26 February 2012

February's Top Picks


While it's a short month, February has been a busy month!  I've been on the road and am excited that March is finally around the corner because I will be heading north to see Dave!

Here are the top picks for February...I hope you enjoy!

These look delicious...I see a brunch with the husband happening very soon!

Lots and lots of this in February

Working on that French!

My hours go here...

I want this book

Vinyl Cafe...it is my weekend indulgence.

These stories, too.

A must-watch for everyone...become aware.

I want to go on this trip.


This gal is FIERCE.

I dream of kayaks.

Hope you had a month full of love!

25 February 2012

The Snowdown Throwdown: Moose Jaw vs. Chicago!


Let's talk about winter...more specifically...let's talk about snow.

Snow in Moose Jaw 

Think shards of ice that hit you in your face while being thrown about by the prairie wind
Super-dry and flaky
Does not make for good snowballs or snowmen
Drifts like crazy 
Eventually gets packed down on the roads until it forms a thick layer of ice 
that makes it impossible to drive

Snow in Chicago 

Wet and super-heavy
Like big cotton balls that fall from the sky
Great for snow angels and snow forts
Turns to slush right away as it hits the ground
Eventually gets swept away by ice trucks that traverse the city 

In addition to that, the way snow is handled in these two places tends to be very different.

Reaction to snowstorm in Moose Jaw from forecasters:

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're sorry to inform you that a snowstorm is going to occur tonight.  Please be careful as we are expecting some accumulation*.  Take caution when driving and stay warm!  Sorry!"**

*Meaning FEET, people!
**Have I mentioned that Canadians apologize for everything?  It's lovely.

Reaction to snowstorm in Chicago from forecasters:


***Meaning a DUSTING, people!

Yup.  That about sums it up.

If you want to experience a real winter, head north.  They greet -50 temperatures with the same matter-of-factness as having to do laundry on the weekend.  It just happens.  

Needless to say, I've been disappointed in Old Man Winter this year.  
I'm a sucker for a snowstorm of the century.

22 February 2012

For the Love of the El

I've been absent.  In Florida, then in San Antonio...both for work.

I'm trying to catch up...but the blog is suffering.

So, I leave you with some city views.

Ok...just views from the El.

On my way home from the airport, these are usually the sights and sounds I am surrounded by.  Which,  I'm just saying, can be quite the bummer after being on a beach in Florida or running along the Riverwalk in San Antonio.

That being said, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the magical El of Chicago.
I mean, seriously.  It's a pretty impressive public transport system.

We are lucky to have it.

See you soon!

09 February 2012


Bonjour! When I was in high school, I took French lessons. We lived only an hour away from the French border and would visit often enough that I became relatively good at speaking the language without sounding utterly pathetic. Fast forward some years later...I no longer live near the French border, but DO live - at least part time these days - in a country that is officially bi-lingual with English and French both spoken across the country.

Recently, I've found myself longing for the days of speaking a second language.  And so, last night, I found myself in the awesome space of Chicago's Alliance Française.  A wonderful bastion of French culture throughout the world...right in the heart of Chicago.

Last night they had an open house.  I invited my awesome friend, Sarah, to come along...knowing she would be the perfect companion on my trip back down language memory lane.  The Alliance shared a quick introduction with us and then we were treated to a half hour basic French lesson.  It was fun to see everyone in the room trying it out and even more fun listening to Sarah repeat a sentence in English with a French accent.  The night continued with French bread, grapes, cheese, wine and a chance to try our hands a making crepes!  We toured the Alliance's library and médiathèque and overall had an awesome evening together!

We have plans to go back for more of their events and I am thinking about taking French lessons again.  I would love to be in a classroom and channel my inner francophile while wishing I was Amelie and having style like this (which I so, so don't).  Ahem.  While that is all true, the main reasons are that I love the language and that it just makes sense.  I SHOULD know how to speak both languages if I am going to fully embrace my home in Canada.  

Also, don't you have to sing the Canadian national anthem in French for the citizenship test?  Eep.  Maybe I should get voice lessons instead!

Colours of France


Perfecting the crepe flip

Beautiful Sarah enjoying the crepe and jam!

08 February 2012

Watch This!

I love TED talks...but, I LOVE this TED talk in particular.  

It's amazing.

I think we are all on our own journeys to find joy...each and every day.

05 February 2012

January's Top Picks

New for 2012!  I'll be sharing some of the favourite things I've found on a monthly basis.  As I was on the road, I'm getting started a bit late, but hey...that's okay!

Here's the January rundown...

I want to stay here

Just saw an episode of this and can't wait to watch more

Finding peace and quiet...oh...and joy!

Goal for this fall

Pure grace

Already planning for this year's holiday festivities

Saw this and can't wait to see this

I want to run in these

Let's get another take on history...reading it now

Traveled here in January

Heard this poem

This blog

Topic Number Seven: This "Seven Topic" Attempt


Ahem.  So.  I wasn't able to do what I wanted to do with this "Seven Topics in Seven Days" experiement.  However, I've learned something along the way. 

The real number seven topic should be:  let go.

I wasn't able to do seven topics in seven days.  It just wasn't possible.  Work had me traveling to Florida, I was sick and other things were just needing my attention.  And...

That's okay.

As I move through this life (every day at a seemingly accelerated pace), I have to learn that not everything - even something as simple as blogging - is worth stressing over.

I think this is the biggest lesson of all.

It's a short topic day, but I think it carries a lot of meaning.

Happy letting go, everyone.

01 February 2012

Topic Number Six: Love and Marriage


I am a lucky gal.  I know that for a fact.  I managed to find someone who is the yin to my yang, who supports and encourages me, who has patience beyond all imagination and who is truly an inspiration to be around.  All that being said, there was a time when I was known as saying "I'll never get married and I for sure will never have kids!"  Heh.

First lesson of marriage...never say never.  I've made a lot of proclamations in my day and saying "I will never get married" is just the tip of the iceberg.  I never thought I would be out of consumer debt - Dave and I will be out of consumer debt as of this month!  I never thought I would live anywhere other than a big city - ahem, hello Moose Jaw!  I never thought I would wind up with someone in the military - the Canadian Air Force is a great community of people and places to belong to.  Needless to say, I will now never say never.

Second lesson of marriage...it is work.  However, it is work that should be enjoyed.  Dave and I really like working on our marriage!  Whether it is Skyping every night across the distance or having those really hard conversations (ya know, the ones that are really intense and deep -- particularly after some disagreement of some sort) we truly value the other person and the work it takes for us to stay together.  And, when I say "value the other person," I mean everything about that person -- their quirks, their opinions and even the way they load the dishwasher.

On that note, the third lesson of marriage...dishes can tell you a lot about a person.  Supposedly the forks, knives and spoons get placed in the dishwasher handles down.  According to Dave.

I digress!

Fourth lesson of marriage...stay open to anything and everything.  If this adventure is teaching me anything, it is to expect the unexpected.  That being said, I think we enjoy that.  It's what makes us able to handle the military life the way we do.  It is what allows us to function (and function well!) in a long-distance marriage.  It is what allows us to see the world as one big playground that we can explore.  If we are open to ourselves and one another, we have the ability to see, hear and do things we never thought possible.

Fifth lesson of marriage...there are always more lessons!

To all the marriages, partnerships, relationships and friendships...may all the lessons be good ones!

Happy love, everyone!