Ah, 2018 has come to a close and I have so much to say about this year. 

It was full of highs and lows (like any year), but there were two major high/low moments that stand out, which I’ll touch on as we move through the months.

Let’s jump in…

January brings a big smile to my face, we went to Miami for the first time and although it was just a quick weekend getaway, it was really fun to explore it.   

I shared my photoshoot make-up routine, tips for shopping at Shein & an easy breakfast smoothie.

We also talked about 2018 resolutions, which, if I’m being honest, totally failed at.  While I did quietly release a line of totes, I didn’t follow through and tell you guys *face palm*.  I think I just wanted to share it “perfectly” and then the stress of planning our wedding took over and I couldn’t prioritize it.  I am really excited about this and they have been available on my site and my Etsy shop for several months, but I never made an announcement.  So they are there, and there’s that.

we're getting married, life with aco, wedding date

The highlight in February was tied between the trip we took to Mexico; the weather was amazing, the resort was great and we enjoyed just relaxing (and eating chips and guac on the daily!). The other was that we also booked our wedding venue that month & started the planning process.

That said, we also talked about the my top-4 self-tanners (I still swear by the last one!), how to style a one-piece swimsuit for dinner while on vacation & shared another part of our home (see all home posts here).

life with aco, Amanda conquer, birthday balloons

March was one of my favourite months last year. Marco threw me an epic birthday weekend & we had a ton of friends come out and celebrate. I shared what I wore out to the club–which is actually a serious question when you’re in your 30’s ;).

Lastly, this was one of my favourite outfits that month (can you believe that top and those sunnies are both under $15?!).

life with aco, grandpa hug

April sucked, and there is no way around that. We lost my Grandpa suddenly and it shook our family and broke our hearts. He shouldn’t be gone so you can imagine there were many firsts without him that have followed. We spent a week with our family (out of town) and while it was the most awful circumstances, waking up in my grandparent’s house with tons of loved ones was really special and helped, I think, all of our hearts.

The best news came though, when my Grandma was able to come all the way to Ottawa on her own to attend our wedding in the fall. We weren’t sure if she would make the trip, but she is so strong and brave and amazing. I’ll never forget how tightly she hugged me on our wedding day right after the ceremony and how the next morning she proclaimed our wedding was, ‘Just magic!‘. Brings tears to my eyes knowing how badly she would have been wishing my Grandpa was there with her, and me too.

May was uplifting. Two of our close couple friends got married within a week of each other, and we had the best times celebrating them all.

I shared a peek into my office, 15 dresses to wear to a wedding & all the photos we shot for the Armstrong & Richardson winter campaign.

Lisa and I were finally able to visit the cherry trees and I loved this outfit post we shot there. We also had our wedding tasting at our venue, which was really fun & bought a ride-on lawn mower (haha!).

1 person, bride, girl wearing wedding dress, white satin bridal ottawa

June was a busy month, especially with the wedding planning, we brought on our Wedding Coordinator, Christina, and she helped in so many ways.

I shared how Marco proposed along with our engagement photos, my wedding mood board & shared all the wedding dresses I tried on (plus found ‘the one’!).

I talked about my current skincare faves (most of which I’m still using and loving), shared a budget-friendly summer haul & my first IG Stories try-on with accompanying blog post.

The next month was July and with that came a huge transition: a new (9-to-5) job. But first, a staycation.

I shared my favourite hair products–all of which are still faves–and obviously we talked about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, a lot.

I started my new job and we started spending our mornings together on Instagram Stories (which I still love!) and you guys were so supportive in my transition to a new chapter (thank you! I was so scared!).

August is always a good month, we have multiple friends and family with birthdays for celebrating and we host our annual crab boil with a bunch of friends. I got some new glasses & gave a two month out update on the wedding plans.

bachelorette party, bride with friends , bride in white girls in all black

September got stressful real quick. The last five to six weeks of planning a wedding are crucial and so hard. No one tells you about these last weeks when everything starts piling up. It happens even when you are super organized and prepared because it’s all the last minute details you need to take care of and don’t have a choice.

On a brighter note, this month also brought two really fun events: my Montreal bachelorette party & my Ottawa bachelorette party! I also shared what I wore in Montreal here & in Ottawa here. Additionally, we celebrated my (paternal) grandparent’s 67th wedding anniversary!

bride and groom just married at le belvedere wakefield ottawa canada

October was exciting and stressful–it was the month of our wedding (October 28th) and we had a lot of last minute things to do. We both ended up getting sick two weeks and a week before the wedding which sucked, but managed to kick it mostly by the big day.

I remember this weekend so vividly–we went out for Chinese food with my parents and were talking about all the last minute things we still needed to accomplish for the wedding. My Dad, lovingly, said, ‘It will all come together’ which kind of made me lose my shit. Everyone kept saying that to me, and I know they meant well, but honestly, it was only all going to come together, only if I pulled it together! The weight of the wedding was heavy at this point and can also feel kind of isolating. Marco also had to travel for work two weeks before the wedding, so there was lots on my plate to say the least. While I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat (funny how that works 😉 ) just to re-live the most magical day, the planning sucked. There were multiple calls to my Mom just to vent and I’m so thankful she was there to listen and console me; she always helped me work through the problems and come out on the other side feeling less frustrated and ready to tackle the next to-do.

Before we knew it, we were one week away, hosting our rehearsal, writing out seating charts (so thankful for my bestie who spent countless hours and nights at my dining room table), packing up decor for the venue, doing our final walk through for the big day and more!

The day came and it was PERFECT. Even the small hiccups that happened, didn’t matter because the day was pure joy. At the end of the night, after everyone had boarded the bus we arranged to take them back to the city, it was just our MC, his girlfriend and my parents left standing. We hugged and cried and laughed. It was the best day ever. We were exhausted but didn’t want it to end. We went to back to our hotel with the sorest feet and fullest hearts. Best day. BEST. DAY. EVER.

We kept the celebrations going the next morning (above; the morning after our wedding looking a tad partied out 😉 — it was also pouring rain) by joining our immediate family at the hotel they stayed in; we had breakfast together and recounted the day. The high is indescribable.

Two days later, we jetted off to the Bahamas for a week to enjoy our newlywed status. It was so needed, and the best way to unwind after so many months of planning.

Once we returned home from our honeymoon, normal life resumed which was pretty sad. I wrote a post about the post-wedding blues, which are better now, but still come and go at times.

We started planning a few fun things for the future to look forward to (we also hosted our annual friendsgiving that month), and soon the Christmas season was upon us.

mr and mrs ornaments in box, cute slippers

We spent Christmas in town and had 15 for a lunch (both sides) and then did Christmas morning and dinner with my side. The day after Christmas I scored some amazing deals on Boxing Day & we rang in the new year celebrating our good friend’s wedding (fun fact: the groom married us!).

Overall, in 2018, we ate a lot of ramen, hosted many gatherings and planned my favourite day ever: our wedding!

If you made it this far, thank you for reading and being a part of this little community. Chatting with you girls on a daily basis, seeing you purchase and love things I love and hearing recommendations and suggestions from you on everything from when our cat got sick, to deals you’re seeing online to everyday regular life is what this is all about! You guys bring a lot of joy and inspiration for me to write and when you enjoy what I put out there, it makes the effort even more worthwhile, so thank you! To 2019!


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