It’s 5:30pm on Friday right now, and I’m about to leave work, which is ah-ah-ah-mazing. Today I sat at my desk and pondered if I was a “workaholic,” because I know me, and that’s just something I don’t think I am. And my conclusion was just that, I’m not, I’m just soooooo busy at work right now. But I’ve got TWO long weekends in August and-and-and-and an entire week off to head to cottage-country with the family. Wahoo! So excited.
And I got good feedback from my boss today, which was also ah-mazing.
And tonight I’m seeing two of my very best friends
And tomorrow is “Sunshine Saturday” (a charity event I’ve helped out with)
And Sunday is horse-riding (sigh, it’s been too long), and a birthday party in the evening.
And did I mention it’s the WEEKEND, and I am EXCITED, and I’m leaving my work laptop right here, at work.
And there are lots of ‘ands’ in this post
And I’ve eaten super healthy so far today
And the guy I’m seeing is back from his vacay soon, which is excellent
And I am going to start running again (mini goal: 5k). Truth be told last time I ran I had an AWFUL run, and have just been so scared of getting back out there.
And my apartment is clean as I type this, and I have *three* different vases of yellow flowers
How am I? Oh, you know… well, wait. I suppose you don’t.
I’ve been quiet on the Internet front the past few weeks for several reasons. The first and foremost honestly being I am so busy. So busy, in fact, that sometimes I truly don’t understand how I used to pop into this space so often, and find time to document my life so consistently. Good for me, because blogging takes time & effort and how have I been doing this for over 5.5 years?!
But there’s another reason, I must confess, and that’s that I’ve become awfully self conscious of this life I lead. The words I write. The photos I take. The places I go, and things I see. I don’t know. I don’t know whether I’m worried about being judged, or that I feel like my life is so boring (to others) it’s odd to upload a photo or story or snippet about an outfit, or run, or every day things. I mean, really. My days through and through are just so, well, ordinary.
So… with that said, let me take advantage of this pint (or two) flowing through my veins, and the vulnerability that comes with the clock striking 2am. I’ve been dating a lot. Let’s start there. Nothing serious, I think. I don’t know. One guy, whom I met through a mutual friend, has been around now for a few months. It’s fun, it’s casual, and it’s nice to have a consistent person to do something with. We actually openly discussed what we’re doing the other day; it’s certainly not a relationship because our lack of communication and/or check-ins is quite impressive, but it’s also not a, ummm, for lack of a better term, booty call. We go on dates. Lots of dates. And hang out and watch movies and order food together. He cooks, I clean. It works well. And it is what it is, and I’m, we’re, happy with it, especially because my time (and his) is so limited these days due to work.
Speaking of work, I am taking advantage of being single these days. I have no obligations come 5pm. No person to meet. No children to pick up. No places to be, and expectations to meet. So I work. A lot. When I look back on my corporate career I spent my twenties plotting and planning to travel the world. To escape to literally the other side of the world. And that, I did (yay!). But now that I’m back? Well now I am concentrating on my career. Twenty nine is the year of my life I have dedicated to my career. I work hard in the office (and often miss social events because of it), but then when I can, I’m also very kind to myself outside of the office. Because if working fifteen plus hours a day means I lay in bed and watch Netflix until 3pm on a Saturday, even when it’s sunny out, and the birds are calling my name, I don’t really care. Because I know I’m working hard for a company I love and believe in, going after promotions I want, and putting in my time to make a place for myself in the corporate world. It’s exciting, and I love it, and have a grand plan to continue to work my ass off for, well, as long as I need to to define this chapter of my life.
Speaking of my ass, it’s grown. Well, wait. I shouldn’t say that. This morning I weighed 182, so really, I’m sitting around where I was at the beginning of this year. So my good, old, ass has actually stayed the same. It’s not ideal, but given how much sitting I do these days, and constant battles not to eat all the office treats, I’m okay with this. My Personal Trainer is going well, it’s a huge struggle to make it to the gym for our set times each week (because of work), but I enjoy the feeling of muscles returning (slowly) to my body, and the sore feeling the day after a good workout. I’ve been meaning to get outside and run for a while… umm, remember how I ran four full marathons? Good Lord, how did I ever do that?
I’ve also started volunteering for an *awesome* organization called Project Sunshine. I’ll be sure to devote a whole post to this soon, as it’s an amazing charity, and I truly feel so lucky to have been accepted as a board member. The commitment is fairly extensive, but it’s something I am passionate about (they help families with sick children in hospitals), and I can’t wait to raise money through awesome events, and volunteer with the kids and their families.
What else? Horse riding, Baby Lily, Seeing friends, and family. I am living a content, full life, and I am thankful for every moment of it. My family is heading to a cottage next week, which will be sad times as I can’t go for work, but I’m going kayaking on Saturday, a bbq on Sunday, as well as Tim McGraw *yeehaw!* in the evening. I’m also online dating when I can fit it in - but folks, that’s a whole post in and of itself. Okay. Okay. I must get some rest. My boss told me today that people who are productive at night (me!) have an on average higher IQ, so I’ll rest my head thinking about that, and not how I have to be up in a mere few hours.
I wonder how many stranger’s stories we make it into? You know, maybe someone saw you in passing and told their friends about how pretty the girl in the lavender sweater was. Or maybe they overheard you say a joke and repeated it to their friend, confessing that they heard it from some guy at the store.
And finally, I have to do a random post, because so many random, awesome, things happened in Jamaica, which I want to document.
If you follow me on The Instagram, I must apologize - as there are certainly repeats in here.
What’s a trip, without plane photos? Exactly. And also, I know, right? babes in glasses.
The resort was freaking BEAUTIFUL. By far the nicest resort I’ve ever stayed in. Unfortunately I can’t speak at all for Jamaica, as we never left the resort, but out of all my Caribbean adventures, Jamaica falls at #2 fav island (Aruba is #1).
A huge shout out to Maria for bringing all the ladies GIFTS as a thank you for coming! It was so kind of her, and so appreciated. :)
Snapchat was out in full force on this trip. And as you can see, I created a work of art to send to Maria’s fianace, Casey - such a romantic moment captured.
Lots of long walks were also had, and reading, and photo taking, and swimming, and suntanning.
So, yea… hammocks are not as comfy as they appear.
Our friends back in Toronto went out for World Pride in Toronto, and Instagramed that bottom left photo, so naturally we replicated it. Naturally. (We so funny.)
And lots of other shenanigans happened… including this:
Yup. Maria and I did face masks on the plane. It was hilarious, and I HIGHLY recommend you watch the video of it on my Instagram (LizClaire_).
And with that, my hurried Jamaican posts are done and dusted and blogged about. PHEW. I debated just skipping the trip, but I’m pleased I posted it, because I love Maria, can’t wait for her wedding, and had an awesome time celebrating her!
And finally, for the final night of our Caribbean getaway, we surprised Maria with a fancy, romantic, gorgeous filet mignon, four course dinner, out on a pavilion.
We had seen people dining out on the water all week, and Maria had mentioned how she wanted to do just that, which I automatically took as an “excellent! I shall make it happen as a surprise” gesture. So early on I told Maria I had looked into it, and sadly it was booked solid all week (but moohahhaha, it wasn’t).
(You can see the pavilion where we ate in this photo!)
So we got dressed up, wore our fanciest dresses, and at 6:45pm went to dinner. Maria thought we were heading to a regular, Jamaican restaurant, but surprise-surprise-surprise. we weren’t! The evening was gorgeous (gorgeous - the best one of our trip!), which meant we took approximately three thousand photos, and to top it all off, the food was absolutely delicious.
(Above: our walk through the resort to our dinner. Below: our restaurant for the evening!)
Yup! It was a wonderful last evening, to a bachelorette I don’t think I’ll ever forget!
For one of the nights we also surprised Maria with a wine & champagne, balloon-decorated-feather-boas-party-beads-fun-sunglasses-hawaiian-leis-pre-drink (whoa, that’s a mouthful!). We drank too much, took too many photos, and headed out into the sea of couples, to eat Japanese, and celebrate the bride-to-be!
(A huge thank you to the resort, Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay, for helping me locate the balloons - so fun!)
In the past whenever I’ve headed down south for a little sunshine, it was a quiet vacation with a close friend. A vacation with lots of reading, lounging, early to bed, and early to rise, so I was excited to head south for a bachelorette. A bachelorette with eight girls (including some of my nearest & dearest)!
The MOH did a fantastic job bringing lots of props, including these fabulous t.shirts, which read “Team Maria” on the front, and “#sorrycasey” on the back - which was the trip’s hashtag (& Casey us obviously the groom.)
As I sit at my desk on this Friday afternoon, this Friday afternoon after 5pm, this Friday afternoon when the entire of America appears to be outside and in the sun, and this Friday afternoon where I have work up to my hoo-ha, let me take a moment to fill you in on the food and drinks portion of Jamaica. Because, oh, memories… !
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified about gaining 3.2 million pounds in Jamaica. I mean, well, a quick gander at my archives will even tell you I gained a lot of weight in Cuba, Dominican Republic and Aruba. Essentially, unlimited buffet + sugary drinks + an all inclusive resort = Liz’s ass grows 3.2 sizes.
But, I am thrilled to say this was *not* the case in Jamaica! No siree, Bob! I only ate desert ONCE (on the final night) (ice-cream during the day, which happened twice excluded from that statement), and drank about one or two sugary drinks (I stole friend’s drinks for the photos below - because they’re so pretty!). Although, full disclosure, I had quite a few mojitos “no syrup, extra lime please,” which I deemed healthy-ish.
The food at the resort was amazeballz. Unlike Cuba, Dominican and Aruba, there was no worry about getting sick from the water, which meant I could eat lots of fruit, and lots and lots of salads.
My rule of thumb (taken from my sister) was to never (ever ever ever) go back to the buffet for seconds. Get what you want the first time around, but never go back for seconds. And I followed through on this rule to the T. (self high five!)
Most of my meals were completely random, but I must give a shout out to the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, because insert heart-shaped-eyes here. And the soft-serve ice-cream, where half the joy of it was making it your self.
I still ate like a Queen in Jamaica, but I think the notable thing is this: there was nooooooo snacking down south. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. And as I’m an excellent and consistant grazer/snacker, this was sort of eye-opening that I LOST weight from cutting out random day-snacks.
So yeah mon, there you have it. The food and drinks photos, and now it’s after 6pm, and work is calling my name, and I’m just a dreamin’ about Jamaica!
It’s no secret that I (along with the rest of the world) love-love-love the beach. When I left to travel in 2011 I actually planned my big trip around the world to coincide with summer, and I was lucky enough to hit up some of the world’s most spectacular beaches - Perth, Whitehaven Beach,Thailand, Indonesia, and Aruba to name a few. And, as expected, Jamaica’s beaches once again took my breath away.
Golden sand, clear water, seashells, salty air, light breezes, it was all rather perfect, and I’d be lying if I said we didn’t take advantage of it. Up before 8am each and every day, and on the beach by 8:30 with a coffee in hand. Oh! and the resort also seemed rather empty, which was glorious in and of itself.
I stayed under a sun hat, and in the shade most of the time, and went through 1.5 bottles of 30SPF (because whoa, the sun was hawwwwt, and because not-having-wrinkles > a-tan). I read like it was going out of style, and had tears in my eyes from laughing too much several times a day. Maria and I went on several long walks, and all in all, it was exactly what I needed, and as I lay on the beach I felt so lucky to have my good friends to the side of me, and blue water ahead of me. I know, right? Cue the violins. But truly, it was pret-ty great.
In a nutshell? It was fantastic! A short, but sweet trip where we celebrated one of my nearest & dearest. I sort of find it crazy I’m already writing about this, because I remember us planning it way-back-when, and time moves so fast, and then we left on a jet plane, and sat on a beach, and then poof! now here I am. Oh, time, you sneaky devil you.
Before I dive into the details of it all (the beach, the resort, the bachelorette, & the food/drinks), here my favourite photos from the trip. Hope you enjoy! :)
I know, I know: You’ve been busy, I’ve been busy, we’re all busy! I seriously don’t remember Toronto summers ever being this busy, but it’s awesome and good and, well, fine! an itsy bitsy teeny weeny part of me misses the guilt-freeness of the winter. Ohmygawd, did I just say that? Ugh. No. #summer4eva
So yup. In an absolutely stupid turn of events I put my phone through the washing machine on Saturday. As my sheets were tossin’ & turnin’ I remember thinking, “Wow. Sheets are loud in the washing machine.” And then I moseyed on back to my bedroom, and as soon as I thought “where is my phone?” I connected the dots, *sprinted* back to the laundry room, only to watch and listen to my phone go round and round and round in disbelief, as I couldn’t open the locked door. But, you guys, get this: IT STILL WORKS. Apple deserves a high-five for this. Although, I only realized it still worked too late, at which point I had a pretty new iPhone in my hand (it was free as I resigned a contract).
I also want to note that when I synced my old phone to new, it brought in a version from 2011. It was so weird! Like a time capsule to my life back in 2011. Old contacts, old photos, old apps. It was bizarre.
Anywho. I had friends visiting from Australia this past week - thus the silence. Life has been too busy to even recollect. Especially as I was in a course Monday to Wednesday. The course was *fantastic,* and I’m so pleased my company invested in me go there. Really, and truly, I felt like it was written for me. Also, fun fact, I don’t do the job I was hired to do anymore. I don’t even know how it happened, I suppose I just gravitated towards the stuff I liked (aka not social media), and voila! I am now a Product Manager and LOVE it (capitals well deserved). (And peeps out there who work on websites, and create the site products/features - checkout pragmatic marketing - so worth the money).
Tonight I have my personal trainer (gonna pump dee iron), but I also weighed myself this morning and weighed the same as when I started. Ugh. That was sad. But not really, as I rocked a fabulous outfit to work today.
I’m also getting fake lashes stuck on tonight because… I’m HEADING TO JAMAICA TOMORROW MORNING!! I can’t even tell you how excited I am for this. It’s a bachelorette trip, and my first real vacation since I started this job, and, well, WAHOO! Beach beach beach beach here I come.
My sister and Lily are coming over to help me pack, which will be all sorts of fabulous. Obviously.
I splurged and bought Burberry sunglasses last night on my way home, and now really regret them. HMMMM. Spontaneous shopper FTW! (although, they seriously are super fabulous)
Jack White this July. Can. Not. Wait.
And the weather is purrrfect, and I can currently see two people making out from where I sit right now. Ahhh yes, young love.
Okay. It’s 5pm somewhere, and by somewhere I mean here, so toodle-loo!
I’ll make this snappy, because I desperately want to be in bed before midnight (it’s 11:40pm here), and I haven’t even got to the Saturday evening! But Saturday arvo (as my Aussie friend would say) was wonderful too.
I met my sister, brother-in-law, and Lily down by the lake (Cherry Beach) to walk the pups and enjoy the day.
And then headed back to their house, for a little Lily love. She is my favourite little person in the world, and the best thing my sister has ever done. As my Instagram noted this morning, I literally sat at my desk this morning and missed her. Apparently she has started giggling this week, which means visiting Lily has become top priority.
And with that, I said my goodbyes, hopped back in the car, and zoomed up north for a friend’s surprise birthday party, which I will post about soon, because for now I need my beauty sleep.
Ps. Sorry I’ve been exploding blog posts online - this is just my first few hours of alone time I’ve had in ages, and want to get these memories out before they slip away! :)
I woke up Saturday morning feeling free as a bird. Why? Because I borrowed my parent’s car for the weekend, and note to self: buy a car. It was so nice not having to tackle Toronto’s (poor) transit, and not having to plan ahead. (Toronto Readers? Any second car dealer suggestions?)
ANYWHO, I met Lindsey, of Happy or Hungry fame for brunch at 11:30. I’ve been wanting to meet her since a friend sent me her blog (check it out) last year, and I totally sent her an email, sheepishly seeing if she wanted to meet up… and? oh-happy-day, she did!
We met at Origin (my favourite Toronto brunch spot) and were wearing the exact, same, thing. Great minds dress alike! She was exactly how I imagined her, and I could have chatted away to her for hours and hours and hours. About life, online dating, guys, boyfriends, Toronto, and, of course, blogging. Blogging (this blog!) is something I rarely get to actually talk to people in real life about (I still sometimes feel like I live a double life) so it was so wonderful to be with someone so similar. She is my blonde version, and I creepily am just going to say, I want to go on a second friend date with her. :)
We ordered the exact same thing (the tostada, if you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself there), and Origin gifted us with tasty mimosa (thank you!), which went along well with the glorious patio setting. Hmmmm, brunch.
After brunch, as I was walking back to my car, I thought Toronto looked awfully pretty. Actually, I’ve really started to like Toronto the past few months. Like, a lot. Sure, the public transit is awful (like, whoa), but I’m really putting effort into this city, and in return it’s treating me well. And I’m thankful for that. Because living in a city you don’t like? sucks. But these days I love it here, and plan on spending my forseeable future here, which is a major major major attitude change (yay!). Okay. Tangent over. Here’s a pretty shot of Toronto.
And then there was Friday. Friday the 13th (moo-hahahahaha). Or, Wedding Shower Friday!! Again, my dress dilemma was quite the doozey. My backup was to wear the dress I wore to the gala on Thursday night, but obviously, that wasn’t ideal. Luckily I found a hot-second, or ten, on Friday afternoon and headed down to the stores to see what I could find…. and you know when the retail-gods align, and everything just works in your favour? Well Friday the 13th was my lucky day! Because I found the above dress, in the first store I went into, for $29 (on sale from $150), and in my size. Yippee! Wahoo! (Size Large, Jacobs)
True, it was/is a little boobilicious, but it made me feel pretty, and so I slapped my credit card down and bought it.
After work I zoomed up to my mom & dad’s house, quickly got changed, and then made my mom take a million and two photos of me, before I headed to the restaurant for the shower.
So, ta-da! Here’s the dress in all its glory. And truthfully? I liked it. I thought I looked pretty. I rocked it. At my size and everything.
I liked it so much, I even twirled in it. And then made a gif of my twirl.
Yea. Yea. Yea. I know. Don’t worry, the guy I’m dating saw this last night and made lots of (well deserved) fun of me for it. But the dress was so flowy, and whatever, twirling is fun.
ANYWHO. SO MANY SELFIES. Let’s move on. Move on to Maria’s GLORIOUS Wedding Shower!
Firstly, Maria freakin’ ROCKED a white, onesey ensemble, as her nearest and dearest women surrounded her. I love this girl (and her fiance) so much, and am so excited for their wedding in September. (I actually remember writing about them starting to date back in the archives of this blog! The three of us went to high school together, but they’ve known each other since grade 6.)
Anywho… Instead of sticking to the registry, I bought her a spa-getaway package up north, but perhaps most importantly, I created a hilarious (if I do say so myself) picture story book, complete with Google images of people at spas, and on road trips, with our faces stuck on top of them. It was awesome. I am funny. She loved it. And I can’t now wait for that.
Maria’s mom put the shindig together, and I swear the woman could have a career in party planning. Because loooooooook! Look at the beautifulness of the event. Simply gorgeous.
The food was so yummy (and don’tcha worry your pretty little head. I had zero treats from that treat table up above. #willpower). Two nights of steak in a row? You better believe it. #fancypants.
There was also a fortune teller at the shower. Hmmm. Yup. A fortune teller. So I don’t do fortune telling. Or stars aligning. Or zodiac signs. But for the fun of it, I sat down, and heard what she had to say. (Fun fact: I’ve never ever done it before because I always thought I’d get the “death card” or would hear “you’re going to die alone. In a basement. With eight cats. Because your dogs left you.”) The only real thing she said to me was that the guy I’m currently dating “isn’t the one,” and then the rest of it was all quite vague. She said I was a very “inspiring” person, and “creative.” She said I’m very “positive,” and am currently going through a “transition phase.” Oh! And she said I got (in her opinion) the best possible card someone could get - the lucky card. And that good things happen to me, and always will, so I don’t have to worry about my luck changing, as it’s built into me. Sure, it was nice to hear, but again, vague! And I really didn’t read into any of it. :)
Speeches were given, wine was drunk, a million photos were taken, and I guessed Maria’s age wrong in six photos on display (it was a game) when I had actually been with her for five of them - so #friendshipfail on that one.
These girls! They’re the best. THE BEST. And I can’t wait to head to Jamaica with them next week!
Tears. There were tears. I’m going to cry like a baby at the wedding.
And presents for each and all. I made out like a bandit, and can’t thank Maria’s familia enough. (#soitalian)
So yup. That was my Friday night. So much love in one place for this girl. She is honestly one of the world’s best, and I felt so blessed I got to shower her with love on Friday. She just gets me, and I get her, and I am lucky to call her my best friend.
Well. Well this is a whirlwind of a week. Work is busy, but good. I went on a date last night, which was fun, but got me home at 2am, which is way too late for my old soul. And then… somehow, someway I woke up feeling hungover this morning (oh, growing old, you got me, you do). Anywho. I got an email from the CEO today inviting me to a gala tomorrow night. He said I was selected because I’ve been “exhibiting company values" which was really (really!) nice to receive. Although, in good old fashioned honesty, I have to admit tonight sort of sucked. I tried on every single dress I own, and only about three actually did up. And of those three, I don’t exactly want to step out my apartment in any of them, let alone go to a black tie event in one of them… as of this moment in time I literally have no idea what I’m going to do. Hmmm. So that’s awesome. And cliche. I felt like a fat-girl cliche tonight, and damn, it was familiar feeling. And then on Friday evening I have Maria’s wedding shower dinner (so excited to celebrate her!). Saturday morning brunch at Origin (can’t wait for the catchup!). Saturday evening a surprise birthday party (complete with a jumping castle!). Sunday, horse riding. Sunday evening date night. And then ohmygod, life is busy. Oh! And I am also seeing my personal trainer twice a week within all this (will blog about it properly when I find a hot second or two. Until then, if you’re bored, I did a short video about it - but Tumblr wouldn’t play it for some reason. Here it is, if you like.). And trying to work out alone at least once/week. And I’m studying. And trying to still make lunches. And keep my apartment relatively clean, So yup, whoa, life these days… it’s busy, and crazy, and I know it’s such taboo to say, but it truly would be just that little bit better if I was a little bit smaller… all these annoying worries of what to wear would then just not exist, and as I’m sort of freaking out about these two fancy events I have Thursday and Friday, well, yup. It would just be nice not to have this added worry. Although, to note the good not just the bad, I’m down three pounds this past week, which for sure is from watching my food intake closely, and stepping up my exercise, which is good. Excellent, really. And I’m moving in the right direction, and really trying to set myself up for success, and am feeling confident with my plan. And I know I’ve done poorly the past few months, but I’m trying, and although the whole dress thing is still a huge (pun!) pain in the ass, I still do find comfort in the fact that I’m trying. True, for the millionth time, but I am. And whoa. Look at me being honest tonight. So… I’ll see y’all on the flip side of this crazy-busy next few days! (hopefully a pound or two lighter! as I’m determined not to blow my eating at all these events coming up). And now I sleep. Hmmm, sleep.