Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The latest box from Amazon

Since getting Netflix (finally) earlier this year, I have to admit, my Amazon purchases have gone wayyyy down.  I don't buy many CD's anymore, and now I don't buy many DVD's either... basically, I just turn to Amazon when I need new reading material, which isn't very often since my book shelf is loaded with un-read books I've collected over the years.

But recently, I had the urge to make a few DVD purchases - of things that aren't on Netflix, unfortunately - and they arrived in the mail last night.  This is the odd line-up of what was in my latest box from Amazon:

When Gene Wilder passed away a few weeks ago, I read a lot about what a genius he was as an actor and a comedian.  Sadly, I couldn't join in on the Gene Wilder mourning & remembrances, because I don't think I'd ever seen any of his work.  I remember a while back the hosts of Hot 89.9's Morning Hot Tub talking about how amazing he was as Willy Wonka, and how nobody could ever pull off the creepy, wild-eyed genius that he portrayed in that film, and I've been wanting to see it ever since.  Less than $5 to buy it?  Done deal.

Yet another of Gene Wilder's most acclaimed films, I've heard a lot about Young Frankenstein in the weeks since he passed.  Jimmy Fallon had Mel Brooks on his show shortly after Wilder's death, and he discussed their friendship and how Gene had come to him with the idea for this movie.  Jimmy raved about how awesome this movie was, so I knew I wanted to see it.  And now that it's "scary movie time of year", it should fit in nicely.  Especially since apparently it's more funny than scary. ha!

OK.  So.  This is probably the most bizarre DVD on the list.  Why, Jillian?  WHY are you buying a DVD with not one but THREE Ernest movies on it?  Who the hell still needs ERNEST in their lives?!?  Well, here's the story:  last year coming on to Halloween, I had a movie night with my friend Caryl and her daughter Gracie.  We thought it would be fun to introduce Gracie to one of our favourite Halloweenie movies from when we were kids, Hocus Pocus.  We had pizza and fun Halloween treats and watched the movie, and Gracie seemed to love it.  So I wanted to continue the tradition this year.  The hard part was trying to think of another age-appropriate Halloween movie for her, and especially one from our younger days (our parents let us watch the craziest things!!)  I thought of Ernest Scared Stupid, and the only way I could buy it through Amazon was in this Ernest triple feature.  I'm going to try and watch it first myself, because honestly, I barely remember it, and I have no idea if it's something kids today would like.  I just remember being excited to rent it when it came to St. Laurent's when I was a kid, and Ernest movies hold a place in my heart.  Thank God, because I know own three of them. ;)

This is one of those movies that I have a love/hate relationship with.  It's one I watched back in high school with a bunch of friends at a sleepover, back in the days when we watched scary movies all the time.  This one stands out as one of my favourites, mainly because I think Jared Leto was at his ever-lovin' hottest in this flick.  Urban legends have always freaked me out, so understandably, this movie scares the pants off me.  I don't know if I'll actually be able to watch this one alone now, or if I'll just save it for next year's Scary Movie Marathon (it has not made the cut for this year.)

And this purchase is one I never would have made except for Ryan being involved in the planning of this year's Scary Movie Marathon. HA!  As I mentioned last week, we decided to each choose a movie this year, and this one was Ryan's choice.  I usually pick movies that I've seen before so I know I won't be too scared by them.  I have never seen this one, but I admit to being a little excited (and very much terrified) to watch it at the end of October.  I don't think I could ever do it alone, though, and thus I'm glad it will be in the company of friends during Scary Movie Marathon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A good weekend

I've been trying to wind myself back down to "normal" weekends again, and it's been difficult.  It seemed like for the past few months, something fun was happening every single weekend - a party to go to, a reason to celebrate, an opportunity to hang out with family and friends with drinks and food and good times.

This past weekend was, indeed, a more "normal" weekend.  But it turned out to be really great, regardless.  Not boring, as I'd feared!

Friday night was definitely guaranteed to be a good one, as I had a paint night booked at my neighbour Shannon's with some great friends.  I hadn't done a paint night since early in the summer, so I was well overdue!  This time, we were painting sunflowers, and I decided to surprise Shannon by going "outside the box" with my background colour choice.  She always encourages me to try something different, but I usually opt to play it safe and just try to replicate her original.  This time, I went wild and chose to do a pink background.  No, I don't have any colour schemes in my home that really lend themselves to pink... but my room is in browns, and I think if I hang it in my room, it will be a nice pop of colour on the walls.  It was a process, as usual, but I tried really hard not to have any meltdowns this time, and in the end, I was really pleased with my work of art.

This is Shannon's original

This one is mine

Saturday morning, I was up early for my walk around town, and boy was it cold!  We got a touch of frost during the night, and the chill was still heavy in the air when I set out.  It was the first Saturday morning walk I've had in a long time where I had to go with a hoodie and long pants!

When I got back from my walk, I performed my new favourite Saturday morning ritual:  watching Jimmy Fallon while sipping coffee from my new "Pontiac Girl" mug! ;)

After getting ready for the day, I picked up my mom and we went down to my cousin Donna & Ellard's for their auction sale.  They have recently retired and sold their house, hence the reason for the sale.  I was really only there to eat lunch and!

But it was a beautiful day, sunny, and lots of people around to visit and chat with.  We stayed until mid-afternoon, then headed home where I settled in for a nap.  It must have been all that fresh air because I slept hard for about three hours.  I actually thought maybe I was coming down with something, because even after sleeping that long, I felt sluggish and lethargic.  It took me a long time to snap out of it.

Once I got myself up and shook the cobwebs off, I made nachos for supper, and then settled in for a night of TV catch-up and Netflixing.  I had missed the premiere episode of the new series "This Is Us" earlier in the week, so I watched that and LOVED it!!!  I followed it up with the movie "The Internship" starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, which was pretty good too.  I tried watching "Gone" after that, but I fell asleep on the couch early on into it.  Apparently I just needed lots of sleep!

On Sunday, we went to church and out for brunch, then Mom and I went to the ball park to watch the Flyers play in the semi-finals of the GOFL playoffs.  It was another bright, sunny fall day, and I was so glad we had a ball game to go to.  Unfortunately, the outcome of the game didn't go our way, but it was a great day to watch some ball and chat with the other fans in the stands.  Mom came over for supper, and then I spent the rest of the evening watching episodes of Bloodline.

And now, it's Tuesday already!  This is a short week for me, as I'm off on Friday and heading out to Kingston for a girls weekend with some friends.  I'm so excited to just go away for a few days, to relax and eat and drink and shop and play tourist!  C'mooooooooon Friday!!!

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Friday Jams

Well, it feels like I've (sadly) finally turned a corner, and broken out of my Tragically-Hip-only playlist.  I've been listening to The Hip pretty much exclusively since I found out I was going to the concert in early August.  Almost two straight months of ONLY The Hip.  For a while there, I didn't think I'd ever tire of listening to them and only them for the rest of my life.

But it was bound to happen eventually.  I love music too much to listen to just one band for the rest of my life!  I had to snap out of my Hip kick sooner or later.

So the past few weeks, I've been doing some discovering and downloading.  I thought I'd share some of my current favourite jams:

"Sing" by Travis

I got this one from watching The Office - this was the song Jim let Pam listen to back when they were still just flirting with each other (ah, the good old days!  I loved the early Jim & Pam days!).  Later in the series, it was used during a montage of all the best Jim & Pam moments during their wedding episode.  It brings me fond Jim & Pam memories. ;)

"Cold Water" by Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber and Mo

You guys know I can't resist me some Biebs.  They often play this on the radio when I'm getting ready for work in the morning, and I just have to pause the hair or make-up or whatever and have a little dance party.

"What Blue" by The Tragically Hip

OK, so I'm not totally over The Hip just yet!!  I've really loved their most recent album Man Machine Poem, and I've listened to it a lot over the past few months.  This one is my current fave out of their new stuff.

"Sit Still, Look Pretty" by Daya

This is my "girl power" song du jour.  I need a good song now and then to validate the choices I've made in my life.  This one's got a catchy beat, and the lyrics are just perfect for me:  Mr. Right could be nice, for one night /But then he wanna take control /And I would rather fly solo /Then Snow White /She did right in her life/ Had 7 men to do the chores/ 'Cause that's not what a lady's for .... You get off on your 9 to 5 /Dream of picket fences and trophy wives /But no I'm never gonna be, 'cause I don't wanna be /No I don't wanna sit still look pretty.

"Autograph" by Dallas Smith

I'm a Dallas Smith fan, so I just downloaded his whole new album the other day, and this so far is standing out as my favourite track.

"You've Got Her in Your Pocket" by Jack White

I saw Jack White perform a little medley of songs from his new acoustic compilation on Jimmy Fallon a few weeks ago.  Honestly, I've never been a huge fan of the guy, but this one struck a chord with me.  And I think I far prefer Jack White going acoustic.

"Gold" by Kiiara

It's a big hit on the radio right now, and while it took me a while to warm up to it, I can now say, yeah, that's my jam!

"Easy to Tame" by Kim Mitchell

This is the "LOL" choice of the list, but ever since I heard him play this at the fair, I can't get it out of my head!  I wish he'd release the slowed-down version he played at the fair though.  I far prefer it to this zippy too-'80's-sounding version.

"I'm Not the Devil" by Cody Jinks

I think I could put every Cody Jinks song on this list, but I'll go with the one that turned me into a fan.  I just heard this song last weekend and fell in LOVE with it.  This guy's voice and sound...  He is SO awesome.  I've listened to the whole album steady all week!

"Let Me Love You" by DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber

Bieber is coming in strong with another one on the list!  He and I have had our ups and downs over the years, but he's definitely winning me over again lately.  Love these collabs he's doing.

"Forever Country" by Artists of Then, Now & Forever

Oh!  Oh this was such a highlight of my week!!  The other day, everybody on my Facebook page was sharing the newly-released video for this, which is a mix of John Denver's "Country Roads", Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You".  And it just gives me chills.  Pretty much every big country artist for the past 25 years is featured in this song, and it works SO well.  I LOVE it.

"A Beautiful Thing" by The Tragically Hip

I said I wasn't over The Hip completely, didn't I?  This song didn't even make my "Favourite Hip Tunes of All Time" list back in August, but I really do think it has become one of my all-time faves.

"Head Over Boots" by Jon Pardi

OK, this isn't a "new" one, I actually fell in love with Jon Pardi way back in July.  But I took a big break from him when I was immersed in my Hip & Only Hip phase, so I've had fun getting back into his music again.  He has a lot of great tunes, but this one holds steady as my favourite!

"White Flag" by Joseph

Another one of those songs that I discovered thanks to Jimmy Fallon.  I had never heard of this group or this song until I heard them perform it on his show.  I just remembered to download it last week, and it's soooo good!

"Closer" by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's officially fall. So, Scary Movie Marathon time!!!

Happy 1st day of FALL!!  Ahh, my favourite time of year... the leaves are just starting to turn, I have two cans of pumpkin on my table at home waiting for me to make them into something yummy, and I've started daydreaming daily of Thanksgiving dinner.

You know what else happens during Fall?  SCARY MOVIE MARATHON.

Last night I was hanging with Lindsay and Ryan, and we had a sure sign of fall: we started talking about what movies we're going to watch this year.  It has become our tradition over the years to get together the weekend before Halloween to watch a handful of scary movies, just to get us in the right mood.  I'm not sure why we subject ourselves to it (well, Linds and I anyways) because it's always a mistake, and we always regret it, but it just feels like the right thing to do this time of year!

So last night, we talked options.  We watched movie trailers.  We tried to decide on a line-up.  We decided that we will each pick one movie to watch.   Nothing is really set it stone yet, but here are some of the contenders for the 2016 Edition of the Scary Movie Marathon:


This is one of my picks, because as we all know, I like to pick movies I've already seen that aren't TOO scary.  Haha!  I'm a big fan of M. Night Shylaman's earlier movies, and Signs might be my very favourite of the bunch.  It follows the story of a widowed father (played by Mel Gibson), who is raising his kids alone with the help of his brother (Joaquin Phoenix...yum), and suddenly weird things start happening... Crop circles are found in their fields, the dogs are acting strange, that kind of thing... Alien invasion?  You got it.  It's not a super scary movie, but there are a few "gasp!" moments.  I love how the whole storyline ties together, and the way the "signs" all click and make sense in the end.  I don't think Linds or Ryan have seen it, and I'm excited to introduce it to them!

The Conjuring

I haven't seen many "new" scary movies in recent years - I usually call upon the ones I watched back in my high school and college days for Scary Movie Marathon.  So when Ryan suggested this one, I'd heard of it but didn't really know what it was about.  We watched the trailer.  I was COMPLETELY freaked out, yet really intrigued by it.  It's about paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, and how they tried to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their home.  I'm pretty sure that's the same couple who worked on the Amytiville Horror house, which is a story that has always fascinated me, so that piques my interest for sure.  I'm excited to watch it, and terrified all at the same time. lol!

Paranormal Activity

This was one of Lindsay's suggestions, as she's never seen it.  I have seen it (and most of the sequels it has spawned), and I think it's a strong choice.  There's a lot of tension-building moments of quiet, but explosive moments of fear.  I like the premise of it all being shot through home videos and security camera footage as young couple Micah and Katie try to figure out just what's going on in their new house...

Urban Legend

This was another of my choices, because it's one I remember fondly (fondly? can one remember a scary movie FONDLY??) from my high school days.  It takes me back to a sleepover at Hollie's and all the fun (and fights) we used to have watching scary movies together! haha!  My main reason for wanting to see it again?  A young Jared Leto stars, and he is HOT.  But after watching the trailer again last night, I realized just how cheesy this one now seems.  Not sure it will make the cut this year, but I'm definitely going to watch it sometime, just to revisit those fun high school days!


I almost fell off my chair when Lindsay suggested Saw.  NO I have not seen Saw.  NO I have not seen any of it's sequels.  NO I DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE ANY OF THEM!!!  Like, don't they saw off body parts in this movie??!!  NO NO NO.  If she picks it, I will watch it, because I have forced her to watch movies in the past that she didn't want to see.  I WILL watch it. From under a blanket.


I just happened to see this one was on Netflix, so we watched the trailer, and holy mother of pearl, it was scary.  Old dolls are creepy no matter what, they don't need a scary movie to enhance that!!!  I don't think this one will make the cut this year (if we watch The Conjuring, I don't think I can handle another movie of the same caliber, and these movies seem to be in the same league, fright-wise) but it's a strong contender for another year.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

I can't believe I just typed that.  This is the scary movie that turned me off scary movies.  I can't even believe it's in contention for this year's marathon. I saw it once in theatres (Sara and I hid behind our coats), and once in my parents' basement (Sara and I hid behind pillows), and it felt like the longest movie I'd ever (not) seen (twice).  There was just so much chasing and chainsaw noises and screaming... it was never-ending horror for me.  However, both Ryan and Lindsay seemed to be quite interested in it.  If one of them picks it, I promise I'll be a trooper. I will (not) watch it (for the third time).

One thing I'm seriously considering this year is sleeping over at Ryan and Lindsay's, because I think the hardest part about Scary Movie Marathon is having to drive home in the middle of the night, enter my dark house, and having to search it from top to bottom for boogeymen, ghosts, monsters, and serial killers.  I was skittish doing it last night, and all we did was watch trailers.

Also, if you ever want to hear something funny, ask Lindsay to make her "scary slasher movie" sound effect.  It is special.

Happy Fall, y'all!!! :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Catching up

I've been wanting to recap my weekend, and now that I have a chance, we're halfway through the week!

  • Friday after work, I quickly got my grass cut before heading up to Shawville to join my mom and her cousin at the Cafe for supper.  Mmmm it was so good!  Such a nice end-of-the-week treat!  When I came home, I headed over to Shannon's where some friends were doing a paint nite.  I had a few drinks with them and watched them work, picking up tips for when it's my turn to do this painting! (this coming Friday!)  When I got home, I hit the couch and continued watching episodes of my current Netflix obsession, Bloodline.
  • Saturday was a rainy, dreary day, but rather than hibernate, Mom and I headed to Renfrew to do some shopping.  I had a list of little necessities I had to pick up - body wash, moisturizer, mascara, crap like that, plus a few groceries.  We stopped for lunch at Wendy's and grabbed some coffees at Tim's before heading home.  I spent the rest of the afternoon just chilling on the couch, napping and Netflix, the usual.
  • Saturday evening I went to a retirement party for my cousins' mom, Lynn.  The party was at Kayla and Ben's, and it was SO much fun!  One of the best house parties I've ever been to.  They had a guy hired to play music, and he was amazing.  It was just him and a guitar, but he could play anything under the sun.  Didn't hurt that he wasn't hard to look at, either... ;)  I danced and sang all night long.  I literally want to go to a house party like that EVERY weekend!
  • I feel like I've been having back problems for almost two months straight.  I just get over one back injury and end up with another, it seems.  In early August, I fell leaving a party and literally thought I'd broken my back.  (yes, I'd had a few drinks, but it had rained all day and I was running on wet, slippy deck in flip flops, so it had nothing to do with the drinks, I swear.)  I landed so hard on my tailbone that I almost passed out from the pain.  Then last Monday, I fell going down the basement stairs, which resulted in some big bruises and what I think must have been whiplash, because I had a stiff sore neck for a few days.  Just get over that one, and then I wake up Sunday morning with a totally unprovoked and inexplicable pulled muscle or giant knot in my upper right side of my back.  Everyone's been telling me it's obviously from dancing like a maniac Saturday night, but I swear, when I went to bed, there was NOTHING wrong with my back.  It has been a total pain all week.
  • If I was still writing the Single Girl Files, this would be reason #1,432 why Jillian needs a husband:  I need someone to give me a frigging massage!!!  When my friend Lindsay's hubby Ryan comes in the office, he's usually either trying to piss me off by messing my hair, or hurting me by giving me one of his massages.  I think he was a little shocked the other day when I actually asked him for the massage.  I don't think I will ask him again, though, because apparently I was...umm....loud.  But holy hell it felt good.  
  • Between that massage, using A5-35, and doing some stretches for the past few nights, my back is actually much better now, but still not "right".  I guess it will just take time.  I can't ever recall having such a painful pulled muscle or knot or whatever the hell it is that I don't remember doing anything to cause it before in my life.  It has resulted in me coming up with some new swear words, let me tell ya.  Turning my head right or left, lifting my chin up, bowing my head, any kind of sudden movement, trying to sleep... hurts like a mothertrucker.  ugh.
  • I made a musical discovery this weekend.  My new favourite is country singer Cody Jinks.  I literally listened to his song "I'm Not the Devil" for the first time on Saturday, and then downloaded his whole album without hesitation.  I have been listening to it steady all week, and I LOVE it.  If you like classic country, I highly recommend it!!
  • Yesterday I had an unexpected excursion away from the office.  Our sister company in the city does some work with flower beds and stuff like that, and they are putting together a portfolio, so they needed pictures taken of the beds and flowers they've done this year.  I got to meet up with my co-worker Pat in Aylmer, and then he drove me around to all the different sites so I could take photos.  I was super nervous about it - I'm no professional when it comes to photography - but it ended up being a fun day, and it was nice to be away from the desk and computer screen for a change.  Now let's just cross our fingers that the pictures are what they were looking for... eek!
Happy Hump Day pals!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

5 Things on Thursday

One day closer to the weekend... Woo hoo!!  I decided today to go with the 5 Things on Thursday blog prompt.  As I've mentioned, I've been on this "turning a new leaf" quest this week, so I thought today I'd share the 5 things I've done this week to adjust myself towards a healthier lifestyle (once again)...

  1. No chips.  No way, no how!!  I'm a chipaholic.  I love junk food, I love snack foods. And if they are in my house, I WILL eat them.  For me to be successful in creating healthy eating habits, I have to eliminate the temptations.  So, the chips have disappeared, yet again.  I haven't snacked at all this week at work, nor in the evenings at home.  I decided not to go on a hard-core "diet" right off the bat, just make this small tweak to get me eased back in to the game again.  Thus far, I've been successful.  The real test will be this weekend, when I go for groceries.  I've had a hard time avoiding the chip aisle in recent months...
  2. Evening exercise.  Honestly, I have never quit working out, despite gaining back all these pounds, and that's frustrating to me.  Yes, my morning workouts were dialed back in length and intensity, but I've still been getting up every morning at 5:30 to get half an hour of exercise in before starting my day, 6 days a week, and I hoped that would be enough.  Obviously not.  I have always intended to also do something active in the evenings too, and yet, that has ended up being more hit-or-miss.  I'd take any excuse to forego the evening exercise - I'm too tired, it's too hot, I don't feel like it, there's too many bugs.  You name it, I've used it as an excuse.  Not this week, though.  I haven't missed my evening walk yet, and I've actually been quite enjoying the 40 minutes of walking around town listening to my tunes.  This shouldn't come as a surprise to me - the walk has always been my most preferred method of exercise - it's just a matter of making myself do it.  No more excuses.
  3. Back to logging with Myfitnesspal. I struggled with this decision, because my goal all along has just to be able to eat responsibly without having to write everything down obsessively.  Unfortunately, that way hasn't worked too well for me, so I decided to go back to my practices of logging my daily food intake and exercise with Myfitnesspal again.  It keeps me more aware, helps me plan a bit better ahead of time, and keeps me more accountable.  I still hope that someday I'll be able to ditch the daily journaling and just be smart about it, but for the purposes of getting back on track right now, I figured I'd better go back to something that worked well for me before.
  4. Finding healthy lunch alternatives. About a year ago, I had to give up my beloved Shakeology.  I had a shake almost every day for lunch for two years, and I really credited it with helping me lose weight and keep it off, as well as curbing my cravings for junk.  But sadly, it was too expensive.  I couldn't afford it anymore.  And I haven't found a meal replacement protein shake that I liked even half as much since.  So, I'm back to eating "real food" for lunch again, and that's a bit of a pain in the ass.  The shake was just so easy.  Thankfully, I have a supply of healthy soups in the freezer from last winter, so I've been taking that on my lunch with some healthier snacks, and soon I'll start re-stocking the freezer again for the future.  I also want to get in the habit of making some homemade healthy snacks - muffins, granola bars, etc. instead of buying that crap all the time.  Homemade is always better. I like knowing what's in my food!
  5. Earlier to bed. This one isn't difficult for me - I love to sleep.  Going to bed earlier might seem like a strange one, because I rarely stay up late anways.  It's not like I'm a nighthawk - I'm actually kind of the opposite. But for the past year, I've got into this nasty habit of falling asleep on the couch watching TV, usually around 7:30-8:00, then going to bed whenever I wake up (usually between 10-11 pm), and then having trouble falling back asleep.  So even though I've been getting plenty of sleep, I think I've developed a poor sleep pattern, making me more tired, grumpy, and sluggish than I would be if I got a solid 8 hours of good sleep in my bed.  So I've been doing my damndest to keep myself busy and awake in the evenings, then going up to bed around 9.  I've tried to start a new bedtime routine, beyond my usual teeth brushing and face wash - taking more time to wind down, doing silly little things like taking the time to put on nighttime face moisturizer, old lady eye wrinkle cream, moisturizing my feet, And then reading, even if it's just a page or two.  It's like sleep-training a new baby, I tell you. ha!!  So far, so good, though.
There are a million different things I could be doing to get myself back on track, and thankfully I've hung on to a lot of my healthy habits despite my weight gain over the past year (like water - I drink water like it's going out of style!) - but these are the 5 things I've really focused on this week in getting myself back on track.  

Now if I can get through the weekend without falling completely off the wagon again, I'll really have something to celebrate...

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What I'm Lovin' this Wednesday

Half-way through the week... time to look around for the things I'm loving this Wednesday!

I know I'm only a few days into this "turning a new leaf" thing, but I'm loving how much better I feel already.  The sad part is I knew I would feel so much better if I could just get a few solid days of healthy eating and exercise back under my belt, but I kept putting it off for some reason.  Why?  Why do I do that to myself?!

I'm also loving my new, more realistic goals that I have in mind.  I don't want to get back to being the smallest I've ever been, because clearly, I can't maintain that.  But I would like to drop about 20-25 lbs, because I think that's more attainable, and I think with a little hard work and willpower, it's a weight I could stick with.  That being said, I haven't stepped on a scale in months, and I have no idea how much I currently weigh, nor do I want to become chained to the scales again.  I'm just hoping I'll start to notice it in my clothes fitting better, maybe even by going back down a size.  *fingers crossed*

I'm loving the cooler temperatures today, which feel much more like fall!  As much as I love autumn, it's been hard to get into a that frame of mind when it's been so flipping hot out.  But today, it's overcast, there's a breeze rustling the trees, there's a chill in the air... Finally feels like fall!

I love that I'm back into a routine of evening walks.  I've been sporadic at best throughout the summer, but lately, I've been making more of a concerted effort to get my ass out there right after work.  I feel SO much better when I get an evening walk in.

Also, loving that my fall on the basement stairs Monday morning hasn't hindered me from continuing to be active.  Aside from a pretty nasty looking bruise on my back, the worst of it seems to be a stiff/sore neck (whiplash? can you get whiplash from falling down the stairs??) - so that doesn't slow me down when it comes to walking.  The only thing is that I intended to start doing crunches every day again, but my neck is too sore for that. (I tend to yank on my neck probably too hard when I'm doing ab exercises.)  Once it gets back to normal, I'll start up the crunches and ab exercises.

Perhaps what I should be loving is that I didn't LET the fall hinder me from being more active?  Old Jill would have used it as an excuse.  "Bah.  I fell down the stairs.  My life sucks balls.  I give up."  NOPE!!  Not this time, Old Jill!!  Not this time!!!

Have I mentioned lately that I'm still totally madly deeply in love with The Tragically Hip?  Yes, my Hip infatuation continues.  I've listened to hardly anything else for well over a month now. At the time of the concert, I was obsessed with all their old songs, but in recent weeks, I'm discovering an admiration for some of their newer stuff (the stuff I thought I didn't like).  Since getting their "We Are the Same" album last week, I've been listening to it on repeat and really enjoying it!!

I'm really loving Bloodline now that I'm back into it on Netflix.  The first season is like a slow burn, and now that I'm nearing the end of it, I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

Oh, and also, I know I've said it before, repeatedly, but I love Kyle Chandler.  Love him so much.

I love that I'm now only a few weeks away from my little get-away weekend to Kingston!!  I can't wait!!

And I'm loving thinking up movies for Scary Movie Marathon!  Oh, I know, it's still over a month away, but I think choosing the scary movies I'm going to subject Lindsay to is half the fun! ;)

Hope you're all having a great week! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

"Calamity Jill" & other things.

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Just going to do some random rambling today...

  • This past weekend was wonderfully boring.  I was a bit cantankerous going into it.  After the excitement of the Fair the weekend before, I was kind of blue that there was nothing going on this past weekend, but it ended up being A-OK.  Maybe exactly what the doctor ordered.  After a trip for groceries and supper out with my ma on Friday after work, I literally went into hibernation mode.  It felt good to just be at home doing mundane things for a change.
  • The best part of my weekend was definitely bingeing on Stranger Things on Netflix.  I had heard about this show, but didn't really think it would be my cup of tea.  It wasn't until Jimmy Fallon had the kids from the cast on his show one night recently that I decided maybe I should check it out. SO glad I did.  Even if it was a little bit creepy.  I loved the retro 80's feel, I enjoyed the storyline, and I was definitely hooked early on.  Also got me a little crush on the guy who played Police Chief Hopper.  win-win!
  • By Sunday night, I had finished Stranger Things and was looking for something else to watch.  I decided to watch the movie Bad Neighbours, and I was glad I chose it.  I needed a good comedy after the intensity and creepiness of Stranger Things. lol!  I've never been a huge Zac Efron fan (I know, I know... who doesn't love Zac Efron?  ME. is it possible that a guy can be too pretty?  because I think Zac Efron is too pretty.)  But I actually quite enjoyed him and his shirtlessness in this movie.  And I laughed a lot.  Now I'll have to wait for Bad Neighbours 2 to hit Netflix...
  • In between the Netflix bingeing, I got shit done around the house.  I cleaned the house from top to bottom, I made homemade bread (been putting my bread maker to good use these days!), and I made spaghetti sauce.  I had also thought about making pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins or something, but I was kinda feeling like a sloth after everything else was done.  I opted for napping and Netflix instead.
  • Sunday I went to church and out for brunch with the fam.  Then Caden & Danica came back to my place for a movie day.  We started out with Inside Out (super cute, loved it!), and then I forced them to watch some episodes of Full House with me (the ones when Uncle Jesse & Becky have the babies, my favourite season of Full House!).  So, yes.  More couching.  More Netflix.  More hibernation.  Bliss.
  • I've basically talked all summer about getting back on track with some of my healthy habits - eating better, exercising more - because, let's face it, I've fallen so far off the wagon, I'm pretty much back to square one again.  (HOW did I let that happen?  HOW???)  So I decided on Sunday that I'd had enough.  I resolved to get back on track starting Monday.  So yesterday morning, I woke up all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, an extra bounce in my step, and feeling so good about it.  Riiiiight up until I discovered my fridge wasn't working.  And then, in my rush to save stuff from the freezer by moving it to the deep-freeze in the basement, I fell down the stairs.  The bright-eyed-bushy-tailed-bounce-in-the-step went right out the effing window.  I've been referring to myself as "Calamity Jill" in my head ever since.
  • This is probably the third or fourth time since living in this house over the past almost-8-years that I have slipped on the steps going to the basement.  I should probably be more careful.  My feet must've really flew, because I landed on my upper back.  Thankfully just some bruising, and a wicked-sore, stiff neck.  And once again, my deep-seeded fears of being an old lady living alone and falling and breaking something and nobody finding me for days were re-ignited...
  • Oh.  And here's the real kicker.  There was nothing wrong with my fridge after all.  *sigh*  I had Adam the repairman in first thing yesterday morning, and as it turns out, one of the temperature dials had fallen off a few days ago, and when I jammed it back on, I accidentally turned the control down so that it was almost off.  Adam just turned it back up again.  Ta-da.  Fridge fixed.  Doh.  Felt fairly stupid.
  • So last night, I was trying to decide what should be my next show on Netflix.  There are SO MANY that I still want to watch!  But then I remembered that I had started Bloodline a few months ago when I started The Office, but eventually abandoned it for The Office full-time.  (I really can't watch more than one show at one time, I've discovered.)  I figured I'd better finish what I started, so back to Bloodline I go.  
  • Also last night, I went to bed early for one sole purpose:  to read.  As I mentioned last week, I haven't been reading at all lately, which is unusual for me.  And my aunt gave me a really good book for my birthday, so it was time to get into it.  I spent a good hour immersing myself in "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah.  So far, enjoying it!  I might actually be back on the reading railroad!
  • Oh, and for the record, I actually did sorta get myself back on track, healthy-habit-wise, yesterday.  I had my morning workout, walked at lunch time, and went for another walk in the evening.  Then I did some crunches, leg raises, push-ups (the girly kind, I can't do real ones anymore apparently), and squats.  Also, ate much healthier (which means, I didn't eat chips at all during the day, which I'm considering the biggest victory of all.)  Let's see if I can keep it rolling in the right direction today!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Friday Confessions

Ugh.  Short weeks.  Somehow, they feel painfully long.  But Friday has finally arrived!  Praise jeebus.  Time for a few Friday confessions from yours truly...

I confess... yesterday I was depressed that I had no plans for the weekend, but I think I'm okay with it now.  Tonight I'm going to do groceries, tomorrow I'm going to clean the house and make spaghetti sauce and bread, and I'm planning to do some Stranger Things binge-ing too.  Who needs exciting weekend plans when you have housework, cooking, and Netflix to do.

I confess... that I had spaghetti for supper last night, but I cooked way too many noodles (as usual) and ran out of sauce, so hence why I'm making more this weekend.  Making spaghetti sauce is one of my favourite things in the world to do.  Yum.

I confess... that I watched the first episode of Stranger Things last night, and after about 6 minutes, I was freaked right out.  I had read somewhere that it isn't too scary, but I was starting to think whoever said that was WAY wrong.  Thankfully, things evened out for the rest of the ep, and I think I'm going to enjoy it. Without having to keep the lights on at night.

I confess... that I've had this weird, mildly ill feeling over the past 24 hours, and I think I figured out why.  It's because my friend Lindsay is gone on vacation.  Besides being close friends, I work for Lindsay and her family; we are in the same office, so I see her almost every day.  When she is gone for a prolonged period of time, I tend to feel like I'm missing an arm or something.  WHO am I going to ramble to and tell all my stupid stories to for the next week?!?  gah.

I confess... the most exciting moment of the week was when the Lays chip truck pulled into the yard at work the other day, and the guy came in to buy seed and fertilizer... then went back out to his truck, and brought us in like 8 different bags of chips.  Holy smokes, it was like Christmas morning.

I confess... that I was missing 4 of the Tragically Hip's albums.  I lost my Live Beetween Us CD, and I had never bought In Violet Light, We are the Same, and Now for Plan A.  So during the Hip Hype of a few weeks ago, I ordered them all on Amazon, and yesterday they arrived.  My collection is now officially complete.

I confess... that I haven't been reading lately.  Like, at all.  I finished reading The Martian a few weeks ago, and then started another book right away - but I just haven't gotten into it.  I haven't even tried.  It's just lying on my night stand.

I confess... that I have a little weekend trip to Kingston coming up at the end of the month, and I can't wait.  Just a few nights away, some down time with a few friends, some shopping and touring and eating and drinking... I'm ready for a re-charge.

Have a great weekend, everyone! :)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

  • It's a dark, dreary, drizzly day, and man oh man do I wish I was home, snuggled up on the couch, having a Netflix binge day.  Rainy days just do that to me.  I've had two cups of coffee this morning (I normally only have one) and even that hasn't broken me out of my dreary morning funk.  
  • Despite the dark, foggy morning, it is actually stinking hot & humid out there, and I'm so over it.  I have loved this summer, I have loved the heat, but it's September now, and I'm ready to get the fall ball rolling.  I'm sick of feeling sticky and sweaty.  Blech.
  • Last Sunday afternoon, I watched the last episode of The Office.  I've been watching it all summer, and it was sad for me to see it come to an end after 9 seasons.  I was so attached to Jim & Pam, following their relationship, laughing at the whole crew at Dunder Mifflin.  It was a sentimental moment watching it all come to an end.  One of the characters, Andy, in his closing interview, tearfully said something about how he was going to miss the good ol' days, and how he wished they told you when you were IN the good ol' days that it was the good ol' days so you'd enjoy it more.  But you don't realize it til their gone.  That's the tricky thing about "the good ol' days". It struck a real chord with me. 
  • After finishing The Office, I jumped back into The Mindy Project, which had new episodes added since I last watched it, but couldn't get back into it while I was all caught up in Jim & Pam.  Since Monday was spent on the couch recuperating, and then a few evenings of nothing to do but watch TV, I have now finished that too.  I'm contemplating what my next show should be.  I was leaning towards Scandal, but now I keep hearing about this show Stranger Things, and I think I might give it a whirl instead.
  • Today appears to be the first day of Pre-K for a lot of my friends' kids on Facebook... I swear, these "1st day" pictures are killing me.  I love seeing them, but at the same time, they break my little heart.  First day of Pre-K was, like, the worst day of my life.  I really hope all the kiddos have an awesome day at school, and that none of them are "little Jills"... for everyone's sake! lol!
  • This coming weekend, I have zero plans.  Like, zero.  Which is such a letdown after Fair weekend.  The weekend after Shawville Fair used to be Community Days in Quyon, and I so miss that.  It was at least something to look forward to after Fair time.
  • Yesterday, we had Chinese food for lunch in the office, and then I ate a whole big bag of chips & cotton candy for supper.  So yeah, the Shawville Fair detox is going really well.
  • I joke, but I really do have to smarten up when it comes to food.  It's getting bad.  I didn't work out at all over the weekend, I ate like a horse, and those patterns are hard to break.  I feel like a slug.  I know if I had a few days of clean eating and healthy habits back under my belt, I'd shake this crappy feeling I've had all week.  I love food, and I know I'm never going to be perfect, but there's a line, ya know?
  • This is contrary to my last statement, but I know it's almost fall because I'm starting to crave Thanksgiving dinner.  I'd just about give my right arm for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy right now.  Oh, and pumpkin pie.  How I'd love a piece of pumpkin pie!
  • Speaking of pumpkin pie... since it's almost fall, I can soon start immersing myself in all things pumpkiny.  Adding pumpkin to my grocery list right NOW!
  • As much as I've loved summer, and as hard as it is to let it go, I'm definitely feeling the fall vibes right now.  I want to watch scary movies and make apple bread and drink pumpkin spice lattes.  I want to dig out my cozy sweaters and leggings and fuzzy socks.  I want to go for walks in chilly evening air and have leaves crunch beneath my feet.  Be gone with you, September heat wave!!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The Shawville Fair Hangover

The only good thing I can say about today is that it's already Wednesday.  Thank the Lord for short weeks.

I'm coming down from Shawville Fair weekend, and it feels particularly depressing this year... which means that it must have been a really good Fair!  I hate when Fair time is over.  It goes by in the blink of an eye, a whirlwind of food and music and friendly faces and beer tent fun, and now it feels like there's nothing good coming up now til  frigging Christmas.  booo-urns.

But back to the Fair.  Back to the happy.

I kicked off the weekend by heading up Thursday night after work with my mom for our traditional "old lady night" at the Fair.  (sorry, Mom.  You're not really an old lady!...although you did complain a lot about too much walking and sore feet and being too tired... LOL)  We had supper at Bonnie's, toured the exhibits and handicraft displays, attended the Opening Ceremonies, had a few chats with folks we bumped into along the way, stopped for a few seconds to watch Ben pulling in the tractor pull, got ice cream (which was dumb, because we were FREEZING), and then called it a night.

Friday night, I had made plans to go up with friends Lolly and Melissa, so they picked me up right after work and off we went!  They're big fans of Kim Mitchell, who was headlining the entertainment that night, so it was fun to hang out with them while I pretended to be a Kim Mitchell fan.  He played the fair 4 years ago, and I was there, but really had no memory of any of his songs other than his classics "Go For a Soda" and "Patio Lanterns".  It was fun to be re-introduced to his songs, even if I wasn't even born when they were hits. ;)  Lolly and Melissa are a total riot, so it was a really fun night, and I unexpectedly got into beer tent shenanigans... I bought four beer tokens, intending for them to last me all weekend, but I somehow blew that plan outta the water that night... whoops!  It was worth it though.  I think I giggled the whole way home.  So much so that I almost peed my pants.  If that's not a sign of a good night, I don't know what is!

Because of the unplanned beer tenting on Friday night, I had an unplanned hangover on Saturday.  I didn't get much accomplished that day, but I did make cinnamon buns for the first time (they were delicious) and got my grass cut in between the naps and lazing around.  I had plans to head up to the Fair with Lindsay, so I eventually got myself ready and geared back up.  We had Dilly Willys, met up with my sister and her fam in the midway and watched the kids ride for a bit, had supper at Bonnie's again, toured the exhibition halls again, watched some of the 4H show, then we met up with Susie and set up camp in "the spot" for Brett Kissel's show.  Again, wasn't too familiar with his music, and he ended up annoying the hell out of me (just stop talking and play already!!! ... I was hungover, remember? No patience!) ...but I had a great time hanging out with Sue and Linds.  We were a little on the giddy side and it felt like we spent the whole night laughing.  No beer tenting on this night, but that was OK, it was way too packed and crowded in there for me!  Plus, it kinda felt like we were drunk anyways.  Who needs beer when you're Fair-giddy?! HA!

Sunday I felt much more refreshed, so I went to church and then had my fam over for cinnamon buns before we all headed up to the Fair yet again.  Mom and I only stayed for a little while, did some touring around with my sister, grabbed a 4H burger, and listened to some of the afternoon entertainment before heading back home.   I had a little nap to prepare, as I was meeting up with Sue and Adam again later that evening for the Gord Bamford show.  Again, wasn't too familiar with his act, but ended up LOVING both him and his opener, Leah Daniels.  Of course, Gord won me over by playing The Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" during their encore, "for the other Gord"... hit me right in the feels!

And then, it was back into the beer tent for more shenanigans.  It wasn't as jam-packed as it usually is on a Sunday night, which made it way more fun!  I hate being packed in there like a can of sardines.  There was lots of room to run around and dance and get into trouble. haha!

Monday morning was rough.  I haven't felt that crappy in a long time.  My head felt like it was literally splitting open with a headache.  So I was back on the couch with Advil and gallons of water and sleeping yet again.  I had a million things I wanted to do on Monday, but that all changed.  I went into full-on recovery mode.  I felt like a grizzly bear who had to go into hibernation.

And yet, I couldn't resist one last kick at the can.  By mid-afternoon, I was starting to feel semi-human again, so I checked in with Lindsay to see if they were going back up to the Fair.  Indeed they were, for a quick rip, to let Sam do a few more rides, grab supper, and collect the things they had entered in the exhibits.  I decided to suck it up and join them.  It was hot, I was sweating like a pig, and I felt like a crank, but thankfully Sam was kind of in the same mood, so it was all good ;)  I was glad to get a few of the last treats I hadn't had yet - mini donuts and cotton candy, both musts on my Fair food list!  Plus one last snack at Bonnie's for supper.  Yum.

So yes, I'm currently in the midst of a Shawville Fair hangover.  Yesterday I felt like a ball of crud.  Today, I'm better, but still not "right" yet.  The actual hangover is over, but the post-fair depression lingers on.  I'm tired and out of sorts and sad.  I think I need to detox or something.

Best fair weekend I've had in recent memory.

It was all worth it.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

What I'm Going to Eat at the Fair

Before I begin, I just want to give a birthday shout-out to my oldest and dearest friend, Stacy!  Hope you have an awesome day celebrating!!  Welcome to the 33 Club! ;)

So, today is the first day of the Fair, and I'm so very excited.  Mostly for the food.  My God, I can't wait to eat fair food!!  Here is my list of the things I'm hoping to chow down on a the fair. (Don't worry, it's 5 days long, and I'm probably going to be there at least four of the five days, so I have time to spread it all out and eat everything I want.  My pants just might not fit next week, that's all.  haha!)

  1. Billy T's Pizza.  Billy T's is a popular local pizza place in Shawville, so this one might not seem to make sense - I could get Billy T's any day, why bother at the Fair?  Answer: because it tastes a million times more amazing at the Fair.  I don't know why, but I think maybe the lace Fair Pizza with crack or something?  You can smell it as soon as you walk in, and it just lures you to the pizza bus.  And then you're done.  Finished.  "GET ME 2 SLICES OF PEPPERONI. STAT!"
  2. Beavertails.  The Beavertail stand is a must-stop at least one night of the fair (maybe two).  This is usually the only time of the year I get to indulge in this special Canadian treat - deep-fried dough, tossed in cinnamon & eaten still piping hot!  YUM!  It's worth standing in the long lines for, trust me!
  3. 4H Burger.  It's always nice to support the local 4H Club by going for one of their world-famous burgers.  I get a cheeseburger with fried onions, and I swear I don't even really need anything else on it.  Delicious!  The booth is run by the 4H kids and their parents, and boy, are they kept hopping all weekend long.  It also provides a delicious smell while standing in "the spot".
  4. Bonnie's Food Booth. Bonnie's has become one of my favourite places to eat in recent years, and I can't even decide what I'm going for this year.  Bacon Curd Burger... Boneless Pub Style Wings... Bon's Button... Loaded Poutine... and just her plain ol' fries are amazeballs.  I seriously might just camp out at Bonnie's all weekend!
  5. The Pickle Vixen's Dilly Willys.  I admit, this isn't a fair treat I've ever gone for, but I've heard amazing things about them.  Recently I heard that this food truck is going to be closing, and the Shawville Fair is going to be one of their last stops, so I think I MUST try these famous Dilly Willys while I still can!
  6. Ice Cream.  In talking about fair food with my friend Lindsay the other day, she said since we now have an ice cream place in Quyon, she's not sure the ice cream stand at the fair is that important to her anymore.  Initially I agreed, but then I remembered that she has the Orange Pineapple ice cream that is rare, and so I think if she has it tonight, I WILL be getting a scoop or two!
  7. Big D's Dog House and Poutine Emporium. This was a new one for me last year.  They only have hot dogs and poutines.  Last year, I tried out the Nacho Libre poutine, which was a regular poutine (fries, curds, gravy) topped with salsa, sour cream, jalapeno cheese sauce, and crushed Doritos.  It was so frigging amazing, I've spent a whole year dreaming about it.  When you pay $10 for a poutine, you want it to be worth every cent, and this one definitely was.  I'm praying they are back this year.
  8. Lemonade.  It just isn't a trip to the Fair without at least one stop at the big giant lemon stand for a freshly squeezed lemonade.
  9. Mini Donuts.  I don't bother with the Midway concession stands much, but I will usually stop at the one that makes the mini powdered sugar donuts.  The bag is sopping in grease and full of powdered sugar and I can usually only eat one or two before I feel sick to my stomach, they are just so sweet and greasy, but my lord, those first few bites are scrumptious.
  10. Cotton Candy.  It's a must.  The last thing I do on my last exit from the Fair.  It's tradition.  It was always what Dad did when we were leaving the fair, he took us for cotton candy, and I still make sure I get a bag on my way out on the last day.  And then I pick away at it for a week and think about how much fun the fair was, and feel sad that it's over again for another year...
Lordy Jesus, I can't WAIT!!!!!!!