Friday, 31 August 2012

Favourite Thing

Happy Friday before a long weekend and happy last day of August! Hope everyone has some fun things planned for the last weekend of summer. I'm headed to the beach and will be spending time with the family. It should be a great weekend, especially since the weather is supposed to be amazing all weekend!
This weeks favourite thing...
My life was made last night when I had a (Twitter) conversation with Rebecca Logan aka Dilshad Vadsaria!

Dilshad played Rebecca Logan on Greek, which is only one of my favourite shows! Rebecca was one of my favourite characters and Dilshad is an amazing actress, so funny, not to mention insanely beautiful!


Thursday, 30 August 2012

Make With Me- Fruit Smootie

Fruit Smootie

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups of fruit juice
  • 1/3 cup of yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fruit
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Please see notes (below)

To Make:
  • Add all ingredients into a blender
  • Blend until smooth (roughly 1 minute)
  • Pour into a glass
  • Enjoy! 



Notes:
  1. A co-worker shared this recipe with me.
  2. You can use the juice, yogurt and fruit of your choice. My co-worker used orange-mango juice, strawberry yogurt and frozen blueberries.
  3. Do not use apple juice (the acid separates the yogurt) .
  4. Makes two servings.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hey! It's Ok


To have the world's most amazing friends. It's great to know that I am so cared for and that my friends are always by my side. I am never alone because of them and I am never without laughs also because of them. 

To be excited that my couch comes today! I ordered it about a month ago and it's been on back order ever since. I'm excited to have some place to sit besides my bed, a folding chair and my patio chair. I'm also looking forward to seeing what colour it is. I ordered it so long ago, I forget.

To have had an ok Ikea shopping experience. I didn't walk away with as much stuff as I had hoped and am still in need of a table. I'm ok with what I have, but Christine (my friend I went shopping with) is kinda stressed that my shopping list is still so long. This was supposed to be fun for us not stressful! I did buy a kitchen cart and a dresser-ish thing, so that's good!

That I have my first high school reunion meeting tonight! This will be my second high school reunion (we do them every 5 years) and I'm looking forward to being involved in the planning again. I loved my time in high school and would go back if I could.

To realize that love isn't always enough. Sometimes you just have to let people go and let them deal with life on their own. You don't stop loving or caring about them...you just need to let them go.




Monday, 27 August 2012

i & i

i(nspiration)



&
i(dea)

Technically, we still have a lot of summer left- just under a month. Unofficially, this is the last week of summer, with Labour Day exactly one week from today. Back at the beginning of June, an idea was to make a Summer Bucket List.

This weeks idea? Take the week to cross as many things as possible off your summer bucket list. While I hope everyone had a great summer, I hope that by completing your summer bucket list, you've also had a memorable summer!


Sunday, 26 August 2012

LOL & Sunday Social

I can't believe another weekend is coming to an end! I'll be spending my Sunday at Ikea buying stuff for my apartment. I hate shopping but I'm excited to spend time with a good friend of mine. 

This picture has been circulating around the social media, but it makes me laugh every single time. It's too cute!





Sunday Social

1. What is the first website you log on to each day?
Twitter! I don't tweet all the time, but I use Twitter to see what's going on in the world. Second website is a local newspaper.

2. Give us some funny websites you visit that we need to know about
I actually don't have any! I don't spend a ton of time online. If I'm looking for funny, I can usually find it on YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook. Back in the day (when I was in University) I used to visit collegehumor.com and modifiedliving.com, which was great. Noah (the site owner) was so funny!

3. Pinterest or Facebook? Why?
I love Facebook because I can keep in touch with friends. But I'm going to say Pinterest. I love being able to 'pin' things I want to remember. I also love finding out about things that I'm not sure I would have found on my own.

4. Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Twitter! I don't use Instagram. Twitter is a great way for me to keep up to date on what's going on in the world. I love finding out about things in a timely manner and without having to read an entire newspaper. I just need the basics to be in the know. 
5. Favorite youtube video...post it!

6. Biggest online pet peeve?
Oh gosh. People who use shorthand, such as b4, u, r, etc. This is fine on Twitter where you only have so many characters, but the rest of the time...come on! Also people who don't use there/their/they're correctly, ever. And people who don't return e-mails that require a response!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Favourite Thing

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a GREAT week and has exciting plans for the weekend. I'm heading to my hometown...I haven't been home since the end of June! A friend and I are going to Ikea (I think) to shop for stuff for my apartment. And my couch is being delivered on Tuesday! I've lived here for 24 days and I'm excited to get settled and my make my apartment 'mine.'

I couldn't pick just once 'favourite thing' this week...So here are a four! 

1. Starbucks! I had previously mentioned how much I love Starbucks Via (and I still do) but this week I was introduced to Iced Caramel Coffee. I love this instant coffee which is made specifically to be served cold.


2. Wax tarts/melts. I was introduced to this product by My Dream Sample Box. My apartment must be sandwiched between two apartments that are home to smokers. At various times, different parts of my apartment smell like smoke. Sometimes it's stronger than other times. And sometimes, it's super strong. I've taken to burning wax tarts a lot in an attempt to mask the smoke odour. (A future post will be dedicated to my favourite brands and scents of wax tarts/melts).



3. My Dream Sample Box. I LOVE this company, and Holly, the owner is AMAZING! (she and I were Facebooking back and forth as I wrote this...she had me laughing out loud. I love that girl!) MDSB is great and everyone should check out their website. And order a sample box. I ordered my August boxes last night...I can't wait for them to arrive!


4. I've mentioned many times over what a HUGE Big Brother fan I am. Last night, Boogie got evicted. Britney is one of my all time favourite Big Brother house guests. She is so funny and I love her DR (Diary Room) segments. Including, last nights goodbye message to Boogie!




Ian's goodbye message and Boogie's reaction were great too:


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Book, Song, Body

BOOK- I am fan of Maeve Binchy and sad to hear of her passing. One of her books that I had always wanted to read and had owned for a while was:


This is actually a collection of 4 short stories. The Amazon.com books description is:
A society hostess entertains her husband's mistress to dinner; a country girl savours the delights of city life; a student faces the dilemma of unmarried pregnancy; and a drink-ridden photographer tries to relaunch a shattered career...
All of these stories were interesting to me, as they look at people, their individual situation and their relationships with others. I've mentioned before, but I enjoy stories about life and are character based.  Of the four stories, Flat in Rinsend (the second story, about a country girl moving to the city) was my favourite. 
Recommend for anyone who loves Maeve Binchy, is looking to discover a new author, or enjoys character based stories.

SONG- This is one of my favourite songs right now and has been on 'repeat' for awhile:

Some Nights by Fun.

A favourite of my summer playlist!


BODY-A Pinterest find, healthy baking substitutes:


This originally came from Picklee and you can see the original blog post here.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Tornado...One Year

One year ago today, the town that is my second home (I've always spent my summers there) was hit by an F3 tornado. The damage that was caused to "the prettiest town in Canada" was devastating. 

One year later, and we are still rebuilding. 

Houses are still being built. Roofs and windows are still being replaced. Businesses have yet to reopen in their original location. 

I was alone at the house, actually standing on the back patio, wondering if it was a tornado. 
 
Hail on the patio

Rain...and you can't really tell, but wind too.

While there was no damage to our property, I did watch a tree fall on my neighbour's house. There was damage to our street and we were without hydro (electricity) or hot water for a week. 
 
I went over to check on my neighbour, but she wasn't home. I went back inside and read. After a while, I got my ipod and listened to the radio (hoping to find out when the power would come back on), this is when I found out for sure that it had been a tornado.
 
I attempted to call and text my dad, letting him know I was ok. I couldn't make any calls and my text weren't going through. Around this time, my neighbour came home. She had been in the next town over, and they didn't have so much as a drop of rain. I decided to drive, heading to the other town, until I could pick up a cell signal and call my dad.

My dad, after not being able to get a hold of me (land lines and cell towers were both down), and knowing our street was two over from where the tornado came up, made the 3 hour drive to check on me. When I spoke to him on the phone, he was already half way there. 

After talking to my dad, I went home to wait for him. I did end up walking to the bluff overlooking the lake, just to see what the damage had been like.

Damage to the salt mine

Damage to the grain elevators

The police had all roads coming into town blocked off- you could get out but not in. My dad had to sneak his way into town. When he arrived, he told me that they (the media) weren't joking- the town was a mess, destroyed.

He and I, in the pitch black, walked around our neighbourhood. 
 
Large, old trees came down, blocking roads. The roots would pull up the sidewalk

Car flipped over from the tornado. Luckily there was a hydro pole to stop it

The next morning, we walked around again, getting a day light look at some of the damage. 

Another tree

Tree blocking the entrance to the house, it fell on the enclosed porch

The top floor of this heritage designated home was torn off.

Same house as above, different angle

Driving down the street was a bit of a challenge
It broke my heart to have this town, my second home, be destroyed. It saddens me to know that the little town will never be the same. It's exciting to rebuild and create a new place for memories... but I will miss the history and beauty of what the town was.

The Windsor Star had some great photos of the damage taken, which can be found here. The photos are artistically beautiful but are sad in the extent of the damage they show. 

The London Free Press posted photos on the weekend, which are "then and now". Showing a scene from right after the tornado and a scene one year later. They can be seen here.

Hey! It's Ok


To hope the NHL and the NHLPA can come to an agreement by September 15. I'd hate to have another NHL lockout or to have the start of the season be delayed. 

That Shane won HOH on Big Brother again! I love Shane and am #TeamShane 100%. He's a great player and deserves to win. Plus, he made a HUGE game move this week by putting Frank and Boogie up.

To be behind in my blog reading. Things are busy. I'm still getting settled here plus I'm traveling every weekend...not a ton of free time.

To feel like I'm living in a hotel. I've never lived in an apartment before and I don't have a lot of stuff (no couch, no table, etc) plus a lot of my stuff isn't here yet because I have nowhere to put it. I'm dread the thought of more shopping and decorating my place.

To have made my first (non-work) friend here! I refer to her as my Starbucks friend, because that's where she works and that's where I met her. She's awesome and super nice- she brought me a mocha coconut frap, which is what I drink in the summer.

That I have lived in my apartment for 20 days and I have yet to do groceries (with the exception of the food that I bought specifically for my balcony party last week). Something else I'm not looking forward too.

Monday, 20 August 2012

i & i

i(nspiration)


&
i(dea)
Have an outdoor party!
 
A friend of mine, his parents have a 'porch party' every year and I recently had a 'balcony party'. It's fun to have people over and it's great to spend time outside while you still can. Outdoor parties (porch, deck, balcony, patio) are super low key. Just set out some food (I served fruit, salad, sushi, chips and dip and mini cream puffs), provide some drinks (beer, wine, iced tea) and tell everyone to bring a lawn chair. That's it!
 
August is more than half over and the last days of summer are upon us, so enjoy them while you can!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

LOL & Sunday Social- High School

A lot of people are going through Olympic withdrawal, so I thought it would be appropriate to share some commentary from the Olympics this week. The summer student at work shared this with me and it is so funny- the commentator knows nothing about sailing.



Sunday Social


1. What were you like in Middle School/HS? 
In the school system I was apart of, we didn't have middle school or junior high.
In high school, I was...involved. I knew a lot of people, in all different grades. I participated in a TON of co-curricular activities. I did a lot of work, representing the school, out in the community. I also did well academically- honour student- and finished a year early. A lot of the teachers considered me a "leader". My guidance counselor described me as energetic, rarely says no to a request and happy. 

2.  What were your favorite past times? 
Between school, co-curricular activities and dance classes, I had very little free time. The city I grew up in, hockey was HUGE, with the local junior team having home games on Sunday night. I loved being in the arena, with friends, watching friends play. 
3. What songs were you obsessed with?(Backstreet Boys anyone?)I don't know if I can remember! I know that I was a Backstreet Boys fan and Britney Spears debuted when I was in grade 9. Dave Matthews Band was a favourite too. I know I haven't listed any songs...just artists...my mind is drawing a blank on songs!

4. What fashion statement do you look back on and cringe?
I went to a Catholic school, so we were in uniforms everyday. On out of uniform days/after school/weekends, it was mostly jeans and shirts. I, luckily, didn't worry about fashion statements or being on trend, so nothing to cringe on. However- and I NEVER wore these- the baby t-shirts...and chockers.

5. Who was your celeb crush?
Nick Carter and Joshua Jackson.

6. What were your favorite tv shows/movies?
Friends and Dawsons Creek. Clueless & Empire Records (yes, before high school, but still...), She's All That, Whatever It Takes, Get Over It, Never Been Kissed
Why can't I really remember anything I watched in high school??? I'm sure I watched more than two tv shows!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Make With Me- Mojito

 Mojito

Ingredients:
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 lime, cut into 2 wedges
  • 1 tablespoons of sugar
  • 4-8 ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 shots of white rum
  • 1/2 cup of club soda

To Make:
  • Place mint leaves, 1 lime wedge and sugar into glass
  • Use a muddler to crush the ingredients to release the mint oils and lime juice
  • Fill glass with ice
  • Pour rum over ice
  • Top with club soda
  • Stir and garnish with remaining lime wedge
  • Enjoy! 



Notes:
  1. The back of a spoon can be used if you don't own a muddler.
  2. After adding club soda, I sometimes add more sugar, depending on the taste.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Book, Song, Body

I am slowly getting settled into my new apartment (and job) and am excited to have internet, which means I can get back to blogging!

BOOK- The two-ish weeks that I've gone without internet (or cable- I can't believe I missed ALL of the Olympics!) meant tons of time to read. I read some good books, and some not so good books, so I had a few books to pick from for this weeks entry. I decided to go with...



Who doesn't love Sweet Valley books?!?!? This was a 6 part (The Sweet Life, Lies and Omissions, Too Many Doubts, Secrets and Seductions, Cutting the Ties, Bittersweet) e-serial, with one book released a week for 6 weeks (the 6th book was just released on Sunday).

I LOVED this series! Set three years after Sweet Valley Confidential, we find Elizabeth back in California living with Bruce, Jessica now a mother with a great career and a not so great marriage, Lila as a blossoming reality star and Bruce involved in a major scandal. 

There was a minor storyline that involved Steven, Aaron and their daughter, which I could've done without, wasn't necessary to the overall plot and was a short (one book), isolated story arc. And while I LOVED the series, the ending of book number 6 made me go "WHAT?!?!? You can't just end like that!" It was a good ending but it left me with a lot of questions, which makes me hope there will be more Sweet Valley books. I would also like to know what happened with Jessica, her career and her assistant- this was a minor plot that wasn't really resolved. But again, maybe it will be addressed in a future book.

Each book ended as a cliffhanger, leading into the next book, which made it an enjoyable read. While MUCH better than Sweet Valley Confidential, this book is not going to be winning any literary prizes. But overall it was a fun read and a page turner. Perfect for a beach/poolside or even a rainy day read.

(Note: While you do not need to have read any of the Sweet Valley Twins/High/etc books to follow this book, I do recommend reading Sweet Valley Confidential first. While it is not the best book, this series does happen 3 years after Confidential and a lot of the same characters show up in the series, plus some of the plot is an extension of Confidential.)


SONG- II have repeatedly mentioned how much I LOVE Luke Bryan. Here is one of my favourite songs by him, which has been getting a lot of replays on my ipod this week:


Doin' My Thing by Luke Bryan



BODY- A while ago, I saw this on Pinterest:

Originally posted by koturekiss.com, please see the link for full instructions.

My sister was nice enough to let me try it out on her, and it worked! It was so easy to do and turned out great!


Sunday, 12 August 2012

LOL & Sunday Social

Happy Sunday! I'm hoping to have my internet setup tomorrow...I can't wait to get back to blogging and my daily reads!

I've seen this a ton of times and it still makes me laugh!



Sunday Social
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is such a hard question! I don't want to pick something I love and then get sick and tired of it to the point where I don't like it at all. So, after a lot of thought, I'd pick soup! I love soup and because there are so many different kinds of soup, that you still get some variety.

What's your guilty pleasure/comfort food?
Ice cream! Really, any kind of ice cream works, but I love Mayan Chocolate, especially if you put it in the microwave and let it melt and warm up a bit.

What's the weirdest/craziest thing you've ever eaten?
I am NOT an adventurous eater! When it comes to my food, I play it safe. The weirdest/craziest thing I've ever eaten is probably sushi or Oysters Rockefeller.

What foods do you avoid at all costs?Ground meat and seafood! I can't stand any kind of seafood, which is sad because it looks so good! I just can't stand the taste. I also have this weird thing with ground meat...I refuse to eat it. 

What meal reminds you of your childhood?
Hot dogs and little potatoes! This is a meal my grandma would make for us...she would cut up hot dogs and serve them with hasbrowns (which we called little potatoes). This meal was usually lunch, which meant we were spending either the entire day or half the day with grandma and grandpa.
 
Share one of your favorite recipes and the story behind it.
 Every Thursday I post a recipe that I like. It's hard for me to pick a favourite, so I've randomly picked two:
  1. Sundried Tomato Pasta. This came from my sister and I've served it a few times. Everyone loves it!
  2. Aunt Mary's Strawberry Cream Pie. This pie is soooo good and it's my Great-Aunt Mary's recipe. Aunt Mary passed away this past May and she was such a special and important person in my life. Family was the most important thing to her and her meals/cooking, were legendary.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Grandpa

One year ago today, my grandpa died. 
During the past year, I have thought about him every single day. I have missed him every day. I've thought about how I can pay tribute to him- the man he was to the community, what he meant to me and the differences that he made. Nothing would do him-and his legacy- justice. 

As the anniversary of his death drew near, I thought more and more about what I could do. I came up with nothing that satisfied me. 

My great-uncle (my grandpa's brother in law) writes a weekly family newsletter and in the newsletter published 3 days after my grandpa died, my uncle paid tribute to my grandpa. I feel that my uncle did a good job in explaining my grandpa. So, in tribute to my grandpa, here is what my uncle had to say:

Now we have a man on the insides. Passed away Thursday August 11- early morning- died as he lived- peacefully.  Gifted with the social graces in the extreme- warm, friendly, gentle, loyal- a gifted mimic, recounter and plain and simply a very funny gent. Entertained me immensely even in his declining years [my grandfather had Alzheimer's disease]. I think he saw dimly in the intellectual sense as the end approached. But there was no doubt, judging by facial expression, that he recognized and remembered a banana split. Fortunate to have shared life with him. 

"Noted illustrator, author and man of letters."
Loving husband, devoted father, cherished grandfather...

RIP...Love you always.



Friday, 10 August 2012

Favourite Thing

How could I let the 2012 Summer Olympics pass without mentioning how much I love The Bay's Olympic Collection?

Here are a few of my favourite piece from the collection:

Womens Canada Jacket
Womens Pique Polo Shirt
Womens Wordmark Fleece Hoodie
Mens Pullover Patch Hoodie
And of course...

2012 Olympic Mittens

Monday, 6 August 2012

i & i

i(nspiration)

&
i(dea)

Call or visit your grandparents. Grandparents are such special people and they will not be around forever, Spend time with them and enjoy being with them while you can. 


Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Movin' On Up

Today is the day that I am moving into my first official apartment. I've lived on my own for the past almost 5 years, but in a house that I 'rented' from my dad. Prior to that, I lived in student housing...but again in a house. 

I have never lived in an apartment before. The Communications- Media & Culture major in me is curious about apartment culture and the dynamics of an apartment complex. I'm not scared per say...but I am wondering if I will fit in. With no previous apartment experience, what's the etiquette and/or protocol? 
 
The building I'm moving into is a low rise and I am told that there is just one child in the building, with the majority of the residents being under the age of 35 (myself and the building super included). I wanted to live in a building with younger residents because I felt it would be easier to fit in and meet people. 
 
I'm moving to a new City and I have 2 co-workers, plus our summer student. So, not a lot of opportunity to make friends at work. Well, I'm friendly with them all...but at my previous job, I became really good friends with 5 of my co-workers and we'd frequently socialize outside of work. With 3 employees...no opportunity to become a 'group'.

I'm not excited about this move either...even though everyone tells me I should be. I'm excited that I will no longer have the 2+ hour (depending one traffic) commute to and from work everyday. That was a total of 4 hours of commuting for a 6 hour work day for the past 3.5 weeks. I'm also looking forward to putting in a full 7.5 hour day. 

My bed and tv are being delivered today. My couch is being...I'm not sure when...whenever it's in stock, I guess. And that's it. That's all I've got. I don't have any of my own furniture, pots, pans, plates, glasses, etc. 

I have my clothes, books, DVDs. I'm not even bringing everything with me. I'm leaving some stuff here, at our second home. I will eventually move the majority of the left behind stuff to the new apartment. I figured, no point in moving the stuff if I have no where to put it. I don't have shelves, bookcases, dressers, etc. I do have a super small closet, which comes with the place. 

I won't have my cable or internet set up...I have to pick a company and arrange that. But I'm bringing my Kindle and some DVDs to watch on my laptop. 
 
The summer student and I are going shopping after work. She's going to help me pick out items for my apartment...the necessary things, like a microwave and pillows for my bed, as well as organizational items. It should be fun, right?

I'll be back on Friday, after work, to spend the weekend here. It is the long weekend after all, so where else would I be? 

I'm a bit...hmm...about leaving this house, where I've lived for 5 years. But it is a family home, so I can still spend time here. I'm looking forward to having a 'weekend home' again, a place to escape too. There's some nostalgia for the first place that I lived on my own, without roommates. Lots of happy times and memories here...some of them from before I moved here full time. I know that I will still have the chance to make memories at this house... As well as new memories in a new City.
 
City living...I'm looking forward to that again! After 5 years in Rural Ontario, I'm ready for the City life! 
 
This is a new adventure...and I can't wait for it to unfold!

Book, Song, Body


BOOK- I decided to read this book after reading an excerpt of it in Town & Country Magazine:


This book looked at the world of advertising in the 1960's and the role of women during this time, in this industry. Jane Maas, the author, was a copywriter and this book is an inside look into what she and women like her had to deal with. I was a bit surprised at how poorly women were treated in a professional setting and all of the inappropriateness they put up with. An entertaining and enjoyable read- I LOVED this book!

Recommended for anyone who has an interest in advertising, women's studies, cultural studies and/or a fan of the tv show Madmen.

SONG- In honour of the Olympics:
Believe by Nikki Yanofsky

This song was originally for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, but CTV is also using it for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. I love this song...so inspiring!


BODY- We all know how important posture is and we know that Yoga is good for us too. I found this on Pinterest earlier today:
Click the link for more info!