Tag Archives: coupon of the month

so many shades of “chocolate!”

yesterday, i didn’t have to be at the store ’til 3:15 p.m., and mom and dad were in town, so it was the perfect day to tackle a project that has been sitting on the back burner for a while, now. how long? well, “paint a bathroom” was supposed to be a new experience for last year’s kiki project!

actually, i better clarify: i want dad to paint the condo casa master bathroom while i boss him around – but, hey! i am willing to pay for the paint! [dad is an extremely talented painter/wallpaper-er; he really should have started a sideline business in his retirement, that is how skilled he is].

i’ll show you the space i want painted:

view from the doorway

[i was going to clean up and remove all personal objects, then thought, “this is not a photo shoot for a magazine spread; let’s make the scene look realistic!”]

to the R of the doorway is the shower (i took this photo while standing in the bathtub!)

bathtub to the L – it has whirlpool jets which have been used exactly twice in 7.5 years.

the rear of the tub area/the entry door to the bathroom

we shall consider these to be the official “before” photographs!

~*~*~*~*~

dad picked me up at 11:30 a.m., and we headed straight to heer’s decorating in nearby belmont village on gage avenue (we showed up to belmont, not realizing the store had moved!). yes, i could likely get cheaper paint at home depot or rona, but the intention is that this paint job will last for years, so i’d rather go higher quality and be 100% happy with the look and results.

let’s get paint-picking!

deep down, i would love to paint the bathroom pumpkin-y orange. however, that shade would wreak havoc on skintone, i do believe. so my next favourite choice is chocolate.

anyone else feel overwhelmed when presented with too many options?!

after round #1 of eliminations, these were the contenders…

…which were further reduced to TWO hues.

i went back and forth, back and forth, debating between “roasted coffee beans” and “chocolate sundae.” positive karma exuded from each paint chip name, so that was no help (coffee or chocolate? both gave me happy vibes!).

in the end, CHOCOLATE SUNDAE was the winner – i figure i really am wanting that rich, dark brown shade, and chocolate sundae will provide just that look.

two pails of benjamin moore – as seen on “cityline!”

the total for the paint and other essentials like the roller and bin-things came in well under my anticipated budget. happy painting, DAD!

~*~*~*~*~

after the stress of choosing the paint, we needed to relax and fuel up! so the next stop, for lunch, was…

dad’s favourite of the fastfood burger chains!

[today’s post would have been perfect for the letter “H” in the blogging from a-z challenge!].

cheese!!! (actually, both of our burgers were cheese-free!)

one burger each, and we shared fries + onion rings.

[DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS MEAL SCREAMED, BEGGED, CRIED OUT FOR, SORELY DESIRED A LARGE DIET COKE????? i apologize for yelling, but water was just soooo lacking in this situation. moving on, now that i have that tantrum out of my system…].

we had a great time, and as predicted, never shut up once during our two hour outing.

thanks again for your help with the paint, dad! here, let me give you something as a thank you:

12 brand new golf balls!!!
:D

yesterday’s time with dad made me realize that i really do miss the outing of the month project of 2011. maybe it will need to be re-instated in 2013?!

~*~*~*~*~

what colour is your bathroom? boy, i am nosy this week, aren’t i?!

eleven for ’11: the year in review

HAPPY NEW YEARS DAY!!!

i am kicking off 2012 by completing kiki project #41. yes, the very last new experience of the year. you’ll hear about it on tuesday because i have to tell you about new experience #40 tomorrow! in the meantime…

there’s nothing like goal setting to motivate me. and for 2011, i pulled out all the stops. not only did i challenge myself to enjoy 41 new experiences [the kikiproject’s dates are actually january 9th, 2011-january 8th, 2012  but that is close enough to new year’s to be included in our discussion], but i also brainstormed eleven goals to complete in 2011. let’s review! [the recap of this year’s edition of the  1970kikiproject will be coming to the blog on sunday, january 8th]. and because i ♥ love and adore ♥ using a four star (****) rating system, that’s how we will evaluate the eleven for ’11 resolutions. (for the original eleven for 11 post, published on january 1st, 2011, click here!).

#1: blog every day. rating: ****

this is the goal of which i am second-most proud. i have a blog entry for every single day in 2011. full disclosure and loyal readers will remember that i skipped october 3rd…but then i went back and wrote an entry and dated it october 3rd. can i confess that i am super-proud of moi-même? truthfully, some days i didn’t feel the blogging vibe, some weeks i had to plan very carefully to fit in blogging time…while on other occasions, creative words would rush into my brain and i would jot down phrases literally while standing on the sidewalk so that i could later transcribe them into blog posts. yea, i’m happy.

#2: travel. rating: **

i enjoyed one major trip in 2011 – my vacation in aruba, back in march. and that was it! to stretch the definition of “voyaging,” i drove up to goderich for a day in july, and to really push the limits, we could call aunti wednesdays in toronto “travel days” – but i don’t think so! one more major trip would have been nice, but c’est la vie, and i am just very grateful to have been able to get to aruba this year.

#3: knit a blanket for the mcc relief sale. rating: *

i will not have a blanket ready for may 2012, i am 94% certain. but i do have the kit! (from the september knitter’s fair). i made other knitting projects priorities, and didn’t push to get going on this blanket. however, i do anticipate having it ready to donate for 2013.

#4: build a set of eclectic dishes. rating: **

i don’t have a whole set, per se, but i did add in some pieces:

do any of these look look familiar?!

we’ll call this one a work in progress, and a “to be continued” in 2012!

#5: keep getting up at 5 a.m. rating: ***1/2

yes! i stuck to this wake-up time, naturally. i never use an alarm clock to wake up – not sure if that fact has ever been shared. now, to be fully honest: the last couple of months, my body has been rousing itself closer to 6 a.m. than 5 a.m. and a very few times, my watch has read 6:xx when i actually roll out of bed (due to working more evening shifts this fall, and also the frenetic pace of retail in december wore me out a bit more). however: since my watch shows 5:xx when i am getting up, i am counting this goal a winner.

#6: run a half-marathon in 1:44 or faster. rating: *

haha, i clearly remember typing this goal and knowing at that time that this was a farrrr reach. and that’s ok – we need challenges and big dreams in life. i get one star because at least i ran/run!

#7: keep a gratitude journal. rating: ****

2011 concludes my second year of keeping an excel spreadsheet gratitude journal (i ♥ excel and prefer it to word documents). for every single day, i recorded either a good thing that happened to me, or something i did to help someone else have a nice day. the act of consciously typing out/reflecting on the day keeps me grounded in what matters in life, and keep me positive. and even on the worst days, there is always something – even miniscule – for which to be thankful.

#8: fulfill my coupon of the month gift. rating: ****

yes!!! yippee!! jump for joy!! this idea, without a doubt, without question, bar none, is the project of the year which makes me feel the greatest sense of satisfaction and of which i am most proud. i’m not going to link back to every single post about my meals or coffee breaks with dad, my shopping outings with mom, or my babysitting times for the brother and sil ana, but they happened. of special note: mom and i had eleven different locations where we shopped (march was modified to be a coffee break with dad). i had thought that dad and i could visit eleven different food establishments…but we ended up gravitating to starbucks and i actually like how that routine comfortably evolved. and you know that it goes without saying that my time alone with little e and cutie c swells my heart.

#9: try running in vibrams. rating: 0

haha, i totally and completely forgot about this goal! i walked quite a bit in my two pairs of “finger shoes” over the warmer months, and wore them to the store on occasion, but never ran in them! i need easy access to moab, utah more barefoot-running friendly terrain, that’s the ticket.

#10: reach 1oo friends on facebook. rating: ****

as of the time of publication, i have 124 facebook friends – score! a 25% increase over the goal number? that’s good! i was sorely tempted to just massively send out a bunch of friend requests so that i could hit 141 (41 for my age) by december 31st but didn’t want to appear desperate. i really like how my “collection” of friends encompasses many eras of my life: from grade 7 & 8/high school friends to running friends to family, etc.

#11: cook more: rating: 0

yes, the word “more” is vague, and professional life coaches would circle that word in red and have me quantify what i mean. however, when you start at zero, “more” is clear enough! basically, i cook no more today than i did 365 days ago. and i didn’t have any culinary surges during the intervening months, either. cooking is not my game. in fact, i baked even less as 2011 went on, so maybe i need a negative star rating for this goal!

in summary, here is the biggest a-ha i take from 2011:

if a goal is important enough to me, i will make it happen.

simple as that. overall? i am content with the results from 2011. if every goal had been achieved at a four star (****) level, i’d be over the moon boring, right?!

:)

your turn! what was a 2011 goal that you achieved and one that fell by the wayside? many bloggers have already posted their “2011: the year in review” entries – i love reading these reports!

starbucks – yes, movie – no

...on the twenty-eighth day of december...

backtracking to wrestling boxing day!

we had the busiest boxing day of my career at the store! it was a fun work day – zero returns (just easy exchanges), money card redemptions, and shoe sales! the day sped by and before i knew it, it was time to go to…

starbucks!

…and meet up with dad for our december outing of the month.

here we are!

we got to the buck just after 4:30 p.m. the place was packed! just as we were thinking we’d have to stand squooshed in a corner, a guy left a table, and we nabbed it lickety-split.

except, there were no available chairs anywhere! so dad and i both had to squeeeeeeze onto the banquette. my backrest was a tower of boxes!

see?!

good thing dad and i get along! our conversation time was just as great as always. i can’t believe this outing concludes all of my coupon-of-the-month projects for 2011!

~*~*~*~*~

i got four votes via blog comments, and mom telephone-voted in regards to whether i should un-decorate (de-decorate?) the condo casa or watch the time traveler’s wife boxing day evening – it was a unanimous decision in favour of the movie night. i was only too happy to go along with that decision. however…(long story short) when i tried to play nicole‘s dvd, i couldn’t because i needed a security code to play it via itunes, (insert much messaging with nicole here), then the security code would not work, then i got the message the offer had expired!  [the good news is that nicole has access to a regular dvd version, and will lend that to me, asap!].

“someone up there” was sending me a message, i would say – i guess i was meant to keep up my christmas dis-mantling tradition, after all! so i put on some christmas tunes (last chance!) and got to work…

i like putting stuff OUT a lot more than putting it all AWAY! what a downer of a task.

see you next year wise men/snowmen/jingle bell! (and it will not be before november 11th!)

when will you/did you de-christmasize this year? i realize not everyone does it on exactly the same date every year! like some of us.

last time you were at starbucks? our uptown location was even open christmas day!

happy wrestling day!

on the twenty-sixth day of december...

hello, friends!

i hope you are enjoying your christmas vacation. we had a green christmas day this year, and i didn’t mind a bit!

wrestling day was the brother’s name for BOXING DAY, way back when. we both thought it very funny!

today is the day i traditionally take down my christmas decorations. they’ve been up for a while this year! the condo casa looks so cosy and so homey with all the red and green accessories on display…i will miss this festive look. think anyone would notice if i still had xmas décor up on may 2-4?!!

i may not get the decs down today, though: i’m back at the store for boxing wrestling day promotions and sales and returns -> hopefully, not too many of that last one [most stores don’t even take returns on boxing day although we do]. then after work, dad and i are going out for our outing of the month! it was either today at 4:30 p.m., or new year’s eve at 5:30 p.m.! i was tempted to pick new year’s eve, actually – nothing like leaving our outing til the VERY last possible minute! dad and i are going back to starbucks today because that’s where we’ve gone for the last three months in a row!…and it’s pretty much the only coffee shop open in uptown waterloo! i anticipate a good visit – and we’ll have fun discussing yesterday’s family christmas! (come back tomorrow for the recap!).

i could de-christmas-ize the condo casa tonight, but nicole let me borrow her dvd of “the time traveler’s wife” and i’m quite excited to watch it asap, esp while the book is still fresh in my mind.

did you go boxing day shopping today, and if so, did you nab any great deals? and did you notice how so many retailers had mega-sales before christmas this year? it seemed like the time between american thanksgiving and christmas was one big sale season!

tonight’s plans: maintain my dismantle-xmas tradition or view the movie? vote, please!

friday photos: walking in a (springlike) wonderland

on the sixteenth day of december...

yesterday was not your typical mid-december day in southern ontario! first of all, it poured rain for most of the day. trust me, i am not complaining – i would rather have rain than snow. you don’t have to shovel rain (not that i ever have to shovel anyway, haha!) and you don’t have to worry as much about treacherous driving conditions [anyone else freak out just a little, though, when you’re on a rainy highway with transport trucks surrounding you??]. secondly, the temperature yesterday climbed to 11 degrees celsius (that’s 51.8 degrees fahrenheit, u.s. friends!). that is not a record, however: 12.9 is the record high for december 15th, from back in 1975! (i learned that very important cliff claven-type fact information on the radio, at the store).

no skating allowed on the rink in uptown waterloo, yesterday!

after work, i decided it was the perfect time to fulfill another annual christmas tradition: go see the lights in waterloo park. some people may think you need gently falling snow and crisp night air to enjoy the full effects of the light display. not i! i’ve frozen my bunz off enough in previous years. i revelled in an evening temp where i hardly needed mitties!

greetings!

the “wonders of winter” light display takes over all of waterloo park from the first saturday in december until new year’s day. it’s really quite impressive! in addition to the light displays, they play christmas music near where the animals are, there are horse-drawn trolley rides, and hot chocolate is available. i totally recommend it if you’re local and looking for a fun evening excursion.

well, at 5:30 p.m. on a rainy thursday eve, the park is not exactly hoppin’! there were a few other people out and about – and i saw one runner in shorts and a tshirt – but it’s been wayyy busier other years when the temps are minus-frostbite!

now, unfortunately, a point-and-shoot camera takes really crappy photos of lights in the dark. but here’s the best of the bunch!

this tree goes from dark ->1/3 lit->2/3 lit->fully lit + flashing!

there’s a “ring road” that goes around waterloo park…

candles line this side of the road; candy canes mark the other, parallel side

this castle marks another entrance...

another neat thing is that the lights are set up by volunteers. what a lovely sense of community and holiday spirit.

there's dora!

is this a "captain canuck," of sorts?!

inside this cute little house...

...you'll find santa and his workshop!

yikes! that santa’s a little scary, if you ask me! i think i prefer this guy!…

ho ho ho!

look! it’s a running moose!

...or a jiggly photographer!

right about this time, it started to rain again, so i hightailed it to a couple more displays, then called it quits.

"the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..."

swans right beside the waterloo park lake - very appropriate!

that was fun! and you know what’s cool? when i’m at home, if i look out the big, front windows of the condo casa, i can just see the edges of the light display!

after my xmas-light walkabout, i got groceries, came home and cleaned the toilets (i wish i was joking), and did a load of laundry. hey, even when it’s all christmas all the time, around-the-home duties call!

what’d you do last eve? esp if it’s christmas related, do share!

locals: have you been through waterloo park yet this year? i hope to take a boo through at least one more time!

rank these household chores in your order of most favourite to least favourite: groceries; laundry; cleaning (dusting, bathrooms, etc); vacuuming. me = groceries, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning. i genuinely don’t mind the first three! but bathrooms + dusting? yuck-o!

new experience #36: introduce mom to the wonders of stitch n kitsch

on the fifth day of december...

i have been to stitch n kitsch.

mom and i have been to craft shows.

mom and i have never been to stitch n kitsch!

on saturday, mom met me at the store at 4 p.m., at the end of my shift:

thanks, paul, for snapping our pic!

then, all we had to do was meander up king street, and we were at…

ever since i attended the spring show, i have been D-Y-I-N-G to take mom to stitch n kitsch. and, we planned eons ago to utilize this shopping excursion for our december outing of the month!

i was so happy when i saw the show was on ’til 6 pm:

the saturday show ad/poster

we wouldn’t have to rush around – hopefully, two hours would suffice!

right inside the entrance - they sure know how to make me feel at home!

(yarns from studioloo)

we’d been inside about 47 seconds and walked two feet (seriously) when i spied a must-have purchase from black orchid designs:

the vendors with my....

retro 50's pin-up girls hair clips!!!

gah! these are so me. thanks, mom, for the treat!

remember how i couldn’t wait to get back to the king eddy for bread pudding? (which was a bust). well, ever since the spring, i have not been able to get the thought of the tie-dyed undies out of my head. we made a beeline to that booth…

at the next show, in the spring, i am totally getting the tank top...

...and i am now the proud owner of tie-dyed bikinis!

dance of joy!! thanks, mom! [yes, i am spoiled].

mom and i stuck to our tried ‘n’ true shopping method: a tour around the perimeter; a spin around the interior; a second circuit to catch what we missed the first time.

if i showed you everything over which we exclaimed, we’d miss christmas, this post would be so long. here are highlights:

christmas tree decs! a whole tree in handmade ornaments would so rock.

love those walnut pin cushions - and the trees look fresh out of a dr seuss book!

what captured my attention on this pottery bowl is the fine detailing of the tree branches. gorgeous.

i SHOULD have got a wooden tree for my collection - the small was only $6!

(from bearface design)

more ornaments! cardinals spotted!

handknit goods!

how adorable is this re-fashioned onesie? too bad the nieces are past this stage!

check out the unique rims on these mugs! it's unfortunate that i do not need a mug...

haha - how much more appealing is "jam" than "cream?!" what a creative marketing term!

and my zen moment of the day:

each necklace features a different a-ha-ish quote

on our second loop, mom made two purchases:

we cannot show what's in the bag!

i can only say that we picked up adorable, wearable surprises for little e and cutie c.

i had to snap a photo of sidney’s (chum chum press) cards. after my own christmas card making experiment, i have total respect and admiration for hand-designed paper creations!

love the clear and crisp designs!

mom bought a pack of notecards, and sidney graciously posed for the blog!

mom has a *thing* for paper goods -> a love which i inherited!

on our way out, i allowed myself to drool and linger over the yarns. then i spotted:

manly yarn??!

how hilarious!!! i love it! then, mr manspunyarns proposed a fantastic photo idea!

let's recreate the yarn label...in real life!

see, this is exactly why i love stitch n kitsch – for the omni-present humourous quirk factor. the whole vibe of the show just jives with my being.

i asked mom to provide a few words about her first stitch n kitsch; here’s what she had to say:

What a wonderful experience!  Cathy has been talking up the Stitch N Kitsch since she attended in the spring: “Mom, you so have to put it on your calendar.”  There were unique, and quirky, and delightfully artsy items, all demonstrating a fine-arts level of expertise.  We went through once, and found items we just had to get (e.g. tie-died undies.)  We went through twice and found items that somehow we had missed the first time.  Would I return?  In a heartbeat.  Already, I have  the spring dates tucked into the must-transfer-to-the-2012-calendar file.  I know that my favourite shopping partner will accompany me.

you betcha we’ll be back in the spring! and i’ll be wearing my undies and my hairclips!

holiday craft shows/bazzaars: what have you experienced? while one of a kind is totally impressive (over 800 vendors!), both mom and i find it rather overwhelming in scope -> we hit the wall of creative absorption before we get through even 1/3 of the offerings. stitch n kitsch is perfect: one hour’s worth of delightful goods to behold, right in our ‘hood. perfect.

i swear this is not a repeat post!

let’s see…

outing of the month – check! √

with dad! check! √

meet-up at the very busy uptown waterloo starbucks! check! √

a perrier for the coffee-still-stinks kiki? check! √

cheers!

[dad and i have established a comfortable routine, here! september = starbucks! october = starbucks! november = starbucks! any guesses on what we’ll do in december?!]

now, hold your horses right there! because saturday afternoon’s after-work outing with dad included a special, surprise guest!…

KAREN!

group shot!

yes! this would be the very karen who won the 500th blog post giveaway!

now, i’ll back up a bit: our friendship with karen goes way back to the early-mid ’90’s – karen and the brother were bf/gf for a few years. then we lost touch, and it’s been a good fifteen years since we last saw each other. it was only this summer that karen and i reconnected! thanks to six degrees of separation + the blogworld (me -> tricia -> marnie -> karen) karen found me, and we have been corresponding ever since, leaving comments on each other’s blogs, emailing from time to time – and we are friends on facebook!

i swear it is complete coincidence that karen won the giveaway – you saw how it was conducted with scrupulous attention to fairness – but i was so tickled because i knew that karen would be in town this weekend (visiting from ottawa with her hubby and three kidlets) and that we hoped to meet up. karen could receive her prizes in person! [and we could capture the exchange for the blog!].

the official handing over of the tshirt and s'bux gift card!

[haha, how perfect – i just now clued in that karen got her s’bux card IN starbucks – how wonderfully appropriate!].

anyway, karen had generously offered to take me out for *coffee* when she found out she won, but dad would have none of that and treated us to our drinks. thanks, dad!

karen's drink: chai tea latte? tea chai latte?; dad's drink: it was frothy and pretty, i know that!

we had such a good time catching up! karen has a warm and bubbly personality, and is an excellent conversationalist. and i had forgotten how very funny she is! the three of us had a really wonderful visit. then, karen had to leave to get back to her family, so dad and i stayed on and chatted some more.

and – hey hey – did you note that saturday was ONLY november 19th!! no eleventh hour outing of the month this month? well, actually…you know that i am a big planner, and earlier this week i had looked at the rest of november, and realized that unless dad and i went out on saturday, an outing just wasn’t going to happen, given both our schedules. [plus, there is the little matter of dad’s 70th bday this coming weekend – special celebrations await!].

thanks, karen, for fitting in our reunion meet-up! now it’s back to fb and blog visits – until your next trip to waterloo!

have you ever won a giveaway? family joke: dad has won a contest ONCE (golf tourney giveaways where everyone wins eventually don’t count), and this was back when we were kids. he won a door. we have never let him forget that. i, on the other hand, won a fabulous gift basket of cosmetics from my close and personal friend jeanne beker, herself. i will share the full story another day!

~*~*~*~*~

november thankfulness:

(for sunday november 20): yesterday i was thankful that my grandma (dad’s mom) and i enjoy a weekly phone visit every single sunday. this was a new year’s resolution about eight years ago – and it’s still going strong!

mom gets a new experience!

originally, mom and i had made plans to go to the pottery sale up at RIM park for our november outing of the month. we’ve been to the spring sale twice (2010 recap here, 2011 recap here) but never to the fall sale. the spring one is easier for us to get to because it’s just a five minute walk away, up at the rec centre, but we were really looking forward to checking out the fall sale to compare and contrast the two venues and seasons of the year (more christmas-themed items this weekend, perhaps?).

that plan was made before we knew that lululemon had arrived in town!

we pretty much simultaneously dropped the pottery plan like a hot potato. friday eve, we would go explore the new lulu location!

i make it a priority to hit up lululemon whenever i’m in toronto. my favourite location is the queen street west store, although i’ve also been to the eaton centre and sherway gardens locations.

mom, on the other hand, has never set foot in a lululemon. quelle horreur!

we kept our date time of friday eve, 6:30 p.m. i think this was our first late night evening shopping outing [neither mom nor i are night hawks and with this time change, anything after 5 p.m. is *night* – although i have noticed improvement since i started working more night shifts!].

see, it was black out. definitely *night*.

mom dressed perfectly for the occasion!

that is a genuine lulu hoodie

see, that hoodie used to be mine, but it never fit right, so i gave it to mom a couple years back and she now lives in it she has gotten good wear out of it! i told her she had to wear it for our outing.

the requisite self-portrait!

no lulu gear on me - it's too cold for a jog bra and shorts!!

two seconds – ok, ten seconds – later, we were at lulu! because it’s freakin’ across the street from our condo buildings!!!

mom outside the shop - it's a temp location so there is no proper signage

we staged a dramatic photo opp to capture mom’s foray into lulu-land:

mom is a good sport, too!

now, to be honest, the waterloo location is a little bare bones, at this time. it’s lacking the ambiance of the queen west store. but there are a couple of lulu-y touches. for example:

representing that om vibe...

nice visual displays...

working in tandem with moksha yoga! cool! -> note to self about class times!

we timed our visit perfectly! the store was nearly empty:

never EVER would you see ANY toronto location with this few customers!

we received excellent customer service – friendly yet not overbearing. mom and i tried on some bottoms: pants (mom) capris and shorts (me):

i LOVED these 3/4 tights - note the adorable ruffle on the side!

we floated around the store, admiring the product:

love the print on that bag!

fun water bottles!

and, as always, we yakked non-stop.

now, my goal was for mom and i to visit twelve different locations for our outings of the month. in order to not mess up the plan, we were very strict and walked into the mall -> walked into lululemon -> walked out of the mall. we visited no other stores (because we’ve already done a waterloo square outing) thus qualifying friday eve’s shopping trip as a different experience.

mom liked lululemon! but she did say that to be honest, she prefers the fit and feel of her fitness wear from the store. ah, what a loyal mom have i!

i did explain to mom that there seem are two camps regarding lululemon wear: you either love it and live in it (i ♥ my items although i don’t have that many) or you think it’s overpriced and chichi and boycott it. to each their own! all i know is i am glad we have this lulu store in town, even if it is only temporary until the end of january. i shall return – and i bet mom will, too!

what are your favourite brands of fitness wear? i have never been disappointed in nike, adidas or lululemon brands!

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november thankfulness:

(for saturday november 19): yesterday i was thankful for a healthy computer mouse. all of a sudden, no warning, my wireless mouse crapped out on me friday morning. you know i am not at all a techie. i played around, couldn’t fix it (not dead batteries as i just changed them two weeks ago), had to leave it to go to work. i called neutron computers, and the always wonderful terry-the-techie gave me a couple suggestions. i tried them when i got back home. the mouse was still dead. mom and i went out for our outing, and after getting home, i persevered with any ideas i could think of, and – finally! – after shutting down my laptop and rebooting, deactivating and reinstalling the mouse a few times – victory! the mouse came back to life! what a sense of accomplishment [bad, bad mousie and please don’t fake-die on me again].

like father, like daughter

dad and i squeezed in our outing of the month just in the nick of time [<- never did see that movie – did you? – which is too bad because i ♥ johnny depp].

we had left our plans for our outing kind of loosey goosey, and only confirmed our decision saturday evening. dad chose to go with our plan a, as in an afternoon dessert outing. that was just fine with me. i do hope we get a chance to do plan b in november or december, though, because it will make me laugh!

dad also chose the location for our break – that’s only fair since he was paying! dad opted for starbucks. again, fine by me! this was the same spot we ventured to wayyyy back in february for that month’s get-together! (although that was a morning break).

official october outing-of-the-month photo!

dad has a new jacket! new to me, at least. he won it in a golf tournament late this summer. i made him stop in the lobby and pose like he was a model for the sears catalogue:

dapper dad

dad is a good sport.

then we walked the five minutes over to starbucks. we barely got seats! luckily, my neighbours were at the neighbouring table, so they watched our table for us while we got our treats.

i knew exactly what i wanted. there were no pumpkin scones left, however [this location usually sells out of scones early in the day, i have noticed. next time, dad and i are going to have to make our starbucks date for 6 a.m.]. dad had a tougher time choosing. i went with my second choice, the blueberry bar [i really order it just for the base layer and the crumb topping – at least the blueberries are not too plentiful]. dad chose the butter tart and this espresso cupcake-lollipop thing on a stick.

spidey says nom, nom, nom (yes, i was in a silly mood!)

we tasted a bite of each baked good, but then stuck with our own choices.

i made dad rotate the cake-lolly to just the right angle for the photo - did i mention dad is a good sport?!

what a satisfying visit! over the 1.5 hours we were together, dad and i covered a lot of ground: i got my fill of talking sports (my leafs are in second place!); dad brought me up to date on the stock market; we also solved the woes of the world, discussed family and personal matters, and – of course! – talked about running (a passion we share).

thank you for being our photographer, random stranger at the next table!

yes – notice that dad and i are each enjoying a PERRIER. i am STILL finding coffee disgusting distastefully icky, and dad is mindful of his caffeine/java intake.

we also enjoyed watching the steady stream of people coming into and exiting out of s’bux while we were there. it was non-stop! at times, the line-up was out the door. starbucks has got a good thing going in uptown waterloo.

thanks for the great outing, dad! [and i will be following tim connolly’s impact with the leafs].

why do you think starbucks is so popular? imo, they have perfectly marketed a desired ambiance, image, and culture. it’s not thanks to their coffee that they are so wildly popular.

if that question is too deep, what’s your favourite starbucks treat or specialty drink? the chocolate oat bar would be my third sweets option. i have never had a mocha-frappa-latte-cino!

:)

the biggest lesson learned in october

hey friends! happy day-before-trick or treat-day!

i know it’s not the last day of the month – but i want to do a halloween-themed blog post tomorrow, so we’re going to do a recap of october today.

we’ll talk about the easy stuff first.

books: i gave up on the girl with the dragon tattoo [and am very glad i did, after y’all told me the rest of the story. eesh. not my cup of tea], and am now into the time traveler’s wife. it’s quite enjoyable, and i plan to stick with it [so far]. i was a bit confused about the time travel thing for the first few chapters, but it’s coming together in my brain the further i read.

outings of the month: checkmark (the brother and sil ana), checkmark (mom)….and hopefully checkmark DAD today!! true to form, we’ve left our father-daughter plans to the almost-last minute! one of two options should come together this aft or this eve, and i will report back on tuesday!

ok, let’s get to the meat of this blog post:

this month i learned that i do not enjoy making proclamations.

remember back here, early in the month, when i said i wasn’t going to blog daily any more. you were all very supportive and kind with your comments…so i skipped monday, october the 3rd…then proceeded to blog every day after that. well, do i ever feel foolish.

(source)

so i hearby PROCLAIM (uh oh!) to avoid making bold statements or promises on this dear blog o’mine. it’s different to set monthly goals or pursue my 41 new experiences for this year – at least in my own head i see the difference. i think it’s the potential for drama that rubs me the wrong way. for example: i always share new experiences AFTER i complete them. i don’t go about saying, “i’m going to meet canada’s best marathoner tomorrow!!” or “i’m going to puzzle ’til i go bonkers” -> sharing when it’s mission accomplished is way more my style.

ok, so here’s the funny part to this story: since i only missed that one day – october 3rd – i completed a backdated blog entry for that day last weekend. the only person, to my knowledge, who saw it was lisa – she was the only one who left a comment, at least. the blog entry is here: DATE squares.

do you get it?? i wanted to do a play on words with DATE. because it really is the date of october 3rd that matters – not that the squares are not fantastically tasty, mind you.

that means that every day in 2011 now has a blog entry. you can decide whether backdating one post is cheating or not. i say no because i pre-blog, so really what’s the difference between pre- or post- dating??

anyway – october flew by. november has got to be one of my two LEAST favourite months (the other is march) but i’m sure good times will abound, nonetheless! my focus is going to be on christmas shopping! and finding new experiences – planned or spur-of-the-moment.

what’s one lesson, big or small, that you discovered in october? OF COURSE you know i’m going to mention that it was confirmed to me that future shop SUCKS (i have too many blog posts on the subject to link back to just one).

least favourite month of the twelve options available to you? november -> at least with march, we anticipate spring. november -> winter’s gloom looms.

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COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN:

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