Inspired by Blogpodium

blogpodiumOne week ago, I travelled, alongside some incredible ladies, to this year’s Blogpodium conference in Vancouver. I had no idea what to expect and the butterflies were definitely bouncing around, but I was so excited! After coming home, organizing my thoughts, creating countless lists and processing just how amazing the weekend was, I had to share my experience with you all. It’s safe to say I was completely inspired by Blogpodium….here’s why:

blogpodiumI Got a Better Grasp on the Blogging World

Being at this for over 2 years, I’ll be honest and say that I was starting to get disheartened. I didn’t know if I was doing anything right or if all the hours spent were actually getting me any further in my career. After each session, I learned some valuable lessons about upcoming trends, how to use Google Analytics, how to go about monetizing in a way that works for you and so many more tips and tricks. Knowledge is definitely power! I couldn’t believe how many simple steps I was missing that could help my blog grow. But in that same breath, I also learned that I was, and still am, doing a lot of things right too and that definitely reinvigorated me. The weekend helped reaffirm why I am blogging and the goals I hope to accomplish.blogpodium

Where There is Love and Inspiration…

…you cannot go wrong. From the keynote speech from Jillian Harris, who’s incredibly genuine (and hilarious), to Caroline and Kendall from Poppy Barley, with their candid message to ignore the seagulls in your life (since they are just going to shit all over you!!), it was apparent that every single person involved in the weekend LOVED what they did and found INSPIRATION in it. I took away so much from hearing these women speak, from meeting talented artists in the marketplace and from dialoguing with so many creative people. blogpodium

Poppy Barley | Jillian Harris (photo by Elliven Studio)choose courage not comfort


Checking out the Marketplace – Pixel Paper Hearts & our girl Justine Ma

Support in All the Right Places

I learned quickly that my blog can only be successful if I have the right people in my support system. It’s not often that you come across so many like minded people – ladies who want to build their businesses, create great content and potentially change their lives and careers. Getting to be a part of our #yegblogpodiumsquad was the absolute best part about the conference. Spending the weekend together, we became fast friends and I really felt like my support system had grown extensively. We all want to support one another and help each other accomplish our massive lists and goals! I loved that the quote Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe was on display because it couldn’t be any truer. blogpodium

All the gals in their Poppy Barleys! | From Left to right: Me | Janine from My Pennies My Thoughts | Christine from Just Bella Blog & Make Shop Social | Diana from 204 Park | Aislin from Mr and Mrs L | Nicole from Dutchie Love | Breanna from Breanne Marie Photography

blogpodiumOut for a little YVR fun post BlogPodium!

blogpodiumSome of my favourite items that came home with me!

And there you have it…quite the inspirational experience! In the coming weeks, I’ll share a little more of our Vancouver adventure! Thanks for stopping by & if you want to see more round ups of the conference check out this post & this one.


Just a Glimpse of September

September actually flew by. I can’t believe it’s the first day of October already! It was a great month full of start ups, time with friends and, of course, the perfect trip to Vancouver to cap it all off. I also had a month full of amazing food – in one week I ate at three of Edmonton’s best restaurants. How lucky am I?? I loved checking out one of my fave bands this month in concert, Alt J, and Ryan and I JUST finished watching Mad Men! Did you see Jon Hamm win the Emmy?? Anyways, check out some more highlights from the month and some of the things in my world now…septemberEdmonton’s Corso 32 | Pick up a copy of American Ghost here | Listen to endless music on Spotify | Completely in love with this home tour | Chef Michael Smith (he’s so tall) and Range Road deliciousness. A huge thank you to Diana from 204 Park for the invite!! | Good for the home – Minted’s artwork | Blogpodium…so much inspiration, it’s ridiculous!

What was inspiring from your September? I’d love to hear! And for now, let’s cross our fingers for a long fall and gorgeous October!


Creating a Custom Wedding Website

Weddings in general have definitely seen some changes in the past few years. Online tools like Pinterest have become the go to for finding ideas and popular sites like Style Me Pretty are all the rage. But the online trend isn’t limited to inspiration. Now, more than ever, brides (like myself) are opting for a custom wedding website rather than that good ‘ol traditional mailed invitation. Being a blogger, I knew this was the way I wanted to go too (even though I also sent out affordable save the dates from!). A quick google search led me to where I could immediately, and very easily, start my own site. I absolutely loved this free, customizable builder and I really saw some great benefits with this style of invitation. Here’s why I would highly recommend it…custom wedding website

I literally just said this but I’ll say it again…It’s FREE

I saved oodles of money not having to design, print and mail over a hundred invitations! Many other wedding websites will have a yearly charge but the Knot asks nothing from you. Save those $$ for decor, am I right??

It was easy to set up and manage

Seriously, I’m not just saying that because I am a blogger and do this kind of thing on a regular basis. My mother in law could have done it! And they have support to help you if you get lost.

I loved the Knot’s templates

This builder absolutely matched my style and aesthetic. It took me no time to select a theme and start customizing it! Classic and simple = perfection.custom wedding website

It’s totally customizable

I could change fonts, add colours, switch photos…anything to make it more ‘us.’custom wedding website

I chose a simple black and white theme with a little gold confetti. It seemed to compliment my save the dates the best.custom wedding website

Guests could click right on the RSVP button – so simple and straightforward. And, of course, I added a section talking about our amazing wedding party:custom wedding website

It gave my guests all the info…and more

Depending on the size of an invitation, you’re pretty limited in terms of space. You can usually only include the very most important things…when and where, etc. More info = more paper and costs. But with a wedding website you can provide as much or as little info as you like. I not only provided details about the wedding, but about transportation, accommodation, things to do in the area…all with direct links!!!!! So useful!custom wedding website

It kept me organized

The website kept track of my guests…who was coming and who was not. It was nice to be able to consult it at any time and have an updated head count. Also, the countdown to the day in the corner was both terrifying and helpful…

I could link directly to my wedding registry

Ryan and I have been living together for many years and decided early on that a typical wedding registry wasn’t what we needed or wanted. We decided instead to head to Wanderable and set up a Honeymoon fund, where guests could gift us things to do, places to visit, dinners to eat and other fun things. We got A LOT of amazing feedback from this! And the best part was I could provide a link right on our wedding website. It made everything so easy!custom wedding website custom wedding website

Is this something you could see yourself using?? Have you had success with another wedding website creator?? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Check out our whole wedding website here!

Laurier Heights Flip – Kitchen Design

Well, you’ve seen the before photos and, hopefully, had a chance to watch our first episode of the Laurier Heights flip. And now, as I’m painstakingly working on episode 2, I thought I would tease you with a little kitchen design inspiration. I’m sure no one would be surprised to hear that, once again, I’m sticking to a white palette for this house (we’ve already painted the majority of the walls Benjamin Moore’s White Dove); but, I’ve been really surprised to find myself drawn to some of the high contrast black and white designs! Here, let me show you!

kitchen design kitchen design kitchen designGorgeous!!

I absolutely love a LOT of the design elements seen in these photos but, when planning a flip, I know I’m somewhat limited. I have to reign in my excitement and try to keep it as neutral as possible, appealing to as many people as I can. So here is what I’m thinking…kitchen designMy plan is to bring in black where I can…the front door leading into the kitchen area will be painted black, I’ll have some fun artwork on the walls and definitely add any other small accents when staging. Other than that, my plan is to keep the kitchen white, with beautiful hardware on the cabinets and a backsplash that could just steal the show! I’m excited to tell you we are also adding some faux brick on one feature wall (!!!!) AND we have a gorgeous countertop currently going in…that’s CONCRETE!! I can’t wait to see the mixture of textures in this space!

What do you think of the design?? Take a look at flip #2’s initial kitchen inspiration….a little different hey??

Thanks for stopping by! And coming soon….episode #2!!


Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3 | Kitchen design initial photo found here

The Honeymoon Highlights

After finally getting back into the swing of things at home, I’ve had some time to reflect on our amazing, month long, European honeymoon. It was such an incredible trip and I’m really excited to start sharing it with you all. Every Tuesday on the blog, I’m planning on showcasing a stage of our travels through Croatia, Montenegro, Switzerland and Spain – special places, favourite finds, and, of course, lots of photos!! As most of you know, traveling is a huge passion of mine and experiencing a trip like this as newlyweds was a dream come true for us both! Today, I’d like to start the series off with a round up of our honeymoon highlights – just some of our favourite places, moments and memories.

The Old Towns of CroatiaEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

It was easy to feel like you stepped into a medieval time period walking through the gates of the old towns. I absolutely fell in love with Croatia because of these picturesque places, especially Dubrovnik. The ancient walls enclose charming, narrow streets with many a hidden gem. We loved getting lost and spending the day wandering from restaurant to cafe to bar…

Plitvice Lakes National ParkEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

Never have I seen clearer, more brilliant lakes than here in Croatia. There are 16 lakes at the Plitvice national park, all arranged in gorgeous, overflowing cascades. Pictures could never do it justice…it was truly unbelievable.

The views in DubrovnikEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

Known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” there may not be a place more beautiful than Dubrovnik. The views of the old town and surrounding areas are magnificent. Whether you’re climbing up to a fortress, taking a gondola up the side of the coast or just simply dragging yourself up the endless stairs to your apartment, the sight of this place never gets tiring.

Kotor Bay and the Hotel Casa del Mare Amfora

European honeymoonEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

If we could pick one place to go back to, it would be here. Partially because we had the least amount of time in Montenegro but also because the bay of Kotor is a slice of paradise, that still hasn’t caught up to the pace of the rest of the coast. We were absolutely spoiled by the staff at the Hotel Casa del Mare, who went above and beyond for our honeymoon. A definite highlight!

The countryside of SwitzerlandEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon European honeymoon

Being from Canada, you would think we wouldn’t be excited by mountains and charming countrysides, but you’d be wrong! Taking the golden rail across Switzerland was such an amazing experience with the panoramic windows and delicious hot chocolate. I loved everything quintessentially Swiss…the cows with their bells, the quaint European houses and all the green!

The ascent to Mount Pilatus European honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

While in Lucern, we took the steepest cogwheel up to the base of Mount Pilatus. The climb up the mountainside was incredible, complete with jaw dropping views. And then, we made the trek to the highest point on the mountain – with only a small guardrail between us and a fatal fall!! It was at times very nerve wracking, but so exhilarating being up among the clouds!European honeymoon

Electric bikes in Madrid

European honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

Our first stop in Spain? Madrid! And what better way to spend the afternoon than to hop on electric bikes and cruise around the gigantic El Retiro Park! We had an absolute blast!

Stunning sites in ancient SegoviaEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon European honeymoon European honeymoon European honeymoon

With captivating sites like the stunning Alcazar, the majestic Cathedral and the enormous Roman Aqueducts, Segovia had it all. In the future, I would hurry out of Madrid and opt for a few nights in this historic city instead.

Throwing tomatoes in BunolEuropean honeymoon

Though I wouldn’t say this was necessarily a highlight for me, the rest of the crew sure had a blast at La Tomatina and I loved being a witness to the biggest food fight in the world. Notice I said witness…From this festival I learned that, a. I don’t like hard tomatoes thrown at my head and b. a big crowd of wild people throwing things doesn’t fall under the category FUN for me…LOL

La Sagrada Familia in BarcelonaEuropean honeymoon European honeymoon

No trip to Barcelona would ever be complete without a trip to see Gaudi’s masterpiece, which continues to be a work in progress. No matter though! The remaining scaffolding did not take away from the beauty and rarity that is this place.

Tapas, Paella, and Sangria galore!European honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

To say we ate and drank a plenty is an understatement. I did not shy away from all of the deliciousness in Spain. Immersing myself in the local cuisine is always a highlight!

and travelling with the best company in the worldEuropean honeymoonEuropean honeymoon

Though Ryan and I loved every second of being on our own, it would not have been the same without our family and friends joining us. The more love, the better 😉

And that’s just the highlights people!!! Join me next Tuesday for more travel inspiration from our European getaway!


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