Working 9 - 5

"Working 9 - 5
What a way to make a livin'..."

See that desk pictured above. That's my desk (like you didn't already know that!).
That's where I'll be this week, from 9 - 5.
The contract I was working on for the past few weeks ended last week.
On the weekend, I decided that this week I would work on my OWN personal projects
(two to be specific) as if I was working for someone else.
From 9 - 5.
At my desk.
I'm going to put the same effort into the work for OTHERS, into the work I want to do for MYSELF.
Two breaks and a lunch hour.
Working 9 - 5.
I'm excited to see what I'll get crossed off the to-do list I created.
And of course I couldn't not blog a picture of my most recent thrift purchase.
If you follow me on twitter (and really you should ;) you may have already seen it.
It's this awesome clutch I picked up last week for $2.50.
Two dollars and fifty cents people.

Perfect dressed up or dressed casual. 
I think it's quickly become my favourite clutch.

And happy Memorial Day to my readers south of the border!


The Greatness Guide

So over the past few posts I've mentioned the book I'm reading, The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma, and how....well...great I think it is. This isn't the first Robin Sharma book I've read and I enjoyed the others just as much. The subtitle on this book reads: ".....secrets for personal and business mastery."

I wouldn't say they are so much "secrets" as they are tips/suggestions/advice and words of wisdom. Well, maybe they are secrets if you never knew them before. I can honestly say I've had at least 3 AHA moments so far and have underlined dozens of bits of wisdom. Some of which I'd like to share here with you all (shortened to get to the heart of the point as I see it). I even typed some out on pictures so they look nice :) Click image to see larger.

Chapter 11. Mick Jagger and Reference Points.

*(small correction: ...should read Lance Armstrong is a great reference point on perseverance...)
(this chapter - total aha moment.)

Chapter 14. How To Be a Happier Human

Chapter 20. Burn Your Boats.

Chapter 24. Your Four-Minute Mile.
...Before 1954 , it was believed that no runner could ever break the 4-minute mile barrier. But after Roger Bannister broke it, many more replicated it---within weeks. Why? Because he showed people it was possible. They got a new reference point. And armed with that belief, people did the impossible. (so true! you often hear something is hard/challenging to do but then when one person does it...tons of people start doing it afterwards and it's not as "impossible" anymore.) What's your four-minute mile? What false assumptions are you making in terms of what you cannot have, do and be? Your thinking creates your reality (AHA! total lightbulb went off for me) Your beliefs truly become self-fulfilling prophecies (because your beliefs drive your actions---and you will never act in a way that is misaligned with your thinking; the size of your life reflects the size of your thinking)......(ahhhh this entire chapter is one big aha moment)

Chapter 29. Your Schedule Doesn't Lie.
There's an old phrase that says "what you're doing speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you're saying." You can say that your primary value involves putting your family first, but if time with your family is not all over your schedule, well then the truth of the matter is that your family life isn't your priority....Show me your schedule and I'll show you the truth. Because your schedule doesn't lie.....Your schedule is the best barometer for what you truly value and believe to be important. Too many people talk a good talk. But talk is cheap. Show me your schedule and I'll show you where your priorities are. I used to be a litigation lawyer. Witnesses in the courtroom could say what they wanted to. But the evidence never lied. (I never thought about my schedule this way before. Very powerful stuff I think.)

And there are 101 chapters like this.

As I mentioned before the chapters are no longer than 1 or 2 pages and really expand on the suggestion/idea/advice for that chapter. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants some encouragement to...just do something, who wants to live a more fulfilled life, who is starting their own business or thinking of it, or maybe you have your own business and just want to make it greater. In short, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to be greater at whatever it is your doing.

*All excerpts from the book, The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma available, among other places, here or here.


It's Wednesday Which Means...


Seriously, this is my favourite new shows and has become one of my favourite shows on television PERIOD. It is absolutely hilarious! I laugh, literally OUT LOUD, during every single episode (which I've seen every one of thankyouverymuch).

If you haven't watched it yet I beg of you - give it just one shot tonight - then let me know what you think! I'm practically laughing right now just thinking about the show. All of the characters crack me up but I think Phil takes the cake:

Haha look at Phile (the dad's) face. So funny.

He really does seem like sweetest husband but he's just so darn funny and kinda in his own world. Click here to get a taste of Phil. LMAO.

But I also love Cameron. Cam in action. (Hard to find good clips online but that'll do)....and Manny.

What the heck, I love 'em all.

So, I guess you all know what I'll be doing tonight at 9 p.m.

Any other MF fans?

(sorry Glee fans, I tried it and seriously don't get the hype. don't hate me).

In Pictures...

This past long weekend was pretty great. I spent it relaxing with the family, we did 2 bbq's over 2 days, lots of gardening, my mom bought my brothers a trampoline so...yeah, lots of jumping and just general hanging out, reading, and being lazy. It was ridiculously hot - so much so that the city called an official heat alert warning for the next few days. I know, crazy right? Last week I was freezing cold. This week it's a really hot 28c. But I'm not complaining.

Though I take pictures for other people, I'm notoriously bad at taking pictures for myself - I'm too lazy to carry around my camera and then simply forget it in the house when I do remember to bring it with me. So these not so great iPhone pics will have to do.

My vegetable garden at my mom's house.  
Celery, cucumbers, zucchini, peas, lettuce, hot & sweet peppers,
tomatoes, green & white onions...

Chilling with Howard...

Did some reading.
Currently reading 'The Greatness Guide' by Robin Sharma. LOVE it.
Seriously think I'm going to do a giveaway and give away a copy...

Kids on the trampoline...they jumped for soooooooooo long.
Howard observed...

I'm also slowly taking steps towards something I've thought of doing for a while. Each day, well to be honest each hour, I remind myself that I can do it and remind myself of the pros instead of the cons. The Greatness Guide (see pic above) has some really encouraging pieces of information and I'm hoping I don't chicken out in moving forward.

This week might be light on posting since it's a bit busy for me - but I'll try to pop in with some (hopefully) inspiring & interesting posts.

Oh! and I notice I've gotten quite a few new followers both here and on my twitter over the past week or two. Welcome! Check out the archives. De-lurk and say hi. It's a friendly environment ;)


Windows Of Opportunity

what font are you?

As someone who LOVES fonts (I'll admit, I'm a bit of a font whore) I absolutely loved this little test.

And the test itself, the way it's given, is quite neat. Haven't seen anything like it.

Apparently, I'm 'Universal'

Take the test  then let me know what you got!

**long weekend here..just popped in to share this :)


Happy May Two-Four* Fellow Canucks!

And to my readers outside of Canada, see you on Tuesday! Lots going on over the next 3 days...including cooking & eating fiddleheads for the first time :) Feel free to link to, or post your own, fiddlehead recipes in the comment section :)

(p.s. You may have noticed a new section on my sidebar ---> called "on my radar." Like I've said before, I read every comment that's left on my blog and try to respond to each. I also click on everyone's profile who leaves a comment :) it's an awesome way of discovering new blogs. "On My Radar" is where I highlight a few that have caught my eye. It's also a way of showing some more love to you, my readers and it'll change every week or two. My regular blog reads are still there too!)

*May Two-Four also known as Victoria Day.


Pink Hearts

I am kinda in love with this photo:

It's just so deliciously girly. And while I wouldn't call myself a girly-girl, it certainly has me thinking of new bedding for my bedroom. The heart print, the scalloped edges....love it.

*Picture from here


Coming along...

I absolutely love the mid-century teak drawers I bought two weeks ago at the thrift store. I didn't know where I would put them when I bought them (the matching one is temporarily on this wall), I wasn't sure if it would make my bedroom feel too crowded, I just knew I had to have them. Luckily, it works perfectly AND oddly, my room feels larger. I initially thought the scale might be to big to use them as night tables but they are perfect. Cost? $30. Sweet.

Next up project DIY headboard...just gotta get the wood...


Hello perfect flower

I have a new favourite flower.

The rununculus. So many beautiful colours...

Doesn't it almost look like those tissue paper flowers you'd make as a child?

Helllllloooo perfect wedding bouquet. So perfect and full....

It joins the list along with my other favourite flower, the peony.

Another perfect wedding bouquet. Perfection.....

Together - they're a match made in heaven.

Can I be honest? Having a favourite flower makes me feel like a "big" girl lol. Like having a favourite wine or composer. It just seems like an adult thing to me.

So, what's YOUR favourite flower?


Thank You! (& decisions)

Hmmm. Have a couple of blog post ideas in mind but all will take longer to write than I want to give time to write now. But I wanted to post something today.

So I'll say THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my last post. If you've left a comment I've responded in the comment section to each of you. I really appreciate you all sharing your thoughts & suggestions and I've learned that a lot of you feel like I do! Really, in your responses, you each left gems of wisdom that got me thinking. Since posting that post I've made a decision about things I want to change in my lifestyle going forward which I will share next week. It won't be easy and I have a lot to learn but I am excited for the journey!

Oh, I'll also note that this is going to be a semi-busy weekend for me. I have to: finish selecting and editing pics from the orlando destination wedding I shot, research one or two wedding blogs I'd like to try and get featured on, send out a couple of resumes (since the contract I'm doing will end in 2 weeks), give my hair a protein treatment, do some research on my new decision (see above), do some gardening, I want to bring Howard to the dog park, think about a slight blog revamp, and begin sketching out an idea for a personal project...plus I need to catch up on sleep!

And because posts, as we all know, are so much better with a picture - I end this post with two quick pics I snapped of my bedroom in progress...filling up with my thrift find treasures :)


Have a great weekend!


Me? An Animal Advocate?

Warning: I fully expect this post, this LONG post, to be a bit all over the place...as my thoughts on this subject are...a bit jumbled...and I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to say...but all I know is I felt like blogging this today so bare with me.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about...I guess what it boils down to... animal rights - and the fair treatment of animals. Now this post is not a "preach to you" kind of post. I'm simply sharing my thoughts. I find lately I'm being drawn more and more to issues dealing with the treatment of animals. I mean, I've always heard and known that injustices towards animals take place but, keeping it real, it was like "Oh, that's sad...next topic." Now, I find that I really sympathize and wonder "What can I do?"

Thinking today, it struck me that I didn't start to really...for a lack of better word....care until I became a pet owner. I got Howard, my bichon frise/toy poodle, Christmas 2007.

Oh my gosh! Is he not the cutest thing ever?! I can't imagine anyone hurting him!

He is without a doubt the best purchase I've ever made in my life. Period. I never had pets growing up (unless you count goldfish) and to be honest, I was (and still am) afraid of dogs. I guess I always inherently knew that animals had feelings - but it wasn't until I became a pet owner myself, responsible for the life of something that can not communicate for itself, that all these injustices that happen to helpless animals really started to...bother me and that I really started to care. It's really hard to explain unless you have a pet - but I imagine its much like having a child or being responsible for a child. You are responsible for the well-being of that living creature that can not fend for itself. The difference is - babies grow up and turn into adults and learn to fend for themselves. Animals don't have that luxury. In the big picture of things: Man trumps Animal....and we, as men, do a lot of f-ed up shi*t to animals.

Howard make me ridiculously happy and I take the....privilege of being responsible for him very very seriously. It's the least I could do for this animal that brings me so much joy. And joy to my family. My mother, who said "sure you can get a dog, as long as he stays in YOUR space (this is when I was still living at home)," is now in LOVE with him. She buys him Christmas gifts, dog-sits and calls me with funny stories of what he's doing, and often calls me when I'm home to see how HE is. My younger siblings LOVE him. To see how they interact with him (from the youngest 6 yr old to the oldest 17 year old), and him with them, melts. my. heart. I seriously think having a family pet is one of the best things you can do for children. Not only does it teach them responsibility, but it also teaches them about forgiveness, loyalty, unconditional love, patience, and compassion.


I think that's what this is all about. You see, I KNOW, without a doubt, that Howard has feelings. He might not be able to say it, obviously, but he shows it. He shows his loyalty, he shows his love, he shows patience....he is SMART. He is aware. He shows anger! He is FUNNY! Sometimes he wants to do nothing but play...and he has different kinds of 'play.' When he's in pain, it shows. I could go on and on about his personality...

And the real realization that he has this...personality...lets me know that other animals have a personality too. And the thought of people harming innocent animals or treating them unfairly...really bothers me. Again, it makes me think "What can I do?"

It's funny, because as much as I like the zoo - I always felt sad when I was there. Even BEFORE I got Howard. Looking at these amazing animals sitting in these small areas, made to look like their natural habit but really not, sitting behind glass that says "do not tap" as people tap and take pictures. Heck, I was/am one of those people that takes pictures! I would think, "they must be really sad - this is not how they should be living. this is not natural for them." Not surprisingly, I recently decided that the zoo is not a place I'd like to go to any more....though I have volunteered with my little brother's class on their field trip...to the zoo...later this month. Oy. This goes for things like Sea World or Marineland. Don't think I'll be going to either any time soon.

I hear about documentaries like "The Cove" and my heart breaks into pieces. I hear about this story in the news in my area right now and I think "seriously! isn't that a bit drastic? aren't there alternatives?" Ugh, and I won't even mention "Food Inc" and several other stories in the news recently....

And then I feel like...a hypocrite or something because I LOVE to eat meat. Seriously. I'm a meat eater. Love it. And seafood - don't get me started. And I don't see myself becoming a vegetarian or vegan anytime soon (though never say never...). But yeah, for now and the foreseeable future, cutting meat out of my diet is not even a thought right now.

I mean, can I be an animal advocate...or something along those lines...heck I don't even know what I want to do with this new....passion for animals...volunteer or something would be my first guess...but can I really do anything when I EAT ANIMALS! ETA: I think, actually I know, that for some reason I've justified that it's okay to eat chicken and beef...or pork...but eat DOG? HEAVEN'S NO! Or horse? Never. But really - they are ALL ANIMALS...

I went on the WWF website today and as great as their cause is...after a quick browse it wasn't really speaking to me. So I went to the other organization I could think of that deals with animals...Peta. Yes, they are kinda hardcore for me too. But after a quick browse - this felt more what I was looking for. I mean - PETA = People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. That's exactly what is bothering me lately: The unethical treatment of animals....but I doubt PETA has a chapter for people like me. Meat eaters with leather handbags and shoes (kinda giggling writing that).

So...I dunno. I'm gonna browse the PETA site some more but I don't know what my next step will be. Maybe there's a PETA lite or something lmao. Likely, I'll just continue to sit here and wonder "what can I do" and not do anything...but I hope not.

Hmmm...not sure why I felt like sharing this but it's been something that's been weighing on my mind a lot lately. So, I mean, any and all comments are welcome. If you can relate - let me know how. Are you involved in any type of causes like PETA or WWF or a humanitarian organization...anything? Would love to hear about it.

ETA: Just found this website with a variety links to various animal rights organizations that I've never heard of - I'll be doing tons of browsing these next few days.

ETA: How could I not remember the WSPA? That might be a better option for me than PETA. Less hardcore tactics than the latter but just as effective. Excited to have (re) discovered it!

I Could Do Anything

I picked this book up a few weeks ago (yes while thrifting-gosh, you all are going to think i buy everything in thrift shops! hahaha) and am really enjoying it (though I am going through it quite slowly - I've been busy). I love the Barbara Sher's writing style. Very straight up - not flowery and hokey pokey. And, I must admit, there's been more than a few times when I've nodded my head in agreement - or at the realization of something. I can't wait to get through it to see what I discover.

Here's some of the intro:

This book is designed to help you find the good life. By that, I don't mean swimming pools, mansions, and private jets -- unless those are really your big passions. But if you picked up a book called I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, you're probably looking for a lot more than a swimming pool.  
You want a life you will love.
A friend's father got it right when he said "The good life is when you get up in the morning and can't wait to start all over again".....
I don't mean what you're skilled at. I don't really care what your skills are. When I was a single working mother with two babies, you know what my skills were? I could clean house like a demon; catch a moving bus with my arms full of laundry, groceries, and kids; and squeeze a dollar until the picture of George Washington screamed for mercy.
I do not want the career that uses those skills, thank you.
I don't believe you live the good life by doing what you can do; you live it by doing what you want to do. I don't even think your greatest talents necessarily show up in your skills. All of us are good at things we're not madly in love with. And all of us have talents we've never used.
Relying on your skills to guide you is simply unacceptable. That's why I don't intend to give you personality tests or skills assessments to find out what you should be doing.
I know what you should be doing.
You should be doing what you love.
What you love is what you are gifted at. Only love will give you the drive to stick to something until you develop your gift. That's the way really big things get accomplished in this world -- by people no different than you and I who know what they want and put everything they've got behind it.
If you don't know what you want, you can't get out of the starting gate -- and that's discouraging. But you're not alone. Recent figures show that as many as 98 percent of Americans are unhappy in their jobs. And it isn't only financial considerations that keep them where they are; they simply don't know what to do instead. What you may have thought was your private little nightmare turns out to be heartbreakingly common....

So, if you're feeling a bit...lost...or unsure of what you should be doing - I thought I'd share this find. You can probably find it at your local library or you can get it pretty inexpensively online. Click here to head over to Amazon where you can "look" inside the book and read more.


the littlest things

Sometimes it's the littlest things....

I found this bronze hammered vase, yes while thrifting, last week for $3.99. The "3" was partially wiped off and I tried to get it for 99 cents lololol - but no go. 

It's one of my most favourite finds. Ever.

It's only about 5.5" tall and the opening is about as wide as my palm but it's just the most perfect solid little vase. It's not that cheap tin stuff that easily bends either. Well worth my $3.99. And by now you all know I have a thing for gold - it needed just a bit of bronze polish to bring it back to it's original shine. 

I love it so much I'm even going to put REAL flowers in it. 


Kitchen Addition

Before I went to Florida to photograph a wedding I mentioned that I picked up an awesome thrift find that I would share later. Well, now it's later :)

Meet my new teak...credenza? (or would you call it something different).

I didn't want to do the full reveal until I had it properly styled but it might take me a while before I head to Ikea to pick up a frame for the print I have propped up - so here it is :) Here's what the same area looked like up until about 3 months ago when I got the urge to rearrange. Then the wall sat empty when I moved the former storage shelf to where it currently sits now - beside my desk holding books and magazines.

It's perfect for the area, which is in my 'eating' nook right beside the kitchen, and as you can see it's home to my microwave & cookbooks (so it no longer takes up my valuable counter space!), my lame liquor stash....

...and the bottom, behind the doors, holds extra kitchen necessities. Bottles of water, rice, Howard's food & dishes, and kitchen appliances I use frequently but not enough to have out on display (like my toaster and cuisinart griddler)


Ignore the stuff on the floor under the credenza and to the side of it, I still have to put those away ;)

I still have to line the two drawers that slide out with some pretty paper but all-in-all not bad for $29, eh?

Beautiful Girls

A few months ago I officially added Paula Patton to my list of most beautiful women. She. Is. A. Stunner.


My list of most beautiful women is very small. It includes Halle Berry:

She's 44?!! Ugh.

& Angelina Jolie:

I know she's hit or miss for some people. 
But seriously, she can do no wrong in my eyes.

And I'm thinking of adding Scarlett Johansson. We'll see. I take my list seriously and people aren't just added overnight lol. But yeah, I think I'll add her...

She's actually one of the few celebs, I think, that can pull off any hair colour.

Back to Paula. I don't think I've ever seen her look bad. And I've seen her in a couple of interviews and just love her personality. She's so modest.


And she's married to the super sexy and talented singer Robin Thicke. They make such a gorgeous couple it's almost disgusting. Lol.

I'm curious, who's on your beautiful women list? Which celeb women do you think are just...beatuiful? I feel like I need to add one or two more. Just so I don't look like I'm too difficult. Lol.

I also have a gorgeous man list. Perhaps I'll share that later.

Kind of a departure from my regular posts, I know.


a question for you...and some more finds!

I've been back from Florida for less than a week and have already scored some amaaaaaaazing stuff at the thrift store. Seriously, this particular thrift store has been SO good to me lately.

In the above picture EVERYTHING was bought at a thrift store. You can also see three of my latest finds, all purchased this week: the two small vases (you have to see a close-up of the gold one, I'm IN LOVE with it) and the amazing Danish modern 3 drawer chest. Which I happened to score TWO of! AND I also scored the matching 6 drawer dresser! I'm telling you - I can't wait to share these finds with you all. Plus, I still have to reveal this awesome find from three weeks ago.

Do you follow me on twitter? If not, you totally should. I often post pics of items as I see them in the store and ask for input as to whether or not I should buy it :) or if it has potential.

Is it corny if I say I absolutely love my apartment. I mean, every single item in it - I love. When I walk in my door I feel like...happy. Everything perfectly reflects me and although it's a rental apartment it doesn't feel temporary. I have pictures on the wall. Things are unpacked. It's comfortable. It's me. And while everything was affordable I'd like to think you wouldn't be able to tell they were bought "on the cheap." Actually, I've been thinking of doing a series of posts where I break down the cost of each room or space in my apartment so you readers can see - good design can be affordable. Especially those of you moving into your first apartment (this is my first apartment by the way) and are starting from scratch - like I did. But would that make me....unclassy? I mean, I notice lots of other bloggers don't post the price of things they buy - they hint that it was affordable or that they got it at a "great price" but never really say what that price was. And I always wonder "Well, how much was it??" Whereas I tend to ALWAYS say what I paid, "I scored this for $2.99!" Lol. Is that a turn-off to you readers? Would you prefer I DO or DON'T say how much I pay for things? And would you be interested in a series of posts like what I just described....like a breakdown of different spaces in my apartment?

And thank you to all of you who commented on the sneak peek of some of the images I shot at my very first wedding shoot. Your comments were really a joy to read and I so appreciate it. I'll be sure to let you all know when the full post is up!

Have a great weekend!


I'm Back! (& Some Wedding Photos....)

I'm back! And boy....I had a blast. Thank you all for the encouraging words in my last post. I'm still super exhausted (was up late every night!) and will give a better wedding recap later this week but for now I wanted to give you all a sneak peek at some of the photos - from my first wedding shoot ever.

Take a look at the full sneak peek here. & I'll let you know in advance that my style is very candid/photojournalistic - so not a lot of traditional posed stuff. Feel free to leave a comment over there letting me know what you think :)