Sunday, December 13, 2015

Parliament Christmas Lights Show

The other night, Ryan and I went to see the Christmas Lights Show on Parliament Hill. Honestly, I wasn't expecting anything too spectacular, but I've got to admit, I was really quite surprised by how great it was! I've seen some pretty impressive lights shows (for those of you who have been to Disney World, you know what I mean!), and this one was pretty amazing!

The show, which is about 15 minutes long, runs on a loop from about 5:00pm until 11:00pm, and we got there just in time to catch the show as it began from the beginning. Essentially, the Lights Show is a projection of a Christmas/winter themed short movie, onto the exterior of the Peace Tower and Parliament buildings. There is even perfectly synced music that accompanies the show, which I particularly liked! 
We brought Rocky with us, and walked around the grounds a bit after the show was over. I don't think he cared much about the Lights Show, but he was a pretty happy doggy to be outside and walking around, instead of cooped up inside and alone! 

In any case, if you live in the Ottawa region, I strongly recommend going to check out the Christmas Lights Show!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Christmas Fair at City Hall

This weekend was relaxing and restful..exactly what we needed! Aside from taking Rocky out to the dog park a few times, we also managed to check out the Christmas Fair at City Hall, that took place on Saturday, December 5th from 2 pm - 6 pm.

The weather was so mild and warm over the weekend, which made the long lines outside of City Hall much more bearable! We arrived about an hour after the event started, so there were lots of people there already. The shortest line happened to be for drinks, so we quickly grabbed a spot and waited for our hot chocolate. Next up, we took our place in the significantly longer line for FREE Beaver Tails! They weren't giving people any choice of toppings, but how could anyone complain about a FREE cinnamon sugar Beaver Tail??

Unfortunately, we didn't do the horse-drawn carriage ride (the line was really long), but we still enjoyed seeing all of the fun activities and Christmas decorations throughout the City Hall grounds. They had a merry-go-round, a craft workshop, and of course, a meet-and-greet with Mr and Mrs Claus! Of course, I should note that the event catered primarily to kids and families, but there were still plenty of young couples and older groups in attendance. 

On Sunday, I got a chance to do what I had been looking forward to ever since the weather started to get colder...I wrapped Christmas presents! I also wrote our Christmas cards, which was actually quite a feat! My hand was certainly starting to ache by the time I finished and sealed the final card. I personally enjoy wrapping Christmas presents, especially when I get to do it while listening to Christmas music and sipping on a peppermint mocha (my homemade version: dark chocolate, coffee, steamed milk, and a peppermint candy cane)!

I even had a little helper keeping me company! Now, if only I could teach him to cut tape and curl ribbons for me! Hehehe, just kidding of course! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Extended Weekend Recap

Whew..what a weekend! Definitely filled with plenty of highs and lows, that's for certain! For one, I can't believe it's already December! It'll be Christmas before we know it, and then after that it'll be a whole new year!

Since I work in retail, I knew this weekend was going to be a big one with Black Friday...not as crazy as I've seen it get in the United States, but certainly busier than a typical busy day! I have to say, the chaotic frenzy of shopping on Black Friday weekend is just not for me. 

For goodness sake, one of the main reasons I prefer online shopping is that I get to avoid the crowds. It's not that I don't like people, it's just that I would rather not jostle through the crowds, wait in line to try a shirt on that I know dozens (if not more) have already tried on, and then wait in line, at this point both tired and hot, to pay a slightly cheaper price for a pair of jeans I don't really love anyway. 

Love this movie! Confessions of a Shopaholic
Instead, I prefer spending a quiet afternoon browsing the entire available stock of any given company, at my leisure, from the comfort of my own home. I don't have to worry about discovering that the store doesn't have my size, because I don't have to deal with going into the store at all. Yes, there is always the potential that what I ordered doesn't fit or isn't quite right, but I must admit, this is becoming less and less of a problem with wonderfully stress-free return policies! Most reputable companies will even return your online purchases right in the store for you! With so many companies leveling out the differences between in-store and online shopping, in most cases, I find it easier to stick to my computer since I'll be getting the same great deals no matter what. 

Me + Yvonne right before we
dropped her off at the bus station.
In any case, I will admit that I did make one purchase over the Black Friday weekend, and I did it online! Since last winter, when I first tried it on, I wanted an Alpinetek parka from Sears. I got to try one on last year, and it was wonderful! I absolutely love my TNA parka from Aritzia, but sadly it's not the warmest coat once the temperature dips past -20..which it often does here in Ottawa between January-March. Anyway, I finally bought the Alpinetek parka, along with the Alpinetek winter boots, which even my husband will admit I actually needed! Since both items were reduced by about 30% off, plus Ryan's discount of 25% off, I got both items severely reduced! 

The most exciting thing that happened this weekend however, was a visit from our friend Yvonne! It wasn't a complete surprise, but it was planned very last minute, so it was still a bit unexpected. Yvonne and I went to UBC together, and actually hadn't seen each other since graduation (check out that post here). She's been working as an airline stewardess, and happened to be flying into Montreal on Sunday afternoon. After she took the train to Ottawa, we picked her up and headed back to our apartment! Since I worked on Monday morning, Ryan was kind enough to play tourist with Yvonne and do a tour of Parliament. Once I finished work for the day, we all met up and headed over to the dog park with Rocky. By 5:00 pm we were all feeling pretty hungry, so we decided to go to Hooley's Pub for their great deal on wings (only 45 cents on Monday nights!). Yvonne was even brave enough to try the Suicide Sauce wings..which I should note she was hardly fazed by! 
Me + you think he's
cold or camera shy?

To put it simply, Tuesday did not start out very well for me. I woke up and got out of bed around 5:30 am, which is when Ryan is awake anyway, since he goes to work before 6:00 am most mornings. I felt a bit nauseous, so I sat down on the ground in the bathroom to prepare myself for the worst...except something unexpected happened instead..I fainted! Luckily, I was sitting down, so I didn't have too far to fall, although not so luckily, I hit my head on the door as I was going down, because I now have a scratch-like mark and a bit of a welt where I clipped the side of my forehead. Up until Tuesday, I had never fainted before in my life, so I didn't really realize what had happened until Ryan and Yvonne explained that they heard a "thud", and when they got to me, I was lying on the ground. I was really disoriented when I came to, but both Ryan and Yvonne were amazing at looking after me and making sure I was alright! I am so thankful they were both there! Anyway, I've been to the doctor to follow-up and there doesn't seem to be any lasting damage, so for the next few days I'll just be taking it easy until my head heals! 

Hope you've all had a great start to the week!