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 One

(Warning: Picture Overload. May cause extreme jealousy)

My vacation was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. Sure the weather was cold and wet, there were a lot of early mornings, a few late nights, and one or two meltdowns, but all of that combined couldn’t put a damper on how happy I was.

We rented a small one bedroom apartment in the 1st arrondissement. We were two streets away from Avenue de l’Opera, about halfway between the Louvre and Palais Garnier. Opera is a busy street with gorgeous buildings, and wonderful stores, restaurants, boulangeries, and chocolate shops. Being so close to it made me feel unbelievably alive.

There was a Starbucks on our corner, Hallelujah. Caramel Macchiato’s make me happy. We were also across the street from the very best boulangerie we found, and believe me, we tried quite a few. If you are ever in Paris and near the Opera you absolutely have to go to Boulangerie Julien. I promise that the Pain au Chocolat  and the Brioche Chocolat Pistache are worth it.

The yumminess on the right is a fresh raspberry macaron and a strawberry tartlette. Om nom nom.

I’ve dreamed of visiting Paris since I was a little girl. And all the dreaming in the world could never have prepared me for it. Its beauty and vibrance was overwhelming in the absolute best kind of way. For a girl who loves architecture, detail and decor it was absolute heaven.

Its hard to narrow down what my favorite thing about Paris is. Sure, I could pick an attraction, or a building, or a restaurant. But that would be too typical. But if I have to pick just one thing, its the design, detail, and creativity that is put into every inch of the city. Nothing is over looked. And it blows my mind. I could quite easily spend days walking the streets, soaking up my surroundings, and marveling at how ornate everything seems to be.
Sadly on a trip that’s only 8 days long wandering the streets is really not an option if you want to see all the popular sights. So, on the first full day we were there we decided to do a hop on – hop off tour with L’Open Tour. Except well, we didn’t do much hopping off. We just rode the bus around the city to get a feel for it, find out where everything was, and decide what areas of town we wanted to revisit. It turned out to be a great idea, and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting the city for the first time. I’d recommend the tour company we used as well. The buses were clean, they had an audio option, and they have four different tours to choose from. I’ve gotta say, there’s something to be said for riding around a new city on the top of a bus, even if you are frozen. There’s also something to be said for a man in a well tailored suit like 85% of the men in Paris wear, but I didn’t even try to take any pictures of that, for fear of being caught.

We were frozen, and hats and mitts were purchased that night. But we had a wonderful day.
We also decided to buy Navigo passes for unlimited access to the bus, metro and RER while we were there. A pass for two weeks was just 80 euros each, and we used them a lot. Seriously, we either walked or used our Navigo passes to get everywhere including the airport and suburbs. The pass also gave us access to bike rentals that you could pick up and return to any part of the city. We didn’t use those though, we were too scared of trying to bike around in Paris traffic, which is nuts by the way. I would never try to drive there. Before I left home I downloaded an app for my iPhone that helps you navigate the metro, even without wifi. It was a godsend. 
Having RER access meant we could easily get to the suburbs to visit the Palace de Versailles. This particular excursion was on Shelley’s list of things to do. And if I’m being honest, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’m not all that interested in history so I had less than zero desire to spend a entire day in the palace of a fallen monarchy, especially since wasn’t even a castle. But holy crap, I was blown away. It is huge, like GINORMOUS.  It was beautiful. I know I keep saying that about everything, but it really truly was. We took a guided tour that gave us access to areas of the palace that are off limits to people with regular passes. I’m glad we did because it actually made me interested in the history of the palace and the monarchy instead of just the insanely amazing architecture. It blows my mind that all of this was built by hand hundreds of years ago. Long before cranes and cement trucks. 
Those are not individual buildings people. All different wings of the same one. Huge right? 
So much detail everywhere.
All that gold paint you see, yeah, that’s real gold. Everywhere.
We learned a lot about Marie Antoinette, who I must admit I thought was a fictional character until two weeks ago. What? Its not my fault. They don’t teach that stuff in school anymore. Turns out she wasn’t a very good queen, and they killed her by guillotine, but not before she built her own hamlet on the estate. Because you know, every queen needs her own hamlet when the rest of the country is starving.

Loves me a tunnel.

Thanks for letting me relive my trip. Hope you’re enjoying it and are feeling a little inspired to visit. I promise not to turn this into a series that goes on forever, I just can’t do it justice in one post. So check back for Part Two tomorrow.