Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Cakes, Dresses and Flowers

Since the last update some good and bad things happened.
The good.
I found a website to order bridesmaid dresses off of that are about $80 cheaper than in the store. You get measured, order your size and then get alterations. Exactly what happens in the store, but without the premium price. I'm very excited!

I'm in the works of setting up some florist meetings. Got one quote and I'm not sure if it's too expensive or not. Frenchie and I will have to go and visit a few places to see what the average cost will be.

The Save the Dates are in! The envelopes are stuffed with the wonderful postcards. Half of them have stamps on them. I need to go and buy more stamps and some labels to print the address on from the computer. I know that the date is set and money is put down on certain things, but sending stuff out makes it that much more real and exciting!

The bad.
Cakes are freaking expensive! We got a quote for our cake. $480!!! We aren't doing a huge cake, and  not doing all the fancy icing. How does a cake cost that much money??!!
I found a friend that will do the cake for $100. AND that she would do a mini version for us to taste.

My dress isn't in yet. I'm a little disappointed even though it's ok since there is still a ton of time. They said it would be in early September. Sadly, it's almost October and I have yet to hear from them. (Yes, I did call two weeks ago and checked on it)

Things are coming along nicely!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fitness Friday: IPC 2010 in Review

International Pole Camp was last weekend. Lets just say I still have some bruises that are healing from the new and exciting moves I learned.

Here's a recap:
Friday: Dinner and Pub Crawl
We all gathered at a hotel for the first banquet of the weekend. Everyone introduced themselves and got to know people. The farthest traveller this year was from the UK. Long way to come for 4 days!
This year we also had 3 men attend. One has been to IPC 3 times in a row. Goes to show it's not just a women only sport.
After dinner we headed to a local bar in which two stages had been set up. We played around on the poles for a while and had a few drinks. I left early so I could get some sleep in anticipation for the fun to come the next two days.

Saturday: Workshops and Pole Jam
I woke up early and made my way to the studio to attend two workshops. One by Karol Helms, and the other by Josiah "Badazz" Grant. (Do you want The Drs.? He was on their show. Click for video.)
After the workshops, we were all shipped by the cool buses with poles in them to a recreation centre for lunch and a pole jam. Super fun time hanging out with people from around the world and learning new things. I love the look on some of the newbies faces when they learn something they thought was impossible for them.

Saturday night: Banquet and awards
PFA Flash CardsAfter all the fun, we headed back to the hotel for another banquet and an awards ceremony. Everyone was exhausted and the dinner was fairly quiet. I think everyone was ready to sleep as soon as it was done.
I won a cool door prize from Pole Fitness Association. I got a pack of flash cards. These will come in handy when trying to think of new things to learn and teach.
I also won an award. "Best Effort 2010". I love the tiny trophy!
Best Effort 2010
Size Comparison

Sunday: Workshop and more Pole Jam
I got to sleep in a little Sunday and rest up a bit. I had a workshop that morning with Alethea Austin. I learned some really cool transitions and I finally got the move called Knees. (I still have bruises from it)

After the workshop, we were bused to the rec centre again for a repeat of the day before. Lunch, pole jam and we finished with an auction.
New StageI put a bid in for a Platinum Stages Star Standalone stage. I won! Now I have a portable stage so I can pole anywhere. I'm sad it's starting to turn cold, otherwise I would totally be putting it up on my deck outside. My neighbours on one side already know I take and teach pole, so they wouldn't think it's weird. The other ones can't really see our deck, so we're good there. This also means that in the summer, I can pole in the park again!

I didn't take my camera with me so I'm waiting for pictures to be posted by all the rest of the people that were in attendance. If I get anymore, I'll be sure to post them.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

45/50: Gone by Lisa McMann

Gone  (Dream Catcher, #3)Gone by Lisa McMann
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After reading Wake and Fade, this book wasn't good as the last book. This series started out great, but fell flat for me in the end. I'm not sure what else I would have wanted out of it, but I'm left feeling like the series ended with no climax. It just. ended.
While I appreciated learning more about Janie and her father, this book was really missing that paranormal factor. Don't be deceived, there was still some dream catching in the book, it just wasn't the same.
Gone went into the dilemma that Janie faces with her curse/gift. Should she stay with her loved ones, or should she isolate herself. The secrets she finds out from another dream catcher put things in perspective. She has two choices that are equally horrible.
Gone also went into more detail on Janie's mom which I liked. We also learned a little more about Miss Stubin, Henry, and Captain.
I will say however, that the book ended how I thought it should have. I saw the two choices Janie was faced with and hoped throughout this book she would choose one and not the other. McMann chose the same ending I would have.

Read the entire series
Wake (Wake Series, Book 1)Fade (Wake Series, Book 2) (Wake Trilogy)Gone (Wake Series, Book 3) (Wake Trilogy)

View all my reviews

Gone counts towards towards my goal of reading books I own or have borrowed.
Check out my list on the Fall Book Challenge Page.
This book also counts towards my online challenge through The Nest for the Summer Book Challenge

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Monday, What are you reading? (Sept 20 - 26, 2010)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It's purpose is to share what I have read this past week and what I plan to read this week. It seems I'm only participating in this meme every two weeks. I don't read fast enough and figure people don't want to see a carbon-copy of the previous week.
What I finished
Fade (Wake Series, Book 2) (Wake Trilogy)
What I am reading
Smoke Screen: A Novel
Up Next?
Hex Hall (Book 1)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

44/50: Fade by Lisa McMann

Fade (Dream Catcher, #2)Fade by Lisa McMann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fade was better than Wake for me. Keep in mind I read Wake a long while ago.
Fade dived deeper into Janie's gift of dream catching. Although she didn't do as much of it in this book as she did in the first, it really showed the dark side to to it. We get to see a more in-depth look at what Janie's future will be like. The fear she has about her future is confirmed and you find out exactly what that holds for her.

I love that Cabel is still in her life. He has demons of his own to deal with and he struggles between that and loving Janie. They are both a little screwed up and they seem to fit well together because of that. Both never really having love in their life before, they find it with each other.

Fade goes into a case where Janie must do things she wouldn't normally do. In order to catch a sex-offender, she must put herself in harms way. This doesn't have a lot to do with her dream catching ability and it's a shame, but you do get to know her character and her ability to deal with things life throws at her. Cabel has a tough time dealing with his love putting herself in danger because she is supposed to be his safe thing in life.

The crime fighting part of this book pulled me in. The dream catching was secondary and I think it really worked.

Can't wait to read Gone to conclude this trilogy.

Read the entire series
Wake (Wake Series, Book 1)Fade (Wake Series, Book 2) (Wake Trilogy)Gone (Wake Series, Book 3) (Wake Trilogy)

View all my reviews

Fade counts towards towards my goal of reading books I own or have borrowed.
Check out my list on the Fall Book Challenge Page.
This book also counts towards my online challenge through The Nest for the Summer Book Challenge

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fitness Friday: International Pole Camp 3

IPC3 starts today!
For those of you who don't know what it is, you probably aren't a pole dancer. Let me tell you what a fabulous weekend I'm about to have.
For 3 - 4 days, over 50 pole dancers from around the world gather in Calgary for a fun filled weekend. We come together because of Polejunkies and this amazing event put on by the studio.
There are workshops, seminars, banquets, awards and of course, a pole crawl! We have special instructors from around the world coming in to do private and group workshops. This year we are happy to have Karol Helms, Alethea Austin and Josiah "Badazz" Grant.
I can't wait to see all my pole friends from the two previous IPCs and learn some new moves!
I assure you, Sunday night I will be bruised, battered, exhausted and have a huge smile on my face. I wait for an entire year for this event.
This event is for advanced, intermediate and beginner pole dancers. We have instructors and people who have only touched a pole at the bar. It's for everyone!

Check out for more information. There are galleries of the past events.
Check out these youtube videos to get a closer look at the fun I'm talking about.

1st International Pole Camp
Drawn to The Pole
2009 Event Slide show

Karol Helms
Pole Praxis
Pole Fitness Association Profile

Alethea Austin

Josiah "Badazz" Grant

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Fall Book Challenge

The Nest Book Club does a quarterly challenge. I did Winter, Spring and Summer. For Fall, I'm going to participate as well, but in my own way.
Typically I would go through the list, and make my book choices based on the tasks in the challenge. I've read some interesting authors, and I've read some amazing books. I've also read some books that I wouldn't  normally read, and wasn't really sure why I was reading them. The challenges have been great and I love that there is some reading direction.
Summer has been slow for reading, but it did give me time to take some inventory of what I have around the house to read. Frenchie brought home 4 boxes of books from his parents house and we needed to find room on the shelf for them.
This led me to discover:

  • 37 books in my possession that I have not read (not including all the ones Frenchie brought home that I haven't had time to look at and catalogue... that makes me sound like a huge nerd)
  • 18 owned
  • 19 borrowed from someone else (mainly my family, so I don't feel so bad)
After ordering two more books off of Amazon last week, I decided it's time to clean house. My Fall Book Challenge will be to read as many books out of that 37 starting from October to December. No doubt I'll be asking for more books during the holiday season, so best make some room. If any of the books fit in the Nest Book Club Fall Challenge, then I'll add up the points.

I figure the best way to tackle this will be to read those books I have borrowed from people other than my family. I feel bad for keeping some of them so long and by now some people have probably forgotten I even have them.

Through this process, I am also going to try and gather up the books I have loaned to people and put them back in their rightful place. 

Please view the page titled Fall Book Challenge to see a checklist of books I plan to read. There is no order to them, just a list.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Expo Aftermath

Frenchie and I survived!
We arrived just before the gates opened and managed to make our way around the show in less than 2 hours. Our plan was to research florists, bakers, honeymoons and look into tuxes and bridesmaid dresses.

There wasn't a lot for florists and bakers. I'd say the majority of the exhibitors were photographers. We already have one of those, so we were able to by-pass a lot of the show.
I was disappointed in the number of florists and bakers. There was only two bakers, one doesn't do the sort of cake we want, and one did. There was also only two florists. One doesn't do the types of flower we do, and we didn't get a chance to talk to the other one. However, the second florist works out of her home, so we can save 30 - 40% in fees!
I have some phone calls to make next week to see if I can meet with those two vendors and sign them if they have what we want.

Frenchie came home with 5 different books on tuxes. I didn't find any bridesmaid dresses, but there's still hope.
The number of honeymoon travel books we have now is crazy. We still haven't chosen a location yet (and I'm sorry readers, but you'll never know where we are going until we get back) but we have some better ideas now.

It wasn't all that great of a bridal show, but we did get a few ideas here and there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Movie Review (21): Resident Evil: Afterlife

Frenchie and I went to Resident Evil: Afterlife yesterday. Let's start by saying that Alice is by far my favorite "superhero".

As the fourth installment of the franchise, Paul WS Anderson came back to write and direct. Thank goodness for that. The second and third movies were sad. I still went and I still rather enjoyed them, but I'm glad the original writer came back for the fourth. He did it justice.

Alice kicked ass. They dealt with what was left over from the third movie and moved on. I think I should have probably watched the third one again before going just for my own sake since there were a few characters I couldn't quite remember. Mila Jovovich is one movie actress I wish I could be like. I'm a huge fangirl and swear I'll see any movie she's in. I love her acting, her voice and there is something to be said for how good she looks. (I wish I had her costume designer for halloween. I also wish I had her trainer)
Claire (Ali Larter) rocked. She was fabulous in her role and I really like her character.
Chris (Wentworth Miller) didn't really surprise me. I watched every season of Prison Break with him and his acting was pretty much the same. Serious face, furrow the brow, deep commanding voice. But, I'm still a fan!
The story was decent for a Resident Evil movie. It's farfetched, obviously since it's a video game, and full of action, blood and guts. I did have to laugh when there was Alice and Claire fighting in water. How 'guy' of the movie to have the two hot chicks wet and fighting evil together.

We went to the movie in 3D because that was the only option at our theatre. I could do without the 3D. I don't get why it makes your movie experience any better. For cartoons I get it. Live person movies, not so much.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Movie Review (20): Mongol

We watched Mongol on the PVR the same night as Whiteout. Both movies were pretty disappointing. (See the review of Whiteout here)

I was under the impression that Mongol was about Ghangis Khan as a warrior and a leader. I wanted to know about the conquering he did and his reign. Sadly, the movie fell short of that expectation. The movie was about his life BEFORE he was the greatest Khan in history.

I was expecting some pretty interesting war scenes, but there was nothing. He spent most of the movie either tied up, in jail, or running for his life. This isn't who I pictured Ghangis Kahn to be.

I wouldn't recommend this movie. It didn't do anything for me historically, and there was no action. I won't dock it marks for subtitles because I don't mind subtitled movies. It's a different language and I respect that, so if I have to read it, I'll read it and can still very much enjoy it.

Hopefully a good movie comes along soon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blogger Hop (Sept 10 - 13, 2010)

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books and runs from Friday to Sunday. The Hop is a fantastic way to get your blog noticed more and visit some other cool blogs that you didn't know about before. Head over and sign up and see what you can find!
This week's question/topic comes from: 
Anne @ My Head Is Full of Books

Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

My favorite book review in the past 3 months was of Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus. This book was her debut novel and I can't tell you how many people I recommend it to. I loved it, and although the review might not do it justice, trust me, you should read this book. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

Fitness Friday

This week and the next, I have the pleasure of assisting in 2 more level 1 classes at the Polejunkies studio. I'm very excited to get the extra practice in the intro class.  I think I've mentioned before on how I'm uncomfortable teaching an intro class. They know nothing and need to be taught from the ground up. As instructors, we have to give participants the basics they will use for the classes following and the rest of the levels they decide to go into. Huge responsibility! The extra classes will help and since the instructor is one I haven't been with before, this will be a nice change to see how another person teaches the same basics.

I am half done my current pole routine I mentioned a few weeks ago. I didn't have any classes last week, so I got to work a little bit on it at home. This would be great news if my pole was the right height. A lot of the advanced moves can't be executed at home since they require more height. That doesn't stop me from imagining the moves and then trying things out when I'm at the studio to see if my vision works.  I have a lot of ground to cover int he next couple of weeks to get this routine finished and polished. 

The Couch to 5K is hanging around me, but it's not sticking very well. I'm not consistent and I don't go 3 times a week. I try to, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Since I don't really love running, I'm not too bothered by it. Even with skipping a few runs here and there, I am seeing improvements. I have a heart rate monitor and I take my heart rate immediately before and after I do the jogging/running segment. I've noticed improvements in both numbers. I still can't crack the 2 minute jogging mark, but it will come. I'm not exactly following the program to a T. I'm using it as a guideline.

Exciting news: I am officially set to write my AFLCA exam on September 23rd. 2 weeks until I am done the hard part of becoming  Alberta fitness certified. This is really exciting since once I've completed the exam and the rest of the requirements, I can start to be the instructor in classes rather than an assistant which equals a pay increase. Not a lot, but enough I'll see a little bit of a difference. Time to hunker down and study. You need 80% to pass the exam. luckily it's 60 multiple choice and I have an exam prep package arriving in the mail this week or early next.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Expo

This weekend my mom is coming down to attend the Bridal Expo with Frenchie and I. Yes, you read that correctly, my fiancé is going to a bridal fair. We have some specific vendors we're looking for and it will be great to have Frenchie there to help discuss things. He's much more a businessman than I am, so he knows better what questions to ask and how to negotiate prices.

We are hoping to find a florist, baker, tuxes, bridesmaid dresses and look into honeymoons.

I'll give you an update next week on what we find!

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Monday, What are you reading? (Sept 6 - 12, 2010)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It's purpose is to share what I have read this past week and what I plan to read this week. I missed participating last week so this will include both weeks.
What I finished reading


The De-Stress Divas Guide to Life: 77 Ways to Recharge, Refocus, and Organize Your Life

Sundays at Tiffany's

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

What I am Reading This week

I won this book on Goodreads and haven't gotten around to reading it yet.
Smoke Screen: A Novel

Movie Review (19): Whiteout

This show popped up on the PVR so I thought I'd record it for Frenchie. Kate Beckinsale is a big draw for him. I'm also a big fan because in most movies she kicks ass. The rating on the PVR was 1 star and I'd have to agree.

The plot was pretty thin.
U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko is three days from the end of her tour at an international research station in Antarctica after which she'll resign. An incident from her past haunts her. The continent's first winter storm is coming when a body, wearing no gear, is discovered in the tundra. She investigates, soon finds more bodies, and must find a motive and a murderer before the storm and her departure. A U.N. agent, Robert Pryce, appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to help. An aging physician about to retire, a nervous mission chief, a downed Soviet plane, and the weather's deadly elements add to the story. Can Carrie trust Pryce and does she still have what it takes?

The lines were pretty horrible to the point you could tell they were lines. If you are an avid movie goer, you know what I mean when I say that. There are some movies you get sucked into the characters and you don't feel like they are actually acting.

We both figured out by the end who was involved. It wasn't much of a surprise. I would not recommend this one. Save your rental money and your time.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

43/50: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (no spoilers)

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Suzanne Collins did a fabulous job of concluding the Hunger Games series. Mockingjay tied up most of the loose-ends. I couldn't give this book 5 stars though. I wasn't sure if I could even give it 4 stars. I found myself able to actually put the book down and pick it back up. There was no pull from it that made me completely lose myself until there was about 1/3 left. At that point in the book, I had to sit down and read it until the end. Hunger Games and Catching Fire pulled me in right from the beginning and never let my attention go.

I felt like the book was missing something and was a little anti-climatic for me. Don't get me wrong, I shed some tears, gasped and had some nail-biting moments where everything around me stopped existing. It just wasn't as addicting. Collins does a fantastic job during the last 3rd of the book of pulling the reader in. I felt like there were some bits of the story that went on too long, and other parts that I wished were longer. Some parts I felt needed more attention than others.

Mockingjay was a great ending to the series and I'm so glad I got to read this wonderful series from start to finish. Suzanne Collins writes beautifully and makes my imagination pop with the images she creates. The movie that plays in my head while reading these books is so clear and vivid I have no problem picturing everything she describes.

View all my reviews

Read the series from the beginning!
Buy Hunger Games
Buy Catching Fire
Buy Mockingjay here!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Blog Hop: Sept 3 - 6, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy For Books and runs from Friday to Sunday. The Hop is a fantastic way to get your blog noticed more and visit some other cool blogs that you didn't know about before. Head over and sign up and see what you can find!

Do you judge a book by its cover?

My Answer: Sometimes I do. A cover will be enough to make me look twice at a book and take a closer look. It will also make me uninterested. However, there are other times, where the cover is horrible and I'll read the book anyways based on recommendations. I've also been duped a couple of times by amazing covers and poor books.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Leave a comment and I'll come and visit you as well! I'm also looking for new blogs to follow.

Happy September Long Weekend!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

42/50: The De-Stress Divas Guide to Life by Ruth Klein

The De-Stress Divas Guide to Life: 77 Ways to Recharge, Refocus, and Organize Your LifeThe De-Stress Divas Guide to Life: 77 Ways to Recharge, Refocus, and Organize Your Life by Ruth Klein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked up The De-Stress Divas Guide to Life from the library on my eReader. I had put it on hold when I was having an immense amount of stress, and by the time I got it, my stress was very little. I think that's probably a good thing. I think reading this book was helpful as I could take the time to examine the ideas behind it and really think about how to apply them to my life.

I really enjoyed the sections on family get-togethers and how to manage stress when there are so many people together at one time. It was helpful to see the other perspective of siblings. We may not be able to pick our family, but we can choose to understand them. Everyone brings different qualities and it's important to respect those.

There were some chapters very dear to me, such as the stresses of changing jobs, or planning a wedding.

I would recommend this book because of it's simplicity. It's not a hard read, but the tips inside are very useful. I would also recommend visiting Ruth's website, to get more tips and tricks.

Buy the book from Amazon

View all my reviews