Tag Archives: monthinreview

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!

kikiproject: high five!

happy saturday to you!

reaching the five month mark of this year’s kikiproject is not that exciting, in and of itself – next month’s date will be worth sparklers and firecrackers because july 9th will mark the half-way point of the project. however, i do have fun things to share since our last update!

1. record at least one positive thing every day in my gratitude journal/excel spreadsheet. one is no longer enough! i can find at least 2-3 reasons to be thankful and/or serendipitous happenings for each and every day!

2. babysit little e and cutie c two times so that the brother and sil ana can enjoy a significant date or special event. yes – done and done! on saturday, may the 12th, we all enjoyed our second special day together. the report is here! [like project #12, below, i would love to do as many prolonged aunti-babysitting days as possible this year. the sky is the limit!].

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! this month, it seemed easier to achieve this target than the last two months – even on those quiet sundays.

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 added in one more! 2/5 now complete. remember this one?

mmm, that was tasty!

6. finish a minimum of six knitting projects. it was a prolific knitting month, at least in terms of completions!

for grandma’s bday, i made her a scarf (project #3):

the lace + variegated yarn (with a thread of sparkly silver!), up close…

…and g’ma trying on her scarf at sole!

then i made a pair of socks (project #4) for mom for her bday:

sock #2, which mom received four days after opening…

…sock #1!

7. read seven books, and hopefully more. this month, i read book #5, “something blue,” by emily giffin (third giffin in a row!). this novel was my least favourite emily giffin, ever. it was all because of that darcy! surely, we cannot be expected to believe that our protagonist is going to transform herself from self-centred diva to mother teresa devoted and selfless mommy over the course of 300 pages! ugh! and i missed rachel. two stars. **

now i am into “she’s come undone” by wally lamb. i have read this masterpiece before! [some time pre-2004 because it is not recorded in my log book]. however, somebody left a copy in our lending library downstairs, and when i saw it, i snapped it up. i never read books more than once – so many books, so little time! however, i know that “she’s come undone” is one of the ten most powerfully written books i have ever read. and guess what – now that i am >100 pages in, i realize i recall…not a thing! it is as if i never read “she’s come undone” before! perplexing – you’d think i’d remember a few details? oh well, all i need to know is that i will love it!

8. perform eight random acts of kindness. two more! 4/8 wrapped up.

r.a.o.k.#3: my second cousin s. had a baby in late may. this is her second child, second little boy! i put together a gift package for her:

a handknit sweater for baby g; two books for big brother g; a TH gift card for the parents!

now, the reason this is a r.a.o.k. is because i certainly did not have to feel obligated to give cousin s a present – we have not seen each other in years (in fact, i had to ask her sister for the name of the baby’s father, s’s longtime partner), and we have never been particularly close, due to our age spread. but, i just got the vibe that this was something i wanted to do. so, i popped by their place with a gift bag which i left on their porch…

surprises!

…and the next day, cousin s left me the nicest thank you message on fb. she really appreciated the gifties. it’s fun to organize unexpected treats!

r.a.o.k.#4: buying 42 jars of babyfood on tuesday with part of the savings from the great may grocery challenge!

can baby food “loom??” i felt dwarfed when i snapped this pic!

9. watch nine different and new-to-me tv shows (either online, on dvd, or on tv). oh, gawwwwd!! this particular project has turned out to be the bane of my existence. if someone would like to volunteer to watch four more new shows for me, and report back to us, i will take you up on the offer, pronto! what can i say, i am just sooo not into watching tv!! for new show #5, i am once again going to default to a show that little e and cutie c shared with me: octonauts!!

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this show is like an adventure show for kids: there’s a little under-the-sea action, mild humour, and each episode (watched on youtube on aunti’s computer) is only ten minutes. by far, our very favourite episode is octonauts and the humuhumunukunukuapau’a – mostly because of how long it took aunti to memorize that word! rating: ** (two stars) except for the humu episode which gets ***1/2 (three point five) stars!

if need be, i am fully prepared to force little e and cutie c to watch tv with me and show me four more new shows! argh!!!

10. refrain from chewing gum for ten months. gum? what is this gum of which you speak? [hey hey, i AM at the half-way mark for this particular challenge…which has turned out to be not so much of a challenge. that being said, it is kinda cool that we’ve passed mid-way and are on the downward stretch…]

11. abstain from drinking diet pop (any pop) for eleven months. all right: i have thought long and hard, and have solidified my action plan for what i am going to do when december 9th rolls around, and i have earned the right to drink again. i am not going to drink again. well, actually, i am going to have one big-a$$ diet coke ON december 9th. and then no more – not even a drop! – until after the disney marathon. and by “after,” i mean there will be the biggest american-sized diet coke waiting for me back in my hotel room for post-race celebrating.

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~ it’s a cruel, cruel world:

valumart, you mock me with your fabulous coupons – wah!

12. meet with at least twelve different friends for a social get-together. three more outings this month brings our total to nineteen! it so happened that my get-togethers were all with couples!

outing #17: with stephen + rhonda for a morning trail run!

outing #18: with jeff + katie at s’bux!

outing #19: with paul and annette at s’bux!

twenty-one socials seems to be within reach!

from now ’til our next update, i would love to finish up one project completely – desserts or r.a.o.k.s maybe??!

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30 day photography challenge

day #9: someone you love someoneS you love

…because, as if i could choose!

i took this (slightly blurry) picture of a professional photo…it’s as close as we are going to get during this photo challenge to having a professional quality photo on the blog!

the fun factor

how, exactly, do you quantifiably measure “FUN?”

something that i find to be an absolute hoot may leave you scratching your head in bewilderment. then, you may be laughing uncontrollably on the floor while i will be looking at you like you just landed from another planet. i have no answer to this FUN question – all i know is that i had a lot of FUN in march.

you’ll remember from here that my theme o’ the month was to make march as FUN as possible. how’d that go? well, i’m going to give this goal a rating of A-. here’s the reasoning…

first, off the top of my head, are five occasions that were a lot of FUN:

1. taking off for toronto on a friday aft to spend time with little e and cutie c.

2. massively beating my knitting deadline for the blanket donation to mcc.

you will see the blanket again in MAY when it's auction preview night!

3. seeing “the vowwith nicole and “salmon fishing in the yemenwith andrea. *sigh.* i really love movies.

4. shopping with mom (and dad) at conestoga mall and getting aviator sunglasses!

LOVE!!!

5. drinking a free coffee the size of my head at tim hortons.

next: how FUN was the store? mega! three reasons to note:

1. the arrival of new apparel! merchandising spring/summer clothing is even more fun than unpacking the winter gear. this year, the colours for both shoes and tops/bottoms are very bright. the displays positively pop! it’s been fun to gradually switch over from cold weather wear to the summer selections.

2. completing markdown reports – ok, i may be in the minority, here. most of my colleagues intensely dislike the process of going around and pricing stickers onto items that are now on sale. but, i genuinely like this task! (type a, much??). i look at it as a chance to play treasure hunt, and also i like taking the opportunity to organize and straighten while i’m at it (obsessive/compulsive, much??). it’s very satisfying to cross off each selection with a fresh, black sharpie marker (and it’s FUN to use the sticker gun – haha!).

3. social connections: i love my tuesday eve and sunday morning shifts when i see clinic members and run club participants, respectively. over the years, some of these regulars have truly become friends, and it’s so nice to have these weekly opportunities to chat. and convince them to buy things. i really like meeting new customers, too, and finding out what brings them to the store – everyone has a different story. conversing is such an enjoyable element of my job!

blogging was very FUN this month. by switching to posting with no fixed schedule, no expectations, no pressure, i can genuinely say that each and every blog entry was a delight to compose. and that’s the way it should be!

our march weather was certainly FUN! when you can wear shorts, go jacketless, and see flowers blooming practically in front of your eyes, that is a good, good third month of the calendar year.

one last observation – i really had many moments of personal happiness this month. i chalk that up to being mindful of living in the present, and really making an effort to consciously note “hey, i feel really happy right now.” [not being overly-jacked up on s’bux via pacs contributed to a calmer brain, i have to say!].

i could go on and on, but i’ll leave a few highlights to share when i do my 12 days of kiki monthly review on april 9th.

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let’s talk links and linkbacks (that is when you can click on a word in a blog post and it will take you to a link – a previous blog post, a reference on a website, a news story, etc). today is a very linkback-heavy blog post!

do links/linkbacks bug you? some bloggers get all ragey over multiple linkbacks in a blog post. personally, they don’t bother me at all.

do you ever click on the links/linkbacks? on other blogs, i confess that i never click on a linkback. i do like to include them when i write because they help to flesh out that day’s story. the reader has the choice to click or to keep on reading, so i don’t think they’re that big a deal. (for bloggers who make money off page clicks, i do see the business angle behind the linkback practice. more page veiws = more income, for them. that is not my case!).