FIVE ON FRIDAY

29 April 2018

Hey guys, and happy Friday! It feels like it's been forever since I've done one of these Friday posts, so I'm excited to be doing one now. I only have two hours until the clock strikes midnight and we're technically into Saturday, so let's hope I don't get distracted (or sleepy!!) because the OCD in me will not know what to do if this doesn't get posted tonight, on time.

*Update: So as it turns out I got both distracted and then sleepy! It's currently Sunday but I'm finishing this post regardless of what the date in the title says. OCD, you're gonna have to take a chill pill.



ONE

The week started off with me still recuperating from the fall I had the previous week. Although the weather has been amazing over the last few days (thank you, weather gods!), we did have one miserable day last week that caused me to slip on some ice in my driveway, landing flat on my back and giving myself a bit of whiplash. I had to take a couple days off work where I spent the majority of that time on the couch with heating pads going non stop! I gave myself a pretty big fright, but thankfully I'm doing much better now! Who knew this would happen in the month of April? Apparently I still forget where I live - Newfoundland, aka the north pole!!



TWO

Julia Engel launched her Gal Meets Glam dress collection and I'm seriously in love! Like, all of the heart eyed emojis type of love!! I've been following Julia's blog for years, so I was so excited to see what her collection would look like and, of course, all of her dresses look exactly like I thought they would - just like her! She has an amazing elegant and feminine style that I just adore. #FashionGoals. I've been stalking these dresses over the last few days, and I'm very, very tempted to order one.





THREE

I've enjoyed checking the mail this week and seeing all of the Sephora's goodies that I purchased from their VIB sale last week. Did you take advantage of the sale? While I tried to stay a bit more conservative this time around only buying the things that I "need" (quotations are totally necessary when talking about shopping at Sephora), I did purchase two items that I've never tried before that were on my 'lust' list. Let me know if you've tried either of them!








FOUR

I need new TV shows to watch! Do you have any suggestions? Right now I'm back to watching Friends, and as much as I love that show, I think it's time to find something else to keep me entertained. I've had a few people recommend Scandal to me, so I may start that one soon. But other than that, I can't think of anything else! Help a TV lover out, please!!!



FIVE

My heart goes out to Toronto this week after the attack that happened on Monday. Words can't express my heartbreak and sorrow for those who were affected by this tragedy and for the city. Stay strong, Toronto.





I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Until next time.

GRAB A COFFEE, LET'S CHAT!

22 April 2018

I've already had two coffees earlier but heck, since it's Sunday, I've decided to pour myself another one and come here to say hello and have a little chat. So, hello there! And happy Sunday!




If you read my last post, you know I've been a bit of a stranger when it comes to blogging. And since I've dropped off the blogging map more times than I count, I have no idea if there's even anyone out there still reading at this point. So if by some miracle you are, hello there, again!

Instead of rambling on and on (and on) like I normally would about why I stopped blogging and how much I've missed coming here and sharing things, I figured I'd just jump right in and do a little update since I've been away.

The last 6 months have been both busy and extremely slow all at the same time. We've been kept busy and preoccupied, but yet somehow day to day and week to week, it seems life has been much slower with a lot of our time spent at home. Maybe it's because we've been doing things with our house, or maybe it's from trying to save a little extra money so we can do more things with our house, or maybe it's just good ole winter hibernation!! Something tells me it's a combination of all three. But thankfully we're into April now which means that it's soon time to come out of hiding.


WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE



This is definitely the most exciting thing that's happened recently. In October we put an offer in on a house, and on December 8th we were handed the keys to our new home!!

The whole process went so much quicker than we both ever thought it was going to, and as I'm sitting in our "new" living room now writing this and looking back, I still find it surprising just how quick it really did happen. There were times throughout the last few years that we would talk about moving one day, but it was always just a "one day" type of conversation. But a few weeks after we returned home from our trip to Vegas, I got it in my head to go online and start looking at houses just for fun! And within a week I had a list of houses that I thought we should view...again, just for complete fun! Since we weren't serious about house hunting, we had no location in mind, no "must have" items, not even a price point determined for that matter.

Our first viewing was set for a Thursday night, and I remember it so plainly because as it turned out, it's the house we're living in right now!! From the moment I opened the doors I instantly fell in love, and it had this good feel to it that I don't even know how to explain. I just knew there was something special about it.

Over the next week we went to the remainder of the viewings, but none of the other houses gave us any bit of excitement like the first one that we saw did. In fact, over the next few days, I would constantly think about that first house and how disappointed I'd be if I found out it got sold. I also remember thinking that I probably wouldn't feel this way about any other house, regardless of what else became available. It was then that I knew that it was the house - our house! Luckily Todd felt the exact same way, and within a week or so we were putting in an offer.




It's surprising how it happened, but it's even more surprising to me how I was during that time, especially since I'm probably the most indecisive person to ever walk this planet, and one who finds it extremely hard just to take the plunge with things. But I remember taking that as a sign. And I'd like to think I was right because within only the first few days in our new house we both felt like we had lived there forever. Even with barely any furniture and a million boxes still left to be unpacked, I felt so at home already.

Although our house was "move in" ready, there's still a lot of things we'd like to do with it. Instead of rushing and buying things for every room of the house just to try and fill it up, we decided to slow down and just take one section at a time before moving on to other parts of the house. Right now we're currently in the process of finishing the first section we tackled - the living room and dining room. I'm hoping to share some house updates along the way so stay tuned for that!



WE CELEBRATED THE HOLIDAYS



I know talking about Christmas in April is probably illegal, but I can't do a recap over the last few months and not briefly touch on the holidays.

With moving in to a new house only a few weeks before Christmas, you can imagine how busy the entire month of December was for us. My sister and her family came home this year so we had them staying with us for a few days and then we all headed out home (to our parents house) to spend the rest of the time together out there. Watching our nephews (and niece, although she pretty much just sat on her mom's lap the entire time since she wasn't even 1) Christmas morning was definitely the highlight! Kids definitely make the holidays even that much better!




Unfortunately Todd's grandmother passed away at the end of December, so we spent some time with Todd's family during that time. Although it wasn't under the best of circumstances, it was nice ringing in the new year all together.

Also, we decided to keep our previous house as a rental (since it has a basement apartment), so we had to make some time over the holidays to get the upstairs apartment (where we lived) cleaned and ready for the new tenants who would be renting it and moving in on January 1st. Thankfully my parents helped us, and within a couple of days we had the place looking brand new!



WE LOST OUR SWEET BOY, SAMMY



Even months later, sharing this piece of news still makes me sad.  At the beginning of January, after his struggle with cat kidney disease, we had to put our sweet boy Sammy to sleep. Not only losing him and saying goodbye, but the entire time leading up to then, was just really hard. It's so hard losing an animal, but I honestly think it's even harder having to watch them decline day by day.

If you're not familiar with cat kidney disease, it's when the kidneys stop working normally, causing them to not properly eliminate waste, which eventually leads to toxicity in the bloodstream. As the Vet told us, it's like they're slowly poisoning themselves.

It was a tough few months, but the biggest struggle came towards the end when we were constantly asking ourselves who we were helping more at that point - us or him.




I feel like I could write so much on this, and maybe another time I will talk more about it and share our experience (because finding other peoples stories online definitely helped me), but for now I'll just leave it by saying how much we still miss our first little boy and how he truly was the sweetest part of our family!!! 



WE CELEBRATED TODD'S BIRTHDAY



At the end of January we celebrated Todd's 33rd birthday with some friends at our house. It felt like such a long time since we've had a get together with everyone, and it ended up being such a fun night, lasting until about three in the morning!! A few days after, on his actual birthday, I took the afternoon off work and we went for brunch and then for a couples massage. I think I definitely enjoyed his birthday more than him!!  






WE GOT OUR WEDDING VIDEO BACK



At the beginning of February we got our wedding video back, and since Todd was away working at the time, we decided to wait and watch it around Valentines Day and have a little date night home. I was so excited to watch it for the first time, but also a little sad that our wedding chapter was officially finished.

We were so happy with how the video turned out, and it was so much fun getting to see and relive everything all over again. That day was such a blur (past brides, I'm sure you can agree, right?), and there was so much about the day that we had both forgotten about! We're so glad we decided to get a videographer because it's something we'll definitely appreciate even more later in our life.




I just realized I still haven't shared anything about our wedding day yet, but I'm hoping that will be the next thing to come. I'm thinking I better get to that soon while I'm on a blogging role and before I drop off the map again! :)

Well, I think that's our last few months in a nutshell. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Until next time.

SPENDING A WEEK IN VEGAS - RECAP PART 2

04 April 2018

It was only a few days after I shared the first part of our trip to Vegas when I heard the shocking news of the Vegas shooting that happened on October 1st. I remember that morning so plainly. My alarm clock went off around 6:30 and I did about a half hour of snoozing before I reached over and grabbed my phone to scroll through Instagram to wake myself up like I normally do every morning before getting out of bed. The very first post I saw said "Pray for Vegas", and I knew right then and there that something had happened. I immediately typed Vegas into google and I couldn't believe what it was that I was reading.

I spent the next few days watching and reading every news article trying to make some sense over what just happened but it never came. And it still hasn't.

I found it hard coming back to this blog right away and writing the second part of our trip and about all of the great times we had during our time in Vegas when so many people were suffering and going through something terrible from that exact same place. It just didn't feel right.

Then somehow during that time, the momentum of me blogging regularly again faded and now here we are, 6 months later after my last post. I won't go on much about that now because my blogging motivation is actually back today and I'm determined to get this post done...once and for all!

Vegas was, and still is, a place of so many great memories to so many people. And today, I'm excited to share more of that!  You can read all about the first part here.




Day 3: Breakfast at the MGM Buffett, dinner at the Yard House, Jennifer Lopez show, drinks at the Whiskey Down, late night snack at Wolfgank Puck Bar & Grill.

Since we had a pretty hard and late night the night before, we were also pretty late waking up and starting our third day in Vegas. And what better way to start a day after one of those nights than by hitting a breakfast buffet. While the three of us were eating plate after plate, Todd just sat at the table with his sunglasses on hunched over the entire time. Needless to say, the oxygen bar from the night before did not help his hangover. In fact, the lady at a table behind us told us he looked like he belonged in the Hangover movie.

We were all still feeling a little tired so it was actually back to bed for all of us for the remainder of the day. With only a few days in, it was already nice to just have a complete lazy day and do absolutely nothing! Ha! I guess that's what happens when you try and keep up with Vegas!

We started the night off with dinner at the Yard House (located right next to the high roller). This was one of my favourite restaurants that we went to, and from the wait time to get in, it seemed to be everyone else's too. It had a great casual atmosphere, good food, and an unlimited variety of beers.

We were then off to see Jennifer Lopez at Planet Hollywood. I was really looking forward to this show, but it honestly turned out to be even better than I thought it was going to. She was amazing to watch, and with such great seats to see her closeup, I was in complete awe of her the entire time. It was so fun seeing her perform her most popular songs (and of course, sing along to them)! I left that night with such a girl crush on her!!!

We ended the night back at the MGM. Actually, it seemed like we ended the majority of our nights here. Having drinks at the Whiskey Down and getting pizza at the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill turned into our little bedtime routine. Vacation time at it's finest, people!!








Day 4: Breakfast at The Egg & I, cabana pool time, dinner at Olives, O Cirque du Soleil show.

This day we decided to venture outside of our hotel and try somewhere new for breakfast. After reading good reviews online, we ended up at The Egg & I; a casual breakfast place that had the biggest breakfast menu I had ever seen (with prices much lower than ones at our hotel). I'm not sure about everything else there, but what I ordered was super, super yummy, and big enough to feed an entire family.

We left in the biggest food coma and headed directly back to our hotel to enjoy a pool day. MGM's pool area was definitely impressive. It's a beautiful area with multiple pools and cabanas, as well as a huge lazy river....my favourite! Sit me in a tube in a lazy river with a drink in hand and I'm good for the entire day. We actually decided a few days prior that on this day we would splurge a little and rent a cabana for the day. When in Vegas, right?! We reserved ours beforehand since we were told they book up pretty fast, and we opted to do this on a Thursday to save a little money as the prices go up over the weekend.

What a day this turned out to be! Somehow a relaxing day at the pool ended with Todd being asleep by 5 o'clock. Gosh that boy will never learn. But as he would say, "it's all about the story", and what a story we had from this day...or should I say bar tab.

Since the boys over indulged at the pool earlier, the girls had to go solo for the rest of the night. We went to Olives for dinner, a restaurant at the Bellagio that has an amazing view of the fountain. I don't remember loving the food there (it was good, but not quite as good as what I expected), but the restaurant and atmosphere was beautiful, and it was a great place to enjoy a nicer dinner with friends, or should I say friend...singular! We then went to see the Cirque du Soleil show O, which was also in the Bellagio hotel. This show is a must see! It definitely has that "wow" factor, and it was by far our favourite out of the two we had seen.









Day 5: Helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, dinner at Shake Shack, Calvin Harris at Club Omnia. 

This day started early since we had an early pickup time at our hotel from the Papillion Helicopter Tours. From the moment we booked our trip, this was something we knew we wanted to do so, again, we made sure to book in advance. It took about an hour to get from our hotel to the airport terminal (if my memory is right), and we had to wait a little bit once we got there and watch a safety video, but before we knew it we were putting on our headsets and sitting inside the helicopter (there was 6 of us and our pilot).

I've never been in a helicopter before so I really had no idea what to expect, but I was so surprised at how nervous I actually was! My hands were sweating the entire ride and I couldn't wait until we'd land in the Grand Canyon. Although my anxiety was in full force, I tried to enjoy the views as much as possible because they were amazing! The Grand Canyon was huge, and to think we only got to see a very, very small portion of it is even more incredible.

Thankfully it only took about 45 minutes to land (again, let's hope my memory is right), and then we were given a short amount of time to explore, take some pictures and have a lunch that was provided. The whole experience was great, and I'm so glad we got to do it. I will say that I wish we were given more than a half hour once we were at the Grand Canyon. With all of the travel time, it would have been even more enjoyable if we could have actually got to enjoy being there a little more. I was extremely thankful though that we were given champagne with our lunch because it helped tremendously with the helicopter ride back!!

We had tickets to see Calvin Harris at Club Omnia for later that night, so we opted to rest up for the rest of the afternoon before grabbing a quick bite at the Shake Shack.

Seeing Calvin Harris turned out to be quite the experience and nothing like we thought it was going to be (and probably not in the good way that you'd expect). While the views from the roof of Omnia were amazing, the club itself was way too packed. It was the craziest thing I have ever experienced. While we did get to see Calvin Harris (in the far distance!!), we ended up spending the majority of our night on the roof so we could at least move while experiencing the Vegas nightlife from there. But thankfully, those views and seeing the strip from that roof completely made up for the disappointment of the inside.












Day 6: Breakfast at the MGM Buffet, a little gambling, exploring Fremont street, dinner at the Heart Attack Grill, some more gambling :)

Since it was just so darn convenient, we headed straight downstairs to the buffet in our hotel again. Luckily (and thankfully) this time Todd got to partake in the eating part. We spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around our hotel and doing a little gambling. Again, when in Vegas! I'm not a big gambler but I do enjoy it when you can have a few of hours of fun without leaving with your pockets emptied too much. Russian roulette somehow became our game of choice. Gosh, we had so much fun playing, even though we probably were the worst players out there. #noclue Although, we were able to win enough to keep our addiction going throughout the rest of the day without leaving with those empty pockets!! 

In the evening we ubered our way downtown to spend our night on Fremont Street, a street that's brighter and even flashier than the strip. It's definitely another must see thing because I can guarantee you you'll leave seeing and experiencing some very interesting things.

Through a recommendation of a friend, we had dinner at the Heart Attack Grill; a hospital setting restaurant that prides itself on serving the most unhealthy food. Hospital gowns, IV's, nurses, you name it, that's what you can expect. While this was, again, interesting to experience, doing it once was definitely enough, and I probably could have done without doing it at all. Not to our surprise, the food wasn't that great, and the concept was both fun....and a little disgusting.

We spent the rest of the night walking off our meal and going in and out of some of the oldest casinos in Vegas to do a little more gambling.









Day 7: Shopping at the outlet mall, dinner at Cut, Bellagio fountain show, High Roller.

Our last day was spent at the North Premium Outlet mall. This was a good outdoor mall with lots of different options and if we hadn't already been in Vegas for 6 days, I most definitely could have spent more money here instead. 

Then, before we knew it, our last night of the trip was here. While our time in Vegas was busy, I definitely think we could have handled a few more extra days. In fact, unlike many others, we didn't find a week too long at all. And maybe that was because since we did have a full week, we allowed ourselves to relax and take it easy when we wanted to. Giving yourself more time on a vacation definitely gives you that advantage. I'm saying this now, but I keep forgetting that the recuperation time from it after took longer than our actual trip!!!

The only thing we had planned for our last night was to enjoy a nice dinner together. And Cut was the place that we had scoped out and reserved beforehand. This restaurant was super pricey (it's a good thing I didn't do much shopping earlier!!!), but it turned out to be fantastic. Between the atmosphere, the service and the food, it was all amazing. 6 months later and I can still remember their macaroni and cheese....heavenly!!

After dinner, we made our way to the Bellagio to catch the fountain show since the boys had missed it a few days prior. And since it was our last night, we decided to make it count. Instead of being all responsible and going back to the hotel because we had an early morning flight, we went to the High Roller at midnight for happy hour instead. This turned out to be the perfect way to end a great trip. We spent the time having drinks with some amazing people who were there too, all while enjoying the beautiful Vegas views. We seriously lucked into doing this with an awesome group of people! So much fun!!! Although getting up super early the next morning was not! :)








Vegas is definitely a place of fun and entertainment with an endless amount of things to do! It was an amazing trip (with the worst recovery time in the history of trips though).  We had amazing weather, great laughs, so many stories and made a lot of wonderful memories. 

Oh, and I forgot to mention this part. We also got to see and meet some well known people during our stay (I have no idea what to call them...celebrities?, famous people?), thanks to Todd (I swear he is the best at spotting people!!): Katy Hearn and Haydn Schneider, Alex from Jojo's season of the Bachelorette (or it could have quite possibly been his twin brother...who knows!), Christian Guzman and Heidi Somers, and Nick Diaz. So that was pretty neat!!! 





Phew, it's done, the final recap is done! It only took 6 months to finish it, but gosh darnit I did it!

I hope you enjoyed seeing how we spent our week!!

Until next time.