Saturday, 2 November 2013

You snuck up on me there. 
I love a new month, it's like a little restart. The best part about this month? One more month until the most wonderful time of the year, December.

I think it's beneficial to set goals for yourself, so with a new month comes some new goals:

Take more pictures
Stay on top of school work
Start "shredding for the wedding" 

Monday, 30 September 2013

Goodbye my love!

Welp, one of my best friends has just left for a new adventure in Alberta! I'm incredibly happy for her, but also sad (obviously!). 

We've gone to elementary, high school and university together, so here's some gems I've found from those times! 

In honour of her departure a few of us got together for some apple juice and delicious lasagna. Nothing makes me happier than getting together with some good friends. Too bad it was a rather depressing occasion, for the record I only cried once. 

I'm sure she'll do great in Alberta, and I'm so happy to call her one of my best friends and now bridesmaids... but's that's another post.

Friday, 30 August 2013

It's the most wonderful time of the year!


Call me crazy, but I absolutely love back to school time! This really validates my choice to become a teacher. Although, when I'm the one doing the teach I have a feeling I might not enjoy it that much.... But until then I'll enjoy the crap out of new binders and making lunches. 

This year I'm going to be commuting to school and living and my parents house, nothing like saving a few (hundred) bucks a month. This being said, back to school this year is a little more... intense. I'll be leaving my house early every morning, driving an hour, and coming back later that night. That means I can't forget things, I can't be last minute, I better pack enough food and make sure I have breakfast... you get the idea. I'll be heading into the faculty of education so my time will be split between university classes, and high school placements..

So, here's some of my student/teacher must haves and tips for the academic year! 

You might have to pee every hour, but if you're allowed to leave class this often do your best to drink tons of water and tea. I always bring a giant reusable water bottle that I can refill, and my favourite tea mug for a morning green tea pick me up. This year I'm using a 32 oz. pull top bottle from Victoria's Secret PINK. I've also still got my favourite Teavana Contour Tumbler, I shit you not it will keep your tea hot for hours! Seriously, I need to leave the top off to let it cool down so I can actually drink the contents.  

Get a planner and stay organized! I chose one small enough to fit in my purse, but size doesn't matter. It's what's on the inside that counts. I prefer to have a monthly calendar and a section for everyday. This allows me to see the whole month at a glance, as well as plan my days out. Colour code everything! I have so many highlighters and tabs it's ridiculous, but I love it. I actually went out and bought new markers just so all my classes could have their own colour for coding (I'm a little obsessed). I also use iCal on my computer to write down all my classes, under the "notes" section I write what I have to complete for each class. I use "all-day events" to mark any big projects, tests, essays, or quizzes I might have due so they stand out. Do I even need to mention that it's obviously colour coded to match my markers? I bought my planner at Target, other good options are Chapters/Indigo and Staples.

Feed your brain, and your belly! Make good food choices. This can be one of the hardest parts of being on campus for long periods. I mean, Pizza Pizza is just two steps away and they have a buy one get one free deal this week.... and all semester. Don't give in! Pack lots of healthy snacks and meals that you enjoy eating and will look forward to. In the long run your body and more importantly your brain will thank you for giving it the nourishment it needs to make you look and feel good. I'm hoping to keep you posted on some of the lunch ideas I come up with during the year. But until then, here are some of the sites that I go to for inspiration. 100 days of real food is a mom trying to feed her family good, clean food. She posts tons of her girls lunches! Another site that has tons of recipes is undressed skeleton, she has hundreds of meal and snack ideas. More recently she's moved on to offering clean recipes, which is great! When in doubt I think leftovers make the best lunches though. I just ordered these EasyLunches Bento Boxes from Amazon and am beyond excited to try them! Another staple of my lunches are Annie's Cheddar Bunnies and Gummy snacks. They're a great little treat, are easy to grab on the go and don't have buckets of chemicals in them.
Oh ya, one more thing, maybe the most important food tip, EAT BREAKFAST. Please, just do it. I'll come at you later with what I've been doing for quick on the go breakfasts. 

Most of all, enjoy it! I always hear people saying high school/college was the best time of their lives... I've also heard the opposite. Don't fixate yourself on the though that you should be having like, the best time ever... enjoy what's in front of you and make yourself happy! 

PS - I'm just going to pretend I never left the blogesphere, even though it's been months... okay, all summer, since I've posted. Now that I'm starting a new routine I'm hoping to include blogging into the mix again! I've missed it.  

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

healthy dark chocolate "brownie" bites!

Oh, wait, I have a blog? No, I haven't forgotten. I'll just be honest and say I got real lazy folks. So what's happened in the last month? Well, I moved back home with my parents, I worked as a supply teacher, photographed my sister's prom, and most recently I'm working as a historical interpreter at the Milner Heritage House in Chatham. I'll be working full time at the Milner house for the rest of the summer! The job is amazing, I get to pretend I'm from 1905 and show people around a historical home.

 There's only one downside, I have to pack a lunch. I haven't packed a lunch since high school, and even then I would grab a Michelina's pasta dish from the freezer and run out the door. As delicious as Michelina's are, they don't exactly top the health scale and since I've started trying to eat fresh and healthy foods they're not as tasty as something I could make myself. 
While grocery shopping for some snacks I could grab and go with I came across Dole's Double Dark Chocolate Bites. Uh, YUM. They're new and they have no artificial preservatives and are made with real chocolate. I loved the taste, but the fact that brown sugar was the third ingredient might have something to do with my love affair. After eating this bites of goodness on a daily basis and dissecting them as I ate I decided, I can make these myself... but healthier. So began the creation of my first recipe! They're not as sweet as the original Dole version, but I still think they're delicious. Bonus, no added sugar! So without further ado, here's my recipes for healthy dark chocolate "brownie" bites. 

1/2 cup mixed nuts 
1/2 cup rolled oats 
1/4 cup ground flax
2 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
2 bananas 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/8-1/4 cup honey 
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Chop the nuts until they're as small as you'd like, I used a slap chop and it worked great. 
Mash (I used my mixer) banana until smooth, add vanilla and honey and mix. 
In a separate bowl combine the chopped nuts, oats, flax, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Last, but not least add the chocolate chips and mix.
Place bites in a greased mini muffin tin and bake 10-12 minutes
Drizzle with some extra chocolate for looks and enjoy! 

Enjoy these bits of deliciousness and don't feel guilty about eating them! Stay tuned for some more lunch friendly recipes and updates about my summer-time life.

Monday, 15 April 2013

"Why I Hate School But Love Education"

It's funny, I had a similar conversation with my dad today. He's a financial advisor and was sharing with me how he believes that we should be teaching students budgeting and money skills. School is to teach kids what they need to know to live and work, right? I spend money almost everyday. At some point in everyone's life they will have to spend money and budget, but are we taught how? Unless our parents show us, then as far as I know school doesn't teach this valuable life skill. This is only one skill that we fail to teach students. Personally, I think the school system is failing at reaching it's full potential to truly educate students.

These two spoken word videos share the same general idea. Watch the whole thing, they're simply amazing and deal with a huge epidemic in our education system. Sure, we're educating more people. But, are we teaching them what they need to know? 
Speak up, speak out we can't fix a problem if we don't talk about it. 

Don't find sulibreezy to be a credible source, what about Albert Einstein? 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Last day of undergrad

Today is a sad day, mother nature seems to agree and gave us cold and rainy weather to match. It's officially the last school day of my undergrad! On Monday I had my last DRED class with my year, and last night I TA-ed my last DRED class. I held it in, but so you're all aware I was bursting on the inside! I try to live in the moment as much as I can and decided to not think about how sad I'll be, but just to let it be because all good things must come to an end; this is one of my saddest ends. Of course, I'm happy to be done school but my university experience ended up being more than just school. 
You know how there's those days you never forget? Those, moments of impact (I watched the Vow this week...) that change the course of your life, getting in to DRED was one of those moments. 

I was working on a fashion show at my high school, choreographing a group of teachers, when I got a call from the office saying my dad was on the phone. We were in the gym, so I went to the gym teacher's office and picked up the phone to hear my dad tell me that the University of Windsor had called and they wanted me to call them back! I got the number and hung up on my dad, promising to call him back as soon as I could. I dialled the number for the University and I waited until who I now know as Gail answered and told me that I had been accepted into the Drama in Education & Community programme. Some screaming and some crying went on until I heard Gail say again "So, do you accept?", of course I said yes and the rest is history! Speaking of history, had I not gotten into DRED that's the programme I would have went into... what was I ever thinking! 

It's not easy to walk into a class and say whole heartedly that I like everyone there. Yes, sometimes some people annoy me, or I'd rather not work with someone (I'm only human!). But, I can wholeheartedly say that there is something I cherish about each and every member of my DRED class, you're all amazing.

As we all move on to bigger and greater things we'll take a little bit of each other and a lot of DRED with us. This programme taught us to be teachers, educators, community leaders, critical thinkers, story tellers, designers, artists, and even clowns. But, more importantly it taught us about ourselves and how to be the best person we can be. By learning about our talents and strengths, DRED gave us the ability to master them so they can be used to help others. No matter where we take our degree I believe that fundamental ideal of helping others is at the core of us, and is ultimately what brings us all together... we can't help but help each other! I've spent the last four years with 20-something people, of course we lost a few along the way, and in this final year gained a few more amazing additions to our class. I'll never forget a single one of you and I'll never forget some of the amazing moments we've had....

"Cheating is a developmental milestone!"
Getting way too into role drama and hiding under boxes and refusing to come out as we devised a plan to repopulate the earth in case of human extinction...
"DRED seshes"
Pedagogy & Praxis (duh) 
4th year Tina was much more loved than 2nd year Tina (sorry!) 
Setting fires in class, on purpose. 
Having my water break on stage 
Being rocks, or trees, or keys, or waterfalls, or cats, or 2nd graders (or was it 2 year olds??), or principals, or psychiatric patients, or cats (yes, again), or anything really because the first rule of improv is to always say yes.
 "Let's eat movies and watch popcorn!!"
We've been serenaded by a british clown who tells the dirtiest jokes 
Making digital narratives 
We've sat on mats (that later evolved into chairs for some) 
staying up all night writing logs 
Having little to no guidelines, but making a presentation anyway
The Catalina wine mixer 
We've rolled and writhed around on wood floors 
Tequila birthdays 
We know how long a Gail paper should be, say it with me: As long as it needs to be. 
We've had teaching partners that have turned into best friends 
We've had sushi dates and celebrated birthdays together 
We've had pot lucks & pre-drinks 
We've had the time of our lives.

DRED class of 2013, It's been a slice, I'll always miss you and good luck with the rest of your lives!!

I'll leave you with this gem of a song by Jake & Seth, makes me tear up every time... 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday pick-me-up

Ah, yes, Monday again. Luckily, it's the last week of classes! The last week of my entire undergrad, WHAT?! I'm excited and a little said. I've got my last DRED class today, this is the 20 something people I've been in class with all 4 years at the University of Windsor, I'm pretty sad to be leaving them. But, I don't want to be upset so if you're dreading Monday like I am here's a little pick me up! I laughed so hard at this, mostly because I know it's very likely it'll happen to me and Jeff.... things rarely go perfectly for us and that's what makes it fun! 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

I might have a problem...

Today I went to my usual tea spot, Teavana and the guy working says "Back again, we need to get you a frequent customer card!"... does this mean I might go there too much? But really my first though was, omg do they have those cards? I'm all for discounts. I settled for signing up for the e-mail list to receive a 10$ off coupon. 
Tea has become my treat lately it brightens my day (and my mind) when I'm overwhelmed or just relaxing, any occasion calls for tea. I've come a long way from buying the poorly stored loose leaf I found at Bulk Barn! I've got 5 cute little glass jars (hello Dollorama!) that I keep my tea in, they hold 50 grams perfectly. I've got a constant rotation going, so whenever I empty on I can go buy more! It's like a little gift to myself. Being as obsessed as I am with tea, so much so as to put it in my blog title I wanted to share the teas I'm drinking right now...  

 This tea is great with a little honey if you like things sweet, Jeff loves this tea without the honey so it's really up to you! You get the kick of a green tea and the sweet flavour of the cherry. To tell you how much I love this tea, I can say it's the first one I bought 100g of, that's commitment. I officially recommend it to anyone looking for a new tea to try and am officially calling it my favourite! Did I mention it smells like a fruit roll-up? YUM. 

I only just bought this tea yesterday and I've had one cup and I'm already sold! I picked this tea by name I figured, hey I like peach and I could use some tranquility in my life... I was right! The first thing I noticed was, wait, fuzzy peaches? Yep, it smells like one of my favorite candies! I usually drink white/green/herbal teas with honey but the first time I try something I like to get the natural flavour and it turns out this tea is sweet enough without any honey. This one is going to be great to wind down with at the end of the night

Well, now I really need a cup of tea. Hopefully you're craving one too, next time you're out try one of these teas! I doubt you'll be disappointed. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

You should nap.

If you read my last tweet, you'll know that my eyes are slowly drooping and my bed is starting to feel more like a cloud than a proper work desk. I've been hard at work all day, cleaning the house with the help of green tea and songza, and now finally sitting in my room doing homework. Part of this homework was to write a speech, a persuasive speech so after some thought I realized... who doesn't like to nap?! I could probably persuade my class to do that, and in the process I totally persuaded myself. So, if you're looking for a reason to nap, look no further! Here's a few reasons you should take a nap, right now... or when you can... 

  • An ideal nap lasts 20-30 minutes, but napping is personal so go with what best suits you.  
  • A nap of 60 minutes can improve alertness for up to 10 hours
  • Siesta cultures (afternoon nap) have a lower rate of coronary heart disease 
  • 1% or 1.9 million car accidents are cause by fatigue, don't be tired... take a nap!  
  • More than 85% of mammals are polyphasic sleepers, humans are in the minority of monophasic sleepers, meaning with have one distinct sleep period and one distinct wakeful period
  • A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%

Tips for taking the perfect nap(s): 
1) Find a cave, aka make sure it's dark. Your body responds to light so you'll have a harder time sleeping the brighter is, suck it up and get a goofy eye mask! Or make your own like this... 

2) Take a blanket. Your body temperature lowers slightly when you sleep, so don't risk waking up because of a chill. Or you could wear this really cool Harry Potter snuggie, ten points for gryffindor!!

3) Set an alarm so you don't oversleep. Make yourself laugh and give yourself some motivation while you're at it.. 

Well, if you're ready to take a nap now I've done my job. Sweet dreams!! 


Sunday, 17 March 2013

We've set a date!

And then all of a sudden everything became that much more real, and I couldn't be happier! 
JULY 12th 2014
I'll marry my high school sweetheart and the love of my life... CRAZY!
Being the Pinterest freak that I am I love the idea of save the date cards and can't wait to get an engagement shoot done so I can send some out!! I love the idea of a fall shoot but I don't know if I can wait that long... patience isn't really my thing.
I'm thinking something cozy and out in the country, having the dog involved is a must! Maybe some plaid? I'd love to wear my Hunters. Heck, I paid enough for them I might as well show them off a little!
Here's some of the ideas I like so far for a cute, cozy, country engagement shoot.. 

[Click on the pictures for the full shoot, if available] 


Saturday, 16 March 2013

I love London, England.

I must say there is only one thing that I didn't like about my trip, I didn't have enough time there. Oh, and everyone thought we were American... at least they were happy when we told them, uh... no. 
The first thing everyone asks me about my trip is what was your favorite thing? My first answer was well, everything. Just the place itself is beautiful. Even the McDonald's there is housed in a historic and architectural building. But after some though I realized my favorite place was the Horse Hospital Antique market, the one place I don't have pictures of... what? Lauren not take pictures?! It happened. Basically it was a giant flea market, shoes, clothes, food, home decor, and everything is just so unique. I'm a sucker for flea markets pretty much anywhere, but this one was even more than I could have imagined. The floors were cobblestone, the walls made of aged brick, and around every corner was another statue of a horse or something to do with equine culture. Okay, you get the picture, it was gorgeous. 
The first day I was introduced to this lovely thing called jet lag. We took a red eye flight from detroit straight to London, and as soon as we got there we were on the go. I almost fell asleep on our first bus tour, and then again at supper, and while unpacking at the hotel, despite Jenna (my trip roomie and teaching partner) yelling at me not to. The first night in London we came to a terrible realization, pubs are only open until 11pm, WHAT?! Despite this, we still had a good time. The days there breezed by, as did the historic sites: Buckingham palace, the tower of London, trafalgar square, theatre royal, the globe theatre, tower bridge, abbey road, the Albert and Victoria memorial, Marble Arch, St Paul's Cathedral, the old Roman wall, and a bunch of other places whose names I don't know and/or remember... oops. As part of our trip we also got to see four plays, all of which we're really good! My favourite had to be Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that we say at the Lion and Unicorn theatre which happens to be above a bar which means we got to drink throughout! But then again all the theatres we went to had bars and offered ice cream that you could bring in the theatre, FOOD AND DRINKS IN THE THEATRE! The show was classic Shakespearean text with a modern twist, the audience was small, intimate and the actors got right up in your business... it was great.
Overall it was a trip that I'll never forget and I can't wait to go back some day!! 

... But it wasn't tea ;) 

The Marble Arch 



This crazy thing hapenned and we we on a hidden camera tv show! It was only the pilot, but how cool is that?! A busker asked some of our group if we could watch his stuff while he went to the loo, and of course they said yes. I heard music and then realized I KNOW THEM! It was my friends, so I grabbed a tambourine and Seth grabbed a guitar and we sang some Beatles for people walking by on the waterfront... one of the coolest things I've ever done! Soon enough the busker came back and some guy was telling us we were being filmed for a pilot for a show about Random Acts of Kindness! How cool?! The whole group was beaming for the next couple hours! Go do a random act of kindness, I promise you'll feel good about it. 

The tower of London 

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Went to Hogwarts...

Candle I lit in St. Paul's