It’s the little things

Some bloggers have a schedule. They post on certain days, or make lists on a specific day. I think that’s great, but that kind of commitement scares me. Amber, over at The Usual Bliss, blogs about the best parts of her week every Wednesday and calls it bliss bits. I enjoy reading it and I’ve thought of starting something similar, but I’m afraid I’ll do it once or twice, then forget, and then feel bad about forgeting, but still not do it, and well, you get the picture.

However, today, I’m feeling like I need a little pick-me up. My car is stuck in the snow. Again. I can’t move it, so I just left it there. I’ll deal with it later. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just walk everywhere until the snow melts and sets it free.

I decided to look back on my month and think about the things that made me smile. There are quite a few!

Going to the museum of nature with my students.

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Practicing arm-balances on a semi-regular basis.

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Making vitamin water.

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Learning how to take long-exposure photos during my photography class.

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Making this girly pink cake for baby Stella’s baby shower.

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Baking.

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Skating on the canal.

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Exploring my wild side.

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Finishing my blanket in time for Suzanne’s shower.

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With a little help from my grandmother!

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Ah, I feel better already!

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What’s a girl to do?

I’m not a winter-hater. When you live in a country where there are four seasons, it’s either embrace it or hate it. If you hate it, you’re miserable for a long time because let’s face it, winter seems longer than all the other seasons combined.

But.

Last week, there was a really mild, spring like day. You could hear water dripping everywhere and the air smelled different. It made me think of wearing skirts and dresses with boots but no tights (my favourite time of year, both in fall and winter).

I’m trying really hard not to be sick of winter.

I really wanted to go snowboarding, and I did, last Saturday. That was the last winter thing I really wanted to do. So now, I’m ready for crocuses, Easter eggs and rain boots.

Then today, this.

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Yeah. All day.

It was a fun day at work, because it was our winter activity day, so the snow was good for that. The kids could go sking, skating, tube sledding or snowshoeing. I was with the skating group and we went to an indoor rink, so the snow just attacked us on the walk there and back. The other groups got drenched. It was like huge, falling, slush flakes.

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Although fun, it was one of those days. You know, with a few sucky moments that take all your energy. Report card glitches. Running around all day. Forgetting my lunch. Having my hair turn crunchy from the snow/hairspray combination.

On the plus side, the school day ended with a snowball fight. Now, snowball throwing is not usually allowed, but there were four teachers throwing snow at each other, so the few kids who had not yet been picked up by their parents were thrilled. As an added bonus, that takes care of number 69 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days!

After work, I figured I would go home, relax, then go to yoga.

Not so much.

I had to stop at the store to get a few things. (You would think I’d wait. But no, I just had to get toothpaste. Today.) When I got back in the car, I sat there eating Easter eggs, waiting for the windows to de-fog. I realized it might not be a great idea to drive to yoga, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.

I got home, only to notice that the driveway had not been cleared. Great. I tried to back up, and promptly got stuck. Like, stuck, stuck. Spinning wheels, flying slush stuck. Two really, really nice people stopped to push me out of my slush hole. Karma, send them something wonderful please.

So now, here I am, after a topsy turvy day, needing yoga. But I can’t go to yoga. So what’s a girl to do? That’s right. Wine.

I need more books!

I do. It’s true. I’m actually not reading a book right now! How crazy is that? I finished my last book on Saturday and I haven’t started another one yet. I have plenty to read, I’m just not feeling inspired. So, you see, I need more books.

This week, the Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is the top ten authors I would put on my auto-buy list. Are there ten authors whose books I run out and buy as soon as they are published? Absolutely!

1. Alice Hoffman

I’ve mentionned her before. From magic to history to mystery, her books are a mix of everything I love!

2. Sarah Addison Allen

I wish I wrote like her.  There’s magic, love and hope in each book. I can’t get enough. I reread these on a regular basis. A new one is coming out this year, yay!

3. Siobhan Bantwal

Little glimpses of India and Indian culture, both of which fascinate me. Even if one day, I make it to India, I won’t be in people’s lives. Reading these books makes you feel like you know the characters.

4. Gil McNeil

Small town mums raising crazy kids, usually on their own. There’s a familiarity to her books that I enjoy, with enough twists and surprises to keep things interesting!

5. Sophie Kinsella

What’s not to love? It’s awesome reading about someone who’s spending habits are so much worse than mine! Makes me feel better about buying a new dress now and then. Also, my sister’s name is Sophie. I don’t know why this matters, but it does.

6. Tracey Garvis Graves

Ok, so she’s only written one book so far, but I loved it so much, I am anxiously waiting for her next one. I read they were making On the Island into a movie. I can’t wait to see it and say “The book was better.”

7. Charlaine Harris

I started reading these when about 10 of them had already been published. I’m so glad I did! Waiting for a new one to come out once a year is almost painful. Now that there’s a tv show, I can totally hear the character’s voices in my head when I read. I especially love it when Bill says “Sookie“.

8. Kaya McLaren

This is an author I discovered a couple of months ago. I read How I Came to Sparkle Again and I loved it! I totally judge books by their cover and also their names and this one just screamed out Me! Me! Pick me! Read me, I’m fabulous. And it was. I thought this was her only book, but I’ve just found out there’s more. Yay!

9. Catherine Mackenzie

I read her three books, Arranged, Forgotten and Spin. Of the three, Arranged was my favourite. It’s about a girl who signs up for what she thinks is a dating service, but is actually an arranged marriage service! It’s hilarious. Also, the author is Canadian!

10. Jennifer Cruisie

Every time I go to the bookstore, I check to see if she has a new book. I know I could do this online, but nothing beats discovering that an author you love has a new book, and actually buying, at that very moment! If I look online, I’ll have to wait.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the first ten I thought of, in no particular order. Who are some of your favourite authors?

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Did you yoga today?

Yes, I am using yoga as a verb. As you may or may not know, today is world yoga day! I have no idea what this means, because I only saw it mentionned online somewhere, but yay for yoga!

To celebrate, I went to a yang/yin yoga class this morning taught by my friend Edith. Ok, it was half to celebrate yoga day and half because I went snowboarding yesterday and I fell a lot, so today everything hurts. Also, it was half because I like yoga. And I like Edith. Too many halves, I know, but never too much yoga!

To commemorate this event, I’ve created a little collage of yoga moments. It’s time like these that I’m grateful for all the times I’ve asked friends, family and strangers to take my picture.

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After class, Edith and I went out for coffee. We talked about yoga (among other things!), so yay for world yoga day again!

When I got home, I momentarily crashed on the couch and really, really wanted to stay there, but instead baked some tasty gluten free goodies. I like baking muffins and snacks so that I’m not tempted to go out and buy unhealthy things during the week.

I also made this unbelievable curry chicken salad for dinner. I made enough for lunch tomorrow and I’m already looking forward to it!

Oh, and I made more vitamin water. Raspberry cucumber. Delicious!

How did you celebrate yoga day?

Enjoy the moment

There are few moments in life where it’s good to be selfish. Really and truly selfish. Where it’s all about you and only you.

Today, as I started a power yoga class, Laurie, the awesome teacher, told us to be selfish. That’s never been the word that comes to mind when I think about yoga. But it makes sense. When I’m on my mat, it’s my yoga, my practice, my time. When I’m off my mat, I live my yoga differently. It’s about community and sharing. It feels good to be selfish every once in a while.

My energy level today was medium. Medium low, actually. I planned on just doing what I could and sitting out whatever I didn’t feel like doing. I imagined it would involve chair pose twists and a few updogs. As soon as class started, however, I forgot what I had planned. I did all the twists, but put my knee down in side plank. I enjoyed the moment I was in, then moved on to the next one. If I wasn’t feeling it, I modified. It was a great, medium-energy-level practice.

I was selfish today. I did my own practice, not my teacher’s. I didn’t care if everyone saw me take child’s pose instead of half-moon. I didn’t beat myself up because I didn’t stay in crow pose as long as I usually do. My yoga, my practice, my time. Bliss.

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Balance is the key to life

Earlier this month, I decided to do an arm balance challenge. One arm balance a day. It went pretty well for a while, then I lost a few days to random excuses such as I’m tired, I forgot, I have bruises everywhere from falling over. Oh well. I can’t go back to those days and actually do an arm balance, so I’m going to focus on today and the rest of the month.

Here are a few shots from before my little break and from today.

Side Crow – Parsva Bakasana

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Crow pose – Bakasana

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Teddy bear headstand

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More side crow

I’m doing something funny with my toes here!

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Crow pose from another angle

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Scissors pose – Astavakrasana

The scissors pose that wasn’t meant to be. I couldn’t get my toes off the ground.

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Eight angle pose – Astavakrasana

Well. Sort of.

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To be fair to myself, there were days where I might not have taken a picture, but I did go to a yoga class where I practiced arm balances. I’ve realized I am awesome at side crow on one side, but I fall over on th other side. Something else to work on!

Vitamin water

Last week, at work, I noticed that a lot of people were sick. I was worried that I would get sick so I’ve been trying to do everything I can to avoid it. When I was at the grocery store, I saw some vitamin water and thought maybe it would help. Then I thought of all the sugar and other crap they add to it and I decided to make my own.

Citrus has a lot of vitamin c, so I went with lemon, lime and orange.

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I covered the slices with water, let it sit in the refrigerator for a while, and voilà! Tasty, citrusy water.

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The longer it sits, the more flavour you get. I made it yesterday and it was delicious. Today, it was a little bitter, so I added some honey. Bliss.

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I’m thinking raspberry-cucumber next. Do you have any flavour suggestions?