Thursday, September 18, 2014

Cat's Adventures in Dating: Worse Than the Friend Zone

There are lots of zones in life that we must avoid; the tow-away zone, the no fly zone, the Sea World Splash Zone, just to name a few. But out of all the zones we shouldn’t be in, I am here to tell you what the worst one is. This is a zone that from which escape is highly unlikely, and it is no fun at all. I am talking about the horrible, dreaded friend zone.

Typically, the friend zone has been seen as one where a girl treats a guy like just a friend. She loves hanging out with him, they do everything together, but she always reminds him what a great friend he is and when will she ever find a guy like him. A brief Google image search of the term Friend Zone delivers nothing but memes about girls doing it to guys. But sometimes, more often than we all want to admit, the tables turn and a guy throws a girl into the friend zone where she will probably stay forever.  As someone who is currently in this horrible place, I would like to share my experience, my feelings, and hopefully find a way to dig myself out of it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WTF Wednesday

Hello loyal WTF Wednesday readers. Before I jump into this week's post, I want to give a special shout out to my girl, Helene. She is running her blog auction today and I've got some ad space up for auction, so make sure to check out all the fun stuff you can bid on.

Helene in Between

Now back to all things WTF! I have to say my collection of WTF moments for this week's installment is a little on the small side, but hopefully I can still make you laugh.

Our Reader Comment of the Week comes from a dear friend and fellow blogger, Lauren from Klutz in High Heels:

"The other morning my coworker came into my cube to do our usual chit chat for 20 before we get to actual work. The first thing she tells me is, "The snake is gone in my house." I said, "What?? What snake?" and she responded, "Daniel's snake, it's missing from its tank". I said, "Holy crap, are you serious? So you are walking around your house with a SNAKE on the loose?"

She proceeded to tell me how it had been a few days before they even noticed he was missing, and that they were too cheap to buy a real snake habitat, so they were using an old fish tank where the top isn't secure. Apparently, it slithered out of the top and is now somewhere unknown in her house!  She also has hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, 3 dogs and 2 cats. Let's hope one of them doesn't disappear!

Also note: It isn't a small snake, mind you it is 3 FEET LONG. A BALL PYTHON. LOOSE. IN THE HOUSE. HOW DOES SHE SLEEP AT NIGHT!?!?!?!?"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Celebrating at Brookstreet Hotel

One of my favourite hotels in Ottawa is Brookstreet Hotel and not just because Oprah Winfrey has stayed there.  The hotel itself is sleek and modern, boasts live jazz music, a beautiful spa, golf course and award winning food.

When deciding what I wanted to do for my 28th birthday, it was a no brainer. I wanted to spend the day at Au Naturel Spa and have dinner at Perspectives, the four diamond award winning restaurant in the hotel.

Mark and I got to the hotel a little early because we were going to spend the afternoon at the spa before checking in. We decided to ask at the front desk just to see if our room was ready and it was.  It was so nice being able to check in early because we got to put all our stuff in the room before going off to the spa for the afternoon.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Trace's Adventures in Dating: Fall First Date Ideas {Ottawa}

I know, I know. The title of the post mentioned “Fall,” but hey, it’s fast approaching. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks, it’s getting darker a lot earlier and slowly but surely sandals are getting replaced with booties and swimsuits are getting replaced with jackets.

I have fond memories of dating in the Fall. I can only describe dating through the various seasons like Goldilocks explains the three bears’ porridges. The first bowl of porridge (Winter) is a little too cold (and leaves us showing up for first dates with runny noses and running mascara), the second bowl of porridge (Summer) is too hot (and leaves us showing up for dates sweaty and with frizzy hair), but the third one (Fall) is jusssst right.

The main thing to keep in mind with first dates is that they are fact finding missions. This is your first introduction to your potential partner and you want to learn more about them and find out if you click. This means that the first date needs to be in a setting that promotes conversation, not impedes it. Therefore, in my humble opinion, a first date should not take place at a movie theatre, concert, loud bar or anywhere else that makes talking too difficult.

So dress up in your favourite layers, grab something pumpkin flavoured and read on to get some great ideas for fall dating in Ottawa.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Katie from Chalk it up to Better Luck

In case you haven't noticed, I have a lovely bunch of bloggers hanging out in my sidebar this month. One of them is Katie, who is not only a super awesome blogger but a FREAKING SOLDIER! Since Katie is so awesome, I'm handing the blog over to her today. Make sure to show her some love on social media and in the comments below.
Hey there, Just A Trace readers!  I'm Katie.  I'm blog over at Chalk it up to Better Luck.  
Today I'll be commandeering Tracey's blog.  I hope you don't mind! 
Chalk It Up To Better Luck

I'm a 20-something (okay, I'm 21) student as well as a Soldier in the US Army Reserve.  In my blog I write about my many adventures traveling around doing Military fun stuff, living the life of a college student, and everything else that comes with my slice of life. 
You can keep up with me in all of these places!
My blog revolves around the fact that sometimes things just don't go quite the way that you plan.  I've had a few less than fun experiences in my life that completely devastated me. I got in a bicycle accident that forcibly changed my career path, my then-fiance broke up with me, I was working a dead end job, and I saw very little hope for the future.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How the Blogging Community Can Help Your Blog Grow

grow your blog

I've been wanting to write this post ever since I attended my first blogging conference in the Spring. We all blog for different reasons - some to express the feelings and thoughts they've bottled up, some to cash in on some of the perks bloggers can get, some to make friends and some just because they love to write.

One of the hidden perks of blogging, that I never thought about when I started, was the amazing connections I would make with fellow bloggers along the way.

This past weekend, I got the chance to spend some time with Melissa who was in Ottawa for a conference. Ir was our first time meeting IRL, but the conversation flowed effortlessly, like we had known each other forever. Well, I mean I guess we kind of have. I, along with the entire internet, have the privilege of reading all about Melissa's life so a part of me felt like we were just picking up from our many online conversations and SnapChats.

Melissa and I at Play Restuarant

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cat's Adventures in Dating: October

For the last few months I have been seeing an amazing guy. He has turned into one of the best relationships I have ever been in and we’ve had an amazing time together. Scott and I met at an after work thing one night in the spring and there was an instant spark. He was cute, funny, wore glasses and most importantly, let me lead the conversation. Since the spark was so instantaneous, we decided to have dinner the following week.

We decided to meet up after work at a great Central American tapas place in Toronto called Valdez and bonded over tequila based cocktails and delicious latino flavours. He was so sweet and I loved talking to him, so we continued the date with a walk up to a frozen yogurt place I liked. Unbeknownst to Scott, this was his first “test” and he passed with flying colours. Maybe it’s ridiculous of me to use this test, but I always take a guy for froyo. If he freaks out that my concoction is too expensive, then he’s a no go. You must respect me and my ridiculous addiction to build your own frozen yogurt places. Scott on the other hand decided that this concept was amazing, and we competed to make the best mix-up of flavours we could.

couple on bench in san francisco

Skip ahead to today, and we have been seeing each other at least once a week since we met. We’ve gone on fun dates, been to great places to eat, and even gone on a mini road trip together. While we’ve kept it very casual, it’s been a wonderful time and my summer has been even better because he has been a part of it. Scott and I have never discussed commitment or long term together because right off the bat we both decided it would stay very light and fun. I never thought this would be something that I’d enjoy but I’ve actually had a great time with it. It’s nice to be able to see someone without all the drama of having “the talk” or forcing a commitment both parties don’t necessarily want from each other. I know this sound like a no strings attached FWB, but it’s been more than that. We’ve spent great amounts of time together and gotten to know each other without the benefits even being a factor, and I’ve loved that. If anything, the benefit I’ve gained has been a funny, cute, smart companion to talk to, laugh with, and try delicious new restaurants alongside.