Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Losing Your Niche

When I first started blogging I immediately found myself surrounded by dozens of bloggers who were in the same stage of life. They had just finished university/college and were entering the grown up world or they were a year or two into their first grown up job and a few were still in school figuring out what it was they were going to do when they graduated.

Fast forward four years later and all those bloggers have either stopped blogging or have started blogging in a different niche. They've become wedding bloggers, mommy bloggers, fitness bloggers, blogger bloggers and while I still enjoy reading some of those blogs it's become more about the blogger than their content. 

All that to say that lately blogland has been a lonely place. And I'm not really sure what comes next. 
I don't particularly feel like abandoning the blog and I have no plans to start blogging about blogging, fitness, parenting or marriage. 

It's about this time of year when my blogging gets put way, way, way back on my priority list because there's so much to do surrounding camp and then of course once I get to camp the internet is pretty spotty. 

I'm not too sure what the point of this post is but I felt like I needed to write something and share a little bit about where my head is right now. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

"I Should Blog"

This meme best sums up how I've been feeling about life for the past couple of weeks. Except that I'm not even sure all the animals in my pond are ducks. And it's possible there's a pond down the road with a lone duck that belongs to me that I've totally forgotten.

Typically this time of year I am a colour-coordinated, list maker, organizational machine. May is when my Type A personality shines through and I feel well prepared and ready to go, which leaves me with a few days to relax and start the camp season in a good frame of mind. 

This year, not so much. I can't even find some of my lists. 

So I haven't abandoned the blog, I just can't remember what it is I'm supposed to be blogging about (there's a list somewhere).

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Adventures in the Big City

Last Wednesday I finished work at the office job, headed home for a quick nap and then hopped on a plane to Ontario to visit H.. When we first started planning this trip we were hoping for a week long adventure but in the end our schedules only allowed for a quick Thursday - Monday visit. We crammed all the tourist highlights, lots of good food, hours of life chats, multiple glasses of wine and sangria and it was the perfect little getaway to transition from office life into part-time vacation mode before camp. 

I landed in Toronto at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning and after a quick pitstop at H.'s to change out of airplane clothes we headed for Niagra Falls. We didn't stay long because the weather was cold, rainy and foggy. We hung out long enough to be impressed by both the falls and the amount of selfie sticks. So.many.selfiesticks. 

We called it a night early on Thursday because Friday we had big plans to hit up the Toronto Zoo and visit the twin panda cubs that were born a few months ago! It ended up being an awesome day at the zoo because it wasn't at all crowded and even though it was a little chilly it was perfect weather for walking and getting to enjoy everything opposed to thinking about how uncomfortably warm it was. In addition to the baby pandas we saw their parents and I think I could have spent all day just at the panda exhibit. I wish I looked that cute laying around all day eating. I could also spend all day watching meerkats, back in university I binge watched Meerkat Manor and ever since then I have been fascinated with those little critters. We also got to see the gorillas, which I've recently become more interested in after watching a lot of documentaries about the gorilla conservation efforts. 

Saturday we were up bright and early to spend the whole day in Toronto. We purchased City Passes, which gave us admission to almost all of the main tourist attractions in the area, we saved a lot of money and at a few places we got to skip the lines because we had already purchased our tickets! We headed to the Royal Ontario Museum and prioritized what we wanted to see, we easily could have spent the whole day there but we were kind of on a tight schedule. We checked out the dinosaurs, the Canadian history section, Chinese Architecture, Ancient Egypt, quick tours of the mammal displays and a few smaller exhibits. It was the first time I had seen dinosaur displays in person so that was really cool and the history geek in me was overly excited about all of the Canadian History stuff. 

From the ROM we headed back through the city with a pitstop for Poutine and another in front of the Toronto sign so we could take a selfie for National Wear Your Camp T-Shirt Day. Did I mention we spent the entire day roaming the streets of Toronto and all of the attractions wearing matching shirts so we could have photo ops? Because we totally did. And that's why we're besties. 

We went to the top of the CN Tower where I confirmed my theory that I did not want to ever live in a big city and then headed next door to the aquarium. The aquarium was a little bit of a hilarious experience for this east coast girl who grew up on the ocean. When we first walked in there was a big crowd around one particular tank so I got really excited thinking it was something really exotic....turns out it was a tank of halibut. I laughed a lot and then took a discrete photo of the hoard of people admiring fish that I have seen my entire life. It's the little things in life you never really think about being different from place to place. There were lots of other cool marine life, we were able to spot a turtle in the biggest display of fish, and turtles are always a highlight. They had several tanks full of jellyfish that were completely hypnotic. I kind of felt like sitting right there and spending hours watching them float around. 

By the time we got back to the apartment each day were were more or less exhausted and didn't have any interest in changing clothes and heading back out to supper. Which was just fine but us and it meant we got to spend time cooking and eat supper with H.'s boyfriend while telling him all about our days adventures. He only judged us a little bit for our matching outfits. We did eat out a few times  including amazing sweet potato pizza that sounds weird but was delicious. 

It was hard to say goodbye Monday evening, but hopefully it won't be too much longer until we see each other again.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Quick Goals Update

You can read about my April Goals back here.

In terms of monthly goals that I accomplished in April...I definitely get full marks for the writing goal I didn't specifically keep track of hours but I had quite a few strings of 7-10 days without missing a day so I'm confident in total it was at least 30 hours, in all reality it could have been more. I'm still working on reading a book, turns out I chose a poorly written book to read and it's taking me three times as long to read it as it would if I was genuinely interested in the plot. I was pretty active on my FitBit, maybe not as active as I would have liked but I hit 10,000 steps at least one day a week and had a few days that were in the 15,000 range. 

May goals are always something I struggle with because it's the time of year when I head off to camp and it's nearly impossible to predict how the summer will play out and what I'll have time to do or want to make time to do. For now I'm going to hold off on the May goals and wait a few weeks to set summer goals that will span the whole season. 

As for my 52 in 52 list, I accomplished quite a bit with that this month!

I am a few hours away from finishing January, February and March of my Project Life album which will essentially bring me up to date since I'm working on it monthly. I am inching closer and closer to filling one of my 3 notebooks for the year. This month I both made eggplant parmesan and tried it for the first time. I need to add everything up but I know I'm close to approaching 10 out of 12 new foods to try, my new recipes are a lagging behind and standing around 6 out of 12 and after last week's trip to visit Holly I am pretty sure I have visited a full 12 out of 12 new restaurants. 

After that trip I can also check off visiting a bunch of museums and of course another province (more on the whole trip tomorrow). 

2016 has been a terrible year for accomplishing monthly goals but I am loving my 52 in 52 approach. It really has helped motivate me to try new things and as the year goes by I'm finding it getting easier and easier to stay motivated because I want to accomplish everything on the list.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

April Currently

In some ways I feel like I blinked and April went by and in other ways I can't believe it's still April. I wasn't going to blog today, even though I have a growing list of things I want to write about I haven't been able to sit down and dedicate time to making that happen. Then I realized that I don't want to break my streak of monthly currently posts! The shoe photos are making for a top notch first page in my Project Life album and I know I will appreciate have this little snapshot into life. So without further ado, here's what's been going on this month. 

Reading... I'm about to start Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. And officially end months of failing to read anything except Buzzfeed articles. 
Playing... I didn't do much playing this month. Now that it's nicer outside I've spent some time playing with my camera, which always makes me happy. 
Watching... Big Brother Canada, I've skipped a couple of episodes because I can't handle grown ups throwing tantrums. I've also been keeping up to date with Criminal Minds and watching Project Life process videos on YouTube.
Trying... I spent a large part of this month trying to be optimistic now I'm trying not to worry. 
Cooking... I didn't cook anything exciting this month. I had a couple Pinterest disappointments but other than that I've been making a lot of easy chicken & veggie type meals. 
Eating... I ate a lot of pitas again this month and I don't regret a single one!
Drinking... Iced Coffee season is upon us! 
Calling... Lots of phone calls trying to figure out and fix mistakes with paycheques. It's the most fun. (NOT)
Texting... Mostly H. & R. this month and J. 
Pinning... I was chosen to be a Guider for a provincial camp later in the summer so I've been pinning some theme ideas and badge work related to that. 
Tweeting... Whatever Bloglovin' sends out automatically.
Going... To visit H.! 
Loving... Sunshine, trip planning and mountains. I've developed a slight obsession with mountains this month. 
Hating... Hate feels like a strong word, but I'm pretty bummed that the cycle of contract positions will be continuing for awhile long. 
Discovering... I'm not sure that I've discovered anything life altering this month. April was a weird month. 
Thinking... Currently thinking I need to change the channel because Rachael Ray is hurting my brain. And also that I do not understand this face swapping business. 
Feeling... So excited to see H.! This time tomorrow we will be reunited and going on adventures. 
Hoping (for)... I'm not really sure. There's nothing particularly big on the horizon. 
Listening (to)... Still listening to Bringing Up BettyStuff You Missed in History Class and Camp Code podcasts. I've also been playing Soul on Fire by Third Day and Greater by Mercy Me on repeat. 
Celebrating... Spring. I am really freaking excited that spring is (more or less) here and summer is just around the corner. I'm a happier person when there isn't snow on the ground.
Smelling... Right now I'm smelling bacon, on a more regular basis I'm smelling fresh air!
Ordering... I scored a great discount for a Studio Calico documenter kit so I went ahead and ordered that and am waiting for it to arrive!
Thankful for... Besties, Skype, Group Messages, Food, Family, Sleep. 
Considering... September plans, although I'm trying not to because it's months away and worrying about it doesn't do a darn thing. 
Starting... To jump into camp planning. 
Finishing... Office Job! Today is my last day and I'm pretty excited. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Highlight Reel

At the beginning of this week it felt like things were happening. And then things went back to moving a turtle's pace so the week is ending in an uneventful way. As per usual when there's lots happening in life the blog tends to get a little neglected, so the most logical thing to do is write a quick post on Friday hitting the highlights of the week and making note of the fact I am very excited it's the weekend!

On Monday I had a pre-screening for a full-time job I applied for but I haven't heard anything back. As a result everything is a state of suspended animation and I can't really make any concrete plans until that comes to a conclusion. Ideally, a positive conclusion. Positive thoughts and good vibes very much appreciated! 

Tuesday marked the start of the #The100DayProject. Initially I was going to do something photography related but at the end of the day I'm focusing on doing a 100 days of pages in my sketchbook. My sketchbook functions as part art journal, part prayer journal, part notebook. I usually use it once a week but over the next 100 days I'm going to make it a daily practice. So far I'm 3 for 3. 100 seems like a long way away but I'm sure I can make it happen. 

Wednesday I headed to town to cross a bunch of stuff off my to do list. I had to pay my car insurance, make a stop at the bank and pick up a few groceries. I also ended up taking photos for a day in the life post that will be appearing next week! 

Thursday I was up bright and early for a camp related coffee meeting. This is entirely the camp nerd in me, but staff training makes me happy. I've kind of got a thing for new beginnings and I love watching a bunch of people come together and figure out how to be a group. Honestly, I think part of the reason I enjoy watching Big Brother so much is the whole situation reminds me of camp. A bunch of (mostly) 20-somethings thrown together in one spot, living together and highly encouraged to get along. The main difference is that we don't vote people out once a week. 

Today I am so happy it's Friday. It's been a long week at work and I'm so ready for the weekend. Next week I only have three days of work and then I'm going on a quick trip to visit H. It's also warming up around here which is a guaranteed way to make life seem a little brighter!

Linking up here.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Food & Photography on Friday

This week started off strong, took a little dip and then kind of evened out. I say kind of because I felt like this week had a lot of question marks that are still question marks. I'm sort of disappointed but also don't have any super definitive answers so I'm not really sure what to think or how to feel. More on that next week, right now I'm blogging about five things that are mildly noteworthy about this week. Most of which are related to food and yet there are no photos of food. 


Elle Luna's #The100DayProject starts next week and I'm still not sure what I want to take on for the next 100 days. I already know that during those 100 days I will be going on a trip and relocating to camp so doing anything that is going to involve a lot of art supplies is not the best choice for success. Photography is definitely the route I will be taking but I need to decide on something to photograph. I've tossed around the idea of photographing all the numbers from 1-100, or a specific shape, or multiple run throughs of the alphabet. I want it to be something that requires some creative thinking but isn't too time consuming. 

I had a major Pinterest recipe disappointment this week. I tried to make "Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Garlic Bread" and you know what I made? Soggy bread. It looked fine but the bread only got kind of crusty on the bottom and none of the cheese really melted to make a gooey, cheese thing happen when you pulled the pieces apart. It wasn't terrible, I ate it, but I should have just heated up the baguette and dipped it in the dip as you normally would. 

I have been eating pitas for lunch everyday this week. Chicken Caesar pitas with romaine, chicken, croutons. Greek inspired pitas with chicken, feta, cucumber, red onion & tzatziki. Chipotle chicken pita with chipotle mayo, chicken, cucumber, red onion and cajun chicken and cheddar cheese. I'm not exactly sure how this trend started but I'm pretty satisfied with the whole thing. 

Next week is my last full week of work at the office job. My contract ends on Wednesday of the following week and I am kind of ready to get back to a regular schedule. Albeit briefly, since camp season is approaching and camp season does not lead to any sort of regular schedule. 

It's been rainy all week and sort of damp and chilly out but all I want to do is drink iced coffee. So tasty and delicious but also impractical based on the weather outside. 

linking up here & here