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Monday, March 19, 2012

College Royal 2012

Hey everyone,

So this past weekend was College Royal, which is an event and open house that the University of Guelph hosts each year. This year marks the last year I'd be participating in College Royal as a student, so I was sure to sign up for all of my favorite contests. This year I took part in the pancake flip competition, photography competition and the ultimate frisbee tournament. 

This pancake flip competition took place on St. Patty's day, so my team decorated and dressed up for the event. It was definitely a success!

We managed to get one of the best pancake flavors there: banana chocolate chip. We did really well in the competition; we placed second, and sold the most pancake out of the other three teams there. 

This was the only thing I did towards celebrating St. Patrick's Day. When I got home I took off the accessories and scrubbed the bright green eyeshadow from my eyes. 

As for the photography contest, I managed to place third in one of the two categories I entered. My winning picture was an old photo from two years ago that I entered in the "People" category. I found it a little funny I placed at all because the picture I entered wasn't quite human focused:


I also entered the "Photographer's Choice" category with my photograph of the frog and mosquito that I've blogged once before. That was the photo I originally thought would have been a contender for a ribbon, but unfortunately I didn't win. I was also entering the experienced level this time, so a lot of the winning photos were very deserving.

The last event I partook in was the ultimate frisbee competition on Sunday. Man - let me just say that I'm so sore today as a result. Being the day after St. Patrick's day, only 5 people showed up for our team. The event was actually a lot longer than usual; in the past it's always been a short 2 hour tournament, but this year it was around 4 hours long. It was draining. We had no subs, and had to beg other players and passerby's to play with us in order to have the mandatory 7 players. Thankfully Guelph is a friendly place and a really cute couple who used to play ultimate joined our team.

Here are the five of us after the long and hot day. I look like I'm about to crumple over and collapse.

Today I'm definitely feeling the pain from how much running I did. My back, legs, hips, and even my right arm are stiff and sore. Now's when I wish I had a nice bathtub or hot-tub to soak in.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Winter Feast - Cedar Waxwing

After my last post, I just really wanted to show how gorgeous this bird is. Believe it or not, I never came across a cedar waxwing (or bohemian waxwing) until I came to Guelph. Maybe it's just because now I'm more into birding, and I'm more visually and auditorily aware of the different birds in my surroundings.

Bird Watching

Remember last week's stressed out post where I mentioned how I needed to get out and relax? Possibly go bird watching? Well last Sunday I finally took a day to get some air and stare at birds in the Arboretum with my friend, Devan.

The original goal was to find this gorgeous barred owl that's been spotted in Wild Goose Woods lately:

Barred Owl in Wild Goose Woods by Mark Dorriesfield

Unfortunately we didn't come across it.

This photo was actually taken by a birder in the area, and following the link will take you to the Arboretum's new Flickr account. Just recently the Arboretum removed their wildlife sightings webpage and has started posting pictures on their Flickr account instead. I'm actually a little disappointed that they've done this - only because they've removed all their old photos from before July 2011, and I used to be a huge nerd and browse past sightings. At least now I can comment on and favorite pictures I like.

Regardless, we still saw a couple of birds despite the cold weather.

There was an adorable group of chickadees feeding from a pile of sunflower seeds that had been left out in Wild Goose Woods. These little guys are really bold, and it made for some great photos.

We saw several more birds at the feeders including some dark-eyed juncos (a big favorite of mine). There was also a  menacing hawk circling overhead for a couple of seconds before it flew off in a different direction. Before we left we managed to spot a group of cedar waxwings hanging out in a tree. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them active, probably because it was quite cold and windy at that time of day.

Here's Devan taking some pictures of the cedar waxwings with his new camera. He's got an awesome Fujifilm camera that's waterproof and dustproof. I gotta say, it's got me a little jealous and longing for a new camera. It works out great though, because now we can both take pictures of birds and other things we come across.

This photo does not do these beautiful birds justice. Unfortunately my camera is incapable of taking quality pictures from a distance. I'll have to reblog a photo of a cedar waxwing sometime soon so you guys can see just how gorgeous this species is. There aren't many birds that can compare to the regal cedar or bohemian waxwing.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tight Curls

So lately I have been obsessed with the idea of creating a huge, curly style out of my hair. I was originally inspired by pictures I found of Maegan Tintari, who is a blogger and stylist. 

Here are the pictures that brought me to action:

Vintage Christmas Whim
Vintage Christmas Whim

My hair is naturally very wavy and frizzy, so I know it's got a lot of potential when it comes to holding a curl. In fact, when my hair was really short a few years ago it used to curl naturally into an afro if I didn't style it.

Thankfully, Maegan offers a tutorial on how she got her hair to look so voluminous and curly for those photographs. For those interested you can find it here

The hairstyle called for curling your hair tightly with sponge rollers and sleeping in them. I luckily already had some sponge rollers that I inherited from my mother (they are possibly from the 70s), but I also bought an extra bag so I'd be able to cover my whole head. Sleeping was terribly uncomfortable, but somehow I made do and didn't wake up with a sore neck or back. 

I have to say, the end result wasn't too far off from my goal:

So much hair. 

It's definitely something that will take getting used to just because it feels so different. I think I might also need to buy another bag of sponge rollers. I feel like if I had extra I'd be able to give the top of my head more volume and lift, and have curls going in a bunch of different directions.

I wore this around the house today, and I got some strange remarks from my housemates. However, I also posted a picture on facebook and my friends seemed really supportive. Maybe next time I'll try going out into public with this look. 

I think I can pull it off if I compliment it with the right kind of makeup; here I'm wearing a bold coral lipstick (Charming by E.L.F) and I've also filled in my eyebrows to make them a little stronger.

So what do you guys think? Any opinions?

Fashion for Hope

Just before reading week was over, I went to see Pamela walk in my old high school's fashion show. Each year the school hosts a fashion show where students dress in clothing donated from different stores, and money raised from admission goes towards an important cause. 

Since Pamela is in student council, she got to help plan the event and also walk in it. It was definitely an interesting experience to say the least. I never went to one of these fashion shows when I was in high school, but I feel as though my perspective of it now is probably different than it would have been 5 years ago. Most of the girls came out onto the catwalk very seriously - stomping their stuff, striking a fierce pose and whipping their hair as they turned to exit. The guys on the other hand were hilarious; they'd come out and strike a goofy body builder pose and give their bicep a kiss. It was clearly not a big deal to the guys, and that made it so much more entertaining.

One other thing I wasn't expecting from this event was all the rapping. Apparently these days my old high school is filled with aspiring rappers, and they would often take the stage between clothing lines to entertain the crowd. I couldn't help but snicker when one boy rapped about popping a bottle of rosé for his lady... oh seventeen year olds. But in all seriousness, it was quite a change from when I was in high school. We used to have a couple of aspiring singers take the stage at each assembly or event, but never any rappers. Definitely an interesting change of pace!

Here are some more pictures of Pamela from the show:

 Pamela sporting a wicked Marilyn Monroe shirt. Behind her is one of the rappers I mentioned earlier, who also happens to be the designer of the shirt.

The money raised for this event was going to The Mariatu Foundation, which offers support to the women and children of Sierra Leone that were affected by a decade of civil war. The foundation was created by Mariatu Kamara, a young woman who had survived in Sierra Leone during the war, and now works as a UNICEF representative. Mariatu was there during the fashion show to speak with us briefly about her organization, and she was also selling her memoir The Bite of the Mango. 

I found this a very interesting coincidence, because a class I'm taking this semester is covering the topic of child soldiers. We are currently reading the book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children and within this book there is a direct expert to Mariatu's memoir. 

Safe to say, I convinced my father to buy Mariatu's book for the family. I have since commandeered the book and plan to read it within the next few days so I can use it for my reflection assignment. I'll have to give it back to my family sometime soon so my poor father can finally read it.

Isn't it interesting though how the same topic will suddenly start appearing in different ways all at the same time in your life? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ok Go - Needing/Getting


Needing/Getting by OK Go

So I've been hoping for months, hoping for years, hoping I might forget.
Aw, but it don't get much dumber, it don't get much dumber
than trying to forget a girl when you love her.

Ok Go's videos never seem to disappoint. While this video sounds quite different from the original recorded track, I think I like it much better - not because of all the makeshift instruments, but because the vocals sound much more raw. I'm addicted to the part beginning at 2:58.  

Winterlude 2012

When I was back in Ottawa over reading week, I took a day to go and see the ice sculptures at Winterlude. This year was a bit of a bust: the weather had been unseasonably warm, and I happened to visit the last weekend the festival was open. Everything was melting and the canal even had to be closed because the ice was in a bad condition. 

The result was a huge crowd of tourists all congregating around the ice sculptures at confederation park; tourists that would have usually been dispersed throughout the canal. Despite being really busy, it was still nice to go out and see the sculptures with my parents. Not to mention I also got some yummy maple syrup taffy! 

Here's some pictures that I took before I realized my camera was covered in maple syrup: 

For those who don't know, this is maple syrup taffy. I highly recommend it to anyone who's never tried it, as well as beavertails. Both are delicious Canadian treats!


I also loaded up on samples of tea. This one was chocolate spice and it tasted spectacular.

The empty canal. Something about it just didn't feel the same.
What a pathetic winter we've had. I'm surprisingly dissapointed.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

School Stress

Well hello everyone!

I just wanted to report that I'm back to blogland after surviving possibly the worst week of the semester. I'm so thankful that I had reading week to prepare for it, even though it didn't really seem to make a difference. You ever have situations like that? Where no matter how much prepping and planning you do, you just had too much on your plate to begin with?

Well that was me this week.
Several events left me emotionally torn and exhausted, and with the addition of several assignments and a last minute surprise presentation...I completely fell apart. Thankfully I managed to get an extension on an assignment that was very important to me - which helped to restore my faith in professors.

Just a couple of hours ago I was finishing up the final touches on my last assignment for the week: a 5000 word annotated bibliography.

Now that the stressful rush is over I'm left to put my life back together: I washed my dishes, did two loads of laundry, ate a nutritious dinner. Tomorrow I plan on cleaning the piles of textbooks and scientific journal articles off my floors and finally get some groceries.

I can now also start to refocus on myself. I'm hoping tomorrow I can get out to do some bird watching and hopefully start putting up blog posts. (I have so many pictures from over reading week that I wanted to share, but I was too busy to edit and upload them!)

Anyways, hopefully within the next couple of days you'll start seeing more of my writing on here. But for now...
My bed is beckoning me.