Monday, 12 September 2016

Autumn Has Arrived In Alberta

I can't believe that is the second week of September! It feels and looks like fall in our little town already - the trees are changing, the nights are cold, and the sun is setting early now. It isn't even official yet, but I guess no one told mother nature.

Marc is back to school, and I have been home. This is the beginning of my second week and I have felt really accomplished. Since we are trying to save money, I am mainly at home during the day. Cleaning and cooking have become apart of my daily routine and I'm getting really good at being a "house wife." I even rearranged our entire pantry today. 

I know that for most people, that would be a boring day. I, however, have really been enjoying being at home. The one thing that I've noticed is how relaxed I feel. I am making healthier choices when it comes to meals and snacks. I am making sure I drink lots of water, too. I think this all has helped my overall well-being and I feel great. I honestly didn't think I would be happy being at home, but it has given me lots of time to reflect on my life and what my next steps will look like. I am welcoming this time as an opportunity to really figure out what I want to do with my life and career, and am thankful that we are able to afford for me to be at home.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Working Through Difficult Times

So, as you can see, I've been neglecting my little corner of the internet universe. I have been feeling like something is missing in my life and I realized that I missed having this outlet to speak my mind. I'm really looking forward to getting back into posting on here again.

Well, where to start? The school year came and went and I'm not sad to see it go. As much as I loved working at the school, there have been some major changes happening within our board. The biggest change was that a lot of people were let go due to cutbacks and I was one of many to be let go. 

We also had to put our cat down at the end of the school year as well. She was an adopted cat and we had her for 7 years. Unfortunately, she just got old on us, and before we knew it, she was showing signs of being in pain. That is when we made the choice to say goodbye. She was a good kitty and it was one of the hardest decisions we have had to make so far in our lives. 

Needless to say, Marc and I had a pretty rough couple of weeks near the end of June. I went through a lot of emotions from being angry, to sad, to just being apathetic towards everything in my life. I felt like all of the work I had made to better myself had been washed away. It felt like a weight had been added to my shoulders that I just couldn't shake. I wasn't sure how to get out of the slump, but I needed to do something.

So everyday I made sure to do something nice for myself. I would take an extra long shower. I would journal. I would spend time doing things that would make me happy or feel accomplished. Before I knew it, I was starting to feel better. Marc and I did some traveling around the province. We went camping and got back to nature. We spent time in the mountains. It was so nice to be out together, as well as have time to work on ourselves.

I also wrote myself a love letter. Yes, I said it. I realized that as much as I had been grateful for the support of our friends and family, I had to also understand the support I needed to give myself. I needed to hold space for myself to heal, and remind myself that I could get out of this funk. It doesn't matter if what you are going through is a big issue, or something very small, love letters can really help to get you through those hard times.

So, what is happening now? Well, I'm on the job hunt. I have started looking to see what is available in this area. My dad was here for a few weeks for a visit which was great. I wish he could stay all of the time. He definitely helped put life into perspective. I'm also working on making myself a schedule for when back to school starts. Marc will be busy, and I need to keep myself busy until I find a job. I've been feeling really good. I feel like it's time to get back into the swing of things. I'm ready for a new beginning when it comes to work, and am looking forward to the future. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Sorry I'm Not Sorry

I've always been one to worry about what other people think. I'm the kind of person who wants people to like me, and I try to make sure that I'm well liked by everyone. I've even been known to mold my personality to fit what someone else's version of me is, and I'm finally at a point where it needs to stop.

Redhead Mare, a fellow Canadian and Youtuber posted a video about how to stop apologizing for taking care of yourself, and to stop saying sorry for things that you shouldn't even be sorry for.

This is her video:

I can honestly say that after watching this, I sat back and started to reflect on how I do ALL of these things, and how unnecessary it is. I wrote almost an entire page in my journal about how I need to work on ways that I can say no without feeling like I need to give an explanation as to why. It isn't easy, and I've caught myself doing this a few times. It's a work in progress.

I've also been reading a new book lately that a co-worker told me about called "The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck". I'm only half way through the book, but it has made an impact on me already. It talks about making a F*ck list, and prioritizing the f*cks you should give, and then ones you shouldn't. I love humour the author brings, as well as making sure the reader knows that it is super important to cut out the crap in your life. I'd recommend reading it, and would love to hear your thoughts.

So, don't feel bad about saying no, and certainly don't apologize for it. You have standards, and if someone doesn't meet them, well it's time to walk away. We only get one shot at this life, and you deserve to fill it with nothing but positivity, love, and adventure.  

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Turning 31

Tomorrow is my 31st birthday. 

Last year, when I had my big 3-0, it didn't hit me as hard as 31 is. I don't know why, but I feel so much older, and wiser in a way. When I turned 30, I felt like I was still figuring out who I was, and wasn't still completely comfortable with myself. This year, I feel like I'm finally at peace with myself, and my direction in life. It has made me so much more confident, and I've really tried hard to put myself first in everything I do.

Here are a few things that I'm lucky to have learned by the age of 31:

1. Love comes in all forms, and you are allowed to feel love for others in any way your heart wishes to. You possess endless amounts of love, and just because you love one person, doesn't mean it takes away from loving others just as much. There is no limit to how much love you can give, in any way you choose to give it.

2. Your body is perfect just the way it is, and never let anyone make you believe otherwise. There are things you can always change about it, but make sure you are doing this for yourself, and no one else. There may be things that you can't change, and that's okay, too. Regardless of your shape, size, weight or height, learning to love your body is the most important thing. When you accept your body, your paradigm shifts, and you start to accept other parts of yourself just as easily.

3. Not all relationships end because you stopped loving someone, or they stopped loving you. Sometimes circumstances change. Sometimes that person changes, or their values change. Sometimes goals get in the way, or distance. You can still be head over heels in love with someone, and things just don't work out. 

4. There is a difference between having family, and having relatives. Family can be blood related, or people you have only known for 6 months. Family is surrounding yourself with people you love, not because of obligation.

5. Never apologize for putting yourself first, or standing up for what you believe in. You are a person that matters, and your opinions and thoughts are valid. You do not have to say sorry for speaking your mind. Words such as "Sorry, but..." should never exist as the beginning of a sentence.  

6. Comparison is a time and energy waster, and is extremely harmful to the way you feel about yourself. I used to compare myself to other people all of the time. I also compared my relationship with others as well. It took a toll on my self worth, and made me feel so insignificant to others. Something in my brain finally clicked one day, and I realized that I needed to focus on all of the wonderful things I had in my life, and not to worry about what others were doing with theirs. If you can do the same, I guarantee that you will be amazed at the amount of wonderful things you have to be grateful for. 

Last, but not least:

7. It does not matter what other people think of you. You were not put on this earth to fulfill other people's ideas of who you should be. I cannot stress this one enough. You will meet people that will project unrealistic expectations of where you should be in your life, and what you should be doing. You do you, and if who you are supposed to be doesn't match their ideal "you", then forget them. You deserve to be the most authentic (insert name here) that you can be. 

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Living Intentionally - Forming Authentic Relationships

Since my journey to a simplicity and minimalism, I've really started to work on living intentionally in all aspects of my life. I downsized the amount of items I own, and my relationships with others that don't serve me anymore. I've taken steps to simplify and dispose of those relationships, and now it's time to focus on the ones that truly matter.

To be honest, it isn't something that can happen overnight. I've learned that I need to make sure that I'm always present in the moment with that person I'm connecting with. Also, I need to really listen, with the intention of connecting, and having a true understanding of what the other person is trying to say. I think it's also important to understand the difference between really connecting with someone, and just mindless conversation. I personally am not a fan of small talk, although I use it quite often. I use it because I'm usually in a situation where I am with others I don't always feel connected to, which is mostly at work. I enjoy my job, and the people, but there are only a few co-workers that I care to have a great connection with.

I found the first step was to build a wonderful relationship with myself. I needed to understand what self care looked like and how to make sure that I am the most important person in my world. I feel much more confident, settled, calm and overall happy because I have taken a lot of time to really learn who I am. I needed to start with myself before anyone else. I've always put others before me, and it was my time to take the wheel.

I am now starting to really examine the relationships I have with others and how I can be as authentic and real with them as possible. I've never really thought about my friendships before, and I used to think I was a crappy friend. I was never good about getting back to people, or making plans. I'm now starting to realize it was because I wasn't really connecting with these individuals, and I was trying too hard to make our friendship work. Needless to say, I was mostly indifferent towards my relationship with them, and that is not the way I want to be now.

I now see the error in my ways before, and even though I identify with being a bit of an introvert, I have made connections with others whom I truly feel are supposed to be apart of my life for the long haul. I feel so lucky to have met a few people in my town who I feel I connected to emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's changed my perspective on what real connections to others can be like. 

I encourage you to do the same; to take the time to understand what you need from other people, and to not pair yourself with others who do not meet your needs. It's an incredibly fantastic feeling, and I couldn't be happier on this journey.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

My Makeup Collection and Storage 2016

Since I've been on a path to simplifying my home, my makeup collection has significantly decreased in size. I used to have shelves and drawers full of items, and now I'm down to a single drawer in my vanity. 

I purchased my vanity in the "AS IS" section at Ikea. It is actually a MICKE desk, which can be found here: . I purchased the desk for $68 CAD, and luckily for me, it was already assembled when we brought it home.

As you can see, my lipsticks, brushes, fragrances, and larger items still live on top of the vanity. I don't mind having them there as I find myself reaching for most of those products on a daily basis, so it keeps me in check when it comes to using products up. 

Here is a closer look at my fragrances:

As you can see, most of my fragrances are from Bath and Body Works. I love the idea of putting on a body spray in the morning so that when I go to work, I'm not overpowering the classroom, or setting any of the children off who may have allergies. I love that they linger only slightly throughout the day.

For my lipsticks, glosses, and larger products:

I've worked really hard to use up a lot of my older lipsticks. I've replaced some of them with more inexpensive alternatives since I don't wear a lot of bright, matte colours anymore. Wet N Wild Mega Last lipsticks have been wonderful for this. I found a few dupes to some of my favourite MAC lipsticks, and was quite happy to save some money.

And now for the inside of the drawer:

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is it. I have downsized significantly since 2013-2014, and I am really pleased with my collection now. I find that I am actually using all of my items on a regular basis, and after many years of trial and error, I've really made peace with myself that I have the best products that work for me. I was always one to get sucked into trying new things, because I was always looking for the next best thing. Now, I feel that all of my favourite items are in one spot, and I have cut back on buying makeup just to be "on trend". 

I would love to even downsize further, but I am going to do so at my own pace. I have a few things that could probably go, but I would rather use them up than throw them away just so I could have less. It's been a long journey, but I am proud of myself that I was able to bring this collection down to a manageable size. It definitely takes the guess work out of getting ready in the morning, while still having options to change up my look. I hope you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Let's Talk - hosted by Bell and Bell Media

Today is a pretty special day. One of Canada's largest phone and media companies is hosting their annual "Let's Talk" day. The idea behind it is to raise awareness and to end the stigma around the idea that any mental issues you have make you look "crazy" or "not normal." This includes raising money, having others share their stories, and understanding that we all battle inner demons. 

Since my path to simplicity and the idea of minimalism, I have taken steps to not only de-clutter my home, but also to de-clutter my life. This includes cutting out unhealthy relationships, unhealthy situations, and unhealthy behaviours that used to be part of my everyday routine. 

While this is still a work in progress, one major thing I have noticed is the state of my mental health and well being. I am much more focused on the important stuff, and have realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting people and situations out of our lives to take care of ourselves. I am going to be quite honest by saying that there are relatives of mine that I have removed because of this. Certain family members of mine feel that, in order to keep peace, they still need to keep in contact with them. They feel obligated to attend family functions and "put up" with those other family members. I understand there are times where this is unavoidable, but please don't do it for the sake of pleasing other people. 

After a nasty email from my grandmother a few years ago, I have decided to cut her off completely. It wasn't a case of revenge or creating ripples in our family, it was a necessary step to take for myself. Now, not to get into too much detail, but I've never been close to my grandmother my entire life. I didn't go to her house on weekends to bake cookies. I've never had a phone call from her 'just because.'  She was someone I only saw twice a year, and she lived 10 minutes from my house. After her email, I realized that was the last page of that chapter in our relationship, and I was ready to close the book for good. I've never looked back. 

Back to where I was going with this - it really is all about self care, and how you can take steps to calm down when you are feeling anxious and off set. My journey has taught me that a lot of the issues I was having was because of a life time of trying to please other people. I know now that I was taking away from the person I'm supposed to become. 

I'm not afraid to tell you that I have had issues with anxiety, having panic attacks, going to be at 7:30 pm because I just couldn't deal with the outside world. I've always been a bit of an introvert, but this was to the point where I'd rather be in bed than see anyone, including my spouse. The depression came in waves, especially during my cycle, since my hormones have always been out of whack. I felt like I was a basket case at times and had a hard time learning to love myself. 

I took action, and started seeking help. I talked to my friends, family, to Marc. I read a lot of self help books, blogs and watched a lot of Youtube videos about other people's struggles. I also took a lot of time to focus on myself. I knew when I needed to take a break, and that I had no issues with disconnecting to focus on myself. I started to see real progress, and even though I'm still taking baby steps, I've come leaps and bounds compared to who I was 3 years ago. 

I'm not alone in this, and neither are you.

I don't know how many people will read this, or if anyone will find this helpful, but that's okay. It's now out there for other people to read, and hopefully see that regardless of what you are going through, you are strong and you can do this. Not everyone will understand, but it isn't their journey, it's yours. You have the power to do whatever you please to become who you were meant to be.