Nov. 29, 2009

DIY


Doing-it-yourself wasn't in my vocabulary until recently. However, becoming a homeowner and planning our wedding have both made me excited to put my own stamp on our surroundings and our celebration. In honour of this shift in my perspective, here are two of my favourite DIY resources: one for homes and one for weddings. Images via Once Wed and Design Sponge.

Speaking of DIY-ing, I am taking the pledge to purchase many homemade (and/or local) presents this holiday season. Greg and I began our shopping yesterday (in our very own neighbourhood).

Nov. 27, 2009

Confetti




This is a note of warning: I get very excited when I see CONFETTISYSTEM's wares. They excite the 5 year old in me who wore sparkly dresses and pretended to be Jem, of Jem and the Hologram's fame that is. Images via CONFETTISYSTEM.

Bouquet

After joyfully accepting Greg's proposal, we hid away for a few days and kept the news largely to ourselves. When we emerged from our seclusion and started to fill in close friends, we realized that there were a string of decisions to be made over the following weeks due to our relatively short engagement.

As we've scouted and confirmed vendors, we've had a lot of fun in shaping our big day. Tomorrow marks one of our last vendors to be secured - the florist. Our selection is special to me as the same shop provided the flowers that Greg gave me on the night he proposed (and they're our neighbourhood florist, which continues our goal to live in our own neighbourhood). Image via The Knot.

Nov. 26, 2009

Glamourous





These ladies are beautiful; this is what I call glamour. These images are the perfect getaway from a rainy, Thursday evening (not to mention that they offer plenty of wedding style inspiration). Images via Style Me Pretty and This is Glamorous.

Side bar, did you hear that one about the soon to be Housewife of Washington crashing President Obama's state dinner? Crashing is so not glamourous!

Grape


Tis the time of the year for holiday parties, work socials and cocktail receptions. While chatting with a close co-worker of mine over lunch yesterday, she divulged her Office's plans - to have a catered lunch from Grape Expectations. The scenario works like this - an accomplished chef comes to your home and prepares a gourmet meal in your very own kitchen. To top it off each course is paired with a wine selection. The whole purpose of the meal is to make learning about food and wine fun. How awesome is that?

If money were no object, I'd hold a similar function at my own home! The photos above are from Grape's Facebook site and were taken at our wedding reception venue (what a small world it is).

Nov. 25, 2009

Torso

This evening we're meeting with a potential wedding photographer at a nearby hotel to discuss her services. In prep, I've skimmed my inspiration folder and one image keeps repeating - the shot of the newly-wedded couple's torsos. I'm crazy for this angle. Image via Once Wed.

Nov. 24, 2009

Garter

I'm pretty much anti-garter, but these selections are quite cute (particularly the environmentally-friendly ones). Vendor via Brooklyn Bride. Check out Julianne's blog here.

Tunes





We've decided to make our own iPod playlist of music for our wedding reception (made possible by a docking station and complete sound system at our venue). The result of this decision has been a significant amount of YouTube surfing to find just the right mix of songs that set just the right mood. So far we've created a YouTube playlist of potential songs for the cocktail portion of our reception. If curious, check out our current selections here. All images via Jonas Peterson.

Nov. 22, 2009

Old

This track is on repeat at our house. Love! Image via Hello, Lolla.

Nov. 21, 2009

Holiday

Ok, it is time to divulge a guilty pleasure; television like this makes me over-the-moon excited. I'll certainly be checking out Sarah's Holiday Party on HGTV on November 29th. I think I'm getting holiday fever.

Bolero


I'm always cold, yet I like buying sleeveless dresses. These adorable bolero jackets are the perfect remedy for cold shoulders. Boleros available for purchase from Mary and Angelika and Bonzie.

Flags

Italy
Greece
South Korea
Switzerland
France

These flags remind me of my friend Lesley (she adores flags). What fun, creative food photography! See more ingenious, gastronomical signs of nationalism here. Via Cup of Jo.

Nov. 20, 2009

Patio

One day, we will have a patio like this in our yard. Image via Real Simple.

Nov. 19, 2009

Nov. 18, 2009

Ballroom

We all know that staying active is important. Last winter, I explored ballet. This winter, Greg and I will be taking dance lessons together. I'm so excited! While we haven't selected the style of dance yet, I'm leaning towards the romance of ballroom dancing.

Dance booklet cover via Calsidy Rose.

P.S. Don't you love this vintage 1937 illustration? The booklet promised to teach folks "to dance their way to popularity and good times."

Sartorialist




I dream that one day I will look as fashionable as these ladies. I have discerned that achieving such requires more fancy high heels (apparently my every-day matte black and patent pumps don't make the cut), a long coat (to go with that short skirt, a la Cake), designer sunglasses and pouty red lips. I already have the requisite heavy bangs and long straight hair (pheuf!). All snaps via The Sartorialist.

Nov. 17, 2009

Cake


This evening I had a great appointment with our now cake decorator. While the final product will remain a surprise, I felt inspired by these two Real Simple cakes (the source of my inspiration, supported and endorsed by Greg I should add, should come as no shock). Images via Real Simple.

Nov. 15, 2009

Baking

This past week I made my first chocolate cheesecake* (previously I'd only baked blueberry, raspberry and passion fruit varieties). Complete with a graham crumb and cocoa bottom (I think I'll add a little cinnamon to it next time as well), the delight was a baked combination of cream cheese and dark chocolate. The source of this inspiration was a recent present - The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. We happily shared the cake with good friends of ours over a delicious dinner on Friday evening; such meals are a clear example of the good life.

This past week Greg's mom was also visiting from Vancouver. While debriefing on the cheesecake, she shared with me two of her secret kitchen ingredients - mascarpone cheese and creme fraiche. I am intrigued to try mascarpone in my next batch of icing, and creme fraiche instead of whipped cream/yogurt/sour cream to garnish my next bowl of tomato soup.

Coincidentally, the chef, Ivan Kyutukchiev, who will be preparing our reception dinner this coming May, used mascarpone cheese in snatching his gold plate win at the St. John's installment of the Gold Metal Plates. Good luck Ivan on competing to win the Canadian Culinary Championships in Vancouver later this month.

* Said cake could not have been prepared without the help (in collecting ingredients and otherwise) of Greg and his mom.

Nov. 14, 2009

Haven



Now these apartment rentals have serious honeymoon potential...

Greg's currently pushing for Croatia.

P.S. If curious, photos from our champagne social can be found here.

Nov. 12, 2009

Headband





A birdcage veil and/or floral headpiece for our wedding: yay or nay? The current feel we're scoping is uptown glamourous. We're set to be married in a grand Cathedral with drinks, dinner and dancing to follow at a swanky lounge and restaurant in our city's downtown core, so the plan for glamour seems only fitting. I'd long ago dismissed a traditional veil but would like a little softness and fluff in my hair for good measure. The snaps above are my current considerations.

Hairpieces all available through Etsy at LoBoheme, Satanica, Myrakim and Sweet Pea and Fawn.

Nov. 10, 2009

Perfume


Though many places are scent-free these days, I have long wished to start a perfume collection (perhaps my love hollers back to travels to a perfume factory in Paris when I was thirteen). While there, we were given the opportunity to mix our own fragrance; it is an experience I reflect upon fondly even though I hadn't yet acquired a taste for poultry cooked in white wine.

This evening over dinner our waitress exclaimed with joy over the scent of my mother's perfume (Hypnotic Poison by Christian Dior). This occurrence only confirmed my desire to start a perfume collection. The first scent I ever owned was Ralph by Ralph Lauren. Right now, I'm debating whether Chanel No. 5 or YSL Parisienne is the most fitting first purchase.

Speaking of Paris, this bargain navy striped dress is on my lust list and this song, though far from French, offers the passion I associate with the romantic capital.

Dots

I'm loving this Girl Friday dress. It makes me want to have a picnic with pungent cheese and crusty French bread.

Nov. 7, 2009

Heels







This week my wedding dress came home with me (correction: was delivered to my grandma's closet for safe-keeping). Yes, that's right, I didn't have to wait four months for an order to arrive as the dress was on the rack and had never been tried on by anyone else before. My dress arrived in the shop earlier that day and was the perfect size and colour. I quite lucked out!

All that remains now is to find a pair of shoes so that the hemming can begin. I'm currently crushing on these selections from J Crew.