Tag your it!

I was tagged by Allison of Show & Tell to do a little Q & A!

THE RULES:

  1. Post these rules
  2. Post 11 random things about yourself
  3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
  5. Go to their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged!

11 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT CRYSTAL:

  1. I learned how to fly a plane before I was 12 years old.
  2. I am half German and half Hungarian. My grandfather came over to Canada on a boat from Hungary.  Those are some of my favourite stories he tells.
  3. Lions are my favourite animal.
  4. Atlases are my favourite books and I asked for a new one for my birthday every year.
  5. I never finished grade 7, I just skipped right over to grade 8. Nerd! I also went to the only University high school in Canada for my final year of high school. Double Nerd!
  6. Pure nature calms everything within me.  I wish I lived in a little cabin tucked away from it all surrounded by water and mountains.
  7. I was a BIG tomboy growing up and wore jeans for the first time in high school.  It was sweat pants all the way for this girl!
  8. I was a skier from the young age of 3 till I was 15, than I made the switch to snowboarding.  I’ve been a snow bunny my whole life.
  9. I keep all the fortunes from the fortunes cookies I eat.
  10. I LOVE BASKETBALL!!! Ahem. I mean I really am starting to love basketball.  Paul has even taken me to two games in Toronto.
  11. I worked at a daycare for 2 years and loved it so much.  I would take the kids on field trips every other week.  My favourite place to take them which quickly became theirs as well was the airport.   Watching the planes take off and land, talk about the countries they thought each plane was flying too.  Such amazing times, man kids can sure teach us all something.

11 QUESTIONS ALLISON ASKED ME:

If you had the day off, what would you do?

Winter: I would spend it surfing Google Maps and virtually walk the streets of cities I have never been somewhere random in the world.    Along with drinking lots of coffee, a bubble bath & book action and of course kitty petting.

Summer/Spring/Fall: Get out my bike and explore places of this city I have yet to uncover for myself.  Or Visit the market and pick up something yummy, than bike down the canal and have a little picnic.

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

I would have to say Madeline from the collection of children’s books by Ludwig Bemelmans.  Even though the books where written well before my time, there was something about Madeline’s curious spirit that always stuck by me.  I remember reading one of these books for the first time at the public library in the town I grew up in. It was summer time and they always had reading contents throughout.  I received many gold stars that summer.

What book do you display just to impress guests?

We have a lot of books laying around our house but we very seldom have guests over. Right now the books that are out in our house are:

Are you a dog or a cat person?

My whole life I have been a dog person, since I was always allergic to cats. That all changed a cold February evening 3 years ago while Paul was on a snowboarding trip with his friend. The little cat that we had been feeding for a few months decided to jump into our loft (I would leave the window open just incase she wanted to come in but could have the food either way).

Describe an awkward high school moment?

Eazy! It was grade 12 I started at a new school, drank to much at a party and I vomited in a ‘cool’ guys car. I stopped talking to everyone after that and focused on my studies. Funny thing is years later I was out with friends and he had become good friends with one of my guys friends. Super awkward!

What part of your morning regiment can you NEVER skip?

Brushing my teeth & having a cup of coffee (I am seriously addicted!)

What was the last album that you purchased?

I can’t even remember the last album I purchased, it must of been a record from the thrift shop. Yup, The Sound Of Music it was. To bad our record player isn’t working ;(

How do you sign your emails?

Much Love,

Or

Kind Regards, (If it is a more business than pleasure)

What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

Dark Chocolate and Red Wine. Put those two together along with me in the room and you have a party!

What’s one food that you could eat every day?

Chips! Any flavour, I just love the salt.

If you could sing like anyone, who would it be?

Billie Holiday.

11 QUESTIONS FOR THE PEOPLE I’VE TAGGED
(and anyone else who wants to participate):

  1. What did you dream of being when you were a little kid?
  2. Your top 3 travel destinations.
  3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  4. If there is one thing you want to be remembered for what would that be?
  5. What do you do to pamper yourself?
  6. What is something you are proud of yourself for?
  7. Are you a lefty or a righty?
  8. What’s your favourite thing to whip up in the kitchen? (Did I mention I like recipes?)
  9. Favourite cocktail?
  10. What’s one thing you do daily that makes you feel pretty?
  11. What songs would be on your soundtrack to your life?

WHO I TAGGED:

Lindsay

Bianca

Jodie Layne

Katrina

Joia

Sarah

If you where not tagged but want to play along PLEASE leave a link in the comments so I can check out your answers! Hope you are lovely readers are having a great week so far. The sun in shining in Montreal so I can not complain.

Until we meet again,

Take Action!

You know when something seems like it was customized just for you?  I sure do.  When I watched this video below for the first time I thought for sure someone found my journal and wrote Marie on behalf of myself.  So clearly I am not alone in this ‘rut’.  No more reason to be embarrassed about where I am in my life!

Have you ever felt this way? Know that you are not alone and by you being honest with yourself and others only opens the door for them to be honest as well with you as well. Let’s kick this lack of motivation in the butt and get shit done together!

What have you been putting off due to lack of motivation?

Until we meet again,

Sponsor Shout Out

You know that moment when you realize you are surrounded by great people online? Well today is one of those moments when I feel huge support from great ladies around the world. Blogging has brought so much joy to my life along with giving me an outlet to allow myself to grow in creative endeavors while meeting a slew of people. If you are new to blogging the biggest thing I can say is STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF because there is only one of you!

With that said I am happy to properly introduce you to ladies I believe stay true to themselves and well looky there they also just so happen to be my February Sponsors!  All contact links are below the photos so make sure to click around!

Blog // Flickr // Etsy // Facebook // Twitter


Blog // Etsy // Twitter // Facebook //  Flickr


Blog//


Blog // Art Call


Food Blog // Lifestyle Blog // Pinterest

Well that is all for me for now. Make sure to leave some kind words for my sponsors on their blogs or better yet follow them!
Until next time,

February Wishes

Online:

+ Finish up 30 Days of Blogging from last February. Yeah that’s right it will take me a year but at least I will finish. ha ha
+ Share a recipe I have made every Sunday.
+ Make the final tweaks on my blog. Do you have any suggests to add to that tweak list?
+ Host a Giveaway on my blog since my Blogiversary was January 19. Hurray for 3 years of great blogging! This might have to wait till March though :(

Offline:

+ Have a proper date with Paul
+ Have 2 solid pamper me nights. I’m taking bubble baths, wine and nail painting!
+ Stay on top of all my school work even though it will challenge my little brain.
+ Have a Skype date with my dad. He lives in the Philippines in the winter.

What do you wish to do this February?

Hope you are having a wonderful first day of the month!
Until we meet again.

Wrap up of 2011

I must say that I am quite happy to end the chapter of the year 2011 as it was by far one of the most mentally challenging years of my life.  I feel as though I spent most of the year crying which lead me to made some big life decisions and went back to school for web design & publication.  And that is where I realized my true passion along with traveling of course.

Paul’s year on the other hand went much better which balanced out my ‘not so great’ year.  He was the designer for the Battle for Beauty game for the launch of the IE9 browser.  {Nerd Alert: This game was all coded in HTML5. Wicked Video.} He also did a fun animated commercial for a Swiss Company , the commercial  {Take a peek at it you might see me a few times!} for Jay Peak among other small projects that came his way over the year.   All his hard work allowed us to go on two very different life changing adventures to Barbados and Costa Rica.  He really does spoil me!

To celebrate the good, the bad and the beautiful of 2011 here is a quick photo wrap up!

+ Was lucky enough to be snowed in in Manitoba which is no big surprise. So Paul and I got to ring in the new year with one of my best friends along with taking a nice long drive back to Montreal.

+ February I started 30 Days of Blogging Challenge & made it to day 17! {You should peek through them you’ll see some cute baby photos}  I think this February I should finish them up.  And sadly for me my dear friend Clare moved back to Melbourne & I cried a lot.

 

+ I spent most of my time trying to be Optimistic about the direction things are going in the world.  The best part of March though  was Paul taking me to Barbados, a place he holds dear to his heart as he spent a lot of time there as a child.

 

+ I sure did turn 28 and created some fun stamps!

+ Took a Magical Bike Ride around Notre Dame Island.  I also spent an afternoon talking with a homeless man. It broke my heart.

 

+ Busy, busy month June was.  Paul had travel fever after finishing a big gig & lets be honest I always have travel fever.  We made it to NYC for a weekend to visit with my cousin who was up from Mexico City on business.  Plus we went to Costa Rica. AHHH…How the mountains, rainforest and people are calling me back.  This was by far the most life changing trip of my life.  I am going to sit down and write about our day on a farm in Costa Rica which like nothing I had ever experienced.

 

+ July Paul turned 30 and I wrapped 30 gifts for him.

+ After having the pleasure of hosting The Noble Thiefs and Greg Arcade while they where on tour in Montreal.  I felt so home sick and my parents made it happen for me to come home for a few weeks. Oh Friendly Manitoba how I miss you from time to time.

+ I took the big jump and went back to school after finishing up with my Marketing Degree 5 years ago.  Web Design & Publication was calling my name and I answered.  I also had my first paid photo gig! Photo above is one of the many photos I took.

 

+ This month seemed like a whirl wind with my first set of exams along with tv crews in our home with Paul being interviewed and traveling for a few interviews.

+ Can we say this month was a blur too?  One thing that sticks out is that we got a LomoKino… just a frame from the first film shot in it!  Movie to come shortly!

+ We spent a weekend in Toronto just after Christmas.  It was delightful to explore a city so close to Montreal and of course we went to see our first NBA game together (of more to come I’m sure!)

Well that wraps up my year in a nice photo nut shell.  Did you do a 2011 wrap up or resolutions post?  I could love to check it out leave a link in the comments section!

With the turn of a new year we must look back and reflect on what we would like to become.   I’ve got some great ‘resolutions’ for myself this year which I will share with you tomorrow.

It’s night night time for me.

Bonne nuit mon amies,

Maintenance

{ Our Christmas Card }

I have been having some problems with my site as some of you have noticed in your readers that the Polish hackers seem to love me! This is not the kind of love I am after and will be doing maintenance on my site. Which means I will be shutting it down for a few weeks till I can get everything up to top notch shape again.

This is part of the reason I have not been blogging lately as I get so bumped out as soon as I sign in because there is something to fix that a hacker has done. So I’m cleaning house! I’m sorry for those of you that have seen the hacked posts and THANK YOU for still sticking around. If you want to keep up with my shenanigans Twitter is always a good bet!

With that said, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by the ones that you love! And remember this time of year is about giving, so try giving to someone in need, instead of someone that has everything!

Until next year. Much ,


Google Chrome ROCKS


Alright so I have been using Google Chrome ever since it came out because as a Mac user it simply is the best browser but with coding I have found that some of the tools I use on FireFox where not available on Chrome. UNTIL Paul showed me the Google Chrome Store & I squealed like a grown adult walking into an Apple Store for the first time. SUPER NERD! You can download themes like the rainy window or pick from hundreds of other themes.

There are so many amazing apps in the Google Chrome Store too. I downloaded just a few apps and my favourite is the Pixlr-o-matic which is amazing for photos to give it a different developing look & effects along with THE BEST interface in a photo app I have seen because it is so interactive to the point where the water moves in the development process. It helps you understand the process of developing film if you have never spent time in a dark room.

It’s FREE and well worth checking it out since many of you commented that you wanted to learn PhotoShop to help your photos but money & time is a factor. This will give you a great vintage look. You can also download it to your iOS or Android!

Until we nerd again. Much ,


P.S. To see a sampling of a few photos I touched up in this software click HERE.


Holy Moly!!!

I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies). Trailer from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.

Just taking a break from having my head wrapped in HTML & CSS to have some lunch. I found this video through a friend and these guys have passion & are clearly adrenaline junkies! Either way this trailer is breath taking with untouched views from all over the world, not to mention the editing and great use of tracking for the titles defiantly bumps up the production value. It makes me want to strap on my snowboard and get to some back country chowder.

I hope your having a wonderful HUMP day & enjoyed this extreme video.

Until we meet again. Much ,


Passion – Following your dreams

{Above Image Take from Happy Deliveries on Etsy)

This post started as me bragging about my good grades but brought me back in time for a moment. This is kind of a rant but also a great way to get to know the inner workings of ME, Crystal a little bit better. So read on, if you please.

I do no have a good school history to say the least due to my stubborn spirit and need for equality. Growing up in a small Mennonite community this mindset of mind did not work as children where to be seen but not heard unless spoken to (this is NOT how I was raised at all but this was the community mindset). I have always wanted to know the why of things which in my experience teachers could not provide me with because they themselves did not know or it was not in the books they were assigned to teach (one flaw in a multi-flawed school system in my option). Teachers not knowing what to do with me meant I spent a lot of time in the principals office, at one point in high school the principal told me that I should just drop out of school because I was going to be a drop out anyway and should not waste people’s time like this. I was being punished if you will for others incompetence. I am thankful my parents took a very active role in raising me and got me right out of the school after this incident but it took years for me to get those thoughts of self-doubt out of my head, which to this day I still see sneak up on me. Through self-discovery and being honest with myself I have tracked back my self-doubt to this moment where one ignorant person with a few words shaped a strong hold in me. As an adult I do not let this happen but as a 16 year old girl, seeing her parents separate and feeling as though the world as you know it is crumbling infront of you. I was impressionable to say the least and my own principal was psychological bulling me, which I only see clearly now as an adult.

My family moved to Mexico for a year where my parents tried to make their marriage work, while my sister and I went to an International P.A.C.E. school. Looking back I realize this was a changing point in me to see that I was not dumb but I was progressive and intelligent and so were the ones surrounding me which was not the case in my past. I was responsable for my learning and while my grades living abroad where not the best, the things I learned about myself through this change of learning environment and cultural experience are invaluable. Coming back to Canada was not exciting in the least for me, so when school was talked about there was no way I was going back to the high school which had been my jail for 2 years of my life prior. I found a private school within a University which is the only one of it’s kind in Canada. I had to convince my dad to let me go (and pay of course) by providing a course of action outlining everything from cost, where I will live, will I take a part-time job to help with my schooling, etc. I spent my grade 12 year living with my vocal coach, 2 hour away from where my family lived at the time. Living basically alone at 17 you grow up a bit quicker in some areas!

After graduation I needed to explore the world as the small taste of living in another country was not enough so I moved to Australia for 6 months where I attend a leadership school, learnt how to surf and traveled with a team to Brazil where I worked in an orphanage and on a medicine boat in the Amazon. Man could I see you stories of the things I have seen there. But all wonderful life changing experience must come to an end at some point and it was back to the Northern hemisphere for me. I couldn’t stay in Manitoba any longer so I moved to Lake Louise, ALberta where worked as a ski lift attentant for a season, just working and snowboarding. It was kind of the life but to much cold for this girl so off I went to Mexico to build houses for 6 months. Clearly a pattern of not being able to stay in one place for very long as I have always been egger to explore. But after years away from home it was time to come back and get a little schooling under my belt, since employers have this thing for that piece of paper. I applied to 3 different photography schools Emily Carr in Vancouver, Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California and Prairie View in Winnipeg, Manitoba and business school at Red River all of which I was excepted into. I wanted and needed photography school for myself but couldn’t tell you how I would make money at the end and with two self made parents they did not see this as a viable reason to snap photos. The result I went to business school.

I did really well in business school, the last year we had to create a business plan from scratch with a group of 14 people, in which I was the leader. We decided to go down a non-conventional route and created a Medical Tourism business, which we had to present at a trade show where we were judged by industry professionals. Out of 30 some groups we came second (only .5 a point away from 1st place) and received a cash prize. I was head hunted by a travel agency group to start this medical tourism business that they would financially back. I saw the next 20 years flash before my eyes and I had to walk away from it all. People thought I was crazy to not only walk away but move away to Montreal but I felt it and I needed it for me. Just like I needed photography school for me but denied myself that because of fear of the unknown.

Making that choose to walk away was not easy but it was not the vision I had for my life. My years in Montreal have been trying to say the least but I knew in the core of me I was meant to be here. Then I meet Paul and my world was turned upside down. He had the same vision for life as me, live a life doing what you are passionate about and explore as much of the world as possible in our life time. He helped draw that passion out of me along with Katrina of Pugly Pixel.

So going back to school as an adult with a spark of passion in web design and a pretty good head on my shoulders was the best thing for me. Even though it took me a few years to finally take the plunge. That’s why I was blown away when I got my mid-term grades back 100% in Computer Graphics along with 100% on all my projects in that class. I also received a 95% on my Web Design class. Being in the top of both of my classes is the self-esteem boost I needed to start moving forward in starting a business. In web design of course and I hope to launch everything in the new year! (if you need some new designs or a facelift to your blog REMEMBER me!)

The sense of pride in me is overflowing as the road I am on now in life was not easy to get to, I had to face authority that was constantly telling me I was wrong or I can’t do that, the media DO NOT HELP at all either. But I stuck to my guts and kept moving forward in a life I wanted for myself.

It’s not easy to going against the norm but the reward of staying true to yourself pays off ten fold.

Last words of wisdom, it’s never to late to follow your dreams. Having a unique vision for your life is half the battle! I believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. Now you need to believe that for yourself, be kind to yourself and take those baby steps that will lead you to the end result of a life of passion. There WILL be bumps along the road but stay focused on your end result and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Wow that was a bit heavy but hopefully inspiring post. I found this AMAZING illustrated video on a talk Sir Ken Robinson gave. After watching it I felt as though a weight was taken off my shoulders, it confirmed the feelings I was having about schooling for myself. WORTH THE WATCH!

What is something you have been holding yourself back from doing? Why don’t you take the first step?

Until we meet again. Much ,


Thank YOU!


I have been slowly making some changes to my blog & when I have some more time to work on personal projects I will be making some bigger changes. But for now I have moved my buttons to the Contact Page and added the above image.

Lately I have been thinking of all the great people that have crossed my path in the blogosphere, who have encouraged me, shared kind words & stories. I feel very lucky to have made these connections & friends. As a thank you I want to create my own little directory of lovely people because by you putting a link or button on your blog you are supporting me and I want to support you right back! Community and equality have been reacquiring in my thoughts lately and I believe this is a great way to execute this.

I also think it is funny that I have been working on this and today I found out I was added to a wonderful list of Fellow Canadians on Natalie’s blog Musings of a Brunette. Great minds think alike!

If you a button or link coming back this way on your blog. PLEASE fill out the form at the bottom of the Buttons/Contact page & help me create my little community of like minded people.

Until we meet again. Much ,

P.S. While cleaning up my computer I found some older buttons and thought I’d bring them back. Your looking at 200px by 125px and the classic 125 by 125.