Skate away

There’s a Joni Mitchell song called River, where she says “I wish I had a river I could skate away on”. Now, I don’t really want to skate away, but I love, love, love that song and I think about it every time I go skating. Sometimes I sing it too!

My friend Jess and I went skating on the Rideau canal, which is the largest skateway in the world. The canal was created in 1892 to connect Ottawa and Kingston. It is 200km long. The skateway, however, is not that long! It is used for boats in the summer and skating in the winter.

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It’s been really cold lately, and while I’m not a winter hater, I have no desire to spend the day outside when you turn into a popsicle after 3 minutes. The day we went out was lovely. Not too cold, no wind, my toes didn’t even get cold!

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The best thing about skating on the Rideau canal, if you ask me, is the Beaver tails. Beaver tails are an amazing Canadian invention. Stretched out, fried dough covered in cinnamon and sugar, shaped like a beaver’s tail.

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I try to go at least once a year, because it would be a shame not too! Plus, skating is the only sport I actually do really well, so I like to get the most out of it!

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A vision of happiness

I haven’t been blogging very much lately, and I’m not sure why. I still love to write. When I do fun stuff (aerial yoga, anyone?) I think “I’ll totally blog about this!” And then, for some reason, I don’t. I’m not about to stress over this and try to analyse it. My blog is, as I’ve said before, my happy place.

So, although this seems a little late, I’ve put together my happy moments for November. In 2014, I am going to try to recap the great moments of every month, because looking back at what made me happy over the course of the month makes me happy all over again, and happy twice is better than happy once!

Christmas crafting with my best friend!

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Finding homes for my teacups and teapots. I love the mix of tea and books!

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Displaying my love of tea for all to see! I stained these wooden letters with tea (of course!) and put them in my kitchen window.

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My birthday is in November, therefore it is the best month of the year.

My birthday dress!

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Messages from my students on the board in the classroom. I was not allowed to erase them (not that I wanted too!) so I taught using pieces of paper all day. It was worth it!

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This was the snack table for my party. Yay, cupcakes! More food was added to this later.

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I had a vision board party. We looked at many, many magazines, pulling out any and everything that caught our attention.

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We made a mess, but it was fun!

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The finished products were fantastic! They are all very different and represent what we want to happen in our lives.

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Sadly, many magazines were harmed in the making of these vision boards. However, it was for a good cause and they were just going to be recycled anyways!

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The day after my birthday, there was a huge snowstorm. It was the first snow of the year and it was fabulous! We got about 30cm (I think) and it was perfect snowman snow, the kind that sticks. Since we knew the kids at school would be too excited to sit down and work, we decided to have a special, one hour recess first thing in the morning. Everyone was happy, kids and teachers alike!

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I’ve actually enjoyed going through all these moments that happened over a month ago. Maybe I am meant to do these monthly recaps long after they’ve happened!

 

Christmas crafting

I’m one of those people who love Christmas. You know, the one with the million little lights, the Christmas music playing all the time and the cookies. So many cookies!

My friend Suzanne is just like me, and in November, we decided to have a Christmas craft day. Neither of us is very crafty, but we had wine with our crafts, so it was all good.

We decided to make Christmas lists. Suzanne’s was a list she could check off, and mine was a calendar. If we do it again next year, I’m going to make a list like hers instead of a calendar.

We started off by going to the craft store, where all kind of Christmas goodies and treats were just waiting for us to play with. I mean buy.

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We set up our supplies and got to work.

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Drawing lines is hard work, so we had to stop and have a little break.

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We wanted to stick with Christmas colours, and it turned out really well.

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My calendar was pretty blank, because it was only November and I didn’t have my December planned out. I am very happy with the way it turned out though, and my calendar now has many fun Christmas activities on it. Still, next year I’m making a list.

Happy Christmas crafting!

My favourite time of year

Fall is my favourite season. I love September, when fall is just begining. There’s a little chill in the air and back to school excitment. October is the star of the season, with it’s bright colours, sunshine and falling leaves. November might be my favourite. I was born in November, so I’m a fall baby. I love rain and windy days. I like to have an excuse to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. If only I had a fireplace…

When I started posting monthly updates about the wonderful things in my life, I thought it would be hard to keep up. I surprised myself by not missing a month. Until now. The fall has been a busy, full, and happy time. I haven’t been posting much, so I’ve decided to do a what-made-me-happy-in-September-and-October post.

Treats from my patio garden.

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A new tin for my tea. I actually think I bought this in August, but it still makes me happy! 008

My friend Ichih’s very photogenic cat.

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Going to House of Paint.

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Apple picking!

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Babies and pumpkins.

Too big!

Baking apple everything!

Apple muffins.

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Apple maple scones.

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Apple and orange cookies.

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I am a messy cook.

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Going to the National Art Gallery with my students. I don’t particularly like this piece, but the kids were impressed.

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Reading Gone Girl. Messed up. Fantastic. Read it now!

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Early morning fall light.

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Picking pumpkins.

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Apple pie day! One of the best days of the year.

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I tried to do the photo a day challenge for October. I did four days, then my camera got weird and wouldn’t work. I figured it out after a couple of days, but by then I had lost interest! Here’s what I got.

Day 1: Something colourful

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Day 2: Light

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Day 3: Me today

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Day 4: In motion

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And that’s that for October photo a day!

Thanksgiving with my family in the woods.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

Finding treasures. What a great day this was!

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New (to me) teacups.

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Roasting pumpkins.

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Halloween!

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What made you happy this fall?

How to be a friendly witch

I love to dress up for Halloween. I used to make my costumes, but it feels like as time goes on, I have less time for things like that. I’m trying to figure out a way to make all of my time work for me, doing things I love. However, I don’t mind buying a Halloween costume instead of making it. There are some great costumes out there!

The only issue I have with women’s Halloween costumes is that they’re all sexy and short! Seriously! Some of us work with children and would like a decent costume. Even the princess and nun costumes had tiny skirts! I decided to go with a cute witch costume, to wich I added a skirt, so I wouldn’t show off my rear end to people.

Since I was going to be a friendly witch, I decided I needed pink hair. I bought a wig and thought it would work. I wasn’t expecting it to be fabulous, because cheap Halloween wigs rarely are, but it was awful! I couldn’t wear it, it looked really, really bad!

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I still wanted pink hair, so I googled “How to make hair extensions out of a wig”. Turns out, it’s not that hard.

You need hair clips (the tutorial actually suggested wig clips, but I didn’t have any, it was raining so I didn’t want to go out, and the party was in a few hours.) These worked just fine.

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You just need to cut off a strip of the wig, then cut it into the size you want. Then you sew it onto a clip. Voilà! Hair extensions.

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Make a few more.

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Also, make a huge mess.

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The extensions were longer than my hair, but I kind of liked to have long hair again!

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I went to my friend Ichih’s house where a bunch of us were meeting up to go to a party. I had to add my witchy accessories.

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The party was a lot of fun and everyone’s costumes were great!

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For work on Thursday, when it was actually Halloween, I wore a t-shirt under my dress and didn’t bother with the pink hair.

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My collegues were also witches, but I don’t think they were the friendly kind!

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I love Halloween!

Treasure Hunting

Yesterday was a holiday and my mom, my sister and I went on a treasure hunt. There’s a farm close to my sister’s house where the owner collects and buys all sorts of goodies. Antiques, not-so-antiques, windows, bottles, books and teacups. If you’re looking for it, chances are, he’s got it. This weekend was the last time he was open until spring. However, he did say that if we decided we wanted something, we could go back and see him.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect. My mom and my sister had been there before, but not me. There were two huge barns filled top to bottom with treasures! We looked around for a couple of hours and could have stayed even longer, but it was getting a little chilly.

See anything you like? I love how there are helmets mixed in with the tables and chairs.

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I spy a pretty blue teacup.

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Oohh, teapots!

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Getting directions on how to navigate the second barn.

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Can I interest you in a purple dresser? Or maybe some snowshoes?

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May I offer you a chair?

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See that one teacup that looks like it might be blue under the dust? One of my treasures! No extra charge for dirt.

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I wasn’t looking for books this time, but these were fantastic. I should have bought that pink one because, hello, pink book!

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This is a duck cookie jar. How awesome is that?! I can’t believe I didn’t buy this. I should have. Look at her eyes. Plus, she’s wearing an apron. I feel like she would never judge me for eating all the cookies. I have the perfect spot for her too. This would make a fantastic Christmas gift (hint hint mom).

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Need a milk pail?

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Or maybe a milk bottle?

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My mom bought one of these old crockery jars for her new kitchen. Old and new are perfect together.

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Need to do some 70’s style entertaining? (I wasn’t actually around in the 70’s, so I’m not sure if this type of glass is from then or not, that’s just the image that comes to mind.)

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If I’m ever in the market for a new license plate, I know just where to go.

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My mom got a few things for her kitchen, and my sister bought two pieces of furniture with tons of character. I found amazing treasures! A new (to me) teapot and four beautiful vintage teacups. I couldn’t be happier! (Well, maybe a little happier, if I had the duck cookie jar.)

My teapot found a home on a shelf above my stove. I just put the shelf up a few days ago, and I was happy to add this rosebud teapot. I might need another shelf, because several of my teapots are still in the cupoard.

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There’s an ugly (but useful) fan on the wall. It was interfering with my teapot vibe, so I covered it up with my Cat Stevens Tea for the Tillerman album. How perfect, right?

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And of course, my teacups!!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to drink some tea from a fancy teacup!

Thankfulness

Today is Thanksgivings. I have so much to be thankful for.

On Friday, I went to Montreal for a work conference. It was so-so, not worth getting up at 5 am. However, afterwards, six of us went shopping. We had a blast trying on clothes, finding things for each other, driving two hours there and back. We sang, laughed and acted like a bunch of little girls. I love days like this, be it with my work friends, my yoga friends, my forever friends or my new friends. I am thankful for my friends.

On Saturday, I went to a yoga class that was much too difficult for me, because of my ever-present glute injury and very low energy level. However, just before class started, the teacher asked us to think of three things that we were thankful for. The first thing that came to mind, no doubt because I was on my mat, was my ability to practice yoga. I may be temporarily injured, but I am still strong, healthy and free to practice whenever I want to. I am thankful for yoga.

In my family, we celebrate Thanksgivings on Sunday instead of Monday. It’s all about being together, enjoying each other’s company. In the middle of nowhere. That’s right. We celebrate Thanksgivings in a cabin in the woods with no electricty or running water. About 60 of us cram ourselves inside the small cabin, spilling out onto the porch and under a tent, to be thankful we are a family. This is not some weird Canadian thing. I don’t know any other family that does this. This is just us. I am thankful for my family.

This is the middle of nowhere.

This is the middle of nowhere.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

Me and my momma. Everyday, I am more and more like her, for which I am thankful.

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I am thankful for a family full of kids.

I love fall.

I love fall.

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Tree pose. In the forest. Get it?!

Yoga with Elizabteh, one of my most favourite people ever.

Yoga with Elizabeth, one of my most favourite people ever.

The frog is like this.

The frog is like this.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

Thnaskgiving dinner is about to happen.

So much to be thankful for. I am one very blessed girl. What are you thankful for?