Day one of vacation has been rather delightful. Stayed up until midnight watching for meteors (saw 12), got up and outside at 4:30 am to look for more (saw zero), watched the sunrise before going back to bed for a bit), relaxed, read, had burgers on the BBQ, took some over to our lovely Syrian neighbors who invited me to sit and have the most delicious tea while they practiced their English with me, and now I'm sipping wine and wondering how early I can go to bed. I love staycations. How about you?
Today is my six year wedding anniversary with my husband George, which is always kind of hilarious when I think about the fact that we've been together for almost 20 years. I don't believe there is any such thing as a perfect relationship or person, but we are a perfect match for each other. There's no one else on this planet I could imagine by my side on this crazy journey through life.
Slow living tip: If you are a Type-A personality who doesn't know how to just slow down and do as little as possible, get yourself trapped in a multi-month-long heat wave. You will find that you have no choice BUT to slow right on down. Good thing I'm not actually Type-A and love chillin anyway. Are you dealing with a heat wave? How are you beating the hot weather? I went and jumped in a lake - literally, haha - as soon as I finished working.
The best thing about a long weekend is waking up on what feels like a Monday but realizing it's actually already Tuesday. Sipping coffee while the temperatures are still manageable is a big help to kick off the week too. Because no matter how hot it gets, I just can't do iced coffee! Are you an iced coffee fan or do you do hot no matter what the thermometer says?
I always love a good weekend but long weekends are truly the best kind. Today we chilled at home and after rain all day, I'm enjoying the sun again. As for tomorrow, I'm hoping to squeeze in a swim. What did you do this weekend?
Today was crazy hot and humid with random sprinkles of rain. But overall it was a great day of visiting a community church event and spending some time with family before they flew back home to Toronto. And at the end of the day, the sun went down and left behind a beautiful sky. What a blessed view from my back deck. Happy long weekend!
It's FriYay and it is day 575 in a row of our heat wave (slight exaggeration perhaps but it has been a couple of weeks and it is currently feeling like 40C or 104F). Can someone please take me to a beach and let me live there until the humidity breaks? #beachplease
My friend said this photo is so purely Canadian. 🇨🇦 Before I changed jobs I spent a horribly large percentage of my Sundays fighting off anxiety. Ever since I started my new job back in May - and especially ever since I started working from home - I have noticed something remarkable. I can enjoy my Sundays again. The pre-work-week-kickoff a anxiety is gone. It has made such an incredible difference in my life. In my QUALITY of life. Yesterday I did not freak out and get anxious. Instead I enjoyed a lovely BBQ with family and friends. What a huge shift. Change can be scary and hard and I'm sometimes resistant to it myself, but change can be the greatest thing you can do for yourself. Having 2 kids, moving from Montreal to Halifax, and changing jobs are probably the three best changes I've experienced. How do you feel about change? What was the best one for you?
Cheers to this last weekend of July. I find time is going exceptionally fast ever since I started working from home and I would like to cling to July just a little bit longer (yes, even all this crazy humidity). On the other hand, I have a vacation week coming up in August and the weather is usually still nice then too so it's not all bad. Have you already had some summer vacation time? Or are you still waiting? #whplight
How is it Saturday evening already? I swear I just blinked and the day was gone. Lately I feel a strong need to unplug myself and my family and go camping somewhere with no wifi and limited data access. I want nature and grass under my toes and millions of stars in the night sky. I'd like to escape to #Keji for a weekend. I just need some camping gear. Where would you love to go to get away from it all?
Rise and shine? How about no? Or at least not yet. It's too soon to be Monday already. Are you a hit the snooze button person or a leap out of bed person? I do not understand the second type AT ALL. #mondaymoods #morningscenes #morningculture #morningsarehard #magicinthemundane #slowmorning #slowstart #slowstarter #onmybed #inmybed #fivemoreminutes #nestandflourish #freeupmyinsta #stillswithstories #thislifetoday #awakethelight #make_more_magic #memyselfandportrait #reallifeandstyle #todayiam
Sometimes we miss moments of beauty when we spend too much time looking at our feet or even straight ahead. Remember to look up once in awhile and get a whole new beautiful perspective on your surroundings. #whplookup
That FriYay feeling when you've got your coffee and the sun is shining, and you know there's a whole weekend of fun JUST around the corner... What are you looking forward to most of all? Personally I can't wait to walk with my new company in the #halifaxpride parade on Saturday!
I know it's almost here but right now it feels like I'm standing here on those rocks and the weekend is waaaaay over there at the tip off in the foggy distance. Perhaps I need more sleep? Maybe that's why an otherwise normal week feels so long. Is your week flying by or barely crawling along?
Wine Wednesday? Well wine not then? Cheers! What are you sipping today?
I'm perfectly happy to look at pretty much any body of water - oceans, lakes, rivers, little creeks, even a nice pond. But I can not tell a lie. The ocean will always be my favorite. Which body of water is your favorite?
Three cheers for everyone who faced this Monday down and made it through to the other side. I had a fantastic weekend that led to me being exceptionally tired today but I still ended up having a really productive work day, the kind you can be proud of. That being said, as great as my day was, it's rather hot today and all I kept seeing was a vision of myself splashing in cool ocean waves. I miss the beach. I need a swim day! How was your Monday?
Happy Monday! Only four more days until the weekend comes back around again. I did a full day of work and a 30 minute yoga sequence. Now waiting on supper with a glass of Shiraz, then looking forward to a cup of tea with my book! How do you unwind on Mondays?
Looking for the weekend, like... Usually I find that a short post-holiday week feels paradoxically longer than an normal week. For some reason though, this time it's flying by. I'm so glad tomorrow is FriYay - and Saturday is my birthday! I have plans to hit the lake for a swim but right now as Nova Scotia still sits under a heat wave I'm throwing it back to Monday when we spent the holiday at Queensland Beach. Do you prefer the ocean or the lake? I have a serious love affair with oceans but admittedly lakes are usually warmer up here and much easier to swim in.
Ahhh. Talk about relaxing! My long weekend so far involved going to watch George's band play at The Bay Landing out in beautiful Prospect on Friday, spending most of Saturday out on the deck, a BBQ, hosting a little sleepover for Breanna and two of her friends, sitting outside until midnight, and have g an epic sleep from all the fresh air. Today is Canada Day and I've been celebrating quietly- you guessed it, on my deck - while George went fishing on his friend's boat. Fingers crossed that I will be eating fresh mackerel tonight! This heat is bugging a lot of people but the month of June was cold and damp and soggy so I am enjoying every degree of our heat wave. Are you a heat lover or not? #whprelax
My 15 year old daughter brought me a bunch of daisies that she picked for me. 💕 It's the Canada Day long weekend and it's finally hot and beautiful. I've been sitting out here on my deck almost all day long and fully intend to spend as much time outdoors as I possibly can over the next three days. How's your weekend shaping up?
Have I mentioned how much I love all the light in the summer? Because I love all the light in the summer. . It's actually pouring today so I'm remembering a recent day where I was walking from the office to the bus terminal at the end of the work day, completely in love with the light through the leaves (which I walked right into at first). . How was your weekend? Mine was full of walks, good food, music, and the perfect balance of busy and relaxed.
For the first time since I've lived here (seven years in a few more days) this is the first time they've painted a rainbow in the crosswalk at the intersection near my house in honour of Pride. . This makes me so happy. 🌈 . #whp🌈
I think the best part of my mornings right now, now that I am working from home, is getting to drink my coffee outside in the sun before starting my tasks. It is so much better for my soul than rushing to my desk with a take out cup of caffeine. (And on future rainy or cold days, curled up on the couch with my cup sounds nice too.) . Where's your favorite place to drink coffee (or tea if that floats your boat a little better)?
So I mentioned recently that I had started a new job. In other great news, it's going so well that I'm now working from home. Today's my first day in my home office and I'm already so excited about the lack of a public transit commute that I'm practically floating on the ceiling. . My youngest was under the weather and stayed home, so since I was only starting at 10 am I went back to bed until 9, made myself a coffee that didn't cost me $2, I'm dressed in yoga pants, and I'm now enjoying lunch on the deck. At the same time, I have a lot of integrity when working from home so I have plowed through a bunch of work. This is amazing. (And seriously with no commute I gain an hour and a half of my life back!) . How do you feel about working from home? Not everyone loves it but I sure do. How about you? . 📷 Paul Mason
When I get off the bus I have a ten minute walk to work. On my way I noticed a long stone wall in front of a house with one lone tulip standing tall enough to peep over it. . It caught my eye and I look at it every day now. I can't even say why it makes me happy, it just does. Maybe it sends me a message about doing tour own thing and not being afraid to stand out and be vulnerable. . What little thing makes you inexplicably happy?
The world lost such a beam of light yesterday when the amazing Anthony Bourdain took his own life. Such a tragedy. . A lot of people have shared suicide prevention hotlines and that's amazing. It can help save a life and you can call them if you have concerns about a loved one and need guidance too. . But I'd like to offer up another suggestion. If you are not suicidal but you're worried about someone else who may be, don't wait for them to come to you or hope they'll dial a 1-800 line. The truth is, in the darkness it can be really hard to find your way to a helping hand. Because depression is a dirty liar and will tell you not to bother. . Instead, reach out yourself. Speak to the friend who has been struggling. Talk to the friend who seems like they've always got their shit together no matter how tough things get because sometimes people are really good at hiding behind the I'm okay! mask. . And ask people how they are, no how they REALLY are. Then listen. You don't have to solve everyone's problems. But listen and care. We need to care. . Mental illness needs to be de-stigmatized. It is no more shameful than a physical illness. We need to be open and we all need to know we have someone to count on. . Let's all stand in the light together and shine that light on anyone trapped in darkness.
So I thought I should share some news. You may have noticed I haven't posted to Instagram all that much lately. I didn't really intend to take such a long break but let me tell you why I did. . Back In May I resigned from the job I'd held for 7 years in order to take on a new role and a new challenge elsewhere. Hence why I have been so quiet here on IG - I've been training and training and training. Honestly, by the time I get home my brain is so fried that I just didn't have much left for social media. A quick Facebook post or tweet isn't as time consuming as taking a good photo, editing, writing a caption, etc. . Training is winding down now though and I'm meant to start actually working next week so hopefully I will have more time to visit and hang out on my favorite app! . I'm very excited about my new job even though change can be scary. I'm looking forward to actually digging in and working soon! . What's new with you? Do you enjoy and embrace change? Or do you resist it because it's scary and uncertain?
Current mood. I've been listening to binaural beats for anxiety lately and it's been helping me so much. There's a whole science behind the frequencies affecting your brain and I love it. . I've been listening to them for 10-15 minutes per day using the Brainwaves app (this is not sponsored) and I've noticed a real difference. . Have you tried it yet?
When you just don't want to let go of the weekend yet so you sip some Shiraz in the sun and wish for summer vacation. . #whp🌲 Did you get outside on this Earth Day weekend?
It is currently pouring rain and the forecast says to expect more of the same into the next week or so. . Meh. Rainy days are important but they always just make me want to curl up on the couch with a book, a blanket, and a cup of tea. Ah well, work says I do indeed have to leave the house. . So here's a Friday Flashback photo to a day when it was sunny and lovely down by the water. I'll just pretend that's my reality today instead. . Where do you wish you were right now?
My body is at work but my brain is at the beach. . I had a mini panic attack on the bus today but I needed to get to work so I put on a guided meditation with my phone and closed my eyes and pictured the beach. The ocean always helps. . It's a little better in person but an imaginary beach is still pretty good. . What do you like to visualize when you meditate? I like picturing the forest too but beaches are usually my go-to.
I've seen some photos people have shared lately of trees covered in beautiful white blossoms. Well, our trees are white too - just that it's snow and not flowers. 😒 . Yes. Yes, it IS April 9th today. Why do you ask? . I'm still hoping for a ridiculously amazing summer. Eventually. . How was your weekend?
I just finished reading Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane so this feels like an appropriate photo today. . I've never read anything by him before (gasp, I know) but had always meant to. It was so friggin amazing that I can't wait to read more, as soon as I finish up my current books I have from the library. It's been awhile since I read something where the description was so vivid that I forgot where I was because my imagination was standing right inside the book. . What are you reading right now? Next up for me is Nights of the Living Dead, an anthology of short zombie stories!
Water heals me every time. I've been sick at home the past two days but I wish I could've walked and sat by the water - I know it would have been beneficial. . Instead I slept, and ate soup, and read, and did some very gentle yoga, and I think all of that helped because I'm finally feeling human again. . What always makes you feel better?
Hey guys! Look! It's spring! . From now on I do not want to see anything white on the ground unless it's sand or the white foam of crashing waves. Okay? Thanks. . In other news who else is relieved it's almost the weekend?
Oh you know, just drinking a bit of coffee and indulging in denial over the fact that my vacation week is coming to a close! 😭☕ . What are you up to for your Friday evening?
We had a nor'easter with such insanely high winds the other day that part of our fence blew down. Now the snow is mostly melted and I walked to my mailbox in running shoes because it's like spring. . I'm off for March break this week and I can't believe it's already Thursday. Trust me the week NEVER flies by this fast during a work week. . Anyone know how I can slow time down? I'm not ready for this to be over so soon!
If you tell people you're on vacation they often ask if you're going anywhere. I'm not gonna lie, I would love to be on a sunny beach in the Dominican, working on my rusty Spanish skills. . But I also love a good quiet staycation which is what I'm enjoying right now. We may go to the library or to see a movie but mostly we're just laying low and enjoying a whole week with no school and no work. . What's your favorite thing to do on staycation?
Do you ever feel like you're the only person left in the whole world? . (Until you get on the bus and remember That Yes, there are TONS of other people and they're all sneezing and coughing around you. Sigh.)
Yesterday my biggest girl who is 15 had eye surgery. Again. For the 3rd time. This recovery has been the hardest one of all for her. . I am so grateful I could book a specially authorized vacation day yesterday (technically there was no availability but my manager is great). I am grateful that I was able to call in today with no pushback after she asked me to stay home with her. I am grateful that my workplace understand the importance of work life balance. . I still wish I worked for myself and could stay home with her again until she's fully recovered. But for now I am grateful.
D is for Daydream. I know it's not even the end of February but I'm daydreaming of sunny days outside with a glass of wine. . What are you dreaming of? #scenefromtheceiling . (Huge huge shout out to @allthatisshe for inspiring me and even more for encouraging me on Twitter to try something new.)
Halifax remembered that winter in Canada = snow. I didn't mind too much. It did mess up some of our plans but I shoveled and took yoga pictures in the snow, cleaned the bedroom, and relaxed so it wasn't all bad. . Plus there's really nothing like a cup of green tea after pushing 5-10 cm of snow out of your driveway. . Do you have snow in your area right now?
Not many things are better than a weekend. Except a long weekend. I am SO grateful for three days off work. . I have a fantastic mix of mini plans, total relaxation, and creative endeavors in store. Now it's Saturday night and I'm waiting on a late supper while pondering whether to watch a movie or read tonight or maybe start season 2 of The Crown. The best part is I still have two whole days ahead of me. . What are you up to this weekend?
I don't feel like I need a special day to tell someone that I love them but since it IS Valentine's day I will say that I love him more every single day. I will never take for granted all the amazing things he does for me or for our family or the sacrifices that he has made for everyone else's benefit. And believe me there's a LOT. . It's been an adventure since day one and I am so lucky.
I've been craving noodles a lot lately so George bought a variety of Ramen noodle packs so I could have them whenever I'm in that chopstick-y mood. This time I went for a spicy-ish option and although theyvwerent as hot as I might have wanted they were definitely tasty! . Never underestimate how much it means when your husband shows up with exactly what you need just because he was paying attention. #whpwithlove . What's your favorite ramen flavor?
Wondering how much longer it will be before I can enjoy a coffee outside on a warm sunny day again. . How are you spending this fine Saturday?
Last night I closed the living room blinds to snowfall and went upstairs with some tea and a book. By the time I put my head down I could hear rain hitting the windows and winds gusting down the street. . Then this morning I woke up to above freezing temperatures and bare ground. . (And if you check my stories you'll see I walked into a surprise snowfall after getting off the bus; not 15 minutes later it seems to have stopped.) . I am a self proclaimed fan of slow living. Right now I want to slow down to the point of hibernation until this all settles the eff down. . Who's with me?
Winter here is weird. This photo I took after a storm is what you'd generally expect to see. Meanwhile today we have a forecast of snow, then dropping temperatures, then freezing rain, then warming temperatures, then straight rain, and finally potential flooding. Also maybe locusts and plagues and the rapture. I don't know. . Now excuse me. If you need me I'll be over here with my eyes closed, fantasizing about a beach in Bali. . What's your weather been doing lately?
Here's to a Tuesday that feels a lot like a Monday, by far the longest of all days. I feel like this would taste better at home on my couch. 😉 . (This post is not sponsored by @starbucks but I wish it was!) . Coffee or tea? What's your favorite?
I swear to God, this is how cold it feels to me right now. I'm so happy I had a nice lazy Sunday that involved blankets and space heaters and tea. And blogging too! New post up at busyzenlife.com or link in profile. . What's your favorite thing about winter?
I wasn't a big fan of the color pink for a really long time. Maybe it's a side effect of being born a girl and wearing way too much pink as a child. . Over the past couple of years though, it's been growing on me. I have a preference for bright pinks and you can spot it in my favorite winter hat and my new lipstick. . What's your favorite color? . (My daughter is freaked out by this cinemagraph lol) #whpillusion
I was 15 when I had my first panic attack. I had no idea what was wrong with me. My parents took me to our family doctor and I then saw an ENT and a neurologist. Not one of them knew what was going on. I had a clean bill of physical health - no one thought to look at my mental health. No one told me I had an anxiety disorder. . It went away after grade 10 was over and my stress lessened. It resurfaced at age 24 and has not left my side since. . Running and yoga help a lot. Essential oils, meditation, and self care help. I've recently discovered Tapping (EFT) and that's been great. . But my anxiety disorder with panic attacks has not disappeared and likely never will. It's been my faithful companion for almost two decades. . The thing that has helped the most has been talking. I used to hide it from just about everyone. You'll still be hard pressed to tell I'm having an attack unless I tell you. But I don't hide my anxiety disorder any more. I talk about it and write about it. . It feels good to talk and I'm happy to listen too. The best part is when I started talking others talked back and I quickly learned I was not alone. It can be isolating, so knowing I have company helps so much. . If you need to talk I will listen. Fuck the stigma. #BellLetsTalk
I'm going to open a café and serve a new drink. I'm calling it a Snowpaccino. What do you think? . Last night and into today Halifax got a bunch of snow and then some freezing rain, and we may get some extra snow tonight but I'm not sure because I don't want to look at the forecast. 🙈 . The kids had a snow day and I did not but at least I made it safely into work and back. . I wish it was the weekend. I'm ready to sleep in. Alas.
Sundays are for peace and quiet. Other than the bit of laundry I need to tackle later, I have nothing in particular to do today. Considering that 40 hours of work loom in the week ahead, I am just fine with a lack of plans. There is nothing like a serene view out my window and a calm day ahead to make me happy. #whpsmile . What are you up to?
Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows that I'm 100% a summer girl. But even I have to say that sometimes the snow is beautiful - especially when it's the first real snowfall of the year and it brings big fluffy flakes. . Besides, winter means cute pompom hats and slowing down a little so I guess it's not all bad. . Still. It's almost summer soon right?
The best thing meditation has taught me is that I can get control of myself, my reactions, and even my mood any time that I want to. Depending on what level of panic I'm in it may take longer in some cases than others but it can still be done. . I have a few things on my mind these days that are causing stress and worry in my life and I can spiral so easily into anxiety but sitting and checking in with myself helps so much. . I have regularly found a great deal of peace (or motivation or self-confidence, etc) by using 4 minute meditations from @bexlife. If you struggle with knowing where to start that is a great place to begin. . Have you taken a few minutes to slow down and just follow your breathing and re-center yourself?
A is for Anxiety. . Today I finally had enough of the anxiety that follows me everywhere. I'm even looking forward to work tomorrow (helping with the new training group) and I STILL have anxiety. So I did some of the yoga I learned from @dashamalove way back years ago. . It takes more than just one yoga session to get rid of anxiety but it did relax me and dial it down a few notches. Somewhere along the way I lost my regular practice and I know I need it back in my life. Even a short practice is better than no practice. . And when you use a space heater you can almost pretend you're doing your flow somewhere warm. (The geeky Star Trek socks don't do anything specific for the yoga but they sure are fun!) #whpmystyle