Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Since everyone makes them, I figured I'd make some too. I've broken them down by my three categories. Books, Fitness and Life.

Books
I have set my reading goal at 50 again. I passed my goal by 4 books in 2010. With the wedding coming up, my reading will get the backseat come June.
I'll be participating in the Nest Book Challenges. In Winter last year I made 195 points. I would like my goal to be 150 for each of the seasons, but we'll see if I get there.
I'll be doing the EBook Challenge put on by The Ladybug Reads. See my post about it here. 12 ebooks in one year. This should be doable since all my Outlander books are eBooks and all my Harry Potter books are as well.
I want to get through a lot of the books I own. I have 46 that I own on my to-read list. I only have 16 that are borrowed and that is all from family except one. No hurry to finish them just yet.

Fitness
Frenchie and I are doing the P90x right now. We just started week 4 after a small break over Christmas. I like the program and without Frenchie, I think I would be too lazy to do it. I'm thankful we're in it together. He's far more motivated than I am.
I want to do another one or two performances this year at Taboo again. I got out of pole for a little while and I think I may take a break after this next session just to concentrate on the P90x. My body can only do so many things before it gives out and shouts "You're doing too much!!"
I WILL get my 6 pack abs again.

Life
The most obvious one is get married. We are 5.5 months out and I am worried I won't get everything done. There are a few nagging tasks that once complete I can rest a little easier.
I want to concentrate on my faith this year. I became Catholic last Easter, but I feel like I haven't truly embraced my faith. I do attend church regularily, but I don't do anything outside of that. I would love to find a bible study of some sort. I don't have the motivation to do it on my own, but having a friend or two do one with me would be great.
I want to keep this low-stress thing I have going on. Since losing my job last year I realized just how stressed out I was, mind body and spirit. I was at a breaking point and I want to never go back to that place again. It was scary, not only for me, but for those that love me.
I will keep in better touch with my friends. I have my besties that live in different provinces from me and I miss them dearly. I want to phone more often. There's nothing better than a phone call from a distance friend to make a week perfect. I always say I'm too busy, but sitting on the couch in front of the TV isn't an excuse. You will be in my calendar friends!!

Lastly,
I want to love more deeply. I want to keep in better touch with my family. Tell them I love them more. Teach my nieces what it is to be a strong woman (I know they're all under 4, but still, can't ever start too early!) I want to embrace that child innocence and get some of it in my own life. They love life so fully and experience things all new. As an adult, we shouldn't lose that wonder.

Happy New Year everyone!!!
I'm saying good riddance to 2010 and hugging 2011 hello.

December Book Recap

I was disappointed in myself for December. I thought with Christmas I would get a lot more reading done. Sadly, things came to a close and I lost steam. I surpassed my reading goal in November so all the books in December were basically freebies for me. I got so many books for Christmas I wanted to wait until 2011 to dig into the wonderful pile.
Looking back at my November Book Recap, I only read one book that I said I would read in December. The library was so kind as to tell me a few books I had on hold came in so they got read in stead. I'm sure glad I did!

What I Read in December
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)The Sky Is EverywhereThe Mockingbirds

My Reviews

I haven't decided what I'm going to read in January 2011 yet. There are so many wonderful books sitting on my shelf. I plan to participate in the Winter Book Challenge that is book on by the Nest Book Club. I would like to fit as many books that I already own into the categories and try to clear out the top shelf of my bookcase. It's starting to overflow and I feel badly for all those books bought and just sitting there.

Right now I have begun to read Outlander. I curse myself for not reading this book sooner. It is consuming my life! I can't get enough of it. I've read so many YA books this year and while I do love them and how quick they are, reading this wonderful adult fiction has me tied up and twisted with smiles and gasps.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 30 - A Picture

I'm a little bit in love with our engagement photos. 

Happiness!!
0085_L&G

Passion!!!
0051_L&G

ChicFitGeek 2010: A year in Review

Here is a quick review of the year I had. Not everything is included, but these are the profound ones that keep popping up first and foremost.

1. I found a love for reading again. I found the Nest Book club right before the new year last year and fell right in. I started doing the Winter Book Challenge this year and it spurred me on to read. With Gilles gone (see #3) I had plenty of time to read and it became a safe haven I could escape to. I have found some amazing people on NBC and hope to stick around the forum for a long time.


2. My father had a heart attack. He’s in better shape and healthier than ever today.

3. We adopted Beta. It was hard having her on my own (see #3) for the first while. She’s become such an integral part of our life I can’t imagine it without her.

4. Gilles left for Fort MacMurray for work. It was supposed to be 3 months. 10 days on, 4 days off. It turned into 6 very long months. All this while, I developed anxiety attacks, was super stressed out and was heading towards depression in a real hurry.

5. One of my besties got married! I got to stand up for her at her wedding and it was beautiful.

6. Gilles got a new job, I got laid off. All within two days of each other. It was a whirlwind and I thought the worst had happened. It may have been the worst, but turned out for the best in the end!

7. I spent the summer taking courses, figuring out how to find a job and brushing up the resume. I took up running with Beta to expend her energy. I spent some extra time with my sister and nieces. Went to my oldest nieces first dance recital (she’s 3.5 years old).

8. We bought a new vehicle. A 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe. What a great purchase!!

9. The wedding planning really began. All our vendors are booked, Save-the-dates went out, and bridesmaid dresses are ordered. I bought my dress and got it!!!

10. The year ended on a good note despite all the crap that happened this year. There are always going to be good and bad things that happen. There’s nothing we can do about them, but let them happen and accept it and learn from it. This year was rough. We went through a lot of changes in a short period of time. It took a toll on all my relationships, my health, my sanity and my love for things. I anticipate that this year will improve and I’ll get back to where I want to be: In love with life again.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

54/50: The Mockingbirds

The MockingbirdsThe Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I had a hard time ranking this book. I liked it, had a hard time putting it down, but something was missing.
Alex is dealing with the aftermath of being date-raped. She's at a school where the authorities don't care and think the students are only good and don't do anything wrong. This was my first problem. Yes, I can go along with this, but it just made me mad that adults would be so incredibly stupid and naive.
Aside from this, Alex is starting to remember what happened that night. Her emotions are portrayed very well. When she felt sick to her stomach after remembering something, I felt the same. The description was not for the light at heart. I know this was a YA book, and it should be categorized that way, but certainly for the older end of YA. (Should we not have another genre? YA16+ perhaps?)
The Mockingbirds are a secret society that help students in need. I felt they were a force for good and was so happy they exsited. The fact that they based their society on To Kill a Mockingbird was awesome.

The way Whitney dealt with the date-rape issue was good. She didn't push the no-means-no message in your face, but it was clear and there throughout the story.

I knew how I wanted this book to end and wasn't disappointed. There are no twists and turns, just a straightforward plot, begining, middle, end. It was a great read, but I felt something was missing. I just can't quite figure out what it is yet.

View all my reviews

Christmas book haul

Christmas book haul 


Thus far....

Matched and The Body finder came from my secret elf. Thank you!!!

The Secret Daughter was duplicate that Frenchie's mom got. She gave it to me, and we sent her a different book in the mail so she would still get a book from us for Christmas.

Crescendo Frenchie gave to me. He kept asking about all the books I read and what ones had sequels, which ones I wanted etc.

Paranormalcy and Anna and The French Kiss I bought last night with one gift card. I'm going today for another book of choice: Clockwork Angel.

Tom Clancy is for Frenchie. He picked it up off the 30% off Hardcover shelf and can't wait to dig in.

I'm heading over for some more books at lunch today since I have more gift cards to spend.

Day 29 - 3 Wishes

I wish.....

This year is better than last year. Last year was rough. So many bad things happened, and even if they did have somewhat good outcomes in the end, it still sucked.

I wish.....

My family and Frenchie's family is healthy this year.

I wish.....

This life that I have planned goes as it should, and that all the surprises life has in store and just as they should be. Surprises and wonderful and meaningful and happen for a reason.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 28 - Something that stresses you out

Do I have to pick just one thing??
I'm a stress case. I stress about a lot of things. Maybe this something isn't what stresses me out, but it does get under my nerves and causes some anger.
Being late. And not overly late for things, but I'm talking 2 - 5 minutes late. Drives me crazy!! I am always 5 - 15 minutes early for everything. Movies? At LEAST 15 - 20. That way I can get my tickets, popcorn, a seat, and a bathroom break.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 26 - Picture of my family

There's one little one missing. And one puppy not there yet.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 25 - Ipod Shuffle Songs

I have 505 songs on my iPod nano at the moment. It rangers from the obscure, to Christmas, to old music, to stuff people probably shouldn't own. Here are the 10 songs that came up when I shuffled all my music. (don't judge me)
  1. Shut Up - Black Eyed Peas
  2. Believe Me - Tonic
  3. I Don't Know - Treble Charger
  4. Who Makes You Feel - Dido
  5. Girl With One Eye Open - Florence + The Machine
  6. Invisible Photographers - The Cautioners
  7. Firestarter - Prodigy
  8. Resistance - Muse
  9. Oh Christmas Tree
  10. Sweet Dreams - Marilyn Manson

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 24 - Something I've learned

Everything happens for a reason

This is the truest statement I know. The reason it is something I've learned is because of how true it is when you look at the past. Those things you thought were just horrible, were for a reason. 
That toy you weren't allowed to have. It wasn't really worth it.
That breakup that hurt so bad. You were better off without him/her.
That friend you made. Turned out to be the best friend you ever had.
That book a teacher forced you to read that you later came to appreciate.
The hardest decision you knew was right, but didn't want to make. You made it anyway and are thankful.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23 - Favorite Vacation

It hasn't happened yet. 
Frenchie and I are going to, one day, before kids, go to France for 2 - 3 weeks. Sure there are some amazing vacations I've taken in my life. I absolutely LOVE the Cayman Islands. We've been there twice. Although it's a vacation, we also go to see family and friends.

Cuba was stunning. The history and people were amazing! I think as a Canadian there is a different feel to going to that island. We are treated so well and the people are so friendly. My family and I went over Christmas and had a wonderful trip. I've never seen a larger coconut Christmas tree before.

Mexico: Been twice. It's the place you go when you need a cheap vacation.

Hawaii: Beautiful place! I'm an all-inclusive girl, so although New Years in Maui was awesome, I didn't find it the same type of holiday as I'm used to.

I've been a few more places, but I'm betting on the Honeymoon being one of the best. only 6 more months!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 22 – What’s in your makeup bag


This day implies that I actually have a makeup bag, which I don’t. I rarely wear makeup. I’m lazy and that’s about all there is to it.

I do however have a small bag in my desk at work. It has a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, small mirror, lip chap, and gum.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 20 – Nicknames


I have one nickname that people use.

Stella

I got this nickname in university from my first year roommate. We were watching Detroit Rock City one day and she looked over at and said: “You’re a stella. That’s what I’m going to call you now. Stella.”

Stellas in the movie are the disco chicks according to the Kiss fans. I love 80’s music and like pink and can be seen dancing around my room, so I guess it’s fitting. It stuck ever since then and I love it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 19 - Something you miss

My friends. Didn't take much thought for that one.

High School - I wasn't super close with anyone. I floated around from group to group and had a few friends that I hung out with after school, the weekends and summer holidays. I am close to one person I graduated with and she's actually my maid of honour.

University - Here is where I got thrown into a dorm full of girls. Forced to make friends or enemies. I grew up sort of an only child (my sisters are much older than me), so I was very used to being on my own. Living with a roommate, on a floor with 24 girls, 3 floors to a dorm is quite an experience. Out of that, I met some fabulous people. We all came from different places, thrown together, and came out as friends. Sadly, University ended, we all went different ways and I have only seen 2/5 of them in the past 4 years. I miss talking to them and seeing them and hanging out. I miss walking over to their house/apartment just to say hi.

Living in the city, it's hard to make new friends. Your friends become those people you work with. Those are also the people you probably don't want to spend time outside of work with because you saw them all day. I think I have more friends online than I do in real life. That makes me incredibly sad.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 18 – Something you regret


There are so many things we regret in this life of ours. Some things are big, some are small. Some are meaningless to everyone but us; some affect those around us in a profound way.

I regret not saying I love you enough to my grandparents and not visiting with them enough before they died.
I regret not being at my Aunts funeral last year because I was out of the country. I really regret not seeing her before she passed.
I regret not keeping in better touch with friends and ultimately losing them. This is always an on-going regret since friends enter and exit our lives so frequently.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 17 – Something you’re looking forward to


This one should be obvious. THE WEDDING!!!!! And shortly after… THE HONEYMOON!!!!!

This is the day most girls dream of. I can’t say I ever did growing up. I was always a princess, not a bride. But! Now it's all I think about... mostly.

June 18th will be the day Frenchie and I profess our love to each other in front of our family, friends and God. I am so excited for the ceremony! Everyone always talks about the reception and the gifts and the dance, but it’s really all about that moment when we’re both up at the altar, saying our vows. I can’t imagine anything more special in our lives right now.

Fitness Friday: P90X Week 2

Frenchie and I have finished week 2 of the P90x.
Since starting this program, I've adjusted my work/dance schedule to coincide with the Yoga and the Kenpo workouts. I go to dance instead of doing those two. It works out really well.
I'm starting to see a little improvement. I'm also noticing small changes in Frenchies arms.

I've been sick for about 3 weeks now with a lingering cold. Tuesday I didn't go to dance or workout. Wednesday I stayed home from work and didn't workout that night. I went to dance Thursday, but it was pretty futile. I couldn't invert without getting light-headed or a resulting headache. Very frustrating!
I'm hoping that tonights XStretch will help. If I could just get over this cold, I'd be back going full out. I'm hoping to still get good results even with this week being off and next week getting back into it slowly.

I absolutely love the P90x. Yes, even the plyometrics dvd. Everyone says they hate it, but I find it fun. Call me crazy, but it reminds me so much of a fitness class.

On a good note, the last time I did the Ab Ripper X, I did 202/349 ab exercises. I'm improving! By the end of the 12 weeks I want to be able to do them all.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 16 – Dream House

I’m not going to spend the time looking for the perfect pictures to post. Instead, I’ll write about each room.

Kitchen – Big. Nice applicances. Lots of cupboard space. Tons of counter space. An island with a sink in it and stools for people to sit. A nook for a small table would be ideal.

Living Room – Surround sound. Wood burning fire place. Wall mounted TV. Lots of seating.

Separate dining room – I love having a separate dining room right now. Whenever we have guests over it’s nice to sit somewhere a little bigger than the nook.

Master Bedroom – enough space for a king size bed. Walk in closet. Room for a chaise and book shelf. Ensuite preferable.

Ensuite – Steam shower. Large soaker tub. Lots of counterspace.

Basement – Fully finished. Full gym space. Spare bedroom. Storage room.

Additionals:
12 foot ceilings. I would love a room with 12 foot ceilings to put a pole up.
Pull out drawers in all the cupboards for pots and pans.
Additional bedrooms upstairs
Heated garage
fenced yard



A lot of that, we have in our house already. Some of it is a dream.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

53/50: The Sky is Everywhere

The Sky Is EverywhereThe Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It was so refreshing and different. It made band geeks cool again!

Lennie is going through the stages of grief after her sister, Bailey, suddenly dies. She's not sure how to live without her and starts to push people away. She's torn between Toby, her sister's boyfriend, and Joe, the new French musician hot guy in school. Toby makes he acknowledge her grief and they deal with the pain together. Joe makes her feel alive and like a new person. Like she can survive without Bailey.

Lennie intrigued me. She wasn't used to living outside of someone's shadow and being 'the sister'. She'd been catapulted into the spotlight and not sure if that's where she wants to be. I loved reading about her mistakes and about the things she learned. She learned she can have her own dreams, she can be her own person. She learned she doesn't have to grieve the same way as everyone else. Gram painted, Big smoked pot, Toby tried to replace Bailey with Lennie. On the outside of all this is Joe. He never knew Bailey, only knows Lennie without her. He has this way of making Lennie feel like she is special.

I had this fear reading this book that something terrible would happen to Lennie, and yes something does, but on a much smaller scale than what I was thinking. I loved this book for it's happy ending. Everyone learning from each other and figuring it out. It was such a feel good book with so much raw emotion that it was hard to put down.

Jandy Nelson did a great job on her debut novel. I hope to see more from her in the future.

View all my reviews

Day 15 - Bible Verse

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
This is such a popular verse but it truly does have substaintial meaning. I'm not sure if this is my favorite bible verse, since I haven't gone through the entire bible, it was definitely the first one that popped into my head.

God gave up his only son for us. Jesus came to Earth, walked among us as a human. He experience humanity. After all that, he was crucified and suffered greatly for our sins.

I can't think of anything more powerful than knowing God gave Jesus to us, to suffer for us, to die for us. I can think of no greater love in this world.

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

If you were expecting a picture, you will be thoroughly disappointed. I will not post a picture on my blog. Never know who's reading it!
I can tell you that it fits perfect! As long as I don't lose any weight, it will fit perfect in 6 months from now too. (flame away. my problem is weight loss, not weight gain.) It's stunning, beautiful and I'm in love with it today as much as I was when I picked it out! (maybe more since this one is my size!) I did not want to take it off!

There are only a few alterations that need to be done. I figure I can do these early next year since I already have my shoes. I'll wait until close to the day to see if it needs to be taken in at all.
- cups in the bust.
- a bustle (not sure how I'm going to bustle it yet. Need to investigate this)
- Move the button for the straps.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 14: A Picture you Love

IMG_0049

This picture is one that I took this fall with our new camera. I’m not sure why I love it. It could be that the tree is so beautiful and natural. It is huge! It reminds me of the Tree of Life. The sky is stunning behind the tree and makes me think about how big this world is. It makes me thankful that we live near a park that we can go and walk in nature and enjoy what God created. Living in the city makes me sad sometimes. I miss seeing the stars and the hearing the silence at night. Being in the park makes me feel that way again.


I love seeing this tree through the seasons, which reminds me I need to take a winter photo



Monday, December 13, 2010

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It's been a few weeks since I participated in this meme. I'm hoping over the next month I can get in once or twice more. This meme gives people a chance to show what they've read, and what is next up. You can get some great ideas for new books to read by going to the host blog and following a lot of the links. Enjoy and happy reading!

What I Finished

What I'm Reading
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
The Sky Is Everywhere
What's up next
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4)Outlander

Day 13: Goals


I want to become a project manager. I would love to go and get my certification. This is a huge commitment and I have no idea if I’ll be able to accomplish it, but it’s a goal.

I want to be a mom someday. Frenchie and I have had the “kid talk” and we will eventually have a family. There are a lot of thing we want to accomplish before then.

I will see France.

I want to be more flexible. In body and mind.

I want to be able to shoulder mount into a brass monkey. It will be a while before I can do this pole move but someday…

I’m not sure what else to write for goals. I haven’t thought that far ahead. If you would have asked me 4 months ago, I would have said: Get another job. Break my anxiety/panic attacks.



Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 12 – What I believe


I could write out the Nicene Creed or the Apostle’s Creed from the Catholic faith, but I don’t think that’s what this day is about. I have my faith and that’s a huge part of me, but let’s talk about what else I believe in.

I believe that we are a part of something much bigger than us.

I believe that in each and every one of us there is a child wanting to play.

I believe I have found the person I will spend the rest of my life with.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.

There are things that happen our lives that we don’t understand and wonder why about. When you look back later, you know the answer to that question. There was a lesson. There was a reason. There was something you learned. It took you from one place to another and if you hadn’t made that choice, you would be somewhere else entirely.

I believe in love.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11: Favorite TV Shows


(This post has become an excuse to post hot guys)
Supernatural

That took me all of 0.5 seconds to come up with. I am ADDICTED to this show. I have watched it since the very beginning.
Here are the reasons for me watching it this long. 
Dean Winchester - Jensen Ackles
  
Sam Winchester - Jared Padelecki

Here are some other shows I watch weekly. We have a PVR so watching time gets cut in half simply because we fast forward through the commercials.

House: An episode of this doesn’t last long on our PVR.

 Hawaii 5-0: Brand new this year and I love it!
The scenery is great, the view is awesome…

Alex O'Loughlin
Oh and the shots of the islands are so green!!

The Big Bang Theory: Nothing better than a bunch of nerds/geeks!

Cougar Town: Throw flames if you want, but this show makes me laugh so hard every time I see it. Frenchie even watches it, even though he will deny it.

Nikita: She kicks butt and I love it. Michael isn’t too hard to look at either.

Dexter: It feels so wrong to cheer for the psychopathic killer.

The shows I watch when Frenchie is gone. He would rather put a pen through his eye than watch these, so I reserve them for when he’s playing hockey.

Vampire Diaries: There’s only one reason Damon Salvatore
Damon Salvatore
Grey’s Anatomy: I try not to watch it, but it’s one of those shows that I get sucked into. After last season I had to keep watching.

Private Practice: I started watching this one simply because it came from Grey’s.

True Blood: Read all the books, so I have to watch the show. Eric would be the other reason.
Eric Northman


Friday, December 10, 2010

Fitness Friday: P90X


Frenchie and I are doing the P90X.

I write that as a statement so it's out there and fact. He has already done it once and reached his goal weight (for that point in time). Then he went away to a camp and worked for 6 months effectively undoing all the hard work he did. It's hard to get a workout in and eat healthy when you're working 14 - 16 hour days, looking for a new job and having to eat in a cafeteria.
I have a photo shoot in January and with the wedding coming up, (really the honeymoon) we both want to get in shape. Our goals to get that are different, but the P90X will satisfy them both. He wants to lose weight and slim down; I want to gain some muscle definition. Win-Win.
Today is day 7. I am pretty much a ball of hurt right now and I don't anticipate that going away at any time in the next 12 weeks. If it does, it's time to push myself harder. Today is a rest day, but we are going to do the X-Stretch DVD because we are both pretty inflexible.
I did take "before" pictures of myself but I won't post them until I take the "after". It's not that I'm embarrassed, or think I'm overweight or anything like what you'd think. It's because I have a pretty good physique already and I typically get criticized for wanting to have a 'better' body. Most people I know don't understand why I work out at all. I'm already "skinny" as they say. Well my friends, I work out because I want more muscle. I want to be stronger, healthier and have better posture. I want to relieve some stress. These are all the secondary reasons people get out of a work out, but never have the intent of accomplishing.
My thoughts so far:

I dislike Tony and his stupid comments and how proud he is.
I dislike the hurt he gives my body after a good workout.
I love that the program makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.
I love that Frenchie and I can work out together.
I love that the exercises really aren't that complicated and the workouts themselves aren't that big a time commitment. An hour out of the day is minor in comparison to what you get out of it.

Only 11 more weeks to go!!

Happy 4th Anniversary!!!

Today Frenchie and I celebrate 4 years together!
I love him with all my heart and can't imagine life without him. In just over 6 months we will say our vows to each other pledging that love to each other.