Thursday, 28 March 2013

Awesome, opossum*

Every three days, I'll be posting my response to the Joy Juice journaling prompts I receive in my inbox on those mornings. 

Ok, folks. This one's the hardest yet.

I'm supposed to reflect on what makes me awesome.

· via · 

Seriously?! Could I please answer what makes me not awesome? Because that's a lot easier, amIright?

Why is pointing out what makes you so great so hard? I feel like when I was 8 this would have been so easy:

I'm awesome at: singing, dancing, making a house out of a cardboard box, following along to The Little Mermaid word by word, making friends, decorating hats, exploring the forest behind my house.

When I was 8, I was capitol "A" awesome. The shit, some might say. But then something happened.

We learn somewhere that celebrating ourselves isn't polite. True, we need to learn humility (because no one likes a brag), but it shouldn't be at the cost of our sincerest pride. We learn that it's ok to flaunt our faults, but wearing our awesome right on our chest makes us the Hester Prynne of the 6th grade. "Don't talk to her, she's awesome."

So here, now, I will shout my awesome loud and clear.


ummm...I'm really good at winging my eyeliner? (you know that's an awesome skill to master.)

Uhhhh...gosh this is hard.

Ok. I'm a great cook. I can bake too. Like, seriously. I'm confident in the kitchen and if you give my ingredients, I can whip them into something pretty great. Exhibit A (for awesome, obv) and B (bitch, please):

Those were some tasty tasty foods, says I. You can believe me.

Ok, but I must be great at more than just kitchen-y things.

I think I'm great at listening to my friends. I'm great at lending an ear if they have something they need to talk through. I give good insight and I try my best to not push my opinion on how they should handle the situation on them and let them do what they'd like with my advice.

I'm great at feeling things. If I'm sad, I cry. If I'm angry, I'll vent. If I'm happy, you'll know it. This may not seem like an awesome quality, but when the flip side is holding it all in, I think this is the better option. For me.

So how do I remind myself about how awesome I am when I forget? This one's easy: talk to my husband. He's my biggest fan and always holds me accountable. And he's always there to remind me I'm awesome even when I don't believe it at all.

Then he asks me to go bake him some cookies.

So, what's one thing that makes you awesome? And if you're less than stellar at winged eyeliner, check out Keiko's how to.

*An oppossum is NOT a possum, guys! Possums are Australian. Oppossums are North American. Basically an oppossum is to possums as alligators are to crocodiles. (I'm also awesome at knowing all the answerst.)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

No Bonnet Required

Truth be told, Easter isn't my favourite holiday. It's not my favourite anything really. It doesn't have the pumpkin-pie-comfort that comes along with Thanksgiving, no one gives me gifts like at Christmas (except for white chocolate bunnies*), and dressing up like one of the X-men really only works at Halloween.

But, Easter does have one thing going for it - the promise of warmer weather. And this year, that promise is truer than ever since the husband and I are hopping on a plane Friday morning and heading down to Florida to visit my parents.

Guess what? It's 25 (that celcius, friends) and sunny. It's alright to be jealous.

If I could run out right now and buy a brand new outfit to wear to Easter dinner, this is exactly what I'd pick up. Complete with the Dear Creatures dress and Swedish Hasbeens I've been coveting. (See? This is also why I dislike Easter...coveting is frowned upon).
No Bonnet Required

· shopping deets ·

What are your feelings about Easter? Are you a fan, or can the bunnies keep it?

*Whoever told my aunt that I love white chocolate, could you please fix this? It's gross and not actually chocolate at all.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Best Intentions

Every three days, I'll be posting my response to the Joy Juice journaling prompts I receive in my inbox on those mornings. 

This one's about intentions.

Intention: an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.

Like, I intended to do laundry this weekend but I realized I had 2 more thongs tucked in back of my sock drawer so really, why bother?

Or, I intend to go to the party and only have 2 manhattans. (hahahahaha, right)

But no, not like those at all. The intention I'm talking about here is less "quantifiable." It's more a long-term goal. A "putting it out there" vibe, if you will.

· via ·

From what I understand of it (read: what Google tells me), setting an intention is basically assuming the outcome of something. In laylady's terms: you reap what you sow.

What is my intention for this year?
I'm not making goals here. If I were, my goal this year would be "buy an adorable house." My intention is something completely different.

My intention is to think more positively. To let the negative thoughts roll off my back, leaving room for only the positive. This is sure to create a domino effect, right? Like one where I give people the benefit of the doubt? Where I figure people think I'm great unless otherwise explicitly stated? It must.

How can I practice setting intentions in my day-today and remind myself of my practice gently?
Here's what I'm going to each morning: Tell myself "I'm going to have a great day"

How can I encourage others to share their intentions?
By being awesomely happy.

BUT, I could also encourage others to share their intentions here. If anyone's even reading! So, what are your intentions?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Talk ain't cheap, sister

Every three days, I'll be posting my response to the Joy Juice journaling prompts I receive in my inbox on those mornings. At least, that's my intention ;) 

Ok, so this one's about self-talk. When I was doing my undergrad (in kinesiology, which is hilarious to anyone who knows me because I'm not "sporty" in the least. I just think muscles are super cool), I did a paper on the effects of self-talk and varsity level athletes. I'll spare you the nitty-gritty details (and footnotes) and cut to the chase - athletes who self-talk their way through their sport perform better than those who don't.

So why am I even telling you this? Well, for one, I got an 87% on that paper and I like bringing that up. Also, it does segway into today's Joy Juice, as the words we say to ourselves every day can truly affect how we see the world and how the world sees us.

· via ·

Where am I practicing self-sabotage my talking about myself negatively?

This one's tricky for me. First off, I do this in my head often - back to the too's from the other day's post. I tell myself I've got awful legs, or by butt looks terrible, or I said something idiotic. I level myself far too often instead of pumping myself up. But what's worse, is I often say these things out loud to my husband. He's my biggest fan and all I'm doing is chipping away at his fandom one little comment at a time. Yikes.

BUT, I have a question: does self-deprecating humour count as talking negatively about yourself? Because if I have to stop making fun of myself for my downfalls, my whole comedy schtick* is blown.

*I make friends or family members chuckle now and then. Not to be confused with a full-blown comedy schtick.

What do I complain and whine about the most?

Apart from eating too many carbs and feeling bloaty? Probably something someone did to offend me. And then it usually turns out to be a misunderstanding. If everyone would just say what they mean (and feel) I think this complaint would disappear (like the carbs on my plate).

What would it looks like if I made the conscious effort to talk (and think) about those things in a positive way?

Back to the first question: I'd probably feel more confidence, right? If I just shut up and let myself be? And as for getting upset over misunderstandings; I probably need to just give people the benefit of the doubt (which is so so difficult for me to do, but I'll try!). And as for the bloating? I doubt thinking positively about my gas will make it go away - so I just made a doctor's appointment to talk about it ;)

So what would it look like if I was more positive with my self-talk?

· via the talented Max Wanger ·

So, what are you saying about you?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Joy Juice

I'm going through a change of life right now. No, not that change of life! Being newlyweds, my husband and I are all starry-eyed about buying our first home together. BUT, Toronto is notoriously unfriendly to first-time buyers (It's super pricey here. Unless you don't mind living in a shoebox). We're on our way, but to speed up the process we've moved in with my in-laws so we can pad our downpayment. 

My in-laws are fabulous - so kind and generous, but this is tough for me. I'm so used to living on my own (read: walking around in my undies), so used to doing things my own way (read: spending 3 hours trying a new recipe and eating dinner at 9 as a consequence) that this change is throwing me off-kilter. I don't hate it, it just doesn't feel like home yet. 

I think through every major transition, it's important to take inventory - a little self-reflection is good for the soul and great to get you back on track to being you. So, when I came across Stratejoy and the Joy Juice journaling prompts, I new I had to give it a try!

In a nutshell - Joy Juice emails you a prompt every 3 days. Journal it, blog it, talk it out with a gal pal - however you want to get your juices going is up to you. Each month is based on a theme and by month 12, you'll love yourself so damn much and be on your way to taking over the world. Basically I expect to have the confidence of Beyonce when I'm through with this. 

Check out Stratejoy for more info. And follow me along my lovefest/journey of self-discovery. A word to the wise though: shit's about to get real. 

Because who doesn't feel happy when they seen a bunch of HUGE balloons?
· via ·

How am I spending my days right now? 

I spend most of the day, most of my days, sitting in front of a computer screen. I’m a copywriter, so that time in front of the computer is 60% writing and 40% clicking around the Internet reading blogs and looking up recipes. Ok, it’s 60-40 the other way and I’m looking at more recipes than blogs. (shhhhhhhh).

When I’m not working though, I usually pack a ton into my free time. I’m one of those people who can’t sit too still for too long. Don’t get me wrong, I can power through 4 seasons of Breaking Bad in 22 days (I’m still unsure if this is my proudest accomplishment or my worst shame), but after a day of not accomplishing something, I feel like a wreck. So, I spend my nights cooking dinner (a favourite activity of mine), spending time with my husband doing something new, catching up with friends over drinks, or most recently, going to yoga.

 What activities feel like they are holding me back? 

There is something I spend a lot of time doing that doesn’t do anything to propel me forward. I spend a lot of time criticizing myself. I’m too lazy (wait…did I not just write all that busy-ness above?!), too fat, too sensitive, too bossy. Too this. Too that. I compare myself to others ALL THE TIME and it does nothing but contribute to unhappiness. I’m a confident person; or at least, I used to be. But all this “too” is wearing me down. I don’t think I’m alone here either – I think a lot of us gals are our own worst enemies, spending too much time on the too’s.

 Which ones are giving me energy and strength? 

At the risk of sounding like a lulu-wearing, mat-toting yogi, I do have to proclaim my love for yoga. It’s a new love, so yoga and I are still in that can’t-get-enough-of-each-other, does-no-wrong stage, but I hope it lasts. I HATE working out. But when I’m sedentary, I feel fat. When I feel fat, I’m unkind to myself. And when I’m unkind to myself, I’m not happy. It’s an easy cycle to recognize, and so so easy to break out of through yoga.

How can I start right this very moment to spend more time on the sweet spot activities?

Ok, so back to that cycle above. I’ve found that if I can get to the yoga studio at least 3 times a week, I feel great. I feel relaxed, yet energized, and I don’t feel like I need to beat myself up over enjoying a bit of something sweet. But I think I need a goal. So, here it is: through thrice-weekly practice, I’d like to be able to do a perfect downward dog. (There should probably be a time specified here, but how long does one need to downward dog like a pro? Damned if I know!).

And that’s it! Joy Juice #1. How are you spending your days?

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Life's Tough Decisions

I've been silent lately. Which is maybe jumping the gun just a bit, seeing as I've done a whopping 3 (three!) posts so far, but hey. I've been juggling a lot lately - a big move, settling into the new place, work stuff and a fork in the road.

I've come to face the question almost every female faces at some point in her life. One that cannot be answered with a simple yes or not, but rather requires a committee of girlfriends and sisters, dozens of reference points and, of course, a pin board.

Yes, I'm struggling with that question: Should I get bangs?

This is one of the struggles for modern women. Pre-Birkin era women didn't need to mull over bangs, they didn't know any better. But us post-Birken babes, we're confronted with full-on fringe every couple of years. It's a vicious cycle - cut bangs, grow out, get bored, cut again. And with It Girls like Zooey Deschanel, Rose Byrne and Michelle Obama stepping out with a blunt cut and big smile, resisting the temptation to trim is even harder.

So, to make it harder on you, and to help myself step just a little closer to the stylist's chair, here are a few fabulously-fringed femmes to inspire.

· via ·

A post about bangs can't happen without Zooey. Her heavy fringe has inspired quirky girls the world over to make the cut. 

· via ·
Alexa. This is the heavier, fuller version of her curtain bang. I used to think full bangs needed to fully cover the forehead, but the gentle sweep of hers proves otherwise. 

· via ·
Brigitte and her bombshell bangs. Her are the quintessential curtain bang; they're full and part near the centre, kind of like window curtains.

· via ·
And the original - Jane Birkin - in all her effortless perfection.

Site Design By Designer Blogs