Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 Loose Ends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

OLW 2016: Rise

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

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

Rise, rising, rose, risen. 

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

Monday, 21 December 2015

Holly, Jolly Christmas Weekend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today I'm linking up with B Loved Boston!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Tracks, Snacks and Favourite Words

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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

Linking up here and here.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


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


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


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

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

Monday, 14 December 2015

December Currently

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

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Stuff & Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Linking up with Stuff & Things!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Weekly Faves & Weekend Plans

Jones Soda Root Beer

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

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

Project Life App

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

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

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

Linking up here & here.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Ode to An iPhone

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

Dear iPhone,

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

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

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

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

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

May you rest easy in the designated retired electronics drawer. 


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

52 Things in 52 Weeks

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