Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 Loose Ends

I fully intended on blogging between Christmas and New Years but obviously that didn't work out. Before the clock strikes 12 and everything switches to new years goals and resolutions I did want to post about Christmas and tie up a few loose ends before I jump into 2016.

My Christmas first started when Alex's package showed up! Alex blogs over at Whitehall & Rose and we were paired together for the Blogging Elite's Christmas Cheer Swap. I had the best time exchanging e-mails, reading her blog, following her on social media and getting to know her during the month leading up to the swap. Alex put together an awesome box and included scrapbook paper, stickers, an alpha stamp set, pretty metallic markers and two of my favourite treats - Reese and dark chocolate. Plus an adorable card. I can't say enough wonderful things about Alex. It was probably the easiest swap I've ever participated in and I really wish we were closer and could arrange an awesome blogger date! 


Christmas Eve afternoon J. and I had our own unconventional but awesome Christmas. 


Originally the plan was to go out for lunch when he finished work and then go back to his house to exchange presents. He ended up working a little later than anticipated and town was absolutely crazy by the time he was finished. We opted for McDonald's take out back to his house and a fast food lunch before presents. It wasn't the least bit fancy but I kind of love it. I'm positive that McDonald's lunch on Christmas Eve will not become a forever tradition but in this moment, when it's just the two of us it felt fitting. And knowing that I want to focus on documenting the everyday moments during 2016 this felt like a good start. Anyway, after we had finished our fries we got to presents. We had already determined that Christmas would be small since we're going away next month so I was pretty darn surprised when I opened my FitBit. Thankfully J. was equally as happy with the somewhat random assortment of stocking stuffers and gifts I had compiled. Shortly after gifts we went out separate ways to spend Christmas Eve night with our respective families. I headed to church and my aunts and was happily in bed by 11 p.m..


Christmas morning we opened our gifts, Peyton had the time of her life playing with wrapping paper, jumping in and out of boxes and bags and generally causing as much havoc as possible. We had Christmas dinner with my Dad's side of the family and then visited with my Mom's side. On Boxing Day (which I've only recently learned is mostly a thing in Canada and the U.K. and not so much anywhere else) I woke up bright an early and headed to the city to be reunited with H. & R.!

As per usual our time together included wine, Twisted Teas, hot tubbing, shopping (purchasing matching t-shirts) and a snow storm. My drive home on Monday was pretty sketchy but it was worth the time we got to spend together. 

Since I got home I've been visiting relatives, colouring in my adult colouring book, organizing my supplies to tackle both Project Life and One Little Word in 2016 and squeezing in time to stay caught up with The Curse of Oak Island and Top Chef!

I don't have any big plans for New Year's Eve. J. and I are going to make supper at his house (or go to his parents for Chinese that part is to be determined) and then spend the evening watching Harry Potter movies (we started the first one last night after homemade pizza) and playing boardgames. There is a supposed to be a fireworks display in town at midnight so we might check that out but it really depends on the weather. I have no interest in being outside in the cold for hours, especially in the snow. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

OLW 2016: Rise

I've known for a while that I really wanted to not only choose a word but go all in and sign up for Ali Edward's official class. I didn't want to go all in though unless I had a really good word. Hence, why I started thinking about this months ago. I'm was aware I needed to find a word but I didn't want to force it, luckily enough my word found me. At first it seemed like a weird choice because it's not necessarily a word that is used in my vocabulary but the more I thought about it and the more I read the definition the more I was convinced. And then my word started to find me, in pretty wall hangings on Pinterest, lyrics to songs playing on the radio everywhere I looked I found my word. 


As a verb rise means "to move upwards", "to assume an upright position", "to appear above the horizon". As a noun rise means "to increase in amount, number, level etc.", "the elevation of one point and another", "an upward slope". 

Rise, rising, rose, risen. 

I'm excited to work through the prompts with my word. To continue moving upwards and to appreciate the places when I have risen from. The possibilities seems endless...which is exactly the feel I wanted my word to have! 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Holly, Jolly Christmas Weekend

I almost didn't post today. I had a very Christmas heavy weekend and did lots of things but didn't do anything that warranted taking a lot of photos. Then I reminded myself that documenting is better than not documenting. It's a mindset I'm trying to get myself into as I prepare to dive in to Project Life for 2016!

Friday evening I made one last trip to the mall and only bought one more stocking stuffer for J.. Technically it was 'midnight madness', but our mall is smaller than some of your Wal-Marts and there really wasn't a whole lot of shopping I needed to finish. I was home and in bed by 11 p.m. 

Saturday I spent the day making a final Christmas to do list and went to J.'s work party. It was a pretty uneventful evening. J. and I drove around to look at the lights, although frankly I think it's kind of a weird tradition. It seems odd to aimlessly drive around and look at strangers homes. Regardless, it was something on J.'s Christmas Bucket List so I played along and we drove around the fancier neighbourhoods and looked at the houses before we went to dinner. We ended up being the first ones there so I snapped a quick photo of our fancy place cards and then spent the rest of the evening being social. Afterwards we made a quick trip to a grocery store because I needed a bag of marshmallows and once again I was home by 11 p.m., which is really the way I like to live my life. 


Sunday I wrapped presents and got them out of my room and under the tree. For some reason the only photo of the tree I could find was the very beginning stages of decoration. The angel no longer looks like she's about to take a tumble and there are more than just lights. While I was busy wrapping I ate some dark chocolate and really wanted to enjoy the instant Starbucks Caramel Latte I found on clearance at the grocery store. Maybe I followed the directions incorrectly, or my expectations were too high either way it didn't dissolve the way it should have and was all grainy in the bottom of my cup. Here's hoping round two will be more successful.


Sunday J.'s parents had their Christmas party. I made a pan of squares (hence the quick trip for marshmallows) and did not take a photo because just as I was getting ready to leave it started snowing pretty heavy and I wanted to leave before the roads got too bad. I ate my favourite kind of Christmas meal which involves sweet & sour meatballs, wings and multiple kinds of dips. J. and I ended the night with this weeks episode of Oak Island which I am still extremely fascinated with and I don't want the season to end. 

This morning I was up bright and early and made one final trip to Wal-Mart to finish J.'s stocking. It was super successful and I can now say I am 100% done Christmas shopping! The only disappointment is the calendar I ordered for my grandparents hasn't come in yet. I ordered on November 23, so I thought for sure I would be safe. Apparently I assumed incorrectly.

Tomorrow I'll be revealing and sharing my One Little Word for 2016 and then take a few days to soak up all the Christmas! 

Today I'm linking up with B Loved Boston!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Tracks, Snacks and Favourite Words

I'm not sure if it's all the Christmas hustle and bustle, the weather or my shrinking to do lists and countdowns but this week went by fast! 

{one}


I'm cheating a little bit here because there are going to be multiple favourites under this heading. It seemed to me that there was a lot of good stuff in Blogland this week and after a couple of weeks of endless gift guides it was refreshing to read some good old fashion 'this is what's going on in my life' posts. These are just a few of my favourites from the week.

Stephanie's 'You Are A Blogger' post  might just be the best thing I've read in months. 
We often wait until the new year to start reflecting on changes but this week Alex compared this Christmas to Last Christmas and it was a neat way to look at things.
Rachel had some wise words to say about The War on Misery. Not everything has to be a competition.
I loved this reminder from Amy that our work matters.

{two}


Some of you might remember this post from the fall where I shared my developing love of the apple trees that grow in my yard. Well I'm continuing the love into winter because I think that these apples, still on the tree and covered with snow are just the coolest. I spent a couple of hours outside yesterday with my camera, we got a storm on Tuesday night and by the time yesterday afternoon rolled around it had stopped snowing, the temperature had risen a little and the sky was crazy blue. I realized as I happily snapped photos of the snow that it's not the snow I hate when it comes to winter. It's the cold. Yesterday it was hovering around 0 and there wasn't any wind so I was perfectly comfortable wearing my Old Navy trigger mitts (I have no idea what these are actually called, around here we call them trigger mitts, they're the mittens that have flaps to make them into fingerless gloves), lightest winter coat and was not worried about frost bite. Getting back on topic, apples covered in snow are pretty and they earned a spot on my favourites list. 


{three}



I'm not sure if I've really made it clear that I really do live in the country. After the snow there were lots of deer tracks in the snow, which were cool but deer tend to walk in a straight line, these tracks however are clearly not in a straight line. I'm pretty sure these ones were made by a furry little squirrel friend. And squirrels always make me happy. 

{four}


Avocados make me happy. First off all I love their green colour, secondly they are delicious and rounding out the top three reasons I love avocados is because they're healthy. This week my favourite way to eat avocado is creating a copy cat cajun chicken sandwich based on one I order all the time at a local restaurant. Cajun seasoned chicken breast, red onion, cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo and avocado on a ciabatta bun. I may or may not have eaten the same thing for both lunch and supper one day this week. And a honourable mention to the homemade oven fries that I've finally perfected after months of playing around with seasons and oven temperatures. 

{five}


I officially registered for Ali Edwards One Little Word class and declared my word of the year! I'll be sharing more next week about what my word is and how I'm planning to document my word through the year. I'll leave you with a hint that it starts with the letter 'R', has four letters and can be used in a lot of different contexts. 

I have a weekend jammed full of Christmas beginning with 'midnight madness' at the mall tonight with my mom to finish up the last of my shopping. Tomorrow night is J.'s Christmas dinner for work and Sunday J.'s parents are having their annual Christmas party. 

Linking up here and here.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

TWOsday!

Every Tuesday Stephanie  hosts a "TWOsday" link up and every Tuesday I forget about it and wish I would remember to participate. And lucky for all of you today is the day I remembered.

ONE


Last night was our last Spark meeting until the new year. I wanted to do something fun with them but also something that wasn't overly Christmassy. Girl Guides of Canada isn't a religious organization and even though all of the girls in my unit celebrate Christmas I still wanted to do something that was holiday neutral. So they each decorated a mini-gingerbread house and two gingerbread people and were the happiest five year olds in all the land as they piled on the icing and put gummy sharks in their front lawn. I snapped a 'Before' picture before the girls started and some in progress but I missed taking an official "After" shot. Just imagine the same set up but with much fewer sprinkles in the bowl and a lot more icing on the table. I also wanted to send them home with a little keepsake. I found gingerbread shaped tree ornaments at Michael's for 75 cents each and decorated them to look like each of the girls. I used sharpies to draw on their uniforms, used the hot glue gun to adhere some gems on their sashes to look like badges and then fashioned some hair our of yarn and called it a day. I'm super happy with the way they turned out! 

TWO


There are only 10 days until I am reunited with H. & R. (as long as the weather cooperates). And 11 days (as long as the weather cooperates) until we're reunited with N.. I was working though last Christmas so I didn't get to partake in the Christmas/New Years reunion, which meant I went a whole year without seeing anyone in real life. I still saw a lot of them on my computer screen, but it's just not the same. I am so excited to drink wine in the hot tub, bravely adventure to the mall for boxing day sales and eat excessive amounts of snack foods. 

That's all I've got for today. We may or may not be getting the first winter storm of the season today/tonight/tomorrow so I'm going to spend the day getting gifts organized, making to do lists and getting things done! 

Monday, 14 December 2015

December Currently


Reading... I'm finally reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. The verdict is still out as to whether or not it's going to be truly life changing. 
Playing... I've been playing Sims Freeplay on my iPhone!
Watching... I'm still very into The Curse of Oak Island. I ended up watching 90 Day Fiance finale and after show because I was just so curious about it all. I also randomly watched a lot of Mystery Diners a couple weeks back. 
Trying... To get all of my Christmas shopping done and wrapped!
Cooking... I have been slacking in the cooking department lately. I have been making a lot of breakfast for supper themed meals, most notably pancakes and bacon. 
Eating... Breakfast foods! And popcorn. 
Drinking... Coffee and water have been my beverages of choice this month. 
Calling... Nobody! Which is great, I hate calling people. 
Texting... This answer really doesn't change month to month, J., H., R. and N. 
Pinning... I was pinning a lot of Christmas games and craft ideas for Sparks. Once I got that sorted out I was pinning Disney tips & tricks and continuing with the Project Life inspiration.
Tweeting... Nothing too exciting. 
Going... to Florida in a few weeks.
Loving... The first thing that came to mind was thick cut ripple plain chips that have been my go to snack as of lately. That seems pretty shallow though, I assure you there are many other things I'm loving snacks just happen to be at the forefront of my mind right now.
Hating... Television. I've been making a conscious effort to watch less and to only watch the shows I'm watching and not the constant
Discovering... How easy it is to lose track of time and end up accomplishing a whole lot of nothing after a whole lot of time. 
Thinking... The whole world seems to be obsessed with Star Wars and I would really like everyone to just calm down about the aliens? robots? ninjas? I don't even know what the characters are supposed to be, I just want them to go away. Or at least stay away from my snack foods.
Feeling... I think the best way to sum up my current emotions and mood is "cautiously optimistic" and a little overwhelmed. 
Hoping (for)... I don't like travelling in winter so I am hoping that things stay mild so that I can go to the city to see H., R. & N. over Christmas and that we can get from here to Florida and back without being interrupted by a snow storm!
Listening (to)... Lots of Stuart McLean's Christmas stories. I haven't listened to 'Dave Cooks the Turkey' yet though, I'm saving that for closer to Christmas. 
Celebrating... Christmas!
Smelling... There's a cinnamon scented thing in the scentsy so I've been smelling that a lot. Once the tree goes up the house will smell like Christmas! 
Ordering... Nothing. I've given up on ordering things online. 
Thankful for... Living close to family and having (weather dependant) plans to see friends over Christmas. 
Considering... The options for 2016, especially when it comes to camp. 
Starting... To think about Ali Edward's One Little Word project for 2016 and how to incorporate that into Project Life or if I'll make a separate scrapbook/journal for that particular project. 
Finishing... It feels like I haven't finished anything in forever. I've started a lot of things or thought about starting but I need to see about a dozen things through to completion. 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Stuff & Things


I have been in a blogging slump this week. Every morning I click through my Bloglovin' feed and think about writing a post. Every evening I scroll through Bloglovin' again and think about writing a post. Ultimately I never quite get around to putting words on a blank template.

Usually after scrolling through posts I feel inspired to write but this week, I won't lie, I just feel disappointed and sad. I'm tired of seeing gift lists and home tours and holiday party outfits and $100 stocking stuffers. Christmas in Blogland has been making me feel rather Grinchy so I've just been avoiding the place. Which isn't the solution. The solution is to remind myself everyone is blogging for a different reason and keep focused on documenting my December.

After being on the wait list since August I finally got The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up this weekend! I'm about 1/4 done the book and I have re-organized (and decluttered) my clothing but so far I haven't felt anything super life changing. What she says makes sense, but there's nothing (so far) in the book that I haven't already read on a Pinterest quote or blog post. I'm looking forward to getting to the part about keepsakes and photos because that's really what peeked my interest about the system in the first place. 

I have made a major dent in organizing and decluttering my crafting stash which makes me very happy. When stuff is messy and cluttered I tend not to use it because searching through a mess of things to find something specific makes me frustrated. When I know exactly where to find a piece of red paper, alpha stickers and a pair of scissors I will happily find them, use them and then put them back where they belong. 

My obsession with The Curse of Oak Island remains strong. I've already started working on convincing J. to visit there this summer. History is my favourite and I enjoy a good mystery that is mysterious and a little creepy but doesn't involve anything too crazy. Obsession probably isn't a good word to use because it's not like my life is revolving around treasure hunting. I just like watching the show every week followed by a quick Google search to find out what the people on the internet have to say about the events.

I have the morning news on while I'm writing this and it just got interrupted for the Golden Globe nominations and I am incredibly annoyed. Who are these people? I want to learn about the weather and world news not which famous people are nominated for silly awards. Also, I don't remember the last time I've watched any award nominated movies. 

I mailed Christmas cards on Monday and am keeping my fingers crossed they get to their destinations before the people leave their current residences and come home for Christmas. The inter-province ones should be fine but I have a suspicion that the ones making their way clear across the country might not arrive until January. 

Speaking of shipping woes. I ordered photo calendars two weeks ago and they're not in yet. The only place to get photos developed instantly around here is Wal-Mart and they always have terrible service and mediocre quality so I've started ordering prints online from Shoppers and getting them shipped to store. Which generally works well except that it takes a minimum of 3 weeks for anything I order to arrive in store. Very much open to alternative photo printing methods. Keeping in mind I'm in Canada and will not be selling arm and leg to pay for shipping.


Linking up with Stuff & Things!


Friday, 4 December 2015

Weekly Faves & Weekend Plans

{one} 
Jones Soda Root Beer


This is my new obsession. About two weeks ago I got a craving for Root Beer but I knew I only wanted a taste of it and refused to buy a big bottle or a whole box of cans. Turns out root beer is rather hard to find in the kind of single serve bottles that are usually found everywhere. Then on Sunday J. and I were in the grocery store and I told him about my Root Beer struggle when he pointed out that I should have looked at the speciality soda display. And luck would have it the Jones Sodas were on buy one, get one free. Craving satisfied and I've totally found a new treat! Plus, it comes with a bonus inspirational quote under the cap. 

{two}
Camp coffee is both terrible and a necessity. So to combat the terrible I started using flavoured creamers this summer. Once I got home from camp I stopped because I know they're terribly unhealthy and generally I'm happy to drink my coffee with a little bit of cream and sugar if it's regular coffee. But the creamers were on sale this week and they called my name as I strolled through the grocery aisle, so I caved and bought one. And wouldn't you know, creamer made camp coffee tolerable but it makes regular good coffee delicious. 

{three}
Project Life App

You might recall I recently posted about my new found obsession  love for Becky Higgin's Project Life. And yesterday I wrote about upgrading my iPhone. Which means that I can now download apps again. I'm planning on doing 90-95% of Project Life using the physical product but I decided to go ahead and invest in the app as well. I figure it's an easy way to keep up if life gets busy and I can include mini-pages within my regular physical album that I make on the app. I haven't had a chance to play around with it much yet but I'm optimistic that it wasn't a waste of $2.50. I am a huge 'paper saver' if a camper or a Spark gives me a craft you better believe I'm going to keep it and all those crafts take up space but I feel so guilty throwing it away. Thanks to reading countless mommy blogs suggesting to scan or take photos of all (or at least most) of those papers and then tossing the giant popsicle stick sculpture. It was also pointed out that construction paper isn't acid free/archival, it's not going to stand the test of time so to speak so taking a photo is the way to go. 

{four}
Maybe I should save this for Wednesday but I'm confessing now that I can't get enough 'Elf on the Shelf'. I want one of those little fellas in my house to creatively move around from room to room each day. Do they make elves for cats? Would that be weird? They better still be a thing in 5-7 years when I (hopefully) have kids old enough to appreciate an elf in the house. Seeing everyone's photos of elves sipping syrup and hiding in the tree has been one of my favourites this week.

{five}
This weekend I have plans to decorate J.'s Christmas tree on Saturday. I will never be a fan of fake Christmas trees but I will play along. I'm using it as an excuse to try the new sugar cookie donuts that are out and I can always get on board with donuts. Sunday I'll be spending the evening at the Guider Christmas potluck, which I have mixed feelings about. On the bright side the 'theme' is Christmas pyjamas so at least I don't have to go through much trouble to get dressed.


Linking up here & here.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Ode to An iPhone

Yesterday  I updated my iPhone 4S to an iPhone 5S and after three years it seemed like an event worth documenting. Also, if you have any suggestions for new apps I should download let me know in the comments! I'm especially interested in photography apps and memory keeping to go along with next year's Project Life.

Dear iPhone,

We had a good run the two of us and while I will miss your bright lime green case I will not miss your recent refusal to update to the new iOS or send iMessages. Today though, let's focus on your successes in life. We've had many memorable moments during our last three and a half years together. 

More than anything thanks for helping me navigate my love life. You were an integral part of arranging the quintessential summer romance of 2013, the bizarre will they/won't they romance of 2014 and most importantly the beginnings of my relationship with J.. 

You were always there in a crisis ready to dial home and connect me with the answers to many of life's greatest questions. For example; "Mom how do I ____" or "Dad, there's a raging blizzard outside and my windshield wiper just broke." 

And during the camp season you accompanied me on many town trips and supported me through many crisis like where to buy Thickner in a small town. You also helped to document that time N. and I bought 120 lbs of potatoes and 60 litres of milk at Sobey's.

Thanks for keeping track of things when I was busy and group messages got a little out of hand because H., R. & I are a little co-dependant and sometimes you just need to send 99+ messages of the course of a few hours. You didn't judge though.

May you rest easy in the designated retired electronics drawer. 

Love,
Donna


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

52 Things in 52 Weeks


Some of you observant folks may have noticed that over the weekend my 25x25 list transformed into a 52 in 52 list. I've been 26 for almost a year now and have thought many times about needing to do something with my 25x25 list but couldn't decide on a plan. For a while I thought about doing a 101 in 1001 list that seem to be popular among bloggers but 101 things is a lot of things and 1001 days feels like a long time! A 30x30 list didn't interest me because it felt cliche and four years is a long time to do 30 things. So after some thought I decided to create a list of 52 things I want to do over the course of the 52 weeks that make up 2016.
  1. Complete 12 months of Project Life. (0/12)
  2. Document my One Little Word for the whole year. 
  3. Read 52 Books. (0/52)
  4. Fill three Notebooks. (0/3)
  5. Try 12 new foods. (0/12)
  6. Cook 12 new recipes. (0/12)
  7. Try 12 new restaurants. (0/12)
  8. Spent 10 nights sleeping in a tent. (0/10)
  9. Visit six museums/National Historic Sites.(0/6)
  10. Participate in a "Photo A Day" Challenge.
  11. Add a stamp to my passport.
  12. Plant a garden.
  13. Write a "1000 Gifts" inspired list. 
  14. Invest in a custom piece of jewelry. 
  15. Mail Valentine's Day Cards.
  16. Mail Christmas Cards. 
  17. Mail post cards during a vacation.
  18. Publish 152 blog posts. (0/152)
  19. Take a photography or cooking class.
  20. Volunteer for a total of 52 hours. (0/52)
  21. Visit another province.
  22. Buy fresh flowers 'just because'.
  23. Write the rough draft of a novel.
  24. See my blog reach 100 followers.
  25. Watch 12 TED talks. (0/12)
  26. Read the Bible cover to cover.
  27. Complete 12 Pinterest Projects. (0/12)
  28. See a play.
  29. Complete six jigsaw puzzles. (0/6)
  30. Sew all my patches on to my camp blanket. 
  31. Save $2 each week and use it to celebrate completing all 52 things. 
  32.  Attend an NHL game. 
  33. Have a girls' weekend.
  34. Choose a good habit to start during Lent.
  35. Build a snowman.
  36. Complete two "Day in the Life" posts. (0/2)
  37. Invest in an external hard drive and back up my photos.
  38. Visit a Farmer's Market 6 times. (0/6)
  39. Purposely learn something new everyday for a week.
  40. Watch a fireworks display.
  41. Meditate once a day for a week. (0/7)
  42. Complete a crossword puzzle without help from Google.
  43. Listen to a full album of classical music.
  44. Do the Clean Sweep test and improve my score in six months. 
  45. Watch the sunrise. 
  46. Spend an hour outdoors in silence. 
  47. Try three different types of wine. (0/3)
  48. Enjoy a guilt free afternoon nap.
  49. Join a club.
  50. Enjoy a bonfire with friends.
  51. Follow through with decluttering and the KonMari method.
  52. Make cards using my photos/scrapbooking stash and sell them. 
I plan to blog about all (or at least most) of the things and am pretty optimistic I'll be able to complete the whole list. Have you started thinking about New Year's Resolutions yet or am I way ahead of the game!? 

Monday, 30 November 2015

A Canadian November Weekend

This weekend I learned that 90% of Americans have no idea Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving over a month ago. So it only seems fair to add another disclaimer to the beginning of this post - I did not celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend. Not because I have anything against Thanksgiving but because I am Canadian and in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. If you did come here looking to read about Thanksgiving you can travel back to the archives and check it out here. Spoiler Alert: there was a lot of pie. 

Now that we've gotten Thanksgiving out of the way I can tell you about my weekend, which was full of Christmas parades and date nights and I completely failed to take a single photo. 


Thursday I set off to the mall on a mission to finish my Christmas shopping. I was pretty successful and basically all I have left is to pick up a couple of gift cards. I met up with J. at East Side Mario and we had lunch. I always like when our schedules align and we get to have a mid-week lunch date. It ended up being a really productive day and I feel much more prepared than I did this time last week. 



Friday I ventured out with my aunt and cousin for "Black Friday". I use quotations because like I said it was not Thanksgiving in these parts and everyone had the same deals on all weekend long. The only slight difference is a few stores opened early and some of the big box stores had "door crasher deals" or offered no tax until noon. Nothing worth writing home about and it was the grocery stores that had the best deals. I was home by early afternoon. That evening my mom and I went to a neighbouring town's Christmas parade to see my cousin who was on a float for her work. I didn't take any photos because it was dark and cold. When I came home I happily climbed into bed and binge watched this season of 90 Day Fiance. 



Saturday I was up early again to go shopping with my grandma and cousin. The two of us were along to help pick out some Christmas gifts and then the three of us had Chinese for lunch. It's been ages since I had Chinese and it was so good. I think I could eat beef and broccoli everyday and be completely happy. The big town Christmas parade was Saturday night and both J. and another cousin were participating. Originally I was going to go with J. but then the forecast was rainy and cold so I opted out. The parade was always in the afternoon and last year they decided to change in to the evening. I didn't go last year so I was curious to check it out this year and was pretty disappointed. Everything just kind of looked the the same with lights and more lights, it was hard to see any of the details on the floats that did go the extra mile and decorate with a theme and more than just lights. I didn't take any photos because everything pretty much looked the same from where I was watching. When I got home I Skyped with H. & R. and we tentatively made plans to see each other over Christmas. We have a pretty small window of opportunity and if the weather is bad then the whole thing is off. Fingers crossed for a mild December and a successful reunion!


Sunday my weekend ended with a somewhat lazy day spent with J. we made a trip to the grocery store, cooked supper at his place and watched some T.V.. I intended on going to bed early last night but instead I stayed up until 11 to watch the new episode of The Curse of Oak Island. I don't remember the last time I was awake at midnight watching a T.V. show and I'm not sure it's going to become a frequent habit. I like early bedtimes!

This week I have got to get my winter tires put on and I am optimistic about finishing Christmas shopping. I also need to navigate switching cell phone carriers, which is going to be a pain and will probably take a full day (or two). So look forward to hearing about that production. I know it's sacrilegious not to include a photo in a post but I really didn't take any this weekend and I have too much to do this morning without adding "find photos for post" to my to do list. 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

What's Up Wednesday: November Edition

It's the last Wednesday of the month which means I'm linking up with Shay for What's Up Wednesday

What I'm Eating...
Pizza & Garlic Fingers, Spicy Chicken Tacos, Lasagna, Chicken Quesadillas. 

What I'm Reminiscing About...Facebook has been showing me photos from formals during university so I've briefly been reminiscing about those days. 

 What I'm loving... This week I've been admiring these Project Life layouts

What I've Been Up To... 


I have learned over the last couple of weeks that people legitimately spend more time planning their vacations to Disney World than they spend planning their weddings. And since I'm a planner by nature and thrive off of a well organized schedule it's hard for all the Disney planning not to consume my life. So I'm limiting myself to how many "insider tips" I read each day and reminding myself that it's all going to be okay. 

What I'm Dreading... Winter. Thumbs down for winter.  

What I'm Working On... Making decisions about what I want to do next year. And Christmas shopping, but that's about half way done. 

What I'm Excited About... My 52 Things in 52 Weeks list! It was a lot harder to come up with 52 things I want to do/accomplish in the 52 weeks on 2016 but I'm almost finished. It'll be up on the blog in December sometime once my header is updated! 

What I'm Watching/Reading...

The Curse of Oak Island, Gail Vaz Oxlade's 'Princesss' and Hockey Wives.

I didn't read a darn thing this month. #oops

What I'm Listening To... I feel like I'm the only person on the planet who isn't constantly listening to music. Usually I'm listening to a tv show in the background if I'm doing something, occasionally I'll listen to a CD in the car but most of the time it's whatever is on the radio. 

What I'm Wearing... It's officially Ugg season. My go to outfit for running errands is leggings, boots and a flannel shirt or fitted hoodie. My go to going out outfit is jeans and a cozy sweater. 

What I'm Doing This Weekend... Possibly two Christmas parades (one Friday night and one Saturday night) but if it's cold I'm probably going to opt out. 

What I'm Looking forward to next month... Last year I didn't have a lot of time off work over Christmas so it will be nice to enjoy more of the Christmas season opposed to just Christmas Day & Boxing Day. 

What Else is New... I can't think of anything! 

Favourite Christmas Tradition... I like Christmas Eve. We go to church and then to my aunt and uncles for a late supper afterwards. It's also a fun day when the Christmas tree goes up! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Project Project Life 2016

I jumped on the scrapbooking bandwagon pretty early in life, I don't remember exactly how I got started but I know that there is a stack of Scrapbooks documenting my junior high self. And yes, there are just as cringe worthy as you imagine. In high school Facebook made it's debut and I was a little more focused on making sure my Facebook albums were up to date than I was about creating scrapbooks. My high school years are documented through boxes of photos and 'stuff', maybe someday I'll feel inspired to put it all into albums but that day is not today (or tomorrow...and probably not anytime soon). In university I didn't take a whole lot of photos. I do have a Smashbook from my fourth year and I've got some traditional photo albums filled with camp photos. Post university life I pretty much stopped taking photos because I didn't feel like I had anything to take photos of, except for camp. Camp is the exception, my camp life/career is fully documented each summer has it's own album and/or box of memorabilia. A year and a half ago I got my DSLR and (re)discovered a love of photography. And now I find myself identifying as one of those people with thousands of photos on their hard drive without a purpose in life other than to pop up when my screen saver comes on.


I know I need to get a handle on the situation before it gets even more out of control but I don't necessarily want to spend hours meticulously cropping/cutting/pasting/embellishing two photos at a time. And so I've decided to hop on the Project Life bandwagon. I've happily waved as the PL Bandwagon passed by the past few years but I never felt like joining. I've even invested in some PL supplies when I've seen them discounted at Michael's. The journalling cards made a great addition to my Smashbooks, I used the bright patterns for card making and they are the perfect size to write a quote on and include in a package. They were also perfect for writing warm fuzzy notes to counsellors this past summer. I guess you can say that I had the Project Life Bandwagon on speed dial but hadn't bothered to call and make a reservation.

Until now. After a lot of in-depth research courtesy of Pinterest I've decided to jump on the Project Life wagon. At first I really liked the idea of following the Project 52 formula, a two page spread every week of the year. Then I did some more reading and realized that's not really what I'm interested in doing at this point. I'm not going to invest in a fancy printer to print my photos at home and I'm not going to order prints every week so the Project 52 formula isn't really going to work. I still want to keep life in chronological order and "document the everyday" but I know that some weeks won't really be all that action packed. So I've decided that my formula will keep Project 52 in mind, but focus more on the month than the week. I'm confident I can commit to printing photos once a month and carving out a Sunday afternoon (or two) to document them in an album. In fact, I prefer to scrapbook in large chunks, I don't think I would enjoy just doing a page at a time. And enjoying what I'm doing is very high on the priority list.


Like all scrapbookers I have a sizeable stash. I wasn't about to purchase a whole lot of new supplies but I did let myself buy a few new things in preparation. First up I wanted a Project Life Album, I ended up with two because they were Buy 1, Get 1 Free. I will use one for 2016 Project Life and the other I will either save for later or I'll use it as a traditional photo album for photos that I don't want to include in the Project Life album. I know it won't go to waste. I used a 50% off coupon to buy a core kit. I decided to invest in the Seasons kit because the cards are made to go through the entire year. There's a few for each holiday and I know that they all coordinate. I know I'll supplement with the cards from other kits I own and make my own cards but I like having a core kit to set the theme. And of course I needed pocket pages so I used another 50% off coupon to buy the variety pack. Which gives me everything I need to dive into Project Life in 2016. I also ended up buying the Kraft Edition Core Kit because I happened to find it at Winners for $20 and I just couldn't pass up that kind of deal. When I got it home and went through the cards I realized it would make a perfect camp album. So we'll see what happens.

I am eagerly awaiting January 1st when I can convert all my enthusiasm into creativity. Until then I'm going to stalk the Project Life blog and admire Kelly Purkey's amazing memory keeping skills. Is anyone else a Project Life convert for 2016 or a long time fan of the memory keeping system?

I was saving this post for later on in December but Becky announced this morning that on Thursday Creative Live will be broadcasting 18 hours worth of Project Life 'how to' for free! I know Thursday is Thanksgiving for those of you in the US but you might want to check it out post turkey dinner and for those of us not in the states know you have your Thursday plans!

**It's worth noting that Becky Higgins has no idea who I am and what my opinions are on her products. I bought all this stuff entirely by choice with my own money. I'm just spreading the love because I believe in documenting life.