Krystal

My niece, 12-year-old Krystal, graduated from grade 6 yesterday!  Krystal is the youngest of three children and the most active – she draws, she plays baseball and her grades are pretty good, well except math, but no child in my family apart from my dad knows anything about numbers and equations.

When Krystal was born was I was 18 turning 19.  She was absolutely adorable and I felt truly blessed to have her in my life. I called her my early birthday gift from her parents because she was born exactly one week before my birthday.  I was dating Filipino boy at the time and she had him wrapped around her little finger.  She’s always been like that though.  She has a light to her that attracts friends, family and  –  well everyone to her.  She has had a rough go, with an older brother who causes more trouble that it’s worth, and an older sister who, like her aunt, demands attention and is way more drama queen then needed.  Being the one who really causes no trouble and no issues is amazing, but at the same time, she doesn’t always get the attention she deserves. 

But yesterday, looking all grown up, Krystal finally got her time to shine.  She has graduated from the 6th grade.  From William Tredway P.S where her brother, sister, father and aunt all went before her.  She is the last of our family to attend this school so there is some sadness as well. 

Unfortunately the school only allows two tickets per child to the graduation so I was unable to go, but her mom sent me pics and immediately I teared up.  She is so grown up and I don’t want her to be.  I want her to be 4 again where she was so little and cuddly.  This grown girl – almost woman – shocked me.  She was dressed in a dress I would wear, wearing my necklace, hair all done.  She was – gorgeous.  Not cute, not sweet, but gorgeous.  Can you use that word for a 12 year-old??

I was devastated not being able to attend her graduation, but I did get to see her afterwards when I got home, and the tears threatened to come again – I am a sap ain’t I?  She received an award at school and showed me that and her year book.  Next year, she will enter J.S Woodsworth – the middle school, that aids in the transition before high school.  I can’t wait to see the woman she is going to become.  7th and 8th grade were real transition years for me and I didn’t see that transition with Krystals brother or sister so it will be interesting to see if it happens for her.

Congratulations Krystal, you are my heart, my pride and joy.  I love you.  I adore you, and I am so so honoured to be your aunt.

XOXO Nikilee

Why I’ll never be a contractor

“Ring Ring”

Me: hello

Floor Guy: Hi Nikilee, I’ll be coming by later with floor samples, what kind of floor do you want me to bring

Me: Brown wood

FG: Brown wood?  Dark, light, wood or laminate?

Me: uhhhh dark and laminate I guess??!!

FG: Are you asking me?

Me: Listen, I like dark wood and I’m cheap, so no real wood, just the kind that goes click clack, click clack

FG: are you quacking??

Me: No I’m snapping wood together…you don’t like my sound effects

FG: I think you’re crazy

Me: I’ve been told that before.  OH my contractor said it has to be minimum 12 cm

FG: 12mm

Me: are you sure??

FG: measure 12 cm with your fingers – is that how thick you want your floor??

Me: *pausing to measure*  okay ya I am pretty sure he said 12 mm.

FG: I’ll come by soon with samples, please make sure your contractor is there!

Me: You’re the boss, boss! 

FG: First rule of doing a renovation Nikilee – you are the boss!

Me: Really, so why does my contractor need to be there? I’m the boss!

FG: I’m glad we are friends…I won’t take advantage of your foolishness.  Have the contractor there – trust me.

Me: sigh, okay fine 😦

I know I am a girl, and I have never done anything like this before, but lately, I have felt incredibly stupid…lol

XOXO Nikilee

These are a few of my favourite – apps??

So a few months ago I switched from my beloved black berry to the iPhone 4S.  I was nervous that I would never develop the same bond with the iPhone that I did with the bb, but lo and behold, I have.  Thanks to the magical world of the Apple apps!

BB had apps, but iPhone, has the best apps EVER!  It seems like every week I fall in love with a new app.  Whether it be a game,  a way to find the latest movies in theaters or where all the Green P’s are located in the city, the Apple apps make life more fun and a heck of a lot easier.  Because I always love a Top 5 list, I am going to count down my top 5 apps!

Top 5 Apple Applications as determined by ME – Nikilee30

Instagram photo

1. Instagram: I have always seen people upload funky looking pics to Facebook, pictures that seems old or black and white, or really dark or bright and I had no idea how it was done – until I downloaded Instagram.  You can take pics that are black and white, with a slight golden tinge to them, framed, unframed with a olden day look to them etc.  I LOVE IT!  I am a total paparazzo! I love taking pics, and this allows me to make cool shots look even cooler!!! See the pic above – my sushi lunch, I love that I can make it seem more antique…

 2. Euchre Lite: When I went to the DR for K and J’s wedding, J’s family was always playing Euchre.  I had NO idea how to play Euchre at this point, in fact the game seemed so confusing and uninteresting that I didn’t pay them the least bit of attention.  My brother and sister-in-law also play Euchre a lot and they have never had a desire to teach me so I have ignored them to a great extent as well.  However, when I started dating Newbie, I knew I would have to learn at some point because his family clearly loves this game as does he.  I downloaded Euchre Lite for free and I slowly learned the rules and am now at a 46% win rate (I lost the first like 30+ games I played because I had NO idea what I was doing).  Now I win most games though and am becoming quite strategic in my gameplay.  I even played with Newbie, his dad and step-mom and while we didn’t win, we played well and I made some pretty good moves.  They also taught me some other things that a free computer game just can’t (or won’t as the case may be).  I really do enjoy this game now and I cannot wait to get better and maybe even play for money at some point!!!

3. Words with Friends: Like Euchre, I never saw the interest in Scrabble.  At all.  I didn’t play as a child and I felt no desire to play as an adult.  However, a few of my friends were playing “words with friends” so I decided I would download this free app and see where it took me.  I have played probably close to 50 games and I have not ever won – and you know what?  I don’t care!  I have so much fun making up words and seeing what words this app considers real words and not real words that I just play for fun and help other people’s scores increase!

Words with Friends Application

4. TD Canada Trust: Since the banks have decided to charge $2.00 for paper statements, I have cancelled that and now have the TD app so that I can see my account balances anytime of day and make transfers immediately.  I love this app.  It amazes my dad that just by flipping through my phone I can tell him how much I owe on my Visa, what my last bank transaction was and how much money is in my grandmothers accounts (I am on them – hence that ability).

5. Cineplex: I am a movie buff.  I love watching movies.  This app allows me to see trailers, find out what movies are playing where and at what time.  This means if I am hanging out in Ajax bored with nothing to do, I can see what movies are out and head down to the Cineplex in Ajax and watch a movie.  It’s a simple app but it has made my life just that much better and easier!

***Bonus*** I just downloaded this app this morning.  It’s called SoundHound.  Newbie has it and I love it.  So often when I am in the car or at home and a song comes on the radio and I cannot remember the name of the song or the person who sings it, but I know I want it to listen to on my iPod.  Now, all I have to do is turn on this app, give it 10 seconds or so and all of a sudden I have the name of the song, who sings it and a whole lot of other information on the artist.  I am one of those girls who can sing along to a variety of songs, but if you ask me what I am singing I will make up titles since I have no idea.  Now I don’t have to.  I can even sing or hum a song while soundhound is on and it will tell me the same information!  WOOHOO!  This is my bonus favourite app cause I cannot choose between the top 5 which one I want to switch with. 
 
Now you all know what apps I love and if you have a suggestion for other apps I may like, please pass them along!
Have a great Monday
 
XOXO Nikilee
 
***There’s an app for me – okay maybe not but there should be***

I dream a dream of time gone by

Okay maybe not time gone by, but I love Les Miserables, so I’m using this as my title today! 

I have dreams, we all do, but my dreams range from the outrageous to the fanatical.  Sometimes they seem so real I wake up and cry because I wanted to keep going (or breathe a sigh of relief because I was terrified).  I always have had strange dreams, but since turning 30, they are much more vivid, memorable.  Sometimes I will tell my friends these dreams and they will shake their head and say “oh Niki”.  Ya, even my closest friends think I am nuts sometimes.  If they only knew the truth…

I don’t usually blog about these dreams because they aren’t interesting to anyone but me, but last night, I had a dream that I can’t stop thinking about.  A dream that seemed so real, I was actually shocked when I woke up and realized I was dreaming!

Yesterday as most of you know was Prince William’s 30th birthday.  It was all over the news, all over the gossip columns, so I heard a lot about him yesterday.

This was my dream: I’m in a room of what seems like a castle, or at the very least a mansion.  I am with two girls I work with. I am looking around, admiring the architecture and chatting with my two lady friends.  I am there for a birthday dinner for Prince William.  He is in Toronto, and a handful of people not in his social circle (clearly I am not) were invited.  We are all very excited to meet the Prince and his beautiful wife.  We get our table numbers, and ours is some insane number that means we won’t even see the Prince, let alone meet him.  We are disappointed, but we walk over to the dinning room to take our seats.  My table has been double booked by one number.  The wait staff and security feel awful about this. 

All of a sudden I turn around and William and Kate are hanging out nearby hearing the trouble and Kate says “my sister can’t make it, so she can sit with us” – and she points to me!  I go up and hug her and thank her for her kindness!  The three of us walk over to the massive table that is for William, Kate and their closest friends and sit down beside Kate. (She is wearing a beautiful red dress and I am wearing a really pretty cream colour dress)  The three of us talk and they ask me questions about my family, friends, work etc.  I talk to them about their jobs, charity work and before I know it dinner is over and the three of us have become really close – to the point where they haven’t even really talked to anyone else.  Supposedly there is an after party at a Karaoke bar (ya who knew, in my dream, William loves Karaoke).  I am invited to come along.

We go to the bar and of course Will and Kate run into people they have to talk to, so I go over to get a drink (I don’t really drink so I found this odd – ya of all things, my drinking seemed the odd thing!) and a few of my high school friends are there that I haven’t seen since high school!  We all talk and laugh and dance and then Will and Kate get up to sing Garth Brooks and they dedicate the song to me!!!  I run up and we all three sing together and our pictures are being taken like crazy.  We decide to leave the bar cause there are way to many people now, so we take a walk through what seems like a large garden area I would assume is at Buckingham Palace, but we are not in England, we are in Toronto so I have no idea where we are.

We walk, all three of us hand in hand, laughing and talking like we have been bff’s forever.  They tell me they have to leave in the morning to have tea with the Queen and we all exchange emails and phone numbers and they tell me they want me to come visit them on my week off in the summer and they’ll make all the arrangements.  Of course I agree and tell them I will see them soon!

We hug goodbye and they send a car to take me home. 

It was the best dream ever.  LOL…It kinda makes me sad thinking of it now…which I know is really dumb since it was a very UNREALISTIC dream, but it was sweet. 

Thank God it’s Friday!  I need to shake out of my work slump and enjoy some time with friends and Newbie.

XOXO Nikilee (the new bff of Will and Kate)

I didn’t think I was a quitter

As of today my 20 week pass ends with Weight Watchers and unlike the last two years where I have just renewed and kept plugging along, today I am not renewing.  I guess I have till Saturday really to decide my ww fate, but I just don’t see the point in it right now. 

I have gained about 10 pounds back since losing the initial 25.  So I am down about 15.  However my confidence level has wavered, I have made bad decisions both personally and professionally and I can’t seem to get myself out of this funk I’ve been in.  Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not a depression – been there DONE that – but I just can’t seem to stay away from foods that I know don’t do anything nutritionally for me.  I have become quite addicted to a Tim Horton breakfast of a muffin or a bagel – all comfort food for me – and dinners (while i don’t go out as often cause I don’t usually see Newbie during the week anymore) are a mess from either take out or an english muffin with peanut butter.  These are not the meals of successful people.

Now I know what most people will say – buy good food and eat good food.  I do.  I buy veggies for my salad every week and every week I throw it all out because I haven’t touched it and it’s gone rotten.  The only thing I do manage to munch on is the fruit cause I actually enjoy fruit.  But all the fruit in the world doesn’t make up for my disastrous eating habits and a SERIOUS lack of physical activity. 

I have never known ANYONE as lazy as I am.  It’s actually sad.  I keep saying I will get on the ball, I will walk three days a week, but that never ends up happening.  I have home care three – four days a week and that takes so long to prepare for that I just use that as my excuse.  Plus – I am still uncomfortable most of the time from my wound so sweating and stuff is very unappealing to me right now.

Now…here is the good news!  I know that when I am ready – I will do this.  Whether is be with ww or on my own (I would never do another program – to restricting) I can and will do what I put my mind too.  However right now, today, my mind is to pre-occupied with other stuff swimming around.  I don’t have the motivation to do it. 

Stay tuned as this quitter tries to turn things around and figure out the next chapter in the life of Nikilee.

XOXO Nikilee

The Renovations are coming along!

Sushi bf and D have been working like crazy people to get my basement done.  The closet and hallway should be done in a couple of weeks!  They are the two smaller and easier places to complete and I really, really want my closet! 

I have included some pics to show you updates – all the drywall is up now and it’s plastered.  It’s soon to be paint time!  I picked out fifty shades of gray andwith their help narrowed it down to one colour.  The floor will be a dark wood lamanate!  YAY! 

New coat closet!

The hallways is all ready to go

Sushi bf working hard

D working hard – she is AMAZING

This is where the magic is going to happen – the clothes, shoes and handbag magic!

XOXO Nikilee 

 

Kids are just so darned cute!

Since yesterday was Wednesday I went to pick up Ms. J from daycare and bring her home to her daddy.  I love babysitting Ms. J.  People think I am crazy because I don’t get paid.  But helping out friends, and hanging with little kids is something I love so I do it, accept it and move on!

Since it is so close to Fathers Day, Ms. J’s daycare is creating Fathers Day gifts for the kids to take home.  Ms J had a key chain and picture for her daddy yesterday so I spent the whole car ride explaining to her all about Fathers Day and how if daddy was home we would have to hide the present’s until Sunday so he wouldn’t see them.  She seemed very excited at the idea of hiding something!

When we got home, daddy was already there so I told him to close his eyes so Ms. J could hide her gifts for him.  He played along and we placed the gifts in a desk in the living room.  We chatted for a few moments and next thing we know Ms. J has the gifts out of the desk and waving them in front of his face saying “Happy Fathers Day”.  Some kids just can’t keep secrets – or surprises to themselves!  We both laughed, he thanked her and I went home with a smile on my face – which with Ms. J, isn’t hard.

I had dinner with a great friend last night.  N and I have been friends since ninth grade.  Over half my life!  We went to Swiss Chalet and caught up with each others lives.  It was so good, but seriously I was so stuffed I thought I would cry.  I need to learn to eat less and eat slower!  Good grief!  I am grateful for my friendships though so I’ll take the discomfort anyday!

Sushi bf and D were also at the house and the dry wall is up in my closet!  I AM SO HAPPY.  It’s coming along really well.  I will have pics soon.  They are coming back tonight to drywall the hallway!  WOOHOO!

Finally after the excitement of the evening I settled in to watch So You Think You Can Dance.  I am NOT a dancer (despite what Newbie may think) but I love dance.  Especially watching people who can dance well.  This is one of my favourite reality shows because it’s actually entertaining.  I don’t find the singing shows that great – any of the 100 that are out there, but dancing, gets me!  They are still in the audition stages right now and I like seeing the auditions because I can pick early favourites as well as pick people who I think will make the top 20!  Last night I was a bit disappointed though.  The very last kid to audition was a big boy (like heavy, not athletic or with a typical dancers body at all).  I am sure most people thought he would suck.  But he was G.O.O.D.  Like, really good.  He did things at his size that I could never have imagined him being able to do.  They praised the roof off him and then sent him to choreography.  I was disappointed.  He was great, they thought he was great – why not straight through to Vegas?  Because, he is fat and they doubted his ability to partner.  I have no doubt.  He probably wouldn’t make a great dance partner for many of the dances so I sucked it up and sighed and agreed that was an okay decision.  They sent him to choreography and they praised him again, how well he picked it up, how well he moved – all praise.  But they said “no thanks” at the end.  Are you kidding me?  Send him to Vegas!!!!  He might not make it anyway because yes some of the partnering work he’d have to do would be to difficult, OR tell him, he is too large to be on the show.  But don’t worship at his feet to say get lost five seconds later.  I was very disappointed with the show last night.  I think that’s a first!

At his size – could you do this???

I know I will still watch the show, but they had a set-back last night for me.  If they had just told him the truth.  I mean people who are overweight know they have the odds against them in the Entertainment industry.  Very few “fat” people are successful and they are RARELY ever as successful as “thin” people.  Unless they are comedians, but of course if you are fat – at least be funny.  I think I am ranting too much.  I will miss this boy from California, I hope he finds success and makes all of his dreams come true.  

Have a wonderful Thursday my fellow readers of blogs!

XOXO Nikilee

Office Gossip

Today we had a team meeting.  These are always long, always filled with information that isn’t necessary and always loud.  By loud I mean out of 10 women and one male supervisor, we usually have 10 women and one male supervisor all talking at once.  It makes no sense and starts to grind a migraine into my already sensitive head.

Today we learned there is an issue in the office (not necessarily team) around gossiping.  Now please understand my office is made up 85% women.  It may even be higher.  I think if they want the gossiping to stop, hire more men.  Then it wouldn’t be so bad.  We would have more talk about sports, and bbq and beers (don’t I stereotype well?)?  But you have a lot, A LOT of highly confidant, cocky women all working in one office and gossip is bound to start – on a daily basis.  I find myself the “butt” of gossip quite often.  I don’t know why.  Maybe because of my outgoing personality, maybe because I talk to everyone, maybe because I am very friendly with most of the men in the office – just platonic people!!!  But ya, office gossip is coming under fire.

Don’t most offices have gossip?  I think if someone is hurt by that gossip then by all means, the gossipers should be taken down and snippered, but if people are gossiping about other random things, and no one gets hurt, please don’t take away our rights to socialize!  I know we are at work, but at times – especially in our field where it can get really intense some days, being able to socially gossip with our friends in mandatory.

I know there is a very, VERY fine line between gossiping and bullying – and it can be crossed unintentionally, it has happened to me.  No one meant to hurt my feelings, but alas they were.  However I am also an adult and I confronted those people and they apologized.  They weren’t using their normal common sense.  Instead of bringing this up at team meetings and making everyone question every thing they have ever said to a co-worker, why not ask people to be responsible for their own happiness.  We are adults, we are all extremely educated, employed individuals who have a sense of right and wrong.  If we were children, this would be an issue, but we are not supposed to be so I don’t feel like we should be treated as such.

I admit to gossiping, I try to do it with people I am close to, in private areas and I never mean to hurt or offend.  I usually say nothing that I wouldn’t say to someones face and never about their personal life because it doesn’t affect me and it is NONE of my business.  Usually if I am talking about someone it has to do with how they are professionally because that affects me and usually I have talked to the person, but I want to vent to my closest friend at the office.

You can’t stop gossiping.  It’s been around, I am sure, since the beginning of time.  I am sure some of Jesus’s disciples gossiped about what they were really doing and if it was worth it.  I am sure the emperors gossiped about the women they slept with and pretty much every single person in Hollywood gossips, so please don’t tell me I am not allowed!

Rant over…

This is true isn’t it?  If no one spoke a word in meetings other than the boss, our meetings would be 15 minutes instead of 1-2 hours in length.  If no one was allowed to speak at work except for clarification and to our clients, we also wouldn’t be allowed to gossip.  So I suggest implementing mandatory silence at the office!  My migraines would weaken and no ones feelings would get hurt.  No one would have to defend themselves, no one would have to stand up to the few bullies who may exist.   Yes silence…it’s a great idea!

XOXO Nikilee

Rainbow Bright!

Last night I spent some time with one of my favourite ladies and BFF Crazy Cat Lady.  What I love is that we are similar in the sense that all we want to do on a Monday night is eat, relax, watch some TV (Dexter season 4 currently – John Lithgow you crazy bastard) and shop.  Yep SHOP.  We shop online too much, I know, it’s addicting and a bad habit that at some point I am sure we will break (hahaha – ya right), but we do it so well we can’t help it.

Last night was especially good.  CCL has this affinity for finding rare and random things online for a really good price.  Lately I have been looking for one of my favourite childhood movies Rainbow Bright and the Star Stealer.  I have found it on Amazon for $70!  I want it on DVD so it’s especially hard to find because it wasn’t that popular I don’t think AND it came out in 1985 (for perspective – Newbie wasn’t even born yet!). 

Well leave it to CCL – she went searching and after some disappointing results – she found it – for under $10!!  Are you freaking kidding me!  I have searched for months for this movie, she spent maybe 20 minutes and it was ordered.  I love you CCL.  You are my hero!

Last night was the stupidest nights of my existence.  At least sleeping wise.  I woke up at 3:45.  I tossed and turned for over an hour!  But where normally I am thinking doom and gloom thoughts, last night I was thinking of the picnic with my mentee today, visiting my mom in Bobcaygeon, going to see Russell Peters in concert this weekend.  I could not turn my mind off – I was so annoyed!  Of course when the alarm went off at 6:00 am I cussed (as per usual) and slapped my snooze button until 6:45 which is the absolute latest I can possibly wake up before I feel like I’ll be late. 

Also want to wish the LA Kings congrats after taking over the NJ Devils.  I think it’s great that a state that worships pretty much all sports over hockey came out on top – and Toronto, a city that worships hockey over all other sports can’t get into the playoffs.  What a disappointment.  I’m still cheering for the Jays!  Go Jays Go!  Hockey is over for another year thank God and now everyone can focus on Baseball!  WOOHOO

XOXO Nikilee

The Hunger Games, my bsmt, my mentee and more

It’s Monday!!!  Why am I excited?  I mean Mondays mean the start of a new work week – not seeing Newbie for 5 whole days, and waking up so early the birds feel my pain when I cuss at my radio (sorry Roz and Mocha I love you really I do).   However, Monday’s all year have meant seeing my mentee.  I am part of the one-on-one Mentoring program with the City of Toronto.  Once a week I give up my lunch break to visit my mentee at her school, have lunch with her and play games and do crafts.  She is in fourth grade and just the sweetest little kid.  She’s also Filipino and whenever she talks about her family it reminds me of Filipino boys family and I feel a great sense of comfort there.  Anyway today is our last day together until September.  We have our last lunch, and prepare for tomorrows end-of-year picnic @ Thompson Park.  So ya, Monday, today is great! 🙂

This weekend my bsmt got a huge overhaul by Sushi bf and D.  All the walls are pretty much gone and all the wood and panelling have been taken to the dump. 

See all that wood – gone!

I really do think that I will have my bsmt by the end of July and THAT makes me ecstatic!  I cannot wait to begin decorating and preparing the rooms to my individual touch (with D and Crazy Cat Lady’s help of course).  My colours for the majority of the bsmt are white, smokey grey and depending on the room it will be accented by other colours (purple in the bedroom, blue in the bathroom).  

I had a lot of alone time this weekend due to Newbies baseball and working all day Saturday (then napping Saturday night *shaking my head*) so I finished The Hunger Games.  Now I started this book back in the DR, but I got distracted so I stopped reading it.  Which is odd for me because I love to read while I am on vacation.  However, it didn’t work out cause I was having SO much fun with everyone that was there.  Fast-forward 4 months and on Friday I decided to pick it up and read it – I started over again cause I barely remembered anything.  I finished it just over 24 hours later.  I could not put it down, and with extra time on my hands I didn’t have to.  I love reading really good books over the course of a day or two.  It excites me when I get so excited about books!  I had Newbie take me to Chapters on Sunday after our usual Markham Station breakfast so I could buy the whole set and start reading book two  (I started this morning while sitz bathing at 6:30 in the morning…what else was there to do).

 Today, I also go to my surgeon and scream “I am NOT healing!  Heal me dammit!!!*  Okay maybe not quite, but I am SO annoyed, this is my fourth summer of being wounded and unable to heal, therefore not really enjoying my summer to the full extent.  I have a man I want to enjoy every minute of my day with and I cannot because of a stupid wound that won’t heal.  THIS SUCKS.  Okay, whining over…time to suck it up buttercup and go on…I am sure (as GBF says) that my Dr will have great news for me and I will be happy once again.  uh huh… Well have a great week all you bloggers et al.

 XOXO Nikilee