Memory Lane Mondays (Thursday Edition).

As a child of the 90’s I was fortunate enough to experience the best shows TV had to offer and the best toys and games ever created, most of which are now obsolete and extremely undervalued. I think girls had it better than boys in terms of merchandise, however there were definitely toys my brothers had that I envied… Ghostbusters Proton Packs, Nintendo (mainly Duck Hunt) and their My Pet Monster stuffed animals. Of course Barbie’s and Cabbage Patch dolls were the front-runners when I was born, as were the princess themed Disney movies at that time (Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty & The Beast etc). However, one toy sticks out in my mind to this day that was the be all end all of toys…

Ladies (and some very lucky boys) if you were fortunate to be the recipient of these toys circa 1992, you will understand how truly amazing they were and what it meant for your social status among your friends.. yes we 5 & 6 year olds were quite cliquey. I am talking of course, about…. wait for it…

PUPPY SURPRISE!!!!!

Or Kitty Surprise and Pony Surprise if you were like me. If you are sitting here going what the hell is she talking about, these are stuffed animals that came in different styles and the biggest treat of all… have babies stuffed inside them! You never knew how many were inside the mother (hence the term surprise) or if they would be girl or boy babies. I had Kitty and Pony Surprise and I think my cat came with 4 kittens (2 girls and 2 boys) and my pony with 3 (I don’t remember what gender).

I remember getting Kitty Surprise for my birthday and because my birthday falls in September, fall had arrived and there were piles of leaves everywhere… I bet you can only imagine where this story is going. So I proudly walked to school that morning with my Kitty and all of her kittens in hand, ready to show off my new present to all my friends. I arrived at school, beaming, and got right down to the business of ordering around my friends and dolling out who would get their turn when and for how many minutes… because holding a kitten stuffed with beans was SO LIFE CHANGING. Well, in all reality it probably was at the time. Anyway, the day wore on and slowly but surely I lost 3 of my 4 beloved kittens. Devastated, I walked home preparing my story for my mother about what happened to the remaining 3 kittens. (I should probably mention that by the age of 4 I was a story-teller and pathological liar of EPIC proportions… Don’t believe me? I told my Grade 1 teacher my dad had no arms and legs and I had about 7 brothers and sisters) SO, I have the perfect story conjured up in my head and sure enough, when I got home my mom was waiting to see the condition of Kitty Surprise. Once she saw that I was missing 3 kittens, my story spilled out. There was an exchange student visiting from China (naturally, seeing as I live in the middle of nowhere) for one day only and took 2 kittens back with her… obviously there was no way of contacting this imaginary girls parents and therefore I was in the clear. I also said one of my friends stole the other one… how nice am I? In reality I lost them in the numerous piles of leaves that were gathered all throughout the playground.

So, unfortunately for me while I still had the mother cat, I only had one kitten left to show for it. Thankfully, Santa recognized my plight caused by the unfortunate incident with the Chinese girl and brought me Pony Surprise for Christmas.

Still don’t understand how amazing these stuffed animals really were? Watch for yourself!

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Some things to make you smile.

I know I have been absent as of late, but I have been busy with my AQ courses I am currently enrolled in as well as other things here and there. Perhaps the most exciting thing that has happened recently was the Mumford and Sons concert I attended a couple of weeks ago in Hamilton. In a word, they were AMAZING. I was so excited to see them as they are one of my favourite bands and I just absolutely love their music, but I really wasn’t prepared for how truly wonderful they were. I think what made the whole experience even greater was that the band themselves were just so humble and happy to be playing for us, and it seemed they were overwhelmed by playing in such a large venue. They played so many songs off of their upcoming album as well, so for me that was quite the treat. Since it is going to take 8 years to upload my own personal videos I found some of my favourite performances from that evening for your listening pleasure.

 

 

 

While I did not go out for Halloween this year I did enjoy a lovely weekend with my family and an old friend and loved seeing my nieces costumes on Monday evening. Claire was Falcon Girl (from the show He-man) and her momma made her an amazing costume and Lettie was a Jellyfish… SO cute! Even though my Halloween spirit was lacking, I found a really funny video that you should watch if you’re in need of a good laugh! Trust me, it’s worth it!

Follow the link to watch: http://perezitos.com/2011-11-03-jimmy-kimmel-tells-parents-to-tell-their-children-they-ate-all-halloween-candy/?from=PH

Finally, in other news I am off to Moose Jaw tomorrow for a much-needed reunion with my other half and I am SO excited to see him and cuddle him and do other things that are not blog-news-appropriate.

Happy Thursday!

 

Oh Florence…

And no, I don’t mean the beautiful Provence in Italy. I am referring to one of the most beautiful and timeless voices on the airwaves today, and that would belong to the musical stylings of Florence + The Machine. If you are unfamiliar with her music, get familiar. It’s as simple as that. I am not a music junkie in the way that some of my close friends are, however I can appreciate when something sounds really, really great. So, I am passing my love for Florence onto you and I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

For your listening pleasure,

An oldie, but GREATIE:

 

Songs off of her new album, soon to be released:

 

 

Enjoy!

Memory Lane Mondays

Last week I thoroughly enjoyed writing about some of my favourite childhood shows and hearing your reactions, so I thought I would continue post something ridiculous or memorable from my childhood every monday. I have so many things I want to share and I will get to most of them eventually. Although today I want to focus on one topic that will probably resonate more with the ladies rather than the men. Unless however, they were unfortunate to have cruel mothers or dressed themselves in the dark, and then maybe not. Two words: Northern Getaway. Before I get into detail, let me paint a picture for those who either were  A. fortunate enough to NOT be clothed in NG gems or B. who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Most of the outfits (for girls) consisted of a shirt with various animals or fauna and matching tights, with or without foot stirrups. If you were REALLY lucky though, your mother would buy you the NG classic: Wolf/kitten sweat suit. I had both. A navy wolf sweat suit and a hot pink kitten one. Luckily, most of my friends sported the same look and therefore were the class trend setters from years 93-96.

I understand why our parents did this to us. Sorry, why our mothers did this. The clothes were cheap and there was an NG store located in a mall in the closest neighboring ‘city.’ But just because they were available doesn’t mean they should have been worn and even more importantly, coveted. I will admit, I LOVED my animal shirts (and those close to me understand my love for them even more today) but the PANTS?? Come on. Aside from the fact that we all had mini camel toes from the ages of 8-11, they were the WORST. Whoever invented stirrup pants should be killed, or at the very least forced to wear them everyday in their adult lives. Those were the most uncomfortable things ever. You could feel them in your shoes all day and if any of you had OCD like me when I was little, this was the BANE of your existence.

To add insult to injury, when we thought we were outgrowing this trend and were starting to become ‘cool’ or even accepted in the eyes of our peers, listening to the new it boy bands and worshiping the Spice Girls, it got worse. WAY worse. At this moment I would like to thank my mother for NOT giving into my demands at the time. Yes ladies you know what’s coming…. CATSTREET BOYS & SPICE MICE. I mean honestly, these girls (or boys) didn’t stand a chance ! It wasn’t enough to have REGULAR animals depicted with balls of yarn and butterflies around their heads… they had to come out with cats and mice dressed as our favourite bands with wigs and microphones and matching tights to complete the ensemble. Bastards.

I have looked for images of these shirts tirelessly but cannot find Catstreet Boys or Spice Mice anywhere. I even looked through childhood pictures to find what I was looking for but to no avail. I did find t-shirts and sweaters from NG but they were too small to post. I did however find a few items that should spark your memory, if my descriptions didn’t do you justice.

Please go to these links to see the rest, they wouldn’t load properly:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/HORSES-Northern-Getaway-Girls-Size-6-XS-T-Shirt-Lot-NEW-/300402935733#ht_846wt_956

In all seriousness though, some of the clothes we sported during our childhood were FAR worse than our NG outfits we loved. But come on, Spice Mice? Catstreet Boys? They needed to draw the line somewhere. Unfortunately we were the generation that crossed it, many times over. But you know what? Looking back, I as I’m sure most of you, secretly love it. Well, most of it anyway.

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

Memory Lane Mondays

It’s raining, it’s pouring and I’m watching BOOKMICE!

So, as it happens to be my favourite kind of day, cloudy and rainy and perfect snuggle weather, I thought why not enjoy a lazy day with Beanie and watch movies and read and relax (I’m acting like I don’t do this everyday already). As I’m flipping through the channels I came across Breaker High ( which was an AWESOME show by the way)  Who didn’t want to go to school on a cruise ship and travel the world and date Max and have tons of money?? So realistic. Don’t pretend you didn’t LOVE it! Unfortunately we didn’t get the channel so instead I YouTubed some episodes and enjoyed that for a few minutes.

Okay, back to Bookmice. So, continuing through my channel flipping I came across the holy grail of my childhood… a show that I would watch everyday and pretend I had the same mice living in my bedroom walls… that’s right people, BOOKMICE!!!! I LOVED this show when I was little and almost cried today when it came on. Honestly are you kidding me?? Three mice puppets who live in a friggin library with an orange cat named Exit as their enemy… what is better than that? It didn’t even matter that you could SEE the rods attached to their bodies to make them move. The cartoons that are on now a days are scary in comparison to what we had in the 90’s… I mean,  can you say Today’s Special? Or Under The Umbrella Tree? FRAGGLE ROCK? EUREKAS CASTLE? Seriously, amazing. Now it’s all, forced-to-be-diverse shows with no claymation or puppets or mannequins that come to life and even if they have these characters, they are so ahead of 90s animation that it’s not even fun to watch…

Therefore, in honor of this rainy monday and to put a smile on your face, I leave these gems for you to enjoy for the 90s child in you:

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

 

Another Year Bites the Dust

Well, another year has passed and as such it happens to be my birthday today. While I do feel all warm and fuzzy and all those wonderful things feelings that go along with your birthday I don’t necessary FEEL 24. Looking back on the past year I am kind of in shock that already year has gone by since I nervously stepped foot on England’s greasy, fried chicken bone skewed soil. One year ago today I was hand in hand with my new roomie and soon to be most cherished friend I would have in London, on our way to see Oliver. Oh how I miss that crazy city!

On this day however, I find myself sitting in my living room, quite a different atmosphere than the busy and exciting streets of the city, but still content and being thankful for all that I have in my life. I sound like I am a little old lady  with 8 cats resting by my side reflecting on her life as she lies dying or something, but I really am so happy to be at the age I am and have done SO many wonderful things up to this point. Looking back at my last post, which was one of complete frustration, I still am anxious and badly playing my waiting game, but I need to realize that I am only 24 and the most important and exciting parts of my life are still yet to come. I have seen and done things I know I have taken for granted and have friends and family that love me, if possible, even more than I love them.

I really do have the best friends in the world and I thank you all for celebrating me and my craziness on a day to day basis. And of course the best parents and in-laws a girl could ask for. Seriously, just thinking of the four of them makes my heart explode with love. And lastly, as always, thank you to my magic-weilding boyfriend… with one smile you unhindge me.

And so, with a plate of greasy chinese waiting for me, my 24 year old self is going to eat and then prepare my body for the recklessness that is bound to ensue this evening with old friends. Happy Birthday to me!

Well, this is a LONG friggin’ tunnel.

Everyone always says that  if you’re going through a rough patch or you’re in a life-rut or whatever it may be that seems to have you stuck in a state of ‘blah’… just look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Well my friends, my tunnel seems to be never-ending. While I am not in a rut per say or even a rough patch, I guess I’m stuck in the state of impatience that feels like a constant state of waiting. And as it turns out,  I’m not very good at playing the waiting game.

I’m waiting to find a job. I’m waiting for my boyfriend to be done his training. I’m waiting for friends to come home at Christmas for overdue reunions. I’m waiting to find out where I will be living in a year so I can somewhat start planning my life. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I know this seems like a complete pity-party on my behalf and truth be told it probably is. But, as they don’t happen very often, I feel I am slightly entitled. I really do enjoy living at home for the time being, spending time with my family and not burdening myself by going into any more debt by living elsewhere. However, as I see my friends moving forward… some are off to teach in other countries, some are finding new jobs and homes, some are getting engaged and some are furthering their education… I feel like I’m just standing still, not really living the life I want to be. I know I will get to experience all of these milestones in my own time, but I wish I could just fast forward to a year from now when I can finally have my partner in crime at my side (for good), a temporary ‘home’ to call our own and maybe even a dog to join in our adventures.

Until then, I know have to suck it up, find a routine that eases my restlessness, start exercising and keep motivated to find this mythical creature they call the supply list. I see the light, I just wish it would get here a little faster.

New look, new post.

I was getting bored with my old format so I decided to mix things up a bit and I am much happier with the new layout! I also changed the name to something more fitting to both the move from England and my love for mythical creatures. While this post is to document the new and improved site, I also wanted to take some time to give my ‘Summer Reads’ book list, as I have always been an avid reader and I have read some excellent books as of late. Hopefully this is a trend I can continue because I love sharing what I am devouring reading  and love hearing what others are reading as well.

So here goes.. ‘Justine’s Top 3’

1. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible by James Frey

This book is unlike any I’ve read previously and in a word… amazing. I have read the authors two other works because of my momma and fell in love with his easy to read format and ability to tell an amazing story: ‘A Million Little Pieces’ and ‘My Friend Leonard’ both of which were also WONDERFUL and I would recommend wholeheartedly. His writing is not for the narrow-minded or judgemental as they all deal with pretty heavy topics including drug use, sex, religion, suicide, politics etc etc. BUT, if you are adventurous and open-minded I think you will truly appreciate his stories. This third book is as unique on the outside as it is inside.. it comes in the form of the Holy Bible and is broken up in the same format. It tells the story of a man who some believe to be the Messiah or God or whatever religious figure you so choose to believe in. As I am not a religious person in any sense of the word, I was a bit skeptical to read it. However, it turned out to be a beautiful story ultimately about something every person has or I guess should have the privilege to experience… love. That’s all I am going to say. Order it, borrow it or run to your nearest bookstore because honestly it is SO worth it.

2. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

This was a gift from my future mother in law for Christmas and I read this book in two days. I had not read any other books by this author so I was new to her work, but I now have her others as I loved this one so much. Being a history major I usually appreciate anything in the realm of historical fiction and this book in particular takes place during WW2 in Germany. The story is about a woman (Anna) who falls in love with a Jewish man while her father is Nazi Officer during the war. It is a good balance between both the Jewish and German perspective during the war which can be fine line, however I think the author does this quite well. The story goes back and forth between present day where her daughter recalls what life with her mother (Anna) has been like and to Anna’s life during the war. It is intense and  heartbreaking but in my opinion beautifully written.

3. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

While I will read any genre and any author my guilty pleasure is ultimately crime/mystery. I absolutely love Patricia Cornwell… I have all of her books (currently reading Port Mortuary and it’s quite good) and don’t usually stray away from North American mystery authors. However, with the HUGELY popular release of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series by Stieg Larsson (READ THEM) I ventured out into a new pool of authors of which I have been very happy with. Scandinavian mystery authors are becoming more and more recognized and a certainly a new favourite of mine. The Leopard is by a Scandinavian author and I read it from cover to cover in a couple of days. It is similar to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books in its writing, it has a very detailed storyline but it is so entertaining and unpredictable which I think is the key to any good mystery novel. After I read this one I ran out and bought as many of Nesbo’s others as I could afford and have since read each of his novels. I love the stories and the protagonist, Detective Harry Hole, is also quite entertaining. If you enjoy a good crime/mystery give this one a try. Trust me, it’s worth it!

I will continue to share my picks and please do not hesitate to share some of your favourites!

Happy Thursday!

Motivating myself to get motivated.

As I last promised in my last post I would be writing more frequently… well so far I have not kept my word as my last rant was on June 27th. Well, all I have to say is that I have been extremely unmotivated to write something read-worthy as of late, but alas, here we are. This is going to be about nothing and I guess everything in particular. This summer has been one of unchartered territory for me thus far in my life.. I have been facing the epidemic of the dreaded “unemployment crisis” and while I have no income or really no immediate future plans for an income, this summer has been one of the best of my life.

I know everyone says they have the greatest friends and that friends are the most important pieces that make up your puzzle and all that sweet sappy friendy lingo.. but they really are the most fing important thing in my life right now. If any of you have ever been in a long distance relationship (Hi, my name is Justine and I’m a long-distance-realtionshipaholic) whether it be a few days, weeks, or as in my case months, you will know that Skype and the phone become your savior and basic key to survival. While I still cherish every minute we talk on the phone and even those few but wonderful Skype dates, my friends have become my saving grace this summer, helping me not forget but at least distract me from the fact that my other half is not physically around. The laughs, the drinking, the dancing and all the other inappropriate shenanigans that have stemmed from all of these memorable visits have been magical, and MUCH needed. Usually I have a job or travelling to take on the distraction, both of which do not exist in my world right now. And therefore, to all of my fing awesome friends, I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.

So, while I still have many more events to look forward to as the summer comes to an end the dreaded “unemployment crisis” still begs one question: What the hell am I doing come September? I have no job prospects, as do most of my friends in this non-existent world of teaching… I know it’s not a myth… I know you’re out there somewhere supply list, please, please come knocking at my door. I am trying to be optimistic but its tough these days.. oh well, fingers crossed right? For now I will resume my lazy days of summer and continue the search for some motivation and that shiny new job. Until then, I have 14 days until my heart is reunited with its other half… life is fantastic.

 

Goodbye London, Hello Ontario!

This post is LONG overdue and as such it will probably be huge in length so if you fall asleep I won’t judge. It has been exactly 13 days since I moved home from London and while it was a bittersweet goodbye, there really is no place like home. I had three very special visitors during my last three weeks in England and they definitely made my final days even more magical. After one last party weekend with all of my wonderful friends from the city, Adam came to see me before my parents were set to arrive. We had a great week doing lots of touristy stuff in the city and it was nice to just have our own time together and not have to worry about anything or be on a schedule.

Mom and dad arrived a week later and the three of us were off to Belgium and Holland for a week.. in a word, it was fantastic! My parents had never been to either place and my dad had never been to Europe so it was a big milestone for all of us! The countries were both so beautiful and it was so nice to be able to travel together. Adam had to fly home from Amsterdam but the three of us continued on to York (SO beautiful) and Scotland (LOVED it).. We all flew home together on the 14th..

Saying goodbye to the city wasn’t so bad, I felt well prepared and ready to start the next chapter of my life back home.. Not to say I don’t miss all the city has to offer, the people, the dancing, the shopping, and the crazy busy vibe of the city, I do… but I grew so much being away and learned so much about myself, my family and friends and my relationship that I really can’t be too sad. I am so thankful for the experience I had this past year and what it meant for my future. So.. London.. Thank you. Thank you for teaching me to have patience… Correction: more a bit more patience. Thank you for being a constant form of entertainment. Thank you for bringing amazing people in my life. Thank you for helping me be more sure of myself and independent. Thank you for throwing me into the unexpected and pushing me to come out more than okay on the other side. And most importantly, thank you for turning me off of fried chicken for the rest of my life.. my arteries really appreciate it.

While it was fairly easy to say goodbye to the city, it was A LOT harder saying goodbye to the one thing, well I should say person, who made my entire year what it was… magical. My Candice. I was expecting to come to England and meet lots of new people and establish new relationships etc etc… what I wasn’t expecting to find was a best friend. Everyone who knows her knows that she is the most caring and thoughtful friend you could ever want, who will laugh with you and hold you up when you’re ugly crying, who will drink you under the table, who will have Dawsons Creek marathons with you and eat Indian with you 4 times a week… oh and who is just as bad at math as me.. which is really, REALLY bad. So really all I want to say is thank you for being my roommate this year. I love you Candice, thank you for making my year unforgettable.

SO, now that I am back home I have no plans for employment or really anything as of right now.. I have applied to some boards in my area and will be taking some extra courses in the near future but really I am enjoying my time at home and getting settled back into things. While I am moving at a slower pace than usual it is quite nice not having a schedule and worrying about how the hell I’m getting to work in the morning or what the kids will be like and what creepzilla will be hitting on me on the tube.

One more thing, since I am no longer in London, I’m thinking I may have to change the name of my blog… While I thought I might want to cease my blogging for now, I think I would like to keep writing.. it’s thereputic and I enjoy it.. even if my posts only have to do with laziness, cats, farm animals, staring off into space etc.. no but really, I need help with a new title so please, suggestions are welcomed!