Falling into a New Season

Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle/Personal

“Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.” ― Truman CapoteBreakfast at Tiffany’s

I love the stillness that comes with Fall. I love the silence. I love the idea that hibernation is in the forecast. After a crazy-busy-beautiful summer I am ready for a change of pace. I am yearning for cooler weather, warm sweaters, dark nail polish, and pumpkin-spiced everything. Call me crazy but Fall is my favourite season. It has potential, it radiates happiness with modest charm, and although I’m officially not in school anymore, it still has that air of change, growth, and excitement.

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I’m looking forward to a Fall filled with new adventures, exploring different styles, and creating new goals. I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving, long drives surrounded by trees with leaves ignited by colour. I’m looking forward to cool evenings with my laptop on my lap, words floating around in my mind, and a hot cuppa tea nearby.

I’m looking forward to it all.

xoxo,

Vanessa 

MaskerAide Virgin #sheetmaskselfie INCLUDED

Fashion & Beauty

When it comes to taking care of my face, my daily routine is simple:

  1. wash face with water in the morning + moisturize with no-name cream
  2. wash face with Dove soap in the evening + moisturize with no-name cream

Seriously. That’s it. I tend to spend more time primping my nails than taking care of my face. The reason: the more I put on my face, the worse it looks. I have very sensitive skin that breaks out easily. I can’t use harsh-smelling lotions or face wash and I refuse to wear foundation or powders. That being said, sometimes my face is in need of some serious TLC.

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Karen Viray is the wonderful woman who sent me four MaskerAide sheet masks – All Nighter, Weather Warrior, Beauty Restore, and Pre Party Prep. I’ve wanted to try them our for a long time (#sheetmaskselfies have plugged up my newsfeeds for months) and I don’t think Karen realizes just how perfect her timing was!

After trying all four sheet masks I am happy to announce that I didn’t break out at all! My skin is a little more radiant and insanely smooth; it even looks hydrated! **EVEN THE FIANCE NOTICED*** MaskerAide sheet masks are easy to use, super gentle, and give you an excuse to close your eyes, blast a Sam Hunt playlist on Youtube, and just unwind. We seem to forget how important it is to have these little moments to ourselves. I promise that twenty minutes with a MaskerAide sheet mask will leave you feeling rejuvenated both facially and emotionally.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

**Photo from the MaskerAide website**

The Bride’s Diary – Getting Married on A Friday

Family Time, Just for Fun

The Bride's Diary

People who get married on major holidays, Fridays, or Sundays are the freaking worst! Or at least they were until I became one of them. Here’s the thing, in order to book a Saturday night at the hall we fell in love with, w need a minimum of 200 confirmed guests. You already know that our guest list is at a firm 150 people so a Friday or Sunday would be our only options. We chose a Friday that way our guests would at least have the Saturday off to recuperate.

The only issues I have with not getting married on a Saturday is the obvious fact that not everyone we invite will be able to make it. First of all, people WORK and I would never expect anyone to take the day off. Secondly even if they decided to come to dinner (which will begin promptly at 6:30) and skip the ceremony, it might be one heck of a hassle to try to make it on time. I know that I want an intimate wedding but with such a tight guest list I am still hoping that many of them will be able to celebrate our day.

In the end,  we knew that getting married on a Friday wouldn’t be convenient for many people but for us, it works. If you’re planning your wedding and for financial/emotional/logistical reasons you decide to wed on an “unconventional” day, be prepared for a lot of eye-rolling, questions, comments, or RSVP’s with the unable to attend box checked off.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Truth About Goodbye [A Narrative]

Fiction


I love when you say goodbye in the morning; your kisses soft,  your voice warm and milky. You say silly things like you smell this morning my princess, which I can only assume means that my morning breath is both repulsive and cute. I know that you don’t want to leave especially since I’m only most affectionate when I just wake up, when I’m still cozy and in the mood to cuddle. I wish we could lounge in bed and hit the snooze button as many times as we want…

I love when you say goodbye in the morning not because I like to see you go but because I can hear the adoration in your voice. I can feel the warmth of your body beside me and see the smile on your lips. When I wake up with tired eyes an hour after you’ve left, I can still hear you whisper the word goodbye.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

My First Pan Am Game, Blog to Book, and MORE

Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal

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Last Saturday I found myself melting in the stands of a stadium in Hamilton to watch the bronze metal men’s soccer game. It was my first work-outing and even though I didn’t entirely understand what was happening, I cheered when everyone else did and had a great time. The sweltering heat made me wonder why I decided to put on jeans that day but the fiancé’s mellow attitude and constant water/ice purchases got me through it. Side note: definitely nowhere hot for our honeymoon!!! We cannot take the heat!!

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I received some feedback on my blog-to-book manuscript from a wonderful publishing company in the U.K. There’s loads of work to do to polish my manuscript but their kind words and useful criticism has me roaring with excitement to get it done! There’s no guarantee that they’ll publish it, in fact it’s insanely rare for publishing companies to take on new authors who don’t have an agent. BUT that doesn’t mean that it’ll never happen and if I want it to happen I MUST keep trying. According to Alex all I need is a real break, someone to take a chance on me. The hardest part about that is not giving up. My goal is to have it finished by the first week of September and send it back to them then. Might need some extra motivational words my friends!

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

This weekend is going to be a busy one between Izzy’s second birthday, my aunt’s wedding, and an adventure with Alex on Monday, but I cannot wait!! Remind me to get some blogging, manuscript editing, and reading in too 😉

Wishing you sunshine, love, and uninhibited dance-parties this long weekend!

https://twitter.com/VanessGrillone/status/626509611340853248

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Bride’s Diary – The Guest List

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

I’ve dreaded the guest list from the moment I said yes. I never fantasized much about my wedding but I was always under the impression that I wanted a very intimate wedding (let’s say 50 or so people). The only major problem with that is not that I’m European and as such a big wedding is expected, it is that I have a huge family. My mother’s side is fifty-three people and that’s just immediate family; aunts. uncles, and cousins.

With my intimate wedding idea out the window, Alex and I had to pick a number that would work for us both financially and mentally (he wants a small wedding too). 50 people is far too little, 100 people isn’t quite enough, and 200 is more than we could imagine. 150. That would have to be the magic number.

Thankfully our parents are supportive of this and understand why we don’t feel the need to have a huge wedding. We want to be able to enjoy our wedding and to know the person behind every hand that we shake and every cheek that we kiss.

The trouble with any guest list is that there are always people who are going to be left out or offended. Alex and I had one golden rule for the guest list: do not invite anyone we don’t see at least once a year. This means that only family and the closest friends we have are going to be invited. As of right now we have 149 people on the list and we’re pretty happy about it. We refuse to budge on the number and although the names on the list might change slightly, the number will not. Who wants strangers at their wedding anyway? I don’t.

If there’s one thing I recommend when writing up your guest list, do it with your fiancé and then have your parents put in their opinion. At the end of the day it is your wedding.

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

changes: both subtle and honest

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

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Last weekend the fiancé and I drove up to his aunt’s cottage in Lindsay. As he searched for old music to sing along with (think Ja Rule featuring J.Lo), I put my feet up on the dashboard and exhaled loudly. I had a lot on my mind and a long drive was exactly what I needed. 

Did I tell you that I’ve been working on turning my blog into a books? Well I am. When I look back and read old blog posts my memories fade to black-and-white; showing with subtle honesty how much I’ve changed, how much life has changed. I’ve grown immensely as a writer and a person in the last five years. Many of my relationships have either tarnished or strengthened. I’ve experienced love and pain in many different forms. I’ve failed, tried, and dreamt without limitation. I’ve welcomed change for the most part and when I wasn’t too fond of it, I wrote it out. 

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In mere weeks my living arrangements are going to alter slightly, by September I will have another little niece or nephew running around, in year-and-a-half I’ll be married, in two years I’ll be living with my husband in our condo, and who knows what else! So much to document! Here’s to looking bright, bold, and colourful future. Here’s to accepting new challenges with determination and passion. Here’s to growth and change. 

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

The Bride’s Diary – The Dress

Fashion & Beauty, Lifestyle/Personal

The Bride's Diary

Every girl dreams about is the moment they put on a white gown and are so overcome by emotion (and their own beauty) that they weep incessantly. Every girl except me. I’ve never dreamt about my wedding nor the dress I would wear that day. I’ve never obsessed about it and had no idea what style I even wanted. I also had no idea that I had to look for my dress at least a year in advance. Call me the Clueless Bride I guess.

I made an appointment at Ritche Bridal and brought along my mother, sister, and future mother-in-law to help me decide on a dress. I came prepared with ideas, photos, and a do not ever put me in a dress like this list. As usual we were a little early for the appointment so my sister took the opportunity to pull out a few dresses she thought would look good on me. One of which I wasn’t 100% sure of.

In no time my bridal consultant ushered us into the room with a few questions; budget? style? colour? The first dress I tried on just so happened to be the one that my sister pulled out. It was gorgeous. Simple. Sweet. Classic. Stunning. Even though I didn’t want to get out of it, we put it to the side while I tried on about 6 or 7 more gowns. None of which suited me the way the first dress did. Even the bridal consultant couldn’t get that dress out of her head, so just for fun, I tried it on again. Immediately a smile rose to my lips; this is my dress. For the finishing touch my consultant put a simple veil on my head which lead to an intense crying session starting with me and ending with my mother-in-law. Cue hand waving and mascara running.

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“Are you saying yes to the dress?” asked the consultant. 

“YES!” I replied. 

And THAT is how I found the dress, the dress I didn’t want to take off, the dress that I pictured Alex seeing me in when I walked down the aisle, the dress that my parents would “give me away” in, the dress that I would dance the night away in. I’d like to thank Ritche Bridal and especially my consultant Naima, for making dress shopping easy, memorable, and relaxing. Thank you for listening to me, for sticking to the budget, and for really understanding the kind of bride and person I am. I would recommend you to anyone!

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo

Rainy Sunday Movies

film, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

COOL CAT, GUESS WHAT YOU'RE INVITED TO.

Although I normally spend rainy days curled up on the couch with a great book, last weekend the only thing I felt like doing was losing myself in a movie or two. I am no movie connoisseur, in fact my fiancé doesn’t let me choose movies because my taste is THAT bad. Thankfully he’s usually pretty good at finding a movie that we both like. I’ve compiled a few of our favourites from the last weekend (and prior rainy days).

Inside Out: not the BEST Pixar movie I’ve ever seen but it has a great concept. I may or may not have shed a few tears when Riley started going through all of those awful teenage angst filled emotions. I may or may not have cried when her imaginary friend finally said goodbye. I may or may not have cried at the very last frame when the family embraces.

Mad Max Fury Road: Intense, weird, innovative. I’m still not quite sure what happened during this film. There was a lot of driving, shooting, blowing things up, and special effects. If you’re looking for a laugh, this isn’t the right film, but if you’re looking for something to keep you guessing, keep you on the edge of your seat, this is it! Charlize Theron kicks ass and Tom Hardy is amazing (and not bad to look at).

Home: Cute, funny, memorable. Rhianna and Jim Parsons are the voices of the main characters. I preferred this film over Inside Out – it had more laughs and the characters were more loveable.

This is Where I Leave You: Tears, laughter, and all of the feels. Great cast with an excellent script.

Jurassic World: Probably the best combination of action, romance, adventure, and humour I’ve seen in a long time. Oh and CHRIS PRATT!

What are your favourite movies to watch on a rainy day?

Love Always,

Vanessa Xo 

 **movie posters from imdb**