Sunday, 31 August 2014

Smelling Like Dad

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

As I mentioned, we are at The Cottage for the long weekend. I found out yesterday that I forgot my deodorant!

I don't think I have ever mentioned this on Always Standing, but I am obsessed with deodorant/antiperspirant. I wear tons, often reapply, usually wear it to bed, and need to put it on as soon as I wake up or get out of the bath. I use Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth Antiperspirant, Nature Fresh scent. It is supposed to work at making hair less noticeable while at the same time be a strong deodorant. I am true-to-brand and don't even like getting the other scent available. Wearing a different deodorant feels very strange.

The Cottage has two bathrooms, but since I was sleeping on the main floor I was mainly using the one that contains the shower, laundry room, cat litter, and a dresser with my dad's old toilette items. My mom keeps all of her stuff in the upstairs bathroom that is beside the master bedroom and has the bathtub. Feeling lazy the first day I decided to search around in the main floor bathroom for any women's deodorant. There wasn't any.

I was still feeling lazy so decided to use the men's stick I had found. It was by Adidas, called Pure Game, which I think was supposed to be the scent or maybe the type. I put it on and it instantly smelt like my dad! I can't imagine him being a true-to-brand person, since he would probably buy something like deodorant by price. I also remember him using Speed Stick when I was younger - it was kept in the bathroom medicine cabinet above our toothbrushes. Maybe he always was drawn to a consistent scent or maybe my scent memory of him is connected to recent events when he was using this Adidas stick, but it was lovely to be reminded of him through smell. I miss him so much - everything about him.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Bit Bored By Rasta

I am up at The Cottage this weekend; Mum is in Edmonton visiting Mike and Aimee, so we are looking after Rasta. He is much less of a kitten and is lower energy now that he is older (and neutered.) He still plays with his toys much more than Two, but he seems, in general, more cat-like and less cuddly.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


The following is posted on the Forrec internal website, to introduce me to the 120 plus team:

I am not a huge fan of the photo, but it is nice that the company does this to help smooth the transition for new employees. There has since been two other new people start after me so my profile is not alone, and it may get bumped soon. I know that I have mentioned not really liking the word 'gregarious' before, but at the time I was filling out the questions it seemed like a good choice.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

T&G Engagement Shots

I figured that I would start out Wedding Wednesdays way back in October 2013 when Steph published her Feature Set of Engagement Photos that she did with Teri and Greg at the Toronto waterfront. I know that I briefly mentioned that they were getting them done at the time, but only provide the link to the Sneak Peek. It turns out that I am terrible about remembering to share my friends engagement photos on Always Standing.

This is one of the many great shots:

Harbour's Breeze: A Toronto Love Story
Copyright 2013

My favorite pictures are the two different ones where they are sitting. (Also the kissing one with the CN Tower in it, this is mainly because I love the CN Tower and its iconic representation of downtown Toronto.) The photo above is actually K's favorite; she loves it so much that she has mentioned multiple times thinking that it looks like it could be in a magazine. I agree, it definitely looks like a sexy clothing ad - for Guess maybe.

See the full Feature Set on the STEPHANIE BEACH PHOTOGRAPHY BLOG.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Tessa and I have signed up for an unlimited mouth of spinning (indoor cycling.) I am pretty sure that it is the most intense workout that I have ever had. We are going to Cykl, which is close to my work and Tessa's apartment. There are lots of different styles of spinning, or so I have read, that include combining it with yoga or super-computerized bikes that let you digitally race others. Cykl uses a special kind of bike that moves (side to side), so during classes there are turns and such. What is interesting about how hard of a workout it is, is that it is not regulated - the intensity/resistance is very personal, though guided by the instructor. Basically it is like going for a bike ride without a computer, which I don't do since I like to know how fast I am going. I didn't think I would push myself without some type of statistical feedback, even with a basic outdoor run, I can review my distance and measure my time. However, the instructors have been awesome at Cykl and the workout is amazing.

Monday, 25 August 2014

THE Science North

In my experience, few things stand the test of aging. What I loved as a child is often not nearly as thrilling now that I am 30. For example:
- I still enjoy The Neverending Story but could never watch it on repeat, multiple times a day.
- I like the board game Labyrinth but it isn't as suspenseful and challenging now that I am older.
- I no longer like many of the annoying repetitive songs that I did as a kid, like This is the Song that Never Ends.

However, some things do maintain their enjoyment as I age. (There is a difference between the test of time and the test of age, something can stand the test of time but still only be amusing to a certain demographic.) I love a lot of things that I did as a child. For example:
- I can still dive repeatedly in a swimming pool for items thrown in that sink to the bottom. This is like a human swimming equivalent of fetch and I could still do it for hours.
- I love candy and can eat piles of it.
And new to the list:
- No matter my age, a day is still not long enough at Science North!

On our recent camping trip, Jason and his family had to deal with a lot of rain. By the time I showed up, it wasn't raining as badly, but it was still gloomy weather. To take a break from Killbear - Jason and I took a road trip on Friday. We drove the 2 hours or so north to Sudbury and went to my favorite childhood cultural centre - Science North. I have always said it is the best science centre that I have ever been to and I have visit them all over the world, however, I hadn't actually been in over 15 years. We used to go often as a family because my uncles lived in Sudbury and then later my grandparents had a cottage near by.

Jason and I were at Science North for over 4 hours but I could have gone longer. I don't feel like we got to see everything I wanted to see, play with enough things, see enough shows, do enough. The enter place is so much fun. I love to learn and I like things to be interactive.

Side note: Jason's favourite part was when we got to pet the porcupine. He was very cute, sleeping in awkward positions and doing little excited dances when getting fed. We got to stroke his back, which felt like matted hair, they also smell really gross.

Monday, 18 August 2014

A Week Off To Go Camping

I know I only just came back to blogging regularly after taking a break last month, but I am going to take a break this week as well. I was supposed to be gone all week, up camping at Killbear Provincial Park with Jason and his family. His family includes his parents, his sister and her husband, as well as, his three nephews aged 5, 3, and 1.5. However, I only have limited vacation days with my new job so didn't want to spend 5 right away. I am leaving Wednesday evening and will be camping for Thursday and Friday. Stay tuned, I will be writing again before you know it, and Wedding Wednesdays will start next week.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tablet Vs Portable DVD Player

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

My dad had a portable DVD player, which was very helpful when he was recovering from hip surgery and had to stay in bed for long periods of time. While I have been resting in bed this weekend, trying to get over this cold, I have been using the tablet to watch TV shows and movies on Netflix. It really isn't as good as what Dad had since it won't really stand up on its own (I probably would with a stand.) My arm gets sore from holding it up. Life is hard.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Cat And The Mucus Vigil

I have a very bad cold. I haven't had one in the summer in a very long time, not that there is any good time to get one. I am loving my new job and don't want to miss a second, so am taking the weekend to try to fully heal from this thing. This has meant a full Saturday in bed, sleeping, medicating, applying Vicks Vapor Rub, drinking water, and blowing my nose.

Two has stayed with me on the bed all day. It has been so sweet. Mainly she sleeps down at my feet but sometimes comes up and lies beside me so I can pet her. Jason has been great too obviously, going to the drug store, making me food. However, it has been Two that has been keeping me company. It is great to have a cat.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wedding Wednesdays!

There were two beautiful weddings in my life last month:
July 12 - Jenn and Jon
July 26 - Teri and Greg
There are lots of things to share from these amazing events (especially Steph's photos) so I will spend the next few Wednesdays going over all the fun details.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Back From A Boat Trip

On July 29, my mom drove down to Sandusky, Ohio, with some friends. They met up with 4 boats that had sailed down from Port Dover. She stayed with the boats for almost 2 weeks, gradually sailing back along the south shore of Lake Erie. She returned to Port Dover yesterday. You can read about her adventures on her blog - Vicarious Travelling. (A link to her blog is always available on the Left-Side of Always Standing.)

Monday, 11 August 2014

A Wonderful Toronto Weekend

I had an amazing time with Jason these past few days...

Friday Evening
- Appointment at L Studio to have my hair cut
- Three course Italian dinner at Caffino in Liberty Village
- Surprised with a night in The Ambulation Room at the Gladestone Art Hotel

- Ran into Rob and Andrea during a walk on Queen St. West
- Got croissant sandwiches and other treats at Nadege Patisserie
- Had a picnic in Trinity-Bellwoods Park
- Bought some Succulents at West Elm
- Took the streetcar to MEC to buy lots of cycling stuff
- Came home and took a nap while Jason went for a bike ride
- Met up with Kristen and Noah to visit Taste of the Danforth

- Slept in and watched TV
- Tried on my new Cycling Capris
- Went for a bike ride along the Beltline Trail with Jason
- Saw Guardians of the Galaxy with a big group of Jason`s friends
- Stopped for Menchie`s frozen yogurt on the way home

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Road Trip Food

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

Any time I go on a car ride that is going to be three hours or more - I like to bring/have licorice. It is the perfect road trip treat. I definitely got this from my dad, as it was the preferred car snack growing up. My mom likes black licorice (gross), so we often had two bags going on bigger trips.

I once got a bag of red licorice for a drive up to Teri's cottage that I was doing with Greg and Monica a few years ago, and when I offered it to Greg, he turned it down saying, "I refuse to acknowledge that it is even food." Which has been one of my favourite quotes for years.

I don't really know where the road trip licorice tradition came from, but I think it was definitely more my dad's influence than my mom's. He probably did it for the same reasons that I have continued the practice: it is pretty cheap, delicious, isn't messy, is easy to eat in a car, it is a nice treat to have, wouldn't be something you ever really buy normally, etc.

Saturday, 9 August 2014


Two years ago today, I was sitting on a streetcar in the St. Clair West station when Jason kissed me goodbye and started the greatest romance of my life. We use that event, the evening of August 9, 2012, as our anniversary and have been having a great day celebrating. I love him so much.

If Two Was Looking For A Job

------------ from Facebook (posted by JennD)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Automatically Awesome

There were some IT changes at work yesterday and now the company servers will automatically add standardized signatures to the end of all employee emails. Here is what mine looks like:
I think I have always made my own email signatures before. Even though there is the whole 'common look and feel' rules for the Federal Government, I am pretty sure I just typed my own up. However, they have never been as pretty as this new one! (The social media icons included are live links and you can click the logo to go to the company website.)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Grammar Thursday

Compound Adjectives: Hyphenate two or more words when they come before a noun that they modify (adjectives), when they act together as a single idea. (Hyphenation is not optional punctuation in these cases.)

For example:
Our in house team of programmers
--- Should be: Our in-house team of programmers 
globally recognized development corporations
--- Should be: globally-recognized development corporations

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Please Please Please Don't Text While Driving

This new campaign is from the USA, where the Ad Council collaborated with the office of the State Attorneys General and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to work at Texting and Driving Prevention. I was very happy 5 years ago when Ontario put a Anti-Texting While Driving law on the books, here are the details:

Ontario's ban on hand-held devices while driving took effect on October 26, 2009. The law made it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices. The use of hands-free devices is still permitted, and drivers may use hand-held devices to call 9-1-1. 'Hands-free' use means that apart from activating or deactivating the device, it is not held during use and the driver is not physically interacting with or manipulating it. Actions such as dialing or scrolling through contacts, or manually programming a GPS device, for example, are not allowed.

In Toronto the police often do 'blitzes' where they focus on a morning to catch as many distracted drivers as they can, fine them, and send a message. I don't know how effective this tactic is, but I am happy that something is done occasionally about this very serious issue. Especially as the American campaign details that research that shows: You're 3x more likely to crash if you text while driving. The scary thing it also mentions is that a recent survey showed that 42% of young adult drivers are very/somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving. You can't! (I don't care how good a driver or texter you are - it is not safe.)

Tips to help you stop texting while driving:
- Silence is golden.Turn notifications off. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you'll be to respond while you're driving.
- Out of sight, out of mind.When you're in the car, put your phone where you can't get it. A place where you won't even be tempted to look for it. No phone. No texting.
- Set that shit up. As soon as you get in the car, set up your hands-free and/or driving mode features and check that it is functioning properly. If your car doesn't come with Bluetooth, portable devices that attach to the sun visor are available. (Jason has one for the Yaris.)
- Designate a texter. Give your phone to a friend or have them use their own. Passengers get the privilege of texting while in motion.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Thoughts On A Tuesday

If I have to borrow someone's deodorant, as soon as I put it on, I no longer feel totally myself. Somehow, a small percentage of my identity is tied to my regular brand.

I think birds hold dead people's souls.

Most people I know who grew up in an urban centre don't know how to use high beams properly. Also, it seems like the flashing light to mean 'advanced green' is being replaced by arrows on traffic lights.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Announcing A New Professional Chapter

I made the decision in January to look for a new job and leave the BIA. I took my time, over 6 months actually, to find a good place and time to go. I wanted to focus more on communications and marketing again, but this time at a company instead of the public service. I was looking for better pay, an inspiring environment, and challenging work - in short, I was being picky. I still worked my ass off applying and interviewing at places but I was making a point to find something perfect.

And I did!

Because of a maternity leave vacancy, and some networking connections I have in Liberty Village, I was given the opportunity to interview at an amazing company that I have admired for years - Forrec. "Forrec is a planning and design firm that specializes in the creation of entertainment and leisure environments worldwide." Our focus is on Theme Parks, Water Parks, Entertainment Centres, Resorts, Retail & Mixed Use, and Museums & Science Centres. There are around 100 employees in Toronto (the office is in Liberty Village, and includes a pool table for employee use) who specialize in architecture, landscape, interiors, graphic design, and general creativity. I started on July 24 and have joined the marketing team for a year. I am completely enthralled thus far, and love it more everyday!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

My Dad's Songs, P!nk

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

My dad likes all types of music. So tons of songs remind me of him. Including this one:

P!nk - Perfect

He had a lot of P!nk's songs, but I always liked hearing that this one was on his playlist.

NOTE: After publishing this post, I noticed that I started it in the present tense again. However, it appears that I switched it for the past in the short second section of text. Normally I would correct spelling/grammar upon noticing errors after posting - but I am not going to with this one.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Dogs On A Caturday

Jason and I are looking after 3 dogs this weekend. (The littlest one is James', the black one is her brother's, and the larger one is her parents'.) Instead of invading Two's space for three days, we are spending most of the weekend up at James' parents' cottage near Collingwood, which they have graciously lent to us so we can look after the dogs somewhere that has a good yard. It is really quiet and relaxing.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Back To Blogging

As you may have noticed, I took a small break from Always Standing. My last post was July 7, and I decided to take the rest of July off as the summer started to get very busy and I developed a bit of writers block. I made a mental note to start blogging everyday again in August. (Mum says I should have announced this sabbatical.) I hope all my readers tune back in!