Monday, December 29, 2008

A Nice Year

Over at Operation NICE they have NICE Assignments from time to time, and I really liked the idea behind this one:
Today's Assignment: Celebrate 2008!
I know how you folks are a bunch o' list-makers out there, so let's try it one last time this year. I want you to make a list of all the wonderful things that you've done or have happened to you in the last 12 months. It could be events you attended or awards you received or priceless moments that will help you recall 2008 with great fondness. Or maybe even silly things that might seem trivial to someone else! (e.g. Buying a Wii is totally on my list!) Either way, the more items, the more smiles you'll find!

Here is my list of 2008:
  • Going on a cruise with my family to ring in the New Year - getting to explore Carribbean islands and relax on tropical beaches
  • Surviving the bus crash
  • Getting close to the fantastic people in my CYW class
  • Using tools to make and open drinks with Stace, more than once
  • Cousinly weekends with a St Patty's Day parade
  • Going to the ROM and taking silly pictures there with Stace
  • Thunder Kitty's first birthday
  • Movie dates with Stace
  • Getting to spend time at home in the summer with Mom relaxing on the porch in between camps
  • The drives to and from HD camp in the summer, cruising with the windows down and the music up
  • Finding a placement that I really loved
  • Growing closer with my family during tough times
  • Weekends with the camp girls - multiple
  • Nuit Blanche avec Mel
  • Starting to blog again and the wonderful new bloggy friends I have met
  • My 23rd Birthday and Thanksgiving
  • The support from my family and friends I have received throughout the cancer ordeal
  • The Twilight Saga (nerd alert!)
  • Finding the courage to take a shot on the online dating thing
  • Reuniting with first year roomie
  • Spending Christmas with my family
  • Finishing my CYW program (with honours, I might add!)
  • Getting a job at the placement I loved
  • Learning that I am stronger than I ever thought I was
  • Feeling that I am kinda sorta grown up, living and working on my own in the big city
  • Becoming more self aware and self reflective as well as more self confident
I think writing this list was important. The events that have happened this year were pretty sucky at times, so much so that my family and I have been joking that 2008 was pretty much the worst year ever. But even though so pretty major bad things happened, a lot of good things still happened. And, I suppose, if those bad things had to happen, I'm glad they happened the way they did. Not only was it the best possible outcome for all events, but it also showed me that I have family and friends there to always support me, and that I am much stronger than I thought.
So, thanks, 2008, you were tough, but we made it. Here's to an easier 2009, with some things changing and others staying the same. Wait and see I guess!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Christmas in Photos

I should be unpacking my stuff and tidying my apartment, but instead I'll blog about my Christmas highlights.

I got a new camera, so clearly the first thing I went to do was take pictures of the cat. Everyone loves Thunder Kitty and me photos!

This is our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve after a busy day at the store and the Christmas Eve service. We always open a present each (pajamas) as a family and sit around the tree.

I took a close-up of one of the ornaments I got at 10,000 Villages for my sisters and myself last Christmas. At 10,000 Villages everything is fair trade, it's a pretty cool store.

At Grandma and Grandpa Button's house (Mom's parents), I got to be Santa. The tradition of having one of the grandchildren play Santa started when we were little. We made it all the way through all of the cousins, and the youngest, Maddy, had to do it many many years. When she finally decided that she was sick of it, 3 years ago, Grandma did a random draw to decide who would be Santa, and Jenn (2nd oldest grandchild and 1st oldest unmarried grandchild) got stuck with the job. The next year, Mel, the next oldest, did it, and so this year it was my turn. Grandma asked if I wanted to wear the hat and I replied with something along the lines of heck yes.

On Boxing Day morning, we have lunch at Aunt Christine's and Uncle Richard's. Our oldest cousin and her hubby always come to this part, so now we do our cousin picture there instead of on Christmas Day. Besides the hubby, we only have 1 guy cousin, who I always try to make do things that nobody wants to do using the fact that he is a boy as the reason. This photo was totally my idea.

And finally, on Boxing Day, we go to Aunt Jane and Uncle Mark's house (on my Dad's side). This year, we had a kids' table again for the first time in years - note: kids =14-25. Apparently my sisters and I wear the dark clothes, and Justin is the classy cousin with his mouth full of food.

So, after over a month of waiting, and after selling diamonds at Mom and Dad's store for nearly 2 weeks, I had my traditional family Christmas. It was nice. Not very relaxing, as per usual, but nice all the same. There's always comfort in tradition, I think. No matter how many other things change, some things always stay the same.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Past

And now a look into my Christmas Past...

Here is me and lil' sister (I have brown hair) in our Christmas dresses made by Mom, with our brand new dolls in their matching dresses, also made by Mom. Pretty sweet, eh? We are also sporting our brand new bright haired dolls that we kept to play with in the bathtub with our mermaids. We're at Grandpa and Grandma's on Christmas Day, and I think maybe the best thing about it is that I currently have that love seat in my apartment, beautiful pattern and all.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season, readers, whatever it is that you celebrate. Take some time and remember years past. And please, please cherish the time you have with your loved ones! Nothing lasts forever, so celebrate every moment.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas is Almost Here!

Want to get me a last minute Christmas gift? Here's some ideas!

Kitty no.26 by penguinandfish

Tree Print Green Jersey Scarf by PrettyRaccoon

Happy - A stained glass star by PamelaAngus

Monster Cat Loves You (Large Moleskin) by nowvember

Alphabet Soup Necklaces by taprobane

The Dinosaurs Deserved It T-Shirt @ Threadless

Monday, December 22, 2008

Good News, Ladies!

Everyone's favourite fictional vampire, Robert Pattinson (or RPattz, as I lovingly call him) no longer looks as though there may be a small family of woodland animals living in his hair.
Remember this?

Much better, RPattz, I am a fan of the early 90's grunge revival look minus the actually dirty hair. And the fact that you're carrying a guitar just made me swoon a little.

Via The Superficial.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December Carnival

The 20SB December Blog Carnival is up, and this month, I have decided to participate. You get 3 choices, and I have chosen to write about: A wishlist of 5 items, one for each sense (that's an item for sight, one for smell, etc). Here we go.

See: Matt & Nat Jorja Small Purse - I'd like to see this under my arm! I love Matt & Nat, a lot. The Jorja Small Purse looks like it would hold all of my belongings and fit perfectly under my arm.
Or, possibly, I'd like to see the world through the lenses of a new camera, something like this one:Smell: Vera Wang Princess - It smells really pretty, I think it may be the next addition to my perfume collection.
Taste: Tim Horton's Breakfast Sandwich - Seriously. I could eat one of these things daily, or even multiple times a day, for the rest of my life. Now if only they weren't so so so unhealthy.
Touch: iPhone - I know I don't need a new phone, but the iPhone is pretty and has so many useful apps! Please? I promise to use it!
Hear: DMB concert - Unfortunately, the tour they just announced doesn't come anywhere near me (NY being the closest). I really really want to see them in concert again. I saw them last June and then once a few Decembers past. DMB honestly puts on the BEST live show, I wish I could see them again and again... I would be an awesome groupie.

Two of My Favourite Things

Urban Outfitters + Free Stuff!

Y'all need to go and get yourself a free year's subscription to Nylon Magazine!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Erin's Christmas Movie Picks

Ah, Christmas movies. They make me happy and feel just like a kid again. I watch them year after year, no matter what. There are a lot of great ones out there, here are my top 10:

10) It's a Wonderful Life - a heartwarming story, even if the little girl's voice is maybe the most annoying thing ever. Be happy with the life you have, because the world would be completely different if you weren't a part of it.
9) Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean - My childhood memories involve knowing when Dad was watching Mr. Bean because he would be laughing so loudly that you could hear it all over the house. Mr. Bean makes me laugh too, a lot. Like when he gets the turkey stuck on his head. Hilarious!

8) The Grinch Who Stole Christmas - My favourite thing ever is when the Grinch comes up with his plan and his smile grows and grows and grows. I think he is adorable! And Max, who doesn't love Max the dog?

7) Frosty the Snowman - I grew up watching this every year. Any show that advocates for children hopping on a boxcar with a creepy grown man snowman come to life is a show for me!

6) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Is there anything about this that is NOT hilarious? The squirrel, the cat wrapped up as a present, the Christmas lights... what's not to love??
5) Garfield's Christmas - Another of my childhood classics. Watched this every year growing up. We get to see a sweet spot in Garfield, and we get to meet the chili-eatin' piano-rockin grandma - love her!

4) Muppet Family Christmas - When Muppets and Sesame Street and Fraggles get together in one house, you get a pretty amazing movie. Watch out for the icey patch!!

3) Rudolph - I have the figurines on my Christmas Tree, that's how much I love these. The Abominable Snowman and the Island of Misfit Toys are amazing. The idea that even misfits can fit in and be loved, so sweet!

2) Claymation Christmas - Not as many people know this one, but it is amazing, I wish I had it on DVD. A series of Christmas songs all done in claymation presented by the two lovable dinos with their bantering. Throughout it all, we learn of the true meaning of wassailing (not waffelling or waddeling).

1) Charlie Brown Christmas - My absolute fave Christmas show! First of all, the music is amazing. Secondly, we get Charlie Brown and the gang's dance scenes. Thirdly, we learn the true meaning of Christmas from Linus - beautiful!

What are your must-see Christmas movies?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crazy Day and Favourite Things

I've been pretty much MIA this week, thanks to having to work at my parents' store every day almost. I'll make it up soon, I promise.
Today, for example, I got to shovel the walk at the store... 3 times because it kept snowing in (this is usually Dad's job, but he asked me to do it, this was my first sign that something was up), went with Dad to our doctors appointments (2nd hint, I guess he didn't have it before today), and then had to drive him to the hospital to get a EKG (bam, should have known something was up with his heart). His results came back fine, and he even apologized to me for not telling my earlier that he wasn't feeling well. Parents getting old sucks. I don't like having to be the caretaker when it comes to them. Then I got to run errands all over our snow-filled town for store-related things. At least the store wasn't crazy, the snow made it so hardly anyone came in. Good for the type of day Dad and I had, but bad for the store only 6 days before Christmas. Oh well, can't change the weather, right? Geeze, I hope that update made sense, I'm not certain that I'm fully coherant right now.

Here's this week's Friday 5 - Favourite Things:

1) What’s your favorite thing about the shoes you’re wearing (or the shoes you were most recently wearing)?
I'm not wearing any right now, the last ones I was wearing were my brown winter boots, which have lasted me 3 winters and are super comfy!

2) What’s your favorite thing about the people you work with (or the people you go to school with)?
I like the people I work with at Mom and Dad's store because I've known them all forever and have so much fun with them. I like the co-workers at the shelter because they're fun to be with and they're really good at what they do.

3) What’s your favorite thing about the climate where you live?
I like that the summers don't usually get unbearably hot in the summer, and we get snow around Christmas.

4) What’s your favorite thing about Friday?
I liked Fridays better when I was in school and didn't have to work on Saturdays. Those were good days.

5) What’s your favorite thing about the year coming to an end?
2008 has been a pretty sucky year for my family. To quote the Counting Crows "there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Contests Galore!

Have y'all entered these??

The oh, hello friend Winter Giveaway


The Oh! How Lovely! Shops Giveaway

I am entering them! You can win some pretty sweet things from them. You can't win if you don't enter, guys!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Erin's Christmas Music Picks

I work retail every Christmas season, so I get mighty tired of Christmas songs after only a few days of working. I can appreciate the Frank Sinatra and the Dean Martin Christmas songs, but there is a limit to how much I can listen to them. Here are my picks for your Christmas listening pleasure:

1) The Hotel Cafe Presents: Winter Songs - Various Artists
Cheery, dreamy, and so pretty. An upbeat yet relaxing Christmas mix.

2) Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
My fave is her cover of River, with a close second being Song for a Winter's Night. Sarah's voice is just so pretty, and I've loved her for a long time.

3) The Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack - Vince Guaraldi Trio
I love this movie a lot, and the soundtrack epitomizes Christmas for me. The kids singing Hark The Herald Angels Sing gives me happy shivers.

4) Let it Snow! - Michael Buble
Lots of Canadiana on this list! I think Michael Buble is a cutie, and his songs have a Rat Pack -esque flavour to them. Only an EP though, so it always leaves me wanting more.

5) Barenaked for the Holidays - Barenaked Ladies
Always upbeat and fun, it makes perfect sense for the BNL to make a Christmas album. And they include Hanukkah songs for our Jewish friends!

Additional Songs I Love (From Other Albums):
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Coldplay
O Come O Come Emmanuel - Sufjan Stevens
Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy - Bing Crosby and David Bowie
I Saw Three Ships - Sting
The Christmas Song - Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds
What's This? - The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack

Happy Christmas Listening, Blog World!

Do DMB Fans Have a Nickname? I am SUCH a Dave-head

The Dave Matthews Band announced their spring tour dates yesterday, unfortunately, none being closer to me than New York (believe me, I'm still considering it). With that e-mail, they also announced that their new studio album (it's been since Stand Up in 2005) will be released on April 14, 2009. I CANNOT WAIT! Expect me to be at the store to buy it the day it is released. I don't buy many CDs nowadays, the exception being new releases from my all-time fave bands, DMB being top of that list.
I expect it to be a different sound, with the loss of LeRoi Moore this summer. Dave also Twittered that they were considering not using any of the new songs that they had been playing on tour the past few years, using new brand new songs for the album instead. Either way, I am pumped for some new DMB music. Although I have been a fan for many years, I do not join the ranks of the veteran fans that adore old DMB and hate on everything new that comes from them. Dave, I know I will love whatever comes out of your mouth and into my ears, so no need to worry.
Now I just have to wait... April 14th can hurry on up and get here!

See the announcement here.

I Want the Moon!

Requesting that someone bring you the moon is no longer unreasonable, thanks to some Russian designers. Both the spoiled princess and the hopeless romantic in me want this, badly. And look at the beautifully whimsical pictures of it!! Please, I would like it for Christmas!! I think I even want the moon more than a Kitty Wig (that means I want it a lot)!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where I Plot The Seduction of a Mucisian

For the past few weeks I have had my new fave (well, second fave, nobody could ever replace Dave Matthews as my fave) singer on repeat. On my computer, on my iPod, in my car, in my head - all I've wanted to listen to is Ray Lamontagne.
His voice has been the soundtrack to my life and to my reading of the Twilight series. The perfect late fall / early winter, curled up in bed with a book music. His voice is beautiful and soothing in most songs, and he has a few songs that make me get up and dance around the apartment singing to the cat. But seriously, I would marry this man in a heartbeat if he promised to sing to me (specifically to sing me to sleep on a nightly basis). He needs to come back to North America, specifically to Toronto, to play a concert so that I can seduce him.
So seriously, check him out. If you dig guys with beards and acoustic guitars (sometimes electric) with beautiful songs, you'll dig Ray Lamontagne.

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

A little late, I know, but back a while ago, I received my first ever blog award from my fellow book club member Lily from LilySpeak. I was thrilled, and cheesy as it is, the inner 15 year old girl in me felt accepted by the blogging community! So I will proudly display this on my blog and pass it on to a few others:
The beautiful Lenorenevermore whose posts are always beautiful to read and look at,
a fellow Canadian Carmen of My Life in a Nutshell,
the student with the best dating stories Ashley of Turquoise Ribbons,
and my fellow DMB lover Grey Street of The Life & Times Of....
Thanks for being fantastic bloggers!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Step 1: Put your iTunes or equivalent on random.
Step 2: Type out the first line from the first 20 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing.
Step 3: Bold out the songs when someone guesses the song/album correctly. (Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is CHEATING!)

1. You've got your ball, you've got your chain, tied to me tight tie me up again
Crash Into Me - Dave Matthews Band
2. You'll remember me when the west wind moves on the fields of barley
Fields of Gold - Sting
3. Miracle people with marvelous hair and a knack to do anything better than anyone
New Frontier - Counting Crows

This is a call to the colorblind, this is an IOU, I'm stranded behind the horizon line, tied up in something true
5. Ha, open wide, oh so good I'll eat you, take me for a ride in your sweet delicious perfect, little mouth
6. Let us burn one, from end to end, and pass is over to me my friend
Burn One Down - Ben Harper
7. How I wish you could see the potential, the potential of you and me
I Will Possess Your Heart - Death Cab for Cutie
8. Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me

Beyond the Sea - Robbie Williams
9. Lord, give me grace and dancing feet, and the power to impress
10. The world is blowing up, the world is caving in, the world has lost her way again, but you are here with me
11. Baby, baby, when we first met I never felt something so strong
12. 'Cause it's a bitter sweet symphony this life
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
13. Life is much too short to sit and wonder who's gonna make the next move and will slowly pull you under when you've always got something to prove
14. Look at all that shines, baby's down on the world and she knows it
15. Everything's different, with my head in the clouds
16. I don't know what I've done, or if I like what I've become
17. Bright just like the stars above me, proud just like my mother planned it
18. I said what you wanted to hear, and what I wanted to say, so I will take it back
19. I tell you how I feel, but you don't care, I say tell me the truth, but you don't dare, you say love is a hell you cannot bare
20. Digging a hole and the walls are caving in, behind me, air's getting thin but I'm trying, I'm breathing in, come find me

I found this gem on She Devotes Her Life...
Okay, here we go, blog readers, how many can you get? Make me proud guys!

Friday, December 12, 2008

No More Slacking!

I've been slacking on my blogging this week, thanks to it being the last week of school and therefore crazy busy. It's done now, though, I am officially now a university AND college graduate! BA and CYW... I am getting closer and closer to my goal of having the entire alphabet behind my name. So tonight I get to go celebrate with my friends, and tomorrow I am packing up and heading home to my parents' house to work for them sellin' the bling at their store before Christmas. I love working at the store, I've worked there every Christmas season since I was in grade 11... what is that, going on 8 years now? And I grew up at the store practically. It wouldn't be Christmastime without spending the weeks before it selling jewellery wrapped up in pretty boxes by me. Anyhow, I am back there working again on Monday, and until then plan to be reading Breaking Dawn, because I banned myself from it this week while I tried to get work done, and now my ban is over - sweet!

And now, this week's Friday Five, this week's theme is Not Mine:
1) When did you last sleep in a bed outside your home?
I don't like sleeping at other peoples' houses very often, so it was likely the last time I went home and slept in my room at my parents' house, which doesn't count does it because I consider it home too. Before that... I guess it was camp in the summer?

2) When did you last drive someone else’s car?
I drive my parents' car sometimes when I am home.

3) When did you last cook in someone else’s kitchen?
The other night I made myself food at Sam's house when we were studying.

4) When did you last care for children who aren’t yours?
Umm Wednesday? That's kind of my job.

5) When did you last do someone else’s job?
I am always trying to help out and do what I can for my coworkers, so I guess the work I did at my placements counts, because it's not technically my job.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Pretty Much Grown Up Now

"Grow up, who me?" by charliebubbles

Tomorrow is my last day of placement at the shelter. Before today, I was full of mixed emotions about this. I'm excited to be done the CYW program, it's been a long 16 months straight in this program. I'm tired, so tired that I'm not even stressed about the big old assignment I've barely started due Friday and the final exam looming ominously before me on Thursday. I just want to be done. Before today, I was sad to be leaving the shelter. I like it there, and I'm confidant that I'm doing good work there with great co-workers. So, the grin on my face was probably very large this morning when I was officially hired for per diem relief work at the shelter. Not only do I get to stay on at the shelter... for the very first time, I have a job in my field of study. It feels grown up and real and awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Cherish Hope and Peace

I got a package in the mail today! It was my prize from the contest on Hallmark's Things We Make Blog for ornaments from Paloma's Nest.

It arrived carefully packaged in a brown box tied with string and a small bit of ribbon saying thank you.

Of course, Thunder Kitty had to see what the excitement was all about. It came with a special bag I can put the ornaments in, I chose the word Cherish for the bag.

Thunder Kitty mostly enjoyed the adorable straw-esque nest my birds were sitting in.

And I love love love my ornaments! I chose Hope and Joy for their words, and I cannot wait to get to my parents' place and hang them on our family tree. They're just so pretty though, I may need to find a way to display them all year round.

A great big thank you to Hallmark's Things We Make Blog and to Paloma's Nest!