Tuesday, July 19, 2011

explore. dream. discover.

Lost: One girl’s passion and creative spark.
And, unfortunately, that girl is me.
As is surely evident by my lack of writing and Debbie Downer posts in the past, I have not been in the right state of mind to write as often as I would like. While I still think that life is great and I'm my happy-go-lucky self the majority of the time, I've got a heavy grey cloud hanging over my head and it's really been raining on my parade. So I’m taking a break from my blog. I need to focus my energy on other things in my life at the moment. I need to give myself some time to unravel the crazy web of 'what to do's?' that has made it's home in my head. Instead of fretting over fun and friendly posts, I've been dreading them. Instead of looking forward to blogging, I'm being bogged down. Instead of seeing all the positives, I'm focused on the negatives – and I'm tired of letting the negatives win. I want to make some changes in my life right now. I know I'm completely capable of more. I know that if I set my mind to it, I can get what I want. I know that if I truly listen to what is in my heart, it will lead me in the right direction. I'm determined, I'm ready and I need to let myself devote all my energy to the changes that are going to get me to where I want to be.

I know I’ll be back because, in the end, this is something that makes me happy. It makes me happy to know that I have a creative outlet. It makes me happy to know that there are so many amazing people out there. It makes me happy to know that even if I step away from this part of the world for a while, it will still be here when I'm ready to return. I hope to be back soon and be back and better than ever...as corny and cliché as that may be, it's the truth. I'm ready to really be me and I know that the me I'm going to be is better than the me I am right now. Mark Twain said it so wonderfully...
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did.
I don't want to be disappointed. I'm throwing off the bowlines and sailing away from the safe harbour.
And I will see you when my ship is back on course.

Friday, June 24, 2011

for all the other kids

First of all, ah-dorable.
Second of all, I think this kid has it spot on. With a little confidence and the determination to practice, it's amazing what you can do. For most of us, riding a bike is easy, it's natural and not something we think about doing when we hop on and peddle away. But when you're learning something new, if it's riding a bike, baking a cake or an accounting equation, there may be some challenges along the way. I imagine the little guy in the video didn't pull his bike put of the garage for the first time and rock and roll down the sidewalk like a pro. I'm going to imagine that it took him a try or two to figure out how to do what he wanted to do. Even after falling down, I bet he got back up, got back on his bike and believed he could do it. He believed in himself. He believed that if he kept practicing, kept trying, kept on going, that maybe the next time he got on his bike would be the time that he could ride it. For such a little boy, it seems like he's got some of the lessons figured out that as adults we often forget. I know that when I'm struggling to see the light at the end of a tunnel, it's hard to give myself a pep talk. It's hard to believe that I can get to the end, figure it out or get back on my bike and ride down the street with my head held high. But you can bet that the next time I get all Debbie Downer on myself, I'll be thinking of this cutie. If he can learn to ride his bike, I can learn something new, too. If he can believe in himself, so can I. If he can practice until he gets it, then I will, too. If he knows I can do it, then I should, too.

As I've said before, the wisdom of children is often so simple but so true and the lessons we learn when we're little are lessons we shouldn't forget once we're big. So to everyone learning how to ride bike, believe in yourself.
And thumbs up for rock and roll.

Have you learned anything new lately? Any advice for someone who is?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

and the livin's easy

Aah, summer. I've been waiting for you. With your warm days and sunny nights, you are just what I need in my life. Skirts and flip-flops, sunscreen and tank tops. Barbeques and patios, ice cream and popsicles. There is just so much for me to love. It may not feel like summer where I am right now but just knowing that summer is officially here is enough to get me giddy for what’s to come.
Summer has always been my favourite season, and today, it’s official arrival, my favourite day of the year. I don’t know if it is because summer meant no school or if it’s because the beach is my favourite place to be but I have always loved the sun kissed season in the middle of the year. There has always been something so appealing about putting away any jackets, leaving the layers at home, and taking in the happy sounds and salty smells of summer. I was fortunate enough to spend several summers growing up on the south coast of Maine, a few blocks away from the beach, and I can still remember the short bike ride down the street, bathing suit on and towel in hand, ready to spend several hours soaking in the sun and splashing in the ocean. Days seemed endless as we would find the perfect place for our beach blankets and let out toes tickle their way into the squishy sand. We’d jump waves, search for starfish and let the water carry us in to shore. We’d eat fresh snap peas from the market and chew on taffy from the corner store. We’d play catch and do cartwheels; we’d run races and build sandcastles. We’d be exhausted by the end of the day but anxious to return and do it all over again. Summer makes me smile. The good memories and sunny days seem to make me happier once the season has arrived. I’m more comfortable in my sunglasses and sandals than boots and big coats. I crave ice cream and lemonade and long days in the heat. It may not be as carefree as when I was young but summer relaxes me and refreshes me. It’s fun in the sun…and for me, it doesn’t get much better.
Thanks for coming, summer. I’m so glad you’re here.

Do you like summer? What’s your favourite summer memory?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

a cup of chaos

For any hockey player, the Stanley Cup is what dreams are made of. You work hard all season long, fight for your place in the playoffs and then battle to the best of your ability to make your way through three rounds to find yourself only four wins away from raising the coveted Cup over your head. Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals was last night between the Boston Bruins and my hometown Vancouver Canucks and for me and many hockey fans, it’s a night of uneasy excitement and high hopes. I had hoped I’d be able to write today about how happy I was to see the Canucks take it all but unfortunately, things didn’t quite go that way and, instead, I’ve got to offer my congratulations to the competitors as the Boston Bruins outplayed, outlasted and outscored Vancouver and are now the Stanley Cup Champions. A great season for the Canucks, a great series for the Bruins and a great sport that I truly love to watch.
{via}
And while it was certainly a disappointing loss for the Canucks, it soon became a disappointing night for the city of Vancouver. I sat and watched the news in horror as live coverage of the violence and riots that followed the game continued to escalate into total destruction and disregard. How could these people treat our city this way? How could so many people be so violent and vulgar? How do a handful of hooligans inspire hundreds of hockey fans to turn on each other, on the people and places around them and commit crime after crime? So many questions of utter disbelief as the chaos of the city overshadowed what should have been a night all about hockey and a win so well deserved by either team.
{via Andy Fang Photography}
I woke up this morning still proud to be a Vancouver fan but so ashamed that by being one I was going to be associated with the shenanigans. And while negativity has certainly surround the chaos, out of the darkness has come the light. The police, firefighters and city workers were joined by volunteers from all over this morning to help rid the city of the destruction. While it didn’t take long for the trouble to take over last night, it was just as quickly wiped away by so many proud people who came together to breathe some life back in the city. Heavy boards may cover the broken windows and be a reminder of the ruckus, but they have quickly been filled by messages of love and congratulations, by messages of pride and promise, by messages of apology and sadness. The city has calmly responded and while it doesn’t make us forget that our reputation might be tarnished, it certainly has shown that we our proud of our team, our city and our country - we won’t let the actions of a small minority ruin the fun for the rest of us. It is truly inspiring to see people come together to make a positive change.

Are you a hockey fan? What brings your city together?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

through a child's eyes

I've recently returned home from a trip to Ontario, to visit my family and watch a childhood friend marry the love of her life. What is usually a relaxing stay at my mom’s house was almost anything but as my two adorable and active nephews were taking a trip to Grandma’s house at the same time. While I'll never complain about time off work combined with the fact that living far from my family doesn't ever get easier, spending time with them never makes for a bad vacation; however, this was one vacation that I certainly needed a vacation from after returning home. As I'm sure most moms would agree, keeping up with young kids isn't at all like taking candy from a baby! So while rest and relaxation weren't high on our activity list, running around with the rug rats had me smiling from ear to ear and living life from a petite perspective. A lesson on life from a child often offers more insight than the wise words of an adult. When the end of a game of hockey means the start of a game of soccer and having to go to bed seems like the end of the world, it's no wonder that their smiles are sincere and their solutions so simple. When blowing bubbles means big laughs and filling up a kiddie pool makes for a fun filled morning, waking up earlier than you’d like to a smiling face that gives you a slobbery kiss and a huge hug is a darn good way to start the day. My nephews may have been all about being on the go but they've helped me realize that life goes too fast not to slow and enjoy it. Taking in the magic moments, no matter how tiring is what makes me realize how important it is to live life to the fullest and appreciate all the little things. Life with a little one may sometimes test your patience (and limit your sleep!), but it is a priceless lesson in love and laughter.

What lessons have you learned from the little ones in your life?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

are you two twins?

Twenty five years ago today, my little sister was born. And while I can't say that it’s a day I remember (being two years old and all), it's a day that was the start of many memories to come. My sister is one of my best friends. She is someone I laugh with, cry with and love to share clothes with. She understands my fast talking (whenever she let's me get a word in), isn't shy to tell me the truth and constantly cracks me up. She's a Dairy Queen addict, can’t get enough of the colour purple and isn't ashamed to like "With You" by Jessica Simpson. She's the best and she knows it. For my birthday several years ago, my sister got me a sweet album full of quotes about sisters and photos of us growing up. One quote in particular seemed to describe us, and I’m sure many sisters, really well… “A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double.” Even though we were asked if we were twins more than any other question growing up (I’m sorry LG, but we do look alike!), some things about us were so different that when we joked about her being from another planet, it sometimes didn't seem that far from the truth. Her loud, talkative never-say-no-to-a-party ways were often in contrast to my shyer, quiet, I'm-going-to-take-care-of-everybody qualities. But none of our differences have ever stopped us from being the best of friends. We were able to share a room for almost 20 years and have never run out of things to say. We have a long list of jokes and one-liners that wouldn’t seem funny to anyone but us. We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders and much needed therapists. We probably know each other a little better than we know ourselves. So to my forever friend and little sister, happy birthday champ. I hope your day is full of Thai food, Timbits and some tequila without the lemon.

Do you have any siblings? Do you get along with your brothers and/or sisters?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

sunscreen would be it

By now, you might have seen this video floating around the Internet. And maybe, it's made you think twice about visiting tanning beds or postponing your visit to the doctor. Hopefully, it’s made you tell those in your life that you love them and that it’s important to pay attention to their bodies. And if this message reaches just one person, or saves just one life, than it’s worth passing it on. Skin cancer has unfortunately touched my family a few times and being the fair-skinned, freckled person that I am, believing that pale is the new tan is something I’ve had to convince myself of for years.

Beyond raising awareness for skin cancer and the risks of the sun, which I think is increasingly important these days, the video really got me thinking. What would I say to my sixteen year old self? What do I know now that I wished I'd known then? I don’t know if I’ve got any truly wise words and as I get older I know there is always more to learn but if I could talk to myself ten years ago, there’s a few things I’d want myself to know. I’d want my teenage self to know the importance of always having fun and not taking things so seriously. There’s going to be ups and downs and good times and bad times, but pick your battles, laugh things off and let your stress be a catalyst for positive changes. Take risks! My sixteen year old self (along with maybe my twenty six year old self!) needs to know that taking risks and trying new things are the experiences that will help you grow as a person. It’s okay to weigh the good and the bad, to be scared and unsure, to make an informed decision, but go for it, give it a shot and live your life to the fullest so you never have to wonder what could have been. And most importantly, be confident in who you are. Confidence is something that I tend to struggle with, something that holds me back from being the best I can be, and believing in myself at a younger age would help push me to places I'm struggling to get to now. So dear sixteen year old me, always stay true to who you are and, more importantly, believe in who you are. Because guess what? You’re great and life is pretty darn good. And when your dad says he will give you a million dollars if you guess what's in the box, go with your gut and say luggage - it would really help your twenty-six year old self if you were a million dollars richer.

What would you say to your sixteen year old self?

PS My apologies for posting a video that you might have seen before...with the message hitting so close to home, I just couldn't help it!

Friday, May 13, 2011

courage personified

I had the absolute pleasure last night of attending an event full of awe, audacity and inspiration. The 13th annual Courage to Come Back Awards were presented to six incredibly deserving individuals from all around British Columbia who have overcome seemingly-insurmountable challenges and in turn reach out to help others. They are people from all walks of life who define what it means to be courageous in the face of adversity. They have found a way to fight back, to live their life to the fullest and to help and inspire others. It was a night full of unbelievable stories, inspiring outcomes and handfuls of tissues!
{award recipient Jerome Bouvier via}
What struck me hard last night was how real these inspiring individuals are. It’s one thing to see a video or read their story but to watch them accept an award in front of 800 people as they speak of their emotional journey is humbling beyond words. Real life stories of illness, injury or adversity and the courage to truly come back from what may have been the bottom hits close to home but is not easy to imagine. It had me thinking though, what would I do if I was in their shoes? What would I do if faced with such adversity, if the odds seemed stacked against me? As easy as it might be to say ‘It won’t happen to me’, we can never predict the curveballs that life may throw at us and we most certainly can’t be sure of how we would react. And as tough as it is to imagine yourself living a life like one of these incredible individuals, the hope and optimism that radiated from each and every one of them is inspiring in itself. It’s inspiring to know that even if you’re down, there are ways to get back up. Even if you feel like the world is against you, there is always someone rooting for you. Even if you feel like you’ve got nothing, you’ve got something. And as one of the recipients said, even if your life doesn’t always go to plan, your Plan B can still be a success. So to all those who have stood up to adversity, to all those who didn’t back down to being down, to all those who have truly had the courage to come back…thank you for sharing your stories.

Who inspires you? How do you define courage?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

hostess with the mostess

I think it was my brother who once said when I was younger than guests is just another word for cleaning. This week, I really feel like he could not be more correct. As my husband and I prepare to welcome some friends over this weekend for a little housewarming party, our list of things to fix up, touch up and clean up never seems to end. While I would definitely consider us to be a clean couple, it's amazing the scrutiny our house is suddenly under as we prepare it to be seen by other people. So while guests may mean a whole lot of scrubbing, sweeping, dusting and dishes, it also means a good time. I truly am excited to be having people over and while it may mean a little more work before, during and after the party, it also means that I get to play hostess and that’s something that I really like doing. We’ve never really had the space to have a party, or even much of a gathering beyond a couple of lucky people, and yet hosting one is something that I’ve always looked forward to. I’ve longingly looked at pretty pictures of perfect place settings and bookmarked fun foods and delicious desserts. I’ve dreamed of dining with dear friends over lots of laughs in the luxury of my own home. I can’t say I’m a pro party planner and while this weekend won’t quite be the party I’ve been picturing as it’s a little more low key and casual than my dinner party dreams, I’m really looking forward to welcoming my guests with open arms. The extra work is worth it to be the one watching for empty wine glasses, filling my guests full of finger foods and making the night a memorable one. So with the cleaning supplies going back into the closet, the bar stocked and the fridge loaded, all we’ll have left to do is cross our fingers our friends show up! Should be fun!

Do you like to be the host? Any tips for the perfect party?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mucho fun tonight

As someone who loves an excuse to celebrate and has a slight (okay, it’s huge…) obsession with Mexican food, Cinco de Mayo seems like the perfect holiday for a girl like me. But for some reason, it’s not something that I’ve ever put much thought into or really found myself remembering to celebrate. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I live in Canada and it’s not as widely recognized as it is by my neighbours to the south but it’s definitely a day that I think deserves some serious attention.

Can we please just talk about how good Mexican food is for a second? Flavourful spices and colourful veggies…corn, chilies, cilantro, oh my! Just thinking about it makes me wish I had a big, fat burrito in front of me which is why it shouldn’t be a surprise that Mexican food has been my favourite food since I can remember and, to this day, still tops the list. When I was in university, living off oatmeal, tuna sandwiches, apples and cheese, I never made my meals my priority – I ate healthy but I didn’t seem to enjoy putting any effort into making myself much of a meal. However, the second I had people over for dinner, I was all about good grub and Mexican was my go-to. Fajitas or burritos for one never seemed worth the effort but add an extra person or two to the dinner table and my menu was always Mexican. It got to the point where my husband, my best friend at the time, would reply with “Let me guess, taco salad?” any time I would invite him over for dinner. He was usually right which meant I had to start changing things up to be less predictable…it also meant I had to find different friends to invite over for dinner so I could get my Mexican fix. Even now, when asked what I want for dinner, tacos or nachos are almost always the first thing that pops into my head. Some may call it a problem, I call it delicious.
Tacos, anyone?

Are you a fan of Mexican food? What’s your favourite type of food?

Monday, May 2, 2011

stuck in a rut

It may not come as a surprise due to my lack of writing of late, but I'm currently in a slump. I can't get my creative juices following even though I'm fairly certain I can pinpoint the problem, yet without a solution, motivating myself to move past my mental drain is proving to be a problem in itself.
{via}
As much as it may sound like things might not be going my way, I really can't complain. My life is great. And just knowing that that is something I can confidently say is certainly something worth smiling about on a daily basis. I've got a husband who loves me unconditionally. I’ve got a house to come home to every night. I've got a family full of love and friends who truly care. I'm healthy, I'm truly happy and yet one nagging nuisance keeps knocking on the door to my happy thoughts - I'm really struggling to when it comes to my career. I currently work for a great company, however, the work I am doing is no longer challenging, stimulating or interesting and the waiting around for the opportunity to move up that just doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon is really wearing on me. With the option to move on as the most attractive alternative, deciding what makes the most sense seems to be my biggest source of stress and a significant contributor to my current state of mind…so what to do? Go back to school? But what if I don't like it? Take a job anywhere else to avoid being down in the dumps? But what if it looses it's luster like the one I'm in now? Be happy I even have a job and wait for the safe opportunity? Take a risk, quit and try something new? When you know you have the potential to do great things but just don't know how to go about doing them, the frustrations of feeling uncertain and invaluable certainly take their toll. With so many options available and an endless array of interesting activities out there, how do I know what will make me happy? It’s the constant struggle inside my head these days – how do I make my nine to five as happy as my five to nine? I may not know right now, but I’m determined to find the answer…and soon…because like I said, I’m happy, and I want to keep it that way.

Are you happy at work? Any advice for loving what you doing?

Monday, April 18, 2011

none the wiser

I have spent the last week curled up on couch, clutching bags of frozen peas and corn to my face, eating soup and ice cream and sleeping for hours at a time in the middle of the day. No, this is not the newest cure for the common cold but instead my rest and recovery from the removal of all four of my wisdom teeth last week. While I’m happy to report that my dentist thinks I’m recovering well and I’m feeling much better than the immediate effects made me feel, I’m even happier that all four are now gone and I won’t have to go through such a surgery again.
I can’t complain about much because all really did go well and my lovely husband spent all week waiting on me hand and foot… but I think the most worrisome (and perhaps most funny) part about the whole process were the tales told to me by others as opposed to the actual operation itself. I know it’s true that misery loves company so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the reactions of those around me when I told them I was having my teeth taken out. The horror stories and tales of terror that I heard in the weeks leading up to my appointment should have been enough to scare me away from the surgery altogether. It seemed that everyone’s brother’s, cousin’s, best friend’s uncle hadn’t been as lucky as I would be and seemed to have had the worst happen to them. Weeks of bruising, bad reactions to the medication, or multiple weeks off work…but don’t worry, they all assured me, I’d be fine. (Really? What makes you so sure?) I don’t know about you but that’s not really the type of pep talk that has me pumped for what’s to come. Looking back, it’s made me laugh and has made me feel better about my recovery, knowing that mine was not as bad as many out there. And now, it’s nice to know that after returning to work, and back to more normal routine, everyone has been feeling my pain. It’s amazed me how much talking about trips to the dentist seems to be common ground for everyone around me. While I wasn’t quite like little David in the above video, I did give my husband a few laughs and my visit to the dentist was surprisingly much more of a hot topic than I ever thought it would be.

Do you mind trips to the dentist? Have you had your wisdom teeth removed?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

scene it: limitless

After having the last of our company leave on Sunday following two and a half weeks of visitors in our new house, a Monday night date night seemed more necessary than ever. A night at the movies with my man is always exciting, and on a Monday night with the gym being our second option, it was literally a no-brainer to be relaxing in front of the big screen. Limitless, staring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, was our entertainment for the evening and while it may not have been quite what I expected, it certainly had it’s moments which made for a good movie. After sampling a new drug, Cooper’s character, Eddie, is suddenly able to access all aspects of his brain making him increasingly intelligent and able to focus. This in turn leads to a fast paced life of riches and power that don’t seem to come without their fair share of negative consequences (…and a couple gruesome scenes that I could have done without!). It was a creatively captured movie that, while at times had me feeling a little dizzy, was artistically intriguing and both visually and mentally stimulating. And hey, Bradley Cooper isn’t so bad to watch for a couple hours so I can’t complain about that!
{via}
What was probably the most intriguing part of the movie was the premise. What if, like in Limitless, there really was a drug that we could take that allowed us to utilize our entire brain capacity? What if we could access every memory? Use every book we've read or show we've ever seen and apply the information in our everyday lives? It's a scary thought to think how this could be used and abused but at the same time, the positive possibilities really are limitless. I don't know how many times I've watched someone else's amazing abilities and wished I was able to work like them – a great chef on TV or an amazing artist, a powerful philanthropist or a world-class writer. What would it be to like to have an incredible idea and simply see it come to life? To want to do something that once seemed out of reach and suddenly it’s a simple task. But when is enough enough? As Bradley Cooper struggles through the addictive powers of such an intriguing and powerful pill, Limitless demonstrates just how limited the drugs actually made him – making the movie worth a watch if only to get you thinking.

What would you do with limitless intelligence? Have you seen Limitless?

Friday, April 1, 2011

fooling around

If I had to make a list of Days To Look Forward To in a year, today would not be one of them. April Fools’ Day has never been high on a list of mine when it comes to things to be excited about. It's not that I can't take a joke, because, believe me, I can and I have. Growing up with my dad and being married to my husband has made me overly prepared for any joke that might come my way. But what I don't like about April Fools’ Day is exactly what the day has turned into being about...being made to look like a fool. While certain jokes may be good for a laugh, I'm not really down with any day that has me walking on egg shells, carefully opening doors and drawers and second guessing any news I may hear – it just makes me too tense!
My dad’s line of work seems to lend itself well to pranks and practical jokes. Removing the last few pages of someone’s book or filling shoes with shaving cream are often to be expected even on days other than April Fools’. Several years ago, my dad was on the receiving end of a ‘bleach in your shampoo’ prank, which saw him go from a dark brunette into an interesting orange inspired blonde. Good thing he has a sense of humour…and short hair! And while I will not-so-humbly admit that I have a pretty good sense of humor, I don't think I'm the perfect person to confide in if you’re playing pranks on people. Besides the fact that participating in pranks isn’t really my thing, keeping a straight face throughout is much harder than it may seem for me. I'll give you two point five seconds of a ‘yes, I am telling the truth’ look before the corners of my mouth begin to creep up into my cheeks and you can rest assured that I'm about to blow the cover on a carefully crafted trick.

I like a good laugh as much as the next person but if it's at the expense of others, I have a hard time getting on board. So if you want to be funny, try not to be mean, and whatever you do today, put a smile on your face and be ready for any fun foolishness that might come your way.

Are you a practical joker? Ever been on the receiving end of a good prank?

Friday, March 25, 2011

making it count

Make today count.
It's a line I read a few days ago and I cannot stop thinking about it. Three simple words that are making their mark on my mind. An inspirational saying for making the most of each day, for taking the cards we are dealt and playing the best hand we can. I want to make a difference in the world, I want to be proud of all that I've accomplished and while I'm not quite there yet, if I can make the conscious effort to make the best of each day, to make my mark on a daily basis, then as the weeks and months pass, I'll truly be making this most of all that I set my mind to. Sometimes, the perfect inspiration comes at the perfect time. The past couple weeks I've been struggling through my work days, thinking about my life and, most specifically, my career and trying to figure out which way I am headed. But what about today? What am I going to do to make today a great day, to make each day a great day? When being on the job gets me down, when I feel frustrated or defeated, I have to remember that there is more that I can do to bring myself up. I'm the one who can change the direction I am headed. It's up to me to make the most of my day, to really make it count. And if this is a motto to motivate me everyday, then those bad days are going to be few and far in between. If I can go to sleep each night with the confidence that I made the day count, I can sleep easy knowing that my life is becoming more fulfilling day by day. My big dreams and ambitious adventures won't seem so daunting if each day is a day worth celebrating. So I'm going to make today count. I've made the conscious decision, it's big and bold on a Post-It note staring me in the face, and I'm telling of all of you. Today is going to be a good day. I hope it is for you too!

How do you make each day count? What motivates you on a bad day?

Monday, March 21, 2011

springing to life

After what has seemed like a long enough winter, spring has finally arrived and I'm quite happy it is here. Depending on where you live, it may not seem like the new season is upon us yet but the fact that spring has officially sprung means the arrival of many good things to come. But because I like being honest, I'm going to be honest with you. Spring is not my favorite season. My favorite thing about it means that we are that much closer to summer, which you may or may not know is my absolute favourite time of the year. Just a few more months until beach days, parties on patios and sipping lemonade in the sun. Can you tell it gets me excited? But anyway… let’s get back to spring and it's wonderful things, because I really do think there are many wonderful things about this time of year. Springtime certainly symbolizes new life. With new buds on the trees, longer days and brighter nights, the reminder to revitalize is hard to miss. The birds are chirping, the grass is growing and hibernation is a thing of the past. We say goodbye to our winter woolies and hello to light layers. Bulky boots move to the back of the closet to make way for sneakers and sandals. It’s time for pretty pastels and bright hues, warm days and cool nights, and awaking from the sleepy slumber that is winter. Everyone is anxious to be outdoors, to make the most of more daylight and embrace all the activities that are limited by winter weather. Spring cleaning means a fresh start, a chance to unclutter and the excitement of a bright beginning. It’s easy to see why we seem to welcome spring with open arms. Spring is here and the world is ready to wake up.

What do you like about spring?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

lucky charms

It’s a great day to be Irish. And if you’re not Irish, it’s probably a great day for you either way, because chances are your heritage won’t hinder your ability to have a good time. Today is St. Patrick’s Day and while it may be one the rowdiest days of the year, I believe it is also one of the friendliest. There are not too many days when no matter what your culture or background, getting together to drink to a heritage other than your own is such a celebrated thing. Sharing a green beer with a stranger, who may or may not be dressed up as a leprechaun, would seem strange on any day other than today (…in my opinion, at least. I don’t know how many of you drink green beers with leprechauns on a regular basis). Shamrocks, pots of gold and those claiming to be Irish if only for a kiss are just a few sights to be seen that make holidays like this one a fun day to celebrate.
So what is it about St. Patrick’s Day the makes everyone okay with dressing up in green, doing a jig and downing green drinks? Sure, it’s an excuse to get out to the pub early but, let’s be honest, there are a lot of drinkers out there that don’t really need an extra excuse to be frequenting their favourite watering hole. I happen to love Ireland a whole lot and very much want to visit there again but is that really why St. Paddy’s is so widely celebrated? I’ll be the first to admit that although I’ve got quite a bit of Irish in me and I look forward to March 17th every year, I don’t really know why I like today so much. St. Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate Irish culture, is celebrated around the world and I’m pretty sure that most of us have no idea why we’re celebrating. However, I’m also pretty sure that most of us don’t really care. An excuse to dress differently, make fun foods, decorate or just plain celebrate and I’m probably not going to say no. Why turn down the opportunity to have a good time? I’ll pretty much take any added incentive to get festive! So if it’s the pot of gold that you’re after, or just a good night out, I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Warning: If you do not like corny jokes, do not read on…
Q: What’s Irish and stays out all night?
A: Paddy O’Furniture

Do you celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day? How? Are you Irish?

Monday, March 14, 2011

i don't want to grow up

Today, one of my favourite people is celebrating his third birthday. My sweet nephew was born three years ago and if I ever need to be reminded that time flies, watching him grow up is definitely that reminder. It seems like just yesterday he was welcomed into the world and now, as he grows, I am amazed everyday at his expanding vocabulary and how much he looks like a little man. His love of Star Wars, super heroes and sports and how much he wants to be like his big brother are just a few of the many things that make me love him so darn much. (And his adorable red hair is pretty darn cute, too!) The way he so excitedly exclaimed “Look what me got!” after every single present he opened this Christmas, whether it was socks or a hockey stick, was so special for me as it reminded me what it's like to be a kid. Being a kid seems so carefree. When eating your vegetables seems like the biggest struggle and play time lasts all day long, it’s no wonder we don’t all wish to be a kid again at some point. When I think about being little and what it was like to live with such few worries, it reminds me of a story that was often told in my household. My dad went down to the kitchen one morning to find the fridge open just a crack. As he got closer, he was shocked to discover that he had not left it open all night like he feared but instead, found my younger sister crouched inside stuffing Reese's Peanut Butter Cups into her mouth. However, in the crafty way that only children seem to know, she held up her hand cupping two chocolate cups in it and so sweetly said “Scott and Ashley?” as if she had been waiting to share with my brother and I all along, thinking that if she shared, she wouldn't be in trouble. If only being cute and clever could get us out of trouble like that now! Children have such an innocent way of seeing the world and watching my nephews grow up is such a lesson in simplicity. To get excited over the simple things, like socks, and to know how important sharing is to making the world go round are the little lessons that as we grow up we can so easily take for granted. Taking a look at the world through the eyes of a little one can instantly make the world seem like a sweeter place.

Why do you love about the little ones in your life? What keeps you young?

Friday, March 11, 2011

something old, something new

Moving into a new house brings a lot of new things. A new place to put your clothes, a new way to get to work, a new room to wake up in. So many things can change when a big life event happens and no matter how prepared you can be for the unknown, it's still just that - the unknown. These last couple weeks, the first in my new home, I've found myself having to learn the lay of the land all over again. Things that became second nature are now things that I am second guessing...like where we keep the cutting board or which key locks which door. I've even had to wonder were my husband is sometimes now that we've gone from one bedroom and one floor to three bedrooms and three floors! It may not be the normal I am used to but it's my new normal. A normal I have to get used to. And that is what is exciting and scary about change at the same time. Whether it's a new job, a new town or a new school, there are going to be new faces or places or things to learn. And learning that different doesn't have to be bad is all part of the process. A new kitchen means a chance to get better organized. A new bedroom means more space to make my own. A new neighborhood means new friends to be made. A new normal might be a scary thing but embracing the change and accepting that new might mean new and improved makes change a lot less challenging. I know I'm going to miss all the little things I loved about my old place..but with a new place comes the chance to make new memories and discover more of those little things to fall in love with. So Mr. New Normal, I'm ready for you...are you ready for me?

How do you handle change? What's new in your life right now?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

breakfast for dinner

Today is one of my favourite days of the year. I wish it was because there’s some deep meaning behind it or it’s a super significant event but what I really like about today is that I get to have breakfast for dinner. Today is Mardis Gras, Fat Tuesday or, as I like to call it, Pancake Tuesday. For those of you who may not be aware, Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Carnival season and the day before the beginning of Lent. And why pancakes you ask? Because a big stack of pancakes is a pretty good for pigging out on and today is supposed to be a last feast of richer, fatty foods before the 40 days of fasting and sacrifice during the Lent season. (Which I’d also like to point out that Lent means Easter and Easter means spring and spring is a good thing. Just sayin’…)
{Jim's Pancakes...the coolest pancakes I have ever seen! you need to check it out!}
It's funny, isn't it, that I am excited by the idea of having breakfast for dinner simply because religious tradition calls for it. I really can have whatever I want for breakfast, lunch or dinner on any given day but the expected meals are usually on the menu (with the exception of pizza leftovers creeping in at breakfast every once and a while!). And I'm sure that's why today seems exciting...because it is a little out of the ordinary. It's not the norm. Sure, I could have a steak for breakfast and cereal for dinner everyday but then how much fun would Pancake Tuesday be? You're right...not that much fun at all. Doing something a little different, changing up my routine and enjoying my morning meal at dinnertime does give me something a little different to look forward to. Heck, pancakes in the morning are a treat so having them after a day at work? Bring on the bacon, I say! And let the syrup flow!

Do you like breakfast for dinner? What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

speechless

Through the magic of DVR, I have finally finished watching the Oscars. While many watch to fawn over the fashions and others are interested in the outcomes, it's hard not to admit that it is certainly a long night of a lot of talking. And normally, too many long, potentially boring speeches can make for a painful program but, for some reason, I watched this year's Academy Awards in awe of the winners and the way they accepted their awards. As Natalie Portman rattled off names and Luke Matheny brought about some good natured giggles, it made me think how much of a mess I would be if I was the one speaking on stage.
{via}
Speeches have never been my specialty. I'm sure they are worse in my mind than they actually turn out to be but going back to the memories of grade school and having to give speeches gets my palms sweating and my hands shaking just thinking about it. I remember making a speech about toes (Yes, you read that right...toes. Like head and shoulders, knees and toes. And that's exactly how my speech started...). While I was certainly worried about remembering my speech and properly pronouncing my words, my mind was so focused on gripping my cue cards as tight as could be so as to mask my shaky hands that I couldn't even remember if I had managed to make it through my material. Fast forward 15 years to my best friend's wedding and Ms. Shakes McGee returns, this time, with a death grip on the microphone and a nervous knot wrenching in my stomach. While I would say that the speech was a success, as I do remember getting a few laughs, which I think were with me and not at me, although I can't say for sure, I'm much happier as a spectator than a speaker. Leave the listening to me (I’m pretty good at that!) and someone else can do the talking!

Do you like public speaking? Are you as scared of speeches as I am?

Friday, February 25, 2011

simple smiles: a beautiful day in the neighbourhood

It’s been a long week of painting and sanding and baseboards and drop cloths as my husband and I prepare our new house for our big move this weekend but the simple sweetness of a stranger has put a smile on my face that continues to brighten my week. It's not so often that a stranger takes it upon themselves to go out of their way to do something nice for someone they don't know. Sure, holding the door open for the person after you or letting someone know they dropped their scarf are certainly kind gestures that shouldn't go unnoticed...but when was the last time a stranger's generous gesture really warmed your heart? I was fortunate enough to experience such a thing this weekend as the doorbell rang at my new house after having only received our keys less than 24 hours earlier. Imagine our surprise to find that our new neighbour had dropped by, flowers in hand, to welcome us to the neighbourhood and offer her phone number in case there was anything she could do to help us. A simple reminder that we really do live in a wonderful world.
{via}
Neighbours can be a tricky thing. While some are sweet and smile and ultimately stay out of your way, others can borderline on being overbearing and a bother. I'm hoping that Bonny's kind gesture makes her the former and we’ll be waving at each other from across the way with chit chat and well wishes for a good day. Moving into a brand new house with fresh faces and strange surroundings can be daunting even in the best of neighbourhoods so knowing we’re moving in next to someone nice is quite comforting. We’re definitely going to feel like the new kids in town for a while, but feeling welcome will really go along way as we get settled. And now, thanks to the small gesture from a kind neighbour, sitting among the saw dust and paint cans and boxes and tools is a lovely flower arrangement that not only brightens up the room but has helped to make our new house into a home.

What are your neighbours like? Do you live in a friendly neighbourhood?

Friday, February 18, 2011

how to paint a room

I wish I was here to let you in on some little secrets about renovating a room through the magic of paint. I wish I knew the ins and outs of tackling a transformation. But I’m not. And I don’t. I’m about to undertake a little painting project of my own and instead of how to paint a room, for me, it’s more like how do I paint a room.

My husband and I are over-the-moon excited to be getting the keys to our new house tomorrow. As it is our first time being homeowners, we are so looking forward to having our own place and experiencing what it’s like to make our house our home. However, we haven’t even moved in yet and it hasn’t taken us long to discover that a new home means more space, more responsibility and way too many options. Picking a paint colour for the living room in our new home proved to be a process that made us realize just how little we actually know about painting and decorating a home, even though we would probably call ourselves both creative and handy.
{the before - with the old homeowners' furniture}
{the inspiration for colour via}
I actually really like painting walls. I don't know if it's the artist in me that sees them as a blank canvas or my secret longing to be good at interior design but either way, I can't wait to throw on some old clothes, get up on our ladder and see the first swipe of colour make its mark on the white walls. That may be the easiest part of the process though, because as we stood wide-eyed and wondering in front of the swatches of slightly varied shades of paint colours, we soon realized we really weren’t sure what we wanted our walls to look like. Would Mushroom Bisque be the colour of choice for our living room? Or would the lighter Gobi Desert be better? Would Espresso Bean be the perfect pick for our feature wall? Is Chocolate Swirl too yummy looking? (It indeed is, just in case you were wondering…) We may have had our inspiration for dinner but picking the perfect paint colours would take a few more trips to Home Depot before we decided that Basketry would win, despite its lack of a more masculine name for my man. So as we dive into decorating our new domain tomorrow, I am confident that there are many more things we will learn along the way. The best way to tape edges? I have no idea. How long it will all take? Beats me. But what I do know is that I’m excited. I’m excited for a new house and I’m excited it’s mine to make my own.

Any painting tips? Would you hire someone to paint your house or do it on your own?

Monday, February 14, 2011

be my valentine

Ted’s Two Minute Date on How I Met Your Mother is one of the sweetest displays of affection I have ever seen. Fitting dinner, dessert, a movie and flowers into two minutes to take advantage of a schedule too busy for dating makes my heart melt. (Yours, too, right?) And while not many of us have the chance to date a TV character like Ted, I think there is so much to be said about someone who can take a simple idea and make it special, whether it’s remembering your favourite flower, recreating an important date or just knowing what will make you smile. With the thousands of dates planned for tonight, chances are some will be better than others and while they all may not be action packed or overly adorable, memories will most likely be made.
Everyone has their own idea of the perfect date. My idea of the perfect date doesn’t mean the most expensive restaurant or the most elaborate plans but, instead, it’s the simple things that go the furthest, the things that so obviously took time and love to plan that end up meaning the most. I’m lucky enough to have a husband who treats me to plenty of romantic evenings and doesn’t disappoint when it comes to date nights. My surprise picnic in the park or the time he took me as a tourist all around our town certainly stick out in my mind as perfectly planned outings with the one I love. But what sticks with me the most is how much our dates make me feel special, it’s how meaningful they are and how I can always tell that he was thinking of me throughout it all. No matter what we do or where we go, it’s the little things that let me know I’m loved. So no matter who you’re with, where you’re going or whether or not you celebrate Valentine’s Day, I hope love is in the air!

What’s your idea of the perfect date? Got any bad date stories?

Friday, February 11, 2011

nice to meet you

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and celebrations of love in full swing, it seems only appropriate to reflect on our relationships and how we got to where we are. Just like any relationship, love has to begin somewhere. Whether it’s a nerve wracking blind date, a chance encounter in a coffee shop or a childhood play date turned perfect partner, everyone has a story. Some stories are romantic, the kind that make your heart melt, others funny and maybe even a little embarrassing. Some are stories of unexpected introductions while others are perfectly planned proposals. When I look back at the people who mean the most to me in my life, it makes me smile to think of the first time we were face to face.
I love hearing about how people met. I think there’s something so sweet that comes with going back to the beginning and recalling your earliest memories. And the best part is that everyone really does have a story. Even if you can’t remember it perfectly or it wasn’t picture perfect, meeting someone for the first time can turn out to be a very special thing.

My husband and I definitely do not have the most romantic how-we-met story. We met during our first year of university, where his party animal ways had begun to make a name for himself. We were first introduced by a mutual friend and I ever-so-sweetly (okay, maybe it was more stand-offish than sweet!) said “I’ve heard about you…” Nice, right? Calling someone out with the first words you ever say to them? Probably not the best way to make friends (or find a husband!) and pretty out of character for me but it was enough to convince him that I was worth getting to know and it wasn’t long before we became best buds. It may not be a romantic story but it’s our story…and, especially because I can’t change it, I’ve learned to embrace it…even if I’m a bit embarrassed about being so blunt with him! In the end though, no matter how we met, I couldn’t be happier that we did.

How did you meet your love? Or closest friend? Know anyone with a great story?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

put your hands up

When you think ‘crime fighting hero’ I’m guessing the first thing that comes to mind is not a grandmother and her handbag. (If it is, I’d love to hear why!) But that’s exactly who the hero of the hour was this week in the UK. When she heard a commotion down the street, the wee wonder of a woman took it upon herself to stop the six suspects from smashing the store windows and ultimately stopped a robbery from taking place.
I'd like to think I'd be that brave. If my life wasn't in immediate danger, I'd like to think I'd be the one running across the street, wildly waving my purse, stopping a crime from getting any worse, but I honestly don't think I could ever predict my reaction. Of course I’d want to be the one that saves a stranger or blocks a break-in, but would I? Would I be the one to cause a commotion, to come to the rescue, to look danger in the eye? I think when situations suddenly present themselves, a split second decision is what shocks you into action...not the hours you've spent analyzing what you would, should or could do.

My husband often tells the story of when he was a young boy and became pinned under a full flower box that he had tried to climb. His sweet four-foot-eleven little lady of a mother suddenly appeared, as strong as Hercules, and lifted the 300 pound box off her little boy. Ask her to do it again, without her son underneath, and I guarantee she'd struggle to shift it ever so slightly. But when danger strikes, we so selflessly jump to the rescue without stopping to think about our actually abilities or certain consequences. I can only hope that my courage will kick in when I need it, that my muscles can move more than I realize and that I, too, could save the day if I had to.

What would you do? Have you ever witnesses a crime?

Monday, February 7, 2011

blue forty two

With millions of people tuned in to the most watched program of the year, chances are that you or someone you know was parked in front of the TV yesterday watching the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. If you were like me, cheering for the good guys in gold and black, the score may not have been as you hoped but whether you watch for the football, the food or the hyped-up half time show, hopefully it was an enjoyable evening of entertainment.
{via}
I love major sporting events. I'll be the first to admit that I don't follow football throughout the year but come playoff time I'm suddenly interested in the outcome of the games. While I am a big sports fan and truly enjoy almost any sport with hockey at the top of my list, what gets me excited more than the on field athletics of a major match is the fun had while watching…the good friends, the friendly competition between fans and, of course, the fattening food that comes with any championship. To me, Super Bowl Sunday means nachos, pizza and chicken wings…all three of which I filled up on yesterday while watching the game. Even as my tummy told me to stop, I couldn't help pigging out on everything in front of me. Major sporting events seem to mean a majorly full stomach. There’s something about getting together with a group of family or friends to watch a game that makes me throw all my nutrition knowledge out the window. Portion control (along with my indoor voice) often doesn’t get to join me when it comes to watching any big game of the season. Sure, I’m still feeling a little full, a little uncomfortable, but considering the Super Bowl only comes once a year, chowing down on chicken wings isn’t something I’m going to say no to. Whether it was the company, the football or the food that put a smile on my face, Super Bowl Sunday did not disappoint. My team may not have won but my tummy sure did!

Are you a sports fan? Did you watch the Super Bowl?

Friday, February 4, 2011

seeing double

In my opinion, flash mobs are a stroke of creative genius. Coordinating a large (or small) group to perform a seemingly impromptu activity without breaking character cannot be an easy feat but as it's popularity spreads like wildfire around the world, more and more people are trying their hand at staging a scene. Improv Everywhere, the New York City comedy group, has helped make flash mobs an international activity with their undercover agents and hundreds of missions and their commitment to creating chaos, confusion and of course joy has captivated me.
How awesome is the Human Mirror? Really awesome, right? I think what catches my eye the most, other than the obvious, the amazing acting abilities and perfect placement of all involved, is the reaction from the spectators. It cracks me up to see the dramatic double takes and the wide eyed wonderers. I think I’d probably be one of those awkward eye averting audience members who doesn't want to stare but secretly wishes she could whip out her camera and take lots of photos (because let's face it, as much as it makes me smile, I'm not really one for staring!). I think public displays of artistic endeavors are just what the world needs sometimes. How much would your mood improve if on the subway ride home from a tough day at work you found yourself inside a magically mirrored subway car? I'm pretty sure I'd be forgetting about fretting and focused on the fun in front of me. Or while waiting to catch the train, everyone around you breaks into song and dance? It sure would turn my frown upside down!
{via}
Creativity sparks conversation, it inspires others and it makes people stop and think...and I personally love seeing it in public places. While flash mobs may cause confusion, they are good clean fun that make so many smile.

Have you ever seen a flash mob in person? Have you ever participated in one?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

reaching for the stars

A new year is supposed to mean a new you, right? Eating healthy, getting rid of bad habits, becoming a better friend…all great goals for the start of a brand new year. But now that we have officially fallen into February, chances are that those oh-so-healthy New Year’s resolutions didn't quite make their way into the new month with you. If you’re like most who made a commitment to change, chances are that you may not have reached your goal.
I've never been into resolutions. I think they are great for other people and if they inspire you to make a change for the better in your life, if only for a month, than I wish you long lasting success. They're just not for me. As my husband so cleverly pointed out, I'm better at evolutions and not resolutions. Making changes throughout the year, however big or small, tends to increase my chances of bettering myself. Giving up sugar for one month can be quite easy and often longer lasting than 30 days...but committing to cut back on my candy consumption starting January 1st would probably have seen me sneaking sweets the first week in.
I feel like my only resolution, if it could be called that, is somewhat backwards. My husband and I tend to swear off the gym for the month of January, knowing it will be full of eager exercisers looking to keep up with their resolutions and drop those holiday pounds. It was pretty evident last night as we made our way to the gym, finding only a couple cardio machines in use, compared to a couple weeks ago when finding an open machine proved to be the only challenging activity available. It may sound like I think I have nothing to work on but trust me, I do. Throughout the year, I can guarantee you I will come up with a handful of habits that I could do without or a list of new things to learn. But I know myself enough to know that if I truly want to commit to something, setting small goals for myself is the way to go. I'll evolve, learn a lot and make it to the end of the year as a better person without feeling like a failure because I couldn’t keep up with my New Year’s resolution. A new year does mean a new me…but it just won't happen overnight.

Have you stayed committed to your resolutions? Any advice for reaching your goals?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

lather rinse repeat

My life is full of routines. Monday to Friday has me going through a similar set of actions everyday without a lot of variety. My alarm goes off at the same time every morning. I shower, get dressed and dry my hair, drink my smoothie as I run around gathering things for my day and head out of the house at the same time every morning. I take the same bus and the same train to work, arriving at approximately the same time every day where I hang up my jacket, fill my water bottle and turn on my radio before settling in for a day’s work. The end of the day sees me working in reverse, packing up and leaving at the same time as the day before, arriving home to get changed for the gym, exercising and coming home to make dinner.
I definitely consider myself a creature of habit so having a daily routine is not necessarily something to complain about. As much as I welcome change and like to switch things up every once and a while, my routine is comfortable. I’m so used to doing the same everyday tasks that they become habits. I don’t have to think much about it, it all comes so naturally, making it easy to stay organized, keep in shape and get the little things done efficiently.

Sure, there are some days that I wake up and hate that I’m off to work just like every other day that week. There are some days that I crave a change in my life, something to make every day a little different from the last (I guess that’s why I love my nights and weekends so much!) but, for the most part, my routines just work for me. Which, let's be honest, is probably a good thing considering I don’t think they’re going anywhere for a while. And okay, I’ll admit it…I’ve become a little superstitious about the order in which I operate. However, maybe it’s time I break out of the box a little bit…maybe I’ll eat my breakfast tomorrow before hopping into the shower…

Do you have a routine? Do you crave change?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

maybe tomorrow

As the saying goes, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today. I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I bet that I'm not the only one who can come up with several answers to that question that don't involve getting things done today. Procrastination is certainly an art form for some and while I'm not the best at it, I'd have to say that I'm pretty darn good at it. I’ve had my fair share of late nights and rushed conclusions to know that procrastinating is an evil curse I’ve cast upon myself.
Putting things off has become something I do more often than I care to admit. I'd like to be the one who gets an assignment or comes up with an idea and follows through without hesitation. However, there are too many examples of the opposite that easily demonstrate that I am not quite that type of person. Remember The Sketchbook Project? Well, when I excitedly received my sketchbook back in July, I dreamed of spending time each week to not only work on completing it but I was looking forward to immersing myself in something I love to do, a project that would force me to take time for my art. So when last week’s deadline quickly approached, and I had but a quarter of the pages filled, I couldn't help but be impressed with how I had managed to procrastinated for six months while at the same time wondered how I hadn't learned from the past pressure of leaving things until the last minute. And maybe that's the problem, that the pressure is actually what drives me and pushes me to get something done. If I can't see the finish line, I think I am less likely to work towards it. But dangle that carrot in front of me and suddenly you can't stop me from working like a race horse to get it. Luckily, the consequences haven't been too bad so far but that's no reason to keep putting things off. It’s a reason to change before putting things off puts me in a situation I will regret. So starting today, I am saying goodbye to procrastinating…and we all know that when I say today, I really mean tomorrow…which probably means sometime soon…which probably means I’ll just add it to my to-do list and hope for the best!

Are you a procrastinator? Any tips to avoid procrastinating?

PS Thank you all for your inspiring words and ideas! Your support and a little break have me feeling like this funk won't last for much longer.

Monday, January 10, 2011

inspiration for creation

It's said that inspiration is everywhere but to be honest, I just don't see it right now. Lately I've been having trouble being inspired; not just to write but to work and clean and paint and make dinner. Nothing seems as exciting as I want it to. I don't know if it's because the holidays threw a wrench in my routine and my so-called turkey brain is still wearing off or if it’s because Mr. Sun hasn't come out to play with me in a while but whatever it is, I don't like it.
I do agree, though, that inspiration really is everywhere. It's on TV and the internet, it's in newspapers, books and magazines, it's in our homes and out on the streets. It can be found in the most unusual places like the back of a bathroom stall or as a part of our every day endeavours like the girl across from you on the bus. I remember being in university, struggling to come up with a name for an event that I had created for a class assignment. As I stood in front of the wide open freezer, eating frozen strawberries in an attempt to avoid a quick run to the store across the street to stock up on sugar, my roommate looked at me curiously and of course questioned what I was doing. The first words out of my strawberry-filled mouth were ‘feeding my creativity’ and not only was I stunned that the words had come out so easily but I was suddenly inspired, having felt a stroke of genius when I thought it would never come. Who knew a cheap bag of frozen strawberries would be the perfect ingredient for inspiration? It’s moments like this that can be so motivating, knowing that the perfect word or picture or idea could pop into your head at any moment. It’s a moment like this that I am so patiently waiting for right now. I know the inspiration is there, I’m just not seeing it too clearly. It’s a reminder that sometimes we have to look a little harder, dig a little deeper, break out of the box and it really will be right before our eyes. Just in case though, I’m thinking heading out to the store tonight to stock up on strawberries might not be such a bad idea!

What inspires you? What is your best source for inspiration?