E is for excitement... or is it exhaustion?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I pretty much guarantee that the year I turned 30 will be the most bi-polar 365 days of my existence. The highs and lows of 2013 have certainly exhausted me, but not defeated me and the next 2 days of reveals and 30 days of giveaways will be a testament of seized opportunities.

When I started this blog on Saige's 1st birthday I had no intention of it being anything other than her online baby book. Right up until I crashed #truestory, I planned on making our Project 365 into a book and moving on. I had no idea SaigeWisdom would open so many doors, introduce me to so many people and ultimately change the trajectory of my life.
Today our team of drywallers sanded the last #casaknol wall and in less than 24 hours TOP KNOT will hang it's "open for business" sign for the very first time. I think it's only fitting that today is Halloween cause

Speaking of frightening, once upon a time I made a horrifyingly embarrassing video in hopes of convincing Para Paints to pick me for their 2014 Para Blog Crew and today the announcement was made... I WON!

I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep or the too much excitement for one October, but sh*t just got real emotional up in here.
don't ask why I have photos like these, I just do.
I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and as nauseous excited as I am about the coming months - launch party, painting parties, planning parties - I wouldn't be standing doing any of this without the support of my super amazing - and super generous - friendlets and fam. In the words of John Lennon, "I get by with a little help from my friends".

P.S. - have you ever seen a more fantastic list of giveaways?! I think not. SO incredibly pumped. 
If you want in on these goodies and more, visit my Facebook and/or Instagram cause it all starts tomorrow. LURVE you.

my third baby.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I realize that I'm a giant bowl of unappetizing stir fry doused in lame sauce, but if you knew how many blog posts (and Hallmark greeting cards) I have stored up in this brain of mine you may want to let me write them down before writing me off.

I 100% recognize I became that blog girl. The one who solicits your feedback and support and then leaves you hanging - in the dark no less - while she goes off to build on the inspiration and optimism that YOU gave her.

I suck, I get it.

You see I'm waiting for an 8th day to magically show up in the week so I can fill you in on my hip-hop-happenings. This is not me glorifying busy, this is me admitting that it takes me a really long time to do shit. What takes a normal person 30 minutes takes me 3 hours, always.

I guess my BIG news is that I'm pregnant!

pysch! and psycho if you actually believed me ;)

I may not have an actual bun in the oven  (now or ever again), but I do have a new baby of sorts...
Now that I've officially signed the contract and have become a certified wedding coordinator/consultant, I can officially start shouting and littering TOP KNOT propaganda from Okanagan rooftops.

What was the BIG hold up? well there's a self-employment program here in Canada that supports small businesses by way of a weekly pay check. say whaaa?! I know, God Bless Canada right? The rationale behind providing new start-ups with a steady income has to do with the fact that most businesses fail within their first year of operating so the government helps out a little... okay a lot. Of course as soon as I heard about this amazingness I wanted in... easier said than done. I started the "process" back in August and only recently learned that my 10 page concept paper received the committee's stamp approval. What does this all mean? I get to collect $$ while moving onto the next phase - business plan development AND I finally get to register TOP KNOT Events as a legit wedding planning business here in the North Okanagan. I know it says "events" but it's really just weddings for now, with the possibility of maybe expanding down the road.

Going from a government employee to a small business owner has been a difficult transition for the Knol family. Trev and I have had our fair share of heated arguments these past few months as we now have two (very different) companies operating out of one (under construction) house. That coupled with the WPIC certification course, the writing of the concept paper, a reduced income and two kidlets who aren't in full-time daycare equals utter and total chaos. I sometimes think the timing of all this couldn't be more IMperfect but then the universe sends me a respected and retiring wedding planner to act as my mentor and I'm once again convinced this is all happening as it should and I just need to embrace and enjoy the here and now.

Take my logo for instance, have you ever laid eyes on anything more Sara? I stumbled across Elizabeth Mayville's work when I decided to name the business after my favourite messy bun hairstyle. She agreed to paint me a custom top knot, but in the end we just stayed with the original because everyone who saw it already thought it was inspired by me. I mean the girl's wearing a striped shirt for goodness sakes, does it get any more perfect or more me than that? Check out the braids Mayville's doing now... seriously adorbs right?

While myself and the rest of Pinterest are no strangers to Kal Barteski's work, a fellow industry colleague/friend (we're meeting for realz on Friday) introduced me to her temporary tattoos and I'm totally smitten, they're just the reminder I need to take a breath every once in awhile. I also picked up a smaller version of this quote... L.O.V.E.
when you love what you have, you have everything you need 

Both of these artists are part of my November launch party #wootwoot and will be featured on my new business website (how I'll manage 2 blogs is beyond me). All my TOP KNOT Events Facebook friends have a chance to score these and many other ahhh-mazing prizes come November AND get to keep tabs on how business is doing (or not doing). I would love to see you over there...  there I go soliciting more of your support. Can I make it up to you with a temporary tatt? seriously let me know, I'll hook ya up.
for reno progress check out #casaknol on Instagram

P.S. thanks Britt for my shiny new signature. lurve it.

SARA + PARA (the video).

Saturday, October 5, 2013

When I wasn't squatting in hotel lobbies or spilling drinks in celebrity design spaces, I had the opportunity to speak mono e mono with Miss Sara Russell from Deb McCain Communications. Sara's all around awesome and Deb's just itty-bitty but that doesn't stop her from representing some seriously BIG brands including PARA Paints.

I'd read ALL about the Para Blog Crew 2014 contest before heading to BlogPodium, but my excitement over the chance to name a paint colour was quickly replaced with, "I don't stand a chance". Why? well (A) I'm not a design blogger... yet, (B) I don't have a crazy social media following... yet and (C) Vernon, British Columbia is a far cry from a booming metropolis - we don't even a have a Costco and our Philip Lim for Target handbags haven't even sold out.

It wasn't until I started chatting it up with PR Sara and one of last year's winners Brittany from My Daily Randomness that I decided free paint for a year would be pretty darn cool and so in keeping with my summer theme of throwing caution (and my ego) into the wind, I decided to throw my video into the PARA hat.
triple threat: me, the other Sara & Brittany

You're all familiar now with the hashtag #casaknol on my @saigewisdom Insta-feed and how it's been all quiet on the reno front as we sit and wait for drywallers (and Mary Poppins #wishfulthinking) to arrive. We're told the mudding and taping should be finito by the end of October which means... November painting party!!! (and December, and Janaury, and February...). I cannot wait to roll new life into both the new and old parts of the house and make all my Pinterest board dreams come true.

I waited for everyone to vacate the house before setting up the tripod and after 12+ really awful takes, I said "the hell with it" and sent the 'best of the worst' footage to my BFF Sasha. I just needed the 2 segments to be stitched together (see below), but of course Sash took it one step further and did a supa cool edit job which you can see over on PARA Paints facebook page. Here's the unedited, full on ridiculous version, don't laugh too hard...

Before sitting down to shoot my super awkward video application I did some field research by visiting the only PARA Paints dealer in Vernon - Windsor Plywood. The Colour Forecast Palette (which is also available online) is basically the coolest swatch display I've ever seen, period. The only person more excited about it than me was Carey, the Windsor Plywood paint expert. For the record I.HEART.THIS.MAN. (in a non-romantic way of course). I desperately wanted a cameo of him in my video, but due to scheduling and deadlines, the best we could do was a photo... for now ;)

Mr. Carey is a walking/talking PARA Paints' ad. He knows everything and anything about PARA Paints including the complete biography of company founder Nathan Wilson. Carey's passion for the brand and confidence in the paint's quality is SO infectious it's no suprise so many Benny fans have converted over to PARA's unparalleled products after talking with Carey and testing out "his" paint.

At the end of our hour long gabfest, Carey admitted he was a little wary of my initial intentions when I rattled off 20 questions in the first minute of us meeting. Apparently a few months back a big box store contractor came in to get a specific PARA orange that was spec'd for the job and the unnamed lady just took the swatch and got it colour matched elsewhere #boo. But there's a happy ending to this story (for Carey anyways); a rep from the big box company came in to complain about PARA's durability (or lack thereof) and Carey had the satisfaction of letting him know the lady was shady and the paint she used was not his beloved PARA. In the words of Carey, "PARA is perfect... 100% problem free".

And so my friends, win or lose (although my walls are gunning for a win), I'll forever be loyal to PARA Paints. Everyone I've met that's been connected to the brand (public relations, local dealers, previous spokespeople, blog crew members) have been uber friendly, crazy fun and SUPER passionate about the paint they represent. You just can't beat great quality and good ol' fashion word of mouth marketing these days.

#para4life #ParaBlogCrew #teamknol #pickme #humberstoneforthewin

confessions from BlogPodium.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In true Sara fashion, I'm fashionably late with my BlogPodium recap.

It literally took me a full week to recover from the 3 hour time difference and full on exhaustion since I of course chose socializing over sleep and ended up talking myself out of a voice by day 4.

I took FULL advantage of being footloose and fancy kid-free and thought I'd relay my adventures in a special confesions edition, BlogPodium style.

1. In the spirit of saving money, I make some seriously questionable decisions. The shuttle company I booked online failed to mention that for an additional $5 I could have been dropped off directly in front of my hotel (a service that unfortunately had to be prearranged). So in my state of 'are you effing kidding me?' I decided to show them by declining their offer to waive me a cab and walk the 17 blocks on my own with two 100 pound suitcases (yes plural). I forgot to factor in was that it was 8:00 a.m. (aka 'sidewalk rush hour') and that Ontario is stupid humid. What would have been a 5 minute cab ride turned into a 30 minute walk from hell and to make matters worse I was huffing it in chambray and flip flops while the rest of my Financial District walking companions were sporting ties and stilettos #fml. 
flying into Toronto (6:30 a.m.)
2. my compassion for homeless people goes out the window when I'm tired, cranky and pulling 2 giant suitcases of Okanagan wine. You'd like me to spare you some change? how about you help the lady with her bags and then we'll talk about the contents of my wallet. At one pitstop (and there were many) I found myself mentally questioning the legitimacy of an old man and his shaky/trembling hands, wondering if he was faking the sad tremor to solicit more sympathy (and dollars)? WHO AM I?! a month ago I was a social worker and now I'm rolling past poor Torontonians sleeping in sleeping bags with  looks of disdain #notmyproudestmoment #needtobrushuponmyempathy.
pre-bad attitude shot of the CN tower
3. My eye rolling continued when I arrived at my hotel - sweaty, stinky and super dehydrated - only to discover that all 29 floors were occupied - *cough* bullsh-t! - no one's fully booked on a Thursday (says me). I was denied check-in for another 2 hours so my luggage and I made ourselves right at home at guest services and then proceeded to take over the entire lobby bathroom. I literally had my toiletries sprawled from one end of the counter to the other and didn't even bat an eye when a lady had to hop over my pile of dirty plane clothes to get to the toilet stall; I just kept on talking to Ana on speaker phone and applying deodorant #likeaboss.
photo credit: anna with love
4. While I don't think anyone would call me "stylish", I like to think I have "style" but then Toronto happened. Turns out I'm incapable of dressing myself and have since resorted to Pinterest and Instagram polls when it comes to my wardrobe selection. For example I was 99% confident flats were the way to go with my shirtdress and then I put it to a last minute IG vote... the overwhelming consensus was heels and flying solo on the sandal vote has me second guessing all my fashion choices now. That and the fact my best outfits were like Sunday hangout clothes to the majority of the attendees. With that being said, I feel like I made a statement by being the only bloggess to not wear a statement necklace the day of (I don't even own one).

5. Apparently I read taller than I actually am and talk exactly how I write. Several bloggers throughout the weekend told me I'm shorter than they imagined. I guess all those photos of me standing on my tippy toes have paid off. For the record I'm only 5'8" which, by Tyra standards, is petite (and fiercely real). When people commented on me writing like I talk, I took it  as "damn girl you really do swear a lot". It's true, I have a bit of a potty mouth, but know that I'm working on cleaning it up (after Saige dropped an F-bomb a few weeks back).
me sitting in Sarah Richardson's office, no big deal.
OMG no words (well actually many, a whole blog post worth in fact)
6. My hair is fake. say whaaa?! okay I am a natural red head, but the ombré? is a dye job people. I guess I need to give my hair dresser mad props cause everyone who missed my 30th birthday blog post thinks my lighter ends are natural. ha-larious but no. And while my hair is naturally curly, it's the unsexy Brave-type curly with random ringlets, dreadlocks and wavy sections all mashed together on one head. The longer and heavier it gets, the more I rely on my trusty deep waver - it's my best unkept secret, GO BUY ONE.

photo credit: anna with love
BIG thanks to Amanda & Nelson (AYA Kitchens) for making me hold their wine - I look like such an alcoholic.
7. I debated even confessing this because it's seriously that embarrassing. In truth I'd like to pretend the whole thing didn't happen but alas it did. Just as I was putting my arms around my new BFF's Kate and Natalie, I knocked a glass of spiked Plucked Tea all over Sarah Richardson's design island! I feel nauseous just thinking about it; reliving the horror of that moment all over again #painful. You have NO idea how much I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and die. Kate and Natalie remained super classy through it all, but I swear they were giving Sarah looks that said, "is this chick for real?". I can't even appreciate the full awesomeness of this Design Inc. sandwich because I know what transpired just seconds before.
I grew up watching these ladies (Natalie & Kate)
8. I'm pretty sure I'm known as the BlogPodium brand whore since I skipped out of a couple sessions to hang with brands. It wasn't actually strategic but in the end it worked in my favour. I caught up with Nelson and Amanda (see photo above) from AYA Kitchens & Baths #HOLLA after Sarah's "a business grows out of passion" keynote speech (holy inspirational Batman).  The AYA pair were so hilarious and chill, I decided I needed to spend more time with them and blew off the first round of presentations. Also - before the conference even began - I bumped into a kid I went to high school with in the Starbucks line up! how random is that? (I mean Toronto is a loooong way from Northern BC). It turns out Mr. Alex is all growed up and working for Indigo Chapters #bonus, so while everyone else was learning how to monetize their blogs, I hung back and had a mini-reunion with Team Book Nerds. I'm thinking if this whole wedding planning gig doesn't pan out, I'll pursue a career in public relations. I've never met a funner or funnier bunch of employed people... Amanda & Nelson (AYA Kitchens), Spardha & Nicole (Loblaw), Alex & Josh (Indigo) and Deb & Sarah (PARA Paints) you dude/ttes ROCK!
photo credit: anna with love
Alex is the one on my left, next to Spardha #handsomefella
okay so that about wraps up Part I of my BlogPodium confessions series... stay tuned for more T-dot shenanigans. (we've barely scratched the surface).

photo credit: anna with love
can you spot my blog business card?

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