TGIF: Denver Bound + 7 Things About Me

October 10, 2014


In the past few weeks, JessJordann, and The Money Pincher have all nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks to Jess’ trusty research skills, I can tell you the awards are given to: “Honour those bloggers who bring something special to your life, whether every day or only now and then.” Thanks, ladies!

To accept the “award”, I now have to write a post that reveals 7 secret/unknown facts about myself. I don’t normally do these (especially because I’m pretty sure you guys know everything about me), but it seemed like a fun activity for TGIF. So, here goes nothing:

1. I hate pumpkin pie. I don’t like telling people that in the fall, for fear I’ll have one thrown at me. It’s not the flavour. I love pumpkin spice lattes, and I just made a batch of homemade pumpkin spice to put in my morning coffee. Nope, it’s the texture. It just grosses me out! This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada and I can promise you I won’t eat a single piece of pumpkin pie.

2. I love tea – but it has to be made right. You have to boil the water then pour an inch of it into your teapot, so it heats up. Reboil the leftover water while you’re waiting, so it’s extra hot. Then dump the water from the teapot into the sink, put in 1-2 tea bags (has to be Tetley) and fill it to the top with hot water. My dad’s parents were British – it’s the only way to do it!

3. I can’t sew. Growing up, my mom and aunt used to own a fabric shop on Lower Johnson in Victoria, where they also sewed and sold clothes. My mom made clothes for me when I was a kid, put together amazing Halloween costumes and sewed all my sisters’ figure skating competition dresses, etc. And Baby Sis sews too! But I never wanted to learn. I don’t even think I could stitch on a button, if I had to.

4. I’m a pro at building online courses. No, seriously. Ever heard of WebCT, Blackboard or Moodle? I spent the first 5 years of my career building courses in all three LMS’ (learning management systems). I’m fascinated by instructional design and, if I hadn’t made the career move into being a full-time writer/editor, I probably would’ve gone back to school and pursued it as a career.

5. I don’t mind not finishing a book. I know most people feel like they have to finish reading every book they’ve ever started, but that’s just not how I roll. If a book doesn’t suck me in in the first 50-60 pages, I’m over it. There are too many good books out there! Why waste time trying to push yourself to finish one you’re not enjoying? (Note: This doesn’t happen often, but I don’t feel bad when it does.)

6. I love warm scents. Vanilla, sandalwood, coconut, cocoa butter… gimme perfumes and candles in everything! To contrast this, I hate floral scents. I like real flowers, but florally perfumes? Bleh.

7. I used to hate my last name. When I was a kid, people always seemed to think it would be funny to ask me how “Ned and Maude” were. (Actually, our valet guy in New Orleans just asked me that a couple weeks ago.) And I think I’ve said “Flanders, like in Flanders’ Fields” a thousand times or more. But it’s always growing on me. In fact, even if I get married, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep it.

The high of my week was just killing it at #pfworkouts. I put in 50-55 mins at the gym every single day, except Wednesday (only put in 30 mins). Still, it was a great week!

A blog post I loved was The Stories We Don’t Tell. “Unfortunately, too often, we withhold stories from our own lives that could benefit others. The stories are not pretty. Otherwise, we would have already told them. But they have a place in our society and in our conversations with the people closest to us.”

The best money I spent was on part of Clare’s wedding present.

My plans this weekend include travelling to Denver today, going to a party in Boulder with Clare and Drew tonight, going out for breakfast and hiking Red Rocks with my friend Kayla tomorrow, watching Clare and Drew get married on Sunday, then flying back to Vancouver and catching the ferry to Victoria (for Thanksgiving!) on Monday. Wow, a lot can happen in just a few short days, eh?

How was your week, friends? Want to share any secret/unknown facts about yourselves!?

  • Alicia October 10, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Huh, I might have to hit you up on the LMS preparation thing in the future – good to know :) I’m pretty familiar with the back-end stuff for Blackboard, but now that I’m at a new institution it’s Moodle. I can’t imagine it’s THAT different, right? Right?

    I absolutely DESPISED my last name when I was younger. Like, cringed when people said it, mostly because no one said it correctly. Now, I’m okay with it, mostly because it is unique and fairly distinctive… which is super important for me trying to get my name out there. Plus, “Alicia” is just so “blah” and common for anyone 35 (?) and under.

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Ahhh, Moodle is a world of its own (but it’s my fave). I hate the “new” Blackboard (I think 9.0+?) with a passion, but they are a lot more similar than Moodle vs. WebCT.

  • Dayle October 10, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Hey there – Happy Friday! I loved this post :)

    I am also a pumpkin pie hater and a tea lover. Although I don’t like anything pumpkin flavoured, just the seeds! As for tea…I love a good tea the way you described it, but most of the time it’s just tea bag in mug and pour in water… my Grandma thinks it’s a tragedy every time she sees me do it! lol

    I’ve taken online courses in all three platforms you mentioned – that’s super cool you worked with them. The course I’m currently taking uses Moodle.

    Speaking of names…I don’t hate my name(s) or anything, but my entire life, whenever I give my name, I have to spell out my first and last name. I am just used to it! When I was a kid, I did hear that I had a boy name pretty often, but I don’t remember being particularly upset by it.

    A few things about me most people don’t know:
    – I have a lazy eye… aka only 20% vision in my right eye, so I am essentially blind in one eye, if something happened to my “good” eye I would be legally blind.
    – I am the oldest grand-child on both sides of my family…my mom has 3 brothers and my dad has 3 sisters so I have loads of cousins, but I’m the oldest.
    – I was NOT the first to bring a great-grandchild. I have a 7 and a half year old nephew!
    – I was an avid blackberry user for 5 years before getting my iPhone 6 months ago.
    – I am addicted to tea. I absolutely love it and feel like I can’t live without it. No joke.

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Whoa re: being “essentially” blind in one eye. I had no idea! And I’m the oldest grandchild on my mom’s side, second oldest (by 2 months) on my dad’s – so close! lol

  • Erin @ Journey to Saving October 10, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Really interesting you worked on those LMS’! I’ve only used Blackboard, but that sounds like fun. I used to hate not finishing books, but I follow your method now. No use in trying to force yourself to read. I love warm scents, too! I’ve had a frosted cupcake candle lit for a while now. I find floral scents to be a bit too strong. Thanks for sharing these fun facts with us!

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 7:44 am

      Mmm, that candle sounds amazing! I have to admit: I miss being able to buy those. The fall and winter scents are always the best. Stupid shopping ban, haha.

  • Morgaine October 10, 2014 at 8:22 am

    As you were describing your tea making process, I knew that’s the British way. I grew up with Tetley tea, tea all the time (and if my family comes over that’s all they’ll drink) but I love different flavours as well (especially earl grey and chai – David’s tea makes a pumpkin chai that is super delish). I also love warm scents not florals :)

    Have fun in Denver :D

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Haha, yea my dad has tea probably… 4 times a day!? I’m fine with just coffee in the morning + 1 cup of tea in the afternoon. And I like other flavours too: Early Grey, Chai, Peppermint… Pumpkin Chai sounds delish! I’d try that. :)

  • Gia T. October 10, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Oooh so cool you worked with LMSes! I’m in the online education field so those are familiar words to me. Thanks for sharing the tea tips too, now I’m going to try that method! :)

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      How cool, Gia! What do you do exactly?

      • Gia T. October 14, 2014 at 10:28 pm

        Eeepers! Sorry for the super late reply! I’m an applications manager/ Moodle administrator. :)

  • Michelle October 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

    If you were earlier today I would have loved to meet for coffee! Have fun and drink plenty of water.

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      Aww, yea I didn’t get to my hotel until 4:30pm. Sorry, lady!

  • Amber Simpson October 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    haahaaa my last name is simpson an everyone asks me if my brothers name is bart.

    • Cait Flanders October 10, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Haha, that’s awesome. Wait, no it’s not. I feel your pain! :P

  • Nadia October 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Growing up I really didn’t like my first OR last name because they were so different that nobody ever pronounced either right. Now Nadia is more common so it’s not as big of deal and I love having a different name.

    I’m not as picky with my tea. I’ll drink Tetley or Red Rose…whatever is on sale! Occasionally I do love a chai tea but otherwise I don’t vary my tea.

    • Cait Flanders October 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Tea seems to be something everyone is a little picky about in their own way, eh? And I love your first name!

  • Kristen October 11, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Have a wonderful trip. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Cait Flanders October 12, 2014 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Kristen!

  • Kath October 11, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Enjoy Denver and Clare & Drew’s wedding! I’ll be there in spirit :-)

    Hope you get to meet Boris, the Wonderful Weinerdog.

    Here’s to internet -> IRL buddies!

    • Cait Flanders October 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Ahhh, thanks Kath! And I did get to meet Boris. We got in lots of cuddles on Friday night. <3

  • Kath October 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Also, just noticed my avatar is Red Rocks – what a wonderful place!! (Drink lots of water on your hike)


    • Cait Flanders October 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      How fun! And yes, I’ve been drinking a lot of water here, in general. :)

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods October 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I love pumpkin pie! You can send me all the pies you don’t eat :). I appreciate your tea-making precision, I’m the same way about coffee. Enjoy your weekend–sounds like a lot of fun!

    • Cait Flanders October 12, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Haha, happy to send ’em over! Although my mama will usually grab an apple pie or something for us instead. Mmm mmm!

  • Sofia October 13, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Glad to know you don’t like pumpkin pie. I won’t be sending you one any time soon. I am using Blackboard now for classes and it’s alright. I don’t like how I have to manually input my calendar of assignments in there. I already did that with my google calendar, so I didn’t redo it in Blackboard. Congrats on the Versatile Blogger award. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Cait Flanders October 13, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Haha, yea you can keep the pumpkin pie for yourself. And I’m not totally sure what you mean re: input your calendar of assignments. Like the due dates aren’t preloaded into the calendar?

  • Kate @ Cashville Skyline October 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Aw, no pumpkin pie? I’ll admit the pumpkin spiced things have gotten a bit out of control. but I still gotta have my pie! Especially homemade! Hope you’re enjoying Denver. One my best buddies lives there and I’ve always loved visiting.