BrandieBlack.com

My Life – One Word At A Time

Category: Thoughts (Page 1 of 2)

This is my wise face

Naive, or Stupid?

Every person, from child to adulthood, makes many mistakes in life that shape them to be the person they become. This is a fact. A lot of those mistakes are hard to deal with at the time, and you beat yourself up over the things you could have done differently or shouldn’t have done at all. As hard as these events are to cope through, it is the reality of life and we can only hope we learn from them.

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A Week Revisited

Hola amigos!

I have totally rejected my blog for the last week on an account of I have been pretty busy with all of life’s great responsibles (I know I spelled that wrong, TPB reference) . No excuses, though. This blog is still really new for me (I used to blog on this url but that was like 1000 years ago) so I hope I haven’t lost any readers from my lack of effort. Sooooo, I am going to revisit this past week in this post and fill ya’ll in, in what I hope is exciting (We’ll see).

Yup.

Yup.

Ok, so last Friday was my last post. I actually had an epic night last Friday night that ended around 5 am in Placa Catalunya, having street beers on a bench. BUT, I (or Apple) totally suck and I ended up deleting a bunch of pics. Really p’d about that, but I will make do. Basically it started out – No, I am not going to even tell because with no pics, it’s totally pointless. Wow I am getting really mad that I deleted those pics (grr). Great, and now there is a baby crying in the cafe.

ANYWAY.

I did go for a killer dinner with some friends that were visiting from Estonia. We had paella at this place on the beach called Salamanca. It was AMAZING! Thank god I posted pics on Instagram and Twitter, so I stole them back from there to show you. This place has literally been around for like 30 years, it’s really well known in Barcelona for the best paella, and although so many places say that, it actually is. Expensive, but so worth it. Oh, they also had a board with all these different currencies, I saw no Canadian dollas *sad face*.

Make it rain!

Make it rain!

The restaurant, itself, is a real gem. Really old-school Spanish dining style, and the cool thing about this place is it has small frame pictures covering every square inch of the walls. And for good reason I suppose. The long-time owner, whatever his name is, has pictures of 100’s of celebs that came there to dine. Honestly I didn’t know who so many of them were (must be a Euro thing) but I did manage to snap a pic of a frame right beside my seat, with Shakira. I don’t care about Shakira or her music but it was still cool. We has some awesome food, wine and beer and then headed over to this great cafe/dessert bar where they had the craziest desserts. Don’t have pics of those (anymore) but they were awesome. I will definitely go back another time, I don’t even remember the name (starts with a B?) but it’s great. Now it’s time to salivate…

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Mmmm Seafood Paella……

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Shakira, you so fly…

If you didn’t know (I didn’t), Barcelona football team won a champion cup. I know, I should have known, but I have enough things to pay attention to in my life and not to mention I have the attention span of a 2 yr old. Anyway. I went to the store to buy groceries and I guess they were having a parade in Barca where the team rides around on a bus so everyone can see them/the cup. They sure love the sport here, I tell ya. When leaving the store, the madness of people and flags was right between me and my way home, so I had to brave it. Bad idea. I was stuck in a not-moving crowd and this huge lady behind me was rubbing up on my badonk, it was super startling. THEN, a fight broke out right in front of me and I thought I was going to get punched in the face. I didn’t, but someone knocked into me and broke three of my eggs. That was a good time. Hey, I got a free flag so it’s all good.

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The crowd (and this was tame in comparison)

The ending to this massively weak, week summary, was last night. My buddy from France is staying at my flat and he made an amazing French dinner of crepes with some amazing fillings. It was so good. We went to the store, bought a ton of food and had a cooking party in my too-small-for-3-people kitchen. We made it work, though. We jammed to Buena Vista Social Club and cooked up a storm. Made the crepes from scratch, red wine, and made the fillings – Smoked salmon, jamon (ham), chicken, sauteed mushrooms and onions, tomato, chorizo, cheese, seasoned cream, nutella… I think that’s it haha. It was bomb. After we stuffed ourselves silly, we hung out on the couch, smoked cigarettes to ease the fullness, and watched Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares (my current tv obsession). Not too bad for a Wednesday night! I’m currently on a no-drinking month so I didn’t indulge in the red. Once June 1st hits (there is an epic party at a weed club), I will be back on the booze, responsibly, of course (challenge, accepted).

Crazy Francophone Chef - iiiii

Crazy Francophone Chef – iiiii

Le crepe dîner a la France

Le crepe dîner a la France

And today? Nothing too exciting, been working like a beotch to prepare for a new internet marketing/copy writing job, as well as get caught up with some other sites. The life of a computer girl (not saying geek like so many people do, who aren’t, because I am not). I’ve been working out a lot and for some reason have been soo tired everyday. I took it to Facebook to ask my health friends if they knew why, and they gave me lots of tips. I will actually write about that this week, because the tips were great and I am really trying to master this health thing (to balance out the ciggs, naturally). I do something I don’t usually do, and took a selfie of how tired I look today. I never smile in pics because I always look Asian (I am not) so this is my half-ass smile. I finally hauled my ass out of the house and now sit at a cafe with some strong coffee and civilization. It’s helping for sure but I would really like to figure out why I am so damn tired. Another day 🙂

#NOFILTER ahahah

Stoned or tired? You decide

I know other things have happened in the last week but unfortunately my memory does not exist and relies on pictures. Pathetic, I know. Now I have a serious urge to read the Teen Mom 2 news on some lame gossip site. I am ashamed, so no need to tell me so.

Thanks for reading and I will work on not neglecting the blog duty. All in good time the habit will come 😉

Cheers ya’ll

Throwing this one in too

What’s Your Google Personality?

Every couple months, there’s a morning when during my coffee and getting my day started on the laptop, I decide to Google myself. Who doesn’t, right?? If you’re  one of those freaks of nature who hasn’t, I suggest you do it right now. But come back after. Seriously.

Anyway. This morning was one of those, I think it’s been at least six months since the last time I did a good ol’ Google search for “Brandie Black”. I always get a kick out of what shows up, because it is either lost pictures of me that my friends posted years ago, old travel pics, business stuff, or just completely strange and random pictures that I have no idea where the relevance lies. Either way, there is always something that surprises you and gives you a good laugh (or cringe – depends). These are some of the images I found…

Ok, Let’s just get the worst over with right now. Worst thing I have ever seen in my life, and my god I had no idea this existed. I just hope I made this face on purpose, but I really can’t be sure…

I remember this night, playing a friends homemade board game that was actually amazing. I assume drinking was involved.

Game night! Darrr

Game night! Darrr

Ok so lots more of these random photos popped up from the same night, thank god a bit more flattering. Well, I don’t look possessed so I am not going to complain.

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Rockin’ the bangs hard

Well don’t I just feel American. This little  fancy pie graph came up which I actually think is pretty cool. I have literally never met anyone with the same name and spelling as me, so I guess it’s fun to know they are out there. Primarily in the States. I just realized something, if this is accurate and there are only 75 “Brandie’s” in Canada, that actually pretty awesome. I guess I could look at it from two perspectives… Either I am unique, or if I ever do something wrong, I am really easy to track down. Maybe for now on I will just go by “Sarah”.

FACT.

FACT.

Before I clicked that ‘Search’ button, I was really hoping for one of those blast from the past hilarious moments. And my friends, this is it. I am literally laughing as I am typing this.

So basically, the last time we had a Federal election in Canada, which I think was about 2-3 years ago, my friend Brooke and I were day drinking and heard this incredibly cheesy election commercial on the radio. It was really the epitome of bad advertising. We thought it  was so funny that we decided to re-enact the commercial, but in person, drunk. I only wish I could find the video, but I can’t.

One thing led to another and we were super excited about the awesome video we made, which was actually really funny. We decided to make a Facebook campaign and our own Federal party, called the Party Party. We had our own mandates,  like liquor can be sold everywhere at anytime, pot was legal and we would supply tobacco to minors. We didn’t win the Federal vote. As you may assume, none of this was real, but it really seemed so in our minds.  Only time in my life I have ever cared about politics. Look at those faces, wouldn’t you elect me/us??

Best Google Result in History.

Best Google Result in History.

Since we were on this topic anyway, and apparently  my campaign was more popular than I thought, since all these ‘campaign photos’ showed up, I just had to throw this one in. In order to get the people of Canada to really believe in us, we had to  have proper campaign photos, so it looked professional. I’d say we nailed it. The man to my left was the biggest supporter.  I took a tip from Obama, and used a semi-black citizen, because everyone would trust me then! I realize that sounds racist but it really isn’t, don’t get mad, he was a volunteer. Thanks Chris!

Throwing this one in too

Throwing this one in too

Like I mentioned, there is always some really random and irrelevant things that appear when you Google yourself.  This picture, below, showed up about five times on the first page in Google Images. I know I have posted it on my G+ profile and probably somewhere else too, apparently. I just love funny pictures and now realize, after going through, that I have about 60+ funny pics like this on my drive. I will definitely share these in a future post. Haha squirrel.

And then the randomness...

And then the randomness…

This pic below kind of surprised me. This pic is very recent, from a YouTube video I made and posted for only a few short hours. I decided the quality just wasn’t as good as it could be, so I took it down. The surprising part here is, that it was only posted for a few hours and yet Google managed to index it. Goes to show, be careful with what you post online. I am yet to post the final version, as I am a total perfectionist, but once I master my first YouTube video, I will definitely be hooking that shiz up  to my blog. It should be pretty funny, I will give you a hint as for the content: The top 10 most annoying people on Facebook. I will be a comedian in no time.  Look out, Vegas!

The internet is so clever!

The internet is so clever!

And finally…

Naturally, when I type in my name, this image comes up. Represent.

Obviously.

Obviously.

Of course, I could definitely post about 30 more pictures, but I think this sums up my Google personality. They really didn’t do a bad job, apart from the hugely embarrassing first photo. Luckily for me, I have no shame and don’t mind being seen in this light (which should really just be dark).  This is probably one of the most fun posts I have written thus far. I feel like I just went on a little internet journey, touring the Google museum of myself. Like I said, you should definitely try it sometime, if you haven’t.

I feel it is only right for  those of you who read this, to go Google yourself and let me know what you find, in the comments below. C’mon, I showed you mine, now show me yours. Haha! Ciao

 

 

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A Lesson Never Learned Too Soon

Juggling life here in Europe along with a semi-existence in my home country, Canada, has been anything but easy. Not that I was expecting it to be. I can only hope I wasn’t too naive as per my expectations when I hauled my eight suitcases full of clothes, shoes and bags of makeup I rarely use, along with my sacred laptop.

One of the biggest faults of human race is thinking you can depend on other people. It’s so easy to get dismantled by the friendships, loves and companionships you have with the people you meet and grow with. Our general loving nature as people can often fail us and we go from 100 to zero very fast when we realize ourselves are our only real lifeline. I am sure I am not speaking for the mass population of people out there who keep guarded and safe in their own bubbly space, but I do know there are a lot of people like myself who trust easily. What was that I said about being naive? Yeah, so I guess I am, a little. But I am learning.

love me

As I write this post two things come to mind. A song, and something my parents have always told me. First, the song. And I quote, “The road is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself”. To reminisce on my parents words, “No one will ever look out for you and be there for you, like your parents”. Maybe I should quickly remind myself how lucky I am to actually have parents, especially the type of parents I have. No matter how many times I have made mistakes and not taken valuable advice as an adult, they have never turned a blind eye when I needed them.

The many, many times I have been given this advice, and been burned, I seem to forget it so easily. Then, you find yourself in a moment of weakness, sometimes so unbearable you don’t know how to go on, and you are alone. I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever felt this way, but I have to say, it is one of the worst feelings to be had. Whenever these low points occur, I remember that one song and those wise words I’ve heard many times. But why only now, when it’s often too late and the support systems you had, were never really there?

Most life lessons only come with experience, but sometimes, even with the experience behind you, you fall so easily into the familiar trap. As I learn this lesson yet again, I feel maybe I can be that much smarter going forward, if I write it down in the form of a blog post, sharing it with other people who may find themselves in an all-too-familiar scenario. If you haven’t caught on to the lesson du jour, I will gladly shine the spotlight: Never depend on anyone more than yourself. Or, just simply don’t depend on other people at all, more than you have to, anyway.

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Yes, lets admit there will be many scenarios in our lives where we must depend on others, to some degree. We can’t escape that. But when it comes to situations or things that only really effect you, remember the valuable piece of advice, that you are the only person that has your best interest at heart. Well, you, and your parents, if you are ever so lucky.

This is truly one life lesson you can never learn too soon. The sooner, the better. As I write this, with a million thoughts racing through my head, I feel I may have grown a little bit stronger, a little bit smarter. Of course, only time will tell, as with time, comes knowledge and your true strength and understanding of life shine through. This article definitely holds a much different tone than what I have written about so far, but I believe strongly enough in the cause. I end this with a silent cheers to each and everyone one of you, a cheers in you, because you are stronger than any external force.

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Bosnian Thug Lyfe: Sheep Balls and Liquor

…Need I say more? I have to admit, this title holds little relevance to the actual experience I will soon tell, but I will keep this title simply because I think it’s funny and awesome. Saying “thug lyfe” no longer reminds me of 2Pac or gangster rap, but of cold beer, bitches and barbecues. Wait, that didn’t come out right… On with it.

The part of the title of this post that DOES hold relevance, is the Bosnian part. And the sheep balls and liquor. Good thing, because if this title was completely irrelevant, well, that would just be ridiculous.

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Bah-Bah Blacksheep, Roasting Away…

Since my lover happens to be from Bosnia, I get lots of chances to delve into his culture and experience fascinating things. This day of May 1st, which also happens to be an international European holiday (May Day), was one of the most interesting Bosnian experiences thus far. We had a great start – Lots of friends and family in the Spanish countryside, with a whole roasting lamb and lots of beer. Good start, indeed.

As the first of us gathered there early that morning, around 10 am, we enjoyed some Italian grappa in the surprisingly hot sun, lounging in the grass while the fire started to smolder. One of my favorite things to do while fairy-like frolicking amongst the green, is make daisy crowns. I feel really old-school, like a hippy badass from the Dazed and Confused movie, or something. My hope for fulfilling that cliche was totally ruined by the fact that my daisy crown was a total fail. Honestly, the daisies were too small. And my hands were sweaty. I was drunk. Blah.

A convenient water fountain for the alcohol. Yay.

A convenient water fountain for the alcohol. Yay.

After getting over my hippy poser-ness, by moving to the next cliche and smoking cigarettes, quietly, in a somewhat-of-a-corner with my hands in my pockets, I was ready for some Bosnian action. In this case, by action, I mean food action. When these guys cook, they don’t mess around. We had the hardcore, old school men, manning the fire and slicing up every part possible of the little  bah-bah blacksheep. Waste none! When I say every part, I mean two very specific parts: The liver, and the balls. Yep. Balls.

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That would be a sheep ball.

Now, I don’t know if it was the early morning grappa and beer, or the aroma of culture in the air, but something strange came over me at this moment. As the first parts of the lamb were being served onto the rustic picnic table, I nodded to my fellow senorita, and decided: This is the day, I will try lamb liver and lamb balls. And that’s exactly what I did. I started first with the liver, which I have never tried before, and I found it rather off. Ok, it was nasty. Just not my thing. Feeling brave and oh-so culturally sound, I picked up a slice of the fire-roasted ball, and ate it. I wish I could say I enjoyed it…but…it was intensely odd and not so appetizing. The texture was really soft and chewy and…Ok, I’ll stop there. I started describing this to people and they almost punched me.

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Finished Products. Almost.

This very unique taste-testing experience was probably the highlight of my day, the most outrageous, anyway. When the lamb was eventually roasted, I did give it a try, although I wasn’t a huge fan of that either. I am generally not one for meat, or weird meat at that. I thought ahead and brought myself a faggy little salad I made at home. As I say that, one meat dish that is very native to Bosnia comes to mind – Chevap. It’s basically pork, beef and spices in the form a little sausages. They are amazing and definitely one of my favorites.

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Chevap Sausage – Yum!

Other than eating and drinking lots of beer (conveniently stored in the water fountain, for optimal freshness), the day was spent hanging out in the grass  in the hot sun. I had more than a sunburn on my shoulders, I guess that will teach me for refusing sunblock in an attempt to “burn, then tan”, as the Swedish do. Not such a wise choice. I  have yet to mention, we were picnicking at a beautiful monastery, and since we were deep in the country, it genuinely looked like a scene out of The Godfather I. The mountains and never-ending green, with the semi-exotic tress, just like when Al Pacino was rippin’ it up in Sicily. That’s what I thought, anyway.

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See my Godfather/Sicily reference?

At some point, the fun had to end and the sun had to set. We eventually piled into the car before our last cigarettes, strapped ourselves in and prepared to return back to reality. This wonderful May Day created new friends, new experiences and some tender sunburns. But it was well worth it!

Pretty Monastery. Get your prayers on!

Pretty Monastery. Get your prayers on!

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Summary: In A Dark Paradise

After what seems like two full weeks of rain (an exaggeration, of course), I am really starting to feel like I am living in London again. It has been dark, wet and dreary in, what is usually, sunny Barcelona for the past five days, and according to my iPhone weather app, today will be the last of it. I can only hope, anyway! I try to look on the bright side and remind myself that Barcelona, on average, only gets about 55 days of rain a year, so without days like today, we could have a real water crisis on our hands!

Since the weather here has been anything but lively this last week, I find it very hard to stay motivated when it comes to writing. I guess my brain just kind of slows down. That, and I guess it doesn’t help that it’s Monday, which usually makes no difference to me but it was quite a hardcore weekend of socializing, drinks and dancing around the city.

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Rainy Day = Empty Streets in Spain

I don’t want to classify myself as one that would have a “Case of the Mondy’s”, so I have decided to turn Monday into a continuation of “Sunday Funday”. Of course, my responsibilities return amidst the beginning of a new week, unlike that of Sunday, but in spirit I am choosing to make Monday a Funday. While I’m at it, I may as well do the same for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It’s all about your perception and attitude, right?? 🙂

So, because of my sudden shift in attitude (which literally occurred while writing this), I have decided upon a new Monday blog tradition: Summarizing my weekend! It makes great sense since I really do not write on Saturday or Sunday, and my weekend are usually pretty eventful. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Friday

The favorite day of the week for many, Friday is when people shake the stresses of the week, whether that means relaxing at home or having some drinks with buddies. Me? I tend to go for the second option, and this Friday was no different. The rain was definitely coming down hard that night, but with a cozy flat and some great people around you, that fact is soon forgotten! Oh, and how could I forget, lots of cava, beer and wine :). This Friday was not a typical one, as I managed to go home relatively early in the hopes of a fresh start Saturday morning.

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Party Time, Excellent!

Saturday

Impressed with my early-to-bed decision on Friday, I was up  at a decent hour on Saturday morning. Of course, the weather was in no way impressive however did not want to use that as a reason to stay in all day. After some relaxing and a good (late) breakfast, I headed out with my partner in crime to hunt down an awesome dim sum spot in the Borne area of Barcelona. I was really excited for this, since I hadn’t had dim sum for quite some time. We arrived in good time, an hour early for the start of dinner but that worked out well, as this place is seriously busy after 7pm. A few wines and beers later, while translating all the dim sum dishes from Spanish to English, we had worked up quite an appetite (and a bit of a buzz!). Let me tell you, this dim sum, was amazing. To make this place even better, they have an extensive list of expensive import beers that were dirt cheap. No wonder this place is so popular! You are probably wondering what this place is called, and don’t worry, I won’t leave that out. The place is called Mosquito and it’s located  at Carrer Carders, 46, Barcelona 08003. If you live in this great  city or are planning to visit, this is definitely a pit stop you should be making! It has a great atmosphere, unbelievable food and great beer. If you venture to this hole-in-the-wall, I strongly recommend the duck (anec) dumpling!

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Best Dim Sum Everr

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I think these were my eel dumplings, but you never can tell…

As you can imagine, I left feeling full and a bit drunk, and the night was only getting started. While I didn’t realize how late it was when I went for dim sum, I quickly realized when I had to head out to meet some friends at 9 pm… and go eat Mexican food. Oops. I was convinced that I was not going to eat anything after my dim sum feast, but that changed after we waited for our table for an hour, with a few more drinks in hand. The food was great at Rosa Negra, I would definitely recommend the pineapple and chicken quesadilla, but stay away from their shrimp cocktail… It was a huge disappointment. I guess it’s worth mentioning that Rosa Negra’s claim to fame is there €3.50 mojito. It’s strong and seriously good! The restaurant has a great atmosphere and authentic decor as well, which always makes the experience a little better.

The night continued on after our Mexican fiesta, into a few more bars and pubs, sipping on some quality wines and vodka. Nothing overly note-worthy happened so I will not go into details, however I did meet a really cool Canadian girl who was travelling here, and she ended up hanging out with my friends and I.

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Yummy Mexican – And I want this tablecloth!!

Sunday

If you live any sort of lifestyle like mine, you can probably guess my Sunday wasn’t very eventful. And  you would be right, it really wasn’t. Slept until 12pm, neglected doing any laundry and lounged on the couch watching Kitchen Nightmares. It wasn’t in any way exciting but it was definitely what I needed – Some final relaxation at the end of the weekend. As much as I love fun-filled party weekends, I think this next weekend I am going to step away from the booze and spend some time adventuring around my lovely city. Next Monday you will likely read a very different weekend summary, so I hope you look forward to that, like I look forward to writing it!

Thanks for reading this filler article-turned article tradition! Have a great Monday and a great week! I have a feeling I will feel very differently about Monday after tonight, as I have to go to IKEA (my least-favorite place in the world). Maybe I will save my IKEA rant for another day, though. Peace out, party people!

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Coffee and Cigarettes

So, If you saw my Facebook update yesterday, then you would have known that I was stuck at an outdoor (but covered) cafe here in Barcelona while they had an epic shit-of-a rainstorm. I was literally five minutes from home but considering I was wearing suede flats, I thought it may be a good idea to stay in shelter while the rain calmed down. I guess I just didn’t think I needed to own rubber boots anymore after I left London for Spain *Go figure*.

Not even drinking coffee but w.e

Not even drinking coffee but w.e

 

ANYWAY, I luckily had my oh-so awesome Mac-imitation, known as the Google Chromebook, so I could at least do some work while waiting for the rain to steady. Like many other Tweeters this week, my account got hacked and I had to change like 65 passwords, so although I wrote my blog for the day, yesterday, I figured I would write more since the only password  I had was for this blog. Depressed by the weather (which is normally hot and sunny), my brain was lacking the creative skills to come up with something to write about. Which brings me back to the first sentence of this post. I went to Facebook and asked my friends if they had any ideas for what I should write about. The helpful peeps Andy and Melissa gave me two ideas: Coffee and potatoes. Totally random, but to be honest this blog so far has been totally random, so it’s suitable. If the title didn’t give it away, today I have decided to talk about…  Coffee!

And what goes better with coffee? Cigarettes! I am definitely painting that picture of myself being a starving, eccentric artist who hangs out in coffee houses all day, pretending to write prolific things on their laptop. The word “Hipster” comes to mind. I wouldn’t describe myself as a hipster, but I think they’re cool, I guess.

Har-har

Har-har

I really don’t know anything about coffee. Well, maybe.  Off the top of my head, this is what I (think I) know:

Coffee is a delightful hot beverage that provokes the image of either pretentious hipster/artist posers, classy French women or old men in vintage caps playing dominoes. I’m sort of kidding. I know I probably drink too much of it, as I am glued to a screen and reaching, unknowingly, for the grip of that porcelain mug (Omg, am I one of those pretentious posers??). I know that in North America, our coffee’s are way too big and in Europe, they are sometimes too small. In Canada, if your favorite coffee isn’t from Tim Hortons, then they will revoke your passport. Coffee generally gives you bad breath, and if you drink too much, your hands will shake.

The classic line you say to your mates, “Want to grab a coffee after work?” is always code for “Let’s have a beer/wine after work, and if we go home drunk as f*%k, let’s also grab a kebab”. Coffee is also a great excuse to get out of going somewhere or doing something – “I can’t. I drank too much coffee and have diarrhea”. Ok, I have never used that, but I am sure it’s a good bail line. Hmmm. I think mass chain coffee places, like Starbucks, seriously suck and I refuse to go there. Here in Barcelona, or EU in general, there are so many quaint cafe’s that are family-owned, unique and authentic, why would you ever want to go to Starbucks? Plus, they limit you to 45 minutes internet usage and their shitty coffee is overpriced (Wow, I sound like one of ‘them’).

Lastly, coffee utterly accents cigarette smoking (dahling) .

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner

After some time now scanning my memory bank for knowledge on le cafe, I think this is all I can come up with. I really hope you weren’t expecting educational material here, if you were, I’m sorry.  I guess the best way to describe this post is coffee from Brandie’s perspective, which hopefully some of you can also relate to. If you are actually interested in educating yourself about coffee, check out this infographic sent by Andy.

Alright, my mission here is done. I have to get back to ordering my 6th coffee while listening to a band you have never heard of, writing about things you would just never understand.

Exactly.

Exactly.

 

 

True dat!

Beach Body? I Call B.S!

This morning while having my morning coffee and browsing some of my favorite blogs, I came across a really interesting article by a very cool woman. She was discussing a very “hot” topic at the moment – beach bodies. Of course, because we are coming into the season of sun, beaches and hot weather, many women (admittedly, myself included) are eating less and moving more in order to get into that “perfect shape”.

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Yep, let’s buy little girls Barbie dolls..

Now, let me start by saying I really do enjoy the exercise I choose to do. Fitness aside, it reduces my stress levels, makes me more productive with work and just generally makes me feel better. I think it’s really important to stay healthy, by eating well, doing yoga, running, whatever it is you like to do. I wanted to make this point clear before I continue.

HOWEVER – After reading this article, I had a serious change of heart when it came to this rather silly term that is used so much this time of year. And you know what term I’m talking about. Beach body. Bikini body. One in the same. I will foolishly admit I have probably used this term many times, without even thinking. I really applaud the young woman who wrote that article, because I really believe her post made me just a little bit wiser.

The article makes some very obvious points, but since our society is a mass group of followers, we don’t really get it until someone spells it out for us. How can one really define “beach body”? Basically what society tells us, is that a beach body is a perfectly curved (or lack thereof), toned, bronzed body that you must work very hard to attain,  especially for that hot, glorious time of year. A perfect picture is painted for us and if we don’t fit that outline, we simply don’t belong or deserve to be on a beach. When you think about, that is really exactly what they are saying with the mass use of this term. And seriously, what kind of shit is that?

Worth a good laugh!

Worth a good laugh!

I feel so incredibly moronic for supporting this notion of a “beach body”, whether that be reading an article about how to get one, using the term, whatever. It is just such an asinine concept to support.  Maybe I am being too harsh on myself, because to  be honest, I don’t think I have ever been too consumed  with this idea. The main reason this article I read hit home, so to say, is because I wrote an article just a few weeks ago titled “The Summer Diet for Liquor-Loving Women”. Now, this article was really supposed to be funny while giving some serious tips on how to live healthy during the summer months of drinking excessively. After reviewing it, I am happy to know I did not use the term “beach body” although I feel I may have referred to it. Because of that, I wanted to write a follow-up article outlining my feelings on this topic (now that I have been enlightened) and re-assure anyone reading, that I really don’t support this. I was happy to read at the end of my article that I actually conclude with, to quote myself, “Furthermore, summer is meant to enjoy so don’t stress about having the best bikini bod on the beach, just stay healthy and drunk, and you will have a kick ass time!”

And I stand by this. Just imagine how boring and mutant-like it would be if you were sitting on a beach, and everyone looked the same. That’s just weird. And when you think about it, that is exactly what the media/society is suggesting we do. Luckily, reality is that it will never be like that, as it shouldn’t. We are all unique and have our own special qualities. Some have red hair, some have blonde. Green eyes, brown eyes. Short, tall. Size 4, size 14. Let’s quit it with judging people and comparing them to ourselves, like a famous line I once heard, “The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with ourselves”.

I will conclude this article by giving a thanks to the author of that eye-opening article  I read this morning. She really gave me a new perspective on something really important, with her words, and what a gift that is. Hopefully I have done the same for whoever reads this. I hope to see all y’all peeps on the beach this summer, flaunting what yo mama gave ya! I surely will be, and if you see me, stop by and say “Hi”, because  I will most likely have some wine or cava to share. After all, “you already have a beach body. All it needs is the beach.”

True dat!

True dat!

If it wasn't for Canada, we wouldn't have these guys!

North America vs. Europe

After galavanting around Europe for the last three years, I have really started to see the difference between my awesome home country (Canada) and Europe, as a whole. I would never change the fact that I grew up in the amazing country that I did, but living in two totally different continents really gives you a different perspective on oh so many things. While I never could have fathomed these differences just travelling back and forth, in comparison to living a daily life, I thought other people may be interested in knowing the differences between the two (strictly my opinion, of course). So, I have thought of the biggest differences between North America and Europe, and crafted it into a lovely blog post for you to read, while you are in your car during rush hour or sitting at in the park browsing the interwebs…

Live Life to the Fullest

Having lived in a few European countries, I can definitely say the quality of life is better. Why that is, well, that’s a whole other blog post, but I can indulge in this topic a little bit. I think life in North America is a lot more money/business-driven when you look at it from a grand scale. I am catching myself here because while living in London, I really had this very same ‘Go Go Go’ vibe – but to be honest, I think London, and UK in general, is more influenced by America, more than any other European city. Aside from that, I feel the general atmosphere in most European cities is much more focused on just generally enjoying life more, spending more time with family/friends, and not taking life too seriously.  As much as I love a fast and motivating setting, I think it’s a lot more important to “stop and smell the roses”. People really seem to embrace that notion. I feel that in N.A, people are very focused on the “get up,  work, go to bed, repeat” way of life and it really makes you forget about what’s important. Yes, we need money to survive, but maybe if we weren’t so consumed with buying shit we don’t need, we could care a little less about flashy things and more about the people around us. This brings me to my next point…

sb in spain 253

Living it up! Beach Lyfe

Less Shit

Yes, I say it bluntly and maybe the subtitle can be seen as rude or derogatory, but nothing else makes my point any clearer. When I lived in North America, it’s all about stuff. Anything from nice cars (maybe 3 of them), fancy kitchen tools (that you never end up using), 25 gadgets that do who-knows-what, to buying a million different hair products, moisturizers, nail polish, and so on (clearly speaking from a women’s perspective here). In N.A it is such a consumer-driven society, what we own for some reason gives us our self-worth. And at the end of it all, we have so much shit filling up our big houses, and no savings to give us a quality life. Now, I am obviously not speaking for everyone but I know the majority lives like this.

My priorities and spending habits changed completely once I moved to EU, but I am just as guilty as most the majority at one point in my life.  I have always hated Wal-Mart and have barely shopped there, they are horrible on so many levels and most importantly to this article, they fuel these overspending habits. I remember one time I actually went to Wal-Mart to get something for my house that I couldn’t buy anywhere else, no clue now what that was, some $60 item.  No word of a lie, I left there and I spent $500! My friend Joe and I looked at each other, thinking the same thing – “What have you done!?”- in a totally exaggerated way. We thought it was funny at the time. But really, what did I do??? I felt like such a moron, I’m pretty sure I never went to Wal-Mart again after that.

Anyway, back to the point. People in EU, from my experience, really live within their means. You don’t use credit cards like we do in N.A, you don’t finance a car you can’t afford in the first place. You simply spend what you have on the things that you need. Such a simple system yet it has been obliterated by mass consumerism. This is one thing I will definitely never miss.

 Be Naked!

Want to walk on the beach… naked? No problem (not from what I’ve seen, anyway – balls out). But really, life here in EU is just much more liberal. I know where I am from (Ontario), we have super strict liquor laws, for example, whereas here, generally, you can buy booze anytime, almost anywhere, and you can drink it on the street, too. That being said, there are the anal areas on Europe as well, Sweden has the same law structure with alcohol as Ontario, but I am not sure anywhere else in EU is like that. I honestly can’t think of many other examples when it comes to how liberal N.A is vs. EU, I guess it’s just a vibe you get. I don’t know. I would like to end this by saying though, that Canada has a very liberal spirit as well. People are very accepting, generous and would pretty much help you in any situation (“If you want you can have all my money, and my leg, eh?”).

Um awkward... Is this sheesha...or..?

Um awkward… Is this sheesha…or..?

Active Living

I know this point is only valid simply because the infrastructures in EU and N.A are different, but it is still a major point for me. When I lived in Canada, I drove everywhere. It was next to impossible to have a life without a license and a car, because things are just not as close nor do we have as common and as efficient public trans. Hopefully in the future this may change, because I really feel my life is made so much better by not having to drive everywhere. On the contrary, I really do miss driving as I literally never do over here, and it would be great to have a vehicle  for long summer drives and random road trips, but I would never want to go back to driving as much as I did. Depending on the city in EU, you can pretty much walk or take the tube anywhere. It’s generally much cheaper than driving and you can avoid the annoyance of traffic and bad drivers. Hope I am not sounding too negative, I am just having flashbacks of driving many times in Toronto with morons who cut you off or just don’t know what the hell they are doing. Ok, rant over :).

Overall, I really find the concept of walking everywhere appealing, and probably contributes to that better quality living (for me, anyway).

 

Ok, I now realize maybe I am hating on North America a little too much in this article. Please, to everyone who reads this, believe me when I say that I absolutely love my home country and wouldn’t trade my previous life there for the world. But, as I said at the beginning of the article, when you live in two different places, you really start to see things differently and you can’t help but compare them. Also, who knows, many may disagree with me on everything I have written here. And that’s ok! This is strictly my view and I think it’s interesting to see how other people view the world. That said, thanks for reading, and please comment below with any feedback. Maybe you have also lived abroad and have some input, or you just want to tell me how wrong I am. Good or bad, I would love to read it! Cheers everyone …And I am proud to be Canadian (Living in Europe) hehe! 😉

If it wasn't for Canada, we wouldn't have these guys!

If it wasn’t for Canada, we wouldn’t have these guys!

 

 

gangsta-funny

Adventure Into My Fun Drawer

… And no I don’t mean that fun drawer, Sicky! If my misleading title totally turned you off from this article, give it a second thought. The tale I am about to embark in, is genuinely about a fun drawer. Let me explain…

No matter what country I have found myself in, once nested in like a little gypsy, I always seem to have that one drawer dedicated to fun. These fun things come in all shapes and sizes, which I have accumulated in a vast variety of different places. They are not expensive, nor valuable or even useful, and yet these abortive (haha, thanks Thesaurus.com) objects just can’t be thrown away. And for one simple reason: Memories.  Hitting up the dollar store before an epic party night, leaving with some plastic bling and a syringe shot glass? You bet! It’s fair to assume that with random objects like these, along with a 26er of Captain Morgan Spiced (naturally, empty by 3 am), I wouldn’t remember much – Au contraire, mon cheri!

Anyway, opening this beloved drawer today gave me a blast from the (not so distance) past, and I though “hey, let’s write a blog post about my ever-growing drawer of random sh*t!”. And here we are. I took the liberty of giving you a real inside look (literally) of my fun drawer…

Hope you like my fun drawer as much as I clearly do. Tell me, do you share the same passion for ridiculously random objects? Comment below and tell me what funny things I may find in your fun drawer (Keyword – Funny!)

Ciao, Sexual Chocolates!

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