So I Got Into Grad School

15 Mar

A few weeks ago I found out, much to my surprise, that I got accepted into one of the top business schools in Canada to do my MBA. This was a bit of a shock for me as I had decided to apply just to see if I would have to write my GMAT again, totally thinking I wouldn’t get in. Clearly I was wrong…

Since being accepted I’ve had so much on my mind which has led me back to blogging as a way to unload. Here are some of my biggest worries:

Hitting the Books

It has been about two and a half years since I’ve been in school and the prospect of studying again is exciting but terrifying all at the same time! I’m starting off the program part-time which means that I will be taking about 6 hours of evening classes a week while maintaining my full time job. I always worked hard during my undergrad as a server but that was shift work and much more flexible than a 9-5 job. I know that by going into this program part-time I have some very late nights ahead of me.

The Finances

Getting an MBA is motherf***ing expensive! As I mentioned before, I have always been a hardworker and was fortunate enough to come out of my undergraduate and postgraduate education without any student debt. This time, however, I will not have a choice so will be forced to take out loans. I do plan on tapping into every resource possible to keep this debt as minimal as possible however being in my mid-twenties this still worries me. I know that in the future Roy and I will want to buy a house and travel and I’m terrified of my debt bringing us down and of this affecting his life too much.

Bye Bye Social Life

Being in an intense graduate program while working a full time job terrifies me! I truly hope that I will be able to find a good balance in my life and make the most of every minute of the day. I really don’t want to sacrifice quality time with Roy, dinners with my family, nights drinking wine with my gals and hitting the gym (something I need to do for myself) so I’m already trying to mentally prepare myself. I’ve always strongly believed in a work-life balance and although I know how hard I’m going to have to work and study, I do hope to find a way to maintain that.

Nonetheless, with all of those factors aside, I am so excited to have gotten into school. I’ve always feared not reaching my full potential but I feel that this is the perfect opportunity for me to challenge myself and see how hard I can push myself. And most of all, I know how much this program will help me to reach my career goals.

I’m definitely looking forward to this next chapter of my life and hopefully I’ll be able to record it all on this blog along the way!

 

Fall Favourites

14 Sep

The air is getting crisper and the leaves are changing colours… it’s my favourite season of the year! And with that, I give you my top 3 Fall Favourites!

3. Pumpkin Spice Lattes 

This is definitely the chosen beverage by the masses for Fall. Nothing has the flavour of autumn quite like a pumpkin spice latte. Due to my tight budget these days (refer to previous post) I am going to try to stay away from these babies but it sure will be tough!

2. Back To School

Okay, so it’s been a few years since my last first day of school but there’s still something about that excitement for the first day of class that never goes away. Okay, so maybe I’m not starting class, or even re-starting work after a summer off (oh, the downfalls of full time employment!) but there’s still something about the beginning of Fall that makes me feel like I’m getting back into an old routine. I find it easier to start going to the gym after work and being less lazy overall. I guess it’s the cool air that rejuvenates me!

1. The FASHION!!!!  

I love Fall clothes more than anything. Bring on the boots, the sweaters, the blazers and the jeans, I’m ready! I always find it difficult to dress for work in the summer but when it comes to Fall, I’m swamped with ideas for new outfits. I got some great pairs of Joes Jeans which I’m itching to bust out but I’m also lusting after these Tory Burch boots (left) and this Paper Crown blouse and blazer combo (right). Ok, maybe these items aren’t exactly in my Fall shopping budget but a girl can dream can’t she?!

Now you tell me, what are your favourite things about Fall???

 

 

I’ve Got My Mind on My Money and My Money on My Mind

8 Sep

Lately I’ve had one big thing on my mind, the thing that makes the world go round. And that my friends, is moola, dolla dolla bills y’all, green, or as the general public calls it,  money.

In an ideal world, money WOULD grow on trees. But alas, for those of struggling through the beginning phases of our careers, this is nothing but a far away dream. Since I entered the workforce, I have to admit that I haven’t thought much about saving my money. My thought process was to enjoy the regular paycheck for the first little while and then think about saving later. Well, later has come and now I am kicking myself for putting saving my money off as long as I have. As I’m facing the second half of my twenties the realization has hit me that in the next few years, I’m going to want to live in a house and after that, start having a family. And in between ALL of those huge things, I want to enjoy the small things in life; dinner parties with friends, new clothes and a chance to go on vacation at least once a year.

In all honesty, my salary isn’t high and it most certainly isn’t enough to indulge my not so frugal tastes so I started thinking, how can I be proactive about saving? This is what I’ve come up with:

1. Bring my lunch to work and cook every day of the week, with the exception of 1-2 weekend meals. This means that after a long day of work, I will no longer pick up sushi but will suck it up and spend 20 minutes whipping up a basic meal. This plan also comes along with a lot of preparation but as long as I stay on top of my groceries, this is achievable.

2. Work part-time when I can. When I was in school I worked for catering companies, serving at events. This is a flexible job and I am going to have to suck it up and start picking up some shifts when I can. It will be exhausting but worth it in the long run.

3.  Do something part time that will help advance me in my career. This is something that I am starting up and which I can’t reveal too much about at this point in time but I’m very excited about it’s potential, both financially and professionally.

These are just the first three steps which will hopefully pay off soon! And if it does, who knows, maybe I’ll be looking like this soon…

Blog Uncertainty

23 Aug

Wowza, it has been a long time since I’ve posted! And I really don’t have any good excuse other than the fact that I’ve been experiencing a little bit of blog uncertainty. Truth be told, I’m not normally a very public person so the fact that I started a blog was a big step for me. The reason I started it was because I do enjoy writing and I work in social media so therefore thought it was a great thing to learn from to make me stronger in my professional career. But then I started realizing my blog doesn’t really have much of a direction. And then things started coming up in my life that I had a lot to say about but didn’t necessarily feel comfortable discussing in a public forum. Additionally, when people brought my blog up I often found myself feeling shy and embarassed about it.

Over the summer I’ve often found myself thinking about my blog. I do want to continue with it but I want to set some guidelines for myself. I read some blogs where the writer spills every detail about their lives. In all honesty, that’s just not me. I also read blogs in which the writer discusses various topics that relate to their lives but don’t get too personal. I think that’s more along the lines of how I want my blog to be. So this is the conclusion I’ve come to – I write this blog for myself and it’s for this reason that I will only write about things that I am comfortable with. I’m not writing this blog to gain a lot of readers or make money. I’m writing to share my experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. with the hope that one day there might be some people out there who find it helpful, interesting, etc. And I’m sure that the time will come where I get more comfortable with blog writing and it will become a full fledged hobby for me but for now, I’m just trying to find my own personal comfort zone.

Goodbye Winnipeg and Summer Colds

11 Jul

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. Two weekends ago I went home to Winnipeg to pack up some of my stuff and say goodbye to my house. The weekend was filled with goodbye parties and visits with friends. Roy came along with me as this would be his only chance to see where I grew up. I did my best to show him the sites and sounds of Winnipeg. It was a great way to say goodbye to some of the places I would frequently go to throughout my years living there. In my last post I mentioned that I would be doing something that would surprise people, well that certain something ended up falling through. I was supposed to go skydiving however the weather was off and on the day I was supposed to go so it just didn’t end up happening. I can’t lie, I was a little bit relieved but this is definitely still something I want to do at some point in my life.

Last week I was sick with a cold, summer colds are the worst! I managed to kick it enough to go meet up with friends I went to school with in Burlington. One of them lives there and invited us to come lay by her pool for the day and then spend the night. It really made me wish I had my own pool, there’s not a more perfect summer activity than lounging outside all day and eating BBQ. I definitely wouldn’t mind doing that again. And then yesterday, another big day! My parents arrived in Toronto making the move official. After unpacking some stuff we went out for dinner and then saw Horrible Bosses. This movie was hilarious, I seriously lol’d the whole time. I definitely recommend this movie to everyone, unless you get offended really easily as there are some pretty raunchy parts in it.

That pretty much sums up the last couple weeks of my life. I haven’t been feeling as anxious as I did before. Maybe it’s because I felt satisfied with my goodbye to Winnipeg and life right now is looking pretty good. If there’s sunshine and warm weather, how can you feel down for long?

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

28 Jun

For the past little while I’ve been feeling a little anxious, there are a lot of changes coming my way. I guess it just took a little bit longer for the feelings I expected to experience on my 25th birthday to kick in. One of the biggest changes is that my parents will be leaving Winnipeg and moving to Toronto in the next month. My mom is from Toronto so this is something she’s wanted to do for the past 29 years however I don’t think any of us really thought this day would come so fast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited for my whole family to be in the same city for the first time in over 3 years, I mean come on, home cooked meals galore, but it will certainly be an adjustment. And the saddest part is, I have to say goodbye to the home I grew up in since the day I was born. That house holds a lot of memories for my family.

Another difficult thing is that it will be a lot harder for me to go back to Winnipeg. Although it’s not the right place for me to be in at this point in my life, I really loved growing up there. I fear that finding the opportunities to go back there will be few and far between and when I do go back I won’t be in my own house, I’ll have to crash on somebody’s couch. I have a few dear friends left there that I know have no problem having me but it just won’t be the same.

I’ve also been feeling some anxiety about my future in general lately. I’ve recently found out that I will have to put pursuing my MBA on hold for a few years which part of me is okay with but the other part fears. I love my job right now and I love where it’s taking me but I also know that there will come a point when I will want to go back to school. As a 25 year old woman though, I just don’t see where I’m going to find the time to do it all; excel at my job, go back to school, become a wife and then at some point become a mother. It just seems as though so many things are expected to happen all at the same time and this scares me. I try to reassure myself that it will all work itself out but when you’re looking up at the top of a mountain from the foot of it, it feels like you’ll never be able to make the climb.

Anyways, all of my anxiety aside, I did just finish a book so I’ll do a short book review as the post is already getting pretty long. For my book club I just finished the book The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. In short, this book was well written and started off having a lot of potential but in the end was quite a dissapointment. I feel that the story covered a lot of interesting themes and characters but never quite delved in deep enough to make the story develop in a way that could keep a reader entrenched in it. That’s really all I have to say about it. See, short and sweet. Now it’s back to packing, I’ve got a big trip ahead of me. And I will be doing something this coming weekend that may shock some people so stay tuned…

Relays and Safaris

21 Jun

This past weekend was quite full of adventure. Friday night was the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, an event that I was on the committee for for the second year. It’s a really great event that occurs overnight and asks team members to walk around a track all night long. This all night walk symbolizes the fight against cancer; as the sun goes down it seems like a long struggle, the middle of the night is the hardest part as one must fight against their exhaustion but as the sun begins to rise hope is signified and it’s like the light at the end of a long and difficult struggle. This year this event meant even more to me as last November my grandfather died from Pancreatic cancer.

I would have to say that the highlight of the event for me this year was the tent that my team and I constructed from very limited materials. Roy’s family had graciously lent me their tent to use for the night but I was warned, the tent had been sitting in their garage for the last 20 years. I took this warning with a grain of salt, confident that it wouldn’t be too bad. Well my friends, I was wrong. The tent smelled horribly like mildew. So me and my team, being the creative girls we are, simply took the poles, duct taped them together and draped our sheets over top. All I can say is luckily it didn’t rain that night! And believe it or not, it was quite cozy and fit all four of us perfectly!

So after the almost all nighter on Friday (I did manage to sleep a bit) I spent all of Saturday being a big lazy bum. Sunday though, it was back to the adventures! I finally went to the African Lion Safari, something that I had been dying to do ever since I moved here and heard about it. And let me tell you, it did not dissapoint! I couldn’t believe how close up we got to all of the animals (from the car of course). There were cheetahs coming right to our car, giraffes crossing the street right and front of us and best of all, monkeys climbing all over the car. Unfortunately they took off Roy’s sister’s car mirror and started eating it but you can’t say they don’t warn you, there are disclaimers everywhere as you drive in.

So that was my weekend full of adventure, if only all weekends could be so fun! Tomorrow is Wednesday, almost half way done the week and then another weekend. I look forward to it already!

The Canucks Riot and Re-thinking Book Review Wednesdays

17 Jun

So as you have seen, I missed another BRW. I instead was glued to my tv watching the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup by a landslide. Although I was dissapointed that the Canadian team didn’t win, I wasn’t devastated as the Canucks aren’t one of the teams I’m normally a fan of. Now, if it was next year and the Jets were playing then that would be a different story! With that being said, I’m sure most people have heard about the riots that erupted in Vancouver following the game. In my opinion, the reaction of the Canuck fans is humiliating to us as Canadians and makes me question what the meaning of being a fan is.

 I competely understand being passionate about a sport but at the end of the day, people play these games because they enjoy it, it’s supposed to be fun. Yes, we all get emotionally invested in our teams on some level but the way the Vancouver vans reacted was completely shameful. By the end of the week, would any of the fans lives had changed because the Canucks had lost? Most likely, no. But now these people’s lives may change because they will now have a criminal record and because they are publicly being made to look like idiots. And all of this is following the glory that the city had previously embodied during the Olympics which is truly the most dissapointing of all.

 Now, back to what I was saying about Book Review Wednesdays. I have begun to re-think this a little which is okay because this blog is still a baby and I’m learning as I go along! Doing a book review every week is just too much for me so I’ve decided that I’m only going to have them when I’ve recently finished a book or when I think it is relevent to something else that I’m talking about. They will still occur on Wednesdays, just not EVERY Wednesday. Maybe only a couple a month…

Anyways, it’s Friday so I’d like to wish everyone a great weekend! Tonight I am participating and volunteering at the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. I have been on the committee to help organize this for the past 2 years and I’m really looking forward to this event. I’ll let you all know how it goes!

Finding A Balance

14 Jun

Dear Loyal Readers (aka Mom and Dad), I apologize for my long absence. Once again life has gotten away from me.  And I am fully aware that I missed a BRW but don’t fear, there will be one coming tomorow (although don’t blame me if there isn’t, it’s the Stanley Cup Finals tomorrow night gosh darnit!)

I think today was the first balanced day I’ve had in a really long time. I had a good productive day at work, then Roy came to meet me after work and we went out for ice cream and then I burned off that cookie dough ice cream hard with a really great spin class. It’s days like these that I feel the best. I’ve had a really difficult time accomodating working out into my schedule. Aside from a reduced heat yoga class I went to last week, my exercise level has been pretty much non-existent. Couple that with a lot of celebrations, which translates into a lot of cake, and it has been a fat few weeks. Now don’t get me wrong, I love celebrations and I definitely love cake but I don’t love how I feel after all of that. Therefore I am trying to resolve to keep up the momentum I built at spinning tonight and continue working out at least a few times a week. I know that this is key in feeling good about myself.

I also resolve to put more energy into this blog! I know, I know, I keep saying this but stay tuned because shit is about to get real. And on that note, I bid you adieu! Good night friends and let’s go Canucks!

Bday Celebration and BRW – Those Who Save Us

1 Jun

I hate that it has been a week since I’ve written a post but alas, life continues to be very busy. However, I am home from work sick today so although I feel not great, I’m pushing myself to write. This past weekend was very busy as I celebrated my 25th birthday with my friends. I had been planning on making S’mores cupcakes but none of the stores around my apartment had graham crackers or marshmallow fluff! I was both shocked and appalled. Either other people also had s’mores on the brain or these stores need to start getting their summer grocery stock in! Anyways, I had to settle for making plain vanilla cupcakes but no fears, they were still delicious and had lots of sprinkles on them to get people in the party spirit! Once the party started, my sister surprised me by putting candles on the cupcakes that I made and singing me Happy Birthday. Kind of funny since I was the one who made the cupcakes but fun nonetheless!

Now, seeing as how it is Wednesday it is time for another book review! I just finished a book this week called “Those Who Save Us” by Jenna Blum. This book wasn’t amazing but it was good, easy to pick up and easy to get through. Growing up, I read a lot of books about the Holocaust and The Second World War but lately I haven’t as much so this was the first one I’ve read about this time period for a long time. It was interesting in the sense that it was a story about a German woman during the war so it had very little focus on the Holocaust as much as it did on the Second World War. This story follows two women, one as aforementioned, during the War and the other her daughter, about 45 years later. In the present, the daughter is trying to figure out her mother’s story from the war while the reader figures it out as the story switches from past to present. Although I enjoyed the story, I didn’t feel invested in it as I sometimes do in stories. I’m a big cryer and I didn’t shed a tear which always leads me to believe that there was something lacking in the writing. If a story doesn’t evoke a lot of emotion from me, I tend to think something in the story was missing although I can’t put my finger on it.

Okay, now that this post is getting long, I’m going to go lie down again and hopefully feel better tomorrow because I have tons to do at work! I hope that everyone is enjoying the warm weather that is finally here!