Springing Foward

Last week spring showed up.

It was so refreshing that I caught myself smiling every time I went outside and found myself amongst the sunshine and flowers.

There’s something so magical about transition seasons.

It reminds me that life continues on.

We deal with the mundane and the ordinary every day.

Get caught up in routines and unnecessary details that tend to bog us down .

Then all of a sudden you look up and the trees are in bloom, and you stop short at its beauty.

Its nice to take a break and appreciate the wonders that are occurring around us all the time. Wandering through the woods is oddly calming.Its almost like time stands still… and peace abounds.It’s nice to stop and smell the roses. (or Bradford Pears-sidenote:Bradford Pears, while they look pretty do NOT smell pretty.)Either way, it’s important to slow down and connect with who you are.For me this can come in the form of nature walks…lake driving…and getting lost in a good book or movie.Another thing spring reminds me of is newness.

When the forest comes alive and the ground bursts with color, I become motivated to come out of “winternation” and go out, explore, and try new things.

I’ve been taking ballet classes for a little bit now and I’m in love with it! The first class was scary, not to mention difficult, but now I look forward to class every week-and my turnout is improving!

I’ve been trying and proceeding rather slowly with learning French, all while researching this trip to Europe…

and just last week I purchased my plane tickets for our Backpacking Europe Trip!

It’s incredibly scary and exciting, but that’s the point isn’t it?

Life begins when you step outside of your comfort zone.

Weekend Details

Weekend Roundup on a Tuesday because my weekends are always a little too packed.

Saturday

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Red lips and an amethyst necklace.

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It snowed all day, so after work I went to Caribou and sat by the fire to read and watch the snow fall.

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Honey Hazelnut Latte and a French Novel.

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After work I had a friend’s bridal shower to attend and the set up was lovely!

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The theme was wine tasting, so as you can imagine it was a hit.

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Various cheeses and such.

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My plate (dinner) consisting of bread and cheese.

Sunday

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Mocha Latte at my new favorite local coffee shop Post Coffee.

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Perfect Pancake with peanut butter, chia seeds and blueberries.

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Perfect sunset after a snow storm.

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Have a lovely week all!

Also Happy Birthday to my awesome brother!

Your Best Self

Today I want to talk about being the best possible version of yourself.

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In this technologically driven society we live in, it’s easy to be over exposed to those with so called “perfect lives”. We see the constant updates on social media, hear about the exciting things others are up to, and in turn, we naturally compare our own lives to theirs. Obviously we are going to fall short when we know the raw details (including the ups and downs) of our own lives and are only exposed to the edited and abbreviated version of others. When we make any comparison of our own lives to others, whether it be an upward or downward comparison, we are cheating ourselves and those we look at with judgmental eyes by only looking at what is presented to us instead of the whole story.

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 *I think there’s an important distinction to be made between comparing yourself with others and trying to be more like them (which is often depressing as you are denying your true self), and holding someone in high esteem as a role model of sorts-the trick is to be aware of how you are viewing the person. Are you trying to mimic them and live like they do? Are you bitter or envious of them? Or are you merely inspired by them and seek to better your life by taking cues from them?

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Once you become aware of this tendency you realize how destructive it can be-I was having this conversation with a good friend the other day, (lets call her J) and she pointed out that you just gotta live YOUR life. It sounds so simple, but I’ve used it as my mantra for the past week and it has made the biggest difference.

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Every time I felt the slightest twinge of envy or jealousy creep up, I would repeat that mantra back and I instantly became intent on bettering myself as opposed to focusing on what I didn’t have.

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Which brings me to being the best possible version of yourself.

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I think its easy to become complacent in our daily lives-we get busy, we have routines, we make unhealthy easy choices, instead of difficult ones that mean a better future for us and our loved ones. We lose sight of childhood dreams and sometimes put ourselves second to the point of losing our identity. We get so caught up in the nuisances of life, that we lose sight of the big picture.

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Being your best self, to me, means constantly challenging yourself, never stop learning, always look for the bright side of things (the sunshine), never taking yourself too seriously, and always maintain the mindset that you can never be done with the project that is you.

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Which is why I am making this the year that I scare myself silly. I’m going to backpack Europe. I’m going to strike up conversations with strangers. I’m going to work on nurturing relationships I currently have and challenge my loved ones to be their best self. I’m going to explore places in my home city that I’ve always wanted to, but have been too afraid to go alone. I’m going to turn off my phone and get lost somewhere. I’m going to try and teach myself French in 3 months. I’m going to go to live shows and poetry readings, and get back to the theatre. I’m going to a ballet class tonight because I used to dance as girl and miss it so! (pics to follow, as I’m sure they’ll be hilarious)

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The point is this-never stop trying. Always challenge yourself. Look at your life with fresh eyes and realize that we only get one shot to be great.

 Live YOUR life- and make it your best one.

Update: went to that ballet class and had SUCH an amazing time!!! Chase your dreams people!

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The Kindness of Strangers

Last week someone said something silly to me that kind of has had me thinking for the past few days about the impact other people’s words can have on you.

I was at the salon, just going through my day, when a client walked in to buy a product. We were having a standard small talk conversation when she stopped and looked up at me and said “You look  so lovely! Like Princess Katherine!” It was startling and funny at the same time and we laughed about it, completed our transaction, and went about our day.

But later I couldn’t help but think of her compliment. It was so sincere and thoughtful-very unlike the standard compliment we often give to others.

It always amazes me how much of our day is spent making meaningless conversations with people. We as humans have this amazing ability to communicate the depths of our soul with others, and yet because of certain social conventions or our own timidness we often limit ourselves and just follow the societal norms of talking about meaningless things like the weather.

So instead of forgetting her words and moving on, I decided to internalize her heartfelt compliment and make a meaningful effort to let my words have a purpose. I spent the last week endeavoring to notice the specifics of those I encountered during my day, and pay them a wholehearted commendation. The effects were  startling-you’d be amazed how people light up when you do something as simple as hold the door for them and wish them a good day or tell them they have lovely hair. Not only did it bring them unexpected joy, but it made my heart light and content the entire week!

So that’s my challenge to you. Be mindful of those around you. Remember that they are people just like you, going through the same challenges of trying to lead a good and happy life you are. Think of how nice it would be if a stranger wished you a pleasant day or gave you an honest compliment-and truly meant it. Remember the impact you have on others and how powerful your words can be. Connecting with others requires effort, can be scary, and forces you to put yourself out there (much like writing a blog), but in the end the interactions we have with others mean the most to us and have the power to change lives-you get to decide if it’s for the better or worse.

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I snapped these after her sweet words so as to not forget the way they made me feel and to encourage me to spread that love to others.

Go out and spread love.