December 2010 Archive

A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not why ships are built – Unknown, photo via.
Please excuse my lack of blogging over the past few days and my continued lack of posts over the next few as well. It’s just that I’ve recently packed up the majority of my life in Canada (including my Siamese kitty of 12 years, Yurchenko) and made the ten hour drive to the Windy City to finally be with my husband. We’ve spent the last two years living this way, saying tearful goodbyes in airports, making plans for when we’d see one another next and counting down the days until it would all be over and well, here we are. As I carefully peek over my laptop screen I am greeted with a rather overwhelming pile of garbage bags of clothes, wedding presents we have yet to enjoy together (new plates and towels? yes please), Christmas presents and mere ‘things’ that all need to find their own spot in our little home. Not one to enjoy clutter you know I’ll be doing my best in the coming days to make this place as cozy and tidy as possible while trying my best to soak it all in that finally, Apb and I get to actually be newlyweds.
I can’t wait to share with you so many exciting things, like my plans for my new life in the city, my Hey Gorgeous Events website that is almost completely finished (just waiting on the disk of our wedding images so I can add in some of the detail shots), my new blog design being installed at the end of January, photos of our cozy little apartment once it’s all decorated and spruced up and of course recaps and pictures from our big day (I know I feel terrible it’s been over three months and I have not much to show from our wedding) but for now enjoy the rest of your holidays everyone and I promise I will back soon with some goodies. Oh, and for all of my blogging buds out there, anyone living in Chicago, down for lunch? :)
Christmas Isn’t Your Birthday
Dear Santa,
A lot has changed in the past few years. It’s like I woke up one morning and life was altogether different. Maybe I had grown up too fast, or held too high of expectations but presents that once covered the skirt beneath the tree now decreased in numbers. That holiday magic that I so treasure every year, well suddenly it went missing like someone came in and raided our home of cheer. Grandpa walked through our front door for dinner, without Nan trailing behind, and I’m not sure who was more heartbroken, him or us. It’s not that I want more presents, more holiday cookies, more Christmas carols on the radio; because these things don’t mean anything to me. But instead, this year I want to feel the joy of the holiday with my heart. I want our tree to stand proudly over gifts that you can’t find online or at the mall. I want holidays to feel real again.
This year for Christmas, I don’t want that new flat iron I’d been hinting at. Those Ugg boots I’ve always wanted but never owned, they don’t mean a thing to me. And that pretty little Swarovski bow necklace that’s been calling out to me from the store’s window, I probably would only wear it a few times anyways. This year, if you could bring my family some happiness, a lot of good health and a little holiday joy, I would be entirely grateful. Please bring my Grandpa the strength to find happiness and the courage to accept our love and support. We’re not the perfect family, we don’t always make the right decisions and from time to time we surely drive one another crazy, but we’re a family, promising to stick together through this thing called life. Santa, please help me to never forget what it feels like to sit at the dinner table with my Mom, Dad and brother. Because one day it’s times like these that I’ll treasure the most.
Love Rhiannon

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Diana Scott who for the first time in 18 years, captured our family together in our silly ways. Despite the moaning and groaning that day, I’m so lucky Dad dragged us all out to the beach for the photos. A huge thank you as well to Liesl, one of my sweet blogging friends who held up her end of the deal and actually wrote her Dear Santa letter on the first of the month. Be sure to visit her and say hello! Happy Holidays everyone, please make sure you let those closest to you know how much you love them xo
Dreamy Gold, Navy and Beige Wedding by Altmix Photography
A new trend on the classiest way to style a wedding? Pair up a neutral palate with subtle metallic pops of gold and silver. Example given; this wedding by Altmix Photography. When I came across the fab images on Kate and Matt’s blog I was blown away and completely smitten with each and every last detail. The venue (seriously the venue is to die for), Taylor the bride, her hair, her bling, that gorgeous purple silk house coat (oh my goodness I need one) her dress, Caleb the groom; it’s all too precious for words. Scroll down for a healthy dose of gorgeousness and get ready to feel inspired. A huge thank you Kate for sending this feature my way!

I love photos of brides getting into their gown and seeing themselves for the first time. And this one with the bride and her Mom is so beautiful! On my wedding day, I specifically asked my Mom to help me into my gown rather than having a group of people around me to fasten the back up. I thought it would be a special experience for her and I together and that it would make for some lovely photos; and it did! There’s one of the two of us right when she looped the last button and the expressions on our faces makes my heart all warm and fuzzy. I can’t wait to share it with you.

What a stylin’ bridal party. Those gowns and that blue hue is so stunning. I would never think to use that colour or that gown style but these girls look hawt. Seriously look at em all. The guys look pretty sharp too. Another photo op fave of mine is the groom and his guys together looking all dapper in their tuxes, suits and ties. Swoon. Oh and a first look? Yes please. I love this little series of Taylor and Caleb seeing one another for the first time.
See?! Gorgeous. And those bouquets are so full, fluffy and pretty. Hydrangeas are so often over-looked as wedding flowers!
Ceremony time! What a darling photo of the cute flower girl.

The ceremony and reception venue for this wedding is downright stunning. Look at that ceiling!

Be sure to check out the Altmix blog for more of their gorgeous work and dozens of other incredible images from Taylor and Caleb’s wedding. Kate and Matt are located in Atlanta and have some seriously talent! And the countdown is on for Christmas my loves. Only six more sleeps and then it’s time to spend the holidays with your loved ones. I’ve been fighting a nasty fever and chest infection over here but am hoping some warm baths and Tylenol will make me feel all lovely and pretty for the holiday parties I have coming up this week. Keep smiling everyone and I’ll be back throughout the week with some fun posts xo P.S. Krystal is the winner of the Whitney English Candle giveaway. 
On McDonalds and You Never Knows
When my Nan was in her last few days of life, my family and I rallied around her bed side doing our best to muster the right sort of goodbyes. Despite her normally upbeat personality and unwillingness to give in to her pain, my grandmother’s tough exterior slowly began to crumble. Organs had stopped working weeks earlier, her body had shrunk to an unrecognizable heap, her voice dwindled to barely a whisper; this person in front of me wasn’t in fact my grandmother but instead a very sick individual. Days passed, and the nurses took my mother aside. They were confused. A person like my grandmother should not still be alive. She had been given just days to live almost 4 weeks earlier, yet here she was, laying so peacefully in her bed, alive, with a slight smile across her lips. She’d tell us every now and then that ‘she was just fine, thank you.’ Just fine.
I’m a big believer in ‘You Never Know.’ As in ‘You Never Know’ if you don’t try. Or ‘You Never Know’ if could look different on your body than it does on the hanger. Although my skepticism can sometimes get the best of me, I like to instill a little itty bitty bit of faith in the situations, and people around me. Even if I know what’s going to happen, and when I can predict how things will end up and turn out, a little “You Never Know” can really make all the difference.
I had to say my goodbye before I went back to school that May. I sat next to my grandma, my best friend, and read her a card I had painfully written to her. We held hands. I tried unsuccessfully not to show her signs of any emotional weakness. Then I did the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and walked out of that hospice seeing her for the last time. Just days later I got a phone call from my Mom who explained that Nan had asked my Grandpa to take her for one last car ride. She didn’t want some fresh air, and she wasn’t searching for an excuse to spend alone time with my Grandpa. Yet instead, my sweet and very frail Grandma, the one who would pass on just two days later, was craving some McDonald’s. Together they drove the short distance to the closest golden arches, just the two of them for the last time.
Go make that career change. Go get that tattoo, that hair cut, that pair of jeans that costs the same as your entire pay check. Go ask for that raise, go tell the bully at work his behaviour is acceptable, go try to make that 5-layer-chocolate cake that calls for ingredients you’ve never even heard of. Go buy that lottery ticket, that work out video you’ve had reservations about, that dress you think makes your bum too big. Go bring a plate of cookies to your grumpy neighbor. Go tell your Mom, your Dad, your cousin, your grandma, your best friend, your boss, your paperboy, you pet iguana that you love them, because ‘You Never Know.’
I Never Knew I’d be sitting here submitting an Inspiration Shoot to Style Me Pretty but I just did tonight (wheee!) And I can pretty much guarantee if it was even remotely possible, my heart would be decked out in pretty red ruffles like the ones on these beauties above. Thank you Beth for being a fabulous partner and taking such wicked photos for me. Cannot wait to show the rest off. Happy Weekend loves xo
Whitney English Candle Giveaway

Just in time for the holidays, the ever-so-fabulous ladies from Lemon Tree Paperie are giving one lucky gal a beautiful Whitney English Candle. If you check out their entire line of candles you’ll see all the different personalization options, designs and colours available (my personal fave, the Yellow Allison design). Yet the best part, from what I hear, is these candles smell simply divine. From the photo above, they clearly make any space in your home that much more cozy too. Candles? Strawberries? Hand-written cards and a pretty damask-patterned chair? Yes, please.
Aside from gorg candles, Lemon Tree Paperie and Whitney English offer beautiful paper products and announcements, like stationary, holiday greeting cards, Save the Dates and wedding invitations. Since 2002, Whitney English has maintained their standing as an industry leader and trend setter by consistently producing the freshest and most inspiring designs. Their signature patterns, innovative approach to design and personable service have developed a noted following of customers turned friends who appreciate the graciousness of a hand-written note as much as they do. Sounds like a team of lovelies I wouldn’t mind heading out to grab a tea latte with :)
If candles make your heart all warm and fuzzy or you’re searching for a rad gift to give to a friend this Christmas, leave me a comment listing your fave Whitney English product. Tomorrow I will announce a winner. Stay warm, warm, warm friends; can you believe Christmas is next week already!