• Shop Girl Shares Girl With The Red Hair & Lowercase L

    So everyone and their mother started Nablopomo yesterday… (Nablopomo = National Blog Posting Month)

    …except me.

    Normally I’d be all over this stuff, especially since one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2009 was to blog every day for a year. Yeeeah. About that… (oops.) I’ve been busy. LIFE has been busy… and I find that when I feel like I have to write, I write less. Weird, no? I don’t like the pressure. This is where I come to relax, not to stress about word counts or daily posts.

    That being said, that doesn’t mean I won’t be participating in my own way. Today was not a good day at work. It took everything in me to get through my shift and I have every intention of kicking the job search into high gear this evening. It’s not that it’s not a good job, it’s just definitely not me. I’m not cut out for mindless physical labour. I need to be creative. I need to be challenged. I need to use the knowledge I spent five years cramming into my brain. (I need to wear my fabulous collection of shoes!)

    To sum up, I need a better job.

    So, today I decided that enough was enough. I need a plan. I need to act. I need goals. I may not be participating in Nablopomo, but November WILL be a month for writing. This is what’s going to happen in the next 30 days:

    1) Begin writing my book. That’s right. It’s time. I’ve been hemming and hawing about whether or not to do it for months, and I’m done. It’s starts now!

    2) Become a freelance writer. I’ve done some review work here and there, and I love writing for ‘fun’ here–so why not try and make something out of it? I have a list of online magazines / websites to contact and submit articles to. I’m really excited about this, and I hope it works out. Wish me luck!

    3) Write my yearly Christmas letter! This is one of my absolute faaaaaavourite things to do and I look forward to it ALL year! You can read our past letters here and here!

    I would also really, really like to get on a supply teaching list… but I’m also actively looking for a new job. I’m educated, AND I have great shoes–hire me please?

    Anyway, enough of my ramblings… it’s Monday! Which means it’s Shop Girl Shares day! (WOO! WOO!) We took a break from our regular programming last week as I participated in my first Blog Swap and it was, well, an… interesting experience. I like the concept, but I think they need to ask a few more questions before they match people… namely, ‘what time do you normally like to post new entries’? I am definitely a late afternoon / evening writer, and they paired me with a morning person, who panicked and found a new blog swap partner when my post hadn’t been received by noon. (in my defense, my oh, so lovely apartment decided to leave us without power for much longer than I felt necessary and I couldn’t send my post any sooner than I did. *sigh*) I’m not sure if I’ll do it again, but we’ll see.

    SO. Today I am sharing two more of my favourite sites with you… and I hope you’re excited. I’M excited. Let’s get this show on the road!!

    1 – Girl With The Red Hair

    (image found at: http://girlwiththeredhair.com/)

    Meet Amber, a 20-Something journalism student / crazy marathon runner who inspires me daily to get my butt into shape. Seriously. She recently completed a race of like, a bazillion miles (or maybe 13) that made me want to run marathons. (The spandex kinda scares me though. I don’t know if I’m ready for that. haha)

    Amber’s blog is wonderfully thought-provoking and she often asks the hard questions we’re all thinking about but have been too timid to bring up ourselves. It’s a great place to voice your opinion and feel like you’re really having a conversation with someone, and her other readers. If her blog is any indication, I know she is going to be a fabulous journalist some day and I look forward to reading her work. In short, Amber is marvelous. Go now, and love.

    2 – Lowercase L

    (image found at: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2023/2241122263_d07e271b78.jpg)

    I have a confession: I love when signs are wrong. LOVE it. I look for them ALL the time. For example, for months we had Mark’s Work Warhouse in Senior City, as well as a Price Chooper and a Pub*c Library. (I’m not ready to have that as a search term to find my blog just yet. haha) It makes me laugh when letters go missing or lights go out making the sign read as something else.

    So, already being an avid reader of signs, Lowercase L opened my eyes even further. Have you ever noticed how many places use lowercase “L”‘s in places they shouldn’t? Sort of like Crummy Church Signs, this blog is devoted to exposing the fact that when “people create handwritten signs, they sometimes choose to capitalize every letter except the letter “L”. Using some lowercase letters like “i” and “y”, to stylize the handwriting is understandable. But why confuse matters by using the only letter that, when lowercase, is identical to an uppercase “I”?” What the L is up with that?

    Now I see them everywhere. I really should just bring my camera with me so I can submit some photos to the site… have you seen any lowercase L’s lately?

  • Shop Girl Shares Your Wishcake and There, I Fixed It*

    So I’ve spent the last week and half looking forward to tonight. A good friend of mine recently told me that the outrageous fees I pay for a tiny card that says I can be a teacher in Ontario are not all for naught. That magical little card that sits in my wallet gives me discounts or free admission into many, many wonderful attractions across the province.

    Ummm… why was I not told this earlier?! Seriously! It changed my life.

    As soon as he told me I spent nearly two hours investigating all the things I could do with my magic card and found out that there was a free showing of the new special exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum for teachers–The Dead Sea Scrolls. In case you’ve forgotten, I am a History teacher by trade and I heart museums with much hearting. I love old stuff. And this is really, really really old stuff. (Don’tcha love my technical terms? haha)

    Anyway. I’m a teacher. It’s old stuff. It’s free. I was SO excited to go. The Hubster and I were going to trek into the city and go on a date. Sounds lovely, no?

    I had to work this morning / this afternoon but I figured I’d be good to go post work. You know, come home, grab a quick dinner and head out. Yeeeeeeah. In theory that was perfect. I didn’t anticipate the massive headache that attacked me around 1pm this afternoon that has yet to dissipate. When I got home I was completely exhausted. I tried to rally myself to be able to go, but I couldn’t even find the energy to make dinner, let alone make myself presentable to attend a teacher function. So sadly, I wimped out… and even though I’m kicking myself, I know it was the right decision. I still feel kinda small. *sigh*

    Anyway. It’s Monday and I have things to show you. :)

    1) your wishcake

    (image found at: http://www.yourwishcake.com/)

    Meet Kerri of ‘your wishcake‘, one of my my very favourite bloggers– you know, the ones that you skim through your readers to find, just in case they’ve posted and you accidentally missed it… for me, that’s this blog. She is 25 years old, happily married and, in her own words, tends to channel Monica Gellar from time to time. To read her writing is really to know her–she is funny, charming and refreshingly open and honest. She confronts her insecurities and, in so many ways, writes the things I wish I could.

    She is also quite possibly one of the most creative people I’ve ever “met” and runs a fabulous little Etsy store. Your wishcake is just an all around lovely place to be, and I highly recommend that you stop by. You won’t be sorry. ;)

    #2 – There, I Fixed It

    (image found at: http://thereifixedit.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/scottw-motorbike.jpg)

    I grew up in a house with a fixer-upper father. Big Dad is one handy guy and always found ingenious ways to fix whatever we children destroyed (except my poor Barbie’s ‘pancake’ hands… our dog mangled those beyond repair on a regular basis. haha). Mind you, he has a knack for fixing things so it isn’t often blatantly obvious that a repair has been made, so his work would not likely appear on the magical site that is There, I fixed it. It’s sort of like the Fail Blog, but it’s completely focused on… interesting… attempts at fixing things. The the seat on the motorcycle up there… or the awesome Lego computer stand (scroll down a bit). If you’re ever feeling bad about a botched fix-up job, this site will always, always make you feel better. haha

  • Shop Girl Shares The Good Girl Gone Blog & Robert Munsch*

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I know it’s not for a few weeks for those of you south of the border, but this is turkey weekend up here and it was dang good. As we were unable to get the time off work to join my family up in the Great White North and the Hubs’ family has moved we weren’t sure what we were going to do for the holidays. Thankfully it looks like several of our friends’ families are trying to adopt us and we found ourselves with two invitations to big turkey dinners. We ended up spending a wonderful evening at Too Kool’s with his family and enjoyed a massive turkey dinner with all the fixin’s. I am also proud to announce that I did not overeat. (for like the first time… ever. haha)

    Well, as I wanted to offer an explanation for my “big announcement” last week I took a break from my usual Monday programming… but I’m back today with more fabulousness for your viewing pleasure! So, without further ado…

    #1 – The Good Girl Gone Blog

    (image found at: http://thegoodgirlgoneblog.com/good_girl_gone_blog/)

    Meet Alana, the teeny tiny author of this big, fabulous blog. I found The Good Girl Gone Blog through the oh-so-wonderful 20 Something Bloggers, a magical place full of wonderful bloggers. This blog is full of humorous stories, thoughtful reflections on life, and shoes. Lots and lots of shoes– hence my undying love for it. (I am seriously coveting the boots she just bought.) It’s a fun read and definitely worth a look if you’re not in love with her already. :)

    #2 – Robert Munsch

    (image found at: http://www.scholastic.ca/titles/munsch/images/wallpaper/munsch%28640×480%29.jpg)

    You’re probably wondering why on earth I’m sharing Robert Munsch with you as I’m pretty sure every person on the planet knows who he is, or at least knows his world famous story, “Love You Forever”.

    (image found at: http://images.smarter.com/blogs/Book111.jpg)

    Yesterday I read a post that Katie from Can I just say… posted about books she loved as a child. I only recognized a few from her list and it made me think about the books that I had loved as a little girl. I was a huge fan of all the Beatrice Potter books (I owned them all) but the books that stole my heart–and continue to do so even today–are written by Robert Munsch. His stories are simple, sweet, funny and heart-warming. Seeing them in a bookstore immediately makes me feel like a seven year old girl again, and I want to grab them all and curl up with a blanket and gloworm and read them all back to back. Some of my favourites were:

    (image found at: http://imshopping.rediff.com/books/imagechek/books/pixs/87/0920236987.jpg)

    (image found at: http://img.infibeam.com/img/d31d1865/918/6/9780920236918.jpg)

    (image found at: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_-5o8YeQrdMY/RaqejSgzAvI/AAAAAAAAABM/Xr-_BElTcMo/s320/mortimer.jpg)

    …there were many others I loved, but these ones I could read over and over and over.

    As I grew older I went through phases where I loved other authors… Roald Dahl, Judy Blume and R.L. Stine among others, but I still loved reading my Robert Munsch books from time to time. I once found a tape of him reading many of his stories at a yard sale and I loved that thing. There’s nothing like hearing a story through the voice of its creator… it just comes alive!

    If you haven’t already gotten my point, for me, Robert Munsch = love.

    So when I read Katie’s post I did what any self-respecting blogger would do: I googled him and found something magical–a website with audio recordings of him reading my favourite books!! So much better than my old tape that has long since been lost! It has ALL my favourite childhood stories that you can download onto your computer and listen to at your leisure. I seriously spent most of the afternoon listening to him read and it just made my whole day. :)

    What were your childhood favourite books?

  • Shop Girl Shares Magic Pen & Penguin Baseball*

    It’s a cold, rainy Monday night and today it actually felt like fall. I wore closed-toe shoes and a long sleeved shirt and I was still chilly as I trekked out this morning. I have a sneaking suspicion it won’t be too long before the snow flies, but I’m not ready to think about that just yet.

    I have a feeling that my life is going to get a whooooole lot busier from here on in… I’ve taken on a few more things (details to follow) that will pretty much eliminate that “free-time” I’ve been enjoying these past few months. I’m already tired just thinking about tomorrow–I’ll be gone from 8am to 8pm–but it’s nice to be busy again.

    So, as my life continues to get busier I do what any good person would do… I procrastinate! haha! No worries, I busted out my old agenda and I’m staying organized, but sometimes when you have so much to do all you can do is forget about it for 15 minutes and do something completely frivolous. Here are two of my favourite procrastination tactics for you to learn and love:

    1. Magic Pen

    (image found at: http://www.doodleparadise.com/magic%20pen.jpg)

    I’m actually not big on computer games–the extent of my talent began and ended with the old Tandy games (I’m talking Wheel of Fortune 1.0 and Space Quest here people… haha). That being said, I have a small group of favourites that I will bust out for certain occasions. Peggle is my favourite “I’m-going-to-fall-asleep-in-this-class-if-I-don’t-do-something-to-distract-myself” game… it’s seriously how I survived teacher’s college. I had a following in some classes–several of my friends would sit behind me in lectures so they could watch / cheer me on / whisper strategies in my ear. It was magical. (I miss you all!)

    Magic Pen is what I play when my brain can’t handle work anymore but still wants to be stimulated a little bit. It’s the very best kind of problem solving game: it has absolutely nothing to do with numbers. WOO! Math is not my friend. It’s a series of levels where you need to draw shapes (hence the name Magic Pen) to move a circle from one side of the screen to the finish line. It’s challenging but not extremely difficult, and it’s enjoyable without being seriously addicting. I kinda sorta love it.

    #2 – Penguin Baseball

    (image found at: http://yourgames.me.uk/strategy/game_images/penguin_baseball.jpg)

    …and then there is Penguin Baseball–the perfect game for those times when you want to do something that requires absolutely no brain cells / burn off a bit of stress. I first discovered this game in the first year of my undergrad and I go through phases when I am completely obsessed with it. It’s sounds kind of stupid–a penguin dives of a big rock and you click on the Sasquatch to make him swing the bat at the penguin to see how far you can send him flying–but it’s so addicting! If you’ve competitive like me, you’ll constantly be trying to beat your previous distance. My record is 573.8–I dare you try and beat me!! haha

    Well, that’s it for today lovelies… I’m off to the kitchen to make some oatmeal chocolate chip muffins and a hot chocolate. Have a lovely warm evening playing these new games! haha

  • Shop Girl Shares Kyla Roma & Shh! Don’t Tell Steve*

    Have you noticed how much shorter the days are becoming? The calender tells me that it’s almost October, but I somehow can’t believe it.

    Anyhoo, it’s a cold, drizzly dark night out there–perfect for curling up at my desk with a little Tony Bennett and a cup of hot chocolate to write. I needed to take a bit of a break from my homework anyway. Speaking of which, did I mention that I’ve gone back to school? (Sort of.) It was a completely spur of the moment decision at the suggestion of my father-in-law, so I’ve begun taking a class every Thursday evening to learn French. I’ve always wanted to speak it, and it’s time I face reality–if I want a teaching position any time soon, this is what I need to do. My goal is to take the Ontario French Language proficiency test next summer if I can swing it. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I need this. I’ll keep you posted (perhaps I’ll just start writing en français! haha).

    Well lovelies, it’s Monday again! The weeks are just flying by, aren’t they? This is already my 12th “share”, and I’m rather excited about it. :)

    #1 – Kyla Roma

    (image found at: http://www.kylaroma.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/Ky-in-Vegas.jpg)

    Meet Kyla–one of the most fabulous writers I have on my ever-growing blog roll. Kyla is a 24-year old creative gem living in a fabulous old house in the Canadian prairies. Her about page reads:

    Kyla Roma is a twenty four year old girl living in the Canadian Prairies. She is a thrift shopping addict, black tea aficionado, crafty lady, and wife. At any given time she can be found cuddling her puppies (Ash & Mal), listening to podcasts, working with Mister on their 100 year old home, or reading books from the library.

    Her writing is honest, heart-warming and real–she writes in a way that you can taste and smell her creations in the kitchen (she makes jam. I think she may be wonder woman.), experience her joys and heartaches with her and really just make you wish you were her real life neighbour. Really, her blog is a little slice of sunshine on a cloudy day. :)

    #2 – Shh! Don’t Tell Steve

    I actually think it’s rather hilarious how quickly the public opinion of Twitter has shifted in the last six months. I joined sometime over the winter and I have always loved it as it’s one of my favourite ways to keep up with some of my favourite bloggers and get to know them a bit outside of their blog posts. For a while no one really had it, in fact some of my friends mocked me for being on it. haha! Then all of a sudden–almost overnight–it’s become the new big thing and everyone and their mother has a Twitter account. (except my mom, she’s still holding out. WOO)

    I typically only follow bloggers I “know” and read and a few major news sites, and I’m proud to say that I don’t stalk a single celebrity on there. (If I did, it would be Ellen. I heart Ellen.) The only person that doesn’t really fit into either of those two categories is Shh! Don’t Tell Steve. I can’t quite remember how I first heard about it, but basically this anonymous guy is tweeting all about his roommate Steve’s every movements. Think Truman Show in Twitter form. Steve is, well… a guy. He has many not so bright moments (through the eyes of the roommate) and many one-liners that have made Steve a mini-celebrity but he doesn’t even know it… or at least that’s what we’re lead to believe. We read what Steve eats. We learn when Steve sleeps. We follow Steve’s budding relationship with Burrito Girl (aka BG).

    At first I thought it was hilarious. Steve would certainly make for an interesting roommate and perhaps this is his roommates way of dealing with his Steve-isms. We all need an outlet, right?

    Then I thought, “If this is real, what if I was Steve?” If I ever found out that someone close to me was publicly announcing my every move and thought how would I feel? Steve might not care, but I know I would.

    Then I thought, “What about Burrito Girl?”. If I was her I’d be mortified… a) Burrito Girl is not a terribly flattering nickname (she works at some Burrito Place, hence the name) although the roommate does write quite favorably of her; and b) there are always sides to our significant others that we don’t need to see all the time. If she ever found this page I can’t help but wonder if she’d still want to date Steve? Should she know? Is it better that she doesn’t?

    Now that I’ve gone all deep a little bit of the humor is lost on me. What do you think? Is it simply funny, or are lines being crossed?

    And who is your favourite person to follow on Twitter?

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