Better you than me!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from the Broke and the Bookish is “Top ten characters I’d never want to trade places with”. I often imagine myself as characters in the books I read, so it’s interesting to see who I wouldn’t want to be.

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games

It’s kind of obvious why. First, she lives in a world where the hunger games exist, then she has to participate. People die, people try to kill her. Sure, she’s a hero, but not because she wanted to be.

2. Lisbeth from The girl with the dragon tattoo

I didn’t like that book, and I didn’t read the others in the trilogy. Lisbeth’s been controlled and abused her whole life. She’s not happy. Maybe she becomes happy in the later books. If you’ve read them, let me know how it turns out for her.

3. Yvaine from Stardust

She’s a star, sure, that’s cool. But she falls from the sky and can’t go back. Plus, she doesn’t eat. I know all she needs is light, but as a mere mortal, I can’t imagine a life without cake.

4. Anyone from a Jodi Picoult novel

I enjoy her books, but they’re always centered around a problem. A big one. Everyone’s life is messed up, they go to court, they blame each other. No thanks.

5. Becky from Confessions of a Shopoholic

She loves to shop. I actually do to, but I get stressed out if my phone bill is late or if I owe someone 10$. I’d love to have as much nice clothes as her, but the credit card debt? Forget it.

6. Liesel in The Book Thief

It’s Germany, during World War 2. She loses her brother and her mother within hours of each other. Death is obsessed with her. Her adoptive family loves her, but her life is hard and sad.

7. Ayla from The Clan of the Cave Bears

She loses her people when she’s too young to realize it. She’s raised by people who are different, and who never fully accept her. She is cast out, has boy trouble and lives during the ice age, no it’s no picnic.

8. Beth from Little Women

If you haven’t read this book, spoiler alert. Beth is sweet and all, but she’s boring and dull. Then she dies. Yeah, not cool.

9. The women in The Dovekeepers

These are strong, independent women, which is rare for biblical times. However, such independence comes at a price. I’m impressed by them, but I would not want to be them.

10. Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood

Sure, Sookie is part fairy, she like vampire crack and they all love her. Eric is hot, Bill is handsome, and then there’s Sam, the warm-blooded shape shifter who also loves her. But people are always trying to kill her. She can read people’s minds and it drives her crazy. (I know True blood is the name of the tv show, not the books!)

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Christmas crafting

I’m one of those people who love Christmas. You know, the one with the million little lights, the Christmas music playing all the time and the cookies. So many cookies!

My friend Suzanne is just like me, and in November, we decided to have a Christmas craft day. Neither of us is very crafty, but we had wine with our crafts, so it was all good.

We decided to make Christmas lists. Suzanne’s was a list she could check off, and mine was a calendar. If we do it again next year, I’m going to make a list like hers instead of a calendar.

We started off by going to the craft store, where all kind of Christmas goodies and treats were just waiting for us to play with. I mean buy.

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We set up our supplies and got to work.

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Drawing lines is hard work, so we had to stop and have a little break.

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We wanted to stick with Christmas colours, and it turned out really well.

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My calendar was pretty blank, because it was only November and I didn’t have my December planned out. I am very happy with the way it turned out though, and my calendar now has many fun Christmas activities on it. Still, next year I’m making a list.

Happy Christmas crafting!

This fall

this fall I will be…

Making : The most of every moment

Cooking :
 Soup

Drinking: Tea, lots of tea

Reading:
 As much as possible

Wanting:
 New boots

Looking: 
At my vision board

Playing:
 In the leaves

Wasting:
 Sunday mornings watching Pioneer Woman

Sewing:
 A baby quilt

Wishing:
 On every star I see

Enjoying:
 Halloween

Waiting: 
For my birthday

Enjoying: My little home yoga studio

Wondering:
 When my pulled muscle will be better

Loving: My life

Hoping: That fall lasts longer

Marvelling: At the fall colours

Writing: Stories for my kid’s yoga class

Baking : Pumpkin scones

Needing:
 To run

Smelling:
 The crisp fall air

Wearing:
 Dresses and boots

Following:
 My dreams

Noticing: 
The little things

Knowing:
 I am enough

Thinking: About my birthday!

Feeling:
 Grateful

Bookmaring: Pinterest style inspirations

Decorating: A pumpkin

Opening: Lots and lots of books

Remembering: How to knit

Giggling:
 With my students

Practicing: yoga

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Wildlife Adventure

A few weeks ago, my friend Adèle told me she had a something special planned for my birthday, which is next week. She told me to pick a day, but she wouldn’t tell me what we were going to do. I picked today. Last week, she told me that I needed a few things for our special day. This is the list she sent me:

– camera

– notepad

– running shoes

– skates

– bathing suit

If you’re thinking what the…? I know. So was I. I tried to think of what activity could require these items. Someone suggested maybe a scavenger hunt. I thought maybe some kind of rallye. Then I began to wonder if I really would need these items, or if it was just to throw me off track.

I showed up at my friend’s house today, not knowing what to expect. A few other friends were there too. My friend Lyli told me to close my eyes, and she would give me a clue. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands in which she placed… a bag of carrots! Wait, what? Then Adèle asked me where I could possibly use a bag of carrots. Was there any place I had been dreaming of going to for years that would require carrots?

This is the point where I jumped up and down squeeling “Parc Oméga!” Parc Oméga is a wildlife park where you can drive around and feed the animals. They only have Canadian animals and I had been trying to get my friends together all summer to go with me, but it never worked out. Also, I was right about the list being designed to throw me off, all I needed was my camera. And the carrots, of course.

Four of us headed out with lots of energy, music and carrots. The park is about an hour outside the city and when we got there, the first animals we saw were elk. They were very greedy and kept sticking their head in the car to get more carrots. My friend Claudine kept yelling “Roll up your window!” while I mostly just made very high-pitched sounds.

We also saw wild boar. I threw some pieces of carrots on the ground for them, but I didn’t really want them eating out of my hand.

We were told not to feed the males, because it’s mating season and they are quite aggressive, but this little guy did not seem very aggressive. He still had his Bambi spots! He got a carrot.

This guy, however, looked a little less innocent. He was chasing the females and stomping his feet and being all manly. He didn’t get any carrots.

How could you say no to this face?

We saw some Arctic foxes, but we couldn’t feed them. They looked like fluff balls, but somehow I doubt they would have let me pet them.

The caribou didn’t come anywhere near us. I think maybe it’s because we didn’t bring any lichen.

One of the rules is “Don’t get out of your car” except when you get to some of the walking areas. I find it quite strange that we were told not to feed the males from the safety of our car, but we could walk around with them. It looked like they were playing tag, but I’m guessing that wasn’t it.

I tried to feed this little guy, but he was skittish and wouldn’t come close enough.

I pretended to feed Adèle the carrot, so he would know what to do with it, and he was all “Dude, that’s my carrot.”

Even after all that, he still wouldn’t eat it, so I found another deer who wanted a snack. They chew with their mouth open. How rude.

We were freezing so we got back in the car and saw some bison. This one was scratching his butt, which, compared to the rest of him, is quite tiny.

These two were very impressive, and they knew it. I think they practice posing at night, telling each other how strong and beautiful they look.

This one was so adorable, he got the last of the carrots. We wanted to break the “don’t get out of the car” rule and pet him, but we restrained ourselves.

This one heard from his elk friends that we had carrots, and he wanted some. Sadly, we were all out.

We also saw wolves. Two of them were playing, when another one came and messed up their game. One of them left, then the others followed him and sat on his head. True story.

We saw coyotes, baby boar and a moose. We stayed until it was too dark to see anything else, then we came home. Such a perfect day! Much better than what I was imagining when I saw the list, which included skating in my swimsuit and taking pictures while running. This was much better! I am very lucky to have such great friends! xxx

27 out of 101

On October 1st, 2011, I started a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It’s been an amazing year. Some of the things I imagined I would do right away have yet to be done, while some of the things I thought would be done towards the end of the 1001 days have been accomplished already! It’s been great. If I’m feeling restless or bored, I look to my list and find instant inspiration and motivation!

Here is a recap of what I’ve done so far. For the full list, click here.

12. Try snowboarding.

I did this last year with my friend Julie. We went out a few times and I fell in love with it! I’m actually looking forward to snow this year. Sadly, my friend Julie moved to Abu Dhabi, so I lost my snow buddy, but I’m still going to make it out to the hill, because I enjoy it so much! I fall a lot, but that’s nothing new!

13. Go to Central or South America

When I wrote this, I had Costa Rica or Brazil in mind. However, not everything happens as planned. I went to Cuba this summer and although I’m not sure the Caribbean counts and Central or South America, I have decided that, for the purpose of this list, it does! It doesn’t mean I won’t go someday, but 1001 days is less than three years, so I’m not sure I’ll make it before then.

18. Do 108 sun salutations

I did this twice! Once for the spring equinox and once for the summer solstice. There was supposed to be an event held for the fall equinox, but it was outside and it was cancelled due to rain. I was disappointed, because I thought I might do 108 sun salutations for all of the seasons in 2012. It’s definitely not easy, and your legs feel it the next day, but it’s a great experience.

22. Take a trip with my mom

My mom and I went to Cuba together this summer. I love my mom and I like her too! We have a great time together. I always feel bad for my friends who don’t like to spend time with their mom, or who just don’t get along. My mom rocks.

23. Go running along the canal

The canal is beautiful and I always see people running and think “I want to do that.” So I did. It was a beautiful day and it made me happy.

24. Get a cellphone I can text with

I got one for my birthday, last November. I enjoy my phone, but it is not surgically implanted in my hand. It’s not an iphone, it doesn’t do anything special. It lets me text, which makes me thing I have caught up with technology, although deep down, I know I haven’t.

30. Visit the National Gallery

I went to see the Van Gogh exhibit in September. The gallery is beautiful, which is why I wanted to go again. It’s right across the river, I should go every time there is a new exhibit.

34. Go hiking

I’ve done this several times since last October, and I hope to do it again before the 1001 days are up. There are so many wonderful places to hike and walk in the woods around here, there’s no reason not to go!

37. Make a dress

I wrote this thinking I would make myself a dress. However, last year, for my class play, I made two dresses for two very happy little girls! I think two mini-dresses equals one me-size dress!

38. Eat beets

I don’t like beets, but, at a restaurant for my birthday last year, I discovered fried beets. They were delicious and did not taste like regular beets at all. This means they did not taste like dirt.

39. Climb a tree

Trees are made for climbing. I’ve discovered I can climb a tree when it needs to be climbed, it doesn’t matter if I’m wearing white or a dress. I can do it.

43. Play volleyball

I’ve done this twice. I’ve discovered I’m not very good (ok, I knew this already) but I do enjoy it very much. My goal is to get better (meaning not duck when the ball comes my way) and maybe play on a team next summer.

45. Get an IMAX teacher movie pass

I’ve been to several movies, and it’s definitely worth it! One and a half movies paid for my pass, now all the movies I see are free!

46. Go on a road trip

I don’t know if going to Montreal, which is 2 hours away, counts as a road trip, but it was a car full of girls with one bride-to-be, on a mission to find some dresses, singing ABBA songs and eating chocolate cookies. I say it counts.

58. Play Monopoly

I played with some of the kids in my class, and it wasn’t quite how I remembered. They didn’t want to spend their money on anything, so they just kept going around, passing go, collecting 200$. I felt bad buying properties and making them pay when they landed there. But it was still fun!

61. Try a yoga dance class

I’ve done Madonna flow yoga with Natalie, one of my favourite teachers. It’s ashtanga yoga, but it’s to the music of Madonna. We sing, we dance, we vogue. If this isn’t a yoga dance class, I don’t know what is!

63. Try a new kind of tea

I’ve tried many. I even went to a tea house with the road trip girls, although not during the road trip. I love tea. Must keep trying new kinds.

64. Do yoga on the beach

I went to a moonlight yoga class which was held at the beach. I also did some yoga poses on the beach in Cuba. Not many though, it was too hot!

68. Give someone flowers

I picked some May flowers for my mom for mother’s day. I’ve been doing it every year since I was a kid. They grow in the woods and I used to go walking to pick them. Now, I usually park by the side of the road and wave at people who look at me like I’m crazy, in the woods in my dress and sandals.

72. Do the hula

I had the Hawaiian hula in mind, but I did a couple of hula hoop dancing classes. Lots of fun and a great workout!

74. Donate to a good cause

I thought I would donate a big amount to a charity, but I realized I donate regularly, just smaller amounts to different causes. I always give to the kids packing my groceries for their sports team, the man sitting at the table in the mall for cancer, the run for the cure, the fundraising for my 30-day challenge. I give in small doses, but as much as I can.

77. Make a list of the books I read (up to 101)

I’m at 54. Number 55 is taking me a while.

84. Write a list of 101 things that make me happy

I’ve started. I’ll post the whole list when I’m done.

86. Do yoga every day for one week

Well, this one took on a life of it’s own! I not only did yoga for a week, I did it for 30 days. Twice! Once in the spring with my friend Julie and once in September. I will probably do it again!

90. Not buy any new clothes for one month

This one also became something else. I did a no-spending challenge last May, where I did not buy anything but essentials. It’s crazy how much money I saved. It has made me realize I buy way too much crap I don’t need. I’m not as strict with myself as I was in May, but I have changed my spending habits.

98. Ride in a limousine

Did this last December for my friend’s birthday. I don’t like champagne, but it tasted lovely in a limo!

99. Run on the beach

I went for a run in the spring in an area that was somewhat unfamiliar, and I was surprised when the path brought me to the beach. It’s not a large beach, but I ran next to the water to get to the path on the other side. It made me happy because it was unexpected!

So far, I’ve done 27 things on my list. I can’t wait to do the rest!

101 things to do in 1001 days

In September, my friend Suzanne and I decided to write lists of 101 things to do in 1001 days. We were always saying “We should do this!” or “We should do that!” So, in keeping with the whole, “More action, less talk” theme, I got to it! I started my list on October 1st, 2011, which gives me untill June 28th, 2014 to complete it. I was very motivated as I wrote the list, and I still am, but some things might take more time than I thought! Every time I do something and I cross it off the list, I feel amazing!

Here it is:

1. This one is personnal, so it’s a secret for now!

2. Go running every day for a week.

3. Take a trip by myself.

4. Go to a burlesque dance class.

5. Send in a secret to Postsecret.

6. Read Anna Karenina.

7. Take a trip with Suzanne.

8. Take a pole-dancing class.

9. Go to a yoga retreat.

10. Go back to school to get a certificate in speech therapy.

11. Write a book.

12. Try snowboarding.

Done! February 26th, 2012. Whenever I told people I wanted to try snowboarding, they all told me I would fall a lot. That’s true, I did, but no one said how awesome it would be! I was a lot better at it than I thought, which helped! I went 4 times while we still had snow, and every time was more fun than the time before. I will definitely do this again!

13. Go to Central or South America.

14. Make a quilt.

15. Volunteer for Girl Guides

16. This one is a secret!

17. Do a tarot reading for someone.

18. Do 108 sun salutations.

19. Try to get an educational game published.

20. Watch “Roman Holiday” with Audrey Hepburn.

21. Go to the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield.

22. Take a trip with my mom.

23. Go running along the canal.

24. Get a cell phone I can text with. Done! Noverber 26th, 2011. I  got one for my birthday!

25. Run a 10k.

26. Make a cd with my favourite Jewel songs.

27. Watch the X-Men trilogy in one day.

28. See a foreign film in a movie theatre.

29. Bake bread.

30. Visit the National Gallery.

31. Plant sunflowers.

32. Listen to an audio book.

33. Take a spinning class.

34. Go hiking.

Done! October 10th, 2011. I went to the Luskville Falls with my mom and my sister. It was Thanksgiving weekend, and it was so hot, it felt more like summer than fall! I remember feeling quite grumpy when I woke up that morning, but by the end of the day, I was all smiles!

35. Have a beer tasting party.

36. Go to church.

37. Make a dress (working on it!)

38. Eat beets.

Done! November 25th, 2011. I was sure I would have trouble with this one, because I don’t like beets. They taste like dirt. I was going to look for a recipe, try to hide the taste, and make the best of it! I added this to the list because I’m a picky eater and I’m trying to add new things to my diet. I went out to dinner in a fancy restaurant the day before my birthday, and I ordered a salad to start. It had all kinds of flowers  in it and it was delicious! I ate what I thought was a fried flower, loved it, and said “This is amazing!” before I realized it was a fried beet, cut up like a flower! If beets always tasted like that, I would eat them every day!

39. Climb a tree.

40. Learn how to drive standard.

41. Find the perfect little black dress.

42. This one is a secret!

43. Play volleyball.

Done! January 11th, 2012. One of the other teachers at school suggested we play volleyball in the gym after work one day. I hadn’t played volleyball in 15 years or so, and I was a lot better than I remembered! Or maybe it was that the people I was playing with were just nicer about it. Either way, it was fun!

44. Visit a province I have never been to.

45. Get an IMAX teacher movie pass.

Done! January 14th, 2012. For 15$, I can now see all the IMAX movies I want for a whole year. Not bad when you think that one movie is 11$. I also found out that it’s free for teachers to visit the museum, anytime.

46. Go on a road trip.

47. Take a photography class.

48. Give blood.

49. Make soap.

50. Go camping.

51. Read “The catcher in the rye”

52. Watch Sleeping Beauty.

53. Build a snowman.

54. Get a massage.

55. Shoot a gun.

56. Cook with tofu.

57. See or be in a parade.

58. Play Monopoly.

59. See “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

60. Make tiramisu.

61. Try a yoga-dance class.

62. See the sun rise.

63. Try a new kind of tea.

64. Do yoga on the beach.

65. See an opera.

66. Fly a kite.

67. Play hopscotch.

68. Give someone flowers.

69. Have a snowball fight.

70. Go to a concert.

71. Buy a “Dalida” album.

72. Do the hula.

Done! Sort of. January 11th, 2012. When I wrote this, I had the Hawaiian hula in mind, but I ended up trying a hula-hoop dancing class. I didn’t even know that sort of thing existed! I was a lot of fun, and a good workout too! I still want to do the hula, but I’m glad I tried hoop dancing.

73. Get my fortune told.

74. Donate to a good cause.

75. Host a dinner party.

76. For one whole day, give compliments to everyone I talk to.

77. Make a list of the books I read, up 101. (Started. I’m at 30.)

78. Read “Alice in Wonderland”.

79. Send a care package.

80. Go bowling.

81. See a musical.

82. Write a letter.

83. See Cirque du Soleil.

84. Write a list of 101 things that make me happy. (Started)

85. Go rock climbing.

86. Do yoga every day for one week.

87. Write a travel story and submit it to a magazine.

88. Fast for one day during Ramadan.

89. Send someone a card.

90. Not buy any new clothes for one week.

91. Watch the original Strawberry Shortcake.

92. Bake with kids.

93. Finish my chandelier.

94. Be a tourist in my own city.

95. Learn some sign language.

96. Sing with a group or choir. (I wrote this one while watching Glee!)

97. Attend or host a tea party.

98. Ride in a limousine.

Done! December 30th, 2011. it was my friend Caro’s birthday and her boyfriend planned a surprise, with a limo, champagne and dinner. I don’t usually like champagne, but it tasted different in a limo!

99. Run on the beach.

100. Try aerial yoga.

101. Say a rosary.

So there it is. My list. As you can see, it’s got a little bit of everything on it. 1001 days is about 2 1/2 years, so they can’t all be life-changing goals. The point of this list, for me, is to get out there and try new things and to make time for the things I love. If you have any tips or ideas about how I could go about getting some of these done, please let me know! Try writing your own list. You’ll see, the ideas will just some to you! And most of all, have fun with it!