Day 17: Exploring LA!

day 17

Day 17 was an exciting day! First I checked into this amazing hotel - Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel. Definitely the nicest place I have ever stayed! Maybe ever? haha. I checked in and immediately put on my robe!! Guys - there was a TV in the bathroom, AND look at the big screen TV!! It says. my. name. Totally geeked out and took a picture haha!


In the afternoon I went to downtown LA and saw a few cool spots. There isn't too much there but there were a few things I saw that I had wanted to see. First - the Walt Disney Concert Hall! Which, is by the same architect as the Alberta Art Gallery which I saw this summer. I think I had read that already so maybe it was in the back of my head - but when I saw this building - I could totally tell. His name is Frank Gehry. He's pretty cool :) I would love to see the Guggenheim in Spain some day.

concert hall

And then, you may know that I love the movie 500 Days of Summer. Well, one of the things I love about that movie is the setting. It's set in downtown LA and I've been wanting to see some of those spots since watching the movie. While I didn't get to go to too many of the places I did get to see Tom's favorite spot. Here's a picture from the movie - and here's my picture! Oops I didn't get the exact angle, but it was raining very hard and I was too excited! haha. It's hard to see but if you click on this picture you might be able to see it better. On the back of the bench they put a plaque honoring this spot because it's in the movie! I loved seeing the architecture of downtown LA and fortunately I stayed safe... :)


Day 16: Is this December?

So as I've mentioned I was fortunate enough to be able to go LA for a few days last week - partially for a company Christmas party, and then I took a couple extra days. Sadly, it rained almost the whole time, but I was lucky enough to get one day of nice weather and so I spent it outside at the beach and exploring Marina del Rey! It was great.

day 16

It was super nice - I couldn't believe it was December!! I walked on the beach and dipped my toes in the water! I knew it was going to be raining the next few days so I made the most of this day! I had never been somewhere warm at Christmas time so this was rather bizarre and it seems strange that I have tropical pictures in this Days of December series!! But it was pretty fun to see a different kind of Christmas!



I had never explored this area before and the last time I was in Los Angeles (briefly) was when I was like 7. So it was exciting to see this area on my own! Have you guys explored Marina del Rey at all?


Day 15 - Sending Suprises!

day 15

Just working on editing my pictures from LA but I have one more day activity from before I left! Something I love about December is... sending pretty packages in the mail! This is from a special package I sent last week and since she doesn't know what it is, I'm not sharing but it's pretty cool. :) Because Canada Post sends so many packages all the time, especially around Christmas I usually try to make my packages look fun for the mailmen. This one isn't that pretty unfortunately because I had to quickly get it ready at work. But I wrote a little message for them! Also, Canada Post has cool mailboxes!

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LA Dec 2010 001

ETA: Ok, Hannah figured it out - the present is for her haha. so smart... Well she's pretty cool and she writes a sweet blog so you should go check it out - here! She reeaalllly likes followers ;) hahaha


day 14 - leaving on an adventure

day 14

As I mentioned earlier, on Wednesday I left on a little adventure. You wouldn't guess it from what it looks like I'm packing but I'm in Los Angeles right now! The thing is, the weather forecast was rain. :( But I'm still loving the warm temperatures (although it's winter to everyone here). I'm so typically Canadian :)

Can't wait to share pictures! Also, I'm getting better and better at packing for trips! I packed in about an hour! (which is amazing for me!)


day 13 snowflake redo

day 13

Wow! And I thought I would always make ugly snowflakes. I think the day after I had a paper snowflake making time with my sister and her boyfriend a few days ago I discovered on the internet how to make actually nice snowflakes! I've included a few links below so you can find out how too! Its way funner when they actually turn out cool. I put these up in my office at work :)


Day 11 and 12 - It's a Wonderful Movie Life

day 11
So for December 11 and 12, I watched movies! The new Narnia movie was pretty great. Made me want to try reading the books again.


day 12

And then I watched It's a Wonderful Life! Cineplex has been doing a classic movie series (once a month) that I only just found about. This was such a great thing to do with some of my friends! I was soo excited for this. And when I got there I realized I had never actually seen the whole movie! Needless to say, I bawled! So inspiring. Need to make this a tradition as well as go to a bunch of the other cineplex classic movie series.

a its a wonderful life WONDERFUL_LIFE-10

I also went out for a coffee with a very good friend who I don't get to see very often and went to a potluck Christmas party! It was another full, great weekend.

pictures from here and here



I'm off on an adventure and didn't have time to post the last couple days. Have a great week everyone and expect lots when I get back!


Day 9/10 - It's Christmas time in the City

day 9

On December 9, I helped set up for a Christmas Banquet that was held on December 10. So I'm combining these two days in this post! I volunteer as a leader in the youth group at my church, and this year for the Christmas Banquet we were doing a Christmas in New York theme. Obviously, I was super excited about that! Thursday night I helped set up and I got to do some of the painting for the signs that were hung around the room. The decorators and planners went all out for this banquet - it was so much fun! We had this "paparazzi wall" so when everyone came in they could get pics taken of them.

I helped by painting these signs - using the projector! It was super fun and made me want to do more! I'm trying to brainstorm ideas of what kind of large-scale things I could paint using the projector.The Central Perk one was quite tricky even with the projector though!

central perk

And here's one shot from event night. That's me on the left and some other lovely ladies that volunteer with me.
(Event night pictures are stolen from friends :)

This "Empire State Building" was so cool - all lit up in the middle of the room! What a fun night!


Day 7: How to get over a common cold

So I've had a pretty brutal cold for the last couple days and this was how I helped get over the worst of it on Tuesday...

Step 1: Sleep for 14 hours (you may have to call in sick for this one - I did)
Step 2: Watch a good movie and read a good book by the fire

day 7

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Step 3: Drink a pot of tea and some hot lemon stuff (out of an awesome New York mug is possible)

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Step 4: Shower - this always makes me feel better actually!

I hope you don't catch a cold this season and if you do - that it's not over Christmas!

Reasons I may have caught this cold? See weekend recap a couple posts ago...


Day 6: DIY Snowflakes

day 6

Well, maybe because of too much fun this weekend, or maybe I just caught a bug, but I've got a cold. I actually stayed home from work today - but I think the sleeping til noon is helping! So I'm not able to go to the Christmas concert I was supposed to go to tonight - even though I really wanted to see my mom play! She's pretty cool - she plays flute in a community band. Sorry Mom - I hope you had fun though!

Here are some pictures from when I made paper snowflakes with my sister and her boyfriend. It was fun. I realized I'm not that great at making paper snowflakes though. I think its because I just can't see what it's going to look like until after. I feel like its cheating if I open it up before I'm done! Oh well, its a fun thing to do. We also watched the For Better or For Worse Christmas show - "The Christmas Angel." Anyone remember this? It's on YouTube here for a trip down memory lane. hee hee! So good!

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Day 5 - Trim the Tree

day 5

Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree!! We have such a nice (real!) Christmas tree this year. It is so fragrant too - I'm loving it! Every year, as a kid I would always get ornaments - one from my parents, one from a good family friend, and sometimes other random ones. So we always have decorated our tree with a huge combination of all of our own ornaments plus my mom's collection of angel ornaments and some others. Well, for the last 5 years, I haven't been home to decorate the Christmas tree. So this year for the first time, I was able to put up my ornaments. I didn't put them all up - just a few of the ones I really like. The picture of the tree is after I put up my ornaments (and a few of my sister's). So there are a lot more on there now!

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Once the house is all decorated, it really feel like Christmas-time to me! I had such a great weekend - two Christmas parties, went skating (twice actually!) made new friends and hung out with old friends, and to top it all off? My best friend got engaged!! Super excited about that right now.


Day 4: Skating in a Winter Wonderland

So on the fourth day of December, I went skating!

day 4

My friends and I went to Olympic Plaza, downtown Calgary and skated on the rink they have there! It was so fun! Olympic Plaza at night is awesome! The trees are all lit up, they even had music playing! I ended up being there for over an hour just skating around. Trying to learn how to stop. Not very good at it obviously.
downtown lights

That's the pretty City Hall.

the bow

The Bow at night - and look at that freshly Zambonied  (sp?) ice! So smooth.


Skating always feels so "Canadian" to me. Obviously other countries do it too, but it's so good to make the most of the cold weather and get out there and enjoy it. So many people have never seen snow and have definitely skated and its just something we grow up doing! I love it.

edited me

And after skating I went to a fun night of hanging out with some friends - old and new - playing games, being competitive, trying candy cane Hershey Kisses (soo yummy!) and playing Just Dance on Wii! Super fun day!

Day 3: Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!

day 3

On the third day of December I went to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party!! I only got this one picture taken by my new friend Wally but I had to share! I wore an ugly sweater I recently thrifted and my "Merry X-Moose" socks! I got lots of "compliments" on the socks. And I even got a nomination for the voting of ugliest christmas sweater! There were far more Christmas-y sweaters there though! What a fun party! The hosts were great - and had tons of games and prizes and things planned. My team won for best original Christmas jingle. So much fun!!

I'm thinking I should probably make Christmas cards with this picture on them. So cheesy!!


Gee, they still make wooden christmas trees?

This December favorite of mine is a long-standing tradition. Every year, we get a real Christmas tree. This is one of my favorite things. And every year, my dad cuts off the bottom and we all smell the wonderful cedar smell. I was actually telling someone about this tradition recently and they said that they were allergic to it! I couldn't help but saying how sad of an existence that would be! Anyway, the year I was 18 I was not home for Christmas - I was in England at Bible School for six months and over our three week Christmas break I spent time at three different friends' houses in different parts of England. It was sad and strange to not be home for Christmas but it totally enhanced my England experience and the families I stayed with welcomed me in and helped me experience a different and wonderful side of Christmas that I'd never seen before. 

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The point of the story is this. When I got home in late April, one of the very first things my dad did when I got home was go into the garage and dig out the Christmas tree bottom. Maybe I was gone for Christmas and couldn't take part in our (many) family traditions, but this was one I was not about to miss. It was really cute and I'll always remember it every year when I smell that delicious tree! (Oh, and yes, it still smelled great after almost 5 months!)

Do you guys have real or fake Christmas trees this year? Also, anyone know where this blog title comes from??


The first of December

So one of things I love most about Christmas are the crafts!! Christmas time is perfect for hiding away inside, with a Christmas movie and hot chocolate and making homemade presents and decorations. One of my favorite things to do for sure. So this year I decided to make Christmas cards to send to my friends because I have so many living far from me. And everyone loves mail. So when I was invited to a cardmaking party it was perfect! I came in and got down to work straight away. I made a dozen cards in about 5 hours. With many refreshment and chatting breaks. :) Here's a peek at my cards!!

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Not all of these are my cards but look at all our creativity!!

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December Delights

So as I mentioned in my last post, I am planning a December Blog Project! Lately I've been feeling like 2010 in general has zipped by - especially November! So in an effort to make sure I fully appreciate December - one of my favorite months - I wanted to document it fully. I love Christmas - that's what makes December awesome for me. I really like Ali Edward's idea of doing a December Daily album but I just don't think that would work for me. I want to be able to keep it up throughout the month but I don't have a photo printer and I'm not going to send one photo to Black's each day to get printed. That would be silly.
So I'm doing an online, bloggy version instead! Basically the idea is to give 31 reasons why I love December to fully appreciate this month. So starting on the 1st of December I will post about one activity or thing that I love for each day! Some will be traditions that I look forward to every year, some will be random. I'm gonna be honest here and say that I probably won't post every single day but I'll at least have a picture for every day even if have to post 2 or 3 on one day. I hope you follow along and play along if you like! Leave me a link to your blog if you do! It's going to be super fun!


Goal update

Back in August, I made 4 simple goals - inspired by Elsie. I've completed about half but I already have some more ideas of things I want to do!

My autumn goals were -

1. Make a mixed paper journal - completed! I made this journal for my New York trip and it was soo helpful. I had a section for everything that I wanted to see/do/eat. I had way more than I could do but the good thing is I will be able to use this book again for when (not if) I go back! It was so great to have with me at all times, to be able to write down a rough schedule each day and have my travel journal here too. A practical and cute keepsake.
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2. Have a photo shoot that's cute and fun (still need to do this one!)
3. Go to the dentist, doctor, and eye doctor finished! - got new contacts, and some shiny new fillings (ugh)
4. Make a playlist for both autumn and winter (will be sharing in December)

My new goals to do before the end of 2010 are
1. Make and send out Christmas cards!
2. Finish my secret knitting project 
3. Go thrifting (its been so long!)
4. Have lots of peppermint mochas (I haven't had one yet but I think I'm gonna change that today?)
5. December blog project - I'm gonna blog about this in the next couple days but I've got a great idea to fully appreciate the month of December this year. I can't even believe its the end of October -  November, seriously??

Can you believe it's almost the end of the decade?? I'm super excited to see all the "Best of the decade" lists! Send me the links if you see any! Specifically books and movies. Pictures would be sweet too...

PS - guess what I'm FINALLY doing tonight?? soooo excited



So maybe you're not super into music videos, or maybe you're just living under a rock but if you haven't seen this video, you should watch it now cuz people everywhere are talking about it. I'm not just saying that.

Americanarama - by Hollerado

Amazing right?
Well, I was introduced to them when they came to Sled Island last summer and they came back to Calgary last week! I went to see them with a friend and we had so much fun. They put in such an amazing show that even if you don't know their songs you can still dance and sing along. Plus, when you buy their CD, you love it just as much!! 

They're super awesome guys too. After the concert they just walk into the audience and hang out with the crowd. They're so not pretentious.


Its Keen-wha, I promise

A couple weeks ago I went to a new local restaurant called the Boxwood Cafe. It is the sister restaurant to one of the best restaurants in town - the River Cafe - which I have never been to because it is very expensive! But this new cafe is much more affordable. We went for lunch and tried a number of different dishes.

I think this was the best idea, because other than the sandwiches, none of the dishes seemed like an actual entree. So we sorta made it like tapas where everyone has a bit of each dish. It was soo yummy! Each dish had tons of fancy ingredients (I should be a food critic, I know). We had beet quinoa salad (I am newly in love with quinoa - it is so good), a lentil soup, salad with the most delicious glazed pecans, this amazing bread that had potato chunks in it!! and a porchetta sandwich. It was wonderful. I think they keep changing the menu too, which would entice me to return. You should check it out!