Why You Should Have an Engagement Photo Shoot {and some pics from mine}

Trust me. People actually do want to see the pictures.

I had always loved browsing the engagement photo galleries of my friends on Facebook. Even distant acquaintances I hadn’t spoken to in years; it was a joy to see high quality photos of them looking happy. But when it came down to my own engagement, the thought of spending money on a photographer to take casual shots of my fiancé and I felt amazingly narcissistic.

But then I got over it. I found that my real-life friends were very keen to see happy cutesy pictures of Liam and me; just as I had been/would be keen to see theirs.

To further justify ourselves, we had the best photos from our shoot turned into a photo-book that doubled as a guest book at the wedding. People absolutely loved browsing the pictures during the reception. Now when we flip though the book, it’s not just pictures of us, but the notes of best wishes and love from our family and friends. 2d90b-dsc_5899

It’s surprisingly romantic.

How could it not be? You’re engaged, thrilled about the wedding and life with your partner, and then you are told to cuddle, hug, kiss, and outright canoodle as much as possible. Our photographer kept saying “Seriously, you guys can’t get close enough” and Liam would hold me tighter, I’d rest my head on his cheek, we’d stare into each other’s eyes. At first it felt a bit much, but for heaven sake this was our engagement! A public declaration of love and commitment is literally what the whole wedding thing is about.

romantic

It’s great practice for the wedding day.

I’ve never been camera-shy, you can ask anybody, but Liam was more than a little worried about being photographed. The engagement shoot was a great way to get comfortable in front of a camera, as well as get use to the poses and directions from the photographer. We also picked up little tricks like keeping your fingers just a little bit apart for a relaxed looking hand. Your photographer is likely a pro, and working with them on getting great shots will be a lot less stressful on a day that’s not the most important day of your life.

hand placment

It’s an (other) opportunity to express yourself as a couple.

Our wedding was an expression of who we are as a couple; modern, classic, elegant, travel lovers with a modern classic elegant destination wedding. But we also love canoeing, roughing it in the wilderness, and being silly. We used our photo shoot to express that.

express yourself

It gets everyone excited for the wedding. Including you. 

Most of my engagement felt like a weird waking dream. Internally I was excited, nervous, and very preoccupied with both the planning and the fact that I was about to embark on the greatest journey of my life. But of course the rest of the world just kept spinning like it was nothing. When our photographer posted 9 “sneak peek” pictures from our shoot on Facebook, the overwhelming amount of likes and comments from friends was incredibly reassuring. People said that they couldn’t believe how close the date was getting, how happy we looked, and they started asking questions about what the wedding would be like. Even members of our gym were coming up to us to talk about it! The public announcement made, it was as if the flood-gates were open. Yes my wedding is a big deal. Yes other people care about it. Yes this is exciting! ring

It’s an opportunity to commemorate a special place. 

The cottage has been in my family for almost 50 years, I grew up spending my summers there. I joke that Liam started dating me for access to it … and he’s never outright denied that. He loves the lake and the woods as much as I do and it’s become a special place for both of us. The cottage didn’t work as an actual wedding venue, but using it as the location of our photo shoot meant that this special spot was part of the whole wedding experience.

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You get to know your photographer.

Our photographer, Christine Aubrey, was recommended to me  by a long-time friend. We hired her after two e-mails and a brief look at her website -and that could have been it. She would have shown up to our reception, done great work and we would later have some fabulous pictures. But because we spent one lively afternoon together during our engagement, when she arrived at our wedding reception we hugged her like a friend. We offered her a drink, told her to eat some food, and treated her like she was another guest …  much nicer than having a stranger awkwardly walking around with a camera.

Liam and I both felt very comfortable asking Christine to take certain pictures of guests or small DIY details, where we might not have felt as at-ease had we not known her. A real professional will always do a professional job, but we certainly got more out of the experience having gotten familiar with our photographer during our engagement photo shoot. She also got to know us a little too, and I’m sure that will be reflected in the reception photos. I can’t wait to see them!

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Happy Thanksgiving Trail Mix

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I am spending this weekend with my husband’s family. Whenever we are all together for a weekend like this, the general pastime is playing cards. Sometimes we mix it up with a board game, but generally we just sit, chat, play, drink and eat. There is always something or other to munch on, invariably tasty but not always the healthiest option.

With this in mind, I made Happy Thanksgiving Trail Mix
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Trail Mix is really whatever you want it to be, but if you like the look of mine, here’s what’s in it;
– 2 cups of shredded wheat cereal
– 2 cups of caramel popcorn
– 2 cups of pretzel wafers
– 2 cups of mixed nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and almonds)
– 2 handfuls of dried cranberries
– 1/2 cup candy corn
– 1/2 cup orange & brown Smarties

It’s a delicious mix of salty, sugary, and chocolaty seasonal flavours, without being overly indulgent. At least we are getting some fiber and protein in us.

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These quantities will give you just over the 2 quart batter bowl amount shown above. Extra is good though, you won’t be able to keep your hands off it.

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

Details of Portugal

Re-blogged from:

maria

Mar, céu azul, luz, muita cor, saudades e arte portuguesa!
Apresento-vos um casamento muito especial.
Os noivos não eram portugueses, mas fizeram questão de ter as cores do azuleio português presentes no casamento assim como representado a palavra “saudade” que só em português existe!
A noiva levava uns sapatos lindos, que combinavam perfeitamente com todo o ambiente envolvente!
Em memória aos avós que não estavam presentes, a Eve Marie, fez uma homenagem linda.
Colocou no bouquet  as fotografias dos avós e no acto de votos disse muito saudosa
“Vavó and vavô would be very happy to be here to see this day.”

 

Sea, blue sky, light, lots of color, nostalgia and Portuguese art!
I present to you a very special wedding.
The bride and groom were not Portuguese, but made ​​sure to have the colors of the Portuguese azuleio present at the wedding as well as represented the word “saudade” that only exists in Portuguese!
The bride wore a beautiful shoes, which matched perfectly with any surroundings!
In memory of grandparents who were not present, Eve Marie, did a beautiful tribute.
Placed in the bouquet photographs of grandparents and the act of votes said very nostalgic

“Grandma and Grandma would be very happy to be here to see this day.”

Photographer
Ram & Maria Marta Cabral
Wedding Planner
Catering
Villa São Paulo
Make Up Artist
Claudia Rodrigues
Hair Artist
Sandra Senra

Shower at the Baths

It’s been a long while since my last post, but what can I say? Weddings are time-consuming! They also eat up your creative energy so that you have no inventive juices left to apply to the rest of your life. The good news is, that once the wedding is over, there will be no need for secrecy and I will be able to share everything I’ve been working on!

Today’s post will cover a wedding-event that is already over, and that I actually had very little to do with; my bridal shower! Four of the most amazing women on the planet threw me a shower at the Lodge of the Nordic Spa Scandinavian baths.

www.lenordik.com
http://www.lenordik.com
lodge living
http://www.lenordik.com

decor

In keeping with the rustic and woodsy venue up in the Gatineau hills, the girls used birch trunks, pine-cones, and fresh flowers to decorate the room. Flickering tea light candles set it all off beautifully. As an incredible useful keepsake / guest book. Ashley created a custom cutting board where guests could leave me a note. table decoreKitchen before 031

food

Lisa laid out a brunch buffet that was healthy AND delicious, including:

Bacon Frittada
Croissants and jam
Smoked salmon with cream cheese and blueberries
Veggies and dip
Fruit salad
Cheeses and crackers
Apple pie

And of course there was cake, made by the creator if our delicious Baby Shower Dinosaur cake. It was very sweet and full of fresh strawberries and butter cream. Perfect for Summer.

food table

cake and food

cake cutting cake

When asked by my Maid-of-Hour Kaitlin if I wanted alcohol at my shower, I responded something like “Ummm yeah! A party without booze is just a meeting.” … so there were several drink options for guests to choose from. A fresh and fruity white wine sangria in a bottomless punch bowl, ice water, coffee  and tea, and champagne mamosoas garnished with a lovely strawberry for a toast!

There was also special “Eve-Marie’s Bridal Shower” red and wine available, made especially for the occasion!

drink tablemimosas

wine and i games

I was mercifully spared embarrassing toilet-paper/blindfolded/purse raid type activities. The games we played were cute and entertaining.

First up was He Said She Said, where guests had to guess whether Liam or I had written various responses to relationship questions. This was really cute for the guests and me as well,  as I hadn’t read Liam’s answers.

Ironically, the girl who got the most correct was a coworker of mine who had only ever met Liam once for all of 5 minutes. She got to take home a bottle of wine as the winner!

he said she said 2 he says she saysplaying games

During the gift-opening portion of the party, we played Bridal Shower Bingo. Guests wrote in Bingo card boxes with what they thought was wrapped up in the mountain of presents. As I open each gift, they crossed off a box and the first to make a row won a bottle of wine. It was nice that everyone had something to do other than watch me all my awesome gifts. Yay presents!

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more giftsopening gifts

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For a little something for the guests to remember us by, Julie HANDMADE adorable, scented soaps! Each was wrapped up with a pretty tag that read “From Eve’s Shower to yours”. Honestly, how cute is that! Now when I go to friends and families houses, I spot the soaps on display in their bathrooms and it makes me really happy inside.

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So I got gifts. The guests got gifts. But I couldn’t let my girls go without getting anything! The time and effort my friends put into this party was very touching, so I wanted to give them something special to let them know how much it all meant to me. Since we were all going to spend the rest of the day enjoying the hot-tubs and saunas of the spa (where you walk around in bathing suits and robes) I got each of them and my mom …. and myself, custom-made dressing gowns from Comfy Clothing store on Etsy. mom and i
robe girls

I love how they turned out, and they will come in handy when we are all getting ready together on the Wedding Day.

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A GIGANTIC SURPRISE for me at the shower, was my oldest friend from elementary school, who now lives in the US, showing up completely unexpectedly. I was entirely thrown! Yelled something rude to her, almost strangled her with a hug, and then cried and laughed a lot.

lina and i

All in all, I am a very spoiled lucky girl.

Number the Envelopes! {Reply Card Tip}

Mr. Fiancé and I got started assembling our second set of invitations last night. These are for the larger (wine themed!) reception we are hosting back home after our (Lisbon Coast!) destination wedding. We only got a third of the way done, but it was a solid start and we should have them ready to go in the mail by the end  of the week.

There was a marked difference in our competence, organisation and ability in performing the task from our first round of (Ocean Flourish) invitations. This is all becoming old hat now. For instance; wine is an absolute necessity.

invitation wine night

We also have another great tip for you. It is pretty much common knowledge that numbering your RSVP cards is a great idea. In case of illegible or completely absent (yes it happens) guest names, a small number at the back of the card corresponding to the name can be a life saver. But does this really look great?

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No. No it doesn’t. Not that very many people will notice, and none that do will care at all. But. Still. It made me sad. I  pouted over four or five of these until my brilliant betrothed, in a stroke of pure genius, came out with “why don’t you just number the envelopes?

NUMBER THE ENVELOPES!

How is this not out there yet? It’s the best idea ever! The secret-code numbers can be hidden in a fold of the RSVP envelope, which is sure to be returned (as they are pre-addressed and stamped), where no one will see it unless looking for it, and the cute reply cards remain completely unmarred!

number the envelopes

 

I knew I was marrying him for a reason.

 

Kitten Time! {Olivia}

Its Friday afternoon, we are about to quit the week, and it’s time to meet our latest foster kitten! This is Olivia and she is now up for adoption at the Ottawa Humane Society.

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OLIVIA – ID#A166161

Olivia is an 8 month old kitten who came to us with a small amount of cat-cold and a lot of shyness. She has always been very friendly and gentle but used to spend much of her time hiding under the bed.

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OLIVIA – ID#A166161

No longer. She has fully recovered and is now a fun, confident, feisty little girl with a sweet and quirky personality. She is Miss. Congeniality, loving to hang out with everyone she meets; human or feline . She loves to play and will make a toy of anything .. especially toys.

Really Olivia is the perfect pet. Very quiet and neat, full of kitten energy, but super cuddly and attached. She got along amazingly well with our two adult male cats, and would do very well in a home with some cat-sibling for company. Plus, look at that face!

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OLIVIA – ID#A166161

Olivia is a sweet little girl that we will miss having at home.

Our house always feels empty without a foster in it, and as kitten-season approaches I’m sure it wont me long before we are full of them again. Still, we always like to see our last cat happily homed before we accept a new charge, so if you are interested in adopting Olivia, please contact the OHS or visit her at the Pet Valu – Southgate (call 613-523-5536 ext: 258). 

Olivia 2

Dinning Room Reveal

Ta da! Our dinning room re-decorating is done! To see the sad neglected room it was before, click here, or take a look at these Before & Afters:   front view before afterseat view before afterdoor view before after Lets take a tour … Almost the very first thing we did was to replace the chandelier. This four pendant champagne-bubble one was a steal for only $90 at Costco. We took forEVER making sure the pendants were at the right length and level with each other, but overall this was a cheap easy update that instantly shot the room into this decade. Dinningroom after 102 Our cream-coloured dinning table set has to stay (for now) but got a mini-makeover with a new table runner from Marshalls ($13), a candle holder centre-piece from Bouclair Home ($40) and some lovely rose scented RANDIG pillar candles from Ikea ($20). Dinningroom after 099

Dinningroom after 101 The wall clock got another re-working, and is now a mirror! The time keeping doohickey was broken so Mr. Fianncé removed it. Luckily, the FRACK vanity mirror is the exact same size as the clock face, so I was able to disassemble it and glue directly over the old clock. Now the mirror just looks glitzy and reflects back the soft light from the chandelier. I love how the white of the clock pops against the grey walls. We went one shade lighter than the colour in the Entryway; this is Frost Grey from Dulux ($50). mirror For ‘art’ adorning the left wall, I had three pictures we took on our trip to Turkey printed and placed in white RIBBA frames ($60).  Here, from left to right, you see Istanbul Bosporus Fisherman, Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys, and the Travertine Pools of Pamukkale.  photos The curio cabinet posed the biggest challenge of the whole room. So much fragile glass to remove, so many nooks and crannies to paint, drips to catch, hardware to paint. But in the end the dark wood is replaced by fresh white and the piece fits within the space. Liam really took a fancy the decorative ball (from Marshalls, $25) and I liked that it mimics the Entryway chandelier, linking the two spaces. cabinate The Bay window got a lot of attention and is now my favourite spot in the house! We nabbed a great deal on a curtain rod ($30) with pretty acrylic finals at Bouclair. The curtains are FERLE from Ikea ($15) and were perfectly hemmed by my awesome mother (thanks mom!). The cushions are from all over the place, none of them above $15. I considered making a seat cushion with fabric and foam, but opted for a more natural looking RENS sheepskin throw ($40).  Its also a little reminiscent of a room we stayed in in cave hotel in Turkey. window curtain rod   Dinningroom after 120

window
Kelebek Hotel

And the boys? They love it!! Dinningroom after 079

Dinningroom after 105

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I am so happy with the results. The room finally looks finished and lived in, I think I achieved the ‘light but warm’ feeling I was going for, and the minor electrical upgrades will certainly add a bit of value to our home.  Until we can afford a more major renovation, I’m sure our dinning room will serve us well. I am certainly excited for our next dinner party!

Dinningroom after 176