Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lettuce marry! (A-D)

Oh, you guys.

I'm so sorry.
I never meant to make you wait so long to start wedding recaps, but my schedule is insane. When I say I have a 'day off', I actually mean I don't have to work a double shift, not that I truly have a day off. (Yeah. I know.)

That, coupled with the fact that our photographer took a full month to get our pictures to us, means that it's now December and I'm just starting on recaps now.

So, enough babbling. Let the recaps commence!!

PREFACE: I am blatantly stealing this recap format from hillarywithtwoL's.  I only wish I were this original. You can find her wedding recaps here.

Lettuce marry!
A – C

Awkward: First, you need to know that we stayed in a loft suite, with a king bed downstairs and a queen in the loft. Now, onto the story itself: While we were getting ready in the hotel the day of, the fire alarm went off. We debated for approximately five minutes what to do – I had most of my family staying in the hotel and wanted to avoid seeing them in my lovely half done state (I believe I even had a green hair clip incorporated in my hair at the time) and we were debating – is it real? Do we grab the dress? WHAT DO WE DO OH MY GOD. Finally, we all evacuated – leaving the dress – while Peggy and I went down the back stairs in an effort to avoid seeing people. Thankfully, it was a false alarm, but when we came back, my flower girl noticed someone sleeping in the loft bed. When we went to wake the poor guy up, he was so out of it he told me this was ‘Brad’s room’ and forgot his shoes. I don’t know what his deal was, but holy awkwardsauce.

Bridespeople:  Keith and I each had four people standing up for us – of both genders. I had what I affectionately called a ‘bridesman’ and Keith had two groomswomen (I also had my two best friends and my sister, along with my most favourite nine year old in the world as a flower girl/Jr. Bridesmaid, and Keith had his brother and a good friend). Based on the number of comments I received, all of our guests were so impressed that we broke with tradition – something I will never understand. It’s 2011; Keith and I both have opposite gender friends, why wouldn’t they be included in our special day because they don’t have the same parts? (Although I suspect I will never be quite fully forgiven for the number of times Shawn got called the groom during the various things I dragged him to during the planning process. Sorry dude).

Cake: We had a fairly traditional four-tier cake done by TheCakeWhisperer. The bottom and top layers were red velvet with cream cheese and the two middle tiers were chocolate with raspberry filling. Too bad I had approximately one bite of the entire thing. We also had her make two additional toppers – an Andy Moog goalie mask for Keith and a copy of HitchHiker’s Guide for me.
 
Colours: Our colours were orange, silver/dark gray, with white to balance it out. It worked out beautifully – a million thank you’s to Shawn for suggesting the combination. I was going to do the boring, traditional colour scheme associated with fall. Let’s just say it would have been quite a different wedding. 

Dance: We fought for weeks over what our first dance would be. We finally settled on “Lay me down” by Ashley MacIassac the Thursday before the wedding. When we went to dance, my brother side-whispered that he accidentally downloaded it onto the wrong computer and didn’t have it. I still don’t know what song we danced to, and I suspect I won’t ever know – and I’m okay with that. We were too busy figuring out which of our guests were tearing up watching us dance. I think my sister won. 

Dresses: I got so many compliments on my outfit – I wore a strapless lace gown with a sweetheart neckline, with lace detail and a long lace train. I LOVE lace, but in my size (bridal size 20 when I bought it) there aren’t a lot of lace dresses. I went to four stores and only tried on what I could fit into. I added a three-quarter sleeve lace shrug because it was October and we don’t live in Florida; I feel as if it really ‘made’ the dress. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to sew the shrug to the dress itself because I was fiddling with it all day. Also, my bustle broke within three seconds of putting it in, so Peggy ran around finding safety pins and pinning it up the best she could all night. But other than those two issues, my dress was absolutely perfect.


My girls dresses I found on Etsy. I knew I wanted the colour (dark gray) and the length (knee) but I also wanted to give the girls some choice and freedom of what kind of neckline they were comfortable with, so I thought the wrap infinity dress would be the perfect fit. In the end, I’m not sure it was worth the stress of trying to figure them out, but everyone did something different and looked amazing.

The groomswomen were given a few instructions, which they ignored all but one (the colour, black). Let’s just say it was a nice lesson in letting go and leave it at that, shall we? [ insert huge sigh here ]. Oh well.

Check back soon for recaps from E-H!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

aaand *thump*

At the end of September I received a letter from the student loan national centre saying because I had failed a course in the summer semester, I would be denied any further funding for a period of three years.

Let's face it; if I leave my program now, and for three years, there is a high possibility I will never go back. There's really only one option - funding the rest of my degree (and my living expenses) completely on my own dime. Cue panic. Originally I thought I had to come up with full Winter tuition - just under 2900$ - by the end of December. Thankfully, that's not the case - I have until I go to re-register in late April/early May to pay the full amount (WHEW).

Thankfully I already have a full time job, so that takes care of my living expenses. I immediately started searching for a second part-time job to cover tuition, and received an offer of employment last Friday, the day before the wedding.

This past week was my first week working two jobs, although I wasn't quite successful. It took until at least Thursday to feel even half decently rested from the craziness that was the week before and weekend. I fully understand why people take a honeymoon immediately after the wedding - its needed (it also didn't help that Keith took the week off himself, so all I wanted to do was be home with him and snuggle a lot). I should have taken this week off regardless of the financial picture; I only managed to work 19 hours at my full time job (as opposed to the 38 hours I usually work) and 18.5 at my new job. This paycheque is gonna hurt.

This week? I work double shifts three days in a row, and again on Thursday and Sunday. I predict consuming A LOT of Monster in my future.

Have you ever worked two jobs? Any tips on how to survive? How did you pay for post-secondary?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Finally! I'm a Mrs!

Hey!

I'm MARRIED, y'all!

And it was AMAZING. Everybody has been raving about how great it was and how perfectly everything looked and went.

My mom actually said I should go into wedding planning - and this is coming from someone who thinks weddings are silly, unnecessary affairs. I WIN.

For recaps I'm going to wait for the professional pictures to come back, but for now I'll leave you with what is going to be one of the best pictures of the day (I just know it):

Sunday, October 16, 2011

you & i together forever

Mine:

-6
As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Keith:


9
As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Poor (
 Failure)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aboot (need not apply)

Just wanted to pop in & do this accent vlog that's been going around.

(and yes, completely in denial about what's happening in 7 days. do. not. judge).

So you're supposed to say these words:

Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught

video
And answer these questions:

What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

hair & makeup!







I'm so pleased with all of it. Especially my hair.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fail

Over a month with no posts? Well, I totally fail.

I got a job, in other words. An overnight job with full time hours - and suddenly, I went to being bored and antsy to being way too busy and tired for words.

Plus, this wedding planning schtick? holy bananas. I went to update the RSVP count yesterday and literally yelped. Somehow we only have 34 days until the big day, and oddly enough, after wishing for a whole year that the day would just get here already, I'm suddenly feeling like we need triple that time to get everything done and paid for.

Over the past month I've had my bridal shower, Keith had his bachelor party (last night! He came home with the word 'slut' written across his forehead in florescent marker....yeah, I don't even want to know), Keith received his wedding band (still waiting on mine, unfortunately), and I have my hair and makeup trial later today. We're also getting our marriage license later this week and meeting with the officiant next Saturday to  plan the ceremony.

Like I said.
holy bananas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My albatross

I hemmed. I hawed. I blogged about it. Multiple times.

After I told you guys about the whole flowers and lanterns debacle, I went in search of suitable vases.

And quickly realized the vision in my head did not match up with what were on the shelves. At least, not at the price I was willing to pay per vase.

(insert big huge sigh here)

So, it was back to lanterns. I actually found suitable ones at Wal-Mart earlier this summer, but had to wait for the money to actually purchase them.....and while I was waiting, they all disappeared.

What's a girl to do? Stress, of course. I was seriously wondering if I could pull off not having centerpieces as just a odd quirk to make my wedding different. (Oh yeah baby, I went there).

Long story short, my endless browsing paid off, and I found these Ah-MAZ-ing lanterns for cheaper than what I would have paid for the same quantity at the previously mentioned store.

Must say, am SO glad this aspect of the wedding is dealt with and DONE.

Sigh.
Aren't they gorgeous?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Invitations!

I've wanted to show you guys these the moment they came home with me and I did fifteen of them the first night. I forced myself to wait though, until our lovely guests (especially the ones who read this blog!), received this in their mailbox before posting it here. I have been working on these since February - the amount of time and effort spent on these was kind of ridiculous, but I firmly believe every bride has one area of the wedding they end up going a little crazy over. And my area? Definitely invitations. I love these - they are really my babies. I can't believe I had to send them away! (sigh, sniff, sob). 

These invitations were semi-DYI: I ordered the orange envelopes (tangleo) and 5x7 gray (storm) z-card from Envelopments. Kamie actually designed the actual invitation/RSVP/monogram tags (and did a FANTASTIC job. Seriously. She should really do this for a living) and I had them printed and cut. All assembly was by yours truly.

The Process: 
The envelopes...not a good photograph but they have this amazing shimmer. I will be printing our guests' addresses directly on them:
Invitations! :  wedding 002 Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations 002
When you first open the envelope, our guests will see this. Yep, no inner envelope. Or envelope liner. Eff you, Emily Post!
Invitations! :  wedding 003 Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations 003
Take it out of the envelope, and you get this: a 5x7 z-card (basically, a pocketfold without the actual pocket, I’ll get to why I did that in a second). I made a 2x2 monogram of our first initials and attached it to a piece of orange cardstock with double sided tape. The sheer orange ribbon is attached between the layers, again with just double sided tape.
Invitations! :  wedding 004 Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations 004
When you take off the ribbon tag, and open the Z-Card, you have the actual invitation. I couldn’t find ANYTHING pre-made that wasn’t too froo-froo or girly. Nothing that spoke to Keith and I as a couple or with our style. See the reason why I didn’t get the pocket? In an effort to keep down costs and pieces of paper, all I have is the RSVP. All other information (hotels, directions, etc) can be found on our website. I attached the RSVP to the z-card with self-adhesive silver photo mount corners. I also just attached the invitation to the card with double sided tape.
Invitations! :  wedding Editedinvite Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations Editedinvite
The RSVP is a 4x6 postcard. On the front:
Invitations! :  wedding 006 Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations 006
And the back:
Invitations! :  wedding Editedrsvp Invitations! :  wedding orange silver invitations Editedrsvp
We went through and added the # of seats (in black) to each RSVP. In retrospect, I should have gone through and added up how many I needed to print with “1” or “2” or whatever else, and had them printed on. Ah well.

Issues: 
I TOTALLY underestimated the cost of the supplies - the ribbon, tape and cardstock - needed to complete these. I thought for sure 1 roll of tape and maybe two rolls of ribbon would do me 65 invitations. I was SO wrong. It took me (this is a rough estimate, I completely lost track) about 5 rolls of tape, 4 rolls of ribbon, and another 5 pieces of cardstock. It felt as if I was running to Michaels every few days to buy more supplies. I haven't included the tape in the cost breakdown, because frankly, it makes me sick to think about it. If I say it's not in the budget, ITS NOT THERE LA LA LA. 
Three last minute invitations came in when Harry finally gave me addresses for Keith's mom's side of the family - and thankfully I had just enough supplies for those extra three.  

One last unexpected expense was the printing of addresses on the envelopes. I tried on my home printer, failed miserably, and then completely ran out of toner. I jumped on my computer and fired off an email to the vendor I got my supplies and printing from, and for .40 per envelope, my problem was solved.

Postage:
These bad babies weighed in at 40 grams. Heartbreaking, considering "regular" mail is considered 30 grams and below, and once you go over that magical threshold, your postage pretty much doubles - from .59 to 1.03! I nearly had a heart attack when I heard the final price, but Harry - bless his heart - paid all of our postage costs for us. So grateful for him covering the cost - 115$. (I KNOW. Don't tell me, I'm in my happy place. HAPPY PLAAAAAAACE.)

Cost breakdown:
All told, these were slightly pricey (even though the lovely Martha said I had 350$ for invitations, so really, I was way under budget. Really), but I love them! I totally think they look way more expensive than they actually are. 

For the envelopes: 65 x 1.10 = 71.50$
The Z-cards: 65 x .60 = 39.00$
All printing: 46.50$
Ribbon: 10$
Cardstock: 5$
Photo corners: 6.69$ for 210.
Cutting of all three (to reduce costs I had both the RSVP & actual invitation printed 2 on a 8.5x11, and 20 monograms on 3 sheets): 5.00$
Printing of reply & guest addresses: 65 x .40 = 26$
Total cost: 209.69$
Total cost per invitation (65): 3.22$

Did you have any budget busters while planning your wedding?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A meal fit for a king

This Saturday we went out to our venue to plan one of the biggest aspects of the whole day: the meal.

(Can I just say how happy I am with our venue choice? It's simply gorgeous! They were set up for a wedding today so it was super nice to walk in and be able to picture all my decor ideas in the space and affirm that everything I've chosen so far will work the way I'm picturing it in my head. Such a relief!).

(Also. LOVE that our event coordinator did not bat an eyelash when I requested our napkins be rolled on the plate instead of inside the wine glasses. LOVE.)

(yes, I'm crazy. And yes, I am okay with it).

We decided to go with a four course sit-down meal instead of a buffet. In our case, having a buffet would be the same price, so why not? Besides that factor, Keith has informed me he 'just doesn't like buffets'. Ooookay then.

(yes, he's crazy. And yes, I'm okay with it).

Our main course: walnut encrusted rack of lamb 
with rosemary reduction

Our cocktail 'hour' is necessary for three reasons: (1) our venue is kind of remote, so guests can't easily leave in the time between the ceremony and reception, (2) there's no travel time between the two components of the day and (3) we aren't seeing each other before the ceremony, so we have to build in time after to take formal wedding party shots. 

We're offering a few nibbles - nothing that needs a fork and knife is the general rule. There will be two vegetarian options and two meat options in varying quantities - we might have to add a cheese or veggie platter to beef it up a little, but we can decide on that later. Our candy buffet will be set up in the cocktail space, and definitely available if anybody wants to dip in early for a sugar rush.

The actual dinner consists of a soup, salad, main entree with sides, dessert, coffee and tea. We're providing a bottle of white and red of their house wine per table for dinner and toasts. Our cake will be sliced and served later in the night (along with more coffee and tea) and there's a late night snack option that we're still discussing which I'll cover in a later post.


And now, the good part - what we're actually going to be eating!

Cocktail hour: 

Vegetarian spring rolls
Spanakopita
Mini quiche lorraine
Chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce

Dinner:
Soup: Butternut Squash
Salad: Baby spinach with pecans, dried cranberries and citrus vinaigrette
Main: Walnut encrusted rack of lamb with rosemary reduction and vegetables
(Veggie Option: Portobello mushroom ravioli with herb cream sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese slivers)
Dessert: Creme Brulee with fresh berries

And if you'll excuse me, I have to go wipe the drool off my keyboard now. Yum!

What did/are you serving at your wedding? Did you do buffet or a sit-down?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

five year plan


Okay. I'll admit it. I don't normally do stuff like this, but I was bored in class last week and quickly sketched out a rough timeline for the next few years. There's nothing quite like tying yourself with another person for life to put major goals in perspective, yes?

So starting from now, the next five years includes - in roughly this order - wedding, honeymoon, moving, pregnancy, baby, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, getting a career-like job, work for a year before pregnancy, baby......

Yikes!! Hello life on turbo speed!

I do have to add: There may be a move to another city for Keith's career if he achieves what he wants to do in his professional life. I have told him that as long as I'm finished with University, we're free to move anywhere. If I'm not, then we'd have to discuss what we'd do. Definitely filing that under "cross that bridge when we come to it", thank you very much.

Gotta know: what's your five year plan? Do you have one? Have you had one in the past? How did it work out for you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Surgaversary

A year ago today, I was being wheeled into the operating room for an procedure that would rearrange my stomach and intestines in order to lose weight and combat the morbid obesity I found myself trapped in.

It's been a hell of a year. I've learned so much about myself, and about my relationship to food - and, I have to say - I don't regret having this surgery. I don't regret re-learning how to eat and I don't regret not being able to process sugar (okay. most times I don't). I don't regret losing 113 pounds in a year.

Could I have done better? Probably. Do I have more weight to lose? Yes. Am I still learning as I go? Definitely.

But the most important question, I think, is - Am I a happier, healthier person, regardless of what the scale says?

And I can honestly say - I am.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Miss to Mrs....?


First off: We're exactly 100 days until the wedding! Can I get a WOOT?

With just over three months to go until the wedding, I think it's time to discuss something a little more serious than the colour of my flowers or what my bridesmaids are wearing:

The dreaded name changing issue.

I admit, I struggled with this A LOT. My feelings are so tangled on the subject I don't even know where to start. But can I just say how freaking unfair it is that women have to struggle with this decision, and men do not? I mean, Keith would never, in a million years, consider changing his last name to mine. NEVER. I'm tempted to just tell him to shove it, because if he wouldn't change it for me, why the heck would I change it for him?

Like I said, it's terribly unfair.

I know a lot of women drop their middle name and move their maiden name to their middle. This is a total no-go for me, because my middle name is actually my birth mothers maiden name. There's no way I'm ever losing that piece of my personal history by dropping it. It's a complete non option for me.

So that leaves me with three options: (1) Keep my maiden name as is, (2) take his and drop my maiden name completely, or (3) add his last name to mine without a hyphen and have two last names.

Option 1 - Keep my maiden name as is: 
I like my last name. It's short, and simple, it 'goes' with the rest of my name, and it isn't terribly hard to spell (although some people add an R after the first letter or add an E at the end, for some indiscernible reason). In all truthfulness though, I have no great attachment to the name from a family standpoint. I'm not particularly close to my dad's side of the family or anything.

The simplicity of keeping my last name appeals to me - you know how many documents you have to change?! I get exhausted just thinking about it.

I confess: I'm not too fond of his. It's just so silly. Although, in its defense: it's also short, simple, and very easy to spell. And I know this is inconsequential, but if I keep my last name, then I'm a "Ms." - not a "Mrs". Somehow this particular distinction matters to me.

And the children:
This is a big reason for why most women change their name. It does and doesn't apply to me - I grew up with a mom who kept her maiden name. I can't really think of a situation where it was a problem with people not knowing she was my mother. Also, after the divorce, my sister changed her last name from my dad's to my mom's. Which means that currently 2 out of 5 members of my family don't have the same last name - and it doesn't detract from the fact that we're a family.

But I can't dismiss option 2 entirely, and here's why:

Option 2 - Take his name:
This option appeals to the romantic and also the traditionalist in me. It certainly would satisfy all those pesky "what name do we give the children" quandaries. And, after the initial pains of getting my name changed, it's simple. Let's be honest here: as a young bride, I will - more than likely - have his last name for far longer than I had my current last name. As for the career problem, I don't have a career - I'm still in school. There's nothing in my (non-existent) professional career keeping me from changing my last name.
The next reason is a big, sentimental reason, which makes no logical sense, but if I changed my name ... then I would have the same last name as Keith's mom. That link to her - although abstract, and certainly illogical, is a big draw. It's hard to explain, but she married into the name too. I'd be sort of following in her footsteps, in a way. Like I said, it's hard to explain what this means to me, and I certainly can't do adequate justice to the feeling it evokes.

Option 3 - Have two last names:
On the surface, this is the best of both worlds. No hyphen, just double barrel the last name. Easy peasy. Everybody's happy.

Except for the children question. Everybody who I've talked to with a double last name has HATED it. I don't want to do that to my kids. And, while I say having a different last name than my kids wouldn't be too big of an issue, see reference to my traditionalist side up above. I do like the idea that all of us would have the same last name.

So where do I go from here? Right now, I've almost decided entirely on Option 2.

Because in all truthfulness - I'm not a fan of the name, but boy howdy, I sure am a fan of the boy who has it.

I'm curious - was it a no-brainer for you? Or did you struggle with it as much as I did?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tweaking an idea

I really need to stop looking at pinterest.

It's not healthy.

Especially when we're 101 days away from the wedding.

(wait, 101? are you serious?)

I've always wanted to hang a mass of paper lanterns that are so trendy right now. They're trendy for a reason, people - they're awesome!

I don't want to really light them up as individual balls though - I know there's different ways of doing them but, seriously. Not.Interested.

So - whats a suitable, budget-friendly option for having some sort of illumination and my paper lanterns?

Strings of white Christmas lights hung above the actual lanterns themselves, of course.
I just have to make sure that the venue would allow something like this - I'm thinking it may be deemed a fire hazard. (I don't see how, but better safe than sorry, right?)

I know I have two strings packed away somewhere, and a quick call to Harry revealed he has at least four. A mutual friend promised us one string, and I found three others on kijiji for just 3$. So the cost of this project? Um. Three dollars.

I call that a win.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I want to do.... WHAT?

Hi, my name is Sarah and I have now officially crossed the bridge into crazy-bridal-land.

I love clutches. I've been drooling over pictures of pretty clutches for months now. I have one purse, and while it's a good everyday purse in a fun colour (lime green!), I've felt my soul yearning for a slightly more upscale purse for those formal events coming up in my life (um, all two of them, but shhh). And what's more perfect for the girls in the wedding party than a cute clutch they can - unlike their dress (sorry girls! I tried!) - use again after the wedding?

Enter major complication: I can't afford these super cute, adorable clutches for each girl in each wedding party. At $35 times 6 girls, it's just not possible.

Custom Bridesmaids Clutches with Silver Clasp Frames
(see how CUTE these are?!? From etsy seller CreativeThreads)

So I had a hair-brained idea.

Why don't I make the clutches? Like, sew them myself? 

Um...let's file this under "things I would never think of doing until the wedding came along".
(This list includes paying over 500$ for a cake, feeling guilty over having a cash bar, and thinking people will care about the invitations as much as I do, among other things).

The kicker is I don't sew. I mean, I know how, but I don't have a machine or anything. The last piece of sewing I did was my prom dress when I was my boyfriends' date in grade ten. And I spent more time ripping out stitches than I did putting them in. My aunt had to finish the dress for me or else I would have gone naked to prom. No lie.

I'd have to make six clutches (three girls on my side, two on Keith's, and one for myself) and sew them by hand. In less than three months. Oh yeah, this is going to be a piece of cake. Ya-huh.

But how could I resist not at least attempting to make these? They're frigging ADORABLE. And I ... want to.  Despite the fact I don't sew. And I have to make six. I still want to.

Right now my thought is either to (a) make them all in the same fabric pattern on the outside and then lining them with each girls favourite colour, or (b) tailoring each one of them to each girls personality and favourite colours. 

What do you think? Option a or b? 

And, really, the big question: on a scale of one to ten, how crazy is this idea?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And they're off!

I have been working on various parts of these since February, y'all. FEBRUARY. And now, finally, they are out of my hands and off to our guests! 




When they arrive at their destinations I'll give you a full run down of what they look like, how I made them, and how much they ended up costing.

And yes, I totally harassed Keith into coming with me to the mailbox at 10:30pm so he could take pictures as I mailed them. I am superdork.

(Special thanks goes to Kamie. Seriously. She is simply too amazing for words. Thank you so, so much, lady!)

Moving...eventually

Keith has been living in this apartment since February of 1999.

In rental terms, that essentially means "a really, really REALLY long ass time."

Actually, in rental terms, it means this place is now a dump.

(A bit of background history: In Ontario, rental increases are set yearly by The Landlord & Tenant board. This year, the rental increase was set at .07%. This means we pay below market rent since they can only increase it so much every year.)

While the guideline was set at .07%, we received a notice from the rental company that they've applied for an increase above the guideline - they want to increase the rent by 3.5%.
I felt sucker punched when I received that notice. It would raise our rent to something I'm not comfortable paying, for what this apartment is. There have been absolutely no upgrades to this apartment, except for the toilet (which they replaced in every unit about a year ago) and our oven - and that's only because the heating coils caught on fire, rendering it unusable. And, after 12 years, this apartment needs some work.

(Actually, it needs a LOT of work, but I'm trying to be nice. Basically, the only things keeping us in this apartment? The size - it's 713 sq ft - and the low rent).

Finally, the rental company doesn't allow you to move between units of the same bedroom size, and has a income threshold for the two bedrooms - which Keith definitely doesn't make (and it has to be one income, not combined).

We're starting to seriously think about moving.

I'm tired of dealing with corporation-based landlords, where you're just a rent cheque, and I'm tired of living in a high rise with no outside living space (this apartment doesn't have a balcony. It feels .... very odd). Keith hates change (ya think?! 12 years in the same apartment doesn't give you a clue?) so it's time to look for a 2 or even 3 bedroom house or townhouse so we can stay for a good number of years, even when it's time for us to start a family.

I have a few things that have made it onto the 'must have' list; mainly, 2-3 (or more!) bedrooms, no high rises (multi-unit home/townhouse/house, etc), no rental companies, hardwood floors, some sort of outside green space, parking, dishwasher/washer/dryer. And, ideally, no credit check.
Keith just has two: no basement apartments and no Quebexico.

We can't really start looking until the wedding is over - there's no way I want to undertake the task of finding a new home right now, and there's no way we could come up with first and last either.

But, it's going to happen.
Before 2012 is finished.
Pinky swear.

Did you move while planning a wedding, or did you wait until after? How did it go?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dreaming: wedding edition

Oh MAN.

I have had some dreams, y'all.

Like last night: I was all dressed, ready to go to the venue, except for two things:  (1) I had a red veil. And (2) Keith's ex wouldn't let me leave. Seriously. Would.Not.Let.Me.Leave. Never fear: it was easily solved by Keith bringing the ENTIRE wedding to me. Hey, if Mohammed can't come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed, right?

And the red veil? I was initially really upset about it, because, hello, everybody knows veils are white, but by the end of the dream I was all for it. I think it helped that my hair was in a French braid, and then the veil was kind of bunched/attached to the French braid, and it ended at the back of my neck. It was seriously cool-looking! I wonder if coloured veils will be the next big trend?

Other dreams I've had were around the time of the big Royal wedding; I dreamed one night we had pushed up our date from October to April - and this was the last week of April. I've never woken up so stressed out in my LIFE. Another one was that the Royal wedding was actually being held in my high school gym - not sure why I was particularly concerned about that?

Other than that particular dream, none of them have been particularly stressy or scary. There hasn't been any "Oh I'm standing naked halfway down the aisle and everybody's watching" ones yet (knock on wood) - just random, kind of weird ones - like the time my 'dress' was a silver and black poodle skirt, with the word "Elvis" on the back, and only fourteen people showed up. Thanks subconscious, I love you too. Really.

Did you have any weird/random/stress-inducing wedding dreams when you were planning? What was your weirdest?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

family history

Today, a group of fourteen members of my family - which includes my brother and my mom - are starting out on a one week hiking journey through the Chilkoot Trail. They're following in the footsteps of my Great-Grandpa, who in 1895 set off from Seattle (although he was originally from Southwestern Ontario and returned there to settle afterwards) in search of gold in the Yukon Gold Rush.

Several members of my family (also including my mom) will then continue on and canoe down the Dawson River for another week to complete the full journey that these Gold Rushers took to make their fortune all those years ago.

I find it absolutely fascinating that our family can re-trace the footsteps of our ancestor in such a profound way, and celebrate our (very small!) personal part in such an amazing slice of Canadian history over a hundred years later.

With the wedding this year, it wasn't financially feasible for me to join them, but I look forward to hearing all of their stories and seeing the pictures when they return.

Anybody else have some crazy summer plans?

Monday, July 4, 2011

weekend











It was a pretty awesome long weekend over here. How was yours?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy birthday!!

This year Ottawa has some very special guests on hand to celebrate our country's birthday - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be on Parliament Hill for the festivities.

For Keith and myself, we'll be taking advantage of the free admission to the Canadian War Museum (I've been before; Keith hasn't) and spending a couple of hours there. I think it's appropriately fitting that on our nation's birthday we'll be spending time reflecting on the sacrifices our military men made (and still make) for our country so we can enjoy our freedom, booze and fireworks. Keith comes from a military family - Harry served 29 years in the Navy - and Keith is really into World War II history. And I just call an afternoon wandering around somewhere steeped in history a good day, any day of the year.

We'll probably just spend the entire day wandering around downtown and find a place to watch the fireworks at 10pm. Buses are free after 9pm, so getting home will be, well, interesting. But free!

How do you celebrate your nation's birthday?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Winning!

Guess who just won Katy Perry tickets to her concert this Sunday?!


It'll be my first ever concert - I've never liked an artist well enough to spend 100$+ on tickets.

You wouldn't think Keith would want to go, right?
Wrong.

He campaigned hard. I think he just wants to see pyrotechnics shoot out of Katy's boobs.
Naturally. ;)

(Special thanks goes to Magpie Jewellery who hosted the contest on twitter).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Almost there

Remember this post, when I said I wanted to be around the 220 mark by early July?

Well.

Awwh yeah, baby.