Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What's Going On?

In at least one of my recent posts, I've alluded to some drastic changes that Brandon and I are experiencing and I haven't had time (and still don't really) to fill you in. 

We're Moving!

Although our lease technically isn't complete yet, with Brandon working and living back in his home town, and me living here it's been tough to see each other, care for our dogs in separate houses and organize our lives.  So, we made the decision to....gulp... move back in with our parents temporarily.  Why?  To save up the money we've been spending on rent, and put it towards a down payment on a home of our own.  Yay!  Home ownership!  I've been ready to buy a house for years, and 4 years ago I was in the process of beginning my home search.  Then I decided to go back to school and paying for school and house just wasn't feasible for me.  I'm very excited to begin looking for our first home, though I think it makes Brandon a bit nervous.  (I always see those couples on HGTV and laugh- now it's me and my guy in the same position)

We're definitely going to be looking for a home that has income property potential, preferably already completed with minor renos or updates required.  His dad is a handy man in regards to house improvements, so I'm sure we can enlist his help and education.  I would love if we could be on "Income Property" with Scott McGillvray from HGTV (yes I love that channel), so maybe once we have our down payment all stored up I'll go ahead and apply (much to Brandon's chagrin).

I got a new job!

Goodbye telecommunications company, various shift-work retail world and crappy boss.  Hello full-time 9-5, office job with fun, professional people who actually enjoy working.  What?  Yup- they all get along and enjoy working together.  It's only my second day and I have a company cell phone, a desk with a window, all the free office supplies I could need (and an inside relationship to the office administrator who orders said office supplies), and tomorrow is a paid for team lunch.  It's nice to be in a fun environment where people want to be and work together.  Still lots to learn and people to get to know, but it's refreshing to be outside of a uniform and have my own responsibilities and area.  Oh- I didn't even mention what I will be doing: I'm a recruitment sourcer.  Yay!  Let me know if you need a job.  Though I mostly work with the large banks of Canada.

Needless to say, there's a lot going on with Brandon not living here right now, working a new job and commuting a bit farther than I have been, making all the meals, packing the entire apartment up, organizing what boxes we will open when we move home and which ones will stay packed until we buy our place, plus cleaning everything before the new tenants move in.  It's hectic to say the least and it's a tad stressful.  But Brandon calms me down and tells me it will work out.

We're busy little beavers here.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


It's April 22nd, but for me, more important than the date, is the day... Earth Day!  I love Earth Day, partially because media everywhere are bringing awareness to the environment (flyers advertising free coniferous trees when you buy an eco-friendly product from Home Depot make me want to go find something to buy!) and partially because I get to talk about it!  Yay!  Educating people on environmental awareness in such a way which does not cause them to fall over, or asleep, with boredom is my main objective.
So, what better way than to post my first post to my virgin segment? (there isn't one)


As stated before I got incredibly busy getting ready to move and start a new job (more on that later), this new blog segment is going to showcase some of the best environmentally responsible products, that don't have the ridiculously high prices that many eco products adorn themselves with.  It is possible to be green and stay within a budget.  (Sorry Kermit, but sometimes it is easy to be green!)  It will also provide you with easy, free ideas at home you can help keep this earth around as long as possible.

So, for those out there who are budget conscious AND eco-conscious, I present to you my blog segments.  I'm hoping to provide some useful information to those out there who don't know where to start, or who have the misconception that it's too expensive to be an eco warrior (my brother).  False.

One of the easiest ways to start being more environmentally conscious is to start with the small items that don't cost a thing.  (Right up my alley!)  There are lots of small things around your own home that will help the environment thrive with your extra helping hand.  Here's a small compiled list:

  • Before you open the fridge or freezer door, decide what you want to take out of it.  Keeping the fridge door open wastes a lot of electricity & energy.  Why?  Because the cold air that fills the fridge is escaping through the gianormous opening you've just created!  Close it!  Hurry up!
  • Unplug unused electronics.  So often we keep electronics plugged in for convenience, but don't use them.  There are some, I understand, that must always stay plugged in for clocks and memories etc. But how about that Wii that's only played once a month?  Or the phone charger that waits all day, plugged in, for you to return home with a dying, beeping phone? So unplug them while you aren't using them and leave them near the outlet to still keep some convenience. 
  • Vehicles- so often in our Canadian winters people want to drive to work in a nice warm car, however turning on your car and letting it idle while you're still indoors getting ready, pumps a lot of pollution out into our atmosphere for no other reason except our own comfort on our way to work or school. And if comfort is of value to you, is breathing clean air not important to remain comfortable?
    In Toronto, and surrounding areas, we have "idle free" zones. This is a good rule of thumb regardless of your location or whether it is enforced by law or not. Another big offender is the idling car while waiting to pick kids up from school or waiting in someone's driveway to head out to a movie etc.. Turn the engine off and help our air to be cleaner and safer for our use.

    Also in regards to vehicles, try to take the highways whenever possible. Why bother when it's only 2 exits over? Less stopping for lights and stop signs means less gas used (also a benefit in today's increasing oil prices!) and less time you're pumping toxins into the air. I'm not going to say never use vehicles for personal use, in this day of age its almost a necessary evil. However, there are smarter ways to utilize these tools and still remain as Eco friendly as possible.
  • An easy-peasy, lemon-squeezey Eco friendly initiative at home is turning off lights. I'd never suggest being unsafe, but after you've gone to sleep does your front light need to be on? When it's daytime, do you need that ceiling light on? Can you turn on a smaller lamp to provide the light you need instead of that ceiling light burning 4 light bulbs? All easy alternatives that help both your electricity bill and the environment! Win-win
  • When you brush your teeth- turn off the water. And when you must turn on the water (anytime) turn it on minimally. Why do you need it on full blast just to rinse your toothbrush or to wash your hands?

    These are all super easy steps in your daily life to reduce your carbon footprint, save money and feel better about your actions. 
Yay Earth Day!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is Brandon's 25th birthday!!! Yay quarter of a century!

He's not so pumped but we all must get older.
So, we both took today off work and decided to drive nearly 2 hours away to visit his favourite museum, the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum in Hamilton. He was excited to get in and see the planes he hasn't seen in almost a year. We approach the museum, after a slight detour based on poor navigating or poor driving (depending who you talk to!) and Brandon tries to open the door. It's locked.

He tries again. Still locked. So I walk up to the door (surely I can open it!). Nope. I look at the blue sign on the door "closed for the day sorry for the inconvenience"


We drove all this way for... A closed museum? Not cool. Brandon was beyond disappointed and it now became my job to somehow save his birthday.
We found a model shop (that sells model airplanes- NOT tall, good looking women) so he could peruse around there and then stopped in at our local comic book store so he could pick up a couple editions of his current read: The Boys. While there of course he saw a WoW figurine "Hellacream" so he got that, and we enjoy board games- so we picked up a Walking Dead board game.

We came home did some unpacking (more on that in another post) and played a few rounds of our new game, got Brandon's new figurine (read:doll) on the shelf and Brandon read his new comics.

I hope it turned out to be a good 25th birthday after all.

Happy 25th Birthday Brandon! I love you!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

PC vs. Mac

Brandon is a PC guy and HATES Mac and everything they stand for.

I am a Mac gal and can't stand using PCs, and wouldn't buy a PC again.

Brandon believes I am brainwashed, and oft makes fun of my old and slow Macbook and the fact it may take it a little bit of extra time to open Internet windows or files.  But it does it.  Do we get rid of old people just because they're slower?  Though I'm sure some people would like to, I would hope the answer is no.

Anyhow, many arguments have begun with the Mac vs. PC debate.

Well... guess who's computer needed to be restored to factory settings this morning?  No, not mine.  Would I really write a blog post about how I was wrong in the Mac vs PC debate?  Nope!  So Brandon's computer had to be restored.  His mighty PC has decided to erase some content and multiple error codes appeared and essentially wiped out his desktop.  Let me point out that there was a time last year when Brandon accused me of breaking his old laptop.  See that post here.  That old laptop had the same issue I just described his NEW laptop as having.  And I haven't touched his new laptop.  Are you seeing my point here?  I never broke his old laptop!


Sunday, 8 April 2012

"Look at how big my shoulder pads are!"

Recently, Brandon decided he no longer wanted to be a cute little Goblin in World of Warcraft.  Instead he thought being an Orc was a more suitable race to represent his character.  I disagree, as I think the Goblin was much cuter.  He says that's not what he's going for- cute.  He wants big and badass.

Let me remind you who Verbosa used to be:  WoW at Your Fingertips

Now let me introduce the new Verbosa:

More dangerous
More badass
Riding an Ostrich... in a pink dress.

I can't think of anything more badass than a large green being, riding an Ostrich (with fluffy tail included) in a ankle to wrist pink frilly dress.  Can you? 

As soon as he made his worthwhile payment of $20 USD to change races on his monthly paid for game, he was so excited.  His voice quickened and things like, "Look at how big my shoulder pads are now!" and "My mount is so much bigger compared to how he used to look".

I was much more excited about looking at houses and clothes online.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

World Stray Animals Day

This post was scheduled to appear on April 4th (real World Stray Animals Day) but my account chose NOT to post.  So I'm posting it today!

Today is World Stray Animals Day!

There are millions of animals worldwide struggling to survive.  Pleading humans not to euthanize animals in need happens throughout many organizations all over, but today, April 4th (also my old family dog's birthday), is a day to recognize the needs of the stray animals.

I have only just been introduced to this day this year, via my dog-training hero, Cesar MilanHave I mentioned that I love that man and the training methods he uses?!  He's amazing!  I get his newsletter in my email often, and this one was of particular interest to me.  Animals bring so much joy (and work) to our lives, why not go help out a stray or homeless animal?

Many people think stray animals only consist of dogs and cats- but there are many larger and smaller animals that need help and homes too.  I encourage everyone to check out their local shelter or rescue organization for information on animals that need homes, volunteer opportunities and donation requests.  Have an extra leash your dog has grown out of or doesn't match her collar anymore?  Donate it.  Can you afford an extra bag of cat food while shopping?  Donate it.  Have a day off with nothing to do?  Donate it.  

Tauri, Tess & Gemini- breeder & only pet store pups
Let me admit that I have not always been an advocate for rescuing animals.  Not to say I discouraged people from doing it, I just had specific wants from an animal.  I'm pretty particular as to what I want, when I want it and how I'll make it happen.  I'm stubborn (Brandon will attest to this) and I acquired all but one of the 15+ dogs that I've owned/fostered/trained/bred throughout my life from breeders.  The other was an adorably cute and impossible to ignore pet store puppy. Both Hudson and Sarah are purebred, though Hudson was registered with the CKC and Sarah wasn't they are both great dogs.  I'm not knocking responsible and ethical breeders either.  They are great, and I have gotten many fantastic dogs from breeders.  But, more recently, I am seeing the advantage of rescuing a dog.  And many breeds have specific rescue groups meant directly for that breed.  I'm almost certain our next puppy will come from a human society or rescue group.

Visit! for more information.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Why Living Alone is Bad for My Blog

This blog began, in jest, as a plight for my survival against living with men boys.  And, when I began, I had lots of material.  I had been stock piling for months, possibly years.  But now, Brandon is gone for many days of the week and my inspiration has gone with him.  He provided me with such great material, and now it isn't as plentiful.  Meaning I cling to the little things I then realize aren't quite as impactful or funny once I begin writing.  Therefore, until my boyfriend and I are, once again, living together full time, I am adding a segment to this blog called "Eco Econ".

This segment will discuss environmentally friendly ways to help the environment while not breaking the bank.  We all see those ads out there claiming to have fantastic environmentally friendly products and then when you do a bit more research and check the pricing, it's so far out of reality you feel badly about then turning around and going for your 2 hour luxury drive through the country- spewing fumes and toxins into the air.  Oh, is that just me?

I am a budget gal.  I like making them.  I like keeping to them.  I enjoy cheap inexpensive (thank you Brandon for the terminology correction) items.  The less expensive the item is, the more I feel I should buy it.  Sales and discounts are a killer for me.  But, my frugal lifestyle and my eco-warrior lifestyle don't always see eye-to-eye.  Organic toothpaste: $16.  Shannon's wallet: $5.  Do you see the problem?

So, this made me think there has to be other people out there interested in loving the environment and being more socially conscious about their purchases, who also cannot spend ridiculous amounts of money on such items.  I know it is possible to be environmentally aware and keep within budget.  Actually many of the ideas I will give you are FREE!  That's right folks- F.R.E.E.

So stay tuned to the blog for some Eco Econ...and of course the blog genesis of the mantics!

Monday, 2 April 2012

30 by 30: have readers in at least 30 different countries

As part of my 30 by 30 challenge, I wanted to have at least 30 different countries reading my blog.  And I am happy to announce I have reached my goal (far before my 30th birthday)!  Below is a list of the countries who have read my blog.  If you're one of my readers, leave me a comment about which country you tune in from.  I'd love to hear from you!

  1. Canada
  2. United States
  3. Russia
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. Bangladesh
  7. Bulgaria
  8. Brazil
  9. Greece
  10. India
  11. Turkey
  12. Ukraine
  13. China
  14. Malaysia 
  15. United Kingdom
  16. South Africa
  17. Armenia
  18. Lithuania
  19. Czech Republic
  20. Japan
  21. Latvia
  22. Ireland
  23. Mexico
  24. Columbia
  25. Indonesia
  26. Egypt
  27. France
  28. Taiwan
  29. Pakistan
  30. Romania
  31. Ecuador
  32. Denmark
  33. Croatia
  34. Vietnam
  35. Italy
  36. Hungary
  37. Austria
  38. South Korea
  39. Argentina   (updated May 26, 2012)
  40. Puerto Rico
  41. Kenya
  42. Honduras
  43. Nigeria

Sunday, 1 April 2012

P.S. I love you

Since I've seen the movie P.S. I Love You, I've kind of been obsessed.  It spurred my 2 week trip with my best friend, Emily to Ireland where we had the time of our lives. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, it's a total mushy chick flick where the husband dies (don't worry I didn't ruin anything you don't find out within the first 15 minutes of the movie) and then sends his widowed wife love notes from the grave.  And ends each one with "p.s. I love you".  Doesn't your heart just melt?

No, Brandon has not died, nor is he sending me adorable love notes.  He did however, update the traditional love note style the other day when he was at the gym and I was at home.  The first message said, "OK I'm at the gym now" and a couple minutes later he said "P.S. I love you"

At the risk of everyone who reads this knowing how super mushy and girly I can be, it totally made my heart melt!  I may have even shed a tear.  A love tear of course.  So, apparently it can happen in real life.