Sunday, 22 September 2013

So Long Sweet Summer

This is how the summer started. A long to-do list written out over coffee & bagels. When it was still cold enough to wear leggings, wool socks and touques as we went about cleaning and organizing the camp. When all we could was speculate about how the next 12 weeks would unfold, how interview personalities would mesh together and attempting to anticipate what problems would arise. 

This is how the summer ended. Piles of (dirty) clothes, miss-matched socks and half empty bottles of sunscreen and big spray. Crumpled pieces of papers with notes full of reminders to "tell counsellors to stop eating cheese from the walk-in" and "pick up construction paper, canoe paddles, ketchup and cinnamon." Lingering goodbye hugs between people who 12 weeks ago would have passed each other in a crowd without a second glance. 

And in between the beginning and the end there were a lot of laughs and a few tears. Because sometimes, when you need to make an emergency trip to town to get a blender (true story) and two counsellors quit in the same week right before a week with 45 campers you just have to laugh. And then cry from stress because while you're laughing another counsellor wanders into the office to let you know a camper is refusing to go to bed or is homesick. Or both, depending on the day. No matter how slowly the day seemed to go by it did end, and there always seemed to be just enough time between camper lights out and counsellor bedtime to stargaze or eat copious amounts of chocolate. Or both, again depending on the day. Outside camp life there were breaks spent getting dressed up to go to Wal-Mart followed by laying in bed for hours catching up on Big Brother. 

I feel so lucky to have experienced this summer. Looking back there were moments that were so intricately perfect. And more than that I'm (98%) at peace with the ending. I've still got some "I wonder if..." and "Maybe if..." thoughts but I'm okay with that. Things will happen as they're meant to happen and I've got a lot of faith they'll happen at the perfect time. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

 {one} Comfort is a warm shower after splashing in puddles on a rainy summer afternoon. Changing into jogging pants (bonus points if they happen to be fresh out of the dryer) and spending the evening snuggling under the covers. It's feeling safe and warm and happy from the tips of your fingers to the tips of your toes.

{two} I've been listening to this song all summer and I still listen to it every time I'm in the car. I think it's earned a spot on my "All-Time Favourite Songs" playlist.

{three} My little corner of the world is getting a Target, and in that Target there's going to be a Starbucks! I am so excited, I'm not a Starbucks Addict (that's kind of impossible when the nearest one is 5 hours away) but I enjoy the occasional  Starbucks treat! 

{four} I have a giant pile of books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. I planned to get back into reading but then I started watching Breaking Bad...and catching up with that became a priority. I finished watching the most recent episode last (CRAZY!) so maybe now I will pick up a book again. Although a friend is begging me to watch New Girl...

{five} I haven't updated to iOS7 yet, because I like the way iOS6 looks and I don't understand people's dedication to spending five hours waiting for it to download! So now I'm just going to be stubborn and avoid it until Apple forces me to update...or I get annoyed looking at the notification button. 

If you're dropping by from the "Let's Be Friends" Blog Hop be sure to leave me a comment so I can drop by your blog!

Thursday, 19 September 2013


...both my laptop and wi-fi have been making it impossible for me to blog. And I miss reading blogs as I drink my morning coffee.

...I have been super excited for all the season premiers!

...I've been busy planning an "Autumn Extravaganza Weekend" with one of my best friends.

...I cannot find great fall boots to fit my size 5 feet anywhere.

...I have spent too much time watching engagement videos on YouTube. Pinterest boards are overflowing with recipes and crafts I want to try.


Friday, 13 September 2013


{one} First let's take care of today's Blogtember prompt. 

Okay, so it's clearly not a self-portrait...and portrait seems like a fancy word to use for this photo but it's a photo of me and it's recent. In all my camp glory, which means it has probably been 2-3 days since I showered and I'm definitely not wearing any make up.

{two} Guacamole. Avocados have been on sale this week and I'm taking full advantage, which means I've been making & eating fresh guacamole almost every day this week. And I have no plans on stopping the trend next week.

{three} There's a very real possibility everything could be in place to start my "new" job by the end of October. This is both extremely exciting and terrifying. I was preparing myself for January at the earliest, but things are coming together very quickly. The new job means a lot of changes, the biggest one being moving to the city...

{four} I watched Pitch Perfect for the first time this week and I loved it! I wasn't really expecting to...I love Anna Kendrick, but I strongly dislike Glee so I didn't have high hopes.

{five} These are the most delicious chocolate bars known to man kind.
I'm usually not much of a chocolate person, I'll choose a bag of chips over a chocolate bar any given day. However, these Dairy Milk Pretzel & Peanut Butter bars are AMAZING! One of the female counsellors at camp this summer happened to share one she had and it wasn't long before everyone was addicted to them. Luckily, they're on sale at Wal-Mart this week so I fully plan on stocking up.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Staying Connected

The topic for today's Blogtember post is how blogging & social media has changed you.

I'm still pretty new to the blogging world and still figuring things out. The best thing about blogging is that I'm writing again! Back in the day I was an avid Livejournal-er and hardly ever went a day without updating. The hardest thing about blogging is finding a balance between being open and interesting enough to write good posts, make new friends while still maintaining some level of privacy, especially when I'm writing about camp or friends because I don't want to/can't plaster their information all over the internet!

Social Media is another thing, right now I happen to be in a stage of my life where my friends are scattered all over the country working on Master's degrees or starting their careers, without technology it would be a lot harder to stay in touch! With a quick scroll through my Twitter feed I can find out who is having a good day, who has exciting weekend plans and of course keep up with the news! At least once a day I use Facebook chat to catch up with friends. It blows my mind that if it wasn't for technology I would be waiting days/weeks for letters to arrive just to stay in touch. Now snail mail is something we do just for fun!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I'll be honest, I don't have a credit card so I don't do a whole lot of online shopping. I'm limited to using PayPal for my purchases or getting one of those Visa Gift Cards to use. I'm also really petite so it's hard for me to buy clothes without trying them on, especially if it's from a store I've never shopped at before! That being said there is one place for online shopping that I love!

I love ebay! 

I don't have any specific sellers I buy from, I usually just type some keywords into the search and spend a few minutes (sometimes hours) browsing through what I find. Every few days I search "summer camp" just to see what fun things come up, and I've found a few awesome camp themed things that I never would have found in a store around here! I've also gotten some great deals on scrapbooking supplies and books. 

I've tried to get into Etsy and I've ordered one or two things from there but I find most things really expensive and a lot of shops don't ship to Canada.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Twists & Turns

 Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn...
Kids, I've been telling you the story of how I met your mother, and while there's many things to learn from this story, this may be the biggest. The great moments of your life won't necessarily be the things you do, they'll also be the things that happen to you. Now, I'm not saying you can't take action to affect the outcome of your life, you have to take action, and you will. But never forget that on any day, you can step out the front door and your whole life can change forever. You see, the universe has a plan kids, and that plan is always in motion. A butterfly flaps its wings, and it starts to rain. It's a scary thought but it's also kind of wonderful. All these little parts of the machine constantly working, making sure that you end up exactly where you're supposed to be, exactly when you're supposed to be there. The right place at the right time. -How I Met Your Mother
 I've said it before and I'll say it again; I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I suspect most of the posts today will be about meeting the love of your life, getting engaged, getting married, becoming a parent, losing a loved one... the big moments in life when you just know everything has changed. A few moments crossed my mind when I read today's topic:

Going to camp for the first time.
Becoming a counsellor.
Losing camp.
Moving away to university on my own.
Meeting any number of people who I know consider a close friend.
Finding a new camp home.

But really every decision and detail of the day, the big ones and the small ones are leading me to where I belong.  So even though I haven't (to my knowledge) met the man I'm going to marry yet, or gotten engaged or become a parent there are so many other daily twists and turns that don't seem like much in the moment but it in the big picture, it's all about the details. And in the season of life I can't quite see the big picture, but I know that the details are coming together, leading me somewhere and change is right around the corner.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Back on the Blogging Wagon!

Remember that time last week when I committed to blogging (almost) every day in September? 
Yeah, me too.
And then my laptop decided to go haywire making it impossible to do anything even remotely productive. The good news it seems to be fixed now and I am ready to hop back on the blogging wagon!

The Blogtember Challenge for the day is to take this Personality Test...
Which tells me I am INFJ. It seems pretty accurate, apparently I excel in careers with intellectual work, caring for people and creativity. Working at camp and with youth definitely requires a lot of caring and creativity! Famous INFJs include Mother Theresa and Jerry Seinfeld so I am in good company!

I'm also linking up with Sami to tell you about my weekend...
Friday I was up at 6:45 to babysit my cousins and help get them ready and on the bus for the second day of school! I came home around 8:30 and spent the day unpacking from camp and getting my life organized. I managed to fill a laundry basket of clothes to donate and get everything from camp put away where it belongs. Friday evening I went for a walk, came home and watched some TV and went to bed. Saturday I went to a new park that opened about 20 minutes from my house and did the walking trail there. The park isn't quite finished yet, but it was still nice to check it out. Afterwards I went for groceries, came home and made delicious guacamole which I ate while sorting through pictures from the summer. Even after weeding out the not-so-great pictures and just picking my favourites I still ended up with over 300 prints.

Yesterday, I spent the entire day watching Breaking Bad. I am both proud and ashamed to disclose I watched the entire first season yesterday. Such a good show! And really wasn't expecting to like it, but the first 5 seasons are on Netflix and one of my best friends recommended I watch, so I started and now can't stop! 

Not a very exciting weekend but I enjoyed it! This week I'm looking forward to actually participating in the Blogtember posts plus blogging about some craft projects I have in the works! 

Monday, 2 September 2013

Blogtember Challenge!

Tomorrow is the first day of another blog challenge hosted by Jenni at Story of My Life! I participated in her Blog Every Day in May Challenge...up until I went off to camp and fell off the face of the blogging world. This time around it's a Monday-Friday challenge and is the perfect way to stay motivated and keep up the blog.

Here's a preview of the topics I'll (hopefully) be blogging about this month and the "rules" of the challenge. 

Here are the rules:
1. There really aren't any rules. If you miss a day, you can make it up or skip it. The blog police will not come knocking.
2. I will be including a linkup option at the bottom of my post each day, so you are welcome to leave your links here for others to peruse, as well. 
3. You can still post other things every day, too. I plan to do normal outfit posts, life posts, around-Austin posts, and sponsor posts just like usual.
4. I'd seriously love you if you also include the "Blogtember" button (below) either on your sidebar or at the end of your posts, but again, the blog police will not come knocking. My main goal here is to get us all back to the basics of blogging, not to gain a million new readers (though I wouldn't mind that). 
5. Here are the topics. You can be as creative and awesome or as boring and bland as you like with these. Take 'em and run with it. Use creative post titles. Interpret each "prompt" however you like. There's no wrong way to do it. Have fun.

Tuesday, Sept. 3: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.
Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do? (bonus points for fun photos from Pinterest, but don't forget to cite the source!)
Thursday, September 5: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered. 
Friday, September 6: A story about a time you were very afraid.
Monday, September 9:  short personality test and respond to your results. (at the end, find the detailed profile of your personality account - click "click to view" under "You" and "self awareness and personal growth." You can even google your type and find more info on it!)
Tuesday, September 10: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
Wednesday, September 11: Share links to your favorite online shops, preferably with a few photos of your favorite items in each shop.
Thursday, September 12: Discuss ways that blogging or social media has changed you.
Friday, September 13: A self portrait
Monday, September 16: Write a public love letter to someone in your life. (It doesn't necessarily need to be romantic.)
Tuesday, September 17: A memory you would love to relive.
Wednesday, September 18: Only photos
Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: "To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century."
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion - you can leave your readers wishing for more!
Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort. 
Monday, September 23: A "life lately" post. What you're up to, how you're feeling, how you're doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!
Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.
Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up - a mistake you made. 
Thursday, September 26: Go to a coffee shop. Order a favorite drink. Write about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Or write about anything you'd like! Bonus points for including a photo from the coffee shop. (I recommend downloadingOmmwriter and bringing headphones along!) *if you can't make it to a coffee shop, at least leave your usual space and write someplace new.
Friday, September 27: An anonymous letter to your Facebook friends. Be as snarky as you'd like. (but don't include people's real names.) 
Monday, September 30: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it's special.