Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favourite Albums of 2014

10. La Roux - Trouble in Paradise

9. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

8. Lykke Li - I Never Learn

7. Wish I Were Here Original Soundtrack

6. The Fault In Our Stars Original Soundtrack

5. Karen O - Crush Songs

4. Taylor Swift - 1989

3. Alt J - This Is All Yours

2. Broken Bells - After the Disco

1. Beyonce - S/T

What were yours?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice - the shortest day/longest night of the year. Here, the sun came up at 9am this morning and it's going to set at 5pm, rising again tomorrow around 9.
But today is sunnier and warmer than it has been lately, and because of the ice fog we had earlier this weekend, everything in town is covered in beautiful hoar frost. I just had to go out and take some photos of my beautiful frosty town.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yes Please By Amy Poehler Review

Yes Please by Amy Poehler is part memoir, part humour, part essay, and part self-help/advice book.
I really, really loved it. I love Amy Poehler's work. I think she is a very funny lady. I've loved her since she was on SNL, and I love her on Parks and Rec and I love her work with Smart Girls and I just think she seems like a stellar person, so I couldn't wait to read her book.
I read it slowly, savouring it, and finally finished last night. 

Yes Please tells stories from Poehler's life, from her childhood and youth, and her journey trying to make it as a comedian, actor, and writer as an adult. Some of the stories are funny, some of them are sad, and a few are startlingly honest. Poehler does not try to portray herself as perfect by any means. She comes across as very self-aware and reflective in the stories, and skillfully and humorously connects events from her past with anecdotes, and life lessons she's learned. 

Parts of the book reminded me of the writing of David Sedaris and other humour essayists, but mostly I was reminded of other autobiographies written by women in comedy: Bossypants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, Girl Walks Into a Bar...  by Rachel Dratch, and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. In all of these books the women write about their lives and their jobs with humour and honesty, and because they are all professional writers their voices and personalities come across. There's a section in Yes Please where Poehler admits she read all of these and other books to gain inspiration to write her own. I love all of those women, and I love all of those books, so of course I loved this one, too. 

My favourite parts (in no particular order):
- the apology chapter
- The essay on Parks and Rec annotated by Mike Schur
- the guest-author chapter
- the beautiful chapter about Tina Fey, which I loved so much I actually photocopied it to share with a friend.
- the part about time travel
- the wonderful advice throughout, including but not limited to: 
"...The motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! not for me."
(which Poehler applies to childbirth but can also apply to anything in life involving other people)

"Forget the facts and remember the feelings."

"Other people are not medicine."

"if you...start crying in an argument and someone asks why, you can always say, "I'm just crying because of how wrong you are.""

and one I loved so much I had to share it on my instagram:

If you are a fan of Amy Poehler you have to read this book. If you enjoyed any of the books I listed above, you will like this one. If you're a fan of humour, biographies, women, or self-help, I think you'll like this one.

It's a great book, I loved it. You should read it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Christmas Spirit

My sister loves Christmas a lot. She starts getting excited as soon as Halloween is over. She's one of the only people I know who doesn't think malls start decorating and playing holiday music too early.
When we were younger, she would wake me up by coming into my room singing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," then the two of us would go jump on our older brother's bed singing and taking his blankets away until he got out of bed.
I have so many good Christmas memories of the two of us writing notes to Santa, making gingerbread houses, laying awake on Christmas Eve and talking when we had to share a bed because relatives had come to visit, and watching Love, Actually together every year since that movie came out. 

But by far our favourite tradition is decorating the tree at our parents' house together. We started the tradition when we were kids and our brother got older and stopped helping, and eventually moved out. (I decided not to post a photo because I've shared enough unflattering childhood photos of us from the past.)
Lisa moved away when I was still in school and was away for my teen years. She always came home for the holiday but we didn't get to decorate the tree together any more. The first time we got to decorate together again was in 2009, in a new house, but it was just as fun as when we were kids. We played Boney M's Christmas album (a family fave) and sang along to Paul McCartney's "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time."

Ever since then we always decorate together, even if it's over Skype, like in 2011 and 2012 after she moved away again. 

But it's always more fun when we can sing together, drink Bailey's and hot chocolate, and laugh at all our bad homemade ornaments from when we were kids. Well...Lisa does most of the my ornaments.. but it's still fun!

My senior year of high school I wasn't doing so well. Some bad things had happened and my Christmas spirit was completely non-existant. My sister wasn't planning on coming home, I was working at a mall (which is the world's most soul-sucking job around the holiday season), I was just down.
Then one day at school, I went to the student council room to drop off my books and pick up my lunch and my sister came out of nowhere to surprise me. I started crying and immediately felt better than I had in weeks. 

When we aren't together on December 25 it doesn't feel like Christmas. And when we are together, even if it's more than a month before Christmas (like yesterday when the above photo was taken) or a month after (like my first year of university when Lisa was backpacking around Europe and we didn't celebrate Christmas until January when she was back in the country.) my Christmas spirit is alive and well. I will belt out Boney M, wear antlers on my head, and endure teasing about my childhood art skills. 
I'm so lucky to have a best friend who has known me my whole life, who knows me in a way nobody else can, and I am so thankful for the traditions we share.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Copying Pinterest Outfits

I love Pinterest for the lesson ideas and recipes I can find on there, but I also really enjoy looking at street style photos and fashion blogger's outfits and using them to inspire my own wardrobe. I try not to spend too much time pinning cute clothes I could never afford or obtain, and instead pin stuff that's similar to things I own, or outfits I could imitate the style of.
I chose six outfits from my Pinterest and copied them using items I already had in my closet. I think these outfits are perfect for fall/winter, a time of year I find myself feeling less creative when it comes to getting dressed.

Look 1:

My copy: 
shirt: Wal Mart
pants: Smart Set
sweater: thrifted
boots: Target

Look 2:

My copy: 
dress: American Eagle
shoes: Zellers
jacket: Stitches
tights: ?
sunglasses: old frames from my grandma, prescription lenses

Look 3:

My copy: 
sweater: thrifted
shirt: ?
skirt: thrifted
tights: ?
boots: Target
necklace: etsy

Look 4:

My copy: 
dress: Urban Planet
scarf: Wal Mart
tights: ?
belt: came with an old skirt
boots: Target

Look 5:

My copy: 
sweater: my mom's from a few decades ago
jeans: Bootlegger
mocassins: Payless Shoes

Look 6:

(couldn't find source)

My copy: 
dress: Forever21
cardigan: thrifted
tights: ?
boots: thrifted
scarf: gift

I hope these outfits inspire you to try copying some outfits you like.
Follow me on Pinterest if you'd like @
Thanks to Stephen for taking the photos.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

This was our jack-o-lantern this year - a guitar/bat that Stephen designed and carved (after I scooped out the guts and scarped the insides clean.)

Here it is all lit up. 

And for our costumes this year we were Jake the Dog and Lady Rainicorn from Adventure Time.

We handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters at home, then went to a Halloween party.

I hope you had a good Halloween and Happy November!