Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rest & Remembrance

Lately, life has been pretty good. Work is going well. I've been doing some serious de-cluttering and redecorating in my bedroom. Christmas shopping hasn't quite started yet, but I've been brainstorming some gift ideas. Even though life has been good to me lately I've started to feel very busy and in need of a serious day of rest. Thankfully that is exactly what today had in store.

It's Remembrance Day here in Canada so I started the day off at church to honour our veterans and show my thanks for the thousands of people who are still sacrificing things in their own lives so that the rest of us are free to make choices and experience life. 

After church I spent the afternoon visiting and drinking tea. And while the rest of the family had fishcakes for supper I enjoyed chicken strips & french fries. I tackled one more decluttering project and added some books that I don't consider to be favourites and didn't hold any sentimental value to the 'Donate' pile then declared the rest of the evening was for relaxing. 

I took a long, hot shower got into my pyjamas and am happily sipping on hot chocolate while I catch up on blog reading and Criminal Minds. And I already feel better. 

I hate getting so far behind with blogging but I'm still working on cementing a daily routine. I also haven't invested in a new laptop yet so I'm relying on my much less portable desktop for most of my computer use. I know I'm going to buy another Mac but I've had a hard time decided how much internal storage I need. I think I've finally determined that the best option (and the smartest) is to buy the standard MacBook Pro along with an external hard drive to store all of my photos.

Now that I've updated you all on the not so fascinating aspects of my life I'm off to put pen to paper for some old fashion journaling time before snuggling under the covers for what will hopefully be a good nights sleep.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Week That Was

I'm not sure if it was the time change or the weather transitioning from "crisp fall days" to "winter blah days" but this week was LONG. There were some bright spots among the daily routine (most of which  are related to yesterday's trip to Target).

{One}
Via Target

I bought this sweater yesterday at Target and I can't wait to wear it to work with leggings & boots. Our office is generally about a million degrees though, so I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to wear the sweater without sub coming to heat stroke but I will make it happen. 

{Two}
Via

I am late to party on this one but I was pretty loyal to Soft Lips lip balm so I never did get around to trying EOS. It happened to be on sale yesterday at Target and I've only used it a handful of times but I am hooked. I bought the Honeydew and it so wonderful. My lips have been brutally dry lately, I am constantly applying lip balm and using pure vaseline on them at night hopefully this will be the solution I've been looking for.

{Three}

I cannot stop singing this song! In the car, getting ready for work, at work. I think it's the shout out to Train/Drops of Jupiter that really seals the deal for me. I have a deep love for songs that mention other songs. Plus it's catchy and happy.

{Four}
I've been reading The Kitchen House and at first I couldn't turn the pages fast enough and was totally enthralled with the characters and their story. I'm almost at the end now though and I've gotten a little less interested in the whole thing. I'm a few chapters away from the end and I'm sad that I don't love the characters the same way I loved them in the beginning. I'm leaning towards the thought it would have been a better story if the author had of turned the story into a series and not rushed through seasons and jumped ahead five years all over the place. 

{Five} 
My last though is entirely devoted to how excited I am for bedtime to crawl around. 


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

I Get That A Lot

"You're very quiet."
"You don't say much."
"Hardly a peep out of you."
"You're pretty quiet."
"Are you always this quiet?"
"I bet you're not this shy/quiet at home!"

Once upon a time if you would have asked me what character trait I liked least about myself I wouldn't have hesitated even a second before answering that I wish I was more outgoing. I would have loved to be that person who thrived on everyone paying attention to them, who flawlessly filled awkward silences with small talk and ensure everyone around them is comfortable and at ease. 

But that isn't me. 

Pinterest

Over the past few months instead of awkwardly and frantically searching for a response to the above comments I've started to respond "I get that a lot." or "Yes, I am.". Because I've come to realize and accept that being quiet isn't a bad thing. I know some people consider "quiet" to be a negative adjective, and up until very recently that mentality was fully engrained in me as well. I'm not sure when the light bulb moment went off and I realized that "quiet" isn't bad. It is perfectly okay not to be the loudest person in the room. 

As it turns out I like not being the loudest person in the room. Sure I can carry on a conversation and enjoy talking to people but I don't need everyone to know who I am. It's a huge relief not to be constantly pressuring myself to "not be the quiet one" and trying to be someone I'm not. 

The lesson in all this is short and simple - embrace your 'flaws' and don't try to mould yourself into something you aren't.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Week Ahead

I had a pretty great week last week. Which is probably why I didn't blog much. Does anyone else experience the bizarre effect that more happiness = less blogging?

My favourite part of new Taylor Swift albums is choosing a favourite song and listening to that song on repeat. This time around it's Wildest Dreams. T-Swift understands. When I haven't been listening to 1989 I've been singing along to Leave The Night On by Sam Hunt.

More often than not things in my life happen very fast and all at once. So when things don't happen that way, when they unfold slowly it is a pleasant change of pace. And since there are so many seconds to enjoy I'm enjoying everyone of them. That's a pretty cryptic statement but y'all are just going to have to deal with it.



This week is shaping up to pretty fabulous as well. Even if I spent all day Sunday being extremely unproductive rather than my usual Sunday routine of choosing outfits for the week and doing meal prep. The time change had me all sorts of messed up and I found myself showered, PJs on and ready for bed at 8:15. It worked out well though, it was nice to end the weekend and start the week reading a good book. 

I'm not mentally prepared for fewer hours of daylight or snow so I'm trying to focus my attention on enjoying this season opposed to forcing myself to panic over winter driving, cold and never ending snow. I was excited for sweaters, scarfs and boots but it turns out my office is part sauna. I wore my favourite sweater to work one day last week and endured 8 hours of unbearable heat. Of course when I left work it was near freezing and I drove the whole way home with my heated seats on full blast. 

On that note I need to go piece together an outfit that will keep me warm outside and cool inside and maybe justify a second cup of coffee.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

November Goals

I'm not sure how I managed to become a weekend blogger, but somehow it has happened. I blame the fact that I'm not a huge Halloween fan and that seems to be what everyone has been focused on this week. Before I get back into (sort of) daily posts it's time to reflect on October's goals and set some new ones for November!

Sadly I did not do so well with October's goals…

  • I didn't finish my Smash Book for Camp. I need to get some more prints made and set aside a weekend to immerse myself in the project. 
  • Publish 20 Blog Posts. I published 12. 
  • Mail Halloween Themed Packages to H. & R.. Nope…I didn't even get around to mailing H.'s birthday card. 
  • Read 3 Books. Yes! I highly recommend Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. He is the founder of TOMS shoes, I've always loved the shoes and reading the story behind how he turned the simplest idea into something that helps people was the perfect mix of interesting & inspiring. 
  • Plan for NaNoWriMo. I sort of did this…but it's November 2nd and I haven't written a word so I'm not sure all the planning really helped. 
  • Yoga 3 times. I forgot this was even a goal, needless to say it was not accomplished. 
On to November's Goals:
  • Read 4 books.
  • Publish 15 blog posts.
  • Start Christmas Shopping.
  • Send mail to H. & R.
  • Hang photos on bedroom wall.
  • Update my "About Me" page.
  • Watch a movie I've never seen before.
October seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. I'm still really happy at my (not so) new job and excited about what the future has in store!


Saturday, 25 October 2014

I Heart Books

I've never been able to fully understand people who don't enjoy reading. I was the kid in grade one who was fiercely competitive about having the most books in my reading log. As I got older I was constantly "in trouble" for reading ahead in the book. Reading one or two chapters every night and then putting the book down was not something I had the willpower to accomplish. Unless it was a book I wasn't interested in reading. In that case I simply didn't bother and didn't put down whatever book I was reading outside of class.


I've also never fully understood people who say they can't read the same book twice. Regardless of how much they relate to the characters, enjoy the story and learn from the book once it's read it's read. I read my favourite books at least once a year. And I don't think I've ever read the same book twice. My current life happenings dictate which character I relate to most and how I feel about plots & subplots.

My all time favourite book ever is The Princess Bride and a very close second (and maybe sometimes first) is Stargirl. For anyone who has been shaped by their experiences at summer camp I highly recommend Campingly Yours. I've read a lot of books set at camp and about camp and this is the one that really captures the camp magic.

I've also got a soft spot for children's books. Robert Munsch books are my absolute favourite and someday I hope to have the whole collection.

Linking up with #Blogtober14

Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday Morning Window

I experienced one of those weekends that was full of both relaxation and unexpected ordeals. 

The main unexpected ordeal being that my laptop is on the fritz (again). If you've been around these parts for a while you might remember this time last year when "God Wiped My Hard Drive" this time the trackpad is all wonky and I tried plugging in a mouse but it still wouldn't do what I want it to do and kept freezing and lagging. There's really no shame to it, I had it during my whole university career and the beginnings of my camp directing career. It's been though a lot. Still a bummer, but not the end of the world and there are much happier things to focus on to start the week.

First off, towards the end of last week I received some exciting mail! I participated in a Journal Swap  and was paired with the lovely Jess over at House of Hupfs. Jess is so sweet, and has the most adorable son. You should all make your way over to her blog and say 'hello'. Jess sent me this awesome journal that I can't wait to use!


The lighting was not cooperating with me when I was trying to take photos of the journal. The quote on the outside of the journal is glossier than the rest of the cover and it was reflecting the light. Eventually I took what I could get and you're all going to have to take my word for it that it is perfect! (The quote on the outside reads: "Don't remember the days remember the moments", which is a reminder we all sometimes need.)


Something I'm working on is being more intentional with blog posts and doing some planning in advance opposed to slapping it all together at the last minute. I knew that Kelli's Picture Practice for today was "Out The Window"so I did some real camera practice this weekend. Technically this view is from my deck but we have screens in all our windows so I had to improvise.


Autumn isn't my favourite season but I definitely appreciate how pretty the leaves are lining my driveway and covering the lawn. I adore summer and I hate winter but I do admit that I would miss the real change in seasons I get to experience on the east coast. 

Besides picture practice, computer woes and journal swaps my weekend involved a quick trip to the mall, birthday cake to celebrate my cousin turning 17, catching up with blogs and TV shows before settling into bed Sunday night with fresh sheets and a group conversation with H. & R. Here's hoping this week is full of good news and happiness!

Linking up my weekend here!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What Makes You Happy?

When I first saw the prompt "What Makes You Happy" from Blogtober I thought it would be a fun/easy post to write. Take fifteen minutes and write a list; The Princess Bride, Vanilla Coke, camp, coffee, starry summer skies, gummy bears…more or less the same list of things I regurgitate every time someone asks me what makes me happy. So I started to think about it more.


A few months ago I would have told you nothing makes me happier than camp and then I had a rough summer. Without a doubt there were moments of happiness but I don't think I was in a state of happiness. That doesn't necessarily mean that I've suddenly had a huge change of heart and my dream job is no longer my dream job, but after this summer I can recognize not just things that make me happy but the concepts. The reasons for the happy.

Jogging pants & hoodies make me happy because they make me feel comfortable. 

Journaling, doodling and crafting make me happy because when I'm putting pen to paper and sticking things together I can make all the decisions and feel completely in control. I can experiment with things and if it doesn't work then I can try something else and in the end I have a finished product. 

Photography makes my happy because I worry about forgetting and by capturing moments I'm leaving proof of my existence and creating something that will help people remember.

Reading makes me happy because I enjoy knowing about people. Hearing people's stories, relating to them or being inspired by them. 

Cooking makes me happy because it's a way of serving people. Sometimes it's hard to express sentiments of thanks or sorry or celebration but food is a universal language and cooking something for someone shows you care. 

Constellations make me happy because staring up at the sky watching for shooting stars and searching for the patterns allows me to connect with God in a way that I haven't been able to achieve in any other way.

And now I'm going to make some lunch and spend the rest of my Sunday enjoying a quiet house and a second cup of coffee. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Favourites

I had a pretty stellar week so it's only logical I link up with Andrea, Narci & Erika to share some of my favourite things this week. 

I blogged about my love for SMASH books before and it's been rekindled in a big way as I sift my way through photos and scraps of life from this past summer. I've also been drawing some major inspiration from Pinterest and strategizing how to combine SMASH book style and planners to organize my life in 2015. 

Pinterest via Coloursme
I get bored with planners pretty quickly. I like writing out my to-do lists, keeping track of hours at work, social events and everything else but after a month or two it grows tedious and I stop using my planner to it's full potential. By making my planner into more of an scrapbook/journal project than a planner it will keep me motivated and make organization more fun! 

Is it weird I'm thinking about my 2015 planner in October? Or that it makes me ridiculously excited? 


I've been at my new job for just over two weeks now and it's so different from anything I've ever done before. And that's a good thing. It's forcing me to take a step back from a few things I was prioritizing but now that I've had to re-prioritize and some things didn't make the cut I can take a step back and realize some of those things (and people) shouldn't have been getting so much of my time. It's incredibly refreshing.


Photography makes me happy. It's quickly climbing the list of my favourite things now that I have more time to play with my camera. Making time for things that make me happy isn't a new philosophy but it's one I'm going to start implementing more intentionally. 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

#forthewin


Yesterday I was privileged to experience once of those days where the universe was on my side.

I woke up and discovered I had gotten two packages in the mail! (More on those later) I achieved the perfect balance of coffee/sugar/cream and enjoyed every sip as I read through blogs. I knew I had to leave for work earlier than usual because I had to fill my car with gas so I got ready and headed into town. I never let my car get below a quarter of a tank but with the long weekend and some extra driving it was on E when I pulled up to the pumps. My main motivation for never letting it get so low is it eliminates the pain of forking over obscene amounts of money at the gas station. I was beyond thrilled when it cost me less than $50 to fill the tank. #accentforthewin

With a full tank of gas and an hour to spare before I had to be at work I did the logical thing and headed to Target. When Target first arrived in these parts a little less than a year ago I was not impressed. I had high expectations of awesome things you couldn't get at Wal-Mart, tons of clearance things and an overall haven of awesome. Instead it was really just 'expensive Wal-Mart' mostly the same stuff with higher prices. I'm being converted though. The last few times I've been there I've found some awesome things (that aren't at WM) and they were on clearance. Yesterday I picked up a desk organizer that I hope will be big enough to store my 12x12 scrapbook paper and bunch of socks that were ridiculously cheap. #targetforthewin

Before work I treated myself to a salted caramel mocha at Starbucks because 'tis the season. I didn't snap a photo but I promise it existed and it was delicious.

The parking situation at work can be competitive so I always arrive at least 45-30 minutes early to make sure I get a spot. Not ideal but I'm slowly learning to enjoy that time period when I'm just waiting. Last week I read a book during that time, often it's a good chance for a quick chat with a friend. Yesterday I was a little earlier than usual since I was already in town and I had to take a minute to appreciate how incredibly scenic the street looked. I tried to get a good photo with my phone but it almost doesn't do it justice. I'm not head over heels for fall but there are moments when I do appreciate how pretty the changing leaves are lining the roads. #autumnforthewin

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

25x25 (Revisited)

If you've spent any time hanging around these parts you may have noticed the little '25x25' tab along the header. You might have even taken a minute or two to read though the list. It occurred to me this past week that I have a little over three months until I turn 25 so I thought I should revisit my list and make some appropriate updates & progress reports.

Be in a committed relationship with someone I could potentially marry. Unless God has some seriously big plans up His sleeves this isn't something that's going to happen any time soon. I wouldn't say I'm 100% okay with the situation but I'm 90% okay with the situation.

Host a dinner party. I'm calling this a win. I guess I could have  should have blogged about it but I made the staff banquet meal this summer, wasn't exactly a dinner party, but it involved preparing salad, chicken, corn on the cob, rice and death by chocolate triffle for 20 people so I think it counts. 

Open an Etsy shop or sell something on eBay. This is one of these things that goes on a list because you need 25 things and it sounds like a good idea but then after the fact you realize it's not something you actually want to do. So I'm not going to do this.

Read 150 books. This one I should have kept better track of. I need to go through my GoodReads account and bookshelf and figure out how many books I've read in the past two years. This is an attainable one though!

Become a regular volunteer with an organization. I was really involved with Girl Guides but work made weekly meetings impossible. I still help out at camps & special events when I can and eventually I'll have my own unit again but it won't be this year. I guess that's a half-accomplished goal?

Complete NaNoWriMo.  Everyone keep your fingers crossed that this happens next month! I'm pretty determined and I've started thinking about story lines and characters. It is well within my grasp as long as I stay motivated and excited.

Complete at least a week of the 100 Mile Diet Yeah…I forgot this was on here. Really should have done this in the summer…

30 Days of Yoga Challenge. I have completed about 10 days of yoga in a row…several months ago. I really enjoyed what I was doing though so I should totally make myself do the full 30 days.

Reach 100 blog followers. The last time I checked my Bloglovin' followers were somewhere around 50. Realistically I probably won't reach 100 by the middle of January but I'm 100% okay with that. If I really wanted to get aggressive about it I could sponsor a bunch of blogs and sign up for giveaways but that it's my style. 

Go on a mission trip. Still something I would like to do, but it hasn't happened yet and I don't think the opportunity for it to happen will present itself anytime soon.

Complete a 365 Day Photo Challenge. Maybe in 2015.

Complete a Sims Legacy Challenge. I got close enough, I don't have the hours of time to devote to playing computer games to follow this one by the book.

Plant a herb garden. I am really glad I specified 'plant' and not 'grow' or 'harvest', because I planted and then watered a dish of soil on my desk for over two months before I accepted the fact nothing was going to grow. This is a success! (Sort of.)

Send 25 Christmas cards via snail mail.  By the time Christmas rolls around this year I'll reach my 25 goal. I've sent quite a bit of snail mail over the past year and now that H. & R. are so far away my mailing as only increased.

Be part of a church community with other young adults. Sadly, this isn't something that's happened (yet).

Try 10 new foods. I have tried quite a few new foods and even discovered I like some of them! I'm sure I'll try one or two more things over the next few months and this goal will be totally accomplished.

Watch a sunrise. Well…there was the one time I saw the sunset during a laundry emergency at camp and another time when I was awake all night with a camper, and a third time when I was dealing with another camp situation. I haven't "watched the sunrise" in the traditional/romantic sense that I'm sure I had planned when I wrote this but I have definitely watched the sunrise!

Answer 25 of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind I didn't blog about all of them because some of them weren't very blog worthy but a friend and I passed away an evening discussing our answers to a bunch of these questions.

Keep a notebook of favourite quotes & verses. This is totally done. It's one of my favourite things. 

Go TV Free for a week (including Netflix and YouTube). Done. I think I may have went even longer than that but there may have been a movie involved during that time so it evens out.

Read the Bible cover to cover in chronological order. I've read the Bible and I've completed a couple of Bible studies focused on books that I really hadn't paid much attention to before but I just can't seem to make it through starting with Genesis and finishing with Revelations. 

Bake homemade gingerbread men. This will get done, just closer to Christmas. 

Go camping with friends. We didn't end up doing the traditional camping in tents thing but we did go away for the weekend and stay at my families bungalow. The only thing that made it not a camping trip was we didn't sleep in tents. 

Compile a recipe book. This is in progress. I think a recipe collection is something that's always in progress but I would like to add in a dozen more recipes or so before I consider it a true success. 

De-Clutter donating/throwing away at least 5 large bags of 'stuff'. Done & Done. And if we're being honest I could probably downsize by another 5 bags. 

That makes 9/25 things on the list totally completed and another 7 that are on track to be completed by my birthday. 16/25 is far from perfection but when I look at that list I realize there are a number of things there that I really have no control over. Making it less of a  goal list and more of a "things I would like to happen by the time I'm 25" list. 

All the same, a lot can happen between now and mid-January so we'll see where life brings me.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend


Kelli's Picture Practice prompt this week is favourite food. My most favourite meal is donairs, followed by pizza and I love some good Chinese but none of things are particularly interesting or pretty too look at so I'm sharing the above photo of  my favourite salad. Mixed greens, cucumber, mushrooms, feta cheese, croutons and topped with balsamic vinaigrette. Seriously, delicious.

Food is the perfect segue into talking about Thanksgiving!  Thanksgiving was more low key this year than it has been in the past. We celebrate with my Mom's side of the family but a couple of my cousins weren't able to come home for the weekend so it was a smaller crowd. I filled up on mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, rolls and BBQ chicken that my Grandma makes special because I don't like turkey. Followed by the winning combination of pumpkin pie & coffee. We eat Thanksgiving at 1 so when we got home I made homemade pizzas for supper around 7, which were also delicious. I'm eagerly awaiting eating leftovers for lunch in a couple of hours. 

A friend of mine posted a quote on some form of social media and it has stuck with me. "Turn your thanks into giving" I have no idea who said it first (I'm sure it wasn't my friend), but it speaks to me. Makes me think back to my most favourite hymn (and camp song), Pass It On. It's important to be thankful and appreciate what you have but it's also important to share those blessings and use them to make the world a better place. 

That takes care of my deep thought for the day.

I have the day off today so I'm hoping to accomplish some more organizational progress with my scrapbooking supplies and watch The Little Couple marathon that's on TLC.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

So Long, Sunday Social

It took me a long time to come up with a blog name that I really loved and could see myself using for a long time. I remember making a big list of words I liked, my interests and topics I thought I'd end up blogging about. Eventually I settled on Grace & Galoshes. Grace because I wanted to incorporate something related to Christianity since I assumed it would be a topic I'd blog about regularly and once I chose 'Grace' I wanted the rest of the title to reflect another aspect of my life. I love camp, being outdoors and rainy days are my favourite and the word 'galoshes' came to mind. The next step was deciding that "Grace & Galoshes" sounded like a good blog name and the rest is history!



My favourite thing about blogging is interacting with other bloggers. It's cliche and it's the truth!

I can't say I've become devoted to Erin Condren or obsessed with Starbucks but I do think blogging has influenced my interest in photography. It's something I've always enjoyed and it goes hand and hand with scrapbooking & crafting but blogging gave me the extra push to invest in a DSLR. Plus there are so many fun photography link ups and posts that it's a great way to make connections with other bloggers. 



I've been really intentional about detaching myself from Facebook over the last few weeks. I still check it once or twice a day but I deleted the app off my phone and don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I fell out of the habit of tweeting, I still scroll through my feed a few times a day but again when I forget I don't think I'm missing out on anything. If I had to choose a favourite social media account I'd choose Instagram.

I don't follow celebrities but I do think it would be cool to have some celebrity bloggers read my blog, especially The Pioneer Woman!

Something I'd like people to know about my blog is that it will probably never be exceptionally organized, famous or on a strict schedule. I blog because I want to, because I love meeting others and connecting with people not because I'm trying to become 'blog famous'. 

Linking up with the last Sunday Social

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Big Things


The past week has been a whirlwind of happens. I've written before about how God Moves Fast and I always say that more often than not everything happens all at once, this week has been no exception to that rule. The grant officially ended Friday and I hadn't heard back from any of the local jobs I had applied for, only things out of province. Then on Wednesday morning I got a call saying that someone had quit at the last minute and they needed someone who could begin training that evening. So I said yes and went from being almost unemployed to accepting a really great job offer. 

Since then I've experienced countless moments and coincidences of perfection that leave me with an almost overwhelming feeling that I have no idea what God is up to but He is working on big things. The signs I've prayed for seem to be popping up all over the place and leading me in the right direction. Have I mentioned the new job offer is also a contract, that ends in March (with a possible extension to April), which is of course perfect timing for camp. 

I'm not delusional enough to believe that just because in this moment it feels as though God is planning on brining me back to camp this summer. All of these happenings are really just reminding me to pay attention to my surroundings. Listen, watch, feel, observe the world around me. I am excited about the things that I'm sure are going to appear over the next few months. Not all of them will be good, but God's plan is good and I trust His plan.

(Even if it's kind of scary.)


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday Social #122

My Favourite Month has always been August. The weather in August is the perfect balance of hot summer days and nights that are warm enough to be outside but cool enough to sleep. In the camp world August is when everyone finds their groove and feels comfortable which makes things run more smoothly, and when things don't run smoothly people are relaxed enough to laugh about the situation and not let it ruin their day. I love August so much that if I ever have a son I want his middle name to be August. 

Choosing a Favourite Holiday is hard for me. Even though the vast majority of people would argue it's not a real holiday and I've never celebrated it in the traditional way…I love Valentine's Day. I know we should show people how much they are loved every day of the year but having one specific day to remind us all how important it is to put love out there into the world. 
Valentine's Day celebrations with H. & R. 

I don't have any plans to get the new iPhone, I currently have an iPhone 4S and when my contract is up I will upgrade my phone but I have no desire to rush out and get something new. 

I've received a lot of thoughtful gifts over the years. Some of my favourites are pebbles a friend brought me from a special place, a letter from a friend in the midst of a particularly difficult week, the little things are the ones that make me the happiest. 

I've wanted a pair for a few years now and at some point in the near future I am finally going to splurge on a pair on red Hunter boots. I love rainy days and rubber boots and I haven't been able to justify spending that much money on a pair of rubber boots. The time has come though and I'm ready to splurge (and then eagerly wait for the rain so I can take lots of fun pictures in my new boots).
Pinterest

Linking up with Sunday Social.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

October Goals


It's been a while since I've set any monthly goals and shared them with blogland but the chaos of summer is behind me, I've eased myself back into the real world and overall things are really coming together. So it's only logical that I get back into the habit of writing out goals and holding myself accountable. 
  • Finish Smash Book for Camp 2014
  • Publish 20 blog posts
  • Mail Halloween Themed Packages to H. & R.
  • Read 3 books
  • Plan for NaNoWriMo
  • Yoga 3 times
I realize none of those goals are super challenging or more than an arms length from my comfort zone. Life is coming together but there are still some variables so I am managing my expectations about what I can accomplish this month. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Confession Time



This is the logic I used yesterday morning when I was deciding what to eat for breakfast - "I don't really want to make anything, there aren't any bagels or English muffins…we have peanut butter cookies…people eat peanut butter on toast…eating a peanut butter cookie for breakfast is just as acceptable as eating peanut butter on toast."

The Little People Big World family drive me nuts. I used to really enjoy watching the show but like so many other TLC shows it totally went downhill and now I kind of watch to punch them all in the face.

I love the Duggars their beliefs fascinate me but I just don't understand not kissing/holding hands before marriage but saying "I love you". I don't know much about love but I think the physical side of things is just as crucial as the emotional side. Andy why on earth did Jim Bob hire Ben as his personal assistant?! Am I the only one that finds that a little weird?

My room is being painted tomorrow which means I'm being kicked out of it which I realize is for the greater good because my room will be painted but I like having my own space. Not having my own space for a day or two is going to make me one cranky lady.

I have a bruise on my chin because I tripped on my computer cord and hit my face off the plastic drawers beside my bed. It hurts when I touch it and I feel ridiculous for bruising my chin.

Time and time again I get myself all stressed out and worried and panic and doubt God…and then He pulls though and then I feel guilty because I should know better than to doubt Him. 

Someone on my Facebook posted a selfie this week with the caption "job interview" and someone else commented "you look smokin' hot!"…was it wrong of me to judge them? Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think "smokin' hot"is the look you should be going for when you're being interview. 

It's been a long time since I've had more than one cup of coffee a day, I usually have a cup in the morning and then drink tea in the afternoon and evening, but today for some reason I am craving a second cup. And I will probably give in to the craving. 

I have no idea what Gone Girl is about and why I'm supposed to be interested in it. 

And last, but not least. I am not excited for fall. I do not care about pumpkin spice. I demand summer. I like flip flops and bonfires and sunny days and green grass. Maybe my opinion of fall would be different if I lived in a place where summer was hotter and fall had a more refreshing feel but here in the east cost fall just means it's about to be winter. And I hate winter. 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

September Coffee Date


If we met for coffee this week I'd suggest we grab a bagel too because I love bagels and I haven't had one in over a month. I might even suggest we have coffee at home so I can stay in my jogging pants. 

If this is our first coffee date I will listen more than I'll talk until I have a better idea of what kinds of things we should talk about. If this is a reoccurring coffee date then I'll dive right in and let you know that my contract ends this week and I still don't know what's coming next. That I am worried and anxious about the next few months. That I've been putting myself out there, had some hopeful moments but so far nothing has really worked out. If you're interested in talking faith & theology then I would let you know that Habukkuk 1:5 has become a source of comfort lately.

I would ask you how things are going in your life and hope that you'd provide updates on your love life, work life and anything else that's interesting or important. Leaving lots of time for discussion.

Gradually we'd transition from life's 'serious' matters into new T.V. shows we've discovered and Pinterest projects we're dying to try. I'd let you know that I watched the pilot for Girl Meets World when it first premiered and wasn't blown away, but I went back and watched all the episodes and it's grown on me. I fell into the hype and watched How To Get Away With Murder, it wasn't phenomenal but I'm interested enough to keep watching. This would lead to an in-depth analysis of Grey's Anatomy and how that show is going to end.

We would wrap things up when the pot was emptied, our faces are sore from smiling and our souls feel  refreshed. And agree that this is something we need to do more often.

Linking up with Brave Love for the last day of Blog-Tember.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Reflections


I am incredibly thankful that I grew up surrounded by water. I don't remember learning how to swim, the first time I saw the ocean or my first time on a boat, these things have always just been part of my life. It's probably why I find so much peace and comfort being on and near the water. When I have some time at camp to spend alone I usually spend it on the dock or walking along the water. There is something magical when the water is still and calm, it forces me to also be still and calm and reflective.

September and October are always times of reflection for me; things that I would do differently, things that I will do differently, moments I want to engrave on my memory and moments I would rather forget. The past few week I've moved on from reflecting on this summer to making plans for the next year. And I've noticed that it's more about creating better habits and making positive changes than it is about stopping and although it wasn't a conscious decision to frame things that way it's making a difference in how successful I am when it comes to accomplishing things on my 'Fall To-Do List'.

I deleted Facebook from my phone and the only time I miss it is at night when I'm scrolling through social media on my phone right before I go to sleep. Other than that I live without it just fine.

I started journalling again, pen to paper, write whatever the heck you want, no pressure to gain followers or engage readers or fear that someone from 'the real world' will stumble across your blog (am I the only one that has this fear?). Its ridiculously therapeutic and something I was incredibly consistent with for the majority of my life until I stopped.

I am the worst at reading during the summer. Unless it's a camper file, an incident report or a warm fuzzy I can never seem to find time to read, which means I've fallen way behind in my goal to read 50 books this year. I want to read at least 5 books before Christmas.

Even though I'm trying to eliminate time wasters from my life I am still counting down the days to the season premieres of my favourite shows. Tonight Survivor and The Middle are back. Grey's Anatomy returns tomorrow. Criminal Minds in a couple of weeks…I don't have any plans to watch any of the new shows making their debut so at least I'm not adding more shows to the mix.

Autumn is only one day old and I'm already over the influx of pumpkin spice and declarations of how fall is the best season to ever exist. I appreciate pretty leaves and leggings & boots but mostly I love flip flops, norts and iced coffee. Also, it is too early to decorate for Halloween, let's get through Thanksgiving first. (Unless you're American, in which case hold off until the second week in October.) I do want some pumpkin pie in my life though.

All that being said about autumn I will drink at least one pumpkin spice latte and treat myself to some of my favourite Halloween candy.

I am doing a lot of praying that I hear about a job this week. I've made it through the first two rounds and now I'm just waiting for one more phone call. I hate the waiting game and knowing that I've done everything I can do on my end and it's up to someone else to do what they have to do on their end.

I never hide my love of Taylor Swift and I'm looking forward to listening to her new album the day it comes out. I'm also eagerly awaiting the release of Andrew McMahon's new album.

This just re-read this post and realized it's all over the place but that's what happens when you try to combine weekly confessions and a fall bucket list.


Monday, 22 September 2014

Coffee & Blogging

It's been rainy and windy out so my Fall Picture Practice consists of my new red mug being filled with coffee. Because when it's cold and rainy and fall like outside it's time for hot coffee and jogging pants inside.


I spent a huge portion of this weekend sitting on my bedroom floor surrounded by photos and scraps of paper and stickers. There is something exceptionally therapeutic about condensing the summer into one book of photos and papers. I can lose myself for hours cutting & gluing & sticking and just putting it all in one place. 



Today's Blog-tember prompt is to share 5 blogs I read on a regular basis

71 Toes
Shawni is my favourite. She is so genuine and honest and if I'm lucky enough to become a wife & mom someday I want to be like her. Shawni and her husband recently moved themselves and their kids to China for a semester so her recent posts have been about navigating the new normal. Plus, she takes beautiful photos!

Kelly's Korner
I think everyone "knows" Kelly and her adorable family. I love that Kelly isn't afraid to share her beliefs with others and is just so darn sweet.

The Grand Adventures of Me
Nina is hilarious. Her blog is the best balance of posts that make you almost pee your pants laughing and posts that really make you think about and reflect on  your spirituality.

34 Magnolia Street
Lauren talks a lot about her faith, her involvement with church and her recent move from the south to the north. Reading her posts feels like I'm chatting with a friend over coffee instead of reading some stranger on the internet.

Mix & Match Mama
This a fairly recent addition to my daily reads, but I love reading Shay's recipes, following her adoption journey and being inspired by her out of this world organization.

Coffee and blogging seem to go together like salt & pepper so with that I'm off to finish my coffee as I scroll though my Bloglovin' feed. Happy Monday!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Open & Close

Summer is my favourite season. I look forward to the first day when the sun feels warm and the grass is noticeably green. I love the first week or so at camp when the days start off foggy and cool but then gradually become warm. The span of time when daylight starts at 5:00 a.m. and lasts until almost 10:00 p.m.. August is my favourite month because it has the perfect balance of hot days and evenings that are warm enough to be outside but cool enough to fall asleep. 



When I look back on this summer I'll think about the enormous potential and possibility I felt in May. Laughing and hypothosising with H. & R. about what was ahead. Which new counsellors would be amazing, which would quickly figure out that they weren't "camp people" after all. Who would develop camp-mances and who would start off uncertain but grow into an amazing counsellor.

And then I got thrown a curve ball. Followed by another and in a matter of days it felt like everything was flipped upside down. This was the first summer that I really doubted myself as a 'camp person' and as person. It's the first time that camp has ended and I haven't been certain that I'll find myself back in the same place next May. I know that there's a time for everything; for things to end and begin and it may be time for me to step away. 



I have no  idea what will unfold over the next few months. What doors will open and what ones will close. So as summer ends I'm looking forward to processing this summer, figuring out where I need to be and the things I need to step away from. Of course I will do it all while enjoying the scent of Crackling Woods candles, sipping on hot coffee and eagerly awaiting the premiere of my favourite shows. 

Fall potential and summer potential feel very different to me. Fall is about moving forward, taking time to figure out what went right, what was wrong, what I can change and identifying the things I need to hold on to and the things I need to let go. 

Liking up with Bailey Jean

Friday, 19 September 2014

Friday Favourites

This week had a lot of ups and downs. I cried over some things that weren't worth crying over (and some that were). I danced it out to Shake it Off, ate some ketchup chips, shared my frustrations with H. & R. and just kept moving forward. Since it's been "one of those weeks" I think it's only proper I end the week with things that made me happy.

First off, these earrings:


Back in August I went on a ridiculous mission to find lightning bold earrings for my Secret Friend at camp. The only ones that I could find came in a set of 20, but SF wasn't getting all 20 pairs of earrings so I got the other 19 pairs. Usually I wear my pearl earrings because they go with everything and I like them a lot. The past few days though I've been embracing the peace signs. There's just something about them that makes me really happy and they've become my new favourites. 

I went to Target last night and bought myself one of my favourite candles
Pinterest
It's not everyone's cup of tea but it smells like camp and it makes me really happy. During my Target trip I also scored some Sharpies that were on clearance for 50 cents (!!!) and an adorable notebook with foxes that was also on clearance and I can't seem to find a photo of online. Trust me when I say it's the best. 

The sky was an amazing shade of sky-blue-pink last night as the sun was setting. I was driving though so I didn't get to take any photos but I'm a firm believer that sometimes the best thing is to enjoy life's little moments rather than rush to capture it for the blog/instagram.

I discovered grape Kool-Aid Singles this summer and they've become a favourite. 
The health benefits are pretty non-existent but every once and awhile I add one to a bottle of water just to mix it up a little and it reminds me of summer and makes me happy. And it has to be grape. I have no time for any other sugary juice flavours, if I'm going to drink it it has to be grape. 

Most people might feel a little depressed or unenthusiastic about grocery shopping on a Friday night, but grocery shopping is my favourite. There's just something so calming walking down the aisles, checking things off a list and then coming home and putting it all away. My plans to go grocery shopping this evening are seriously what's motivating me through the rest of today. That probably makes me weird, but I embrace it.

Linking up with Momfesssionals to share my Friday Favourites! 



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Things I've Cried About This Week

This week's edition of Humpday Confessions I present to you, inhabitants of blogland, a list of things that have made me cry this week.
  • Re-Run of 19 Kids & Counting with Joseph is reunited with the family after finishing ALERT Training.
  • Ikea commercial featuring Buddy Holly's "Everyday".
  • I got BBQ sauce on my sock.
  • A story in the newspaper about a little boy who is in remission from cancer and helping to raise money.
  • Jason Maraz singing on Live with Kelly & Michael Tuesday morning.
  • A girl I went to high school with announced her engagement on Facebook.
  • This newspaper article from B.C.
  • H. & R. are just SO. FAR. AWAY. 
  • I tried to send photos into Wal-Mart to get prints made and when I went to pick them up there was an error with the files and so only 40 (out of 100) photos printed. 
  • I decided to bake some brownies last night, and then used the wrong pan because I wasn't paying attention. Turns out if you bake brownies in a 6x6 pan instead of an 8x8 pan they will not turn out. They'll get all cake like not at all what you wanted.
  • I've been getting a lot of comments from 'no-reply' bloggers over the past few days and I feel bad because I make an effort to respond and I worry all these 'no-repliers' will think I'm a terrible person.

I don't like focusing on the negatives (or craziness as the case may be) so I'll also make note of a few things that have made me smile this week.
  • We got a Wal-Mart SuperCentre in my little corner of the world and it turns out you can buy pre-made guacamole there and it's delicious. And so cheap (compared to buying avocados) and surprisingly it isn't full of sketchy ingredients. I ate guacamole & chips twice this week for lunch.
  • I've been up past my bedtime almost every night this week because time zones are terrible and when it's 11:00 p.m. on the east coast it's supper time for R. I'm so thankful for technology but my sleep is suffering.
  • During the same ill-fated Wal-Mart trip with the photos I bought a very happy red mug that I've been drinking my coffee & tea out of to start my mornings.
  • I've been participating in the Blog-tember Challenge with Bailey Jean and I have stumbled across so many great blogs! 

What's made you laugh, cry, fill with rage this week? Share your stories and go link up with Kathy


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Brand New Information


The prompt for Blog-tember today is "Most people don't know this, but…" and my mind immediately went to this classic Friends moment when everyone finds out about Monica & Chandler.

My love of Friends is something most people know about me, but you may not know that "The One Where Ross Got High" is my all time favourite episode. I can recite it line for line and it makes me laugh every time. 

Most people know that I'm particular about my food, but you probably don't know that a lot of what I do and don't eat is about texture. I eat a lot of chicken breasts but I can't handle shredded chicken and I'm not a fan of leftovers because the texture so often changes when you re-heat something.

You probably know that I love camp and count myself incredibly lucky to be able to work as an Assistant Camp Director but you probably don't know that I almost chose to study Social Work.

I've blogged about my major fears/anxieties about dying alone but rarely mention my other biggest fear of forgetting. It's why I'm so 'into' blogging, scrapbooking, journalling etc. I worry about forgetting (and being forgotten).

I've said before that I've never travelled outside Canada, but I haven't mentioned that I don't feel a strong desire to travel. There are places I would like to see (Stonehenge, Auschwitz, Cliffs of Moher) but I haven't met anyone who I really want to visit those places with and there are other things I would rather spend money on.

I love Pocahontas and a lot of other Disney movies, but I have no desire to visit Disney World. I hate rides, I don't like crowds and all those people running around in costumes kind of freak me out.

I have names picked out for my future children, and I worry that they will skyrocket in popularity or a close friend/family member will use them before I have children meaning I can't use them. They've been "my names" for years though and not getting to use them would be heartbreaking.

I watch the same movies over and over again, occasionally I'll watch something new and when I do I thoroughly Google and IMDB the entire plot so that I can prepare myself for the ending and know what to expect. I do not like not know how things are going to end.

I enjoy a good cup of coffee and normally drink it black with 1.5 sugars. Sometimes I'll use cream and only half a sugar.

My favourite animals are squirrels and I obviously have a lot of love for cats but polar bears also rank pretty high on my list of favourite animals.

What are some things most people don't know about you? Don't forget to link up with Bailey Jean!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Picture Practice {Eagles & Gulls}

The theme for today's Picture Practice with Kelli is "Birds" and it just so happens I was recently out in the boat with my grandfather and took a whole bunch of photos of birds. Including two eagles who were fishing next to us. I can't say I consider birds to be a favourite animal of mine but some of them are pretty interesting to watch!

This guy was soaring over head for a long time. I that he's against the blue of the sky instead of the white clouds so his bald head stands out in the photo.



Then they started coming down to the water and grabbing at fish. If I had a different lens on my camera I think I could have gotten some really awesome photos but I think this is still a cool moment. They were flying and coming down so fast that I was just clicking away and hoping that there would be at least one good shot in there.


And finally I really appreciated the way these sea gulls seem to form a zig-zagged line in the water and were content to just bop around in the waves.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunday Social {119} & Blogtember

Favourite Scent: Boy, mixed with a hint of campfire and rain. For those of you who need a better visual the Crackling Woods soy candle from Target. 

Favourite Food: I love donairs. If you're not from the east cost of Canada then it's probably safe to assume you have no idea what that is, but trust me when I say you're missing out. I've been told it's similar to a gyro, but I've never had one of those so I can't verify that. If you ever find yourself on the East Coast getting a donair definitely needs to be a priority!

Honourable Mentions:  Ketchup Chips, Pizza, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Caesar Salad, 

Favourite Sound: Rain! Especially in the summer and it's extra wonderful if there's thunder & lightning happening as well. 

Favourite Picture Currently on your Phone: I am really digging this photo I took of my Salted Caramel Mocha the other day. Truth be told I almost never delete photos off my phone so I have plenty to choose from but I narrowed it down to my favourite this week.

Best Memory of the Year: I was not prepared for this question! In the quest to choose a favourite picture on my phone I did come across this photo, which made me pretty happy because it captured a pretty awesome memory.


When it rains our camp parking lot turns into a small lake of sorts. I was having a bit of rough day and determined that the best way to relieve some stress was puddle jumping. And I may have went a little overboard and at one point found myself sitting in the puddle. I was hoping someone would join me but instead the director and a former staff member who happened to be volunteering that day stood in the doorway casually sipping their coffee and laughing at the ridiculous-ness. All while snapping pictures of course, which found their way onto the camp instagram with a bunch of silly/fun hashtags. And I'm happy to report that I did feel a lot less stressed after the puddle jumping!

Bonus Question for Blog-TemberWhen did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging eons ago. Back in junior high I had an xanga, then in high school I moved on to Livejournal, during university I dabbled with Tumblr and about two years ago I dove into the "real world" of blogging with Grace & Galoshes. I've always blogged because I like writing and in the beginning it was a great way to stay in touch with friends, which is ironic now since I'm pretty firmly set in the blogging closet.


  


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Solo

This week alone I saw two engagements and one pregnancy announcement pop up on my Facebook feed. All from girls the same age (or a year younger) than me. I am really happy for those people and I wish them nothing but the best, that doesn't mean I don't feel a twinge of hurt/jealousy whenever another announcement comes rolling in.

Once upon a time I met a boy who was a few check marks short of perfect…except for one glaring problem, he wasn't ready to be in a relationship. Which I calmly accepted and let myself hope (and pray) that at some point the timing would be right and we could be together. Then he met someone else, who he was ready to be in a relationship with and I spent a month  far longer than I would like to admit bursting into tears when I saw photos of their adventures and listening to Taylor Swift while I tried to process my feelings towards the whole thing. Things are better now, I'm a little less emotionally fragile and when I step back and take myself out of the equation I really do want him to be happy. 



I get discouraged pretty easily when it feels like everyone else in the world is in a serious relationship, two steps away from marriage but I know that I would rather be single than be with someone just for the sake of being with someone. 

It's hard to be confident and okay with this whole season of singleness thing when I have such a strong desire to be married and have a family. I trust that there is a reason God's current plan for me doesn't involve being in a relationship. I have don't have much of an idea why that is, but if I let myself believe that it's something I'm doing wrong I get angry and bitter. And nobody likes the angry bitter single girl. Including myself.

If you want to read more about my thoughts on being single check out this post.

Linking up with Bailey Jean for Blog-Tember! 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Coffee & Prayers


{one} 
I'm in the market for a new Bible. My current "all-purpose" Bible was given to me at the beginning of an LIT program I completed at camp when I was 16. It's very much highlighted and bookmarked and noted and has seen better days. I'm sure I'll save it forever but I feel like I'm in a phase of life where I need to start fresh. If you have any suggestions for a translation or specific Bible I should get I am all ears! I have been using God's Word translation but I'm open to change. I already have a copy of The Message that I read on occasion but would prefer something else for daily use.

{two} 

I posted yesterday on Instagram about my deep love for Salted Caramel Mocahs from Starbucks and I'm going to post about it again here. I know everyone goes head over heels for Pumpkin Spice this time of year but the PS Bandwagon is not one I'm interested in joining. I so rarely go to Starbucks but I had an appointment yesterday and picked some up on my way home. It's been a long week and I'm starting to feel the stress of not knowing what's around the corner. 

{three}
Somewhere along the way between April & Now I lost my planner. It wasn't so bad during the summer because the days schedule was always posted on the door and when I had errands to do during break I made a to-do list and got things done. Now that I'm back in the Monday-Friday real world I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing each day. I was trying to plan blog posts last night and realized I had nowhere to write them down. I'm way too cheap to buy a fancy Erin Condren planner or any of those other brand name books that cost an arm and a leg. So fingers crossed I can find something cute & cheap the next time I'm at Wal-Mart. 

{four}

I'm doing an Online Bible Study with Love God Greatly on Esther which prior to this month isn't a book of the Bible I've read a whole lot. I do feel like it's perfect timing though so much of the lessons we've covered so far is about trusting that God has you where you need to be. It might not be where you want to be but there is a reason why. I struggle so much with journalling and really making a specific time to pray and reflect during the camp season it's one of the biggest challenges I've found working at a secular camp. It's been lovely to get back into a routine of journalling every day and having time to really reflect opposed to a quick prayer before bed. 


{five}
One of the best things about working from home is waking up at 8:30, putting on a pair of jogging pants and checking my e-mail on the couch while I drink my coffee. My brother broke my favourite coffee mug earlier this week and now I can't seem to find another one that holds just the right amount of coffee. There are a million coffee mugs in the cupboard though so I refuse to buy a new one, but it just isn't the same. Please tell me I'm not the only one with an unhealthy emotional attachment to which mug I drink my coffee out of in the morning.



Simple Moments Stick