I just had the perfect weekend. I don’t mean to brag, but sometimes you just get that weekend sweet spot where you find the perfect mix of activity and lounging to leave you rested but not resenting the next day at work.

First, it helped that I had a 4-day weekend. Who doesn’t love extending long weekends with their last vacation day before year-end on May 31st. I had Friday off and Monday was a holiday and I had absolutely NOTHING planned.

My past few weekends before this one were jam packed with activities and driving. A few weeks ago I headed to my parents (about 2.5 hours away) to celebrate Mother’s Day with my lovely mom and last weekend my sister came home from Trinidad (!) and there was airport pick ups and driving home (again) and all around busyness. They were both wonderful weekends, but wonderful in the way that leaves you exhausted and totally unprepared for the week ahead.

This past weekend was none of those things.

On Friday, Matt and I took a spontaneous trip to our favourite conservation area – Mount Nemo – for a wonderful hike. The weather was gorgeous and we took the long, scenic way there which took us through a few cute little hamlets and past beautiful farmland We also saw an Aston Martin out for a drive, so that was exciting!

View from the top of the escarpment.

Matt exploring and me trying not to freak out that he’s going to fall and die.

Saturday night involved a night out dancing with friends. I danced my heart out and the aches and pains I currently feel are totally worth it. In other news, when did I get so old that a night out dancing results in days of an aching back and neck and a massive charlie horse that WON’T GO AWAY in my calf?

Sunday and Monday were spent taking lots of walks around the neighbourhood in between the thunder storms, watching Firefly and getting some housework done.

Overall, I started this Tuesday back in the office feeling refreshed and ready to work. It was a nice switch from the past couple weeks and I hope I can make it last for the whole week. Considering it’s a 4-day week, I think I can probably make that happen.


Wine and Love

Hosted and dreamed up by the lovely Nora of Walking with Nora.

Why I need wine this week:

  • All round, general crankiness and fussiness – I can’t pinpoint a specific cause, but it’s been a cranky/fussy week for me. It’s as if I’m walking around in jeans that are too small – the discomfort is so slight you can’t actually figure out what’s wrong but you know something is – except apply that to everything in my life this week.
  • The rain – this is perhaps the cause of point #1. Aside from the break we had tonight (thank the heavens!) it has been raining and gray all week. I can’t take much more of this.
  • The humidity – also related to point #1 and #2. Curly hair does not behave in humid weather and all this rain is cramping my style. I’ve already busted out the hardcore summer hair products to fight the frizz. And why yes, I do have seasonal hair care products. Doesn’t everyone?

What I have loved this week:

  • BBQs in the sun – it’s been raining pretty much all week but the sun peaked through this evening just in time for a BBQ at a friend’s place. Nothing beats sitting on the patio and enjoying some burgers.

Check me out being a BBQ queen!

  • This video:

For those that don’t know, I work in agriculture which makes this video a million times more amazing for me. We joke around in my office about covering everything in glitter and how much the farmers would appreciate that and now I have proof that they would TOTALLY love a bedazzled tractor.

  • The Hunger Games – as the next big YA series, I was totally expecting another Twilightesque book that sucks you in while making you feel ashamed because it’s so bad. But, it’s not! It sucks you in AND it’s a good story (so far, I haven’t even finished the first book yet. No spoilers!).
  • A 4-day weekend. Monday is a holiday and I’ve taken tomorrow off AND I have ABSOLUTELY nothing planned. I am beyond excited.

I think I’ve gone soft

I used to be an awesome traveler. But, as mine and Matt’s trip gets closer, I’m starting to second guess my travel skills. It’s been five years since I’ve done any travel that required a flight other than business trips and I think I’ve gone soft.

On business trips, I usually get put up in a posh hotel and I can often finagle AT LEAST one steak dinner out of the whole experience. But, for our trip to Europe, our budget is significantly smaller than my employer’s. We’re going the traditional young traveler route and staying in hostels most of the time. We don’t have a whole lot of spending money and plan on taking advantage of the kitchens in our hostels so we don’t have to eat out for every meal. We do have an apartment to ourselves for our stay in the Scottish Highlands, but most of our trip will be spent in bunk rooms.

On my last travel adventure, I spent 4 months in India and I grew accustomed to staying in accommodations that left a lot to be desired in the comfort, cleanliness and safety departments (also pretty much every other department, for the record). In once place in Pondicherry, we squished 5 to a room and everyone got bed bug bites. In another place in Rajasthan, I paid $1/night for a bed in a 12-bed room with one shower and a hole in the floor for a toilet. I also got used to squat toilets, carrying my own toilet paper and having showers using a bucket and a plastic cup (I even helped a friend dye her hair with this bucket/plastic cup method. Why someone would dye their hair while in India is a story for another day).

In fact, I once stayed in an actual shanty (sort of):

But, I have decidedly gone soft. Travel nowadays means business travel where I get my own hotel room in a reputable hotel with lots of fluffy white towels and room service if I so choose. I get a king size bed to myself and once, I stayed in a hotel that had those fancy sleep number beds where I got to play with the controller making the bed softer and firmer while I watched the Real Housewives of Orange County.

I had this view of Vancouver when I traveled there for a conference last year:

And now, I’m off to Europe and I don’t know how well I’ll handle bringing my own towels and bunking with 10 other people. I’d like to think I can still cut it and carry my backpack like a pro, but I worry that I like 400 thread count sheets and free wifi WAY too much for my own good.

But, I think getting a once in a lifetime chance to ride an old steam train through the Scottish Highlands (Hogwarts Express!!!), see Buckingham Palace and drink beer in an Edinburgh pub makes up for the fact that I may have to back some ear plugs and sleep in a dorm room.

Wine and Love

Started by the lovely Nora of Walking with Nora, here is my Wine and Love post for the week.

Things that have me reaching for the wine this week:

  • My productivity level – I have become way to easily distracted this week and my productivity level has taken a serious hit. This needs to stop. Apparently I’ve become a person who requires immediate deadlines to be productive. I need to work on this.
  • The fact that I don’t have a dishwasher – this doesn’t usually bother me, but this week, doing dishes has been the bane of my existence.
  • My car is dying. Not only that, Matt’s car is also dying, albeit more slowly. Word on the street is that cars are expensive. Ugh.
  • Blogging – I’m still struggling to get into the groove of this whole blogging thing. Hopefully I’ll find my way back again.

Things that I love this week:

  • Water for Elephants with friends – this movie is so sweet and definitely worth a trip to the theatre.
  • Animals with Stuffed Animals – this site is amazing and a big part of my declining productivity levels.
  • My sister is coming home TOMORROW – you may not realize how exciting this is if you don’t realize that for the past 6 (I think) years she has lived in the Caribbean and now she’s moving home! I’m pumped!

Wine and Love

The lovely Nora over at Walking with Nora has an awesome Thursday feature called Wine and Love. I decided to jump on board this bandwagon of awesome and join the fun.

Reasons I’m reaching for the wine bottle this week:

  • I’m beginning to develop an ear infection. It’s not full-blown yet and it’s starting to get better but it still hurts A LOT. I was under the impression that only 6 year olds got ear infections. I was wrong. Also, when you’re an adult with an ear infection, it is no longer socially acceptable to stamp your feet and whine “but it huuuuurts.” (for the record, it huuuuurts).
  • The weather. I work for a farm organization and when it does nothing but rain for days on end in the planting season, farmers aren’t happy. When farmers aren’t happy, I reach for the wine.

Reasons I’m smiling and loving life this week:

  • I found someone who is willing to go see Scream 4 with me. I have such fond (and terrifying) memories of watching the original movies camped out in sleeping bags in the friend’s living room whose parents didn’t care if we watched R movies that I can’t resist this movie for nostalgia sake. Also, who doesn’t like being scared (oh, apparently a lot of people).
  • I’m reading a great book that is slightly more refined than the trash I usually read. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trash (well hello, sexy vampire), but it’s nice to know that I haven’t become a complete heathen.
  • I started watching Firefly and it’s awesome! Who can resist cowboys in space? (oh, apparently lots of people, people that aren’t me).
  • My sister is moving home from the Caribbean in a week! I’m excited she’ll finally be living in Canada for longer than 2 weeks!
  • This is my second post this week! It’s too soon to say I’m back in the blogging swing of things, but this is definitely a good step!

It sneaks up on you

I have a problem.

Actually, I have many problems, but today we’ll just discuss the one. No need to overwhelm you with my inability to maintain a filing system or my ADD when it comes to my desktop wallpaper.

Nope, today, let’s tackle my inability to draw the line between ironic* love and real love.

As someone who enjoys humourous things (are there people out there who don’t?), I especially enjoy loving things ironically. It usually starts small with me jokingly using a funny word or me jokingly confessing my undying love for something weird. But, then it builds. And it builds. And it build some more until BAM! one day I full on actually love something totally embarrassing/inappropriate/lame/ridiculous/all of the above.

So here are some examples:

I used to HATE when people called each other baby. I made this hatred well known and I scoffed at anyone that used that word when not referring to an ACTUAL infant. In fact, I often used to tell people that “the only person that I would ever allow call me baby is Patrick Swayze because ‘no one puts Baby in a corner.'”

This hatred of the word made it all the more funny when I would jokingly call Matt baby. I knew it bugged him and I thought it was funny and it wasn’t a big deal until 2 years went by and now it’s a THING. As in, I actually use that word as a term of endearment. It’s not a joke anymore, it’s something that naturally comes out of my mouth when I talk to Matt (albeit, never in public because I still have some standards).

In a similar example, I started saying OMG as a joke because I thought it was absolutely ridiculous that people would actually say that. Now, it’s a THING that I say, often. I can no longer claim that I’m using it as a joke, we’re past that.

Or, how about the time when I ironically started liking Ke$ha. I thought she was the most ridiculous artist out there and I was dead certain she wouldn’t be any more than a one hit wonder. This certainty allowed me to drop my guard and embrace her insanely catchy single while still maintaining my integrity by laughing at the fact that THERE IS A DOLLAR SIGN IN HER NAME!

But, then she wasn’t a one hit wonder and she released ANOTHER catchy track. I had no problem bopping along in my car and getting my dance on to that second single. I still made fun of her $ and I saw past the glitter facade to recognize that she mostly clothed herself in garbage.

By the third single, I recognized that I should probably be ashamed of my poor taste in music and I tempered my listening enjoyment of her music by quickly switching over to something more acceptable like Arcade Fire or Mumford & Sons.

But now, there is no going back. I am a FULL ON Ke$ha fan and I can’t hide it anymore. It started as a joke and it happened by accident, but it is now the truth and I must embrace it. I LOVE the glitter, I LOVE the unicorns, I eagerly read all the latest gossip about her and once I even watched a YouTube video of a concert of hers (she has cannons that shoot glitter!). I still recognize that she’s probably not the most talented artist out there, but I can no longer deny that talent isn’t all that important when you’re covered in glitter and pumping out an awesome beat.

I won’t blame you if you judge me for these indiscretions. Just beware that this sort of thing can happen to anyone. Don’t let what has happened to me happen to you. Or, do let it happen because honestly, that music video with James VanDerBeek in it is AMAZING!

*I fully realize I am probably misusing the word ironic. Ever since Alanis messed with my head I’ve lost my grasp of the appropriate use of that word and I’m too lazy to look it up right now and confirm its proper use.


I’m sort of rusty with this whole blogging thing.

Back when I used to update this here ole’ webpage regularly, blogging came naturally. My day-to-day activities easily transposed themselves in my mind as posts. When funny things would happen or when I did stupid stuff, I automatically thought “this will make a good post.”

But, it seems I’m out of practice. I’m struggling to come up with things to write about and yet I desperately want to write again. It’s the worst kind of writers block. I’m hoping this blockage is temporary. Maybe I just need to accept that I’ll probably write some crappy posts until I get my groove back. I need to keep reminding myself that groove takes practice.

In the meantime, check out these awesome shoes I saw today. I want them so bad and yet I know they are absolutely absurd.

Someday, I’ll have enough bad ass groove to pull these off.

Hi There!

I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

I love chocolate but don't think cheese and cake belong together.

I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

If you want to chat, email me at clairesuzanne1 at gmail dot com.


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