Thursday, 13 December 2012

right now

time: 7:17 pm
location: my pseudo dining room table
drinking: third mug today
eating: a salad with red peppers, sugar snap peas, and cheese

watching: last night's Survivor.  After taking a break for a couple of seasons, I am loving this one.
feeling: a bit tense.  There's a lot of things that I need and want to get done in the next few days
loving: is it cheesy if I say my life?  Because I'm almost at that point.  Finally.
thinking: about my parents' Christmas gift.  I'm 100% sure that I want to buy them a new computer since they're using one that is 11 years old and it may be years before they finally splurge on a new one for themselves.  I'm 90% sure I'll actually go through with buying one for them.
making: a scarf.  In the past two weeks I've taught myself how to knit and I'm at the point where I can legit make a scarf.  Pretty pumped.
wanting: Christmas vacation.  One more week of work.  Just one more week.
needing: this chest cold thing that I have to go away.  Too much to do to be sick and coughing.  Plus, I can't go around my Grandma when I'm sick, so this needs to get lost pronto.

I totally stole this idea from Lauren who got it from Tina.  And it's awesome.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

what i'm reading

When I was younger, back in elementary and middle school, describing myself as an avid reader doesn't quite do it justice.  Most weekends, I would get up Saturday morning, start reading a book, and not move until I had finished it, which was usually at some point after lunch.  Repeat on Sunday.  Then read at least one  or two more during the week after school.

Come to the end of high school and into university, and I just didn't have the time anymore.  I was working, studying, spending time with friends or my boyfriend, and reading got pushed aside.  Once I graduated and started working full-time, I was so tired after work that any time I attempted to read, I would immediately fall asleep.

A couple of years ago, I truly started to miss my old pastime.  Reading was relaxing for me and something I really enjoyed.  I needed to get back into setting aside some time to let myself just read for enjoyment and not only for work.

In all of that time, the one thing I never stopped doing was buying books.  I absolutely love bookstores - they're a happy place for me.  Even the smell of new books gets to me.  Which left me with a large amount (let's say 70+ books) that I haven't read.

With that pile to tackle, the perfectly logical next step was to start taking books out of the library.  Don't ask me why....I guess that there were still new books that I wanted to read, but I've realized just how much money I've spent on books in the last decade and wanted to try to curb that habit?

At this point, I always have a pile of books around.  Sometimes I get through one quickly - in a day or two - and other times life gets busy and I may read the same book for two, three, or even four weeks.

These are the ones I have in my living room right now....I'm further along in some than others.

419 by Will Ferguson

This is for a book club that I try my best (but often fail) to keep up with.  I'm about 100 pages in right now, and there are a few points of view that are being woven together.  Most of them are pretty interesting so far, except for one that I'm having a hard time with.  I'm hoping that last point of view/story line picks up quickly.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I've been reading Cassie's blog for awhile now (because it's great), and when she started up an online book club, I knew I was in.  I like taking suggestions on great books, so this was a no brainer.  I haven't started this one yet because I just picked it up from the library, but I have until the end of December, so I'll start it as soon as I'm done 419.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This one is for work.  The first time I read this book was in my first year of university for my Intro to English Lit class.  I had left it until three days before it was due (figuring that I was a quick reader and it wouldn't be a problem).  Reading this book in three days was near torture.  I'm taking my time now and liking it much more the second time around.

Thrive by Dan Buettner

Another one that I just picked up today and haven't started yet.  Last week I went through all of the notes in my iPhone and wrote down all of the books titles that I've jotted down over the past year or two.  This was one of them.  I think I saw him or heard about it on Oprah, but I'm not 100% sure.  Anyways, I looked up the books on the app I have for my local library and they've started to come in now.  I'm saving this one to read over Christmas vacation.

I think those four will take up most of the free time I have in December.

Monday, 10 December 2012

real estate

I'm not good at making major life decisions.

When it comes to them, I am either 100% sure about what I'm doing - as in "don't even bother trying to change my mind" - or I am incapable of deciding.  There is no middle road; I don't make choices that I'm okay with or that I'm pretty sure of.  It's all or nothing.

So when it came to the issue of buying a home and where I'm going to live for the foreseeable future, I didn't have a freaking clue.  

No...that's not entirely true.  There were some aspects that I was very sure of.  I will not live in a house - it's a condo or apartment for this girl.  I know that I will not live in a ground floor suite.  I know that I want to stay as close as possible to the neighbourhood I currently live in.

So in the past month and a half, deciding to buy a home has been a pretty big deal for me.  There were lots of moments where I questioned if I am doing the right thing...lots of times where I felt like I just didn't know enough about real estate or the type of home that I should be looking for, so maybe I should stop this and just find a new apartment to rent for another year or two....lots of moments of "what the hell am I getting myself into?" and second thoughts.

But in the end, something felt right about this.  Something in me kept urging "it's time".  So I listened to my gut this time and put money down on a condo project that is currently being built in my area of the city.  It doesn't get me out of my apartment as soon as possible, which is something I was hoping for.  But it is brand new; I got to choose the flooring, cupboards, layout, and floor that I want to live on; and the time I have to wait for it being built will give me the time to save up additional money for a larger down payment.

I'm trying to temper my excitement at this point.  I won't be moving until late next summer/early fall, so that's a long time and I really don't want to start feeling impatient at any point.  But every morning when I go outside and have to scrape the ice off the windows of my car, I can't help but think to myself "Next winter I won't have to do this".  Right now, that's good enough for me.

And every once and awhile, I do a little bit of a happy dance and sing "I bought myself a condo!!!"

Saturday, 8 December 2012


A couple of months ago, I read a post on Rachel Wilkerson's blog where she mentioned the website Unf#@k Your Habitat.  The title alone peaked my interest and I suddenly lost an hour looking at before and after pictures and reading tips.

Despite her ability to hold my attention, I didn't immediately start following any of the suggestions from the site.  But I did keep checking it...for at least two or three weeks.  Then one day when I was looking around my apartment and observing the near disaster state that had taken over, I thought to myself "I wonder what I can really get done in here in just 20 minutes?"

And then a couple of days later, when I was in the middle of a working-weekend marathon, I started dividing up my time into 45/15 minute segments - work for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break.

These instances started seeping into my everyday life; any time that there was something that I really didn't want to do, but I knew that I should do it, I would tell myself that I only had to say.....clean my bathroom...for 20 minutes, then I could stop.

And - not shockingly - my place started to be much more clean on a regular basis with what felt like very little extra effort on my part.  I dropped my previous practice of letting everything hit a chaotic point and then having an eight hour cleaning frenzy that would inevitably leave me tired and annoyed with myself.

And then I started to take the advice to make my bed each day. takes sixty seconds (if that) to pull the blankets up on the bed properly....why was that ever hard to do in the mornings?

That being said, there are a couple of aspects of the site/habit that I do not take part in.  I don't think that I need the app; I like living in a clean home and that's motivation enough for me now that I have some proof that it doesn't require huge amounts of my time to maintain.  I also don't follow all of her tips to "Unfu@k tomorrow morning", because I don't really want/need to do all of those things and I like my morning routines just fine as is.

But overall, this site has been so very helpful.  Who doesn't have one, or two, or six spots in your home where stuff builds up?  How many people keep putting things off because they don't know where to start or they just don't have the time they think they need to do the job well?

I told my mom about the site a couple of days ago.  Her response?  "I tried to get you make your bed and clean up at the end of each day for years!  How did this woman and her website manage to make you do it now?"

I truly don't know how, but I love it.

Check out Unf!@k Your Habitat

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


It can be hard to remember that change is a good thing.  When you're right in the midst of it, and feelings are hurt and life is unsettled, it's easy to want to go back to the way things were before - whether or not "before" was actually good for you in any way, shape, or form.

Change is hard no matter the context.

Changing your eating habits?  You have to deal with the cravings, and more than likely, increased prep and cooking time (pizza pops don't take nearly as much time as loaded salads or stir frys).

Changing your exercise routine?  Or starting one, period?  Brace yourself for the physical hurts and awkwardness that comes with trying to move your body in ways that it possibly hasn't for years.

Changing your location or your home?  A friend of mine compares buying a home and moving to that of labour, in the sense that it's a stress and trauma that people tend to forget about after the fact when they are just appreciating their new home/baby.  But there's turmoil there before you move in and start to decorate.

Changing relationships?  Ending toxic ones and starting to meet new people?  Again, there will be hurt...possibly withdrawal...and maybe some lonely times for a bit.  But in the end, your life will be full (hopefully) of positive and supportive people.

In the end all of these changes result in good.  Your life becomes more positive.  You move in new directions and have new experiences and grow as a person.

It's just a matter of keeping that in mind as you go through it.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

twilight's end

In the midst of a busy month at work, I took a night off and went with a friend to see the final Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part II.  In an attempt to avoid a huge crowd, we went to a 5 pm show, and managed to avoid a full theatre.

By total fluke, we also ended up in a renovated theatre which meant leather reclining seats, more leg room, and preselected seats.  The screen was floor to ceiling too, although once the movie started, the additional screen size didn't make much difference.

Now, I have not seen all of the Twilight movies.  Fact is, I didn't like reading Eclipse at all, so I skipped that movie.  I'm not a die hard fan, but I was curious as to how the series would end.

And I enjoyed the movie....especially given the fact that I finished the book a couple of years ago and couldn't recall much of the storyline (it obviously wasn't a literary masterpiece).  The makeup and hair people finally made Kristen Stewart look alive (ironic considering she's now a vampire), and given that the movie covered the second half of the novel, the plot moved along at a solid pace.

As for the surprise twist at the end - having forgotten exactly how the saga ended, there were multiple points throughout the movie when my friend and I looked at each other and said "Is that how it happened in the book?", and this twist was no different.  We were a bit confused at first and unsure of what the producers were going for with the ending, but appreciated it after all.

Truth be told, I probably won't watch this movie again for quite some time (if ever) being that I'm not an overly eager Twilight fan, but I'm glad we decided to go see it in theatre...especially given the leather reclining seats.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


"You can't do much about the length of your life, but you can do plenty about its width and depth."

- Evan Esar

Love this.

december first

I woke up at about 6 o'clock this morning.  Normal for a weekday, but not my chosen way to start a Saturday.

When I woke up I started writing, which is also something of a rarity for me.  I love writing, but it's not usually my go-to first thing in the morning.

I started writing down my December intentions.  I started reading Jess Lively's blog earlier this year, and all of her writing about intentions has finally sunk in and stirred something up.

I have too much to finish up in 2012 before I start shifting my focus onto 2013 (as much as I really want to), but December can be more purposeful than the past couple of months have been.  2012 has been racked full of hard realizations and huge changes - some by choice and some by force - and these changes have set up 2013 to be quite different than this year....hopefully for the good.

I set intentions for December that deal with my physical and mental well-being, as well as a couple of other aspects of life that I have been neglecting.  Some of these are habits that I have simply fallen out of (like regular stretching, which does wonders when you have back issues), so I'm not talking about dozens of drastic changes.  I'm not trying to set myself up for failure here.

Just a strong ending to a tough year.