Monday, December 31, 2012

the countdown is on

New Years Eve isn't just another day to me. It is a day of reflection and anticipation, rejuvination and planning. Before I start looking forward to all of the {exciting!} things that will happen in 2013, I want to take a moment to recount my favourite {blogging} moments of 2012.

...there was the day that I realized that I am not a vlogger

...and the day that I realized that I needed to give away my cat.

...I started a new blog 
...and a new job.

...I celebrated a milestone birthday 
...and went on a milestone trip.

...against all odds, I have kept my horrible car alive (mostly).

...I expressed my feelings on a {very} delicate topic.

...and on a still delicate but less political topic.

...I learned a really important lesson

...and was seriously creeped out by an elf

Obviously there was so much more to my year than just the pictures that I posted or the things that I blogged about. So many things--both incredibly exciting and absolutely heartbreaking--have happened this year, and I am honestly thankful for it all. 

2012 was a year of new beginnings, fresh starts, and great friends. I can only hope that 2013 will be just as fantastic!

What were your 2012 highlights? 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up: Holiday Edition {sort of}

This Elf's name is "Chucky".
Can I just say how much the Elf on the Shelf freaks me out? Its creepy little face, its dangly arms and legs, and the fact that it's supposed to watch your every move--and MOVE ON ITS OWN--all of these are reasons why I vowed to never own an Elf on the Shelf. Yes, I do realize that it is the parent that moves the Elf, and that it doesn't actually watch you. Maybe I've read too many Goosebumps books in my time, but the idea of a living dummy Elf seriously freaks me out. 
Well, Best Friend has an Elf on the Shelf at her house. And since B.F. watches Little A while I know where this is going. Little A is absolutely obsessed with that Elf. Every morning, she helps Little C look for where Elf has 'decided' to hide that day. That would be completely fine with me, if she hadn't started asking about why we don't have an Elf. "I would name my Elf Merliah, just like my purple Hawaii turtle. And she would tell Santa what a good girl I am, and how I always share with Gilford [our cat]!" she said to me last night. "When do we get an Elf??" she asked repeatedly. 
So, now I'm stuck. Either I get an Elf, and have to deal with it's creepiness from this Christmas until whenever she stops believing, or I don't get an Elf, and Little A misses out on something so obviously magical and important to her. 
Of course I bought the damn Elf. And after we go visit Santa tonight, we will read the damn story, and name the damn Elf, and I'll spend the next five days wondering if that Elf is actually going to murder me in my sleep. 
Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people create. What were my favourite finds this week?

  1. I have never been particularly graceful or talented but dance has always fascinated me, especially ballet. I've always felt that I'm just too old now to give it another go--or, I felt that way, until I stumbled across Hannah's blog. It is so inspiring to read about her journey as an adult (novice) dancer, and reading her post about The Nutcracker made me feel Christmassy and happy. Also, the TUTU'S! Be still my heart.
  2. Now, I'm not huge on marketing my blog because I just don't have time to make a big fuss over it, but IFB has an excellent article on creating a marketing plan for an entire year. Which I will totally do...and then probably not follow at all.
  3. Eggnog Cheesecake Bars = my only plans for Saturday afternoon.
  4. Rebel Wilson. MTV Movie Awards. Amazing
  5. On the heels of a shitty Instagram announcement (that was later retracted), Facebook (the same company that owns Instagram) introduces a shitty new policy. So thanks, Facebook, for once again proving that you're the biggest douche on the playground.

What were your favourite reads this week? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Lesson From 2012

When Stef of Miss Jo & Co asked me to share a life lesson from 2012, I jumped at the chance. 
It's been a long, crazy, and ultimately amazing year for me,
and the lesson that I shared?
Kind of an important one.
So check it out!

Life Lessons 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Things I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging

  1. Participating in Natalie's #OMGCOFFEMUGSWAP (or, trying to anyways. I received my amazing mug from Clare (blog post to come), but Canada Post keeps returning the package for Clare to me. But! It's in Australia so it should be delivered soon!!)
  2. Spending time with my sweet Little A. 
  3. Masquaraaaaaaade!! (Happy joint birthday, Lana & Becca!!)
  4. Finding the perfect wrapping paper for my always colour-coordinated Christmas presents. 
  5. Snuggling with the most irritating/cute kitty on the planet. 
  6. Sick days with a little girl (but we managed to sleep in!)
  7. Drinking green juice (I think Bolthouse adds crack to their juice, it's that addictive!) (obviously that was a hyperbole, I don't actually think that they would add crack!) (But it would explain a lot!) (JUST KIDDING)
  8. Buying a festive new case for my phone. 
  9. Wrapping a ridiculous number of presents while watching Home Alone 2. 
  10. Having a pint (or two) in celebration of a victory at work. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Paris en Hiver

Photo Credit: Philippe Lejeanvre | Twitter | Flickr | Website

Paris is one of those cities that is just always wonderful. 
It is magical, 
so full of lights, 
and history, 
and life. 

My very favourite thing to do in life is to walk in Paris. 

Along the Seine, from the Pont d'Ilena by the Champs de Mars and the Eiffel Tower in the west 
to the Pont de Sully in the east by the Ile Sainte-Louis. 

Through the Marais and St-Germaine-de-Pres arrondissments, 
walking over cobblestones and popping into street markets and cozy shops. 

I've spent entire days just wandering the city, 
map banished to my purse, 
to get a taste of the real Paris. 

Each season in Paris has it's own charm,
but my very favourite time to wander the streets of Paris is in winter. 
Seeing such a beautiful city covered in a fresh blanket of snow, 
or even just a coat of frost, 
takes my breath away. 

Photo Credit: Phillipe Taka | Website | Blog 

Every time. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Well, That Escalated Quickly

Every few months, I get this insatiable itch to change something

At first I'll feed this need with small changes: 
a new hair color 
a few blog tweaks 
a new ringtone for my phone. 

I can't count the shadows to keep myself safe; 
 the itch will always catch up with me
just like the vashta nerada will always catch up with those in the shadows.

The night started out innocently enough; 
I was just going to change my navigation bar. 
I had created a new one a few weeks ago, 
and from the second that I installed it I absolutely hated it. 
I've been mulling it over for weeks, 
and finally I decided to get up off my rump and change it. 


Before I could get to the nav bar, I stared at my font choices. 
The font (Origin Light) that I once loved so much was now making my eye twitch. 
It was decided.
I needed to change my fonts. 


You can't just change your font willy-nilly. 
You have to take your time. 
The font that you choose is an integral part of your design; 
it helps form the basis for your brand. 


And then...

I sorted through all of my new fonts. 
Some had to be ruled out because they didn't have the ability to type the umlaut in my blog title. 
(the dots on top of the a in rakas kesä is an umlaut.)


I typed.
I switched between fonts. 
I wrote down about thirty font names, 
and I slowly eliminated them
one by one. 

Finally, I was down to two fonts. 
I can work with two. 

So off I went, 
creating a new navigation bar. 
Once that was finished I had another revelation:
my blog header no longer matched. 
Neither did my buttons. 
You know.
The buttons that are everywhere? 

So off I went, 
creating a new header. 
New buttons. 
A new list of sidebar links 
(although the links? Not working at the moment. Fury.) {UPDATE: fixed!}
The new links lead to new widget titles. 

Finally, I had it all installed. 
And boy, did it look pretty. 

I've kept the amazing welcome image that Chelsea created for me earlier this year because it just cannot be topped.

But the rest?

The rest was all painstakingly created by me. 

Did I stop there?

After triumphantly overhauling my entire blog design in one night
did I turn off my laptop and crawl into bed? 


Because suddenly
I had motivation. 

That 'work with me' page that I've been avoiding finishing for so long? 

The Great Design Beast took over
and I just kept going. 

When my (Vancouver) best friend texted me to ask why the hell I wasn't asleep yet
I finally looked at the clock. 
Five hours. 
I had spent five consecutive hours 
making all of these changes, 
pausing only to plug my laptop in when it told me to plug in or I'd lose everything. 

This is my random, 
about that time that I compulsively re-designed my blog 
instead of sleeping. 

Better make it five and a half hours, since I also decided to blog.

Don't judge me. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Do You Mean, I'm An Adult?

There are certain things that are expected of adults. Adults hold a steady job and pay their bills on time. They have kids and careers, savings accounts and a balanced budget. They are responsible, contributing members of society. Well...most are, at least. And I can do (most) of those things--I'm looking at you, budget that never balances. These are some things that I am not so good at, however; all of these things are expected of adults.

  • Cleaning the car. I take out the trash regularly, but I usually have various items strewn across the backseat including but not limited to: shoes (adult- and preschool-sized), colouring books (just preschool-style), a few mismatched socks, a tire iron, a few Barbie bits and pieces, and crushed cereal crumbs. 
  • Waking up without hitting snooze ten times. I was told that when you become an adult, you suddenly start waking up at 6am all happy and ready for the day. I'm not sure if this is a lie, or if I'm just not an adult yet...
  • Cooking (and eating!) healthy, balanced meals every day. There are days where we have Ichiban soup with a side of cheese and grapes for dinner, and one time I had apples with caramel dip for lunch and dinner. Note that I do feed Little A healthy foods, I just don't seem to eat them myself.  I don't enjoy cooking (I blame my tiny kitchen, but I don't cook in B's kitchen either), and quite frankly I'm just not very good at it. There are some dishes that I can pull off and have taste magnificent, but those are a select few recipes and most are holiday dishes. 
  • Being on time. Growing up, I was always the last one out of the door. For some reason my brain just assumes that it will take me an hour to get ready, and that I'll need thirty minutes to get somewhere. Those are the default times my brain calculates everything off of, and I can't seem to rewrite the code. Thus, I am perennially late. 
  • Returning books to the library on time. I'm a big fan of public libraries, even though I'd rather own a book myself than borrow one. Maybe it's because of this preference that I tend to just never return them, and then end up buying them from the library in the form of outrageously high overdue fees. I'm told that proper adults bring them back in a timely manner--that's what the librarian tells me, anyways.
  • Working during proper hours. From 9am-5pm, I am distracted. There are unplanned phone calls and emails that come in, people that walk through my door, and so many little things that crop up to distract me from that day's To Do List. My most productive--and inspired--hours are from about 6:30-9:30pm. In those three hours, I can get more finished than I can in an entire eight hour day. As long as I'm not trying to work from home, because then my PVR calls to me like the Sirens called to Odysseus. 
  • Grocery shopping. Y'all, this one I have thrown my hands up in the air over. Under any other circumstance, I am compulsively organized. I create lists, habits and patterns of behaviour in all circumstances. Except grocery shopping. I can never wander through the store in the same pattern, and Lord help me I can't ever stick to my list. This leads to me to feel as if I'm failing, so of course I'm going to avoid the activity all together until we are down to Saltines and old mustard and I am forced to either grocery shop or starve. 

How are you bad at being an adult?

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