Tag: Okanagan Wedding

It’s a Pretty Life

With a name like Created Lovely, it’s clear I love the pretty things in life.  So as I sit here eating fresh strawberries and sipping hot coffee out of my “I kinda like you a lot” adorable coffee mug, here are 10 ways I put the pretty in my life.

1. Buy fresh flowers for yourself.  Just because.

2. If morning coffee or tea is part of your ritual, go splurge on cute or pretty mugs.  The ceramic Le Creuset mugs from The Bay are some of my favourite sets along with any mug from Chapters.

3. Take the time to get ready.  Most days I put my hair in a bun, wear simple make-up, and wear my glasses.  But every so often I put some music on my phone and take the time to get ready.  It’s amazing how pretty you feel when you take the time to enjoy getting ready.

4. Get cute shoes.  Don’t have the money for a new wardrobe?  Join the club.  Spruce up your outfits with printed flats from Target or Walmart.  Stripped flats, coloured flats, printed flats, you name it.  They’ve got it.  And they last just as long as my expensive pairs.

Style Tip: I like to pair printed flats with jeans, a white shirt, and jewellery.

5. Work out.  I’ve never felt prettier than when I’ve been working out.  It doesn’t matter if I’ve lost weight or see a change in my body, I feel a change in how I look at myself.  So get your butt moving even if it’s just going for a walk.

6. Buy cute cards.  There’s nothing like a handwritten note/letter/card on pretty stationary.  Target has some of the prettiest and cheapest stationary and wrapping.  Go buy some and keep it on a shelf in your office so you always have it on hand.

7. Send small gifts.  It feels so good to give people little gifts that make their day.  When you see something that makes you think of a certain person and it won’t break your bank– get it for them.  Even if you save it up until their birthday.

8. Find your favourite spots.  I pretty much live for any moments near water.  A walk on the beach, a picnic, a bike ride through Stanley Park, you name it.  Find those places that instantly make you feel good and visit them, ideally on a regular basis.

9. Decorate the room you spend the most time in.  Not everyone can afford to revamp every room in their place, but if you spend all your time in your living room then really take the time to make it your own.  Focus on one room at a time until you feel completely at home in your space.

10. Love louder.  Do more to show those you love just how much you love them.

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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

 

The Little Things

I was laying in yoga last night (where I come up with all my blog posts) and I was thinking about what A Lovely Life means to me. How do you create a lovely life? For me it’s the little things.

It’s the unwritten rule that whoever gets up first in our place makes the other one coffee. It’s the $5 Starbucks gift cards my mom sends in the mail just to say hello. It’s smiling and saying a genuine thank-you to someone that held the door for you. It’s buying the cute $10 mug in Chapters not because you need it but because it’ll make you smile when you wake up. It’s sending a text from a friend after a visit just to say you enjoyed spending time with them. It’s taking the time to acknowledge a pretty view without pulling out your phone to take a picture. It’s printing your photos and hanging them on your wall. It’s when Royce comes back from getting groceries with a bag of ketchup chips just because he knows it’ll totally make my night. It’s buying cute pillows because they make you happy. It’s messaging someone you haven’t seen in a long time but know their entire life update from Facebook just to say they’ve done well for themselves. It’s fresh flowers on your coffee table. It’s looking in the mirror and acknowledging you look pretty that day. It’s picking up the phone or at least texting a friend on their birthday instead of just sending a generic Facebook message. It’s waking up and deciding today isn’t for work, it’s spontaneous date day with your husband. It’s treating yourself to a vibrant pedicure when summer arrives. It’s playing your wedding song just because it makes you smile to hear it again. It’s receiving a hand written note in the mail. It’s choosing to wake up happy even when your day ahead is stressful or long.

For me, life is about all of the little things. And I’m creating my life lovely.

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xonicole

Let Love Be Genuine

I want to talk about the wedding industry in a way that most people don’t talk about it. I’d like to say that I think being a wedding planner is truly the best job in the world and there is literally nothing that would keep me from living this out as my career, but the industry can be exhausting. Truly exhausting.

Imagine it like this: You walk into your office where there was no filter for who was hired, anyone that wanted to work there started working there, the majority of the people there are extremely independent and like to do things their own way, they may have completely different values or goals than you but you all work in the same office, the gossip in the workplace is out of control, oh and you’re all selected to work on projects together and attend events together or you’ll look bad to your boss.

Essentially, in the most negatively written way possible… that’s the wedding industry. It’s a giant office filled with opinion and criticism. The worst part is, that criticism is all too often put on each other instead of oneself. And that’s where it gets me. We (myself included unfortunately) are the first to point our finger at other people not running their business how we think they should run it, instead of focussing on how to grow our own businesses and give our clients the most amazing service and wedding possible.

The other day my husband (who’s a wedding photographer) had another photographer’s website open of work he didn’t like and he started talking about it and I just snapped. Not because I’ve never done this myself, but because it’s not what I want for our businesses or for us as people. I just can’t take it anymore. If you don’t like someone’s work then don’t look at it. If you don’t actually like what they do, don’t tell them you do. Don’t “like” their photo on Facebook or comment just to have your name seen and look friendly. “Let love be genuine”- Romans 12:9. I will willingly admit that I don’t follow many of my competitors on Facebook because I don’t like that it makes me feel like an ugly person when I get jealous, feel threatened, or critique their work. And I never, ever tell someone I like something if I don’t. That’s not what this industry needs. It doesn’t need more people being fake with each other. Be supportive, and if you can’t be supportive or genuine leave them alone and let them run their business how they choose.

The more we focus on our passions of why we do what we do and how to better serve our clients, the more our businesses will thrive. And when your business thrives, it’s amazing how quickly jealously and criticism begins to fade away.

xonicole