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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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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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!

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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.

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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!

 

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

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!

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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?

Goldilocks does yoga

It’s not easy to find that perfect yoga class. When you’re a yoga lover, a lot of classes will count as great, because hey, you’re doing yoga and yoga is awesome and breathe in and breathe out and tree pose and plank pose and savasana.

But often, it’s just a little too hot in the hot room. Or not hot enough. Class is too hard for your energy level, or a little too slow. You’re tired, you’re wired or you’re distracted. The teacher is leading that pose. The one you dislike *cough dragon pose*. There’s music, and you want it to be quiet, or there’s no music and you want some to help you move.

You end up feeling like Goldilocks.

Tonight, I debated whether or not to go to yoga. It’s Friday, therefore I am tired. However, I was thinking of the moment I would get to step on my mat all day, and I couldn’t let go of it just because I was tired.

I made my way to Pure, my yoga home, for Sasha’s class. As soon as I took my first deep breath, I felt like Goldilocks when she finds the bed, the chair, the porridge, that is just right. This, I thought. This is what I live for.

Sasha is fantastic. The way she speaks, slowly but with energy, motivates me. She radiates joy and calmness, a wonderful combination, if you ask me. The classes she leads resemble my own practice more than any other teacher’s class I’ve done. This is the practice I would have done had I stayed home.

We did lots of pigeons, mixed in with our flows. My hips feel delicious right now. It’s been difficult to practice with an injury, and tonight, for the first time in almost two months, I felt like myself again. It felt like my body, moving the way I know it can, making me feel that moment of yoga bliss that’s been slightly out of my grasp as I struggled to modify my poses and let go of my ego as I heeled. I still felt some pulling and twinges, my muscles whispering not to push it too much, but it was the best practice I’ve had in a long time.

At the end of class, we rested in waterfall, with hips on blocks and feet up in the air. Then, a magical thing happened. Sasha took hold of my feet and massaged each one, squeezing out any remaning tensions and worries from my body. When I settled into savasana, I felt like I had just spent a day at the beach.

My whole summer was spent in a yoga bubble. I did my teacher training in July, and even though I injured myself in August, I was still doing yoga, because I was learning, breathing, thinking, discovering things about myself and just being. I was riding the yoga wave and it was blissfull.

Then, I went back to work, and while my yoga bubble didn’t burst, it certainly got smaller. I’m not one of those people who just has a job. My work is my purpose. I’m meant to be there with those kids every day, teaching and learning. I’m happy to go to work. I don’t count down the days to the weekend and get crabby on Sundays because I have to work the next day.

Being invested in my students and my work, my “real life” bubble gets bigger while my yoga bubble shrinks. I’m looking for balance. I haven’t quite found it yet, but I’m a work in progress. I’m trying to make my yoga bubble my life, because it’s so peaceful and happy in there. It doesn’t mean I want to quit my job, it means I want to bring my yoga with me, everywhere I go. Like I said, I’m working on it.

Thank you Sasha for the amazing class. I’ve missed this feeling and I’ve missed writing about yoga. I am one happy yogini.

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This fall

this fall I will be…

Making : The most of every moment

Cooking :
 Soup

Drinking: Tea, lots of tea

Reading:
 As much as possible

Wanting:
 New boots

Looking: 
At my vision board

Playing:
 In the leaves

Wasting:
 Sunday mornings watching Pioneer Woman

Sewing:
 A baby quilt

Wishing:
 On every star I see

Enjoying:
 Halloween

Waiting: 
For my birthday

Enjoying: My little home yoga studio

Wondering:
 When my pulled muscle will be better

Loving: My life

Hoping: That fall lasts longer

Marvelling: At the fall colours

Writing: Stories for my kid’s yoga class

Baking : Pumpkin scones

Needing:
 To run

Smelling:
 The crisp fall air

Wearing:
 Dresses and boots

Following:
 My dreams

Noticing: 
The little things

Knowing:
 I am enough

Thinking: About my birthday!

Feeling:
 Grateful

Bookmaring: Pinterest style inspirations

Decorating: A pumpkin

Opening: Lots and lots of books

Remembering: How to knit

Giggling:
 With my students

Practicing: yoga

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Apple picking

On Sunday, I went apple picking! I love fall, and I’m one of those people who has a list of awesome fall activities that I just have to do so my season feels complete. Apple picking is definitely at the top of the list.I’m a picky eater and I don’t like a lot of fruit. I eat a lot, but of the same kind. It’s usually more about texture than taste. I do love apples and eat them all the time. If I don’t have any, I feel an urge to run to the store. These sudden I-need-an-apple attacks can happen at any moment. Luckily, I now have a million apples, so I’m good for a couple of weeks. Maybe.

I went to an apple orchard that was about an hour and a half away with some friends. I was wondering why we were going so far, when there are orchards much closer to home, but when we got there, I figured it out. It was beautiful. I think it’s probably hard to find an ugly apple orchard, but still, it was lovely.

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This baby is trying to steal my apples!

This baby is trying to steal my apples!

I tried to take a nice picture with my friend Adèle, but it took a while.

Something was really funny. I can't remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

Something was really funny. I can’t remember what it was. But it was funny, I promise.

It's still funny.

It’s still funny.

It's really hard to take a bad picture when you're surrounded by apples.

It’s really hard to take a bad picture when you’re surrounded by apples.

Me being me, I decided what this apple picking expedition need was some yoga poses.

We're apple trees. Get it?!

We’re apple trees. Get it?!

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

This is half-moon pose, which I have re-named apple pie pose for the occasion.

Note: This is not the half-moon pose that injured my butt. This is it’s much gentler, nicer, no butt-muscle pulling twin.

After the apples, we decided we hadn’t had enough of fall (is that even possible?) so we headed out to pick some pumpkins and squash.

These are called ghost pumkins or ghost greys or something spooky like that.

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The baby's not afraid of them, I guess they're ok.

The baby’s not afraid of them, I guess they’re ok.

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Running off to find the perfect pumpkin!

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere.

Too big!

Too big!

Too small!

Too small!

Just right!

Just right!

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don't like. I don't like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Here is a picture of lots of different kinds of squash I don’t like. I don’t like squashes. These are not mine. I just took the picture.

Pretty sunflowers.

Pretty sunflowers.

They're even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

They’re even prettier when you add in a beautiful little girl!

After all the squash fun, we went to an Abbey where I bought honey, caramel and chocolate. Not a bad day for sweet things.

I now have many, many apples that I have slowly started to turn into delicious apple amazingness. There is more to come, including apple pie, apple sauce, apple juice, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple cookies, apple cake, apple bread, apple butter and apple turnovers. Did I forget anything?