Yukari + Darren / Summerlea Golf Club / 09.30.17

Hi friends!

Today's post is totally NOT teaching related, but I know that when I was planning my wedding I scoured the web for inspiration, recommendations and samples of work from various vendors.  I'm hoping this post will help some of my fellow GTA/DDSB based friends who are planning a wedding in the future!


The girls and I got ready at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Oshawa.  I booked the executive suite for Friday and Saturday night (our wedding was on Saturday) so that I could stay there Friday night and get ready there in the morning.  There is a living room type area, a small hallway and a bedroom in the suite.  There is a bed in the bedroom and a pull out couch in the living room, so I slept on the bed and 2 of my bridesmaids slept on the pull out.  My sister (who was my maid of honour) had her own room so she hung out with us and then went to sleep in her own room.  My other bridesmaid drove over in the morning.

There was a little kitchenette with a microwave and a fridge, which was handy for keeping our orange juice (for our mimosas!) and other items that need to be refrigerated cold.  We also hopped down first thing in the morning to grab some food and coffee from their complimentary breakfast which was convenient!

We had 5 girls, 2 make-up artists and a hairdresser in the room (and the photographer too at one point!) and I think we all had sufficient space to relax and get ready! 

My husband and the boys got ready at our house.  The limo picked them up first, dropped them off at the venue and then came to pick us up at the hotel.  We also had a shuttle running from the hotel to the venue at 3:00 (our ceremony was at 4:00 and it is a half hour drive from the hotel) and back from the venue to the hotel at 11:30 and 1:30.


All the lovely flowers you see in this post are by Carol-Anne Barnes of Bespoke Wedding Flowers.

You can find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/BespokeFlorals/

I originally found Carol-Anne after reaching out to another florist that was already booked for my day and she recommended her.  I am so glad she did because the flowers came out just how I wanted (and I am soooo picky about my flowers!)  I wanted beautiful flowy garden style bouquets and centrepieces, as opposed to the more traditional round bouquets.  We had a collaborative board on Pinterest where I pinned my favourites flower photos and Carol-Anne made sure to communicate with me what something like the flowers in my inspiration photos would cost so I can make an informed decision.  Ultimately I had to choose between the arbour flowers and the head table flowers due to budget (I originally wanted flowers going across of our head table) but I'm so glad I went with the arbour flowers... they ended up being one of my favourite flower pieces from our wedding! And we ended up just reusing the bridesmaid bouquets and my bouquet as the head table flowers and that worked out just fine.


All of our dresses and my veil were purchased at Bliss Bridal Boutique in Whitby.  

My sister bought these personalized hangers for us.  They are from Designs by a Studio on Etsy.


My shoes are the Badgley Mischka 'Daisy' Embellished Pointy Toe Pump, and I ordered them from Nordstrom.  I originally ordered a 6.5 since I usually wear a 6 and the website said they run a whole size small, but they ended up being WAY too big and I exchanged them for a 6.  Even a 6 was big! But at that point I didn't want to ship them back again so I stuck some inserts in at the toe and made them work.  Other than having trouble with the sizing they were comfortable for most of the night and so beautiful. I also had these white leather Keds and socks sitting under the head table so that I had comfy shoes to change into once my feet started to hurt.


I got these Plum Pretty Sugar robes for myself and my girls for getting ready in.  Mine is the Sweetheart Robe in Lambkin (white) and the girls are in the Knee Length Kimono Robe in Persimmon Hears Her Wish.  I made a little thank you box for the girls with these robes, earrings and a personalized champagne glass (I just bought plain champagne glasses from Dollarama and hand lettered their names on them with a gold Sharpie paint pen for our morning mimosas) in them.

I don't know about the girls' robes since I think it's a different material, but my robe was sooo soft and I still wear it at home when I'm getting ready!


My sister in-law knew a hair dresser that does on-site wedding hair so I started going to her for my regular hair cuts and booked her for my wedding day as well.  She did the hair for me and my bridesmaids.  I won't leave her info here since she recently moved to the Ottawa area and is not available for wedding work in the GTA but she was fantastic.

My make-up artist was Anna from First Brush by Anna.  Since we had 5 girls needing make-up, so it was her and her assistant who did our make-up.  I originally found her through Instagram and liked her portfolio so I booked a trial and liked her even more in person.  She uses high quality make-up (think YSL, Tom Ford), does beautiful work and is very kind and lovely.  She is based in Markham!


Our ceremony and reception were both at Summerlea Golf Club in Port Perry.  Not only is the venue beautiful (I love the rustic arbour and all the trees around our ceremony spot!) but the staff there are all so kind.  Amy is the owner, and she is so flexible and easy going.  I loved working with her!

The officiant, Kathy, was recommended by the venue and we are so happy that they did! She was lovely to work with and walked us through each step of creating a customized ceremony, both in person and via email.  We wanted it to be short and sweet, but also reflect us.  The little gift she gave us after she officiated our wedding was such a nice thoughtful touch as well.  I highly recommend her!

You can find more info about Kathy and her services here: http://www.jolcelebrations.ca

Although it was sunny it was actually really cold that day! My sister recommended that we get fleece blankets from IKEA to put at the ceremony spot and they seriously saved the ceremony and party! We dropped them off on Friday afternoon and the girls at Summerlea put them in crates for us and left them at the ends of the aisles for the guests on the day of.


My husband knew he wanted a custom suit for the wedding, so he did his own research and found INDOCHINO.  It was nice because after we went in and got him measured for his suit, we could set up a file where the guys could go in on their own time and get fitted for their suit following the must have specs we laid out (e.g. colour, lapel, vents etc.)  They all customized their inside lining fabric and had their names (or nicknames/initials) stitched below the inside pocket which was fun! 

We gifted them their ties which we got off Tie Bar.  I can't remember where my husband got his tie at the moment.  If there is interest, I will ask him and find out.  Just leave me a comment and let me know!


We did our family photos and some bridal party photos up at our ceremony spot and then moved down to the road beside the club to get some photos there too!  Our photographer Ashley of Ashley Topping Photography (who took and edited all the pictures in this post) was absolutely a dream to work with.

She is so personable and makes you feel so comfortable in front of the camera.  My husband and I are both on the camera shy side but from the moment we met her at our engagement photo shoot I knew she was going to be amazing.  She gives lots of direction which helps so much.  My husband was very much against paying for wedding photos at the beginning, but now that he's seen them he has completely changed his mind and loves them and we have Ashley to thank for that!

I love how she focused on capturing candid moments of the day.  I think they make the best photos!

As Ashley would say "because shoes"! 
My husband's shoes (middle) are from Steve Madden!



For the reception we upgraded the chairs to the white folding chairs (as opposed to chairs covered in fabric) and the head table to wooden harvest tables.  Amy from Summerlea also put me in touch with Wanda from Just For You Weddings and Events and we ordered the LOVE marquee sign, the hanging edison lights and the gold sequin table clothes as additions as well.   

Little hard to tell, but there was a table (you can see one of them on the far left of this picture) on each side of the door to the tent.  The table on the right had our party favours (little hangover kits, you can see a close up picture of them and what we put inside on my Instagram by clicking here) and our "guestbook" (we had guests sign the mat of a picture frame and we put one of our engagement photos in the middle) and some black pens in a mason jar.

The table on the left (which you can barely see but it's back there!) had a bucket with our white flip flops (that guests could take to dance in!) and our chalkboard with our Instagram hashtag (you can see a close up of that by clicking here).

For the flip flops, be sure to keep an eye out for Old Navy's $1 flip flop sale they have every year and stock up then! Bring a few of your bridesmaids with you and have them help you buy them (when we went there was a limit of 10 per person and we wanted to get 20).

I made our table numbers based off some photos I saw on Pinterest.  You can see the table numbers I made by clicking here.

Our MC was one of our groomsmen and he did a phenomenal job.  Our only teeny regret is not getting a videographer to capture the speeches.  They were all so good and we regret not being able to remember every detail of the amazing speeches! If you have room in your budget.. do it!


We didn't do a tasting or anything so we weren't sure how the food was going to be, but we were so happy that the food (at least what my husband and I ate) was very good! My dinner was cooked perfectly and the late night snack (we got both the pulled pork sliders and the poutine) was also amazing!  The food was catered by the venue!


 We had a little cigar and port bar (per husband's request) so I made up a little sign for the area.  I bought the sign from Michaels and used a chalkboard pen to write the words.  Amy bought the port for us and added it to our bill and my husband bought the cigars and delivered them to the venue the week of.

And then the party! I mean, your friends just make the party and we have some phenomenal friends.  I'm not going to mention the DJ service we used because although the DJ was good, neither my husband or I was particularly thrilled with the management portion that we dealt with prior to the wedding.


If your work will let you, take at least a day off before and after the weekend of the wedding.  I was fully planning to work, but my principal was insistent that I take some time to fully enjoy the day and for last minute things that might come up, and I'm SO glad I did.  I ended up taking a half day on the Thursday (to give myself ample time go home and get to the rehearsal), the Friday (my sister and I ended up doing a last minute IKEA run on this day and picked up my wedding dress) and the Monday.  We both took Monday off and it was a great way to reconnect after a busy weekend and start on some after the wedding tasks (e.g. thank you cards, pick up decorations from the venue etc.)

I hope you enjoyed this post and there was some helpful information in there for future brides (or grooms!)


DECORATIONS: Just for You Weddings


Weekly Round-Up: January 19

Hi friends! Happy Friday! Today was our report card writing PA day and I am so glad we get this day to write! I basically locked myself up in my room and wrote all day so I feel good about the amount I got done today! I brought some assessments and documentation home, so I'm hoping to be as equally productive tomorrow :)

But I'm taking a break from COL's to share some things we have been up to this week in our class!


My kiddos always need practice with letter formation, and there is nothing winter about these printables except the clip art and colours, but just making the sheets look different once in a while ups the engagement when practicing the same skill over and over.  Also, I changed the printing practice from just tracing to tracing in bubble letters with formation lines, tracing dotted lines and then practicing the letter on their own to make it a little more differentiated and challenging.  If you are interested in these printing sheets you can grab them by clicking here or on the image below:


I got this idea from Montessori Design blog and thought it was a great, simple drawing invitation to put out during centre time! The kids enjoyed following the directions and learning how to draw their own snowflakes and it was great fine motor practice and practice for following visual directions!  I just drew each step in a square, cut them out, glued them on a piece of blue cardstock and laminated the strip for durability.


This was another great hands-on centre for looking closely and using creativity to create! Students were invited to use the snowflake images as inspiration and create their own snowflakes using loose parts.  I set out silver pipe cleaners, q-tips, blue/clear marbles and blue/white pom poms but you can use any white/blue loose parts you have on hand!

I got these great snowflake photograph cards from MOMtesorri Life blog.  You can click here to grab them for free too!


I also set out this printable during math centres this week and invited them to read the number beside the snowman and add that many buttons with a q-tip and paint.  My kids love anything with paint and it was good practice for my intervention students.

You can find this printable in my winter pack by clicking here if you are interested.


My kids also love anything play dough and many of them need practice with creating sets so I made these snowball play dough counting mats and set them out with white play dough.  They could make the numeral and make that many snowballs in the ten frame or in the blank space below.

I made them half page in 1-10 and full page in 11-20 for the kids who are ready for bigger numbers.  If you want to grab these play dough mats they are also included in my winter activities pack which you can find by clicking here.

Ok that's it from me this week! I hope you were able to find some ideas to use in your classroom!  Have a great weekend!

- Yukari

Weekly Round-Up: January 12

Hi friends! I'm sharing some ideas from our first week of 2018! I hope you can use some of these ideas!


I got this idea from @teachingspecialthinkers on Instragram.  All you need is some black construction paper, gold and silver paint and a toilet paper roll with slits cut in all around it.

Students were invited to make fireworks with the toilet paper roll and trace and glue the "Happy New Year!" sheet at the bottom.

You can grab this printable for FREE by clicking here or on the image below:

2. 2018 TRACE & BUILD

I made this little printable up for the kids to practice the writing the new year! We talked about how it changed from 2017 to 2018 on January 1st and then the students had the choice to complete this activity.  They traced 2018 first and then cut the numbers at the bottom and glued them in the right order.

Here's a completed sample I made for the kids to reference:

This file was updated in 2019 to include the years 2019-2029!
You can grab the FREE printables by clicking here or on the image below:


I also set out this writing paper to invite the kids to write about what they did over the winter break! It was a nice guided activity on the first day back as it let me sit down with everyone and chat about their break with them at the same time!

Here are some examples of their writing:

You can grab this free writing paper by clicking here or on the image below:

And if you need actual lessons about New Year's Eve/Day you can find my lessons and the read alouds by clicking here or on the image below:


We did a quick review of symmetry (we had been working on making symmetrical pictures before the break too) and then set out a variety of materials for the students to make symmetrical pictures with.  Here is one of my students making her own symmetrical pattern with pattern blocks!

You can grab these plain symmetry mats and the pre-made symmetry pattern mats (that you see at the top of the photo) in my symmetry pack on TPT.  You can click here or on the image below if you are interested in checking it out!


This week we also made these pattern block snowflakes! This was a great activity that combined 2D shape identification, creativity, 1:1 correspondence and numeral formation all in one.  Plus the kids enjoyed making them too! I collected these and am planning to hang these around our bulletin board in the hallway!

You can find the writing template and the pattern block templates (you can also just trace pattern blocks on to white copy paper) in my new "Kindergarten Winter Activities" pack on TPT.  Click here or on the image below if you are interested in checking it out:


I also set out this snowball sight words activity.  The kids were invited to pick a sight word card and build the word with the ping pong balls on the golf tees.  This was pretty tricky even for my higher SK's and a great fine motor activity!

I bought the ping pong balls at Dollar Tree, the golf tees at Walmart and the foam sheet from Michaels.  However, after I bought the foam sheet my husband said "What!? You paid for that? I can get you foam sheets from work for FREE!" (He is a contractor and opens deliveries at work, and it often has styrofoam in them).  So I returned the foam sheets and my husband brought some home for me for free.  Anyways, the moral of the story is, always ask around to see what free stuff you can score! And I bet if you went to an appliance store and asked nicely you could probably score styrofoam sheets for free if they had unpacked boxes that day and had some lying around in the back.  Definitely give it a try!

You can find these sight word cards and the recording sheet in my "Kindergarten Winter Activities" pack as well!  This activity is EDITABLE so you can add your own sight words that your class needs practice with!


I also set out this little activity as one of our literacy centres this week.  Students were encouraged to trace the picture carefully with q-tip and paint and then trace or paint the word.  Q-tip painting is a great way to encourage fine motor development and the pincer grasp! The kids did a really great job on it and it was a popular centre all week. I kept it high interest by swapping out the paint colours and the printable every other day.

You can also find the printables for this activity in my new "Kindergarten Winter Activities" pack.


I announced my pregnancy on Facebook/Instagram over the winter break and a lot of my co-workers have been coming to my classroom to congratulate me this week.  I figured it was only time until my kids put two and two together so I told them I was pregnant on Thursday!

First, I showed them the ultra sound picture and asked them if they knew what it was.  A lot of the kids thought it was an x-ray.  I told them it's called an ultrasound and if they knew what it meant.  A bunch of them lit up and put their hands up and guessed that I was having a baby :)

So I confirmed that I was having a baby at the end of June and had them guess the sex and suggest a name.  Then we added them to the chart above.  It was so fun to hear the name suggestions and a lot of kids thought I should name the baby after them... lol


Ok so to be honest I wasn't quite ready to change my sensory bin Monday morning, but I knew I had to whip up something since my kids are obsessed with the sensory bin.  Then I remembered I had 3 bags of cotton balls in the cabinet.  Thank goodness! I whipped those out, filled the bin and then threw some other winter manipulatives I had in the bin.  I also made up the word cards quickly on index cards and wrote the letters on clear flat marbles and hid them in the cotton balls.

So the filler for this bin is:
- cotton balls
- foam snowflakes with gem stickers (numeral on the back)
- snowflake erasers
- blue and white pom poms
- bucket
- sand timers
- tweezers
- word cards
- clear flat marbles with letters written on them with Sharpie that match the word cards


This week we read "Snowmen at Night" and worked on our January guided writing.  Every month we do a guided reading response that we put up on our writing wall.  This month we did a text-to-self connection and the question was "In the story "Snowmen at Night", the snowmen come to life at night! What would you do if you were a snowman at night?"

This was a good way to get some writing assessments in so I know what skills I need to be working on with each student during centres, LLI and guided writing time through out the month.

This writing paper for "Snowmen at Night" can be found here: Step by Step 3: Guided Writing & Assessments

The writing checklist can be found here: Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans

That's it from me for this week! I hope you were able to grab some ideas for your classroom.  

Talk to you soon!

- Yukari