Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Have I told you how excited I am for December to arrive? It really has to be my favourite month of the year for many reasons. Why you ask? Allow me to explain:

  • Even though I don't like winter, I like December because winter is fresh and exciting. I haven't gotten annoyed yet with slipping on ice and scrapping snow off my car every morning. The weather and scenery is just gorgeous. Throughout the month of December all I want to do is curl up on the couch in my blanket, sip a cup of hot chocolate, and watch fun and heart warming Christmas movies. My favourite - A Christmas Story. Every Christmas, my brother and I watch this movie on television. One of the tv stations played it on repeat all Christmas Day when we were kids. By the end of the day, we'd have watched it probably twice. Oh, the memories.
  • All the family time. I traveled home and spent this weekend with my Mom and Dad. We decorated the house for Christmas. Mom and I went to the only hardware store and the only "general" store in my hometown on a search for bows and lights. We got the lights, but were unsuccessful in getting the bows. Nevertheless, the house looks festive and happy! In a couple of weekends, I'll be heading to my Grandmom's house to help her decorate her Christmas tree - which leads me to my third point…

  • Traditions. Most of our traditions take place on Christmas Day. We get up, open our stockings, make a delicious and grand breakfast, eat, do the dishes, open presents (one at a time so everyone sees what each other got), nap time, mingling, Christmas dinner, movie time!, bed. One of my favourite traditions was started about 4 years ago. It has been tradition that I stay at my Grandmom and Grandad's house 2 weeks before Christmas and work for my Uncle Mark. In that time, we take one night and decorate the Christmas tree. There is a method to our madness. The lights have to be equally distributed throughout the tree, the beads have to hang just right, and Grandmom always shares the stories for different ornaments when we take them out of the box. Grandad always sat and watched. He would often tease us about the tree being lop-sided or not having enough lights on one side of the tree. Memories that always bring a smile to my face. I'm excited for new traditions too - this year I will be purchasing and decorating my very own Christmas tree in my own house (with my roomie and friend Amanda). I can't wait! 
  • Christmas music - there really is nothing like it. I can't chose a favourite, but one that brings back a lot of memories and reminds me of my Mom, Dad and brother Brad decorating our tree at home throughout the years is Mary's Boy by Boney M
  • And a new addition to this December…a family trip! On December 31st, Mom, Dad, Brad, Grandmom and I will travel to Florida and spend a week away together. A trip that we have been planning for quite some time. I can't wait! 
Here's to December, and the hopes for another great month! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Little Things.

The last couple of days have been quite strenuous with lesson planning and organizing for my first experience teaching an entire unit. As such, I found myself quite self involved in my thoughts and my attitude and spirit were a little on the down low. Some may call it a funk. When I find myself in this state of mind, I have find a release and a new found joy for the small things that happen in life. Here are a few examples of some of the small things that happened this weekend that lifted my spirits:

  • Disney movie and junk food night with my best friend, Sara. A great time to catch up, act foolish, and reminisce about our childhood days.

  • Getting random text messages from my brother. For example, I got a text message from him after work today with a picture of a delicious looking omelette and the words "look who learned how to cook for himself!" with it. It made me smile and laugh and be thankful for the sibling relationship we have built over the last 4 years. 
  • Spending a night at home. It was exactly what I needed. A hug goodnight from my mother, watching SNL with my dad, curling up into my bed with freshly cleaned sheets that smelled of summer, eating a delicious home cooked breakfast Sunday morning, getting greeted at the car door by my loveable dog Jake. Just thinking about it puts me at ease. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) 
  • Blaring Michael Jackson and having alone time on the car ride back to the city. There's nothing quite like belting out "Smooth Criminal" at the top of your lungs while cruising down the highway. 
  • Another delicious Sunday supper with my friends. Delicious oven roast chicken, mashed potatoes, a new found love for turnip, and cooked carrots! Yum-o. An impromptu dessert of crushed holiday cookies and vanilla ice cream was a delicious follow up. (Thanks for the idea Kate - we decided to call them 'Kate Monsters') 

So, thanks to my family and friends for the pick me up this weekend. I needed it :) 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Daily Smile.

A little over a week ago, my friend Tyler and I were walking around downtown. As we walked past a local park, a little boy dressed in a homemade super hero costume was running around chasing pigeons while screaming at the top of his lungs. Meanwhile, his parents sat lovingly on the nearby bench taking pictures of their son's spontaneity.

As we walked by, I said to Tyler: "Gosh! I hope that when I have kids they are as unique and outgoing as that!" And I creepily stared and smiled and daydreamed about my future. I've found myself over the last week thinking back to those 2 minutes walking past the park and smiling in reminiscing about the joy that was on that little boys face. No worry. No stress. Just happiness.

Unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture. I thought that staring was weird enough.

So, here's a quote I recently stumbled upon that sort of fits this memory from last week. Just something for your daily smile :)

(Image from weheartit)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For Grandmom.

This past weekend, I ventured to my Grandmom's house for some quality family time. (Only person missing was my younger brother. Oh, to be a busy hockey player). Though she had an enormous list of things she needed done around the house, it was so relaxing and therapeutic. Here are some of the reasons why I always love and get so extremely excited to spend time at my Grandmom's. 

1) She gives the best hugs. And she always says things like "You can eat, but I need a hello hug first." Then she'll give you the biggest and warmest hug and whisper something heartwarming in your ear like "I love you." 

2) She will let you do loads and loads of laundry. And if you talk nicely, she'll probably fold your clothes and bring them up from the basement for you (when you accidentally forget about them). 

3) She sends you home with a fridge full of leftovers. This weekend I came home with 3 containers full of homemade minestrone soup, a container of homemade clam chowder, a container of leftover spaghetti, a container of homemade chili and half a dozen of her famous Grandmom rolls! She also has a special cooler that she sets aside just for my food that she sends me home with. I don't know why, but the cooler makes me smile more then the food. 

4) Sitting and watching movies with her on a Saturday night. This is one of our rituals. One night, we watched 3 movies! We just recline in the lazy boys, she'll drink a glass of wine and I'll have a beer, and we watch chick flicks and intense dramas. And we always turn the television off raving about how good the movie was as we both walk up the stairs to go to our bedrooms. Bonding. 

5) She loves when I cook for her. Even though my portions are always way to big for her to eat them all, she'll try her best to clean the plate. When she doesn't, she'll say over and over again, "This doesn't mean I didn't love it. It was delicious!!" 

She's a pretty special lady, and I love her with all my heart. Grandmom, if you're reading this, thanks for being the best you! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thank you.

This week, I hit 500 views! This is just a quick post to say thank you! I know 500 views isn't a lot, and some people are hitting thousands of views. However, for someone who had no desire to write a blog and was skeptical about her ability to keep it up, 500 views is a big step and a motivator to keep up the blogging. So here's to you and to many more blogs!

On another note, Grey's anatomy is getting really good lately! 2 weeks ago the final quote from Meredith couldn't have been more perfect to describe how my life has developed over the last year.

"It's a little bit horrifying just how quickly everything can fall to crap. Sometimes, it takes a huge loss to remind you of what you care about the most. Sometimes, you find yourself becoming stronger as a result; wiser, better equipt to deal with the next big disaster that comes along. Sometimes, but, not always"

I remember watching the episode and listening to her say this and nodding continually through the entire thing. It's exactly how I feel after experiencing an immense loss in my life. As much as it was a sad and emotionally enduring time in my life, but I also grew up and became more thankful for what I have in my life. I try and treasure the small things, and take every opportunity I can to experience new things, and old things that I love the most. I try not to let small things infuriate me and get me down, because life could be worse. 

So much reflecting on my part lately…thanks for always reading :)

(Image via weheartit)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Sometimes I can be an awkward person. I say things at the wrong time, and sometimes (frequently) have a hard time verbalizing what I'm thinking. I complicate simple tasks, and tend to over think simple concepts. Sometimes these characteristics of myself can lead to awkward and hilarious situations. Allow me to share with you:

This one time, I said in an interview (for a job that relied a lot on communication and personable skills) that my weakest attribute was my ability to communicate effectively. Might I add, that when i attempted to tell the interviewers this flaw, I mumbled and grumbled and said something along the lines of "I just can't communicate well, you know?" -- I didn't get the job.

A wonderful and hilarious situation occurred this weekend when my best friend and I ventured to visit her boyfriend in his hometown. When leaving his apartment to go to the corner store, I was unaware of the considerable step down on to the deck. This lead to my ankle rolling, leaves rustling and me going face first into the deck. Thank goodness I put my hands in front of my face to lessen the impact on my nose when I made contact with the wooden deck. While my friends questioned my ability to get up and walk again, I laughed and said "Hey guys! Watch your step!" I proceeded to say this EVERY TIME we left the house. And as you all may gather, I thought it was the funniest thing I've ever said.

These awkward little moments in my life, I think, help shape and characterize who I am as a person. They add character to my everyday life, and give me something to look back and smile about - even though in the moment I may think what just happened is the end of the world.

I find that I've done a lot of growing up and finding myself over the last year. I've learned the difference between when something is truly life altering and when something is less devastating as I may make it out to be. (I'm not sure if that makes sense, but it makes sense in my head -- like I said, not so good at verbalizing what I mean.) I've become more mature and better able to deal with problems and situations that take a toll on me emotionally. I've learned that it's okay to depend on your friends and family for advice and comfort. I've learned that growing up does not mean becoming independent emotionally and having to work through your problems and conundrums alone. I've learned that it's okay to be different and okay to have different views. I've also learned how to express those views effectively and proudly.

I've found me -- almost. I know I still have a lot of learning to do about myself. We are always growing and evolving, and I'm quite excited to see who and what I'll become in the next 22 years.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Sundays are great days. Especially now that I have no homework to do! I spend the days sleeping in, catching up with friends, reading great books, and skyping with long distance buddies.

However, one thing I love more then anything else on a Sunday, is the tradition some of my friends and I have started that we simply call "Sunday Supper."

It's a fairly simple concept. Someone calls dibs on the main course by throwing out some delicious idea. Everyone else chips in with sides and desserts. We all gather out mine and my roommates' house, we catch up on the week's events, and chow down on delicious home cooked food. In weeks past, we've had roast beef dinner, delicious vegetable sandwiches (who knew a meat free meal could be so yummy!), and a spaghetti supper made by Amanda that I was unfortunately absent for.

This week, two of my roommates Amelie and Camila (our vegetarian diners!) made us a delicious pasta dish of homemade alfredo sauce and rotini!

Only a small group of us this week (cut one of my friends out of the picture.
Sorry, buddy!) 
I love how routine this has become for us. Adam always shows up after 6pm due to one of his classes. He non-chalantly walks in, grabs a plate, and helps himself to whatever is left.

We have a "whoever cooks doesn't clean rule." It never has to be mentioned. Tonight, the boys went right to work on cleaning dishes, while Amy was the puter-awayer. The rest of us sat in the kitchen, watched them putter away, and told stories of home and of the week and shared lots of laughs. My heart is all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it.

This week I attempted making apple crumble. Let me tell you, this is a huge step for me in the cooking world. I love to cook. But I hate baking. I hate measuring and having to be exact. I'm jealous of those people (*ahem*...AMY) who can make delicious pastries and sweets without flubbing them up some how. With cooking, you can add a mish-mash of whatever's in the cupboard and come out with something unique and unlike anything else you've ever tasted before -- in a good way :) I think a cooking blog post is in order!

Nevertheless, the apple crumble making went decently. My dad makes the world's best apple crumble (in my heart anyway), so I have big shoes to fill. I chopped apples for what seemed like hours, mixed up the crumble and set it in the fridge, and tossed the cubed apples in lemon juice and cinnamon.

It perfumed the house with the best aromas. Once the apples had a chance to break down and create delicious juices, the crumble was added and baked for another 30 minutes

And this is what resulted. The apple to crumble ratio was off a bit. Guess I didn't account for the fact tha the apples would break down and reduce when they cooked. Oopsie…beginner's mistake, right? Nothing a little scoop of vanilla ice cream wouldn't cure I say!

Everyone swore it was good. I've personally had better. But practice makes perfect. Guess i'll be calling my dad up for some lessons :)


A lot of my friends find joy in reading, posting, and sharing quotes they stumble upon on the internet, in literature, or through many other means. I never grasped on to this leisurely activity until recently. More and more I'm finding myself happening upon quotes that strike a note or explain perfectly how I am feeling -- better then I can verbalize myself.

So, when preparing a card for my friend Amanda on her birthday, I stumbled upon the following quote:

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail" 
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just something to think about on this Sunday night.

I would love to hear from my readers. Leave a comment with one of your favourite quotes that I can add to my newly created collection!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Always and Forever.

This summer I got a tattoo...

Here's the thing:

For a long time, I've always known I wanted a tattoo. I went through the typical adolescent desire for a tattoo and something pretty, like a dolphin on my ankle. But it had no meaning. It was a tattoo solely for the purpose of saying "I have a tattoo." -- thank God I didn't do it!

So, I waited. I waited for the right thing to come along. My Grandmom has a painting that she made that hangs in my room that I stay in at her and Grandad's house. I've always admired this painting. For about a year, I thought of ways that I could incorporate this painting into my tattoo creation.

This is only a portion of the painting. When I took a picture of it for
a reference for the tattoo artist, I focused on the hummingbird and not the
entire painting. 

Then my Grandad got sick. Very sick. With cancer. And I felt like my world was crashing down. My family played a huge role in my ability to get through those 7 months of his battle. They were always there to talk and keep me level headed, even though they were going through the same pain and mourning. So as Grandad's demise got closer, I came to a clearer realization of how I wanted to thank my family and commemorate my Grandfather.

So what I did was take the painting that my Grandmom created of the hummingbird. When I did some research, I learned that hummingbirds are quite similar to my demeanour and personality. They symbolize embracing life and finding the joys in the circumstances at hand. Hummingbirds are independent and protective. They symbolize optimism. All of which I think I possess.

Then I decided that I wanted my tattoo to have colour. To incorporate all of my immediate family memebers, I used the birth stone colours in the shading of the hummingbird. Sapphire for my brother and Grandmom in the bird's wings; emerald in the body for my Mom; peridot (yellow-green) in the body and the breast of the bird for my Dad and Grandad; and ruby in the neck for my Grammy D.

Finally, I knew I wanted a script. Something I remember saying to my Grandad in the last hours of his life was "I will love you, always and forever." It's something my entire family says, and something my Grandmom told me she and Grandad always said to each other. It's script that truly embodies the reason for the tattoo. My family. Always and forever with me. Always and forever mine.

That's the story of my tattoo. I love it. It was so painful, and I'll probably never get another one, but so worth it! I miss my Grandad every day. But every morning I look down at the tattoo and remember what he and the rest of my family means to me. They have supported me through every one of my life decisions and they motivate me to always put my best foot forward. They have helped to shape and create the woman I have become today, and I love them with all my heart.

This one is for my family.

My younger brother and I

Grandad cutting my hair for cancer patients (April 2010)
Mom, Dad and I. Graduation 2011.
My beautiful Grammy D.
Grandmom and I. Granduation 2011. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Amanda!

In the spirit of my dearest friend Amanda, I'm dedicating this entire post to her and to celebrate her 22 years of existence! 

I'm not usually one to remember specific situations and what was said in those situations and how I felt. However, over the last year and a half, there are a lot of big changes that I experienced in my life that involve Amanda and I can remember vividly what we were doing, how I felt, and what was said. 

Firstly, I remember so vividly the day I moved into Vanier to begin my first year as an RA. Amanda was my RC. I remember I texted her to tell her I had arrived. No sooner had I settled in my room did she come barreling through the hallway into my room with a huge welcome hug. She and I knew each other from living in residence together in our first year, and part of second. But we both agree that we weren't "friends," more like acquaintances. So, little did I know going into Vanier that I was coming out with a best friend - but the welcome hug was a slight indication. 

Secondly, the day I found out that my Grandad had been diagnosed for a second time with cancer, she was on the other side of the door to literally pick me up off the floor when I collapsed and felt my world was caving in. She has been patient and listened every time since then when I felt that life couldn't get any worse. 

Let me tell you of a few more reasons why Amanda is such a great and unique individual:

  • She always knows when you have a lot on your mind and are having a bad day. She'll say to you "Do you want to talk?" When you say you don't feel like it, she'll always keep her door open for when you're ready.
  • She gets excited about the little things in life like hot chocolate on a cold day, the sound of leaves rustling when you walk through them, and taking out a book at the library.
  • She buys the most thoughtful gifts. 
  • She'll never forget your birthday - she has a knack for remembering dates!
  • She'll put up with your obsession with Michael Jackson and Gordon Ramsay
  • She'll sit with you on a Saturday night and watch Friends and eat junk food - even if she does fall asleep almost every time (but I love that it makes her feel comfortable and relaxed to fall asleep on the couch when "happy" things are going on in the room) 
  • She gives the best advice - seriously!
  • And she is the best listener. When you need to talk, no doubt that she'll give you her undivided attention, her thoughtful words, and her honesty. She knows exactly what you need to hear, even if it isn't what you WANT to hear. And I hope that she knows how much I appreciate this. 

Amanda, I truly hope that you have a wonderful birthday full of life long memories and surrounded by the friends and family who love you for who you are, inside and out. 

Here's to you, as you turn 22 :) 


Happy Halloween!

Any excuse to listen to Michael Jackson is a good excuse.