Lynn
The New Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!


A Modern Day Fairy Tale ...

I woke at 3:00AM and I'm still on a high from the beauty of this day.  I can honestly say that it was worth every second of sleep I forfeited to witness the union of the royal couple in real time.  I know some of you are probably yawning and going glass eyed at my second royal posting, but a blog is about the opinions of the person writing it and today this is enveloping my thoughts and my heart.  Tomorrow I shall return to business as usual but for today I am being completely indulgent.

 Say what you will about the pageantry of a royal wedding, but somehow the indulgence seems appropriate when the couple appear so down to earth and so much in love.  It's literally like a modern day fairy tale come to life.  When speculation was rife about the flowers, the dress and the ceremony it was all about how the commoner would affect royal tradition (as Catherine is not of noble blood).  I was over the top excited to see how the personal tastes of this young couple would affect the days events, not because she was a commoner but because throughout their entire relationship they have appeared to mark their own course.

The day was full of pageantry it's true, but it was also filled with intimacy, comedy, surprise, and an over abundance of love.  The flowers alone spoke of romance and a purity that you don't often see in royal occasions.  The grandeur of Westminster Abbey seemed to be softened with a secret garden feeling using potted trees that can be used again for other events or planted for continued longevity.  A helpful idea from Prince Charles the eco warrior perhaps?   The bridal bouquet refreshingly simple. The flowers she held were all sentimental choices and very understated.  How friggen cute is it that one of the flowers were called Sweet Williams!

Most often when you watch a royal wedding you get the feeling that their main focus is to uphold a dignified exterior, an almost automated feel.  I think the last time anything felt truly relaxed or unscripted was when Diana accidentally mixed up Charles names in her vows.  This wedding was far more sincere if you ask me (you aren't but I'm telling you anyway LOL).

Firstly Catherine making the drive to the church looking relaxed and almost relieved to make the journey.  She waved the entire way, smiling with great joy as she passed the crowds in the street.  I couldn't help but laugh when she entered the main chapel and Prince Harry turned to William and said "Wait till you see her!" as she began her trip down the isle (thank you British Telegraph lip readers for clarifying that!).

How endearing was it to see the look on William's face when he turned to see his bride for the first time.  Their eyes lock and he leans over gently saying "I love you, you look beautiful!"  then turning to his father-in-law to be and chuckling "I thought we were having a small intimate affair?" his focus directed toward the people he loves rather than his duty to uphold a certain dignified demeanor.

I loved the stolen moments between William and Catherine throughout the service.  The sideways glances, the small giggle during the sermon, and her leaning into him as they sat during the readings.  Imagine what was going through his mind when her ring almost appeared not to fit! I imagine the jeweler was having a moment then as well.  It was all the little improptu things, the smiles, the intimacy between them that made the entire ceremony magical.

Emerging from the church to the roars of the crowds must have been spectacular.  When Catherine turned to William and said "I am so happy" her look of adoration indicated it had a lot more to do with becoming his wife then it did having the world cheering for her.  I don't know about anyone else but I got the distinct impression they would have been just as comfortable and satisfied to be married under a large blossoming tree in a garden with only their family to bear witness.  As fantastical as the day was, their body language and their admiring glances said far more to me than the pageantry ever could.

My only ping of sadness was watching William knowing that he would have traded everything in just to have his own mother with him today.  She was there in spirit with all of the tributes they so lovingly included on her behalf, but as someone who's mother has also passed I know that it's a physical and emotional absence of which you never fully recover.  My heart went out to him as he celebrated the biggest day of his life, knowing how dearly he was missing her and would continue to miss her during all life's major milestones.  I like to believe she was there today, and made certain that the weather cooperated so that everything would flow perfectly as planned for her son's big day. Her own special gift for the woman who will carry her son's heart for the rest of his life.  Mother's don't hand over their sons easily, but seeing how happy William appears to be I suspect Diana would be pleased.

The official balcony kiss was not a disappointment.  People were thrilled when the royal couple kissed not once but twice! Watching Catherine with her flower girls I also suspect we are not far off from a royal heir.  She is very obviously quite maternal and at 30 years old with a long relationship history behind them it wouldn't be crazy to think that the next generation will begin sooner rather than later.  Perhaps the royal honeymoon is meant for more than just fun in the sun!  After all most royal babies seem to appear within a year after the vows are made ;)

Usual royal protocol has been for the royal couple to leave the palace following the reception and head off for the honeymoon.  Simple car, simple going away outfits, away and done.  This is where William and Catherine put their own spin on things literally!  William may have changed from his dress reds to the simpler black Irish coat, but Catherine  appeared still in full wedding attire like any other bride reluctant to remove that ever so precious dress (another nod to how very much this day meant to her).  How the leftover crowds cheered to see them climb into Charles convertible Aston Martin adorned with streamers, balloons, and a just wed plate!  With William's RAF buddies flying overhead they actually took the opportunity to drive once more through the throngs of people and interact once more with those celebrating their special day.  It was an ordinary tradition in an extraordinary situation.  


I suppose one shouldn't be too shocked when you consider that William came out onto the street last night to personally greet people camping out for the big day.  What royal has ever done that?  The thing is you can tell he does it because he's moved and he wants to give back, not as a contrived publicity stunt.  It is William's humbleness that makes him endearing and is a reflection of the one thing Diana wanted for her boys above all else in a royal world.  It's truly lovely to witness, even from afar.

I wish the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge all the best in their future together and if I'm honest I think that the best thing that could ever happen to the monarchy is for William to succeed Elizabeth on the throne.  No offense intended to Charles at all, but he's a little long in the tooth and there is something unique and refreshing about William (and Catherine) that would do the United Kingdom and the world a great service. They are traditional yet modern, royal yet humble, and definitely a breath of fresh air.  Their youth also allows for a longer reign and I think a greater chance to make an impact.  I look forward to seeing him crowned King when the time comes and of course the royal birth announcements.  Did you see Charles with that little flower girl on the balcony?  This man just oozes grandpa!


What a wonderful day, what a wonderful couple!  I only wish we would have got a peek inside at the festivities in the palace because I'm sure they are having a right old knees up! May they have the most memorable of moments the entire day through.


Prince William of Wales
Catherine Middleton
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
April 29th, 2011

Long May Love Reign!






Lynn
Here Comes....


The Royal Wedding!

Tomorrow is the big day and I can't wait!  Anyone who knows me knows this is huge in my world.  I was born and raised Canadian but my family roots are based in the UK.  My heart has always been overseas, even as a small child before I realized that British blood coursed through my veins.  I, along with countless others, have been waiting for this moment for years.  Some would say we have been waiting for this moment since the day Prince William was born.  The marriage of a direct heir to the British throne is epic, but I have to say this event has become even more poignant due to the love and devotion that emanates from this couple.  You can see the honest affection in their eyes when they look at each other and I don't believe I have seen that reflected in any royal couple since the Queen and her own consort Prince Phillip were married (no I was not around personally at the time but I have watched plenty of footage, probably more than once LOL!).


I remember sitting up in the wee small hours watching Lady Diana Spencer become Diana Princess of Wales.  I sat with my mother, together in the dark, with only the glow of the television to light the event chatting excitedly as we awaited the fairy tale moment.  We watched, we cried, and we felt oddly patriotic toward a country we had never visited  personally.  I think my mum had more British leanings than she was willing to admit, but I have always been openly UK all the way.  I really wish we had the chance to take that trip together, how wonderful it would have been to share the experience of going 'home'.
Now as I gear up for the big wedding, I know she will be watching with me from above keeping me company in the dark early morning hours.  Yes I will be awake (well awake enough) to watch the royal union as it transmits live from London just as I was all those years ago.  I will also PVR the event and all the extra footage pertaining to the big day so I can watch again when I am more wide awake.  Call me crazy if you wish, but I am so excited it's like I have my own spot in the pews at Westminster Abbey.  

Speaking of filling pews, how cool is it that William and Catherine invited locals from the small town of Bucklebury to the wedding!  These people interacted with Wills and Kate on a regular basis when they spent time in her hometown and now they are being honored with invites to the biggest shin dig in the country.  When you consider that some foreign dignitaries and even local officials have been left off the list, this is an epic achievement.  It only demonstrates further how they maintain a personal touch within a long standing formalized institution.  It is wonderful to see that they will honor traditions but still remain faithful and respectful to those that touch them personally, adding a slightly more modern and humble twist to royalty.

Incidentally, the music choices for this occasion hold special meaning for William and Catherine as well.  The first song played at the service will be 
'Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer' as a personal tribute to William's mother.  The song was played at her funeral and will now ring in the beginning of her son's special day.  As Kate walks down the isle with Diana's sapphire on her finger the melodies of 'I Was Glad' by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry will resonate through the cathedral.  This song has been used often for major royal occasions.  



I wish I could be sipping this tea while I watch, it's too funny!  If I had my way I would be decked out Union Jack style just like the Royalists camping out on the pavement outside Westminster Abbey.  


All along the wedding route there will be vendors selling official wedding programs detailing absolutely everything about the service and the route.  Ooooh how I would love to get my hands on one of these!


Apparently they sold a similar program for the wedding of Charles and Diana, anyone have an extra they want to unload LOL!  As a matter of fact if you are a UK citizen and wish to send me loads of wedding paraphernalia I will gladly accept your generosity, simply head into the 'contact me' section of this blog.  Okay I know no one will send me stuff, but it never hurts to try LOL!

Another big indication that things are already changing within the monarchy is the release of a Thank You message from Prince William and Catherine Middleton.  This is the first time a royal has ever expressed personal gratitude in such a fashion.  Most thank yous are extremely formal and presented after an event, whereas this is much more intimate (well as intimate as possible when addressing the world).   It's lovely to see that a young couple who wants for nothing can still express simple and humble gratitude.


On that note fellow Canadian Anglophiles, here is the CTV Royal Wedding schedule:

Thursday, April 28

1 p.m. ET – eTalk Original “Royal” Episode (CTV)

9 p.m. ET – Kate & William: A Modern Romance (Bravo!)

9 p.m. – Royal Wedding Playlist (Bravo!)

10 p.m. ET – Kate: The New Diana (Bravo!)

Friday, April 29, 2011

3-10 a.m. ET – “William and Kate: The Royal Wedding”

7-9 a.m. PT – Canada AM

10-11 a.m. ET – The Marilyn Denis Show "Wedding Reception Special"

Noon – 1 p.m. ET – CTV News
Live hits from London from the Bell Media Royal Wedding broadcast team.

1-3 p.m. ET – William and Kate: The Royal Wedding
Post wedding coverage.

6-7 p.m. ET – CTV News At Six 
Live hits from London from the Bell Media Royal Wedding broadcast team.

7-9 p.m. ET – William and Kate: The Royal Wedding 
More post wedding coverage

11-11:30 p.m. ET – CTV National News with Llloyd Robertson 
Wedding related.

11:30 p.m. ET – CTV News
Much of same.

4-10 a.m. ET – Live From The Royal Wedding (also available online at eonline.ca)

7 p.m. ET – E! News  

9 p.m. ET – Will and Kate: Road To The Altar  

10 p.m. ET – Fashion Police: Royal Wedding 

For a complete breakdown of what each segment involves visit  http://shows.ctv.ca/RoyalWedding/televisionschedule.aspx



Here's to the union of a lovely couple who just so happen to be the future King and Queen consort of England!  Long may their love reign!  Ooooh and babies, royal babies LOL!

Have a regal day!



Lynn
Blogger Etiquette - Does It Exist?


Every so often I stumble across a comment in a post that refers to something being bad blogger etiquette.  Does this really exist?

Is it really considered bad form if you don't personally respond to every comment made on a post?  What about your own comments, do you have to follow certain guidelines to give a shout out on someone's post?

It's all so confusing to me.  I realize I am a relatively new blogger as it goes, but I have seen this phrase pop up many times and wondered if there really is a set of written rules for living in the Bloggerverse.  If so, where do I find this information?  Who deems something a violation, and how is it policed?  I suppose the idea is to self police, but how does one do that if they do not know where the boundaries are?  See crazy confusing!

I have probably committed many etiquette crimes here without even knowing it, but to be honest I've also discovered a few things that I think should be on the list if they aren't already.  My imaginary list of Blogger Etiquette would include:


1.  As a blogger you should acknowledge people who take the time to comment thoughtfully and extensively on your post.  Imagine if you were face to face and they just shared a thoughtful idea and you didn't say a word.  If it would be hurtful or insulting in person perhaps it would also have the same effect online.  Initially when replying I was trying to place my return comment on other people's blog comment box because I didn't realize I was getting emails with my comment moderation that allowed for direct response. Now that I have discovered this feature, I will respond properly ;)

2.  If you choose to comment on someone's post, please make sure you have read it.  I have seen many examples of people commenting after reading the first two lines of a post and their comment being entirely unrelated to the rest of what was written.  Sometimes a post takes a turn into something completely different, so if you are only skimming the first few lines to comment it can be glaringly apparent.  It's okay to read and not comment or skim something over for commentary later.  Sometimes we have something to say and sometimes we don't, it's all good :)

3. If you are going to duplicate a project, recipe, or other creative idea please give credit where credit is due.  I realize we all love to share what we have done and how we've done it, but if you sourced the idea from another blogger it's only polite to link your project up with their corresponding post.  I think it's a great way to keep the blog love flowing and opens doors for people to other blogs they may have missed.  There is nothing wrong with sharing an audience.  Oh and let the other blogger know you sourced them, we all love to know when our ideas touch someone.

4.  Please do not debate in someone's comment box.  Comments are designed for fellow bloggers to share their thoughts regarding the accompanying post, not for a comment war between bloggers.  I think the whole idea of blogging is to share our ideas and opinions which of course will be varied.  As they say variety is the spice of life, let's embrace it!

5.  E-mailing a blogger for more extensive feedback on a post is a great way to share, but it's best to keep the focus on the subject matter.  Sometimes people begin to feel personally connected to the person writing the blog and start to include more personal information in their communications.  It seems harmless at the time to tell the blog writer what town you live in, what school is hosting your child's Christmas concert or other such things but you never really know who you are talking to in the end, so be safe.  Getting to know a person takes time, and it takes far longer to really know someone on the Internet. 

6.  Be gracious to your followers whether you have 10 or 10000. If you want people to continue following be sincere when you comment back.  Cut and paste responses read as exactly that.  I know we don't all have an entire day to respond to readers, but if you are going to choose to reply then do it when you have the time to consider a unique reply. You are really only returning the time they took to comment.  

7.  Consider your audience when you blog hop.  I have hopped a time or two (or ten) and some hops outline that the only blogs invited are family friendly blogs.  So why then do we see links to blogs with penis jokes or boobie cakes?  If you have a blog that contains profanity, nudity, or other adult content just stick to hops that welcome that.  Let's face it, you might get a few followers but they will leave shortly if they are expecting a different type of content.  I just think it's disrespectful to participate in someone else's event and ignore their rules.

8.  When hopping it would be cool if people only followed blogs they were truly interested in with no expectation of a return follow.  The hop should be about getting your blog out there to be enjoyed, not the number in the follow me box.  Doesn't it seem a bit crazy to follow a trillion people and then never visit half or more because you don't actually enjoy the blogs?  If someone's gonna follow me I would hope they are doing so because they came by and liked what they saw. Maybe that's just me. :)

9.   If you don't like something you have read move on.  I don't see the point of negative commentary at all.  There are so many blogs out there to view and share that it's really unnecessary to complain about the content of someone's post.  Just keep moving through your list until something catches your eye that you can feel good about ;)  

10.  Give a little, get a lot.  Be supportive of the blogs that touch you.  Grab a button, make a mention, pass on a giveaway link, spread the love.  We are all here to share and if you extend your voice to another, they just might give you the same courtesy.  If someone tells you that they have singled you out, show your appreciation because it's pretty awesome that they are taking time to pat your back.

Anyway, as I was saying, is there actually written down rules of etiquette for blogging?  If you have this dusty bit of script can you show me where it is because I'm sure I've got some violations to amend.  If there are actually no formal rules, then what the heck are these people talking about? More importantly if you are reading a food blog, is it a violation to lick the screen?  Just checking LOL!

Just so you know, I appreciate all of you and I am going to make sure you feel the love!  Tomorrow will be a new post full of fun light hearted stuff to enjoy, see you then!

Have a wonderful day with cake (only because I'm craving it LOL!)
Lynn
Think About It Thursday


Are you thinking this is another linky party?  Well it's not (at least not yet).  I just pulled this out of my own little head as a way of sharing today.

So what exactly is Think About It Thursday?  I figured it would be a good place to share things that I've been thinking about and different sources of related good stuff.  It's not that I think you are dying to hear what's rattling around in my brain matter, but more that maybe you might be thinking about it too.  

So on with the show!

Firstly, Easter is coming quickly!  I am always wanting to do cool thematic stuff with the kids but stumble across the applicable ideas a little too late.  So, here is a couple of things I found today:
1.  Cheap and Easy Easter Countdown at How Does She.  I have a hard time locating Biblical Easter activities or decorations so imagine my joyful surprise when I stumbled upon this little gem!  So easy and the perfect supplement to holiday learning. Don't be fooled by how basic it looks, the best part is inside!

2.  Resurrection Cookies at Annie's Home Page.  In years past I heard murmurings about something called Resurrection cookies (or sometimes biscuits) but I didn't honestly know what they were.  Well stop by Annie's and see how easy and fun it is to share the resurrection story with your children.

I really want to make the most out of summer as well.  It seems like every year the months speed by and before I know it I've missed massive opportunities for outdoor experiences.  I know that it's supposed to be relaxing and easy going during the break but the beautiful weather is a great opportunity for planned fun as well.

1.  Summer Fun Guide from Kaboose.  Filled with great ideas for all things outdoors!

2.  Idea books for outdoor fun:



 Oh yeah, I keep thinking that I really should win the lottery.  I used to think that my house wasn't organized the way I wanted it because of time but now I see that I could never satisfy my OCD need for organization without the appropriate space (unless I chuck everything I own and start over of course).  No funding, no extra space, that's where the lottery win comes in.  So here's how I would organize my house If I could build extensions on either side or do an entire rebuild:












See what I mean?  I am this total organizing control freak trapped in a budget.  Nothing ever feels organized enough for me.  If I had space like this and could organize this way I think my stress level would drop dramatically LOL!  So now I'm on a mission to find a way to make this happen within my own space.  Of course some of it is impossible here, but it doesn't stop one from dreaming! ;)

So these are some of the things that have crossed my mind today, what about you?  Anything jumping around in there just begging to get out?  I would love to hear it!

I'm off to try and find some more order and check on my busy boys!
Have a super blessed day!