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:


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{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. 







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{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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