Friday 31 January 2014

Secret Sister, Valentine's Day & Other Occasions: Unique Gift Idea

Happy Friday!! This has seemed like the longest week ever! I'm not sure if it's because this was actually a long week or if it's because I worked on Sunday, plus put in a full work week. Either way, I am exhausted and ready for the weekend!!!

I'm supposed to go to a Brock University basketball game with friends tomorrow, but the weather is supposed to be less than ideal (15cm of snow and cold), so we will see what happens. I have some things I need to do around the apartment, for the blog and birthday planning.
As most people know, my birthday is on Valentine's Day. I'm not going to go into how much this sucks or why it sucks... But I am going to say, other people get gifts on my birthday. I have to figure out a unique and thoughtful gift to give to someone on my birthday. Not cool.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Datevitation. They were looking to expand shipping to Canada (yea!!) and were wondering if I would order a book and let them know when I received it, so they could test how long it takes to ship to Canada. In exchange for helping them out, they I would get the book for free.

I did a 'Just Because' of book for one of my Sorority Sisters. I created it for her and her husband and I was able to add a personal message at the beginning of the book, which I signed 'Your Secret Sister'. 

I picked dates that I thought her and her husband would enjoy- dinner out, movie night- and a couple of fun 'dates'- her husband getting to win an argument and her husband filling her car with gas. Each date includes an illustration of the date and a blurb, which can be personalized. I liked that I was able to personalize it even more by adding their faces to the illustration (I blacked out their faces in the picture below for privacy reasons).

The caption in the picture reads "R wins an argument, He's right, J's wrong. Case closed."
The verdict? The book was of good quality and it took less than a week for me to receive the finished product. Plus, it was a huge hit! Everyone had a good laugh over some the dates that were picked and the stick figures are pretty cute with human heads on them. This was a really unique, unexpected and fun gift!

For more information or to create your own book of dates- makes a perfect Valentine's Day gift, which is only 2 weeks away- visit Dateviation.

***DISCLOSURE: I was sent a free Datevitation book to help the company see how long it would take to ship to Canada. Once they decided that they would introduce shipping to Canada, I was asked to write a review. All opinions are my own.***

Thursday 30 January 2014

Life Update: January

I can't believe that this month will be over tomorrow! I feel that the month went by fairly quickly, but slower than months in 2013. 

I started the month with a blog post, where I had mentioned how great 2013 had been and that I hoped the 'good' would carry over to 2014. Sadly, this wasn't the case. There was a lot of good this month, but also a lot of not so good. Reflecting back on the month...the good that happened isn't the first to come to mind.

I really struggled this month. And while I am not struggling as much, I am still struggling. I'm trying to find ways to remain hopeful and positive. It's challenging. 

But who wants to hear about negative stuff? No one! And quite frankly, I don't particularly want to write about negative stuff.

After the holidays, I didn't have to be back to work until January 5. I was able to spend a couple of extra days out of the city and prepare myself for the month ahead. Due to weather, our office was actually closed on January 5 and 6- yea two extra days off! I spent them in my apartment reading and watching tv. It was great.
Work takes over my life for the month of January. I had 20 work days (including the two snow days) this month. I had 18 work related meeting this month...that's crazy.
Remember when I worked on a commercial? The event was this past weekend. $30,000 was raised and everyone had a lot of fun at the event. After the event, I went out with some was nice to socialize with them outside of work.

Due to the weather, a number of social activities were cancelled, so on a personal level, it was a quiet month. Surprisingly, I was only social three times this month...that is so unlike me!

I had dinner with a was nice to see her and catch up. We went to one of my favourite restaurants, so the food was amazing!
I have mentioned before that I am a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Our chapter meeting, program and social this month were cancelled due to weather. But we were invited to visit another chapter. Chapter visitation is where one chapter invites another chapter to join them for a social activity and it's an opportunity to get to know people outside of our chapter.
We ended up doing belly dancing! Our instructor gave us a history on belly dancing, which was kind of interesting. Did you know that belly dancing was originally for women only? They would gather in caves, kitchens, etc to celebrate and just start dancing.
It was a lot of fun and it was nice to meet new people, but I had a blast with the girls from my chapter. We spent most of the night laughing. 

The highlight of the month was celebrating a friends 30th birthday! Last year, she had a murder mystery dinner party. This year, she had a pajama party! It was such a relaxed, low key night. I loved it! Everyone was told to wear pj's and show up hungry. She is an amazing cook and served a ton of food. After everyone arrived and had plates full of food, she started the screening of her favourite movie, Doctor Zhivago. 

I had never seen the movie before. It was really interesting...but really long! One of the girls there was actually from Russia. It was fun to watch it with her...she was able to tell us what the signs meant and give us a bit of history on Russia and the events in the movie.We were allowed to talk during the movie and we hung out a bit after the movie. It was a REALLY fun night!
A couple of blog keeping items:
Work will be busy in February, but I have a lot of fun things birthday is next month! I have a few things planned throughout the month to celebrate. I'm looking forward to it...should be a fun month!

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Hey! It's Ok

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

To have had a successful event on the weekend, even though we didn't reach our goal. I knew back in November that we weren't going to reach our goal, so I wasn't surprised. But the event itself ran smoothly, every had fun, people were happy...a huge success.

That I support Bell's Let's Talk Campaign, which raises awareness and funds for mental health initiatives. For ever text message, mobile and long distance phone call, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives. Not a Bell phone user? They are also donating 5 cents for every tweet that uses #LetsTalk. I also like that Bell is using all their media (phone, radio and tv) to focus on Let's Talk, including airing television different specials on their different channels. More info can be found here.
To be dreading my day full of meetings (11:30-1, 1-2, 2:30-4, 7-8:30), especially since I didn't fall asleep until 2am and was woken up before 5 by my neighbour.

That I can get back to life outside of work now that my event is over! A social tomorrow night, Brock basketball game on Saturday, dinner out on Saturday, touring the Hamilton Ti-Cats new stadium on Tuesday...lots of fun things coming up in the next week!

To think that everyone should enter Sew Crafty Angel's Birthday Giveaway. There's still time to enter and you can win $850!!! Enter here.

Monday 27 January 2014

Inspire Me- Being Better

Happy Monday and happy last week of January! It was a snowy, cold weekend that I spent working. Not a ton of fun and not a lot to report. I had a fundraiser for work this weekend and the next few weeks will be spent doing post-event wrap up stuff, on top of my usual work, including working on the next fundraiser for early March.

Here's some inspiration for the week:
I am not the 'best' at anything. I'm not even very good at most things, but I'm ok with that because I'm always working towards being a better person...not the best, just better. I think that if people stopped trying to be the best, they would be happier, less stressed out, etc. Yet by challenging yourself to be better, there is still that motivation to work and accomplish.

Thursday 23 January 2014


When I was doing my post grad, I was assigned an advisor. Her job was to help me with a project I was working on, mentor me and advise me. Of the 20ish students that were assigned to her, she only liked 2 or 3. I was not one of the chosen favourites. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was in the bottom 5 of students she disliked the most. 

One Wednesday in February...I'll never forget this day...after having a meeting with her that morning and seeing her several times on campus that day, she decided to call me at home. Why she didn't talk to me when I she saw me that day or ask me to stop by her office before I left, I will never know. Why it was so important for her to say these things to me that she had to call me at home (which she had never done before and which she never did again), I will never know. I will also never know why they couldn't have waited until the following week when I was back on campus (I had class Monday-Wednesday and did placement Thursday-Friday).

Why did she call me?

Basically, to tell me what a horrible person I am.

I don't remember everything she said to me, but it was a lot of hurtful (and untrue) things. There were two things that she said to me, that really stood out and I have never forgotten:
  1. That I was an elitist
  2. I wouldn't accomplish anything in life and if I did, it would be because of who my dad is
For the record, I do not and have not ever considered myself an elitist. Prior to that conversation, I had accomplished a lot on my own. Both of my parents were (and are) supportive of what I do, but my dad made sure that I did things on my own and for myself. In fact, my dad owns his own company and he told me I would need to get 5 years experience in the industry before he would even, not me about coming to work for the company. I have one more year to go.

Anyway, I feel I handled the conversation well. I was calm, polite...I told her that those were her opinions and we were all entitled to our own opinions. I also told her that I was sorry she felt that way.

The conversation ended with her telling me to enjoy my weekend and me bursting into tears as soon as I hung up.

I called one of my closest friends at the time and told him what happened. After he calmed me down enough so that he could understand what I was saying, he went into what I call "Captain Mode". He was the captain of his hockey team and started talking to me like one of the guys on his team:
  1. Calmed me down
  2. Put things in persepective
  3. Gave advice
  4. Pumped me up
Another conversation I will never forget...and a conversation I often go back to. He built my confidence up after it had been torn down. He also told me that just because I didn't have a 'leader title' (like captain or event chair), didn't mean I couldn't be a leader or set an example. 

Years later, I am finding myself in a situation, that is reminding me of this advisor. I have two people who are supposed to, as part of their jobs, advise, help and mentor me. One won't talk to me and the other has flat out said he doesn't care and won't help me. 
There is so much more to this situation... It started almost a year ago and continually got worse. Things started to get really bad in November and escalated from there.
Unlike that time from my post grad...I don't have anyone to talk to. I don't have anyone to put things in perspective or build my confidence up again. 

I've reached my breaking point. I'm feeling a lot of things, including defeated. I'm really struggling.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Hey! It's Ok

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

To have picked the worst week to get injured; I twisted my ankle on Friday and hurt my back on Monday...and Sunday is one of my biggest fundraisers of the year.

That I have been on a Daria kick recently. I have always loved this show and own the series on DVD. But recently, I have been watching hours and hours of the show.
To feel...stuck, lost, disheartened... Things have been going from bad to worse recently. I have options and none of them are good. I also don't feel that any of them will resolve the issues. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to resolve the issues...and the people who are, don't seem to care.

That I'm trying to narrow down birthday options. There are so many things I can do, and I'm not really sure what I want to do.

To think that everyone should enter Sew Crafty Angel's Birthday Giveaway. You can win $850!!! You can enter here.

Monday 20 January 2014

Inspire Me- Find A Way

I had another great weekend, which I'm sad to see come to an end. It started with celebrating a friends birthday and ended with a visit with family that lives out of town. It was a really fun weekend!
Here we are at the start of a new week, but it's not just any week- it's event week. I have a huge event on Sunday that I am organizing, so this week will be filled with last minute things to get done, mini emergency's and just all around hecticness!

Some inspiration to get through the week:

I love this quote! How true is it? People make excuses all the time as to why things can't get done. That's all it is, excuses. If something is really important, or it must get done, you will find a way to do it. This happens to me all the time...people telling me it can't be done, there's not enough time, we don't have the resources (human or money)...I hear a lot of excuses on a daily basis-and I make them too.

If you really care about something, you will find away to work through the excuses and get the job done. If you find yourself making an excuse, maybe take a minute to look at the task at hand and decide how much of a priority it is to you. The important things will get done.

Friday 17 January 2014

Olympic Countdown

Happy Friday! I have had a long, tough week and I know that next week will be even worse, so I am really looking forward to this weekend and the break that it will provide! I'm excited to celebrate a friends birthday tonight. She's having a pj party and screening one of her favourite movies. She won't tell us what the movie is, but we have all been instructed to show u in our comfiest pj's. It should be a fun night and I'm really looking forward to it!

I realized last night that the Winter Olympics will be starting in three weeks! With the Olympics in Russia and the time difference, it will be hard to watch a lot of the live broadcast events. I'm looking forward to cheering on the Canadian Olympians and, hopefully, watching them win some medals. 

To prepare for the upcoming Olympics, I wanted to share this montage from the 2010 Olympic Games:

After watching that, reliving those moments, how can you not be excited for the 2014 Games?!?

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Sew Crafty Angel's Birthday Giveaway!

What would you do with an extra $850?
Well, here's your chance to win $850 in 
Sew Crafty Angel's Birthday Giveaway Event!
Thanks to some amazing supporters of Sew Crafty Angel we were able to come together collectively with a CASH PRIZE of $850.

Meet your AWESOME Co-Hosts
(From top - Left to Right)
(From top - Left to Right)

And our lovely Sponsors!

Now, are you ready to Win some CASH?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Winner has 48 hours to respond to the winning email.
Giveaway will run from January 15th, 12:01 AM Central Time to January 31th, 12:01 AM Central Time

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Tuesday 14 January 2014

Hey! It's OK

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

To love (and be proud of) the commercial I worked on!.

That I am struggling to deal with some frustrations at work. Sadly, it's an issue that has been going on since last March and has only gotten worse overtime. I'm sticking it out and hoping for the best.

To be happy that Patrick Sharp was named to the Canadian Olympic Team!

That I seriously need to do groceries. I have crackers, yogurt, milk and butter (leftover from Christmas baking). It's sad.

To be looking forward to a friend's birthday party this weekend! Last year she had a chocolate themed murder mystery and this year she is having a pajama party! We've been instructed to show up in our pj's and she's doing a screening of her favourite movie. It should be a lot of fun. 

Monday 13 January 2014

Inspire Me- Be Friendly

Happy Monday! I had a quiet weekend and didn't do much of anything, which is fine by me. I have 12 hour work days today and tomorrow. I'm not sure what's going on later this week...just trying to get through the next two days.

Some inspiration for the week:

I like to think that I'm a pretty friendly person, but I know there are people that I encounter on a regular basis who are not the most pleasant to deal with. While I am polite to them, I do not go out of my way to be friendly and I minimize my interactions with them. This week, I am going to make a point to be friendly to these people.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Sunday Social- Blogging

Another weekend has come and gone. It was a pretty quiet and low key weekend over here, just what I needed to help prepare me for the craziness of the next two weeks!
Sunday Social

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?Dreams and Colour...I've had this blog since November of 2011.

2. Why do you blog?For fun and to write...this is just a hobby for me. 

3. What is the first blog you ever followed?Airing My Dirty Laundry
4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2013?
So hard to pick just one! So I'm going to go with Year in Review: Blog Edition, which lists my favourite blog posts from each month of 2012. 
5. What are your blogging goals for 2014?To continue to write on a regular basis and to write a 'personal' post at least once a month.

Friday 10 January 2014

So, I Worked On A Commercial...

Happy Friday!!! Before I get to today's post- a commercial I worked on- I just wanted to say that the ever talented and ever beautiful Justine from Single Sleepy Girl and I had a Skype date last night. I had a pretty rough day yesterday and I was ecstatic to find that we could Skype on short notice. I always have so much fun talking to Justine...lots of laughing! She totally made my night!

On to today's post...I've mentioned a handful of times over the past month or so that I was working on a commercial. I'm so excited to finally share the commercial! Huge thank you to CTV for allowing me to work so closely with them. I provided the concept, worked/consulted on the script, scouted and secured a portion of the locations, found the talent to be in the commercial and suggested footage shots. I was able to contribute a lot to the piece. I am so honoured to be part of this and am very, very, very proud of the final outcome.

Having the opportunity to work on a commercial for a national television station, even if the commercial will only be airing in select markets, was a dream come true. I had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of CTV staff. All of them are so talented and were super nice to me. I can't thank CTV enough for all that they did.'s the commercial!!

Thursday 9 January 2014

The Grand Tour Guide Top

I was recently contacted by ModCloth and challenged to come up with an outfit based on an accessory or piece of clothing. This week, the piece of clothing was The Grand Tour Guide Top.

When I first saw the top, my initial instinct was to pair it with skinny jeans and turn it into an outfit I'd wear on the weekend. That seemed too easy, so I decided to make the outfit something I could wear to work.

This is what I came up with:

I really loved the top felt it would fit into a business casual workplace, if styled correctly. 

Because The Grand Tour Guide Top is in ivory, I wanted to stay away from a black skirt/pant/etc. as I felt the outfit would become "waitress". When I came across the Coordinate Schedules Skirt, I felt it was a great match for the top. I loved the pattern and the colour, plus I felt it was an appropriate length for the office. 

With the pop of colour in the skirt, I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit neutral, which is why I chose the cognac coloured bag, which has some gold in it (I also felt the bag was big enough to carry all of the daily essentials of a non-profit fundraiser)- and the latte coloured heel. With the neckline of the top, and wanting to keep the outfit simple, I felt a delicate necklace would complete the look. The necklace has a free falling Alice and White Rabbit (bonus: with every necklace purchased, a book is sent to a community in great is that?!).

I had so much fun putting together this outfit and scouring ModCloth for the perfect pieces!

Wednesday 8 January 2014

Honey Badger Would Rent...and RentBack

I am very active with my alma mater, Brock University. There are a ton of reasons why I decided to be involved as an alumni, one of the main reasons is because I loved my time at Brock and am a Badger (our mascot) for life.

I had great professors and TA's, I made amazing friends, I had memorable experiences. I grew as a person and I walked away with an amazing education and degree...I actually have a job related to what I studied. I could on and on about all the great things about Brock. 

Something not so great? Textbooks. 

It was such a pain to go down to the bookstore, wait in line forever and then finally be granted access to 'the promised land' aka inside the bookstore, where you had to fight and elbow your way to the front of a crowd just to find the textbook you needed. If you were successful, you were awarded with waiting in line, again, only to pay $1,000 for these books.
If I knew about when I was in university, you could bet a $1,000 (or a semesters worth of books) that this is something I would’ve used!  

Since 2007, students on over 5,000 campus’ have used CampusBook Rentals. Why wouldn’t they? The perks are endless! Some perks of renting your textbooks include:
  • The convenience of buying textbooks from the comfort of your own home/dorm room (no lines!!!)
  • Saving 40-90% off of bookstore prices (that’s money you can put towards Spring Break!)
  • You can highlight in the textbooks
  • Flexible renting periods
  • Free shipping both way
You can watch this video to find out more:

The worse part of the textbook experience? After the semester, you were unlikely to use your textbooks again.
I'm excited to share that CampusBook Rentals has a solution to this, Rentback! This is a new initiative that lets students rent the textbooks they own to other students! You still own your textbook but renting it out to others allows you to make money. Using Rentback, you can make 2-4 times more money compared to what you would get for selling your textbooks back at the end of the semester. As a student, I definitely would have used Rentback! Who doesn't want to make money?

This video has more info:

On top of all this, getting your books from CampusBook Rentals, is actually a good deed. They’ve partnered with Operation Smile, which performs life saving cleft lip surgeries to children in need. For every book rented, they make a donation to Operation Smile. They are donating over 1,000 surgeries this year- or one surgery for every dollar I spent on a textbook, per semester.

DISCLAIMER: I was compensated to write this post, as is it being sponsored by Content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Hey! It's Ok

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

To be proud of Team Canada's WJC team. Even though they didn't medal and even though they had some ups and downs during the tournament, they represented did a great job representing Canada.

That I bought a Keurig for $50 (that's a $100 off!) on Boxing Day and I love it!! We have a Tassimo at work, which is great. I've been thinking about getting a Keurig or Tassimo for a couple of years and when it was on sale for $50, I couldn't pass up the great deal!

To be thinking about my birthday. I usually dread my birthday but I actually want to do something to celebrate this year. I'm not sure what...but I want to have fun.

That the Canadian Olympic team is being named today! There are sooooo many options for who can and should be named to the team. I'm interested to see who Hockey Canada picks.

To be done with winter. Ice storms, ice pellets, ice quakes, snow squalls, blizzard like conditions, freezing rain, flash freezes. That's in the past two weeks. And today? -25 low, high of -21 and feels like -40. 

That I didn't go to work yesterday or today. Yesterday was supposed to be my first day back after Christmas, but my boss closed the office due to the weather. Yea for extra time off!

To see the commercial I worked on airing on TV. Because I had yesterday off, I watched a ton of TV and was able to see the commercial. It was crazy to see it 'live'!

Monday 6 January 2014

Big Bold NYC

Confession: I am not one of those girls who LOVES makeup. Yes, I like makeup and I like trying different products and brands but I do not experiment with makeup. I don't even wear makeup on a daily basis.

When it comes to makeup, lip products (stick, gloss, balm, etc) are my product of choice. I have also been told by numerous people that if nothing else, I should at least wear mascara on a daily basis because I have such nice (natural) lashes. 

So, when I received my Maple VoxBox from Influenster, and saw it contained mascara and a plumping lip gloss from NYC Colour, I was pretty happy.

Let's start with the lip gloss...I really wanted to love this product. The colour was Big City Blush, which I loved. It's a very subtle colour and perfect for me. I also thought that it had a nice glossy finish but the gloss is a bit 'sticky'. It's not super sticky, but sticker than what I normally use/like.

This product is a lip plumper and I don't feel it plumped my lips. I didn't notice a different and my family/friends didn't either. My lips did become plumper, it wasn't enough for people to notice. Like other lip plumpers, it does aggravate your lips, which is what causes your lips to plump. I have used lip plumpers before so I was expecting the burning feeling. However, after applying this product, my lips burned for at least 30 minutes. In my opinion, that is too long; especially since there was no noticeable plumping of my lips. And it was really uncomfortable.

From the before/after pictures above, you can see the gloss/colour but my lips are the same size.
My sister was also nice enough to try this product...her lips also burned for a long period of time and there was no noticeable plumping of her lips either.

Sadly, as much as I wanted to like this product, I can't. I don't think I will ever use this product again and I definitely do not recommend it.

I fared MUCH better with the mascara! The mascara was a curl mascara. I liked the shape of the wand, it was so easy to apply. There was no clumping, which is a HUGE bonus. 

I applied one coat to my top lashes only and you can definitely see a difference.

I really loved this fact, there wasn't anything I didn't love about it! I will be purchasing this in the future and I do recommend it!

To learn more:

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

Inspire Me: Fall In Love With Moments

Happy Monday! Today is my first day back in over two weeks! Kind of dreading going back because I know I have so much to do...and I don't even want to think about my emails.

Something else I'm not looking forward to? The weather! We currently have a freezing rain AND snow squall warnings. The squalls are supposed to create blizzard like conditions. Tues is going to be cold! The low is -25 (but will feel like -34) and the high is -20. I need summer (and safe driving conditions) back. 

I actually cut my weekend short (only by a few hours) to head back to the city before the bad weather hit. I got back before noon and spent the day cleaning and reorganizing my apartment, including moving furniture. I just have to do the bathroom and my bedroom. One of my goals for this year is to get my apartment organized and set up so it feel like a home. 

This weeks inspiration:

I have a busy week of meetings ahead of me (on top of getting caught up on 2 weeks worth of work and on top of the regular work I need to do this week). I'm going to use this weeks quote as inspiration to focus on those small, special moments in life.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Sunday Social- Holidays & The New Year

I can't believe that I have to go back to work tomorrow, after 2 weeks off. As much as I love my job, I am dreading going back...I once left the office two hours early on a Friday and Monday morning I had 179 emails. I can't imagine how many emails I'll have after two weeks...

But before heading back to work, I have to head back to my apartment! I've spent the past two weeks between my home town and the weekend house. I have about a two drive back to my apartment. There is a snowfall warning for where I currently am and ice pellets are expected for where I am going. Not the best driving conditions, but it could be worse.

After taking over a month off, I've decided to link up for Sunday Social again. So here we go:
Sunday Social

1. Do you plan to change any of your eating habits in the new year?
I always have the intention to change my eating habits; eat healthier, don't skip lunch and cook more meals at home instead of going out. 

2. Any workout tips to get us back in shape after the holidays?
Workout in the morning. You'll feel better/more energized during the day.

3. What is your favorite thing you did over the holidays?
Spending a ton of time with my family and friends. Nothing specific...but just seeing everyone. 
4. What is something you hope that you accomplish in 2014 that you did not in 2013?
Fully transition into my new position at work! I've been in transition for 6+ months and I'm ready just to finish this transition. 
5. Name 3 things happening this year you are excited about and why.
1. Hopefully taking a trip with a friend to celebrate our 30th birthdays.
2. Seeing David Myles (again) him!
3. No idea...I surprisingly don't have a lot planned for 2014...yet.

Friday 3 January 2014

Mourning What Will Never Be

I can't believe that today is the last day of my vacation! I've been off from work for over two weeks. Our office was actually closed from Dec 24 and re-opened on Jan 2, so I really only took 4 days off- Dec 20, Dec 23, Jan 2 and Jan 3...except I worked from home on Dec 20 and I did some work stuff only  days.

But I did have a fantastic time off, which was filled with family, friends, hockey and, of course, the holidays. 
There was LOTS of hockey; Canada advances to the semi-finals at the World Juniors, the Leafs won the Winter Classic, Canada did well at the Spengler Cup. Also, the Olympic hockey team will be announced on Tuesday.

On my last day off, I refuse to do any work...anyone who knows me knows how much I love my job and how hard it is for me to stay away from my work; partly because I love it but mostly because I'm so busy, I have to work all the time to keep up.

How is my no work on my last day of vacation going?

I had a voice mail from my boss.
I had a text message conversation with my counterpart.
I had a BBM conversation with our Financial Coordinator.
I called my office and spoke to a co-worker, asking her to check my calendar for me so I can schedule a meeting. We also chatted about a work related item she is doing on my behalf (apparently it couldn't wait until Monday).
I had a chain of emails (between my two bosses, myself, and two other colleagues) sent to my personal email. I'm fighting the urge to reply to these emails. 

So, it's not really going that great.

Something I did do today, which I was excited about, was have lunch with a friend! She and I haven't been able to connect for a couple of months...we're never in the same town at the same time. It was so, so, so great to see her and get caught up. She had an experience which set off a domino effect in her life; all good things. 
Before I could update her on my life...she had to ask. 
Now is a good time to mention that this friend is a psychic. 
She asked a question about a situation in my life, knowing that something was going on. I answered her question and she then went on to tell me more about this situation. 
I know I'm being vague...but this situation is something that I have not addressed (likely will not address) here. While I do not want to go into details, I do want to say this.
I am now doubting myself. 
Maybe I made the wrong choice. Maybe I didn't try hard enough. Maybe I shouldn't have given up so easily. Maybe I need to have more faith. Maybe I need to try again. Maybe It's not over. Maybe I still have a chance. Maybe... Maybe... Maybe.
I was so sure...
Maybe I need to be patient and see how everything plays out. Be passive aggressive and see what happens. 

I know she didn't tell me what she told me to make me doubt myself. 
She did offer insight into the situation. She gave me things to think about. A different perspective.

I had been looking at this situation from my point of view, doing what I needed to do, thinking about me. Her words reminded me that there is another side, it's not just about me. 
She also mentioned that I'm going through a process and that it's important for me to go through this, through the emotions. 
To me, the most profound thing she said, was that I'm not just mourning what was...I'm mourning what will never be. 
I had worked for years towards something- an idea, a life. All that time, effort and energy...and it's not going to happen. Not even remotely close.
It's a hard reality for me to realize, and accept, not only that the immediate situation didn't end the way I wanted, but what I had unknowingly been working towards all these years isn't going to happen either.

(I know that this post wasn't all that positive...but I did enjoy lunch and catching up with this friend. There was a lot of good, a lot of laughs. The conversation that inspired this post was very, very brief. I love spending time with this friend...she's so great, interesting and fun. But every once in a while, she'll say something in passing that will make me think.)

Thursday 2 January 2014

My Skin Is In Love With Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas

I have dry REALLY dry skin. Dryness is the only issue I have ever had with my skin (knock on wood...I've been lucky). I frequently splash water on my skin and just let my skin absorb the water. Combine the usual dryness with the fact that I'm in the middle of a Canadian winter...well, it's not pretty. 

When I had the opportunity to try the Glacial Clay Spa Masque by Montagne Jeunesse, I was interested in how my skin would react; this is a cleansing masque, which are usually pretty drying to my skin. 

As mentioned, this is a cleansing masque...but my in much need of hydration skin loved it; it was love at first contact! As soon as I put the masque on, I could immediately feel my skin soaking up the moisture and it felt heavenly! I left the masque on for 15 minutes (instructions say 10 to 15 minutes) and I did not want to take it off. The coolness from the Glacial Clay felt really amazing on my skin.

The masque contains "[a]nti-oxidant rich Red Grape and Arctic Cloudberry juices from the glacial heights of Scandinavia" and is actually a fabric masque infused with clay. 

It was a little messy taking it out of the package and the initial smell isn't's not horrible but it could be better...but I liked the fact that to use this product, all you had to do was unfold the masque and put it on your skin. The masque was a bit big for my face, but I'd rather have it too big instead of too small. The masque was also easy to take off and the clay wasn't "caked" onto my skin, making it easy to wash off.

As previously mentioned, this is a cleansing masque. It did leave my skin feeling and looking clean, really soft and a nice, natural glow. 

I love, love, love this product! I highly recommend it and I hope that I will be able to (easily) find it in local stores so I can incorporate it into my regular beauty routine.

To learn more:
FarleyCo (Canadian Distributor)

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

Wednesday 1 January 2014

2014...I'm Ready!

Happy 2014 everyone! I am so excited for this upcoming year and am looking forward to finding out what it has in store for me! For the first time in a long time, I had a really great year...there was so much 'good' in 2013. I'm hoping that all of the positives from 2013 will continue into 2014. I know I have a year of fun, adventure, learning and laughter ahead of me.
Cheers to 2014! #lilly5x5
via Lilly Pulitzer

I am one of those people who doesn't make resolutions. Instead, I pick a phrase that I won't to focus on for the year and apply it to my everyday life. I also set a number of goals, which or basically reminders of who to live; to live a life I can always be proud of, to be thankful for my blessings, to help others. 

For 2014, I also decided to create a bucket list; a list of things that I want to accomplish or experience or try over the next year. This list, which is a Pinterest board, is an on-going's relatively small right now. I will be adding things throughout the year, but it'll stay a relatively small list; I need it to be manageable and realistic. 

I hope that everyone had a fun and safe New Years Eve. I wish you all a fantastic 2014!