Friday, 18 November 2016

The 6-Letter 'B' Word That Cuts Like A Knife

Two hearts, one budget!
Via smartgroom.com

Oh yes, we're going there. You know what word we're talking about. 

Budgets.

I love/loathe Pinterest. It's complicated, but I'm going to try to unpack why.  Here's my love list:

*Amazing collection of all things. Literally, all the things. Green goddess smoothies, coconut oil benefits, housecleaning hacks - you name it, you search it, and Pinterest will deliver it!
*User-friendly way to keep visual and comprehensive boards of ideas for anything from one-pot recipes, DIY manicures, decorating hacks all the way to party themes and colour swatches
*Easy way to find/pinpoint what you like, and be able to express to others what you've got in mind with carefully curated images

The loathe list:

*So. Many. Ideas.  A veritable rabbit-hole, where looking for 'Alice In Wonderland' wedding ideas can lead you down, down, down... Further away from what you want, and find a thousand other ideas you didn't know you needed. 
*Picture-perfection images that, in some cases, are rooted deeply in fantasy (aka Photoshop) or Baller Status (what I like to call 'Keeping Up With The Wests' -the Kanye and Kim Effect)

And here's where the B-word comes into play.  Pinterest can sometimes blind us to the age-old dilemma of Prime Rib Dreams/Hamburger Reality! We're inundated with pictures and magazine spreads of celebrity parties, galas, and weddings; we follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat and are given front-row seats to the best of the best in everything THEY have access to - haute couture fashion, innovative interior design, no-holds-barred styling, surreal make-up and top-drawer event planning. When we try to pull star inspiration into real-life events, fantasy and reality collide head-on. So half of our Pins end up being good from far, but far from good (financially). Budgets and Pinterest sometimes are in stark opposition, so I saved this article published earlier this year that gives a little insight into some of the ways wedding budget spends become post-event regrets:

*~The Hads and Had-Nots: Brides Dish On Some Of Their Wedding Day Regrets~*

Budgets apply to people outside of the couple getting married; being invited to be a part of the big day is a huge honour - and an even bigger responsibility financially. Here's how life in the wedding party can unfold:

*~It Takes A Village... To Make A Wedding Happen: How Much Does It Cost Your Wedding Party?~*


Sigh... What to do, what to do? Which ideas are workable, doable, attainable, and ideas are best left to the the A-list and their unlimited funds? It's a tough call, especially 'in the heat of the moment' (aka mid-meeting with a decorator) so the best thing you can do is have the hard, clinical discussions about all-things-money and what your non-negotiables are beforehand, so that at the very least you are walking in to the planning process on the same page and with the same endgame in mind. Best case scenario? You have a clear vision that's drawn up by you and your partner, not by the special celebrity wedding issue of InStyle magazine!


Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April




Wednesday, 9 November 2016

My Dirty Little Secret (and Why We Should Embrace It!)

The LBD reimagined - in velvet
Via bgfashion.net

On a new day that follows what can only be described as a shocking night in politics, it's seems that the newly elected president was the dirty little secret of a wide segment of the voting populace.  So, it seems like the perfect time to out myself;  I have a dirty little secret of my own, but thankfully, I've got the fashion industry on my side here.

I love velvet. Inky and plush, tactile and crushed, I am #teamvelvet! View Exhibit A:

#velvetstylep0rn


A few years ago, Target's designer collaboration with Joseph Altuzarra featured a crimson velvet tuxedo and that bad boy is in my closet right now.  If there's a velvet anything in any store - pillows, throws, shoes, purses, coats, you name it - I instinctively slow down and do the lingering graze/eager grab. Then come the oohs and ahhs.  And this isn't a new thing, you guys; I've loved velvet for as long as I can remember.  There's something dramatic, rich, and decadent when you go velvet.  Black looks more deep and vivid, midnight blue suggests a colour that is both endless and infinite, and a chocolate coloured velvet throw is an invitation to endless comfort.  Fashion, being what it is, has embraced my secret love and it is EVERYWHERE this season....

A little velvet for everyone!
Via fashionisers.com

Via poshclassymom.com

Want, want, need!
Via instyle.com
A coat to make the cold more bearable!
Via ferbena.com
Via cinefog.com

....which means it's only a matter of time before we see wedding decor reflect the velvet experience.
What I love about the velvet trend is that it breathes 'texture' and the juxtaposition of mixing different materials with the velvet can create dynamic looks. And you don't have to go wall-to-wall velvet; even one detail or treatment can be an instant dose of luxe!

Small details, big impact!
Via husqvarnaviking.com

Rustic meets luxe
Via fengshuidana.com


Velvet+concrete+glass+metal = mixology perfected!
Via foter.com


My velvet crush is out in the open - it's not salacious or smutty, thank goodness! But, what feels better than admitting it? Seeing velvet everywhere right now - and looking forward to a 2017 wedding season filled with my dirty little secret. Velvet has arrived and she is a Queen; pass it on!!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April






Friday, 2 September 2016

Wedding Planning (Philosophy) Made Easy: Zero Regrets

#ZeroRegrets: The ultimate wedding mantra
Via theatozbooks.com


Ah, September 2nd, and the beginning of the Labour Day long weekend; here we are at the unofficial end of summer. I know, the summer season runs until September 20th, but let's be real - once school starts, summer is dunzo! Also, Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is a harbinger of autumn and they're available as of now.  So there's that. Darn you pumpkin spice everything! As the calendar changes over to September, we also say goodbye to the official summer wedding season. There'll be more weddings as 2016 winds down, no doubt, but those frenzied weekends booked up by sunny and carefree ceremonies and receptions will taper off, and for couples who have become engaged this year,  a change of season might usher in the time they start planning upcoming nuptials.  So for all the couples out there who are about to dip their toes into the wedding planning pool, congratulations! And can we pass along a friendly piece of advice? Here's a timely article to welcome you to one of the most exciting/stressful/overwhelming/amazing/heart-pounding/fun periods of your life - the planning of the biggest party of your life to-date! No pressure? You bet! If you need a cheat sheet and list of mantras for the next few months to turn this hope into a reality,  this would definitely be it!


Now, enjoy this last summer hurrah! Have a safe and joyous long weekend!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

PS - Thank you all for your understanding during a quiet August here on the blog! My September motto? Batten down the hatches! We'll be back to blogging on the regular, and bringing you more real talk, cool ideas, fun stuff, serious topics and fashion than you can shake a stick at!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Children + Weddings: Yay or Nay?

Are kids in the picture for your wedding?
Via elanawalker.wordpress.com

Wedding receptions are the ultimate date night for couples, if you think about it. It ticks off all the boxes:

*Friday or Saturday night (aka Date Night) - check!
*Formal/Dressy attire - check!
*Cocktail hour for appetizers and drinks - check!
*Multi-course meal complete with table wine and an open bar just around the corner - check! check!
*Speeches celebrating love and reminding couples what a good thing they've got right next to them- check!
*Fancy-pants dessert - check! check! check!

Now imagine, would you be able to enjoy all of the above AND some of the following....

**Bonus - a space to dance the night away OR tables, patios, verandas, etc, where you can socialize with people you know or people you've just met but feel like you've known forever**

.... if you were bringing your kids as well?  Now, I'm not anti-child, not at all! I can tell you, I lovelovelove to see kids at weddings because, fashion!

Bow ties, suspenders AND Chucks? I'm IN!
Via popsugar.com


Small guests, big style
Via brides.com

There's always those mini-MJ or Bruno Mars kids whose moves are impossibly on-point and smooth...

These kids moves are a million times better than me, tbh
Via Pinterest 

#swag
Via bypetronella.com

a blossoming toddler romance complete with chasing, flirting and eventual handholding...

Budding Romeos and their Juliets (without the dark stuff!)
Via theamericanwedding.com

and my favourite - the 11PM sleepy wallflowers. You've seen them, the few under aged stragglers left whose parents are wedding warriors,  they're the little partiers who are passed out in makeshift beds....

Party-pooped!
Via jlaplante.com

But sometimes April and I will see parents, dressed to thrill, doing everything except actually enjoying the wedding, only to have to leave early under a pile of sleeping kids and feel kind of bad for them not being to to take full advantage of the night! This is the reason I'm a fan of the adult-only wedding.  All that effort (the fashion, the food and drink, the generous gift!) shouldn't be curtailed! Now, be honest parents - if you could willingly attend a wedding without your kids, would you? (I promise, I'm going somewhere with this!)  ok, now be honest again - if you were invited to a wedding that didn't include your kids, would you be willing to attend?  Well, one bride-to-be addressed the backlash that she's faced with her own adult-only wedding.

*~Me and you, just us two: a wedding without your offspring?~*

Parents: What side of the debate do you fall on? Brides and grooms-to-be: Does child-free tick off an important box for your wedding festivities?  Have you been to a wedding that was adults only and guiltily enjoy the heck out of it? Where do you stand?

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Monday, 15 August 2016

City Weddings: Toronto Edition

Bright lights, beautiful city!
Via misttoronto.com

I fiercely, unapologetically, unabashedly love Canada. And the beating heart of my Canada is Toronto. T.O, the T-Dot, The Six - call it what you will, but there really is no place like home!  I've spent most of my life in the 416, and moving to Durham region was, in a word, heartbreaking.  I've been here for 12 years and only *just* put family pictures up in the house, I've finally acquiesced to Pickering!   Even though my postal code is 905, my heart will always belong to the city where you can find great and varied food choices just around the corner no matter what neighbourhood you're in; the city where you have a million choices for things to do on any given night of the week, and urban landscapes that give way to green spaces and places to roam. So OF COURSE I would find my heart soaring and melting and fist-pumping when I read about Kerri Yoles and Rob Bryan's wedding weekend.

Weekend wedding (and baseball!) warriors!
Via thestar.com

Kerri and Rob's nuptials took place this past Saturday in Toronto, the city that 'felt the most right' for the couple.  Their guests were coming from near and far to attend and they wanted to show their out-of-town guests why Toronto means so much to them.  After their reception that took place at the Drake Hotel, the celebrations didn't end there.

Via ilovetoronto.com

The Drake Hotel: A Room With A View
Via weddingful.com
The next day, the newlyweds took almost ALL of their wedding guests (yep, you read that right: not just a post-wedding celebration with the wedding party, but an afternoon with most of their family and friends that attended the ceremony and reception the day before!) down to the Rogers Centre to see the Blue Jays take on the Houston Astros.  Of their 140 guests, 104 took advantage of what I think is THE best wedding favour I've ever heard seen, if I could have ANY favour in the world, money being no object!*

*~Take Me Out To The Ball Game!!~*

A wedding with a theme that I can get on board with-

Via fringetoronto.com

-plus a healthy dose of


#BlueJaysSwag
Via nationalpost.com

Count me in!!!!!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April


*(Side note: OK guys, it HAS to be said -  this couple just taught a master class on how to treat your guests who have come to celebrate your special day!   I'm not saying that EVERY couple has to do this because the price for their 'favours' - 104 tickets for one of the hottest events this year next to Adele, Rihanna, BeyoncĂ© or Drake! - cost $2,600. But the principle of their gesture is a teachable moment with one take-away:  Be kind to the people who have come out to your wedding and give a favour that goes a little beyond the norm.  The importance of wedding favours has become increasingly overlooked and, lets be blunt, favours are the one item in a wedding budget that is the first to be, well, whittled down. Like, waaaaaay down. But can we all agree that Ferraro Rocher are great as stocking stuffers or impulse purchases at the grocery store checkout, but lack a little creativity as a bonbonniere? Trust us when we say this - there are AMAZING items you can select as wedding favours that have great significance, look luxe or extravagant, maybe even decadent, and start at $3 each? Truth bomb: you CAN find swanky items that earn you a heck of a lot of raves even if you're on a budget! April and I have done the legwork!!) *getting off my soapbox*








Friday, 12 August 2016

Now THIS Is How You Make An Entrance On Your Wedding Day!

A dance with immeasurable meaning
Via abcnews.go.com

Waaaaaaaay back when (in the year 2004) the TV show 'Lost' took us to a strange, mysterious island inhabited by polar bears, cons, doctors and a Hobbit. A part of spinal-surgeon-turned-resident-island-doctor/voice of reason/unofficial-then-self-declared leader Jack Shepherd's backstory was the reveal that his ex-wife was formerly a patient of his who ended up in his ER after suffering a catastrophic spinal injury (car crash).  He confidently (and prophetically) told her that she would dance at her wedding.  As we found out, she DID dance at her wedding.... when she married him!

Now fast-forward twelve years, and life imitates art in the best possible way.  Instead of a storyline in a movie or a TV show, I came across an inspiring story about a bride who, after suffering a catastrophic spinal injury (swimming pool) did just that;  she danced at her wedding, after walking down the aisle earlier in the day!

The walk of a lifetime
Via abcnews.go.com

*~To paraphrase many a 'Lost' character - don't tell her what she can't and cannot do!~*

Paralyzed at 17, she was told by doctors that she'd never walk again and her ultimate goal was to walk again. Through years of intensive rehab work, she was able to progress to standing up for brief periods; when she became engaged in 2015, she ramped up her considerable efforts with a goal in mind.  She would progress even further, to not just stand, but to walk down the aisle, and dance at her wedding. Her story is so inspiring, and a testament to just how resilient humans are. Something tells me that Jacquie isn't done just yet, and there will be even more amazing things in her future!

We wish Jacquie and Andy the very best, as they embark on a new adventure together!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Bride and the Prime Minster: A Photo-Op Made in Heaven!

Via globalnews.ca

Justin Trudeau is our Canadian Prime Minister. He's been reshaping the way we view politicians in general. From his early exploits at Rideau Hall....

The look on Pierre Trudeau's face says it all: Football hold = most effective hold!
Via ottawacitizen.com

Celebrity Big Brother: the Trudeau Edition
Via macleans.ca

It's fair to say that he's buckled down, wisened up and grown into the role of national leader, is comfortable on the international stage, and has become an unofficial ambassador of bad-assery.

Exhibit A:

Via macleans.ca

Exhibit B:

Via desmog.ca

Exhibit C:

Yoga for diplomats?
Via CBC.ca

His family unit is disarming and completely charming.  He and his wife Sylvie Gregoire-Trudeau, a boss in her own right...


The First Lady of Bad-Assery? Sylvie gives us a taste of her yoga chops IN A FANCY DRESS AND HEELS!
Via thestar.com
serve up an open, fresh - and dare I say, hot? - power coupling, and from the moment we saw their wedding photos, we were smitten!

Via theglobeandmail.com

Via vogue.com

So damn hot. That's how babies are made!
Via Pinterest


Ahhh, the babies!
Via chatelaine.com


But, just when we thought the superior Justin (sorry Timberlake and Beiber!) couldn't be anymore perfect, he kinda melted ou hearts while he was on vacation in Tofino, British Columbia. A quick rewind: a few days previous to B.C, a family from Peterborough got the vacation souvenir of a lifetime when they were hiking in Ottawa and crossed paths with Trudeau squad on the trails. They chatted with Justin and Sophie and left the encounter over the moon AND with a picture with the PM.

THE summer selfie for one lucky person!
Via snoopnest.com

So fast-forward to this weekend when one bride-to-be walked down the aisle towards her new life with an unexpected onlooker.  The PM was getting ready to leave the beach when the wedding procession began so he did the natural thing - he hung back to check out the festivities. And provide *some* of us with the second topless photo in the last week. And by some of us, I mean me. Don't judge!

#everyonelovesawedding
Via CBC.ca

*~One heck of a memorable wedding day photo!~*

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April




Wednesday, 3 August 2016

One Couple's Happily-Ever-After = All Of Our Relationship Goals!

Via people.com


I lovelovelove photography, whether it's fantastic and dramatic....

A resplendent bride in technicolor!
Via tobiahtayo.com

.... or romantic and styled...

A swoon-worthy, weak-at-the-knee tender moment
Via picturecorrect.com

.... or casual and natural...

A steady, helping hand
Via faberphotography.com

.... because there's always one intangible element that a good photographer can make shine and resonate.  Take note Snapchat: you are awesome, but your filters, while fun for now, won't stand the test of time!

The next U.S President? Maybe the President of Toon Town?
Via ijr.com

Wedding photography is beautiful alchemy, a magic all of its own. You have two impeccably styled people who, despite the gorgeous accoutrements like formal dress, flawless makeup and carefully selected setting, transcend all these elements, and the photographer is the  wizard who turns the normal into something extraordinary!

I came across a photo shoot last week and it was the perfect combination of one special couple, a love story that has spanned a veritable lifetime - 63 years! - and a talented photographer with a connection to the bride and groom.

This tugs at my heart in the best possible way!
Via aww.com.au

*~Our new It couple... If 'It' means love that spans decades!~*

Shayln Nelson, a wedding photographer from Texas, photographed a couple whose story was near and dear to her; her subjects were her grandparents Joy Ray and Billie Wanda.  A love story in the hands of a loving granddaughter (with a great eye and photography skills to match!) resulted in a collection of photographs that at the heart, are a testament of a life lived in love, through thick and thin, ups and downs, rain or shine. Forget Hiddleswift, forget Kimye, forget Tom and Gisele - now THIS is #RelationshipGoals.  We're a third of the way there, but we should be so lucky to hit the big 6-3.  Thankfully, we have JR and BW to blaze the path for us and show us how it's done!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Wedding Cake Artistry

Via brightonsavoy.com.au
A wedding can be seen as a collection of matches made in heaven.  Of course the first match made in heaven is the happy couple, but then as the details of the wedding come into focus, we find more examples of perfect pairings.  A venue that will put on a celebration tailor-made for the the soon-to-be newlyweds; a DJ and MC who clicks with them right away and whose personality will keep the crowd happy and dancing all night long,  shoes to complement THE perfect dress.

But there's one element that can sometimes be overlooked and underestimated in terms to how much impact it can have when its done right.

I present, The Wedding Cake.

She can be a thing of beauty.

Sublime!
Via rosalindmillercakes.com

She can be, literally, a little slice of heaven.

Layers of love... and perfection
Via theknot.com

But most importantly,  a wedding cake is an unofficial decor element, albeit an edible one, and a lot of times, if there's one misstep April and I see, is a wedding cake or dessert that doesn't quite complement or, isn't on the same level aesthetically, as the rest of the wedding. Wedding cakes have come a long, looooong way in terms of flavours, design, embellishments and moreover, wedding desserts have evolved beyond cakes, to include such options as cupcakes, macarons, designer eclairs, even artisan cheese wheels!


A macaron wedding dessert to tempt and tease
Via weddingomania.com


Macarons AND eclairs? I'm IN!
Via Pinterest 
Not as sweet, but still a treat - a cheese (wheel) cake
Via bridalmusings.com

I'm not sure if it's because other wedding details overshadow it, or is it because I absolutely LOVE cake and desserts, but I wanted to share a post about a cake baker who is elevating the humble and woefully overlooked wedding cake to major star status!  Ron Ben-Isreal is single-handedly returning wedding cakes to the main stage, re-imagining what makes an unforgettable cake, introducing new ways to decorate and personalize them and touches on just why the wedding cake should be given serious consideration!

*~Wedding Cake Masterclass: The Artful Importance of a Wedding Cake!

If there are two takeaways from this PDA (Perfect Dessert Appeal) to be had, they would be:

1) Treat your wedding cake like an important member of your decor family and let your cake be an edible, visual extension of your day; and

2) I love wedding cake. Please send your unloved or unclaimed slices my way!

Wishing you a day as limitless as you are~
Lisa and April