Tag: Created Lovely

New Service! Okanagan Wedding Styling

Styling has always been one of my favourite parts about my job. Most wedding planners are not stylists but it’s a part of the industry I’m passionate about.  Stylists are “all about the pretty”.  They’re in control of the vision, design, and putting it together to make it look perfect.  A planner is in control of the logistics and planning to ensure a flawless and organized day.  Many planners work on design concepts as well (like I do).  Design can also be handled by rental companies depending on their business.  I think I’m making this complicated…  Moving on.

It’s always been a dream of mine to be a stylist. One of my long term goals is to be hired to do the styling for major photography workshops across Canada and the US (California ideally).  It’s my hope that as my business grows and I gain more experience, not only on my own but from other workshops I’m planning to attend, that I’m able to one day teach my own styling, planning, and business workshops.  So those of you reading this can hold me to it!

Many people don’t know, but Royce (my photographer husband–check out his work! He’s seriously so talented: www.roycesihlis.ca) offers engagement styling by Created Lovely in his photography packages.  We send his lovely brides to get their hair and make-up professionally done and then I’m there during the entire shoot to style it all.  From helping pick out outfits to designing the overall feel of the shoot, I style the session to be a true reflection of their personalities and Royce captures it all beautifully.

Created Lovely will now be offering styled engagement shoots for an exclusive list of other photographers!  Stay tuned for an upcoming styled shoot with Christie Graham Photography and many other extremely talented vendors in early April!

See some of my past shoots below with Royce Sihlis Photography & Rebecca Siewert Photography: 

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xonicole

It’s not easy

It is extremely difficult to be honest when it comes to business.  It’s not “just” business, it’s your life.  The day you choose to start a business that you want to make a full-time career is the day you put it all on the line.  And this year has been hard.  Really, really, really hard.  There are days where I have serious doubts.  I’m not tooting my own horn but I’m 100% sure I could have climbed the corporate ladder and done something else with my life where I’d be making a lot more money with benefits than I am right now.  So easily I forget how much I hated working for other people.  So easily I forget dragging myself out of bed to go to a job that didn’t excite me.  So easily I forget that that wasn’t what I was meant to do.

But some days I just want business to be easy.  I want to know what I’m doing all the time. I want to feel job security and know how much money I’m making that month.  I want to go to work and feel social because I actually have coworkers to talk to about how their weekend went.  I want to have a weekend.  I want to buy work clothes and actually wear them 5 days a week.  I want to be told I’m doing a good job by my boss.  I want to get promoted.  I want to get excited about a job opportunity or internship and apply for it.  Some days I just want all of it.  Every little piece of working for someone else.

I started my own business when I was 20 while finishing my event management diploma.  I ran my business part-time for 3 years while finishing my Bachelor of Tourism Management then took it full-time this year after getting married and moving to the Okanagan.  I wish someone would have told me how hard it was going to be.  And that there would be countless days where I cried out of frustration, stressed about money, worried about success, faced a painstaking amount of jealousy, and just didn’t believe in myself.  I wish someone would have told me that running your business is Nothing like what you see on Facebook and instagram.  No one posts the hard stuff.  No one wants to admit that some times it’s not fun.  And being an entrepreneur is the furthest thing from the easy route– it just appears that way to everyone else because the people doing it love their jobs.

And that’s what led me to this.  I love my job.  I know very few people that can say that and as I get older I can imagine I’m going to hear it less and less.  I made the right decision and every hard day is worth it but today I’m wishing for lunch with my coworkers.  Time to expand the Created Lovely team.

Time to put my head down and just keep swimming.  I love my business.  I love my clients.  I love that it’s 2:45pm in the afternoon and I’m at home blogging.  Because I can! I love being the owner of Created Lovely Events.  And it’s okay that it’s not easy, that’s what makes success that much sweeter.

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xonicole

 

 

 

$15 Dates

Yesterday in the car, Royce turned to me and said “if you could go on any date right now for less than $15 what would you want to do?” Which got me thinking… wellll there’s SO much we could do, depends on what you’re in the mood for!  So that inspired today’s blog post.  10 date ideas for under $15.

1. Surprise Shopper- I did this for a date I planned for my friends one time.  Put $5 in two envelopes and you each take one.  Go into a convenience store and you have to buy what you think the other person would want for themselves.  It’s a fun and cute challenge to see how well your significant other knows you.

2. Coffee Date- Fingers crossed lattes don’t get any more expensive because my current #1 favourite date is a skinny caramel macchiato and a cozy, somewhat quiet coffee shop.

3. Dessert Night- Skip the meal and drinks and go for dessert.  Ever tried the cookie at Milestones?! One word… YUM!

4. Float Night- Drive over to your local grocery store and pick-up vanilla ice-cream, rootbeer, and some fun cups and have a rootbeer float night at home.  Your inner child will love you.  Bonus points if you do this after a day at the beach.

5. Mini Golf- This might break the bank by a buck or two but I love a cute mini golf date.  Minus my insanely competitive nature that the ball never seems to find the darn hole!! I’ll personally be skipping #5.

6. Netflix & Popcorn- Royce and I save money on TV by using our 3 free channels and just paying $8/month for Netflix.  One of my favourite date nights is a new movie on Netflix and buying Kernel’s popcorn seasoning from Walmart/Superstore and making fresh popcorn with a brown paper bag, olive oil, and the microwave.  When we’re feeling rich and fancy we buy the good stuff and season it with truffle oil and grated gruyere cheese.

7. Bananagrams- If you’ve never played Bananagrams you’re missing out.  Go buy it from Target or Chapters, make some nachos at home and sit down and play!  It’s like scrabble without the board and points.

8. Two can Dine- Don’t tell me you don’t love A&W onion rings.  Once in a blue moon Royce and I take coupons we get in the mail and pick up teen burgers and onion rings and eat dinner in bed.  *Note: you will go over budget without the coupons*

9. Sangria Night- The liquor store has a large selection of wine for $10.  All you need is orange juice, 7Up, and some fruit and you’ve got sangria night!  A whole pitcher to be enjoyed on your back patio watching the sunset.

10. Ghost Hunting- I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but it was one of my Favourite things to do on warm summer nights back when I lived in Saskatchewan.  You know how many abandoned towns there are?!  Spooky and terrifyingly fun.  I may or may not own all of the “Ghost Stories of _____” books.  Don’t judge me.

That’s it! 10 date night ideas for under $15!

xonicole

 

No Excuses

I was raised in a no bullshit family. My dad told you what you needed to hear even when it wasn’t always what you wanted to hear.  And my mom never scolded you for anything you did poorly as long as “you know you tried your very best.”  Which in short is the guilt-tripping way of telling you, “You know you didn’t try as hard as you should’ve and that’s why you got that mark.” So in sum, I was raised to be very in control of my life and my choices and to take both the credit and the heat for them.

As an entrepreneur, I’m thankful to have been raised like that.  Even when I used to wish my dad would take pity on me with my adorable youngest child syndrome and only blame my sisters for breaking the fan when it clearly wasn’t my fault that my older sister had the idea to throw teddy bears at the ceiling fan to make them fly…  Who cares if I threw them too.

Anyways, we all know I was a great kid.  Moving on.  I was inspired to write this blog based on the annoying amount of excuses I’ve been hearing/seeing from people lately.  Your business, your job, your personal life, your relationships, your life, rises and falls on your shoulders.  I don’t care how difficult your day has been, how busy you are, how successful someone else is, if you want a certain life for yourself then you need to go out and get it.

I can complain all I want that I have to pay for my own benefits and that I’m going to have to plan down to the month that we have kids.  Then don’t become an entrepreneur.  I can complain that other people are booking a wedding I wanted.  If I really cared, then I should figure out what my business needs to increase sales and make myself the clear choice for future clients.  If I want to make more money, I need to figure out what it is that’s going to increase my value as a planner so I can increase my rates.  If you’re too busy for the gym, start prioritizing yourself better and make the commitment.  If you don’t like the way someone treats you, then stop letting them and find a healthy way to communicate or remove yourself from the situation.  If you’re constantly jealous of someone else’s life or business, start focussing on how to get there instead of comparing yourself.

Life isn’t rocket science.  Stop making excuses and start finding pro-active solutions.

No more excuses.

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Valentine’s Day Date Ideas!

I’m the worst holiday partier. For real guys. New Year’s Eve? I’m pumped to have a wedding booked that day. St.Patrick’s Day? I’ll probably dye my sugar and milk green like my mom used to do and call it a party. But Valentine’s Day, that’s a day to get creative and share some love people!!

I say get creative, because I loathe red roses, expensive dinners, and choc… okay I love chocolate. But the other two can go.

Here’s some date ideas worth doing this year:

1. Theme Night!– I got this from a past bride on her upcoming Valentine’s Day plans. To commemorate their honeymoon travelling thorough Asia, they’re having an all things Thai night.

2. Skating & Cocoa (spiked of course)– One of my current brides loves celebrating Valentine’s Day with her now fiance by cooking dinner at home then grabbing their skates and a thermos full of hot chocolate and Beileys for an old fashioned adorable date night.

3. Wine & Appy Night– Get a group of your couple friends together or non-couples (Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the dating & married) and have everyone bring one bottle of wine and one appy to the host’s house. Pull out the board games and make an evening of it. Valentine’s Day is to be shared with those you love, and I love my friends!

4. Photo Scavenger Hunt– One of my faves for sure. Have a friend make a list of 10-20 photos you need to get together and put it in an envelope. When you’re ready for your date, rip it open, hop in your car and go! I did this for Royce’s birthday yesterday. The list included: a coffee cup, a place you’ve never been, a present, a selfie, and many others. Suggestion for Valentine’s Day: shameless selfie, photo of a couple on a date, photo of a heart, dessert, something you love.

5. Chopped– Go to the grocery store and stock your fridge with fresh veggies, a couple meat options, and dessert ingredients. Choose which of you is going to make dinner and who is going to make dessert. If your hubby is on dinner, write down 3 ingredients he has to use. If you’re making dessert, have him write down 3 ingredients you have to use. And just like the show Chopped, get cookin’! 30 minutes to make your dinner and dessert and you have to include the 3 listed ingredients in your dish. (You could do this with couple friends too where you compete with appys, dinner, or dessert items.)

6. Fort Night– Need I say more? I love building forts!! Set some ground rules though. Fort building will not commence until all parties are in pajamas. No access to the fort without a glass of wine (or bottle). Board games, card games, or movies are encouraged while visiting the fort. All forts need photographic evidence of their awesomeness.

7. Breakfast in Bed– This is a must-do at some point in your relationship. But who says it’s just for the morning? Make mimosas, pancakes, peaches, whipped cream, bacon, and hash browns in the evening and bring it to bed (or if you’re really awesome, in the fort!!). Make this even better with pjs & movies.

8. Bowling- Oh yeah, bringin’ it back to grade 5 birthday parties. Grab your favourite friends and book a lane at your local bowling alley. Bonus points if you have team uniforms and names. After you’re done, head to one of your places for nacho and sangria night.

9. Pizza Night– I make the best homemade pizza. It’s one of the only things I’m actually good a cooking, so last year Royce and I made homemade heart shaped pizza and drank wine on our living room floor with movies. This could also be changed to homemade Blizzard night, fondue night, appy night, or anything else involving eating at home…

10. Just Drive– I love car rides. Spontaneous ones. Hop in the car and take turns saying “left, right, or straight” and see where it takes you! It’s a great way to explore new areas of the city you live in, it’s cheap, and it’s surprisingly fun. We usually grab McDonald’s sundaes or a Starbucks when we do this and end up taking pictures or going for a walk when we find an area worth stopping.

And if you realllly can’t decide on date night, put some of your top favourite dates in a jar and pull from it on Valentine’s Day morning.

xonicole