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 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


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.
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?