Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wedding Etiquette

Lately I've had a few questions floating in the back of my mind regarding wedding etiquette. I've left a question or two on Jill's blog, and she's got lots of really good answers. This girl is very reliable and well-informed on virtually everything. What do the rest of you think with regards to the following?

1. I've received a few wedding invitations for this year, but because of the work we do, John and I cannot go anywhere until the off-season and one or two of the weddings we were invited to are around the same time as our own wedding. So...even if one does not attend a wedding, is it necessary to buy the couple a gift?

2. Gift registries: practical or tacky? I'm personally a huge advocate for gift registries. I think at least this way a couple can get something they need. We're registered at Sears and Canadian Tire. Since J and I have lived on our own before, we both have almost everything we need for the house - which is why some of our gifts on our registries are so lame! Anyway, what's the general consensus on gift registries out there? I love hearing everyone's opinions on these sorts of questions.

3. What size bridal party did you have? Who did you include? Was it difficult to choose? Did you feel like you were leaving anyone out? I'm excited and can't wait for our wedding. I love all the girls in my bridal party and couldn't think of a better bunch of gals :) They're going to be so gorgeous in their dresses!!!

4. What gifts did you give your attendants? We've already chosen our bridal party's gifts.

5. What gifts did you give your parents and your hubby's parents? Still not sure on this one.

6. What gift did you give your husband-to-be? Did you write him a sweet little note too? Was it given the night before or the day of the wedding?

7. What gift for the bride did your hubby give you?

Well, those are all the questions on etiquette I've got so far. Hope you enjoy reading this crazy blog and please leave your comments because I love reading them.

Off to shower (just worked out) and then we're off to Sudbury. I love going on day trips with J, even if it's work related :)
Monday, February 27, 2006

Addicted to blogging!!


With the wedding coming up in three months (well March 18th will be three months until the wedding), the heat is on for getting super in shape for the wedding dress. I just saw Sin City with John a few nights ago and thought that Jessica Alba looked super hot! I had seen the movie in the theater with Bobby, Elisha and PJ. Both PJ and I enjoyed the film, but I think it left a lot to be desired for B & E. I'm not sure though. Anyway, I would love to have a bod like Jessica Alba's. Healthy eating and Slim in 6 and Turbo Jam from www.beachbody.com will hopefully aid in the transformation!

Here's a pic of Jessica from the movie. Don't you think she's a good motivator for getting super toned? I'm sure both guys and gals will agree.

I've just added some cool new links:
Scrumptious Desserts is my cousin's site. For those in the Ottawa area, she is the most amazing baker ever! She has treats to satisfy everyone's pallate.
Curiosity q-q is for local Toronto events. Great blog and my pal Heidi's always got new and interesting stuff on there.
Ed in Europe is my little cousin's blog. He's currently in Nice, France studying. Studying what? I'm not sure. I neglected to ask. All I know is he's having a blast AND he was in Turin for the Olympics! Lucky bugger! Amendment on my last post about him. His girlfriend Chloe did not go to Turin, Italy with him to see the Winter Olympics. She will be visiting in May. Oops! My bad.

Apart from new blogs and sites (yes, I like to promote my friends and family's sites), just taking it easy today. I've got a killer shoulder and neck from painting my mum-in-law's kitchen. Oh..got some goodies in the post today! My sweet little student, Mary (Hee Young) from South Korea sent me some pressies! Yay! Way cool. There's nothing like getting snail mail or parcels in the post! Don't get me wrong. I do love the internet and e-mail, but there's something so warm and fuzzy in getting a handwritten letter with a postage stamp on the envelope. Yeah, it's a lot more personal. Love it. Always makes my day when I receive a letter in the mail (that isn't a bank statement or a bill!). Ohh, the presents were cool Korean knick knacks. She gave a letter and pressie to John, my mom, my dad, Linda (my mum-in-law), Courtney, Elizabeth and one for yours truly. I got a beautiful handmade scarf. Very pretty.

Ohhh...the pic? Yes. That's one of my crazy familia. Thought I'd throw it in there for fun. No connection whatsoever to this blog entry :)

Something in the water

Wow! There MUST be something in the water these days! Seven...count them...SEVEN of my friends are now pregnant!!! I'm just floored- especially since most of them are due around the same time as our wedding! This is definitely the year of weddings and babies in my circle of friends.

I would like to congratulate all of my pregnant friends. You're all going to be fantastic mommies!!! This is soooooooooo exciting!


Maybe I was just tired or maybe not in the mood, but I didn't particularly enjoy watching the new-ish Tim Burton film as much as I thought I would.
John and I bought Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for his little niece's birthday. We watched it with the girls the other night. Did I tell you that we've got the cutest little nieces??? Courtney and Elizabeth are such awesome kids. Anyway, back to the film. After much anticipation, I think I was a little disappointed. I mean, I don't even know what I was expecting.

I really think I was too tired to enjoy the movie. It was a bit too psychadellic for my liking (Tim Burton's great if you like his style) and I wasn't sure how the girls would take it. It was definitely different from anything I'd seen before. The movie itself was similar to the original movie, with a few alterations.

I did love the oompa loompas though! Deep Roy (the actor who played the parts of ALL the oompa loompas) was fantastic! He was sooooooooo funny! Johnny Depp played a good Willy Wonka. He was kinda creepy and at times reminded me of Michael Jackson. Not that I have anything against Michael Jackson- I love listening to old Jackson 5 tunes! For some reason Willy Wonka and his factory reminded me of Jackson and his Neverland Ranch. Hmm..maybe it's just me that's being weird!

I think what I loved most was the extras on the DVD. I loved the making of the film where they showed how they used Deep Roy to play the parts of the oompa loompas. Too funny! The poor guy! There was also a section where you could learn how to do the ooompa loompa dance. Should we do that dance at our wedding?? Haha! I think not!

The classic Roald Dhal tale of a very sweet little poor boy winning a tour of the eccentric candy maker's factory is one most kids will enjoy. Though I'm not the biggest Tim Burton fan, the film is masterfully done. The colors and sights are a feast for the eyes. It does remind one of fancy, whimsical childhood thoughts. Maybe because I'm a jaded adult, the film had less lustre for me. Guess I should have put myself in the same mode as my little nieces and let myself get carried away by Willy and his crazy antics.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Isn't Life Wonderful???

With so much negative going on in the world, like terrorist bombings, kidnappings, murders, and other kinds of violence, it's important to take time to recognize the good in the world. After I had finished priming and painting my mum-in-law-to-be's kitchen (we chose a beautiful Benjamin Moore paint in the shade of Vanilla Ice Cream), we plunked our tired selves on the couch and caught a bit of the Olympics.

I always get teary eyed (ok, maybe that's an understatement, as I seem to need a box of Kleenex) when I watch the games. There's just something so moving about the dedication, time, and passion that these athletes put into their performance. The Olympics also show sportsmanship, the love and pride one has for one's country, and just the beauty of sport. I love watching the figure skating and speed skating...oh, and let's not forget hockey! Surprisingly, curling has become a new favorite of mine. Canada fared very well in the medal count, and Canadian women ROCK!!! Unbelievable how amazingly the Canadian women performed in the Winter Olympics in Turin! Edgar, I'm sooooooooooo jealous that you and Chloe are in Turin, Italy right now for the games!!!!

Oh, another tear jerker? That Tim Horton's commercial with the grandfather watching his grandson's hockey game!! Every single time that commercial came on, the tears just started gushing! I didn't feel so badly when I saw that it had the same effect on my mother-in-law-to-be!

Hmmmm...what else is beautiful? Oh, my good friend D is having a baby shortly after John's and my wedding. We really hope she can attend our wedding, but due to circumstances (ie: she'll be VERY pregnant then!) we understand if she and her hubby can't make it. Anyway, I'm am VERY excited about D's pregnancy. This is such wonderful news. Though we are separated geographically, I'm so thankful for the internet so we can keep up-to-date and she can keep giving me all the latest baby news! I am thrilled for her and her hubby! E-mail, messenger, blogging...all awesome communication tools! There really is no excuse for not being able to keep in touch with friends. Even just shooting off a quick one liner to say hello is a good way of saying "Hey there! I know we're both busy, but I'm thinkin' of ya".

What else? Oh, J and I have decided on our "first dance" song!!!! After much mind bending to find the perfect song, we have chosen a really beautiful and meaningful one. Not much else to blog today, so I'll call it a night!
Friday, February 24, 2006

Ahhh! Quel fromage!!!

Okay, I need some input here. Upon contemplating the oh-so important wedding song selection, J and I got stumped. We love all of these songs and they all have special meaning to us. Though we're aware that no one but us can choose our first dance song, we'd like some input just to help us out a bit. The trouble is, they're all so perfect!! It's like finding that perfect party dress in a store but not knowing if you should choose the red one or the black one! Sometimes you need a friend's input on which one looks best. We've narrowed it down to a few special songs but are having trouble pin-pointing the one that best reflects our feelings for each other because they're all so special!!

Out of curiosity, those of you who are married already, which song did you choose for your first dance?

WARNING: cheesy love songs coming up!!


Kelly Clarkson- A Moment Like This
Celine Dion- Because You Loved Me
Faith Hill- Breathe
LeAnne Rimes- How Do I Live Without You
Shania Twain- You’re Still The One
Shania Twain- From This Moment
Edwin McCain- I’ll Be
Savage Garden- Truly, Madly, Deeply

Christina Aguilera- I Turn To You

Yes, yes...we know. We are sappy, sentimental romantics. LOL! I cried when we were listening to the lyrics of each of these songs. Oh my goodness...let's hope waterproof mascara works on our wedding day!

Those of you who know me, didn't I tell you that all this wedding prep stuff has disabled my ability to make decisions on even the most trivial things? Let me tell you, it took a LONG time to decide on the perfect wedding dress! I tried it (and several others) on a zillion times. Urgh. I wish I were the type of person who could just go in there, choose something and that would be the end of it. Instead, I'm the type of person who has to go back and forth on things. Argh. My aunt told me that pre-wedding anxiety isn't abnormal, but this is ridiculous!! The latest of my series of wedding nightmares (I've been dreaming about the wedding for the past 3 weeks!) is that our photographer called in sick!


I was reading my friend's blog and she wrote about recently meeting up with an old friend after years of not seeing each other. There's nothing like catching up with someone again after so many years. I think it's great when people can do this.

In university, I had a really amazing friend named Hillary. She was awesome. This girl was bright, hardworking, fun, pretty, and just a blast to be around. We had a few English Lit classes together and we used to go out together quite a bit. Urgh...I remember we had a Shakespeare class together- unfortunately it was a night class! We also had a three hour Victorian Lit class together. Cheers was our hangout on Thursday nights because it was ladies' night and it was a hop, skip and a stone throw away from campus. Yes, we had a lot of fun. Some stories I will never be able to tell my daughters!

Anyway, we lost touch for some reason. Neither of us really knows what happened. I moved to Toronto and Hillary went to Ireland. We played telephone tag, but couldn't reach each other and then that was that. Hillary had always been in my thoughts. She was such a great friend that I was upset we had lost touch. That was in 1996 or 1997 because I went to Japan to teach in 1998. Thinking of my old friend, I decided to track her down. I was very unsuccessful! I tried so many avenues and came up with nada, zip, zilch, nothing! Canada411 and all those other people search sites didn't work.

Finally, in 2005, I was almost to the point where I thought I would never get in touch with Hillary again, I perused our alma mater...the Concordia Alumni page. (Yes, I attended Concordia and York) I noticed that there was a service that could track down old classmates. Thinking I had nothing to lose, I plugged in all our info and hoped that Concordia would find Hillary for me.

Months and months went by, and no news. That was it...at least I tried. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" right? Then one day, I get this phone call. "Christine??" "Yes." "It's Hillary!!!" followed by minutes of "OH MY GOSH!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!" from both ends. Crazy! We chatted for ages and it seemed like it was only yesterday that we last spoke and not over 8 years ago! Can you believe not having contact with someone for 8 years and then reconnecting?? It was awesome! In many ways, a lot has changed, but at the same time, we've remained the same. It's hard to describe. In the span of 8 years so much has happened in our lives; we both moved to different countries, and both had crazy, good and bad experiences. It is so nice to be able to pick up from where we left off.

Hill came to visit me last year when I was in Kingston visiting my brothers and my sister-in-law. I went back to Ottawa with her for a bit and we did a lot of catching up. She's now at school in the U.S. and I'm on Manitoulin Island. How crazy (and exciting/refreshing) life is!

Thank goodness for the internet, the Concordia University Alumni webpage, the telephone and e-mail!!! Technology...gotta luv it!
Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Chrissy's Easy Chicken Parmesan

This is sooo easy! It's my quick 'n easy version of chicken parmesan. If you're wanting to keep somewhat kosher and want to skip the mixing meat and dairy then omit the cheese part. Homemade tomato sauces work best (tomatoes from the garden, garlic, herbs) but if you're a busy mom then a handy jar or can of Ragu (or whatever other brand you like) works well too.

Ingredients: 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, Italian bread crumbs, one egg, olive oil, cheese (whatever kind you want to grate), a bit of parmesan to top, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, pepper to taste.

Notice how I didn't put any measurements?? That's because I leave this up to your discretion. I personally don't measure anything and just go by eye or taste ;) Once you've done this recipe a zillion times, you'll see why you don't need to measure.

Okay, in a small bowl, beat the egg so you can coat the chicken breasts in it before coating them in the bread crumbs. Preheat oven at 375. After you've fully coated the breasts in the crumbs, brown them lightly in a skillet with a little oil. Put a bit of tomato sauce in an oven-safe carserole dish. Once browned, put the breasts in the casserole dish, on top of the sauce. Pour remaining tomato sauce over chicken and sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice and also adding the parmesan. Cover casserole and put in oven for 35-40 minutes.

Boil some pasta (fettuncine, linguini...whatever you like) and steam some veggies. Broccoli works very well with this dish.

The assembly: Place pasta on plate, put one chicken breast over top. Make sure you load on the tomato sauce!! Arrange broccoli on the side. Beautiful, easy, delicious, tender and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Very nice on the pallate.

Makes 4 servings.
Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm such a lucky girl...

As I write this, I glance over at my sleeping hubby-to-be. He is so sweet and I thank my lucky stars (or forces far more powerful than you and I) for bringing him into my life. I think about reasons I love him and I've come up with a massive list, but the top 10 reasons for me wanting to spend the rest of my life with him are:

1-he is such a hardworking man
2-he loves me despite all my faults (he says even more so with them!)
3-he makes me see the beauty of life and how to enjoy each moment
4-he is respectful to all those he meets
5-he is respected by all those who know him
6-he believes in exercising civic and moral duties
7-he shares the same beliefs and values as I do with regard to work, family, love and life
8-he is family oriented
9-he is patient and understanding
10-he is thoughtful

Yesterday, he made me b & e for breakfast, with toast, orange juice, hot chocolate and a banana. It was so sweet having my hubby-to-be just take care of me. I know it seems like a trivial matter, but the little things like that are very important to me.

My Bizarre, Freaky, Crazy Condition
In my stupidity, I had a Swiss mocha in the afternoon. Those of you who know me, are well aware of my 'condition'. Coffee and I do not mix. I have a terrible adverse reaction to certain forms of caffeine, mostly in coffee. Basically, coffee knocks me out. When I was in university and had insomnia, I'd take a shot of espresso or cappucino and I'd be out like a light. To test this coffee theory out, a friend of mine handed me a coffee on our break from our 3 hour lecture on Victorian literature. Needless to say, I was drooling and snoring on my desk within minutes...and I sat in the front row, right in front of our prof. Nice, eh?

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Swiss mocha! I didn't think it would hit me so much, since I figured it was mostly hot chocolate...and I had dilluted it with extra water. Hmmmm...well, John and I were in his truck and I was slowly drifting into la-la land. Yep, right before my fiance's eyes, my head started feeling very heavy and my eyes began to shut. Haha...so now he knows it's not an imaginary condition. Coffee really does have an adverse reaction on me. There's a small percentage of people on this planet who have this condition. Coffee (caffeine) is supposed to give you that extra jolt of energy and it does in most people. Unfortunately for me, it makes me fall asleep. Horrible. I haven't yet met anyone else with the same condition as me. I'd like to hear from others who suffer from this.
Sunday, February 19, 2006

Just a regular Sunday morning

Woke up this morning in tears because my back was so sore. It hurt to even move. Why? Let me tell ya, there's whole lotta snow out there that needed to be moved! I had just finished boasting to my friend in the city that the island had an extremely mild winter and that I'd experienced much harsher weather while living in Toronto and Montreal. Goodness! I spoke too soon! We got dumped on the other day. I'm not sure how much snow we got, but it was a lot!

I'll post a picture later on just to show you how much snow we got. Anyway, after saying "It feels like Spring's here!" I get a whack load of snow to shovel. Fun. Ohhhh...we also experienced something I had never encountered before! For the very first time in my life, I witnessed a snow-thunder! No, not a snowstorm...a snow-thunder! I always thought thunder and lightening happened in conjunction with rain, but this was a first for me! It was the strangest thing ever! It was snowing like crazy and there was thunder and lightening!! Ever neat!

I get to experience all sorts of new things while up on the island. I've seen my first of a lot of things here! I've seen the Northern Lights, meteor showers, black bear, fox kits, fischers, muskrat, deer, bald eagles...all from my backyard! Well...not quite. I saw the black bears on the highway. The first one was a shock, since I'd never seen a bear other than in books, magazines, the zoo or on TV! I was driving on the Hwy to West Bay and my mom and I said, "Hmm...that's a funny looking dog!!" and then we got a bit closer and realized it wasn't a dog at all! The other bear we saw was on Hwy 6 near Sunshine Estates. It looked like a yearling- very cute. It paused, looked at us, and then sauntered into the woods. One lady got out of her car to take photos of it. Crazy! Anyway, I love, love, LOVE living up here on the island. There's always something new and exciting going on! Every day there's a brand new experience waiting to be had!

Okay, where was I before I went on this tangent about the bears? Oh yeah...the snow-thunder and the backache from all the snow that needed to be shovelled. I also noticed how itchy and dry my skin has gotten this winter. My hands are ALWAYS itchy and dry (the summer's okay, but the winter's brutal). I've got the perfect solution though...

I've just this year been introduced to THE MOST amazing stuff on this planet!!! CORN HUSKERS LOTION! My mother-in-law to be let me try some a while back, when I had seriously dry and chapped hands. This stuff is INCREDIBLE! My hands have NEVER felt so soft before. This magical concoction instantly moisturizes and softens dry skin. Instructions: Smooth in a small amount of Corn Huskers Lotion wherever your skin is dry and rough. Use regularly for extra protection.

The past summer, with all the yard work, cleaning, dishes, piling wood, gardening, and hard work we did at the motel, my hands were seriously getting callouses and the skin was peeling off in several areas. This 'city girl's' hands had never seen such torment before. My mother-in-law to be handed me some of the lotion and I've been hooked ever since. The only downside is that this lotion is currently not available in Canada. It helps to have contacts in the U.S. who can buy the lotion for you by the crate-full!!!

Absolutely LOVE this stuff and wanted to share it with the rest of the world!!
**Interesting Factoid: Corn Huskers Lotion was originally intended for Iowa corn huskers! I can imagine how hard on the hands it must be to be a corn husker!!**

Profuse apologies- I know this entry has been all over the place. Mehhhhh...it's Sunday and I'm sleepy! Good thing we've only got one room occupied for the night! Funny how in the summer, having a full house is no problem to do. It's just go, go, go every day. The winter's a different story all together. For some reason one or two rooms feel like lots of work! LOL
Saturday, February 18, 2006

Not Your Average Love Story

I saw a movie two years ago, that really got my brain ticking. What if one could erase all the memories of past relationships? What if one could just clear the mind and start over with a clean slate? I'm sure the thought has entered the minds of those who have experienced a break-up at one point or another.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a movie that truly challenges and messes up your brain yet breaks your heart at the same time. I never thought I'd enjoy a film like this, until I took the time to really absorb it. It's something I think many people can relate to. Yes, I have to admit that Eternal Sunshine had me in tears.

I originally intended on writing a review myself, but Entertainment Weekly pretty much summed up everything I had wanted to say. I highly recommend watching this movie. Some people I've spoken to have either loved it or hated it. It really takes some effort for some to get into it, but if you can understand all the crazy twists and don't mind getting your brain messed with, then you'll be able to see the film for what it's really worth...and the message it relays is priceless.

Here's the review from Entertainment Weekly:

"Early on, Joel (Jim Carrey), shy and gangly, with a shock of hair that covers his forehead, has a mysterious, itchy compulsion to ditch the New York commuter platform where he's on his way to work. He squeezes his way onto a train that takes him to the east end of Long Island, and though the whim makes no sense, either to him or to the audience, the moment that he spies the sexy, blue-haired Clementine (Kate Winslet), a neurotically intense motormouth flirt who chats him up on the train, it feels like destiny.
So does everything else in the movie. ''Eternal Sunshine'' begins, in effect, at the bitter end of Joel and Clementine's relationship, when he discovers that she has had her memories of him entirely erased. Devastated, Joel pays a visit to Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), the dowdy mad scientist of memory elimination, who occupies what looks like a modest dentist's office. Once there, Joel decides to undergo the procedure himself. As he lies, first in the office, then in his bed, in a trancelike sleep, his head strapped into a giant silver cap that is hooked to blinking machines run by Mierzwiak's tech-dweeb assistants (Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood), his memories don't die hard. They die softly, sadly. They're like peak moments of lost love unspooling in the revival theater of his mind.
After ''Being John Malkovich'' and ''Adaptation,'' we expect teeming, manic-to-the-max invention from Charlie Kaufman, only this time he's not just playing, he's searching. He has become the most exciting screenwriter in America by doing something that most writers only dream of: He gets the audience addicted to the freedom and craziness of his mind. ''Eternal Sunshine'' gives off a dizzy romantic charge, as Kaufman and the director, Michel Gondry (the two collaborated in 2001 on the top-heavy trifle ''Human Nature''), lead the audience on a puckish, ingenious science-fiction ride that is really a journey into the beauty -- and fragility -- of connection.
Each of Joel's memories unfolds before us at the moment it's being wiped out. In something like reverse order, we watch the story of his relationship with Clementine: how it flowered and degenerated between one Valentine's Day and the next. The potato dolls in Clementine's apartment; the night she and Joel lay on the frozen Charles River; the day he dodged his fears of fatherhood by telling her she wasn't stable enough to raise a child; Clementine's psychedelic series of changing hair dyes; the fights and cuddles -- as Joel remembers everything, he enters into, and interacts with, those same memories, pleading with them to change in some way. But they can't.
''Eternal Sunshine'' has a lilting psychological fancy, yet it works because it's also rough and real and intimate and alive, with Gondry using a handheld camera to stage backward leaps in time that feel, in execution if not tone, highly influenced by ''Memento.'' Kaufman, never shy about excess, keeps multiplying the structural complications. A subplot with Kirsten Dunst as another Mierzwiak assistant is nifty and clever; the one with Elijah Wood's Patrick exploiting the memory procedure for his own gain is a tad underdeveloped. Yet the cumulative impact leaves the audience happily and profoundly buzzed.
Carrey has often played timid, stammering nerds, but this is the first time he has eradicated any hint of stylization. He makes Joel a deeply vulnerable ordinary man, too ''nice'' for his own good, haunted by dreams of romance he's scarcely bold enough to voice to himself. We can see why he's attracted to Clementine -- she's the sort of highly eroticized, let's-try-anything girl who's a geek's idea of romantic danger -- and, more mysteriously, why she digs him: The way Winslet plays the role, her volatility masks a deeply fractured soul. These two couldn't be more different, yet deep down they're matching wrecks.
The idea of blanking out every last thought of a failed romance, even if it means losing pleasure to get rid of pain, has a blithe topical spookiness; it's like an Orwellian satire of a world moderated -- neutered -- by psychiatric drugs. Kaufman and Gondry, though, aren't out to score didactic points but to dramatize how even our closest relationships are, in effect, stories that unfold in the ways we tell them to ourselves. The ''flaws'' of Joel and Clementine's edgy bond create the very electricity that holds it together. Joel, embracing his memories, comes to appreciate the fragile glory of each and every moment simply for being that moment. Watching ''Eternal Sunshine,'' you don't just watch a love story -- you fall in love with what love really is."


My sister-in-law (Elisha) gave me some really neat stuff from the Body Shop for Christmas. I really LOVE the Mango Body Butter. It goes on smoothe and your skin stays soft all day. Not to mention it smells REALLY good! I also have it in coconut, but with J's two little nieces having such severe food and nut allergies, we have to be careful what products we use. I noticed that even in the mango Body Butter, there's almond extract. I really shouldn't be using it, but it smells soooooooooo good! I just won't use it when I'm around the girls :)

J and I also like the Home Fragrance gift she and my brother gave us for Christmas. We especially love the Home Fragrance oil in Satsuma. It makes the house smell so inviting and fresh. We love the subtle hint of the sweet citrus. Mmmmmm satsuma!!

So, you see, today's blog is not about wedding stuff :) Gotta love the Body Shop!
Friday, February 17, 2006

Four months and counting...

Well, exactly four months to go until we say our "I do's". I'm excited about being married to J. Four months today we'll already be married. Crazy stuff!

Anyway, my wonderful Tita Fely ("tita" means "aunt" in tagalog, as "tia" does in Spanish) has been corresponding with me via e-mail, helping me deal with pre-wedding stress. She's been a great source of relief and comfort. I love her. Oh, she did mention in her last e-mail that I should tell my mom to offer eggs to Santa Clara on the day of the wedding. The more devout Catholic filipinos say it guarantees that it won't rain. Ever neat.

You know, I was brought up Roman Catholic and it has been a HUGE part of my life. However, in college and university, I began questioning what had been instilled in me. Surely, I found that in Judaism, Buddhism, and other religious denominations all had bits and pieces that relfected beliefs I held close to my heart. I found loop holes and contradictions within my own religion, which forced me to look even closer at what exactly I believed in. Anyway, I'm not going to make this entry about religion. I just wanted to mention the eggs for Santa Clara. Did I tell you how very superstitious my mom's family is??? I love it. There's something so refreshing in listening to my grandmother's tales and the rules of conduct from the old world. John's United (United Church of Canada), which should be interesting. I hope my grandmother doesn't take it too hard!

Okay, back to our upcoming wedding. My aunt mentioned that it would help to have a check list- it would alleviate a lot of stress and help me get things done. We actually do have a wedding checklist...in fact, we've got several! The one we're using most is the one on www.theknot.com What a useful tool! We've been following through and going according to the list, which is awesome because it tells you exactly what to do and when to do them.

My poor fiance is probably going nuts with all my stressing out. Bless his heart. I love him sooooooo much. He loves me despite my neurotic tendencies!! I'm telling you, I stress about a lot of things. I try to go with the flow...I really do and sometimes I'm successful. I just have this horrible need to want things to go perfectly all the time. This is something I attribute to my mom. She is the most organized woman I know. She is a perfectionist. I need to be more organized. Anyway, the smallest little things recently just set off these tiny panic attacks with me. My darling husband-to-be just hugs me and tells me "breeeeeeeeeeeeathe...relaaaaaaaaax...everything is going to be okay". I hope he's right!!! I'm not ALWAYS this uptight, really! I like to think I'm a somewhat laid back, easy going person. It's just that I really want this wedding to go off without a hitch. Everything NEEDS to be perfect because this day only comes once in a lifetime (well...maybe not for everyone, but you know what I mean).

Then there's my mother-in-law-to-be. What an amazing woman! She can just about do everything and anything! I need to take lessons from her too! She is an amazing cook- and EVERYTHING she cooks is homemade! No store bought, prepackaged, instant, frozen anything in her house! She can whip up a nutritious, hearty, delicious meal AND a dessert in no time. This woman is amazing. She can knit, quilt, make clothing, run a cattle farm, take care of the grandchildren, and attend choir practice every week. WOW! How do I ever compete with that?? Can I?? With the motel, my ESL study holiday program, and a new marriage...kind of overwhelming.

Okay...as John always says, "One day at a time". *gulp*

My Girlies!!!

My girlfriend, Kelly once gave me a diary in which I was supposed to chart down 5 things each day that I was thankful for. In keeping up with Kelly's request (though not as frequently as I ought to!), I will blog the things I am thankful for each day (if I can remember to do so!).

- a wonderful, wonderful fiance, whom I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with!
-my puppy, Chance (what a cutie)
-highspeed internet! Yeah baby!
-being able to whip up yummy, healthy, easy meals without any recipes!
-having some very amazing girlies in my life

The following pics are of some of my fave ladies. There are girlfriends you'll laugh with, cry with, go shopping with, act silly with, have serious conversations with...all of whom are very special.
Donna, Jenny, Elisha, Mom, Mommy, Dina, Kathy, Kelly... I luv ya! (Dina, Kell and Kathy, I need pics of you)

Three generations of Vergara women

Donna, my maid-of honor-to-be! I LOVE this girl!!!

Together, Donna and I have experienced the trials and tribulations of being teenagers and growing up. High school crushes, insane obsessions for famous people, experimenting with make-up and hair-do's (remember Sun-In and crimpers??), we had a really great childhood. *ahem...This entry is really going to date us! People in our "vintage" will recall glam rock, super tight jeans, blue eyeliner, 80's and 90's power ballads, cheesy (yet funny) sitcoms...and oh dear, Donna's and my crushes on NKOTB hotties, Joe and Jordan. Eeeek! This is embarrassing! Sorry, D!! Anyway, D's been the sister I never had and could never live without.

My gorgeous sister-in-law (Elisha) and Bob's friend, Nancy from NB
Photo taken at Elisha's stagette in Montreal.

Aren't these gals gorgeous?? I don't get a chance to see them often since Mel and Amy are in Toronto and Jess is in NB. Mel's my cousin Ed's girlfriend, Jess is a family friend (and little sister to my bro), and Amy is my other cousin Ed's girlfriend. Yes, that's right. It's Ed, Ed and Ed...and their father's name is Ed!

Pic of Mel, Jessie, and Amy taken at Elisha's stagette. Crazy night! We almost lost Jessie in the streets of Montreal.

Here's a pic of one of my dearest friends. Kelly and I have been friends since our last year of high school/first year of c.e.g.e.p. in Montreal. Whoa! That means we were 17 when we met? Yikes! That was so long ago!!! Though we are separated geographically, and seldom get to see each other, there's no doubt that our friendship has endured. Thank goodness for long distance plans and e-mail, eh?
I love this girl!! She's one awesome, intelligent, gorgeous gal!

The guy in the pic? That's her equally wonderful boyfriend :)

...and now, a tribute to my fave girlies!!!

This is my baby cousin Jey. She's a very beautiful and talented musician. She's got an AMAZING voice (which is why she'll be singing at our wedding, right Jenn?? Hehehehe). Check out her website. Her CD is being released at HMV music stores in March.
Thursday, February 16, 2006

Yes, I'm a Newbie!!

C'est moi!

Firstly, I've got to thank my friend Jill for introducing me to the world of blogging. I love her blog so much and recommend it to everyone. I guarantee you'll be checking in every day to see what she's written!! All sorts of neat new items (beauty products, etc) and helpful advice on life, love, parenting and so on.

Apart from fixing up the house (pleeeeeease, let it be ready in time for our wedding!!!) and the regular every day work stuff, John and I have been busy wedding planning. Please tell me that there are other women out there who are experiencing or have experienced a little pre-wedding anxiety! No, I'm not talking about being worried about being married...I'm talking being worried about getting married!! I know that probably makes no sense at all, but I've been having the most horrible dreams lately. I am experiencing a wee bit of anxiety and all those "I hope all the wedding stuff turns out ok, I hope the weather co-operates, I hope the flowers don't wilt, I hope the cake looks and tastes good, I hope I don't get my period and stain my beautiful wedding dress" kind of thoughts have been plaguing me. I am such a spazz.

Anyway, I just finished chatting with my student from South Korea. She studied under my tutelage for two months here on the island. Let me tell ya, if you haven't downloaded Skype yet, you should!!! You can talk to friends and family for free! Yes, you heard me!!! FREE! Sure beats incurring huge long distance bills! Try it! I talk to my friends, family and students all over the world with Skype.

Gettin' with it

Well, seems that everyone's blogging, so I'm about to join the bandwagon. Experience with me as I prepare for my upcoming wedding, help run a family business, help my husband-to-be on the farm, and run my own English as a second language business.

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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