Sometimes I Make Myself Dinner

31 July 2014

A little known fact about me is that I do not like to cook. Like at all.  For someone who loves food and who loves to eat great meals as much as I do, you'd think that I'd have a much better relationship with the majority of the appliances in my kitchen. But, that's definitely not the case.

Usually by the time I actually go to start making dinner I'm gone so beyond the point of being hungry that I end up standing in front of the fridge shoving whatever I can find into my mouth to help tame my crankiness. And even if that doesn't happen, I never have the patience to wait for the food to be actually cooked, which results in me saying, "yessss, that's done" and then eating some very questionable things. And I should mention that by the time I finish it looks like the tasmanian devil just passed through my kitchen.

Now, pair all of that with only me being home for dinner the majority of nights and the house being so hot that the thought of turning on my oven makes me want to run and stick my head in the freezer, and then you can imagine just how exciting my dinners have been lately. But, I'm going to go ahead and look on the bright side because I have mastered the perfect egg and avocado sandwich over these last few weeks.

Well, as dinner time was approaching last Saturday, I felt a desire to actually use more than two ingredients in my fridge (okay, and I also might have been out off eggs) so I poked my head in to see what I could come up with and, in about the same time that my egg and avocado sandwich would have been made, I was enjoying a chicken taco salad.

And you can bet that it's been made a few times since then because it is the perfect summertime meal. I eat a fair amount of salads throughout the week, but it was nice for a change to actually eat one that I really, really enjoyed. But how could you not when there's chips involved, right?  #thatsthekey

Here's what I used:
-Lettuce (I used iceberg for extra crunchiness)
-Chicken breast (I added taco seasoning for extra flavour)
-Tomatoe, Green pepper
-Tex Mex cheese
-Catalina dressing

If you're like me and always looking for a quick and easy meal, I think you'll love this!

PS: It's currently reading 30 degrees Celsius in my house, so I'm just going to go ahead and get started on the sticking my head in the freezer thing right now. You wouldn't pay me enough to turn on my oven so it looks like I might be eating this again for dinner tonight!  ;) 

Do you enjoy cooking? What are some of your favourite meals to make in the summer? As always, suggestions are greatly appreciated (and needed) when it comes to cooking!

Benefit's High Beam

24 July 2014

Have you heard of Benefit's High Beam before? It's been around for quite some time now, but with a label like "supermodel in a bottle", I have a feeling that it won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
With the amount of blog reading I do, I'm surprised that I never discovered this earlier than about three months ago. Once I started reading about it, though, I knew it was something that I wanted to try because I'm always searching for a product that will give me that dewy/glowy look, which is what the High Beam is supposed to do, as it's a luminescent complexion enhancer.

As you can see from the hand swatch thingy (first time doing this and I'm obviously not up on the lingo yet), it gives a nice light, shimmery effect. This product can be mixed in with your moisturizer or your foundation for an all over look, or it can be used as a highlighter, which is the way I like to use it.
Now, while there's a few more places where you can add highlighter, here's where I can usually notice it the most. I marked my face up just for you...but I had a lot of fun doing it!!

You can notice it, right? It's subtle but it works, which is exactly what you want from this product. I don't use this as a part of my morning makeup routine for work (because I never have enough time to go beyond the basics), but I always use it when I'm going out in the evenings or whenever I want that extra somethin' because it definitely gives your face that little extra oomph! Boy, I'm really great at choosing words for this!

I'm a big fan of this product and I love that a little bit goes a long way because it'll give me (and my visa) lots of time before I have to repurchase it.

The only tip I can give is that when you dab it on your face, blend it in right away because the longer you leave it, the more patchy-like (there I go again!) it tends to get.

Okay, so to save you from listening to me any more, here's one last picture to give you a better idea of how it looks.

Have you tried this product before?  If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

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Tourists For A Day

22 July 2014

If there's one thing I enjoy, it's getting out and trying new things. Whether it's as small as trying a new restaurant, a new hiking trail, or simply just finding a new little area to explore, it's safe to say it's going to make me happy, regardless of if I'll even do it again. When you've been living in the same place for a while, though, you sometimes start to feel like you're running out of those new things to find or do. Your weekends, while obviously different, still feel pretty similar and, overtime, you start to get that itch of wanting to do something that will give you a little bit more excitement than usual.
If there's one thing I'm learning, though, it's that, regardless of where you live, there's usually always something different you can be doing. Sometimes it just requires you to take a step back for a few minutes and be a little more creative than usual. And that's exactly what we did on Sunday. With some help from Google, of course, and the list of "things to do in St. John's, Newfoundland".
After scrolling through that list for a few minutes, we found something that we were both really excited to do; sea kayaking. While we've done kayaking before in the past, we've never done it so close to home before and, in fact, we actually forgot that it was even an option around where we live. See, sometimes you even forget about the things that are directly in front of you.
We signed up to do a two hour tour and while normally we're not a fan of doing guided tours because we usually like to do things on our own and on our own pace, this was probably the part we loved the most. Our tour guides were amazing and so much fun, and with the five or six other couples who signed up too from both Newfoundland and outside of the province, it literally felt like we were hanging out with our friends the entire morning. 
After we kayaked so far out into the ocean, we all stopped and were shown some pretty cool things. At one point, one of the guides started cutting a sea urchin that he found and then passed a piece to all of us to eat. It wasn't the type of sushi I was used to but, hey, it was still another thing that I could say I've tried.
And from this little activity on Sunday, I'm reminded again just how much there is to do where I live, and just how beautiful Newfoundland really is. There's nothing more that I love than travelling and experiencing new cities, but sometimes it can be just as fun being a tourist in your own hometown for a change. 
And this tourist over here is already now thinking of some more things that she can do over the summer that she's never done before. I can't wait to see what else I can come up with!! 

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Five On Friday + A Giveaway

18 July 2014

I'm jumping right to it today because 1) it's actually Thursday night and wayyy past my bedtime right now which means if I don't hurry, a sheer sense of panic will creep up any second now and 2) I never know how to start these Friday posts off soooooo here we go:

ONE// We went to see the movie Sex Tape tonight (err, I mean "last night") and, while I wouldn't say it was the best movie ever, it was still a fun watch, especially since I love both Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz. You wanna know what else I love? Theatre goodies! I know they're ridiculously priced, but it's one of my favourite things about going to a movie. Fun fact about me: I hate the idea of doing a dinner and a movie because I'm usually so stuffed from dinner that I can't eat at the theatre. Um, yeah, me no likey!

TWO// A couple of weeks ago we bought a patio set and it was such a good decision. Now, while I wish I could say that I wake up early in the mornings, make myself a coffee, and spend a half hour sitting out there with my laptop before I have to get ready for work, we all know by now that doesn't happen with this girl. But, I have spent a lot of time out there in the evenings lately, trying to escape my sauna of a house, and it has been so nice.  
THREE// Since it has been so hot outside, we decided to buy Charley a pool. Yes, her very own swimming pool. Go ahead and call us crazy, but it was the best twenty dollars we ever spent. The poor thing has been so uncomfortable and, besides, how cute does she look just dipping her feet paws in? For anyone who's thinking about doing the same, maybe I should mention that it's probably best if you take the water out at night so your pup doesn't decide to go for a late night dip when you're already in bed. Not that I've learned this from experience once (or twice) before.

FOUR// I'm trying to hop on the iced coffee bandwagon lately and, each time I try it, I'm not hating it quite as much. Coffee was an acquired taste for me, so I'm hoping this will be too because sometimes you just need a little caffeine fix that's cold and refreshing and that's not a bajillion calories and that doesn't cause you to melt even more.

FIVE// I'm teaming up with some great ladies today for a giveaway and I'd love for you all to enter for a chance to win $100 to StubHub. I once won a Starbucks gift card through a giveaway and I thought it was the best day ever. Can you imagine my excitement for $100?

Alrighty, well I'm off! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Alisha : The Alisha Nicole // Nicole : Just The Elevator Pitch // Nicole : Treasure Tromp
Erica : So Much Sunshine // Melany : Melany's GUYdlines // Helene : Helene in Between

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Linking up here for Oh Hey Friday and here for High Five For Friday

Me, Myself, And I

16 July 2014

It's Wednesday everyone, which means that we're half way through the work week (wahoo!!).  For me, it also means that it's the day that Todd returns home for a full week (double wahoo!!). If you remember from this post, it's just been me, myself, and I over the last couple of weeks (ah, I think I just heard my cat and dog screaming, "what about us?") because Todd has a new job working on the opposite side of the country.
So, how have I been doing while he's been gone you ask (just humour me and pretend that you actually asked that question, okay)? It's funny because the moment I found out he would be leaving, I quickly imagined all of this enormous amount of free time I was going to have, and all of the things that I was going to do to fill that time. For starters, I figured this blog here would be bombarded with new posts, but as you can see from the archives, that obviously didn't happen which, again, makes me go back to the same question I've been asking myself from the very beginning, "how in the world do people blog every day?". I just don't get it! 
But anywho, to answer your question (you're still playing along, right?), I've been kept busy and these last two weeks have flown by. I've enjoyed having some "me" time and my house has never been as clean for so many consecutive days before. It's seriously so much easier to have a clean house with only one person messing it up. Wait, I hear my dog screaming "what about me?" again. Another valid point!  Speaking of Charley, I was so looking forward to having some room in the bed over these last few weeks, but every single morning I've woken to her still sleeping on top of my head. She can pick any spot in the bed, but yet she still chooses to squat my hair and breathe heavy on my face. Another thing I'm noticing about living by yourself is how much more you can cram into your day. One day when I got home from work, I went for a run, took Charley on a hike for over an hour, cooked dinner (I guess you can call frying eggs cooking dinner), quickly tidied up, wrote a blog post, and squeezed in a few minutes of tv....all before 10 o'clock. I didn't even realize it was possible to do all of that in a few hours, but apparently it is.
But, regardless of all of that, I am really anxious to see him today and I honestly wouldn't want to go any longer without him not being home. Not to get all mushy here, but sometimes you take for granted or you don't even realize that it's the little things that makes your day a whole lot better by having that person around. Like talking about how your day went over dinner (and an actual dinner at that, and not just eggs), or having someone to cuddle and say goodnight to at night, or laughing hysterically with someone as you binge watch How I Met Your Mother.  It really is the little things and I'm excited to get them all back today for a little while. And while the (semi?) long distance part has a lot of disadvantages, I will say that this part today right now is feeling pretty great!

It's a great Wednesday, for sure! 

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Shoe Love (And Embarrassment)

11 July 2014

Hey guys and happy Friday! Although I don't have a whole lot planned this weekend, I am looking forward to doing whatever it is that my little heart desires over the next two days. Wouldn't you agree that sometimes those weekends are just as good as the fun filled busy ones?

Since my favourite type of blog posts to read are ones where you get to see what someone is loving or what they just bought, etc., today I wanted to show you two pairs of shoes that I recently (ish) bought and have been loving. Loving, as in, I couldn't imagine my summer life without them because they're just so cute and comfy and they go with so much and they make me feel cute too when I wear them. I mean, if that's not love then I don't know what is. Oh, and because of the price tags, it was also love at first sight too.

First up are these colourful peep toe espadrilles. When I look at my shoe collection, it's pretty obvious that I tend to gravitate toward neutral colours a lot,  so when I saw this bright colour in the espadrille type of shoe, I was immediately sold. So far I've worn (and loved) them with jeans, shorts and a casual summer dress. And I am not kidding when I say just how comfy they are. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking around on carpet or clouds or something else that's really, really fluffy. 

Ankle Strap Sandals
Old Navy
And last, but definitely not least, are these wedged ankle strap sandals. Remember how I said I gravitate towards neutral shoes? Well, these just give me more confirmation on how much I love nude shoes because there has not been one thing in my closet that I haven't been able to wear these with. And there's barely a heel which means that I can wear them literally everywhere. Plus, I still can't get enough of the ankle strap sandals right now.

Okay, I know that's a whole lot of shoe praise going on but I seriously can't help it because, like I said, I'm in love.

So now that I've talked about the love part, let's talk about the embarrassment part for a quick second. We have a new neighbour, who I had never met before. Until last night, that is, when he poked his head over my fence and introduced himself while he saw me with my camera set up on the patio floor taking pictures of my feet with my remote control. MY FEET!!!! Not of myself, but of my feet. Again, MY FEET!  I honestly feel like I've had some bad luck getting caught taking pictures of myself since I've started this blog, but I think this one topped them all. What was worse was that he acknowledged the embarrassing situation but my only reply was to laugh (and obviously turn a million different shades of red). Do you remember that episode of Friends where Ross is inside his own head screaming, "Just say something...Anything"? Well, that was going on inside my head last night too. Looking back I should have said I was practicing for a photography course or something, but I'm obviously not very good with thinking on my feet. Just taking pictures of them apparently! ;)

Anyways, I thought I would share that little story because maybe something similar has happened to you as well. And I guess what's the fun of it all if we can't laugh at ourselves (and share it) along the way, right?

Have a great weekend, everyone!! 

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The Great Debate: Dry Shampoo Vs. Baby Powder

10 July 2014

Dry Shampoo Vs. Baby Powder

I'll be the first to admit just how much I hate washing my hair. I hate it, I do. It's not so much the act of washing my hair that I hate, but the part that comes after; the blow drying, the straightening, the styling. It's all so much work. Not to mention the damage that it can cause your hair.

When I was in high school, I had no other choice but to wash my hair every single day because it would get so greasy. It wasn't until I lived with my sister in university that she sparked the idea of training my hair to not wash it everyday. And, sure enough, by spending a few Saturdays or Sundays locked inside my house, I was able to train my hair to go every second day without washing it.

Then when I started working full time, I realized just how much I loved that extra hour of sleep, so I decided to see if I could go more than one day in between washes. My hair is now trained to go four or five days without washing it (five is usually by accident though...damn snooze button). But, to get this far, I need some extra help along the way. Enter the great debate: dry shampoo versus baby powder.

I think both are really great at getting the job done but, personally, I always, always, always choose baby powder over dry shampoo. In my opinion, baby powder works better at absorbing the oil, which is the the number one goal, and it still leaves your hair feeling normal, like it's your own. It is obviously more noticeable when you first put it on your hair, but with just a little more blending, no one would ever know that you've cheated. I also don't mind the smell, which doesn't last very long anyway, and that's usually the biggest complaint I hear about baby powder.

What I don't like about dry shampoo is that it leaves your hair feeling horrible and it always makes me immediately want to wash it the very next day. Now, I guess maybe that's the whole point, you use it one day and then you wash it the next, but I need (okay, want) a little longer than one day. I will say that I like the smell it leaves all over my hair, because it makes me feel like it's a real shampoo smell when it blows across my face.

To add another point to the debate, baby powder costs a lot less and lasts so much longer. Over the last couple of months I've gone through two bottles of dry shampoo while there's hardly a dent put in the bottle of baby powder, which is what I use a lot more frequently. I'm pretty sure cost wouldn't be a factor if I found a dry shampoo that I loved more, but 8-10 different kinds later and I'm still searching for the one to beat the body powder. So far, though, Dove is the best one I've used in terms of effectiveness, smell, price, and how it makes your hair feel. I'm constantly on the hunt so if I find a better one, I'll be sure to let you all know. I love recommendations too!

While we're on this topic, here's my usual hair routine:

Day 1- Wash day, blow dry, straighten, use very little styling product
Day 2- Quickly restraighten for touch ups (no product)
Day 3- Curl the ends for volume, baby powder on roots
Day 4- Quickly recurl for touch ups, baby powder on roots
Day 5- If I made it this far, I will always blow dry my hair upside down for a few seconds for added volume and then do the same process as the day before.
I took this picture this morning before I left for work. It's obviously not the best quality (rushed, as usual) but it gives you an idea. I washed my hair late Sunday afternoon and today is Thursday. I will definitely be washing it tomorrow, regardless of how it looks.

Can you go a few days without washing your hair? If so, what do you find works best for you?
I'd love to hear your thoughts so we can add more to this debate!
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Music, Friends, & Fluffy Pillows

08 July 2014

Can someone please explain to me how it's Tuesday already? It seriously feels like I just finished doing my normal Friday afternoon countdown to start the weekend. I guess that's what happens when you have a lot of fun on your two days off. Or better yet, when you're sat in a vehicle for the majority of them!
Newfoundland's largest annual outdoor concert, the Salmon Festival, was this weekend and, for the last three years, me and Todd always made sure that the concert was both added and then scratched off our summer to do list. With him not being home this year paired with a five hour highway drive each way, and having no place to stay other than a big grassy field where you feel like you need security guards watching over your tent, it looked like I wasn't going to be making it at all this year.
But, when you find out that your best friends boyfriend is also going to be away the same time, and when you both fluke into getting a last minute hotel room cancellation, it's kind of hard to pass up, especially when you know you'll be staring at Adam Levine for a few hours.
So, bright and early Saturday morning, with coffees and road tunes in tow, off the two of us went. With just a few bathroom stops along the way (teeny tiny bladder over here), we were checked into our hotel by late afternoon and then "quickly" got ready to meet two friends at the concert. The quotations marks are necessary because that word does not exist when the two of us try and do anything together. You wanna know what else slows you down? Having a bathroom mirror with such horrible lighting that causes you both to laugh so hard to the point of tears when you see each others makeup in natural daylight. Back to the room we had to go to do some minor (aka non clown-like) adjustments. It was bad. Real bad. But also really really funny!
 Jon Pardy (winner) and Neda Kalantar from Big Brother Canada.
Neither drink ticket in my hand! ;)

The concert was awesome and Pitbull and Maroon 5 were both soooo good at keeping the crowds energy level way up the entire night. I think we were still dancing around at the very last song! And the most heavenly thing of all was having a bed and a fluffy pillow to rest my head on at the end of the night, unlike every other year when I've slept on the ground and been awoken to strangers trying to get in our tent thinking (very strongly, might I add) that it was theirs. Oh, and I can't forget about the pizza that was pretty much waiting for us when we got back to our room.

If there are more great bands, hotel rooms and pizzas involved again next year, sign me up!! Key word: hotel room!
I hope you all had a great weekend and a great holiday for those of you who celebrated the 4th of July. I seriously feel like it's going to take me a little while to recover from this weekend....even with fluffy pillows and all! Oh how times have changed! ;)

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And He's Off

02 July 2014

I'm not too sure what time you'll be reading this, but right now, it's not even 5 o'clock in the morning and I'm already sat in front of my computer writing this. There's something about goodbyes at the airport that leaves you unable to crawl into bed and fall quickly back to sleep for an hour before you have to get up for work, and then there's another something about not having a whole lot else to do at 5 o'clock in the morning. 

Todd left this morning for a new job, pretty much on the opposite side of the country, and while we've known for a few weeks that he'd be leaving today, the whole leaving today part still kind of sucks. Luckily, he'll be on a schedule where he'll only work for two weeks and then fly back home for another week, so it's really nice to know my countdown doesn't surpass fourteen days each time.

Although Todd's worked away from home before and although I know from experience just how quickly my little miss independent attitude will kick in, it still feels strange because, besides the missing him a lot part, I know our life's about to change a little bit for a while. Life kind of becomes a little more planned as you're constantly having to look at the calendar to figure out what days of the month he'll be home again, wondering if you both can attend the wedding you've been invited to, or the surprise party for a friend you've known about for a while, or the camping trip your friends have already asked you to do over the summer, or whether or not he'll be home to help you celebrate your birthday. The dinners, the movies, the hikes, and all of the other normal day to day activities quickly gets squeezed into that one week together. There's also some thoughts of not knowing how you're going to handle a hyperactive puppy all by yourself. Or is that just me?

So yeah, right now, it feels a little strange. I will say that knowing he was leaving made us enjoy the Canada Day holiday yesterday even that much more. We woke up early, packed up some things, grabbed Charley, and drove out of the city, stopping at the first spot we found with a lake and a place for us to lay out a blanket. 

We figured we couldn't let the holiday go by without doing the one thing that makes a summer holiday official...barbecuing. So, after filling our bellies, we changed into some red and white colours and then headed out to his brothers where they had their entire street blocked off for the whole day and night for some holiday activities.

***Update: It's now actually 10 o'clock at night and I'm only getting around to publishing this post. I'm falling asleep as we speak so I'm thinking I should have tried a little harder to get that extra hour of sleep this morning instead of blogging. Ooopps! Or at least re-read this to catch any sleep deprived mistakes! Oh well, I don't have a certain someone in the bed tonight keeping me up with the tv on so I shouldn't have any problems in the sleep department! ;) 

I hope all my fellow Canadians had a great holiday yesterday!!

Ps: Can you believe it's July already?!?

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