Spring Fever: 2013 Wedding Trends

 

Happy Spring! Rain or shine, snow or sun (especially snow), the first day of spring is upon us.

Being one of the most popular wedding venues in Halifax, around here, spring means one thing… that another wedding season is about to kick off!

One of my favourite topics to blog about is upcoming wedding trends. Around this time of the year, each year, I round up the most fabulous upcoming colours, dress styles, food, drink, invitations, flowers and decor I can find. My go-to trending tool? Pinterest, of course.

Here are some of the gorgeous upcoming spring and summer 2013 wedding trends…

Colours

My favourite trendy wedding colour this season is mint - it looks great paired with lots of other complementary colours, and has a real classy vibe. Other hot colours include grey, and creamy neutral tones like latte.

Flowers

English garden flowers, specifically peonies, are the biggest trend in wedding flowers for 2013. Colourful, beautifully full-figured, and classy, it’s no wonder brides are demanding peonies for everything from centrepieces to bouquets.

Invitations

There are a few invitation styles making the rounds, but I think the most fun is the neon trend. Neon was a big colour on the runway last year and its made its way into the wedding world. Another favourite is gleaming foil print invitations.

Dress

Coloured dresses are back in 2013 (like Jessica Beil’s when she married JT) including blush, pink, red and even blue. Other trends include fanciful backs, sleeves, and vintage style!

Food

While I’m glad to hear that plated dinners are making a comeback (they never really went away for us), I love the trend of spotlighting your culinary heritage for the wedding meal. What a fun way to get your guests interested in the food!

Drink

Artisan cocktails, often using champagne, are hot this year. Another more non-formal trend is beer! Who doesn’t love a cold one at a wedding reception?

Decor

Again there are some incredibly cute decor trends popping up for the upcoming season. Covered centrepieces (like using birdcages for example) are big, as well as using mason jars for various DIY decor concepts.

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ECMA Action in Halifax

Why should you support East Coast Music Week, starting in Halifax today? Because we’ve got a ton of local musical talent to brag about – and we want everyone to know!

Also, because the event supports tourism and the economy in Halifax in the middle of winter. And because it’s just a good time!

So what exactly is going on over ECMW, you may be wondering? A lot. And most of it is very affordable, and accessible for anyone who wants to see some awesome live music.

One of my favourite East Coast musicians, David Myles, via musicnerd.ca

My Tips for ECMW

First, you may want to get organized. If you’re a music enthusiast and smart phone user, and you’re looking to optimize your time over the week (which will fly by) you may want to check out the ECMW app.

Can only make it to a couple shows? Carefully study the schedule of events here; and prioritize your valuable rockin’ out time during ECMW!

Study up on the artists so you don’t miss out on any of your favourites and you know who is in town.

Try to win tickets to shows. There’s a ton of giveaways going on via several different channels (social media, radio, etc). Here’s one local music blog giving away tickets to a show this weekend.

Get the kids out and make it a family occassion. Look through the schedule to find some free or kid-friendly venues, and expose the little ones to some great, local music! There’s even a children’s music showcase happening where the best children’s recording of the year will be awarded.

Stay downtown. Make a night or weekend out of it by booking a hotel room. Rooms are in demand in downtown Halifax – so don’t wait to call us and book!

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Seven Days of March Break

Planning on spending this March Break in Halifax? You definitely want to stay with us at Atlantica Hotel Halifax. Not only are we next door neighbours with the Emera Skating Oval, we’re the perfect central location for a ton of fun ideas. Enough to fill an entire week!

Friday Night, March 8th

Kick off March Break with a good old-fashioned hockey game! The Mooseheads battle it out with their rivals the Moncton Wildcats at the Metro Centre.

No kids? Maybe check out the second night of East Coast Music Week. The Rising Stars show at Casino Nova Scotia is sure to be a great one.

Day One: Saturday March 9th

Kids crazy about animals and nature? Head to the Museum of Natural History for the newest exhibit, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Living Under Fire: Life in the Desert. Check out the number of other great, permanent exhibits while you’re there!

Day Two: Sunday March 10th

Have an active, family fun skating day on the Emera Skating Oval! When you get back to the hotel (Atlantica, of course – we are just across the street), have a swim in the pool and a relaxing night watching movies in the room.

Day Three: Monday March 11th

It’s hockey week in Halifax! The Mooseheads are at home again, taking on Acadie-Bathurst. Take a walk around downtown Halifax, exploring the shops and restaurants, then head to the game!

Day Four: Tuesday March 12th

Dress like pirates and head to Pirates on the Seven Seas exhibit at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Parents are encouraged to wear their finest pirate gear, too!

Day Five: Wednesday March 13th

Walk just down the street from us and paint some pottery at Clay Cafe! A great souvenir to take home and remember a great March Break in Halifax.

Looking for something more active? Get a Family Day Pass to the Canada Games Centre – it’s only $20, and gives you access to ALL areas of the centre. Including the giant yellow water slide. Child minding services are available for up to 1.5 hours if Mom and Dad want to get a grown-up work out in.

Day Six: Thursday March 14th

Time for more learning… you don’t want to miss the End of the Earth: From Polar Bears to Penguins exhibit at the Discovery Centre. The permanent exhibits are great too, including the always favourite bubble room!

Day Seven: Friday March 15th

Sign up the kids for a half or full-day art class at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia! While they’re there, Mom and Dad can have a grown-up day. Spa, anyone? Perhaps lunch at a fancy restaurant?

On Friday night, end the week like you started it – being the ultimate hockey fan! The Mooseheads are in Halifax looking to defeat Saint John.

Day Eight: Saturday March 16th

Relax! Pack up the family… head back home, and get things organized for school, work and regular life to start again.

See you next year!

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Foodie Romance

 

What’s more romantic than a decadent, indulgent Valentine’s Day meal with your sweetheart? Add in some bubbly or well-paired wine selections, and you’ve got a night to remember with that special someone.

For this blog post, I simply wanted to share the fantastic, culinary creation that Chef Clavel has put together for this Valentine’s Day… it sounds truly amazing…

Beginnings

Beet - Beet and mascarpone fried beetbit, almond beet ice cream, beet and apple, and pickling of beet

Queso fresco - Homemade cheese, poached tomato, olive oil powder, bagel crisps, olive, pine nuts tomato and basil

Squid - Curried fried, jalapeno puree, red pepper jam, and fennel orange salad

Wine Selection: 

Roy’s Hill Sauvignon Blanc or 

Hardy’s Nottage Hill Pinot Noir

~Chef Inspired Cleanser~

Middles

Pork Belly - Korean bbq, white bean and miso puree, sprout and shiitake salad, wonton, and edamames

Fish stew - Monkfish, prawn, lobster broth, lobster rice, basil air, roasted cauliflower and paneer 

Meat and potatoes - strip loin of beef, caramelize onion dip, root vegetables, triple cooked hash, roasted garlic, and arugula

Wine Selection:

Penfolds Private Release Chardonnay or

Chakana Malbec 

Finally

Lemon meringue - Crepes and lemon, raspberry tubing, caramel cider gelato, meringue, marshmallow sauce

Ice cream sampler - Hibiscus raspberry, oatmeal ice cream sandwich, lychee frozen yogurt, complementary garnishes

COCOA - Chocolate genoise, 2 chocolate mousse, raspberry and cocoa nib compote, caramel, hibiscus raspberry ice cream, white chocolate glaze

$150 per couple

Taxes and gratuities not included

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Another January…

…another detox plan! But are these so-called miracle detoxes really as good as people say they are? I’ve done a bit of internet research, and here are some detox tips that I’ve come up with…

Be Realistic – don’t set yourself up to fail with an extreme diet or complete lifestyle change from the get-go. Make small changes and encourage yourself with goals that are achievable. Also, make an effort to ensure that just because you’re detoxing or participating in a winter cleanse doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life. There’s a great article here, about doing just that, and not alienating yourself from your friends.

Eat Super Foods & Antioxidants – Be sure to find ways to include foods with super strengths into your diet over the winter to get more bang for your buck. A few good examples are: clementines, kale, carrots, Brussels sprouts, grapefruits and parsnips. Luckily quite a few of those can be found at the local farmers’ market throughout the colder months! Quick tip: warm up with a daily green tea for a boost in antioxidants.

Exercise – A healthier diet and super foods are a great start, but to really take it to the next level, find a regular workout or activity that fits in your lifestyle (outdoor skating is a great one). Good workouts help to clean your internal organs and push toxins out of the body.

Treat Yourself – Know that a detox or a cleanse doesn’t mean giving up on indulgences forever. Find healthy ways to work them back into your diet – the key is moderation!

Remember to always talk to your doctor or naturopath for advice on cleanses, detoxes or diet changes!

Happy New Year!

Looking for more healthy lifestyle tips? Check out Atlantica Hotels at the Optimyz Live Health Expo, a Health, Fitness & Lifestyle Show at Exhibition Park January 19-20!

 

Resources

huffingtonpost.co.uk

ehow.com

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Stay organized (and stress-free) this holiday season…

Click photo for source

As you may already know, every Monday on our Facebook page, I post your weekly zen moment. Mondays can be stressful, and it’s important to take time to breathe and de-stress! A couple weeks ago, I posted some tips for having a stress-free holiday season. Turns out there are multiple sources on the web offering advice on how to stay on-track, organized and zen (as possible) over the holidays.

Here , I’ve put together the top ten tips I’ve found (sources can be found at the bottom of the page):

10. Plan Ahead. This is a no-brainer, the more in advance you make your plans, the easier it will be for you to get organized and manage your time more effectively.

9. Less is more. You don’t need to go over the top; keep this in mind with hosting, cooking and gift-buying. Go for quality, thoughtfulness and authenticity over quantity.

8. Be careful. Store your ornaments carefully (egg cartons are great for the small, delicate ones) as well as decorations. This makes every year a bit less stressful – no surprises when you open your storage bins and find your favourites broken.

7. Write it down. Make yourself a to-do list and set firm deadlines that you need to meet to get everything done. This gives yourself a timeline to follow and helps so much with time management.

6. Be kind (to yourself and others). Be realistic with your goals and expectations; don’t set yourself up to fail, and don’t be too hard on yourself.

5. Take inventory (of your Christmas things). Count your supplies and make an organized gift wrapping station; this way you’ll know if you have enough to get through. Also – make an inventory of your decor and ornaments so you can keep track from year-to-year.

4. Ask for help and involve others. Get the kids to help! It’s okay if you can’t do it all on your own. Get help with housework (if you can afford it) – it’s only once a year!

3. Pack it up in bins. Label and index everything. One neat tip from Martha Stewart is to store holiday lights around a piece of cardboard to avoid tangling! Good quality bins with clear labelling are a great investment!

2. Leave the cooking to someone else (unless you really enjoy it), take-home turkey dinners (ahem – like we offer at Seasons by Atlantica), or pot lucks, are fantastic and stress-reducing. Share hosting with other family members (if possible), and don’t forget to cook in advance and freeze some things for when people pop over. Also – cookie exchanges are also a great way to have a variety of sweets to offer with less work!

1. Celebrate when you’re done. The most important! Work hard, and play hard my friends.

Good luck with your holiday planning!

Sources:

tlc.howstuffworks.com

marthastewart.com

styleathome.com

 

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Black Friday in Halifax

The most intense shopping day of the holiday season in America is slowly making its way to Canada! In recent years many stores across our country have started their own Black Friday sales, to encourage Canadians to stay and shop north of the border, to support the local economy.

So what’s going on in Halifax? Lots.

First, think about keeping your dollars local…

I’d like to highlight that according their Twitter account, the Uncommon Group will be offering sales at their numerous outlets (think Uncommon Grounds, Uncommon Kids, Carbonstok…) in order to reward Haligonians who are keepin’ it local this Black Friday instead of shopping online or simply buying the cheapest toys they can find at an American Wal-Mart.

The Coast is asking again this year that Haligonians take the Buy Local Pledge, and promise to spend at least $100 of their holiday shopping budgets at locally-owned businesses. Taking the pledge on their website also enters you in a draw to win one of six $500 gift certificates packs.

I Love Local HFX is asking you to at least think about shifting 10% of your spending. The newest campaign brought to you by I Love Local is called Shift10. If you could shift only 10% of what you spend in a year to locally-sourced products, Nova Scotians could see more than a billion dollars injected into our economy.

If you’re looking for the mall atmosphere, Halifax Shopping Centre is having its Big Black Bow event all weekend long, and both Mic Mac Mall and Dartmouth Crossing have many participating outlets!

Take advantage and shop early this year! Make a weekend out of it – stay with us for the perfect central location , in the middle of all the shopping action!

Happy browsing…

 

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Plan ahead this Holiday season…

It’s hard to believe that Remembrance Day is already just a couple days away. And after this important event, the festive season is just around the corner! 

Like most people, almost every year I say I’m going to get ahead of the game for the holidays, look ahead, shop early and make plans in advance. But… I rarely ever do! Life just gets so busy this time of the year.

To help myself out, and many like me, I thought I’d get the festive calendar ready and take a good look at the upcoming weeks! Here’s a first glance at the HRM holiday season…

November 11Remembrance Day Ceremonies at Point Pleasant Park and Grand Parade

November 16 (and December 6) – Shopping Under the Stars on Spring Garden Road

November 16-18Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council Craft Show

November 17Holiday Parade of Lights (currently looking for volunteers) Downtown Halifax

November 20 – Opening Night at Neptune Theatre of Elf: The Musical (runs through to January 6)

November 23-25Dalplex Christmas Craft Market

November 24HRM Christmas Tree Lighting

November 30-December 1Symphony Nova Scotia Maritime Fusion Concert featuring Jimmy Ranking

December 7-15 – Symphony Nova Scotia presents The Nutcracker

Of course, there are always endless client receptions, work parties, family get-togethers and other fun, festive outings over the holiday season. This is just to give you an idea of some of the signature holiday events you should be planning for in HRM. And of course.. your own holiday shopping, volunteering, donating and charity work.

Only 45 days until Christmas! 

Don’t miss our festive brochure if you’re looking for corporate, family or friends-related outings this Christmas season (we have a great New Years Eve and New Years Day).

Happy planning!

 

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Get spooked this Halloween…

No Halloween plans yet? No worries! There’s no shortage of spooky activities going on in Nova Scotia this time of the year…

Country of the Corn

With such an abundance of farm land nearby, it only seems natural that someone would create a haunted corn maze! (Actually, several people have.) If you’ve already made your trip to the Annapolis Valley to pick out a pumpkin and grab some amazing produce from the fall harvest – head back in for some corn maze fun.

Noggins Farm offers a family-friendly corn maze seven days a week, as well as a haunted mansion! Riverbreeze Farm: The Bloodfields in Truro steps things up a notch with a full-on, strongly themed haunted corn maze. Think actors, a creepy back story, blood, gore and a lot of adrenaline! This is not for the faint of heart. Open every Saturday night in the month of October; leave the little ones home for this.

Scary Movie Night

Walk home in the dark after a night at the theatre with friends. There’s usually several scary movies being released around Halloween, and this year it’s Paranormal Activity 4, Silent Hill: Revelation, and The Hole. If none of these are hardcore enough, find your favourite horror flick on iTunes or at the store (Video Difference on Quinpool has an awesome selection – their horror section is even sub-categorized). I love getting spooked vintage style with Carrie, The Exorcist or Candyman! If you really want to make a spooky, giggly night of it, dig out the old ouija board with some friends, just like back in junior high!

Haunted Halifax

There’s always a ghost-related experience waiting to be had in Halifax. Stories revolving around shipwrecks, pirates, tragedy and just plain ol’ creepy, historic buildings are everywhere. Just ask someone who’s ever worked at the Five Fisherman Restaurant – one of the more famously haunted buildings in our city.

Our spooky tours are just that much better in late October. Join the oldest ghost walk in Halifax on the night of October 30th – its sure to get you in the mood! Tours start at 8:30pm and last two hours.

Happy Halloween!

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Nocturne: Art at Night

Last year we were honoured to be involved with Nocturne: Art at Night as a venue and to be part of a musical art instalment by Lisa Lipton. This year, although our lounge won’t be becoming physical art again (which was really cool), we’re proud to be a huge supporter of this really important art event in our community.

We are on board as an official sponsor, and are happy to be offering discounted rates for those heading to Halifax to take in the art festival. (Call us if you are!) Don’t know what Nocturne is? Read on… and you’ll definitely want to head to downtown Halifax on Oct. 13 and make a night of it!

Nocturne is a city-wide, free nighttime art show in Halifax. For one magical evening, you can stroll the city and take in a variety of instalments, for free.

Our city becomes living art on this night – everything from light shows, music, videos, window instalments, sculptures, and even the buildings themselves become art. The streets bustle with excited people… it’s really a fun thing to be a part of.

To make your experience that much easier, there’s a Nocturne app available for your smart phone. Start making plans with your friends on which part of town you’ll cover and what instalments are the most intriguing!

Last year I roller discoed with zombies!

Is that enough to get your attention? You need to check it out!

Want to know a bit of the history behind nighttime art festivals? I covered that last year on the blog. Read it here.

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