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

the one where i use gifs to fill in this otherwise ridiculously short post

So...I haven't posted much this year. After a few days it just seems awkward to suddenly pop up again without somehow addressing the absence. Why haven't I posted? Well...uh. I was busy having a life. 



It's especially awkward since there are so many new faces around here, and I've been all horrible and not said hi yet. 



I wanted to make up for my rudeness in the only way that I know how.

 
You're welcome. 

I have about a million not quite finished drafts just waiting to be posted, so once my little girl is no longer sick I'll get some of them up. The one where I transcribe her feverish dream is worth the wait. 


What have I missed so far this year? 





and then there was the time that my coworker emailed me an awesome photo AND IT TURNED OUT TO BE MINE

I'm probably a little over-excited about this...But the Chive included one of my pictures in their weekly 'well-put' round up

They didn't link to the original photo, which grinds my gears a little. It's called linking with love, and this is just another reminder why we should do it. It sort of sucks being on the receiving end of it! 

Regardless, it was an exciting moment during my otherwise crazy busy day week. 


Have you ever been surprised to find something you created in
an unexpected place? 


Get a Grip



Hormones are the devil, am I right ladies? 

Here is a list of the things that have made me cry over the last week:

  • Spirit in the Sky
  • a Charmin commercial {the part where Papa Bear tells Baby Bear that she only needs two sheets gets me every time}.
  • Running out of hard boiled eggs.
  • My cat knocking the bookmark out of my book. 
  • Forgetting to bring a straw for my can of mango juice. 
  • B {in his sleep} rolling away from me. It woke me up, and for some reason I took it incredibly personally. 
  • Spelling an email address incorrectly and getting a 'delivery failed' receipt. 
  • Gewurztraminer {this one might have been my fault}
  • Not being able to find the match to a certain pair of socks
  • When my cat pulled my clean clothes out of my drawer, and turned them into a her nest at the foot of my bed. 
  • When I tripped over my cat when I got up to get a drink last night. 
  • When my cat left a hairball in my slipper, most likely as retaliation for me tripping over her. 
  • When my cat woke me up for the fifth time this morning, more than an hour before my alarm was set to go off. 
  • When I found out that Outlook didn't send my 165 scheduled emails, and instead trashed them. 
  • Chipping my nail polish within 12 hours of doing my nails.
  • The moment when I realized that while I really, really, really want a dog, my schedule just doesn't allow for one at this point in time. {Damn you, 137km commute. Bonus damn you to me for buying a condo downtown}
What outrageously normal events have made you cry?


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? 

Things I've Been Doing Instead of Blogging


  1. Participating in Natalie's #OMGCOFFEMUGSWAP (or, trying to anyways. I received my amazing mug from Clare (blog post to come), but Canada Post keeps returning the package for Clare to me. But! It's in Australia so it should be delivered soon!!)
  2. Spending time with my sweet Little A. 
  3. Masquaraaaaaaade!! (Happy joint birthday, Lana & Becca!!)
  4. Finding the perfect wrapping paper for my always colour-coordinated Christmas presents. 
  5. Snuggling with the most irritating/cute kitty on the planet. 
  6. Sick days with a little girl (but we managed to sleep in!)
  7. Drinking green juice (I think Bolthouse adds crack to their juice, it's that addictive!) (obviously that was a hyperbole, I don't actually think that they would add crack!) (But it would explain a lot!) (JUST KIDDING)
  8. Buying a festive new case for my phone. 
  9. Wrapping a ridiculous number of presents while watching Home Alone 2. 
  10. Having a pint (or two) in celebration of a victory at work. 


Unimpressed Cat is My Kindred


Guys, if ever a meme has imitated my life, it is Unimpressed Cat. 

I walk through life set to Unimpressed, so that when something good happens I am pleasantly surprised. 
It also means that when something goes wrong, I can use my Eeyore voice and say "Welp, I saw that coming." without experiencing disappointment. 

Most people don't understand this mindset. 
Most people tell me to get my chin up and slap a smile on my face, because everything is going to be ok

But I'm not an optimist. I will never be an optimist. 
I am a realist. And it works for me. 

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?

It's a Peter Griffin Kind of Day


You know what really grinds my gears? 

...when people get too big for their britches. Is it a faux-pas to mention #bloggingproblems on a blog?
...when people don't pay attention to important details--especially when I'm paying money for something. 
...when people call me by the wrong name even though I've introduced myself or sent emails with my name in them over a dozen times. Call me crazy, but "Ashley" sounds nothing like Stephanie, or Carla, or Norma, or any of the other names that you just called me. 
..when people drive like asshats. It's not that hard to wave when I let you in. 
...the fact that common courtesy isn't actually common any more, or really present at all.
...the fact that people seem to think that it is okay to blame me for their errors, and subsequently take their anger out on me. Uh...no. Nope. In no world will I ever be okay with this, or take it lying down. 
...the fact that I have now had a mystery bruise on the side of my thigh for two weeks, and it is both gross to look at and painful. 

What grinds your gears?

Heart of a Bugatti, Physically a Corolla


Everyone has their curse in life. For some, it's being so good looking that it hurts; for others, it's being born into an obscenely rich family and never having to worry about anything more tragic than "We ran out of champagne!"

I'm not so lucky as to have #richkidproblems. My curse is my damn car. 

Meet Betsy, the not-so-loveable 2001 Corolla that I drive.

{this isn't a photo of Betsy, it's Google's closest option}

It's the fastest car on the road. Just kidding

The story of how I ended up with Betsy is simple: my previous car, Meredith the 2001 Focus, unceremoniously crapped out on me a week before Christmas in 2010. Through a series of family-related events, I ended up in possession of Betsy. 

Long before Betsy was in my life, when I knew that Mer was on her last legs, I decided that I would save up for a newer car. Nothing super fancy, but something reliable that would last for longer than a few years. 

Well, then I ended up with Betsy. The car that burns more oil than gas. The car that doesn't have power windows. The car whose radio resets itself on a regular basis, erasing any favourite stations that were saved. The car whose radio who (lately) only works when the planets align just so and allow me to listen to CISN without static. 

She's been on her last legs for a little while now, but this week winter hit and she's taken a turn for the worst. She's an automatic, but she stalled five times on the way to work this morning. {Why is it that cars always stall at the worst times, like in an intersection when you're turning left, instead of when you're in a parking lot or a residential street?}

I've been sweet-talking her and cajoling her into not breaking down yet. So far it's been working, but I think her hearing is starting to go. I need to get through this winter, just one more winter, and then she can go to the farm to play with all of the other cars.

Maybe one day I won't have car woes.

What's your 'curse' in life?

Nanotechnology is Awesome

Inconspicuous absence becomes conspicuous when you start posting without addressing your absence...

When life gets crazy, and I spend many more hours working in a day than originally intended, the first thing to go is blogging. This has happened before.  What can I say? I'm a fan of the bribes.

Just remember that I love your faces. And when this budget is done? I'll spend more time with you. 


{via}
Have you entered Michelle's amazing fall giveaway yet? It's full of goodness-- a gorgeous handmade bracelet, $45 in giftcards, ad space for your blog or shop, a personalized tumbler, and Scentsy goodies! Because I love Michelle and The Vintage Apple dearly, I offered up two months of ad space, a guest post on rakas kesä, and two nail polishes to sweeten the deal! So what are you waiting for?? Go enter! You only have two days left!

Yep, I'm Busy at Work Again.

{via}
Have you entered Michelle's amazing fall giveaway yet? It's full of goodness-- a gorgeous handmade bracelet, $45 in giftcards, ad space for your blog or shop, a personalized tumbler, and Scentsy goodies! Because I love Michelle and The Vintage Apple dearly, I offered up two months of ad space, a guest post on rakas kesä, and two nail polishes to sweeten the deal! So what are you waiting for?? Go enter!

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" club...so 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!}.

Judgement Day is Upon Me, or The Story of How I Ended Up Reading 50 Shades of Grey

I'm going to blame it on my flu-addled brain, because I refuse to contemplate any alternative. 

Last Thursday I got dressed and made the 45 minute drive from Boyfriend's house to work, stopping three times to puke along the way. Each hot flash, with it's accompanying pool of sweat, was followed by intense bouts of cold. Not the "oh, the A/C is too high" kind of cold; no, this was the "I'm standing naked in the Arctic, my teeth are chattering and my lips are turning blue" cold. 

Boyfriend was smart; he just stayed in bed sick after a long night of being flu-y. He was also smart enough to bring his laptop home with him the day before, while I left mine at work to avoid the inevitable whining over how ridiculously large and heavy it is. From the moment that I put my pants on, I knew that I would end up grabbing the damn thing and immediately returning to that wonderful king-sized bed for a day of sleep. 

Upon arriving at the office I made the executive decision to brush my teeth because ugh; this is a decision that I would come to regret immediately. Lesson learned: the flavor of Crest activates my gag reflex when sick. I stumbled to my desk, fell into my chair, and held on for dear life. The spins are the very worst part of being sick.

It was at this point when I wondered if driving home would actually be the best choice; I work in a hotel, for Pete's sake {sidebar: who is Pete?}. I was moments away from convincing my boss to let me borrow a room until check-in when my phone rang. I scooped up my computer, jammed it into my bag, and walked into my bosses office to announce my leave. 

I sat in my car with my head in my hands for a good ten minutes before I became the master of those damn spins and felt like I could safely navigate home. I knew that I needed Gravol as soon as possible, so I stopped at my mom's house on the way. Moms make everything better, right? 

Well, she tried. She gave me a book that I've been waiting to read (win!), and naturally I left with about six Tupperware containers of leftovers and healthy foods (slightly mean since I couldn't keep anything down, but in the end win because yum fresh fruit), but she had no Gravol. I sighed, and accepted that I would just have to stop at the drug store as well. 

Shoppers Drug Mart, I just can't quit you. It's one of those stores that I should never visit unsupervised or while carrying a debit or credit card. My arms were loaded down with lemon and ginger tea (that didn't actually settle my stomach and tasted horrible), the new Cosmo (because I accidentally bought last month's issue on Tuesday), arrowroot cookies (what? They help my tummy!), fast-acting Gravol (my sickness savior), and NeoCitron for my pounding headache. Somehow, lost in that haul of goodies, was a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. 

I will admit that I have been reading Lorraine's amazing (and snarky) chapter-by-chapter recaps of the horribleness of this book. I knew that I would be cringing and yelling at the book constantly, yet a small part of me was curious. Surely she was exaggerating about murmurs and incongruent descriptions of facial expressions for the sake of comedy? How could a book sell an infinite number of copies and actually be that bad?

Well, ok. I've read the Twilight series, so I knew that a book could be written by a fourth grader and still sell millions of copies. But surely the world wouldn't allow this to happen for a second time? My poor sleep-deprived, flu-stricken brain rationalized faster than I thought possible (or, more likely, just didn't think about it at all) and allowed me to pick it up. 

Lovelies, I was so very wrong. So very, very naive. 

When I read Twilight, the run-on sentences and four-page long descriptions of Edward's facial expression (Coles Notes: it's blank, entirely perfect, and he has beautiful hazel eyes) would transform me into a crazy woman. This time I wanted to be proactive and avoid as much rage as possible, so I planned to keep a highlighter and a pen nearby--the idea being that I could make corrections as I went. Somehow, this makes more sense to me than to just not read a poorly-written book

Guys, the first hundred pages are basically all pink or otherwise written on. 

this was me throughout the book

Because a John Cleese/Monty Python gif is always appropriate. Also I've been hoarding this for weeks since I found it and needed an excuse to use it. Maybe subconsciously this is why I bought the damn book? 

As if buying the book, and then actually starting to read it, wasn't enough to kill any self-respect that I had, I've found that I cannot put the godforsaken thing down. I crawled into bed last night at a reasonable ten o'clock, only to tear my eyes away from it at one in the morning. ONE. 

In my very professional, I-took-Psych 101-so-I'm-a-therapist opinion, this is similar to the weird fascination that we have we driving slowly past a car accident or watching Teen Mom. It's horrible, and we hate ourselves for it, yet we continue to subject ourselves to it. 

The lowest point of this whole experience was asking my co-worker if I can borrow book two. What, at least I don't have to pay for it!

What's the very worst book that you've ever read?

It's A Bribe, Charlie Brown.

If it seems like I've fallen off the face of the earth, it's because I have. When life gets busy the first thing that I ax is blogging, not because I don't love your faces but because I love my daughter more. Sorry I'm not sorry, she is ridiculously awesome.

The good news is that when life slows down I will have some awesome posts full of rainbows and unicorns for you. The bad news is that you have to wait. Sad face.

Lucky for y'all, I am a parent which means that I have a gold medal for handing out bribes. So today, enjoy one of my favourite Jenna Marbles videos. If you love the funny bitch as much as I do, you'll also follow her on Twitter.

Miss your faces!