Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eiffel Tower Anniversary!

122 years ago today was the opening day for the Eiffel Tower!  (Um, that sentence sounds really weird.  Ha.)  And in 53 days I get to see it in person!  I'm so pumped.  I'm going to be doing a giveaway on my blog, once I finally update my shop with some new items (smaller items) and for every item you buy (they will vary in price but nothing will be higher than 15$!  And the more $$ you spend, the more entries you get!) you will be entered into the draw.  I think I might have three winners?  Anyways, I'm going to be picking up a bunch of stuff in Paris, Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Milan, Cinque Terre, and wherever in Switzerland I end up!  And I'll be giving away a bunch of awesome stuff.  I'm not sure what that will be (obviously... since I haven't gone yet, ha.) but it's going to be great!  Haha.  Anyway, I will have more info about that soon!  & It will be going on the entire time I'm away, too.  ANYWAY, I should go finish getting ready!  Keith said he's taking me out to dinner to celebrate.  I'm not sure what we're celebrating... he said he'll tell me later.  Ha.  Here are some more photos of the Eiffel Tower for you to look at!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Take a Walk in the Park Day!

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day!  I cannot wait to go walk through the parks in Paris.  Here the ground is still covered in snow (not that I mind!  I love the snow!) but it's really nice & warm out today.  It's 4 degrees!  Haha.  (I'm really not being sarcastic.)

So speaking of walking & parks & dogs (let's pretend I was just talking about dogs...) on Friday we thought we lost Squirt.  Ahhhhhhh that was bad!!  Haha.  She's never been missing before... if anyone is every out front with her and forgets to bring her in, she stands by the front door and waits for someone to let her back in.  We tore the house apart looking for her, looked all over in the backyard... started searching up & down the street.  I was just bawling my eyes out, haha.  Keith came over and the second he opened the front door, I heard a little bark go.  I ran upstairs towards the sound, and she was sticking her little head out from underneath the dresser.  One of her balls was under there, and she tried to get it and ended up getting stuck.  Or was just hiding.  Ha.  Either way, we found her.  Ahhhh but I was so scared!  Haha.  I thought my little Squirtle was gone forever...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Small Business Owner's Day! Giveaway with Campfire Chic!

Hey guys! The amaaaaaaaaazing Kam from Campfire Chic has generously offered to host a giveaway on my blog to help celebrate Small Business Owner's Day! How awesome is that? She is not only hosting a giveaway, but she also has a challenge for you guys to do. I'm so happy to be sharing this blog post with you guys, it's amazing! Thanks so much Kam!


Happy Small Business Owners Day!

It's Kam from Campfire Chic again :) Today, I'm here to celebrate Small Business Owners Day with you...and do a giveaway! I know you heard from me only a few short weeks ago, but I just can't help myself! I love this project and think Holly is nuts a genius for taking it on.

So, Small Business Owners Day is also known as Mom & Pop Business Owners Day, and it celebrates all the little guys out there :) Yes, from the cute diner down the road, and the hardware store on Main Street, to the online marketplace seller.

Holly usually posts about how she celebrates the day. I'm doing that, AND issuing you a challenge, PLUS hosting a giveaway for all you small business owners, or those looking to own a small business one day!

Here's your challenge: Project 3/50

Essentially, the challenge is to visit 3 local, independently owned shops in your town (or online, or wherever you happen to be) and spend $50 at these stores. I don't mean $150, I mean $50 total for the month. You know you can do it.

Here are some ways I do the 3/50 Project:
Latte art. Taken at Kaffa in Orange, CA
 Skip the mega-coffee shop...
...and stop in at your local cafe in the morning to grab your favorite beverage. While the price may be a few cents more than the mega-store, you're helping your community...heck, you may just fall in love with the comfy chairs, smiling faces, and latte art that you'll stop in a few times that month. Total: $20

Le boyfriend settling in between the stacks at Bookman in Orange, CA
 Close your laptop and head to the local bookstore.
I'm talking about the stores named Spellbinder and Pages in Time, not ones that have a giant section just for 'New Teen Paranormal Romance' (it's an actual section, apparently). As soon as you walk in, you know you're in a totally different world. Books aren't stacked neatly, there is a trade-in program, and all the books have that smell...the smell of books that are well-loved and waiting to be adopted by another owner. You won't have to pay for shipping, so let's say the total comes to $10

Taken in 2009 at Vista Farmer's Market in Vista, CA

Farmer's Market. 
Do I really need to elaborate on this one? The strawberries you buy from the supermarket are only good for one, maybe two days. The ones from the farmer's market last longer, are generally larger, and have a smaller eco-footprint considering they most likely came from within driving distance. Let's say you pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers, grab a sweet crepe to snack on while you walk around, splurge on a basil plant, and grab a jar of wildflower honey. You're looking at about $20-$30!

Wait, am I doing my math correctly? Did you just spend $50-$60?! Yep, Mr. Calculator doesn't lie, just stimulated your local economy while finding a great new place to meet your girlfriends on Saturday morning, scoring something to read on your lunch break, and shopping for some essentials. Look at you.

Now that you took the challenge, why not dive into the exciting world of being a small business owner?

One of the first things I did after opening my shop was purchase The Handmade Marketplace. I think it is a great resource and I still pull it out and glance through it for answers/inspiration. I'm not ready to part with my copy, so I bought a second one to give away to one lucky winner!

To enter:
  1. Let us know what local shops in your town you love supporting!  (1 entry)
  2. Check out Kam's blog Campfire Chic & make sure you're following it!  Leave her a comment to say hi! (2 entries)
  3. Follow Holly Knitlightly.  (1 entry)
  4. Follow Kam & moi on twitter. (1 entry)
  5. Tweet about this giveaway!  Feel free to use this:
    Celebrate Small Business Owner's Day with @CampfireChic & @Hllly and get the chance to win an awesome giveaway!
  6. Leave a comment with a random fact about yourself!  (1 entry.  Haha I can never get enough of these!)
You can leave a new comment for every time you enter!  Good luck to everyone!  And thanks again Kam for writing this awesome post! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Blog Idea!

Last night I hung out with De & Nat (Keith's sisters) and Carli. I had sooooo much fun.  I love them, haha.  We went out to eat & then just hung out at De's house later.  De, Nat & I are going to be starting a new blog!  I cannnnnnnnot wait.  It's going to be so much fun.  I've told a few people on twitter about it, but for everyone else... here are some hints about what it's going to be about!
Haha any guesses?  I'm going to buy the url for it in the next little while... I was wondering if any of you would like to help me out with designing the blog?  I know absolutely nothing about that kinda stuff... ha.  Unfortunately I have no $$ to spend on getting a blog designed right now, but I'll totally pimp out your website/blog!  Haha.  Let me know!

& happy birthday to Houdini & make sure to eat a handful or two of some chocolate covered raisins, it's chocolate covered raisin day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chip & Dip Day! National Puppy Day!

Today is an AWESOME day!  Not only did it snow last night (hahah everyone is so mad!  I seem to be the only one who enjoys the snow... maybe because I don't really have to go out in it.) but today is chip & dip day (yuuuuuuuum!  I loooove making dip for chips/crackers/veggies!) AND national puppy day!!  No dog could ever come close to little Squirty, but I love looking at photos of puppies!  Here are some cute ones I've found recently (this was really hard to narrow down, but the way!  I didn't want to leave any sweet little puppies out, ha!):
(so many more puppies here!)
Haha I seriously tried to narrow that down!  Ahhh, puppies are so cute.   Okay, and now for the chip & dip part!  I love making dip with equal parts sour cream & mayo, tarragon, dill, garlic, salt & pepper and I think that's all I put in it... but it's SO good.  I looooove tarragon.  & dill.  & garlic.  Ha.  Check out these other dips I found!  Let me know if you try any.
avocado yogurt dip by top of the apple
roasted red pepper dip by sea salt with food
spicy cheddar cheese sauce by the family kitchen
mediterranean 7 layer dip by cooking with my kid
loaded nacho dip by the family kitchen

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lists, Lists, Lists & more Lists!

Candy Chang
I have been wanting to make a "bucket list" lately.  Just a giant list of things that I want to do/see one day.  Something like the Day Zero project (101 things you want to do in 1,001 days) or those 30 before 30 lists (30 things you want to do before your 30th birthday).  Except I am picturing this list as a giant list... having well over 100 things on it, ha.  I think once I get my blog a bit updated (I want to have a blog roll section, a page for all of the holidays I've been celebrating, stuff like that...) I might have a section where I'll just add to this list.  The list doesn't exist, yet... but I am always finding things that I want to add to it!  I think if I keep it on my blog and mark things off as I do them (and document EVERY thing that I do, of course!  I'll create a blog post for every "goal" that I complete) it will keep me motivated.  Do any of you guys have a list like that?  I know any time I stumble across one while I'm reading blogs, I bookmark it... but my bookmarks are a complete mess... ha!  So leave me a link if you have a list like this anywhere!
a beautiful mess

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Potato chips were born of a cook's attempt at revenge

uncle buck & aunt doe by BeatUpCreations

I'm SO excited for Tim & De's upcoming wedding, and I'm so happy that I get to be part of it by being in the wedding party!  There are so many awesome things to do while we prepare for it.  I posted about the earrings that we're going to be wearing & some of the decorating ideas.  Pinterest has been my best friend lately.  (Okay, who am I kidding... it has been my best friend since I discovered it months ago, ha.)  They recently booked the date for their buck & doe!  I've been looking up games online to play at the buck and doe, and apparently it's mostly a Southern Ontario thing.  A buck & doe (or stag & doe, or Jack & Jill) is a big party a few months before the wedding.  They are usually thrown by the wedding party, people buy tickets (usually around 10$) and hang out at a hall all night with lots of drinks, food, games & music.  All of the money raised goes to the (future) bride & groom to help pay for the wedding.  

I've found some good ideas for games, but I wanted to ask you guys for some suggestions!  They're probably going to do a 50/50 draw, a toonie toss (take a big bottle of alcohol and set it at the end of the room, then put a piece of tape on the ground & people have to stand behind the tape and throw toonies at the bottle.  Whoever is the closest to the bottle at the end, wins it!  A toonie is a two dollar coin in Canada, by the way... haha not sure if everyone knows that!), stuff like that... but I was wondering if you guys had any ideas!  Any fun games to play!  Let me know!

Oooh and the winner to the year's supply of any flavour popcorn topping from Kernel Season's is Ilene!!  Haha.  Congrats Ilene!  Send me an e-mail with your contact info & the flavour you want & I'll send them all of your info!  Wooooooo!  (I'm so jealous, haha!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day! (With MuchLoveIlly!)

Hey guys!  Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day!  The fabulous Ilene from Much Love Illy wrote this AMAZING guest post for me and it was just perfect for today's holiday! Check it out!:

So to follow along with Holly's incredible holiday celebrations on this blog that she is so known for, I thought about a particular holiday that could be celebrated any day of the year. You're probably thinking, "Well, um, how then could that be a holiday?" Good question. I'm glad you asked. But before I reveal to you what the holiday is, I'll share with you the different ways you can go about celebrating it with me!
1. Start off with a good breakfast for yourself. Whether that means setting aside food for yourself the night before or making sure you have your fridge stocked up with yogurt or good fruit, you need something to kick start this holiday. Breakfast is the most often ignored meal of the day - which is totally understandable as our lives are incredibly fast-paced these days. Or maybe you are the type to hit your alarm clock more than once, you just run out of time to eat your wheaties. Either way, start off with breakfast. It's good for you.
2. Wear something that you wouldn't normally wear. Take a risk. Mix prints or textures. Pull out colored tights if you wouldn't normally rock them. Dress up a pair of jeans with some fun heels. Add jewelry or a scarf.
3. Dab on some fun lipstick or add that extra touch of colorful eye make-up. Spritz yourself with some perfume. You can even do the whole spray in the air and walk through the spritz of perform. Don't forget to twirl around 3x. It doesn't work if you don't do that. ;)

4. Listen to some upbeat music on your commute to work. Blast it from your radio speakers or in your ipod headphones. I suggest some GLEE, Adele, or even some dance music! If you commute by train or bus, dance if you have room.

5. In the midst of your crazy day, find some alone time. Plan on 15 min. or an hour - whatever you need. Bring a book with you. Maybe a journal or your ipod. Turn the phone off. Don't text or answer calls. Spoil yourself with a coffee beverage or dessert. Schedule a hair appointment or a mani/pedi. Again, did I say don't answer your phone? Um, yes that includes twitter.

Okay, have you picked up on the holiday yet? Any guesses?

What is it, Ilene?! It's a holiday that I believe should be celebrated every single day. Obviously, in our ever so (not) perfect world, we can't do every single thing in the list above every single day but I believe that the idea of it should be a part of our every day lives. Speaking as a woman, I think many women out there can testify how sometimes our worth feels like it can be diminished by media, people's opinion, and our self-perception, yet we too ourselves have to look at ourselves in the mirror and say outloud (above our own thoughts), "I am beautiful! I am of value! I am amazing!"

And believe me, I am also a realistic person. We don't always feel that way. I understand that. We are also emotional people who feel things deep - and life can be hard and it can hurt. But I think we can trump that. We are bigger than that. And we can help each other in it too. I think that we can encourage not only ourselves but also other people, encouraging, complimenting and loving. W can do it together.

Care to join me, friend?


Much Love,
Ilene (aka illy)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I love my friends!

Friday night De threw a birthday party for Tim.  I just wanna post some photos & show you guys how AWESOME my friends are!  Haha.  It was so much fun.
birthday boy!!!
Hahahaha only candle they could find.
bahahaha I was really into dancing?
Hahahaha so much fun.
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