24 <3

IMG_2447

Turning 20//Turning 21//Turning 22//Turning 23

The last week or so has been all kinds of busy and relaxing at the same time. I’ve been celebrating turning 24 (last Wednesday!)  and took some much needed time off to fully enjoy. I’m not a big believer in working on my birthday, but I did end up taking about an hour or so to respond to a few e-mails in between everything.

On the day of my birthday, I went out to breakfast with some of my close friends. I didn’t do anything *crazy* this year (I compare this to last year when I was in Brazil and I had my own fireworks and dance party out in the middle of the street) but still had a great time! After a little stop at the mall, I headed home to answer a few e-mails. My mom took me out to dinner around 6:30, and a little bit later, a couple more friends took me out for some birthday pie!

IMG_2461Birthday selfie! Showing off my new bracelets from Coach. I’m kind of in love!

I received a ridiculous amount of birthday wishes through Facebook, Twitter, text, phone, in person, and Instagram. Each year, I’m reminded that I couldn’t ask to be surrounded by more amazing people. I love celebrating my birthday in the summer, enjoying the beautiful weather, hanging out with friends, and it’s only made possible because of all the wonderful friends & family that I have.

So I wasn’t in Brazil this year, but I still had a really wicked birthday. In fact, the whole week was really awesome. The day after my birthday, after  work, I headed to the Harpercollins’ cocktail for their new ‘Summer Escapes’ campaign, which features some great books/authors. Harpercollins is one of my favorite book publishers, and I’m not *just saying* that. They have some of the best books I’ve read in recent years, and without fail their events are always an absolute blast.

IMG_2468I invited a couple friends along that I work with! They were the perfect pair to come along and we had a really great time (also? The food at this place was awesome!)

IMG_2472With the wonderful Montreal author Catherine McKenzie! I love her books, and am reading her new one ‘Hidden’ right now after receiving a copy at the event.

Finally, I spent some time with family over the weekend to celebrate my birthday, and I got to enjoy some beautiful weather FINALLY. I’ve complained about this at length, but the weather in Montreal this summer has been horrible. This weekend, luckily, has been all kinds of gorgeous, so I’ve been trying to enjoy it while I can!

IMG_2487Nice weather means I get to wear some new summer outfits!

IMG_2511My nephew helped me blow out the candles on my birthday cake :)

As of the day of my birthday, I’ve also started my second ever 365 Photo A Day Challenge on Facebook! I’ve been looking forward to doing a new one ever since my last one ended in November. I’ll do my best to share bits and pieces of those photos around here, and feel free to follow along if we’re friends on Facebook.

Finally, I wanted to just post about how sad I was to hear about Cory Monteith’s sudden death on Sunday morning. I was a fan of Glee for the first couple years and he was one of my favorite characters, actors, and musicians on the show the entire time. He was such a talent, was set to be married to the beautiful Lea Michele (supposedly) and honestly, the entire story of his death is just so heartbreaking. I was very, very sad all day when I found out. I hope you’ll take a moment to look around you today and enjoy just how lucky we are to be here, alive, and healthy. You just never know when a tragic event might hit, and it’s always a big reminder to make the best of every moment that we have.

Hope you had a great weekend! 

My Brother

I am crazy about him because he is the bestest in the world and:

he is charming

funny

kind

generous

intelligent

charismatic

handsome

thoughtful

humble

unique

interesting

attentive

adaptable

supportive

trustworthy

genuine

loyal

positive

forgiving

For the purpose of keeping this blog short I will stop here but if you know him and care to share with me just how wonderful you think he is please feel free to expand on the ever growing list of qualities he so naturally displays day after day after day after day.

Yours truly,

Melissa

 

 

 

 

Ad Swap in July

The end of the month is coming closer & after a really successful month of ad swaps in June, I’m hoping to involve more readers in July!

I recently joined Passionfruit, which is an extremely easy way to do ad swapping and purchasing. I’ve changed my program a little bit & you can see all the details (and join my ad swap) over on my Sponsor Info page. Passionfruit has made it easier than ever and I hope you’ll join my blog this month to gain new readership.

I have a lot of ideas to involve my sponsors in my blog. If you have any questions or you’re unsure of what all this means, you can just leave me a comment below, or send me an e-mail at mliss024@gmail.com!

Bloglovin’ Test

Just linking my blog to Bloglovin’… Don’t mind this post! But of course, feel free to follow me with your Bloglovin’ account with the link below :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Up & Down

+

My life feels like a big roller coaster. Which is a weird metaphor for me to use, considering I have so much trouble getting on an ACTUAL one. (seriously, ask my friends!I am either refusing entirely to try one or screaming my brains out on the baby ones). But it’s true; I have such ups and downs, highs and lows, sometimes I wonder when life is just going to become a smoother ride, slow down, and come to a stop somewhere safe.

I’m always looking up (or down) at the next turn, loop or dip ahead. In March, when I was having the toughest few weeks of my year, I was aching for the last day of the month to start over again in April. It seems like I’m always basing my life on what’s next- where I’ll be, what I’ll be doing, and what fun adventures are waiting for me. I’m always searching for a greater reason to being here, but when will I slow down and just be happy for a little while? I want to do that today.

April has been good to me. In between interviewing some of my favorite overseas bands, to seeing my beautiful nephew hit his first half birthday, to getting a job at my school that opens up a window of exciting opportunities for the year ahead, I have VERY little to complain about.

At this time exactly one month ago, I was praying for a light at the end of the tunnel. I was writing about my anxiety with failure and the way all bad things seem to pile on at once, and how nothing seems to be working out. Today, I just wanted to remind myself that it’s not always going to be as bad as it seems in any given moment.

When you’re having a really bad day, week, month, or year, remember there will always be a silver lining to the cloud above your head. Where there is failure, success is sure to not be far behind (for those who strive for it), and where there are emotionally difficult times, the heart learns to heal and find other things to be filled with.

Today I feel good. I’m on a good path. I am reminded that when things didn’t work out and I was afraid for my future, it was all for a reason. Because really, everything DOES happen for a reason. There are still many parts of my life that I question this about, and every time I feel like I am wrong, the world finds a way to show me that I am a stronger person for those moments.

I’m not saying everything is perfect, awesome, rainbows and unicorns. There are always a million tiny things on my mind; bits and pieces of my life that seem like they SHOULD be better, but just aren’t.  Right now though, I’m feeling like things are going to turn out okay. Even though I’m still stressing about my very last final exam (tomorrow!) I’m still seeing the good things, and I’m proud of everything I’ve managed to do in the last couple months to get to where I am. I took chances on myself, and although it doesn’t ALWAYS pay off, sometimes, it does.

What are you proud of yourself for today? When was the last time you took a step out of your comfort zone, and took a chance on yourself?

Bloglovin

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just testing things out around here… Don’t mind this post! :)

But by all means, feel free to follow my blog with Bloglovin. I’m learning to figure it out over there!

Here’s to an adventurous 2012

When I first started blogging, most of my posts were related to my adventures with music and friends. In 2008 through 2010 you could find me almost every weekend in a different city watching one of my favorite bands playing a show. I think one of the main reasons I started writing was because I wanted to document all the fun places I went.

Fall 2008- Still one of my favorite concert memories ever! Heading home from a sleepless night in Ottawa. Also known as one of the days that started all future adventures.

Summer 2008- Loved this whole day at my first Warped Tour, so much!

September 2009- One day + 9 hours of driving (to and from a random French town) and it was always worth it with these girls

May 2009- That time we went to a concert in a church, really far from home! I think I went to 8 shows that month with my girls

Summer 2009- We did a lot of waiting to be front row & always found inventive ways to be in the shade!

August 2010- We were front row for SOMETHING CORPORATE. My life was complete! 

April 2010- I spent a week forgetting about everything, not sleeping, and going to shows every single night in a different city to see these guys play

Although I went to a few really amazing shows in 2011, my year lacked spontaneity and musical adventures. I was more responsible and less “in the moment”. I know that all comes with growing up, but some days I miss being young and being in a different city every week for the sake of music.

I’ve been trying to be be better with my money because all those years definitely burned a hole in my bank account. I know you’re only young once and blah blah blah, but I also wanted to experience OTHER things and that’s just what I did (Hi, Greece? Prince Edward Island? Florida?) I’m not saying that one is better than the other AT all. I really love traveling and seeing the world… But I do miss getting in a car with my best friends and driving to the closest town to see a show.

I really want 2012 to be more adventurous for me. I miss that part of my life a lot. I have a couple things planned in coming months, but I don’t want to look back on this year and think of it as another year that I missed out on a lot of things I wanted to do. I’m STILL young, I’m still in school, living at home and experiencing tons of new things. I want to enjoy it before I settle down into adulthood for good.

So here’s to a more adventurous 2012 with good friends, great music, lots of travel and hopefully not too much debt, hehe :)

What kinds of things do you want to do more of this year? 

Scheduling “me” time & my ideal day

I’ve always been the kind of person who needs a lot of time for ME. I love going out with friends and spending tons of time with family, but I’m not the type to schedule more than one thing in a day. If I work all day, I rarely feel good about doing something afterwards- I look forward to coming home and relaxing for the evening and basically doing my own thing.

Sometimes I feel like I spend TOO MUCH time by myself. I can usually spend two straight days at home before starting to feel like I need to get out for any reason, and when I make plans too many evenings in a row I tend to get really stressed about it and need to cancel somewhere.

I don’t know where I got this *need* to spend time by myself, but I just love it. I don’t function properly if I’m not home at a decent hour to get a good nights’ rest, and I don’t work well if I haven’t had the chance to do my own thing for a few hours before starting a new day.

Lately, I feel like every time I try and schedule time for myself, it never works out quite as I planned. Some nights (even Fridays and Saturdays!) I prefer the idea of cozy-ing up with a book and a mug of tea over going out to party. I don’t know if this makes me sound like an old lady, but that’s just the way it is! And it’s been many nights now that I haven’t been able to sit down and not feel like I should be doing something else.

I haven’t really written about it, but this semester I cut down my work load at school to only two classes; one online and one in school. So far it’s helped my anxiety and stress levels enormously, but I think I still have a lot of work to do. I KNOW that I’m a “me time” kind of person, and I really need to find a way to schedule my time accordingly. I’ve been feeling like everything I do is rushed and I somehow never have enough time to get anything done properly.

I know that I put the month of April as “procrastination” in my 12 Changes project to really focus on this situation, but I think the heart of the problem is more than just that. I need to organize my time better so that I don’t feel like I’m suffering from a schedule that I’ve made for myself. Even by cutting down on school, I’ve somehow found myself feeling more stressed than I’d like to be.

This week I’ve spent a lot of time trying to prepare meals to keep up with my vegetarian lifestyle after work, and the hour or so I get to myself I’m just too tired to even read. I’m going to finish up this hectic week, and starting fresh after the weekend I’d like to start finding a way to organize the hours of my day better. If that means cutting down on internet, then so be it. I just want to feel more productive without the added stress. 

I saw a blog post a little while back that outlined an “ideal day” and I loved it immediately. My schedule is so completely random from one week to the next (the perks of working retail) that I don’t think I could ever create an ideal day for myself, but any day for me would be ideal if it could include the following:

1) 7AM wake-up. 8am is *truly* ideal, but I think 7AM is a good time to get things done, especially on a work day

2) A work-out of some sort. Either 30 Day Shred style, or going to the gym/taking a fitness class

3) One hour of reading, at least! I love to read and never feel like I make enough time in my day for it. Not recently, anyway.

4) A decent bedtime, more often than not. I am not the kind of person who likes staying up late. 11pm lights off is truly ideal for me!

5) Some time to catch up on blogs & write my own. I have a habit of clearing out my Google Reader every day that I’m trying to quit because it’s so time consuming. Instead, I just want to read until I feel like moving onto something else, and spend more time just WRITING because I love doing it!

I’m recognizing that I am NOT the kind of person who can ignore myself and just live a crazy lifestyle without sleep or consideration for my own needs. I need “me” time and from here on out, I want to make sure that my schedule reflects that properly. I may not be able to have an ideal day every day of my life, but as of right now, I want to make sure that there are more of my days that feel good and PRODUCTIVE, rather than stressful and lacking the things I love.

I want to make more time for me and to do the things I love in my life, starting now. 

What does your ideal day look like? Are you a “me” time kind of person? Who’s up to the challenge to do more things you love in a day? 

Currently… #2

I did a post like this once before, you can read it here!

Reading

1) The Fault in our Stars by John Green. I literally just finished it, and all I can say is prepare yourselves for a review in the near future.

2) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

3) Next up is The Marriage Plot for #twookclub… I can’t wait!

Listening

Snow Patrol. I’ve been listening to their albums on repeat for the last 2 days since I found out that THEY’RE COMING TO MONTREAL IN APRIL. Yes I already bought my ticket. YES I’m incredibly excited to be seeing them again after 2 years!


I can’t wait! 

Watching

1) Grey’s Anatomy is back and I’m still so in love with that show. I am in LOVE with this season, even though it breaks my heart into millions of pieces every Thursday night.

2) One Tree Hill is starting back up TONIGHT. It’s the final season and I just know I’m going to cry after like every single episode.

Needing

In my last ‘Currently’ post, I listed 4 things that I was really needing, and as I look over them I realize that I don’t need ANY of those things anymore because I took care of it all. THAT, feels amazing.

1) Right now, all I’m needing (or rather wishing that I had) is a little extra money. I want to travel this summer but I don’t feel like I’m paying off my debt and saving up fast enough. I’m working a lot these days though, so hopefully it pays off!


I’m hoping to end up here in June with my brother’s family & my mom!

2) A little extra time to meal plan for a week of vegetarianism coming up WAY too soon. I need to make it happen, and I keep forgetting to do it!

Avoiding

1) Getting ready for class, I need to leave in less than 2 hours but I practically just woke up! So weird.

2) Blogging, I feel like I haven’t written anything good in quite a while.

Loving

1) Harry Potter humor that is just so accurate accurate

2) John Green’s newest video about his newest book

3) I need new blogs to read. Leave me links to your favorites in the comments!

What are you currently up to?!

Sunday Inspiration & Links v.7

I’ve been debating whether I wanted to keep this weekly feature or not for a few weeks now. Since my Post A Day 2011 challenge is over, I can freely take weekends off my blogging schedule (yay!) but I think every once in a while I may bring this back and share some of my internet favorites.

—–

– In 2011 I signed up to do the Global Reading Challenge and almost completed it. I was just missing ONE book I think, but got so carried away with life that I totally forgot to actually read it (it’s on my shelf!)

I was so happy to see that the challenge came back this year because I had a ton of fun discovering books from around the world in 2011.

So I will of course be giving it another shot and trying to complete it this year. Not just for the sake of crossing it off my 101 (because I said I’d complete it and did not) but because it’s a LOT of fun to do. I’m still going to stick with the Easy Challenge because it was hard enough for me to do the first time around.

You can also sign up HERE. Let me know if you do! :)

The Urban Jungle Workout. Love this, and totally do-able from home!

The Traveling Red Dress. Such a great (old) blog post by The Bloggess. Just started following her, and she is seriously awesome.

– Are you following the 12 Changes official blog yet? You should be!

– I’m still using my Tumblr really often, are we following each other?

– Am I the only one who finds this picture REALLY cute?!

– Speaking of pictures, this might be one of the most original ones I’ve ever seen. This is the source, if you want to see more from that picture project!

– I am in love with this song, and the video for it is AWESOME:

Happy Sunday!