Thursday, June 30, 2016

Guys Behind The Blog: June

It's that time again!! Mike is back to answer questions for the Guys Behind The Blog series. This month was all about Father's Day but since we aren't parents yet, I tweaked some of the questions to better suit him. I tried to keep the theme going though!
Q: What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
A: I think what we had that children today don't have is an imagination. I really don't want to turn this into a "back in my day!" type of answer, but we really didn't have all of the technological distractions that kids have today. I never had a 24 hour a day cartoon channel or all my favourite cartoons streaming online. Cartoons were on Saturday mornings and there were some on immediately after school. Most of the time I watched Saved By The Bell, Full House, Family Matters, and Fresh Prince after school. I never had access to whatever song I wanted to hear at any time. If I wanted to hear a song I used to have to record it from the radio, or save up or ask my parents to buy me the entire tape or CD. While we had video games, we didn't have them wherever we went all the time. There were no iPads to take on car rides, we played games on long car rides. My parents used to ask me to name all the state capitals (even though we're Canadian!) when we'd go on road trips. And instead of being in front of a TV playing video games, I was out playing football, basketball, baseball, or made up games with friends until it got too dark to do so. I know that every generation will look back more fondly on their own childhood compared to the children of today's, but I really believe my generation benefited in a variety of ways from the way we were brought up before the boom of the technological era.

Q: What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
A: I was a typical boy. I never dreamed of being a doctor, or a teacher, or a lawyer. I always dreamed of being a pro athlete. But although that was what I dreamed of being, I don't think I ever really let it define me as I think I realized how much of a long shot something like that really was. 

Q: What do you imagine fatherhood to be like? 
A: I expect fatherhood to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. I expect to be obsessed with all of the happenings in our child's life. I just want to be a positive influence and role model for our child and to be somebody they can look up to. I hope to pass on good values and a love of the Tar Heels of course!

Q: What is your favourite memory with your dad? 
A: It's difficult to pick just one favourite memory of my dad and I, but one that is currently standing out right now to me is how every time my brother and I wanted something, we knew that if we called our dad at work and asked for it,  it was an automatic yes. I remember my brother and I deciding once that we wanted a couple of baseball hats, so my dad got a call from us while at work, and what did he have with him when he got home? The hats. I think I got my love of sports apparel from my dad. He routinely wore team hats, and you could count on him to wear a matching t-shirt with it. Even to this day, he loves his hat/t-shirt combos. If you guys have seen any of Evelina's snaps or pics here, I'm pretty sure you could notice that I'm the same way.

Q: What is one piece of advice or wisdom you would like to pass on to your children?
A: One piece of wisdom that I'd like to pass on to my children is that no matter how down they might be about themselves, or how scared they might be to tell us that they did something wrong, there is nothing that can't be overcome. People make mistakes, people do wrong, people get in trouble, and I don't want them to be afraid to tell us because they'll think we'll get mad. I'd rather know so that we can help them .... that is unless they tell me that they secretly like Duke. In that case they're out of the family ;)

I can't wait to see Mike in the role of a father one day. I know he will be an amazing one!!

Read more of Mike's thoughts hereherehereherehereherehere, and here
Linking up with Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Weekending


The first weekend of summer is officially behind us. Oh gosh, when did this happen?

Our weekend was super busy so I had zero time to sit down and write a recap. Most of it was spent running around getting ready for our trip. We leave so soon and I still have so much to do. I have lists in every possible spot and a schedule made for every day until our departure. The stress is definitely setting in!

Anyway, the fun started even before my work day ended on Friday. My office held a giant pursuit game that was part race, part fun skill testing activities, and part scavenger hunt. Our team was made up of 6 people from our department and it was great team-building. Unfortunately, we lost (didn't even make the podium) but we all had a blast. Afterwards there was also a huge barbecue for all of the staff. 

I had a hair appointment on Saturday morning to touch up my highlights. My regular hair dresser (whom I have been seeing exclusively for the pst 5 years) was running late so someone else was assigned to take over my appointment. I was so nervous because I had never met this person before and had no idea what I would end up with! But I kept saying to myself that if the salon trusts her enough to hire her, then I should too. And she was also left very specific instructions by my regular stylist which made me feel better. I am very pleased with the result and definitely worried over nothing. 


The Poland/Switzerland soccer game was also on on Saturday morning so I had to basically watch the entire thing on my phone while sitting in the salon chair. When Poland scored their first goal, I literally jumped and screamed and terrified my stylist! Poor lady said I almost gave her a heart attack! 


Mike sent me the best selfie he has ever taken:


I have turned him into a fan! The game was tied and Poland ended up willing in penalty shootouts. It was the most nerve-wracking game! They play Portugal this Thursday. Fingers crossed, friends! 

Mike had a couple softball games this past weekend and we got to watch the prettiest sunset during one of them. My iPhone definitely didn't capture how pretty it was but it was so gorgeous! 


On Sunday night we went over to Mike's cousin's house for dinner. I have loved on their gorgeous backyard on the blog before and it just keeps getting better. They built a wood-burning pizza oven outside and we were able to test it out with some home made pizzas. They really put their all into everything that they do and these pizzas did not disappoint. I would argue that they were better than most local pizza restaurants! 

And with that, it's already Tuesday. I hope you had a good weekend as well!

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series! 


Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Favourite: My First Monogram!

Happy first Friday of summer! Oh yessss. I'm excited. 

Lets talk monograms. 


I was never able to find anything with Evelina on it because obviously my name isn't common. So when the customization trend started emerging, I was all about it. Years ago, Mike surprised me with a "Carrie" necklace (with my name, of course) for one of our anniversaries and I'm pretty sure I cried. Over the years I have collected a couple other things with either my name or just an "E" on it but never all three of my initials together.

Monograms aren't a huge thing here in Canada. I hadn't seen a real-life monogram (aside from on a wedding invitation) until we visited the South for the first time in 2014. And everywhere I looked there were the three swirly letters staring at me. On bags, on hats, on vests, on jewellery. I immediately needed one. 



I wanted a gold charm bracelet that had my monogram engraved in it in the scripty font. And based on Stephanie's recommendation, I ordered this one from The Modern Bazaar


Guys. I'm in love. Like, in LOVE. It's so perfect and exactly what I wanted. They did such a great job with my personalized order. I was able to select the colour/material (14k gold filled / sterling silver / solid brass), the size of the medallion and the font.  It seriously looks amazing and I have received so many compliments on it already! I have worn it every single day since I got it. 


I really love supporting small shops and this is in no way a sponsored post. I paid full price and wasn't asked to write a review but I really wanted to share with you guys how much I love this shop! I had emailed Jen at The Modern Bazaar to see if there was a way to expedite my order because I am going away soon and was hoping to bring it with me on my trip. I got an answer very quickly saying it wasn't a problem and my bracelet arrived within 2 weeks! I had it way before my trip -- So fast for a custom order. Good customer service is so important to me and TMB really delivered. Thanks Jen!! 



There are so many other great pieces. I especially have my eye on those pretty engraved bar necklaces

The Modern Bazaar also graciously provided a discount code for Fortunate House readers! Use EVELINA15 for 15% off your order. And follow TMB on Instagram at @themodernbazaar!

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Linking up with 


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What's Your Decorating Style?

The other day I was strolling through Houzz and I stumbled across a quiz that promised to tell me what my home decorating style is. If you have a minute to take the quiz, I'd love to know what your result was! Leave me a comment below and tell me if you agree with what they pegged you as.

(click on the image above to take the quiz!)

My result was "Transitional" and I had no idea what the heck that meant. It kind of sounds like an in-between, comfortable style. I don't disagree but I think there's a lot more to my decorating choices than that. There are some pretty rigid definitions that explain what each style is and I find that people usually don't fall into just one category.

Some of the most popular styles, as defined by hgtv.com, are:

- CONTEMPORARY: Contemporary design often has clean, sleek lines and is marked by solid colors, predominantly muted neutrals or bold punches of color in furniture and accessories. Furniture is sleek, lower to the ground and often has metal frames or straight legs with an emphasis on basic shapes and forms. Graphic elements in artwork or as accents work well with this look. 

- COUNTRY: A rustic elegance is characteristic of this look. Some country looks are marked by extensive use of white wood paneling and soft floral patterns, muted hues and pops of red, black or pure white accents. Floral, checked and striped vintage fabric patterns are standards, and elements have a handmade, rustic quality: wood, handmade pottery, baskets and hand-forged metal to name a few. Primitive furnishings have history to them, and are bought in antique shops and flea markets.

- MID-CENTURY MODERN: A style characterized by simplicity, functionality and natural shapes. Architecture shows off its minimalist design with walls of glass. Pops of deep colors such as orange, yellow, olive green and chocolate brown add to decor. An updated version of this look is found at stores like Jonathan Adler, marked by fun, colorful and quirky furnishings.

- SHABBY CHIC: This cottage-inspired look includes weathered white-painted furniture, painted motifs, floral prints in muted colors, white slipcovered sofas and vintage accessories. A sense of brightness and airiness is always evident in these interiors.

- TRADITIONAL: Furnishings are usually 18th-century English, 19th-century neoclassic, French country and British Colonial revival. Use of classic styling and symmetry to create a calm, orderly decor. Color palette is usually in the mid-tones and fabrics are muted, usually simple florals, solids, stripes or plaids.

- TRANSITIONAL: The transitional look bridges contemporary and traditional design. Offering a deep rooted sense of history in some pieces, while furniture often gets an update with cleaner lines. Leather ottomans used as coffee tables is very popular in this decor. Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn could be considered transitional looks. 

Of course there are many, many more styles out there like art deco, coastal, eclectic, english country, mediterranean, and western to name a few.

I think I have a little bit mid-century modern and contemporary in me as well. I tend to go for a bright and airy feel with a focus on comfort. My favourite TV house is the one that family lives in on Blackish. That kitchen!! Also, the set of Kocktails with Khloe (RIP) always gave me all the heart eyes.



As for Mike, I asked him what his decorating style is. His response: "minimalist, meaning I wouldn't bother decorating at all." Ha! At least I have free reign!
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Linking up with
Jenn and Jessi for their What's Hap-Pinning Wednesday link-up

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekending

Oh hello! And happy first official day of SUMMER!!!

To change things up a bit, I am going to mainly use pictures to recap our weekend. That's the good part anyway, right?? It was a long weekend (not literally, just busy!) and I don't really have the words in me today.

We celebrated Mike's dad on Father's Day by taking him out to his favourite restaurant for dinner.



I strolled the aisles of Target and picked up this dress and a long slouchy sweater, neither of which I can find on their website (sorry!) But I totally love them together!


I finally tried the extremely popular pink drink at Starbucks. It was SO good. Go get one!! Ask for the strawberry acai refresher made with coconut milk. And don't forget to add to the Instagram craze by posting a pic lol



We cheered for Mike at his softball game. He hit TWO homeruns in one game -- his personal best!! #proudwifey. That bat flip tho... 


Since my bestie's husband plays on the same team, I got to spend some bonus time with her and their little guy. Gosh that boy gives me crazy baby fever!



And my mom and brother came too! We took a minute away from the game to frolic in a nearby river. It was perfectly charming and refreshing.


And, of course, in between all of that we cuddled Lenny the cat as much as he would allow it. He is such a sweet little guy and I love him to bits!


And my quote of the week -- making the world better, one smile at a time!


I hope you had a good one!
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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Our Love Story: How We Met

The story of how Mike and I met is so special to me. I didn't know the significance that day would have on the rest of my life.

(At the end of this post, you will get Mike's version of the story too!)

Mike and I attended the same university. We were in the same undergraduate program but he was a year ahead of me so we never had any classes together. It wasn't until my friend started dating his friend that our worlds started to collide. Our groups of friends hung out together a lot and grew pretty close but Mike never seemed to be around. People would mention his name here and there but I never though much of it because I hadn't met him yet.

One day a bunch of us were sitting in the Student Centre hanging out between classes. I was getting ready to head out when Mike came over and sat with us. It was the day after the Red Sox opener (April 3, 2007) and he was dressed head to toe in Red Sox stuff. Red Sox hat, Red Sox jacket, Red Sox hoodie, and perfectly matching navy pants. I found it so amusing and couldn't not say anything. I said something real lame and sarcastic like "I'm guessing you're a Red Sox fan?" He said he was (although he doesn't anymore.) I remembered hearing something about the game earlier that day so I said "I hear they didn't win the opener but I'm sure Beckett will kill the next game!" His eyes lit up like fireflies that a girl was talking to him about baseball! Honestly, who was that girl? I didn't even like the Red Sox!

That was about the extent of our conversation but later on I heard through the grapevine that he was interested in me. He asked his buddy for my email address so that he could add me on MSN. (Who remembers when MSN was everyone's primary method of communication?!) His friend asked me if it was ok and I of course agreed because I thought he was really good looking. We chatted online a bunch and I started seeing him around campus a lot more. Apparently he would come into school even on his day off so that we could spend some time together. I was also interested in spending a lot more of my free time there all of the sudden. I would tell my mom that I really liked to study at school "because of the very quiet library" meanwhile I was busy flirting with my future husband! She won't be so mad when we give her adorable grandbabies.

This is our very first picture together! Taken November 15, 2007. We look like such babies! And my hair was brown!


And this is the exact spot that we first met. We had our engagement pictures taken on campus and found the table we were sitting at when we first locked eyes.



And here's what Mike's side of the story looks like:

I remember leaving my class, which if I remember correctly was Sports Economics and heading into the Student Centre all decked out in my Red Sox gear (long story, but basically even though I'm a Pirates fan, once upon a time I loved Pedro Martinez and the Sox) when all of a sudden this girl started talking to me about Opening Day. It didn't go so well for the Red Sox, and this girl, who at the time was a Blue Jays fan didn't miss an opportunity to remind me of the Red Sox's ineptitude. It was really odd because although she was sitting at a table full of my friends, I had never seen her before. Needless to say, when your first introduction to me is talking baseball, well my interest is piqued. I asked all my friends who this girl was and they told me her name was Evelina. The other funny detail is that I wasn't wearing glasses or contacts, so I had no idea what she looked like. She was "blurry-faced, baseball-talking girl" to me. So the next stop, obviously, is to creep her Facebook profile and finally muster up the courage to arrange another encounter. In the first little bit we would stay up until all hours of the night talking on MSN Messenger, and the rest is history. I would always remind my friends how absolutely clueless they were to know that there was this girl who loved baseball and never thought for one second to introduce her to their baseball obsessed friend, but it all worked out in the end.

He liked me even without seeing what I looked like!

Awww.



Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wedding Wear (On The Cheap)

Wedding season is officially here. In Canada, most weddings take place between May and September because all the other months can have scary weather and no one has time for that. Very few people get married in the off season unless they are hoping for a winter wonderland theme, which can be beautiful too.

This year, Mike and I only have one wedding to attend. It actually already happened in May and it was one of my all-time favourite weddings I have been to. But other years the number is usually much higher. Our record was 6 weddings in one year and it was the same year that we got married! It was madness.

When there are multiple weddings in one season, you will likely run into the same crowd more than once. And you know what that means -- you can't rewear the same dress! I will rewear a dress if the guest list is completed different (i.e., family and coworkers) but other than that I try to bring out something different each time.

So to help you avoid committing a fashion faux pas, I have rounded up my favourite 10 dresses -- all of which are currently under $100! Because I gotchu.

1  |  2

3  |  4

5  |  6
7  |  8

9  |  10

How many weddings do you have lined up this year? Do you know what you're wearing yet?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekending

Good morning and happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

I want to start off by sending my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in Florida this weekend. No words can describe what a tragedy these events are. It still astounds me that people can be so cruel and prejudice toward others.



I chose this quote from Maya Angelou as my quote of the week because it is so fitting. Hate accomplishes nothing. Love is love is love is love.

I could go on, but in an effort to keep things light, I am here to recap my weekend.

Friday
Friday at work we had an afternoon of professional activities. I always enjoy our PD sessions so much because it's a nice departure from our day-to-day roles and it's always a lot of fun. This time we focused on team building and exploring the creative sides of our brains. We watched this Ted Talk and check it out, I can draw! Who knew?


After work, Mike had his first softball game of the weekend. Mike's brother came out as a sub because the team was short players and it was so fun to see them play together again. They haven't been on the same team since 2012 but hope to play together again next summer.



Saturday
We had some items delivered to our mailbox across the border so on Saturday morning we ventured over to the States. We popped over to the outlet mall because I need a new cross body purse to bring to Poland with me. Kate Spade was having a huge sale and I scored this bag in grey for  60% + 20% off!


We also hit up Target (of course) where I picked up some placemats, storage bins, and birthday cards.  For lunch, we enjoyed burritos and odd combinations of pop at Qdoba. Always a favourite!



We topped off the night by watching the Miss USA pageant. I know I was way behind but I managed to not read any spoilers so I had no idea who the winner would be! My early picks were Arkansas and Alabama but I thought DC definitely deserved it. I totally teared up during her first walk as Miss USA because she was so emotional!


Sunday
Mike had another softball game Saturday morning which called for a pretty early wake-up call. I watched alongside my mom and brother and a huge cup of coffee. Waking up before 9am on a weekend should be outlawed. I don't know how you mamas do it!


Poland played their first game of Euro 2016 at noon and THEY WON!! They played Northern Ireland and even though the final score was only 1-0, they totally dominated the entire game. I admittedly do not know too much about soccer but they is a huge huge deal for my country and I was cheering as best as possible!



So in case you're keeping count, that's 3 sporting events in 3 days. Oh, and little bits of baseball and hockey was sprinkled in there as well. For someone who isn't a huge sports person, I sure watch a lot of it!
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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!