Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another Thing Finished!!!

Bye-Bye Thing 58!!! After starting the year thinking that I could reach such a lofty goal as a 100 Book Pledge, I finally finished Book 50 of my 50 Book Pledge this morning!! Thank goodness! :) I ended the year with a final page count of 16,731 - not too shabby!

Overall, I definitely reread less books this year than I normally do - the only rereads on my list were Twilight, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Accidental Mother, Northanger Abbey, Something Borrowed & Something Blue. That is really quite shocking for me, as I am usually the Queen of Rereading!
I also only read 3 Nora Roberts books this year - how about that one!!
I started off the year reading quite a bit of teen fiction still - and they were some of my favourites - Before I Fall & Delirium were definitely in my Top 5 of the year - I recommend both books to all of my readers!
There are a handful of books that I can't remember what they were about - The Beautiful Between, After & Mommy By Mistake... not sure if I own them or borrowed them from the library either!
My book club books definitely add some "meat" to my yearly reading - House Rules, Gods Behaving Badly, The Help, A Summer Affair, State of Wonder & The Night Circus. All are books I wouldn't have read on my own, and for the most part I enjoyed them all - the biggest duds of the year were probably my picks - Gods Behaving Badly, which was the most bizarre book I read this year, and The Distant Hours, which isn't even on my list because I am still trying to finish it!! Oops!
To see my entire list, click the link at the top of my blog's homepage for the Google Doc version of my list.

I'm hoping to continue tracking the books I read next year as well, if for nothing else than to try and beat my page count & # of books read! Thanks to Janey Canuck for motivating me to complete the 50 Book Pledge, and to all my encouraging followers from Twitter & Inspire Hamilton Book Club :)

Katy's Top 5 Books of 2011
1. Before I Fall
2. The Forgotten Garden
3. Delirium
4. When Harry Met Molly
5. Sweet Valley Confidential

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Keeping the Blog Wheels Turning...

Well, I went back to the old blog for a post this AM. Had some things to say that felt too personal to share on here. I really want to try and keep the focus on this blog on my 101 Things List and on being positive. So here goes nothing!
I found this website online last night - Yogaglo - where for $18/month you can take unlimited yoga classes through your computer. They have a 2 week trial you can do for free, so I might try and attempt this. I want to be able to incorporate yoga into my life, and that is certainly less expensive than any yoga studio or gym that I have found in the Hamilton-Burlington area. We'll see how it goes!
To attempt to save money during the Christmas season, I am going to attempt making Christmas cookies again, like I did a few years ago. Hopefully I can do it fairly inexpensively, and it will help with visiting friends and family through the holiday season, without feeling like I'm too broke to bring a gift along. I know that I have Thing 20 - Give only homemade gifts for Christmas one year, on my list. I have struggled with this one, as I am not very crafty or artistically inclined, so I am going to change the wording of it somehow to suit my intentions, which were to save money and be a little less materialistic.
That's all really for now, just a few quick thoughts to keep the blog wheels turning! :)
Until next time...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Home is...

Crap. It's been over 2 months since I posted!
I thought Janey Canuck had been over-exaggerating with all of the #youshouldblog tweets... #mybad
Forgive me if I repeat myself about anything, I haven't taken the time to read through my last few posts - I can't remember what they were about!
There have been some completions on my list - Thing #33 Make a wish at 11:11 on 11/11/11. This, in reality, should have been probably the most simple thing on my list. Unfortunately, I was in charge of our Remembrance Day ceremony at the school, which required a lot of overseeing right around that time. Did I make a wish right on 11:11. I'm gonna go with yes! LOL - When we had our moment of silence, I made my wish. It may have been a minute or two late, but I tried! For good measure, I also made a wish at 11:11pm, which counts as well I think ;)
I am ONE BOOK away from finishing my 50 Book Pledge - Thing 58. Since I have 4 books waiting to be read right now, this *should* be easily accomplished in the next month. It's funny how I thought I could double that amount back in the Spring. Who knew life would "get in the way"?
Speaking of, as many of you know there is a new man in my life. I can honestly say that I doubted ever finding someone who would put up with me, treat me well and actually want to spend time with me. Sadly, that is the trend that resulted from my dating history, and I became quite cynical. It may be early days yet, but this new man is more than I could have hoped for. Is it Thing 100? That's for me to know/figure out, and you to just wait and see!
Thing 6 has gotten away from me. The past few months have been crazy busy. I knew that working full-time would be a lot of work, but I really wasn't prepared for how exhausted I would feel all the time. I really need to go back to the gym, but I'm not sure when to do that! Finances are still an ongoing struggle that I am hoping to get a handle on soon, but for now I have been working extra at work, which has limited my time to go. Working almost 10 hours every day doesn't leave much free time, and when it does, I have been spending my time with JR. The honeymoon stage only lasts so long, right?!
I'm hoping to be able to work a little less when the new year comes, so that I can squeeze in the gym at least a few times a week, but it pretty much means I won't reach my goal by the time I turn 30. That is frustrating, but I should have seen it coming with the lack of gym time. Also, the Dukan Diet was WAY too much work for me - and after 3 weeks I hadn't dropped a thing. Why sacrifice enjoying your food? I do know that I have to cut back on the carbs and sugar again. Maintenance is going to be an issue when I lose my weight, because I know I have put a few pounds back on, just by eating normally. I don't eat to excess, and I don't eat nearly as many snacks and treats as I did before, so it has been really frustrating. I'd like to get to the point where I just don't care about my weight - maybe that is the secret?!
Random Thought 1: I've been thinking about getting into freelance writing. Not sure how to get started, but I am sure Google can help me out with that. I need some sort of part-time job/income to help me out, but I want it to be on my terms. Hopefully that's not wishful thinking.
OK, it's getting super late, and I really should sleep. I've been asleep by 10:30 most nights lately, and one of the reasons I am up so late is because JR isn't around to make me go to sleep! Another reason is that I have parent-teacher interviews the next two days, and I get really anxious and stressed out about them. Last year I really screwed a few of them up and made my life more stressful than it needed to be. This year I plan to say as little as possible. Hopefully my verbal diarrhoea takes a break for a few days!
But wait, I almost forgot my "philosophical" thought for my blog post. I usually have some thought I want to share with others, that is too long for twitter. Anyways, I have been thinking a lot lately about what "home" is. There are several reasons why, one of which is that my landlord's are selling the house I am renting in, and I'm pissed. Everyday there are more strangers traipsing through my apartment, and it makes me really uncomfortable. Will I have to move? Will the new landlord raise the rent? It's just stressful thoughts I don't really need. It has also made me feel rather disconnected to my apartment, which I thought I really loved. I also have been spending a lot of time at JR's, which has been great, but also stressful because his Dad lives with him and it's caused some tension with me being there so much.
Anyways,  I was thinking about how much my last apartment meant to me. How it was home, and I made it that way, because I needed that. To get over the shit in my past, I needed to make a home here where I felt I belonged. I needed a physical home to help me emotionally heal. Over the past 6 months though, there's been a bit of a shift. I have been finding home in my relationships with other people. Friends, family & JR have all allowed me to find a connection that is "home" with them. I'm not sure how to explain it any further than this, and maybe I'll look back and read this and think that I explained it all wrong, but I need to start getting it out somehow!
Random Thought 2: I do not like my laptop's keyboard. This may be why I don't blog very often. I HATE it. You would think after 3 months I would be used to it!! I get finger cramps when I type longer than 10 minutes. Grrr!!
I used to be able to express myself so well when writing. Whether or not you can sense the struggle when you read, I'm not so sure. I'd be interested to know!
Until next time

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thing 26 - Buy a pair of Stiletto Heels and Wear Them

So - I am ashamed to say that I let a very important aspect of femininity escape my grasp over the last 7 or 8 years. Wearing heels. Considering I am about 5"2, this is slightly strange to most people. I tend to fall or trip a lot though, and clumsy is my middle name, so wearing heels just seemed to be asking for trouble!
I'm not even sure why I picked this Thing, because I didn't really have a burning desire to wear heels when I started my list. Over the summer though, I got a lot of hassle about my lack of heeled shoes from Laura. And I may have started to realize just how well a good pair of shoes can make your outfit. I also might have become a little jealous about all the shoes that everyone else was wearing as I wandered around in my little flip-flops. So, last month I went shopping with my Aunt T, and invested in some fabulous heels. I'm proud to say that I now own 6 pairs of heeled shoes, and have even worn heels to work 4 of the last 5 work days! Without falling!!
Only one of the pairs of heels are stilettos. They are absolutely fabulous, and I fell in love with them when I saw them!
I haven't worn the stilettos yet, but I am going to be working them in over the next few months, and plan to ring in my 30th bday wearing them.
Check these babies out:

Thing 6 - Reach Goal Weight

This Thing is probably the most important me to right now. I gained a lot of extra weight over the last 6 years, and have been pretty unhappy about it for a long time. Taking the bull by the horns in April, I really started to put this Thing into focus, working out at the gym more, watching what I eat, eliminating most carbs, and starting the Dukan Diet last week.
In April I weighed about 170lbs. Today I am happy to say I weigh around 149lbs. The change in my body has been dramatic, the change in my own well-being, even more so. I'm not sure if there is anything that can give a person such a great sense of confidence, than taking control of your own body image.
I have dropped 2 pant sizes, and am able to wear clothes that I haven't fit into for at least 3 years. I get compliments almost daily from co-workers and acquaintances about how good I am looking. It is such a confidence boost, and it is really motivating!
My goal is to reach the mid-120's by my 30th birthday in January. I have been so busy with the school year over the last few weeks that I haven't been able to make it to the gym, so I have upped my dieting plans. I started the Dukan Diet this week, and have so far been happy with it. I like that it incorporates maintenance into the program, so that you are able to add everything back into your diet at the end of the program. It is similar to what I was doing on my own, except that I am not supposed to eat fruit while I am on it. This has been the biggest challenge for me, and I'm not sure I will stick to it for the next 2 months, but we shall see. I also have adjusted the diet for myself a bit. I put chia seeds into my oat bran pancakes, because I need the extra fibre in my diet. I also have been eating chickpeas and other beans for the same reason.
You can see my initial start with Thing 6 here:
I haven't really updated it because I have been doing well without the accountability so far. If that changes you will see me utilize that page again.

Thing 58 - Complete my 50 Book Pledge

This Thing is something I started before the blog. Influenced by one of my favourite muses, Janey Canuck (the inspiration behind this very blog), I have been documenting the books I have read in 2011 with an Excel Spreadsheet. So far I have read 46 books, and am working on Book 47 for this month's book club. I did very well in the first 5 months of the year, reading about 36 books, but slowed down considerably over the summer. I have been trying to branch out a bit this year with what books I am reading, and think I have been fairly successful. I am sitting at 15, 399 pages read so far this year, which I think it pretty amazing!!
Feel free to ask for any recommendations, I would be more than happy to share some with you!
You can view my spreadsheet from a link here:

This Thing will be completed when I reach my goal of 50 books read. I anticipate reaching the goal by the end of November.

Putting it all into Focus

Well, Blogger, I gotta say - I'm not a fan at this particular moment in time! Trying to type a blog post when the screen is so unbelievably tiny and hard to use is very frustrating! I must power through though, as my blog fan club is getting slight antsy about the lack of posts. While over the summer I put the blame on the lack of a regular internet connection, I'm actually starting to realize that my own list is sabotaging me!
That's right - one of my completed things, Thing 80 - Upgrade to a Smart phone, is actually trying to bring down my list. The thing is, I hardly ever even go on my laptop right now, unless I am working at the school or listening to music on iTunes. Oops!! I am also having a love-hate relationship with my new laptop. I love everything about it, but I HATE the keyboard. With a passion. The key set up is different and I hit the wrong keys all of the time, and it just works differently for some reason. I might need to get the Mavis Beacon going again, so I get more accustomed to it soon.
What's interesting about my 101 Things List is that I actually feel like some of the things on it aren't really things I want to do anymore. I did a lot of growing this summer, and changing, in some ways anyways, and I really feel like I don't connect with some of the things on my list anymore. You might see some updating as this year progresses, and I try to adapt and fill in some of the blanks. I am giving myself until Dec. 31, 2011 to make any changes to it that I feel I need to, and then I will try my hardest to stay committed to the list until the end of the 1001 Days from that point.
I also am going to start on those long promised posts that actually describe my things in detail. I have been thinking about them alot, and feel like they will help my blog be a little more organized. I have been given some pointers about doing all of the linking with posts, and how to connect them. I have forgotten it all and hope to get Janey Canuck to help me a bit after she is back from her world travelling adventures soon!!
Thank you to everyone who posted on my last blog post about wanting a dog. I haven't taken it off the table at this point, but it was definitely the reality check that I needed before I jumped into it hook, line and sinker! I sometimes leap before I look, and the choice to have a dog requires slightly more planning and consideration than that!
I think over the next few months you will see this blog become a bit of a hybrid - hopefully you like the personal posts that I have been making, and you will see more of the 101 things list-specific posts as well. I like having the outlet of a blog to write about what is bothering me, or what I'm worrying about at any particular time. I also like to share what is happening with me, with my friends who I don't get to talk to day-to-day anymore. I haven't forgotten the purpose of this blog though, and I am still committed to finishing my list in the best way possible!
Until next time~

Monday, September 05, 2011

Unconditional Love

I can't believe that the new school year starts in less than 12 hours! The last week and a half has been a flurry of planning, moving, organizing and trying to get a few last summer fun events in. I'm exhausted!
I am writing this post from my very own internet connection, which is highly exciting - I can't believe it took over a month for my internet and cable to get set up here! Count on more regular blog posts from this point forward.
I haven't had a chance to assess my 101 Things list for a while, so a true update is still going to have to take place at a later date, but I can tell you that my goals of live music every month, and sitting on a patio every week for the months of June, July & August were easily reached. :)
I did not walk the Bayfront path as many times as I wanted to this year, nor did I see enough waterfalls to satisfy that Thing, but I still have a month or two (hopefully) until the snow falls, so there is still a chance that I can get caught up.
I am starting full-time at the school tomorrow, and I am both nervous and excited! I have a lot of great ideas that I hope I get to put into action this year, and I am looking forward to helping my students gain more independence in their academic endeavours.
I had been planning to attempt my Thing of Lights out by 10:30pm for a week this week, but I might try for next week instead. That IS a full week after all...
Something I realized over the last few weeks of the summer is that I am really in need of giving and receiving some unconditional love and companionship. I have been lucky enough to make some amazing friendships this summer and over the years, but almost all of my friends have their own families or spouses to love to. I'm not saying that I'm going out to start pursuing a husband hunt or anything, but I do feel like I need someone/something else to love.
I'm thinking about getting a dog.
Stop laughing.
I know I spent many years terrified of dogs, and I'm not really an animal person at all, but seriously, wouldn't having a dog be great? Am I losing my mind?
It's not like I'm going out to get one any time soon, but I am thinking about the possibility. Cats aren't cuddly or nice enough. Goldfish die. Hamsters scare me. Birds creep me out.
How about a dog?
Yup, I'm losing my mind.
On that note, think it's time to hit the hay.
Somebody talk some sense into me, OK?
~Until next time...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Don't You (Forget About Me)

I promise that I haven't forgotten about you!!

I have been living without internet, aside from my blackberry for over a month now. Last week my laptop gave up the ghost, and I haven't felt inspired enough to go and seek out alternate means of blogging.

As of right now, I am blogging from my brand new laptop. I am attempting to get used to the keyboard. It feels very strange!!
I don't have any photos on this laptop yet, so this post isn't going to be very exciting in terms of updates. Actually, it isn't even really going to be focused on my 101 Things list, as seems to be the theme of my more recent posts. I am still working on the challenge, and have been doing as many things as I can, but it hasn't been at the top of my priorities, without the ability to check in on here easily.
One thing I have learned over this summer is that I work best, and accomplish more, when I have a set routine. Living day to day with no real routine has left me feeling rather aimless and unproductive.
Mentally, I think I really needed the first few weeks of that. After my first full year of teaching, and with the personal struggles I went through, I really needed that no-brainer time to mentally detox. The last week or so though, I have been feeling depression setting in again. I think it's mostly hormonal, and I am concerned enough that I am going to get checked out this week.
I've also been living this summer without any real form of payment, my EI claim was just accepted and I am waiting to receive that money. It's not nearly enough to play catch up with though, and I am looking forward to my regular paycheques resuming at the end of the month. I plan to make a concerted effort to set aside enough money so that I hopefully can avoid this situation next summer.
Today I was hit with a $500 legal bill from my home ownership situation that I thought had been dealt with. I am feeling very stressed out about it, and quite surprised. I was under the impression that everything was being taken care of, since I left that house without any claim to anything in it. How many more times do I need to learn from my past mistakes? How often do I need reminders about the idiocy I put myself through?
Whatever funk I am in now, I am anxiously awaiting for it to pass. It feels very reminiscent of how I spent the last several years feeling, and I am in no way interested in heading back down that path. I think that I am in a better position now because I can feel that I shouldn't feel this way, and I know I don't deserve to. I haven't been as diligent in avoiding carbs either, which hasn't helped my moods. I don't overload on them like I did in the past, but I have been cheating more often. Last week I had pasta twice, (which hasn't happened since April!) because I was feeling so down in the dumps. It took some strength, but I passed it by at the grocery store on Friday, and I am going to try to start this week on the right foot.
I'm hoping to have internet hooked up at my new apartment soon, maybe even this week, so that I can get back to using this blog in a more positive and interesting way, rather than my personal drama soap stand that it has become.
Hopefully I haven't caused too many readers to walk away in frustration. I promise that there are many more fun and interesting updates on the way!!
Until next time...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have a confession to make...

And I don't want you to feel like it's your fault, or that I love you any less, but I feel like I should tell you, just so that you don't keep asking why...
I've been cheating on you with my journal.
I'm sorry! I know, I know, I promised regular updates, and I fell behind this month. I swear, this won't keep happening! Please believe me!

It all started when I went out West a few weeks ago. I just didn't have the time to log on and write here. So I picked up my trusty journal that I have neglected for the last 6-10 months and started writing. And kept writing. (When was the last time you wrote with paper and pen? It's so much more satisfying than typing sometimes!)
Once I came home I thought, OK, time to blog. But my apartment is so hot. So I started staying at friends' houses, and came home for a few days, and, well, the journal came too.
On the bright side, it's not like I've been writing about 101 Things updates, I've just been writing my own thoughts and ideas and musings that I try to keep off of here for the most part. I want this blog to be of interest to a wide group of people, and at the same time, don't really want to share some of my own personal thoughts with the world at large.
I did start writing up a few explanations of my 101 Things like I said I would in my last post, but only did about 7 or 8. I will start typing those up this Summer & Fall - my goal is the end of October to have that finished. I have high hopes for wanting to sit and type for long periods of time once I am in my nice and cool basement apartment!
Sadly, my laptop has been giving me a hard time since I got home from Calgary. I don't think this heat wave has been its friend - it's been overheating even more than usual. Less than 2 weeks til the new place though!

I have been managing to keep up with most of my regular Things despite the lack of blogging the past 2 weeks. I've spent the majority of my time sitting on patios - in Canmore I sat on two lovely patios in one afternoon, with picturesque views of the mountains and 2 different and yummy drinks :)
My uncle gave my cousin & I free tickets to see Dierks Bentley at Stampede Bar Tent when I was in Calgary. I'm not the biggest country music fan, but it was a great show, he had some beautiful songs, and there was the obligatory Bon Jovi cover song thrown in, which I always love! (Duh...) And I took about a million photos of my adorable and exhausting little cousins :)

I even completed one of my Things while I was out there - Thing 39 - Have some sort of psychic reading done (palm reading)

Originally I wanted a Tarot card reading, but when I was at Stampede they were charging quite a lot for only a 5 card reading, and that wasn't quite what I was looking for. The palm reading was rather inexpensive for my measly summer budget (aka NO budget), and I was pleasantly surprised with some of the things she said. A few things were pretty lame, and some were just ridiculous, but hey - I enjoyed it :) I made a few notes after it and will share further with you in an upcoming blog post.
Sadly, I must run now - I'm taking my Grandmother to Giant Tiger for a fun and exciting morning! (I'm actually really excited I haven't been to Giant Tiger in ages!)

Stay cool peeps!

Until next time...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy July!

Happy July!
I think we all need to celebrate that it is July right now, because really, as Canadians, summer goes by so fast!
As I look outside right now, all I can see it blue sky & sunshine - how lovely! Unfortunately, all I can hear are these damn birds that wake me up every morning! Why am I awake and blogging at 7am? Beats the heck out of me! For some reason, I am unable to relax and sleep in at my own apartment now. Not sure why this happened, but it is stressing me out! I am tired!!
Not that I have any shortage of things to do today. I need to finish packing for Calgary, and I need to tidy up my apartment in case my landlord decides to show my apartment while I am away. I am both happy and sad to report that I will be relocating to a new apartment in August. While I love my place right now, there are some things I don't love, such as the price, the multiple flights of stairs, and the stifling heat year round. My new place is smaller, has much less character, but will be cooler and costs a lot less. As a bonus I can walk to work (as in, I literally have no excuse not to, because it is so close even I could throw a stone and reach the school!).
I'm looking forward to seeing my Calgary family in less than 24 hours!! I am hoping to figure out either one Thing to do off of my list while I am in Calgary, or thinking of something to add that I can achieve while I am there!
I had hoped that Thing 45 - Travel somewhere with only carry-on luggage was going to be achieved, but I realized over the past week that my suitcase is not compatible with that Thing. It weighs too much, and doesn't really have a good packing space. I can barely pack it to go home for 1 night without it filling up! I had hope to find a hard-shelled suitcase to bring, as they use their space much better, but my Mom is leaving for California pretty much right as I return, so that took that idea out of the equation! I looked around a bit for a new suitcase, but it just didn't fit into the budget this month. I'm not too worried - I am definitely not overpacking for my trip, and I still have plenty of time to achieve this goal (and a good excuse for a fun weekend trip somewhere - Vegas anyone??)
One Thing I am hoping to start working on in the next little while is to write up a little explanation and outline of each thing for the blog. Sadly, I can't the blog to work properly on my blackberry - clearly blogger has Android-loyalty, so I will be doing so through my journal. Whatever I manage to write up I will either scan and post when I'm home, or type up in the future. I think this will be a good exercise, because I am forgetting some of the things on my list, and having trouble keeping track of the things I decided I would do monthly/weekly, etc.
A few Things I accomplished in June included: Thing 49 - See 1 live music event a month, Thing 75 - Sit on a patio at least once a week for the months of June, July & August, Thing 99 - Personal & Thing 88 - Walk the Bayfront path 30 times
For the live music, I actually made it to 2 events - one was a 90s grunge-era band that was playing at bar in TO for NXNE while I visited Holly & one was my Dad's band - the Blues Daddies - when they played at Bluesfest in Stratford. I went home for the sole purpose of seeing the show, and I wasn't disappointed! 
The Blues Daddies always put on a good show, and I now have a new mission - find a cooler hat for my Dad to wear during their gigs! (My Dad is just thrilled about this goal! haha).
Over the month of June I managed to sit on patios (or backyards) at Holly's, Laura's, Jack Astor's, my Aunt Linda's, Aunt Theresa's & a few other assorted locations that would just take too long to explain! Needless to say, my goal of sitting out and enjoying the weather this summer has been reached so far, and hopefully it continues!! I also managed to get in another jaunt down the Bayfront path with Lyn & Kayla last week - which brings the count to 2/30 times. As for Thing 99, well, wouldn't you like to know? Some things have to be a little mysterious, right?!

~Until next time...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You Can't Have It All?

A few weeks ago I visited my cousin Holly in Toronto, and came across the diagram above that she had hanging on her fridge. I took a picture to save the image, but I don't even think that was necessary, because I haven't been able to get this out of my head since I saw it.
The theory is that you just can't find a man who has all 3 of these qualities going for him: handsome, awesome and single, you can only find a man with 2 of these qualities.
I laughed, thinking how cute, how true, in an offhand manner.
But then I kept thinking about it. And thinking about how true it actually is.
And about how, in the last month, I have met 3 different guys who fall into each of the category combinations.
I met someone who is single and handsome, someone who is single and awesome, and someone who is handsome and awesome.
The single and handsome guy I met just isn't awesome. He's younger than me, lives at home, and all of our conversations are painfully awkward. It just isn't going to happen.
The single and awesome guy I met is a lot of fun, but I can't say that I am particularly attracted to him. It doesn't help that his personal life is a bit of a mess right now, and I am definitely avoiding all of the external drama that I can these days!
The handsome and awesome man I met was that type of encounter where you think to yourself "Is every good man taken?" Meeting him was the first time since the Ex that I felt physically and mentally attracted to someone. Sometimes life just isn't fair!
It's times like these where you start to think about settling. At least, the thought crosses your mind. Who wants to be alone or lonely, right? No one does, and I think that is how a lot of us end up in relationships where we are complacent beings, who stay comforted inside our fears and insecurities.
I've had my faith shaken in the world of relationships over time. As I've gotten older, I've started to see the different cracks that can appear in relationships, and I've realized just how much work relationships can be throughout the years. It's becoming clearer to me why people end up divorcing so "easily"*. I think when you try to make a relationship work you have to sacrifice a bit of yourself to do so, and you have to put your own needs aside. When you already do that as a parent, I think that having to do that as a partner is just too demanding of a task. On the other hand, I think we are also very susceptible to the adage "the grass is always greener on the other side". Of course a new relationship isn't going to have the same struggles and hardships and frustrations that an old one does. But it will eventually. Sometimes we decide to live in the moment for all the wrong reasons!
Back to the idea of settling, I want to reiterate that I am just not there yet. I don't want to settle and I don't think that I should feel like I have to. Of course I get scared that I will end up alone, but I am more scared that I will end up where I was: with someone, feeling alone.
It's probably silly to think, after all of the above observations and realizations, that I can actually believe that
"someday my prince will come", but I really and truly do. Maybe I'm a little naive and slightly crazy to feel that way, but, when it comes down to it, you have to have faith, right?
This post comes at the end of a night where, while I had a great time with friends, I felt a little sadness hanging over me. I feel better having written this out, and I hope that my blog readers are OK with the fact that I have been heading into off-topic territory throughout the course of this blog. More 101 Things updates are coming soon, I promise!
Until next time...

*Make no mistake, I definitely do not believe that divorce is ever easy. I think it is one of the hardest things you can go through. I read recently that when a child experiences the divorce of their parents, they actually feel the pain as if it were a death in their family (the death of their family, really). I can completely relate to this, as I think this is why my own parents' divorce was so difficult. I hate that I remember that we found out about the divorce on Canada Day. It's hard to believe that this year will be 18 years. :(

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I'm one work day away from summer vacation, and I can't get my mind to shut off. Switching my teacher brain from this past year, to next year was a dangerous flip - now all I can think about is lesson planning for the fall. Except that thinking is about all of the energy I can muster for that task. I feel like I am moving in slow motion!
I went for a job interview on Tuesday for a part-time job at a hotel here in the Hammer. It was a great interview, they were very friendly, and I am definitely qualified (if not over-qualified) for the job. I don't know if I will accept the job if offered it though. It doesn't pay very well, and it works on a schedule similar to a factory. Realistically I would work either afternoon shifts of 3-11, or overnight shifts of 11-7. I can't think of a WORSE part-time job schedule than that. The minuscule paycheque just isn't worth going back to working the night shift. That was definitely one of the lower points of my adult life.
On to Plan B for a part-time job. Anybody need their: kids tutored/houses cleaned/babysitting help/car washed/ etc.? Let me know ;)
I'm currently 11 days away from heading to Calgary - I'm so excited to meet the new baby and Melissa's new man!!
I'm starting out Thing #61 - Take a pole dancing class tomorrow night, which I am very excited about. Don't get too excited, as I can't imagine I will ever perform said routines in front of an audience! Ha ha! Here's hoping it is a great work out though!
As for Thing #6, I haven't been on a scale since last Sunday, so I have no idea if I am any closer to reaching my mini-goal of being in the 140s by July. I'm afraid to look!
I completed Thing 80 last week, and have my new Blackberry Bold to prove it! I am in love with it, if not slightly overwhelmed by the CONSTANT connectedness I am feeling. It really is convenient though, and the camera on it is absolutely amazing! It is having some issues with freezing, which are slightly concerning me, so I think I am going to have to call and just make sure I didn't end up with a problem that will only get worse over time.
I have more updates and pictures to share, but I can't let this insomnia go much farther tonight - I need all my focus and energy for my last day of meetings!!

Look forward to more frequent updates now that school is (almost) out for summer!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Different Perspectives

I feel as if it's been ages since I blogged, even though it's only been a week!
Not too much happening from the list at the moment - although Janey Canuck & Holly have been great coaches for preparing for Thing 45 - Fly with only carry on luggage - I told my Mom about it and she laughed. Rightly so, as I couldn't even go home for 2 nights without filling my entire backseat! I am going to need lots of help and luck to pull this one off (and some good weather -so warm up Calgary!!!)
Tomorrow I will be pulling off (unbelievably) Thing 80 - Upgrade to a smartphone - I can hardly believe it! I will be joining some of you in BlackberryLand! :) I'm SO excited - only about 19 hours left!!! HA!
I've kept up with working on Thing 6 - Reach goal weight - I'm about 27lbs from my goal - last week was tough, and my workouts definitely were less intense. Today's step class was tough, my legs were very tired - but I am going to get back on track this week. I'm hoping to break the 140s by July, so wish me luck!!!
I noticed, once again, just how important diet is again this week - my eating schedule was WAY off track since it was pretty much a mini-vacation week. I feel so much better tonight, after being able to eat better today. I can't wait to get back into my morning smoothie routine tomorrow - it's been almost a week and I've been missing it!!
Over the weekend I was able to hang out with Mrs. Puff & I must say, she is a breath of fresh air! I don't know if we ever have a boring time when we are together! She did say something surprising to me though - that some of my earlier blogs on this site were a little sad. I was surprised, since I had thought that I had been rather positive through this journey so far. I am going to take a look back over the next week to read, and see how I feel then - Let me know your thoughts as well!
I guess, even if the initial posts were sad, I think they are mostly uplifting now. At any rate, I don't feel sad. I actually feel positive and hopeful for the future. And now I must go knock on wood!
I've been having trouble actually remembering some of my Things. I think I need to start carrying a copy of my list around with me!
I have some sad news on the Thing 86 front ( Keep a plant alive for 6 months):
The plant has died. Sigh. I am currently on the search for a hanging plant variety that does NOT need sunlight. My Dad assures me that it exists, and will help me find one soon! On the bright side, I complained at the greenhouse & was refunded in full!

I have been successful with Thing 75 - Sit on a patio at least once a week for the months of June, July & August so far. The weather has been nice (and hot!) enough that I have done this starting even from the end of May. To be clear, this will mostly be done just by sitting on friends' patios - not going out to actual restaurants. It makes me want to find an apartment with a balcony as well. I miss sitting out on the porch and reading. Must do this outdoors somewhere soon!

I also did a little of Thing 52 - Take photos of time spent with friends or family at least once a month while I was home. Check out my adorable Mom & her new kitten Nerd*. 

One last Thing to update you on for today. Two weeks ago I went on another waterfall walk with Janey Canuck & Mrs. Little. We hiked Webster's Falls and Tew's Falls - which crosses 2 more waterfalls off my Top 16 viewing list - 13 left to go! While hiking, we came across the most beautiful conservation area, that I plan to visit again this summer - it felt like Wonderland there! 
Tew's Falls

I think that's all for today. I'll leave you with one final thought, that I might turn into a Thing. 
Clearly, blogging does not encompass that all important quality of review and editing. When I go back to read previous blog entries, I cringe at the spelling, typing and grammar errors I make, since I don't really proofread my entries. I might need to change this though. I'm seriously ashamed!
Until next time...

*My family insists that the new kitten's name is Lenny. Clearly, he is actually a Nerd. ;)

Monday, June 06, 2011

Time, where did you go?

Just a quick little update today, because I just don't have the time for more!
The last few weeks have been very busy - the school year is coming to a close, which means report card writing is the weight hanging over my head at the moment, and I have been using whatever spare time I have to get to the gym everyday. I started going in the mornings last week, before work, and I love it! Didn't make it this morning as I'm getting some work done that didn't happen over the weekend (oops!), but hope to keep it up so my progress on Thing 6 - Reach Goal Weight, can continue! :)
I am pretty sure I will have TONS of time to update regularly over the summer, so I'm not too worried.
I have managed to get a few Things started, and worked on, despite being busy!
One big thing I am planning to do is to accomplish Thing 45 - Fly somewhere with only carry on luggage (!), when I go to Calgary this summer. Think I can travel that lightly for 9 days?! (Neither do I at the moment...) Any tips you have for this would be great!
I am also planning for Thing 31 - Wear only dresses for a week & Thing 80 - Upgrade to a smartphone, to happen in the near future.
Expect a longer and more detailed update to follow later this week when report cards are finished. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keeping up with the Joneses

It's so easy to compare your life with those around you. Call it envy, jealousy, pretend it's hopeful or wishful thinking, be it from peer pressure, comments from family, brainwashing by the media, or just thinking that the grass is greener "over there" - at some point, we all want what someone else has.
One reason why I like my 101 Things list, is that I think it will help me appreciate what I do have in my life, as opposed to focusing on what I don't have. At a point where 95% of my friends are in a relationship, getting married, already married, have babies or are having babies, is it so wrong that I feel a little envious/jealous/sad/depressed/grumpy about it?

I don't think about this everyday, but certain events definitely set it off. This is one of them. Tonight is the Ex's Buck & Doe. Why do I know this? Well, several people told me about the Facebook event, and since I was in the mood for some masochistic pain, I looked it up. I'm like an elephant when it comes to dates/times/information that I don't want to remember! 

Please don't misunderstand, this isn't a case of "getting over him" - But why does he get to move on first?
Sometimes I think that I need to go out and be busy all of the time - how else can I show that things are alright in my life? It's almost like the alternative of staying home will only show how pathetic and lonely I am (I'm not!) On the flip side, I worry that if I stay home, I will start to cocoon myself away from the rest of the world, and miss out on the life that is outside, passing me by.

This feeling goes beyond the relationship realm. I've always worked hard, from high school, through university and teacher's college, I always had a job, or multiple jobs. I'm a good worker, outside of the fact that I am always running 10 minutes behind. I get things done, I look out for my employer's best interest, I'm always a fan of where I am working (for the most part!)
And yet, despite all of that, the fact that I am working as a teacher, that I've never been unemployed for longer than a month, I am broke.
How long can a person tread water before they drown in their debt?
This week I had to, pathetically, call my Mother to ask for money. I felt like vomiting when I did it. In the past few months my Dad & my Mom have been amazing, helping me to get my finances under control and back on track. But there is still a ways to go, and 3 months before I get paid under my new full-time contract.
All around me I see my friends being able to plan vacations, go shopping, heck, even fill up their gas tanks without thinking about it. It kills me that I keep backing out of non-Hamilton related activities because I can't stomach the thought of buying an extra tank of gas for anything.
I'm tired of having to think about every cent I spend, and feeling guilty when I buy something that I need. I'm almost 30, shouldn't I be able to support myself by now?

Inevitably these two issues are connected, as all things in life tend to be. How can I solve my money problems? Find someone who will love and support me enough to get me out of debt! How can I solve my relationship problems? Cough up some money for Internet dating!
Sorry, but neither of those options appeal to me.
1) I actually believe that there is still a chance that I will meet someone in person, who will be interested enough to ask me out. It's sad how many people DON'T think that this will happen for me anymore. I'm afraid to hear the reasons why that is...
2) I don't want to feel like a man is going to fix my money problems. Depending on an figurative boyfriend to come along and pay some of my bills off for me? How pathetic! Not to mention, how much of a factor do I want to make a potential partner's income?

No Things update today - not much has happened this week, what with how busy work as been. Hopefully I'll get a little summary written up before the weekend is through. As for this post, it was off topic from the goal of this blog, I know, but I needed to get this out. Maybe my lousy mood will go away when I publish this post. Or maybe the sun will come out and help melt away some grumpiness. Stranger things have happened, right?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lifestyle Changes

This past week's focus has really been on Thing 6 - Reach Goal Weight. I managed to work out a little bit everyday but Friday. It started last Sunday with the step class, then Monday night I worked out with Laura on her Wii. That little board is deceiving, from Wednesday to Friday my stomach was so sore, and I think it was from the hula hooping! Every time I sneezed, I winced! Tuesday I got up early to run cross country with one of my students. He needs a little extra encouragement, although I was worried that he would easily outrun me, since I'm not the strongest runner. Happily, we both made it through the run, and I'm pretty sure that I could have run even longer than I did. Hopefully I can get over my anxieties about how I look when I'm running, and continue to pursue the hobby! Wednesday night Laura and I tried to go to a Body Flow class at Good Life. Unfortunately, after we got there, changed, and headed up to the class, we found out that the online schedule was wrong! Very disappointing, since we co-ordinated schedules for 2 days to figure out what class we could both go to! They offered us gym bags to make up for it (no thanks), then offered us both 5-pass Hot Yoga cards ($60 value) for free(yes please)! We've been warned that you need to drink a lot of water before doing Hot Yoga, so we're working up to it. We ended hitting another Good Life that night for some strength training - I'm happy to report that I managed to do most of the machines at similar weights to last year, which was a relief! Thursday I ran with my students again, although I was a few minutes late that AM (oops), so not as much as I would have liked to. Laura and I attempted another workout Thursday night, but it turned into a glass of wine and chatting - currently in contention for best workout ever. ;) Friday I took off, then Saturday I hit up the gym on my own, did 30 minutes of interval training on the elliptical, and 30 minutes of weights. It actually felt really good, and I'm hoping to add this in a few days a week, maybe bright and early if I can stay on top of things. Yesterday I went to Laura's step class again, and managed to keep up with most of the steps. The biggest hurdle to get through, beyond lifting your legs up onto the step 40 minutes into the class, is the lingo - which Laura has promised to help me with. It's almost like learning another language.
I haven't decided if I'll work out at all today - Janey Canuck and I discussed going for a hike, but unfortunately the thunderstorm warnings have stayed in place all weekend. According to the scale I lost about 2 pounds this week, but I wasn't expecting a lot. Once you work in strength training, the scale can't really be relied on, since you are building muscle. My diet went well this week again, I even made chili! The amount of sweets and treats I've turned down is pretty amazing. I'm pretty sure I need to make a bigger calorie deficit in my daily diet, and I'm currently trying to decide where it will come from.
Alright, onto some other Things!
I started out on Thing 59 - Drink 8 glasses of water a day for 8 days straight and Thing 28 - Get up when the alarm goes off every day for a week this week. I didn't actually complete them, and here's why: for Thing 59, it actually takes a lot of effort to work up to this. I made it to 8 glasses for 2 days, 6 glasses on 3 days, and less than that for the other days. I am going to keep working on this until I get it right, and hopefully incorporating Hot Yoga will help. I'm not going to worrying about making up for the water I sweat out while exercising, if I need more I will drink it, but I'm not doing the math! For Thing 28, I made it to Stage One of the goal - I got up everyday after snoozing twice. Every morning I set 3 alarms on my phone, 5 minutes apart. I'm a little OCD about the whole thing, really. Usually after the 3 alarms go off, I reset them again for 20 minutes later. That's where it gets really ridiculous! I'm happy to report that this week I got out of bed right after Alarm 3 every day. Not the whole goal, since I really just want to hop out of bed for an entire week right away, but a good start! This week I hope to continue on both of these Things.
I really view this List as a way to make changes to my lifestyle. Yes, the list is made up of some one-off experiences and dreams of mine, but I also tried to put in Things that I want to start to do automatically. Mentally, this week was tougher than the last few. I felt happy, but I also felt stress that I might not reach some of my goals. I expected this, and so far I've been dealing. I didn't really feel like even writing this blog entry, but obviously I pushed myself to do so! I keep telling myself that Rome wasn't built in a day... 
This week was the first time since April where I felt like I might have a panic attack. I haven't missed that feeling, believe me. I'm not sure why I get them, the situations rarely match up, but thankfully they didn't progress and I was able to redirect my thinking both times I started to feel anxious. 
I think I forgot to update this last week, but Thing 5 - Find a full-time teaching job with benefits progressed a little last week, as I signed a full-time contract at Kehila for next year. No benefits as of yet, but I'm halfway there!
As you can see, my biggest focus right now is on Thing 6. I'm hoping I can sustain the drive to reach it before my 30th birthday in January. I let it slide for far too long, and now it's time to give it all I've got! :)
I'll try and blog more often, but it may have to wait until my report cards are written! I'm thinking about incorporating the way Janey Canuck and kidAmy have written about each Thing separately, but I need a bit of a tutorial on how to create those fancy links they use from post to post!

Until next time,

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Happy Little Update

After slowing down last week, I accomplished several exciting things over the weekend! I ended up going out Saturday night and ended up watching some great live music with friends! Another check on Thing 49 - See 1 live music event a month :) (Bonus points this month, because I ended up seeing a duo that I knew & liked!) I also accomplished Thing 29 - Phone 1 friend or extended family member a week to keep in touch, as I called my Grandma - that was definitely a good feeling - I think she was a little shocked I called! (Oops!) I am going to try and make a concerted effort to call her on the weekends that I don't go home, since I think she gets a little lonely at the nursing home on those days!

I went to my first step class with Laura & I have to say that it was a great work out! I haven't sweat like that before - and I only did about 1/3 of the steps everyone else did!! I hope to continue going, and to keep improving - the women in the class were very encouraging and supportive of my progress, which was a really good feeling. :)

Other exciting things over the weekend: seeing a fashion show with some Hamilton Firefighters, trying mussels for the first time, a surprise visit from my Mom, and finally getting some laundry done - oh, and scoring some much needed sunglasses (only $10!) - now where's the sun?!

Unbelievably, what came next topped all that had come before it, and was the happiest moment of my weekend:

I got on the scale to check my progress from last week's weigh-in, and a number in the 150's showed up! I nearly lost my mind and made Laura weigh herself as well - after 2 scales and much discussion, it was confirmed that I currently weigh 158lbs!!!! Oh happy day!! Turns out I lost about 3lbs from the last time I weighed myself, but I was weighing myself on a scale that was wrong!

Only 30lbs to get to my goal for Thing 6 - Reach goal weight - how exciting!!!!!!

This week's goals: to get up everyday right when the alarm goes off (I did this today!) and to drink 8 glasses of water each day - Up to 1 so far, wish me luck!!


Happy Monday! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Challenge Interrupted

Well, it's been about a month since I started this challenge, and I have to say that I am feeling pretty good about my progress. Unfortunately, I didn't get much farther on my list this week. Actually I don't think I did much this week except try to get my "diet" back on track and keep trying to walk regularly. I walked Monday & Wednesday nights, and was back on high protein/low carbs by Thursday. Hopefully my mood continues to improve, it's definitely better than Tuesday!
I've been itching to get on a scale, but thankfully haven't yet. None of my clothes feel like they are fitting any differently, and I think that getting on a scale will reflect that still. Because of that, my desire to not be disappointed is so far winning out over finding a scale. The fact that I haven't been anywhere with a scale recently really helps as well. Pseudo-self-control - good enough!
Other than that, I don't have much to report. I had hoped to accomplish either Thing 28, Thing 55 or Thing 59 this week, but it didn't happen as the beginning of my week was completely a wash. Maybe I'll try again this coming week, we'll see how it goes! I guess there isn't really a "rush" for the things that are easy, I do have 972 days left... Time enough to accomplish my things when it feels right, and not because I have to finish them. The minute this list feels like a chore, I know I will brush it to the side, and I really don't want that to happen!
One thing I love about this list is that it has allowed me to really put a focus on what I want, and what I need - putting the focus on only worrying about myself. I'm afraid that at some point this list could become a selfish endeavour, but I'm hoping I will be able to keep it as an empowering one.
I don't want to become a broken record about healing from the last few years, but I will say this. At some point during my adult years, some told me that it takes about half the time you were in a relationship to recover from its ending. Well, I was in a relationship for just under 3 1/2 years, and it's been just over a year and a half since it ended. Maybe that is also a factor in my mood upswings?
Remember when I said I was going to maybe post about online dating? It's actually amazing how often the topic comes up in conversations now. Are people subconsciously trying to tell me something?
My need to write a blog post about the topic has been unnecessary though, as someone I follow on Twitter succinctly covered my thoughts in less than 140 characters: "It's so cute how with internet dating you don't know if you are going to get murdered or married" - Thanks @sofifii for your words of wisdom - I may put this on a t-shirt!
That's all for today. This needs to be a weekend about doing, not reflecting!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are you what you eat?

So, starting about a week and a half ago, I made a concerted effort to improve my eating habits. I focused on increasing my protein intake and decreasing my sugar/carb intake.
Here's a rough outline of what I ate:
(I know the list is long, but bear with me - or skip to the end to read my observations)

Mon May 2
B - Smoothie (Kale/Berries/Coconut Water/Protein powder)
L - Tuna salad w/ red pepper, broccoli, fennel, celery wrapped in lettuce leaves
D - Avocado, hummus & tomato sandwich on spelt bread
Daily Snacks - hard boiled egg, cheese stick, apple

Tues May 3
B - Smoothie (Banana/Berries/Coconut Water/Protein powder/Vegan Coffee Coconut Water "ice cream")
L - Same as Monday
D - Scrambled eggs with veggies, Sauteed Kale with onions and bacon
Daily Snacks - same as Monday
Glass of red wine

Wed May 4
B - Smoothie (Kale/Berries/Coconut water/protein powder/Vegan Coffee Coconut Water "ice cream")
L -  Avocado, hummus and tomato sandwich on spelt bread
D - Chicken breast & sweet potato fries
Snacks - cheese string, salami, hard boiled egg, apple
Glass of red wine

Thurs May 5
B - Same as Wednesday
L - Same as Monday
D - Pork Souvlaki with tzaiziki, veggies, 1 quarter of Greek pita
Snacks - same as Wednesday

Fri May 6
B - Same as Wed
L - Same as Monday
D - All you can eat Sushi - YUM
Snacks - apple, cheese string, salami

Sat May 7
B - Same as Wed
L - hard boiled egg, salami, cheese string
D - Japanese dinner - Veggies, Rice, Tofu, no meat 
Dessert- Cinnabon, Cookies
Glass of white wine

Sun May 8
B - Same as Wed
L - Tim Horton's Ham & Swiss sandwich
D - Steak with sauteed kale/onions/bacon & mixed veggies
Glass of red wine

Mon May 9
B - Same as Wed
L - Steak slices with lettuce wrap & snow peas, red peppers
D - Veggie burger with edamame & mixed veggies
Snacks - Cheese, Salami, Apple, hard boiled egg

Tues May 10
B - Same Smoothie
L - Mac n Cheese - snow peas & red pepper with hummus
D - Popcorn & Nibs (at movie) & diet coke
Snacks - apple, cheese, salami week I was in the MOST amazing mood. I was happy. I'm not a happy person. It was weird and enjoyable at the same time. I received compliments on my mood, and my brother was a little freaked out when he saw me. (Seriously - does happy come to mind when you think of me?!)

Around Sunday evening, through Monday & up to now, my mood has considerable worsened. This afternoon I thought I was losing my mind. Yes, it was a stressful day and school, and yes, I am working longer days (and earlier mornings) this week, but my mood was BAD. I even woke up grumpy. Sadly, it felt more normal than last week. I didn't LIKE the fact that it felt normal.

So I'm asking all of you, out there in the blogosphere - am I crazy to think that my mood is affected by my diet? Does anyone else out there see a difference in what I ate over the weekend & this week to change my mood? 

I liked feeling weirdly happy and I want it back!!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

End of Week Three Update: A happy apartment = A happy life?

Life has gotten a little busier with my holidays being over, as you can see from my lack of blogging this past week. Thankfully I've been able to complete and work on the Things on my list, even if I'm not writing about them!

Here's a recap of my latest accomplishments:

Thing 6 - Reach goal weight
Unfortunately I didn't weigh myself to confirm how much I weighed before I started my healthy living routine this week, but I did get the chance to hop on the scale Friday, so I will be able to monitor how well I am doing from here on out. I have felt unbelievable this past week. From my morning smoothies, to my increased protein intake & my decreased carb intake, my diet has me feeling great! Walking out in the beautiful outdoors has been such an uplifting experience as well - from walking the Bayfront last weekend, to walking 3k around Ancaster, and a 5k hike up the escarpment, I have felt challenged and energized physically. Hopefully I can keep this healthy lifestyle going, and get closer to achieving this Thing!

Thing 19 - Research my family tree as far back as I can
This Thing has decided to start itself up - I received a message through from someone who was related to my great-grandfather. I haven't explored too much further into the matter, but it is exciting to thing that there are relatives out there that I haven't met yet!

Thing 21/29 - Phone 1 friend or extended family member a week to keep in touch
I decided to combine these two Things, so I will be on a lookout for a new Thing 21. Realistically, 1 catch-up phone call a week is enough for me - I barely talk on the phone, outside calling my Mom and Dad, and it is so expensive to chat on my cellphone! This past week I had a great phone conversation with a friend, that really helped both of us feel good and even closer (I hope!) It's so great getting to know your friends better, especially when you've spent so long taking them for granted. I definitely haven't been a perfect friend over the last few years, but I hope that I am able to hold up my end of all the friendships in my life. I truly believe that outside of your immediate family, your friends are the most important people in your life. For awhile I forgot that just calling a friend to chat can be the best medication for a bad day! I hope this Thing helps me to remember that in the future!

Thing 40 - Become a regular at a Pub Quiz night
Well, considering that I'd never even BEEN to a Pub Quiz night before I decided to do this Thing, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my first Pub Quiz experience this week! It was a pub in Ancaster called the Brassie, and I went with a co-worker, and ran into a twitter friend there as well! Despite some bad calls (The Canary Islands are NOT in the Caribbean, despite my vehement argument that they were) and along with some amazing and slightly sad pop culture knowledge on my part (Tripplehorn is both the last name of the the actress Jeanne, and the last name of James Franco & Mila Kunis in the movie Date Night, and the last name Tina Fey & Steve Carrell were mistaken for in the same film), my team ended up in 2nd place out of 14 or 15 teams. Hopefully I am invited to go back again, and this Thing can continue growing :)

Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done 
This Thing still isn't done. Doing little chores is much harder when you're free time is limited. Screw the deadline (I say!) and I'm just going to hope for the best that this list is finished soon! If it's done by the end of May I will be happy :)

Thing 56 - See the Top 16 waterfalls of Hamilton 
I'm using this list as my guide. Yesterday I went on a 5k hike with the Little Clan & Darryl, and we hiked up the escarpment between Waterdown & Dundas to see Borer's Falls - #2 on the list. It was an amazing feeling to make it up to the top, and the waterfall did not disappoint. It was about 17m high, and running freely as we watched. It would have been nice to have seen it from the base of the falls, hopefully some of the other waterfalls have viewing points from the bottom as well.
Unfortunately I forgot my camera, and only had my cell phone. This picture doesn't do it justice, but gives you an idea of what we saw:

Thing 67 - Go for a whole week without leaving any dirty dishes in the sink
I didn't advertise that I was doing this Thing, because I felt like this would be one of the most challenging on my list. I have never been a good dishwasher; in fact, I have HATED it in the past. This last week I have successfully managed to do my dishes before leaving for work, and going to bed. Check out what my counter looked like this week:
This may be one of my greatest achievements in my domestic life thus far! Surprisingly, it didn't take much time out of my day to do this, and it felt great to be on top of the mess in my kitchen at all times. A happy apartment = A happy life? Something to ponder...

Thing 86 - Keep a plant alive for 6 months
I am a little worried about this Thing - my wildflowers haven't popped up at all yet, and after my Dad visited yesterday he told me that my hanging plant isn't one that will grow in lowlight conditions. He warned me that it would start to drop leaves soon, and sure enough today it started. I am pretty unimpressed, since I went to the greenhouse with ONE specification, and they misled me! I am going to try and return it later this week for something that will hopefully grow a little better in its location. Looks like this Thing might have a slow start!

Thing 101 - Save $10 for each completed thing (*will raise to $25 & save retroactively if get full-time job!)
I need to start this. Anybody have some odd jobs I can take on? 

Thing 69 - Complete the A-Z Challenge
Today I went with my Aunt & Uncle and discovered some new areas of Hamilton through the Doors Open Hamilton event. I was able to walk through an old country estate, Auchmar Manor. This is the only weekend that it opens to the public, and I am so glad I got to experience it. It started all sorts of ideas flowing through my mind about stories to write, as I'm sure most visitors experienced while there! We also visited Eco-House & the Green Cottage - two buildings that promote sustainable living and being eco-friendly. Eco-House was definitely the better of the two, and I hope to bring my students there in either June or next September. Our last stop was the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I'd never been there in all my time living in Hamilton, and it was inspiring to walk through the exhibits. My favourite one featured found materials used in new ways - There was one piece that had umbrellas hooked up to accordions that opened and closed with lights. I can't even explain it, but it was such an interesting concept! I hope to go back again - and am now considering adding some sort of art class to my Things list. This experience has allowed me to complete the letter D in my A-Z Challenge, for Doors Open Hamilton. 

Looking forward to attempting another Thing this week. I don't want to get ahead of myself, or jinx myself by sharing yet, but will hopefully update you all next week with some more exciting accomplishments!

Hope you've all been able to get out to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Two Weeks In...

Just a quick little catch-up post to fill you in on how Week 2 went!
I didn't reach my personal goal of finishing Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done by April 30, but the date thing was mostly motivation for myself, and I just ran out of time! The updated goal is to have it done by next Sunday May 8, which I think should work - I'll obviously keep you all posted!
When my list is done, I will also simultaneously finish Thing 9 - Get Rid of 101 Things because I've decided that the 101st thing to be "gotten rid of" will be the list. Sure, I want to keep it as a memory, but I'm not going to! (Repeat after me: I will not be a pack rat, I will not be a pack rat...) Thanks to Darryl for the idea of the list being #101. I'm actually at 96 things either thrown out or packed away for goodwill or yard sale, so I'm getting close!!
Last night I unexpectedly started Thing 49 - See 1 live music event a month. I ended up going out to a pub (Vicar's Vice in Stoney Creek - it's in a converted church, and is really interested inside) and there was a live band playing. I have no idea who they were, but they sounded pretty good, the lead singer was cute & I saw some live music - all win-win! Clearly I won't be going to major concerts once a month (or even once a year if Bon Jovi is going on hiatus) but just getting out to hear some live music is my goal. I really enjoy it & hopefully I can mix it in with some patio visits this summer as well :)
A few other quick updates:

Thing 86 - Keep a plant alive for 6 months (unrelated to Thing 64) - The wildflower seeds have been planted, here's hoping they actually grow! 

Thing 87 - Read 20 of the classic novels on my Kobo - Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen has been read. It was fairly enjoyable, and I've moved on to Sense & Sensibility.
Thing 88 - Walk the Bayfront path 30 times - Walked it for the first time in probably 6 years yesterday afternoon - still a little brisk out, but it was a nice, sunny afternoon & I was in good company :) Hopefully we can walk it again soon, if Spring decides to stick around!

My holidays are, sadly, over for a few months. It was a great break, and I feel good about what I accomplished, and I look forward to seeing how I can keep moving forward with my 101 Things as I am working. Hopefully what I have finished so far will help to keep me motivated & moving!!

Personal Post - I Love my Apartment!

This post isn't really a direct response to my 101 Things list, I just feel like I have a few thing I'd like to write about, and since I would hope the people reading this would be interested in what I have to say, then what better a place to do so? If you are here reading, and you're not interested, well - life is too short - find a blog you'd like to read!

I think mostly I just want to talk about what I ate today. For real.
I was amazing today - I might be turning into a machine*.
Breakfast was a Green smoothie - kale, banana, frozen blueberries, coconut water, protein powder - Yum!
Lunch was Scrambled eggs with sauteed broccoli, fennel, red pepper & red onion
Dinner was Baked haddock with salt & pepper, and sauteed baby vegetables with bacon - weird but good!
Eggs are my new favourite thing. Why did I not eat them very often before - they are so fast to cook!

OK, I won't just talk about what I ate, even though, really, it was amazing...
Yesterday I walked 4km with the Little family & it felt really nice to get out and exercise. I actually woke up and debated doing it again today on my own, but the rain was enough to keep me inside!
I haven't followed through on the gym plan yet, but hopefully I will get over there this week a few times. I've even been discussing running with a friend. I'm not sure how that will turn out, but I really think that if I started running it would be a HUGE confidence boost. I have serious anxiety about running - I really think that I look ridiculous when I do it. Sadly, it's partly why I have avoided sports for most of my life. If I was able to work it into my exercise plan I think that would be amazing! I'll keep you posted on how it goes :)

I can't believe how much clearer my head feels now that everything has been unpacked & organized in my apartment. It's an amazing feeling - I'm in love with my apartment!
This is my new favourite place:

I've had breakfast here the past two days. I hope I can turn that into a daily thing, or at least a weekend thing. It's so calming to sit by the window & just chill out. Unfortunately, my neighbours spend a lot of time in their driveway, so hopefully they don't think I'm staring at them!
I also lightened up my living room a bit with a new curtain. It's not perfect, but the white & beaded ribbon looks so much better than the black curtain I had up before:

Did I mention that I vacuumed my stairs & the corners of my ceiling? 
Or that I spent half an hour yesterday just sitting and daydreaming in my window seat?
I'm seriously in love with my apartment.

I hope you enjoyed, I just wanted somewhere to share my accomplishments & ideas from the day. On a completely different note, I've been debating writing a post on the pros & cons of online dating. I haven't fully signed up for any website, but I've considered it a bit. I do a fair bit of hemming & hawing about it as I go about my day. Emotionally, I feel much stronger than I have over the past couple years. Not having to worry about the house anymore helps a lot, and I finally deleted the hundreds of text messages that I kept this long for some reason. That actually felt extremely cathartic. This weekend was the first time in a long time that I actually felt like it would be nice to meet somebody. In a healthy way anyways - I think it's important that you don't feel like that out of fear. There have been many a night where I've felt like I needed somebody because I didn't want to be alone. This weekend I felt like it would have been nice to have had someone important to share my accomplishments with. I think that is an important distinction to make.
Anyways, we'll see if I decide to explore the online dating world a little farther in a future post. I'm not rushing to do so, but it would be nice to present my thoughts & hear what you all have to say as well. I'm currently leaning towards the negative side, as some of you know, but I'm also afraid to cut out what might be a really great idea (even though I can't see it at the moment). Hmmm....

Thanks for reading :)

*My roommate, Kate, from 1st-year at Mac, always referred to herself as a machine when she did well on exercise or diet. I've found myself using the term over the weekend & am feeling a little nostalgic - Must catch up with Kate!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Appyhay Irthdaybay

Dear Janey Canuck & kidAmy,

I thought about creating my own video for you, but then I realized that everything on the internet lives forever. Then I found this beauty video.

Happy 29th Birthday 
to two of my favourite ladies,
Janey Canuck & kidAmy!!!!*

* I could probably use some training in graphic design. Clearly, this blog post is your birthday card, not your birthday gift! ;)

Love, Katy

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Holidays... :D

I must say, I definitely made the right decision working hard last week, so I could take it easy this week! It actually feels like I am on holidays right now, which is a pretty great feeling :)
Today I added something new to my list: Thing 87 - Read 20 of the classic novels on my Kobo. I was inspired to get started on this after reading the novel My Jane Austen Summer. It definitely wasn't a novel on par with the classics, but it was a fun read that I think I would have enjoyed even more if I had read Mansfield Park prior to reading it. 
This started as an idea to read all of Jane Austen's novels, but when I realized that there are only 6, that seemed a bit weak. Then, as I was perusing through my pre-loaded Kobo novels, I saw that there were many books that I have wanted to read at some time or another - The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Castle of Otranto, and, of course, Dracula - which I STILL haven't read. Up first, though, is Northanger Abbey. This is the only one of Jane Austen's books that I think I have read before. I say think, because it I'm pretty sure it was required reading for one of my many English courses, but I can't remember if I read it or not - I should figure it out soon though, as I'm about 10 pages in so far. This will, of course, help with Thing 58 - Complete my 50 Book Pledge. I've decided if I reach 50 books before June 30, then I will make the change to a 100 Book Pledge official. If you are interested in this Thing, I will be uploading the file to a new page link at the top of the blog. 
I also got an official start off to Thing 52 - Take photos of time spent with friends or family at least once a month, by taking some photos of Easter Brunch with my Grandma. Here's a lovely pic I took of her:

I must learn to be stealthier with the camera, as my brother managed to evade almost every shot I tried to take of him! I was conned into taking lots of pictures and videos of the cats, which I will spare you of here. I took several doozy pictures of my Mom - she manages to open her mouth or move in EVERY photo I take of her! - but I did get ONE nice shot of my Mom & bro on a walk we took after brunch:

Maybe I should make one of my Things be to take a photography class - I'm pretty challenged in this area!!

A few other updates:
Last week 3 of my favourite people (the Little clan) came over, and Lyn was reading my list and suggested that Thing 13 - Go on a Spa getaway with friends could easily be done to celebrate all of our 30th birthdays next year - what a great idea! (I knew I was friends with her for a reason ;) ). So that's something to look forward to! 
I've also followed through on Thing 77 - Pay off my credit card every month. Clearly, I shouldn't even use the card, but we live in a world where certain things can only be paid with credit card. This month it was my OCT fees - paid it off this AM, and all is right again - phew....
I'm getting closer to finishing Thing 54 - Create a list & actually cross everything off of it when it gets done. I've decided one thing on it won't be done, and that is cleaning the outside of my car (thank you Mother Nature!), but I've added several things as I've gone through the list, and it *should* be done by Saturday, right on target! :)

That's all for now, stay dry folks!