The Most Random Playlist You'll Ever See

Music has always played an integral role in my life, so it should be no surprise that I rely on it when I've had a hard day. It doesn't matter why my day has been bad, I always turn to the same songs to cheer me up. As you can see, there really is no rhyme or reason to the list--any playlist with both Drake and Supertramp is pretty random--but all of them will put a smile on my face. Especially Hall & Oates, because how can you not dance to You Make My Dreams Come True??

Happy Songs by Ley on Grooveshark

What songs cheer you up when you need it?

 photo ranununculous-signature.png

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.

I'm not shy about admitting that I'm a bit of a stress-case, and I've written about it a couple of times now. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen quite a few of my stressed out tweets from 2012. 

Every time that I would come home and complain about what was stressing me out, The Boyfriend would just look and me and ask "...and why is this your problem?. It took a while (read: all year), but one day I realized what he had meant. I was spending too much time and energy stressing out over things that were not only beyond my control but also didn't even affect me that much. So I decided to selectively give fucks only when I needed to. The rest of it? I just stopped letting it bug me. 

Let me tell you, I feel wonderful! No longer do I sit at home and stew over whether or not So-And-So was going to do what they said they'd do. Instead, when I leave work I stop worrying about work. And when I'm at work, I just don't let the little things get to me. 

Since this revelation came to me so late in 2012, I'm making "give less fucks" a resolution this year. Or, sorry. I'm going to "focus on what is important and forget about the rest", but just know that this is code for "only giving fucks when necessary". 

What bad habits are you trying to break this year?

the countdown is on

New Years Eve isn't just another day to me. It is a day of reflection and anticipation, rejuvination and planning. Before I start looking forward to all of the {exciting!} things that will happen in 2013, I want to take a moment to recount my favourite {blogging} moments of 2012.

...there was the day that I realized that I am not a vlogger

...and the day that I realized that I needed to give away my cat.

...I started a new blog 
...and a new job.

...I celebrated a milestone birthday 
...and went on a milestone trip.

...against all odds, I have kept my horrible car alive (mostly).

...I expressed my feelings on a {very} delicate topic.

...and on a still delicate but less political topic.

...I learned a really important lesson

...and was seriously creeped out by an elf

Obviously there was so much more to my year than just the pictures that I posted or the things that I blogged about. So many things--both incredibly exciting and absolutely heartbreaking--have happened this year, and I am honestly thankful for it all. 

2012 was a year of new beginnings, fresh starts, and great friends. I can only hope that 2013 will be just as fantastic!

What were your 2012 highlights? 

Life, or Something Like It

Source unknown; found on Pinterest

I am a bit neurotic. I am a compulsive planner. I am obsessively organized, and it will bug me incessantly if I somehow mess it up. Failure is not an option for me, so when I do fail at something I am incredibly hard on myself. Leave me alone for too long in a quiet room, and I will start to go crazy. I constantly overbook myself, because I don't enjoy having nothing to do. In fact, I thrive on action-packed or stressful situations. Or, rather, I will get overwhelmed and cry, but as soon as my cry is over I will thrive. 

If you know me in real life, you will know that these are not startling revelations. 

It isn't always easy to live in harmony with my quirks; instead, I often feel as though I am battling against them. I am uncomfortable with change {if it is sprung on me}, so it tends to make me {more than} a little bit hard to live around. 

I had a plan for my life. I had set goals and deadlines, as well as establishing check-points to ensure that I was on track in order to live up to my plan. Instead of changing the deadline, I would alter the method that I would use to reach my goals. Everything was incrementally mapped out, the way one would lay out the route for a marathon. 

Are you surprised to hear that my life has not gone according to my plan? You shouldn't be. I'm not even that surprised, if I'm completely honest with myself. But that doesn't mean that it is easy to give up The Plan. It means forgiving yourself for not meeting your goals, for taking turns in life that you didn't ever expect yourself to take. It's about letting go of the constant that you had to rely on that is no longer even a remote possibility.

We all have a plan, whether we admit it or not. Those vague ideas that flit around in your head of when you want to get married, have kids, buy a house, or even what job you want to do: those are all part of your plan. Mine was detailed; methodically laid out in a logical sequence complete with concrete deadlines. 

I did not make those deadlines. It's extremely difficult for me to reconcile the fact that I failed, and even harder for me to accept that I have had to change my timeline so drastically from what I had originally envisioned for myself.

The next time I'm having a hard time accepting that my life didn't go according to my plan, remember that I'm happy. I'm so happy with so many aspects of my life that it can be overwhelming at times--but that doesn't stop me from lamenting what I see as failures. 

Are you hard on yourself about anything?

Weekly Wrap Up #9

the train tracks at fort edmonton park.

So what have I learned this past week?
  •  Essie's Lapiz of Luxury is the only nail polish I own that I hate using my matte top coat with. It looks horrible. 
  • Tim Horton's can run out of coffee, and it is a horrible experience. 
  • English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey tea are not the same thing. 
  • I was not emotionally prepared for frost or snow. I wanted autumn; crisp fall days, knitted sweaters and riding boots, and plenty of apple cider. Not frost on my windows, winter boots and snow during my commute. Not cool, Mother Nature
  • I still need a vacation, and I still have not been able to book one. I guess there is always 2013?
  • I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE THANKSGIVING LONG WEEKEND. Bowls of Grandma's stuffing, get in my belly. 
Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people create. What were my favourite finds this week?
  1. Having a bad day? Let the manatees make it better. 
  2. Everyone needs an awesome Star Wars wallpaper for their iPhone! {I have this one right now, and I love it!}
  3. If I had the patience, this would be my pumpkin for Halloween. 
  4. This is officially number one on my Christmas list...and this is number two. And three.
  5. I would wear these everywhere, even to work. 
What is your favourite Thanksgiving dish?

Weekly Wrap Up #7

So what have I learned this past week?
  • Single parenting is incredibly hard, but I'm not alone. 
  •  I feel all kinds of gushy and mushy towards Boyfriend, but I'll spare the details so that you don't ralph into your garbage can. That's no way to start a long weekend!
  • Having someone else read you pages of the 50 Shades trilogy, all the while stopping to question the logic/terrible sentence structure/word choices (favourites being "HOW COULD SHE HEAR HIM MURMUR OVER THE HELICOPTER???" and "Anastasia Steele is a name for a Russian pro wrestler slash prostitute" ) is a million times more entertaining than reading it yourself.
  • My book club is slowly turning into "drinking wine and talking about our children" basically  it's every day of my life but with new people.   
  • Standing up for yourself does not make you a bitch, as long as you do it nicely. And firmly. 
  • Having the flu one week and a wicked cold the next is unpleasant, uncomfortable, gross, and very frustrating. Can I have one week where I'm not yucky, please?
  •  Knowing that I will end my week with great times and great friends is exciting--but it also makes the week move at the speed of a two-toed sloth. {Did you squee over that link? Because I sure did, for about ten minutes!}
Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people write. What were my favourite reads this week?
  1. The name of the sections of College Crush slay me: relationshit, crazy train. Perfect. Also: this, and I will vouch for the source. I lived it, and am currently living it--although "it just feels right" is sometimes the best that one can come up with.
  2. I am addicted to this site
  3. I cannot believe that I had never heard of The Geeky Hostess before!
  4. For some reason, I am obsessed with laundry rooms
  5. Joelle's 'Thus Is The Life Of A Blogger' is the truth. 
  6. Best. Ever. 
  7. Kendra tells it like it is. Kendra's recipe also makes amazing sweet tea
Where is your favourite place to long-weekend drink? You can find me on the dock {with safety supervisors, of course!}.

Weekly Wrap Up #4

There are a few things that I don't ever think that I will understand in this world. I don't understand why people think that it's okay to be derogatory towards me because I'm white. Is it actually considered acceptable to do this, or am I supposed to say something when it happens? I also don't understand--nor do I appreciate--when someone treats me like a second-class citizen simply because I am a woman. "I want to speak to a man" is not something that you will ever get away with saying to me. Lastly, I'm never going to understand why some people have this need to be in charge all of the time. Please, tell me again how I am holding my knife incorrectly. 

It's been a long week, don't judge me for being grumpy.

So what have I learned this week? 

  • You don't have to sit back and take it when someone is being rude towards you. 
  • "Killing them with kindness" takes much more self-control than I possess sometimes.
  • I underestimate the intelligence of my daughter on a far too regular basis, but she has no qualms with publicly shaming me so to remind me of her brilliance. 
  • It is entirely possible to be too organized.
  • I am not allergic to my cats, but I am allergic to the cat that lives at my vet clinic. 
  • Being covered in hives is incredibly uncomfortable when you don't have any allergy pills with you. 
  • Making real fruit smoothies to drink with dinner makes Mr Noodles a healthy meal.
  • Steve Jobs was a man of many quotes, but at last I have discovered my favourite: 
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking, and don't settle. As with all matters of the heart you'll know when you find it."

Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people write. What were my favourite reads this week?
  1. I support a zero-tolerance approach to grammatical errors in the workplace. 
  2. I wish that I had enough space to create this closet for Audrey!
  3. I am absolutely obsessed with Craft Wars.
  4. Sometimes Hollywood gets it {sort of} right
  5.  And a Mythbusters clip, because they are awesome. 

It's a long weekend in Canada, so Audrey and I are doing plenty of family activities! 
How do you spend your long weekends?

No More Nagging!

Rakas Kesa

After reading The Happiness Project, I was inspired to embark on my own journey to find personal happiness. Each Wednesday I will be posting about my weekly challenge, including both successes and failures. Follow along, and don't be afraid to join in! 


We've all been there: we ask someone to do something, and they don't do it. So we ask again, and again, until we're either a broken record or incredibly upset. Frequently it can turn into a fight with the other person, because seriously who likes to be nagged? And then the inevitable is said: "If you would have just done it when I first asked you to, then I wouldn't be nagging you". I don't know about you, but I hate hearing that phrase. As soon as someone says it to me, my response is usually "just because I didn't do it on your schedule doesn't mean that it won't get done!". And then? All hell breaks loose. 

Even though it makes me mad when someone nags me, I still nag other people. My daughter gets the brunt of it, really. She is incredibly intelligent and able to do things, like cleaning her room, without my assistance. I might have to remind her which shelf her Barbie bin goes on, and sometimes I have to remind her that we're cleaning and not playing, but for the most part she just does things when I ask her to. Not to be That Mom, but she is magnificent because she is so easy to deal with. 

Because I don't normally have to ask her more than once when she doesn't do something as soon as I ask, it frustrates me--which tends to make me angry. I turn into a nagging monster--I don't know how many of you have a four year old, but let me tell you that nagging just makes everything worse with them. As soon as you get upset, they get upset. The more you ask them to do something, the less they are willing to do it. Wait...that might be everyone, not just four year olds. Still, this life lesson stands. Nagging leads to discord, which leads to an unhappy home. Who wants an unhappy home? Certainly not this girl.

My goal for this past week was to completely quit nagging, and thus avoiding many unnecessary arguments. Patience is something that I lack, so finding more of this goes hand-in-hand with cutting nagging out of my life. Instead of getting angry, I planned to keep calm. Instead of asking eight times while threatening to throw the TV out of the window, I was going to be more reasonable with my threats of punishment so that I would actually stick to them. And, probably most importantly, I'd stop expecting people to drop everything they are doing to complete my task the second I ask it of them, because it's absolutely ludicrous to expect that. Unless I'm asking someone to put out a literal fire, then they better move their butts pronto. 

Well, it was a very easy week because my daughter was at her dad's house and I wasn't at Boyfriend's house very often. I didn't actually have to deploy my carefully crafted plan. So I passed it with flying colors. 

Cheating? Maybe. But a pass is a pass. 

Next Week: No phone zone.

Weekly Wrap Up #3

So what have I learned this week? 

  • Don't schedule a post until it's been finished!
  • Freighters don't run on granola or complaints, to quote Mr. Rebak. {Love you}
  • People mock my colour-coded organization system because they are jealous. At least, that's what I tell myself.
  • The recall function in Outlook might as well not exist, because people read their dang emails so quickly. STOP BEING EFFICIENT, BUSINESS WORLD. 
  • Never let someone put a bag of candy on my desk, because I will inhale it before they come back to get it. What? I thought it was a gift!
  • When caring for your mother's dog: always allow an extra half hour in your mornings because she will need to pee four times before you leave. Bonus: if it turns out that the dog wakes up every day at 5AM, just say no. Or request that your mother retrain her to wake up at a reasonable time, like 7AM. 
  • This whole KStew cheating on RPatz with her {married!} director is less irritating than the constant 'OMG ARE THEY BLOOD DOPING????" Olympics talk that is freaking everywhere.

Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people write. What were my favourite reads this week?
  1. Lexa's post "On Feminism and Fatness" was amazing, and so very, very true. We've all been there, but we shouldn't need to experience it. 
  2. Ah! Embarrassing blog emails! I have felt Kathy's pain many, many times. 
  3. Because I'm obsessed with Paris, and weddings. I die. I wish. 
  4. I have an unapologetic love for exposed beams
  5. Esther nailed it when she wrote about traveling alone. 

I'm going to Capital Ex and getting my hair cut (!!!!!) this weekend. 
What are you up to? 

Weekly Wrap Up # 2

Lordy, has this ever been an exhausting week! It has been crazy hot in Edmonton for the past few weeks, so we've been having intense nighttime storms with pounding rain, booming thunder, and lightning as bright as the sun. On Monday evening I came home to find that my cat, Toulouse, had somehow gotten his foot caught up in the cords in my blinds. He's going to be fine--his foot is swollen, and it's sore, but the coloring is back to normal and he is starting to walk on it. It hurts my heart to see him limp around, but I'm so very glad that he is going to be ok!

So what have I learned this week? 

  • Nothing is safe for cats. Polysporin, aspirin, benadryl--the things that I am so used to relying on for my  dog--are toxic to cats. So you just have to watch them hurt, and cry a lot. 
  • Even if something is entirely out of your control, you will feel entirely culpable and guilty. And cry a lot.
  • Mini freezies make excellent ice packs for cat paw trauma.
  • Book clubs are actually really fun--even if no one in attendance actually finishes the book. 
  • Waiting for your best friend to have her baby is stressful. Although I'm very certain that she was much more stressed than I!
  • I should not be allowed to hold babies. It just makes me want them. Nope. I just shouldn't hold them. They're so tiny and sweet and they smell amazing when they aren't poopy. Yep. Staying away from babies. 
  • My car occasionally makes a sound that I can only describe as "trash compactor". I am told that this is neither good, nor cheap to fix. 

Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people write. What were my favourite reads this week?
  1. Probably the coolest parenting idea ever
  2. "I hope your raving ginger kid was worth the dark carnival of souls" I shouldn't read Noa Gavin at work, because I laugh like a maniac and my co-workers think that I'm having a seizure. 
  3. ...although Noa was spot-on with this one. 
  4.  Natasha's box of post cards made my heart melt, because I am a sucker for cheesy romantic gestures
  5.  I stumbled across Rebecca's style blog, and I am in love with her photography and location choices. 
  6. Blaming the Catholic School of your youth for your weight gain? That's something that I'd do, too. 

The First Weekly Wrap-Up

{via weheartit}

Starting a new job is nerve-wracking. You don't know anyone, you don't know what you're doing, and you feel like you're failing before you even have a chance to do your job.

I've learned a lot this week. I'm going to pretend that y'all just asked enthusiastically "WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED, ASHLEY??" so that I can respond with a shouted "HOW VERY THOUGHTFUL OF YOU TO ASK, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I'VE LEARNED THIS WEEK!"

  • Having an expensive post-secondary education does not mean that you're qualified to operate a paper cutter.
  • Don't walk out of your door in the morning wearing flip-flops. When you assume that you have business-appropriate shoes at your desk you just make an ass out of yourself. Because you don't have shoes under your desk. That was at your old job, dummy.
  • Companies don't have magical office supply closets containing your preferred brand of pens and highlighters. So if you really, really need them like right now, bring your own.
  • There is, however, a magical room where there is pretty much an unlimited supply of Dr. Pepper. Rock on, wonderful employer.
  • Wear tights with your skirts. If you don't, people will look at you like you forgot your pants at home. I actually checked a few times to make sure that I had bottoms on, because gosh people were scandalized.
  • Take your name tag off before leaving work, unless you want the clerk at the liquor store to spend the next twenty minutes attempting to pronounce your last name.
  • Having your lunch catered by the on-site restaurant is amazing, but don't eat so much that you spend all afternoon in pain and/or wanting to find an inconspicuous place to nap.
  • Patience is not just a virtue, it's an absolute necessity.
  • The people that you work with, that seemed so scary at first? Are actually kind of awesome

Although I'm a big fan of my own work, I also enjoy what other people write. What were my favourite reads this week? 

  1. Pretty much everything that the Snark Squad posts. I can't even describe the awesome that these girls produce, y'all have to experience it for yourself.
  2. IFB's take on how bloggers can benefit from criticism, because we all get it and it sucks.
  3. Lorraine's saga of attempting to share a bed with a preschooler had me in stitches, because Lordy have I been there.
  4. Jessica's sweet-but-honest post about who she really is
I'm planning on spending my weekend baking cookies and enjoying the beautiful weather with my little girl.

  What are your plans for the weekend?