Monday, December 14, 2009

Up and Coming!

So when I was younger I used to have some pretty wild hair, I'd dye it all different colours, and get quite a few crazy cuts. The past few years I've really normaled up, and sorry, but I'm not very happy with that change... So in honour of being able to wear my hair however I want again (Goodbye Oppressive Laser Quest! You won't be missed!) I'm dying it pink and braiding in cotton Candy pink and blue Dread extensions! I'm slowly working away on the dreads, I'm quite thrilled to see the way they're coming along! I'll make sure to post a step by step log of everything from my most recent hair cut of getting the bangs ready to go, to the bleach blonde Amanda, to the "Cupcake Pink" Hair, and finally the dreads braided in! I hope you're all as excited for this as I am! Can't wait to wear them home at Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Procrastination Station

Hello fellow bloggers and readers, we've had a very long, almost 3 month layover in the Procrastination station, but thank you for sticking around! Lets address all the issues that I've left hanging open over the past few months!

I'm currently sitting in the back room of my newest place of employment - the cafe! That's right readers, I got the job, I've been with them since my last post, and it's been a phenomenal trip watching them grow, I'm not at the East Village coffeehouse, I'm at the newest location - The Briscoe Cafe, I spend my days here baking and cooking delicious organic healthy foods to help improve peoples lives and just hanging out really. After being with the cafe part time for a couple of months, I finally gave LaserQuest the boot and am here officially full time, I worked my last shift with LQ about 2 weeks ago. There's been a financial shift from the pay I was receiving at Laser Quest, but the happiness I have from working here is beyond enough payment, and with Ryan's job, we're getting by just fine!I feel like I've made a life improvement just from being here! Just working with people who believe in a better life away from the corporate sector has made a massive improvement - I've been eating healthier, less stressed, and they give me a tonne of freedom with the days I take off so I've really been able to go out and enjoy life alot more at my own convenience!

And on the topic of Healthier living, I want to take you back to an old subject of mine - my weight! I have lost over 10lbs since the beginning of my tracking my weight, and looking back on my wii fit log - I've lost more than 15 since I was at my heaviest! I know weigh a happy 112lbs, I almost don't fit my favourite belt now - I'm on the last notch and it's still kinda loose:( my pants that I bought last winter that would get a little uncomfortable after a decent meal are now hanging off of me. And my stomach is almost nice and flat! Wanna know how I did it? So do I... Shortly after I stopped posting about my daily weight log I stopped focusing on losing weight and just made sure I stayed active, and ate healthier alternatives - I know working at the cafe has helped a tonne! Now the main goal - Keeping it off during the holiday season!

3..2..1.. Lift Off

I'm also proud to announce as off a couple weeks ago the launch of my clothing company Raygun Designs! Look for us on facebook! My current focus is rave attire, which is being sold at raves run by the company Nocturnal Commissions, but I'm also doing commissions on the side for anyone who has something special that they want - the current project - A "Where the Wild Things Are" Hoodie for my friend's girlfriends Christmas present!

So needless to say even though the blog train has had a very long layover in the procrastination station - I myself kept on moving - maybe now that I have down time and a computer at the cafe I'll be able to start chugging along at a steadier pace. Until then - Next stop - Who the hell knows!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trying to change things

I'm sorry for being such a neglectful blogger, but my summer became very busy, I'm not going to go into details really, because as busy as it was, it wasn't overly exciting to the passer by. But I feel that I've had a major life change this summer, I think I'm finally getting into a life that I love, and everything is falling into place in due time!

At the end of July, Ryan and I embarked on a trip like none we've taken before. We drove the the middle of nowhere in Quebec to attend a weekend long hippie psy-trance camping rave, with absolutely no idea of what to expect. We were actually pretty worried about going due to a forecast of nothing but rain for the entire weekend, 8 hours of driving, and a million and a half complications that occurred along the way. However what we definitely didn't expect was to have the best weekend of our lives to date. The weekend was spent surrounded by the most incredible environment of friendly, welcoming people who's only goal was to have an amazing time, and make sure you had an amazing time, beautiful scenary in the rolling hills of the apalachines on the shore of the Gatineau River, and music that when I listen to, feels like it's mimicing my heartbeat, and clears my mind.
Upon returning the city, and feeling like we had been completely detatched from society for a lifetime, both Ryan and I felt we needed to do something in our lives to keep that experience with us. But what? We both felt our lives were changed, and we needed to change our lives, but we had no idea how to explain it to anyone that hadn't had the same experience as us.
We started with cleaning our apartment, getting it re organized after a summer of letting it go, and a new roomate moving in. That helped clear our frustrations with the apartment, but that's where things stopped for awhile. There's a local cafe that I love going to, and as you know by now from reading, I'm quite sick of my current carreer path. The cafe is organic, fair trade, and the closest I will come to feeling like I'm surrounded by the same people that were at the festival, because the owners also attend the same festival. I dropped off a resume with them, knowing that they probably couldn't afford to hire me on, I mainly offered my services voluntarily to help them wherever they needed. I really just wanted to just help them succeed.
Another change that Ryan and I made, was we made a pact, that every time we have some free time, we will both spend one hour on our hobbies, mine being sewing, his being creating music on his computer, we've had a bit of a hard time keeping true to this because it's so much easier to just look at facebook for awhile, or to pick up a video game controller, but we're trying, because it's a productive and rewarding experience in our lives.
Last week I chose to give blood for the first time. My blood type is in need right now, and other than my fear of needles, I have no reason not to. And believe it or not, I already felt so comfortable and rewarded with praise by the nurses about what a good thing I was doing, that when it came time for the needle I actually got complimented on how I didn't even flinch - to be honest it hardly even hurt for once. Sadly at the end I came close to fainting, but the nurses once again were so supportive that when I finally pulled out, I didn't feel discouraged, and come November 6th, I will be donating again.
That same day, some solicitors came to our door, annoying right? But they were working for a company that helps sponsor children, and it was something Ryan and I've been wanting to do for awhile now, we're doing really well for money, so we really can't not afford $20 a month to help make a difference in someone elses life!
I'm a firm believer in Karma, it's been a month and a half since Eclipse, and we're finally making changes, and I feel they are starting to pay off for us. On Sunday Ryan and I decided to go on a random camping trip at a provincial park about an hour away, but as we were grocery shopping to go, my cell phone rang, which is actually a rare occurance (unless it's a text message) It was Linda from East Village Cafe calling me, she and her brother were going to be doing the coffee for the London Ontario Local Arts Festival, and wanted to know if I could give them a hand, it was hard to hold back my excitement on the phone, but I definately agreed, and let her know I would be in in a few days with my schedule for that weekend so we could work something out. Sadly I got scheduled quite a bit, but we were still able to work out some times that I'll be able to give them a hand with everything. I really hope this will be an in for possible employment with them too, I'm attending a staff meeting tonight there, so I hope to find out more of what I'll be doing, I'm really just happy to be helping, and really proud of my favourite little cafe. The festival actually booted Starbucks to bring East Village on board as their coffee provider!
So even though it didn't feel like I made changes in my life, I feel know that I've looked back on the past month, that I really am changing, Ryan and I are both really growing together, as we are both making progress to our goals of being the best we can, and happy with our lives. And even though we had no problem with our relationship before, I feel our growth as people is really improving our growth as a couple as well, I feel closer to him than I ever have. I feel like our life is finally taking shape!
Time to go make dinner though, I have to leave for the staff meeting in an hour! Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big things?

So there's a few big things coming my way in the fashion world that I feel I need to quickly write about... because they make me feel like I may actually be able to do something in this career field... and soon!

In 9 days, I will be showing my first real line in a fashion show, shared with my wonderful design partner Leanne, she's given me the motivation, and outlet to actually do this!

By the end of the summer, I plan on releasing both my NerdRage line of video game inspired hoodies, and my Kandi Rayv line of ravewear in online stores.

The most exciting news of all today though, is I was shopping in downtown Toronto's amazing Kensington Market, and went into this store called The Rage which sells clothing made by local fashion designers, I've heard of it before because a friend of a friend works there, as well as sells her stuff there, and in a store in London. I was browsing through their stuff and low and behold I found articles from a graduate of my program that was a year ahead of me, this got me talking to the owner about their items, and how to go about getting items sold in this store, she gave me her card, and as I was leaving, told me she'd really love to hear from me soon! That was a huge boost for me, and I'm definately going to look into sending them some stuff to sell there, sadly I don't think I could sell my NerdRage stuff in an actual store because I think that would be copywrite infringment, but I think some of my Kandi Rayv line would go well in there, and I think there's some other stuff that's right up their ally that I would love to design. Fingers Crossed!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letting myself go? Or loving myself the way I am?

So I realized this morning as I was getting ready to go to the beach (a thing that Ryan is still doing... he's straightening his hair... for the beach) That I may be letting myself go... well maybe not letting myself go, but definitely putting forth as little effort to look good for people as possible somedays. I realized this as I put on my shorts... and realized that I have a forest on my legs - however there's a reason for that, I waxed them a couple months ago and am hoping to do it again next week. It was more when I was putting on my deodorant and realized I haven't even shaved my armpits in a few days... and didn't care. Now I don't view this as a bad thing at this point, because really, I'm not out to impress anyone when I'm going to be hot and sand covered.

Another thing I noticed though is my hair... When I was in highschool and college my hair was ALWAYS a different colour, I'd let it all grow out while dying it as many crazy colours as I could, and then I would chop it all off. It got to the point a couple of summers ago where I was almost ready to get it as short as a long buzz cut on the one side. I dyed my hair for the first time in over a year a few days ago. And it doesn't even look that different - I've had one person actually notice. But I also used to NEVER leave the house without straightened hair. This was partially because of it being short and would just take off on me. But it was also mainly because I have a rediculous cowlick right in the front (I later learned as I cut all my hair off that I have one in the back too). But I straighten my hair maybe once a week now - at most. And usually when I do straighten it I just do the front so that I don't rival elvis with the way my hair sticks out in the front. I also have been wanting to avoid dying now as much as possible because I don't want to kill my hair while I'm growing it out for my wedding (which is just over a year away).

In regards to make up, I've never really been super crazy about it, but I definately find I wear it less often now than ever. But I still do love putting it on! And normally will find the time to just throw on some eyeliner and mascara before going out somewhere.

Overall, I don't really find I'm letting myself go, so much as loving myself just the way I am, and becoming more comfortable with the person that I'm becoming.

Oh, and a quick update for the weightloss - I haven't weighed myself - but I can tell you that all my pants are getting much looser - I've gone up 2 notches on my belt at work - and I pair of shorts I bought in april that used to be tight are now falling off my butt (which is sad because I love them)

Stay tuned later for a photo post on how my hair has changed over the years! But for now - I'm off to the beach with my hairy self

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Busy Bee

So you've probably noticed by now it's been a few days since I've updated my "daily log" I think I'm probably gonna slow down on that, I doubt anyone's really interested in what I eat everyday, plus I feel if I'm posting that, I'm less motivated to make actual posts. So I'll give a brief update on what I've been up to.

About a month ago my friend Leanne and I took on the task of designing for the pride fashion show, and I'm over the moon about it, I think it's a great opportunity for me! However now that our designs are done, I just feel like it's been one pain in the bum after another, and I'm sure it will all be worth it. At the first rehearsal, only 6 of the models showed up, 8 by the end, who has now dropped out. So we only have measurements for 6 girls out of 10. Our designs are very specific in the way that we want them to come out on the runway, We got a fair way into our pattern making on Friday when we received an email informing us that the model order had been changed, and that there would only be 8 models in the set now, instead of 10, meaning there would have to be a quick change, which I'm nervous our outfits won't provide the time for. We get the order sorted out and get on a roll again... and we run out of paper. *sigh* I picked up more paper, and went to start cutting out my fabric today... and realized we forgot to pick up one of our main fabrics... another big pain. So it just seems like it's one little road block after another, none of them are hard to overcome, just slightly time consuming when we don't have very much time to spend on this. (Sneak preview of the designs, our set is called "The evolution of Chic" and each outfit is inspired by a decade in the 1900's straight through to slightly futuristic)

I got alot of other stuff accomplished today though, Ryan and I made it out to the Super Walmart and picked up a couple packs of the business card paper and got all the tickets for my buck and doe printed off. I also started working on my wedding invitations today, and got the first one done, well the prototype one done, and also a template to be able to cut out the rest, I look forward to being able to get to work on them!

I've got the next 2 days off and will hopefully be able to get through alot more sewing and patternmaking, I also hope to start getting through some other business plans that I have set out for the summer, but we'll leave those for another entry when I have something more set in stone.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Not much today

So today I didn't eat a whole lot, wasn't very hungry to be honest
Pretty much just had some popcorn, a bowl of Edamame (salted soy beans) and a Veggie dog for dinner. Been drinking a couple of glasses of Kaluha and chocolate milk. My weight today is 123, my excercise is going to be dancing shortly at Way2sour.

another day missed

Well I missed another day, but oh well, I'll do yesterdays thismorning, and update todays tonight.
Breakfast - Iced coffee from starbucks - didn't have time to make it
Lunch - a piece of cold pizza lol - was left over from our staff meeting sunday night
Dinner - Vegetarian Ginger Chicken and Asparagus.
I mostly drank orange juice throughout the evening and had a night time snack of light popcorn that I shared with Ry.
Not gonna lie, yesterday I felt kinda like poop, I think it was mainly what I was doing at work, I just couldn't seem to find focus or motivation. I also think the long day of housework caught up with me because boy am I sore. I feel a little bit better today, but not by much, we'll see if I get better as the day goes on. Also my weight yesterday was 123lbs. I really didn't exercise much other than about 10 minutes of rollerblading to work, Ry picked me up, and I really just had a night to myself last night.

Also as brought up by my sister in a comment on my last post, no not all of the foods I'm eating are the healthiest, but I also want to point out that I do eat very small portions, it doesn't take much to fill me up at all, as well I have a calorie calculator on Ryan's itouch that you enter in your food that your eating, and if you're eating pretty normal food it actually has the calories and nutritional information already in it, as well as the exercise you do everyday from walking to sexual activity (hilarious, I know) and it factors it all together. I'll be posting again tonight probably, for now I have to go to work though, have a great day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Daily log

So another day past, with some odd foods, but tonnes of exercise!
Breakfast - Cappuccino with chocolate soya milk - I ran out of condensed milk yesterday :(
Lunch - Dim sum from Hong Ping - Sesame balls with Lotus paste, shanghai dumplings with parsley, pork sui moi and BBQ pork steam buns, with Jasmine Tea
Dinner - Tempura Zaru Soba - Deep Fried shrimp and veggies with cold buck wheat noodles.

I cleaned the apartment for 5 hours straight today, I think that makes for good exercise, and that includes moving furniture, mopping and vacuuming!

Im' yet to weigh myself today, I'll post that later this evening whenever Justin is done with the TV and I can throw in the Wii Fit.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Daily log X2

For May 30th, since I didn't get the chance to post through all the business of the day.
Breakfast: Ice coffee with condensed milk
Lunch: leftover zucchini pie
dinner: potstickers from Fox and the Fiddle
Late night snack: Baked Brie with Jazzable sauce

Excercise: walking to and from work = 30mins overall
working on my feet for 8 hrs
walking to and from Maggies Supper and Jazz club in heels = 1 hr overall

Weight: 123.2

I felt amazing yesterday, wasn't sore at all from the p90x video, no headaches all day, my energy was phenomenal, as was my mood!

For today:
Breakfast: Iced coffee with condensed milk (a trend? I believe so)
Lunch: Curry Chicken with Saffron rice
Dinner: Thin crust hawaiin pizza

Excercise: walked around the Gibralter trade center for about 2 hours
walking to work - 15mins
Game of LaserQuest - 15mins of kinda jogging
Rollerblading home from work - 10mins
Weight: 123.2.... hasn't changed at all today! But I also weighed my self much later in the day, so who knows since weight changes about 2lbs give or take a day

Today I was really hurting, but I'm not sure if I just slept wrong on my one shoulder, or what, I had a glass of wine at Maggies supper and Jazz club last night, so it could have been that giving me my headache since I haven't drank in about a month, and haven't had wine in about 6 months, but my jaw is really aching as well, so my wisdom teeth are probably the main culprit in that. My energy levels were still really good though, I think I can mainly thank my iron pills for that, they make a world of difference for me when I remember to take them.

Thats all for today though, I'll post again tomorrow and probably throw up some more yummy recipes, that zucchini pie turned out awesome!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Daily log

So I'm going to try to start a daily log on my venture to becoming healthier, we'll see how this one goes lol. I'll keep posted what I ate, the exercise I've done as well as my weight and physical condition. Now keep in mind, I'm not really dieting or exercising to lose weight, I'm more trying to lead a healthy lifestyle as well as keeping a log of this to see how it actually affects me. I also want to take this chance to congratulate Jackie from "The other side of the fence", my older sister on her achievements through weight watchers, as far as I can remember she's lost close to 18lbs with them and now weighs less than me! A huge inspiration for me for sure! So here goes my log for today, and I'll probably update it throughout the day.

Weight: 122.5lbs

I didn't have breakfast thismorning but I had an early lunch.
Lunch: Edamame (blanched soya beans) and a Ginger Hammer (Carrot, Apple and Ginger juice)
Mid day snack: Iced espresso with condensed milk.
Dinner: Spinach Salad with a lemon garlic dressing and Zucchini Pie - Recipe:

My exercise for today -
Walking to the Galleria Mall, about a half-hour there and back
P90X work out video

I've been feeling pretty good today, started the day with some fresh air, and so long as I keep up with my iron pills I feel great. I felt the iced espresso really gave me that extra little boost to make it through the rest of the afternoon and I'm thinking about having another to give me the boost to get through that p90x video.


If there's one thing I lack on my days off, it's generally motivation to do something productive. My day off should never be more work than my days I do work... but sometimes they are. My apartment is normally a bit of a mess from constant guests and a fiance that doesn't really pick up after himself... He's in the "I had to do this when I lived with my parents I'm not going to do this now that I'm on my own" phase still... so I'm the one who sometimes has to follow him around pick up dirty dishes. But I really don't mind because he helps me out in alot of other ways, and since I only work part time, it's not too hard of a task for me to get the dishes thrown in the dishwasher.

I'm also battling a never ending pile of laundry. Our roomate recently moved out leaving us with a spare bedroom for the next couple of months and I've completely filled it to the brim with all of our clothes. I plan over the next couple weeks to sit down and do a major closet cleanup, Ryan and I have clothes in there we haven't worn since highschool! Which was 4 years ago for me and 6 years ago for him! I also hope this will help me get through the laundry. I wish I could have a clothes line, and a bigger dryer. Our dryer takes about 2 hours just to dry one small load of laundry. Because we have ensuite we have one of those little plug in anywhere dryers... which I don't understand considering we pay the hydro. I may even just save my coins and have Ryan drive me to a laundry mat one day so I can get it done in one sweep. After that I plan on getting into a schedule.

I found an amazing schedule whilst playing on stumble upon, that really helped me put house cleaning into a simple perspective. They recommended to get into a schedule for everything, assign a different room to a different day of the week and spend 15-30 minutes doing all the cleaning. Have one day of the week where you wash all your sheets and towels, and then for two people do your laundry every 3-4 days.

I also have a tonne of organizing I want to do while I have this spare room. My closet has about 6-7 boxes still packed from when I moved here. Some are still packed from my last apartment. That I want to go through and clear out. Lots of school projects that I don't need anymore, lots of things that can be made of better use by someone else. I wish I had a yard so we could have a yard sale. Oh well though.

Once all of the cleaning and organzing is done... I plan to have this done by the end of June, preferably by the end of next week even. I'm turning the spare bedroom into a sewing room for the next couple months and probably going to devote alot of my spare time to sewing, mainly for the fashion show that Leanne and I are doing in July. But also to get my rave line off the ground and online this summer. We'll see how it goes though!

For now though I have the motivation to get this train started again so enough blogging for now, it's time to clean!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Simple Things

So this evening marks the end of the first long weekend of the summer. And I hope everyone got to see atleast one fireworks display. I just got back not long ago from the one the Optimist Club puts on at Fanshawe Park Conservation Area, and I'm just sad that they only happen once a year.

I must say, of all the things that could be my favourite about summer, I would have to say Fireworks is number one. I can't even describe the child like giddiness I get from watching them. As we sat that tonight among thousands of people, I wished I could be right up there with the little kids screaming with glee at every fire work that went off. I think I was probably audible enough though with my constant "Oh Wow's" and "I love the way that one went". Ryan's hand was probably a little bit sore by the end of it too just from my squeezing it from excitment. And on the car ride home I came to the realization that this was such a simple thing to lift my spirits and get me so excited. And it's not just the giant display of fireworks I love, I've spent every long weekend involving fireworks out on my balcony watching them go off. I even spent one Canada Day weekend in my stairwell of my old apartment watching the big show downtown because there was a thunderstorm coming and we didn't want to get caught in the rain.

My other top summer event that is very closely related that brings me unending joy is thunderstorms. At my old apartment I lived on the 12th floor looking towards downtown, and now I live on the 16th floor, looking back towards my old apartment in the NorthEast corner of town. I can't wait to spend the summer out sitting at my new bistro set watching the thunderstorms go past. And more than likely running inside the second I feel they get to close and cowering on the couch... because it's really quite the love/hate relationship I have with them.

I hope you all had a safe and fun long weekend. And I can't wait the month and a half until the next big display for Canada Day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Procrastination, procrastination.

So I'm sure at this point in my blog you can all tell I'm a huge procrastinator considering I seem to leave like... over a month between posts... not very exciting eh? So I'll give a quick update as to what's been happening in my life.

I've been job hunting for awhile now, still no luck, I've been applying at every single retail store hiring an assistant manager that I can find, and a couple other random jobs like office assistant, and dressmaker (god I hope I get that one)... It's not that I dislike my job or anything, I'm just a: in a rut where I feel like my life has gone absolutely no where for 3 years now. And b: The inconsistancy of the hours is KILLING me! Some weeks I work 16 hours, other weeks I work 35... which gives me no freedom of forecasting my paychecks or saving money. Plus the hours I work are a little bit crazy sometimes, as much as I love working the over night shifts because I pretty much just get to hang out with the same group of people all night long, and may as well have 2 days off from it (the day of and the day after because I really don't sleep much after them) I would be happy to never have to work another over night shift again... unless it was a regular thing.

I've gotten back into sewing alot more lately, which has been really great for me, and a couple of really big things are happening for me fashion wise, as of last night, I sold my first pair of raver pants, I'm quite excited about it, it's been a goal of mine for a long time now. As well as I'm doing a fashion show this summer with my wonderfully talented friend Leanne. I can't wait for it either! It's called The Fashion Show, and it's part of the London Gay Pride Festival. This year's theme is Evolution. So Leanne and I have decided to do the Evolution of Fashion, takeing modern designs and having each of them be a little bit inspired by different time periods from decades throughout the 1900's - Futuristic style designs. If anyone is interested in Attending, it will be July 23rd, I'm not quite sure of the venue yet. Who knows though, it could kick off to something big. All of this has inspired me though to start working on my own Etsy store again. I just need to start making stuff for it.

Planning ahead, Ryan and I bought tickets to this Giant outdoor electronic music festival called "Eclipse" that's happening July 24-27th in the Mountains about an hour north of Montreal. So needless to say I've started planning early for that because I'm going to be swamped with Fashion Show stuff in the weeks before it.

Other than that I've been spending today getting my apartment clean, I've let it go the past couple weeks because I've been really busy with sewing for events and such, I picked up a couple of books the other day and hope to get through them this summer, in no particular order they are: Memoirs of a Geisha, The meeting Sextet; Wonderlust, and Kindred Spirits of the same series - both of which are prequals to the Dragon Lance "Dragons of..." Trilogy. I'm iffy about these two books though because they're not writted by the authors of the trilogy that I fell in love with... so we'll see how they go.

Going onward, I make no promises to the consistency of this blog, but I will try my hardest not to procrastinate so much! Hope all is well for everyone else out there in the Blog World.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Wedding stress... already

So the other day Ryan and I found out how much the campgrounds we wanted to have our wedding at was going to cost. A total sum of less than $200... However after a few more corresponding emails with a member of the board of directors, we found that because it's a church run grounds, we are not allowed to have any form of alcohol there... lame... So now I'm stressed about where to hold the dinner and reception... am I stressing about this too soon?...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I don't know what I did to deserve this?

I won and award?...not really but it makes for a good blog subject, thank you Jackie!

Well I guess I've been caught in my first of many blogger MeMe's although I'm going to have to break the rules and not pass it along because well... I don't read many blogs...Here's the description

The rules of the award state that I must list seven things I love, and then to pass the award on to seven bloggers I love to read. Here we go!

I love alot of things, but lets see if I can narrow it down to 7 out of a million... and I'll try not to be too obvious, but I'm going to have a couple in there because they defintely are the loves of my

The first...and most obvious... My Family!

I love my family and would murder or any one of them, however to me, family isn't just the people I'm related to in blood, I feel I've met family members along the way who although may not be family now, I have a strong sense that they may have been in past life experiences. I've always been very close to my parents, and even though most of the time growing up I couldn't stand to be in the same room with my sisters, now that I've moved away I miss them more than anything and have really grown to love talking to them every chance I get... even when we do fight over stupid little things... I never thought I'd see the day adults words came to light "You may hate her now, but someday she'll be you're best friend" ... and well, I couldn't have said it better myself, I feel I can turn to my older sisters for things I could never turn to my friends for, especially because they are older, and and much different points in their life than me. My parents are another story. Growing up, every teenage girl thinks that it's the end of the world and that their parents are the most uncool people because they kicked them off the phone after a 3 hour conversation, or blared their lame music or they were terrified to bring friends over because their parents might embarrass them. Yes I got kicked off the phone, but normally it was long distance, and they were the ones footing the bill. Yes they blared their music...but normally I wanted them to turn it up because they had great taste. And more than anything, I bragged to my friends about how cool my parents were, and still are, and how much I want them all to meet them. My parents are such an inspiration to me, I met my fiance at a very young age (15), and got alot of "well you honestly can't think it'll last forever"s, but I don't see how it couldn't with an inspiration like my parents love right in front of me, this past summer they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and I really couldn't picture a couple more in love than them! They've been through so many hard times, and raised 3 amazingly beautiful, smart girls in a harsh world, and I know my sisters feel the same way about my parents as I do.

Lets see... for Number 2 I choose... Art...Everything ART!
ArtArtArtArt...Visual art, music art, dramatic art, culinary art... everything art. I paint, I draw, I play guitar, I try to make my food look pretty, I even took a stab at acting, I live for the arts, anything arts related, you'll find me deeply immersed and in love with it!

Number 3, cooking
I love to cook! I love being creative in the kitchen, and most of all I love feeding people. I'm always so delighted to have people over for dinner because I get so much joy out of feeding people yummy, healthy food. I try to stay as organic as possible in most of my cooking, and if I can't be organic, I atleast try to cut out any msg, or processed garbage.

Number 4
I would move there if I could, I live, breath, eat, and sleep everything japanese... that's all I have to say... I think I lived in Japan in a past life!

Number 5...This ones a shocker
Being organized...
I'm a very right brained person... which means my living space is a disaster and I'm insanely disorganized... but I'm actually a little OCD when it comes to organizing stuff, it's just a matter of getting it done!

Number 6
I couldn't live without it, I have generally 1 cup a day, sometimes I try to mix it up with Tea or just a hot beverage, but regardless, Coffee runs through my veins

Number 7... I've come to find a love for blogging
I always though it was silly, laying your life out for everyone to read at their leisure, but I've actually come to love just sitting around documenting my life! Even if it's just for me to jump back and see.

Thanks for reading up on this, I know it got a little short after the family post, but I'm the most passionate about them, and I also have sever ADD when it comes to blogging, so I've been trying to keep the blogs a little bit shorter. Until next time! All Aboard!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The dress!

So I mentioned earlier that I got engaged, and probably didn't go into too much detail about it because I wrote a massive post, but I thought I would quickly mention that I picked out my dress today! And bought it! It was such an on the spot decision, and I didn't get a chance to do any shopping around really, but A: There was a 50% off sale at the wedding shoppe down the road from me, B: the second I put it on I knew that it was the one for me... And did I forget to mention IT WAS 50% off?! This gorgeous number only put me back $500, which I was completely ecstatic over!

At first the ones I was thinking about getting, part of me did feel like I was settling a bit because of the sale, and I almost walked out with one of those dresses, but the second I put this one on, and walked up onto their little podium with the veil and tiara and necklace on, I knew it was the one, I actually teared up a bit even... watch out wedding day!

This purchase has also made things see very real in the fact that I'm getting married, it's the first physical thing I've gotten for our wedding so far, (not including my engagement ring). So now everything else is swimming around in my head, so we'll see how it all goes from here!

Also decided to post a picture of my ring since I'm yet to do that, I'll post more wedding stuff at another time!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Life happened!

Hey, so I noticed the blog train had a long layover in procrastinationville, but we're currently now boarding for a quick trip ahead in life.

Since I last wrote I've done a few things, which I will elaborate on:

Decided to go back to school
Told my boss I didn't want a potential promotion
Went to one of my best friends weddings and caught the bouquet
Turned 22 (doesn't really need an explanation)
Got engaged
Went to South Carolina
Went back to my parents
Started wedding planning
Won the tax return lottery
Started looking at houses
...And much much more

Alright, so lets start with the small stuff, In my first post I talked alot about my career paths, well I finally decided on one, after alot of research into it, I've decided that in Fall 2010 I will be going back to school for Multimedia design. This isn't going to be an easy task however, because I'm broke, and up to my ears in debt from my previous romp through college, however my wonderful amazing Fiance, has offered to help me save up money to pay back my debts, as well as put extra aside for my school. Now it's not that I'm bad with money, I do make all my minimum payments on everything, even a little bit more sometimes if I can, but I work generally less than 20 hours a week. So when I got my T4 slip explaining what I've paid back to OSAP this year, I was absolutely crushed to find that of that $1745 I paid to OSAP this year, $730 of that was all interest... So almost half of what I paid, was interest, talk about a losing battle! No wonder they give you that ensurance saying that if you die, you're family doesn't have to pay it back, because chances are, you will be paying it back UNTIL YOU DIE! I made a bigger dent in my bank loan that I'm paying a Third of what I pay to Osap, just because there's next to no interest on it!

So I'm sure you're thinking, if I'm so hard up for money and hours at work, why on earth did I turn down a promotion that I could have had? It's really simple, I just can't commit any more energy to that place. I love where I work, I love the people I work with, and I care for all of them so much, but I find that I put so much of myself into what I do there, that even though I sometimes only work a 3 hour shift, I'm typically exhausted after that shift! I am however looking for a simpler part time job that will give me decent pay, like retail, or waitressing. Also turning down the manager position, and sticking with assistant manager gives me a bit more freedom in work, but also in getting things sorted out at my apartment - I'm doing an overhaul here. I'm also planning on not working once I get back to school, so I can focus entirely on school. It all worked out for the best though, because the current manager, who was supposed to be leaving, found out his wife will be doing her internship here in London, and although I'm sad for him that he was to stay another year (he was really excited to move on) I'm happy that if I have any manager until I leave, that it will be him.

On February 7th, one of my longest standing, and best friends Elana got married to her wonderful new husband Mitch, a big congratulations to them! They got married in Espanola Ontario, which is about an hour outside of Sudbury. Luckily the Maid of Honour also lives in London so we were all able to split gas on the way up with Ryan driving us. It was about a 7 hour drive there, and we stayed at Espanola's only reputable hotel, the Pinewood, where the reception would also be getting held conveniently. It was a beautiful wedding, Elana is my first close friend to get married to, and I was honoured to get to stand in her wedding party. But when the time came, I was quite shocked to be the one to actually catch the bouquet... and it looked like one of those cliche bouquet catching moments where the girls all trip over themselves trying to get it. When I took a step out to grab it (she didn't quite throw it hard enough to make it to the crowd) I underestimated the width of my skirt and fell down... so embarrassing! But all the same, I was very excited because there were jokes all weekend about my catching it, and also found it amusing because Ryan refused to go up and catch the garter after being slightly mortifyed at my sisters wedding. He got it from my brother in law, and wasn't quite sure what it meant, so he turned and tried to hand it off to someone else in front of everyone, we all had a good laugh about it!

This brings us to the next subject, I'm engaged! I don't think I've really mentioned Ryan in my past few entries, so I'll give a quick background on us. We started going out when I was 15 and he was 18, we both went to highschool together, so I guess that would make us highschool sweethearts.We started going out November 29th of my grade 10 year, and his OAC year. After he graduated, he came to London to go to school for Computer Programmer Analyst, and after two long years of long distance, I came to London as well. I moved in with him for the summer, but only for that because I wanted to also experience living on my own, so I spent my first year in Residence, with him living only a 15 minute walk away. That first summer living together tought us alot about eachother though, and boy did we ever fight, it was mostly my fault though, I wasn't very accomadating to his living habits that he had already established while living there for a year previous to my moving in. But after each having our own shock of actually meeting new people in a city full of potential, breaking up with that need to meet new people, and then getting back together practially the next day after realizing how much we needed the other (we each did this once) we made it through my first year of college. Once Ryans lease was up on the townhouse, and I had to leave res, we decided to get our own place together, so we moved to a cute little 2 bedroom apartment not terribly far from the college. Now I think every apartment needs a 1 week living grace where they let you stay in the apartment to decide if you want to live there or not... because shortly after moving in, we came to discover that our neighbor was a child abusing asshole with paperthin walls that liked to scream at, and probably beat, his 5 year old, 7 year old autistic, and 9 year old sons at all hours of the day and night, and especially at 7 am... We tried everything... nothing worked, I even remember the landlord telling us upon our move in that he sometimes yells at them, but that he loved them very much... as if she was standing up for him treating his kids like garbage... So after a year of what would have been a wonderful apartment, we moved to the heaven that is our current home. And boy do I mean home, we've lived here for two years now, and I've never been so comfortable, and secure feeling as I am here since moving to London. I'll talk more about that later though. So through highschool romance, two years of long distance and 3 years of living together, Ryan and I have now been together 6 and a half years, and I guess one of my best friends getting married, and me catching the bouquet finally triggered something in the guy who used to fall dead asleep the second I'd mention anything marriage. We were shopping at the mall one day, and I was shocked when he actually agreed to my joke about going into the jewellery stores and looking at rings, so after looking at a couple of them, I let him know which one was my favourite. This was on Feb 13th. On February 15th we went out for breakfast and I noticed a couple things in the back seat of the car so when I asked if he had gone to the mall the day before, he got really upset with me, but later told me he had just gone shopping with our friend Justin, and only wanted to show him the ring, and that he didn't buy it. A few days later, he got a call on his cell phone that went "ok, uhuh, yup, alright, thanks!" and then ended, when I asked him who it was, he told me it was a wrong number... so I knew after his horrible attempt to hide the fact that he went to the mall, and even worse attempt at masking a phone call, that he had gotten the ring. After how upset he got by my finding out he went to the mall I didn't tell him I knew what the phonecall was. On February 27th I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, and Ryan came in with his hands behind his back, but when I turned around to give him a hug, but when I noticed he had nothing in his hands (thinking that this was it) I was a little disappointed. Well I guess he noticed the disappointment in my eyes because he started to taunt me about what I thought he had, I quickly replied with may favourite candy... Reeses Peanut Butter cups, so I told him to see if he could go find me some kicking around the apartment while I was finishing getting ready. After awhile of waiting in the room I came out and just hung out on the couch with him for a bit, where he played with my hands and looked me in the eyes, I could see he was nervous. He took me into our room and got down on one knee and popped the question, I of course said yes, and let him put the ring on my finger, not really looking at it, because I assumed it was the one I'd shown him in the store, I got down on my knees and gave him hugs and kisses, and cried a bit, then looked at my finger to get a better look at the ring. He had put one of my old rings on my finger that had long been broken and just left sitting on the nightstand. Knowing this was a joke I gave him a nudge and called him an ass, he then put the real ring on my finger. And that's about it, we're engaged.

We wanted to tell all of our family in person, and this luckily worked out for us. His mom was coming to visit us that afternoon, and showed up about 15 minutes after he proposed. We left for South Carolina a couple days later, so we were able to tell his dad and rest of his sisters at that point. And on our way home, we made a detour up to my parents to confirm their suspicions that I was coming home to visit because I was either pregnant or engaged. Now I love my family very much, I'm very close to them, and it killed me not to tell them the whole week we were away, they were literally the last ones to know! But not really... because they were a bunch of snoops, both my oldest sister, and dad took a magnifying glass to the pictures I posted of us on our trip to see if they could see the ring... and guess what, they did. Oh well though, it doesn't make it any less special, and atleast I wasn't pregnant!

This entry has gotten rediculously long though, so I'll post more later about my trip to South Carolina and the rest of my life that's happened in the past month and a half layover in procrastinationville. But for now it's full speed ahead, so All Aboard!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Food For Thought

So I said in my first entry that I really love to cook, so I thought I'd share a recipe with you that I made for dinner the other night, and felt turned out exceptionally well!

Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna with a Baby Arugala and Spinach Salad.

I don't do recipes very well because to be quite honest, I just don't follow measurements, I just add what looks good to me, so we'll see how this goes.

Go to your local grocery store and pick up a couple Ahi Tuna loin steaks (about 1 inch thick) from the seafood section, pick up as many as you need, but I'll tell you know it won't be cheap, it's about $20/pound and for 5 generous portions the tuna alone came to about $42 (still cheaper than what you would pay for this in a restaurant)
You will also need:
Sesame seeds (white or black, whichever you prefer, for this I used white because I couldn't find any black)
Garlic, about 2-4 cloves depending on your tastes
Sesame Oil
Olive Oil
Lime Juice (I recommend just picking up a bottle of the "real lime" because limes are rediculous to get a significant amount of juice out of)
Ginger, I discovered at the grocery store frozen pre-measured, pre-grated cubes of ginger, so wonderful, but if you can only find fresh, that's ok too.
Salt and Pepper
Japanese Soy Sauce (Kikomen brand is the kind I usually get)
Baby Arugala
Baby Spinich
Baby Onion Sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts

Alright now for the directions:

For the Salad Dressing:
Mince the garlic and add it to a bowl
Add in about 4 tbsp of sesame oil
5 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp grated ginger
half a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix together in a bowl, and set aside to pour onto the salad later.

The salad itself is as simple as mixing together equal parts spinich and arugala, a healthy chunk or alfalfa sprouts, make sure to separate it or else it will just stay in one big mass, and about half the amount of onion sprouts that you put in of alfalfa sprouts. Mix these all together, but don't put the dressing on until you're ready to serve, or else it will wilt the greens.

For the Tuna:
First fill a tupperware container with about 1 1/2 cups of Sesame Seeds, and another one with about 1 cup of soy sauce. Put the tuna loin into the soy sauce and let soak on each side for a couple minutes so it absorbs the flavour
then lay them out on a cutting board or plate
grab your wasabi and give them a generous coating, a: don't worry this actually doesn't make them rediculously spicey or anything, you can just subtly taste it once it's cooked. b: if you have any cuts on your hand I would recommend a rubber glove, as I learned the other day when I made this from a tiny sliver of skin that had peeled up beside my nail (you all know what I mean) it stings like hell if you get wasabi into it!
After you have them coated in wasabi, shake just a little bit of salt and pepper onto each side, then it's time to move them into the sesame seeds, roll it, shake it, do a little dance with it if you'd like, just make sure you get the whole piece of tuna coated in seeds.
Heat up a frying pan on medium-high with the bottom covered in olive oil, I can't give an exact measurement because I really don't know how big your frying pan is, for mine it was about a quarter cup.
Once it's heated up ( i always tell by flicking a bit of water off of my fingers, and when it sizzles it's ready) Place a couple steaks at a time into the pan and sear them for 1 minute per side. Remember, this is just to sear the outside, the tuna will still be practically raw in the middle.
Remove them and place them onto a cutting board, and with your sharpest knife, and against the grain of the fish (the little lines that go through the flesh) cut it into slices about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, lay them out on your plate along side the salad.

At this point you can dress the salad, even feel free to drizzle a little bit of the dressing on the tuna.

Now let me address your fear, I'm sure you're thinking, but the fish is raw in the middle, this fish is perfectly fine to eat raw, I've eaten Tuna sushi many times, even when I'm preparing it I like to dip a little piece in the soy sauce and munch down while I'm preparing the rest. I've made this dish a few times now for many different people, and no one has gotten sick yet. So give it a try at your next little dinner party, impress those guests, or even just that special someone, it's so much simpler than it seems, and it's definitely rewarding in the end! I even have friends who really don't like fish that love this meal, because it's not fully cooked, it doesn't get very fishy at all. If you have any questions about it please feel free to ask because I'm sure I missed a step somewhere, this is my first recipe I've ever posted. Happy Eating!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Aunt Amanda

One of my proudest accomplishments to date I would have to say is that of becoming an Aunt. I know what you're thinking...I really had nothing to do with it, and I really do have to hand it to both my sisters, they've done something that I'm still not sure I could ever do myself. I have 2 nieces, and one nephew, as well as Bianca, who is my sisters boyfriends daughter whom I love just the same as I do my other nieces and nephew.

Bianca was born shortly after I moved to London, I didn't get to see her much on my first few visits home, but as she got older she got to spend more time with Angela and Cameron, so the likelihood that I would get to see her grew, and now not a visit goes by where I don't get the chance. When she was younger, because I'd only get to come home every few months, she would forget me, which made me sad, but I understood. One day I was out shopping and I came across an adorable little hat, it was bright yellow, with a little bumblebee on it, I have a fetish for silly hats, so I wanted it for myself, but it didn't fit, so I thought, how perfect, Bee for Bianca! I brought it home with me on my next trip to give to her and even though she wasn't to sure of who I was, or why I was trying to put this hat on her, surely enough a few days after I had left she started walking around the house with it on, talking about her "hat from Manna". After that she started to remember me more and more, and now I have no trouble chasing her down for a hug and a kiss when I come home for visits.

The next oldest is my sister Jackie's daughter Abigayle, who is about to turn 2 in a few weeks. I've never had a problem with her being unsure of who I am, my problem was getting her to say my name when she started to talk and talk and talk. One long drive back from London with my mom and sister, I spent the entire ride in the back seat with her trying to get her to say my name, but completely failed, but I was determined. Sadly that was in the summer, and the next time I got to see her wasn't until Christmas, but I was still determined to go home getting to hear my niece say my name, so I tried again, and failed. She would say everyone's name except my own! Finally on Christmas Eve, I think she finally got frustrated with my trying, looked at me, said my name, and walked away. It was one of my best Christmas presents that I've ever gotten! I continued the rest of the visit to try to get it out of her again, but I only ever got to hear it the once. But I guess that wasn't the end of it. I got a message from my sister the other day telling me that she needed to call me. Abigayle will not stop saying my name now, she even woke up the other day calling for me aparently. She is even asking for my boyfriend Ryan! I think I may have brainwashed her somehow. But thismorning before work, I finally got in touch with my sister, and got to have a few different conversations with Abi where she would say my name lots, and she kept saying it in the background as well. I once had a friend tell me that the first time he heard his nephew call him by his name, it brought tears to his eyes, and now I believe it, because I definately welled up a little bit. She even wanted to talk to Ryan on the phone and said his name, which brought a big smile to his face, which says alot. I think she's very special to Ryan, even though he doesn't like to admit it, she's the first kid I've ever seen to melt his heart, and he's really not a big fan of them most of the time.

The two newest additions are my niece and nephew, Liberty, and Austin. Liberty was born in October to my sister Angela, she's her first child, and went through an amazing labour without any help from any drugs, apparently the nurses were even incredibly impressed by it. Liberty is just full of smiles, the entire time I was home for the holidays she would just sit in her seat and smile smile smile. Then there's Austin, born in November, he's the first little boy to be born into the Ray family since my dad and Uncle Jay (who are twins). I've always been very nervous wit babies, considering I've never really been around them much, and definately never felt the need to just pick them up and hold them. But Austin is so calm, quiet, and just sleeps, that I was completely at ease during the holiday, and I even found that when I was holding him, I really didn't want to give him up to other people.

So far being an aunt has come pretty easy to me other than the tireless hours I spent knitting baby blankets for them at Christmas, I just hope it will always come so easy, that I'll always be able to be there for them the way I want to be, and especially that they'll view me as the "Cool Aunt" instead of the "Crazy Aunt". They're still very new to this world, but I'm so excited to spend the rest of my life watching them grow, and seeing what life has in store for them, and just being there for them along the way no matter what they need.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

All Aboard the Blog Train

So, this is my first official blog, after much deliberation, and contemplation about blogs, I've finally decided to hop on the train. I'm really not sure where I'm supposed to start at all. But I guess we'll see where it all goes.

My names Amanda, I turn 22 in 17 days. I grew up in a small town out in the country of about 180 people. I loved it, and I miss it, and my family like crazy. When I graduated highschool at 18, I decided it was time to go in search of bigger and better things, so I decided to move to London, Ontario, about 3 hours away from home to pursue an education in Fashion Design.

I was so passionate about fashion when I started the program, and everyone was so sure it was the perfect path for me to head down... but 2 years into the program I left school because I felt I had lost the motivation. Now over a year after I've left school, I've finally found my passion again, but am not sure about how I feel about pursuing a career in it.

I work for a company called Laser Quest, I've been there for 3 years now, and have worked my way up to Assistant Manager, it's one of those companies I could keep working my way up in and have a great career in, I'm sure. I love all the people I work with and think it's an amazing environment most of the time. However, recently, I can't shake the feeling that it's no longer where I'm meant to be in life. I was ecstatic when I got the job, but now, just like with fashion design, I feel I may have lost my passion, and am not sure if I want to pursue a career in that either.

So turning 22, it's an interesting age, it's definitely no milestone, but lately, every year has been a milestone for me it feels. At 19, I could drink, at 20 I was no longer a teenager, at 21 I had finished the one thing I had been doing for the past 14 years of my life (school) and was no longer sure of the direction my life was taking and felt everything was spinning out of control. But now, here I am, turning 22 in a couple of weeks, and I feel like I'm coasting through life with no real motivation, passion or direction, but right now I'm ok with that I guess.

Now I'm not completely lost in what I want to do with life, I have a few different options, some of which I'm passionate about, some of which I'm not super passionate about, but might be better for me since I seem to have passion ADD for things. My first option is Culinary, I love to cook, but moreso I love to eat, I love food to no end, and I think I'm pretty talented when it comes to the kitchen, and most people agree. Whats holding me back from this? Well the main thing is what on earth will I do once I graduate? Open a restaurant? Become a head chef? I would really like to become a food critic, because then I don't have to spend 80 hours a week busting my ass in a kitchen and only paying myself for 40, the restaurant industry seems tough, and I don't think I'm thick skinned enough for it yet.

My next option is Multimedia design, I would love to do that, I would love to learn how to make 3d models of things, I would love to combine it with my love of fashion and become a character designer for video games, I even have a strong group of friends who all went to school for computer programming. But my hold back is, all of my friends who are programmers, so many of them wanted to be game programmers, but now they're working for companies programming bank machines, and cable guides, I know they love it, but would I be happy ending up in a career that's so off the path of what I had originally planned?

After Multimedia I've considered Marketing. Something I'm really not passionate about, but have a feeling I would be good at, and actually enjoy in the long run. I really have no objections to this program, or this career, so maybe if I go into this once I start learning more about it I'll find my passion.

My final option is business and entrepreneurship. With this course I would actually go after my fashion career again and try to start my own business. But where would I get the money to do this with being already rediculously in debt from my previous romp through college?

So those are my choices, non of which have a particular pull for me at the moment considering my current financial situation, but maybe I'll have my mind made up when I'm in an actual postion to go back to school.