Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Happiness Project Update for January

As we come to the last day of February, I found that it would only be fitting to take a look at how I did in boosting my energy. First of all, I came to the conclusion that I set up too many goals to accomplish in a month. For the next month, I will try to only pick 2-3 to work on.

Here is what I accomplished:
Go to sleep earlier - I set out trying to go to sleep at 11 pm and it was tough the first couple of nights but then it got easier. I stopped reading or playing my DS by 10:30 pm, I turned off the side lamp and relaxed before falling asleep. After a week, I started preparing to sleep by 10 pm which meant I was asleep by 10:30. This is a huge accomplishment for me because before, I couldn't fall asleep without some type of light in the room. It was difficult for me to drift into sleep in the dark. This would mean that the TV would be on with the timer set for two hours. I guess it helps that the TV in our room is broken so it's forcing me to sleep without light.
Tackle a nagging task - Just this past weekend, I finally transferred all the files from my old laptop to a hard drive. This has been a nagging task since January 2009 when I got my new laptop. There are tons of old photos I have in there that I would love to look at one day. At least now, I can get rid of that old laptop.
Act more energetic - I discovered that if you went to sleep earlier, you would have more energy in the morning, therefore I found no need to "act" energetic. It came naturally!

And here is what I didn't accomplish:
Exercise better - With a goal of 20 minutes a day, I figured that I could either walk to work in the mornings or walk to the train station in the afternoons. I attempted to walk in the morning but I hated coming into work sweaty. I said I would try to do it in the afternoon but all I wanted to do was to get home quickly, so walking was out of the question. The way I see it now, if I have the sleeping early down packed, I may be able to wake up earlier and start going to the gym in my condo in the morning.  We will see how that goes. For now though, the walking to and from work is not an option.
Toss, restore and organize - I was just too lazy this month. February is a crapola month. No one wants to do anything. Everyone is in a funk. I am just glad that this short month is over with. I do still have this cleaning business on my ongoing list of things to do.

Tomorrow, I start reading Chapter 2 - February: Remember Love.

How did everyone else do?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I'm lazy these days

Finally, a free weekend where I don't have any plans - at all!!! This week I have been so lazy. After work, I would just come home and play my DS. I had no desire to jump on my laptop and blog. I even broke up with Twitter for the week. I am feeling a bit anti-social. I also don't feel like reading my book or any of the magazines I bought.

Work. It's been a bit crazy because I have a national mock trial competition that I am organizing in Ottawa March 12 & 13. It's taken up most of my time and it's additional work on top of what I have to do on a day-to-day basis. I can't wait for it to be over. I always get a bit stressed out during this time of the year.

Book swap. Earlier this month, I joined Fab Brunette's Fabulous Book Swap. I finally received the name of the person I must send a book to. I hope she likes it. I can't wait to see what book I get, I will post it up here on my blog as soon as I receive it.  Thanks to Fab Brunette for organizing this book swap!

Annual June vacation. On Thursday, the hubby and I booked our annual June vacation. JH & AR and their son (my lil boyfriend) are also going. I met a really cool girl on Twitter and she happens to also be a travel agent. We exchanged a few tweets and then a few emails. I sent her five resorts that we were interested in for our June trip. All of them at the moment were out of our price range but she came back with a resort that she wanted us to research because it's going for an awesome price that we couldn't pass up.  Good thing it's a resort that is on the hubby's list of resorts to go to. Now that is what a real travel agent should be doing - knowing your travel style and finding the best deals for you as a client. If you need a travel agent, I have the contact information of two girls who are equally awesome. We just book with whoever will give us the best deal (but I will admit that sometimes if I book with one, I feel like I am cheating on the other).

I hope you are having a relaxing weekend like me.  I just finished watching Daybreakers with the hubby. I was scared. I watched most of the movie with my hands over my eyes (see, kiiat - I do the same thing as you). Now that it's over, I need to watch something funny so I don't have nightmares tonight.  Confession of a Shopaholic, here I come!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My new obsession

At the end of January, I decided that I was going to quit playing Animal Crossing: Wild World.  It consumed too much of my time. I played to and from work, before I went to bed, on the just took up most of my time since you play the game in real time.  I wanted to get back into reading and I did - I finished the 3rd and 4th volume of The Vampire Diaries and also The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. While reading, I continued to play my DS here and there but then I got hooked on Gardening Mama. Instead of reading, I now find myself playing again on my commute to and from work and also in the evening after dinner. What is wrong with me? Why am I so obsessed with this game? Maybe I don't really like the book I am currently reading. On the plus side, I finally bought Lauren Conrad's second book, Sweet Little Lies. I can't wait to start reading it.

Hmm...maybe I should stop what I am reading now and just read LC's book. What do you think?

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Juanita

Juanita is the owner of Sweet Things. She makes customized cakes and cupcakes. She is super talented and creative. I have yet to try one of her cakes. Juanita is a cousin of my BFF who showed me a few pictures of Juanita's cakes and next thing I know, I am following her on Twitter and her blog. I remember the Sweet Things cake I saw was a Louis Vuitton purse. I can't express how talented Juanita is - all her creations are so detailed.

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in May 2008 about my cake creations.  It was a distraction for me as I was working long hours in a Marketing role while daydreaming about starting my own custom cake business.

2) Where do you live?
Upper Beaches of Toronto

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
Personal Trainer and Cake Design - my hobbies became my career!

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
Does Twitter count?

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
South and Central America because I've had so many wonderful travels and experiences there.  So much more for me to see!

7) Name your top three movies.
Any John Cusack films.
The Princess Bride.

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
Lance Armstrong

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
 Yes - cupcakes and all things cake!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Did you know???

Did you know that Cinnabon now sells cupcakes? I read about it on Cupcakes Take the Cake but as usual, I thought that it would only be offered in the States.  This morning at Union Station while I was picking up a minibon, I see a stand full of cupcakes. You know that I am always up for trying cupcakes.  I bought a Chocolate Passion cupcake.  It's still sitting on my desk and will taste it later this afternoon.  I hope it's good because it was $2.89.  Too expensive for me but it's worth a try!

Both photos courtesy of

UPDATE (Feb 27): I didn't up eating the cupcake that Thursday afternoon. I saved it for Friday night. It was a tad dry but it was still good.  See, I normally eat regular size cupcakes by cutting it in quarters. With most cupcakes, I only end up eating two of those quarters first and saving the other two for a couple hours later.  With the Chocolate Passion cupcake, I ate all four quarters. The cake was delicious and the icing was perfect. I now must try the Cinnacake Classic.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I survived the night out with my single friends

I have to admit that I am not in a blogging mood but I am forcing myself to type.  This is very unlike me. Well, where do I start?

My night out with MP (single girlfriend) and DN (single boyfriend) was planned last week.  Not only would it be a night out but also a sleepover.  Even though last week was a short week, my department was running two programs on Tuesday and Thursday - so, I was a bit tired when the work week came to an end. I got home Friday night and immediately asked Mike if he wanted to go for 1/2 price appetizers at West 50 (on Tuesday, I had gone to On the Curve with an old high school friend and got the same deal). We got back home and I tried to take a nap for about an hour.  I couldn't sleep. I was tired but I was too nervous and paranoid that I was going to let my single friends down. I had a feeling that I wouldn't be able to keep up with them and drink until the wee hours of the night. I haven't been out since...hmm...I can't even remember!

I got ready and hoped that I wouldn't get sleepy. MP and I arrived at DN's condo around 10 pm. We started pre-drinking while watching the Olympics. Beer and my non-interest for the Olympics began to make me sleepy. Even the skeleton guy winning the gold medal didn't wake me up. I was ready for bed.  Finally at 11:30 pm, MP and DN said it was time to head out...and so our night begins.  I won't go into details about the night but here are some of the highlights:
  • "I came back from the washroom and you guys didn't talk to me"
  • "Give us shots that don't have raspberry, apple or cream in it.  Shit - it has banana liquer in it. I hate banana but I will take one of the team"
  • "Do you come here often? I've seen you here before. I come here by myself"
  • Douchebag with a Che truck hat
  • David "I want to show you Mars" with the smokes
  • Lindsay Lohan telling me that champagne will make me puke
  • Trying to get into For Your Eyes Only - only to be turned away because it was too late
  • "No DN, you've got beer googles on"
  • Chicken Nuggets and Spicy Szechwan sauce is not good at all
  • Me: "Are you interested in watching a movie after work?", DN: "No!"
Overall, it was a good night. I was able to stay out until past 2:30 am. I was still drunk and just want to go in somewhere and hang out but no places were letting us in. MP and DN found it hilarious that drunk leesh made an appearance and want to set up another night for us to go out.  DN's couch is so comfortable, even if you sleep with half your body on the couch and your legs dangling on the floor. It sucks to have a bunch of weird dreams before waking up but it was all worth it. Until next time guys - it will just be back to nights in with the hubby. Thanks MP and DN for inviting me out. #1004 - it's awesome when your friends still think you are fun.

The rest of the weekend was a write-off for me.  It seems that as you get older, your recovery time from a night of drinking takes longer than normal.

P.S. - if you haven't already, please go out and watch Valentine's Day. This movie is awesome - it's got an all-star cast, so many funny moments and an great soundtrack. MP - if you are reading this, Joss Stone sings the song, 4 and 20.

Search and Download More Music Free

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet fabbrunette

I met this FabBrunette because of her cupcake company, Le Petit Cupcakery on Twitter. I find it amusing that I ordered cupcakes off of Twitter. Let me tell you that her cupcakes are DE-LICI-OUS. I was quite upset when I found out that she was moving to Vancouver but I did have the pleasure to meet this tall, beautiful brunette before she was whisked away to the west coast. Her blog is filled with style and love for the things she is passionate about. Her Twitterfeed is quite hilarious too. We share a love for celebrity gossip and of course, cupcakes!

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I've been blogging for a few years now, and I started blogging as a way to put out all the gorgeous and chic fashion finds. Last year I wanted more of a personal blog so I closed down my style blog and started Ramblings of a Fab Brunette

2) Where do you live?
I live in Vancouver, BC.

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I'm currently self-employed as a cupcake caterer, and when I'm not baking cupcakes I take care of my four year old daughter and hang out with my boyfriend.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
Yes, I have a twitter account @fabbrunette and a facebook fan page:

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
My daily fave sites are and, horrible isn't it? But I'm such a celeb news fiend, especially for the bad gossip, so these are daily requirements! I then have my Google reader filled with all my fave blogs that I read almost everyday too!

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love going to Europe, and my two favourite places are Amsterdam and Paris. It's a ton of fun being somewhere hot, with sandy beaches and oceans, but it gets boring after a while. Don't put me on an island. Mexico was awesome because you can go into towns and discover the country.

7) Name your top three movies.
The Nightmare Before Christmas, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 27 Dresses.

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
Victoria Beckham. If I knew she was in my city somewhere, I'd be there. In a heartbeat.

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Both, but I'm on a coffee kick right now. 

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
Hmmm, I think so... Of course girl! I make them!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Touching posts

Here are some posts that I have recently read that have touched me and melted my heart. For some people, expressing emotions in person is tough but expressing them online in a blog lets you say what you feel and not have to worry about the type of reaction you will get in return.

1000 Awesome Things - Unforgettable friends

Mindless Drivel - the nasty beast

Swimming Upstream - Living life like a Salmon

I have written some posts that were hard to type because I was crying while I was writing it. I have written some posts that maybe I should have just kept to myself. But at that time, I felt like I needed to express my feelings, that I need to write it down somewhere because there will be a time when I want to reflect on how I was feeling in a certain point in my life.  I keep more private thoughts in a journal that I dedicate to my brother.

As you can see in my cloud label, there are many posts on Gino. He is my dear brother who passed away in 2008. When he left, I didn't feel like blogging anymore but then I started again to express what I was going through. I want to thank those who took the time to read posts on my grieving process of my brother's sudden death. I don't write about serious stuff that often and when I do, it's because I have a lot of pain in my heart and mind that I need to let go of.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Giveaway at Post Grad Hair Cut

If you love entering giveaways, here's another one for a knot ring at Post Grad Hair Cut's blog.

Product Review: Essie's Mink Muffs

With taupe being the new black, I thought I would give this colour a shot. I normally love dark colours on my nails but this colour is like a dark neutral colour. I have received many compliments on my nails. I both a mini bottle of it to try it out but looks like I will be heading back to the beauty supply store to buy Essie's Mink Muffs.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I love snail mail part 2: Care package from Elisse

What a nice surprise after a long weekend. I received a care package from my blogger friend, Elisse. She is so sweet and I love the friendship we are starting and it all stemmed from our blogs. I wish I discovered her blog earlier so I could have met her when I was in Vancouver in September.

Here's what was in the package - B&W file folder (to hold my Happiness Project book), paper book cover, DS Lite screen protector, pencil case, starbucks card and a Valentine's Day card. She put so much thought into what to get me, everything that was in the package is stuff I would definitely use. She got the idea of what to buy from reading my blog.

Thanks Elisse! I love everything!!! I have already put my favorite pens in the pencil case (and into my large bag). The Happiness Project should dedicate a chapter to how receiving a care package by snail mail can bring much happiness and joy to both parties!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend recap: Lots to celebrate

This weekend must have been a busy one for everyone - Winter Olympics opening, NBA All-Star weekend, Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year. Here is how my weekend turned out:

I am pretty sure that I was the only one not watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. I was too busy wrapped up in watching the season premiere of Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villains. I missed it Thursday evening so I couldn't wait to watch it on Friday when I came home from work. I have this feeling it's going to be a season full of deceit, lying, adventure and emotions all wrapped in one. I am happy to hear that my brother-in-law Jay is as excited and pumped for this season as I am. People are shocked to hear that I have practically watched every season except for one. I am a fan but not hardcore. If you have watched Survivor in the past, you should give this season a shot because you will see some of the competitors you've watched in the other seasons.

I started the morning catching up on Grey's Anatomy (so good, so filled with emotional, touching stories), Cougar Town (always funny) and The Vampire Diaries (scary but exciting - I loved seeing a softer, vulnerable side of Damon). I indulged in cupcakes and blogged about The Happiness Project. Mare, Bruce and Mileah stopped by in the afternoon. Their little girl is so big and walking. She has a little cute voice when she says hi. Later, two of Mike's boys came over to watch NBA stuff and the Olympic.

My sister-in-law's birthday was on Wednesday so we gathered at Mike's parent's house to celebrate. Most of my afternoon was spent playing fashion show with my niece Belle. She was excited when her Uncle Mick designed a wedding dress for her from a bed sheet. She looked adorable so I have to share this picture with you...


Later that night, it was off to watch the Robin Thicke concert with Maureen and Trix. We got there at 9:00 pm and found out that Robin Thicke wasn't taking the stage until 11:00 pm. I have come to the conclusion that standing only concerts are just not for me. I am too short to see anything. Now, this concert was too lovey-dovey for me (but it was on Valentine's Day after all). We were surrounded by couples holding each other and swaying to the music which we all thought was extremely corny and gay. Robin Thicke can sing but I wasn't that impressed with the selections of songs he decided to perform. I think I am upset that he didn't sing Complicated and it's one of my favorite songs of his. He did perform Shakin It For Daddy which Maur and I thought he wouldn't be able to perform live. He actually hyped up the crowd with it. He sang most of his slow songs and with the combination of the mellow music and the smell of weed, we were practically sleeping standing up. Robin - I love you and all but I think I won't go to see you perform again until you go to a venue like Massey Hall or Roy Thompson Hall where I can sit down and enjoy your music. This is the 3rd time I have seen him perform and this first concert at Mod Club was the best. A highlight of the night was seeing Dru perform. He went to high school with me and Maur. I am totally in love with his songs - Seasons and Stay with Me but I really enjoyed Runnin.

Family's always nice to have a day off work but I hate when it goes by too fast. I wanted to watch the Valentine's Day movie with Mike but we were both lazy. I did laundry today, watched America's Best Dance Crew, knit and played Gardening Mama on my DS. Now I am just waiting to watch One Tree Hill and 24.

How did you spend Family Day?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Happiness Project: January - Boost Energy

I have finally finished the first chapter. Even though we only have to read one chapter a month, I find it hard to make time to read it and actually think of what I can do with the author's suggestions. My read along group is starting a month behind and are reading January's chapter in February.  Here is what I plan to do to boost energy this month:
  • Go to sleep earlier. These days I am going to sleep around midnight. This is not good because I have to wake up at 6:20 am to get ready for work. I find that before I go to sleep, I either read, play my DS or catch up on tweets. I plan to start going to sleep at 11:00 pm and try to do all these activities before I turn in for bed so it doesn't keep me up all night.  I need to go to sleep earlier because this will help me with the next step - to exercise better.
  • Exercise better. Before I left for my Christmas vacation to Punta Cana, three weeks before our departure date, I was waking up at 5:30 am everyday to work out (25 minutes on the treadmill and 20 minutes strength training) but since 2010 came around, I have not step foot in the gym. The reason is because I go to sleep too late at night to be waking up at 5:30 am. I came to the conclusion that I need more than seven hours of sleep but I won't get it if I sleep at 11:00 pm and wake up at 5:30 am.  I plan to try to get in 20 minutes a day of exercise. Whether it be walking to and from work to the train station or waking up earlier to use the gym. I need to fit some exercise to my daily routine.
  • Toss, restore, organize. This is something I definitely have to do. I have a den in our condo and it's turning into a huge walk-in closet. There is so much junk, I need to sort it out.  I plan to go through all the various clutters in the condo and either toss it out or organize everything so it's not just lying around in piles.The author of this book describes several distinct varieties:
    • Nostalgic Clutter: what I am keeping from my earlier life (all the letters I have ever received from friends in high school);
    • Conservation Clutter: things that I am keeping because I think they are useful but really, they are not (six vases from a work event I organized, I plan to use it for a baby shower at some time in the future);
    • Bargain Clutter: buying unnecessary things because they are on sale (I have actually stopped doing this because I have no where to store such items);
    • Freebie Clutter: clutter of unwanted gifts, hand-me downs or giveaways (all the cds and games I got from my brother);
    • Crutch Clutter: things I used but knew I shouldn't (the 10 million pajamas I have);
    • Aspirational Clutter: things I use that I only aspire to use (the craft tools and scrapbook stuff);
    • Buyer's Remorse Clutter: bad purchases that I don't want to give up until I have actually used it (I don't have any because I am careful with what I buy now)
  • Tackle a nagging task. My nagging task is that den of ours. Not only do I have to sort through the piles of stuff there, I also have to clean out all the paper piles on top of the desk. When my hubby and I first moved into the condo, the den was used as storage  for all the boxes we still had to empty out. Then my cousin came to visit and it forced me to clean it all out so I could fit the air mattress in there. I would like to be able to do that again. Another task is to transfer all my files from my old laptop to my new one. It's a domino effect, once I start somewhere in that room, it will all come together. I plan to start to start with the piles, then the desk, then my old laptop.
  • Act more energetic. One of the author's Twelve Commandments "Act the way I want to feel" is something I want to apply to the way I look at life and even apply it to when I am at work. Right now I am not happy at work, I truly do not want to be there. I plan to act happy because maybe it will make me feel happy. I will go into work, wanting to be there and to succeed at my job. It's better to have positive thoughts than to act miserable and feel miserable.
If there is anyone else out there reading The Happiness Project, feel free to leave a comment with your blog post so I can see what you are doing this month to boost your energy and how you are doing in bringing more happiness to your life.

Here are some posts from other bloggers who are part of this read along:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Hangover = retard

Wes the guy my hubby and I met in Cayo Ensenachos last year raved about The Hangover. If you haven't seen it, you should, it's quite funny.  I will warn you that the middle kinda drags. Anyway, my favorite part of the movie is the comment that Alan makes in the car about Rain's all about the way he pronounces retard.  I love it. I can't stop saying, especially at work.

WINNER of my first BLARKNESS giveaway

I put all the names in a basket and asked Mike to draw a name of the FIVE people that entered (pretty pathetic huh?) and the winner is Anonymous...

Seriously, it is Anonymous but I know who it is. Maybe next time she leaves a comment, she will at least write her name (LOL!).  Anonymous is...


Friday, February 12, 2010

Why today is turning out to be awesome...

This week hasn't been the greatest for me. I hit a low point Sunday night and kept to myself for most of the week. I didn't feel social and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed, hide under the covers and stay there forever. Yesterday I felt better. I don't know if it's because I met up with a friend who I haven't been in touch with lately and had a great conversations with her. I don't know it it's because I started to knit again and that calmed my nerves. I don't know if it's because it's a Friday before long weekend. Maybe it's because I am going to see Robin Thicke on Sunday.

Well, today, although I had a bumpy start (I bought a jacket from Jacob last night and they forgot to take off the security tag, so I am walking around looking like I stole it - I'm getting it removed on lunch), things are looking up. This is why I think today is going to be an awesome day!

I picked out a pair of jeans from the bottom of the jean pile and because they are at the bottom, they're old. Guess what...they fit me. They are not snug. This is a good thing because it means that I am not as chunky as I use to be.


I came into work this morning to find some treats (btw - those orange wrapped Lindt chocolates are peanut butter flavour - I never knew they made them with PB).


I also came into work to find that my cupcake order arrived. This is my Valentine's Day treat to myself.

I hope your day is turning into an awesome one. Whether or not you have Monday off because it's Family Day, I wish you a great weekend. I hope it's filled with lots of love and food. Have fun watching the Olympics & NBA All-Star weekend! And Happy Chinese New Year!

Blog Friend Friday: Meet deesolsarmi

deesolsarmi is a friend but she is actually my sister-in-law. I have known this girl since she was 16. I have witnessed her transform from bookworm to superMOM. I am still amazed that she has two kids but she's good at it. Her daughter is the smartest kid I know and her son is my handsome godson (who is terrified of me). deesolsarmi recently started blogging and she has a knack for it. I'll admit that I like reading blogs that have pictures to go with it but her blog is straight up writing and I really enjoy reading it. She has given me some insight on what it's like to be a mother but at the same time, she still shows her love for pop culture. I know that her spare time is limited but I would love to see her blog more. We share a love for One Tree Hill and white boys.

1) When and why did you start blogging? 
summer 2009 bc i was on mat leave for the second time around. needed to vent, have some form of "adult" conversation even though it was only one way.

2) Where do you live? 
aurora. brraap.

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging? 
i teach therefore i am. my kids are my life therefore they are my spare time and all the time.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account? 
yes and yes

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
lainey gossip, robsten websites. LOL no shame!

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why? 
pssh since ive been nowhere really how about the place i WOULD like to go and have a vacation is disneyworld w/my kids or bahamas just me and M.

7) Name your top three movies.
Usual Suspects, Memento, Suicide Kings

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
ROBSTEN! guilty pleasure!

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker? 

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't forget to enter...

Two more days to enter my first BLARKNESS giveaway - I will annouce the winner on Saturday. 

Blush Boutique

If you are a fan of BlushPretty, you probably already know that she has recently opened up a place where you can order some very cool beauty products that you can't necessarily find at your local drug store or Sephora.

Check out Blush Boutique for some amazing products like Butter London, Cake Beauty, Principessa and much more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My winter skin needs your help!!!

Winter = Skin that is dry, flaky and itchy

Do you find that you have this favorite product that suits your needs but when you over use it, it stops doing its job? Do you find that in the winter, your skin is so dry and flaky, maybe even itchy from lack of moisture?

My skin needs your help. I don't want to go into details about how my skin is this winter season but I am finding that the products I use to depend on, are just not working for me. 

What products do you use to relieve your cuticles? your hands? your face? your skin?

Movie Review: Dear John

After working a 10 hour shift on Saturday, I was desperate to watch a movie on Sunday morning. With 20 minutes to spare, the hubby and I booted it to AMC to watch the 11:20 am show.

That's right, we watched Dear John. As you may know, I am a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks. I have read all his books, so I must watch all the books that turn into movies. I also make the hubby watch the them too and I think he doesn't mind it. I am almost certain that he didn't mind watching Dear John because "John" is a surfer in the movie.

I read the book years ago so I can't remember it chapter for chapter but I am 99% sure the movie follows the book to a tee. Although that 1% is telling me that something is missing from the movie. I can't pinpoint what it is, maybe if I read the book again, I can figure it out.

This movie is, of course, a love story between John and Savannah. They have a two week whirlwind romance before he is shipped off again by the army. They write letters back and forth to each other until one day Savannah stops writing and John is forced to deal with something back home. Channing Tatum is perfect for the role of John but the movie was lacking something. Sure, it made me cry like all of the other Sparks' movies but I just didn't love it like A Walk to Remember and The Notebook.

[blarkness rating: 3.5 out of 5]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Knitting gone bad

Last night, I was looking for my slippers under my bed and came across an uncompleted knitting project. I was trying to knit a little baby blanket. I don't recall who it was for but all I know is that I immediately picked it up to finish it. I was surprised that I remembered how to do the stitch and also how relaxing it was.  I knit all through One Tree Hill. It's a shame though as I didn't have enough yarn and I also forgot how to close off. Now that I discovered how much knitting can relax me, I plan to knit another baby blanket. I just have to go out and buy some soft yarn.

Do you have a hobby that you once enjoyed and have put it aside for the time-being?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

List of movies I want to watch (Feb edition)

Since my last post in October, I have watched The September Issue and I will be watching This Is It on the weekend. I decided to wait for Daybreakers to come out on DVD because if I watched it in the theatre, I would probably end up screaming like a little girl. Mike warned me that although the movie is about vampires, it's not going to be like Twilight. I hope to watch Dear John and Valentine's Day over the long weekend (even if I have to watch both by myself). Here are some movies that I want to watch over the next couple of months. I guess I will list up to the end of June.

April 2, 2010 - The Last Song -I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' books and I have also watched all the movies that have stemmed from his books. I didn't know that this book was turning into a movie so quickly. Even though Miley Cyrus is in it, I'll still watch it. But...I have to read the book first.

May 7, 2010 - Iron Man 2 -The first Iron Man was awesome. Let's hope that the second one is just as good or even better!

May 28, 2010 - Prince of Persia: Sands of Time -I haven't played the game and I have no idea what the story is about. The movie just looks so cool.

May 28, 2010 - Sex and the City 2 - I don't think I have to explain this one. If you are a normal girl, the words, Sex and the City will excite you. I can't wait.

June 11, 2010 - The A-Team -Two words...Bradley Cooper. I don't need to say anymore. The only part that sucks...Jessica Biel is in it. I don't like her.

June 30, 2010 - Twilight Saga: Eclipse - No trailer for it yet but like the other two movies, I will take the day off on opening day and watch it at noon. It's my tradition. This movie better be good and the fight scene better be awesome!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Julie

I have known Julie since 1987 when we lived in Whitehorse. Yes, you heard me correctly. We lived across the street from each other. We played Barbies, made mud pies in the forest behind our backyards, we played in their treehouse, we rode our bikes by the dam, we did everything together...we even made our dads pull us all on a sleigh late at night down our street. Once my family moved to Toronto, I lost touch with Julie. Before my brother left us suddenly, he re-connected me with Julie and I am so thankfully for it. Julie and I share a love for Robin Thicke and food (me = junk and Julie = healthy).

1) When and why did you start blogging?
A year ago

2) Where do you live?
Comox, BC

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I'm a teacher and that pretty much sadly consumes most of my life. When I do get a minute I love cooking, shopping, yoga, walking.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
Yes, Facebook

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
I have a list of them. Mainly fashion blogs

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Anywhere hot and tropical near the beach.

7) Name your top three movies.
The Princess Bride, Moulin Rouge and Sex and the city? I'm sure there are others but it's 6 am and my brain has not had coffee yet

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
Not so much a stalker but I do read fadedyouthblog almost everyday.

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Both, but need my java in the am.

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
I have never even eaten one that hasn't been homemade from a kids birthday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villians (my thoughts)

Photo courtesy of BuddyTV

With the 20th season of Survivor starting next Thursday, I thought I would do up a little post on the upcoming season I am so excited about.  I have watched every season except season 17 - Gabon. While I love Survivor, I am by no means a hardcore fan. I cannot name the winner of every season. This season takes place in Samoa and has the heroes and villains of Suvivor up against each other. This should make it very interesting to watch for when they merge and even to see a group of villains all on the same team. Here are just some of my thoughts on the castaways...


Amanda (China, Micronesia) - She's tough for a 25 year old to have gone on survivor twice. She deserves to win.
Candice (Cook Islands) - Don't remember who she is.
Cirie (Panama, Micronesia) - I think that she coasts and it gets her far. A smart way to make it to the final four.
Colby (Australia, All-Stars) - What's not there to like about Colby. He had an awesome relationship with Tina (the winner). She bought him a Harley when she won the million dollars.
James (China, Micronesia) - A grave digger, that's one scary job. He's cool though.
JT* (Tocantins) - JT is my favorite out of all castaways.  I want him to win...again!
Rupert (Pearl Islands, All-Stars) - He's just an all-around nice guy.
Stephenie (Palau, Guatemala) - I think if there is anyone who really, truly deserves to win, it's Stephenie. In Palau, she was the only remaining member of her tribe and had to be on her own until the merge.
Sugar (Gabon) - Don't know her because I didn't watch the season she was on.
Tom* (Palau) - Stephenie should have won this season. I think during this season when Stephenie got voted out, I refused to continue watching.


Coach (Tocantins) - This guy bugs me. I can't stand him. The funny thing is, he's following me on Twitter.
Courtney (China) - I don't remember her...
Danielle (Panama) - ...or her...
Jerri (Australia, All-Stars) - She's the one you love to hate and I just hate that she keeps coming back. You suck Jerri, you will never win.
Parvati* (Cook Islands, Micronesia) - This girl can flirt her away to the final four. Does this make her a villian? I think it makes her a hero. LOL!
Randy (Gabon) - Don't know anything about him because this was the most boring season ever.
Rob (Marquesas, All-Stars) - He's the guy you love to hate but I actually like him for proposing to Amber on the live finale. Who doesn't love a Survivor romance? Although Ozzy and Amanda were a much hotter romance.
Russell (Samoa) - This guy is irritating as heck but he's a smart guy. To see him almost in tears because he wanted the title of Sole Survivor instead of the million makes me think that he should just win. He wants that title so bad!!!
Sandra* (Pearl Islands) - Was she a villian? What did she do that was so bad.? Why don't I remember her but I remember Rupert?
Tyson (Tocantins) - Mr. Bad Ass. He's cool. He makes me laugh...I wonder what he has up his sleeve. He's such an entertainer.

* winner of their season

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Valentine giveaway on Post Grad Hair Cut

If you are a stationary lover, you will want to enter this giveaway for very cute set of Valentine's Day cards. Check out Post Grad Hair Cut's blog.

Book Review: The Vampire Diaries - The Fury and Dark Reunion

The Fury and Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #3-4) The Fury and Dark Reunion by L.J. Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was quite surprised to find myself enjoying these two volumes. The first two were a bit dull until the ending. I bought this book because I wanted to finish the books before continuing to watch the show - I want to compare. Although I love Twilight, I found that the love between Elena and Stefan is much more intense than Edward and Bella. Stefan is totally in love with Elena and it's tough to read about a vampire in so much pain when he can't be with the one he loves. Vampire Diaries is too much of a fantasy book for me but as intrigued as I am by the storyline and my craze for vampires, I will read the next volume - The Return: Nightfall. I have read this far...why stop?

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a BLARKNESS giveaway: A few of my favorite things...

I have been blogging since 2004 but started this blarkness blog in August 2007. I have been posting almost every day and along the way, I have meet some nice people who read my blog daily - some are strangers, some are friends. I also started adding other people's blogs to my google reader, again - some are strangers, some are friends. I began to notice a trend in the blogs that I am following - most of them do a giveaway. Who doesn't love to win stuff? So, I put together a few of my favorite things in my first giveaway. If you have been reading my blog, some of these items will look familiar to you.

Included in this giveaway:

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment and share with us one of your favorite products. If you like, include your email, blog or website. I'll get my hubby to draw from the entries on February 12th and will post the winner on my blog the next day. Make sure to come back and find out if you've won and to read other people's favorite products.

Good luck! 

24: Cole Ortiz (Freddie Prinze Jr.)

Monday nights I plop my butt on the couch and watch One Tree Hill at 8:00 and then 24 at 9:00. This is my quiet night because my hubby is usually at volleyball. But last night, hubby was home and was somewhat forced to watch my shows with me.  I secretly like it when he becomes involved in a show that he thought he wouldn't be interested in. He was quite intrigued by 24.

24 was awesome last night. The part I liked most was after Jack told Cole he didn't need any back up, Cole still covered Jack's ass by snipering (is that a word?) three of Vladimir's men.  Cole kicks ass!!!  He is the real reason I am watching 24.

Freddie Prinze Jr. was the prince of romantic comedies back in the day and then he fell off the planet when he married Sarah Michele Geller. I am pretty sure most girls crushed on him when he was in I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, She's All That, Down to You, Boys and Girls, Summer Catch and Head Over Heels. What about when he played Sandy the male nanny on Friends or when he had his own TV show, Freddie.

What's your favorite Freddie Prinze Jr. movie?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekend recap: Two birthdays, two little travellers and new coin purse

I hate how I live for the weekend to arrive and it just disappears so quickly. I started off my weekend by getting my eyebrows cleaned up at Benefit Brow Bar with Megan. I cannot stress how Megan saved my eyebrows. I was in the process of growing them out and I am still am but she helped reshape them and encourages me not to over tweeze. Without Megan, my brows would either be two thin lines drawn above my eyes or they would turn into two giant caterpillars (that's what they looked like when I was in grade 10). I left work at normal time, got home, chatted with Julie, then started to bake.  It was an early night for me.

I was behind two episodes and after Elisse emailed me to tell me how good Thursday's episode was, I knew that I had to catch up. Saturday morning, Mike and I watched back-to-back episodes. Not sure if you know that as I am watching the show, I am also reading the book. Currently I am on Volume 4 - The Dark Reunion. This is seriously a bad idea because I am getting really confused with the book and tv show. I can't remember what happened where. I am always careful with what I say to Mike or Elisse because I don't want to give anything away. I thought after reading volume 3 that the book has a much better storyline but after these two episodes, I am liking where the show producers are heading. It's quite different from the book. As the show continues, I will be able to talk about what I read in the books.I don't want to spoil it for anyone.

All through my schooling, I have never had a real set of friends. A crew that you can depend on, friends who you get together with for every occasion. I did have a group of girls - there was four of us (GB, TH and KM) - in the beginning of high school that I was always with, but of course you drift apart. I still have random girlfriends I am extremely close to from different stages in my life but I only until 12 years ago did I come across a group of friends who are now going to be my lifelong friends. We partied, we traveled, we clubbed, we got married, we moved, we had kids...we are now in all different stages of our lives but every so often, we still manage to get together and have some fun. Saturday was Richie and Giselle's birthdays. I won't disclose their age but both of them have kids and haven't been out to have some adult time in a while. It was nice of them to get us all together for a kid-free night. Although we can't party like we use to, it was nice to go out, have dinner at The Drake (in a private dining room I may add) and then chill out at 5ONE5. Yes, 5ONE5 is our crew's very own club/lounge. Only we get access to it =) It was great to have a laugh with these guys and see Giselle and Richie have shots of tequila to remind us that 10 years ago, we were all together in Cancun. We torn apart Dee's place and analyzed every piece of furniture in his place. We looked through his closet and dresser. We laid on his bed and tested out the pillows. Richie and Mike did their poses on the lounger. These are the moments that don't happen as often as we would like them to but I am sure glad that we all make the effort to make them happen.

When the Solon Massive get together, it's usually pretty crazy and hectic. On Sunday was Jason's birthday. He's my brother-in-law and the oldest of the bunch. We went to Joey's to celebrate his birthday. He is such a sweet guy because he paid for the 14 people who came out to his birthday lunch. Two things I have to mention, one of them being really corny and one being a rant. Let's get the corny one out of the way. I have known Mike's younger brother Jon since he was 13. He's never really spoken to me. I talk to him but he doesn't really talk back to me, he basically runs when he sees me. Well, at lunch, HE was ACTUALLY talking to me. HE was ACTUALLY asking me questions, HE was making conversation.  When we left, I said to Mike, "I kinda like that Jon's able to talk to me now" . Mike replies, "Well, he should be able to, he's 25 now". And I said, "It only took him 12 years!!!!". Anyway, it may not matter to anyone else but it's a big deal to me. Now that's corny! For my rant...everyone raves about Joey's. The food is good, I will give them that but they always f*ck up on large party reservations. It's like they can't handle it, well, they really can't handle it because their restaurant is designed for more initimate parties, like no more than 6-7 at a table. I don't think that I will go back with a large party but if it's a foursome, then it might be okay. If you are thinking of doing a party for more than 10 people, maybe check out Glow which is across from Joey's. I saw a secret dining room on the lower level. I have never inquired about it but maybe you can.

Mike and I got to Shops at Don Mills a bit early so we walked around. I bought this cute little coin purse from Michael Kors. I can use it to hold my coins and subway tokens or I can use it as a carrying case or protector for my iPhone.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Ludlow Coin Purse in Amethyst

During our last vacation in December, we brought our little travellers to Punta Cana. We forgot to bring them to Vancouver which would have made for some lovely photo opportunities. But while in Punta Cana, for the first few days, I forgot to bring them out to the beach and when we remembered, I noticed that the arms of my little traveller fell off. Mike still took some pictures anyway. So when we returned home, I immediately ordered new ones.

Mike will obviously name his but do you want to name mine? Leave a comment with what you think I should name my new traveler.

Little Travellers