By G! Staff
Making the decision to propose to the love of your life is one of the biggest, most important decisions you will make. Finding the perfect engagement ring comes a close second.
No doubt you truly love your bride-to-be, but getting her just any old ring to celebrate your eternal bond just won’t do. That’s why it’s important to have a game plan.
Just like in sports, a guy has to have a plan of action before he puts a ring on it to make it official. With the help of local Island jewellers who have helped thousands of couples find the perfect bling, we’ve assembled some of the basics you need to know so you can get her the rock that’ll knock her socks off!
Be honest about your budget. Before you set foot in the jewelry store, establish how much you can realistically spend on an engagement ring and stick to that price range. Your jeweller will not lead you astray; they are there to help you find the best ring for your money. “An engagement ring is an expression of individuality. It should have as much personality as the woman wearing it does,” says Ashley Ramsay-Baker of A Touch of Gold in Montague. “We want to make sure you get the best quality for your money.” Make a budget and stick to it; there’s no point in starting your married life in the red.
Do your homework. You’ve decided you’d like your proposal to be a surprise; the ring, on the other hand, should not. Peter Norton of Nortons Jewellers in Charlottetown advises newcomers to “become familiar on how to choose a good diamond. Know the four C’s – clarity, colour, carat and cut. We like to use a fifth C as well – confidence in jewelry.” If you’re ready to propose, then surely she’s dropped some major hints as to what kind of ring she’d like. Try to remember if she’s used words like “princess”, “round”, “solitaire” or “marquee” – these refer to the “cut” (or shape) of diamond she prefers. If all else fails, ask her best friend for advice. You may have to buy their silence to ensure she doesn’t find out, but if you can get her the ring of her dreams, it’ll be worth it.
Consider her profession. What she does for a living plays a huge role in ring selection. “If she works in the health profession, say as a nurse or dental hygienist,” says Ramsay-Baker. “Chances are, she doesn’t want a ring with a high setting as she’ll have to keep taking it off while she works.” Depending on how much she works with her hands, try to select a ring that is both functional and beautiful.
Trust your instincts. When you know, you know. It’s the same as when you knew she was the only one for you. “A man should believe in his instincts – he knows,” says Norton. “Focus on quality; maximum brilliance is key. Don’t be misled by the style – the diamond should shine through.” Norton also recommends doing a side-by-side comparison of rings to really see the differences and to help you choose the one that’s perfect.
Finding an engagement ring that’s as special and unique as she is can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Your local jeweller is there to help you every step of the way – it’s what they do! Her perfect ring is out there, and with a little help, you’ll find it. Just like you found her.
By G! Staff Making the decision to propose to the love of your life is one of the biggest, most important decisions you will make. Finding the perfect engagement ring comes a close second. No doubt you truly love your bride-to-be, but getting her just any old ring to celebrate your eternal bond just won’t [...]
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The countdown is on for the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts
By Meredith Morrison
Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to “Canada’s other winter sport”, curling. But what I do know, I like. Whether it’s watching the Canadian teams show ‘em how it’s done at the Olympics or getting my yearly fix of the Scotties on TSN, you can bet I’m cheering and yelling at the TV with nail-biting anticipation. It’s curling, and after ice hockey, it’s one of our country’s favourite winter pastimes. It’s hard not to get caught up in the action.
This year, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts returns to Charlottetown for the fourth time during the tournament’s 30-year run. As you can imagine, this is huge for PEI. Not only does this mean national media exposure, but it’s also a unifying event that brings Islanders together. In addition to the volunteers, family, friends and fans lending their support throughout the nine-day event, local stores and businesses will be decorating their storefronts with Scotties-themed displays during the “Paint the Town” promotion. Team spirit is not just something that happens on the ice – it’s a province-wide effort.
But let’s not forget the reason we’re all excited in the first place – the curling! According to the Canadian Curling Association, attendance for this year’s Scotties tournament is projected at over 55,000. There are 12 teams with each province and territory represented as well as the defending champion, Team Canada. The champion represents Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championships. There’s a lot on the line for each of Canada’s top 60 female curlers, which will undoubtedly make for an exciting time in the capital city.
Team Canada skip Jennifer Jones. Photos submitted by CCA.
No one understands the pressure more than Team Canada’s skip Jennifer Jones. As defending champions, Jones – along with teammates Dawn Askin, Jill Officer and newcomer Kaitlyn Lawes at third – has the opportunity to match the record of four consecutive titles as currently held by curling great Colleen Jones. With the qualifying events soon getting underway at the Cornwall Curling Club to determine who will face Team Canada at the Charlottetown Civic Centre, Jones will be facing some fierce competition from the PEI rink.
A Roarin’ Good Time
As much as the Scotties are about curling, they’re also about the curling experience. You don’t have to be a player to enjoy all that the Scotties have to offer – you’ve just got to be there!
Starting February 18, festivities kick off with the preliminary round of Ford Hot Shots Skills Competition. This free event will see tournament players compete to win a new Ford vehicle. It’s a great opportunity to see the curlers participate in individual skills competitions. It’s exciting to see the curlers play as a team, but it’s equally entertaining to see them demonstrate their championship abilities for a brand new vehicle.
Later that night, fans are welcome to come out and meet the teams and special guests of the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts during Fan Appreciation Night. Meet today’s hottest curling talents and start the tournament off on the right foot with the official opening of the Heart Stop Lounge, where live entertainment by Fiddlers’ Sons and Rawlins Cross will have the crowd in high spirits.
No Scotties experience would be complete without a stop the Heart Stop Lounge – the place for fans, volunteers and curlers to gather for non-stop entertainment throughout the tournament. Admission to the Heart Stop is free with same day draw tickets, so everyone is welcome to stop by after the draw to enjoy live music, great food, drinks, games, contests and other enticing events to keep the party going well into the wee hours. Known as the “heart beat” of the tournament, the Heart Stop is essentially where the action happens…outside of the rink, of course.
The 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts promises to be an event not to be missed, so if you haven’t picked up tickets yet, you may want to do that sooner rather than later. This could be PEI’s year to make the Scotties ours, so get out and show some hometown pride. We’ve got the country’s attention – let’s show them what Canada’s smallest province is made of!
For more information about the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, ticket availability and how you can be a part of the action, visit www.seasonofchampions.ca.
The countdown is on for the 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts By Meredith Morrison Admittedly, I’m no expert when it comes to “Canada’s other winter sport”, curling. But what I do know, I like. Whether it’s watching the Canadian teams show ‘em how it’s done at the Olympics or getting my yearly fix of the [...]
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A love letter is a powerful expression any day of the year
By Cassandra Cotton
The actual love letters between Frank and Frances Lavandier. Photo credit: Cassandra Cotton.
Love can be expressed in a countless number of ways, but the most timeless and most treasured will always remain the love letter. In the age of emails and text messaging, writing an old-fashioned letter is becoming increasingly rare. Luckily, my grandfather was a romantic at heart and his letters to my grandmother have allowed me to peer into their lives for just a moment in time.
Frances Murphy grew up in a typical East Coast family of 13 siblings, but dreamed of living the big city life. At 16, on a train bound for Toronto, she decided to explore the borders beyond Prince Edward Island.
Frank Lavandier was a hard-working man. A carpenter by trade, he also joined the Air Force during WWII. His real passion was music and dance; he had a heart of gold and an eye for Frances.
At the Kozy Hall in Georgetown, a local place for a Friday night waltz, Frank asked Frances to dance while she was home on her summer break. She said yes and left that evening proclaiming that this was the man she was going to marry.
After a few months of courtship, the warm summer days turned into crisp fall evenings and Frances returned to Toronto while Frank was posted to British Columbia with the Air Force.
This is where their story begins…
(These excerpts are taken from more than 50 handwritten letters, numbering eight pages each.)
Alliford Bay, BC
Sept. 8, 1944
My Dearest Fran,
I would sure like to get a posting down near Toronto, so I could go and see you often. I’ll bet we could have some swell times together. But I guess I am not that lucky. Well, it looks as though the war won’t last too long now perhaps we will all be home soon, I sure hope so.
I am sending you some old negatives of myself. If you have any snaps, I would like to get one, as it sure is a great morale builder to have a picture of your girlfriend.
Our regular station dance is on tonight. I wish you were here as it is quite a lot of fun. However, next summer we will pay up for all the dances we didn’t have together…
With all my love, Yours,
Frances Murphy and Frank Lavandier on their wedding day, June 26, 1946.
After the war ended in September 1945, Frank returned to Georgetown, PEI to work on the family mink farm. For a while, distance separated the two, but this did not make their love grow cold. If anything, it only grew stronger with time.
Nov. 18, 1945
My Darling Fran,
Your grand long letter received a few nights ago and I sure was happy to get it. It sure is grand that my dream girl thinks of me so often, and also thinks I am such a good sort of guy. Well sweetheart if you love me as much as I do you, we will get along just swell because I think you are the best girl in the world for me, and I love you more with each passing day. I hope and pray for the spring to come, so I can be with you again dear as I miss you very much.
On your last letter I noticed a lot of kisses and your letters are getting mushier every time, I believe you really do love the ex-corporal at that. Ha-ha. Wish I could cash in on those kisses right now, I won’t be happy again until I do…
With all my love, Yours,
Frank eventually decided to buy the Kozy Hall – the place that brought him and Frances together. This would soon become their home as Frank would renovate it while Frances was still working in Toronto. Dances continued every weekend and brought happiness to other couples throughout the town.
An original flyer for a dance at Kozy Hall in Georgetown, the place were Frank and Frances' love began.
April 7, 1946
My dearest Fran,
How is my sweetheart feeling today? In the pink I hope. I can hardly wait to see you again honey, wish you were here now but the time is going by fast and it won’t be long until you will be with me for keeps.
We had a dance in the hall on Friday night and we had a fairly good crowd. We made $12 clear, which wasn’t bad for the winter and cold weather like we have here now.
Well dear, on Monday I went to town to see about materials for the house. I spent 8 ? hours round trip on the train which only left me 2 ? hours in town. It’s a lot of work honey, but when it’s all done I can always say I did it…
With all my love, Yours,
With his heart pounding, Frank drove up St. Mary’s Road in his father’s 1938 Hudson Terraplane to ask for Frances’ hand in marriage. She would return to PEI and they would soon become husband and wife.
February 24, 1946
My Dearest Fran,
I sure wish you were here tonight to cheer me up honey as I get so blue without you. But another month is just about gone and June does not seem so very far away now – another hundred days or so and you will be walking down the aisle – can’t you just picture that happy day?…
With all my love, Yours,
They were married on June 26, 1946 – a beautiful summer day. They loved each other more than anyone I know and after 46 years of marriage, Frank Lavandier passed away in June 1993. Just over one year later, Frances Lavandier passed in October 1994. They say she passed away from cancer but I believe it was of a broken heart.
Today, I treasure their words as much as the people who have written them.
With All my Love, Yours,
Ever the romantic, Cassandra Cotton – like most of us – is a sucker for a good love story. Originally from Georgetown, PE, Cassandra and her husband Jonathan are happily living ever after in Ottawa, ON. Cassandra runs her own event decor and home product business called Rock.Paper.Petals.
A love letter is a powerful expression any day of the year By Cassandra Cotton Love can be expressed in a countless number of ways, but the most timeless and most treasured will always remain the love letter. In the age of emails and text messaging, writing an old-fashioned letter is becoming increasingly rare. Luckily, [...]
Read more »