Friday, November 30, 2012

Life List revisited

Camp Mighty was held at the beginning of November and while I didn't attend I thought it fitting to revisit my life list that I wrote last year around this same time. When I first wrote this list I was pretty focused on reaching 100 items. Upon review, many of these items were added in an effort to bulk up the list. That's not how this should work. So, I'm freely adding and deleting items, after all there are no rules. 

I've included a few tips for starting each one in an effort to get moving. Edits are in Blue. 

1. Spend time in all 10 Canadian provinces (layover in an airport doesn't count) (so far I'm at 9 haha does that make this goal too easy? nah) - my progress thus far here. 
2. Make macaroons with perfect feet.  - I need to make them myself so I don't have to pay for them. This is good for everyone
3. See every NHL team play (I'm at Detroit, Toronto, Carolina, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York Rangers) - hell yes. If the game ever comes back...
4. Get 1000 hits on my blog IN. ONE. DAY. - this kind of happened in July due to this post. I'm not sure it counts. Maybe I should edit it to be "Get 1000 hits without posting pictures of naked men". 
5. Ottawa for Canada Day - planned for next summer. 
6. achieve 'curb appeal' - This is extremely difficult. Mother Nature is a fickle mistress. 
7. Successfully plant, grow, and eat something (the miracle mint in my backyard doesn't count). - I kind of did that this summer but I feel like I was cheating by using starters instead of seeds. Why am I so hard on myself?
8. Be a vegan for 30 days - also, convince Rob to be a vegan for 30 days. 
9. 'lay out' and catch a Frisbee point - don't kill/injure myself in the process
10. Score a second goal in hockey - start playing hockey again
11. Get a penalty in hockey - start playing hockey again. 
12. visit Thailand. - this should be 'visit exoctic vacation destination' because my desired location changes every month. Iterations include Africa and Peru so far
13. Host a 100 mile feast - make it happen, Waugh. 
14. Re-read all of my favourite fantasy series (Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Material, The Hunger Games) - again and again and again
15. Do a 30-day challenge every month for a year - figure out what the challenges will be, doesn't have to be one complete calendar year, can start whenever
16. Successfully complete NaBloPoMo (I signed up to do it in November of this year!! ee!) Completed November 2011
17. Go on that 3-week Southeast Asia trip I keep talking about with RB - I'm deleting this because it's too similar to #12. 
18. Take a food tour in Europe - make a list of destinations and eat all food that is famous in each city. Must include mountains of gelato. 
19. Attend TED (speak @ TED??) - someday...
20. Read LOTR trilogy Completed July 2012
21. Hike the Inca Trail in Peru - get over fear of altitude sickness, conquer this trail. 
22. Host xmas dinner for my whole family - get them to come to Ontario... or go to The Pas...?
23. Do a downward dog and have my heels touch the floor - practise more
24. Make pierogies - seriously. make them
25. Write a cookbook - start making a list of favourites that would be included. 
26. Own a cottage - start saving. 
27. Rent a cottage in PEI, drive there with dog & stay for a week, no technology, only cookbooks - I'm editing this to be 'cottage type destination' because I'm not particularly attached to PEI and my current infactuation lies with Traverse City, Michigan... 
28. Send xmas cards to my family every year for as long as I am capable (going on 3 years now) - hell ya, never let this go. 
29. Go to San Francisco - watch a Sharks game while I'm there to contribute to #3. 
30. Give only homemade gifts for Xmas one year - I'm not sure if I want to keep this one. I think I'd prefer if it were 'reduce the amount of consumerism you partake in during the holiday season'  and spend more effort on quality time with family. 
31. Be half-decent with a camera - get a camera
32. left-side plank, arm & leg up! - seriously. YOU CAN DO THIS
33. PIE CRUST, make it, and make it GOOD - why haven't you done this yet?
34. Mentor a high-school girl who is interested in engineering - figure out what this entails
35. skinny dip - EEK but yes, do it. 
36. have a conversation in sign language - learn more sign language
37. attend Munich Oktoberfest - hell yea
38. build something with my dad - hell yea
39. read all previously awarded Man Booker prize winners and continue to read every year - this is tedious and having read quite a number now I've realized I don't like committing to one specific group of books. I'd rather just say 'read a lot, and chronicle the books', which I'm doing on GoodReads.
40. learn how to change a tire on my car (have my dad teach me?) - good life skill
41. convert someone from a roundabout-hater to a roundabout-LOVER! - I'm ready and waiting, step right up
42. make my grandma's pickles (have mom teach me?) - good one, E
43. train my dog to be well behaved off-leash (maybe not this dog... next one!) - dreams...
44. take an improv class - Peter already agreed to go with you, what are you waiting for?
45. Go back to Rome with RB and do all the fun things we did separately together - ya!
46. Do yoga every weekday morning for a month - terrifying but doable
47. Become a certified instructor of something (yoga, skating, dog training?) - ya!
48. Develop a more consistent health routine (exercise, vitamins, balanced diet, etc) - oh god please... maybe a New Year's reso?
49. Deliver a motivational speech to a large crowd - figure out what I want to motivate
50. Have a baby - HOLY SHIT
51. Foster a service dog - figure out if you'd be ok with parting with them, research the program
52. Fill my house with art made by my friends (in process...) - working on it!!
53. Build my dream home with higher counters, party shower, and fire pit - someday...
54. Buy a bicycle and USE IT Completed May 2012
55. Graduate to the 15 lbs weights, say goodbye to the 7.5 lb weights for good - get over this injury and then get back at it...
56. Give Steve Yzerman a hug and promptly remove him from my freebie list - mmm dreams...
57. Cut my hair really short again - like THIS???
58. Watch The Notebook (No, I haven't EVER seen it) - Even Rob has seen it!
59. See Bon Jovi in concert - and promptly swoon yourself to death
60. See Michael Buble in concert - ditto
61. Take RB to see the Bengals play - check every year when they play the Bills
62. Re-do my website - learn to code this shit
63. Put up a Christmas tree, train the dog not to eat presents. - not this year :(
64. Help raise 1 million dollars for charity - find a worthy cause
65. Build a piece of furniture - working on it!!
66. Participate in the WarAmps mentor program - signed up, waiting for call!
67. Make a Kub set, teach my friends Completed July 2012
68. Try anti-gravity yoga (the one with hammocks) - they have it in town! Go do it. 
69. Take a self-defense class (Krav Maga??) - Krav Maga is crazy $$$, find something else
70. Have a jewellery collection to be proud of - working on it
71. Be a mom - figure out what this means
72. Learn how to properly throw a baseball - quit throwing like a girl
73. Win the hockey playoff pool - booyea
74. "Make my boyfriend marry me" (his words while we were brainstorming) - HOLLER in progress. 
75. Finish reading 'The Joy of Cooking' - even the part about skinning a squirrel
76. Live closer to my parents - likely the most painful and difficult item on this list. A life-long pursuit I imagine. 
77. Learn to drive stick - just in case. 
78. Teach someone to sew - why is it such a lost art? It's easy. Let me teach you. 
79. Take up painting again - I'm not sure how I feel about this. I don't know if I'm actually interested in doing this. 
80. Own a house outright - hell ya. 
81. Be an expert at something - 10,000 hours spent on...?
82. Go on a spontaneous, last-minute vacation Completed June 2012
83. Successfully play matchmaker - I have successfully matched roommates, does that count?
84. Swim a lap (cannot currently do more than tread water) - it feels so damn good to swim, get over fear of water while I'm at it.  
85. Be a 'first pick' on a sports team - this doesn't matter to me anymore. I am happy with my level of athletisism and someone elses skill judgement doesn't matter to me. 
86. Ride a mechanical bull like a boss - do I care about this? I mostly laugh at the people that attempt it. TBD...
87. Teach an entire bar to line dance - you know you want to.
88. Give out homemade treats for Halloween (to those that will accept them and not search for razors) - I think 'get to know my neighbours' is also crucial here. 
89. Start a book club - or a women's club, or some kind of club that isn't 90% guys. 
90. Participate in a cooking challenge/competition - YA, it's ok if I don't win. 
91. Complete a 1-year photo challenge (photo every day) - the committment is terrifying
92. Develop a reputation as an awesome gift giver - another item that's based on other people's judgement. Dislike. I find joy in choosing gifts, that's the extent of my input. I cannot pre-select people's responses. 
93. Donate back to my EngSoc - make sure it goes to EngSoc and not the school. The society needs the money. 
94. Write a memoir - naw, I'm not that interested. I think writing a book that involves details of my life but not one that is solely based on my life. 
95. Learn a really awesome song on piano & perform it - another one I go back and forth on. Need to evaluate if this is important to me
96. Go on a crazy girls-only weekend with Cro & Griz (others welcome) - THIS will be GRAND
97. Have a good relationship with mother-in-law - totally working this one out. I think the final seal will be producing a spawn of her golden child. 
98. Learn to let go - a life long pursuit, making considerable progress. 
99. Be proud of who I am and tell my story to other families - HYFR. 

New items:
101. Enjoy my wedding for what it means to my life and not what it means to those judging me.
102. Embrace my future-in-laws as my family
103. Make a financial/life plan for myself, Rob and our future family. Including but not limited to: RRSPs, life insurance, living will, savings, etc.
104. Buy less stuff, you don't need it.
105. Get my GD P.Eng. Seriously. Do this. NOW.
106. Bake a cake every month for someone - with reason or without, doesn't matter. Inspired by this post.
107. Consider the viability of alternative careers. Engineering isn't the answer to all life's problems.
108. Get over my dislike of mushrooms and other foods I have avoided for too long. Disliking food is obnoxious.

Have you revisited your list recently? It's interesting to see the changes in just one short year - changes in accomplishments and also in direction...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gift Guide for your Girlfriend

It's the same thing every year. She tells you every year what she wants and you get it for her. Where's the magic, guys? So you don't want to surprise her with something big, why not get her that kindle she's been asking for and then throw in one of these gems for some added Christmas whimsy? Onward!

1. Give her a piece of jewellery that won't break the bank and supports a good cause, too! 'Wind Spark' necklace from 31 Bits is a necklace that can also be worn as a bracelet and the beads are made of... paper! Bonus if she's allergic to metal. Read all about the 31 Bits process here.

Shiny gold flecks! Oooohhhh shiny...

2. Two-tone Waffle cowl-neck scarf from The Gap. I stand by the mantra that 'a girl can never have too many scarves'. I am living proof.
Available in many colours!

3. Does she paint her nails? Chances are she wants some glitter on those puppies. Shephora by OPI Jewlery Top Coat Gift Set.

Be prepared to have your home smell of nail polish for the next two weeks.

4. Does she have hair on her head? Does she like to treat it well? Again, chances are YES. (Damn, your girlfriend is really starting to be a fancy ass lady!) Check out Morrocan Oil Treatment, good for restoring hair from years of heat and styling. Unfortunately you can't buy it online but you can look up where it's sold.

So luxurious and so worth it. 

5. If your GF is anything like me, having a solid phone case is important. I mean... I don't intentionally drop it or let it fall out of pocket... it just happens! I currently have an OtterBox on my iPhone but I just saw an ad for their new 'Reflex Series Cases' which allow for easy docking. The biggest pain of the OtterBox is having to take it off to use a docking station. Problem. Solved.

Available in 6 different colour combos

6. It's Christmas. It's cold. She's always cold. (Of course she is, haven't you learned yet that every girl is always cold? Fact of life, dude.) A cosy hoodie is necessary. Roots makes the best hoodies that are fleecy soft and delicious. And just maybe she'll stop stealing yours, but probably not. Beaver Canoe Vintage Kanga hoodie from Roots.

Currently on sale...

For more ideas, check out last year list here.

Good luck to you in your shopping adventures!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

November 1st - non-Friday Favourites

It's November 1st! Did you have a good Halloween? We stayed in and handed out candy to the kiddies. I never get sick of seeing babies in costumes. Hilarious! Also, cute.

Today is also the first day of NaBloPoMo - A.K.A. National Blog Posting Month. I patricipated last year and it was a vey interesting experience, finding new content every day and taking the time to write everyday. You can find the archives here.

Unfortunately I won't be participating this year. I am travelling for work starting tomorrow through November 12th and it's unlikely that I'll have the time to devote to daily blogging. I am disappointed! Perhaps I'll try it at some point early next year. Maybe it'll be part of my monthly-challenges-for-a-whole-year Life List item?

A few other things to report:

1. I went wedding dress shopping! It was weird. It was fun to try on giant gowns but very different than my every day attire. The prices are also ludicrous. I may look into getting something used. I don't think I'll have a reaction when I decide it's 'the one' but I'd probably only have that reaction if you told me I could wear sweats down the aisle.

2. The work I'm heading out on will involve being outside and managing temporary staff. Please contain your jealousy. At least I'll have Rob for company the first weekend and co-worker PK will be with me throughout.

The result of a long day moving equipment. 

3. The deck! It's almost done! The weather sucks though so progress has slowed. At least the dog can walk on it now.

Deck boards! The most rewarding part! Unfortunately the last and easiest part.  

4. I need to go make cupcakes. It has been too long.

5. Links this week:

  • The Broad Group builds cookie-cutter skyscrapers that are crazy efficient, wicked safe, and surprisingly cheap. Future of tall buildings? See for yourself
  • I picked up a copy of the 'A Practical Wedding' book and was drawn to the list of questions to ask pre-marriage. Sparked some great discussions (infertility - AH!!!). They have a similar article posted online here
  • and on that note... an awesome list of relationship advice '16 Ways I Blew My Marriage' and part 2 'The Other 15 Ways I Blew My Marriage' (big YES to #10 and #26 - things we happily practise in our house). 
  • These cupcakes - via Two Pease & Their Pod - they have a peanut butter cup INSIDE. Must make ASAP. 
  • This article on 50 uses for leftover pumpkin puree. Seriously, the cans are twice as big as they need to be and I have leftovers 100% of the time. 
Sorry if it's quiet around here for a few weeks - will be back soon with livingroom update and how this whole wedding planning business is feeling.