The Next Step

So you and your partner have decided to take the next step and move in together. Ok great! You’re happy, excited…and maybe a bit nervous. Let’s face it; living with your significant other isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Without taking all the romance out of the move, you should set some time aside prior to the move to hash out all the details. We’ve compiled a list of suggestions that will equip both parties with the knowledge and responsibility required to make this new living arrangement, and relationship successful.

Disclaimer: every person and every relationship is different. These suggestions are only to be used as a guideline to planning your new cohabitation. We cannot guarantee the success of any living arrangement or relationship. Ultimately you need to decide what works for you and your relationship.

Purge before you Merge

Don’t put off sorting your personal items till after the move. Waiting till after you’ve already moved what to keep, sell, donate, and toss is a big mistake. Consider that everything you bring with you will add to the overall cost and time it will take to complete the move. Do you really want to pay for that old box of stuffed animals you’ll end up throwing out anyway be moved to your new home? I didn’t think so. Taking the time to thoroughly sort through you things prior to moving will save you time and money in the long run.

Communicate Openly about your Finances

While you may find discussing your finances awkward and uncomfortable it’s essential for you both to fully understand the financial commitment involved in this move. Being able to openly discuss this topic will give both parties a sense of shared partnership helping you both stay on the same page.  Everyone handles money differently, and you have to talk to your partner in order to find out how they do things. You need to discuss, before the move, things like who’s going to pay for what, how bills and expenses will be split, if you’re going to open a joint bank account, and what percentage of the overall household expenses each partner will contribute. I can’t stress enough, when it comes to finances, open communication is the key. You don’t want any surprises 3 months, 6 months, or a year down the line.

Establish Ground Rules

Having an agreement of who is going to do what will facilitate an equal share of the household tasks and eliminate arguments down the line. When you first move in with one another is the time to establish a sense of order and responsibility. Who’s going to take out the garbage? Who’s going to do the dishes? Who’s going to do the laundry? Having an idea of how household tasks will be divided at the beginning will prevent disagreements, and headaches from occurring in the future.

Redecorate Together

Whether one of you is moving into the other’s home, or you’re both moving into a new place together, decorating together will give both parties a sense of ownership on the home. Remember to keep an open mind and be willing to compromise. Style is all relative – while that Star Wars poster might be ugly to you, your collection of porcelain cats may be ugly to your partner.  Collaborating on the decor and combining both sets of style will give you a chance to see how well you work together and create a space that reflects both of you.

Experience Life Together 

Living together is not an excuse to stay home and be lazy. Put down that bag of cheesie puffs, turn that TV off, and peel yourself off that couch. Once you and your partner reach the ‘comfort zone’ you may be tempted to spend your evenings at home ordering takeout and watching movie marathons. Resist this urge! It’s important for your relationship that your time spent together includes more than Chinese take-out and Game of Thrones. Experiencing life together, outside the home, will bring you closer.

Spend Time Apart

You may now be living together, but that doesn’t mean you and your partner want – or need – to spend every waking second together. Too much time together can blur the line between who you are individually and who you are as a couple. Separation redefines the boundaries between individual and couple. Spending some time solo or with friends and family and having interests and hobbies separate from your partner is important for both you and your relationship. Have you ever heard the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Time apart will make the time you do spend together that much more special.


Corporate Concierge Solution

In today’s competitive job market, attracting and retaining talent is a challenge many businesses are faced with. Thousands, if not millions, of dollars are wasted on high turnover, absenteeism, and misused company time. Appreciating and addressing the importance of an employee’s quality of life is crucial for a company to be competitive in today’s market. Employees are faced with the stress and pressure associated with both their personal and professional lives. Employers need to provide benefits that help employees balance these demands.

Making a corporate concierge available is a benefit that illustrates an organization’s commitment to employee well-being. A corporate concierge can alleviate work stress by taking some of the personal day-to-day tasks off of an employee’s plate. Companies who provide concierge services as a perk can expect increased employee retention, productivity and decreased turnover.

Welcomehome Lifestyles is a premium concierge and errand service designed to relieve the stresses and burdens of everyday tasks. Welcomehome offers a unique way to reward, attract, and retain top talent. We create solutions that save your employees valuable time and energy and allow them to concentrate on their professional roles and responsibilities. Welcomehome Lifestyles allows employees to spend less time running personal errands during the workday, thus, dedicating more time and effort at work and with families at night. Our customizable packages can be tailored to meet every particular need. Your employees will be less stressed, more focused, and more productive.

Is your wardrobe ready for the Fall?

Is your wardrobe ready for the fall?

Colour Trends for fashion and makeup.  Green, Purple, Midnight Blue, Khaki, Gold, Mustard Yellow, Copper, Bronze, Rustic Red, Plum, Burgundy, Slate, Grey, Silver, Earthy Brown, Coral, Pink and Orange.  Colours inspired by the earth, mountain landscapes, the woods, the countryside and nightfall.  What’s in store for the Fall?  Plaid, florals with an edge, muted tones with bright accents, velvet, brocades, tapestries, studs; a mix of modern and contemporary.   Accessorize with crosses, crucifixes, chokers and mid finger rings stacked.  Beanies, slouchy, straight up, fitted, tight or low to adorn your head. 

There is a lot to be said about denim and leather.  Both are in fashion for the Fall!   Think retro, punk and grunge that really looks bad (but bad means good).   The distressed look for denim is in — shredded, tattered, torn, patched, oversized, faded, rolled up, skinny fit with a tee, two-toned (light on top and dark on bottom) or cropped with flats.  Black, black and more black is the colour for leather.  Biker inspired short Jackets, tight pants that look painted on, combat boots, embellished baseball caps, fitted flattering dresses and gladiator style skirts baring your legs.  Leather vests, tshirts, cardigans, sleeveless shirts and trench coats.  Casual, preppy or all dressed up; you choose the look.  There’s still more Fall fashion — colour blocked tops, baroque patterned pencil skirts, lace details, knits and trousers.

Put your best feet foward.  Pumps with heels adorned with beading, sequins, jewels and spikes; funky cut outs, ankle straps, graphic print heels, points embellished with holographics and iridescent, patterned ballerina flats.  Are you ready to hit the ground with a great pair of ankle boots laced, zipped, studded or belted?

Hair trend themes are all about cinematic styles. Dark yet elegant.  Edgy, seductive, sultry, luxurious, sophisticated and powerful.  Chic and sleek all slicked back, the classic Bob with a choppy fringe and the punky pixie cut with texture and volume.  The wet-look (like getting caught in the rain). Va-va-voom high hair pulled back in a knot.  Or you can do the side braid, the up-do, the twisted bun, the I don’t have time to do my hair thank goodness for the pony tail or the fashionably side part with soft cascading curls.

Let’s go over to the dark side.    
Black or Midnight Blue nail polish with a matte top coat makes for easy nail art. 
For the sophisticated look, polish nails red or burgundy.
Create your design with stripes, distorted designs and gemstones.
I can now see the light.
Polish nails with a neutral colour and add a horizontal stripe in Indigo across the tip.
Dare to go bare, then just buff nails, polish with a clear, soft pink, nude, champagne or white polish.

Enjoy experimenting with these trends to stand out or to simply look stylish.


Where’s Your Happy Place?

hap×py  (adjective)
happy – happier – happiest
Definition of HAPPY
favored by luck or fortune : fortunate <a happy coincidence>
Merriam-Webster Dictionary

However you want to define happiness — content, pleased, glad, joyful, cheerful, blissful, ecstatic, delighted, cheery, jovial, on cloud nine, joie de vivre, make time for happiness in your day.

Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Most of us really enjoy long weekends.  We get an extra a day to do whatever it is that we don’t necessarily have time for and it makes for a shorter work week.  If only every weekend was a long weekend (wishful thinking) however this is not the case.  So when do you make time for your happy place if you work full time, have multiple jobs, go to school, are a stay at home mom raising a family, a caregiver for an elderly parent, driving the kids from school to soccer practice, making dinner, lunches for the next day, laundry and keeping your home tidy and clean?  So much to do and so little time.

So whether you like to sit in your garden, go for a boat ride, skim stones at the lake, read a book, walk along a trail, eat ice cream, drink your favourite tea, watch your kids play, spend time with loved ones, visit an old friend, volunteer, give yourself an at home facial, polish your nails, get your hair done or just take a nap, make time for you and your happy place.

Or you can take a few minutes every day to close your eyes.  Just imagine you can travel anywhere in the world.  The possibilities are endless.  Think of your destination, the resort, the beach, the mountain top….keep your eyes closed and let your imagination soar.   Now you can unplug, relax, recharge, and escape even if it’s for just a few minutes.

Where’s Your Happy Place?


Turks and Caicos

I am a planner, a thinker, an organizer so going with the flow truly is not in my DNA.  Now my husband, well he’s West Indian so he can go with the flow….as I sat in the physiotherapist office I thought I was being punked.  All I remember was boot, cane, knee brace, ocean, sand, Turks and Caicos. I gave laughing and crying at the same time a whole new meaning.  It was Thursday night and my husband and I were flying to Turks and Caicos on Saturday morning.  So much to do in such little time….just go with the flow Gloria.

In just 3.5 short hours, our WestJet flight arrived in beautiful Turks and Caicos.  Turks and Caicos is made up of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited.  We were staying in Providenciales, or as the locals call it, Provo.  The airport is very small and there is just one conveyer belt for ALL the flights.  Four flights from Toronto arrived within minutes of each other not to mention the other airlines.  Be well prepared for the flight home because all flights go through the same gate, there is only one word that best describes this experience and it’s chaos.

The drive to our resort was picturesque.  It reminded me a lot of Barbados. We arrived at Villa del Mar in awe.  We were greeted with beautiful smiles at VDM and a glass of rum punch made with their local Bambarra Rum.  It was delicious!  As we walked through the beautifully landscaped grounds, we both were admiring the beauty of what this intimate resort had to offer.  Our room was located on the third floor so when the palm trees swayed we had a glimpse of the ocean from our private balcony.   The décor in our studio was beautiful and the fresh, tropical flowers were a nice touch.  Although VDM is not located directly on the beach, beach access was just a few steps away.  The turquoise water and white powdery sand was captivating.  Starfish lay very close to the shore, conch shells lined up for sale, your own personal concierge to get you drinks or anything else you might require, this is what a vacation is all about.   A few words come to mind….peaceful, tranquil, serene.  I have had the opportunity to travel to other parts of the Caribbean however in Turks and Caicos no one is asking you if you want to buy a piece of jewelry, take a tour, parasail, ride the banana boat or to get your hair braided.  It’s just you, the sun, the sand and the ocean.

I was curious to find out what a local from Turks and Caicos is called (if you are from Barbados you are Barbadian/Bajan, from Bahamas a Bahamian, from Trinidad a Trinidadian/Trini, from Jamaica a Jamaican).  So when I asked this question to a few of the locals, much to my surprise the answer was “you’re a “TI” if you are from Turks and Caicos”.

We thoroughly enjoyed all the flavours that Turks and Caicos had to offer.  Drinking coconut water from the coconut and not with a straw (that’s sooo touristy) to stay hydrated and indulging in the coconut jelly was a meal in itself.  Dining in the outdoors so close to the ocean you can almost feel it, under the palm trees watching the sunset eating conch chowder/salad/fritters, fresh local fish, seafood and vegetables, sipping rum, it really does not get any better than this.

Highlights of Turks and Caicos included Seaside Café, The Grill Rouge, meeting Rita DeMontis at Da Conch Shack, Coco Bistro, Anacoana, Hole in the Wall, Middle Caicos, Bella Luna, Parallel23, Somewhere Café, Thursday night’s Fish Fry, FOTTAC — Flavours of the Turks and Caicos for rum, rum cakes, jams, jellies and hot sauce, Chalk Sound National Park where the water is sapphire blue with breath taking views.  And to experience one of life’s finest luxuries, a couple’s massage at The Spa at Regent Palms which truly is an oasis of peace.

The people of Turks and Caicos are as warm and sunny as the weather.  You are always greeted with a smile and the level of customer service is outstanding.  In one word, Turks and Caicos is paradise.



kar –ma
Merriam-Webster definition of KARMA
often capitalized : the force generated by a person’s actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person’s next existence

informal:  the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person

It is often said that the concept of a good or bad action or deed is a cycle of cause and effect.  Are you a true believer in Karma? Do you believe you get what you give, good or bad?

I thought I would share this personal story.  On the weekend, my husband and I visited my aunt who had fallen several weeks ago and broke her wrist and her hip.  Since English is not her first language she did very well in explaining karma…..many years ago she was grocery shopping and checking out at the cash when she noticed a pregnant woman carrying several bottles of water so she went up to offer assistance.  As they exited the grocery store together, my aunt asked the pregnant woman if she had a car and she replied no. She said she was taking the bus home.  So my aunt asked her where she lived and as it turned out, she lived the next street over from my aunt so my aunt offered to drive her home and she gladly accepted.

Now back to my aunt’s fall…as she was letting the dogs out, she fell down the veranda stairs and was unable to get up to get assistance.  As she lay on her veranda stairs waiting for help for quite some time, help finally arrived.  It was the parents of the pregnant woman who saw her lying on the ground who came to her aid.  And although weeks have gone by since the fall and several years have passed since she encountered the pregnant woman at the grocery store, the pregnant woman and her family never forgot my aunt’s kindness.  Now that is a true testament of karma.  My aunt, Zia Fedora, believes that helping people produces good karma.

 “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
Wayne W. Dyer



 “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”.  This song always makes me happy.  It certainly is a popular love song, one where I have on many occasions sang at Italian weddings.  After all, weddings are all about love and being happy.  Older church traditions believed that the luckiest day to get married on was Sunday.  Traditional wedding ceremonies were done in the morning to allow for preparation of the reception festivities.  In some small villages in Italy, after the ceremony, the bride and groom walk with their guests to the reception. 

Some of my favourite Italian traditions are:

  • Releasing doves after the ceremony which symbolizes the couple’s love and happiness.   
  • Forming a circle around the couple as they dance their first dance “La Tarantella”.  This dance is performed to wish the couple a long future together.
  • Bomboniere, also known as a wedding favour, is given to each guest to thank them for attending the wedding.  Some bomboniere are quite elaborate, such as crystal, china, figurines, and most, if not all, will have confetti (candied almonds).

My absolute favourite part of Italian weddings is the food.  It’s all about the food.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the antipasto bar, stracciatella, pasta, risotto, frutti di mare, filet mignon, sweet table and the midnight buffet.

I’m Italo Canadese so everything Italian is beautiful to me…Italia e bellissima…la storia, la cultura, l’architettura, la gente, la moda e il mangiare.


2013 Pantone Colour of the Year Emerald 17-5641

2013 Pantone Colour of the Year Emerald 17-5641.  It is lush, elegant, radiant, beautiful, lively and energizing.  This colour will enhance your overall well being and bring balance and harmony to your wardrobe and home.

Lace is the look for spring and will flatter every woman’s shape.  The classic black and white in bold, prints or textured looks fabulous for day and by adding a couple of accessories, you are ready to hit the town in the evening.  Fitted or sleek skirts, tailored or flowy pants in fresh blossom colours or exotic prints; wear one print or mix and match prints.  Denim dresses, jeans, lacy tops with short-shorts paired with high heels looks va voom!  Don’t forget your arm candy – wear cuffs in twos.

Make a statement with your eyes with Blue, Turquoise, Emerald and Teal shadows.  These fabulous colours will make your eyes look sumptuous.  Or mix your metals with silver, copper and gunmetal.  These shadows can work on all skin tones day or night.  For big and bold eyes, wear Black, White or Gold eyeliner.

Popsicle Lips – Cherry, Watermelon, Strawberry, Raspberry, Tangerine, Pink, Coral, Fuschia and Red.  Matt colour will give your lips the best pout.

Less is always more.  So play up your eyes or play up your lips. If your eyes make a statement then blush and lips should be subtle.  If your lips are pouty and bold, then just wear mascara and fill in your brows with shadow, mascara or pencil for fullness.

Jade, Mint, Seafoam Green and Metallics will also make a sleek statement on your nails.

Be daring and don’t be afraid to mix colours, prints and patterns.



Teamwork – the better way to work!

Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.
Mattie Stepanek

Whoever said “there is no “I” in Teamwork” is right!  Teamwork requires everyone’s cooperation.  When a group of colleagues can come together as a team and with everyone’s participation, wonderful things do happen.   A great team can analyze, plan, solve problems, develop and improve processes, respond and information share.  It is very rewarding to work together as a team on a project and watch it come to fruition.  There is a sense of accomplishment and unity.  By creating a positive, dedicated and productive team you will experience success.

What does teamwork mean to you?  I thought about teamwork and the following words come to mind:

T is for Talent
E is for Efficient
A is for Achieve
M is for Manpower
W is for Working
O is for Outstanding
R is for Resourceful
K is for Knowledge

So don’t just create a team, create teamwork; it is definitely the better way to work!


Birds of Paradise Spring Flower

Flowers are known as a blossom or bloom and come in all shapes, colours and scents.  The primary purpose of a flower is reproduction.  Many flowers have symbolic meanings.  For example, red roses symbolize love, poppies symbolize death and commemorate fallen soldiers, lilies and irises are used for burials to symbolize life, and daisies symbolize innocence.

People use flowers to plant, decorate, wear in their hair, use as a bouquet/corsage/boutonniere.  Flowers are used for special occasions and celebrations such as weddings, bridal showers, engagements, birthdays, new baby, promotion, secretary’s day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving and religious celebrations.  And flowers are also used for funerals, when someone is sick or recovering from an illness or operation, brake up/divorce/separation or to cheer someone up.

One of the most exotic spring flowers is Birds of Paradise.  Birds of Paradise are native to South Africa and blossom from September to May.  The beautiful shape and colours of Birds of Paradise resemble a bird hence the name Birds of Paradise.  When growing this spectacular indoor flower, the soil needs to be kept moist all spring and summer.  Let it dry out slightly between watering in the fall and winter.  Bring paradise into your home with Birds of Paradise.

A Helping Hand

What if you could add a little more style to your life? At Welcomehome Lifestyles, we can’t claim to be the cobbler’s elves, but we do have a magical way of bringing new ease and comfort to people’s everyday existence.

Welcomehome Lifestyles is a premium concierge and errand service with an uncanny knack of lightening your load and making the craziness stop. We organize, run errands, transport and generally help where help is needed. Trust us to simplify your life, make your time more your own, and alleviate the stresses cramping your style.