Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Did you get one?  Ours flew by with Corey working on the bathroom and me just... working.  We did start the process of booking our honeymoon, which is really exciting!  I can't wait to share our plans with you guys.

I've been forgetting to post Friday links and I have been terrible at prepping posts.  This has been the second Sunday in a row that I found myself working with no time to blog.  I've still managed to collect some fun links to share with you guys:

The photo (above) was sent to me via Pinterest by my friend Miranda who knows how much I love succulents.  Isn't it a cute idea?

I would love to try this easy DIY.

Are you depressed about not making enough money?  Here's a fresh perspective on how much money you should actually be making.

Tomorrow is April Fools!  Do you have any pranks planned?

I want to try these 3 Ingredient Recipes.

I've posted this to Facebook before, but this guy just cracks me up!

Have you read this theory about the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet?

This is a crazy way to think about your family.

Are you safe enough?

Do you know how dogs drink?

Is it weird that I want the sushi bazooka?

I hope you all have a great week.  Thinking of all the my teacher friends who will have to deal with classroom pranks in the morning. ;)  Don't pick up that chalk- It's actually toothpaste!!!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Etsy Crush: Lea Marie Designs

Do you ever browse Etsy?  I do sometimes, and I totally did when I wrote the post about Geode Necklaces a few weeks ago.  If you recall, the easy winner was the necklace below (Yes, I am now the proud owner!) by Lea Marie Designs.  I've been wearing this necklace for about a week and I keep getting compliments and requests to know where I found it, so here goes:

Isn't it unique?  Please check out Lea Marie's shop and look for upcoming sales through her
Facebook and Twitter pages.  Lea Marie is lovely to deal with and I am thrilled with my new necklace... in "Fresh Coat of Paint" colours, no less!

Here are some of my current favourites from her shop:

1. Sliced Blue Agate Pendant, 2. Sliced Amethyst Geode Necklace, 3. Sliced Hot Pink Agate Necklace, 4. Coral Bezel Gold Necklace, 5. Purple Sliced Agate Necklace, 6. Gold Geode Necklace, 7. Sparkly Aquamarine Quartz Necklace, 8. Quartz Crystal Point Necklace, 9. Dark Purple Druzy Geode Necklace, 10. Lavendar Druzy Gold Necklace, 11. Natural Brazilian Purple Amethyst Necklace, 12. Turquoise Silver Necklace, 13. Sliced Hot Pink Agate Necklace

Not seeing what you're looking for?  Remember that the beauty of working directly with an artist is that you can always request a custom item.

Some of my favourite features of Lea Marie's creations are the gold plating around the edges of her pendants, the longer chain options she offers, the fact that she takes individual pictures of each piece of jewelry so you know exactly what you're purchasing... and the fact that she's lovely to deal with.

Who's your "Etsy Crush?"
Enhanced by Zemanta


Advice to My 20-Year-Old Self

Would you ever go back to your early twenties?  I feel like I barely survived the first time, although I'd probably do a few things differently if I had the option to go back.  What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?  Here's my advice:

Keep studying but try to actually enjoy school more.  You won't end up where you thought you would, so don't worry about taking all the required science and maths.  Maybe expand your horizons with some humanities or even fine arts courses.  You'll be surprised by how much you enjoy them.

Chemistry does not equal love and neither does comfort.  You are not going to end up with any of the guys you think might be right for you right now.  You won't even end up with the same TYPE of guy.  You wouldn't believe me if I told you where your future husband is right now... (Probably in the high school English class your best friend is working in as a student teacher) so don't worry so much about meeting the right guy and just enjoy dating in general and keep an open mind.  Try not to hurt the guy you're with and try to appreciate him more.  You are not in love with him, so try to be strong enough to let him go so that he can be happy. 

Focus on your friends.  You'll be surprised by how many of them will still be important to you in many years.  They are smart, so listen when they speak and try to be a good friend to them.  You will learn a lot from them.  You may think you're "one of the guys" but it is your friendships with other women that will end up fulfilling you and making you grow the most.

You will eventually become friends with your brother.  It may seem like you may never get along but you will both eventually grow up and realize that you're much more similar than you think.  I promise things will get better between you.  You will be incredibly close with him and mom and they will be your most trusted advisors.

Be sympathetic and kind to your mom and try to be a better friend to her.  This is not an easy time in her life.  One day, when you are a little less selfish you will understand how hard she works and how much weight is on her shoulders and you will wish you had opened your eyes to it sooner.  Be more respectful of her, because in a few years you will hope to be as smart and strong as she is.

You are tougher and more resilient than you think.  There are some big challenges ahead, but you have exactly what you need to push through.  Life is hard but it is also amazing!  I promise that many of your dreams will come true... they just may be dreams you haven't dreamed yet.  Love yourself because you are amazing!

Try to learn to like exercising.  You will eventually need to do it and it may be easier if you start a little earlier.  Also, wear sunscreen... you'll be terrified of sun damage and wrinkles in a decade.  Don't be so vain.  If you think it's a good idea to cut your own bangs to cover up a pimple, you are tragically wrong!

Most of all, enjoy the next few years... REALLY ENJOY THEM!  This chapter will be over in an instant.

I also asked several smart women in my life the same question.  I told them their responses could be anonymous.  They came back to me with brutally honest advice that made me both laugh and cry.  Here they are:


  • Love and sex are not interchangeable
  • The man you're with will break your heart, but don't leave him yet.  The children you have with him will be the best part of your life.
  • An open heart can receive love.
  • Find someone you can love more with each year that passes.  And remember, you marry the family, not just the man.  Make sure it's a family you feel comfortable joining.
  • Look for strength and stability first, excitement second.  Motorcycle-driving "bad boys" are fun to read about, but that's all they are; works of fiction and pop culture.  The truth is, there is nothing more appealing than a man who stands for his family and works hard every day to provide the best for them.  There is nothing sexier than having your own personal hero come rescue you and your car out of your own driveway (for the third time in one winter.)
  • Dear 20 year old self: A friend once told you that to meet a man, you need to look your best, stand a certain way, and to never act silly.  She was wrong, especially about the acting silly part - your life will be so much better the more you dance, play, sing and explore.  
  • Sorrow is not forever, love is.

  • Try and make an effort to stay in touch with high school friends. They were there for you for four years, and even though they are all at different universities, staying in touch is important.
  • Stay in touch with your friends.  It may seem hard while you are busy right now, but it will be harder to reconnect with them later.
  • Hang out with people who make you laugh until you cry.

  • Everything you thought you knew about baby headbands was wrong.
  • Take time to get as much information out of your grandparents as possible before they pass away. Their generation went through hardships we can't even imagine, and it will put things in perspective when you learn about their lives when they were 20-Something.
  • Stop thinking you're fat. You don't even know what fat is.
  • Drink more.  Hangovers only get worse with age.
  • Travel as much as possible when you are this age (young). You wont be able to travel the same way once you have kids or even a secure career. Use university summers to explore the world.
  • I want to say "Don't go so far away for grad school," but I can't because then I wouldn't have my job or some of my closest friends
  • Don't forget your social graces.  Say "please" and "thank you!"
  • Let go of your barriers, don't be afraid to emote and feel.  It's okay to cry for joy or sadness, no one will think you are weak.  And, if they do, who cares.  
  • Have more sex with different guys.  Be safe, but experiment a little more.  You'll look back at those days fondly, rather than with shame.

  • One of my friends felt her advice was best reflected through a song:

  • Let go and don't be afraid-no venture, no gain.  All you can do is live the best you can in the moment.  Be your truest self, and be a little hopeful that life will bring you sweet surprises. 
  • Let go of the past and any harm that's been done to you and let Karma do the rest.
  • The hard times are not necessarily bad times.  The difficult times will pass and you will learn so much!
  • Only YOU can fulfill your potential.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Every challenge is an opportunity in disguise.  No matter what befalls us, WE choose how to react to it.  Happiness is a choice.
  • Follow your instinct, not the pack.
  • Recognize the things in life that make you happy vs. the things that you think are supposed to make you happy.
  • Never lose sight of your goals and dreams.  They will change, but so will your priorities and you'll be much happier going with the flow.
  • 30 isn't as old as you think it is.
  • Don't take everything so seriously, be a little less intense.   Age allows us to mellow, and that gives us time to consider everything before speaking. It's not a race to the finish and often little kindnesses get overlooked when you are constantly rushing.
  • At least twice before you're 30, you will think your world has ended.  You will be wrong.  
  • Take chances!  Rejection hurts less than regret.
  • Confront your mistakes.  Nothing is worse than the time you lose hiding from them.
  • My anonymous advice would be without a doubt to have more confidence.  Confidence in who I am, what I like and to trust my own decisions. I think that I second guessed everything I did in my twenties and only when 30 hit did I fully feel ownership over my life. At 30 I felt so happy with everything and that I was exactly where I wanted to be.  I loved turning 30!

One of the things I found most interesting about all the responses I received is how similar so much of the advice is and how true it rang for my own experience.  Isn't it funny how similar we all are?  I'll end with what might be my favourite last sentence from my friends' responses:

  • Don't worry, you got this!

But wait, there's more:

In addition to wanting to hear from some of the very smart women in my life, I'd love to hear from other bloggers, so I'm making this a link party.  I'd love to see your own version or variation of this post, so please feel free to add your link below and either grab a button, or link back here.  Make sure to share the love by visiting (and commenting on) other blogs!

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Advice to My 20-Year-Old Self

Enhanced by Zemanta


Skipping Spring and Feelin' Summer

Guys, did you feel it?  It was almost warm in Toronto yesterday.  Almost!  I always get excited at the first signs of spring and this year, our summer wedding is adding to the excitement.  It is officially spring, which means we all survived the winter!  I'm already excited for the warm days of late spring.  Seriously, I was beginning to think I would start to feel depressed if I had to endure one more week of grey days and bad driving!

I have to ask because I always wonder if other people feel this way too: Do you ever get that almost deja vu feeling where something almost takes you back to childhood?  The warm spring air always gives me that jittery impatient excitement I always felt as a kid when summer vacation approached.  Even now, spring days make me want to go outside and ride my bike or fly a kite... although these days we settle for just taking Barkley for a long walk.  Do you ever feel this way?  What does spring remind you of?  

This morning, I plan to take "The Bark" for a long morning walk and pick up some litter along the trail near our house while I'm at it.  Who's in?  Corey and I embraced living so close to the belt line trail last year, and as a couple who rarely finds time for "real" dates, we loved our morning walks with coffee in hand last spring.

In addition to making me feel like a kid, spring always makes me want to overhaul my wardrobe.  Here are some things I'm loving.

1.  My friend Sara is one of those people who looks amazing in hats and she wears them all the time.  I am not a "hat person" but I'd be willing to give one of these a try.

2.  My favourite summer lipstick last years was an orange-red shade by MAC.  I can't wait to bust it out again this summer!  Is there anything better than red lipstick and sneakers?

3.  I love denim on denim (aka- the Canadian tuxedo) as a summer outfit and this Club Monaco dress feels like summer to me.  I'd wear it during the day but refer to it as my Canadian evening gown!

4.  I love these dainty necklaces!  I even thought of them for bridesmaid gifts, but I have another idea.

5.  I think I could live in Bensimon sneakers all spring and summer!  Last year, I wore a bright yellow pair almost every day but it may be time to trade them in for some new kicks.

6.  I love these relaxed Baggu bags.

7.  What could be more summery than a temporary tattoo that looks like a popsicle?  Perhaps this would make a good stand-in until we work up the courage to get real ones!

What are your spring/summer favourites?  Can we all just agree to skip spring and fast forward straight to summer?
Enhanced by Zemanta


Operation "Wedding Centerpiece" is Complete!

When will I get tired of posting pictures of our wedding terrariums, you ask?  I really just don't know, but it's not today!  

Don't the pale greens and pinks look great against the milk glass?

It was only a matter of time until I "dug in" for some fun wedding centerpiece making.  Especially after I fell in love with a DIY Terrarium Workshop and then decided that my wedding centerpieces would be open terrariums in vintage vessels.  I've been collecting vintage milk glass for this purpose since the fall.

Last weekend at The National Home Show, I brought home a few new succulents from one of the booths.

I busted out the milk glass and some of my favourite vessels, and went to work.  Here's our current collection.

And here's a brief DIY recap, in case you missed my last post:

You Need:
- Glass Vessel (You will need some depth for the soil.)
- Succulent or Cactus
- Gravel (You can purchase this at a pet store, since it's used in aquariums.)
- Granular Activated Charcoal/Carbon (Again, this is available at a pet store, or you could open up your water filter and use what's inside.)
-  Sand, Glass, Gravel or Pebbles (To cover the soil.)
- Moss and Decorations (optional)
- Tools (Spoons, chopsticks, paint brushes and tweezers would all work.)

1. Begin with a layer (a couple of inches thick) of gravel at the bottom of your vessel for drainage, and add roughly 3 tbsp of carbon.  Swirl to mix.  The gravel provides drainage and the charcoal/carbon helps to eliminate impurities for healthier plants.
2. Add two cups of soil (Adam also mixed some charcoal in with the soil) and lightly pat it down using an available tool. 
3. Create a hole in the soil (all the way through to the gravel) by either digging or poking through it. (We forced a thick cylindrical tool through it, while twisting side-to-side.)  A dry paint brush can be used to clean any dirt from the inside of the glass.
4. Choose a plant and loosen some of the roots before placing it in the hole.  Use some of the available tools to pat down the soil around the plant.
5. Pour in a layer of sand, ground glass or finer gravel to cover your soil.  
6. Decorate with moss, rocks and sea glass.

Water with 1 1/2 shot glasses full of water once every three weeks.  Keep away from direct sunlight.  Feel free to "prune" succulents if they get too crazy during their growing cycle.

What do you think?  Aren't those pink succulents pretty?  I think for the wedding, we'll use these as the base and add some fresh cut flowers in vases and candles to each table.  We don't plan to have very many tables, so I think we're actually finished!

How exciting is that?  Probably exciting for you guys too because I can't think of another excuse for a terrarium post for a long time now!  I think next we'll move on to the invitations.  We've narrowed down our options and want to be ready to send them out fairly soon.

Aren't they sweet?

Enhanced by Zemanta
By Stephanie Lynn

Related Posts by Zemanta