A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.


365 Days of Marriage

Engagement Ring with emeralds

Well, its been a year already, I can’t believe it!  On January 28th, 2012 I was lucky enough to marry my best friend and the love of my life.  I’m not sure where the time went, but I couldn’t be happier about who I spent it with.

Canadian Winter Wedding

James, you are the best husband a girl could ever ask for.  I love you more than anything and would do this all over again if given the chance.  

Pictures of an outdoor winter wedding

 (Maybe, minus the big bill this time!)

Winter Wedding at The Lodge, Strathmere

We were lucky enough to have our very own cousin and loving friend perform the ceremony. We love you Andy!  From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making our day extra special.

So, as a dedication to our 1 year wedding anniversary I decided to share some pictures and a special video of our wedding vows with you all.  Thank you Ali for the video!

And of course, special thanks to all of those who made our wedding day a day worth remembering!  That goes for the wedding party and all of our friends and family who were able to join us.  We can’t imagine having shared it with anyone else.

Winter Wedding in Ottawa Canada
I really hope you enjoy these small snip-its from our wedding!  I know I do, every time I see them.

Winter Wedding in the snow


Wedding Cake with Peacock Theme

A Winter Tribute

James and I keep getting comments on how unique our wedding was…I guess it’s not everyday that people get married outside in the snow in the middle of winter.  When we told people our plan soon after our engagement we got “Are you guys crazy?!?!”  a lot.  I fully admit that during the few months of planning James and I asked ourselves that frequently.  So I wanted to share with you all the reasoning behind the outdoor winter wedding and the green dress.

We never planned on a winter wedding before we got engaged.  We had talked about our wedding day and what we thought we would sort of want our day to be like, but “snow” certainly never came up in conversation.  We had thought autumn would be nice.  The fall here in Ottawa is absolutely stunning, especially for an Alberta girl that is used to the early winter coming in and freezing everything before the leaves have a chance to change colour.  It is certainly one of my most favourite things about this city.  But when the proposal came the first weekend of September, autumn was out of the question.  At least to us anyways.  Neither of us really wanted to wait a whole year to get married and I insisted on giving people more than 6 weeks notice when we had so many people to invite from the other side of the country.  So, James and I started talking.  We thought maybe Spring…that would be nice.  Flowers blooming..everything turning green.  I mean really, what other options did we have?  And then it hit me.  My parents got married in the winter, December 21st to be exact.  Now their wedding wasn’t outside, but I remembered seeing pictures and it was beautiful.

My favourite picture of that day I remember very fondly.  In the hall outside my bedroom, up on the very top of the bookshelf was a picture of my mother on their wedding day.  She had long beautiful brown hair then, almost down to her waist.  She wore a long sleeve dress with marabou trim.  She wore a floor length white winter wedding cape.  She was a knockout.  I saw that picture nearly everyday of my life as a youth and everyday I thought it was stunning.

Knowing that there was no way I would ever fit into my mother’s wedding dress…I was desperate to incorporate my mother into our wedding somehow.  Just because she couldn’t be there in body, I had to bring her there with me in any way that I could.  I realized that I could wear her cape and have her with me on my wedding day…and from that moment every other option in the world disappeared.  We would be married in the winter and I would wear my mother’s cape.

We started planning right away, sending out invitations within a month of being engaged.  We booked a venue with a beautiful outdoor ceremony site and the rest was history.  We would be married on January 28th, 2012 outside in the Canadian winter.  A little crazy?  Probably.  But we didn’t want our wedding to look like everyone else’s.  We wanted a different story.

I wore an emerald green dress, instead of the traditional white wedding gown.  So when people see pictures from the wedding and say “Green must be your favorite colour?” the answer is “yes, it is”.  But that isn’t why I wore green that day.  And anyone that knew my mother, knows that my green wedding dress was simply a tribute to her.  Now, in all fairness, before anyone makes me a martyr, this tribute was a selfish act.  I needed to feel like she was a part of this whole experience.  I needed to feel like I had my mother on my wedding day.

Outdoor Winter WeddingEmerald Green Wedding Dress with White Cape

When my Dad walked into the Strathmere Lodge and saw me in my mother’s cape, the very one he had married her in over 35 years ago…you could see the emotion instantly rush through him.  And I knew then, that she was there that day, inside the hearts of those she’d left behind.

Outdoor Winter Wedding, White Winter Wedding Cape and Emerald Green Wedding Dress

I’ve never been too sure what I believe in, as far as the afterlife and what happens to us when we die.  But I do know, that if she was looking down on us that day, she would’ve loved my green dress and she would’ve been honoured that I wore her cape.

Marry Me, Today and Everyday

Marriage is defined as the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary doesn’t make it sound as romantic as people would like to believe.  Including myself.  When I think about “marriage” I think about the “till death do us part” and the “in sickness and health”.  I’ve always been a hopeless romantic at heart though, of that there is no denying.

White Winter Wedding Cape with fur

By definition, it doesn’t sound like anything more than a business deal.  I think there are several people out there who would agree.  And I know that whenever people enter into a “contract” there is always the chance of both failure and success.  Humans add the variable to contracts.  Our stubborn qualities, egos, unwillingness to change or perhaps changing too much is one of the reasons we need contracts in the first place.  And like everything, people change their minds all the time.  Everyday.  People change their majors at University.  They change their mind on the next country they want to visit.  People’s opinions change about what a work contract may mean and an agreement or understanding that seemed fool proof in the beginning can begin to tear and fall apart when the slightest amount of strain is added.  So I guess it isn’t that crazy to imagine all the people that change their minds after marriage.  After what is supposed to be a life long commitment.

Wedding in the Snow

According to statistics, 4 in 10 first marriages in Canada end in divorce.  To a newly wed that can be scary!  You see broken marriages everywhere.  With a co-worker, with family, on tv.  Everyone is in court somewhere fighting over everything except staying together.

People keep asking us, does being married really feel any different?  Does anything change?  For us, living together before hand, the answer would be mostly no.  Our day to day is the same as before and the way we treat each other is the same in every way.  The only difference we have noticed is that being married is scarier than just being a couple.  The fear of losing the person you love more than anything in the entire world is daunting.  When you stop to think about it, the only way it can be described would be terrifying.  And when you get married, the stakes are raised.  Everything is just that much scarier and the idea of losing your loved one is just that much more painful to imagine.

Wedding in the Snow, Canada

I don’t think I can properly put into words what I mean, but I will continue to try.  I’ve been married for 13 days and today, just like every other day before in the last 2.5 years, I can’t imagine my life being spent with anyone else.

And I can’t ever imagine where things get so bad, that we can’t talk our way back to a better place and all we are left with is lawyer fees and anger.  Today, divorce is so prevalent and all I can think about is that these people must’ve been happy at some point.  Things must’ve been great back when they stood up in front of their family and friends and said “I do”.  I’m sure, every single couple thought they would be the ones to make it.  The ones to spend their whole lives together.  So where does it all go wrong?  What happens?  Why can’t people fix it?

emerald green wedding dress

I think it is fair to say that not everyone makes the best decisions all the time.  I’m as guilty as the next person I guess.  I’ve made decisions in the past that I’m sure if I’d slowed down, stopped and really thought about, I would’ve decided differently and there would’ve been situations I could’ve avoided all together.

Not everyone is in a relationship and thinks “this is the person I am going to spend the rest of my life with”.  For some people it’s easier to stay in relationships because it is comfortable, it’s safe and they don’t really want to “start over”.  (I know because I was one of those people years ago.)  Everyday people get married because it is the next step in a long relationship, it makes “sense”, they’ve been together a really long time…so why not?

Really, why not?

If only everyone who got married couldn’t imagine their life with anyone else.  If only everyone who made that commitment couldn’t bear the thought of being in this world without their other half.

In a perfect world I would wish that everyone could live happily ever after.  I would wish everyone could have that happy marriage with the white picket fence…or whatever sort of fence they fancied.

But because this isn’t a perfect world and I don’t have a genie in a bottle, I will instead just give this marriage everything I have and never forget why I said “yes”.

Wedding in the Snow, White Winter Cape

You May Now Kiss The Bride

wedding outside in the snow

MAC lip product is something I have mostly stayed away from, until now.  My obsession for coloured lip product seems to be just starting.

Generally speaking the MAC Lipglass/Dazzleglass all have a very long wear time, but it comes with a very sticky price.  They will last through drinking and eating, but not without that super goopy feeling that your hair just loves to get stuck in.

In my search for the perfect wedding lipstick, I came across MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour.  (Don’t let the “Pro” in the name throw you off, these are available at all MAC counters and MAC Stores).  I wanted a lipstick that would persist through the whole day, something that I wouldn’t need to apply before each picture or after every sip…and more importantly, something that wouldn’t leave my groom looking like he was covered in lipstick.

Unchanging, For Keeps and Perennial Rose Reviews

The helpful consultant at the MAC store said this was the only way to go.  You apply the colour (Carufully!  It sets quickly and you won’t simply be able to wipe it off.  Be conscience of your actual lip line) let it set for a moment with your lips apart and then once dry, you simply top it with the gloss.  As the day or night goes on, the colour won’t smudge or wear off.  The only thing you need to worry about is reapplying gloss to keep your lips feeling fresh and moist.  And don’t worry, they sell the clear gloss separately as well, so when you run out of it before the colour, you can purchase a gloss refill individually.  Genius!

Long Lasting, Smudge Proof Lipstick

I ended up wearing “For Keeps” MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour for our outdoor winter wedding and I couldn’t have been happier with how it went.  I wasn’t worrying about needing touch-ups or if it had smeared all over my face while eating.  And James didn’t need to worry about his lips being coloured after all of the clinking glasses.  I highly recommend this product for anyone wanting a low maintenance lipstick for the moments in their lives when lipstick should be the last thing on their mind.

For Keeps MAC Pro Longwear LipcolourFor Keeps MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Since the wedding, I’ve actually found myself using these on a fairly regular basis.  I can apply the colour in the morning before work and only need to touch up gloss after lunch.  And for all of the in between moments, my lips look fresh like I just applied lip product.  My only complaint about the MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour is that I wish it came in more shades.  I certainly hope this is a line they expand.  For a look at all of their shade options, click here.

***To remove, you will need to use a makeup remover.  It resists if you simply try with kleenex and water.***

I love this product so much, I just had to do full swatches and images for you all.  But first, lets take a look at my bare lips with no product:

For Keeps MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Long Lasting, Smudge Proof Lipstick

For Keeps MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour Swatch

Unchanging MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Long Lasting, Smudge Proof Lipstick

Unchanging MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour Swatch

Perennial Rose MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour

Long Lasting, Smudge Proof Lipstick

Perennial Rose  MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour Swatch

I would love to hear from all of you.  I’m curious if any of you have a different solution for long lasting lips that you would like to share?


P.S. This is just the start of sneaking wedding pictures onto Eyemasq.  There will be many more to come! ❤


wedding outside in the snow

For Better or For Worse?

Envy and Retrospeck Eye Makeup

During my time off between Christmas and New Years I made my way to Sephora for my free wedding consult (I had a coupon to waive the $50 purchase).  So with a girlfriend in tow we headed downtown to see what look they would come up with.  To sum things up, I absolutely loved what Emily from Sephora did with my skin but I wasn’t sold 100% on the eyes.  I don’t own foundation and usually don’t wear anything on my face, and if I do it is a tinted moisturizer and a light powder.  So I didn’t want anything cakey, but I was looking for nice even coverage that would photograph well and last all day.


It’s Not Easy Being Green

Green and Black Eye Makeup

One of my bridesmaids and her mother held a Bridal Shower for me yesterday.  This meant a lot to me.  Seeing as I am not from here originally, none of my family lives here in Ottawa and my Maid of Honour lives in Alberta as well.  So they were sweet enough to make sure I still got a shower – they deserve a big huge thank you!!  It really was a special day – thanks to all who were able to come!

Keeping with the theme of an Emerald Green wedding dress I gave myself some dramatic green eyes.


21 Days Until the Rest of My Life

What does 3 weeks look like to you?  Does it look like 21 days?  Does it look like 504 hours?  30240 minutes?  Or maybe you prefer 1,814,400 seconds?

In 1.8 million seconds my life will change forever.  I will be his wife.  I will have a husband.  And it will be time to start the grueling process of changing my name everywhere and anywhere – inside every system that I have ever existed in.

I’m not worried about married life.  To me that is going to be the easy part.  James and I committed to forever and each other a long time ago.  We have already lived together for two years and we truly know the good and bad sides of each other.