Celebrating One Year of Theodora

Last weekend, we celebrated our not-so-little baby’s first birthday, and throughout that day, I found myself revisiting some advice I had received just before my wedding day. A friend of mine told me to make sure I took a moment to really look at what was happening around me to soak it in because of how fast it goes by. The same totally applied for Theodora’s birthday; on the day we celebrated with a few little friends, and the night before the party, too. I couldn’t believe that the heart-shaped rice crispy pops and tissue paper poufs I was making at 2:30 in the morning the night before were for our very own daughter!

(Don’t judge me, but I feel like I need to be honest here – I had the help of not only Alex in these preparations, but also a glass of wine. It tastes so much better in those wee hours of the morning!)

The afternoon was filled with exactly what we hoped for – laughter, tiny people chatter, singing and eating. Although too young to really remember this milestone birthday, we hope that these pictures will help Theodora understand how excited we were to celebrate her.

People warned me of this, and it’s true – the first year goes by at lightening speed. Everything is so new, and you’re stepping into the monumental responsibility of raising a child in the safest, healthiest and happiest way that you can. Here’s what has made us feel ok about how fast it went – we did our best to be in the moment, every step of the way. Whether those moments were at 2:00 am consoling cries, or the fourth time in the span of half an hour changing, yet, another diaper, we just reminded ourselves that this was part of the deal. And what incredible, priceless results this deal has yielded us.

Have a great (warm) week!


Also, hello December and Cyber Monday! When did that happen?! Here’s a list of some of the best Cyber Monday sales to shop. A great head start to Christmas shopping, if you haven’t already started.

One way to do some Christmas shopping (or treat yourself) and support local businesses and artisans is to check out the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair. It runs again next weekend, December 5-7, and is VERY worth checking out!

Party Details
Cake topper and huge pink balloon: Confetti & Sparkle Party Shop
Cake: Cake Affair (delicious and amazing!)

Our Weekend in Pictures: Showering a Baby and Celebrating Love

This past weekend was one that I had been looking forward to for quite a while, as I hosted my very first baby shower. We celebrated Baby Amelia, the daughter of very dear friends of ours. You know the kinds of friends where you look forward to the day when their kids get married, so that you can say “I’ve watched you grow up!”? That’s these friends. And needless to say, Thea has a new partner in crime.



Shower games can be a hoot, but we decided on only one so that guests also had the opportunity to visit and catch up with one another. A few finger foods, cute babies, and great company amounted to the perfect way to spend a rather cold afternoon!

Later that evening, we took a jaunt over to a wedding reception for friends of ours that recently got married. The beautiful couple eloped in San Francisco, and as if these two weren’t stunning enough, the breathtaking California forest where they exchanged vows provided a backdrop like no other. I’ll say no more and just invite you to click here to enjoy some of their photos.

Their celebration took place at the cool downtown eatery, Parlor Italian Kitchen & Bar, and it was everything a fete of love should be. Some romance. Lots of pretty. Great tunes. Just an all around, good, good time. It was such an honor to be part of this joyous night!

Happy Monday, and happy week!


Shower details
Custom hand-lettered frame ~ Justine Ma: Design & Hand Lettering
Cupcakes ~ Those Cakes She Bakes
Baby Shower Bingo cards ~ free printable available here

Our First Halloween

Confession: I have never really liked Halloween. This may come as a shock to those that don’t know me, but will be no surprise to those that do. The excitement of a costume, made or bought, has not been my thing since about grade seven, and even then, I think my get-up was a recycled idea from a couple of years prior (a gypsy).

Fast forward fifteen years, and suddenly I am convinced I need just one more decoration, and one more Halloween-themed snack idea. Gasp! Having a little one really changes these sorts of things! We dressed little Thea as Minnie Mouse this year, because it was just too darned cute, and Minnie happens to be one of her favourite stuffed animals.

I was also excited to host our monthly mom’s meet up that day, so I thought it would be really fun to have a little Halloween party. We had a great morning hanging out, snacking and admiring all of the adorable costumes. A great way to kick off a festive weekend!

It goes without saying – these babies could melt your heart every day, not just Halloween! And these moms I’ve met, and can happily call my friends, warm my heart. They’re the best!

Conclusion: I am now a Halloween liker. Not quite a lover (yet).

I would love to know – what have been some of your most successful Halloween costumes, either for yourself or your little ones? I’m going to start collecting ideas for next year 🙂

Happy Monday to you, and a very happy week!


Weddings, weddings everywhere!

While this is not what is typically known as “wedding season”, all things wedding have been on my mind. With my little sister getting married next fall, and another good friend soon after that, I can’t help but pour over the never ending inspiration that exists on blogs, websites and, of course, Pinterest. Hearing about another friend’s exciting engagement news last night (congrats MW!!) just confirmed for me that I don’t only love weddings when someone close to me is about to walk down the aisle; I just love them all the time! Here is where some of my excitement and inspiration comes from:

Kelsy Nielson Photographer

Kelsy Nielson Photography

Nicole Ashley

Nicole Ashley Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Sharon Litchfield Photography

Katch Studios

Katch Studios

There will be sprinkles of wedding beauty on here as we near my sister’s big day, cause, I mean, I can’t just keep this dazzling and fun stuff to myself!

Also – the best of fall bridal 2015 and my favourite wedding website.

Have a great week!


The Lovely Ordinary Turns One!


The Lovely Ordinary is officially one year old! I remember this momentous day last year so clearly – Alex was in Toronto for a wedding, and I had decided to stay behind because I was very pregnant at that time and I wasn’t too comfortable with flying. As luck would have it, I had also come down with a terrible cold (or it seemed more terrible than usual because I couldn’t take my trusty Advil Cold & Sinus), forcing me to cancel plans of going to a Pecha Kucha event with friends, and turning down my cousin’s birthday festivities. So what’s a pregnant girl to do with several other hundred things adding up on her to-do list? Start a blog, of course!

Let me just say – it has been such a fun year learning and navigating the world of blogging! Other bloggers and media mavens I have met make me feel really cool just by associating with them. The local blogger community has revealed itself as a vibrant and supportive one, which is especially comforting for a novice like me. And the ideas and creativity that result from blogging, and following other blogs, have been exactly what I was looking for out of this maternity leave project. I am so excited to dive into learning more over this next year, but for now, please join me in wishing this fun little space a Happy Birthday!

I thought long and hard about how to commemorate this milestone – a contest? A giveaway? A collaboration? These are all great, and are in The Lovely Ordinary’s future, I promise. But instead, I decided to go with something near and dear to my heart. October happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so in support of all of the hard work and dedicated research towards finding a cure, I have made a $50 donation to celebrate this little birthday. In addition to this, I will make an additional $1 donation for every comment that is left here. Why this particular cause? Seven years ago, we sadly lost my grandma to the disease, so this is one of the many ways in which we keep her beautiful spirit alive and work towards a greater cause. It has been a near decade long tradition for my mom and sisters and I to actually Run for the Cure, but this year has each of us in a bunch of different places, whether it’s work or school or attending three year old little girls’ birthday parties 🙂 This year, it is my monetary contribution that I hope will bring us even the slightest bit closer to discovering a cure.

A happy week, and an even happier October, to you. Hope it’s off to a great start. Oh, and get those comments in!


Proud Little Moment

Way back in the spring, I started writing for a local lifestyle blog, City and Dale. This was a blog I had followed and enjoyed for the last few years, so I was excited and honored when I was chosen as one of their new contributors. Never would I have thought that little, old, amateur blogger me would be selected from their call for contributors (it was my sister who gave me the extra push to submit, so THANK YOU, SOPHIA!!) but it has been an absolute joy being part of this team and getting to know some of the ladies behind it.

Earlier this week, I snagged a spot on the About page, so it just became more real and official! You can check out my bio and the rest of the writers here.


If you’re ever on the fence about trying something new or dabbling in some territory that excites and inspires you, but is unfamiliar at the same time, I say just go for it. You have nothing to lose by giving it an honest shot. Chances are, you’re going to learn and have fun along the way!

Happy almost weekend!


#yeg Spotlight: Cafe Bicyclette

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day in a pocket of our city that has quickly climbed the ranks to be one of my new favourites. The French Quarters, also known as the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, is an adorable little piece of France located on 86 Avenue and 91 Street. It is also home to Cafe Bicyclette, and it lived up to all of the charm that the name elicits.

It was the perfect spot to celebrate this special “first”. Possessing equal parts cute and charming, it also offers a wide selection of breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner options. As evidenced below, we stuck to desserts only for this occasion!

Something we stumbled upon, which we will be sure to return and check out when we have more time is the community’s Farmer’s Market, which takes place every Sunday from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Between the delicious cafe itself, and the various events that take place in the area, we can’t wait to go back and discover more!

Fellow Edmontonians, have you unearthed any new favourite spots lately?

Have a great week, and Happy Canada Day!


Three years ago…

Photo credit: Kelsy Nielson

Three years ago today, we said “I do” with a big, fat, Greek wedding! Many fine details of that day remain so clear in my memory, it’s as though this day was last weekend.

I dreamed of my wedding and of being a bride since I was old enough to understand what marriage and weddings were. So, a long time! Over the years, my daydreaming shifted from what kind of dress I would wear and what my hair would look like, to my choice in flowers and what song would keep us dancing into the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, it was a blast of a day from beginning to end, and I am the luckiest girl to be sharing my life with Alex.

Photo credit: Kelsy Nielson

Photo credit: Kelsy Nielson

Happy Anniversary, Alex, and here’s to many, many, many more! Thank you for making me the happiest girl ever!


Summer is officially here, and living in such a northern urban centre has reminded me of how longingly we await these summer days and nights. These next few months translate to patio time, enjoying our beautiful parks, and a general appreciation for all things that take us outside to soak in the Vitamin D.

Photo: Paradise Hotel, Alonissos, Greece

While we won’t be travelling to the dreamy destination above, we do have a short little vacation down to Phoenix planned for next month. We’re really excited to be taking our first vacation as a family of three, and of course, to see little Thea in her myriad of cute little bathing suits.

Whether your summer plans are taking you to faraway, exotic places or allowing you to explore and become tourists in your own city, I’d love to hear about them!

Also…a while ago, I wrote a brief post on the up-and-coming Edmonton boutique, Harlow. I recently had the opportunity to learn more about this modern gift shop, and you can too by checking out my detailed post over at City and Dale Continue reading

Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all of the amazing dads and dads-to-be out there!

I, truly, have never met anyone harder working than my parents, and my dad is one of those types that just keeps going, and going, and going. He has taught me the value of hard work, and that living honestly and simply goes a long, long way. He goes from putting Christmas lights up, to changing the oil in each of our cars (we are three sisters, and not one of us has taken a real interest in learning this for ourselves…*hanging head in embarrassment*), to switching our tires and getting the winter ones on. In one day! On top of all of this, he’s tireless in his love and kindness, and continuously sets the best example for all of us.

What a throwback! My dad and I, pretending to be cowboys in Phoenix, in 2007

What a throwback! My dad and I, pretending to be cowboys in Phoenix, in 2007

This year is also Alex’ first Father’s Day! We always say that we are in this parenting game together, and as I reflect on that today, it couldn’t be more true. We’ve had an amazing and fun journey over the last six and a half months, and watching him ease into the role of a dad has warmed my heart. So, Happy Father’s Day, Alex!! Theodora is so lucky to receive your love, support, and guidance, and I know she’s looking forward to when she’s old enough to plan little surprises of her own for you on days like these!

And let’s not forget the celebrities who are dads, too. Here’s a list of the most stylish fathers and daughters. David and Harper are obviously my favourites. How about yours?

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Spoil those dads in your life!!