Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Resolution I wish I stuck with

The ride to Conquer Cancer. I went to the orientation and got scared. The presenter made it seem daunting and unachievable. I was afraid of not being able to make it the 200 km and failing. Or not making the expected $2500 in donations and sponsorships. What I should have done was just go for the gusto. A lady I work with did it and she said she saw kids on BMXs and people on cruisers. The whole point of the ride was for it to be difficult because cancer is not this easy ride that professionals face.

They are holding another ride to conquer cancer again this year. I am still on the fence.

And this concludes the best of 2009 series. I think this was a great way to reflect back upon the year. Here is to an amazing 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

62 books in 62 weeks

As part of my 30 before 30 challenge, one of the items is to read a book every 2 weeks.
30 of the books must be non-fiction.

This is where I will list them.

1. Point Counter Point by Aldous Huxley (finished January 7, 2011) F
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (finished January 13, 2011) NF
3. The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary (finished January 28, 2011) F
4. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis (finished February 3, 2011) F
5. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe (finished February 13, 2011)F
6. A Fairly Honourable Defeat by Iris Murdoch (finished March 5, 2011) F
7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (finished May 22, 2011) F
8. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (finished June 19, 2011) NF
9. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (finished June 29, 2011) NF
10.The Difference by Jean Chatzy (finished July 23, 2011) NF
11.Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain by Maryanne Wolf (finished August 4, 2011) NF
12. How to Make Love like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson (finished August 21, 2011)NF
13. It's All in Your Head by Stephen M. Pollan (finished September 12, 2011) NF
14. The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha (finished September 12, 2011) NF
15. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roal Dahl (re-read September 16, 2011) F
16.The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (finished November 16, 2011) F
17. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (finished November 21 2011) F
18. My week with Marilyn by Colin Clark (finished January 2 2012) NF
19. Ron Jeremy: The hardest (working) man in showbiz by Ron Jeremy (finished January 4 2012) NF
20. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson(finished January 22, 2012) NF
21. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (finished January 23, 2012) F
22.Poke the Box: When was the last time you did something for the very first time by Seth Godin (finished February 19, 2012) NF
23. The Wealthy Barber Returns by Dave Chilton (Finished February 25, 2012) NF
24. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (March 22, 2012)NF
25. Lessons in Falling by T.B.Perry (March 26 2012) F
26.Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper (April 10, 2012) NF
27. Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel (April 30, 2012) NF
28. Doomsday Conspiracy by Sidney Sheldon (May 3, 2012) F
29. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (June 13, 2012) NF
30. Locavore by Sarah Elton (June 27, 2012) NF
31. The Road Less Traveled (July 4, 2012) NF
32. Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (July 29, 2012) F
33. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World  (August 2 2012) NF
34.The Cat Who Came in from the Cold: A Fable (July 31 2012) F
35.Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (October 5 2012) NF
36.How Will You Measure Your Life? (October 10 2012) NF




Join me on Goodreads to see any reviews and to check out my "bookshelf"

Advertisment of 2009

I think that the Fun Theory Ad Campaign from Volkswagen have the best ads of 2009. The idea of making things fun to encourage people to be better is a fantastic idea and definitely helps Volkswagen achieve the image they are going after.
Check out the link if you have never watched any of the theories. My favorite is the bottle bank, but the most well known is the piano stairs I think.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Best Laugh

The best night of laughing in 2009 was J's stagette. The pin the "tail" on the groom game, the scavenger hunt, the limo ride, and the multiple bars and pubs we stopped at all led to one of the best girls nights out I have ever had.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009: A year in pictures


The best stationary of 2009 came in the form of cards... hand made at an event for AIDS Calgary. We made over 100 Holiday cards to be placed in the clients's gift baskets. The evening was filled with laughter, hot apple cider and creative juices. Working together led to collaborations of ideas and hopefully 100 plus people will feel the care that was put into each card.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Social Web Moment

The social web moment of 2009 was getting my dad (hooked) on facebook. He thought it wasn't something he would use or enjoy. After I showed him how to find old friends using his high school graduating year, as well as how handy it is for keeping in touch with his 5 kids and 5 or so grand kids and utilizing the website to find family members from all over the world, he fell in love with social media. That was really cool for teach my dad something after so many years of learning stuff from him. Sure he is my go-to guy when I need something fixed or built, but now he has a go-to girl when he has questions about uploading albums, finding people, or posting links. Its a nice feeling to give back to your parents.

And just for fun, here is a picture of my dad and I in Latvia in 2008:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aha moment...

My Aha moment of 2009 came on my road trip to Lethbridge with a work friend. She was given hosting duties of our companies Box at the arena and I was her date. We were going to watch Holiday on Ice where I was able to watch Jamie Sale and David Pelltier live AND I obtained Kurt Browning's autograph. One might think my Aha moment was that I should pursue my childhood dream of being an Olympic figure skater, but that wasn't it. Ashley and I were discussing our futures and what we wanted on the 2 and a half hour drive and I mentioned that I would ultimately love to work with a charity, giving back to people, changing lives. I had begun discussions with another friend about this in October, but wasn't sure which avenue I should take. Ashley told me should look into professional fundraising as I am always trying to round the troops up with their wallets for various causes. It was like a light went on in my head...this dream is to be continued as I look for ways to utilize what I am good at in 2010 and possible find a way to make a career out of it.

Friday, December 25, 2009


There were so many gifts today of things I wanted and didn't even know that I wanted or needed them. My mom had read my blog entry about my intention to drink more tea in 2010 and put together a tea gift for me with about 12 different kinds of loose leaf tea, a tea infuser mug set, a timer and other tea gadgets. She also picked me up a food processor after my blender started smoking from the 12 days of cookies.

I look back over the year and think about gifts I have received -- the helicopter tour of NYC from my parents for my birthday, my CD alarm clock from Adam for my birthday, the beautiful necklace from Chuckles picked up on her adventure in the Dominican, the necklace from J for being her bridesmaid. I have some fantastic friends and family that truly know who I am.

Adam bought me a triop aquarium for Christmas! I am excited to set this up and hopefully my little swamp monsters will last longer than a couple of weeks. Adam also bought me a new camera. I intend to learn all of this cameras functions and document 2010 in the best way possible.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Learning Experience

2009 seemed to hold lots of little life lessons. Learning the steps to buy a house top them. Learning my dog is on her last legs of life was a tough one. Learning that I am considered a key member of the department team at work was a fantastic one.

I want 2010 to have better learning experiences. I learned a lot about anger, sadness and hurt in 2009. I learned that for someone I may never be enough. I am still dealing with that today. It won't matter how much I do, it feels like I will never do enough. What i need to learn and what i would have loved to have written today is that i learned that I am fact more than enough this year. Here is hoping in 2010 that learning experience will come.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Web Tool

Today's prompt is the best web tool of 2009. Something that came into my life this year and made my online experience simpler or easier. I can't really think of a single thing. One might say Tweetdeck, a tool every presenter who provided a seminar about social media that I had to attend for work recommended the participants set up. BUT although it's nice to have all the status updates of facebook and twitter in one place, I still receive the same information by actually going to the sites. And being as I do other things when I am on the sites (for example, get lost in the maze of facebook or see what topic is being trend tweeted), Tweetdeck only just really let me know instantly when people were updating.

I can't really say there was an outstanding web tool this year. I did upgrade to a blackberry that is linked to my email and facebook so that now I am constantly receiving updates all day long. That's pretty awesome for a girl like me who likes to stay "connected" or update my status every time something strikes my fancy...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Start Up

I am sure it won't be much of a surprise to many readers of my blog that I think the best start up of 2009 is GirlTalk Events. I think its important for women to make connections with one another, as well as I know how difficult it can be to make friends to have those connections with. GirlTalk offers an avenue where events are offered for women to come out, have fun, meet new people and hopefully find solid ground to create friendships. I have met so many women through this group that are each so different, yet speak to so many sides of my personality. And I love working as a host for this group. I strive hard to make new girls feel comfortable and included so that they will come out again and again. The more you try something, the easier it gets to talk with familiar faces. And look at all of the fun we have had!

If you are in the Calgary area, want to have fun, are a woman over 18 and open to meeting new people, check us out! If you are not in the Calgary area, utilize google and try to find something like this where you live. Or start your own group. Make 2010 the year you find your group of friends for shopping, brunching, and connecting.

Monday, December 21, 2009


The best project of 2009 had to have been the favours I made for the Halloween wedding. The execution of my idea was exactly what I imagined and I thought they turned out fabulous - Halloween-y and sophisticated. And it was amazing to see 15 metres of fabric, 14kg of Jelly Beans, 200 spider rings and 200 hand stamped gravestone gala tags turn into the perfect finishing touch for the tables.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

New Person

2009 was all about meeting new people and I can't say there is specifically one new person that entered my life and changed it. There were multiple people that did this. Shout out to my new lunch buddies, coffee friends, wine sippers and adventure seekers.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Car Ride

I took a couple "road trips" this year, although many were just day trips around Alberta. My favorite car rides of 2009 include a day trip to Drumheller for a picnic with raptors and a T-Rex, a weekend trip to Sparwood for Adam's cousin's high school graduation party, and the week trip to North Battleford for the Halloween wedding of the year. All three trips were with Adam and I liked being his co-pilot. I hope in 2010 we can go on a few more trips together...I hope for a lot of things to work out better in 2010.

The trip to Drumheller was a blast because we went to the museum and looked at dinosaur bones. I also bought some triops which are kind of like sea monkeys but grow way bigger. Unfortunately, my triops only lasted a couple of weeks. They died from shock when I changed the water in their tank. The trip to Sparwood enabled me to meet Adam's nan who is super sweet. I also tried Fish and Brews which is like a cod and bread stew seasoned with copious amounts of salt. And the Halloween wedding was an amazing time. I think all weddings should be costume parties now.

What I spent mad money on....

SHOES! These are a few of my favorite pairs from this year :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Santa,

Last night my blender decided it should start smoking. I am not really into smokers so I ended our affair. Unfortunately, I was counting on my blender to chop nuts and cranberries for some delicious orange-cranberry pinwheel cookies (that I was obviously going to leave out for you). I promise to try and be good next year,if you can put a blender/food processor under the tree for me next week. A non-smoking one please. If this happens, not only will there be delicious cookies for you next year, but, instead of milk, there will also be a thick tasty milkshake.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Word or Phrase to describe 2009

Roller Coaster.

But my plan is to make 2010 more of a Ferris wheel year. Keep going up, enjoying the view along the way, when its time to come down still enjoy the view and do it in a slower, more controlled manner.

Here's to you new decade!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twelve Days of Baking Cookies Update

On December 13th I began the 12 days of cookies. This entails baking a different kind of cookie every day/night up till December 24th. I am doing this for two reasons. 1) I am hoping making cookies will get me in the spirit and 2) I am giving cookies to family and friends for Christmas presents and spreading out the baking ensures a nice variety package can be given.

So far I have made melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies (better home and gardens name, not mine all though they were tasty!), snickerdoodles (which are nothing like snickers in case you were wondering), fudgy cappuccino crinkles and tonight I am baking orange creamsicle cookies as I type this. Most of my recipes are from the Better Home and Gardens Cookbook (the red check plaid covered one) and a few are from our friend Internet.

I am making extra extra extra creamsicle ones as I am in a cookie exchange at work tomorrow evening. This also means I will be bringing home 5 different types of cookies to add to my growing collection. Thank goodness I have a deep freeze to keep them all fresh.

I am excited that I made it one third of the way through my goal. What are you doing to get ready for Christmas?
snickerdoodles in the oven

Tea of the Year

I realized that I didn't really drink enough tea this year to have a tea of the year. Which makes me sad and creates a new intention in 2010 to drink more tea. Especially as I have noticed they are building a new loose tea leaf store in the mall across from my apartment.

This was the year of discovering my new favorite coffee though. Folgers Vanilla Biscotti Coffee fills my house with a sweet aroma Saturday mornings allowing me to lazily drink a pot while I surf(the Internet), read, and contemplate how to spend my day. It is so good, that I often brew a pot on Sunday mornings too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Best Packaging

I thought about everything I bought this year, or saw in a store, or in a magazine. But no package stood out. I started thinking about what the word package means to me and I realized that the best packaging of 2009 was the package of love. I have two major examples that stand out:

In March of 2009, a new cousin was born and this bundle of joy came in such a beautiful, tiny, perfect package. Danika Lily came into my life and although I don't spend a lot of time with her, I am enamoured whenever I am in her presence.

Last night was my G-Ma's birthday. She had a heart attack earlier this year, but pulled through. I was able to capture a shot of her and my G-Pa stealing a kiss at dinner. The love they have, still strong after many years of being together, 5 kids, 6 grand kids, and countless ups and downs of life, is all packaged inside that kiss. I dream of having that kind of romantic love in 50 plus years.

Love was the best packaging of 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Greatest Rush

This was an interesting question and I thought about how I didn't bungee jump, sky dive or even go on a roller coaster in 2009 (well actually I went on many rides this year at the Stampede, but even though there were moments of "free falling," I wouldn't consider the moments the greatest rush(es) of 2009).

After brainstorming about this, I kept thinking about how I felt when we made the offer on the house in June. Signing a piece of paper that could change my world, give me ownership, and provide some stability was nerve-racking, exciting, stressful and every other emotion one could experience. Being told that we couldn't qualify for financing after all was the drop from the high in those emotions that made life seem harsh and unfair again.

I do not regret attempting to buy that house. The learning experience was needed. And I keep telling myself that as much as I loved the layout, the community, the dreams that came with ideas of summer bar-b-ques and winter movie nights, we didn't qualify because something better is waiting for me at the right moment. Sometimes,I do get a little bit sad thinking that we would have been moving in right about now. I just have to keep my head up and not think about the what ifs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Best Change made to the place I live

I moved in August of 2009 to an apartment a few blocks from my work. This was the best change for me as it meant less rent and I cut out my monthly bus pass costs AND heat and water were included with my rent. So overall I am saving money every month as well as I needed a change of scenery at that moment of time this year.

Today begins 12 days of cookies. I am not sure yet what I am going to bake. I need to organize the week and go to the grocery store first. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

New Food

As I mentioned, the book club I am in goes to a new restaurant every month. I have tried Ethiopian this year (which is pretty good and something I always wanted to try) as well as Moroccan. I really enjoyed the experience we had at Sultan's Tent as well as the tasty food. I have dreams of a Moroccan tour now and asking Sam to play it again. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Best Place

2009 was actually a really good year for discovering new places. The Food and Fiction book club's purpose is to read a book and discover new restaurants in Calgary. So I did discover many new places to eat that way. The gem in Calgary that I had wished I knew about earlier in life is The Purple Perk Coffee House. My friend from work took me there for coffee one afternoon and I looked in awe at the massive slabs of chocolate cake considered a piece. Its located in a trendy area of town and I felt "cool" drinking my coffee there. I can't wait to spend more Saturdays in 2010 studying, reading and connecting with friends there.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Album of the Year

I don't have a specific album of the year for's more of a mixed tape created by me. I fell in love with MGMT's Kids which led me to listen to Electric Feel. There is something about MGMT that just makes me want to dance. I have even caught myself grooving while in the mall forgetting that people can see me. I also really enjoyed discovering Metric this year -- a fantastic Canadian band :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The challenge I took on in 2009 that I am most proud of accomplishing was putting myself out there to meet new friends. It's hard when you are older to tell another girl you think she is cool and would like to hang out. So instead of risking rejection, I would sit at home lamenting on how to go about making friends. I wanted to change this about myself so I joined a couple of meet up groups and also started attending more functions at work. I am happy to say that i will be ending 2009 with more girl friends then I started the year with. And I look forward to 2010 and the development of many of these friendships. A few of my new friends read my blog and I want to shout out to you how grateful I am that we met this year. Thanks :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Moment of Peace

The best moment of peace of 2009 came with the last payment on my loan this summer. Such a relief and a huge weight on my shoulders was lifted. I worked really hard the last few months to that point to throw any extra money at my loan and it felt great to submit that final payment.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Best Of 2009

I discovered this on kaileenelise -- a new blog I discovered through Make Under My Life's DYL series -- a challenge that asks you every day to blog about the best parts of 2009. I am up for this challenge even though I am a few days late. What a great way to reflect on the year and make intentions to look for the best in 2010.

The best trip of 2009 was New York City hands down. I often remember little pieces here and there and dream about going back. From Central Park to the helicopter tour to watching Wicked on Broadway to checking out MoMA. Everything I wanted to do in NYC was experienced in a whirlwind trip and left me wanting more.

Restaurant Moment
On Valentine's Day, Adam treated me to dinner at Piq Niq. I always wanted to go and then head down to Beat Niq (the jazz club in the basement)which is what we did. The dinner was special because I was with Adam and felt really in love. I had lamb that melted in my mouth. And the jazz club after was such a Hollywood like experience.

?? will come to this later. Nothing stands out right now.

The wow book that I read in 2009 was from my Canadian Literature course. Margaret Laurence's Fire Dwellers sucked me in and I found myself relating to the narrator at times, feeling disgusted by the narrator at times, feeling pity for the narrator at times. Its not a book that I have conversed with others about or recommended. It's kind of hard to explain why I felt a connection to a housewife who felt trapped. I just did at the time and couldn't put it down. I read this book a lot while in the bathtub sipping strong drinks.

Night Out
The stagette that we threw for my friend that married on Halloween was my top night out of 2009. Seeing all 10 girls dressed alike made an impact where ever we went, riding in an SUV limo while sipping sparkling wine in champagne glasses was so "sex and the city" and knowing my friend was truly grateful for her friends made that night a blast. Not to mention having almost everyone in the 3 bars we went to sign a giant poster of the bride and her groom with well wishes.

Workshop or Conference
I did not attend any workshops or conferences in 2009 unless you count small business week in Edmonton and area.

Blog Find of the Year
The discovery of Make Under my Life was the gem I needed to stumble upon. I found Jess and her blog when I was at a very low point one night and wanted to make a change in my life. Every week she introduces me to new ideas about living with intention and through that I discover lots of fascinating bloggers who are also on a journey to design their life the way they always dreamed.

I am now caught up and will continue to work on this the rest of the month. I dare you to join me!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Rockin' around the Christmas tree

Friday night was my company's Christmas Party. This year our entertainment was Kim Mitchell of "Patio Lantern" fame and I was really excited as I know quite a few of his songs. The icing on the cake was at 7:30 when the President of our company announced the surprise guest was Steven Page of Bare Naked Ladies fame. Steven came out, played many of his BNL songs while standing on the back of a truck. Very fun. Kim Mitchell was later on and really rocked out.

The food was pretty good again this year...I fell in love with butternut squash risotto and aged cheddar sliders. And there was a hot chocolate station where you could add different flavoured whipping creams to your hot chocolate and sprinkles. There was also a Christmas Candy stop where you were allowed to fill up paper bags with candy.

Once again another amazing party hosted by my company.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Add to my favorite Sandwich list

I just ordered the special at the cafeteria at work. It was a salmon,pecan and strawberry sandwich on a croissant. And cream cheese. I was skeptical, not sure if those flavours should mix, but figured life is too short not to try. And I am so glad I did. The sweetness of the strawberries and the crunchiness of pecan and the smooth taste of cream cheese all mixed together with the baked salmon and the flaky croissant to create an amazing fan-taste-ical experience for my taste buds. It was simply delectable. I highly recommend just trying this sandwich once.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hurray for Monday!

So, I entered this picture into a contest at work to depict what is amazing in my life:
This is Molly and Oryx when Oryx was just little. I love this picture and both of those fur brats very much.

AND I won two tickets to see A Christmas Carol at Theatre Calgary! Woot, Woot!

In my excitement, I slit open my finger on a pile of paper, but even that didn't bring me down (just caused me to utter some four letter words under my breath which brings to question why most favored words in times like these are four letters?).

I wanted to put this show on my list as I thought everyone should see it once live. And now I will and for free!

Best Monday ever (well except for holiday Mondays...those are pretty sweet!)!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Makes you Wonder

Today I was waiting for the bus in front of Holt Renfrew. They always have some captivating window displays that usually catch my attention and today was no different. I am not sure how I feel about this display:

I am not sure how well you can see this picture. The man-equin is sitting in a chair made out of antlers (which bothers me because I feel a dominance metaphor) and looking through a telescope thing. The women-equins are all sitting in front of him in the snow. They are wearing hats with antlers thus the idea they are reindeer can be assumed. They have belts linking them all together that are adorned with bells which I took to be reins. The overall composition of this window display makes me think that women are pulling the man's sleigh. I'm not a woman's rights activist, but I am a woman and this window display kind of made me feel uncomfortable. So does that mean Holt Renfrew won, made their point and piqued my interest? Or does it mean they lost and now I may never shop there? Hard to say...I kind of like art that makes me uncomfortable and makes me think.

What do you think of this?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In my bag

I told you I am a proud bandwagon hopper! It seems like many are participating in the bag meme and now I am too.

My bag is from House of Dereon's line circa 2007. It cost $150 and I bought it at Winners. I love it.
In my bag I have:
A bottle of kahlua from last night's outing. It will be going into my liquor cabinet now. ($15ish)
A FFWD newspaper to let me know what's happening around town this week (free)
My Kenneth Cole Reaction wallet. I love the deep purple and contrasting lime green stitching together. Adam bought it for me for Christmas in 2007 (free)
A pen I picked up at a tradeshow (the realtor tradeshow maybe??) (free)
My AU student planner which is also my life planner (free...for being a student which is not free)
The 100 Mile Diet Book and questions for discussion. This is for tomorrow morning's book and brunch book club meeting. I am so excited for the brunch. There are apparently 7 different type of eggs benny to choose from :) (book was about $20, questions were created by me, but essentially free)
Theatre Calgary's 2009-2010 season brochure. (free)
60 cents and a pink bobby pin. (no idea where the change came from, found it in the pocket. bobby pin was bought as part of a pack of 50 at Liquidation World and I have no idea how much. It is from the Seventeen line of hair products. I miss reading Seventeen Magazine)

Painting the town green with Christmas lights

The Grey Cup is on Sunday and it's being hosted by my hometown. The company I work for is a huge sponsor of the festival so yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the booth we had at the street festival. And it was a blast! When big parties like this happen in town, everyone is in such a good mood and super friendly. Even fans of opposing teams can happily jest each other without getting too worked up. The ambiance is contagious and I really got into the spirit of Rider nation even though I could care less about football (or sports in general -- I am a proud bandwagon hopper!). Here is a fun fact: Historians date the carnival-like activities associated with the Grey cup game back to 1948, when fans of the western champion Calgary Stampeders dressed in western gear, square danced, flipped flapjacks, partied in the streets of Toronto and rode a horse through the lobby of the posh Royal York Hotel. So it was my hometown that showed this nation how to party it up! Yahoooo! (source is wikipedia)

Last night I was also able to score free tickets to the Calgary ZooLights IceBreaker event. They are so beautifully done and filled me with Christmas spirit. I love sipping hot chocolate (and baileys albeit I had Kahlua) while walking through and admiring the millions of lights used to light up the night. We had a quick snowstorm around 4 yesterday afternoon that enhanced the Christmas-y feel of last night.

And then I went to my friend January's birthday where we danced like we were 18. I loved it. And again there were football fans left, right, and centre rocking out and buying rounds.

Today I have nothing on the agenda except reading for school. I may go down to the street festival tonight so I can see the light display they will be having there.

I had a pretty good Friday. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

☼ inspired ☼

One day I will have a room like this to read, dream and think in...

Photo Credit: someone somewhere on the Internet...I have no idea where I saved this from. Sorry!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Once upon a time...

...I wrote this post. My blog redirected me to it today. Sometimes I forget my focus. This post watered that seed in me again.

I finally finished Barchester Towers at lunch time today. I had to read it for school and found it to be dry at parts, but in the end I was kind of sad to leave all of the characters. Of course, everyone ended up happily ever after -- even despicable Mr. Slope. Tonight I start reading Middlemarch.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

operation: school's out

I am a lazy student. And because I study online, I let my courses slip taking extended time to finish and letting everything else come into play first. In 2010 I vow that I will change my slacker ways and complete the last 13 courses (averaging a course a month). This means that I have to spend weeknights reading, writing and studying, not playing. And this means that I will have to get up a little bit earlier to utilize morning time too. And this means that my Saturdays will be spent on assignments. And this means that I will have to manage my time better and will have to pass on some activities. But in a year, I will have my degree and more doors will open for me. To me it will be worth giving up Friday night drunk nights and cutting back on wasted time on Facebook. This is the only life I have. Getting a degree is important to me and 2010 is going to be the year that I do it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday Stealing on Friday

Part One - Describe:

Your hair? Long and in dire need of a haircut, but I can’t decide what to do with it. Can I commit to bangs? Do I want colour? Layers? Length? Curls?

Your favorite food? Hotdogs-- gourmet ones, plain ones, cut up in Kraft Dinner. I can eat them for lunch, dinner or after the bar.

Your dream last night? Not sure. Don’t really remember.

Your favorite drink? Coke. Followed by chocolate milk. Followed by Orange juice

Your dream/goal? To have a family that is loving. My children are best friends. My husband and I respect each other and bring out each others best instead of pointing out each other’s flaws. We have a home that we love being in together.

The room are you in? My cubicle at work. It’s kind of claustrophobic and I feel caged in.

Your hobby? Reading. I love to read and escape in many ways through reading. With books I can time travel or visit places I can’t afford. I can feel inspired or disgusted. I can exercise my brain and conceive new ideas.

Your fear? That I am going to be in this same spot the rest of my life because it’s easier than trying something new.

Your TV? Has one channel and is barely turned on.

Your Pets? Molly is my shih tzu who is very sick. I am afraid every day may be my last day with her and try to remember that when I feel irritated with 2am bathroom needs. Oryx is my tabby and has so many stories to tell me. He is very vocal and walks around meowing to converse with me.

Friends? I am blessed to have many friends who care about me. I thought I didn’t have any, but when I turned around and started making efforts to connect, there they all were.

Your life? Is busy right now and I like it. I have many social activities taking place that do not revolve around the bottle anymore. I still enjoy imbibing, but find myself creating the life I have always wanted and remembering it.

Your mood? Right now, I feel bored. It’s Friday and I want to get out of here and start my weekend.

If you're missing someone? I don’t feel like I am missing anybody right now.

Your best friend? I have a few best friends. Or what I would say to someone is my best friend. But sometimes I look and think “does that person even really know me?” Adam would know me best because he has seen the love and the hate side of me, but even then I am not sure he is my best friend.

Part Two - The Where's?

Where do you want to be in 6 years? I want to be in my own house, degree under my belt. I want to be in a committed relationship. I want marriage but don’t have to have it by a certain date anymore. I want it to happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Where were you last night? I was at a Greek restaurant discussing My Sister’s Keeper with the Food and Fiction book club. I hated the ending of the book, but enjoyed the restaurant and the company immensely.

Where did you grow up? In Calgary which is where I still am now. My hometown is a big city to many. I still feel it’s small.

One place that I go to over and over? The bookstore and the shoe store

Your favorite place to eat out? I don’t really have a favorite. I kind of enjoy eating at home, putting together a meal that I didn’t know if I could make it before.

Wish list items? A pub style kitchen table, a coffee table with shelving for storage, over the knee boots, perfect skinny jeans, to be a size 5 or smaller again, to be finished school and to have a story about a left hand ring to share with the world.

Last time you laughed? Today, at lunch listening to a co-worker’s university stories

Last time you cried? Yesterday while reading the last bit of My Sister’s Keeper

Part Three - The What's?

Something that you aren't? a man

Last thing you did? Found this meme to help pass the afternoon, called a customer, sent out an email

What are you wearing? Suede black boots over skinny dark denim jeans, black sweater. My hair is pulled over a Bump-it to give it a 1960s feel. Typical casual Friday wear

Something you're not wearing? Jewelry… I never remember to accessorize for some reason even though I do have some beautiful pieces.

Your favorite store? The shoe store…any one of them.

Dear Internets

You know when you have an idea for something and although said idea was inspired by others, you were (wo)man enough to give credit to the inspiration, but are in a situation and someone pretends your inspired idea was her own while sitting next to you and she knew it was your idea because you asked her to join? That's how I feel right now. And although my idea wasn't mind boggling or the next big thing, I still feel cheated. And I know I should let it go because it really doesn't matter that this other person did this in the long run.

I hate feeling cheated. And I do my best to credit my sources in everything I do. I know we live in an interdependent society and that we inspire and influence each other every day. I need to let this go.

In other news, I met this girl on Tuesday at a volunteer event with AIDS Calgary who told me about 12 days of cookies at Christmas time. Each night she makes a different kind of cookie (12 days before Christmas). I love this idea! Sounds like a great way to share time with people I adore as well as creating the ultimate snack pack Christmas treat gift.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Leonid Meteor Shower

Was any one able to see this the last two nights? Monday was too cloudy here and last night was clear, but we didn't see any meteor shower. booo! Just another reason I need a home outside of the city lights.


Good evening Internets,

Its late or early depending on when you go to sleep or wake up. I am caught up in the dramatics of My Sister's Keeper only to be stopped in my tracks due to the problems with pulp fiction and mass producing novels in paperback form. I am missing pages 205 to 227. And something incredible happened in those pages because the dynamics of the family have been extremely altered. WTF! I mean, it's an easy read and in a lot of ways I have already filled in blanks because the book has mostly been predictable (for example, I was not at all surprised that Jesse was the arsonist causing his dad more fires to put out). And they sure mention the gold fish and fishbowls a lot....the symbolism is somewhat cliche, but I digress. The issue is when you are in a rhythm, getting caught up in plot lines and suddenly there is a breakage....well, it is a lot like white noise while listening to your favorite guilty pleasure song or watching a white bronco cruise down the highway as news anchors insist there is breaking news right in the middle of the cheesy movie of the week. You are not really confused, but kind of disappointed.

And I am disappointed. I bought this mass produce edition because it was less expensive. Is it less expensive because it's missing pages and entire plot twists? Is it wrong that I want to not only email the publishing division (a certain pocket books fiction), but their boss (hello Simon & Schuster) as well as Ms. Jodi Picoult. Shouldn't she be embarrassed that her work has been mutilated and mutated in such a way? Does she really want her name attached to incomplete work? Are these missing pages actually a metaphor?

And by the way Ms Picoult, how come you not only have the opportunity to write best sellers, but you were also blessed with long red ringlets? Rule number one as an adult I guess. Life is not fair and I should get used to it. Send me the missing pages and I will forgive all.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is Halloween

Remember how all year and then some I have been talking about the Halloween wedding I was a bridesmaid in? Here is a sample of what that day was like:

Friday, November 13, 2009

My perfect Friday

Frugal Dreamer wrote a piece about her perfect Friday which prompted me to think about my own.

My perfect Friday begins by waking up around 8 for a light breakfast of coffee, toast, and scrambled eggs while perusing the newspaper and watching the local morning show. I shower and dress by 9, then sit in my home office (with south facing windows for maximum vitamin D exposure) where I blog, research and write for a couple of hours. I’m a free lance writer for various local magazines/e-zines and write commentary pieces on life using gardening, cooking and other domestic duties as metaphors.
For lunch I meet up with a girlfriend or a colleague at a café (not sure if it would be trendy or hole-in-the-wall as I love both kinds of cafes). We gossip and share tidbits of life with each other -- this is my weekly tradition to stay connected. After quite a few cups of coffee, I make my way over to the market to pick up any fresh ingredients for dinner that night as well as for the weekend. In a way, this is all part of my job as it is simply researching life.

I spend the afternoon tidying (although I do this regularly so that my house is always presentable), preening in my garden (I have both an indoor garden as well as an outdoor garden), noting in list form what I want to accomplish over the weekend and putting together my husband and my evening dinner. Friday evening is date night for us. I try to make Friday dinners more special and adventurous because of that.
My husband may work outside of the home or he may have his own office (whatever his perfect Friday entails). We live on a small piece of land because I wanted garden space and chickens; he wanted quiet country air and the ability to own a horse someday. We are neither farmers nor ranchers by trade though. We just felt that a home should be a permanent vacation spot. My garden is a mixture of vegetables and flowers because it is mostly a place where I allow myself to experiment.

Date night begins with cocktails or a glass of wine (we make our own in the cellar). We sit in our sunroom and discuss our day, current events and our goals that we are working towards. We enjoy our dinner always followed by dessert and then play a game of scrabble or monopoly or even snakes and ladders. Once I win (it is my perfect Friday after all), we celebrate my victory soaking in our hot tub under the stars. My perfect Friday is reaching an end and I prepare for my perfect Saturday. Because the way I look at it, this is my life and why can’t I have a perfect everyday?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The 100-Mile Diet

Has anyone else read this? A book by Alisa Smith and J.B. (James) MacKinnon that chronicles their one year pledge to only eat food grown or raised within a 100 mile radius. At first their diet is kind of boring and mostly potatoes, but as they learn more about what grows in their 100 miles, their meals become way more interesting than anything I eat that comes from over 2500 miles.

I read this for the GirlTalk Books and Brunch event this month, and it is not something I would normally have picked up at all. But as I was reading it, I found myself wondering more and more if I could eat within 100 miles. It made me want to begin my garden and put even more effort into my garden once it is cultivated. The book stirred dreams of owning a small piece of land that I could have a huge garden on and a chicken coop for fresh eggs.

As I was researching this book for the book club discussion, I came across a similar sounding book called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It has the same basic concept of knowing where your food came from --seed to table. This book is now on my to be read list. Has anyone read that book?

The website for 100 Mile Diet has a handy link to google maps that will show you your 100 mile radius. I am in Calgary and would be fortunate to have beef and wheat readily available...unfortunately Taber is not in my radius which would mean no Taber corn for me in the summer... *sigh*

Could you become a locavore? What is the one thing you would have the hardest time giving up? Mine would be coffee.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm five days late...

...but decided to join NaNoWriMo this year. The worst that can happen is I don't meet the targeted word count. But I may be able to catch up -- I have a cold and due to H1N1-steria, I am not allowed at work till I am 100%. Luckily I work for a company that gives paid sick time. Unfortunately, I am getting restless. Although I did take the dog for a walk today just around the block and the entire process was exhausting. Halfway I just wanted to lie down and when I got home I crawled into bed I was so exhausted. I may be sicker than I will admit. The coughing is subsiding though.

I also started a group on facebook if you want to join. I was inspired by Make under my life's weekly exfoliation series as well as Over the Cubicle Wall's past monthly de-cluttering goals. I am having a 30 days to Less Clutter challenge. Check out the group and if you want to join or know a friend who would like to join, feel free! The more people who play, the more interesting the stories of stuff accumulated get. Why do we have so much stuff?!?!?! :)

Well, off to start my Novel for the month... may take some cough syrup to allow the imagination to really get carried away ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My dream home...

...consists of a solarium on the South side of the house with a year round garden that I nurture and learn from finding the best place for certain plants and what grows best together.

...will have enough yard space that I can keep a couple chickens for fresh eggs

...has so much natural light in the house that it feels airy

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Renting a Car

I just picked up the car I rented to get to North Battleford. I ordered a mid size car, but they only had a full size one for me (at no extra cost which I suppose is a good thing?). I then drove back to work and proceeded to have a melt down in some other office building's parking lot. I usually rent mid size cars (like the Civic or the Cobalt) because they are the perfect size for me. I can park and zip around with ease. This full size car I have an issue judging just how big it is (it feels like a boat to me) and I couldn't parallel park it. And then I felt really stupid. And then really mad at myself for feeling stupid. Which made me really mad at the rental place for not providing me with what I had asked for and therefore leading me to have a huge melt down.

This has made me jump to the conclusion that by next spring I will buy my own car. A cute mid size one that I love driving around. I am also still a bit upset right now with the entire parking situation and this could just be upset talk.

I have no idea how I am going to park this thing in all of the situations where I will need to park it in the next week. I ended up parking it in the fairly empty lot at work and hope they will only give me a parking warning.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Busy Weekend and a Busy Week

What a fantastic weekend.

I was able to attend the ballet and watched Romeo and Juliet leap and twirl through out Verona. I sat in my usual Silver (aka second) Balcony seats, but had row A so didn't have to worry about any body's head. My ballet partner is moving out of the province so I am taking applications for a new partner. I still want to see Moulin Rouge and Elton this season.

This morning was GirlTalk's Books and Brunch, and once again conversation was great. Everyone had a similar story to share that related to Eat, Pray, Love. I also have a lot of thinking to do from the sage advice I listened to today in regards to my own relationship situation. The idea of making the wrong decision terrifies me. The idea of life always being like this terrifies me. That said, if somebody would like to finance a year long journey abroad for me so I can figure some things in life out...I AM GAME :)

This afternoon, I went to the Hitman hockey game courtesy of the company I work for. WHL games are pretty fun and the kids are right into it...dancing and cheering up a storm.

I leave Wednesday morning for North Battleford and THE Halloween wedding of the year. I have so much to do in the next two days at work and at home to get ready for this. I am super excited to put the final touches on my costume/ bridesmaid's dress. I am also kind of excited for November, when I won't have wedding costs to deal with and can maybe focus on my finances (remember my finances? They are in a bit of an SOS situation right now...mostly because I have let things slip).

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Because not only am I an encouraging creator, I am also a follower

I saw this quiz on a couple of blogs I read and decided to try it too. I think it does sound like me an awful lot..... BUT I like me, so I am okay with that :) Also, I think I want this in a t-shirt....

My personalDNA Report

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Afternoon of Hockey

I am back at the office today. Just in time to join my floor hockey team for the United Way Floor Hockey Championship. It was $50 a team to enter and all proceeds go to United Way. There are also hot dog lunches for $5 (chips and a soda included) as well as you can pay $2 to show off your mad hockey skills. Every goal made gets your name entered to win Flames tickets.

Last night's Food and Fiction was a heavy debate about The Time Traveller's Wife. We questioned if Henry was selfish and gave Clare no choice by visiting her when she was 6 and telling her they were meant to be. Except when Clare is 20 and meets Henry's 28 year old self who has never even heard of Clare, she gives him the same story. So did they trap each other into this relationship OR would it all have happened anyway? If you read the novel, please leave your thoughts.

AND it's the weekend. One week till Jsquared's Halloween wedding. I have a lot to get done this weekend for my road trip to North Battleford.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A facebook status

I read this on someone's status. I really liked it.

"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

It's really hard to surrender what you the sense that bad habits are hard to break and change is really scary. It's easier to say that I am something and will always be something then to shed that skin to become something better. I want to be the best me though and therefore need to face my fear and surrender.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Working Vacation

My work sent me up to Edmonton to help out during small business week. I love manning the display tables/booths and talking with people. And I love the posh hotel rooms that come with this. AND I love my erratic schedule of an hour here, an hour there.
I am just sitting in my hotel room, reading, playing cafe world and thinking. I want to go on a writing retreat. My mom gave me a book about how to create writing retreats when you can't get away. I should open this book and see if it's as good as it appears.

On the weekend was GirlTalk's Jubilation theatre night which was showing Thank you Mr. Presley. I was the host for the table and therefore felt the need to channel some Elvis (with a touch of Priscilla inspiration). The show was excellent. It described 4 different couples at Heartbreak Hotel who were in different stages in love: The newly found couple who are smitten, the newly married couple thinking about starting a family, the married couple who seemed to have lost their spark and the old couple that enviously hold hands while walking to the Zellers diner. Through out the drama that unfolded for each couple, the ghost of Elvis offered sage advice and many of the stories were told through his songs. I really enjoyed this take on the King's music. The food was okay (it is one of four dishes, all cooked the same for everyone) and the drinks were fabulous! I had a blue suede booze -- so yummy :)

Three ladies attended this event with me and each was so unique. I find the more opportunities and events I attend with this group, the more confidence I gain in myself. Two book club events left this month -- both look to be full of awesome discussion. We read the Time Traveller's Wife and Eat, Pray, Love this month.
Here is my Elvis-inspired outfit:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mise en Place

French culinary term that means having everything prepared and in its place before you begin to cook

Last night GirlTalk events organized a session at Mise en Place where we could prepare meals to take home and freeze. There were about ten ladies there and we prepared everything from a Thai Prawn and Coconut Rice dish to Baked Macaroni and Cheese to Pizza. Each dish was priced differently and you were allowed to make as many dishes as you wanted (the average was 6 dishes per lady).

The concept is simple. All of the ingredients are chopped and set out for us with simple instructions. You basically just add each ingredient into your bag or bowl, mix or shake and voila! You have created a meal that you can just “throw together” when company arrives. While we were there we had sparkling pink lemonade (lemonade with a little bit of ginger ale added) and a slew of appetizers. We were real chefs working up a sweat and needed refreshments! Okay, maybe not working up a sweat...but half the fun of cooking is eating :)

I met some really great girls last night and we had some awesome laughs. The employees at Mise en Place were so friendly and helpful too. They even stock their own freezer so if you don’t feel like mixing it yourself you can just shop!

I am pretty excited I discovered this little gem in Calgary. Cooking is always more fun when you are with a group of great people and everything is ready for you. Mise en Place does home parties as well which might just be what I am looking for as a home warming party when I have my own place.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The First Supper

The first Thanksgiving dinner that I put together myself. Thanks for the tips on breast side down! It did make the meat moister.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I am thankful...

...for friends that make me laugh, friends that provide hugs, friends that listen without judgement

...for family that is always there to help me out and to provide me with advice that has my best interests at heart

...for Molly and Oryx and the unconditional love that pets provide

...for a roof over my head

...for a stable job that provides me with stimulation and challenges in a rocky economy

...for butterflies and the hope they provide in accepting change

...for myself and the chance I have given myself to become fully me

~Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving to Everyone~

Friday, October 9, 2009

Strange day in the news...

...but after serious contemplation, I think I might buy the Marge playboy issue. I am kind of curious.

...Congrats to Mr. Obama. :)

...does anyone know how the bombing of the moon is going? If we do find water, does that even really mean anything being as water is made of 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen and all sorts of things have this combination in them? Does NASA want to bomb me because I have water in me? I think this is actually a way to test new weapons while making it seem logical.

...that said, I want to buy the Marge playboy issue therefore my sense of logic and rational may be debatable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dear Onion News

I love you. Thanks for all of the laughs.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Dear Internets

This coming weekend is Thanksgiving weekend. I am attempting to make the whole turkey-stuffing-(mashed)potatoes-she-bang. And this is going to be the first time I have ever attempted something like this! So, any tips, recipes, catering companies you can suggest I would greatly appreciate. Because the last thing I want is to burn down an apartment building on Thanksgiving. It could take away from people being thankful.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weekend Wanderings

Does anyone from Canada remember the show Catwalk? I stumbled upon it on youtube this afternoon and now I am remembering when I would stay up late to watch this show that was sadly short lived (but I was young, it could have been really bad tv and needed to be short lived). I was also looking at some other shows I watched like Tarzan Dan's Hitlist, Breaker High (still so badly wish I could have done high school that way!), and Reboot! I miss when weekends were spent catching up on shows to talk about on Mondays at recess.

My weekend was spent creating 200 favours for my friend's Halloween wedding. I am so thrilled with the results. And once we got into a rhythm, it was really nice to chit chat with the other bridesmaid and assemble. Results are as follows:

As you can see, we used a spider ring in place of the traditional ribbon which I love! I think I may find a way to incorporate spider rings into my hair style that day too :)I am glad we were able to get them done. One less thing to worry about before the wedding.

Monday, September 28, 2009

It only makes sense that I read this when I should be doing homework...

So this evening in my browsing of the Internets, I came across this blog and this post which is exactly what I have been thinking about this last little while. The gist is that life is really short and that one should just do the things one needs to do to be that person that one wants to be.
For example, earlier this month I wrote a list of the kind of person I want to be. I feel I have been taking some steps in becoming this person. I want a group of girlfriends to do the girly things with. So I went out and joined things to meet other women.
I read another blog called makeunder my life. Jess is working on designing the life she wants and living with intention. I have been thinking lately about the kinds of intentions I want to live my life by. Every Thursday, Jess has interviews with other inspirational people who are also living with intention. It's probably my favorite blog feature as it always leads me to think about my intentions.

So far I have thought of three that I want to start living by:

1)Having a positive mindset. Instead of looking at the negative, finding the positive. For example, my dog often wakes me up multiple times in the night to go outside. Instead of being annoyed with her for it, I am learning to be happy that at least she is still here to wake me up. Molly is very sick and every day could be her last. If that means waking up multiple times to spend time with her, then I am very thankful for the opportunity to give her one more cuddle.

2)Treating everyone with kindness and respect. From the cleaners at work to the CEO of the corporation, we are all the same inside. We were all created the same way and we all deserve to be treated fairly. And you never's bike courier could be working on tomorrow's bestseller, today's janitor could be working on tomorrow's thing we can't live without. I know that I am more than what people just see so I should treat other people that way too.

3) Being accountable. If I say I am going to be somewhere, I will be there. From facebook events to volunteer opportunities to friend's milestone moments. Being there when I say I will be there makes me a happier person. And if I really can't make it, I need to be accountable and tell the person why. I also need to be accountable with following through on what I say I am going to do.

That then brings me to the two essays I need to be working on right now to help me achieve my degree. I need to be accountable to myself and get those done.

Heroes quote

"Will you choose your own path or will you have your path chosen for you?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Light the Night

Last night I walked with hundreds of other people carrying illuminated balloons to show support and to remember those in our lives battling or who battled a blood cancer. My best friend's mom passed away last September from myeloma after many, many years of showcasing impeccable strength in a battle against the blood cancer. Unfortunately, Cheryl was not able to make it to the walk with me, but her dad did. It was really nice to walk beside him.

Cheryl and my team raised $1602.50 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada through online and cash donations (cash donations are not up online yet). Our goal was $1000 and we surpassed that. I would like to thank all of my friends, family and fellow bloggers who sponsored me. I would also like to thank all of the random people I talked to at the bar on Friday night about this cause who also donated whatever they had in their pockets. Every penny counted :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A shared thought

"Never be afraid to try something new: amateurs built the ark, professionals built the titanic" anonymous

Falling back into Summer

Today was a beautiful fall day. A gentle breeze would occasionally blow by and shake a few of the golden coloured leaves off of the trees. I stopped in the mall this morning to pick up a few essentials and window shop browsed at a few fall pieces I long for. I came home and sat on my balcony, sipping vanilla biscotti coffee while I read for school. My throat is killing me and my sinuses are stuffed, but I still allowed myself to enjoy the 34 degree Celsius day that Mother Nature thought was best suited for autumn. Remember two days ago when the last day of summer turned into the first day of fall? Because someone forgot to mention to Lady Gaea it was time to trade her summer hat for some autumn accessories. Here in Calgary anyway.

I am not complaining. I think its great to wear flip flops and shorts while walking my dog through piles of crunchy leaves. I just really want to start wearing some fall outfits! I want to wear my cute new boots with tights and dresses. I did enjoy reading on my balcony today though, and soon enough I will be wishing for days like today so I am glad I was able to take advantage of it -- even with the cold symptoms I am battling.

I just have to get through this week of finishing up a course and then exciting October is upon me. I have a lot of events with GirlTalk: an evening of meal prep so my freezer is well prepared for the winter (or will have at least 6 meals in it anyway), discussing the Time Traveller's Wife at Food and Fiction AND Eat, Pray, Love at Books and Brunch, and watching some fabulous musical dinner theatre inspired by the King himself --the King being Mr. Elvis Aaron Presley. I bought myself some blue suede shoes this evening online (SO DANGEROUS!!!) for this event.
This is what I am thinking about so far:

I do have an Elvis professional helping me out too :)

And then at the end of October, I will be travelling out to North Battleford to partake in my lovely friend's Halloween themed wedding! I can't wait to see it all pulled together --the ultimate Halloween party of the year :)

But like I said, I just need to get through this last week of September. Finish these two papers and tell CanLit to hit the TransCanada Highway.

Also, I am walking Light the Night on Saturday evening. I am still accepting donations if you would like to sponsor me

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The world would be a better place...

...if we could all learn to laugh at ourselves. Or not post such ridiculous things on facebook that will be reposted for the everyone to laugh at you about.

Actually, I take that back. Please keep posting ridiculous things so that I can keep laughing. Keeps me young.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Will you be my friend..check yes or no

There is a lot of talk in the blog world today about making friends now that we are all grown up and not forced to sit next to someone in school or partnered for phys ed. class. Both Krystal and FB wrote about their struggles with trying to meet girl friends. I think all girls have this issue. Somewhere after 13, its like we decided we only get along with guys which instantly put up a barrier. We had our best girl friend or group of girlfriends and didn't need to branch out. Except when we left the instant friend setting (aka school and the parties that are in between school hours)and we all started taking different paths in life, we started feeling as though we had no friends.

I have always had guy friends too. And I always said it was because I got along with guys better, but I think deep down it was because I didn't like the competition of another female. I enjoyed being the only "lady" in a group of guys. Instant attention and you could practice all of your flirting skills. When I started a serious relationship and all of my guy friends started serious relationships, our friendships sort of ...dwindled. My boyfriend's didn't like me hanging out with all of these guys and my guy friends were with girls who didn't want them hanging out one-on-one with another girl. Fair enough....but where did that leave me?

At first, I did nothing about it. Just sat around, read, watched tv, spent way too much time with the boyfriend to the point where I didn't even have my own life anymore. I discovered and joined a couple of groups that looked interesting. One was all about trying new stuff in Calgary...the issue I had with that group is that I kept meeting guys! The point was for me to meet a group of girl friends, so I looked for a women's only group. This led me to find GirlTalk Events. I signed up for Pottery, Pizza and Wine night, paid my fee and imagined what it would be like.

The event took place on a Saturday evening. The entire day I had an inner battle. I was going to skip out because how creepy was it that I was meeting people off of the Internet? And I was going to seem so lame because I felt like I had no friends in the city I am born and raised in. And every other little thought that eats away at one's self esteem went through my head. But, I would keep telling myself that I paid for this, the worst that could happen is I would at least paint a piece of pottery for my place and if anything else, I had paid for wine...

I went. And it was hard. I had to sit at a table with 6 other girls (I think there was a total of 30 ladies there). And make small talk with people that I knew nothing about! I won't say that I made a best friend that night, but I did gain some confidence, enjoyed the atmosphere and made myself sign up for another event when I got home. The more you show up to outings, the more people recognize you and the higher the chance of friendship.

GirlTalk also offers a book club that meets at a different restaurant every month. I love to read and there are so many different places I want to try eating at so I was really excited to sign up for that!

Last month, the owner of GirlTalk sent me an email asking if I would be interested in the opportunity to co host a second table at the book club events. As well as other events that may need hosting. I am really excited about this new chapter in my life. I have gone from the position of the girl who was afraid that they were all going to laugh at me (Carrie reference!!) to the girl who draws the new girls into conversation and creates an atmosphere of friendliness for everyone. So that their experience can be as positive as mine, and they will come back and maybe meet a great group of girlfriends while getting out of the house.

My advice to all the ladies that think its hard to meet friends after college is to really put yourself out there. And never decide you aren't going to do something because it looks lame. As soon as you make that judgement, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Le Chien Chaud

Today I stopped for a gourmet hot dog for lunch on 4th Street. I chose a Mediterranean hot dog that was topped with hummus, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and olives. So yummy! I also bought the world's biggest pickle to chomp on.

This place is so cute. They have about 10 different hot dogs you can try ranging from the Canadian to the Mexican to the Ukrainian. The decor is hot dog themed (obviously) and the wall contains a collage a la A&W restaurants with vintage hot dog ads and new photos of staff and patrons enjoying their Chien Chaud.

My favorite ad was for a Valentines meal: Steamed rice molded into a heart, surrounded by hot dogs and radish roses, served with chili sauce. I think I might actually serve this for Valentine's day next year :)

I enjoy Le Chein Chaud because it seems to take the gourmet hot dog seriously. Tubby Dog is another similar place in Calgary that deals with hot dogs, but seems to be laughing at itself in a sense --I did try Tubby Dogs Cap'n Crunch, Peanut Butter and Jelly hot dog and it was actually pretty good.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pop Rocks Rock!

I am sitting here today enjoying a bag of pop rocks aka THE best candy in the world. And I was thinking about how they are made. Luckily in this day and age when the powers of google are in font of me at all times, I was able to find out.

This technology infused candy is basically packed with tiny 600-psi carbon dioxide bubbles. When the candy hits your tongue and begins melting, all of those bubbles are released creating the popping sensation. Here is a more technical explanation if you need it.

Once, Dairy Queen had a pop rocks blizzard. It was like somebody saw the genius of pop rocks and thought "how can I make this even more awesome?" I sure miss that blizzard but it was a limited time only thing. I wonder if I brought a bag to Dairy Queen, if they would make me one.....

Tonight is GirlTalk Food and Fiction and we are discussing Marley and Me (even though it isn't fiction....) I am ready to hear lots of tear jerking stories of the groups pets. I know while I read it, I bawled many times and often had to stop just to hug Molly. I also laughed out aloud many times. I recommend this book. I hear the movie is pretty well done too.

I am also volunteering my time at the Dream Centre radiothon this afternoon. The Dream Centre is for homeless men that want to get off the street. They apply for a room and if they get in, the centre offers courses to help these guys stay off of the streets and obtain ways to live a brighter future. It's a really good cause I think.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This makes me laugh

It might make you laugh too. Don't shoot the messenger.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GirlTalk Rollerskating

What a fun night! A great way to spend a Tuesday evening-- meeting new friends and hanging out with old friends.

Life could be worse...

...poor little ducks

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Light the Night

Last September, my best friend's mom lost her battle against cancer. Every year she would walk the Light the Night walk...some years in remission, some years in battle mode. Unfortunately she was unable to walk it last year. Cheryl and I are going to represent her mom this year in the annual walk and we are raising money to help end the fight. If anyone would like to sponsor me for this, I would greatly appreciate it.
The walk takes place September 26th 2009. All participants receive an illuminated balloon that is a different colour depending on if you are representing someone, supporting someone, are in remission or battling. I think the visual impact this walk will have will be awesome.

Thanks to anyone that can sponsor me.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm a real wild (eighties) child

Next Tuesday I am co-hosting my first event with the GirlTalk events networking group! We are rollerskating at the roller rink and the theme is 1980s fashion, fads and favorites. I am thinking today about all things I loved about the 1980s. I was born in 1982 so was a child and most of my favorite memories revolve around Saturday morning cartoons, toys and imagining that i was either Jem or Barbie in an all girls music band.

I am working on trivia questions today and keep remembering all of these things that make me really gleeful. For example, watching Star Search on Saturday evenings/early afternoons or Gummi Bear Cereal :) Not only did I collect Cabbage Patch kids like every other little girl in the 1980s, I still have my Kooza (spelling?) Cat...a cabbage patch pet :) Cuddles was my first toy that I loved and dragged around and still sits on my shelf. I wasn't a huge my Little Ponies fan, but I did have a million and two Barbie dolls...Perfume Pretty Barbie, Pretty in Pink Barbie, Superstar Barbie, California Barbie etc. etc.

And finally, I keep thinking about our Atari...I wish we still had it. We had this game called Plaque Attack where you used toothpaste to shoot the hamburgers and candy attacking your teeth. I loved that game and it might be the sole reason I have never had a cavity my entire life.

What do you remember about the 80s? Were you a teenager that chilled at the mall with big bangs and high tops? Or were you little like me and remember when cartoons on Saturday morning meant something?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Please Vote!

A entered a photo contest. Please vote for him!

And yes, now you will know his name so I probably won't refer to him as A anymore. I am kind of getting tired of this anonymous-ness anyway.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The kind of person I wish to be...

...wakes up early, enjoys listening to the birds while sipping coffee and doing a crossword puzzle
...always looks fabulous and pulled together...whether it's walking the dog, getting a litre of milk or presenting an idea to her department back to the community with her time and energy
...has a great group of girlfriends that do not cause drama, support one another and learn from one another
...does not put up with anything less than the best treatment from her man
...buys herself flowers just to brighten her apartment
...lives her life with intention

Life is too short for me not to be getting out there and becoming what I wish to be.

Today's plans:
Grocery shopping
Art Gallery hopping
organizing of new home
Molly cuddling

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today's Plans:

Korean BBQ for lunch at a restaurant I have been wanting to check out for awhile
Last minute stagette preparing
More unpacking and organizing
School work

Staycations Rock!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Life isn't about finding yourself... is about creating yourself (unknown).

I was in Chapters this weekend because part of my new duties as a host with the networking group is hosting a table at the book club events. Which means I get to buy new books to selfishly devour while dishes pile up. I walked past the journals and there was a journal with this quote on the front. Instantly I felt like that is exactly what I am doing. I am going to start creating the person I want to be. I bought the journal. And staring at the blank pages that are begging to be filled with thoughts and adventures and dreams stirs so much inspiration inside of me.

I want to have a life where I have the awesome home that I love entertaining in and love being alone in. I want a group of girlfriends that I can brunch with, visit art galleries with and devour huge pieces of chocolate cake while sipping coffee in cafes with. I want a reliable vehicle that I can jump in and take off on a road trip at the spur of the moment. I want to travel more -- either locally or far off in imaginable lands.

I want to start doing all of the things I want TODAY. Tomorrow never seems to come and I need to start living in the moment more. Start living the life I have always imagined that I would have one day.

I am on a "stay-cation" this week. I plan on spending the week reading, writing, sipping coffee in this cute cafe I discovered last week and setting up my new apartment.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

☼ Awesome ☼

Today the owner of the networking group I am part of asked if I would be interested in "hosting" a second table at the book club events. What a great opportunity to meet lots of literature loving ladies! I am very optimistic about this opportunity :)
The best thing is that now I don't have to pay for an event I would be attending otherwise. And this mixes my passion for discussing fiction with my desire to try different restaurants around town.

What an amazing day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This blog... going to be going through some changes. There will still be some finance focus (as much as there is now haha), but I am going through a metamorphosis and about to embark on an extreme life makeover: Arual edition. The new place is just the beginning of creating the life I have always wanted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I spent...

...all day Saturday (yesterday) moving. My back is sore, my new place is so disorganized. I am excited to start a new chapter in life though. And I love that i am blogging from my balcony on a Sunday morning sipping coffee.

New place will save me about $200 a month on rent, utilities and transportation costs. I can feel that September is going to be a good start to a new direction :) I feel as excited as I did when a new school year would start :)

Also, I purged so much stuff in this move. It feels good to be getting rid of junk that was holding me down.

Four garbage bags of clothes! I feel like I have nothing left...but most of that stuff was "experienced." Some pieces of clothing I have had since I was 16 (and I am now 27). And so many odds and ends of crap that entered my life. Adios amigos!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This makes me laugh

But unless you like this kind of won't make you laugh. Don't shoot the messanger. For all you know I introduced you to something hilarious.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Movin' on up

They gave me the keys to my new apartment yesterday. I spent the last two days moving in some small loads of stuff....I have accumulated quite the pile to donate! I keep asking myself if I want t carry something up three flights of stairs. If the answer is no, it goes in the pile. I plan on taking a picture and posting it...mostly so I can remember all of the stuff I gave away. And anyone in my real world that reads these posts, if you see something you gave to me, please do not be offended. I did love the thought and what you gave me, I just think someone else will love it more.

Other than that, I have been so busy that I didn't spend any money this weekend (well aside from damage deposit and the first 15 days rent). And I took the bottles to the depot (first person there on a Sunday morning...right at opening, does this make me appear to be super lame?) and collected just over $26 :)

And now it is Sunday night. I have been on the go since 5:30 this morning and ready to relax, paint my nails, soak in the bath and read Marley and Me (which by the way has already made me cry and its only the 9th chapter). Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This is the first pay day that I don't have a loan payment :)

The next thing I am targeting is the Eye Q charges on my credit card ($935).

I am moving on Saturday so I just want to make sure that everything is in order financially for the move first and then will start putting money towards that charge.

Taking Care of Business.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dealing with Disappointment

My eyes swell with tears and it gets hard to breath. I assume that I didn't do anything right which is why I was let down. I beg and I plead, I freak and I cry. And I get mad at myself for acting this way which leads to more tears, tighter lungs, irrational thoughts.

I need to learn to react differently...with more grace and control. I need to remember that I am in control of how I react. And I need to learn to stop dealing with everything through tears. Crying really doesn't solve anything and it keeps making everything worse. Does anybody have any tips on how to deal with disappointment in a more controlled manner? I am open to all suggestions as I am continuously creating a bigger mess than before by letting myself down through my own high expectations.