Monday, 15 September 2014

An Hourly Adventure

8:15 AM - The view from my bed
I love reading day in the life posts. I have been meaning to do one for far too long. I'm glad I finally decided to do one. I picked a pretty good Saturday too. I took a bunch of friends up to my parents summer house. Since my parents are off galivanting around Europe, I took over the Master bedroom. It's always nice to wake up and see the lake. I am not a morning person, but I had no trouble waking up at 8:15am. Getting out of bed is another story.

9:15 AM - Getting ready to go paddle boarding
Since the water was nice and calm, I decided to get in a quick paddle board session before we headed into town. Everyone else in the house was barely awake and just starting to get ready, so I snuck out on the lake on my own.

10:15 AM - Checking out the Farmer's Market
I was so happy that my friends, Laini and Tina were able to come up for the weekend. They both live out of town. They have both been my best friends since the very first day of middle school. The three of us sat next to each other in home room. It's funny how a seating assignment can change your whole life.

The Farmer's Market is a Saturday morning ritual for me. I go every time I am in town. It's the perfect spot to walk around and wake up. This market is quite spectacular. It's the biggest one that I have been to. So many different kinds of venders. It's a really neat thing to be a part of. It also makes things easy for breakfast. We usually don't get into town until quite late on Friday night (it's a four hour drive from home), so there isn't much time to grocery shop for breakfast. Instead we hit up the food venders. There is one truck that makes the most amazing waffles that I have ever had. 



11:15 AM - Rotato

Even though I had already had a waffle and a coffee, I had to get a Rotado in. They are actually called Spud Stix, but I like the name Rotado better. Not on the diet, but the Farmer's Market never is. Plus, this will probably be the last one that I attend until next summer. I also picked up a pair of heart shaped sunglasses. 

12:15 - Taking in the views
At the end of the Farmer's Market, there is a nice little path to a pier. We acted like typical tourists, stopping at all of the information signs.

1:15 - Lounging on the dock
 It wasn't as hot as I was hoping it would be, but it was definitely hot enough to get our swim on. I lounged on the dock for a bit to get hot enough to go in the water, while a couple of my friends went out the paddle boards. The rest of our party wandered off to do different things. One person went on a hike. Another went to look at real estate.


2:15 - Extreme Paddle Boarding
Once my friends got back from their excursion, I went out on the paddle board (we only have two). This time I headed down the other side of the lake. My favourite part of paddle boarding is creeping on all of the gorgeous houses in the neighbourhood.

3:15 - Napping
 We swam around for a bit and then had a nap on the dock. It was pretty nice. 

4:15 - Wasting time
We started to get super hungry, so we headed back into town. We were all craving pizza (my friends are bad influences),but the pizza place didn't open until 4:30. We wandered into some of the shops. I found one second hand store that had a whole section of sequined items. It was heavenly. But I managed to resist temptation. I did really want to buy a fascinator from the hat store (because I am going to the horse races in a couple of weeks), but the hat store closed at 4:00 and we arrived at 4:05. It was unfortunate.

5:15 - Mykonos Taverna
We were starving by the time the restaurant opened. I was actually quite impressed by the pizza. It so much better than I remembered. Might have had something to do with how hungry I was.

6:15 - Stolen Apples
And then there were two. Tina left us to head back home, since she was only able to sneak away for one night. Har and I decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood. We found an apple tree and picked up some fallen apples. I felt a bit like Eve in the garden of Eden. 

7:15 - Candidly Nicole
 I introduced Har to my favourite "reality" show. I love Nicole Richie. I am so glad that she has a new TV show out. It is amazing. If you haven't checked out Candidly Nicole yet, you are missing out.

8:15 - Making a fire
Once our friends came back from their own adventures, we started making a campfire. We have a pretty nice stack of wood ready to go, so it makes it easy to get started.

9:15 - 11:15 - Camp fire!
We finished off the day by hanging around the campfire on the beach, roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores. It was a fabulous way to end the day.

I'm going to miss summer.


Friday, 12 September 2014

Fashion Friday Take 2

 
In my ongoing quest to be more fashionable and look nice on the outside (even though I don't always feel nice on the inside) I have started Fashion Friday to give me that extra reason to put in a bit more effort in my appearance.

I remember when I first heard that Birkenstocks were making a comback. It was some time last year, during fashion week. All of the it girls were wearing them to the shows. Which of course meant that we would all be wearing them a year later.


Then I started seeing the it girls wearing them with socks. Once I saw Mary-Kate and Ashley wearing them, I knew they were here to stay. And I have to admit, they can actually look pretty cute (with the right sock). Socks with sandals (especially Birkenstocks) are still considered by many to be one of the worst fashion faux pas that you can make. Which is what I kind of like about it. It brings out such intense emotions from people.

A lot of my friends never gave up on Birkenstocks. My best friend, Laini, swears by them. And most of those friends with the Birkenstocks also wear them with socks. It just happens. As Laini likes to tell me "sometimes it is too hot for shoes but too cold for sandals." I was pretty excited to tell her that she was yet again ahead of the trend. Laini also started wearing UGG boots before anyone had ever heard of them. I used to give her a pretty hard time about them (as I also did with the sock/sandal combo). And then a couple of years later everyone started wearing them.


And here we are. I just bought my first pair of Birkenstocks. They were a little bit pricey, but they have been on my list of things to buy since the spring. I'm still working my way into them. They are slightly uncomfortable still, but I'm told that won't last much longer. Here's hoping. I don't think I have the balls to wear them with socks quite yet, but maybe I'll try it out one day just for shits and giggles.

Dress - Value Village, Shoes - Birkenstocks!!!
I wore them out last Saturday night. Laini was pretty jealous of my new shoes. Especially since she just lost hers on an epic hike-camping adventure. 

Dress - Costco, Shawl - Winners
As part of my extreme spending of last week, I picked up this cute shawl-vest-poncho-scarf. I have no idea what it really it. But I love the fact that it is different and a little bit crazy.

Photo Credit Birkenstocks with socks - Free People

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Happy Wednesday

I am down 1.6lbs this week... But I am up 1.6lbs from my last Weigh in Wednesday. Honestly, I skipped last week because I knew the number was going to be really high and I didn't want to look at it. And it was, as I found out later. But I am starting to get my life back on track again.

I had been doing pretty good with my weekly plan. Week days have become pretty easy. I've got a good routine going on. It used to be that weekdays were the hardest. Just too exhausted after work or school to find something appropriate to eat. Plus it would be difficult to find something healthy/low cal to eat during the day if I didn't plan accordingly.




I still have a lot of room to improve my daily food rituals. A Starbucks smoothie and a lean cuisine isn't exactly the epitome of a healthy diet. But I've cut out the Subway sandwich for dinner and it keeps me within my calorie budget. I've actually been cooking a lot of my dinners recently. I'm not gonna toot my own horn, but.... yes, yes I am gonna toot my own horn. Deal with it. It helps that I am on a pretty tight budget right now. I just can't afford to eat out on every meal.


Last week I went a little wacky. I decided that I didn't like being restricted to my 1200-1350 caloric goal. I wanted to start to eat intuitively. I wanted to start eating in a way that I could do forever. So I switched my goal to 1800 calories. That was a mess. I pretty much stopped caring about what I was eating and went for whatever was cheapest or easiest. There was a big disconnect from what I wanted to eat and what I was actually eating. It was part emotional, part bingey, and part laziness. One thing it was not was intuitive.

I've mellowed out. I've readjusted my goal to what My Fitness Pal suggested for me to be able to lost 1lb a week. I'm at 1650. This is a reasonable number. But I'm not going to be upset if I go over. As long as I am under 2000 calories a day, I will be happy.

I know I'm going to go over my goal today. My BFF and I are going to our favourite Neapolitan pizzeria down town. I can't wait. She is only in town for a couple more days, so it is well worth the splurge. I've already plugged it into MFP.


The Hump Day Blog HopWeigh In Wednesday


How did you do this week?

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Monday, 8 September 2014

Time to Budget


The summer has not been kind to my bank account.

When I bought my apartment six months ago, I got really on top of my finances. I had to. All of my money quickly disappeared and I had to make sure that I wasn't spending more than I made.

I was really good about staying on top of it for a while. But then an opportunity come up at work where I would pay for business expenses an be reimbursed later It was a really great option for me because I was able to accumulate a plethora of points to be used on my future travel plans. The one drawback it had was the my bank account went crazy. It was too difficult to keep a personal budget when my expenses were dwarfed by the business ones.

A few months ago, we had some shifts at work and a company credit card was brought in. I was slightly disappointed, but I was also relieved. By that time I had built up my points to a pretty reasonable number, so it' wasn't the end of the world that they wouldn't be continuing. It was getting to be too much anyway. I had to constantly pay off my visa. I would often have to use my own money to pay it off because my expense cheque was either not ready or couldn't be processed right away. It was getting to be too much. Plus, I was getting sick of not knowing how much money was actually mine.


Unfortunately, I didn't jump back on the budgeting train. Instead I started to spend money like it was going out of style. After a summer of fun, I should have reverted back to my frugal ways. Instead I decided that I NEEDED a kimono. Plus, Forever 21 was having a sale. However, all of the Kimonos that I liked were sold out. So I just bought a bunch of other stuff... Makes senses, right?

Then I went away for the weekend and happened upon my favourite little boutique, Something Pretty. I finally found a kimono that I was in love with. Also a new toque. It's almost fall/winter, so I was just being practical.

I went home knowing that I was now in a strict spending freeze.

That lasted exactly one day. I went to the plus size store next to my work and proceed to buy multiple items, as detailed in my Fashion Friday post.


And then for good measure I went out and bought a pair of $100 birkenstocks. Had to have them. Super trendy. Super comfortable. I can fit in with my hippy friends AND my stylish friends. Obviously these shoes were a must have. After I bought the shoes I decided to get some extra walking in by wandering around the mall. I found one of my favourite stores and came so close to buying so many amazing things, but this time I had restraint. I don't have room for more clothes and I certainly don't have money for more clothes. Ugh. Why do I do this to myself?

I think I have finally got the shopping addiction out of me. I only have one must have purchase left on my list. I have to buy a new e-reader to replace the one that my friend destroyed a few weeks ago. My bank account wants me to buy the same version, but I do 90% of my reading in the vicinity of water, which is how my first one met it's end. There is a new version coming out next month that is water proof. It's definitely worth the extra money. At least in my situation. Plus, since it doesn't come out until next month, my bank account will have time to recuperate a bit.

To make matters worse, I just got a letter in the mail from my strata that they are proposing getting a new roof and raising our strata fees. If both of these things go through, I will be out an additional $300 for the next six months. It's doable. But I'll probably have to cut into my mortgage payments. I'm lucky to have ridiculously low payments, but if I stuck to that plan, I'd be paying off my mortgage for the next 30 years. Instead I double my payments when I can, which is usually every payment. If this goes through I won't be able to do that anymore.

I've been considering looking for a new job for a long time. But now that this roof situation might be happening, I don't know if that's such a good idea anymore. I will likely have to take a pay cut to get the job I want. It would be manageable, but very tight.

Mint.com is saving me right now. I was freaking out about my situation, but once I sat down and looked through everything, I realized that it's not that bad. Especially once I remembered that I am really bad at math and that 1+1=2 and not 1.

Friday, 5 September 2014

It's Fashion Friday.

It's Fashion Friday, B*tches!

It's a new thing I'm trying out. Because I love clothes. And I love fashion. And I love wearing clothes. Did I mention that I love clothes? I'm not sure if Fashion Friday is already a thing or not, because I just made it up. But it seems like that kind of thing that a lot of people probably make up.

Dress: Joe, Shoes: Payless
I work in a construction office on my own. That means that nobody gets to see the cute outfits that I wear daily. Okay, I don't actually wear cute outfits daily. Some days I just roll out of bed and go to work. Because I can. And sleep is awesome. But I do try to put some effort into my appearance on most days. Like today. After a rainy weekend, the sun has finally come back to play. Which means I don't have to put my summer clothes away just yet. It is still summer, after all. 

The dress is a Joe original. I love the vintage feel of it. And the cute sailboats. It's easy to dress it up or down. Perfect for the office, the beach, or an evening out.


Yesterday I went on bit of a shopping spree. It's almost fall. Clearly I needed some new clothes. There just happens to be and Addition Elle in the complex next door to my office. Every once in a while I will wander over there and browse their selection after work. It's pretty rare that I buy anything from that store for two reasons:
a) Their selection can be very hit or miss.
b) The clothing that I do find is usually quite overpriced... at least for my frugal ways.

This time I ended up finding a bunch of items that I fell in love with.

Sweater and Jeggings: Addition Elle
I found this cute long sweater on sale. I love the bold pattern at the bottom and the back (not shown). I have far too many leggings that need to be worn, so I'm glad that I have another sweater/shirt to wear them with.

Jacket: Addition Elle, Dress: Value Village

This jacket was also on sale for more than half price, so I couldn't really say no to it. I had been eyeing it for a long time. I would have preferred it in just and X, but the 1 was the smallest available. I'm always attracted to pleather/leather jackets, even though I'm not really a jacket person. Despite living in the rain capital of the world, jackets just aren't my thing unless absolutely necessary. Speaking of rain... does anyone know how pleather holds up in the rain?
 
Blouse: H&M, Skirt: Addition Elle
This pencil skirt was not on sale, but it was a had to have it moment. So slimming. So sleek. I have a problem with pencil skirts. I buy them and never wear them. I really want to have a job where I am forced into wearing office clothes every day. That's the dream, right? It always was when I was a kid. I remember being 13/14 and wandering around the mall with my friends and being attracted to all of the pin striped power suits that were really popular at the time. I thought this was normal, but my friends would point out that it wasn't. I'm hoping that this pencil skirt will inspire me to move on up the employment ladder. After all, my psychic did tell me that I was going to have a very successful career.


I also bought a vest/capt/scarf/poncho thing from Winners yesterday. This is on top of the kimono and toque that I bought on the weekend. I might have a problem. My bank account and I might be having a falling out. 


My closet certainly isn't happy with me right now either.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Extra Long Weekend Wrap Up

 
Even though I'm not in school anymore, it still feels like summer is over after Labour Day. It doesn't help that it is a pretty gross day in these parts. To help me forget about the drizzle outside, I'm going to remember all of the awesome and not so awesome things that happened over the last long weekend of the summer.

Friday
After work, Har and I headed up to my family's summer home in Summerland. It's about a four hour drive from the city. As expected, the roads were fairly busy with everyone trying to squeeze in one last vacation. We definitely made the right decision. Even though the weather in Summerland wasn't amazing, it was a million times better than the rainy mess that we left at home.

My parents went out for dinner and left the front door unlocked for us. We quickly settled in and decided to watch a bit of Once Upon A Time while we waited for everyone to come back. When we first started watching the show we heard a noise coming from the front yard. It freaked Har out. I wasn't too worried. There are always strange noises outside. But I ran around the house making sure all of the doors and windows were locked anyway.

About ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. I jumped up and opened the front door. No one there. I checked the back door. No one there either. But then I looked a bit harder and I could see someone standing in the shadows. At first I thought it might have been my cousin, but this person was a bit bigger than him. A million people ran through my head. It's not uncommon for friends and family to randomly show up... Especially on a Friday night.

It turned out that it was a stranger. Some guy who was driving around and was just checking out the scenery. He told me that he had been watching us for a while. He thought we had seen him. The noise in the front yard was him. He kept going on and on about how beautiful the scenery was and he just wanted to check it out with his girlfriend.

He gave me the heebeejeebees. I just wanted him to leave. I didn't know what to say when he asked if he could hang out in the yard and enjoy the scenery. What the actual F? I told him there was a beach a few blocks away that he should go to. He didn't take the hint. And I just left it.

But I was creeped out. The house can be kind of scary on a good day. My mom always tells me how afraid she is to be alone in the house at night. It's the big open windows. You just feel so vulnerable. I always tell myself that it's no big deal because there isn't actually anyone outside lurking around... except this time there was.

After the encounter I decided to turn off all of the lights: inside and out. I didn't want these people to have the opportunity to watch us anymore. I wanted to be able to watch them. If they were on our property, I wanted to know about it.

They didn't leave. As we watched our show, I could see flashlights in the distance. I could have sworn that there were three flashlights.

At about midnight we decided to call it a night. On our way to bed, Har noticed some flashing lights outside. We went to investigate. There was a tow truck and two police cars. We walked around the yard and could see our "friends" from earlier hiding behind the fence.

It turns out the vehicle they were driving was stolen. The police were just doing a routine drive around the neighbourhood and noticed it. They arrested the couple and searched their belongings. Drugs and alcohol in pretty much every bag. As well as a giant knife.

I'm just so thankful that we didn't arrive home a half an hour later. Since the front door was unlocked, they could have been inside when we arrived. They were probably going to try to rob the house.

My mom was so upset that I didn't call the police right away. In retrospect, I probably should have. I guess I am just too trusting and don't ever want to start anything. I was more afraid of asking the guy to leave. He didn't seem like the type that would take kindly to me telling him to GTFO.

We have had a lot of problems with trespassers and vandals, but this couple definitely take the cake for scariest incident.

Saturday
After the drama of the night before, we just wanted to have a chill day. As is our usual routine, we headed to the Farmer's Market for breakfast. We found our favourite food cart that serves amazing waffles with syrup infused into each bite. There was a whole block of the market devoted to wine tastings. Some of them were great, others not so much. But there were so many to choose from. It was like going on a mini wine tour without having to worry about who would be driving.

Andrea and I hit up our favourite store, Something Pretty. Last time we were up, we both bought the same dress because we liked it so much. This time I walked away with kimono and a toque. I went there specifically looking for a kimono. I have wanted one all summer and now I finally have one. This nice thing about the kimono that I bought is that it could be wearable in the fall with a completely different look. It's always so nice to walk into an independent clothing store that has a plus size section. Sure, it is a small one, but it is better than nothing.

After the market, we went back to my place and just chilled. We ate the ridiculously good hummus that we bought at the market, played a martini card game, and did a bit of paddle boarding. We also did some yoga on the dock. It was fun to take what I have learned from my various yoga classes throughout the years and teach it to my friends.

Mini Dessert Burgers
 We made some delicious food for dinner. My aunt, uncle, and cousins came over for dinner, but they didn't arrive until quite late, so we were eating in the dark. My aunt brought these mini hamburger cookies that were so cute and delicate. 

Sunday
More paddle boarding. More floating. More chilling.

For lunch, we headed into town and found a cute little Mexican Restaurant by the water. It was delicious. But Mexican food usually is.


Attack Mode with Bumper Boats
Andrea and I really wanted to try para-sailing, but it didn't work out. I wasn't feeling that great, and there were plenty of other things that we wanted to try. Instead we tried bumper boats. It wasn't the same as when we were kids. Different boats. Smaller pool. Not enough power. Although there was more water, so that was a plus.

The Mini Golf Course

The Final Mini Golf Hole
 We also tried our hand a mini golf. It was a pretty fun course. Very magical. Especially since just as we were about to play, Andrea's sister showed up with some of her friends. We all ended up playing together. It worked out perfectly. I ended up winning the game too, so that made it even more fun.

My First Screamer!
I tried another bucket list food item: A Screamer. Slurpee and soft serve ice
cream together. It was amazing and delicious, but a little bit too gigantic. Like the deep fried Mars Bar from the other day, it will probably be just a once in a lifetime event.

Our Campfire
My parents headed back to the City because they are jetting off to Europe for a few days. We decided to get a little bit loose since we had the house to ourselves. We started a camp fire on the beach and had a blast. So much laughter. So much fun.

Monday
I'm pretty sure that I was still intoxicated from the night before. It's a good thing I wasn't the one driving on the way home.


I did lose my beloved e-book reader. It was accidentally pushed into the water. I'm still holding out hope that it can be salvaged. It's currently sitting in a ziplock bag full of rice.

We cleaned, relaxed and then headed home.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Psychics and the Fair

My Matchbox

Wednesday
Okay. Not part of the weekend, but because it was pretty much the last week of summer, I had to cram as much fun into it as I possibly could.

My friend Sarah invited me to a Singles Night at the Hard Rock Casino. We were each given a matchbook with a band inside. Your mission for the evening was to find a member of the opposite sex who had the same band in his matchbook. I got Chuck Berry. I did end up finding my match before the night was over. Right as I was about to leave, JK ran over to me bringing my match with her. I think I was the only one of my friends to find a match.

The best part of the event was the psychic. He was actually pretty right about a lot of things.

Things the Psychic Told Me:
1. Drink more water - I definitely do need to do that.
2. Eat more apples - Okaaaayyyy. I like apples. I can start eating more of them.
3. I'm an introvert - Very true.
4. I don't like crowds - Also true.
5. I have stomach problems - Not sure about this one. But maybe he knows something I don't.
6. I am very expressive when I am angry - It's true. If I am mad about something, I can't stop talking about it.
7. I hold things in all of the time (except when I am angry) - Yup. Just the other day my friends were telling me how closed up I can be.
8. Apparently I have to forgive my family and that we have a lot of issues because I have a selfish parent - Some parts of this are true, but it doesn't quite add up properly. I don't think my parents are very selfish (most of the time). I also don't think I am denying forgiveness to them or anyone else in my family.
9. I can expect a proposal soon - I don't see how this could be a marriage proposal since I don't have anyone in my life right now. Maybe someone will give me an amazing job proposal.
10. I will be very successful in my career. But I am off track right now and need to get back to doing something more artistic - This one kind of blew me away. I have been working at a job that is not in my chosen field. I have been longing to get back into something more creative.
11. I will have a long life with two sons - Hopefully! Although, I always wanted a daughter.

Thursday
This is where the not so awesome part of my week comes into play. My friends planned to go see Boyz II Men at the PNE. I wanted to go spend time with them, but I didn't really care so much about seeing that band. I like some of their songs, but I find most of their music a bit boring. I was kind of wavering back and forth about going. Finally, I decided that I would regret it if I didn't go... I made the wrong decision.

It took me two hours to drive there and find parking. It actually only took about 20 minutes to drive there, the rest of the time was looking for parking. No street parking. All of the parking lots were full. I tried to give up and go home so many times, but I couldn't even turn around or find a way to leave. Finally after I had given up all hope, I found a little Asian lady who took me to her carport and only charged me $10. Her place was really close to the event too. Some people wanted $30 and their spots were much further away. Does this happen anywhere else in the world? People standing on street corners, begging you to pay them to park in their driveway?

I was so excited to finally get to the fair. I ran to the concert area, but it was absolutely packed with people. My friends had saved me a seat, but they weren't letting anyone else into the arena. So I wandered around the PNE for a bit. I wasn't too hearthbroken. I didn't really care about seeing the band. I was glad that I got to use the ticket I bough to the fair. I went on a tour of the Show Home. The house tour is my favourite thing to do at the PNE. I would have been much more upset having missed that... which would have happened if I had made it to the concert.

My first and last deep fried Mars Bar
I also tried a deep fried Mars Bar for the first time ever. Not on the diet, but worth it. It was delicious. It has been almost 10 years since I first wanted to try one. It's been on bucket list forever. I'm glad I tried it, but I probably won't ever have one again.