Wednesday 30 April 2014

Grandma's House

I've mentioned a couple of times that my great-grandmother's house has been sold and how sad this is for me. The sale for the house actually closes today. It's no longer my grandparents house, I can no longer go visit. 

While I understand this is a fact of life...people move, sell and buy houses all the is still hard for me. I have 30 years of memories in that house. I've been blessed to have had my great-grandparents be part of my life. My grandfather died when I was 13 and my grandmother is still alive.With the selling of this house, I feel like I'm loosing this piece of me, of my life. I know I will have my memories...but is that enough?

I watched my grandfather make wine in the garage. I can't even count how many times I walked up the steps, rang the bell,watched my grandmother look out the window to see who it was and see her face light up when she realized it was me (or any family member for that matter). My brother, cousins and I used to sit on the ledge of the porch...if no adults were around, because we weren't really allowed to do it.

This was taken the last time I was inside the house, the same day as the garage sale.
This is a part of the basement...I love that carpet. So vintage and my favourite colour. I love the half wall. To the right, is the record player/ still worked! We spent so much time in this basement. This is where we would play. That kitchen is where my grandmother showed me how to make sauce. This is where my great grandparents, parents and grandmother would make salami and capicola...I would "help". 

Most importantly, this is where a lot of our family meals would happen. There was a big table that would be set up and we could all fit around it. It was always special because it meant my out of town cousins were visiting. There was lunch when my cousin came from Australia, there was a meal that I met my cousin's fiancee and saw her ring, there were birthday parties.There was my great grandfather's wake. 

My most memorable meal in this basement was the Easter after my great-grandfather died. It was the first time my entire family- my great grandmother, three daughters, two son-in-laws, 9 grandchildren and their spouses and 18 great grandchildren- had been together since he died. Everyone made a point to be there. After our meal, we all went upstairs to the living room where the great-grandchildren had a group picture with grandma. It was so chaotic to...18 of us ranging is age from 14 to a couple of months. 

I have a copy of that picture. My grandmother had a copy was displayed in her living room. 

Just ignore my finger...I couldn't keep it out of the picture
A week or so ago, I went to my grandparents house for the very last time. I didn't have a key, so I couldn't go in but I spent time in the backyard. I spent a lot of time in the backyard. To the left is a sunroom. I remember watching it be built; This is another place that we spent a lot of time, playing or having meals. We spent countless hours playing in the backyard. I would jump rope and ride my tricycle. 

To the right is a was like a little house to me. The concrete in front is actually quite steep, and we would run up and down it, roll balls.marbles, etc up the ramp. We were fascinated with other house that we knew of had a ramp. We would run around the shed, there was a path between it and the fence and behind the shed my grandfather had laid patio stones. 

We were not allowed in the garden...but every once and awhile, we would still run through it, between the plants, all the vegetables my grandparents grew. You can't really tell, but at the back fence are grapevines...we would sneak back there and pick grapes to eat. 

I had an amazing childhood, filled with time spent with my grandparents, at this house. 

As sad as I am with the selling of this house...I was in tears the last time I was there, but was reminded of a lot of happy times. 

I'm terrified of my memories fading. With my grandfather gone and my grandmother aging...I'm trying to hold on, even though I know you sometimes have to let things go. 

What will never fade, what will never change, is the love I have for my grandparents. That exists regardless of where they call home.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
To not like planning events with none event people. Everything takes three times as long to do, they end up in the way and they just don't get it. 

That I should have stayed home last night. I was in a bad mood and didn't feel like being social. Apparently, I didn't hide it well. 

To be looking forward to the Kentucky Derby this weekend!! It would be great to go to Kentucky for the actual Derby but watching it on tv is pretty fun too.

That I bought a Tablet! I've managed to get it set up so it does everything I need it to do and now it's just learning about the other functions. 

To have been woken up by the best phone call on Sunday.

Monday 28 April 2014

Inspire Me- Different Colour

In my opinion, and I know other agree with me, Mondays just come to quickly. I had another great weekend. A co-worker and I both had some lieu time banked, so we both left work around 1 and went for lunch. It was so great to spend some time with her outside of the office. 

After lunch, I headed to the my family's second home for the weekend. My dad was there when I arrived. It was a low key night; we ran some errands before having dinner and watching hockey. Sadly, the New York Rangers did not win their game, but the Chicago-St Louis series is crazy! Saturday, we went out for breakfast before spending the majority of the day running more errands. I bought a laptop bag for work and a tablet!! I'd been thinking about getting a tablet for about 6+ months, and finally did it. I spent the afternoon figuring out how to use it, downloading apps, etc. We had dinner and just hung out. 

My dad left early on Sunday. I did some reading, had breakfast and watch the Rangers game, which they thankfully won!!

As most of my weeks, this will be a busy one. I have a work meeting today and will be celebrating a friend/co-worker, as tomorrow is her last day. Founder's Day Dinner tonight, dinner with a friend on Wednesday, school talent show on Thursday and then weekend...Kentucky Derby is this weekend!!! 

But before the weekend, I need to get through the week:

Not only is this a funny quote- and who doesn't love laughing?- but Hannah has a point. 'Paint yourself a different colour' simply means, focus on something else. I'm sad to see my friend and co-worker go, I'm starting to feel the stress of my added workload with her departure. I am definitely 'feeling blue' about everything. 

This week, I'm going to 'paint myself' yellow, for joy. Even though she's leaving, we will still be friends. We leave near each other, work in the same community and she's going to an organization that my organization does work with. The added workload, just means more of a opportunity for me to prove to myself what I can do, an opportunity for me to use problem solving and delegation skills. Having to do so much more work, will hopefully, allow me to focus more and improve on my organizational and time management skills. 

And if painting myself yellow doesn't work, I'll just paint myself another colour until I find one that works.

Friday 25 April 2014

I Have A Meeting On Monday

Happy Friday! It's been kinda quiet around this blog recently (aka lack of posting), thing have just been super busy and a tiny bit stressful; plus I've spent so little time at home, I haven't had time for much. 

I've mentioned that my co-worker- she and I work as a team, doing different aspects of the same job- is leaving for a new opportunity. I am extremely happy for her but sad to see her go. 
When she told people that they were leaving, the first reply back was "when are they rehiring to fill the position?" The second question was "who will be the contact in the meantime?" Both are fair questions. I will be the contact. As for the rehiring, I don't know.

I keep getting asked about rehiring. I kept saying "I have a meeting on Monday and will find out more at that time." This is not a line that I am using to avoid things. I have been asking questions- I sent a 5 page email to my supervisor and boss earlier this week and was told we'd discuss everything on Monday. 

You can ask me the same questions repeatedly, rephrasing the questions, telling me what you think the answer to the question should be, telling me what you think I should do to resolve the situation and telling me what you think I need to say to senior management until you are blue in the face. None of the above will change the fact that I have a meeting on Monday. I will find out more at that time. 

You can tell me that other people are emailing you looking for answers because they do not want to bother me. That also does not change the fact that I do not have any additional information. I still have a meeting on Monday where I am hoping to find out more information.

There is nothing you can say or do that will change the situation. I will still not have answers. I will still not know. 

I will still have a meeting on Monday. I will have more information at that time.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Hey! It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To not like the fact that my balcony is being replaced. I understand this is something that needs to happen, but it also means that I can't use my balcony now that the warm weather has FINALLY arrived and I can't have my windows open.

That I spent yesterday watching the Big Brother Canada marathon. I had yesterday off and I had planned to spend it on my balcony, but because I couldn't...Big Brother it was. 
To be looking forward to my trip to Cuba next month with one of my best friends!

That I went to my great grandmother's house yesterday for the last time ever. I didn't have a key, so I couldn't go inside, but I was in the back many happy memories there.
To hope that the New York Rangers win their game tonight...GO RANGERS!!!!

Monday 21 April 2014

Inspire Me- Afraid

Happy Monday!! I am lucky enough to have today off of work...yea 4 day weekend...thanks work =) Nothing too exciting planned for today; I have to pick something up at my grandmother's and then I'm going to go to my great-grandmother's house for the last time. She is no longer living there, her house has been sold and it closes in 9 days. I'm trying not to think about this too's really sad for me. After that, I'm heading back to the city and am just going to relax for the rest of the day.

I had a great weekend!! Thursday after work, I met a friend for was the first time the two of us had been out since she had her baby. Friday morning, I drove home for the weekend. My brother was also home, so it was nice to spend time with him. Lots of family time this weekend. We went to my grandmother's on Sunday for Easter and went to my other grandmother's afterwards, where I got to see my uncle and new aunt. The more time I spend with my aunt, the more I like her...she's turning out to be really funny and a lot of fun, plus super nice. I also met a friend for coffee...always nice to catch up.

Something else I did this weekend? I booked a trip to Cuba for May!!! I'm going with the friend I had coffee with while I was home. We have been talking about this trip for months and have been patiently waiting for everything to align so we could FINALLY happened!! I'm so excited and can't wait!!

I have a crazy week ahead of me...this is my work other half's last full week with us, so it'll be busy getting ready for her to leave and getting a handle on her files. I have a couple of alumni meetings this week and Brock Alumni have been in a trivia team at a local pub! It should be a ton of fun...really looking forward to it. 

As always, so inpsiration to help me get through the week:

I have a high pressure, stressful job. With my colleague leaving and some restructure within our organization, I am now expected to do the job of three people. My job has recently become more pressure and more stress. I am taking on too much responsibility. But I can't be afraid to try. I know that I am good at my job and I know that I can handle everything that is being thrown my way. I need to remind myself to have faith in myself and faith that it will all work out. I need to remind myself not to be afraid to try...because if I don't try, I can't succeed.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Life Update- Friends, Time Off & Toronto Raptors

I can't believe it's only Thursday! This has been such a long week and it's only half over! In the midst of the craziness of this month, I realized I didn't do a life update for March! 

March started off with my uncle getting married! I've mentioned this a few time already, including here. It was surprising news, but happy news. My new aunt is great...I really like her and she clearly makes my uncle happy. The Monday after my uncle got married, I had the day off so I saw my psychic friend for a Reiki session. It was nice to see her again and to chat...she's so interesting! 
Work was full of meetings- staff, team and two community partner meetings. I also had an event for work...a whiskey tasting! This was such a fun event and the first time I worked on it! We had a great turn out and everyone really enjoyed themselves!

I also had two sorority meetings and a program themed for St Patrick's day. It was lot of fun, even if my team didn't win the trivia game. I meet a long time friend for coffee and had Girls Night with a friend in the city, where we drank champagne and watched Bridesmaids. 

The highlight of my month, would have to be the Toronto Raptors game! I won tickets through Brock Alumni and was able to go with a friend of mine. We had fantastic seats! It was the first NBA game I had ever been too. It's always fun to go to Toronto and the game was pretty good, even though the Raptors didn't win. After the game, we drove to Guelph where we met my friends brother and her boyfriend for dinner. It was a really fun Sunday. 

Speaking of basketball...I don't follow basketball or do a March Madness bracket, but I randomly picked Kentucky to win, just because they were the only team that I knew was in the tournament. They made it all the way to the final! So that was a pretty good pick on my part.

I actually took a ton of time off this month. I took a day off and had breakfast with a friend from university, who happens to live near me! I saw his brother at a Brock Alumni event in February and he reconnected us. It was great to spend time with him and get caught up. I took a Thursday-Friday off mid-month and didn't do much, just stuff around the city and my apartment. 

I also took 10 days off at the end of the month, went up to my families second home. I spent the first 3 days with my dad and grandma, it was nice to spend time with them. I spent the rest of the week relaxing, reading and watching tv. I met a friend and former co-worker for breakfast, where I got to hear about some research she's doing and I had dinner with my psychic friend. I had a nice visit with another friend, who owns a holistic centre, where I also had reflexology done. She also did a tarot card reading for me, where I was told that I need to take more time for myself and spend more time relaxing. Unfortunately it was cold and snowy the whole time, so I ended up spending a lot of time inside.

Even with all my time off (10 work days plus weekends), I still had a lot going on in March. The month flew by...but it was great to have so much time for friends this month.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Hey! It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have had a blast in Toronto on the weekend. I was celebrating my uncle's marriage. I also got to see a few of my cousins and my brother, meet my cousin's boyfriend and had a great conversation with my new aunt...I really like her,

That my uncle told me, even though he's married now, we will still have our summer ritual. My uncle randomly texts me on a Saturday morning to see if I'm at my family's second home and if I want to go out for lunch. He drives the 3ish hours to have lunch with me and then heads back.
To be thinking of a dear friend and wishing him a speedy recovery.

That I'm starting to make my apartment mine. It only took almost 2 years. But it's finally happening. I'm slowly adding pieces of furniture and items that are making my place feel like mine.
To like the new show Friends With Better Lives. It's been compared to Friends and even has a former Friends writer as the creator. While a lot of people/critics don't like this...I've been looking for a current show to love as much as I loved Friends, so I'm ok with it.

Friday 11 April 2014

Spring Polish Swap Reveal

Happy Friday!! I had a pretty decent week but I am so happy that Friday is here!! On Sunday, I will be seeing my Uncle and (new) Aunt, so I'm really excited for that. 

Something else I'm excited about? Sharing what I got from the Spring Polish Swap! I was partnered with Kate from Diary of a Urban Housewife. It was a lot of fun getting to know Kate and picking out nail polish for her. She is super sweet, interesting and has a lot on the go. She is also creative and totally spoiled me! Here is what Kate sent:

  • Card made by Kate
  • Petal To the Metal by Essence Metal Glam
  • Watermelon by Essie
  • Lafayette Pink by NYC Color
  • 3D Nail Art Stickers by Quo
I love everything she sent and the colours she chose are perfect. Thank you so much Kate!

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend

"A kiss on the hand might be quite continental...but diamonds are a girls best friend." 
-Marilyn Monroe

I have yet to met a female who does not like diamonds. Diamonds are pretty, have sparkle and just make everything better. There are many occasions in a girls life that can be marked or celebrated with a piece of diamond jewelery. And, every girl should own several pieces

Classic 4 Prong Tennis Bracelet
My grandparents gave me a tennis bracelet one year for Christmas (these are the same grandparents that also gave me tennis lessons for a different Christmas). I will never forget opening that box and seeing such a beautiful piece of jewelery. I wore that bracelet everywhere and received so many compliments on it. 

Romanced By Diamonds Stud Earrings
For my birthday, one of my closest and longest standing friends gave me a pair of diamond stud earrings. Diamond studs are the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. They are classic, timeless and go with everything. They can be worn with anything and at any time. I especially like to wear mine if I have an important meeting...they give me that little extra boost of confidence. 

Princess Cut Gemstone and Diamond Drop Pendant
Once upon a time, there was a gentleman in my life who bought me a beautiful diamond drop pendant-it was shaped like a flower, with a sapphire as the centre and diamonds for the petals- just because. 'Just because' diamonds might just be the best kind of diamonds. I still wear this necklace from time to time. It's such a unique piece and everyone seems to comment on it. 

I think most people will agree that the most significant, sought after and special- and common- diamond a girl will receive is an engagement ring. There are so many options when it comes to engagement rings. I'm actually going to skip talking about this because there are so many engagement rings floating around blogs, Pinterest, social media, etc. 

Woven Band Diamond Eternity Ring
Something that I am looking to add to my diamond collection (hint, hint) are eternity bands.These are perfect for weddings, anniversaries, special occasions or just because. There are so many options when it comes to eternity bands- single row or multiple rows of diamonds, solid diamond band to different designs, only diamonds to a mix of diamonds and gemstones...there are so many options! Eternity bands, I think, are a great, classic and subtle statement piece. 

"But square cut or pear shape these rocks don't lose their are girls best friend"
- Marilyn Monroe

If you are on the hunt for a new piece of jewelery, check out Anjolee. They have a great selection at great prices. You can also encourage the man in your life to visit the site...he might buy you something pretty just because. 

DISCLAIMER: I was compensated to write this post, as is it being sponsored by Anjolee. Content and opinions expressed here are my own. Please visit my 'About Page' for my full disclosure policy.

Monday 7 April 2014

Hey! It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To think that Luke Bryan, once again, did a great job hosting the ACM's on Sunday. 

That it was sad realizing that Saturday was likely the last time I would ever be at my great grandmother's house. The house has been sold. I spent so much time at that many memories. I can't articulate the sadness this is causing me.
To be incredible blessed to have some very, very amazing people in my life. They all play different roles in my life, but are all equally important and special to me.

That I did not follow anything related to the Quebec election, including election night. I know that (as per Twitter) it was predicted that it would be a Liberal minority. I really should have cared a bit more.
To be disappointed that Kentucky didn't win. I'm not into March Madness or any college sport or basketball...but Kentucky was my team. I'm happy they made it to the finals...but a win would have been nice. They did have a great tournament that's something. 

Inspire Me- Yesterday

I greatly dislike the fact that today is Monday. I need a day to recover from this weekend...I just want to curl up and catch up on some much needed sleep! 
On Friday, my boss (who is on mat leave) stopped by the office and I had such a great visit with her! I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing, passionate, innovated and supportive boss. I hope she's enjoying her time off and spending time with her baby, but I'm counting down the days until she's back. Working for her is a lot of fun and she makes everything exciting. After work, I headed to my hometown and just spent the night with family. 
I was up early Saturday where I headed to my great grandmother house for a garage sale. My grandmother has moved in with family members and we sold her house. It was sad to see the house so empty and to realize that was the last time I would be in that house. After the garage sale, I spent sometime with my cousin (who is in her first year at Brock) and later my sister, before heading back to the city and spending the night with a friend.

Sunday my university roommate came to visit. We went for lunch and then hung out at my place. It's always great to see her and catch up. And, of course, I watched ACM's hosted by Luke Bryan (and Blake Shelton)...I love Luke Bryan!!

It was a great weekend, but I wish it was one more day so I could sleep in. Here's some inspiration to for the week:

I live by this saying. I think it's so important to grow as a person every day. We are all so unique and different that it really isn't fair to compare ourselves to anyone else. I don't believe in competing with others or trying to 'one up' someone. But I do believe in challenging myself, trying to improve and be a better person. I believe that as long as I continue to learn, grow and improve who I am as a person, I will always be doing something worthwhile with my life.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Appreciation...Or Lack Thereof

I am good at my job. I have a proven track record. I raised over $100,000 in a fiscal year. I have exceeded fundraising goals by thousands of dollars on a number of occasions. I am respected in my business community and I am respected among my colleagues. People want to work with me because of my reputation; I'm know for being passionate, hardworking, committed and following through on my word. People have said they like working with me because it's easy and I make things fun. 

I do not appreciate being referred to as a "pit bull" or being told I need to have a "robust social life outside of work" or having it suggested that I need a hobby. I do not appreciate being told I "need to have more of a human touch" when dealing with my contacts; I'd say phone calls, in person visits and handwritten notes that I use with my contacts is pretty "human". 

I do not appreciate being told I am "not representing the organization well" because someone we paid to do IT work for us criticized me for planning an annual meeting, which was something that had nothing to do with him or the work he was doing. Nor do I appreciate you throwing me under the bus to make yourself and the organization look good. 

I do not appreciate you inviting guests to a meeting that I am having without asking me first. Especially if you are not invited to the meeting and when you know nothing about the meeting, outside of the fact that it is taking place. I do not appreciate you inviting someone to be the speaker at my meeting, especially when the speaker is not related to any of the agenda items. 

I do not appreciate when you make it so blatantly obvious that you do not like me; not returning my phone calls, emails, refusing to meet with me, suggesting that we meet and then refusing to set a date, ignoring questions I ask, walking out of a room when I am answering the question you asked me. For the record, message received, regardless of whether or not you meant to send that message.

I do not appreciate when I have to say in a room full of people "please do not commit me to any meetings, events or projects without talking to me first" and then less than two months later you make a commitment for me to meet with someone on a specific day, with out consulting me first. 

I do not appreciate when I do my job, create a proposal for a project, and instead of telling me you don't like and to resubmit, you change the entire thing-location, speaker, activity, intent of the project- and expect me to use my personal, not business, contacts to make it happen. I especially don't appreciate when you make these changes two months after everything was set.

That felt good.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Strengths, Weaknesses & An Unfinished, Open Book

I know my weaknesses and I embrace them. I will be the first person to point out all of my weaknesses. 

Math? Even using a calculator, I can't do it.
Patience with others? Virtually non-existent.
Doing things in a timely manner, including being on time? Don't hold your breath.
Being organized and on top of things? HA!
Domestic activities (cooking, cleaning, decorating, etc)? Double HA!
Spelling? Spell check is my BFF.
Giving advice and comforting people? I become the most awkward person ever.

I could go on and on about my weaknesses. There are MANY. Trust me.

I do have a lot of strengths...creativity, gratitude, open minded, integrity, kindness, forever an optimist and seeing the good in any situation. For every weakness, I have a strength. It's a nice balance.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect. I realize this and I don't do anything to hide my weaknesses. All aspects of my personality, who I am as a person-good and bad- this is what makes me who I am, what makes me unique.

While I love myself, I realize there are A TON of people who do not like me. I will never be everything to everyone, and because of that, some people won't like it and won't like me. I am ok with this.
I know there are a lot of people who do not agree with how I act, who I am, the way I do things, decisions I make... I know people question me, question who I am, a lot of the time. People know what I want them to know about me. Yes, I am an open book...but my book is still being written and some chapters have yet to be published. The only person who knows my entire story- the full, true story- is me.

People need to remember that. 

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Hey! It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be selfish. Every once and again, you need to think of yourself and put you first. 

That I wasted my time off last week. I didn't accomplish anything I had planned to do. My to do list is still too long, but I'm ok with the fact that I was so unproductive.
To be questioning some of my friends; if some friends are 'true friends', if the friendships are genuine...I know that not all friendships are met to last, but how do you know when to stop trying?

That I ate popcorn for dinner last night. It was great. And I don't even feel bad about it.
To be wondering when Amber is going to publish her next book.

That I love Big Brother Canada! Ika and her choice between $5,000 and letters from home for the house guests was crazy to watch, Canada gets to be HOH and shift the power in the house, Adel dancing and Jon trying to guess was hilarious. I freakin love this show!!!!