Archive for the ‘fun’ Category

Facebook is probably the number one way people communicate now a days. “Call me” has since been replace by, “Facebook me!” and instead of asking for someone’s number, you merely ask, “Are you on Facebook?” And, it’s always exciting when someone adds you to Facebook: the instant connection you feel as you declare, “Yay, we’re Facebook friends!” is the best feeling in the world.

ID-10055791But there is a dark side to this community. Sometimes it is worse than the playground at school. If people can add friends, then they can also get rid of them.  Or in Facebook speak, “de-friend” them. I’ve gone through my list occasionally to look for someone, who I knew I had been friends with to see the dreaded “add friend+” button. Sometimes I understand; I too de-friend every once in a while. I clean up my list, getting rid of people I don’t talk to, and can’t see myself interacting with them ever again. Nothing personal, but your account is a personal thing, and the things you share are meant for your followers/friends only.

Other times though, the de-friending is hurtful and feels like a personal attack and you can’t help but ask yourself, “Did I do something?,” “Do you really not like me enough anymore?” or, “I thought we were friends…. 😦

De-friending someone, is almost as big of a deal as adding them.  So, when is it necessary to hit that “unfriend” button?  Here are seven friends you most certainly should delete.

 1. Inappropriate Friend- this is the friend who posts such scandalous things, that you are always worried to open your newsfeed with anyone around, for fear they’ll think you are perv. It’s usual pictures, sayings, and sometimes status updates of a sexual, racist, or just social unacceptable nature. I think there is a way to make sure his/her posts don’t end up in your newsfeed, but if it’s a constant thing, one starts to reevaluate that friendship. Are they a perv? A racist pig? Or just plain creepy, serial killer material? Could be de-friend worthy.

2a. TMI Friend- I don’t get this friend. Something personal and private is going on in your life and you’d like to rely on your friends for support. So why not inform all 700 of them at once? Surely, there will be an outpouring of love and support for you… or not. What do you say to someone who posts a status like, “thanks for leaving me alone and pregnant, jerk” (true story) or “just got over my bout with hemorrhoids!”?  Better to PM the 10 or so of your closest friends who truly care and will be inclined to do something for you. Remember, you have people who potentially could employ you, date you, be future family members, co workers etc on this thing. Careful what you tell the world! Too many of these posts and you end up in my de-friend pile. Lol, or on my list of people to creep when I’m bored and need a laugh…

Just got the broccoli out of my teeth- check it out!

Just got the broccoli out of my teeth- check it out!

2b. Too Many Updates- going along the same vein with too much information is the person who updates their status too many times.

“Just got up, going to be a great day!” “Bagel or Toast: The great debate” *pic of me eating my toast* “Ugh, first period is dragging on forever” “I love my best friend, she’s so awesome!” “Has anyone noticed that Mr. Brown has a striking resemblance to Mr. Potato Head?” “Oh. My. Wow. Just got a wink from Sweater Vest Boy…. swoon! #Mrs.SweaterVest?” “Hey, anyone want to meet me for lunch? I’ll be sitting on the north side of the caf, you know the table beside the vending machine, the one with the Pespi, not the chips… “

And it’s only lunchtime! I often wonder if I’m going to get the play by play of every bowel movement as well. I mean, I am concern about your gastro-intestinal well being, but how could I ever keep up? By far the number one reason people de-friend is because of too many updates.

 3. Incessant Game Requests- I do have to admit this allowed me to discover the amazingness that is Candy Crush though… but a lot of people voted this as the biggest reason.

4. My life is so amazing friend- I’m all for positivity but people like this: “Just got back from an amazing vacation with my amazing family. Amazing pics to follow!” “My job is so amazing!” “My husband is so amazing! Look at the amazing roast he made today! And he did an amazing job cleaning up the house!” “My kids are amazing, they are so well behaved and amazing!” either make me feel horrible about myself, or wish something horrible would happen to him/her…. just to see if he/she would post about it. I’m all for cutting out the negativity in your life, but this over the top display of positivity, turns me into a Negative Nelly. Lol, I should start posting the opposite version of these status updates and see how people respond.

Going on that vein. Anyone who makes you feel negative, angry and upset needs to go. You don’t need that negativity/drama in your life!  

Say goodbye to those negative influences!

Say goodbye to those negative influences!

5. The Cryptic update friend/Needy friend- I’ve had to defriend a few over this. I’m not a counsellor or a shrink. Sure I love helping people out, but scary Emo updates and cry for help messages are beyond me and my scope of training.

6. The Preacher Friend- whether it’s politics, religion, heath debates, mommy issues- if you are posting very one sided articles and comments on the same thing over and over and over again, you’re getting the de-friend. I’m all for sharing your opinions, but in a way that creates dialogue and discussion, not judgment.  And, what better place for that then Facebook when you have so many diverse and interesting opinions and thoughts?

7a. No, “Hey how’s it going?” in over a year friend

7b. Old co-workers/people won’t talk to again/contacts you added for business at a time friends

7c. People you just aren’t friends with and don’t deserve to have that much insight into your life. Friendships grow over the years, and sometimes they come to a natural close. I’ve gotten rid of a few people who I just wasn’t friends with anymore and didn’t desire to be.

7d. The ex-boyfriend/friends/family of the ex- (including friend/families exes). Without getting ranty, Facebook is unnatural. In olden days, you would break up with someone and never talk to him or her again. You (or your friends) wouldn’t be able to keep tabs on them. It’s creepy to know what your best friend’s ex husband’s daily status is, or that your ex’s brother met up with your ex and his new girlfriend for dinner. It doesn’t allow anyone to move on at all. I even know friends who have divorced and have an amicable relationship with each other who chose not to be facebook friends, and I know that’s what’s allowed them to be good parents.  It’s called closure people.  And, as a friend/family member, it’s important that you value your family member/friend over your attachment to his/her ex and his/her family and friends.  That probably means doing a little de-friending.

I love Facebook; it’s allowed me to connect with so many people, find lost friends and make new friends. The ability for networking (as a teacher and musician) is amazing. I can post questions about anything and get such a variety of answers. I’ve been able to keep in touch with students, campers, and old friends from elementary school. The important thing to remember is this, “Social media is a relational tool, but it’s not a relational reality.”* Knowing that can keep your Facebook list in check, and keep you from being de-friended!

So, who have you de-friended?  Or, who has de-friended you?  Comment at the Speech Bubble at the top of the post!



I came across some old camp photos, and was feeling a little nostalgic.  I have so many good memories of camp- both that I’ve worked at, but especially GBC.  The last three weeks of the summer were always the overnight camps, and Youth Camp was amazing because it fell at the end of the summer, after I had spend a whole 9 weeks there as a counsellor.

Now, when I went to camp we didn’t have any of these fancy digital cameras; we had film cameras where you might get 24-27 shots a roll.  And, when you have a roll to last a week, you have to use the pics sparingly.  Going through my banquet pics, I kept seeing essentially the same pic, over and over.  I found lots of other great pics, but I can’t post because, even narrowing down the banquet pics into 7 categories was hard enough!

So, here are SEVEN SHOTS you have to GET at the CAMP BANQUET:

J1.  Well, first you have to get a pic with your date:  Before the days of IMG_0604Facebook/texting, a pic is all you would have of your “special someone” to tide you over for the year.  Or, if you didn’t have a date, you could work really hard to get a pic of your crush. I would post some of those ones, but then my secrets would be revealed!  Your date can include anyone who you went with to the banquet, it didn’t have to be a cute boy.  But, it’s oh so much better when it is!




2.  You’re Special to Me- Aside from your date,IMG_0612 there are probably many people who played a big part in making your week awesome.  That could be  friend, a camper, a staff member, your team, your dorm room- people who you would want to remember.  I used to have all my camp pics in my planner at school and spent many nostalgic moments looking back at those people with such fondness.  In fact, most of the pics I have of my best friend and I together are camp pics!

IMG_05753. The Girls- I loved counselling overnights.  I always got my polyester fix!  Pics of large groups of your friends are always awesome- and it usually seems like one or more will default to the Charlie’s Angels pose. IMG_0582

4. The Boys- Who wouldn’t want a pic of all the swoon-worthy guys from the summer.  Lol, or at least to make the boys feel swoon worthy… There is something about guys dressed up that is surprising and exciting to the female race.  Add a pensive hand gesture… and we’re yours!  Aw- and the guy counsellors don’t disappoint.  Look how daper they look!  IMG_0662

IMG_05735. The Leg Pic- for some reason this became a tradition- although scandalous for Bible Camp!  Here are several variations of this trend over the years…   IMG_0627IMG_0590

IMG_05866.  Awkward Group Shots- Again, since you had one camera with one roll of film, most shots would be a one time deal.  You didn’t stop, check the flash, look to see if everyone is smiling.  You take one shot and hope for the best.  This makes for some great awkward shots!  I love the big pic- you have a few girls unimpressed, a couple trying to look cute, friends gathered around, Charles in the back by himself, and Adam and I looking cute up front.  IMG_0618

7. Boy Shinnanigans- Boys will be Boys- and on banquet night, they tend to want to show off for the ladies…  IMG_0596IMG_0581

What are your favourite camp memories?  CLICK the SPEECH BUBBLE to add your COMMENT above!


It’s funny how summer, when I have way more time, is more difficult to keep up with my weekly blog!  I have two weeks to catch up on- so I’ll do my best to get these done asap!

I was so blessed to have been able to go away to a cottage last week with some of my favourite people.  I had forgotten how amazing being outside, away from civilization, hanging out, and playing in the water is.  Honestly, if I can swing it, I need to get myself a cottage- imagine how relaxed and ready for school you could be if you were enjoying cottage life for all of July and August?  So, here are my seven favourite things about the cottage and I’ve put in a few pics from my trip as well!

 1. Reading- Life is full of distractions and because of that reading seems to be a lost art.  Gone are the days when people will sit and read for fun- it’s much more important you read facebook updates, and try your hand at the latest level of Candy Crush.   Netflix and PVR allow you to watch your favourite shows whenever you want, and the options available to watch are greater than ever!  Why would you read a book? But at the cottage, distractions are gone- and you can pull out those unfamiliar things called books!



2. Sleeping- Ultimately the best thing about cottage life.  As an almost narcoleptic, I can appreciate anywhere where you can fall asleep and people don’t judge you.

3. Bonding- There is something about being at a cottage that brings people together.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s nothing really to do, no one else you can text, or that you are in such close proximity of each other, but you can’t help but bond with those around you.  Good conversation seems to flow and the level of comfort you feel is unlike anything in the city.  You get the person’s undivided attention.  No texting or checking twitter feeds here!  I think my most meaningful and real conversations have happened either at a cottage or at camp.


4. a) Relaxing- Within seconds of arriving at the cottage, stress seems to melt away.  It probably has something to do with the sound of birds in the distance, the water lapping, and the air so fresh you can’t help but breathe deeply. The peace and calm you feel with no set schedule and no pressure is amazing.  Why go back to reality?

b) Reflecting- In the stillness and quietness of it all, you can’t help but think and reflect on your life, your relationships, and your purpose.  You have the time to think about things without pressure of time and people around you.  Something about being in nature makes you feel closer to God and brings about clarity and peace in a way that is impossible in the busy city.  Things and priorities just become clear at the cottage.

5. Eating- Cottage food rocks.  Hamburgers, candy, freezies- what more can you ask for?  And, you’re on vacation and doing lots of active things- it’s okay to have a few more calories, right?

6. Laughing- Your guard is down, you’re relaxing, and you are with some of your favourite people.  You can’t help but laugh and smile. Ya, that’s my favourite thing about the cottage.



7. Playing- kayaking, hiking, doing yoga on the dock, splashing in the lake, skiing on the lake, exploring, and playing in the trees are all awesome things to do at the cottage.  People don’t play enough anymore.  I’m a fan.

Forget reality.  I want to go back.


This week I was making some good old Habitant Pea Soup for lunch, which made me miss my dad- because that’s the one thing he can cook and we had many a can of that pea goodness on a Saturday afternoon.  If you look at the label on the can closely, you  can see it reads, “Traditional French Canadian Pea Soup.”  and that got me thinking- what other foods are “truly Canadian?”

1. Poutine- this is pretty obvious.  Fries with cheese CURDS and gravy.  There is nothing quite like it. Apparently it’s name comes from the french, ” “But this will make a damn mass!”   And places like Smoke’s Poutinere take it one step further with things like “Steak Stroganoff Poutine” and “Chicken Fajita Poutine.”

2. Bannok- the perfect camp fire food.  It’s like a biscuit that you put jam, butter, even mustard- or whatever you want on it.  So good!  Here’s a recipe!  There’s even a restaurant in Toronto called Bannock which features all Canadian Comfort food all fancy like.

3. Split Pea Soup- Have a ham bone you don’t know what to do with?  Throw it with a pot and with some chickpeas and Voila!  A French Canadian Masterpiece, no?

4.  Wild Game- Venison, Elk and Caribu– oh my!  Beef and chicken are tasty, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to venison.  I even had Elk at a fancy dinner party once…

5.  Canadian Bacon- aka Peameal/Back Bacon.  Made famous by John Candy (lol), this un bacon like delicacy is amazing.  Not only is it a healthy breakfast choice (no fat- unless you dip it in lard and cornmeal), it tastes super good on a bun- a great way to get out of the summer hamburger slump!

6. Halifax Donair- based on a gyro, or shwarma, this meat cooked on a spit and put into pita, was changed to suit local Nova Soctian tastes in the 1970’s- no more lamb, now beef and a sweet sauce.  My favourite donair moment was in second year university where my roommate at only them straight for a week during exam season, lol.

7. The Buttertart- I had no clue these were Canadian, but I guess it makes sense.  Butter, sugar, syrup in pastry- sounds totally Canadian!  Ontario even has a Buttertart Festival up north and I know people who would drive miles out of their way to stop in Port Hope for Betty’s Buttertarts!

And you thought Canadian cuisine was just Kraft Dinner….

CLICK on the SPEECH BUBBLE and comment- what is your favourite Canadian dish?

I just had the loveliest weekend.  Not only did I get to witness the marriage of two of my dear friends, I spent the weekend with two of my roommates from university in Niagara Falls for a stateside shopping excursion.

Both girls hadn’t really shopped in the States (to the level that some of my friends do- to them it’s a sport they have mastered!)  so I thought it would be useful to share a few things you should know when crossing the border for some retail therapy.

First of all, why shop in the States?  The question is why aren’t you?!  I just returned from the GAP factory store with: 2 pairs of track pants, 1 pair of yoga pants, four pairs of shorts, two special workout tanks, 1 dressy tank, 3 camisole tanks, 1 long sleeve tee, 2 t-shirts, 1 zip up hoodie, and 2 cardigans- all for, with tax $198!  Also, it’s just cool to answer, “ya, it’s new- it’s from the states!”

So here you go:

1.  PLAN YOUR ROUTE- Before you venture out you need to plan accordingly to maximize your time and hit everywhere you want to hit.  Make sure you look at a map, not only of the area, but of the mall.  If you want to hit up Khol’s and Meyers on the way back, make sure you find out where there is one.  Also, plan out the stores you must go to.  There are so many stores at these outlet malls, you need to aim to hit the ones you want/need to- and you want to do it in order and in a way that has you end up at the car to drop off your bags/hop in a drive to the next section of the mall.  Plan to end up near an Olive Garden for dinner or the all you can eat soup, salad and breadsticks for lunch!

Going with this point- you have to have a sense of what stores you want to go in, and what you are looking for.  Otherwise, you’ll just find it overwhelming and you’ll get nothing done!  This weekend I needed summer clothes (specifically shorts), migraine meds, and undies.  I wanted to hit up the GAP, Walmart and Marhsalls for sure.  These malls are very overwhelming if you are “just looking.”

Also, plan your eating stops- there is nothing worse than a cranky shopper!

2.  BE A COUPON CLIPPER- Most of these places have a customer service counter where they give free coupons to international guests/CAA members.  Always start here because you never know who in your party may need a coupon.  Also, sign up for emails if you can.  I got a coupon this week, only available by email for the GAP and Banana Republic- 30% off sale priced items!  An occasional piece of junk in your email is worth it in the end!

3.  DIVIDE and CONQUER- So the first time I shopped in the States, I had no idea what I was doing.  I followed people around, chatted, waited for others to finish- and I wasted so much time!  There is plenty of time to discuss at lunch and afterwards (when you show off your purchases!)  Decide where you want to go and attack that store!  Plan to meet up at a store that you both share so you can browse productively while you wait for the other to join you.  Be honest and go where you want to- “Hey, I’m going to hit up Banana and Carters- why don’t I meet you at the GAP in an hour, you mentioned you wanted to go there…. ”

4. DRESS APPROPRIATELY- Must haves: a purse that goes across you (so you have two free hands), comfy clothes (for easy quick and multiple changes), and comfy shoes.  This is a marathon sport- dress the part!

5.  ONLY BUY WHAT YOU LOVE- buyer beware!  There is this thing called “overenthusiastic sale syndrome.”  That’s where you are so excited that something is so cheap, you can’t help but buy it.  “Wow- this Calvin Klein dress is only $40!”  “Really, shampoo for $1.99?!” Don’t buy something because it’s on sale, buy it because you love it.  You’ll be way happier with your purchases that way.  That being said, if you love something, pick up an extra one of them (I have a fav shampoo- which is like half the price- I’m going to pick up a few when I’m there!

6. STAY THE NIGHT- If you’re able- stay the night!  This helps you avoid paying duty and gives you a chance to hit up more than just the mall- and makes it less rushed.  Try for hotel ratings in the area.  In Auburn Hills- there’s an awesome Holiday Express in the parking lot- and a movie theatre in the mall as well- which can make for a weekend, not just a shopping trip.  I go with the marathoners at my school and they can drop a $1000 in an evening and then still want to spend the next day and evening doing more shopping… I (and my wallet, could use a break!  Or you can hit up Khol’s and the regular malls and big boxed stores the night when you arrive and then go full out at the outlet mall the next day.

7. HIT UP MEYERS, TARGET, WALMART, and KHOL’s– these grocery/department stores are great for toilettries and sales.  I got a pack of 4 razor blades for $15, where here they would be at least $20 here.  Once you go a few times, you know what to look for.  Meyer’s has these great half tins of veggies, including chickpeas!  I was able to get meds they don’t have in Canada, my fav shampoo (for $4.99 instead of the $11.99 here!), and school supplies.  My mom’s favourite trail mix is only available at Target.  The trick is to see what is actually cheaper in the states.

You’re probably asking- well, how do I find somewhere to shop?  is a good place to start.

The fashion outlets in Niagara are great (and Lewiston and the Barton Inn is so close!) as is Port Huron (for the day) and Birch Run (Michigan). I also like Great Lakes Crossing – They have an outdoor theatre near by and I was able to take in a Backstreet Boys concert!  Go with someone who knows- they’ll show you how it’s done!  Also, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire have little to no taxes!


I love Old Hollywood.  The movies seem more carefree, more clever, and more romantic.  They sure don’t make films like those anymore!  My friend Julie and I were watching Teacher’s Pet with Clarke Gable and Doris Day recently, and this blog post popped into my mind.  Not only do they no make movies like Old Hollywood anymore, it  seems like the attractive qualities of those leading men have fallen by the wayside as of late.

Julie and I would like to bring back the “Old Hollywood Man,”  Or at least have guys take a few notes from Old Hollywood’s Most Attractive Men….

I picked 7 (I know they are way more!) gents that demonstrate very attractive traits that most guys don’t posses anymore, but should!  There were far more than 7 options, so I’m hoping for some great feedback from you!


Paul Newman

Paul Newman


Paul Newmon

Paul NewmonThe Perfect Man (Old Hollywood Style)

The perfect man would posses:

 1. Paul Newman’s looks- This man is the definition of dreamy.  From his sultry lips, his lean, toned body, and his blue, blue eyes, this man has the ability to make any lady swoon.

2. Howard Keels Boldness-  There is nothing more attractive than a man who goes after what he wants- especially when it comes to a lady.  Today’s society has created this passive, “sensitive” type of guy who, let’s face it, is wimpy!  What girl wants to convince a guy to date her- it’s so much better to be persued!  Now, Adam Pontipee may be a little barbaric with his “bless her beautiful hide” business, but it is attractive all the same!

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

3. Gene Kelly’s Moves- Every girl wants a guy who can sweep her off her feet, and I don’t think there’s anyone who can do it quite like Gene Kelly.  He makes

Shall we dance?

Shall we dance?

dancing look so athletic, so manly,  and dude, he can tap dance on roller skates!  (I love this clip because it’s so refined and show’s off Gabey shy character as he’s trying to win Miss Turnstyles)

Franky the Crooner

Franky the Crooner

4. Frank Sinatra’s Voice- The perfect man should have a crooners voice and Frank is just the man.  There’s something sensitive and gentle about his voice, and we all know a man who can sing goes up about 10 points in the attractive category!    (I just watched On the Town- so that’s why there’s another clip from it. )

Funny Guy Jerry Lewis

Funny Guy Jerry Lewis

5. Jerry Lewis humour- Let’s face it- there is nothing better than a guy who can make you laugh!  This clip is from one of my favourite movies, Cinderfella and it makes me wish Jerry was my fella!

The King of Cool- Steve McQueen

The King of Cool- Steve McQueen

6. Steve McQueen’s cool- There is something about Steve McQueen that is so sexy.  It’s his strong, yet cool, self that looks really good on a motorcycle and always seems to save the day. 

7. William Holden’s confidence- I don’t know what it is about

William goes after Audrey

William goes after Audrey

William, but whenever he’s on screen, he just commands attention.  He doesn’t need to talk, he just has this suave, self-assured nature about him.  Yes, he usually plays the cynical and sometimes playboy-like characters, but his versatility shines through and he always oozes confidence. 

So boys, do something that guys don’t do anymore.  Dance in the rain, sing her a song, or a even just learn a line from a movie!  Google it!

CLICK THE SPEECH BUBBLE- which old hollywood star or characteristics do you find attractive?


7.  The Tuck Shop -Hands down the best place to get your sugar fix and to get to know the campers.  I miss my Salt and Vinegar Crew (made up of 10 year old boys) and all the 5 cent candies (including the pears and strawberries which you can never find outside of camp!)

ImageAmes and I at the Banquet 2001

6.  The People- from Boyd and Patti, without two of the most hardworking and genuine people you’ll ever meet, to my now best friends, special people I’ve met along the way and instantly bonded with forever, to the campers, (a few who have become dear friends and “little sisters”) the bonds made at this camp are more than you could have even hope for in a lifetime.

5.  Prayer time- I loved from 9:00-9:10ish, where we would divide into small groups of 2-3 and pray for the camp, for the weather, for God to move.  For those ten-ish minutes all you could hear was all this chatter, but the cool thing was it was all to chatter to God about our common goal and desire for the camp;  An indescribable and amazing feeling and sense of purpose.

ImageTeen Staff 2006

4.  The Movie Skit (and other crazy adventures)- from lactose intolerant volcanoes, to the time Sarah P, Kelly and I got to run quiz, to serious dramas- I had so much fun and gained so much confidence by being involved in this side of camp.  And the tears streaming down your face from laughing so hard has to be the best feeling in the world.

3.  The orange tube.  Need I say more?

 2. Wide games/mud pit- Again- no explanation needed- and when the two of these were combined.  Genius

1. The Lake (and Slippery Rock!)  If I had to pick my absolute favourite place in the world- it would be Graphite Lake.  So many fun water games, quiet times, good chats, sunbathing (with Sabrina!)  and always the epic battleship game with the teens.

Team Aunt Em and Uncle Adam

Team Aunt Em and Uncle Adam

This is not an extensive list.  Campfires, Box Head, Star Gazing, The buses arriving, Epic Pranks, Weekends, Trips to Town, Dressing up for Banquets…. all memories I’ll hold in my heart forever!

CLICK on the SPEECH BUBBLE- what are your favourite Graphite Memories?