Saturday 31 December 2016

Thank You, 2016.

Dear 2016, 

Here we are at the end of our relationship. We both know it's over and time to move on. We've run our course. I'm actually sad that we are parting ways, but know this is what;s best for both of us. You were good to me. Don't get me wrong...we had our negative experiences- dealing with a "management" company and a certain relationship quickly come to mind- but over all, you were good to me.

You brought me new and strengthened friendships. With these friendships, you brought a lot of laughter, memories, and experiences. From girls nights to new places to eat, it was all fun and games. There was so much socializing, going out at least once a week. When we first got together, I was hoping to be more social, to spend more time with friends. Thank you for making this happen.
A friend from high school started a Book Club. It was great to connect with old friends after all these years. I love being introduced to new genres and authors. I love seeing everyone once a month for a night out and a great discussion. 

Being part of a Book Club was a new experience. You gave me a couple of other new experiences- home ownership and traveling to the Prairies- more on both of those in a bit. I tried new foods- beef cheek, Asian desserts, and escargot. I put myself out there...that outcome is still to be seen. I took up the form of Paint Nites...but I did three of them! While not new experiences...I went back to Indian Head Massage and Reiki...with a brand new (to me) practitioner- Emily.
Professionally, you have been good to me too. Funding was approved to make the temporary portion of my job permanent, resulting in a full-time, permanent position. You gave me the chance to work on a documentary premiere, a multi-day international conference, and be part of founding of a brand new annual conference. I launched the start of taking leadership courses and look forward to continuing the courses in 2017. 

There was also the chance to apply for a new job- which I didn't get. But that situation showed me that there are possibilities. It was a chance to show people that I have a lot of great skill sets and that I am multi-faceted. More importantly, it was an opportunity to see how many people were invested in me and believe in me.
You gave me great opportunities too. I had the chance to attend the Women's World Hockey Championships and cheer on Team Canada. Watching the Steel Blade Classic and Dragon Boat Championships for VIP areas. Being in not one but two parades. The opportunity to see different parts of Canada.

I got to visit two places I had never been before- Ottawa and Moose Jaw. Everyone, myself included, was surprised that I had never been to our Nation's capital. While it was fun to connect with work colleagues and visit some of our programs, and it was fun to be with all the politicians and politically connected, I really enjoyed being able to see different landmarks in Ottawa and to visit the National Art Gallery- a must do for me when I was in Ottawa. 

As for Moose Jaw...while this was a work-related trip, I had a blast! Again, fun to connect with colleagues and our programs, but also fun to explore and experience Moose Jaw, even if the Tunnels of Moose Jaw were the only 'touristy' thing we did. My first trip to Saskatchewan was a blast and I would love to go back!

While I'm not sure what the highlight of our year together was, I think buying a condo is pretty high up there! After months of searching, I finally found the perfect place to call home. It was everything I was looking for- and move in ready! I am so happy to call this place home. I'm still organizing and getting settled...but I definitely LIVE here- it feels like home and it's all mine.  
Image Via Pinterest
Thank you, 2016. Thank you for all you gave me and all you did for me. I've grown as a person and have been given so much during our year together. You have made me better, stronger, happier. I will forever be grateful and thankful. I know I couldn't have done it without you. 

I'm going to try things with 2017...I hope 2017 will be at least as good to me as you were- if not better.

I wish you well, 2016.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

FabFitFun Winter Box Review

I have been subscribing to FabFitFun for over two years and they have consistently been one of my favourite subscriptions boxes! This is a quarterly subscription box that costs $49.99 USD plus shipping and it is totally worth it! FabFitFun sends all kinds of products- fitness, decor, fashion, beauty- and the value of the box is amazing. The Winter Box has a retail value of $252.95 USD.

 D.L. & Co Candle- There were two options for this candle and I received the Bergamot Woods in the silver holder. I am not a huge fan of candles, but the holder is pretty-I already have it on display in my home- and I think it's a great home decor item for a winter subscription box.
Retail value: $44
Anderson Lilley Beach Butter Body Cream- Again, there were two options for this item and I received Siciliam Tangerine which is a scent that I love! I am happy that we got this product...I was looking for a product like this to keep on my bedside table. It's also supposed to be hydrating, so we'll see what it can do for my always parched skin.
Retail value: $24
Butter London Iconoclast Mega Volume Lacquer Mascara- I feel that mascara is a subscription box staple- you really can't go wrong with mascara. I am familiar with Butter London as a brand and I do like them. I don't wear mascara on a daily basis, so I'll probably end up gifting this to my sister.
Retail value: $20
Moleskine 2017 Weekly Planner- This came in two colours and I received the green one. This is probably my favourite item in this box!! I think that planners are the perfect addition to winter/December/January boxes. Moleskine is a well known brand. I love how thin and lightweight their planners are. I love how it's set up weekly and that there are pages for notes. There is a lot I love about this planner! I already have a planner for 2017, but I know that I will find a use for this and I'm excited to start using it!
Retail Value: $20.95

Gorjana Necklace- Again, there were two different necklaces and I selected the Kiernan Double Pendent Necklace. I liked the look of this necklace over the other option (because I have a yearly subscription, I actually get to select some of the items I receive), and I like silver over gold. I keep my jewelry pretty simple and tend to stick to about 2 or 3 necklaces, but I would actually wear this!
Retail Value: $75
Startlight Foundation Pin- With each box, FabFitFun partners with a different charity and throws in an item related to the partnership. This time, they partnered with the Startlight Foundation, which is a charity I am familiar with and I am happy that FabFitFun partnered with them.
Retail Value: N/A
Marie Mae Company Thank You Card Set- These cards are so pretty! I like that they are postcard style instead of the traditional folded card. I also like that they say 'Cheers' on the front; even though these are thank you cards, I feel like you can use them for different occasions. I send a lot of hand written notes, so I'm always happy to add stationary to my collection.
Retail Value: $24
O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face- I like trying new skincare products, as I am always on the hunt to find a product that can help my forever dry skin. This isn't a hydrating product, but I am looking forward to trying this product. It seems pretty simple to use- spray on, massage off. It promises softer, smoother, more radiant skin...all things that I want for my skin!
Retail Value: $44
Overall, I am happy with the FabFitFun Winter Box! I'm surprised that they didn't include a fitness related item... These are all products that I would use (I would use the mascara if my current tube was nearing the end) and I think they are great for a winter box. I highly recommend this box!

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Hey, Its's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be excited for these weeks leading up to Christmas. I have plans everyday with family and friends, and I can't wait to spend time with the people I love most. 

That I have a ton of unpacking and organizing to do at my condo. I feel like it's going to take me forever to get everything organized. 

To be incredibly happy in my new home!! I seriously love it here!!

That I am looking forward to having just over a week off. As much as I love my job, I am looking forward to days sleeping in, relaxing, and wearing comfy clothes. 

To hope we don't get as much snow as predicted this winter.

Monday 12 December 2016

Inspire Me: Snowflakes

We spent most of this weekend under a winter weather advisory and we had our first major snowfall! We were projected to get 15-20cm of snow yesterday. I say that I don't mind snow...I like to have snow for Christmas and I like having four distinct seasons...but snow can make for some challenging driving/travel conditions. When we get into winter weather, I frequently say to family and friends that I am making plans with "it depends on the weather". All of my plans become tentative because of the weather. 

I came across this quote yesterday:
Image Via FamilyTimeCrafts
From now on, I am going to remind myself that "snowflakes are kisses from heaven" and hope it makes it a bit easier to deal with all of this snow we are supposed to get this winter.

Friday 9 December 2016

Fashion Friday: PJs

With the cold weather and the short days, there's nothing I want to do more than lounge around the house all day- reading, watching Netflix, drinking a warm beverage, and wearing pj's. 

Hudson's Bay Flannel Pajamas // Kate Spade New York Printed Chemise // Old Navy Cozy Pullover Fleece Hoodie & Old Navy Plaid Flannel Boxer // Lord & Taylor Boxed Jersey & Flannel V-Neck Pyjama Set // LaSenza Satin Pajama Set

Thursday 8 December 2016

Currently- December Edition

I have decided, after years of blogging, that I would jump on the currently bandwagon. I've always enjoyed reading about what other bloggers currently posts, so I thought I would do my own post. This is what I'm currently up to for the month of December!
Image Via Your Beaver Company
I take every opportunity that I can to watch Christmas movies during the holidays. 
Image Via Amazon
I actually read The Next back in October but I am re-reading it for my book club- it's the December pick!
Image Via Star 102.5
Star 102.5- a Buffalo radio station- starts playing nothing but Christmas music in early November. During the holidays, I listen to this station 24/7.

Image Via Zsine
 How to decorate my cubicle for the Christmas decorating contest my office is having.

Image Via Becoming Joy
 Relief! Relief to be done with my apartment (what a horrible experience with the management company- so many landlord and tenant act violations). Relief that my condo closed with no issues. Relief that the move went well. Relief that I am settling in.

Image Via St Lucia Yellow Pages
I am in desperate need of a full out spa day and pampering!


I am so in love with this wallpaper that came with my condo!

July // August // September // November //

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Five Christmas Songs

There is a radio station (My Star 102.5) in Buffalo, NY that plays Christmas music starting in early November. I am lucky that this station has a large frequency and I can listen to it event if I am 3 or 4 hours away. Plus, with the internet, I can listen anywhere. Once they start playing Christmas music, this becomes the only station I play in my car. I just love listening to Christmas music and take every opportunity I get to listen. 

There are a ton of Christmas songs that I love and I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite. I am not claiming any of the songs below are my favourite, but they are definitely up there! Or, these were just the first five songs that came to mind when I asked myself "What are five of your favourite Christmas songs?"
In no particular order:

I Pray On Christmas by Harry Connick Jr

Joy To The World by Pentatonix

Little Drummer Boy by Sean Quigley

Silent Night by Mariah Carey

Santa Never Brings Me A Banjo by David Myles

As bonus, here is my favourite Christmas medley:
 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Hey, It's Ok!
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have bought a condo! I am slowly unpacking and getting settled, but I love it! I am SO happy, fo so many different reasons!

That I have not binge watched the new Gilmore Girls. I have every intention of watching, and I have watched the first episode, but I'm not sure how long it will take me to watch the other three.

To basically be done Christmas shopping. I have one more gift to buy and I am all the wrapping.

That, with the move, I'm not sure if I'm going to do Christmas cards this year or not...I send 40-50 cards, plus cards for my co-workers. I think I need to focus on unpacking and such. But we'll see.

To want to decorate my bathroom with flamingos. I love flamingos. The bathroom is white and I think the pink from the flamingos would go well. Plus I have a flamingo lamp and a flamingo print that don't go well with my red living room or yellow and blue bedroom.

Monday 5 December 2016

Inspire Me: Blessed

Last week, I found myself in tears because I was so stressed out and frustrated by a situation. A situation, at the time and still now, I realized was so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and something that I was overthinking. There was this moment in my life, that should have been a very happy moment, I should have been celebrating. Instead, I was panicking and stressed. My dad reminded that I shouldn't let this situation ruin a happy moment. I knew he was right, but easier said than done. 

I tried not to think about the situation. I told myself it would be ok, that I could do it, it was all going to be ok. I kept saying this and I knew it was correct. But I was still stressing.

But then I saw this quote on Facebook:

Image result for stop focusing on how stressed you are 
I wouldn't say that I was focusing on how stressed I was, but I was spending too much time and energy focusing on a situation that was causing stress. Seeing this quote reminded me to focus on how blessed I am. The situation that was causing stress came to be because of a huge blessing I was given- a number of blessings actually. There were circumstances and situations that allowed me to have this experience, and a small part of the experience was causing me stress. 

I switched my focus from worry to thankful. It changed my perspective on the situation. It helped me remain calm. Will the situation isn't 100% for me at the moment, and it does cause a bit of anxiety, I remind myself to stay calm, go slow, take my time. And, that it is actually a blessing. 

Friday 2 December 2016

Fashion Friday: Ugly Christmas Sweaters

Happy Friday everyone!! It has been awhile since I have done a fashion post...or posting in I thought I would celebrate this first Friday of December by sharing some ugly Christmas sweaters! These are def not the ugliest Christmas sweaters I have ever seen, but they are kind of fun and readily available this holiday season!

Images Via Christmas Motif (H&M) // Merry Chrismukkah (Ardene) // Leg Lamp (Retro Festive) // All Wrapped By (Walmart) // Reindeer Christmas Sweater (Hudson's Bay)

Thursday 1 December 2016

Christmas Movies

I am a HUGE fan of the holiday season and have been listening to Christmas music for weeks now. I've been busy with a couple of things, so I haven't had the chance to dedicate a ton of time to watching Christmas movies- yet- but I will be correcting that soon. 

There are so many Christmas movies that I love, but I wanted to share five of my 'must watch' movies for this year!

Images via A Christmas Story // Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer // Elf // White Christmas // Christmas with the Kranks
I am surprised by the number of people who don't know about A Christmas Story. But everyone I know who knows of this movie LOVES it!! I introduced this movie to my dad a couple of years ago and it's now one of his favourite movies. We join Ralphie in the days leading up to Christmas where he tries to convince everyone that a Red Rider BB Gun is the perfect Christmas gift, but they all tell him he'll "shoot your eye out". In my opinion, this movie is pretty underrated, but so funny!
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is an old Christmas movie that we are all familiar with. Rudolph gets shunned by the other reindeer because of his bright red nose. He goes off to find a place where he'll be accepted, and finds the misfit toys. He heads back to the North Pole to get Santa to accept the misfit toys, and finds Santa unable to fly his sleigh due to the fog. Don't you worry, Rudolph and his nose so bright guide Santa's sleigh that night, and all works out. This movie is tied to my childhood, we watched it every year.
I think we are all familiar with Elf. Buddy finds out that he is a human, and not an elf. He travels to New York City to meet his biological father. We follow Buddy's adventures in New York, and see him become part of a human family, as well as save Christmas! This movie is so funny! My sister and I watch it every year together.
White Christmas is one of those old, musical, classic holiday movies. Two former army members become a song and dance duo, and meet two sisters who have their own song and dance show. The sisters travel to Vermont to perform at an Inn, the guys follow them. Turns out the Inn needs to be saved, which the four of them do. This movie will only be of interest to a certain demographic- those who like musicals and/or classic movies- but I look forward to watching this movie every year.

In Christmas with the Kranks, Luther and Nora decide to use the money they would normally spend on Christmas to take a trip instead over the holidays. At the last minute, their daughter Blair, decides she is going to be home for Christmas, so Luther and Nora know have to pull together a holiday celebration. This is a hilarious movie with a great cast.

I am hoping this weekend or early next week to start my Christmas movie viewing...I can't wait!!