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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boxing Day


Boxing day is usually the day when my mother's side of the family gets together to celebrate and exchange gifts. This year it was our turn to host. Pamela and Melanie were both in charge of handing out presents to the kids - while wearing appropriate hats of course.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

December 24th is always Christmas with the Schroeders.
The Schroeder kids (minus one who could not make it) with  Oma and Opa sitting below.

The Staircase

For the last couple of days my family has been busy preparing for the guests we will be having over throughout the Christmas holidays. So while I was taking pictures of the tree ornaments yesterday, my family was keen to take some pictures to share with my blog.

I was taking pictures of my mother's beloved staircase when Pamela came in from a Secret Santa party. She was really excited about her gift.


Yup, she is a Belieber. We were stuck listening to Justin Bieber's christmas CD on repeat for the whole afternoon.

Then my mother caught me taking pictures of the staircase - which she is very proud of. She quickly put on her Santa hat and asked me to take a picture of her on the stairs. My mom hates being in pictures, so I took up this very rare opportunity.



Safe to say, my house is adorably decorated and ready for guests.

I hope this post finds everyone well and enjoying the holidays!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Decor Part 2

After yesterday's post I decided it would be fun to include more pictures of some of the old homemade Christmas crafts we have lying around the house. Rest assured, while they may be strange looking, they have a place among my mother's nicer decorations.



A classy looking reindeer made out of a Christmas light bulb and some googly eyes.


This lovable mess was created by Melanie. ...I think it is supposed to be a ginger bread man?


A very glittery and girly picture frame I made for my mother while I was in Sparks.


A dog ornament made from a Milkbone dog treat.



I believe this decoration is simply a chocolate wrapper pressed flat against a circle back.


Another reindeer decoration made by Pamela. This was created from a clothing hanger and a pair of pantyhose.


Another interesting creation - some sort of animal Santa made from a bagel.


In my opinion, this is one of the cuter homemade crafts in our house. It is a little melting "puddle" snowman.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Decor

The majority of my family's holiday decorations consist of old crafts my sisters and I have made for our parent as presents. Friends and family who have come over to visit understand that this is not an understatement. Between the three of us being enrolled in Sparks, Brownies and Girl Guides we have accumulated quite a collection of quirky homemade crafts. Add to that the absurd amount of Christmas presents that we used to make throughout all of December as elementary school students, and you have a house overrun with flawed and awkward decor.

Now, I am sure most parents receive holiday crafts from their children during this time of year, but I do not think many treasure and keep these little tokens like my mother does. I have never seen a house quite like mine in the month of December. Our Christmas tree is covered in old elementary school ornaments - and I would not have it any other way.

Two days ago as I was walking into the house after the long drive from Guelph to Ottawa, I happened to catch Pamela decorating the Christmas tree. She very quickly pointed out an interesting little decoration she happened to come across. We laughed for a good several minutes over it.


It is so typical that several years ago when Pamela was given some felt to make a Christmas tree ornament, she came up with a Pikachu. Although this has nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever, it still has a place on our lovely tree filled with childhood memories.

To show you guys just how much a Pikachu ornament does not surprise me, here are pictures of Pamela's Halloween costume from the same year:


From left to right: Pamela as Pikachu, Melanie as a witch, and myself as an Alouettes Cheerleader.

What an adorable little snot. This was not the only year Pamela went as a Pikachu either. From a quick glance through some photo albums she has gone as Pikachu at least one more year besides this one.

This is exactly why I adore our tradition of putting up awkward, handmade Christmas crafts each year. It helps to bring back great memories from our childhood, whether they are sentimental or just plain goofy.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Being Productive

Today was a really good productive day. All my housemates have already headed home for the holidays, so I had the house to myself.

I spent the day cleaning my room, dusting and getting things organized again after my brain-numbing two weeks of exams. Since no one was home I got to blast my music and sing along. So much fun! I enjoy having some privacy after a semester of living in a student house full of ten girls.

While I was doing chores I decided to bake a loaf of beer bread using an old can of beer that's been lying around. It's so good, and the easiest bread to make. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a slight hint of beer: it's bliss. 


I've already overindulged and now I'm feeling full and content. I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight, that's for sure!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Girly Stuff



So I know I promised I'd stop with the girlishness, but I've had this video on replay and I need to share it. It's a cover of Sunday Girl by a new artist named Florrie, which is shot as a combination music video/advertisement for Nina Ricci's latest perfume. I think I'm in love with it.

This video is obnoxiously girly; it would be best described as sugar, spice and everything nice. Yet, I can't hate it, it's just too cute, innocent and feminine.

Safe to say this has become another piece of inspiration for my girly phase. It's similar to how Rihanna's music video Only Girl in the World completely influenced my spring wardrobe last year. For some reason femininity has been really appealing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Girly Obsession

For some reason as I continue to get older, I grow more and more out of my tomboyish ways. I still can't figure out exactly why it's happening. Perhaps because I'm growing my hair out? Or maybe it's my maternal clock getting ready to hit me with the sudden desire to start making babies? ...I sure hope it's not the latter. 

Regardless, one of my latest obsessions has been lipstick. It's one form of makeup I've never really gotten into before, but lately the need to grow a lipstick collection has hit me with full force. Now, I've owned red lipstick before for nights out, but I've never had any casual colors to wear day to day.

Meet my first pink lipstick! It's Demure from Revlon - it's actually in their neutral collection, but it comes off as a very sheer light pink. At first I was skeptical because I hate glittery makeup and a lot of pinks are full of sparkle (I guess I'm not that girly just yet). But Demure goes on really lightly, and the small amount of glitter in it acts as a shine on your lips.



This lipstick is very creamy, and I find the sheerness of it actually works to its advantage. On my natural lip it provides a nice shade of pink and a bit of shine, but if I put on lip liner first it'll add a very nice stain on top of the base. 

Here are some examples. 
Here's Demure on top of my natural lip:


 See what I mean? It's just a very subtle pink, with a bit of shine. 


And if I neutralize my lips before applying the lipstick it comes off as a much lighter shade of pink. This would be the true color of the lipstick without any underlying redness showing through.


Lastly, here's a picture of Demure on top of a cinnamon colored lipliner called Spice (by Rimmel). It just adds a very subtle gloss and pink overlay to a lipliner, and because it's a cream it's very moisturizing. I think I might wear this for events over the holidays when a red lip might be too bold.

So what do you guys think looks best? Opinions? Should I spare myself the effort and stay away from lipsticks altogether? I feel like this lipstick makes the color of my hazel eyes pop, so for now it's definitely been a good purchase.

Anyways, I've put you guys through enough girlishness for the day! I hope you're all doing well and are enjoying the beginning of winter!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pamela

This is a very belated post that I had meant to upload after Thanksgiving.
Now, that might not sound like too long ago to any American viewers, but I'm Canadian...which means my Thanksgiving was back at the beginning on October. Somehow I completely forgot about these pictures that I had been so excited to post! Nevertheless, at least I'm finally uploading them now.

While my family was visiting for Thanksgiving I had the opportunity to see some new additions to my little sister's wardrobe. Pamela has such a good sense of style, and she always makes a point of making sure she's dressed well - which I certainly wasn't like at 17. In fact, I still have a pretty lackluster wardrobe. Whenever I'm home I look forward to looting her closet for things to wear while I'm visiting.

Have a look at how adorable and fashionable she is. The shoes and the scarf...those dark wash jeans. Man, I need new jeans.



Oh, she's so cute. I miss her. 

While we were visiting Melanie's house in Waterloo we got to hang out with some cute mallard ducks. Pamela teased them for a bit by pretending she had food.


It was a really sweet having them visit, I really love being able to show my family around Guelph. 

I'm at that point now too with exams that I just can't wait to go home! My exams start Tuesday - despite not feeling too prepared, the idea that they'll soon be over is driving me forward.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Time



Probably one of the most beautiful and important Youtube videos I've seen in awhile.

I was a little enraged though to find that the Westboro Baptist Church's Youtube account was already trolling the comment section of this video. I wish they would just find some secluded area in the wilderness to live with their spite and hateful opinions.

 Please share this video with friends and family. There's already too much hate in this world, when what we really need is understanding and respect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Boom Boom Bâ


Boom Boom Bâ by Métisse 

I would have never come across this eerie and catchy song had it not been for Dead Like Me. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Proposal



I usually can't stand proposal videos - I don't go looking for them because I find them way too sappy. However, I really liked this one. I actually came across it because my old friend from elementary school, Brittany Kennell, is a singer/songwritter who's song is featured in this video.

Perhaps it's also the Montreal couple that makes this video so likable for me. After all, I was born in Montreal and I will always feel some nostalgia for my first home. I think it's the picture at 4:40 that sold me the most; nothing like a sneaky proposal message delivered underneath Montreal's skyline.

This whole video is the result of 6 years of planning and one really smart guy. I find it amazing that for the 6 years this couple was together, they were so sure of their love that they went around the world taking pictures to prove it. Utterly romantic...but is that how it always works? Do couples always know? I feel so clueless about love these days.

It isn't even like this is just another random couple on the internet either. These are two loving people from my hometown. The reality of it hit me by surprise. Well, I wish this adorable couple nothing but love and happiness in the future...from the looks of things they already have a great start to their life together.

Oh - and for anyone who likes country or folk music, please check out my friend Brittany Kennell.
Facebook
Myspace
Not only is she beautiful, but she's got an amazing voice as well.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Arboretum Bench


A photo from my latest trip to the Arboretum. Devan and I stumbled across this fallen tree in front of a bench. 

Something about it looked picturesque enough for me to want to take a picture. Unfortunately I forgot my real camera, so a cell phone snapshot will have to do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lovely Owl



A good friend shared this video with me today. I absolutely love it. Some of you may not know, but owls have become one of my favorite animals after I had a personal experience last summer.

Also, that head massage is so tantalizing. I can totally relate to dogs (and apparently owls) wanting to get their heads scratched.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Berries & Blueberry Tea

I settled down by my bedside earlier this evening to catch up on some readings and indulge on my latest craving: berries. Blueberries and raspberries were on sale at my local grocery store this week, so I stocked up. 

For some strange reason I've also been craving blueberry tea despite never having tried it before. This Wednesday I succumbed to that craving and bought myself some Tetley tea bags.





It's delicious. If you let it steep long enough it tastes just like blueberries and it makes your room smell fantastic. The ginkgo herb is also good for keeping your mind active and alert, which is something I could probably use more of.

Any friends in Guelph are welcome to come by and give it a try! It'll definitely have a permanent spot among my usual teas from now on.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Coffee Break


Today I meet up with Dave at Second Cup for a much needed coffee break. Sometimes it just feels great to sit with a friend for a couple of hours and let out all your pent up anxiety and school-related stress.

Dave was feeling festive (probably because of the flurries we had throughout the day) and decided to get a warm apple cider. I went with my usual caramel latte order, but I was really excited when I saw how pretty the barista made the caramel design.


I was really impressed! I've never received a caramel latte with a design as intricate as this. I've always wanted to order a latte at one of those local coffee shops that create patterns and designs using the steamed milk (like this one here), but this will do for now!


Like a lot of my guy friends, Dave has been growing a mustache for Movember this year. Personally, I find it looks a little strange on his baby face. I let Dave have a look at some pictures I took this evening and his reply was simply, "I don't know how I feel about this facial hair". I have to agree with him, but at least it's for a good cause!


I also brought some chocolate for Dave and I to enjoy while sipping our warm beverages. It was a great idea. I should definitely make a point of taking frequent coffee breaks with friends more often in the future. Even when things are busy it's great to step away from things for a few hours to catch up.


I also got to make my wish on 11:11 today! I've been looking forward to this day for nearly 2 years, because it marks the date 11/11/11, making wishing on 11:11 so much luckier. I missed the morning 11:11 because I was in a meeting at the Alumni House, but I did manage to catch the evening one just a few minutes ago. I had actually forgotten about it, but as I strolled into the kitchen I caught a glimpse of the clock on the stove and my timing was perfect. I feel like it's even luckier that I caught it spontaneously. I hope my wish comes true!

I hope you guys had a good remembrance day and best wishes!
Lest we forget. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Burning Out

As this semester progresses, I just continue to get more stressed and drained. I'm at the point now where I'm burning out.

Although midterms are now done there's a wide range of different projects and papers that I've put off in order to study. Worst of all, there are group projects to work on. While I don't mind working with other people, there's just something about group work that becomes a priority to me. Consequently, all my other classes end up taking the backburner - something I really shouldn't let myself do.

As for readings...I'm very far behind. Looking at my lists of things to do is almost overwhelming in itself. I keep post-it notes with all my assigned readings and projects beside where I sit at my desk. Here's a little glance at what I'm facing this week:

All these readings snuck up on me while I was in midterm mode. To be honest, I've never been able to pull off a semester where I've managed to complete and stay on top of all my readings. It's always been a trade-off where I have to pick what classes I believe the textbook readings are most necessary. Maybe it's because I'm an Arts and Sciences student and I'm stuck balancing long scientific articles with excerpts from humanities books? Beats me. Does anyone actually manage to complete all their assigned readings?

To try to help myself relax yesterday I decided to go out shopping and treat myself to some makeup. While I was out, I thought it was a good idea to purchase some bird seed for my animal behavior experiment on chickadees. I found a great deal! 4 kilograms of seed for only $6! However, that also meant I had to carry this huge bag of bird seed with me everywhere I went for the rest of my shopping trip. So much for relaxing!

I just realized now how often I decide to take pictures for this blog late at night after I've removed all my makeup and showered. Here I'm even suited up in my PJs.

Behold my huge seed baby! Yes, it is the size of my torso. Believe it or not, I almost bought a 7 kilogram bag until I spotted this smaller one on a display shelf.

Well, I'm off to go crawl into bed and finish a reading. The worst part of this time of year is that I want nothing more than to catch up on my sleep and recover, but every day just seems to get more and more demanding as deadlines approach.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet Otis



Meet Otis, a dog my sister Pamela gets to babysit frequently throughout the summer. It's always a treat being able to have a dog in the house because we could never have a pet with my mom's allergies. Otis is a puggle (pug-beagle mix) and belongs to one of Pamela's close friends.

I think my whole family loves having Otis around. He's a well behaved and friendly dog, but also has a lot of energy. He was my trail hiking buddy for a couple of weeks last summer, and I'd take him on walks with me through the ravine to see the barred owls.


He's also the first dog I've met that would chase a frisbee - although we discovered this unintentionally. Pamela was walking Otis to the park and I decided to come along and practice throwing my disc golf discs. To my surprise Otis would actually run down the disc...and then chew it to pieces. I let him gnaw on it for a couple of minutes while I took pictures because it was just irresistibly cute.



While Otis was staying with us I also took the opportunity to take some portrait shots of him whilst he was cuddling on my bed. He's got such a cute face with some of the best features of pug and beagle put together.



He got bored of my picture taking and decided to doze off. Here's a goofy shot - not exactly the most flattering view of his pug snout. What a dork!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perfection



There is something so loving and adorable about this couple. Her name is Nessa and she is a photographer and her lovely beau, Josh, is a tattoo artist. I've been a long time subscriber to Nessa's channel, and her videos are so artistic and inspiring.

If it was possible, I'd have my life be an embodiment of her videos - warm, free-spirited, and enchanting. If only perfection were attainable.

Tamarack Cones

Tamarack Cones by amandaschroeder
Tamarack Cones, a photo by amandaschroeder on Flickr.
A lovely photo from this spring. This time of year the tamarack are turning yellow and starting to lose their needles for winter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I'm Guelph's Leading Dispersal Agent

Burrs have been bothering me a lot lately. There just seems to be something about me that's absolutely irresistible to the bristly, clingy seeds.

Lately I've been working on a group project for my animal behavior class that involves setting up an experiment in the Arboretum. We're experimenting on chickadees, so we've been setting up bird feeders along the back edge of a forest where there is a lot of tall grasses, goldenrod and ragweed. The ragweed is the source of my problems; this time of year the plant is usually equipped with dozens of bristly seeds just waiting to catch onto an unsuspecting animal with the hopes of being taken to a new and better home.

I'm starting to believe that somehow these plants recognize me as the ultimate dispersal agent. I'm the one to get attached to. I could be walking through the field with all three of my group members, each of us walking in single file along the same path. Bam! I'm suddenly completely coated in burrs and yet all my group members are untouched.

Well today I took two trips to the Arboretum by myself to refill the bird feeders, and I had quite a horrendous experience. The first trip went well - despite forgetting the seed and needing to go home to get it - and I didn't even have a single encounter with any burrs. The second trip was awful. Somehow walking through the trail the second time I managed to get my sweater coated in the annoying burrs.


I took a picture because I found it funny and ironic that I could somehow get hit with the burrs the second time I walked through the field, but not the first. I even was happy enough at that point to look cute and smile as I took the picture. 

I refilled the bird feeder and then walked back through the path the way I came. BAM!
See, now here's a valid expression. I was not a happy camper after this attack.

I haphazardly removed the little devils from my sweater and tried brushing off all of the plant fibers that seemed to be stuck. That's when I noticed my neck and chest were stinging a little. I moved my hand over the area and felt little pricks of pain in specific locations - a clear sign that some sort of sliver or splinter was stuck in my skin. I didn't realize these burrs also gave you splinters!

By the time I got home I was hyper-aware of the fact that there were tiny splinter all over the right side of my face, neck and chest. After looking in the mirror I realized that they weren't visible; they must be really small and hard to see, because I can only tell where there's a splinter after putting pressure on the area.

So I did the only thing I really could do: take a shower, exfoliate, and wait it out. Here's the end result:

My face is clearly a lot more sensitive than my neck and chest, but this is the rash that is currently festering as a result of seeds. Seeds did this!

So long as an allergic reaction isn't possible, I'll be happy. 

Monday, October 31, 2011