• Ask Me Anything Answers*

    **Have you voted in my poll yet? (—>)

    While BC is in the middle of an insane heat wave, it continues to rain over here in Ontario. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it rain this often, or this much. I’m trying to find things I enjoy about the rain, but even this is a little much for me. I did manage to get out for a run when the rain let up a little bit (thunder stopped and the rain wasn’t pelting down), and it was actually quite a refreshing run. I was soaked by the time I got back, but it was good to get out. I’m 3 for 3 so far this week! Still Searching from The Search For Happiness has decided to join me in my challenge–any other takers? :)

    I needed a break from scanning job sites in search of employment and found myself here. I’m sitting at my terribly cluttered desk with a cup of soup (I was too lazy to make anything for lunch.. ha). My text book is staring at me, reminding me that I have an assignment to do, but I’d much rather answer some of your Ask Me Anything* questions instead. A week or so ago I asked you if there was anything you’d really like to know about me. So, here you go:

    Kristina P asked: “If you weren’t a teacher or writer, what would you be doing?”

    Well, that’s tough to say. Before I left for university I passionately wanted to be an actress or a singer / song writer. I performed all through high school, and have a book of songs I’ve written on the piano. I’d still love to go that route some day, but I’m not sure I have the confidence it takes to get started. When I left for university I took some political science courses and decided I wanted to be a lawyer… which obviously didn’t happen. haha! Now that I’m a teacher, I really can’t image doing anything other than that… it would just be nice to have a job so I could actually do it. ;)

    Karen asked: “If you had to go into your closet and get rid of all of your shoes except one pair, which pair would you keep?”

    Oh goodness. Only having ONE pair of shoes??? Do people actually live like that? haha! Mind you–I’ve downsized a lot… at one point I had almost 100 pairs, and I don’t have nearly that many now. It would really come down to two pairs–one practical, one that I just love.

    The first: my Birkenstocks

    For years I REFUSED to even pick up a a pair because I was convinced they were “Hippie Shoes”. While I have nothing against Hippies, it just wasn’t my style… pink stiletto boots were more “me”. haha! Then we decided not to get a car while we could manage without one, and I started walking everywhere. I quickly learned that high heeled boots or shoes were not practical for this, but still I held out. Finally, a few weeks ago my feet broke. I ended up walking nearly 10km as I was applying for jobs and I wore my usual cheap slip flops. Well, by the time I got home I could barely stand and it took me a few days to recover. So, I decided it was time to get something I liked that was a little more comfortable. I found these, and my feet have been loving me ever since.

    Second: My Nude Shoes

    For years I hunted for a pair of these–I think every woman should have a pair as they go with almost everything! I just heart them with so much hearting… I don’t wear them often (again, the walking thing) but they have come in handy a couple of times when I needed something to go with an outfit!

    So, if I HAD to pick a pair, it would be one of those… I can’t choose between them! haha

    Andhari asked:“If you’re picked to be one of the bond girls, how do you want yourself to be dressed? How do you want your character to be? Assassin? Heroine? Damsel in distress? SPILL :)”

    Haha, this is such a creative question, and one I’ve never ever really thought about! The Hubster actually owns all of the Bond movies, so I’ve certainly seen most, if not all of them! I think I would be the first modestly, albeit stylishly, dressed woman, and I would definitely want to be a heroine or assassin. I’ve always thought it would be so fun to be a villain, though I’d love to be the heroine and rescue Bond, for once. ;)

    Lil’ Woman asked: “What made you start blogging?! Do you see yourself doing it for a long time?”

    I started blogging nearly 3 years ago because I felt like something was missing. I was unhappy about where I was in my own life–I loved my life with the Hubster but I felt like I needed to do something just for me. I wrote all the time as a child then somehow stopped, and felt an overwhelming urge to start again. So, this began as my place to vent and complain about school and it slowly turned into my favourite pastime. Now I write because I absolutely love it, and I hope to continue blogging for a very long time. :) I submitted one of my earlier posts for the most recent 20-Something Blog Carnival, and you can read about where I used to be here.

    I’ll continue this another day as there were still a few more great questions, so stay tuned. Thanks for asking. :)

  • Weighing In & Wedding Planning*

    Last week I told you all about my new fitness / weight loss challenge. I’m famous for making big plans and only sticking to them for a little while, so I thought I’d do something manageable and within my reach.

    Well, today is check-in day, and I am pleased to report that this week was a success! When I weighed myself last Tuesday I weighed 148.5lbs, and today I saw that lucky #7 and am down to 147.5! It feels so good to see some progress, as small as it may seem! I’m getting better at pushing myself out for a run every morning with the help of my super-secret motivator. All I want now is to see the “6”… I’ll keep you posted!

    Now then, on to other business!

    My friend Steph, a fellow 20-Something Blogger, just recently got engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Matt. (YAY!!!!!) Steph loves all things to do with weddings (her blog is proof) and it’s just super exciting that now she gets to plan her own! As they are both students, whipping up a dream wedding on a student budget will be a bit difficult, so they’ve been quite creative and entered a contest to win $5000 towards their wedding. So, here’s where they need your help! You can read Steph’s post outlining the contest here, or you can read all about their story and vote for them on the contest website!! Please check out “Our Story Just Waiting to Happen” and vote for them by clicking on the cups at the bottom of their story (5 cups is best!). I know she’d really appreciate all your votes as they would really love to win!!

    Lastly, if you look over on the right hand side of my page, you’ll see a new little poll! As I was checking Google Analytics last night I noticed that Google finally surpassed Facebook as my biggest traffic source. I’ve also had a big increase in followers over the past few months (thank you!!!!!) and I’m just curious who you all are! So, if you could take a second and vote I’d reeeeeeally appreciate it. :)

    And just for the record, I heart you whether I know you in real life or not. :)

  • Shop Girl Shares Crummy Church Signs & Canadian, Please*

    Mondays are such lovely days for sharing, don’tcha think?

    I have two more fabulous things to show you today, so BE EXCITED. Like, really. The first has been a favourite website of mine for quite some time, and sadly, last week the author announced that he is discontinuing the site. *tear* So, I feel I must share the gloriousness that it is while it’s still there. Without any further ado…

    #1 – Crummy Church Signs

    (image found at: http://crummychurchsigns.blogspot.com/2008/12/shiver-me-timbers.html)

    This website is a collection of “Crummy Church Signs” submitted by readers from all over. You know the ones I’m talking about–they’ve been altered by some hooligan kids, the grammar or spelling is just wrong (not that I’m judgmental. nope.), or you’re just preeeeeetty sure the intended message isn’t coming across the way it should… which equals a tiny bit of hilarity for the reader of said sign. Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m a Christian and while my faith doesn’t practice the use of signs like these, I do enjoy reading an uplifting message as I pass by another denomination that does. However, from time to time I pass a sign that leaves me with a giant question mark over my head and a “Whaaaaa?!” flies out of my mouth.

    This site is full of those… and glorious captions. Love it.

    #2 – Canadian Please

    Y’all know you wanna be Canadian like me. Watch the video. ‘Nuff said.

    I have room on my futon should anyone feel a burning desire to become Canadian immediately. After watching this video I’d understand why.

    Until next Monday, lovelies! Same bat time, same bat channel.

  • Random Ramblings*

    I love old movies. We had a terrible rainstorm this afternoon so I curled up on the couch and began watching Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. I often abhor sequels, especially ones that have different actors from the original film, but oh, I heart Scarlett. Mind you, Clark Gable & Vivien Leigh will eternally be Rhett and Scarlett, but Timothy Dalton & Joanne Whalley do a dang fine job in the sequel. There are just some stories that need something more after the last page… Pride & Prejudice, for example. And so I watch. And love. :)

    I have a little secret.

    When I decided I wanted to rediscover my skinny self this summer, I realized it wasn’t going to happen without a proper motivator. Last year I wanted to be a supah sexy bridesmaid for Peeah’s wedding, and after seeing the rest of her bridesmaids I wanted to “fit in”. haha! This year, I had no such motivation. I decided I wanted to try my lose-a-pound-per-week challenge, but I needed something to kick me into gear… and then I found it.

    You know how some people use photos of perfect-bodied celebrities to motivate them into losing weight? Well, that never works for me… it’s not fair. I know those people pay professionals to make them look good. So after browsing through facebook, I came across my motivator. For some time I’ve secretly “competed” with a girl I know. We travel in the same circles, and for a long time we were very similar. Then somehow she lost some weight and now she looks fabulous… and my slightly competitive nature kicked in and I want that. As shallow as this sounds, I want to look better than she does. haha! I know it sounds bad, but it’s enough to make me exercise, or say no to that extra piece of dessert. I just loo at her picture, get mad, then go for a run. It works! haha

    Yesterday I made my first ever cake from scratch! The Hubs has been buying this little cake / breads from our little bakery, and I wanted to try and see if I could make them. So, yesterday I made a vanilla sponge cake and I was shocked that it actually turned out! Haha! It wasn’t quite the same as the cakes he buys, but it was faboosh none the less! It was the second time I’ve used my super-expensive mixer since I received it as a wedding gift. haaaa

    I am continually amazed / perplexed / thankful when I visit blogs and see my blog listed in someone else’s blog roll. I still can’t quite believe that my little blog has taken off in the way that it has and I am so thankful that you come to read my crap my wonderfully thought-out words of wisdom. :)

    I heart you.

  • Shop Girl Gets in Shape [Take: Two]*

    Hi lovelies,

    Let me just begin by saying thank you for the absolute outpouring of love and support I’ve received over the past 24 hours (re: last post). I had no idea so many people felt the same way I do, and it’s kinda nice to know that. :)

    Anyway, enough of the sap. I Fail Blog’ed after writing that and life was good again. haha!

    Yesterday I started running again, but this time I ran with a plan. I don’t know about you, but I always find it easy to work out when I am working towards something. Last year I wanted to be a hot bridesmaid for Peeah’s wedding and I managed to shed over 10lbs and several inches for my dress. Once the wedding was over and my 10-week placement teaching grade 7 began I found it immensely difficult to continue working out and put some of the weight back on.

    Well, enough is enough. I want to be in shape again. I decided to start small and make a goal I could manage… so, there are six weeks left until the end of August, and I intend to lose 1 pound a week until that time. Yesterday I extended my running route and today I walked nearly 8 kilometers. I am making better food choices and am trying to drink more water. I’ll weigh in every Tuesday and track my progress. If you’re interested in doing this with me, let me know! I think it’s totally doable with healthy eating habits and a bit of exercise. Wouldn’t it feel great to be at least 6lbs lighter by the end of the summer? I think YES.

    In the spirit of my rekindled desire for in-shape-ness I wanted to repost something I wrote last year that kind of outlines my approach to staying healthy:

    Seven Steps to Healthier Living & Staying in Shape*

    1. Inspiration.
    Before I could really make a commitment to exercise I needed a good kick in the pants. When I went home in the spring I realized that I was the only member of my family that didn’t exercise on a regular basis. The Hubster is constantly active–he bikes, walks to and from work, loves squash and even plays pick-up floor hockey every week. Big Dad is an avid tennis player and hits the gym almost even morning. My Mom loves walks and goes for a brisk walk several days a week. Doodle is big time into triathlons. Peeah is a hardcore runner. Spart has been going to the gym on a regular basis after work. Teep is exercising to prepare for his police foundations course this fall, and even Choppy hits the gym from time to time. So they inspired me to want to get back into (at least) semi-shape.

    I know not everyone has a huge family like mine with 8 examples of regular exercisers. So look at your friends, heroes, celebrity figures you admire–someone that will inspire you to get in shape. That was my first step.

    2. Motivation.
    This was / is reeeeeeeally hard for me. In the past I have often had the desire to exercise, but lacked the motivation to actually go out and do it. And unfortunately, desire to exercise and actually exercising are not the same thing. haha! So, I try and pick something that I wanted to work towards. Having a deadline and something to work towards motivates me to kick my butt out the door for a run.

    3. Have Realistic Goals
    This kind of ties in with my last point. Big Dad has always been a huge advocate for making goals and taking steps to achieve them. He used to sit me down and help me make a list of things I wanted to accomplish and then would help me figure out how I could do it. So, for me, my goal is not so much to become super skinny, but to feel good. I know I’ll never be 115 lbs–it’s just not my body type and it’s not really what I want. I’d like to tone my body a bit, increase my endurance and make exercise a habit so lack of motivation would no longer be a problem! Once you make a goal for yourself, write it down. Once it’s on paper it makes it real. Put it somewhere that you can see it and remind yourself of it often.

    4. Form Good Habits
    I have a lot of lazy habits I’m trying to kick. A lot of people do. I like to stay in my pajamas late into the morning if I don’t have a busy day. I like to sit on the couch and watch movies. I like junk food. So it’s easy for me to slip into a habit of doing more of these things and less of the healthier alternatives. But now I’ve started forming a new habit of making sure that I go for a run before I let myself shower in the morning. If I have a lot to do it means that I go out earlier, or if it rains like this morning, than I put other things on hold until I can get out and run.

    I’m also slowly learning to reach for a piece of fruit instead of some chocolate. I’m replacing sugary drinks with water and watching my calorie intake. It all really comes down to consciously making good choices and adjusting my body and routine to include healthier habits.

    5. Choose an Area You’d Like to Work On
    I’m one of those people who usually finds it easier to find fault with my body rather than positives. So, I made a decision to pick one area of my body that I’d like to work on and actually do it so that I can’t complain about it anymore. I’m starting with my legs. I used to have good athlete legs from my ringette / basketball playing days. I now have “I-just-graduated-from-university-where-I-sat-on-my-bum-and-did-nothing-but-write-papers-for-4-years” legs and what I like to call my “Big Thunders” (thighs). So, I started running and am already seeing results. I can already fit into a pair of pants that I haven’t seen outside of my drawer in 2 years. Once I’m on my way with that target area, I’ll include another one. I don’t need to overhaul my whole body at once! :)

    6. Start Small
    You don’t have to become a marathon runner immediately. Actually, you don’t have to run at all… find something that works for you. I enjoy the feeling of freedom and clarity I find when I’m running. For you it might be the gym, or a team sport.

    I started by walking. I was pretty out of shape in April, so I spent the spring strengthening my legs a bit by walking everywhere. I started walking instead of taking the bus as much as I possibly could. I would make excuses to get out and walk somewhere. So, by the time I was ready to commit myself to running in June / early July it wasn’t such a shock to my legs. I can already notice a difference. The thing is not to put it off. Start now.

    7. Make Good Choices
    Lastly, if you really want to see results it’s best to combine exercise with healthy eating. I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of junk food I eat because it’s not healthy for me, and really, it doesn’t do me a whole lot of good. Don’t buy unhealthy food because it’s “easy” to make. Try eating out less. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Drink more water. It gets easier when you start making it a habit to choose a healthier option.

    Anyway, that’s what I’ve been trying to do / follow. Just find whatever works for you… :)

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