May 13, 2017

15 years without my Dad.


Fifteen years ago today my life changed forever as I got the news that my Dad had passed away. Just like that our worlds came crashing down. I can't believe how clearly I remember that day. 

If you've followed along on my adventures over the years online, you've most definitely seen me post about him. Even though he's been gone for so long, he's remained such a huge and important part of my life (and always will) It's not just this day, or Father's Day, his birthday or Christmas - it's every other day in between.

It's weird though. In some ways, it feels like it's been forever, and in others it feels like it was just yesterday. Regardless, it's something I am always thinking about. So many moments, big and small that make me think of him. Some things are hard to believe, like the fact that my Dad never got to meet Pete, or the rest of the new members of our family, like my niece and nephew.

There's pieces of him everywhere around me. Of course in his photo's, and old letters and cards, but also in my brothers, my uncles, and in me. I miss him every day, every holiday, every year that goes by. This past few years even more so as I got engaged and then married. For years, the thought of this happening without him just broke my heart. Having my Dad be part of our wedding day ended up being one of my favourite parts about planning it. I found a bunch of ways to honour him and it was so special to have both Pete and I and all of our friends and families be a part of that.

Walking down the aisle to "She's a Rainbow" was all in honour of him. The matches as part of our favour was what my parents had as their favour. Having my brothers walk me down the aisle was one of the most special moments of my life! Having photo's of my Dad and a hand written letter to him, and then dedicating parr of my speech to him.

Here's a little part of the letter I wrote to him and what I said in my speech
“You’re my biggest inspiration. I wake up every day the happiest girl in the world as a reflection of the love you gave me. I will forever be the happy, positive, colourful girl you brought up and will do my best to spread love and happiness to everyone I meet. Your spirit lives on in so many of us and we are constantly reminded how full of love & life you were.”

Some people who have experienced the loss of a parent have asked me how I deal/dealt with everything, or when it gets easier. But the truth is, it doesn't get easier. You just get better. You learn to live a life of love and happiness without them, even though at times it seems impossible to do so.

I made the decision to always be the same girl my Dad knew. Sure, I would grow and evolve and change. But no matter what, I'd continue to live a life of adventure, positivity and happiness for myself and anyone in my life. I think about how happy it would make my Dad to see me live my life this way. The way he did.

So after 15 years? How does it feel? Well, I still think about him every single day. Right after my Dad died I read "A Prayer for Owen Meany" in class and I will never forget how this one quote from the book made me feel. It was so perfectly accurate, and it's still the best way to describe losing someone so important to you...

“When someone you love dies, and you're not expecting it, you don't lose her(him) all at once; you lose her(him) in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her(his) scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her (his) closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her(him)that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there's a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she's (he's) gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.” 


Thinking of him even more than usual today and Love Ya Always.
xo

May 8, 2017

dreams + goals + plans, oh my!

d r e a m s   //   g o a l s   //   p l a n s 

I'm so happy Spring is finally here! Although, it's been really rainy and quite chilly in Toronto lately. Things have been go go go with my new job and I am absolutely, positively LOVING every minute of it (I am so so lucky!)

Pete and I have been in Spring cleaning mode and also been preparing for a(nother) fun Summer! I'm currently working on my Summer bucket list, and I can't wait to share it with y'all. ♥

I've got never ending to-do-lists in my mind and in cute notebooks and online, and I still feel like I have even more things to add to them daily. I've got a fun post coming soon where I share some tips on making goals and staying organized/planning!

Yay! in the meantime, you can aaaaalways find me on insta, tweeting here & there, and pinning cute shit. I'm still here, just trying to keep up :)

April 25, 2017

parabo press + 25 FREE prints!

h  a  p  p  y    t  u  e  s  d  a  y

I wanted to share some photo's of the beautiful prints I recently got from Parabo Press -- they are beyond wonderful. And I've got to say, I am so glad that places like this exist because I am personally a lover of printing my photo's, no matter how old school this may be.

I've always been one to take (and print) photo's and I love the evolution of prints and what they've become over the past few years. There's so much room to get creative and create some really special keepsakes, gifts and ways to commemorate special moments.

I've been especially excited about ordering prints since the wedding (of course!) and I've ordered so many for us, family & friends! 

Today I am sharing some prints I recently ordered from such an amazing company - Parabo Press! I absolutely love what they create and was beyond thrilled with how my prints turned out. Not to mention they literally have the most beautiful packaging EVER(!!!) Also, I made a 2017 calendar all of my FLOWER photo's *swoon*

& since I love y'all so much I am offering you 25 FREE prints if you use the code JULES at check out! Now for my next adventure? Finding a way to organize & display all of these cute prints!

April 15, 2017

self love + smithery style!

o h      h e y    g o r g e o u s !!! 
It's me, Jules! I'm alive & well and keeping busy as a bee as per usual. I've been wanting to do this post for weeks but it was a very special one and something I did not want to rush!

In February I was lucky enough to be chosen by the incredible ladies from Smithery Style to take part in their Spring Photoshoot! I was beyond honoured to be asked to do this, and was so intrigued because of what Smithery is all about.

Self Love is a phrase I've been hearing a lot of lately, along with Self Care. They are both so important to living a happy, care free life in the skin you're in. This is definitely something important to me and something I've also struggled with for a long time. I've always been more of a curvy lady and on some days I embrace it and love it, and others I feel sad and disappointed with the way I look. It's definitely easier said than done to feel confident and proud of the way you look at times. Places like Smithery help women feel confident and proud about what they wear - and I just love that!

Mavis and Rena are the beautiful and inspiring women behind Smithery Style and I am beyond thankful I've connected with them and learned what their brand is all about. It was nice to try something new and step outside my usual fashion choices (dresses!)

You can use the Shape Finder on their website to find out your shape and learn more about the best, most flattering styles for you. I loved learning more about my shape and different pieces that would be a good fit for me. 
Who are Smithery? "We're a Canadian e-boutique where the best Go-To's for every body shape are curated, styled, and modeled on real women. As stylesmiths, we're taking the guesswork out of style, size, and fit by supplying the measurements for every model and every item in every size. Our favourite part? Each Smithery box comes with styling tips for your new finds."
When the ladies asked me to be a model for their Spring shoot, I was over the moon! I was so inspired by all the creative, sweet and inspiring women who were there that day! It was a full day of fun with pretty outfits, photography, laughs and confetti! I got to wear a number of different outfits (including PANTS which I never ever wear) I loved playing dress up, and trying new things.

We had such a blast and I left feeling better than ever. I got to meet lots of amazing (new) boss babes too, all these beautiful humans were a part of our wonderful day:

Leisse from Leisse Wilcox
Natalie from Nest Design Studio
Lisa from Le Dolci
Laurel from Mint Floral Co
Photos by Lauren Miller 
Hair by Aylin Carolina

This day and the whole experience was super uplifting. I am going to continue to embrace my curves and body and make taking care of myself and feeling (and looking) good a priority for me. I signed up for a gym membership and am taking weekly classes at work too. I've also been doing some meditating (which I am loving) and am just trying to spend more time relaxing, unwinding and being unplugged.

Oh, and the best part? I am offering you $20 OFF any purchase $100 or more - head to Smithery Style and use the code HEYJULES at check out! 

April 3, 2017

baby love!

h  a  p  p  y    m  o  n  d  a  y! ♥

Today was a pretty gloomy, dreary Monday here in Toronto but didn't feel so bad. I had a great day! I'm absolutely loving my new job and it was another amazing day at work, and I also got to go to the Penguin Random House office for a Spring Book Launch

This past weekend was very eventful! I feel like we had the perfect mix of fun with family & friends, time together, and chill time (those are the best kinds of weekends) I hosted our monthly girls night at our house so that I could host a little surprise baby shower for my bestie. She's going to be having a baby boy in one month - so excited! 

I took some photo's of the little set up. It was a beautiful sunny day and as always, just perfect to hangout with my bestest friends and shower my #1 girl with love.

I've been to a lot of baby showers at this point and although this one was a bit different because it was so small and at home, I thought I'd share a few tips.

* Don't stick with just one colour! I mean even if you know the sex of the baby, it's still fun to put a spin on the colours to add a little spunk! Carly is having a boy so I chose light blue, mint green, white and yellow as the colours and thought it was nice and bright for Spring.

* Keep it simple! It seems like the evolution of the baby shower means you don't really play many games and the gifts get opened later on. It's nice to just spend time with everyone there, eat, chat and hang. We got to watch Carly open her gifts since there was only six of us, but when it's a larger group it is nice to take that out of the equation.

* Collect the cuteness! I'm one to stock up on cute napkins, plates, and decor as I see it. It's nice to have a mix of different decorations and ones you really love. Sometimes when I'm in search of something really specific I can't find it and wish I had stocked up when I saw it! Nothing worse than regretting not stocking up on cute stuff (lol)