Tuesday, December 15, 2015

13th Ave Coffee House

My boyfriend and I made a quick trip to Regina this past weekend to see some of my friends for the holidays. We met up with Jessica and Jessica at Malt City for lunch on Saturday and it was great! I was so happy to be catching up with them that I didn't even think to get photos, but I'm sure I will be back.

On Sunday morning we met up with Jessica and Leah at Holy Rosary Cathedral for Mass and it happened to be when they were blessing the Holy Doors for the Year of Mercy, which was a nice surprise!

After Mass we went across the street to 13th Ave Coffee House for some coffee and to catch up. I had just said to my boyfriend as we were walking to the cathedral for Mass that I wanted to try it soon, so I was more than happy to oblige when Leah suggested it.

The coffee house is located in a refurbished house in the Cathedral Village area of Regina, which is probably my favourite area in all of Regina. If you're ever in Regina I highly recommend checking out 13th Ave Coffee House and the surrounding area - there are some great stores and sights, especially on 13th Avenue.

Have you ever visited Regina? Where is your favourite place in Regina? Have you tried 13th Ave Coffee House?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Goals

I am back after a bit of a break with something new for Sweet Spontaneity. I am hoping to come back at the start of every month with a few goals that I plan on working on throughout the course of the month. Check back at the start of January for a recap as well as my new goals :)

My December 2015 Goals

1. Intentional exercise three times a week - I've been struggling with this one lately! I do a lot of walking, but I need to be more intentional about making the time to get active at least 3 times every week.

2. Blog at least once a week - Again, something I've been struggling with lately. I love writing and this blog is super fun for me, but I just haven't really made an effort lately. I am hoping to change this during the next month.

3. Get up when my alarm clock goes off - This is probably the thing I have been struggling with the most. I am a notorious snooze button pusher. I have tried a lot of the different methods to just getting up, and they have all essentially failed. However, this is the month I will find that motivation to take control of my mornings, instead of letting them take control of me.

What are your December goals?

Friday, October 30, 2015

My Dream Trip

For a few years now the top trip that I have wanted to take has been a North American Roadtrip. A slow roadtrip - not one where I drive for 19 hours just to get somewhere, stay for a few days, then drive right back. I want to experience each province and state, rather than simply pass through. I'm thinking about three months would be a good time. The only problem is, I kind of have to have three months free to do that. I used to always tell myself that if my contract wasn't extended at work I would go on my roadtrip, but I just signed on with no end date - a wonderful, wonderful thing, but it doesn't quite help me make this dream a reality.

I'm sure I'll figure out a way to make it happen though, but in the meantime I'm really enjoying dreaming up an itinerary and researching all the places I could visit. I don't have anything that is an absolute, other than the general route. I would start in Saskatchewan (home), make my way west through Alberta to British Columbia and then head down the West Coast, then across the southern states, making a sort of zig-zag pattern to visit more places as I make my way east, and then head up the East Coast, dip under the Great Lakes, then head back into Canada at either Manitoba or Saskatchewan. Specific stops have obviously yet to be determined - I would actually love to tap into my network and try to visit friends and family of my friends and family while traveling through their areas.

This trip is still a long way off (possibly years!), but if you have any experience please share! I'm slowly making a list of places to visit, so if there is anywhere that you think I must see please let me know :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Where I've Been

It is almost the end of October - how did this happen?! It feels like just yesterday it was August and I was packing up my duplex and moving back to mom and dad's. As it tends to do, September hit me like a brick and it was go, go, go - why is it always like that? I guess it just takes time to settle into a groove, and once you finally do it's suddenly Christmas and you're derailed again (in the best possible way). 

I know I haven't actually been gone from the blog for all that long, but I thought I'd give you an update on the last couple of months. (Edit: I just wrote the whole list out jot-note style, and that way it will stay!)

- I didn't finish my fitness challenge. I realized I started it at the absolute worst time with being in the middle of a move and everything else going on (see below). I still kept fitness on my mind, and made an effort to make good decisions, but the 6 days a week of this particular workout just didn't happen. I will try again when I will better be able to actually make the time for it :).
- I started taking a night class at the University of Saskatchewan. It is an Introduction to Business class through the Business Administration Certificate program - I have a degree, but I've never studied anything business-related, and I wanted to, so I am!
- I started up teaching ballet again
- I joined a Catholic Christian Outreach faith study. I am taking Obedience, which is the fourth study, but the final one I need to take. 
- Sylvia and I had a girl's day 
- Then I had a girl's weekend in Regina with my family and saw both of the Jessicas too
- I started a new job, but at the same place I was working before. Except this time I DON'T HAVE AN END DATE! This has been over 5 years in waiting, my friends. Well, over 3 years post-grad, but I've been working for the same organization since 2009 when I started as a student. 
- I started going to the chiropractor, and I really wish I had done this much sooner. I have been trying to focus on complete wellness lately, and this is a big step in the right direction.
- With starting my night class I also had to pay tuition - probably the only thing I didn't miss about school
- Two of my close friends got engaged!
- I went wedding dress shopping with two friends also (one just got engaged, the other has been engaged a little longer)
- Celebrated Thanksgiving weekend with my boyfriend's family
- And while we were up visiting them, his younger sister took some photos for us:

- I wrote a midterm  (strangely, I actually did miss this about school)
- The same night as the Canadian Federal election. The second I was done I ran out of the class to check the status of the polls, while some of the men in my class rushed out to see the status of the Blue Jays game. It was a big night!
- On top of that, I met up with a bunch of friends, attended many events, and even set aside a bit of time for myself :)

What have you been up to these last couple of months? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

On the Shelf - Upcoming Reads

I have to admit that I have a lot of books sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. I have a bit of an addiction to bookstore browsing, which naturally turns into a habit of book buying, which has gotten me to where I am today: with an overflowing book shelf in serious need of some attention.

I buy these books with good intentions. I'm going to start reading it right away! Once I finish the 3 or so other books I have already started. It gets placed on my shelf, next to many other books patiently waiting to be read, to wait its turn for me to pick it up. The problem, however, is that I do not make enough time for reading. The pace that I purchase new books far exceeds the pace at which I actually read them. It's not that I don't love reading - I do! It's just that work, dance, friends, family, YouTube, HGTV, and a myriad of other things always seem to take precedence. But not anymore!

I plan on reading at least one new book a month. But I really want it to be more than that - I'm just setting myself up for success by setting the goal low. I noticed this whole too-many-books-still-buying-more problem at the end of 2014 - well, I probably noticed it long before that, but I kind of chose to ignore it because I really like all that comes along with getting a new book. I finally did something about it at the beginning of 2015 when I told myself that I was not allowed to purchase a new book in 2015 unless I somehow managed to finish all of my unread ones, which would only be possible if I spent everyday, all day reading, so not very likely. I have read a bit, but as the end of 2015 is fast approaching (how is it October already?!), I have started to kick it into high gear. I'm probably going to have to continue my book-buying moratorium for at least the first half of 2016, and that's ok, this is really more about enjoying these wonderful books that I have yet to experience.

As I said, I have lots of books that are yet to be read, but some of the ones that are up next are:

I Heart Hollywood (eBook version) by Lindsey Kelk

I have read a couple books in this series and this is the next one. I really like the light-hearted feel that comes with reading these books. They're my chick-lit, feel-good read that I like to read now and then, especially after a particularly heavy read. I got into reading books by Lindsey Kelk with The Single Girl's To-Do List (which was great!) and realized she had this series. I actually went on a hunt a few months ago looking for the real books because it seems that this author is going the eBook route now instead of lots of books in print. Since I already had a couple in print I needed the others to be the same. Is anyone else like that? I just can't fathom having a whole series in my possession, but half in print and the other in eBook - it's just too weird to me.

Greece on My Wheels by Edward Enfield

I really like novels about travel or that at least somehow incorporate travel, so that's why I picked this one up. I haven't really looked into it further than that! 

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler

And this is another that I just sort of randomly picked up. I know I read the back and liked it, but I also have to admit that I am a sucker for a good cover (aren't we all?) and I like the look of this one. (That's actually how I picked up The Single Girl's To-Do List I mentioned above).

This was another random pick up on one of my Starbucks and browsing Indigo, Sarah's-alone-time nights. The name caught my eye because I had recently read a book called How to Eat a Cupcake and I liked it. This one seems neat because it has recipes throughout the novel.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

This is a book that I have actually partially read before. It was required reading for a class I took in university, but I didn't quite finish it (I know, not good). The professor (probably my favourite professor from my entire degree!) actually specified that it had to be this particular edition, I guess there is enough of a difference between the different ones that he felt it necessary to distinguish it. I remember liking it, there were so many lines that spoke to me - but I just didn't manage my time well in order to finish it. This was one of those books that I would constantly find a quote that I wanted to remember so I would write it down. I did that a lot throughout university, actually, I would go and sit at the coffee shop on campus and read while listening to music (side note: how did I manage that? My brain doesn't function that way anymore) and I would constantly write down lines I heard or read. I have so many pages of loose leaf with songs and quotes on them that still linger in my mind to this day. I want to read this one again because I know I didn't give it the time it deserved, and I also want to read it before I watch the new movie (another thing I tend to do on a regular basis - I have many books sitting unread on my shelf that are preventing me from seeing many movies I would like to watch).

I also recently started reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith but I didn't take a picture for two reasons: 1. I left it at work by accident, and 2. I've already started it, so it's not quite "on the shelf." This was yet another book I picked up on a whim, this time it wasn't so much the cover rather than the title - it intrigued me before I even bothered to read the back cover. I'm only a chapter or so into it, but I am really enjoying it! It seems even more up my alley than I had originally thought.

Do you have any books lined up to read? Which ones? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? I'd love to hear some recommendations for future books to read! 

P.S. Keep up with my book readying by following me on Goodreads!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

At The Moment

Welcome to a little update on my life. I am hoping to do posts like these from time to time that highlight what I've been reading, watching, doing, and dreaming lately. I hope you enjoy this first one!

Reading: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Watching: Say Yes to the Dress marathons while I was sick, the Canadian Leader's Debate, anthing on HGTV (so enjoying having cable now that I'm at home with mom and dad)

Eating: Quinoa salad - would you want a recipe?!

Drinking: Salted Caramel Mocha from Starbucks (of course)

Enjoying: Walking along the river on my lunch breaks while the weather is still beautiful

Appreciating: All the wonderful people in my life, and that super crisp fall air that smells so wonderful. You know, that air that smells a tiny bit cold, but you're standing in the sun, so you feel great.

Dreaming: About traveling to Italy. Or Ireland. Or England. Or anywhere, really.

What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Girls Day

Last weekend my friend Sylvia and I got together for a girls day. We don't get to spend a lot of time together, so when Sylvia got in touch and asked if I'd like to join her for a manicure and a pedicure I of course said "Yes!"

We met up at 10 am to be pampered and spent a couple hours catching up, talking about her pregnancy, the sex of her baby, and the wonderful men in our lives, among many other things. The time went quickly and we were super impressed with the girls at Sunsera on 22nd St. W. in Saskatoon.

After our pampering morning, we had plans to go for lunch. I had been thinking of taking Sylvia to Capanna Pizzeria (always a favourite of mine), but since she's pregnant I figured I should ask where she would like to go (in case there was a super strong craving present lol). All she said was "somewhere cool." I know she meant somewhere with an awesome atmosphere, an amazing menu, and somewhere that isn't just the same old restaurant with a different name and a slightly different menu. I knew my original thought of Capanna Pizzeria was the perfect place.

Sylvia is living in a smaller city about an hour away from Saskatoon, so there aren't many new or different restaurants to experience there. She loves trying new and different places, though, so she really enjoyed Capanna!

The menu has changed a bit since I was last at Capanna Pizzeria, and it was even harder to make a decision! Everything sounds so tasty that I just want to try it all! The menu hasn't been updated online to include the pizza Sylvia ordered, but it had pickled onions, beets, peaches (I think?), arugula, and a lovely sauce. I went with the Calabrese Salami, Pickled Pepperoncini, and Provolone pizza. It is quite spicy and absolutely delicious!

After eating we walked back to the car, with a wander through Garden Architecture and bumping into a bubbly acquaintance first. From there we went home decor shopping and it was fun looking at baby and children's decor and dreaming up ways Sylvia could furnish the nursery.

As always, I absolutely recommend trying out Capanna Pizzeria! Have you tried out any unique restaurants lately? Any recommendations - especially in Saskatchewan? Hope to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Mid-Week Moving Update

And a photo of the lovely late summer blue sky in Saskatoon while on my lunch break downtown yesterday,
just because it's pretty :)

I started my big move back home on Wednesday evening with a bunch of large pieces of furniture and some bins I managed to pack up on Tuesday night. My dad, my boyfriend, and my boyfriend's cousin all helped out with the moving process. Two trucks, one trailer, and my small SUV were filled up for the first trip and we got a lot of it out of the way - I was so thankful for all of their help!

I kept chipping away at packing and moving after that, but it was mostly smaller items that I was able to handle myself. My dad stopped by Saturday morning for my final bigger items (bed, bed frame, pantry cupboard, and a few more bins). I have to admit, I really procrastinated in getting ready for this move. There was a lot more that could have been prepped and even moved beforehand, but I just wanted to relish those last days in my place without living in chaos. I felt the ramifications the last couple days, though. Saturday wasn't so bad, I got a few more trips in with my vehicle. My cousin that just moved to Saskatchewan came to the city and helped me out a bit, but then we took the evening off to spend time together.  Sunday was crunch time. I still had quite a bit of stuff at my old place, I still had to clean, and when my landlord checked in about timing I realized he was hoping for much earlier than I was planning on for the walk-through and handing over the keys. It turned out that I didn't get to do as thorough of a clean as I had wanted, but I feel ok about it. (I didn't wash all the walls, but they were painted only a year before - I just spot-cleaned where needed; I didn't get to pull out the fridge and stove, but I was able to sweep & vacuum on the sides; I didn't clean the light fixtures and ceiling fans, but I had in March when I was Spring cleaning). With my cousin's help (SO thankful!) and a lot of hard work, we managed to get done a little earlier than my landlord had asked for. He showed up for the walk-through, expressed his gratitude for a job well done, gave me my full damage deposit back, and told me he was sad to see me go (again). I was definitely sad to lose such a great landlord, but hopefully when I move out of my parents' place next time I'll be my own landlord instead :).

Now that step one of moving everything home is done I am on to step two: organizing it all. It's a daunting task! I won't even show you a photo of what my parents' garage looks like; partly because it's terrifying, and partly because I don't have a photo and I'm writing this at a coffee shop so I can't get one. Sure, some things just pop right back in where they were before I moved, but I accumulated a lot when I moved in order to set up my entire house. It's no easy feat trying to fit an entire home into an already existing home, but we're managing to do it! I'm still working on the bins, bags, and suitcases that were placed in my room, and it's coming along. Soon I'll be able to more seriously tackle the items that were from elsewhere in my rental. Dad helped me to set up my living room almost exactly as it was before I moved in the basement, giving me my own living area outside of my room. I really am thankful for how amazing my parents are, they're making a tough situation so seamless and comfortable. Just as it's not the easiest or most pleasing idea to move in with your parents after you've been gone for a year, it's probably just as difficult to have your adult daughter move back in with you once you've settled into a different routine and made use of your newly found space.

Now - off to organize some more! What have you been up to this week?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stella & Dot Party + My Wishlist

On Monday night I hosted a Stella & Dot party at my place - my last event before leaving (so sad!). There was so much beautiful jewelry for us to try on, but what I most enjoyed was the company. A few of my friends were able to make it out, as well as my cousin who recently moved to the province. And my Stylist, Erika, is actually a friend of a friend that I haven't spent much time with in a while, so it was nice to catch up!

I had a blast visiting with friends, sipping wine, and trying on jewelry! Since I'm keeping my party open for a little while to accommodate friends who weren't able to attend but want to purchase, I decided to build my own wishlist for when I make my purchase at the very end.  
  1. The Hudson Tote Large - Black/Cream Clean Stripe (as styled by blogger Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior, which is a favourite blog of mine!)
There were definitely many more items that I could have added to my wishlist, and I just might come the time my party ends, but these are my top picks! I realized after I put them all together that I hadn't chosen any earrings, which is crazy because I was oohing and ahhing over many different ones at the party. My bracelet game is in serious need of help, though, so that's why there are so many in the mix.
Have you been to a Stella & Dot party? Do you own any of the jewelry? What's your favourite piece, or what tops your wishlist? I'd love to hear!
P.S. If you would like to shop my party, here's the link! http://www.stelladot.com/ts/fwf96

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

On Feeling Lonely

I was about to start this post off by saying that I don't normally write about topics such as this, but then I realized that I haven't ever really kept this blog stuck into one topic or another. Spontaneity is definitely in my title for a reason - my thoughts tend to be all over the place and, thus, my blog posts will follow. Fair warning, though: this post is going to be a lot more close to my heart than usual and just might not be everyone's cup of tea.

I had really been struggling recently with feelings of loneliness and, for the longest time, I couldn't get to the root of it. I love my alone time, so I've never really experienced a lot of (or even real) loneliness - I usually revel in that time away from others and those rare times when I feel lonely is more me missing someone rather than wishing simply anyone were around. Lately, though… That loneliness was there and it was very real. As my introspective self does, I began to reflect. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because most of my closest friends do not live near me at the moment. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because my boyfriend was quite busy. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because I had simply “had my fill” of alone time for a while. These thoughts all crossed my mind, but I knew it was none of these because I was still surrounded by people and, for the most part, life was the same as always.

It was none of these things, yet nothing else made sense. It had to be one, or all of them, didn’t it?! So, I filled my time. Or tried to at least. Ironically enough, in trying to fill my time I felt more aware of my loneliness and my failed attempt to alleviate it. In searching for things to do and people to fill my time with, I came up on so many closed doors. People were busy, places were closed, and I was left to be alone with myself. I did manage to connect with some friends that I hadn’t been able to see in a while (which was absolutely wonderful), but I would leave them, and the joy and love and friendship that I had experienced in those few hours together wouldn’t hold up against being alone. I had hoped that it would at least tide me over until my next social encounter, but the moment I was alone again the loneliness weighed on me, sometimes even heavier than before I had met up with my friend.

What was this? Why was I feeling this way? It was all so foreign to me that I almost felt afraid. And then I realized: I needed to stop trying to figure it out and just let it be. Let myself be lonely. Live in it. Feel it. Rest in God who makes all things work together for my good. Maybe I didn’t know why I was feeling lonely when I never had before, but God sure did. He drew me in, closer and closer to Him until I remembered that it is in Him alone that I will feel complete and full and not lonely. I prayed. I watched movies. I made friendship bracelets just like when I was eight. I went to adoration. I cleaned my house. I took naps. I prayed a novena. I let my friends and family know that I cared about them through text, email, phone calls, and letters. I talked with God. I let Him know I cared about Him, too. I felt lonely the whole time. But I felt safe in my loneliness. At the end of the day, when I placed my head on my pillow to sleep, I didn’t know if it would be any different the next day, but that was OK. God was working in my heart in ways that I wasn’t to know yet, and it was so. good.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Have A Lovely Weekend

As of after work today I am officially on holidays! I am so excited to take a week to recharge, spend time with those I love, and enjoy my city (even if the beautiful weather missed me by a week - darn!)

The above photo is from my weekend adventuring last weekend with Amanda. We went to Drift Sidewalk Café and then wandered the Saskatoon Farmer's Market and the nearby Garden Architecture & Design store. Amanda and I tend to wander that store (especially the outside portion) whenever we're in the Riversdale area, it's just so fun - as shown by the interesting piece pictured above!

What are you up to this weekend? Anyone else on holidays?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Fitness Goals

No - this isn't me (#fitnessgoals)
My Fitness
I used to consider myself a fit and active person, but the last few years have been a slow decline of denial until I recently realized I just don't feel good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I know that I am not overweight, I'm just not as active as I once was and my body is starting to feel it as well as show it.

The problem is, I kind of hate exercising. I don't mean I hate being active, but I hate going to the gym. Running for 45 minutes on a treadmill followed by lifting weights or trying to use those scary machines as if I actually know how just sucks. I grew up dancing, and for quite a few years I was dancing 6, sometimes 7 days a week. Now that I'm considered an adult and have to pay for my own activities dancing 6 days a week just isn't an option, both in terms of time and money. (Even paying for just one dance class a week makes me realize how awesome my parents were to support all of my years of dancing!) 

I try to keep an active lifestyle in little ways, some of which are going for walks, parking across the river and walking 20 minutes into downtown for work, and playing recreational soccer (not going to lie, my boyfriend really encouraged me to join his soccer team and I originally did it just to be nice, but I am loving it now). These efforts, while awesome, just haven't been enough. I constantly find myself wishing I could take more dance classes, or wishing I actually liked the gym since I have a free wellness center available to me through work; neither of these are a reality for me, though.

The Program
In the past year or so there have been quite a few people on my Facebook feed that have gotten into the whole Team Beachbody thing. I was happy for them, seeing their results and how happy they were, but all that I could remember of Beachbody was the Turbo Jam workout that I had purchased years ago (possibly before they even had the Beachbody coaches? Not totally sure) and that was terribly boring for me. I actually had some amazing results when I kept at it, but I felt like I was working out when I was doing it, and that didn't cut it for me so I stopped doing it. With that in mind, I cheered them on but stayed away.

That was until Beachbody recently brought out the new Cize program. This program is all dancing! And it's hip hop style, which is not my forté... I'm a ballerina through and through, so I was pretty sure this would be a challenge for me, even if I am already a dancer. I watched a preview and knew I wanted to try it out. So I placed an order and started as soon as it arrived!

My Experience
I have only done two days so far, but wow! I was right, it is still a challenge for me, but it is SO FUN! The time flies by because the program keeps a steady pace, working on one move at a time and building up to the point of being able to perform a short dance clip. I don't know how, but when it comes time to Cize It Up at the end I have a huge burst of energy and just give it my all. It's very similar to the feeling in a dance class when you've been working on a combination and then in the last 10 minutes you break into groups to perform it for each other.

I really like how this program doesn't talk down to you - they move at a pace that is fast enough for a dancer like me, but they repeat steps and go over how to do them enough times that even the most beginner of beginners would be able to keep up. Also, since it's dancing, as long as you keep count you can easily jump back in if you miss a step or get off a little bit (which I definitely did a few times).

A worry that I had about the program while I was waiting for it to arrive was that I might master a dance in one workout and not want to go back to it again in a couple days, but that's totally not the case. I was able to dance each dance by the end of the workout, but I definitely have not mastered them yet, and I found them so fun that I am excited to do them again.

My Goals
So, I titled this post "fitness goals" and what kind of title would that be if I didn't actually share my goals? I am aiming to follow the 4-week plan that comes with the program that involves working out 6 days a week. There are three DVDs in the Cize DVD Package, so the first week you alternate between the two workouts on the first DVD, then the second week you alternate the workouts on the second DVD, and then the third week you alternate the workouts on the third DVD. If you go with this kit, in the fourth week you do each workout once more. I went with the Cize Deluxe DVD Package (I think you have to sign up for a free Team Beachbody account to be able to purchase it, but I could be wrong!) so that I could get a few more workouts included. With this one you do the next-level dance courses in your fourth week.

I'm looking to become more active, increase my energy, tone up a little bit, and lose some extra weight I carry on my stomach and sides. I'll let you know how it goes!

How About You?
I just had to share about this program because I am so excited to keep at it! Have you tried any Beachbody programs? Are you trying out the new Cize program too? I'd love to hear your experiences!

**This is not a sponsored post. As always, all opinions included are 100% my own**

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tough Decisions: Housing

This past year has been pretty tough in terms of living situation. Don't get me wrong! I love my roommate Annie, but she had to move to a different city for her job at the end of April, and while I've been very happy with the person I had living with me for the summer, she has to go back to school in a different city at the end of August. Since there has always been a third room open, I've been searching for a third roommate since October, and for two since Annie left and I just haven't had anything work out. I considered only renting out one room and keeping the other for an office for myself, but it just wasn't financially prudent. I finally realized that I had to look at the reality of the situation and start thinking of other ways to deal with it. Even though I love the place I'm renting, even though my landlord is fantastic, even though I live right across the street from my boyfriend, even though my drive to work is quick and simple, and even though I really enjoy the neighbourhood that I'm in, I realized it was time for me to move on.

I considered finding other women that were looking for a roommate to move in with them, and I came across a few good options, but they just didn't sit well with me. I was kind of at a point that if I was renting I really only wanted to rent from my landlord (he really is that great!) and I also have my whole living room, kitchen, and dining room set up that I'd have to figure something out for. After much praying, thinking, deliberating, procrastinating, and pro/con lists, I have decided to move back in with my parents to be able to save and hopefully purchase my own home much sooner. If I moved in with other roommates somewhere else, it was very likely I would have to store most of my stuff at my parents' place anyway, and I'm just at a very transitional point in my life where I feel great peace about being able to rest in the safety and love that my parents, and their home, provide.

I have a little less than a month left in my home, and it is definitely sad, but I plan on taking advantage of having my own space as much as possible while I still can. :)

And now, some photos of my home for the past year!

The Living Room/Dining Room

 The Kitchen
 The Guest Room/Storage Room

 My Room

My room has gone through the most transformation over the past year. I had a desk and bookshelf in there at different points, but the bookshelf was moved to the guest room and then to the living room when I had my summer roommate move in and choose that as her room. My desk moved in to Annie's old room when I made it a bit of an office... I was covering rent for both rooms for a couple months, so I figured I would at least make use of the space!

Prior to me moving in to the suite, my landlord painted all the walls and trim, replaced the bathroom tub and tile surround, and installed great window coverings that let the light in a bit in the kitchen and living room, but were almost blackout in the bedrooms. Also, I love how much sunlight this property gets! My bedroom and the guest room are east facing, and waking up to natural light is one of my favourite things. Annie's old room and the kitchen face south, and the living room gets to experience the sunset to the west. All so great!

All in all, for my first rental, this place has absolutely been a gem and I am so pleased with how much and how fast this felt like home.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Summertime Weekend Adventuring

Last weekend found me with an abundance of time that I had not originally planned for. What's a girl to do? Make use of that time, of course! I got in touch with old friends and was surprised to find many of them available pretty last minute (always a novel concept for my over-planner mind).

I failed to get photos of this, but on Friday night Jackie and I met up at the Saskatoon Fringe Festival to head to Loon by WonderHeads. The performance was really sweet, but made my heart feel a little heavy. The character loved the moon so much that it started shrinking... He loved it so much that it became less of itself. I really, really liked how the entire performance did not involve speaking, though; it was emotions shared purely through movement and music. If you ever have the chance to see a WonderHeads production I absolutely recommend that you take advantage!

On Saturday morning Jackie actually came over to my place for a mid-morning coffee so that we could catch up. It was so nice to see each other two times so close together! She is one of my closest friends, but we both have very full schedules and very diverse groups of friends, so sometimes we go awhile between seeing each other. I truly appreciate every moment we get to spend together.

On Sunday afternoon my friend Aaron and I ended up heading to the Saskatoon Zoo. The weather was absolutely beautiful and Jackie had mentioned that I should go see the baby goats. They weren't so "baby" anymore, but they were nice to see.

Aaron and I enjoyed wandering the grounds and catching up while enjoying the sun and clear Saskatchewan skies. Aaron is another friend that I don't get to see too much, especially now that she goes to school in a different city, but we always pick up right where we left off.

We especially liked this lookout point that we stumbled upon. We were a little sad there were no passers-by to take a photo of us together, but look at that view! It's hard to believe that this is in the middle of Saskatoon!

Then on Sunday evening I headed out to Wakaw Lake to a friend's cabin where a bunch of people were getting together. I ended up missing the Aberdeen turn-off because the highway I was on was the same highway towards St. Pete's where I spent my first year of university and I was feeling all nostalgic. I barely missed it, so I totally could have turned back, but I figured I would take a dirt road to connect to the other highway but when I turned off there was a sign stating that the road did not connect to the exact highway I was looking to get to, so it had probably been washed out in previous years of flooding. I decided to keep heading the way I had been going, and meet up with where I needed to be via two perpendicular highways instead of a diagonal one (sort of a triangle situation)... Google Maps said that route added only 12 minutes on anyway. I am SO glad I stuck with my original route, because I came across a beautiful Ukrainian Catholic Church right on the side of the highway. The sun was starting to set, giving the prairies a beautiful glow and I just couldn't resist pulling over to take a photo.

I had a great time at the lake and left to head home around 12:45. It's about an hourish to get back to Saskatoon, but I love solo road trips, as I'm sure I've shared before. Minutes in to hitting the highway, I saw a falling star and then a shooting star. I don't know if there's actually a difference, but one was sort of passively falling downwards, whereas the second one moved upwards and then almost accelerated by leaving some light behind as if it were a cloud of dust behind a fast vehicle. I don't know if that makes sense, but either way, it was a welcome sight and brought a smile to my face as well as my heart.

What started off looking like a very slow weekend ended up being wonderfully full! Have you had any summertime adventures lately?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

3 Easy Makeup Looks to Transition from Day to Night

Awhile back (okay, a long while back) I had my friends Maria and Veronica over for a little makeup photo shoot that I had dreamed up. I haven't talked about this too much on here before, but I am a freelance makeup artist and I wanted to play around a little while getting some photos to add to my portfolio. I decided to go with three different looks that build upon one another: "no makeup" makeup, a day look, and an evening look.

"No Makeup" Makeup Look

This look is really all about the skin. If you perfect your base you really don't need much more makeup, and the makeup that you do add doesn't need to be as heavy to compensate. Maria has great skin, so it wasn't hard to create an even base with a medium coverage foundation and under-eye concealer. I added a light application of mascara, a very light contour, and brushed through her brows to make sure they were going in the right direction.

Day Makeup Look

For the day look I wanted to build upon the "no makeup" look (which, in reality, could absolutely be a day look itself) so I added in a bit of smudged pencil liner on the top lash line along with some soft matte brown shadow in the crease. I also added a bit of peach blush and then curled her hair.

Night Makeup Look

And the final look! I added a darker matte brown to the crease, deepened the liner, added a bit more mascara, added plum blush, added highlight, applied lipstick, and pinned back one side of her hair.

What do you think?! I really wanted to do these looks to show how it doesn't take much to transition a look from day to night, that a "night" look can still look quite natural, and also that simple is really still very beautiful! Thanks so much to Maria and Veronica for helping me out with this project :)

*All photos by Veronica Neufeldt

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Heart Warming

I've been a little frazzled lately - too many things taking up space that seems to get smaller and smaller, but it's getting better :). Sorry for my absence, but as this blog is a hobby it's one of the first things to drop off when life gets to be a bit... much. 

I met up with my friend Maria for coffee on Tuesday evening and it was definitely what I needed. I love spending time with her whenever I get the chance, but Tuesday was especially great. There happened to be little macarons on the menu at City Perks, so of course I went for them for Maria and I to share. As you might recall, we had a bit of a tradition for awhile where we would go for cupcakes and coffee on Saturday mornings. This felt like a bit of a revival of sorts.

Macarons Maria Coffee City Perks

Maria Coffee Macarons City Perks

I have another post involving Maria coming soon, so stay tuned! There is a sneak peek over on my instagram.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life Lately

I've been up to a lot of things that don't quite warrant a whole post on their own, so I thought I'd take one post to share a few of the things I've been up to lately.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe Saskatoon Saskatchewan

This is over a week ago now, but my friend Brandi (who blogs over at For One Day) and I met up for lunch at Drift Café earlier last week. I had never been before, but it had been on my list to visit for awhile. Since I work downtown I just walked over for my lunch break. If you're able to avoid the lunch break rush I would recommend that you do - we managed to snag a table, but it was super busy. Brandi has been there before outside of the lunch rush and said that it's definitely not as busy.

Drift Sidewalk Cafe Saskatoon Saskatchewan

We both went with the French Giving Panini. There were quite a few things on the menu that caught my eye, so I am hoping to head back soon!

Pitch Perfect 2 Opening
My boyfriend and I went to the Pitch Perfect 2 opening last Thursday. We're huge fans of the first movie, but the second was disappointing. There were parts we absolutely loved, but there were also parts that we really could have done without. The music was still fantastic, though!
On Friday we went out to Candle Lake for the weekend. Our friends have a new cabin and they invited us to stay the weekend with them and other friends and family of theirs. We had a great time, even though the weather was a little cold and super windy. I didn't get any photos, since we spent quite a lot of time indoors and it was just nice to relax and not always know where my phone was.
We came back into the city on Sunday so that I could get to a dance rehearsal in the evening for an upcoming recital I'll be dancing in. We were teaching the dance to two new dancers who were covering spots for others that couldn't make it, and then afterwards we went out for supper and drinks at Earl's with some of the money that we won at competition earlier in the year. We donated the rest to a couple different charities. Side note: I totally didn't realize the 18+ category could win money at competitions, so that was a nice surprise!
Victoria Bridge Saskatoon Saskatchewan River
We have been getting back to gorgeous weather this week. On Tuesday evening my boyfriend and I went for a long walk along the river and I couldn't resist snapping a photo of the Victoria Bridge.
I'm coming up on a dance-heavy few days with dress rehearsals and three different days of recital. I love dance and teaching, but I'm looking forward to the freedom that comes with it ending for the summer! 
What have you been up to lately? Feel free to share below!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ciao Pasta Bar - Windsor, ON

I'm here today with one final post about my weekend in Windsor, ON. I've already shared an overview and about my visit to Taloola Café.

On my last night in Windsor I did a Google search for somewhere to eat and I was having a bit of difficulty, because restaurants that had been recommended to me or that appealed to me online were either already closed or closing soon (it was Sunday at about 6:30 pm). I finally came across Ciao Pasta Bar and the hours were accommodating, so I decided to check it out.

When I arrived I was definitely impressed by the décor. The yellow, white, black, and grey colour scheme is one of my favourites, and they did it well with white tufted panels and large mirrors on darker walls, offset with yellow accents throughout. I really liked the sturdy, oversized, natural wood tables and chairs - it made it feel like you were in someone's comfortable dining room. My favourite part, though, was the gallery wall on the back wall. I didn't get a chance to look closely at it, but it added to that comfortable, personal dining room feel.

Now for the menu. I really liked that you could create your own pasta dish, and that you could get a half plate; pasta is filling and sometimes you really want to plan for dessert. I went with a half plate of whole wheat capellini topped with a blush sauce with chicken cooked in and added asparagus. When the plate arrived I have to admit that I thought the portion looked a little small, but that together with the starter bread was actually the perfect amount of food for me. I also had a pomegranate martini and it was super tasty.

I decided to treat myself to dessert to round out a very pleasant meal. I ordered the chocolate Nutella tart with a latte to go with it. I can't even describe how delicious that tart was! It was a bit much for one person to eat alone, so I would recommend splitting it with another person if you ever get the chance to stop in. The latte was well made and paired perfectly with the dessert.

I would highly recommend Ciao Pasta Bar if you are ever in Windsor, ON. It would be a fantastic date place, but it's totally family-friendly as well. I saw something about family movie night on Sunday evenings that sounds like a lot of fun as well.

That's it for my trip to Windsor! I am really hoping that I get a chance to head back sometime in the not too distant future - any tips on where I could visit next time?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taloola Cafe - Windsor, ON

I didn't get the chance to visit too many places while I was in Windsor, since it was a short trip and I was there for a wedding. As I mentioned in my recap post about my visit, one of the places that I stopped in at was Taloola Café, on a recommendation from the bride and groom via their wedding website. They have impeccable taste, so I wasn't surprised when I really enjoyed their recommendation.

Taloola Café is in the Walkerville area of Windsor, Ontario, not far from the riverfront. I was there on a lovely warm day, but I opted to sit inside so that I could take in the interior instead of sitting on the roomy patio. Also, I'm a redhead with fair skin so I burn far too easily.

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

The café is decorated in a very unique and eclectic style, with everything being its own statement while still coming together in a cohesive look. The exposed brick and warm hues on the walls and furniture make you feel at home, which leaves you wanting to stick around awhile.

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

I decided to go with the Roberto Panini and a Caffe Mocha. They were fantastic! There were quite a few items on the menu that I wanted to try, so hopefully I'll get a chance to go back sometime!

Taloola Cafe Windsor Ontario Canada

Have you ever been to Taloola Café? What is your favourite thing to order? Any other places in Windsor that I should add to my list to visit if I ever head back? I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jet-setter: Windsor, Ontario - May 1 - 4, 2015

Airplane Windsor Ontario Skyview

I spent this past weekend in Windsor, ON for a wedding! I had never been to Windsor before, so I took a bit of extra time and toured around a tiny bit. I had wanted to try and make a vacation of this trip and head to Guelph, ON to visit some family (like I did at the start of 2014), but it didn't work out that way. It's so expensive to fly within Canada that I like to take advantage of the times I book flights and do a lot in between, but I had two new roommates moving in on Sunday while I was gone and May is a very full month, so I decided to just make it an extended weekend instead.

On Friday I flew in to Windsor via Toronto. The Toronto-Windsor leg of the trip was in a pretty small propeller airplane with only nine rows of seating. I can be easily affected by motion sometimes, although I've never truly gotten sick, so I was kind of worried it might be a bumpier ride but I am happy to report that it felt the exact same as a larger airplane. Windsor is right across the river from Detroit, and it happened that I was on the right side of the airplane to catch a pretty spectacular glimpse of Detroit from the sky before we landed. Also, the view from above reminded me so much of Saskatchewan, with the patchwork quilt appearance and flat lands.

I rented a car and then checked in to the Hampton Inn & Suites on Huron Church Road, one of the hotels that was recommended for the wedding.

Hampton Inn & Suites Windsor Ontario Huron Church Road
I really liked how each door number had a different black and white photo beside it - I got the lucky horse shoes!

Next I looked on the bride and groom's wedding website for an idea of where to go to grab a bite to eat, I settled on Taloola Café in the Walkerville area of Windsor, not far from the river front. It was super tasty!

Taloola Cafe Walkerville Windsor Ontario

I then wandered over to an abandoned building across the street that had caught my eye through the
window while I was enjoying my late lunch. It was so sunny, so I didn't get a great photo, but the building is overgrown with ivy and windows on every storey of the building were shattered and boarded off.

Abandoned Building Walkerville Windsor Ontario

After that I went back to the hotel before going shopping at a nearby mall. After a bit of window shopping I went back to the hotel once again and I had a relaxing night in, complete with a visit from my boyfriend's sister, her husband, and their two children, who were also in town for the wedding. I love traveling alone, but it can sometimes feel lonely - this was a nice trip that combined solo travel with still having people I know around.

Saturday was wedding day! If you'd like to see photos from the wedding, check out this post by Laura-Anne, their very talented wedding photographer! (And an absolutely wonderful person too!)

On Sunday I joined my boyfriend's sister and her family at Mass where we were able to see and say goodbye to a few of the wedding guests. That afternoon they took off and I was alone in Windsor once again. I took a nap (the king-sized bed was oh so comfy) and then went in search of a restaurant for supper. I found Ciao Pasta Bar online and it had pretty good reviews so off I went. It was delicious as well! I don't think I tried a single bit of food this weekend that I didn't seriously enjoy. Since I had napped in the afternoon, I was definitely not ready for bed so I ended up working out and taking advantage of the pool and hot tub at the hotel. For some reason I rarely ever take advantage of these amenities when staying at a hotel, I guess I rarely have extra time because I'm usually visiting for a specific reason.
Ciao Pasta Bar Downtown Windsor Ontario
My final morning in Windsor was Monday and I woke up to a cloudy, grey, and drizzly sky. It was actually a welcome change from the absolutely beautiful and hot weather during the rest of the trip. I had wanted to go for a walk along the river once I had checked out, but the rain was pretty constant, sometimes letting up to a drizzle, but mostly just pouring down, so I just went to the river for a tiny bit. I didn't want to miss out, no matter the weather.

Detroit Water Front River Windsor Ontario

Have you ever been to Windsor, ON? Where would you recommend to visit if I get the chance to go again?
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