Monday, January 31, 2011

Movie Monday

Nina (Natalie Portman) is a ballerina whose passion for the dance rules every facet of her life. When the company's artistic director decides to replace his prima ballerina for their opening production of ``Swan Lake,'' Nina is his first choice. She has competition in newcomer Lily (Mila Kunis) however. While Nina is perfect for the role of the White Swan, Lily personifies the Black Swan. As rivalry between the two dancers transforms into a twisted friendship, Nina's dark side begins to emerge.

I've got mixed reviews about this movie. I'm not a horror fan, but I do enjoy a great suspense movie. If things are a bit creepy, I'm ok with that. This movie was high on the creepy factor, which was good, but to me, they stepped over the line in the sexual department. There's a make out scene that really didn't need to be in there and then there's a couple of scenes where (sorry if this grosses some people out, but I want to be honest with you) she pleasures herself. Again, not needed. Her acting is great as is the way they filmed the movie, but I would only recommend it if you rent it and can fast forward through some parts. Apparently Jim Carrey did a good spoof of it on Saturday Night Live which I haven't seen yet, but I'll definitely be going to You Tube to check it out.

Oh, and can you believe it's the last day of January already? Sheesh! Where did the month go?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fun with friends

The other night I had some girlfriends over that I'd been promising to have over for quite some time. With Christmas and all it's busyness behind us, I sent out an email, set the date and the night was planned. How can anyone resist a chocolate fondue?! :)

From left to right: Rachel, Kori, me, Jennie and Keri

Getting ready to start dunking a piece of fruit, a marshmallow or a pretzel.

We were definitely not short of food, that's for sure!

Of course we must take a group picture. This was my first attempt at setting it up with the couch in the centre. Not bad.
Then I set the timer ... or so I thought!

Ok, now the timer really is set ... but "someone" didn't make it quite in time. :)

There we go!
We had such a great night. We had planned on playing either Dutch Blitz or Mexican Train, but we got gabbing ... and gabbing ... and gabbing, and before you knew it, we had talked the night away. Gotta love it when you don't run out of things to talk about.

The girls brought me this beautiful plate (they know that purple's my favorite colour) as a housewarming gift. I LOVE IT and can't wait to use it! Then, after I unwrapped it, I saw something stuck to the plate ... they had also got me a gift card for Pier 1! Ladies, you shouldn't have! I am hoping to go spend it this weekend and then next week I'll post pics of ALL the wonderful housewarming gifts I've gotten. I truly am blessed.

Thanks for a great night, ladies. I can't wait until we get together again.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Has anyone noticed ...

that there's only 97 days until I leave on my trip??? Under 100 days!!! Whoo hoo!!! :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


Joining a club that makes you show up once a month has the same impact on your happiness as doubling your income. Widen your social circle in an authentic way. - Dan Buettner

Pretty much what he's saying is that things/money don't make you happier and I, for one, agree with him. Yes, this was from an Oprah show the other day. I'm not one of those people who does whatever Oprah says and I haven't seen every show, but I have been PVRing them all this last season because ... well, because it's her last season. If it's a topic I'm not so interested in, I delete it, but this one was a good one. I enjoyed the whole show, but when the guy said the above quote, I started taking notes. Here are some of my other notes that either Oprah said, Goldie Hawn said or Dan Buettner said:

Even when giving gifts, it's better to give experiences. The impact of a new thing only lasts about 9 months, but an experience (cooking class, vacation etc.), that is a memory that will increase happiness for the long term.

I couldn't agree more with this. Last year I didn't know what to get my Mom for Christmas, so I decided to get her tickets to Fiddler on the Roof. Unfortunately, they live in Calgary and I wasn't able to fly or drive out to join her, but her and her friend had a GREAT time and she mentioned it a few times. This year, I decided to take my sister and Mom to see The Canadian Tenors as their Christmas gift and my sister said it was the best Christmas gift she's gotten in her 48 years. I'd say an experience like that can be priceless. I'm sure our age has something to do with it and if I was a kid I might have wanted something tangible instead and that's ok, but I'm liking this whole "experience as a gift" thing.

If happiness is a cake recipe, the most important ingredients are:

- good job
- did I marry the right person
- do I volunteer in a way where I feel I'm giving back
- where you live

I agree with the list above, but I would've added loving family and friends to the list as well. The "where you live" point isn't super important to me, so I'm probably not the best person to ask on this one ... as you know, I moved around for the last 5 1/2 years. I really enjoy my new place, but my happiness doesn't depend on it, but every one's different, so that's my only questionable point on his list ... but I understand that it might not be for other people. Right now I can only imagine that marrying the right person would be vital to your happiness, but I've seen a lot of unhappy marriages around me and I'd say this is a VERY important point. Don't get married just for the sake of getting married. Thinking about my future spouse, if there is one, the thought that he is my best friend is such a comforting thought. I wouldn't settle for anything less. This last year I became a Big Sister, and although it hasn't been without it's issues and hard times, I completely agree that volunteering in a way where I feel I'm giving back has completely added to my happiness. It really does give you a sense of worth in a new way ... and not in a "pat myself on the back," "aren't I awesome?" type of way. It just feels good. I can't describe it more than that. A good job is super important as most people spend most of their day there. I've been in good jobs, great jobs and bad jobs and I can attest to the fact that my happiness went up and down with each experience. Is that right? Probably not, but after being in a crappy job for years, it's hard to look forward to getting up and going to work ... ok, who am I kidding? Even in my great job I didn't look forward to getting up and going to work ... it is work, after all! haha Oprah had a lady on her show that worked in a toll booth and she just LOVES her job. Oprah asked her if she thought she was born happy or did she make herself this way ... the lady said, "Oh no, I was definitely born this way. My whole family is happy." If that's the case, I think this lady would've been happy in any job ... but they didn't discuss that point. And speaking of jobs:

Which one do you think is the happiest job in America:

- Travel Agent
- Clergy
- Special Ed Teacher
- Firefighter

If you answered "All of the Above" you're correct. Not one of these jobs (on average) pays more than $50,000 a year. Go after what gives you bliss, not bucks. The happiest people get 8 hours of social interaction a day.

Now, some people just aren't a "people person" as the phrase goes, so obviously some people would disagree with this last statement. I do love that "CEO of some big company" or "Actor" aren't on this list, though, because it proves that you don't have to get paid a whole wackload of money to be happy. Which brings me back to the point that things really don't bring you happiness. Lasting happiness, that is. Yes, money most of the time would make life easier, but I don't think your happiness should depend on it. The only thing I wish they would've discussed on the show is that I think happiness, for the most part, is a choice.

I'm going to choose to be happy today ... how about you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Movie Monday

Today's movie review is on a 1994 movie called Leon: The Professional (or just The Professional)

Professional assassin Leon reluctantly takes care of 12-year-old Mathilda, a neighbor whose parents are killed, and teaches her his trade.
Now, remember that this movie came out in 1994 so it's been awhile since I've seen it, but after my friend and I saw Black Swan the other night (whoa, that's a whole other review waiting to happen - all I'll say for now is that if you're interested and curious, wait until it comes out on DVD so you can fast forward through some parts that are REALLY not needed!), she asked me what other movies Natalie Portman's been in. I remembered a few but when I looked her up on IMDB, The Professional popped up and I remembered that I really liked this movie. It does have a lot of violence in it, so be prewarned ... it is about an assassin, after all. I remember thinking that "the kid" did a great job and it was fun to watch their relationship grow ... if memory serves correctly, there may be a few times that it seems like a "weird" relationship, but it doesn't take that turn ... otherwise I wouldn't have liked it. It shows New York in a cool light and since I love NYC, that's always a good thing to me.
Ok, I promise my next review will be a bit more of this day and age. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Andy Rooney says ...

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don't agree with Darwin , but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered in any way because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what's the big deal?

It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America , and Canada , countries founded on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.

So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.

If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.

And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit.

When in Rome .....

But what about the atheists? is another argument

What about them?

Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humour us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer! Or, just exercise their right to leave this country!

Unfortunately, one or two will call their lawyer.

One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights.

Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.

Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.

God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we tell that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want!

It is time that the majority rules!

It's time we tell them, "You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away.
We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!"

God bless us one and all...Especially those who denounce Him, God bless our service men who
are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

Let's make 2010 and 2011 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie Monday

I'm no movie critic, but I do loooooove movies. On Mondays, I'm going to give you my opinions on movies ... some old, some new, some indy, some blockbusters. Take it as you will. I just loooove movies. Did I mention that already? :)

The first movie I'm going to tell you about is from 2000 and it stars Guy Pearce. It's called:


I was just telling my sister about this movie over Christmas and it's really made me want to see it again. Here's the general synopsis:

A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt
for the man he thinks killed his wife.

Sound interesting? How about if I tell you they play the story backwards? I don't want to give too much away, but this movie had so many twists and turns and kept me so intrigued that after I watched it, I rewound (hey, it was VCR days) and watched it all over again. Someone I told about the movie did the exact same thing ... so maybe have about 4 hours of time blocked off if you watch it because when you get to the end and kind of figure things out, you'll want to watch it all over again knowing what you know. It's been awhile since I've seen it, so I can't remember how violent the film is or how much swearing is in it, so don't count on me for that aspect. Just know that it is rated R, so... Also know that you have to be in a mood to think and be challenged. Guy Pearce (The Count of Monte Cristo, L.A. Confidential, The King's Speech) did an amazing job.

Here's a cool quote from the movie:

"Memory can change the shape of a room; it can change the color of a car. And
memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record,
and they're irrelevant if you have the facts."

That's all I'm really going to say about this movie because I don't want to give too much away. Let me know if you watch it and what your thoughts are ... good, bad or indifferent.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thank you ... Thank you very much

I've been tagged, awarded, honoured ... whatever you'd like to call it. It's something fun we bloggers like to do and I, for one, am up to the challenge.

This Girl's Life is a blog of a wonderful person. Although I didn't know her when we went to school together, Sonya and I have become friends pretty much because of our blogs. For that, I am grateful we both got into this "business." I don't remember how I found her blog or if she found me first, but most likely it was linked through mutual friends and that's kinda what these blogs are all about. Random people meeting through reading other people's random thoughts. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Anyway, Sonya has bestowed upon me the honour of the following 2 awards.

The first award is:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award. - Check
2. Answer the following 10 questions. - Check
3. Pass it along to 7 blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy. - Check ... but no pressure
4. Leave your recipients a note telling them about the award. - Oops, gotta go do that now.

1. Why did you create this blog?
Well, for that answer, I could just link you back to my first post, which I will do, but I'll try to give you a short answer as well. I was planning a trip around the world so I thought a blog would be a great way to keep everyone informed. Unfortunately, that trip didn't happen (which I'm alright with - kinda - it's all about timing), but I continued with my blog.

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
At first it was just blogs of people I knew, but then I'd see some people leave really interesting comments and I wanted to know more about them, so I clicked on their links and started reading a few others. I must admit that I've narrowed it back to only a few that I read and even then, I have to play catch up quite a bit.

3.Favorite make-up brand?
I wear very little make-up, but what I do wear is eyeliner and mascara, both made by May.belline.

4.Favorite clothing brand?
Hmmm, that's kind of a tough one. I really like's Joe line, G.ap, but really, anything nice I can find on sale is a win for me ... especially when it's from Republic. :)

5.Indispensable make-up product?
Mascara ... my eyes disappear without it.

6.Favorite color?
Purple. I don't have a lot of purple clothes or surround myself with purple, but I just think it's a super pretty colour.

7. Favorite perfume?
In high school, it was Obsession. Much too sweet smelling now. Early adulthood, it was Samsara. Not too many people had heard of it and when I would go buy it, the ladies in the store always looked at me funny because apparently only old ladies bought it, but I got many compliments on it. I still really like the smell of it. "Then why," you ask, "don't you still wear it?" Funny story. I was at a restaurant a few years ago and this girl walked by me and she smelled fantastic! I asked her what she was wearing and she looked at her friend and they both giggled. She looked at me all embarrassed like and said, "It's called Fantasy ... by Britn.ey!" I went out and bought it the next day and have had the same scenario happen to me many times but now I'm the one with the embarrassed look on her face. :)

8. Favorite film?
Don't get me started. You'll have to read my Movie Monday reviews to see a few of them.

9.What country would you like to visit and why?
Italy (looks stunningly beautiful), Croatia (also stunningly beautiful and cheap), Kenya (I want to go on safari reeeeeeally bad), and pretty much any other country I haven't visited ... because ... why not? There's a whole world out there to explore.

10. Would you rather forget to put on mascara on one eye or forget blush on one side of your face?
Definitely blush on one side of my face. See #5.

The second award is:

Apparently a stylish blog is not necessarily about fashion but a blog with heart that keeps you coming back for more. Hopefully I provide a bit of that ... when I actually blog.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award. - Check - see beginning of this post.
2.Share seven things about yourself. - Phewf! That was hard! - Check
3.Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers. - Again, no pressure
4.Contact these bloggers and tell them about this award. - On it!

1. I bought my first home this year. A lot of people I know have bought fixer-upers and had to do a lot of renovations. I didn't want to go that route so I bought brand new ... and had to renovate my life! Although I love my place, I grew up in a family that moved ever 5 years so I don't become super attached ... which is most likely why I could housesit for almost 6 years. Those housesitting years, my money was my own to do with as I pleased and I had a lot of fun. Owning your own place definitely ties you down and I've had to make some adjustments. All healthy changes, but some not so welcomed. I've gotten 2 more jobs to help out with some bills so I can have a little more breathing room. Hopefully I'll get a little ahead soon and won't feel "house poor" as the term goes. It's all good.

2. I'm a plant killer. There ... I've said it. I try and try to keep plants alive but I'd say 80% of plants I have, have bit it pretty early on in our relationship. :(

3. Next year I'll be looking to get my 6th tattoo and I'm taking recommendations. Seriously. If I pick yours, you'll get a prize. I don't know what that prize will be, yet, but you'll get a prize.

4. I love brain teaser games: Crosswords, sudoku, word search, card games, etc. Call me a geek. I honestly don't care. Some people read right before going to bed. I do my sudoku game.

5. Because I couldn't think of any other fun facts about myself, I went onto and played Scarab Solitare and I won ... and it made me happy. See? Proved #4.

6. Since mid-August of 2010, I've been on Jenn.y and so far have lost 30 pounds. It feels great and I've got about 10 pounds to go but you know what "they" say ... the last 10 pounds is always the hardest. Since the weather doesn't want to cooperate with me and warm up like I've asked it to so I can go back to walking the major hill in town, I've resurrected my Bik.ram's yoga classes and have gone to 2 classes in the last couple of days. I'm hoping I can just sweat off the last 10 pounds. :)

7. One more thing ... one more thing ... oh, my new favorite show is Moder.n Fam.ily. This show is absolutely HILARIOUS! Not only is the writing brilliant, but the way each actor executes his/her part is perfect. The only thing wrong with this show is that it's only a half hour long every week.

It's going to be hard to come up with 10 people to tag because they've all been tagged by the blogger who tagged me, sooooo, I'm going to tag them anyway just to ensure they get around to doing it. :)

Here goes (in no particular order):

1. Jennie ~ one of my BFFs. Can't say enough good things about her. She's honest, loving, friendly and everyone I know that meets her, loves her.
2. Rachel ~ I've known Rachel for a long time, actually (Sunday School way back as kids) and have enjoyed getting to know her as a friend, a Mom, a wife, a co-worker, etc.
3. Kori ~ maybe her hubby will take me up on #3 above. :) Have really enjoyed getting to know you at Oasis the past few months, Kori and look forward to what God will show us in the next few months.
4. Keri ~ Also looking forward to seeing what God's got in store for us at Oasis in the next few months. Thanks for sharing and being open. You're awesome!
5. Joy ~ had heard so much about you when I was in Camden and finally got to meet you a couple of years ago. It was fun getting to know you. Hopefully we'll meet again one day.
6. Ali ~ I've also known Ali for many years but again, we didn't hang out until she started dating and eventually married, a good friend of mine. He is SOOO lucky to have her. She's sweet, funny and incredibly kind. Her blog is mostly about family, so I'm not sure if she'll do this type of post, but I thought I'd tag her anyway.
7. Sheryl ~ she's my cousin (by marriage) and I've really enjoyed getting to know her more at Oasis as well. She somehow keeps her sanity with twins and a little boy ... oh, and being married to Josh! haha

Sorry, I can't come up with 10. And of the 7 I've tagged, I don't want anyone to feel any pressure to do this. It's just for fun and if you find the time, great. It took me awhile ... I had to save and come back to it quite a few times, but it was fun in the end. Thanks for the awards, Sonya. :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2010 Year in Review

I'm sure that most of you who read my blog already got my poem via email or, but I wanted to put it up here for posterity's sake. Plus, this way I can add a few pics:

At first, looking back
I thought, “Was 2010 boring?
Why don’t I remember much?
Did I do any exploring?”

My memory sure ain’t what it used to be
For exploring, I certainly did
No, I didn’t meet any celebrities this year
Nor did I travel to Madrid

But the Olympics came to town
And there was much fun to be had
The city was buzzing with excitement
In red and white, everyone was clad

It was sad when it was over
Life seemed a bit dull
Then in March my parents came to visit
And that ended the lull

First, we celebrated
50 years they’ve been together
They deserve to be congratulated
For making it through all kinds of weather

Then began the hunt
36 condos we did see
When I finally found THE ONE
I shouted out with glee!

Yes, I’m now a homeowner
No more living out of a suitcase
I’ve got a place to call home
I own 910 square feet of space

Thanks to Mom & Dad for helping me shop
It was a whirlwind process
Now I’m actually settled
I finally have my own address

In April I also became a Big Sister
It was time to give back
In the excitement and drama department
It definitely doesn’t lack

We’ve gone to Cirque du Soleil, seen many a movie
And strapped on some skates
We took cooking classes and trips to the library
What brought us together was more than just fate

I thought the summer would be bleak
No money to go travelling
But God had another plan
That He started unravelling

Friends needed another chaperone
To go to Montreal
All expenses paid
And man, we had a ball!

That city is like no other
It’s absolutely breathtaking
Of the bond our group made
There is no mistaking

The rest of the summer was great
Went to the wedding of a long time friend
And then the Michael Buble concert
Brought it to the perfect end

The fall brought my 20 year reunion
At which I had a blast
How can I already be 38?
It all went by so fast!

Saw Steve Nash play in October
That helped me relive my youth
Remembering being a top athlete
It’s ok that it’s no longer my truth (really, it’s ok! J)

2010 I started out with bright, red hair
But ended up back as a blonde
I like to keep it fresh and new
With a wave of my hairdresser’s wand

It’s just hair after all
Not something that has meaning
Like my amazing Father’s love for me
New things I have been gleaning

Like Living Beyond Yourself
The new study that I’m doing
Is teaching me it’s not all about me
Transformations I am viewing
Striving to be who God knows I can be
Easy, it is not
But knowing that His unconditional love
Is something that I’ve got

Makes everything manageable
‘Cause look what He’s done for us
Christmas is a testament
It’s why there’s all this fuss
It’s not really about Santa
Or what great gift was under the tree
He gave you the greatest gift of all
And it’s absolutely free
So as I look back on this year
I see that I am truly blessed
I know my path is in the most capable Hands
I vow to not be stressed

I pray that you are all doing well
And that you’re excited for a new year
Remember that if you’re reading this poem
In my heart, you are very dear.