31…

Two weeks ago on Monday… I turned 31. What a lame/boring age to turn. No milestones, nothing. I DID, however, have a GREAT weekend leading up to my birthday. I was able to spend some quality time with a lot of special people, and wouldn’t you know it? I took maybe two photos the entire weekend… SO out of character for me, I KNOW.

I hosted a game night on Saturday night (February 24), which turned into a great way to catch up with people I don’t see nearly enough. We played Cards Against Humanity, and my new game Bang!, which was a birthday gift. We ate nachos and those of us who didn’t have to drive drank. We were all merry. My friend Steph, took me out to buy birthday party supplies earlier in the day as her birthday gift to me, and it really made the day and night great. We played games and joked and laughed into the wee hours.

On Sunday, I planned a birthday dinner with some of my closest friends. Sadly, one was unable to make it due to work, but I saw her the very next day for our weekly movie night on my actual birthday. I invited my dad, my sister and her boyfriend, my super awesome friend Jen from work, along with her husband and daughter, as well as Wes and Ash and their cute kids. The food was awesome, and the atmosphere was pretty great too. It was so nice to be able to celebrate with a dinner surrounded by some of the people I care about the most. It was a really enjoyable evening. I went home that night very happy.

After an awesome (and exhausting) weekend leading up to my birthday, my actual birthday was very run-of-the-mill. I went to work, I ate free pizza from a local pizza place that offers a free birthday slice, I went home, I napped, I went to my friend Alice’s for our weekly movie night, and then I went home to bed. It was a good day, but very normal.

Overall, it was a great a 31st birthday, and it was awesome to celebrate it with as many people as I did.

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Since then, I’ve been working through some other things. I have been really tired and lethargic and sleeping poorly for weeks. I figured out that my B12 was low again (which was the cause last time it happened) and had to go back on my B12 supplement. I think it is safe to say that I have to keep taking it and can’t stop again; not if I want to function at least semi-normally. I’ve been on it for just about a couple of weeks now, and I am noticing improvements progressively as the days pass. I have started sleeping better incrementally, and I am able to come home and complete tasks that were falling to the wayside previously.

I am also working extra hard to get on track financially. I have a long road of breaking bad habits ahead of me, but I recently listened to an audiobook that is poised to change my life in big ways in terms of money management and savings and the future. I am excited about getting on track for real, for the first time. In the past I always dreaded having to deal with money, and I feel like I am finally not afraid to deal with it anymore. It feels pretty great. As a result, I am feeling more positive about other aspects of my daily life as well. I am getting more physically active again, slowly but surely. In no time, I think I will be working out and doing more healthy things in general.

I find it really interesting how making sense of one very important aspect of your life can make a difference in a multitude of ways, including translating into other seemingly unrelated parts of your life. I am already taking much better care of myself mentally – practicing self-care on a semi-regular basis as compared to barely ever before. And I have been much kinder to myself in general.

Things are also coming together for the two trips I have planned this year. The first is in June, to attend a family wedding, and the second will be a trip to visit my best friend who moved away last October. The flights and accommodations are book for the trip in June, and I will be planning for the second trip happening later this year just as soon as flight schedules come available.

Huxley, or The New Guy as I like to call him from time to time, has made himself very comfortable and is already friends with my friends who have met him. It’s funny how quickly it feels like they have always been here. I can’t imagine my home without him now, and it has only been 5 weeks. I’m not complaining whatsoever! He has been a great addition to my little family here and Tobi has accepted him also, which makes me feel happy inside.

I have an exam coming up in less than a month, and I spent my day today getting caught up on all of my reading. After 4 hours, I finally got there! Next step will be going through the study guide, which will start tomorrow. I am determined to do better than my previous two courses, where I ended up with C’s. I am thankful to have a study buddy, that’s for sure! I am also thankful for my bullet journal, which has done wonders to keep me on track especially during the toughest days. Maybe one day I will do a blog post about that. It’s not as creative and fancy as some of the others out there, but it works great for me.

This post kind of became a jumble of overall updating, which was not my original intent. It’s not very often that I have so much to say as I did today. Hopefully the next one will be more coherent!

Updates

Things have been a bit of a struggle lately. My depression has hit hard… Yet again. Things have fallen behind and been neglected a bit as a result. The good news is I am aware of it now. And now I am trying to focus on getting things under control again. That being said, it’s been a wild few weeks and I’ve managed to do a lot.

Starting on my first day at the new job, which is going GREAT by the way, I started going to the gym and getting my eating under control. I’ve started the process of losing all the weight I’ve gain since I moved out on my own. I have set the goal of reaching my goal weight by the end of the year and to get in MUCH better shape. It seems like a lofty goal now, but I will stick to this and it’s going to be a pretty amazing change come the end of the year. I’ve promised to take myself clothes shopping once I reach my goal weight. I’m also hopeful it will do wonders for helping me manage my depression and anxiety. I did have a nasty cold last week which put a wrench in things for a short period, but things are back on track.

In other news, I turned 30 a week ago on Saturday. Holy crap, I’m 30! It was a really amazing day; better than I could have hoped. I got to spend the day with my best friend and another old friend from high school who I haven’t seen in ages. We had a great time gallivanting about: we went to a local art store, we went out for lunch, we wandered around an office supplies store, an art galleryIMG_2649, and spent an excessive amount in the best yarn store known to man. Then we relaxed and chatted and caught up before we went our separate ways. I think it’s going to become a more regular thing. It was a lot of fun. Bestie and I grabbed a quick dinner at Wendy’s on the way back to my place. As she was getting ready to leave, I got a text from a friend who was supposed to be coming over, asking me if I was busy. I said I wasn’t and was just waiting for her to come over. She talked me into going out to a bar not far from my place because she had a “surprise guest” waiting there for me. I agreed, and Jess dropped me off on her way out-of-town to head back home. The special guests turned out to be some friends I haven’t seen in a couple of years, and it was so great to visit and catch up with them over a few drinks. Add some late night Burrito Boyz burritos and it was a pretty much perfect day. The next day, I spent the afternoon with my dad. We went for dinner at a great English pub, and then we went to go see Deadpool. It was my second time and my dad’s first. He got a kick out of it, so I’d call it a successful outing. Happy 30th birthday to me!

Over the span of my birthday weekend I acquired some new things, birthday presents, I guess they would be, even though I bought some of them myself. I have a few new books to readIMG_2661, a new colouring book and IMG_2700pencil crayons, some new candles, some new journals (of a couple different natures: a Moleskine journal and a Wreck This Journal!), and a new video game: The Witcher 2. I have played it for a few hours so far, and those few hours went by SO fast… I can’t wait to keep playing. Hopefully, a bit this week. I hope to write a bit more about the game in the near future. I just want to get back into the routine of posting regularly again first. That, and play more than I have.

Now, back to the job. I am about to start week 4 at said new job, and so far it is going very well. I have met some great people, the hours are treating me well, and the workload and difficulty of the work isn’t too far from what it was at my old job. And for more money. So, all in all, it’s great! Changing jobs was an excellent decision for me. I enrolled for my benefits with this job last week, and I also enrolled in an RRSP. Guy! I have retirement savings started! I adulted so hard and I am so proud of myself. It’s not much just starting off, but just the fact that things are started makes me breathe a sigh of relief. At least the ball is rolling now.

As you can see, it has been an eventful few weeks, all while struggling more than usual. I did a few things to help myself through as best I could. I will continue doing what I can to help myself pull out of this rut. This weekend I managed to clean my apartment from top to bottom and get things under control at home, and I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing by way of colouring.IMG_2699 It has definitely helped, in combination with the gym and generally taking better care of myself (as much better as I can manage…it’s still by no means exactly what I need). I’m not where I’d like to be mentally, but I can say that I am doing much better than I was even a week ago. I just need to continue making positive progress. And with the way things are going now, I will.

 

Birthday Celebrations

It was very busy for me this past weekend. I attended not just one, but two birthday parties for kids of friends. I find myself spending more time with my friends with kids lately. I find myself spending more time with friends in general, actually. This is not a bad thing.

The two boys I attended parties for are adorable. One was celebrating his third birthday and the other was celebrating his second. Mason celebrated his third birthday on Saturday with a minion-themed pool party and a bouncy castle while Nicholas celebrated his second birthday with a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed pool party and a piñata.

The weekend turned out to be quite enjoyable, and it was great seeing those two little boys have so much fun playing and opening presents and eating cake. As a person without kids, I think I sometimes forget that my friends with kids are still there and still know how to have fun. Sometimes that means simply being able to sit and chat for a bit. I used to be so nervous around kids; especially kids who are very young. Over the past while I have become much more comfortable. I think spending more time with my two-year-old niece has a lot to do with it… She’s so precious and so are the two little boys I spent the weekend with.

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I’m looking forward to more weekends like this one. It was a nice change of pace. I’m sure my “friends with kids” had a good time too. 😉

The Byron Freehouse

A week ago Sunday my Grandma and I got together for our traditional birthday lunch. Every year she takes me out for lunch on my birthday. We visit and talk; generally enjoying each other’s company for the afternoon. My Grandma’s birthday is actually less than a week after mine, so it is a bit of a treat for both of us. This lunch doesn’t always happen near our birthdays, but it always happens eventually. A couple of years back it didn’t happen until June, but that was okay. It is always a great opportunity to spend time with her, no matter when it happens.

Last year, we went to a restaurant she had never been to before and she really enjoyed it. She always has me choose where we go, so this year I decided we would try another new place since last year was such a success. I chose a smaller local restaurant called the Byron Freehouse.

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The Byron Freehouse isn’t far from where I live. It is located in Byron, a suburb of London, on the “main drag”. It’s not a big place, and it has a nice laid back atmosphere. It almost has the feel of a bar and grill, but not quite. It still feels a bit more like a restaurant. Their colour choices of teal and red for the decor are fun, and really add to the atmosphere. We had a good first impression upon arriving. We arrived around 1:30pm and were seated right away. Menus were provided and our drink orders taken moments later. The choice on the menu was varied, but not too large. Grandma and I both had trouble choosing just one option from the menu. After some discussion, we settled on some deep-fried pickles to start, a beef and swiss sandwich with fries for Grandma, and a southern fried chicken sandwich with fries for me. We received our food in a very timely fashion and it was piping hot. Our server was very on top of things. We had no complaints about the service whatsoever.

The food itself was excellent and the portion sizes were generous. The deep-fried pickles were crispy but not overdone. My sandwich was flavourful and the lettuce and onion on it were fresh and crisp. The fries were seasoned just right. Grandma was equally happy with her own meal. I would go back again and try something else on the menu for sure. Grandma agrees. We both left the Byron Freehouse full and very satisfied. I am looking forward to our next lunch date.

The added bonus to this fun day with my Grandma is that it allowed me to start working on another item on my 30 Before 30 list: one local restaurant down, two more to go! It has become so exciting to cross new things off the list. So far, this list has been an excellent idea.

A Birthday Fangirl Moment

I’ve been 29 for almost a month now, and my birthday this year just keeps on giving. Around two years ago I wrote a blog post about some very specific things on my Doctor Who wish list. You can read it here. A few weeks after my birthday something showed up on my desk:

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TARDIS!

We found a single TARDIS teapot in our wanderings around the local downtown shops. Little did we know that it would be the only one we would encounter; possibly ever again. We originally saw the teapots on ThinkGeek, and recently we discovered that they were no longer available. Jay remembered that we saw one at a downtown shop called Über Cool Stuff. He went out and got it for me so I didn’t lose a chance of actually getting one. I’m super happy that I finally have a TARDIS teapot! I love it. I really love it. It looks as though it has always belonged on my bookshelf. I love that it goes with my coffee mug! My bookshelf is now complete. 🙂

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30 Before 30

In light of my approaching 29th birthday, I have noticed a few things cropping up around the internet that I hadn’t paid attention to previously. The most prominent of these has been “30 Before 30” lists, or lists very similar. These are obviously lists of things to do/accomplish before turning 30. Seeing these has inspired me to create my own.

I had created a list previous to this one, but it was a little too ambitious for me to accomplish in a year. So, I revised it a little bit, and what you will see is the final version. Over the next thirteen months, I will chronicle the process of accomplishing the things on this list. It should be fun!

I’ve split it up into different categories because I thought it would be cool, and because it made it more fun for me,: the geeky girl who loves lists. Anyways, here it is, in all of its categorized glory. (And yes, many of my plans from my “firsts and learning” post are incorporated in one way or another!)

[Adventurer]
1. Attend Forest City Comicon 2.0 (October 18, 2015)
2. Have a good old fashioned picnic.
3. Go on a hike.
4. Go to the beach for the day.

[Creative]
5. Stop using phone for blog photography.
6. Finish Vintage Colt WIP
7. Finish Bird of Hope WIP
8. Learn to crochet, start a blanket, arm covers for the couch.
9. Make/acquire art piece(s) for bedroom (even just updated photos).

[Experience]
10. Volunteer somewhere – either a one off event, or continuously.
11. Learn to drive standard.

[Financial]
12. Pay down at least $10K of my current debt.
13. Put some money away in savings.

[Smarts]
14. Read all of the books I own that I haven’t read yet.
15. Take a creative writing course.
16. Read 2 non-fiction books.
17. Read 5 contemporary fiction books before I revisit the usual classics.
18. Learn at least one new thing every month.

[Health Nut]
19. Save up enough money to attend yoga weekly (projected start April 2, 2015, continue twice a month until then)
20. Lose 15lbs, keep it off.
21. Make walking a part of my daily routine.
22. Cook 10 new, healthy and interesting meals, integrate the best ones into regular meal rotation.

[Foodie]
23. Try 3 local restaurants I’ve never tried before (don’t need to be fancy).
24. Bake a cheesecake.
25. Try 5 brand new foods.

[Misc]
26. Write a blog post a week.
27. Donate blood for the first time.
28. Go out for ice cream.
29. See 12 movies I have never seen before.
30. Buy my first board game, host a game night.

Feel free to tell me what you think in the comments!

Update: I’ve created a page here for tracking my overall progress. You can find it under the Hobbies & Projects link across the top of my page.

Who Wouldn’t Love Getting This As A Birthday Gift?!

Avengers Assemble! A pattern from Wee Little Stitches.

I would think it one of the best birthday presents ever! This is my friend’s son’s first birthday gift from Jay and I. I love it so much I was seriously tempted to keep it for myself. But I wouldn’t do that and leave the little guy without such a super amazing gift as this!

I am able to post this now as his birthday party was on Saturday. I wanted his mom and dad to be surprised as well as I was sure they would both appreciate it as much as I. I wasn’t able to make it to the party, but I am sure it was a great time both for him and for everyone else.

This piece was a fun, quick stitch that I mentioned I had started a few posts ago but was unable to go into much detail for the reasons mentioned above. I am considering making up a new one of these for us to keep in the apartment. The Avengers could keep Serenity’s Crew company!

Sun Fest and 50th Birthday Celebrations!

I had planned to post this a good two days ago, but I never got around to it. One night turned into a complete disaster and  last night was spent helping a friend repair her computer. All things are back in order, and here is this post at last.

Last week was a busy week and so was the weekend between work and some special events both around and outside of town. This being the reason why my LAST post took so long in being posted!

Work is into its 6th week now, and all is still going great. 6 more weeks after this and I will be done 3 months! I can’t believe how fast time is flying by…in a good way. Work definitely keeps me busy, and I am finally starting to get used to having a regular work schedule again. The biggest difference for me though through all of this is the absence of stress. It feels amazing! I feel like I can truly enjoy things again.

In light of this, Jay and I are definitely both enjoying ourselves and the time we spend together a lot more. I am loving it!

On Thursday afternoon after I was finished work, we met each other downtown and checked out a local festival called “Sunfest” which takes place each year. Last year was my first year attending and I had a great time. I was looking forward to going again this year. It was Jay’s first time going this year, and we both had a lot of fun.

Fun finds at Sunfest
Fun finds at Sunfest

The food was fantastic as always – I enjoyed my falafel and chimichanga quite a lot. Jay had his own falafel and an Oktoberfest sausage. Lastly, we shared a funnel cake. It was a second first for Jay that day. I hadn’t had one in years! Awesome!

Funnel cake!
The Second First of the Day for Jay

Along with the food, we listened to some great music and browsed some great shops. We came away with a candle and a great little leather bracelet – at great prices at that! A phenomenal end to an already great day.

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The weekend got off to a busy start for me straight away after work on Friday. Jay picked me up and we headed out to my mom’s. I was to help prep for a 50th birthday party for my step-dad and his best friend. As Jay works all weekend, and I don’t have a car it was easiest for me to go out there on Friday.

I spent Saturday morning helping with setup for the party. And what a party it was! Such a great turnout and it was a great time. I would say it was definitely a success. I stayed until Sunday and helped with cleanup as well.

50th Birthday Celebration...
50th Birthday Celebration decor
Amazing turnout ...
Amazing turnout!
The food was pretty great too
The food was pretty great too.

It was a great weekend, but I was sure ready to come home!

A Week In Edmonton and a Progress Report

Well, as I mentioned in my last post I went away for a week. I was in Edmonton visiting my dad from February 24th to March 1st. Celebrated my 26th birthday there. It was a good time, and I had a great visit with my dad. I saw the obligatory West Edmonton Mall, which is quite impressive, and spent some time downtown as well as at the Royal Alberta Museum. I even got a little bit of cross-stitching done while I was there 🙂

Here is a quick little photo tour of my trip:

My very first view of the Rocky Mountains
My first view of the Rocky Mountains in the distance!

In Galaxyland at the West Edmonton Mall
Galaxyland at West Edmonton Mall – The largest indoor amusement park in the world 🙂

Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum

Moth exhibit
Moth Exhibit at the Museum.. Who knew moths could be so pretty!

Wild Alberta
Wild Alberta exhibit – So cool seeing the wildlife indigenous to Alberta

Beautiful minerals in the natural history exhibit
Beautiful minerals in the natural history exhibit

Ancient native hunting implements
Ancient native hunting implements – Some of these are thousands of years old!

My birthday cake this year
My birthday cake this year

Downtown edmonton at night
Downtown Edmonton at night

This is just a quick overview of all the things I did while I was there. I took probably 200 pictures or more, and it was hard to choose which ones to post!

As for cross stitch progress, I haven’t stitched a single stitch since I have been home. I have been feeling a little bit overwhelmed with things in general and it hasn’t been much of a priority for now. Anyways, here is the progress I have made so far on the Vintage Colt pattern:

Vintage Colt

I am having a lot of fun stitching it, but it is definitely a lot more time consuming and detailed than anything else I have done so far. That’s okay though. I can’t wait to see the end result.