The Desire Map

Last Saturday, my friend Ciara asked if I would like to go to a workshop with her. It was something called The Desire Map. I like a good workshop, so I said sure, why not!

Best reason to get dressed in 2016 so far. It was an introductory class, because the desire map is a program that takes a little while, but I am definitely hooked.

Leading this three-hour-workshop-that-turned-into-four, was Kate. You know those people who’s light shines bright, making everything around them glow and sparkle? Well, that’s Kate. Her love and passion for this process were present in each step she guided us through.

So many of the words she spoke have been swirling around my head for the past few days. I feel inspired. 

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She also led us through a meditation. To be honest, meditation is not my favourite thing. I’ve never been invested enough to practice, so I’m not very good at it. This meditation, however, was set to music, and it was beautiful. When I picked up my journal to write after it was done, I realized I was smiling. I was happy. Because of meditation! All I had felt before was grumpiness.

I’d heard of Danielle Laporte before, because a few years ago, I stumbled onto this quote and I thought Can it really be that simple?

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Turns out, she created The Desire Map. It’s about generating your core desired feelings, and pretty much finding out what makes you feel good. Sounds simple, right?

I feel excited about this. This is something I want more of. The excitment, the happiness, the joy.

Thank you Kate!

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50 happy things

I’m not really one of those “new year, new me” people. I like to think I’m pretty awesome, so I’ll just keep on doing that.

However, I do like lists, and I like looking back at the year I just left behind. When I read Julie‘s blog post about 50 happy things, I decided I would do it too. You should read it, she’s hilarious! Apparently, you’re supposed to list 50 things in 10 minutes, but I don’t like being told what to do, so I’m going to take as long as I want.

This is not in any particular order.

  1. Becoming an aunt.
  2. Baby kisses.
  3. Baby laughter.
  4. Watching my sister be a mom.
  5. Going on a road trip with my best friend.
  6. Driving to a monastary for cheese, while on this road trip.
  7. Being creeped out because it was in the middle of nowhere.
  8. Running away from a nun (or other religious person). I don’t think she saw us.
  9. Making (and eating) scones.
  10. Trying Crossfit.
  11. Falling down because of Crossfit.
  12. Yoga.
  13. Going to Costa Rica for the third time.
  14. Seeing a volcano.
  15. Hiking up a volcano in flip-flops because the airline lost my backpack.
  16. Being at Peace Retreat.
  17. Stand-up paddle board.
  18. Cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my cousins.
  19. Being really healthy.
  20. Books.
  21. Drinking lots of tea.
  22. Going to San Diego with one of my best friends.
  23. My fitbit.
  24. The Pacific ocean.
  25. Hiking.
  26. Watching Jessica Jones.
  27. Christmas.
  28. Going to Paint Nite twice.
  29. Road trip with my family.
  30. Making my niece laugh.
  31. Asking the flight attendant for help listing all 50 states, and having her sing us a song she learned when she was little.
  32. Wearing dresses.
  33. Dressing up as a cavewoman at school for a unit on the paleolithic era.
  34. Sleeping in.
  35. Starting the process of buying a house (it’s not official yet!)
  36. Getting a Kate Spade handbag.
  37. Little cousins.
  38. Reading “The life-changing magic of tidying-up”.
  39. Going all Konmari on my clothes.
  40. Watching my parents become grandparents.
  41. Seeing my niece make people laugh by fake-laughing (especially my mom!)
  42. Going to the San Diego zoo.
  43. Giraffes!
  44. Designing my new house on Pinterest.
  45. Sewing with my students.
  46. Laughing with my best friend. We are hilarious.
  47. Winning 20$ on a lottery ticket.
  48. Arranging my bookshelf by colour.
  49. Making apple pie with my mom, my sister and my niece.
  50. Redecorating my bedroom.

Wow, 50 is a lot! However, I could keep going. 2015 was a difficult year, as I lost a family member I cared for very much, but there was a lot of good in there too! Here’s to making 2016 even more fabulous!

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Another year of dresses

December is over! Which means Dressember is over too. As I’ve mentionned before, I pretty much wear dresses every day, but in December, I take pictures!

Here are all of my dresses for the month. You might notice, if you like to count things, that there are 35 dresses for 31 days. That’s because I like outfit changes. Like Katy Perry or JLo. I’m awesome like that.

1-7

8-14

15-21

22-28

29-35

We had some really strange weather in December, so some days, I didn’t even wear tights. Normally, for Dressember, I freeze my butt off. Also, I really like leggings.

Here’s to another year of dresses!

Dressing up

It’s December, and that means dresses! This is my fourth year participating in Dressember. The idea is, you wear a dress every day in December. This is pretty much my regular life, as I wear dresses all the time. I love dresses so much! Dressember is different only because I take pictures every morning.

Since it’s already almost the halfway point, here are my dresses so far.

Day 1

I wasn’t sure about wearing white in December, but I thought I did a pretty good job of winterizing it. Also, I think not wearing what you want is dumb.

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Being Belle

For Halloween this year, I wanted to be a Disney princess, because that’s the kind of girl I am. Why go creepy and scary when, for once, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a princess in public?

I originaly wanted to be Snow White, but the only cosutme I could find online that wasn’t short and sexy (really, why?) was over a hundred dollars. No thanks. Then, by chance, I found a much cheaper dress. Different princess, but I’m not picky. Belle it was!

I really did not love the way this dress was cut. I mean, Belle wears a ballgown, where was the fluff? Since I have a crinoline I never get to wear, I decided to make this dress into the shiny yellow perfection I knew it could be.

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I pinned the two pieces of fabric together at the seams, then sewed a line on either sides of the pins. Then I cut between the two new lines I’d sewn and inserted a triangular piece of yellow satin. I did this for each side and in the back.

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This is where I stopped taking pictures, because really, who takes that many pictures when they sew? The top part of the dress was too big, and it had a pink rose in the middle. This had to go, because Belle does not have any pink on her dress. I took in the necline/sleeve type thing, then covered it with more yellow satin.

I cut the sad excuse for a petticoat that was inside the dress, added my fluffy crinoline, and voilà! Perfection.

I attemped a Belle hairdo using the seemingly easy sock bun technique. I’m not sure I do it right, because it’s never easy. But hey, it looked ok.

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I truly enjoy being a princess, and look forward to wearing this dress again. Having a party? I’ll come dressed as Belle.

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San Diego Sunshine

I just returned from an amazing, sun filled week in San Diego. You would think that, living in Canada, I travel to the United States all the time, but I usually go as far as possible when I travel, so I haven’t been to many states. To be fair, San Diego is really far, probably the furthest place in the States from where I live, so it’s not like I stuck close to home this time either!

I traveled with one of my best friends. She and I went to Spain nine years ago, so I knew we would travel well together! We also have our freak out moments at different times, which is a definite plus while traveling (her: can’t find the bus stop, me: too many people and someone touched me.)

We had originally booked a hostel, but ended up staying in an airbnb house, which was much better. I learned many things on this trip, the most important one being that I’m so done with hostels. I’m a grown-up now, no more sharing a bathroom with 13 people.

San Diego is a big city, and I’m sure we didn’t see everything, but we did as much as we could, and that included relaxing on the many beautiful beaches!

Day 1

We started with mimosas for breakfast, then we walked and walked and walked (over 21 000 steps, according to my fitbit!) We took a guided tour of the city on a trolley and stopped in several interesting places, including Old Town, Coronado and Seaport village.

Day 1

Day 2

We went to the zoo! I was so excited! I have a love affair with giraffes and they were amazing. There was a baby giraffe too. We also saw elephants, koalas, pink flamingos and pandas. There were plenty of other animals too. In the evening, we were so exhausted and were wondering what to do. We didn’t want to go out, but we didn’t want to just hang out around the house either. Someone gave us tickets to an advanced screening of Antman, so we ended up going to the movies!

Day 2

Day 3

Our first beach day. We went to Pacific beach and it was wonderful. There was quite a bit more seaweed than I would have liked, but it was the ocean, so I’m not really complaining. We had Mexican food for lunch, ate gelato and relaxed in the sun. It was a perfect day.

Day 3

Day 4

We took a trip to La Jolla to see the seals. They just lay out on the rocks, sunning themselves and pay no attention whatsoever to the people walking around them taking pictures. It was surreal to get so close to them. Also, they smell really bad. After lunch we left the cove and went to the beach. Less seaweed this time. I bought a hat and it made me feel fabulous.

Day 4

Day 5

Before we left, we booked a culinary walking tour of downtown for day 5. What we didn’t know was that it was the Pride parade, right in our neighbourhood! We missed the parade, but still saw plenty of colour and partying going on. Also, strangely enough, it rained! There was a huge thunderstorm, which is very unusual for San Diego. The end of our tour got canceled, so we got to go on another one the next day.

Day 5

Day 6

We started the day off at the Hillcrest farmer’s market. It was so cool to see people selling food they grow themselves, and there was definitely a different variety than what we have at home. On the way, I stopped at an atm, and it was covered in glitter! The Pride festivities were still going strong. After the market, we headed to North Park for our second culinary walking tour. There was wine. Bliss.

Day 6

Day 7

Our last day was spent in Balboa Park. There are lots of museums in the park, but we wanted to enjoy our last day of beautiful San Diego weather outdoors. We visited the botanical garden, the rose garden and the desert garden. We had to leave in the afternoon to make our flight, but it was the perfect last day in this amazing city.

Day 7

I loved San Diego and I would definitely go back. I enjoy spending a whole week in one city, because it gives me a better feel for a place and I don’t have to pick one or two things to see, I can do it all (almost).

Where to next?

Realistic travel inspiration

I love traveling. I also rather enjoy Pinterest. When you put the two together, you get an abundance of lovely images with inspirational quotes on them like “Travel while you’re young, don’t worry about the money” and “I’ve left my heart in so many places”. These are great, and I pin them to my Wanderlust board like nobody’s business.

But.

Traveling is not really like that, is it? I’ve recently returned from a ten day trip to Costa Rica (I’ve been there three times. I love it. You might even say I’ve left pieces of my heart there.) It was an amazing trip, and quite the learning experience. However, it wasn’t picture perfect. The airline lost my luggage (it went to Hawaii) and I found myself buying 12$ deodorant and carrying around hotel toiletries in a shower cap. A three hour trip to a volcano took over 5 hours, and I was green by the time we got there. Oh, and it rained and the clouds covered up the volcano. I went hiking in flip flops and used my credit card like I stole it from someone. It was real. It was incredible.

Sometimes, the travel bug is an actual bug, and not worrying about money means spending 14$ on a toothbrush. I think what Pinterest needs is some realistic travel inspiration, not just the pretty stuff. So here is my take on travel inspiration, for the real world.

travel

adventure

animals

bugs

flip flops

free

horse

lost

moments

rum

sand

smell

Happy travels!

Call me crazy

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If I like something, I like it. No need to feel guilty about it. Everyone’s always going on and on about how dark chocolate is their guilty pleasure. You know what I like? Milk chocolate. The kind with lots of sugar and fat and deliciousness. And I don’t feel bad about it either.

We all like something that would make other people think we’re crazy. You love hiking in the wilderness for days, with snakes and bugs and being smelly? Good for you! I don’t. You enjoy wheatgrass? Superb!

These are some of the things I like. They might make me seem weird to you, or kind of crazy, and that’s ok. But none of them are guilty pleasures, because that’s the worst oxymoron I’ve ever heard.

Airports

I like airports. If I’m in an airport, it means I’m going on an adventure. My tea costs 7$ and my carry-on bag gets heavier and heavier, but I’m off to see the wizard! Or, the world, anyways. Maybe I’m on my way home, which always feels nice too. No matter how many books I have with me, I will almost always buy one in the airport bookstore. I love bookstores in general, but one in an airport is like an oasis. All those stressed-out, rushed travelers could benefit from a few minutes surrounded by books.

Re-reading books

There are some books I’ve read so often, I can open them at any random page and just go from there. I used to think everybody did this. Apparently not. Oh well, you’re missing out, you know. If you loved it the first time, it only gets better. The characters become real, and their world does too.

November

I’ve mentioned this one before. I like November because it’s my birthday month, but also because no one else seems to like it, and that’s sometimes reason enough. I like rainy days where I am inside, looking out, drinking tea, reading books and writing. Grey is a good colour, because it makes others colours stand out. Walk around in a pink raincoat and yellow umbrella, and watch people smile.

Dresses

I actually don’t understand why people don’t enjoy wearing dresses. They say things like “They’re so uncomfortable”, “I don’t like tights” and “You look so fancy”. If you don’t like dresses, that’s ok. But I love them. They make me feel amazing, and to me, they are 12 million times more comfortable than jeans. I really don’t like insults disguised as compliments (I don’t imagine anyone does). I often get told I’m “fancy”. It’s said in a joking manner, but really, it’s not. I don’t tell you you look so “comfortable” in your jeans. Live and let live people.

I also love a lot of things that could never be considered a guilty pleasure, even by people who believe in those, like my new niece, drinking copious amounts of tea, reading, traveling, venting about life to my best friend, writing, dreaming and planning my dream library.

This post turned out differently than I expected. I think it comes down to enjoying what makes you happy, and not judging other people for what they like. I really don’t get the whole vegan thing, but if that’s what makes you happy, then what does my opinion matter? As a rule, we are gentler with other people than we are with ourselves. So maybe we should all take it easy on ourselves.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink tea and eat chocolate in my new dress, while simultaneously re-reading a favourite book and planning my next trip, where I will visit 5 different airports.

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Jingle Bell Frock

It’s over. Just like that, December and it’s dresses are gone! I can keep wearing dresses, of course (and I will!) but the whole concept of Dressember and the wonderful little community that goes with it, are on hold until the end of the year.

It’s ok, I’m a big girl. I can think of something to keep me busy until next December. I’m thinking sewing and traveling, with plenty of yoga and reading thrown in the mix. Also, let’s not forget tea drinking, furniture painting and blog writing. The year ahead is wide open and looking quite fabulous!

Here is one last look at my Dressember outfits.

Day 23

I really like this dress, but I don’t think winter is a good time to wear it. So.Much.Static.

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Day 24

Christmas eve! Yay! First, a daytime outfit, where I was wearing my boots.

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

My Christmas eve dress. I love this dress so much! It’s from Modcloth. I wore it on Valentine’s day last year and to a Katy Perry concert in the summer. It’s perfect.

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Day 25

Merry Christmas! This dress is also from Modcloth. I love everything about it except for the fact that it’s a little tight at the waist and was not exactly comfortable after I ate dinner.

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Day 26

This is my official “It’s the day after Christmas so I’m not doing anything” look. I was wearing yoga pants under the dress. Super classy.

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Day 27

When I bought this dress, I was shopping with my best friend and she compared it to something Zooey Deschanel would wear. Of course I had to buy it.

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Day 28

Another very casual look. Comfort was key here.

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Day 29

Pink makes me happy, so I smiled all day in this dress!

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Day 30

I bought this dress without trying it on, so it’s a little big. I’ll fix it, but it was ok for one day.

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Day 31

Day look courtesy of Emily and Fin, via Modcloth. I ordered this dress just before Christmas, so I didn’t think I would get it in time for it to make an appearance in Dressember, but it’s so fabulous, it got here on time.

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Evening look. Some sparkle for new year’s eve!

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Before I leave you, one last look at all my dresses for the month. 35 dresses in 31 days.

Dressember 2014

And that’s it. For now anyways. I’ve ordered a couple more dresses, so no worries, I’ll be back soon!

The mysterious case of the Christmas boots

The story you are about to read is true. No names or identifying characteristics have been changed, mostly because it’s all about me.

T’was the end of Christmas day, and one very tired girl in a fluffy dress decided to leave the party and go home to sleep. (That girl is me.)

I went into the room where all the coats and boots were (because my family is so huge, we don’t have a coat closet, we have a coat room. Like, a big one.) and I didn’t see my boots. I saw a pair that were almost identical to mine, but they were someone else’s. I knew they weren’t mine, because when I put them on, they felt funny.

I went out to the living room and exclaimed “Someone took my boots!” Thus ensued a search for said boots, but nothing came up. Phone calls were made to cousins who had left, thinking they might have made a mistake. No luck.

I packed up the wrong boots in a bag and went home in my open-toed heels. It was raining.

The next morning, bright and early (ha! not true. I slept in really late.) I rose and began searching in earnest. These are not magnificent boots, but I am not home right now, and the only other options I have are heels and slippers.

I drove to my cousin’s house to check out his wife’s boots. They were not mine. I sent out messages saying “My boots are missing. I am enclosing a picture of the boots left behind. Mine are almost exactly the same.” Again and again, I received the same reply “I don’t have them. Good luck.”

Now, by this time, I was starting to have doubts. If no one had my boots, then where were they? And whose boots did I have? I compared the left-behind boots with a picture of me wearing my boots a few days earlier. Were they the same? Or just similar?

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

Me wearing MY boots on Christmas eve (before I got fancy, of course). I am 100% sure these are my boots.

Of the boots that were left behind. Are they the same as mine? Are they mine? Who knows anything anymore.

One of the boots that were left behind. Are they the same as mine? Are they mine? Who knows anything anymore.

It’s been 36 hours, and nothing has come up. The only conclusion is that no one took my boots, and I have no idea what my own boots, which I wear every day, look and feel like. I am not sure of anything anymore.

I am not convinced that these boots are mine. If you have any information regarding the mysterious case of the Christmas boots, please contact me immediately. I have no doubt TLC will be calling me to make one of those “The first 48” crime shows about it. The trail has gone cold though, so it might be “Cold Case” instead.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going out for a walk. I haven’t decided what will look best with my leggings, heels or slippers.