America Does This Better

I’ve come to the conclusions that Americans do Fall way better that us Canadians. Mostly because their Thanksgiving is an entire month after ours, which means they get to relish in all things Autumn decor for much longer.

In Canada, at least the places I’ve lived, Fall, Autumn, Harvest is something we really only indulge in for about 15 days. Things don’t start cooling down until late September, early October. Pumpkins and gourds aren’t ripe for the picking until that time. We gear up and decorate for Thanksgiving, then if you have kids, your lovely fall decor gets pushed aside for Halloween, and then its over. We’re stuck with our undecorated, holidayless homes until December.

We really could hang on to our reds, and oranges and browns longer than we do, I think we just all look at it as holiday decor, and once Thanksgiving is over, so is all the loveliness. We should really do something about that. Next year, I am, I swear. 

And since this post is all about decor (because I’m obsessed) here are five fall decor pieces I’m really loving right now.

Fall Decor

Pillow – I’m developing a bit of a cute pillow addiction. Our couches are full, and my fiance is becoming slightly annoyed. But I can’t help it. They just add so much to the space. And I love how warm and cozy and inviting they make our living room look. 
Mug – Cooper has always been one of my favourite metals and I’ve been known to like adorable mugs. Plus, it holds alcohol and doesn’t have a feminine look so JW won’t hate it. #winning. 
Antler – JW is a hunter. He sometimes talks about wanting trophies in the house. Thats never going to happen, but maybe a fake, pretty looking one will appease him. #fingerscrossed
Fig – Its cute, its shiny. Its traditional with a touch of modern. I’ll take it.
Napkins – I’m loving the color in these and while I’m not typically a cloth napkin (at home) kinda girl, but these would look great at our next Friendsgiving.
Pumpkin – The real deal doesn’t last long around here, especially inside, so we have to turn to fakes. I know this one is far from traditional, but the price is pretty good, and I’ve always kind of liked adding interesting pieces to a decor scheme.
Log Holder – This beauty has so many options. It could hold logs, or pillows and throws, or be a drink bucket.
Doormat – This time next year JW and I will be married, and we’d be a “real” family. This lovely would look great on our front step.
Not surprisingly almost all of these beauties are from #Target. And now that they FINALLY ship to Canada, my poor little bank account is going to be toast.
What fall decor items are you loving?

#Blessed

via
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians out there!

So far this long weekend has been pretty great. Lots of laziness. Lots of socializing. Lots of food.
JW and I started the weekend off with date night and half price appies at the Crown and Moose.
Saturday was spent getting ready for our first, and hopefully annual, Friendsgiving.
I’m not always a fan of being in the kitchen, but this guy, he makes it a lot more fun. Even with the occasional pause to goof off, we were able to get everything ready by the time everyone showed up.
JW are a pretty good match, we both have a tendency to go overboard for potlucks. What was supposed to be wings, turned into two kinds of wings, two kinds of alouettes, a cheese and meet plate, and baba ganoush. And then to top it all off I channeled my inner Pioneer Woman and made some Crazy Brownies.
Look at all that goodness.

The weather was terrible all day, extreme winds, rain, hail and snow. There were times when I thought everyone would cancel. But it turns out we all love good food more than we hate crap weather. And man was it worth it!

So much food. And I had to try some of everything of course. And then seconds of a few things too. By dinner on Sunday I was still full. 
But I’ll never turn down a home cooked turkey dinner with these crazy folks. 
JW and I have one more Thanksgiving dinner before the weekend of eating ends and the diet begins again. And I’m kind of looking forward to the eating being over. But I am so unbelievably thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life. How wonderful it is to be surrounded by people who love to get together (regardless of the weather) to enjoy each others company and to celebrate.
How did you spend your (Thanksgiving) weekend?



Mistakes That Haunt Us

This picture has nothing to do with this post, but this guy, he makes me feel safe.

I was in a bad place last summer. My sense of self worth was pretty low and I made some big mistakes because of it. Particularly I spent a lot of the summer talking to someone I shouldn’t have been talking too. The attention was nice. But the problem with making these kinds of mistakes, is that they don’t always fade away when we want them to.

I’ve always prided myself on being a fairly independent woman. I own property, I have a car, I pay my own bills. I know how to use hand tools, I can shovel and use a snowblower. And I’ve lived alone for a lot of my adult life.

Single women living alone is not uncommon these days, yet before moving in with JW I was often asked if I was nervous living by myself and people seemed surprised when I proudly shook my head and said that I wasn’t.

Truth is that I really enjoyed living alone, and I didn’t see any reason to be nervous. But all of that changed for me one night last October.

I remember the date well, October 20th. It was a typical fall evening. Cold and a little damp. I had spent the evening shopping, came home around 7 and planned to carve a pumpkin. (You’re never too old to be a kid sometimes). The chill from outside seemed to have settled into my bones so I decided to take a shower before I got down to business.

When I exited the shower I discovered that a guy I had asked to remove himself from my life had let himself into my apartment uninvited, unannounced and most definitely unwanted.

I had no idea how to react as I stood in my hallway in only a towel, in shock, staring at someone I had hoped to never see again.

I immediately excused myself to get dressed and once in the privacy of my bedroom I texted my friends to let them know what was happening. Hoping that someone would show up and that he would leave. No one did.

I had no idea why he was in my home. Our communications had ended a month or so prior on a less than friendly note. I may have been being a little dramatic in my head, but I was concerned that he was unstable so I decided the safest thing to do was to play it friendly, try to find out why he was there, what his motive was. I sat as far away from him as I could, without it being obvious. I wanted to be able to send out text messages without him reading them. 

I’m terrible at small talk in the best of circumstances, it was undoubtedly more difficult for me that night. After a half hour or so he got up from where he was sitting and moved to sit next to me on the couch. And then it became clear why he was there. He asked me if I was interested in him. Wanted to know why I wouldn’t talk to him anymore. He refused to hear me when I said I wasn’t I had to keep repeating that sentiment over and over. The more I rejected him, the more frustrated we both became.

As his frustration grew, so did my fear. I told him that I had friends waiting on me, hoping he would take the hint and leave. I just wanted him gone. But he stayed. And then he leaned in an tried to kiss me, but I turned away.

He became extremely aggravated. Wanted to know why his advances had rejected and I had to again tell him I didn’t want to be involved with him. He asked if I wanted him to leave. I said that I did. He stormed out.

As soon as I knew he was gone, I rushed to the door and locked it. 

I never saw him again.

The relief I felt when he finally left was quickly replaced my an unshakable uneasiness and fear.

It wasn’t a violent encounter. I wasn’t attacked. But I felt violated, and for the first time ever, unsafe in my own home.

For weeks I was unable to sleep at all. I functioned on Red Bull and sugar. I refused to leave my home after dark unless I had someone with me. I kept the lights on all of the time.

A month or so later JW and I began dating. The nights he would stay over were the only ones I was able to sleep.

I became obsessive about locking the door as soon as I closed it. I checked all of the rooms and closets every time I returned home. Before bed, I would check them all again. Every sound and night startled me, kept me awake.

I often think of that night. Of how it shook me to my core. Since JW and I moved in together, things have improved dramatically. I can sleep home alone at night, as long as my bedroom door is completely closed. Most nights I am okay, but some nights, like last night, sleep eludes me.

Have you ever felt unsafe in your own home?
PS. I know I should have called the police.


Eggs & Bacon

I haven’t posted very often lately but when I have, its been all about the wedding. What can I say? I’ve got planning on the brain 24/7.

It was brought to my attention last week that as soon as I got engaged I jumped right into talking about the planning but I haven’t wrote at all about how happy I am to be spending my life with the man of my dreams. When I first read the comment, I’ll admit, I got my back up a little bit, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that its true. 

So today is dedicated to JW, the eggs to my bacon, the love of my life, man of my dreams.


You guys, I’m a seriously lucky girl.

This guy is amazing. 

He cooks me breakfast on the weekends.

He cleans and does laundry.

Hes so handy. He can lay flooring, and paint walls. Heck, he renovated our entire house himself. Most of it prior to us living together, but I’ve seen the before photos.

He makes me laugh. All of the time.

When I’m sad, he does whatever he can to cheer me up. 

He likes to cuddle. And its the best thing ever.

He loves his family. And mine.

He loves being a firefighter. He seems to really enjoy lighting fires too. The backyard kind of course.

He’s motivated and determined. The boy runs his own company on his days off.

He’s far from lazy.

He likes being social and spending time with our friends. But he likes time with just the two of us just as much.

He supports all my crazy ideas. This blog and my Etsy shop.

He gives my parents a run for their money when it comes to being my biggest cheerleader.

He likes being spontaneous.

I have fun with him even when we are doing boring things. 

He loves selfies.

He makes me feel smart and beautiful.

He wants the same things I do. To travel, to build a great house together, to have as much fun as possible. He doesn’t want all the shoes I want though. I’m unsure why.

He has the biggest heart. And he is unbelievably generous.

He leaves me love notes around the house at times when I least expect it.

He is cheesy and sappy. And I love it.
 
JW and I found each other exactly when we needed each other. 
With this guy by my side I could be broke and homeless and never be poor.

Wedding Thursday? And Free Ad Space!

Did you take part in the #GetNoticedNow webinar Helene hosted last night? It was amazing. Seriously, so good. I have to admit, I went in not knowing what to expect, but Helene blew it out of the water. I finally understand alt text on images. So I’m considering that a major win.

After the webinar I had a thought; what if all of us little guys tried to help each other get noticed. So I decided to offer up spots on my sidebar for free to all the attendees of the webinar. Just head on over to my sponsor page and use promo code #getnoticednow (all lower case) to sign up for that!

Moving on…

J.W.’s parents were visiting us for three weeks and they went home yesterday, so last night was the first time, in what feels like forever, that we got to hang out on the couch together watching tv and just generally enjoying being by ourselves. Don’t get me wrong we loved having them here, we really did, but having the house to ourselves last night felt like heaven. 

I had 100% intended to participate in Wedding Wednesday yesterday, but procrastination and cuddles on the couch got the best of me, and then before I knew it, it was time for the webinar. So here we are, WW one day late.

One of the first things I did after we got engaged is sign up on theknot.com. Actually it was more like, open up the account I already had and replace Channing Tatum as the groom and put in the date we thought we wanted. What can I say? I’ve always been a dreamer.
Next came facing the checklist. It was overwhelming at first and still is at times, but I’ve found it helpful. Its helped me stay focused on the items that are important right now and to not get distracted by the things that aren’t as time sensitive.

I’ve complained a few times (here and here) about how much the planning is stressing me out but now that we’ve made some decisions its getting a lot better, and I can spend more time being excited about spending the rest my life with J.W.
Here’s what we’ve been able to cross off the list the past few weeks.


Pick a City and Season
Choosing a city wasn’t difficult. J.W. is from the city we live in and my family is only three hours away so it made sense for us to plan our big day here in Corner Brook, NL.

I’ve always known that I wanted a summer wedding and I refused to entertain the possibility of any other seasons.


Set a Date
This one wasn’t as simple as picking a date we liked. We both knew we wanted to get married next year but venues around here book up fast so we basically had to call around find out what dates they all had available, then pick the venue and date that worked best for us. Thankfully we found a place that was available around the time we wanted.

The big day will be August 27, 2016


Research and Choose a Reception Venue
We decided to choose our reception venue before making decisions about a ceremony venue simply because the reception venue is what books up fastest around here and would ultimately determine our date. Corner Brook has quite a few venue options however a few were eliminated as possibilities immediately because they can’t accommodate as many people as we require (J.W. and I both have large extended families). Others were eliminated based on price (here’s looking at you Humber Valley Resort), or their aesthetic (no rustic places for this girl). In the end we had to choose between two places Jennifer’s, a beautiful restaurant and bar downtown, and the Greenwood Inn, a local hotel. 

We chose the Greenwood Inn because its convenient (our guests can stay there), they allow us to do our own decorating (and provide us time to do so), we get a free hotel room for two nights, and the pricing was the best. 


Research and Choose a Ceremony Venue
I never would have guessed that it would be hard to find a ceremony venue, however it seems that most people around here either have church ceremonies or civil ceremonies outside. Neither of which were an option for me. The only place I could find was the new atrium at Grenfell. It was pricier than I had anticipated and planned to spend, but it is beautiful. Floor to ceiling windows, lots of natural light, modern, and a big staircase for me to make a grand entrance. All things I love.

Grenfell Atrium

PS. there were zero photos online of this place for me to look at prior to my site visit. But thanks to my new SEO skills, someone should be able to find some in the future. Thanks Helene!


Research and Choose and Officiant
This was possibly the easiest decision to make. Even easier than saying “YES!” I’ve known who I wanted my officiant to be for years. Jacqueline is a family friend. She’s known me my entire life. She’s a beautiful person, down to earth and spiritual. I’ve been to a ceremony she has done, and it was lovely. And I love that she donates 100% of the fee she charges to charity.


Research and Book a DJ
Again, this one was a bit of a challenge. Mostly because I couldn’t find contact information for the people who were recommended to me. I guess they operate it as a cash side job, and not an actual business. But I was able to find DJ Prime Sound, and they’re available at a reasonable rate, so another item bites the dust.


And there you have it. We have so much accomplished yet so much left to do. Next on our list, figuring out our bridal party, booking a photographer, and trying on more dresses. In the meantime I plan to soak up as much time enjoying this experience with J.W. as possible. 


Are you planning a wedding? How’s it going? Any tips?
PS. I’m mostly excited about the dresses. And finding some killer shoes. Le Duh. 

Make.Up.HER