Monday feels.

feelings

Back to the daily grind after a wonderful long Easter weekend, and while I’m still in a Mini Egg coma, I’m looking forward to getting back into my little routine and getting the week started.

We spent the weekend visiting family and friends in New Brunswick, and even managed to get a few of our own errands done (we popped in to see the jeweller we like in Saint John to place an order for our wedding bands!).

It’s been a while since I’ve spent more than 24-ish hours in NB, so having roughly 2.5 days at the homestead was a really nice change. I loved not feeling so rushed – I got to spend a decent amount of time with my mama bear, brother, dad, grandmother, and even a quick visit at a family brunch with my sister who had (hours before) just returned from her honeymoon. I got a whole night to spend with one of my best friends and his fiance, plus an afternoon visit with a childhood gal pal.

Living one province over and a 4-ish hour drive from my family can be hard. I often miss my parents and am envious of my siblings who can just pop in to see our parents whenever they want to, take a walk, have a coffee, and so on. I also miss many of the ‘smaller’ holiday family gatherings, like Easter, Mother’s/Father’s Day, and Thanksgiving. (Hey, sometimes when a precious long weekend rolls around, I can’t fathom the idea of rushing, travelling, etc.). I also love spending these special weekends with Josh, and/or with his family too, so it’s always a delicate mix and balance.

We don’t have any set plans, rituals, or commitments – when a holiday or free weekend comes by, we don’t alternate between families, or have any real routine. We treat each one as an individual opportunity and do whatever it is we feel like doing at that time. This works well for us most of the time, but sometimes I do hate how it’s easier to just stay here – an automatic cop-out that usually means time with Josh’s family.

Historically, I/we seem to travel to New Brunswick every 3-6 months, meaning we find ourselves in the Motherland 2-4 times a year. (I usually also get a visit from at least one parent once a year, and a visit from a friend or two). I don’t know what I think the ‘right’ amount of visits is, or what would constitute ‘enough.’ But sometimes, I wish it were more!

I didn’t ever intend on moving away from New Brunswick and staying away, it just sort of happened. When I was 17 I left home for Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, and after finding myself miserable in a painfully small town of drunken, coked-up university kids (sorry, Bishop’s lovers!), I made the move to Halifax to start the PR program at the Mount.

I’ve pretty well always felt ‘home’ in NS, probably because it is very similar to NB. I love living by the ocean, the small city vibes, and being close-ish to my family. During the university years, a friend introduced me to Josh, and I scored great job after great job – all things that kept me in the city even though I had never really made a conscious effort to stay here.

We’ve since bought a home, and I’ve come to love Dartmouth as a community of my own. It’s the perfect mix of urban suburbia – if that’s a thing? I love living so close to downtown Halifax, but also really love the distance from the office/hustle and bustle that living in a small residential pocket of the city provides.

This is a bit of a long ramble about nothing, really, but when I leave NB I always have a mix of emotions. As if Monday mornings aren’t hard enough, but here I am adding feelings to the equation! I love my NB and my NS homes, I just sometimes wish the two mixed and mingled a little more.

The silver lining from this weekend’s trip to NB: we’ll find ourselves back there again in a month or so when our wedding bands are made!

My favourite wedding vendors.

Keeping in line with our ‘shop local as much as possible’ mentality, making decisions around who to hire for our wedding needs has been a mix of total “duh” moments, combined with, “is there actually someone who MAKES that?”

If we’re going to host this thing, it might as well benefit as many people as possible. We sought out a few vendors, local companies, and individuals to provide their services in effort to help us support local and minimize waste.

Here are some of my absolute favourite vendors that I’m so stoked to work with!

{Event decor}: Make Merry Events. Based in Halifax, Make Merry is a start-up run by a couple of darling ladies with a love for all things vintage, indie, and wedding. We booked an appointment, showed up at their home, and perused rooms bursting at their seams with any and all wedding decor you can imagine. The best part? You RENT the items you want! No waste, no hassle. Simply show up, pick the items you love, and arrange to have them rented.

We nabbed some really great items from their collection (some of which are hand-made!), including:

Stunning mercury votives available at Make Merry: http://www.makemerry.ca/#!mercury-glass-votives/c23ed
Stunning mercury votives available at Make Merry: http://www.makemerry.ca/#!mercury-glass-votives/c23ed

 {Food}: The Wooden Monkey. Known for their use of locally grown/sourced and organic food, planning a special dinner with the Monkey has been an absolute dream. They’re easy going, accommodating, and have special menus that make feeding a large group reasonably affordable.

The bar side of the Monkey, right on the Dartmouth waterfront.
The bar side of the Monkey, right on the Dartmouth waterfront.

{Table Flowers}: Off Beet Farm. A small farm in the lovely Cow Bay area of Nova Scotia, Sarah from Off Beet is a lovely gal. She is passionate about gardening, and is successfully building up the farm’s flower offerings and expertise. She is so talented, and we are stoked that she is growing and harvesting our flowers. They will be so special and so beautiful!

Love this arrangement by Off Beet: http://offbeetfarm.com/whatwegrow/
Love this arrangement by Off Beet: http://offbeetfarm.com/whatwegrow/

{Guest book}: Mule Mother Books. This was definitely one of the “someone actually DOES that?!” moments. But after being woefully disappointed by all mainstream guest book options (hello satin, rhinestone, and lace catastrophes!), I finally stumbled upon the lovely and talented Ellen Murphy of Mule Mother Books. She HAND MAKES books (binding and all!). She is making our polaroid photo guest book and I couldn’t be more excited for the end result!

I love the simplicity of this handmade, linen book: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.334084133291558.83291.291864014180237&type=3
I love the simplicity of this handmade, linen book.

{Hair & Makeup}: Interlude Spa. I’m a sucker for this place, with it’s old Victorian building and excellent aesthetic services. This is my ultimate ‘treat yo-self’ destination, and I’m excited they’ll be pampering me on the big day with hair, make-up, and nail care!

Photo c/o Yelp.
Photo c/o Yelp.

{Wedding Rings}: W. Smith & Co. A small, independent jewellery store in Saint John, NB (close to my hometown!), W. Smith made the engagement ring buying process so smooth and so simple that we’ve decided to return to them to have our wedding bands made. They are incredibly knowledgable, helpful, and just great people to chat with! They did a beautiful job with my engagement ring. We picked a setting and style that we both loved, and the jeweller recreated the look with a loose diamond that fit our budget.

I still look at this puppy constantly. LOVE.
I still look at this puppy constantly. LOVE.

We’ve had great experiences with all of these local businesses and individuals so far, and the uniqueness of each has helped us come up with a day that truly feels like ‘us!’