Saturday, March 31, 2012

Federal Budget 2012

Gotta love some good infographics! This one, courtesy of the Globe & Mail, visually explains the government of Canada's 2012 budget. I find it interesting as a whole; I don't love all the details and nitty gritty of it but knowing the basics is important to me. I like to be kept in the loop of what's on the up and up in the economy. Possibly because I am interested, possibly because I like to pretend I'm smart... :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

7 habits.

For a leadership class I am in, we are currently reading & discussing Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and I am really enjoying it! I don't always love having to read books like this for school because it somewhat takes the enjoyment out of them for me, but I am trying to have a positive attitude toward it and read it as if I were reading it for fun.

Thus far, we have covered the first 3 habits and they are: (I tried to also sum them up VERY briefly!)

1. Be proactive. This is “about taking responsibility for your life”. It is accepting your own accountability and not putting blame on others.

2. Beginning with the end in mind. This habit is aimed to teach people to come up with their own personal mission statement, and to concentrate on the final results by creating goals and ways to achieve those goals. 

3. Put first things first. This habit continues on with the personal mission statement, but spends more time focusing on what fits in individually. It is more focused on personal management; how to schedule your priorities and needs to accomplish your set goals. 

I definitely recommend this book as a knowledge reader - something that definitely makes you think about your life and the type of person you are. I really enjoy reading things that make me challenge what I do on a daily basis and who I am. 

baby rietkerk

Baby in the house - one of my besties Heidi & her hubby Timmy are having a little bambino October 12!!!! I can so extremely excited & proud to be an auntie. Check out the baby's latest photo shoot on Heidi's blog at:

I am so excited to have a friend who has a little belly and needs to shop for maternity clothes - yay for stretchy pants ALL the time Heid!! I am also excited to meet my little niece/nephew and snuggle lots and LOTS. You will be an adorable baby and loved so much by so many, including me!

Naturally, Binz & I will be fabulous aunts, and with our fashion sense combined with Heid's, this baby may actually be TOO stylish. Check out the most adorable things I found:

Obviously baby Uggs are in order.

Need I say more other than Dior?

OMG, your child is DEFS going to rock this manly cardigan sweater with the below sandals. I love it. He is so trendy already! (or she...)

This is what she will wear when I take her swimming. Love the color! (Baby Gap!) Also, I will be rocking a matching one in adult size.
Classy at a young age - she will be styling in pearls.

Came across these in my Google searches - cute!

Yeehaw ;)

Baller Jordans

Classic Adidas Superstars - we can all rock 'em together

Funky Adidas Superstars! I feel like Tim would approve simply because of the fun colors.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

oh, to be young again

Another year, another number...I have officially turned the big 2-7 today since it's past midnight. I think this is where I can no longer say "mid twenties"; I have to say "late twenties" when referring to my age in general. WOWZERS! Anywho, I had a fun weekend (regardless of getting old) and did lots!

On Friday, I went for dinner with my fam to the Washington Avenue Grill in White Rock and had delicious dinner. I thought I took a picture of the pretty beach view but apparently I didn't?! Whoops. This dinner was much needed after the gong show that was work that day...long story short, an acid delivery truck (acid is used in the pools to maintain pH) was leaking in our parking lot upon delivery. In order to be on the safe side, we called EMS and in response received almost every emergency vehicle in the city. Literally. We had the deputy fire chief, the police chief, the haz mat fire truck, about 8 police cars, about 4 regular fire trucks, 2 ambulances...need I continue? We had to evacuate the building for everyones safety, again to be on the safe side, and the Y ended up being closed for the remainder of the day on Friday and all day Saturday. The chemical was all neutralized and everything is good to go now! Quite the experience, needless to say.

On Saturday, I worked. This consisted of sitting at the front door and telling a bajillion people we were closed. Then, a bunch of peeps from work went to Browns and Mirage for my birthday. Tons of fun was had, and perhaps a few too many shots...

JC & I rockin' matching denim jackets

Harj, Amanda, me & JC

This picture was NOT working to rotate but I loved it so much I posted it upside down. I thought maybe it could be artistic?!

Today, I went car shopping with my poppa. Oh, did I mention that I officially sold my car? Within less than 24 hours of me posting my craigslist ad, it was sold and gone from my driveway. So sad, but I think he has a great new home to someone who will give him the attention he needs. I really liked a red 2008 Honda Fit that we saw today so I'll keep you posted on what the latest is with my purchase decision. After car shopping, I went to dinner at Pelagos in Crescent Beach with my book club girls. Such fun - we also saw the slideshow of photos from Eliza & Justins's wild adventure to Cambodia & Thailand. Holy moly, it was so beautiful. Justin, you take some mighty fine photos. I told Eliza you should send some to National Geographic -- seriously! They rode elephants, hiked, stayed in a tiny village, got a million massages, ate coconut curry, biked...the list goes on. So cool! I wish I had some photos to post on here to show y'all their fantastic.

The view from sitting in traffic on the Port Mann bridge

Crescent Beach sunset

Keri made yummy birthday cupcakes for me!!

Now, I am heading to bed with dreams of sleeping in allllll morning tomorrow! Then, lunch with Heidi, Binz & Nicole and then good ol' school. THEN Boston Pizza for a late night drink and snack. Good times shall be had.

Thanks to everyone who has made an effort to make me feel like a special person on my birthday - you're the best! xoxo

PS - sorry...this post turned out to be farrrrrr longer than originally intended! But, it's my birthday so don't hate.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

update on car!

So, I posted my car for sale at 7 pm tonight and have already had 4 people text me, 3 people email me and 2 people call me about it. I already have 2 (possibly 3) coming to see the car tomorrow afternoon! This is nuts! My dad said I need a secretary.

This whole buying & selling cars business I tell ya - in SOME ways this it is kind of fun, but in other ways it's a lot of work. My dad and I have spent two hours sitting at computers with him looking for a car for me to buy and me responding to the above 10 people about my car. So much for homework!!


It's a sad day in Shannonland: my beloved car is for sale. I don't remember when I bought it, but it has been a solid 7 years at least. It has done me well, traveled me many a time all over town, gotten me a few too many speeding tickets, heard far too many interesting conversations and made me have patience with spending money on tires. It just needs a few things done to it that I don't have time/money to put into it; but it will be awesome for someone who wants a little project to do make it super nice again. It does have great features and is a fast little car, but our time has come. Onwards and upwards....I guess?!

Craigslist posting:

Some good times in the GTI...(I could post lots but figured I would just put up a select few!)

A sunny day after being washed

Lil sis & I had to shove 5 semi-deflated dingys in the backseat after a lovely summer at the lakehouse

My car ALWAYS asked to go through the Timmys drive could I say no?!

Binz, Heid & I cruising in the backseat en route downtown for Heid's stagette

Just another day being parked at the Y! (I took this because I got a ticket for being parked too close to the lot entrance...)

Janessa being a goof in the backseat en route to Cultas lake a few summers back

I hope you go to a great new owner car!!! Love you long time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My mind was just blown when I learned that it's not mandatory to have a title for each blog post! I always thought I did or that it would say something weird like "untitled post" if I didn't do one, but it just nicely puts the date there and then continues on. Now I don't have to awkwardly make up titles for posts - yay! Believe it or not, it is a lot of work coming up with post titles. But now, how will it list them in the monthly blog posts to the right bottom?! Such a mystery...

...note how I left this post untitled ;) ...


The Cactus Club restaurant provides a stunning view of water, trees, sand and much more of our gorgeous Vancity. Seriously, it's pretty pretty! Nicole and I enjoyed lunch there today and I would definitely recommend paying it a visit. Oh, and try the butternut squash soup - yummy!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

parent grading

A Florida state rep is proposing a bill (entitled the "Parent Involvement and Accountability in Public Schools bill") that will include grading parents in four categories in the school system, specifically for parents of Preschool to grade three children. The four categories below would get marked with a satisfactory, needs improvement or unsatisfactory:

  • Parental response to requests for conferences or communication.
  • The student's completion of homework and preparation for tests.
  • The student's physical preparation for school that has an effect on mental preparation.
  • The frequency of the student's absence and tardiness.
The thinking behind this whole idea is that "you can have the best teacher in the world in front of the classroom but if the child isn't there, then they don't learn" (Stargel, 2012). There would be no consequences to having a low rating and the idea would be to start a dialogue within the school. 

I am still a little on the fence about this topic, in all honesty. Considering I don't have children of my own, I probably end up with an skewed viewpoint with non-firsthand experience. On one hand, I feel like the majority of parents I know do try to communicate with teachers, do try to make sure their kids have breakfast (& whatnot) and do ensure they attend classes. At such a young age, children can't do all those things on their own. For the parents who don't do these items, I think that this idea of highlighting where they could better their children for the skills to succeed in life isn't necessarily an awful idea - but in a non-judgmental way! What I especially liked was the comments that came after the article by fellow readers, including:  (these are just a few, among a million)

-"Hahaha and if I fail, do I give the kid back?"
- "Having someone fresh out of teacher's college giving me a 'report card on my parenting skills' would be extremely insulting."
- "Obviously parents play the greatest role in a child's development, but the teacher should partner with the parent to help the child succeed, not judge them... Passive aggressive methods such as grading a parent once a semester would simply create animosity between the two groups."

Anywho, just some food for thought that I found intriguing. Your opinion is welcomed; read the article at:

Top o the mornin to ya

That's about as Irish as I get there folks! Well, and my name I guess! St. Patrick's Day is just a reason to hang out & wear green but it ended up being super fun and I even rocked a lil' green hat for a while. Minus the mishap on the way to the party, a good time was had by all. The adorable baby in the pictures is my friend from work Dave's nephew Nick!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

stars & doggies

I haven't looked at the stock market much lately, but the stars & dogs on the Globe & Mail always provides educational entertainment for me to read. Below, the stars & dogs in stocks this week:

- Apple (surprised, anyone?)
- Astral Media (Montreal based specialty TV)
- Viterra (grain handler)
- Manulife Financial 

- Guess (clothing retailer)

fried pickles.

I went to Sip in Vancity this evening and I am officially in love with fried pickles.

Don't jump to conclusions here folks, it sounds a little weird, but it's SOOOO delicious. I find them similar to zoo sticks at White Spot (zucchini sticks) with the battered exterior that they have, plus being pickles they have a good crunch to them. Oh man, my mouth is watering again just picturing them. I've mentioned Sip on here before and that time I fell in love with the perogies - so now I have two foods I need to continue to go there for!

{not the actual pickles - but they look similar!!}

Hahaha, I came across this randomly when googling "fried pickles" & thought it was humorous

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

bfrend bracelets

A friend of mine from school is doing his practicum for his business degree & selling these super fun bracelets! I bought 2 and am uber excited to get them and rock them (I bought black & turquoise). To do this, they have teamed up with Monika Hibbs of The Doctor's Closet who makes these gorgeous accessories. There is only a few more days to buy these and have it benefit the Kwantlen students - check out Monika's blog about the students at: Shop online at:


step to the beat round 2

As mentioned, this weekend was a fundraiser that a bunch of us from the Y attended - "Step to the Beat"; an Indian style party. Us gals had tons of fun getting dressed up in our saris. I just love the Indian culture; the dress is culturally unique, the food is flavorful and spicy, and boy, do they know how to party! Tons of fun was had. Of course, photos below:

The Arizona crew reunited in style

JC danced the night away

Ever worn a sari with a ham?!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"have your cake, but don't tweet it too"

Oh the Globe and Mail, how proper you are! I thought this article by Ivor Tossell was hilarious because it is practically aimed right at me. This article is a commentary piece on how the author hates how we have become a society who cannot eat a meal at a restaurant, have a glass of wine at home, or fry something fun at home without taking a picture and inevitably putting on some form of social media. His point is that we simply upload a photo nowadays without any thoughtful text or valid discussion with it; he says: "But simple observations need to earn their keep. They should add something to the conversation. Food isn't exempt from the standards of reasonable interesting-ness that govern other subjects"

Where I understand what this man is trying to explain, that we have become lazy, yet I do not agree. I, for one, love to cook something up and take a picture of it and then tweet it. Do I REALLY need to write a thoughtful discussion on my pizza I made?! I simply like to share what I have made; be it for the recipe, the creative aspect of it, the ability to show people what I can do, or whatever it is! I am very into food, so I really like it when other people post about food as well. Perhaps that is just me though? Or perhaps it's only a select few of us? I didn't realize some people felt so strongly about food pictures!! Oh well, I will continue to blog/facebook/tweet my food images with or without a thought attached, who knows. An interesting read for an article for sure! Read here:

PS - in spite of this article, below are a few food items we ate while in Arizona & Vegas!! haha

A falafel gyro at the Mariner game

JC's dad made the SUPER yummy dinner of grilled veggie salad with saffron dressing, blackened cod and a tofu & veggie dish. It was so amazing I cannot even describe.

Breakfast in Vegas at Peppermill. Hit the spot majorly.

Dinner before Drake - a giant quesadilla with avocado. Yum. There was fantastic salsa at this place! And good Coronas :)

trip of a lifetime

I feel like I probably say this about every trip I go on, but seriously, this trip could not have been more fun! It's been a week ago today since we returned from our sunny adventure, but with the amount that the four of us talk about it and make silly inside jokes it feels like we are still there. Amanda, JC, Lil' Sis and I all get along so well. It made travelling for four hours to Vegas in a car so fun (well, 7.5 on the way back when you take the wrong freeway...) and we all love to sing to good tunes to keep us entertained. Between all four of our phones and one regular camera, we have a TON of pictures so I thought I would share a few more with y'all of our trip to Phoenix and Vegas, aka Rack City.

Before we move on to photos, I am DONE my budget project! Hooray! It is worth 30% of my grade which really stresses me out because when it comes to accounting, I never feel confident with anything. I had an in-class case study last week worth 15% of my grade on the night of my Oma's funeral in accounting and I was so unsure of how I did; as I always am in that class but it turns out I got 84%! I was thrilled. I am way better at things that include written work as opposed to just numbers or financial statements; I can explain things and debate pros/cons waaay better than crunch numbers. Now, as for the budget project...who's done now. No lie, I stayed up until 6:30 am this morning working on it. Then woke up at 10 am again. How hardcore is that?! (well, or how dumb is it to leave so much of a major project 'til the last minute...) I digress. Back to photos!

Nothin like a good cup o' joe from the 'bucks to start a sunny day off

I'm such a sucker for scenic shots. I admit, they are much prettier in person, but I love the blue and the green contrast!

The four gals stopped at a scenic view en route to Las Vegas!

Again, such pretty sky!
Las Vegas Blvd

JC & I were determined to swim at every pool we went to. This one was freeeeezing since the sun had gone down already!

Amanda & I on the strip

Lil sis & I at Margaritaville
JC & Lil sis gettin' ready for the eve (like our hotel room view??) We stayed at the Wynn - soooo nice 

Dancin shoes

We went to a Mariners preseason game in Phoenix

Me, Lil sis & JC's dad at the game

relaxin by the pool

Dinner before the Drake concert

Pictures at concerts never turn out; but Drake is in this picture somewhere! Look hard!