Zumba – focus!

I have been doing Zumba somewhat irregularly for a while now and I love it. I love my instructor Diana who is full of life, sassy and in amazing shape. Plus she really loves Zumba which is great! Her passion is magnetic. Class is always fun now that I have my sister-in-law, mom, aunt and two great friends joining me every week.

SO whats the problem now you ask?? I have not been focused. I have been angry and annoyed at work and I am letting it affect me. When I was in class the other day, I couldn’t focus long enough to move to songs I knew inside out. I had no energy and I found myself exhausted before I even began. No music or friend or move could get me out of my funk. It sucked.

I just wanted to go home and crash. Unfortunately PF took that moment to call me and I was in bed not having any of it. We did talk (actually talk on the phone) last night though and it was great!  I can’t wait to talk to him again!

I know I need to really focus while I’m in Zumba, I mean I’d like to get “good” at it – or at least be having more fun.

I asked Diana to bring me a DVD so I can practice at home – I’m not a fan of the Zumba DVD I bought which really just teaches you the moves and not the actually dancing to songs so I am going to take Diana’s and make an effort to practice twice a week – which with her class would give me three days a week!

I’d say considering I have no cartilage in my knees that I am doing pretty good. I’m really proud of my mom and my aunt for sticking with it too – because it is way advanced for seniors. LOVE THEM!

XOXO Nikilee

Black Friday I survived, Chrysler almost didn’t

Thursday morning, my sister-in-law T, her cousin L and I left Scarborough for the 4.5 hour drive to Grove City, P.A.  There was no border problems, lots of laugh and even a short nap on the drive up which I never get to do since I am usually the driver.  However as T has a brand new (3 month old) Grand Caravan, she drove so we would have lots of space.

Enjoy your one day of non-violent holiday sale shopping.

We got to the hotel with no problems and immediately I took a nap again (I know I need lots of sleep for a night full of walking and shopping).  We drove to the Subway gas station – love it – and parked our car at the outlet so we had a prime parking spot.  Our walk back to the hotel was a cold one, but we made it laughing all the way.

Some of the outlet stores opened at 9:00 pm this year so we hopped on the shuttle at 9 knowing we would have ample time to get there and start our shopping. 

We had an amazing time!  We shopped in and out of what felt like a million stores, spent hundreds of dollars and got amazing bargains on Christmas gifts our friends and family will love! 

We hopped into bed around 3:30 am and slept till just past 11:00 am.  We admired our shopping parcels from the night before and headed over to the Eat and Park for breakfast!  For $8.00 we were stuffed and ready to shop again.  We picked up some more personal items and got back to the hotel around 5:00pm.  Dinner at the Eat and Park was just as delicious as breakfast and then we came back to the hotel, watched a movie and crashed into bed around 10:00.

Sorry you had a stressful day of shopping.

This is where it got interesting.  We woke up Saturday morning with the expectation of checking out of the hotel, driving to Robinson County P.A and spending the remainder of our money before making the long trek home to Toronto.  However L noticed first thing that our room had NO hot water – not a good sign for 3 ladies who desperately wanted to shower. 

We decided to carry on, checked out and packed the car full.  We got in the car, T turned the key to start it and NOTHING!  The car wouldn’t start.  T called Roadside assistance and they swore it was the battery – we knew differently since the radio, lights and electronic functions all worked – but the lady on the phone SWORE it was a battery issue.  They sent the biggest red neck with a tow truck to come help us and he confirmed it was NOT the battery.  However as he was not a mechanic he had no idea what was wrong. 

We got on the phone with roadside assistance again, to no avail, so we called Chrysler Canada directly and was on the phone with them for about 1-2 hours trying to get a tow with a flat-bed to a dealership that was OPEN!  They said no dealerships were open in the States for the holiday.

My sister paid a Tow Truck to tow us to Buffalo since that was close enough to a border to get a ride home from a friend and the guy who came to pick us up (also red neck) but cute as hell got us all to Buffalo, shaken, but not stirred.  When we arrived in Niagara Falls, NY Chrysler they WERE open and stuck the computer to the “brain” of the car, hit a button and BAM! the car started no problems.  The guys were sweet as pie and some of them were super cute so I guess seeing three stranded Canadian women brought out the gentlemen in them and they stuck around a bit later (since they were closing as we arrived) then usual.

We drove through the border with no problems, and got our way home.  Now besides two issues with traffic coming home, it was great to be on Canadian pavement and even better when I stepped foot in my door.  It had been a long day and the Americans were so helpful (unlike the assholes on the phone from Chrysler and Roadside assistance both Canadian).

I love Black Friday shopping and while this was not my favourite trip, it was a great time and I had fun with both T and L and can’t wait till next year!

XOXO Nikilee

A little bit of Christmas in my life

With two days left before Black Friday shopping, my tree up and decorated, some gifts bought and placed in the christmas bags they will be wrapped in, and the Pillsbury sugar cookies bought and placed in the freezer, I am ready for Christmas. 

My American money is exchanged, the orders have gone out to my sister-in-law and her cousin  who are shopping with me this year, and my bag is partially packed – lightly of course so I can fit gifts in it!!  I have lots of rules that I have implemented since starting this tradition – and it’s because I am a seasoned shopper now!

1. Pack a big suitcase lightly so you can store some gifts in it on the way home so as not to cram the trunk with random bags

It will never look this neat! EVER

2. Dress lightly but keep the extremities warm – I wear tights and a sweater with uggs and gloves so my toes and fingers are warm, but I don’t overheat so I am too uncomfortable

3. Use one empty suitcase on wheels to pack bags in as you shop so as not to be stuck lugging bags all over the place.  When I had GBF it was no problem as he would carry bags or run to the car to dump them, but now with all us ladies – we need the suitcase

<—much easier to carry

4. Park the car WAY before shopping begins so you get a spot and take the shuttle bus to the mall. This way you aren’t spending time driving around for an hour looking for a place or parking 10 miles away.

5. Don’t drink coffee – at least for me.  Coffee gives me an immediate jolt, but I crash quickly, I need to fight through the exhaustion and get my second wind!  I always do!  😉

I am excited.  I love Black Friday shopping.  This tradition started in 2006 when me and GBF were dating and our anniversary fell over the same weekend.  We would go to Buffalo – changing to Grove City two years later – and shop and celebrate for four whole days!  We would shop all Thursday night and Friday and then go to a nice restaurant and enjoy each other’s company for Saturday and Sunday.

Last year T and Crazy Cat Lady came with me since me and GBF were barely on speaking terms and we had a great time!  This year its T and her cousin, and I am sad CCL isn’t coming!  I’ll miss her but I’ll make the best out of it! 

All my Christmas shopping WILL be done by Saturday which gives me ALL of December to wrap the gifts and deliver them to the right homes.

Cannot wait!  As much as I love shopping, I also love shopping for others – getting the perfect gift!  And it’s the only time of year my anxiety doesn’t go into overdrive with crowds and heat from the stores…

WOOHOO

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

I think I need a mental vacation

I know I cannot afford an actual one (and neither can anyone else who I’d wanna take with me), but a mental vacation is  high on the top of my list of needs right now.  Just a couple of days where I can lie in bed, sleep, read, answer to no one – of course I’d want newbie there, but if he was getting bored or loud, well he’d have to go play outside because this is my mental vacation and on this vacation there is no loudness, no room for boredom!  Now all I need is my bsmt apartment and a new bed (since my is broken, thank you K and GBF for not putting it together properly!) and my mental vacation can begin!

Biker dude passed away Friday March 30th at 4:10 pm.  I spent the next week back and forth between home in Toronto and my mom’s home in Bobcaygeon, ON.  An almost two-hour drive.  Taking care of two parents who both need you and who live far apart is BRUTAL.  I needed to support my mother, she has lost her true love, a love that did everything for her.  While I may not have gotten along with Biker dude, she loved him and relied on him for everything.  Thankfully she has an amazing sister who also split her time between Toronto and Bobcaygeon to offer support and a shoulder to cry on.  In time I know my mom will be okay, and I will be grateful if/when she moves back to the city so I can be there for her and my father in a much more comforting environment. 

Without airing too much family laundry I have been fighting with my brother a lot lately – and T has gotten involved at times as well.  I know, I know, I ALWAYS fight with my brother – we are two peas from the same pod, but you would never know it!  We are the exact opposite in every way possible.  But we have both crossed lines now and who knows if or when those lines will be erased.  Fighting with T is exhausting though because she is also my bff.  You can’t fight with your bff without wanting to punch a wall just so you cause yourself some physical pain to take away the emotional pain.  Things between us are okay now, not the same, but we love each other and they will be fine, but I’ll be grateful when it’s all over with.  All this fighting isn’t good for any of us – at least some of us have healthy ways of dealing with it – you know communication…

My grandmother’s house is in the process of being cleaned out and fixed up to sell!  Hence the reason for the fighting between me and my brother.  It’s a huge task as my grandmother was something of a hoarder.  No matter how many hoarding shows I watch, or how many Pawn Star shows I see regularly, I have no idea whats’ worth any money or value and whats not.  I literally picked up her entire jewelry box and brought it home hoping I can find someone who can appraise it. I mean my grandma owned a lot of junk jewels – I can tell some of it is dollar store quality because I probably bought it for her when I was young.  However some of it looks nice, or old, or expensive…so who knows?!  We will see.  I miss my grandma, but holding onto that house is not allowing me to let go…and I need to.  I feel like to much of a disappointment to her in so many ways and I need to accept what is, what was and go on with my life being the best me I can be.  I went to visit her grave last weekend over Easter.  I dropped off newbie at home and went across the street to the cemetery to say hello.  I was at first grateful I found it because I have never gone alone.  Secondly I was grateful I went because I let out a few tears, said hello, apologized for the two years of lies about me and GBF being together and told her about Newbie.  I believe she is watching over me, protecting me, loving me still.  I want her to know who newbie is and how important he is to me, I am sure she would like him, approve of him because of how happy I have been since dating him (once she got over me not being with GBF, who in her eyes could do no wrong).   

Work has been busy – I mean it usually is, but with PAYE and the workshops and the critiques and the community outreach, I am tired.  It doesn’t help I was off for 11 days for my mom and the pile of email notifications built up to well over 100.  I need to re-organize myself.  Get my thoughts straight, figure out who is on first and who the heck is on second!!  Don’t understand?  That’s okay, I do.  I will figure it out probably just in time for my two weeks of being ill and off for the surgery!

I finally have had some resolution for my uhhh…”lower back problems”…I am having surgery again.  It will be on May 9th.  Newbie has taken a couple of days off to be with me during surgery and to stay with me afterwards.  Honestly, if it wasn’t for newbie, I have no idea where I would be right now – going mental probably.  he has held my hand through everything.  He is my light, my happiness and the fact that he has been so supportive during all this craziness just shows his character – he is a man with so much love to give and I am grateful he has chosen to give it to me! 

XOXO Nikilee

 

A long weekend is just what the Doctor ordered

Okay so my doctor didn’t actually say I need a long weekend, but I know in my heart, if I told her every detail of my life, I am sure she would recommend it! 

There is so much that I am quite ready to talk about yet on my blog, things that I need to keep private to protect someone else…but lets just say I had a pretty damn near perfect weekend. 

The one thing I can talk about is my dinner on Saturday night at the Keg restaurant in Scarborough.  Now, those who read this blog know that Makimono is by far my FAVOURITE restaurant, but the Keg does come in very close.  There is just something about the atmosphere, the servers and the food that always makes me feel wined and dined.  I went there with my father, brother and sister-in-law.  This was to celebrate my dad’s birthday from last week because T got sick and we couldn’t go.  Taking my dad out to dinner is always a treat since he doesn’t go out – ever really – anywhere.  But he does love a good Keg dinner and this was no exception!

We all start off with appetizers, because we know if we are having Keg, we go ALL out!  My brother, T and I had always have baked garlic shrimp – so yummy.  The bread was a bit hard, but the garlic sauce made it soften right up!  Garlic, cheese and shrimp so freaking good!  My dad got escargot.  No one else would be caught dead with escargot, but my dad loves it and has it every time we go!  Of course we all got alcohol too except T who isn’t much of a drinker.  Me and my brother got Caesars and dad had a southern comfort with 7-up. 

For our main dishes, we all differ somewhat.  My brother got a peppercorn steak with a shrimp and scallop medley on top.  He got the loaded baked potato and slices of tomato for flavour.  T got the terriyaki steak with garlic mashed potatoes and dad got the prime rib with loaded baked potatoes with a side order of mushrooms.  My meal, which is my favourite meal there is the surf and turf prime rib with lobster tail and garlic mashed potatoes.  I LOVE LOBSTER! 

Such a great meal!

 
 
Everything was cooked to perfection and I am pretty sure I ate mine in about 30 seconds flat.  In fact I ate so quickly I had time to run out and say hi to a friend I had been looking forward to seeing who always puts a smile on my face who was there to have dinner with family as well.
 
This was an amazing night out with my family, we don’t get to do it often (I mean really none of our diets or wallets can afford the Keg on the regular, but once in a while is a great time).
Daddy and me

Overall, I would not have given up this long weekend for anything, spending time with family and friends is always a good time, and sharing a wonderful meal with wonderful people make it all the more exciting and I can’t wait for the next long weekend which is…EASTER!  WTF!  This will not do.  I need to book a day off in March.  I cannot wait over a month for another long weekend…

 
XOXO Nikilee 

All good things must come to an end…

or do they?  Unfortunately in so many ways, for me this is true.  My week in the Dominican Republic (DR) is over, the memories made and the friendships that were started will always be with me, but the bliss that the DR brought to my life has come to an end and I am back to work, back to family and old friends and responsibilities.

A lot of  what happened in the DR will stay in the DR because I will respect everyone’s privacy, but I will tell you the up’s the downs and the good and the bad!  All I can say is the fact that it was one week only, this trip changed me as a person, and I want to truly thank every single person that came on this trip because I thoroughly enjoyed my time with each and every one of you!

The Ups’s:  being away on vacation!  I mean really, I was starting to lose my mind at work and feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities.  The fact that it was somewhere warm, with friends (old and new) was a huge bonus!  Another up was the fact that the plane left on time and there was no turbulence on the way there.  My sister and I got to sit next to each other by the emergency exit so we had no one sitting on either side of us.

The Down’s: I was looking forward to spending time on the beach – but the wind was LOCO (crazy for those of you whose Spanish isn’t up to snuff).  It was so windy on the beach it actually felt cold.   We had to spend a lot of time by the pool, which really was fine, but I love the feel of sand in between my toes.

The Good: The Majestic Colonial is a beautiful resort.  Lots of landscaping, greenery and our room was great (more on that later).  The signature drink “the Majestic” was my favourite and I think I drank my weight in them.  My absolutely favourite thing about my trip was chilling on the balcony and lying on the beach late at night (which surprisingly wasn’t as windy at that time) talking and drinking and relaxing.  Another good thing was my trip to see and swim with sharks and stingrays.  I am pretty sure the stingray purposely poked my butt (sans stinger) but it could have been the tour guide as well, I will never know!!  Swimming with these animals is a life experience, bucket list item that should not be missed!  The great thing was that I got to do this with my sister and the grooms mom and aunt.  The four of us had so much fun!  We swam, we danced (again, I met another Dominican tour guide who ended up dancing with me the whole time and staring at my boobs) and we laughed.  Can I please tell you – laughing is something I don’t do often, or at least haven’t done often lately, but on this trip I laughed whole heartedly every single day, numerous times!  My cheeks hurt!  Another good was the Disco (Donde es La Discotech??  Ya my Spanish got worse not better throughout the trip…lol…might have been the influx of Majestics I was drinking).  I am not a dancer, and dancing next to the bride all week who is a stunning girl and great dancer is enough to give anyone a complex, but again, I was having fun.  So I didn’t care!  The music was pretty good except they played some songs twice a night…who does that!!  At least I kept MY shirt on the whole time…the same cannot be said for everyone there!  There are so many goods, but like all resorts, there are some bads…

The bads: A lot of the people we went down with had MAJOR room problems.  My friend N and C had to get new key cards every single day because they kept disconnecting (and the walk from our room to front lobby is about 10-15 minutes) NOT COOL.  Another friend had NO shower door which was fine cause he roomed alone, but the maid walked in once…poor girl had no idea what she was walking into!  We all lost cold water or hot water at SOME point during the trip and our toilet in our room lost all water once *thankfully I complained and it was fixed immediately!*.  The bride and grooms little boy was sick and sad almost all week, but was REALLY sick on the Thursday at which point I also felt sick and now that I am home from the DR and have seen a Dr. realize I have strep throat!  Can you believe it!?  Ugh…a couple other people also seem to have it as well so I am blaming the baby!  LOL…

All is all the trip was great, I hate to let little things disappoint me, and there was enough great to out do the not-so-greats.  Plus I have the cutest turtle necklace which reminds me of my amazing trip.  I will post some pics soon enough (check the edits) and the whole reason for going down – the wedding, went off without a hitch!  Watching one of my favourite ladies get married to an amazing man made me smile, cry and laugh…all at the same time!  Congrats Kim, Jeff, Chase and the whole Bailey-Moore families!  I am so blessed to have met you all

XOXO Nikilee

Some of the best times that I ever had and ever shared it was just you and me sitting on the sand (okay I never sat on sand…ewwww)