Category Archives: Work Fun

A Squirrel Love Story

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may already know this (but you don’t know the STORY), but there is a squirrel nesting in one of the windows in my office.

There are little glass slats, and then the screen, and then more glass before the inside. So the squirrel just squeezed on in through the slats, and apparently decided it would make a nice home in there. And he is not wrong. If I was a squirrel, I’d totally want to live there.

So at first it would seem that a squirrel is just living in our window. Not much of a story there. But actually, this is a beautiful love story, and a story full of hard work and determination.

On Wednesday morning when the window was still empty of nest paraphernalia, we saw two squirrels “wrestling” in the window.

squirrels

Ah, young love.

I am not very squirrel savvy, so it’s hard to say what exactly they were doing…but it did look like fun times.

The window is directly in my line of vision, so I of course spotted this immediately and alerted everyone to the action in the window.

squirrels1

They’re just wrestling, right?

About an hour later, one squirrel came back with one lonely twig, and set it up against the side of the window. I also spotted this, and I was all, “He’s totally building a nest!”

And shortly after that, this was happening:

nest-beginnings

Definitely some nesting going on. So we decided that we needed to monitor the squirrel’s nesting progress, and since we are the digital team and have techy people and resources, we set up a GoPro camera to make a time lapse video.

go-pro-setup

One of the designers even created a handy label for the window.

squirrel-facts

Just in case anyone was unfamiliar with squirrels. I feel like we are in a zoo (and I LIKE it).

Oh, don’t go by those squirrel facts if you are writing a report on squirrels or anything, I don’t know how accurate it is. But I can say, fist-hand, that this squirrel in particular is not lazy.

The squirrel seemed to enjoy the set up quite a lot.

squirrel-habitat

Good times in there. And he didn’t even mind when people would drop by and stare at him.

squirrel-monitoring

When we came in the next morning, we noticed that the squirrel had been extremely busy over night. Serious improvements went down on that nest!

nest

Big renovations! And he worked at his nest all morning long, and until about 3pm (he usually takes a break between 3-4:30ish we have noticed), bringing in more leaves and twigs and doing some general organizing, and by the end of the day yesterday the nest looked like this:

nest1

Good job little squirrel! That is a palace!

I am excited to see what’s going to happen with this. My theory is the squirrel and his lover came into the window for some alone time, and their alone time went so well that it may produce baby squirrels. And now they will need somewhere for the baby squirrels to grow up, so they decided what better place than that very windowsill? I think babies are going to be raised in that nest. It is like National Geographic up in here! With crappier photos.

If you would like to watch the time lapse video so far, see below this paragraph. It is just of Day 2 morning, as we were having some technical difficulties with the camera the day before and we didn’t get it up until well after the nest had been started. But you can see how busy the squirrel was…

I love that squirrel!

(If that didn’t work you can watch it here)

We have also set up a Twitter account for the squirrel (because we’re really cool like that) if you would like to follow along on his nesting and family progress (and of course general squirrel musings).

Oh man, this just makes me laugh so hard.

Annnnd that’s really the only exciting thing that’s been happening this week. Besides the squirrel work has been extremely busy and this week has flown by. And I am grateful, because next week, JAMAICA!

Have a great weekend!

(PS – Sorry for the squirrel porn. I think it’s important that you know the entire story, because I have a feeling it’s going to be BEAUTIFUL!)

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Festive Office Adventures

Ahh holidays! I am officially off work until January 7 and I could not be more excited. I am mostly excited for the leisuring, I cannot lie. These last couple of weeks leading up to the holidays have been INSANE busy, so I really cannot wait to simmer things down. I’m sure I’ll be squeezing in some adventuring though too.

I was so exhausted when I arrived home from work yesterday that I just collapsed fully-clothed on my bed and slept for three hours. It was beautiful. I felt like a new woman when I woke up.

And let’s get to what led to my exhaustion…

Thursday afternoon was the cookie exchange at my work!

cookie-exhange

We had a great turnout, which equals TONS of cookies! I have never seen so many different types of cookies in one place.

My cookies were in excellent company.

cookies

So we all went around the table and loaded our containers up with 1-3 of each type of cookie. It kind of felt like musical chairs. And actually it was really funny because it was kind of a cookie traffic jam. We were all in a circle and no one was moving, so the entire process of getting around the table took over half an hour.

By the end, I had a good haul.

cookies

So many delicious cookies! I am not sure what I’m going to do with them all, because I can NOT eat them all. I need to be in a bikini in about three weeks (JAMAICA!!!!) so that is not happening. It’s been hard to resist though. I think I may bring them to my family’s Christmas. They’ll probably be appreciative of that.

Some of the boys were pretty excited for their cookies…

cookie-excitement

I need to quickly mention that Justin, the tall guy in the photo with the sweet hair and mustache, does not usually look like that. Apparently he wanted to wear the wig and the ‘stache to “match his sweater.” Attractive.

After the cookie party, we had a holiday cocktail party in our studio (which I work in, it is a bit separate from the rest of our office). We shut off all the lights and brought in a bunch of lamps, put on the Christmas tunes, and created a little holiday ambiance with festive fireplaces on our computer screens…

fire-screen

And then we enjoyed some refreshments.

bar

We had a little bar full of holiday-themed drinks.

drinks

I sampled all three cocktails, and I really enjoyed the gimlet and the cape cooler. So delicious. We also had some beer kicking around as well.

There were also the strongest rum balls I have EVER had.

rum-balls

And I do mean ever. 150% proof? I don’t think that’s a lie. I had one ball and I felt like there was the equivalent of about four shots in it. I almost spit it out, but I persevered and choked it down. And then I felt incredibly warm and happy.

It was so much fun! Everyone was in their festive gear and ready to party.

festive-boys

festive-friends

I even had a glitter twin, Erin.

glitter-twins

We did not plan that, though many people asked us if we did. Just a gold glitter and black blazer coincidence.

Until I changed into my ugly Christmas sweater…

ugly-sweaters

Which I will describe in more detail later because I am attending an ugly sweater party tonight and I will be wearing that bad boy.

We wanted to take a big group photo of everyone, because at one point there was probably about 40 of us, so Justin and I went to move our Christmas tree so we could put it in front of us for the picture. And then we had a bit of an accident, and somehow the tree got knocked over…

tree

And everyone yelled at us and said we ruined Christmas. The photo was cancelled.

The party was only supposed to go until 5:30, but it ended up being so much fun that most people stayed way later to get their festive cheer on. We even had an impromptu ping pong tournament.

Have I mentioned that I love my job? Because I do. Quite a lot. This is the most fun work environment I have ever experienced in my life. It is definitely work hard (we do work hard!!!), play hard, and it’s such a great atmosphere. I have trouble believing this is real life. It’s amazing! I love Christmas for the parties, so three separate work holiday parties? Yes, yes and yes.

Have a great weekend!

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Pre-Holiday Craziness

So it is the week before the official holidays, and you know what that means… BUSYNESS. Holy busyness. This entire week has just been crazy.

On Monday after work I had a meeting with the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association’s executive board (which I sit on), and I don’t really have anything to report from that except it included dinner.

swiss-chalet

YEAHHHHHHH Festive Special! I wait all year for this from Swiss Chalet. Basically it is the same as the quarter chicken meal, except it comes with stuffing and Lindor chocolates, so obviously it is one million times better. I die for their sauce. And don’t even tell me how bad it is because I don’t even care. I could drink it.

Also this week I had my work’s client Christmas party at the Spoke Club on King West, and that was a fun time!

coworkas

There were some pretty delicious appetizers floating around, so I spent the night eating those and mingling with my coworkers and our clients.

coworkers

I may have made a new BFF with one of our clients Georgia.

photobooth

She was a good time.

There was an after-party, but I was already exhausted so I decided I should probably skip that if I didn’t want to be dead the next day. I have a hard time partying on a school night…

I was excited all week for Wednesday, as I had something big to look forward to. Stephanie from Clay Baboons was in the city, and we had plans to meet for coffee! This is a big deal, as Steph is from Nova Scotia and we tried to meet up last year during the holidays when she was visiting, but things just got too busy and it didn’t end up happening. It is funny because we have only read each other’s blogs and emailed back and forth a bit (and we are Facebook friends) but I already felt like we were friends. Meeting her for coffee felt just like meeting an old friend. She is just as sweet and hilarious in person as she comes across on her blog! I really had a good time and I probably could have spent the entire day just talking with her.

Sadly I forgot to take a picture of us. I don’t know what I was thinking. But here is what it probably would have looked like:

linds-steph

Exactly like that. Only I was wearing a black dress and Steph was all trendy in a gray sweater. If you haven’t read her blog you should check it out. She is hilarious and her clay is amazing.

My work is having a big cookie exchange party today, and I am incredibly pumped, because as you know I am a cookie connoisseur.

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That’s going to be me.

I signed up to the cookie exchange planning on making my Nana’s Christmas cookies!

christmas-cookies

I basically gave myself all night last night to make them, as they are time-consuming little suckers. I had to run some errands after work, and while I was out I realized that I was out of decorating bags for the icing, so I dropped by the Bulk Barn to pick some up. It was not until about 9pm when I was getting ready to do the cookie thing that I realized the decorating bags I bought were not in fact decorating bags.

This is what I bought:

decorating-bags

And this is what they were:

triangle

WTF Bulk Barn?! Holy false advertising! I am a visual person. I know it clearly says “Parchment Triangles” on the package, but if you put a picture of a decorating bag icing a beautiful cake on the box I am going to assume I am buying a decorating bag! What am I supposed to do with a triangle of parchment paper? That does not equal a decorating bag.

I assumed the cookies were going to be a disaster. I thought I was just going to have to sloppily spatula icing on them and hope for the best. But I made myself a little spontaneous decorating bag using a Ziploc bag (because I am a resourceful little minx like my Nana), and guess what?! They actually turned out!

cookies

So I am bringing those puppies into work today, and if all goes well I will be leaving work with about 50 various types of cookies. Hooray for that!

Today is also kind of our unofficial office party, so we are all supposed to dress festively and there is a social with cocktails in the afternoon (probably to replace beer cart), so I am excited for that as well.

Just a lot of things going on, and I am really looking forward to the holidays. It’s going to be leisure city up in here.

I hope all of your busy weeks are going well, and I will catch you guys later!

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The Office Holiday Party

So Friday night was my work’s holiday party, and people had been raving on to me for the past month about how amazing of a time it was going to be, so I had been looking forward to it for a while. It did NOT disappoint. It was probably the most fun and hilarious holiday party I have ever been to. I love seeing people from work all relaxed in leisure/party mode.

Anyway, we started the night off at Crush Wine Bar on King West. We all mingled around with our drinks for about an hour or so before sitting down to dinner. There were three tables with about 20 people each, so about 60 of us in total.

table

I sat with my favourite communications team.

comm-girls

But there is another addition to our team who was sitting down the table from us.

comm-team

(From left: Steph, Emily, Laura, myself, Melissa)

Those girls are a good time, let me tell you. I really love being part of a communications team. At my old job I was the only one who worked in communications, so it is nice to be able to talk to people who can relate to what I’m talking about and get ideas from. These girls have made my first couple months at my new job so much fun, and they are so helpful, so I am very grateful.

We ate from a set menu that included salad, an entree, and a dessert. My pictures are pretty blurry, but I’ll show you my entree.

steak

That may have been the most tender steak I have ever eaten. Practically no chewing required.

Ah, fancy restaurants. You kill me with your small portions. This is why I am not the biggest fan of super expensive restaurants. I wasn’t paying for this, but I have a feeling if I was it would be around $35, and friends, that is not even enough to fill me up. Luckily Steph had warned me about the small portions so I pre-ate before I left. Had I not my hunger monster may have made an appearance. And I am not dissing on Crush Wine Bar, this is typical at every expensive restaurant. Also, it redeemed itself in quality. It was DELICIOUS. Seriously mouth-watering. I practically licked my plate.

Right after dinner, a few of my fellow coworkers showed us all a video as a surprise, and it made me laugh so hard I nearly had a heart attack. They went out and filmed people on the street, asked them what they thought about our company, and then gave them inside jokes to say about the people at our work. And then they compiled their answers into a video. I LOVE office humour like this. I am new, but I still got all the jokes and I nearly died of laughter. It was really well done.

After the video it was after-party time. We all headed over to Bloke & 4th, a club just down the street from Crush. I had never been there before, but apparently it is THE place to be, and it was jam-packed in there.

I work for a very young company, and everyone certainly was no stranger to partying. We had an entire area for just our staff, and the drinks were flowing, and it was just a really, really good time.

girls

We tried to take this nice picture of us multiple times, because we kept getting photobombed by the guys…

photobomb

I have found my people. I really loved that although we were in a packed club, all of our staff stayed together and socialized with each other. We all danced together all night long. I danced so much that both of my feet were pure blisters the next day.

Someone came around with a fancy camera also, and took those pictures that make you feel like you’re a celebrity.

group

Rainer, second from the left, was my immediate work best friend (not to be confused with Lexy my Office Bestie who will never, ever be replaced). I sat across from him for the first month or so and I just liked him immediately. I recently moved across the room to sit with my communications team, and he pretended to be all mad at me at first and wouldn’t talk to me for two days. But now we are friends again.

linds-rain

We just wave to each other from afar and joke about how we are going to make a tin can telephone.

And I found a lace twin, Monica.

lace-twins

I LOVED her dress. She looked gorgeous.

I cannot even describe how much I love the work environment here and how great the people are. Even the CEO/president of our company stayed until the bitter end. It was a really great night, and everyone managed not to embarrass themselves too badly. Just wins all around!

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Lunch (and Dog) Envy

I have been suffering from a problem lately. That problem is lunch envy. I am envious of other people’s lunches.

This didn’t seem to be a problem at my old job. I think because I only worked with four other people and I was usually the first one to eat lunch, so by the time my coworkers got their lunch ready I had just eaten mine and was momentarily satisfied. Plus my boss would just eat quietly in his office and he didn’t usually need to heat anything up, so his lunch would largely go unnoticed by me. (it is the smell of lunches being reheated that seems to trigger my envy).

Well, his lunch went unnoticed except for when I was making fun of how cute it was:

milk

Aww, the little bottle of milk.

And I would routinely tell my old coworker Mike that he has the blandest tastebuds of all time because his favourite sandwich was just meat and bread. No cheese, no condiments, no lettuce or tomato. Just meat and bread. I tend to eat things for the extras (the sauces, the cheese), so no jealousy there. Though I do enjoy both meat and bread, quite a lot.

But now I work with about 50 other people, and when I make my way down to the lunchroom around lunchtime there are on average at least five people in there getting their elaborate, amazing lunches ready. I am not exaggerating about elaborate and amazing. I am talking spaghetti carbonara, delicious-looking stir fries, burritos, dim sum, pad thai, and other beautiful lunches that I can’t even name or describe, they just look and smell delicious. Someone even had a platter of fancy cheeses with some of the tastiest-looking crackers I had ever seen. Seriously kill me.

Typically I grab my lunch from the fridge and get out of there as soon as possible before it becomes unbearable and I become a lunch thief (because NO ONE likes a lunch thief). And then I take my boring and sad homemade sandwich and salad back to my desk and stare at it in disdain. Why didn’t I think to pack dim sum? Because I am a lazy lunch packer.

Anyway, I’ve decided it doesn’t matter. I will always have the lunch envy, no matter what I bring for my own lunch. Wednesday night I made myself amazing chicken pasta, and for lunch yesterday I had my amazing leftovers. I was excited about my lunch, it was delicious. But I still felt a little tingle of lunch envy.

Luckily my office, and most importantly my immediate coworkers, are all very snack-oriented. Everyone has great snacks and they are all very generous with their sharing. So there is a lot of lunch supplementing going on and for that I am thankful. I love people who are food oriented! (I do not like people who don’t eat.)

I am also thankful for furry distractions around the office.

ollie

I work in a pet-friendly office that allows dogs! There are usually about four roaming around during the day. That little ball of cuteness is Ollie, my coworker Steph’s dog, and he was our desk mascot for the day yesterday.

And when I say desk mascot I mean that literally.

ollie-desk

He actually hung out on our desks for most of the day.

ollie-desk1

RIDICULOUS cute. I could not get enough of Ollie. He was like a little cat. He slept on my lap for about an hour in the afternoon and he was so warm and comforting. I just wanted to snuggle him all day long.

linds-ollie

Ollie has given me the serious dog itch (NOT to be confused with the baby itch). Ah, I want a dog.

Winnie says no though.

winnie

Oh well. I will just carry on admiring the dogs and the lunches of others.

Have a great weekend! Mine is jam-packed with holiday festivities and I am EXCITED.

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Grey Cup Fan March Festivities

Sunday was the Canadian equivalent of the Superbowl, the CFL Grey Cup! And not just any Grey Cup, the 100th Grey Cup!

Pretty big deal since it was being played in Toronto at the Rogers Centre, AND the Toronto Argonauts were actually playing. And they beat the Calgary Stampeders! Exciting times. Downtown was INSANE.

My work was putting on the Sun Life Grey Cup Fan March parade before the game, and when they asked me to volunteer at the festivities I said yes yes. Basically the plan was to have a little pep rally at UofT’s Varsity Stadium before the game, and then escort the cup (yes, the actual cup) the 5km through the downtown core to the Rogers Centre.

My job for the day was “Banner Manager” which means I got to manage the Fan March banner being carried in the parade. I was very excited about this job, and of course took it very seriously. I was assigned three banner volunteers, and coincidentally three good friends of mine were free that day, so I roped Emily, Joanna and Dawn into joining me. Except Dawn ended up getting sick the day of the event, so I was down one banner minion.

A-okay though, Jo, Emily and I figured we could handle the banner duties ourselves.

We were sad to be missing our little Dawnald, but we were excited about our job.

The pep rally before the parade was pretty fun. There were definitely some characters in attendance…

That guy was funny. Do you think he likes Canada? I think he might…

These guys were pretty awesome also:

I’m pretty sure they thought Joanna and I were famous or important as they wanted photos with both of us with their own camera. We are neither, but if it makes them happy, sure, we can pretend.

And we had a little hangout session with Cabbie from TSN who was the MC of the parade.

Who is super nice and enthusiastic and hilarious. The crowd just loved him. He also helped us with some banner maneuvering during the parade, which I was thankful for, because it got a little crazy.

Emily, being the social butterfly that she is, befriended the Argos mascot…

And she also got quite intimate with the Grey Cup.

And then it was march time! The march was INSANE. Just insane. Way more people showed up than we had originally anticipated (which is of course a great thing), and what was supposed to be a leisurely organized stroll down Yonge Street turned into absolute chaos. All volunteers had gone through training on their roles before the event, but no one could be prepared for the mass amounts of people who showed up. There were literally thousands, and walking in the parade felt like trying to walk through a mosh pit.

This picture pretty much sums it up I think…

Insanity. We are actually in that photo WITH the banner, and you can’t even see us because there are just too many people. We seriously got stampeded (just like the Stampeders did later, har har).

Originally we were supposed to be carrying the banner at the front of the parade (where banners should be), but because the cup was in the parade as well, it was decided that the banner would act as a good barrier between the fans and the cup, so fans wouldn’t rush it. While this was a good idea in theory, there were just way too many people, and the banner was just not big enough to act as any sort of barricade. It was crazy. People wanted to be as close to the cup as possible (of course they did!), and were therefore rushing the BANNER (which, let’s be honest, no one cares about except for me, the Banner Manager).

I can see half my face but no banner. I have never been shoved around so much in my life. One of my coworkers who was with the cup had to be basically held up by a Mountie (who was only supposed to be there for show but ended up acting as extra security) the entire time because she was getting pushed around so much.

Over the 5km journey, the cup was passed off to fans with wristbands every 10 seconds or so. This is such a Canadian thing, allowing people to actually carry the cup. How many people have been able to carry the Vince Lombardi trophy? HUNDREDS of people carried the Grey Cup on Sunday. And they LOVED it!

Poor Joanna was on the end of the banner and was basically getting trampled, and one of the security guys who was guarding the cup noticed and came back to help us. He was soo nice, and so protective of us and our banner. He was literally shoving people away from us. He eventually helped us roll the banner up and push through the throngs of people and run it up to the front of the parade. In front of the cup so we could actually walk and people could actually see the banner and be able to tell that it was an actual parade. I was very grateful for his help. I’m pretty sure I thanked him a million times.

We picked up quite a few extra banner volunteers along the way to the Rogers Centre…

Which I was happy about, because that banner was heavy after carrying it for hours. And the Calgary fan on the end there was so incredibly into the banner carrying. He would not let go of that banner. I think we made his life.

Also, another man came over and decided to take over as banner manager and started telling us what we needed to do with the banner…and I do not get down like that, so I was all “Excuse me sir, there is only ONE Banner Manager in this parade and that is ME! You are more than welcome to be a banner volunteer, but you will be listening to me.” I may have yelled this slightly aggressively. Emily and Joanna were dying laughing.

He was laughing also, but he was quiet on the managing-front after that. And he carried the banner the entire way with us and we made friends with him.

We ended up getting separated from the rest of the parade around Dundas Square when thousands of people swarmed around the cup, ultimately stopping it, and we didn’t realize this and just kept going. We got so far ahead that the banner was basically its own parade, with hundreds of people surrounding us. We stumbled across a security team who decided to help us out and start leading us…down the wrong street. So we had to backtrack our following a little bit. But I don’t think they minded.

But we caught up with the cup again and escorted that puppy riiiight into the Rogers Centre right before the game.

It was such an amazing event, and so much fun to be a part of. Honestly so much fun. I have never seen so many excited and enthusiastic people and I totally got caught up in the energy of everyone. The entire day was hilarious, and I was so glad to have my friends with me! Best event I have been involved in since, well I can’t even remember when. I loved the organized chaos of it all. Success all around!

I felt the patriotic love! (and could I have said the word “banner” any more throughout this post? Probably not…)

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