Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lately • December

I've been quiet around here, but Christmas has been hectic this year! We learned the hard way that when we take Gunner to someone else's house for a sleepover with us, bring his crate! That was a sleepless night.
But Christmas was good for us, and we have two more dinners this weekend! I think people are trying to hint at me to bake because I received a stand mixer, a set of baking pans, and a book to put my recipes in...all from different people! Hint taken, as I made Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies from Rob's new cookbook!

We've also had our fair share of snow. It's either super super cold at -30*C or it's "warm" at -2 and snowing like crazy. No happy medium here. 

So because working Christmas Eve generally sucks for everyone, my manager bought us some pajama sets from work and let us wear them! We also drank hot chocolate all day and wore Santa hats. It was pretty awesome :)

My new ring! I received this with my set of baking pans, along with a charm bracelet. We picked names this year, so the lady who gave me Christmas gifts didn't know me very well, but she has good taste in rings!

I got a chance to visit my friend and her 6-month old baby on Christmas Eve to give them their gifts. He tried eating it at first, then got some help unwrapping, haha! 

Aaaand there's Gunner. He's just been a huge suck these past couple months. All he wants to do is cuddle, and hog the bed! When we first got him, he wouldn't calm down at all, but now we go to bed and he cuddles in between us and is asleep right away! I love it. We also found out on Christmas day that he is good with toddlers. He still needs to calm down, but all he does is lick their faces to no end.

How was your Christmas?

xo. Nicole

Friday, December 20, 2013

Homemade Christmas • A Gift Idea!

This Christmas is a bit of a weird one for us! We just got married, moved an entire province, and to top it off, all of my sewing supplies are in storage! It makes it a little difficult to sew gifts again this year, so I compromised with myself and decided to find a different way of making gifts for friends and family.

Oh my gosh, it smelled heavenly when I was making it! I wanted to make cookies afterwards, but I need to go get some gluten free flour first. We had all the ingredients in the kitchen already, so it didn't cost that much to make! I even linked my friend the recipe and she's going to make some, too. She isn't doing so well in the money department this year, so I was glad to help her find something affordable and sweet to make. 

I got the recipe from HERE! She also has a peppermint sugar scrub recipe which looks suuuuper easy to make! I wanted to make that one, too but I don't have any essential oils handy, nor in walking distance to buy. It did require almond and coconut oils, which I found at Save-On foods in the natural skin care section and the natural foods aisle!

This recipe didn't require any essential oils, just ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! It's also conveniently Gluten Free! My husband can't eat gluten in any way, shape, or form and neither can his sister. I'm not sure what putting gluten on their skin does right now, so I didn't want to take my chances. So if you know someone who has Celiac Disease or is sensitive to gluten, this gift will be a good one :)

The recipe says that it makes enough for 2 1/2 cups, which is true! I made 3 batches and it filled 4 mason jars and 4 smaller jars.

Happy gifting!

xo. Nicole

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Our First Christmas Cards!

So we've had a couple Christmas' together as a couple, but this will be our first as a married couple! Since we moved a whole province away from our friends and some of our family, and we're newlyweds, I wanted to start the tradition of mailing out Christmas cards to everyone! This year, I sent one to everyone who came to our wedding and then some more people. 

As soon as Allison from Crafted Love posted a link on Facebook about how she was/is designing Christmas cards for people, I jumped at the chance! She has done such an amazing job on our wedding invitations, my blog layout, and now our first Christmas cards! I originally asked for only 25, thinking it would be enough, but I was sadly mistaken. Where Allison sent my cards to be printed, they doubled what they printed and she sent me 50 cards! I was mistaken in thinking we only need 25 cards, as I've mailed them all out and I only have about 7 leftover. I know now for next year!

Allison also started making holiday envelopes! I forgot to take decent pictures of them (they are soooo cute!), but I did get one shot!

I also received some amazing news today! For the past couple months, I've been working in retail and just haven't been happy with it. I realized while working in retail that the only job I've ever had where I've been happy is as a Youth Care Counselor in a group home. So, I've been applying for Educational Assistants in the school system here, and I got offered a position this morning! I will be starting January 6! Things are getting better for us, after all the stress of our vehicles breaking down, being 'fixed', and breaking down again.

Did you send out Christmas cards this year? Please share!

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Sponsors • Megan!

Today's sponsor is Megan! Her and I went to high school together, but didn't really connect until afterwards. She's grown to be one of my favorite people and someone that I can talk to about anything.
Her blog is always really cool to read because she writes so beautifully. Since August though, she's been using her Tumblr as a blog! I think you should check it out :)

• • • • • • 

What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
Spending time with family friends!

What is your favorite holiday tradition with your family?
Watching the movie, "The Sound of Music" with my family. We've watched it every year for as long as I can remember!

Are you starting any new traditions this year?
This year I am working on Christmas, so I am missing it entirely.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Turkey and cranberries is the best thing, ever!

• • • • • •

Working on Christmas day is a HUGE bummer :( The field of working in group homes can be tricky with the STAT holidays, because the kids sometimes don't have homes to go to for the holidays, so the homes have to stay open...which means some youth workers are working. I hope there are other days this month that you can see your friends and family! 

Thanks for sharing, Megan! 

xo. Nicole

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winter Sponsors • Shelby!

We're on to meeting our next sponsor for the winter here on A Broke Bride! Her name is Shelby and we became friends when we worked at Starbucks together in St. Albert, Alberta. Since then, I had met my then husband-to-be, (she witnessed the VERY beginning of our relationship and the sneaky texts during work), moved a city and then a province away, and now back to Alberta! We're now only hour(?) away from each other! Since we became friends, Shelby has started her own blog, Ankkuri! 

• • • • • •

What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
Wrapping gifts. I'd like to believe I'm a pretty fantastic gift wrapper. I always go all out with a theme, fancy ribbons & tags.

Your favorite holiday tradition with your family?
My family doesn't have a lot of traditions. For the holidays we always go to my sisters for Christmas Eve to exchange any presents.

Are you starting any new traditions this year?
We set up a Christmas tree for the first time in five years this year. My boyfriend & I bought a cheap small little white tree & a few red & silver ornaments.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Yorkshire pudding! On Christmas Day we have a proper English dinner. & it's one of the few times a year we have Yorkshire pudding.

• • • • • •

Oh man, I can't even imagine not having a Christmas tree for 5 years! I'm happy you have one this year, and I hope you share your wrapping skills for the rest of us with the skills of a 12 year old, haha!
xo. Nicole

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Blogmopolitan Quiz!

Ooo this was exciting to come across! I love reading the monthly magazine, Cosmopolitan, and seeing how the celebrity cover stars fill this out. This is also a good way for you, my readers, to know me better! I hope you participate in the Blogmopolitan link up!

You can find the copy of the quiz that you can download yourself over on Erin's blog today! Have fun and let me know if you do it by linking me in the comments here!

xo. Nicole

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Sponsors • Cara!

I have a few lovely ladies who have a place on my side bar right now who have been so wonderful and who started out or have become my friends in the past little while. So I've asked each of them to fill out a Christmas questionnaire for me to spotlight them on A Broke Bride!

The first lovely lady I'm going to spotlight is Cara from The Marvelous Flight of Cara! She is so wonderful and sweet, and we're on the fast track to becoming real life friends. She is going through a tough time right now, so I hope this will help you get to know Cara better and that you also become real life friends!

• • • • • •

What is your favorite thing about the holidays?
The feeling in the air when you go out in public. Not just the cooler weather (although I LOVE that - I love wearing scarfs, hats, and gloves. I love layering!) but the hustle and bustle of everyone out and about and the Christmas decorations up all over the place. It's so magical!

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love that we (the big kids - me and my hubby, and his sister and her husband) all get new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve and then we all wear them on Christmas morning. SO SWEET.

Do you have any new traditions?
Dan and I sent out a photo Christmas card this year which I'm SO happy about.
It's a tradition I've wanted to do for quite some time!

And your favorite holiday dish?
Christmas cookies. Does that count?


• • • • • •

Thank you Cara from participating in the sponsor spotlight post, and of course Christmas cookies count ;)

xo. Nicole

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Wedding: Portraits

I have some more wedding pictures to share with you! These are the ones that we took between the ceremony and reception. Our freshly married faces ;) Enjoy!

As you can see in the picture above, we're a bit of a mess. We were totally goofing around, though :) There's a picture of him looking up my dress too, and my shoe has fallen off. Not graceful, but that's us! I also can't get over the ivy in the background. I just love it!

All photos were taken by my sister-in-law, Lauralynn from Treasured Forever Photography. She jumped in at the chance to photograph a wedding after our original photographer cancelled 2 days before our big day! I don't regret it one bit and things turned out better than we had imagined!

xo. Nicole

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ad Swap

A Broke Bride is looking for some bloggers who would like to do an ad swap! I don't really want to charge anyone to advertise their blog on here, especially with Christmas coming up. I'm also changing the name of the blog in the new year and I would love to get some last minute sponsors in until the name is changed! 

By swapping with A Broke Bride, you will be able to:
  • Do a guest post! You can post about a tutorial, your shop, a recent event, or even host a giveaway!
  • #FF (#followfriday) on Twitter and Instagram! Every Friday that you're sponsoring, I will post your name and/or blog on Twitter and Instagram.
  • I will be doing a little blog and link share post with all the sponsors and you can answer some fun interview questions! :)
  • If there's anything you would like, please email me and we can come up with something great!
To participate in the ad swap, please email me:

xo. Nicole

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

• Maple VoxBox •

NOTE: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster! All opinions are 100% my own!
If you follow me on other social media outlets, you would have seen that I received my first VoxBox! I received the Maple one because it's for us Canadians. I didn't even pay attention to the fact that Influenster was actually sending something to me! I thought my profile was too inactive to receive anything, but I guess I was wrong.

Infuenster is, and I quote from their website: 
"Influenster is a free-to-join community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.The Influenster site is a hub where members meet to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives! Influenster invites its most active members to participate in exclusive VoxBox programs where members receive complimentary products to test and review. In exchange, we ask our members to do what they already love to do: share their opinions with their friends & followers on social media! But that's not all. We have a lot going on including digital challenges, twitter parties, & contests!"

So far, I've tried out the skinny cow treats and the Ice Breakers Duo. Everything else will happen over the next few days. I'm most excited about the mask. Hopefully it's relaxing and doesn't irritate my skin.

So the Ice Breakers Duo are sooo tasty! I thought the raspberry flavor would be overwhelming, but it really wasn't. I know they're supposed to be breath mints, but I kept munching on them like they were candy, haha!

I've never been a fan of 'diet' treats. If you want to diet, don't go for the sugar loaded low calorie chocolate. It's vegetables, fruit, lean protein, and exercise. So when I opened the VoxBox and saw these, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to eat them. They weren't too bad, though! The "heavenly crisp" didn't do anything to fill me up or satisfy any craving. All it was was tasty. The "dreamy clusters" tasted really good with my coffee! The coffee almost brought out a cinnamon flavor? I don't know how else to describe the flavor. They were somewhat filling and satisfied a small craving for a Mars bar! If you really want to buy a Skinny Cow product, I'd go for the clusters. 

I'll let you know how the rest of the products worked out over the next couple days! Did you receive a VoxBox, too? Let me know and link me up in the comments below!

xo. Nicole

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

This holiday season I have completely lost track of time. Last year I started all the gifts in October and I haven't started this year. Christmas is coming way too soon! It's nice this year, though because a lot of our family are just drawing names instead of buying/making gifts for everyone. This way, we only have about 5 or 6 people to make/buy for! It helps our budget and relieves some of the pressure of everyone expecting something. 
I was so proud of the gifts I made last year, that I wanted to share my favorites with you again! 

For my Aunt and Uncle, I made some fun Christmas coasters! The coasters are Santa hats, elf hats, a reindeer, and then a circle with a Santa hat and some snowflakes on it. For Rob's dad and his girlfriend, I made them some passport holders because they're always travelling (they're on their way to Cuba as we speak)!
I made my friend a headphone case for her little iPod headphones. I added a mustache on to the case, and she loved it! I posted a tutorial that you can see HERE!

I'm not too sure what I'm going to make this year, as all my sewing stuff is in storage, but when I figure it out I'll be sure to post how I made them!

Are you making your gifts this year or supporting handmade? Please share in the comments! I'd love to check it out and see your ideas!

xo. Nicole

Monday, December 2, 2013

28 Days of Thankful •• Recap!

I participated in the #28DaysofThankful Instagram project hosted by Allison from Crafted Love and today I'm going to share with you my favorite pictures from the project! 

I hope you enjoyed seeing what everyone was/is thankful for! I'm thankful for a lot of things, and November was a tough month for us! Our cars stopped working (both up and running now!) and we were very low on funds. It sounds cheesy, but I'm really glad that Allison created this Instagram project otherwise I might have gone crazy from the stress in November.

Now that it's December (YAY!!), I've started the holiday preparations. Last year, I started making and figuring out gifts for everyone in October...and this year, I started this week. Totally too far behind. To get myself in to Christmas mode, I downloaded this awesome desktop wallpaper from Jazz Lips and Tulips! I came across it during my daily blog reading and wanted to share it with you!

I hope you enjoy it! (To download it, just click on her blog name in the paragraph above the picture!)

I've got more wedding pictures to share with you soon, too! December is going to be a fun month :)

xo. Nicole

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our Wedding: The Bridal Party

So it's been almost 6 months since the wedding and I'm just sharing more pictures...oops! My sister-in-law was our main photographer and she did such an amazing job! Today I'm going to share the bridal party pictures with you!

All the pictures and portraits were done right outside the Chateau Cargill, which is the building where the ceremony and reception were. I just loooove the ivy and the stone! If I remember correctly, the weather wasn't so nice leading up to our big day, but it turned out to be gorgeous! We only had a few sprinkles while were getting family portraits done. It wasn't too cold and it wasn't too hot. Obviously, we were meant to get married that day ;)

Everyone showed up early on the day of the wedding to help set up and they stayed to take everything down. We had such an amazing time and I'm grateful for each and every one of them!

For the bridesmaids, I let them pick out their own dresses. They just had some guidelines, like it had to be black, knee length, not the shiny fabric, and no jewels on it. Then I asked them to wear nude shoes. 3 of them got nude pumps, while my maid of honor wore nude flats. I gifted them each a clutch made by the super duper awesome Jesse from AnyKind and stuffed them with wedding day emergency supplies. They also got a long gold necklace and some bangles to wear with their dresses! Jesse also sent me one as a surprise gift! I posted about them here.

The groomsmen rented their tuxes from Moore's and Rob gifted them with a flask and a cigar (which were tied together with twine)! You can see me and the bridesmaids with the cigars above. I'm glad we got that photo, haha!

My sister-in-law did such an amazing job with our wedding photos. It was her first time being a lead photographer at a wedding, but it looks like she's been doing it for ages! If you want to check out more of her work, click here!

xo. Nicole