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Month: March 2017

Friday Five – 5 things that are bringing me bliss!

Friday Five – 5 things that are bringing me bliss!

Welcome to my first Friday Five – 5 things that are bringing me bliss this week! I hope to do this type of post every week, and include all different manor of things…food, books, podcasts, people, places, things, etc.  All things that make me happy, and that you might enjoy as well!

1. Effy Wild

Effy Wild

This week’s number one is in honour of the person I stole the Friday Five idea from, Effy Wild.  She is a mixed media journal artist and teacher, who I am blessed to know not just online, but in the real world as well. I have personally taken her Book of Days online classes for 3 years now (I am a huge fan of the weekly “Bed Head Diaries”), and I consider it a privilege to be part of her “Wildlings” tribe.  She is famous for over-delivering in everything she does, creates such an inspiring community of like-minded individuals, and shares her honest journey in this thing called “life”.  It’s no wonder her fans number in the thousands!

She also happens to be running a special this weekend (until Tues, April 4, 2017) on her Book of Days 2017 class.

Book of Days 2017

“Book Of Days 2017 is a year long ‘art in community’ experience taught in three sessions that run from January 1 – April 1, May 1 – August 1, and September 1 – December 1 throughout 2017. Each week, you will find new content designed to inspire your own art journaling practice, as well as instruct you in mixed media art journaling techniques.”

Learn more about Book of Days (and her other offerings), and access the special sale price by clicking on the link here.

(Please note, these are not affiliate links.  I am just a true fan of the courses and the artist, and highly recommend them!)

2. Baden Coffee Company

Enjoying a cup at Baden Coffee Company

This local cafe in Baden, Ontario is where I wrote most of this week’s blog post.  It’s a short drive down the highway from my house, and is the perfect escape, especially on cold, blustery days like this one (that whole March coming “in like a lamb, out like a lion” thing is happening here).  I love that it’s cozy, with comfy tub chairs to lounge in, or table and chairs if you prefer. There is a patio out back when the weather is nice. It has a definite “local vibe” with a steady stream of regulars popping in to grab their caffeine fix (there is even a self-serve, self-pay section at the back).  I’ve also witnessed business meetings, mommy groups, lunch dates, and book club get-togethers being held here.

Being a specialty roastery and wholesale coffee supplier, there is always great artisan roasted coffee, but they also have rotating soup, sandwich, and other lunch specials.  And best of all, an assortment of freshly baked goodies (the giant cookies are my favourite)!  You might even catch Kaffee, the resident pooch, casually greeting customers.

Order from a selection of specialty drinks, and don’t forget a cookie!
Self-serve artisan coffees and teas.
Comfy chairs…we may or may not have been here for a few hours.
Today’s special…Peppercorn Grilled Cheese. So yummy!

3.  Harry Potter

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I know…I’m late to the party. It’s not that I haven’t been in the loop.  I have seen all the movies several times (spoiled myself and upgraded to blu-ray last Christmas) and I’ve read the first few books out loud with my boys (more than once over the years). I’ve even visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, and took the boys to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry event at University of Guelph last year.  There may or may not be a wand or two in this house.

But I’ve never actually sat down and read all seven books. I think the furthest I read was the first three books, but I could never seem to get past that point.  One of my resolutions this year was to finally do it.  And I’m happy to report, I did just that!  It is true what they say, the books are always better than the movies.  So much more detail, back story, and while the movies made me emotional, the books made me cry buckets of tears!  It was almost bittersweet, finishing the last book.  I didn’t want my affair to end!

4. Essential Oils

Yes, they are all the rage now it seems.  There are plenty of different companies offering a variety of oils, blends and accessories.  I actually took an aromatherapy certification course over a decade ago, and I do believe essential oils have beneficial qualities to them.

With my recent bouts of illness, and to help relieve stress, I have purchased a few different blends from this company. I picked them up at my local Goodness Me location.  My favourite is “Clear the Air”, a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, hyssop and rosemary.  I use it in a diffuser in my bedroom every night, and find it helps me sleep (and not snore so much…)

5. National Crayon Day

Today is National Crayon Day!  It also happens to be the day Crayola is officially retiring the colour Dandelion, or Dan-D as he likes to be called.  I have to say, I was kind of surprised by this pick, and it seems I’m not the only one.  However, he’s not disappearing right away. Dandelion is going on a retirement tour, that you’ll be able to follow on Instagram (#CelebrateDandelion).  And check out Crayola’s website, where you can stock up on a limited edition 64-pk of the solitary colour.

There may be some colouring after school today with the boys, and bedtime reading from some of our favourite books.  I feel another sequel opportunity in the making!

Well, that’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed the first edition of Friday Five!  Let me know what you think.  What’s rocking your world this week?

I Have An Excuse. Wait…what’s my excuse?

I Have An Excuse. Wait…what’s my excuse?

The view from the window…a cold, grey, drizzly day.  No blue sky today.  

It’s been a while, but I have an excuse

It’s been a very long time since my last post, but I have an excuse.  I have a number of excuses.  Let’s rewind a bit first, before I get into that.

2017 started out as such a breath of fresh air, compared to the heaviness that seemed to define 2016, for me, for so many others, like the whole world.  New Year’s dawned and I felt such an immediate spark of creativity, of boundless energy, like “let’s do this”! I made lists, and plans, and resolutions!  Even signed up for a course on blogging (Blogging from the Heart by the lovely Susannah Conway…I will write a review soon, but suffice to say it was/is amazing!  I’m still working my way through.)

And then I was quickly sidelined by yet another virus that left me just enough energy to go between the bed and the couch.  Since November, I had been sick on and off with a nasty cold that kept jumping from my head to my chest and back again.  I’d miss a few days of work, only to return and then miss another few days.  I’d get better for a week, then right back to being off sick again.  Even a last-minute chance at a vacation to the Grand Canyon, and I spent half of it sick.  (That’s a HUGE pocket of bliss right there, and I promise pictures and a post soon!)

All told, I used a year’s worth of sick days between November and February!  (And trust me, I know I am privileged to have paid sick days, and I don’t take that for granted).  I finally went to my doctor and begged her to fix me.  Her answer was that the stress had finally caught up to me and my body had had enough.  Rest was her prescription.  And I have a new respect for vitamins, I’ll just say that!

Whoa there girl…slow down

In hindsight, I believe it was the universe’s way of acknowledging all my grand plans and visions for the new year, but forcing me to slow down.  If you haven’t noticed, I do have a tendency to rush headlong into a new project, only to abandon it shortly thereafter (have you met my blog?).  So maybe this time I was meant to approach my dreams from a more tortoise like perspective…with the focus on going at a slow and steady pace, rather than the rabbit who rushes towards the finish line.

And admittedly, I have fallen into the bad habit of coming up with excuses why I can’t get back to blogging.  There’s the big excuses… I’m a single mom to two boys.  I’m in a nasty custody battle with my ex-husband.  I work full-time shift work in a high stress job.  My work schedule and custody schedule mean my weeks are eight days, not seven days, like the rest of the world, so scheduling my stuff and the kids’ stuff is challenging.  My parents live with us now (there’s a whole other blog post/series/novel for another day).  And there’s the little excuses…  Groceries to buy, laundry to wash, lunches to make, kids to drive and drop. I have to declutter the house, clean the house, set fire to the house and start fresh so I don’t have to clean or declutter it.  Any number of excuses.

What do Danielle Laporte and I have in common?

Last week, I was taking some time for myself one morning after the oldest boy got off to school (aka procrastinating on the house).  Going through my emails, I clicked on the new one from Danielle Laporte, entitled “Lies. Truth. Porn. Friendship. Sickness. Motherhood. And softness. One of the truest conversations I’ve had.”  There’s a “suck you right in” title if I’ve ever heard one! It’s a recorded conversation she had with Jono Fischer, founder of the Wake Up Project.  It’s a long listen, almost two hours, but early in, I knew I had to listen in full.  And listen more than once.

She spoke of being a mom, of so many other moms out there in the world, who are working while raising kids, who are literally fried, and yet are still putting stuff out there in the world, great stuff, inspiring stuff.  She also spoke of the guilt we all experience as moms (she does a great impersonation of Arianna Huffington, “When they take the baby out, they put the guilt in”), that sometimes overwhelming guilt, that we don’t spend enough time with our kids, that we don’t always put them first, that we are completely screwing them up.  There’s so much more in the conversation…definitely worth the listen!

The big takeaway for me?  I knew Danielle Laporte was a single mom, raising a teenage boy.  But here she talked about being a mom and a business woman, and making her schedule work, when she shares custody of her son with her ex on an 8 day rotation…her son is with her for 5 days, and then goes to his dad’s house for 3 days.  The same schedule I live with.  Cue jaw drop.

What were my excuses again?

Sure, I am nowhere in the same league as Danielle Laporte, but hey, we share the same custody schedule (and we’re both Canadian…but I digress).  She works with it, around it, and certainly doesn’t use it as an excuse why she can’t do what she does.  And lots of other fierce moms out there are working with their own schedules, challenges, life. They are sometimes fried. And yet they get up every day, take care of the kids, and still do some amazingly beautiful, creative, inspiring things!

I have been full of excuses why I can’t write, can’t get to this project or that goal, why I can’t hit “post” on this blog.   But there will be days when the sun isn’t shining, when the boys don’t go to their dad’s this week, and yeah, we all know about the housecleaning, and exhaustion is just normal.  Done is better than perfect.  If I keep waiting until life isn’t busy or chaotic or stressful, I’ll never do the things I love but feel I don’t have time for.  I have to stop the excuses, because they aren’t really excuses.  They are choices.  So what’s my next choice?

Cue “post”.

 

P.S. What do you want to do, that you keep making excuses not to?  Comment below, or send me an message!

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