Monday, 29 August 2016

Treats of the Week - End of August

I don't know what happened to this summer, do you?  It seems like I've been busy, yet I don't think I've really done anything.  Now here we are with school starting next week and I'm left feeling like it should still be July or something.  I don't know, maybe it's just from getting older.

  • First and foremost?  My brother, Brent, and his fiancee, Lizz, had their stag and doe on August 20th and it was pretty much the best party ever.  I got to have a great time with people I haven't seen in ages and watched the final Tragically Hip concert in a barn with a bunch of people.  It was a great night and now the countdown is on until Vegas next year!
  • One of the Korean interpreters at work gave me this bookmark the other day.  Booking interpreters can be a real pain in the ass sometimes but some of them are really lovely people.

  • Last year after Dustin's birthday he got me a gift (the collector's book of Pacific Rim) for no reason.  This year he did the same, getting me the London, Ontario colouring book and some other little odds and ends from Uber Cool Stuff.  I've decided that this is an acceptable tradition for me to get gifts after we celebrate his birthday.

  • Vivian has been super busy with dance lately - she had tumbling camp and now she's doing cirque camp and got a special private session with Kyle Wegg.  Kyle's aunt runs the dance studio we go to and he's an incredibly accomplished dancer already.  He's a member of the national hip hop team, but took some time out of his schedule to come to the studio for workshops with the kids.  It was a real pleasure to see him work with Vivian and comment on how flexible she is - even if she was being quite the little flirt with him.

  • I saw a car the other day drive by with a dog hanging its head out of the sunroof, which pretty much sums up summer
  • It was Retromania night at the Hyland this past weekend with a screening of Back to the Future.  I'd never seen it on the big screen and it was so fun to watch it with a crowd of people
  • We lost Gene Wilder today, and the news is hitting me pretty hard.  For the last few years, every time that a celebrity death broke the news I would worry about Gene Wilder.  Is he okay?  He was getting up there, and I just didn't want to imagine a world without such a magical man.  Since coming home today, Dustin and I have been talking about him at length and discussing just what it was that made him so special.  Even though he hasn't appeared on screen in years, it was nice just knowing he was still out there, and he's definitely going to be missed.  Check out this amazing tattoo that Pete Davidson has in tribute to him.

  • I took next week off and I'm sooooo looking forward to it.  Having a few days off there a couple weeks ago was really nice - just being able to putter around the house and organize things and get stuff done that I've been avoiding for so long.  We'll see how productive next week is - I'm definitely getting my lists ready!
  • I've been keeping a gratitude journal lately and I actually really enjoy it.  It seemed like a bit of a cheesy idea, but once I started it I found it really helps me to keep track of some things that I appreciate.  By noticing what actions matter to me I can better understand what I need to be happy, if that makes sense?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Treats of the Week - So, why a lobster?

It's been a minute since I've blogged.  Call it summer vacation, call it blogger burnout, call it laziness, whatever.  I just haven't felt like doing the blogging thing.  My internet has been spotty lately (thanks, Rogers), freelance work has been busy, and it's been too hot to do anything but go swimming.  But my Grandma Millie is my number one fan and has been asking where the blog posts are, and we can't disappoint Grandma!  Here's what's been going on the last couple of weeks.

  • Dustin and I had a wedding to go to, which meant I had a meltdown about what to wear.  I frantically ordered a bunch of dresses which didn't arrive in time, but managed to find this little number at Winners on clearance for $38.  It's a really great dress that was perfect for the wedding and will transition well come boots and tights time!  Plus it passed the all-important fitting room Jenn test.

  • I went for my free tattoo in Toronto and it was a really great experience.  My artist, Katrina, is incredibly talented and I'm so happy with the result.  So why a lobster?  I just like them.  I've always been drawn to their image and I like their ties to surrealism and Salvador Dali.  This dude has healed up super nicely - she put a weird wrap on it that's used on burn victims that really helped speed the healing.  I'm all done with the peeling and everything now and it's healed much lighter than in this picture.  Can't wait for the next one!

  • Back to school shopping is underway for Vivian and myself!  I'm not taking any courses this fall (but I might in the winter) but that doesn't mean I don't need new pens.  I got myself a Parker, just a cheap Jotter.  I've always wanted a really nice pen but I'm afraid I'll just lose it.  This Parker can be my training wheels to see how well I do.

  • I'm loving my favourite summer guilty pleasure of Big Brother, and this summer Vivian is watching along with me!  Paulie is basically the worst, and I want to see Natalie and James go to the finish!
  • I went to Value Village the other day (too hot to walk outside on my lunch break) and was greeted with dozens of elephants.  It was so bizarre, and kind of sad.  In my mind they had to clear out someone's house who collected elephants.  They were everywhere I looked!

  • I also found a complete set of Out of this World, which I realllllllly wanted.  But when they're priced at $4 each and there's 24 of them...even when every fifth book would be just wasn't happening that day.  I did consider buying a couple of random ones just to ruin the set for someone else though, because I'm spiteful.

  • I just can't help myself sometimes.

  • This crazy heat we've been having has been unbearable and makes us appreciate the pool at mom's house even more.  It's been so nice to have it for nighttime swims, and is so much easier then trekking out to the beach!  My back is crazy tanned - I'm loving having this pool around!

  • On Monday mom and I ventured on the GoTrain with five kids for a day in Toronto.  We hit up the aquarium, which is not for the faint of heart.  The kids had a great time, but holy cow are the adults ever terrible at places like this.  The kids were getting shoved and bumped around, and often couldn't see anything because of adults standing right in front of all the displays.  Call me crazy, but maybe you don't need to take 20 pictures of the lion fish when there's a four-year old who just wants to see them.  I took to just saying, "Go ahead kids, get up there close.  Adults don't need to see," quite loudly.  Dustin figures I could get a solid 5 minutes of stand-up out of the experience.  My favourite part was this sawfish who was just chilling on top of the tunnel.

  • But hey, the kids had a blast.

  • The trip was a success - we had all the kids carry their own backpacks and they did so well with all the walking.  Vivian was clever and used her chest strap on the backpack as a makeshift holder for her penguin buddy, Waddles.

  • Like I mentioned, my Grandma Millie has become a big fan of the ol' bloggy blog.  She dropped off this bag of goodies as donations for the blog - lots of tins, pins, and other cool stuff.  There was even a small wooden box that my Great Aunt Vivian brought back from Germany.  

  • Those pins she gave me got added to the collection.  Now that people know about the pin thang they pass along their old pins that are ratting around in drawers.  Dustin's mom was kind enough to give me some of hers - I'll definitely be wearing that Tragically Hip pin on Saturday while I watch the Kingston concert!

  • I'm off again today - a little mini staycation.  It's been nice to just be home for a couple of days.  I asked Vivian this morning what she wanted to do today and she said she said she just wanted to stay at home all day.  Works for me, that's what we did yesterday.  This is how we ended our night last night, with Vivian falling asleep in my lap while we watched My Little Pony.

I'll try to do some more regular blogging soon - my annual closet post is almost due and I have a conspiracy theory that I've been working on to share with you guys...

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Treats of the Week - Done-Zo

I took a bit of an impromptu but much-needed break from the blog last week.  It was a crazy busy week and I'm so glad to have it over with!  My major research paper was due on Thursday, and true to form I was writing it the day it was due.  Of course I had completed all my research and had written an outline and had a plan of attack beforehand, but I didn't actually start writing it until the day of.  It worked out really well though - I took the day off and just worked away at it.  It came together pretty easily and now I'm just so glad to have it over!  While I was working on that I also had a massive transcript order to put together - it was over 2500 pages (mostly copies) that had to be assembled and shipped (it ended up being 30 pounds of transcripts).  So it was a crazy busy but very productive week which led into a very relaxed and extra-extra long weekend!  I feel so much better having the program over - it was a really busy year.  I definitely don't regret doing it, and have plans for more education in the future, but I'm planning to take at least a little bit of time off in the meantime!

So let's get to some of those backlogged treats!

  • I went to see House of Pain!  And it was the BEST!  So many people were teasing me about them being a one-hit-wonder group but seriously, the show was so awesome.  

  • I saw a car with a Charlie-series licence plate the other day (the sequence began with a C) for the first time.  It made me oddly happy.
  • I've been keeping an eye out at thrift stores for interesting vintage paperback books, because obviously I need something new to collect.  This one is definitely a winner.

  • Vivian and I took a trip out to the campground last week to visit my friend Amanda and her crew, along with a bunch of other families who were camping together.  Vivian had a blast running wild with the kids and swimming in the pool.  I'm not a big camper, but it definitely seemed like fun to hang out with such a big crowd of families like that!
  • Last week also had a trip to Toronto on Monday night to see David Cross at the Danforth.  It was a great show - super dark and very political.  I love seeing live comedy - just bough tickets today to go see Eric Andre at the Danforth next month!

  • We have a wedding to go to on Saturday, so Jenn and I spent the day this past weekend shopping for something for me to wear.  I came up empty handed though - so I'm still on the hunt this week (and just frantically ordered a bunch of options online).  I did, however, find this awesome fringe bag for 50% off at the Banana Republic Factory Store, so I'm hoping I can just assemble a dress around it or something.

  • Like everyone else, Dustin and I powered through Stranger Things and loved it!  I can't wait to cover myself in Hawkins swag now - I definitely need a Hawkins Power and Electric shirt and have my eye on a Hawkins AV Club pin online!
  • I got Vivian all registered for dance in the fall - we decided to go with the full-time competitive team!  It's going to be a fun year with more dance and more competitions, but I'm ready and so is Vivian!  We got the recital DVD from last year and Vivian's been watching it constantly.
  • Scary Movie in the Basement Night is still going strong - we've been working on a list of movies both classic and modern.  The biggest surprise so far has been Grave Encounters, which was so great.  It starts out really predictable but ends up in a pretty surprising place.  Amazingly, the sequel is super smart and entertaining too!
Hopefully now that I'm not so crazy stressed out and busy all the time I can get back to blogging a bit more regularly, although I'm definitely favouring Instagram more and more these days!  This is a short week - I'm off on Thursday to go to Toronto for my new (free!) tattoo so be sure to check @ashlie_nonsense on Instagram for the update there!