Saturday, December 31, 2011

Auld Lang Syne

I love New Year's Eve! What a fantastic holiday! Most people have the next day off, everyone is down for partying into the wee hours of the morning, and getting drunk off your arse is not only acceptable - it`s expected! It`s like everyone gets to celebrate their birthday all together on one night :)

One of my favorite ways to recover after a New Year's party (after a hungover brunch, of course) is to curl up and watch my favorite New Year's movies.

First is RENT. If you've never seen Rent, you are missing out on life. I'll warn you, it is a musical, but it is a fantastic rock opera. The story focuses on a group of 20-somethings who are poor and trying to find their path in New York's Alphabet City during the late 80s/early 90s. Rent also takes place over Christmas too, so it's a perfect movie for this time of year. Watch it. I promise it will change your life.

My favorite romcom of all time will always be When Harry Met Sally. This movie was ahead of its time and one of a kind. If you think the title sounds familiar, this is the movie where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in a diner - I'm sure everyone has seen spoofs of this monumental moment in cinematic history. I love this movie because although it does follow a bit of the romcom formula, the events and emotions throughout the movie are extremely realistic and appear genuine - it's doesn't come off as inauthetnitc, which is how I find most rom-coms to be. Plus, this movie has the ability to make me cry like a sobbing baby at the end, every time.

Of course there's the 90s classic 200 Cigarettes. I initially watched this movie on a whim, not thinking it would ever be worthy of a rewatch, but I have to give it props. 200 Cigarettes is one of those ensemble cast movies (which I am a total sucker for, e.g., He's Just Not That Into You) that maintained a solid, fluid plot throughout and didn't expect popularity by simply relying on its smorgasborg of celebs in the film (like many ensemble cast movies do, e.g., Valentine's Day). It's a hilarious film that all takes place on New Year's Eve, following around a number of different characters, all trying to find the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Sound familiar? That's because there's a new movie coming out this year called New Year's Eve and it also has an ensemble cast. I haven't heard great stuff about New Year's Eve, but like I said, I'm a sucker for ensemble casts so I will go see it anyway. But I have my doubts about it's ability to live up to 200 Cigarettes.

On an extra lovey note, if you haven't seen it, here's a lovely vid of Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-Levitt singing a beautiful song together. 500 Days of New Year's Eve <3  

Oh, baby!

I LOVE bad reality television. Like really bad, trashy, "it's so bad but I can't look away" kind of reality television. Jersey Shore, Bachelor Pad, Flavor of Love, I've seen it all. (I even wrote a blog post about it for class, which I will share later).

My ears perked up when I heard about ABC's latest reality television venture: Celebrity Wife Swap! It's like Wife Swap meets the Surreal Life. I am surprised ABC (which is owned by Disney) is the one putting out this guaranteed-to-be outrageous and offensive endeavor. With characters such as Gary Busey and Flavor Flav, this show is bound to be entertaining!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

My 10 Favourite Things About Christmas in the Maritimes

(Oooh, link baiting!)
Sipping on apple cider, listening to classic Christmas carols while my parents finish wrapping the last of the presents, getting ready to head to my grandparents' for dinner and to open our Christmas Eve stocking, I’ve taken this moment to reflect on the wonderful Christmas traditions my family shares this joyous time of year. I appreciate these traditions more as I get older. I’ve never missed a Christmas at home. Not even living across the country can keep me away from the Maritimes come December. I feel extremely fortunate that I can spend this time with those close to my heart on the east coast. (Although it is very hard having your heart in two places over Christmas).
So, I give you my 10 favorite things about Christmas on the east coast: (in no particular order)
*I will add pictures after I return and can upload them from my camera

1.    My grandmother’s cooking
My grandmother is from Newfoundland and boy can she cook. For Christmas Eve dinner we’ll have Chinese food: egg rolls, chicken fried rice, chicken balls, etc. – all homemade. Plus, what I look forward to every year, my Nan’s seafood dip. It’s so yummy! Of course for Christmas dinner we’ll be having turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, carrots, peas, cranberries and gravy – all made from scratch. Plus homemade rolls and about a million different squares and pies for dessert. My grandmother doesn’t sleep. Especially over the holidays.

2.    Time with my family
The older I get the more I appreciate the time I get to spend with my family. Whether it’s hanging out with my sister (when we’re not fighting), getting mani/pedis with my mom, or seeing my extended family over the holidays. I love every minute of it. I especially love how the holidays bring everyone together. My mom’s side of the family is quite large – many aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins. Now that we’re all getting older my cousins are starting their own families so there are lots of little one around. It’s awesome! Kids make Christmas even better!

3.    Staying at my parent’s house
Living across the country, I don’t get to reap the benefits of leeching off my parents year round. So when I come home for the holidays I try to squeeze as much as I can into a two week period. Whether it’s soaking in their ginormous Jacuzzi tub, or helping myself to the “free” food and liquor :) I love being home! Laundry is free and I don’t have to do dishes (unless I’m nice and I want to help, which happens sometimes). 

4.    Catching up with old friends
I love getting updated on the latest in my friends’ lives. We don’t chat much while I’m away because after high school we all kind of out grew the phone. I enjoy hearing about their latest accomplishments (because all my friends are now grown up with adult jobs) and the dish on the latest gossip. My absolute favorite thing about catching up with friends is realizing that no matter how much time has passed, it never feels like we’ve spent time apart and we can always pick up from where we left off.

5.    Time off!
One of the best things about leaving the province for the holidays is that I can’t be expected to work! Muahahaha! I get such a nice long vacation away from school, work, and all the usual daily stresses.

6.    Lobster
Every time I come home I have lobster because nowhere else in Canada can you get a lobster as fresh as the lobster in the Maritimes. It’s so delicious! This year my uncle had us over for a lobster feed. He got the lobster off “his guy” (yes, in the Maitimes you have a “guy” to get your seafood from). He got me the biggest lobster I have ever seen – it was 5lbs! And I cracked it all by myself (well, mostly be myself). I only made it as far as the tail before I had to give up because I was so full. But that baby was stuffed! The legs themselves had about as much meat as a 1lb lobster’s claw!

7.    My kitties
I miss my kitties so much! I would bring Cassidy to live in my apartment with me if I was allowed to have pets, but unfortunately we aren’t :(

8.    Presents
Who doesn’t love presents? Whether it’s giving or receiving presents, it’s one of the best parts of Christmas.

9.    The Ocean
One of the best things about the Maritimes is the ocean. Whether it’s running along the wake, venturing out on my uncle’s boat during the summer in Prospect or a frosty ride across the harbour on the Dartmouth ferry, there is something so refreshing about the ocean that awakens my spirit.

10.  Coming back to my western family & friends
Although I love being on the east coast for Christmas, it’s just as exciting to fly back to my other home. I miss my new family and friends over the holidays. But I do get to spend all year with them, so leaving them for a couple weeks isn’t so bad. I’m always back in time to party on New Year’s!

“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
heart to heart, and hand in hand.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Had to share this breathtakingly beautiful and amazingly adorable assortment of gingerbread houses. (I especially love the Portal companion cubes, and there's the Burrow from Harry Potter).

Typically Cake Wrecks is full of, well, cake wrecks. The site shows what happens "when professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong." I strongly recommend exploring the rest of the site - some of the wrecks are just atrocious and the witty banter is always hilarious. But once in awhile (every Sunday to be exact) there are sweetly succulent, sometimes gravity-defying, darling deletectables that truly make me appreciate the passion and talent of the bakers out there.

Hope you enjoyed my alliteration marathon :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Karma

I love when the spirit of Christmas evokes selflessness in others and they embrace the giving part of the holidays. It restores my faith in humans.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I`m Dreaming of a White Christmas

Exams are done! The semester is over! All that hard work is starting to pay off. Halfway to my diploma!

Now that the semester is over, it`s time to start celebrating Christmas! Sunday I`ll be back in the Maritimes with my family, and in the mean time I`ll be sharing some Christmas celebrations with my boyfriend.

Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like the music of the season.

Whether it`s celebrating Christmas with a message and 80`s hairstyles,

or just a really rad rock ballad.

This classic commercial takes me back to my childhood and being so excited for Santa to come.

But my absolute favorite Christmas song will always be Mariah`s. (The original. Not the newly slaughtered one).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Midsummer Night`s Dream

I got a snowboard! It`s my very first one and I love it, so I am very excited. A lovely lady from my PR class decided to sell her barely used snowboard, bindings and boots to me. It is my Christmas gift from my boyfriend. This monumental occassion is particularly exciting because I have been scoping out snowboards for the longest time and I had yet to find one with a design that I really liked. I`m a girl, so aesthetics are important to me. Half the fun of getting a snowboard is choosing the design. (Ok, well maybe 85% of the fun is choosing the design.... or 99.9%). I was thrilled when my friend from class sent me pictures of her snowboard. I instantly fell in love with it. I`d never seen a design like this before. The moment my boyfriend saw it, his first words were "it`s very you."

Now I am the new owner of snowboard equipment! I have to say, I never thought I`d see the day. I started snowboarding last winter. My boyfriend convinced me to go with him. This was my first time on a ski hill since a very traumatic first time skiing experience in grade four, after which I vowed that winter sports were not my thing. Last winter, after an absolutely terrifying and difficult first run, I slowly but surely began to gain enough courage to fully stand on the board and go down the hill by myself (and with no tears). Each time I go I get a little better and become more confident. I`ve really come to love the sport. Last Valentine`s day my boyfriend and I went to Marmot and spent the day snowboarding. I am very eager to return to the mountains this winter with my new little beauty.

For those of you who know me, you probably know that I like to name things. I have a flash drive called Lil Red, another one called Cellar Door, my old computer was named Venus and my old iPod I called Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. So before I unveiled my new snowboard to the world, I had to come up with an appropriate name. One that embodies its beauty and my love for snowboarding. I eventually decidided on....

      A Midsummer Night`s Dream

Here she is in all her glory! I know the name may sound kind of ironic, since it`s a snowboard, but the play it`s named after is very dreamy and whimsical, like my board. I think the name elicits a sense of romanticism and passion, and I connect that to snowboarding. 

I can`t wait to get out on the hill with her this weekend!

Not the girl for you

I need to take a moment to gush about how proud I am of two of my best friends: Cadence & Nathan Burns. They were on Balcony TV and the video finally came out!!! I am so excited!!! And they have an album coming out sometime in the new year (probably Marchish). Check them out - they are both so very talented. (Well, Cadence is probably a little more talented, but don`t tell Nathan I said that. Kidding!) Love them both. I`m glad they managed to do some recording together before we all die of alcohol poisoning. I know one thing: the CD release party is gonna be messy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tattoo Dreams

Currently on my screen: Don`t You Forget About Me
The documentary about John Hughes and the impact of his films. It`s awesome! They have the actors from his films (all grown up now) discussing his work, as well as other directors, producers and people in the entertainment industry (including Kevin Smith, yay!)
Clearly it hasn`t been a productive evening of studying so far.
Over brunch this weekend my friends and I were discussing tattoos. I`ve always wanted a tattoo. When I turned 18 I figured it wouldn`t be long before I got a tattoo, I just had to decide on what I wanted. I`ve definitely appreciated the fact that tattoos are on you for life, so the decision to get one is not one I`ve ever wanted to make hastily. (Although, when I turned 18 I did get my tongue pierced as a way to embrace my new adult freedom). I am now 25, seven years later and I still do not have a tattoo. (I`m glad I didn`t get a tattoo at 18, because I would otherwise now be stuck with a tramp stamp). I do however have a list of ones that I`ve thought about for years, so it shouldn`t be long now
*fingers crossed*

Although I`ve always loved tattoos and look forward to get a couple myself, I have no interest in getting a sleeve or any kind of sizeable piece. When they`re well done I admire them on other people, but I have no desire to completely cover entire sections of my body with ink. However, if I was to ever (in another life) get a large tattoo, I would get a full back piece with the album cover from the Smashing Pumpkin`s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness:

I`ve just always loved this image. I can`t explain it, but it speaks to me for some reason. It`s an amazing album too. To suffice, my friend and I are going to get shirts made with the image.
And now I should get back to studying.
(My favorite song from the album and one my all-time favorite music videos)


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Headstands & Sparkly Dresses

Currently on my screen: St. Elmo`s Fire
Hadn`t seen it before and loving it so far :) Who doesn`t love the brat pack?

So although I can`t make it to yoga every day, I like to take a little time every day work on some of the postures at home. Currently I am working to perfect my headstand and eventually work my way to a handstand. (I was particularly inspired after my last yoga class when the instructor had us do some group work and we helped each other try out handstands. Group work. In Yoga. So cool.)
I`ve managed to almost perfect this type of headstand:

I still practice it against the wall, but I`m quite proud of how much my strength and balance have improved already.
Once I feel comfortable with that headstand (and a little stronger) then I`m going to work on this one:

The only real difference between the two is that this one would have my forearms on the ground instead of my hands.
Eventually I want to master the handstand:

The reason I`m motivated to master these postures is because yogis say that to really gain the full benefits of yoga, one has to invert their body. Since gravity pulls down, by putting your head underneath the rest of your body, you can send more energy to your head. Pretty neat.

 Now onto the *sparkly dress* portion of this blog post...
 After missing my bus today, instead of waiting for the next one so I could get home and start studying, I decided to go to the mall and do some Christmas shopping. I`ve managed to stay away from the mall all semester. And I knew that going to the mall today to do some Christmas shopping would result in me buying a number of things for myself. Today was no exception. I am a thrifty shopper, so at least I can`t feel too guilty about spending money because I got some really great deals. The highlight of my trip to the mall today was definitely the amazing dress I found for New Years Eve. I love that sparkles are in this season! I can`t wait to wear this out! (And it cost less than $30!)

I think the Paper Bag Diva would be proud.
Next up: sparkly shoes!

Monday, December 12, 2011

That`s Life

When I get stressed out, this is the song my boyfriend plays for me and then he makes me dance to it with him. Gotta have a little Frank in your life.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Woman Problem in Skyrim

My boyfriend cut this comic out of the paper for me:

What a sweetheart.

Sometimes I watch TV instead of studying

I love television. Almost too much. Well, probably too much. But it helps me relax and I enjoy it, and that`s all that matters anyway. Since I`m in school, I often catch up on my TV watching on the weekend by streaming the shows. Today I was super impressed with the new episodes some of my favorite shows put out this week. If you`ve never seen these shows before, watch them - they`re hilarious.

The somewhat cult-like classic Community always promises laughs and intelligible, witty remarks. If you haven`t been watching this show, just start. You will get addicted and want to watch the entire series. That`s what happened to me. I always enjoy this show, and it just keeps getting better. This week`s episode in particular made me laugh so much. The best Community episodes seem to be their Christmas specials - they`ve been ridiculously awesome so far. Last season`s Abed`s Uncontrollable Christmas was one of the most uniquely crafted television episodes I had ever seen. This year`s Christmas special lived up to my expectations. The episode, Regional Holiday Music, made fun of the show Glee, while at the same time pretty much making a Glee tribute show. There was lots of singing and dancing. (This is probably why I love their Christmas specials in the first place - I am crazy about musicals!).  The entire episode was put together really well. It even included Troy aka Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino rapping. So awesome!

The other show I lol`d at a lot was New Girl, starring the loveable Zooey Deschanel. The more I watch this show the more I love the characters on it. Jess (Zooey) I`ve loved from the beginning, since I`m already a fan of her as an actress. She always plays ridiculously quirky, awkward roles in films, and her role as the star of New Girl is no different. She is such a free, kindred spirit. If Jess was a real person I would want to be her best friend. The metrosexual character Schmidt gets funnier with every episode. My favorite Schmidt moment was a few episodes back when he did some parkour around the living room. I`m still not a huge fan of Nick. He`s kinda lame - there, I said it. But maybe he`s just misunderstood. Lamley misunderstood. And Winston I wasn`t a huge fan of until this week`s episode when he discovered how well he could rock out on hand bells. The real highlight to this week`s episode, Bad In Bed, was that Justin Long was back playing Jess`s new boyfriend. His character, Paul, is just as quirky and awkward as Jess, which made for some highly hilarious scenarios in this episode when they tried to have sex together for the first time. Watch it. I promise you will cry.

With those two treats I had quite a lovely Saturday morning. I even had a delicious homemade breakfast to accompany me: sweet potato hashbrown fries, cheesy scrambled eggs with avocado (and hot sauce, of course), oj, baileys & coffee, and for dessert (ya, I had dessert with breakfast this morning) a peach & lavendar tart from the Duchess Bake Shop. Yum! 


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rock & Roll Legends

I love Rock & Roll.

Check out the performance that got Elvis Costello banned from SNL.

Reminds me of the performance that got the Doors banned from The Ed Sullivan show.

What a pair of rebels.

Animal Love

I love seeing different species care for each other. It reminds me of how connected we all are.

Check out this golden retriever adopt a litter of three siberian tigers who were abandoned by their mother.

These elephants were apart for 20 years. Watch them as they`re reunited. I am always touched by the joy and emotion expressed by her trainer when he talks about freeing her.

Here are Bella & Tara, an elephant and dog odd couple who became best friends.

This man has a bear as a best friend - he was even the best man at his wedding.

And of course, there`s the hugely popular Christian the lion who was reuinted with his owners who had raised him, but had turned him over to a sanctuary when he became too big. They weren`t sure Christian would recognize them.

    One love, one heart

Let`s Get It Started!

I've finally lost my blog virginity.

I've always wanted to create a blog, the problem was I didn't think I had anything interesting enough worth blogging about. I felt being limited to my facebook status updates and posting videos, pics and websites on my facebook page was satisfying enough. However, I`ve been inspired by my PR & Digital Media class, where I learn all about utilizing the means of communication that are at our disposal online. Props to the instructor, Nikki Van Dusen, who has inspired me to not only create a blog, but to attempt to apply the best web writing practices that I learned about throughout the semester in her enjoyable and entertaining classes (even though they started at 8am).

When deciding what to blog about, I identified the common themes for my motivaton to post things on my facebook page: my posts were usually about something that made me smile, laugh or just overall feel good and I wanted to share that feeling. So I thought, why not create a blog around that? Some days I have so much I want to share that I feel I`m diluting my facebook page if I post everything on there. Instead I thought it would be great to have a place to collect all sorts of warm fuzzy things I come across, especially during these depressing winter months. Thus my Happy Daze blog was born. It`s just here to bring a smile to your face, give you something to laugh about, possibly provide some inspiration and hopefully warm the heart of anyone who takes the time to visit.


    Lauren xoxox