Thursday, 28 January 2016

January Currently

Reading... I just finished The Princess Diaries : Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot. I love Princess Mia. Amelia is one of my favourite names because of that character. I loved 'catching up' with Mia through this book, it was a light read but I enjoyed it all the same. 
Playing... I downloaded a game called '1010' and it was a great find. It's similar to Tetris (which I love) but has a little twist to it. 
Watching... The Curse of Oak Island! It's the one show that I make sure I'm up to date with each week. I've also been following Top Chef. 
Trying... To eat more veggies and drink more water. 
Cooking... Chicken, rice, veggies, pasta. Nothing too fancy this month. I do have ingredients to make Thai Chicken soup over the weekend, so hopefully that goes well. 
Eating... I've perfected the baked potato so I've been eating those pretty frequently.  
Drinking... I've always been under the impression green tea is gross, it turns out while regular green tea isn't my jam, ginger green tea is delicious! So I've been drinking lots of that. Along with water and the occasional pop. 
Calling... Nobody! Which is great, I hate calling people. 
Texting... The usual crew. H., R., J. and N.. Sometimes the ladies I carpool with to work. 
Pinning... I didn't too much pinning this month. Now that I'm officially decided about camp (more on that later) I'm sure I will be pinning camp things soon. 
Tweeting... Nothing too exciting. 
Going... back to camp! 
Loving... R. gave me a Five Year Journal for Christmas and it's so great. I haven't missed a day yet which makes me very happy. And also carpooling to work because it eliminates the parking game (for the most part). 
Hating... Winter. 
Discovering... Turns out I'm actually a Disney World fan and it is true that you can throughly enjoy the experience even if you don't do rides. 
Thinking... I'm starting to feel more organized and on task, which is a great day in my books. 
Feeling... content, inspired and optimistic. 
Hoping (for)... time this weekend to work on blog posts, make valentine's for the Sparks and a quick and painless Guider meeting on Sunday. 
Listening (to)... I'm years behind the bandwagon, but I listened to the first season of Serial!
Celebrating... My birthday...sort of, I worked on my birthday so it mostly involved J. brining me chicken strips for supper and a weekend Skype date with H. & R.. I save the big celebrating for my half birthday in July. 
Smelling... A B&BW candle called 'Winter Sunshine' or something along those lines, it's yellow and I'm a fan. 
Ordering... Maybe some new books. I have a gift card from Christmas that I think I'll use to invest in a few things off my reading list. 
Thankful for... all the F's, food, family, friends, faith.
Considering... a trip to visit H. either in the spring or during a break this summer depending on how long my current work contract lasts. 
Starting... to think about camp and 
Finishing... Right now I need to finish getting ready for work. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

52 in 52 January Progress

I started off the year with some lofty goals. Fifty two of them to be exact, one for each week of the year. January is almost over so I thought I'd do an update about what I was able to accomplish this month. 
  1. Complete 12 months of Project Life. (0/12) I'm on track with this but I won't get to cross one month off just yet. Since I'm doing Project Life monthly I won't start working on January until the first week of February. 
  2. Document my One Little Word for the whole year. Making decent progress on this one as well. I did 75% of the January prompts, I got a little off track when I went away but I'll catch up. 
  3. Read 52 Books. (1/52) Not such good progress... 
  4. Fill three Notebooks. (0/3) I either need to start writing a whole lot more or adjust my goal. 
  5. Try 12 new foods. (2/12) Nothing too exotic but while I was travelling I had my first ever hushpuppy (delicious) and I also tried biscuits with sausage gravy. That was a weird experience, it was good, but it didn't feel like something I should be eating for brunch. 
  6. Cook 12 new recipes. (0/12) I bought all the ingredients to make Thai Chicken Soup but I haven't actually made it yet. 
  7. Try 12 new restaurants. (0/12) OK, so when I made this I wasn't really thinking about my trip. Technically while travelling I visited at least six new restaurants, that feels a little like cheating though? When I first wrote this challenge I was thinking about trying one new local place each month. So by those rules I'm 1/12 since I went to a local coffee place this month. What are your thoughts? Should I could places I went while travelling or stick to exploring more local places? 
  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. - I think February is going to be the month for this! It's a short month so I can get it done and then maybe do another one in the summer. 
  11. Add a stamp to my passport.  Florida - January 6 - 16
  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.- I made a list of everyone who I want to send a card to, which is the first step. 
  16. Mail Christmas Cards. 
  17. Mail post cards during a vacation. I totally forgot this was on the list. #oops
  18. Publish 152 blog posts. (5/152) January was a slow month. I was travelling for close to two weeks and didn't blog during that whole time. 
  19. Take a photography or cooking class.
  20. Volunteer for a total of 52 hours. (0/52) This one is tricky too. I need to make up some rules about what I'm going to count as volunteer hours and what I'm not. 
  21. Visit another province. *Technically I spent the night in Ottawa, Ontario...but I'm holding off on crossing this one of just yet. Hopefully I'll visit another province and spend time in more than a hotel. 
  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.  Technically haven't done this yet...but I have been putting all my change into a piggy bank. 
  32.  Attend an NHL game.  Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bolts, January 15, 2016
  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. You would think I would have crossed this off at Disney, except I also forgot this was on the list...
  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. 
All this considered I'm satisfied with my progress this month. There are a few things that I totally could have done if I had of remembered they were on this list. I need to print out a copy and keep it somewhere handy!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Florida Vacation Highlights

I'll preface this whole post by saying that I am a full on Disney convert and totally plan on doing a full out Disney vacation at some point in the future. I was skeptical about the whole thing because I don't enjoy rides or huge crowds. This trip to Florida wasn't intended to be a Disney trip but since we were staying in Orlando we decided to visit two of the parks. Next time I do Disney I'll go full Disney vacation, staying at one of the resorts and visit all of the parks. 

This time we spent a day at EPCOT and Animal Kingdom and made multiple trips to Downtown Disney  Disney Springs. The highlight of the whole thing was that I got to meet Meeko! I love Pocahontas and Meeko is my favourite is my favourite character. Prior to Disney I did a ridiculous amount of research and the consensus was that aside from Pocahontas the other two characters from the movie (Meeko and Radcliffe) are extremely rare and aren't usually spotted around the parks. So I was shocked when after being in EPCOT for all of fifteen minutes J. turned to me and said "It's that Meeko? That looks like a giant raccoon." I was mid-way through replying "Probably not." when I looked over and sure enough there was Meeko hanging out at the Character Spot. I waited in line for thirty seconds and then got his autograph and took some photos and the five year old inside of me was the happiest. Unfortunately the photos didn't turn out the greatest (I blame the way the sun was shining) but they're good enough and it was a phenomenally great moment. 

I really enjoyed EPCOT and thought the mini train tracks were the cutest. I especially enjoyed the little gecko who was hanging out on the roof of one of the houses. I was a little let down by Animal Kingdom but it was partly because a lot of it was closed for renovations, which is clearly a downside to visiting during the off season. The Lion King show was wonderful though and I'd like to go again and be able to experience the whole place. One of the most fun things we did was go on a mini date one afternoon at Disney Springs. We went bowling and I'd highly recommend it as a fun, low key and affordable Disney date. We also don't have a bowling alley around here so it was extra fun. 

Aside from meeting Meeko the food was probably the highlight of the whole trip. I finally got to try Chick-Fil-A!! It was everything I dreamed of and may or may not have had it three times over the course of our ten day trip. I also tried Panera Bread and was pretty impressed with the wonton soup thing that I ordered. I also got my fill of  Vanilla Coke and tried Vanilla Pepsi during the trip. And it wouldn't be a trip without the obligatory Starbucks in the airport photo. 

We didn't have great weather while we were there, but it was still nice to get away from the snow happening at home. We missed one full storm and half of another.  It was a little less relaxing because it didn't involve any poolside reading but it was fun to do a little extra sightseeing. 

On our way back we hit some bad weather and ended up stranded in Ottawa for the night. At that point I was totally done with travelling and really just wanted to get home. We got a hotel room for the night, ordered pizza and watched Oak Island. The next day we headed to the airport and ended up delayed again. When all was said and done we got home a full 24 hours later than planned which made this week much more hectic than I was anticipating. 

When all was said and done it was a good trip and I was really happy to get home.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


This morning I went searching through my photos to find one of birthday cake or candles or balloons but I didn't have one. So instead I put a party hat on a squirrel and I'm calling it a birthday win. And if anyone presents me with an actual squirrel wearing a party hat at any point today you will win some big bonus points. Last year I posted 25 things about me at 25 and I've decided to continue with the tradition.

  1. Squirrels are my favourite animals, they have been for a long time and in the past few months it seems like they're becoming more "main stream". The woodland animal trend that's happening right now is great, my second favourite animal is the magically raccoon.
  2. Speaking of raccoons, I got to 'meet' Meeko when I was at Disney and I could hardly contain my excitement. We danced, I got his autograph and J. took multiple photos. 
  3. My maternal grandmother is my very favourite person. H. & R. are a close second and J. is also pretty great.
  4. I don't like violence but I love Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU. I've determined it's because I like figuring out the mystery.
  5. The older I get the more importance I place on wearing comfortable pants. 
  6. I enjoy being somewhere new and exploring a different place, but I hate the act of travelling. If teleporting was a thing that would be great.
  7. 75% of my bad habits are acquired during the summer while I'm at camp. 
  8. I love photography and scrapbooking and anything that involves paper, scissors and adhesive.
  9. Broccoli is my most favourite vegetable. 
  10. I got new flannel sheets for Christmas and they are my favourite thing ever. I had forgotten how much I love flannel sheets. 
  11. Cooking is my favourite. I think I would enjoy a career as a chef, except that I would be so stressed and anxious about feeding other people that it would over shadow the enjoyment.
  12. I generally don't pay any attention to celebrity gossip but every now and then I can't help but read things about reality tv stars, mostly the teen moms and the Duggars.
  13. I prefer my drinks to be ice cold, except for water. I like to drink water at room temperature.
  14. My phone is always on silent. I don't even know what sounds it makes for alerts.
  15. Supper is my favourite meal of the day. 
  16. I think gummy bears are the best frozen yogurt mix in because they are the perfect texture when they are a little cold.
  17. I thrive on organization and routine. Lists and detailed schedules are my favourites.
  18. I would enjoy winter more if it didn't involve winter driving. 
  19. Instagram is my preferred social media platform.
  20. I prefer to eat multiple snacks between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. opposed to one big lunch meal.
  21. I still bite my nails. 
  22. I make my bed every morning and it really bugs me when beds aren't made.
  23. This past year I've realized that 9 hours of sleep is the magic number for me and anything less than 7 leaves me feeling tired.
  24. Lime green is my favourite colour.
  25. I sort of wish I could play an instrument but I'm also very happy with the hobbies I currently have.
  26. It's only halfway through the first month of the year but so far I am super happy with how well I've been keeping up with all the things I want to do in 2016!

Monday, 18 January 2016


2016 has started off with a whirlwind of activity. On January 4th I started back at what I refer to as my "off season office contract job" because my off season office job has evening hours it meant I had to give up weekly Sparks meetings, which was sad and created a lot of chaos but paying work needs to come before volunteering. I'll help out when I can and if the contract happens to end in early April then I'll go back to weekly meetings for the last couple of months. 

After working two days I set off for vacation (it was all pre-approved before I started back to work) and landed in Florida on January 6th. It ended up being cold in Florida most days we were there so there was very minimal reading by the pool and a lot more driving around exploring. I did manage to make a pretty sizeable dent in some of the things on my 52 in 52 list, I'm planning on blogging more on that later in the month. I also went to two Disney parks and had a pretty great vacation from daily routine. I didn't bring my laptop of put a plan on my phone so I had pretty limited access to social media while I was gone and didn't read a single blog post. 

It feels like I hit the refresh button and am now fully ready to start a new year and get back into a routine. 

That's all I've got for today. I need to reply to e-mails that I've missed over the past two weeks, get a load of laundry in the dryer, make lunch for now and supper for work. Thanks to a snowstorm we ended up getting home almost two days later than planned so today has been a little hectic. I'm not too worried about it though, everything will get done. Plus the weekend is only 5 days away.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Sitting on the Fence

Ask me if I'd rather summer or winter and I won't hesitate to respond 'summer'. Ask me what I want to drink and most days I'll quickly respond with water, pop or coffee. I don't really consider myself to be indecisive...until I need to answer a yes or no question about something that could influence life in a big way. When that happens I like to take a good look at each side, size up the pros and cons, the what ifs and the maybes. And then I take a seat on the fence. 

If at any point you ask me which choice I'm leaning towards I can easily list off a dozen pros and a dozen cons for each side of the proverbial fence. For the last four months the my fence has divided the line between "not going back to camp this summer" and "sign me up, my bags are packed". There are a lot of good reasons why I shouldn't return to camp this summer and there's a handful of reasons why I feel like I should go back combined with a handful of reasons why I want to return. There isn't a clear, consistent winner though and I know that there needs to be a winner. Sooner rather than later an e-mail is going to appear and I'll have to make a permanent decision. 

Somewhere along the line I read that you should 'try on' your decision and pretend that you've made that decision for a few days and then decide if it fits. So I've taken that advice and on the days I try out packing my bags and heading off to camp I jump into program planning, staff training ideas, brainstorming solutions to problems and let the enthusiasm and excitement take over. This lasts for a few days and then I remind myself to manage my expectations. And I soon as I remind myself of that I get flashbacks of the most stressful moments of last summer. And as soon as I put myself back in those situations I quickly flick the switch and become a firm no. For a few days I wear that decision and feel content, uncertain, but content. 

Fast forward a few days (or sometimes a few hours) of that decision and then I see a throwback Thursday photo or see a cool idea on Pinterest and the switch turns back to "pack your bags" and the cycle repeats. 

I embrace my Type A personality (at least I'm trying really hard because I don't think it's a bad thing, contrary to what a lot of people seem to think). One of my biggest Type A traits is I enjoy following rules and making the right decisions. When there isn't a clear right choice my brain kicks into overdrive, I start feeling (mostly self-imposed) pressure to choose correctly, not disappoint anyone, do what's best etc. etc. which leads to constant anxiety about making a decision and complete terror that I'll choose incorrectly and ruin my life. That might seem extreme and logically I know it's not exactly the reality of the situation. 

The reality of the situation is that if I say no that still leaves me with two options - find a non-camp related job or explore another camp. And if I say yes I head off to camp and continue on with life. None of those scenarios is likely to produce an outcome that will leave me feeling like I blatantly made the wrong choice. But that doesn't make choosing any easier.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

A New Year's Do Over

I spent January 1st in an excited panic. 

My One Little Word prompts had arrived for the month of January.
My blank Five Year Question Journal was sitting on my bedside table ready to start. 
My Project Life Album was full of empty pocket page protectors. 
My 52 Things in 52 Weeks list waited for the first thing to get crossed off.

The year had hardly started and already I felt slightly overwhelmed by my imaginary to do list. (I say imaginary to do list because I did have a real to do list. It involved packing, arranging, Sparks things, meal know things that would actually impact my daily life.)

And then I messed up and my one month old phone met with water which was enough for my mind to grind to a halt and recognize that I was rushing myself to do all the fun things and ruining the fun in the process. 

I am not going to disappoint Ali Edwards if I don't finish all of my OLW prompts by January 2nd.
It will take me approximately 5 minutes to respond to the prompt in my Five Year Journal. 
It's called Project Life not Project January 1st.
52 Weeks...not 52 minutes on January 1st. 

It was like the calendar changed to 2016 and I went coocoo bananas and lost all sight of reality and logical thinking. 

I spent January 2nd in my yoga pants and hoodie. I helped mom tear down Christmas and return it all to the attic. I communicated by landline and e-mail while my cellphone hung out in a baggie full of rice. I sharpened a tupperware container full of pencil crayons left over from my elementary school days to use in my new colouring books. I hit the reset button. 

I'm declaring a do over on January 1st. 

Reminding myself that there is no need to rush into things. There is no prize for finishing things first and nobody is going to hand me an award for starting the most projects on January 1st. I've secretly rolled my eyes a little every time I've read about a blogger committing to being more intentional over the last few weeks. Now I'm about to join the ranks. I still have every intention of completing Project Life this year, following along with my One Little Word, crossing off items on my 52 Things List and responding to the journal prompts every day. I also have every intention to do one thing at a time and enjoy the process. 

So tonight I'm going to ring in January 3rd and remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day and the year doesn't revolve around crossing items off on my to do list.