Thursday, 28 August 2014

Suggestion Box- Week 5

I was so incredibly lucky to have two really great students working with me this summer. They were both hard workers, super productive and really nice and really funny girls. There was a lot of laughing in our office, they kept me entertained.
 
They, jokingly, asked if they could have a suggestion box when they could anonymously leave suggestion on how I can do my job better. Of course, I agreed and told them that we will read the suggestions at our weekly team meeting.

L was done last Friday-but made suggestions all last week- and N's last day is today. This week might have been the end of the suggestion box, which is sad. Anyway, here are this weeks suggestions:
 
Breakfast meetings weekly. I can get behind supporting this.

(2) if you haven't read (1 )yet wait!! --> Turn page. I was confused by this and there was nothing on the back. N told me, when I read this, that L said she was going to hide things for us to find.

Melissa should get to play music M-F when L's gone. N and I both like country music, so we're ok with each other's playlist selections. L did not like country- or Luke Bryan.

Wish I was here! -Anonymous! ;) wink ;) wink. I wonder who wrote that...and we wished she was here too!!

JK! Look in the 2nd drawer!! More confusion. I looked in the second drawer and found a paper airplane.

Massages while we work. Something else I can get behind but will likely not happen.

More coffee pods ASAP. We are a coffee drinking office and are currently out of coffee pods for our coffee machine.

Rearrange office, have a "moving day". The running theme this summer is that we should rearrange our office.

Candy jar (always full). We used to be really good about always having snacks (chocolate, timbits) in our office, but haven't been consistent and have been snackless from time to time.

Open the top drawer of Lindsey's desk (1). Still confusing, but starting to make more sense. Still only found the airplane.

Walking at lunch on the track. We have a walking track at work, which we always talk about using but never actually do.


Another great week with great suggestions. I had a text from L on Monday night (Monday morning is when we go through the suggestions) asking about the suggestions. It turns out that she was sending us on a hunt for the paper airplane...because she can make them really well and the rest of us can't.

Things are going to be much less fun and entertaining around here next week.
 
Previous weeks suggestions:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Monday, 25 August 2014

Inspire Me- Coffee And A Book

I can't believe that this is the last week of August!! This summer has flown by and I, sadly, feel like I wasted it, like I didn't do anything. I was actually reflecting on my summer yesterday afternoon, while lying in a hammock. 

I haven't done anything this summer. No weekends away (besides the vacation house), no day trips, no concerts, no theatre or art galleries. No wild adventures with friends, no all nighters, no picnics or trying new things.

I did a brewery tour with Brock Alumni, which was fun, and I spent a ton of time with a handful of the same friends going to the same places. I went to the beach, swam in the pool at night and worked my way through a reading list. I went to the farmers market, the flea market, the Celtic Festival, the Arts & Crafts show and a massive book sale. I had dinner at the cottage and spent time with family. 

I had a decent summer. But I got a late start to the summer because of working on a provincial election, which made the summer seem shorter. My summer friend, the one that I spend the most time with, was out on his own adventure and I missed him terribly; I knew last summer would be the last summer we spent together, and we had a great one. The weather was horrible! Cold, cold, cold and rain, rain, rain. 

I spent the majority of my summer working too much. I had a lot on my plate and was left to fend for myself. I was VERY unhappy.

I want to focus on being happy, go back to being myself. 

And thus, this weeks inspiration:

 
Happiness is simple things, like a cup of a coffee and a good book, or a cup of tea and netflixs, or a glass of wine and a Big Mac. Go back to simple. Reboot. Find the small things in life that bring you happiness and spend a couple of hours with them.

It doesn't take much to make you happy, so do it. We all have that one thing that brings us instant happiness- a favourite book to get lost in, a favourite friend to connect with, a favourite song to sing and dance a long too, a favourite place to visit, a favourite sweatshirt to be wrapped up in.

Go back to simple. Go back to happy.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Suggestion Box Week 4

I am so incredibly lucky to have two really great students working with me this summer. They are both hard workers, super productive and really nice and really funny girls. There is a lot of laughing in our office, they keep me entertained.
 
They, jokingly, asked if they could have a suggestion box when they could anonymously leave suggestion on how I can do my job better. Of course, I agreed and told them that we will read the suggestions at our weekly team meeting.

This week was the last meeting with both students, as today is L's last day. But both students have been making suggestions all week, so I'm looking forward to hearing her last suggestions. Anyway, here are this weeks suggestions:
 
I want a party is L gets one!!! This was actually written by L and she signed it with N's name. This was also L's way of saying she wants a party on her last day.
 
Decorate office for L's going away party. Written by L and another hint.
 
We should make a Bingo sheet for committee meeting! Haha. This was something fun for us to do. We had bingo cards made and we played after the meeting.
 
Melissa should file through the 2 week old pile on her desk!!! When I was on vacation, the students cleaned and organized my desk. They left a pile of stuff for me to go through because they weren't sure what the stuff was, how it should be filed or if it could be thrown out.
 
Make more suggestions. I encourage them to make suggestions.
 
Pick up balloons from other office for L's surprise party. Another hint for a party.
 
Find better bowling location. We went bowling and had fun, but there was some challenges; like when our game disappeared from the screen and they gave away our lane when we were mid-game.
 
I can write backwards with my lefthand!! This was actually written backwards and with her left hand.

 
Previous weeks suggestions:

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Summer Student Gifts & 3 Year Anniversary

Happy Thursday!!! I am in better spirits then I was yesterday; thanks to the people you texted, commented and emailed...I truly appreciate it!! My better mood also comes thanks to a girls night I had with one of my good friends last night. She came over, we had fast food (good idea last night, bad idea this morning...I can't take that grease!), drank wine and just hung out. It was nice to spend time with her- I've seen her a handful of times, but the last time we truly hung out was in April- and talk about stuff not related to work, which is causing stress and headaches for us both.

I have mentioned a few times that I have two amazing students working with me this summer. Tomorrow is the last day for one of them and the other is done next Thursday. So, I am taking them out for lunch today as a thank you for everything they have done. I tried to make this summer a fun one for them and give them tasks that were meaningful but enjoyable. They also did stuff that wasn't so fun; stuffing envelopes and organizing closets and my desk. They were hard, productive workers and I was lucky to have them work with me. They were also highly entertaining, as demonstrated by their suggestion box, lots of laughter in our office.

On top of taking them out for lunch, I wanted to send them off with a little something as a thank you and to remember their summer working with me. This is what they are getting:

 
  •  Magnetic boards- I have one on my desk that they both admired, so I decided to make them each one. I love these prints!!! I also made the magnets; I'll have a glitter magnet tutorial in the next week or so. You can find out how I made the magnetic boards here.
  • Red solo cup shot glasses- I do not encourage them to drink (they are both over 19, the legal age to drink in Ontario), but every time we saw these at a store, they asked if we could buy them and I said no.
  • Bubbles in a pink container- Who doesn't love bubbles?!?! Blowing bubbles is actually very relaxing and a stress reliever for me. Weird, I know, but it works. I figured they could use these to relax when they are back in school. Also, at their request, we had a spirit day where everyone wore pink.
  • Bingo dabbers- Also at their suggestion, we played bingo at meetings. They would create bingo cards with things like 'Melissa will break something' or 'So and So will be the first to arrive'. Just a little fun activity.
  • Stickers- I give out stickers, not just to the students, but to all my co-workers. I couldn't find gold stars, but I did find apples with A+ and these ribbons that say things like 'good job' and 'you're #1'.
  • Necklace- I was at a Celtic Festival earlier this month and was on the hunt for something meaningful to give them. I found a vendor who handmade necklaces and they all have special meaning. This is what I picked:
I picked this necklace for two reasons; this is one of my favourite Celtic symbols and it's for protection and success, which I thought was fitting for them both.

Everything is packaged in pink bags with pink tissue paper, to go along with the pink spirit day we had last week. I have no idea where we are going for lunch, as I am letting them pick. But I'll be giving them their gifts at lunch. I hope they'll like them.


Three years ago today, a place that I consider one of my homes, was hit by an F3 tornado. It was a devastating, scary and interesting experience. Three years later, you can see all of the changes that have been made- new buildings, new trees- but the town is still rebuilding. It's no longer a disaster zone, but once again the prettiest town in Canada.

For pictures and to learn about my personal experience, you can go here.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Unhappy & Milkmaid Braid

My summer blogging has been sporadic. I wish I could say that I've been busy with summer fun and adventures with friends- much like last summer. Sadly, that is not the case.

I have been busy with work. Too busy. 

There has been a lot of transition and changes at work. A year ago my team had 5 members, I am now a team of one- plus two summer students, who will both be gone within a week. The students have been a HUGE help- and great source of entertainment.

I have been beyond stressed (and many times frustrated). I've had a lack of support from my supervisors, left on my own to deal with a very unpleasant group of volunteers and was often brushed aside, ignored and belittled. I questioned my role within my organization and even contemplated leaving for a different opportunity that presented it's self. My on mat leave boss was kind enough to chat with me for half an hour and helped bring clarity to the situation. She is now back from leave and I had a meeting with her yesterday, which went well. I still have A LOT of work ahead of me. It won't be fun.

I have also found myself in a very unpleasant situation, I have turned to a number of people for help and they have all failed to step up. I have felt very isolated and alone. I have been feeling a lot of negative things over the past few months. I wasn't my self and that really bothered me. I tried to keep up with blogging and being social, going out with friends and having fun. All band aid solutions that made me happy while doing those activities, but then I would come home or go back to work...and all the negative would return. I miss being happy.

In other news, I may or may not have been binge watching The Anna In Wonderland on youtube. Anna is hilarious and and entertaining. 

Here's her latest video:







Thursday, 14 August 2014

Yes, I`m Buying What You Sold

I am a fan of Royal Wood and have been playing his We Were Born To Glory CD in my car for about a week. I do A LOT of driving- both for work and in my personal life. Music is usually background noise to me while I drive. If a song I love is playing, I will turn the music up and maybe do some car karaoke.

For some reason, when the song I Need You Now plays, I have been finding myself very aware that that specific song is playing. I took it as a sign that I should post that song on my blog, so here it is :



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Suggestion Box Week 3

I am so incredibly lucky to have two really great students working with me this summer. They are both hard workers, super productive and really nice and really funny girls. There is a lot of laughing in our office, they keep me entertained.
They, jokingly, asked if they could have a suggestion box when they could anonymously leave suggestion on how I can do my job better. Of course, I agreed and told them that we will read the suggestions at our weekly team meeting.

Since I was on vacation for part of last week, it means we had our team meeting mid-week instead of at the beginning of the week. As a result, they only had 2 days to submit suggestions for this week. There were not many, but here are this weeks suggestions:

Student 1 should bring snacks. Pretty self explanatory...but no one knows why this was in the suggestion box. As the supervisor, I`m responsible for bringing snacks.

More espresso beans. This was a repeat from week 1 as I had yet to do it. But when I was on vacation, I was able to find more espresso beans and had them for this weeks meeting!!

Spirit Day Announcement: Friday August 15 is Pink Day! Wooo! I guess they thought it would be a good idea to have spirit day, so we are all going to wear pink on Friday. This announcement was also shared with the rest of the staff today during our staff meeting.

Get a soul. There is no context for this and it`s kind of funny. It`s written in black marker, instead of the anonymous black pen and the handwriting doesn't match either students or my own. Neither student remembers writing it. So we think this was a suggestion made by the office ghost.

I love going through this suggestions! Sometimes they are helpful but most of the time they are just funny. It's a great way to start our work week by going through them; it's an opportunity to provide feedback, open discussions for feedback and, most importantly, have a good laugh.

Week 1 suggestions can be found here and Week 2 can be found here.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I was sad to hear that Robin Williams had died. He was a very funny and talented actor. I really enjoyed his work.

To be counting down the days until my boss is back from mat leave (6 more days!!!). I really admire and respect my boss. While she and I don't always agree on everything, we work really well together. Plus, she brings so much energy and excitement to our workplace.

That I wasn't happy that CBS showed golf instead of Big Brother on Sunday. Thank goodness Global in Canada aired Big Brother after the Teen Choice Awards, so I still got to see the episode. 

To be disappointed that there are people in this world who think it's ok to bully other people; the bully thinks it's ok and people in 'positions of power' continue to enable the bully and support their behaviour.

That I'm thinking of taking Thursday and Friday off this week. I don't have these days currently booked off, and I have a TON of work to do, so I can't really afford to take the time off. But for my own well being and sanity, I think I might need the break. 

To greatly dislike how negative this post is. Sorry about that.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Inspire Me- Best Seller

Happy Monday!! This past weekend was Celtic Fest, which is one of my favourite weekends during the summer. I was able to attend the Festival all three days; I had a great time checking out the vendors, eating some delicious food and- the best part- listening to Celtic music all weekend!! My family was here this weekend, as always, it was nice to spend time with them.

My weekend was also full of thoughts. Late last week, I found myself at a cross road. Friday after work, I had the opportunity to discuss this situation with my boss; she is someone I deeply respect and admire. Getting her opinion and hearing her thoughts helped me clarify the direction I should go in. I also had the opportunity to spend time with a very special friend. He was nice enough to discuss the situation with me and provide some insight. Between these two conversations and my own reflections, I think I have made a decision with this cross road. I also had time to spend with Friend. As usual, it was fun and much needed.

I also want to note, that today is the third anniversary of my grandfather's death. I think of him everyday and miss him terribly. He was a wonderful, charming, talented, man. He was so much to the communities he was apart of- artist, businessman, philanthropist- but to me, he was simply Grandpa. Loving...Devoted...Cherished.
 
Anyway, some inspiration for the week:

As mentioned, I found myself at a crossroad last week. In talking to my boss, she asked me what the pros were. The pros for road one were not necessarily cons for road two, they were just different. She told me that I had to do what was best for me and regardless of what I decided, she will be my biggest supporter. 

The crossroads were just a plot thickener in my life story. Regardless of what the final outcome is, it's just another chapter. I don't think it matters which direction I head in, what matters is what I do once I'm in that direction. Regardless of what I do, it's just part of my life story. I'm the author. I can write my story how I see fit.

At the end of the day, my life will be the best version for me. It will be a best seller.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Suggestion Box Week 2

I am so incredibly lucky to have two really great students working with me this summer. They are both hard workers, super productive and really nice and really funny girls. There is a lot of laughing in our office, they keep me entertained. 
They, jokingly, asked if they could have a suggestion box when they could anonymously leave suggestion on how I can do my job better. Of course, I agreed and told them that we will read the suggestions at our weekly team meeting. 
Here are this weeks suggestions:

Melissa should keep her desk clean, tidy and organized. My work space is a bit chaotic, as most event planner's are. Both the students are super organized and while I was on vacation, they cleaned and organized my entire work space.

Practice rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time, please. Before I left on vacation, I was asked if I could do rub my tummy and pat my head at the same time. I cannot.

Everyone should send cute animal pictures on Tuesday. Last Tuesday, we each emailed each other a cute/funny animal picture.

Create a quote board. I think this is related to last week's suggestion that we keep track of funny things said in the office.

Melissa is great at giving us lots to do.  At our weekly meetings, I assign tasks for the week. I thought this suggestion was bad, as in I give them too much. I was assured that they like that I give them stuff because it keeps them busy and makes the day go by.

Walkie Talkies. I asked them to provide context in next weeks suggestion box, because I don't get it. The three of us are in the same room and the two of them sit across from each other.

Music that we ALL enjoy should be played. The one student and I both love country music. Student 1 gets music selection on Monday and Wednesday. Student 2 gets Tuesday and Thursday. I get Friday.

Don't be funny when Melissa's drinking. This was my suggestion. They two of them are hilarious and I have come very close to spitting out and.or choking on my drink many, many, many times.

Use more constructive criticism. I asked them to do more things for me to criticize.

Try to abandon us less. I used three vacation days recently and I frequently go into meetings that last for hours.

Keep your area organized. See first suggestion for context.

I love going through this suggestions! Sometimes they are helpful but most of the time they are just funny. It's a great way to start our work week by going through them; it's an opportunity to provide feedback, open discussions for feedback and, most importantly, have a good laugh.

Week 1 suggestions can be found here.


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Topbox Limited Edition- Chatelaine

Topbox is a beauty subscription box that I have been eying for awhile. They are a Canadian company and are environmentally aware; trying to reduce their carbon footprint, using reduced packaging and having their boxes made from recycled material. I also like that they have two options;
  1. Monthly subscription- $12 a month, including shipping, and offers 4 samples a month. They work with a lot of great brands (you can find a full listing here) but I've heard mixed reviews about the samples (size, quality, variety) and the overall value, which is why I haven't subscribed.
  2. Limited Edition boxes- These are released throughout the year (I think seasonally, but can't say for sure) and are curated, usually, by a magazine. You buy them individually for $40-$50 (shipping included) and includes a 12 month subscription to the magazine that curated the box. Plus you don't have to be a subscriber to purchase these boxes and you can see the exact products that will be in the box.
I recently purchased one of their Limited Edition Boxes curated by Chatelaine, a Canadian lifestyle magazine. Honestly, getting a subscription to Chatelaine was a selling point for me. This is not a magazine that I subscribe too currently and I liked the option to try it out.

So, what was included in my box?


Be A Bombshell Eyeshadow in Bora Bora. I had actually received this same eyeshadow (which can also be used as an eyeliner) from ipsy. I didn't like it then, and I don't like it now. The colours just aren't for me. Retail value: $16
Topbox value: $16

Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother. I am a fan of Aveda products but I have yet to try this one. This is to be applied to damp hair before styling. I haven't used it yet, but I am excited to try it. And it smells amazing!
Retail value: $24 (3.4 fl oz/100mL)
Topbox vale: $9.88 (1.4 fl oz/40mL)

Ceramic Glaze in Honolulu Hibiscus. I had never heard of this brand and I'm not a huge fan of anything purple. But, this is a really pretty colour. The polish went on evenly, needed one coat and it was quick drying.
Retail value: Unknown. This product is sold exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and I was unable to find a price.
Topbox value: Unknown, but it is full size.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. This is another brand that I am a fan of. This is an all day moisturizer which was not greasy. I have mentioned time and time again that my skin is SUPER dry and I am always on the hunt for a good moisturizer. This product is for normal skin, so it didn't add as much moisture to my skin as I need.
Retail value: $30.35 (1.7 oz)
Topbox vale: $4.46 (0.25 oz)

Yves Rocher Grand Rouge in Bordeaux. This looks like a dark colour in the tube and is, thankfully, a little lighter (but not much) when you apply it. I have very pale skin and dark hair, so I can easily pull off dark colours and I really like this on me.
Retail value: $19
Topbox vale: $19

Ceramic Glaze in Blueberry Bubblegum. The colour is nice, I'm indifferent to it. This is definitely not a colour I can wear on my fingernail, but it would be nice on my toes. 
Retail value: Unknown. This product is sold exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart and I was unable to find a price.
Topbox value: Unknown, but it is full size.

Be Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Strawberry and Cream. I was really excited to try this! I see this brand all the time in the store but have never bought it. The cream was a little thick for my liking, but my skin definitely felt great after I applied it. On top of that, it smells like strawberries, one of my favourite scents...so good!! This product has found a home on my desk at work.
Retail value: $19
Topbox value: $19

Sweet Pea Soap Co in Mango Papaya. I am not a huge fan of solid soap, I prefer liquid, but I love mango and I love papaya. While I do love that this is a natural product, the smell makes me sick to my stomach. I haven't been able to bring myself to even try this soap.
Retail value: $5.95
Topbox value: $5.95

Jewels & Aces Crystal Triangle Cuff. I love that this is from a Canadian company! It's really pretty and I will likely wear it from time to time.
Retail value: $28
Topbox value: $28

Total retail value: 142.30
Total Topbox value: $102.29

The above values do not include the two nail polishes or the magazine subscription ($14.95/year). I would say the overall total value is amazing! I paid $40 and received well over $100 worth of products and a magazine subscription. I like that there were a lot of full size products and I think it's a great value, but I\m just meh about the whole thing. While I likely won't subscribe monthly, I will likely purchase a Limited Edition box in the future.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Inspire Me- Well, Often, Much

Happy Monday!! Not only is today a holiday, but I am also in the middle of my vacation. I've been off since Thursday and while it hadn't been relaxing, per say, it had been enjoyable. Lots of time spent at the beach and reading. The rest of my vacation will be much the same. 

As usual, some inspiration for the week:


Since I am on vacation, I didn't want anything too serious or thought provoking. I think this Iis such a simple concept that we often forget. Take care of ourselves, laughter makes us feel good and love is better than hate and jealousy.