17 day wedding countdown

I have been letting Shannon do the heavy blog lifting as I have been quite distracted with the whole wedding she-bang. Which is in 17 days. NOT THAT I AM COUNTING.

I won’t lie, I have been a bundle of nerves. Some days I can’t eat. I’m not worried about marrying the dude (he’s the best), but I’m worried about being the centre of attention. I’m worried about people staring at me all day. I’m worried about not being a good, gracious host. I’m worried about people being disappointed in me because I wasn’t fun, or vivacious, or the life of the party. I’m a shy person so thinking about this makes me feeeeeeeeeeel a lot of pressure.

Plus there are all the normal wedding related worries – vendors don’t show, guests don’t come, the priest gives a terrible homily.

But exciting things – I will be MARRIED to my best friend in 17 days. All my friends and family are coming to town and I am so happy to see them. I am almost finished my projects, and the to-do list is getting smaller.

ALSO! A few good things have come from the wedding planning.

1) I have realized that exercise is the best and I’ve moved towards a healthier lifestyle. I feel so much better about myself and I have the tools to make some great changes in the coming year.

2) When I started wedding planning I dismissed myself as not creative, or not able to do stuff. This is not true. I am creative and I am able – so I’ve regained some faith in myself. I used to paint and draw all through school. It stopped in university, but now I feel like it might be fun to play in watercolours and pastels again.

Here are some pictures of wedding DIYs (some wins, some fails) that I have been churning out.

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Serious Questions Ahead

Hey, you guys. Do you like booze? I like to drink booze. Not in an unhealthy-life-wrecking-seek-treatment sort of way. But, sometimes, on a weekend say, I like to have a glass of wine at dinner. Or maybe a beer. Or once in a while when I’m out with a group I’ll drink some clear booze in some other clear liquid (gin and tonic, ftw)* It does happen from time to time though that I do all of these things and more, in the course of a 6-8 hour period and then shit gets wild. This happened to me recently. I drank a bunch of wine and then a bunch of martini’s in about 4 hours. Drinking a bunch of wine or a bunch of martini’s is very clearly never a good idea. Certainly no sane person would do both at once. What I’m saying is that on this night I was not sane.

Long story short (because who needs/wants to hear the details of a fight I can’t really remember in the first place) I got in a fight with my boyfriend. The kind where you yell all the things. In front of people. The kind where he is not drunk at all and you are an unstoppable capricious monster-person. I said things I did not and do not mean. I said them to make him feel bad, knowing that they would. I said them because in my mind he was being mean to me. I couldn’t even do him the favour of prolonging the verbal fight into the car to help him stay awake. We drove home in steely silence. He had been up for literally 36 hours. When we got home I slammed all the doors. And I don’t mean this in the hyperbolic “do all the things” way. I slammed doors. I slammed them hard. I am an asshole, is the point.

The good news here is we got up the next day and spent only a few hours in that awkwardly quite “I think I still hate you” purgatory. Then we went to lunch and talked. We talked about the shitty things I said. We talked about how to avoid this in the future. We talked about apologies. Finally, we discussed how I shouldn’t slam doors because it’s childish and also it scares the dog. Now next time someone drinks too much (It’ll totally be him. We are reasonable and take turns. Three cheers for adult relationships!) we can maybe avoid this type of blow-out, or at the very least we know that we’ll be able to talk about it and move on.

I’ve been staring at this blinky cursor for about 10 minutes now hoping for a clever segue. It turns out segues are over rated; you just keep reading because I said so.

Last weekend was my boyfriend’s birthday. We hit the town with some friends and a few of his co-workers showed up with their girlfriends as well. One such couple proceeded to both get black out drunk, scream and cry in the street, run away from each other, and perhaps worst of all they ruined everyone else’s 3am chinese food by giving each other the evil eye and making barbed under their breath (but not really, because booze) comments across the table. There were such classics as; telling each other that this relationship was ‘so over’ and ‘you treat me like shit’ and the perennial reality tv favourite ‘I’m done.’ What I didn’t hear, and still don’t know the answer to is what in the ever loving hell these two were fighting about. There were some guesses; Mike** was flirting with another girl (of course), Nikki was being too chummy with some of the co-workers (sure she was), they’ve both been on the brink of ending this relationship for months and we’re all just lucky enough to be witnessing the most recent blow-out (lucky for us), and finally my personal favourite, these two do this every weekend and literally no one has any idea why.

So here are my boozey relationship related questions:

Ultimately, what are the limitations of the phrase ‘I was drunk’ as an apology or a request for being allowed to get away with something?

If you say something, something that implies you’re ending your relationship, how does one deal with that in the light of day? Would the person who is purportedly being dumped by their drunk partner be silly to take it seriously?

Even if you are able to have a grown up conversation about your idiocy when intoxicated will that change your drunken behaviour? How many times can you apologize for the same thing before it becomes meaningless?

How many times can you have the same or similar drunk brawls before it’s clear you’re both ridiculous individuals who cannot drink together?

Why can’t drunk people ever fight about something. Why do our drunken fights always boil down to basically name calling and dramatic proclamations?

*As an aside, did you know that it is actually club soda that has no calories and tonic water is full of them? I mean what in the world? Soda has calories. Tons of them. This is one of the inalienable truth by which I have lived my life.  Water is water, damnit. The purifying essence of life! Stop tricking me!

**Double aside. Mike told me to ‘fuck a hat’ when I suggested driving home was a bad idea. I would have been offended if I wasn’t laughing so hard/busy stealing that phrase.

“I’m too old for this shit”

As you know, we are both turning 30 in a few months. I don’t feel that this is possible though, because I am the worst almost-30 year old.

Shannon and I were talking the other day about how we have zero clues how to do our taxes. It is true. My Dad does them for me – every single year. In fact, if my Dad didn’t do them, I would have zero clues how to get it done. I know now the basic forms he needs but as for how to get them into a format that R*vC*n will accept – no idea. I would likely just shove them into an envelope and mail it off and hope for the best.

 No, I wouldn’t REALLY do that. If I had to do my own taxes I would likely buy the software to do it myself, not understand any of it, and break down crying a few times and then shuffle off to one of those green cubes that appear in the mall every year. And then I would have to go back a million times because I forgot this form and that form. 

But luckily I have a wonderful Dad who does them for me. Even the year when I forgot that taxes were a thing until April 1st and then called him in a panic and spent the next 2 days frantically scanning documents in and emailing them to him, so he could stay up until 4 o’clock in the morning filing them for me. Seriously. I love my Dad. 

Additionally, I still sleep under a pile of laundry for a few days after I do laundry.

I eat cereal or toast for dinner A LOT.

I still don’t drive.

BUT there are other ways in which I am an adult.

I pay my credit card off every month

I’m paying down my student debt

I admit my mistakes and apologize for them

I eat my vegetables

So that right there is my problem with turning 30 soon. I am clearly not qualified for this milestone. Let’s just average out the mature and immature qualities and say that I am turning 25, shall we? Sounds good to me!

Always a Bridesmaid

As you may have heard, Laura is getting married soon. Really soon actually. I can tell it’s getting closer by the number of times a week day I get an email with an excel spreadsheet attached or a picture of her photo-shopped into a new sash or pair of earrings. It’s the worst adorable.

This is my 4th time up the aisle (should have been my 5th, but that is a story for another post) so, I’ve got this down by now. People seem to love to bitch about being a bridesmaid, and I always find it strange. First, aren’t these people you’re doing this for your closest friends? If they are complete bridezilla, egomaniac assholes then maybe you need to reconsider the kinds of people you’re friends with. Or maybe you too are an egomaniac asshole – you know, birds of a feather and all that.

Second, you understand the completely voluntary nature of bridesmaidery, right? If you can’t stomach the idea of throwing a shower, or wearing a dress you maybe didn’t pick, or helping your friend drunkenly pee at 1 am because her organza tulle princess ball gown is totally not urination friendly, then just don’t agree to do it. There are a number of ways to bow out gracefully. You can site finances, scheduling conflicts, a satin allergy. Or, and this is the crazy one,  if this person is really your friend, you could be honest and say that while you love her and want to be a part of her day, you just know you’d be a shit bridesmaid and don’t want to put that strain on your relationship so, ‘no’.

Anyway, I love a wedding so I always say yes. Literally, if you called me – yes, you Internet stranger who is potentially just trying to lure me to a basement to kill me – and asked me to be in your wedding I would probably at the very least consider it. Such is the pull of the nuptial ceremony. I just like it. I like getting dressed up, I like the anxiety and excitement of the morning, I like drinking a mimosa in a limo or party bus, I like taking pictures and dancing all night. Annnnd I guess I like the idea of people taking a meaningful vow to love each other for ever and ever amen.

Laura’s wedding has been a bit different than the others I’ve stood in. Previously, everyone was local, if anything I was the sole out of towner. So there were always a bunch of showers and parties and gatherings leading up to the big day. Which is fun, but somehow not having all those little meet ups before hand is making the big day here feel bigger. Laura’s bridesmaids and old friends and both or their families are spread across the country and over seas so they haven’t had the opportunity to have a lot of the other celebrations. Which, I’m sure has made her a little sad. But in a more positive light this lack of lead in gatherings will mean that Laura and James’ wedding day won’t just be the thank God it’s over culmination of a bunch of other parties and celebrations, it will be the party and celebration. 

Also, we get to pick our own dresses! There are a few guidelines: Black – because how easy/classy/awesome is that? We must also be able to wear a longish dangley pendant she got us as a gift – because awww, presents! And don’t look like a whore in it – because she didn’t really say that, but I feel like it’s implied. I’m going to America next week to look for dresses. I’ll be bringing along my oddly compliant and fashion savvy boyfriend; we’ll take pics.

Below please find me in my previous bridesmaid attire. Please, feel free to post shots of your own shame um, joy in the comments. Please note that these are two different weddings, three years apart. And, yes, they’re both chocolate brown. Also note that there are literally zero pictures from my sisters wedding that aren’t completely humiliating, so, Internet, you don’t get to see those.

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CURLS CURLS CURLS

So many of my decisions over my wedding planning “journey” have followed this pattern: decide on something, decide I then hate it or no longer want it, and then go in the opposite direction. And then sometimes go back to the original inspiration. I have so many examples – cake, wedding day jewelry, shoes, hair piece, veil. What can I say, I’m one of those indecisive bitches.

But the one thing that has never changed is my vision for my wedding day hair. I have always envisioned hair that is half up and half down, with long cascading curls. I’ll be honest – I’ve been growing my hair for about two and a half years in anticipation of my wedding day hair, one and a half years longer than I have been engaged. Yah. That was a topic up for discussion for a while, obvs.

There were really two things that made me want this specific look. One was that I truly believe that my head looks very tiny on top of my body and an updo only makes it look smaller. I realize that this is crazy and my head is in fact NOT pin sized. But I knew that I could never feel truly comfortable with an updo. Because of my ridiculously tiny head which only exists in my brain.

The second was our own Patron Saint here at Backwards Heels, The Duchess of Cambridge herself AKA Kate Middleton AKA K.Middy. Yah thats right. Her hair has made quite the impression on me. I realized it when I found myself pinning pictures of her out and about at charity events, instead of like….normal wedding hair pictures.

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Both my Mom and Future-Mother-In-Law thought I should I have an updo, and I considered it for a while but no….I need cascading curls. And for my head not to look tiny. That part is very important!

Anyway, all that text to say that I had my hair trial last weekend and I LOVED it. It was pretty much exactly what I wanted. There are a few changes we will make, but otherwise it is good. Some height in the front and CURLS CURLS CURLS in the back.

First up, an inspiration picture from pinterest:

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Pasta and Cheese, Rejoice!

Last night may have just been boring Wednesday (Hump day! Less boring, right?), but it was the best night of my week because our favourite restaurant, Toscana re-opened after renovations! We hadn’t been since before Christmas so I was long over due for the Fried Manchego Cheese and Agniolotti. I have either personally eaten or dined with someone who has eaten almost everything on the menu and I’ve never heard a bad review. The service is great, the atmosphere is warm, dim and relaxed and they’ve got great wine and cocktails. Basically, it’s perfect. If you’re anywhere near Detroit or Windsor, I’d definitely recommend stopping by. Chef  Jonathan Reaume has earned a reputation as one of the areas best. Go ahead, make reservations!

I meant to take pics of my food and outfit. But I forgot. It was crazy busy and I was excited. Also, I’m a bad blogger. I promise to be much better in the future.

Conflict

So, blahblahblah we took a freakishly long break. We’re back now. For good. We think. Etc.

Annnnnyway.

Laura totally outed me in the last post and I hate her guts now.

I turn 30 in exactly 33 days. On the 14th of April I will cross the all important, though admittedly probably imaginary threshold into irrelevancy. Once you turn 30 you can no longer be taken seriously as ‘youthful.’ You are a legitimate grown ass person. Even if your job sucks and you’re not married and have no kids. You may not fully understand your credit card statements or how to do your taxes, but none of this matters. Hippies don’t trust you any more, and you are old.

Top 40 radio stations don’t cater to you. You can’t shop in Forever21 or Dynamite or buy super trendy, shoddily made accessories at Claire’s or Ardene. You’re only really allowed to go to an animated movie if you’re with an actual ‘youth’, unless of course you desire to be thought of as a creep. You can maybe still go to the cool bar, depending on the city you’re in. But you can be sure you’ll have to compete with youthful young ladies. In those trendy dresses with the sheer décolletage. Sure sure, if you were 29 it would be no big deal. We’re all in our twenties after all. But in 33 days? Well, in 33 day’s I’ll be 30. I’m pretty sure that when I wake up in 33 days (which by the way is also historically a very bad day:Lincoln was assassinated, Titanic hit the iceberg, and my grandfather fucking died on my 16th birthday) I will have brand new old person laugh lines, and a bunion, and probably a bad shoulder from an old football injury or whatever.

I’m joking, of course. I mean, mostly. 30 really does seem like the biggest numerical transition since I moved into double digits. The differences between 10 and 20 are so wildly obvious, it’s silly to even compare them. But moving from our twenties into thirties feels different. The twenties are this weird hybrid decade where you’re still really just a kid, at least for the first few years. You’re supposedly setting yourself up for your thirties and beyond. You stay out too late, don’t get hangovers, have no fear and you believe in the power of things. Things like positivity, and yoga and the healing properties of cookie dough ice cream. You also have more energy than any human person should. You go to class, you volunteer, you apply for all the jobs, you party. Everything is a possibility. And now as I inch closer to 30 (33 days), those things do seem, sadly I think, a little less a part of who I am. I do get hangovers, I don’t have boundless energy, I do feel limited. Worst of all I’ve realised cookie dough is a cruel joke played by the universe to make us both joyful and fat. What a drag, right? God. Sorry.

But wait! Don’t slit your wrists in a warm bath tub just yet!

In the last few months, as I’ve watched the 30th anniversary of my birth approach, I’ve thought a lot about what 30 might mean. But, I’ve realised that being 20 is also not that great. Everything may have been a possibility, but it was also terrifying. I didn’t go away to University, because I was too scared. I didn’t break up with my shitty boyfriend (two shitty boyfriends, actually) because I was too scared. Even more recently, I haven’t applied for or really chased a lot of opportunities, because I was too scared. Ten years later I’d hardly call myself brave, but I can pick up the phone to order a pizza or book a hotel room without literally writing out a script before hand.

There are a lot of benefits of being a little older. I don’t have to go to class any more. Honestly, I always really liked school. The academic atmosphere makes me feel special and a part of something important.You know what I don’t like though? 8 a.m. three hour classes and trudging across campus in a blizzard because fucking UWO wouldn’t cancel a damn class. Good luck with that shit undergraduates. Now I have to go to work. I don’t get graded arbitrarily and they pay me. Weird, right?

I still believe in the power of yoga and positivity. I have however also learned the power of accepting when things are shitty and telling someone to go to hell if I need to. Also, I will never be able to do crane pose. Them’s the breaks.

A lot of bad ass people get started in their thirties. Martha Stewart didn’t begin her career as the best person in the world at literally everything until her 30’s. Oprah got her own show at 30. My very own father started his business in his 30’s and more than two decades later is happier than ever. I myself plan to move out of my parents basement very soon. So, there is that.

Plus, total babes like Mila Kunis, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain and our own icon of wonder Duchess Kate don’t show outward sings of their impending laugh lines, bunions or sporting injuries, right? You can still be figureing your shit out at 30. Pretty much everyone is. Even the weirdos who do understand their credit card statements are struggling somehow, I know it. Most importantly though, you don’t magically turn into a disgusting old crone-pumpkin at the stroke if midnight either.

The bottom line: I’m feeling conflicted about Thirty. But I think I’ll be ok.

Look, I’ll let you know in 33 days. If you don’t hear from me, I guess you can find me in that warm tub we talked about.

Let’s do this.

When Shannon and I took a break last year, we never intended it to go this long. We used to blog as Irene and Steph – obviously not our real names. Why? We wanted anonymity. That kind of went out the window when we told everyone we knew, and then those people started telling people about it too. At that point, we might as well have just hired a damn skywriter. 

 

Another part of the break is that we felt were locked into this FASHION! STYLE! POP CULTURE! blog. We wanted to talk sometimes about our lives. After I got engaged last Spring, we decided to take a break and refresh ourselves, and then start this new blog where we could talk about whatever we felt like. Obviously we are incredibly lazy because we never took up the pen again. 

 

I’m getting married in 2 months. Shannon is turning 30 in a month. I turn 30 in 4 months. And in 6 months, I will move to a small town where I know  practically no-one. Lots to talk about.

 Let’s do this. 

Triumphantly,

Laura (on behalf of Shannon)

Review: Essie Luxeffects – A Cut Above

Full disclosure here – I’m normally not a glitter polish fan. But I couldn’t resist this beautiful pink glitter from Essie. A cut above is described by Essie as a Shattered Pink Diamond Glitz.

Image courtesy of Essie

The polish itself is octagonal pink glitter suspended in clear polish with smaller pieces of round pink glitter. I also found that there are tiiiny red pieces of glitter that flash occasionally. You could wear the polish on its own, or layered over another polish (the luxe effect, I presume!). Essie recommends layering it with wicked, a blackish-plum, or neo-whimsical and poppy art pink, both lighter pinks.

For this week’s manicure I layered a cut above over Essie’s penny talk, which is a metallic rose gold. I got fairly full coverage with two coats of the polish, but three was pushing it in terms of thickness. I also applied two coats of a topcoat, which I found was necessary to smooth down the glitter. With the topcoat, the polish is a little gritty but smooth enough that it won’t snag on clothing. I’ve heard that removal is difficult but so far I haven’t had to try it out – it has peeled off on its own so far. Lucky me!

(Click to see it larger. And apologies for the crappy pictures. I was chasing the light and this polish is HARD to capture)

You could also use this polish as an accent only on your ring finger, as I did here, or on your thumb. I got the idea from Pinterest, and it seems even the fashion mags are getting into it now.

Paired with Essie’s Penny Talk

(Click to see it larger)

Overall, I love the polish. It is a nice touch if you want to accent one nail, and it is beautiful layered over another polish. It’s glitzy, but not discoball shiny, so it is work appropriate (at least at my work. If you are a surgical nurse or a corporate lawyer, it’s probably not going to fly). The formula is pretty good to work with, it is thick but not so thick that it is difficult to apply. Just a wee bit goopy – not enough to make it a problem. You can achieve opacity with two coats.

I would classify it as a re-buy, and I’ll probably check out the other colours in the Essie Luxeffects range.

You can pick up Essie polishes at drugstores between $8-$10 dollars.

We were not compensated for this review

Leopard Girl

I went to see Dark Knight Rises this past week. For whatever reason, even though its two (or in this case 3) hours spent in a darkened room where there is absolutely no reason that anyone would be looking at you, I like to look cute at the movies. Maybe afterwards you’re going to get a drink with some friends, or go for coffee and discuss the nuances of the film. Maybe you’re going for a romantic walk along a waterfront? Listen, I don’t know what you’re doing after movies, but you might want to look cute. Plus, I have a decades old crush on Christian Bale and I feel like I should respect that by dressing appropriately.

Anywho. Here is what I wore.

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I used to shy away from animal prints. I didn’t think I had the personality or confidence to pull it off effectively. But this summer I invested in some snake skin bangles and this tank. It turns out either I got some new confidence I wasn’t aware of or it doesn’t actually take confidence to pull of animal prints. What it takes is taste. Keep it subtle and clean and animal prints are classic and chic. I felt great.

Also, Dark Knight Rises was great. Christian Bale, as always, is wonderful as the troubled billionaire Bruce Wayne. He really is ‘the best of us’. Michael Cain is touching and his relationship with Bruce reaches an emotional climax. Tom Hardy as the villain Bane was, in my opinion, the most real and truly scary adversary The Batman has faced in this trilogy. Plus, he had a really cool coat. Anne Hathaway is gorgeous and lithe in killer heels, even if I didn’t always buy her as an ass kicking cat burglar. The film comes highly recommended. As does going to the movies in cute outfits that just a few months ago you would have been scared of.

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