catching up.

Friday, October 30

I hope you brought your reading glasses, friends.
I've fallen slightly behind with my little blog. At the very least, take my word on the fact that ALL I feel like writing about lately is our wedding and honeymoon. Seriously, I look through our photographs at least once a day.

After a month away, I spent last weekend in my home city. The timing was perfect; what they say about absence and the heart and fondness is so very, very true. And the reason to be back was beautiful: our dear friend married the love of her life in a late autumn wedding on a warm (!!!) & sunny day. Steven has known the bride since grade school and holy heck is she ever a sweet soul with a serious eye for glam wedding decor. You know it, Syd, you talented gal! I cried at the ceremony and at the reception and during the first dance and that about sums me up throughout every wedding ever. The dance floor was bumpin', I made off with a loot bag of sweets from the pink + gold candy bar, and yes, a midnight pizza delivery order was definitely placed.

Last year, Steven and I found it difficult to balance the somewhat hectic schedules that often accompanied me on weekends home. In the span of a few days, we'd be worn thin bouncing between family time and friends time and me off to gals nights and wait, what about us time - it was exhausting. This weekend was a pretty sound indication that with time comes lessons learned. We managed to pull off two date nights (!!!) and celebrate a wedding, and while I still got to spend time with my family and closest friends, we actually got some sleep too. On Friday evening, I met a fellow blog gal for vino, cheese, and a heartfelt chat. On Saturday morning before the wedding, I laughed (and happy cried) through our wedding collection with my dad and stepmum. Then, on Sunday morning + afternoon, I literally camped out at perhaps my favourite coffee shop in all of YEG - Sugarbowl, you get all the heart eyes - with my mum in the morn' and some of my closest gals right after, going through all the photographs over again. It was really important to both Steven and I that we got to share in those moments. Besides, watching the reactions are absolutely priceless; my dad's crying face made everyone tear up! I really should've live recorded the peanut gallery that is five girls clicking through a thousand photos. Our second date night took us to the ice rink where we cheered extra loudly at the good ol' hockey game!

And there you have it, friends: a quick recap of a particularly good weekend.
Speaking of weekends, have a spooky one! Tomorrow is the closest our world gets to that of the dead.
But if that isn't really your thing, just enjoy the sugar highs, jack-o-lanterns, & little kiddos in adorable costumes.

honeymooning in London

Tuesday, October 20

Long before the wedding plans even began, Steven and I both knew Europe would be the perfect place to spend our first few weeks as newlyweds. After the logistics were sorted, we each chose a country: mine was France & his, Croatia. Northern Ireland was also an absolute must as that's my homeland; my dad was born & raised in a small town in Country Antrim and the majority of his extended family is still there. We couldn't imagine hopping the ocean and not stopping by for a visit. So, when my Aeroplan points whipped up a redeye flight to Heathrow the Monday evening following our wedding weekend, we booked immediately & dreaming up our adventure.

Our time in London was short & sweet - I'm talking a mere twenty four hours! Steven snoozed nearly the entire flight to Heathrow and I watched a bunch of movies in between naps. When we landed, it was late Tuesday morning and holy heck, we were officially honeymooning (!!!)

The Heathrow Express sped us from the airport to Paddington terminal in a quick fifteen minutes and from there, we made our way to our hotel just off Hyde Park. I have a genuine soft spot for boutique hotels and thankfully, my husband tolerably goes along with the often eclectic, usually tiny, always darling spaces. After I found a particularly good rate for the neighbourhood, we checked into the Arbor Hyde Park Hotel, a beautifully restored 19th century townhouse.

We burst out laughing over the coziest of cozy square footage, made ourselves espresso, and ventured back out into the gorgeous August weather in search of much-needed lunch. Steven has some food allergies, the most serious of which being to gluten, so we're extra careful when it comes to dining out. Around a few corners, we found a little English pub with cider on tap and a full GF menu! Hello, good English mash.

Even though London wasn't part of the initial plans, we dedicated some time to mapping out our afternoon & evening amongst a few sightseeing spots - Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben, plus a few hole in the wall cocktail bars. And then, we made a rookie travel mistake. After the previous week of wedding wonderfulness, after fourteen hours of traveling, after jumbling our inner clocks zooming through more than half a dozen times zones, and after filling our bellies with good food, we got back to The Arbor and we decided to take a nap.
I'd love to tell you we woke up an hour later feeling so refreshed, then strolled through London hand in hand, gazing lovingly into each other's eyes. Sorry to disappoint, folks. We actually woke up nearly seven hours later, feeling entirely refreshed, albeit a bit silly. Such is life. After wandering down to the lobby in search of late night dinner options, we decided to grab a quick drink in the lounge.
Turns out, the hilarious group celebrating next to us was the owners (!!!) and their renovation team, whom were all clinking glasses over the first birthday of the hotel's stunning restoration. They heard our Canadian accents, plus a few mentions of the wedding, and the night rolled on from there. We stuck around until the sun was nearly up making friends with these wonderful hosts, who shared terrifying renovation mishaps and asked a billion questions about our wedding day & honeymoon plans. When we finally did make it back to our room, there was a chilled bottle of bubbly waiting for us, compliments of the hotel! It was such a sweet & thoughtful gesture.

The bubbly worked its magic because after another (much shorter) cat nap, we happily awoke on Wednesday morn and the haziness of jet lag was a long forgotten memory! Whew. We had early afternoon train tickets booked to Paris so we took a stroll through the neighbourhood and the park, packed up, then headed off to the gorgeous St. Pancras Station.

Had we planned a bit better, I'd have loved to hop across the street to King's Cross Station and drool over that white steel roof, not to mention pop by Platform 9 3/4! However, we settled in at Searcys Champagne Bar, spent some time scribbling down shared wedding memories in the journal I brought along, then devoured delicious bowls of GF pasta on Carluccio's seemingly outdoor patio. From there, it was a breeze boarding the train (my first ever European rail experience!) and we were Paris bound!

And so, although the London recommendations only total one gem of a hotel & some delicious travel eats, neither of us regret those uninterrupted hours of sleep that overthrew our London day. Planning a wedding takes a lot out of you - it's busy and fun and overwhelming and packed full of really, really good moments. Still, by the time we set off on our honeymoon, Steven and I were both craving some quiet alone time, together. No hard feelings, body + mind, we know you were just telling us what yah really needed.

I really have no idea how I'm to fit the trillion photos we have from Paris into one post. We only spent four days in The City of Light but oh my goodness did we walk and wander and explore. Whether it's one post or two, there'll be Parisienne prettiness on the blog next week!

a note - I (finally) sorted out my fickly account so you can now officially follow Mr and Mrs L on Bloglovin' (!!!)

the surreal moments.

Thursday, October 15

This past Friday, each with a glass of bubbly in hand, my husband and I found immense joy in looking through the photography collection from our wedding day. We dedicated more than a few hours to going through all of 'em, over and over and over, happily reliving the moments & emotions from a truly surreal morning, day, and eve. Being in two different cities most of the time, we thought it unlikely that we'd get to take in this particular moment side by side. So thank you, fate, for finding me curled up beside him and for giving us the luxury of laughing and crying and reminiscing together; it was absolutely wonderful.

The moments are fleeting, in a near magical way, throughout your wedding. Time moves far more quickly than you ever would've thought possible. And yet, it also moves as though on a slow motion reel - blurry and silent and perfect. Scribbled out, I do realize how ridiculous that sounds. Like I said, it is utterly surreal. Words aside (for once), I am inexplicably grateful to now have so many of those moments forever captured.

Sooner rather than later, I do hope to blog much of the goodness that was our wedding day. Believe me, any and every reason to be entirely nostalgic brings about serious warm fuzzies! Until then, we're simply enjoying the laughter and happiness that comes from sharing our photographs with our family, bridal party, and dearest friends.

[ photo by James Moes via our wedding morn; my great-grandma's earrings & heirlooms from the '20s ]

a happy weekend.

Friday, October 9

Y'all, the best news: my husband is here! Steven flew in yesterday afternoon & we get to spend the entire weekend together. Needless to say, my heart is so friggin' happy right now. We're going to take lots of walks, drink lots of vino, and even go out on a good ol' fashioned date night (take that, Netflix!). And, like we do every fall, we'll be making the biggest batch of vegetarian chili ever. How are you spending your long weekend, friends?

Here are some reads to make the last workday before the weekend speed by ...

// A list of all the cars James Bond has driven.

// It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend! We're making gluten free pumpkin pie!

// Vol. 2 of Poppy Barley's magazine is hot off the internet press!

// Snippet & Ink's #WordsToLoveBy is one of my favourite hashtags ever ever.

// I shared this piece on finding those family-friends a while ago on twitter & just had to again.

// A video on pronouncing Irish names that made me laugh out loud. I so get it.

// The bestest fall footwear (now, to learn how to style ankle booties)!

// How to spend 9 glorious days in Croatia.

// The inspiration board for my upcoming hair appointment. Fringe? Blunt cut? Hair dye? All three?

// A well stocked collection of real life movie set homes.

// I've had this tune on repeat lately.

[ photo via this blog, where the prettiest Parisienne photos are ]

taking stock // October

Thursday, October 8

It was never intended that this week be as quiet as it has been. I've got a big ol' stack of good drafts that are all one last edit away from sharing. I guess this just wasn't the week for them. That being said, this monthly series is definitely on the easier side of scribbling & it makes me smile every time. It is one of those projects that will be absolutely fantastic to reflect back on; it feels like glimpses at the little in-betweens that get swept off to the side as we take in the big picture.

Writing: study notes.
Cooking: veggie stir fry. 
Reading: psychology articles.
Wanting: an entire movie's worth of husband cuddles.
Looking: forward.
Drinking: tea x253632111.
Playing: catch up on laundry.
Deciding: what to wear out on this weekend's date night.
Wishing: really, really wishing, that my brain would quiet down at bedtime.
Liking: the chill in the air! 
Wondering: about eyelash extensions. *gulp*
Loving: the care package my man sent by snail mail. this guy, y'all! seriously.
Browsing: fabrics & wallpapers.
Watching: Grey's Anatomy, from the beginning.
Hoping: that sinus infection never ever ever comes back. 
Marvelling: at how, 54 years later, my grandparents still adore each another.
Needing: a trip back to Ireland.
Smelling: vanilla candles & eucalyptus essential oils.  
Wearing: the oversized knit from our engagement photos. all the sappy feels. 
Following: the winding little beach trail to the water every morning.
Enjoying: all the wonderful #BlogPodium15 posts.
Waiting: for my hubs to arrive (!!!) 
Noticing: so many meaningful communities growing within my home city.
Knowing: that what is meant for me will not pass me by.
Thinking: about babies #sorrynotsorry.
Admiring: my professor's dedication to her work.
Sorting: through my closet. again. donate? toss? keep? swap?
Buying: the new read for our blogger book club!
Getting: back into the swing of running for more than a few miles.
Giggling: over the ridiculous topics that make up text messages from my bestie.
Bookmarking: easy sewing patterns.
Feeling: just a wee bit stressed. yet, relieved at the exact same time.

a note - all the photos in my Taking Stock series are my own.
another note - this one is from September & here is where Taking Stock started. 

a restful weekend.

Friday, October 2

Just like that, September has come & gone.
I am on the tail end of a wicked mean sinus infection; the past few days have been one giant pity party around here. Thankfully, I had planned on quite the low-key weekend anyway, textbooks in hand while getting ahead in my classwork & readings, because the hubs is flying in for a visit next Friday (!!!). And when the words all begin to blur together, as they have a tendency to do, I'm going to pull a classic Aislin and take myself out to the movies. I've heard nothing but good, good things about The Intern (come on! a new Nancy Meyers film?! heck yes). What've you got on the go for the first weekend of October?

And, here you go, darlings! A few reads for your weekend ...

// During the month leading up to All Hallows' Eve, this forever favourite will definitely be on repeat in our house.

// A blog, two books, a bebe,  a clothing line, and now, a home collection?! Emily = definite #girlboss.

// Are you guilty of faking it on Instagram?

// The 430 books in Marilyn Monroe's library (plus, a number of other book lists).

// Pixel Paper Hearts just released her holiday cards!

// 204 Park & My Pennies, My Thoughts both shared wonderful recaps of our adventures at Blog Podium!

// Lately, this song has been the last tune on my running playlist.

// Here's a documentary all about Archie's Betty to accompany last weekend's vintage comic.

// We've been passively house hunting for a while & I found this witty video hilarious.

// *muah* A silly little personality list that had me checking all my lipstick tubes.

// I could never be ruthless with donating my books, but magazines & clothes? See yah!

[ photo via the Winchester Cathedral; isn't the Deanery Bookstall dreamy?]

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