Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weekend Getaway in the Works

Not thisweekend but the following one the bf and I are packing up our Boston terrier, picking up a couple of friends, and heading for the woods. That is right we are going camping.

I have to be honest, as much as I am looking forward to being out in the wilderness, I am not without reservations. One of our friends that we have invited has never been camping before. Had I known this before I invited and she accepted, I might have thought of a different plan for this particular weekend.

It would have been so easy to come up with a different plan. A cheap plan. A plan that involves <Hotel Reservations. Sites like HotelReservations.com can offer some serious discounts for local and international locations. Another plus is that I can do everything from my computer on my lunch hour. After looking through their site, I realize I could have planned an entire mini vacation with a lot more ease than this whole camping trip. Not that I am not looking forward to my camping trip, of course. The bf is totally excited about it and has not been talking about much else since I made the suggestion a couple of weeks ago.

I am also excited about the fact that this will be my Boston terrier, Stella’s first camping trip. She doesn’t get off leash much so I am sure her reactions to everything are going to be. She will probably be sick after the first hour from stuffing everything that can fit into her mouth into her mouth!

Next time, however, I am going to plan things differently. I will pick some exotic location (Florida J) and book my Hotel Reservations online cheaply and easily. I have been surfing the site and it is pretty user friendly and fun.

If you book through HotelReservations.com, don’t forget to give me some feedback on your experience...both with booking and with how awesome your vacation was!

Girls Night Out. Martinis and Manicures

Last night I met a friend at a relatively new place called One Up Restaurant & Lounge. This place is so great, especially on Mondays. In fact, it may just become my new Monday night thing. That is because One Up has MONDAY NIGHT MARTINI AND MANICURES! That's right, for just $20 a full manicure and a yummi martini. They have another Monday night special so, after your first martini, it is only like $6 for every other one you order.

There are so many delicious concoctions to choose from. So far I have tried the Lichee Lockup, Summer in the Hamptons, Creme Brulee, Espresso Express, and some crazy shot of an herb flavoured liquer, The shot was courtesy of the extra nice owner/operator. Just so you know, I did not have all of those martinis in one night, I went last Moday, too.

The food there is also very good. Lots of vegetarian items. Definitely worth checking out.

One Up Restaurant Lounge
130 Dundas St. W (between Bay and Dundas, closer to Bay)

Mediterranean Dreams

I have a friend who is thinking about buying property in Brazil. His plan is to rent it out for half of the year and live in it the other half. If he falls so in love with Brazil that he wants to stay there year round he could turn it into a bed & breakfast.

I think he is definitely on to something and I hope he gets his dream home in some super exotic location. If it were me carrying out his dream, however, I would go for somewhere in the Mediterranean. I am going to suggest to him that he looks into North Cyprus Property. North Cypress is beautiful and filled with beautiful beaches and English speaking locals. Who wouldn't want to rent out a beach house from him in such a place?

Of course, it is widely known among my friends and family that I hope to marry and honeymoon in the Mediterranean so my friend may think the suggestion of North Cyprus Property is based entirely upon selfish reasons. That shouldn't deter him, though. I could be his first rental client!

Okay. Maybe My Job Isn't Too Bad!

My annual review came up (I have been here a year and a half so it is just slightly overdue). of course I asked for both a raise and a title change. Pretty much they said they would get back to me. Ah well, there is no harm in trying, I guess.

Anyway, here is the headline I read on MSN today (when I arrived one hour early for work like a good employee whom fully deserves a raise, but for reasons made obvious in the following headline, I digress): Boss allegedly killed workers who wanted raises

What a crazy planet we are trying to save! This business owner actually turned himself in, confessed to shooting his only two employees becuase they both kept bugging him for a raise. Apparently the boss guy, suffering from financial woes, simply snapped.

I think I will let my whole raise request go for a little while!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Puppy Snorts Meds and Other Fun Happenings

I am so sad that I missed Russell Peters this weekend! Imagine him performing, free of charge, just an 8 miunte walk from my place and I missed it! While I did go to the unnofficial "The Simpsons Movie" release party at Moe's Tavern (Fox and the Fiddle in the Toronto club district), I did not have a chance to see the movie. But we all knew that was going to happen didn't we?

I took Stella to the vet on Friday night because she ate...well who knows what she ate... that made her sick and she has had diahhrea for the last week. The doctor gave her a needle and prescribed some meds. He also sold me on some canned food that she needed to eat for the whole weekend. The first night, Stella did not eat very much of it. Imagine that a dog that thinks cat litter and wadded up kleenexes are some sort of a delicacy did not deem the canned food edible! First thing she ever turned down.

The meds he prescribed is in capsule form. The first one I gave her, she was so excited to be getting something new shoved in her mouth, it was difficult to get it in the back of her throat. She coughed it back up and started chewing it. The capsule burst and yellow powder went every where! Excitedly, Stella started sniffing the mysterious substance which of course means that she snorted her meds! It did not even phaze her.

He also prescribed some apple pectin gunk to promote a heathy digestive tract and she goes nuts for the goop. This has to be the easiest dog in the world to give medication to!

Unfortunately Stella's uncomfortable week that includes the runs and three baths per day has not taught her anything. I took her to Centre Island on Sunday evening after my shift at the Toronto FC match and on the way there I pulled a lime wedge, a fast food wrapper, and some foreign substance that I do not even want to be able to identify out of her mouth. She pooped twice during the 10 minute walk. At the island, she pretty much just stuck to a sensible diet of dirt, bark, and grass. Sigh.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Guy on Video Eats Habernero Pepper.


Simpson Movie Out this weekend but not for me

The Simpsons movie is coming is hitting theatres this weekend. A bunch of my friends will be going but, sadly, not I. It is not that I don't want to go, I really do but I am super busy this weekend. Hell, I am super busy every weekend. I didn't even see Transformers before Tuesday of last week. Damn my ambition and drive!

Anyway, I fully intend to see this supercool movie so, to all my friends, no spoilers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Dog and Free Movie Tuesday at Dundas Square

We went to Dundas Square last night to watch Blade Runner. It was playing free outside. While I did see some running, I did not see any knives. I think they could have come up with a more suitable name, really. Like Replicant Chaser or Shitty Movie.

I give the film a hard time, really but I bet it was great when it first came out in the 80's. (It did come out in the 80's, right).

I brought my Boston terrier, Stella, of course and she was trying to be all independent and cool, like she did not need to be on my lap, she was her own dog, but half way through the movie, she saw another dog on her owner's lap and Stella just had to sit on me for the rest of the night. Every once in a while she would look over at the other dog to see if it noticed that she too was privileged enough to not have to sit on the ground. Then she would attack my face with slobbery kisses. Yuck! They say dogs are a reflection of their owners so, not surprisingly, my dog is nuts.

Before the movie, they showed another episode of Flash Gordon and then a trailer for the film they are playing next week, Brazil. The trailer looked interesting so I am going to have to take Stella and go see that one.

If you want to see a complete listing of the sci-fi films they are showing every Tuesday at Dundas Square, view a previous entry: A gold mine of events that are dog friendly without being dog focused

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Stella Bella's Stomache Ache is Gone.

I rushed home last night to check on the status of Stella and she was fine. A day of rest did her good, she was back to her excited, goofy self. I wonder if all Boston Terriers gobble up everything in site or if it is just mine. The sad part is a night of diarhea and throwing up probably taught her nothing. When we spend next Saturday morning at the park, she will probably be gulping down clumps of dirt as if they were her favourite food. Hmm, maybe clumps of dirt are her favourite food...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stella Bella's diet is just a little too organic for her tummy to handle

After all the worry about Stella's first dog walking session, it did not even materialize! I gave the concierge the key but the concierge forgot and so when the dog walker came, they told her that they did not have anything for her. Why she did not call me at work, I don't know but whatever. Stella did not seem to be any worse for wear at having to be in her crate for so long.

I took her to the park on Saturday and she got to run around, eat bugs, grass, and dirt. I took her to the bf's family's house on Sunday so she got to run around, eat sticks, bark, grass, and dirt. Believe it or not, chasing around and pulling gross things out of Stella's mouth is pretty tiring.

Predictably, she had the runs and was even puking quite a bit last night. Other than that, she seems fine. No fever or tiredness. She is her usually joyful self, just stinkier (I did not think that was possible) and puke-ier. I was up at 3:30 this morning cleaning up after the poor girl. In typical male fashion, Mark slept through the entire thing.

I am hoping she is a hundred percent better after a day of rest. I am anxious to get home and see how she is doing. If she does not feel better by this evening, I will have to take my sweetie pie to her vet.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shopping Rule Number 1

My boyfriend went on a little shopping spree at Staples yesterday. Being a compulsive shop-a-holic myself, I am usually all for a little self-indulging shopping therapy. My boyfriend, however happened to commit a (in my books anyway) cardinal shopping sin! He did not shop on sale!!!!! That is right, everything he purchased, the three hole punch, the computer stuff I could only describe if there was already a written description for me to cut and paste, and finally a stapler, all of it at full price.

I guess that I only have myself to blame. After all, I dragged him kicking and screaming into the exciting world of hobby shopping, yet I must have neglected to teach him the rules. So, just in case he is really bored and decides to read this: Rule Number 1: ALWAYS SHOP ON SALE!!!!
So tonight I introduced my boyfriend to coupon codes. More specifically, I introduced him to Staples coupon codes. He was very pleased with the discounts and deals he saw so I am sure he will begin looking through all of the other online coupons there are to be found. Hopefully he will not go too crazy, though. We can only afford to have one sport shopper in the household right now.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dog Walker's First Visit

So the new dog walker came for the first time today. Stella, Mark and I met with her and she seemed to know her stuff but i can't help but be nervous. I keep thinking stuff like, what if she did not shut Stella's crate properly? and, what if Stella is stuck with a bully in the group? Then of course i think to myself Stop being silly! The woman is a prafessional and non-professionals walk dogs every bloody day!

I keep mentally chastizing myself for being so silly and I was sure Mark would tease me if he found out about my worries. About 2pm, however, Mark called me and asked, I was just wondering, do you think she shut that crate properly? It is pretty tricky.

So I did what any caring girlfriend and worried dog owner would do. I teased Mark for being a worrywart!

I guess we will find out how Stella faired when we get home.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Hazards of Owning a Dog in Downtown Toronto

The problem with living in downtown Toronto and owning a dog is that you cannot simply throw on sweat pants and take them for a quick walk.

Last night, I decided to try it out even though I knew better. I got home from work, threw on the first oversized, super comfortable Tshirt I found crumpled up in my "clean" pile, pulled on a pair of capris that did not go, put Stella on her leash and ran out the door. I did not bother with hair, make up or anything else that would require looking in a mirror. I just wanted to give her a run in the park before the rain hit.

I felt like such a slob wandering with Stella amongst the rushing sea of commuters in their suits and heels. I stood out like a sore thumb! I kept my head downand navigated Stella and myself through the heavy foot traffic until I (deep sigh of relief) made it to the park. Ah refuge!

Except, I ran into someone I know and work with. The wind was whipping and my hair was escaping from its ponytail. She looked perfectly polished as she just got off work and was meeting her boyfriend in the park. Her hair defiantly ignored the wind and stayed completely in place. As did her boyfriend's. As I was being introduced to the boyfriend, Stella jumped up to get my friend's attention, leaving trace amounts of dirt on her suit pants. I did not think it was a big deal but she looked pretty horrified.

I quickly took my leave but had to pause my retreat to allow Stella to do her business. I took a bag out of my pocket and bent down to pick up her mess. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my coworker and her boyfriend looking on. I carried Stella's mess ot the trash and continued on to my condo. Just as we got to the building, big fat drops of rain began to fall.

Safely inside my aparment, I wiped Stella's paws and sat down on the sofa. She jumped up on me and began licking my face. Totally worth it I thought to myself, but next time I will throw on a hat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Local Advertising for Local Customers. Duh.

I have decided to give my Google adwords campaigns a break because I am not getting the conversions rates that I hoped to get. Instead I am going to put my (very limited amount of) marketing dollars somewhere else. Most of my business and especially my repeat customers are local so I am thinking that I am going start with magnetic signs for my car. To be honest I am not sure why it has taken me this long to step up my local advertising game. I have wanted to try out Car Magnets for a while now and I have wanted to get a yard sign printed up so that I can take it with me to farmer’s markets. Maybe I can put another yard sign up at mother’s house as well.

BuildASign has a bunch of options for Car Magnets and other signs. I can easily choose a size and customize the look of my car Car Magnets right from there website so I am going to start my shopping there. Wish me luck and if you happen to see my Temple Treats sign on the side of a beat up Ford Escort GT, give a honk!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Stupid Pet Owners

My mom and brother came over last night for a dip in the pool. We decided to take Stella for a walk first and grab a coffee from the Starbucks on Harbourfront. While we were sitting there, an early twenty-something year old girl asked if she could pet Stella and told us she was planning to get a Boston Terrier herself. Here is how our conversation went:

Her: I am getting a Boston terrier soon, too.
Me: Congratulations, they are amazing dogs!
Her: Do they bark?
Me: No, not a lot.
Her: That's good, they don't allow dogs in my building.
Me: Well...they bark when someone comes to the door or when they hear something suspicious. You couldn't hide her.
Her: Oh. I had a pug but I had to get rid of it.
Me: And now you are getting a Boston?
Her: Yep. Well, thanks. Bye.

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Why would someone get a dog if they live in a place that doesn't allow dogs? First she ditched a poor, unsuspecting pug now she is going to end up doing the same to a Boston. errrr. So ANGRY.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Withrow Park, a great place to take your dog

Stella had a great weekend! Mark and I took Stella to the Withrow Farmer's market (just off Danforth) on Saturday. She had so much fun. I was mostly selling my Temple Treats so she and Mark spent the morning playing with a tennis ball. Withrow Park is a great place to bring dogs. It is a big park and they have a fenced off play area, including water fountain, for children so I do not have to worry about Stella getting hurt running under the jungle gym. They even have a play area, including some sort of a doggie water fountain! How great is that? She had a ball. Plus she is such a cutie, she got a lot of love and attention from everyone in the park.

On Sunday, Mark and I went to Windsor because Mark wanted to go to a VW car show and gathering. We were not sure about bringing Stella so we left her with my mom and brother. They took her to the beach and the park then back to their place. Stella kept jumping up onto the balcony (there is a fairly large step to get up to it) and then back down into the house. At one point my mom shut the screen door. I guess Stella did not realize because she jumped right through the screen! She was not hurt but I owe my mom a screen repair.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My mom and brother's poor kitty did not make it. It is just so sad. The vet is going to run some tests to try to find out what the poison was.

Here were his symptoms:

Mouth Ulcers
Yellow drool
Loss of motor skills
Vacant expression
A lot of hissing.

My mom fed him one of the catfoods brands that had some recalls but immediately switched the food during the recalls. Her vet and the pet store guy told her it was fine though, so she recently switched back. She had not thrown the nearly full bag away so when she switched back, it was to the original bag.

Also, she just got a new air conditioner and it gathers water in a tray under it. Maybe there was some kind of chemical in that water and he drank some.

Another possibility is that he likes to eat plastic and my brother's toys.

Obviously, this is a tragic event for a 10 year old boy to go through. I just feel as bad for him as I do for his kitty. I hope we can pin point the substance to ensure the safety of the other cat in the house. A rescue that my mom brought home just a coule of months ago.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Debt Consolidation

One of my very good friends recently found herself in a tough position. Going through a lengthy and pricey divorce, and suddenly a single mother, she was kinda up to her eyeballs in debt. Not wanting to declare bankruptcy, she instead decided to consolidate her debt. debt consolidation has worked well for her so far but as the divorce drags on, she thinks she may have to declare bankruptcy regardless.
Being very close with my friend, I have been with her (or on the phone with her!) every step of the way. I have to say I am surprised at how much good information there is about credit rating issues, debt consolidation, and financial loans there is online. Having all this information right at her fingertips has been a lifesaver for her and her family.

Sad Developments at Home and Abroad

No news on my brother's cat yet. We should find out early today the extent of damage to his kidneys. My brother is pretty upset, obviously. My mom and I took Joe in to see the cat, Max, yesterday and Max was in pretty rough shape. The ulcers in his mouth are obviously causing a lot of pain.

And in other disturbing news, Osama Bin Laudin's 27 yr old son, Omar, just married a senior citizen from Britain. I think I speak for pretty much every one here when I say WTF???

What kind of crazy news is this? Despite Omar's difficulty in getting around via airplanes and pretty much any other travel method, the 51 year old grandmother, who happens to have Multiple Sclerosis, is hoping he will come to Britain...and leave his other wife and child at home, I am sure.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Best Reason I Can Think Of Not To Look after Someone's Pet For Them

So the worst thing ever is happening right now. My mom and little brother are on vacation and I have been stopping by every other day to feed their cats and water their plants. I noticed a few days ago that one of her cats was even grumpier than his usual self but I chalked it up to him missing my mom and Joe. Well, yesterday I went over to the house to feed them and he was sick sick sick. He was drooling and his eyes were glazed over. He was lying in the bath tub and he was soaked from the dripping faucet. The cat was totally out of it.

I rushed him to my vet and they put him on an I.V. He has kidney damage but they won't know until tomorrow what the extent of the damage is. He actually might not pull through!

My mom and brother have come home early from their vacation and my brother is pretty upset that he can't see him. Honestly, though, the cat looked so bad yesterday, it would not be a good idea for my brother to see his beloved furry companion like that.

I am really hoping the poor kitty pulls through. My brother will be crushed if he doesn't. Plus my track record isn't looking too good in his eyes. The last time they went on holiday one of his fish died.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Masterseek. Not Just a Cool Logo

masterseek is a search engine that provides the basic information and more for almost 50 million companies in about 75 countries. But if you ask me what the coolest feature about this search engine is, I am going to have to be my (hopefully in an adorable way) usual lame, quirky self and say it is their awesome genie guy logo.

Oh by the way, not only can you access company profiles, you can also enter all of your own company information. They have about 55 categories to enter your company info under. I wonder if they have an organic vegetarian dog treat category?

And Stella Becomes Even More Expensive

We interviewed a dog walker for Stella today. We already have a very good friend of ours who happens to be a volunteer dog trainer come in a few days a week to play with her. I am not so sure that that is enough for Stella, though so we are going to start with the dog walker coming once per week and see how that goes. Maybe we will move it up to two or three days per week eventually but only if it is neccesary. I usually have night school one or two days per week and so the BF and I usually get home early on those days and then he will take her for extra long walks while I am in class. He has realized that the dog is a chick magnet and he loves all of the attention they both get when they are on their walks! Luckily I am not the jealous type. :)

Making Money Online

There is a new company called Bloggerwave that is now looking for bloggers to write reviews on products, services, and websites.

I signed up for a Bloggerwave account on Friday and when I checked my status this morning, the account was active and my blog was approved. I am pretty excited about that because, as I mentioned in a previous post (or two) I am trying to save up all of my money that I make online to buy kick ass Christmas presents for everyone. My entire Christmas budget this year depends solely on my ability to make money online, mostly on my lunch hours at work and occasionally on weekends. As it turns out, a new condo and all the stuff that goes with it costs a lot of money. This is my solution to the problem of having not a lot of spending cash.

I have a couple of open opps from Bloggerwave so this company looks promising!

Crazy Day in Toronto

The bf and I sure made the most out of yesterday! We woke up at 6:00am and were handing out fabric shopping bags for the condo promotion by about 8am. We handed out about 3600 by noon. We did some produce shopping at the St. Lawrence Market and then headed back to the condo. We changed, gathered up Stella and all of her toys and travel items, then headed to Mark's parents for Mark's grandmother's (or nanna as the family calls her, that is so cute) birthday. She turned 94. We arrived there for 3:30pm.

The company and dinner was excellent, as usual. Mark's parents always go out of their way to accomodate my vegetarian lifestyle. Mark's uncle's partner was the head pastry chef at The Old Mill before he retired and he makes the most amazing cheesecake and berry sauce, which he serevd yesterday. Unfortunately cheesecake does not like me very much so I could only have a forkful. Oh so yummy!!

We left Mark's parents house at 7:45pm. We fed and dropped off Stella at the condo then left for our friend's house. We arrived there at about 8:45pm. My friend and I drank Shandy's on her balcony while Mark fixed a chair for her.

We finally arrived home at about 1:00am. We played with Stella for just a bit before I promptly passed out by 2:00am! What a fun day!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Don't All Home Projects Start With a New Computer?

As I mentioned on a previous post, We spent last weekend building a shelving unit around the bed. We are not quite done yet. We need to add doors and hardware to the unit and then paint. The BF wants a dark colour but I want a soft colour like almond or pale yellow. Who do you think will win?

Even though we are not quite done with the bedroom yet, we are already thinking about the den. We are going to build a shelving unit and perhaps a desk in there but first things first. I am going to get rid of my bulky and inefficient Pentium II (no I am not joking, it is a Pentium II) and get something sleek, shiny and new. That way I will know exactly what we are going to build the shelving unit around. I am also going to get rid of my very old, giant printer, and equally old, yucky scanner.

In all likelihood, I will get a laptop much like my boyfriend’s LG. I also plan to get a lightweight portable scanner. Something that is incredibly user friendly as I am not a computer person. I like to scan my work and images easily so I need something that will allow me to do that with easy hook up and the push of a button. And something that can save as many image types.

Unless anyone has any better suggestions, I will probably go with the Scanshell 2000N, a very cool portable scanner.

But first, the shelving units. I am already picking out den stuff and I haven’t even picked out hardware for my cabinets yet!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Since we're here anyway, why not save the earth?

Surfing the web while I am supposed to be working, I just came across a website called About My Planet. The site is filled with information, news, tips, discussions and opinions about envioronmental issues that are all completely inspiring.

I have been putting much effort into being greener in the last few years. I have stopped buying any pop or beer cans that come packaged in those plastic rings. I (almost always) use cloth bags at the grocery store. My boyfriend and I carpool, we get and pay the bills online, I switched to environmentally friendly household cleaners, I do my laundry with cold water only, and the list goes on.

After reading a few pages of this site, though, I am reminded about how much more I can and should be doing. So today I am making some resolutions (it is not New Year's so these ones will definitely stick).

1. I am going to stop being so paper towel dependent.
2. I am going to stop buying and drinking bottled water on a daily basis.
3. I am going to cut down and eventually (hopefully) cut out my use of plastic wrap.

So these are my new self-improvement projects. What are yours?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Free Environmentally Friendly Grocery Bags

Mark and I got the condo assignment again for this weekend which means that we will be giving away free fabric grocery bags on the northwest corner of the St. Lawrence market to help promote a condominium that is being built in the area. Last time we did this we literally gave away thousands of bags to people living and/or shopping in the area.

I love this assignment because I am making people happy by giving away free stuff and helping the environment at the same time! Even Mark enjoys helping out on this one. Plus, I took a look at the model unit for the condo and omg it is really great. When Mark and I are ready to purchase a second property, we will definitely start there.

If you happen to be in the St. Lawrence Market area this weekend, look for the girls surrounded by hordes of people. We will be giving out blue fabric grocery bags!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Long Weekend Gone Forever!

Pretty much my entire long weekend revolved around building and insalling a shelving unit in our bedroom around our bed. It looks SO great and we are not even done yet. We still need to build and install doors and paint the unit.

Due to the major bedroom building project I did not get to see any fireworks this weekend but, after the shelving unit was in, we finally got to install the new light! Flicking on that switch after three months with a plug in garage light was just as impressive to us as fireworks display! Plus it was more dog friendly. So even though the weekend was spent shunning the outdoors and, consequently, the amazing weather, I am still feeling pretty good about things right now.

On my other blog, my Temple Treats blog, I have upgraded to a paid site so that I do not have to put up with all of those annoying competitor's google ads. I am not incredibly happy with how the upgraded blog looks yet. I will get there, I am sure, I just suck at all things computer related so it will take me a while. Anyway, check out my upgraded blog: The Dog Dish!