Tuesday 31 December 2013

2013: A Year In Review- Life Edition

I have mentioned numerous times that this year was flying by...I find it hard to believe that we've reached the last day of 2013! The past few years have been less than ideal for me but 2013 was an amazing year for me!

Last year, when I was reflecting on 2012, I included this quote:
Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
Write a good one. - Brad Paisley
I wrote a GREAT one! I made new friends, tried new things, was offered my dream job with my dream organization, I had once in a life time experiences, had quiet moments that were special to me but would seem insignificant to others, I grew as a person, I challenged myself. I was happy.

I feel as if I really LIVED this past year.

I, for the first time in a long time, felt like myself again. Something that two of my closest friends even commented on, saying that they had been waiting for me to go back to my happy, smiling, laughing self. I did and felt/feels really good.

I wish I had my planner so that I could go back and recall everything I did this past year. 
I had a great year professionally. I have a boss who empowers me to do my job and makes me feel like a valued member of the team. She recommended me for a provincial committee, green lighted me organizing and hosting a Southwest Regional meeting, and most importantly, took me off contract, made me a permanent employee and entrusted me with a regional position. I've made some valuable contracts in the community, was nominated for two chamber awards, exceeded a fundraising goal by almost $5,000. I took on two major Southwestern Ontario portfolios, one of them being CTV. A highlight of my professional year was definitely working with CTV...including consulting and being very involved with a commercial!

I had the opportunity, in January, to attend a local rally for a cause that I was passionate about and in March, I was invited to Queens Park in Toronto to hear my Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) speak on the issue. 
I joined Beta Sigma Phi and found a group of friends that are supportive, fun and offers a variety of social activities; from potlucks to movie nights to touring a chocolate factory!

I've really enjoyed all of my Brock Alumni events; pub social, Sip & Skate, IceDogs game, learn to paddle, Dragon Boating, beer tour, wine tour, Homecoming Weekend, professional development events, bowling, trivia, Christmas party...

I was able to enjoy a vacation to Florida, I learned how to play pickleball and attended several plays (two at the local little theatre, Peter Pan at a larger theatre and The Wizard of Oz in Toronto). I also had the opportunity to attend the National finals for Chartwell's Senior Star competition. I also attended, and was recognized, at an United Way Volunteer Appreciation Night.
There were also birthday parties, nights spent with friends, meeting new people, hot chocolate dates, dinner, coffee, shopping, movies, hockey games, Sunday brunch...

Two highlights of my year were:
  1. Seeing (and meeting!) David Myles TWICE! It's well documented on this blog what a huge fan I am of his, so getting to see him perform live and meeting him afterwards was pretty amazing. When I saw him the second time, he remembered me from the first time we had met. He's super talented and seems like such a nice guy. 
  2. Summering. This was the 4th or 5th summer I spent with Daniel. It was bittersweet...the best summer we spent together and likely the last. He's currently doing his Masters in England and working for an auction house...I think his days of managing an antique storefront in a tourist town over the summer are behind him. We went out for dinner, stayed in and cooked dinner, we prepped for a garden party, attended dinner parties, we had indoor picnics, we kept each other company, we explored the town...we enjoyed each others company, told each other everything, and lived in a television show. I REALLY miss him...but it was the best summer!
2013 was an amazing, amazing year for me. It wasn't a perfect year, there was heartbreak... but overall, it was a fantastic year. I'm sad to say goodbye to 2013 but I look forward to finding out what 2014 has in store for me. 
I look forward to filling the 365 page book...I hope it's just as good, if not better, than the last one.

Monday 30 December 2013

2013: A Year In Review- Blog Edition

It's hard to believe that there are only two days left of 2013 and that we are the brink of starting a new year! I have had so many blog related things happen this past year, from buying my own domain to going on my first blog date aka blate to co-hosting my own swap! It was such a great blogging year for me.

I am not one of those bloggers focused on stats but I do keep track of my stats so that if people ask (and some have), I can tell them. It's crazy how much my blog has grown in the past 12 months!

Every month, it was fun to see what search terms lead people to my blog.

And of course seeing which blog posts were the most popular that month and how they compared to my favourite post from the same month (my favourite post is in brackets).

2013 was such a great (blog year) for me and I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!

Tuesday 24 December 2013

Christmas Eve & Birthday Wishes

It's hard to believe that Christmas Eve is hear already. The year has gone quickly! It seems like only yesterday, I was getting ready to have breakfast with a my longest (and pregnant) friend, before meeting two of my best friends from high school for lunch, and then heading home to spend some time with my family, visit my grandmother and join a friend and her family for their Christmas Eve celebration. 

Our Christmas Eve traditions have changed as I have aged. I've gone from Christmas Eve visits with Santa to Christmas Eve visits with my dad in his office, where we would toast and reflect on the past year, as well as plan for the coming year; something him and his father did every year and I started doing when my grandfather was no longer able. 

Christmas Day, to me, while filled with family and friends, always seems so hectic and rushed. Christmas Eve seems to be a slower pace, a time to really relax and enjoy the company of others. 

Don't get me wrong, I have a busy day ahead of me; last minute errands with my parents, spending time with my sister, wrapping the last of my gifts, coffee with a friend, welcoming my brother home, visiting my grandma, dinner with my family, celebrating with a friend and her family, home to spend time with family and friends, helping Santa with putting presents under the tree and fill stockings. 
At the end of the day, after the baking and socializing, the music and movies, shopping and wrapping...Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 
I remember, as a child, going to Church and having the priest call all the children up to the alter, the only time he did this all year, and he would talk to us about how Christmas was when Jesus was born. He would then lead us to the Nativity Scene- Jesus wasn't placed in the manger until Christmas Eve mass- where we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. 
During the hectic times of the holidays, I hope everyone can take a minute or two to remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas...and maybe even sing Happy Birthday. 

Monday 23 December 2013

Inspire Me

Happy Monday! I can't believe that today is the official start of my 2 week vacation and that it's the week of Christmas! Not to mention, the last full week of 2014!

After working from home for bit on Friday and doing some errands, I had lunch with my sister and a friend, followed by a manicure. That night, I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday. Saturday was spent running Christmas related errands. Yesterday, we had a huge ice storm so I spent the day wrapping presents before going to my grandma's for her birthday.

Today I'm having lunch with a friend, picking up last minute Christmas stuff and then going to my dad's work party. The rest of the week will be filled with family, friends, holiday cheer and the World Juniors!

Some inspiration to get you through the week:

Friday 20 December 2013

Favourite Things- Christmas Style (From Atmosphere To What To Wear)

I know that that there has been an overload of Christmas post over the past few weeks...I promise they won't last much longer...but here's another one. I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favourite things that I incorporate into the holidays.

Accessorizing: On a daily basis, I keep my jewelery simple (necklace, ring and maybe earrings) and the holidays are no exception. I have so much stuff that I take with me everywhere, so it's essential that I have a tote bag. But, for Christmas, I down size to a clutch; I alternate between a classic black, festive gold and sparkle purple. 
What To Wear:  As a practicing Catholic, we always went to Church Christmas morning. Whatever I wear to Church is what I wear all day. I love wearing sweaters, they are so comfortable and cozy (not to mention warm!), plus nice enough for Church, formal dinner, etc. Red, green, silver and blue are popular sweater colour choices for me for Christmas.

Tabletop: For our big Christmas meal, we place a candy cane at each place setting and use a Christmas cracker as a place card. Our family members are good sports about popping the crackers, wearing the crowns and reading aloud our jokes. 

Decorating: Each year, my sister and I decorate a gingerbread house, which becomes the centre piece of our home. It travels to the different rooms in our house, depending on which room our family and guests are in. 

Atmosphere: My mom insists on lighting candles, which does create an intimate mood. I prefer scented wax melts/tarts. Yankee Candle has so many choices that are perfect for Christmas; a personal favourite is North Pole.
O Christmas Tree: I love our tree! It's not perfect, it's not real, it doesn't have a theme and the ornaments don't match. We use coloured lights, different garlands, the ornaments were made by siblings and me or gifted to us over the years, the angel on top of the tree I made when I was 4 and is held together by duct tape. And our tree is COVERED in tinsel. My favourite tradition around our tree is that it doesn't get decorated until everyone is home, which is usually Christmas Eve, so we can decorate it together. 
Gift Giving: I do a lot of my Christmas shopping online. Not only do I avoid the crowds, but I can have items shipped directly to my parents place. This way, I don't have to worry about transporting gifts from point A to point B or about accidentally leaving a gift in my apartment. I like to have a couple of extra gifts on hand, just in case. While these are generic gifts that can be given to anyone, I like to make them personal to me; chocolate from the city I live in (the city is known for these chocolates), wine from the Niagara Region (where I grew up) or something from the Alzheimer Society (they always have something different during the holidays that they sell as a fundraiser. This year is hand made pottery mugs with a forget-me-not flower on them).

Finishing Touches: Christmas music! I love Christmas and I think it's the perfect way to tie everything together. It adds to the atmosphere and puts everyone in a festive mood. When it's just my parents, siblings and I, I usually just find the holiday channel on tv. When our extended family (and friends) arrive, I play either Harry Connick Jr or Michael Buble's Christmas albums. Towards the end of the day, it's the holiday playlist on my iPod set to shuffle; Luke Bryan, Mariah Carey, Barenaked Ladies, Pentatonix, Frank Sinatra and everyone in between can be found on the playlist. 

Thursday 19 December 2013

Ninja Turtles, Art Supplies & Totally Gross

Every year my dad and his colleagues participate in the local Toys for Tots program. When we were younger, my dad would take my brother and me with him to pick out the toys; one each. After my sister was old enough, she would come too. Of course, we all got older and my brother and I moved out of town, so this tradition came to end.

This year, I was home the weekend my dad was going shopping for the toys he was going to donate. I asked if I could join him and help pick out the toys; he said yes!
I convinced my dad that instead of buying two toys, he should buy three; one to represent each of his kids- years ago, he made a comment to the media saying something to that affect.

Totally Gross is a game and when my sister was little she had had a similar game...I don't remember what it was called, but it involved snot...she REALLY wanted the game for Christmas and ended up getting it. She was so happy. 

Growing up, I was really artistic and was frequently given art supplies for Christmas. One year I even got a pottery wheel. One of my favourite gifts came from my grandparents. It was a bag full of paint, markers, crayons, different kinds of papers...it was great and very similar to the 5 in 1 Creative Art Tub.

As a kid, my brother loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ninja Turtles was actually the first movie my parents took us to see in the theatre, because my brother loved them so much. He even had a (plastic) table and chair set, with the chairs shaped like the ninja turtles. And, of course, he had all the action figures.

I'm happy my dad let me go with him this year. I had a lot of fun picking out the perfect gift to represent brother, sister and me.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Little Drummer Boy

I saw this video about a year ago and it's still one of my favourite Christmas videos. So much talent.

While Little Drummer Boy is not my favourite Christmas song (my Christmas Playlist can be found here), I do love this version of it:

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure: The Experience

I never thought I would try press-on nails. To me, press-on nails always looked so fake, and dare I say, tacky. Plus, I had heard how the glue could damage your nails. So, no thanks.

When I had the opportunity to try imPress Press-On Nails by Broadway Nails, I was bit hesitant. 
I thought the packaging was cute and creative; it's shaped like a nail polish bottle. I liked how the nails came in a variety of sizes, so these nails should 'fit' everyone. I'm not sure how many nails were in the package, but I was able to get two sets of nails, with leftovers. 
There's a tab that you peel off the back of the nail, which reveals the glue, and then press them one; it was that easy, no messy or complicated application.

They say the nails last up to a week and I would say this is fairly accurate; I wore mine for 6 days before they came loose and I took them off. It was really easy to take them off too. Just loosen the edges, which wasn't difficult, and peel them off. Again no mess and not complicated. There was no damage to my nails either; you couldn't even tell that I had worn press-on nails for a week.

I got so many compliments on these nails! They looked really natural and everyone was surprised to hear that they were press-on nails! I was able to do everything I would normally do, including Christmas baking, without any real issues. 

One of the nails fell off while I was sleeping, but I think I just didn't press it on hard enough; I just took one of the leftover nails and put it on. Also, it's important to make sure that the nails are the right length for you. As you can see from the above picture, the nail on my pinky is pretty long. It kept getting hit/caught and eventually fell off after 3 or 4 days.

 As much as I love this product, I probably wouldn't use it to replace a weekly manicure, (just because I prefer my natural nails and length; easier to type/text), I can see myself using this product again and frequently. I would use them for a night out or anytime I want to have nice nails (ex important meeting with a client) but don't have time for a manicure. This is a product that I am going to make the point of keeping on hand (no pun intended) because you never know when you'll need pretty nails.

I highly recommend this product and will be using it in the future.

I received this product complimentary for testing and review purposes from Influenster.

Hey! It's Ok

Idea taken from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry One Sock At A Time.

To be wanting to relive Saturday. We got hit by a lot of snow, so I walked over to a friends house and had the best time. Kraft Dinner, chocolate cake and nachos were accompanied by a lot of laughter. We said we'd do this once a month, and I hope we do.

That I watched 24/7. I love this series (follows two teams leading up to the Winter Classic), it's neat to see the behind the scenes of hockey clubs. Plus, this year, Joffrey Lupul...sigh.

To be planning my birthday. It's just under 2 months away but I want to have a great birthday...do something fun, celebrate.  

That the commercial I worked on is done! I saw the final version and I LOVE it! I can't wait to share it.

To like being in the office by myself...I get so much work done!

Monday 16 December 2013

Christmas Gift Guide

Christmas is a week and a half way...crazy! I'm trying really hard not to think about everything I have to do in the next week to prepare for Christmas...It's a long list! I'm hoping that I'll be able to work through my to do list in time for the holidays. Luckily, I have all of my Christmas shopping done! I know that a lot of people are still on the hunt for the perfect gift(s), so I thought I'd share some of my favourite gifts to give...and that I wouldn't mind receiving!

Buche De Noel Facial Cleanser- Lush $12.95-29.95// Pure Handknit Button Wrap (this can be worn 5 different ways!)- Shannon Passero $59.00// The Night Before Christmas- Chapters $10.92// Multistripe Caribou Throw- Hudson's Bay Company Collection $150.00// Monogram Cheeseboard With Spreader- Chapters $19.50// Chopping Pocket- Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) $16.00// City Tote Bag- Hudson's Bay Company $50.00// Magazine Subscription- Flare $14.95

 Donation to a Charity- Alzheimer Society of Canada// Neon Buddha Craft Patchwork Jacket- Shannon Passero $138.00// Tank Knit & Pant Set- LaSenza $29.50// Christmas Ornament- Chapters $9.50// 2014 Snow Top Red Mittens- Hudson's Bay Olympic Collection $10.00// Santa's Lip Scrub- Lush $8.95// Wine Club- Pillitteri $55.00/month// Mini French Terry Robe- LaSenza $36.50// Canadian Diamond Solitaire Stud Earrings- Peoples Jewellers $199.00

Friday 13 December 2013

The Night Before Christmas

It seems that everyone loves Christmas day, but I've always loved Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is spent visiting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; the exact same people I spend Christmas Day with. But Christmas was always different, special. 

My family always had our big Christmas Eve meal at home, just my parents and siblings, and we would go to my aunt's house for dessert. We still do this. 

When we were little, my uncle ALWAYS forgot to buy ice cream to accompany dessert. So my aunt would send him out to buy some. While my uncle was gone, his sister would pull out a copy of The Night Before Christmas and read to us.
Image via greenbookblog.org
In the middle of the book, we hear what sounded like reindeer on the roof. We'd all rush to a window and see if we could see anything, like Santa's sleigh. We never did see that sleigh, but while we were looking Santa would walk into the house!

This was, clearly, the most exciting thing ever. We all got to talk to Santa and get candy canes. He'd remind us to go to bed when we were told too so that he could come back with his presents. After a visit with Santa, we would wish us a Merry Christmas and tell us he had to get going- it was a busy night for him after all. 

A few minutes after Santa left, my uncle would return with ice cream. Upon his return, he would also be informed that he just missed Santa, but we gave him all the details. 

Looking back, I can't believe that my uncle missed seeing Santa every. single. year. If only he had picked up ice cream on his way home from work, like he was supposed too...

Thursday 12 December 2013

Christmas Reading List

I can't believe that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away- crazy! I'm looking forward to having some time off to spend with family and friends- and, of course, watching the World Juniors!! I'm also looking forward to having some time to read! 

I love to read and have loved to read since I was a child. I was lucky enough to family (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles) that encouraged me to read and were constantly supplying me with books. I remember being a kid and being at Coles with my dad and brother. My dad bought us a collection of Christmas books, which was four books- The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas and The 12 Days of Christmas. I loved those books and I was so happy that my dad bought them for us.

Here are 6 Christmas books that are on my must read list:
All photos via amazon.com
I also recently reviewed Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas and am currently reading Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Hey! It's Ok

Idea taken from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry One Sock At A Time.

To be unsure how I feel about McDonald's now serving poutine.

That I am taking two weeks off for Christmas!!! This is HUGE for me! I rarely take time off, never mind two weeks! Ok, it's really only 3.5 days- Dec 23 and half of Dec 24, Jan 2 and Jan 3. My work gives us half of Dec 24 (we close early for Christmas) and Dec 27, 30 and 31. Dec 25, 26 and Jan 1 are Stats. But still...two weeks of not going to the office.

To take out the bed part of my pullout couch so that I can lie 'in bed' and watch Christmas movies on TV.

That I survived my first (and likely last) attempt of Christmas baking on my own. I think from now on, I'm going to stick to Christmas baking with my grandma.

To be unhappy about recent car issues. I hope that they will be able to fix my car tomorrow with no additional issues. And, of course, that it won't be too expensive.

That I was thinking about getting Instagram...and then I found out that you can only sign via an app on your phone. So, I went to get the app and I found out that Instagram is not available for Blackberry!!! Wait, what?!?!?!?! True story.

To LOVE that the Sing-Off is back!!! I love this show! The acoUstiKats are my favourite!

That I'm counting down the days...(and to LOVE this commercial):

Monday 9 December 2013

Inspire Me

Happy Monday! I can't believe that Christmas is just over 2 weeks away! I have mailed all of my Christmas cards (and have already received a few too) and spent the weekend baking for a cookie exchange. 

The highlight of my weekend was seeing my cousin and her daughter. My little cousin is in grade 3 and she is always one of my favourite people to shop for! Every year I get her a Christmas book (this year, it's Santa is Coming to Canada) and a gift (this year, Decorate Santa's Christmas Cookie Plate). We had a nice visit, she loved her presents and I learned about the tradition of the Christmas spider!

As always, I have a busy week ahead of me. We are having our work Christmas lunch this week and my sorority is always having our Christmas social this week- pot luck, cookie exchange and ornament exchange. It should be pretty fun!
As always, some inspiration to get through the week:

Saturday 7 December 2013

Weekly What?

Idea taken from my darling friend Jenn from Party of One for Weekly What?

Basically, you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday! What a great idea! I love the concept of having all of your posts from the week in one post- it's a great summary of the week on a blog.

MONDAY: I started the week off with some inspiration

TUESDAY: I linked up with Amber for Hey! It's Ok.

WEDNESDAY: I posted a review on Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas.

THURSDAY: I shared my this years Christmas cards.

FRIDAY:  I finished the week with Monthly Round Up: November

Friday 6 December 2013

Monthly Round Up: November

Idea taken from Jen, Our Love and Our Blessing. What's Monthly Round Up? On the first Friday of each month, you recap some (or all) of your posts from the previous month!

In October, I...

...recapped November's post.
...did some Blogkeeping.
...shared my thoughts on the CMA's.
...talked about the Poppy.
...wrote about Remembrance Day.
...had a guest blogger.
...posted a recipe for S'more Crescent Rolls.
...featured my thoghts on first perceptions.
...introduced must watch Christmas Movies.
...linked up for Boys Behind the Blog.
...revealed what I got in my Cara Box.
...created a Christmas Playlist
...wish I could've participated in the Food Court Flash Mob
...ended the month with an update on my life recently.

Throughout the month, I...
...compiled my Monday-Friday posts for Weekly What? (here and here).
...posted weekly Inspiration (here, here and here)

I participated in two weekly link ups;
Hey! It's Ok (here, here, here and here)
Sunday Social (Wish List & Media and 4's)

Lots of different posts...I can't wait to see what December will bring!

Thursday 5 December 2013

Christmas Cards

I know so few people who send out actual Christmas cards. Most people I know send out an e-holiday greeting, which is nice. There's something to be said about sending actual Christmas cards. My Christmas cards are usually a combination of cards that I designed on vistaprint and handmade cards that I buy from a friend. 
Handmade Cards
It's no secret that I am a BUSY person, so it can be hard for me to find the time to sit down and actually write my Christmas cards; I include a handwritten note with all of my cards. This takes me hours to do, but to me, it's worth it. I love taking the time to write a short note wishing my family and friends a Merry Christmas. Even if I don't see them over the holidays, I want them to know that I am thinking about them.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas

I love a lot of things. A LOT of things. Three things that I love are Christmas, books and my blog. So, when I was given the opportunity to review a Christmas book for my blog, I couldn't have been happier!

Author: Teri Ahlem
What I have to say: 
I love that the focus of this book was on keeping Christmas simple. Teri addressed everything you would hope to see in a holiday guide; decorating, gift ideas, entertaining. But again, with keeping things simple. She even mentioned scaling back, not having a jammed pack holiday calendar and questioning why we have certain traditions (ex, it's a tradition to go to the movies...but really, there's just nothing else to do). 

Teri offered practically, easy to follow advice. I loved the idea of decorating for the winter season instead of Christmas, that way you can enjoy the decorations longer. I also loved all of the recipes she included and am tempted to try the stain glass cookies this year!

One of the most important points to the book was self care. Teri talked about how important it is to take care of ourselves during the holidays. The best part is, these are tips that can be used throughout the year! 

The only 'negative' thing I have to say about this book is that I wish it didn't have a style guide. Teri does provide great outfit ideas and tips but I feel that adding a 'style section' will date the book. Yes, it's relevant now, but what happens when the styles change in a year or two? For the record, I don't like when any guide books included a style section, for this reason. 

This book also includes a gift guide. There are lots of great gift ideas and I may or may not have used one of the ideas for a Christmas gift for my dad- even though I have already bought his Christmas gift...this was too good of an idea to pass up!

Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas is available in both e-reader and paperback formats. For more information on this book or to purchase a copy. Please go here.

***Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book for free, in exchange for an honest review on my blog. All opinions are my own.***

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Hey! It's Ok

Idea taken from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry One Sock At A Time.

To be sad that Paul Walker died. It's sad when anyone dies, but especially someone so young.

That I have a new favourite drink at Starbucks; Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. Soooo good!

To like Cabbie's 2014 Olympic Hockey Team. Well, I might not like his selections, or agree with them 100%, I do love his reasoning

That I'm disappointed that I couldn't attend Smart, Pretty & Awkward's anniversary party last night.

To be counting down the days to the World Juniors! Selection Camp opened yesterday...it's getting closer!

That Datevitation is shipping to Canada! This is a cute and unique gift for anyone in your life!

To be excited that Influenster is FINALLY in Canada!!! I received the Maple VoxBox and I can't wait to share/review the products I received!

Monday 2 December 2013

Inspire Me

I can't believe that it's December! This year has flown by! It's been a great year so far and I'm looking forward to seeing what this month has in store. I have the day off from work and will be spending the morning baking with my grandma and the afternoon running errands. So, not really a relaxing day but I am looking forward to spending time with my grandmother.

As always, here's some inspiration for the week:


Friday 29 November 2013

Life Update- November

I can't believe it's the second to last day of November already! This month, like most months this year, has just flown by! Before I update you on what I've been doing this month, I just have to share this video:

Oh man... after you have recovered from the amazing-ness that is Luke Bryan, read on to see what I've been up to this past month!

Once again, work dominated my life...but work also rewarded me with some pretty great opportunities. Besides the day to day office stuff, this month I:
  • Attended the National Finals for Chartwell Senior Star (Canada's talent competition for people 65+)
  • Hosted a Community Engagement Session; a chance for us to update our community partners on what we've been working on the past few months
  • Attended the Chamber Awards, where we were nominated for two awards; Best Marketing Campaign (we lost to men in heels) and Best Fundraiser (we lost to real, live elephants)
  • Did a presentation to local branch managers of one of our community partners
  • Attended a Young Professionals Networking event, where I was the last to leave because I got talking to a Chef who has his own television show!
  • Meetings: 1 staff, three committee, 4 department meetings, 6 community partner/sponsorship meetings, 1 potential volunteer meeting
  • Networking Breakfast
The highlight of my professional life this month was working on a television commercial for CTV! I ended up being much more involved in the process than initially thought. HUGE thanks to CTV for allowing me to REALLY work with them! I was originally just supposed to sign off on the script and recruit people to be in the commercial. But I had the opportunity to provide them with a concept, consult on the script, offer input and shot ideas when filming, and review footage while on location. We will be shooting the second part of the commercial next week. I can't wait to share more details AND the final commercial with everyone!!

Personally, I have been just as busy and have had a variety of fun things going on:
  • Had dinner with my university roommate
  • Went to an AHL hockey game
  • Fundraiser for Big Brothers/Big Sisters (posting about the event is on my list of things to do!)
  • Dinner with friends/former co-workers; including meeting one friends new baby!
  • Dinner with my dad
  • Bowling with Brock Alumni
  • Brock Trivia Night in support of the United Way
  • High School Alumni meeting
  • Sorority meeting
  • Peter Pan...it was a traditional Panto performance, so much fun and highly entertaining
Today is a co-workers last day before she starts her mat leave, so we are having a little going away lunch for her, which will be bittersweet. She is a close friend and I will be sad not to see her everyday. I know that she'll be back and I know I'll still see her. It's crazy to think that, likely, the next time I see her, she will have a baby! Also, tonight is the Brock Alumni Christmas Dinner! I'm excited to be kicking off the holiday season with my fellow Alumni Network executive members.

December will be busy with work; handful of meetings already set, plus the staff Christmas lunch and finishing our CTV commercial. December is also the holiday season, which is always a busy time for everyone. December is also World Juniors (international hockey tournament)!!!! It's going to be a great month!

I also wanted to thank Sarah from Journeys of the Zoo for featuring me on her blog during the month of November! 
I Am Canadian Feature for November is Dreams and Colour 
One last thing...if you are looking for a unique gift, a gift for someone special (significant other, parent, sibling, etc) and/or a gift for the person who has everything, check out Datevitation! They are now shipping to Canada!

Thursday 28 November 2013

Food Court Flash Mob

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and happy Thursday to my non-American friends!! I have had a busy week but today is Day 1 of shooting our tv commercial! While it should be a bit of a hectic day, it should also be a fun, interesting day. I'm looking forward to being part of the filming and I'm looking forward to Day 2 of film next week. 

Today I decided to share Food Court Flash Mob! I know this video is a couple of years old, but I still love it and I still think it's beautiful. 

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Christmas Playlist

While Christmas might not be my favourite holiday, I love the Christmas season. I love the spirit of Christmas, the giving and generosity, the baking and visiting, teh haunt for the perfect gift and sending Christmas cards, the movie, books and music. Just everything associated with the Holiday season, I love. 

In the spirit of the season, I decided to share some of my favourite Christmas songs. There are so many Christmas songs that I love and it was hard to create a playlist of my favourites, but I did it!

I Pray On Christmas       Angels We Have Heard On High       Silent Night       O Holy Night       12 Days of Christmas       Christmas By The Lake       God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen       Santa Claus Is Coming To Town       Hark! The Herald Angel Sings       The First Noel       Christmas In Killarney       I Saw Three Ships       Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas       The Christmas Song       Cold December Night       Run Run Rudolph       I'll Be Home For Christmas           

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Hey! It's Ok

Idea taken from Amber at Airing My Dirty Laundry One Sock At A Time.

To be working on a commercial for a national television station. Sure, the commercial will only be seen in select, local markets...but still.

That I've been sleeping a lot. I'm just exhausted- mentally, physically, emotionally. I just need a break.

To be taking next Monday off. I'll be doing my annual Christmas baking with my grandma. We bake together every year...it's our tradition.

That even though Rogers just bought the broadcast/media rights to NHL hockey, CBC is still going to keep Hockey Night In Canada. If you're not Canadian, you won't understand what a huge deal this is.

To wishing the snow will hold off for a couple more weeks. I'm just not ready.

Monday 25 November 2013

Inspire Me

Happy Monday! Even though I had a low key weekend, I could still use another day off to recover from the craziness that was last week! I have another jam packed week ahead of me and it`s a co-workers last week before she starts her mat leave. Sad. 

Here`s some inspiration to help get through this last week of November: