Friday, April 30, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet The Girlie Blog

When I posted Solo Lisa as my Blog Friend Friday a few weeks ago, I gained a new reader, The Girlie Blog. She leaves the sweetest comments on my blog and I look forward to reading them. Her blog that filled with fitness and beauty tips and simple, yummy recipes (this is what I enjoy reading the most).

1) When and why did you start blogging?
2006.  Because I like to write and wanted to keep my friends and family from far away informed.

2) Where do you live?
In the U.S

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I work in IT as a software tester - not the most exciting job, but tell you what, the personalities are...dynamic. My friends and I have nicknames for some of them: "multiple personality", "mean guy", "braggy lips" ... hahahaha, all in good fun really! When I am not blogging in my spare time, I'm either at the gym, jogging outside or out shopping.  But lately, since I'm preggors, I've been sleeping A LOT!!

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
No twitter.  I do have a facebook account, but it's private and only for my family and friends.

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
I really like reading the blogs I follow, yours included :O)

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
New York.  Because not only do I get to see family, I can also indulge in the big, noisy city.
San Francisco, because I have never been anywhere as beautiful and romantic as that place.

7) Name your top three movies.
Saving Private Ryan
The Family Man
The Lover

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
Sam Worthington and Kendra Wilkinson Baskett

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
I like cupcakes, but will never like them as much as you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Cheeky Monkey Experience (and a giveaway!)

***There's a nail polish giveaway at the end of this post***

Where do I begin? I guess I start from Sunday night when I met Andrea from Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics at Blush Pretty's Beauty Board. Once Stephanie told me that she got a nail polish company on board, I got all excited. I looked over the website for days leading up to the event and I can't even describe my excitement when I found out that Andrea was doing polish changes at the event. Oh the selection!!! Part of my personality is that I have trouble making decisions when too many options are thrown my way (hence, why I always check out a menu before dining out so I don't sit there for hours trying to decide what to eat). So I asked Andrea for a recommendation but warned her that I don't do light or neutral polish. She choose Booty Call, a new shade added to her line but not yet available for purchase. Anyway, I had a wonderful yet funny conversation with her.

Now imagine how thrilled I was to find out on Monday morning that the Dealight of the Day on Sweetspot was 40% off Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics. I went crazy and immediately had to tweet about it. Later that night I placed my order after receiving more recommendations from Andrea since I couldn't decide on what colours I should buy. Did I mention that Andrea is awesome? Tuesday morning, I see that I should receive my package of goods by Wednesday at noon. Wednesday comes and goes. Very little tracking info. Thursday morning comes and goes...still no delivery. Finally, Thursday afternoon, there is an update on the tracking page...the package has been received and signed by...wait for it, wait, wait wait....ME!!!! I am shaking and panicking at my desk.  How could I have signed for it when I never received the package? I spoke to UPS three times. I spoke to the woman at the UPS store twice. I checked with our receptionist. I checked with the company across the hall. I checked at the security desk. NOTHING. After two hours of phone calls and emails, I came to the conclusion that someone stole my package and I decided to let Andrea know. She called UPS to see what went wrong but also offered to drive to my work to give me some replacements.  How sweet! Did I mention already that Andrea is awesome? Coming to terms that the package is gone and that I can breathe again because I have replacements on the way, I call it a day and go home.

While on the train ride home, I get a call from my co-worker. She tells me that my package has arrived! Strange huh? It just suddenly appears. Anyway, I don't care to find out what happened, I really only care that I have finally received my order. Look what I got:

Cute packaging!

I love the ribbon.

I ordered three polishes and the top coat.  
Andrea also threw in some extras - mini manicure kit, foot file, 
manicure dish and some stickers. Did I mention that Andrea is awesome?

My Cheeky Monkey experience has been a stressful (on UPS' part) yet pleasant (because of Andrea). I truly love the packaging and names of all her polishes. She had a great idea and concept and executed it well enough to gain the attention of the nail polish whore (me!). I hope you take the time to check out how cute and hilarious her website is and maybe you might even buy some of her polishes. Andrea - if you ever read this - thanks for the all the extras you gave me. As I mentioned before, it was such a pleasure meeting you at Beauty Board and I hope that we run into each other again. You have a great sense of humour and a wonderful company to boot. I wish you continued success in Cheeky Monkey!!



To promote Cheeky Monkey (cuz I love it so much) and because it's about time I do another giveaway, I will be giving away ONE of these nail polishes - Party Whore OR Come Hither.

Left: Party Whore / Right: Come Hither

1) To enter this giveaway you must leave a comment with your name and the colour you would like to win (Party Whore or Come Hither - pick one).

2) You'll get a additional entry if you visit Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics and leave a comment on my blog with the polish name you love best (they are all so cheeky) - this is proof you've stop by her site and looked around.

3) You'll get one more entry if you blog about this giveaway and leave a comment here with the link.

Contest ends Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm ET. Good luck!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Angie

I came across Mommy Doings when I found out that she was part of Für Elisse's read along for The Happiness Project.  Angie started commenting on my blog and then I started following hers. I am intrigued by her job which she doesn't write about that often but I do enjoy reading her posts about her Happiness Project. What's cool is that she lives in Toronto and I can't wait to meet up with this fellow blogger (hopefully in the summer). I love how she always comments on my posts.

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging 2006 with a more fashion oriented blog, it still is up and running but I haven't posted on it in over a year, I lost interest in writing about fashion trends. I started this blog because it was tidbits about myself and a place where it could be cathartic to get out my thoughts. It really has been great and rewarding.

2) Where do you live?
I live in Toronto... ironically all my life. Never left, dream about relocating to NYC one day or London; but can't see what would take me there right now! 

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I am an event producer and have my own little boutique company that I started this year called Pink Creative Productions, spare time gets sucked up by my 2 beautiful girls who keep me on my toes, they are Irish twins and the source of my general need for being the best human I can be and a very small jewelry line that I started years ago.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
 I do have Twitter @nikiandlola, it's a small jewelry company that I have and had started a twitter acct. for; but I post all my silliness on it from my cooking, tv watching to the funny things my daughters do. My facebook is my personal one, I do have a fan page for my jewelry line, perhaps I should get one for my blog one day; but I don't think I have enough followers... LOL!!

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
My husband would say I have a facebook addiction, as soon as I get on I will check it first, I have everyone I need on there... I check it before my emails, but I am a internet junkie, I like reading blogs, I need real--- not interested in any longer in hearing celebrity gossip because it doesn't feel the same as reading other real peoples daily occurrences. 

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Ohhh it's this little spot in the south of Greece called Mani, the Mediterranean stands still there literally not a wave in sight and the water is the clearest I have ever seen it anywhere, can't wait til my daughters can learn to dive so I can take them cliff diving there! 

7) Name your top three movies.
Ohhh hard one, Sound of Music, have seen it every year of my life that I can remember, it's a staple in my life it makes me feel good inside. Perhaps it's because of my age, but I have a fond memory of Cruel Intentions and could watch it over and over again. But there are too many to pick from, I cry at movies so there are plenty that have made me ball my eyes out, like The Notebook, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons and so many more!

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
I used to like to read about them all... now I could careless but I am a Britney fan... have been for years! It's pretty silly-- but I do!

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Ohhhh COFFEE! I love coffee, I prefer it cold, Ice Moccachinos or Frappés. Little cafés are where I prefer to go, but I will settle for Starbucks or Second Cup any day. Hot coffee Timmies makes a fantastic Double Double for the really cold winter days. 

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
 WHO DOESN'T??? I am a chocolate girl, but if there is a lot of icing I am there, and my weight unfortunately shows that I love my baked goods. But I should share one day my perfect vegan chocolate cupcakes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I won!!! I won!!!!

I never win anything. Okay, that's a lie. I've won a pineapple. I've won a Roots Lou Lou leather magazine bag. I've won a Roots perfume gift basket. I've won eye cream from Beauty board. But I have never won anything this big...

On Tuesday, I was notified that I won an all-inclusive trip to Melia Cayo Santa Maria. I was shocked and couldn't believe it. The rep from Transat Holidays had to ask if I remember entering the contest in Metro News.  Once she mentioned it, I suddenly recall filling the online form a few weeks ago.  The funny thing is, just moments before I received the call, I was looking at my co-worker's vacation photos saying that I want to go on vacation (it's funny for me to say this because hubby and I already have a trip booked in June). About 10 minutes later, I get the call from Transat. How ironic!!!

Now I just need to figure out when to go. I have a year to book this trip. I have entered three other trip contests. Imagine if I win another one?

Melia Cayo Santa Maria - photo credit: Trip Advisor

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Macaron vs. Macaroon

Please don't get confused because there's quite a difference - just read this article here.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I don't ever hide my love for cupcakes so I am quite excited for Toronto's CupcakeCamp on May 2nd. I have already purchased tickets for me and Marie. I can't wait. Marie might just have to roll me out of the place!

Have you purchased your ticket? It's already 75% sold out!!!

Product Review: Mary Kay Cheek Glaze

Yes, I know that you can see my finger marks. 
I should have taken the pictures before using it.

For the next couple of days, I will be testing and reviewing most of the products that I got as swag from the Beauty Board. I know that you are probably thinking there's this stigmata that Mary Kay is a company for older women but you must be shocked at the fact that they are actually making cool products. This cheek glaze (in pomegranate in the photo above) is very easy to apply and although it's dark in colour, when applied, it adds a perfect flush to your face. This product is ideal for those who want to wear blush but are scared of applying it. Because the glaze is very smooth and light with lots of colour, all you need to use are your fingers to apply and blend. It's fool-proof.  

It totally worked on me this morning as I was looking quite ghostly from only four hours of sleep. At Blush Pretty's Beauty Board, I had applied Tangerine to my friend's cheeks which gave her a very natural coral colour. It would look great on tanned skin.  Pomegranate when I originally tried it on with a tester, it made me look like a clown (it slipped my mind that I already had blush on therefore it really just added more colour). But when applying it this morning, it gave me a rosy, fresh flush. You can also dab a bit of the cheek glaze to your lips to add a hint of colour. The only flaw is that it doesn't stay on all day on your lips and cheeks so make sure you stash this little pot in your bag for quick touch ups.

Don't be turned away that this cheek glaze is from Mary Kay. The packaging is very different than what you were use to seeing. The packaging reminds me of Bobbi Brown products.

| blarkness rating: 4.5 out of 5 |

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday Memories: Superstars Nightclub

Back when I was 16, there was this club in Mississauga that everyone went to...Superstars. It was pretty much all ages but I am sure that there was a 19+ section somewhere in the club. I can't even remember seeing a bar, all I remember is a HUGE dance floor and a stage. This was where my friends and I went every weekend. We would see people from all the Mississauga high schools and even people from the East end and downtown.  Sometimes we would get a ride, sometime we would have to take the bus. Trust me, taking the bus there wasn't a bad thing. That Dixie bus was filled with all sorts of people also going to Superstars.

One night that stands out (well, maybe it's because K.M. reminded me) was when I met her for the first time. She was with G & D who were also from Oakville. We met at the bus stop at Dixie and Dundas. Who knew that meeting someone at a bus stop would turn into a friendship.

Another time, I was on the bus with my then boyfriend, let's call him Darkman. He was so excited to wear this new shirt he just bought. I remember being on the bus thinking how ugly it was.  Sorry Darkman, I don't think that you will ever read this but it wasn't a nice shirt all tucked into your bells.

I really wish I took some pictures back then, for the memories and of course to laugh at my outfits. But for now, I will just have to go by this one song, 3 am Eternal by KLF, that brings it all back. It's so clear in my head that when the intro (the cell phone beeps and electric guitar strums) to the song came on, you could expect everyone to go crazy and the fireworks/light show to go off on stage.

Off topic... Happy Birthday to my BFF, Stephanie!!!
I hope you are still riding that high from a successful night last night. Let's hope the boys treated you to wonderful presents and lots of food!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend filled with toddlers & makeup

As usual, the weekend has come and gone. It's back to work tomorrow.  It's almost 11 pm and I am determined to stay awake until midnight to watch America's Best Dance Crew's "Champions for Charity" show. I'm so excited to see Quest Crew's performances. See, I would have watched it at 8 pm but I was at Blush Pretty's Beauty Board. More on this later....So, with an hour before the repeat of the show starts, I might as well blog about my weekend.

Friday. Last minute, hubby decides that we should go visit his sisters up in Aurora since we didn't have anything planned for the evening. Before heading up north, we paid a visit to our niece, CAC. It was a long overdue visit but we finally gave her the present we bought for her. We ended up at Dianne's house and ate delicious burgers, cupcakes and cookies. We just lounged around but as always, it was fun to hang out with all the siblings. It wasn't a late night but as soon as we got home, I went straight to bed.

Mike and Blake.

Saturday. Maybe I should have cleaned up the condo but I was so wrapped up reading The Last Song. I didn't think I would enjoy the book but I just couldn't put it down, especially the last 100 pages. I cried and I cried and I couldn't stop. I am eager to now watch the movie to compare. I may just go after work tomorrow. I finally finished the book and got ready for a Tapas Party at Hakkim Hotel. I haven't seen my lil boyfriend, Marques since January. He has grown so much and is talking lots of gibberish (no one understands what he's saying). I taught him a couple of things that I don't think his parents are too pleased with.  Another good night of just eating and hanging out.

me and Marques

Sunday. What a day! Blush Pretty's Beauty Board was taking place at my work so I had to come downtown early. To those who were not able to make it, you missed out. I have been to all three Beauty Boards and this one tops it. It's grown so much with lots of companies wanting to get involved.  My faves - Cheeky Monkey Cosmetics, Consonant Body and DaLish Cosmetics. I especially found it a treat to get my nails painted in Booty Call (wow, the polish isn't even listed on their website, it's a new colour - a dark purple, almost black, maybe like eggplant) by the lovely owner of Cheeky Monkey, Andrea. My BFF threw an awesome event and seriously, if you didn't attend this Beauty Board, make sure you come to the next one. You are missing out on all the free swag. Just take a look for yourself.

Swag from Blush Pretty's Beauty Board

A very happy birthday to my cousin in San Francisco!!! I hope you are having an awesome day!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Book Review: The Last Song

The Last Song The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is about Ronnie and her strained relationship with her father and also about her summer love. I had no idea what I was in for. I actually only found out about the book because I saw the trailer for the movie. The book is filled with touching moments of first love and heated arguments of tough love. It hit close to home for me because I don't have a close relationship with my father.

The last 100 pages made me cry very hard, to the point where I had to put the book down to regain my composure. It was so heartwarming and touching to read how Ronnie grows throughout the summer and all the obstacles she faces as she comes into her own person, finally able to build on the relationships she made over the summer.

The Last Song is now one of my top favorite Nicholas Sparks books. Yes, he pretty much stays true to his formula - happiness + surprise turn of events + sorrow but this book has a happy ending, something you wouldn't expect.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, April 16, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Samantha

I came across Samantha's blog, Post Grad Hair Cut because she left a comment on one of my blogs, I am not sure if it was this blog or my travel blog. Her blog always has cool giveaways and lots of posts on her crafty finds. She totally supports local artists and features them on her blog. If you are into arts and crafts, her blog is a must for your google reader. BTW - I love this photo of her, it's so cute!

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I actually started a couple years ago but didn't keep up with it much.  I started my first blog to talk about what I was making for my business (  I started Post Grad Hair Cut in September to chronicle my life after university graduation. In January I really started focusing on it and posting about a lot of things I find online that I love.  It's become a bit of a diary + inspiration journal since.

2) Where do you live?
Vancouver, BC Canada

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
Well I currently work for a museum that is housed in Vancouver's old city morgue.  I manage all the programs the museum offers.  In my spare time I watch a lot of movies with my boyfriend Brendan, sew, craft, create and spend a lot of time on the internet.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
I do have a twitter account but I haven't really gotten the hang of it quite yet.  I am @sammade.  I also have a personal facebook account and a Post Grad Hair Cut account (which I would love if you would all join).
5) What
is your favorite website to visit daily?

The countless blogs on my blogroll.  Each one is so different and wonderful. Some of my favourites currently are:

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I'm not even sure about this one as I haven't gone to most of the places I would love to go.  I do, however, love going to Portland, OR and try to go at least once a year.  If I could go anywhere right now it would be Paris or Iceland.

7) Name your top three movies.
This is tough.  I am terrible at deciding favourites.  Can I just skip this question?

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
Well, I have to admit I do enjoy reading celebrity gossip magazines that are left behind at the gym.  I also have an unhealthy obession with Conan O'brien's twitter.

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Tea!  I used to love lattes but I've cut out caffeine mostly.

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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Excuse my absence

I apologize for not posting as much as I normally do. I have to admit that because I can't use the internet at work like before, I have been too lazy to blog.  Before the whole tracking of internet usage at work, I quite enjoyed blogging as soon as I got in to the office. It was my calm before the storm. I would type away and savour my Starbucks.

Now that I have to blog when I get home, it's not something I look forward to. After sitting in front of a computer at work for seven hours and consistently doing work, I don't feel like going on my laptop at home. It's a shame because I love to blog. I love to surf the net and find interesting things but since I can't do it at work before my day starts or on my breaks, I'm not thrilled about doing it when I could be relaxing at home.  I've also been lazy and uninspired.

This weekend is looking promising and I will most likely have something to blog about - Tapas party, Beauty Board and I will be helping a friend start her blog. I love welcoming friends to the blogging world.

I hope you are having a great week and enjoying the sunshine. Tomorrow is Friday...and as always, I am really looking forward to the weekend. Now it's time for some senchamental tea and Vampire Survivor (what I mean is that I will be watching The Vampire Diaries and Survivor tonight).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tea exchange

Last month, I signed up for the tea exchange party. My swap partner happens to be a fellow blogger and friend, stingaling. Today I received a pretty wrapped package and when I opened it, there was a bag of loose leaf tea from David's Tea. I have heard a lot about David's Tea so I was quite excited to try it. stingaling chose "Senchamental" from David's new spring line. It's full of flavours such as orange and peppermint and even has little goji berries.

Thanks stingaling! I had a cup of tea tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great pick! Your tea should be coming soon...

Monday Memories: High School Hangouts

Square One. Who remembers when the bus terminal use to be at the front entrance? Who remembers when Burger King was also at the front entrance? Who remembers when you could smoke in the mall?  I DO!!! Square One front entrance was the place to be no matter what high school you went to. This is where we would smoke and wait for everyone to come off the buses. It was the place to go to pick up guys/girls and meet everyone after school. Security wasn't tight back then about loitering. I remember going to hang out after school and even on the weekends.  I even remember that there was a movie theatre in the mall (which is now a Good Life gym) and we would go watch a movie when it was cheap on Tuesday.

Mickey's. Everyone hung out at this pool hall, mainly to play gitoni or gitz. There were also people who played Streetfighter. Us kids would hang out there after school, on weekends and also if you skipped school. Me...I would play gitz sometimes but most of the time, I was just there to hang out and smoke. One night that sticks out in my head is when S and M were going to fight each other and it was a big deal because they were both friends of ours.  I stayed back with MR and watched some guy's younger siblings who he brought out. I remember it being so upsetting to see two of my good friends kick the crap out of one another. I'm just making myself sound like a punk but this is what I did in my high school days.

Chicken Land. Yes, we hung out at a take out chicken place. In the back room was two gitoni tables. It was a little secret hangout for the employees and their friends. It's ironic that it's now a police station. MR and I hung out with a bunch of guys who practically lived in this place and of course, since I was interested in one of the guys, it became our second home.

I know that are more places that I hung out at during my high school years but these three stick out in my mind.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Just some random things I did this week

TV. Television has never been so awesome. I want to kick myself for being so addicted to it. As of late, most of the shows that I watch have been heartbreaking, heartwarming, tragic, full of suspense with great, cliff-hanging story lines. The shows that I am talking about are: Melrose Place, 24, Survivor and The Vampire Diaries. I think I have watched episode 16 (Santa Fe) of Melrose Place three times and episode 17 (Let the Right One In) of The Vampire Diaries four times. As for 24, the two hour episode last Monday (episode 15 & 16) had me glued to my sofa with my jaw dropping every 15 minutes. That scene when Agent Ortiz chases after Dana in the parking garage and loses it on her is one of his best scenes ever. Oh ya, I really only started watching 24 because of Freddie Prinze Jr. but now I am hooked. If I am bored in the summer, I will watch all other seven seasons. As for Survivor, there are too many blind sides and that is what is keeping me watching week after week. The show use to be predictable on who tribes would vote off but these never know. Have you seen any of these episodes?

Creative financing. About three weeks ago, our mortgage broker called us to let us know that mortgage rates have never been so low and that we should consider renewing now. With a lot of number crunching and emails, we went through with the refinancing, got rid of some debt and are now locked in for five years at a rate almost 1.5% lower than what we had.  We closed on Friday and came up a little short with funds but we managed to find some money in our other accounts and moved money around. Everything will all pay off in the end with less credit card debt to pay, less of a mortgage payment to make and more money to save. It's what I like to call creative financing. I have also reassessed our cable/internet bill, phone bill and cell bill to see where we can save. I am downgrading the services on our home phone line to a single line and call display. I'm going old school and have bought a digital answering machine. I have also beefed up my cell plan so that I have unlimited after 5 pm. Can you believe I have had the same cell phone plan since 1998 - 300 minutes with 100 text messages a month for $30?

 lavender cassis macaron

Macarons. I love this little things. Macarons are the new cupcake. I'm obsessed with them. On Friday, after my eyebrow waxing appointment (sadly, Megan is moving to the Yorkdale Brow Bar next week), I stopped by MoRoCo Chocolat's boutique to pick up some macarons. They are priced at 6 for $15. Yes, I know, it's pricey but they are delicious and nothing like the small ones I get at the boulangerie in Port Credit. The flavours I picked were - chocolate, coconut, lime & sea salt, lemon, lavender cassis and their specialty, salted caramel.

My new iPhone case

iPhone. I stayed an hour later at work since my evening plans got canceled due to the cold weather (WTF was up with that?). On my way to Union Station, I decided to pass by Fido to see if they had any iPhones. I have been thinking up changing my plan for about two months and two weeks ago when I finally convinced myself, they didn't have any iPhones in stock through the call centre. They told me to go to the store to check. Well, long story short, I got my iPhone and let me tell you that the guy working at the Fido store at First Canadian Place was awesome. He is a Mac geek and his friend who was waiting for him to finish is also a techie geek. I was at the store for an hour setting up my phone because we were talking about apps, games, the iPad, tea, 3D movies...they were really cool. Anyway, now I am a proud owner of a new iPhone. I can put my brother's original iPhone to rest.

DKNY Yellow Tortoise sunglasses

Sunglasses. So my hubby was pretty pissed that I came home Friday night with a new iPhone since he was almost positive that one was going to be shipped to him on Saturday. The call centre f*cked up and called him to let him know that they won't be sending him one and that he should go check  Fido or Apple stores. Saturday morning, we trekked over to the mall and spent over an hour at the Apple store. Mike finally got his iPhone!!!! On our way out of the mall, I stopped and picked up these sunglasses that I have been eyeing all week. I love them!!!

Big Blue bath bomb from LUSH

Lush Bath Bomb. After spending the whole day setting up my iPhone, I wanted to wind down and relax. The best way to do this is a bath with Epsom salt and a bath bomb from LUSH. The bath bomb of choice is Big Blue - it's filled with seaweed and turns your bath to look like the ocean. I bought the bomb a while ago, kept it in the bag and left it on the bathroom counter. All week the bathroom was filled with the LUSH scent...I am thinking of buying a bunch of bath bombs and putting them in a basket so the bathroom will envelope such a nice smell.

agenda and notebook

Getting organized. As much as I wanted to go digital and keep track of my calendar and thoughts on my iPhone, I have gone back to paper. I am writing everything I have done in my agenda and keeping future plans in my iPhone. I am writing all my ideas and shopping/to-do list in the purple notebook. It's not a moleskine, it's a fake one. I feel like I can be more on top of things if I write everything down. I am trying to organize my life and this might just be the key.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Meg

Photo courtesy of Meg

I can't remember how I came across Meg's blog. I was probably going through random blogs and came across hers, so naturally, I had to check out her blog, a life of curls and coffee. I was very fascinated by the layout and design of her blog. I was also drawn by the font she uses in her sidebars and I love how she signs off on each post. She doesn't ramble on, her post are thoughtful and to the point. She also includes great photos!

1) When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in October of last year, because I felt like I needed an outlet for my daily thoughts and ideas. I had started following some lifestyle blogs and I admired the way some women bloggers shared their insights into life and their daily inspirations.  Since I was embarking on a new stage in my life, I felt like I wanted to do the same.

2) Where do you live?
I live in Vancouver, BC. I am originally from Victoria (on Vancouver Island) and I moved to Vancouver to attend university.  I am completely in love with this city - it has everything from nature to mountains to beaches to a fantastic music scene and a ton of live theater.

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I am recently graduated from a Bachelor of Science, and I hope to eventually go back for a Bachelor of Education and become a middle school science teacher.  For now I'm taking a year off from school to get used to being married (my husband and I got married this past August) and I'm working for the university - I coordinate Languages Programs.  In my spare time I love to read (and have been loving being able to do much more of it since I finished school!) do yoga, run, hike, and discover new parts of town and new adventures.

4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
For my blog, I have neither. I still don't think I fully understand twitter!

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
I have a few blogs that I visit daily, they are a source of endless inspiration to me.  Some of my favorites are: contented meheart of light, and my brother & his fiancee's blog teddy loves lu loves teddy.

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Ahhh vacation! I don't think I have one favorite vacation spot, because I want to visit everywhere. But if there's one thing I'm happy doing every single summer, it's camping. I love to camp & get back to nature. I could camp for two weeks every summer.  I could probably also handle heading to Paris for a few months each year, but that would be more lifestyle, less vacation :)

7) Name your top three movies.
Choosing my favorite movies has always been a hard one for me. I fall in and out of love with movies very quickly.  But I have to say I love ridiculous comedies the best, and I can watch them over and over.  Two of my all-time favorites are "the sweetest thing" with cameron diaz & "old school" with will ferrell.  These movies are about friends bonding and having fun, and I'm always happy to curl up with one of them when I've had a long day, or play one in the background when I'm getting crafty.  I've also always loved the movie "the wedding singer" with adam sandler & drew barrymore. it's heartfelt and silly, and absolutely hilarious.

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
I hesitate to say that I stalk any celebrities, and I try to stay away from celebrity gossip (although that's usually way easier said than done, and doesn't always happen!) there are a few women celebrities that i try to emulate, and so I keep up with what they're doing.  Jennifer Garner is one of my favorite actresses - I feel she balances work & home life well, and she's gorgeous and fit and always smiling. I also love Jenna Fischer, who is adorable and hilarious, and Jennifer Aniston... because, come on... who doesn't want to be like Jennifer Aniston just a little bit?

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
I drink both tea & coffee, depending on the time of day and what my life is like.  This year I have been much less busy than usual, and so I find I've been drinking a lot less coffee and enjoying tea more.  It's very calming, but I will never say no to a lovely cappucino on a Saturday afternoon at my local french cafe.

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
who doesn't love cupcakes? I can't buy them anymore to bring home, because a dozen cupcakes won't last longer than a few hours around me!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Childhood photos

 This photo was taken in January 2001. My mom made us take this photo. 
It's when Gino finally turned 19 and when we started to hang out more.

Tonight, my mom stopped by to drop off albums of my childhood photos. They use to be in old, clunky albums but since my mom will be moving yet again, she decided to rearrange them into smaller, more compact ones. The weekend that she did this, I remember her calling me in tears of laughter because she couldn't get over the way she dressed me when I was a kid. She made my clothes and described them as if she took an old placemat or curtain and sewed it into a dress. She apologized profusely while she laughed her head off.

When she came over, I wanted to go through the pictures and have her point out to me the photos that made her laugh. And we did laugh. We laughed at the crocheted dresses, pants that looked like a curtain and parkas with so much fur around the hood (I use to live in Yellowknife). It was all jokes until...

...I got to the photos when my brother was born.  In most of the pictures, there was me...holding Gino, hugging Gino, my arm around Gino, Gino and I laughing, playing...all good memories. We had so much fun growing up until we were separately when my parents split. We lived together until I was 15 and he 10. From then on, we lived apart and eventually grew apart. From this age until we were 25 and 20, there are barely any pictures of us throughout those ten years. But as I looked through those pictures of us back in the day, I broke down. I looked at maybe 15 pictures and had to stop. I was in tears. It hurt too much to look at the photos of all the good times I shared with my brother as kids. My mom understood and put the albums away. I have no idea how she is able to rearrange Gino's albums. I know she cried but followed through and completed it.

Even though I am missing ten years of photos with Gino, I am happy that I have early photos and more recent photos of the relationship I had with my one and only brother. The last several years before he passed away, we grew really close and made up for the ten years we were not living together, or I should say, the ten years we weren't involved in each others' lives as normal siblings. I know that I don't need photos to remember Gino because I will always hold him close to my heart but it's always nice to see that smiling face of his and the fond memories I have of him while he was here.

One day, I hope I am strong enough to look through all my photos and maybe even look at Gino's albums.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If we ever meet again...

I'm so in love with this song...and they played it on Melrose Place last night. Katy Perry looks gorgeous in the video. She makes me want to cut my bangs like hers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Art of Procrastinating

I use to be on top of my game. When I created a "to-do" list, I accomplished everything on it. I wanted to tackle each item right away and never leave things to be done last minute. Things have changed. My life has been turned upside down and hasn't been return to the right position yet. As much as I try to get my life organized, I just don't have that drive in me anymore. I have iPhone apps to help me organize my life, I have a notebook to help me remember things and to jot down my thoughts and ideas. It's all good but it doesn't help unless I actually follow through.

I knew that I had become the Queen of Procrastination once my hubby said that if I didn't want to call Bell to change our services, he could. Another sign was the fact that I had spent an hour on the phone with Rogers to figure out if I should go with their home phone and bundle my services. I told the guy I needed more time to think about it and then I proceeded to avoid his calls for the next week. There are so many things on my to-do list. It's all a nagging task and once I complete one thing, I can move onto the next. It's domino-effect. I just need to get my butt into gear. I thought that if I shared with you what I need to get done, it might give me that push to do them.

  1. GET MY PASSPORT PHOTO!!!! This is step one because step two would be to fill out the application and step three is drop it off. This is my #1 priority since we are going on vacation in two months. Someone needs to get on me so that I don't put it off any longer.
  2. Sort out the home phone/cell situation. For months, I have been toying with the idea of getting rid of our land line. I am not one of those people who can rely on their cell phone since I have been brought up with a land line and I hate talking on cell phones. But once I received a notice that my Bell phone services are going up in May, I wanted to assess the situation. I have decided to get rid of all our phone features and just go with a basic line and use a digital answering machine. With my cell phone, I plan to get a new iPhone (I am still using the "original" iPhone that belonged to my brother) and upgrade my plan. Can you believe I don't have unlimited evenings and weekends? So here's the way I am going to tackle it...Step one is buying an digital answering machine. This is done, we bought one over the weekend. Step two is to call Fido, buy the iPhone and switch the plan. Crap, I am out of luck, no iPhones. They told me to call back in a couple of weeks. Step three is to call Bell and get rid of call waiting, visual call waiting, call privacy, call answer, etc. and only keep call display. As much as I want to go as basic as I can go, I still need to see who is calling. All this is put on hold because Fido doesn't have any iPhones in stock.
  3. Clean up the den and get the storage locker organized. This has been on my list forever and I continue to avoid doing this. It should have been done on Good Friday when everything was closed and there was nothing to do. Step one will be to really weed through my brother's stuff and see what is worth keeping. Step two will be going through the bins in the locker and see what we can get rid of. Step three is re-organizing the locker so everything fits in there and we are not storing anything in our den. Step four is to drop off all our electronics in some recycling facilities. Step five is figure out how we want to decorate our den.
Are you a procrastinator? What tools do you use to organize your life? Do you have lists upon lists?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: Sweet Little Lies

Sweet Little Lies (L.A. Candy, #2) Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed L.A. Candy, Lauren Conrad's first book. I read it quickly and couldn't put it down. With Sweet Little Lies, it continues to follow the life of Jane Roberts and the reality show, L.A. Candy. All the same girls are back and also Jesse and Braden. I found the book to have a slow start and it continues to remain slow throughout the rest of the book. It had no exciting storyline. The ending was quite interesting and it leaves you wondering what will happen in the last and final book. The only thing that kept me reading the book is my hope that Jane and Braden would get back together (I am Team Lauren + Brody in real life). Even though I thought the book was just okay, I will have to read the 3rd to find out what happens.

View all my reviews >>

Monday Memories: Naked Sole

I have decided to start a new series for Mondays. I think I will call it Monday Memories and it will be about something from my past. I really enjoyed my fellow blogger's Throwback Thursdays so I thought I would do something similar.

Naked Sole. 
While I was at Humber College ('96-'98) and working at Jacob, Naked Sole was a restaurant that mostly everyone in Mississauga went to. You can't go wrong with their happy hour - 1/2 appetizers!!! I first remember going ALL THE TIME with Edilka. We would stopped by after school on the way home. It was a place to grab a quick bite and drink on a student's budget. I went to this restaurant with all my friends, I was probably there three times a week. My mom and her friends also went to this place too. I am telling you, it was the hot spot for after work/school gatherings. A few years later, I would still continue to go with Mike, who I met back in 1998. I don't remember when Naked Sole closed down but I miss it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Yesterday, after going to Wild Wing for my dad's birthday. I stopped by to visit my brother and wish him a Happy Easter. I usually have a very difficult time with holidays, even before my brother passed away but Easter is the one holiday that I don't end up in tears.  When I woke up this morning, I didn't dread what the day will bring, instead I remember the last Easter I spent with my brother in 2008. It was a great and fun day and for that, I woke up with a smile.

Back in March 2008, Mike had gone to New York with some friends and Gino decided to accompany me to my in-laws' house for Easter brunch. What I love about my in-laws is that they always welcome my family into their home. They understand how difficult it is for me to split time between my divorced parents on holidays. What made this a memorable Easter for me was that my brother was able to join in the usual Solon Massive banter without feeling felt out and the Solon Massive made him feel welcome.  When it came time for the Easter Egg Hunt that my mother-in-law normally does for me and Dianne (and this time with little Belle), my brother joined my team and helped me looks for the hidden eggs around the house. This brought back so many memories of when Gino and I were little and my mom did an Easter egg hunt for all the kids on the block.

As we go for brunch in a couple of hours, I will remember this particular Easter, the last one I spent with my dear brother. I will smile and know that when it comes time to look for those eggs, he will be right beside me helping me out.

Happy Easter to you and your family!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Blog Friend Friday: Meet Solo Lisa

I started following Lisa's blog from other Vancouver blogs I had been following. Her blog, Solo Lisa is filled with lots of fashion and beauty. I have been enjoying her posts on choosing the right handbag or Spring trends. I have to admit that her posts of late have totally caught my attention.

1) When and why did you start blogging?
In my last year of university, I began reading fashion and beauty blogs as a way of procrastinating, and eventually I thought it might be pretty fun to start one of my own. Solo Lisa was initially called "Solo Lisa Y Nada Mas" ("Only Lisa and Nothing More" in Spanish). I went through a phase where I was obsessed with Latin pop culture, but my blog has evolved into one that's more focused on fashion and lifestyle, so I shortened the name to "Solo Lisa."

2) Where do you live?
Vancouver, BC, which makes me Canadian!

3) What do you for a living and what do you do in your spare time when you are not blogging?
I'm a technical writer at a software company, which means I write help manuals and documentation for a living. In my spare time, I like watching Gossip Girl, reading, shopping, salsa dancing, doing yoga, cooking, and hanging out with my boyfriend.

 4) Do you also have a Twitter and/or Facebook account?
Yup! My Twitter handle is @SoloLisa. My Facebook profile is only open to people whom I know personally, though.

5) What is your favorite website to visit daily?
Google Reader, because it's where I access the approximately 100 RSS blog feeds I subscribe to.

6) What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
It's a four-way tie between Mexico, London, Paris, and New York. They all satisfy different sides of my personality.

7) Name your top three movies.
Ooh this one's a toughie--I love so many!

8) Who is your favourite celebrity to stalk?
I don't really "stalk" anyone, but I have an enduring crush on Mexican actor Diego Luna.

9) Are you a tea or coffee drinker?
Definitely coffee ftw

10) Do you love cupcakes (as much as I do)?
Probably not. I prefer savory foods over sweets usually.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kell on Earth

I have read so many tweets about Kell on Earth, and all I was able to do was sulk at the fact that it wasn't on any channels in Canada. I was so curious about the show because all tweets were saying how awesome it is.  Finally, I was able to watch the first episode online (after searching for it). Now all I have to do is catch up on the next seven episodes.

If you are a fan of The Rachel Zoe Project and The Hills/The City, you will love this show that follows the professional and personal life of Kelly Cutrone. It takes you through the day to day at People's Revolution and Kelly's home life. She actually lives in the same building at People's Revolution, on the floor above with her seven year old daughter.

The first episode takes you through what the staff goes through during Fashion Week.  They showed the fast pace,environment and the stressful task of having to do a seating plan for various fashion shows.  It involves being organized, detailed and on top of things. I kept thinking throughout the episode that I would love to have that job.  But towards the end of the show, my hubby said that if I was in that job, they would eat me alive...and you know what...he is right, but I am still so intrigued by it all.