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!
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