Monday, November 30, 2015

Weekending

Hello, hello! Is everyone recovered from intense Black Friday shopping? We didn't go crazy, or step foot in a store for that matter. I took advantage of 50% off on the Old Navy website and we bought a new laptop online! Our current laptop is hanging on by a thread and is in desperate need of a replacement. I think it is close to ten years old.

I hope all my American friends and readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too! In Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and if you're interested (and want to know why we have it a month earlier), you can read all about it here.

Other than shopping and lots of football (hurray for another UNC win!), we scheduled this weekend to start the Christmas decorating. We put the tree up and despite only having it up for a couple hours, I can't remember what our living room looks without it. I love love love our Christmas tree.



We also put up our outdoor lights on the front of the house. We don't have a very large fa├žade since it's a townhouse but we hung lights around the garage and on our little tree. Since it gets dark so early now, I can enjoy them for just about half of the day!


This weekend I also attended my friend's baby shower. Her little girl was born about a month ago and it was so nice to spoil her with gifts and cuddles!


~

Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for her Weekending series!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Simply Me

Wishing all my American friends and readers a very happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you are all in your comfiest yoga pants, bursting at the seams with turkey and pumpkin pie. I would like to personally thank America for all the wonderful retail it has birthed and made available to me. I am already knee-deep in Black Friday (online) shopping. 

Today I am linking up with Liz from Sundays with Sophie for her Simply Me series. And this one is a way-back playback. 

If you didn't have chance to link up, feel free to leave your answers in the comments below. I really want to know if we have any of these in common!

Q: What was the first car you drove?  Are you still driving it now?
A: My mom's minivan. I learned how to drive on it and felt like a boss. I used to drive my friends around all the time in it because I was one of the first in our group to get a driver's license. Definitely not driving it anymore lol. Now I am researching the perfect family car. Suggestions are very welcome!

Q: The first dance you went to was?
A: My kindergarten had a mandatory costume dance. My mom made me a beautiful flower costume out of tulle that I totally loved. I wonder if there were any pictures taken of it. But my first dance that mattered was in grade 7. It was held during class time and the boys stood on one side of the room, girls stood on the other, and there were teachers everywhere. Once in a while, a boy would snail his way over to ask a girl for a slow dance. This I Promise You by Nsync was the hit song. Hearing it brings me back to feeling insecure about my height. None of the boys hit their growth spurts yet and didn't want to dance with the tallest girl in the class. It also makes me think of the smell of too much cologne and butterfly hair clips. The butterfly hair clips only came out for the most special of occasions. 
Q: What about your first job?
A: My first serious job was cashier at a grocery store. I was 16. At first I definitely felt like I had way more responsibility than I should be allowed to have. But I love that I started working at a young age because it taught me so much. It felt so amazing to earn my own money and to start my journey to financial independence. I might even still have my first ever pay-stub! 



Q: Tell us about the first phone you had?
A: My first cell phone was a Motorola phone that looked something like this. 2002. My mom bought it for me but I remember having to keep it a secret from my dad because he thought cell phones gave people brain cancer. A couple years later I was dying to get a silver flip phone like Cher Horowitz and got this beauty. This one had a colour screen and a camera! Wow -- searching the links for these phones brings me waaaaay back. 

Q: What was the first book you read? (an actual chapter book)
A: I think it was The Little Prince. I am pretty sure I understood none of it. Either that or one of the books from the Sweet Valley High series. I loved SVH! Anyone else? I texted my mom just now to ask if she remembered my first real book and she answered "I have no idea. You read a book a day. You were a reading machine and I couldn't keep up." 



On a final note, Fortunate House is finally on twitter! Click here to follow! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Today's Confessions

It's hump day and I am about to list off a bunch of randomness. Ready?


- I want to celebrate American Thanksgiving even though we already had Canadian Thanksgiving last month. I just want another delicious turkey dinner with family!

- I am jealous that our neighbours to the south have a short week this week.

- I still have some pumpkins on display at my house.

- Right next to the dead mums :(

- Like every other person on the planet, I am loving Adele's new album.

- I think I understand the rules of football about 98% but no matter how many times Mike explains what a "safety" is, it will never sink in.

- Someone is sharing their Hulu account with us and that's a big deal because it's not available in Canada so we need an American hookup. Thank you!

- I am obsessed with Last Man on Earth. Have you watched it? You must!

- The finale of DWTS was on last night but I didn't watch because I am about 4 episodes behind. I wonder how long I can go without spoilers... I really have to catch up!

- I won't let Mike be in the same room as me when I work out

- I haven't worked out in two weeks so that hasn't been a problem lately

- I have tons of items in tons of virtual shopping carts waiting for those Black Friday sales to hit!


Linking up with the lovely Alanna at Alanna and Company! Click on over to have a pee at what she's confessing today!



Monday, November 23, 2015

Poncho Love

I have a new love affair with ponchos. They are basically blankets that double as outerwear. Umm, could that be any more perfect? They keep you cozy, cover your behind, and hide everything you want hidden after that big holiday meal. I love wearing mine with tall riding boots, leggings, and a scarf. For the extra cool days, I throw on a pair of long gloves, like these. I have one that I wear all the time that's all black with some playful fringe but I am looking for an alternate or two.

Here are some cute ones I found online. And all under $100!


{1}  .  {2}  .  {3}


{4}  .  {5}  .  {6}


{7}  .  {8}  .  {9}

Which one is your favourite? I want them all! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Guys Behind The Blog: November

Mike is back! And clearly this month's questions were a perfect fit for him because he had a lot to say! It's all about sports. Sports are his passion.

This is one of my favourite link-ups. It is hosted by Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. It spotlights the amazing men in our lives by asking them a few light-hearted questions. I always love hearing from the guys! 

Ready?

Q: What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
A: Growing up in Canada, one would expect that I was obsessed with hockey and played hockey as per the stereotype, but I am not even able to skate. I can recall my dad, who played hockey, taking me to skate and I was just having none of it. Too cold and too slippery for me. My brother and I both played baseball and basketball growing up. Not coincidentally, those were also the sports we watched. We watched a bit of football too, but baseball and basketball, particularly college basketball tended to occupy our television. 

Because of a late growth spurt, I gave up playing basketball in high school. It didn't quite work playing a sport that required you to run fast and jump high when you were playing against people way bigger and stronger than I was. It was around this same time when I realized that I could throw a baseball fairly hard and pitching didn't really require me to be big and strong like basketball did, so I chose baseball. I took baseball very seriously and ended up playing collegiately and at the semi-professional level.

Mike, age 4 (1991)

Q: If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?
A: If I could lineup my ideal Super Bowl, the University of North Carolina would be playing either NC State or Duke and they'd be playing it at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill. Oh wait, you said Super Bowl, so I can't choose college teams! I don't have a team I really root for in the NFL, I mainly just watch players from my fantasy team and guys who played at UNC. This year, I'd say I'd want Green Bay to play the Patriots and play in an outdoor stadium in the snow. One of my favourite football players is Julius Peppers for Green Bay because I remember when he played basketball at North Carolina and I think it's pretty awesome how he was capable of playing for a Final Four basketball team and also be an All-Pro player in the NFL. I'd like to see him get a Super Bowl ring. As for the Patriots, I like how everybody hates them and think they cheat, but all they do is keep winning. I definitely wouldn't consider myself a Patriots fan, but I have a ton of admiration for how consistently good they are. 

UNC @ Pitt (October 2015) - read about it here

Q: Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
A: I feel like the summer Olympics are the "real" Olympics. When I think of the Olympics, I think of track and field, and the decathalon and events like that. However, as Canadian, I prefer the winter Olympics. Why? Because we are really good at the winter Olympics, and if the Olympics are about anything, it's blind patriotism. While I don't play hockey, I really like hockey in the Olympics, and we always have one of the best teams. If I could participate in any Olympic sport, it'd be baseball. It was removed from the Olympics a couple of years ago, but it will apparently be reinstated in for one of the next games. True story - I've played on the same baseball team as a few guys who played in the Olympics.
July 2008

May 2010

Q: What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?
A: My favourite food to eat at a sports party is definitely pizza. That's not really saying much since my favourite food to eat at any time is pizza, but I feel like it goes especially well with a big game.

Q: Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
A: My favourite athlete is a topic that I could probably write a 10,000 word paper on. Even though my all-time favourite team is UNC's basketball team, baseball is my true love, and my hero is Pedro Martinez. When I was old enough to start really following sports and when I started to take pitching seriously, Pedro Martinez was at the top of the baseball world. I don't want to bore you with statistics, but one could make an objective case that from 1997-2003 Pedro Martinez was the best pitcher in the history of the game. That he was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer pretty much adds credibility to that argument. But anyhow, Pedro was the best. Despite being thin and 5'10, he completely dominated a sport that was at the time dominated by hitters jacked up on steroids. And the best part was that I felt I could be like him. I was also small, I was also right handed. I learned how to throw the same pitches he did. My delivery and mannerisms ended up resembling his. I wore #45 just like he did. I wore the same Rawlings glove that he did. I travelled to Boston to watch him play many times, and flew to New York to watch him pitch in the World Series in 2009. In January of 2012 I flew to Boston to meet him at a charity event. I'm so sad that I can no longer watch him play since he retired in 2009, but there will never be another Pedro.

Twins

Mike flew to Boston just to meet Pedro! (January 2012)

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gift Guide: The Girly Girl

I have finally accepted that Christmas is here. And it has been here since November 1st. (Well, except for at Costco, where it has been here since August.) I can't avoid it anymore. It. Is. Everywhere. Some of my neighbours even already have their trees up! I prefer to wait to decorate until early December. 

But something I don't like putting off is shopping. We have already started buying some presents and it really takes the stress off the last minute craziness. I love looking at other people's gift guides because it really helps me with ideas of what to get people. And creating them is so fun too! 

I started with a type of giftee that I know best, the girl-girl. Why? Well because that's me. And I love everything on this list! 

1. Chanel Mademoiselle is my all-time favourite perfume. My signature scent, if you will. I have been wearing it for years and I don't plan on stopping any time soon. The pretty bottle doesn't hurt either.

2. Clinique Chubby Sticks. Great lip colour, great longevity, great selection. Highly recommended!

3. I have been googly-eyed for this Kendra Scott necklace for forever. And I am pretty sure I am the last girl on the planet to not own one of these. So I am batting my eyelashes in Santa's direction in the hopes that he might drop one of these off under my tree this year. 

4. I love quilted purses. This classic black, quilted cross-body bag is timeless and so beautiful! The blush colour is gorgeous too. Her name is Vivenna by Kate Spade.

5. We all know my obsession with Essie. It's my favourite brand of polish and their variety is huge! And I love a little sparkle for the Christmas season. The pretty bronze hue in the image above is called Summit of Style

6. The Hot Tools curling iron is my bae. We hang out almost on a daily basis. It never fails me and didn't break the bank. Win! 

7. I talked about these Old Navy lace-up flats here. I still wear them all the time because I love them and because I know the snow is coming and I will have to part ways with them for a few months. Comfy, chic, and there's aaaalways coupon codes for extra savings! 

8. Sugar Paper makes the prettiest stationary and these calendars are perfect for the cubicle gal. I know I am picking one up next time I'm in Target! I already got a pocket planner for 2016 and can't wait to use it! 

9. The truest girly-girl will likely be a fan of Lauren Conrad. She has been a style icon since her Laguna Beach days and is still going strong. Her books have tons of great tips on beauty and style. Oh and her blog is a great daily read too! 

10. Gift cards - Not pictured, but always appreciated! May I suggest stores such as MAC, Ulta, H&M, Norstrom, and Target! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

21 Day Fix - Done!!

That's right. I did it! 21 days of measuring food, counting calories, and working out. In case you missed it, I talked about 21 Day Fix here.

My last day was Nov. 9th. And in full disclosure, I couldn't wait for the 9th to arrive. I was pretty over it. And so was Mike. I'm sure if you ask him, he would say he missed having yummy food in the house and was pretty fed with my irritability and whining. But he was a trooper and supported me all the way. Which helped so, so much. There were days that I wanted to not work out but he encouraged me to march my butt upstairs and get it done. Towards the end of my three weeks, I know I got moody easily and couldn't be around any good food without complaining. There might even have been tears.

Let's get to the good part. The part that makes all of this worth it. The results. I'm sure you are excited to hear how many pounds I lost. Well... I didn't weigh myself before because I was too scared of what I would see. So I don't have an answer. Before you start, the plan wants you to weigh yourself, take "before" pictures, and measure parts of your body. The "before" pictures were also out of the question. What I did do is take my measurements.

Drumrolllllllllllll

I lost an inch off my waist and one of my thighs. Just one. Everything else was the same. I was definitely expecting something slightly more dramatic. I know it was only 21 days but I worked harder than ever before in my life and was hoping to see a little bit more reward. Womp.

As discouraging as those second measurements were, I know this takes work. And so I am sticking with it. That means I am taking a few days off and planning to restart on Monday.

Brace yourselves.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fall Scarf Exchange

I have been so excited for this since I found out about it in September.

A few of my favourite bloggers arranged a scarf exchange. Those lovely ladies are Elizabeth, Whitney, and Courtney. I have never been part of an exchange or swap before and I had so much fun! Basically you buy a scarf for someone and someone buys a scarf for you! And since I love all things fall and scarf season is in full effect, I signed up right away.

I got assigned to buy a scarf for Sarita at It's My Girls' World and I loved getting to know her through reading her blog and chatting via email. Turns out we are both Canadian gals that have a love for Target. I didn't really know of too many Canadian bloggers and this was a great way to meet someone more local and that gets the no-Target-in-Canada struggle! Check out what I got her here.

As for what I got.. Oh lordy was I spoiled. My scarf fairy was Chrissy (who doesn't have a blog but I loved emailing with her back and forth!)


I received the biggest, warmest, amazingest blanket scarf there ever was. I literally don't think I could have picked a better one for myself if I tried. It has quintessential fall colours and is seriously the softest scarf I own now. Despite the rather warmish temperatures we have been having in Ontario, I have been wearing it pretty much non-stop. It's so big and cozy that I may have also used it as an actual blanket once or twice too. Double duty!



Chrissy also very generously sent me a Starbucks Via Instant PSL. I will be celebrating the fall scarf exchange by having it today (and also because today is my first day after finishing the 21 day fix!) It's like she read my mind that I am as basic as can be and obsessed with PSLs.


She also sent me an air freshener from the company where she works. And I loooove it. To me it smells like fresh laundry. I have it hanging in my bedroom to wake up to that glorious smell. Oh and since everything was all neatly packaged, my scarf smell like it too! Bonus!


I totally feel like I hit the exchange jackpot. Thank you SO much, Chrissy! Your generosity is beyond.

I can't wait to see what everyone else got! This was so much fun!


Monday, November 9, 2015

Master Bedroom

We recently spent a little bit of time deep cleaning the house in preparation for the holidays and since things are tidy-ish around here, I snapped a couple photos of our master bedroom to show you where I wake up every morning.



This is our first house and I knew I wanted the master bedroom to be light and airy. While I love the dark, romantic style, I wanted a place to wake up that would make me feel energized and eager to start the day.



We went with white furniture, white linens, and pale mint walls. It's very feminine but Mike has pretty much handed over the decorating reigns to me and hasn't really complained since. As long as nothing is blocking the TV, he's a happy man.

Oh about TVs. The whole TV in the bedroom is a debate many people have strong opinions about. I am anti and Mike kind of pro but so far I am winning the argument. Our master bedroom is on the main level so our giant living room TV is just a few steps away. Maybe if we were upstairs, I would think otherwise? I don't know. I like falling asleep in a dark, silent, serene room. Where do you stand on the issue? Yay or nay?




Let me know if you want anything sourced!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Favourite: Lace-up Flats

I know that the really cold temperatures right around the corner but since we have been blessed with some absolutely gorgeous weather these past few days (and most of you are south of me anyway), I wanted to share one last non-winter item.

These shoes:


I have been obsessed with them the minute I took them out of our community mailbox. I ordered mine a while ago from Old Navy but they still have them online and I think in-store too. They are super comfy and really melt into your feet after a few wears.

Oh, and I lost count of the number of compliments I received while wearing these!

The laced-up trend has been everywhere and I really hope it continues into the spring. I will be sad to part with these shoes for a few months while the white stuff graces the ground.

Go get them, ladies! They're on sale right now!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FH Travels: Pittsburgh (October 2015)

We recently took another roadtrip to our favourite close destination: Pittsburgh. Yes, we go all the time but it never gets any less fun! 


This time we went solely to see a college football game. University of Pittsburgh was hosting University of North Carolina. And in case you're new here, Mike bleeds Carolina Blue. And I guess you can say that he is successfully turning me into a UNC fan as well. 

We had dinner at Jerome Bettis' Grille for dinner on the North Shore before heading over to Heinz Field. Because of the 21 Day Fix, I stuck to salads and grilled chicken throughout the whole trip. Roadtrips are usually when we go all out on the bad food. Krispy Kreme, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks are all regulars when we travel but sadly not this time. I'm drooling. Can you tell I'm ready for this to be over? Ah 6 more days. Ok enough about food.


The game was SO much fun! We donned our best (and warmest) team attire, sat in the UNC section, did the fun cheers, and watched the Tar Heels win!







The band is one of my favourite parts of any college sporting event and the Pitt band really showed up! Their half time show was Back To the Future themed (even the car was there!) and it was SO good! UNC's band and cheerleaders also made the trip and did a great job too! I can never praise these people enough.



After the game we joined in the Tar Heels tradition of singing Hark the Sound with the fans and players. It was the best part of the night! Everyone was pumped from the win and joined together in a moment of unity. I love traditions like this.




Walking back to the car I snagged a couple gorgeous photos of the Pittsburgh skyline. It takes my breath away every time, day or night.

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The next day, we made the obligatory trip to Target. Have I mentioned how much I miss it in Canada? I bought this sweater (so cozy!) for myself and a bunch of makeup. I think I exercised a lot of restraint. One of these reindeer sweaters almost came home with me but I am trying to hold off on the Christmas themed purchases for now. Christmas was everywhere in Target already! In October! Cray.


Another favourite part of the trip was driving through some newer residential neighbourhoods. I love exploring and seeing how new developments look in different areas. Mike and I picked out our favourite houses and noted some of the differences between those and the houses in our neck of the woods. I think I was a real estate agent or architect in a previous life.

So that's about it for this little trip. We probably won't be back until after winter when baseball starts up again. See you sometime in 2016, Pittsburgh!