Wednesday, 4 July 2012

No More Sleeps Left!

Wedding Countdown * please ignore the ghetto presentation, I was consumed by wedding crafting to focus on making this pretty. 

Here’s a shot of what I’ve been looking at before bed each night since May…a “wedding countdown calendar” of sorts. The boy and I each took a day (he was even, I was odd) and wrote each other a little note to open before bedtime. There were memories from our relationship, and things we loved about each other. It was a great exercise in nailing down exactly why we were doing this whole wedding thing in the first place, and it contained some really beautiful surprises.  I had a moment where I had to readjust expectations…the boy is taciturn in nature, and I gush uninhibitedly. So of course my notes were mini letters, and his were three words long. It took me a few days to start listening to the love packed into those three or four words and to really get how wonderful this man is and how lucky I am to have him by my side.
The envelopes have been growing sparser day by day…

We leave for Italy today. Although the wedding is still a week and a bit away, today is the day I’ve been waiting for (technically tomorrow early afternoon when we touch down in Italy). It’s a little surreal finally being at the culmination of a moment that you’ve been planning for the last three years. I always have a moment of “pinch-me-is-this-real” when I travel. I’m a person who plans and daydreams and spends many many moments envisioning things before they are reality... so quite literally travel is always the fulfillment of a dream of some sort. I always feel so incredibly lucky that this has now become a reality, and that I get to add a string of memories to my life.

Traveling to Italy is always a return; a journey home to loved ones. Strange that this place that I’ve never lived in can feel so much like home, but I think it’s mainly the people that create that feeling. I am so incredibly blessed that the boy's family has the largest hearts and the warmest open arms.

This wedding seemed like a crazy plan…dragging so many of my loved ones half way across the planet to do something that could simply be done at home…with a lot less inconvenience and expense to all those concerned.
I know there are those that really wish they could come but aren’t able to due to a myriad of reasons. And I will so very much miss their faces on our wedding day.  I am overwhelmed by the number of people who are coming (getting on a freaking plane and flying across oceans for us!) and SO incredibly excited to create lasting memories with them in a place I love dearly.

One of my strengths is my ability to plan and organize, but it is also one of my greatest failings. I have been consciously switching off the control freak in my brain, and doing my very best to embrace every moment that happens NOW. It’s been a looooong time that I’ve been thinking about this, but if I don’t stop thinking and practice some BEING, all of this love and beauty will rush by. So my eyes and heart are wide open waiting to catch and store every beautiful joyous moment that presents itself.

I'm overwhelmed by the love surrounding us already. I can't even imagine what its going to feel like on our wedding day. 

Adventure, here we come!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Smooth Moves

Navigating flirtation when in a committed relationship is a tricky subject. I think it all comes down to how you feel about flirtation in the first place…some people are natural flirts and can do so in a fun healthy way that really is a simple social interaction. Others overanalyze everything, are stricken with guilt and are never sure of where the filter should be placed and so become incredibly awkward …I fall squarely into that second camp.

I’ve had moments when I’m with the Boy and have been very obvious that I was attracted to another person. I turn bright red, generally can’t make eye contact with the cute boy, and have difficulty forming a sentence…all while the Boy watches on trying to stifle a mocking grin on his face. It’s ridiculous really.

The other week I was at a work function and a volunteer who works with our organization (who is stupid sexy) was striking up a conversation. I realized that I was actually being rude to him as I was cutting him off and being quite cold...because I thought he was attractive. So incredibly unprofessional of me. Beautiful people have a tough life. I adjusted my attitude and had another encounter with him later on.

He was talking about the colour theory behind the colour red (danger, excitement) and mentioned fast cars and red lingerie (* note I was wearing a red sweater and red shoes).

He then leaned over to me and reached towards my hair, like he was going to gently stroke it away from my face.  My mind raced and froze.

He whispered
“You have something in your hair…”

And I returned, “ Yup, probably just a crumb from the croissant I had for breakfast”

He efficiently plucked the crumb from my hair.

So that’s my seduction tip for the day…take a little bit of breakfast with you.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Working towards the sunshine...

I’m at 71 days…and my throat closes up a little bit when I realize it’s May. It all came crashing home when I found myself the owner of a (gorgeous, pee-by-yourself, danceable) wedding dress. I love planning events, its what I do for fun, and what I hope to be able to do as a side business eventually, so all this planning for a wedding, well, it was a wedding in theory, and the whole, "I’m the person getting married" deal hadn’t sunk in.
Lemon trees at venue that I've never been to. Picture taken by our family in Italy who kindly visited for us.

Hence throat closing at times, which is perfectly healthy right?
I keep protesting that I’m not stressed, that I’m totally handling it all, just breezing on by…but the truth is, there are moments of anxiety when I think of the length of the to do list I have. And yet another minute detail awakens me some night. And I feel frustrated because I feel like I should just be able to do it all, gracefully, and be organized and composed and laugh it all off. 

I think there’s a fallacy, that if you’re stressed then you’ve succumbed to the bride-zilla disease and that it means you care too much. I get the well meaning, “don’t stress about it, everything will work out” advice from everyone (fiancé included). I know this stuff, but its not very helpful. Our society is judgey, and we’re waiting to pop women into the “stressed out bride” box, able to write off any snappy moment to wedding nerves. And I’m fighting it. I haven’t been able to fully articulate why exactly that idea of the stressed “bride “ bothers me, but I think it has to do with the fact that assumptions are being made about how I think and feel, and what's important to me. That and the fact that I’m not a bride, except for the actual day of the wedding. I’m trying to keep it real here.

What I didn’t get going in was the sheer amount of time that this wedding would take out of my life. Just .did .not .get .it. I’m an organized detailed person, and I thought that my superior planning skills (hollow laugh) would allow me to have a chilled out ride to the wedding day.

I’ve already started to detail projects for post wedding (more on those to come).  I am excited to have huge stretches of time to focus on something other than wedding. However I am still enjoying all of this, however crazy it may be, but it’s the sheer size of the list ahead of me that is daunting.

One grace about this whole journey has been that misadventures are turned into adventures, and people astonish me with their kindness. I have had great customer service from bank tellers tracking down missing money that was sent overseas (a word of advice, just tie the money to a pigeon and throw it into the air, it has a better chance of making it to Italy). Lovely interactions with artisans who are crafting special objects, and discounts and breaks from all areas, simply because people want to be nice, and remember how tough their wedding was. I’m learning when you deal with small local businesses and people who are passionate about what they create, you can humanize the whole experience, and truly enjoy the process.

I am also surrounded by an amazing retinue of friends who are pitching in to share their incredible talents with me to make every detail personal and special….I’m just blown away by all the love.  I am so indescribably lucky to be surrounded by these wonderful individuals who are sharing their time and creativity with me, just simply to help make the picture in my head into a reality. It’s a humbling experience …and I’m working to shift my brain to focus on these moments of truth and love and to gloss over the lists of stuff.  

In my head I have pictures of my friends and family enjoying themselves under the sun in a few short months, and the sound of the sea and their laughter is what I'm working towards right now.

Monday, 30 January 2012


This was quite an emotionally charged, mega whopper of an eventful week.

I finished up my job.

I took a day off.

I started eating healthy again.

The next day I interviewed for and was offered a new position. I accepted. 

I had high tea with the ladies.


I started planning a trip to Chile*

We made some new additions to the menagerie.

I worked * on wedding invites.

I baked 120 cupcakes

And made a mess proportionate to the number of cupcakes baked.

I was surrounded by my lovely bridal brigade who helped me put together invites.

I soft launched my business during International Design week with aforementioned cupcakes. (It was a very soft launch-more on this later)

And then I wrapped up the week with a slothful day of extreme laziness, and too much cupcake eating, effectively killing the healthy eating kick.  

The pups were just as tired as I was.

It was a WEEK, all capitals. And I’m so looking forward to getting more accomplished over the next two weeks before I start my new position.

*The moment I realized I had 6 weeks (!!) vacation time with my new job I immediately started working on my dream of traveling to Chile. NYE 2012 will be spent with some of our closest friends celebrating in a country I’ve been longing to visit for years. So freakin excited.

*By I worked, I mean, I asked my talented friend to draw me stuff and then leaned over the shoulder of my lovely SIL to nit pick details and she patiently did all the hard stuff.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Life is like a trifle....a poor metaphor about job loss.

This post was not supposed to read this way. It was something else entirely….fun light yummy deliciousness.

And then life happened and I found out that I lost my job on Tuesday. To clarify I didn’t misplace it, but the charity I work/ed* for ran out of money and just plain old can’t afford me anymore. I’m good at what I do; unfortunately I am not a successful fundraiser. I’d seen this coming at me for months, but it still managed to surprise me.  I thrive on change, but like to “ostrich” and just stay comfortable.

So, the timing ain’t good. I can’t see when it would ever be good really. There’s this wedding thing happening.

However, one thing I loved about where I work/ed, was that I developed a very healthy dose of perspective. I am enormously blessed* to have an incredibly supportive set of friends and family. We are lucky enough to live at home with the boy’s parents, which is a huge worry that we don’t have to deal with. And I’m happy to live in a country where we are socialist enough to give people security nets in the form of employment insurance.

So that baking story. I tried to replicate an AMAZING pie that my talented friend Carolina made for New Year’s (and yes I’m still thinking about it) and it failed miserably. It was supposed to have a light as air, crunchy and sweet meringue pie shell, filled with chocolate mousse and topped with Chantilly whipped cream (which I learned is a fancy name for whipped cream that has vanilla added and sweetened). It was called a Chocolate Angel Pie.

And the shells turned out disastrously.

*sad trombone*

So when faced with a baking disaster, I whipped up a trifle. We were heading to dinner at a friend’s place and I played on her addiction to all things mint and chocolate and improvised on an Eton’s mess. I threw together layers of crumbled meringue, Chantilly cream, strawberries and raspberries and a layer of leftover brownies that I soaked in crème de menthe. It was really yummy and was a delightful surprise ending to my failed pies.  We ate it up gladly.

So here’s my poor metaphor. Life is like a trifle. You make plans, and things get messed up, and then something wonderful emerges from the wreck.

I know its clichéd, but I’m ready for the next adventure. I swing between terrified and excited. I have a few leads I’m hunting down and am so grateful for a chance to perhaps figure out some bigger stuff I’ve been wrestling with. I truly believe things happen in a natural unfolding, and life has been very kind to me so far, especially when I listen to my gut and just go for it.

Last week I was feeling blue one night and was walking along worried about what came next. Then I caught myself impulsively jumping in a puddle* and started grinning wide. I have big red boots. How can I NOT jump in puddles? They make such a lovely splash.

I was filled with complete joy at the sheer silliness. And moments like that let me know I’m going to be just fine.

* my last day is Monday the 23rd

*in a strictly non bearded old dude, but rather the universe is love, hippity dippity sort of way

* yes this was in public. And yes I’m 30 And no, miraculously I didn’t catch any poor unsuspecting fool in the spray. This time anyways, I’m pretty sure I’ve pissed the boy of royally by doing that to him at least once.

Monday, 2 January 2012


I have Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth on my bedside table. I had to fend off my SIL inquiries about whether I was hiding a secret love child under my sweater (nope that bump’s a pasta baby) when I received yet another order of birth and pregnancy books from Amazon.
I am currently obsessed with all things child related. Damn biological clock (cue scene from My Cousin Vinnie with Marissa Tomei).
Until about three years ago, babies were not my thing. I would choose puppies over kids any day. The boy and I actually had to have a big Talk, since I was always ambivalent to negative about the idea of having kids, and he decidedly wanted them.

Actually what he really wants is minions. He wants to have a team of mini ninjas that do his bidding. He’s in for a rude awakening. Or I am. He wants me to watch the movie Kevin and lovingly predicts that as our future. (Brief synopsis, the little boy is a psychopath, mom always seems to know and feels that he’s out to get her, dad cheerily brushes her fears off and bonds with son. Son does indeed turn out to be a psychopath)

So I sat back and concluded that I probably wanted kids, but was scared of the type of parent I would become, and more importantly, afraid of the loss of identity that I assumed came with the role of motherhood.

And then because I was scared I did what I always do. I over thought. I researched. I obsessed.

I’m a fact finder by nature, so I armed myself with knowledge. And I found many alternatives to what I thought was the only way to do things. And I started getting excited about having kids (one day eventually, not yet damn it!).

Cue the pregnancy books, and obsessive blog reading by smart moms. And babies, actually started to look cute.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Our Save the Date Video

I’m not sure anyone got the beginning and the message I was trying to convey. They were distracted by the cute puppies…as I always am too.

Watch it here.

Did you get the message? Or do I just look like a goofus hopping around on one foot trying to get my boot off for no reason?