Apr 18, 2014

A Very Good Friday

Whenever I have a "bonus" day off I like to make sure I take advantage. The store was closed today and so was J's work. J's brother (David) and his fiancée (Tracey) both work for Sobeys too so we thought it might be nice to do something with them since days that all four of us are off are super rare. 

We ended up deciding to visit one of our favourite parks, Long Lake. And instead of it being just the four of us two of Tracey's sisters came and of course we brought Daisy. :-) Long Lake is one of our favourites for a few reasons. It's beautiful to start with. It's close to home too, it's only about a twenty minute drive.  But once you're in the park you can't tell how close you are to the city. It's also one of the least developed parks in the area. The trails are a little more rugged and not marked well, so you really feel like you're exploring.  After our hike we headed back to our place to play a game and then have a barbeque for supper.

Other than deciding we were  going to do something today, we didn't make any plans until lunch time today. Usually I'm all about planning things in advance,  but it was nice to play things by ear for a change.

Hope your weekend got off to a great start!


Apr 17, 2014

Imagine Whirled Peas

The first mark I made on the internet was geocities site I built back in grade ten as part of a project for my technology class. Gradually the site morphed into a Backstreet Boys fansite (I was so cool in high school!) and then morphed again into a personal site that included a blog. I was decent enough at HTML and created some layouts that I thought were pretty snazzy.

Eventually I decided that I would like to purchase my own domain. A friend and I decided to go splits on a domain that would house both of our personal sites. I'm not entirely sure where the name came from, but we decided on whirled-peas.org. (I told you I was cool in high school...) She didn't end up keeping her site for very long, but I did. I met some awesome people - I even hosted Melanie's site for a bit. Most of the people I met back then are no longer blogging. Or if they are, I can't find them. I'm really excited that another one of my old blogger friends is looking at making a come-back. (Yup, that's you Sid!)

It's a sign! This is my Jones Soda cap from last
Wednesday,  the same day I started this blog!
I had whirled-peas.org for years, I used it as a personal site/blog for a while that I got another domain name for that and used whirled-peas for fanlistings. (Does anyone else remember fanlistings? I was super into them for a while!) I also had a fansite for Ryan Malcolm... (I really was cool, I swear.) As I finished school and got married blogging sort of faded away. I've brought my blog back a couple times over the past few years. (Melanie was kind enough to host me during one of those revivals) but I never stuck with it.

I feel like blogging has changed a bit since I first got involved. Now there are link-ups and give-aways and "blates" and conferences and people with thousands of followers. Everyone seems to have a theme or a niche. I haven't totally decided where I belong yet, but I'm working on it. And I'm not going to give up this time. Once upon a time blogging gave me a lot of joy, and it's really nice to do something for myself. I'm not looking for thousands (or even hundreds) of followers, and I'm not looking to make money. I want to meet people, I want to learn things, and I want to have fun.

I'm glad you stumbled across my new blog. Feel free to come back. :-)


Apr 16, 2014

Saying Goodbye

I think I started writing this post in my head at least a dozen times since last week. I don't know exactly how to start it. Or even what I want to say.

On Monday I got a text message from my dad saying that a close friend of the his & my mom's had passed away. He had been battling cancer for a while and we knew it was coming, but it was still sudden at the same time. Dad apologized for telling us in a  text (my brother got the same message) but explained that he didn't think he could talk about it just yet.

My parents have a group of friends that they've hung around with since they were in college. There are three other couples, and they've all been in my life for as long as I can remember. Truthfully, I'm closer to them then to most of my aunts and uncles. Their children were like my cousins. We all went on vacations together when we were growing up and even now Mom and Dad still travel with these three couples. They're not like family, the are family.  

I'm sure you can guess where this is going.

On Monday, I lost a member of my family.

This man held me when I was a baby and danced at my wedding.

He had a larger than life personality.

He was kind and generous and could (and would) talk to anyone.

The funeral was today, and it was a beautiful service.

But cancer sucks, and I hate good byes.

Apr 15, 2014

Literary Junkes; April Edition!

I think I may have found the perfect link-up...
Pink Heels Pink Truck

1. What are you reading right now? Tell us about it!
I'm currently reading The Selection by Kiera Cass. Amazon.ca does a much better job at the synopsis than I could so...

"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."
I'm not going to lie, this isn't my first time reading it. But the third book comes out in May, so I decided to re-read the first two. I'm a sucker for trilogies!

2. Divergent, Hunger Games, or Twilight. Which do you prefer and why? (If you’ve never read them which do you think you’d prefer?)
I think I would have to pick Divergent, simply because I found Mockingjay to be a bit of a let-down after the first two books in the Hunger Games series. Twilight is a guilty pleasure - whenever I'm looking for something a bit less deep I grab it. (I still consider Twilight a favourite, just not in the same category as Divergent and Hunger Games.)

3. TV Series Based on Books they start out very close to the book to draw in the fans but then will start to separate themselves by changing things and adding characters. What are you thoughts on this?
I can't think of any shows I watch that started out as books... I heard True Blood was really different from Charlaine Harris' books so I never bothered getting in to it.

4. You’ve just been recruited to help a movie studio bring your favorite book to the big screen. What’s the movie and who are you choosing to play the main characters?
Definitely definitely Enchanted, Inc by Shanna Swendson. I think the books would make excellent movies. I'm not sure who I'd pick to play the main characters... I'd love to see Sir Patrick Stewart as Merlin I think, but as fair as the male/female lead I'm not sure. Hmmm...

5. Going back to the above question, do you keep it word for word the same or do you use this chance to change little things you thought would make the book better?
I think it would translate really well into a movie with very few alterations.

6. After you finish a physical copy of a book do you keep it for a reread, put it on a shelf to collect dust, donate it to Goodwill, or do you just not purchase physical copies of books?
I have an e-reader, but I still purchase physical copies of books by my favourite authors. I very rarely get rid of books. I'm a re-reader - if I enjoyed something I like being able to go back to it. I have as many books on shelves as possible, but there are also boxes in the closet in the spare room.

I'm always looking for book recommendations, so be sure to let me know if you have something I might enjoy!


Apr 14, 2014

Need Something to Read?

I love to read. I've always been a reader. I remember devouring Baby Sitter's Club books, and mom's old Nancy Drew books when I was in elementary school. I would read pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

I tend to read a lot of the same genre of books. I read a lot of young adult, dystopian, fiction. The last series I finished was the "Shatter Me" trilogy by Tahereh Mafi. Before that I read the first three books in Marissa Meyer's "Lunar Chronicles." (I enjoyed all of them by the way.) Every so often I like to read something a little differrent though. (Something written for people my own age...)

One of my favourite non-YA authors is Janet Evanovich. I love the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie is a rather inept bounty hunter who has too many men in her life and is incredibly unlucky when it comes to cars. There are 20 books out so far, and the next one comes out in June. In some ways the books are all very similar, but it works, I don't ever feel "bored" when I'm reading them. I can't count how many times I've been laying in bed reading and started laughing. Evanovich has a new series out that I'm really enjoying as well. Co-authored with Lee Goldberg the Fox & O'Hare series is about an FBI agent who's being forced to work with a con-man she spent years hunting. These are great books for when you need a break for heavier material, whether it's text books or "deeper" novels.

Any books you think I should check out?


Apr 13, 2014

Sunday Social; Best Ever

Thought I'd try linking up Ashley and Neely today for Sunday Social. :-)

1. What was your best birthday?
I've never had a really "fabulous" birthday. My 10th birthday was pretty good if I remember, we rented the public pool and I invited all the girls in my class and my whole ringette team. It was one of the last years my grandmother made my cake. My 18th birthday was pretty good too, a bunch of friends and I went out for dinner and my crush picked me up and drove me.

My 18th birthday... I'm in the back in orange.

2. What was your best vacation?
I haven't done much travelling, but even if I had, I think my favourite vacation would still be our "staycation" last October. The weather was amazing and we got to do a bunch of touristy activities here in Nova Scotia. (Stuff like apple picking, which was so much fun!) It was just what our marriage needed at the time. It was just us, and we didn't ever decide what we were going to do until we got up that morning. We spent a lot of time talking and catching up and enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. It was such a wonderful week that we actually decided that we're going to take a week off every October.
Walking at Second Lake Provincial Park
"Staycation" October 2013

3. What was the best date you've ever been on?
I'm not sure if it counts or not, since we were already married at the time, but last summer J and I went to a really fancy restaurant downtown. Way nicer than anywhere we had ever gone before. The food was amazing (I still dream about the taste of the duck!) and the atmosphere was amazing. We got dressed up and really made a night of it. I loved it. (For anyone in the Halifax area the restaurant was Onyx.)

4. What was the best movie (quality) you've seen?
I don't tend to watch a lot of the movies that are up for awards or are critically acclaimed. I like movies that are fun, I have a short attention span so it's rare that I'm even willing to sit down and watch a movie. Escape Plan with Stallone and Schwarzenegger is on right now, but I wouldn't say I'm watching it. (And I definitely wouldn't say it's quality.)

5. What is the best TV show ending of all time?
I haven't watched very many shows from beginning to end, and the ones that I have ended pretty horribly. Like Chuck and Veronica Mars; both of those endings really disappointed me.

Sunday Social

Hope you had a great Sunday!

xo, Sara

A Walk in the Park

I don't get a lot of Saturdays off. Most of the time it's not a big deal. I like having my day off to myself through the week. I can do house cleaning, try new recipes, run errands, or spend the entire day on the couch with a book. Basically, I can do whatever I feel like doing and that's a nice feeling. Sometimes working every Saturday sucks though, especially since J works Monday to Friday. We are both (usually) off on Sundays but it's such a busy day with church and family dinners that we don't get a lot of "us" time. So, when I do get a Saturday off we like to do something.

Now that it's officially spring I got it into my head that I wanted to start taking Daisy and going back to some of our favourite parks for walking and hiking. I was pretty disappointed when I woke up yesterday morning to grey skies and heavy looking clouds. We made ourselves a big breakfast and lounged around on the couch catching up on some TV for the morning but around lunch time noticed that the rain seemed to have stopped. It was still grey, and not exactly warm, but we decided to throw Daisy in the car and head out anyways.

We chose to head out to Sandford Fleming Park even though there are places we like closer. One of our first "dates" was a walk there, it's also where J proposed and where we had our wedding pictures taken. I think maybe we were feeling a bit nostalgic. (It's also one of the first places we took Daisy after we adopted her.) They're in the process of doing some restoration to the park like paving the walkways and replacing the retaining walls, I can't wait to see it when it's finished. Usually when we're there it's packed with people and other dogs but it was pretty quiet today because of the weather. I think I liked it better that way, and I know Daisy did. :-)

Hope that you had a great Saturday, no matter what the weather was like!