Monday 31 December 2018

2018, It's Time We Move On

Dear 2018, 

I don't even know where to begin... You were aware of the heartbreak that 2017 put me through, and I was excited to leave 2017 and start something with you. You had so much promise.

You were so good to me, 2018. We had fun, you brought me joy, there was adventure. But in the end, you betrayed me. 

We started with the opportunity for self-care, which I desperately needed. I went back to looking after myself, something I hadn't done in awhile. I did things because I wanted to, and I cut out a lot of things that I felt obligated to do. I stopped putting in effort with "friends" who couldn't be bothered. I started focusing on friends who deserved my friendship. This resulted in the loss of people who I considered best friends, but I saw that our friendship was one sided and that I deserved better.

Things were going so well for us, 2018. We travelled out East- Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. I had the experience of a lifetime and made some amazing memories. This was the first time in four years (almost to the day), since I had taken a week off. It was much needed- the vacation, the time to relax, the chance to explore, the opportunity to experience the East Coast. I have always wanted to visit PEI, and I have a goal to visit all of Canada's Provinces and Territories. Thank you for helping me accomplish this and cross two provinces off my list. My trip out East is one of the highlights of our relationship.

Another highlight? S. Bringing S to me, our chance meeting, everything that had to happen in order for us to have that initial interaction, and everything that has happened since...I am forever thankful. He is everything...the support he has given me, his belief in me and encouragement, his caring and understanding, his kindness...there is so much good. For this, I will be in your debt.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my dad's re-election. While the campaign was...trying...his landslide victory was welcomed with gratitude. People believe in him, the work he is doing and the work he would like to do. He, with the support of our family, will continue to serve our communities, continuing to make them a better place.

Professionally, 2018, you brought me my busiest year. I worked on 98 events, an increase of over 30 events from 2017. I traveled more for work than in any other year. I was traveling to the same two places- Peterborough and Ottawa- but you kept me on the road. Each trip was met with busy days of meetings, but I also had the time to connect with people.

One of the Peterborough trips gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had the chance to have dinner IN the Canadian Canoe the middle of the building, surrounded by exhibits. This was such a memorable, unique, once in a lifetime experience.

I felt that I hit my stride professionally this year. I took risks, I gained confidence, my talent and hardwork were recognized- but not appreciated. I reached a point where I had proved that I can do and handle anything. Most importantly, I realized my professional value.

2018, things were going so well for us. I thought you were The One. 

Towards the end of October-I can't recall the exact date- something happened. This was the start of the betrayal, the beginning of the end. I knew it the second that it happened. The next 4-ish weeks were miserable, everything changed for the worst. You made me feel uncomfortable, unsafe, violated...A LOT of negative. I withdrew, went through the motions, hoping the abuse would stop, hoping I would go unnoticed and be left alone. Wishful thinking. You kept coming for me, abusing me over and over.

It all came to a head on November 22. I saw clearly. I was disappointed, disgusted, appalled, horrified at your character and actions. I wanted NOTHING to do with you. I lost all respect for you. I saw who you really were. I realize there is more to the story, things I don't know. But I know enough that you don't deserve me, my time or my thoughts. You definitely do not deserve my loyalty. That went out the window with your false and poor judgement- which I have told people about. Your secrets are no longer safe with me. After what you did, you don't deserve my protection and I am not going to lie to cover up for you. If I get asked, which I have, I will continue to tell the truth.

I felt relief...I was done with you. I had my escape, I was finally free. Almost. I knew I still had weeks left with you, 2018. But we really began to live separately. The next day, I had a fantastic girls weekend that was so much fun. In the weeks that followed, I spent time with the people I love the most, a lot of them I hadn't been able to spend time with previously. I went back to self-care. I went out to events, embraced the role of political daughter. I started to set myself up to be noticed by someone else, so that when the time came I would be ready to 100% move on.

I am so ready to move on. I am thankful for everything you brought me, 2018, but I am done with you. That month-ish of negativity overshadows all of the good. There was so, so, so much good...but that's how bad those four weeks were. As I move on, I will leave the negative with you because it's what you deserve. I will be taking the good with me-my experiences and memories, family and friends, S, true friendships, love and support, and the promise of better opportunities.

You should know 2018, that in about 16 hours I will be meeting 2019. I have so much hope and optimism for me and 2019. Please leave me alone, let me move on, and let me discover with 2019 all that you could not give me or live up to. 

Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book.
Write a good one. - Brad Paisley

Friday 28 December 2018

Never Felt So Alive, So Wild, So Free

There are so many things that I love about this time of year- the holidays, end of the year reflection, time with family and friends, and the World Juniors. 

Like most Canadians, I spend the days after Christmas cheering on Team Canada at the World Juniors, which Canada also happens to be hosting this year. In honour of the tournament and all of the Team Canada players- past, present, future:

Roots by The Reklaws

Thursday 27 December 2018

A Year In Review- 2018

I feel like 2018 flew by...everything just happened so quickly, and I spent a lot of the year feeling like I wasn't able to enjoy things- life was too busy, time was moving too quickly. I feel like there were things I wanted to do in 2018 that I never even had the chance to think about, never mind actually do. for the most part, 2018 was a good year. Things turned sour at the end of October, but let's not get into THAT right now. Let's focus on the good!

There was a lot of good this was a happy year, mostly, with a lot of highs!

I started the year off by having a Girls Night in January with some great friends, where we went out for dinner and then to see Pitch Perfect 3 (better than Pitch Perfect 2, not as good as the original). This movie outing set the pace for the year- I saw four movies in theatres (Pitch Perfect 3, Game Night, Ocean's 8, and Crazy Rich Asians), when I usually see one movie every four years. 

February is not only my birthday month- where I had a great day of relaxing before heading out for a night of fun with friends- but I had the opportunity to go to a live recording of Grown Ups Read Things They Wrote As Kids. This is hands down my favourite podcast, it is hilarious! It was so fun to see the podcast live...just as funny in person!

In March I had a day off, and went to have a reading with a psychic medium, Kelly. Kelly is actually a friend of mine and she has been reading me for years. Readings with Kelly are always fun, insightful, and accurate. During this reading, she shared with me symbols that a friend of mine would show me, and that when I see these symbols it means he is with me. He has shown up multiple times through his symbols. She also told me something that would happen in June, which it did and was one of the best things to happen to me this year.

April I was hosted by Ottawa Tourism and got to spend a couple of days in Ottawa. I had the opportunity to stay at Arc The Hotel, which is a trendy boutique property that I highly recommend! Arc and Tourism were so good to me! It was a work event, so I spent the day in meetings, but I also had the chance to walk around Ottawa. My walks weren't anywhere specific, but it was great to spend some time just wandering around. 

All year I had been looking forward to May and June! May was a BUSY month...there was a lot going on, but this was the month that I would be taking a week off-the first time in four years! This was also a trip I had been looking forward to for about a year. At the end of May and beginning of June I traveled to PEI and Nova Scotia. This was the first time that I was traveling to Eastern Canada. I LOVED the time I spent out East. I had a fantastic time exploring and experiencing Charlottetown. I spent my time in Nova Scotia in Halifax, with day trips to Peggy's Cove and Lunenberg. This trip lived up to my expectations and I can't wait to visit both provinces again!

Also in June something that Kelly said would happen did. It has been such a blessing in my life, I am so grateful and can honestly say my life changed for the better. Years of patience has rewarded me with something that went beyond my expectations. 

End of July and the beginning of August was the Canoe Polo World Championships. I had the opportunity to accompany my father to the Opening Ceremonies, the Welcome Reception, and the closing Gala- all were once in a lifetime experiences and a ton of fun. I also had the opportunity to attend a number of games. Canoe Polo is my new favourite sport! It is such a fast pace, exciting game! 

September provided another once in a lifetime experience. I was hosted by Peterborough Economic Development and invited to a dinner held IN the Canadian Canoe in the middle of the building surrounded by exhibits in the Museum! We also got a mini experiential tour, had the chance to try paddle carving, and got to make (and keep) our own soapstone carving! It was truly an amazing experience and still smile thinking about how great it was! 

For October it is hard to pick a dad was re-elected with a resounding majority, about 80% of the vote. I had the opportunity to stay at the historic Lord Elgin hotel in Ottawa. I had a conversation with Graham...the conversation came after a negative situation that made me question some things. Graham made a comment that made me see things differently, he provided some food for thought, and he reminded me that I deserve to be valued.

My first reaction is to just skip over November because it was such a disappointing month for me. While A LOT of terrible things happened, it was these things that ultimately led to me feeling free and no longer having to associate with a group of negative, unethical people. You are who you associate with, and I don't want to associate with them. Everything happens for a reason. The highlight of this month was sitting front row at a Royal Wood concert with one of my best friends. We had a great time together. I hadn't seen Royal in concert in just over a year...I forgot what an amazing entertainer he was! Musically, he is insanely talented, but he is also a lot of fun to watch live. 

Finally we are at December. December has been a month full of spending time with the people I love the most. Being reminded of how much value I added and how much I deserve to be valued. It has been a month filled with refocusing my energies and refocusing on my priorities. This has been a month full of promise, new opportunities. I have felt so appreciated, loved, and supported this month. 

2018 has been a good year...going back and thinking about everything that has happened each month, picking a highlight, has reminded me of all the good. End of October and November were miserable, but they also had good points. 

I'm looking forward to 2019 and seeing what the year has in store!!

Wednesday 26 December 2018

My Hope For You This Week

I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas Day yesterday...a day full of love, laughter, family and friends. Here in Canada, today is Boxing Day-I will not be heading our shopping but I hope to find some deals online- and the first day of the World Juniors!! Here's hoping that Canada does well in the tournament this year!!

Now, I realize that not everyone celebrates a holiday in December, and I realize that some people are headed back to work today or tomorrow. But I hope you all can find some time to reflect on your 2018 and start to think about what you would like 2019 to be like for you. I hope you have the chance to connect with family and friends, people you love the most, this week. I hope there is opportunity for you to enjoy some quiet moments to yourself, focusing on self-care...however that may look for you. 

A friend of mine posted something on Facebook last week, and I knew I wanted to share it on my blog. It's a reminder to focus on the small things and appreciate what you have in life. Find joy in every moment.
Mandy Hale, @thesinglewomen

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Merry Christmas!!

I bring you tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Monday 24 December 2018

Christmas Eve Love

Christmas Eve is probably my favourite day of the holiday season. The anticipation of Christmas Day has yet to come, and the chaos of preparing for the holidays are behind you- if it's not done yet, it won't get done. The excitement without the stress. 

December 24 has always been magical for me. As a child there was, of course, the anticipation of Santa (you can read about my yearly Christmas Eve encounter with Santa here). There was always something, regardless of my age, that was special about Christmas Eve. Decorating our tree, time spent with grandparents, visiting with friends.

Christmas Eve is the day that I spend with the people I love the most. Sometimes distance prevents me from being with someone I love, but in that case there will be a phone call...dedicated time to spend connecting. I spend the day visiting with my closest friends- sometimes we spend a couple of hours together over lunch, sometimes it's a few minutes to drop off a gift. 

A visit to my dad's office...a tradition started with him and his dad- a time to reflect on the past year, and toast the coming year. A realization that we are late to get home, where we- parents and siblings- rush to decorate our tree before spending time with other family members. An evening out, returning home to spend more time with my parents, siblings, cousins, and my brothers best friend of 30+ years.

Image Via
I have spent 'my evening out' the same way for the past 20 years. Back in 1998, a friend from school- a girl I met at summer camp- invited me to spend Christmas Eve with her and her family.

She is an only child, and her parents welcomed me that year and every year since. Her aunt, her mom's best friend, her mom's other best friend and her husband are also there. My friend has since married, and her husband joins us too. These eight people have become my second family. 

Everyone is welcomed with hugs, offered a drink, and we get to chatting. Eventually we sit down to dinner. We exchange gifts, take pictures, and enjoy spending time together. There is so much laughter and happiness. Just thinking about my second family and our Christmas Eve makes my heartful. 

Today is Christmas Eve, and I am looking forward to spending time with those I love most, and to celebrate my 20th Christmas Eve with my second family. 

Friday 21 December 2018

Revlon Volumazing Mascara Review

Many moons ago, I had a make up artist tell me that I should wear mascara every day because I have such nice lashes. Despite this nice compliment and great advice, I don't wear mascara- or any makeup besides a lip product- on a daily basis. BUT I have added mascara to my beauty routine on the days that I do wear make up. 

I do have a Revlon mascara in my rotation of mascara's, and I think that Revlon is a great brand with great products. When I was given the opportunity to test Revlon's Volumazing Mascara I was excited to try the product out!

Something that really intrigued me about this product, is that the formula is infused with olive oil, which is supposed to be super nourishing for your lashes! I will admit that I found the formula to be a lot 'softer' that other formulas. My lashes didn't feel or look stiff, but instead looked natural and soft. I was super impressed with the fact that there was no clumping or flaking. 

Mascara on my left eye, right eye is natural. 
There was a noticeable difference to my lashes with just one coat. There was a transfer of product from my lashes to my upper eyelid, but this might just be me- I naturally have super long lashes and frequently have this issue with mascara. 

I was concerned that the brush seemed 'bulky' and that there was A LOT of mascara on the made me think that I was going to end up with 'spider eyes', but that wasn't the case at all!! The brush does have a lot of bristles, but it's designed to coat all of your lashes evenly- which it does. 

Final Verdict: I really liked using Revlon's Volumazing Mascara and highly recommend it. This product might just become my new 'go to' mascara!

***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.***

Thursday 20 December 2018

Book Club: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Image Via Chapters Indigo

Book: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Author: Heather Morris

This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a T├Ątowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

What I have to say:
This book was the November pick for my Book Club. I HATED this story, it was difficult to read. What is told in this book, is what really happened. Lale, Gita, and everyone else mentioned were real people. The horrors they went through really happened to them, and many, many, many other people. Lale and Gita were lucky- they survived, escaped and were able to create a life together. There are so many people who did not live, did not escape- and we hear some of their stories in this book. 

The story starts with us journeying with Lale from his hometown to the camp. We learn what life was like, the fear and horror, of settling and working at Birkenau. We see Lale get picked to be the Tattooist, tasked with marking incoming prisoners, and how this position is almost a luxury compared to other 'jobs' that others are doing. We are with Lale when he meets Gita and we get to experience their relationship. We watch as Lale uses his position to help others, the risks he takes. We see Lale's determination to survive, how he and Gita leave Birkenau, and are eventually reunited.

It is a beautifully written book, the characters are well defined, and the story is engaging. The details are amazing, and you feel like you are there experiencing everything the characters are experiencing. If this was a work of fiction, I would be talking about how much I loved this book. 

But it's not fiction.  

Personally, I found the book hard to read because of the horrors that Lale, Gita, and others went through. I was disgusted and disturbed with how they were treated. It was unsettling to be reminded of how evil and horrible things were. I was sick to my stomach throughout this book.

There are some good story lines...Lale and Gita's relationship and how it develops. Lale using his position as Tattooist to help other prisoners. The local father and son workers who bring items (food, medicine) to trade with Lale, so that he can pass them on to those in need. The pending liberation of camp, and people escaping. 

Final Verdict:
This should be mandatory reading for everyone, a reminder of what happened and how people were treated, and a warning to not let history repeat it's self.

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Posts of Christmas Past

The Christmas season is one of my favourites, and I love creating holiday content. Due to some life situations this year, I didn't have the chance to create any original content, but I did want to share some Christmas content. Below you will find links to some of my past Christmas posts. Enjoy!

  • Christmas Cookies- You will find some of my favourite Christmas cookies, with links to recipes. 
  • Politically Correct Christmas Carols- One of my favourite humour pieces related to the holidays- and content I seem to share every year. Also, with the whole Baby It's Cold Outside being banned from (some) radio stations this year...
  • Holiday Eating Tips- Going waaaaaaay back into the archives for this funny post that offers great "advice" for eating during the holidays.
  • Five Christmas Songs and Christmas Playlist- Some of my all time favourite Christmas songs, and songs I have on repeat this time of year. 
  • Christmas Movies- This list is from 2016, but these are still movies I watch, and love, every year. 
  • Christmas Party Ideas- I love a good party, and these ideas are great for the days leading up to and following Christmas. 
  • The Night Before Christmas- A personal post about my childhood Christmas Eves' spent with cousins and Santa.

Tuesday 18 December 2018

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

To have spent a lot of time this month watching cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix. Tis the season!!

That Christmas is one week today!! Christmas Day is always fun for me, but I actually love the lead up to the day...time spent with family and friends, and enjoying the holiday season. Over the past month, I have spent a lot of time with people who mean the world to me and that I love most. 

To have taken a blogging hiatus. Life was busy...and if I am being honest, I was burnt out. 

That I worked on 98 events in 2018. This is only events that actually happened in 2018 and does not count any events taking place in 2019 that I worked on this year. It's also an increase of over 30 events from 2017 (which had an increase of 30 events from 2016).

To find myself, as a Canadian, entertained by what is going on with the US president. I feel for my American friends...I'm sorry,  

Monday 17 December 2018

Best Person You Can Be

Happy Monday! It has been a while- about six months- since I have posted. Life got busy, I had different priorities, and blogging took a back seat. I have missed my little space here on the internet. I had a lot of really great things happen the past six months- most of it travelling, sprinkled with time spent with family and friends. By all accounts, 2018 was a very happy, productive and positive year for me. 

Until about two months ago. 

Two months ago, I was pulled into a situation that I wanted nothing to do with, I didn't want to be a part of, and I knew very little about. There was gossip, drama, and backstabbing. All great elements for a soap opera/tv show/movie, but horrible elements for a professional setting. Each week, things got worse and worse. 

I was unhappy, miserable, and trying desperately to rise above. I changed my behaviour- not to conform, but in an attempt-in hopes- that it would save me from being dragged down further with the negativity that I was now surrounded by. I stopped being me. I became a person in this environment that I didn't recognize. In my personal life, I was still myself and I still found myself surrounded with true friends who loved and supported me, who offered advice and empathy for my situation. They encouraged me.

But the was too much. About a month ago, the negativity reached it's peak. I was disgusted by the attitudes and behaviours, how myself and others were treated, and by the hypocrisy of people being valued and belonging. I saw the situation and the people for what it and who they  really were. People who are Christians, were not upholding Christian ethos or values. 

I wanted NOTHING to do with them or the situation. I didn't want to be associated with all of the horrible things they were saying and doing. I was- and still am- repulsed by them, their actions and attitudes.

I don't think there was hate involved- such a strong word- but the ignorance, drama and negativity were so extreme that I can't find accurate words to describe it. 

Image via
Since leaving the situation-within minutes- I felt free. I had broken away from the horrible, negative, drama, and ignorance...there was a lot of ignorance. I don't appreciate the way I-or others in the situation- was treated, but I was beyond thankful to be done with that B.S. 

In the immediate aftermath, I took steps to further remove myself from the negative- specifically the person who started it all. I put measures in place to distance myself and to prevent being dragged back into it all. 

From the onset of leaving, I refused to let the situation, the experience, the drama to hold me back, consume me, suck me in, turn me into a bitter person, turn me into the unethical and poor judgement people that they are. 

I have not, and will not, let them stop me being from being me- the best person I can be. 

I a lover of laughter, simple, forever optimistic, kind, genuine, true to myself, happy to be me. 

No on will ever change that. 

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Hey, It's Ok
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry
That, after my trip out East, I understand why so many people love Canada's East Coast!! It's beautiful and the people are so friendly!!

To be sad that June is almost over. Summer has barely started and I feel like it's so close to being over. 

That I saw Ocean's 8 on the weekend. I haven't seen any of the Ocean's movies, so I may have missed out on some of the backstory, but I really enjoyed the movie!!

To be excited that Big Brother starts this week!! I have found the past several seasons of BB US to be kind of boring and the cast to be repulsive. Here's hoping this season and cast are a lot better, decent, and entertaining. 

That I am having day dreams bout night things in the middle of the afternoon (name that tune). 

Monday 25 June 2018

Somebody Else

It has been a minute or two since I have posted!! I have been busy traveling- both for work and for pleasure- and just enjoying life. I'm excited that Summer has officially started!! I have spent a lot of time outside, and at the beach. 

Right now, life is great and I am incredibly happy. I feel that this upcoming week will be a bit of a challenge for me...I have some fun things planned and will be spending time with friends, but this week will have it's challenges. 

I cam across this quote last month and I have made it my mantra, When I struggle or am having a bad day, I switch my focus to helping or doing something nice for someone else. It has ranged from writing a note to someone and telling them they are doing an awesome job to asking a co-worker what their biggest task/struggle/issue is and asking how I can help or if I can take the task off their plate and do it for them. These gestures, no matter how small, will make the other person feel happy, which in turns makes me feel better.

Being able to take that negative situation/space that I am in and then using my energy to help someone else, has the ability to really turn my day around. 

Tuesday 15 May 2018

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

To think Kaela deserved to win Big Brother Canada, instead of Parras. Kaela was a boss all season and owned that game. The jury was bitter...but they also passed on every opportunity they had to evict that was really on them. 

That I am unprepared for my trip out East in less than two weeks!! I have flights booked and that's about it! Also, here's hoping WestJet doesn't go on strike.

To have tried Rock Burger for the first time on the weekend!! It was AMAZING!! Can't wait to go back!! I had the Buffalo Wing Dipper, and the Cheesecake burger...SO GOOD!!! This is a must try if you ever find yourself in Niagara Falls, NY.

That I stocked up on Peanut Butter Crunch Bars when I was in the US. These are so good and, sadly, not available in Canada.

To have discovered that Canada and the US have a tug of war every year on the Rainbow Bridge, at the international boarded. Canada won. Again. 

Monday 14 May 2018

People With Purpose...A Positive Life

Last week was a week of frustration, heartache, and a LOT of negativity. I tired my best to not let things get to me, to not take things personally, to rise about the negative. I pulled knives out of my back, ignored the gossip, tried to move forward.

I have always felt, believed, and acted like I have no time for drama. I can't be bothered. My life is busy. I have other things to focus on. This quote resonates with me: 

There are so many things- big and small- that I am focused on accomplishing. I thrive on creativity. My main focus in life is being happy and seeing the good in life. When there is "drama", I remove myself from the situation...I walk away, I don't engage, and-at times- put measures in place so I can't be drawn back into the situation. 

I'm ready to put last week behind me and move forward. 

I'm ready to refocus on my goals, and am committed to living a positive life. 

And it's ok if some people, situations, and drama aren't part of that.

Thursday 10 May 2018

10 Things I Love About Spring

Back in January, I shared 10 Things I Love About Winter, so I thought I would do a Spring version!!

  1. Winter is over- I am not a winter fan. At all. It's too far away from Summer, my favourite season.  
  2. Flowers- I REALLY like flowers!! I like how pretty and cheerful they are. We tulips in our backyard, and I love seeing them come up every Spring. 
  3. Spring Fashion- While I love actual flowers, I am not a fan of flower prints. But I am happy to put away the bulky winter wear, and pull out the lightweight Spring comfortable!! 
  4. Kentucky Derby- The first Saturday in May is KY Derby, my favourite day of the year!! Love watching the 'most exciting two minutes in sports' and all the lead up. My goals are to host Derby Party, eventually- I just need to get organized- and, of course, attend the Derby in person. 
  5. Start of Patio Season- There is nothing like sitting on a patio with friends on a beautiful, warm, sunny, Spring day, enjoying a couple of drinks.
  6. Spring Showers- While I do love sunny weather, I also like Spring showers! I love the way the air smells, and it can be fun to take a walk in the rain. Plus the rain leads to green grass, leaves on trees, and flowers. 
  7. May 2-4 Weekend- While technically in the middle of Spring, in Canada it is the unofficial start of Summer! A lot of people take this weekend to open their cottages, prep their properties for Summer (bringing out hammocks and BBQ's, opening pools, etc), and partake in the great summer tradition of camping. A lot of parks, campgrounds, conservation areas, officially open this weekend too. 
  8. Being Outside- Winters in Canada can be LONG, so it's nice to be able to spend time outside without freezing or counting down until you can go back inside. It's nice to be outside and actually enjoy being outside.
  9. Longer Days- The days get longer with more sunlight, which is so amazing!! The sun is out when I head into work, and it's still out hours I get home from work. The daylight makes it feel like you have more time to do stuff...when it's dark you always like you should be in bed. Sunlight is motivating to be more productive.
  10. Open Windows- The temperature is perfect to have our windows open (it can get super humid in the Summer, where you'll want the windows closed and AC turned up)! Air out your home, enjoy the breeze, and let the fresh air in!!

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Book Club: The Good Daughter

Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Good Daughter
Author: Karen Slaughter

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint.
One runs for her life. One is left behind . . .
The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author—a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again—and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized—Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever . . .
What I have to say:
This book was the April pick for my Book Club. While there were some slow parts, there were also some really interesting parts. The storyline of Sam and Charlie reuniting and working together was sometimes a challenge to get through. We see the long term effects of the night their mother died, and we see how different the sisters are. The book starts with the murder of their mother, moves forward 28 years to the high school shooting. Throughout the story, we see how the two violent events are connected by the characters that were part of both shootings.

We also learn what really happened the night their mother died, and how much the father knew and kept from his daughters. Of course the story also deals with the 'present day' shooting in the high school, again we learn why the shooting happened and the different events that lead up to the shooting. I really didn't like how the book resolved both 'mysteries'.

I feel like the author decided to...kind of take the easy way out to solve the mysteries/wrap up the story lines. Without giving anything away, it was like the suspect was wearing a blue shirt, but the witness said the shooter was wearing a green shirt. At the end of the story, we learn the witness is colour blind. Without having many clues in the book, the author just throws in an out of nowhere new detail, which explains everything- mystery solved! Didn't like that at all. 

Final Verdict:
Even though I don't like how the story ended/mystery resolved, and the sister relationship storyline was boring and slow moving, I did like this book and would recommend it- but would make my thoughts on how the ending was handled known.

Tuesday 8 May 2018

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

That, besides my flight and accommodations, I have NOTHING planned for my trip out East later this month...I need to get on that!!

To have LOVED the Big Brother Canada cast this season (with the exception of two people, who were also the first two evicted)!!! Casting did an AMAZING job this year!!

That I am dying to host/plan (or attend) an event at Vantage Venues in Toronto!! It's such a beautiful and interesting space!! Plus the team there is so friendly and seems amazing!! 

To be over Megan Markle. Done. Let's move on. 

That I attempted and failed to clean and organize my closet- which was my big (and only) task this weekend. It will eventually get done. But I DID manage to unload the dishwasher, put away laundry, read two magazine, meal prep for the week, take out the recycling and garbage, and spend a ton of time outside. So you know...goals.