Dec 3, 2013

Saturday, September 7th- Bridal Shower Round 2

I'm backing way up to share some photos and details from my second bridal shower! It took place on Saturday, September 7th.

My Mom and I.

This one was held in the same location (my sisters house) but this time was thrown by my Mom. It was "Victorian Tea Party" themed and she did a wonderful job. Ben and I received some really lovely gifts for our home and it was really good to catch up with some ladies that I hadn't seen in quite awhile, (quite a few of the Mom's I've worked for as a nanny or even high school babysitter came, which was really sweet.) The dessert table was filled with delicious goodies- including my Aunt's famous cherry cheesecakes, my Mom passed around photo albums and everyone chatted and enjoyed themselves. I really think I'm fortunate to have had two different bridal showers go so well! One of my favourite gifts from this shower was the recipe book that everyone contributed to. It's filled with a delicious recipe that each guest brought and they each wrote a note to me to go along with the recipe and put it all together on a scrap book page. I will be adding to this book for years to come- I just love it. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that my Mom also got me a sewing machine and lot's of black and white fabric and is going to teach me how to sew. I'm really excited. I felt so blessed to have my Mom put so much effort into throwing this shower for me, for her thoughtful gifts and her excitement over the entire wedding itself.
My sister was obviously there (and did a fabulous job as co-host), and I just want to leave a shout out to her and her room mates as well  for not only allowing both of my bridal showers to go on in their home, but for also attending and dressing up for both, baking, decorating, cleaning- really just going above and beyond to make me feel special. It was a wonderful day.

* It was a gloomy, rainy day that day so please excuse the grainy quality of the photos. 

After the shower my parents and Ben's parents met up for their first ever dinner- I know, how were we together for 7 years and our parents never officially met?! Happy to report that it went really, really well and we all got to enjoy some delicious Chinese food. Thrilled that we are all family now:)

Life Lately

I promise I am going to be back with some wedding posts soon! I really didn't think it would take me this long- I'm also still waiting on my wedding photos,but they're coming soon. December for this blog will be full of wedding and Christmas posts, that ok? Good.
Just one of my recent favourites.
So here's what's been going on with me lately- in no particular order:
- Finally over this nasty cold I caught during our mini moon (we both got sick again and again over the last couple of months.) We knew it would happen.
- Getting the apartment slowly packed and clean has been my main priority. We are fed up with the mess that was piling up and want to be ready to move when the time comes.
- Really hoping to be able to post wedding photos (and more detailed posts about it) soon! Our wonderful photographer (and cousin) took a ton of photos and video footage throughout the entire weekend, so it’s a huge project for her. It’s going to be so incredibly worth the wait!
- Looking ahead into the New Year and realizing that we don’t have many “free” weekends between now and then. Such a busy and exciting holiday season this year!
- Already heading into hibernation mode with these chilly temperatures and high winds that occurred for most of November. Hoping to make a big pot of chilli this weekend and have a few soups planned for next week. Staying under the covers with hot chocolate and a book sounds good too.
- Missing Burn Notice. Ben and I started watching it during our mini-moon (he raved about it after watching the first couple of seasons on his own, so I promised him I would give it a shot.) I was skeptical, but it instantly became my new favourite show! Since we both spent the majority of October sick, most of our evenings involved watching Burn Notice after work and we quickly made it to the seventh, and final, season. We were both sad when it was over. For the first month of marriage it was our “thing”. Such a good show.
- Feeling a little bummed that I “missed” Fall. Obviously I witnessed the leaves changing (and our wedding took place on an incredible Autumn day), but I didn't wind up participating in many of my usual Fall rituals. Visiting the pumpkin patch, driving up to the Gatineau Hills for pictures, decorating our home, pumpkin cream cheese muffins at Starbucks, caramel apples- these are all things I look forward to come October. Between being sick and working longer hours, it just didn't happen this year. Fortunately, I can still remedy the muffin situation (I hope!) and we did have an amazing Thanksgiving. Next year my goal will be to stay healthy!
- On a related note- the Christmas excitement has started! We've already had our first snow storm of the season (not unusual for Ottawa at all) and  I'm ready for Christmas movies, peppermint hot chocolate, gift shopping, decorating, all of it!
- Feeling so grateful and undeserving of all that I have. When I have bad days, I can easily fall into the "woe is me" trap. I'm trying to catch myself more when that happens. Often I am upset by trivial things and there’s no need for that. Period.
- Thinking a lot about the Layete region of the Philippines. I can’t even imagine the devastation they are facing (pictures don’t tell the whole story.) Since my husband is Filipino it does hit closer to home for his family- fortunately all immediate relatives are ok (to my knowledge) but I do know others who have lost contact with their loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with them- and their families and friends who are affected as well.
- Grateful to be able to catch up with my out of town friends and family more often. Visits with my cousin’s and Morgan’s family have been monthly instead of a few times a year and I love that. Also so happy any time I get a text with some version of the phrase “Want to catch up over coffee/dinner” from a friend.
- Planning our Italy trip is so much fun! This will be our big honeymoon. We’re taking two weeks in February or March (when it’s not a high tourist season), basically whatever fits in best with our work schedules. Neither of us has really travelled so this will be an incredible experience for us both. Over the moon excited!
- I miss the boys, a lot. Since my last day as a nanny I've been able to see them a couple of times and that has been wonderful. It’s still a huge adjustment from seeing them every day though. More visits to plan in the future for sure!
- Loving being married so much. In many ways it’s like not a lot has changed, and yet it really has. We’re a pretty good team.
- Not always finding the time to keep up with this space, but so happy when I do. 

Nov 2, 2013

One Month Ago

Photos taken by Ben's cousin.
(I wrote this on Oct. 29th, thought it posted but it didn't! Just to clarify Oct.29th was our one month anniversary, not today.)

One month ago today, I walked down the aisle.

One month ago today, we took each other's hands and made promises.

One month ago today, we sealed those vows with a kiss.

One month ago today, I made the best decision of my life.

I would do it all again, the exact same way.

Ben, you always have, and always will be the man of my dreams. I cannot wait for many more months and years together with you.

Oct 29, 2013

Birthday Wishes to My Dear Sister

Photo taken at my bachelorette- will post more soon!

Today is also (always) special because it's the day my little sister came into the world. She went from being my human doll (age difference and my love of babies= I dressed her and took her everywhere), to one of my best friends.When she gave her speech at my wedding she said that I was the 'calm to her crazy'. Maybe that's true, but only because she is so awesome and full of life that I just step back and let her do her thing. There's no competing with her loud and infectious personality. If you know her, you know exactly what I mean. She is smart, spunky, beautiful, hilarious, creative and always energetic.
Laura Loo, I love you to the moon and back!
Happy Birthday!
Love, your big sister.

Oct 22, 2013

Hello Monday

Sunrise this past Saturday on the way to Kingston

Hello rainy weather, chilly temperatures and hot chocolate in the morning.

Hello missing the weekend- we were in Kingston with Morgan and her family; we had a blast and always hate leaving.

Hello to being back to blogging after my wedding hiatus.


So hello to being a newlywed and loving it!

Hello to eagerly awaiting our wedding photos- I cannot wait to share!

Hello to looking back over the past month and wondering how time flew so quickly.

Hello to a busy fall season in both my personal and professional life. Keeps thing’s interesting.

Hello Monday- it’s hard to believe that a new week has begun again, but here we are. I’m ready.

I’m linking up with Lisa Leonard. 

Sep 15, 2013

It's Crunch Time!

My wedding is two weeks away!

I shouldn't be surprised since we've only been engaged for five months, but it feels like I blinked and here we are. 2013 has so far been the best, busiest, craziest year of my life, (2006 is a close second). I never that I would be that adult who spoke those tired cliches like "time flies" and "life is short"- but they are cliches because they are true!

Still getting the hang of my new job, (cannot believe I've almost been there a month now!), so most nights between work and my wedding to-do list I am exhausted! A lot has been falling by the wayside these past couple of months- including this blog. Like I've said before, I really do enjoy writing and keeping this online diary of sorts- so I am often filled with feelings of guilt when I neglect it. I've taken breaks before, and then come back with some sort of "I'm going to do better" declaration. Well I'm not going to make any promises right now- because I've finally learned that that doesn't work for me. I'm just going to try my best. The blog will survive!

Right now, it's crunch time for the wedding. We need to get our final guest count, music selections, seating plan and payments in by today. Fortunately we're almost there in terms of completion- but my to-do list is never-ending. If I were smart I would have gotten more of a head start on some of these things when I was on vacation- but I desperately needed the downtime and mental break. So I'm dealing with it now. Thank goodness for an amazing fiance who has been involved in this whole process and who goes out of his way to help me. I lucked out with him for sure.

I hope that this post does not come off as one big complaint- I realize now that it probably does. But the truth is that as busy, stressed and tired as I can be on a daily basis- I've also never been happier. I get to marry my best friend and favourite person in the world in two weeks! That is amazing. This busy season isn't permanent, so I will embrace it. I hope that I can look back on these posts someday and can remember what an exciting time being engaged was for Ben and I. It truly, truly is.

In other news- we got our marriage licence this week!

Aug 24, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Being a Nanny

Oh, this one is hard for me to write.

My passion for working with kids has been present since I was very young. Babysitting was my main job throughout my teenage years and after graduating from University I took a job nannying right away. That first job lasted almost a year and I loved every minute, so I knew I wanted to continue with it. I remember spending sunny afternoons at the park with two adorable one year old's and thinking "Whoa is this really something that I get paid to do?!"
Of course saying goodbye to those kids was tough- they were the first kids I looked after in my nanny career, but I made it through. I still see them from time to time and am thrilled that they are doing so well. They were an important chapter in my life.

I was very ready for another nannying opportunity at this point, so in the fall of 2010 I accepted a second nanny job and wound up caring for those children for three years. I watched them grow from babies who were learning to take their first steps to being ready for school this fall. They were my constant companions five days a week. We had so much fun together. I cannot watch Toy Story, eat jujubes, go to the local mall, wading pool or see a photo booth without thinking of them. That's just a handful of the many special things we did together.

Every job has it's tough moments, and I'm not going to say that being a nanny was all sunshine- but spending time with those boys and being there to watch them grow made any tough moments very worth it. With them going to school and pre-school this fall- my time with them came to an end. I struggled with this for months, saying goodbye knowing I would no longer see them everyday. It's always hard to spend that amount of time with anyone you care about and have that change immediately. I will still be able to visit them, which I am thrilled about, but of course that is not quite the same. I will make the best of it though.

August 2nd, 2013 was my last day as a nanny. It was a tough day for me, and in the days since I have missed the boys and my job a lot. I decided not to continue with nannying after this because I am getting married soon, and ready to start my own family. Plus I just could not imagine getting attached and then having to eventually say goodbye to any more children right now- hands down the toughest part of the job. As I mentioned in a previous post, I did accept a new job with a great company and I am excited about the opportunities for me there. But I know that I will always look back on my nanny career with fondness. It taught me patience, it gave me confidence and it undoubtedly prepared me for motherhood.

The families that I worked for threw me a little party on my last day. Such a sweet thing for them to do. There was even a cupcake cake- brought in for me because they knew how much I loved cupcakes.

Seriously. Amazing.

Then the boys gave me one of my favourite gifts of all time- a charm bracelet with a little boy charm to represent them. Words cannot express how much I love it. I wear it all the time.

I won't be sharing photos of any of the children I looked after here (nor do I mention any personal details) because this was my job. I have never felt comfortable writing about my job here, but still felt that this post was an important one to write- as I move on to another phase in my life.

It's been an adjustment these past few week for sure, but I know that good things are in store. Someday, when I have children of my own, I will tell them about this time in my life-and about those amazing kids that held my heart.

More vacation- Girls Day Out

While I was on vacation I spent a couple of "girls only" days with my Mom, sister and cousin. My cousin moved back to Montreal last Sunday after spending almost three months with my family- so these days were so special to all of us. The first day trip involved shopping for my Mom's dress to wear at the wedding and a delicious lunch at Swiss Chalet. My mom found an amazing purple lace dress to wear and I am beyond excited to see her in it in just over a month! We all had fun helping her decide:)

This is by far the best photo taken of my Mom, sister and I - ever. Thanks to Meaghan for taking it.

Next we took a scenic drive down to Constance Bay to walk on the beach. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. 

It was a beautiful day.

Our next girls day was spent in Almonte- an adorable small town just a 30 minute drive from Ottawa. We have been driving up there occasionally for years, but Meaghan had never been. I'm pretty sure she fell in love with it, just like we have. It's full of antique shops, boutiques and cute restaurants! Were I not saving for my wedding/honeymoon right now I would have come home with many treasures! Again, I'm going to let the pictures do the rest of the talking here;)

                       I don't take a whole lot of outfit photos lately, but I really loved this one!
Dress: Forever 21
Sweater: Walmart
Belt: Street vendor in NYC

 I did bring home a vintage suitcase from this shop:) $20- score!!

 My Mom's favourite Tea Room

The pictures taken by the water are from my Nikon SLR camera, I need to take it out more often. 

Just looking at these photos makes me want to go back immediately! Also makes me wish my cousin were still here in Ottawa- it was amazing spending so much time with her.


Time to catch up! Clearly I did not do so well with the goals I set for myself during my vacation. If you can believe it I was busier on vacation than I was at work! Yikes! But I got a lot done:) Now that I have a quiet moment I am excited to get back to this blog.

So on Wednesday August 7th,  my cousin Meaghan and I took a day trip to Montreal. She had a job interview and invited me along- of course I said yes!

We took a bus around 8 am and got into the city just after 10. Along the way we chatted and I got to listen the the new Civil Wars album- it is SO good. (Really sad that it may be their last one!)

The weather the entire day was so beautiful! There was a risk of thunderstorms, but the entire time we were there it was sun and blue skies. Our first priority upon arriving was brunch. I love getting brunch in Montreal, so many cute restaurants to choose from that are reasonably priced, and the food does not disappoint! We both enjoyed our meals in the sun by an open window, excellent start to the day.

Before my cousins interview we wandered and took pictures- something I love doing in big cities. When it came time for her interview my priority was to find a coffee shop so I could enjoy a cold drink and dive into a good book. I was pretty overjoyed to discover a Starbucks right across the street from where she would be interviewing! (Yes, I know I have a problem.) I spent my afternoon outside on a patio with some delicious decaf iced coffee and a really good book. So good that I was taking notes (one of those dorky parts of my personality). When Meaghan's interview took longer than expected I didn't mind at all!

After Meaghan was done, we made our way down to the Old Port. This, hands down, is my favourite area of Montreal. It's so beautiful. All of the old buildings, cobblestone streets, art everywhere, the waterfront in plain site, plus it's filled with amazing restaurants. We chose a really good one for dinner, and were seated by an open window again. The food was amazing! Could not have asked for a better end to the day!

Before we knew it we were headed back to the bus station for the trip home. The day was kind of a whirlwind, but so enjoyable. It was nice to have a little getaway thrown in with my vacation time because I spent most of it at home. Grateful to have had such a wonderful time with my cousin. Headed back there tomorrow with Ben and my siblings to celebrate Meaghans birthday, cannot wait:)

Oh, and it didn't rain until we were on the bus headed out of Montreal ;)

Aug 8, 2013

It's August- more big changes coming.

It's August...what?! 

I still feel like June just ended (and I still need to get caught up on that month, yikes!)
I will do my best.
This week and next I am on vacation. Not only that but I am transitioning into a new job, and career on August 19th. Scary and exciting all at once. Also a little sad. I truly loved being a nanny. It's only been 5 days since I last saw the boys and I already miss them like crazy. I could write a novel about that subject though, and right now I feel that's best left for a separate post. 

Back to being on vacation- it's been very enjoyable and busy so far. Over the weekend I caught up with my friend Brittany over coffee, cleaned and cleaned (and I'm still not done!) and spent the day on Sunday with my family. I had my first dress fitting with my Mom, and I'm not sure who was more excited, her or me. Since Monday was a holiday Ben and I didn't have to worry about getting home early so we stayed at my parents pretty late and played many card and board games. I was introduced to Mad Gab- tough but so fun! 
Oh, here I am forgetting the main reason we spent the day at my parents house (other than their company of course), we were celebrating Ben's birthday! His birthday was indeed July 2nd, but I'm not kidding when I say that we have all been so busy this summer. Last weekend was the first chance for us to get together and properly celebrate with the whole family. My cousin Meaghan made a really delicious meal, as well as Ben's birthday cake- which was a practice run for our wedding cake! The cake was very very delicious and looked great! (None of us are huge fans of fondant, but it sure makes for a pretty cake.) 

Ben and I spent most of the holiday Monday together and I was almost able to finish addressing all of our wedding invitations with the help of Brittany. I feel like we are down to the wire with getting these invitations out, having to start all over did not help! I really appreciated Brittany coming over to help me, again! Monday evening Ben and I were pretty tired. We watched some old episodes of How I Met Your Mother and I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch around 9:30 pm! I'm glad we had that bit of quiet time together, we really need it from time to time. 
Tuesday I had an interview for my new job. I was so wired for it that I found myself up at 6:30am...the interview wasn't until 1pm! Meaghan was able to drive me there, which was great since it's actually pretty far from my apartment. It was also awesome to have her around for moral support. The interview went really well! I don't tend to blog about work, and so I won't be giving a lot of details here, but I have a new job with a great company, it's going to be completely different from nannying and I am excited. Also grateful to have time off before starting so that I can decompress a little and get a few things done at home. 
What's really awesome is that I was able to return the favour for Meaghan on Wednesday when she had a job interview in Montreal! I went with her for moral support and to spend the day there with her. I will share more about that later. 

A little preview.

So that's my week so far. I got another early start today (unintentionally) and I'm spending my morning at Chapters to blog and get organized.

 I knew that if I stayed home I would be in pyjamas until noon and watch endless TV. (Not that I don't deserve that every once in awhile but my free time this week is limited!) At least for the rest of my time off I'm hoping to make my way down to Chapters most mornings to blog. I love blogging and I'm hoping to get back into a groove with it. I'm also hoping to do yoga at home most afternoons. I'm putting this on here to hold myself accountable. Having time off means no excuses. 

Later this week I will post about my last week as a nanny, my trip to Montreal, a wedding update and my goals for August. Also planning to get started on my first ever Project Life album this week that I hope to share here as well:)