Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

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I opened up my theknot.com app today, and was smacked in the face with the reality that our wedding is approaching. Fast. 186 days. In just a few days we will hit the 6 month mark.

Panic is beginning to ensue. There is sooo much left to be done.

Luckily my mom will be in town this weekend and we plan to tackle the to-do list hard.

Back in November my mom, aunt and I drove the 700 kms from Corner Brook to St. John’s for a girls weekend and dress shopping. 

We drove in on a Wednesday, with appointments at salons for Thursday morning. I was so confident that finding a dress would be a breeze, that I was mentally planning the other stores (Sephora) I would hit Thursday afternoon.

It was anything but. I didn’t really know what type of a dress I wanted. I just knew that I wanted it to be classy, and elegant, and not like anything any of my friends had had so far. You know, I wanted to be different. Oh, and satin. Definitely satin. I figured I would just “know” when I saw it.

We started the day at The Model Shop where I tried on a bunch of beautiful dresses. The staff was wonderful. And my mom even cried when she saw me in one of the dresses. But I wasn’t ready to “say yes to the dress.” It’s hard not to be a little indecisive in a store that carries so many beautiful dresses. 

Next we went to The Bridal Salon. My least favourite place. It appeared tacky as soon as we walked through the door. The walls in the bridal area were bright red. My mom and Aunt were not allowed to look at the dress selection. They had to sit on a hard wooden bench, and weren’t allowed to even stand up and move around while waiting for me (there were signs saying they had to keep seated). The dress selection didn’t seem to be quality (my personal opinion only) and while I was polite and tried on a few dresses, I didn’t liked anything at all. The only positive about the place was that the lady helping me was nice. Oh and heads up Newfoundland brides, you are not allowed to take pictures of dresses you like.

Ever After was up next. It was a cute salon. They didn’t take appointments and when I got to the store there was another girl there trying on dresses. Because the store was small, with just one pedestal and mirror, and side by side dressing rooms, I felt like I was intruding upon her shopping experience. It was so tight that we kept stepping on each other’s dresses when going to and from our dressing rooms. The dress selection was nice, but I didn’t fall in love with anything.
 
By this point I was beyond frustrated and on the verge of tears. 

Did you know that satin dresses are not very popular right now? And did you know that it’s a fabric that can make even the skinniest girls look pudgy? In the past year I’ve gained a bit of weight, and I haven’t been happy with my body. I never dreamed that I would ever be shopping for wedding dresses and feeling bad about myself. It sucked hard to have the type of dresses I anticipated loving, not being very flattering.

After a meltdown and a quick trip to Kathy Evans Bridal (dislike the place so much that I have nothing to say about it) we decided to call it quits for the day and to grab supper and drinks at Montana’s. Because beer and nachos make everything better.

The next day I headed back to the Model Shop with a more open mind, ready to try on every dress in the store. And I pretty much did. By the time I left I had narrowed it down to two dresses. The one my mom loved, and one I had pinned on Pinterest before the trip, but hadn’t seen the day before. 
Over the course of the day I thought hard about what I wanted to look like on my wedding day and how I felt in each of the dresses. And yes, a few more tears were shed.

I didn’t get the dress my mom loved, and that was a hard choice to make. I wanted so badly for her to have the same reaction to the dress I chose. She didn’t but that’s okay. The dress she loved was absolutely beautiful, and was totally a “me” dress, but it was lacking va-va-voom and I wanted that.
Of course I have zero intentions of showing you “the one” but have no fear we took pictures of all of the other dresses I tried on. 

The dress my mom loved. Maggie Sottero – Aideen
Maggie Sottero – Serencia 

Please forgive the hot mess that I was. We got caught in the rain once or twice. Ugh.

How was your dress shopping experience? 
Did you find it right away or did it take you a little longer like me?

Sephora Splurges: A Review

In the past year I’ve really gotten in to wearing more make up. I mean I always wore it before, but I’ve become more interested in trying new products.
Corner Brook doesn’t have the greatest makeup selections, especially since Target left so I’ve been making most of my purchases at Sephora. Thankfully, I can shop them online.
I’ve gotten pretty lucky, I haven’t really bought any products that were duds, mostly because I’ve got a few friends who’ve given me good direction when it comes to what products I should try.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush 12-Hour in Exposed
Last January I was looking for a new blush. Something that had good pigmentation and lasting power, and that would be good for day and night. Megan gave this one two thumbs up and suggested I try it out. I’m glad she did. The product was perfect for a beginner like me. And while the price tag may seem a little steep, but I used it every day (sometimes more than once) and it lasted an entire 12 months. That’s pretty good bang for your buck if you ask me.
If you’re looking for a nearly-neutral shade of blush, that’s buildable, lasts all day and can go from day to night, I highly recommend you try this one out.
Benefit They’re Real Push Up Liner
I received a sample of this when I purchased the Benefit They’re Real Mascara. I’m ashamed to say I had it for months before I even took it out of the box. 
What can I say, my make up obsession hadn’t quiiiite begun yet. And to be honest, make up intimidates me sometimes, this product was no exception. I hadn’t tried gel liners, and had been cautioned that this one wasn’t the easiest for beginners to use.
I’m happy to say that that may be the case for some people, it wasn’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from a pro, but I find the liner fairly easy to use. It goes on quite easily and it’s not hard to create a smooth line. I can’t do any fancy looks, just a simple thin line, but I can see how this product would be great for creating things a little more advanced like a winged or cat eye.
I have only two “complaints”. One, it dries quickly, so if you make a mistake, it isn’t easily fixed. Two, every time you remove the cap there’s excess production hanging out of the tip that wasn’t there when you finished using it. Which is just wasting the product. And since it’s not cheap, you don’t want any of it going to waste.
Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara
This one was a recommendation from a friend of a friend on my most recent journey to an actual Sephora store. It’s really good. I’m a pretty terrible mascara applier, so a little ends up on my lids every time, but it’s super easy to remove. It looks great with or without having curled my lashes and it applies well to bottom lashes. I find it great for length and volume without getting clumpy or spidery, but I do find it loses a little bit of its “pop” throughout the day. 
It should be noted that I have found that while it applies very well to super clean lashes, if there’s even a hint of yesterday’s mascara hanging around, it can clump and spider.l, which is generally not the look I’m going for. 
Biotherm AquaSource
I seem to always be on the hunt for a good moisturizer. No matter what product I’ve tried, there eventually always seems to be something wrong with them. They either are great for a while and then start to irritate my skin, take too long to dry, or dry quickly but not moisturize enough.
My mom has sworn by this one for years. So while I was home for a week in Christmas I decided to try it out. And I really really liked it. So much so that the $49 cad price tag didn’t phase me (much).
I couldn’t not add it to my latest order from make up heaven. It goes on easily, dries super quick, and leaves my skin feeling smooth. The smell is a little off putting at first and take a bit to get used to but, but it’s not so bad that id not use the product. And don’t let the small jar fool you, a little goes a long way with this stuff. 

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla

I have terrible dark circles and bags under my eyes on the best of days. They’ve plagued me since high school. I’ve struggled with finding a concealer that would provide the coverage I need without caking or creasing around my eyes. This is the best one I’ve found yet. I plan to buy it again once the one I have is empty.

Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana

When I went to Montreal last winter I was on the hunt for a new perfume, I’d been wearing Paris Hilton since I was 18 and I thought it was time for a change, something more mature perhaps. I found this Dolce at The Bay but their credit terminals were down, and I don’t typically carry cash. I ordered it as soon as I got home. I’ve worn it nearly every day since, and I love it. JW likes it too.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Fall and Winter mean super dry lips for me, but I hate applying lip balm. I had read reviews about this lip mask and decided to give it a try. I wear a light layer like a balm through the day, and then put it on thick at night. JW isn’t always the biggest fan of this practice, but its helped so much that he’s going to need to get over that, fast.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser

I’ve been having trouble with my left cheek since last March. Its constantly breaking out. I’ve switched foundations, and brushes. Made changes to my diets. And it refuses to clear up. I decide to try this cleanser on a recommendation. It hasn’t been working miracles, but its not getting worst either. I’m hoping things will improve after extended use. It does a pretty good job of removing the makeup and grime from my skin, but doesn’t dry it out. Both are qualities I look for in a skin care product.

Bonus: This pretty red lip is courtesy of the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro sample (in shade 400).

What beauty items have you splurged on lately?


Wedding Wednesday: Top Five Planning Resources

Planning a wedding can be an amazing, wonderful, fun-filled time. It can also be crazy, hard, frustrating and anxiety inducing.
On a number of occasions I felt like I was drowning in the less than awesome. There is so much to do when planning a wedding. So many things to decide. What theme do you want? What will the colors be? Gold or silver? What venue(s) do you want?
Its so easy to lose track of the all of the good things, for the anxiety to take away from this wonderful time in your life. Don’t let it. 
I’ve put together a list of my favorite planning resources that have helped ease some of my stresses, hopefully they will help you too!
wedding planning resources


The Knot
Literally everything you need to plan your wedding can be found on The Knot. The website has so much inspiration for brides to be from dresses, to decor, to cakes. It also has some really great tools like a planning checklist, budget planner, guest list planner, and free website builder.

Evernote
For all of you digital gals out there, this app is great for keeping your notes on the go. To do lists, questions to ask vendors, due dates. You can keep it all in the palm of your hand.

Notebook
If you’re old school like me, a coiled notebook is the best place to keep all of your lists, thoughts, dreams and plans. I like to tape inspiration pictures in mine

Pinterest
With an endless supply of inspiration, Pinterest can be a great place to get a lot of ideas. Just try not to get overwhelmed, or try to make everything you see on Pinterest happen. Or your wedding could end up looking like it has multiple personality disorder, or that Pinterest threw up all over it.

Friends and Family
This one can be dangerous, I know. Too many opinions can be a huge problem. But if you have someone you trust, who’s been down this road before, who understands your vision, and who isn’t trying to make your wedding their own, use them. My Matron of Honor, Megan, has been a total life saver through this entire process so far. She helps keep me on track, brings me back to earth when I need to be thinking more realistically, and helps me decide what details are important and which ones are not (read: they all are, I’m basically Bridezilla).

What wedding resources are you finding or did you find helpful?

make.up.HER

Oh Hey, Friday!

Oh hey, Friday! Where have you been you beautiful thing you? I’ve been waiting and longing for you for days. This week has seemed to just crawl by, even though I have been quite busy.

I don’t even know what I want to say today, I just really wanted to show up to class. I’ve put little to zero effort into this place for most of the week. It seemed like every time I actually had some time to sit down and write something, I got writers block, usually part way through, so there’s a bunch of half written posts that I hope I will eventually hit publish on.

But whatever, I’ve got a bunch of random thoughts happening in my head, and rather than trying to be organized and making full posts about them and all that jazz, I’m just gonna spill them all now.

1. Thursday Night TV
TGIT. Oh how I’ve missed you! My life has felt broken and incomplete while you were gone. Please don’t ever leave me like that again. At least not mid-season anyways.
Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder all came back on ABC last night and it was glorious. JW was working night shift so I was able to hang out on my couch and watch them all with zero distractions. It was TGIT heaven.
2. My Blog Design

 You may have noticed that my header/logo/nav bar is missing. Last night I was trying to install Janine’s button on my side bar, and something went all wonky with Blogger, and when I deleted her button, it deleted a whole mess of other stuff. I nearly had a panic attack. I’m really hoping my blog designer Erin will be able to fix it for me.
3. Snow

We have a warm weather system headed our way next week and I’m probably one of very few people who are not thrilled about it. I love winter. Winter means the cabin, and skidooing and snowboarding. It also means money. JW’s company does snow clearing. And the company I work for is always busier when the snow is falling. So winning all around when the white stuff is floating down. Warm weather, hold off another month or so, mmmkay?
4. Valentine’s Day

I love Valentine’s Day. For me it has always seemed that in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives it can be easy to put date nights and romance on the back burner. Valentine’s is a great reminder that we should be taking time out and spending it with the people we love. For all the single ladies (and guys) out there, its a great day to make time for friends.
I don’t need gifts to mark the occasion, I mean I won’t complain about them, but I don’t need them. I’d rather JW and I spend our money on a nice meal our favourite restaurant (or splurge on a place we don’t normally go to) and a movie. Memories are more important than things on Valentine’s Day, or at least they are for me.
And even though the day usually is all about cupids and hearts and mushy stuff, I decided to spoil everyone at work with delicious treats from the lovely ladies at Cravin’ a Cupcake.

5. Currency

This downward slide of the Canadian dollar is a real buzz kill. I so badly want to go on an online shopping spree at Target, Nordstrom, Joss & Main and Wayfair. But it is sooo not cheap right now.
I suppose that’s enough rambling for now. Cheers to the weekend!

Sunday Lately: 58

This is my first time doing a Sunday Lately post, in fact I didn’t even know about it until I discovered Janine’s blog last week. She linked up, it seemed like fun, so here I am.
This week’s theme is: updating, remembering, needing, wearing and being,
Updating: I’m working on a new About Me page. The current one definitely needs a refresh.
Remembering: That after a week of eating pretty terribly, that I have a dress to fit into in August. Its time to get this healthy lifestyle back on track, and get my ass back to the gym.
Needing: My Sephora order to show up. And also a vacation. Not necessarily to leave town. Maybe a staycation? I just need a week off work to relax. Burn out is very real.
tarte amazonian blush
I’m also really needing my Sephora order to arrive. My Tarte Amazonian blush has seen better days and I’m seriously missing it. 
Wearing: Leggings, Cabot & Sons merino wool socks, long sleeve shirt, and JW’s hoodie. JW owns a property maintenance company, so we spent the evening doing snow clearing around town. We made it home with pizza just in time to watch Super Bowl 50.
Being: Unbelievably lazy. All that snow shoveling makes a girl tired. Especially after a busy weekend of snowmobiling. 
Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.
Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Wedding Wednesday: Where We Stand

Its been a hot minute since I’ve done a Wedding Wednesday. So, I figure its a good time for an update. Because you all love reading about my wedding planning. Right? Right!

Alrighty, if we’re being honest not a whooooole lot has been done. Work has been stupidly busy the last few months, and its been hard to make phone calls during business hours, which means that by the time I’m able to call, the places I need to call are closed. Such is life.

But I digress.

We picked a photographer. We’re paying waaay more than we had initially planned, but it was difficult to find a great photographer in our original price range. Since photos are really the only thing from our big day that we will have forever, besides memories of course, we decided to redistribute the money to get photographers that will provide the quality and style of pictures we want. We’re super excited to have Candace and Dru on board for our big day. How could we not be when they take amazing shots like this.

candace and dru wedding photos
candace and dru wedding photos

(source)

I’ve booked hair and make up for me and my #squad. I decided that I wanted to go to a salon, rather than have people come to my house or a hotel room. I think it will be a little more fun. And a ton less stressful if we aren’t trying to cram a bunch of people into a small space. I looked into a few options, got suggestions and reviews from people I know, and finally settled on Silver Scissors & Emerald Spa.

I bought my dress! Oh man, it was an emotional, stressful, tearful, joyful few days. I’ll tell you more about that later. But no pictures, because everyone who will see it before the wedding has seen it. Basically, I’m showing it to no one. It’ll make it more special I think.

I bought my shoes! These Badgley Mischka’s are perfect. I originally ordered them from Nordstrom in the Berry color, but they do not fit true to size, so they were too small. When I tried to return them for a bigger size, the color was no longer available, so I settled for white. Which is more off white than snow white, so I’m hoping they will look good with my dress.

I picked a bridesmaid dress. Finally. And they’ve been ordered. I’ll tell you all about how much fun that was not as soon as I find the words. I will say though, that I am really happy with the dress I chose, it was just a rough time getting it all figured out.

Tuxes are rented! We decided to get them from Tip Top Tailers. There aren’t a lot of options around here and Tip Top had a couple really great promotions on. If we rented 5 tuxes, the groom gets his free. And by booking by December 31st we saved $40 per tux. It was really too good to pass up.

I ordered our invitations from Vistaprint. There were a few hiccups along the way, but we are so so happy with how they turned out.

Now that I’ve written it all down, I can see that I’ve done more that it feels like I have. I guess it just feels like I’ve done nothing because there is still so much left to do. 

Any tips for a girl who still has decor and cake and flowers to figure out?

Don’t forget to link up with Macy and Nikki!


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About the Rules

JW is gone for a ride on his new Ski-doo to try out the GoPro I gave him for Christmas. I’m catching up on Pretty Little Liars and Younger. Seems like as good a time as any to let my fingers dance on the keyboard.

I keep promising myself that I’ll be a better blogger. That I’ll post more frequently. I keep promising that to you too. But it never happens.

Truth is that I’m not overly comfortable working on the blog when JW is around.

Its not that I’ve hidden its existence from him. But the blogosphere is a world he doesn’t really understand. And its hard to explain it to him I guess.

I keep telling myself that I’ll write when I’m home alone. But that time alone rarely happens outside of his night shifts. And when I sit down to write, I realize I don’t have any pictures worth posting. Its dark when I leave for work, the sun sets not long after I get home. And you can’t take blog photos at night. So what’s the point of writing anything if I have no picture to go along with it. Because as per “blog rules” you can’t have a post that’s all words.

Which is kinda bullshit. I mean I get that pretty pictures make things more interesting. But sometimes there just aren’t any pictures that complement the text. And sometimes you look like shit in all the pictures you took. And sometimes you haven’t taken any photos at all. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say the things you have to say. Does it?

Here’s the deal. I miss this place. I want to be present here more often. So here’s to writing more. Even when JW is home.  Attempting to take more pictures. And to posts without pictures if necessary.

I’m raising my glass bottle, to breaking the rules sometimes.