Photo

{Involve the children right from the beginning}

Children are naturally curious and like to know what is going on and what will happen. Involving them right from the beginning of your plans and letting them know what their role will be, including the tasks involved, will help minimize any surprises. They will know exactly what to do and be less confused when the time comes. Of course, you will need to keep reiterating these things as the time goes on and at the rehearsal dinner, but the more they hear it the more they’ll remember.

Prep your Wedding Planner / Day Of Coordinator on the ages, roles, and personalities of the little ones. These go-to figures will be just as involved in keeping the munchkins at bay as their parents will! (and sometimes more).

{Ensure their parents are just as involved}

This really goes without saying since you require the parent’s permission to have the children involved, but ensuring the parents of the children know exactly what’s going to happen will make things that much easier for everyone.

Since the parents will likely be close friends or family members, the last thing you want is for anyone to become even more stressed than they already are on the day of the wedding. Be sure to give them explicit information about all the details. If you  want the flower girls to wear a head-band or specific shoes, be honest and tell them. Don’t leave these small details for them to decide, especially when you have a couple of children in the same role (e.g. two flowers girls). This can cause issues between the parents (if the children are unrelated), especially if one set of parents tries to take charge over the other.

Also, if you’re charging them with purchasing the outfits, be explicit with your requirements or give them a picture. The last thing you want to happen is having someone return the flower girl dresses with only days to the wedding and not being able to find the ‘right’ one.

{Assign them a helper}

Assign someone in the wedding party to keep an eye on individual kids. For example, I was the Best Woman so when my son reached the alter I was able to keep him wrangled (even though he didn’t stay with me the whole time). Ensure this person is someone the children are familiar with and trust. It’s a good idea to introduce them well ahead of time so they can feel comfortable with that person. Alternatively, show them exactly where their parents will be sitting (practice this at the rehearsal!). In the event they get tired and/or shy (this willhappen!) they are able to go directly to their parents. - Cecilia + Chris - Day Of Coordination

Oh. And seasoned wedding planners know how far bribes will go! Explain to the babes that they’ll get a special treat if they’re good and have gummy bears, lolli-pops and prettily-packaged “Thank You for being our Flower Girl / Ring Bearer” surprises for afterwards!

{Make them comfortable}

Bring an extra change of clothes for youngsters. If you’re allowing them to attend the reception (even if only the dinner portion), having a more comfortable outfit for them to change into will keep them happy. Besides, kids in little onesies on your dance floor make for oh-so-cute photography!

{Practice, Practice, Practice}

This goes back to my first point about letting the kids know what is going to happen. Have them practice walking down the aisle and dropping flower petals on the floor. If they’re required to wear accessories or carry props, practice with these well in advance.
DIY Here Comes Your Girl Ring Bearer Sign

{Have some fun activities available at the reception}

If you’re having children at the reception, it’s a good idea to have some activities there to keep them occupied: colouring books and crayons, a craft station to make cards for the bride and groom, the possibilities are endless. Check out these cute ones I came across on my Internet travels!
Reception Activity Book (
Wedding Kids Activity Table
However you choose to involve the children in your wedding, my final advice is to just be patient. They may become shy or uneasy the day of the wedding when all eyes are on them as they walk down the aisle. Have fun with it and allow them to be themselves. Assume that they will blunder their way through everything, look totally adorable doing it, and know that any mistake the little ones make will undoubtedly make for a cute wedding stories that your guests are sure to remember (and hopefully your photographer captures on film!)
Tutu Flower Girl Dresses

{ blog love :: photography credits }

Be sure to visit for more wedding content.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Wear: Denim Edition #1

I've been pretty into fashion these past couple of years. I try to like to look nice and be well put together when I'm heading out for the day, no matter where I'm going. It's in no way high fashion, but what I'd like to think of it as 'everyday' fashion.

I'd like to start incorporating this element into my blog so I thought I'd start posting a segment called 'Weekend Wear' where I'll post weekend outfits every other week.

These are outfits that I would typically where on weekends; whether I'm hanging out with the family, running errands or even going to a casual get together. 

Let's get started with a denim edition!

{Denim Jacket}

I absolutely love my denim jacket. It's a very versatile piece that great with jeans or other pants.

I love this outfit because it's great to wear during the day; and if needed all I need to do is throw on a pair of heels and I'm ready for a night out with the girls!

Jacket: Target
Pants & Top: Smart Set
Shoes: Aldo

{Skinny Jeans}

It's no secret that skinny jeans are very in fashion right now, and have been for some time. To be honest, when they first started becoming popular I couldn't stand them and thought they looked rather ridiculous; this was until I finally caved in and tried on a pair. I was instantly in love and now pretty much live in them. 

They're cute and literally go with anything. Here's just one of my favourite combo's.

White Blouse and Jeans: Smart Set
Cardigan & Sandals: Target

Want to join me with Weekend Wear? If you're interested in linking up and/or doing some guest posting, I'd love to hear from you! Please email me using the link to the right

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Perks and Perils of a DIY Wedding

Is a DIY wedding really worth it?

Picture this: You’re recently engaged. You’re happy, excited, and more in love than ever before – just as you should be! Congratulations to you both!

You’re now in the beginning stages of planning your wedding and can finally start thinking about all of those DIY Pinterest projects that you’ve been pinning for years. But before you get too involved in your do-it-yourself (DIY!) projects, you need to ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?”

Booking your venue, photographer, and cake designer are easier once you’ve determined the overall style and design of your wedding, but there is a lot to consider when planning to tackle invitations, décor, and all of the other nitty-gritty details, DIY-style!

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE all things crafy and DIY, and had actually incorporated some cute little projects in to my own wedding, but here are a few things to consider before embarking on the DIY wedding path.

{Time Management}

DIY projects take time.

A lot of time.

Do you have the extra time to spare in between your work, fiancé, family, and friends to spearhead all your DIY projects (and get them done on time!)? What looks oh-so-simple on Pinterest can actually take dozens and dozens of hours to complete.

When considering your time invested in a project, don’t ignore quantities. A grand affair of 300 of your nearest and dearest will tax your time budget for DIY invites far more than an intimate gathering of 40. The same applies to favours, programs, centerpieces, etc.

Ensuring you have time to complete projects is critical as there is nothing worse than being half-way done your project, with life catching up with you, and then having to scramble last minute leading up to your wedding day. So much stress! And it’s all unnecessary.

Sure, you might be saying… “Oh, but my bridesmaids! And my friends, and family. They will all be there to help me. That will save a lot of time.” 

But make sure you think about their own time with other wedding duties, their own families, out of town guests, significant others, and friends. And if they’re still willing to help, that’s awesome!

…. but are you sure that you actually want their help?

What if your mother-in-law ends up gluing all your single-faced satin ribbon on the wrong side? or what if your Maid Of Honour’s penmanship doesn’t stay consistent across ALL of your escort cards? Not only are you left having to carry out an awkward conversation, but on top of that, you’re going to have to re-do what they’ve already done (increasing time and money invested in to what was supposed to be a simple, DIY task).

{Money Talks}

And if we’re on the topic of money, I’ll be honest with you… some DIY projects can get surprisingly pricey.

Be careful with what you pick up at the dollar store. The glass is usually less dense, the candles are made of the lowest grade of wax available (just ask Mary about the one time a bride nearly burned down her venue), and adhesives don’t boast the same durability of higher quality options.

Hobby stores have beautiful, great quality items, but purchasing everything through them may end up costing you as much as it would to have everything professionally done, especially if you’re spending your own time putting it all together. Some craft stores have lovely pre-made stationary sets though, and you can design and print your own invitations, ceremony programs, reception menus, and Thank You cards at a fraction of the cost of ordering from a vendor.

To help brides stick to DIY project budgets, the WG website launched The Shops @ WG, where you can buy items like vases, candles, mirrors, vase filler, ribbon and decor items directly from our wholesalers; robust event quality, on a budget!


The reality of making things beautiful, and I mean really, really BEAUTIFUL, takes either time, or money, or both.

Décor will be among the most expensive and time consuming of all your DIY projects. There are so many elements of design when it comes to adorning your wedding with all-things-stylized-and-gorgeous.

Centerpieces, for example, depending on the theme of your event, are made up of a handful of elements that need to be seamlessly designed together to create a beautiful cohesive look.
Wheat Sheath Rustic DIY Centerpiece decor
Not only are there a number of small details that should be included to create depth, balance, and personality for your centerpiece, if you’re not able to make all the elements of it yourself (or can’t buy in bulk), retail costs will climb quickly.

Oh… and as far as bulk is concerned…. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve seen brides in discount department stores begging the manager to start making phone calls to find a large quantity of the one specific item they’re looking for… to no avail.

But let’s say you do find the items, you do put together all your lovely centerpieces and they’re happily residing around the perimeter of your living room, dining room, and across the kitchen counter. Now, what about setup? Do you have access to your wedding venue the night before the wedding or have they given you a narrow time frame on the day of? Do you have people who can help you set up? Do you have a large enough vehicle (or access to more than one) to transfer all the fruits of your labour safely and efficiently?

Don’t forget that etiquette suggests the night before the wedding should be spent at your rehearsal dinner with friends and family (and out of town guests) and not painstakingly setting up your venue, last minute.

Weddings are stressful enough – the night before should be spent being pampered and in love, not worrying about whether your escort cards were set up straight.

If you’re DIYing an outdoor wedding, have you considered whether everything that you need to set up (the day before, or the day of) is in place?
Hanging Lantern Wedding Decor

It’s stunning alright!

But if you’re using natural elements as part of your design scheme, make sure you don’t forget your ladder at home! Oh, and if there’s a chance for wind, make sure your lanterns are heavily weighted (but not too heavily, as you don’t want the branch snapping and crashing in to your cake).

Note: As a wedding planner, it is my responsibility to warn you that there is always a chance of wind.

Check out this video that Mary made for eTalk last year about DIY weddings.

Yes, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds had a crazy-gorgeous barn-set DIY-inspired wedding. But did you know that it took a team of SIXTY of Martha Stewart’s planners and coordinators to make it come to life??

As a crafty, seasoned DIY-er, I’m not here to dissuade you from your creative ideas and budget-savvy decor. If anything, I want to see you DIY-away!! But as a wedding planner, it is my job to make you consider the details…ALL of the details.

It’s my job to make sure that a bride, who is usually planning her wedding for the first time, knows the good, the bad, and the ugly of the feat she’s about to undertake.
The trick, ladies, is balance.

If you love the personal touches of DIY details, pick a few that are most important to you and leave the rest to an expert. Consider cost before hastily making purchases, and remember that your time is valuable too.

Most importantly, make sure to ask for help. If you’d DIY’d your entire wedding day vision, you best be bringing on board a Day Of Coordinator who will work alongside you pre-wedding to ensure that all the intricate little details are set up exactly how you imagined while you’re busy with hair, makeup, and bridal portraits.

A wedding is a production, but getting married is about being in love. Go ahead, be crafty… but don’t let your commitments to 184 DIY favour tags overshadow your excitement to walk down the aisle and say, “I do.”

If you have questions about DIY styling or want to get in touch about hiring a Day Of Coordinator to help make your wedding day flawless, email me:
To buy decor items from The Shops @ WG, or to have our budget-savvy floral team help you boast beautiful blooms without breaking the bank, make sure to get in touch! I’d be happy to help you custom-pick your items and style your designs.

Otherwise, you can find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I’d love to connect!

Of course, you can also find more wedding-related content at

:: Photo Credits (in order of appearance)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

My daily hair products

I am one of those women who literally spends too much time on their hair. I'm talking an hour and a half minimum. Honestly, I think it drives my husband insane. I think I spend so much time on it now because when I was a little girl (maybe 11 or so), I had really long blonde hair...until my mom made me chop it all off. I'm talking Jennifer Lawrence short, people; when it wasn't in style. Talk about traumatizing.

So in my mid-length hair happiness, I thought I'd share my daily hair products since I put so much time and effort into it.

1. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo + Conditioner.I absolutely love Herbal Essences Hello Hydration products. It makes my hair so smooth and silky, plus it smells so good (creamy coconut and orchid flower)! It also prevents my hair from drying out which is pretty much the intent of the product, so it works really well.

2. Aquage Uplifting Foam
This product is a life-saver for my severely flat roots! It's an amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I've tried several root lifters before, but nothing is as close to being good as this. It offers a bit of texture which really shows you that it's working. Sadly, it's not sold in Canada so when I go cross-border shopping I'm always sure to stock up.

3. Aquage Finishing Spray
Once I'm done styling my hair, I use a bit of finishing spray on my bangs. The Aquage Finishing Spray offers great hold but makes it feel and look like I'm not using any hair spray at all. This product is great because it also smooths out your style and offers a bit of shine. I also need to stock up on this when doing my cross-border shopping.

And that's it - just three products to make my hair do what I want (even though I mostly straighten it). 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Nothing short of inspiring

I know it has been a while since I've wrote a blog post, but today I was truly inspired to become better at it and make it a point to become more regular. 

If you've joined me in the past you know that I am a proud member of the beautiful WeddingGirl team as a Bridal Lifestyle Blogger and Wedding Planner; and while I've been blogging away over there I have been neglecting this blog, which is something I just love doing and wish I would focus on more.

The person that inspired me today is Mary, the girl behind Mary built WeddingGirl five years ago, and yesterday, it all went down. Literally. We're calling it the Great WG Crash of 2014. The website is only now off life support.

It's amazing isn't it? Everything you built for yourself can be gone in one second. This is true for various different scenarios (i.e. death in the family, losing your family fortune, etc.); and though you think it could never happen to you, the truth is is that it can.

What's so inspiring about the whole situation though, is the sheer amount of love, support, and words of encouragement that has come her way. From friends, family, strangers, and WeddingGirl fans on Facebook and beyond. It's truly amazing how much people step up to the plate when you need them. Through this, Mary has gone ahead and continued to inspire and share her personal life (and blog, for the first time ever) with the rest of the social media world. Something she always thought would be separate.

What's more inspiring is that she makes time for everything. Her business, her family, her friends, her personal blog, and of course mentoring and inspiring a group of great women.

She is inspiring me to be a better person; a better wedding planner (duh!), a better writer, a better friend, a better mom (she might laugh at that one), a better spouse...a more true version of myself. Someone that won't let fear stop her; how can I when she conquered her fear by travelling the world alone, trekked Mount Everest, and that moment when she had that 'teeny tiny moment of being debilitatingly afraid' when a group of 25 people RSVP'd to hear her talk on WGx (me being one of them). 

Mary, you truly are inspiring, and I know the rest of our WG team thinks so too. Thanks for motivating, inspiring, and helping us turn our can'ts into can's and our plans into dreams; I can't wait to read your journey, and in some ways be apart of it.

For everyone who has helped Mary with the website, thank you so much for your efforts. The whole WeddingGirl team truly can't thank you enough.

And so my friends, stay tuned for more with me. There is a lot more coming.

Want to follow my WeddingGirl journey? Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram!