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!

IMG_8514

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.

do-more-of-what-makes-you-happy

Getting comfortable

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.

Family pictures

Whenever I’m in a bookstore (which is all the time) and I see books about how to be friends with your mother, or the experience of traveling with your mother, or baking with her, or anything else really, it makes me wonder who these people are. My mom is awesome. I don’t need a book to tell me how to be her friend or how to travel with her. I realize not everyone has a good relationship with their parents, and I think that’s too bad.

I was a kid who played in the mud, while wearing ribbons in my hair. It didn’t have to be one or the other. I was taught that if I wanted something, and I worked for it, I could have it. Be polite, be kind, and don’t let anyone walk all over you. Family is the most important thing. These life lessons have made me into someone who’s more and more like my mother every day, and I couldn’t be happier.

Today is mother’s day and my mom really wanted a picture of my sisters and I, and one of the whole family. Easier said than done.

Trying to make ourselves look presentable.

Trying to make ourselves look presentable.

We realized mom was taking pictures while we were still trying to figure out how to pose.

We realized mom was taking pictures while we were still trying to figure out how to pose.

My older sister and I trying out a few poses while my little sister looks embarrassed to be seen with us.

My older sister and I trying out a few poses while my little sister looks embarrassed to be seen with us.

I feel like this picture best represents our personalities.

I feel like this picture best represents our personalities.

We tried to get one of the whole family, but we look like we should be running away from a tornado.

We tried to get one of the whole family, but we look like we should be running away from a tornado.

And now we are playing ring around the rosy.

And now we are playing ring around the rosy.

Is it wrong that the best picture so far is the one where you can't see our faces?

Is it wrong that the best picture so far is the one where you can’t see our faces?

When we moved indoors, away from the elements, it was a huge improvement.

When we moved indoors, away from the elements, it was a huge improvement.

I think this might be enough pictures for today.

I think this might be enough pictures for today.

Success! We all look happy and normal!

Success! We all look happy and normal!

Joyeuse fête des mères maman! xxx

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!

017

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

tea and books

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.

073

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

My birthday dress!

074

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!

004

005

006

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

078

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

079

We made a mess, but it was fun!

080

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

091

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!

093

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!

011

018

020

012

016

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!

 

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.

006

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.

009

Going to House of Paint.

043

Apple picking!

090

Babies and pumpkins.

Too big!

Baking apple everything!

Apple muffins.

003

Apple maple scones.

017

Apple and orange cookies.

031

I am a messy cook.

023

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

006

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

025

Early morning fall light.

044

Picking pumpkins.

053

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

101

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

009

Day 2: Light

009

Day 3: Me today

008

Day 4: In motion

bunny teapot

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!

087

New (to me) teacups.

019

Roasting pumpkins.

005

Halloween!

036

What made you happy this fall?