Lavish Parties, Love, Wine & Chocolate Fountains: The Modern Day Jane Austen Weekend

I am a happy girl. I just experienced one of the best weekends that I have had in a long time. Not only was the weather absolutely perfect, but I felt truly satisfied on Sunday evening--like I squeezed in everything that I should have done and wanted to do. It was an amazing feeling. I am usually the reflective one in our relationship, but Roger got me thinking this time. Sometimes we are so busy that we neglect to take time to simply revel in how good things are. We spent half the weekend apart and the other half together and both parts were equally great. It's so important for couples to have their own livelihoods outside of the activities they share together. It makes you appreciate each other's company even more.

I kickstarted the weekend with joining a book club. OMGOSH I've wanted to join a book club ever since I was a little girl. The very thought of is so wonderfully debonair that I practically channel Jane Austen merely thinking about it. How divine would it have been to chit-chat about literature whilst sipping Lady Grey and nibbling on petit-fours in the early 1800s? Oh, if only...

I had a long-winded inner conversation with myself as to whether I would embrace the new book in its electronic or paperback format. My fingers longed for the rough pages of a tangible novel, but my frugality got the better of me and I christened my Kobo. I'm so glad I did because a.) it was a gift and it was high time that I used it, and b.) the E-pub format was free! Although difficult to read at times due to its upsetting nature, A Stolen Life by 1991 kidnap survivor Jaycee Lee Dugard, provides gripping insight into the complicated relationship between a young girl and her captor. The strength in which the author had to tell her story shows that life can go on even after the unthinkable happens. I would recommend it for a quick read with a box of Kleenex and a glass of wine.

Kobo & Wine

So that was my Thursday night. Just bliss. Roger went to the driving range and I didn't even miss him one bit. We then stayed up till 11 o'clock like badasses and drank a whole bottle of Pinot. Rebels, I tell ya.

Friday night we travelled with the Tunders to Roger's hometown to see a friend of his play in a band. Again, we got a little tipsy on the patio and me and the girls decided that "Blop" was a way funnier way to say "Blog". Oh wine... how creative you are at inventing new words.

Bridal Shower

Roger hit the golf course with buddies on Saturday. I attended a Bridal Shower, which was positively lovely. I didn't know a lot of the bride's friends very well, but they were all very welcoming. As much as I enjoyed myself (and the Peach Sangria!) the whole scene made me miss my girls at home so very much. I wouldn't change where I'm living now, but I wish I lived closer to my girl friends so we could get together more often. I miss them!

We had dinner at Roger's dad's house on Saturday night--Gluten-free pizza--yummy! I finished the night by turning the last page on my Kobo.

When Sunday morning came, it almost felt like a bonus. The Book Club meeting scheduled for Sunday night also happened to be a surprise Baby Shower (my first one!) so buying baby books was an excuse to hit up the mall.

This is my Sunny Sunday Shopping dress. I bought it last year on a whim from Forever 21 and it's an easy throw-on for humid days.  The shoes are by Ugg. I think I went through withdrawal when Uggs lost popularity in 2008--so much so that I had to buy the sandal version.

Poppy

I did not care to do my hair in the AM.

Sunday dress

Did I mention that the Book Club/Baby Shower was also a Pyjama Party?! Here I am in my jammies and my slippies to prove it.

Tunders & Jammies

All-in-all I had a jam-packed weekend filled with many firsts, lots of drinks, lots of love, and too much chocolate fondue. My best takeaways? Reading is now my new summer hobby and I can't wait until my friends start getting married so I can go to more Bridal and Baby Showers. I also discovered that time apart from boyfriends is good, but time together is even better.

Baby Shower

It is now time to go to bed. Thank you for reading!

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The One Hundred Dollar Dog Treat

I had the largest scare of my dog-parent life this morning!

There I was commencing my daily routine about to jump into the shower when I heard loud banging against the bathroom door. Opening it ever so slightly, I was shocked to find a crazy-eyed Tundra barrelled his way into me. He was SO HYPER. I was almost too concerned to get mad. He NEVER goes upstairs. Not only he is not allowed upstairs, he understands this and abides by the house rules. Something was out of the ordinary for sure. After endless coaxing, I managed to get him downstairs. He was shaking and panting and circling me like he hadn't seen me in days. When I went back upstairs to investigate this is what I found...

Bad dog

 BAD DOG ATE MY EPI PEN--PACKAGING AND ALL!!

... plus a greeting card, and a razor cartridge... you know, as dessert.

Bad dog # 2

I freaked. A million thoughts were running through my head. Did he pierce his tongue with the needle? Was he going to be okay? What can a shot of adrenaline do to a dog? I remembered a story about a baby accidentally injecting herself and being okay, but what about dogs? Tundra was panting like crazy and being an all-around psycho. I woke up Roger. I woke up my mom. I woke up my dad. No veterinary offices were open at the time. I googled "my dog ate my Epi-Pen" and received no search results. I guess these kinds of things only happen to me? Luckily he's a big dog and the adrenaline effects dissipated quickly. I'm willing to bet his hyper-activity was escalated by the thrill of being upstairs and the anticipation of me waking up. Thanks to my rebel dog I must now purchase another Epi-Friend for myself. Pictured below is what an Epi-Pen is SUPPOSED to look like. My dad said it perfectly when he texted me tonight: "How's your druggy... I mean, doggy, doing?" Gah! First he gets into the Scotch and now this? I'm sensing a canine intervention soon...

Epi friend

Stair sitter

"What? Epi-Pens are NOT for eating?"

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Bikini Tomorrow… Detox Today!

I am SO happy to be done studying, but now I am suffering from the inevitable end-of-exam slump. Any student out there? You probably know exactly what I'm talking about here! You spend day after day avoiding the gym, putting off your exercise because you want to save your energy for hitting the books. That, and you're stressed. Of course it would make 100% sense to release some endorphins and sweat your frustrations out, but sometimes you just wanna eat pasta and cram in your comfies. I'm the worst for it! A month ago my arms used to look like this...

Arm

and now I can hardly lift my work bag without hurting myself. It's terrible. Sure, I've been running outside with my dog, but I miss the feeling and the confidence I get from lifting weights at the gym. After about 2.5 weeks of straight studying, energy drinks (shame on me, I know), and candy, I am in need of a quick health boost to get me back into routine.

That means an extra dosage of fruit, sleep, and water before I feel ready to conquer the gym again.

I've attempted 3-day Detox Diets before--there's a really good one on the Dr.Oz website--but I find it really hard to stick to a juice regime due to my allergies. A lot of recipes call for almond milk, soy products, and avocado--all foods that I have to stay away from. Instead, I just try to incorporate into my diet as much raw fruit and veggies as I can while drinking a ton of water and green tea. Yummy SMOOTHIES all the time! It's amazing how quickly your body responds to eating healthy foods, especially after a few days of cheating. You might tell yourself that you crave sweets, but your body is craving vitamins!!

I went to the grocery store yesterday and stocked up on all the best things. I tried Coconut Water for the first time and I quite enjoy it. Next on my list is Coconut Oil--I hear it's a really great alternative to other cooking oils.

Detox

I made a Cherry, Blueberry, Grape, Pineapple, Coconut, Mango, Cran-Apple smoothie for breakfast. I added a hint of Cocoa powder and it was simply heavenly. Usually I add yogurt, but I brought a yogurt for lunch instead.

Pineapple

I made enough to pack a mid-morning snack.

 Blender

Bathing suit season is creeping up so soon! It's easy to keep procrastinating--believe me, I rock at it--but I've done it long enough. One more beauty sleep and a couple of vitamin-packed smoothies and I'll be ready to go... TOMORROW!

DUBAI 160

Can't wait to hit the gym so I can hit the beach strong, healthy, and happy! 🙂

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End of Exams, Camping, and Reuniting with Friends

Hi guys! Guess what?! My study days are OVER! Yay yay yay yay yay! I can finally put away my books as I have passed both my Series 7 and Series 63 exams! (With flying colours I might add.) I wrote my final exam this morning and now I'm kick-starting my freedom with a day of relaxation and catch-up activities around the house. First things first: updating my blog. I explicitly told myself that I wasn't allowed to share the details of my weekend until today. Allow me to recap... I went camping on Saturday! Full disclosure, this was not "camping" in the traditional sense. There was running water, potential for electricity, and our cars were parked within footsteps. Technically we partied in the somewhat wilderness, crashed in tents for one night and then packed up bright and early in the morning. The setting was perfect for our objectives, but it didn't feel like the real deal. This weekend made me curious to embark on a live-out-of-a-backpack-conquer the mountain-make your own shelter-be one-with-the-trees kind of adventure without all the amenities. Nature doesn't care if you are dirty or if you choose to sing out loud. It's not like I'd choose a rugged vacation over an all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise, but it'd be fun to try "roughing it" just once in my lifetime--preferably while I'm young and energetic. I have to be careful what I wish for though--I feel like my boyfriend would whisk me away on unmarked island canoe trip in a heartbeat. He wouldn't let me pack anything but a toothbrush, a bathing suit and a camera. Oh, and floss. Make-up would not be an option. I would either be very, very cross or become a huge no-deoderant-wearing hippie by the end of the trip. Who knows? I'm all about testing the extremes here. All-in-all it was nice to get away for the weekend and take a break from the study grind. Even nicer was the fact that we snuck in a short visit with my parents and brothers. We measured the pros and cons of taking Tundra camping with us, but the thought of sleeping next to a 100 pound dog on a two-person air mattress made the decision pretty easy. He had no complaints about spending the weekend with his home dog, Bandit. I only took a few pictures from the trip and I do believe I am posting the majority of them. I wish I could have gotten more pictures with everyone, but my phone died halfway through the evening. I admit it; this post is super loquacious, but I hope you enjoy my long and convoluted rantings. (They are much like the exam questions I worked through today.) Oh! We also returned my old Dodge Caravan to my parent's house this weekend. The symbolism was almost too much as I literally guided it home, following closely behind it up the highway in my new and improved van. The end of an era. Bye bye Leonidis... your one-sided pinstripes, lack of air conditioning and broken right door will be missed. I will laugh/be oddly comforted if they keep it for my little brother. I swear that thing has another 100K in it...

Byebye van

My friends, Atheana and Justin, just welcomed the CUTEST little puppy to their household. Kelowna is a Golden Doodle and is the sweetest, most curious, bitey little thing. Just look at that face!

Kelowna cutie

She's curious about beer & Cheetos. Rightfully so.

Beer and Cheetos

Everybody needs a picture with a puppy. It's a rule of puppy ownership. You must lend out your puppy for hugs and photo-ops. Charlie complied.

Charlie and Kelowna

Me too.

Kelowna

The boys set up our tent. We had the coolest one by far! Atheana, Justin, Charlie, and Richard slept in the trailer, which was equally as cool if not more so, but not as colourful.

Tent

Couple of campers.

Couple of campers

My girls: Atheana & Charlie. I'm smiling way too hard. The Palm Bays may have had something to do with this... Girls of Summer

Me & my love. Is it just me or are we starting to look more alike with time? Haha. Me & Roger

iPhones really need to have a self-timer feature. There's probably an app for that and if so, someone please be a Craig David and fill me in!!

Picnic Table Shot

 We almost had a full high school reunion... missing Naaz & Christine! There's always a next time--hopefully in the very near future!! 🙂Me taking the picture

And then we met up with Jenn on the second campsite for some games that involved cups, beer, and spilling beer from cups. My friends are so pretty!Camping

Roger playing some drinking game that ended with a conspicuous blueberry beer spot on white polka dot fabric.  Slap cup

My friend, Jess, serenading us by the fire. She's a rockstar.

Guitar

And cut to sleepy Tunders on the way home. He really likes the new van. Backseat sleeper

Even though my weekend getaway doesn't count as a real camping trip, it was fun to get together with good friends and mingle with classmates that I haven't spoken to in years. It's awesome to reconnect and see where everyone is at in life, especially when that reconnection involves marshmallows, beer, and campfire songs.
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