Top Ten Wednesday

I’ve been writing a post since last Friday that was meant to be scheduled today, but it still just isn’t ready yet. I don’t like how some of it is worded & it’s not quite conveying the points I want, so it’ll have to wait until next week! 

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a little update on life with some bullet points. 

1. I’m currently about halfway through Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets. I love these earlier books because the writing is almost nothing like I remember. I’ve forgotten a lot of little details, too, but overall I haven’t forgotten nearly as much as I thought. Also, I’m completely in love with Ron Weasley as I re-read them. He’s such a great character!

It could also be because of this guy. Love Rupert! 

2. Work has been really weird these last few weeks because I’m working ONLY evenings. I work 3-4 times a week and it’s almost always 3-10:30pm. I love having my mornings off, but that means that I’m not seeing my mom AT all except when she comes to pick me up… So that kind of sucks.

3.  The month of May saw some of the most GORGEOUS weather here in Montreal. I don’t think it’s ever been that beautiful for so many consecutive days, especially not in such an early spring month. June? Not so much. So far it’s been rainy & kind of chilly. The sun came back out yesterday & today, but it’s still too cold to leave the house without a sweater. Warm up, Montreal! I want to read outside!

It was gorgeous out yesterday, and the sky was so blue! I was still wearing a big sweater though. 

4. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with the subscribing link for this blog. I’m sorry about that to anyone who’s been confused with it. The official link to subscribe for now is www.melissalivinglife.com/feed. I don’t know why you have to add /feed at the end, but it works.

5. I’ve started working with the extremely talented Ashley on a blog makeover. She is designing my very first custom layout and she’s had some fantastic ideas so far! I can’t wait to see it all put together!

6. I feel like I talk a lot about my family around here, and somehow I’ve forgotten to talk very much about my puppies, who are basically my children. I have 3 dogs at home right now, but the two newest additions (Chewy & Zorro) are like my babies. They also make me want to pull my hair out. They just turned 6 months old and are cuddlier (and crazier!) than ever. They’ve also finally begun to understand house-training. It took me completely LOSING it a few days ago, but there hasn’t been a single mess since. YAY!

Zorro loves curling up in a ball on my bed :)

We recently had Chewy shaved for the summer, and this is what he looks like now! He WAS named after Chewbacca, but right now he lives up to his name by eating everything in the house. 

7. I re-decorated my room a few days ago and moved all my furniture around for the first time in probably 5 years. I LOVE my room and it has inspired me to keep it much cleaner. My mom highly approves. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I have too many books. To celebrate? I bought two more!

8. I recently bought the three Lord of the Rings movies on sale, and I am ridiculously excited to have a LOTR marathon. It’s one of my 101 goals because I haven’t watched them in SO LONG. I was actually obsessed with Legolas as a teenager. Not even Orlando Bloom… Just Legolas. I’m a bit of a nerd.

You’ve got to admit, he makes a good looking elf! 

9. I’m leaving for Europe in EXACTLY 2 months. Holy crap! I CAN’T WAIT. I go through phases where I’m absolutely terrified to leave with my life in a backpack for 3 weeks, and days like today where I wish I was leaving sooner.

10. I’m so tired of selling the book 50 Shades of Grey and hearing about it. I just wanted to throw that out there. Can society move on to something more interesting now?

What’s going on with you lately?!

Feel the Music

Music has been one of my biggest loves for as long as I can remember. As a teenager I would spend countless hours sitting in my bedroom, doing homework or surfing the internet, with the familiar sounds of my favorite bands in the background. I would become addicted to a record and have it on repeat for months, or I would have a rotation of a couple of favorites and play them over and over again, one after the next.

It’s almost no surprise that my life has led me further into the music industry as I got older. The only surprise is that I’m lucky enough to be able to say that. So many people love music, and I am fortunate to have little inside views on the workings of the business through my job with CONFRONT magazine.

Me & one of my favorite female artists, Juliet Simms, last summer after my interview with her at the Vans Warped Tour. You can now catch her on Cee Lo’s team on The Voice! Don’t forget to vote! 

Me & Jeremy from Our Lady Peace after my interview, just 2 weeks ago! 

But working for CONFRONT is really just an experience that was lucky enough to fall in my lap, and I have made the absolute best of it in the last three years. I’ve interviewed dozens upon dozens of musicians- both well known and some still making a name for themselves- and it’s just been very humbling overall.

An interview earlier this year with the incredibly talented Charlie Winston from England

I’m feeling kind of introspective about this today for a few reasons:

1) Yesterday, I interviewed one of my all time favorite bands, Snow Patrol

2) I also got to attend the Snow Patrol concert after, opened up by the incredibly talented British solo artist Ed Sheeran

3) Earlier this week I interviewed another overseas band, Of Monsters and Men. They were not only AWESOME and HILARIOUS, but so down-to-earth. I love when that happens!

4) The magazine is really beginning to make a name for itself here in Montreal and I’m so proud to say that I’m part of it’s success over the last 3 years.

5) I really wanted to talk about music in a way that differs from my regular album reviews

In the last two years or so, I’ve had to tone down the amount of concerts I attend because of money. I spent a couple years around the age of 18 going to every concert I wanted, and it took a serious toll on my bank account. I can’t do that anymore because I have other priorities and things I want to accomplish, so I really make the best of each experience I DO get to have, like last night.

My interview yesterday went really well. I sat down with Nathan, and he was such a sweetheart and so incredibly polite. It’s a weird thing, but when I have the opportunity to chat with a band that I’ve adored for so long, I tend to love them even more when I know that they’re actually very humbled about their fame. It’s the mark of a band that’s never let the bad parts of the industry get to them- they’re still in it for THEIR passion, and I love being able to see bits and pieces of this through 15 minute conversations. I’m so excited for exams to be over so I can sit down and write a great article about a band that I’ve followed for over six years now.

Nathan is second from left!

The show last night was truly amazing. My city is well known for being an EXCELLENT crowd, as artists are often incredibly humbled on stage and sincerely say so. As an avid music person, this makes me very proud to be a Montrealer. I know we’re awesome, but when a band that has been together for over 15 years and sold over 10 million records are speechless on stage, that’s just a really incredible moment.

So last night Ed Sheeran played a half hour set and it was phenomenal. He’s a one man act, and he’s amazing at it. He stood on stage with nothing but himself, his acoustic guitar, and a loop pedal, and he played a better set then MANY opening artists are able to do. I love his album, so please DO check him out! His single A-Team is fantastic and his music video Lego Houses features Rupert Grint so… Yeah. Awesome.

Ed Sheeran on stage in Montreal last night

It was the third time I got to see Snow Patrol live, and it was just amazing. I love every record they’ve put out, and their music is even BETTER in concert. They played all their hits as well as a few other random tracks, and came back for something like a 5 or 6 song encore performance. Some of my favorite moments of the night? The song ‘Lifening’ during the Encore, as well as Chocolate, Chasing Cars, All I Have, Run, and Crack the Shutters. But honestly the entire thing was still more than I could have imagined.

The one and only Gary Lightbody :)

The best part though was a toss up between a solo version of ‘Set the Fire to the Third Bar’ and a duet between Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody for the song ‘New York’. You can watch an acoustic version of their duet New York that was recorded in a Montreal piano store below, it’s well worth the three minutes:

What are some of your favorite concert experiences?

Sunday Inspiration + Links v.5

I haven’t done this for the last couple weeks because of school & finals, but I miss browsing the internet for fun links so I took a break from studying to find some fun things worth sharing!

-First, a friend of mine shared this picture with me, and as a huge Hunger Games fan I love it a LOT:

Seriously, how awesome?!

- I love this website. It’s basically like a thesaurus…But cooler. Which is always my best friend when I write because I tend to be really repetitive.

- Lessons I Wished I Had Learned Earlier. This is such a great list, everyone can learn something new!

- I currently want to buy everything on this website. Especially this shirt. You may remember Sheldon wearing it on this week’s Big Bang? Um yeah, want. Why must all the good ones be out of stock!?

- This moving panorama of Paris is AWESOME. As if I don’t want to travel back to Europe enough, this just makes me want to go back right this second.

- 100 Incredible Views Out Of Airplane Windows. Yep, awesomeness. Here are some of my faves:

The Alps

New York. I love views of NY, seriously.

Malaysia

Australia

Okay I’ll stop there, otherwise I may just post all 100. Such a cool collection though!

- Here are some really great ab workouts to substitute (awful) crunches. Easy exercises to do when you wake up, or just before bed! I could get used to doing these.

- Finally, in honor of my going to HP world in February and also because it’s been way too long since I shared HP pictures…

What’s inspiring you lately? Happy Sunday! 

One week later

Today officially marks my one week  home point. Time is flying by, I can’t even BELIEVE it! I thought I might take a break from writing about Greece and posting photos to update on my life & just have a regular old blog post.

But first, I believe I have a giveaway winner to pick? Well let’s do it.

And the winner is…

Congrats Chelsea! E-mail me your address and I’ll get you my Greece care package in no time :) mliss024@gmail.com

Thanks to all you lovely ladies for entering, it was fun hosting my first little giveaway and I’m super happy to be able to share some of my trip with someone! On that note, if you still want a postcard, I’ve got about a dozen left that I brought home with me and I’d be glad to send you some snail mail if you like. Leave me a comment if you want a postcard, or just e-mail me with your address and I’ll send everything at the same time. I sent a bunch out while I was in Greece and I had so much fun writing them!

What I’ve been up to since I got home:

– It’s taking me forever to get over jet lag. It’s weird, because going TO Greece I was okay after one day (or at least that’s what I told myself because I wanted to enjoy my trip) but now that I’m home I’m always sleepy before 10pm. My 2nd night home I was ready for bed at FOUR IN THE AFTERNOON. Jet lag is no joke. But I’m just about back to normal I think.

– Just in time for school. I start TOMORROW! I haven’t really prepared all that much, but I did buy a few new school supplies (nothing like a new bag and some cute notebooks to motivate me to get back into things). I’m taking one online class, two English courses that I’m super excited about, and my last pre-requisite math course, linear. Because you know, I passed my other two and I’m almost ready to get into Business!

– I got back to work on Friday for my first shift and I had fun for the first hour or two, then it got back to the same old. I love selling books don’t get me wrong, but the novelty of having a month off wore off quickly. Luckily I love my coworkers and I had a great welcome back. Saturday was my second shift back which was a bit more hectic, but I got to work with my new boss (she started basically the week I left) and she is REALLY nice. So far I approve, which is a relief. I was worried for a bit when I was gone.

– Yesterday was my sister-in-law’s baby shower and it was so much fun! It lasted almost 8 HOURS. Is that a normal thing? I was at the hall from 1pm until 8:30pm. My mom organized a bunch of games that were hilarious though, the food was yummy, and the company  was obviously lots of fun too. Here are a few pictures from the event:

Only part of the gifts, the floor was FILLED too!

The DIY baby blocks idea that I stole asked permission to use from the lovely Ashley!

The concept

Half of the result… Everyone got super creative as the afternoon wore on and we used up all 60 blocks! I’m so happy that it was a success, and my brother & sis-in-law LOVED it, they couldn’t wait to sit down and read all the messages/look at all the pictures. Yay!

The game was to put on a pair of stockings with oven mitts on your hands, First to finish wins. He clearly won, but not without ripping them a little… No one was too impressed as you can see by all the angry pointing, HA!

Homemade chocolate & vanilla cakes! No one knew why the paw was melting, it just was. It was still very yummy.

– I bought my very first pair of TOMS this week and I am in looooooooove. I’ve worn them with every single outfit and they always work just right. Plus, they’re so comfy. If you were thinking about buying a pair, take the plunge! I got black because I can work in them too which is a huge bonus for me. They didn’t even need to be broken into, they fit your foot the minute you slip them on.

– I ate my first Greek salad since coming back home and it was AWFUL. Like I actually almost didn’t finish it. I never realized what a huge difference it would make when I came home, but it just wasn’t the same and that makes me very sad. I’m going to have to go hunting for some real Greek feta cheese and pick some fresh veggies because I am SERIOUSLY craving a good Greek salad. I lived on those. Also a new obsession? Plain Greek yogurt with honey drizzled on top. Best breakfast ever.

– I missed coffee like you can’t even imagine.

– I’m going to be scrapbooking my trip as soon as I print my pictures (this week) to cross off one of my 23 Before 23 goals! Speaking of which, I managed to cross off three goals while I was in Greece! 2 on my 101 and one on my 23 Before 23. Yay!

– I got my Pottermore welcome letter! I was sorted into Hufflepuff and I got a wand and it was a very neat experience. It’s not QUITE what I was expecting but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. Oh right and speaking of Harry Potter? I seriously missed this addiction of mine while I was gone. I had a great time on Tumblr the other day catching up on new HP photos.

My wand! I have no idea if this is a *good* wand or not, but it looks cool to me!

I adore this photo of Emma and Tom. <3

Um yeah. :)

I STILL can’t believe this is Ginny. This girl is gorgeous!

Not too shabby Dan!

Okay I’m going to end this super random post right around here. If you’ve made it this far, I’m really impressed because it was very rambly of me.

How was your weekend? Anything fun to share? 

Happy Monday! (I actually just typo-ed that as Harry Monday. HA.)

Two.

As of this morning, I have only two shifts left at work (today & tomorrow) and then I’m a free bird until September! In 4 days I’ll be getting ready to board a plane to Greece… I can’t believe this is my life right now.

Oia, Santorini. The place I’m most excited to visit! 

I have so much to do in these 4 days: friends to see one last time, suitcases to pack, family dinners to have. It’s very exciting, but very stressful too. I just had a few last minute thoughts to share this morning.

1) I am officially QuaffleWing46 on Pottermore as of Monday morning, woo hoo! It’s all very exciting stuff, and if you’re trying to get early entry in the site I totally feel you. The only reason I got in was because I was awake at 4:30AM for work that day and the clue went up around that time.

If you’re wondering what the inside of the website looks like right now, it’s nothing very interesting yet, I mean it only opens in October. This is what it looks like:

A few facts about getting my account…

- The website automatically chooses your username for you. You have the choice between 4 or 5 of them and you pick one. I can understand why, but my choices were less than interesting.

- I want to be one of the people offered entry into the beta site. This is my new life goal.

- If you google ‘Pottermore clue # *insert day* you will get the answer. The website is quill.pottermore.com/*answer* and you just look on the main page for the magic quill and click it and voila.

-Let me know if you’ve got questions about it!

2) I’m having Harry Potter withdrawals and I like sharing HP pictures so I’ve got a few more to share before I leave.

Rupert at the premiere of Tom Felton’s newest movie… Sporting an I <3 Tom Felton t-shirt. Um, adorable much?!

Tom uploaded a twitpic of himself signing Rupert’s shirt and wrote “Rups displayed our true bromance tonight! Call us tupert or rom x”

A little more Tom love. <3

You’re all going to miss this when I’m gone, don’t even deny it. :)

3) I’m supposed to leave for work in 50 minutes and I’m still in my PJ’s

4) How do I pack three weeks into one suitcase?

5) I got my very first pedicure yesterday, a birthday gift from one of the girls coming with me on my trip, and it was such a neat experience! A pricey experience that I’m not sure I could afford for myself, but apparently in the summer there are ladies who do this every 3 weeks? I can understand why, but that is still so much money I just don’t have!

6) I JUST REALIZED I don’t have a wall plug converter for Europe/Greece. Crap. Anyone know what I need to get?

Okay I need to get myself to work for the day. What’s everyone else up to for the rest of the week?

Late night thoughts

I didn’t get the chance to write anything today because I’ve literally been non-stop busy since 7:30AM this morning when I woke up. So since this post is a bit late (or rather, a lot late. I mean really it’s 10:30PM now!) I thought I might just a few more random thoughts out there and save my good post for tomorrow morning.

1) I’ve taken over CONFRONT magazine this week with an article and an interview and I’d love if you wanted to go check them out and leave me your thoughts! Also if I can introduce you to some new music, that’s even better.

You can read my full article with PARAMORE, which was so much fun to write. I’m a huge fan of the band and it was such a pleasure getting to chat with one of the founding members.

I also sat down with Adam Young from OWL CITY last month which was one of the greatest experiences ever. I’ve been a huge fan for a while and I haven’t been that star struck sitting down for an interview in a long time. I think the best part was just how genuinely nice he was, I think he is the sweetest musician I have ever had the pleasure of talking to.

2) If you haven’t read all the Harry Potter books or seen all the films, you can skip over this point! 

I went to see the final movie after work today and I’m just in awe. Especially the big seven- Luna, Neville, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco. Their characters were so heartbreakingly beautiful, maybe Neville most of all. I have to admit there were a few parts with Voldemort that made me laugh (for real, WHY doesn’t he have a nose? Is this just an unsolved HP mystery, or did I miss that one?) but when he starts laughing, it made me start laughing because his face was so strange looking.

Aside from that though, I cried like a baby. I loved when McGonagall placed the huge protection spell on the castle and all the stone soldiers protected Hogwarts. Also,  the Snape/Lily story was just heart melting, and towards the end when Harry gets the stone and sees his four most beloved people I just could not hold myself together any longer, not whatsoever.

I need to see that movie at least one more time, but I do regret seeing it in 3D. I think that was a little bit overrated. I LOVED the Hermione/Ron kiss but the fact that in real life it was so awkward for them makes me feel bad! I think they acted it out really amazingly and looked so darn cute together, but I don’t think you can beat the book version of it.

This post may or may not have been a reason to share more beautiful pictures of the Harry Potter cast. I am really just not getting sick of looking at their faces. I can’t believe the series is over, but I truly cannot wait to see what else these actors do, they are so talented. And beautiful.

3) That first picture I posted is Rupert chasing Emma on set for the last movie. I thought it was beautiful.

4) Any Big Bang Theory fans out there? The actors who play Raj and Howard (Kunal and Simon) are in Montreal this weekend and I had NO idea until yesterday. They have a comedy show tomorrow night that’s sold out and I am beyond devastated. I’m secretly (not so secretly anymore) rather in love with Raj. Luckily I’ll be seeing Eric Stonestreet with my mom so that’s going to be lots of fun!

5) I haven’t slept properly in at least a week and I can’t remember the last time I sat down with a book. I need to do both of these, preferably for many days in a row. Vacation soon, please? As a side note, I need to stop spending money on travel supplies. MUST. STOP.

Okay, one more Harry Potter picture to end this post? Fine. :)

Hope you’re all having a fantastic week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serious Question [not really.]

Why is it that most of the main characters from the Harry Potter movies all somehow grew up looking so great?! I mean seriously, what are the odds that an entire cast of 10 year olds ends up this way? I don’t even mean that to sound vain or anything like that because I know that they’re also a super talented bunch and I respect them a lot for the hard work they’ve put in these 8 movies… But just look at some of these pictures:

The HP boys

Emma Watson

Is he adorable or what?!

Yes, that is in fact Neville Longbottom (Matt Lewis)

Draco!

Favorite.

Worthy comparison, I think.

Yeah, that’s still Neville. I mean, Matt. Whoa.

The big seven.

They are actually so darn cute all three together!

Okay I think that’s enough pictures for today. I don’t know why, but lately I’ve been trying to just understand the amount of craziness, awesomeness and just overall everything that these actors have gone through in the last 10 years. I can’t even imagine growing up as myself and as a literary character that has had an impact on so many lives around the world.

I’m going to see the movie in one week from today (the last one) because that’s the only time I’m free to go, but until then I’m going to go continue to obsess over photos, past movies, the books and all the Tumblr accounts I’ve come across on the internet dedicated to Harry Potter.

Hope you’re having a lovely and productive day!