Hi you guys!  OMG, between craziness at work and getting down to the wire with purchasing a car, this week has been nutty; and it's only Tuesday!

So, as you know, I sold my car and fortunately, one of my good friends has lent me her (super sick) ride for the week while she frolicks in Mexico. 

I'm finalizing the details of my new car this week and if all goes well, I should have it (and some pictures) to share with you all come the weekend!  Wish me luck!

While reading one of my favourite blogs the other day, I came across a post with some really thoughtful words and quotes that completely inspired this post. 

I think we can read blogs and can live vicariously through someone else or simply envy or wish our life was as glamours, busy, expensive, fulfilling, creative... the list goes on and on and on.  And while it's a terrible thing, to be envy, and to feel envious, it happens.

I have gotten some pretty nice comments from you in the past, and comments even about how great my life looks and how my weekends, 'Seem so awesome;' which is really sweet, and I appreciate that.  That said, my life isn't all roses, and I wouldn't want anyone to think I don't go through hard times or have hard times.  I certainly do, but I don't always talk about them on here (imagine me posting a vlog of me sobbing over my problems?!).

I know there are so many people going through difficult things right now, and I have been there, I've been so low I didn't know how or where I would find the strength to come back out, or up.  Not everything is what it seems, when it's happening.  I know what it is like to feel sad for days, weeks.. months on end and I wanted to remind you that you are not alone.  Whatever you're going through, do not forget that.

We are all human, and experience highs and lows.  Sometimes I cry for no reason.  Sometimes I just feel down.  Sometimes I can't figure out why I'm feeling sad, and then sometimes the moment passes.  I promise this won't last forever though, and know that I'm thinking about you and sending you love

I wanted to share some of my favourite quotes that helped me through my difficult time in the past.  Sometimes I had nothing more than these quotes, and on days where I could barely get out of bed, they managed to breathe some life into me, and I hope they can for you too. 


* When I found these quotes, every time one 'spoke' to me, I typed it out and printed it.  I kept them all paper-clipped together for the days I needed a boost.  It really helped, and over time I added to my little stack and have shared a few with friends when they needed a boost too.  I hope if you're having a bad day, week or month (or months) this has given you even the tiniest boost.




I've talked about being a 'saver' of my clothing and shoes, and while I've made it a resolution in the past to do that less, and have actually been able to do so on many occassions, I still find myself saving things.

Saving for what?

The perfect occassion.

The perfect day.

The perfect feelingObviously.

(This is kind of long winded, so more after the jump...)

          
What does it feel like to go from having 1742 square feet of finished living space to 600?  ...Crowded.

So here I am, over a year into my lease and I absolutely love apartment living.  Yes there are downfalls: No dishwasher, laundry in the basement, no garbage shute and next time I would certainly get something with a balcony.  But other than that, I love it. 

I wasn't sure how I would adjust, going from brand-new-townhome to old-one-bedroom-apartment, not to mention the vast difference in space (only 1250 square feet less...), but I have.  In fact, more than have, I really love it.  I don't mind being in something small, in fact, in some ways it's nice: forgetting something in another room doesn't require much effort to go retrieve it, cleaning takes far less time, and it forces me to get creative with my storage solutions.  

That said, another bedroom to store all my clothes and shoes would be nice.  An option I looked into when the house sold but figured the extra $400 would be better left in my pocket versus spent basically on a closet.

That said, my parent's basement is housing over half my stuff: extra shoes, a Christmas tree, a washer/dryer set, all my artwork, decor items, etc.  Not that I don't want those things with me, but space is a serious issue and I have sort of had to adopt the mindset: if you bring something in, something has to go.  I have even started to build up, as when in a tiny space you certainly cannot build out.

Of storage solution purchases I have made are three garmet rolling racks (purchased at 50% off each), a chrome shoe rack (see below), four faux-leather cube boxes with lids and a ridiculously heavy Ikea armoir that I scored off Kijij for $30.

I'm currently trying to reorganize my apartment and get things in better working order.  I just purchased some new curtains for my bedroom and rolling racks (metallic silver, versus black) and want to start working on my closets.  I thought it might be fun to take you with me on this little 'adventure'.

Here are a few snaps of my place that I've posted on Instagram:

Front foyer (using dining room chairs to make a bench).
Decor deets:  Loblaws vase, Ikea sticks, TJ Maxx miniature table, vintage lamp from my grandparents, Loblaws sequin pillow, Dollarama silver/white pillow sham & Home Sense fur blanket.


 The fantastic view.


 Bathroom shelving and art.




And here is a picture of when I first moved in (yikes!), versus now:

I wrote this September 2011:

I'm downsizing.  The time has officially come for me to live on my own, and I'm excited.  Really, really excited.  I've never lived alone and it's not that I didn't want to, it's just that the way my life path traveled, it didn't happen, however, it's happening now.

I've been working with a Realtor for months upon months looking for a condo.  I've seen many properties, with and without my realtor.  I have yet to find the 'perfect' condo to purchase.  So, in an event get out of my parent's house and on my own, I have decided to rent for the next year.  Initially, I was very snobby about this idea.  MeRent?  Even though I've already owned?  I wasn't having it (snobby, yes, I know).  However, after spending over two months living at my parent's house (for the first time in almost a decade), I think it's safe to say both parties will benefit from me moving out (ha!).  That's not to say my parents aren't great, they are, and I'm so grateful for them taking me in and letting me live (rent free!) with them, but it will be so nice to have my own space (and they can have theirs back, too).  

My apartment hunt began in the remaining two weeks of August.  I was hoping to find something for September 1st (or September 15th at the latest).  After seeing at least 15 properties (ghetto, after ghet-toe place) I almost settled.  I'd been to an apartment building in China Town and it had everything I was looking for... almost: one bedroom, hardwood, nice layout, bathroom counter space and a big closet

Right.  Not so much. 

The closet was about 2/3rds the size I had at my parent's place, and I had already been living with about 1/8th of my wardrobe over the summer months since moving from my house (everything else was still at my house).  How on earth would I make such a tiny space work? 

But the rent was well priced, and the (underground) parking was cheap, and I was close to downtown... but something just didn't feel right. However, feeling frustrated and tired, I decided to call the Super and arrange a time to go see it, again.  It must have been fate because two hours before I was suppose to go see the apartment again, I found something else.  I immediately called and long story short, it was available.  I was there within 30 minutes to view it and loved it.  I felt it.  I got that feeling that you're suppose to get when something is 'the one', and this was certainly it.  From there on out, it was paper work and waiting (oh, and packing, of course, lots and lots of packing).

And here I am, at the end of September and moving into my new place.  MY new place.  The kitchen is small, there is no counter in the bathroom (pedestal sink), but it's mine.  And to name off a few high-points: it's newly renovated, I have brand new berber carpet in my bedroom (and wood and ceramic everywhere else), the view is amazing and it's in a hot-n-happenin' part of town.  Oh, and did I mention it's all mine?
Outfit deets:
* Winners top.
* Vigoss jeans (via Alloy) that I love because they come in a 37" inseam & last seen almost three years ago with a classic trench.
* Aldo wedges.
* Accessories:  Club Monaco scarf & Aldo clutch.
(This outfit is actually from early spring last year and I never used it, I'd totally rock this look for fall though).

I love living in the city.  It's been just over a year since I moved out of the suburbs and into an urban area and it's been great.  I love being close to work, downtown, shops and stores and how easy it is to get together with my other city-living friends. 

So while taking a walk on my lunch break the other day, around the neighbouring neighbourhoods, I was shocked when I felt a little sad about no longer living in suburbia.  Surely I couldn't be pining for a lawn and garden to keep up with, not to mention all that extra space a house holds that needs to be kept clean?  But yet I was and I envisioned back to what life was like with a yard, and space, and multiple rooms (a far cry from the one-bedroom apartment I now call home). 

Then a moment of anxiety set in: will I grow tired of city living before my new condo is ready?  Will I wish I was moving back to the quiet subdivisions I always knew and loved?

Nah.

And the moment was dashed because I know one day, when I'm ready, I will eventually move back to the outskirts of the city, where there is still bustle, but is is less congested and where I will have more space, and a lawn, and a garden and separate living rooms... and besides, I really hate gardening anyways.
Blogging is a job.  And a half.  That I love.  But man, it's time consuming.

Every morning for the past two weeks or more, I've told myself, 'Tonight I will blog and put something good together'.  And by good I mean an outfit post and some good ol' fashioned writing.

You see, I have a few outfits lined up in my queue, but the editing and uploading and writing and posting is keeping me from sharing them with you.  I've been so busy in the evenings (by choice) that, dare I say it, blogging has fallen slightly to the wayside (eep!). 

I hate admitting that; I've worked so hard on my blog, dedicated hours upon hours, and really put my heart into it.  I'm not stopping anytime soon, but I have to be honest when I say my content lately isn't exactly my favourite (except weekend recaps, I love those).

So, in an effort to provide you something today (ha!) I give you a few good ol' selfie shots of outfits I wore this week and last and will try to be better next week.  xo

Left to right, outfit deets:
1.  Dynamite lace top (new!), Smart Set cami, H&M pants (old), Anne Michelle heels, Suzy necklace & Coach wallet.
2.  Dynamite top (new!) & skirt (old), Suzy necklace, Auslini bangle & Payless heels.
3.  Alfred Sung dress, Aldo wedge boots (here in taupe), unknown tights & Ardene necklace.


Bullying.

If you haven't heard about Amanda Todd's story, let me recap it for you.

A 15 year old Canadian girl from BC who was tormented for years by classmates, 'friends' and people she didn't even know.  All through social media.  She took her life two days ago, only three weeks after posting a video on YouTube that shows her telling her story through flash cards (like the screen shot above).  The video is heart wrenching, chilling and so sad.  It was a plea for help, that nobody answered.  And now it is too late.

This is not the first case of bullying that has led to suicide, and while there is a lot of retro-active responses, where is the pro-activivity?

The other day I was actually having a conversation with someone who has three teenage daughters, and I commented on how different it must be now, raising teens in this day in age with social media.  How much harder it must be then when I was growing up (and the Internet came into play when I was in grade nine), and they completely agreed.

Bullying through social media happens all the time, and the consequences of someone's bullying is often not seen by the bully.  For example, it is very easy to write, text, post and say mean things about someone or to someone while sitting behind your computer screen (often anonymously).  Add that to the 'security' of a large friends list and you have a perfect recipe to, 'bully and forget' (we'll call it).  That means, the bully often doesn't see the repercusions of their actions, they don't know or feel or mainly see how badly it is affecting the victim, and sometimes, as in this case, until it is too late.

I cannot speak for how it is for teens today, growing up in a world so engrossed with social media, but as an adult, I know it's not always easy dealing with the small-time bullies I may get on my blog.  Think back to when you were a teen; high school is the be-all and end-all, or so it seems at the time.  When your world crashes around you, when other students are picking on you, when you have no friends or anywhere to turn, your world literally is falling apart.  At that age, it's hard to realize life is bigger, better, and greater outside of high school and often times at that age, you don't have the tools to deal with such emotional crisis.

As I mentioned, I have dealt with some mean comments on my blog, bullying, or 'trolls', if you will (none of which compare to the severity of what Amanda Todd experienced).  These comments are always anonymous, and of course they are.  How easy is it to sit back and judge someone without showing your face and write hurtful things?  Very, very easy.  Is it right?  Of course not.  Does it happen?  All the time.

We need to make this stop.  Beautiful people are taking their lives because of the cruelty of others.  Why do people feel the need to torment others?  Is it jealousy?  Is it insecurity?  Perhaps they are simply mean.  I believe that there is good in people.  Don't let this go any further.  Raise awareness.  Speak out.  Share your story.  And as someone wise once said, 'Be the change you wish to see in others.'

I'm over at in the fashion lane today and talking about being single, living life and all the positives that can come along with it (should you choose).

Come on over and get in on the discussion!


Today we are getting a little serious.

Many of us have suffered the loss of a loved one, or gotten the news that someone close to us has fallen ill.  I cam across an article that points out what you should and shouldn't say.  

Ultimately, the lies we tell to someone in hopes of comforting them as they are battling a disease, illness or worse.  In reality, these lies don't help, they hinder, so let's take a look at some great tips and things we can say to hopefully lift someone's spirits:

1. DON’T WRITE ME BACK. All patients get overwhelmed with the burden of keeping everyone informed, coddled and feeling appreciated. Social networking, while offering some relief, often increases the expectation of round-the-clock updates.  

To get around this problem, I appointed a “minister of information,” whose job it was to disseminate news, deflect queries and generally be polite when I didn’t have the energy or inclination to be. But you can do your part, too: If you do drop off a fruitcake or take the dog for a walk, insist the patient not write you a thank-you note. Chicken soup is not a wedding gift; it shouldn’t come with added stress. 

2. I SHOULD BE GOING NOW. You’ll never go wrong by uttering these five words while visiting someone who’s sick. As Ms. Pogrebin observes of such visits, don’t overstay your welcome. She recommends 20 minutes, even less if the patient is tired or in pain. And while you’re there, wash a few dishes or tidy up the room. And take out the trash when you leave.
 
3. WOULD YOU LIKE SOME GOSSIP? One surefire tip: a slight change of topic goes a long way. Patients are often sick of talking about their illness. We have to do that with our doctors, nurses and insurance henchmen. By all means, follow the lead of the individual, but sometimes ignoring the elephant in the room is just the right medicine. Even someone recovering from surgery has an opinion about the starlet’s affair, the underdog in the playoffs or the big election around the corner.
 
4. I LOVE YOU. When all else fails, simple, direct emotion is the most powerful gift you can give a loved one going through pain. It doesn’t need to be ornamented. It just needs to be real. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” “I hate to see you suffer.” “You mean a lot to me.” The fact that so few of us do this makes it even more meaningful.




There are two days in every week about which we should not worry.
Two days which should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One of these days is yesterday with its mistakes and cares,
Its faults and blunders, Its aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday.
We cannot undo a single act we performed.
We cannot erase a single word we said. Yesterday is gone.

The other day we should not worry about is tomorrow.
With its possible adversities, Its burdens,
Its large promise and poor performance.
Tomorrow is also beyond our immediate control.
Tomorrow’s Sun will rise, either in splendor or behind a mask of clouds,
but it will rise.
Until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.
 
This just leaves only one day . . . Today.
 
Any person can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when you and I add the burdens of those two awful eternity’s -
yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.
It is not the experience of today that drives people mad.
It is the remorse or bitterness for something which happened yesterday
and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.
Let us therefore live but one day at a time.

-Unknown author


(Photos via Instagram)

I used to belt everything (high up on the waist): tops, skirts and dresses.  Now, I just can't be bothered.  It's unfortunate as I really love the look of a belted outfit, but it just feels so restrictive lately.

Do you like to belt your clothes?


Some belted posts you may have missed:
* Belting a pashmina (& wearing as a top)
* A blazer with skinnies (and a personal fave)


Me, snowboarding at Mt. Tremblant, April 2008
  1. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
  2. In life, you usually get what you ask for, but it rarely comes in the package you think it’s supposed to come in.
  3. Never let one bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.
  4. Just because today is a terrible day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life.  You just got to get there.
  5. Tell the truth, or eventually someone will tell it for you. 
  6. A mistake is an accident.  Cheating and lying are not mistakes.  They are intentional choices.
  7. Sometimes the person you want most is the person you’re better off without.
  8. Some people cannot stand that you’re moving on with your life, and so they will try to drag your past to catch up with you.  Do not help them by acknowledging their behaviour.  Keep moving forward.
  9. Surround yourself with positive people who are going to push you toward greatness.  Eliminate those who are trying to keep you from it.
  10. Don’t let something that doesn’t matter cause you to lose something that does.
  11. Sometimes people aren’t who they seem to be, and sometimes people are so much more than you originally thought.
  12. Loving someone isn’t just about saying it every day, it’s showing it every day in every way.
  13. Maturity is not when we start speaking about big things, it’s when we start understanding the small things.
  14. Of all the things that can be stolen from you – your possessions, your youth, your health, your words, your rights – what no one can ever take from you is your freedom to choose what you will believe in, and who and what your heart will love.
  15. When you can forgive yourself and others and stop the imprisonment, you’re creating the love of your life.
  16. Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
  17. Age wrinkles the body.  Quitting on your dreams wrinkles the soul.
  18. The past can’t hurt you anymore – not unless you let it.
  19. Holding on to the unchangeable past is a waste of energy, and serves no purpose in creating a better future.
  20. Sometimes you’ve got to emotionally let go of the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you, and open the next chapter in your life.
  21. The path to our destination is not always a straight one.  We go down the wrong one, we get lost, and we turn back.  But maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on.  Maybe what matters is that we embark.
  22. It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed or if you’ve been beaten.  All that matters is that you learn something, get back up, and try again.  Because winning is a good feeling, but winning when nobody else thought you could is an awesome feeling.
  23. Knowing yourself is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another.  With so much social conditioning in our society, we sometimes forget who we are.
  24. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.
  25. You can grow stronger from the pain if you don’t let it destroy you.
  26. Tell the negativity committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.
  27. The worst person to be around is the one who complains about everything and appreciates nothing.  Avoid these people at all costs.
  28. Live in such a way that if someone decided to speak badly of you, no one would believe it.
  29. If you love someone, tell them.  For hearts are often broken by words left unspoken.
  30. Life is shorter than it often seems.  Sometimes we are only given a few minutes to be with the ones we love, and hundreds of hours to spend thinking of them.  Cherish the moments you have with your friends and family, because in one single second they can be taken away from you forever.
  31. Things change, but the sun always rises the next day.  The bad news: nothing is permanent.  The good news: nothing is permanent.
  32. It’s your road, and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.
  33. We often accept the love we think we deserve.
  34. If someone can’t accept you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best.
  35. Without communication there is no relationship; without respect there is no love; without trust there’s no reason to continue.
  36. If you leave someone at least tell them why, because knowing you’re not worth an explanation is even more painful than being abandoned.
  37. Speak when you are very angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.
  38. Choose your words carefully – they can’t be taken back once you give them away.  Harsh words are like bullets – they can leave deep wounds.  And most of the time saying “sorry” is not enough to heal the wounds you leave.
  39. Never make a big decision when you’re angry, and never make a big promise when you’re overjoyed.
  40. It makes no sense to be second in someone’s life when you know you’re good enough to be first in someone else’s.
  41. Take all the time you need to heal emotionally.  Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken self.
  42. There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough.
  43. Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.
  44. When you find yourself cocooned in isolation and despair and cannot find your way out of the darkness, remember that this is similar to the place where caterpillars go to grow their wings.
  45. Don’t count the number of friends you have; count the number of friends you can count on.
  46. Sometimes, the people who are thousands of miles away from you, can make you feel better than people right beside you.  That’s a sign of love and true friendship.
  47. There are times when family are like strangers, and strangers are like family.
  48. Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about sharing your happiness with others.
  49. When someone tells you, “You’ve changed,” it might simply be because you’ve stopped living your life their way.
  50. If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t ever change.
  51. Know your worth!  When you give yourself to someone who doesn’t respect you, you surrender pieces of your soul that you’ll never get back.
  52. Imperfections are important, and so are mistakes.  You get to be good by learning from your mistakes and you get to be real by being imperfect.
  53. The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.
  54. The mind is like a parachute.  It doesn’t work unless it’s open.
  55. The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.
  56. If you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.
  57. You are where you are right now because of the actions you’ve taken, or maybe the inaction you’ve taken.
  58. Be sure to taste your own words before you spit them out.
  59. Let the constant growth and improvement in your own life keep you so busy that you have no time left to criticize others.
  60. When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing.  Go for long walks.  Indulge in great conversations.  Question your assumptions.  Love yourself.  Pay attention to the moment.  Be a little crazy.  Count your blessings.  Let go for a little while and just be.
  61. Just as we cannot see that a seed has taken root until it breaks through the surface, we cannot always see our own growth happening until it does the same.
  62. Don’t ever change just to impress someone.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.
  63. Feelings are like waves in the ocean; we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf.
  64. Being happy doesn’t always make us grateful, but being grateful will always make us happy.
  65. Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have.
  66. It’s nice to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s also important to make sure you haven’t lost track of the things that money can’t buy.
  67. If you’re finding it hard to be grateful for anything, sit down close your eyes and take a long slow breath and be grateful for oxygen.  Every breath you take is in sync with someone’s last.
  68. Life is like a rainbow, you need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear.
  69. It’s better to be alone with dignity than in a relationship that requires you to sacrifice your self-respect.
  70. Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
  71. Moving on can mean that you’re making a choice to be happy rather than hurt.  It doesn’t mean that you’re giving up. 
  72. Decide to smile and make the best of it; it’s good for your health.
  73. Don’t let loneliness drive you back into the arms of someone you know you don’t belong with.
  74. Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.
  75. You don’t need a perfect one.  You just need someone who you can trust – who shows you that you’re the only one.
  76. There are people in your life whom you knowingly inspire simply by being you.
  77. Everyone says love hurts, but that’s not true.  Loneliness hurts.  Rejection hurts.  Losing someone hurts.  Envy hurts.  Everyone gets these things confused with love; but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again.  Love is the one thing in this world that does not hurt.
  78. Real friendship is a promise made in the heart.  Silent.  Unwritten.  Unbreakable by distance.  Unchangeable by time.
  79. Good relationships are not just about the good times you share; it’s also about the obstacles you go through together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” in the end.
  80. Do small things with huge amounts of love.  You’ll see why.
  81. Sometimes people don’t notice the things others do for them until they stop doing them.
  82. Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much for them.
  83. Look at yourself and remember, people in far worse situations have done far more difficult things than this.
  84. The best thing that you can do in life is follow your intuition.  Take risks.  Don’t just make the safe and easy choices because you’re afraid of what might happen.  If you do, nothing will ever happen.
  85. Most of the time happiness doesn’t come from money or fame or power; it comes from good friends and family, and from the quiet nobility of leading a good life.
  86. Lying is done with both words and silence.
  87. When something bad happens you can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.
  88. Don’t waste your time being upset about something you can’t change.  Start again right now and do it better this time.
  89. No relationship is ever a waste of time.  If it didn’t bring you what you want, it taught you what you do NOT want.
  90. You can’t always be agreeable. That’s how people take advantage of you. Sometimes you have to set boundaries.
  91. The road to success is always under construction.
  92. Not trying is failing.
  93. Don’t be afraid of going slowly; be afraid of standing still forever.
  94. The only time you should look back is to see how far you’ve come.
  95. Stop wasting time regretting what you did a year ago.  Start doing what you have to do now, so that in a year’s time you won’t regret what you did today. 
  96. It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it how many times you get back up.
  97. Follow your heart regardless of what others tell you to do.  At the end of the day it’s you that has to live with your decisions, not them.
  98. One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you.
  99. The hardest part about growing is letting go of what you were used to, and moving on with something you’re not.
  100. The best things happen when you least expect it.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
  101. Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting.  Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.
Outfit deets:
* Mexx bubble top (old).
* Winners crochet skirt (new!), layered over a (aqua) Costa Blanca gauzy skirt I've had for a year but hadn't ripped the tags off until this day.  The crochet skirt has a same-colour slip/lining but it's somewhat translucent so I tucked that under the aqua skirt
* Kelsi Dagger 'Genelle' wedges (new!) that I scored at Winners for half the price they currently retail for.
* Accessories:  J.Crew necklace & Joe Fresh bangle (these two seem to go hand-in-hand).

In all my life, I never experienced anxiety.  I knew people who had it, touched it, felt it, but not me.  I didn't understand how it felt or why they couldn't shake it or what was going on in their bodies, that is, until I went through my divorce.

In the months leading up to us separating, I was panged with anxiety.  A 'perfect' life turned upside down, being pulled in opposite directions and my heart fighting with my head caused major anxiety to ensue.  I remember being in the shower trying to catch my breath and being unable to.  I finally understood what people meant when they said they suffered from anxiety.

The shortness of breath and jitter-like feelings came and went.  Some days I would be fine, other days it would come on suddenly like the snap of fingers.  It was incurable, and it simply had to be lived through. 

A few weeks ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone, all teary eyed and upset, I couldn't shake my anxiety over whatever emotions were passing through my body.  I confessed to her that I had never had anxiety before and she said up until the separation, my life had been a fairly flat line.  Not a flat line that was boring or unexciting, no no, there were many happy, exciting, wonderful times, but there were no real devastating times that crushed me to the core and shook me like my divorce has.  In a way, I should be so grateful to have experienced this wonderful life up until the ripe age of 27, but at the same time, facing anxiety has been, well, interesting, to say the least (and to put an optimistic spin on it).

And now, although much time has passed and I have moved forward and am in a pretty great place, the anxiety still rears its' ugly head every now and again and it's funny how not alone you really are.  A text from a good friend the other day sparked this post as she wrote to me, 'Do you ever get an insane amount of anxiety for no real reason at all?'  My answer? Yes (in big bold letters!).  On top of that, I had been feeling anxious all morning for no real reason. 

I know I have talked about feeling anxious over the Internet and Social Media, and maybe you can bundle them all together, but sometimes I feel they are so separate and the worry that overwhelms me is simply hard to get rid of.  When I can't sleep, I try to make small notes in my iPhone; this 1) ensures I don't forget things come morning, and 2) allows me to let go of the things on my mind so I can sleep.  These notes are silly little things as simply as, 'Pick up tissue paper at the Dollar Store.  Clean the zippers on my OTK boots so they don't stick over the summer months.  Return the F21 top that doesn't fit.' etc.  They seem to help. 

The most recent thing I have come up with to battle my anxiety is to relax my knees.  Okay, I know this sounds a little bit absurd, but if you suffer from anxiety, I urge you to try it.  You need to really focus on your knees to relax them and in turn your whole body kind of exhales.  Our bodies get so tense throughout the day, especially if you're anxious, so to take even 15 seconds to relax your knees, will at least offer 15 seconds of relief.  Try it, I dare you!

Have you ever experienced anxiety?  Known someone who has?  Do you get what I'm talking about?



It's a quarter to one on a Saturday night and I've been perusing blogs for a solid hour or more.  What is it about peering into someone else's life that is just so fascinating?  And discovering a new blog you immediately 'click' with?  Nothing compares. 

The thing I love about blogging and reading blogs is that (1) it's totally, 100% free, (2) it's enjoyable and gives you a sense of 'feel good' feelings, and (3) it's something to do (to kill time, to enjoy your solo time, or whatever you fancy).

Tonight I have been reading everything from vegan raw cookie dough (I'm not vegan), favourite cleaning products and tips (and tricks), how sliding down a playground slide with a child in your lap can cause a broken leg (to the child.  I don't have kids, btw), marriage+sex, how to style rubber boots with outfits and more.  
 
I love the vast variety of blogs that attract my attention and although I love fashion, I think I love even more a more 'lifestyle' approach to blogging because it feels like you get to know the person on various levels as opposed to just their style.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love carefully pouring over photos of stylish dressers alike, being inspired and in awe at times too, but I love more than just that.  Know what I mean?

ps - those shoes up there have absolutely nothing to do with this post except I purchased them on the weekend and am completely obsessed (as that tends to come with the territory of purchasing new shoes).  I kind of passed them by when I was looking at the shoes in the store and grabbed another pair to try on.  When I asked the girl to get my size, I noticed she was wearing the above shoes and they just looked so. cute. on. so I asked her to grab my size in those as well, what the heck!  I loved them but choked a bit on the price so put them on hold.  After a sleepless night (kidding.  sort of.) I decided they needed to be mine and went back.  I'm making tassels my thing.

Outfit deets:
* Old Navy button down that I've had for years.  The last time I wore it was with dark denim (flared this time), no cami underneath and the same belt!  Sub-concious inspiration?  Also seen with a leopard skirt and the white/grey striped version.
* Smart set cami.
* Sirens jeans which I don't think I've blogged before but do wear them frequently.
* Aldo wedges which I picked up last fall and am so glad I did because they are chic, comfy and easy to walk in.  Plus I love pairing them with jeans.
* Accessories: H&M belt & thick bangle, Old Navy bangle, Pandora bracelet & Suzy rings.

I am a bad reactor.  

If someone does something I don't like, namely someone close to me, I might react badly.

I like to be in control.  You can't always be in control.  Someone who likes to be in control but isn't can sometimes have a bad reaction.  

Whoopsies.

I have discussed negative qualities on my blog before; we all have them, it's inevitable, but it's how we handle those traits.

I had an interesting discussion with my parents last weekend about reactions.  Without going into too much detail, my Dad (who I consider one of the most laid-back people I know) offered up some advice on this topic.  Now, before I spill the words of wisdom, you must know that this is a very simple piece of advice, but very difficult to execute:

Don't react.

That's it!  That's it?  Yes, that's it.  Simple and effective, but certainly not easy.  

A counselor once told me when you are put into a situation where you emotions are getting the best of you, your brain immediately turns to 'fight or flight'.  If you take the simple step of taking a deep breath in through the nose and a big exhale through the mouth, the two options (fight or flight) will dissapate and you will be able to more calmly react.

So with those two words of advice, I have been putting this to the test since Monday, and you know what?  It kind of works.  That's not to say I didn't want to errupt at times or fly off the handle (or actually did for that matter), but it did put a thought into me that I've never had before: don't react.

Try it for yourself and see if it works!


And one from Instagram (follow me):


Me in my old bathroom  |  Stairs

The house I have lived in for the past five years was for sale.  It is now sold.  Today is the closing date.

Trying to sell the house ourselves has been really tough.  Not only is the situation difficult, obviously, but having to work together and coordinate schedules to host open houses, ensure the house is clean and pay the bills doesn't make it easier.  Fortunately it's been as smooth as likely possible, considering the circumstances.

It's with mixed emotions that we finally sold the house.  After being on the market since August, I didn't think we would sell in the dead of winter, but we did, and to a super sweet couple.  It seriously makes the deal even sweeter to sell to people like them.  Knowing your home is going to people who love it and are excited?  The best.  

Last night I went to the house for the last time.  It was an evening filled with emotion.  Excitement because finally after many months this is a step forward, some form of closure and, let's be honest, more money in my pocket each month (no more paying a mortgage and rent).  However, on the flip side, sadness and old memories of what that house used to be.  

As I walked around the empty rooms, I remembered the good times I spent there, the nice features and various projects and hobbies I started in that house; I learned how to sew, I started a blog, I had a walk-in closet (and two other closets for overflow, and a room dedicated to all my shoes), I started painting canvases, and more.  I tried to absorb the last views I would take of each room, hoping to hold onto the memory of how it looked, every nook and cranny.  I took photos of each room (although I have photos of it furnished) just to have, then loaded up my car with any remaining items I had to take.  Then I said my good byes, locked the door and walked out of that house for the last time ever.  It was a definitive moment, and a bittersweet one at that.  It's hard to say good bye to your first home but it's exciting to say hello to what's ahead.


I wrote the following post last month, but never posted it:

February 10th

Today is such a good day!

Last night we got an offer on our home, and we accepted!.  The first paper (ahem, official and not just verbal) offer.  I am too excited.  It's been a while since I've felt a high like this.  I've spent this morning faxing paperwork to the lawyer, getting advice, scheduling an inspection, sharing the exciting news with friends and drinking a large tea in under three minutes flat.  Woot, caffeine!

It's been such a long winded road trying to sell our home.  We listed it in August 2011 ourselves and hoped for the best.  After a month on the market, and not much activity, we decided to drop our price.  We started holding open houses every weekend and we got a lot more visits.  Still though, no offers.  We pushed through the fall and there was interest, but nothing serious or worth settling for.


In December an offer slipped through our fingers and I kicked myself afterwards.  In January an offer was ridiculous and we turned it down.  All the while continuing to pay the mortgage and for me, also rent (expensive!) on top of that.


When we got a (verbal) offer this week from someone immediately after seeing the house, we negotiated and accepted.  While waiting for the paper work, the deal fell through and it was pretty heart breaking (and frustrating).  However, we had a 'back-up plan', that being another couple traveling from out of city (and province) to come see our place (and a few others).  Fortunately they loved ours the most and made an offer within 24 hours of seeing it.  After going over the details, making a couple changes, we accepted and are supposed to close in just over three weeks!  Excitement ensues!


Selling the house is totally bitter sweet.  It's the end of something huge; our first home, my place of residence for the last (almost) five years, the house I made a home, the last piece of joint material item in our marriage, and more.  It is the materialistic item that officially symbolizes our split and it's kind of strange.  The first offer we ever got had me jumping in excitement and immediately after, in tears!  It was such a bittersweet moment.  That offer fell through, among a few others, and I've had time to adjust to really selling the home and letting it go.  This time around felt a bit different, almost like I'm more ready to let it go.  The people that are buying the house are so sweet too, and I think that really helps.  It's so nice to sell your home to a couple you connect with, like, and are genuinely nice people.  Sounds kind of cheesy but it's true!


So, pending the inspection goes well, I will be moving the last of my stuff out in a few short weeks, which also means some major packing needs to get done over the coming weeks.  Eep!  I feel happy!



I think being a woman often constitutes to having some sort of f'ed up image of our bodies.  With 'perfect' bodies being thrown in our faces everyday (tabloids, advertisements, the 'net, etc.) it's hard not to get a complex sometimes over things that maybe we shouldn't.

While I'm a confident person with fairly high self-esteem, I certainly struggle with body image.  Some days are better, some days are worse.  Some days I'm giving myself a pep-talk in the mirror to redirect my focus to a more positive outlook or trait.  It doesn't always work, which sucks, but I do what I can.  And while I could work out more, I could eat less treats, I don't think having the 'perfect' body will ultimately make me happier (some days I think it would, but c'mon, that's so unrealistic).  I would feel deprived of my favourite things (dessert and free time!) and still think I could look better.  It's like a vicious, never ending cycle.

How do you break the cycle?  For me it's about eating well, working out and taking the time to make myself look good. 

The first two are rational, they make sense, it's obvious.  I try to workout at least three times a week, sometimes this doesn't happen, and that's okay, I'm just conscious of getting a little more daily movement in (parking far away, taking the stairs, etc.). As far as eating goes, I try to eat healthy and keep the treats to a minimum, but that doesn't mean I don't have treat binges every now and again... or weekly (oh chocolate & pie how you are my nemesis). 

The last one is a little more superficial, but it works.  If I look good, it often results in feeling good so it's a doubly pay off.  For me, having a bit of a glow via spray tan makes me feel good about myself, as well as wearing something I love.  Now, for all you 'I-tan-easily-girls', you can just be quiet, but if you're a self-proclaimed-almost-albino like yours truly, you know what I'm talking about.  A glow is (sadly, IMO) infinitely prettier (on myself) than my regular pasty skin... and it combats fat days too.  Two birds.  Ha. 

As far as wearing something I love, you all know that I'm a huge sale shopper and while money can buy you really nice things, it's creativity that dictates wicked personal style.  Creativity is not expensive (case in point).  Work with what you've got, and if you need some wardrobe sprucing I suggest hitting the thrift store before the regular store and get yourself some inexpensive, unique finds.

I wish I could say everyday I wake up and go, 'I love my body! I feel good! Everyday I feel gerrr-reat!' but, such is not the case.  Some days I need to convince myself and but mainly I just need to accept myself.  Acceptance is the first way to learn to love yourself, which although not an easy task, something you can work on everyday.  When I'm having a 'fat day' (we all have them, right?), I try to shift my focus onto a body part I like.  If that doesn't work, repeating in the mirror, 'I look good.  I look good.  I look good...' until you believe it might work (I know, it sounds a little crazy right, but don't knock it till you try it!).

How do you accept your body 'flaws'?  I'd love to hear your tricks.

(Image via WeHeartIt)

I have Christmas stress.  

Okay, it's not terrible, as my shopping is all done, but the wrapping. 

Oh the wrapping.  

It's haunting me.  Taunting me.  And it's getting later and later with each minute.  I have to do all my wrapping tonight.  I slacked off last night (but did finish my shopping) on the wrapping as I promised I'd do it tonight.  

And now, here I am, totally procrastinating.  

On top of that I need to make a quiche for tomorrow's work potluck and some peppermint bark to give as gifts.  I figured taking several minutes to post about this, instead of getting busy, would be the smart thing to do.   Wish me luck.


Update:

I'm all done my wrapping.  The quiche is made.  There is no peppermint bark (oh well, it was the lowest priority).  I'm exhausted.  It's only taken four hours.  Phew.
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