(Last) Weekend Recap

23 February 2014

I've been such a bad bad blogger lately. In fact, I hardly even showed up at all here during this month. Not good Renee, not good!  Seriously, where has this month gone?  Anyone?  

I'm actually going to continue to be that bad bad blogger for a little while longer because I'm leaving tomorrow for Mexico, which means I'm pretty much going to ignore everything that doesn't revolve around making sure I have a drink in my hand(s) and soaking up as much as that sunshine as possible. After the winter we've been having here, I feel like it's my duty to do those and those things only.

Butttttt, I'm sure once I get back the blogging strike will officially come to a halt because I'm probably going to have to post every day for the next, ohhhhhh, month to show you all of my pictures from my trip. This girl loves her pictures! Although I'm thinking you guys will probably get bored after the very first trip recap post because once you've seen one picture of me with a drink in my hand, then you'll quickly get the idea of how I spent the remainder of the week.

Speaking of pictures, last weekend we celebrated a very special birthday and I wanted to share those pictures with you before I left. My dad turned the big 6-0 the day after my grandfather passed away, and although we were late celebrating, we made sure to let him know how much he's loved by throwing him a surprise party. And what was so awesome was that he was actually 100% surprised!  I guess surprise parties work better when they're a week after the actual birthday. Who knew!  

It was so nice that my sister was home too to help us celebrate with him. My dad told us that night as he was leaving and again the next morning that it was his best birthday to date. Success! There is nothing that makes me feel more happy than knowing that someone else is happy!  

Okay guys well I have to keep this short (and sweet?) because I have a few more things to throw in mysuitcase, errrrr half my closet, and to recap the beginning of this post: I'm a bad bad blogger.  

                                                                        Please still love me!! 

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I Will Always Remember

19 February 2014

It's been a while since I've been here and, to be honest, I'm not even really sure how to start this post.  I guess I'll start with by saying that I lost my grandfather, my pop, last Sunday.

After his funeral, on the two hour drive back home that night, I instantly tried to think of every possible memory I had of my pop. I had this rush of urgency sweep over me, and I knew it was because I was desperately trying to remember every single thing that I could remember about him.  His voice, his laugh, the things he did, the things he said. I wanted to remember it all.

I knew that I wanted, scratch that, I knew that I needed to put those memories in a concrete place. So I came here that night. And I started typing. Really fast. I didn't care about my spelling mistakes, or how the sentences were formed, or even if they made any sense at all for that matter.  I was afraid that if my fingers didn't get those memories added quickly, they would be gone. Just like him.

But over the last few days that feeling of urgency hasn't been there anymore, and I think it's because that I'm now realizing that when you lose someone that you love so much, your memories of them don't just vanish into thin air or disappear in the blink of an eye. They stay with you because they were such a huge and important part of your life. You strongly hold onto, not only the big moments, but the small, sudden little reminders of them. Even if you realize it or not.

Well, it's been over a week now and I'm hitting the publish button on that post I wrote the night of his funeral. A week ago these were things that I had written because I was so afraid that I would forget them, but now I'm sharing them because I know these are things that I will always remember.

I will always remember....playing outside with my cousins in his strawberry gardens and him only yelling at the boys for squishing all of his strawberries.

I will always remember....playing beauty parlor with my nan but my pop would be the one who would end up with the curlers in his hair.

I will always remember....my pop asking every time he saw me if I've ate my broccoli because he knew how much I hated those little green vegetables.

I will always remember....how handsome he looked when he was all dressed up for church.

I will always remember....seeing him cry after losing my nan when I was seven years old and then again when he lost his other wife when I was eighteen years old.

I will always remember....relying on him when I needed a ride; whether it was picking me up from volleyball practice or when I was sick and needed to leave school early.

I will always remember....him joking with me when he would drive on the road to my house, wondering why I hadn't filled in all of the pot holes yet.

I will always remember...how much my pop loved to eat, but yet he was the healthiest eater I had ever known.

I will always remember....that even to this day, red grapefruit reminds me of him.

I will always remember.... when I was younger, staying at his house whenever my parents were out of town and how big of a social life he had at that time. Luckily this meant being able to stay up late watching TV and eating chips until I would hear the doorknob turn, and then have to pretend that I was asleep.

I will always remember....the love he had for animals, especially mine and my moms cats, and how
every single time I would have to go back home, it would break my heart to take my cat back with me.

I will always remember....the way he would say "How's ya Todd?" whenever Todd walked into the room.

I will always remember....him watching Family Feud or The News on the highest possible volume.

I will always remember....how inseparable him and my mom were the last few years of his life.

I will always remember.... you.
I will always love you.
And I most certainly will always miss you.

It's so hard to forget someone who gave you so much to remember.

A Big Pile Of Randomness/ Five On Friday

07 February 2014

I'm so happy it's Friday! Although I don't have anything exciting planned for this weekend, I'm so looking forward to having a relaxing and productive one. Aka cleaning and lounging around in my pj's. That sounds absolutely perfect right about now. 
It's been a while since I've linked up with the lovely Five On Friday ladies, so today I'm sharing a big pile of randomness from this week.
ONE//  Sick of winter. Who's with me on that one?  Or better yet, who's sick of hearing people talk about how sick of winter they are? I see your hand raised. We had (another) snow storm here yesterday and it's days like that that make me contemplate moving to a place where I can sit in my shorts and laugh at people like me while I read their blogs. My work never has snow days, like ever, but I always take full advantage on "snow days" and dig through my closest to find the biggest, fluffiest, comfiest thing I own.  

TWO//  The bun. I've been avoiding the hair dryer and flat iron as much as possible over the last few weeks and instead I've been sporting the bun or the top knot or whatever else this big ball of hair that's been sitting on the top of my head is called. I've been loving not only the extra time in the morning (hello more sleep!) but also how much softer my hair feels when I do straighten it. Win, win!

THREE// Subway salads. I'm not the type of girl who orders a salad. Period. I mean, I make salads for my lunch at work almost every single day, but to actually order and pay someone to make me a salad? It never happens. I'm not sure if it's because my eating has been super super clean lately due to a little thing called Mexico, or if it's because these Subway salads are really that good. Either way, my belly has been happy! 

FOUR// Sick puppy. I was faced with a sick little girl and a house full of sickness on my lunch break yesterday. Oh those sad eyes, just like a dagger through my heart. Fur mommas, don't you hate it when your innocent babies are not feeling well? Needless to say she got extra love yesterday evening, both from me and the lady at the Tim Horton's drive-thru who gave her 2 timbits. She certainly didn't look too sick as she was inhaling those treats.

The best car buddy I could ever ask for.

FIVE//  My sister. The one who got me into this whole blogging thing, and the one who has slowly been getting her butt back in gear and posting again. Hallelujah!  First when I started blogging, I joked about how I was going to get her to do a guest post for me one day, but now I'm thinking she really really should. I think while I'm away in Mexico (another hallelujah) would be the perfect time. So dear sister, continue to keep that butt in gear for me, mmmmkk?  I would love it if you all went and said hi to her. Oh, and a little birdy told me that she's getting a new blog design AND a new blog name!  But you didn't hear that from me!  Remember, it was the bird.

Happy weekend!

Don't forget to enjoy every second of it!
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Au Naturel With My Clarisonic

05 February 2014

Well, I'm obviously missing two things in this picture, and that would be makeup and a brush that I should have ran through my hair right before this was taken.  The no makeup part was on purpose. The flying hair, on the other hand, was not so much. But I'm going to go ahead and say that it adds a little bit more to the au naturel look.  

So why exactly am I baring my face?  Well, it's all because of my Clarisonic. Now, before you go thinking that this is some kind of paid review, I can assure you it's not. Some of my friends don't even know about this blog, let alone the mother of all face products. I just felt like it was my duty to spread the good word. Your face can thank me later. I will tell you though that if the lovely Clarisonic people would like to send me another one, I would gladly bare my face over the internet all day, every day. Hell, I'll even add in some more flying hair as a bonus. 

Over the last three years I can probably count on two hands how many times I've went to bed at night without washing my face. And all of those times were due to having way a little too much to drink and then directly crawling into bed. My skin has gotten soooooo much better because of this. Just to be clear it's because of the face washing thing, and not the drinking thing. But unfortunately because of previous years and not practicing that good routine, some little red dots decided to permanently indent themselves around my chin. Pair that with some redness, blotchiness, and unevenness, I was still not my skins biggest fan.

After reading lots of reviews on some of my favourite blogs, I had this little gadget sitting patiently in the back of my head for almost a year. Whoever says spending hours and hours of blog reading is a waste of time clearly has not spent hours and hours of blog reading. The only problem was that I really didn't want to dish out that kind of money. Insert Christmas. I had no problem whatsoever asking someone to dish out that kind of money on me for Christmas.  Insert Todd.  Insert this.

I chose the Mia for two reasons; number one being the lower price tag, and number two being that I heard that the only difference between the other options was the speed settings. So, it was the Mia for the win.

I can honestly say that it was love at first....errrr, scrub? After the very first time I used it, my face looked more even, to my eyes. Even those pesky little red scars didn't seem quite as bright. And I can't even begin to explain to you how soft my face felt after. The entire night I could not stop touching my face. Even the next morning my foundation seemed to glide over my face so much smoother. But although I was super excited and wanted to immediately run here and tell you all about my awesome little product, I wanted to wait a whole month just to see if it was in fact as good as it appeared to be.  

It's been almost a month and a half and it was indeed as good as it appeared to be. I have not had one pimple come out on my face since using it, even during that lovely time of the month when my friends always decided to throw a little party, with the host being my chin. Touch wood.

Here's another interesting thing that's definitely worth mentioning. I read on the package one evening that the Clarisonic cleans 6 times better than using your hands. So that night I did a little experiment. I did my normal face time routine that I would do before the Clarisonic came into my life, which consisted of quickly using a facecloth to get rid of the majority of my foundation and eye makeup and then using my hands with my normal cleanser to get rid of the remainder. This time, though, I added the Clarisonic on top of all of that. I'm sure at this point Todd was wondering what I was doing in the bathroom for so long. You guys, the Clarisonic brush still showed makeup on it. That right there goes to show you that every single night when I thought my face was squeaky clean, there was still crap left on it.

I'm so excited to see how much my skin will love this a few months from now because I promise you I will still be using it.
A sample cleanser came with the Mia but my sister bought me the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and it is ahhhh-mazing! 

Happy scrubbing!

What's The Deadline for New Year's Resolutions?

02 February 2014

It's Sunday evening and I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm so looking forward to starting a new week tomorrow, regardless if that means going back to work.  Please don't hate me.  You know that saying, "when it rains it pours"? Well, that was my weekend; a complete bust. 

But I'm one to always try and look on the bright side of things, even if that means having to strain my eyes so hard to actually find it.  And one thing I did notice was that bad days comes with a whole lot of thinking, and this weekend was no exception.  I caught myself over the past two days thinking about things that I want to do this year or things that I really want to try and work on. At one point I was asking myself why I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions in January, because all of the thoughts that were going through my head seemed an awful lot like resolutions.

And so I thought a little bit more. I was obviously way past the "deadline" to set resolutions. Just for the record, I've always been good with deadlines (pulling all-nighters in University was my kinda thing). But then I realized that it's never too late to set goals for yourself and start working on things you want to improve. After all, there should never, ever be deadlines for that kind of stuff.  

I've never been one to set New Year's Resolutions.  I mean, every year I always quickly skim over some ideas, but I don't think I have ever set any, and I definitely don't ever remember actually trying to make them happen. I'm not really sure why because I love the idea of a new year; a fresh start with endless possibilities.  And after all of that thinking that happened over the weekend, I also realized that this year I have this wonderful space where I can share my goals and then be constantly reminded of them.  So, why not have some this year?  After all, without goals, or dreams, or aspirations to do better, isn't it so much easier to just coast through life?  And I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to just coast through my life.

So here are some things that I would love to accomplish this year; some big, some small, some that I can do in a day, and some that I'll continuously have to work on over the entire year.

Go camping-  Don't ask me where this one came from, but it's something that I have to make sure I do next summer. It's my favourite thing to do in the summertime and last year we missed out on the chance (unless you count sleeping in a huge concert field and having drunk people stumble into your tent thinking it's theirs).  Ahhhh, waking up and cooking eggs and bacon outside on a Coleman stove. Waking up feeling all sweaty and disgusting.  Remind me again why I love this so much?  Oh right, the eggs and bacon thing! 

Take a photography course-  It's been four years, people.  Four years since I was given a fancy camera with a million different buttons and I still have no sweet clue how to use that thing. This year my mission is to finally take a course so I can finally learn how to use something other than that damn auto button.  

Start trying new recipes-  It's no surprise that I've always been horrible in the cooking department. If I were left alone I could probably live on peanut butter and jam sandwiches for the rest of my life.  Well this year I'm going to actually start making some of the recipes that I've spent hours and hours pinning on Pinterest.  

Maintain my weight- I've talked about my struggle with weight a few times here before and since I've lost the majority of that weight a few years ago, I've often fluctuated anywhere from 5-10 pounds.  While this may seem small, I know how dangerous that slope can be for me and I really don't want to teeter totter this year. 

Do nice things for complete strangers-  This doesn't have to be anything big, but I want to start spreading some love. I've often had a complete stranger pay for my coffee in the morning and if that $1.70 can make someone else as happy as it made me, well then I would love to be the reason for it.  It's amazing what random acts of kindness can do for others. 

Make better use of my time-  This goes back to stopping with the "all or nothing" outlook when trying to get things done. Believe me when i say that I've gotten much better at this over the last few years but it's still something that I want to work on.   

Appreciate the smaller things- At the end of my high school prom when all of us graduates were partying on the bus, I remember starring out the window for a few minutes just reflecting on graduating and how this was such a big night and how I wanted to remember every last detail of it.  I've never told anyone that before, but ever since that night, I've always completely stopped what I'm doing for a few minutes to make sure I really reflect on big events in my life like going on vacation, getting engaged, or having such a great day/night with family or friends.  This year I want to continue to do that but to also carry that into the smaller things in my life.  

Try as many new things as I can- I love trying new things, whether it's going to a new city, a new restaurant, trying a new hobby, a new activity, or even a new hairstyle.  I want Pinterest to continue to be my best friend this year. 

Shine bright- My first reaction was to type something along the lines of having a sparkle, but that just brought back horrible memories of Tierra on Sean's season of The Bachelor.  I know you know what I'm talking about!  And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure if "shine bright" describes what I'm trying to say. I want to have fun, and laugh more, and love more, and surround myself with people who can bring this out in me even more.  Basically, I want to continue to "be me" and never let anyone damper that.  

And last, but not least, continue to come here and write whatever it is that I want to write about. The bad, the good, and definitely the best!  I hope that I can look back to this post in a year 11 months and see that I definitely tried my best with these things.

Happy February everyone!!  

Do you have any goals for the month?  

Or, if you're like me, what about even for the full year? 

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