June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June Favourites

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

June was a really awesome month! I had lots of shifts at work so that’ll help save up for a first payment for an apartment, we got to see family, we had our first wedding anniversary, and we went to the beach a bunch.

Aloe gel – I got a really, really bad burn when we went to the Toronto Islands for our annivesary. I used up our entire aloe plant easing the pain, so Nic went and bought the Life brand aloe gel from Shoppers. Ahhhh.

Washi tape – yes, my washi tape is from Dollarama, but it still works. I bought a few more rolls so I can coordinate my journal/bullet “agenda” with pages for blogging, favourites, my habit tracker, and goals. I made little tabs on each page that I wante to be able to flip to quickly.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm – still my favourite nude lip. It’s subtle enough that I can wear it while I work at the gym, but can be fancy with a smokey eye.

bareMinerals marvelous Moxie in Rebel – beautiful pink, not too sticky

Lush Aromaco deodorant – Yes, it’s that white chunk in the middle of the picture. I’ve been using this one for years. I love the smell of the patchouli, and unless I’m doing a hard workout, the scent covers any bad smells.

MUJI Moisturizing Milk – I mentioned this in my most recent skincare post. I love how gentle this is and how well it works with the MUJI cleansing oil.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

Our first anniversary date at Byblos – amaaazing Mediterranean food and drinks.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I have absolutely loved my waterproof tablet pouch which I put on my KOBO. I bought it last year and have used it while reading at the dock, at the Atlantic ocean, at the beach… Just be careful you don’t leave it in there for too long if it’s super hot out, or the KOBO will overheat. Oops.

[Phone version]

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I had lots of fun building a sandcastle last week. I’ve also loved wearing tons and tons of rings.

June Favourites - JanessaMann.Com

I love my new bikini from La Vie En Rose. It’s a push-up, which is crazy (cleavage in a bathing suit?!) but I love the strap detailing.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Our First Wedding Anniversary

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
We took the ferry across to Toronto Island

Nic and I got married June 20, 2015 in Ottawa, where we grew up. For our first anniversary, we decided we would go to Toronto Island for a beach day, and then have a delicious dinner out. Our original plans were much more grandiose-weekend hiking trip in Algonquin or on the Bruce Peninsula, bed & breakfast and a show in Stratford… But we realized that with a grad student and and under-employed-future-grad-student income, it made more sense to stick close to home.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Always use a protective pouch if using electronics at the beach!

Neither of us had been to the Islands before, so this was a lot of fun. We packed up all our essentials, and spent a really hot, relaxing day in the sun. Yes, I got a terrible burn despite repeat applications of sunscreen.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
I love building sandcastles

Since Nic had strained his shoulder, we knew we wouldn’t be able to play any sports at the beach. We decided to pick up a bucket and some shovels to make a sandcastle-it was a lot of fun. People kept passing by it and saying how awesome it was, probably thinking it was made by children, not two twenty-five-year-olds. We had some good laughs.

We walked from Ward’s Island to Centre Island, which was much busier, and got some fresh pineapple juice.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Nic bought me peonies, my favourite flowers
First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com
Our friend Winston recommended Byblos, and it was delicious

Byblos is a Mediterranean restaurant in the Entertainment District, and they’re phenomenal. We each got a fancy cocktail (my cucumber, mint + vodka was perfect) and then shared some plates.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Our last dish arrived after I took this picture, and we had eaten too much of the food for me to take another one. Oops! We had the best, spiciest olives, cauliflower, fried chicken, and pide.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

The waitress brought us some Turkish ice cream because she knew it was our anniversary-so sweet! The booth we sat in was also super romantic. I’m so glad we went there.

Our first year of marriage has been so wonderful. First and foremost, obviously it’s been awesome living with Nic-we don’t have to be long-distance anymore, or be worried we’ll miss the last bus home because we’re having a great conversation, and there’s always our favourite person to hang out with when we get home. Second, it’s been really cool to see our relationship evolve-we’ve seen each other through tough times, dashed hopes, and joys, and have learned how to be humble about our mistakes. Third, we’ve gotten to explore places together-not just our temporary city of Toronto, but our honeymoon in Nova Scotia, bringing Nic to Manitoba for my Grandpa’s funeral, and our dream trips (B.C., New Zealand and Australia…). I’m so happy we found each other, and I can’t wait for every single anniversary after this one.

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

Sunglasses: thrifted
Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Suzy Shier
Heels: JustFab

First Anniversary - JanessaMann.Com

After dinner we walked (I limped, I haven’t worn heels in months, and those four-inch babies were killing me) to the waterfront, shared a drink at the Amsterdam Brewery, and watched the sunset on the first day of summer.

Summer To-Do List

 

Happy Doughnut Day! Gloryhole Doughnuts in Toronto - JanessaMann.Com

Last week we got to go to Gloryhole Doughnuts, and we want to continue to check out all the cool coffeeshops in Toronto, because there are SOOO many.

On the topic of desserts, we’ll keep on checking out other ice cream and specialty dessert places. Keep your eyes peeled for a gelato trip or two!

Beach Day at Woodbine Park - JanessaMann.Com

Woodbine Beach is very easy for us to get to (though a little long, since it’s an hour by subway and streetcar) so we like to go as much as we can. It’s also pretty easy for our out-of-town friends to drive in to see us.

We also are planning on going to the Toronto Island for a beach trip for our anniversary. I’ve never been, so I’m excited to see what it’s like!

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Fully decked nachos at Hey Lucy

Continue to visit more patios and try out all the local alcohol. I recently discovered Brickworks Cider, and their 401 cider is delish!

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Bike rides along the lakeshore and elsewhere (once my brakes are fixed, of course).

We’ll also bike out to High Park again to enjoy Shakespeare in High Park, which was a lot of fun last year. They’re putting on Hamlet! Pay what you can, check it out and bring some wine and cheese!

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More camping with friends, and finally going rockclimbing outside! Last year my back’s health wasn’t the best, so I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. This year? I’m in.

Also, lots of hiking if possible (though I do work weekends).

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Spending time at the cottage! We’re definitely going to be there for a couple days in July, and hopefully once we’ve moved back to Ottawa in August. I miss that place so much.

Happy Doughnut Day! Gloryhole Doughnuts in Toronto - JanessaMann.Com

Check out random stores – we went to the Toronto Designer’s Market and lots of antique stores last week. It’s super cool to see all the stuff there.

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Celebrate our first anniversary!!!!!!!!

A Walk in Cedarvale Ravine - JanessaMann.Com

A Walk in Cedarvale Ravine

A Walk in Cedarvale Ravine - JanessaMann.Com

Nic and I live near the Cedarvale Ravine in Toronto, which was one of the big draws of the area. From tip to tip it’s about a half hour walk, and for most of the time you can’t tell that you are in a city. When we went for this walk yesterday morning, I told Nic that it was definitely good for my mental health.

A Walk in Cedarvale Ravine - JanessaMann.Com

We’ve started going on walks every day, which is definitely my favourite part of the day since we get to catch up on lots of stuff in our lives and focus only on each other. I also need doses of nature to keep myself happy living in Toronto.

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This red-winged blackbird posed for me for about five minutes! I wish I had a telephoto lens so I could get even better nature photography!

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I love swinging, and had a blast on this. It’s the simple things!

Raybans RB4184 Wayfarers in Tortoise: Lenscrafters
Cropped boat-cut top: H&M
Paisley skirt: thrift store from years ago, and I hemmed it so it’s knee-length
T-strap Birkenstocks: SoftMoc

A Walk in Cedarvale Ravine - JanessaMann.Com

All the blossoms were a little tired after the 27* weather, but they’ve bounced back in my bud vases at home.

Watch: Stuhrling Men’s Original 884.01
Turquoise ring: The Patch at Sauble Beach
Thin wedding band: W Jewellery
Silver bracelets: assorted from family

DIY Wedding Flowers - JanessaMann.com

Wedding Wednesday:How to DIY Your Wedding Flowers

DIY Wedding Flowers

If you’ve read any of my other wedding posts,(see here) you know that since Nic was in grad school and I was saving up to pay off my debts/get ready for grad school, we had to cut costs wherever we could. One was was to do our own flowers. This is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve never arranged flowers before, you probably should skip this unless you know someone who has. I was fortunate that Moira, the mother of one of my bridesmaids, had done the flowers for another wedding Ally had been in, so she was able to direct us on how to make the centrepieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, and aisle pieces. In all, we spent about $300 on the flowers, containers, and supplies–way cheaper than typical wedding flowers!

View More: http://photos.pass.us/janessa-nicwedding
My bouquet

If you think you want to go this route, there are a few steps:

  1. Start a physical or Pinterest board of what floral styles you like
    1. (See mine, here)
  2. Make sure you have friends and family who are willing and able to help with the flowers- we worked on them for 5 or 6 hours on the Friday before, and the day-of people had to make sure there were no dead blooms.
  3. Research places to buy flowers in bulk
    1. Some cities have flower markets, but I wasn’t willing to risk not getting flowers I loved
    2. We went with BunchesDirect.ca, who sells bulk orders of flowers online, and then we picked them up at their dealer in Ottawa
    3. Stores like Costco also sell them
  4. Once you know what styles you like, check to make sure you can get your preffered flowers in your wedding season.
    1. My favourite flowers are peonies, so I had this ridiculous dream of having white peonies at the wedding. I knew it’d be tricky for a June 20 wedding, but I held out hope. Moira surprised me with 3 beautiful blooms for my bouquet, and it was one of the best gifts I could have received! However, I didn’t go and order beautiful flowers like anemones, which would have fit the theme, but are in season in October, and therefore much more expensive.
    2. Hope but don’t obsess!
    3. Be willing to give up something you want for something else interesting: I wanted stocks, but BunchesDirect was pricing them too high, so I went with Irish Bells instead, and they ended up being really cool and unique.
DIY Wedding Flowers - JanessaMann.com
Bridal bouquets – it was a lot of fun for each of us to make them unique. Each bouquet worked together because of the colour theme (white and green) but I had each woman pick wahtever they wanted.

List out what elements you need, then edit it to make sure it fits your budget:

  • Bridal bouquet
  • Bridesmaids bouquets
  • Boutonnieres
  • Corsages
  • Headpieces
  • Centrepieces
  • Altar bouquets
  • Aisle runners
  • Wreaths
  • Garlands
DIY Wedding Flowers - JanessaMann.com
Nic’s boutonniere – one of my bridesmaids saw what I was putting in my bouquet, and made Nic’s have some of my elements!

Supplies:

  • Flowers
  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Scissors and wire cutters
  • Vases, bowls, whatever else to put the arrangements in
  • Tubs to put the flowers in
    • When we first got the flowers, they were in boxes and very flat. We let them soak in the water for a while, and they opened up
  • Fridge to keep them fresh in

How to have a floral party:

  • Willing participants
  • Supplies
  • Pictures of your ideas
  • Good instructions on floral care and assembly
  • Lots of time
  • Don’t rush it, have fun!

Two final tips: don’t make your centrepieces super tall, people want to have conversations. Also, stay away from super smelly flowers, or some people might get terrible allergies and sneeze all through your vows!

Some Resources:

Let me know how it goes!

My Engagement Ring

Finding an engagement ring I loved took a while, since I wanted something with a little personality and that I could continue to wear for a long time. If there had been a vintage ring in either of our families, I would have preferred that, but that wasn’t an option. I also knew I wanted white gold, since I generally wear silver jewellery with my skin tone. I also wanted a solitaire, and something that I would feel more comfortable wearing out and about. 

I found this ring at Peaces of Indigo’s Etsy site, and fell in love. This is the most similar listing she currently has on the site. 
The photos below are from our engagement shoot with Taylor Clark Photography.

Engagement Pictures with Taylor Clark Photography – Wedding Episode 4

This August Nic and I got our engagement pictures done by Steph and Ben of Taylor Clark Photography. I thought I would share some of our pictures since they turned out so well! We ended up doing our pictures at the Toronto Harbourfront because it was most convenient for us to meet them since they had a client meeting right before in Toronto.

What to Wear for you Engagement Pictures:

  • Plan your outfits together so that they work well
  • Make sure you have backup ideas for rain or snow etc. Don’t ruin your beautiful heels in mud.
  • Have a casual and a fancier outfit
  • Keep your personalities in mind. What do you like to do? How can you incorporate your interests into the pictures?
    • Nic and I had wanted to do some photos in a rented canoe, since we love canoeing, but when we got to the location we realized that it would be too complicated, so we stuck with our other idea of getting the ice cream. 
  • Make a shot “wishlist.” If you’re on Pinterest, take advantage of that, and find pictures that you like. If your photographer is also on Pinterest, let them see that board. They can do their best to get the shots that you want, and will understand your style better.
Here are some links to check out:

My engagement ring is from Peaces of Indigo, and Etsy site
We couldn’t get our pictures IN a canoe, but we used the bright colours behind us anyway.

There was an outdoor salsa concert going on, so I had to dance.

My man is jacked. And look at those dimples. 😉