Thursday, September 26, 2019

I Love a Rainy Day

Ohhhh it was difficult to roll myself out of bed this morning.  It's been hard the last few weeks, waking up to the dark, but add to it this morning the gentle patter of raindrops hitting my window, and it was damn near impossible to get myself up for my little morning workout.  I had to dig deep to get 'er done.

While it's difficult to get up and motivated, I really do love a dreary, rainy day.  Even when I have to come to work, I love being inside, when the phones are quiet, looking out the big office windows at the rain falling, when it's so grey outside that the computer screens seem extra bright inside.  There's something quite cozy and calming about it.

However, IDEALLY, I'd spend this grey, rainy day, enjoying it at home.  I even confessed to Lindsay this morning that it was very tempting to suddenly "feel sick" this morning.  *cough*cough* LOL! 

The rainy day daydream goes something like this:

I'd lie in bed for a while just listening to the rain falling outside.  I wouldn't sleep in or lounge in bed all day, by any means, but I'd just take some extra time lying there listening to one of the most relaxing sounds in the world.

Just as the sky is brightening a little, I'd get up and throw a warm sweater on over my pj's, then head downstairs to sip my coffee curled up on the couch.  If I felt really ambitious, I'd make pancakes for breakfast, but today, I don't really feel that ambitious.  I think I'd just settle for the coffee. Maybe a piece of toast with Map-O-Spread.  Light up the Scentsy warmers and my candles.  Then settle in to watch last night's Jimmy Fallon, Big Brother finale, and Survivor premiere.

Once all caught up on my shows, I'd get dressed, something cozy.  Leggings and a sweater.  Maybe today I'd put on fuzzy socks for the first time this season.  (Here at work... still barefoot. lol)  Then I'd grab my book (The Widow by Fiona Barton) and cuddle up in my big armchair to read for a while.  It's kind of a dark, mystery novel, so just perfect for this kind of day.

Then, I'd start the Movie Marathon.  As I always mention this time of year, I've reached the stage where I'm wanting to watch spooky stuff.  And it's always easier to watch that kind of stuff during daylight, so perfect timing!  I'd pull some of my favourites from my DVD shelf:  The Sixth Sense, The Shining, The Amityville Horror, Stir of Echoes, Pet Sematary.  Sticking with what I know, because it's less scary, but still chilling nonetheless.  I'd take a break to make lunch - probably a pot of macaroni, tomato soup & cheese whiz, my favourite rainy day/snow day lunch - and then I might also pause to whip up some pumpkin bread.  For the rest of the afternoon, I'd make a big bowl of buttery popcorn to snack on while continuing on with the movies.  And I'd definitely make sure to watch the old Disney version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, it's perfect for a day like this!

Oh, and I'd be crocheting too!  Remember I said I was excited to make more pumpkins?  Well, this week has not allowed for much crocheting.  Last night I went to Eric's last Spirit Cafe where he talked about his trip to Egypt, and tonight I have another church meeting, so I haven't had much evening time to spend crafting.  I'd definitely take advantage of a whole rainy day to do so!!

There might be a nap, mid-afternoon.  One of those really great, satisfying, not-too-long naps that you wake from feeling so good, so refreshed, so perfectly content.  There would probably be more reading.  A mug of tea or hot chocolate.  There would likely even be a break in there to watch The Price Is Right, because what weekday off is complete without The Price Is Right?  OH! And ALSO!!  I haven't been listening to any podcasts lately, which I love to do while I'm crocheting, so I might try to squeeze some of that in there too!

I might be trying to squeeze too much into my lazy rainy day off.  In fact, I'm quite certain there are not enough hours in the day to do everything I've fantasized about above.

But the thoughts of this day?  This wonderful rainy day?  It makes me so happy.  So cozy.  So content.

Do you love a rainy day, or do you find them depressing?  What would you do if you were home on a rainy, dreary day?

Happy Rain Day, friends! :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

My time of year is here!

Ahhhh!  I cannot tell you guys how HAPPY I am that Fall is here!  Some days are still a little too warm for my liking, but otherwise, I am happily sinking in to my favourite time of year.  I'm absolutely giddy thinking of all the fun things this season brings!!

  • I decorated for fall last Saturday morning, and I just love the cozy feel and the colours.  I didn't plan to do it that day - especially since it was extremely hot that day, and sure didn't feel like fall - but I was so glad once it was done.  
  • I crochet year-round, but I sure do enjoy it more in the fall and winter.  I thought it might be neat to incorporate some fall crocheted items to my home decor, so I looked up some patterns for crocheted pumpkins.  I finished my first one last night, and now I'm excited to make more!!  
  • I know this is going against everything most people believe in, but I just LOVE that it gets dark earlier this time of year.  Cozying up to crochet, watch TV, read... so much easier to do all of that when it's dark out!  I just feel this obligation in the summer to get out and enjoy the sun.  So when the sun goes to bed earlier, I don't have to. lol
  • Cooking/baking fall foods is also one of my favourite things to do!  After a hot summer of throwing together easy suppers that don't involve real cooking, I am DYING to make real things.  Fall comfort foods.  This week alone, I've done tomato soup & grilled cheese, and spaghetti.  I want to make meatballs and sloppy joes and big pots of soup and chili.  I want to bake pumpkin bread and beer bread and scones.  I want to eat ALL THE FALL FOODS!
  • As I mentioned, it's still been kind of warm out, but I've had days where I could dig out the leggings and cozy sweaters.  I'm still going bare foot as much as possible, but I can't wait until I can pull on those slippers and fuzzy socks, too.  Bring me all the HYGGE!!!!  
  • I am literally DAYDREAMING about Thanksgiving dinner.  It is so long between Christmas and Thanskgiving. lol  We've had a lot of family BBQ's this summer, so I've had my fill of burgers and dogs and summer fun stuff like that.  I'm ready for the turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy!!!
  • It's a small thing, but I love replacing all the Scentsy warmers in my house with season-appropriate scents.  All of mine are still filled with summer smells, but I plan to change that this weekend.  Pumpkin Roll and Honey Pear Cider will be coming out!
  • The crunch of the leaves under my feet.  I'm JUST starting to get a bit of that on my lunch time walks.  Isn't it just one of life's greatest little pleasures?!?
  • CAR RALLY!!! Easily, the best fall event EVER!!!  It's set for October 19th, and we have our time booked.  And I can't wait!!
  • It's also that time of year when I decide it's "fun" to spook myself.  Why?  WHY??  I don't know.  It's not even October yet, and I am combating the urge to watch scary stuff.  I burnt myself out on it last year big-time, so I promised myself that this year I would be more careful.  Not too much.  And stick to what I know.   It's why I chose Arachnaphobia for Scary Movie Marathon - because I remember it from my childhood, and I don't think it's THAT scary. But then my friend Caryl sent me something on FB about Freddy Krueger, and I said, "Would you believe I've never seen The Nightmare on Elm Street OR Friday the 13th?" And she couldn't believe it.  So that resulted in me ordering both of those DVD's from Amazon.  Also, I keep thinking I want to watch The Cabin in the Woods on Amazon (it's leaving in October, so it will probably be one of the first scary movies I watch).  And I ALSO have this weird desire to re-watch The Haunting of Hill House, the Netflix series that scared the bejesus out of me last year and had me fearing the bent-neck lady for months.  Why? WHY?????
  • I'm also resisting the urge to buy Halloween candy.  It started appearing in the stores about a month ago, and every time I shop, I'm tempted.  I keep reminding myself to wait until at least October.  So hard to resist those little chocolate bars!
  • And oh, how I look forward to Halloween!  And I even have my costume ready to roll!!  This is a record for me.  I'm usually scrambling last-minute to cobble something together, so I'm proud of myself for getting my act together early.  Now I can just sit back and get excited!!! :)
September, as I've mentioned before, is not one of my favourite months of the year, and this one especially has felt long and has been a bit of a struggle.  For that reason, I'm certainly celebrating the turn of the seasons, rejoicing in the cold-weather things that I love, and anxiously looking forward to turning the page on the calendar.  Bring on OCTOBER!! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thoughts on Thursday

  • I have come to the realization that I'm anxious for September to be over.  Because September makes me anxious.  It starts out with the back-to-school icks, and I don't like this in-between time when it's not really summer anymore but not quite fall yet.  Add to that, our student minister at our church is done his time with us at the end of the month, and I'm dreading the farewell.  I'm not a fan of wishing time away, but I would really like to fast-forward to October right now.
  • It's going to be 28 degrees out this weekend.  I think I whined about this earlier this week, but like, seriously.  Get the F out of here.  I had kind of anticipated a "warm fall" since our summer started late and didn't seem to last very long, but man.  I'm ready to wear all the cozy things and pumpkin spice it up.  I can't do that in shorts and a tank top!
  • Despite the warm forecast ahead of us this weekend, I'm absolutely delighting in seeing the trees start to turn.  Not a lot yet - but there's just this burnished reddish glow that's starting to seep in here and there.  The promise that "the big show" is just around the corner.  Nothing brings me greater joy than the beauty of fall colours!
  • Okay, that's not true.  My greatest joy is a thick, fresh, untouched blanket of sparkling white snow. But I can't be wishing for that yet, so for now, the fall foliage will keep me satisfied.
  • I think I have to put myself on another spending freeze.  It will be time for Christmas shopping again before we know it, and I here I am with no cushion built up in the bank account.  AGAIN.  Lately, it's been everything from jewelry (see yesterday's post), Tupperware, fall items for my wardrobe, yarn, and a Halloween costume.  My goal for next month is no credit card, no online shopping.  We'll see if I can tough it out.
  • So, as I mentioned the other day, I am currently watching the Netflix limited series "Unbelievable".  I'm still in the early stages, because when I sit down to watch it at night, I keep falling asleep.  (Not because it's not interesting, that's just what I do when I watch TV at night).  In any case, this series is only 8 episodes, so it won't be long until I am ready for a new show to watch.  Any recommendations?  Here are the candidates I've been thinking of:
    • Peaky Blinders
    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    • The Ranch
  • I might also have to stall these plans for watching a new show, though, because I just found out that Season 4 of Outlander is hitting Netflix in October.  Hellooooo Jamie!!
  • I'm struggling lately to maintain the few healthy habits I have.  I don't know if it's because it's darker in the mornings, but man oh man, I'm having a hard time dragging my ass out of bed to do my little half-hour workout in the mornings.  I've started giving myself a "pass" on Mondays, because, well, Mondays suck.  But the past two weeks I've also come up with excuses for Tuesday too.  ergh.  Add to that, I am CONSTANTLY craving junk food these days.  Cheeseburgers.  Pizza.  Subway.  Shawarma. Onion Rings.  Poutine.  Chips & dip.  Chocolate chip cookies.  McDonalds.  Thoughts of any or all of the above swirl through my head constantly.  Lord love a duck.
  • Can someone please explain to me why, as fall settles in, I get this crazy desire to watch scary stuff?  I DON'T LIKE SCARY STUFF.  And yet, here I am, on the brink of October, and starting to get that urge again.  I promised myself that this year I wouldn't do the scary, at least not as much as last year.  Last year, I burnt myself out on it and by the end of October I was literally frazzled and frayed from all of it.  So why am I compiling lists of scary things I want to watch in the coming weeks?  Don't do it, Jill.  DON'T DO IT.
That's all I've got for today, folks. It's almost the weekend!! Hooray!! :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

My Newborn Feathers Obsession

Let me start off by saying this:  Nobody asked me to write a review, or offered me anything in return for writing a review.  I'm just writing this because I have clearly become obsessed with a company and their products, and that's content for a blog post dudes!!

Early in the summer, a friend of mine invited me to an online party featuring the company Newborn Feathers.  They are a Canadian company that sells jewelry, specializing in geode earrings, but also offering designer earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc., all at reasonable prices.  I confess, when I first got the invite, my initial reaction was, "I don't NEED any new jewelry".  I planned to make a minimal purchase just to support my friend's party.  Then I checked the website and started jotting down a wish list.  It wasn't long before I had a list as long as my arm!  I was also lured in by their promo that if you spend $35, you receive a surprise pair of earrings 100% free.  How cool is that, fun surprise earrings for free?  So cool!!

(Free pair, which I think are 12mm bubblegum, 12mm Canada Day earrings, and two pairs of rose gold pineapples - one for me, one for my niece!)

After that initial order, I discovered their "Free Pair" promotion.  They offer all customers a free pair of earrings by using the code FREEPAIR, and all you have to pay is shipping & taxes.  That worked out to a pair of earrings for approx. $5.

Another awesome perk of this company is that if you create an account, you can earn points on all of your orders, for writing reviews, etc. and those points work out to a dollar amount which you can apply to any future order (cannot be combined with any other promo code).  It doesn't take long for these rewards to add up!!  I have already placed one order for free swag (paying only shipping & tax), and I already have another $20+ saved up!

So, needless to say, after partaking in several parties and placing several orders on my own, I finally took the plunge back in August and hosted an online party of my own.  After my initial request for a party, they set me up with an amazing rep named Jenn who put everything together for me; all I had to do was invite my friends.  After a week-long party where Jenn posted info on all of their different products and promos, my family and friends had placed enough orders to earn me ELEVEN FREE PAIRS of geode and crystal ball earrings!  I was FLOORED!!

(All of my FREE earrings!!)

You would think by now, I have enough jewelry to last me a lifetime, yet here I am, still - STILL - placing orders.  A few weeks ago I jumped on their back-to-school sale and ordered two more pairs of geodes.  Another friend had a party and I ordered again from her too.  And now another friend is having a party, and I'm eyeing a tennis bracelet... Also, on every order I've earned free earrings, so between the free pairs and the ones I ordered through my party, I also now have a growing stash to use as gifts.  How nice is it to have a little collection of earrings to have on hand to gift someone with whenever I feel like it? 

(12mm Mint for St. Pat's! - free pair that I think are 12mm Island - 8mm blue and 8mm saffron)

The 8mm geodes have been my preferred size, and I wear them almost daily.  I also have several pairs of the designer earrings - pineapples, dragonflies, and moon & star ear climbers are some of my favourites - that often get compliments.  They also have geode pendant necklaces, which are a beautiful way to complete a set as they have them to match almost all of the geode earrings!

(8mm Arctic, dragonflies, and free pair - I think 8mm turquoise, and the blush geode necklace)

If I wasn't already completely won over, here's a remarkable story from just this week:  Back in late July while I was on holidays, I spent a night at my aunt & uncle's.  I had packed my silver moon & star ear climbers in a travel case to have to wear the next day.  When I took them out, I had accidentally bent one of them in half.  (Easy to do - they are very delicate and dainty!)  I bent them back into shape, but obviously it was weakened, and then just this past weekend, when I took them out of my ears, the one that had been bent snapped in half.  I had heard that Newborn Feathers has amazing customer service, so I reached out on the off-chance that they might replace them for me.  In my email, I fully explained that it was my fault, so if it wasn't eligible for replacement, I would understand.  Less than five minutes later, I had a response telling me they were sending me a new pair free of charge!  How awesome is THAT?!?!

So obviously, without a doubt, I think this company and their products are AMAZING and I would recommend them to anyone.  My Newborn Feathers collection has grown ridiculously large, and yet, I am always finding more that I want to order!  I just found out last night that I won ANOTHER free pair through a friend's party, and I selected the 8mm Ruby geodes - my birthstone - because I think they'll be pretty to have for the holiday season.  I pretty much have a different colour and style to wear for every day for two weeks!  I just LOVE them!!
(Free pair - I think maybe 12mm Iridescent in rose gold, pearl flowers, and infinity bracelet)

So that's what I'm loving this Wednesday - and have been loving for the past several months!!  Do you have a Newborn Feathers collection?  If so, what are your favourites??

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Random Tuesday: Another "Life Lately" Post

I don't mean to let these long breaks drag on between posts, but it just... keeps happening.  Here, in no particular order, is what's been going on in my world over the past few weeks:

  • We've said good-bye to summer and started edging towards fall, for the most part.  I've gone through my "icky back to school time" and come out on the other side unscathed.  I'm not 100% sure why, but it didn't bother me as much this year as it has in past years.  I was preparing to enter crocheted items in the Shawville Fair for the first time during "back to school week", and I think my focus being on that helped distract me.
  • Speaking of Shawville Fair... it was a wonderful Fair, indeed!  Definitely got the worth out of my pass this year.  My niece Danica stayed with my mom and I that weekend while the rest of her family went to Trois-Rivieres for Caden's final ball tournament.  Dan and I hit up the fair every day, and spent time with various family and friends throughout the weekend.  I think she had a blast, and so did I.  Although I was totally ready for it to be over by the Labour Day Monday lol!
  • As for the crocheted items:  Most of you already know, but I entered 5 items (an afghan, a lap afghan, a baby blanket, a child's stuffy, and a crown ear warmer) for judging - and ALL 5 won first place in their classes!  Granted, three of them were the lone entries, so I didn't really think they counted, but people keep telling me that even if it's the only entry, the judges can still rank it in a lower position if they don't believe it is first-place quality.  So I was pretty tickled, I have to say. I'm already excited to get some new items done up to enter next year.\
  • By the last day of the fair, I realized I had somehow developed an "injury".  My tailbone was aching, especially when I was sitting.  The only thing I could think of that might have caused this problem was bouncing around on the rides at the Fair.  (The Himalaya, in particular, I found to be extremely herky-jerky).  For a few days, I was worried it would never heal, but thankfully, it did and I seem to be back to normal now.  Just another sign of getting old, I suppose!
  • The cooler weather had started to creep in, which had me super-excited for fall, but now the Indian Summer is upon us, it appears.  Hot temps coming up for the whole weekend. So much for the cozy sweaters and leggings.  I had kind of anticipated it, though.  Last Saturday I thought about digging out my fall decorations, and decided against it.  I think I'll probably be glad when I'm sweating my buns off this weekend that I don't have pumpkins and leaves everywhere.
  • The colder weather has also been rustling up that side of me that wants to hunker down, get cozy, and make fall foods.  I'm itching to get a pot of chili on the stove, a loaf of homemade bread in the breadmaker, and a pan of pumpkin bread in the oven.  But again, I think I have to stall those plans because... who wants to be "fall-ish" when it's 28 degrees out.  Blech.
  • Last Saturday probably would have been the perfect day to do a little fall cooking or baking.  While it wasn't super cold out, it was kind of dark and dreary and very windy for most of the day.  And yet, instead, I did absolutely nothing.  I read and I crocheted and caught up on Big Brother and watched episodes of 13 Reasons Why.  I also had a big long nap in the afternoon.  Nothing really productive to show for the day, but maybe, just maybe, I needed a day like that.
  • That day was followed by an outing to a retirement party for a family friend at the local Legion, and I admit, I didn't really feel like going.  I kept saying I was just going for one drink, and then coming home again.  As it turned out... the evening was such a blast!!  I definitely had more than one drink lol.  I had an awesome night visiting with friends and just hanging out, laughing and having fun.  I was so glad I went (and stayed!)
  • Headaches. ugh.  The past week has been TERRIBLE for my head.  I don't know if it's a weather thing or an air pressure thing or what, but my sinusy headaches have been off and on since last Monday. They are nagging, not migraines, nothing that puts me right out, but so so annoying.  They come and they go, and just when I think they are "gone for good", I get another one (like this morning).  Be gone with you, headaches!!
  • What I'm reading:  I finished Megan Miranda's "The Last House Guest" on Friday night, and just felt "meh" about it.  I LOVED her book "All The Missing Girls", which spurred me into picking up her second offering, "The Perfect Stranger", which I was only lukewarm about.  And now this one, I was even LESS enthused.  I was disappointed.  But then I started into "The Widow" by Fiona Barton and was instantly hooked.  I have no idea where this book is going, but I can easily blow through multiple chapters in a sitting, I love the author's writing style and I am thoroughly intrigued!!
  • What I'm watching:  As mentioned above, I had been watching the third season of 13 Reasons Why.  I was deeply disturbed by events towards the end of the second season (lets face it, the whole show is pretty disturbing), so I was interested to see how that would be handled in Season 3.  I finished it up on Sunday, and I was more than relieved there was no big catastrophic event like at the end of Season 2.  Last night, I started into the limited series "Unbelievable" that I keep hearing about, but I fell asleep before the first episode was over.  I'l give it another shot tonight.  Oh, and also, of course, I am caught up in the tail-end of this season of Big Brother.  I've been a Michie fan since Day 1, but felt really disappointed in some of his actions over recent episodes.  It's down to the crunch, and I can't wait to see who wins!
  • What I'm listening to:  There have been a few albums out lately that I've downloaded and enjoyed... Lizzo, Taylor Swift, but most of all, the country supergroup The Highwomen.  It's been a while since I last enjoyed an album from start to finish without wanting to skip over songs, but this one is amazing.  I definitely recommend you check them out!!
Well, I think that's all I have for today!  I hope you are all doing well & having a great day! :)