Monday, April 30, 2012

What's in my bag? (lots of stuff)

I haven't done a "What's in my bag" post in a really long time (click here to see my other posts ), but Kasey Lynne inspired to do this after seeing her post of what's in her bag. Aren't we all curious of what other people carry in their bag. I am warning you right now, I carry a lot of stuff!!!!!

  • Gum - I love Orbit gum. My favorite flavor is sweet mint. Since we don't have Orbit gum here in Toronto so I get my mom to send me some.
  • Hankerchief - I am old school that way. My mom's mother-in-law (she's not my grandma because it's my stepdad's mom) embroidered them for me.
  • Tissue - the dollar store kind
  • GO train pass
  • Coin purse - I keep my bus and subway fare in a leather pouch by Sam Made (she closed down her Etsy shop last year)

  • Snacks - bars, chocolates, teas, cough drops and Tylenol cold pills.

  • Brush - I found this at the $1 bins at Target and I've had it for years.
  • Lip balms - eos lip balm in mint, Clinique Chubby Stick in Fuller Fig and L'Oreal Colour Riche Blam in  Caring Coral.
  • Hand Cream - Aveda Hand Relief, I won this on Twitter.
  • Advil - I keep a stash in a Kinder Surprise container (that yellow thing).
  • Digestive Enzymes - lets me breakdown some of the food I should not be eating (I keep them in an old film cannister).
  • Rosebud Salve - for my cuticles, flyaway hair, it's the one thing that I can't live without.
  • Emergen-C - for when I am feeling sluggish and a cold coming on.

  • Journal - For when I need to jot something down. I normally use it when I am researching resorts.
  • Work pass - I want to find a more interesting lanyard (any Etsy suggestions?)
  • Headphones - I picked up these Skullcandy Riot earbuds in Cali.
  • Sunglasses - foldable Rayban wayfarers. It was my one expensive Cali purchase. I love them.
  • Sock bun - you never know when you will need to put your hair up and look pretty. I tuck in a clear elastic for safe keeping.
  • iPod - it's filled with movies in case I feel like watching one.
  • iPhone - I can't live without this baby - funny how a light reflection just happened to blur out Kobe's face.
  • Pens - I have had the purple pen forever and I am now in love with Papermate Flair pens.
  • Wallet - I started using again a Fossil wallet I have had for years. It's so soft and worn down.
  • USB stick - you never know when you will need it.

  • Leather pouch - another leather pouch from Sam Made. I use this pouch to keep the following:
  • Band-aids - red leopard bandaids, fancy!
  • Nail file - I snag my nails a lot.
  • G.U.M picks - I get food stuck in my teeth all the time, that's what I get for having crooked teeth.
  • Cream - it's steroid cream for the dry patch I get on my upper lip.
  • Eyedrops - for dry contacts.
  • Lip brush - I haven't used this lately, but it's to apply my bright, bold lipsticks.
  • Lipstick - Chanel Coco Rouge Shine in Rebelle.
  • Perfume - Pacifica in Lotus Garden
  • Foundation - Benefit's Some Kind-a Gorgeous foundation faker, for touch ups.
There you have it. The only things missing are my Kobo Touch e-reader and keys. Was I right? I carry too much stuff. What do you think I can eliminate? What do you carry in your bag that isn't necessary? If you do a post to show what's in your bag, leave the link in a comment. I would love to see what's in your bag. Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm no fashionista (coloured denim)

I'm not fashionable, I'm not a fashionista and I absolutely hate having to take photos of myself, let alone a posing outfit photo. But I promised Claire I would take some photos of the coloured denim I bought while I was in California. So, here it is, awkward me and the three coloured denim - fuchsia, red and cyan - I asked my hubby to style me and to take the photos <-- yup, this is what we did on a Sunday afternoon.

God, this is going to be embarrassing...please don't judge.

Don't forget to check out my my mom's contest on her blog. It's really easy to enter and let me tell you that she sends the best packages (which is what you can win if you enter). Please show her some love as a favor to me. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Favorite Things Swap

After a few back and forths with Linny and finally convincing her to just do a swap...along came the Favorite Things Swap. This was the first time I was paired up with an international blogger, The Life of Clare. The lovely Clare was quick to send me my package and let me tell you, for a first time swap partner, she did an awesome job (and so creative).  Clare sent me things from Australia - Tim Tam and Milo and a magazine, frankie. I can't wait to make a Tim Tam Slam and read the magazine that will be so foreign to me. I love it all!

Thank you Clare for being a great swap partner. I hope my package doesn't take that long to reach you and I also hope you enjoy everything in it. A big thanks to Lin for hosting this swap (see, I told you, if you build it, they will come!).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Upcoming vacation

Yes, I know you are shaking your head. We just came back from a trip to San Jose but over the weekend, we booked our annual beach vacation to celebrate our 6th anniversary. Since we got married, we have spent our wedding anniversary on a beach. Actually, the very first all-inclusive vacation Mike and I took together was in the second week of June back in 2003 and ever since then, we have gone away around the same time every June.

It will be exactly a year since our last beach vacation. We normally take two a year but in between the last one, we did two city vacations instead (New York City and San Jose). We miss the beach and let me tell you that we have never seen ourselves this pasty (even my stepdad commented on how light I am).

When we got back from NYC at the end of December, we already started researching resorts. We always bounce ideas back with our travel agent, Lori. She is amazing. She gives us some suggestions, along with prices and is always so patient. Well, after four months of researching (reading reviews, watch videos, making a pros and cons list), Mike and I agreed on one resorts and guess what, for what we are getting, we got a great price. So, in June, we are heading back to Mexico (we haven't been since 2008) and will be staying at:

This video will show you how relaxing this vacation will be. There's a beautiful stretch of beach, it's adults-only, has all a la carte restaurants (including a four diamond restaurant) and is just all around what we are looking for and need. We can't wait!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

San Jose recap

Mike and I spent eight full days with my mom and stepdad in San Jose. While we were expecting some sunny weather, we got four gorgeous days and four rainy days but it didn't stop us from having fun. We did lots of shopping (Target, Payaya, Charlotte Russe, Nike, Cole Haan, Converse, Hurley, Fossil, Carter's, Solstice, Forever 21, H & M and many, many more) and eating. We went and did the 17 mile drive, saw the ocean, golf courses and had lunch at Pebble Beach. We walked around Santana Row. We went to Winchester Mystery House and got to try donuts from Psycho Donuts. We ate home-cooked meals, had Easter dinner with family and friends (along with an easter egg hunt for me and Mike), we watched TV, played some Wii and spent a day hanging out with Gamble (their grandson). Overall, it was just an amazing time with my mom and stepdad. The eight days went by so quickly and we left with tears in our eyes (well, just me and my mom). Here are some photos from the trip...

First meal made by my mom - shrimp tacos

me and SD

my mom and Mike (my mom's face is hilarious)

Santana Row - I love this place

me and my mom by the beach (17 mile drive)

by the Lone Cypress tree

18th hole at Pebble Beach

silliness at Winchester Mystery House

Ginger Beer Mojito at PFChangs - oh how I miss you

crispy green beans at PFChangs happy hour

experiencing sushi boat for the first time

hanging out with Gamble

trying to re-create Zac Efron's photo shoot from Men's Health
What I learned from this trip:
  • DO NOT go to Winchester Mystery House. It's a tourist trap. It's expensive and not worth it!
  • Go do the 17 mile drive. I do not like golf at all but the courses are beautiful and scenic.
  • Psycho Donuts is pretty cool. They have ginormous donuts. 
  • PF Changs' happy hour is awesome. I need one here so I can eat everything and drink those delicious Ginger Beer Mojitos.
  • Keurig was my new best friend. I had a coffee every morning and I am not a coffee drinker.
  • Blue Moon is delicious, why don't we get Blue Moon in Toronto?
  • I am a sock bun master.
  • My mom is a pretty good cook. She never cooked that much when I lived with her. She's always cooking something and there's tons of leftovers to eat.
  • My stepdad's electric car is cool. I love how when it backs up, you don't even hear it or realize that it's moving.
It sucked to be back home. It was nice to be pampered and spoiled by my mom. We came home to no food and lots of laundry to do. Hopefully we will be back to visit again soon!

Check out my mom's blog, she's got some type of contest going on....I think you have to look through some of her posts for seven questions that she asked. Email her your answers, that's it, it's pretty simple...

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's okay... drink Starbucks three days in a row because you are jetlagged and extremely tired. cry like a baby when your mom drops you off at the airport. listen to The Wanted and One Direction even though both kind of suck. buy three pairs of the same pants but in different colours because they were only $20 each. If they had other colours in my size, I would have bought more. totally go over budget while shopping in California. not like the music video of your favorite song. Last year, I had Take Care with Drake and Rihanna on constant repeat. I was quite anxious for the release of the video and now I'm truly disappointed with it. It's a cool concept but I expected more with this song. be so in love with your niece because she's so darn funny and cute. It helps that she FaceTimes with us at least once a week (and it's her calling us). not like guys in suits. I used to like guys in suits but now I rather have a more fashionable guy (oh wait, I do). Suits are so boring unless the guy knows how to spice it up. think that Glee's getting a tad boring. It no longer interests me. The storylines are plain and the song selection is just okay.


It is NOT okay to use emoticons in emails to your staff if you are a manager or director. I think it's unprofessional.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Today Neil Pasricha wrote about the #1 Awesome thing. Four years ago, after a dark period in his life, he created a blog and began to count down 1000 awesome things. Along the way, a book was developed and a huge following started. I can't remember exactly when I started to follow his blog.

The one post that is near and dear to me is #566 Unforgettable Friends. I wrote about this post before and the reason it hits home with me is because Neil lost his closest friend (by suicide) and it's the same way I lost my brother. Now because I commented on this post, I met a family who lost their son/brother the same way. The father contacted me through my blog email and a wonderful friendship began. This father helped me open up with how my brother died and in some way, he says that I helped him too. This would never be possible without Neil's blog.

I want to thank Neil for this but for also giving me a good laugh when I read his daily post on something awesome. Life will be a little empty now that the countdown has stopped. If you are not familiar with his blog, I highly recommend it. Or you can even buy one of his books (here and here).

With all that said...go out there today and do or discover something AWESOME!!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Slimkicker App

A couple of months ago, I was asked a couple questions about my fitness routine and what I would look for in an app to track progress with trying to lose weight, exercising and eating habits. Now, I was just notified that the app is finally out from Slimkicker.

I just downloaded the app and have been using it since the beginning of the month. It's quite useful and a great way to keep track of what I do and eat, and also my weight. I can log in when I walk to and from work, shred with Jillian Michaels, dance around with Tracy Anderson or Pilates with Mari Winsor to what I eat and see my progress with losing this stubborn 10 pounds.

What I really like about this app is the Challenges feature. You can sign up for one of their recommended challenges, most are for seven days, and then check in each day. Some challenges are to have no snacks after dinner, replace soda, tea and coffee with water, do 10 wall squats a day, etc. Currently I am doing Move during Commercials - I have to get off the couch and march in place or dance during commercials for the next seven days.

Each time you complete a challenge or exercise (and maybe even with what you eat), you get points to use towards a reward. This points system is something I still have to look into but even if I don't care for the points and rewards, this app is still a great tool to track my progress. I highly recommend that you download this FREE app if you have an iPhone and if you have an Android, an app should be coming out shortly for you. If you sign up and download the app, don't forget to add me as a friend.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

San Jose, here we come

Mike and I will be leaving in five days to go visit my mom and stepdad in San Jose, California. Since we found a mutual week that we could both take off, we decided to visit my mom (she won't be coming to visit me this year). I really hope for some sunny warm weather while we are there. Back when we were there in April 2008 and November 2010, we were blessed with out of the ordinary warm weather. Although we plan to just relax, spend some time with my mom and hopefully shop, we have some touristy things in mind, along with some good eats.  The one thing I am looking forward to is Easter lunch or dinner. This past Christmas, my mom, stepdad and all their guests teased Mike and I with all the food they were eating. Finally, we get to enjoy it live in person, rather than see it over Skype or FaceTime. I am also looking forward to seeing my cousin Marilen, Jeff's mom Annette (she's a hoot) and Gamble (Jeff's grandson who we talk to on the phone twice a month). Here is some of the places we will go to while we are there:


Monterrey / Carmel / Santa Cruz



If you have been to San Jose or live in the area, I will gladly take any recommendations for places to shop, restaurants, tourist attractions, even food trucks.

Okay, I better get back to packing...