Friday, 29 May 2015

Camp Friday Favourites


Camp Sunsets.

I can almost guarantee camp sunsets will make an appearance on every single Friday Favourites/Friday Five List I make this summer. No further explanation required. 


J. stopped into camp for a quick visit on his way home from his sister's graduation Thursday. Long enough for me to give him a quick tour of camp, enjoy a meal at the diner close to camp and spend a few minutes reconnecting in person opposed to via technology. Plus he brought me Reese's Peanut Cups and our diner lunch involved Chicken Strips. I was a very happy girlfriend.


I've become very aware of the fact grocery shopping is my happy place. Being in the kitchen cooking makes me feel calm and relaxed and I love a trip to the grocery store. My big activity for the afternoon is going to be browsing the flyer, making a grocery list and slowly wandering through the aisles. My meals at camp are technically all taken care of by our camp cooks. But there are some times I don't like what's being served. (Shepherd's Pie is the devil as far as I'm concerned.) I like to have some individual freezer meals stashed away for those times and also for times when I just don't feel like eating grilled cheese for the hundredth time this summer. 

Speaking of food at camp...Clif Bars are going to be a saving grace this summer. I try to avoid the standard pre-packaged quaker type granola bars because it's basically like eating a chocolate bar. I realize the Clif Bars aren't super fantastic amazing food. I feel a little better about eating one of them though opposed to something else. Plus they taste amazing. I'm a big fan of the Chocolate Almond Fudge and Crunchy Peanut Butter. I can't see myself getting on board with Oatmeal Raisin Walnut or Blueberry Crisp. 


I'm not sure why I'm struggling to come up with a fifth favourite thing this week. There's certainly been lots of good moments. I'm looking forward to the summer. I feel like things are under control, the chaos is organized and the pieces are all falling in to place.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Camp, Camp, Camp It Up

Today is the last full day of staff training. I've been at camp since May 17 and have really only stopped to sleep and eat! We had a really hard winter and there was a lot of damage done to the camp buildings and grounds. One of the most major things was the fireplace had to be removed. So when I showed up to camp there were two pieces of plywood covering a giant hole in the wall where the fireplace used to be, it's 99.9% fully repaired now and back to being a wall.

I haven't been fully successful in my quest to balance camp life and "real life". There have been a few days that started promptly at 7:30 a.m. and ended long after midnight, there have also been a night or two when I stepped away and enjoyed the moment. Drinking pop, eating chips and catching up with N., purposely leaving items unchecked on my camp to do list so that I had time to FaceTime with J., making a very conscious and consistent effort to journal even just a paragraph with pen and paper every night before bed.

I've gotten out my camera a couple of times and all in all I'm feeling pretty good about this summer. As always, I'm anticipating a few bumps in the road but overall I feel good about the upcoming weeks! And once Training Week is over and camper sessions start my goal is to get into a much better routine which includes blogging at least a couple of times a week!

Until then, bare with me, I'm itching to catch up with blog posts and keep a record of my own summer adventures. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Stuff & Things: Summer Camp Edition

I am three sleeps away from the beginning of camp. This fact continues to blow my mind as I look at my Must Do List, my Want To Do List, and the multiple piles of stuff covering every available surface in my bedroom. I can't say I'm stressed per say, but I find the deepest, darkest corners of my mind wishing there was more hours in the day. Of course that isn't going to happen so I'm just going to have to put on my big girl drawers and get things done.

I am over the moon excited about being snail mail Camp Prayer Partners with Allie this summer!

Last night I spent over 3 hours cutting out tokens to use during a Staff Training activity based on The Spoon Theory. I'm excited about the activity, however my hand hurts from cutting hundreds of little paper squares. And I'm not even close to done yet.

I usually choose a verse for the summer but none have really come to me this summer. 

I have no idea where my phone charger is located. I saw it yesterday evening at 6:00 and when I went to plug my phone in at 10:30 I couldn't remember what I did with the thing. I assume it accidentally got buried beneath a pile of clothes or papers or is hiding beneath the tower or Larabars I have on top of my dresser. So many options. Update: It was downstairs on the kitchen cupboard. Apparently taking it upstairs to my room was a figment of my imagination.

Sunday I have a 6-7 hour drive to camp ahead of me. That kind of car time requires some serious music, currently very open to suggestions for some new music. I mostly listen to country and upbeat worship type music. And I prefer male singing voices to female (Except T-Swift, I love T-Swift always & forever). I flat out refuse to listen to anything with a bunch of swear words and tend not to like things that fall into the 'pop' category.

Today I have some utterly fabulous errands to run including a trip to the DMV, which I've been putting off for a month now but it needs to happen before I leave the province. I plan to cheer myself up afterwards with a trip to the grocery store.

I'm usually SO on top of craft ideas and planning activities for the summer. This year I have done next to nothing. I have a few crafts pinned on Pinterest but I haven't actually tried any of them to see if they work.

That's all I've got for today. I'm still in my pyjamas, and while I'm sure there will be at least one person impatiently waiting in their PJs at the DMV, I don't want that to be a conversation starter. Plus, I'm having dinner with J. and his parents tonight after I finish my errands.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Four By Four

Life is a little hectic around these parts this week while I finishing packing and preparing to move to camp for the summer on Sunday. When I noticed this "Four" survey thing floating along blog land I jumped on the bandwagon because I not so secretly love these kinds of things and it's a 'quick' post to get up on a busy day. 


  1. DMac - I'm not sure how this came about but my camp director has been referring to me as DMac for years. She's pretty much the only one, I've never questioned it. 
  2. Mouse - My grandma called me this a lot growing up. 
  3. Babe/Lover/Love Bug - J. rarely refers to me as Donna. Sometimes I think it's his personal mission to come up with the most ridiculous pet names. 
  4. D - I don't think anyone actually calls me 'D' but for the sake of texting or writing sometimes I'll sign 'D' or others will refer to me as D. 


  1. Wallet - This is pretty self explanatory. Money, ID, Gift Cards the essentials. 
  2. Flashlight - Call me crazy, but I always carry a small flashlight in my bag. 
  3. Tylenol - For when headaches happen. 
  4. Kleenex - Travel pack of kleenex is definitely a standard item. 


  1. Pocahontas - There was a time when I watched this multiple times a day. And then not so long ago there was a time when I watched it once a week. It's my fave AAF. 
  2. The Princess Bride - Best Movie Ever.
  3. Sweet Home Alabama - Possibly my favourite chick flick of all time. 
  4. Mean Girls - Is there anyone out there who hasn't watched this movie more than once??


  1. Vanilla Coke - Reserved for Special Occasions only since I have to get it from the states since they don't sell it in Canada. 
  2. Water With as Splash of Lemon - Makes drinking water a little more fun!
  3. Iced Coffee - Because, YUM.
  4. Pepsi Next - This is a new discovery. It may not be a long term favourite but it's a current favourite. 


  1. I really like Kelly Ripa's dress today.
  2. I need to clean my computer screen.
  3. The number one priority for today is to finish packing. It needs to happen.
  4. I need to finish the third series of Call the Midwife before I leave Sunday morning!


  1. Florida
  2. Quebec
  3. Lots of fun local places. 
  4. I really have no other noteworthy travels. 


  1. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  2. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
  3. St. John's, Newfoundland
  4. Middle of Nowhere, New Brunswick


  1. Call the Midwife - So much love!!
  2. Grey's Anatomy - Sort of,  mostly I'm over it and haven't bothered to watch last week's episode and I probably won't make it a priority. 
  3. The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond is my spirit animal. 
  4. The Nature of Things - I like learning stuff. 


  1. Camp!
  2. Being reunited with H. & R. 
  3. Weekend adventures.
  4. Sunshine!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

It's A Fine, Fine Life {3}

This week's edition of It's A Fine, Fine Life is brought to you by the letters A-Z.


Most of us have favourite words. 

Symmetry. Laundry. Grace. Butter. Rain. Summer. Prayer. Nap. Camp. Lime. A few of my personal favourites. 

I'm thankful for words that allow us to express our thoughts and opinions. Our dislikes and our desires. To share our feelings with others and to give encouragement when needed. As someone who is perpetually finding myself far away from my best friends, from family and in a short time from my boyfriend I rely on words a little more than your average person. 

The words I type in text messages, iMessages, e-mails and blog posts. The words I speak over FaceTime and telephone conversations. The words I write on scraps of paper, the margins of my Bible and the crisp pages of my journal. Some are chosen more carefully and some are hastily scribbled because it was the first thing that came to mind. I'm thankful for them all though and each one serves a purpose.

Next week during staff training words will be a central topic in many of our sessions. With our head counsellors we'll talk about choosing words how to teach new counsellors and correct them by using their words and not belittling them. With all the counsellors we'll discuss how to re-direct homesick campers using words that ensures they know their fears are heard and legitimate while not dwelling on those moments of homesickness. We'll talk about using respectful language including a lot of information on the 'r' word. Words are powerful.

So today, I'm taking a minute to celebrate all the words that surround us in this fine life. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

What Is You Do? - Blogging Around the Campfire #2

The countdown is getting lower every day (does anyone else remember singing that song at Sunday School and church camp as a kid?) there's less than a week until I set off to camp for the summer. 

Whenever someone asks about my job and I reply "Camp Director" I get a nod, followed by a pause, followed by the question "And what is it that you do?". So if you've ever found yourself asking that same question when I blog about my camp life today is your lucky day!

Kayla from Gen Y Girl interviewed me all about my job and just what exactly it is I do to earn a paycheque! 

Head over and read my answers! Feel free to contact me with any questions you have!

Friday, 8 May 2015

Weekly Friday Favourites


I started watching Call the Midwife this week and I'm in love. It's been so very long since I stared watching a new show that I loved because I genuinely adored the characters and was interested in the subject. I heard about Call the Midwife a while back but since I've never been able to get into Downton Abbey I didn't think I'd be able to get into Call the Midwife. I was totally wrong and now I have a new show and it makes me so happy. I'm hoping to get my hands on the books as well at some point in the upcoming months. 

These Paper Mate Felt Tip Pens. These are my favourite pins for journalling because they come in the standard black & blue colours but they're also in some other fun colours for those days when I want to doodle or add some spunk. I've rekindled my love affair with these pens this week since I've treated myself to a new notebook and am going to become much more intentional about journaling. 
(I assure you Paper Mate does not care what I think about their pens, I bought them myself without influence. And I'm definitely not getting a cut of Amazon's profit.)

I came across this quote during the week and I think it's a wise and valuable piece of wisdom.


This sneak peak at the 'Welcome to Camp' cups I'm making for the counsellors are one of my favourite things. I put J. to work and got him to help me fill the plastic cups with a couple camp essentials and a few goods. This afternoon I need to assemble the tags I cut using my Cricut and attach them. 

I need to devote an entire post to this book. I had high expectations because I've seen so many bloggers rave about it but I was still a little worried I would be disappointed. Obviously I wasn't. I don't think I've ever read a book before this and immediately started putting what I read into practice. Not only is the book my favourite but the Fringe Hours that I am slowly discovering are equally my favourite!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Prioritizing Balance

Three weeks ago I started making a list. Goals for this summer, things I wanted to prioritize and accomplish between May 17 (first day of camp) and August 25 (last day of camp). Yesterday I got out the list intending to rewrite it and make it pretty enough to hang on my wall. As I started reading through the list trying to decide what size paper to use, debating between stickers and cricut cut outs I had a realization. I read through the list top to bottom, skimming the notes I'd written in the margins and between parentheses. Carefully thought about the reasoning behind the goals and what it would look like to accomplish them all. I realized I was asking too much.

Read. (something unrelated to work 15-30 minutes each day)
Write. (every second day blog post, creative writing, poetry etc.)
Photography. (10-15 minutes a day take photos of the ordinary) .
Quiet Time. (minimum half an hour before bed each day and/or half an hour first thing in the morning)
Journal. (Everyday!!!)
Sleep. (8-9 hours every night)
Wake Up Early. (15-30 minutes before all camp wake up time)
Go To Bed Early. (Before 11:00 p.m. every night)
Eat Balanced Meals. (3 full meals a day OR 5-6 well thought out/balanced/planned/healthy snacks)
Stay Hydrated. (1.5 litres water each day, limit pop to once or twice per week, limit coffee to 2 cups max per day)

My job is demanding. There are many long hours and unpredictable situations. My self care and mental health needs to be a priority, but sometimes it's not the first priority. I know that going in and part of what I love about my job is the chaos, you just never know what the day will bring. 

There will be days when the only thing I read is e-mails, the only thing I write is an incident report and the thought of capturing a moment on camera doesn't even cross my mind.

There will be days when the only Quiet Time I have is the 15 10 5 minute shower I rush through before someone else needs the bathroom. I won't have time to work though my thoughts on paper and it's entirely possible I'll fall asleep before I even finish reciting The Lord's Prayer. 

There will be days when I stay up late working on props for an elaborate theme day followed by mornings when I'm up early to get a head start on setting up an activity. And there will be nights when comforting a homesick camper takes priority over my sleep.

There will be days when I reach for the coffee pot or crack open a can of Coke instead of re-filling my water bottle. And I might find myself collapsing into bed after a hectic day only to realize the only thing I had to eat all day was a bagel, a granola bar, a handful of chips and 6 cups of coffee.

If I was talking with another camp person I would never expect them to have it all together like that. And if they told me they worked and lived on site during the summer and did all those things I wouldn't believe them. Or I would assume they spent all day accomplishing their personal goals and zero time doing their job. 

Life is about balance.

When I take a big step back my goal for this summer is really all about balance. Taking care of myself so that I can do my best work. And not expecting my best work to always be Pinterest worthy. This summer the list of goals on my bedroom door won't make me feel guilty or inadequate. Instead they'll serve as a a reminder and as encouragement to use my time wisely and make the best choices available. And when I do have a "bad" day there will still be things that I did well. And every day is a fresh start to make a few more choices and do the best I can to balance it all. 

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

It's A Fine, Fine Life {2}

I am so excited to be joining Allie again this week to celebrate some of life's finest things. 

There were many moments this winter when I looked outside and burst into tears because there was 5 feet of snow on the ground, it was snowing, it was cold and there was nothing but snow and cold in the forecast. The four days I've woken up to sunshine. SUNSHINE! I have my windows open, there are birds chirping outside. Spring has arrived!

I could go off into some sort of deep theology moment here about how long the winter was and how frustrated, tired and hopeless I felt the snow would ever start to melt. Now that the snow is melting and the sky is blue I feel such a relief and overwhelming gratitude that spring is here. I'm sure there's a parallel there about waiting and having hope and remembering that everything has a season.

I'm thankful for seasons in all aspects of life. Weather, relationships, interests, struggles, work, family. Everything has a season, some are definitely better than others but I there is a reason for each of them. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Monday, 4 May 2015

Early Nights & Date Date

Friday night I kicked off the weekend sitting on the couch with a bowl of chips, glass of pop and the Food Network. That is until 9:00 p.m. when I promptly got into bed and watch last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. I won't even get into that because I don't understand what's happening or why it's happening.

Saturday morning I woke up early, made coffee and did some reading. I didn't explicitly write 'savour the moment' on my list of May Goals, but it's something I'm keeping in mind over the next couple of weeks before I head to camp. I'm working on enjoying uninterrupted hours of quiet, even when there are still things on my to do list. Saturday afternoon I went out for lunch with my mom and then walked through the mall. My main motivation for the mall was a trip to Bath & Body Works to pick up my summer supply of Coconut Lime body wash but there was none to be found. I'm hoping it's just a fluke and the scent hasn't been discontinued. I'm going to check back later this week and hopefully I'll have more luck. Saturday night J. had plans to watch the fight that was apparently a big deal. I'm interested in a lot of different things, but I will never be interested in watching two grown men punch each other. Once again I was in bed and asleep by 11:30. Judge me if you must but I think there's something extra wonderful about an early bedtime, even if it's a Saturday night and I'm 25 years old. 

Sunday was a little more action packed. It was gorgeous outside and it was the first day that it felt like maybe spring is going to happen. I went for a walk and then came home and got ready for date night with J. We went out to dinner and then went for a drive around the harbour to check out the sunset and ice. It might be May but there's still so much ice in the water you'd think it was February.

Once the sun went down we headed to DQ where I finally got to try the Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard. It wasn't the most delicious salted caramel thing I've had but it was pretty good. After ice cream we headed to the movies. I'm not a big movie goer. I think they're ridiculously over priced and most times the one movie theatre we have doesn't show movies I want to watch. Regardless we went and watched Will Ferrell's new movie "Get Hard". I thought it was just okay. The beginning started off really good but then it went down hill. I was happy when it ended and was definitely ready to go home and get to bed. 

This week I've got a few things on my must do list including completing some paperwork before the summer and appreciating the warm weather by sitting on my deck with a good book. 

Linking with B Loved Boston.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

May Goals & April Goals Revisited

First up let's take a moment to revisit April's Goals. 

Read 4 Books I read 2. I blame it on the fact The Fringe Hours took me twice as long to read because I kept re-reading paragraphs and really soaking up everything that was being conveyed.

Take Lots of Photos Maybe not as much as I originally planned but I used my camera on multiple occasions. Took a bunch of pictures Easter weekend, while on vacation and a few other times during the month.

Keep Writing This was a fail. I didn't make time to write this month. I don't have any excuses it simply didn't happen.

Revamp "About Me" I'm really excited about this one. After 3 years I finally rewrote and updated my About Me page on the blog! I love how it turned out and I only wish I had gotten around to doing it sooner.

Enjoy Vacation Success! You can read a little bit about my vacation here & here.

Overall I'm pleased with my progress. April was a pretty light month and it went by in the blink of an eye! It was a good month but I'm excited to move on to May! May marks the beginning of Summer 2015 and camp season for me so most of my goals revolve around that aspect of life.

I want to make a conscious effort this summer to make my bedroom at camp a relaxing and calming space. I don't spend a whole lot of time in my room at camp, primarily just an hour or two before bed but I still want it to be a space I can relax and decompress after a long day. In the past I've used random mismatched bedding, make shift storage boxes/containers on my dresser and the decor has been limited to damp towels and dirty laundry. I bought a new bedding set at Target when it was clearing out a few weeks ago and I have some other ideas about how to better organize my space. I think it will make a big difference in the way I make time for me this summer, which is something I've seriously struggled with in the past.

The past three summers I have essentially completely failed at maintaining the blog during camp (see note above about making time for myself). This summer I'm going to make time to blog and continue documenting life in this space.

Camp internet isn't exactly a top of the line high speed dependable connection which can be frustration. It is the perfect motivation to send some good ol'fashion snail mail though!

Back in 2013 I got creative and made really cute welcome bags for the staff. I didn't have time to it last year because things were so hectic but this year it's going to happen again. They probably won't be as elaborate as 2013 but I plan to stick a few candies, sample sized sunscreen and pen or pencil into a baggie with a cute "Welcome to Camp" tag and call it a day.

Camp is hard. It's wonderful and magical and I am incredibly fortunate to spend my summer helping others, being outdoors, learning and growing. It's so hard not to let it consume you though, even during breaks I've often found myself working on camp related projects or catching up on paperwork. I've now been inspired to use the fringe hours, taking 15 minutes in the morning to drink a cup of coffee while I read a book or journal. Spending  5 minutes before evening staff meeting snapping photos of the sunset. I'm going to find the time.

Sharing my goals with #friendswithgoals

Friday, 1 May 2015

Favourite Florida Photos

It's going to be a post of few words around these parts today. Yesterday I wrote about my Florida vacation and today I just wanted to share five of my favourite photos from the trip. I didn't take an abundance of photos. Partly because we did a lot of relaxing and I didn't feel compelled to document me reading a book by the pool and partly because I really tried to focus on enjoying the experience and not getting the best shot. I've recently realized I absolutely love wildlife/animal photography. Busch Gardens was the highlight of my trip and a contributing factor to that is certainly because that's where I got to take the most photos. 


This meerkat was bopping around with a flower on it's head. I'm choosing to believe that it was on purpose. A little flower tucked behind her ear as a little pick me up because who doesn't feel extra fabulous with a flower (or bow) in their hair!? I love meerkats regardless of their accessories and this one was just the best. I could have happily stayed next to the meerkat display for the entire 8 hours we were at the park!


Apes and Monkeys are high on my favourite animal list but this Mama and Baby Gorilla kind of stole my heart. It was so sweet to watch them interact and to watch the little one explore its surroundings.


I don't share a lot of photos of me on the blog and as a rule I avoid posting photos of others without their permission but I'm sharing this one because it makes me happy. Without getting into a super mushy aside about blown away I am that I found myself on vacation with a fabulous boyfriend I'll just say that this guy makes me happy. I'm so thankful our paths crossed (in the most unexpected of ways)!


I'm not sure why I like this photo so much. Tigers aren't top of my favourite animal list and there's nothing particularly extraordinary about this photo but I really like it so I'm going with the flow. 


I really like turtles. One of my favourite parts about Florida was that there are turtles everywhere! I didn't go a single day without seeing multiple turtles. I thought this guy was hilarious. After a very long winter I sort of felt the same way as this fellow when I reached the Florida sun. Stretched out as much as possible to soak up maximum sunshine!

I'm a little bit stunned over the fact April is gone! I swear I blinked and now it's May, which means my pre-camp to do list needs to be tackled. I'm excited about by May goals though (check back early next week) and I'm going to continue to enjoy this mini-vacation until camp is in full swing!