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Am I seriously that old?

My girlfriend asked me to a movie tonight – it needed to be after 9:00 so she could put her kids to bed. I’m exhausted but I haven’t spent much time with her and another girl is going I haven’t met yet so I really want to go. I agreed and when we decided to watch The Wedding Ringer staring the hilarious Kevin Hart, we found out it wasn’t going to start till 10:25.
That’s 25 minutes past my bed time. It’s Friday!!!!! I have no BED TIME!
So I’m going. I’m going, I’m gonna stay awake and I’m gonna like it – dammit.

When the hell did I get old? Maybe THIS is why I’m single – cause I love my early sleeps!

Tomorrow is going to be a sleep in day. Shhhhhh

Love
Nicole

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young love

it was the fall of 1994, I was 13 and felt I was so mature that I could totally understand and appreciate love and relationships and no one could tell me anything. And that’s the year I fell for Noel, my first kiss and in all honesty my first boyfriend.

One day after school he pulled me under the large concrete stairs of our school and we were talking and getting to know about each other and he kissed me.  Softly and sweetly and a very innocent fairy tale version of romance.  We were 13, it didn’t go further, but we continued kissing a lot and getting to know each other for a few months (a long time in 7th grade!).

20 years, many failed relationships, lots of kisses and heart breaks later and I’m not that same believer in love and romance.  The innocence of it all has passed, my faith has been shattered.  I don’t even know when it happened.  I think a long time ago, but it could have been just yesterday for all I know.  I just stopped thinking of passionate love and started thinking the only thing that existed was passionate lust.  Guys don’t plan that first special kiss the way Noel did when I was 13, they think about how much more can they get while that first kiss is taking place – and oh ya what’s the score of the hockey (football, basketball, baseball) game?

I’m 34 and jaded.  My friends are married or in relationships and the ones that have been in long term relationships don’t fantasize about sweetness, they jump at the chance for a girls night, they relish alone time.  Well, I have all that now.  I see my girls all the time, I am alone ALL. THE. TIME.  If that’s what my future holds then I think God how sad. The husbands aren’t any better.  They don’t smile sweetly at their wives or flirt with their girlfriends, they work – a lot, they play sports, they go fishing.  This is real life.  Is that why I’m single?  Is it because I always wanted the fairy tale?  I wanted a man who loved me the way my daddy made me believe I deserved to be loved.  I try and fight my friends, force them into romance, but the fact is I have watched one to many movies.  If they had a (3 years later) in these movies I would see Ryan Gosling not kissing his love in the rain, but cussing out his woman for forgetting to bring home the milk and then going for a beer with the boys.

Kids don’t understand how great young love is!!  Case in point: today I was teaching a bunch of teenagers how to pass job interviews…there was a pretty 16 year old in the front row and her male friend sat directly behind her.  He was playing with her hair the whole time and the look of young love was in his big dark eyes.  She was slightly blushing and every once in a while she would catch my eye and I couldn’t help but squint at her and wrinkle my nose thinking she has no idea how lucky she is to have someone who wants to play with her hair and smile and adore her from afar.  At the same time, I was so happy to know that this is still happening 20 years later. It’s cute. Maybe I can be happy with old people romance and love if I can watch my kids live through young peoples version of love and romance.

How magical love and life is…stay tuned folks…maybe I’ll find a realistic love one day…maybe I’ll still be happy…

Love

Nicole

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Vacation packing must haves

It has sort of become a tradition that every year I go away – at least once, to the Caribbean.  Last year I went to the Caribbean and to Florida thanks to my friend Kim for the invite, so I have become somewhat an expert at packing.

Okay, that’s bullshit.  I am not a “master packer” I am an over packer.  My suitcase always weighs too much coming home (with the added things I buy) and I usually have to throw more in my carry on and whomever is travelling with me – their suitcase and carry on.  It’s sad!  However, I have also learned some great things from my mistakes over the years so todays blog is dedicated to things I must have when travelling!

1 You need to begin with the suitcase (duh!) and while I have always loved the tracker brand, this year I needed a new suitcase and I switched because I wanted one that had four wheels instead of two (trust me, when travelling with a heavier suitcase (see above) its nice to be able to roll the suitcase instead of pull it throughout the airport both in Toronto and the destination.  I also never buy a solid colour like black or navy because everyone and their mother owns this suitcase.  I bought a red one this time that has darker red swirls on it.  I also have a special scarf that I tie around the handle.  It is white with navy and red polka dots!  It was my grandmothers (though I swear I never saw her wear this)  Having a scarf that makes your bag stand out is really important.  When I went on my first trip in 2K7 I had a navy blue suitcase that had white, purple and hot pink designs splashed all over it.  I thought it was really original!

It was taken.  Someone who had the exact same bag saw (mine) and took it, got on their bus and left.  I saw theirs (which clearly was not new) with a blue tag (which I did not have).  I had to go through a huge thing with my travel lady to go to their hotel and get my bag and then they had to bring my bag back to me.  It was drama – about 6 hours of me freaking out!  So now I have a bright scarf wrapped neatly around the handle so hopefully no one “accidentally” takes it.

2. I always bring more clothes than I need because you know what – you never know.  You just don’t know!  So do I bring a lot of stuff I don’t necessarily end up wearing, yes…but has their been times where I have thanked my lucky stars I brought that extra swimsuit (I bring 3 for a week-long Caribbean vacation) or pair of socks I swore I would not wear – yes!

When I went to the DR for my friend’s wedding, I forgot to bring a cardigan or a sweater.  Well at night, after the disco and after my hours of conversation with the best man (long story) I had to do the walk of shame back to my room in a tank top and it was cool.  I shivered while hustling as quick as my flip-flops would carry me to the other side of the resort and while watching the shows each evening.  By the way, I bring 4 sandles/flip-flops and one pair of runners in case I go on a day trip sometimes running shoes are more comfortable and logical for walking on various terrains.

3. Large shampoo and conditioner and body wash.  I leave whatever I have left for the maids.  Speaking of…

4. I always bring a little tote full of toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoos, perfumes, nylons, toys, crayons and I leave these for the maids to share after the last day of my trip.  When i dated my ex, he had Raptors and Leafs gear and left it for the guys who drove the trolleys and the guys who filled the fridges (clearly we had beer stocked every day).  It’s just a nice little thing to do for people who work hard to make your week off a breeze!

5. Sun tan lotion. Sun screen is sold at most locations in the Caribbean, however it is very expensive!  They know you need it if you don’t bring it so they jack the price up mucho dollars!  So please don’t forget it, buy it in bulk and bring it with you!

6. A camera – cause really these memories you are going to make are amazing.  I always have a full album worth of pictures and take pictures of everything from the resort to my excursions and the people I am travelling with and the people I meet there!  I always wonder if the staff realize they are made famous on people’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as on websites like Tripadvisor?

7. A variety of medications.  I always bring a tray of meds that include Advil, gravol, NyQuil, my anxiety meds and my muscle relaxers.  I have gotten strep throat my last two vacations so I freak out and bring a bit of everything!

8. Something I don’t bring, but I do before I leave is photocopy all my ID.  My passport, drivers license, health card, health insurance card etc.  I leave it with someone who is not traveling with me as well as a copy of my travel plans – hotel name and phone number, flight info etc.

So these are the things that I have found to be helpful with my 7 years of travel experience – I am sure as I continue I will have more and I will update accordingly, so far, I am packed and ready to go for my DR trip this year!  I am so excited I cannot handle it!  My whole family is going (12 of us) and I really just want to get to the airport and on the plane!  Lots of pics and details to follow!

So tell me…what is your travel must have?

Love Nicole

 

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34

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That is my age.  34.  I am not where I thought (knew) I’d be at 34, but honestly, who cares anymore?  I am where I am.  I haven’t celebrated my birthday, other than a dinner or two, in years because getting older wasn’t something I cared about.  This year though, this year, I celebrated. I got over myself and allowed people to make me feel special!

I decided I wanted to go out and have a party.  I have a large group of friends that don’t know each other so having a party seemed to be the only way to see all of my friends at one time.

I posted the invite back in early December to Facebook because of course there is no other quick way to talk to all of my friends at once and immediately started seeing acceptances and RSVP’s.  I was happy!  I called the Jukebox Live in Pickering to reserve a booth so my friends would have a place to sit and drink if they didn’t want to dance and quickly informed my friends of the date and time!

I used to think I wouldn’t see all my friends in one place except at my wedding (which didn’t happen) or maybe a baby shower for the females (which hasn’t yet happened) so for so many of my loved ones to be in one place on MY birthday was just overwhelming.

My best friend, whom I haven’t really hung out with since I moved back in March, was going to spend the night with her boyfriend so I was even happier knowing I had more time with her then just the party.

My friends, who had come back from Cuba the day before, drove us there and at least I knew that four of my friends would be around to have fun with!  Slowly more and more strolled in until I had 21 of my closest friends surrounding me, dancing, drinking, talking, taking pictures and (hopefully) having fun!

The Jukebox is a place I have been to before. It’s in Pickering and is the closest thing to a “club” that Durham has.  It’s located right at Liverpool and Hwy 2 and has FREE parking (one thing I love about Durham is so much free parking)!  For me, it meant a quick cab ride home and a place where I could rest my feet, knowing full well I would not be in dancing shoes!  Our server Sonia was great (and busy) and the DJ played a pretty good mix of 90’s to current day top 40 so the dance floor was packed and with 21 people so was my booth!

The shots and drinks were flowing and I got some amazing news from one of my friends (that I cannot yet share on here) that just was the cherry on top of an amazing night!

Of course the next day my feet and head were pounding and sore, and having stayed up WAY past my bedtime, I was exhausted, but it was 100% worth it.  I felt so loved and supported, knowing my friends ARE my family.  As my blood line shrinks, my chosen few, keep me afloat, keep me smiling when all I want to do is cry and keep me laughing when all I want to do is scream.

Thank you friends, thank you for being there for me as I turned 34.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to make me feel so amazing and so loved!

I truly am blessed.

Love

Nicole