Wednesday 31 January 2018

January Favourites

Happy Wednesday and happy last day of January!! This past month- with the exception of the cold I have been battling for two weeks- has been a great month. I could have done without the ice and snow, but I love all the time I spent with family and friends. Girls Night- dinner and Pitch Perfect 3 during a snow storm- was the highlight of January. 

I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite things from January!
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 I am a hot chocolate fan, and I am a Coffee Crisp fan. I tend not to like flavoured hot chocolates because it just doesn't taste like the intended flavour or the flavour is too powerful. But this is the perfect combination! It tastes just like a Coffee Crisp!

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I have purchased jeans from Old Navy before, and I'm not sure what prompted me to buy them. I wish I had discovered these jeans before!! I bought a pair of Boyfriend style jeans and they are so incredibly comfortable! What I really LOVE about these jeans is that while they are cropped, they are actually the perfect length for me and my 5'2" hemming necessary. 
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 I received the Caramel Cream lip conditioner by Scentuals in a subscription box months ago and I am addicted to this product! All natural, no real scent or taste to it, applies nicely, isn't many things to love about this product! What makes it a favourite for me is that it actually smooths and hydrates my lips- which get super chapped in our cold, dry, Canadian winter. I usually apply when I get up in the morning, when I come home from work, and before bed- no need to constantly reapply for it to work.

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During the Boxing Week sales, I bought a pair of these PJ's from LaSenza. These are so comfortable! The pants are lightweight and the top is a great material- I basically want to live in these! I'm tempted to buy a pair in every colour!
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I had been meaning to buy a 4-port USB charger forever and finally got one. It has been life-changing. The model I have (pictured) has a USB that can plug into your computer or into a wall-adapter (which is what I do), and then there are four ports to plug your electronics in so they can charge. I went from having cables, plugs, and adapters everywhere- and not having enough plugs to plug everything into- to a streamlined, one outlet, charging station. My electronics now have a designated spot in my home and are always charged when I need them.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

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

To be more interested in- interested, not excited- Princess Eugenie's upcoming wedding than in Prince Harry's.

That I had a productive weekend- I cleaned out and set up my hall closet, tried a new recipe (will be on the blog likely next week), got a good start on the gift for my Galentine, cleaned out the container of "stuff I need to sort through and put away", cleaned out my paper files, and got my (personal) email inbox down from 150 unread messages to two! 

To be glad January is basically over- one month closer to summer!

That I re-watched Grease Live a bunch of times over the weekend and have rekindled my crush on Aaron Tveit.

To have had fun at knitting night. I am not a knitter, but I made some progress on a scarf. Honestly, while last night was fun and social, knitting is a super relaxing activity.

Monday 29 January 2018

Inspire Me- What If

Another week, another Monday, another  quote:
I am big believer in taking chances, going with your gut. I also believe there is no such thing as a mistake if you learn something- even if the "learn something" is "I shouldn't have done that and I won't do it in the future".

Wednesday 24 January 2018

From the Archives: Children & Proverbs

I spent some time on the weekend cleaning up my blog tags- this is a HUGE project and is probably going to take me months to do. In cleaning up the tags, I have had the opportunity to revisit different posts from over the years. I have close to 1250 blog posts (CRAZY!!!) so there are a lot of posts I have forgotten about. It's been fun to be reminded of different aspects of my life, favourite beauty products, songs that I love(d), books I've read, places I've been. 

Here is a post from March of 2013 (original post can be found here), that I thought I would share again. A grade one teacher gave her students the first half of a well-known proverb and asked them to complete the proverb. 

  1. Don't change horses...until they stop running.
  2. Strike while the...bug is close. 
  3. It's always darkest before...Daylight Saving Time.
  4. Never underestimtae the power of...termites.
  5. You can lead a horse to water but...How?
  6. Don't bite the hand that...looks dirty
  7. No news is...impossible.
  8. A miss is as good as a Mr. 
  9. You can't teach an old dog new...Math.
  10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll...stink in the morning.
  11. Love all, trust...Me.
  12. The pen is mightier than the...pigs.
  13. An idle mind is...the best way to relax.
  14. Where there's smoke, there's...pollution.
  15. Happy the bride who...gets all the presents. 
  16. A penny saved is...not much.
  17. Two's company, three' the Musketeers.
  18. Don't put off till tomorrow put on to go to bed. 
  19. Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and...You have to blow your nose. 
  20. There are none so blind as...Stevie Wonder. 
  21. Children should be seen and not...spanked or grounded. 
  22. If at first you don't succeed...get new batteries.
  23. You get out of something only what you...see in the picture on the box. 
  24. When the blind lead the blind...get out of the way. 
  25. A bird in the going to poop on you. 
  26. Better late than...pregnant. 

Tuesday 23 January 2018

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

That K.A. Tucker's new book, Keep Her Safe, comes out TODAY! She is one of my favourite author's and I can't wait to read her new book! 

To have been a hermit most of the weekend. Sometimes you just need to take some time to relax and decompress. And sometimes you have been battling a cold and it just knocks the life out of you. Or you just need to make a dent in your Netflix list.

That I think "celebrities" should stop giving their kids stupid West, Saint, and Chicago.

To have rekindled my love for hot chocolate. I've been drinking a cup or two every day.

That I am excited to be paired with my Galentine for the swap that Brittany (Viklund Made) and Candelles are hosting!

Monday 22 January 2018

Inspire Me- More Letters

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have been battling a cold for the past few days, so my weekend was pretty low key. 

This weeks inspiration

This is something that I live by. When things don't work as planned, I take a step back and ask myself "now what?" and come up with a new approach. It can be discouraging to go through a number of plans before finally finding the right one, but keep going- eventually you will find the right plan.

Wednesday 17 January 2018

10 Things I Love About Winter

Winter is by no means my favourite season. It's actually my least favourite season. I'm not a fan of winter and I don't do winter activities- skiing, snowmobiling, etc. But I do LOVE hockey, which is a winter you know. To help me get through winter, I thought I would focus on the good and share 10 things I love about winter. 
  1. Winter Olympics- so this only happens once every four years, but the Winter Olympics are by far more interesting than the Summer Olympics.
  2. Snow Days-my office doesn't close so we don't really get snow days. but the idea of getting this surprise, extra day off where you don't have to do anything- and in some cases can't do anything- is pretty great. 
  3. Hot Chocolate-while you can technically have hot chocolate year round, it just seems better in winter and is really a cold weather drink. 
  4. My Birthday- my birthday is mid-February, which is in winter. 
  5. The Air- winter air is just so fresh, crisp and clean. 
  6. Hockey- I do LOVE hockey. There's nothing better than being at the rink and watching a game.
  7. Cozy Days-  winter days are the perfect cozy days in. You can spend the day in comfy clothes, wrapped up in warm blankets, maybe by a fire, a hot beverage, and a good book or movie. This just seems so much more acceptable doing it in the winter. It's too cold to do anything or go you might as well stay in...
  8. Fresh Snow at Night- I don't like snow. I'm maybe in different to snow, but I HATE driving in snow!! I actually love the extreme cold temperatures we've had this year because it's been too cold to snow. BUT, I will admit that I do like how fresh snow looks at night; so white, unmarked (no one was driven/walked through it), and it has this glittery, sparkly look to it!
  9. Bubble Baths- again, this is something you can do year round. For some reason I have waaaaaaay more bubble baths in the winter than in any other season. Like, other seasons I maybe have one or two. In winter, it's a weekly thing. 
  10. Ice Wine- I'm from the Niagara Region which is know for our wines, especially our ice wines. We even have an ice wine festival! Without winter (or the cold temperatures), no ice wine...or ice wine festival.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

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

That I had a great time with friends on Friday night! The crazy, icy drive in and the blizzard drive home were worth it! We went out for dinner and then to see Pitch Perfect 3- which is such a funny movie!! 

To be wanting the extreme cold back. It's been cold here, but milder, which has resulted in ice and snow. While the cold temperatures suck, it makes driving so, so, so much easier. 

That my birthday is less than a month away and I have no plans. I have no idea what I want to do to celebrate. 

To be going to a live recording of Grown Ups Read Things They Wrote As Kids. This is hands down my favourite podcast- it's so funny!! I'm supper excited that I'm going to get to see it live!!

Monday 15 January 2018

Inspire Me: Haters

Happy Monday!! I had such a crazy week last week. Lots of meetings, work, and opportunities. There are a couple of things that happened last week, that I am really excited for and to see how they will play out. There is one project I've been asked to work on, and I'm not sure how well it will go over when someone finds out it's been assigned to me. I will worry about that if and when it happens. 

In the meantime, I'm going to remind myself of this:

Thursday 11 January 2018

Get To Know Me YouTube Tag...On The Blog!

A few years ago, blogger tags were everywhere. They were fun to participate in and fun to read other blogger's tags. It's a great way to get to know someone and some of the tags can be pretty fun. I haven't seen a blogger tag in a while, but I still see them on YouTube from time to time, so I thought I would do a a YouTube Tag but on my blog!! These questions came from Kat Bouska Mama's Losing It. So, here we go!!

1. What is your middle name? I actually don't have one! My mom doesn't have a middle name, so she felt her children didn't need middle names either.
2. Share you favorite subject in high school. Loved English and Writer's Craft.
3. What is your Favorite drink? I drink a lot of  water, which I do like. I also love iced tea and amaretto sours.
4. What is your favorite song at the moment? There ton of songs that I am loving at the moment, but I'm going to go with You Broke Up With Me by Walker Hayes, just because it's playing on the radio right now (I would actually say this song is a favourite at the moment)!
5. What would you (or have you) name your children? James is a family name, so I would go with that. I actually have two other names I would use, but they are top secret (and also family names).
6. Have you  participated in any sports? I danced for 10+ years. As a kid, I also participated in soccer (indoor and outdoor), baseball, swimming, and tennis- which was my favourite.
7. What is your favorite book? Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, Becoming Rain and He Will Be My Ruin both by K.A. Tucker.
8. What is your favorite color? Red!! This has been my favourite colour since I was 2 or 3 years old.
9. What is your favorite animal? Flamingos!! I even have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them.
10. What is your favorite perfume? Flower Bomb by Viktor & Rolf. An ex loved the scent and I've been wearing it ever since.
11. What is your favorite holiday? I feel like I should say Valentine's Day because it's my birthday, but I really love Canada Day! It's in the summer and you can spend it outside, poolside/at the beach, and there is really no pressure for this holiday. It's such a laid back, relaxing holiday.
12. On a scale from 1 – 10, rate your childhood. 9.5...I had an AMAZING childhood!! If my dad had gotten me a pony, and/or been a king so I could be a princess, it would've been a 10.
13. Have you been out of the country? I have, multiple times! I've been to the US, Mexico, Jamaica, Australia, Cuba, Portugal, and Spain.
14. Do you speak any different languages? I can kind of speak/understand French and I know even less Italian.
15. Do you have any siblings? I do- a brother and a sister.
16. What is your favorite store? Chapters Indigo, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Hudson's Bay.
17. What is your favorite restaurant? It depends on what city I am in...instead of listing them all, I'll just randomly pick one: Metropolitan Brasserie in Ottawa.
18. Did you like school? I think I liked some years more than others. I liked the social aspect of it.
19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? Safiya Nygaard, Erin Scott, Zoella, Kelsey Kristyn
20. What is your favorite movie? There are so many that I love- Clueless, Legally Blonde, Pitch Perfect 1 & 2, Mona Lisa Smile...
21. What are some of your favorite tv shows? The Big Bang Theory, Friends, Greek, Big Brother, Pawn Stars, Tiny House Hunters.
22. PC or mac? PC
23. What phone do you have? iPhone SE...I think?
24. How tall are you? Not tall! 5'"1 or 5'2"
25. Do you have any pets? I don't! I travel a lot, so pets don't really fit in with my lifestyle at the moment. I would love to have a dog or cat, but I think fish- which I also love- would be more realistic. 

If you do this tag, let me know! I would love to see your answers to these questions!

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Book Club: The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers: A Novel by Alice Hoffman
Image via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Dovekeepers
Author: Alice Hoffman

Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power.

The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they lov

What I Have To Say:
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of historical fiction. This book was gift from one of my sorority sisters and one I would not have picked up on my own (because I don't like historical fiction). 

This story is told in 5 different segments from different perspectives- I do enjoy this format for storytelling. We learn- from each of their perspectives- how Yael, Revka, Aziza, and Shirah make their way to Masada, and we learn about their lives. It was interesting learning about these women, their journey, their struggles, and how their lives intersect. 
I enjoyed most of the book and was curious to find out what would happen next. I started to lose interested near the end, as the Romans encircle the mountain and start to prepare for their attack. Besides that, the characters are interesting, so different from each other, and well developed. The plot is engaging, and a bit slow moving in the beginning. 

Final Verdict:
If you like historical fiction, I high recommend it. Otherwise, give this book a pass. 

Tuesday 9 January 2018

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

To be seeing Pitch Perfect 3 on Friday (weather permitting)!! Back in September, some friends and I decided we would have a Pitch Perfect 3 date and see the movie together. This Friday is (hopefully) the day!! 

That I did not watch the Golden Globes. I'm just not into those award shows...not even the pre-show to see what everyone's wearing. Just noted interested. 

To be participating in Apartment Therapy's January Cure (there's still time to sign up). Everyday, they send you an email with a task for the day that will help you set up your home for a great year. This is my first year participating, but I am liking it.

That I like the extreme cold we have been getting- I prefer it because it's too cold to snow and I HATE driving in snow. Also, I am over winter...ready for the warm weather and the beach!

Monday 8 January 2018

Inspire Me: Focus

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a great weekend!! It was a cold one here- we spent most of it under an extreme cold warning. I did some cleaning and organizing, a lot of Netflix watching, and spent time with a good friend. 
A little reminder for the week ahead:

It can be so easy to get caught up in the negative of what's going on in the world and/or in your personal life. When there is negative happening, it's easy to focus on it and sometimes even let it consume you, forgetting the good that is also happening. Challenge yourself to focus on the good- no matter how small.

Thursday 4 January 2018

Winter 2018 Bucket List

Every summer I make a bucket list as a way to make sure I do everything I want to do during the summer. Summer is my favourite season and with so much going on I want to make sure I have a summer full of fun and experiences, and not miss out on anything. 

I contemplated doing a 2018 bucket list, but I wasn'y organized enough to think through my entire year and list everything I want to do...I still might do a year long bucket list, we'll see! Instead, I thought it would be more manageable to do monthly or seasonal bucket lists. 

While I had every intent of making and posting a January or winter bucket list, this isn't going to happen. Again, not organized enough. So, I'm going to cheat and use a pre-made bucket list created by one of the most amazing and inspiring women I know- Brittany from Viklund Made

You can find the Viklund Made Winter Bucket List- which is beautifully illustrated- here. I'm looking forward to spending the next few months working through this list!

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Currently January

My first "Currently" Post for 2018...let's get into it!!

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 The second half of the third season was recently released. The show is a little corny, but I also think it's funny!!

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 This book was given to me a couple of years ago but one of my sorority sisters and I am finally getting around to reading it. 

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 I am a little behind on my podcast listening...this is hands down my favourite podcast!! So funny!!

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 With all of the cold weather we have had recently, I have been on a tea kick. Loving the Maple Ice Wine flavour- so Canadian!!

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I have always loved butter chicken, but I've been eating a lot of it recently. Delicious!
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My condo is pretty clean, but it's been a year since I've done a deep clean...I'm wanting someone to come do it for me!!
December // October // June // May // April // March // February //

Tuesday 2 January 2018

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

To not make new year resolutions. So many people make them, so few people keep them. I don't even bother. I did promise my guy best friend that I would focus more on me this year and that I would do things outside my comfort zone.

That I bought a car! I bought it right before Christmas and get to pick it up this week!! I'm excited that "buying a new car" is off my list of things to do.

To not be liking this crazy cold weather we have been getting! I want my summer weather back...and I want to go to the beach!

That I had a great week and a half off! The time leading up to Christmas was busy (and standard), but a lot of fun. The time between Christmas and NYE was relaxing, low key, and spent with family- including my cousins!!

To be thinking of Trent...15 years have gone by, but I think of you every thankful to have known you. Forever remembered, always loved.

Monday 1 January 2018

2018 Word Of The Year Is...

For the past few years, I have selected a word of the year. My word for 2017 was love
Last year, when selecting the word of the year, I noted that towards the end of 2016 I realized the extent of how much I was loved. I have no idea what was going or what had happened for me to say that. I do know why I selected love and I can tell you that 2017 was not a year full of love. Far from it. 

For 2018, I struggled a bit to come up with a word. Last week, I had a conversation with one of my best friends where he shared his new year resolutions with me. He asked me if I had any resolutions and I told him I didn''s not something I do. he told me that he thought my resolution should be to focus on me, that I spend so much time and energy focusing on others and that I should focus more on myself. He told me to think about it, which I told him I would. 

That conversation inspired my 2018 Word Of The Year:

I do need to focus on caring for myself and well being. I want to go back to living well- eating healthier and working out more. I want to take time for myself to relax and decompress. I want to be more mindful. While I will always want to help and support others, I also want to support myself with my goals and well being. Most importantly, I don't want to do things for the sake of doing them, or do things "because I have to" or "because it's the right thing to do", I want to do things because I want to, because they make me happy/a better person/enrich my life.