Thursday, July 11, 2013

You Can Color Me Rad Anytime You Want

Do y'all remember back in March when I made a grand proclamation about running a 5k? I was excited, I was motivated, and I had a plan. 

I didn't stick to my plan at all, however. I trained a grand total of 8 times between March 20th, 2013 and July 6th, 2013, and the week leading up the race I was nervous as hell. I went so far as carb-loading the night before, until it was kindly pointed out to me that its entirely unnecessary for one person to consume that much pasta for a 5K. In reflection, it really did give me a ton of energy for my 8:40am start time--although that could have been a combination of nerves and the Red Bulls they were giving me too. 

I'm about as competitive as it gets, which sounds like a good thing. Problem is, I'm competitive with myself more than anyone else. There is always this little voice in my head that's telling me that I can't do something, that it's too hard, that I should just quit. But then this bigger voice takes over, and it shouts at me in an angry voice that I have to keep going. I have to finish. I can't give up. 

I thought that voice was going to kill me. Every time I would stop to walk, that voice would berate me over and over again. I would walk just long enough to stop the lung-crushing pain in my chest, and then I'd be off again. By the finish line, I was more trotting than running. 

I finished my first 5K in just under 40 minutes--almost 6 minutes longer than some of my pals that actually run. But it was exhilarating to know that I finished, that I ran my heart out, and that I had a ton of fun doing something that I used to loathe. 

Before I left the starting line, the crazy guy with the megaphone told all of us first time runners that the Color Me Rad is a gateway drug, and that we'd be hooked. 

Yup. 



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Monday, June 10, 2013

{a strange time to take a moral stance}

The summer before grade six was a big summer for me. My brother was away at summer camp for the first time, leaving me three glorious weeks as an only child. The days were long and hot, filled with adventurous bike rides to the library, the pool, or the village in Oak Bay to spend my allowance. It was the summer of the First Boyfriend (and the First Kiss). My parents were both working full time, so my house was the place to be during the day. We had a trampoline, a kitchen full of snacks, and--best of all--no supervision. We never really got into that much trouble, although we certainly pushed the limits of what was acceptable and what was grounds for discipline. 

Our house in Victoria had two floors, with the main living areas upstairs. The lower level was mostly unused, until my brother was deemed old enough to move into the bedroom down there. The house did not have a traditional play room, which was fine as we spent the majority of our time outside anyways. There was one room that was never really used; it's patio doors served mainly as our entrance to the backyard in the summer months. It was sparsely furnished with a TV and a few beanbag chairs, the custom-built bookcase empty save for a few paperbacks that had been left behind over the years. Covering the floor was a rusty shag carpet, it's pile worn down. The doorknob was on backwards, and if you forgot and closed the door it would lock from the outside. The closet was piled high with toys that we had outgrown but refused to give away, and for some inexplicable reason there was a window in it. Less than meter wide, and painted shut by previous owners, it served little purpose other than a place for my mother to hang yet another flowered valance. 

In the fall, my mother would cover the patio window with a thick plastic sheet that served as insulation over the winter months. Normally it would be removed before school was out for the year, folded up and packed away until the leaves began falling from the trees. The house did not have air conditioning, so fans were placed in every room to keep us cool in the summer. One year, on this particular year, my mother did not remove the plastic. It was to be left in place over the summer, with the intent of sealing the cool air in and keeping the insects out. 

On a day too hot to play outside, Lauren and I spent hours in the room playing. Distracted by our discussions about what grade six would actually be like, we failed to notice that the door had shut behind us; it wasn't until we could hear Lauren's mother calling her to come home that we had realized that we were locked in. Frantically we tried to open the door, banging on it to call attention to our situation. With no parents, and no brother, at home no one was able to hear us. Our only phone in the house was located in the kitchen above us, so it seemed that our only way out was through the sliding glass doors. 

I'll never forget the look of horror on Lauren's face when I told her that we couldn't remove the plastic from the patio doors. She stood in the middle of the room; the locked door on her right, the sealed patio doors to her left. The only exits in the room, and she was unable to use either. At first she was livid with me, then she tried to reason with me. We both thought that it would be reasonable to remove the plastic carefully; surely my mom would not want us dying in this room for the sake of her precious plastic sheeting. But in my mind I heard her voice repeating her mantra: "Under no circumstances are to you ever touch this plastic!". My mother's warning won out over practicality, and the plastic was left untouched. 

I don't know if Lauren really ever forgave me for not immediately ripping down the plastic to get out of the room. My mom let us out when she got home less than a half hour later. That was the last time that Lauren came over to my house during the day, although we still rode our bikes together and played outside. Our friendship endured my strange compulsion to follow the rules, although we are not as close as we used to be;  now, we're just another pair of childhood-turned-Facebook friends.

There are decisions that we make in the course of our lives that, while meaningless at the time, come to define us. Unbeknownst to eleven-year-old Ashley, this was the day that I became the person that follows the rules--even when it might make more sense to break them.

For the record, my mom was appalled that I didn't take down the plastic, and told me not to take her rules so seriously. My teenage years? Yeah...those were on you, Mama. 
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

{and their hearts were held in fast suburban chains}

I used to think that blogging was integral to my life; that I would still be typing up posts and sharing gifs well into my nineties. I can't pinpoint when, exactly, so many people decided that blogging was a business. Gone are the days of Livejournal and Geocities pages where you chronicled your life, your passions, your frustrations. All of a sudden people were paying other people to display their blog button, companies were sending bloggers free junk to peddle, and the Internet got a whole lot meaner. Daily posts were not only expected, but had to be filled with custom-designed graphics or photographs that were edited. Blog branding was at the forefront of everyone's minds, and designers cashed in on the trend. 

I've paid designers to overhaul my blog, and I've spent hours scouring the Internet for the "right" combination of fonts when it still didn't feel like me. You need three, you know. There are rules. I've lost hours of time in Photoshop trying to figure out just the right nav bar layout, and image mapping my links. I've paid and been paid in the blog ad game. 

Guys, I'm exhausted. 

Even now, two months after my last post, I'm still left wondering why. Why does it matter, why do I care, why do I miss it? I don't have answers to any of those, but I do know that I miss writing. Whatever that means. I'm not having an identity crisis, or a quarter-life crisis so it feels a little melodramatic to say that there are things that you just need to write down, and not writing them down just isn't an option. 

Why do you blog? Is it for fame and fortune, to document your life or your child's life, or just because you have more to say than Twitter can handle? 

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Most Random Playlist You'll Ever See

Music has always played an integral role in my life, so it should be no surprise that I rely on it when I've had a hard day. It doesn't matter why my day has been bad, I always turn to the same songs to cheer me up. As you can see, there really is no rhyme or reason to the list--any playlist with both Drake and Supertramp is pretty random--but all of them will put a smile on my face. Especially Hall & Oates, because how can you not dance to You Make My Dreams Come True??

Happy Songs by Ley on Grooveshark

What songs cheer you up when you need it?


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

five ways to wear florals to work this spring

Floral 1Floral 2Floral 3Floral 4Floral 5

Set 1: Zara blazer, 100 CAD / Mango straight pants, 61 CAD / Luichiny yellow peep toe pumps, 86 CAD / Joanna maxham, 230 CAD

Set 2: Miss Selfridge peter pan collar shirt, 54 CAD / Floral skinny jeans, 41 CAD / Steve Madden pointy toe shoes, 100 CAD / Kate Spade handbag, 260 CAD

Set 3: SuperTrash dress , 195 CAD / Floral print shoes, 51 CAD / Olivia + Joy olivia joy handbag, 61 CAD

Set 4: Roseanna deep v back dress, 555 CAD / JustFabulous grey booties, 51 CAD / Marc Jacobs leather handbag, 1,110 CAD

Set 5: See through top, 46 CAD / Witchery slim fit jeans, 105 CAD / Qupid , 41 CAD / Kate Spade metallic sandals, 200 CAD


How will you be wearing florals this spring?

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Friday, March 29, 2013

"And Now We Must Turn It Into A Racing Car By...Bolting Lots of...Racing Car Bits To It."

Even though this day was a long time coming, I honestly felt like it would just never arrive. Ladies and gentlemen, I have bought a new (to me) car. 

Meet Pamela. She is a 2010 Ford Focus, with a manual transmission, and she rides like a dream.
 I don't have a marriage sack that fits her {yet}. 
The number one goal that I had for 2013 was to purchase a new car, and the fact that I can cross it off of my list in the first quarter of the year makes me incredibly proud. I could gush forever and ever about all of the reasons why I am so glad that I own (another) Focus, but I'll restrain myself from getting too mushy about my new baby. Can I just point out how nice it is to finally be driving a standard again? It feels like home. 

Have you crossed a goal off of your list yet this year?

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Oh, Hello YEG Fashion Scene. I'm Sorry For Ignoring You For So Long.

Photo Credit: Republic311 Photography
I am ashamed to admit that I have never really paid that much attention to the fashion scene in Edmonton. Considering I was once part of this scene...well...that intensifies the shame even more. I've always known that the artistic community in the city was large but it was never a focus for me. Even the years that I was a part of Western Canada Fashion Week, when I had the chance to wear the designs of so many talented people, I still found myself looking to Toronto, Paris, Milan and New York rather than in my own back yard.  

Luckily my eyes have been opened to just how incredible it all is here, so my shame is being replaced with admiration and awe instead. Here are my new favourite local finds:


{source}






{Clothing} Malorie Urbanovitch. I love the clean lines that she uses in her designs, and the fabrics that she uses are perfection. I'm a lover of the shift dress, and right now I'm coveting the one on the left from her SS13 collection. 







{source}




{Jewellery} So Pretty. Each item is handmade by Cara Cotter with gold, rose gold, sterling silver, and semi-precious stones.  I'm not a fan of chunky jewelery in general, but somehow she has created a stunning seven-page collection of pieces that should be chunky and clunky; instead, even the largest necklaces and bracelets still feel dainty and feminine. I would wear everything, but my favourite is the Aqua Chalcedony & Gold ring



{City Blog} City and Dale. Food, culture, fashion, and what's going in in YEG are the focus of this blog. My favourite feature is their Weekend Guide is avgreat resource for everything cool that is going on in the city.  Fun fact: while I was combing their archives, I stumbled upon their profile of So Pretty from October 2010 which led me to fall in love with her designs. 

{Style Blog} Adventures in Fashion. Vickie's blog is making me re-think my aversion to taking outfit posts in the winter, because her photos are beautiful! No doubt she was freezing her tush off the entire time, so extra props for her. I adore her style in general, but my favourite of her recent outfits are Stripes and Plaid and Lace (that COAT!). As if being incredibly fashionable isn't enough, she's also a talented DIY-er.  Commence girl crush.

Who are your favourite local (to you) bloggers? 


Friday, March 22, 2013

{do you like awesome stuff? ME TOO}



1 Branske Handbag by Aldo ($30) | 2 Radcliffea Sunglasses by Spring ($12) | 3 Cycle Legging by Joe Fresh Clothing ($29) | 4 New York City Ballet Workout ($13.50 Amazon | free YouTube) | 5 Ballet Body ($12.95 Total Fitness DVDs | free YouTube)


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." -John Bingham


I have tried using the Couch to 5k plan a couple of times before, and I always failed miserably, so you might be surprised to find out that just over two weeks ago a few of my friends and I signed up to run the Color Me Rad 5k in Edmonton in July {on my birthday!}. 

I have never run a 5k. I have never been able to run for longer than a few minutes without feeling as if my lungs were going to explode. Also? I have always hated running. Based on this information, it would seem that my decision was rash and not entirely well thought-out. That reaction is probably about 75% true, so I'm not offended if you thought it. 

I have a plan, however, and it mostly revolves around the concepts of "trying hard", "not giving up", and "publishing my progress so that the shame of telling the world that I failed propels me to succeed". I'm using MyFitnessPal to track my daily activity as well as what I am eating, and I'm planning on blogging about my progress too--sorry in advance if you do not find this remotely interesting!  

So far, I am running in 2 minute increments with only 1 minute of walking and I can get almost all of the way through the P90X YogaX workout. I started off my running a little bit too ambitious, so I had to take the weekend off to recover--conveniently, this is when I was introduced to MFP, so don't judge me if you look at my log and don't find any running on there--but my calves are back to normal and I'm planning on starting again tonight. 

So far, I feel like I am succeeding. July 6th is coming up awfully fast, though. 

Have you ever trained for a race? Do you have any tips for a newbie? 


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Saturday, March 9, 2013

ch..ch..ch..changes

Remember when I had a blog that I loved and updated regularly? 

Well, you might not. But I do. 

You know how sometimes you love something so much, so you dive in headfirst and you spend as much time as you possibly can trying to make it as awesome as possible? And after days/weeks/months/years of putting it before nearly everything, you remember that, you know, life outside of it is important too. So then you decide to make time for life, and make the blog less of a focus. And then you pretty much forget that you have a blog until you decide that you need to rant about your cat but it's way too late at night to text anyone and suddenly you're 'OH RIGHT. I KNOW WHERE I CAN RANT ABOUT MY CAT REGARDLESS OF THE TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT!'. So then you write up a post, get embarrassed that you typed a crazy cat lady post well after midnight, and choose to schedule the post instead? 

Yeah it's been like that around here lately. I just got to the point where I was blogging solely because I felt like my sponsors needed to get their money worth--well, and also to keep up with the Joneses, you know? Because everyone in blogland has sponsors, and participates in giveaways, and puts up photos of their super cute outfits (that pretty much never repeat, AS IF THAT IS ACTUALLY REAL LIFE), and they post their awesome recipes, and photos of their pyrex finds, and I was trying to keep up. I was failing miserably, I might add, because I hated every minute of trying to keep up. 

Dudes, I'm not cool. I'm not the person that sets trends or starts the new fad meme that spreads like wildfire throughout the blogging clique. 

Also: I hate blogging cliques. Seriously. 

I started seeing my blog colors and fonts everywhere, but other people were using them so much better than I was. There were bloggers that were producing painfully creative content every single day, including downloads and printables and recipe cards that were so cute. I started hating my blog, and hating my writing, and I even got to the point where I stopped pinning--because I felt like everyone was pinning better stuff than I was, for goodness sake. 

Although I love each and every person that I've met through blogging, I really don't care about the number of GFC followers I have. I don't check Bloglovin or Feedburner to see how many subscribers I have, or check how many likes I have on Facebook. Keeping up with all of the stats and graphs and pie charts was making me crazy, and more importantly it was making me feel inadequate. 

I took a step back, re-evaluated how I was judging myself and discovered why I was judging myself. 
I am not Martha Stewart. When you walk into my condo, you will see a few dirty dishes in the sink and a half-assed attempt at a few DIY crafts. You will not see scrapbooks (that I made, at least), you will not see closet organizers, and you certainly will not find bunting. I fucking hate bunting. 

I am not Shrimp Salad Circus, or The Boot, or IHeartOrganizing. I love all of the bloggers dearly, and I read their blogs daily, but right now I am not going to post perfectly photographed recipes, or create daily DIY tutorials, or even walk you through the renovations in my home. I tried all of the above, and failed horribly at it, because those aren't things that I really enjoy doing--or blogging about. 

For now on, I'm not going to have ads in my sidebar. I don't enjoy the pressure that they bring, nor do I enjoy having to say yes to one that might not normally simply because it sucks being the person turned down for an ad. I'm not going to be buying ad space on other blogs, for now, because then I'm not only pressured to blog frequently, but I also feel pressured to take part in the giveaways. Lets be honest--everyone is sick of the giveaways where people win ad space or a guest post somewhere. I don't have a shop of some sort, and I don't really feel like buying into a big prize just to gain followers, so it just doesn't make sense to me. 

This turned out to be far longer and rambly-er that was intended. Recap: I'm going to post what I want to post, instead of trying to keep up with you ridiculously stylish and creative people, and I'm not going to participate in sponsorships right now because of pressure and stuff. 


I love all of your faces. 

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Bah, Cats.


Growing up I had two cats. There was Jake, the refined rescue from the SPCA, that looked as if he was wearing a tuxedo and acted more like James Bond than a cat. He preferred the company of my mother, most likely because she was not going to dress him up in doll clothes and subject him to tea parties. Gizmoe, the short-haired Turkish Van that was larger than a full-grown male Basset hound, was my playmate. No matter how many diets we out him on, that cat was always the fattest cat you have ever seen. He was my companion, and hogged most of my twin bed every night while I slept. We also had a beautiful Sheltie named Halo, but she was resolutely my brother's dog. 

Gizmoe was a saint. He put up with all of my shenanigans, from playing beauty salon (the blue sidewalk chalk that I had used to color his fur nearly gave my mom a heart attack) to pretending he was my diaper-wearing baby, he would just calmly go along with nearly every scenario I threw at him. He never bit me, and rarely did he scratch me--and when he did, I knew that I had gone too far and deserved his anger. 

This wonderful childhood experience had led me to believe that I was a cat person. I was always very active in the care and training of our dog, and I have always absolutely adored dogs. Despite my love for dogs of all breeds and sizes, I was convinced that I was a cat person. So when I bought my condo, knowing full well that I was no longer living with anyone allergic to them, I got two kittens.  Very quickly I realized that there is a large difference between kittens and adult cats. Also very quickly I began to realize that, while cats entertain me to no end, I don't particularly like them. 

At first, I thought that it was because they were kittens. Then, as they started to grow, I blamed it on the, being orange cats and naturally crazy. Last fall I gave one of them to a friend of mine because the two of them were just too much. "One is easier", everyone was telling me. "With one, they calm down and are less trouble." 

Thanks for lying to me, jerks. 

One cat has not gotten easier. Cheaper, yes, because I happened to give away the one that ate 10lbs of food in a week, but in no way has it gotten easier. 

I still don't sleep, because she always wants attention. She destroys everything that she can get her paws on, and even the collars and room sprays that are supposed to help calm her don't work. She has toys galore, but she would much prefer pulling my books off of my shelves and breaking my snow globes to keep her entertained. 

I cannot comprehend how one cat can produce so much bodily waste, and I cannot keep up with the kitty litter--some days I have to clean it morning and night just to keep it from smelling up my condo. I have tried every kind of door neutralizer, cleaner, air freshener, and box deodorizer that I can get my hands on, and none of them have done even a satisfactory job. 

It turns out that I am also allergic to her, although I'm sure anyone would be stuffed up when a cat attempts to sleep on their face at night. Her saliva makes me itchy, I cannot handle the amount of cat hair that is EVERYWHERE (even with me vacuuming daily), and I can barely breathe when I'm at home. And I'm only mildly allergic to her--poor B can't spend more than a few minutes in my place before he has to leave--his throat will start bleeding if he is around cats too long--and I have to change my clothes as soon as I get to his house so that I don't spread the dander there too. 

I do love Gilford, don't get me wrong. She can be sweet as pie, and some days I really enjoy curling up on the couch with her and watching TV. The happiness that she brings to my daughter makes my heart swell...althought that could also be an allergic reaction to the dander. But those moments are not enough for me. 

It has taken two long, frustrating years, but I feel very confident in saying that I am not a cat person in the slightest. 

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Friday, February 8, 2013

the one where i use gifs to fill in this otherwise ridiculously short post

So...I haven't posted much this year. After a few days it just seems awkward to suddenly pop up again without somehow addressing the absence. Why haven't I posted? Well...uh. I was busy having a life. 



It's especially awkward since there are so many new faces around here, and I've been all horrible and not said hi yet. 



I wanted to make up for my rudeness in the only way that I know how.

 
You're welcome. 

I have about a million not quite finished drafts just waiting to be posted, so once my little girl is no longer sick I'll get some of them up. The one where I transcribe her feverish dream is worth the wait. 


What have I missed so far this year? 





Friday, February 1, 2013

currently + finds

original image via Glamorous on weheartit.com
reading...

// How to Wow by Francis Cole Jones 

writing...

// posts for the {not quite ready to launch yet} project with the lovely Stefani

listening...

// to Muse and lamenting that I will not be attending their concert this weekend

thinking...

// about all of the things that I have on my to do lists {personal and professional} and feeling a little nervous about how busy the next few months will be

wishing...

// that winter would end abruptly 

creating...

// {personal}: blogging schedules, new design ideas, a cohesive branding & marketing plan, post outlines, a gallery wall, personalized stationary

// {professional}: training plans, project outlines & proposals 

buying...

// a new blazer

// black heels {RIP incredibly comfy steve madden pumps. you will be missed!}

// a new font 

loving...

// TED-Ed. No description needed, just check them out!

wanting...

// a new vehicle with a remote starter. It is getting super irritating having to go outside in -40 weather to start my car!

needing...

// a massage

feeling...

// the winter blues

original image via moon on weheartit.com

// Bobbi always has amazing photos of her trips, but her latest batch from Rome take the cake!

// I've only ever had one Pinterest recipe work for me, and it was this one. Spaghetti squash has never tasted so good!

// I am lusting after Bridget's tights.

// Guys, the incredibly talented Joelle is writing a book and I couldn't be more excited!

// Everyone needs to see a beatboxing goat at least once in their lives. 

// The very first place that I visit on my Flipboard is Poppy Magazine. It is eclectic, yet everything just fits, and it doesn't feel super hipster which I appreciate. 

// One day I will have enough time to learn calligraphy, and when I do I'm going to sign up for Melissa's course.

What were your favourite finds on the Internet this week?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

sorry i'm not sorry

photo via Amna on weheartit.com | caption by me
...for leaving my makeup on the bathroom counter. 
...for only liking one brand of pen. 
...for not caring that my car is messy. 
...that I drink coffee with my milk.
...that I prioritize sleep over blogging when I get busy. 
...that I prioritize spending time with Little A over absolutely everything. 
...that I hate winter. Period. 
...that I take a {timed} Pinterest break when I feel overwhelmed at work, because it really is the best way to empty your mind of everything. 
...that I still laugh when someone makes a fart joke. 
...for being sensitive.
...for having high standards and expectations for myself--and the same standards and expectations for others. 
...for not being empathetic towards people who refuse to help themselves.
...for having specific drink orders for Starbucks and Second Cup because if I'm going to pay $6 for a coffee, it's going to be made my way
...that I'm entirely ok with a woman choosing plastic surgery to alter a portion of their body as long as it's not a substitute for self esteem. 
...for being traditional. 
...for being compassionate, and loving. 
...for being completely over the "BLOGGING IS A BUSINESS" thing, because too many people stopped being nice when money got involved. 
...for wanting a large family, a dog, and a proverbial white picket fence.
...for not being able to finish books, yet still buying more. 
...that I always use those "spend $50 and save $10" cards that my favourite stores give me because I am going to spend money there anyways, so why not save at the same time? 
...that I talk a lot. 
...that I have a loud voice. 
...that I speak my mind. 

What are you not sorry for? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

sometimes I stamp my feet in a jealous rage

Image via LucyArg on weheartit.com 

Travel envy is a total bummer to have. Out of all of the different online envies that you can develop, for me travel envy is the absolute worst. I don't get blog envy, and rarely do I experience fashion or design envy. But travel envy...she is a cruel mistress. I want to be excited for people when they get to go on weekend getaways to fantastic places, but mostly I just get grumpy. 

Canada is a difficult country to travel in. There are so many amazing places to visit, but it's just so expensive.    The country is absolutely massive, so to get anywhere outside of 'weekend road trip' range you have to fly, but Canada doesn't have any low-cost airlines. Heck even Peru has three separate low-cost carriers operating domestic flights, but Canada has yet to jump on that bandwagon. A return ticket from Edmonton to Vancouver (a little over an hours' flight time) is usually $500; yet you can fly the same distance from London to Amsterdam for £65 all in--roughly $100 Canadian. 

So when I read about people dashing off to Paris or Rome or Hobart or the Whitsundays for a relaxing weekend away--and on a very modest budget, no less--I get a little grumpy. And more than just a little envious. It's something that I'm working on because obviously it is entirely ridiculous for something so small to turn me into a scowling child, however it doesn't change the fact that I come down with a nasty case of travel envy.

This is incredibly inconvenient for me, because the majority of the blogs that I read are focused on travel. Perhaps I am just a glutton for punishment. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

in defense of the zooey's of the world

Images via Maya on Tumblr

I like glitter, bows, lace, ruffles, polka dots, pencil skirts, pearls, sock buns, high heels, and A-line dresses. Pride & Prejudice and The Princess Bride are my two favourite books. I regularly listen to Taylor Swift and She & Him. I adore Anne Hathaway, Zooey Deschanel, and Emma Watson. I read wedding blogs even though I'm nowhere near getting married, simply because I love the romance of them. I'm girly, is what I'm saying. 

Having a love of lace or believing in true love doesn't mean I'm not a feminist, the same way that being divorced doesn't mean that I'm a bitter spinster. So why is the world so hard on us for showing our girliness? Why is it OK for men to post on social media about how difficult it is to pass a level on whatever video game is currently hip, but it's mindless and ridiculous for a female to post about an irritating nail polish incident? 

Quite frankly, I'm a little tired of the anti-Zooeyish movement. My gold-striped phone case does not make me a vapid idiot, my A-line dresses don't make me a slave to trends, and the fact that I sometimes take pictures of my most current nail polish shade doesn't mean that I'm a Stepford Wife. 

The next time you decide to {publicly} judge someone for how they choose to express themselves, or for something that they post on their social media, remember that they're probably holding back their own judgement over the fact that you have four kids with four separate women. 

To each their own, right? 


Monday, January 14, 2013

and then there was the time that my coworker emailed me an awesome photo AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE MINE

I'm probably a little over-excited about this...But the Chive included one of my pictures in their weekly 'well-put' round up

They didn't link to the original photo, which grinds my gears a little. It's called linking with love, and this is just another reminder why we should do it. It sort of sucks being on the receiving end of it! 

Regardless, it was an exciting moment during my otherwise crazy busy day week. 


Have you ever been surprised to find something you created in
an unexpected place? 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Get a Grip



Hormones are the devil, am I right ladies? 

Here is a list of the things that have made me cry over the last week:

  • Spirit in the Sky
  • a Charmin commercial {the part where Papa Bear tells Baby Bear that she only needs two sheets gets me every time}.
  • Running out of hard boiled eggs.
  • My cat knocking the bookmark out of my book. 
  • Forgetting to bring a straw for my can of mango juice. 
  • B {in his sleep} rolling away from me. It woke me up, and for some reason I took it incredibly personally. 
  • Spelling an email address incorrectly and getting a 'delivery failed' receipt. 
  • Gewurztraminer {this one might have been my fault}
  • Not being able to find the match to a certain pair of socks
  • When my cat pulled my clean clothes out of my drawer, and turned them into a her nest at the foot of my bed. 
  • When I tripped over my cat when I got up to get a drink last night. 
  • When my cat left a hairball in my slipper, most likely as retaliation for me tripping over her. 
  • When my cat woke me up for the fifth time this morning, more than an hour before my alarm was set to go off. 
  • When I found out that Outlook didn't send my 165 scheduled emails, and instead trashed them. 
  • Chipping my nail polish within 12 hours of doing my nails.
  • The moment when I realized that while I really, really, really want a dog, my schedule just doesn't allow for one at this point in time. {Damn you, 137km commute. Bonus damn you to me for buying a condo downtown}
What outrageously normal events have made you cry?


Monday, January 7, 2013

How To Succeed Without Really Trying {or just making a plan and sticking to it}

I'm a person that enjoys the details, so SMART goals just might be one of my favourite things. I find that the more specific the goal, the easier it is to gauge whether or not you are actually on your way to achieving it. I also love that the foundation for how to go about achieving the goal is actually laid out in the goal itself. Pretty genius, right? The other thing that I've learned about setting goals is that they aren't fixed points, so you have to re-evaluate them from time-to-time to make sure that they still make sense in your life. 

Here are {some} of my SMART goals for 2013:  

  • In 2013 I'm going to replace my current vehicle with one that is more reliable. I'm going to find one that is efficient, practical, and one that makes financial sense for me. I'm going to do this by spending time researching, test-driving, and budgeting for the right car.
  • In 2013, I'm going to focus more of my attention on my friends and family. I'm going to make the conscious effort to spend quality time with them. There is a good chance that I'm going to do this by spending less time on my phone/iPad/the internet/watching TV.
  • In 2013, I'm going to set myself up for success financially. I'm going to do this by utilizing a practical budget, spending my money responsibly, and by saying no to impulse and/or stress shopping.
  • In 2013, I am going to save $5000. I'm going to do this by consciously saving money each pay period and putting a greater portion of any bonuses into my savings account.
  • In 2013, I'm going to develop five skills through a combination of reading, practicing, speaking, and/or taking classes {as applicable}.
    • I am going to become more proficient with Adobe Illustrator {so that I no longer feel the need to keep the bible right next to me while using it}
    • I am going to flex my French muscles {with the five-year goal of speaking only French at home
    • I am going to learn to paint my nails without getting polish all over my fingers. {who said that goals can't be whimsical and slightly vain?}
    • I am going to master making flaky, wonderful pie crust.
    • I am going to master five signature meals {so that I can make them with my eyes closed}. 


What goals have you set for yourself this year?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up: Blog Meme Style


reading...

// Networking is a Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney & Mike York {I actually started this in November but then got sidetracked by the holidays!}.

writing...

// posts for two different blogs, and a personal project.

listening...

// to Carrie Underwood on repeat, because I'M GOING TO HER CONCERT IN MAY AND I'M SO EXCITED THAT I BROKE MY CAPS BUTTON!!

thinking...

// about my upcoming trip to LA to visit my lovely AJ {dates TBA, naturally}.

wishing...

// that Netflix had HD shows and movies available in Canada.

hoping...

// that the rest of winter will be mild {or that it ends abruptly in February!}.

planning...

// an exciting new project with the wonderful Stefani of Miss Jo & Co that I can't wait to tell you guys about!

wearing...

// my comfy grey sweats and my Oilers hoodie {this is a wild guess--I'm actually writing this ahead of time, but that's my standard Sunday getup}. 

loving...

// my Kitchen Aid mixer. I was a little worried that it would just sit on my counter and taking up space, but it's  reignited my love for baking. Also? I love that all of the parts are dishwasher safe!

wanting...

// the ridiculously gorgeous house that B showed me on Thursday {no link just in case I randomly come into money in the next week and buy it for myself}. 

needing...

// a vacation. Cliched, yes, but it's been 8 years since my last actual vacation. I think it's time.

feeling...

// excited about what 2013 has in store for me!

clicking...
// 'Glibbing familiarity' is the main skill that I learned in university {this is how you know that I was in the faculty of Arts}.

// I probably share way more on social media, good and bad, than I should. But what I do put out there still barely scratches the surface of my life, because of boundaries and whatever. I love that IFB asked what their community members weren't putting out there, because most people don't.

// ...because clearly I love IFB articles, here's another awesome one about practical blogging resolutions.

// For all of my {bloggy and in real life} friends that are planning weddings: a fabulous post about what to do when someone steals your wedding ideas {thanks for sharing this on Friday, Joelle!}.

// I absolutely love how Erin crowd-sourced for her post on blogging advice, rather than just                                                                                          going off of her own opinion. {My favourite was to blog in your undies--Sarah, that is brilliant!}



What were your favourite 'clicks' this week?



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.


I'm not shy about admitting that I'm a bit of a stress-case, and I've written about it a couple of times now. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen quite a few of my stressed out tweets from 2012. 

Every time that I would come home and complain about what was stressing me out, The Boyfriend would just look and me and ask "...and why is this your problem?. It took a while (read: all year), but one day I realized what he had meant. I was spending too much time and energy stressing out over things that were not only beyond my control but also didn't even affect me that much. So I decided to selectively give fucks only when I needed to. The rest of it? I just stopped letting it bug me. 

Let me tell you, I feel wonderful! No longer do I sit at home and stew over whether or not So-And-So was going to do what they said they'd do. Instead, when I leave work I stop worrying about work. And when I'm at work, I just don't let the little things get to me. 

Since this revelation came to me so late in 2012, I'm making "give less fucks" a resolution this year. Or, sorry. I'm going to "focus on what is important and forget about the rest", but just know that this is code for "only giving fucks when necessary". 

What bad habits are you trying to break this year?


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