Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Hey, It's Ok

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be so sad and scared for America. It seems that a lot of reckless decisions are being made and that America is not only going back decades, but positioning itself for a lot of hostility and becoming a country that is no longer safe. Becoming a country that is divided and freedom is limited.

That I am proud of the way my Canadian government has reacted to the Muslim ban. Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted:
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
To be looking forward to Canada turning 150 this year. There are a number of things being done to celebrate from small town celebrations to Northwest Territories giving away flights for people to go visit. One of the my favourite celebrations is 150 Pointes initiated by The National Ballet of Canada, where they are sending 150 pointe shoes across Canada to be photographed at various landmarks. You can learn more and see photos here or by searching #150Pointes
That I got tickets to a Harry Potter fan festival. Prior to the organizers making arrangements to release an additional 2000 tickets yesterday, 6000 tickets were sold and Harry Potter fans were having a meltdown if they didn't have tickets. I also realized and was disgusted by how entitled some people feel. For the record- I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter film.
To love the Average Andy segment on Ellen. The most recent installment, where Andy plays hockey with the LA Kings, is probably my favourite.



Monday, 30 January 2017

Inspire Me- So Much More

I stumbled across this quote a few weeks ago and it really struck me:

 
While this quote doesn't currently apply to anything that is currently going on...it is something that I have experienced in the past- both personally and professionally. We have all been in situations where we weren't "good enough" or people didn't like us based on snap judgements, and then they stick to their judgements instead of getting to know us. 

I am fully aware that there are people who don't like me, for whatever reason. I am also aware that the majority of those people have no idea who I really am. 

*shrug* Their loss.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Lush Hull

A couple of weeks ago, I was on Lush's website looking at the new products they had available for Valentine's Day. I am a Lush fan and prefer to shop in store. It smells amazing and the sales associates always tip me off to new products and products they love. 

I wasn't sure when I would have the chance to make it over to a Lush store (I live half an hour from two stores, so not far), which is why I was on their website. The next thing I knew, I had placed an order for a number of their products. 
 
 So, what did I end up buying?
 
My condo smelled amazing for the first few days that I had all the bath bombs out.As you can see, I got a ton of great stuff and I'm excited to using everything, especially the foot products- I've never tried these from Lush before! 

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Desk Job & Yoga

As much as I love my job- and I REALLY do- it can be tough to sit at a desk all day. Combine this with the fact that I was in a car accident a few years ago and damaged my back/shoulder/neck...I sometimes find myself in pain. 

I am lucky to work for an organization that is pro-active in the health and wellness of it's employees. Our HR department used to meet three times a week to stretch together- all employees were invited to join. Next week, my work will have a more formal 3-times a week stretch break. I enjoyed the HR stretches and am looking forward to participating in the new stretch break too.
 
Image Via Cure Joy
 Last week, this article- 5 Yoga Poses That Can Fix The Damage Your Desk Job Is Causing Your Body (With Method And Benefits) - from curejoy.com. I have been doing these yoga poses on a daily basis since coming across this article. These poses are simple to do, it's a quick yoga routine, and they have definitely helped with the aches and pains my back/neck have been experiencing the past few weeks.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

From The Archives: Spinach Manicotti

One of my favourite dishes to make is spinach manicotti. I grew up (half) Italian, so pasta based dishes were staples growing up. Spinach manicotti is a really easy dish to make, it's delicious, and it looks/sounds fancy. 
 
I shared this recipe back in 2012- crazy to think that was five years ago! You can find the post with ingredient list and instructions here

 
I don't like tomato sauce and I forgot to buy mozzarella cheese...still delicious!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Hey, It's Ok

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I cannot wait for How To Get Away With Murder to start again! I need to know what happened to Wes...and how the fire started...and if the baby still alive...and... I really love this show!

To be concerned for my American friends. I am hopefully that things will be ok for all of you.

That I had so. much. fun. at a murder mystery birthday party on the weekend! I kinda want to host my own party. Lots of laughs and the time flies by.

To need to figure out what I want to do for my birthday. It's coming up in a couple of weeks and I have no idea what I want to do. I need to get organized.

That I am looking forward to a client appreciation event I am going to on Friday! I'm excited to share the experience with a friend and I'm excited to see what this venue is going to do! The invitation had a mardi gras theme...so we'll see what happens!

Monday, 23 January 2017

Inspire Me: Friends Journey

This past weekend was full of friends I've known since high school. I spent hours on Friday with a friend just talking and drinking tea. Saturday was spent at a murder mystery birthday party celebrating a friend. Sunday was lunch and book club- which is always full of laughter. 

On Friday, I got a text from a colleague and friend that brought me to tears. I appreciate her kind words, I am honoured to work along side her, and so blessed to have her as a friend. Friday, I also had lunch with another colleague turned friend. The day was also full of connecting with even more colleagues turned friends and making plans for next weekend. 
 
Image Via Silhouette Design Store
The past few weeks, I have been reminded again and again that I am surrounded by friends. True friends. People who believe in me, support me, love and accept me unconditionally. They lift me up when I am down, and are there to celebrate with me for my highs. 
 
I have met so many amazing people on the different journeys that make up the bug journey of my life. I love my life and love where I am in life. And I know my life and my experiences would be very different if it weren't for the friends I met along the way. 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Chapters Hull

Happy Friday! I am so excited for this weekend. Not only will be meeting friends for our monthly Book Club gathering- keep an eye out next week for the book and a review- but I will be celebrating a dear friends birthday! I love her and I love spending time with her, plus her parties- birthday or otherwise- always So. Much. Fun. 
 
I knew for a while what I was going to get her as a gift, and when I went to go pick it up earlier this week, ended up buying a few different things. So, I thought I would do a Hull Post!

For those of you that don't know, Chapters is Canada's largest bookstore and in recent years have expanded their offering to include music, technology, home and decor items, toys, and lifestyle items. They really do have a little bit of everything and are one of my favourite stores!

So, what did I buy?
 
  • Talking As Fast As i Can by Lauren Graham. I am a Gilmore Girls fan, I think Lauren Graham is hilarious, and I enjoyed her book Someday, Someday Maybe. Plus, I hear good things about this book, so I added it to my reading list...and bought myself a copy.
  • Book of Longing by Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen is a great Canadian icon and well know musician and songwriter who died late in 2016. This is a book of his poetry, with accompanying drawings. My friend is a huge Leonard Cohen fan and I know she likes to read, so when I by chance saw this book, I knew I HAD to get it for her for her birthday. 
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. I feel like I've talked about this book a ton on the blog this month...but I love Anna Kendrick and I love this book! I got this book for Christmas, so I know how great and funny it is. I picked up a copy for a friend as a 'just because' gift. 
  • Insanely Delicious Sea Salted Caramels (not available online)...yes, that is the actual name! This are so, so, so good! I love caramel and I love sea salt...combine the two...OMG! I bought these for myself...we'll see how long they last!
  • Draw, Doodle, Design (similar book). This is what I went in to buy! My friend is so creative and artistic. She loves to draw, doodle, and design...so this book is perfect for her! I gifted this same book to a sorority sister a while back and she loved it too; she actually leaves it on her coffee table, and all of her guests use it.
  • Double Sided Coloured Pencils. How could I buy my friend the above book and not provide her with the tools to draw/doodle/design?! I thought these coloured pencils would go perfectly with the book.
I may have to stay away from Chapters for a while...I can't help but overspend when I am there. I blame them...they have such great stuff!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

From The Archives: DIY Sharpie Mug

It's always fun to go back through old blog posts and be reminded of different life events, favourite songs, loved books, recipes, and DIY projects! 
 
 
Back in April of 2015, I shared a DIY sharpie mug. This was a fun project and one I have made a number of times over the years. You can find the original post, including instructions, here.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Am I The Only Living Soul Around?

Happy Wednesday! Wednesday is such a hard day of the week...you're so far from last weekend, and still so far from the upcoming weekend. Mid-week dance parties can help make the day a bit better!! This song is one I have had on repeat the past few weeks...it's fun to sing and dance a long too. And it always makes me feel happier!

I Can Make Your Hands Clap by Fitz and the Tantrums

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Hey, It's Ok

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be excited that How To Get Away With Murder has new episodes starting this week! I LOVE that show and I need to know what happened to Wes!! I'm still heartbroken that they killed his character off.

That I have literally no interest in Donald Trump's inauguration. I don't care who's performing, or that it's even happening. I am a little concerned for my American friends and what will happen when their new president officially takes over.

To be switching my internet and cable provider. I was previously with Rogers for years, but due to their terrible customer service- and charging me double for who knows how long- I am taking my business elsewhere. I'm doubting myself and my decision...even though I know I'm doing the right thing. It will be ok.

That, while I have a 2017 agenda, I haven't been using it. It's a bit big for my liking. I do need to start using it thought I am feeling a bit lost and disorganized...like I am always forgetting something, because I don't have it written down. I'll work on it.

To be hoping to travel this year! I'm not sure where or when, but I would like to go away this year. I'm not sure if it'll happen...but I'm hopeful!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Inspire Me- A Little Time

The past few weeks have been an adjustment for me...I've had some changes take place in my life- not all of them bad. In fact most of them have been good or exciting. There was a situation that left me frustrated, but there has also been a situation that has allowed me to spend more time with certain friends. 
 
 

Over the weekend, I was spending time with one of these friends, and I brought her up to date with the frustrating situation. She talked with me, but she also gave me some insight. At one point, she said that she believes the universe takes care of us. The universe will give us what we are looking for and what we need- it might take a couple of years, but it will happen. She told me to put it out there, to tell the universe what I am looking for. 

While I'm not looking for a miracle- just some happiness- the conversation with my friend reminded me of this quote. Things take time, but they will happen. Be patient, what you are looking for will come to you.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Fave 5: Edition 6

It has been months since I have done a Fave 5 post, so I thought I would do one today! Here are 5 things that I am currently loving:

1. Page Turner
Image Via Indigo Chapters
Collection of essays on Anna'a life and experiences...this is a fun and funny read.

2. Constant Craving
Image Via Turkey Hill
These Maple Ice Wine Cookies, made using real ice wine, were in a gift basket my dad received at Christmas. This are so, so, so, good! I'm totally craving them and contemplating buying multiple boxes...to eat by myself and to gift to others. Seriously, so good. 

3. Mask-querade 
Image Via Sephora
I use this mask year round, but I especially love it during the winter- when my skin is extra dry. I put it on at night, go to sleep, wash it off in the morning...and my skin looks and feels hydrated. 

4. Light It Up
Image Via Bed Bath & Beyond
There are so many benefits associated with Himalayan Salt Lamps...I have no idea if the claims are true or not, but I love the light glow it gives my room. And I have been sleeping better...

5. #Stripespotting
Image Via Hudson's Bay
For Christmas, my dad and I buy each other something that has the Hudson's Bay Stripes...we both love the stripes! This year, I got this pocket tray, which is not only the perfect addition to my collection, but also the perfect addition to my coffee table!

 
 

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Make With Me: Tiramisu

I love Tiramisu! It is so good and super easy to make. My parents and I made Tiramisu for Christmas, and I forgot to take a picture of it when it was done. Regardless, I thought I would share the recipe with all of you!

Ingredients:
  • 1packages (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 2 packages (4 serving sizes each) Jell-O Vanilla Flavour Instant Pudding and Pie Filling
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • Nilla Wafers (approx 50)
  • 1/2 a cup of brewed coffee or espresso, cooled
  • 2 squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely grated
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
Tiramisu in the making


To Make:
  • Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy
  • Gradually beat in milk
  • Add dry pudding mixes, mixing well
  • Stir in 2 cups of cool whip
  • Line bottom and sides of a 2 1/2 quart bowl with about half the wafers
  • Drizzle half the coffee on the wafers
  • Layer half the pudding mix over the wafers
  • Top with half the grated chocolate
  • Repeat all layers, starting with the wafers
  • Top with remaining cool whip and raspberries
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • Enjoy! 
Notes:
  1. Instead of a bowl, you can use a glass pan.
  2. If using a pan, you can use either wafers or lady finger cookies.
  3. I like to dunk the wafers/cookies in coffee/espresso, instead of drizzling the coffee over them, letting the flavour soak into them a bit.
  4. Leftovers are to be stored in the refrigerator.
  5. Makes 16 servings.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Review: Orville Redenbacher's Caramel & White Cheddar Popcorn

Influenster recently sent me a complimentary bag of Orville Redenbacher's Caramel & White Cheddar Popcorn to try out. 

When it comes to popcorn, white cheddar is actually one of my favourite flavours. As for caramel? It is my favourite flavour for, well, anything! I LOVE caramel! I was curious to taste this two flavours together.

The bag contains both kinds of popcorn- white cheddar and caramel- so it's not one piece with both flavours, but two flavours in the same bag. I like that the white cheddar didn't taste chemically- which sometimes happens with cheese flavoured foods. The caramel was sweet, and not sticky- which sometimes happens with caramel flavoured foods. 

The white cheddar and caramel together? A great combination of salty and sweet! 

Final verdict? This is a great snack- perfect for parties, girls night in, family movie/sporting event viewings, or just to eat on your own. Highly recommended- I have already gone out and purchased a bag.

***DISCLAIMER: I received this product complimentary from Influenster for review purposes. All content and opinion are my own. For my full Disclaimer Policy, please see my About page.***

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Hey, It's Ok!

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To want to be friends with Logan from Gilmore Girls. I know he's a fictional character, but he seems like a lot of fun.

That I finally finished watching the Gilmore Girls revival. It took me a couple of months, but I did it. 

To not be good at Netflix binges (see above). It's just not my skill set. 

That I had a bath on the weekend. It's been about two years since I've had a bath...it was so relaxing! 

To be learning how to knit. A co-worker taught me and I was doing pretty good. I took a break over the holidays, but want to start again. Knitting is pretty relaxing.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Inspire Me: Strong Woman

I will admit, I have been feeling a bit down the past few days and I have been struggling to get back to my happy self. A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook over the weekend.

Image Via Pinterest
Not only is there truth to this quote, and it helped me look at things differently, but it reminded me that I am strong. I don't let things get to me- at least not too often- and I don't let what others think or say influence me- at least not too much. 

I walk away from things all the time. This is an issue with some people. I get accused of being cold hearted, indifferent, disinterested...the list goes on. I was made to believe this was a bad thing, a negative trait of mine. 

What I realize, is that it's actually a strength. I refuse to beg someone for their time or attention. I am good at walking away because I realize if someone is not going to put in the same amount of time and effort that I do, why should I? I'm not going to waste my time on you. Say what you want. 

I know when I am not wanted, and I have no problem walking away and never looking back.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Updated Blog List

2016 was not a good blog year for me. Life got the best of me and this little blog took a backseat. I'm hoping in 2017 that I will be able to go back to blogging regularly. We'll see what happens. With that being said, there are a couple of things that I have been meaning to update-including my Blog List, which you can find in the right side bar. 

Here is a quick overview of the blogs on my list:
  • Airing My Dirty Laundry I have been following Amber for years, since before I started blogging. She is hilarious and keeps it real. 
  • Amber Nicole Blog First of all, I am so lucky to call Amber a friend Amber covers life with her kids, cooking, fashion, beauty, and general lifestyle tips. 
  • Brittany Viklund Brittany hasn't blogged in almost two years, but I keep her on the list because she is such an amazing woman- and I keep hoping she will come back to blogging! She has been busy the past two years with married life, having a baby and starting her own business! She is active on Instagram.
  • Everyone Plays Dwayne shares stories based on his life, work, things he reads, etc and is constantly highlighting the theme of belonging. Engaging posts and a great reminder to be inclusive in all that we do. 
  • Simply Being Ki Ki shares her journey to live a simple, minimalist, grounded lifestyle.
  • Smart Pretty and Awkward Molly offers tips and tricks on how to be smarter, prettier, and less awkward. Her posts are quick reads and super easy to implement. Year after year, Smart Pretty and Awkward is my must read blog. 
  • Southern Living Preppy Style Jennifer covers life in Florida with her family, and shares her incredible fashion sense. Love her spy it and buy it posts- where she 'spy' a look and share where to 'buy' the look at an affordable price point. 
  • The EveryGirl This is a blog that I stumbled across recently and fell in love with! They cover everything from career to wellness. Lots of useful information and ideas. If I am looking for something, this blog has become my first stop.
  • ThePoint This is the Hudson's Bay Official Blog. I was hesitant to add something so commercial to my blog list, but I love the Bay and Bay stripes, so it made the list. Everything posted is either an event that happened at the Bay of products you can buy at the Bay. But they do have good content too...so worth looking at.
I encourage everyone to checkout the above mentioned blogs...happy reading!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Currently- January Edition

After years of blogging, I have decided to jump on the 'currently' band wagon. I have always enjoyed reading other bloggers posts, so I thought I would do my own. Here is what I am 'currently' for January!

Watching
Image Via ET Online
So, I watched the first episode back in November, but that's it. Hoping to finish the series this month!

Reading
Image Via scrappylittlenobody.com
I LOVE Anna Kendrick and had this book on my Christmas List- and I got it (thanks Santa)!! I am about halfway through the book and am loving it!
 
Listening
Image Via Feldman Agency
I am a HUGE Royal Wood fan and own a number of his albums, which I am rotating through. 
 
Planning
Image Via Home My Design
 How to set up my work space/office in my condo! So excited to have this space and looking forward to utilizing it!
 
Feeling
Image Via Run Luau Run
I can't remember the last time I felt this relaxed! I have gotten rid of a big stress in my life, which has helped. Also, I'm sure taking a week and a half off from work helped too!
 
Wanting
Image Via Sweet Love and Ginger
 I am long overdue for a date night...hope to have one soon!
 
Loving
Image Via Amazon
 I got a Sodastream Genesis for Christmas. It's great to be able to make my own pop and flavoured water, but it's also great just to have homemade soda water too! 
 
 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Book Club: The Nest

Book The Nest by Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Nest
Author: Cynthia D'aprix Sweeney
Indigo Summary: 

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.
Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.


What I have to say: 
This book was the December pick for my book club. There was a lot of 'hype' around this book in 2016 and I added it to my reading list in the summer, and originally read it in October. There was a lot going on in this book...tons of characters and story lines. It was sometimes hard to keep track of everything. There were also a number of characters and story lines that did not move the plot forward and, if they weren't there, the book would be just as good- if not better. The Plumb siblings were a little annoying- the significant others of Jack, Leo, and Melody were more likeable.
 
Final verdict: 
Worth the read, but doesn't live up to the hype that surrounded it.