Friday, 31 May 2013

Happy Friday

This week some things that are making me happy...

+ We went on a nice little gelato double date to celebrate buying our first home (as pictured above)
+ I'm proud to say that I finally got my HR designation. I'm officially a Certified HR Professional. I know this will really only mean something to my friends in the field...but it was hard work!
+ Also, things at work are starting to feel a lot more normal and I'm enjoying the new role.
+ There's a family of bunnies living in our yard and this morning I saw a baby cuddled in the garden snacking on a leaf. I almost died.
+ Tomorrow we're going to see one of my oldest friends and this lovely girl tie the knot. Very exciting!
+ I've been rocking out to this song and I think you should, too.

Have yourself a fantastic little weekend!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Jump On It

This video seems to be everywhere and I'm so glad. From a young age I have been a fan of The Fresh Prince. I even had the CD Big Willie Style and would rap along to all the songs. Maybe that's where I got my penchant for rapping...

Even more importantly, I love the song Jump On It. When I was in university, my sorority house had a great big front porch as soon as the weather got nice, we would spend a lot of time out there, often dancing. One of two signature dances was the 'jump on it dance' we are, circa 2007 doing just that (mental note - it's not the most attractive dance).

I never was able to master the Carlton dance though...

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wedding Season

Ahh, wedding season is upon us. If you’re like me, you are constantly hearing about new engagements and upcoming weddings. This is where I'm ‘at’ as far as the life cycle goes. With that in mind, with the celebrations can come some stress. So here are some considerations in order to prepare you for the season.

* Pre-wedding events – will you be invited to the shower? Bachelor/bachelorette party? When are these dates?
* Wedding Party – if you’re invited to be an even bigger part of the couple’s big day, make sure you have a clear understanding of their expectations (time commitments, attire, etc)
* Budget – we all know the approximate cost of a wedding gift, but there are other considerations…a hotel stay? Travel to/from the event? Keep these in mind as you plan out your budget.
* Attire – what is the style of the wedding? Will you need to get something new to wear? What about your significant other? Don’t wait until the day of to realize your dress/suit really needs dry cleaning.
* Child/Pet Care – are kids invited to the wedding? If not (no judgment, we had a ‘no kids’ rule at ours), who will be taking care of them? 

For the most part, you will know the date of a wedding well in advance of actually receiving the invitation. That’s your chance to plan ahead. Then you’ll be like me, cool as a cucumber as I prepare to celebrate two wonderful marriages, two weeks in a row, one of which I am a bridesmaid for.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

On Last Night's Episode of The Bachelorette

I don't plan on doing an episode recap each week, however, after watching the season premier of The Bachelorette last night, I couldn't help but write about it.

My girlfriends and I have deemed this the most dramatic tearful season yet. And I'm not just talking about Desiree.

If those are the most eligible bachelors in American, single American women everywhere should be truly concerned. If I were Des, I would have been demanding a do-over of the first day. What about the guy who relentlessly tried to take her to his DIY fantasy suite? Creepy loser, or guy who just won a bet with his friends about how fast he could get kicked off the show?

To sum it up, there was...

  • the guy who refused to wear a shirt
  • the guy who showed up in a suit of armor
  • the guy who brought his kid for the cute-factor
  • the dental student, who wore his white coat and pretended he was a doctor
  • the magician (I was actually entertained by his tricks)
  • the guy who designed his own, god-awful suit
  • the guy who claims he 'invented' holding signs on the sidewalk as advertsing
  • the ER doctor with the shifty eyes
  • several guys that made me uncomfortable
  • and Juan Pablo, who will affectionately  be known as JP because, let's be honest, Juan Pablo is a bit of a mouthful

Obviously, I will continue to watch. I just get judgier (that's a word) as the seasons go along. Good luck Desiree, looks like you'll need it!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Lately on Instagram

A lovely gift, green tea, nude pumps, bright pink lipstick, date night, wild flowers, Froot Loops (guilty pleasure), an eerily long hallway while travelling for work, pretty tea cups.

Smiling pups, a bride-to-be, sunrise, cheering on the Leafs, Buddha beer, champagne toasts, new jewels, black and white night, throwback summer tunes.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday to one and all!

While I haven't had a chance to photo-document all the things that put a smile on my face, I can certainly remember what they are:
+ A catch-up Skype with the in-laws (they took their ipad on holiday so we could call them)
+ My parents have baby raccoons living in a tree stump on their property and they're soooo cute
+ Not to brag, but I have two offices now and I'm excited to decorate them
+ Nick and I had a champagne and popcorn date this week to celebrate our big move
+ I got to visit with a group of my sorority sisters, including a special addition all the way from Trinidad
+ It's the weekend and I'm looking forward to all it has in store!

Have a lovely little weekend, and for my American friends, enjoy your long weekend!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Grace: A Memoir

I don't typically read biographical novels, but when I saw Grace, I was intrigued. Grace Coddington is famous in the fashion industry. She started her career as a model, and transitioned to a role at Vogue, where she is now the Creative Director. She even starred in the documentary film The September Issue (a behind-the-scenes look into Vogue).

Her memoir takes you through her childhood, growing up in Anglesey, Wales (which I found pretty cool because I've been there) to her modelling career, to working for British and eventually, American Vogue.

This novel is the right balance of stories from her life and insider fashion tales, which, to me, is a perfect mix.

I would absolutely encourage you to read this one. It was well worth the overdue fee I have to pay to the library for keeping it an additional week. Hey - I had waited months for that book to come my way and I wasn't giving it back until I was finished!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

There's a First Time for Everything

Nick and I have been meaning to go out for Pho for the longest time. Finally, last Friday we got to it. We found a little Vietnamese restaurant in our neighbourhood and went for dinner.

We started off with tea and an order of shrimp spring rolls.

We looked over the Pho menu. There were over 25 kinds! What to order? I went for the first one on the list - the house special. Nick went for a rare beef variety.

So those of you who regularly eat Pho will know that it comes in a variety of sizes. We were looking over the list (small, medium, large, extra large) and settled on medium. We said we could always get something else to eat if we were still hungry. Bah, rookies. The medium bowl of soup was massive, which left me wondering who could possibly eat the extra large!

The soup was delicious. The broth was super aromatic and reminded me a bit of Tourtiere. I piled in the fresh bean sprouts and dug in.

While I was eating, I noticed there was something in my soup that was disguised among the rice noodles. I pulled it out, but wasn't completely sure what it was. I took a bite, wasn't crazy about the texture, and put it off to the side. Later, after thinking about it further, I realized was it was. Tripe. I had TRIPE in my bowl and I ate it. Nick tried a bite too, you know, so I wouldn't feel so bad. The look on his face said it all. Tripe is not something I'd eat again.

So your daily lessons on ordering Pho: ask about the sizes; they are much bigger than you'd think, don't drink four or five cups of tea while waiting for your soup (it's just too much liquid) and avoid the house special, they like to sneak things in that you're not expecting.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dream Big Dress Boutique

Over the past week I volunteered at the Dream Big Dress Boutique in my city. I wasn't going to post about it, but I had such a good time that I thought I should share.

I knew things like this existed, and having so many formal dresses just sitting in my closet, I thought they could be put to better use. I took my dresses to the drop-off location, and that's when I found out that I could actually volunteer.

The organization set up a store in the mall, which was a fantastic move on their part. I'm sure it enhanced the experience of getting a dress/suit for the girls and boys involved.

Here's what the store looked like. The organizers took the time to make it look fantastic.

The job of the volunteers was to help these students get all dressed up for their graduations or proms. Being the kind of person who loves to choose outfits, this was right up my alley.

The best part? Watching these students come out with huge smiles on their faces, twirling around, and telling me how excited they feel about their new dress/suit. For many, this was the first time they were getting dressed up.

I'm pumped to take part in this next year!

Ps. If you have formal dresses that are in good shape, donate them. We all know you only wear them once or twice before they get retired. Plus, it's better to donate them now, while they are still in style, so the poor students don't have to choose through dresses like this:

Thursday, 16 May 2013

On Angie's Decision

It's been all over the news over the past few days. Angelia Jolie had a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer, because she was a carrier of the BRCA1  gene.

As soon as this story hit the news, it hit me in the pit of my stomach. Years ago, my parents approached me about getting tested to see if I carry that exact gene. My mom had breast cancer in her 40's.

The feeling that came over me when it was suggested was that it was going to be some kind of death sentence. Which is clearly not the case, but it was how I felt. I turned to one of my closest friends, who is also my go-to for all things oncology, for advice. She explained to me what it meant, and what some of the options were. That same day, I sat down with my mom and we talked about what I would do if I found out that I did carry that gene. I would take my health seriously, I would take care of my body, and I would be aggressive with screenings. So at that point, I decided not to get tested, but also to assume that I probably did carry it.

It's not constantly on my mind, but I have resigned myself to thinking that at some point, I will have to face off with this life-threatening disease. I know it's not the power of positive thinking, but I don't want to be surprised if/when the day comes that I am faced with it.

So back to Angie. I can completely understand why she did it, and I think it's very brave. At the same time, she has the resources to get the best treartment and even have reconstructive surgery. To me, much braver is the woman who chose to have the mastectomy and not have her breasts reconstructed. Will I do it one day? Quite possibly. Do I think this is something all women carrying the gene should sign up for? Not necessarily. It is a good option but just because a celebrity jumps off a bridge doesn't mean that you should.


The scene: looking at condos online.

Nick: this one looks great! I wonder what floor it's on.

Me: hmm it's hard to tell. From this picture (points to one photo) it looks like it's up high. From this picture, the window looks out over the street.

N: This window?

M: Ya.

N: This (pointing) is not a window.

M: is that a picture?

N: YES! of somewhere in Europe.

M: Damn it!

Ps. This was the picture.


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Highs and Lows of House Hunting

We have been house hunting. Ever since our deal fell through on the fixer-upper we were going to buy, we've had the house bug. It is very exciting. But it is also incredibly frustrating and disappointing.

  • Finding a place that you think you may like
  • Seeing a place that you do truly like
  • Realizing said place is within your budget
  • Having a home inspection show you things about a house that stops you from wanting it
  • Getting beaten to the finish line by someone else
  • Starting over again
We have done a full 180 in terms of what we want (from an older home with tons of character but lots to fix to a newer place that requires little to no work)

It didn't make it an easier since we have already given our notice. But the good news is...we found a place! It's a main floor condo (dog friendly) in the same city with live in now (bonus!) and we can move in before the end of June. The stars have aligned.

Photos to come :)

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Cottage Love

As we approach the summer, I look forward to trips up north to visit friends at their cottages. Nick and I hope that one day we'll be able to buy a cottage of our own.

I have a Pinterest board dedicated to cottage ideas. So to get me (and you) in the cottaging spirit, here are some of my favourite inspirations.

source unknown

Isn't this wallpaper the coolest?

Until we buy our own cottage, we can count on our very hospitable friends to invite us up to theirs!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Buddha Bottles

Who doesn't love a Buddha? The smiling guy with his round belly brings good vibes wherever he goes.

So when my friends showed up at our place with Buddha beers for the hockey game, they offered to save me two so that I could make something with them. They also kept the rest to make their own candle holders.

This is probably one of the simplest DIY's ever.

Step one: Wash the bottles
Step two: Remove labels (this required a little soak in warm water)
Step three: Insert candles (I used candles that had been burned down quite a bit. It looks better.)

Et Voila!

Ambiance and good vibes. Now that's a winning combination.

Ps. Although I didn't taste it, the boys said the beer itself is also really good, so it's worth a try!

Friday, 10 May 2013

Happy Friday

Oh a happy Friday indeed.

Although there have been many things that made me happy this week, I haven't been compiling a mental list. I've just been so focused on other things (work, house hunting, etc) that I've been distracted from the happy list.

What's making me the happiest today is that I'm so close to the weekend. I'm really looking forward to some downtime. A chance to breathe.

So I hope you all have a fantastic weekend (and a lovely Mother's Day - this Sunday, in case you forgot!) and I'll be back next week refreshed and renewed. I hope.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Lip Sync

I have to admit, I'm a big fan of lip-syncing. I've been known to lip sync...erm, rap...or sing along to a song or two. Namely after a few cocktails. Let's just say that several of my friends have evidence that could be used for blackmail. I really hope they don't.

So after I found this video, I could help but share. It's right up my alley. Especially the rapping. I'm an embarrassment to myself, I know.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013


While driving, and listening to the radio, an ad for the Dean Blundell show is playing, which includes a monkey-like sound.

Nick: Ahh I love the sound of a Subaru

Me: {pauses to think}Subarus make monkey sounds??

N: {Just looks at me}

M: Wait. Did one just drive by?

N: {Nods}

M: Had nothing to do with the monkey sound...

N: {Smiling} Nothing.

M: Damn it.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


In my 9-5, I'm constantly preaching about dealing with change. Accepting it. Rolling with it. Embracing it. Etc, etc. On the other hand, in my personal life, I could probably stand to practice what I preach.

Why is it so easy to help others accept change when it totally terrifies me?
You're looking at the girl who cries every time she moves house (which, for those who know me, is a lot).

Is the whole point of change to create some level of discomfort? If so, consider me uncomfortable. I'm up against some big changes, all good things, but different nonetheless. Wish me luck!

Ps. I promise I'll explain another day.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Better Late Than Never

There was nothing better than coming home from a trip to the Prairies to find that spring has sprung in Ontario. What a drastic change. From brown fields to bright blue skies, budding trees and green grass, the weather has totally energized me.

Have a great start to the week!
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