Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Roman Holiday in pictures

Remember when I went to Rome - oh, 3 months ago - and didn't post any pictures? They may be a lot little late, but here is my photo journey of Rome in pictures. Hope you like them!
All pictures were taken by me and edited in Paint.net

Trinita dei Monti church (atop the Spanish Steps)


The Colosseum 


St. Peter's Basilica & Square 

Tiber River


Roman skyline from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo

Campo dei Fiori farmers market


Trastevere 


We both fell in love with Rome, and would definitely go back in a heartbeat! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Personal Post - caught between a rock and a hard place

I feel like I'm stuck between what I should do/what I'm expected to do and what I want to do/know I can do.

image here

To the few IRL (in-real-life) friends and family that read my blog, I realize this seems to be coming out of nowhere, but trust me it's not. I hash over things in my mind for days or weeks before I even voice them out loud. 

I've gone through the past 20 academic years of my life in a sort of blind stumble. I'm currently on my 3rd post-high school degree, and to be perfectly honest I still don't know if I made the right choice. I've now gone from Fashion School to an Arts Degree to Teacher's College to ...? That's the big question. Sometimes I wish I was one of those kids that decided what she wanted to be in Kindergarten and followed that path without question. 


I'm about to face one of the scariest and hardest semesters of my life, and aside from being terrified there is an ever-growing part of me that simply does not want to do it. As much as I (obviously) love summer vacation and dread school starting, there has always been a part of me that looked forward to the coming year because it meant a fresh start and a new challenge. Not this year.


A year ago when I was starting Teacher's College I was excited and thought I'd finally found my niche in the world, something I would be passionate about and something that would make me want to work hard. Now a year later I'm not so sure anymore. I've learned that teaching is more bureaucratic hoop-jumping than creatively enriching the lives of students. I would be spending more time doing administrative work and pleasing 30 parents than trying to make 30 students love History as much as I do. It's disheartening. 


Unfortunately I don't live in a country of free education, and I've racked up quite a bit in tuition fees over the last 8 years. I've been lucky that my family has (so far) always helped me out financially, but at the same time I feel like I've had to do all of these things because they help me out. Does that make any sense? 


It may sound like I don't have a Plan B at all, and to a certain degree that's true. I've tended to live my life in a Plan A pattern, hoping for the best that things work out - and for the most part they have, I've been incredibly lucky. 


I do have a Plan B in the back of my mind, it's sort of been in the back of my head for years now, but it would mean making a pretty large commitment to something that once again may not guarantee me a job at the end. I'm in my mid-20's but that number is slowly but surely creeping into my late-20's (wow that's depressing) so I feel like at some point I want my life to start. I feel like I've been stuck in perpetual limbo for the last number of years, never really moving forward but not totally satisfied with the present either. 


So what it comes down to is that I really don't know what to do. I'm caught between a very hard rock and a very hard place. 


Kudos to you if you've actually read this far, I just needed to get these thoughts out of my head for a change.

NKOTBSB round 2 - a night to remember!

* I started this post nearly 3 weeks ago, life got in the way and it's been sitting in my 'drafts' folder ever since 


I'm actually surprised I still have any followers since I've basically been rambling about nothing but boy bands for the past 2 months. That being said, I'm also a little surprised I have friends left at all that don't share my current-obsession.


Anyway, 15 year old Ella will slowly be retreating so expect a gradual shift back to my normal posts. Until then, however, I have to update you all on the second concert from Saturday night.


If you were ever a New Kids or Backstreet Boys fan (or fan of any band/celeb) I think you'll appreciate this story!


All 9 when they first come out


After seeing the show in June and knowing how amazing it was, right away I started looking for tickets for the August show. Now, naturally I tried getting the best possible seats available, but there was also another deciding factor. The bestest says we cheated, I see it more as using insider information.


mash-up of "The One" and "Single"


To increase audience interaction for fans who couldn't afford the expensive floor seats (like us) - BSB started a great system of starting one song at the top of the first level and walking all the way down some aisles towards the stage. This is a genius move on their part!


One of the first blocks of tickets TicketMaster gave me when I was searching for August was 12 rows up from the floor, and aisle seats. Something right then told me to jump on those tickets. So much so that I pretty much ordered them before I had full confirmation from my friends. They would all tell you in hindsight - Best. Decision. Ever. There was no way to know for sure which aisle they would come down, and which Backstreet Boy it would be because they changed it up every show. Very sneaky!


NKOTB


The show was once again amazing, but the best part happened just over half way through. We were all momentarily distracted from the show by big burly security guards putting down ropes along both sides of the aisle we were sitting beside. That's when we knew we were at THE AISLE. It was probably another 15 minutes or so before it was to happen, but we were all giddy with anxious anticipation the whole time. 


We knew from previous experience that the aisle scene happened right after the New Kids sang "Tonight". As soon as the lights went down, our excitement went up. The opening chords of "Shape of my heart" started, and all I could hear was the bestest behind me going "Who is it?? Is it Brian??". All I could see at this point were security guards until S (seated on the aisle) cut in with "It's Nick! OMG It's Nick!" 


Hello Mr. Carter, nice to meet you

He came down the aisle slowly, touching hands as he went. He came to our section, touched all of our hands and then started to turn to the other side. I'll be honest and admit that any rational thought left my mind completely at this point, so without even thinking about it I reached out and grabbed his hand so he turned back to our section and touched our hands again. Side note: if you happened to be sitting across the aisle from us and missed out, I do apologize!

While this was happening, somehow part of my brain was being alerted to the fact that there was more commotion coming from the top of the aisle. I looked up only to see AJ coming towards us! That was the biggest shock of my life because I could swear at the first concert they picked 4 different aisles instead of doubling up. I vaguely remember grabbing the bestests arm and going "OMG it's AJ! OMG it's AJ!" 

I heart you


AJ also came down slowly and made sure to touch as many fans as possible. Meanwhile, Nick was getting mobbed by fans at the bottom of the aisle, forcing AJ to stop briefly where he was. Which happened to be right in front of us! That's right. He was standing right in front of me, shook my hand and went "Hello. How are you?" My mind went completely blank, and I managed a very eloquent "HI!...... I'm .....goood!" (I don't even remember adding the "I'm good" but the bestest assured me that I did)


This show definitely topped the first one, and may even come close to topping front row many years ago! I'm a little sad that the summer of NKOTBSB is over, but when they come back you can bet that I'll be going again!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun Fridays!


It's time for another edition of Fun Fridays over at Jen's Blog

Happy Friday! 


This weekend I will be spending time with these girls (minus Jay, 2nd from left plus Kay not pictured)..




@ NKOTBSB round 1 in June, photo courtesy of the Bestest


And these boys..



No biggie right? 

Judging by my plethora of posts in the last 2 months, you've probably all realized that my teenage self seems to have taken over my life recently. I'm sort of hoping that after tomorrow's concert (and possible DDUB stalking in NYC) it will slowly die down again. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I'm (P)interest-ed!



Today I spent a good portion of my day on Pinterest. It's been a good day. I've been hearing about this allusive website from so many of my blog friends that finally curiosity got to me and I had to check it out.  


I'm completely hooked! I started planning my (dream) wedding! Nevermind that I'm currently single. I figure I'm allowed to plan regardless and this way when Prince Charming does find me, it'll all be a breeze. I can almost hear all you brides/wives laughing at my thinking the planning will be easy. Let me believe it for now!


On a slightly more realistic note, I've also created a board entitled "Decorating Ideas" and pinned all things I would love to have in an apartment/house one day. I've noticed that I tend to pick neutrals with just a pop of color, so I suppose that's more my style. It surprised me a little. 


If you're interested, you can follow me HERE and if any of you have a Pinterest, let me know so I can follow you and see your beautiful boards! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August blues


I saw a tweet the other day that said "Summer 2011 should get a ticket...for speeding" - and that's exactly how I feel.


As soon as August hits, I always feel like summer is over. Never mind that there is still 4 weeks of vacation, but something about that elusive 8th Month always makes me feel a little sad. The days are a little shorter, the temperature a little cooler and the people a little less relaxed. 

August is a harsh reminder that September is right around the corner, and let's face it, no one likes September. I shouldn't be complaining as I still have lots planned, including a concert and trip to NYC, but I can't help but feel a little bit bummed.

To the bestest and all others born in August, I apologize for the anti-August rant, don't take it personally!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tales of a 15-year-old Backstreet Boys fan - March 2000 - part 2

*if you missed it, catch up on Part 1 HERE

As promised, here is the exact review I wrote of the "Into the Millennium" tour for March 15th, 2000. The pictures are ones that I took on my 'film camera' (wow can you tell I'm old). Please excuse my overuse of the word "like" and the thousands of exclamation points, it makes me cringe just reading it but I forced myself not to edit in hindsight. I figure that the excited (albeit grammatically incorrect) words of a 15-year-old high school student are more effective than a 26-year-old high school teacher. 

*side note: wow that's like coming full circle, from student to teacher. Strange.
_________________________________________________________________

ok, this is my review of the Toronto Concert on March 15th, first let me tell you... when we got our tickets on December, we we so incredibly lucky.... for those of you that don't know, in Canada they give out wristbands with numbers on them, and the day that the tickets went on sale, they draw one number, whoever has that number gets first choice of tickets.... and everyone behind that number gets second choice and so on, and people before it have to go to the end of the line. Well it was my mom's wristband number that got chosen.... so we ended up with 1st row tickets! My friends and I were totally freaking out!
So then we had to count down 94 days until March 15th.

When they day finally came, we went downtown at about 2pm, and just walked around everywhere. 
At 6:30pm they finally let us in, but it seemed to take forever... we moved like 3 inches in 10 minutes!
But we finally got in... and they never even checked for cameras (thank goodness)
Since we went to the November show too, we didn't really bother buying any souvenirs, but the only bad thing was, that the Comic book was sold out everywhere. So we didn't get it.

When we got to our seats, it was so amazing... we were like 2 ft from the stage....

Then the Jungle Brothers came on, they were pretty good............

So anyways, finally at 8:55pm, the lights went down and some smoke started to rise up, they had the countdown, and the starwars music. The Boys flew out on the Booggie Bords as usual.

I'm not gonig to get into detail about the songs and stuff... but when Nick came out to do his thank-you he tripped over the step and landed flat on his stomach on the stage... it was so funny!!!!!


Nick also said in his thank-you that since this was the last show... we might see some crazy stuff! (he was so right) Aj said that they had "one hell of a show planned" The Boys said that they picked Toronto as the last show 'cause they love us so much! (how sweet!)


The songs were basically the same, 
But during one part.. I have no clue what song it was, Howie was singing and walking backwards, so Nick came up behind Howie and Howie walked right into Nick...it was so cute!

They did a lot of crazy stuff! 
During "That's the way I like it" one of the male-dancers was un-dressing Brian, he ripped off his tie and started to rip of Brian's shirt.... but Brian had this kinda scared look on his face... it was so cute!!!!
We had Kevin and AJ on our side the most..... AJ was so cool, he kept waving at everyone and smiling at my friends and me. During "Don't want you back" we had Nick, he was sitting on the pole and waving at everyone! It was so cool! 


At the end when they were introducing the dancers/band, my friend told me to through this beany baby chihuahua that I got for Brian, so I did. It hit his leg and he picked it up and started playing with it. He put it down on the stage right side up... and it stayed like that until Kevin knocked it over with his foot, so it was on its side. At the end of the concert on the of the Band members took it down below. 

During Perfect Fan, we had Brian on our side of the stage, and he kept making goofy faces at the girl and at the audience.

Nick had a bottle of Silly String. and was putting the silly string all over Howie's head!!! Then Howie took the bottle and sprayed that audience.

Oh yeah, during one song, Nick was trying to hype up the crowd even more, so he did these little ...uh "moves" and then Aj came over and shook his head and did some other "moves" he had this like "Nick, this is how you do it" type look on his face. (so cute)


At the end tons of confetti exploded everywhere.... and I mean everywhere.. it looked like a snow storm. During one part at the end, Howie came down to our side of the stage with a security guard, so we all got to touch his hands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All I can say is that it was the best concert that I've ever been too, I totally can't wait for the BSB to come back again (I know it will be a while)

See ya and don't forget... *KTBSPA* 4 EVER 
________________________________________________________________

So there you have it, the actual words of a very excited teenager. I'll write a review of the NKOTBSB concert next week and see how it compares. 

Tales of a 15-year-old Backstreet Boys fan - March 2000 - part 1

Remember when I first blogged about the amazing the NKOTBSB show in June HERE ? With the countdown to NKOTBSB Round 2 quickly winding down - 6 days to go! - I've been re-immersing myself in all things Backstreet and learning all things New Kid. The excitement for the upcoming concert has me reminiscing of the greatest concert I ever went to and the events that lead up to it. I alluded to it in my previous post, but did not go into detail. 


In December of 1999 it was announced that the last stop on the world famous "Into the Millennium" Tour would be in my home-town in March of 2000. We'd only been to one other BSB concert prior to this so naturally our 14 and 15-year-old selves were dying to go. The way tickets were sold back then was that you had to get a green wristband, which were given out about a week before the official "on sale" date. Hundreds of wristbands with 5 digit numbers were given out for each location, and on the morning of December 11th 1999 one number was chosen at random. That number would then get first pick at the tickets and each following number and so on. That meant that anyone whose wristband number was right before it had to go to the back of the line.

The way it happened to work out for us was that there was myself and 2 girlfriends - then other girls - then my mom who had so graciously agreed to wear a wristband 'just in case'. We were put into the lineup by our respective numbers, and once the 500 or so people were settled, THE NUMBER was drawn. Naturally no one could hear the actual number, but it quickly trickled back through the line like a wave. Once the wave stopped, chaos and screaming broke out. 



It's been over a decade and I can still vividly remember hearing the number and knowing it was a higher number then our wristbands and thinking we'd never get tickets.My mom says I gave her the saddest look ever (I have no recollection of this) but she very calmly came over to me and said "It's my number".  


I swear at that moment the world stopped. For several minutes. 


I'd heard what she'd said, but it just would not compute in my head. By the time reality set back in she was already marching up to the ticket window. In the 2 minutes or so she was busy paying, my girlfriends and I had been reduced to shaking, anxious messes. We knew our prospects were good, but we had no idea how good - we were betting on maybe 5th row floor. She came out with FRONT ROW tickets. 


The actual tickets - I know, a little hard to see


I wrote a concert review 3 days after the concert and posted it on a popular website at the time. Something spurred me on a few weeks ago to see if I could still find it. It may have been lost in a virtual "dusty file cabinet" - but I found it and in my next post I will share it with all of you! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A moment of silence for Arlington



The 3rd stop on my trip 'down South' was to Arlington National Cemetery. I'm a huge history buff (and history teacher) so naturally this was a place I've always wanted to see. 



The cemetery itself is massive, covering close to 4 miles (8km) and we didn't manage to see even half in over 2 hours. The "important" graves that everyone - including us - flocks to are JFK's grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 



The graves are mostly simple white headstones set out in a very rigid pattern. It reminded me of what I picture Flanders Fields looking like in Belgium. If you've ever attended a Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony then you know what I'm talking about. 


 JFK's grave


What really made an impression on me was the amount of respect that the visitors had for these hallowed grounds. It was very quiet, even children managed to behave themselves and everyone paid their respects in a very somber fashion. 


Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was the place I was most interested to see. They have a Marine posted at the Tomb 24 hours a day and every hour they perform a "changing of the Guards" ceremony. 

So many young men and women gave their lives for the freedom that America now enjoys, and so many of them were killed as cannon fodder and dumped into unmarked graves, if they were found at all. I think it's incredible that we honour these fallen heroes and give them the respect they deserve 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Amazing Annapolis

I feel like all of a sudden I jumped back onto the blogging-bandwagon, this is my second post in 2 days (albeit scheduled for later on this week)
side note: I've been playing around with the settings on Paint.Net (free version of Photoshop) and trying to edit my pictures, what do you think so far?
Part of my trip 'down South' included a much-anticipated visit to Annapolis, Maryland and the United States Naval Academy. We were originally going to go the last time I was down, but a nasty cold kept me in bed for most of that trip. This time, feeling healthy and blessed with bloody hot nice weather, we decided to make the trek. 


This place was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G 




The amount of discipline and dedication that goes into being in the Navy was unreal. I completely admire and respect anyone who fights for their country, but this just took it to a whole new level for me. 


Attending the Academy is free, but you do have to sign a contract and do 5 years of service once you graduate. The "midshipmen" (students) are in full-uniform 24/7 and working hard for the whole 4 years. Most don't even make it home for holidays as they are usually at sea training. The only "free time" they have is on Saturdays from noon - midnight. That's it. They have strict curfews enforced and rules that must be followed at all times. 


part of the Naval Academy Harbor 

We took a 2-hour guided tour of the Academy (which I highly recommend) during which our very knowledgeable tour guide taught us about the rich history of the school. 


Admiral's Row


The highest ranking Admirals, Corporals and other officials live on the actual Academy grounds in "Admiral's Row". A very idyllic and beautiful street that weaves itself around the base. 


Memorial Hall


One of the most touching places for me was Memorial Hall. Located at the back of the dormitories/mess hall is a large marble hall dedicated to all current and past students of the Academy who have been killed in the line of duty. Their names are all engraved on the walls, along with which conflict they were killed in going back to the mid 1800's. By far the largest "section" is WW2 - closely followed by Vietnam. 


Annapolis Harbor

Although the bulk of our day was spent at the Naval Academy, the city of Annapolis itself is also not to be missed. There is a busy but charming waterfront area with cute shops and an abundance of restaurants and cafe's overlooking the water. Definitely a great place for a warm summer evening. 

All-in-all, Annapolis was a place I was looking forward to seeing and it definitely lived up to my expectations!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beautiful Baltimore

Market Street

Hello? Anyone still out there? I've been so busy the last 2 weeks that there just hasn't been time to blog. I've barely been home, let alone near my laptop.  Where have I been you might ask? I spent 5 days 'down South' and 5 days 'up North' since my last post. 

Market Street

My father and step-mother live in Washington D.C (Virginia) so I flew down to see them for a couple of days. Due to the high cost of Airline travel, I had to get creative and managed to find an affordable flight on Southwest flying into Baltimore. My dad drove the hour or so and picked me up in Baltimore, and suggested we tour the city because it was my first time being there.



USS Constellation 


Now I should preface this by saying that I always thought Baltimore was a typical American city. Some skyscrapers, some suburbs, nothing especially spectacular. I could not have been more wrong! 


Baltimore is a beautiful city with a rich and vibrant history and amazing waterfront. I especially fell in love with the "market street" area which looks just like a small town smushed in the middle of a big city. 

Baltimore Harbor

I've learned that I will never again judge a city by any preconceived notions I may have, I found Baltimore to be one of those places where I could really see myself living one day and I was very pleasantly surprised!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mad Men style icon - January Jones



Have I told you how much I'm currently in love with the HBO show "Mad Men"? If you follow me on Twitter you've no doubt seen a few posts lately. I realize that I'm about 3 years behind in the times, but trust me I'm trying to catch up quickly! 


I downloaded season 1 from iTunes last year on a whim because it was on sale for $12.99 and since then I've been hooked. That being said, I'm still only at the beginning of season 2, but what draws me in more than anything is the fashion. January Jones' character "Betty Draper" is my absolute style icon, whether she's in a fabulous dress or simple pants she always looks amazing. If I could master 1960's style makeup,  I would be in heaven. 


Don't you just LOVE the dress?


I'm a real girly girl, especially in the summer, and practically live in dresses; and recently I've become obsessed with vintage-style dresses from the 1960's. I have 3 semi "Mad Men" looking dresses, but I've also discovered an amazing site that has hundreds of vintage-inspired dresses that I'm absolutely drooling over!
I'm not a fan of buying clothes online (shopping is my cardio) but this site has me more and more tempted each time I visit it. I'll post some examples below, but check out ModCloth for more styles! How gorgeous are these dresses?? The best part is that they are reasonably affordable, most are only around $100 or 


Dainty Doodler Dress
Dainty Doodler Dress

Trusty Rose Dress
Trusty Rose Dress 



Make Me Wanna Shout Dress
Make Me Wanna Shout Dress

Day After Day Dress
Day After Day Dress


*disclaimer: I am in no way endorsed by modcloth.com - I just share my opinions on things you might like. Both Mad Men pictures are courtesy of Google Images 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

iHeart

it's the last day of June so I'm determined to get one last blog post in. I wanted something quick and easy to blog about, so I figured it was high time for another installment of "I heart". There have been recent events in my life that have left me trying to be greatful for the simple things so this is a good strategy.

This is sort of an electronic version of the post because I'm writing this from my iPod Touch (which I love)

I heart...

..my mom. She's been having a very rough time lately and needs all the support I can give her

..my friends. I've been very blessed with amazing friends who keep me grounded and are always there when I need them

..my car. I love him, yes him. We're very close and spend a lot of time together

..NKOTBSB. If you don't know what that is google it! I feel like I'm rediscovering my teen years and it's a good escape from reality sometimes

..a good book. I've started reading historical fiction and must admit I'm quite hooked!

..sunshine and warm weather. Cute dresses, flats, shorts and flip flops - need I say more?

..my iPod Touch. I'm kind of in love.

What do you heart?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Some diversions and updates on my life

I feel like Twitter has somehow replaced my blogging addiction. I find that I tend to blog most when I don't feel that I "have to" - which is exactly how I've been feeling the last number of months. Every time I log onto Blogger (and I do so almost daily) I look at the date of my last post and cringe because it's been so long.


Then I get that familiar feeling of "I really need to blog" - and promptly go and do something else. The weird thing is that I've really missed this place while at the same time ignoring it. I've also noticed my followers dwindle and my comments go down to almost nothing. While it does make me a little sad, I do not blame anyone in the slightest seeing as I haven't been keeping my end of the bargain and commenting on all of your wonderful blogs either. 


I've become quite interested in historical fiction recently, and am currently about half way through my second book. Philippa Gregory is a historian of British History, more specifically the Tudor period and Elizabethan England. The Bestest lent me "The Other Boleyn Girl" when I was in Europe, and I loved it! I'm now reading the 3rd in her series ("The Virgin's Lover") and may very well keep going from there. 


I don't have a job for the summer, but I'm finding that I'm actually pretty busy and the days are already going by way too fast for my liking. July is shaping up to be a very busy month for me. Among other things I have 3  small trips planned, a girlfriend from Germany in town for a few days and a 60th Birthday celebration for my mom! 


How is your summer going? What do you have planned? Update me on your lives! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Testing!

I may end up deleting this post, but I have a new toy to play with so I thought I'd give it a shot. My dad was gracious enough to give me his old iPod Touch (because he has an iPhone now) when I was in Germany a few weeks ago. When I attempted to download apps the iPod kept informing me that the operating system was too old but that I could buy an "upgrade" for the low price of $235. Thanks but no thanks Apple!

So instead I enlisted the help of a friend to do whatever tech-guys do in order to "refurbish" old iPods. I feel I'm better off not knowing exactly what was done with it.

The result is an iPod that works just like it's new - apps and all! Which is precicely where I'm currently blogging from. I downloaded the iBlogger app, but If there are better ones out there I'm open to suggestions!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NKOTBSB - Teenage Dream



Hello little blog! You've been terribly neglected the last few months, here's hoping that will change. I'll do an update on my life in a "this and that" post either tomorrow or the next day. There will also be a review of my trip to Rome with a few accompanying pictures coming up shortly

I've been back home for exactly a week now, and what a week it has been. After only getting in late Tuesday night, I had to *drag* my tired-jet lagged-self to a wee little concert on Wednesday.



Something my blog friends (and other readers) may not know about me is that back-in-the-day I was a HUGE Backstreet Boys fan. We're talking a room covered in posters and spending pretty much every waking minute either listening to their music, talking about them or watching them on TV. The highlight of my BSB-obsessed life came in March of 2000 when my girlfriends and I had FRONT ROW tickets to see them.


As the years began to fade, so did my interest in the boys. Things like school, work and boyfriends kept me busy. Out of loyalty to the past I've still gone to most of the concerts when they've been in my area, but not all - and certainly not with the same enthusiasm as during my teen years.


This past fall rumours began circling that the Backstreet Boys were teaming up with New Kids on the Block to do a combined tour. I've never really been a New Kids fan - they were a little before my time. The bestest (also former BSB fan) has an older sister who was a HUGE New Kids fan, so she organized a plot for us all to go to the show and surprised her sister with a ticket for Christmas. There would be 5 of us going in total, and I hate to admit it, but a few of us went into this concert with a good dose of cynicism and "I think we're too old for this".


Then the show started.


Oh. Em. Gee.


I've been to my share of BSB concerts, and I have to say this was definitely one of my top shows. Ever. It was fantastic. Both groups put on an AMAZING performance, they were all energetic and happy and just like the Backstreet Boys of yore. I felt myself instantly being transplanted back in time a decade, cheering along with the rest of the sold-out stadium. My girlfriends and I loved the show SO MUCH that we promptly bought tickets to see them again in August when they come to a city about an hour from here. 


More than that, it only took 2 hours to turn me into an absolute New Kids on the Block fan! They were fantastic, absolutely amazing. And I'm a little ashamed to admit I completely fell in love with Donnie Wahlberg. I love his show "Bluebloods" but this just confirmed it for me.



You can't look at that and tell me he's not gorgeous, right? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life with GG - 2011 Edition - Volume 1

Hello everyone! It's been a while since my last post, and many things have happened since then. Rome has been conquered so-to-say and I'm now comfortably at my Grandparents' place. Back by popular request is the annual "Life with GG" segment, where I broadcast actual conversations I either have or overhear while I'm here. I refer to her as GG (short for German Grandmother)

If you want to catch up on last years posts, go
HERE. I preface all posts by saying that I love my Grandmother very much, but just that she sometimes drives me crazy. If you want a snapshot of what it's like here, picture Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls but with less money. That's pretty much spot on.

__________________________________________________________


Ella: *drying her hair*
GG: You have bangs now!?!
Ella: No, the hair just stopped growing.
GG: You have bangs now.

Ella: Do you like them?
GG: No.

you can never say she's not honest

__________________________________________________________

GG: *picks up sweater of mine*  Do you wash this?
Ella: *sighs* we went through this last year. Believe it or not we do have washing machines at home.
GG: That's not what I meant, you really shouldn't be so sensitive.
Ella: .............................


___________________________________________________________

Ella: *leaves the room while GG is in another room*
GG: Child, where are you going?
Ella: I'll be right back.
GG: I come back in and you're gone. Are you running away from me?
Ella: *sighs* GG, it's a one-bedroom appartment, I'm not going far. This isn't a palace.


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*Ella gety up first thing in the morning and wanders into the kitchen where GG is sitting*

GG: *in something resembling a baby voice* awwww look who's here!!
Ella: *deadpan* Yes. It seems to be a miracle that I can manage to get up on my own.
GG: *same voice* ooooohhhh someone's in a bad mood!
Ella: *deadpan* Please don't talk to me until after I've had breakfast.
GG: *silently stares at Ella and watches her eat cereal*
Ella: *looks up*
GG:  Is this better?
Ella: *rolls eyes a little* Much. Now I just feel like a zoo animal.  



___________________________________________________________

That's it for now, I'll try to post another segment in a few days!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ciao (B)ella

don't you just love that title?


My bags are mostly packed, the iPod is fully loaded and the camera is charging. That's right folks, I'm off to Rome tonight! Tomorrow at this time I'll be deeply immersed in the city of Piazzas and Pizzas.


After 3.5 days in Rome, I'll be off to visit my grandparents for about 3 weeks. I'll still be posting when I'm away, but the frequency may be less. That being said, I think I managed a whole 2 posts in all of April, so perhaps the frequency won't change at all. 


Have a good week!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fun Fridays!

I've decided to join in on the fun over at Jen's blog


The most fun thing about this Friday is that as of yesterday I am officially done with my second semester of teacher's college! It was a brutal semester, and I feel as though I've done more work in the last 3 months then I did in 4 years of University, but I'm proud of myself for pushing through it all. Next semester I have 2 7-week long practicum placements where I'm actually teaching every class ever day, and then - that's it! 


The bestest and I are trying "warm yoga" for the first time tonight. We've been going to traditional yoga a few times a week for the past month, and I've been dying to try hot yoga, but since neither of us have been before, the studio offers a "reduced heat yoga" on Friday nights - which is where tonight will find us. I'm excited but a little scared at the same time. I've heard that hot yoga is amazing, but also that it can be considered a form of torture, so we'll see.


I've off to Rome in 48 hours so there are many things that need to be done before then, but I'm so excited for this trip. Although I've been to Italy a few times, I have yet to see "the eternal city" so this will be an adventure for sure. 


Hope you all have an awesome weekend! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

light at the end of the tunnel

I've missed this little blog, but when school got busy something had to take a backseat. I have exactly one week of classes left before my second semester is complete. Most of the major assignments are now done, as is my third placement so I feel as though I have a moment to breathe.

As if my life hasn't been busy enough lately, I'm in the process of organizing my annual Eurotrip. This year will include a few days in the Eternal City (Rome) as well as a few weeks with my Grandparents. 



I started a segment last year called "Life with GG" which chronicles my experiences with my Grandmother. Picture Emily Gilmore but with less money. If you want to catch up on last years posts click here. I plan to keep up the "Life with GG" segment this year, so stay tuned for stories.


On the same note, I've decided to give Twitter  THIRD try - and it seems to be working pretty well this time.I will probably be updating Twitter with more "Life with GG" stories as I'm out and about during the day with her. Follow me HERE!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Teachable Moment - Placement #3

Happy Monday!


Kind of seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? Happy and Monday in the same sentence.

I realized that it's been a while since I've written a "Teachable Moments" post - so here goes. I'm now half way through my third placement. And to be honest - I'm not loving it. I love the school, the kids and the subjects. I'm in a Grade 12 "Living Cultures" class, a Grade 12 "Individuals and Families in diverse societies" class and a Grade 10 history class. The school is really amazing, a very close-knit community that is very involved in fundraising and other school activities.The teachers are all great and seem to be very close with each other and all-in-all it's a really interesting school.



So you're wondering what I dislike about this particular school. Well, the problem is this: The students and teachers are all very close-knit - but I don't fit in. I realize it takes time to build relationships, but my previous 2 placements were very inclusive and always tried to include me. Here it doesn't work that way.


Take last week, between lunch and my associate teachers' prep periods, we're essentially off from 11 until 1:30. Well 11 rolls around and my two associate teachers decide they're going out for lunch - and leave me alone in the office for 2 hours.


I'm not saying they need to include me in everything or that I should have been invited, but at the same time I constantly feel like the new kid on the playground - and we all know that's not a nice feeling. 


It's gotten to the point that I dread going there every Tuesday. Short of asking to be included (which I wouldn't do) I'm not sure how I can change this. Any thoughts?