Monthly Archives: July 2012

the main july project – revealed!

as you saw in yesterday’s photos, i have been having a real blast so far, this month. have i ever happened to mention that i ♥ summer?!

:D

from july 1-22, i had one main focus that received more attention than coffee outings, movies, and shopping. while manager paul and annette enjoyed three weeks of sights such as this…

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and this…

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…i got to be the acting manager at the store!

see, this is (partly/mostly) why i did not want to feel any *pressure* to blog this month: i wanted to able to focus on my responsibilities and embrace this career opportunity. [ok, i also wanted to just run around (literally and figuratively) and be social and read smutty novels on the rooftop, that is true].

so how did the job go?

quite simply, i loved it.

some days were frantically busy: for example, one shift, i had to ship out all of our nike track and field spikes -> it ended up being ten boxes worth of product…and then that same day i received IN to the store nine boxes of three NEW shoe styles; that day flew by, i can tell you that. i completed tasks associated with merchandising (new swimwear and compression sock displays!), clinics (evaluations reminded me of doing report cards in my teaching days)…and, of course, customer interactions and transactions!

i did not miss blogging because i got to write creatively as part of my managerial duties: each tuesday, we send out an email to our run club members, so i wrote that newsy update each week. i also sent out a staff email every thursday. it was fun to have a focus for these emails, yet have the freedom to write in my own style (i think my blog voice might have carried over to these weekly updates!).

another highlight was co-ordinating the 20 minute challenge event for our store on july 18th:

some of the participants – photo courtesy of my friend (and blog reader) sue!

we had more participants than anticipated, the weather was divine (sunny and warm) and everyone seemed to have a good time (free hats and snacks always make people happy!).

paul returned to work on monday of this week, so now i am back to being the assistant manager – and back to working my regular monday and friday shifts at theOTHERstore. i so enjoyed the manager opportunity!

ok, this blog post just took me eons to write -> i have severely lost my blogging voice and touch. whew! i need more blogcation time. i shall see you again on thursday, august 9th for the next kikiproject update!

please share a july highlight! although i must say that thanks to visiting with my real-life friends, and blog-commenting with my blog-friends, i do feel in touch with a lot of you!

july thus far: a pictorial review

greetings,friends!

i hope you’re enjoying a fabulous summer! how nice that we still have over a month until labour day [i am trying to think positively, here; internally, i am wailing a bit because summer has peaked, imo]. AND!…five months today is christmas day!!

i know that if i start chatting about the month of july, i am going to get on a roll and not shut up…so à la twitter [i DID tweet a couple times this month!] and instagram [about which i have not a clue, i so need someone to show me what exactly instagram IS] we are going to go with lotsa photos and minimal words today. [tomorrow's post is going to be the opposite: we'll chat more and look at maybe three pictures].

here are selected july highlights…

monday, july 2nd: movie outing with mom and dad to see “moonrise kingdom” at the princess – ***1/2 stars, i say! (and thanks, zo, for the recommendation). this pic is not the best, dad was in a rush to get our tix!

tues july 3rd: “whoo-hoo” walter came to the store to pump up our clinics for the waterfront 1/2 n full ‘thons; here are liz, walter n me mimicking the race poster!

thurs july 5th: i actually BAKED!!! i don’t know who was more shocked, me or the oven. i made bran muffins, no raisins, i hate raisins, it’s impossible to find a bran muff without raisins. those are choco chips on the top cuz i forgot to mix ‘em in!

sun july 8th: shopping with mom – a laughing buddha design is going to be my next tat. (i don’t want this EXACT buddha – this is just to give me an idea!)

that mall outing resulted in the biggest shopping splurge in at least a year! i had some gift cards to use, and there were huge sales. fave items: tie between the feather earrings ($3.99! madonna’s line!) and the “just smile & wave” tshirt (love punny tees!)

tues july 10th: my mail-order, FREE olympic cheerios tee arrived! love the graphic/slogans! would it be folly to wear a 100% cotton shirt in one of january’s disney races? i know the answer. guess i’ll wear it post-race.

tues july 10th, eve: i met sarah (of the pink shoes) at s’bux! we celebrated that she now has a teaching CONTRACT with our local school board. yippee!

as we were sitting outside, along came our friends yang and dan. dont’cha love dan’s shoes? those are the new nike air pegasus+ 29s – only dan can carry off that neon look!

aunti wednesday! (july 11th): a seriously PERFECT day. while little e and cutie c were at their day camp, i sat outside the local indy, hip coffee joint with a rooibos tea, toronto life mag, and literally put my feet up while catching some rays.

thurs july 12th: i tagged along on dad’s weekly market trip!

how’s that for a zucchini?!!

fri july 13th: my free cheerios flipflops arrived! i am set to cheer on our olympians! (i wonder if my free reebok tee is ever going to show up??…) are these flips now my LUCKY footwear since they showed up on friday the 13th??!

also on the 13th: i eagerly inherited this *cast-off* chair from mom and dad – dad has never liked it, so they replaced it. adds a great modern touch to the condo casa main room! and it’s comfy!

july 14th: saturday night at the movies/my worst-lit photo ever – out to see woody allen’s “to rome with love” **1/2 stars. i DID LOL…but “vicki christina barcelona” was better!

sunday july 15th: s’bux with juanita, from whom i am borrowing the *hot* trilogy of the summer!

tuesday july 17th: cathie and i met at david’s tea after our work days were over. even though it was 38 degrees C out (felt like an oven!) we had hot teas! (the air con was on pretty high!).

wed july 18th: 20 minute challenge night at the store! participants received a FREE blue cap for coming out and running or walking for 20 minutes! such a fun time on a hot and sunny evening!

thurs july 19th: william’s coffee with sharon! we planned this meet-up in less than 72 hours…that qualifies as “impromptu,” for us!

friday july 20th: “magic mike” with bff debbie! very entertaining!…and educational, since i have never seen a strip show! ** (two stars)

sunday july 22nd: pizza sunday! almost as good as ice cream sunday. this slice had zucchini, mushrooms and green pepper – yum! it is rare that i desire salty over sweet!

…and later: sunday night at the movies! “what to expect when you’re expecting” -> cute! ** stars [sidenote: bangs are FINALLY long enough to tuck behind my ears, again]

mon july 23rd: i was gifted this fabulous tshirt, straight from denmark! the sequins and 80s vibe are 100% me – and a tshirt is my #1 favourite type of souvenir! you will find out who gave it to me tomorrow…

tues july 24th: a mid-day gabfest with vfbf joanne at vincenzo’s – we had a totally delightful visit – only we coulda used three hours instead of one!

et c’est tout!! july, would you please SLOW DOWN for the remaining days we have left!!?!

~*~*~*~*~

a completely random question of the day: i’d like to take a survey, and i am seeking your input. for this year’s 1970kikiproject, challenge # 11 states, and i quote, “abstain from drinking diet pop (any pop) for eleven months.”

my question for you is this: is the following beverage a pop, yes or no?

zevia: found it at a health food store. it is carbonated, has no artificial sweeteners, and is sweetened with stevia

i have my opinion, and i’d like to hear yours. would it be cheating on the project for me to drink a zevia? [additional note: i DO use stevia in my coffee, every morning].

see you tomorrow!

kikiproject: we’re half way!

in all the excitement over hitting the mid-way mark of this year’s 1970kikiproject, i nearly forgot that today is also my six month birthday! i’m going to have to do something special to celebrate!

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how are you? i hope your july is swimming along nicely. i’m enjoying my blog break a little too much, various other pursuits and my Big Project, and the great summer weather. my tan is coming along nicely. i already feel a little rusty in the writing department, so bear with me if this post contains any spelling errors or dangling participles, please and thank you!

:)

so: the purpose of today’s post is to check in with our twelve challenges and see how things are looking now that we’re half way there

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1. record at least one positive thing every day in my gratitude journal/excel spreadsheet. this is a second-nature routine, just like brushing my teeth or putting on make-up. i think i even remembered to log my gratitudes on each day this month, and did not have to go back to the previous day, as has happened on occasion, in the past.

2. babysit little e and cutie c two times so that the brother and sil ana can enjoy a significant date or special event. this project is complete! (friday, march 16th and saturday may 12th were the two occasions). the brother and sil ana know, though, that they are welcome to call upon me, any time. since we still have six months left in the 12 days of kiki project, hopefully extended babysitting will happen again.

3. blog three times per week (monday-wednesday-friday). modified on february 13th to: leave a comment on a minimum of three blogs, every day. yup – no issues this month. i have enjoyed becoming steady blog friends with stacie during the past month – it’s nice to have another blogging buddy in my regular mix!

4. run four (point two) km…times ten. i did not accomplish this goal this month – and had no intentions of so doing!

5. eat five wildly decadent and delicious desserts. we are DONE with this project! remember in last month’s recap i said that i hoped to finish either the desserts challenge or the r.a.o.k category? i went with desserts!

treat #3:

saturday june 23rd: @ baskin robbins: choco chip ice cream in a waffle cone

i delighted in my baskin-robbins cone [their choco chip ice cream is still #1 on this earth for best ice cream taste] all by myself! [note: i really wanted a choco dipped waffle cone which was unavailable - i had to settle for plain]. while i do not support using food or booze to drown your feelings, there is certainly nothing wrong with contemplatively nibbling down an ice cream cone to mark the closure of a life chapter. it was the perfect antidote to soothe a heart that was feeling bittersweet and just a little sad.

treat #4:

sunday, july 1: a laura secord waffle cone dipped in chocolate and sprinkles, choco chip ice cream, enjoyed with mom at conestoga mall!

ok, this THIS, my friends, is what i have been lusting after this entire project! holy cow, was this cone fantastic. while i still place b-r choco chip above laura secord’s ice cream, the waffle cone is what put this afternoon treat over the edge. i would sit and eat the cone, sans ice cream, any time. and mom and i had such a great time chatting and laughing and dribbling ice cream all over ourselves our table. i anticipated with glee the return trip to the mall the next sunday…[hey, i *had* to pick up my lâncome order - it was necessary to pass by laura secord on the way to the bay...].

treat #5:

sunday, july 8th: again with the laura secord waffle cone dipped in choco and sprinkles BUT with choco peanut butter cup ice cream, this time!

i could seriously get used to sunday afternoon ice cream at the mall with mom very quickly! all week long, i was counting the days left ’til it was time for ice cream sunday, again. the choco pb cup was amazing – i cannot pick whether cone #4 or #5 was better. true to form, mom and i dribbled and dripped all over the place, yet again…and had so. much. fun.

thanks to this delicious desserts challenge, i have discovered that my #1 treat involves ice cream! i choose ice cream as a preferred indulgence over cookies, cakes, or salty anything, final answer.

6. finish a minimum of six knitting projects. i completed my $4 orange sweater on tuesday, june 26th – just in time for the heat of the summer!

i’ll pull it out for a cool summer eve!

it turned out just as i had hoped – fits great, looks like it was made in the 80′s, and the price of the yarn is a hoot.

7. read seven books, and hopefully more. i finished wally lamb’s she’s come undone and that puts me at six books in six months. at 465 pages, it was a bit of a push to finish mr lamb’s engrossing saga before today’s update.

as i previously explained, this was my second time reading this work of fiction – and can you believe, i remembered nothing, right to the very last page. ok, i lie: for some inexplicable reason, the only image that i recalled was that of a big hill – and yes, dolores moves into a rooming house on the crest of a steep hill when she moves to montpelier. too funny why that ONE detail would stick (??). anyway: she’s come undone is a heart-rending read at times, but it is an amazing novel and a real page-turner. what completely blows me away is that the novel is written in first-person, so dolores (our female protagonist) is the narrator…yet our author (mr lamb) is male. that a man could portray a woman’s thoughts and actions so accurately is completely captivating. i give she’s come undone **** and highly, highly recommend it.

8. perform eight random acts of kindness. i completed one r.a.o.k. this month which brings our tally to four of eight complete! now, this r.a.o.k. has to go in the record books as the mystery r.a.o.k. what i will tell you is that i did a nice gesture for a friend – it helps her as she preps for her own training challenge, and it warmed my heart to surprise her. i have ideas for the next four acts (although does that then negate the “random” part of the equation??) so we will see if i follow through on them, or if the universe throws surprise opportunities in my path!

9. watch nine different and new-to-me tv shows (either online, on dvd, or on tv). two more done! so we’re at 7/9 thanks be to glory.

show #6: numberjackslittle e and cutie c and i watched this animated british show on an aunti wednesday. ok…trying to be positive here, what can i say…it’s educational? will that suffice in terms of commentary?? sorry, but this is my least favourite children’s show we have watched to date – i did not *get* it! numberjacks is kind of suspenseful…there was some number-stealer guy…as i say, it lost me (how embarrassing). you do realize, of course, that if the little ones wanted to have a numberjacks viewing marathon, aunti would be right there, no question. * (one star)

you know what else is embarrassing…show #7! beginning on the canada day weekend, i have indulged in several episodes of real housewives of vancouver. of all the reality shows out there, real housewives is my second favourite series, right after top chef. i love rh of new york city the very best. how did vancouver measure up? well, the botox, fabulous jewels and extravagant lifestyles are similar to the other locations – nothing new in vancouver. in fact, there is nothing that marks the show as canadian (although it’s a little less polished, a bit more scripted than the american series i have seen). it’s just so funny to find yourself wrapped up in a completely mindless and irrelevant show – and wanting to watch more! if you’ve seen rh of vancouver, my favourite *character* is jody – she reminds me of a snooki who’s been around the block a few more times (example from episode three: jody wore her bedroom slippers out for drinks, to the confrontation with christina). *** (three stars)

10. refrain from chewing gum for ten months. this past month saw me desire gum on more than one occasion: once when i was cleaning the condo casa and once when i was blog writing, i really wanted to be chomping, snapping and popping gum with great vigour and abandon. this craving is a little perplexing since it had been absent for many months. [do you realize i can have gum again in only FOUR months from now?? not sure if i will, though...see diet coke below...].

11. abstain from drinking diet pop (any pop) for eleven months. like i explained here, i have 100% convinced my brain that being diet-coke free is a good, good way to be. to be honest, i am amazed (and more than a little proud of myself) that i am now six months clean – wow. i did experience cravings this month: for example, on the holiday monday (july 2nd), i sat out in waterloo park on a blanket…with a sparkly water. boo. i realllly would have loved to sip back a frosty diet coke.

here was the situation that made me drool the most, though: i was down in the fitness room for an early-morning x-training session, and my neighbour was also in there with her personal trainer. the personal trainer, had a 700ml diet coke in hand!! this was 6:48 a.m., might i add! anyway, the snarky part of my brain immediately chimed in with, “see! nothing wrong with a diet coke! the trainer has one!” it was all i could do to tear my eyes away from the bottle – but i did feel virtuous, have to say!

12. meet with at least twelve different friends for a social get-together. i did not get together with anyone new this month – but i thoroughly enjoyed repeat visits with sharon, and joanne, for example! so we’re at nineteen different socials, right now.

i’ll see you again on Wednesday July 25th…i already have updates/events/news/photos that i want to share with you on that date!

do you celebrate your half-birthday in any way? i so wish i could transfer my real bday into july…summer fits me much more than january!

anything exciting happen in your july so far? at the very least, you can tell me if you’ve seen a good movie!

it’s time for a blogcation!

a peculiar thought popped into my head late last week when the temperature soared and the humidex made it feel like it was 37 degrees out:

it’s too hot to blog and read blogs.

how bizarre! i can see if i felt it was too hot to lie out under direct sunlight, drink steaming coffee, or knit with thick wool yarn…but to feel lacklustre and lethargic about blogging-related activities? that is a first!

i’m actually glad i got this vibe…see, back in june i decided that it would be in my best interest to take a holiday from blog-writing once july rolled around.

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why?? there are three main reasons:

~ i want to avoid hitting blog burn-out -> longtime readers will remember that i posted a blog entry every day last year in 2011. achieving that streak was super fun – it was a creative marathon, if you will.  but then i hit a slump in january – the writing mojo lagged for a bit. i learned my lesson to be pre-emptive in taking a break – for us amateur, unpaid bloggers, this hobby should always be fun!

~ it’s primo vacation time -> i have a feeling a lot of you will be on the beach, at the ball park, lounging by the pool (if so, invite me over, yes?!)…not spending time with eyes glued to the computer screen.  and that is as it should be – let’s get out and enjoy the sunshine and heat and relaxed holiday vibe that is filling the air! [gina is my role model for this leave-the-computer-inside philosophy; she has mentioned before that winter is the time to devote more energy to computer projects, not summer!].

~ i have a major project lined up for the next few weeks (let’s add an air of mystery to our chat today!). i want to do a bang-up, A+ job without trying to balance blogging in there, too. i’ll share more details at the end of the month!

so: for july, i am going to post a six month kikiproject update on monday, july 9th [we're half way thru the year - zowie!] and regular blogging will resume on wednesday, july 25th. why the 25th? well, because it is then five months until christmas day!

:)

what i may do is experiment with more frequent contributions to facebook (i tend to just lurk-read and *like* other people’s status updates) and return to tweeting some twitters (twittering some tweets?!) – my last twitter comment (of the 236 i have ever made) was april 11, 2011. there’s an art to expressing yourself pithily within the confines of 140 characters!

[a note to blog-friends: i look forward to our continued visiting and chatting...except that it will all be taking place on your blogs! commenting is much less work than composing!]

bloggers: have you ever taken an extended leave of absence from your blog? i will admit to some feelings of trepidation: what if no one reads, ever again (well, i can always count on mom!…) or what if i don’t want to take up blogging again? i hope these fears are normal – and unfounded!

what are your vacation plans for july-august? i am not going away anywhere – and that is fine as i truly enjoy summer in the city, and i will make my escape in january!

happy canada day + challenge recap

happy canada day, canadian friends!

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because july 1st falls on a sunday this year, the retail world’s schedule is all topsy-turvy: stores are OPEN with the usual hours today, but everyone is CLOSED tomorrow, our store included. so, i will work today and enjoy a free day tomorrow!

canada day celebrations at columbia lake are being held today – any locals going over for the fun and games?? we have our annual loft-y rooftop bbq this eve, and when the fireworks show starts at 10 pm tonight, i’ll have prime viewing from the condo casa windows!

~*~*~*~*~

well, today is the first day in 30 days that we do not have an official photo of the day – the 30 photo challenge ended yesterday. and now we’re on to a new month! i july to pieces and hope we have a hot, humid, sunny month ahead of us.

tomorrow we will discuss july plans; today, we’re going to take a quick look back at the 30 day photo challenge – call it “the best and worst of,” if you will.

the top three favourite posts (i like when i can make myself chuckle as i blog-write!):

day #11: what’ll it be, what’ll it be…

day #13: as random as you can get

day #14: the eyes have it

the three entries that sucked were not that exciting:

day #7: unas manzanas -> i discovered i’d rather photograph scenery, shoes or people than fruit in a grocery store!

day #16: you can imagine a waterfall, ok? -> some anonymous person left a snarky “zzzz” comment on this one!

day #29: zero shades of grey -> i hate it when a plan fails to come together!

the two most labour-intensive days:

day #6: towering baby food -> building and dismantling my baby food wall took a good 20-30 minutes

day #18: classic -> arranging my shoe-flower was a half-hour job!

two entries that came together effortlessly:

day #5: look down, way down -> i knew i wanted to shoot this photo right from day one

day #22: the look of love -> first shot, and the emotion in the photo surpassed my hopes

one fun entry:

day #1: self-portrait -> i enjoyed making silly faces!

one major disappointment:

the unreliability of my little camera!

final thoughts:

i am super glad i took on the photography challenge. i expanded my vocabulary (bokeh! sunflare!) and i liked having a specific assignment to pursue for each day, yet still having lots of creative license to interpret as i wished (some days more than others!).

i thought we were presented with a good variety of subjects to go out and chase down. all scenery or all technical terms would have been boring.

i do not think i improved my skills, per se, but i did put more thought than usual into lighting and photo composition – i will try to keep these photography elements in mind from here on out.

there are a number of photo challenges out there if you just google “30 day photography challenge;” i would be interested in trying another one again some time…like, in a few months!

happy sunday, happy holiday!

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