Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Weekend in Pictures

My camera got a goooooooood workout this past weekend!  Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook may have already seen these, but I just wanted to share in a Blog post as well.  I had a lot of fun practicing and playing with edits… It helps when there are so many cute subjects around!! ;)

August Weekend 2015.1 I went to the ball field Friday evening where the Quyon Flyers ladies team was playing in their finals, determined to get my “photo of the day” for my Project 365.  The ball pictures weren’t possible due to my flash, unfortunately, so I scrambled trying to find something else to take a picture of.  Suddenly, I saw St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the distance, with its steeple beautifully lit up (I think this is new?  If it isn’t, I’d never noticed it before.)  Capturing the beauty of it proved to be a challenge.  Brenda and I played with many different settings, but nothing was working the way I wanted it to. I need a LOT more practice and tips if I hope to become an accomplished night-time photographer!  This didn’t come across at all as lovely as it was in person, but I did like the way the clouds showed up as blue in behind it, and I tried cropping out the fence but preferred the look of it in.

I had mentioned to my friend Caryl several weeks ago how hard it was to find something new to photograph each day for Project 365, and she immediately invited me to her daughter Abby’s birthday party so that I would have some “subject matter” for that day.  It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon with yummy snacks and relaxing around her parents’ pool…and of course, taking 8 billion pictures!!

August Weekend 2015.2 

Happy 3rd Birthday Abby!!

August Weekend 2015.3 Big Sister Leah jumping in the pool  (“Watch me, Jill!  Watch me!”)

August Weekend 2015.4 Lovin’ the goggles!!

August Weekend 2015.5 Cameron on a tricycle

August Weekend 2015.6Great-Grandma Jean with the birthday girl

August Weekend 2015.7 Abby loved posing for the camera :)

On Sunday afternoon, we had a family gathering at my aunt & uncle’s place on the Ottawa River, as we had relatives visiting from out of town.  We had a blast catching up with one another, playing in the water, enjoyed a delicious meal, and when my mom said the next morning, “I just want to do it all over again”, I couldn’t have agreed more!!

August Weekend 2015.8

My niece Neve on the beach :)

August Weekend 2015.9 Little cousin Dillon

August Weekend 2015.10 A cousin photo – Kara, Erin, me, Paula, David & Luke

August Weekend 2015.11  Neve playing in the water

August Weekend 2015.13 The Next Generation!  There are 9 little cousins now, the same number of cousins that I grew up with on this side of the family!  Caden holding Noah, Danica holding Madison, Dillon, Ryla holding Brody, Neve (holding a doll lol), and Grace :)

August Weekend 2015.14 My niece Danica

August Weekend 2015.15 My SIL Amanda snapped this one of me chilling with the little girls in the water.

August Weekend 2015.16 Love these monkeys – Caden, Danica & Neve

August Weekend 2015.17 Silly siblings!  I think we all had a turn wearing Ryla’s “faux pigtails” lol

August Weekend 2015.18 Handsome boy :)

August Weekend 2015.19 The newest member of our family tree – Baby Brody

August Weekend 2015.20 This is one of my fave pics of the day… Noah getting lots of love from Grandma and Great-Aunt Marion

August Weekend 2015.21 My nephew Noah

August Weekend 2015.22 Maddie’s turn with the pigtails! hee hee!!

August Weekend 2015.23 Sweet little Grace playing on the beach

August Weekend 2015.24 Beautiful Danica :)

August Weekend 2015.25 I giggle when I look at this pic – Grace was getting her dress wet, so I stripped her down, then she insisted I put her sweater back on her… so cute!!

August Weekend 2015.26 Proudly displaying his Sens pride, despite the chiding from the Leaf fans!!

August Weekend 2015.27 

August Weekend 2015.28 Brudders… Chris & Luke

August Weekend 2015.29 Mom with Noah

August Weekend 2015.30 Uncle Elson hanging out with Noah

August Weekend 2015.31 Neve & Ryla’s Beauty Salon – Uncle Paul seemed to be relaxing and enjoying! haha!

I haven’t had my camera a whole month yet, so there’s still a lot of practicing and learning to do, but after this past weekend, I’ve decided my favourite subjects are adorable little kids.  I’m so lucky to be surrounded by them, and have so many cuties in my life!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The 20 Question Game

My intention for today’s post was to share some pics from the weekend – it was such a fun, relaxing, perfect summer weekend! – but I haven’t had a chance yet to upload.  Boooo-urns. :(

Thankfully, my pal Stacy posted this 20 Question Game this morning on her blog, and it inspired me to play along!

1. Favorite food:

I love food.  Lots of different kinds of food.  Usually bad-for-you-food.  But my all-time favourite has to be homemade spaghetti with meat sauce.  Toss in some stinky cheese, garlic bread and caesar salad, and I’m in heaven.  mmmmmmm….

spaghetti with meat sauce4

2. Flip flops or high heels:

Oh, I’m definitely a flip-flop kind of girl.  I hardly even own any heels, and when I DO have to wear them (ie, a wedding), I ditch them for the flips as soon as I can.

3. Favorite places to shop for yourself:

Old Navy.  Walmart.  Even Giant Tiger… I’m a simple kind of girl.  The cheaper the better! ;)

4. Standard Coffee order:

I take my coffee with just a little bit of milk in it.  Unless I’m at Starbucks (rare), in which case I go for a very giant, creamy, sugary, whip-cream-topped concoction of some sort!  (I’m dying for Pumpkin Spice Latte time to get here!)

starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte

5. Road trip must have snack:

Haven’t been on any road trips lately… but car snacks make me think of Car Rally, we always have plenty of snacks with us on that day!  Chips, Trail Mix, candy… I love Car Rally snacks!!

6. DIY or hire it out?

Like Stacy, I’d like to think I’m a DIY’er, but in reality, I have very little patience for crafting and doing things myself.  When I tackle a project, I usually end up wishing I’d hired it out.

7. Top 5 TV shows:

Oh this is a little bit tough!  All-time, I’m going to have to go with:  Friends, Prison Break, Grey’s Anatomy, Friday Night Lights, and The Big Bang Theory.

friends-tv-show

8. Favorite Book:

It’s tough to pick one favourite book… But I think I have to go with the Twilight series, as silly as that might sound.  I was very caught up in the world of vampires and werewolves for a long time, and I don’t ever remember flying through a series as fast as I did with those Stephenie Meyers books.

9. Favorite Form of Exercising:

Whatever form of exercise it is, it has to be FUN & FAST!  The most success I’ve had is with Beachbody programs - TurboFire, Les Mills Combat, 21 Day Fix, and Hip Hops Abs are all programs I’ve really enjoyed.  I’m excited to try out Shaun T’s new one, CIZE.  I’m also a big fan of Zumba, Yoga, swimming, and nice long walks.

Cize-by-Beachbody

10. How tall are you?

5’5” I do believe

11. Do you try something new at restaurants or stick to your favorites?

Sometimes I get adventurous and try something different (like on my 30th birthday, when I suddenly had this random impulse to try Fish & Chips for the first time) – but usually, my dinners out are few and far between, and I end up going with tried & true favourites.  Like at Montana’s, for instance (my favourite place to eat) – when it’s been months since I was last there, I don’t want to risk something new when I KNOW how much I love the Antojitos and Chicken Tacos… if I choose something that pales in comparison, I don’t know when I’ll get back there again to make up for it. lol!  There’s nothing worse than a restaurant disappointment!

montanas_cookhouse_canada_free_appetizer_2

12. One make up item you can't live without:

I guess my foundation.  I wear very little make-up – usually just foundation, powder and blush – eye shadow and mascara if it’s a special occasion.  The foundation covers up the flaws, so I guess I’d never go without it!

13. What's on your nightstand?

On the right side of the bed – my alarm clock & a lamp.  On the left side of the bed (my side) – a lamp, a small stack of books, my Scentsy warmer, the remote for the TV, a tube of foot moisturizer.

14. What's one thing motherhood has taught you?

Ummmm… I’m not a mother! :(

15. Music that reminds you of high school:

Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Third Eye Blind, Better Than Ezra, I Mother Earth… lots of different bands and music! I’ve always loved music, but high school was when I really started exploring, trying out different genres, and building the foundation for what my musical tastes are now.  There are certain songs that I hear that can take me right back – to Youth Group dances, Video Dances, hanging out with friends, listening to my disc man on the bus… anything from the mid-late ‘90’s just screams HIGH SCHOOL!!!

90s music

16. If you could live anywhere in the world besides your current city where would you live?

Honestly?  I don’t want to live anywhere else.  I’m a total homebody, I love my small town, and I can’t imagine living any where else.  In fact, in gives me extreme anxiety even thinking about moving elsewhere.  I’ll stay put, thanks!

17. Tell us something about you we might not know:

I have a new celebrity crush.  After re-watching the movie “Something Borrowed” on Saturday night, I was reminded of how hot the guy who plays Dex is.  I googled him – his name is Colin Egglesfield, and there’s little else I can find him acting in other than past TV series… so it will likely be a short-lived crush.  But I’m seriously contemplating watching the movie again soon just to get a fix.  He was like my dream man in that movie!!

colin egglesfield

18. Websites you read/browse (besides blogs):

I don’t have a whole lot, other than blogs, really.  I usually check People.com every day… Facebook… I’ve gotten back into Pinterest again lately.

19. Morning person or Night owl?

I’m not really either- LOL!  I’m getting better about getting up in the morning since I’ve started forcing myself to get up earlier to work out, but I’m still pretty cranky for the first hour or so that I’m up.  I used to be a Nigh Owl, but I’m not anymore.  I need my sleep; staying up all night isn’t fun for me anymore.  That also makes me cranky.  I guess I’m just a “daytime” person haha!

20. Favorite Breakfast meal:

I hate eating first thing in the morning.  Breakfast has always been an issue for me.  I loathe cereal.  If I can wait for a more “brunch” style, I love those kinds of breakfast foods – eggs in any form (over-easy, scrambled, omelettes, Eggs Benedict), bacon, sausage, homefries, toast, pancakes, French toast, waffles… I like it all!  Just not first thing in the morning. lol  Of course, those big breakfast-brunches only happen on rare special occasions.  At home, I like toast with peanut butter, or a soft-boiled egg with toast, or fruit with yogurt.

Breakfast!


Join the fun!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My weird night-time wanderings.

I’m a bit of a sleep-walker.

It’s been a mild issue for me for as long as I can remember.  I’m not an “extreme” sleep-walker, by any means – I can go months, even YEARS, without any major night-time wanderings or incidents happening, but when they DO happen, they always end up baffling me.

Where the mind goes and what the mind does when one is asleep is kind of frightening.  Even when it’s just silly little things.

My family has stories of my late-night escapades from when I was younger – talking in my sleep (though I STILL don’t believe my siblings when they say I woke them one night calling out for hamburgers and hot dogs… it’s just too easy to pick on the fat sister, isn’t it??); getting up one night flanked in my comforter to “fix the TV for the kids” while my parents were still up watching TV… funny little stories like that.

Oh!  I won the Junior Public Speaking contest at my high school when I was in Grade 7 with a speech on nightmares, which I started off by telling one of my freakier night terror episodes.  In my dream, I was in a swamp with my neighbours and their baby girl (who is now grown up and has her own baby girl, which strikes me as freakier than this old dream now lol), and there was a giant snake in the swamp that we were all trying to stay away from.  But the snake suddenly lunged at the baby and I jumped in between them, and the snake ended up biting my hand.  When I woke, up, I could still feel the “snake” biting me… it turned out, my right hand was clamped down on my left hand, nails digging in so hard they almost drew blood.

When I had roommates in my current house, my friend Sue was in the room across the hall from me, and I ended up disturbing her one night, unbeknownst to me.  She said she woke up to see me walking around in her room, trying to open her closet.  Then I attempted to climb into her bed.  Realizing I was sleep-walking, and that it’s bad to wake a sleep-walker, she simply rolled over to make room for me, but she said I only stayed for a minute before I got up and left again.

After she told me this story – I was impressed with how she handled it, I think I would have screamed! – it bothered me.  I didn’t want my roomies to be worried that I was going to barge in on them in the middle of the night like that!  The following night, I closed my bedroom door, and put my big jar that I throw loose change into in front of the door in the hopes that it would “keep me in”.

The following day, the roomies had no sleep-walking tales to report, thank God – but I had definitely been up wandering, because the change jar was now in the middle of my room, and the soap dispenser from the bathroom was on my dresser.  dun dun dunnnnnnn….

Aside from little night-time things happening (I sometimes wake up convinced my bed is breaking and I have to jump out, or I often wake up because I have spiders in my room and I chase them), the only other major incident that has occured since then was the night I summer-saulted out of bed.

That one was definitely the scariest for me.  By far.  And I still say a little prayer every night before going to sleep:  “Please, Lord, don’t let me fall out of bed tonight.”

Last night was the first time I’ve had an “incident” since that one, and thankfully, it was more funny than scary!

I’m not sure what time it was, but I awoke feeling very hot, and pissed off that I had to share my bed.  Yes, someone was in my bed.  You would think that would scare me, but no, I was just annoyed and figured I’d better move to give this person more room.  So I moved to the spare room.  And spent the night sleeping in my old bed which is not as comfortable, and in a room with no fans or anything, and a pillow that left me with a crick in my neck.  I woke to the sound of my alarm going off across the hall at 5:40 this morning.

And even then, my first thought was that my alarm was going to waken whoever was sleeping in my bed.

Seriously.

It honestly took me a minute or two to realize that there was nobody in my bed.  And what the hell… I just spent an entire night tossing and turning in my old bed in a hot, stuffy room with an uncomfortable pillow for NO FRIGGIN REASON?!  Sonofa…

When I crossed the hall back into my room, I glanced at the bed, and saw my big stuffed dog Zwillian that I sleep with lying right where the “someone” had been sleeping.

So yeah.  I spent the night sleeping in the spare room in my old bed in less-than-comfortable circumstances because of Zwillian.

Lord love a duck.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday Randomness

Happy hot & steamy Tuesday, pals! 

How about some Tuesday randoms…it’s too hot for anything else! ;)

  • I say it’s too hot for anything else, but that’s a lie.  I’m freezing right now.  Heat advisory in effect outside, so that means the office AC is jacked way outta control.  Absolutely frigid.  brrrrr.
  • Sarah & Ian got married on Saturday!!  It was a wonderful day… Really, just a perfect day all around.  Sarah had worked really hard, and all of the little details she put into making their day special weren’t lost on me.  I enjoyed every moment, and was honoured to be standing beside her on the day she married her best friend!
  • I didn’t want to be toting around my camera all day, so aside from a few snaps that I took of us getting ready in the morning, the only pictures I’ve seen are the photographer’s sneak peeks (AMAZING!!) and the photo booth pictures (HILARIOUS!!)… now I’m dying to see the rest of the photographer’s shots, and regretting not using my own camera more during the day.  I should have had it with me instead of leaving it in the back of the car!  Frig!!

Sarah & Ian Wedding Photo credit to the fabulous Cindy Lottes Photography

Photo Booth Photo booth fun courtesy of Funtastic Photo Booth

  • Lesson learned – I won’t make that mistake the day of Sue & Adam’s wedding!!
  • Remember how excited I was for fall?  Talking about scary movies and thinking about scarves and boots and making chili?  Well, nothing kills the “fall buzz” more than a heat wave.  I’m no longer dreaming about cozy sweaters and pots of soup.  It’s back to the good ol’ BLT’s and ice cream and anything that does not require turning on the stove!
  • Last night I made a plate of nachos in the microwave.  I hadn’t done that in a really long time, and man, it was good.  If I hadn’t used up the last of my nacho chips and cheese, I’d be having it for supper again tonight.
  • I have this little dream in my head these days… I really want to be one of those artsy fartsy people who just “be creative” all the time.  I want to be a photographer and a writer and an artist – and do it on my own terms.  Free-lance, I guess you call that?  I mean, writing has always been the main dream, but I never feel like I have time to make any headway when it comes to writing a novel.  If all I had to do was wake up in the morning and be creative, then maybe I’d get something done!  And now that I have the camera, I want to maximize that potential as well. I’m just not sure how such artsy fartsy people pay the bills… Until I figure that part out, I guess it will just have to remain a dream.
  • That being said, I want to spend my year of “sabbatical” dedicating more time to hobbies – to doing things that I love, like writing, and taking pictures, playing guitar, and maybe finally dabbing in painting, which is something I’ve always thought I could be good at.  I’ve been saying for months now that once this summer was over, I wanted to take a year to do what I enjoy most and be good to myself, and I think one way to do that is to spend more quality time developing my hobbies.
  • Another project that I want to focus on in the coming year:  somehow getting Netflix into my life.  I still do not have Internet in my home (I know…Stone Ages) – I’ve always just made do by using it at work and at my Mom’s – but I really want Netflix, and in order to get Netflix, I need to get Internet.  I feel like I’m missing out on so many movies and TV shows simply because I don’t have a cheap way of watching them.  Movies and TV are a big part of my life… I NEED  a better way of accessing them!!!

Well, I think that’s it for today, folks!  Hope you’re all staying cool (because I sure as hell am! haha!)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thinking WAY ahead…

I’ve been trying to keep a lid on my “I’m SO excited for FALL” enthusiasm of late, but it’s hard.  There’s still lots of summer left to live – Sarah’s wedding, family visits, BBQ’s, bonfires, bachelorette fun -  and I’m all for making awesome summer memories in the days and weeks ahead.  Still, I am finding it increasingly difficult to rein in my thoughts that continually drift…

…to pumpkin spice everything….to sweaters and scarves and boots…to Thanksgiving dinner…to pots of soup & chili…to crisp walks with leaves crunching beneath my feet…to Car Rally…to Caden’s birthday…

And, inevitably, to Scary Movie Marathon.

It’s true.  Scary Movie Marathon has become a massive highlight on my calendar; a tradition that my friend Lindsay and I started that I spend all year “preparing” for.

I’m not even joking.  I’ve already bought 2 movies this year that are sitting in their wrappers on the shelf in my living room, just waiting to be opened on Scary Movie Marathon Day.  (whenever that might be… I haven’t planned THAT far ahead yet. haha!)

I’ve been thinking about what movies I’d like to watch, what snacks I’d like to eat, what weekend it could possibly all go down… essentially, I’ve already given WAY too much thought to a silly little ol’ movie marathon.

Part of the fun for me is picking out movies I’ve already seen and liked from back in my “scary movie lovin’ days” that Lindsay has never seen.  I like sitting back, knowing what’s going to happen, and watching her reactions. LOL

Here are the movies I’ve been thinking of and collecting for this year’s Scary Movie Marathon:

Jaws

jaws

This is actually one I have never seen, believe it or not!  When I google “the best scary movies of all time”, Jaws seems to appear in the Top 5 of almost every list.  Often it’s ranked #1.  It has had people scared to dip their toes in the ocean for decades, and spawned a universal fear of sharks which the experts say is unwarranted (but after watching video of that surfer getting attacked by one on at a competition a few weeks ago, I’m not so sure about that!)  The best part about Jaws is that my brother-in-law has already told me we probably won’t find it that scary, since the effects and all are so dated now.  And we all know that I don’t really even like scary movies, so if I’m still able to sleep – and swim – after watching it, I’ll be a happy camper.

The Silence of the Lambs

the silence of the lambs

Nothin’ creepier than infamous cannibal Hannibal Lecter, am I right?!  Yes, I’ve seen this one before.  More than once.  But it’s been a long time, and there’s a lot I have forgotten about this movie.  So I’m hoping it makes the cut for the Scary Movie Marathon final list.

Pet Sematary

pet sematary

This is one that I don’t actually own – yet – but I’m hoping to procure it in the next few months so that I’ll have it to watch in the weeks leading up to Halloween.  I read this Stephen King classic in high school, and then recorded the movie on VHS, and I remember loving it.  Another one that I haven’t seen in years, but I’m looking forward to revisiting it.  I always thought the premise for the story was clever and unique – sometimes dead is better – and the horror it can derive is down-right spine-tingling.

Urban Legend

urban legend 1

This one is a throw-back to my high school days.  It’s not as old as the others, but kind of crazy to think that it’s already almost 20 years since it came out!  I remember watching it with my friends at a sleepover at my friend Hollie’s (my friend Erin ended up very mad at us that night, as I recall! LOL) – it was always one of my favourites of the teen slasher flicks that were so popular when I was a teen.  I’m sure that had nothing to do with a young, dreamy, blue-eyed Jared Leto… not at all…

Okay.  So… now I’m going to sit back and wait for Lindsay to shout across the office. “JILLIAN.  IT IS AUGUST.  YOU ARE CRAZY.  AND NO I AM NOT WATCHING ANY OF THOSE MOVIES!!!!”

She’s such a wuss. ;)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What I’m Loving Wednesday

  • Well, I’m loving that it’s finally Wednesday, for one thing!  Why is that when you’re most excited for the weekend, the week drags by extra-slowly? I spent most of yesterday full believing it was Wednesday, before Lindsay finally broke it to me that it was only Tuesday.  ugh!
  • I’m loving that my bridesmaid’s dress for Sarah’s wedding fits!  Well, relieved is more like it. haha!  I think my pre-dress-try-on panic last night was probably not necessary – the dress has fit every other time I’ve tried it on, and we took them in for alterations only 3 weeks ago, seriously, dude, how much weight can you gain in 3 weeks?  But I was panicking nonetheless.  I’m so far off the healthy eating track these days that I don’t even really remember what the “right” track feels like anymore!!  yikes!!
  • I’m loving looking back at pictures from last weekend – a wonderful weekend from beginning to end, with plenty to celebrate!

Sue's Shower 1 Sue & her bridesmaids at her shower on Saturday

Sue's Shower 2  Miss Charlotte

Sue's Shower 4 Little girls helping to open gifts

Sue's Shower 5 Auntie Stace & Rylie

Sue's Shower 6 The beautiful shower bonnet!

Sue's Shower 3

Super Sue!!!

Sue's Shower 7

Giving Gordon Ramsay some lovin’

Kids Aug 2015 Danica & Caden at my place for a sleepover Saturday night

Ariella's b-day 2015 2 Ariella’s 1st Birthday Party on Sunday

Ariella's b-day 2015 3 “my kids” – Brittany & Cowan :)

Ariella's b-day 2015 4

Here comes the cake!!

Ariella's b-day 2015 Ariella with her great-aunt Judy

Ariella's b-day 2015 5  Nothin’ like a little chocolate up the nose!!!

  • Speaking of pictures… I’m loving that I finally “launched” my Project 365 yesterday (which I started on August 1st).  I finally decided to go with a Facebook album for sharing them,  and the feedback thus far has been awesome.  I have this complex about photo-taking – I feel like I’m being totally annoying and everyone hates the photographer – so it was nice to have people comment with encouragement on my Facebook post.  It was appreciated!

Project 365 Day 2 Day 2

Project 365 Day 3 Day 3

Project 365 Day 6 Day 6

Project 365 Day 9 Day 9

  • Anyone remember the time I was hit with a Philadelphia Smoked Salmon cream cheese spread & Vinta cracker craving?  I’ve been hit with another one these past few weeks.  It has gone unfulfilled thus far , but I just loving the thoughts of it! so weird, but so mmmm…

philly smoked salmon spread

  • I’m loving the thoughts of pumpkin spice everything… I know that some people find “pumpkin spice season” annoying, but I’m not one of those people.  This morning while I was working out, I was thinking off all the baked goods I want to try this coming fall with pumpkin.  I know… super awesome thing to be thinking about while working out, eh? haha!

pumpkin spice everything

  • I’m totally in LOVE with the news that FOX has announced a re-boot of Prison Break!!!  Apparently both Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell have signed on to return in their roles as brothers Michael Scoffield and Lincoln Burrows, and I could NOT be more excited!!!

prison break brothers

  • I’m loving that Sarah & Ian’s wedding day is almost here!  I’m so looking forward to Saturday and being part of their special day!!  Can’t wait!!

What are you loving this Wednesday?!