Make your Own Adventures

Categories, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve been craving adventure or at least a change of scenery lately, so today I decided to go somewhere. Until this morning I had never been to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It is quaint, quiet, picturesque, and the perfect place for a little day trip. There are plenty of shops, a wonderful bookstore, great restaurants, and amazing ice cream parlors. The houses are the most beautiful houses I have ever seen. Some of them were built as early as the 1700s, with lush gardens and overflowing flowers. A walk down Queen Street will clear your mind and make you breathe a little better- it is a breath of fresh air in the most literal sense.

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We had lunch and drinks at Cork’s and went for a lovely stroll down and back up Queen Street. My favourite store was the bookstore and obviously I purchased a few books. The older woman working there looked like a librarian from a 1950’s film, comeplete with blonde hair, red lipstick, wire-rim glasses, a lovely pearl necklace, and a soft yet stern voice. She was simply delighted when I walked up to her to purchase two books, Bridget Jones’s Diary and The Man Who Loved Books Too Much. I cannot wait to read them!

Next time I would like to spend the weekend there, visit a vineyard, and maybe check out a spa! Niagara-on-the-Lake was just the change of scenery I needed!

I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far!

___
Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Posted from the HTC One

Being Honest with Yourself.

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

You make a decision when you’re eighteen going on nineteen. You’re stubborn, adamant, and you actually believe that you’re right. You try to find yourself by getting rid of everyone, and you do. You become relatively confident, you grow, you learn, you change. You become more self-assertive, passionate, and different. You’re happy with the person you’ve become and then BOOM, you realize there’s something missing. You feel an immense sense of guilt for the decision you made all those years ago. You know that there’s no turning back and guilt is useless but you decide on something new. You decide to allow changes to happen, to flow freely with whatever winds decide to pick you up and carry you, to stay true to yourself, and to trust in the idea that people come into your life for a reason.

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I’m sure you understand that this “You” is Me — I’m the girl with no regrets but the one above. Granted, back then it felt justified, I thought I would never know who I was if I was always with the same people. You are who you hang out with, right? Wrong. You are free to choose who you want to be. I think I was just looking for a fight, a rebel without a cause. How fast the years fly by, how naive and angry and shy was I. And so to right this wrong, my stubborn-mule tendencies have to dissolve. We’re all different people now, we’re grown up strangers, with a shared past, and all the time in the world to get to know each other again.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

The Rosie Project [Book Review]

Book Reviews

I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion after discussing it with the wonderful Marketing Assistants at HarperCollins Canada. They spoke very highly of this book and I could tell by their smiles that they were genuinely in love with it. I purchased it the following day and finished within twenty-four hours. Think of the best Chick-Lit you’ve ever read being told by Dr.Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and you get The Rosie Project. 

A first-date dud, socially awkward and overly fond of quick-dry clothes, genetics professor Don Tillman has given up on love, until a chance encounter gives him an idea.

He will design a questionnaire—a sixteen-page, scientifically researched questionnaire—to uncover the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver. Rosie is all these things. She is also fiery and intelligent, strangely beguiling, and looking for her biological father a search that a DNA expert might just be able to help her with.

The Rosie Project is a romantic comedy like no other. It is arrestingly endearing and entirely unconventional, and it will make you want to drink cocktails.

I related to Don Tillman on an intense level — his OCD, his social awkwardness, his constant scheduling was too real for words. His “Wife Project” became so much more than he thought it would. At the age of forty Don changes on an immense level, he relaxes, he erases the whiteboard, and he learns how to take a chance every once in a while. All of this because of Rosie — the one woman who likes him for who he is, the very same woman who would never in a million years pass his “Wife Project” questionnaire, ends up saving his life.

Just be open to something different. Let me show you my world for a couple of days. Starting with breakfast.”  (Page 223)

I was truly touched by this wonderfully quirky, well-written novel. I completely understand all of the hype that has surrounded it for the past little while. What’s more is that it’s not the type of novel that you can read and simply forget, it gets inside your bones. I smiled, I cried, and allowed myself to get completely lost in Don’s Life Project. I love the idea that you can change at anytime, that all it takes is for one person to show you what you’ve been missing to truly be happy. I love the notion that you CAN have the best of both worlds — being yourself and trying something new.

I told myself that the changes it (The Rosie Project) had produced were worthwhile, even if tonight I failed to achieve the final objective.” (Page 292)

Have you read it yet?? What did you think?!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo 

I thrive best hermit style

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

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One of the best pieces of advice (or scorn) my mother ever said to me was “You can’t be a hermit all your life, Vanessa!” To which I always replied by going to my room, closing the door, reading a book, and not coming down until dinner. I disliked people, I hated how no one listened to me, I avoided going outside simply because I hated smelling like fresh air, I hated the beach simply because the sand made me itch, and I was the kind of kid who would read a book inside on the couch instead of outside at the cottage with my family. Why? Well, I was a shy kid, the kind of kid who kept quiet, the kind of kid who felt uncomfortable whenever I left the house, whenever I was in a big crowd.

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I’m either growing up, changing, or taking my mom’s advice and putting it to good use (probably a little bit of all three). Although there is still no greater comfort to me than staying home, I find myself wanting to get outside, wanting to take a walk on my lunch, wanting to explore, wanting to be surrounded by people. I pay attention to things like flowers blooming, I sit outside and read just to be in the company of my parents when they’re hanging out in the backyard, I go nuts when my sister talks about the baby growing inside her (I freak out every time she gets bigger), I make an effort to be home when we have company. I’m noticing there’s so much LIFE outside, so much LIVING going on, so many MOMENTS to be apart of. Sounds a little bizarre that I’m just seeing all of this now, doesn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, when I need to be left alone, I am. When I need to concentrate or just NOT be social, everyone leaves me be, but I feel as though I’m finally starting to live. I’m finally starting to see the need for a balance between all of the wonderful books and stories that I read, and the one life that I’m living.

‘Cause that’s just it, you’re only given one life and it’s YOUR fault if you’re not enjoying it, living it, breathing it.

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo 

A Bittersweet Moment

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

Yesterday was pretty bittersweet. It was my last day working at Caruso Gourmet Pizza — my second home/source of income for the better half of seven years. It was a day filled with hugs, tears, laughs, and a little bit of work too.

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My bosses were very supportive and reminded me that although they want me to succeed and move on, their door is always open. There’s something seriously comforting in knowing that you can always go back, it creates a sense of peace almost. Knowing that I can always go back will give me the courage I need to move forward. The love and support I felt yesterday is something I cannot explain, it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world and I hope it will fuel my desire to succeed. They must see something in me that I sometimes overlook and I hope I can make them proud. Thank you to my Caruso’s Family for all of your support, kind words, and gifts. I’ll be back for a latte soon 😉

*Raises glass of Magners Pear Cider and smiles*

Here’s to seven great years of working with so many wonderful people, here’s to change, here’s to challenges, here’s to the downtown commuting, here’s to the next three months of my life, here’s to bursting the little bubble that I’ve lived in for the last twenty-four years.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

she who prepares well, is always ready.

Family Time, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Life’s changing, gears are turning, and nerves and anxiety are taking a gross toll on my body. Something good has been confirmed, that “just kidding” moment did not rear its ugly head. So now I must prepare for CHANGE.

My boss always says to me, she who prepares well, is always ready. The simple truth. However preparations don’t necessarily rid of the claustrophobic feeling that raises in my heart whenever a change is on the horizon. Could preparing be enough of a distraction from that? Is it possible to turn that kind of nerves into excitement? I hope so.

Thank goodness I have my family, always quick with an encouraging word or a soothing sentiment or the always helpful “Can you effing relax already! It’ll be fine!” I like that one the most, it just oozes with honesty and love.

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Love Always

Vanessa Xo

That’s a WrapZ — A New Generation of Accessories

Fashion & Beauty, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

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I was sent a few samples of Knō-Bü’s® Button & Knob Wrapz™ by Yvonne Marston, the CEO/Founder of the company. Yvonne is woman on a mission, her goal is to create a new generation of accessories. Button and Knob Wraps are exactly what you think they are, a high quality fabric made to stretch over existing buttons or knobs. Knō-Bü’s goal is to help add a little pizzaz to your wardrobe whenever the mood strikes you. These button wraps are easy, earth-friendly, and affordable, I couldn’t wait to try them out for myself. I chose to test out the Gilded Reptile Plata and Gilded Reptile Oro.

 

My photos do not do this product justice, my blazer and jacket were completely transformed with the push of a button wrapz! I think I prefer my blazer with it on actually, it adds a little something special to it. What I love most about this product is how SMART it is — it’s economical, earth-friendly, and stylish. What’s not to love?

Knō-Bü’s® Button & Knob Wrapz™ are available in a range of styles, prints, and colours. This new generation of accessories helps keep your style fresh and instantly tailors your fashion look to fit your personality, mood or occasion! Extending the life of your favourite pieces is better for the planet, too. With Knō-Bü™, you don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability. That’s the power of change.

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That is one heck of a mission statement but their product certainly backs it up.

Check out their website and Twitter to get your own!

Alright Readers, would you try them out? Let me know in the comments.

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

Shh shh shh… it’s the winds of change

Categories, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

 

Reading Not A Model’s latest blog post about change has really got me thinking about how I deal with change. Let me start by saying I’ve had the same job since I was sixteen, I didn’t live on residence during university, and the biggest changes in my life are simply a result of someone else’s decision (i.e. my sister getting married and moving out).

Not A Model’s biggest fear in change is the before; just the hint of the thought of change nauseates me. Changing my blog’s appearance or its content, changing my style or the frames of my glasses, changing the paint that covers my bedroom walls, or the colour of polish shining on my nails – I don’t even think twice. Thinking about applying for a job in a faraway city, or renting a place downtown and living on my own, or even taking a solo trip to New York leaves me breathless. No really, I am hyperventilating as I write this. So it would seem that only completely life-altering changes scare me… at least I’ve narrowed it down? 

And now it’s written, my greatest fear is forever on the Internet for you to see.

I can’t let it haunt me – I need to make a change.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Papa Vince to the Rescue!

Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal

Well, if yesterday I was Debbie Downer – today you can call me Ursula Upper (I Googled what the antonym for Debbie Downer is and that is what I got). Funny how your mood can change so dramatically from day-to-day. I think my mood change is thanks to a comment on my Sometimes I’m a Floater post, as well as a conversation I just had with my Dad.

Thanks Lisa for your wonderful comment 🙂

Whenever I get sulky or depressed with where my life is headed, my Dad always tells me to relax. He tells me that I am working as hard as I can right now and I am doing my best in my current situation. He tells me not to rush things, he tells me not to compare my life to anyone else’s. He tells me to go to work, finish school, and the good things will follow. He reminds me that I am not “behind” anyone because everyone has a different life, a different path. He tells me that my time will come. He tells me that if I work hard and I trek through the next little while, my time will come.

 

Thanks for the chat this morning, Dad!

Happy almost Friday!

Love Always
Vanessa Xo

Sometimes I’m a Floater

Lifestyle/Personal

Yes, I feel like that kind of a floater today!
From: http://coppermillionaire.wordpress.com/

Sometimes I let myself float through life and not think about anything. I simply do what I have to do in that moment, in that day. In fact I normally find something to take up so much of my time that I don’t have to think about what’s going on in my head, or in my heart. My sister’s wedding was great for that. I was able to put off a lot of decisions and focus all of my time and energy on making her day a special one (including her shower and stagette).

So, now that she is married and out of the house – what’s a girl to do but sit back and start worrying about her own life. Yikes. Still in school, still writing (and not getting far), still part-timing at the pizza place – practically standing still or running in circles, I can’t tell anymore.

Gawd, could I BE anymore EMO today?!?

Maybe I should just sit still for a while. Be content in this stillness.

Maybe then I will be able to pinpoint my goals and take the right path to get there.

Maybe I’ll let the stillness help me.

Love Always
Vanessa Xo