Friday, 29 November 2013

Short & Sweet Friday Five

I originally planned to go "Black Friday" shopping today...but then I ended up babysitting all day. I'm a little disappointed, at the same time there's nothing I needed and I'm confident there will still be plenty of stuff at the mall tomorrow or the first of next week. 


More Secret Boards on Pinterest!!!! I'm so excited about this, I wasn't expecting it and don't think I did anything special to make it happen, but when I signed into Pinterest I had 3 more Secret Boards! 

There is nothing I am more excited about right now than pyjamas, a pile of blankets and either obscure documentaries or reruns of Dawson's Creek/Friends and sleep. Also maybe some yoga and a hot water bottle. My Friday night plans are the envy of all.

At some point during my internet travels this week I came across this 30 Days of Prayer. I've done different prayer stations and Spiritual Practices workshops with youth groups and camp over the years but they've mostly been all at once kind of a deal. I like the idea of focusing on a different type of prayer each day! I think I may take the challenge on for December, modifying it slightly because I'm not Catholic. Has anyone else done this before? 

I'm struggling to stay awake right's 7 p.m. I need to keep myself awake for at least 3 more hours before it's an acceptable bedtime. Maybe more like 2 and a half. 

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving....Thursday!

One of the many oddities about the blogging world is that 90% of bloggers are American. (I have no idea what the actual stats are but I know I get really excited when I happen to stumble upon another Canadian.) Which means most bloggers are celebrating Thanksgiving today! Being a Canadian I celebrated Thanksgiving back in today is just another Thursday. 

In honour of American Thanksgiving I will take some time out of my day to watch what I believe is some of the best TV ever made. Of course, I'm talking about Friends Thanksgiving episodes. Specifically, Season 6's "The One Where Ross Got High". It is my all-time favourite episode of Friends. Rachel's English Trifle is hilarious all by itself. And the scene where everyone just starts yelling each others secrets makes me laugh every time. I've reached the point where I can pretty much quote the entire episode, but it isn't any less funny than it was the first time. 

The last couple years retailers here have been trying to make "Black Friday" happen...but everybody works on it hasn't really caught on. 

My inbox has been flooded this week with e-mails from stores advertising "Black Friday Sales". None of them are super exciting, they're just sales, nothing worth standing in line or waking up at the crack of dawn to get. There are a few deals that I might check out, but honestly it depends on the weather. We're forecasted to get rain and strong winds the next couple of days. So if Friday comes along and its gross out side I'm going to stay right where I am!

Hope all you Americans are enjoying lots of quality time with family & friends and piles of delicious food!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


This is the first post as I work my way through 25 of the 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind as part of my 25x25 list!

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Dress however I wanted and not worry about where I'm going and who is going to see me. 

You might assume what I'm getting at is a desire to just wear jogging pants all the time, and while I would definitely make some trips to Wal-Mart wearing my favourite jogging pants I would also grocery shop in my prom dress. I hate worrying about being over dressed or under dressed and if we all just wore whatever we wanted to when we wanted to with the understanding that sometimes you need to dress up and other times putting on real pants is just too much to ask. 

I get a taste of this during the summer. After a week of wearing neon Nike running shorts, baggy t-shirts, jogging pants and hoodies you just want to wear some real clothes. I have made more trips to the Camp Town Wal-Mart wearing cute sundresses, perfect make up and hair than I can count. And I've never made the trip alone, Wal-Mart and Subway have seen some of the best summer outfits from the female camp staff. 

On the flip side as AD sometimes I will have to go into town to run an errand during the middle of the session. I once wore leggings, knee socks, pink rubber boots, tie-dye, a winter hat, no make up and my hair in two braids into Sobey's. I got some great looks. Although they could have been because I was buying 20L of olive oil, birthday candles and a bag of Twizzlers for the drive back to camp. 

Back in the real world though people are excepted to dress a certain way to go certain places. And if nobody was going to judge me then I'd wear whatever I want where ever I wanted to wear it! 

What would you do in a judge-less society? 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Stocking Stuffers!

I absolutely love stockings. Some people dream about going to the pumpkin patch to take family pictures with their husband and babies. I dream about monogrammed stockings. I can't wait until I can hang stockings over the fireplace with mine and my husband's on either side and 3-4 stockings in between for the kiddos. 


As kids (and even know) my brother and I always opened our stockings first before any of the other presents. Santa also took the time to wrap all of the individual things in our stockings, which I love and plan on doing with my own kids. I had all kinds of pretty pictures for last week's wish list post but I quickly realized my favourite stocking stuffers don't make very interesting photos. So, this week's post will be in list form!

Favourite Stocking Stuffers

Lip Chap & Lip Gloss 
Nail Polish
Hand Cream
Face Wipes
Hair Accessories
Fun Socks

I think stockings are so much fun! There's lots room to be creative (one year my stocking was entirely scrapbooking supplies and another it was all camp things). I've even put together stockings as gifts for friends before and they've been very well received!

Don't forget to link up your favourite stocking stuffers here or here!

Monday, 25 November 2013


I love music. I am mildly totally obsessed with organizing my iTunes, creating a playlist for every mood and occasion and I am both proud and ashamed to admit I have everything from Alabama to Weezer. Since I got a new hard drive and wasn't able to save anything from my old one I spent a lot of time this weekend importing CDs and trying to restore my iTunes to its former glory. 

My first priority was to make sure all my favourite songs were added! I definitely have favourite songs of the moment, but there are seven songs that have been my "All-Time Favourites" for years. And one recent addition that I know is going to stand the test of time.  As I was making this list I realized that although I tell people I mostly listen to country (which is true) only two of my All-Time Favourites would be considered country and they aren't even that twangy! I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm sure there's something there! 

This at the very top of my favourite list, it's the favourite of the favourites. It's been my favourite song for as long as I can remember. I love the way the guitar sounds in the beginning. I love the lyrics. I love everything about this song. 

I have the best memories of singing along to this song at camp. Whenever I hear it I am immediately transported back to being at camp as a camper and being in awe of the counsellors could sing along to every word. Then, being an older camper and knowing most of the words, and finally achieving "counsellor status" and after listening to the song so many times a week for weeks on end I learned every word by heart. 

I don't play any instruments. I own a keyboard and a guitar, because at one point in my life I begged my parents to get me said instruments, but I never learned how to play either of them. Due to my lack of real musical knowledge I usually go for lyrics over music. The exception though is really The Crane Wife 3, the lyrics are there and you can search for lots of meaning in them but when it comes down to it I just like the way it sounds.

There are a lot of songs about love. A LOT. This one is different though, to me it's about loving someone so much there just aren't words. And being in total awe that all of life's circumstances and events lead you to that person. 

Yes, it's a long song. It's worth every second of listening though. I love songs that tell a story, and this song definitely tells a story. It's so heartbreakingly beautiful. I feel kind of protective over this song, I don't recommend it to just anybody, only to people who I think will "get" it (and the blog world apparently). 

Say what you will about T-Swift, I will defend her until I'm blue in the face. And sure her music has changed over the years, but my music taste has changed a lot since I was 16 too. Like I said before, I love songs that tell a story and I think this song encompasses the simple feeling of hoping somebody thinks of you because you still think about them. 

I think saying goodbye is one of the hardest things ever, especially when the events surrounding the goodbye are muddled and you're not really sure when or if there will be a hello again. Plus, all the confusion, frustration, sadness and nostalgia that comes with missing somebody. 

The newest addition to my must have list. The first time I heard this song I played it on repeat for the entire day. And the next day. And on the third day the director, who I share an office with during the summer, threatened to quit if I didn't change the song. So I listened to Crash My Party & That's My Kinda Night for a few hours before returning to Play It Again. 

What are your all time favourite songs that you just never get tired of hearing!?

I didn't have any real weekend shenanigans this week so I'm linking up with the lovely Meg for Mingle Monday!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Summer is Coming

Despite having lived my whole life in Canada I have no love for winter weather. None. Unless it's a major snowstorm and everything is closed so the only thing that is expected of me is to stay at home in my bed watching TV. It's dark out at 5 p.m. and the ground is icy and wet, everything is cold the last thing I want to is exercise. That being said I know that summer is just around the corner. There will be 20 cm of snow on the ground and then the next morning the snow will be melted and spring will arrive. Of course then it will snow again and there will be 30 cm of snow down because I live in Atlantic Canada and that's just what happens. Regardless, it's only a matter of time before I wake up one morning and realize bathing suit season is upon us. 

So with that in mind I'm joining Sarah at Venus Trapped in Mars to set some 'non-scale goals' (which I love) about my body. 

1. Drink 
I'm so good at drinking water during the summer. I never go anywhere without my water bottle while I'm at camp and I easily re-fill it three times a day. In the winter it's cold, I don't want to drink cold water. I want to drink hot chocolate and tea and fancy coffee with whipped cream to warm me up! I need replace those sugary, caffeinated drinks with water! 

2. Flex
Back in the day I was a gymnast and could bend and twist like it was nothing. I'm ashamed to admit these days touching my toes is as good as it gets. I know that if I take 10-15 minutes every day to stretch I'd see an improvement pretty quickly, it's a matter of doing it! Starting today I'm going to incorporate 10 minutes of stretching into my bedtime routine. 

3. Tone
Lifting weights is boring. There I said it. I'm not going to spend money to lift heavy things or buy heavy things to lift. What I am going to do is crunches and push ups while I watch TV. Nothing complicated but something that I will see results from if I stick to it! 

4. Eat
I'm don't eat terribly, I rarely eat take out and am pretty aware of what goes in my mouth. But I don't always plan ahead and because I'm "a picky eater" I don't always like what the rest of the family is having and so I end up eating a bagel or grilled cheese or just some rice. Not a great solution. 

5. Enjoy
I love the idea of using a yoga video or some other program to guide my workout, but I've never really found one I love. I've done Jillian Michael's ones before but honestly I have such a strong dislike for her because of Biggest Loser that I can't focus on the moves just my intense dislike for her. I love the simplicity and concept of a work out DVD though so I really want to find one I love as much as the idea of it! 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Weekly Round Up


Monday I went to town and checked out the brand new Target! I was a little disappointed, it didn't have the same selection as the one in the City, plus it was crazy  which I guess is to be expected, it's not too often a new store opens around here. I didn't buy anything in Target but I couldn't resist treating myself to a Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks. I am super excited that since the arrival of Target I now have a Starbucks closer than 5 hours away. Not that I will be making frequent visits there because, well, I'm cheap. 

I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet...I really need to get on that next week. Especially the 2 or 3 gifts that need to be mailed. And as a side note why is mailing things so damn expensive? Buying said gifts would be a lot easier if I didn't have to factor in the weight and size of the gift. Last Christmas I bought a beautiful ornament and ended up paying over $20 to mail it by the time I wrapped the thing in bubble wrap so it wouldn't get broken. Why hasn't science come up with a way to teleport material items? 

I came across this on Pinterest this week and laughed for a solid five minutes before sharing it with all of my camp staff friends. It's ridiculously accurate. 

I had this grand plan to make my own "Blog Binder" but after numerous attempts I've accepted that it is much easier for me to just invest in a pen & paper planner. Now I just need to find one that meets all my requirements and is $10 or less. That will be on the to-do list for next week!

This just made me smile. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Tunes & Tastes

I feel like this week has been so chaotic! I made 3 trips to town in 3 days, but I did finally get my laptop fixed! With a totally empty hard drive my first priority was to restore my iTunes to its former glory. I spent a solid two hours yesterday importing CDs but I barely made a dent. If anyone has any music/song suggestions now would be the time to share them! I listen to a lot of country but I also listen to lots of indie stuff and I'm not ashamed to admit I have a soft spot for One Direction and the Jonas Brothers. 


Last night I Skyped with H. & R. for three hours. I love those girls with every fiber of my being. Our friendship isn't perfect, I mean, technically I'm their boss four months of the year...and like any boss/employee relationship there are definitely times when I have to be the "bad guy"/authority figure. But we work through it. Part of what makes us so close (other than the magic that is camp) is that we learned pretty quickly on that if we wanted to be friends we needed to forgive each other and not hold grudges. It's pretty easy to get annoyed/frustrated with somebody when you live and work with them 24/7 and if you don't learn to accept apologizes, discuss disagreements, agree to disagree and respect each other by the time August comes around you cannot wait to get far away from them. I am so thankful that the three of us "clicked" almost instantly but also realize it takes effort to keep a friendship and having that kind of friendship is worth all the effort in the world.

I recently realized how thankful I am that I genuinely enjoy cooking! I love being in the kitchen trying a new recipe, creating something from scratch or making an old favourite, it all makes me happy. I see posts on my Facebook/Twitter almost daily from people either complaining about eating Kraft Dinner for the fourth time that week or sharing a photo their latest kitchen disaster. I'm not saying I don't have my share of kitchen disasters (someday I'll tell you the "microwave s'more" story), but I just laugh them off and move on to my next culinary adventure. I can't imagine hating cooking so much that you eat out every single meal and avoid the kitchen like the plague. I don't know if my love for cooking & baking is a product of nature or nurture but I'm sure thankful for all the hours I spent baking with my Grandma as a child and for parents who let me experiment in the kitchen (just as long as I cleaned up my mess afterwards). 

On that note I am off to start supper, import a few more CDs and catch up on last's nights episode of Survivor!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

God Wiped My Hard Drive

Today was a rough day. 

I went to pick up my MacBook and the guy informed me that he couldn't salvage anything off the hard drive. He started trying to transfer some basic files over but then it really quit and there was nothing else he could do. Not the end of the world, 90% of the stuff that was on there is either pretty easy to replace or not of any value. The other 10% was the last pictures of my old camp. I have some hardcopies but not all of them. 

I thought I'd make myself feel a little better by getting the first Candy Cane Hot Chocolate of the season from Tim Horton's. Except that that particular story hadn't received their CCHC supplies yet. I must have looked absolutely heartbroken because the lady taking my order kept apologizing and suggested a regular hot chocolate with a mint shot and whip cream on top. I agreed and although it was a pretty good substitute it just wasn't the exact pick me up I was anticipating.

Made it home and went to quickly check my e-mail on my phone before I assessed the laptop situation. I was hoping for nice blog comments or something along those lines to boost my mood. Instead I got an e-mail that was kind of passive-aggressive and annoyed from someone who I've had a lot of patience with and done a lot for lately, but they needed something done ASAP. I took a deep breath before replying as sweetly as possible that I would make some calls first thing tomorrow morning and see what I could do for them. Then I took a lot more deep breaths.

Decided to evaluate the laptop situation but when I went to sign in it wouldn't accept my password. I didn't get too concerned and figured the guy had just changed it called him up and explained the problem...after a few minutes of discussion he realized that what must have happened was when he tried to move the basic files from the old hard drive to the new one it got as far as my User ID and profile picture (as well as my password hint) but didn't register the actual password...I'll be making a return trip tomorrow afternoon so he can work some magic and restore it to factory settings. 

I tried to find the humour in the whole situation by reminding myself that I've been praying a lot lately for change and a fresh start. God wiped my hard drive, voila fresh start.

On that note I am going to take a long hot shower, get into to some jogging pants and treat myself to a Vanilla Coke while watching The Princess Bride. 

And take some more deep breaths. Lots and lots of deep breaths. 

Grown-Up Christmas List

Call me old fashion but I try to stick to the rule of holding off Chirstmas celebrations until December 1st (or at least the first Sunday of Advent). HOWEVER, I had to break my rule so I could join in with this link up being co-hosted by one of my favourite bloggers! Elise blogs over at  Cheers Y'All and is married to her summer camp sweetheart (which of course makes me super happy!), she is so sweet and has the most adorable dog. Everyone needs to go check out her blog and link up! 

The theme for today's link up is our own Christmas Wish List. I may have went a little over board with mine, and am definitely not getting everything (or anything?) on this list, but a girl can dream. 


I would love to have a KitchenAid Mixer. I go back and forth  between wanting it in yellow or in orange. And sometimes red is my first choice. Luckily, I don't have to decide quite yet because before I get a KitchenAid I should really get my own kitchen...

I joke about it all the time, but I'm also pretty serious when I say that I want to be Ree Drummond when I grow up. I mean, she's married to a cowboy, has four beautiful kids (2 boys & 2 girls), lives on a ranch and her job is to blog, take photos and film a cooking show about her delicious food. I know you can get her recipes online but there's just something nice about having the actual cookbook. And I love a display of cookbooks in the kitchen! (Again, maybe I'll work on getting a kitchen first.)
I have been eyeing these boots for almost a  year now. I love them and I really want a pair. I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on a pair of rubber boots. I wear my rubber boots at camp and in the woods and in barns. While wearing my rubber boots I jump in puddles and walk through mud, so spending over $100 on a pair of boots just seems ridiculous. 

I had a chance to play with a good DSLR at camp this summer and ever since then it's been on my ultimate wishlist. I have a point & shoot camera now that is also really great because it's shock proof and waterproof, which is awesome for the wear and tear it gets at camp but it would be nice to have something a little better quality. 

And to go with my fancy camera, a fancy camera strap! There are so many of these on Etsy (I really love this one though) I would want to buy a different one for every day of the week. 

Of course, gift cards are always a welcome gift too! To be honest I hate giving giftcards alone unless they're paired with something, but I do like getting them. It's nice to be able to pick out your own thing, or combine gift cards and get something a little more expensive. I usually find gift cards from Chapter's, Michael's, Subway and Tim Horton's under the tree Christmas morning!

What's on your Christmas list? 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Sunday Social

Name four jobs you've had in your life.
Camp Counsellor
Church Outreach Coordinator
Seasonal Camp Director
Assistant Camp Director

Name four movies you would watch over and over.
The Princess Bride
The Help
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Name four places you have lived.
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
I suppose I should look into real estate in PEI!

Name four of your favourite foods.
Beef & Broccoli
Chicken Strips

Name four things you always carry with you.
Lip Chap
Hair Elastic
Bobby Pins

Name four places you have been on vacation.
I'm not much of a traveller. I've never been outside the country as only as far as Quebec!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Your Story

I know I'm not the only one who loves TED Talks. I've watched a lot of them over the years, but this one remains my favourite. And I think it's pretty relevant to share with the blogging world. There are so many blogs out there it can be hard to sit down and write a post, especially when you feel like you have nothing worth saying or nothing to say that hasn't already been said. The thing is, nobody has told your story. Everyone has their own unique perspective about the world around them. It's true there might be 1000 other blogs about "life as a 20 something" but they're not your blogs. You might come across someone experiencing the same situation, but even then your perspective and circumstances will certainly alter the way you handle these situations and just maybe your perspective can help someone else. Or you will find encouragement and inspiration in the way someone else has dealt with an obstacle. 

So keep writing and sharing your story because nobody else can do it for you. 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Random Friday Thoughts

I gave into peer pressure and installed iOS 7 on my iPhone this week. A decision I almost immediately regretted. Ever since I updated my phone refuses to acknowledge my Wi-Fi 80% of the time. Super annoying. Also, I finally got around to taking my MacBook in to get fixed...I was pretty confident the problem was a loose wire in the trackpad. Turns out it needs a new hard drive. It has not been a great week for the technology in my life.  #firstworldproblems

I'm cold and tired and kind of cranky so if someone could deliver one of these to my door that would be great.

Target opened this week! I am so tempted to check it out over the weekend, but I am going to try and hold out until Monday because I know it will be crazy. I had my first Target experience while i was in the city last month so a few more days of waiting won't kill me. I am super excited to invest in another "Crackling Wood" scented candle, browse the agendas and treat myself to one of the Starbucks drinks mentioned above.

 This Buzzfeed article/photography project of children all around the world with their toys is amazing. So many similarities and contrasts within in the pictures. Some of the pictures remind me that my annoyance and whining about Wi-Fi and MacBook hard drive are pretty okay problems to have in the scheme of things. And others just make me smile, because kids are adorable. 

It's only 7 p.m. and I am conflicted between being extremely bored and wishing I had plans (or someone that lived less than 5 hours away that I could make plans with) and being incredibly thankful that I don't have to wear real pants. 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Meet Peyton

This is Peyton (Peyton Juliet if she's in trouble, which is often).

Peyton is extremely curious and gets into all kinds of trouble has all kinds of adventures! She loves people food and will eat just about anything if you give it  to her. And if you don't give it to her she will help herself. Her favourite human food is chocolate milk, she will go to great lengths to stick her head in a glass of chocolate milk and as soon as she hears the fridge door open she is there to check out what you're eating. 

She loves to be up high, she was around 6 months old when she figured out how to jump up on the kitchen table and then to the top of the fridge. (That's also where we used to keep the cat treats, but more on that later.) Recently she's decided she likes to hang out on the banister at the bottom of the stairs. She reminds me of one of those gargoyles you see on old buildings when she hangs out here.

She has a ridiculous amount of toys. I do mean ridiculous, she has a full toy box in the living room, not to mention she got her very own cast-iron cat bed last year for Christmas. Crazy? Yes. Absolutely Adorable? 100% Yes. She carries her toys all over the house and has a few favourites that she more or less takes everywhere with her. I snapped this picture last spring when I was packing for camp. I had gotten out my suitcase but hadn't put anything it in yet, I heard her coming up the stairs with a toy and she jumped in my suitcase with it and gave me this look. My heart seriously melted. The worst part about camp is being away from her! 

Peyton is seriously smart, she plays fetch and has figured out how to open cupboards to get the bag of treats. She prefers to drink out of the faucet rather than her dish and if she decides in the middle of the night she's thirsty she takes a toy into the bathroom and meows and meows until I get out of bed and turn the water on for her. She may be a bit of a spoiled brat. 

One of my favourite things about her is what I call her "Disney Princess eyes", they are so expressive and too big for her face, but I think it's adorable. She such a huge personality and even though she is an active cat and will play for hours she sleeps with me every night and purrs like crazy. 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


A is for Arts & Crafts, I can spend hours working on DIY projects and letting my creative juices flow!
B is for blankets, my favourite is one I made in grade 8 sewing class.
C is for camp, which has shaped me into the person I am today and continues to make me a better person.
D is for dusk, I love the way the sky looks as the sun finishes setting and the starts are starting to come out.

E is for Ephesians 3:20, my favourite verse in the Bible.
F is for fire, there is something so therapeutic about watching flames dance and listening to crackling wood.
G is for God, Alpha & Omega, creator of the universe.
H is for hope, I love this word and it's meaning.
I is for ice cubes, because everything tastes better with ice!
J is for Jelly Belly Jelly Beans, any other jelly bean is just not worth eating.
K is for kitchen, where I can lose myself for hours cooking, baking and singing along to my iPod.
L is for love, romantic love, platonic love, love between friends, family, God's love. All of it. 
M is for memories, life is constantly changing and I'm thankful I can look back and remember the good times.
N is for naps, the solution to 90% of life's problems will be reveled after a good nap.
O is for ocean, I can't imagine every living somewhere far from the ocean or water. 
P is for Peyton, the cutest and smartest cat that has ever lived.

Q is my favourite letter of the alphabet.
R is for Reality TV, my guilty pleasure that I fully admit and accept.
S is for summer, the most magical four months of the year full of sunshine, stargazing and serenity.
T is for The Princess Bride, my favourite book AND movie.
U is for underwear, I absolutely love underwear shopping!
V is for Vanilla Coke, the most delicious beverage to ever be sold.
W is for writing, I've been filling pages with my scribbles for as long as I can remember.
X is for x's and o's, because there's no denying hugs & kisses aren't great things. 
Y is for yoga pants, comfort at its finest.
Z is for zebra print, just enough to add some flair without making things tacky.

Linking up here!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


I've had a lot on my mind the last few days, but after much thought, careful consideration and prayerful reflection I've reached a decision that I'm comfortable with. And it all comes down to loyalty. You see last week there was a job posting for a year-round, full-time camp director within what I consider to be my "comfort zone" (I'm willing to relocate for a job, but I'm not interested in moving across the country. Sounds great right? The catch is that the position is with a very similar similar in fact some may consider it competition. 

Based on the job description, what I know about their programs, my experience and a few other facts I knew I had a pretty good shot at getting the job. My director even made a point to make sure I knew about the posting, which I appreciated considering she's spent the last few months working her way through piles of paperwork to create a year round AD job and secure funding. At first it was a no brainer, I couldn't not let this pass me by. Then I started thinking.

About the amazing campers I get to meet and learn from all summer long.
About the life long friendships I've made with other staff members.
About stargazing on August nights and counting shooting stars.
About all of the blood, sweat and tears that I have poured into that place.

And I realized.

This isn't a place I am willing to walk away from

I poured everything I had into my old camp and if God hadn't of firmly closed that door I would have kept going. I've held back on pouring myself in my current camp because I was scared of putting in all that work, only to lose it all. But that's slowly changing, and I didn't realize just how far I'd come until I was faced with the very real option of leaving. And I'm not ready to leave. I haven't accomplished everything I've wanted to accomplish where I am, there's still unfinished projects and maybe even projects I haven't started.

I will continue to be patient while funding is in the approval stages. 
I will be devoted to making things better. 
I will continue to strengthen my bonds with campers and staff.
I will keep volunteering my time, working long hours and trusting this is where I am supposed need to be.
I will pour myself into this place.

Because I've finally figured out exactly what my loyalties are. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Blogging, Cooking and Remembering

I spent a lot of time this weekend browsing blogs, reading blog advice articles and pondering the blogging universe's greatest mysteries, for example: $500 a month for adspace!? I mean I totally get blogging is A LOT of work, and bloggers shouldn't undersell their products/advertising. Really I'm more surprised to learn bloggers can afford to pay that much to promote their blogs. 

*If you haven't seen this video yet you are missing out. 

Saturday night I had a wonderful Skype date with H. & R. this is becoming a weekly activity and it is so much fun. Technology has a lot of flaws and  potential for negativity but when it comes to keeping in touch and staying connected technology is my BFF. 

I've been challenging myself to expand my food comfort zone by taking little steps. Rather than jump right into trying all kinds of exotic foods, I'm trying new recipes for foods I already like. The truth is I think I'll always be a "picky eater" but I still want to try new things and open to food. I recently mastered The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Strips. They are SO good. It took me two tries to create a flour mixture with the right balance of spices but now I've figured it out and will never go back to buying frozen chicken strips/nuggets ever again. 

(Imagine a beautiful photo of crispy, golden brown chicken strips artfully arranged on a plate here.)

I seriously need to work on remembering to take pictures of things. 

And I can't click 'publish' on a post about the long weekend on November 11th without taking time to acknowledge and reflect on what this day represents. In Canada November 11 is Rememberance Day, a day to pay tribute to the men and woman who fought for and continue to fight for our freedom. Even if this isn't an official day of Rememberance where you live take some time to remember.

Linking up with Sami for Weekend Shenanigans. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Motivation Affirmation

I find inspiration and motivation in all the usual places; friends, family, Pinterest. The thing that motivates me the most though is words of affirmation. I love getting handwritten notes, sweet texts, blog comments, e-mails...words are my love language. 

We have a tradition at camp called "Warm Fuzzies", each staff member has a 'mailbox' that hangs on the wall as you go up the stairs to the counsellors' sleeping quarters. During the summer everyone writes encouraging notes to each other and drops them in the mailbox resulting in little pick me ups and acknowledgment of jobs well done randomly throughout the summer. Warm Fuzzies is one of my favourite camp traditions, I save everyone I've ever gotten. At the camp I grew up at we did Warm Fuzzies even as campers and even those are tucked away neatly in my closet. I fully admit to dumping out my envelope from time to time during the year and reading through the notes to give myself a bit of a pick me up. 

Everyday we do something called Cabin Inspection, an intense friendly competition between the cabins to keep their space neat & tidy and earn points towards Cabin of the Week. Occasionally Cabin Inspection also includes some bribery in the form of chocolate & "love notes". I proudly display most of those on the bulletin board behind my desk in the office and then they come home with me to be added to the summer's scrapbook. The note above is from one of the sweetest campers who comes to our camp for adults with intellectual disabilities. The list below was made by an entire cabin of adult campers with a physical disabilities and is a Top 10 List of reasons why the director and myself are awesome. My favourite is #7, because matching clothes are fun!

I'm so thankful for my job and the opportunity to work with so many wonderful staff and campers. And for these reminders to keep me motivated and inspired to work hard and help make camp a magical place. 

I'm linking up today with Christina who? and I Have A Messy Bun!