YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

Smek For President: Review

Oh J.Lo, how I love you.

It’s hard to give this book a real review explaining why I liked it and what I thought about the themes found inside when all I really want to do is quote all the funny parts to you. I’ll end up doing both, most definitely.

As I’ve mentioned on this blog at one point or another, Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday and anything that is remotely related to it is automatically my favourite thing in the world. I don’t make the rules that’s just how it is.

smekforpresident

Summary from Goodreads:

After Tip and J.Lo banished the Gorg from Earth in a scheme involving the cloning of many, many cats, the pair is notorious-but not for their heroics. Instead, human Dan Landry has taken credit for conquering the Gorg, and the Boov blame J.Lo for ruining their colonization of the planet. Determined to clear his name, J.Lo and Tip pack into Slushious, a Chevy that J.Lo has engineered into a fairly operational spaceship, and head to New Boovworld, the aliens’ new home on one of Saturn’s moons.

But their welcome isn’t quite as warm as Tip and J.Lo would have liked. J.Lo is dubbed Public Enemy Number One, and Captain Smek knows that capturing the alien is the only way he’ll stand a chance in the Boovs’ first-ever presidential election.

With the help of a friendly flying billboard named Bill, a journey through various garbage chutes, a bit of time travel, and a slew of hilarious Boovish accents, Tip and J.Lo must fight to set the record straight-and return home in once piece.

It was a little harder for me to get into Smek for President (you know, like reach that point where it doesn’t feel like you’re reading words anymore and are just experiencing the story) but it was a delightful read. I feel like the plot was less crazy than The True Meaning of Smekday as the setting remained the same the whole time and the reader wasn’t getting introduced to all of the characters this time around although it did have a pretty hilarious, spoilery twist that I found hilarious and perfect. You’ll know it. It’s even illustrated.

The novel made up for any of that by being classically random in the most ingenious ways. Our 7th grade selves that were known to sometimes say “I’m so rANdoM xD TACOS!!” have got nothing on Adam Rex’s genius. It’s example time now:

  • We’ve got the complete rules to Stickyfish which are actually coherent and could be adapted to the real world just like JK Rowling’s creation of Quidditch
  • A friendly billboard named William “Bill” Board
  • A hoverbutt
  • A boov not understanding the concept of “I can’t wait to do this thing” and explaining that you indeed will have to wait
  • Guns that turn everything blue
  • Some poomps, pardon my language
  • An appearance from “Rihanna”
  • The museum of noises

In short, read this book then come back and agree with me! (Or not, you do you)

Laces for Necks

Let’s have a looksee at all the necklaces that I own, shall we?
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This is my classic, tried and true staple. It’s silver, it’s simple and it’s blue, what more could I need. I am not a person that’s into big or flashiness when it comes to the jewelry I wear (all you will be able to find on my wrists are 2 hair elastics and a waterproof watch) and this matches with that aesthetic style perfectly! Blue is my favourite colour so throwing this around my neck makes a simple outfit a little cuter in my opinion.
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Do you heart this one too? This necklace is incredibly cute; the flower design on a glass heart is a really pretty pattern that’s perfect for making an outfit brighter. (I was going to use the adjective “smiley-er” but I don’t think that actually makes sense.)
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If we’re going for originality points, this one wins hands down. The context is that this was a craft at the summer camp we worked with and there were enough supplies left over for myself and some other staff to get one! I love this simple idea to death, this well-known lego piece can now be a statement jewelry item! It also makes the connection with my being an engineer as building things is a central theme there. Also it’s blue, can’t have a bad day with a blue lego piece swinging from your neck!
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I feel like a lot of people have this one lying around their house somewhere. I definitely first got this shark tooth necklace some time ago at the Museum of Nature and recently rediscovered it. It helps me feel hardcore when I wear it even though everyone keeps gently reminding me that I am a few degrees away from being hardcore.
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This one doesn’t actually get worn very often, mostly because it isn’t anything too special and it’s gold. I think having blonde hair limits the amount of gold or yellow that I can wear because if they’re not the exact same shade then it just looks wrong. I’m also very sure this necklace came along with my Secret Garden book someone gave me a long while ago.
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This is definitely my fanciest necklace, it was a gift for graduating high school! It is similar to the first necklace, keeping the blue gem, silver chain trend, although I think these gems are actually real instead of just glass. The shape of it signifies the path of my life that I’ve started as high school came to a close. I should wear it more often.

And there you have it! My vast collection of neck-themed jewelry! (read: 6) I’ve never been someone that wears them too often though, so they usually sit on my dresser until I remember that they exist!

Your turn! Let me know your favourite necklace that you own or even just favourite type of necklace that you’ve seen!

Road Trip Essentials

The most summer thing to do.

It may be quite late into the summer but it’s not too late to get in one last hurrah and plan a road trip for the fun of it! I’ll be going on one this coming weekend and thought it would be a great idea to outline all the essentials to keep this bon voyage from becoming a chorus of heavenly “are we there yet???”

roadtrip - destination

The first thing you’re going to want to decide on is where you’re going. The road trip could just be driving aimlessly but then there’s no real purpose. Some ideas are:

  • A place where a lot of your family lives
  • A city where a friend you haven’t seen in a while lives
  • Somewhere you’ve never been before and know no one and are just going for the adventure
  • A place from your childhood

Anywhere you’ve been itching to go in order to see the sights or catch up on life stories is doable as long as there are roads between it and you.

roadtrip - transportation

I may be blowing my cover as Captain Obvious here but it needs to be said. Not only does there need to be a human that can drive a car in the party of people going, there also needs to be a car that
a) will survive a trip of your desired length and
b) can comfortably seat everyone.
It will be no fun sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck for a couple hours and neither will a blast be had if you have to be in the middle seat scrunched between two other people. Think of these things beforehand and you’ll be thanking yourself by the end.

roadtrip - company

In the previous paragraphs, I’ve been directing this post towards one person – you. But it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Even though solitude is nice sometimes, to just drive without anyone around you either in the car or on the roads, the friends are what make a road trip memorable. Make sure you get along with anyone in the car because if there’s something between you guys, it’ll most likely be amplified in the tiny space of a moving vehicle. Best friends are great candidates because willingly spending this much time with them isn’t a chore, unlike family road trips sometimes end up being.

You’ll have plenty of time to talk, invent silly car games and just be around each other so if you don’t know your travel-mates’ life stories at the beginning of this journey, you just might by the end.

roadtrip - music

This deserves capital letters because most people have strong opinions on the music they want to listen to. And since there’ll be a lot of time to fill during any road trip, the songs are going to need to happen! It’s best to know what common ground everyone coming along has in terms of music taste, including everyone’s vetos. Of course, everyone should be willing to be flexible in order for everyone to be happy and I really don’t think you can go wrong with Disney!

Some people like creating playlists that have the theme of summer or vacation or road trips to set the mood so if anyone in the car has a knack for that, get them to go right ahead and you’ll feel 10x more legit.

roadtrip - snacks

Humans need to eat in order to live. [citation needed] Whatever your food situation may be, be it quick runs to the Timmies* every time you stop from gas, an entire picnic meal/dinner or easy access snack items, it’s important to have some on hand so that everyone stays comfortable and happy. Water is also an important thing to pack, although in this scenario you have to think of when you’ll be able to let it out.

*non-Canadians can calm their confusion, I’m just talking about Tim Horton’s, our equivalent of your coffee and donut shops.

roadtrip - entertainment

We’ve talked about music which is a large portion of car ride entertainment but there’s plenty of other things to do. As I child, I was the queen of making up something to keep my sister and I occupied in the back seat. I’m not sure how many I got from other places and how many I got from my brain but I will share them all willingly here.

The Alphabet Game – Very straightforward, you’re competing against or working together with everyone in the car in order to find all the letters of the alphabet in order on anything you see outside of the car. (stores, licence plates, road signs, etc) One of my rules is that you may only take one letter from a common location before you move on

The Rainbow Car Game – Same deal, look outside your window and find a car that is each colour of the rainbow in order (red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple). Orange and yellow and quite rare and you may find yourself stuck on those for a while

Car Count – This is a straight up competition. You each pick a colour of car and count every time you see one of that colour. Whoever gets the most wins! Heads up, silver and red are quite common.

Animal Name Game – this game definitely was invented by me. It involves looking for animals outside and then giving them a name. That is all. Good for going through the countryside and seeing cow after horse after llama. I’ve given a flock of birds names, they get quite silly at this point.

Bingo/Scavenger Hunt – If someone wants to put in the necessary effort of thinking up things you could potentially see on a road trip, they should definitely do so because that could be a lot of fun!

roadtrip - plan

Overall, you just really need to plan this kind of thing out. I know in the movies and books, they just jump in the car with their sunglasses and romantic tension and off they go but really it’s important to have a very good idea of certain things like

  • what route you’ll take
  • where you’ll stop and how often
  • where you’re going to sleep
  • who brings what
  • how long it’ll take

Everyone should also be aware of the plan so that it’s not up to one person to stress all about it. If you’ve got locations in mind in advance, there’s much less of a chance of something going wrong and therefore a higher chance of everyone having a great time!

A Few Final Things…

You should keep in mind the distance as well because sometimes a road trip can be too long and cars can start feeling like a sardine can – smell and all. The longer the trip, the higher the cost with food and gas and places to sleep so although it feels very freeing to just go, it won’t do to use up all your funds on this expedition.

And that is all of my knowledge about road trips, please put it to good use and tell me about any road trips you’ll go on in the future or have gone on and loved. It’s good to enjoy the summer while you can because school is just around the corner (small gasp)

An Ode To THOSE Toilet Paper Dispensers

FYI, if you came here expecting poetry and prose, you will be sad, but I bring you sarcasm and run on sentences, which may or may not be better.

On to the story.

So you’re in a public place and you need to pee so naturally you find a washroom. We’re not going to go into every detail

the real MVP
the real MVP

but at some point you gotta get your pants out of the way. The thing is, I keep my phone in my back pocket and that’s not a good location for it when it’s so near to water, right?

The logical thing to do in this instance is take it out and put it on the nearest available surface: the toilet paper dispenser. They come in all shapes and sizes, there’s the big round ones, there’s the smaller slanted ones and then, there’s those ones. The ones with a flat top.

Do you know how annoying it is to have to balance a phone on something circular or to have to keep an eye on it while it slowly slides closer to the edge? A lot of you probably do so you also know how wonderful it is to get a flat-topped lid.

You can pee in confidence and without worry about your phone!

It’s the little things in life, isn’t it.

Match

So I was recently on a date and this was literally one of the things I brought up in conversation:

We weren’t talking about anything that related to this at all, I just sort of noticed it and thought it would be a grand idea to share.

I was looking down and I saw that my shirt matched my purse (teal), my cardigan matched my jeans (dark blue) and my nail polish matched my shoes (light blue).

Literally the most pointless and strange thing to tell anyone and now it looked like I planned it or something. I just remembered it today and got second-hand embarrassment from it. He definitely thinks I’m a weirdo.

//that title though cause my clothes matched but also I was on a date as in matchmaker I’ll shut up now//

Boy Story

So I was hanging out at my friend’s house, playing catanSettlers of Catan, as you do, with what else but a group of boys. There’s like 5 dudes in that house as roommates so it’s a common occurrence there.

Anyways, while it wasn’t my turn, one of the boys that wasn’t playing and was just sitting around watching asked me if I had any brothers.

I replied with the fact that there are literally no males in my house, unless you count my cat.

He then gestured at the scene and pointed out the fact that I might not be used to such a thing happening then.

But I got the last laugh when I dramatically whispered at him “I’m in engineering.”

Just thought this was kind of a funny story plus I need to work on my story-telling skills, if you’re ever around me in real life, never ask me to tell stories because they never ever end well.

The end.

 

(ps: That title though!! It incorporates the general gist of this post AND is randomly a play on “Toy Story”. Hehe. I’ll shut up now.)

The Dead Cells On My Fingers

aka fingernails.

I don’t know why you need a backstory for a picture of my nails but you’re going to get one anyway.

I had painted all my nails with a dark navy blue but of course that’s not good enough for me so I chose a light, see-through-ish blue to put on top of it that gave it a galaxy-ish sheen if that makes any sense at all. Once I had finished one hand, a bottle of clear sparkly nail polish caught my eye and I immediately wanted to put that on top instead to make it look like the night sky.

(Everyone puts this much thought into painting their nails, right?)

Basically, I was too lazy to redo one hand so I now have two different tinges of blue painted on either hand and here’s a picture with my face again derping in the background.

WIN_20140322_164237
tried to make it so that you can see the dif in the colours on each hand. how considerate

Spelling Queen

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?

Back in the 8th grade, when the end of the school year still meant watching movies and zero stress, I was a pretty decent speller. (But only bak then. Now I’m horible with werds and kan’t speil to safe my live.) Decent enough that I won my class’s mini spelling bee to see who would represent them in the schoolwide one. The winning word was brackish.

Side Note: my best friend at the time got eliminated from the running by the word sugar. I remember being so disappointed in her.

Anyway, fast forward to the big auditorium (and by big auditorium I mean the gym with a stage on one side and everyone sitting on the floor) with all us representatives from every class from the big grade 8s down to the lowly grade 4s in rows on the stage. I forget what my number was. I could go check my yearbook that has those horribly unflattering pictures documenting that moment in time but there is legitimately a cat on my lap right now so I can’t. I’m sure you’re all devastated.

Insert the really uneventful process of elimination in which we each took our turn and stood in front of the mike while a teacher sitting at a table – with a binder of words and a legitimate bell that they ring when you get a letter wrong and simultaneously bring dishonour on your family – told us which word to spell. Some people asked for definitions and languages of origin not because it actually helped them but just so that they could look cool.

ACTUALLY scratch that one of my words was “kernel” which is no big usually except you know how for some inexplicable reason colonel and kernel are homonyms so I actually had to ask for the definition. And plot twist the definition was like “the leader of a group” or something random like that and NOT “an unpopped popcorn” or “some guy in the military” which are your standard two definitions so I went with the popcorn spelling and got it right.

I remember being nervous as heck since public speaking was and still is so not my forte and literally shaking as I went up to spell my word. I also remember spelling everyone else’s words in my head to make sure I was totally in the spelling zone (I was)

This went on for a long time until there was only 2 of us left and I got my word wrong. But let’s make it clear: I misheard them say probable instead of probably. Which, let’s be honest, is probably the lamest way to go out. Luckily, the other kid, some 4th grader, got his word wrong too so I was back in the game. We sparred for what seemed like forever until I realized what would happen if I won: I would have to go on to Regionals and there would be more people and possibly televised and oh gosh that was exactly the opposite of what my 12 year old introverted self wanted so when my word to spell was goatee I went up there and confidently said “Goatee. G-O-T-E-E. Goatee.” The sweet little ding of freedom sounded and it was up to my opponent to spell this next word right plus one more to seal the deal of his victory.

The last word was tutu. It was a great victory for him and I was quite happy with my second place.

My friends were kind of disappointed in me when they learned of my planned escape from winning but hey, if they wanted to do the whole spelling in front of strangers thing, they should’ve beaten me to it and gotten to second best speller in the whole school themselves.

Scale: Book to Movie

My friends and I do this thing.

I tend to surround myself with book nerds so many, many, many of our conversations revolve around different books and the news that includes them. Meaning that any adaptations to the big screen are always anticipated.

Right now, I’m eagerly waiting for Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars but that’s a whole other thing.

We didn’t explicitly come up with this method of grading movies on purpose, it sort of rose from the need of being able to correctly describe what you felt about how well the movie turned out compared to the book.

There are some movies that we all just agree collectively on how good or bad they are and they basically set the standards for any other movies to come.

Sadly, sitting at the bottom of the scale is the Percy Jackson movies. MAN, could you have done any worse? Like this series is loved by many and you mangle the plot so badly and don’t even remember what one of the main characters looks like. (Actually, not having Logan Lerman would probably have made it unbearable)

At the tippy top (thus far, it might be beat, which is a good thing!) is Catching Fire. The movie was so on par with the book it was amazing to see everything come alive exactly how we all imagined it in our heads. Insanely well done and a great example to any other book to movie adaptations in the works.

So that’s literally how we judge them:

“The Book Thief was not quite Catching Fire due to some things but it was pretty darn close!”

“I sure hope The Maze Runner doesn’t go Percy Jackson on us”