Monday, February 27, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 16-21

More Pictures!

Day 16 - Something New. The new floor! This is what my life has become, I love it.

Boomer did NOT like it, slid around everywhere. Rugs have since been purchased and he is coping.

Day 17 - Time. Or, as I like to say PARTY TIME! Went into Toronto to visit my favourite girls and celebrate a birthday, too! We were at a a bar that was playing 90s music... which apparently also meant that everyone was born in the 90s... oy.

Day 18 - Drink. Much coffee was consumed whilst flooring was installed.

Day 19 - Something you hate to do. Dinner for 1. I love to cook, I refuse to cook for just myself.

Day 20 - Handwriting. Taken from my journal, I have great enthusiasm when no one is listening.

Day 21 - A fav photo of you. I posted this before in a 'favourites' post, still love it :)

I've been forgetting about taking the photos lately and end up taking them way late in the day, I have really enjoyed taking the pictures but I think I'll take a break for March - the new list can be found here.

Previous photo-a-day posts can be found here, here, here, here, and here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Favouites ver. 11

In which I post fun and favourite things from my week, every Friday!

This week has been all about the weather evolution - I think I've used every coat and paid of boots I own

1. Tretorn 'Skerry' Rubber Boots - I can't say enough about these. I have them in olive green and they are excellent for the over-salted-gross-slushy conditions of southern Ontario. No more salt stains or soaked feet. They are easy to slip on and since rubber boots are (sort of?) in fashion (weird but awesome?) I can wear them to the grocery store. I've seen these boots in stores for $85, I got mine online, on sale for $19 last year so watch for that. Try them on in store and then order online, better colour selection, too. I also bought the taller boots but they were tight on my calf so I gave them away. If boots not fitting your calves is a problem, go with the shorties.

This colour is called 'Lime Punch'

2. At this time next week I will be in NEW. YORK. CITY. WHOA!!! That is crazy!! RB and I have been making a list of everything we want to see. As it's our first time, we're planning on doing most of the more touristy stuff. If you have any suggestions please comment below!

3. MY FLOOR! Last weekend was crazy nutso... hence the lack of favourites - sorry! But the result is a new beautiful floor installed by RB and super-friend PK. They did an awesome job! I can't wait to see the tile go in. The new floor is part of an overall main floor reno. There are many more projects that are in the works, I'll be sure to post more results as they happen. Here's the before & after.

Before! Beige carpet.

After! Boomer is such a good model.

Another busy weekend ahead with more home renos, do you have any projects planned this spring?

Monday, February 20, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15

Photos from last week:

Day 11 - Makes me Happy. It was Saturday and that meant sleep-in, watch TV, and generally RELAX. It was perfect. Me & RB in our pajamas with smoothies.

Day 12 - Inside my closet. probably my favourite thing in my closet is my Yzerman jersey. It was a gift for my birthday last year and I'd wear it everyday if I could! It's so comfortable! RB shares different opinions on teams but someone we can put our differences aside.

Day 13 - blue. This was surprisingly one of the harder pictures. It was very vague and I couldn't really find anything that was blue and also picture worthy. Enter Boomer who is (in my opinion) always picture worthy, in his blue collar.

Day 14 - heart. An easy one. RB and I started this tradition last year - ordering heart shaped pizza on Valentine's day. Boston Pizza does the promotion every year in support of their charity. It's for a good cause and it's a cute, easy tradition.

Day 15 - phone
. Another strange one! My work phone is boring, my house phone is boring, my blackberry is... clearly not being used much this week based on my new pictures... That is a whole other post, though. Why I'm sticking with blackberry but using RB's iPhone when it's convenient... I like that you can clearly see my background picture.

One of the things I've been enjoying this week is sticking to the daily prompts. There have been other things I've wanted to take pictures of as my photo-a-day but the prompts have made me think a little more creatively. It's been fun!

** The prompt list for March has been posted here** You should try it!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Crappy-ass Music Taste

You guys, I have a secret. A deep, dark, ugly secret.

I have terrible taste in music.

I am a shadow of my former music-loving 16 year old self.
16 year old Erica had a music collection. She loved 80's rock and grunge and her favourite band was The Clash. She carried her discman with her everywhere. She went to see the Rolling Stone's in Hamburg. Damn, she was cool.

I realized about a year ago that I hadn't listened to any new music in longer than I'd like to admit. I thought I should take action and find new artists, new stuff by my favourite artists, etc. Then I didn't...

Fast forward to last month. My music taste still SUCKS. It is awful. Whenever people come over I bless my mother for getting me an XM Radio subscription so no one thinks to suggest I put my iPod in the dock. *shudders*. There are many stations on XM that offer new music but I tend to stick to the 90s station (uh CELLO, because it's AWESOME). Where else can you hear original Britney, Counting Crows, and Snoop Dogg in the span of an hour?

But, the 90s station still isn't creating a new music library for me.

Last month I decided to work this shit out. I figured a good place to start was by asking "What were people loving last year?" I googled this and came back with Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2011. Reputable source, variety, let's do this. Starting last week I pulled up a youtube playlist of a different album from the list everyday.

Please don't roll your eyes dangerously to the back of your head when I tell you the only albums I have heard anything from are Lady Gaga, Adele, Beyonce. and Miranda Lambert. I had at least heard the name of most of the other bands... that counts, right?

*this is making feel especially vulnerable as I expect most of you are thinking "you haven't heard Wilco/Robbie Robertson/RADIOHEAD?????" To you I say... I was too busy doing other cool things like... listening to CBC talk radio.

Some of my impressions of my new music venture:
  1. Wilco "The Whole Love" - decent, would go back to this
  2. Robbie Robertson "How to become clairvoyant" - really enjoyed this
  3. Bon Iver "Bon Iver" - most interesting new music, gets a bit weird for me but good for late night brainstorming
  4. My Morning Jacket "Circuital" - great, it's pretty chill, will consider looking for more from them.
  5. Tune-yards "Whokill" - oh man so fun!
  6. Jay-z & Kanye West "Watch the Throne" - from this I realized I can really listen to and enjoy any type of music, I could listen to this album on repeat.

I think my music renovation & revolution will continue and I'm going to make an effort to listen to a new album or artist every week. Might even start a 'new music' feature a la Amber Show or attempt to listen to 1000 new songs a la Mighty Girl.

How do you expand your music taste? Do you make an effort to listen to new music or do you stick to what you like?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

Everyone who dislikes Valentine's day tends to say that we should all be showing love to our loved ones EVERY day and that Valentine's Day is a commercial hoax.

To them I say... phooey!

Valentine's Day is an excuse to go over the top with mush/romance/sexy time/etc. I don't want that crap every day. If I had that crap every day I'd be barfing up heart shaped sprinkles and I just don't think my organs can handle that. So, take this day and be a big ol' softie-mush-pile, tell your guy or girl you love 'em, let them hog the covers, let them hold the remote. Put a smile on and spread the love that you feel today to every one you meet.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

My photos from the week:

Day 6 - Dinner. RB has been working a lot lately so it's been just me for a few days. Cooking for myself is much different than cooking for both of us. Really, the difference is that I'm lazy if it's just me.

Day 7 - Buttons. Could have gone in many directions for this one. After a very successful trip to Bulk Barn I though my pink & red smarties were the most suitable.

Day 8 - Sun. A fun one. I keep it pretty dark at home during the day, only turning on lights when I'm in a room. This is the front door opening to flood the porch with bright sun. It looks like Boomer is streching for it but it was probably just the prospect of going for a walk that had him eager.

Day 9 - Front Door. Pretty simple, this is my front door. I made that wreath before Christmas and I don't want to take it down. Let's just call it decorative and not festive... (while still being festive)...

Day 10 - Self Portrait. A strange one. I was originally going to post a picture of me in the front entrance mirror all bundled up because... *shocker* it's snowing again but I know that I don't want to talk about the weather so I'm sure you don't either.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Favourites ver. 10

In which I post fun and favourite things from my week, every Friday!

1. OMG WE FINISHED DEXTER SEASON 4. I have been having nightmares about John Lithgow for the past week. Terrifying.

2. New favourite blog - I Heart Organizing. I think I've read all of her archives by now. I'm re-organizing my kitchen this weekend. All cupboards will be emptied, things will be purged, serenity will be achieved.

3. I'm going to a Raclette party on Sunday. Have you ever experienced this? It involves much melted cheese, and meat, and cheese. I need to play frisbee afterward. aha... ahaha... (that's pre-Frisbee-post-dinner Erica laughing at mid-dinner Erica as she foolishly noms too much and undoubtedly becomes ball-of-lead-on-field Erica)

4. Still following?

5. That's too many Erica's.

6. Going to look at scratch the crap out of flooring samples this weekend (let's be real here). Big reno project scheduled for Family Day weekend. Stay tuned!

7. Turns out I'm celebrating my 51st birthday this weekend, too! This is all moving too quickly... I think I'll slow it down by being a woo-girl on Saturday night. That makes sense, right?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Valentine's Day Baking Ideas

While I'm not much for sappy romance, I do love the red and pink explosion in stores as Valentine's Day approaches.

Instead of buying something this year, why not try your hand at baking?

Scroll to bottom for tips on decorating.

1. Red Velvet Cupcakes from Bakerella
Classic recipe with a fun, easy decorating twist.

2. Cream Filled Strawberries from Joy of Baking
Simple, easy, and a little bit sexy, too!

3. Easy Tiramisu Trifles from My Baking Addiction
Can be made in advance! Single servings! No oven required!

4. Chocolate Valentines Cookies from The Pioneer Woman
Chocolate cookie-cutter cookies with cute detailing.

4. Chocolate Cake with Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache from Bakerella
Jump in with both feet. Look at that puppy! Go all out and make a big ol' chocolate layer cake. Send me a virtual high-five when your honey goes weak in the knees ;)

A few tips:
  • Bulk Barn looks like Valentine's Day threw a bad ass frat party and forgot to clean up, you can find super cute cupcake liners, sprinkles, cookie cutters, and all sorts of red & pink candy.
  • Piping icing onto cupcakes is actually easier than spreading it. Get yourself a piping bag (minimum 14 inches) and a large star tip (Wilton 6B or 8B) and you'll get cute results with minimal effort.
  • For red velvet or any red coloured batter you can use gel food colouring or standard liquid colouring. Gel colouring is available at bulk food stores. It stains your hands but doesn't alter the consistency of your batter like liquid might and produces a much more vivid colour. It lasts forever so no harm in having a little jar in the pantry. Liquid works too, though if that's what you've got.

My bounty from my trip to Bulk Barn. I dare you to spend less than $50.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day?

Monday, February 06, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 3, 4, & 5

Forgive me for not posting my daily pics! We left Waterloo at 5pm on Friday, got into Kingston at 9:30pm, visited my cousins until 1am, spoke at conference at 1pm on Saturday, left for Pickering at 2pm, arrived Pickering at 4pm, attending birthday party, returned home to Waterloo at 10:30pm. Prepared for super bowl party all day Sunday, hosted super bowl party Sunday evening. IT WAS B-Z. But I took pictures!

Day 3 - HANDS

On Friday, I tweeted this:

I tried a few different things to get a picture of my hands but failed. Self-timers can only take you so far. So, instead of getting my own hands, I took a picture of someone who actually has handS.

RB eatin & drivin

Day 4 - strangers

I love this one. Before my speech on Saturday, I told the audience to wave at me so I could take a picture of them. Voila!

So many strangers! Except I can see RB's bald head way in the back...

Day 5 - 10am

At 10am I was cooking bacon for the chili I was preparing for our annual Super Bowl Party!

Now that my speech is over I'm glad to have a bit more time to focus on other things like TEDx planning, NYC planning, and home renos!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Favourites ver. 9

In which I post fun and favourite things from my week, every Friday!

Hello friends! Have you had a shit-storm week like me? and I don't just mean that it's been snowing/raining/snowing/raining for 6 days... ah screw it, I'm DONE talking about the weather!

I'm headed to Kingston today after work for the annual CIRQUE Conference held at Queen's University. If you look at the schedule, you will see a familiar name in the 1:00pm time slot.

Excuse me while I barf.

I feel like I've been telling people for years that I love public speaking when in reality I love being finished public speaking. That feeling you get once you've just delivered a well executed and inspirational message is awesome. The 8 weeks prior when you are flipping out and power point keeps crashing are not so energizing.

BUT! I soldier on! Wish me luck!

On to the weekly favs!

1. Umm... how did I get away with not showing you this, yet? Sound, please. I love you, too ;)

2. I have the best gfs in the world. This weekend I was presented with the most amazing collage to hang in my office. This contributes to #52 on my Life List - Fill my house with art made by my friends. These girls have an awesome eclectic taste and have endeavored to fill their own apartment with collages and clocks. I love it.

Nail polish, dogs, friends, climbing cats, children - it's practically a vision board for my life

3. I puppy-sat for Coworker PK yesterday. It was crazy, frustrating, silly, wet, and fun! I even took her on a trip to the grocery store. It was kind of neat to experience what it's like to train a service dog. I help PK out when I'm around but I was solo this time and she is a hand-full but has made a ton of progress. That and she loves Boomer, obvi.

4. We started Season 4 of Dexter on Wednesday and I DON'T THINK I CAN HANDLE IT. THE STRESS. JESUS. Hold me....

5. I'm participating in a photo-a-day challenge, posted details here. It's fun! You should try it.

6. Super Bowl Party, Sunday, Be HERE. It's going to be awesome. LET'S GO GIANTS!!!!
(I'm making chili, Mexican layer dip, and cupcakes)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 2

Day #2 prompt is... words! Here's what I came up with:

ALL of the words! My bookcase! I have a whole board on Pinterest devoted to bookcases (Not a great pic, sorry)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February Photo a Day Challenge - Day 1

I suppose this would lead me to posting everyday... we'll see! Also posting to twitter.

Here's the list I'm working from courtesy of Fat mum slim

Here's my picture from today: "your view today"

Same as everyday, was completely white yesterday...

Follow along on twitter under #febphotoaday