Category Archives: Musings

5 Things That Are Making My Week

Happy Wednesday!  I hope your week is going well 🙂  It’s been a good week here for us, as we continue to settle into a rhythm for the summer.  I love when the days are long, and the evenings stretch out with slow, relaxed sunsets.  I’m trying out a new recurring feature here on the blog, and I’ll be calling it 5 Things That Are Making My Week, I hope you enjoy it!  Here we go with this week’s Top 5.

  1. Big pots of coffee:  When we moved, our Keurig started acting a bit fussy, so we went out and got a good old fashioned coffeemaker that makes a pot at a time.  I’ve been loving it!  We put the pot on in the morning, which makes our home smell delicious, and then have lots of coffee ready whenever we’d like.  Right now, I’m really liking Lavazza coffee with just a bit of raw sugar and cream.
  2. Bright pink nail polish: Of course, this is my signature nail look (you might remember that from this post, where I discussed my intentionally reduced manicure options).  This past little while, though, I’ve been really liking how the bright pink looks with my tanned skin – it makes me feel very pretty and the pink makes me smile every time I look at my tips!
  3. My pretty water bottle: Nick and I picked up some cute durable water bottles to use, all in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable bottled water bottles that we go through.  This little cutie with a blue top and a bright geometric pattern holds 1.5 standard bottles, and is adorable!  I’ve even added little flags on the side to help me gauge my water intake as I go about my day.
  4. Lemon tea: Something about tea makes me feel so healthy and serene, especially herbal and green tea.  So I’ve been trying to make tea more of a daily recurrence in my life.  Recently, I’ve been really enjoying the Lemon Thriller tea by President’s Choice, which tastes just like a pure lemon tea, really beautiful.
  5. To Do & Done Lists:  I make daily To Do lists, so that’s nothing new.  However, I’ve started also writing out Done lists next to those, and noting down items that I did throughout the day.  Here I focus on things and activities that I intend to do, but don’t necessarily come up on my To Do list – things like reading, listening to great audios, eating an actual breakfast.  I’ve been really getting into this because I tend to be a bit overzealous with my To Do lists, and this gives me a better perspective on my day, and shows a more complete picture of what I accomplished any given day.

What little things have been making your week better?  And what do you think of this as a new feature?  I’m pretty optimistic, since even just thinking of the items to put on my list puts me in a much more grateful and thankful mindset as I think about my week.

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Spring Clearing

What runs through your mind when you hear the words spring cleaning?  Perhaps you have a bit of dread or fear as you look around and see piles of clutter with dust on them, and this might even lead to feeling overwhelmed.  Perhaps you feel excitement and happy feelings, looking forward to clearing away that which is no longer useful and having a fresh clean slate.  Perhaps you’ve even thought farther ahead, past the cleaning and purging, to the beautiful new boxes and upgraded items that you hope to bring in afterwards.

I’ve always liked the beautiful therapeutic ritual of spring cleaning, especially the purging of things no longer beneficial, but for a while I struggled with guilt over buying anything new, especially after getting rid of so much stuff.  It was only with a lot of intentional thought about it that I eventually realized that I was not simply cycling through stuff, but rather continually tweaking and optimizing in such a way that I continually created more time, space, and energy to focus on the most important and vital aspects of life.  It took me a long time to realize that what is good one summer may not be best the next summer.  And so, if nature herself renews each year, shedding the loveliest rose in winter, in order to birth forth another more beautiful the next year, so too should I.  This particular round of spring cleaning has been particularly intensive for us (but that’s another post entirely), and we’ve been turning over every item in our little home.  It takes work and time, but the results will be so worth it.

However, this year I want to shift my focus just a little bit, and I encourage you to join me, dear friends.  Beyond the simple spring cleaning to wipe away the grime and dust and grey of winter, let’s also engage in a deep and immersive spring clearing, ridding ourselves not just of possessions that are no longer helpful and clutter, but also of old habits that no longer serve, maybe even old ideas that hold us back.  I’m feeling the need for almost a total cleanse or detox – not really in the usual sense of diet, but taking an inventory and an honest look at what is working and what isn’t, and then acting to release what is not working, and accentuate the positives.  I know that many of us have some minimalist leanings and longings, and it only makes sense that if we desire space and to feel lighter, then we need to let go.  So here are some things in my life that I am looking to release, replace, and increase.

Release & Replace

  • rushing – replace with planning ahead and taking the proper time required
  • stress – replace with gentle morning routine, regular naps, regular relaxing showers & baths, herbal tea, meditation
  • clutter – replace with carefully curated, versatile items and neat organized files
  • processed and artificial foods – replace these with homemade foods that focus on natural and whole ingredients, and to purchase high-quality foods
  • hurried dining style – replace with intentional and more mindful eating, make the meal an event
  • aimless web surfing – replace with purposeful, intentional times

Increase

  • faith – getting more involved with our church
  • sleep – going to bed earlier, having regular naps
  • time spent in thought & intentionality – journaling, dreaming, and just being alone with my thoughts
  • reading – I love reading… self-development, the Bible, fiction – it feeds my mind and my soul
  • exercise – movement that feels good and strengthens my body
  • fresh air – with warm weather come beautiful open skies, sunny beaches, and green parks, and I can’t wait to fully immerse myself in them
  • creating – writing, designing, sewing, cooking, homemaking
  • consistent routines – having a schedule, and morning and evening routines that help me be a better version of me every day

How’s spring cleaning going for you?  Anyone else doing more clearing than cleaning this time around – or even adding new things into your mix?

 

 

 

On New Beginnings & Resolutions

So, here we are, almost halfway through the first month of the year.  How are you doing?  Already sick of this winter and ready for some warm weather?  (I am frantically waving YES to that)  Still keeping on track with New Year’s Resolutions?  If you have, congrats!  It takes about 21 days to make or break a habit, so you’re in the home stretch now.  If you’ve fallen off, just start up again, no one’s keeping tabs on you 🙂

Even though I’m no fan of winter, I do love the renewal that this time of year brings.  New hopes, new dreams, a fresh start.  And don’t we all need that, as we move through the seasons in our life?  I remember when I never understood seasons in life, thinking to myself wouldn’t it be better if we could just get everything we need together, and then that would be it?  But alas, I was much younger, and much less wise (not that I’m really that wise now, but still) when I thought that.  I’ve realized recently just how true the concept of seasons rings in our life – not just what happens in the weather, but how we as individuals and groups have times of emergence, growth, maturity, decline, rest, and renewal.

With that in mind, here we are.  What will this year bring for you?  What will you bloom into?  And perhaps more importantly, what will this year unveil within you?  I believe that within all of us there are seeds and glimmers of greatness, but we have to tend to them, or else they are lost.

I have many goals for this year.  I do enjoy setting big goals and big dreams.  Some, predictably, are in the areas of wellness, money, organization.  Some are more related to my inner growth and nurturing, such as prayer, reading, and creative outlets.  Although I currently don’t really buy into setting a word for the year, I do like to choose themes.

For 2015, my themes are Beauty and Refinement.  When I was a little girl, I had a natural tendency to find beauty everywhere – around me as I was walking, in a story, in a song – and since I was so delighted by all this beauty, I also wanted to spread beauty wherever I could – whether putting together pretty outfits, decorating a room or a cake, or writing poems.  Over time, I’ve quieted that ability of mine, and this year I want to nurture it again.  To find and see the beauty all around me, and to spread and reflect beauty everywhere I can, that is what I mean by the theme of Beauty.

For Refinement, I find myself longing for a simplifying, an optimizing, almost a cleansing within my life.  I want to not only acquire good habits, but let go of those no longer serving me.  I want to strive for quality, and for choosing things that make me fully happy, not “it’s okay, but it would be nicer if….”.  With both of these themes, my intention is to go beyond my external interactions, but also within myself – to nurture and further reveal the beauty that I have been given, and to allow refinement to take place within myself, becoming a purer, more whole version of myself.

Where are you at this year, dear friends?  What is resonating within you?

(Image from http://viage.tumblr.com/post/26061220942)

 

Holiday Highlights

Happy New Year, sweet friends!  I hope you all had an amazing holiday, filled with rest, fun, and merriment.  We are back to our regular routines today, and although a part of me wishes vacation could continue forever, I do also enjoy settling back into a routine and more disciplined habits.  I thought I’d give you a peek into how our holidays went, and what we were up to while the blog was quiet.

Of course, we enjoyed lots of family time.  Nick and I spent Christmas Eve with his parents, and then Christmas day we all visited relatives and had a fantastic day and Christmas dinner!  It was really lovely!  We also visited with my parents, and got to catch up and see lots of pictures, so that was wonderful!

We adorned our walls at home with this cute little DIY Christmas card garland to display all the sweet cards we received – I really like that we made little tape snowflakes, so cute!

While I’m not one to talk about shopping or gift “hauls”, I thought I would show you a few of the wonderful gifts we were blessed with.

These adorable throw pillows that bring a smile to my face everyday.

This gorgeous set of linens in a beautiful neutral palette and delicate pattern (seen here with the throws!)

Books!  I love Twilight, so Nick gifting me the set of novels was so sweet, and also some awesome books on faith and thinking that I’m excited to dive into.

A sweet upgraded K-cup carousel for the kitchen.

This sleek stainless steel garbage can – yes, a garbage can, but I’m super excited about it, and it has a foot pedal!

We also had some fun around the city too.  For a fun and active date, we checked out Skyzone and jumped around on trampolines – so fun!  I’m sure this will be something we do again, and it was quite the workout too!

New Year’s Eve we opted for going out, but keeping it low key – we went to The Fox right here in our neighbourhood for a great dinner and midnight celebration, as well as had some delicious bubbly at home.

On a beautiful sunny day, we hopped out to the waterfront for ice skating with an unbeatable view – this was a classic winter date, complete with hot chocolate 🙂

And as an unexpected treat, we found candy cane ice cream while grocery shopping!  This stuff is so tasty, and hard to find, so we definitely picked some up.

It was exactly what we both needed, a beautiful relaxing and sweet way to end the year, and open the chapter of 2015 with a renewed energy.  Slowly we’ll take down the decorations, and fresh greens have taken the place of baked sweets, but I’m going to try and keep the magic of the holidays alive well into the new year – that joy, that hope, that wonder, it never goes out of style.

Welcome back, dear friends, and let’s make 2015 the best year yet!

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men – Merry Christmas!

Hello dear friends!  It is finally here, the busiest, most wonderful week of the year, that beautiful time of gathering with loved ones and celebrating the amazing miracle that took place over two thousand years ago in Bethlehem.  Our Lord Jesus entered into the world, lived among mortal man, and left a legacy that changed the entire course of humanity.  It’s the most beautiful display of love this world has ever seen, and I am so infinitely and utterly grateful and moved by it.

I will be taking a bit of a break from posting, and I wish you all the wonders, hope, love, and peace that Christmas brings.

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” – Luke 2:13, 14, NASB

(Nativity scene photo from http://pixgood.com/nativity-scene-painting-wallpaper.html )

Go Elf Yourself!

Make sure you read that title right, that word was “elf”, as in adorable Santa’s helpers or beautiful Middle Earth creatures.

Today’s post is super short, but moreso funny.  The other day, I was browsing around the App Store to see what apps are new and interesting and free, and I stumbed upon this genius one called Elf Yourself.  The results were hilarious, and so I’ve posted them here for your laughing pleasure.

I wish that real-life Nick and Delia had moves half as cool as elf Nick and Delia, but it was very entertaining!  Check out the app yourself, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of festive laughs!

Enjoy, and have a merry day!

What a Designer Wallet Taught Me

Today I have a story to share with you, dear friends.  You see, although I enjoy fashion and style, I’ve never really been one to care for brand names and designer labels.  Couture is beautiful, but it’s doubtful I would tote around a purse whose material is entirely emblazoned with the label’s logo – personally that wouldn’t suit me.

However, a few months ago I did something rare for me – I went into Yorkville (the ritzy area here in town), and in a designer boutique, I bought myself a designer wallet – specifically a Kate Spade wallet in aqua blue.  It’s beautiful, it’s luxurious, it’s high quality, and it taught me an important lesson.

You see, one of the main reasons that I haven’t usually gone in to those shops is that I felt out of place, and that it would be selfish to want these high-end things.  At the root of it all, I didn’t feel good enough, or worthy enough.  Isn’t that silly?

Fortunately, I had started working with an amazing coaching program, and was actively working on things like my sense of self-worth.  Nick and I have big dreams, and we know we’re destined for far more than being average and just getting by, so I knew this would just be another hurdle on the path.

So, knowing and feeling secure in the decision financially, I went in and bought this fancy wallet.  To me, this was not frivolous or shallow.  It was a deeply thought about and carefully weighed decision, and I knew that every time I pulled that wallet out I would be reminded that my life is meant to be far more than average.  And you know what’s funny?  When I walked in to that boutique, I didn’t feel out of place, I didn’t think I was selfish.  I was confident, self-assured, and what surprised me the most, I was treated well.  It didn’t feel like everyone was sizing me up, but rather they were glad to see me, and I was glad to be there.

I know that it’s a silly little story, but that moment taught me so much about feeling worthy, about self-image, and that luxury is not wrong.  And here’s what the pretty little thing looks like:

Have you ever ended up learning something about yourself while shopping?  Or found a designer or shop you really like?  I know Kate Spade is one of my new favourites now!