Thursday, 25 August 2016

Welcome To The Modern Phone Era

A number of years ago when I had to replace my flip phone (RIP), I decided to go with a Blackberry because my dad and brother were Balckberry users, I know that a lot of business people used Blackberry and because it had a keyboard instead of a touch screen. I have been a faithful Blackberry user for years. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the parking lot at work texting a co-worker. I walked into the building and my phone had turned off and wouldn't turn on. This was the second time in about a month this happened. There were a couple of other issues too- like the sound not coming on when I took it off of silent. I decided that it was time to upgrade to a new phone; I couldn't risk my phone never turning on again. 

Luckily it was about $6 to buyout my current contract. I spent the night researching options aka asking my dad, significant other, and best guy friend which phone I should go for. Their answers were "Get an iphone" or "Get a Samsung" but provided no reasons WHY. I decided to stick with Blackberry. 

After work I went to the mall ready to upgrade. I told the sales guy I wanted to the same phone I had and pulled out my Blackberry Curve (aka the second generation Blackberry), he said "Oh Jeeze" and then told me that they don't make those anymore. I asked about a Blackberry Classic, since it still had a keyboard. He didn't recommend it because they are being phased out and their is no support for them. He did show me another Blackberry, but it was touch screen.

Another sales associate came out and saw my phone on the counter. He asked if it was mine, and I said yes. he said "We need to get you into the modern phone era." He suggested an iphone, saying it would be easier to use for a first time smart phone user. After a lot of questions and explaining, I ended up going for an iphone SE.

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I am reluctant iphone user. I don't like the touch screen- I've had a tablet for 2+ years and am still not used to the touch screen. Besides Instagram, I refuse to get any apps and I only have Instagram because it is a hassle to take a photo on my phone, email it to myself so I can download it to my tablet and then upload to Instagram. I plan to only use my phone for calls, texts, seeing the date/time, and the occasional web browsing. 

Now, if only I can figure out how to make a phone call...

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Put A Bow On It: August Box

Like many people, I love subscription boxes. I have subscribed to a few different ones over the years and have found a couple of favourites. I also like trying new subscription boxes- you never know which one might become a 'favourite'. I was recently introduced to Put A Bow On It, which is a lifestyle subscription box, and thought I would give them a try.

This is a Canadian subscription box, but they are now shipping to the US, and they offer two boxes a month; Deluxe ($48/month) and Premium ($74.95/month). The gift plans are 3, 6 and 12 months or monthly with no auto-renew. Besides the price point, I'm not 100% sure what the difference is between the two boxes. Looking at the past boxes on their website, it does show that Deluxe and Premium boxes contain very different items.
I had only seen reviews for the Premium box, so that's the one I ordered. The box was wrapped with pineapple wrapping paper and a bow- you are literally unwrapping a gift. A product card was included in the box and the box had a theme- I love subscription boxes have a theme! The theme was "Happy Glamping". I must say, the items we received fit the theme really well.
  •  Citronella Candle- What a great item for a lifestyle box! As someone who spends a ton of time sitting on the patio, citronella candles are a must.
  • LED Mason Jar Lantern- This is a cute item and I like when lifestyle boxes include a decor item. I can use this item both inside and outside.
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo- I like that this is a full product size. Unfortunately, I have yet to get into dry shampoo; I hear great things, I've just yet to try it, even though I have received dry shampoo in subscription boxes before. I will likely gift this to someone.
  • R Devine Sacred Earth Cleansing Clay- I am big on skincare and am always looking for new products to try, so I was excited to receive this. I also like that this is a company based here in Ontario! This product is a powder that you add water to and it can be used as a cleanser or a facial mask. 
  • Mental Beats Power Bank- I have received a similar product in a previous subscription box, but I am happy to have another. We live in an electronic world and making sure our devices are charged is a real issue (#FirstWorldProblems). I recently changed phones from Blackberry to iphone and am in need of restocking different places (country house, my parents place, work, my car) with charges for my phone, so this product will come in handy.
  • PocketBac Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel- I think this was a bonus item as it wasn't listed on the product card. I like when bonus items get included in a subscription box, it gives the feeling of added value. I can never have enough hand sanitizer and have added this to my travel bag. 
  • Russell Stover S'Mores- I like when lifestyle subscriptions include a food item. Not only did this fit the theme perfectly, but it was delicious!
I have mixed feelings about this subscription. I like that it's Canadian and that it's a lifestyle subscription. I also like that they don't auto-renew and that they use a theme. I think all of the products fit the theme perfectly. I think that they had some unique products too. I'm not sure that the value is there. I paid almost $65 (plus $10 shipping) for this box and I'm not sure that this box has a value of $65; product prices were not included on the product card but I am familiar with all of these products and have an idea of what the retail prices are. This box also reminds me of another Canadian lifestyle box- that box costs less and offers, in my opinion, better products (higher value, better quality).

I also feel that it's not fair to judge a subscription by the first box- you might not catch them during their best month, or a theme might not appeal to you. I have ordered both their Deluxe and Premiere September boxes- I want to see the difference between the two and I want to give this subscription box a chance before I make a final decision on it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry
That I am starting to feel a little bit burnt out. Work has been...intense...recently and I'm starting to feel it.
To have a some pretty fun, social things lined up next week! It will be a week spent with friends and I can't wait. 
That I have recently cut some "friends" out of my life. If friends are toxic, there is no point in keeping them around. 
To be sad that summer is coming to an end. I feel it has gone too quickly and I can definitely use a few more weekends at the beach.
That I had a great time watching the Tragically Hip concert on Saturday. Thank you Gord and The Hip for doing one last tour and to CBC for broadcasting the concert from coast to coast to coast, streaming the concert online and on the radio, allowing Canadians around the world to come together and celebrate the quintessential Canadian band in the most Canadian way.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Inspire Me- August Sunday

It's crazy to think that we have two weeks left until Labour Day- the unofficial end of summer. I have had a great summer- lots of time spent at the beach, with family, friends, and at events. Summer is such a short season, especially here in Ontario, so I try to make the most of it. 

How true is this quote?! With summer- and August- quickly coming to an end, I am working on doing everything I wanted to do this summer and haven't yet, as well as doing all of my favourite summer activities one last time. 

It's so important for me to have a great summer- it's what gets me through those long, cold winter days!

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Greatest Band: The Tragically Hip

The Tragically Hip is the quasi-essential Canadian band. Everyone knows who The Hip are, and if you're not fan, you still appreciate their music and can acknowledge what they mean to the Canadian music industry, and Canada as a whole. When I was in University, I wrote paper on what The Hip meant to our National Identity and how they embodied Canada as a country and a culture. 

It was announced a few months ago that Gord Downie was battling cancer and that The Hip would embark on one final tour. The last show of the tour-the last Tragically Hip concert- is tomorrow in Kingston, Ontario. It is a sold out show, but it will be broadcast live on CBC and many communities are doing screenings. 

Like many Canadians, I am a Hip fan. My favourite album is My Music @ Work and in honour of The Hip and Gord Downie, I thought I would share the title track of that album:

My Music At Work by The Tragically Hip
Live at Rogers Arena in Vancouver BC- July 26, 2016

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Book Club: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Book The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
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Book: The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Author: Phaedra Patrick
Indigo Summary
In this poignant and curiously charming debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

Sixty-nine-year-old Arthur Pepper lives a simple life. He gets out of bed at precisely 7:30 a.m., just as he did when his wife, Miriam, was alive. He dresses in the same gray slacks and mustard sweater vest, waters his fern, Frederica, and heads out to his garden.

But on the one-year anniversary of Miriam's death, something changes. Sorting through Miriam's possessions, Arthur finds an exquisite gold charm bracelet he's never seen before. What follows is a surprising and unforgettable odyssey that takes Arthur from London to Paris and as far as India in an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met—a journey that leads him to find hope, healing and self-discovery in the most unexpected places.

Featuring an unforgettable cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper is a joyous celebration of life''s infinite possibilities

What I have to say: 
A friend of mine started a book club, which I have joined, and this was the pick for August. The book was slow to start and it took me a bit to get into it. It was fun to learn what each of the charms meant and to learn about Miriam's life before she met Arthur. You wonder why Miriam kept this prior life from Arthur. Each charm represents a different time, experience and place in Miriam`s life. As Arthur learns the story of each charm, he meets people for Miriam`s past, learn stories about her, and also travels to different places Miriam has lived- including India and Paris. You wonder why Miriam kept this prior life from Arthur. With each charm, Arthur also meets new people and, unknowingly, influences their lives.

Final verdict: 
This was a really easy read and a cute story. Perfect beach or poolside read. I wouldn't say this is a 'must read' but I would recommend it for anyone looking for an easy read that you don't have to think too much about. I would recommend this book for book clubs, it is a great book club book.   

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Currently- August Edition

I have decided, after years of blogging, that I would jump on the 'currently' blog posts. I always enjoy reading other blogger's 'currently' posts, so I thought I would do my own, so here we go:
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 I am Chelsea Handler fan and I am loving her new show, Chelsea, on Netflix.
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I actually just finished reading this book for Book Club. It's a cute read and a great book club book.

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 I am a Charlie Puth fan and I currently have him on repeat.
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The Social Committee at work is planning a silent auction as a fundraiser, and I am planning to put together a 'must have' box as an auction item. 
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 I love summer and this warm weather we are having...but I feel like I am melting- it is so hot! Lot's of extreme heat warning this year. I am not complaining...I just wish I could be beach/poolside 24/7 in this weather. 
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 I am on the hunt for a condo...I'm ready to make the transition from "renter" to "owner",
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Iced Coconut Milk Mocha, so, so good! And a great summer drink!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry
That I am kinda into the Olympics. I rarely watch the Summer Olympics...not really interested and I think the Winter Olympics are more interesting. But I have been watching the Rio games. Plus, It's been great to watch the Canadian Athletes do so well!!

To like Instagram Stories. I'm glad IG added this's fun. I know it's like Snapchat, but I am not a Snapchat user. I'll stick to Instagram. 

That I am still watching Gilmore Girls. I started in February and still have a season and a half to go. I am not a good Netflix binge watcher.

To be a reluctant iphone user.

That I am loving the iced coconut milk mocha macchiato at Starbucks. I may be addicted.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Inspire Me: Fairytale

Happy Monday!! It had been a busy summer- not surprising with the busy year 2016 has been so far. I know that I have been super lacking with blogging all year and I always say that I am going to be better at blogging more frequently. I'm not going to say that this time...I know better..haha.
I came across this quote recently:
I can say that there has been a lot going on recently- ups and downs- but at the end of the day, I'm really happy. With everything that has been going on, and where my life currently sits, I feel that I have created my own fairytale. 
I have been following my heart a lot...I've taken chances, done what I thought would be best, done what would make me happy. I've cut toxic friends from my life and focused on my relationships with people who have proven to be true friends. I do things that make me excited, instead of dread. I've listened to the positive and encouraging things people have said to me, used them as tools to believe in myself and move forward with new opportunities- opportunities I never thought I would be 'brave' enough for. 

I am on the road to living the life I dreamed of...I'm living my own fairytale.