Winter blues

It’s sunny and beautiful in Vancouver this December. The holiday tunes are out in full swing on local radio stations and store fronts are decked in all the tinsel ornaments you can find. Typically at this time of year you’d find me crafting in my corner, chatting away at my networking groups and feverously shopping at the local gift store. This year is a little bit different.

This year I was given a bit more responsibility at work, I got married then flew out of town for work the next week and… my thyroid was literally knocked out.  I told myself I wasn’t the type of bride that went nuts to go on diets for a one day event (as opposed to building better long term lifestyle habits). I ate all the healthy things, supplemented occasionally and tried to maintain physical activities. September hit and it seemed that I had actually done the opposite. My body literally felt heavy and tired – worse yet my mind was tired.

After seeing my naturopath she immediately put me on natural thyroid medication (my choice). She recommended some rhodiola and ashwagandha plus tonnes of vitamin D. I’m definitely seeing a perk in my mood but overall – as Facebook reminds me my past holidays – I’m noticing that this year is different.

pexels-photo-699372I will admit, I am feeling far better this week than last (might also be from all the sun?). And so I start to think about those who do feel the blues this season. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and not everyone loves the idea of consumer gifting – with the current environmental issues all the wrapping paper/packaging being used at this time could understandably cause more damage.

Do you celebrate Christmas? And what are you doing to support the environment through gift giving?

 

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Holy Basil Batman!

So my wedding day was amazing. It was loads and loads of fun – it went by far too fast.

We had our unplugged ceremony at St. Patrick’s Parish on Main St and our reception at the Permanent on Pender St. Our day was just as magical as every bride imagines it to be.

All day my beautiful bridesmaids kept asking how I was feeling – if I was nervous or anxious and all I kept saying was that I was excited! Before the ceremony I could see the nervous jitters my girlfriends had and even before the speeches my hubby and my maid of honour felt the same. I felt as cool as cucumber! Thanks to the Botanica Holy Basil Phytocap I was able to experience the day as relaxed and in excitement as opposed to being nervous and sick.

I really can’t rave enough about the Botanica Holy Basil and the Ashwagandha. I took these the week of and the day of the wedding. Both came to the rescue! I highly recommend these herbs for all brides!

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Tomorrow is the Big Day!

A year’s worth of planning and a lifetime worth of love starts tomorrow!

It is so surreal that this day is finally here. As someone who has planned and executed numerous events, wedding planning was not fun for me. The event goals were different and success metrics depends really on the day itself.

As an event planner, I am anxious and thinking about the timeline with all the moving pieces. This morning we are tying up last minute and loose ends. The majority of today will be spent having a nice lavender bath and a calming facial.

As the bride, I’m excited and can’t wait to celebrate my love to an amazing guy with my closest family & friends. In the months and days leading up to this special day I’m reminded how many wonderful people I have in my life to be thankful for. I have been showered with so much love and affection.

And while I’m excited and so happy for this day to finally come, I can’t shut my eyes on what is happening in the world around me. This is not to put a damper on my mood or the wedding but mother nature is demanding to be treated with respect. Nuclear missile testing and ignorance to global warming and other environmental issues are not to be joked around with. There are hundreds of people stranded on islands in the Caribbean with most inhabitants having had lost their homes and all their possessions.

So despite the weather forecast for tomorrow, I am grateful for the rain to come. I’m thankful for the relief it provides for our BC wildfires and only hope that it pauses for an hour or two (for our photos!)

 

 

 

Wedding Gift Giving

As the date draws near I post this in hopes that my wedding guests might perk up their ears…. A wedding is a huge celebration carefully thought through by the bride and groom, well in our case anyway! This includes the aspect of gift giving.

Like most couples getting married within this decade, Adam and I have lived together for pretty much two years now. Contrary to traditional weddings back in the Philippines, we don’t need a fresh set of household gifts as we have and currently use a set of pots and pans or vacuum. We’ve made clear to our guests that we value experiences over material objects. We prefer cash gifts but I couldn’t very well ask for cash at my bridal shower, so we had ended up creating a gift registry.

It was only this week that I found out about Zola – the all in one cash and gift registry! If I had found about about this site sooner it would have saved me all the headache of setting up a Honeyfund (only to have found out that they only accept payments through PayPal and no other Canadian bank) and then succumbing to having set up a registry at another well known home goods retailer.

A gift registry makes it easy for the bride and groom; no longer are the happy couple given gifts of bone china or silverware – items of which are never used. Most couples who live in the city don’t really have extra storage space for that bread maker or rocking chair. We created our registry for those who absolutely HAVE to gift a material object.

Why are cash gifts ideal? It requires one person to carry cash gifts versus the 5 that will need to take wrapped gifts home. Again, as a couple that already live together, it is just far more ideal to know that our family & friends have gifted us with funding our honeymoon.

So while we do have a gift registry I do hope that our guests take into account the fact that we are very happy with all our belongings and if they absolutely MUST purchase a gift to please keep within the registry. Check out Zola’s tips on registry gift giving below.

Zola Card 1 The Registry

 

 

The two month countdown…

There’s only two months left until I officially become Mrs. Reynolds.

The event planner in me is thinking of all the things that still need to be done from the seating chart, the music list to the very tiny small details. Reviewing the decor to ensure my green, gold, creme and coral/blush motif works well together. The BlackTux Rental Company has put this beautiful color swatch together that basically mirrors the color motif I’ve planned for my own wedding except with slate grey suits and a more coral toned blush.

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The other part of me is trying to get serious. Getting married isn’t just a party or a huge event, it’s a commitment of a lifetime. I’m so thankful to have found my better half, someone who continually leads me to grow and development.

My goal this month is to finalize all the details and complete the pieces so that I get to savour the weeks leading up to my wedding and how huge of a deal this really is!

How did you make sure you had all your to-do’s ticked off in time for the wedding?

 

 

Cars, cars and more cars

My appreciation for cars and the owners who take such pride in modifying them is growing. My fiance & I travelled to Quebec to experience life on the east side of Canada for the first time. We ate all poutine, drank all the beer and saw very many cars.

Our first weekend in Quebec was spent at Eurocracy Montreal which hosted a huge show full of supercars and modified Volkswagens on display, a race track for rallying and a drag race strip.  You could see the pride in the owners faces as they wiped their cars clean and the eager look of spectators as they took photos of all the shiny cars and their rims. My fiance was beside himself trying to breathe calmly as we entered the lot. He was so excited he looked like a child in an all you can eat ice cream candy shop!

The cars were beautiful in all fairness. The shine of these cars, the spotless engines and insane details – it was truly amazing what these owners did to their cars.

The weekend after we headed to the Formula One Grand Prix and those cars were not shiny but very loud and VERY FAST!  The sound of the engines and the huge crowds definitely created a fun atmosphere but I definitely prefered the ease of wandering around the Eurocracy Show and watching random rallies over the international fast cars any day!

 

 

 

A bad day in Vancouver …

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Blogs about Vancouver usually describe its beauty or the many unique cuisines you can find in this tourist gem of a city. I rarely see blog posts about safety or security in Vancouver, so in light of recent events I’m unearthing my blog. Vancouver, as it grows, still also has the pitfalls of many other cities – tourists be wary.

This morning at about 6:30 AM I sat at the Starbucks Coffee shop on Cambie & Broadway earnestly working on my laptop. I guess that I was so focused on my work that someone had the ability to reach into my bag, which was sitting less than a foot beside me, and take my wallet. It was only after a couple hours that I noticed my wallet was missing and went into a panicked frenzy.

No one likes having anything stolen, wallets least of all. Mine contained my ID, debit/credit cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and most importantly however, in my wallet was money for this month’s rent; I was planning to deposit it into my account for the end of the month deadline.

After calling my bank and being told that both my debit and credit card had already been used at the nearby drug store I was hit with a sense of sadness. It was a horrible gut wrenching feeling when I realized it was actually stolen. It wasn’t just the money that my fiance and I worked so hard for but the idea that someone violated my personal space – while I was sitting right there!

Most people around me know how unbearably optimistic and positive I am but when I started thinking about the simple act of a person violating my personal space it dragged me down a wormhole of  questions that rocked my core: why do people do these things? Why is it that in all the dangerous places I’ve travelled I’ve only ever had my belongings stolen in the city I call home? Should I be carrying my cards or money on a strap around my neck as tourists do?

The rhetoric in my head started becoming pretty depressing. My fiance came home and he was far more expressive than I was about this whole situation. As he lamented over losing our rent money with various Irish curses, I came to realize that things could be far far far worse. Throughout the day friends and coworkers generously offered support and getting all my cards re-issued seems to be straightforward. We stopped to think of what would happen if we weren’t as fortunate in a situation as we are now and were filled with so much gratitude.

Vancouver is a beautiful city and most people are generally wonderful but as the city continues to grow we should also remind tourists to keep watch over their belongings. As such with most urban centres, pickpocketing and other big city crimes exist. With summer around the corner I’m hoping to use this blog post as a caution for the tourists that are heading this way.

This beautiful gem of a city also has it’s sharp edges.