Welcome to an Awesome Life

If you love coffee and food, and appreciate dry humour and childish antics then we're off to a good start. If you are interested traveling, DIY, home remedies, and random nonsense to you I say: Welcome :-) And I suggest you start by reading About Me to see if you'll want to punch me or not before continuing. I hope you enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Retiring An Awesome Life

The time has come for me to retire this blog. 

I started An Awesome Life almost 6 months ago as a way to help me figure out what direction my life will be headed in next. It has, in the end, helped me even more than I expected it would, ultimately playing a large part in helping me to discover what really makes me, well... me. You know - what makes me passionate, what challenges me, scares me, what just plain grabs my attention and doesn't let go, and even what I do not need or care for.

It's been an insightful journey full of unexpected outcomes and I'm truly thankful that I made the decision to give the whole blogging thing an honest chance.

Writing this blog has kept me focused on always moving forward, never remaining idle. It's inspired me to take a deeper look at what I choose to fill my life with, each and every day, from the obvious such as hobbies I'm interested in and people I associate with, to the less obvious like what quotes or song lyrics I identify with and what TV shows (and their characters) I'm drawn to... and then just about everything in between. 

 I've discovered quite a few patterns, and although there are many, I finally have a sense of organization to my thoughts and interests.  That is something that I'd likely never have been able to get out of any college dilploma or university degree. I don't want to lose the benefits of a tool this valuable, so I will be starting a new blog in the New Year (which, by-the-way is only just over 5 weeks away).

The next blog will be more focused on what I've discovered that I enjoy writing about. I'll be spending the next 5 weeks planning out Phase Two of my "retirement" so that I can get started on it, right away. No hesitations, nothing to turn into an excuse for not having the proper tools or set-up. 

To anyone who has read this blog and offered me feedback, I sincerely thank-you for your help. The encouragement from friends and strangers alike gave me the drive to keep at it for just "one more post"

Thus concludes Phase One of the rest of my life. 



-J 


Just keep moving.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 17: Guilty Pleasures

Bacon - to put it simply, my life wouldn't be the same without bacon. It goes with everything.
 
Baked goods - in particular home-baked or fresh from the bakery. From muffins and cupcakes to cinnamon rolls and danishes, I love it all.
Maple anything - It, much like bacon, goes with pretty much anything. I have been known to drink it right from the bottle, Buddy the Elf style. 
 
Naps - But so many studies show naps as being beneficial in a huge way, therefore I'm chalking this one up to my interest in being healthy. Or something...

Frappuccinos - While my "usual" is a mocha light, I can't get enough of the full-fat, whipped-cream smothered mocha coconut in the summer and raspberry java chip anytime of the year. 

Justin Bieber - Go ahead, make fun of me! The kid is incredibly talented. Although his screaming little-girl fan-base is absolutely horrendous. Maybe he'll hit puberty soon and his fan base will grow a little older. One can only hope... right

Duck Dynasty - If you have never heard of it, that's too bad. Look it up. 
 


What kind of guilty pleasures do you admit to having? 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 16: The Last Items I Purchased

I went to the mall the other day to look for shoes and instead came out with the following: 



Yup, those are Superman knee-high socks complete with their very own capes! And the newest Christina Aguilera CD (I'm kind of a giant fan!).



And the last item(s) you purchased.... GO!

Day 15: A Skill I'd Like to Learn

Videography. Not just any kind - I want to learn the kind that makes things look like a Hollywood movie. I found some people online a while back who shot weddings and made these absolutely gorgeously amazing videos that made it look like they were filming the next Blockbuster hit. It's so cool. Or perhaps I could create music videos of fun occasions. Really awesome ones.

If I come across any websites that show what I mean, I will be sure to update this post! 

 

Any mad skills you'd like to learn?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 14: Something I Am Looking Forward To

Next week I will be doing something for myself, by myself: I am escaping for a few nights to have some quality 'me' time.

I've spent the last 5.5 months doing a lot of soul searching and trying to figure out what my next move is. I've got a lot figured out, but I am in need of something seriously inspirational. I just want to take some time to really listen to (as cheesy as it sounds) my heart and soul. I want to really pay attention to what makes me excited, what piques my interest, what makes my brain tick. 

After quite a bit of deliberation, I finally decided on a location that I feel will offer me what I am looking for. I'm not telling anyone where I am going just yet, but I'm sure I will have a lot to share once I am back. 




And that is something I am looking forward to. How about you?  



Day 13: My Favourite Movies

In light of the post about my current TV obsessions, I decided not to say much about my favourite movies. Short and simple, right? Right. Okay, here goes:



Camp Nowhere - A bunch of middle-class kids pretend to go to camp with their parents money and really just do stupid stuff all summer. Like roller blade off of ramps into the lake. Wearing a helmet with lit firecrackers strapped to it. How would I not love this?

Beauty and the Beast - Belle is an animal-loving bookworm who just wants out of her small town. Need I say more about why I love this one?

Back to The Future- In reality I enjoyed them all, but the first was definitely the best.

Elf - The movie that made me finally appreciate Will Ferrell. Also the only Christmas movie I am allowed to watch any time of the year. We once named a Betta fish 'Fransisco' because of this movie.

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation - Can't have Christmas without it... at least twice. Fact.

The Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton is brilliant. Honestly.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory - The original. Johnny Depp is amazing and all, but the original has my heart. Call it nostalgia.

Jurassic Park - I remember watching this movie over and over as a child for two reasons: I love dinosaurs and this movie was really loud in the home theater my dad put in his basement. It shook the entire house, and it was awesome. RAWR!

Lost World - The dinosaur on the loose on mainland hahahahaha it makes me laugh every time.

The first 3 American Pie movies & American Reunion - The Stifmeister, and all of this one-liners... and that ridiculous laugh. I think I need to go put on some American Pie now...

Eurotrip - The source of many things I say on the regular: "Error", "buon giorno", "mi scuzi", "Miami Wice",  "Ah, Berlin", "For shame!" and "Hapi Djus!" come to mind at the moment. It's even the source of what I call Mike 90% of the time: "Mieke". My life wouldn't be my life without this movie.

The Chronicles of Narnia (mostly The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe). They did a good job at making the books come to life, mostly sticking to the original stories. That doesn't happen too often.

Vicki Cristina Barcelona - I don't really know why I love this movie, I just do. Maybe it's Spain, maybe it's the adventure, maybe it's just the beautiful accents of Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz. It has a rating of 7.2 on IMDb, so I'm clearly not the only fan.  




And there you have it. What are your all-time favourite flicks? 

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 12: Things I Love About My Hometown

1) Free Concerts. Summer 2012 included Carly Rae Jepsen and Hanson (yes, that Hanson!!).

2) Awesome Saturday Farmer's Market (and Wednesday Market too!).
Outside in the summer :-)

3) Our Zoo. A great free attraction!

4) Our restaurants. Honestly. We have some of the best.
Gerti's has the best fries. The best.

Delicious feta hot pepper dip at Favourite Greek.

Jeff Purvey's. The best fish I have ever had. Fact.

5) Poutine. And this link only shows half of their creations. They recently updated their menu. Ohhhh dear.
And their dessert poutine. Ohhh wow. *Drool*

6) Our downtown shops, we really do have a great selection!
2 gems: Naked Chocolate & S.O.S

7) Nature! We are surrounded by it here in the Kawarthas and Jackson's Park is a good place to start!


8) We have Starbucks. Three, actually. 

9) Our annual Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Races. 

10) This sign: 
No, really. How amazing is this?!
 



And what do you love about YOUR hometown? Or your current town?

Day 11: Current TV Obsessions

This post took quite a bit more time than I'd originally anticipated. I really thought that this was going to be a short task, completed without too much time being spent pondering it. Wrong. Instead, I found myself analyzing my choice of shows and in what category I would place them, both terms of what draws me to watch them and what keeps me returning. My list of shows turned out to be rather... uhm... long, I guess you could say. So I chose to narrow it down to just a few.

These are the shows that currently have me biting my nails until the next episode, in order starting with which plot takes up the most of my daydreaming:

1) Gossip Girl
I really didn't think that I'd ever be able to handle watching a show with a title like "Gossip Girl", but after many people suggesting I give it a shot, I did. While I don't think it's the best show ever made, I can't help but get sucked into the sarcasm and scheming of a very well-dressed and easy-on-the-eyes cast. It's a fast-paced, multi-layered, scandal-ridden guilty pleasure of mine with more than a hint of a dark side. And pretty shoes. 

2) Sons of Anarchy 
I think it's safe for me to say with total honesty that I consider SOA to be one of the best shows ever created. Ever. This show is incredible on so many levels from the writers and creaters all the way to the cast and crew, and definitely everyone in between. The fact that the creator couldn't get his message out in a typical 60-minute show and chose to do a 90-minute show instead just goes to show you how action-packed this show really is. So much happens in one episode that you'd be totally screwed if you missed just one episode. That kind of creativity doesn't come along everyday, so if you have never seen this show: I strongly recommend you give it a shot.

Be warned though - there are a lot of "immoral" things that take place on this show so if no-holds-barred manipulation, drugs, sex and violence offend you, I take back my recommendation. Don't say I didn't warn you! 
 

3) Dexter
Slight gore-factor and endless plot twists with a boat-load of sailor mouth, make Dexter a hit in my books. Deb is my favourite. She has the most epic potty mouth. Worse than me, by far! It kinda makes me feel less guilty about my own colourful language. Call me crazy, but Showtime knows how to bring it on in the face of the easily offended.  
 

4) The Walking Dead
Lots of blood, guts and gore. Lots. It's a good look at what would likely happen to civilization if the zombie apocalypse ever actually happened and I think that's what makes it such a favourite of so many. I never read the comic books, but the show is a big winner as far as I am concerned!

5) Person of Interest
I think I'm about ready to declare this show a nail-biter. On it's second season of vigilante crime-fighting, I can honestly say that I look forward to what happens next in this show. While it may not haunt my daydreams as much as the plots of the others (especially the first two!), I'm interested to see where they decide to take Person of Interest.



This was one of four lists I have for the shows that I watch. Time for an intervention, maybe? .... oops?...! 


What TV shows do you obsess over, maybe just a little more than you ought to?  



  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 10: A Favourite Tradition

I'm not one for routine, but I do appreciate the importance of traditions. They give you something solid to look forward to, and who doesn't appreciate that? There are some things that happen daily, weekly, monthly or annually for myself. Whatever it is, big or small, it's a piece of happiness that I know I can count on no matter what else is happening in my life. 

In my personal opinion, the weekly traditions are the best. I feel like they keep me grounded more so than anything I could do daily (becomes habitual) or annually (headache-inducing deal once a year).

My (current) favourite weekday for traditions happens on Saturday, AKA 'Starbucks Saturday'. Aside from the obvious consumption of Starbucks, we also make sure to visit the year-round farmer's market to grab some pierogi and mini donuts, along with anything else we may need (we really do try to shop local!)

In the summertime, almost every Saturday night includes a wander downtown to the Little Lake MusicFest and ends with a bonfire, whether we are in the city or the country. Sadly, nothing much happens during the winters on a Saturday night. I think I will do something to change this fact! Friends? Ideas?

My latest Starbucks Saturday: Raspberry Java Chip Frappuccino. Just try it, once. Trust me. 


What's something you look forward to that helps bring you back to ?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 09: Contents Of My Bag

 The Bag:




The Contents: 


- Floss
- Flashlight
- Pamphlet for Mirabella makeup (don't ask)
- Keys/lanyard
- Deodorant 
- Aruba Coconut lotion (Bath & Bodyworks) 
- Pen (Sheraton) 
- Sweet & Salty bar (dark chocolate, mmmm yum) 
- Cotton Candy air freshener 
- Nail file (Girls Night Out wine)
- Dark Kiss body spray (Bath & Bodyworks) 
- Sunglasses case (empty, after I broke my sunglasses the other day... sigh...) 
- Gum 
- Vaseline lotion 
- Wallet
- Versace Bright Crystal roll-on
- Happy Bunny notepad ("It's cute how you think I'm listening") 
- Advil liqui-gels
- Whipped Cream & Winter Pear shimmer lotion (Victoria's Secret) 


Verdict: I like lotion and things that smell yummy.


What's the weirdest thing in your bag right now?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 08: Occupations I Wanted As A Child

1) Marine Biologist - Specifically, I wanted to work with the creatures that are found in the water. This started as early as when Flipper was on TV and Free Willy was in theaters (1995 and 1993, respectively). I went to Sea World in 1995 as well and distinctly remember petting the dolphins and stingrays, and I think that officially sealed the deal for me - I wanted to do that all the time! 
I only know went in 1995 because the date is stamped on the back of this ticket. P.S. That's the difference between 1995 & 2012. Crazy.
  
2) Veterinarian - I was born an animal lover. My first two best friends were a cat named Tiffany and a dog named Crystal. Although my mother was very strict about the amount and types of animals that were allowed in the house, I don't recall a time when I didn't have one kind of pet or another. I was also an avid horse rider and rode both English and Western style, and even almost went to a private equestrian school - until I found out it was all girls. Could you imagine? I understood how completely crazy girls were at a young age

3) Firefighter - My grandfather was a firefighter, so I naturally had a brief moment in time where I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

4) Writer - When I was a kid, I read at a rate much faster than my class mates did. I was reading Mercer Mayer books to my senior kindergarten class and had a library card because I actually wanted one. As such, writing my own versions of the stories I had read quickly became a favourite way to spend my time. Consequently, my favourite assignments were book reports and creative writing. Weird kid, no?

5) Actress - I'm sure this spawned from my love of reading and bringing my favourite stories to life. It didn't hurt that I had a friend who was equally as interested in pretending as I was and we'd spend our days acting out various movies and TV shows. We got pretty elaborate sometimes, I even remember rounding up a bunch of neighbourhood kids to do a film production of one of the Star Wars movies! I did the whole drama class and drama camp thing in elementary school. I was in plays at both school and at an outdoor theater. Eventually I had a talent agent and had a few extra roles in a commercial and a couple of films (nothing major). I still miss it, to this day.

6) Zoo Keeper - Working with tigers and zebras and giraffes would be so cool. So cool

7) Archaeologist - Spawning from my general interest in all things history and culture, I was (and still am) fascinated by museums. I would have loved to have been present for the finding of an important artifact. But more specifically, I really wanted to be a: 

8) Paleontologist - Blame The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park for this one. Dinosaurs are seriously Awesome. I even have a whole Wanelo collection for Dinos and Dragons.
RAAWRRRR!
  
9) A pet shop owner - A (gasp!) properly run one! That's all nice to animals and helpful to people and stuff. It may still happen, some day. Who knows?

10) A candy shop owner - Willy Wonka style. Do I really need to explain this desire? Hell, I'd still enjoy that!

11) Private Investigator/Spy - Probably inspired by Inspector Gadget and Nancy Drew. Likely the cause of my appreciation for TV shows such as Chuck, Missing, Gossip Girl (think about it!), Person of Interest, Suits, etc. 

12) A ballerina. Not because I am particularly girly (hah!), but because I love the way ballerinas move. It's such a graceful form of dance. It didn't take me long to find gymnastics which gave me the grace, strenth and balance of a ballerina without the tutu and weird shoes.        

Day 07: A Place I'd Like To Travel To

This was a nearly impossible one to pick. I spent almost a full day going over my mental list of places I'd like to visit, but one place kept popping into view: The Galapagos Islands. 

I first learned about the Galapagos Islands when I was in elementary school. I can't remember if I did a project, read certain books, or maybe even watched a National Geographic special, but I remember learning about their wildlife and thought it was incredibly fascinating. Giant Tortoises? A bird with the word "booby" in its name? I'm sold!

I decided to officially add it to my bucket list back in 2001 while watching an episode of the TV show Tall Ship Chronicles. For those of you who have never heard of it (oh, you're not a sailor, I see), it was a TV show that was filmed on an 18-month round-the-world journey on board the barque Picton Castle. One of the stops they made on their journey was the Galapagos Islands.

So, what actually attracted me to the idea? 
-They speak primarily Spanish (my favourite language!)
-They have giant tortoises:
Galapagos Tortoise
My (blurry) hand, holding a young tortoise (not a Galapagos!)  
- They have a bird called the Blue Footed Booby.
- And Penguins!!


Honestly, if I could go anywhere on Earth to photograph the wildlife, it would be the Galapagos Islands.




Where are some places that you'd love to visit? Why? Don't forget to leave your answer in the comments

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 06: Last 6 Things I Pinned

1) This gorgeous ensemble. So classy.

2) A multi-tiered oven rack. Worth investigating the science behind how it will actually affect the end result of my concoctions. Anyone encountered these before? Thoughts?

3) This:


4) Check out the 4th photo down. A classy (and useful!) way to be sarcastic. What's not to love? 

 5) Pretty much sums up my feelings:


 
6) This cute door knocker:




What "pinteresting" things have you found recently? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 05: Something That Scares Me


Actually, I'll take another 10 martinis. Better send me some tequila shots too just to be safe.


Flying - I never used to be so afraid of it. I'm not quite sure when or why it came to be, but if I'm going to be flying, I can't sleep for days before hand. I get so nervous that it completely and utterly exhausts me. Even Gravol doesn't work to knock me out. It's to out of control that I can't even sleep if I know that Mike is flying (which is a lot). I have friends who have gone on to be pilots, I don't know anyone who has been in a plane crash, and I understand that flying is much safer than driving - I just haven't found a way to convince myself that I don't need to stress out so much. It is quite problematic considering that I'd like to make traveling a part of my career. Hmmm... perhaps it's time to figure out how to fix this ridiculousness?



What about you - are you afraid of flying? Is there anything you have done to try to overcome it? 



Stay tuned for tomorrow when I share my 6 most recent Pins. 


~J


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Day 04: Books I Am Currently Reading

I usually have a couple of different books on the go at a time and right now is no exception: I've got one on the go for personal enjoyment and one on the go for personal development. Take a peek:


1) Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This is the second or third time I have read this book over the years. It's one of my most favourites, obviously. The main character's family owned a zoo when he was a kid, can you imagine? I would have given pretty much anything as a child to have been raised on a zoo. Fact!

Ian Hoolihan.

2) Think Big by Ben Carson, M.D. with Cecil Murphey. I tried to read this one before but I just found it way too repetitive and gimmicky. However,  due to a recent course I took (speed reading!), I decided to give it another go. This time around has been much easier on the eyes and brain as it's written in a way that is perfect for speed reading.
This one is for personal development.


Have you ever read either of these books? What did you think of them?

Day 03: Something I Ate Today

I remembered to take photos of what I ate throughout the day yesterday, but I completely forgot to post about it. Oops :-S 

So, without further delay, I present to you Something I Ate Today (which was really yesterday)



Pierogi from A Taste of Russia at the local farmers market. They're a Saturday staple in our home.
Fresh mini-donuts (topped with cinnamon sugar and icing sugar), also from the Farmer's Market.
Ginormous Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. No really. It was MASSIVE. 




Okay... I know that I shared more than one thing, but these are all too good not to share! Seriously! 


What was something you ate today?