The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***

Hey Guys,

I’m coming back with another book review for you! Ok, this book is amazing and I’m going to go ahead and give it 5 stars right now! It’s like you don’t even need to read the review now… but seriously give it a read if you have time! It’s called the Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Alright this book has actually changed my mentality and how I look at things now that I’ve finished it! Mark Manson brings up some super important points in the funniest way! It’s like he addresses this big problem that relates to you and it’s kind of life changing, but you’re also laughing because it’s funny? You’re like oh this is hilarious and is also me and why am I like this?! I would probably starting crying if he wasn’t making me laugh!

Anyways, I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I am part of the group of people that just cares about the small things in life too much! I care about other people’s fights at work, I care about if some stranger yells at me, I care if someone is driving too close to my car, I care about all of these trivial things that don’t matter and shouldn’t be wasting my time on. So now, I’ve started to say F*ck it. It’s not worth my time to care about all of this. If someone doesn’t do their job at work, and leaves me with all this work, I say F*ck it and do my job. If some stranger yells at me (which actually has happened recently), I say F*ck it. None of these problems are in my control. I can’t control how other people react and what they do. I just do what I can and change what I can change, while also not getting worked up about the small things. Whose to say why that stranger yelled at me! I don’t know his story. Maybe he heard bad news about something, maybe he got fired from a job, maybe he hates his job and feels trapped. What I learned from Mark Manson is that sometimes people treat you a certain way because of their own insecurities and that’s what I think about now.

He also helped me with my future. As you heard in recent posts, I want to go to school to be a prop builder for theater productions and for movies eventually. All I’ve heard from people is how much money I’m going to lose going to school and how much I’m going to be poor forever. I shouldn’t bother me, but it creates this fear in you that you didn’t have before! What if nothing comes from it, what if I suck at it, etc. Well how will I ever know if I don’t try! I have this fear of failure, but you could fail at anything in life. You’re always going to have cons to any job you do. However, if the pros outweigh the cons and the struggles are worth it to you, then it’s worth trying! If you can’t except the challenges, then that experience is not worth it for you. Once I read this book, that anxious fear left me, because he’s right. We’ll always have problems, we just have to accept them and embrace them.

Mark Manson talks about a lot of different things like this. He talks about having strong values and gives examples of a weak value of trying to be the most popular at a party or on social media. This is something you can’t control. You can’t force other people to like you and how they feel at a party. And I get this way! Especially now with Instagram’s new algorithm! It sucks to not have people be able to see my pictures, but why is this one of my values at all?

The book is amazing and will make you thing back on your own life and what you can change. It talks about putting yourself out there into the world to get what you want. He talks about feeling emotions, having good values, and losing this sense of entitlement that people sometimes get. He talks about being afraid of success and working hard! I love that he brings up Buddha and talks about accepting that you’re bad at something in order to let yourself go to succeed

His book made me view my life differently. I actually took notes and am trying to practice what he preached!

Thanks for the good book Mark Manson!

Now I’m onto What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

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Graduated

Hey Everyone!

Hope you are all doing well! I have been working like crazy lately to be able to afford my latest trip to Europe (which I will talk about more in future posts!)! So I am trying to take as many shifts as possible! So far so good on the savings front!

I wanted to talk a bit about my degree! I get questioned a lot about it, and people are always so confused if I graduated or not, because I currently don’t work a job that has to do with my degree!

Yes- I did graduate last summer! It was an amazing feeling! After 4- 5 years of feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, I have finally graduated and realized that it was all worth the stress! I have an arts degree with a major in anthropology and a minor in psychology. I didn’t love my minor, I just had a lot of credits in that field already, so I went that route.

My whole university career was a mess of confusion and me trying to decide what I wanted. Originally, I was in school to be a teacher, and I had a great fear of speaking in public. People told me all the time “You’ll get over it eventually”, but I dropped out of the program anyways. I could’ve gotten over that fear, but I didn’t want to deal with the process of getting over it because the end result was not something I really wanted in the end! So, I was stumped. I was Iike what do I do now? I thought I had everything figured out, but in the end I didn’t, so I was confused and anxious trying to decide. I finally went to the school councillor and her biggest piece of advice was to just finish my degree. I left and was like what the f*ck lady! Why can’t you just tell me what I want to do?!

Finally, I chose a bunch of classes at random being like, everyone else is taking these classes maybe I should too. So, I picked out some that fit into my degree, and picked out some science ones because people in school try to make it seem like an arts degree is absolutely useless. It’s like they pressure you with their judgement, and honestly, I believed they were right! It was my brother who finally told me to take a class, he had loved. That class turned into biological anthropology and was the best class i had ever taken. I fell in love with anthropology right there. I decided right there that my major would be anthropology, and my minor psychology. I actually really did not like Psych at all. Everyone will tell you it’s their favourite course and they all graduate with that major, but before you take it, test out some other classes! In my experience, psychology wasn’t what I thought it would be and was super boring. It stayed as my minor because I had take enough classes that I had enough credits to graduate with it as a minor.

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Even though I loved anthropology so much, I still was trying to decide on an “actual degree”. Meaning- I was looking for a degree with a guaranteed job at the end. I actually clung onto the idea of nursing being the one I needed to get into. I tried many times to get in, and just couldn’t. I decided on an after degree in it instead and worked on the rest of my art degree. If we’re being honest, I wanted to be a nurse, because everyone was doing it. I just wanted to graduate and have a job and money and never have to worry ever. So, I got a job at the hospital thinking that it would give me the experience I needed to get a job at the end. Here’s what happened: I got the job, went into work, and realized nursing is a disgusting job and super hard career choice! I mean I should have known- my mom is a nurse! Wow, the workload, the amount of butts you have to clean, the people you deal with, how they’re treated by doctors, how nurses treat each other- just wow. A lot of people take nursing today without working in a hospital previously, and making the same decisions I did, and realize the SAME thing! They end up quitting or being stuck in a job they hate. This does not have to be you- you’re not stuck and it’s ok to quit if you don’t like it no matter what it is you’re taking. (Also nothing against nurses at all, you guys are amazing for what you do! I just found that it wasn’t for me!) Also, I recommend getting experience before hand, in the end it’ll benefit you if you do love it and are trying to get a job! For teaching, I volunteered at a school and realized I hated it, for nursing I picked up a hospital job. Anyways, I was still like, it’s ok I’ll eventually get onto a GOOD unit and that’ll change EVERYTHING. Ya Erin, ok.

And then I went to Italy. I had been debating on being in biological anthropology for a while and possibly getting a masters in osteology (the study of human remains). To do this, would mean that I would have to live elsewhere. Canada is just to new of a country to have the archaeology I wanted to do. Just as a side note: Anthropology is the study of humans. Plain and simple! It then starts splitting off into different areas: cultural anthropology is the study and recording of present day cultures and that can go into some cool fields. There’s Linguistics the study of languages, also very cool! Some people in this field end up recording dying languages before they run out of speakers! There’s many directions to get into in this field. There’s archaeology- which focuses more on prehistory and cultural change over time (aka Indiana Jones). Finally, there’s biological anthropology- my favourite- which studies more evolution and variation. As you can see, there is no mention of dinosaurs. Yup, that is palaeontology. I’s hard for people to wrap their brains around this. They see digging for both and think they are connected, but they are not.

So, as you can see, I was seriously debating my options. Nursing meant living near family, biological anthropology meant moving. Kathleen and I decided to go to Italy to see if we liked any field of anthropology. We ended up not even doing biological anthropology at all, and ended up doing lab work in an archaeological field. Italian archaeologists, had dug up pottery from one of the bath houses in Pompeii, and the job we signed up to do was to clean, and organize pottery! I’ll talk more about this in future posts because I could talk for years about this! My main point is, is I went to Italy and archaeology won out instantly. The idea of nursing seemed ridiculous and I couldn’t believe I was going to try to make a job I didn’t like work for me.

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Last summer, I finished my anthropology degree and I am so thrilled to have done it. Now I love my degree more than anything. I still have one problem. It’s so hard to use this degree in Canada in this field. Now that I have a degree, there are tons of jobs I can get, especially government positions, but none of those appeal to me. I was stuck again. What can I do in Canada? Moving to Europe is too much for me right now, but what could I do here! So, my mom bought me a plane ticket to Vancouver to visit my cousin right after I graduated. I worked with her making props for theatre productions, movies, and TV shows, and fell in love again with another job.

I’m happy to say that I plan on moving to Calgary in September to go to school for theatre production, and then to Banff after that. It’s been a long road to find what I love, but I want to thank everyone along the way for the advice, for letting me volunteer and help out, giving me opportunities to help me find what I love to do. I may never make any money from doing this, but to me, finding something challenging and that I love doing is far more important in all respects. And if I fail, I still have an awesome degree to help me out!

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So, you can expect me to be challenging myself and doing prop work, and when I’m not doing that, I’ll be doing some archaeological work around the world! Two jobs that I’m so passionate about, can do anywhere ( I would like to live in London someday, just no one to move with yet), and will love doing for the rest of my life.

My take home message is this: volunteer when you can to learn about the job you want! What are your interests? Start networking with people and learn the pros and cons of the job. There will be cons with every job, but are they worth it to you? If you can get through them, that job is for you! And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Just do it. People will tell you all “ You won’t make any money, You don’t have benefits, you’ll never get a job with an arts degree.” Here’s the reality. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be worth it. Money isn’t everything, do what you love and work hard at it. An arts degree can get you to a lot of places. You can get government positions for just having a degree. No matter what degree you have, school is worth it and the fact that you accomplished getting a degree is amazing!!! Good for you! I have been trying to convince myself out of going to school again all year. But I’m finally realizing that I can’t listen to others, I have to do what makes me happy, so that’s what I’m going to do!

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Women & Power- Mary Beard

Hey Everyone!

I recently just finished a new book! It’s called Women and Power by Mary Beard! Mary Beard is a well respected classics professor and is the author of SPQR. I hate to admit this, but I bought SPQR and have not even started it yet! My brother borrowed it from me and also hasn’t read it yet- whoops! I keep buying books and not reading them because I take out so many library books and have to finish those before I have to take them back! It’s a vicious cycle of having too many books!

Anyways, this is the first Mary Beard book I have read, and it was a very good read! If you want to learn about women’s rights, especially now after the women’s march and times up, this is a great book to read! It’s very short, only like 100 pages and talks about the mistreatment of women from ancient times to current. She talks about the misogynists and the attacks against women throughout time. It’s a short, modern, feminist book that will leave you wanting to underline everything she says. So much of it is so true, you just want to express it to everyone! I kept putting the book down and telling my mom about all these different parts that I could relate to or that made me shiver because it just made sense!

I do believe that this book is important to read. It’s important to learn and understand so we can make our society a more peaceful, and equal one. Always read! Keep Learning! Adjust your perspective, and try to understand other’s views without shutting them down! When you do this, you can compare the arguments and make yours stronger, or you may learn something new you hadn’t even considered! It’ll make you more open minded and more understanding. I learned a lot with this book, but I still have further to go, so this will not be the last feminist book I read.

I rated it 5 stars on goodreads!

My next book is drastically different and is called The Snowman! I’ll let you know my ratings next time! 🙂

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Rainbow Hair Care

Hey Everyone!

So, as some of you may know- if you follow our instagram, which is @avenue23blog– I changed my hair a little drastically! I went from a silver, blonde to a rainbow ombre! The top of my head is still blonde, because lets be real, I love blonde too much to just get rid of! Then it fades into nice rainbow colours!IMG_2364IMG_2369

Today, I wanted to talk a bit of how I take care of my hair! As some of you may know already, the bright, fun, colours tend to fade super fast. So my hair care routine is an attempt to keep the colour in as long as possible!

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My hairdresser/ best friend Melanie (her handle on instagram is @watermelonyhair, her page is SO fun to look at! Give it a look through!), told me after my hair was done to ONLY wash my hair in cold water and to wait 72 hours after my hair being dyed to wash it. So there’s a couple rules from a professional to maintain your new, beautiful hair!

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To take this a little further, I have a couple more recommendations to help out!

First, before I go to bed- every second night- I put a hair mask in the ends of my hair! Currently, I use Kevin Murray, recommended to me by Melanie! I comb it through and braid it!

The next morning, I leave my hair in a braid and shampoo the top of my head, then I put conditioner through (this can all be done under a tap, if it’s easier). Then finally, under the tap and in very cold water, I wash the conditioner out of my hair with the braid still in. There’s about three different shampoos and conditioners I tend to rotate between! One is the Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner– smells AMAZING! Kevin Murphy is another I used- specifically the Blonde Angel Wash for my blonde hair. Last one I use is the Kardashian brand shampoo and conditioner. This one is a little more affordable- you get way more for what you’re paying!

I will say that I pay a little more for my shampoo and conditioner because I pay so much for my hair! A store bought shampoo and conditioner will strip the colour out of your hair. Also, with a good brand, I find that I don’t have to use so much! My hair is hydrated and healthy after too! I bleach my hair a lot to get the colours I want, so it’s important for me to use a product that is more hydrating. If you didn’t want to spend as much on both, then I recommend splurging on your conditioner at least!

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I take the braid out finally, and brush it (my hair needs to be dried before a good combing! It knots super easily!). For a detangler, I buy Lush’s Sunny Day. I always get compliments on my hair smelling amazing- it’s a combination of honey and lemon juice! What I love about it, is that it’s also an anti- static hair spray for my constantly dry, and staticy hair!  Also, just a side note- I have pretty fine hair, and I find it

So, that’s basically my routine! I blow dry my hair and comb it out instead of brushing so it’s less knotted up! I hope this helps you! Let me know about your hair care in the comments below!

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BarkBox

Hello Everyone!

Today we have a very special post, brought to you by BarkBox. BarkBox kindly sent over a sample box for Erin and I (more like Maggie and Jake) to review!

If you are unfamiliar with Bark Box, it is a monthly subscription service built for your dog’s enjoyment! Monthly subscriptions start at $20 and each box is valued at over $40! Each month has different a “theme” (some examples include; Chewrassic Bark, The Good, The Bad, and the Pugly, and New York City). Also, it has free shipping! YAY!!

When you sign up for BarkBox, you can choose the size of your dog! I love this feature, because sometimes the small toys are way too small for my larger dog, and I worry about him swallowing them. Vice versa for the small pups. Sometimes the toys are too large and she can’t even get her mouth around them! So, being able to select a size option for your dog is perfect!

But enough background lets get into the review!

Our box contained two toys and three different types of treats. Maggie and Jake were excited from the beginning and couldn’t wait to dig in and give their paw of approval.

Toys:

Pug-kin Spice Latte:

This toy was a hit with both Maggie and Jake, Jake went right for the whip cream. This toy contains a squeaker and got their attention immediately. Also, it was adorable! Now, they have the same addiction too pumpkin spice lattes that we have!

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Basket of Apples:

Erin knew this toy would be a hit with both Maggie and Jake because they love toys that you can take apart. The “basket” of this toy crinkles, and contains two adorable apples (that squeak, obviously). The pup in question has to dig into the basket to get the apples out. The apples also have little faces on them and it’s FREAKING adorable! IMG_3640

Treats: (worth noting, they are all natural products that are reviewed by BarkBox before sending out!)

Dried Lamb ears:

Maggie and Jake normally eat dried Pig Ears, so they were stoked to have something different. Definitely the messiest treat of the bunch (as well as the smelliest), it wasn’t our favourite item of the box. However the puppies loved them and ate them in minutes! Also, BarkBox has AMAZING customer service! If you message them in the little chat box at the top, they will message you back instantly! If your dog has an allergy or doesn’t like a certain product, they will switch out the product with something else, or send you a new product for free!IMG_3647

Bonfire Bites :

These were the first treats Maggie and Jake had, they liked them, but there were other treats they liked better. The dog treats were long and chewy which was awesome for my larger dog, so he didn’t gobble them up in an instant! He had to take his time and enjoy it.IMG_3637

Duck Cranberry Pies:

Out of the box these treats were the STAR. Both pups loved the flavor of these treats. In fact they were the second item we opened, and it was hard to keep their attention off these treats throughout the rest of the unboxing. They were so cute! They’re just little pies, and if we would have let them, the pups would have demolished them instantly!IMG_3644

BarkBox also comes with a recipe! You can try to make some healthy treats for your dogs if you’re interested! In future posts, we’ll attempt to make the recipe we were given!

Overall Review: BarkBox is a great idea for new dog owners, or dogs who needs some new and exciting toys and treats. They’re full of 3 toys and 3 treats that are sent to you every month. This may seem like a lot, however, it’s really not! I have 2 puppies, so this allows me to be able to have enough things for both dogs! For one, my dogs destroy toys very fast, *cough* Jake! This box allows me to get them more toys and try out some new ones that I think will hold up better than others! I love that they have “thinker” toys that allow my dogs to do more than just destroy them! They’re still trying to figure out how to take apart the apples in the basket! Also, for treats, the box is great for trying out some new, natural products! I find I use them up fast, because my dogs always get a treat whenever I leave the house! I always feel too guilty! In addition, one of the treats will always be a chewable treat! These are awesome for when it’s -40 out and the dogs can’t go outside for very long. Sometimes, they get very bored, so this keeps them distracted and also gives them something else to do.

Another fun thing about BarkBox is that you can send them as gifts!! Um yup!! Look out friends, you are all getting gifts for your dogs now! This would be great for someone who recently became a dog owner and you wanted to get something for their new puppy! Also, I know my friends would love to get something for their dogs instead of me getting something for them. Dog owners, am I right?!

Last thing we wanted to mention before closing here! If you feel like getting monthly boxes is just not doable at the present time, or you LOVE a specific product and want more, you can shop for each thing individually at BarkShop! This is awesome, because you can shop for your dog and know that each item is healthy and recommended by dog lovers! I saw a dog walking bundle on their, I definitely want! Also, the themes and toys are adorable! Getting a box with a theme is so much fun!

Thanks you Bark Box for the opportunity to review your box! Make sure to check them out at https://barkbox.com/  or at https://barkshop.com/

Kathleen and Erin (and Maggie and Jake) xo

Herbivore

Hey Everyone!

After a long, busy, couple of weeks, I was looking up some vegan friendly bath supplies to throw into the mix and came across Herbivore on Pinterest!

Herbivore is a cute site that has some very good products. They also have a blog section with some very good reads!

One thing I found, is that some products are a little more pricey. However, I live in Canada so the shipping is probably the biggest thing. For my lovely American friends, they’re an American company so it will be easier and probably cheaper for you guys! Regardless, the products are worth the price! Honestly though, it’s probably the same amount I would spend at Lush.

I bought 2 items: a coconut milk bath (Which I’m surprised didn’t get flagged over the border as it was white powder in a jar 😉 ) and Detox Eucalyptus and bath clay salts. Eucalyptus is used for a number of ailments and I was sick before Christmas, that I need ALL the Eucalyptus! As for the coconut milk bath, it is amazing for your skin!

Both of the products smell AMAZING, especially if you mix them together. I found that you don’t need to use much of the product to get the benefits. It kind of depends on you! If you want a bath with a strong aroma, use more. The coconut milk bath you will have to use a lot to get a nice aroma, but the salts were fine!

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I seriously loved both products, I will be buying them again and trying more out in the future! Just as a quick note, the products are vegan and the jars are reusable if your New Years Resolution is to use more vegan products and be eco friendly 🙂 !

https://www.herbivorebotanicals.com/

Are there any products you like you want me to know about?! Let me know in the comments! I LOVE recommendations!

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Merry Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas came very fast this year, and I wanted to talk a bit about my Christmas traditions!

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Every Christmas Eve, my family gets together and goes to a movie at the theater! This tradition started when Polar Express came out and has continued ever since! We used to try to hit Christmas movies, but that rarely happens! It’s only so often a good Christmas movie comes out to theaters! So, we started going to movies like The Hobbit- we saw all of them, every year. Then it switched to Star Wars! Finally, Christmas movies like Disney’s Christmas Carol came out and we saw those as well! This year we went to Jumanji- we all had seen the new Star Wars. It was HILARIOUS! That movie could have gone south, fast and been lame- especially because the first one is so good! However, it was cast perfectly. The Rock and Kevin Hart banter was amazing, Nick Jonas was very dreamy to look at, Karen Gillan was the perfect amount of teenage awkward, and Jack Black stole the show!!! He was hilarious as always. His character was absolutely perfect! We had a great time at the show this year! A great choice by my brother!

So after the movie, we went home and ate a ton of appetizers! My dad made some extremely delicious appetizers that I think I will share in future posts! He tried a bunch of new things this year! We had home made pizza, chicken wings- spicy and maple, a couple of different wrap rolls that had different taco seasonings, sausage rolls, and then just chips for snacks! My mom had made a flapper pie as well, which is always amazing (Basically, it’s just a vanilla meringue pie!- maybe future posts as well). There was a ton of Christmas baking too. Different sugar cookies, ginger bread cookies, tarts, peanut butter cookies- so good! Also, we had a ton of Eggnog and good drinks!

Usually after that we play board games or cards games and my sister and I rage quit or my brother and I die laughing when were losing horribly! We watch some Christmas movies, and that is our Christmas Eve! Just a relaxing evening of hanging out and being together! My brother’s girlfriend and I LOVE puzzles, so we’ll build those! Tonight, I almost completed a 1000 piece puzzle- I’ll sit there for hours working hard at it! Love it!

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SO For Christmas Day, we open gifts early! I love this time, because we’re all so thrilled about the gifts! It’s more about being excited about giving the gifts then receiving! Sometimes we’ll stop to watch someone unwrap a gift from us to see their faces! I love giving gifts and finding that meaningful and perfect gift for someone they weren’t expecting! I’ve received many thoughtful gifts too! I LOVED getting my record player with a brand new record! So amazing and I completely forgot I asked for it! I had briefly mentioned it and then my parents remembered and bought one for Christmas! Another favorite- my brother got me the Elder wand! I was so surprised! I didn’t expect that one at all! Last one I’ll mention, is last year my brother’s girlfriend got me Disney postcards to practice drawing! This year my sister got me a bracelet where the money is donated to an animal sanctuary! Each bead represents a meal given to a dog and the dogs are sent to live on a farm instead of being put down. They’re beautiful and it was unexpected! Any gift I receive is beautiful and every gift I give I’m thrilled about giving!

Usually after this we drive out to my Grandma’s house for a Christmas lunch. We’ve always had our dinners early so we can all sleep after and be extremely full! My grandma makes the best meals! There’s turkey, stuffing, and ham! Then 2-3 different kinds of homemade perogies-  regular, cheese ones, and one year my grandma made fruit ones as well! We also have cabbage rolls, and then some sort of veg! My grandma makes a lemon meringue pie and a carrot pie! So the carrot pie, I’ll talk about in future posts too I think, but basically it looks and tastes the same as pumpkin pie, but it’s just healthier! So good!

The rest of the day is us just hanging out and watching Christmas movies! My top ten favorite Christmas movies are:

  1. Chevy Chase Christmas Vacation- AMAZING! SO FUNNY, We have been watching that since I was very young!
  2. Charlie Brown’s Christmas- Love this, but so sad Charlie Brown is bullied!
  3. It’s A Wonderful Life- ” You want me to lasso the moon Mary, I’ll lasso the moon for you!”
  4. A Christmas Story- Again, another family favorite, and I have been watching it for years!
  5.  Elf! Who doesn’t love Elf! So hilarious!
  6. Polar Express- Kind of a slower movie, but I love the whole feel of this movie! Love Tom Hanks! I have to watch every year!
  7. Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Carol- A CLASSIC! I love this movie! It’s only half an hour! I wish it was longer
  8. Scrooged- love me some Bill Murray
  9. A Disney’s Christmas Carol- Love this Jim Carey one! But seriously, there’s a theme going on here
  10. The Grinch who stole Christmas- Cartoon and regular! SO great! “Maybe Christmas is a little bit more”
  11. I’ll be home for Christmas- yup I added another 😁

Also, here is some of my families decorations- these pictures are from a few years ago, it’s changed even more now! My parents LOVE Christmas, especially my dad. They are constantly buying decorations. Also, it’s worth it to note that my mom hand stitched all our stockings! They’re beautiful and all individualized for us! Another thing too, that Christmas village is VERY small here! It has expanded like crazy, as in it takes up three tables! It’s amazing! We have workshops, houses, ski hills, skating rinks, mobile homes, and so much more!

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this is my list, and these are my traditions! I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and if you don't celebrate, Happy Holidays whatever your religion may be!

Thank you all so much for being here with me, reading, commenting, liking posts! Let me know in the comments what your traditions or favorite Christmas movies are!

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RRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

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Maggie & Jake

Hey Guys!

Today is a fun post! Not that they aren’t all fun, but this one I’m very excited to do! I want to talk about my dogs, and actually my other really great pets!

Maggie & Jake. If you know me, than you know that my dogs are my life. We do almost everything together, and if I could take them to work with me or to hang out with friends, I would. Sometimes, they dictate what I do or whether I even leave the house, because I never want to leave them! I bought a shirt that says ” I just want to hang with my dog”- this is accurate! If I leave the house and no one is home, I have to throw treats at them and run out to make me feel less guilty and because they deserve all the treats! Fellow pet owners, I know you feel me! The more I see them, the happier I am. Dogs are seriously one of the most amazing things to happen to this earth- we don’t deserve dogs. They’re too great!

My dogs are both schnauzers- ones a miniature, ones a standard size. Before Maggie and Jake, we had another miniature standard (Although debatable, because he was way larger than the average miniature).  His name was Rebel and he was one of my greatest loves. He had an amazing personality- always sassy, but also very loving. He always wanted to hold hands (He loved his paws being scratched) and when I asked him if he loved me, he’d bark at me. He was an amazing dog.

Rebel was my first actual dog. We had one before, but he was so protective of us kids, that my parents worried he’s bite someone. They moved him to a home with a couple of adults and he was way happier and less stressed. He was never like that with them- perfect home. We picked up Smudge from an apartment, where he was way too young to leave his mom, so we were very suspicious from the beginning. In the end, he went to a better home. Anyways, when we got Rebel, my parents had researched the breeder and done their homework. The breeder was amazing and we brought our first puppy home. I was in grade 1- I think? We grew up with him, and I taught him all the tricks in the book! Rollover was a hard one for him, he used to growl and sass me whenever he had to do that trick! He hated that one, but other than that, he knew a lot of tricks! We used to hide his toys and watch him sniff them out and jump on them when he found them. When people came over, he would bark at them until they gave him attention. It was never vicious or aggressive, it was more like a “Hey! Why are you paying attention to her! Give me pets!” He’d stop whenever they pet him, and if they stopped he would start up again! When we had picked out Rebel, he had cried every time we moved him away from his mom- the breeder knew he’d be dramatic and he was. If he ever stepped on something or had a branch in his fur, he would fake a limp for attention and cry. So, I’d sit down and massage his paw like I always did, and  tell him he was a good puppy. Then he’d switch paws and to get that one massaged,  and he’d walk away all fine, no problem. As he got older, and we got more and more attached ( I used to snuggle him like a baby and he would enjoy every minute of it), my parents grew worried about how we would react when he passed. They knew we would be devastated, and the idea of not having a dog at all killed them. They ended up deciding to get another puppy by the time I was in Grade 12. So we got Maggie!600560_10151715602370695_557043231_n

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We got Maggie from the same breeder as Rebel, but she had a different parents. Rebel’s parents had passed away by this point, and the breeder had gotten new dogs by this point. OH, it’s also worth noting 2 things here: 1- All of our dogs were/are pure bred schnauzers with lineages traced back to France; 2- We got schnauzers because they are hypoallergenic dogs and my dad and brother had had an allergy to dogs at one point (we’re not sure if they still have allergies now). These dogs have a different type of hair from most dogs- and this is why we never rescued from the local SPCA. Someday, I will rescue dogs. 249322_1711920442524_1373547086_31445922_6390199_n.jpg

Anyways, we went to pick out Maggie before taking her home, and there were only female dogs left. We also didn’t want Rebel to feel threatened about a new male dog, so we went with a female to make it easier for him. He had been an only dog for years. The puppies were freaking adorable, but we picked out Maggie, because she kept sitting on our feet and was so calm for a puppy. She still does this. If I’m sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table, she’ll sit on my feet. Maggie is the sweetest girl in the world. She is very cuddly and affectionate. She always has to be sitting next to you and touching you in some way. Like, she’ll lay as close to me as possible when I’m sitting on the floor, or she’ll sit on me. She was an amazing puppy. When we got her, we took her to my Grandma’s house (it was just my mom and I, we decided to take her so Rebel could get a break as he wasn’t quite used to her yet). My grandma’s house is 8 hours away, and she slept almost the whole time, and was so calm! We made frequent stops to let her pee and stretch her legs, and she would do what she had to do, and then sleep again once we got in the car. At my Grandma’s she was an angel, she went outside and never in the house; played lots, but never too long that she was too hyper. Only chewed her toys, and slept in my bed with me no problem. Rebel loved/hated her. He was more so annoyed that she would follow him around and sleep as close to him as possible, but I knew he loved her too. He was great with her still, especially for being an only dog who was also very spoiled!

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We found out Rebel had cancer in December 2012. He had a tumor on his stomach that stopped him from eating. One day, I had noticed he wasn’t eating his meal- which was odd, he loved food too much. It crushed me. The vet told us, we didn’t have long, but we tried to keep him alive as long as possible. When we found out things changed. He started sleeping in my bed more, we fed him ANYTHING he would eat. One day, he was so hungry we fed him a whole piece of pizza. We made him comfortable, and he made it through Christmas. I made ornaments to remember him, and would document everything he did. Just little special personality traits, and reasons why I loved him. He died in January, 2013. The feeling of losing a dog is insane. I’ve never been so sad or felt such loss. I cried for a month, and actually am still crying as I write about it. It never goes away, but it gets easier.

Maggie was a blessing. She was everything we needed to help us get through it. She is extremely affectionate, so she would come over and give me kisses until I would stop crying. It was also nice to come home and have a dog run and greet you. The house would’ve felt empty without her. After Rebel, she came everywhere with me. I would take her on car rides all the time to run errands (my car would be running on hot or cold days just FYI, and always a short trip). We’d hang out in the sun, play, sleep in the same bed, she’d “study” with me- the whole works. Maggie’s personality is hilarious. She’s super sweet and affectionate on one hand, but is very mischievous on the other! When she wants you to keep petting her, she’ll take her paw and scoop at your hand pulling it towards her tummy, because she loves belly rubs, if that doesn’t work she will lick you to death! Like I said, Maggie is very mischievous. She constantly tries to get Jake into trouble! She will bark outside until he barks, then run inside quick so we yell at him. If she doesn’t want him around, she’ll ask to go outside (he loves outside), wait for him to go out and then get back in. Sometimes, she’ll distract him, so she can go eat his food too. She’s a foodie. At one point she was fat from eating Rebel’s food when we got sick, and so she’s on a weight loss diet, but is all back to her perfect size now! She’s my Maggie May.

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Jake. There are not enough words in the world to describe Jake. We got him November of 2013. Our family was almost not ready for Jake. We were still grieving, but my dad was determined to get another male dog. We got Jake from Seattle, because our regular breeder had stopped breeding schnauzers and was breeding different dogs now. I don’t recommend flying a puppy to you. The whole process was crazy, and I feel like Jake has anxiety issues from it now. His flight kept detouring and changing and that is too much for a puppy. Poor guy. He was the last puppy left from the litter. Jake was a FREAKING cute puppy! But he was SUPER hyper! I have never had a dog like that. He was crazy! I actually don’t remember most of his puppy- hood I was so tired! It was hard, because I was still getting over Rebel and now I was training a new puppy that was high maintenance. Maggie was miserable, and Jake would be up at 4am everyday, while I still had to hit 8am classes at the university! It was CRAZY! I would take him for a 10km walk and I would be exhausted and he’d still be playing! When he was very little, we would have to wrap him in a towel and force him to calm down by snuggling him. But I got through it. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Jake in my life now. When I bonded with him a month after we got him, it was amazing. He is the colour in our world. Crazy, hyper, and hilarious. He can jump 7ft high, and has caught 2 squirrels- which is not ok for me, but crazy that he’s done that! He’s not the most affectionate guy, but when he gives you kisses and snuggles, it is so meaningful. At night, he lays on my feet- his way of snuggling. Also, if I have the tv on too loud in my room, or I move him, or we disturb him in any way, he will groan super loud to let you know he’s trying to sleep! He’s also the biggest chicken out there! He is literally scared of everything! Laundry being folded, my unicorn speaker, knives chopping too loudly, scary parts in movies that make loud noises- loud noises in general actually. He doesn’t like it when we talk to loudly! He will get up and leave the room- especially if it’s a hockey game and we’re cheering! But he also follows my mom and I around the house. He gets so close to you, his nose is on your leg when you’re walking! Jake loves playing, and running outside. He will just do straight up laps around the yard. He’ll also grab anything he can- like a bone and shake his head at you and tap you with his paw so you’ll play with him! Sometimes, he’ll just throw the ball at me! He LOVES hip scratches! He will put his body between your legs, so you have to scratch his hips! He’s a crazy man, but he’s calmed down MAJORLY! He knows when it’s time to play and when it’s time to calm down and sleep. He’s a very good dog, and buddy! I love him so much. IMG_3525984027_10152455191160695_7278147732747205375_nIMG_4753

So, those are my dogs! The only other pet I have is a gecko! My brother and I bought her from a gecko breeder we found on kijiji. She was only $5 and she is beautiful! She’s a crested gecko named Tiberia. We’ve had her for 3ish years now and she’s still growing! We had to get her a new tank soon actually! She’s brown, but turns bright red when she sun baths! She’s so cool! IMG_4369IMG_5523

That’s it! Those are my pets! I love them all, and without them, I don’t know where I’d be! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve loved writing it!

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Nap Game Strong!

Hey Guys!

I hope you are enjoying the new layout of the blog as much as I am! I have had so much fun rearranging the blog, and coming up with more intriguing topics. It’s amazing to me to see the growth of the blog since May! I feel like it gets more and more mature each time! Very exciting. I think it’s also worth noting that the photography for the page is all my own! I have recently found this new love for photography and I love to show you guys my work! All the pictures are from my trip to Italy and all from Rome actually!

So anyways, today I wanted to talk a bit about starting a routine! Routines have ALWAYS been hard for me. I have always worked such strange hours and on top of that, I used to have to fit homework in whenever I could. There’s so much I want to fit into my day now that I have time, but it’s still hard for me to get it all done, because I have never been used to having a good schedule. I find that because my shifts aren’t consistently on the same days, I overbook myself with shifts. I end up working WAY too much. This means that I eat whenever I have time to, sleep whenever I’m able, and skip important things like exercise because I do not have time.

So I have a new goal, and before New Years(as a side note, you don’t have to wait for New Years to start a new goal)! I am working on those healthy routines!

My biggest problem has always been Sleep. I NEVER get enough sleep! I am 100% night owl, and 0% early bird riser. This is my first change to my routine. Getting enough sleep is super important and I never get enough of it. I hate to confess to the time that I normally go to bed, but with insomnia it can range. So sometimes 12- 1am on a non- insomnia day, and on an insomnia day 2-3 am. Yuck, right. I sleep in, but still that’s not a lot of hours and regardless, leaves me A- basically no day and B-feeling fatigued throughout the day.

Alright, so here’s one of my goals for the remainder of this year and for next year: Have a healthier Lifestyle. So part of that big goal is to get 8 hours of sleep.

In order to achieve that here is my baby steps to achieve the greater goal!

  1. Go to bed before midnight- I would like to aim for 10! I find at night I get distracted by a good book, or a Tv series! My plan for this is to get rid of watching Tv before bed, if my book is too addicting, maybe I can switch to a puzzle or something! Also, my phone has an alarm you can set, to let you know when it’s time for bed and when to wake up! If you have an Iphone go into the clock function and tap on bedtime! You can change the times you want to sleep and get up to get a good sleep! For now, I put 9 hours of sleep!
  2. Wake up in the morning (in the single digits!)- I suck at this. I am the kind of person who sets an alarm at 7:00, 7:05, 7:10, 7:15… I think my goal for this is to go to bed early and sleep in the first couple of nights to catch up. Then from there, I’ll change my alarm to a little bit earlier every day to get the desired time (I’m thinking around 7).

So I also have some other sleep aid items that might help you as well!

  1. Sleepy from Lush– Oh my god guys. This stuff smells beautiful and actually works! So I would say that it knocks me out in 15 mins when I use it. I will put big purple spots to intensify the smell. I’ve heard you can also get it in a bath bomb (Twilight), but for me the lotion is something I can use everyday!
  2. Humidifier and Essential Oils- My true intention was to have a humidifier in my bedroom, because I find my skin is very dry in the winter, so I bought one that also

IMG_3512functions as an oil diffuser! I absolutely love it! The smells relax me- Lavendar I can use to help with sleep and peppermint is very good for colds. There are a variety in the package I bought. Both are from Amazon, and here are the links:

     Humidifier: Amazon- $34.99

     Essential Oils: Amazon- $25.95

  1. Jersey Sheets– I love my Jersey Sheets! I find that if you are the kind of person that gets hot a lot, these sheets help big time! They definitely feel cooler. Here’s where I got mine!
  2. TEA! I do drink lots of tea! My family usually has a cup a night! I usually stick with a nice, light tea before bed, which I will continue to help as a sleep aid! Here’s my favourite kinds before bed: Mighty Leaf Tea– The one I normally drink is a combination of peppermint, and dandelion root (which is good for digestion). If you’re worried about tasting dandelions, don’t worry the peppermint masks it. I’ll also drink Organic North African Mint Tea from David’s tea
  3. Before Bed, I plan on having an hour of no screen time. As I said before, my phone will notify me when its time for bed. But here is a suggestion of activities to do before bed, especially if you’re beginning to feel anxious about the next day:

– Colouring- Disney, and Harry Potter Adult colouring book , and pencil crayons 

Sudoku Puzzles

Harry Potter Puzzles

  1. My Fitbit- this is perfect for tracking your sleep. It will track your heart rate and tell you if you had a restless night or not! It also tells you when to go to bed and you can set your morning alarms on the app. It will wake you up by vibrating on your wrist! I have a Fitbit Blaze– click the link for more information!IMG_3508

Thanks for Checking out my post today! Hopefully these suggestions help you as well! Have any recommendations or comments?! Respond below!

– Erin xo