Last weekend of summer? Or September at least

It’s Friday, I cannot even begin to explain how long this week has felt or how grateful I am that it is almost over.  This weekend I am driving up to Hamilton to watch my boy’s the Phillies play the Worlds championship and I am pretty excited because A) I love watching baseball and this is probably the last week I will get to do so and B) I don’t feel like staying home and relaxing because life is too short.

And I think I have a slight addiction to Words With Friends…seriously I get upset when my friends take to long to play.  booo!

XOXO Nikilee

Week 2

Honestly, I never realized I was so uncoordinated!!  Last night was week 2 of Zumba and while I loved it – I mean seriously dancing for an hour is a fun workout and I feel the burn and the sweat which is great – I feel like an idiot half the time cause I can’t get my body to move the way I want it to.  I cannot isolate certain parts to move other parts…if you have never been to a Zumba class, please do, maybe you will then begin to understand my frustration! 

However, I got through it with a smile on my face and my heart racing a little faster than normal so that is the positive!  Last night we danced to LMFAO “Sexy and I know it”.  This made me smile from ear to ear!  I love this song and it brought back amazing memories of my trip to the Dominican last January dancing with MiMo and his brother and sister-in-law.

Last night before Zumba I went to one of my favourite girls house to visit her, her husband and their 8-year-old son Josh.  Ro is pregnant and this excites me beyond belief!  I am SO FREAKING EXCITED for them!  We sat around, chatted, ate (I miss Filipino food) and played with Josh.  I also saw Filipino boy (another infamous ex) who has started teaching Muy Tai (sp??).  He offered me and my sister-in-law a free class so I think in the next couple weeks I am going to go to a class!  Why not – part of my goals were never to say no to an invite, so hopefully in the next week or two I am going to literally kick something!  LOL…I have a lot of pent-up aggression, so Muy Tai seems like the perfect fit!

Today at work is a bake sale.  I was going to bake yummy brownies when I came home from Zumba, but since I was so tired and desperately required a shower, I opted for buying muffins and croissants from Tim Hortons instead.  I know it’s a BAKE sale, but someone baked these, so technically I think it still counts!  Grrrr…

Hope you all have a fab Thursday…

XOXO Nikilee

Are we all a little damaged?

I know I am.  I mean, clearly throughout this blog, and the past two years it is WELL documented how damaged I am, or at least have been.  However the more people I meet (and granted I work for the Welfare office so everyone here is a bit damaged in one way or another) the more damage I come across. 

The sad thing though is that when I take a real good look at people’s situations, we are helping and contributing to damaging each other.

I met a guy R a few weeks ago – a friend of a friend.  We have been texting back and forth, me keeping him at arm’s length because my relationship with MiMo fell apart only  a few weeks before that and I have no desire to bring another guy into my life when my heart still has confusion over my feelings for someone else.  However, we are talking, and last night I asked him what happened between him and his ex.  He told me the story of the demise of their 6 year relationship – which from his point of view seems very bad on her part (but as an ex many times over, I know there are two sides to every story) and my heart felt for him.  He says he is okay, but in reality, I know from experience that four months is not enough time to forgive, heal and move on from a relationship that lasted that long. 

He is, in many senses, still damaged.  I related my story of GBF and MiMo to him and I think he felt for me too.  I mean getting hurt in life is a give in unfortunately.  It’s guaranteed that at some point in our lives, someone will hurt or disappoint us.  However when some people do it so purposefully (like his ex and ex’s in my life) it makes you stop and wonder why?  Why do people cheat, why do people abuse, why do people just do sucky things that destroy lives in its path? 

I hope that R and I can be friends if nothing else, I hope that we can support each other and help the other one realize that not everyone enters your life with a mission to tear it apart.  I hope I can help him realize – as I have, that some people do care, you just have to choose your friends and relationships carefully.  I have learned this.  I have also learned that forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give ourselves!

XOXO Nikilee

IVF and a potential $10,000 win

Listening to Kiss 92.5 in Toronto this morning I was shocked, saddened and infuriated all at the same time. 

Right now they have a $10,000 giveaway.  Callers call up at chosen times, win $100.00 and three of the weekly winners come on Thursday mornings show to say why they need the $10,000 grand prize.  If all three contestants agree who to give it to you that person wins, if they can’t agree then someone who entered an online contest will win the big prize.  Sounds simple right?!!

Yesterday a woman called in named Jessica.  Her and her husband are unable to have children the natural way.  They are going through IVF treatments and it’s expensive, very expensive and they cannot afford it any longer.  She has had two miscarriages and is devastated she cannot add to her family.  She wants the money to pay for IVF. 

When I heard this story I was so emotional, I wanted so badly for this woman to win the money.  I can only imagine how horrible her and her husband must feel, unable to conceive.  I thought  –  if she is the top three, she will for sure win the money!  I mean what woman or man wouldn’t want to help a family??

However I was WAY wrong supposedly.  Twitter lit up with people saying no way would they give her the money, that she didn’t deserve it.  WHAT???

This morning some woman named Trish called in saying she is a single mom of 4 kids and there was no way she would ever allow this woman to win the money.  That she is a single mom and deserves the money way more!

I love single moms, I adore them, I respect them, I admire them.  BUT, you are a single mother of four children, you know how important your children are to you, why would you not allow this one beautiful experience to another woman??  She is married, they want children.  For some reason, she is unable.  You were able.  Stop the ignorance and the hate people! 

I am a single woman, and if I don’t have a husband or am unable to have children in the next couple of years, you are damn right I will be considering IVF.  I want children, I adore children, I was MEANT to have babies.  If I am unable naturally and there is a way, regardless of cost, I will do what I have to do.  Damn that Trish woman and all the other people who slammed Jessica…I will be praying extra hard for her to be chosen for Thursday + that she is chosen with two other people who have hearts and who love family and the idea of family and I pray she wins it all! 

Good luck Jessica (even though you will never read this).

XOXO Nikilee

Zumba?!

Last night my sister-in-law T and I had our very first Zumba class.  This is offered through TDSB Continuing Education program.  It is $78.00 for 11 classes.  It is held every Wednesday night at 8:30 pm.

I picked T up at 8:00 to give us enough time to get there and chill out for a little bit before it started – the high school it is held in is big – huge! We got lost immediately.  Walked around the building for a while and finally found our entrance.  When we walked into the gym, we expected to find all these PYT’s (Pretty young things) instead we found about 15 older women.  That made us EXTREMELY happy.  We would not be the worst dancers in class we could now assume. 

Our instructor walked in and she is  PYT to the max!  Hot Zumba body, full of energy!  I was excited – I mean one Zumba class and my butt would look like her’s right???  Ummmm…not so much.

She started the class right away playing up beat music, we formed three lines (T and I entered the second line so as not to stand out, but still be close enough to see the instructor).  The first song, I felt pretty good, no weird moves that were foreign or too difficult to master.  I was sweating hard though and we had only gone 5 minutes into class.  We both knew we were in trouble.

After 15 minutes I was DYING.  I had to get a drink.  The moves got more and more complex shaking my boobs, butt and coordinating my hands and feet is MUCH more difficult than I assumed.  I kept staring at the instructors booty and kept going, hoping for a cute bubble butt by the end of class.

The moves got so complicated (for me anyway) that I just kept moving, but nowhere near to the moves she was suggesting.  The music was great, my heart was pounding and I was pretty sure I was going to pass out in the gym, but all the other women were moving, so I did as well.  About halfway through class we got a 2 minute break to grab water.  Then we kept going.

At one point I was in the middle of a turn where I shake my hips and twist my feet with my hand in the air like I’m riding a cowboy – I mean horse – and I noticed an older woman behind me had on no shirt.  She had come in with a zippered hoodie and now – half way through my hour of excercise she was in a bra.  Hoodie unzipped.  WO!  I don’t know what she was thinking, why she was wearing just a bra, but she was and she was shaking **everything**…you go Grandma! FIST PUMP!

By the end of class I was exhausted, sweating and felt – great actually.  I also felt like I would never go to a club again because I cannot dance.  I have no rhythm, can’t follow a beat and don’t understand how I’ve been clubbing for over ten years now?? 

However, when T and I got in the car, we both realized if we kept at it, we could go to any Caribbean Island and shake what our momma’s gave us and attract some seriously positive attention!  Or embarrass ourselves and be voted off the island Survivor style – either way it’ll be a great time.

I like Zumba, I don’t love it yet, because I feel uncoordinated and inept, but I hope after 11 weeks, that may not be the case, so next Wednesday I’ll be there with T shaking my tail feather hoping for better results – and a cute little bubble butt.

Today I was sure I would wake up sore and unable to move – but now, since I feel okay, I am thinking that will be tomorrow’s fun.  However – I am off work tomorrow so I am free to moan and groan in my swimming pool bath tub.  YAY

XOXO Nikilee

A long day already and it’s only 7:40 am

Last night I finally learned how to use iTunes.  I have had an iPhone for almost 6 months and I never learned how to use it.  I always assumed that MiMo would be around and he’d take care of stuff for me – but alas, no, that didn’t work out unfortunately so I had to learn to use the product on my own.  I played around with it for awhile, downloaded Rise Against’s Prisoner of War (amazing song that catches me every time) and Pinks Blow Me.  I’ll get more later.  After watching a somewhat boring end to So You Think You Can Dance (although Nappytabs Lion King dance BLEW ME AWAY) I went to bed.  I was up and down all night.  My alarm went off at 6 because I know I had to do my dad’s medications. 

14 days worth of medications

My dad takes approximately 20 pills a day.  Each much be taken at a specific time and they all have to be taken every day!  I have been organzing his meds since he came home from the hospital a year ago and it’s a lot of pressure.  I mean if I messed something up it could possibly kill him or hurt him and there is no way I will ever let that happen!  I do it two weeks at a time so twice a month I have to organize them all and order refills for him.  It seemes every time he goes to the doctor they add a new pill.  I keep hoping one day they will take a pill away, but that never happens, so I continue being Ms. Organization Sunshine and get everything ready for him.  Thank you God for patience!

XOXO Nikilee

To tip or not to tip – that is the question

15%, 10%, 20%??  What should we be tipping to people who perform a service for us and is it okay to go against that?  According to Tripadvisor.ca:

Gratuities are seldom included in Canadian restaurants.  It is customary to tip approximately 15% on the total bill before tax, 20% for exceptional service.  Approximately because tipping is personal and if 10% is your personal choice then tip 10%; but 15% is customary and (rightly or wrongly) expected.

Trip advisor reminds you that tipping is not required, but it is custom as serving staff are often paid low wages and depend on their tips. 

I started thinking about this topic this morning for a couple of reasons.  I go through the same Tim Hortons drive thru every Monday-Friday.  Almost always I give them 0.20 cents – $1.00 tip depending on the bill because I really love the customer service they provide and it’s always the same girls and I worked at Tim Hortons in University and I KNOW that every penny given for a tip was VERY appreciated.  My window Tim’s girl always is so thrilled when I leave a tip and smiles just a little bit bigger then normal and that makes ME feel great!

When I am in restaurants I rarely follow the 15% rule of thumb. If a waiter/tress is great I leave a big tip – sometimes it can equal up to 25-30%, if they are brutal (and it has happened though rarely), I leave $1.00.  If they are just average, good, but not great, then I leave them approximately 15% after tax which is more than fair I feel. 

I also leave tips for the lady who does my hair and the ladies who give me manicures, Pedicures, waxing and massages.  Again I leave what I feel they deserve.  Now I go to a ritzy salon for my waxing and massages and I pay a fortune for this service so sometimes my tips can be a bit small (15% max) but that’s because this salon raises their prices often and it’s a bit much for me to pay so much on top of the astronomical charges I already pay for the actual service.

When I worked at McDonald’s when I was 15, I was promoted to “hostess” meaning I conducted the birthday parties for kids and gave tours to school groups and community groups that came.  I had to be Ms. Smily Sunshine 100% of my day and I was still paid my minimum wage even though I worked much harder those days than I did on days where I was just front-counter staff.  We were not allowed to accept tips 😦  However, one day, a woman who had booked a birthday party for 10 kids and three adults came with 20 kids and 7 adults.  I was unprepared.  She apologized and I worked my butt off that whole morning making sure every kid was smiling, every kid was fed,  every adult was happy and everyone was safe.  I had to make extra loot bags, run up and down the 18 stairs to the children’s room about 20 times and by the end of the day, when the mother pulled out a $50.00 bill for a tip – you are damn right I TOOK IT!  I deserved it.  I felt I deserved it, I feel like no boss should deny their employees tips in the food industry IF it is offered and not asked for.  I was so good that day that two of the other parents there booked birthday parties and requested ME be the server.  I smiled and appreciated the praise – but I won’t even lie, the $50.00 in my pocket, made me happier then the praise that day because I was exhausted and still had one more party to go before my day was done. 

Tipping, in the end, in Canada is optional.  I just ask people to remember that everyone is suffering in this economy and if you CAN afford it, remember to tip people who are providing a service to you – they are NOT being paid well and if they do it with a smile and high energy – reward them. 

This message has been brought to you by the letter….nah…HAHAHAHA

XOXO Nikilee