Friday, July 30, 2010

Flight 9374 with service to...

I travel, a lot. Maybe it's the whole 'being Canadian thing,' but I find I'm always on the move. From simple commuter flights, to long distance hauls across the pond - you can pretty much always find me in an airport.

But, for someone who flies as much as I do - I am an awful person to sit next to on the plane. I was catching up with a colleague this morning and she was telling me about the great flight she had home last night. She was going on and on about how great her flight-mate was and the amazing conversation they had. I mean, the flight from Vancouver to Toronto is long and deadly. I certainly am not a pleasant person on a long and deadly flight.

I have zero plane etiquette because when I step foot on that plane, all I want to do is sleep. I fly mostly red eyes because I hate people chatting and causing commotion on planes. With red eyes, everyone is kindly passed out and you don't have to worry about mundane conversation and attempting to please the person next you - nobody is stupid enough to want to fly a red eye unless their name is Rebecca-Elizabeth.

No, I don't want to talk to you and no, I don't want you to help me with my tray. What I want is complete silence and darkness, thank you very much. I don't search for flights based on price, but rather departure time. The later the better. Why waste useful hours in the day stuck on a plane when you can multi-task and fly at night WHILE you sleep? Flights are my moments of peace. High in the sky, I can calmly sit still and not think about work or work stress or reports for work.

My plane preferences just go to show how independently anti-social I am. It's ridiculous. So to every person I sit next to on a plane, just remember that silence is golden. I'm sure you're a great person, I just don't feel the need to get to know you at that particular moment. I apologize in advance.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Did ya know?

A friend of mine always tells me that she learns something new about me every day. For serious? I mean, yeah I'm a pretty quirky girl but still. I like to think I'm a pretty open book, but I guess I'm really not. My best friend Noelle is the EXACT same way. I think that's why we're drawn together. We're pretty closed off and guard ourselves like Fort Knox.

In an attempt to be more open, I present twenty-five neat things you probably didn't know about me...
1. I have the mouth of a dirty sailor. I swear and I swear a lot. Maybe it's the office I work in, I really don't know. But, since high school - my vocabulary has turned completely vulgar.

2. My dream is to retire in the Maritimes. Maybe, Halifax or New Brunswick. Somewhere peaceful where I can blast the Rankin Family and my neighbours will approve.
3. I'm attempting to learn Farsi. Just something to pass the time. I know, ridiculous.

4. I hate crowded areas and rooms filled with lots of people. Even after all these years of benefits and galas, I get really nervous and uncomfortable around a big group of people.

5. Boys are scared of me. I have some sign affixed to my back that scares them away.

6. Michael Jackson's Black & White was my first cassette and I listened to it every day for 4 years. I still break it out at least once a week.

7. If I weren't doing what I was doing, I would be a firefighter. I went to firefighter camp every summer until high school.

8. I have this crazy idea that I want to complete the Iron man within the next two years.

9. This is the first time I've ever grown out my hair. Not sure how I feel about it.

10. Pretty sure I was destined to be a Personal Trainer.

11. I can't watch Criminal Minds by myself, and yet I stay home on Friday & Saturday nights to watch the marathons.
12. I only date hockey players.

13. I still sleep with the teddy bear my ex-boyfriend bought me over 6 years ago. I also bring it with me on flights that are over 4 hours.

14. This past year, one of my best friends passed away in a car accident. I miss her each and every day, but I know she's looking down on me laughing.

15. I act all tough and boy'ish, but I'm actually pretty sensitive.

16. I haven't lived in the same city for more than 6 consecutive months since high school. Dallas will be the first.

17. As much as I brag about how much I want to go backpacking through Europe, I know I couldn't realistically live out of a backpack for more than 2 days.

18. Hiking and bonfires are probably my two favourite activities. Luckily, they are pretty regular occurrences in Canada. I've already scoped out the hiking trail that Fitz and I will use every day in Dallas.

19. When I'm sick, I will only eat matzo ball soup from the Jewish deli.

20. Last night, I chewed off my acrylic fake nails that were forced upon me because of my awful habit of gnawing at my nails. Complete waste of time and resources.

21. If I were to get married tomorrow, I could tell you who would be in my wedding party. Noe, Mals, Rach, Teira, Megs, Maris, Jules, and Heather.

22. The designer Jeff, from Flipping Out, reminds me a lot of myself. Watch and you'll be amazed at the similarities.

23. My best friend has been in South Korea since last year. I'm so proud of her for being this brave and courageous. She's coming home soon and is moving to my second home - Niagara on the Lake.

24. Speaking of Niagara on the Lake, whenever I am too stressed or just feel like the world is falling apart around me (which happens a lot in the field I work in), I drive back home to Niagara and everything is okay again. My grandparents are there, my family is there, and all my favourite quaint little bistros and stores are there. The whole region just puts me at ease - though I'm sure the wine has something to do with it too.

25. The only time you can get me sitting still for more than 20 minutes is when I'm having a pedicure. I try to get one once every other week to keep me sane.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bon voyage, Girls!

Tonight, I say goodbye to four girls who have been a constant in my life these past few years. The ups and the downs, the break-ups and the make-ups – through it all, they’ve been there. I could count on them to make me laugh, make me cry, and even make me question their sanity at times. These girls never cease to surprise me and I’m not really sure if I want to try and navigate this world as a twenty-something young woman without them.

Tonight, I say au revoir to LC, Lo, Audrina, and Heidi. Through the years, these four young women have honestly held my hand during the good times and the bad times. They’ve experienced it all and I feel honoured that I was there right along with them. J-Wahl, Brody, French guy, Brody, Doug, Brody…boys I will never forget.

In honour of their last night on television, I want to recall some of my favourite Hills moments.

Salad Party. That time Audrina went on a date with that model, it reminded me that blind dates are awful and you should avoid them at all costs. Model: “this salad is a party.” Audrina (describing date over the phone to LC): “it’s kinda greasy.” Obviously, that relationship didn’t go very far – well, anywhere really. Sidenote - does anyone remember dear Jordan? His dogtags made me incredibly uncomfortable...ugh.

The girl who didn’t go to Paris. Oh LC, you thought it was such a smart idea at the time. Who wouldn’t want to spend the summer with a boy on a beach? If only that boy wasn’t a raging crack addict, that plan would have been flawless. You were redeemed a few years later when you had the chance to grace Paris with your bedazzled headbands.

Battle Les Deux. “You know what you did…!” The battle of the century, this was the first time I realized that Lauren was actually ending her friendship with Heidi. Confronted at Frankie’s birthday (drama-rama plus cake), Lauren refused to stay silent about the rumours any longer. She was extinguishing the flame on their friendship. True to form, Heidi feigned innocence – foreshadowing her one way ticket to Crazytown.

Introduction to Justin Bobby. “His name is Justin, but he, like, wants to change it to Bobby.” And from that, the most famous Hills nickname was developed by our two main gals. Audrina’s ex-bf-ex-bf-ex brought the drama throughout all six seasons of the Hills. Whether they were off or on, he always seemed to make a memorable appearance. “Homeboy wore combat boots to the beach. I know you don’t want to call that your boyfriend, Audrina.” Making out with gingers, not showering, and miraculous divine appearances all seemed to be part of Justin Bobby’s charm. “Truth in time tells all…,” if only we knew what that meant. Thanks JB for, well, making us laugh.

Kelly Cutrone. LC stupidly convinced Kelly to give Stephanie Pratt an interview at People’s Revolution. Ugh, LC? You have a brain and you barely survived the wrath of Kell. Why would you put your dim-witted sidekick through that as well? It was one of the funniest moments of the Hills. Steph’s lack of French, even though she claimed she was bilingual on her resume, made her a prime target at PR. She didn’t last long and LC was forced to execute the orders for the firing squad.

Forgive and Forget. Lauren, always puts it so eloquently. Heidi came crawling for forgiveness when she realized her only leftover reality TV friend was the Bunz (who was too busy getting a nose job to notice) and asked Lauren to forgive her for the J-Wahl rumour. Lauren, having received great training from Kell, finally put Heidi in her place. “I want to forgive you and then I want to forget you.” SNAP. Ta ta Heidi, your screen time just diminished dramatically.

Spencer. I can’t even come up with my favourite Spencer moment, there are just too many. Don’t know when he became a passenger on the psychotic express, but his downfall made for amazing televisions. Whether it be his love of crystals and cowboy hats or his inability to detail family loyalty to us – you had to love Spencer for what he was…a crazed lunatic. “We’re brother and sister. At the end of the day, I can’t change that. I can’t make you un-my sister.”

After five (maybe six – I get confused with all the ‘extra’ episodes) glorious seasons, I find it almost impossible to say goodbye to a show that has been a consistent in my life. I can shamelessly admit that I used some Lauren lines in break-ups and always compared my love life to that of Heidi and Spencer. Through these years, I’ve outgrown best friends and carved out my own personal journey. So here’s a big thank you to LC and the girls for sticking with us. Your never-ending advice and constant sarcastic commentary have been fashionably fantastic.

And Teira, I still have NO idea how I’m supposed to watch this episode without you. Your sideline running commentary has been amazing these past few years. At least we made each other laugh. Let’s raise our glasses to LC, Lo, Audrina and Heidi for three years of greatness.

xoxo B

Friday, July 9, 2010

sweet goodbyes come too soon

Yours truly just booked a one-way ticket to her new hometown.

On the excitement scale, I would rate myself about a 10+.

But, I am going to miss a lot of things about this great place. Ottawa has been my home for the last three summers. I still don't consider it "home home," but I do love it none-the-less. It's sheltered me and allowed me the opportunity to carve out a career for myself. The city has supported my outrageous ambitions and led me to see them come to fruition.
Today, I parked down by our church - Notre Dame - because I just wanted to have a little bit of time to myself. I took an extra few minutes and just walked around the Hill. I smelled the flowers in Majors Hill Park and stood by the edge of the canal just gazing across the river to Quebec. It's days like this that make me realize how much I've come to love this city.

It's strange because the minute I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - I felt a bit restricted. Give me a second to explain. While my job has international presence and offices, the main heart of the service is here in Ottawa. As a little girl, I knew I was going to work in the halls of Parliament. I just knew. There was no stopping me, this was where I was going to find myself and I truly have. I've become this hard-working, decisive, motivated woman who proclaims her life to the civil service. No hours are too crazy, no project is too much. This has become me. I think that's what was missing in Virginia. I just didn't have this as much as I needed it. My career had become the air I breathed and I knew this is where I belonged, but instead I was in Virginia Beach desperately trying to hold on to something that was slowly sliding away. The four hour commute to DC was just not enough and I felt like I was losing a part of my identity. I came back to Ottawa and suddenly everything had purpose again. I knew who I was and what I was meant to do.

I am eternally blessed to have found a career that exhilarates my every being. I know it doesn't happen often and I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered it so early in life. Working in these halls, this is home. But, I've started to see that I may be an asset to other offices and that's okay too. Maybe, I just needed these three years here to train and develop my skill set so that I may move on to an international office. My time here will never be over. I'm sure I'll always be sent back for consultations and who knows where I'll be after these next four years. I could be right back here doing what I do best - representing the people on a national forum. I know this is where I belong and that's all that matters.

This is my time to explore my international options and I'm so excited to do so. The opportunities awaiting me in Dallas are so exhilarating. The work I'm going to be doing is amazing and I absolutely can't wait. I've been in contact with a great non-profit organization in the area as well, so I'm anxious to see where that leads. But, I wouldn't be where I am without this great city. I'm truly going to miss you Ottawa.

And as the halls remain quiet on this rainy Friday, my heart is filled with sheer content to know that I contribute to this great nation on a daily basis. I'm honored to be Canadian, no matter where I live in this world.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A little peek into...

This is always my favorite section of any fashion or beauty magazine. I love how you can stealthily creep into a stylish celebs make-up bag and see what products they use without getting arrested. Score one for the commons folks.

Girls always ask me what products I use, and by always - I mean it happens like once every few days. We can blame my mother for spritzing my face with bottled Evian water as a child, as I seem to have been graced with porcelain glowing skin. Lynn, always looking out for the money maker * cough cough * I mean, face.

In case you're bored or creepishly stalk me, here are some products I use. Tried & true gems, trust.

NARS has amazing blush and I refuse to use anything else. I've been using it for years and can still remember the day my mom brought me to my first NARS appointment. This blush has a soft hint of rose color and adds some sparkle to your cheeks. Doesn't overwhelm your face and is incredibly subtle. You can find it here:

Being fair skinned means that finding foundation is rather hard. I don't like anything that weighs down on me or smudges. I run around a lot and need something that functions well in all temperatures (I am Canadian and it does get Siberia'ish at times). Five years or so ago, I was in NYC and a great make-up artist at Saks introduced my mom & I to YSL Perfect Touch. The applicator is in brush form, and the foundation glides onto your skin radiantly. It holds all day and is perfectly supple. You can find it here:

Anyone who knows me know I was NOT gifted with cooperative hair. Gosh, I don't know anyone who has curls like me...well, other than Mals. It has taken me years to learn how to deal with my hair and I'm still learning. It's a definite coping process, but there has been a product I discovered recently that I don't think I'll be able to ever let go. It's called Moroccan Oil and is absolutely amazing. With only a drop, all my frizz is eliminated and my hair is kept well-nourished and hydrated. They just introduced an entire line of products, but I've only been brave enough to try the original oil. No need to upset the afro. You can find it here:

When it comes to my face, there is no product that is too expensive or too extravagant for me. Back in high school, I discovered Kiehl's lip gloss and from there - I couldn't be stopped. I became a Kiehl's addict. If you haven't been introduced to Kiehl's, I will gladly take you - just ask Teira. I am probably the only person I know who can spends hundreds of dollars on moisturizers and toners. If you're ever stuck on a gift for me, head to Kiehl's. I can distinctly remember what Kiehl's product was bought by what boyfriend. It's a surefire love. I'm on their mailing list and purchase every new product before it hits the shelves. I should probably invest in the company. Once their store hit Queen St. W. - my wallet took a big hit and I think my father might have even shed some tears. Either way, there are lots of products I recommend (and use daily)- including: ultra facial moisturizer with SPF 15, pineapple papaya facial scrub, gentle foaming facial cleanser, facial fuel face wash, rare earth pore defining tonic, and of course lip balm #1. You can find it all here (or I can just drag you to your local Kiehl's provider):
I'm big on mascara. It's the one thing I would take with me on a deserted island (including my basket of Kiehl's, puhleassse). I've tried a lot of different mascaras, but there seems to be one I've fallen in love with. Lancome put together a great line of mascaras for every woman, no matter what your objective is. I love the l'extreme as it greatly lengthens my lash to an almost inappropriate level. On nights out, it means no fake lashes for me! You can find it here:^F1_Eyes^F2_Eye_Mascaras^F3_Eye_Mas_Lengthening&vname=name&

Unfortunately, I was also not gifted with full lips. Like, at all. It's really sad and my dad has promised me lip injections once I get over my fear of needles. Until that happens, I will keep using lip plumper. Lots and lots of lip plumper. Boys I kiss hate it, but that's life. I'm just passing on fuller lips - be thankful. I've tested lots and lots and lots of lip plumper's. Lip Venom makes me scream out in pain in the middle of Sephora (ask Victory about my Christmas demonstration), and any other versions really don't do anything. I seem to have found a happy medium - Stila plumping lip glaze. It only stings for a few minutes and they have such a wide variety of shades that it's hard to pass up. My go-to color is cherry mint (shimmering rose shade). You can find it here:

Finally, scent. I haven't changed my perfume in years. I grew up in a house that smelt like cinnamon and Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. My mom confused her Chanel with house spray, which is fine since the smell is scrumptious. Mom & I are big smell people. We love perfume, but we rarely try new scents. Until about 9th grade, I wore only Chanel. I thought the smell was memorizing and I imagined wearing it skipping through the streets of Nice. Well, I come from a rather international family and a family member brought me back a beautiful perfume from Paris as a Christmas gift many years ago. I absolutely fell head over heels for the scent. The bottle was engraved with the letter B for Becky (a bottle I still own and pour the new perfume into) and I couldn't imagine a more perfect smell. The perfume is Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal. Filled with floral scents and vanilla, it is packaged in a delightful pastel green bottle (which I own multiples of..what? they might run out). I highly recommend if you creepishly want to smell like me. You can find it here:
That's a brief glimpse into my make-up bag, which by the way is a cute Kate Spade bag compliments of Heather. Hope you enjoy the recommendations!

xoxo B

Monday, July 5, 2010

Hidden gems

One girl's trash is another girl's treasure. At least, that's what I've been told.

Maybe, I should start at the beginning. I, Rebecca-Elizabeth Rose Whittaker, am on a man-fast. No boys, no way - not any time soon. I went from an insanely intense life-time relationship (we hypothetically had named our hypothetical children) to law school to a strange cult-ish serious relationship that survived my brief fling with law school and then died to recycling with an ex-boyfriend because it seemed logical to today. Toss some boys in between and VOILA. My love life the past few years.

I'm sick of BBM becoming the new booty call and facebook messages ending relationships and the constant panic that I might, for a day, be single. I'm 22, blonde and female. I think I'll survive a few months of the single-life.
I haven't always been this confident when it comes to boys so don't let the facade fool you. I'm an awful girlfriend, I really am. I'm far too busy to even realize I'm in a relationship half the time, which really isn't fair. I've gotten a tad better, but I haven't put much effort into any relationships as of lately, really.

My ex (who I am now good friends with, go figure) likes to say I date like a guy. Not big on definitions or really anyone knowing anything. I won't sit by the phone and wait for your call, nor do I want to meet your Mom - thanks for offering though. I also change my mind like I change shoes. One day you're in, the next day you're out. None of this seems conducive to dating, at least not right now - not in this city. Besides, I'm moving in a few weeks and the last thing I need is ANOTHER boyfriend back home to worry about. No thanks, had enough of those to last a lifetime.

So, as of Saturday 6:13PM EST, I declared a man-fast on my life and boy, am I rallying up the troops. Mention the theory to one girl and it's like you've hit a gold mine. Suddenly, everyone wants in on this man-fast. Detoxing and purging all past relationships from our lives? Epic plan. Really not seeing a downside to this (well, minus the obvious). Though, I can't take all the credit for this brilliant idea. I've become intrigued with the show Downtown Girls - real life tales from a group of mid-twenty girls living in the City...New York City and they come up with great ideas like this all the time.

Another idea I'm considering? Ex-boyfriend swap. Wait, before you start throwing things at my head. Think about this logically. You broke up with every boyfriend for a reason, right? And you only want the best for your girls, right? Well, technically, one girl's trash could be another girl's treasure. Stop being emotionally territorial and think about this logically. We've all dated some great guys, but things just didn't work out and you drifted apart. What if that great guy is the one for your great gal. It could happen and you can take full credit for the love connection OR you could fall back in love with your ex and completely recycle. Just saying, could work either way.

No way I'm trying this until after the man-fast, but it could work. Guaranteed hockey brawl if you get all my exes in the same room. I'm a trained puck bunny, stop judging. But, really. Girls need to stop being so possessive with boys they are no longer with. You didn't stay with them for a reason so ship them off to the next innocent prey and set your sights on a new target. I've stayed close with most of my exes so seeing them hit it off with my bestests could be the best comic relief of the century.

Moral of this post: start recycling, girls. Either with your old exes or your girls' leftovers. Just make sure you ask first and set guidelines. Last thing us fabulous friends need is a boy to pull us apart. Boys come and go, but shoes & gals - they stick around forever.

Wait a minute...

This entry is compliments of Mallory McCartney & me...

Dear America,

Just because you get an entire day to celebrate the birth and independence of your nation doesn't mean you're the only ones. We too have a day to celebrate the amazingness that is Canada. It's called Canada Day and shockingly takes place every year on July 1st. No, we did not decide to become independent a few days before you, it just worked out that way. Weirdly enough, the world does not revolve around you.

Well you may be our larger and more impressive neighbours to the South, there are certain things Canadians are proud of too, ya know? Canada Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the true north, strong and free. Typically, Canadians spend Canada Day at the cottage with their 2-4s and fireworks. Yes, they have fireworks up here.

So while you do whatever it is you do every Fourth of July, just remember that we get to do it a few days earlier and it probably involves a lot more Molsons and a lot more fun. So, here's to hockey hair & long underwear and the nation I call home because I AM CANADIAN (we both are - just to make that clear).



PS. This entry also gave me an excuse to demonstrate my rather unhealthy love of Justin Bieber. He's Canadian. Enough said.

Today's the DAY

Today's the day it's all going to be okay. Why? Because I said so.

You, my dear friends, deserve a plethora of updates from me and now that I've pieced my life together post-G20/Earthquake 2010/tornado/Queen's visit/Canada Day - I am able to sing a little song about my week. Well, maybe not sing. We all know how much I HATE singing.

First things first, I adopted a puppy. Yes, me - adopted a little miniature itsy bitsy miniature poodle (had to say miniature twice just to make my point). His name was going to be Hermes, but Rachel pointed out that it might be too French for Dallas. She's right. So after much brainstorming and movie watching - I was sick in bed all day Tuesday with strep throat, don't judge - I chose the name Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. By the by, how many of you loyal Jane Austen fans knew that Mr. Darcy's first name was Fitzwilliam? I did, but that's probably because I'm obsessed with Pride & Prejudice and have annotated both my personal and vintage copies to death. Note to self - don't lend out EVER because people will think you're crazy. Well, anyways - that's his name. Fitz for short.

And contrary to popular opinion (Dad I'm looking at you), his name is not Fritzy.

There were a lot of firsts for me this past week. It was the first time I was saying goodbye to someone I loved. Normally, I'm the one jetting off - so it was weird for me to have to say goodbye and feel lonely in the same place at the same time. But, I know he's having a blast across the pond so I can't be too sad.

I also stepped foot into the Apple store for the first time. Do they even call it that? Full disclaimer: I'm the worst Mac owner of all time. I can barely turn the thing on. Forget about editing photos and setting up web cams. I'm just not Mac-savvy, I guess. But, my Mac has been ill for quite some time and I finally decided to get the poor thing looked at before I leave for Dallas. Anyways, I walked into the store and was immediately bombarded. I've never actually purchased any Mac products before. Yes, I own an ipod and a Macbook - but, they were all gifts from other people.

That store is like a parallel universe. I was attacked by blue smurfs with flash books...turns out they were sales people who now only use ipads to communicate. I tried to utter out the words "dead Mac," when I was immediately pointed to the back of the store and told to speak to the woman standing by the cashier. Um, what? There was definitely no cashier. I twirled in a circle for a few moments before another sales person (this one much friendlier) pushed me towards this row of Macbooks. Aha! The cash is a magical box that flies out of the end of the wooden table. Why didn't I think of that? This nice Mac man told me I needed an appointment to speak to someone at the Genius Bar (I didn't even bother explaining that I had no idea what he meant) and proceeded to make an appointment for 4:15. Since I had some time to kill, I decided to join my parents who had befriended my Mac man. After about ten minutes, he had convinced them to purchase a Macbook for my little brother and a new ipod touch pour moi. Thanks, Mac man!

Mac man then took me over to the Genius Bar to wait for my appointment. I decided I wanted to look at fancy new cases for my new touch and we found a super spectacular Kate Spade one. I then asked him to describe the ipad in great detail to me - I had time to kill, don't laugh. I told him I was Mac-illiterate and had no idea why anyone would be possessed to buy a massive ipod touch (unless they were blind of course). Well after what seemed like ages, he had convinced me to purchase one. I asked him about school discounts since I heard him blabbering about the education program to my dad who gets a discount as a University of Ottawa School of Medicine professor. The guy then turned to me and said that he didn't think they had discounts for highschool students, but that he would check. I think the look on my face said it all. In his defence (if he gets any), I was wearing an over sized plaid shirt I stole from an ex-boyfriend, ripped up jean shorts a la Britney and white chucks. My hair was also in a messy braid. I did look young-ish, but definitely not teeny bopper range. Gosh.

I can't be too mad since he stayed late to fix my Macbook that night and called to apologize later. Note to self - don't put personal cell number on order forms at any Mac stores. Either way, he performed CPR and brought my dear Macbook back to life. Hooray, Mac man. I get to go visit him again today when I go pick it up.

Any other new updates? Oh, I'm on a man-fast. But, I will save the details of that for my next entry. I was detoxing post-sickness and decided to test out a relationship detox. Seems to be going well, but that could be because I spend my nights cuddled in bed with Fitz. See? He really was the best idea ever. Who needs a boy when you have Fitz? Also discovered this week that I am probably one of five Canadians who still believes in the Monarchy. Who knew?

Happy post-Canada Day/Fourth of July, folks!