Saturday, 25 October 2014

I Heart Books

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

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

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

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

Linking up with #Blogtober14

Monday, 20 October 2014

Monday Morning Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linking up my weekend here!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What Makes You Happy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Favourites

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

25x25 (Revisited)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Complete a 365 Day Photo Challenge. Maybe in 2015.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, 13 October 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

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

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

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

That takes care of my deep thought for the day.

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

Sunday, 12 October 2014

So Long, Sunday Social

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linking up with the last Sunday Social

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Big Things

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

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

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

(Even if it's kind of scary.)

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday Social #122

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

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

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

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

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

Linking up with Sunday Social.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

October Goals

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

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Confession Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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