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New Design Preview

So this is the basic design for my new look. The coding is being worked on at the moment, so this just has sample text, and the custom items on the right side are blank at the moment. I changed this so many times. I think the designer probably wanted to kill me. However, this site is a representation of me, and it was important that it look just so.

So, tell me what you think.  I can’t really change anything now, but I’m sure there will be additions and adjustments as time goes on. The yellow tab at the top that says “Monkey” is the page for my 2yr old niece. This is where my brother will go while I’m away and I’ll have special posts or videos in there for her.


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My work week has become so busy and full that I find myself day dreaming of naps and pajamas. Some days it’s a matter of minutes between the time I get home from work and the time I have pajamas on, and some days its a matter of seconds. It feels SO good- too good actually, and as I sit here typing this post (in my pj’s) the idea of Pajama Sunday is getting better and better. It’s the perfect way to spend the first of my 2 days off.  I’ve put in more than my share of hours at work, I deserve to relax.

My brain is in mellow mode and it feels like I’ve smoked a bunch of joints (except I’ve never really smoked a joint, so this is merely an assumption). This morning I rolled out of bed, tied up my hair walked to the futon in my living room- the only other room in my apartment- and curled up with my laptop. My plans for my first Pajama Sunday are naps, snacks, trip research, tweeting, blogging, editing photos, and catching up on favourite blogs as well as reading new ones.  I will not be getting dressed. I will not answer my phone (unless it’s my Mom, she’d worry if I didn’t answer). I will relax, be lazy, whatever you want to call it.  Oh, I also refuse to look at my work email!

I’ve got no strings
To hold me down
To make me fret, or make me frown
I had strings
But now I’m free
There are no strings on me
Hi-ho the me-ri-o
That’s the only way to go
I want the world to know
Nothing ever worries me
Hi-ho the me-ri-o
I’m as happy as can be
I want the world to know
Nothing ever worries me
I’ve got no strings
So I have fun
I’m not tied up to anyone
They’ve got strings
But you can see
There are no strings on me…

Like my new theme song?  I know, I stole it from Disney’s Pinocchio– but it fits so well!

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I’ve definitely become more of a bookie this past year. I read constantly, not just for work, but for pleasure as well.  As I sit here reflecting on some of the books I’ve read, I thought it would be a cool idea to list the titles.

Keep in mind that I manage children, tween and teen books.  This greatly influences what I read!

  • Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill
  • Fried Eggs with Chopsticks by Polly Evans
  • Fool by Christopher Moore
  • Something Borrowed by Emily Griffins
  • The Abyssinian Proof by Jenny White
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows
  • Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz
  • Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Van Allen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
  • Of Mice and Men by John Stienbeck
  • Here, There Be Dragons by James A Owen
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A Owen
  • The Indigo King by James A Owen
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost
  • The Magician’s Elephant by Kate di Camillo
  • United We stand by Eric Walters
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
  • Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

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2009| Reflection

Note to self, try to stay away from blogging while sick. Yesterday’s post is scary and took WAY too long to write!

Dear Friends;

As 2009 comes to a close- and I’m at home, sick- I’m prone to some reflection.  For the most part 2009 was a rather boring year for me.  I was back in Alberta, instead of traveling.

My year began with a new job in retail.  Instead of the food industry, I found myself in a management position with a National Bookseller.  Although I’ve always enjoyed reading, it’s never been my soul source of joy.  However, with my new job, I gained a greater love for reading- taking advantage of book loan programs at work was fantastic.  Although there are aspects of my current job that I love, I’ve also struggled.  I tend to feel boxed in, tired and stressed.

2009 also took me to a new city. Calgary. I have never been a big fan of Calgary.  It’s an okay city, but it’s still a very residential city.  That is to say that it’s not as entertainment focused as cities like Toronto or Vancouver.  Or better yet, it’s not as international.  I crave diversity, and Calgary is not diverse enough for me.  Although I find ways to enjoy myself, my future will contain a move to either Vancouver or Toronto.

This year also brought sadness mixed with joy.  In September my Grandmother became very ill, which threw life into a never-ending roller coaster. Although there was a lot of worry and concern, we managed to find ways to connect with one another.  I was given time to get to know her better, to laugh and reminisce.  Although my Grandmother passed away at the beginning of December, I am eternally grateful for the time we had together.

2009 was a heavy year.  Heavy in terms of emotion, and mental events.  I look forward to 2010, to the possibilities.  2010 promises to be a lighter year.  A year in which I look inwards and start to take care of me. 2010 is the year that I will endeavor to make my dreams and goals come to life- one way or another!

I wish all my friends and family a very happy and prosperous New Year.  2010 can be your year.  Take time for yourself so you may better take time for others.

Best Wishes,


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This Christmas felt rather strange.  It didn’t really feel special or different. Just another day.  My Grandmother wasn’t a big celebrator and she rarely accepted our invitation to Christmas dinner, but knowing she was gone somehow changed things. In a way I felt odd celebrating. It felt wrong. I know that sounds silly, but it did. Between working retail & losing my Grandmother at the beginning of December, I feel more like a robot, than like myself.

I miss my Grandmother.  I miss her opinionated nature and quick wit. I always knew where I stood with her, whether I wanted to know or not.  She made me want to be a better person, to live my life and enjoy every moment.  This Christmas was a difficult one, but I’m determined to make next Christmas a better one.

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I cannot stand the stagnant life anymore.  I wasn’t born to do the mundane, although I’ve tried to be happy with it over the past few years.  As I see it, I have a choice. I can continue to struggle with the mundane and easy aspects of life, or I can try and do those things that I’m passionate about.  I may fail or I may succeed, but I will never know unless I try.  (I’m finally taking my own advice. I know, it’s unconventional).

Here’s the deal. Life is too short to not go after what makes you happy.  Why should I sit by the sidelines and continue to dream or wish? I shouldn’t. Plain and simple.  Life = Living and it’s time for me to take a chance and live.

First up, Travel.  I’ll be heading towards Asia late summer 2010.  By then my apartment lease will be up, I’ll have some money in the bank and the gear I need. I have a general idea of where I want to go, but I’m waiting to make final decisions later on.  In preparation for my travels I hope to do the following.

  • Blogging- I’ll be using my blog to keep in contact with my friends and family, but also to express my views and experiences whilst traveling etc.  I need to work on my writing (and grammar lol) skills, and plan to attend TBEX ’10 in NYC to get a better feel for the travel blogging industry.
  • Photography- always a passion of mine.  However I want to work on my skills a little more at home before leaving.  Perhaps I can find a photography workshop or two before I leave.

I have a passion for the creative. However this stagnant life of mine has been slowly sucking my creative side out of me.  If I’m to stay on course and accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself, then I need to put myself out there.

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“I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul”.

Invictus.  After a day of trying to refocus myself, I decided to go see a movie- alone.  My choice? Invictus.  If you haven’t heard of this movie, you should.  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It was utterly fantastic. For years now I have admired Nelson Mandela.  I’ve admired his perseverance and his desire for peace.  I tried reading his autobiography, but I couldn’t seem to connect the way I had hoped.  Now, I’ve connected.  Morgan Freeman was amazing as Nelson Mandela.  I left the theatre inspired and repeating the above quote to myself.  It was exactly what I needed.

I googled the poem Invictus when I came home tonight.  Here is how it goes…


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

by William Ernest Henley – 1875

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