Fall Fashion - My Wishlist

I used to love shopping.  When I was in my mid-20's, I actually went into debt because I was an impulse shopper and a fast fashion addict.  Finding cute clothes for a bargain was thrilling; with no regard as to how my purchases affected my bank account, other people and the environment. I commended myself for saving money with a $5 t-shirt that I discarded after a month.

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Back in June, I watched a film called True Cost.  A documentary on the fashion industry and how it affects people and the planet.  This was a huge eye-opener for me.  Since then, I can count on one hand how many clothing purchases I've made.  Every time I feel the urge to buy something, I ask myself, "do you really need this?".  I try to make a conscious effort to find out where the item is made and how it's made. Now more than ever, I'm trying to buy local, handmade, second-hand, or fair trade products.  This is definitely a lifestyle change for me and to be honest, I'm wondering if it's even feasible to implement for all my purchases.  I'm taking small steps but at least they are steps in the right direction; closer to the life I want to live and the person I hope to be.  I want to buy with a purpose, opt for items that are better quality and don't harm people or the environment.  After all, in the grand scheme of things, we are all connected somehow and I can't bear the thought of wearing something that I know someone else suffered for – no matter how cheap it is.

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via Sarah Lazarovic

 

So I've scoured the web and gathered some of the top items on my wish list.  As you know, buying local, handmade or fair trade can be a lot more expensive but when you buy less, you can save for the items that do good and make you feel good too.

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What's on your Fall wishlist?  Better yet, do you have any favourite sources for the conscious shopper?  I'd love to know!

Sources:

tote bag / collar necklace / shawl / leather crossbody / leather Tom's

My Bridal Shower

With my wedding less than a month away, life has been extra busy the past couple of months.  With a guestlist of about 120, my parents and I have decided to tackle this in true DIY fashion.  I'm talking handmade custom centrepieces, decor and invitations.  I can't wait to share with you all the fun projects we've been working on lately but first, here's a peek of the beautiful bridal shower my Mom and girls threw for me a couple of weekends ago.

bridal shower, loveonsunday

The scene:  A beautiful rooftop venue decorated with flowers straight from my Mom's garden.  A signature pink Mojito as well as delicious food from one of my favourite caterers.  A pretty sweet table created by one of my bridesmaids, cute giveaways, prizes and games and of course a room filled with my most favourite ladies.

bridal shower, loveonsunday

bridal shower, lighting

bridal shower

bridal shower, loveonsunday

bridal shower, loveonsunday

 bridal shower games, loveonsunday

bridal shower, loveonsunday

bridal shower, loveonsunday

bridal shower, loveonsunday

bridal shower, loveonsunday

A big thank you to everyone who came out, as well as my Mom and bridal party.

Photo credits:  Beverly Zabawskyj Photography

A Fresh Start

a fresh start Happy Thursday everyone!  Today I have some exciting news to share, something I've been pretty stoked about for weeks - I started a new job!

But first, here's some background so you can get a better feel of my excitement: my previous job had minimal creative work and to be honest, the work I was creating didn't really excite me. I absolutely loved the people there but I didn't feel challenged or fulfilled. I needed a change. This had been my feeling for quite some time. I've been taking freelance jobs for over a decade, trying to expand my portfolio in order to help land my dream job or something that was a huge step in the right direction for me. I worked my butt off & spent countless hours behind the computer.

fresh start

Now I feel like my hard work has finally paid off because yesterday was the first day of my new job as Designer for Joe Fresh, e-commerce! It's a great Canadian company and there will definitely be challenges and so much to learn from this growing team! Also, I'm now commuting to work via GO train, something I've never done before. My office is a gorgeous old building with tons of natural light & since it's in the heart of downtown, I'll finally get to explore a little more (the restos might be dangerous though).

a fresh start

So please excuse my grammar/spelling mistakes as I will probably be posting via cellphone...on the train...like right now.

And I'm off to work now, have a great day everyone!

M.I.A.

It's been almost 10 days since my last post and I can't help but feel a little bit guilty about it.  The truth is, I've been sick with the cold from hell.  You know, when your entire face feels congested and you can't stand the thought of staring at a computer screen because your eyes start to water and burn, your headache gets worse and all this is happening while you are mouth breathing like nobodys business.   Now that's a beautiful picture, isn't it?   Okay, I'm being super-dramatic.  Things could be a lot worse and I'm thankful it was just a bad cold.  I'm feeling much better now.

The past couple of weeks have been busy and being a blogger is a lot of pressure.  Pressure to post regularly, to keep your traffic up, to come up with original content - sometimes it just gets to be TOO MUCH.  Especially when you have a full-time job, a partner and freelance projects to get done.  How do you even fit in a social life?   or time with your family?  Much like a lot of my blogging peers, I was starting to feel uninspired.  I was starting to forget the reason why I started this blog in the first place.  It was never to make money (although that would be nice), it was simply my vehicle to be creative and to build something that was completely mine.  An online portfolio of sorts and hey, if it landed me the position of my dreams, even better!  So I'm going to keep trucking along and hope to find some kind of balance.  I hope you continue to follow me and enjoy what you see and read here on my blog.

Right now I am also planning my wedding.  A lot of people warned me that it could get difficult and that it really tests your relationship with your partner.  I can honestly say that so far, the process has been easy peasy.  I feel blessed because we both want the same things, we have our priorities straight and we're not going to let the little details stress us out.  If anything, I think this process has taught me more about myself and my relationship with others.  I'm learning I can't always do everything and be everything.  I'm learning I can't always make the right decisions from the get go but it's okay because everyone makes mistakes.  I'm learning that drifting from some of my oldest and dearest friends is okay because it doesn't mean you are forgotten, it just means you'll have more to talk about once you reunite.

So you'll have to excuse the lack of posts and comment replies as I am still figuring out how to find the right balance and carve a routine that works for me.  In the meantime, you can check out some of my wedding inspiration.  The top photo was from my girlfriends Hawaiian wedding which you can check out here and you can check out my wedding colours over at Emma's blog, The Marion House Book.

The Things That Matter

the things that matter, nate berkus This lovely stocking stuffer from my fiancé couldn't have come at a better time.  I've been dying to read Nate Berkus' book for months now so I was super stoked to unwrap it on Christmas day.  Not only has it motivated me to clear the clutter, but to read about his personal and professional struggles is both humbling and inspiring.  I had to break out the tissues!

So like many people during this time of year, I've made a plan to re-organize my home and make a few little tweaks to my current lifestyle.  I feel like I could be more efficient with my time and make room for other things and people that make me happy.  I continually try to set goals for myself but starting the year off with some new life improvements always helps.   So here goes:

1.  Be more active.  Yeah, no surprise there. I used to go to the gym 5x a week and I miss that Amy.  That Amy could carry 4 bags of groceries and not even blink. Right now, I can't even get out of bed without holding my back. So sad. I'm the type of person that NEEDS to exercise in order to feel balanced.  Both my body and mind benefit from regular exercise and boy, have they been neglected.  If ya don't use it, ya lose it.  It's time to make them a priority again before they both leave me.

2. Learn how to relax more.  I can be a stressball sometimes and that usually happens when I don't schedule downtime for myself.  It's so important!

3. Spend more quality time with my family and friends because they make my life so fun and colourful.  I feel very lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people.  And these two rascals make my heart so happy!

4. Spend less.  Probably a bad time to make this improvement since I'm getting married in August.  But there's always ways to cut costs and live more simply, right?

5.  More home cooked meals.  Experiment with more Filipino and Salvadorian style dishes (someone will be happy about this one!)

6.  Continue doing what I love most.  I love styling, DIY's, photography and just creating in general.  Quality over quantity and staying true to myself has always been a priority.  I hope to kick it up a notch and produce some original content that I'm proud of.

Friends, this will be a challenging and busy year for me but I'm ready.  In fact, we've filled 6 large garbage bags with stuff to be donated, re-organized our kitchen cupboards so I'm already feeling like a new woman!

What are the things that matter to you and how are you starting off 2014?

photo sources:  2 3 5 7

Hello 2014.

Last New Year, I posted about making 2013 awesome.  The background of that image is a large canvas that hangs in my dining room wall.  It used to be soft shades of pink, blue, gold and white but now it looks like the above.  The appearance is much bolder now and doesn't really make sense to anyone but me.  And I can't help but notice that much like this painting, I have evolved too.  The more I experience and the more I learn, the louder and bolder my voice becomes.

Over the past year, I have pushed myself way out of my comfort zone.  I've taught myself how to be uncomfortable because every time I did that or took a chance on something I loved, something great happened.

When I started this blog, I had no idea where it would take me.  I had no goals and no plan.  The only thing I was sure of was my excitement to express my creativity and finally share what I love.  And if people actually liked it, bonus!

So besides eating my way through the holidays (I'm talking extra poundage.  My jeans are feeling mighty snug), I had a chance to reflect, re-charge and gain new inspiration for some exciting events, projects and opportunities in the year ahead.  I will be marrying the love of my life this year and I have some very exciting projects that I can't wait to share with you all!

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me and continue to read my blog.  I have met so many talented people over the past year who inspire me and teach me things without even knowing that they do.  I can't wait to see what new challenges and opportunities await all of us.  I hope to keep creating, sharing and doing what makes me happy.  I hope you'll continue with me on this journey!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

merry christmas, loveonsunday It's crunch time, people.  Only 2 days left before Christmas and I hope all of you are sitting at home (with power!), warm and toasty with a cup of hot chocolate.  I will be spending the next couple of days wrapping presents, baking, sewing and enjoying some quality time with my family and friends.  I will be unplugging the laptop until the new year- a much needed break and I'm so looking forward to it!

Thanks to all of you for your continued support and encouragement.  You have all made this year a successful and memorable one for me.  I wish you and your families an awesome Christmas and may the holidays refresh your spirit and bestow upon you new inspiration, love, happiness and good health in the New Year!

xo, Amy

 

 

 

Giveaway Winner and A Small Update!

Thanks to everyone who entered my first giveaway!  And because I love to kick things the old school way sometimes, here's how we picked the winner.  No fancy rafflecopter, just a bunch of names in a hat!  So congrats to the winner of the custom name art giveaway: loveonsunday, giveaway winner

Congrats Marisa!  I will be in touch this week with more details :)

On another note, I've added a new link to the sidebar:  Our Humble Abode.  I've compiled some photos of our condo so feel free to check it out.  We still need to finish quite a few things but so far so good.

Have a great week everyone!