A Photo An Hour

30 January 2014

I'm linking up with the lovely Stephanie and Meg today for A Photo An Hour where I show you all what a typical day of mine looks like. In my case though, it's actually a photo almost every hour because my weekdays require me sitting at a desk for 8 or 9 hours and I really thought it would be in everyones best interest if I didn't bore you all with the same pictures of the same computer screen. Aint nobody wants to see that!

I will warn you that the picture quality isn't the greatest on these photos because last summer I had the brilliant idea of holding my iPhone in my sweaty palms when I would run.  Big no, no. Lesson of the day right there, folks. I did contemplate using my DSLR camera, but I figured trying not to get caught at work using that clunky thing would be next to impossible. 

Okay, okay, I know you all just can't wait to see my ever so exciting day, so I'll stop rambling now and get right to the point.  One more thing, a little fun fact- I got busted by a co-worker (that I barely know, might I add) while taking the selfie below. Just imagine if it was with my DSLR!  Sorry, I know I said I was done rambling but what girl gets right to the point anyways?  But I'm done now, for real.

Hold on to your seats and please try not to be too jealous of me.

6:00 am: Rise and shine. Aka finally get out of bed after pressing the snooze button for a half hour. Another fact- it's really 5:45 am but I just try and trick myself in the mornings into thinking it's later than what it actually is.

7:00 am: Dressed and ready to get work over with tackle the day. This is around the time when my bedroom looks like a tornado just passed by. Not to worry though, it's just me throwing my entire closet on the floor.

8:00 am: The highlight of my morning and the only thing that actually helps me tackle the day.

9:00 am-12:00 pm: Work, work, and more work.

1:00 pm: Lunch break and going home to let Charley out. We're still working on the whole training to use the toilet thing.

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Oh, still here: work, work, and more work.

6:00 pm: Gymmin it.

7:00 pm: Dinner and then dishes and then packing lunches for the next day. Definitely not the highlight of my day.

8:00 pm: Depending on the day or the mood, blog time or TV time with always a quick phone call to my mom.

And for more excitement, bedtime is around 9:30. Exception: The Bachelor nights.

Well, I just realized two things after all of that: I'm old and I really should have done this Photo An Hour challenge on a Saturday or a Sunday. 

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Recipe// Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Dip

29 January 2014

When my friend told me a few weeks ago that she was having a baby shower, the first thing I asked was, "what can I help with?".  Her exact response was, "all I want is for you to be there and for you to make the dip that your so very pregnant friend craves".  

Every time I have to go somewhere and bring something, this dessert is what is always requested. Now if you've been around here before, you might be thinking that it's probably because that's the only thing I know how to make. And while you make a true valid point, I've ate this way too many times to know that it's because this dessert is really that good. You guys, it seriously is the best.  But to be nice and add more validity to your point, whenever someone finds out that I actually made this, they're always pretty surprised.  Actually, shocked is more like what's written all over their faces.  

Here's what you'll need:
- 1 block of cream cheese (250g)
-1/2 cup of butter
-1/4 tsp of vanilla
-3/4 cup of icing sugar
-2 tbsp of brown sugar
-1 pkg of pure milk chocolate chips
- Chocolate wafers


-Beat cream cheese and butter.
-Add vanilla, icing sugar and brown sugar.
-Mix in 3/4 of the bag of chocolate chips.
-Spread the dip into a bowl and top with the remaining chocolate chips.

And last but definitely not least, try and see if you can save some for someone else.

While I spread the dip over these chocolate wafers (which apparently I wanted to test you all on your french skills with that picture), the  amount of things you could use as dippers are endless.  In fact, eating it by the spoonful works too, although be prepared to get some strange looks.  Not from this girl, though...dig right in...no judgement here!
Enjoy the yummy goodness!
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Oh, Weekends

26 January 2014

Oh weekends, how you go by so quickly.  It's like it's 5 o'clock on a Friday evening and then you blink and it's suddenly Sunday evening.  How does that happen every. single. time?  But enough complaining because, despite it flying by, it was a great one.  And that's really all that matters!

Friday night myself and Todd went to The Keg for dinner to celebrate his 29th birthday and we literally ate ourselves into a food coma.  Hot bread. Check. Martini. Check. Calamari. Check. The most mouth-watering steak I've ever put to my lips. Check. The creamiest garlic mashed potatoes ever. Check.  And how about a big slab of birthday cake? Um, check. I'm drooling just reliving that moment over again.  I guess no more explanations are needed about how much we enjoyed our night.

And then today I had one of my closest friends baby shower. Jessie has been the first out of all of my friends to become pregnant and it's been so awesome watching that belly of hers grow. Since my sister lives away, I was never able to witness that exciting part with my two nephews (only through a phone screen) so I've always been in such an amazement every time I see her.  And I can't believe that in only 5 more weeks I'll be amazed once again!

Do you remember The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  I forgot how much I loved that book!
Thankfully my sister helped me in the children's books department.

Not only did she love her gift but the dip I made for her shower seemed to be a big hit (pat on the back). I'll be sharing that here this week so if you're on a healthy Mexico kick like me, you might want to stay away.  Wait, actually pleassssse don't stay away- come back and drool at it like I'll be doing! Misery loves company, right?

Oh and I made it to the gym both days over the weekend which means that my total gym days for last week were 6...again. Another pat on the back. I'm still waiting on my award from last week, though!

And technically my weekend isn't quite over yet because I still have Sean and Catherine's wedding to watch tonight and I am soooo excited!  Their season was, hands down, my all time favourite Bachelor season.  Who else is watching?  It's happening like....NOW!!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

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Oh No She Didn't?

24 January 2014

Oh yes she did!  She booked a trip to MEXICO!  Just so we're clear, the she would be referring to me

And like soon.  Well, in a little over a month, which is really not soon enough because I've been checking my daily countdown reminder, not daily, but hourly.  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?  How about now?  Nowwww?  Yup, I was one of those kids and apparently I haven't outgrown that quality quite yet.  This time, though, instead of torturing my parents with those questions, I get to torture Todd and our two friends who are going with us.  But I'm just too excited.  And when you're really excited about something, it's pretty much mandatory to blog about it.  So here I am shouting it from the roof top over the internet.

My mind right now has been consumed with nothing but trip related things.  And my poor body has been consumed with nothing but rabbit food and evil gym sessions that have left me unable to walk for days.  3 days, to be exact. Walking up the stairs and squatting to pee has been next to impossible, but other than that I'm feeling great!  Who needs feeling in their legs, anyways?  I will tell you, though, that if I could move my legs, I'd kick myself for putting on a little holiday weight. Although i did enjoy what caused it.  Just not the end result. But what better way to try and get it off then by planning a trip where clothing requirements are next to nothing.  And besides, I'm a firm believer that you enjoy everything so much more when you feel great!  Am I right, or am I right?

Speaking of losing weight, right after we booked our trip I caught myself typing these words:

Don't laugh!  Or yes, please do so because I'm laughing at myself right now. But, aren't you the slightest bit curious to know what I found out?  I know you are. Okay, so the first site I opened mentioned something about an eating disorder. Um, exit.  The second site rambled on about how you should only lose 1-2 pounds per week for it to be a healthy weight loss.  Yada, yada, I know, I know.  Exit.  And then there was the third site I opened which listed six tips to lose 10 pounds in a month.  Close enough I thought, so I continued to read until I got to the first two suggestions: get more sleep and go for brisk walks.  Seriously?  If those tips were true, Google, then I really wouldn't have needed to ask you that question in the first place. And, exit.  Silly, silly me.  

Well, that's pretty much all of the news I have for you today, but in my defence I thought it was pretty important news. But, if you don't think so, well then how about IT'S FRIDAY!  That's always good news. We're going out to dinner tonight to celebrate Todd's birthday and you better believe that I'll be eating every last bite on my plate and quite possibly dessert. That's one of the plus sides of eating super good over the last few weeks, it makes having a treat that much more enjoyable. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to practice how to perfect the fishtail braid and find stores that sell summer clothes this time of year. Suggestions? Please don't tell me to google it. I will tell you one thing I don't need to do and that's practice how to do absolutely nothing but relax for an entire week on vacation. I definitely got that one covered!

Have a great weekend!!

To The Birthday Boy

22 January 2014

Happy 29th birthday to someone:

Who uses up all of our hot water in the morning by taking the longest showers in history.

Who calls me every morning to make sure I'm out of bed so I'm not late for work.

Who would live in the woods if he could.

Whose favourite article of clothing is his plaid jacket and would wear it everyday and everywhere if it was socially acceptable (aka. if his fiance let him).

Who is always on my side. That is, unless we're battling each other and then there's no way he's crossing over that line.

Who is the pickiest eater I know and who could live off of meat, and meat only, for the rest of his life.

Who also thinks the idea of a treat is cooking a roast at eleven o'clock in the night.

Who is the most forgetful person I know (and you know it's pretty bad when it's coming from MY mouth).

Who sometimes reads my blog posts over to see if they make any sense. Hear that? So blame him if they don't!!

Who gets grossed out by the talk of cuticles or anything else nail related and the look of spaghetti or anything else in the pasta family.

Who loves my nephews as much as I do.

Who is never afraid to put me in my place when I need it. *Cough* but I never do *Cough*

Who pushes me to do things that I want to do but sometimes don't think I can.

Who never, ever, ever judges me.

Who sometimes leaves me random notes that melt my heart.

Who will always crack a joke when we're arguing.

Who brings me so much entertainment and always keeps me on my toes.
Whose motto in life is, "it's all about the story". 

Who has stood by me through the good and not so good times.

Who is my best friend.

My birthday boy.

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A Birthday Party Is Supposed To Be A Happy Time

21 January 2014

Today my grandfather (my pop) turned 87.  87 is certainly a big number, so to celebrate such a big number, a big birthday party was thrown for him on Saturday.

And as the day approached, I was really looking forward to it.  Because birthday parties are supposed to be filled with nothing but happy times, right?  Times of celebration and lots of laughter?  With cake, presents and maybe even balloons?

My pops party had all of those things, but something was definitely missing.

Scratch that.

There was nothing missing, but something was so very much added; a sadness. In fact, it was a sadness that you couldn't miss because it seemed to engulf the entire room.

You know, about a month ago I wrote about my pop moving into a seniors home, and I believe my exact words at that time were, "I've watched him decline faster than I ever thought possible".  But I was wrong when I wrote that.  So very, very wrong.

The last time I saw my pop was around Christmas time and I noticed some changes then. But now? Well looking at my pop during his party literally broke my heart and, in fact, I tried not to even look at him most of the time because it only made me feel worse. Because again, birthday parties are supposed to be happy times.

His closest family and friends came to celebrate with him that day and there was not one person in the room he recognized. Not one. When I would glance his way I would either see him getting fed by someone or just sitting there, going in and out of sleep. And when it was time to blow out the two candles on his birthday cake, he couldn't do it.

Then, immediately after this picture was taken, his three daughters helped him get back in bed.

And you really couldn't help but notice that there was an elephant in the room; something that everyone was thinking, but no one wanted to say out loud which was, "it's probably his last birthday". I know getting older is a part of life and I know that in many ways I should be so lucky that my pop has been able to live a long and healthy life up until now. But all of that really doesn't make it hurt any less. I mean, telling myself all of that that doesn't help when you're looking at your mom who is shedding tears while she reads her father's birthday card from a six year old with the words scribbled, "I miss you" in blue crayon.  She was quickly removed from the duty of reading any more birthday cards.

You know, when I sat down to write this post tonight, I had to think long and hard about what I was actually going to say and how I was going to talk about my pops birthday. Actually, a part of me didn't really want to write anything about it at all. A part of me wanted to put it out of my mind and pretend that I went there and came home and that none of those feelings were there. That same part of me also didn't really want to use this blank, white space for a post that wasn't very light, or cheerful, or upbeat.

But a much bigger part of me wanted to write about it, and so I did.  And I wrote about it in the way that I experienced it on Saturday, and it wasn't light, or cheerful, or upbeat at all. I figured that if I can't share (some of) the bad with the good, and (some of) the sadness with the happiness, then what's the point in all of this, really?

Sure, a few months from now I might look back and read this and have feelings of sadness rush in again. And who knows, maybe during that same time I'll even regret not writing about it in a more positive way--a time when we were all together celebrating another year of my pops life because, trust me, I'm so thankful we were able to do that together. But again, that's just not how I'm feeling at this exact moment, and it definitely wasn't how I was feeling when I left his party Saturday evening.  Regardless of how I was feeling though after I left, all I could think about on the hour drive back home that night was that I hope my pop knows just how much he's loved, and that the party was just another way that everyone could show him that.

If You Want Something Bad Enough You'll Find A Way

16 January 2014

I'm laying it all out for you today. I'm in a big, big rut.  Like so big.

But it's true, isn't it?  If you want something bad enough then you'll find a way to do it?

I've repeated that sentence to myself over and over again this past week, just trying to let those individual words seep into my brain.  It seems lately I've been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything I want to do, or should be doing, or need to be doing.  The hours in the day seem to go by so quickly and, just like always, there never seems to be enough of them.  Ever.  The to-do lists keeps growing, and the energy that goes into thinking about them seems to grow even more than the lists themselves.

I need to get caught up at work.

My house needs to be cleaned.

Those storage rooms need to be tackled.

My dog needs to be walked.

I want to spend more time doing fun things with Todd.

I need to start eating better.

My car needs to be cleaned.

I have to go to the gym (and stay there). 

I really want more time to blog.

I should make a dentist appointment.

I want to finish that book that's been sitting on my night table.

I would love to watch my favourite show right now.

I really need to stay in touch better with friends who are away.

I need to start learning how to use my DSLR camera.

Those empty picture frames that have been sitting there for a year really need pictures.

But , I just wish I could relax.

Oh, that list. It really could continue on forever and forever. You know what I'm talking about, right? Please say yes. I'm even exhausted just typing that thing. 

I'm getting sick of hearing myself say that I don't have enough time because again, it goes back to that saying.  If I want it bad enough, I'll find a way.  I obviously wanted to start watching the new show, Orange Is The New Black this week, and guess what?  I did (and loooved what I've watched so far). I also wanted to clean my room this week, but guess what?  I didn't.  Why?  Because obviously I didn't want it bad enough (can ya really blame me though?).  

Sometimes I think about the future.  A future that involves little feet running around destroying the house. A time where you look back before you had children and laugh think, "what did I do with all of my spare time?" Oh lord, help me!  Bowing down to you, moms. 

But I didn't come here today to vent, although that does help a little!  Instead this was just a little pep talk for myself (and any others who may be needing one) to start making the most out of my time and start getting shiz done. I have to remember that everything doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" type of task, because a little bit truly does go a long way.  If I don't want to take out an entire Saturday to clean my house, well then I should try and do a little bit each night.  If I don't have an hour to walk Charley one evening, well a half hour or even twenty minutes is better than nothing. And if I don't have time to tackle the spare rooms, well then I'll just continue to shut the door and pretend that I don't have a Monica Geller kind of closet going on in there!  

So, that's (gonna be) my motto and I'm sticking to it.  Can I get an amen? 

That Time I Met My First Blogger

12 January 2014

While spending Christmas at my sisters house in Toronto, we decided one day to check out the city's newly opened aquarium.  I can't believe I'm still talking about Christmas, but anywho.  The aquarium has been open for a couple of months now but, lemme tell you, this place was still super, super busy when we were there and, from what I heard, we even picked a good day (New Year's Day) to go, in terms of the lineups.  

It's located right next to the CN Tower so if you're ever in the area you should definitely check it out.  Our favourite part was the moving conveyor belt through a tunnel where there were swarms of fish and sharks all around you and even above your head. I'm not sure who loved this part more; my two and a half year old nephew or the adults.  I'm thinking Nathan would win, though, because the entire time he was bawling out "OH SHARKS" to the top of his lungs. It was seriously the cutest. 

And it was here where I met my very first blogger; Mar from t.o. & fro.  

I've been following Mar for a few months now and over those months we've exchanged a few emails and stalked each other on Instagram. Okay, well more like I stalked her, but there's really no need to get into the specifics here. So when my sister mentioned that she wanted to go to the aquarium, I instantly remembered hearing Mar say she worked there so I messaged her and told her that we were planning to go on Sunday or Monday and then asked what days were usually the least crowded. It turned out that we didn't go until Wednesday, so my plan was to message her again on our way to the aquarium that day. Buttt, since we were outside for a little bit beforehand, the freezing cold literally drained my battery in seconds and I was completely bummed that I had no way to message her. 

It was early in the afternoon when we went there and as soon as I stepped foot inside the building I started looking around to see if I could see her.  I had no idea if she was working that day, or if she would be there at that particular time, or even if her job included being out front or if it was more of a "behind the scenes" kind of thing. So, I knew my chances were very, very slim.

After about an hour going through the aquarium, Todd and I stopped at a large touch fish tank and as soon as I looked up I saw three employees, one of which who happened to look like Mar.  But I wasn't sure.  And there was no way I was going to walk up to someone and introduce myself as "the blogger" if I wasn't one gazillion percent sure. 

So what does one do?  A few things, actually.  I immediately told Todd that I thought it was Mar behind the tank so we took a few steps back, hauled out his phone and looked at pictures of her on her blog.  You know, a second opinion really doesn't hurt in these types of situations. After scanning through multiple pictures he kept saying "I think", "I think it is".  But, that wasn't good enough.  Again, I needed to be sure.

We took a few more steps back so I could figure out how I was going to figure that out. As the sweet fiancĂ© that I am, I made Todd go back to the tank and see if she wearing a name tag.  I waited and I waited and still nothing. I discretely walked backed up to him and said, "did you see it?". He then informed me that the task at hand was quite more difficult because he really didn't want to be caught staring at her, like a creep.  I believe his exact words were, "Renee, I'm trying not to get caught staring at another girls chest for the last ten minutes here".  I guess the man had a point.  Luckily after a few more minutes Todd's detective skills worked because he said her name tag said Mariella. Sorry Mar if I spelled that wrong.  Bingo!!  

I walked up to her and she seemed to know me right away. Obviously she was a lot better at this than I was. Or maybe it was because we weren't very discrete in that whole "trying to figure out if it was her" process. Either way, it was seriously so strange, yet so exciting. No introductions were needed, we automatically started talking and even from those few minutes I could tell that she was as sweet as she seemed. You know, it's so amazing to think that we were able to meet because of blogging. And feeling like, regardless if you're so similar or completely different from a person, you have so much in common because of it.  I'm telling you, this internet thing is pretty amazing!

Unfortunately we didn't get a picture, and both of us now regret that big time!  If there is one thing that the two of us have learned through this whole blogging thing, it's that you always, always get a picture. But at least we now know that the other one is "real", as we've now said a few times already.

My visit to Toronto will now be known as the time I met my very first blogger.  So thanks Mar for that!  Now go say hi to her because she really is the "real" deal.  Promise!!

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Christmas Holidays- Part 2

08 January 2014

So, remember that time I posted about the first part of my Christmas holidays and then said part two was coming right up next?  No?  Good, me neither!

But apparently I did, so I apologize if you're sick of hearing about Christmas especially now that we're in the second week of January, but I can't help and share this next part because it was my absolute favourite part. And it had everything to do with these people; my family.

It's true. No matter what it is that we do during the holidays, whether it's visiting, watching movies, playing games, or simply just sitting on the couch for days on end, it's always my favourite part. FYI- having two weeks off from work comes in at a very, very, close second place.

In fact, we happened to do all of those things during our time at my sisters house in Toronto except, this year, we had a few more on our list.

Playing trains (Thomas, to be exact, because apparently no other will do) was number one on my nephew's list, and we all took multiple, multiple turns playing. Thanks to him, I now know every one of the trains names from the Thomas collection, as well as their numbers and colours. Sometimes he'd give us a break, though, and let us read him a book or play with his puzzle, but it was a very short break and it still had to be Thomas related.

We also played pass the baby a lot, but that was something that I never wanted to take a break from. I could have snuggled with this little guy forever.  If babies are as quiet and peaceful as this little one, well then hand one over to me, please. I'd prefer to skip right over the whole 'birth' part...yikes!

My mom and my sister and I took part in some nail pampering on New Year's Eve, which was the first time us girls have ever done that together.  I vote that this be a yearly tradition!  Or, better yet, a 'whenever we see each other' tradition. 

Todd and I took the train into the city where we spent the entire day staying inside, instead of venturing outside into the freezing cold.

My sister and brother-in-law, the optometrists, hooked Todd and I up with some eye exams and some new glasses, which was desperately needed since I was still sporting my six year old ones.  It certainly pays to have connections!!  I have a best friend who is a dentist, so if I only knew someone who was a dermatologist and a personal trainer, I'd be all set.  Soooo, who wants to be my friend? :)

Our traditional poker game took place (twice, actually) and just like every other year, I was one of the first to get out.  Apparently they can "see right through me".  Pfffft!  Well, I now have a full year to perfect my poker face, although I have no idea where to even begin with that.  Again, who wants to be my friend?  Anyone?

Oh, and we also spent the day at the newly opened Toronto Aquarium where I may or may not have met another blogger while we were there.

Buttttt I'm going to be sneaky and leave you hanging for another day to hear all about that.  So check back soon!

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What I've Learned From The Blizzard/Blackout Of 2014

07 January 2014

It seems that things are slowly starting to get better here in Newfoundland.  I say "it seems" because I really don't want to go and get overly confident here and jinx myself, along with the other hundreds of thousands of people that live here in this province.  And, after publishing my last post, I now know that I'm capable of such a thing, because look what happened literally two minutes after I hit that publish button. I was in the dark, once again.

Needless to say that I didn't get to watch the very first episode of The Bachelor after all. I know, I know, it's time to get my priorities in order. But when you've been looking forward to watching that episode since the last one where we thought Desiree was going to be turning down Chris's proposal and driving home alone in her Tiffany blue Bentley, then you really didn't want a little thing like blackouts standing in your way. I mean, doesn't Newfoundland Power know that Juan Pablo is the new bachelor?  Priorities, Newfoundland Power, priorities.

Since I've spent a fair amount of time lately in the dark and all, I've had nothing better to do then think about some of the things I've learned over the last few days. And since I'm in desperate need of some communication with the bright, outside, world, I figured I'd share those with you.

1. People get paranoid fast.  Regardless if it's a blizzard, a blackout, or both, as soon as the word "warning" gets mentioned, paranoia kicks in. Like really, really, fast. Grocery stores and gas stations get emptied literally within the blink of an eye. I witnessed a man in front of us at the gas station two nights ago not only filling up his own vehicle, but the five jerry cans of gas he had stored in his trunk. Not us, though, we weren't a bit paranoid. We just waited in that same gas lineup for over a half hour just for fun!  Which brings me to the next one.

2. There's probably a reason why people stock up on groceries and necessities. Call it paranoia if you will, but after a few days with no groceries, I'm finally starting to think that there may be some actual sense to this. The box of crackers I had to take to work with me today didn't exactly hit the spot. I'm waiting for my carb crash to kick in any minute now.

3. Make sure you have a full tank of gas.  Not necessarily for driving purposes, but for times when you need to keep warm. Siting in your vehicle with the heat blasted is a sure way to feel like you're living on a tropical island, and not stranded in your house with no heat.  Just make sure you keep those eyes closed.

4. You should have payed closer attention in Girl Guides, or Girl Scouts, or whatever other survival organization you participated in when you were a kid.  Although I had a sash full of "earned" badges, I deeply regret not remembering all of the things I learned, like starting a fire without a match, or getting light by using just a light bulb and a potato.  That stuff would really come in handy, you know.

5. Avoid caffeine withdrawals. With no coffee shops open, no electricity, or no hot water available, it won't be long before the headache creeps up on you.  Look at these limitations as a challenge and find alternative ways to get your morning fix.  At one point I was so desperate I even contemplated ripping open my Keurig cup and mixing it with colder water.  I guess the saying, "hard times calls for head measures" is certainly true.  Next time I'll be prepared, though, with an IV drip of coffee.

6. Make sure your phone is charged.  Then you can amuse yourself in the dark for hours and hours and hours scrolling through your twitter to see the thousands of other people who are commenting on the situation at hand. Just don't be surprised when you have to put the money that you saved on your light bill towards your extra data roaming charges. At the end of the month I'll be pointing the blame at you, #darknl, although I must say you kept me extremely entertained. 

7. Download the flashlight app on your phone. Whether it's finding the bathroom, candles, or even your dog, the possibilities are really endless with what this app can help with. Todd and I went out for dinner on Sunday night and just as our food was brought to the table, the lights went along with the emergency lights. Todd whipped out this app and before I knew it, it felt like we were on a romantic date for two. 

8. Find someone to cuddle.  Whether it's a spouse, a family member, a friend, or even a neighbour, make sure you invite them over for a slumber party extra body heat. As much as I complain about Charley sleeping in the bed with us, I was never so happy to have that black and white fur wrapped around my head at night.

9. You'll never be stuck for small talk again.  No need to worry about awkward silences for a while because situations like this will give you enough to talk about for weeks.  I can't remember the last time I talked about anything else besides snow, lights, heat, and where I'm going on my next vacation. The answer to the last one would be SOMEWHERE WARM.

10. Never, ever, ever, ever joke about losing power or anything else that could possibly happen during a blackout/blizzard because you're automatically setting yourself up for failure.  Yeah, so that was totally my bad!

And last but not least, just be thankful for where you live and all of the good things it has to offer, whether it's with the lights on or off.  

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Fifteen Candles

05 January 2014

Sun, sand, and fruity drinks with the cutest little umbrellas.  That, my friends, is what I've been wishing for over the last few days (and maybe someone to clean my house for me, but that's getting a little off topic here and that really is no different from any other day of the week). Apparently there's been some sort of mix up going on "up there" because, instead, I've gotten 40 cms of snow, a temperature of -35 with the wind chill, and power outages.  Where the hell is my fruity drink?

We lost our power early Saturday morning and since we were away for over a week and had no groceries left in our house, I resorted to eating stale chips and some chocolate that I found in my stocking for breakfast. You can imagine how happy I was that I planned to start one of my New Year's resolutions on Monday, and not actually on the first. Phew! After that energizing feast I decided to stay warm by taking down our Christmas tree and decorations because as hard as it is putting that stuff up, it's twice as hard ripping it all down.  Not to mention a little sad.  And then we spent hours and hours digging ourselves out of the house.  Okay, okay, it wasn't so much of a "we" as it was a Todd. And it actually wasn't so much of "digging" as it was pushing a snow blower.  But still. 

Later that evening we picked up our two friends so we could all grab some "real" food (that was Todd's word not mine, because you all know how I feel about chips). Three hours driving around the city, one empty gas tank, and two jumbo pizzas later, we had four toasty and happy people. 

And then it was time to go back home and face the icicles that had grown onto our floor. I won't bore you with the rest of all of the details of the night, but it went a little something like this-- an unfinished game of monopoly in our blanket fort, a bedroom that smelled better than the Bath & Body Works store due to the fifteen candles that were lit before we went to sleep, bedsheets that were piled high to the ceiling, skiing wardrobes that included everything but the ski pants, and enough juice left in my computer to fall asleep watching the oldest DVD we owned; The Goonies.  

But we survived, and luckily our power came back on this afternoon.  Unfortunately for the next few days we'll be experiencing what they call "rotating power outages" in order to balance the provinces generating system because of such an increased demand for heat.  Basically, we'll all be taking turns without power so that other people can have power.  That sounds so strange but I guess it's better than all of us doing without.

My only wish right now is that I hope my turn doesn't happen soon during the premiere of The Bachelor.  I think I'd rather wear those ski pants to bed after all instead of missing out on that.
But since my wishes haven't exactly been working in my favour lately, I'll just say that I really, really hope it does!!

Christmas Holidays- Part 1

03 January 2014

2014. A new year. And the very first post of the new year. Wow!!! I can't wait to hit publish on this post so I can see two different years listed under my blog archives thingy down there over in the corner.  So exciting! It's the little things, right?

You would think that with a fresh start to the new year I would have started this post off with a more creative title, but the holidays sucked out whatever creative juices I once had just as quickly as how they disappeared.

I know Christmas is technically over, but my motto has always been that Christmas is never over until it's time to go back to work.  So, since I'm still on my two week break, I'm pretending that Christmas is still happening in my house right now.  

And actually it kind of is. We cut our trip one day shorter and took a red eye flight from Toronto last night to avoid getting stranded at the airport because of the snow storm we're expecting to get here today. Which, by the look of things, was probably the best decision we've ever made since that time we decided to replace Charley's squeaky toys with non-squeaky ones, because I can't see across my street right now from the blowing snow.  Pair that with my Christmas tree still shining bright and our presents nestled neatly under the tree from not being touched since we opened them on Christmas morning, and hence the reason why it still feels like Christmas.

But since things are slowly starting to return to normal around here, I now have time to sort through the million and one photos I took over the last few weeks to finally share them.  

Let's see how much I can actually remember about them.  Okay, so the few days before Christmas were spent with Todd's family, where we dedicated an entire evening to watching their old home videos of Christmases from years ago.  I have never seen anything cuter in my entire life than watching an eight year old scrawny boy opening presents in nothing but tighty whities.  Did that sound just as pervy to you as it did to me?  Moving right along.

We got back home Christmas Eve, just in time to squeeze in any last Christmasy things we wanted to do before Santa made his appearance.  Since this was going to be the very first Christmas morning we would spend together, we decided to put a 'open one present' rule into place this night.  Buttt, the deal was that we each had to pick out the present that the other one was going to open.

I picked out slippers for Todd to open.  Say whaa?  Yup, that's exactly what he said too.  In my defense I wanted to save all of his good gifts for the next morning to make it even more special for him. And it also could have been much, much worse. I was going to get him to open his new toothbrush but I was pretty sure that if I did that, I would have awoken to nothing under the tree for me.

Todd, on the other hand, picked out the most thoughtful gift for me.  

Look familiar?  I loooooved (add in a lot more o's there) it.

And then at 5 a.m. the next morning it was time to open the rest of our gifts.  Yup, you read that right; a.m.  A.M. as in, "AM I the only one who is up before the crack of dawn?".  He warned me, he did.  But I just assumed that he wouldn't be too anxious after that whole 'slipper situation' from the night before.  Imagine if I had let him open his big gift?  Yikes!

This seemed to be the year of the electronics.  Momma got a brand new DSLR camera that weighs more than me (OBVIOUSLY an exaggeration) and Todd got an iPad.  We were both so stinkin' happy!  Especially me, since my old camera was on the verge of dying a slow and painful death. Now I look like the real deal with this thing.  Until, that is, I take pictures with it and then you'll know I'm still just an amateur.  But don't they say that looking the part is half the battle?

I must say, I look pretty bright eyed in that picture up there. I'm guessing the coffee was working its way into my veins by this point.

Next up- the second half to our holidays with my family in Toronto.

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