Monday, February 21, 2011

On the horizon

How is it already February 21?! I don't know where the time has disappeared to.

Well, I sort of do.

There's been a whole bunch of stuff going on lately (all good! yay!), but not all of the details are ready to be shared just yet. So let me just tell you all this: I've got a new job I'm starting soon. And I'm really, REALLY excited about it. It's going to be a huge change, and an wonderful chance to learn and grow. I can't wait to start.

So this past week, for the first time in a VERY long time, I handed in my resignation to my employer. It was a lot harder to do than I thought it would be. My heart was racing, I lost my words for a bit, and felt flustered the whole time. But when it was done, and the thoughts of all the change that's about to happen started to sink in, I couldn't stop smiling.

I can't wait to share more details you soon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

hump day and kitchen dreams

This week, Wednesday truly feels like it's a hump I have get over. I'm tired, had a bad sleep, and feeling pretty grumpy in general. I'm sure I'll be back to normal again tomorrow, today is just going to feel a bit longer than it normally would.

I didn't really have a post planned for today, so I thought I'd share with you some things that are currently putting me in a happier frame of mind.

As I've said before, I'm always looking for new (affordable) things I can do to spruce up certain parts of my condo. Although it's not TERRIBLE, one of my areas of focus is my kitchen. I have white appliances, and no money to replace them. A mostly grey countertop, and not-very-modern looking oak cabinetry (a picture would have been way easier...but I'll have to post that later).

My thought for a while has been to paint the cabinets white. Well, get them professionally painted, so they're not caked with paint and brush lines. I think it's an easy placeholder decision until I have more money to renovate, or choose to save the money for my next place. More recently, an additional thought came to mind to change out the grey counters with a woodblock-style counter too. That would be more of a cost, but the end look would be something like this, which I love:

This condo is actually listed in Winnipeg, if you're interested - check it out here.

So, I'm on my favourite site the other day, Re-nest, and I come across this:

I know I don't have a photo of my own kitchen to upload right now, but this AMAZING kitchen has an almost identical layout to my own! And LOOK! GREY COUNTERS! It was so great to see this, and know that with a little bit of work, and hopefully not too much money, I could get my kitchen to look similar to this! New lighting, some painted cupboards, a few tiles on the floor and a backsplash and I'm sure it'll look way better soon enough :)

I had a couple more things I wanted to share, but I've run out of time on my lunchbreak. I'll have to save those ones for tomorrow.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The very relaxing weekend

This weekend was so simple and relaxing, it was great. I didn't do much, and that was a-okay with me.

My friend Lindsay (I've talked about her before...and probably many more times to come), has been partaking in what she lovingly refers to as her 'Psychoallergenic Diet' for the past few weeks (have I mentioned how clever Lindsay is?). Free of gluten, dairy, caffeine, and a whole bunch of other good stuff. Tough, YES. But she's been a trooper, and making some pretty fantastic meals using that strict guideline as a base.

Luckily for us, she's even putting the work into sharing the recipes that got good reviews from her and her family. So I decided to try a couple of those out myself.

I made Slowcooker Chicken and Barley Risotto on Friday. Saturday, I paired Mashed Sweet Potatoes with the rest of our meal. Everything got rave reviews, although I think my new favourite side dish is the Barley Risotto. Soooo good.

Also occupying my weekend was an Kirby's Epic Yarn. I've always had a soft spot for this little guy, so I was pretty excited to see there was a new version of the game for the Wii.

As simple as the game is, it's super fun, and incredibly cute. The levels look like they're made with layered fabric, Kirby himself gets a whip made of yarn to swing from buttons and attack enemies. Love it. Honestly, look at this guy!

Check out the game's site, for more videos, desktops and cuteness.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mellow Moments Monday

I promise not to incorporate alliteration into every blog post title I come up with, but for the past two days it's worked, and I'm just going to roll with it :)

Tonight was supposed to be a night full of wedding invitation consultation and some other freelance work. Instead, I got a call from my good friend Lindsay today, taking me up on my standing offer to help out. Lindsay happens to be the mother Briony, of one of the smartest and cutest little girls I've ever met, just look at her!

Unfortuately, what Lindsay also has is a serious case of Arthritis AND Fibromyalgia, so some days, she needs a couple extra hands to help make things just a little easier on her. Most of those days, she still doesn't ask for that help, but when she does, I'm so happy to work close by and be there for her.

After dinner, some playtime with her daughter Briony, a couple books, and a wee little bedtime pep talk, she was off to sleep, and Lindsay and I had a chance to finally sit, relax, and enjoy a 'Mellow Moment'... which now might be my favourite type of tea, actually. We laughed at the name, I may have even sung a teeny tiny jingle for it, but it was so good. Peppermint tea alone has never been a draw for me, but this had tons of other stuff mixed in with it too, which made a really great cup of decafinated tea for an evening chat. I'd highly recommend it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Wonderful Winter Weekend Experience

There's really only one way to describe this weekend just passed. FUN. Sooo much fun.

Friday started out with a trip to J.Foxx's pub after work. It was a coworker's last day, and tradition is to head there for a drink and a few appetizers when that happens. A few of us girls had stuck around for a while, and were laughing up a storm, so we decided to pick up a couple bottles of wine and just hang out at one of the girls' places instead. SO fun, it's nice when you have people you work with that you can laugh with and be yourself around.

Next up was Saturday. Got up early and had a productive day at home. Did some tidying...some freelance work...and then headed out to our friends Eric and Lisa's place for a games night.

Well, little did I know that I was about to be introduced to best Wii game yet.

I have not laughed so hard in a long time. It was fantastic. The guys got it started off, the three of them were twisting, shaking, and showing us how it was done to Billie Jean.

The three of us girls were having so much fun cheering...until they told us to try.

That's when fear struck.

It takes me forEVER to catch on to choreographed dance moves. My left arm is pretty much useless when it comes smooth movements.

But here I went...what better to start off with than...

THRILLER!! It was HARD. I was the zombie backup dancer. You get to choose when you pick the song if you want to be MJ or a backup, sometimes they have different levels of difficulty. Being MJ in this one meant choosing "inhuman" as opposed to just "hard" for difficulty. I figured it was better to start at less than inhuman.

After that, I was one of these backup dancers. They made us spin in a circle. Fun! I was more than into it by this point. I was addicted.

We tried Smooth Criminal too, during this move, all four us did a "WhooooooooOOOOOOoooooa!" (As if we were on a rollercoaster, it was THAT exciting...and no, we didn't even get CLOSE to the angle MJ does here).

After that, it was time for some even older stuff. This one had us all fooled with an "easy" difficulty level, yet there was so much arm swinging going around in a very small space, there were almost a few punches landed. All in good fun though. And no one got hurt.

We danced to pretty much every song on there, some of them twice, and had a blast the whole time. The only thing I think would have maybe made it better was this:

...Which I now see actually COMES with a version of the game. My only concern would actually be the Wiimote slipping out of my hand as I was wearing the sparkly glove. Wrist straps and a tight grip are definitely key in this game.

And as IF that wasn't exciting enough for the weekend, I got to attend the Wonderful Wedding Show on Sunday afternoon with one of my best friends, of whom I am proudly going to be serving as Maid of Honour for this coming August at her wedding.

It was my first time attending such an event, so I photo-documented like crazy to share the experience with you all this week. It goes without saying there were a LOT of sparkly, feathery, pink, bedazzled, poufy things there...but also some really neat stuff! So stay tuned :)

How was YOUR weekend?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favourites:

So, here's another new thing I've decided to try out here at the blog: Friday Favourites. Today it's a website, but there are plenty of things on my list to share with all of you in coming weeks. On we go...

My first Friday Favourite is from the Apartment Therapy family of sites:

I've mentioned earlier that I'm in the process of making my condo into the lovely home I know it can be. I'm proud of what I've accomplished so far (no more barely-there green walls!), but I'm always on the look out for new inspiration and project ideas. Re-nest is a site I'm on almost every day for exactly that. An added attraction is that all of their projects also focus on re-using materials, and making eco-friendly choices. It's a fantastic resource.

What got me on the site initially was this gorgeous patio, which THEY found on Erin Ever After (another great site, which deserves a Friday of her own):

I happen to have a patio with an overhang similar to this one. So I can not wait to try this project out and add a little bit of casual chic-ness to my outdoor space.

Next up on the list was this post, from just the other day: 15 Fantastic Organized Spaces. Here are just a few samples of what I found to be extremely inspiring. I have an office at my place that desperately needs some structure and attention. I love that all of these can be done on budget, but will have a huge affect on the room.

I can't wait to bring in some of these suggestions to my own place. The office deserves a post to itself, which will happen in time. Right now, it's a pretty uninspiring place, but hopefully that will change soon enough.

Where do all of you go for your home project inspirations?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Q&A a day

I've kept a journal since I was a young child. I got my first one when I was about 8 years old, and wrote in it right until the very last page was full.

Then I promptly ripped it up into a ton of tiny little pieces so my mom and dad (ok, mostly I thought it would be mom, sorry mom) couldn't come into my room, find it, and see all my deep, dark, 8 year-old secrets. The boys I liked, the teachers I didn't, and anything else I'd listed in there (I LOVED making lists).

Even though the rest of my journals stayed in one piece, I always felt that they were this private place in which to store all my thoughts. And for a lot of years I treated them that way. Journal after journal of privacy, and it helped as things would come up that would stress me out.

But then time got to be an issue, there just wasn't enough of it to keep it up to date with what was going on. I grew up, and the tween, teen and young adult drama just wasn't there anymore. So for the past couple years, my last beautiful journal has sat in a drawer, unvisited. And like this blog, I missed it.

So this Christmas, while I was searching Amazon for gifts, I came across the
Q&A a day, 5-year journal. I was instantly intrigued. 5 YEARS of journaling?! How does this fit in one book?! How huge is this thing? I ordered it right then and there.

I think this book is one of my impulse buys ever, and I'm loving every day of writing in it. It's brilliant. A question that's to be answered every day of the year. 365 of them. Each page has room for five paragraphs on it, with a blank year to fill in next to each one. 5 years of journaling with ease.

What I've always loved about journaling is the ability to look back at a random time and see what was going on. But things like music, current trends, my favourite things at the time, would often be neglected for more life-related things. This takes care of that.

Here's a few that I've already answered:

Q: Write down something that inspired you today.
A: Easy. An afternoon chat with Steph about craft projects we'd like to try this year.

Q: What's your favourite accessory?
A: The two rings I wear every day. One was a gift from Orv after a trip he took to Mexico early in our relationship. The first piece of jewelry anyone had ever bought me. The second is a ring I bought in Greece, on our trip to Santorini. My first trip outside of North America, and one that is full of great memories.

Q: List three foods you ate today.
A: Oatmeal for breakfast, my standard right now. Saucers pizza for lunch (tasty but burnt). Lugaw for dinner. I just learned how to make this a few weeks ago, and I'm addicted to it.

Quick, easy answers, and 5 years worth of them to be tackled. I can't wait.