Welcome to The Century Club!

Hey guys, guess what? This is my 100th Blog Post. No biggie. Just a life goal and landmark but you know, whatevs!!! (That’s what the title was about…not drinking 100 beer shots in 100 minutes…)

Being that this is my 100th Blog Post celebration day, I get to do whatever I want. Which means posting MORE CHRISTMAS PICTURES! Even though no one wants to see them anymore!

I promise, these are the last ones. It seems that everyone is now over it (Jamie wants to take down the tree tonight!) But I need to hang on for one more week. One more sparkly, happy, festive week and then it’s back to normal home decor colours and scents that are not “peppermint” or “gingerbread”. In all honesty, it won’t be so bad – I got lots of new non-Christmas Home decorations with my gift cards, so I get to play after the Christmas stuff comes down!

The first bunch of photos is from my annual “ladies only-ish” Christmas party where some lady troopers braved their way through the snow storm to come over and eat massive amounts of food, watch movies and exchange gifts. I look forward to this party every single year and this year it snuck it’s way in right before I got sick – very lucky.

The second bunch is from my Christmas in Kingston with my family! My parents got a new kitty named Inky, who is the best. She’s very cuddly and added even more excitement to the holiday. Even though I was a bit wobbly, I had a great time and it was nice to be home where my mommy could take care of me 🙂 So spoiled.

We had a fantastic Christmas dinner with my Grandparents and Uncle, his lady friend, Nancy and our family friend (and my old doctor), Roz! We also celebrated my Mom’s birthday and I spent New Year’s Eve with my parents. All in all, a TON of awesome family time which is a rare treat.

UGLY: Christmas is over, and I’m the only one hanging on to the holly for dear life. Also, I have to get up early tomorrow!

AWESOME: It’s been a really long time since I’ve spent so much time with the folks. It felt like University when you went home for a month! Also, new Inky and old Penny – I love visiting Kitties without having to actually take care of them 🙂

And here’s a special Christmas gift from me to you on this grand occasion!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

FORT FRIGHTENING TIMES OF SCARY THINGS!

When I went home for Thanksgiving last weekend, my family and I embarked on what has become a hilarious annual tradition. We attend Fort Fright at Fort Henry, where my Dad and I enjoy being mildly startled and amused and my mom practices deep breathing so as not to have a panic attack. Great fun for the whole family!

Fort Henry on a normal day is a pretty cool place where you can walk around the fort and dress up in guard’s costumes and watch the pretend soldiers re-enact the Sunset Ceremonies (where they fire rifles and cannons and march and play drums and flutes and whatnot). Educational and amusing. Good times. Anyone born in Kingston has been there at least once, most likely on a school field trip. But the BEST time of year at Fort Henry is October when they put on the best “Haunted…Fort?” I’ve ever been to. You walk around the grounds and inside the old rooms, exploring the already creepy fort, walking through scary displays with scary sounds, etc. But the scariest part is the actors walking around that stare at you or scream really loud when you walk by. Sometimes, they’ll be hiding around dark corners waiting for you so they can move in an ominous manner. For most people, this is creepy and startling and fun. For my mom, it is the worst invention of all time. She comes with us because she wants to make us happy, but truly, this is not her scene. This year, a zombie scared her so bad, she ran into a wall and lost her shoe. That is le fact.

So, if you’re looking for a super fun night time family outing, head on over to Fort Fright. And just remember: they’re not allowed to touch you.

UGLY: The clown zombie.

AWESOME: The father/daughter zombie team. She was 8. It was adorable and terrifying all at the same time.

Locks, Turkey Stocks and Two Soaking Bales (of hay).

Most of you know that I have a slight affinity for the autumn season. It has always been my favourite season, and I don’t believe this is an accident. I believe that I was raised with a healthy appreciation for the fall time.

When I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparent’s house for Thanksgiving. The drive from Kingston to Almonte was rife with auburn, red and golden leaves and even after we had arrived at our destination, we would set out again with my extended family for a “fall leaf drive”. This would result in an accumulated several hours of driving around for the express purpose of gazing upon the beauty of the season. Even after we began spending Thanksgiving at home, we tried to keep the tradition alive.

The fall leaf drive has evolved over the years – my dad and I head out for the drive early Thanksgiving morning, and at some point my mom decided she would rather stay home and make the Turkey soup (which we are forever grateful for). I’ve also become more prone to car sickness over the years so what once was a full day activity has been pared down to the better part of the morning. It’s one of the only traditions my dad and I have for just the two of us, so it’s a special event I look forward to every year. It usually involves coffee, nice radio music, a walk around somewhere lovely and contraband snacks like Ruffles chips and maple candy.

UGLY: Having to avoid winding roads for fear of barfing.

AWESOME: Maple sugar candy and the smell of wet earth 🙂

TIME CAPSULE DISCOVERY!

Attention everybody’s 10 year old self – the time capsule works. IT WORKS!

I just assumed that every kid who made a time capsule ended up either losing it, throwing it out accidentally (or on purpose if you have no heart or sense of adventure) or couldn’t wait and opened it three days after they made it. But this weekend, I came home for Thanksgiving and my mom told me she had found the time capsule I made when I was 10 in the garage. JACKPOT TIMES A MILLION! VICTORY FOR CHILDREN EVERYWHERE!

The most fun part is I have absolutely no memory of making it. I think I must have made it as a project for French class because there is a homemade French booklet that appears to predict my future from age 10 to 53. I also think I must have been instructed to include pieces of paper that explained all the items I included, because I don’t think I would have thought of that myself, and it was very helpful…

So now, I will walk you through all the exciting discoveries from my past:

This is the time capsule. It was made using a used Chicken Nuggets box.

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On the back, it instructed me not to open until 2006 (I would have been 20). Opening it in 2013 makes it that much better.

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Glorious memories!…?

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My address book. For a 10 year old, I was very popular – this book contains 5 phone numbers, one of which is my own house.

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She-Ra doll! This basically sums up my childhood. Also: THAT’s where my She-Ra doll went!!!

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This was a friendship bracelet and pin from my friend, Julie. Note: It’s an official document, as it was signed by Julie herself for authenticity.

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This is gross…

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On the back of this paper, I had taped a Werther’s Original…

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This is a “stuffed animal” I apparently made at Brownie’s. I’m convinced this is going to re-animate and kill me while I’m sleeping.

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POGS! Please note, one of my handmade POGs (yah…I had a POG maker…) reads “PPP POG GGG”. The other reads “Matt + Caitlin = <3”. Because love is ART.

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I do remember Bruce Coville being my favourite childhood author. He also wrote such literary masterpieces as “Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher”, “My Teacher is an Alien”, “There’s an Alien in My Underwear” and the “Space Brat” series.

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GAWD, MOM! Guilt trip…

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Apparently, when someone gave me a gift in 1996, I just put it in this box. That’s how much I treasured them.

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An Invitation to my 10th birthday party. I think I’ll be late…

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I understand putting the paper in to prove the date. I don’t understand why I included two articles: one about a Ford plant and the other about a stranger receiving military medals.

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This was the best part: a note to my future self. I won’t transcribe this verbatim, but the highlights are:

– “I have a major crush on Matt who lives across the street, but he is going out with my best friend Brandy-Jo Leslie.” (Future Self Note: she was NOT my best friend…)

– “I will now tell you all about my life right now. I will also make lists.”

– “Now I will tell you the kids in my class now. The ones with a black dot in front of them are NOT my friends. The ones with the red spots are my friends.” (Future Self Note: There are no black spots and I put a really big red spot next to my own name…narcissist)

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A comic book I started to write when I was 10 called “The She Devil”…it may or may not have been about an evil prostitute…

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This is the French book that was perhaps the start of it all.

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I’m pretty terrible with French, so I’m going to entertain us all by using Google translate to enlighten us to my 10 year old predictions for my future.

1997:

1. “I’ve been dancing 6 years” (Still dancing – WIN)

2. “I’ll be 10”

3. “I’m going to want a new teacher”. (BURN)

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2000 (13 years old):

“I’ll have beautiful clothes” (Wow, I was really shooting for the stars here…)

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2010 (Age 23):

“I’ll be at University” (Graduated at 20 boom)

“I’ll have a car” (NOPE, NO YOU WON’T…especially not one like the death trap in your picture, you masochist)

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2020 (Age 33):

“I’ll be famous”. (This might be the most heartbreaking news I have to deliver to 10 year old Caitlin. You are not famous. YET….come on, INTERNET!)

#3 is either “I’ll be loved” or “I’ll be love” (French people?). Either way, get a hold of yourself. I’d also like to note, that at age 10, I did NOT have glasses yet, but for some reason I really wanted them, so I’ve drawn myself here with “fake glasses” as if I would wear them without needing them. I’m also wearing a wig made of blonde ringlets? Who knows.

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2030 (Age 43):

Judging from the picture, my life is basically now over and I’m waving goodbye to good times.

I’ve also written “I’m going to ride”…into the sunset? And “I’ll be love” again. I was desperate for love, guys!

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2040 (Age 53):

I look like I’m bedridden here… I’ve written “I’ll be One Thousand”. Clearly, I was not doing as well in Math as I was in French. Or I knew that by age 53, I would have discovered the secret to youth and I will live forever.

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yyyyeeeaaaahhhhh

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There was also a really important looking letter inside an envelope…

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It was actually sealed, so I knew it had to be something very special and personal for me from me…

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The emotional rollercoaster that was this letter to myself is as follows:

Dear Caitlin, age 20,

When I’m 20 years old, I hope to be an actress, singer or cartoonist, maybe artist. Also at that age, I hope to be dating, engaged or married to Matt M. These are two things I learned to see your future: MASH tells your future in life and the other is to see your percentage of marrying a guy.

Number 1 – MASH: I will be married to David I will live in a shack, I will have 2 kids and I will drive a Limo.

Number 2 – “Matt loves Caitlin”: <gibberish math equation>. I have 65% of marrying Matt.

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I’m happy to know that even at a young age, I was concerned with the important things in life, and I had high and lofty goals for my future. Finding this time capsule has provided me with mental entertainment for years to come. I may even make another one which I will open on my One Thousandth birthday.

UGLY: Several of the things in this box were sticky…

AWESOME: Going through all this crap was sooooo fun! It’s also interesting because I’ve been thinking a lot about getting back in to Improv recently but I’ve been dragging my feet. Reading my life goals from when I was 10 reminded me how much I used to want to be on stage and how I thought it would be my whole life. It was like getting a letter from myself, telling me I should go for it. Weird. And awesome.

A New Year’s Recollection.

Hi Strangers!!

Sorry it’s taken me so long to update! Now that it’s been so long since I wrote anything, I feel like I have so much insignificant/very important information to share! In an effort not overwhelm myself and my memory, below is an account of some things that have occupied my brain since my last post:

– New Year’s Eve happened! Jamie and I were in Kingston and we had a lovely dinner with Brodie and Ashley followed by dancing (specifically dance battling).

– My Mom’s Birthday! Happy Birthday mom!

– I took down all our Christmas decorations and have been having fun thinking about normal house decorating. Wish I could visit Houston – a blogger lady who I’ve been following for years just opened a new store called Biscuit full of awesome junk: www.peppermintbliss.com
I’ve been getting inspired by all her crazy colour combos.

– I cut my hair real short and bleached it all! I’ve been thinking about making a change for a while (I’ve had basically the same hair for the past several years) so this weekend I took the plunge! It’s still a teensy bit yellow (we couldn’t do the toner because my scalp was unhappy with me), so I’m going back next week to make it even whiter! Betty White will be so jealz.

– Dance class! After the break, my super friend, Kate, told me about a dance studio near both of our houses. We tried a ballet class together which didn’t work out so great (the teacher was…unstable), but since then I’ve gone to a contemporary class and a Lyrical class which I love! I’m jumping in with both feet and joining the performance class so I’ll have a recital in April. Personal goal of the year: Try to take it seriously and not make fun of it. It’s really hard, though. There’s lots of “emotion”…

– I went on an amazing Value Village shopping spree. Among other things, I bought a Cristian Dior skirt for $6 and a sweater that has a bedazzled satellite on it…probably the best thing I’ve ever purchased.

Well, I guess that’s it till next time! I’ll try to post more often and with less weirdness…

UGLY:
My mom bought me an electric toothbrush for Christmas which is awesome, but it does not match the stylings of my beautiful peach and blue bathroom.

AWESOME: The DIY Electric Toothbrush cover that I made out of a can of cashews…That’s right, I’m crafty!!! So proud of myself…

Holiday Hiatus?

Weird post, weird week!

So, I arrived in Toronto to spend some excellent quality time with Jamie’s family and had a great few days. We went to the gym (once…), ate leftovers and terrible treats and most importantly, spent time laughing and being silly together. Jamie and I were planning on driving back to Kingston on Saturday to continue Christmasing, after Jamie’s uncle Phil had left. Come Saturday, my poor Mom and Dad called to say they were both very sick with a gross flu that EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS. Jamie was also sick with the cursed disease, so we hunkered down to spend some intense lazy, restful flu-cure time inside. I made it my mission to cure him of his ailments (and I was pretty happy to be doing nothing I have to say) and we had a great day of Upstairs, Downstairs (the new one), movies, ham and eggs, leftover turkey, and chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for dinner. It was actually the best. Unfortunately, I woke up today with the exact same symptoms everyone else had before they were launched into flu time city, so although I feel OK now, I worry it’s only a matter of time before the thing takes me down. So this pause in Holiday momentum has caused my brain to think that Christmasing is over, when in fact, it will start again once we get to Kingston on Monday. So I’m considering this weird limbo my Christmas hiatus.

During this hiatus of nesting and snuggling in blankets and tea, I also spent some time thinking about the current state of my apartment decor and how pretty it is now with all the Christmas decorations. Come January, I’ll have to put all the Christmas away and go back to real life, which makes me sad and in the market for ways to spruce. I started putting together a design board for my Living room, beginning with the elements I already have and know I won’t be losing any time soon: Brown couch (although less fancy than the one on my board), brown and beige walls, exact rug, exact bookshelves, brown dresser thing and ottoman. After I stuck in the basics, I started adding little accents that I know I either already have or can get for cheap. All of a sudden, I had this cool little design board which I’ve shared with you today, because for unknown reasons, I took absolutely no pictures in the last 4 days. I can’t believe I didn’t even document the chocolate chip pancake dinner. I am ashamed.

Ugly:
Forgetting to take bloggy photos! Throat burn, sniffle nose.

Awesome:
The recent days of extreme laziness have been amazing, despite my getting ill.
Even if I don’t end up realizing my little design board dreams, I had so much fun making it, I’m going to do the same thing for my other rooms!
Going to Kingston tomorrow for continued family time and New Year’s Eve shenanigans (hopefully neither of us will be too ill for shenanigans)!

Brown Living Room
Brown Living Room

Every train at Christmas is The Polar Express.

It’s almost over! Official Christmas has finished, but the honorary Christmasing continues…

I’m currently riding back to Toronto on the train with my good friend, Kate (a lucky coincidence!). I’m returning from an amazing Christmas with my family, only to come back to Kingston in a few days with Jamie in tow. I get to spend some quality Toronto Family time in Toronto and then I’ll be going back to Kingston for New Years (and my Mom’s birthday).

Christmas was awesome. It always is.

Christmas eve was our annual dinner at Grecos, a Greek restaurant in downtown Kingston where we always get a festive Saganaki (flaming cheese). Then we drive around looking for fancy Christmas lights (this year was disappointingly sparse) and return home for hot chocolate and stocking hanging!

Christmas Day was more goodness as usual. Cinnamon Buns and bacon for breakfast, opening stockings and presents and helping my mom with The Feast. The only difference this year was that my dad had the flu and after presents were done, he spent the rest of the day in the basement sleeping and coughing. Poor dad 😦 My grandma, grandpa, my uncle and his lady friend came over for The Feast and then it was over and it was time to play with my new toys! I mean…adult presents…

So today, I’m leaving the Kingston world of lazy Christmasing for the Toronto World of active Christmasing: Going to movies, going to the gym, going places in general. And I love my Toronto family, so I can’t wait! But I feel the need to stretch out my limbs first – I’ve been slothing for so long, my muscles may not remember their purpose…

Ugly:
Not much. The cold. Kingston is a cold, cold place.

Awesome:
Everything except the cold. My Forever Lazy came in super handy in Kingston, as the Forever Lazy philosophy lives strong there. Spending time with family, watching Christmas movies, eating chocolate, all the things. All of them.

The Annual Ladies Christmas Party: Eggnog Snog Blog

The title would imply that this blog is about kissing Eggnog in British speak. It is not. I lied.

This week has been pretty crazy work-wise, so I was very excited to let my hair down and host the annual Ladies Christmas Party this weekend. This party has been been an annual occurrence for the last 6 years at least, and it’s always the most festive, fun time with all the girls. Over the years, this party has featured Gingerbread Playboy Mansions complete with “The Girls Next Door” cast printed out and stuck on the plastic lawn, Christmas Tacos, viewings of straight-to-video Holiday Movies starring the Olsen Twins, gifted fart machines and infamous photos of all the attendees pretending to sleep or pass festive gas. Needless to say, it’s always my favourite Christmas event.

This year’s potluck festivities included delicious contributions of KFC, 4 layer dip, yummy strawberry salad, a cheese plate and puff pastries as far as the eye can see! And for the finale, Sara brought homemade cheesecake pops which were decorated all festive-like. We watched Love Actually and spoke in British accents and then watched Little Women and laughed at Claire Danes (sorry Kari!). There was an awesome gift exchange where we all stole and received gifts (which I did a terrible job of documenting…) and all left with fun presents!

This week is my last at work before the Holidays, and I’m hoping it will be less frantic and provide a nice, gradual transition into the break (It won’t, but a girl can dream). After that, it’s a trip home to Kingston to celebrate with Family and some Holiday time with Toronto family too. Maybe I’ll have so much free time, I’ll blog a little more frequently! WON’T THAT BE A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE?!

Ugly:

The “Forever Lazy” I received in the gift exchange. It might be ugly, but it’s philosophy is beautiful.

Awesome:
The cheesecake pops. And seeing all my ladies – Merry Christmas beautiful ladies!

Oh Hi, Ohio!

Congratulations Liz and Trent!!!

We have just returned from an amazing weekend in Columbus Ohio, where we were lucky enough to celebrate the wedding of Jamie’s cousin, Liz and her new husband, Trent.

The wedding was gorgeous, the reception was very lively and went on into the wee hours of the morning and the entire weekend gave Jamie and I a chance to hang out with his family – something we don’t get to do very often and always ends up being super fun.

We didn’t get to see too much of Columbus, save for the Marriott where we stayed, the First Congregational Church where the ceremony took place and the beautiful Franklin Park Conservatory where the reception was held, but the church was beautiful, the Conservatory was a pretty cool, unique venue and the Marriott was…a Marriott.

Both drives, the one to Columbus and the one back, were harrowing journeys through pouring rain, and I’m happy to now be relaxing and watching football on my gigantic couch – I need all the rest I can get after all that dancing.

Ugly:

This concludes our 2012 wedding season and I’m kind of sad. I’ve been to more weddings this year than in my entire life and I’ve really had an awesome time at all of them…I’m going to miss them…

Awesome:

Loved celebrating something so personal and special with two lovely people and their lovely family.
Also – Looking forward to a fun girly Halloween hangout on Wednesday and a romantic getaway next weekend with Jamie for our 7th anniversary. Fun things!!!!

The Circle of Life

So, I just woke up from a 3 week long coma!
That’s why I haven’t been blogging…because of the coma. Except somehow I appear conscious in all my pictures. It’s a miracle?

Now I’m just confusing you. I admit I have no good reason to abandon the world of blog except that I feel like I’ve been insanely busy. Maybe I actually haven’t been, but I feel like I have!

We are departing on our Europe adventure 7 days from today. 7 DAYS. I’ve been driving Jamie up the wall with my anal planning and stressing about the LEAST important things in history. (I’ve never worked so hard to buy a pair of shoes in my life). I think this stems from the fact that I consider this to be my first real sunny-time vacation. Ever. I’m sorry family, but 7 days in a minivan driving to and from the maritimes only partially counts as a vacation. This will be my first time outside of North America, my first time adventuring in another culture (Again, Halifax doesn’t count…) and the first time in I’ve ever taken this much time off work (unemployment doesn’t count, right? Not really a vacation…). So I’ve accidentally put all this pressure on myself to make sure it’s perfect. Which is silly. Jamie attempts to calm the crazy me but I don’t blame him for silently moonwalking out of a room when he senses I’m about to talk about YET another bathing suit option. I envy his ability to escape my brain.

So anyway, in the midst of sabotaging my relaxing vacation by turning all my muscles into searing pain balls of tension, I’ve taken loads of photos which have been patiently waiting in my camera to be rescued! These include pics from Jamie’s 27th birthday in April (Cinco de Mayo themed!), from Dan’s and my road trip to Kingston for Easter, Jamie and me trying out Barque (new BBQ restaurant in Roncy!), being athletic at the Spring Sprint for the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and my night out to see The Lion King with my lovely lady, Meley and her friend, Nameer. SEE! I HAVE BEEN BUSY!

I will post again before I leave to say Bon Voyage, but then I think I’ll be out for the count until June when I return. If I do blog, it means we’ve been befriended by Russian millionaires in France and I’m using their Wi-Fi.

Ugly:
WHY do I obsess over such insanity? I swear if you tossed me out a plane with a small backpack of necessities, I would be perfectly happy. But when given the opportunity to bring more, I must make the perfect decisions as to what is packed and what is not. It’s like I’m holding auditions at my house for who can come in the suitcase. Not everyone can come, and everyone has to write a 1,000 page essay as to why I should bring them, then I read all those essays and mark them based on a standardized system and only then do I decide what gets packed. LOONEY BIN MATERIAL. (I don’t actually do that…)

Awesome:
I’m giddy with anticipation. Europe is upon us.