Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Five: WHERE did that week go?

Holy mother of pearl, the days fly by when it's this busy!  Punching out a quick Friday Five post before the weekend hits...

1. You know what I hate?  I HATE waking up with a headache.  Especially when I went to bed the night before feeling so damned good.  I had my second Pound class last night, and it felt amazing.  In the first class, I kind of felt like I spent a lot of the night standing still watching, or waving my ripstix in the air like a lunatic (I even hit myself in the head once) - but last night, I was able to get into it and boy, did I sweat!!  It felt soooo good.  Then I came home to catch the second half of the hockey game, which was SO much fun to watch, especially with our captain EK scoring an awesome goal in the dying minutes of regulation.  I went to bed on a real high, a big smile on my face.  And then woke up 8 hours later with a splitting headache.  No fair, universe.  No fair.

2.  I have done my ever-lovin' best to get my butt moving more this week, and it always amazes me how much better I feel about everything in general when I'm more active.  Since our Florida trip in January, my workouts had become sporadic at best, which spells trouble for me - physically AND mentally.  I went for long, fast-paced walks on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, did a Zumba workout Tuesday, and then Pound last night, along with re-incorporating my quick noon-hour walks at work.  I also got my Fitbit charged up and back in action.  Food-wise, I'm still struggling, but I tried to make better choices this week.  If the Easter candy that's still kicking around would just F off, I'd be in a lot better shape... ;)

3. The next few weekends are shaping up to be lots of fun!  Tomorrow is the Canada Day Committee's annual poker tournament here in town, and while I'm pretty bad at poker, I always enjoy playing in it and seeing how far I can make it.  (That said, the Sens play at 3 pm tomorrow, so if I'm out by then, I won't be upset because then I can go home and watch the game! haha!)  Next weekend is a Paint Night fundraiser for the local elementary school which I bought a ticket for, as well as a family shower.  And the weekend after that is our trip to TO for a Blue Jays game.  Very excited for all of the above!

4.  Wentworth.  Oh my God, you guys, WENTWORTH!!!  I'm soooo addicted to this show!!!  I finished Season 3 the other night, and I can't wait to watch more tonight!!  I've pretty much abandoned my promise to watch at least one movie/documentary/special other than a TV show each weekend, because I just CAN'T watch anything other than Wentworth and Jimmy Fallon and hockey games right now.  I'm even behind on Prison Break and Survivor right now.  That said, I've also reached the point when I'm starting to worry about it being over, since there's only 4 seasons on Netflix and I've been whizzing through each season in about a week... I really don't want this show to end!

5. I know I mentioned the Sens earlier, but seriously, can't say enough about how much I love this team.  I LOVE THIS TEAM!!!  I've had a hard time drumming up any real enthusiasm for the Sens since Daniel Alfredsson left several years ago.  I mean, at the start of the playoffs, I didn't even know who some of our players were.  "Who is this Stalberg guy? Never heard of him.  And Wingels? Dzingel?  Are these even real names???"  But now?  Now I love them... I love them all.  I didn't believe the organization would ever have a player who meant as much to the fans as Alfie did, but boy oh boy, Erik Karlsson is giving him a run for his money in the "legend" department.  This guy is ridiculous.  Pretty much every game, he does something that has the whole hockey world buzzing.  Last night he scored from practically behind the net.  Amazeballs.

Wishing you all a fab weekend!!  Enjoy!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Five Things on Friday

Happy Friday, friends!  It's been a crazy week, but I'm going to take advantage of a few quiet moments on this rainy morning for a quick Friday Five post.

1. Ever have one of those weeks where it feels like you don't have a spare moment to breathe?  I'm exaggerating, of course, but this week has taken me out of my beloved routine, and I'm feeling the effects of it.  First of all, a short week always seems to be stressful.  Then I had appointments at the hospital Tuesday and Wednesday mornings which resulted in me having to be late to work both days (trying to get to the bottom of the "Do I have high blood pressure?  Do I not?  Am I just a psycho crazy lady?" dilemma. *sigh*) Between that, hockey games, busy time at work, etc. ... yeah.  Jill's a bit of a mess this week.

2. Thankfully, I know when I'm being a stressball freak and I know what I need to do to help it.  Last week, I got an order from Amazon, and one of the books I got was Jenny Lawson's "You Are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous Minds".  It's a colouring book, a self-help book, a workbook, humour, inspiration, and advice from one of my favourite bloggers/authors, all rolled into one.  I haven't had much time this week to spend with it, but the few moments I've had to flip through it and to colour a little have helped calm me down.  Last night, I started a new workout program with Julia Clarke in Shawville.  She's the one I used to take Zumba classes with, now we're trying out Pound, and after just one class I can already say I'm in LOVE!  Such a stress relief pounding those drumsticks and getting a good sweat on.  And tonight, I'm doing another paint night.  I decided to give my mom my waterlily painting that I did a few weeks ago for her birthday, but I sneaked in to another group tonight to do it again for myself.  Reading, colouring, exercise, painting - all stress outlets for me, and much needed right now!

3. I had SUCH a wonderful date night this week with my friend Lindsay and her little guy Sam.  We have this tradition of going to McDonald's (one of my fave guilty pleasures) around Sammy's birthday, but this year we had to wait until after Lent, because I NEEDED to have McD's fries, yo.  Sam isn't very familiar with McDonald's, so when we told him we were going there, he was like, "McDonald Duck's?"  Then later we were trying to explain to him what a milkshake is, and he was like, "Momma, why you shake my num-nums?" Just wayyyy too cute.  As we left the restaurant, I was holding his hand, and I said, "Well, Sam, that was the best date I've had in a long time!" And he said, "NOPE!!!" hahahaha!! Story of my life!! ;)

4. I have a funeral to attend tomorrow morning, but then the rest of the day I'm going to just unwind, put on a pot of spaghetti sauce to simmer, and spend the afternoon/evening catching up on TV shows. Because of the hockey games and other things going on this week, I haven't had a chance yet to watch my Jimmy episodes, Prison Break, or Survivor.  I also just haven't had much time to get caught up in Wentworth this week, which I'm desperately in need of a fix of.  In still kind of blows my mind that at one time I couldn't imagine a Saturday night sitting at home doing nothing.  Now, I relish the thoughts.

5. Have I mentioned how much I love my Ottawa Senators, and in particular, Erik Karlsson? Have I mentioned how happy I am to be able to eat potatoes again?  Have I mentioned how happy I am that it's Friday?

Let's get this weekend rollin', folks...  :)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wednesday Loves!

Happy Wednesday pals!  It's been awhile since I've done a "What I'm Loving Wednesday" post, so here it goes!

I'm loving that the NHL playoffs start today, and I'm super-pumped to cheer on my Ottawa Senators as they take on the Boston Bruins in the first round.  This is a playoff match-up that we've never had before, and I'm excited to see how it plays out!  Go Sens Go!!

It took me a few episodes to really get into it, but I am definitely loving Wentworth!  I started it on the weekend after I finished Life In Pieces, and I almost abandoned it after the first episode. But I told myself to give it a chance, and I'm glad I did.  It's intense, and sometimes it's hard to watch - things happen in an all-female prison that aren't always very pleasant! - but the story lines definitely have me hooked, and I like how so far each episode has given a little insight into several key characters and what has brought them there.  My friend Stacy highly recommended the show, and early on she told me she likes Franky, and I was like, "No way! She's a bad guy!" But now that I'm seven or eight eps in, I can definitely say I'm on Franky's side!

I love that Lent is almost over!  We're in the midst of Holy Week, which means I'm on the homestretch... I will soon have potatoes back in my life!!!  Visions of poutine dancing in my head...I swear, I CANNOT wait!

I also love that I've made my McD's date with Lindsay and Sam for next week.  Up until now, I've been trying not to think about it, because it makes me drool and crave and wish I could go RIGHT NOW.  But now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, I can get excited for it.  YUM!

Totally loving that Prison Break is BACK!!!  But totally not loving that my PVR shifted priorities on me, so when I sat down to watch it last night, it was recording The Voice instead.  Argh!!  I had to set a new timer for midnight to catch it then.  I'll have to try and squeeze it in before the Sens game tonight.

I LOVE my new Easter wreath that my mom made for me yesterday!  It's so cute and cheerful hanging on my front door!

I'm loving all the fun plans that are set for this weekend, and that they are equally balanced with quiet downtime.  It's my last long weekend of the season (back to full time next week), and so I want to make the most of it, yet also enjoy some relaxing Netflix time too.  Our year-end curling party is Thursday night, so I imagine I'll be "recovering" Friday morning... Then there is Good Friday service at church, and supper afterwards with the fam to celebrate my mom's birthday.  Saturday I'm taking my car in for a tire & oil change, so it will be a quiet day at home without wheels.  Sunday is Easter, with lots of fun going on - church, Easter eggs, family dinner, so much fun!  And then Monday will be another low-key Netflix day.  See?  Balance.  Fun stuff, and quiet time. Just perfect.

I absolutely LOVE that Jimmy Fallon is hosting Saturday Night Live this week!!  I can't WAIT to watch it!  I joined the SNL bandwagon late - after Jimmy's days on the show were long over - but one of my favourite episodes is the Christmas one from several years ago where he was the host and Justin Timberlake was the musical guest.  Can't wait to see Jimmy back on SNL again!

So much going on these days that I'm LOVING... puts me in a wonderful mood!  What are YOU loving this Wednesday??

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Teenage Years in 10 Albums

I've seen a few of my Facebook pals playing a fun little game called "The Teenage Years in 10 Albums".  Since music was such a big part of my life (and still is), I thought it would be fun to share my list in a blog post.

Ahh, the teenage years.  My high school memories are so often linked to a song or a band or a school dance.  Sitting on the bus listening to my disc man, listening to CD's with friends, in my room doing homework, in the basement playing my sister's ghetto blaster (so loud my mom or dad would inevitably slam the door upstairs), at video dances at school or youth group dances in town... Yes, music played a big role in my growing-up years, and it's fun to take a look back on the albums that defined me.

When I started making my list of singers/bands that made me think of my teen years, I ended up with a list of 28.  TWENTY-EIGHT artists that I felt were a huuuuge deal to me from the ages of 13-19.  Trying to whittle that down to a list of 10 was preeeetty much impossible.  You would think setting the guidelines of the albums must have been released between 1995-2000 would help, but dudes, there's a TON of music from that time period!!

But I did it.  So here are the 10 albums that shaped my adolescent years, in no particular order:

1. I Mother Earth - Scenery and Fish (1996)
I'd have to say, I Mother Earth was one of my very first musical "obsessions".  I saw them perform on some little Canadian live-music concert show (can't even remember what it was called), and I literally fell in love with lead singer Edwin.  I was the loser who wrote "I LOVE Edwin" on chalkboards in classrooms in Grade 7.  I had pictures of him plastering my school agenda.  Edwin was my man.  I followed him right through his little solo venture several years later, but I have no idea what ever happened to him since.  Even so, he's a big memory from my teenage years.

Fave tracks: One More Astronaut, Another Sunday, Used to Be Alright

2. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy (1997)
As I was coming of age, so was another Canadian band, Our Lady Peace.  Clumsy holds some of the biggest songs from my early high school years, songs that everyone loved.  I saw them in concert once, and they were amazing.  Didn't hurt that lead singer Raine Maida was pretty hot too...(I've always been a sucker for the hot boys!)  I don't know if OLP is still together anymore, but man, they were big in their day.
Fave tracks: Clumsy, 4 AM, Superman's Dead

3. The Tragically Hip - Phantom Power (1998)
Grade 7 was really the time when I started spreading my wings and discovering music for myself, instead of just listening to what pop songs were on the Top 40, or whatever my older sister was listening to.  It was on the bus one morning that a boy told me I should check out The Hip, claiming New Orleans is Sinking was the best song ever recorded.  Thus began my love affair with The Hip, still on-going to this day.  Their album Phantom Power was probably my favourite during my high school days, and my first-ever concert was in Grade 10 when they were on tour promoting it.  Still breaks my heart to know that Gord Downie is battling terminal brain cancer now, and being at their concert in Ottawa last summer for their farewell tour is one of the most bittersweet moments of my life.

Fave tracks: Poets, Bobcaygeon, Fireworks

4. Bryan Adams - 18 Til I Die (1996)
I loved Bryan Adams so much during my high school years.  My sister had his So Far, So Good album which was played a lot in our shared bedroom, but once she flew the coop, it was 18 Til I Die that I played over and over.  Another good Canadian boy with a solid repertoire, he's on my bucket list to see play live someday.

Fave tracks: 18 Til I Die, We're Gonna Win, I Think About You

5. Shania Twain - The Woman In Me (1995)
I'll never forget my first high school Video Dance, when Shania's Any Man of Mine came on and every girl in the school literally stormed the dance floor to boot-stomp and sing along at the top of our lungs.  Her Come on Over album was probably bigger, and I definitely listened to it a ton too, but The Woman In Me is the one that started it all and had me line-dancing in my basement for hours on end.

Fave tracks: Any Man of Mine, Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under, No One Needs to Know

6. Alanis Morisette - Jagged Little Pill (1995)
I remember the Christmas my sister got this CD.  We listened to it steady.  Alanis was the coolest.  She gave a voice to all the angsty teenage girls in the world.  This album was epic, and launched her into stardom.  I swear, when I was making this list, I didn't intend to go all-Canadian, but I now realize my first 6 choices are all from my beloved home country.  Some pretty amazing Canadiana music during those years... and Alanis was definitely leading the charge.

Fave tracks: You Oughta Know, Hand in my Pocket, Ironic, Head Over Feet

7. Goo Goo Dolls - Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)
Oh, how I adored the Goos back in my later high school years!  I remember getting this album and playing it over and over and over, writing poems in my notebook, daydreaming of the boy I liked (because he loved the Goo Goo Dolls too).  I can't make a list of high school favourites without including this one.

Fave tracks: Slide, Black Balloon, Broadway, Iris

8. Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind (1997)
Third Eye Blind was a serious obsession for me.  I listened to that CD so much, I wore it out - it skipped like crazy eventually.  From the first moment I heard Semi-Charmed Life, I was hooked.  I used to tape it every time it came on the radio - to the point that I would have multiple mix tapes with multiple recordings of that song on it.  If I had to pick just ONE song to define my high school years, that's the one.  I hear it, I close my eyes, it takes me right back to those baggy jeans, plaid shirts, Club Monaco sweatshirts, and Doc Martins...and it's 1997 all over again

Fave tracks: Semi-Charmed Life, Jumper, How's It Going to Be

9. Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
You might take a look at me, and think, "Jill? Rap?  These two things do not go together..."  Ah, but yes, I did go through a pretty serious rap phase.  Mostly thanks to Eminem.  I remember listening to this one on my discman, trying to memorize the words, trying to be a rapper.  Makes me LOL now to think of it... This album was mainstream-huge, and I still think the video for Stan is one of the best music videos of all time.

Fave tracks: Stan, The Way I Am, The Real Slim Shady

10. Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys (1996)
And just as I had my rap phase, I could not be a teen of the mid-to-late '90's without going through a boy-band phase as well.  Most of the girls back then were N'Sync-ers, but I was always a BB girl.  This album in particular takes me back, to Kenny and Bucky's garage, when the neighbourhood boys actually made me pay to watch them lip sync to Backstreet Boys songs.  Ah, the good ol' days...

Fave tracks: We've Got it Going On, Get Down, Quit Playin' Games With My Heart

Well, there we have it... my teenage years in 10 albums!  There are so many honourable mentions, I can't even begin to tell you.  The Counting Crows, Better than Ezra, TLC, Sheryl Crow, Dr. Dre, Foo Fighters, Collective Soul, Oasis, No Doubt, Spice Girls, Barenaked Ladies, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Matchbox Twenty, Fastball, Blink 182... the list could go on and on. And we can't forget that compilation albums were also huge at the time, so I got lots of play out of my Big Shiny Tunes CD's (particularly the 2nd one) and the Frosh CD's.  

So when you sit down and reminisce, what albums shape your teenage years?  What songs take you back?  Who was your first concert?  What singer was your first love?  Please do comment and share! :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Randomly, Tuesday

Here's some random Tuesday rambling...

  • It's "one of those days"... I awoke to the sound of rain pattering against my window, my room still dark, my bed so cozy.  Man oh man, it took a lot to drag my butt out of bed this morning.  
  • My basket is full, and I have plenty of work to catch up on, but I keep staring out the window at the raindrops falling, and daydreaming of being snuggled up at home for a movie/reading day.  Oh, I know.  Having Mondays and Fridays off all winter means I've had plenty of movie/reading days over the past few months.  But still.  A rainy day like this just makes me want to curl up in a ball and be lazy.
  • I'm on my second cup of coffee of the morning, and I hardly ever have a second cup.  Partly to blame is my dearly departed Gilmore Girls.  They showed me that a girl can have a cup of coffee, whenever she damned well pleases.  But also partly to blame is the rain.  Just feels right to have a hot mug warming my hands today!
  • I might as well get used to dragging my butt out of bed on these rainy, gloomy days, because the extended forecast is showing we will be having many of them in the coming weeks.  April showers are here to stay, it appears!  
  • I had such a good weekend!  A day in the city Friday, a cleaning day/Netflix day on Saturday, supper out with Mom Saturday night, taking photos at Sam's 3rd birthday party on Sunday, family dinner at my sister's that night, and then a paint day at Shannon's yesterday.  I'm going to miss my long winter weekends!!
  • I had been trying to figure out a weekend date to do Shannon's latest painting, but it wasn't working out, so I booked a Monday to do it with a few other folks who had the day off.  She said we could be her guinea pigs, since her first "official" group doing the water lilies isn't until Friday.  I had such a peaceful day painting.  No meltdowns, no frustration... that doesn't happen often, which I think results in my loving the painting even more when it's done.  It makes me think of kayaking or paddleboating at the camp in the summer.  Now the only problem is, I've had three people tell me they want my painting, so I think I have to buy my own supplies and start re-creating it! haha!
  • So I stayed true to my promise to watch at least one movie or special on Netflix this past weekend, though it didn't end up being Goon.  On Friday night, I watched the real-life Disney adaptation of Cinderella, and I really enjoyed it.  Then on Saturday night, I watched Amy Schumer's Leather Special, and laughed my way through it.  I guess next weekend will have to be Goon.

  • I got all caught up on Scandal and then had to decide what to move on to next.  After the recommendations I got from you guys last week, I was really tempted to start The 100 - which wasn't even on my radar, but after having so many people tell me I should watch it, I was really tempted!  I decided instead on something light and quick, though, and that's Life in Pieces.  So far - LOVING it.  So funny!!!  I know I'm not going to regret it!!
  • Is it just me, or does Lent feel like it's taking a million years this year?  I seriously have visions of potatoes dancing in my head.  My biggest craving so far is a poutine.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Strangely enough, I"m not missing potato chips as much as I thought I would.  But french fries... my God, I miss french fries.  
  • Lindsay, Sam, and I usually go on a McDonald's date around his birthday, which was yesterday.  But I had to tell Linds this year it has to wait until after Lent.  There's no way I can go to McD's and NOT get fries!!!
  • Did I mention I bought all my Easter chocolate and candy last week?  I now have Reese PB eggs, Mini Eggs, mini Cadbury Creme Eggs and Caramilk Eggs, jelly beans, jube-jubes, Easter Caramel Kisses, and plain chocolate eggs floating around my house.  When I ran it through the cash at GT last Thursday night, the girl said, "Wow. That's a lot of candy."  And I was like, "Yep.  Happy Easter to me." LOL
  • I keep saying the diet is going to start Monday, but at this rate, I don't know when the hell it's going to start... *sigh*
Well, I think that's enough rambling for today!  Have a great week, everyone! :)