2014 in review

Happy Monday!

Sure, it may already be five days into the new year, but I really wanted to do a 2014 recap. I had noticed last week that all I saw all over social media was how 2014 was an absolute shitfest, or “the worst year ever”. I refrained from expressing my opinion of that at the time, but as I looked back through some old blog posts from throughout the year, I realized that for me, 2014 was the total opposite of a bad year.

Sure, it had it’s truly awful moments. Like, rock bottom awful. The winter of 2013-2014 truly was the worst winter have had since I was a kid. It lasted from November to May (seriously, we had a blizzard in MAY), and it just plain sucked. The best distractions proved to be photo taking adventures (there’s no denying snow is the prettiest), award shows (recaps are my FAVE posts).

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Guys, I miss this beautiful face so much.

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In March, I set off on my very first travel adventure with my best friend. We had ten sunshine filled days exploring Vegas, we went to a fan convention, we saw the Grand Canyon. We drove ourselves from Vegas to LA. I saw the entire cast of Parks & Rec (including Amy Poehler!!) in person. It’s with this trip that I officially fell head over heels in love with travelling.

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April was filled with training for my very first 10K race, being teased by the weather with the idea of spring. May brought my first 10K. More photo adventures. The usual. May was also the celebration of my first year of blogging.

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eight

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June and July consisted of the most schoolwork/studying I’ve ever done in my life. If I had to pick a low point of the year, I’d probably choose the majority of July. July saw many a mental breakdown, tears, not enough sleep and way too much coffee. However, as all things tend to do, it passed.

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I had the entire month of August off from school, and I took advantage of it fully. I spent as much time as possible outside with my friends, teaching riding lessons, biking, riding ponies, visiting the beach, playing SO much softball, and generally enjoying time off. I fulfilled a childhood dream at the end of August when I got to see Shania Twain live in concert in PEI ( front row!!) . PEI weekend was by far my favorite weekend of the summer.

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In September I turned 22, and finally fit into that damn Taylor Swift song. I celebrated with my favorite people in the entire world, and couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. Ariel and I won a 20K bike race we had trained over the summer for, and I think I forgot to blog about it. Oh, and I started school again. (Booooo).

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October brought ALL THE FALL THINGS! However, the end of October was another low point as I suffered the loss of one of my dogs. I miss my sweet Rosie every single day, and I don’t think I’ll fix that piece of my heart that broke when she passed.

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November brought the trip I’ve been waiting for since as long as I can remember. NEW YORK! It really, truly was a dream to finally explore that city, to see Broadway shows in person made my musical theatre heart burst with happiness. I’ve had the worst kind of wanderlust ever since I got back.

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Then we have December. Which consisted of ALL the Christmas related things, multiple viewings of Frozen, drinks upon drinks upon games of cards against humanity with my favorite people, and a lot of schoolwork.

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2014, you were overall a great year. I learned a lot about myself. I did things I never ever thought I would get to do. I was inspired by new friends, overwhelmed by the love of my old ones, cried a lot, watched a lot of telelvision, surpassed a lot of physical goals, and survived the tough times.

the first week

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It’s rather ironic that I ended my last post with feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time, considering I have most definitely experienced every single one of this emotions during my first week of being 22.
Monday was wonderful( first pumpkin spice latte of the season.) Tuesday I found out my dog has cancer. (Cue ALL the tears.) On Wednesday the little girl who takes riding lessons from me gave me a birthday card, and it made my whole day ( she’s 7 and a big ball of sunshine.) Between school and work I pulled a 15hour workday on Thursday. ( asleep by 10pm.)  On Friday I made dinner with Ariel and we contemplated life together (we determined we will be dog ladies together. No boys allowed.) Saturday I worked (ugh) and then all my friends came over and we got a little drunk, acted like teenagers, and generally had a damn good time ( my friends are kind of the best.) Sunday I watched a whole lot of Parenthood ( I’m an entire season behind.)

That was my last week in a nutshell. I’d like to thank everyone who left sweet comments on my Instagram post where I announced my sweet Rosie’s diagnosis. I’m not a crier, as in I absolutely hate crying, but this past week I’ve shed tears every damn day. I am happy to say that she is doing all right for now, now that she is eating again she has a lot more energy, but you can tell she’s just not her complete self.

On that note, here’s to a brand new week. Hopefully one with less tears!!

How was your weekend? Best part?

How do you cope with an animal passing away? 

a love letter to the ocean

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“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.”

― Isak Dinesen

 While the above quote may be one of the most well known and perhaps overused quotes, it is still one of my absolute favorites, because I believe it to be true. 

Maybe it is because I have been lucky enough to grow up, and have spent my entire 21 years,  surrounded by the ocean that I am so fascinated by it. There is nothing quite as simultaneously beautiful, mesmerizing, and intimidating as the ocean. I love the smell of the air as you travel closer to  the coast, the smell of the salt water and fresh air mixed together in the wind. I love the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. I love the way you can see for what seems like forever in the distance when you look at the ocean, like there is nothing past it. I love the way the ocean can be so seemingly calm one day, and yet  the next it can be angry, violent, and threatening. I love the feeling of diving into the ocean, headfirst in to a wave. I love the feeling of coming back up to the surface and feeling the sting of the saltwater in my eyes. I like how the ice cold temperature of the ocean makes me feel clean and refreshed.

 I’m scared of the ocean because it is mysterious – it is impossible to tell what lies in there. I fear the ocean because it is unpredictable and unforgiving, it will not hesitate to swallow you up. I’m intimidated by the ocean because it is really difficult for me to wrap my mind around how truly huge it is. All in all, these fears are outweighed by my love, and I respect rather than fear the ocean.

There is something about riding my bike for miles along the coastline with my best friend that makes me feel utterly happy. That distinct saltwater and fresh air smell is present the entire time, the sun is beaming down, and hearing seagulls and light waves along the shore makes me feel calm, relaxed, and consciously aware of my heart pounding and my muscles screaming at me as we bike up the winding roads and hills. The little beach houses nestled in the hills, all with ocean views make me wish I lived there, and could see those views every day. The tourists milling around the lighthouse, our destination, make me smile because I’m so happy they are experiencing the beauty of my little town. Sitting on the giant rocks that surround the lighthouse, staring at the ocean, my mind blank except for a single thought: I’m so happy. 

Okay, maybe that thought was actually I’m so fucking happy right now, but that didn’t seem as deep. 

Anyway, point being that I had one of those so- called Aha! moments. I realized that even though even though everything may not be perfect ( faaar from it ) in my life right now, I’m okay with all the imperfections. The imperfections are what makes it interesting. And in that moment I realized I was truly happy, and it proves that I don’t need perfection to be happy. This realization, coming from a self proclaimed, life long perfectionist, is kind of a big deal. 

So yeah, I would say that the ocean, while it may be a bit of a stretch to say it cures anything, it damn well helps me in more ways than one. 

weekend in Halifax

Happy Monday everybody!

What. A. Weekend. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I took a little road trip up to the city ( Halifax) with Ariel from Thursday – Sunday. It was an awesome weekend, and even though I have a to-do list the length of my arm ( am I the only one that happens to when you get home from a road trip?) I’m going to take you guys through my weekend!

We left for Halifax on Thursday afternoon. It’s about a three and a half hour drive to Halifax from where I live, and it was pretty uneventful. I hate driving though, so I consider myself pretty lucky that Ariel really likes driving, so she split the drive 50/50 with me, even though she just got off a 12-hour night shift a few hours prior! 🙂

We got to the city around suppertime, grabbed some food at Pita Pit ( I really, really wish we had one where I live!) And then we went for a nice long walk at one of my favorite places in the city : Point Pleasant Park.

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Point Pleasant is a large dog park/ walking trail park in the city that is a nice change of scenery from the concrete and buildings of the city. If you take a less traveled path, you can get right on the water like Ariel and I did. It was an absolutely beautiful evening, and Ariel and I sat on the rocks watching the sailboats and listening to the waves hitting the shore for a good hour or so. It was an awesome way to start the weekend. As you can tell from our cheesy grins, we were pretty happy!

We then headed to meet up with our friend whose apartment we stayed at, and I got ready to go out to meet a friend who I hadn’t seen it awhile. It’s always nice to catch up with friends, and I got back to the apartment around midnight, before crashing hard on the couch. 

Friday morning we all got breakfast with the aforementioned friend at this amazing vegan restaurant/cafe called The Heartwood Cafe. I actually went there both Friday and Saturday, it was that good. They don’t have many breakfast/ brunch options, and only serve them on the weekend, so on Friday I got the black bean/quinoa burger and it was the best veggie burger I have ever had, hands down. Unfortunately I forgot to snap a photo, but I did get a photo of my vegan waffles from Saturday’s brunch there!

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One of my favorite parts of visiting the city is definitely the extensive food/restaurant options. I just love good food, and I must say that Halifax has a really wide range/variety of different restaurants. I have barely touched the surface of the options available! 

We spent most of Friday shopping ( the shopping in my town is terrible, so when I shop in Halifax, I mean I SHOP.) Friday evening we went out with some of our friends to a house party, before parting ways with them as they went to a rave and we went back to the apartment to relax. Shopping is exhausting to me, and spending the night being pushed around by high, sweaty people in flashing lights and loud music just wasn’t something I felt like doing. I’m extremely old, I know. 

Saturday brought more brunch, shopping, and wandering around the city with Ariel. We went to the public gardens, which is another one of my favorite places in the city.

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On Saturday afternoon, the list for GISHWHES was released. I mentioned GISWHES in my previous post, but in case you didn’t read my last post, GISHWHES is this giant, week long international scavenger hunt that my friends and I are participating in. The list of things we have to do/ find is absolutely insane. For example, this is one of the tamer to do items on our list:

Assemble a puzzle with a minimum of 50 pieces in one sitting. The video must show the box with more than 50 pieces and then you putting the puzzle together. For ease of assembly you must be wearing wool mittens or gloves throughout the assembly of the puzzle.

Thus, Saturday night Ariel and I ordered pizza, made a quick trip to the liquor store, and spent Saturday evening brainstorming ideas of how we can accomplish these tasks, with some Mindy Project for background noise. I love simple nights like this, and this scavenger hunt is definitely testing our creativity, so it was a really fun night in!

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Sunday morning we packed everything up, and headed home after grabbing some iced coffee. The drive back home is always kind of depressing, the weekend seemed to fly by so quickly! However, I am glad to be home and eat normal food again. As much as I love trying new restaurants in the city, my body always thanks me when I return home to my normal diet. I’m still dreaming about those waffles though. 

On Sunday evening we got together with our friends to knock off a couple items off the scavenger hunt list, and it was kind of crazy. I’ll probably mention the scavenger hunt a few times this week, as it will be a major part of my life this week. I’ll leave you with one final picture, of my friend sporting a fashionable TP dress, as was necessary for the scavenger hunt! Creative, no?

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What did you do this weekend?

Have you ever done a big scavenger hunt before?! 

that one time i disappeared

Hey Guys!

It feels like forever since I’ve been here. Probably since it has been forever. I can’t believe its been since Canada Day that I have managed to post. 

A week ago today I finally wrote my last exam of the semester. I feel as though I mentioned how stressed out I was in every one of the very few posts that I have managed to write over the last three months, but I will say that it was by far the most stressful exam period I have ever been through. It’s hard for me to explain just how much of a toll it took on me, but let’s just say I finished writing my last final at 12pm and I was already doing this by 2pm :

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It’s crazy to me how different I feel now that I have finished. I had gotten so used to getting dangerously little sleep, little time with my friends, studying for 8 hours a day on top of 6-8 hours of  normal work four days a week. Burning the candle at both ends much? 

This past week has been my first real week of summer, and this past weekend especially has really helped me out of the deep, dark hole that school stuffed me down into. 

One particular moment this weekend really resonated with me. I went to the beach with one of my good friends. It was the first time this summer I had made it out to the beach during the day to go swimming. It was quite windy, so the waves were awesome. Even though the water was absolutely freezing, I had the most fun I have had in forever jumping and diving in the waves with my friend. I felt like I was 12 years old again splashing in the ocean, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, inhaling the smell of the salt water, and feeling the sun on my face – I felt alive. Until I got so numb from the cold water I couldn’t feel my toes.. but that’s besides the point. 

Even though the past few months have been far from enjoyable, it was all worth it. I reached the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s always darkest before the dawn, right? The bad stuff makes the good stuff that follows it that much better.

I’m really excited to get back to regular blogging again. I was going to post last week, but felt as though I really needed a complete mental break to recuperate. I’m still trying to catch up on blogs myself, I read almost next to none during the month of July and I feel so far behind!

I was going to do a July recap within this post, but I think I will save that for tomorrow. Thank you for not abandoning me! I’m going to strive to be a much better blogger from here on out, and I have quite a few post ideas swirling around in my head! 

What have I missed?! Tell me something exciting about your weekend!

letting it all go

Truth: Last week was really difficult.

The kind of difficult that leaves you completely and utterly exhausted come bedtime, yet leaves you sleepless because you just cannot turn your mind off.

I had never been so happy that it was Friday. I feel like I say that to myself every single Friday, but last Friday I truly meant it.

It turns out pulling 16 hour study/work days on 6 -7 hours of sleep a night are only possible for so long. Some people can run efficiently on 4-5 hours sleep, but I am most certainly NOT one of those people.

Coming up to this weekend I had no plans other than to plow through some more schoolwork. More essays, more lab reports, more studying. There’s always more. Until the moment on Friday night when I realized I hadn’t seen a single one of my friends all week. I hadn’t done anything fun since ball on Tuesday. It was right then and there that I decided I needed to, for lack of better words, chill the fuck out.

I have a tendency to get extremely stressed out near the end of school semesters. Like, ridiculously stressed out. I get so wrapped up in everything  that is happening that I completely lose it. I’m really great at dealing with stress, and you can see 😉

So this weekend I let it all go. I escaped to the woods with my friends. No cell phone service. No schoolwork. Just good friends, nature, and live music.
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On Sunday, the hottest and most beautiful day we have had in awhile, I got a lot of work done. But, I also let myself go biking with Ariel. And had dinner with my family. And ended the beautiful evening with a kayak on the lake.
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I don’t remember the last time I felt that relaxed and at peace. The past two days made a world of difference. It’s Sunday evening as I am typing this, and I feel oddly relaxed and ready to kick the upcoming week in the ass.

And as always, I am forever thankful I don’t work on Mondays. So, so thankful.

 

Are you good in stressful situations? What is your favorite way to relax?

Did anyone go see The Fault In Our Stars this weekend? How was it?! 

make the choice to be happy

 

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this is what i think of when i think of happiness

 

As I grow older, I am coming to realize that in order to be happy, you have to stop letting others determining your happiness. I am the kind of person who, when I care about someone ( whether it be friends, family, significant other), I will do absolutely anything for them. I will put their needs above my own, in order to guarantee that they are happy. This isn’t to say I am some kind of saint who always brings happiness to everyone around her. I can be irritable, unhelpful,  and ungrateful sometimes too. But I really, truly care about the happiness of those around me. I like to think of this as mainly a positive thing. However, it has some not so wonderful consequences, as I have learned.

Not everyone is willing to return the favour.

And that’s  100% okay. No one owes me anything. I used to think they did. But now? Now I am the wiser. I do this by my own choice, it is a choice I make, and I cannot expect everyone to do the same all the time. Lowering your expectations is not the worst thing in the world sometimes.

However, for awhile I was really letting it get to me.  I began relying on other people returning the favour in order to feel happiness myself. I was literally letting the choices other people make determine whether or not I was going to be happy that day.

And that’s just silly.

I am truly a believer in the idea that happiness is a choice. It is a choice you have to fight for everyday.( Thank you, Carrie. )  Sometimes ( and at some points of my life, most of the time) it is not the easier choice. It is a struggle, to allow yourself to be happy. To choose to take the best out of the negative things and turn them into something positive. Sometimes I lose that internal battle inside my head, and I lose sight of happiness for a bit. I let sadness, anxiety, and fear cloud the brightness. I’m human, it happens to the best of us, right?  In fact, I think those not so wonderful feelings are necessary in order to really appreciate the wonderful feelings of true happiness. The most important thing I have learned is how to fight back against those negative feelings and let happiness break through those dark clouds. (Terribly cheesy analogy, I know)

The way I see it is, everyday I give myself a choice. If I feel myself getting pissed off about something, or if something shitty threatens to make my entire day turn shitty I think to myself:

“You can either let yourself feel crappy about this today. Or, you can choose to be happy, and let the shit go.”

I try to give myself some perspective, and realize that the tiny, mudane little annoyances that creep into my day really won’t matter in the long run. I’m never going to look back ten years from now and think ” Oh man, I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be happy so many days in a row!”

I seem to have gotten off my original track. The thing is, that choice I was talking about, the choice to be happy? Yeah, that choice is YOURS. YOU have to make that choice. You cannot let someone else make that choice for you. It’s disrepectful to yourself, and putting whoever you are letting make that choice for you on a pedestal they needn’t be put on. You cannot expect someone else to always have the time to make good choices for yourself, it is not their job. It’s yours. Make that choice for yourself, and then use it to help make others happy too.

 

It should be noted that when I say “you” here, I’m basically talking to myself. This is all just one big, rambly, word vomit reminder to myself to stop being such an idiot and BE HAPPY.

It also feels really good to have words flow out of my fingers for the first time in forever.

SO,

with that, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I love you. Be happy.

(I’m such a cheeseball, I can’t stand it. )

playing catch up

Happy Monday!!

It’s been awhile since I’ve really talked about what’s happening in my oh so exciting life so I thought I would take this lovely Monday and do a catch up/ photo dump. Lucky you guys! 😉

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First off, let me start by saying how freaking awesome it is to have all my friends home. It’s weird to me that I now have plans nearly every night. I’m used to coming home from work, doing horse chores, and then watching TV most the night, with Ariel if I’m lucky. The past two weeks though? Ice cream dates, evening walks with a bunch of my friends, movie nights, it’s been awesome. Last Saturday I had a bunch over for drinks/ games. I feel pretty lucky that my group of friends agrees with me that playing card/board games at someone’s house is their idea of a wild night. If you’ve never played Cards Against Humanity before, I suggest you get your hands on a game and play. Unless you are easily offended, because it gets hilariously offensive at times.I already have plans for this coming weekend for Fishbowl Friday and a big birthday party on Saturday night, PLUS my other best friend is coming home for the weekend!

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The self serve frozen yogurt place in my town FINALLY opened up. This is a major life event for me.  The damn “coming soon” sign has been up since February, and I had been disappointed every time I drove past it, until last week when it finally opened. It is a pretty small place, and while it doesn’t have the options that were available in the shops I went to in Vegas & LA, it’s good enough that I have already been twice since it opened. Ice cream is one of my favorite parts of summer, to be honest, so since I have eaten ice cream probably 5-6 times in the past two weeks, it finally feels as though winter is truly over. Thank. Baby. Jesus. I also learned that posting a picture of froyo on Instagram will get you an oddly high amount of likes.

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This photo is completely unrelated to running, which is what I want to talk about, my Rosie is just so cute and fluffy I had to post it. On Saturday morning I did my last 10k run before my race. I did it in almost the exact same time as the last one, which was honestly kind of disappointing. I started out really strong. The weather was perfect (or so I thought), and I was rested. I think what ruined me around the 7k mark was I didn’t have water. It was my first long run in the sun/warmer weather and I could feel myself getting dehydrated around the 5k mark. I had to take a couple walking breaks (which I didn’t have to do last time) because my mouth was so dry. I’m assuming there is going to be water stops along the way in the race itself, but I will probably (begrudgingly) bring my hand held water bottle just in case. Two weeks until the race, and I’m already nervous. Eeek. I think that this race will be the deciding factor as to whether or not I want to start training for a half marathon. Some days I’m super motivated about it, and then after Saturday’s run I was questioning as to why the flying fuck anyone ever puts themselves through the torture that is running.

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Pony picture spam! People on Instagram also seem to like photos of horses flipping their upper lip up. It’s something Pearl does every single time I go to put her bridle on. I’m not really sure why she does it, but it’s funny. I also find it funny how she likes to nap with her head resting on the ground. My other horse will lay flat out on her side, and sometimes when I look out at her, it looks like she’s dead and it scares the shit out of me.

Anyway, Saturday was so beautiful outside I had to ride. I had planned to ride Friday night after work as well, but I couldn’t muster the energy up. Which makes me feel so old. I remember when I was in high school I would come home after a day of school and ride all three of my horses. Now I’m lucky if I can manage one in a day. It was great to spend some time in the barn on Saturday though, it’s my happy place. Horses are much better listeners than humans. And they still love you no matter what you tell them.

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Sunday evenings are my favorite. After a busy weekend of running around (literally), schoolwork, friends, etc. I like to go for a walk, just me and my puppies, and think. Sunny, warm spring weather helps. The last few weeks have been so overwhemingly busy ( I feel like I am always saying that but it’s true) that I was starting to feel a little run down. I love being busy, and having plans with friends all the time, but I’ve always considered myself an introvert, as I start to feel really tired if I don’t take some time to myself a couple times a week. A walk, catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, and an earlier bedtime on Sunday evening left me feeling like a new person this morning.

As for blogging goes, I feel like I am still in a major slump. I can’t write anything for the life of me lately, and it is so frustrating. I intended to write the rough draft of this post last night, and I just sat and stared at a blank screen for a good half an hour before giving up. The words aren’t coming to me lately. I’m hoping I snap out of it soon!

 

That’s all I’ve got for this morning, lovely people! Have a wonderful day 🙂

How was your weekend? 

How do you beat writer’s block/ lack of creativity? Help!

currently…

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Hey guys!

I’m alive. I kind of disappeared last week, I know. I just felt as though I needed a break from blogging. I find myself occasionally getting stuck in a mindset where I feel as though I have to post everyday, or that I have to think of something good to post about everyday. I felt as if lately I haven’t been able to produce anything I’m happy with, and that lead me to feeling super frustrated. Which I realize now is the silliest thing in the world. So I took last week off, and it was great. I spent a lot of time with my friends, doing things like in the photo above ( laughing, a lot). And now I’m back!

I saw this ” currently ” post on a blog I am currently obsessed with, Breanna Rose. I thought it’d be a good way to ease back into it this week. So, here is what I am currently….
MAKING this blog post!
COOKING chickpeas, onion, tomato, feta, Greek dressing. Tupperware lunch!
DRINKING H20
READING a book called Stiff, it’s about human cadavers. I’m not a freak, I swear. It’s SUPER fascinating and is a NY Times best seller so I’m not the only one who finds that shit interesting!
WANTING the rain to stop and the sun to come out.
LOOKING taking a break from looking at my physics textbook.
PLAYING the Blogged 50 Indie playlist on Songza!
WASTING time checking social media. a really, really bad habit.
SEWING hahahahaha. do I seem like the kind of person that sews?
WISHING i had unlimited amounts of Tim’s iced coffee.
ENJOYING a rest day. Why have I not taken Mondays off from exercise before?
WAITING to pick Ariel up from her wisdom teeth surgery.
LIKING that all my friends are home.
WONDERING if my client’s will show up at work today. Worst part of my job is relying on other people so much.
LOVING last night’s episode of The Good Wife.
HOPING it’s nice enough to go running outside tomorrow.
MARVELING Scandal season finale, which I watched again last night. Also, Parks & Rec season finale. Holy. Shit.
NEEDING a nap ( or more coffee )
SMELLING breakfast.
WEARING jeans & a shirt. Also known as my work clothes.
FOLLOWING my to do list. I find it helps when I actually write one down instead of relying on my mental one.
NOTICING it is freezing in my house.
KNOWING I really, really hate physics.
THINKING about tomorrow’s post.
BOOKMARKING blogs on blogs on blogs. Making up for last week?
OPENING the fridge.
GIGGLING at Scandal bloopers.
FEELING Anxious, because I have to find a First Aid/ CPR course SOON.

What are you currently ? Answer a couple for me! 🙂