March 19, 2011

Chocolate Spa Day

You read the title right. Chocolate spa day....Shannon and I treated ourselves to Chocolate body wraps today at the spa. Well, I suppose Groupon tempted us with them and we took advantage of the 50% off coupon for them. It was so worth it!!!!
We got there, had a glass of water and then got ushered into our separate rooms. The treatment started with a brown sugar body scrub, which smelled amazing. The girl gave a bit of a massage as she was exfoliating, which made it even better. Hopped into the shower in the room to rinse off the scrub while the girl went to get the chocolate mixture. It was totally organic and edible (she brought me a spoon so I could taste it!) The ingredient list is here for those of you who are as snoopy as I am.....
mmmmm......melted chocolate......
Once the chocolate was completely melted she began brushing it on. There are a few other things in it so it won't solidify the way that regular chocolate would. After completely coating me with it she put my hands into a paraffin treatment and gave me a hot stone massage. After the massage she bundled me up and then let me nap for 20 minutes. She woke me up, I showered again and then relaxed with a hot chocolate in the common room with Shannon. So amazing! My skin feels so good (and I still smell like chocolate....)
Not me, the spa didn't allow photos.....but that is what the brush looked like......
The only thing that I didn't love about it was the draping practices. The last (and only) body wrap I have ever had was in Greece. The spa that we went to there was very European in their standpoint on nudity. You are paying them to do a skin treatment, so let them treat all of your skin. No draping, no cover up, no shame. There were locker rooms that you went into, changed into a robe and then walked out to the common room. The girl comes to get you, brings you into the room and tells you to get onto the table. While talking to her you remove the robe and walk over and climb on. She has seen 100 other pairs of breasts that morning, mine don't phase her and she starts the treatment (While I panic slightly because I promised my uncomfortable-in-a-robe-in-public husband that they would drape him....) It wasn't uncomfortable when she applied the mud mask on every inch of me- that's what I was paying her for. 
Today's girl was so worried about towel placement that she came across as nervous to see too much. How did the cultures get so different? Why are we so concerned about showing a bit of skin at the spa? What is the point of a skin treatment that skips your torso? That's a big chunk of your body to miss!
We are trained that nudity is vulgar and bad, but I think that it just ruins our body images from the get go. When I was a girl guide leader my girls wouldn't change in the same tent as each other. They would file in, one by one and change into their pj's and then, when they were all changed they would all go inside. When we were in Greece there were kids their age running around the beach naked, playing in the sand and tossing footballs around. They are comfortable in their skin there. 
Is that possible here? Is it just me that finds it goofy?? Am I just too comfortable being naked??? Am I alone in with this theory?? 

March 17, 2011

Blog Silence Day for Japan

ShelterBox provide emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for families around the world who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items. 
Please join us. We know it won't save the nation, but we strongly believe every little helps. Whatever you can contribute, we truly appreciate.

Happy Green Day!!

March 15, 2011

Very Cool

I noticed Blogger's stats button awhile back, but just clicked on it again....This is the report that lists where my readers are. Very, Very cool!!!

United States
South Korea
United Kingdom

If you are reading this where are you from? How did you find me? Where do I find you?

March 14, 2011


What a wonderful world we live in. It has so many amazing things for us to see and do. It also has a special way of telling us that it is unhappy with pollution levels and our tendency to abuse it. The terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan this week hit us hard. They were just starting to come back from their economic crisis, and now this hits. The disaster is on the verge of becoming the most expensive earthquake in history. It even has potential to get worse depending on what happens with the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Japan has always been fast to step up and help in the face of adversity. When New Zealand's Christchurch earthquake hit they were some of the first people on scene to lend a hand. Thankfully we don't have to fly there to help out anymore, new technologies make it possible to help from home!

The news stories keep pouring in with more tales of devastation but I struggle while reading them. They always seem so cold, so statistical. I know they have to be that way, but I think the best documentation has been people writing blogs and letters to their loved ones. The Internet has opened up so many pathways for communication and I think that a service as simple as Twitter saved a ton of lives when the phone lines went down. They were able to text their locations and read through the hopeful messages that were pouring in from the world. We live in a world where technology is taught to our children in schools. I remember my elementary school being so excited that we were getting a computer lab. A few years later I was required to take typing classes at my junior high. High school taught us how to program and create websites. 5 years after that I was handing in final university projects on a USB drive and taking all my notes on my laptop. Technology used to be a luxury and now we all carry it around in our pockets. I think we rarely take the time to thank anyone for it. When is the last time you paid your cell phone bill and sent in a letter of thanks with the cheque? Their service lets us connect with those closest to us and ensure they are safe and happy. I would be lost without my phone and computer.

March 13, 2011

Curiosity here I come!

Moving along

I sat down a few times last week to do a post and couldn't write anything. I am so excited for this move, but also quite overwhelmed. So far our lives have been safe- we live with Jon's parents and I worked with mine. Few risks have tempted us, and we are both so practical that even the risks we take are safe ones. This move is a safe risk, but is still scaring me. It would be so easy to say that we are going to stay, that I will go back to Kids' and that we will continue to live in the basement.
But easy isn't always the best option. We need to do our own thing. We need to take a big risk and get our life going. We spent the last week in Victoria house hunting, job hunting and getting to know the city. It feels right there.
I am excited to work there- the high property values make my services more viable. When you are spending that much on a house you are willing to put a bit more money into preserving it. I am too scared to go there and just do design work, that much pressure usually means that I can't come up with anything creative. I do have some design leads there, and I will advertise to attract more clients, but I don't want my design work to be our only hope of making ends meet when we are there. We have received a surprising amount of flack from this decision- the advice I keep getting is that we are going there for me to do design, so I should only do that. Terrifying! I am finding a job and will do design work on the side until I get too busy and then I will start cutting back my hours.
I had a great interview at Chintz & Company (which is one of my favourite stores ever!!! They sell everything you would need in a home and offer design services. I would start out as retail floor staff, but as my private portfolio gets built up I could start to work in their design studio.
We both dropped off a ton of resumes, and Jon had a good interview with Fedex. I also had a really long chat with the manager of the downtown Lush. I would love to work there (and I already know all their products) Jon is terrified at the thought- my whole pay check would go back to them...but staff discount has it's perks! I think working here part time while I am at Chintz would be perfect. They are only looking for seasonal (summer) staff, so once my design work picks up they will be willing to cut my shifts! Plus, the condo we found has 2 bathrooms, what a perfect way to keep them stocked!!!
Oh yeah, right. Our new place. We ended up finding a great 2 bedroom and officially have the keys on March 29th. It is a bit farther north than we were originally thinking, but still on main bus routes and a bit closer for Jon to get to the airport for work. It is also close to my cousin's place, which wasn't planned at all. I think we will hang out with him and his friends a ton- at least until he gets all his permits in order and heads to Germany for a year. Some photos of the condo:
We took a peek at some great commercial real estate, but decided that the move and getting my design portfolio built up is stressful enough. We will still open the store, my guess is next spring so we can start out during the strong tourist season. There are a few competitors there, but nobody that concentrates on local products the way that we want to. So for now we will go out there, enjoy the spring weather and work our butts off to get established. I am going to start Indulgent Designs as my design company first and later on when we approach banks for financing they will be able to see what the business has done already.
I am pumped! Terrified, but pumped!

March 4, 2011


I did it!!!! 
What it took......
9 minutes of
30 seconds of 8.2mph
30 seconds of 3.9mph
Incline of 1.5
and then the last minute at 8.3mph

I am still kinda winded but very, very excited that I hit my goal!!!

Exciting Math for me to keep track of progress:
1 miles = 1.61kms
I did 1.61 kms in 10:00, so I did 0.16 km per minute. 
The half-marathon is 20 kms
20 kms at  0.15 km/minute = 125 minutes, or 2.08 hours.

NEW Goal:
2 miles in 20 minutes

March 3, 2011

Question #9

Day 9. What virtues do you value in yourself?

Creativity- I find myself searching for a creative, unique approach to everything. It is possible why I always had problems with math. I didn't want to do it the way that the teacher said to do it, I wanted to figure out my own way (which doesn't work so well...) My favourite teachers in school were the ones who embraced this uniqueness and encouraged it. I am the person who walks through a shop and re-arranges a display because the balance is off. I am also the person who can look at everyday objects and figure out 10 other uses for them. I always blew my bosses away when I was doing a product display because I took a normal object and made it stand out. Even now, as I'm dreaming up my own store, I am thinking of display ideas that I have never seen used. Custom soaps in a big old claw foot bathtub. Restored kitchen cabinetry with the doors removed to showcase everyday kitchen items. It's going to be good!

Strength- I impress my trainer every time I see him, but that's not the strength I mean. What I mean is the ability to get through it, get over it and keep going. I still have my days that I need a glass of wine and a good cuddle, but for the most part I am strong enough to know that I will overcome anything. I will accomplish my goals and I will live my dream. I know that I can do it and that I will do it. No matter what my friends and family say. No matter what the bank says. No matter what complete strangers say. I will do it, I will win, and once I do, they will all see that they can too. All you need to do is believe. 

Organization- I am a neat freak. A strangely organized neat freak. My storage room is full of labelled rubber bins. My photos are all labelled by date, year and who is in each album. Our honeymoon photos are sorted by date, island and activity. My iTunes can be sorted and collated in 15 different ways and always be perfect (I know, I have gone through each song) I have also googled every album cover for every downloaded song and loaded it in. Thankfully Jon finds this endearing about me. His Mom is the same, in fact, when I moved in she re-labelled her whole storage system with french/english labels because they were originally only french. Our house is always organized and tidy, the surfaces get cleared off every night. Want to hold a last minute get together? Have it at my house, it's good to go. It drives my friends a bit batty and I'm sure it makes them pause when inviting me over. What they don't realize is that I really don't care what their places look like, it is only mine that has to reach my standards. 

Singing- I'm not sure if my singing voice qualifies a virtue, but I'm putting it here anyway. I sing all the time, to whatever I can hear and usually out loud. Sales people laugh at me on a regular basis because when they are walking over to say hi they can hear me. It makes them smile, and if I brought them 5 minutes of happy in a long workday then I'm good with getting mocked. Singing makes me happy, makes me feel connected. I love that all those lyricists were able to write down their feelings and share them with the world. I still don't have the self-expression thing down. One day I will get there.  

March 1, 2011

The Store

So today was supposed to be dedicated to working on our business plan for the new store. I did a bit of that, but was majorly distracted by the funner aspects of it. I set up a twitter account and started up a blog!! I am working with Penny Lane Designs to have a custom blog and website made, but I wanted something to have up in the meantime. Click on the link to see my first few posts there, if you do you will get a sneak peek at some of the great lines we will be carrying!!
I also spent a ton of time looking at retail spaces.
Jon came home and we looked over them all again, I think we have it narrowed down to 5 that we need to see in person. We found one that is just the right size, in a really good location and with a reasonable rent. I think i'm in love. We are meeting with the real estate agent when we are in Victoria next week so we can do walkthroughs of the places.
I also found out that there is a cute Presbyterian church right next door. We currently go to a presbyterian church and love the minister and his sermon style. We checked out St.Andews' website and read a few of their minister's sermons- they seem to be close to something Harry would write! They are having a special Ash Wednesday service while we are in town, so we are going to check them out too!!

Our trip is turning into a busy, busy adventure but it will all be worth it! We have 5 days to: Find somewhere to live, find a way to make money while we are getting the business going & find a retail location. We also want to visit my cousin while we are there and, since Jon has never been to Victoria we will need to do some sight seeing and exploring!

And now, at the very end of my day, I am deciding that the business plan i'm working on is going to drive me nuts. I did a really good plan a few years ago for a class I was in and still have a copy of it. It is for a store that offers design services. I am going to just re-work it to customize it to our application. Even the demographic research is bang on.

I have a spa morning with Shannon, but once that's done I will be at home, plugging away at the customization. Wish me luck!!!