Book to movie challenge

In January, somewhere in the wonder that is blogland, I found this post. It’s a book to movie challenge. Basically, you read a book, then see the movie and review both. Is there anything more fantastic than this? I think not. There are different levels to the challenge.

Movie Fan – read 3 books and watch their movies
Movie Devotee – read 6 books and watch their movies
Movie Lover – read 9 books and watch their movies
Movie Aficionado – read 12 books and watch their movies
Movie Auteur – read 24 books and watch their movies

I think I’m going to go with movie devotee, so six books. You can change levels at any time, so I can always move up.

I’m not going to stick with movies coming out this year or books I read this year. For example, I read Gone Girl last year, and the movie is coming out this year, so it will probably make the list. Also, I just read Stardust, and I want to watch the movie. Both came out several years ago, but they are new to me, so they will make the list also. I might do a few books-to-tv-shows as well.

I’ve read and reviewed Divergent, by Veronica Roth, but I’m going to wait until I see the movie so I can post both reviews together. These are several books-to-movies that I hope to review this year.

Serena, by Ron Rash

The fault in our Stars, by John Green

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn

Orange is the new black, Piper Kerman

If you have any good books to suggest, please do! (Even if there’s no movie coming out. I’m always on the lookout for good book recommendations!)

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All I want to do is wear pretty dresses

Last year, in December, I took part in Dressember. It’s a fantastic, amazing, fun, challenge where one wears a dress every day in December. It was my first year participating, but I found a great online community of Dressemberites who made it even more fun! Some of the people have been doing it for a few years.

This year, however, there was a twist in the December world. The person who started the challenge in 2009 decided to align Dressember with a charity. She chose the International Justice mission, which is great. What’s not great is that someone is claiming ownership of a word, a challenge, and a community. Our old Dressember facebook page was deleted and we had to change the name of our group. Lots of people donate and fundraise, but for various causes.

Even though I’m apparently not supposed to use the word anymore, it’s still Dressember to me!

Day 1 – Movie, bookstore and lattes, just like day 1 last year (different dress!)

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Day 2 – On Mondays we wear purple! (Some days have themes or colours. It’s just for fun, you don’t have to do it.)

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Day 3 – Max Studio dress. These dresses always fit me and look awesome, so I have to be sure I’m ready to buy before I try!

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Day 4 – On Wednesdays we wear pink! Hand me down dress from my mama.

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Day 5 – Hardtail leggings (my favourite) and dress from a friend who bought it, then decided she didn’t like it.

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Day 6 – BeBop dress. One of my favourites. I bought it in the summer, and thought I’d have to put it away for winter, but it “winterizes” very nicely.

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Day 7 – Purple silk party dress from Kensie. From a friend who didn’t want it anymore. Lucky me!

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Day 8  – Comfortable dress for making cookies all day.

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Day 9 – Purple Monday, this time with flowers.

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It’s not too late to join in the fun!

Sunday girl

I’ve recently become obsessed with Zooey Deschanel. Ok, maybe not obsessed, but that girl has some serious style! Not to mention talent as well. Let’s just say she influenced part of this post, which is all about dresses, books and yoga. How fabulous is that combination?

Dresses

Earlier in the week, I posted a teaser of a dress I bought. I originally saw it at Winners, but they didn’t have it in my size, so I went to another Winners. Again, no luck. It was perfect, but I was resigned to not having it. Then, I went to Marshall’s with my friend Suzanne and she said “Look at this pretty dress.” It was my dress! And in my size! It was fate I tell you, fate.

The very same day, I saw a cd at Starbucks from a duo called She and Him. It was Zooey Deschanel and a guy (I’m sorry, I don’t remember his name.). I didn’t even know she sang. When I got home, I looked it up. Not only does she sing, she writes her own songs. Plus, my new dress could totally be in her video for I could have been your girl.

I’ve been listening to the cd all week. I love it!

Back in December, I participated in Dressember, which was a challenge to wear a dress every day for the whole month. The Dressember creator decided to have a summer challenge so we could show off our pretty summer dresses. It’s only for a week this time, but I was super excited to wear my new dress in a Zooey-inspired style!

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That was day one of the dress challenge. Today was day two and it was very grey and gloomy this morning, so I went with bright colours to balance it out.

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I’ve already got my dress picked out for tomorrow!

Books

Today was one of my favourite book-related days of the year. The library book fair! Woohoo! (I know. I’m a nerd.) They sell old books and you pay by weight. I didn’t actually notice what the price per kilogram was, but it wasn’t very much. There were a lot of people and it was muggy in there, so I didn’t stay very long, but I was so happy I got to go!

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They also sell really, really old books. Last year, I bought a 100 year old book for my sister for 50 cents. No such luck this year though.

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I got some great stuff for me and for my classroom. I got eight books for the kids and it cost me 12$. You can barely get one book for that price! They’re all in really good shape too. I got four books for myself and it cost me 5$ Not quite as amazing as the 25 cent books I got last week, but still a good price for someone who buys more books than, well, than anything else really!

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Yoga

Today was day two of my 30 day yoga challenge. I usually go to yoga on Sunday morning, not afternoon, but today I was busy with the books, so I went to a beginner class in the afternoon. It’s nice to take an intro class every now and then. You really get into the foundation of the poses and you don’t just flow through them. It’s not as easy as you would expect because we get used to moving to a certain rythm and when you break a pose down into pieces, it takes more focus to get into it.

It was a good thing I didn’t go to a power class because I had a headache and every time I put my head down in downward dog, it hurt more. I think it’s my fault. I didn’t drink enough water today. Oops!

After class, I got my sticker! The girls made a sticker board where all the challengers can track their progress. It might seem silly, but getting that sticker is a great motivation!

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So that was my day as a Sunday girl, which is the title of one of the songs off She and Him, Volume 3. Here’s the video that inspired my look. I would have loved a crinoline and a bow, but I didn’t have either. I’ll definitely find a bow for next time I wear my dress!

Challenge me

I like challenges. I’ve done two 30-day yoga challenges, one no-spending month and Dressember since I started blogging last March. I’ve also done the photo-a-day challenge last February and May. I tried again in July, but my summers always lack structure, so it didn’t get very far!

Here is the list for February. I thought about participating, especially since I got a new camera and am taking a photography class, but I don’t know. The first prompt is really not inspiring me.

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I’ve been looking for a challenge for February, because it works as motivation. I know I can challenge myself to go to yoga everyday, but it’s not the same. I need more. There are some crazy challenges out there. Here are a few I found:

– No-chocolate February (Why? Really, why?)

– Flexible February (Stretch every day. I’m guessing yoga counts?)

– Fat Free February (I get it, but I don’t want to do it.)

– February Anime Challenge (I wouldn’t even know where to start with this one. Also, this has never interested me. So, no.)

– February in Russia reading challenge (I have never made it through Anna Karenina.)

None of these really appeal to me. I loved the fashion apsect of Dressember, but it’s very cold now, so a fashion challenge would be, well, challenging. This one looks like fun, but like I said, Canadian winter/ice/snow/cold/wind up my skirt here.

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A challenge works best if it’s something I love, like yoga, dresses and photos. I also love blogging, so I think I’ll challenge myself to post every day. I need something to blog about, so maybe this will motivate me practice yoga, even when it’s cold and I’m tired, take lots of pictures and wear dresses (under my snow suit).

Are you participating in any interesting challenges this month?

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31 days of dresses

Today is day 2, A.D. (After Dressember) and it feels strange to be wearing jeans and not a dress! I had a lot of fun with this challenge and I will definitely do it again next year. I’ve been posting weekly updates, but I thought it would be interesting to see all my dresses in one post. Here it is!

days 1 to 3days 4 to 6days 7 to 9days 10 to 12days 13 to 15days 16 to 18days 19 to 21days 22 to 24days 25 to 27days 28 to 31

My favourites were days 3, 10, 20 and 24, although I love all my dresses! Do you have a favourite?

Hitting the reset button

Since October started, I haven’t been to yoga very much. Twice, to be exact. The first week, I was taking it easy after my 30 day challenge in September, so I only went to one class. But this past week, I’ve been feeling lazy and unmotivated. Every evening, I found a reason not to go to class.

Challenges work well for me. I like the motivation they bring me. Without it, I feel a little lost. I convince myself I am too tired, or sick, or busy to practice, but that leads to me feeling worse, not better.

This morning, I decided enough was enough. I went to a noon detox flow class at Pure. I felt better just walking through the door. A fellow blogger wrote a post about finding your yoga home recently, and it made me realize how much I missed my yoga home. I missed the people, the classes, the energy.

At least five or six people said to me “I haven’t seen you in a while!” Another sign that I’ve been neglecting my second home.

Class was great. I thought it would be a little difficult, since it had been over a week since I’d practiced at all, but it made me feel wonderful. I don’t know why it’s so easy for me to forget how amazing yoga makes me feel about myself. That class was really like hitting a reset button. I’m going to forget about the last two weeks and just focus on what’s to come.

I kind of missed not getting a sticker after class, like I did during the challenge, but Jen gave me a Pure Yoga bumper sticker, so that’s even better!

I’ve decided to try a little experiment. The yoga challenge helped motivate me because I felt like I was being held accountable for doing what I said I would (even if it was just to myself). So now I’m putting it out there that I’m going to three classes this week.

Monday, 7:30 pm Power class with Todd

Wednesday, 7:30 Yin class with Ichih

Thursday, 7:30 Flow class with Jen.

I reserve the right to change my plans, but only if I make other plans instead, like dinner with friends. No cancelling yoga to sit on the couch and watch tv. Hopefully, this will help keep me motivated this week!

Have I been the change?

When I started this 30 day challenge on September 1st, I was in it for the yoga. When I heard about a challenge happening at Pure Yoga Ottawa, my favourite studio, I jumped on the chance to participate. I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was more to it than doing yoga every day.

I received daily e-mails filled with motivational quotes and messages from Megan, the creator of this amazing challenge, videos and tips for at-home practice from Megan and Mike, another teacher. There were nutrition tips and delicious recipes. I discovered new ways to prepare old ingredients and new foods to try. There was information about holistic healing. This was new, and interesting to read about.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my body is tired and needs a rest from daily practice, at least for a while. However, my mind and spirit will miss the daily motivation and encouragement. For this, I am sad to see the challenge end.

This challenge coincided with going back to work. Last year, I found the back to school period to be very difficult. I felt like there was always something more to do. I never had enough time to do it all. Once I realized I couldn’t do it all, I relaxed and enjoyed my work a lot more. This year, I was afraid of falling into the same trap. I was happy to have a reason to leave work at a reasonable hour, to take some time for myself and to have a way to find peace every day.

I realized one of the things I love the most about yoga is the quiet moment that comes after giving all I’ve got. Taking child’s pose anytime feels good, but taking child’s pose after going through several flows, side planks and chair pose is bliss. I was thinking about this during class today, when Megan said something that struck a chord with me. She said The vinyasa of our practice mirrors the vinyasa of our lives.

During a class, I might feel happy, frustrated, proud, discouraged, tired, curious, scared and blissed out. I feel these same emotions during my daily life. I try to approach challenges in my practice with an open mind and lots of laughter. I am trying to do the same with the challenges in my life. This is the change I did not know I was looking for. So yes, to answer my own question, I think I have been the change.

Today was day 30. It was the last class. I went to Megan’s class, which was perfect, because I started this challenge with one of her classes and also because without her, there wouldn’t be a challenge. I was very proud of myself for seeing this through all the way to the end. I got all 30 stickers on the board! Yes, they’re all pink.

I was also very happy to do this class with Jacynthe and Dominique, who are both collegues and friends. We did this challenge together and it definitely contributed to the motivation to make it to class every day!

And finally, it was great to meet some of the other challengers. We have become a community, linked by our desire to be the change. Thanks so much Megan for giving us the chance to find the best in ourselves. Namaste.