Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Christmas Grinch

As of last Christmas I've had the 'pleasure' living with & picking up after a Christmas Grinch.

This grinch expresses his grinchiness modestly by removing & hiding the gift tags from the gifts & majorly by completely destroying the Christmas tree while scattering/destroying the ornaments.
This is the grinch:

I am not quite sure what Chevy holds against the spirit of Christmas, or why he hates trees. If he could communicate, I'd ask him. Then we'd probably talk about his many tantrums & how it makes him feel.

He knows that mangling the tree is bad, so he would not do it in front of parents, but when parents are gone or asleep, he strikes.

I imagine it starts off innocently enough... "Oh, I'm a dumb little cat, there's something shiny in the living room, I must punch it with my paw".
Followed by "Oh, I'm having so much dumb little cat fun, I think I'm going to pull down this garland or this chain of beads.
Followed by "OH MY GOD I'M INTOXICATED BY POWER, I MUST TAKE A RUNNING LEAP & BUDDY-THE-ELF MOM & DAD'S TREE!!!" (At this point I assume the picture is emphasized with ravenous foam bubbling from Chevy's mouth & bulging veins in his stupid, little eyes.

And then, when he's come down from his meth-high of holiday-ruining, I imagine he goes to lay down or take shit or something. I come home, see the tree & find him here: Like a serial killer risking his freedom for a couple seconds of media glory.

My therapist says that I need to do one of two things (or a little of both).
A) Lock the cat up when he would be alone in the tree (IE 15 hours of the day) which would also mean that I have to lock him up in the basement with his litter box, with the orange cat who is an innocent bystander or:
B) Learn to let go & allow myself to have a mangled tree. This is not possible. I do not work my butt off to pay for a nice house, nice decorations & great gifts to have the Christmas beacon mindlessly destroyed by a scroogy crusader.

The last straw came this weekend.
Mr. Ford had convinced me at the therapist's office, that it we could make this work & locking the cats up wouldn't be a big deal.

Since he is the one that feeds the cats, he would make sure to coral them in to the basement during work & sleep hours for the rest of December. I would get more sleep from not being woken up in the middle of the night from crashing ornaments & he would get more sex (brilliant male logic at work...)

Reality is a little different out of the therapist's office because, as predicted, Mr. Ford went from 'Me play video games' to 'Now me sleep' & came to bed without corralling the cats in to the basement.

I first woke up to the sound of ornaments getting rolled around the hard wood floor.
I tried to option B. I negotiated with myself: Maybe it's just 1 ornament & the tree is completely fine, just go back to bed. By I knew it wasn't one ornament. It never is. So when I heard the springy sound of a tree branch being bent & then the tree being released in a catapult... that was it.

I stormed down from the second floor. Chevy, knowing that he was caught red-handed was already bolting down the basement stairs. Bob starred at me with wide eyes as if to say "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??? WHERE ARE THE ZOMBIES?!"

I grabbed Bob, too angry to even apologize to him for forcing him to suffer being locked downstairs with the evil do-er. All the while the dog at my heels insisting that she is the enforcer of the pack, jumping & charging the cats in an attempt to show me that she would punish them...for whatever they had done.
"I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP GOD DAMMIT" I squawked at the dog & told her to get back upstairs. Like the obedient dog she is, she then stretched at the foot of the stairs & pretended she didn't hear what I said.

I plopped the second cat at the basement landing where Chevy had already escaped to & slammed the door successfully condemning them to 400 square foot prison.

Rude wake-up call #1 could not have been complete without me returning back upstairs & darling Mr. Ford saying "whaaa...what happened?"

Wake-up #2-The cats playing me the song of their people from two flights down. At this point I thought, at least the tree is safe. I go back to sleep.

Wake-up #3-I hear a loud thud. Like the sound of a statue or another solid, unbreaking substance getting knocked over. The cats must have knocked something over in the basement, I reason to myself. At least the tree is safe I thought, I'll deal with the damage in the morning.

Wake-up #4-The sound of ornaments crashing.
What? Go away you crazy nightmare, I've already solved this problem.
But then I heard it again. I opened my eyes to make sure I wasn't in some sort of an inception half dream making up some crazy sounds in my head. Nope, another crash.
I remove myself from the bed, charge down the stairs & turn the light on. Lo & FREAKING behold. There's the cats.

I grabbed them both & head to the basement landing where I find the door still firmly closed. WHAT THE EFF HAVE YOU DONE YOU WIZARD CATS!!!??
After plopping them back down on the landing & checking the door handle again to ensure the knob firmly clicked shut, I headed back upstairs too tired to be able to conceptualise how they could have possibly teleported in to the living room.
Its on my way up that I notice the cast-iron furnace grate lying loosely across the floor.
You freaking mangy furballs demanded so incessantly to not be in the basement that you jumped on to a shelf from the basement & gained access to the furnace vent, Tom-Cruised through the vent system until you found a grate that you could use your scraggly little arms to push off the floor & re-enter yourself in to the civilised world of the living room. All for what? TO RESUME ATTACKING THE CHRISTMAS TREE! I moved a storage bench to position it on top of the cast iron vent prohibiting a stupid little cat from pushing it off.

Wake-up #5-The cats yet again sing me the song of their people. It is much louder this time. I refused to get up & give them the satisfaction of my presence this time but I can only imagine their songs were louder as they had tried to again scale the furnace venting & escape in to the living room only to find they scheme had been foiled.

Wake-up #6-Gurgling from a water main break on the street. have not been able to prove the cats' involvements.

Wake-up #7-Husband getting out of bed from a lovely night's rest. He will at some point insinuate that I am lazy & our relationship suffers because of the amount of naps I take when we could be spending time together. His sleep-monitoring bracelet will later indicate that he had a period of 'restlessness' in the wee hours of the morning.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Things only gingers understand

Listen, none of us came shooting out of the womb demanding to look like the Wendy's girl, but you play the hand you're dealt & hopefully you play it well. Hopefully it doesn't make you feel insecure or isolated. Hopefully you don't have to feel like you need to write a post to serve as a 'HALLELUJAH' for your ginger comrades & a bonk to the head to everyone else...

1. It's not the personality attached to the hair, it's the hair that forms the personality

Redheads make-up between one & two percent of the global population ranging from zero percent in some countries to our peak ten & twelve percent in Scotland & Ireland. One & two percent chance of anything is a terrible odd.
I hear a lot about this 'fiery redhead' personality, or my personal favorite, the 'crazy redhead' complex... People need to realize the monsters they are creating.

Imagine someone, growing up that, at best, identifies as one redhead in a classroom of ten & at worse as the only redhead in Bangkok.
Someone who has to lather on the sunscreen while their friends get sun-kissed skin while playing outside. Someone who is called a a 'carrot top' (because apparently it never stops being funny) daily. Now you tell me that someone like that is going to develop an average Joe personality...

Ginger people stick out like a sore thumb. In my top secret job I am one in about 2500 (rough guess) employees in my building. I hide in my office most of the time but expose my glorious self to the masses when I go the cafeteria for a coffee break in the morning. Whilst I walk around not having a clue who anyone else is, apparently everyone knows me, talks to me. sells me social tickets & girl guide cookies!!!! It is not cheap being a red head.
My point is gingers will never blend in with a crowd. They are reminded incessantly that they are different & I'm sure internally, there comes a point where you start to develop the personality to match & probably the fiestiness to retort to all those 'hilarious' ginger one-liners people think we red-heads hadn't heard before.
Just saying ex-boyfriends, if you're going to walk away from the relationship telling people that I lived up the the 'crazy readhead' persona, maybe you should look back at all the times you made the joke that gingers have no souls (AHAHAHAHA SOOOO FUNNY!).

2. You can't have the hair without the skin

On the other side of the spectrum, there are many women who genuinely love the hair colour & work it to its full hotness potential. When you think about how many red hair dyes there are in a drug store compared to how many actual red heads there are, there is clearly a market. Everyone wants to be a red head, no one wants to be a ginger.
I'm not even sure that there is such thing as a red-head that doesn't freckle. Either they're bathing in sunscreen (avoiding it) or their a brunette with a dye-job (faking it).

So don't give me this crap about how I should feel lucky to have it. And before you go saying how much you wish you could have the colour, know that the only chance you'd ever have of getting a tan would be getting so freckled that they would all morph together & cover your natural, pale skin. Oh, and go light yourself on fire & tell me how it feels to be a redhead with a sunburn.

Sigh. I don't know what popular culture has against pale skin. I think I must have been born in the wrong century, or maybe just on the wrong continent. Its funny how westerners want to have a baked, wrinkle invoking, leather-face appearing complex whilst the majority of the world desires pale skin for it's status message. We're fancy. You're pilgrims.

3. Lots of us can't even hide it, even if we wanted to

As previously mentioned, gingers can't tan. Unless you want to get skin cancer & try hyper-freckling, you're stuck with fake-bake. Unfortunately, I don't know of any fake tans that give a subtle but natural tint as they seem to be designed to just turn you in to a Dorito chip.

Hair on the other hand, is weird.
Did you know that red-heads rarely go grey? When they get around that age their hair typically lightens to a blond shade & then will lose pigment all together & go white. This anomaly goes further than that. Red hair is very fussy to traditional dies (if it will even take the dye at all).
I can vouch for this. For many years in high school I dyed my hair a dark purple/maroon colour even though being a brunette was not my first choice. My luscious locks will not take to blonde dye. That's after trying 3 different dye brands & finally throwing my hands up in the air & trying a bleach product to only get the slightest shade lightening. My hair stylist told me that my hair would have to first be professionally striped of the current colour before colouring a new one. No thanks.


It has been scientifically proven that red-heads require more anaesthesia during surgeries & dental work. I am not sure if this means that they have a higher tolerance for the anesthesia or a lower pain tolerance but these studies are being expanded & also finding that red-heads bruise easier & in controlled experiments, claim to feel more pain than their non-ginger counterparts. This will be what I tell everyone as I sob at my next tattoo appointment.

5. The DNA

The ginger gene is a recessive gene where both parents (regardless of their own hair colours) must be a carrier. These are not betting odds. I like to think that ol' MaryAnne (blonde) & my dad (Brunette) won the genetic lottery with me :)
Unfortunately this gene can technically referred to as a 'mutation' & it has other effects... The mutation causes redheads to have better vitamin D creation/absorption for easier living in darker climates. The vitamin D adds to better bones. On the flip-side, it makes for worse skin. I'm genetically predispositioned to have crap skin. Wonderful.

6. Last but not least, EVERYONE thinks they're a redhead.

My hair is not particularly light, you would say that if the term red-head category didn't exist, I'm closer to being a brunet than I am to being a blonde. That doesn't mean I go proclaiming to the world that I'm a brunet. People would think I'm an idiot.

You have no idea how many conversations I've had with both blondes & brunettes about my hair colour & they suddenly sputter 'well my red hair is' yadda yadda yadda...

Girlfriend, you blind?
They have this notion that yep, if I say it out loud than it must be true, I'm a red head as well, or if I dissect my hair in just the right lighting, I'll due in a pinch.


Mr. Ford yesterday also decided to pluck one single strand of his beard hair out & after analysing it for 3 minutes, proclaimed to me that he has red beard hair...WHAT???? From looking at one hair, by itself in bad lighting, you draw this conclusion???

So now after the years of taunting & torment that we endure of being called a soulless carrot top, light brunettes think that as long as you look at them in direct sunlight, at the right angle, they can be one of us & bask in all the glory.

Get the eff outta here...

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Strippers, the unanswered questions

So today, like always, I found myself thinking about strippers.

Just kidding, not like always, just like always when I am sick with a head cold & enjoying the remedies of cold & flu drugs.

They say that prostitution is the oldest profession. I don't know how they say that. It's not like you were there nor can you ask your great-great-great grandfather to the power of 20 how often he paid to sleep with a stranger. I'm also pretty sure man needed food more than he needed to get laid. This leads me to believe that we had hunters, harvesters & butchers long before we had prostitutes but alas... if we assume this is true then I'll bet stripping has been around almost as long. Or perhaps as long as dance has been around.

I went to my first strip club when I was 18. Since then I've been to a total of two clubs. The novelty has worn off & aside from seeing a 'touring' stripper that could actually make a career out of their dancing or gymnastic abilities anyway, I have no draw to view anymore. I have however, found myself asking three questions about my experiences, and since you're here anyway, you should know.

1. Strippers with no boobs. WHY?

I might be opening a big can of worms in a 'body shapes' & 'defining femininity/beauty' debate but hell, go ahead & paste your hate messages on my Facebook wall, I'M GOING THERE!

I grew up with many strong, independent & tough women in my life. Most notably MaryAnne who I'm sure could beat up the hulk.

The women had boobs, big ones. And bra sizes you couldn't buy at department stores & breast reduction surgeries.
When I was little I constantly felt like an isolated melon-head because I didn't have those boobs. I would demand bras I didn't need & my little cousins & I would fill them with socks or water balloons (or cantaloupes). It seemed like an eternity before I finally got boobs & could start to feel feminine.

All that said & done I still none-the-less grew up thinking that I had small boobs.
In my head, because the women in my family were so endowed, they were the norm & I was the mutant. I have no idea at what point I had seen enough of the public's boobs at Sherbrook pool or what age that it finally clicked in my head. I had been comparing myself to the minority & in fact,  I was normal & they were the weirdos. That sat well with me.

More to the point, perhaps it's just my bias towards voluptuous, curvy & endowed women, but girlfriend if you want to be someone who is paid to show off her lady-bits, you better actually have some good lady bits!
Maybe it's just me but dammit, why would a lady with a boyish figure think she'd qualify as a good stripper? And more so, WHO HIRED YOU & ARE THEY BLIND? People can play the 'good dancer' card all they want, but if you're a good dancer, there are plenty of Channing Tatum movies for you to dance in. A good dancer alone does not a stripper make.

In my mind when I go & pay good money at Solid Gold, I expect a Marilyn Munroe or a Ditta Von Tease. I suppose that is asking too much because you end up with Courtney Love & Ellen Page on a Krokodil binge.

I no longer scream internally "WHERE ARE YOU BOOBS?" or ask if they've gotten lost on the way to their boy-scout meeting. I just assume that she is saving up for her first pair.

You don't make a blind person a professional driver, you don't make an asthmatic a fire fighter. And if you enjoy going to a strip club to see girls with boyish figures, then I think you are wasting your money.

2. What would your stripper song be?

It would make me so happy if I got comments with the answer to this question.
I always knew mine would be 'Feel it' by Jakalope because I'm freaky like that.
You would not believe how many men I have asked this & gotten not a seconds hesitation with the answer. That makes me proud. Good for you mankind, you watched Magic Mike & now you feel empowered about your helicopter.
As much as there are classics & songs that people will recognize (from Magic Mike) I think your stripper song should really say something about you.
If you are not from the country, don't kid yourself, 'Save a horse, ride a cowboy' is not the stripper song for you. Here are some more ideas for you.

Shaketramp - Mariana's trench
I wanna love you - Akon
Rockstar - Nickleback
I kissed a girl - Katy Perry
Toxic - Britney Spears
Bad Girlfriend - Theory of a deadman
Bad Things - Jace Everett
Bass down low - Dev
Cinema - Skrillex/Electroman
Give me novacaine - Green Day
My humps - Black Eyed Peas

3. Where are the lesbians?

I went to a strip bar on Ellice that can't seem to pick a name & stick to it. At said strip club, they had a raffle for an extra long, super sweaty, extra-sultry lap dance & strippers were selling tickets to the cheap men who weren't going to just pay for the lap dance to begin with. One of said men was my husband.
Not to be outdone by Mr. Ford's stellar generosity towards the working mom's fundraiser, I offered to purchase some of said tickets as well to 'support' the cause. The stripper flatly refused my offer saying "No, I'm not going to make you buy any".

Well EXCUUUUUUSE ME! I guess I'm not worthy of a lap dance because... because what???

Then I got to thinking about it, I've never seen what I would think to be a lesbian in a strip bar.
Now please don't go on saying that I'm stereotyping the outward appearance of lesbians & that there were probably some but I assumed their straight.

I think that most people have a general sense for that type of thing by observing appearances, physical cues, eye contact, tendencies etc & I think I have a great sense of whether someone is gay or straight & I have never seen a lesbian in a strip club. Why is that? Is that not an ideal place to meet a (normally) attractive, sexually open minded woman? Fill me in ladies!


Go away cats this post was supposed to be about strippers not about you!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Mr. Ford speaks

Greetings fellow bloglodytes from around the world, including Venezuela and The Philippines. I am the mysterious Mr. Ford and will first need to set the record straight. All stories about me in this blog up to date are all heavily exaggerated for entertainment value.  I am actually super smart, funny, responsible, nice-smelling and cool. However, the picture of me eating chicken wings with sauce all over my face is 100% legitimate.

When she isn’t crouching or hiding, our favourite ginger is often watching one of her favourite shows, Sex and the City.  

Since I spend a lot of time with her, I am subjected to watching the show with her. I’d like to think that I’m part of a large group of men that have to put up with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte.  Of course, I could be wrong and will get weird looks in the locker room at the gym from now on but when I’m sitting there watching SATC with the wife, I think of all of the other guys being subjected to the same treatment and don’t feel so bad.  For the guys out there, it’s like when you’re at Victoria’s Secret and you see another guy standing beside a fitting room, also holding a purse, and you give them a nod of sympathy as if to say “Good job, soldier. We’re in this together.”  

Now, at first, I was pretty opposed to the idea of watching such a dumb, girly show and put up a pretty big fight for the remote. Over time, the fight became a civilized protest, which slowly became a disapproving groan, which eventually became a question about whether the episode was before, during or after Charlotte’s marriage to Trey McDougal.

Since I used to complain a lot about watching Sex and the City, the wife LOVES to point out any moment when I appear to be enjoying the show or if I fail to stifle a laugh.  I’m only human!  Even Sarah-Jessica Parker is funny sometimes even if you need to sit through a day-long SATC marathon on Cosmo TV. 

Considering the name of the show, there are maybe one or two instances of sex in each episode, if that.  False advertising?  I’m getting a whole lot more “City” than “Sex”. 

This show also seems to follow the same pattern that most shows fall into. The main characters aren’t devastatingly good looking but every week they have guys tripping over one another to talk to them and possibly bring the episode rating to 18+. The weirdest thing is that it actually works a lot of the time!!! These are adult, human females and they’re agreeing to have sex with adult, human males.  Sorry, HBO, but you’ve lost me with your bizarre fantasies.  That’s just not how things go down.

There are a few reality shows on Playboy TV where they get a few guys and a few girls together in a house with the goal of them having sex in some form or another and even then it doesn’t happen most of the time. The realest part of SATC is when the 4 middle-aged women go out to lunch and discuss their fears of dying alone and not being able to find a good man in New York because the good ones are either married or gay. 

“My name is Abdul…. Like Paula.”

Monday, 19 August 2013


As I've mentioned in previous posts, I grew up spending my weekends & summers in a small cottage with no bathroom in the woods with all of the creepies & crawlies. I do not have an aversion to animals big or small.

Recently though, I have become a victim of a sinister mind control conspiracy involving highly evolved bear psychologists. Why? Who knows. They are probably using my vegetarianism, animal activism & general compassion for animals to their advantage. The bears have a message & I am not yet sure if it's world domination or just a nudge to "Get the fuck away from my berries".

Parental unit MaryAnne always liked bears, specifically grizzlies. I will always remember the vast amount of discovery channel bear documentaries I watched growing up.
To be fair I watched a lot of animal documentaries in general... I'll never forget crying watching a pack of mean camels gang-rape a lady camel with a baby & thinking "OH MY GOD CAMELS STAHP! MAKE IT STAHP!" But there were a lot of bears.

We used take the big, brown van over to the dump at the lake & watch the black bears chew the heads off of barbie dolls. Just sitting there shinning our headlights on the bears. Bears don't give a shit.

Occasionally we'd come to the lake & there would be a bear trap on the foot trail across from our cabin. Once the bear came in to our yard from behind the outhouse & proceeded to climb the birch tree, flap his big bear paw across the bird feeder to knock it down & run his bear fingers across the feeder to collect & eat sunflower seeds. Another time the bear lifted the lid off of the barbecue & licked the meat juices off the grill.

Following these events, MaryAnne collected bear brochures to research how to not get eaten by a bear. She spent much time instructing a solemn little ginger girl how to make herself seem bigger & scarier than the bear (????) We spoke about how you would be likely to smell the bear before you see the bear & that you run like hell when you see a baby bear because momma will be close by & mama is a psycho.

One day on a canoeing trip with MaryAnne & MaryAnne's sister, we were paddling up the river minding our own business when the littlest Berenstein bear jumps off a rock & doggy paddles across the river directly in front of us. We scream at each other to paddle & to hurry & in a panic, we end up back paddling ourselves right to the shore of where the baby bear jumped & basically presented ourselves to mama bear with a side of BBQ sauce. Luckily/sadly for little Berenstein bear, no mama came to eat us.

I haven't seen any notable live bears since then, but they still will not let me out of their grasp.

For the past 5 or so years I've been dreaming about bears. I'll always be in the forest & come across a big mean bear. I'll run away but no matter where I turn, another bear will be coming out of nowhere to high-five the initial bear & gang-gobble-me-up.

The pseudo-Freud dream dictionaries all say different things about the presence of a bear in a dream.
Some say it means the cycle of life, Independence, overwhelming obstacles. Others note financial loss. Even suggesting bear is a play on 'bare' which denotes vulnerability. Basically, you suggest an idea or an emotion & that's what bears signify.

On the positive side, there was about a week where I become obsessed with bears waving:

On another positive side, there's this sneezing panda bear:

Then...on the negative side, there's a new found perma-fear of bear attacks like the ones CNN is reporting on today:

People who didn't listen to Rebecca

Of these pictures of a bear attack up north:

And finally... there's Mister Ford, who has gifted our entire family with a bear sub name.
He refers to himself as 'Huckleberry-bear'. The ferret is a 'little Ferry-bear', the cat is 'Bobert-the-bear' & so on & so forth.

With this overwhelming evidence I have no choice but to conclude that the bears have some mind-bullshit going on in my head for their bear tests.

Just when I thought I might be going a little batty, more evidence brings me right back to reality:

Look at this bear in my bed!

Then I get temporarily moved to another building at work & who should be here ruining my productivity:

Then I get a sweet tooth at work, what should be available to quench it!?!?

And these pictures are just the conclusive evidence. Who else knows what the bears have done without getting caught. All those things I blamed on the dogs.

Bears are real. Bears are right outside our front doors. We should be making films about bears getting caught in tornadoes & killing Tara Reid!The sooner we accept this & start to really fear them, the sooner we can learn to protect ourselves.

Look what this freaking bears did to this car:

Take cover. You have been warned.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Some *other* things for the people on Maury to do

I watch a lot of Maury.

Maury is sometimes all that can calm my neurotisism & anxiety. A lot of the time I just have it on for the white noise, habit & routine. Other times I pay attention to the stories, am entertained by the ironic jibbering & plot skimming.

Sometimes I just feel reassured to watch people out there with way more personality problems than me. It's kind of like hanging around a hospital when you're casually sick or a seniors home when you feel like you're getting old.

What concerns me about Maury is all the poor little babies whom, without some miraculous intervention, will surely grow up to be the product of their environment.
It's like when they play the 'wild & crazy teen girl' themed shows where the moms come in at their wits end. 
Bless their hearts for having the balls to come on national TV but girlfriend, I got some questions for you that the Maury producers don't seem to want to ask.
What do you do for a living? Where do you live? At what age did you have your children? How many children do you have & most importantly, wheres your baby's father!?!?!
In the eternity that I've been watching Maury I can count on one hand the number of dads coming on with their wild, crazy & out of control teens!

In any case, I feel it comes down to a lot of 'accidental' pregnancies. And it pains me to use that word because as liberal as I am, I don't believe that there are very many situations that constitute a baby being created by 'accident'. You 'accidentally' had sex with your mother's brother's girlfriend. We 'accidentally' ended up in the same room without any pants on. We didn't have a choice!

After careful analysis & soul searching, I've thought of a way that I could help to end accidental pregnancies. Before I could do that, I had to realize the problem & what was causing them. The problem is.. boredom.

My more educated counterparts might say that it's a lack of self-control, forethought, education & resources, cycle of poverty etc etc... but come on now, I don't want to sound like I'm stereotyping here, but when it comes down to it I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that the majority of the men & women on Maury are unemployed. That frees up a good 9-10 hours a day when you factor in travel time. That coupled with lack of income means that there is little money to entertain oneself with.
I've concluded that all these Maury babies are being created because sex can be fun & it can be free.

For your consideration Maury, I have created a list of free, enjoyable, sex-free activities for you to suggest to your guests. You can thank me later.

1. A good, long, stretch.
2. Filing ones nails
3. Going for a brisk walk
4. patting a cat or dog
5. Reading a Berenstein Bears book from the library
6. Writing a short story
7. Taking a hot bath
8. Volunteering at a school
9. Running through a neighbour's sprinkler
10. Talking to your neighbour about your shared interests
11. Cutting out a bazillion coupons like the women on TLC until the store has to pay out your overage in gift cards
12. Building a fort out of sheets
13. Jumping on your bed
14. Giving yourself a romantic foot massage
15. Making a craft from a toilet paper roll

They really should have some kind of a guest relations consultant & it really should be me. People might say I am judgmental but if you have been on Maury 18 times trying to find the fathers of your 6 children, girlfriend you are not being judged enough!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Tips for reducting costs & stress when planning a wedding

As previously mentioned I know a lot of people planning their wedding right now. I know from personal experience that many brides will want to do all the research & organizing themselves. I get that, this is your special day. Make every last detail your own. What I would like to offer is some things that I wish I had done looking back & also share some tips for what really contributed to the success of my own wedding, starting with:

Setting a number:

Not a guest list number (at least not yet) but a number you are comfortable spending on this day.
Figure out how much you'll be able to put away monthly, or per pay cheque towards the wedding to help you decide on a reasonable date for the wedding.
If friends & family have already offered financial help, include that but I wouldn't include a number that you expect to make on a social or any other estimated gifts. If the money does come in, great & you'll be in even better financial shape.

I think that couples usually end up doing the opposite of this, buying first & seeing how the costs have added up later. I find this impulsive & with this method I feel like money could run out awfully quick.

Pick a logical number based on how much time you have before the big day & how much you're able to set aside. From there, assign a budget for the the ceremony venue, reception venue, food, alcohol, officiant, flowers, dress, tuxedos, jewellery, bridal party gifts, music, decorations, photos, video, hair, make-up, shoes, stationary, favours, cake, guest book, honeymoon, transportation, rings, veil & anything else you might want or need.

Pick a theme with obvious colours:

The theme for my wedding was peacocks, however you can only find so many peacocks (and the zoo won't rent theirs). So as a last case resort, ensure that your theme has vivid & obvious colours that you could use to keep the theme going. I.E. of course the people we hired to produce our chair covers didn't have peacock patterns or brooches, but they did have royal blue sashes.

Wedding Party:

Don't eff this up. Choose REALLY close friends or family. People who make your life easier & not more stressful because personalities quirks tend to get amplified under pressure

Explain to them what you would ask of them as a member of the wedding party & what kind of a price range you'd be looking at as far as attire.
I've had friends with bridesmaids dropping out after months of planning because they couldn't finance a $300 dress (along with costs that can be acquired from throwing a bachelorette party, a wedding shower, buying gifts etc). You might sound maniacal to your friends at first but better to sound crazy from the get-go than go bat sh*t when you're out two members.

Don't scrimp on the guest list:

Getting a large group of people together is hard enough. I will ALWAYS be a strong advocate of inviting everyone you want to be there, even if it means having to save-up longer. In my family I've seen how upset people get if only aunts & uncles are invited & not cousins & then entire branches of the family 'boycot' the event. Save yourself the drama.

Think about things you can make instead of buying:

But don't go so overboard that you stretch yourself too thin.
Homemade aspects of a wedding make things so personal & add character to a wedding. Think about what you could produce as a favour, a centrepiece, a decorator, as gifts for your bridal party or even being your own florist or caterer.

Re purpose:

Trust me, I'm no hippy. Just cheap.
Think of ways that you could re-use or re-purpose something to reduce costs or add character to your wedding.
Most people would not get married in their mother's dress, but considering that veils these days are between $150.00-$400.00, why not use your mom's veil? you can easily cut off any tacky detailing & sew-on your own or hire a seamstress to do it for you.
Another great idea to get the most of your flowers if to make sure the ceremony flowers get shipped over to the reception venue. I spent a fair bit of money an gorgeous blue orchid pew clusters. I then had my set-up & take down crew drive them over to the reception venue & use them as decorations for the mic stand, the bar, cake table etc.


Most stationary people will give you a better rate the more items you hire them to make. This will also ensure that your theme stays consistent across the board. Think about invitations, RSVPs, envelopes, favour tags, wine labels, table numbers, seating chart, menu, name cards & thank-you cards.

Personalizing your ceremony:

Your officiant should be able to present you with some good options but look online for traditions of different cultures & see if they resonate with you.
If you don't have an officiant in mind & don't like the idea of hiring a stranger, Manitoba vital statistics can grant a license either on an annual basis or just a day pass. Ensure that whomever you'd like to do this for you is prepared for public speaking & has a resume, references & can write well-thought-out answers to their mandatory questions. As with all things government related, allow a lot of time for processing.

Know your DJ:

Don't consider your music a detail. I feel that the music can make or break the atmosphere of your wedding.
I went as far as to write a list of songs that I expected to have played at my reception after feeling like a previous DJ we hired did his own thing & didn't listen to what we had asked for.

Make sure your DJ is catering to you, your friends & your family. My favourite weddings are a mix of traditional Manitoba social music, classic dance songs, top 40 with a few of the couple's favourite songs thrown in the mix.


If you're getting married, you'll need a few. At your social, rehearsal dinner & at the wedding (your vows if you're choosing to write your own as well!) Make jokes (people have to laugh, it's your wedding). Think of all the people who have contributed time or money towards this wedding & thank them for it.

Make schedules & to-do lists:

People will offer to help out with your big day. The problem is that a lot of things have to be left to the very last second & it's easy to forget that they need to be done. I.E. if you plan on setting-up/decorating your reception venue yourself, there will likely be another event the night before which restricts you from being able to do things in advance.
Make a list of all the things that need to be done (especially the day of) & let people who offer to help (bless their hearts) choose what they would be willing to take on. Don't be afraid to micro-manage. People in the industry expect it & after you've just dropped tens of thousands of dollars on one day, you're going to want it to go seamlessly.
Print out schedules of where everyone should be at what time & hand them out to your VIPs. That way there'll be no excuse if your florist or caterer is running late & you are free to punch them in the face for ruining your day.

Have a tool chest:

The day-of have someone carry: hairspray, Tylenol, bobby pins, a sewing kit, deodorant, tampons, glue for eyelashes & nails & sunscreen. No hot messes at your wedding sista!

Don't forget to plan for the finishing touches:

Buying a necklace or a bra in real life is peanuts. Buying anything related to the wedding industry is insane. All of the prices are jacked up but unless you plan on making your own veil, some of these expenses are unavoidable. Make sure that you've allocated yourself funds for the details I.E, shoes, a bra, jewellery, a hair piece, manicures & pedicures.


In Winnipeg, unless otherwise specified, tipping is customary (so strange how our society works-how are people supposed to know when to tip or not!).
Tips are generally expected from bartenders, drivers, waitstaff, hairstylists, entertainers & make-up people. I don't necessarily agree with this practise but that's a blog for another day. At present time, remember to not be a jerk & tip. To make life easier, entrust a man (or someone in a tuxedo!) with marked enveloped that contain the tip money for each of the recipients along with envelopes for any last minute 'day-of' payments (limo companies will usually take a deposit & expect you to pay the rest on the day of. Hair stylists, make-up professionals & entertainers are other standard 'pay once service is rendered' professionals).

Sign-up for the magazine: Say what? A free magazine about weddings/venues/suppliers in this city? This magazine is a dream come true. Sign-up & use the magazine to draw inspiration and/or find suppliers. At the very least, allow it to get you pumped for your own wedding!

Happy planning!