Monday, August 18

Light it Up

 One of the road trips we did in PEI had us stopping by Victoria on the Sea, an adorable little fishing village with a small boardwalk, a chocolate shop, the famous Landmark Cafe, PEI's biggest tree (there was a plaque) and this little lighthouse!

After Victoria, we continued on to Summerside, the second largest city in PEI (so Nick says) and also where my new husband was born. By the time we got there it was threatening rain and quite cloudy out, but we snapped some pictures on the boardwalk and at a little tourist area, then jumped back in the car.

This Anthropologie dress is one of the most comfortable things I own. The fabric has a quilted feel to it, thick and drapey, you can see the texture in the below pics. I bought this little hoodie at The Bay right before we left and it ended up being the only jacket I wore, perfect with everything in my closet.

Anthro Dress, Jo Totes camera bag, Toms Shoes, sweater Style and Co Sport from The Bay

Thursday, August 14

Little Lola (10) - Happy Birthday

It's been an eventful couple of years for our family; moving houses, renovations, Lolas addition to our lives and getting married, but my favorite of all the changes has been this extra little life that makes our family feel complete (for now). Lola and her sister Molly had their first birthday last Tuesday while we were in PEI, and I can hardly believe my little pup is growing up so fast.

It's cliche, or maybe it's just cliche when we're talking about kids, but she's both changed so much and stayed so much the same. Wow, that face has sure changed but look at those raised ears, listening for a command or question? The same. The same white heart on her forehead that strangers always remark upon seeing, the same attentive stare, the same puppy eyes. But those long legs! That confidence that allows her to make new friends and to play so freely with her cat sibling and puppy sibling. She hasn't always been so confident! We worked hard for that.

She is such a good girl, sits so well and downs at a distance. She recently overcame her fear of putting her face in the water, and she's learning to swim! She'll play fetch until she falls asleep with the ball under her chin. She always has a huge smile on her face and when describing her personality our friends say Lola is just 'happy'. She's confident enough to run after her sister at the park, but she knows not to go too far or be away too long. She listens to 'come', and understands house boundaries. When I don't want her to follow me into a room, all I use is one upraised index finger. I'm terribly proud of her, and I know that as we continue our training and work that pride will only grow.

We love her so much.

This next year of her little life we're going to try and expose her to so many new things! New parks, new friends, new dogs. We want to try taking her to my parents cabin  next weekend, maybe next summer we'll try camping! I want to take her swimming and expose her to new animals (my sister has a bunny who could probably beat Lola up). There are so many new experiences to have with a pup in tow, and I can't wait to continue this adventure.

Happy Birthday Lola!

Wednesday, August 13

Stay Classy

 Our first full day in Charlottetown PEI I wore this comfy number. When I originally bought this skirt from ASOS I didn't think I would get much wear out of it, but lo, it has become one of  my go to pieces both for work and play. It's super comfy and can be dressed up or down with a T or blouse. In this case, I paired it with a shirt I got in one of my Wantable Intimates boxes. It's an amazingly comfy, drapey shirt that I often sleep in. That doesn't stop me from wearing it out of the house, it's too cute to only wear to bed. In this case, I tucked it into the front of the skirt and let it drape a little in the back. To dress this skirt up, I could have paired it with a white button down and some jewelry. Easy!

My camera bag is Jo Totes and it has been an invaluable travel companion both to Mexico and PEI. It's the perfect carry-on for the plane and has lots of room in it for all my things (plus camera). I think on some days I carried two cameras, my travel wallet, various lipsticks, tissue and more. Love it. Plus, the blue stripe pockets go wonderfully with the nautical theme I used to pack for this vacation. ;)

Jo Totes camera bag, Toms shoes, ASOS skirt

Tuesday, August 12

A Few Tweaks

You may notice, or you may not if you're very unobservant, that the blog has been going through a few little tweaks and changes! I even went so far as to purchase a fancy new blog template, but after much fiddling with it, decided not to use it. I am not a coder by any means.
 This template, this layout, still feels right to me.

What did change was my colour scheme (a little) and my header (a lot).

I also updated the About Me page with some new photos and information, and sidebar. The sidebar should be looking a little cleaner and less cluttered now. You'll also find my five most popular posts floating over there. I hope you like it!

Over the next couple days I'll be working to unify my branding across all platforms of social media, and I can't wait to put a renewed energy into this space. Blogging is such a personal thing (or can be) and you hear constantly about bloggers who burn out or lose their passion. I'm hear to say that I will never be a professional blogger, I will never have guilt over not posting, I will never feel the need to post if I don't have something to say or document. I've felt that way in the past and it's just not me. 
What I am passionate about is sharing bits of life, and photos of my dog. It's been so funny the last couple of months to find out how many family and friends I have that read the blog just to stay updated on my life. I think that's wonderful (Hi Jackie and Martha!). 

So here's to a bit of a fresh start with Light A Candle, "I'll light your bloody candle, but someone's damn well going to hear about the dark."

Monday, August 11

Honeymoon: In Instagrams

We're back! And happy to be so. It's great to come home and be full of gratitude and love for our friends and family and pets! We loved getting home and seeing Tommy and Lola after a week of being away, and sleeping in our own bed has been pretty swell too.

While I'm editing photos from my DSLR, I thought I would share all of the Instagrams from the trip. I uploaded them to Facebook as we went to keep our families in the loop, and I got a lot of comments when we returned on how all we seemed to be doing was eating. Haha.

Instead of going day by day I broke my pics into a few collages. Firstly, sights and places! We really enjoyed staying in the heart of Charlottetown and enjoying the city sights, but we also ventured in our rental car to a few far off island places (and by far off I mean up to an hour away, everything is pretty close when you're on a small island). We took in Victoria by the Sea, a sweet little village with a chocolate factory/shop, Brackley beach and Basin Head beach, and Summerside.
1.Charlottetown warf 2.Fairholm Inn 3.St. Dunstan Basillica 4.Queen St 5.Dunes Cafe and Gallery 6.Brackley Beach, 7.Charlottetown town hall 8.St outside the hotel 9&10.Piatto 11.PEI Chocolates in Victoria 12.Victoria Row
The best part of the trip was probably the food! PEI is really a Mecca for delicious seafood and fresh, local ingredients. Many new eateries are popping up in downtown Charlottetown and we enjoyed every one we tried! I have many more food pics, haha, but here are my favorites.
1.Dave's Lobster Co. 2.Banana Bread crusted halibut at Dunes Cafe 3.Steak and poatoes at Dunes Cafe 4.The Stephanie Pizza at Piatto 5.Dolce De Leche tart at Piatto 6. Oysters at the Merchantman Pub 7.Strawberry Shortcake at Terre Rouge 8.Burgers and fries at Boom Burger 9.Lobster Roll at Rick's Fish and Chips 10.Cows Ice Cream 11.PLT (pancetta with duck fat toast) at Terre Rouge 12.Mac of the Day at Terre Rouge
Finally, we also had the wonderful opportunity to participate in some local activities and attractions! PEI is celebrating 150 years since the Charlottetown Conference with 70 days of free activities and concerts. We had no idea our trip would coincide with these festivities, but we took full advantage! We took in Avatar on the big screen Monday night, and we closed out the trip with a free Matthew Good concert on Friday. Jill Barber opened and we adored her, and Matt Good was excellent.

We also enjoyed Brackley Beach, the Brackley Drive in, a Brewery Tour at the PEI Brewing Company and of course, a healthy dose of Magic (the card game).

I thought I would also include some pics I took of our suite in the Clark House. It's the 'carriage house' at the Fairholm Historic Inn. They've just recently built the new facility, which is more like a four suite apartment building, and they've done an amazing job decking it out with modern and luxurious furnishings. We really loved being so close to the history and charm of PEI, but having a beautiful modern home to retreat to.

And lastly, I was so pleased to receive lots of pictures and texts from family back home taking care of our wee ones. Nicks parents watched Lola and his aunt and uncle stayed at our house and watched Tommy. Lola obviously had a blast with her sister Molly and, man, it was heart breaking to leave her for work today! She was moping around the house like a lost puppy wishing she could play with her sister no doubt. They really love each other! While we were gone Molly taught Lola a little about the art of tree climbing, and Lola overcame her fear of putting her face under water and learned to bob for tennis balls. We hear Tommy occupied himself with knocking everything in the house over. Haha.
I'll be posting outfit pics and more vacation picks from my DSLR soon!

Thursday, July 31

Packing for the Honeymoon

Well, the time is approaching and in three days Nick and I will be flying to PEI on a redeye flight on our way to our honeymoon! Nick was born in Summerside PEI, so I couldn't be happier to finally get to meet his grandmother and see a bit of that part of Canada. We'll be staying in Charlottetown and hopefully making lots of trips out and about, taking in as much as possible. Sounds like our trip will involve a lot of beaching, biking and walking (and eating), so I'm packing accordingly. At the moment I'm on a navy blue kick, so you'll notice I'm also trying to pack with a coordinated colour theme.

Packing Part 1

Firstly, dresses and jackets. I tend to live in dresses and I have quite a few favorites to choose from at the moment!
1. Just bought this striped dress from The Gap and I love it. Super comfy, I'll be wearing this on the plane.
2. I also purchased this dress in solid navy blue at H&M for fifteen dollars! These jersey dresses tend to loose their shape overtime, but they're a steal of a deal for the year of wear you'll get out of them. It's very comfy and has a cute criss-cross back.
3-4. These two maxi dresses will be equally great for going out for a romantic dinner or covering up at the beach.
5-7. These three dresses serve a similar function, being of the same silhouette and comfy-ness. The purple ASOS dress has an airy cut out back, and the whitepepper and ASOS denim dresses are both great for layering. I might have to choose between these two when I go to fit everything in the suitcase, since they're both denim.
8. This represents my Anthro striped sundress. Always super comfy and great for the beach or a dinner out!
9-11. My jacket collection. Since it's rainy in PEI sometimes I'll be bringing a rain coat, my jean jacket for wind, and a light waterfall blazer for comfort and to dress up some dresses for evenings out.
12. The last dress is my eyelet halter dress, it's breezy and nautical in it's design and I can't wait to wear it on the island. ;)
Packing Part 2
1. This represents my Everlane Ryan shirt, slouchy and comfy for lounging or a walk.
2. My check shirt works as a coverup or a casual counterpart to any of my bottoms.
3. I love my flounce sleeve shirt for layering underneath dresses with just the sleeves showing.
4-5. My Hello Merch Items are ultra comfy! The tank will be for hot days, and the sweater will be for chilly nights or rainy afternoons.
6. A basic white T goes with everything.
7-10. My bottoms are pretty basic, two pairs of shorts (one for the beach), a pair of long pants just in case, and a cute skirt.

Packing Part 3

1-6. My bathing suit collection! These are the actual one pieces and tops I own, the bottoms are representations. I love my ASOS polka-dot Bikini, it's structured and great for a larger bust but the straps come off for tanning. The white one-piece and black frill top are new purchases from Modcloth, and the JCrew purple one piece is a solid purchase from a couple years ago.
7. Of course my Birkenstocks are coming with. I wear them everywhere, so much so I have some serious Birkie tan this summer.
8. A towel of course.
9-11. My bag collection. The Seafolly beach tote is gigantic and perfect for a whole day spent at the beach, the Everlane tote is a little smaller, good for an afternoon at the beach or  a visit to the farmers market. The matching Everlane backpack will be Nicks second carry-on, perfect for a day trip, hike, bike ride, or day at the market.
12. Lastly, my Lowthers wellies will be making the journey with us in case of rain or mud. Love these boots.

On the Plane

To get there, I'll be wearing my new striped dress and slinky blazer on the plane. Also, I'll be wearing my Toms, since they're a great walking shoe and easy to slip on and off. A scarf also helps with chilly air planes, circle scarves tend to double as a shawl or blanket. Nick and I prefer to travel with only carry-on luggage, so I'll be bringing my hard sided carry-on and leather weekender as a purse. I was a little concerned I might not get away with having such a big purse, haha, but I believe as long as it fits under the seat I'll be fine. I might swap the weekender out for the Everlane tote, but I feel like it's supple leather goodness would make my trip more glamorous. This is probably pinterest talking.

Happy early weekend my loves, and I'll be back in a week and a half to share pics.

Tuesday, July 22

The Dress: Olivia by Watters Wtoo

First time in the dress...
 The dress I ended up choosing for the wedding was an absolute dream.

She's called "Olivia" by Watters Wtoo. I found her at the first salon I ever visited, but on my last bridal appointment. We visited Novelle Bridal first because they carry some less conventional options by designers I was very interested in. On our first visit, this dress wasn't in the store. We decided, after about four or five other bridal appointments, to end our search at Novelle to help round out what had been an emotionally taxing experience.

I had seen, and pinned, Olivia in the past, so I was thrilled to try her on and immediately fell in love. She was just what I was looking for. When we started shopping I told everyone I wanted to look like a "fairy princess on the runway", meaning ethereal and romantic but runway ready instead of bridal, and Olivia made me feel that way! 

Not to be happy with a standard dress we decided to tweak a little. The seamstress at Novelle was very talented, she took apart the entire bodice to mold it to my chest, and while she was at it she removed the bulk of the flower embellishments on the bodice leaving just the five or so flowers along the top. I loved this change, I felt it made the whole dress a little less busy and the finished product showed off the delicate ruching. We also added spaghetti straps. 

Final Fitting.

I did struggle with deciding what kind of jewelry to wear with this dress. It's not exactly simple, and I didn't want the look to become busy.  I chose a vintage diamond heart necklace from my grandmother, and decided to keep the earrings really simple by choosing over-sized crystal studs in a pear shape to match my engagement ring.

Hilariously, I completely forgot to put on my jewelry the morning of the wedding and only remembered a few moments before walking down the asile. My sister was able to grab my earrings, but we had forgotten the necklace at my parents house! Considering the fact we had remembered the necklace at every single bridal appointment up until the day (you can see it in the above pics), but forgotten it when it actually counted, I just laughed. My mum was sweet enough to run home in between the ceremony and reception so I was able to wear it in the evening!

Another note for future Olivia brides: our ceremony was outside and for some reason every insect on the farm was attracted to my layers of tulle! At one point I had two crickets and a moth in my skirts and as guests would proclaim "I haven't seen a single bug!" I would laugh "They're all in my dress!". Bizarre and hilarious.

Also for reference, I'm a straight size 12 and had to order a 16 in this dress. They took in the bust considerably, but that's what fit my waist! I loved seeing all the pictures of brides and especially brides my size in dresses while I was shopping, so I hope this helps someone. ;)

Some more pictures of Olivia from the morning of the wedding:

You can find my recollections and some pictures from the morning of the wedding here, and I'll surely by posting more in the weeks to come.

Monday, July 21

Morning of the Wedding

My hair stylist and friend, Katy, warned me at my hair trial the Monday before my wedding that I wouldn't sleep. She said, whenever I've done a wedding the bride always tells me she didn't sleep the night before. But don't worry, you'll have so much adrenaline you won't even notice.

Katy was pretty much spot on.
My girls and I had a fabulous evening of movies and masks and piled into bed, Amy and I in one, Kristi in another, April on the couch. Morning crept up quickly and despite having only touched my head to pillow around 1AM, when I glanced at the clock next, fully awake, it was only 5. Determined to catch a few extra Z's I closed my eyes again, but soon my nose was runny and there was no tissue on my end table. Feeling as though staying in bed would prove futile, I climbed out and went in search of some tissue. As I had suspected, my Mum was already up and resting on the sofa upstairs. I made myself some tea and sat down to wait until a more appropriate time to wake up my ladies.
Knowing we had set an alarm for 8, I tip toed down around then and started loudly opening and closing doors. Haha. Waking people up is always kinda awkward. Kristi was already awake and hanging out on her phone in bed, Amy had been up and down a couple of times but woke up easy. April would have rathered stay asleep, but my door closing trick worked its magic on her as well.

Up we got, I used my borrowed tooth brush and face wash, stole some moisturizer, and got to the bustling around of the slightly disorganized. Before long people were shouting downstairs at me that my hair and makeup people had arrived. Katy worked magic on my hair, as usual, and makeup artist Amy Robertson made me look gorgeous! She was even gracious enough to do an extra bridesmaids eye makeup while she waited for me to finish up with hair. Katy also did a last minute bridesmaid updo that turned out gorgeous. Somewhat awkwardly, I found myself braiding Amy's hair under Katy's gaze for a few minutes before she went off to get ready. Good thing, as her excellent hair skills are bad for my hair skills self confidence. Ultimately,  I was pretty proud of how Amy's hair turned out! All my ladies looked gorgeous!

Hair and makeup done, delicious peach waffle scarfed and enjoyed, we were beginning to become short on time and it was time to put on the dress!

I cannot espouse enough about how wonderful it was to have a dress with a zipper in the back. Not only a zipper, but a low back so that I could zip the whole dress up on my own. This not only helped me stay cool on a super hot day, but allowed me to visit the bathroom, and put on my dress all on my own! Haha. Low backs and zippers come highly recommended. My mum did the tiny clasp at the top of the zipper, and tied a lovely bow for me. My bridesmaid Amy then did me the honour of being prince charming for a moment and put on my heels.

Second tip, shoes first.

With attire all accounted for (not counting a few accessories we completely spaced on) we piled into cars (I got a back seat to myself thanks to my dress pouf) and headed to the ceremony site. Thankfully, the car was air conditioned. Man, our day was hot! Only a couple of days later when the temperature climbed over thirty did I fully appreciate our 27 degree weather. Driving to the site I was thrilled to see our road signs directing traffic off the Manning, but the best moment was when we pulled into the drive way and I saw our groomsmen milling about for the first time. I teared up with relief, haha, they turned out so handsome! Maybe that sounds mean, but we had given the guys carte blanche with their attire excepting matching vests, so seeing them all magically look exactly as I envisioned was a great moment.

I'll write a bit about the rest of the day, but most of the pictures will have to wait until our photographer completes her edits. Waiting patiently is easy knowing Genevieve is so talented and wonderful!

Many thanks to Amy Sarfinchan, my dad Doug Petry, and my sis April for being my morning of photographers. It's handy having such talented folks around.

Thursday, July 17

Wedding Rehearsal

Saturday night was our wedding rehearsal! We started by setting up some decor to see how things would come together and it was such a special moment. Seeing all of the things I've dreamed of, purchased or envisioned over the last year be assembled made me so excited!

We had our musicians, officiant and bridal party there to do some runs through the ceremony and we decided not to practice our vows to one another, keeping them a surprise instead. It was a very beautiful, frantic, and exciting time.

After the rehearsal we shared a delicious meal together, and went our separate ways for the night. My girls came with me to stay the night at my parents house, and the boys went with Nick to spend the night at one of his groomsmens house. Lola stayed at the farm with my in-laws. It was during this hubub that I made my greatest error of the weekend, small as it was, haha. I forgot my makeup bag with cleanser, toothpaste and brush, and all of those little essentials! Luckily I had my lipstick for the next day, and some hair ties and face masks in my overnight bag and clutch.

We girls did face masks and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding, finally hitting the hay around 1 AM. My mum loaned me some face cleanser and my Dad produced a new toothbrush.

The boys, I hear, played board games until about 2.

It was a fantastic, joyous night!

French Connection dress from ASOS, Birkenstocks from Modcloth

Friday, July 4

Sharing is Caring: Han and Leia Wedding Prints

Well, the countdown is officially on and the wedding is just nine days away!

Lots of DIY projects to wrap up and a ton of picture frames to buy.

I've always dabbled in graphic design so I have a lot of design elements and posters I've made over the last few months that need to be printed and framed. I thought, just for fun, I would share my latest creation with those who might be interested.

As a wedding photo prop, I created this Han and Leia collage print to celebrate our geeky sides!

For this collage I used silhouettes found on Google Images from Doodle Craft Blog (Natalie even did all the hard work and provided a PNG with the backgrounds removed). I also used clip art from  Creative Market. I used 'Folk Doodles' by Mia Charro, and 'Watercolor Floral Seamless Patterns' by Depiano. I love purchasing clip art from Creative Market and I've used it heavily as a resource for wedding stuff. I bought a bunch of watercolor flowers from there and used them on my wedding invites! These two particular pieces were free for limited time downloads.

That's about it! I changed the colour of the flowers lightly for each image, and the fonts I used (for the whole wedding) are Mathlete and Blackjack which can both be downloaded for free.