Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is it, the end of 2013 and the start of 2014. 2014. Can you believe it? Where are the hover cars? 

I'm very much looking forward to New Years festivities. I'm doing what I did last year and going to a local restaurant for a nice dinner and then they turn it into a party afterwards as midnight approaches! I've got my same partner in crime joining me as well as a slew of others, so it should be a good good time! 

I hope you have a safe and Happy New Year! 

P.S. If you're looking for a good champagne cocktail, don't forget the recipe I shared last year for Kir Royale!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Movies

Christmas, Christmas movies, Rudolph the red nosed reindeerI feel like I could talk about the best parts of Christmas forever. There are so many, from big things like family, to little things like candy canes. These favourite things seem to pop up or come to mind constantly over the holidays, which is great. Or you'll hear someone else talk about them and immediately chime in. One of my (endless list of many) favourite things about Christmas is the movies. From old school cartoon movies (most of which I own) to new school Christmas movies. The stories are always filled with love, they always have a festive setting, and let's be honest, when it's snowy outside isn't it the best to sit inside by the tree and watch these Christmas movies? That's what I'm looking forward to this weekend. There's a couple of big snow storms hitting the city and with only a couple of plans, I intend to make sure all the necessary Christmas movies get watched or re-watched! With today being my last work day before the holiday, I've got time :)

With that in mind, I thought I'd share some of my favourite Christmas movies:
  1. Love Actually - This is a no brainer. Forget Christmas, this is one of my ALL TIME favourite movies.
  2. The Family Stone - I feel like this movie is less well known and popular and I have ZERO idea why. It is again one of the best movies in existence. Fun and funny, such a beautiful story.
  3. Elf - Duh. We all need a laugh over the holidays. And we all need a little Will Ferrell always.
  4. Home Alone - Classic. Just classic. 
  5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - I can't believe I only saw this for the first time when I was in my early 20's. That's probably why it's not higher on the list but MAN I know why this is most peoples fave! 
  6. Scrooged - Saw this for the first time last Christmas season with my friend and we laughed and laughed and laughed! Previous to seeing it was in the "Christmas" section of the movie rentals, we hadn't really heard anything of it but decided to give it a shot! If you've not heard of it, do give it a shot! It's hilarious. 
  7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Charlie Brown Christmas - Not in any particular order, I cannot rhyme off a list that does not include these childhood cartoon favourites. I own these and hope to get to them all this weekend or before Christmas - it's tradition! 
I'm SURE I am missing one or two or ten... isn't that always the way? Someone mentions one and you're like "Oooooh yeahhhhh!". What's your fave?

At that, here's my fave part of my fave movie Love Actually - which you should probably only watch if you've seen the movie (spoiler alert) - enjoy:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lack of Posts

Please let my lack of posting be symbolic of my busy-ness this holiday season! Man oh man. But I love it! Lots of social events, gatherings and such, but also wrapping up work things before the end of the year! I know I'm a lucky duck that our office is closing for almost 2 weeks. I am soooo looking forward to MAXIMUM relaxation. 

Today I am posting another feel-good video which also supports my busy factor, BUT it is a beautiful video. I've noticed so many viral videos going around this month that are just absolute heart-warming, beautiful, and tear-jerking. They are nice reminders that there is so much good in the world, and so much love. The holidays alone are usually enough to remind you of what's important but seeing everyone share beautiful things like last weeks West Jet video, and the one below - well, it enhances the holiday spirit, but also shows a lot about the human spirit.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Looks of the Week

For the first two looks this week, I have chosen rather formal looking full length dresses worn by Kate Middleton and Christina Applegate. How stunning do these ladies look??? I think they look gorgeous. Although not practical (for my life anyways) I love a good gown. Also, can we just talk about how Kate just had a baby and somehow has bounced back to have the smallest waist? Impressive.

Kate Middleton, gown, red carpetChirstina Applegate, red carpet,

Next up: Naya Rivera in a VERY practical and VERY chic outfit. I would definitely wear this to work or a nice dinner. Love it. Also, we've got Blake Lively in probably my fave outfit of them all! This is ONLY a party dress, and even at that, with it's lingerie sexy style, it would only be appropriate at certain parties. There is just something about it though that I think is so elegant as well. Probably her styling of it as it's super tasteful. 

There you have it! Who's your fave this week?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WestJet Wednesday

Alright, so WestJet Wednesday isn't actually a "thing" but WATCH THIS VIDEO! I don't mean to be so demanding but this is an amazing video. It brings corporate marketing, holiday spirit, generosity, kindness, and just all around good feelings into one video. I think that with all the nonsense in the world, it is so nice to remember how much GOOD there is too! This is a perfect example of that.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

I love this night! This is usually my kick-off to Christmas but like I said last week, I'm already fully in to the spirit and have been for awhile. But tonight, the tradition that stands will be putting up the Christmas tree! I have my girlfriend coming over to help me out, and to watch the show, and eat some delicious food! So looking forward to it all.

Victoria's Secret, Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, holiday, Christmas

Monday, December 9, 2013

Seasonal Sparkle

I'm either giving you a great gift idea, a great gift hint to drop to someone, or a great gift-to-yourself idea! Or even just something pretty to look at. Either way check out these stunning Kate Spade Metro Grand watches I stumbled upon last week. 

Talk about perfect holiday sparkle for your wrist, but also with the option to switch out the strap! To me the whole switching out the strap concept reminds me of the kinds of versatile watches that were around when I was a kid. Switch out the strap or the coloured bezel and it's like you've got a whole new watch! I like these ones because one is party perfect where as the other one is more streamlined and classic... okay, maybe not the neon pink as much but definitely the black! 

Kate Spade, watches, Nordstrom, Metro Grand, sparkle
I'm torn on which combo I love the most: I'm very drawn to the classic gold and black, but how fun is the rainbow and pink?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela,
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013
I'm sure you've already heard, but yesterday the world lost a great man. A man who was strong and inspirational, and symbolic in that he remained both of those things despite some of the toughest times and trials a person can endure. Nelson Mandela was known for his longstanding fight against South Africa's white supremacist government, which lead him to be arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the government, and sentenced to life in prison. In 1990, after serving 27 years in prison, he was set free by the then-President F.W. de Klerk. From there the two worked together to avoid a civil war, earning them both a Nobel Peace Prize. He later became the first black South African to hold office when he served as President of South Africa from 1994-1999. His government focused on tackling institutionalized racism, poverty and inequality, and fostering racial reconciliation. 

Nelson Mandela is one of those rare, special people that shares the same light with the likes of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. He will live forever as a symbol and his words I imagine will continue to touch and inspire. On that note, here are some of my favourite quotes of his: 

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." 

"Part of being optimistic is keeping one's head pointed toward the sun, one's feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair." 

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it."

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." 

"As I walked out the door toward freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison."

"It always seems impossible until it's done." 

I noticed this morning that Pinterest has put up a section "Honoring a man who inspired millions with his words and actions". If you have a moment you should check it out.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review: Under the Dome

So, it feels like it took a million years but I finally finished reading the book Under the Dome by Stephen King. Just like when it took me a long time to read the Steve Jobs biography, I want to say right away that taking a long time to read it was a matter of finding time and is not a reflection of how I felt about the book. 

To start, I will say this was the very first Stephen King book I have ever read. Like most people I
have seen a few of his movies (like The Shining, and The Mist) but never a book, so I didn't really know what to expect of his writing. As you may know, Under the Dome was actually turned into a mini-series on TV (it ran over the summer I believe?) but I wanted to be sure to read before checking that out because I actually knew many people who LOVED the book. Those people are also not necessarily Stephen King readers which is why I was intrigued. While on the topic of the mini series, I should say that I haven't really heard anything good about it. Especially from those who have read the book. 

Back to the book: I thought it was really good and really interesting. The concept is a small town that one sunny day has an invisible dome fall over it keeping the townspeople trapped and any outsiders from entering. The way it happens (in the first few pages so this isn't a huge spoiler alert) is so quickly and unexpectedly that a plane flying in the air crashes into the dome; any cars traveling in or out at that moment also crash into the invisible wall; a woman gardening in her backyard which is just at the official town border has her arm severed. And that's just how it begins. The rest is actually more about the survival instincts of those trapped inside and how they react and behave when this happens to them. I thought it was amazing how Stephen King was able to (in my opinion) accurately depict how the minds of people work - almost like trapped wild animals - and how they would handle this whole situation.

The details in his writing were impressive. There were so many characters in this book, and their sub-plots so detailed I got really sucked in and was fascinated. At times you get caught up in the events taking place you forget that the dome is the catalyst to everything that's happening. The only thing, is that it had a VERY Stephen King type ending. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's for sure a thing. Being a massive book over a thousand pages I would not let the ending prevent you from reading this incredibly interesting and unique story. I thought it was SO good and would also be open to reading another of his books based on his fantastic writing alone!

Have you read this book, or any Stephen King books? As always too, I'm open for fave book recommendations - especially with the holidays approaching!

Next up: I have already begun reading the book The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I have heard nothing but amazing things about it and I know they're making a movie of it, so I wanted to jump on it. So far, really good!

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's December!!!

FINALLY, it's December. FINALLY, I'm not an oddball for playing Christmas music or decorating. 

Normally it's not until December that I really get into the holiday spirit but something happened this year... I've been in the holiday spirit for weeks! I know when someone talks about Christmas too soon or or sings carols too early it can be annoying... so I've been trying to hold back, at least in front of people. I will do so no longer! I'm also okay with all this snow. It's just adding fuel to the fire. My house is mostly decorated except for my Christmas tree - that will be done next week as a girlfriend and I are doing our usual Christmas-kick-off/decorating party/Victoria's Secret fashion show evening! I CANNOT WAIT TO HAVE A TREE UP! I even have presents ready for under it! The cherry on top of the sundae though? The music. I've been secretly (or not so secretly) listening to Songza playlist after playlist of Christmas music and loving it. I've also been skipping the aisles of stores as they've been playing the music. Just yesterday a local radio station began their 24/7 Christmas music takeover, so you can go ahead and guess what's playing in my car right now! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. 

Are you in the spirit? Or perhaps you've been in it this WHOLE time just like me... :)

Christmas, ornaments, holiday,

ALSO, today is Cyber Monday so happy shopping folks! I'm doing my best to resist but my inbox is filling up with unreal deals...