Thursday, January 26, 2012

Shopping in America

I grew up in a border town. Which isn't too different from growing up in a regular town except that I only had to drive half an hour and I was in the land of cheap goods and delicious (but horribly unhealthy) food a.k.a America. It was nice because when I wanted new clothes or whatever I could go down south to where the sales were WAY better and books are half the price!

I come from a family of shoppers. Seriously, we're addicts. And we cross the border at least once or twice a month. After awhile you begin to notice some of the bizarre products that make their way onto American shelves. I'm sure we have many of them here in Canada as well - I just seem to notice them more down there.

About a week ago my mom and I made one of our trips and I decided this time I was going to document the evidence, so to speak. So here are some of the great products I found on my last voyage South

Our first stop was Pier One which was filled with so many beautiful things. Like wine glasses. I wanted ALL the wine glasses. But it was also filled with bizarre things like the tackiest valentine ornaments I've ever seen, a cow that does flips and birthday cake scented bubbles (biggest mystery - if they're birthday cake scented why are they in an ice cream cone?!)

Next stop was T.J. Max. The land that organization forgot. I secretly love T.J Max, because while most of it is junk you can find some really great stuff there for really cheap. Everything for luggage to furniture to caramel popcorn. Admist that really great stuff, however, are your more..."extravagent" items - like your Bling Tape Despenser and your Glamour Tool (there wasn't just hammers! You could get a whole tool set!) 

 Then we went to Price Chopper, which has to be my favourite store of all...

Not to generalize, but Americans seem to take the cake (pun intended) for creative food products. I particularly liked this football shaped pumpernickel bread (Although once you cut the middle out to put dip in you wouldn't know it was a football anymore...)

I also love these balloons. I don't think you can read the sign but it actually says "Build your own balloon animal farm" Priceless.

This confunded me. When I think pizza I do not think freshly baked cookies....Am I alone on this?

I think this was my favourite find of all was the rainbow hot chocolate! Yup rainbow mini marshmallows. I personally think this is genius as I love both rainbows and hot chocolate.
I actually ended up buying this stuff, because it was too good to pass up. The marshmallows actually come in a seperate package from the hot chocolate so that they won't melt right away when you pour the water in (very smart!). However after a few minutes of floating around the top of your hot chocolate they begin to melt anyway and from this weird tye-dyed coating over top of the drink. Not so delicious after all.

That's what I found during my last trip to the states. I'm hoping to make this a regular post everytime I go down there so be sure to share your thoughts!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Great Square Soft Challenge!

So my boyfriend is a huge Final Fantasy fan! He has all the games and has played them all a million times. I've also been known to enjoy video games from time to time but yet I've never played any Final Fantasy!

So I've been given a list of five games. Most are Final Fantasy, but there's also a couple other Square Soft games thrown in for variety and to get the full scope of their style of video game.

Here's the list (listed in order I'll be playing them):

1) Chrono Trigger (Nintendo DS)
2) Final Fantasy 4 (PSP)
3) Final Fantasy 6 (Gameboy Advance)
4) Final Fantasy 7 (PSP)
5) Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep (PSP)

In other video game news - We got an Xbox! It was something we've been talking about for a few days and we finally went and picked one up at Wal-Mart yesterday evening. We also picked up Lost Odysessy and LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga to play. I started Star Wars last night and like other LEGO games I've played it's a lot of fun and I can tell there's going to be some great replay value.

As I progress through the Square Soft Challenge I will be updating my thoughts on the games here. Stay tuned to help cheer me on and find out if you'd be interested in the games yourself!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Postcards from around the world!

Thanks to a suggestion from my friend Michele (of Just a Lil Lost) I recently joined an awesome site called Postcrossing.

The idea is simple enough.

You send out 5 postcards to randomly selected addresse (randomly selected from other Postcrossing users of course). Once they've been received, your address is put into the pool and you start getting postcards from all over the world!

I sent out my first postcards a little over a month ago. I sent them out to people in the U.S, Finland, Taiwan, the Netherlands and the Ukraine. It was a pretty diverse list. People sometime specify on their profiles what kind of postcards they like but I found almost everyone I came across likes landscape/cityscape cards. I sent the above card to Finland and it's been favourited by a number of Postcrossing users.

It wasn't long after I sent out my five postcards that I started to get some back. Like the above card from France (doesn't that castle remind you of Hogwarts?!) So far I received postcards from France, Poland, Hong Kong and Germany. My favourite so far has been from Germany. Not because it was such an amazing postcard, but because it came from Regensburg. When I was younger I stayed in Germany for awhile with my uncle. My uncle is an opera singer and had moved there for work. The city he happened to move to (and which I stayed in as a result) was Regensburg! What were the chances I would get one of my first postcards from that wonderful city?
I love to travel but unfortunately don't have the funds to go everywhere I want to. I've fallen in love with Postcrossing because it's a nice way to interact with people from all over the world and also because it's helping curb my need to travel all the time. However, I have been struck with a compulsive need to go back to Germany (Seriously if you ever get a chance to see Regensburg - take it! It's amazing!). 

I highly recommend this project and hope you'll join in. Who knows where you might get a postcard from!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Stay tuned for awesome!

It's coming soon I promise!

Ideas are being put together regarding Postcrossing, Popcorn and Final Fantasy!