Be happy, be bright, be you

14 Dec

We’re two weeks into December, which means in 10 days, it’s Christmas eve! I’ve been wearing a dress a day, as per Dressember rules. The week ahead is my last at work until the holidays, and I have quite a few party dresses I’d like to wear, so I might be a little fancier than usual at work. The thought makes me smile!

And now, for my weekly wrap-up of dresses:

Day 8 – Very comfortable dress that did not make an appearance last December, as it needed to be mended and it took me a year to do it.

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Day 9 – Busy day as it was my class’ Christmas play. I wanted to wear something comfortable, but also cute, of course! I wore this dress’ twin last week, in purple.

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Day 10 – It’s hard to pick just one favourite dress, but if I absolutely had to, it would be this one. It has pockets! Need I say more?

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Day 11 – Little black dress that ended the day covered in glitter from snowflake making.

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Day 12 – Pretty blue dress that, for some unknown reason, I don’t wear very often.

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Day 13 – My Minnie Mouse look. I love this dress and always wear it the same way. Also, here is a picture of me twirling, so you get a sense of the real me. I’m a twirler.

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Day 14 – A grey dress for a grey day. The sun came out for a little while, so it wasn’t too gloomy. Also, it was Sunday, I was wearing a dress, there was tea and Christmas music, so I was happy.

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And that’s week two. Now, excuse me while I go pick out next week’s dresses!

 

Dress up, drink tea, read books

7 Dec

We’re already a full week into December, which means it’s been one week of dresses for Dressember! I love December. I don’t play favourites with months, but December is pretty special. You know, Christmas and dresses. Actually, I quite like November too. Mostly because my birthday is in November, but also because everyone else seems to hate it, and I like to do the opposite of other people sometimes.

Another reason I love December is that I got an advent calendar from David’s tea. Every day, I get to open a little door and try an new kind of tea! It’s lovely.

And then, of course, there’s Christmas books. I love books all year, but there is something special about Christmas stories. My friend Suzanne gave me one for my birthday and I finished it this morning, while drinking a cup of tea. Bliss.

Here is a recap of my dresses, from day 1 to day 7.

Day 1 – I wear this dress a lot, but I added a crinoline, nothing major, just some extra fluffiness to help hold the skirt and keep it from sticking to my leggings.

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Day 2 – Pink dress from Old Navy. No slip today, so it stuck to my tights. There will be no more of that!

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Day 3 – Purple on purple. Was a little worried it would be too much, but I liked it.

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Day 4 – Bird print dress and cape knit by my sister.

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Day 5 – Tommy Hilfiger dress from the “To Tommy from Zooey” collection. I love Zooey Deschanel!

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Day 6 – Another bird print dress! It was all twisty at the waist, but I fixed it after I saw the pictures. I could also have looked in the mirror!

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Day 7 – This is the “Rock the line” dress from Modcloth. I love it, except that it’s really short.

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Fashion quiz

30 Nov

Tomorrow is December 1st, which means it is the first day of Dressember. What is Dressember, you ask? Why, only the most wonderful time of the year. It is a month of dresses. Kind of like the 12 days of Christmas, only it’s 31 days, and it’s dresses, not birds and ladies dancing (although, one will dance more while wearing a dress, it’s a fact).

Dressember used to be just about the dresses, but it’s now associated with the International Justice Mission, to help victims of violence. You can wear your dresses to raise money for a good cause. I think it’s fantastic, but since I give to different charities, I’m wearing my dresses just for fun! However, I encourage you to visit the website and make a donation if the cause speaks to you.

In the spirit of Dressember, I’ve decided to put together a fashion quiz, you know, one that will reveal your true identity with a series of multiple choice questions. Here we go, grab a pencil.

1. You’re going shopping on a Saturday afternoon. What are you wearing?

a) heels, a miniskirt and a designer bag

b) jeans, boots and a cute top

c) sweatpants and running shoes

d) a raincoat with nothing underneath

2. It’s your work Christmas party, yay! You show up wearing…

a) an evening gown, diamonds and Chanel number 5

b) a red dress, black tights and a sparkly necklace

c) the same clothes you wore to work

d) a tiara

3. You’re hopping on a plane to Costa Rica. What’s your travel look?

a) a silk skirt, big floppy hat and huge sunglasses

b) leggings and a tunic or dress

c) pyjamas

d) a bikini, so you’re ready when you get there

4. What do you wear to go running? (Pretend you go running)

a) a stylish, color coordinated outfit, including leggings, top, shoes, headband and earphones, complete with bouncy ponytail

b) whatever leggings and top were clean

c) track pants from the 90’s, the kind you can rip off like a stripper

d) a bathing suit and cap, since you’re training for a triathlon

5. It’s your day off and you’re staying home. Some knocks at the door. You answer wearing…

a)  a suit, heels and pearls

b) jeans and a t-shirt

c) an old university t-shirt,  scrunchie and maybe pants (or maybe not)

d) a bathrobe that’s not quite closed

And now, for the results of this very accurate quiz, which was researched quite thoroughly and in no way written just now, while I sit on the couch with my scrunchie and my yoga pants.

If you chose mostly a: You should wear whatever you want!

If you chose mostly b: Keep wearing what you’re wearing, you look awesome!

If you chose mostly c: Dress for yourself, and no one else!

If you chose mostly d: You freaking rock!

And now, since a post needs a picture, but I have none of Dressember, because it only starts tomorrow, here is a picture of my birthday dress. It will be making an appearance sometime during the fantastic month that is Dressember.

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Getting comfortable

28 Aug

I haven’t been here in a while. I’ve been busy. Busy in a good way, busy doing amazing things, going on adventures and meeting fascinating people. Not the dreary “I’m so busy with my lists and my job and my schedules and deadlines and things I don’t actually want to do” kind of busy. Happy busy.

As I write this, I feel as though I’m brushing down cobwebs and shaking off the dust. I’m settling in, remembering why I love it so much here. I’m getting comfortable, as though I’m sitting in a pile of pillows, wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea on a rainy day. My, how I do love it here.

It does feel a little different, to be honest. Is this space different, or am I? Maybe it’s a combination of both.

I’ve had a summer of extreme awesomeness. There are no words to express how truly blessed I feel to live this life. I’ve seen, felt, lived, dreamed, laughed, traveled, sang, cried, jumped, swam, received and given.

There’s a saying that goes “life begins where your comfort zone ends” or something similar. While I admit that letting go of the fear of being uncomfortable allows for new experiences and discoveries, there is something to be said about comfort. It is so delicious to feel comfortable, content and carefree. I am giving in to comfort. I will be uncomfortable tomorrow. Who knows what will happen…

This is me being comfortable. I call it "Alice in Wonderland before she falls through the rabbit hole." Adventures are about to happen, but in this moment, I am comfortable.  Actually, if I remember correctly, Alice was bored to death before she ended up in Wonderland, so many this is not a good analogy after all.

This is me being comfortable. I call it “Alice in Wonderland before she falls through the rabbit hole.” Adventures are about to happen, but in this moment, I am comfortable.
Actually, if I remember correctly, Alice was bored to death before she ended up in Wonderland, so mayby this is not a good analogy after all.

Lake Muskoka

30 Jun

I just spent a weekend, the first of my summer holidays, in a cottage on Lake Muskoka. The cottage belongs to a friend’s family, and she assembled a hodge-podge of friends and family to enjoy the sun, the lake and the laughs over the weekend.

It was a four and a half hour drive up. I’m not always a good road tripper, but I enjoyed spending time with my friend Kara as she told me about her cottage and how she used to live there when she was in high school. She had to cross the lake by boat to go to school. How awesome is that?

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We spent a lot of time on the boat, a lot of time on the dock and a lot of time in the water.

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There were a lot of people around, all the time. The first night, the girls decided to go out to the mainland for drinks and I stayed at the cottage. A few years ago, I would have gone with them, even if I didn’t want to. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss anything, or look like I was being a party pooper. I love the freedom that comes from not caring what other people think.

The second night, there were, again, many people at the cottage. We wanted to make a fire, but it rained, so we stayed in. Late in the evening, everyone decided to play a game. Sometimes, when I’m around people I don’t know very well, I get uncomfortable. It’s all very well and good not to care what people think if I don’t go drinking at a bar, but I also don’t want to be rude. I don’t think the term anxious is the right one here to describe how I feel, because I know people suffer from anxiety, while I mostly feel uncomfortable. I decided to remove myself from the party and go to bed.

While I’m completely fine with my choices, I do feel like not everyone understands them. Some people are naturally outgoing and talk easily to everyone, regardless of the situation. Some people need a lot of time alone. I, like a lot of people, need a mix of both. I’m not anti-social or super-social, I’m regular-social.

All that being said, I had a good weekend at a wonderful cottage. There were magical sunsets and adorable 2 year olds singing Let it go. There were cookies and boat rides, suntans and swimming. The summer is off to a great start!

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Two minute moments

25 Jun

I am a big fan of the Facebook page Humans of New York. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a page where a very talented photographer posts pictures of people in New York, along with a sentence or two, allowing you a glimpse into their life.

Last week, there was a picture of a little boy and his mother. The little boy said he wanted to make a card for his mom, but the teacher was too busy to help him spell, so he drew a picture. I thought this was a sweet moment. Then, I read the comments.

People were bashing the teacher, writing things like “she should be fired”, “bad teacher” and “a good teacher would have helped him in her spare time”. I had to stop reading, as I was turning purple.

I have a small class of 18 students, but sometimes, I am too busy to help someone. I have three grades in one class. I do what I can, but I am human. Teachers do not have angel wings or superpowers. We also don’t have “free time” while at work. That comment was obviously written by someone who doesn’t have a clue!

My life as a teacher is a series of two minute moments. Here are a few examples of things that take two minutes:

- Explaining what an adjective is.

- Having a discussion on why it’s not nice to kick our friends.

- Finding a lost pencil.

- Eating half an apple. (You have to eat fast, and you rarely get to eat the whole thing).

- Talking to the parent who interrupted story time by bringing their kid in late.

- Dealing with a bloody nose.

- Reading an e-mail.

- Reminding the third graders that they know what synonyms are.

- Looking for someone’s shoe. How do you lose a shoe?

- Putting a hand on a kid’s forehead to figure out if she’s sick or faking it.

- Asking “who’s is this?” about 47 times.

- Reminding some people that crayons are not meant to be thrown at other people’s heads.

- Helping a first grader read one sentence.

- Listening to kids teach each other.

- Sounding out words so kids can spell them themselves.

- Feeding the lizard.

- Holding up a finger to tell someone to wait while someone is asking a question and someone else is tapping you on the arm with their warm, sticky, little hand.

- Reading the story a second grader wrote for you. It’s about a pink giraffe.

- Suggesting that reading might be a good alternative to staring at the ceiling.

- Trying to teach division while the kids would rather talk about dinosaurs.

- Looking up dinosaur info on the Internet.

- Filling out the millionth form of the month.

- Taking attendance.

- Saying hello to every student.

- Not flinching when a box of beads is dropped on the floor.

- Drawing a star on someone’s hand, because everyone knows that will give you more energy to help you work.

- Answering a questions about prime numbers/pronouns/birds/snack time/planets.

- Going to the washroom (if you’re lucky).

- Hugging the child’s who’s crying because her parents have separated.

- Laughing. Kids are funny.

- Listening to a bad joke. They don’t always tell them right.

- Motivating the kid who thinks everything is boring.

- Replying to an e-mail.

- Singing a song.

To be honest, most teachers do several of these things simultaneously. There are 157 2-minute moments in a school day, including lunch time, which is considered “free time”.

If you witness the moment where I’m laughing and singing, you’ll think “what a fun, happy teacher.” But if you see the moment where I’m telling a child he has used up almost every drop of patience I have specifically for him, you will think I am mean and impatient. One moment does not give you the whole picture.

If you know a teacher, don’t say “lucky you” when her summer vacation starts. Try “I know how hard you worked all year, here is a margarita and a piece of pie”.

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Chakra smashing

21 Jun

The title of this post sounds a little violent, but I can assure you, it’s not. Smash refers to smashbook, not smashing something because you’re mad, don’t like it, or it’s a really gross bug.

A few months ago, I started my first smashbook, which is like an anti-scrapbook. It’s not about looking pretty, or using a ton of pre-determined cut-outs that go together. It’s about being creative.

I used to have one smashbook. I now have eleven. I am a bit obsessed. There are many different styles, and every time I go to the store, it seems like one of them is on sale. I decided to use the purple one for any and all yoga-related things, ideas and thoughts.

I’ve done seven pages so far, one for each chakra. They’re not completely done, because I still have lots to learn and I wanted to leave room to add in new words and pictures.

Root chakra

Root chakra

Sacral chakra

Sacral chakra

Solar plexus chakra

Solar plexus chakra

Heart chakra

Heart chakra

Throat chakra

Throat chakra

Third eye chakra

Third eye chakra

Crown chakra

Crown chakra

Like I said, I still have a lot to learn about each chakra, but it’s a good start!

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