Thank You, 2013

31 December 2013

Oh, hi there, you guys!  I figured that since the last time I was here was on Christmas Eve, I would be consistent and drop in here again today, on New Year's Eve. 

Not only is today New Year's Eve, but it's Charley's first birthday, which is pretty, pretty huge.  I can't believe my baby is one!!  Although we're not with our little girl today and we're missing her terribly, we'll be doing a big celebration with her when we get back home. Luckily that gives me some time to try and figure out how to make a birthday cake using her three favourite foods; chicken, peanut butter, and cheesies. I'm guessing that's going to be one recipe I won't be sharing here anytime soon.  
I have so much to share with you all about my Christmas and my time here in Toronto with my family, but I'll have to save that for another day.  Another day that doesn't involve baking yummy treats for tonight, and playing nothing but trains and pass the baby.  Which, by the way, I have loved every second of.  

The main reason I stopped in was to do a quick recap on what a wonderful year 2013 has been for me.  Since I only started this blog a few months ago and can't look back through previous posts, I had to dig through these old photos to be reminded of just how blessed I am for what this year has given me.  

ONE//  In February we flew to Montreal to cross off one of our items on our bucket list; to see Bon Jovi in concert.  It was sooo much better than I ever could have imagined.

TWO//  Little did I know that Montreal would become the place where Todd surprised the crap out of me and proposed on the top of Mount Royal.

THREE//  The most beautiful and special ring I have ever seen.  My boy did good!! :)

FOUR//  Charley came into our lives in March and since then, she has brought us more joy and love than we ever thought was possible.  

FIVE//  We did a family trip in Jamaica at the end of March and had seven full days of pure sunshine.  Please take me back!!

SIX//  Not only was Jamaica probably one of the funnest trips we've ever done, but it was there that I got to hear my nephew speak to me for the first time.

SEVEN// Myself and Todd ran the Tely 10 for the first time ever.

EIGHT//  With lots of car tunes and car games, we did a road trip to Halifax and New Brunswick.

NINE//  I watched my friend get married and it was the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen.

TEN// I celebrated turning 28 with some wonderful friends and too many shots!

ELEVEN// At the beginning of September, our cabin was finally at the stage where it could be slept in so we made sure to take advantage of that over the remainder of the fall.

TWELVE//  I carved my very first pumpkin and realized just how much work was involved.

THIRTEEN// We got to watch our niece and nephews grow one year older and it was amazing to see just how much they can change in one year.

FOURTEEN// We celebrated Christmas with our friends and family, and this was the first Christmas that myself and Todd spent Christmas morning together.

FIFTEEN//  We flew to Toronto to spend Christmas with my family on Boxing Day. 

SIXTEEN// My nephew, Bennett, was born and over the last week that I've spent with him, he's been the quietest baby I've ever been around.  It almost makes me want to have one of my own.  I said almost. 

Well, there you have it, some of my favourite memories from 2013.  And although I don't have a picture, number eighteen would be starting this blog of mine in August.  I'm so glad I took the leap and finally started one of my own.

It's so hard to believe that this year is over, and while a part of me is sad to say goodbye to such a great year, I'm really looking forward to seeing what this next year has in store for me.  

Okay, so I have to take off now because we're leaving soon to go out for dinner, and with six people trying to get ready in one house, it's really an all day kind of event.  I'll be back in a few days to share my Christmas holidays with you all!

Happy 2014 everyone!

Merry Christmas!!

24 December 2013

It's Christmas Eve you guys, and before I settle in for the night I wanted to come here and wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas.  

You have no idea how thankful I am to those of you who come here and read this little space of mine,  whether you've been with me since the beginning, or if you just stumbled here to this post now.  I never would have imagined just how much joy this blog has given me over the last few months, and a big part of it is because of YOU!  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I also hope you have a wonderful holiday, regardless what it is that you're doing over the next few days. Make sure you appreciate those around you, and give them extra holiday hugs.  I know I certainly will.

This is the first time that I'll be away from parents on Christmas Day so I'm counting down the hours and minutes until I see them on Boxing Day.  Luckily I have some pretty great company here with me tonight, though!  :)

Well, I'm in my Christmas jammies now and a glass of slush and another Christmas movie is waiting for me, so I better not let those wait any longer.  I'm also thinking I should get to bed soon because Todd keeps telling me that he's going to have me up at 4 o'clock in the morning to open our presents.  Oh, dear.  


Let The Festivities Begin

23 December 2013

Top from Reitmans---on sale right now for an amazing price!!!

Saturday night was the perfect start to our Christmas holidays.  Since we're leaving in a few days to spend Christmas with my family in Toronto, we asked all of our friends to come to our house so we could have a fun celebration with them all before we left.

And party celebrate we did.

We made our pregnant friend do a shot of 7UP with us!

Although you would never say it from these pictures, there were actually male bodies floating around too.  But who wants to see boys when you have all these pretty ladies stealing the spotlight?  

We also had one four-legged "person" who stole the spotlight probably more than anyone else there.  Almost twenty people came through our front door Saturday night and Charley decided to bark for a good five minutes at each person.  If you're like me and can't do the math to figure out how long that was, let's just say there was an awful lot of barking going on.  Luckily she relaxed as the night went on, thanks to everyone feeding her lots of treats.

Apparently I coloured my hair red during the party.  

The last person didn't leave until around 3 o'clock in the morning so I would say Saturday night was a success (especially for Charley who went to bed with a full belly).  Sunday, on the other hand, was not so much of one.  I don't think Todd's bum moved from the couch all day and I wasn't a whole lot more productive either, unless you count eating all of the awesome leftovers from the night before.

We're soon leaving to spend the next few days with Todd's family before we leave for Toronto so I better go now and start helping Todd load up the vehicle.  Or, at least stand in the porch and tell him what a great job he's doing.  He always tell me what a great foreman I'd make.

I'm still waiting for my white hat. 

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Recipe// Hershey Kisses Pretzels

22 December 2013

I think a few points need to be covered here:

- If you have a Pinterest account then I'm sure you've seen this treat pinned a million and one times.

- I have no idea of the true source behind this treat because, again, about a million and one people have both made this and shared it.

- I'm not really sure the actual name of this treat so I decided to name it myself and I think I came up with the least catchy title ever.  Bye, bye to any chance of getting a job with naming products.

- If this treat only involves stacking three ingredients on top of each other, is it still considered a recipe? I'm going to go ahead and pretend that it does.

- Although these are embarrassingly easy (and that's even coming from my mouth), they are the perfect festive treat and they will be a big hit wherever you bring them.  

Here's what you'll need:
-Hershey kisses
-M & M's 

- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
- Place pretzels on parchment paper.
- Add Hershey kiss in the middle of the pretzel.
- Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes (you do not want them to melt).
- Place M&M directly on top of the Hershey kiss.
- Refrigerate until the chocolate is set. 

I know I say this every. singe. time. but this really was the easiest recipe in the history of all recipes.  And I'm sure after reading the directions you can back me up on that one.


School's Out For Summer

20 December 2013

Please note:  If you still have a few days of work left then I'd advise you to skip right over this post so you don't feel like a jelly belly.

Schooooooool's out for summer.  

Not really, but it is close enough to that feeling because I've officially started my two week Christmas holidays.  I really, really, really wanna go crazy right now with the exclamation points, but I'll settle for a boring, yet less annoying, period. 

Oh my goodness, if you wanted to see a happy girl then you should have seen me this afternoon leaving my office. With the singing, dancing and hugging that was going on, you'd swear we were all starring in our own musical, or maybe even one of those cheesy, Christmas TV movies.  Which, by the way, I love.  I have watched every single one of those cheesy, Christmas movies I could find over the last two weeks and I do not want to think about the time when they will no longer be on every single channel.

And, just like a kid patiently waiting for Christmas morning, this day was about as long as the other 364 days of the year rolled up into one. After the first fifteen minutes of work this morning I realized that I had already checked the clock five times.  I know I did it to myself, but I really couldn't help it.  Big kid at heart, people.

Another way in which I'm still a big ol' kid is that I still love getting surprises for Christmas. I've never been one of those kids who searched their house endlessly trying to find their gifts because, for me, it would ruin all of the fun. I'm not like a certain someone I know (ahem I'm looking at you, Todd), who was the sneakiest child on the planet and would unwrap and then re wrap his gifts so no one would know.  Nope, not me. My parents could have even placed my gifts on my own bed for Pete's sake and I still wouldn't have even peaked.
Even to this day, whenever someones asks me what I want for Christmas, unless I absolutely need something, then I will always say "surprise me". 

Well, a few days ago I was surprised when I received a gift from the secret Santa gift exchange that was organized by one of my favourite bloggers, Kym from Travel Babbles.  Only for the fact that everyone was opening their gifts early and coming together in a link up reveal, my pretty little present would still be sitting under my tree.  

My secret Santa, Kayla, certainly knew the best way to my heart; a deliciously smelling candle, soap, chocolates and lots 'o coffee. Yes, yes, yes, and YES!

Thank you so much Kayla for these wonderful goodies and for surprising me, I really appreciated it and  I loved them all.  Todd already has almost the full bag of chocolates gone, and I have already swiped the Tim Horton's gift card to a balance of zero.  That gift card didn't know what hit 'em. 

Well, I'm off to get these holidays started.  I think I see another Christmas movie in my future tonight. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Dear Bennett

19 December 2013

You and your mom, December 17th, 2013.

Dear Bennett,

It's your Auntie Renee, but I'll be known as "Nay" to you for the first few years of your life. Although you don't know me yet, I already know so much about you and you were only born two days ago. In case you're still confused about me, you can ask your big brother, Nathan, to fill you in.  I'm pretty sure he'll tell you nothing but really cool things about me. I wanted to write you this letter to not only tell you a little bit about your family, but to also tell you how much you're loved already and hopefully one day when you're old enough, you can look back at this and be reminded of just how much. And, if you're anything like your aunt, sentimental things like this will be right up your alley.

I'm not one to be usually stuck for words, but I can tell already just how hard writing this is going to be.  The reason why this is going to be so hard is because there is honestly not enough white space staring back at me here now to describe how special your family is and just how much they mean to me.  I will try my best to keep this short, though, because I don't want this letter to be a bedtime story that your parents use each night to put you to sleep.

Well, you're now the second child for your mommy and daddy, and I'm sure you might be thinking that the second child is never really as special as the first.  But, as the second and youngest child myself, I can tell you that you already have such an advantage over Nathan. Yeah, sure he has the first born thing going on, and yeah, you probably will get stuck with all of his hand me downs, but you get a big brother to look up to, and I can guarantee you Bennett, that is better than anything else in this world.  I can not picture my life without having your mom as my big sister (and honestly I wouldn't want to), and even to this day at 28 years old, I look up to her probably even more than she knows. But you'll find that out for yourself when you get a little older and want to hang out with your brother and all of his friends. Don't be surprised, though, when he shuts his bedroom door and then moves his dresser across the door so you can't get in. Not that I know anything about this, but I've heard screaming bloody murder will help you get inside the room pretty quick. Oh, and another really, really cool thing about being the youngest is that your mom and dad will probably be a little more relaxed with you, or at least that's what our parents told us. You can ask your mom about that one day, though, because I'm sure she has a lot of stories of some of the things she would get punished for compared to me.  Don't forget to make her tell you the good ones, okay?

I will tell you, though, that neither you or Nathan will have a very good chance at getting away with things because your mom was famous for never getting caught at some of the things she did growing up. Because she knows all the good secrets now, it's going to be next to impossible for you guys to try and outsmart her. So, good luck to you and your brother with that.

If in fact you do happen to get in big trouble, I'll only be a phone call away or a quick visit to Newfoundland away. Okay, I guess Newfoundland isn't that close, but it's close enough that you'll get to visit often. You'll soon quickly realize that Newfoundland will be your home away from home. Oh the fun you're going to have; going to the cabin, the beach, going fishing and going for bike rides with poppy (he'll totally let you press the gas throttle), and even helping nanny with her flower gardens. You have to promise me that you'll keep an eye on Charley while you do that, though, because she has a tendency to tear up all of the flowers.  Just ask Nathan about all the fun you're going to have when you visit. This past summer he got to do all of those fun things, and he even dug up his own worm to put on his fishing pole.

The time you get to spend with your nanny and poppy, Bennett, will be some of your best days ever. They truly are the most special people, and you are so lucky that you have them as grandparents. Nanny will teach you to be the kindest and most honest person you can be, and your poppy will teach you to go out of your way for other people. That reminds me, if you ever stay over at nanny and poppys when you're older and you need to be picked up late at night, ask poppy because, trust me, he's your man. Even though nanny will be in bed while you're out, she actually won't fall asleep, though, until she hears the door knob turn and know that you made it home safe.

And where do I even begin with your parents?  I really don't think I need to tell you all of the wonderful things about them, because I know you'll soon start to see them for yourself, if you haven't already.  I will tell you, though, that weekends at your house are going to be awesome and they're probably going to involve your moms famous pancakes. The hikes you're going to go on with your family will become a weekend routine, and even when you get older and you can walk by yourself, your dad will still carry you on his back.  But if your dad ever tells you you're getting too big to carry, you tell him about the time before you were born when we all went on a six hour hike and him and Uncle Todd had to keep taking turns carrying your big brother. If he could do it then, he can do it now. Oh, and let's not forget about another person in your family that will be your best friend until you're old enough to not drop your food on the floor. But even then, I'm sure your dog, Boston, will still be your friend if you continue to purposely drop the food you don't like (no hints, or anything).  

Well Bennett, I hope you enjoy reading this letter as much as I loved writing it, although I will tell you I'm here now crying like a baby (not that you're going to do any of that, though).  But, it's all happy tears and they truly are the best.  Before I say goodbye, I want you to know that whatever you become, without a doubt, we only want you to be happy.  It may sound cliche (get your mom to tell you what that word means), but you'll quickly realize that we one hundred percent mean that in this family. And although I won't get to see you everyday, just like your family hikes, face time will also become a part of your weekend routine.  Before you know it, just like Nathan, when you see me on that screen, you'll automatically start asking for Charley and Uncle Todd.

Oh, and one more thing that's pretty important. I know your mom is probably going to teach this to you because our mom taught this to us, but make sure you never, ever, ever go to bed being angry with someone (which, trust me, will always work in your favour between you and your parents if you do something bad).

I can't wait to meet you in one week, Bennett, and help celebrate your arrival with all of your family.

I love you,

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Healthy Countdown To Christmas- Week 3

18 December 2013

It's week three, you guys, which means we only have one more week to go until our inner child comes to life.  But I'm sure you already knew that and didn't need a 'healthy countdown to Christmas' reminder, right?  And I'm also pretty sure that the majority of our child-like behaviours have probably already started to come out by now, because I know mine has.  Then again, it really doesn't take a whole lot to bring mine out.  Coffee, chips, and new necklaces are just a few of the things that tend to make me go all giddy.  

Speaking of chips, I think I'm starting to forget what they actually taste like.  Did I mention that being dramatic is one of my child-like behaviours that I posses?  Since I didn't eat chips this week (does nachos count?), let's take a look at how I did over the last few days.

In case you missed:
Healthy Countdown To Christmas- Week 2
Healthy Countdown To Christmas- Week 1
Weight Loss Journey

The amazing:
- I dragged my butt to the gym, not once, but twice.  To some this may seem oh so very minor, but not to this girl over here.  Insert more child-like behaviours.  When you haven't went in months a while, it's really not easy doing the walk of shame to the front desk so they can swipe your card.  Luckily, it still worked, which was a good thing because I've been paying for that place to stay open. And since I've last been there, I've learned that they've painted and remodeled their floors (i bet that's where my donations have been going).

-Another thing that was amazing was that I managed to take those selfies at the gym without getting caught. It's really not as easy as it appears, folks.

-And this week our office has been flooded with every possible treat and I've avoided THEM ALL.  I know it's okay to have treats, but I'd much rather save my treats for something I love, like chips. Cool ranch, to be exact.

No, I will most certainly not eat you!

The good:
- I still continued to impress myself with my eating this week.  Here's just another sample of some of the things I packed in my lunch bag for work.

The bad:

-Nachos, a burger and fries and some drinks Saturday night.  This is really starting to feel like dejavu! But in the best possible way, of course.

So with all of that said, I think I did pretty good. I'm thinking that this next week is going to be the hardest week yet, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

And on a separate note, thanks to everyone who sent congratulations to me yesterday on becoming an Auntie again. I'm over the moon excited because I have a brand spanking new nephew, Bennett, who weighed 9 lbs, 13 ozs. I now have to patiently wait eight days until we fly to Toronto to see them, (which is going to be harder than dragging my butt to the gym), but I seriously can't wait to squish his chunky little cheeks.

Happy one week 'til Christmas, everyone!

DIY Reindeer Print

17 December 2013

If you want that one extra Christmas decoration to fill some extra space in your home (like me) but you don't want to spend a crazy amount of money on one (like me), well then I think you will really love this DIY project.  By the way, when did Christmas decorations become so expensive?
I saw this project on Carly's blog, Sunday's Grace, and before I even had the instructions read, I knew that I was going to be attempting this myself. Not only is this super simple to make, but it actually looks like something I would buy from one of those fancy decoration stores. Honestly. And plus, reindeer decorations are huge right now, which also works in your favour.  But then again, if reindeers aren't your thing, the list of free stencils on the internet that you can throw glitter on are pretty much endless.
 Here's what you'll need:
-Christmas stencil (found online)
-White construction paper
-Paint Brush
-Picture Frame

Trace your stencil onto the construction paper, fill in the outline with glue, and sprinkle glitter all over the object.  Wait for it to dry (which surprisingly doesn't take that long), and then place it in the picture frame.

  Believe it or not, it's actually one of my favourite decorations and I'd love to do another one again next year.

I've now shared my first two DIY projects that I've ever done in my entire life (the other one can be found here).  I think my craft skills will now be put to rest, and it is safe to say that they might not reappear until next Christmas.  I mean, I don't want to be too much competition for Martha, who apparently I'm on a first name basis with.

Ps: As much as I love to ramble on and on, I'm keeping this short and sweet today because my sister is having a baby AS WE SPEAK and there is no way I can focus on anything else right now other than that. Boy or girl?  Boy or girl?  I think it would be in my works best interest if they just went ahead and sent me home for the remainder of the day. There really should be some kind of Aunt holiday floating around, what do you think? 

Pps: I'm adding that holiday right now on my 'if I ever become management' to do-list and, let's just say that Santa's list has nothing on this one.
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Aunt Renee, actually.

Some Ruff Late Night Shenanigans

13 December 2013

We made it through another week, you guys!  Go ahead, pat yourself on the back because we all deserve it!  I know that I definitely do because I've had about as many hours of sleep this whole week as you can count on one....paw.  That's right, and it's been with that same paw that this little one has scratched me over and over and over again to try and wake me up each night.  Mission accomplished she says.
Now, now, don't let that innocent face fool you like it's fooled me each night.  It's actually not an innocent face, more like an exhausted one.  Jumping up and down off the bed each night around 2 o'clock can take a toll on one, you know.  Just like chasing a cat in the middle of the night.  Or even fooling someone into thinking you need to pee, when in reality you end up playing in the snow for a half hour while ignoring your mother who is calling out to you, until she finally has to go out in the backyard with nothing but a pajama top and some snow boots to bring you back in the house.  And I also bet it's pretty difficult timing your barking to happen at around 4:30 each morning. I'd say that takes skill.  Or how about throwing up all over the comforters and making your parents start scrubbing what resembled a red plastic frisbee mixed in with a half of a sock and some other goop that they never want to think about again.  "Ruff", i tell you, "ruff".
Either some sick person messed with Charley's biological clock or she just happens to be really, really excited for Christmas. I think I'm going to have to start using some good ole tactics like my parents would use on me around this time of the year, like tell her that Santa's watching her every move.  Maybe I'll scare her and tell her that if she doesn't behave she won't get the number one item on her list this year; bones. Actually that would probably scare me more than her.
How I even showed up to work each morning this week is beyond me.  And, to be honest, I have no idea how I'm even putting these words together right now to form coherent sentences. That was actually a forewarning to you all. But then again, that's probably really no different from any other day of the week when you come here.

So, with that said, before I start rambling on even more and chasing you all away, like Charley's probably going to do again tonight, I'm going to leave it at that.  I think it's even a miracle that I made it this far. 

Speaking of miracles, if you haven't watched this video from the West Jet Airlines, you should seriously check it out. I don't know if it's because of the no sleep thing, but every time I've watched it this week it's given me goosebumps.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

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Healthy Countdown To Christmas- Week 2

11 December 2013

Wow, 2 weeks can certainly make a difference, wouldn't you say? ;)

What?  You mean you don't believe that's me up there?  I guess I couldn't really fool you with that hair colour, hey?
So, just as I was sitting down last night to start thinking about all of the healthy things I did this week, the Victoria's Secret Show was brought to my attention.  And when I say, "brought to my attention", I actually mean I had feathers, jewels, and legs sticking out of my TV screen at one point. 
I think Erin summed up this day perfectly.

As much as this show made me want to start rummaging through my junk food cupboard right then and there, I quickly decided against it because there was no way that I was adding that to the category of "bad things I ate this week". Plus, ain't nobody gonna get legs like that by eating junk food. Okay, so let's see how I did. 

In case you missed:
Healthy Countdown to Christmas- Week 1
A Weight Loss Journey

The good:
-I continued to eat really good this week and I know a big part of it was due to packing my lunches the night before. This really does make a huge difference.
-I really impressed myself with my clean eating on Thursday and Friday (when I wasn't working) because I find that I have a tendency to get more off track when I'm off than when I'm working.

The recipe for the muffin can be found here

The okay:
- I really wish I had more to share in the fitness department again this week, but unfortunately I don't.
-I got out for two runs, but one of them was a super short one as it was freezing. 
-I know this is better than doing nothing, but I really need to start picking it up a little bit more.

The bad:
-Drinks and a poutine late Saturday night and Chinese food for dinner on Sunday.
-Does walking around a mall for hours and hours counteract these things? Let's hope so!
-But again, sometimes it helps with your motivation to sneak one (or two) "not so good" things in there.

I'm feeling much better over the last couple of weeks then I have in a long time so I'm really happy about that. It's amazing how making small changes can do this.

 I can't believe that we have only 2 more weeks to go before Christmas!!
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Recipe// Christmas Slush

10 December 2013

My first thought when I think of Christmas is getting my hands on this delicious drink. Go ahead and judge me, but I can guarantee you that if you ever make it, this will be your first thought too, and probably not just for Christmas, but for the next 364 days of the year.

Where I come from, slush is huge.  No matter who you visit over the holidays, as soon as you step foot in someones house, without even having your jacket off, you are going to be asked, "would you like a glass of slush?".  And, by the way, your answer should always be yes. My parents have made this every December for as long as I can remember, and with six people usually in my house over the holidays, this poor drink doesn't stand a chance. Last year we ran out a few days after Christmas day and I think at that point we were all ready to trade in every last one of our gifts for more of the "good" stuff. 

This year, since my family and I are spending Christmas at my sister's in Toronto (don't worry, my sister is making room in her freezer as we speak at this very moment), me and Todd decided to make it ourselves for the weeks leading up to Christmas. And now since I know just how easy it is to make, I'm going to be sure to tell my dad that, for future references, there should be no more excuses of ever running out.

Here's what you'll need:
-26 oz bottle of vodka (optional)
-Bottle of 7UP (not pictured)
-2 cans of frozen orange juice
-2 cans of frozen lemonade (white, not pink)
-Ice cream tub, meat bucket, or something to hold the slush

-Boil seven cups of water and then add 1 cup of sugar (mixing really well)
-Add the 4 frozen cans of juice and the vodka (still mixing really well)
-Freeze mixture

-Once frozen, fill your glass about half or three quarters full with slush (depending on how strong) and the remainder with 7UP.

Stir and enjoy!

 I have no idea why we save this drink for the holidays because, in my opinion, it's also perfect for a hot summer day. Okay, so I think it's time to go now before someone decides to march me right into the next local AA meeting. In my defense, I would love this drink almost as much without the alcohol.

So Long, Four Day Weekend!

09 December 2013

Well, it's Monday.  You wanna know what's worse than the weekend being over?  How about a four day weekend being over?  Poof!  Gone. Just like that. I know, I know, I sound a little greedy over here complaining about all my time off, but I mean, wouldn't you agree that sometimes having more time off makes going back to work even that much harder? I laid in bed for ten minutes this morning just trying to figure out why my alarm clock was going off. Needless to say I was a little disappointed when my mind finally decided to clue in on the reason. Why couldn't it have been for something fun like a spa date or a hair appointment?  Heck, I think I would have even taken a dentist appointment, or anything else for that matter. 
And you'd think with the extra time I'd be all rested and ready to tackle this week head on but, nope, it's definitely not the case. There was absolutely nothing relaxing about spending hours upon hours getting trampled on at the mall and then spending the remainder of the day driving all over the city to finish your Christmas shopping. Now I know I had those days off myself, but how many times on Thursday and Friday did I ask the question, "does anyone work anymore on weekdays?".  Either that, or everyone must have asked their bosses for the exact same days off as me.  
Part one of my weekend. 
Of course I made sure to refuel with a delicious breakfast from Cora's.

And although my bank account, sore feet, and fingers with nothing but paper cuts weren't exactly too thrilled with me, I was extremely happy that I was one productive little beaver (if that's even how the saying goes). 

Part two was much better, minus the regular cleaning and grocery shopping that I can never seem to escape on a weekend. Saturday night we went to a local concert here in the city with our friends and then after we made our way downtown for some drinks.
Necklace from Fifth & Mae

A taste of Newfoundland music.
Although this video wasn't taken on Saturday night, this is one of the songs they did from that night.
Isn't this the most unique voice you've ever heard?

Sunday we drove about an hour to visit my pop and see his new home (which seems like a pretty great place, if you ask me) and then we took him out for dinner.  Although it made me a little sad seeing his whole life packed into one room, it was nice to see him completely settled and really content where he is to now.

Well, I'm off to get this new week started. 

Please be kind to us all, Monday.

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DIY Glitter Mason Jars

05 December 2013

If you're like me and the only thing you know about arts and crafts is how to glue macaroni around a smiley face on a piece of paper, well then this post is definitely for you.  I'm dead serious when I say I'm not the creative "do it yourself" type of person, but I feel like now, maybe I shouldn't have been so hard on myself.  

The name of this post should have actually been:  I CAN'T BELIEVE I MADE THIS MYSELF, YOU GUYS!  And yes, the caps locks are definitely necessary because that's how excited I feel when I look at the picture below and realize that I did it all. by. myself.  Okay, and maybe with a little help from pinterest, but still.  Please don't take this away from me.

A couple of weeks ago I was searching pinterest and I saw the idea of adding glitter and tea lights to mason jars and, since it didn't look too too difficult , I trotted off and picked up my supplies. I was home by myself last night and I figured that it was the perfect time to try and put my skills to the test.  So, that's exactly what I did.  

Here's what you'll need:
-Mason jars
-Tea lights
-Glitter (I used silver)
-Small paint brush
- Optional: I had some ribbon left over from last year 
so I decided to see if I could put it to good use (and I did!!)

Lightly dip your paint brush in both water and glue, and then spread it all over the inside of the mason jar.  Sprinkle the glitter inside and, with the cover back on, shake the jar to spread the glitter consistently all over the inside. Add as much glitter as you want, depending on how transparent you want your jar.  I may have gotten a little carried away with the glitter because really, who doesn't love glitter? 

Wrap your ribbon around the top of the jar, wait for the inside to dry, and then add your tea light. Simple as that.

Okay, so here's where I really impressed myself. After looking at the pretty mason jars and realizing that they were actually worth displaying, I remembered that I had picked up a silver tray for $2 not that long ago, just hoping that I could find something to use it for.

But, that looked kind of boring with all of that silver going on, so then I had another "genius" idea of running to the dollar store to look for something to fancy it up. I found a teeny tiny wreath for a $1.50 so I picked up two- one with pine corns and one with cranberries and little silver balls. I then cut all of the pieces off and placed them around the plate, in between the jars.

And tadaaaaa...

And then I found the perfect home for these guys!

It really was that simple, so if I can do it, you can too.

And now I'm off to continue staring at my creation for the rest of the day.

Caps lock still necessary. 

Ps:  I have another DIY project that I did last week that I'll be showing soon too- I was just too excited about this one I made last night that I wanted to show it off right away.

Healthy Countdown To Christmas- Week 1

04 December 2013

If you're new around here, a few weeks ago I shared my weight loss journey and I may or may not have revealed some much larger photos of myself from years ago.  Whether you're looking for some extra motivation, a reminder, or even a chuckle, I advise you to check them out.

I also mentioned here that I've recently been noticing that I'm starting to slip back into some old, bad habits and how I really needed to get back on track, especially with the holidays coming up in just a few short weeks. Instead of spending whatever money I have left after my Christmas shopping  money on new clothes, new makeup, or anything else to make me feel good for over the holidays, I'm a firm believer that dropping a few pounds will get the job done for me even better. Plus, I figured that way, I also won't feel as guilty when I dive head first indulge in some holiday treats.

So, leading up to Christmas, as a way to stay on track, I'm sharing my progress for each week.  Here's my update after the first week.
Week 1
The good:
-No snacking after dinner.
-Although I've always been really good about drinking tons and tons of water, I've continued to do so this week (and possibly even more).
-I've been packing my lunches for work before I go to bed each night and it's made a tremendous difference because my meals and snacks have been so much healthier.
The recipe for the smoothie can be found here and the apple dip here
The okay:
- While I didn't do a whole lot in the fitness department this week, I did get out for a half hour run. I figured that with the combination of not running in months and the cold weather I was going to be really discouraged, but it actually turned out to be a great run and it has me more motivated to continue on. It also made me realize how much I missed the feeling of soreness!
- I'm aiming for at least 3 times of exercising for next week.
The bad:
- The burger and fries that I consumed in a total of 2.5 seconds on Saturday night. And maybe some drinks (we went out for a friends birthday and there was no way this girl was ordering a water and a salad). 
- It's also in the "bad" category because I didn't regret it one bit, it was all just too yummy.
I must say, even after only one week, I've become much more motivated and I'm already starting to feel better. Now if I could only fit into my New Year's dress that I bought last year, I'd be one extremely happy girl!
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