Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Opa

We lost a great man today, but heaven got a loving, caring and helpful one - they will now have a permanent, fantastic handyman around! Rest in peace, Opa. We love you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

'tis the time of year...

...for Christmas lights to go up!! (on my usual coffee morning drive through)

Monday, November 28, 2011

#16

Last week, I got the chance to see the legendary Trevor Linden speak at the Evergreen Cultural Center in Coquitlam as part of a leadership conference series of speakers. He was an excellent speaker; he had a great speech prepared, and even though I'm sure it's the same speech he has done numerous times, he made it seem like it was natural and not repetitive. He was intellectual, funny and kept an audiences attention. He told stories about being a 21 Captain of an NHL team and how challenging it was. He talked about the differences in the NHL from when he started 20 years ago to when he retired a few years ago - that was pretty funny! He spoke on goal setting and the importance of it, as well as being a leader and making decisions. I should have blogged about it right away, since I'm forgetting the details, but regardless it was great! I'd recommend seeing him speak if you get the chance. Plus he's pretty darn cute!



Ugggggggg

I am in love with the black sparkly Uggs in the middle! I would rock these loud and proud.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

did you know...

...that I love weddings?! A friend of mine from work just got engaged this weekend & her wedding is next August!! Congratulations Melissa and Shane!

Their wedding is going to be at Hycroft Manor in Vancouver which is gorgeous. It's an old mansion and has very antique looking rooms, pillars, stair cases etc. I am sure it will be a beautiful wedding - the below pictures are from the website: http://www.uwcvancouver.ca/ 




new kicks

These are my fabulous deal new shoes to wear to work - they are Nine West & I bought them online at Nordstrom for $40! (regular $100) Plus, they are called "Shana", which is pretty cool for obvious reasons.

Monday, November 21, 2011

love 'em!

1 bellini + 1 brazilian + 1 bellini in a man cup = 3 happy siblings

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." 
- George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, November 20, 2011

thing i've been up to!

It really stresses me out when I can't blog very often - is that a sign of addiction?! It also stresses me out slightly that the blogger interface has changed. As I am typing this, I'm a little confused. Apparently they've made it easier to use? We'll see about that...

I haven't been up to anything too wild and crazy lately, just some fun little events but mostly work and school. I'm done housesitting my buddy Riley dog - the next house sitting gig is in the beginning of December and then also the end of December. I am seriously considering starting a business - I'm never gonna need to more out of my parents house - wahoo!!

Here are some random pictures of what I've been up to :)

Dave, Harj & I having a good ol' margarita at Las Margaritas

Harj & I

Mmmm... enchiladas

SPIDER HARJ! (at Wal Mart on an Xmas tree excursion...see below...)

Dave picking out his very own first Christmas tree for his place

So many Christmas ornaments, how to choose?!

Just another Sunday night, Dave & I browsing the spice racks at Wal Mart

Dave putting his "star" on top of his tree....

...and voila! Dave's tree is complete!

Last Monday's chili dinner - I called the veggie one "fall chili" b/c it had turnips, potatoes, corn & broccoli in it! Yum. Oh and a meat one for the meat-atarians.

Did anyone know Pants could do his own laundry?!?!


An inservice at work, fun times in the pool!!

My cute sister & Elissa at school in the SNOW!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"A Violinist in the Metro"

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing? 


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/15/the-things-we-miss-a-viol_n_158188.html

Unique & Cool Offices

I found this website that has "15 Awesome and Inspiring Offices" and some are pretty darn cool! I thought I had it good having a pool & hot tub three steps from my office...but check these out:

http://theroxor.com/2009/11/30/15-awesome-and-inspiring-offices/



Sunday, November 13, 2011

oh man, too funny!

A friend showed me this video of two little British girls singing the popular Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" song - the girl signing really does crack me up (& is super entertaining since she is only 8), however what really makes me laugh is the OTHER little girl who doesn't do anything; yet is so into it!! The first clip is of them at home; the second clip is when they were on the Ellen show.



let the good times roll.

Today was such a chillaxin' day! I love having minimal homework and no work to do - sleeping in, lounging in my pjs and being lazy is SO nice compared to my usual go-go-go lifestyle. Riley dog and I hung out and watched some TV during the day and then we invited Pants and Lil sis over for dinner. I found a recipe I wanted to try from Pintrest - Moroccan Carrots - so I made them, garlic potatoes, broccoli with cheese, chicken and some other veggies. It was very delicious if I do say so myself!

Riley cuddling me while we do some computer-ing

I HIGHLY recommend these Moroccan Carrots - they have a sweet, garlicky, tangy and salty flavor and I love anything that includes cilantro in it. Here is the recipe & some images, of course, of how it turned out :)

Moroccan Carrots

25 small carrots, stems removed
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 c chopped walnuts (I used soy nuts instead as it was the only nut in the house - still worked for a crunch!)
1 T olive oil
1 T honey
juice of 1 large orange (I used orange juice not the actual juice of an orange)
juice of 1/2 lemon (again I used lemon juice not the juice of a lemon)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 t harissa paste (I didn't use!)
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange carrots in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast, 35-45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. Meanwhile make dressing by combining all other ingredients, mixing well, in a small bowl. Set aside at room temperature.Transfer warm carrots to a serving platter. Drizzle with dressing, turning to coat well. Let sit at least 15 minutes, to marinate. Sprinkle with cilantro and walnuts before serving.

http://www.fresh365online.com/recipes/2010/9/13/moroccan-carrots.html



Saturday, November 12, 2011

And it all happened...

...while you were sleeping. Love this movie! (warning: it's a 10 minute clip of the end of movie...don't watch if you want to see the movie!!)


catch 22

Ever wondered why something is called a catch 22? Well, I did. And I researched it for you! 

A man named Joseph Heller wrote a book that was published in 1961 about said phenomenon & coined the phrase "catch 22". He initially wrote about war, government and other heavy things and realized the satire in that some things were "heads - I win, tails - you lose"; hereby "catch 22" was created. So really, it's just a phrase made up by a dude. However, the number 22 doesn't actually have any significance! He wanted it to be called a "catch 18" but there was already another book at that time with the number 18 in the title so he settled on 22 for the appealing sound of it.

"In short, Catch-22 is "heads I win, tails you lose." If you can, you can't, and if you can't, you can. Fair is foul and foul is fair. Whenever you try to behave sensibly in a crazy world, there's a catch" 


tweet tweet!

JC, Lil sis & I had some expert tweets teach us how to tweet last night! Yup, that's how cool we are - we spent our Friday night tweet-tweeting away. I am proud to say that I have 19 loyal followers. I feel so on the up & up now that I tweet - how cool am I?! 

 
...but don't ask me any questions about it yet!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Public Speaking Tips for Women

A teacher in one of my HR classes posted this fantastic article on our course website and it could not be closer to the truth of how us women tend to speak. It's generalizing a bit, yes, however I think almost all of us are guilty of doing these at some point in the day for ANY day-to-day speech! Take a read & ponder how to be more confident in your speech. This article was written by Tara Sophia Mohr who is a womens leadership & well-being expert.

 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tara-sophia-mohr/8-voice-lessons-for-brill_b_1084041.html?ref=tw


1. Drop the "just:" "I'm just wondering ..." "I just think ..." "I just want to add ..." "Just" demeans what you have to say. "Just" shrinks your power. It's time to say goodbye to the justs.

2. While you are at it, drop the "actually." "I actually have a question." " I actually want to add something." "Actually" communicates a sense of surprise that you have something to say. Of course you want to add something. Of course you have questions. There's nothing surprising about it.

3. Don't tell us why what you are about to say is likely to be wrong. We are still starting sentences with, "I haven't researched this much but ..." "I'm just thinking off the top of my head but ..." "You've clearly been studying this longer than I have, but ..."

We do this for lots of reasons. We don't want to appear arrogant. We aren't totally sure about what we are saying. Or we fear being wrong, and so we buffer the sting of a critical response by saying up front, "I'm not totally standing behind what I'm about to say, but ..." Then, no one has the chance to say back, "Well, I know you strongly believe this, but I entirely disagree."

No matter what the reason, doing this takes away from the power of your voice. Time to change the habit.

4. Don't tell us you are going to "just take a minute" to say something. Often, in presentations or meetings, I hear women say, "I'd like to ask you to take just a minute to consider this idea" or "Now, I'm going to take just a few minutes to tell you about our product." Think about how much stronger it sounds to simply say, "I'd like to tell you about our product."

Go ahead and only take a minute, if that's appropriate, but skip using the phrase "just a minute" in a talk or presentation. It sounds apologetic and implies that you don't think what you are about to say is worthy of time and attention.

5. Don't make your sentences sound like questions. Women often raise the pitch of their voice at the end of a sentence, making it sound like a question. Listen to your own language and that of women around you, and you are likely to notice this everywhere. Unsurprisingly, speaking a statement like a question diminishes its power. Make statements sound like statements; drop the tone lower at the end.

6. Don't substitute a question for a statement. You might think you are "suggesting" increasing the marketing budget by asking, "What about increasing the marketing budget?" in a meeting, but your colleagues aren't likely to hear an opinion (and certainly not a well thought-out opinion) in your question. When you have something to say, don't couch it in a question.

Sometimes, of course, there are strategic reasons to use a question rather than a statement: to gently introduce an idea to a group that is likely to be resistant to it, for example. But women often turn to questions rather than statements because we are avoiding conflict, avoiding visibility, avoiding claiming power. We use questions because we have old stories about it being dangerous or inappropriate to state our ideas definitively, and we can't see how sharing our perspective boldly and directly could actually hugely benefit our careers. Time to let the old stories go.

7. Punctuate and Pause. Imagine sitting across a table listening to a woman share this: "We are working hard on this, because we want to get the business up in running by 2012, specifically April 2012, which is the target date, and we are very optimistic that with the right financing we can get there, and so that is why I've been approaching different investors every day..."

You know this type of communication: clauses get piled on top of one another, the speaker interrupting their own thoughts with digressions.

When we don't feel we have the right to take up space in a meeting or conversation, or when we are nervous, we tend to rush, and never leave a moment without words. Brief pauses between your sentences connote confidence and a sense of comfort in the role of speaker. They allow the listener to absorb what you are saying and give you a moment to gather a deep breath and collect your thoughts.

How does it feel, in contrast, to imagine listening to this: "We are working hard on this. We want to get the business up and running by April 2012. We are very optimistic that with the right financing we can get there. I am approaching different investors every day."

All that has changed is punctuation, but speaker number two sounds calmer and more on top of her plan. Punctuate and pause.

8. Keep being yourself. Women have unique ways of communicating -- ways that tend to be more collaborative, consensus-building, and inviting. These new habits are not about adopting an authoritative communication style that doesn't sit right with you in your heart; They are about giving up the self-diminishing patterns that stem from being afraid of power or from believing what our inner critics have to say, and as a result, sharing our ideas tentatively.

tgif & tgfspt

Hooray, the long weekend is upon us! I am ecstatic to have 4 whole days off and not go back into work until Tuesday morning. And the glorious part of it is that I don't even have any major plans this weekend. Normally I have the course I teach on Sundays, I have oh-so much homework to do and social functions that I need to attend. (I know, SO popular...) I did a presentation today in one of my classes that felt great to get it over with and now I get to go to sleep and NOT set an alarm! Joie!

The only not so good thing about my day and the upcoming long weekend is the new tires I am going to have to buy. You guessed it folks, another flat happened tonight. I don't even know where to start with this rant. I mean, I know I exaggerate sometimes but I am seriously not even exaggerating when I say I've purchased more tires that everyone I know COMBINED. My honest-to-goodness guess of how many tires I have purchases since owning this dear VW of mine is aboouuuuuut 20-24. That's a lot of freakin' tires!!

Anywho...turns out there was just a giant rip in my tire! Hard to see in the pic, I know. I was quite proud of myself; I was in high heels and managed to get a significant amount of tire changing done before I had to call in some assistance! You'd think I'd be a tire changer professional by now, but no dice.

PS - tgif: thank goodness its friday; tgfspt: thank goodness for spare tire! 


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

girl power!

fall

At the risk of sounding typical, the leaves are just so gorgeous at this time of year! This is on my route to Riley dogs house from work:

Monday, November 7, 2011

i want one...

...for the cute things like this!

Riley dog!

This is my newest house sitting pet: Riley dog. He's so soft and cuddly; he lays RIGHT beside all night long and is like a little hot water bottle. Riley's house is in Sullivan really close to work which is nice - more sleep for me!

This is Riley & I cuddling on the couch watching House Hunters International this morning.

sip resto lounge.

On Friday a bunch of us gals went to Sip Resto Lounge downtown for Lisa's birthday! I had never been there before and it was a really fun atmosphere. The drinks were fairly expensive but good, and the food was really delicious!! All of the food is made with alcohol there; we ate lettuce wraps, perogies and fries - the perogies were soooo good. I would recommend the food here for sure!

Here is Sip's website: http://siplounge.com/

The birthday girl (Lisa) and I

JC, Lil sis & I

yellow daal

JC & I made the delicious dish of Indian yellow daal today! I'm not sure exactly where we got the inspiration from, but we went to the Indian grocery store and everything. It took a little while, and a lot of spices to perfect, but it was so yummy. I would definitely make it again. I would maybe try it in a crock pot next time since it's just time consuming waiting for the lentils to cook.

This is the recipe we used, and our pictures below it. We ate it with basmati rice.


Jai Ho Style Healthy Lentil Soup
Preparation Time: 30-35 minutes (approx.)
Serving: 4-6
Ingredients:
  1. Moong Dal – 1 cup (we used yellow & orange lentils)
  2. Water – 3 cups
  3. Salt – Add according to taste
  4. Red chilli powder – 0.5 teaspoon (add more if you want spicy)
  5. Black pepper powder – sprinkle (we were heavy on the pepper!)
  6. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon (we used cumin powder)
  7. Turmeric powder – 0.5 teaspoon
  8. Ginger, finely cut in long thin slices – 1 tablespoon
  9. Asfoetida (Hing) – 0.5 teaspoon (we did not use)
  10. Garlic paste – 0.5 teaspoon (we used actual garlic cloves)
  11. 2 tomatoes – peeled and finely chopped
  12. Cilantro – for garnishing , 1 tablespoon
  13. Cooking oil or butter – 2-3 tablespoon

Method:
  1. Take a deep vessel; add 2-3 tablespoon oil to it on medium heat. Add cumin seeds, asfoetida and ginger slices to it. After the ginger turns light brown then add the chopped tomato to it. Let it be on low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash 1 cup Moong dal with water before using. Now add the moong dal to the same vessel and put 3 cups water. Add salt, black pepper powder, garlic paste,red chilli powder, turmeric powder to it. Mix it well and cover it and let it simmer on low heat.
  3. Let the lentils simmer on slow heat for 20-25 minutes – make sure you check occasionally if water needs to be added. After the lentils dissolve in water and become thick you can turn off the heat.
  4. Garnish it with cilantro. The soup is now ready to serve. You can combine it with wheat bread or Indian roti/naan.
http://jaihoindiangrocery.wordpress.com/category/moong-dal-recipe/

Chopping onions, garlic, ginger & tomatoes

Almost done!!

The finished product - cilantro garnished on top

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween Pics

Lil sis & I en route to our Halloween party

Harj & I were football players...we wanted to be something easy to dress up as and something comfy! Voila.

Rebecca & Brendon that I work with

Harj & Edward Scissorhands -  he was kinda creepy

Dave that I work with and his Star Wars crew (Star Trek?! Who knows! haha)

This would be the Vanilla Ice rap battle I participated in. Yup. I'm cool.