May 9, 2014

Green Goodies!

I was pretty excited to get home today and discover a package had come for me! Who doesn't love getting mail?! Back at the end of April I posted about the "Go Green" for Mental Health Swap I had signed up for and today is the day I get to share what I received!
I ended up swapping with Ashley who organized the swap. She sent me an adorable wallet, a pair of super cute green socks, and "High Line Green" nail polish by New York Color. The nail polish is super close to the colour my bridesmaids wore so of course I love it!

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My Summer Bucket List

There are a lot of things that I would like to do this summer, but most weeks the only day J and I have off together is Sunday and Sunday is an extremely busy day for us.  My number one goal for the summer is to make time for J, and make time for my friends and family. Even with my work schedule I think I'll be able to cross most of these items off my list before the end of the summer.

The List;

1.) Visit some animals! I absolutely love the zoo and we have a few options that can easily be done as a day trip. We can visit the Oaklawn Farm Zoo, the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, or The Moncton Zoo.

At the Magnetic Hill Zoo waaay back in 2007.

2.) Go to the beach. I love the ocean, but I'm not really a beach lover. We have some beautiful beaches in Nova Scotia though and it seems like a shame not to spend at least one afternoon laying on the sand reading and playing in the Atlantic Ocean.

3.) Have a picnic. I love picnics, I don't know why. We usually have at least one every summer and I'm hoping that we'll continue the tradition this year.

4.) Have some friends over and roast marshmallows. We bought a little fire pit shortly after we moved into our house but we rarely use it. And any time we've had a fire it's just been the two of us. It's romantic and everything, but s'mores are a lot of effort for just two people!

Roasting marshmallows last summer!

5.) Read 5 books I've never read.

6.) Eat downtown on a patio. There are so many restaurants in downtown Halifax that set up patios for the summer and I want to take advantage this year. I love the people watching aspect, plus food just tastes better outside.

7.) Try two new restaurants. We get a free "Halifax" magazine delivered to the store I work at and I grabbed it to read on my break the other day. It had articles about a couple great sounding restaurants. Too often J and I will go out to eat just because neither of us feel like cooking and we'll end up grabbing fast food or at a chain restaurant like Boston Pizza but I'd rather use our "eating out" budget to try out one of the restaurants I read about even if it means eating out less.

8.) Go camping. If I worked a Monday to Friday job and had every weekend off I think we'd probably buy a little trailer and go camping a bunch of times during the summer. I don't work Monday to Friday though, so it's not really worth it to buy a trailer. We do have a tent though, and we love camping. I want to make sure we fit it in this year. (Last year we went to an amazing park right on the ocean. It was an amazing weekend.)

Camping at Kejimkujik National Park a couple summers ago.

9.) Visit another province. New Brunswick and PEI are both do-able as a daytrip and there's lots to see and do in both provinces. (If we hit New Brunswick I'd love to eat at the restaurant Jesse from  Top Chef Canada works at!)

10.) Check out two museums. There are so many museums around here, we have a really rich history. My dad was a history teacher for years and I'm pretty sure he dragged my brother and I to every museum around when we were kids. I haven't been to most of them in years though and I think it would be kind of fun to go back and see them as an adult.

Anything exciting on your summer bucket list? Anything you think I'm missing?


May 8, 2014

Setting Goals

I've been to a few blogs recently where they've picked and posted their goals for the month. I think that it's a great idea, and it's one that I've decided to copy. (The Life of Bon was definitely one of them, but I know I saw it somewhere else too.) I know we're already a week into May, but I think it's still reasonable to set some goals for the rest of the month.

Goals for May

1. Take my lunch to work more.  I very rarely take my lunch. I work in a grocery store plus there are several restaurants within walking distance. But eating out gets expensive, and it's harder to control what you're eating when you don't make it yourself. I'd like to take my lunch a minimum of 3 times a week this month.

2. Exercise more. I've been doing better with what I'm eating. More fruits & veg and less fast food, now I just need to start moving more. My goal is a minimum of 2 half hour sessions on the treadmill weekly. (I know that doesn't seem like much, but I'm hoping to increase it gradually.)

3. Read one non-fiction book. I read the same type of book over and over. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't want to get caught in a rut. Plus, I'm doing a summer book challenge and one of the categories is biography, autobiography or memoir. This way I can get that one crossed off.

I think three is a good number to start with. :-)

Do you set monthly goals? Do you find you stick to them?

Have a great day!

May 7, 2014

Getting Messy

Way back in the day I did all my own layouts for my blogs -- graphics and HTML.

When I got back into blogging I thought designing my own layouts for blogger would be a snap.

I was sadly mistaken. And the whole graphic design thing (and I use the term "graphic design" loosely because... well, just because I am not talented or educated in that department) is not at all like riding a bike. I've played around some, but then I get frustrated and I give up.

Then I go on the hunt for free pre-made templates that I like. And for a while I'm happy. But it's not mine. Does that even make any sense?

I decided I would save up all my pennies (well, nickels I guess, we don't have pennies in Canada anymore...) and splurge on a custom design. But then I started worrying that I'd pay $50 to $100 for something and end up tired of it in a month. Or that it still wouldn't feel like mine.

So, long story short, I've decided to try my hand at designing something myself again. Things might look a little wonky around here for the next day or so. But please don't let that scare you away!

EDIT: I think I'm done! Please let me know if you see anything that looks wonky. :-)


May 6, 2014

Tunes on Tuesday

Today's Tunes on Tuesday post is going to be a little different. I'm not going to go with one of my pre-determined topics because I'm still way too excited about the concert I went to Sunday night.

The opening act was a young lady named Victoria Duffield. I had never heard of her. I guess maybe I had heard the name, but I didn't know any of her songs. She wasn't horrible, but she didn't wow me at all either. She seemed like an odd choice to open up for the Backstreet Boys actually. Fifteen years ago she would have been a great choice, and I probably would have really enjoyed it.

The Backstreet Boys were awesome of course. Thanks to Brittany I had a floor seat less than ten rows back I would say. I get a little nervous on the floor since I'm so short but I had a great view. They did a good mix of their new songs with the old classics. The show had a ton of energy, but at the same time the guys seemed relaxed and like they were having a good time. (Maybe when you've been doing it for 21 years full stadiums of people screaming don't make you nervous anymore?)
My favourite song of the night was Show 'Em What Your Made Of. I enjoy it when I'm listening at home or in the car, but I absolutely loved it live.  
When they sang We've Got It Goin' On it totally brought me back. I remember falling in love with them watching the video on Much Music and I remember how excited I was getting their CD for Christmas that year.
And finally, I'm going to share an accapella version of my favourite song of the new album, Permanent Stain. (I prefer the album version but I thought this was kind of different.)
And even though this post is already a million miles long, here are some of  my favourite pictures from the night:
I only took my little camera, so the pictures aren't awesome. I wanted to spend less time taking pictures and more time enjoying the concert though, and it worked. I don't feel like I watched the entire concert through the screen of my camera, but I do feel like I got some good shots to help me remember the night.
What's the best concert experience you've ever had? Is there anyone you'd really like to see live that you haven't?

May 5, 2014

How was YOUR weekend?

Happy Monday! Today actually wasn't too bad as far as Mondays go. Probably because I don't actually work Monday to Friday so weekends aren't quite as big a deal in my life. Work went super fast, and J is making supper. Win.

My weekend was pretty fantastic too.

Saturday was one of those days I really loved my job. I think I've mentioned that I'm really not supposed to blog about work. (Social media policies and all that.) But, this is good stuff, so I'm going to share anyways. This weekend my store donated barbeque supplies for a charity barbeque and myself, the store manager, and our community room co-ordinator did the barbequing and serving. The weather was gorgeous (I got a little burn on my arms!) and the people were all fantastic. So much fun!

And then of course there was the concert Sunday night. Our seats were great and those five guys put on an amazing show. More about that tomorrow. :-)

Hope you had a great weekend, and that your week got off to a great start!


May 4, 2014

Pretty Freaking Exciting

I have seen the Backstreet Boys every time they came to Halifax.

When the tickets went on sale a couple months ago I was pretty disappointed (okay, devastated) when I didn't get a ticket. But Brittany came through for me. A friend of hers upgraded her ticket and Brittany convinced her to sell it to me. I totally squealed when I got the Facebook message, I may be 31 but I'm still a fangirl at heart.

The concert is tonight. How am I going to get through the next nine hours?!

This is from a couple years ago. I'm in the front in the denim skirt and Brittany is in the back between Nick & Brian. 

Have a great day!