October 3, 2019

Taking Stock // September 2019

September went by in the blink of an eye, though I can't say I mind it. For much of it, I was dealing with lots of fear, self-doubt, and other heavier feelings like these. That being said, I still managed to enjoy some of what this month had to offer. Here are a few things that stuck in my mind:


cooking with our own vegetables - it just never gets old; we haven't had the best season in the garden, mainly due to the extra long and cold spring weather, but we've still picked plenty of zucchinis and green beans, cucumbers, and some tomatoes too

drinking a mug of mint tea (most often picked from our own garden!) at least once a day, but most likely two or three times a day - I can't get enough of it, and now that the weather is really cooling down, even just holding the warm cup in my hands is so soothing

hoping the snow doesn't come our way too soon, even though it's already snowed in other parts of Canada and the temperatures have been dipping into the single digits several times already

enjoying writing again

loving these apples from our own tree; although we've been living in this house for over 8 years now, and the apple tree has always been here, this is only the second year we get to eat apples from it. They're not the prettiest, as they get attacked by bugs throughout the summer, but they're so tasty

smelling the aroma of holy basil that we grew in the garden this summer; it was the first time we planted holy basil, and when the flowers bloomed, it caught me completely by surprise that they smell like bubblegum!

watching some of the new shows that have started airing this fall - there are a few good ones, but Bob Hearts Abishola and Stumptown seem to be the highlights for me so far

noticing all the flowers that are still blooming; perhaps it's the long winters and grey days that come with them, but seeing the beautiful flowers growing around our house and everywhere I go makes me so happy; knowing that they won't be around much longer this year makes spotting them even sweeter

feeling lighter after a period at the end of summer that felt particularly hard and stressful

giggling at all of Toby & Mikka's antics; they really do make life so much better

listening to Taylor Swift's new music - I can't help it! Lover, Daylight, and London Boy are definite favourites for me from her new album, and this rendition of Holy Ground is so beautiful too


When I started writing these, I had no idea they would be so garden-centric, but this little space of ours really is such an uplifting place, no matter what else is going on outside of it. There's something really special about helping a tiny seed grow into a much bigger plant, that's not only beautiful to look at, but that we also get to eat and enjoy on our plates too. I'm glad that so many of my happy memories from this month revolve around it.

Tell me, how was your September?

January 8, 2019

The Holiday Break

This holiday season has been just what I needed. Since it didn't have the best start, it turned out to be a great lesson in letting go. Instead of worrying about how much we needed to get done in a very short time (we got our tree 2 days before Christmas, and didn't even put any decorations up until just a week before!), I decided to let go of any expectations I had and just enjoy the process of doing things, however many we were going to get to.

I'm always someone who enjoys the process just as much, or sometimes even more, than the results, but I realized that I wasn't having the same attitude about the holidays. Thankfully, all it took was taking a moment to let this awareness sink in and to make the decision to change my attitude (once I realized that it was the only actual problem). After that, I enjoyed every day, every activity and every moment so much more.

There was plenty of cooking, eating and decorating, followed by lots of movie (and documentary!) watching, sleeping, and just generally being quiet and taking a break - a real break from the busyness and from the go-go-go rhythm of our lives. 2018 was a big, intense year that pushed and stretched me in so many ways, and I was really feeling the need for such a break.

Just like the last few years before, it was also a year of so much growth for me. To be able to notice and reflect, at the end of it, about how much I have indeed learned and changed (for the better, I'd say) throughout these past 12 months felt really good. Realizing that these lessons helped me enjoy the holiday season more than I have in a long time felt even better, and I'm so looking forward to continuing to learn in this new year too.

Happy 2019!

December 30, 2018

At the Christmas Tree Farm

This month has been so hectic that I wasn't sure when (or even if!) we would make it to the Christmas tree farm to pick up our tree, which has become our annual tradition. Since we worked the first three weekends of the month, we were only left with one option - the weekend right before Christmas.

Saturday it rained all day (and it wasn't just regular rain, but icy rain!) which narrowed our window even further, to Sunday alone. On Sunday morning, my brother woke up feeling terrible (there's been a cold/flu virus making its way through our whole family for the past month, and it had finally gotten to him too), so I wasn't sure if we would even make it to the farm at all. After some back and forth, we decided to go, though our visit was quite different from those of previous years. While we usually spend a good chunk of time walking among the trees before deciding on our favourite, this time it took us about 5 minutes to pick the tree, and within about 20 minutes we were back in the car, making our way home.

Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day outside and I made it a point to capture some pictures (and videos too, that I shared on Instagram Stories - you can follow me there to see more glimpses of my day-to-day and what I'm working on) while we were there. As I was looking back at them earlier today, all that stood out to me was the beautiful weather and scenery, and I'm so happy that we went anyway, despite all the obstacles that seemed so big at the time.

PS: I shared pictures of our visits all the way back in 2011 and 2012, too. I can't believe it's already been this long that we've been going to this beautiful farm! 

October 8, 2018

Taking Stock // Summer 2018

cooking veggies from our garden - one of the best parts of summer each year, no doubt. To be able to cook and eat something we've grown with our own hands, from a tiny seed to a delicious vegetable - it just never gets old  

drinking smoothies every morning; it's become such a simple and wonderful way to start the day, and I had a lot of fun finding ways to capture snippets of it every morning for a week, and sharing them on Instagram. Now they all live in a story highlight on my profile, titled, "Smoothie ❤️"

reading Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill*, and learning so much. I've heard about this book so many times before, and can't believe it's taken me until this summer to dig in

playing in the pool with Toby. We only got 2 or 3 weekends of pool time, but they were so sweet. We saw Toby get more comfortable in the water and swim at a really relaxed pace - and learned how that relaxed feeling instantly goes away as soon as someone else wants to get in the pool...

enjoying getting organized with Asana

waiting to get approved for an application my brother and I had been working on since February, for a new business we're starting together; the wait was finally over mid-August and since then, we've been going full speed ahead, getting our equipment, setting up our space, building relationships, and taking so many more little and big steps to move this new venture forward. It's something I'm really excited and optimistic about, and looking forward to sharing more details about soon

loving the sunshine and hot weather, of course! We had a really hot summer and, after last year's particularly cool one, I appreciated it even more than I usually do, despite the several heatwaves that kept us mostly inside the air-conditioned house for days

needing more hours in the day, or maybe some more helping hands... or both? Between working on the new business with my brother as well as my health coaching practice, trying to keep up with our vegetable garden (and not doing so well most of the time), and preparing for a big overseas trip my parents went on in July, our plates were full all summer long - and, to be honest, they only seem to be getting fuller this autumn too. Thankfully, they're filling up with things I absolutely love, so there is no complaining here

wearing whatever kept me cooler in the heat of the summer - most of the time, a uniform of shorts and tank tops (ha, I guess some things really do stay the same...while looking through old posts after writing the first draft of this post, I was a bit amused to notice this seems to be my hot weather uniform - it's exactly what I wrote about wearing during a hot spell last September too)

watching quite a bit of tennis. Between the Roland Garros and Wimbledon tournaments at the beginning of summer and the US Open in the beginning of September, as well as a few smaller tournaments in between, I couldn't get enough tennis! Of course, this only made me want to get back on a tennis court, racket in hand, that much more...and I'm still looking for ways to make that happen

feeling that back-to-school feeling and, even though I'm not going back to school this year, feeling almost like I am actually taking part in it somehow because, just like a new school year, working on new projects and buckling down to work feels like a similar kind of new beginning

listening to more podcasts than I have in a long while; some favourites have been The Perfectionism Project, Grow with Soul, and Money Making Maven.

dreaming of overseas trips

celebrating so much: birthdays (mine and my mom's), anniversaries (of moving to Canada, of moving in this particular house), receiving funding and taking steps forward with our businesses, and so much more; summer always feels like a new beginning to me, almost as much as January (but with more colour and daylight hours), and this year, that feeling was amplified thanks to everything that's been happening in my life and work.


This summer has been a busy but full and exciting season and, although I'm not thrilled about the dropping temperatures, I'm feeling more hopeful about the rest of the year - and beyond - than I have in quite a while.

I'd love to know, how has your summer been? What stands out in your mind as a highlight of this (already past!) season?

*Disclaimer: The book link used in this post is an affiliate link.

February 15, 2018

A Hopeful Start

We're halfway through February already. At times, I can't decide if it feels like both the blink of an eye or a lifetime away since the clock struck midnight on January 1st. For once though, I can say that so much change - both inner and outer - has been happening in my life during these first few weeks of the year, that I'm feeling quite hopeful.

I didn't start 2018 in the best way, actually. For the first couple of weeks, I was incredibly stressed out, and quite ill. To begin with, I was facing some difficult situations and decisions that I wasn't looking forward to at all. Then, although I tried my best to resist the nasty flu that made its way through my family right after the holiday break, it eventually knocked me down for a whole week!

Thankfully, as the flu slowly but surely moved out of my body, somehow so did the stress I was experiencing. The shift started unexpectedly, with listening to a podcast episode that pulled me out of my thought process at the time and helped me consider the situation from a different perspective. That was followed by the lucky timing of some incredibly supportive conversations that happened very closely together, and plenty of reflection time while ill. It was also, of course, backed up by all the personal growth work I've been doing over the last couple of years. And so, I felt myself coming out of this really hard period I've been in, and now I feel stronger than I have in years, maybe ever.

I've listened to advice about how change starts from within for so long, and the past few weeks have been such satisfying confirmation of thatIt doesn't mean that the challenging situations that were causing my stress have disappeared. In fact, if I were to look at them from the same perspective I had only a couple of months ago, I could say that they've gotten even more challenging.

This is why I'm so proud to be in this position, and to have the mindset I do right now, that allows me to keep going every day. It's because I know that whatever change has taken place has nothing to do with external factors. Rather,  it's a result of the work and effort I've put in throughout the last couple of years, to grow and to build myself up, and it feels so good to see clearly how far I've come.

I have many more things to say these days, and I want to show up in this space more consistently, to share what I'm learning, experiencing, and overcoming. For now though, I'll stop here, simply by saying that I'm feeling more energized, motivated, and excited by what's ahead than I've been in a very long time. I have a good feeling about 2018.

October 6, 2017

Encouragement to Self

We talk a lot about how easy it is to compare ourselves to each other these days, and we're aware of its negative effects on us and yet, no matter how hard we try not to, we still end up playing the comparison game from time to time, and feeling inadequate. In this online world especially, it's so easy to go from feeling inspired by someone or something to comparing ourselves and our work or lives with them, and feeling like we fall short.

I was journaling this morning and, as I was writing, I realized I had fallen into this trap yet again. What I thought was worrying about my progress towards my goals because of what I was or wasn't doing, actually turned out to be nothing more that comparing myself to someone whose work I've been following for a while, and who I've been particularly inspired by lately. I was worried because, compared to how much I see her doing, I felt like I was doing practically nothing, and definitely not enough if I wanted to reach my goals too.

As I kept writing and uncovering this thought pattern though, I started to see more clearly, and actually ended my journaling session with some encouraging thoughts for myself. I wanted to share them here too, both for my own benefit, so I can come back to them when I start feeling this way again, and for anyone else who is currently feeling like they are not doing enough.

I'd love to know, do you ever catch yourself playing the comparison game? How do you pull yourself out of it when you realize what's actually happening?

October 2, 2017

Taking Stock // September 2017

September was a hard month for me. Not only did it absolutely fly by (even more than other months!), but all throughout it, I struggled to stay positive, to see the big picture, and to get things done. All the little (and big) things that are not going well in my life took up so much space in my head that there was almost none left for the good, the fun, and the happy. Of course, I know the hard is never the whole story, and I don't want to write off September 2017 as terrible, so I thought that taking stock of the simple, everyday things that did bring me joy would be a nice way to say goodbye to this month.

And so, my September days were filled with...

making placemats; I finally finished the first knit herringbone placemat I've been working on for a while now. Time to cast on the second one!

cooking hummus; I use the basic recipe from Ella's first cookbook* and add whatever flavours I or my family want to try at that time. A couple of weeks ago, I whipped up two batches: one with roasted onions and one with artichoke hearts, and just yesterday (even though, technically, it wasn't September anymore) another two: one with roasted hot peppers and one with roasted sweet peppers 

drinking mint tea; I struggled with some bloating and general stomach issues throughout August, and it wasn't until a particularly uncomfortable day in the beginning of September that I thought of having some mint tea to help my digestive system. Thankfully, I felt much better before I even finished my first cup and since then, I've been enjoying a cup of hot mint tea often in the evenings

reading little bits of different books, though I have to confess, I didn't make time to really curl up with a book all month

hoping for better days ahead

playing lots and lots of Sudoku; it's become my go-to pastime in the evenings, or anytime during the day, when my brain feels a bit fried. I try to use the Sudoku book I have so I can get a break from my computer screen, but if I'm being honest, most often I play this online version - and recently switched from the medium to the hard level, which is really challenging me 

loving my pets; the guilt that I'm not giving them enough attention is almost constant, but when I do take the time to cuddle them, I almost instantly feel so much better

needing a break and some quiet time, stat

smelling autumn in the air

wearing tank tops and shorts again during that week-long hot spell at the end of the month

watching a bunch of TV show season premieres; I've already mentioned this before, but I'm partial to sitcoms, and I've been looking forward to new episodes of The Big Bang Theory and the new Young Sheldon all summer long, and they definitely didn't disappoint. A little more surprisingly, I also enjoyed the first episode of The Good Doctor

noticing how much less patient and more irritable (i.e not myself) I am when I don't take time for myself to be quiet, to reflect and to daydream (#introvert)

knowing that this too shall pass

feeling generally down, but also a slight and slow shift upwards

bookmarking quite a few interesting, thought-provoking and perspective-shifting blog posts, many of which will be included in my next RLL post, coming soon

giggling through reruns of Mike & Molly during lunchtime every once in a while

wanting to slow things down

listening to as little as possible; I'm in this mood where it feels like there's so much noise and sound around me constantly, that whenever I can get a little quiet time, I am loving it

pondering over how I can make room for more fun and play in my life

considering new options, things I haven't tried yet, and alternatives that I know will take me outside my comfort zone

buying mostly groceries and not much else

thinking too much; spending too much time in my head and not being able to drop fully into my body and just be present in the moment

dreaming about a better future, always

celebrating 2 years since I quit my full-time job; things haven't turned out as I hoped and dreamed (yet), but I know that if I had to make that same choice again, I would - even if sometimes, on particularly hard days, I question it for a second

Thankfully, it's October now. A new day, a new week, a new month. It's the ultimate fresh start and I'm already feeling much better and more hopeful. I'm looking forward to the month ahead and feeling excited about all the possibilities - after all, there are always so many.

How about you, are you ready to say goodbye to September and hello to October?

*Disclaimer: The book link used in this post is an affiliate link.
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