Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Foods: Brownies!

I stumbled across these today at Loblaws and am in love with them! Perfect with some vanilla ice cream.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday: Things I like this week

Here's a round up of the things I am loving this week.

Eggroll Plus is one of my favourite Chinese food restaurants here in Ottawa. They have delivery, so it's perfect for those lazy nights.

eos hand cream seems to be the only thing that is helping my winter chapped hands. And it smells amazing.

Litter Locker. A wonderful and easy way to store cat litter without it stinking up my place. I don't know how I lived without it.

 Pook Toque. These hats are soooo cute and I love how warm they are. My students love my hat!

Revenge has become my new favourite show! I am addicted and almost caught up!

My American Netflix account has let me discover new shows and has kept me company on lazy nights!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Health and Beauty: Journaling

 I`ve kept a journal since I was younger, or I should say I have kept many journals. I have a big box in my parent's basement that is full of my old journals. None of them are full. I would write for a few months and then stop for a year or so and then start up again with a new one. I recently started journaling on the computer but I always felt as though it wasn't private enough. I have also read that it`s better to journal using pen and paper. Something about it being more comforting and therapeutic. I tend to start journals when I am upset or have a lot on my mind. This time was no different. This week started off on the wrong foot and hasn't been a very good week so far. I just feel as though I have a lot on my mind, a lot of worries, a lot of planning and it seems to all be jumbled up in my thoughts. So yesterday I went out to Chapters and picked up a brand new journal. This is going to be the first journal I start in my new apartment. I sat for a good half an hour last night and just wrote everything that came out. I didn't expect that I would feel better but after I closed my journal, I felt a little more at peace. I can't say that any of the problems are solved or that I am feeling a hundred percent better, but it definitely helped.

I've read that it is better to journal in the morning and get all your thoughts out so you can start your day with a clear mind. Morning journaling also allows you to have a true stream of consciousness whereas journaling at night tends to be a summary of the days events. I have tried journaling in the morning before but because I am not a morning person and it takes me a while to feel fully awake, I found that I wasn`t getting as much out. For me journaling works best at night. I can get a lot of what's bothering me out on paper right before bed and fall asleep quicker since most of the thoughts that would usually be keeping me up are down on paper.

If you are a morning person and want to read about Morning Pages, click here.

For those of you who want to journal and have been struggling to start, here is a list of some of the benefits of journaling.
  • Reduces scatter in your life
  • Releases pent-up emotions
  • Detaches you and allows you to let go of the past
  • Allows you to process your thoughts in a natural way
  •  Acts as your counselor
  • Soothes troubled thoughts
  • Reveals patterns
  • It's a great self discovery tool
  • Clarifies thoughts
  • Finds the missing pieces and the unsaid
  • Awakens your inner voice
  • Provides insights
  • Improves sensitivity
  • Helps with decision making
  • Exercises mental muscles
  • Plants seeds
Happy writing!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Tech: Samsung Galaxy S3

I have decided to change Tuesdays posts from Tuesday Teachables to Tuesday Tech. I have noticed that most of my Tuesday Teachables posts have been geared toward tech talk, so I figured that I would be able to cover more by sticking to tech.

This week I want to review the Samsung Galaxy S3

I have been an apple girl for a long time. I have a macbook, various iPods, an apple TV, an iPad and up until recently, an iPhone. So why did I make the change from iOS to Android? The truth is, I was getting a little bored with the iPhone and rather than take a step forward this year, I feel as though apple took a step back when they introduced iOS6. With that upgrade, the maps were lost, the original YouTube app disappeared and my WiFi no longer worked on my phone. I am very directionally impaired and the new maps that were introduced were horrible. Ever since the update, I constantly got lost. I know that google will be releasing an app for maps for the iPhone in the next month or so, but I started to feel some of the limitations of the iPhone. Now, before I continue, I must say that I love my iPad and my macbook. For blogging and gaming and writing and reading, they have been wonderful. But for how I used my phone, I felt I could get more out of an android phone.

So...I sold my iPhone 4s and picked up the Samsung Galaxy S3. Having used an iPhone for quite a while, I am still getting used to this new phone but so far I am loving it. I figured the easiest way to review it would be to make a list of pros and cons.

The Pros:

- Great battery life. I find I can get a few more hours than I did with the iPhone
- Customizable screens. You can add widgets to your 7 screens to personalize your phone (I have post it notes, weather, alarm clock, picture frame, calendar, flipboard)
- You can download files from the internet and store them on your phone.
- Java! All the websites that didn't work on the iPhone due to the java restrictions work on the Galaxy.
- LED notifications. I love having the blinking light telling me when I have a message instead of having to turn on the screen to keep checking.
- Great 8 megapixel camera
- Phone is super light and super thin.

The Cons:

- Sometime some of the apps seem a bit sluggish (I notice this most with the texting)
- I am disappointed in the plastic feel of the phone. I think that Samsung could have made the phone feel a bit more sturdier than it does.

Obviously the pros outweigh the cons. I am loving this phone and loving how easy it is to customize it and keep myself organized. It is very simple to use and definitely recommended if you're looking to get into the Android phone market.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Reads: The Siren

After reading Jackson Pearce's fairytale retellings, I have been searching for other fairytale retellings to quench my thirst until Jackson releases her next installment. This week I picked up The Siren by Kiera Cass. Having loved her book The Selection, I have high hopes for this one. The Siren is a retelling of The Little Mermaid and so far has been quite an intriguing read. I can already see how she has left elements of the old fairytale in tact as well as adding her own twists and turns. I am not very far into the book but so far am enjoying it very much.

The Siren by Kiera Cass

Synopsis: "You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time. . ."The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Songs: Joshua Radin

I have always loved Joshua Radin's voice and the fact that he covered one of my all time favourite jazz songs makes me love him even more. Enjoy!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Foods: Eggs Benedict

Last weekend I went out to breakfast with my dad and for the first time, I tried eggs benedict. Immediately, it became my new favourite way to eat eggs and I was determined to learn how to make it on my own.

Click here for a link to a great and simple recipe.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thursday: Things I like this week (Instagram edition)

For this week's "Things I like" I am picking some of my favourites from my Instagram. Those who follow me on Instagram have seen these pictures. Those who don't..enjoy! You can find me on Instagram here.


Wednesday Health and Beauty: Yoga Cures

I used to be really into yoga. I have tons of books and DVDs and I used to attend yoga classes weekly. In the last couple of years I have let the whole fitness aspect of my life fall aside. I found that I was too busy with work and too exhausted to consider doing anything active after a long day in class with all my screaming students. I got most of my exercise teaching gym class last year. I would always play the sports with the kids or run around with them. I taught gym almost everyday, so that got me moving a lot during the week. This year I have no gym classes and have started to feel quite stiff and out of shape. After getting my third migraine since September I tried to look for some natural ways to cure the migraines. This is when I came across Tara Stiles' new book Yoga Cures. I picked it up this weekend and started to read through it and have developed a routine for myself which will hopefully help with my headaches and sore muscles. I am excited to get back to practicing yoga daily. Now that I have moved into a bigger apartment I have a lot of space and quiet to do these routines.

For more Tara Stiles, visit her YouTube page. She does wonderful videos on exercise, meditation and healthy eating.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Teachables: Symbaloo

I was recently at a technology seminar and I found out about this cool site. I don't know how I did not already know about it, but it has become my new favourite way of bookmarking and organizing all the links I visit often. Symbaloo allows you to create custom pages where you can keep all your bookmarks. These can be accessed from any browser at any time. This is great for me because I have both a work laptop and a personal one and I often don't remember where I have stored certain websites. I sometimes find a really interesting site at school and bookmark it onto my work computer and when I get home, I forget where I first found the site. This is a must have for everyone who is an avid web browser. I am addicted to updating it and personalizing it with all my cool finds.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Reads: Blackberry Winter

I know I have been horrible with posting in the last few weeks. I thought I was out of my reading slump but after my last post, I got into another one. It seems that September and October were big reading slump months. In the last week, I have finally started to read at a more regular pace and I am starting to get more excited about finishing books and starting new ones.

I started this book a couple of days ago and I am LOVING it. I have had a hard time putting it down. I was even reading it as I was waiting for the elevator at my apartment and in the elevator and as I walk places. It is that good. This is the third book by Sarah Jio and her first two books The Violets of March and The Bungalow have become favourites of mine. Even though I am not yet finished her latest, I am sure it will also become one of my top books.

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Synopsis: In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels--The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter--taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon--Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time. 

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator's.

Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 "blackberry winter" storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways...

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