Friday, November 30, 2012

You Call That Christmas Spirit?

Is it just me or does it just not feel like Christmas as much as it did as a kid?  The magic of the season is slowly disappearing for me, until actual Christmas day, when presents are ripped open, belts need to be undone from food consumption, and family gathers for the special holiday!  I've been feeling like a real Grinch lately.  Maybe it's because it will be December 1st tomorrow and I still don't have our Christmas tree. We have no decorations up at my house, and worst of all NO SNOW.  Now, I normally am super psyched to have no snow until MUCH closer to Christmas, but there is something about snow that adds that touch of magic.  The first snow fall that actually sticks, I watch as it transforms peoples moods from surly to pleasant.

So in order to cheer myself up, I decided to do a few things this season that I normally wouldn't do.  I have decided that I will watch as many Christmas movies as I can, because they almost always have Happy Endings. I watched Elf the other day and that was such a good life decision.  It made me want to listen to Christmas music and make a snow angel.  I have also decided to do a BUNCH of Christmas baking!  Mostly to eat myself, but also to give away as gifts to people at work.  I also really want a nice Christmas photo of Yuta and I.  In the almost 3 months he has been here, we still have yet to take even 1 photo of us together.  So this Christmas, that's really all I want.

One more thing to get me in the winter spirit is to go snowboarding and sledding.  I finally have my OWN snowboard back from Japan and I can't wait to hit the slopes! My friend also told me about a place just past London that offers winter tubing.  You know those big tubes that you tie to the back of a boat?  Yep, those ones.  Except down a giant hill instead of on a big bed of water.

What do you do to raise your Christmas spirit?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

One Of Those Days....

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the one where everything just goes wrong and you just want it to be over?  It doesn't matter what day of the week it is, you just wish it was friday....or maybe saturday, cause on saturday there is no work (for most people) and you can lay in bed and not move except to eat and go to the bathroom.

I had one of these days yesterday.  It was not pretty.  It started with me having some bad dreams about being late for work, and then when I got to work it was pure chaos.  Me and my team just couldn't get it together.  We were dropping everything, everything out front was running out, and people through drive thru just didn't want to co-operate.  I also had a verbal altercation with a "special" man who usually comes to Tims Hortons.  I just wanted yesterday to be over.  And I'm glad it is now!

I'm a pretty optimistic person, so I'm going to look on the bright side of yesterday.  We were only $1.06 short for the day, I went home to pizza in the fridge and my fiancée on the couch, and the possibility to just go to bed and forget today ever happened.  The bright side of today is that yesterday is over.

So here's hoping all of you have a better day today than yesterday, and a better day tomorrow than today!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Frugal Femme Fatal

So I'm sitting here, drinking my candy cane hot chocolate, thinking, DAMN...I'm really early for work! Today was a day where I decided to be a bit frugal after driving Yuta to work.  He worked at 10 and I worked at 11, so I thought I would look all cool and go sit with my laptop and my drink my faux coffee.  All I needed was a croissant and a tiara, and I would be the modern twist Audrey Hepburn via Breakfast at Tiffany's.  But I'm getting off on quite a tangent! Today, I wanted to talk about Christmas on a budget. I personally don't see the need to spend $700 on Christmas when I can make something that will mean a lot more to someone than something store bought.  Also, if you're like me, and want to feel like a money saving superhero, then listen up!

I've been on a really big "homemade fabulous" kick.  I've been scouring all the websites looking for cheap home/handmade gifts for people that don't necessarily look homemade or that basically don't look cheap or like a cop-out.  I've found a couple of really great things, like an adorable felt key chain, or easy DIY necklaces with some glitter, pendants, and sealant.  the possibilities are seemingly endless for what to make!  Now, a lot of stuff I've seen require at least some knowledge of a sewing machine, of which I have none.  So if you're like me, and want some no-sew ideas, check out  I just did a review of FoodGawker, which has the same idea of shared food-related items vs the homemade universe of craftgawker, which is why this name might sound so familiar to you.

I have found quite a few things that are homemade that could go into an awesome "winter survival kit", since I have feeling with it being so warm now, we are gonna get one hell of a winter. One of the items is a Handmade Hand Warmer, found here at
Another thing is this big chunky scarf,, cause maybe knitting or crocheting is your thing!  Most of these designs on the site come with a free pattern, so free not if you're artistic ability is minimal.  There is also a recipe for handmande soap!  This site has everything you could possibly want to make someone for Christmas!  So head on over now and look for yourself!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Jingle All The Way

With Halloween officially over, it seems only appropriate to get a jump start on the next holiday that will surely creep up faster than we want it too.  That's right, I'm talking about CHRISTMAS!  A time for spending way to much money on toys for kids, when they are only going to break in an hour. A time of waiting in maddening lines, as long as the north pole itself, and a time for wondering what the hell you are going to get your friend/mother/significant other for that special day.  Yuta and I decided to get a head start on shopping for this wonderful season, since we have to ship some packages to Japan, so we packed up our bags (and our wallets) and hit the nearest Toys R Us and local mall.

We hit up Toys R Us first, in an attempt to get the shopping for his little brothers out of the way first.  But once we were inside that damned store, the pretty colours and noisy sounds took over our brains, and I think we spent more time looking at all the different things they had, rather than looking for presents for his family.  But once the shiny ball syndrome wound itself down, we were able to focus on finding gifts.  Yuta told me that his brothers really liked some Marvel heroes, like Iron Man and Thor, so we headed for the avengers section!  Holy crap was there a lot of stuff crammed into 1 Avengers aisle!  Is it bad that I wanted to play with half of the stuff more than his little brothers did probably?  The hard part here, is finding something that doesn't have any English words coming from it, but they obviously speak Japanese.  Yuta found some Annoying Orange items that are popular in Japan, as well as an Iron Man light-up-with-sounds helmet for them.  Done and Done.

Next stop, Devonshire Mall for his sister and mother.  His sister, Kaoru, apparently loves Phineas and Ferb, and the show is really popular over there right now.  The last time we were in the mall, we looked in Spencers and saw that they had some Perry the Platypus shirts and a plush backpack, so we headed there first, and bought her stuff quite quickly.  Unfortunately, we didn't find anything for his mother yet.  Hopefully inspiration strikes soon.

With a quick pit stop in HMV, I decided to get another special gift for one of my friends whose main present she already knows about and will be receiving soon, because you can't NOT open a gift on Christmas.

With our purchases in hand, we decided that we had spent enough money and we headed home.  Here's to finishing our shopping early, and being able to enjoy this holiday season in peace and harmony!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nihongo wo hanasemasu?

Do you speak Japanese? No? Don't worry about it! Neither do I.  But I'm learning.

I was having writers block so I posted on facebook for my friends to offer suggestions.  Responses that came back are: Write about learning a new language, and to do a WHOLE post in Japanese!
While I really don't think that writing a post in Japanese 20 minutes before work starts is such a good idea, I will have to go with writing about learning a new language.  Maybe next time Tim!

So a lot of people are probably wondering why I picked Japanese in the first place.  Well it's simple really.  I've always loved Japan, I lived there for a year and developed an interest in it, and my fiancee and all his family are Japanese, so it's really a tool of convenience.

I've been in a class with a great teacher named Tim for about a year and a half now, and I've learned so much!  We've made it through an entire beginners book and will start on the 2nd book in a few weeks.  I'm not gonna lie when I say that I am terrified and excited all at the same time.  A new books means more knowledge, but it also means more things that I could possibly forget, plus more grammar and vocabulary!  Yikes!

Some are wondering if Japanese is anything like English.  Here's the thing.......yes and no.  It's sometimes similar, and sometimes way off in left field to my brain.  The writing system is one of those way off into left field things.......The Japanese have 3 (yes 3!) different writing systems.  Hiragana is loopy and the writing system learned first (ひらがな), Katakana is used for foreign words and looks a little more harsh (カタカナ), and then there is Kanji (愛), which you can see on the lamp post just above.  It's quite complicated and was adapted from the Chinese characters. These are the hardest for me to learn and it's quite a slow process.  While Yuta says I don't really need them, and can just ask what things say, I personally, still want to learn, so that I can write letters to my friends or whatever, but do it properly.  You can't half ass learn a language.

I've been trying to speak Japanese more with Yuta around, but I still find I am very nervous when I speak it, even with someone I know so well.   I guess this just means that I need to study more and learn more vocabulary!  Anyone wanna give me a few good study tips?