A Beautiful Sight, We’re Happy Tonight (Walking in a Winter Wonderland)

ONE //  I had hockey practice Friday night, and I ended up coaching, which was kind of stressful and fun at the same time.But it wasn’t as much exercise as I had hoped for.

TWO //  Saturday I decided to get in the winter spirit and wear some plaid out shopping.

THREE //  Got a little crafty Saturday night. I saw these mugs, and had to recreate my own version. They turned out quite well. A friend may or may not be getting them for Christmas.

FOUR //  Woke up to this terrible sight on Sunday morning afternoon.

FIVE //  Had to get all dressed up to tackle that snow. And yes I do own the jacket that matches those bright orange pants. What can I say, I was 22, feeling a bit wild, and wanted to make sure I didn’t get lost snowboarding down the mountain.

SIX //  Don’t let that pretty white stuff fool you. It is a nuisance. It may look light an magical, but believe me its a lot of work to shovel, especially when you have a five car driveway to keep clear. So I did what any mature adult would do, I laid in the snowbank and took a break.

SEVEN //  And then I warmed up with hot chocolate and marshmallows, le duh.

EIGHT // For some odd reason I was in the mood to clean, perhaps its because I can’t put out my Christmas decorations until the house work is done. And I made my bed for the first time in like a month, sorry Mom. And then I tossed on a red pillow to add a little holiday flair.

NINE //  I couldn’t help but break my own December 1st decorating rule. I had to put up at least one decoration because the winter wonderland outside put me in the Christmas mood.

What kind of shenanigans did you get into this weekend? Link-up with Sami and share!

Sami's Shenanigans

Kathryn’s Getting Fit With Venus

And I’m a Pepsiaholic.

I’m also a foodaholic and a couchaholic, which is probably why I’ve gone from being a fit girl who was one of the only girls from my high school graduating class who didn’t get “chunky” to getting too close for comfort to 140 lbs.

I’ve gained close to 15 lbs in the last year, and that is seriously unacceptable. I mean, I’ve got a closet full of jeans, and only two pairs fit. And well, with Christmas coming up, I can’t afford to be spending money on new pants, not that my ever expanding ass is a fun reason to go shopping.

So, they only logical, and healthy, option is to get off the couch and join Sarah in her endeavors to get back in shape. I set a goal of getting back to 130 by the end of November, but because I wasted so much of the month doing absolutely nothing to make that happen, its unlikely I will reach that goal. But as I said, its never too late to start, so I’m setting a new goal.

I’m weighing in today at 137.6 lbs so it might seem like a lofty goal, but if I’m committed to it, I know I can do it.

Especially because I’m extremely motivated.

– I refuse to be the girl who, at Christmastime, everyone notices put on weight.

– I want my ex-boyfriend to come home at Christmas, see me and just be like “DAMN!”

– I want to look fantastic in my bridesmaid dress on December 21st.

– I want my jeans and tops to fit again. I need more outfit options.

– I want to look in the mirror and not hate the reflection.

– I want to try on clothes and not feel gross.

And just in case you’re interested in following my progress, check back here Sundays, or follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

Sometimes Reality Is Better

Have you ever went to bed, snuggled in under the covers, and settled in for a long peaceful rest, only to end up dreaming about something that shook you to your core? That made you stressed while you were dreaming, and left you with an unshakable feeling the next morning?

I’ve had nightmares before, the being naked in public dreams, even the naughty dreams (don’t judge). Honestly, most mornings I don’t even remember my dreams. And rarely do I dream about something that feels so real that I can’t rid myself of it the next day.

Last night was one of those nights. My dream started out kind of wonderful, my family was planning a vacation to somewhere warm, it was going to be our first vacation together in more than 10 years and I was sooo excited. When we were done planning I went out with my friends for the evening, but when I came home I found my mom really upset, my dad had packed a bag and moved out. I remember feeling very confused because we had just all been so happy making plans together. The rest of the dream was spent being super angry at my dad for tearing our family apart, avoiding and refusing to talk to me, and wishing that he would come home.

When I woke up, there had been no resolution in my dream, it felt unfinished, like I had turned the tv off too soon, or that there would be a sequel. And today my chest feels heavy, like at any moment I will break down and cry about something that never happened.

I know that so many people come from families who have separated. That it isn’t the end of the world, and it isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen. But for me, my family falling apart is probably my worst nightmare. And I have no idea why I dreamt about it because my family seems pretty happy.

I’m too shaken to listen to any song today that’s remotely slow or sad. So I’ll be listening to my new fav song on repeat all day.

Winter “Wonderland”

I live in what apparently is the snow capital of Canada. Yesterday when I went to work we had zero flakes of the evil white stuff on the ground, but by this morning there was far too much of it lying around.

People, I am a morning person. There is nothing I hate more than getting up early, except for getting up early to shovel snow. This season has come far too fast as I was praying for at least another two weeks of “sleeping in.” And of course this would happen now, cause I sold my old snowblower since my dad bought me a new one (yes, I’m spoiled) but he hasn’t had a chance to bring it to me yet.

There are only two perks to shoveling snow:

One. Shoveling is exercise and definitely helps towards “Operation Not Be Chunky for Christmas” which I’ll be talking all about on Sunday for Sarah’s link-up.

Two. I get to rock my favorite winter hat. Hey, we gotta find the positive in things right??

Has winter struck your town yet??

The #Goalvember Fail

You may or may not remember this post where I nicknamed this month Goalvember, because I was gonna be a really good girl, be super productive,start living a better lifestyle and set some goals for myself.
These goals to be exact. 
I’m sad to report that I have failed terribly at every single one so far.
I’ve been a little bit late (5 mins or less), but late nonetheless, almost every day. I blame my cozy bed, my unruly hair, and the slippery roads.
Zero exercise has been accomplished, or attempted for that matter.
No money has been saved, I had really good intentions for this one. But my car needed new brakes and an oil change last week, so $350 went towards that. And lets be honest, safety comes before savings.
Welp. The thing is, if I don’t exercise, this one just isn’t going to happen. They kinda go hand in hand.
I’ve ate out at least three times, probably more. But I do remember at least two trips to Subway, and one to Tim Horton’s. And I’m not even counting my 3 trips to Starbucks for yummy Caramel Macchiatos.
The moral of the story is this, I’m failing thus far, but its not too late to turn it around. There’s still two weeks left to this month, and I can at least try to meet my goals during that time. 
Moving on. I had a fantastic weekend.
Hockey Friday night was great and exhausting. And I guess I kind of lied about the zero exercise thing, but there was zero exercise outside of hockey. Anywho, after hockey I vegetated, just me, my couch, and a few episodes of The O.C. 
Saturday I took my cousin, aka The Little Sister, to Target for a Girls Day Out. Which was really just my sneaky way of taking her shopping to find out what she wants for Christmas. Which was basically a fail, because while she found a ton of nice clothes that she liked, she could care less if she ever owns any of it. 
But even so, we had a really nice day together. Which to be honest was a bit unexpected, because we argue a lot when it comes to clothes. She lives in black leggings, and tops that hang off her shoulders, and a myriad of other terrible articles of clothing that “Big Sis” has deemed unflattering for her body type, or inappropriate for a 10 year old. And the child is stubborn, and usually says no to everything I suggest, on principle, not because she doesn’t like it. But to both of our surprise, we found quite a few items we both agreed on, like the adorable hat and pleather jacket above. Isn’t she cute? And can you believe she’s only 10? 
I also successfully created a Starbucks addict. But don’t worry people, Little Miss wasn’t given coffee or espresso. She stuck strictly to the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Of course I had a sip or two, because I had to make sure it wasn’t too hot, safety first people. It tastes just like After Eight mints. Which is a good and a bad thing I suppose. Its certainly yummy, but I think it would make my tummy hurt if I drank too much, its just a little bit too sweet, just like me.

I love designer bags, just not the ones that hang out under my eyes.

Side note: I love Target so far, and I love Starbucks. But I have a bone to pick with them right now. Multiple bones actually. 
Bone One
You know that lovely BOGO campaign everyone is talking about, welp, thats not offered at the Starbucks in the Target store here. Which really kind of rots me. I mean, if Starbucks is offering a promotion, it should be chain-wide. I should not be showing up at my local store only to find that it is exempt from such wonderful deals. 
Bone Two
Starbucks has points cards, kind of. Basically, you buy reloadable cards, put money on the account, and when you use the card to buy drinks, you get points towards free drinks. Not exactly a new concept, but one I appreciate none the less, because I’m probably gonna drink two or three times my body weight in Starbucks in the next 365 days. The problem is that the Starbucks in my local Target does not accept Starbucks gift cards, or the reloadable cards, or the app that acts as an digital card. Which means folks, that I get zero points for any of the Starbucks I purchase in my city. Which I think is effing ridiculous. 
And the moral of this story, because I’m in to morals today, is that All Starbucks Should Be Created Equal.
Saturday night a bunch of us got together at my friend Kelly’s house for a few drinks and to watch UFC. Basically the same thing everyone did Saturday night. I was DD because I really just didn’t feel like drinking and then having to pay to take a cab home, working on the saving of money for Goal #3. Even with the being sober, it was a really good time. It always is with these people. 99% of the time, the guitars come out to play and the guys start singing a bunch of songs they’ve parodied. Which ends up with me falling on the floor laughing, tears streaming down my face.
And Sunday I had a lazy brunch with the fam jam for my Aunt’s birthday, and then I spent the rest of the day with Ryan Atwood and the rest of the O.C. crew. Which in my books is a perfect day.

Losing My Virginity

I’ve been wanting to visit a Target for quite a while now. In fact I totally planned on going to one on my trip to Maine last year, but we didn’t manage our time very well and weren’t able to squeeze it in. I was pretty bummed out. Needless to say, I’ve been really looking forward to the roll out of the stores in Canada. And yesterday it FINALLY opened in my city. And I went there straight after work of course.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect. A few of my family members visited stores in the good ol’ US of A and said they weren’t impressed and that it was nothing special. But so many people in Blogland seem to love it. I’m so sick of shopping at Wallyworld all of the time, that I had my fingers and toes crossed that my family was wrong, and all of the wonderful ladies I follow on Bloglovin’ were right.

The verdict: It was fantabulous!

I loved it. Really truly did. It was bright, and airy, and just really really pretty compared to Walmart. I’m a sucker for wide aisles, good lighting, and clean sight lines, and this store had all of it. I was in heaven as soon as I walked in, and that was before I laid my eyes on my favoritist place ever….Starbucks! Two awesome additions to my city on one day, color me happy.

Let’s talk clothes. The ladies department was a wee bit smaller than I would have hoped, but they packed in a really solid selection. The prices seemed to be pretty decent and the quality seemed good as well. I found a lot of things I really liked. There were so many pieces that were just the perfect mixture of stylish and professional. I took a few pics to share with you, but mostly so I could send my mom a few ideas of what Santa could bring me for Christmas.

If Starbucks and the clothing department weren’t enough to make this little shopaholic’s heart swell with glee, then it nearly burst out of my chest when I discovered the home decor. Unbelievable selection. So many pretty things, and such amazing prices. It had my bank account running scared.

This pretty baby is going to be a prop in my friend Debrah’s wedding pictures.

While I found so many things I wanted right then and there, I was able to keep myself under control, and managed to walk out the store only $60 poorer. With a Christmas gift and prop for Debrah’s wedding picture. Successful evening for sure!

The only downside was that I couldn’t find a shoe department. And that isn’t cool at all.

But don’t worry Target, I’ll be back, very very soon.

I’ve Got You and Paris on My Mind: Part Three

I’ve been a slacker, plain and simple. I had grand plans of linking up with Katie for Some Things I’m Loving on Saturday, and I had grander plans of writing a Paris update for yesterday, and well clearly I didn’t do either, cause I was super lazy and spent a majority of the weekend curled up on my parents couch watching The O.C..

Of course I did manage to summon the energy to get off the couch once or twice. Saturday night I had drinks with a few friends and then went to a bar for a little while. I didn’t stay out too late, 4 am is early right? And Sunday evening, after another long day on the couch, I went to supper with my friend Debrah to discuss wedding things, because, well I love to share my opinion on things, and wedding talk is fun.

Not the most eventful weekend, but an enjoyable one.

And because I’m a firm believer in the whole better late than never thing, here’s the post I ended to have written for yesterday.

On our fourth full day in Paris, Shelley, Jennifer and I decided to take a train out of the city to visit the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial which is dedicated to the commemoration of Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed during World War I. Its preserved battlefield park that encompasses the grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their unsuccessful attack on 1 July 1916 during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Our day started really really early, at about 5:30 am. We had to take the Metro to Gard de Nord, so that we could find a train heading in the direction we wanted to go.

Let me just say, that if you think three hours is a lot of time to allow to get up, get dressed and take the Metro half way across the city, then you might be right, if you weren’t going to Gard de Nord. Its one of the biggest Metro stations we visited, and doubles as a train station for SNCF. And while most of the Metro stations we passed through were very well signed, this one was not. It took us quite a while to get from our Metro stop to the ticket booth for the train, because we couldn’t find it. And even though we allowed three hours, we basically got there just in time to buy our tickets and hop on the train.

Its so cool to watch the numbers on the sign roll over.

I was so tired on the train ride that I napped most of the way to Amiens. Also, I don’t get motion sickness often, but I think if anything could induce it, it would be staring out the window of a train, so its probably a good thing that I slept instead of enjoying the view.

We had an hour and a half layover in Amiens before our train left for Albert, so we decided to see a little bit of the town and grab a coffee at a local boulangerie while we waited. We didn’t get to see much, but the little bit that we did see was very pretty. And if you ever go to France, and have a stopover here, I really suggest you wander the streets around the train station.

My cute little chocolat.

When we finally made it to Albert, it was freezing and pouring rain. We were soaked less than 10 minutes after we got off the train. And then we came to a less than wonderful realization, it was Sunday, and everything was closed. We need to catch a cab, and had zero idea of how we were going to find one. Luckily, the owner of a bar across the street from the station saw us on the corner and offered to call us a cab (but he didn’t let us inside to stay warm, how rude). We had quite a nice cab driver, even though he did drive a wee bit too fast on the windy roads to suit us, and he made sure to give us his number so that we could call him for a ride back to town to catch our return train.

By the time we made it to Beaumont-Hamel, the rain was torrential, and I really though we would blow away. But the visitor center was warm and dry, and the staff were incredibly nice, probably because they were all Canadian, and loved the fact that we were from Newfoundland. They were unbelievably accommodating, and even hooked us up with a tour guide from Newfoundland, which made the experience quite a bit more enjoyable.

Trenches where the Newfoundlanders lay in wait for the battle to begin.
These bronze plaques hold the names of the 780 soldiers who participated in the battle, only 110 survived.
Caribou memorial overlooking the ground across which the regiment advanced.
Trenches that marked the British front line.
Original posts for barbed wire. Remnants of the battle.
The Danger Tree, the furthest point any Newfoundlander made it during the battle.
A grave of two Newfoundland soldiers.
A Scottish Memorial

We learned about the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel in school. I knew that a lot of men died here, I even knew that they hadn’t made it very far in their advancement towards the German front line. But it took seeing it in person to realize how small a distance it really was. Visiting this memorial made me so much more proud to be a Newfoundlander, and it made Remembrance Day much more meaningful to me.

As much as I loved the tour of the battlefield, I do love me some war stories and all that, I was quite happy when it was over. I mean, it was super cold, and I nearly froze to death.

I only looked a little bit like a drowned rat. Massive bags under the eyes and all.

By the time we finally made it back to the city that evening I was completely 100% wiped. It was a long stressful day. Did I forget to mention that our cab driver dumped us at a restaurant and never came back to get us, and we thought we were going to miss our return train? Yeah, that happened. Anyways, I was miserable, but I was hungry, as were the girls. And we had to trek our way to the nearest Pizza Hut which felt like 1000 miles, but was only like 10 blocks, because well, we had no food, and needed to eat. And then we fell into Jennifer’s bed with our pizza and coke and didn’t move for hours.

And so ended one of the coldest, wettest and best days of my life.

Glossy Blonde

Sami's Shenanigans

Overjoyed

And now we’ll take a break from our regularly scheduled programming for this important announcement…

RYAN FERGUSON IS FREE


There are no words to describe how happy I am for Ryan and his family. The past decade has been a nightmare that most families can only dream of and finally that nightmare is over. Ryan’s conviction has been vacated, and in 15 days, if all goes well, he will be reunited with his family as a free man.
I had another post ready to go for today. But right now there is nothing more important to say or do than to celebrate the freedom of a young man who has spent nearly his entire twenties behind bars for a crime he did not commit. Nothing is more important than celebrating a judicial system that has finally served justice to this family. Nothing is more important than recognizing that it is never too late to right a wrong.
Sometimes we take so much in life for granted, its days like this, moments like this that make you realize that no matter how bad you think you have it, it could be so much worst.

Congratulations Ryan, Kelly, Bill and Leslie. Your hard work, patience, positivity, and relentless pursuit of truth and justice has finally paid off.  I wish I could meet you in person, shake your hands, and tell you how much you have touched my heart, and how much your strength inspires me. 
May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season together, this year and every year after.

For more information about Ryan and his case go here.

Glossy Blonde

Goalvember

Pardon my bug eyes.

It was a stormy stormy weekend here. Like REALLY stormy. I hadn’t been home in more than a month so I decided to go on Friday. It wasn’t a fun drive to say the least. It was very windy and it was raining hard. My poor little Civic was being bounced around the road by the wind. The rain was coming down so fast and hard that it looked like it was snowing. The dense fog made it impossible to use my high beams. Which meant that it was super hard to see where I was going. For a majority of the time I was only able to drive between 50-70kms, nowhere near the 90km speed limit. It was a long an stressful 4 hours. And I couldn’t have been happier to have finally made it home.

My mom was in Montreal last weekend where she found a gorgeous black bridesmaid dress for me to wear for my cousin’s wedding. So when I got home I grabbed the dress, got back in the car, and bravely made it to Debrah’s house to try it on. It was a small, so I was convinced that it wouldn’t fit. But it did. And I loved it. And I can’t show it to you yet, cause that’s bad luck and all. Yeah yeah, I know that’s the bride, but if I show you now, it will be pretty anticlimactic when I post pictures of the wedding.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing manual labor at my parents cabin. Because that’s the kind of stuff you need to do when the ‘rents are paying your rent. Plus, its probably about time I learn how to paint. Right of passage and what not. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t as enjoyable as my original plan would have been. But few things beat a day curled up on the couch with a good book. Amiright?

All in all it really wasn’t a very exciting weekend. Sorry I put you through that recap. But I did get the chance to take some time and come up with a few November Goals since I really enjoyed doing them in September. Obviously it made sense to skip October, the trip to Paris would have made it impossible to stay on track.

As I did in September, I’ll post updates on my progress every Friday.

Are you setting goals for yourself this month? If you are you should (hash)tag along on Twitter. #NovemberGoals #Goalvember

Sami's Shenanigans