Category Archives: Lists

New Year’s Resolutions 2014

So today, I went to the gym because I had an appointment with my personal trainer. I was expecting the place to be crowded, what with new year’s resolutions and all. But strangely, it was pretty empty – so easy to get on a treadmill and also a bench in the weights area. Maybe everyone’s resolutions start tomorrow, on a regular non-holiday day?

Personally, I’m glad that I don’t have “working out more” as one of my resolutions this year. For some reason, I think if I had it as a resolution, I would have given up pretty quickly along with everyone else, never to go back again. I like that I just started for no real good reason.

Anyway, here are my resolutions. For fun, I should revisit this post in 6 weeks time (and then 6 months and next year) to see how they’re all holding up.

1) Eat quinoa, salads and/or fruits at least once a day. Rather than say I’m cutting out bad foods, I think it’ll be easier to add good foods. And maybe I’ll be too full from the good food to eat as much of the bad food? Hopefully my skin and tummy issues will improve with all these good foods?

2) Write on my blog (this or Shop With Anna) at least once a week. I need to sharpen my writing skills which are non-existent at worst and mediocre at best. I enjoy writing but I think I give myself a lot of pressure to either write a lot, or don’t bother to write at all. Or write something super interesting and original, or what’s the point? I think it’s better to write something though than nothing, at the very least for practice. I just find that as a I get older, it’s getting harder to find the right words to express what it is I’m trying to say.

3) Finish reading 3 unfinished books on my Kobo and afterwards, read a book once a month. Again, I love reading but for some reason I’ve let it completely slip off my radar. I’m just not reading. I swear I’ve got a dozen half finished books on my Kobo – some I stopped reading because it wasn’t grabbing or keeping my attention. Some I stopped reading because I got distracted.

Ok that’s all I got for now. No great personal changes I’m trying to do. Just be a better version of who I am already. What are your resolutions for this year?

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Random Thoughts While Working Out: August Edition

1) The guy on the treadmill beside me today smelled like pine sol. I don’t think he quite grasps the different between deodorant and air fresheners yet. Regardless, it was kinda nice to have the pine fresh smell beside me while I ran. It was just as if I was running through a nice wood.

2) I’m not 100% sure if I have a small waist or just big hips. Usually I convince myself it’s the former, especially when I dress myself in the mornings. But other times like today when I was doing my lunges, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. (Note: this is not written with the intention of fishing for compliments.)

3) I wear Lululemon tops frequently when I go to the gym. It’s easier because they have the built in bra and I just can’t be bothered to find a sports bra in the morning when I’m late and headed out the door. After reading some comments in some blogs (about the recent “controversy” of the company’s refusal to make clothes bigger than a size 12), I wonder if people read me as a label snob because of the brand name?

4) I know people aren’t supposed to judge others at the gym. You’re there to focus on yourself and your own improvement. But how do you keep from doing so? I find myself constantly judging everyone at the gym! The girl with perfectly coifed hair who wears only a sports bra and running shorts to work out (attention whore). The confused looking old guy on the elliptical with jeans, polo shirt and loafers on (how is he allowed on the machines like that?). The overly enthusiastic lady who’s sweating buckets and is in everyday giving 150% on the stairmaster (she needs to calm down).

Random Thoughts While Working Out: July Edition

Today I finally had a good workout (where I didn’t feel crappy and horrible and couldn’t wait to stop). Anyway, a few miscellaneous thoughts while I was on the treadmill this morning:

1) Most people seem to run for approximately 7-10 minutes on the treadmill. It takes me at least 7 minutes of running before I start to break a sweat so this confuses me. Maybe people just do it to warm up.

2) The number one reason I hate working out: laziness. And it’s a very convincing reason some (read: most) days.

3) The number two reason I hate working out: breakouts. I’ve been getting a lot of acne on my neck and between my boobs. TMI?

4) Motivations to go work out:

  • Cute workout clothes that need to be shown off
  • Opportunity to people-watch
  • Opportunity to look at myself in the mirror and think about how cute I look
  • Good music (usually 80s and 90s tunes)
  • How small my hips look and how perky my bum looks

5) I’ve come a long way already with this whole working out thing. When I started, I was running for 15 minutes. Today I ran for 35 minutes. Yes, it’s taken me since March to get here but still!

Watch It Again

About five years ago, my husband and I looked at our Shaw cable TV bill and decided we could live without watching the news, Scrubs, America’s Next Top Model and Gossip Girl regularly. So we cancelled our cable subscription and lived without TV, downloading (I know, I know) or buying TV series and movies we really wanted to see. We were quite happy without TV and didn’t really miss it in our lives. Sure, we couldn’t discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones or laugh with everyone about the latest commercial, etc. But to have all that money saved. And plus, we seemed so mature and sophisticated when we said “we don’t watch TV” during dinner conversation. (What? I enjoy being smug sometimes). That is, until a couple months ago when my husband signed us up for Netflix. And now I can’t stop. I love watching all the TV I’ve been missing all these years and all the movies I was mildly interested in but not enough to pay the price of admission to see it in theatres.

I love watching The Nanny, Mad About you, Say Yes to the Dress, Closer (mmm Jude Law), Sliding Doors (OMG how come I didn’t watch this when it came out? So good!), Midnight in Paris etc. I also love how Netflix makes suggestions for what to watch next based on your rating of what you say. Apparently I love “Sentimental Romantic Dramas” and “Critically Acclaimed Witty Movies”.

But by far, my favourite category is “Watch It Again”. What can I say? It’s like comfort food for your mind. Sometimes, you don’t want to watch something new. Sometimes, you want to watch what you already know. It’s like rereading your favourite book. Or like meeting up with an old friend andĀ reminiscingĀ about old times. Here’s what I keep watching over and over again:

Save the Last Dance
OMG What ever happened to Julia Stiles? She was spoonfed to us and someone my generation was supposed to like and I ate it right up. And then, she sort of disappeared? I guess for school when she went off to Columbia? And did you know that Kerry Washington was Chenille? I never made the connection and now I can’t stop seeing Kerry with her Chenille haircut when I see pictures of her promoting Django Unchained. And I still really love the music in this movie. I wonder if I can download the soundtrack? Hmmm.

Little Women
I loved Winona Ryder because of this movie and will always, always have a soft spot for her because of this movie. Damn you Jo March and your awesomeness. And no matter how old I am, I always get teary-eyed when Beth dies. What she says to Jo. When Hannah spreads the petals over her dolls. And although I know the professor is supposed to be a better fit for Jo than Laurie ever was, I always wish she accepted Laurie’s proposal. Because damn was Kirsten Dunst annoying. And damn was Christian Bale hot. And who didn’t want Susan Sarandon as your Marmie? And plus, Eric Stolz was pretty hot too, even if he was a bit stuffy.

Love Actually
Every Christmas. Seriously. I love Colin Firth in this, even if his storyline is the most contrived. I love when Hugh Grant’s character and the chauffeur start singing Christmas carols to those little girls. I love how Emma Thompson makes me cry in that scene in the bedroom with Joni Mitchell playing in the background. I still think this movie has the best version of “All I Want for Christmas” ever. Ever. Sorry, Mariah.

Notting Hill
I know that “Love Actually” already has Hugh Grant in it, but this is my favourite Hugh Grant movie ever. I love everything about this movie. The soundtrack. The casting – Julia Roberts is so beautiful and Hugh Grant is so…. English. I love the setting. I love Julia Roberts’s jacket in the dinner scene and even though this movie came out like a zillion years ago, I’m still looking for that damn jacket in stores whenever I go out.

How I Met Your Mother
I know everyone’s so tired of this series and just wants to meet the mother already. Afterall, we’re up to what? 8 seasons already. Damn. But the point of this show isn’t about meeting the mother. I mean, it’s a part of it. But it’s mostly about the friendships. I love that this series is basically the “Friends” of my generation. I get the jokes because they’re the same stuff my friends & I joke about. They’re going through the same life experiences I am – especially Marshall & Lily. PS: who woulda thought that Allyson Hannigan would be able to ever play any other character other than Willow? And yes, she’s perfectly Lily Aldrin.

Sex & The City
It’s so cliche, yes, but I love it. Every time I watch this show, I get inspired to reflect and write. I would even go so far as to say that Carrie Bradshaw inspired the way I write/blog with more introspection and openness than I would otherwise. I love the stories and characters – much more than the fashion and raunchy sex talk. I love how fucked up Carrie is about Big and how she fucks up Aiden’s character (who deserved way way better than Carrie). I love how Charlotte really loves Harry in spite of her haughty princess self. Her story arch, especially in the later seasons, gets me every time.

I suspect I may eventually add Chasing Amy, Sliding Doors, Pitch Perfect, 10 Things I Hate About You and Coyote Ugly to this list.

Things That Annoy Me: October Edition

1) People who use the word less in place of fewer. It hurts my brain when I hear this. It seems everyone is doing it lately. Or maybe I’ve just been noticing it more. Either way – AUGGHHHH!!! For more information on the correct usage of these two words, check out Oxford.

2) The US presidential election coming up. Specifically anything to do with Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and their policies regarding Planned Parenthood, women’s rights and LGBT rights. I know I’m Canadian and whoever gets voted into the White House technically doesn’t affect me and my livelihood. But man, US politics really riles me up.

3) Honey Boo Boo and the rest of reality TV. I don’t even watch TV anymore and I’m sick of the Real Housewives, Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants, Dancing with the Stars, etc. Apparently anyone can be a celebrity if you’re annoying and stupid enough.

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My Computer Died

My computer died. Or is dying. And for some reason I’m taking it so personally. Like it’s my fault. Like I did some to offend it.

My husband has offered to take it to the Mac store. But he warns me that there’s a good chance I may need a new computer altogether.

Which means I’ll need to be spending too much money. Ugh. Y’know that rainy day fund we’re all supposed to keep? I guess this is a rainy day.

Then again, first world problems.

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Freebie Five

My freebie five, subject to change:

Colin Firth
Mr Darcy, Mark Darcy, that guy from Love Actually. He’s English. And married to a non-famous person. He’s funny and self-depreciating. And he speaks Italian. What more can you ask for? (Yes, he’s getting a bit jowly but we can’t all be perfect.)

Colin Firth

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Things I Hate: March Edition

1) Cyclists who, rather than sharing the road, demand the road. They swerve right in front of you, ignoring all other cars, pedestrians and even buses. They glare at you as you carefully drive past them. They take traffic lights as suggestions rather than laws that need to be obeyed.You are not anymore entitled to the road than anyone else. We all pay taxes. We all have as much right to the road as each other.

2) Rain. I know we live in Vancouver so it comes with the territory. I know it’s March so technically still winter. But damn, it’s been raining for like 7 days straight and I’ve really had enough. I hate rain. I hate carrying around a soggy umbrella. I hate when my socks get wet because of a previously unknown hole in my shoe. I hate that I walk in such a way where I end up kicking water up the back of my calves.

3) Daylight Savings. I know that by now everyone else is used to it. But waking up 1 hour earlier is seriously killing me. I feel like the walking dead until at least two hours and copious amounts of coffee. All this week, I’ve been coming to work looking like crap because I’ve been desperately trying to catch a few last z’s before I really really need to wake up.

4) Ingrown hairs in places that are hard to see. Then it’s just blindly poking around hoping for the best. I had an ugly one last week that took a lot of perseverance and determination to get at because it was an *oh so sensitive* spot. I had to angle around with little compact mirrors, directed lighting and zero sense of pride. And that spot was sore for like two days afterwards too.

5) The price of gas is currently 140.8 at my current Esso/PetroCan. Holy crap, I didn’t think we’d be getting to a buck fifty so soon. At this rate, I’ll have to start busing to work which sucks because it rains so much in Vancouver (see rant #2 above). On top of that commuters are smelly and vicious: a deadly combination.

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Books I’m reading: March 2012

I’ve got the following books currently loaded on my Kobo ereader:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
As an avid Harry Potter fan, this book has been recommended as the next Harry Potter. Currently about 20% of the way through it, I found it doesn’t quite pull me in the same way as Harry Potter does. I will give it to the author though that she creates a vivid picture of the circus and definitely makes me want to go. I suppose to main thing right now is that I’m not really that invested in the characters yet.

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
Thanks to my friend Jennifer who gave me The Outliers in November (which I’ve since given to my husband to read), I’ve been lapping up all of Malcolm Gladwell’s writing. I’ve since read The Tipping Point and am reading What the Dog Saw as soon as I’m done The Night Circus. If Blink was available on the Kobo I’d also read this asap.

The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay
Not 100% sure of what the heck it’s about but I’ve been intrigued by the book and her previous book The Birth House. I figured I’d download this one first and see how it goes.

Also thinking about getting:
Your Voice in my Head by Emma Forrest
Bossypants by Tina Fey
White Girl Problems by Babe Walker

Also need to start reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda for my Chicklit Reading Group before April. Yikes!

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