Saturday, 31 January 2015

Weekly Wrap Up

A blog friend of mine, years ago, had a Saturday link up called 'Weekly What'. She eventually cut back on her blogging and the link up came to an end, but I kept doing it...I liked the concept; basically you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday. It's essentially a summary of the past week on your blog. 

It's been over a year since I stopped doing a 'Weekly What' post but I thought for 2015, I would bring the concept back...so welcome to the second Weekly Wrap-Up!!

MONDAY: I started the week off by sharing some inspiration for the week

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

WEDNESDAY: I talked about #BellLetsTalk.

THURSDAY: I shared a song that I love.

FRIDAY: I finished the week by reviewing how my Resolution/Goal for 2015 is going so far. 


Friday, 30 January 2015

Friendly Resolution- January

Happy Friday and happy almost last day of January! This month has had some ups and downs, but I have tried really hard to focus on my word for 2015- Happy! It's been challenging at times, but I've been pretty good at noticing when I wasn't happy and doing things to change that.

I'm not big on resolution, because let's be honest, most of us rarely stick to them. I like to set mini goals for myself to accomplish throughout the year. This year, I've decided to focus on two goals- one professional and one personal.

My friends are my world. I try really hard to be a good friend and I try really hard to work on my friendships. It's so easy to let friendships fade if you move, get married, have a baby, start a new job...there are so many reasons/excuses for friendships to fade. I've always tried to maintain my friendships; generally one or two visits a year with texting, phone calls and Facebook messages in between. 

This year, I decided that every month, I would make the point to connect with two friends. How did I do in January?
Pretty well!! I actually ended up connecting with four friends!
D- A friend since high school, even though we lived hours apart. She currently lives about a 5 minutes drive from me and I see her maybe two or three times a year. I met her for coffee one Sunday, followed by some shopping downtown.

R- We used to work together, so I would talk to her every day and see her once a week- at least. She left for another job, lots of texting and phone calls. I was supposed to see her in October, the same day as my car accident. She did offer to come to the hospital with me (what a GREAT friend), which I declined. We met for lunch and then she came over to hang out for a few hours. 

C- Another co-worker. We used to work in the same office, she went on mat leave and when she came back, they put her in a different office. I see her every couple of weeks, but we haven't hung out in MONTHS. We had a nice, long and delicious brunch. Lots of laughs and great to catch up.

G- Yet another co-worker! She left to go to school and do her Masters. I have seen her twice for dinner in the past almost 6 months since she left, which is honestly pretty good. We had an impromptu coffee date one Saturday afternoon.

R- She lives a 5 minute walk from my house. We have both had a lot of changes in our lived over the past several months, and went from hanging out every other weekend to maybe hanging out 3 times in the past 9 months. I went over to her place for leftover lasagna, wine and girl talk. It was so great and exactly what I needed. 

I realize that I likely won't connect with so many friends in the coming months- I think that two is a realistic number- but I'm really happy with the number of friends I've connected with this month. I actually have Saturday adventure already scheduled with a friend for February and I have two friends that I want to touch base with in February.

I'm really hoping this is a 'resolution' I can stick with. Like I said, my friends are my world and I think it's so important to put time and energy to build and maintain friendships.


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Drink A Hope To Happy Years

I am so happy it's Thursday! I had the BUSIEST week last week! I usually work 70 hours in a 14 hour pay period. Last week, I worked over 80 hours in 6 days. It was excessive and exhausting! But, it means I only have to work half a day today and I'm off tomorrow!! 

For the first time all month, I will be heading out of town for the weekend- if the weather cooperates! I'm looking forward to some peace and quit, reading and relaxing...just getting away to clear my head. 

I'll be driving about an hour and half away from the city, and since I recently found my-lost-for-over-two-years Dave Matthews Band CD, you can bet that's what I'll be listening to on my drive. 

I love so many DMB songs, but this is one of my favourites:

 How great is this song? I'll definitely have it on repeat!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

#BellLetsTalk

Mental health is something that affects us all, on different level and in different ways, but we are all affected at one time or another. Mental health issues include bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, depression and even anxiety.

Sadly, there is still a HUGE stigma around mental health issues. People are not comfortable talking about their situations or people judge others who are dealing with mental health issues. There are a lot of negative stereotypes.

Bell Let's Talk day, which is today, is trying to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, raise awareness and start a conversation. Plus, Bell will donate $0.05 for text message, mobile and long distance call made by their customers. Not a Bell customer? You can still support the campaign by tweeting #BellLetsTalk
 
 
http://letstalk.bell.ca/static/downloads/toolkit/en/bltd-logo.jpg
 
 
In 2014, Bell Let's Talk Day had over 100 million tweets, phone calls and text message resulting in over $5.4 million raised for mental health initiatives. That's a lot of money for a REALLY great cause! 

More information can be found on the website, Bell Let's Talk, including a toolkit on how you can get the conversation started.

If nothing else, please tweet #BellLetsTalk...you can make a difference and raise awareness simply by tweeting a hashtag. 


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
 
To be glad the weekend is over! Your fundraiser was successful, raising well over $100,000. It was a long 15+ hour day, but worth it.

That I like the NHL All-Star Draft. I think it's a fun and funny edition to All-Star Weekend and it's an opportunity to really get to see the personalities of the NHL players. I watched the All-Star Skills Competition too but not the All-Star Game (boo) because I was working.

To have started watching Property Brothers and Love It or List It Vancouver (both on the W Network). These were two shows- and a television genre- I never thought I'd be into. I was wrong and now go out of my way to watch epsiodes.

That, after two and a half years, I'm starting to make my apartment feel like a home and a place I actually want to stay and spend time at. I've always loved my apartment, but because I've spent so little time here, I've never bothered to do much decorating or to make it feel like 'mine'.

To hope everyone participates in Bell's Let's Talk Campaign tomorrow (January 28). For every text message, mobile and long distance call, Facebook image share and Tweet using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives. Last year, over $5.4 million was raised. For more information, click here


Monday, 26 January 2015

Inspire Me- Never Out Of Style

This is the Monday I have been counting down too. I had a HUGE fundraiser for work yesterday and ended up working over 15 hours yesterday. In fact all last week, in preparation for the fundraiser, I was working 9-12 hour days (instead of my usual 7 hours).  So today, I am rewarded with a day off. I have an appointment at noon and plan on doing only things that make me happy today; reading, writing, maybe some Netflix, spending the day in pj's, enjoy cups upon cups of tea. I earned this day off, and trust me...I EARNED the day off. 
 


I've mentioned several times, that my word for 2015 is happy. I am really focused on this word and am really making an effort to be happy. The above quote is from Lilly Pulitzer. Happy is never outdated, or overrated for that matter. 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sunday Reading & Coffee

After I graduated from University, I was gifted (at my request) a Sunday subscription to a Toronto newspaper, which I read every week while drinking coffee...I felt it was a very grown up thing to do and something I should  be doing, so I did. While I no longer have a newspaper subscription, I still feel that a great Sunday includes coffee and reading.

With this concept, I decided each week- on Sunday- to share some of my favourite reads from the past week. So grab a cup of coffee (or your beverage of choice) and enjoy these reads.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Smart, Pretty & Awkward should be a mandatory read.

January is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, and this Globe & Mail article talks about The 72%, which was this year's Awareness Campaign.

Personally, I like Miss Universe Canada's National Costume. I think it's unique and representative of Canada. Love it!!

This weekend is the NHL All-Star Weekend. It's a three day event; Fantasy Draft of Friday, Skills Competition on Saturday and the All-Star Game on Sunday. I love watching the Fantasy Draft, it's pretty entertaining. You can read (and watch) some of the highlights from the draft here.
 
Hope everyone has a great Sunday...I am busy working a HUGE fundraiser and have at least a 18 hour day ahead of me...I cannot wait until Monday (yes, I have the day off- thankfully)!!


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

A blog friend of mine, years ago, had a Saturday link up called 'Weekly What'. She eventually cut back on her blogging and the link up came to an end, but I kept doing it...I liked the concept; basically you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday. It's essentially a summary of the past week on your blog. 

It's been over a year since I stopped doing a 'Weekly What' post but I thought for 2015, I would bring the concept back...so welcome to the second Weekly Wrap-Up!!

MONDAY: I started the week off by sharing some inspiration for the week

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

WEDNESDAY: I shared my thoughts on Target Canada

THURSDAY: I reviewed my first Fab Fit Fun box.

FRIDAY: I finished the week by talking about...nothing! Crazy work week and I didn't have a chance to write anything.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Fab Fit Fun- Winter 2014 Review

Subscriptions boxes are pretty trendy right now and there seems to be a subscription for everything. I think the appeal of subscription boxes are two fold; 1. who doesn't love getting something in the mail that isn't a bill and 2. they are a kind of throw back to care packages. 

When I was in university- which really wasn't that long ago- I would fill small boxes with things I loved or I thought my friends would love, and would send them to friends. It wasn't a subscription, but the concept was the same. I was a fan of the now defunct My Dream Sample Box, loved ipsy for two years before cancelling my subscription and currently subscribe to Topbox.  I had recently heard about Fab Fit Fun and decided that I would give it a try.
Fab Fit Fun is a seasonal box that is $49.99 a quarter or $179.99 a year. I bulked a little bit at the price tag, but the value of the boxes are said to be a $300 value and full size products. Also liked that Fab Fit Fun is not just a beauty box, they send a variety of products. They also include a card with product information and price, which I like.

So, what did I get?

Zumba Move 60 minute DVD & $25 gift card- This would be the 'fit' portion of the box. I love Zumba and am excited to get this DVD. I'm not sure if I'll use the gift card.
Value: $55

Fashion Project $30 gift card- Again, not sure if I'll use the gift card...Fashion Project sells pre-loved fashion items, with a portion of the sale price going to charity. I like the concept. 
Value: $18 (it's a $30 gift card, so I'm not sure why Fab Fit Fun lists the value as $18...?)

Half United Fighting Hunger Necklace- Designed from three bullet casings, this necklace is a fight against hunger. Each necklace sold supports feeding children in need.
Value: $34

Salted 3 month membership- I had never heard of Salted, which is "Netflix for cooking" or online tutorials for cooking. Great concept...but I'm not much of a cook and this membership will be wasted on me- both my lack of cooking and my lack of time to use it- so I think I'm going to gift it to a friend of mine. 
Value: $29.97

Justin's Almond Butter (sponsored)- I am actually a fan of this product and have used it before. It's just a sampler package, but it is marked as a 'sponsored' product.
Value: $0.63
Organic Valley Organic Balance Milk Protein Shake (sponsored)- I've heard of Organic Valley but never tried any of their products. The flavour is vanilla bean, so hopefully it'll be good. 
Value: $2.99
Daniel Stone COCO Candle- This candle uses coconut wax, which makes it 'healthier' (no toxins released when the candle burns) and a 'sustainable wax'. I have yet to burn this candle, but it does smell good! I think it'll be the perfect edition to the table in my living room.
Value: $42

yourMinerals Assorted Eye Shadow Duo- Mineral eye shadow seems to be in every beauty box recently. To me, the main difference between this eye shadow and eye shadow in other boxes, I will actually wear these ones!! No bright blue or green here! The colours I received Swedish Winter (a pearly white, perfect for highlighting) and Brown Hypnotic.
Value: $44

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive- "Spa quality"  exfoliation and a brighter complexion, reduced fine lines and wrinkles. This product has a faint smell of green apple, which is nice. I love products like this and I'm looking forward to trying it!
Value:$39

Lather AHA Hand Cream with Evening Primrose- To me, hand cream is hand cream. It was different to get a jar of hand cream instead of a tube, so there's lots of product. I found it to be a bit greasy and didn't do much for my super dry skin. It does smell really good though. 
Value: $30.00
Passport To Beauty Tibetan Goji Berry Intense Anti-Aging Eye Serum With Retinol- The smell isn't ideal, but it's not too strong- thankfully! The product claims to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles and stimulate collagen. It did leave my super dry skin feeling hydrated, which was nice. 
Value: $88

Special K Snack Bar (sponsored)- Another sponsored product...Salted pretzel chocolate flavour, which sounds delicious! Something I'll bring to work to keep in my desk for when I need a snack. I've never tried this flavour, but I do like Special K bars.
Value: $0.44

Total Value: $383.59 (not including sponsored items)

The value of this box is amazing!!! I got 9-12 products (depending if you count the sponsored items) and they are all high end products. Even if I don't use everything, which I won't, the value is still well beyond the $49.99 (USD), plus exchange and shipping...well worth it! I had originally planned to get one box and cancel my subscription, but I was so impressed that I actually went from a quarterly to a yearly subscription. I can't wait for the next box!!
Note: Before I even received this box, I got an email from Fab Fit Fun saying that one of the product codes wouldn't work in Canada and that another company didn't ship to Canada. In the same email, they included a code just for Canadians and said that we could have our order shipped to them and they would forward it to us. What GREAT customer service!


Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Opinion On...Target Canada

Target is a store that's much loved by many people. For the longest time, I would see Target purchases and brands featured on different blogs and in magazines. Shopping trips to Target in the US were always successful. So, like many Canadians I was so excited to hear that Target was coming to Canada!

Closing of Zellers (a Canadian chain similar to Wal-Mart and a store that I liked) and watching former Zellers spaces be converted to Target Stores added to the anticipation. The first Target stores in Canada were opened in March of 2013- about two years ago.



Sadly, from the beginning, Targets expansion into Canada was a let down. A number of Target stores did open prior to their projected launch dates, which is normally a good thing. Initial visits to the newly opened stores were disappointing; a lot of empty shelves...inventory hadn't arrived yet. Why open a store early if you don't have the inventory?

After a few months in business and shelves somewhat stocked with inventory- Target Canada always seemed to be in short supply of merchandise- it became clear to consumers that Target Canada was going to be different than the American stores.

The two big draws of Target (in the US) are the inventory and the prices. Target Canada did not carry the same merchandise as American stores; that in it's self is very disappointing. Brands that were exclusive to Target were not always available to Target Canada.

Even if we didn't have the same merchandise as the American Target, us here in Canada could benefit from the great price point that our American counterparts had, right? Wishful thinking! Target Canada was significantly more expensive than prices in the US; this was done on purpose to be competitive with other Canadian retailers ( This blog post nicely illustrates the difference). This did not help Target Canada's bottom line as consumers opted to shop elsewhere. If prices are the same, why stray from where you usually shop?

Target Canada also failed to have an online retail presence. Unlike the American Target, online shopping was not an option. This isn't even the biggest factor in 'online retail presence fail'.  Target Canada's website didn't even show what they had in stock. If you were on their website, they would have, for example, a handful of beauty brands listed, but not specific products or even all of the brands they carried.

Last Thursday, when it was announced that Target Canada would be closing all 133 Canadian locations (and putting 17,000 people out of jobs), there was a lot of disappointment expressed by my co-workers at our office and by my friends on Facebook and Twitter- a lot of people liked Target. No one was surprised that Target was not successful in Canada- the lack of inventory, the high price points, the limited brand selection and the lack of an online presence were all key indicators that Target Canada was not going to be a success.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Lilly Pulitzer was working on a collection for Target. Like all Lilly fans, I was excited! Even if Target Canada wasn't closing, the Lilly for Target likely would not have been available in Canada.

 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
 
To be sad that Target is closing all 133 stores in Canada.  Target came to Canada two years ago.

That I cannot wait for this weekend to be over. My biggest fundraiser of the year is this weekend and I just need it to go well. And for it to be over so I can have some down time.

To have discovered a Lush store near me! It's about half an hour away, but well worth the drive. I'm happy to shop online, but somethings- like shopping at Lush- are just better in person.

That I am behind in my magazine reading. I subscribe to 6 magazines (which might be excessive) and I have a pile- a few months worth- growing in my living room.

To truly notice a difference when I wear computer glasses. I stopped wearing them for a few months and just started again...there is definitely a difference.

That I'm happy that the New York Rangers and Marc Staal came to terms for a contract extension! I love NYR and Marc is one of my favourite hockey players, so this is great news!!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Inspire Me- Up

Another Monday, another start to a week...boo. I have a huge event on the weekend, so this week will be HECTIC!! Long days, late nights, stress and chaos. I can't wait until next Monday when the event is over and I can have a little break. Work wise, this will not be a fun week, I am planning on seeing a friend tonight, and tomorrow night I have a speed networking event and drinks & dessert outing with friends. There will be some fun this week- if I can escape the office!

If I can't get away from the office, I'll just have to remember the weekend. Another weekend spent at my apartment, instead of at one of my homes. Friday night, I worked late and treated myself to dinner, then it was home for some mindless tv watching. Saturday was busy- Target, Starbucks, Lush, discovering a new mall and coffee with a friend. Sunday, brunch with a friend, some blog stuff and then just relaxing. It was a great weekend!

Anyway, this weeks inspiration: 


How true is this? No matter your mood, if you just get up and get dressed, things improve. It can be a challenge to get up and out of bed every morning, but getting up is half the battle. The way you dress will also influence your mood- if you were something you are comfortable in or something that makes you feel confident, those feelings will transfer and help with the situation.

I know that this is going to be a challenging week for me. I'm dreading it just thinking about it. If I can show up to work, I know I can power through, be productive and overcome all the challenges thrown my way. I need to be persistent, stick to my guns and just plug away- not give up.

This weeks inspiration is really about determination...if I can remember this quote and reflect on it through the week, I know that I will be successful. It's about not getting discouraged or frustrated...just be determined and work hard.

Hopefully, I'll be rewarded with having next Monday off.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sunday Reading & Coffee

After I graduated from University, I was gifted (at my request) a Sunday subscription to a Toronto newspaper, which I read every week while drinking coffee...I felt it was a very grown up thing to do and something I should  be doing, so I did. While I no longer have a newspaper subscription, I still feel that a great Sunday includes coffee and reading.

With this concept, I decided each week- on Sunday- to share some of my favourite reads from the past week. So grab a cup of coffee (or your morning beverage of choice) and enjoy these reads.

As a blogger, I had to share 19 Ridiculously Useful Tips Every Blogger Should Know that I found on Buzzfeed.

I love the show Suits, so I was thrilled to see 10 Things Patrick J. Adams Can't Live Without in Toronto Life Magazine.

The start of a New Year, means resolutions. Flare Magazine editors shared their 2015 Resolutions, like not decluttering.
And finally, since my word for 2015 is happy, from Popsugar, 30 Day Happiness Challenge.
Hope everyone has a great Sunday!!


Saturday, 17 January 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

A blog friend of mine, years ago, had a Saturday link up called 'Weekly What'. She eventually cut back on her blogging and the link up came to an end, but I kept doing it...I liked the concept; basically you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday. It's essentially a summary of the past week on your blog. 

It's been over a year since I stopped doing a 'Weekly What' post but I thought for 2015, I would bring the concept back...so welcome to the second Weekly Wrap-Up!!

MONDAY: I started the week off by sharing How To Be Happy.

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

WEDNESDAY: I reviewed the book The Flying Troutmans.

THURSDAY: I posted about...nothing! Blog day off.

FRIDAY: I finished the week by talking about a Charity Gala I'm working on.


Friday, 16 January 2015

Charity Gala- The First Meeting

Two things that most people know about me are that I work in non-profit fundriasing and that my dad is a politician. So, it would only make sense that my dad would appoint me to the committee for his Charity Gala.
Earlier this week, we had our first meeting and I'm pretty excited about being on this committee. The committee is made up of two staff members, two friends of my father (who are brothers and I have known my entire life), two people who were on the committee last year (one of them representing the Charity that will be getting some of the proceeds raised), and a friend of mine, S.
S and I actually met through work; we had the exact same job, at different organizations, and met at a conference. Our paths would cross on occasion and she was always just a phone call away to answer any questions I had. I'm really excited to be officially working with her, even if we are both volunteers. 

We had a great first meeting, but it was very basic. The event will be taking place in the Fall, which might seem far away, but in event planning time, it's just around the corner! We reviewed the sponsorship package, S and I not only made several suggestions- we couldn't help it, this is what we do- but we also volunteered to look after sponsorship for the event. 

Discussions on entertainment options and potentially doing a silent auction took place. We also decided on our theme: cars! Our event will revolve around cars, but what exactly our theme will be- race cars, 50's era (think Grease), car show- will be revealed at a later date.
It's just the early planning stages, but this will turn out to be a great event! I'm excited to work with this committee, give back to my community and share the details of the planning of this event!


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Book Club: The Flying Troutmans

http://www.amazon.ca/Flying-Troutmans-Miriam-Toews-ebook/dp/B0031TZAKW/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1421108849&sr=1-1&keywords=flying+troutmans

Book: The Flying Troutmans
Author: Mirian Toews
Amazon Summary: 
A road novel helped along by a lovably nutty cast, Toews's latest (after A Complicated Kindness) follows a ragtag crew as they crisscross America. Hattie, recently dumped in Paris by her moody, adjective-hating boyfriend, returns home to Canada after receiving an emergency phone call from her niece. Turns out, Hattie's sister, Min, is back in the psych ward, and her kids, 11-year-old Thebes and 15-year-old Logan, are fending for themselves. Thus the quirky trio—purple-haired, wise-beyond-her-years Thebes, recently expelled brother Logan and overwhelmed Hattie—embark on a road trip to the States to find the kids' long-missing father. What follows is a Little Miss Sunshine–like quest in which the characters learn about themselves and each other as they weather car repairs, sleazy motel rooms and encounters with bizarre people. Toews's gift for writing precocious children and the story's antic momentum redeem the familiar set-up, and if the ending feels a bit rushed, it's largely because it's tough to let Toews's characters go. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
 
What I have to say: 
Someone that I do work with, lent me her copy of this book to read (we frequently exchange and recommend books for each other). I had heard of this book and I had heard what a great writer Mirian Toews is. Plus she is a Canadian author and this book has Canadian content.

Where do I begin? This was beautifully written and the characters had a lot of depth and layers. This book really focused on developing the characters; who the characters were, their experience, was the main and captivating storyline, at least to me. The actual plot; aunt road tripping across the USA with her niece and nephew to find their father, while their mother is in the psych ward. 
 
It took me months (3-5 months) to read this entire book. When I picked it up and read, I was engaged for a bit, but then would grow bored or tired and stop reading it. It would then take me weeks to pick up the book again and continue. I actually only finished the book because I felt I had it for long enough and had to return it to the owner. Otherwise, I'd still be reading it. I can definitely see how some people can become engrossed in this book and not be able to put it down...I was just not one of those people.

Also, I didn't like the ending. It just...ended. Like, 'We reached our destination. The end'...there was no climax or revelation or...nothing. 

Final verdict: It's not a 'must read' to me nor is it something I will openly recommend. But, if someone asks me about it or it comes up in conversation, I'll tell people even though it wasn't for me, it's still worth a read.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
 
To not have watched the Golden Globes. I'm just not that interested in award shows and I figure I can always youtube any highlights.
 
That I have just over two weeks vacation to use by the end of March. I really need to look at a calendar and figure out when I'm going to take it.
 
To be wishing, praying and hoping very hard that things go well on Thursday. Fingers crossed!!
 
That I have discovered chai latte for Keurig...soooo good and my new go to drink.
 
To really need a work space in my apartment. I love my tiny apartment, it's perfect for me, but I really need a work space.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Inspire Me- How To Be Happy

Happy Monday!! I had a fantastic weekend!! It was the first weekend in months that I spent in my apartment, instead of traveling to either my hometown or my second home. I love my apartment, but very little time here. 

Saturday was spent doing some stuff on my blog during the day and watching Netflix at night. It was relaxing and productive. Sunday, I met a friend for coffee and some downtown window shopping- she introduced me to the most amazing furniture and home decor store- and then I met another friend/former co-worker for a late lunch, followed by a nice visit at my apartment. It was great to spend time with both of these ladies...two good friends of mine, and two friends that I haven't seen in months!

But alas, the weekend is over and I have a BUSY week ahead of me! As always, some inspiration for the week:

 
My word for 2015 is happy. I'm making a real effort to focus on happy...being happy and having happy in my life. So far, so good. I'm generally a positive and happy person- even if people think I'm too busy to be happy (true story, someone actually said that to me). 

I do believe that our mood are a mind frame. If you decide you are miserable, you'll be in a miserable mood. If you decide you are happy, you will be in a happy mood. I frequently tell myself that I am happy, even if I hit some bumps in the road and I really just want to be discouraged or frustrated, I tell myself I am happy and start to think of happy thoughts. It really does take some effort and you have to be able to realize when you are not in a good mood.

This rule for how to be happy, is a good one; decide that you are in a good mood. I've decided that I'm happy and every morning I tell myself that 'today is going to be a great day!'

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sunday Reading & Coffee

After I graduated from University, I was gifted (at my request) a Sunday subscription to a Toronto newspaper, which I read every week while drinking coffee...I felt it was a very grown up thing to do and something I should  be doing, so I did. While I no longer have a newspaper subscription, I still feel that a great Sunday includes coffee and reading.

With this concept, I decided each week- on Sunday- to share some of my favourite reads from the past week. So grab a cup of coffee (or your morning beverage of choice) and enjoy these reads.
 
My 'must read' every week is always Molly Ford, of Smart Pretty & Awkward, latest post.

While I am against the word 'Selfie', I did enjoy Elle Canada's The Top 5 Reasons To Take A Selfie.

If you love the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, you have to check out Town & Country's Live Like Holly Golightly In The Breakfast At Tiffany's Townhome.
 
And finally, since my word for 2015 is happy, The Best Quotes on Happiness, also from T&C.
 
Hope everyone has a great Sunday!!


Saturday, 10 January 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

A blog friend of mine, years ago, had a Saturday link up called 'Weekly What'. She eventually cut back on her blogging and the link up came to an end, but I kept doing it...I liked the concept; basically you put all of your Monday-Friday posts in one post on Saturday. It's essentially a summary of the past week on your blog. 

It's been over a year since I stopped doing a 'Weekly What' post but I thought for 2015, I would bring the concept back...so welcome to the first Weekly Wrap-Up!!

MONDAY: I started the week off by talking about My Word for 2015.

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

WEDNESDAY: I posted my December TopBox

FRIDAY: I finished the by going into the archives for this Rolo Stuffed Crackers recipe.

Friday, 9 January 2015

From The Archives: Rolo Stuffed Crackers

Happy Friday!! While it has been an overall good week, I'm happy to see it come to an end. I'm looking forward to this weekend- no travel, I'll be spending it at my apartment! I can't even remember the last time I spent a weekend here, it's been THAT long. 

On Tuesday, I had some friends over and I made rolo stuffed crackers. This used to be a 'go to' recipe for me and for some reason, I just stopped making them. I decided to make them on Tuesday and they were a huge hit!! A friend asked me how I got the recipe, and I told her; Pinterest, made them, shared them online and I got great feedback from readers- one person even said to me 'In this case, sharing is not caring' as I was ruining her diet/healthy eating. 
http://www.dreamsandcolour.com/2013/02/project-pinterest-rolo-stuffed-crackers.html

I originally shared this recipe back in 2013, almost two years ago and before I was a .com, so I thought I would share it again. For the full recipe, check out this post. These are super easy to make and I haven't had anyone not love them!

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Is That Why You've Never Been On The Show Before?

Happy Friday Junior- as my favourite morning radio host would say!! We are almost at the end of the first full week of 2015. So far, things are going ok. I've had a challenge or two thrown my way already, but I have been very focused on my 2015 Word of the Year.
 
I don't know how many of you caught Nicole Kidman on Jimmy Fallon earlier this week, but it was funny. Not surprising, since most things Jimmy does are funny. I watched the clip (below) several times yesterday and just had to share it on the blog.
 
Enjoy!
 


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

December TopBox

Topbox is a Canadian beauty subscription box. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about Topbox, which is why I hadn't subscribed. A couple of months ago, I did try one of their limited edition boxes, and was pretty happy about the value and products, so I thought I'd give the monthly subscription a try.

Topbox is around $14 month, including shipping, and you get 4 samples. You can choose regular packaging or 'environmentally friendly' packaging, which is a reusable organza bag. Also, each month you can create a 'wish list'. Basically, you have the option to keep the products picked that month (which is a surprise until you receive them) or trade it in for something else- 10 perfume samples, two full size Elizabeth Arden products, etc- for the same price. You can add as many options to your wish list as you'd like, but you're not guaranteed to get what you pick. I also like that Topbox includes a card with a description and price of the product and where you can buy it.

Here's what I got in December:

 
  1. Kinetics Nail Polish in Up the Rocks: The product claims to have "plasticizers that facilitate smooth, easy application." It applied like any other nail polish I've ever used. This is a pretty colour and is actually similar to the blue I wore on my toes all summer. I won't be able to wear this colour to work, but it'll be great for the summer.
    Retail Value: $15 (15mL)
    Topbox Value: $15 (15mL)
  2. Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keepr: As someone with curly hair, I'm looking forward to trying this product, which claims to control frizz! The one product (original) is to be used on wet hair to tame frizz and the other (gel) is to be used to style curly hair.
    Retail Value: $17.50 (8oz)
    Topbox Value: $4.38 (1oz  each)
  3. Barefoot Venus Argan Dry Body Oil: I have used Argan oil in my hair and I'm looking forward to trying it on my skin, to see if it does anything for my super dry skin. It is a spray, which I like, and it smells good. It's a tad oil, which is to be expected from an oil, but it's not too bad.
    Retail Value: $15.99 (140mL)
    Topbox Value: $0.91 (8mL)
  4. Marsk Natural Mineral Eyeshadow in Seaspray: This is a very pretty green, with a nice shimmer to it...but it's green. I stick to neutral colours, so this will be gifted to someone.
    Retail Value:  $22.50 (1.2g)
    Topbox Value: $22.50 (1.2g)
Total Retail Value: $70.99
Total Topbox Value:  $42.79
What I paid: $13.56

The value of the box is great, compared to what I paid. I'm pretty happy, and will use 3 of the four products. While I do like TopBox, I am not sure if I am going to keep my monthly subscription. I might stick to buying their limited edition boxes (I gifted on to my sister and one to a friend for Christmas, which they both loved!), but I'm going to keep TopBox for another month or two before deciding.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Hey, It's Ok!

Airing My Dirty Laundry
 
To be beyond words happy and excited that Canada won gold at the World Junior Hockey Championships (WJC) last night!! Long over due, well deserved...and a GREAT game!!
 
That I really enjoyed my two weeks off. It was exactly what I needed; spending time with family and friends- people who truly love and support me.

To be happy that Celebrity Apprentice is back...it's one of my favourite shows. I haven't seen an episode yet, because I was watching WJC...but I'm hoping it'll be a good season.

That I spent the majority of Sunday cleaning, organizing and rearranging my apartment. It was a ton of work, but it's nice to have my apartment organized and to have purged and gotten rid of a ton of stuff I don't need.

To try to be sleeping before midnight, so I can get up earlier and be more productive in the mornings. I'm on day two, and it's going well so far.

That I want things to go back to the way they were.

To be amazed that #CanadaBrokeTwitter last night after Canada won gold at thw WJC.

That it's kind of sad that I actually used a hashtag in the above sentence.


Monday, 5 January 2015

2015 Word of the Year Is...

Happy New Year!!! I hope that everyone had a GREAT Christmas and New Year's Eve. I was off from work for two week- bliss!!- it was just want my soul needed. I spent a the first week in my hometown and the second week in my second home. In both places, my days were filled with friends and family. And, of course, cheering on Team Canada at the World Juniors (WJC)!!
I am ready to break up with 2014 and move on to 2015. I'm looking forward to this year and am hoping for a great year. There will be a lot of changes, but I'm looking forward to it. 

I don't make New Year's resolutions, instead I pick a quote, phrase or saying to reflect on and try and live throughout the year. A lot of bloggers are posting their word of the year and a number of days ago, my friend Jenn asked friends to share with her their word for 2015.

I decided to pick 'happy' as my word for this year. I'm generally a very happy person. I feel happy and people comment on how happy I am. In 2014, I was lacking happiness...I didn't feel happy, I didn't act happy, I didn't think happy. I'm changing that for 2015.

In 2015, I'm going to go back to being happy. I'm going to make up each morning, smile and tell myself 'today is going to be a happy day' and each night, I'm going to reflect back on all of the happy things that happened that day. Kind of like the '100 days of happy challenge' except all year. It's the simple things in life.

I'm looking forward to my upcoming, happy year.