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!

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?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...