A Wedding Update

I have decided there is only one thing that is super stressful about planning a wedding- paying for it. Marc and I keep saying things like “if we win the lottery” which we know is just a fantasy but gods… It would be so nice.

I had an idea for today’s post but I was less organized than I wanted to be this weekend and didn’t get nearly as caught up as I wanted to (more on this later) so instead I thought I’d catalogue a wedding update so everyone can see where I stand. Or just so I can see where I stand.

As of April 2014 (a year and two days out) I have:

Still left to do:

  • Pay 2nd and 3rd deposits on venue (also, save up to do this…)
  • Pay 2nd deposit on caterer
  • Tell Groomsmen they’re Groomsmen
  • Buy Groomsmen gifts
  • Edit Wedding Website
  • Pay deposit on photographer
  • Send out Save-The-Dates
  • Put together invites and send out
  • Get money from in-laws to pay off rest of dress
  • Have craft day to make some of the decor stuff
  • Buy wedding shoes
  • Make Garter
  • Make Jams
  • Practice making marshmallows
  • Figure out signature cocktail
  • Rent chairs for ceremony
  • Find Officiant
  • Write Vows
  • Rent speaker system for reception
  • Practice Bouquet making
  • Research Hotel Blocks and make Reserves
  • Start composing music playlist
  • Start remixing first dance song
  • Design programs
  • + 1000 other little things

Those are just the things that are currently on my mind. Hopefully I’ll cross more off next month.

There was one more update to my wedding I wasn’t sure if I wanted to talk about or not. But since this is my blog and a safe space for me to lay out what’s going on in my life/how I’m feeling I thought I would share.

Last week there was an accident in my town. The news sort’ve passed me by and I had no idea about it at all until I got a phone call last Wednesday telling me my best friend, and one of my bridesmaids, had been in a fatal car crash. There is little known about how it happened or what exactly happened but all I know is I spent my Easter weekend burying a friend who was taken far too soon.

I had made plans with her Monday, hours before the accident happened, to go dress shopping on Thursday. When the time came to go I thought about not going but another friend of ours urged me instead, and I knew she wouldn’t want me to put my life on hold for her. Besides, she was there. As I tried on my dress and felt that moment of stomach knotting, oh my gosh this is the one I could feel her smiling and saying “yeah it is, and you look beautiful Kyleigh.”

So on Friday when I went to her viewing I hugged her mom tightly and then gave her the bridesmaid gift I had bought her. Her mother cried on my shoulder Saturday thanking me for it and reminding me how much she had loved me as I had loved her. So although only 3 girls will now be standing up with me at my wedding I know my fourth angel will be there and already Marc and I are thinking up ways we can honor her and others we have lost recently at our wedding so that all our angels will be with us in spirit that day.

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Can You Lose Weight With Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred?

Can You Lose Weight Doing Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred?

I won’t lie: “lose up to 20lbs in 30 days” is definitely what drew me to buying this DVD. I wanted to drink the kool-aid and believe that if those people on Biggest Loser could follow Jillian’s training techniques and be successful so could I.

So… Can you lose weight with Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred?

I wish I could tell you I dropped 3 dress sizes and my life has been changed; that I saw unicorns and poop rainbows. But none of this happened. I eat healthy and did this movie diligently in 5 day increments with one day of rest for 35 days. Not only did I not lose weight I didn’t lose inches either. In fact I gained 6 pounds.

It was heartbreaking.

I stood on the scale and cried for 5 minutes because I am now officially the heaviest I’ve ever been since 2012 when I lost 60 pounds and felt amazing for the first time in my life. I remember feeling actually feeling beautiful when I looked in the mirror at that time because I could actually stand looking at the reflection in the mirror. It was the first time I could remember being under 200 pounds in my life and I was so excited to stay on track and keep losing.

But then I got into a relationship and like every woman says you gain 15 pounds in your first 6-12 months in a relationship. I didn’t just gain 15 pounds though, I gained 30 and kept on gaining and now I’ve almost gained back the 60 pounds I lost in the first place.

I hate myself.

I hate looking at myself in the mirror and feel the bile crawling up my throat.

And Jillian Michaels isn’t to blame for that. Nor is her video which while it didn’t help me lose weight or inches it helped me get stronger. I could feel my body getting stronger with each passing day even if I didn’t see any other changes.

But the truth of the matter is, if you’re looking to lose weight this video isn’t really enough. So stop trying to drink the kool-aid. This video is only going to work to help you gain muscle, you still need cardio to “shred” your fat. I’m sorry, but it’s true. 6 minutes of cardio in total doing this video is not enough for someone with an obese BMI no matter how many times you talk about BMIs being bullshit.

You’re still more fat than muscle so you need to burn the fat off if you’re going to see the muscle. Maybe this video would work for someone who doesn’t weigh close to 240 pounds, maybe it would work better for someone who weighs 140 pounds. But I’m not a doctor. I don’t know the magic cure, I just know that this didn’t work for me and it definitely didn’t help my self-esteem.

Maybe it will work for you. And if you’re going to try, here’s a few things I suggest: you need a few more things than Jillian tells you,  you do. I’d suggest wrist weights for some of the moves. It just makes it easier than using hand weights. I’d also suggest weightlifting gloves as I found my hands got sweaty and it made doing plank moves in between harder. And a huge glass of water. I chugged so much water doing this because my mouth and throat would just get so dry and it still didn’t feel like enough.

Finally, don’t let your puppy do the workout with you. She tends to kiss you whenever you’re on the floor for groundwork and will stick her tongue up your nose while you’re trying to breath. Cute as she may be, it’s dangerous for your breathing.

All in all, I’m not saying it’s a bad workout video. It’s effective in getting you stronger, even if it didn’t help me lose any weight. If you’re looking to get stronger and more flexible this is a much better video than if you’re trying to lose weight.

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Happy Hera Doggy Birthday Cake!

Doggy Birthday Cake

 

So Friday was Hera’s first birthday and in celebration I made her a cake to celebrate which both her and Toby loved.

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a miniature dachshund puppy but I’ve always had to own hypoallergenic dogs because of my gramma. So when Marc first moved to Canada in order to attempt to bribe me he bought me Hera. It sort’ve backfired though when he ended up getting a job in Ontario and the stipulation he put on me couldn’t happen (he wanted to move to Nova Scotia).

So instead I got an adorable puppy who is like my child and Marc got stuck in Ontario – not that he doesn’t love it here too because he does!

Anyways, so I made the doggy cakes and I had enough batter to make three cakes, one for Hera, one for Toby and one for the two of them to share later. I gave Hera hers and about an hour later went back downstairs to give Toby his and there was only one cake left. I asked my mum if she had given Toby his but she didn’t know what I was talking about – at this point I have to warn you, my Grandpa is notorious for stealing things I bake to “taste test” them. So mum and I both stared at each other for a moment before bursting out laughing. My mum shook her head and said, “don’t ever tell him.”

Well, last night at Easter dinner there was half of one of the cakes on the driveway from where the ‘coons had knocked our green bin over and my aunt casually said to my grandpa, “oh is that one of the dog cakes?” And he says, “no it’s a muffin.” So she replies, “I’m pretty sure those are the doggy birthday cakes Kyleigh made.” And my grandpa goes, “oh, that’s why it tasted awful.”

Haha! But I can assure you, the cakes the two dogs did get were gobbled right up. So I thought, why not share in celebration of Hera’s birthday!

Happy Hera Doggy Birthday Cake!
Author: 
Recipe type: Dog Treat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
This healthy cake is good for your doggy and the perfect way to celebrate any occasion with them!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of peanut butter
  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of honey
Instructions
  1. Mix together ¼ cup of peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and mix with dry ingredients. Bake in a muffin tin for 20-25 minutes and remove from oven. Put ¼ cup of remaining peanut butter on top of cake and let melt/cool. Serve when cool to the touch.

 

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Ways to Cleanse Yourself

Ways to Cleanse Yourself

This post is going to be short and sweet, no recap of my week because it’s been a pretty shitty week. So this post is even more relevant because I’ve been doing a lot of these things to try and keep the negativity at bay. So please enjoy this list and don’t forget to smile.

Happy Easter everyone!

Ways to Cleanse Yourself:

  • hot bath
  • meditate
  • clean out closet
  • clean out fridge
  • walk bare foot
  • have a massage
  • have a good cry
  • go somewhere you love
  • try something new
  • go somewhere new
  • give hugs
  • love
  • tell a truth that’s weighing on you
  • stand in a rainstorm
  • pamper yourself
  • juice detox
  • read
  • go shopping
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Spring-Time to Shine

FTC Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Spring has sprung! Or at least it did before the snow fell again – boo! So until it melts again I’m just going to dream about spring and all the adorable outfits I’ll be able to wear without considering layers. Like this one:

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I am loving the kimono trend that’s really popular right now. It’s a nice airy way of layering when the weather cools off at night. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get on board with this trend either; like how adorable is this Miss Selfridge one?

What trends are you loving right now? Modcloth is currently hosting a contest where you can submit your Spring style to their Style Gallery and you could win a $50 gift certificate.

Entering is simple — just snap a photo of yourself in your freshest spring ensemble and upload to the Style Gallery. Outfits do not need to feature ModCloth (although it is encouraged!), and users can submit as many entries as their hearts desire. Two winners will be chosen and featured by ModCloth. This contest is open to both domestic and international applications through 1 p.m. PT on 4/28. Please see their blog for more details.

Good luck, I’d love to see what you’re wearing!

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I Got Bit By the Bridal Shopping Bug

I Got Bit By The Bridal Shopping BugSo on Saturday my mom, my best friend, her mom and my mom’s best friend (plus me- duh!) all set out to go over to the States for some retail therapy and bridal shopping. My best friend got engaged 4 months after me but we’re getting married a week apart – YIKES! It’s nice though because we get to do everything together which meant dress shopping.

Originally the plan was to go back over to England to get my dress there for several reasons: my MIL is paying for the dress, Marc misses his family, and I’m an Anglo-snob so I kind’ve wanted my dress from England.

Life had other plans.

We went over to Alfred Angelo’s on Saturday with the intention of only having a 1.5 hour appointment. But the ladies there were so sweet and generous that I actually spent 4 hours there instead trying on everything from Bridal gowns to bridesmaids dresses and my mom even got to try MOTB dresses on too.

As with everyone who goes dress shopping I had pictured the style dress I liked but wasn’t sure I wanted. I was open to trying everything but when Cathy – the saleslady – asked what styles I liked “mermaid” came out first. Let me tell you, my natural curves are not well suited for a mermaid style. So after trying on 5 of these and hating myself more and more in each of them we switched to a-line dresses. These were better but I still didn’t love them. Everyone else did but I was sort’ve “meh” so I decided to move on. With – what I thought – was 5 minutes left of the appointment I asked Cathy if I could try some of Alfred Angelo’s Disney Princess dresses (because this is why I had come slash five year old me would’ve been pissed if I hadn’t).

She pulled Snow White and Cinderella. Snow White’s was gorgeous, it fit me nicely and had all the other points I was looking for – read: chantilly lace. It was definitely better than any of the others I had tried but I still didn’t “love” it. So then I tried Cinderella….

When I came out and saw myself in the mirror I loved it immediately. Then everyone asked if it was “the one” and honestly: I don’t know. Can I picture myself walking down the aisle to Marc in it? For sure. Would I be happy? Definitely. The trouble is, is that it was the only ball gown style dress I tried on that day. And if I’m going to spend $1500 on a dress I need to make sure there’s not something better out there. What if there’s a ball gown that has the lace edging like I really really wanted?

Cathy said it was better to buy as soon as you know but one thing I know for sure, if it’s meant to be it’ll be. So if I do go and “play the field” and go back to Alfred Angelo’s in a month and it’s gone – it wasn’t the dress for me. It’s as easy as that. I’ll find another one, I know I will.

Besides, I have another dress shopping appointment tomorrow and I plan to only try on ball gowns. So you never know, that Maggie Sorrento I saw that I loved? It could be the one for me too.

 

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This Outfit is a Lie

Walk In My Closet

On Sunday Marc and I took Hera for a walk because the weather was so nice – that’s Hera above sneaking in to pose with me. I carefully picked out my outfit, pleased to have a change of scenery to take the photos. The gods must’ve not wanted me to have the outfit though because probably 5 minutes after taking the photos the entire outfit was ruined.

Hera ran through mud at the beginning of the walk and as we neared the end of the walk I lifted her up to keep her out of the mud and she put her paws right down on my chest dirtying my t-shirt. The wind was also really bad that day and it literally lifted my hat from my head and flew away with it. Seriously. Marc wouldn’t be bothered to go after it so I had to say goodbye to the hat after only wearing it for this one outing.

Needless to say, the below photos are a sham. I sincerely apologize. I hope you can forgive me.

This Outfit is a LieHat – Adam Levine for Kmart / Jacket – Sofia Vergera for Kmart / T-shirt – Mossimo Black by Target / Pants – Slim Fit Slacks from Smart Set / Boots – JustFab

 

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Sweet and Spicy Carrot Bread

carrot-breadConfession time: I am not as organized as I want to be. In fact, this post is late because I had nothing prepared for today. I started to get a little stressed out thinking, “I’ve been posting recipes on Mondays I need to stick to this” that I actually got myself out of bed, despite feeling pretty poorly, got dressed so I felt like I needed to be productive, and made Carrot Bread.

So this post is coming to you later than anticipated because I only just got the bread out of the oven, staged, photographed, edited and then finally am writing this post.

Originally I had planned to make Carrot Cake – because my aunt’s recipe is pretty spanking good – but I had a busy weekend. We went over to the States to go wedding dress shopping and only finally crossed the border Saturday at 11:30pm. When we got home it was 1:30 and we had to get all the groceries away so I didn’t fall into bed until 2. Then yesterday Marc wanted to go for a hike so I went on a 100 minute hike and by the time I got home I was pooped (as I was still tired from Saturday). So, making a carrot cake as planned did not happen. Carrot bread on the other? Easy peasy! And just as delicious. Might even be healthier since you don’t put the icing on top – though, it would definitely taste amazing with a good cream cheese icing.

So how do you make carrot bread? Check it out!

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This delicious bread is infused with yummy carrot, coconut and cinnamon flavors – the three big C’s perfect for spring! Serve with butter or on it’s own and it’s sure to be a hit.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 2 beaten Eggs
  • 1 cup of Shredded Carrots
  • 1½ cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp of Salt
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon
  • ½ cup of Milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and oil together and add beaten eggs.
  3. Stir in shredded carrots.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon before adding a small amount to the sugar mixture.
  5. Alternate between adding dry mix then milk ending with dry mix.
  6. Bake in 9 x 5 x 3 well greased pan for 55 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

 

 

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Places I Want To Go

Marc and I in Venice

I’ve had the lucky fortune to have been able to travel to the two places in the world I’ve always wanted to go: England and Italy. In England I got to meet the love of my life and bring him back to Canada with me and together we went to Italy, not once, but twice, because we loved it so much. And we’re planning on going back ASAP!

I would share more photos with you of all the cool places I’ve been able to see but today’s list is actually about places I want to go. And I’m lucky too that I’m marrying someone with as much wanderlust as I have so I have a good feeling we’ll cross enough of these places off my list one day.

But until then I’ll simply dream and create lists of the places I want to go

  • Greece
  • Egypt
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Turkey
  • Russia
  • Austria
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Brazil
  • China
  • holland
  • Morocco
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Cambodia
  • Korea
  • L.A.
  • New York
  • Vancouver
  • Mexico
  • Greenland
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Denmark
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Haiti
  • Ecuador
  • Tuscany
  • Naples
  • Milan
  • Yukon
  • Where my Grandpa is from
  • Wales
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Scotland
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Belize

Where have you been? Where would you like to go? I’d love to know!

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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Review

fructis-full-box

Full disclosure: I was not asked to do a second review for this product. I chose to do one because I recently finished using the whole system and I wanted to provide my honest-to-goodness thoughts on how it did for my hair. To see my other reviews on this product you can find them here and here.

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Review #2:

As part of a compensated review sponsored by Influenster I received a complimentary box featuring full sized products of Garnier Fructis’ Damage Eraser line consisting of one shampoo, one conditioner, one split end serum and one conditioning butter.

For the last month this was the only hair system I used on my hair according to the packaging – so the system consists of shampoo, then butter, then conditioner followed by applying the serum on towel dried hair. I want to disclose to you, at this point, that I don’t wash my hair every day. I have too much hair and not enough time for that. Sometimes I even go three days before washing my hair again, I go according to my hair. If it feels dirty I’ll wash it but otherwise I try not to do it so much so I retain natural oils in my hair.

So the first thing I noticed as I started using this system is how much less frizzy my hair was. I don’t know if this is because it was damaged to begin with and the system helped with the treatment of this or what but my hair was a lot more tamed. I also had less curls and more waves, even then my waves were very tamed and barely noticeable. I know this isn’t the natural state of my hair so it could’ve been a side effects of the treatment.

The next thing I noticed was how soft and shiny my hair was getting. I could run my fingers through my hair over and over again because it feels so nice. I also, definitely, don’t have any split ends. This is great because I’m trying to grow my hair out and so long as it’s healthy I don’t need to cut it and I can keep my length. My ends are surprisingly healthy and I’m really pleased with that.

The last thing I noticed was when I used my straightener again I didn’t have to go over it a second time like I normally would. I was able to straighten in one brush and it held down my hair perfectly. That being said, by the time it was time to wash my hair again my hair was a little more dried out. I don’t know if this had to do with using the heat on my hair and the shampoo but I’ve never had my hair feel that way after using a straightener that way. But this was after 3 days.

All in all I was really, really impressed with the system. Which is why I wanted to do the second review without any compensation so you could see that I truly believe in this product. It’s worth it to go in and buy all four items as I feel the use of all four together is what made my hair so healthy.

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