It’s a New Year and ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go!”

It’s a New Year tomorrow and it means we all have the chance to start again, one of many chances to start again but New Year always seems like it is the best time. I do not know what you are doing tonight or what you will do in the future, but it seems to me that tonight, and tomorrow leave us with possibility, so much possibility and “oh the places you’ll go” in 2013, there is so many places to choose from.

There will be rough times, days you can barely get out of bed for work, days you are sick, maybe days your heart is broken; but just as today, you are moving forward into a brand new phase. With each calamity you face you will again move on. What else can we do in this world but take it day by and day and just let our lives develop before us. Sure we can make better decisions, be more reasonable, make choices, but either way I believe we all have a reason for being here and each moment doing what were doing we are living the life we are meant to, the one we have chosen and the one God has predetermined. (I know some of you do not like to think God has predetermined anything for you or that you are the only one in control of your life; but there are bigger things then us as people out there, there is so much we do not know and being part of a grander scheme gives us something to hope for, to reach for, to make our resolutions for.)

So what do you resolve to do this New Years? A lot of us I think, choose things like lose weight, or get more exercise, spend more time with our families, and work harder but do we consider what a journey life is that we start moving one day only to fall, or be thrown off course into things we never expected or thought were even possible; good things and bad things and things somewhere in between. I wonder if we just considered the saying “Where ever you go, there you are.” Wherever you go in life that’s what you are doing, that’s your life, whether you want it or not. Just make the best of everything, there is no rush to meet our goals, to worry, when we realize everything that needs to get done will get done; that there is a time for everything.

When I think of my New Year’s Resolution I have a long list of hopes and dreams. I already told you about my resolution to stop shopping until May when I go on vacation, to have better money handling skills and self-control. But I also have a goal I think will never be solved, the one to be as healthy as I was at 23-year-old; an impossible goal as we can never be the people we are in the past – the past has gone. And just as it is for me being 27 years old and not quite being able to do the things a 27-year-old wants to do, I take stock of that goal and realize, it is a nearly impossible one such as some of your New Year’s Resolutions maybe – we have to be realistic in our expectations – unless ‘magic’ suddenly happens to become a part of lives. I also more than anything want to go for long walks again, run, work out 3 times a week, play volleyball – do all the physical things I used to be able to do – but my body cannot handle those hard activities anymore. So I make a resolution to do Yoga two times awake so at least I’ll stay a bit toned and limber. My other goal, would be to just get this Interior Decorator program done, so that I can move on to my true love – writing. Now that is a possible goal by this time next year something I can truly do, and ability to do actions towards a resolution is crucial. Pick specific goals that can be accomplished.

So that’s it for me and my resolutions. What are some of yours if you would like to share? Do you bother keeping any of them up past January? Just remember that whatever you dream, whatever you hope – “oh the places you’ll go.” Life can so be unexpected sometimes and even when you think you should be going one way, when you really should not, life has a way of moving you in the right direction to places you have never been, and new people, new friends. That is your chance to make life what you dream, working with what and who you have; be resourceful and thankful that wherever you are, there you are.

Happy New Year.


The Girl with the Striped Pink Scarf

The Girl with the Striped Pink Scarf well that’s me, from far off anyways. I have had a lot to share online today but I swear this is my last piece of writing, last anything I will publish today. Today I am off to see the Hobbit with my little brother and next week we plan to see Les Miserables on Friday. I have been saving up my movie passes for ‘good’ movie time at Christmas. But back to my title?
What first impression do you give to other people? What can they tell of your character from a glance or two? Your first impression – they say it is the most important impression you will make on another person and you only get one chance. And whether you are ‘ the girl with the striped pink scarf ,’ ‘blondy,’ or ‘ that guy with the Stephen Colbert glasses,’ somebody is judging you, has judged you, or will judge you; it is just a fact of life.
We try all manner of things to make excellent first impressions on people; we groom ourselves nicely, where colognes and perfumes, give firm hand shakes, eye contact, kind words, impressive words- all to make those two point whatever first seconds with someone count. But what a curious thing first impressions are, I would say most of the time we assume these judgements about people only to find, they are not who we really thought they were at all. A lot goes by the wayside in second impressions and any impressions of people there on in, we see truths about people often too late and misjudge others greatly. Are you good at making first judgements of people? Or do you such as we all should wait to see the whole person unfold; wait for the stories and conversations, the ability to work hard, for similar interests. Can you afford to wait to make true judgements of other people, does your job/ situation/ life allow for this?
First impressions – are easy to screw up and people all to easily characterize you as someone you are not like at all. For instance, in The Hobbit Bilbo goes on this adventure with a bunch of dwarves trying to reclaim their kingdom that is filled with gold and a dragon who guards this treasure closely. The head dwarf King does not trust Bilbo, a hobbit. It is not until The king dwarf is nearly killed by this Orc who is hunting him, that the kings impression of him changes; Bilbo stops the Orc from killing the dwarf king and forever has his gratitude. I guess such as Bilbo we need to find ways to fit in, to change how others see you. Maybe some people do not care – but since good first impressions lead to better opportunities it is important to make them well but also to remember that we can always change what people think of you to a degree. We can be more complimentary, be better listeners, make an effort to appear more professional, but also be ourselves- whoever that is; we are not powerless and can often prove others wrong about the type of person you are. It takes time to really figure someone out and the actions you do can help this.
Also , if you can get out o see the Hobbit in Theaters over the holidays it is an interesting movie especially in 3D.

Jolene, Andy Warhol Makeup, and Stop Shopping

Jolene, an iconic Dolly Parton song that I have always loved. I found this great cover of it on Facebook from YouTube this morning and I insist you take a listen a few times. Miley Cyrus does an absolutely fantastic job and captures that quiver in her voice that makes the song sound so desperate:


Also, two new articles this week – a New Years resolution to stop shopping; basically, a cleaned up version of an older blog post and a review of a NARS makeup palette based on the pop art color of Andy Warhol:

NARS Makeup Review

Stop Shopping – My New Years Resolution

Thanks for listening and reading!

Christmas Tree Cookies and Beating the Winter Blue’s (SAD’s)

Good Early Morning to you! It’s almost Christmas so if you haven’t baked anything these Christmas tree cookies are amazing. Just remember to bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until light brown. This is listed in the comments cause ‘someone’ forgot to put these vital instructions in the recipe article. Also, dealing with the winter blues? I’ve got some ideas to help alleviate your suffering.

Take care and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Tree Cookies

Beating the Winter Blues

Good Morning World!

Hello, fellow survivors of the Mayan Apocalypse. We have survived another “end of the world.” The last one I really remember of some significance was Y2k the year 2000 and all the terror it was supposed to bring. When I hear all these predictions about the end of the world I think and how would you a mere human know when it is going to be the end of the world? The answer that makes most sense to me is Gods, and not just because He is God. Jesus says we will not know “the day nor the hour” when the world will end. Moreover, he says that he will not even know – Jesus himself does not know when the world will end – only God, the Father knows. For me this totally makes sense, that humans, that everything and everyone will not know their end, the end of time. The end of time, a thing beyond science, beyond the puny understanding we have of our world, the end of what ‘is’ and ‘was.

But since for the moment everything is fine, we are all snug in our beds, or starting the last day of work before Christmas Holiday’s we might as well enjoy time and everything in it; show a little Joyeux de Vivre. I think I did that last night, sat down and exchanged presents, had a glass of wine, with a very good friend! And we caught up on life and future plans. I plan to do a little more of that today with a couple friends. But I have a question, should I bring a totally new unopened bottle of wine to their apartment? Or can I bring the one bottle of wine from last night, that is three quarters full? I guess since I am getting a ride, I’ll have to bring the unopened bottle – a woodsy red wine from Argentina; a Malbec. Usually my favorite but I am scared I accidentally bought the really woodsy flavoured one – my Uncle loves it – but I am not such a fan. Either way, wine, good friends, the holidays, and it not being the end of the world – that’s a reason to celebrate.

This being the last weekend before Christmas, I am going to help my dad pick out my mother’s present too. I am hoping Kingsway mall at lunch will not be so bad. She would like a beautiful Pandora bracelet or necklace, although I think I will argue for the People’s brand jewelry as it is a bit more fairly priced – and we can buy her a few more beads to start her bracelet or necklace. The beads were just as pretty but $10 to $30 cheaper then Pandora.Either way my dad in a mall, that is a site you never see lol. It is very nice that he is willing to make that effort this year for mom.

Lastly, on this continuance of life as we know it, I have to say I wish my boyfriend would come home for the holidays. But his home is Saskatoon, mine is here, but really as they say, home is where the heart is… Mine is wishing he would come and celebrate Christmas. Even as a Muslim, is not Jesus important? But wishes can be only wishes sometimes, and I will see him soon.

I wish you and your loved one’s a very Merry Christmas!

Malala: Shot For The Right Of Education, Apple Sauce Bran Muffins, and The Perfect Outfit for an Interior Designer.

Hi again everyone! Here again are my recently posted articles for FLURT online magazine. If you have any comments or opinions please share! Amanda

Malala: Shot for the Right of Education:

Apple Sauce Bran Muffins

An Outfit for an Interior Designer

That Inbetween Place

I’m not sure how other long distance relationships work, I thought everything was working out in mine. Communication has always been one of the issues between us, at least in my opinion. But it is hard just texting all the time, then him coming back for a week , getting close again – just to be separated again. It is frustrating trying to make plans with someone who will not or cannot make plans. I do what I do most of the time and he does what he does. I’m luck if I get to see him one day when he is back. Usually he is taking off to Saskatoon, Calgary, Red Deer somewhere for most of the week. Sometimes with good reason and sometimes just to get away.

He used to invite me along at first, now he never would – I guess I should have gone the first time he asked. This time he is off in Saskatchewan, his Canadian home ( he’s not from here.) But I always wonder why he cannot set set aside an extra day for me when he’s off. I know he is going to get car parts for his beloved 1993 car. But I also know he is off to see friends there too. I feel kind of like I’m second to his car, and his other friends. I get what’s left of him. I just want to hang out, get to talk and know more about him.It’s good when I am with him but hard when I am not because he doesn’t really talk to me- just usually a few words. He will not answer all my questions. And when something such as one of our visits does not work out – he won’t tell me that he can’t come get me. I mean just say it! Tell me I hate getting all dressed up for him just guessing if he’ll come see me/ get me or not.

I wanted him to let me know what is going on but he will not offer information up to me at all. I had to pry it out of him. It’s like some power thing with him – manipulation, so I do not know too much what is really going on with him. So a couple days ago I thought he was coming up to Edmonton next week but it was this week. He texted me, wanted to meet up but between me not being able to drive and his car badly in need of parts it didn’t work out. But he didn’t tell me he said he might pick me up. So not a word ! I called so I could actually talk to him, but he told me not to do that because his phone is long distance! But who cares about a few minutes long distance, I needed to figure out what was going on. I got frustrated and told him he needs to be clearer with me to me communicate. Usually he would text me more but he never did – never said a thing. I think he’s mad but I don’t know. I just need to know what’s happening so I can plan; I have life you know! I’m mad, i I realize that. I ask you, what am I to him that he cannot give me more time with him and not just on his schedule. It’s us when your boyfriend and girlfriend – not just me or him. So I told him to skype, nothing yet. We need to talk, cause I let my guard down around him, I care about him. Does he feel the same way? Or is it just lust.

Men are so frustrating and I can fix nothing if he does not like when I call- I’d rather we talk in person though. I am hurt and I miss him, cannot stop thinking about it if it’s just me or what? I’m in this Inbetween place, it is the strangest place to be – not knowing. I hate it!

I’m So Sick of Shopping and Fashion!

There you have it! I have uttered the words I never thought I would say. I am not just sick of shopping and fashion, I have become a junky. You see there is a certain high you get, a rush of endorphins, from buying that beautiful dress or that fine silk shirt. There is an addiction behind every Pinterest post in Women’s Clothing, to see where that lovely pair of shoes came from. There is an addictive quality to every issue of Instyle that I pour over; I trace that pretty dress back to the website it came from loving its supposed uniqueness. And as I browse through the mall I feel like I have to get something, just a little something – I need that hair spray varnish that makes your hair shine; I need that lace skirt because well it is a-line and that is hard to find in a skirt, plus it’s lace and that is so ‘in’ and so lovely.

I think after the month of picking out the perfect Christmas presents – I
have had enough of the mall at least. Today walking through the mall I only bought what I needed. I bought bus tickets, stamps, Christmas cards, and hair volumizer because I really did actually need that stuff. I am becoming better at the mall, ignoring Jacob, Banana Republic, Le Chateau, Sephora. It just seems I am always buying stuff and I’m sick of it; yet some things I really do need!

And do not get me started on the Internet. On line shopping has become an addiction that I cannot shake. Unlimited or nearly unlimited selection and sizing. Easy returns that include return shipping labels and or free shipping for $50.00. Groupons and Living Socials to Spas – sometimes they save money but let’s face it I’m addicted and bored and when I start not receiving those packages in the mail and deals to the spa; I feel empty – that shopping high fades and I’m left with that empty feeling: what does a girl with health problems, whose ability to work and do physical activity is not very big do? I do not know how I will just stop but I know now after my last order comes in that will be it for the shopping of clothing and accessories; this time I have to break the habit and find that high somewhere else, where I do not know. Writing helps but I used to get that rush of endorphins from exercise so now where?

I have these lofty goals you see. To save and pay off my credit card- it’s not too high but high enough! I want to save in tax free savings. Save so in May I can actually spend just a little bit on shopping in Montreal. I need to save for the future. But this shopping addiction is dangerous for me – I just need more things to do, less things that involve browsing the Internet for clothes. It has become a hobby, has always been one and I still want to be fashionable but I want to follow my budget too. I need to learn how to do this now for life. So yes, I hate shopping and fashion, the thorn in my side!
But what is really in the balance here besides financial stability is self control; and one must always have self control to some extent. In this case, it is okay for me to buy an outfit once a month, it is not okay for me to do this every week.

I feel very disconcerted admitting this. But think of it as an early New Years resolution; but it’s better to just start doing something, than to wait and do more damage. Along with the usual ‘do more exercise’ I will do almost no excess shopping. I’ll buy only what I need and ignore those longings for spring dresses, holiday cuffs that sparkle, and silky lingerie – I love Victoria Secret – but no longer. I have built my dream wardrobe, all the clothes I never could buy before – funny thing is being ill- I often have no place to wear them. Life is ironic.

So anything like shopping, you find addictive ( besides drugs) any advice about gaining self control and financial stability? Let me know.

How Much is Your Virginity Worth and Being on Long Term Disability.

Well I have another set of articles from FLURT which I hope you will all enjoy. Today’s articles are about a 20 year old woman who sells her virginity to the highest bidder and the effect this has on women – even though she is using the money to build house to people who don’t have homes. The second article, is a rather personal one, my experience of being on Long Term Disability.

How Much Is Your Virginity Worth?

Living off Long Term Disability Insurance



Forgiveness, maybe…

Forgiveness? It seems like such an ugly word sometimes. Forgive you after that? On the chance that you did do it again and could do it again? There is so much behind forgiveness, so much loathing. But really that is the crux of the matter, it is ‘behind’ it; when you forgive you are putting past transgressions behind you and choosing to let things be. Still, forgiveness is a hard word in the forgetting part of it. We are supposed to forgive by forgetting, moving on yet are we not supposed to learn from our errors? Other people’s errors? I tried to separate the forgiving and forgetting but found that impossible. If you still remember, always bring it up did you really forgive?
So I do what I have said before, forgive ( just say it even) until forgiveness becomes reality, until you mean it. It is taking me awhile to mean it this time but I will get there. If our great Heavenly Father can forgive the sins of the world, from the smallest sin, to the biggest sin, then I too can mean it when I say ‘ I forgive you!’ If he could sacrifice his son Jesus for our sins than I too can forgive. But I am not God or Jesus, I am a silly bitter human and forgiveness is hard give.
To receive forgiveness is the greatest gift. It is strength, a clear mind, energy, and enlightenment. It makes you feel weightless as if the weight of the world is off your shoulders. Forgiveness is a chance to move on for the forgiven and the forgiver. Bitter people stay in the same place, in the same hating pattern; forgiveness is freedom if we only release it.
I think when it is difficult to forgive we must pray that our hearts be opened to receive it and give it. That we do not stay stuck in the past in old sins. Rather, we must move on with life finding ,perhaps, forgiveness for others can lead to forgiveness for ourselves.

It is hard not hate and to not imagine the worst when you have been hurt. It is difficult to breathe with hate weighing you down. But the fact of the matter is, we cannot help but do wrong in our lives at some point. We all need forgiveness, there is always an answer, a light in the darkness.