Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tweet Tweet ..Twitter?

I'm such a band-wagon jumper. Like really. You name the technological fad of the last decade and I've probably been a part of it. ICQ - check. MySpace - check. Facebook - check. Twitter - fail.

That's right.

Of course I joined Twitter last year when it first became really popular. I hated it. I think I managed a whole 12 "tweets" and then gave up.

Lately I've noticed a Twitter-Expansion in the blogosphere with new Twitters popping up all over the place. So once again Bandwagon-Ella is resurfacing in the Twitter-world.

I deleted my old account and I'm making an attempt to start anew.

Right now my Twitter page looks very sad without any followers. Mind you, I haven't followed anyone yet either. In fact, I'm still figuring out the whole Twitter-process.

Will you follow me

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A post of Random Updates on a Lazy Sunday

Blog Status: Ella is L-O-V-I-N-G lazy sundays!

That's right, it's Sunday and I don't have a thing to do right now. I'll even let you all in on a little secret - I'm still in bed. Not in any dirty way of course, more in an Ella-is-relaxing-and-the-most-effort-she's-put-in-today-was-saying-hello-to-her-kitty-and-grabbing-her-laptop-before-crawling-back-into-bed kind of way. Did all that make any sense?

I'm watching the Food Network, which I absolutely adore. Even though I don't cook I enjoy watching others cook. I know, a little hypocritical right? It always makes me want to try cooking. Without fail I wander into the kitchen with grand ideas of making a whole amazing meal from scratch - and ultimately end up making a bowl of cereal or kraft dinner. Not good Ella. Not good.

I feel like I've been very random with my posts the last few weeks. I'm happy that I have been posting, but I think the topics and content of said posts has been quite sporadic.

Last weekend I had a bunch of friends over for a St. Patrick's Day Party. It was good times. Very good times. I've had the same group of friends for many years now. Some have come and gone over the years for various reasons, but my current group has been steady for a few years now. It's always good when everyone gets together because as our lives all get busier, there is less and less time to catch-up.

Yesterday my mom and I did a little spontaneous cross-border shopping. I've mentioned before how much I love going to Buffalo to do some shopping. Yesterday my love was once again re-affirmed:

I have a wedding to go to in early May. Since I just bought a new party-dress before Christmas, I really couldn't justify ANOTHER one. BUT, I have a classic LBD (Little Black Dress) and a white belt that goes well together with it. So my idea was to do a very classic Audrey-Hepburn type outfit. Black dress, white belt, pearls and red shoes. Can't you just picture it?

Well, I found amazing red satin pumps in Buffalo...for $14.99! I'm thinking now I should have bought them in the hot pink, black and leopard print too - maybe next time. But seriously, $14.99? Even if I only wear them that one time they will pay for themselves. And they're so pretty. Maybe I'll post a picture of them.

I think that's probably enough updates for now. I hope you've all had an awesome weekend across the blogosphere!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dear 16 Year Old Me..

Blog Status: Ella is reminiscing a little bit

One of my favourite bloggers, Red boots, has a wonderful series called “Dear 16 Year Old Me” which I find fantastic. The idea is for bloggers to write a letter to themselves when they were 16 full of wisdom and other tidbits. I love reading other letters, so I thought it might be a good idea for me to write my own. I encourage all of you to write your own letters too – this was the more inspiring half hour I’ve had in a long time.

16 Year Old Me, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Dear 16 year Old Ella,

Wow you have no idea what kind of adventure you have ahead of you. I really wish I could tell you everything, but I also know that you probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. You need to learn everything in due time.

I know right now you think you’re with the guy you’re going to marry one day. DUMP HIM. Seriously. You know deep-down that things aren’t 100% right – but you’re definitely going to figure that out in a few months. All I’m going to say is trust your gut instinct. It may seem like it couldn’t possibly be true – it is. Although you are learning a lot from him, he is also going to hurt you worse then you have ever been hurt before. These wounds will take a long time to heal – but in the end you will actually emerge happier and stronger and in some ways glad that it happened to you. You learned from it and became the person you are today because of it.

Keep your eyes open, there will shortly be someone else on the horizon – you actually know him already, but you won’t really give him the time-of-day for another year or so. I know that sounds bad, but everything has to happen in its own time. For many years he will make you feel happier and more loved then you ever thought possible. Unfortunately he will also hurt you very badly, but once again you will surface with a new inner strength and a new perspective on the world.

Everything else you will just have to wait and see what happens. I can guarantee you it will be a journey. You have had many ups and many more downs – to this date you are still waiting for “Prince Charming” to arrive, but you have also learned how to be happy on your own and stand on your own two feet.

You love your girlfriends more than anything, and I’m very happy to tell you that you are still very close to most of them! You will also meet 2 amazing new girls in the next few years. You will all have your arguments and slight fallings-out, but in general you are all still the same group you remember – with better hair, better clothes and drivers licenses! Learn to lean on these girls, I know it’s always been hard for you to talk about your feelings – but they care about you and will help you when times get rough.

You have no idea what you want to do with your life – and trust me that realization is many years coming. You will go down many different paths until you finally accept what your passion is. Don’t even bother with math and science – they really aren’t your strong suit. Instead, stick to history – there’s a reason you’re so drawn to it.

Your family life will not change very much. Sadly you will lose a few family members, but you will also gain a wonderful second generation of cousins. You still have a slightly complicated relationship with your father, but it seems to work for the 2 of you. Cut him some slack, he really loves you and he does the best he can. He will take you to many exotic destinations in the coming years, enjoy the gift of travel. These places will also shape the person you are. You and your mom are still as close as can be. Right now you’re still living at home, but that may change in the coming year. Cherish the simple times like watching TV together or going shopping for groceries.

Wow Ella, as you can tell you still like to write and you still ramble a lot. You’ve never been in a hurry to grow up – keep it that way! Treasure every day of high school, you will miss it when it’s all over. Don’t be scared of the next step, there is nothing you can’t achieve if you put your mind to it.

Dearest Ella, take every day by the reins and push forward. There is nothing (no matter how painful) that you cannot overcome. Never have regrets – it is precisely these decisions that make you the person you are today.

Much Love,

25 Year Old Ella

24 Year Old Me, Dublin, Ireland

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Life List

Blog Status: Ella is glad to see Nadua go home on ANTM

I got this from Ali, figured it would be cool. I didn't give explanations to the bolded ones below, but I'll put it out to all of you out there. If there's any bolded numbers you want explanations on - just comment and ask. I'll answer everything I promise!

Copy the list.
Bold the ones you've done (w/explanations if needed).
Share with friends.

I have:
1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disney World

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a thunder and lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train [that's an experience all right..]

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (does coffee from Timmies count?)

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo [a Henna tatoo yea]

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Blog Status: Ella is having memories of Dublin today

Just a very short post to state the obvious: Happy St. Patrick's Day bloggers! What are you all doing to celebrate? Tonight I'm doing nothing, literally. I do, however, have a big bash planned at my place on saturday night to celebrate the "Luck o' the Irish" so I'll be celebrating then.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am currently obessed with..

iTunes! (call it delayed happiness perhaps)

I've had iTunes for probably about 4 years now, but only last night did I truly discover it's amazing-ness. About 2 years ago I recieved a $40 iTunes gift card for my birthday which I never bothered using.
I'll be honest, I download music. I know - bad right? Shame on you Ella! I justify it because I don't download movies, only songs. Why would I want to waste money on a whole CD when I really only want one or two songs. Anyway, point is, I never considered the iTunes Store.

Yesterday I was cleaning out a drawer and found the gift card. I was curious as to whether it would even still be valid, so I loaded the credit into my iTunes. Turns out, it was. All of a sudden I had access to a whole world of movies, tv shows and podcasts.

After a quick browse of the instruction book, I also figured out that I could load said movies, TV shows and podcasts ONTO my iPod. 20 miutes later I had an episodes of Friends, Sex and the City and Grey's Anatomy loaded onto my iPod.

Tonight I discovered Podcasts. Free Podcasts. There are so many to choose from that I didn't even know where to start. I discovered a channel all about Europe and travel, which completely appeals to me. Right now I have 11 Podcasts on different European cities downloaded.

What else is good? What do you recommend? I feel like I've been missing out on this trend and now I'm so anxious to play catch-up!

I'm in love. I actually can't wait for work when I can put my headphones in at work and listen to Podcasts WHILE doing my actual work. Talk about multi-tasking!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear (hopefully) Future American Grad School..

..I realize that as an "International Applicant" I'm subjected to a whole whack of supplementary forms

but an "English Proficiency Test"?


I'm Canadian. You know, that big ol' land North of you guys? About 90% of us...speak ENGLISH.

That is all.



Monday, March 8, 2010

70's & 80's Music Love

Blog Status: Ella is spending time in the 70's & 80's on her iPod


Good Morning! I think I’ve finally figured out the secret to keeping up-to-date on my blogging. Banking posts while I’m at work for the day. I’ve started a pattern of e-mailing my blog posts to my personal e-mail address from my work address and then copying them into blogger when I get home. A little on the corrupt side? Maybe. But I figure since I’m not a smoker, there’s about 30 minutes in a day that I have to work when they’re all out in “smoke breaks”, so I’m taking short “blogging breaks”.

The topic of this post is all about music. My new iPod is 16G so needless to say it holds a LOT more music than my old 4G one did. Because of this I’ve been able to rediscover a lot of old music. I think I’ve fallen in love with the music of the 70’s and 80’s. I used to wave it off as being disco music that wasn’t worth listening to, but now I’m so in love.

I think one of my favourite songs of all time is Pat Benatar’s “We belong” or Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth”. I just love the fast disco beat of these songs and the messages just make me think of by-gone times of leg warmers and athletic gear. It doesn’t even feel retro to me because I came of age in the 90’s Era (I’ll save that for a different music post).

I’ve also recently discovered the rock and roll side of the 70’s and 80’s with bands like Guns N’ Roses (“Welcome to the Jungle”) and Boston (“More than a feeling”). I think the older I get the more my music tastes are broadening from the pop music I loved for so many years.

So now fellow bloggers, I’m opening up my iPod to all of you, what 70’s and 80’s music do YOU suggest?

Friday, March 5, 2010

20+10 in 2010 Update – The Quest for Tea

Blog Status: Ella is having a very hard time concentrating on her work today

Photo Credit Flickr

I’ve started my quest to like Tea. My co-workers ALL drink Tea so today they gave me a sort of Tea-tutorial. I’m now sitting at my desk with a mug of Harris Orange Pekoe” tea with cream and sugar. Some said cream was good, others said milk would have been better. One swears by sweet and condensed milk (but that’s just too sweet for me). Some said 2 sugars was way too much, others said 1 sugar wasn’t enough.

To me it tastes just like every other cup of tea that I’ve ever tried. I’d probably give this a 5/10. It’s a little bitter for my taste ( I went with one sugar and 2 creams) so maybe milk and 2 sugars would have been better.

What I’ve noticed so far is that there are A LOT of different opinions when it comes to tea. Even if it’s the same flavor, then the brand is important.

I’m of the “hot-chocolate” variety, and it’s so much simpler. The only real discussion there is whether to add milk or water.

I’m still working on finding a flavor and combination that I like

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Splish Splash Spring.. Splurge?

Blog Status: Ella is loving the fact that the days are getting longer - Spring is coming!

Even though it’s still pretty cold and yucky looking around here, I’m actually very excited for Spring to finally arrive. We’ve been pretty lucky this winter and (so far) have not had many major snow storms. The little snow that we do have coupled with mild temperatures means that there is slush and mud everywhere. I practically ruined my Uggs last week wearing them in during a snow storm. With a little love and care they now only bear a few battle scars. All this got me thinking of something.

I’ve been wanting rain boots f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I just love all the pretty colours and designs they always come in. Rain boots would be SO practical this time of year as they wouldn’t get dirty as easily and any mud could simply be wiped off. I know what you’re all thinking – “okay Ella so go buy Rain Boots”

WELL my problem is this. I’m in L-O- V-E with a specific pair of boots. I’ve been quietly lusting over these boots for a few years now, and this is probably the reason why I haven’t bought another pair yet either.

I totally completely heart Burberry Rain Boots. The Real thing. The $213 thing. Even typing out that ridiculous amount is a little painful so I can only imagine how much it would hurt to actually spend that. I’ll admit that I have a thing for labels, but to this date I’ve never spent that much on any one item. I tend to buy most of my designer clothes/accessories in outlets or on sales so I get away with spending a LOT less.

I have this completely idiotic wonderful vision in my head of being able to splash through puddles to my heart’s content wearing Burberry Rain Boots.

The sensible side of my brain is telling me that no vision is worth over $200 for rubber boots.

But Aren't they pretty?

Do I splurge or do I stay sensible? What would you do?

Monday, March 1, 2010

20 + 10 in 2010

Blog Status: Ella is thankful for all your words of encouragement and is feeling more determined then ever to achieve her goals

I've seen similar lists on some of my favourite Blogs and I think it's a great idea. This is a compiled list of 20 +10 (in other words 30) things I would like to accomplish in 2010. My original idea was 210 things in 2010 - but I had enough problems coming up with 30. Every now and then I'll do an update to this list and broadcast how the mission is going. I encourage all of you to make a list like this, even if you don't intend to follow through on a single one. Simply the experience of listing all of these was very inspiring

This list is in no particular order.

1. Learn to like Tea
2. Read a classic novel from cover to cover (suggestions are welcome!)
3. See a new place ** Completed on Feb 5 - Detroit, Michigan
4. Read a book in French (even if it's a children's book)
5. Meet a new friend
6. Eat Vegetarian for a whole week
7. Eat Vegan for a day
8 Get 100 Bloggy Followers
9. See Cirque du Soleil ** Completed on Feb 6
10. Finish a scrapbook
11. Re-kindle a friendship with an old friend
12. Cook a meal from scratch ** Completed Jan 23
13. Bake a pie
14. Bake something new
15. Go strawberry picking
16. Go on a roadtrip ** Completed Feb 5-7 (Detroit, Michigan)
17. Colour my hair
18. Learn to feel comfortable in heels
19. Clean out my closet ** Completed Jan 30
20. Write a letter (not E-mail)
21. Visit a museum
22. Learn to drive standard
23. Learn more about cars
24. Dip my toes in an Ocean
25. Paint a painting
26. Learn how to do the "smokey eye" look (without looking like a raccoon)
27. Build a piece of furniture ** Completed Feb 28
28. Go ice skating
29. Get back into dancing, maybe take a class somewhere
30. Learn to properly use my digital camera (all those funky settings) and take good quality photographs