Thursday, October 29, 2009


I love living on my own.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my university roommates (still do!!), and I feel that I made good use of the dorm space, but here are two reasons why I love living in an apartment, all to myself:

No more little teeny bed! ..also, no more stuffed animals..

And a real fridge! And a big counter to set my Brita on! And no more lava lamp!

Also, no one should EVER be subjected to this in public.

a life changing experience.

I ventured into Pete's Frootique last night, and for the first time, I made it past the lunch bar and dug into the grocery store in the back. And boy did I dig! They had pomegranates on sale - which I have recently discovered are my new favorite fruit.. can you freeze the seeds? I'm going to try! - so I bought three of those, a cucumber, melba toasts, gnocchi, brie, and *drumroll please* Burt's Bees Lemon Poppyseed Facial Cleanser.

Let's be honest. I don't buy products that are over $10 for my face.. I know it's terrible and I'm cheap and not doing great things to my skin, but I usually can find other things to spend my money on. This was a tad over my $10 limit, but it smelled so divine I decided to buy it.

This. Product. Is. Amazing.

It's like spreading lemon meringue pie on your face. For people who have food-on-the-face issues, I can see that it would be uncomfortable, but I've been making face masks from fruit, oatmeal, and eggs since I was 13, so I lathered this stuff on like it was cream cheese icing on a carrot cake. Apparently I like food, alright.

It is smooth and creamy, and there aren't really enough poppyseeds to make it exfoliating, but they add a nice touch to the mixture. I was a little nervous that my sensitive skin would react to it, but I washed it off with warm water and a face cloth, and my face felt hydrated and refreshed.

I literally woke up this morning excited to wash my face. I haven't been this excited about a product since, like, I discovered the tampon.

P.S. I have three days to read the biography of Alfred Nobel, research the history of Halifax, and try a new recipe. The recipe might end up being a smoothie..

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

irresponsible retail.. and a conflicted mind.

Let me paint a picture for you.

It is Monday night, twilight, just after 7pm. I am leaning up against the wall outside Lululemon, waiting for their free yoga class to start. People are walking, talking on cell phones, finishing up their shopping for the evening, driving home from working late. Amidst the hustle and bustle, I hear an alarm go off, and I think, "That sounds familiar... I wonder what it is."

Turns out, it is a store security alarm. Across the street from me, there is a LeChateau, which has not yet closed for the evening. The doors are open, and people are shopping inside. There is a man in his early 20s, wearing a well-fitting white hoodie, jeans, and a ballcap, with his hands in his pockets, in the doorway. He turns to his right, and takes his right hand out of his pocket, as if to say to the people inside, "What's going on? This alarm is going off and I don't know why." He must have gotten the okay to leave, because he turned back around and sauntered right out of the doorway. At this point, he is walking down the sidewalk, with his left side to me....with a clear outline of a shoebox poking out from underneath his left arm, which is still tucked in his pocket.

SERIOUSLY PEOPLE. The hoodie was a style you'd see from A&F, or Stitches or something, form fitting, not huge and baggy. I was across the street and I could clearly decipher a rectangular box underneath the whole left side of his chest.

This left me feeling particularly conflicted. The whole time I was watching I was thinking, "Really? Am I really watching this happening?" I was not going to chase him, 1. because what would I do if I caught him, and 2. What if he beat me? The only thing I had on me was my yoga mat, and I don't think anyone ever got hurt from being smacked with a yoga mat. Additionally, as far as I can remember, Le Chateau doesn't leave shoes in shoeboxes on the floor - you have to ask to try them on. So either this guy asked to try on a pair of shoes, and then the employee left him long enough for him to stuff the box under his shirt, or he creeped up behind some unsuspecting customer and stole a box from under their nose. I also thought maybe he had already bought something, and was trying to protect it, but this was highly unlikely as it wasn't raining.

All the employees would have had to do was say, "Can you come in here for a second," and gotten him to do a 360 degree turn, and they would have seen it. Come ON.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

goals update.

It is October 18th, more than halfway through this month. Towards the end of September, I posted a list of goals for myself for this month, and this is how they are going:

Goals for October:

- Read the biography of someone I find inspiring
I have borrowed a biography of Alfred Nobel from the library, and it looks hideously boring, but I am curious about this man and his work, so I will plow through it. I also managed to get my hands on a copy of 'Eat Pray Love' which I have been wanting to read for a while.. and it's sort of a biography!

- Go on a road trip to somewhere I've never been before
DC and I went to Cape Breton last weekend, and while I've been there before, it was a decade ago and I have a terrible memory, but we definitely stayed at places I haven't been to before, so I think this counts!

- Try and stay focused at work; a good day's work makes my outlook brighter
Way to be subjective, Rachael! I am getting better at this, especially now that I have a better feeling for the work that I am doing, and have some long and short term goals at work (this girl works better with deadlines!).

- Explore the history of the area in which I'm living
Haven't touched this one yet. DC is much more into history than I am, that is one place where we differ immensely.

- Find somewhere to volunteer on a regular basis
I have the paperwork to volunteer through a local agency, I just haven't completed it yet. On the to do list!

- Exercise (cardio) three times a week *sidenote: I do pilates at work twice a week, so hopefully this combo will get me back in the game!*
This is a fail, but I'm working on getting better! Writing everything down will definitely help.

- Try one new recipe each week (baking, cooking, or a new smoothie or shake)
I haven't done this on the regular, but I tried three new recipes this weekend! Does that catch me up? Ha!

All in all, I think I'm doing alright so far. Now back to my book!

the leaves are turning.

..and it's not because it's autumn.

I am undergoing a change, and a much needed one, at that. I feel as though I am transitioning into a new stage in my life. Moving to a new city left me in a bit of a stupor, a feeling-sorry-for-myself phase that lasted a staggering two and a half months. I guess two and a half months isn't staggering in the long run.. but for me, and the attitude I used to have - a go get 'em, try new things, meet new people sort of girl - it was shocking.

It's really hard to meet new people without the built-in social life that university provides. I shouldn't complain though - I've had plenty of opportunities to meet people at work, and I shied away from them, and I'm still unsure why. Perhaps it is just easier to keep to myself, it's less work than painting on a smile and opening up to someone new.

The lack of a social life is probably the hardest part of this "being an adult" thing. I can handle the bank meetings, the phone calls to credit card companies, the apartment and car hunting, and I'm getting the hang of this budgeting thing. But my interactions with people are now limited to one on one meetings; the days of packed lecture rooms and parties are gone (for now, at least!). It's bizarre.

I feel that this post is really negative, and I didn't mean for it to be that way. The tide is turning, and this weekend was a very productive, colorful weekend that involved two free yoga classes (they're all over this city!! My body and my wallet loves it!), shopping at the Farmer's Market, renting a movie, visiting the library, coffee at Starbucks, talking on the phone, and lots of time in the kitchen. I successfully made a pumpkin and squash soup, which took two hours, and I didn't even start it until 9pm on Saturday night (the perks of living alone.. and having no social life! ha!). I had to bake the pumpkin and squash first.. mmm it smelled so good! And then Sunday, I made hummus and then a roasted garlic and edamame (soy bean) dip. I'm adding "food processor" to my Christmas list.. my blender, while superb at smoothies, didn't so much appreciate the sticky chickpeas.

Here are some ways in which I'm implementing this change:
- I've started a food journal, in which I also record my exercise (or lack thereof!) for the day, amount of sleep at night, and feelings after eating (so far, there are a lot of "Oops, I shouldn't have eaten that much...")
- I did up a meal plan for this week and bought all my groceries in advance
- I'm setting a goal for myself to get some form of exercise 5 out of 7 days of the week (and it will be recorded!)

That last goal is particularly embarrassing to admit, because it's not like fitness is a new idea in my life.. but these last few months have been lazy and I've been feeling gross because of it. I know I love the endorphin rush from a good workout, and bonus! My appetite increases! As long as I keep making healthy choices (and watching portion control; probably one of my biggest issues), I should be able to incorporate these changes into my lifestyle.

Final note:

One Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar contain 440 calories and 24 grams of fat.
One serving of Scotsburn's French Vanilla Frozen yogurt (half a cup) contains 110 calories and 0 grams of fat.

How is this possible??

Looks like I'm going to be replacing my chocolate cravings with frozen yogurt from now on!

Friday, October 16, 2009

home and dry.

1800kms later, we are home. Dear bf is back on the isle and I am back to the grind at work.

Did I mention that camping in October makes for a chilly, damp experience? We managed to tent 3 of the 4 nights we were out there, and the second-to-last night my darling bf delivered me a lovely early birthday present of a night in a hotel! (For the record, king size beds are too large.. I got lost in there!)

Once we had figured out that he likes to drive and I like to take photos, we were bombing along cliff sides and avoiding rainshowers to zoom into look out spots and take a few photos before dashing back in the car to dry off and eat some more chocolate (no campfires means a lot of s'more material to dispose of.. yum!). I learned a lot about how we work together and that we have different things we see when we look at the same town. He is awed by architecture, history, and feats of engineering, and I prefer to see beaches or comb through souvenir shops. It makes for an interesting balance when vacationing together, and it definitely involves compromise. On another note, we learned how to put up a tent in 5 minutes flat - thankfully, we managed to beat the hail!

I'm finally caught up on laundry, and back to work. Our next scheduled adventure is in early May, for his cousin's wedding in Toronto. I have 10 days off at Christmas (including weekends), so maybe something will have to be in order then.. the wheels are already turning!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

headed for the highlands.

I'm all packed and waiting - just a few things to finish up at my place after work, and I'm headed on a road trip! I'm meeting my bf at his place tonight (3 hours away), and then tomorrow we're headed to Cape Breton for Thanksgiving weekend.

I love autumn. I love the colors and the crisp air.. I have never been to CB in the fall, but I hear the trees are spectacular! I've loaded up on camera batteries and I'm ready to put my amateur photography skills to the test. My car, which I have tentatively named "Little Grey", is packed full of camping gear and tons of groceries. I've gone camping before with the man, but never for five days, not in October (it's a little cooler this time of year!), and I don't think I've ever cooked a real meal outside before. I'm excited to see how this will pan out. The last time we went on a road trip, it was in the middle of winter and we got caught in a snowstorm.. I am hoping the snow will hold off this time!

Monday, October 5, 2009


I am dreaming of a day when $800 for a pair of shoes will seem trivial..

That can happen, right?

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I have a confession.

I am madly in love with Ashley Olsen.


I know I know, I was at the front of the line of haters (probably handing out t-shirts) when her and her sister were in the middle of their "It Takes Two" days, with the kajillion straight-to-video movies they made, and the barbies and the clothing lines.

But LOOK at them.

The one on the right is a little haggard looking, perhaps from all the drugs and the not eating.


Who wears stilletos to run errands?

Oh right, a multimillionaire. Who got a star on the Walk of Fame and became CEO of her own company at 18. Right.