A little (OK, huge) life update + giveaway

I’ll cut to the chase: you’re going to be hearing a lot more a weddings around here.

stephanie fusco engagement.PNG

We’re engaged!

It’s been about a week and a half now and I still can’t believe it actually happened. We’ve been talking about getting engaged since our second date (creepy then, adorable now) so it really does feel like it’s been a long time coming. And yes, we got engaged after a weeklong we-thought-it-was-the-flu bout of mutual food poisoning. The Queen’s homecoming proposal plan Plan C’d into a ring being hidden in a box of healing Tazo tea from Starbucks; an adorable and unexpected end to our crazy (and fairly disgusting) week.


UPDATE: OK, apparently I haven’t given enough detail here 😉 By popular demand… (feel free to skip if you’re already sapped out).

MIke’s original plan was to propose to me in Kingston during our trip to Queen’s homecoming (the first in a million years!) with some of our closest friends. Like most Queen’s grads, I’m (unhealthily?) obsessed with the campus, the waterfront…Kingston in general. He’d planned to propose by the lake the day we arrived and had even bought a special light-up ring box in case it was dark out. Given our weeklong food poisoning extravaganza that let us both unable to leave our respective houses, our Kingston trip got scrapped on Thursday.

Saturday found us both feeling a lot better, but I still wasn’t 100%. Mike kept asking if I wanted to go for dinner at our favourite restaurant – Oca Nera in Vaughan, where we’ve shared too many dates, double dates and drinks with friends to count. He even pulled the “my mom is a nurse and she said you need some real food, how about a steak'” card. My mom intervened (as did my queasy stomach) and I opted to stay home and wallow into my crackers and soup. With my family out at the Leafs game, Mike decided to come over and keep me company for the evening. Left without any way to surprise me with the ring, he went for Plan C…

On the way to my house, he stopped at the Starbucks in my neighbourhood to get us some tea. He actually brought the ring box inside Starbucks to measure it against the Tazo tea tins. It fit, so he hid the ring in a tin of Vanilla Rooibos tea, underneath the little bag of tea bags. When he arrived, he asked me to make him some and when I discovered the box (met with a WTF to him), I also discovered he was on one knee beside me. I said yes, but I also did the deer in the headlights thing for about half an hour after. After things set in (many “did this actually happen?!” questions later), we settled in to call our families and our closest friends. Lots of squealing ensued! To be completely honest, I didn’t really believe it was actually happening – Mike has done this thing since we started dating where he’ll faux-propose in restaurants/at traffic lights/on special occasions. I’m talking getting down on one knee in a restaurant and saying “will you…” and then tying his shoe. Or hiding a Tiffany ring underneath long-stemmed roses on Valentine’s Day and doing the same thing. I always warned him I wouldn’t believe we were actually getting engaged when it was actually happening..and I was right 😉 

The ring is a custom-designed cushion cut with a halo inspired by my favourite Tiffany setting. Turns out that Breakfast at Tiffany event I went to did a world of good and that I’m highly indebted to the ladies at MacKay & Co! While the proposal didn’t go as planned, I got my dream guy (and ring!) – what could be better?


It’s been a whirlwind ever since: Thanksgiving was a flurry of champagne toasts (in delightfully adorable Bride  & Groom flutes found by my aunt) and adorable confections made by my super-excited younger cousins while my doorbell hasn’t stopped ringing with flower arrangements and girlfriends bearing stacks of glossy wedding mags. We’re loving every second. We also now have a super-fun story about how we got that whole “in sickness and in health” thing down pat before we made it official. In celebrity-engagement-announcement-speak, we’re “over the moon”. I’m so excited to spend the rest of my life with the man who has become my best friend and who always pushes me in the best of ways.


With all that said, it’s been kind of quiet around here lately. After all the sickness and the engagement excitement, I’m hoping to return to regular scheduled blogging now that things have died down a bit. As a little thank you for hanging out with me for so long, I’m giving away one of my favourite new things this week: the Leopard is a Neutral print by SS Print Shop (a.k.a where I now spend all my money). So many of you tagged me in Stephanie Sterjovski’s Instagram photo (she probably thinks we’re a bit creepy, guys) when she released this print so I hope you’re just as excited to own it as I am.

A little LEOPARD giveaway

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 10.49.04 PM

The print is 8.5 x 11 and I’ll be sending it over to our lucky winner sans frame (but perhaps with some other goodies). This one is from HomeSense, though, and I’m madly in love with it. For a chance to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below to LIKE Leopard is a Neutral on Facebook. For extra entries: leave a blog post comment telling me what wedding-related content you’d most like to see OR how you incorporate leopard into your wardrobe / tweet using the Rafflecopter widget. Winner will be chosen on Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And thank you in advance for bearing with me during the next year and a half of planning. PS. Have a vendor recommendation? Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments!

  • star_chronicles

    would LOVE to see what kind of shoes you are thinking of wearing for your big day <3

    • star_chronicles Ooooh yes. There will most definitely be a shoe post.

  • pocketjlo

    So excited for you! 🙂 Leopard print wedding dress? Or mayhaps at least leopard inspired decorations? lol

    • pocketjlo Haha! Let’s save the leopard for the honeymoon/bachelorette.

  • KaQ

    Congratulations! I had always talked to friends about a Starbucks proposal in general, if we would ever see one.  Back in Kingston, we would go there all the time- to study, vent about blind dates gone wrong, life talks, and then randomly the topic of “we have never seen a starbucks-related proposal” came up.  Well, your proposal, with the Starbucks tea, was definitely something special! Anyway, all the best 🙂

    • KaQ Thank you! I saw a Starbucks proposal online at one point – very cute.

  • sydneydelicious

    Congratulations again! That is a wonderful proposal!
    Side note: I didn’t go to Queen’s but I am kind of obsessed with Kingston, too. In fact, I almost got married at city hall there — such a beautiful building!

    • sydneydelicious Thank you! It definitely didn’t go as planned (and he definitely sweat it out as a result) but it was very memorable. Kingston is so incredibly beautiful. I need to make a visit ASAP since I missed out on homecoming!

  • ClaireMcCorqs

    This morning just did a 180 after reading your engagement story! So happy for you and your guy. Let’s be real though, Lauren Conrad gave you the best engagement present possible. I’ll now have two blogs to obsess over (and obsessively pin from).
    Congrats chick xo

    • ClaireMcCorqs LC is the perfect wedding planning partner. We are going to have THE BEST time pinning 😉 xoxo

  • loveeashlyn

    congrats on your engagement! love your blog.


  • madalinaa

    CONGRATS, Steph!!

  • ejbrooks

    Congrats Steph! The ring is gorgeous!!

  • hafs__

    I love planning weddings – would like to see what favours you go with. That was the most fun for me when planning mine and my sister’s.
    Also I incorporate leopard into my wardrobe often, whether it’s a leopard hijab, neck scarf or shirt. You’ll see me rocking it at least once or twice a week!

  • NathanCSays

    Sometimes your gut knows better than we think! I knew from the first time I laid eyes on my (now) wife. All the best!!

  • Marbair

    Just getting caught up so Congrats on your engagement!  The ring is gorgeous but the story is much more adorable!
    Looking forward to see the wedding plans unfold!

  • misspattite

    How exciting to begin a new life together!! (The GORGEOUS ring doesn’t hurt either.) Congratulations. 
    I also must ask, would you care to reveal what the beautiful shade of lipstick you are wearing in the top photo?? It looks radiant on you!