Friday, 29 January 2016

Let That Bass Line Move Ya

Happy Friday!! While this has been a good week, full of lots of positives, I'm so happy it's Friday!! I am ready for this weekend!! A high school teacher, who was- along with his wife- a huge influence on my life, is retiring today after 32 years of teaching!! While I am excited for him, and this new journey, I am a little sad for the students who will not have the opportunity to learn from him. 
 
Something else exciting today? Not only will I be celebrating a sweet friends birthday with her tonight, but we will also be celebrating her becoming a Canadian citizen!! A friend since high school, and one of my favourite people, I'm thrilled to be sharing and celebrating this milestone with her!!
 
This will be a fun weekend, the last one of January, and then we are into my birthday month! While I don't have anything specific planned for this birthday, I do have some fun things planned this month- which I cannot wait for!
 
I wanted to share a song with all of you. Not only do I love Andy Grammer, but I think his new song is the perfect song to kick-off the weekend!!
 
 Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah) by Andy Grammer


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Book & A Cuppa Swap: The Reveal

Swaps are so much fun and a great way to meet other bloggers.  Chaotic Goddess Swaps host a number of swaps throughout the year. They decided to combined two of their swaps : Books & Bloggers, and Mug 'O Comfort (which I loved), to create:
http://cgswaps.com/

I was partnered with Mary from Mary's Marbles for this swap. I had the chance to get to know her a bit and I had fun picking out items to include in her swap package. The BEST part of being partnered with Mary? We live 20 minutes away from each other!! 

Since we live so close to each other, we decided to have a blate (blog date) and swap our packages in person. I had a fantastic visit with Mary (and one of her daughters). It was so great to see and chat and ger to know each other even more.

So, what did Mary give me?




The mug says "All you need is tea and warm socks".  While I do drink coffee, I am more of a tea drinker, and I told Mary after she gave me this mug that I loved the fact that she was able to find and gift me with a mug that had a quote about tea- most mugs have quotes that deal with coffee. 

Maeve Binchy is one of my all tiem favourite authors and Minding Frankie is one of her books that I have yet to read. I was ecstatic that Mary picked out this book for me!! I can't wait to read it!!

I love having a nice smelling apartment, so I frequently have wax tarts melting. Mary got me 'Sweet Sangria' wax tarts...which smell amazing!! She told me that she saw that in 2011 I had posted a recipe for Sangria on my blog (which, for the life of me, I cannot find) so she thought I would like this scent!

Finally, Mary gave me these beautiful bracelets. They are made by a company called Color by Amber and are made using recyclable, eco friendly material. One of the bracelets has grass in it from Africa- how cool is that???- and one of the bracelets is clear; it's called clarity...which I love! 

Huge thank you to Mary for spoiling me!! Head over to her blog to see what I gave her.

Also thanks to Angie and Beth from Chaotic Goddess Swaps for hosting!!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

That the New York Rangers signed Dan Paille!!! I'm so excited about this; my favourite team and one of my favourite players are finally united!! Now, if only they would win the Stanley Cup this year...

To still not understand the hype over The Bachelor. I think that Ben is a very sweet guy...but those girls are something else. I just don't get the mass appeal of this show...I don't understand how so many people can love it. I've committed to watching the entire season in hopes of finding out what the hype is all about. We'll see.

That I'm excited for Grease Live on Fox this weekend!! Grease is one of my favourite movies/musicals.

To be happy that the NHL did the right thing and is letting John Scott play in the All-Star game.

That I need to get organized and figure out what I want to do for my birthday- it's less than a month away.


Monday, 25 January 2016

Inspire Me: Making A Living & Life

Happy Monday!! It's crazy to think that we are in the last week of January! This first month of 2016 has gone quickly. Luckily, for me, it has been a really great, productive, and fun month. I've started 2016 off on the right foot and I'm optimistic that it will continue this way!!
 
I wanted to start this week off with one of my favourite quotes, and something that is nice to be reminded of every once and again:


Starting in March of 2015, I really took this to heart. I put my job before my life and well-being. If I wasn't happy in my job (aka making a living), I was miserable in my life. Everyone noticed and a lot of people were concerned for me. In a split second, my life changed for the better, and I haven't looked back. 

I spent a week LIVING...no thoughts of work, or job, or how I was going to pay my bills. I just experienced life, I enjoyed life, I had fun, and most importantly, I started to laugh again. When I went back to making a life that I was proud of and happy with, I was brought to the perfect organization for me to work for. It's an organizing that allows me to make a living and encourages me to have a life. I am giving opportunity after opportunity to grow and learn, to have new experiences. They are even helping me cross items off of my bucket list. 

At the same time, I have found a group of friends- my Pod Pals who are experiencing small adventures with me- dinners out, haunted houses, and game nights (so far), and Paint Pals, who are committed to a monthly outing where we try a new activity. 

Since my focus has switched from making a living to living life-and I work for an organization that has realistic expectations of my work time and is more than willing to accommodate my life- I have been able to have once in a life time experiences. These experiences have always been present, but previous work conditions didn't allow me to participate. I was too busy making a living.

My dad and I were having a conversation- as we were driving back from watching Team Canada play at the U18 World Ice Hockey Championships, where we watched the game from a private box, got to meet Hazel McCallion (who was the Mayor of Mississauga for 36 years, before retiring in her 90's), and meet the Ambassador from the Czech Republic- and he said to me "you like going to things." I told him I did. I told him that I have been given opportunities that not everyone gets and don't want to waste them. I told him I like to experience things...you never know who you will meet or what will happen. 

I have always said that I- and everyone for that matter- live life for the story. Since I shifted my focus to making a life, the story has gotten a whole lot more interesting!!
 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Book Club: Chasing River

Chasing River: A Novel

Book: Chasing River
Author: K.A. Tucker
Indigo Summary
Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also can’t be identified at the scene—so, he fled. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Pushing her away would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.
 
What I have to say: 
One of my sorority sisters gifted to me Becoming Rain, by the same author, which I loved. A friend of mine lent me Chasing River, which is from the same series as Becoming Rain. The book alternates between Amber and Rivers POV- I like when you get to see the story from multiple views. Alex and Jesse, play minor roles in this book, and also played a minor role in Becoming River (Luke Boone, from Becoming River, gets a mention in this book). I like when author's do crossover characters. 
 
Anyway, on to this book. Even though I have never been, I have always loved Ireland. I liked discovering Ireland with Amber and also getting history lessons on the country from River. While the story is a little bit predictably- good girl and bad boy fall for each other, bad boy will do something to make good girl question their relationship, they end up together-  there was a lot going on in the plot to keep it interesting. 
 
The sub-plots include River's relationship with his brother's, and Amber's becoming friends with someone who she wasn't friends with in high school but also happens to be in Ireland. Even though this is a "romance", there is a lot of non-romance. 

The book was engaging and the plot moved quickly. K.A. Tucker is a fantastic author and this is a fantastic book.
 
 
Final verdict: HIGHLY recommended! I read the book in two days and want to re-read it. Not only have I already recommended this book to a friend already, but I went and bought my own copy of this book; I also bought the other two books in the series.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be looking forward to Paint Nite tomorrow night with my girls!! There are 11 of us going, so it should be super fun!!

That Lace makes me concerned for Ben's safety on The Bachelor.

To be shocked that David Bowie died. My dad and I were just talking about him on Saturday.

That I went out and bought all the books from K.A. Tucker's Burying Water series. I've read two of the four...love them!!! Can't wait to read the other two.

To be looking for a quiet, low key weekend in my apartment. I haven't spent a weekend here in a while, and I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Kindness Confetti

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!! I had the opportunity to attend the Canada vs Czech Republic game for the U18 World Women's Ice Hockey Championship- I had a ton of fun, and it was great to see Canada play so well; they won 11-0. I was able to spend time with one of my good friends, and I went to Toronto to see some family- including my great grandmother!! We had a fantastic lunch and it was great to spend time together. 
 
I have a super busy, but really fun week ahead of me- including a girls' Paint Nite! I'm hoping the weather will cooperate so that plans don't have to be cancelled. 
 
My word for 2016 is Kind. I came across this quote on Pinterest; I love it and just had to share it!!   

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!!

Friday, 8 January 2016

Fashion Friday- Team Canada Hockey Game

Happy Friday!! I am so excited that it's Friday! This week seemed to drag on forever- it was a good week, don't get me wrong...just never ending! I have a busy weekend ahead of me, but some really fun things planned- like seeing one of my best friends (and hopefully convincing her we should go back to Cuba in the next few months) and visiting my great-grandmother, who I haven't seen in forever. 

What else am I doing this weekend? I will be attending 2016 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) U18 Women's World Championships!! I'm excited to be cheering on Team Canada in their tournament opener. I will be experiencing the game from a VIP Suite, so be sure to follow me on Instagram to get an inside look. 

For this week's Fashion Friday- and the first one of 2016- I thought it would be fun to put together a look for the hockey game!!
 
Jeans // Hoodie // Shirt // Boots // Mitts
 
 
For this look, I wanted to put something together that would work well in a suite, yet be appropriate for the arena, and show support for Team Canada.

Hudson's Bay is home to the Canadian Olympic Collection and I wanted to incorporate pieces from the collection into this look- the women on the World Championship Team Canada are future members of the Canadian Olympic Team. 
 
The mitts (proceeds go towards supporting our Olympic athletes) are so iconic in Canada and everyone knows what they represent. The hoodie is also part of the Olympic collection. Both items are comfy, will keep you warm in a cold arena, and are a great way to show some team spirit! 
 
Classic Boot Cut Jeans by Tommy Hilfiger are not only appropriate for the arena, but when paired with this fantastic Crepe Shirt by Ralph Lauren- in one of Team Canada's colours- they are appropriate for the suite. I think a classic set of pearl earrings and a delicate gold chain would be perfect for this jean and shirt combo.

Finally, I would finish the outfit with these great Saida Heel Booties by Ralph Lauren. Not only will they keep your feet warm and be appropriate for the arena, but they also help keep this outfit classic- and suite appropriate. 
 
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend- I know I will!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

#TBT: 5 Questions- Chelsea

Happy Thursday!! This week has seemed to drag on and on...I'm not sure if it's because it's the first week back to work after being of for almost two weeks, still being exhausted from the holidays, or because I'm super excited for this weekend and it can't come quick enough!!

In honour of Throwback Thursday, or #TBT, I thought it would be fun to go back into the archives and share a January post from years past. I decided to share 5 Questions- which is a series I ran on my blog a few years ago. Chelsea is not only a great blogger, but she is also my blog designer (which after all these years, I still am in love with)!! 

What to know the 5 questions I asked Chelsea and how she answered? You can find the original post here

Looking for a fun swap? Consider joining the Book & A Cuppa.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Swaportunity: Book & A Cuppa Swap

I seriously love swaps...I love getting to know other bloggers and I love learning about people and putting the perfect package together for them! I don't participate in as many swaps as I would like, but I am excited to participate in the Book & A Cuppa Swap by Chaotic Goddess Swaps!

CG Swaps host a number of swaps throughout the year and actually combined two of their swaps- Books 'N' Bloggers and Mug O' Comfort- to create the Book & A Cuppa Swap! You will partnered with another blogger and you will exchange a mug, a book, and other mug and book related items. The Mug O' Comfort swap was one of my favourites and I'm looking forward to this updated/combined version. 
You can sign up- and get more info- here

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Hey, It's Ok

Airing My Dirty Laundry

To have had a really, really great Christmas, New Year's, and week and a half off. It was so great to see family and friends, and spend tons of time with the people I love.

That I watched The Bachelor last night. I never got into this show- I watched an episode the first season and watched an a couple of episodes of The Bachelor Canada. This show makes me cringe and I'm embarrassed on behalf of the girls on the show.

To wonder if Liztin is still a thing or if Liz came to her sense and dumped Austin. Liz and Austin met on Big Brother this past summer. It was also cringe-worthy.

That I resolve to be kinder, spend more time with groups of friends (instead of individuals), and to be a better blogger in 2016. My blog game seriously slipped in 2015.

To be looking forward to cheering on Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Under 18 Womens Championship this weekend!!


Monday, 4 January 2016

2016 Word Of The Year Is...

Happy 2016!! We are a handful of days in, and it's been great so far!! I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for me; I don't have anything specific on the horizon for this year and there are no major life changes that I need to make. This year will be a surprise, and I'm looking forward to seeing it unveil.

Last year, one of my favourite bloggers, Jenn, asked what my word for 2015 was going to be. After some thought, I came up with my word- Happy. It was the first time I had a 'word of the year' and I decided I would do it again for 2016. 
 
I put some thought into what I wanted my word to be. I really struggled to come up with something that would encompass what I wanted the year ahead to be, what word I wanted to 'bring to life' and apply to my life, what I wanted my focus for the coming year to be. 
 
Someone I greatly admire and have oodles of respect for is Brittany; she is seriously one incredible, inspiring woman. Towards the end of December, I went through her Instagram feed. looking to be inspired- both by her creative spirit, her fantastic decorating skills, and just her attitude and outlook for life. There was a word that kept coming up in her feed. After giving it some thought, I decided that would be my word for 2016. 

My 2016 word of the year is...

KIND

I like to think that I am, for the most part, a kind person. But I also know that i can be pretty blunt and to the point. I also know that I can be so busy or in a rush, that I just don't bother to be kind. It's not that I'm mean or anything...but I might forget to ask someone how there weekend was. Small things like that. 

In 2016, I want to focus on kind. I am going to be kinder in my approach to life, more considerate of others, and just be really intentional about being kind. 

After all, if we were all a little more kind, the world would be a better place.