Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thanks 2008 - You Were Great!

Well - another festive season has come and gone full of visits with family and hustle and bustle of Christmas, and food and drinks and presents (and cold and wind and shovelling snow and rain storms and fog too!) It was a great time!

And last night I had a lovely dinner with my bestie Shan and we relaxed and talked and laughed and ate and drank....it was terrific! 2008 has been the most monumental year of my life! I married my one true love and shared so many fun times with family and friends, and have been gifted with a new little niece too! I have to say 2008 was definitely my year!

But the way it's looking, 2009 is going to give it some tough competition! We got our new sofa and a gorgeous ottoman to go with it (on which I saved $300!!) and bookshelves are being built as we speak. We should be getting a new TV in January and the "Den" (as we now call it) will finally be finished! It's going to be a great space and we can't wait to use it. Our new kitchen will get started after that! And I get to stand beside my best friend while she marries her one true love as well! I'm so excited and happy for her!

We've booked a trip to Mexico and to Phoenix! We are going back to New York City for our first anniversary and of course we have to fit in our annual camping trip to at Killbear Prov. Park - and then off to Calgary for Christmas '09 to spend with Robin & Claire and Claire's family!

To top it off, in a couple of days the hubby and I are hopping on a plane and heading for the sunny south! Cuba here we come! We got a great deal on an all-inclusive beachfront resort in Varadero and we can't wait to get there!! Lookout Beach - Here I Come!!

I hope all of you had a very happy holiday and I wish all the best to you and your family in 2009. I will post more when I'm back! Ola!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

It Happened...It really happened!

So guess what!? We finally received some great customer service!! I had little expectations when we bought our new sofa (remember the wrong address for delivery...??) - but 'lo and behold...they called when they said they would!! They delivered it when they said they would!! They set it up and took away the mess, just like they said they would!! And we even received a phone call about setting up an appt. to have the suede treated with a special protection!! I can't believe it finally happened! We had good service!! Needless to say, we will be taking our business back to them!

On another note.....I've come to realize that there are some people in this world who really don't appreciate anything that is important. They're constant complainers - have a sour look on their faces day in and day out - are impatient, spoiled, arrogant, lazy and think the world should revolve around them. To them I say.......Get A Life! You make it very hard for others around you to have a good day when you're constantly being a big old poopy pants! Give it a rest already and let the sunshine in for a change. (I'm not speaking about any of my relatives or friends by the way...so those of you reading this...you're all safe!) ;)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

It Doesn't End...

okay - i admit - last time i wrote about poor customer service i was a little heated. but now i feel i am totally justified. i have still yet to receive a call back from the tour operator from whom we booked our trip. that's right - it's two weeks later and nobody has attempted to contact me.

We managed to change our hotel - and it was only today that i finally got confirmation that it was done and at the right place. but OMG - it took me chasing down anyone who would answer their phone in the call centre (not even the proper call center!) to finally give me the confirmation i needed. (long story short - we switched hotels for our trip to cuba and the new invoice had the wrong hotel name - not a 'little' thing in my book) so i only wanted confirmation that the hotel we wanted was in fact the one we're staying at -- and supposedly it is! so that's good news.

And yesterday, Rich took the day off work for Rogers to come and hook up the new cable phone line that they're doing now - and guess what - no-one showed! nice eh? they "were very sorry for the mix up" and they sent someone out today, who upon arrival at our house told us he had to go because he didn't have the proper equipment and he'd be back in an hour. no problem - we love waiting around twiddling our thumbs on a saturday. what could be better? it just doesn't seem to end.

Today we bought a new sectional sofa for the room we're re-doing downstairs. We really like it and were happy with our purchase. it's being delivered on sunday. but not to us. After getting home and looking at the invoice - they wrote our address down wrong. aiy aiy aiy...(we corrected it) but c'mon people....how hard is it to provide good (i'm not even expecting great anymore) but just "good" service? is it really so hard? apparently it seems that way.

I'm waiting for the next trip to Mcdonalds. With my luck these days, they won't even bother to ask me if i want fries with that.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FRUSTRATED!!

Does anyone in the customer service industry ever help you out anymore? I would have to go with NO! It's Press 1 for this - press 2 for that - then you finally arrive at the place which you hope is the right one and "all the customer service representatives are busy at the moment" - and with my current experience - I'm not even allowed to hold. Instead, I am asked to leave a message and "they will get back to me as soon as possible"!

Well - it's been 4 days!! They need to re-think their soon-as-possible position! Grrrrrrrrrrr.

We booked a trip to Cuba for January - we want to change our hotel - so I emailed the "modifications" people and, granted, they did write back - 4 days later! And with an open-ended question instead of just giving me the information I'd asked for in the first place.

ME: Hello...blah blah blah...can you please tell me how much it is to change to XX hotel including any service change fees, taxes, etc.

THEM: we have two types of rooms - Canal View and Ocean View - which one?

Why for the love of god could they not write back saying "ocean view will cost you XX dollars and canal view will cost you XX dollars - which one would you prefer?"


Because that would be too easy that's why!!! So now I have to wait another 4 days for them to answer my next question....which of course was "how much is canal view and how much is ocean view?"

Normally a few days turn around time wouldn't bother me. But because we're changing our hotel, we have to pay a service "change" fee, and the closer the "change" date is to your departure date - the more expensive that fee is. So already I'm 4 days more expensive than I have to be. Which I realize now is all part of their devious plan to get more money out of us. (cue scary music.....) Thank goodness our trip wasn't next week or we'd be S.O.L.

Also the other day, a customer service rep from the photo company we ordered a wedding print from practically ripped my head off for calling them, when (unbeknownst to me) our print had already been mailed and why was I bothering them? Alrighty then......

Oh, and don't let me forget about last week when my husband had to call the wireless router customer service people (i'm sure that's not their technical name) because his laptop wouldn't connect to the internet. Know what they told him? "We can only help you for one year...after that you're on your own. Your one year expired yesterday. Sorry and good luck."

Customer Service Sucks These Days!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Visit with the In-Laws & Girls Day Out!

This weekend was a nice one. Rich’s dad and step-mom are in visiting from Calgary, and they’ve been staying at Rich’s sister’s place to spend time with their new granddaughter! On Friday night they came to our place to cook us dinner and spend the night. And a wonderful dinner it was! Claire made a delicious salad with slivered almonds and baked pears (it was SO good!) and the main course was coconut curry chicken with rice and green beans. (She made me a separate batch with coconut curry Tofu!) It was really really good, and spending time with them was even better. We relaxed after dinner with a bottle of wine we brought home from Florence (which they were very happy about!) and talked a great deal. We will see them again tomorrow night for dinner and then they head back to Calgary on Thursday.

And yesterday was also a very special day. After breakfast, I drove to pick up my nieces - Kendra (who’s 8) and Harper (who’s 5), for a special girls day out! Upon pulling up to their house, I could see them waiting in the window waving at me and jumping up and down as I got out of the car. I didn’t realize they were so excited to spend the day with me – but they sure were! I chatted with my brother and sister-in-law for a bit, got the list of ‘emergency contact numbers’ – (oh ye of little faith) and off we went for our fun afternoon!

I have to admit – this is the first time I’ve had both of my nieces with me, without anyone else. It was just the three of us. I was a little nervous – they are excellent kids, but they have a lot of energy and I guess my worst fear was if one of them got out of my sight or took off on me or something like that. It made me a little nervous driving with them in the car too – they are precious cargo don’t you know!

But that fear went away as soon as we arrived at the mall and hopped out of the car and they each grabbed one of my hands and said that they wanted to hold onto me all afternoon! So that eased my mind. Of course…it was only a matter of minutes before I heard “can you hold my coat Auntie Leece?” I knew my hands would be full, so I wanted to get a large bag to hold the coats – and what better way to get a bag than to shop for stuff!

I told them they could go to whatever stores they wanted – they could each pick a clothing item, a jewellery item and a make-up item. So “Claires” and “Ardenes” were our first stop. Let’s just say that Auntie Leece bought them each a little more than the initial deal. Headbands, bracelets, rings, P.J.s, t-shirts, dresses; they pretty much got whatever they wanted! But they are such good girls and they continuously thanked me. I feel extremely lucky to have such wonderful nieces.

We started to get a little tired – (okay – I started to get tired), so after a couple hours of shopping, off we went for lunch. I thought we’d go to a nice sit-down restaurant, relax, have some girl talk, but they both wanted McDonald’s – so McDonald’s it was! Harper got her chicken nugget happy meal, and Kendra was lovin’ her quarter pounder and I settled for a garden salad (pretty much my only choice there) but it was fun and we still had a nice relaxing lunch. After that it was back to a couple more stores – a stop for some Kernels popcorn, and after 4 hours of shopping - we made our way home!

I think what I loved most about this day was how happy it made the girls. And I really believe that it wasn’t because of the “stuff” I bought them – but that they enjoyed being with me. They would kiss my hands while we walked – they would tell me they loved me – they would say thank you each time I bought them something and they really seemed to appreciate it all. After dropping them off and heading home, I had a sense of fulfillment and realized just how important this day was for me, as well as for them. I feel extremely lucky to be their Auntie!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Let the Reno's Begin!

Over the past few months, Rich and I have been discussing whether to relocate to a newer house, or to renovate ours. Our house is older and doesn't have the amenities that we (yes, "we") are looking for. We kind of feel like it's not our "dream house", and we want a dream house!

The thing is though, we LOVE our area and we don't really want to leave. I can walk to the beach and there are great hiking and biking trails surrounding us. Also - it's walking distance to the train station which Rich and I use to commute to work on a daily basis. We are steps to restaurants, shopping malls, doctors, dentists, etc. - it's just a perfect spot for us! And.....it's a nice house.....it's just "older" inside.

So we've made the decision to stay and renovate! Our first project is a built-in wall unit. The room we are doing this in currently has our tv sitting on two little side tables and besides a couch and an ottoman - there's really nothing else in there. It's a great room with great potential. So we met with a designer/builder the other night and he's drawing up the plans for us as we speak for the unit. Between Rich and I we have hundreds of books (mostly Rich's) so the majority of the unit will be bookshelves, but of course we've left a big cut-out in the middle for the new 50" Plasma tv we'll be getting! (okay...maybe 47" inch....but who's counting?).

The same fellow who's building this for us also does kitchen reno's, so we'll be discussing pricing with him on new cabinet doors, granite counter tops, knocking a wall down, putting in an island - it'll be gorgeous if we can do all that we want to. And let's not forget new stainless steel appliances! We'll finish off with a second bathroom downstairs - complete with soaker tub; two-person stand-up glass shower (wink wink); ceramic tile; pot lights....and we've even been talking about a sauna if we can pull it off!

Little by little we will get our house just the way we want it, and we know without a doubt - this WILL be our dream home! Now...all we have to do is win the lottery and we're good to go!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Are we getting (gasp!) OLD?

Tonight is Halloween and Rich and I are cozied up in the house, just finished a nice dinner and a glass of wine and the kids are coming to the door for their treats (which Rich loves handing out!) I am very relaxed and content right now.

However, there is a part of me that wonders if we should be out gallavanting at a halloween party - dressed up - drinking booze - hanging' with friends....but you know....I don't think so. If that's where we should be - we would be there!

We know enuf people that we can find a halloween party somewhere if we wanted to. And even though i joked to rich on our way home from work tonight that we were "getting old" I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here right now. With my wonderful husband in our beautiful home. oh ya...and with our loving cat too. (okay....maybe we are getting just a *bit* old). :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Italy Part III – Roma! (Rome) (Lots to tell!)

The train from Florence to Rome took about 2 hours and had beautiful views during the ride. When we arrived in Rome, our hotel was conveniently located about 5 minutes from the train station, so it was a piece of cake getting there. We dumped our bags and off we went to explore the City. We had 5 nights in Rome before heading home. Our hotel was in walking distance to all of the major sites around the City (well, walking distance for us – we love to walk and probably did about 15-20 km a day if not more).

Our first walk landed us on the famous “Spanish Steps”. Cascading steps that trail down from the Spanish Embassy in Rome and where many tourists sit and sun themselves and drink cappuccinos and talk and just people-watch really. Very cool. From there we headed to the Trevi Fountain. Gorgeous – except SO many tourists that it almost took away from the beauty of the fountain. But I looked past that and was happy to be standing in front of one of the most famous fountains of the world. We went back another time to the fountain at night and it was all lit up – beautiful!

Our hotel in Rome had a small fridge in it, which was great because we went to the supermarket and bought wine and cheese and fruit and salami (for Rich) and crackers and fresh bread, and had a “bed picnic” in our room for dinner our first night because we were out all day and so tired and just wanted to relax. It was great! We also were able to eat breakfasts in our room each morning which saved us money and time.

Day two we went to the Coliseum and Forum of Ancient Rome. I think this had the most impact on me of the whole trip. To be standing in this place that was built in the first century - 82 A.D. – was just amazing to me. The walls have partially crumbled and what’s left is really only the stone foundation or skeleton of what was once covered completely in white marble, but the grandeur and power of what it once was, was still very obvious and you could “feel” what it must have been like for the prisoners and slaves (the gladiators) who were about to have the fight of their lives. In my pictures you can see where the prisoners were kept before the fights and how they were “elevated” through secret passages that lifted them up to the “floor” of the coliseum, where only then, would they see which beast or other gladiator they were about to fight. I believe the fights took place from 100-300 A.D. If you’ve seen the movie “Gladiator” with Russell Crowe – this is what I’m talking about!

Before retiring back to our hotel for the evening, we stopped by the Pantheon. The Pantheon is one of the great spiritual buildings of the world. It was built as a Roman temple between 118 and 126 A.D and later consecrated as a Catholic Church. Through huge bronze doors, you enter into one big circular room. The interior is cylinder-shaped, above which rises the hemispherical dome. The only natural light enters through an oculus in the ceiling at the center of the dome and through the bronze doors to the portico. As the sun moves, striking patterns of light illuminate the walls and floors of granite and yellow marble. The first King of United Italy, Vittorio Emanuelle II, as well as his son, Umberto, are both entombed here. A choir was singing when we were here and the acoustics were amazing. Loved the Pantheon!

Day three was Vatican City! Home of the Pope. We started in the Vatican Museums, which is home to the Sistine Chapel. We were one of the first ones there (we went really early!) so we were able to take it all in before all the crazy tourists started to fill up the room. The ceiling, painted by Michelangelo, was too grand for words. We were not allowed to take pictures of the ceiling, but we did get one of the wall behind the altar which is just as amazing. I am so grateful to have seen this work of art. Spectacular. After leaving the museum, we made our way to St. Peter’s Basilica, which is the largest in the world, and this is where the Pope gives a public mass on Wednesday mornings. The open area in front of the Basilica is quite something. Makes you feel very small, yet welcomes you with open “arms”.

Day four we spent taking it a bit easier as our feet were sore from all the walking and standing at the museum. We walked through the gardens surrounding the Villa Borghese, which is the largest public park in Rome. It was once a vineyard in the 16th century that was transformed into a Park with an artificial lake. It was very beautiful, peaceful and calming walking through here. We also went back to the Spanish Steps and stopped to buy some wine to bring home, and also some olive oil, which is the best I’ve ever had. It was a nice relaxing day.

Our last day in Rome, we decided to take a day trip (about ½ hour train ride) to a city called Ostia Antica or “Ancient Ostia”. It lies in the meadows between the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was founded, near the 4th century BC, as a military colony to guard the river mouth against seaborne invasions. Later, during the centuries when pretty much all imports reached the Capital via the Tiber, Ostia gained prominence as the domestic landing for cargo boats. By the 2nd century AD, it had become a flourishing commercial center inhabited by more than 100,000 people, whose apartment buildings, taverns, and grocery shops are still intact. We went for a walking tour around this ancient city and it was just wonderful to see the ancient ruins of the city and the theatre and the shops. Our pictures have captured some of this as well.

The other part of the city of Ostia, is the seaside, Ostia Lido, which is on the Mediterranean Sea and the “beach”, which of course I had to see. Rich and I took a short train ride to Lido, made our way to the sandy beach and rented a couple of beach chairs to relax in the sun before heading home the next day. A perfect way to end a truly wonderful vacation.

This trip to Italy taught me so much and I feel more knowledgeable having spent time in different cities and learning about historical events that have happened over the years. There is so much more I want to learn, and this was a good place for me to start. It’s peaked my interest to learn more about the history of the world! That’s why I love travelling so much. I always feel smarter when I come home!

Here are our Rome pictures. Thanks for sharing in this journey with me!
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=jzztdya.8cb57eia&x=0&y=t268uf&localeid=en_US

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Italy Part II – Firenze (Florence!)

After catching a train (high-speed, “via” type train) in Venice, we arrived in Florence about 2 hours later. This time we knew how to get to our hotel, so off we went by foot (it was only about a 5to 10 minute walk from the train station) and got settled in at Hotel Enza. It was a nice hotel with free internet and a great location.

We had a full week in Florence (7 nights) and lots that we wanted to see and do. When first arriving here after coming from Venice, I was a little overwhelmed because there were SO many tourists and traffic and noise and cars and tour buses…I wanted to run back to Venice! I think I actually said to Rich “get me out of here….I hate Florence”. He looked at my puzzled and said that he’d never heard (or imagined) that anyone could say that. Who hates Florence? Well, I didn’t actually hate it, I just had a bit of a meltdown at the Piazza Pitti, and then I was okay after that. I just had to adjust. And adjust I did!

The first thing we did was take a walk up to the Piazzale Michelangelo which was elevated and overlooked the Arno River and the city of Florence. Here I could also get a feel for the Tuscan countryside (Florence is in the region of Tuscany). It was gorgeous!! We walked around the city, over the Ponte Vecchio (famous bridge) and then settled in for lunch. I think it was here that I fell in love with Italian food. The tomatoes, the basil, the olive oil, the mozzarella…so fresh and so flavourful. I was in heaven. Being a vegetarian, I mostly ate pastas and pizzas, but we literally walked from 9am to at least 7pm each day, so luckily I didn’t pack on any pounds and was able to enjoy myself!

Florence had so much to see…the statue of David in the Accademia museum was awe inspiring. To be 5 feet away from Michelangelo’s masterpiece carved in stone so many years ago. It was much bigger than I had imagined and one of my favourite things to see. We also did a guided hike called “A Morning in Tuscany”, followed by “A Taste of Tuscany”, in which we met with a guide (a young Australian girl) and I think 3 other women, and we did a walking tour up in the hills and countryside of Tuscany.

On this walk, we visited an old quarry where Michelangelo used to come with his step-father when he was young, and also where Leonardo Da Vinci would test out his flying machines. We stopped at a beautiful villa and had lunch in a hill-top restaurant overlooking the beautiful Tuscan landscape. The wine and food was abundant and it was one of my favourite days in Florence.

We found a great Market in Florence close to our hotel and we would go there for our breakfasts (fritatta paninis and cappuccinos) before heading out for the day. The market was full of fresh fruits and vegetables and of course beef, pork and cheeses. It was amazing!!

We climbed up the Duomo (a huge Domed church) that had very tight, dark, winding staircases to get to the top. It was very eerie and a little scary being in there climbing up, but once we got to the top, the views were amazing!


While in Florence, we did two day trips – one to Sienna (beautiful!), and another to Pisa to see the leaning tower! Loved both cities and visiting them made the time in Florence even more fulfilling.

I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of stuff!! So I’ll come back and update this post later on once I find my notes (I kept notes of the things we did because we did so much and I knew I would forget!) But here are the links to our pictures from Florence, Sienna and Pisa!

Florence:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=jzztdya.9ngk12ya&x=0&y=-9i8pbx&localeid=en_US

Sienna:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=jzztdya.br1ta1wy&x=0&y=uqzng9&localeid=en_US

Pisa:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=jzztdya.7bxc5z02&x=0&y=ugl2z0&localeid=en_US

More to come on Rome when I get some more time! Stay tuned....

Italy Part 1 – Venezia (Venice)

There is SO much to tell about our trip to Italy, that I can’t do it in one post, so I’ll start with our first stop – Venice! We stayed in Venice for the first 3 nights of our holiday. On our arrival at the airport, we made our way to the “taxi stop” to get to our hotel. However, they are not ordinary taxis in Venice. It’s a city built on water – canals and bridges criss-cross every few feet and the streets are narrow and cobblestone, and well….there are no cars to be found! So – we boarded the Water Taxi and headed for our port.

Once we arrived at our port, we still had to walk to find our hotel – which normally would not be a problem, except that we had no map, it was POURING rain, and we had our 30kg packs on our backs! But…we were in Venice! So we were happy, and we sloshed our way through the rain and the maze-like streets until we arrived at our hotel about an hour later. We later realized (once we had a map of the city) that the walk was only about 15 minutes from the port!

Our hotel was in a great location, close to the popular “Rialto Bridge”, and our room overlooked one of the canals so we could open our windows to see the gondolas and boats below. It was wonderful. I’ve heard that “Venice can be stinky” but it wasn’t when we were there. The water is kind of murky/green colour in the canals, but we never saw any garbage or smelled anything bad.

I loved Venice! It is so different than anywhere I have been before. I think because I love the water, I just liked being surrounded by it. We walked all over the city, and our first day out we almost walked right into Yoko Ono! She was coming out of a restaurant with some people and swept right past us. We also went to a couple of little islands off of Venice – Murano (where the famous Murano glass is from, and we watched them making it in the factory there), and also Lido, which was a quaint pretty island that I liked a lot – we stopped by the beach there too, which is on the Adriatic Sea.

We also went to see the Peggy Guggenheim (sp?) collection at her museum, and I also chased all the pigeons away in Piazza San Marco (the famous “square” you see in movies quite often where it’s full of pigeons and people). And one afternoon, Rich and I just stayed on a water taxi for an hour or more and did a tour of the grand canal – it was a great way to see a lot of sights. Great stay, great hotel, great food, great first leg of our trip!

Here is the link to our Venice photos on Kodak Gallery:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=jzztdya.7ypd769e&x=0&y=p6h630&localeid=en_US

I will post on Florence – our next stop – as soon as I can! Ciao.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Back from Italy!!

Lots and Lots to tell.....still trying to get caught up and recover from jet lag but will post soon with some pictures!! Great trip and saw sooooooo much! Stay tuned!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Viva Italia!

Well….as a fiery redhead said to me the other day…..I’m going to get spoiled by travelling every three months – and she is right! Tonight, at 6pm, my husband and I take off in a plane to Italy for 2 fun-filled weeks! (17 days to be exact!)

We fly into Venice and have 3 days there, where I am promised a romantic gondola ride and our hotel has a canal view! From Venice we take a train to Florence, where we are staying for a full week. Here we will bask in the Tuscan sun and do day trips to Pisa (leaning tower that is) and lots of other places that Rich wants to go. (He’s planning our itinerary – I just happily follow along since this is my first time there). I’ve been told that Florence is the most beautiful place! And then we finish off with 5 nights in Rome before coming home.

In Rome, we will be going to Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel (to see the famous ceiling painted by Michelangelo), the Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Square, museums and galleries, churches and maybe even a Roman Bath!

I am also looking forward to the vineyard tours and wine tastings, and of course the delicious Italian cuisine! I will have to make sure to do lots of walking (which won’t be hard) to work off all the yummy pasta and pizza and gnocchi I’m going to have! I will post some pictures once we’re back! Ciao for Now!





Monday, August 25, 2008

Ridout Photography - there is no-one better!

We picked up our wedding photographs this weekend, and let me just say, we are happier than I thought I could be! So here's a plug to our photographer! www.ridoutphotography.com

I may have even mentioned him before, because I remember seeing his work before I even got engaged and I said (to myself of course) THAT guy is doing my wedding photos! His talent and eye for detail and endless imagination is second to none. Check out his work!

Also - he created an amazing slideshow DVD of our wedding day set to music, and it's viewable on photodex sharing website. The link is below if you are interested in viewing. The only thing to note is that it will tell you to install "Active X Photodex Viewer" so that you can see it - it's 100% safe and doesn't take up space on your computer.

http://www.photodex.com/sharing/viewshow.html?fl=3009719&alb=0

Hope you enjoy! I will try to post a few of my favourite pictures once I have some more time! So hard to choose!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

G.T.V.P.

My cleanse is done! Yay! Felt good to do it, and feels good to end it! Now I feel fresh and detoxed!

Okay - so - one of the things that I knew I would miss as a vegetarian is my hubby's family's tradition of Garlic Pork at Christmas and Easter, or "G.P." as they call it. It's not just pork with some garlic seasoning - oh no - its cubes of pork, marinated in a mixutre of vinegar, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt and scotch bonnet peppers (aka - HOT!!) for anywhere from 5 to 7 days!! It sits in the marinade on a counter and soaks up the heat and vinegar. You may think it sounds crazy - but it tastes soooooooooooooo good! (after the setting period, it's boiled, then broiled, and eaten with tasty Anise seed bread - ahh - just thinking about it now makes me smile...

However, I don't want to eat poor wittle piggy's anymore, but I also didn't want to miss out on the G.P.! So - I invented a veggie version of it! With TVP, or textured vegetable protein! They look like dog treats when they're hard (appetizing eh?) ... but they soak up the flavour of whatever liquid they're immersed into, and become softer with a 'chewy' texture. They look just like pieces of pork tenderloin medallians would look. So I gave it a shot - prepared the marinade - put in the TVP medallians - let it sit for about 24 hours - and voila!! G.T.V.P.!

I was a little scared to try it. After broiling it until it browned on the edges....I gave it a try...and... I liked it! Granted - it's not as good as G.P. - but Rich tried it too, and his words....??..."It's not horrible!".

So there you go - a little imagination and creativity and I can still enjoy Christmas and Easter with my in-laws -- even though I'm sure I will be subject to some roasting at the table!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Who Knew?

Still cleansing. So far, so good. I’ll have a bit of a challenge this weekend though when we head to “Taste of the Danforth”…a celebration of Greek cuisine where there is a street festival of all the Greek restaurant vendors who come out with their tasty tasty treats!! We have gone the past few years and it’s always been a great time. However, I’m unable to partake in it this year as my cleanse goes until Monday! And actually, I’m not sure how much non-animal items they would have there other than maybe perogies and French fries (which I can’t have right now).
But I’ll still go with Rich because he really enjoys the food, and I can always spend my money on something else….like jewellery and sunglasses (which they also have a lot of!).

And speaking of tasty food – I made a really good dinner last night that was ‘cleanse-friendly’, vegan and very very tasty! As I mentioned on an earlier post – the cleanse is pretty strict on food that you CAN’T have….no dairy, no alcohol, no salt, no sugar, no wheat, no bread, no pasta, no preservatives, no oranges, no mushrooms….so although there are still food choices, it’s a bit tough to make them flavourful, and also – you have to get certain amounts of Proteins, Grains, Fruit and Fats in at each meal.

So for dinner last night – I made some Quinoa (a high protein whole Grain), with lentils and chickpeas (my protein!), and sautéed a bunch of onions, green and red peppers, zucchini and garlic (my veggies!) in some sesame oil (my fat!). All was mixed together in a deep pan, and I added some ginger and cinnamon to the mix for a flavour twist (which was really nice with the sesame oil!) and tossed a few walnuts on top (I was allowed two fats – so the nuts were my second one). It was SO good! I couldn’t believe this was “cleansing” food. I have the same thing for lunch today (leftovers) and I’m actually excited to eat it!

So although I’ll be happy when the cleanse is over, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. 5 days to go!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Lovely Weekend Away - Now onto the Cleanse!

This past weekend, my hubby and I stayed at a really quaint and romantic Inn in the wine region of Prince Edward County (www.devonshire-inn.com). We were given a gift certifcate from my in-laws for Christmas last year, and we decided to wait for the warmer weather before using it.

It was a beautiful location - overlooking the lake, with a private beach and muskoka chairs all about. We had a nice cozy room with our own bathroom and a view onto a little stream with trees and birds. The stay was great. Very relaxing and rejuvinating. The food at the Inn was really good too (we only had our breakfast there - which was served on a big deck overlooking the water). I was able to find tasty vegetarian options wherever we ate, which was great, as this was our first trip "away" since starting my new lifestyle.

And, while in the County, one must of course visit the wineries that are abundant and sprawling across the region! And we did! Two in fact - and one cider house as well. We ate, we drank, we slept, we ate and drank some more...and spent one of our days on a beautiful sand beach in the area. Just thinking about it now .... I want to go back!

But here I am - it's Tuesday - I'm back at work and back to reality! With the drinking and the pancakes and the blooming onions and the sunchips and the desserts, my body is wondering what the heck I did to it!

So, today I started a 7-day herbal detoxifying cleanse. A mix of supplements and specific foods to help clean me up and get me feeling good again. Truthfully - much of the permitted foods on this cleanse are what I eat daily anyway - but there are some foods (mushrooms, flour, bread for example) that are not allowed.

I've cleansed before - it's tough in the beginning, and usually I feel a little weak the first couple of days, but I'm hoping I'll get through it and feel better and begin the latter half of 2008 with a fresh start. The first half was the most wonderful year of my life! That's a lot to live up to! But I'm pretty sure I can do it!

As a post-script....I partook in an Ashtanga Yoga class last week. It was a level 2 (i.e. - not a beginner class) but I wanted to try it out and see how I liked it. Well...let's just say that everyone in the class looked like Madonna, and I had to keep taking breaks (and at one time thought I was going to be sick!) ... but I persevered and was actually able to do a lot of the moves, and felt soooooooo good when I was done! It was a 90 minute class in a heated room - so a little much for my first time - but at least I know that it's something I definately want to pursue and man oh man! What a workout!! I felt like an elastic when I was done and was so relaxed yet energized at the same time. Hard to explain - but I will definately be going back for more!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Missing Link

With my new found love of the vegetarian lifestyle, I am feeling pretty good these days. Not just physically, but mentally too. I feel like I'm doing something good for my body, good for the environment, good for the animals, good for my soul, and that makes me happy!

I've also been exercising 4 x a week to improve my cardio and burn some calories. I'm taking a healthy "green" supplement (a superfood as they say!) and things are falling into place. However - there is one thing missing that I want to incorporate - a form of meditation and relaxation.

So - I'm looking into yoga classes. There is a studio just down the street from where I live, with classes led by a certified instructor who works out of her home - a young girl - very active and fit (from what I can see and read on her website) and who sounds very knowledgable. We've been in touch and she's said I can come and do a drop-in class and see how I like it before committing to a program, which I thought was great.

She offers Ashtanga yoga - which is more intense, will burn more calories and give me a tough workout; and there's Hatha yoga, which I believe is more relaxing, breathing and stretching type of yoga. Both I think would be great, but I think I'm leaning towards Ashtanga. (and it's in a heated room too).

I did buy a Yoga DVD (haven't tried it yet) that looks great and allows you to do several different Yoga workout combinations. The DVD gives me the benefit of doing it whenever I want to, in my own home, on my own schedule and in my undies if I want to (sorry for the visual, but you know what I mean).

But I think the classes will give me a better workout with a qualified instructor who's there to help and guide me to reach my full potential and will teach me more about the art of Yoga, which I am very interested in.

Who knows...maybe our next vacation will be to a mountain top in India for a yoga retreat! Namaste.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

God's Pharmacy

My mom sent this to me and I thought it was pretty cool!

It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish - all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. We're such slow learners...God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body. God's Pharmacy - Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit.

There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them). Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries Oranges, Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body's cells. Today's research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes.

A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Pretty cool stuff!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Update on the Vegetarian

In all the reading I've done on vegetarianism it says "the most common statement people make is 'how will you get your protein". That is so true!! Case in point- the "anonymous" commenter on my blog post from the other day saying "make sure you still get all the daily requirements to stay healthy....u still need protein and milk for strong bones and teeth..."

I do appreciate any comments, so thank you. But, it really is a misconception that vegetarians don't get the protein they need. I think I am getting MORE protein now than I did when I ate meat! Beans, lentils, soy milk, tofu, whole grains, fresh veggies, quinoa, brown rice, ...all vegetarian and all loaded with protein! I eat them and I love them!

With respect to milk (dairy) giving you strong bones and teeth? "xxxx" (that was the sound you would hear on a game show when a contestent gets the answer wrong". It really isn't the case. Dairy has so many negatives associated with it when it comes to your health. I didn't know this either until I began educating myself. I've read about numerous studies that have been done and when you see who actually "promotes" the dairy industry...(dairy farmers and milk producers/sellers)....it's just not needed in the human diet. It's needed for babies when they are first born and growing -- but that's their Mother's milk - not a cow's - and....they are weaned off eventually right?

BUT! I did say I was not going to preach to anyone about my choices and what I believe. This is just something I am doing for ME - I'm not out there to change the world (even though I'd like to!) and I know that when people make comments that they just care about me and want me to be happy and healthy. Which I am! So don't worry about me kid...I'm gonna be just fine!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Few Photos In!

Our Photographer did a little schpeil (sp?) about us on his blog. We should have all our pictures by next weekend and our slideshow too! (can't wait for that). In the meantime - here's just a sneak peak at a few pics...



Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Saying Good-bye to Meat!

I recently read a book which opened my eyes to some really awful animal cruelty that goes on in slaughterhouses. It made me cry my eyes out. I'm not kidding. I was bawling like a baby! If you know me, you know how much of an animal lover I am and how I can't handle any stories or discussions (or anything basically) about animal abuse.

I feel like I've been a hypocrite my whole life because I love animals so much - yet I'm happy to wear them and eat them. Well - it has to stop for me. If you read what I read and learned what I learned, then you too perhaps would stop.

But I'm not here to preach or to tell you to stop eating meat - I only want to let you know that I've decided to give vegetarianism a try. No meat, no chicken, no fish. No dairy if I can help it either. It's going to be hard but it's important to me to try. Oh, and no more leather either. (the shoe stores should anticipate a big drop in sales)

I've always thought "one person can't make a difference" - but did you know that one vegetarian can save 100 animals' lives a year! 100 lives a year!! To me that's a huge difference and it's all I need to know.

Wish me luck and bring on the tofurkey!

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Honeymoon’s Over? Not a chance!!

Well, it’s been two weeks back at home and work since our honeymoon. I have to admit – before we got married, I was a little worried that I might have a bit of ‘depression’ once the wedding and honeymoon were over and we were back into the swing of normal everyday life. Just all the build up to something so huge – I didn’t know if I would feel sad when it was “over”.

But I’m not sad at all. And it’s not “over”. Sure, the actual events are over, but each day is a new opportunity to experience life as a wife! And I am happier now than I’ve ever been. I wake up with a peaceful, happy outlook each day, and when I look over at my husband (gasp!) still sleeping, I am in awe that I’m lucky enough to have this wonderful, handsome, gracious man to call mine.

My love for him grows every day, and it excites me in ways I didn’t know were possible. To think of our future together warms my heart and tickles my toes, and sure…it’s new and fresh and we’re still in the “honeymoon” phase, but it is what it is. This is my life. My beautiful, wonderful, magical life that I get to spend with the man of my dreams.

Nothing will ever be any better than that! (okay – winning the 649 might add a little zip), but until then…Life is grand!


Here are some pics from our Honeymoon in France (the French Riveira).








































Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaack.....New and Improved!!

Well... I am now a Mrs. and couldn't be happier! I can truly say that my wedding day was the most wonderful experience I've ever had and it was absolutely PERFECT and all I imagined it to be! The weather pulled through for us and I had a hot sunny day for our outdoor ceremony and pictures.

The day was magical and I made sure that I took it all in and treasured every.single.moment. I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing experience. Our honeymoon was beyond our expectations too. Two glorious weeks in the south of France in the Riviera. Stayed in Nice and had a top floor room with a terrace facing the Mediterranean Sea - just unbelievable. The weather was beautiful and sunny everyday and we drank wine and ate like royalty and it was more than we could ever ask for.

I've posted a link below to some pics taken by family. Our photographer we hired is literally world-renowned, so once we get his professional pics, I will post some of those, because I'm sure they will be amazing!

Thanks to all of you for your help and support along the way - I had a beautiful magical wedding day and am sooooooo happy with my new gorgeous fabulous husband and look forward so much to our lives together as husband and wife!

I'm hoping this link will work to take you to the pictures I posted on the bridal forum I belong to. http://forums.canadianbride.com/Topic413419-11-1.aspx

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Catch up and a Wrap Up!

We’ve been really busy over the past few weeks. We attended another wedding a couple weeks back, which was lovely and held in gorgeous botanical gardens. The day after that we were lucky enough to have another wedding shower hosted by Rich’s family. This one was co-ed and it was great because “the guys” were able to hang out with us and we had a BBQ with fabulous food! Lots of people came out for it and Rich got to open some gifts and we just had a really great time. The atmosphere was so relaxed and the weather was gorgeous! So thank you to Christine, Bernadette, Robin and Claire for doing that for us. It meant a lot!

We also had a 50th anniversary party and 50’s dance with a real rock ‘n’ roll band playing to honour my sister-in-laws parents. They are a great couple and we were happy to be there to celebrate with them. Rich and I both dressed up in our best ‘50s attire – him in jeans rolled up with white socks, black shoes, and of course a tight white t-shirt! Me in my polka dots and flats and scarf around the neck with a big old ponytail – we looked great and had SO much fun “twisting the night away”.

The day after the 50’s party was the 25th anniversary of the Logan/Xavier/De Abreu inter-provincial Golf Tournament!! (i.e. – Rich’s family’s tourney). I am sad to say I did not three-peat this year! I did not bring home the trophy. But….I still had a lot of fun and didn’t play too bad of a game and enjoyed celebrating with everyone afterwards back at the cottage for a BBQ and awards ceremony! (it’s very professionally done!).

This is my last day at work as a single girl!! I am off tomorrow and Friday and then Saturday is our wedding. Gosh…I honestly am baffled by how fast the last few months swept by. I am excited and anxious and nervous and happy and eager and joyful and happy and thrilled and feeling so many different emotions right now that it’s probably good I’m at work and am busy (relatively speaking) so that I can stay sane! lol…

But tomorrow is packed with a manicure and a massage. I pick up my dress and veil (which is being steamed), will try to get my engagement ring polished up and then it’s our Rehearsal and Dinner tomorrow night too. Excited about that! Then Friday my girls and I are getting our pedicures, then going for lunch, then off to the venue to take all the “stuff” there so it can be set up and ready for Saturday. Hoping for nice relaxing and quiet evening on Friday night at my house. (although…I do still have to pack for the honeymoon!)


So! This is it - I’m off to get married! Next time I post I will be a “Mrs.”! Whoo Hoo!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Just the way I planned it!

We’re sitting with about 2 1/2 weeks to go and I think we have everything done! Rich picked up his wedding band yesterday; my dress is with my seamstress still – but that’s all under control; all my “stuff” is in boxes and ready to be taken to the venue on the Friday before to set up; things are looking good!

A lot of people throughout this process have commented on “how organized I am” and how “I’ve been planning every detail to a tee”. I think I've blogged about these comments in the past, as sometimes it bothered me the way it was said, but this is the very reason why I planned in advance. So that we could relax for the few weeks leading up to our wedding day.


Also, knowing that literally every-single-weekend in May is booked with us attending something or being out of town (as was much the same for the month of April), I wanted things done and out of the way so that May wouldn’t be too hard on us. And guess what. It worked out great! I knew I knew what I was doing. ;)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just some new fun pictures from the recent events

Wow...I wish I could get married all the time! (to the same guy of course). It really has been a lot of fun!! We're down to days now!!















Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Rehearsal before the Rehearsal

Last night Rich and I went to meet with the officiant who will be marrying us. She’s a lovely woman who lives out in the country with her golden retriever and two cats. She has a beautiful garden in her backyard where she often performs small marriage ceremonies as well.

We met at her house where we were greeted by Morgan (her Goldie) and he plopped himself on the couch beside me and never left our sides!

We discussed the basics….who’s walking down the aisle with me – who is standing up with Rich – timing of the day – what Rich has to do, etc. It was pretty cool. She showed us how to stand and when to turn and what to say. At one point Rich and I were standing there looking into each other’s eyes and we were holding hands, and I started to laugh a bit because it was just a dreamlike moment for me knowing this is really happening – in fact – it’s happening in one month from today!

Rich was cute too, when we went thru’ the motions of the rings, he was told to place the ring on my finger and he kind of held my hand and paused and didn’t know what to do because my engagement ring was still on and…how does he get the ring on before it? (once I explained that I’d have my e-ring on the other hand it all made sense to him).


So, the rehearsal was good and we will in all likelihood forget everything she told us, but I know she’ll guide us thru’ the day and it’ll be great. Plus, when we go for our formal rehearsal and dinner with the wedding party, we know what to tell everyone and we’ll have a better picture of how the day will go. It was a pretty cool night!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Wedding Weekend

This past weekend we headed to Ohio for Rich’s cousin Jenn’s wedding. It was set in a beautiful state park (Burr Oak Resort) about an hour or so out of Columbus. We all had rooms at the lodge and it was on a hilltop overlooking a beautiful lake. The setting could not be more gorgeous for a wedding.

The drive there for us was a long one – 8 hours! We left on the Friday morning and (after a few pit stops along the way), arrived at the lodge around 5pm that same day. We were greeted by Rich’s family (some of whom came from South Carolina, Florida and even London, England!), and then went to one of their cabins for a good old country cook-out!

It was really relaxed and a lot of fun and we munched on burgers and dogs and then the bride-and-groom-to-be, and all their friends came and joined us in the cabin, accompanied with banjos and guitars and mandolins! It was a great night before the great day ahead.

Saturday morning we awoke to cloudy skies unfortunately, but the temperature was warm and after a yummy breakfast, we put on our boots and set out for a hike along one of the many trails at the lodge. The wedding ceremony didn’t start until 4:30, so it gave us time to enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

After lunch we went for a rest, then got ready for the wedding and joined everyone in a big room to await the bride and groom. As the music started, the sun appeared and lit up the room, which was a big A-frame style with a huge picture window overlooking the lake – this is where they stood for the ceremony and it was truly lovely!

The happy couple are very much “outdoor” people. In fact, their honeymoon is being spent hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail, and instead of an engagement ring, Andy proposed to Jenn with a kayak!

Even though our weekend was short (we left for home Sunday morning – with of course another pit-stop at the Prime Outlet mall in Pennsylvania!)…it was great to see Rich’s family and celebrate with everyone. There was one point during the night of the wedding when Rich and I shared a dance, and it was a surreal feeling knowing this would be us in a just a few more weeks!

Congratulations to Andy and Jenn – your wedding was great and we’re so happy we were there to celebrate with you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Parents Are Funny.

Last night was my second dress fitting. I asked my mom to come with me because I want her to be part of this – so my dad brought her down (they live up north) and he decided to come with us too. My seamstress is a lovely little Portuguese woman (Grace) who is very gentle and easy going and gives brides her undivided attention. In fact – she only sees me after hours so that we’re not disturbed and she says that nobody is allowed to come to the dress fittings with me because, in her experience, people tend to give ‘too many opinions’ and it puts pressure on the bride to maybe not say what she really would like to have done with the dress. But because my parents were here from out of town, she said it was okay for them to come.

So, I told my parents that they’d have to sit there and not yell out their opinions cause Grace knows what she's doing. She’s been making and altering bridal gowns for over 35 years and she knows what looks good, what doesn’t – what will help, etc. Plus – my dad is a very honest man and he hadn’t seen my dress yet, so I was a little apprehensive in case he didn’t like it on me. So, my parents promised me that they’d “be good” and wouldn’t say a word and they would just sit and watch.

So we get there and they say their hello’s and mom and dad sit down (it’s one big room). I go into the change room to put my dress on and no sooner do I come out of the room and step onto the pedestal, does my mom hop out of her chair and runs over to the mirror to look at me and then my dad gets up and comes over too, and then my mom asks Grace if she's going to shorten the hem and my dad says “don’t cut the train” and then my mom says “she won’t cut it hun…she might shorten it – right Lise?” and then my dad says "are you wearing a crown"...and then my mom is like “it's not a crown hun - it's a veil" and then they banter back and forth about it cause my dad actually meant a head band not a crown or a veil and he pulls a sample one out from one of the cabinet displays and puts it on his head and says "like this I mean"….and meanwhile poor little Grace is standing there looking up at me cause she's 3 feet tall and I’m on the pedestal mouthing the words “I’m sorry” to her, and so I had to yell at my parents and tell them to "sit down and not speak".

So back they go to their chairs, and they pull them a little closer to where I was standing so they could see me better. Grace continues to pin and tuck and we discuss the neckline and the straps and I can see my dad fidgeting…and ‘lo and behold…he stands up and says “oh no...don't do that...it's looks better like this….leave it like this…I like this"...and then mom jumps up and comes over and says "wait hun – what about this way” and I'm like "IT'S NOT DONE YET” and little Grace is just humming and pinning and trying to ignore them.

And then, nearing the end, when I put on the veil (which a very kind friend at work is lending me – thanks G!)…my parents lit up like the sun! I think I literally heard them "ooohh" and “aaahh". It was hilarious. They were like "wow – now you really look like a bride" "we LOVE the veil"..."use that veil!!".

So that was my night for about 45 minutes while my dress was adjusted. I love my parents more than anything, and was so glad they were there with me – but…they didn’t listen to the rules! I guess after years and years of me not listening – it was payback time!


Oh, and by the way, my dad loved my dress! (well….at least he told me he did – which is really all that matters). And he looked great in the crown! :)

Showers of Happiness

I don’t really think of myself as a princess, but you wouldn’t know that from the beautiful bridal shower my aunts and sisters-in-law put on for me this past weekend.

It was a surprise shower – the plan to get me there was that I was having a luncheon with my aunts and sisters-in-law and my mom. But who lunches at 3pm? And why is my sister-in-law’s mom in the van (she picked me up) - and what’s with all the gift bags? So I figured it out quite quickly, but I was still super-stoked to get there and start my fun afternoon!

In I walk to my Aunt’s house, and I was expecting a huge yell out of “SURPRISE” and I was practicing my ‘surprise face’ but when I walked in, nobody was there! The room was completely empty – I kid you not! I could hear everyone downstairs laughing and talking, etc. I guess nobody was looking out the window for me! It was kind of hilarious really!

I took a minute there by myself to look around me. The foyer of my aunt’s house was full of pink and white organza and tulle and ribbons and the banisters were covered the same and the lamps and chandeliers were all sparkling and dangling and covered with organza too…it was like a wonderland of sorts.

So downstairs I go…and then after standing there for a few minutes once people realized I’d arrived – I hear “Surprise!”….and the fun began. My chair was a huge puffy loveseat covered completely with organza and beads and jewels with white hearts dangling above it from the ceiling, and the 60 odd inch (HUGE) tv screen had an image of a beach on it with waves going back and forth and I felt like I was in a different world! It was really beautiful.

We played games, I got beautiful presents, and the food was delish! (thanks Auntie Lin!). My future mother-in-law and sister-in-law were there too, which meant a lot to me, and my awesome bridesmaids helped so much, and of course all of my family.


All of the decorations and gifts were beautiful and wonderful – but what meant the most to me was the people that were there to share in that day, and knowing that everyone is truly happy for Rich and I. That’s what counts and that’s what made the day so special. With all the planning that has been done over the past year, I have to admit that it’s kind of fun to sit back and enjoy these special events that are taking place now!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh What A Night!

Oh what a night is right! Saturday was my stagette and boy did we do 'er up right! My evening started with much anticipation, as I was due to be picked up around 5:30 pm to head to Shannon's condo downtown. As the time ticked away, it was closer to 8:00 when I finally arrived! But no sooner had I stepped inside, I was given a shot glass and a huge "cheers" from all the girls and the fun began!

All of a sudden I had a p*nis necklace draped around my neck, a p*nis drinking cup and of course, p*nis straws to make it all go down that much smoother! And I was crowned Miss Bachellorette with a sash and all!

There were about 15 of us I think, and we had a pre-bar party at the condo. Shots were had, laughs were abundant and the music was great thanks to a bachellorette mix made for me by the Tobemeister. (thanks Toby!) But something was up. Shannon turned to me and said "ok...for now you can do what you want...but at 8:30 I tell you what to do".

So of course - red flag - not sure what's going on, but I continue to drink and dance and be merry. Then I said I wanted to change my shirt, but apparently I was not allowed in the bedroom to do so. Right away I thought for SURE they had a stripper locked up in the bedroom just waiting to come out! I threatened to jump off the balcony (of the 33rd floor) 'cause i told the girls 'no strippers' - just not my thing!

So 'lo and behold - I'm told to sit in the chair and I'm anxiously waiting, and then out of the room come bags of presents!! my bridesmaids and friends had a surprise shower for me! It was amazing because I found out about my family showers that are coming up, but I had no idea the girls were doing this for me. It was really amazing and a total shock! I was finally surprised! So good job ladies!

But of course, no bachellorette party is complete without a trip out to a club for some good old dancing! Off we went to Devil's Martini - an older club in Toronto, but it was renovated not too long ago. Apparently it's pretty well known for it's stagettes too! So off we all went and we were on guest list so we got right in.

Before I could turn around, I had drinks in my hand and shots being poured down my throat and the boogie-woogie night had begun! (And note to self - you are not 19 anymore so the "go down low" dance is why you can't walk today). I must say... Yaggemeisters (spelling?), mixed with Goldschlagger, mixed with Apple Sours really don't go well together - but at the time I didn't really care!! If you put a shot in front of me, I was doing it!

But boy oh boy - the next morning I sure paid for it! Not a pretty sight and I'll spare you the details. But I had a fabulous night - we danced and drank and sang and laughed. I was pretty sloshed! But that's the point right? It was my stagette and my night to party with my girls. Here are just a few pics from the condo. I don't have any from the bar yet, but once I'll get I'll post those too. So thank you everyone for a great night! I won't forget it.