Thursday 24 September 2015

Book Club: Becoming Rain
Book: Becoming Rain
Author: K.A. Tucker
Amazon Summary
A suspense-driven New Adult romance novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water.

Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it—the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set—one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game—at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington, DC, major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the West coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year-old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to
What I have to say: 
One of my sorority sisters gifted this book to me. Prior to that, this book wasn't even on my radar. Truth be told, this isn't the type of book I would have picked up for myself. I wasn't even sure if I would actually like it; an undercover cop trying to to help bust a car theft ring? No thanks. 

But, I did bring this book with me to the beach, being indifferent to whether or not I would actually get around to reading it. I ended up reading the entire book in a day!! Every spare chance I got, I was reading this book. I literally brought it with me everywhere I went that day. 
The chapters alternate between Clara/Rain and Luke's POV. I like books where you get to see the story from multiple views. Both characters were refreshing, as was the story line- I haven't read anything like it before. We see how Luke goes from wanting more responsibility at his uncle's garage to how he gets involved in the car theft ring. We see Clara's double life as an undercover cop and as Rain. And, of course, we see Clara/Rain and Luke fall for each other. Lines blurred for Clara between personal and professional and how she handles it, all with Luke being none the wiser.

Final verdict: I have already recommended this book to a friend to use for her book club, I've recommended it to a couple of other friends, I have plans to re-read it in the near future, and I have already started on another book by the same author. This book has been added to my "must read" list.  

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I still do not have a dress for the gala on Saturday. I have gone shopping and only found two dresses that I kinda of like. I have two dresses in my closet that I can wear if I need too...but I don't have THE dress for the gala. 

To I want to go to the beach. I know that Fall officially starts tomorrow...but I miss the beach! I would give anything to be lying on the beach reading, relaxing, right now. 

That I have been on a peach tea from Starbucks kick for weeks. I gave up my morning coffee and switched to tea. If you haven't tried peach tea, you should. It smells and tastes amazing. 

To not be a fan of pumpkin spice...anything. I just don't get it. I don't like the taste, I don't like the smell, I don't understand the craze. 

That I miss some of my friends. There are friends I haven't seen in months and there are friends I've had to distance myself from. I miss them.

Monday 21 September 2015

The Young Professional- What To Bring To An Interview

Brock University's Homecoming was this weekend, but I missed it due to work- functions on Friday and Saturday. I did follow along on Instagram and Twitter. It seemed like a really fun weekend and I'm so sad that I missed out. Countdown is on for Homecoming 2016!!

I put this series, The Young Professional, on hiatus for the summer. I'm looking forward to bringing this series back and thought I would start the post-summer hiatus with a post about what to bring to an interview.

  • Paper and pen. During interviews, I always place a pad of paper and a pen on the table in front of me. By doing this, I'm showing the interviewer that I'm taking this interview serious, that I'm engaged and I'm prepared to take notes- which I have never done during an interview.
  • Copies of your resume. The interviewer will likely have a copy of your resume, but it's a good idea to bring a back up. I went to an interview once, where the day of my interview, the printers weren't working. The interviewer was going to use an electronic copy of my resume. She was thankful when I handed her a paper copy. 
  • References. A lot of interviewers will ask you to bring references with you. Even if they don't ask, bring them anyway. I was in an interview once, where I was asked by the interviewer if she had asked me to bring references. I told her, that she hadn't asked me to bring them, but I had them anyway and was able to hand them over. Who you should use as a reference is a future post.
  • Questions. I always prepare questions to ask during an interview. Even thought I have the questions memorized, I write them down on a piece of paper and keep them tucked away. This way if I get nervous or forget the questions, I can pull them out to refer too. 
  • Portfolio. Whether or not you are asked to bring a portfolio, bring one anyway. I tell the interviewer (usually towards the end) that I have my portfolio and ask if they would like to see it. I have had an interviewer tell me no (and I still got called back for a second interview) and have had them say yes. It's a great way to show what you can do and what you have done. Portfolios showcase your work in a way that answering questions can't and they can either highlight things you talked about during your interview or things that didn't even get brought up. What to include in your portfolio is a future post.
Looking for more from this series? Check out The Young Professional label.

Friday 18 September 2015

Amber's Birthday Giveaway

Not only is today Friday, but today is also my sweet friend Amber's 30th birthday!!! Make sure you stop by her blog to wish her a happy birthday!!

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a giveaway!! Amber and some of her friends have gotten together to offer a fantastic giveaway! You can enter using the rafflecopter below. Good Luck!!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Toronto 2015: Pan Am Games- Day 1

I have already shared details of the Chairman's Reception and the Opening Ceremonies for the Pan Am Games. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be talking about the sporting events I attended. I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass- and I found out the second day of the Games, that my pass got me into all Pan Am venues. I had originally planned to attend the flatwater sports, which is what I did.

The first day of the Games, was a beautiful, warm and sunny day!! You really couldn't have asked for a better day, especially for canoe/kayak!! 
As a VIP, we had special parking, close to the venue, and we also had our own security line- which was basically not waiting in line to go through security. There was a VIP seating area, which was in the grand stand, closest to the finish line. VIPs also had access to the viewing platform, which is where I watched 95% of the races. The platform offered the best view of the course and podium.
The viewing platform was right beside the clock tower, the media tower, the announcer tower...each level of the tower was 'home' to a specific function of the games.

Looking at the tower from the platform
Pachi, the official mascot also made an appearance on the first day.

Watching Pachi from the viewing platform. Podium is in the background
There were four races that day- a medal race, two heats, and a semifinal. Flatwater racing is kind of like the horse races; you watch the race for two minutes and than you wait forever until the next race. The first day's race schedule was 9:05am, 11:00am, 11:10am and 12:15pm. So, lots of waiting around.
The very first race, was the Women K4 500m, which was also a medal race. It was so much fun to watch Team Canada compete and cheer them on to a gold medal!

Watching the Women K4 500m
Since the very first medal of the games was won at the flatwater centre- and by Team Canada- I got to witness it, which was so awesome...and just watching them win, but seeing them have their medals awarded and the playing of our national anthem...really tough to describe. But I promise, it was really cool and something I won't forget. 

Women K4 medalists walking to the podium

Medalist on the podium
Team Canada with their medals!
I just have to share this video...Team Canada getting their medals!

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I am going to be reunited with my prom date!! We are still friendly but he is going to be my date to a gala I'm attending in two weeks. I'm so excited he is coming with me, I know we are going to have SO much fun!!

To hope the items I'm putting in a charity auction, including homemade cookies, raises a lot of money. The money raised from my items goes towards my overall fundraising goal.

That I was recently put in a position where I saw who my true friends were. It was so disappointing and saddening. I am trying very hard to not let one person sour an entire experience for me.

To be sad that I'll be missing Brock Homecoming this year. I have a work golf tournament on Friday and our AGM on Saturday. I am so, so, so sad about this.

That I cannot wait for the new seasons of How To Get Away With Murder and The Big Bang Theory. I'm also looking forward to the new show, Blood & Oil!!

Monday 14 September 2015

The Young Professional Returns

Happy Monday everyone!! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. It was rainy here, but I got to spend TONS of time with family- which was great!!

Early this year, I introduced a new series on the blog- The Young Professional. I loved writing this series and sharing tips, tricks, resources and ideas about being a young professional. I but the series on hiatus for the summer, because who wants to be thinking about work and being professional when you can be at the beach having fun?
Since summer is practically over, it's time to bring this series back!!
The series will be back in full force next week. In the meantime, you can check out past posts from this series!

Friday 11 September 2015

Fashion Friday- Sleepwear

Happy Friday!! I am so happy that this week is FINALLY over! It was a pretty good week, but I am definitely ready for the weekend!! Things have been so crazy, busy and a tad dramatic...I am ready to pull on my pj's and spend the weekend with Netflix. Unfortunately, I won't have that opportunity as I have a busy weekend ahead of me...but a girl can dream!!

And what girl wouldn't want to be dreaming (or watching Netflix) in this outfit?!

Robe // Tank // Slipper // Shorts
While do sleep in our sleepwear, we also lounge in our sleepwear; comfort is key, but so is style- and something you can wear around others!

Since the weather is still warm, I am all about the sleep short. They are so,so, so comfortable, and there are some super cute styles and prints available. But sometimes it's good to keep it pretty classic,  with these black shorts with white lace trim.

The perfect compliment to sleep shorts? A sleep tank!! Again a super comfy piece and still appropriate for the warm weather. I love this bright pink colour!!

Personally, I don't like slippers. Or socks. I spend as much time as possible barefoot. But these slippers were too cute not to share, and they just go so well with the shorts and tank.

While this outfit doesn't necessarily need a never know when you might need to throw one on and I believe that every girl should have a lux robe in her wardrobe. This CK robe is perfect! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend- and that you get to spend sometime in comfy sleepwear!!

Thursday 10 September 2015


When I was in university, I had a friend who would do a daily high/low; each day, she would state what the high point of her day was and what the low point was. There was always a high, and always low. 

I liked this concept...finding the good and bad in your day; being thankful for the good and realizing that the bad really wasn't that bad. I mean sometimes the lows were pretty bad, but for the most part... You realize how good you actually have it. 

High/Low is something I would love to do on a daily basis...write them down, track them, be able to look back on them. I actually have a notebook that is designated for recording the daily high/low. I'm just not that good actually writing every day; I get home late and am tired, I don't have my notebook with me, or I just forget. 

We all have days, were it just seems like the worse day ever; everything that can go wrong does, days where we should have just stayed in bed. Those are the days where it can be the hardest to find good in the can really be a struggle, but there is good, it is there. You just need to look for it.

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Toronto 2015: Pan Am Games- Opening Ceremonies

Last week, I shared details about the Pan Am Games Chairman's Reception. This week, I thought I would share the Opening Ceremonies!! The Pan Am Opening Ceremonies are VERY similar to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. 

From the Chairman's Reception, we were escorted down to a box in the 200s section of the Rogers Centre.
Crowd at the Rogers Centre
I THINK we had good seats, but we actually decided to stay at a table in the box as we had a clear view of the stage. We felt if we went to our seats, we might have people blocking our view. Plus, if we stayed at the table, we had servers that would come to our table to our drink order/deliver our drinks. They also had food available for us in the box.

View from our table
 Cirque du Soleil opened with a fantastic show that represented all of the countries of the world.It was a great start!!

Performers entering the stage
Performers on stage
During the performance, they showed a video that showcased the Pan Am flames journey to get to Toronto. The video showed someone skydiving off of the CN Tower, aiming towards Rogers Centre. Donovan Bailey that entered the Rogers Centre with the flame.

Flame entering Rogers Centre
After the flame was brought in, there was a bit of a torch rally on the stage, with the lighting of the cauldron. After the cauldron was lit, Cirque continued with their performance. What I liked about the opening piece was that there was a focus on Native culture- which is so important to Canada and our Canadian history- and bringing the different cultures of the world together.

Performers again...can you spot the Native Hoop Dancer?
After the opening performance, the Canadian flag was brought in Rogers Centre by the RCMP and was raised. This was accompanied by the singing of the Canadian National Anthem.

RCMP and the Canadian flag
Next up was the Parade of Nations.  Since the Pan Am Games were started in Argentina, they enter first (just as Greece always enters first for the Olympics). After Argentina, the countries enter alphabetically by their Spanish name.
Team USA entering Rogers Centre
More of Team USA
Just like the Olypmics, the host country enters last. I can't even explain to you, what a thrill it was to be cheering on Team Canada as they made their entrance into the stadium. It was a great moment of personal pride, to be united with country, cheering and celebrating our athletes.
Team Canada!!!! Mark Oldershaw was our flag bearer...and I had the chance to meet him later on during the games.
That's a lot of red & white
Last picture of Team Canada
After all of the nations were in the Rogers Centre and seated, Cirque du Soleil came in as if the were part of the Parade of Nations, as the walked past the volunteers, the volunteers joined the parade and were eventually lead out of the stadium. This was a great transition to the next part of Cirque's performance. There were a ton of different scenes and 'stories' that was part of the performance. While I have tons of picture, and I want to avoid a 'photo dump; I am only going to share a few that highlight the performance. Here they are:

Suspended from the ceiling. There was also, later in the show, aeriel acts
They were tumbling over the was pretty cool.
Bike stunts
After the Cirque performance, the Olympic and Pan Am flags were brought in and raised. There were speeches, the athlete and official oaths were taken, more speeches, and finally fireworks from the CN tower! Unfortunately, I don't have any firework pictures, but they were spectacular.

While the Opening Ceremonies was LONG- it took forever for all the athletes to come, but was so worth it to see the Canadian athletes and cheer for them- and some parts were boring- I'm looking at you, speeches- it was over all a FANTASTIC event!!! I am so thankful that I had the chance to be there and experience it in person. Once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget.

Next week, I'll be sharing some of the events I attended!

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be so sad that summer is officially over. While I want more summer- more days at the beach, more warm weather. more memories- I have to admit that Summer 2015 was a pretty great one!! 

That September is my favourite month. The weather is (usually) still summer like, but tourists are gone, summer vacation is over and kids are back at school. Basically, I can do and enjoy a lot of my favourite summer activities without all the crowds.

To have been invited to the Madonna concert in Toronto next month, but I don't think I'll be able to go...which really sucks.

That I experienced something very disappointing recently and was sad to learn that friendship means something very different than I thought. 

To have a friend who is a psychic! She's a good interesting and a ton of fun. I went to her for a reading last week. She provided insight and clarity...telling me something I didn't want to hear, but was good to know. She had some interesting things to say...we'll see what happens!!

That I'm happy Meg & James were FINALLY evicted from Big Brother!! I love Johnny Mac and hope he wins!!

Friday 4 September 2015

Friendly Resolution- August

I'm not big on New Year Resolution, because let's be honest, most of us rarely stick to them. This year, I decided that every month, I would make the point to connect with two friends that I haven't seen recently (at least 3 months).

Here is what happened in August:

K- I technically saw her in June for her wedding (!!) but she was kinda busy, so we didn't have a chance to chat. We ended up going out for frozen yogurt and talking for hours. It was good for my soul.

R- One of my closest friends. She has been so busy, that we have barely been able to text, never mind actually spend time together. She came over and we enjoyed some wine on the balcony, which was amazing!! It was so, so, so, great to FINALLY spend time with her!!!

Cousins, cousins, cousins- My always said that cousins should also be friends. I spent more time with my cousins this summer that I have in years. I have a big family and I saw everyone in May. In August,  we spent days and nights at the cottage and on the beach. There were dinners upon dinners, followed by bonfire after bonfire. I can't remember the last time so many of us spent so much time together in such a laid back and relaxed setting. It was great to go back to my roots.

I- A co-worker that I spent 2 days sitting beside and working with at a course. We frequently chat at the office, but she actually invited me out for coffee one day. It was great to spend time with her outside of the office.

J- A Sorority Sister that I have made the effort to see every few months. She had dinner back in May, so she is right at that 3 month mark. We always go to the same place for dinner, order the same thing...but I LOVE spending time with her and I love our little routine.

D & R: Two (of three) of my Pod Pals!! The three of us went out for lunch and had a blast...lots of fun. lots of laughter, and a couple of drinks. 

August flew by, but I spent a lot of time with a lot of people.  I have stuck with my resolution for 8 months. I'm glad I'm making such an effort to connect with friends. I like the fact that I am connecting with new friends that I haven't connected with this year and connected with friends I haven't seen in a few months.

September is already shaping up to be a great month!!

January // February // March // April // May // June // July

Thursday 3 September 2015

Toronto 2015: Pan Am Games- Chairman's Reception

I've mentioned a time or two or ten that I had the opportunity to experience the 2015 Pan Am Games, which were hosted by Toronto. Pan Am is affiliated with the Olympics- and follow a lot of the traditions and celebrations of the Olympics- and is held the summer before the Summer Olympics. 

I was very, very, very lucky to be invited not only to the Opening Ceremony's, but to the Chairman's Reception as well. It was a once in a lifetime experience and something I'll never forget. I owe a HUGE thank you to my dad who brought me as his guest and my mom who decided not to attend, so that I could go in her place.
Pre-Reception Reception
All invited guests were invited to a hotel in Toronto to gather prior to heading over to Chairman's Reception or Opening Reception, both held prior to the Opening Ceremonies. The hotel reception was basically a cocktail hour, lots of mingling and people serving drinks. Not much else happened. 

The crowd at the Rogers Centre when we pulled up

From the hotel reception, we were escorted down to a nice coach bus and made our way- with a police escort- to the Rogers Centre, where the Chairman's Reception (for distinguished guests and "the movers and shakers that made it all happen"), Opening Reception (for family and friends of distinguished guests/movers and shakers, VIPs, officials from visiting countries, etc) and the Opening Ceremonies took place. 

Rogers Centre before they let everyone in
We were up pretty high at the Rogers Centre, in the Presidents Suite (I think). We could see the entire was so weird to be in the Rogers Centre with virtually no one in the stands. 

Pachi, the official mascot of Toronto 2015 (who has 41 quills to represent the 41 countries that competed at the Games), volunteers and the host during the pre-show

During the Reception, I noticed that there was some stuff happening on the stage, which I original thought was a sound check, and than thought it was a final run through, but was actually a pre-show for the Opening Ceremonies. I didn't pay too much attention to this, as their was a lot going on in the room we were in. 

I have had VIP treatment before, but NOTHING can compare to the treatment I had throughout the entire Pan Am experience. At the reception, no matter what your request was, they were able to get it for you. The food was amazing! They really played up on Canada; Alberta and Ontario beef, BC Salmon, PEI Potatoes... Everything looked so good!! I only tried the poutine and the sliders, which were both delicious. Food is such an important part of an event, and they nailed it with their food selection. 

Pan Am Medals (ParaPan Am Medals are in the back row)
Being a VIP, you get to do things that most people don't get to do. Pachi, the mascot, came into the suite for a meet and greet. I had previously met him when the Pan Am flame first came to Canada and started the torch relay. We also got a first look at the Pan Am Medals!! It was cool to see them up close and in person- even if we weren't allowed to touch them.

ParaPan Am Medal
They also has the ParaPan Am Medals on display. I was surprised to learn that Toronto 2015 was the first time that Braille was used on the ParaPan Am Medals. 

Another important event component are your guests. They really can make or break your party. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of people there, including; Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory and his wife Barbara (who has the same hometown as me...we bonded over that), Ontario Cabinet Ministers Michael Chan and Charles Sousa, Chairman David Peterson, and Pan Am Games CEO Saad Rafi. After the fact, I learned that Kim Cattrall (aka Samantha Jones, Sex and the City) was there and I was kind of disappointed that I didn't get to meet her; at least I can say that I attended a party she was at, so that's still kinda cool, right?

Some of the crowd at the Chairman's Reception
Who else was there? Who else did I met? In the picture above, the guy in the light blue jacket? Oh right...JASON PRIESTLEY!!! That's right, I met Brandon Walsh from 90210. My teenage self died. My adult self tried very hard to keep it together. Details of that meeting-which was by far the coolest and greatest thing I have ever done- will come in the next week or so. 

Overall, I had a fantastic time at the Reception. It a truly great and memorable experience! 

Details and photos of the Opening Ceremonies and the events I attended will follow in the coming weeks.