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.

September 10, 2017

Reading, Listening, & Learning: August 2017

A while ago, I talked about how I wanted to share more of what I'm reading, listening to, or watching, because it's such a big part of my life. I'm always either purposefully looking for answers to my struggles and questions, or simply stumbling across words that inspire me in a big way. I'm constantly coming across words that influence me positively, and ones that make me think and, in the process, change my perspective on my own issues and life in general.

Well, it's been over a year since I first shared a list like this, and that still remains the only one I've shared so far - the second one, that I started putting together shortly after, still sits in my drafts, unfinished. With my growing desire and determination to share more in this space, right now feels like a good time to pick this series back up again, especially since I've been doing a better job of keeping track of all these pieces of wisdom lately. Without further ado, this is what caught my attention last month:


The Excuses We Make by Jenny Sansouci - Some interesting thoughts on the excuses we use to not do the things we want to do, and the difference that commitment can make. The post starts off with the topic of excuses in relation to writing, which resonates with me so much, and includes an excerpt of an eye-opening perspective on writer's block from Seth Godin.

7 Types of Content That Do The Networking + Community-Building For You by Sarah Von Bargen - Networking, especially in the online world, is one of the main topics on my mind right now, as I'm working to grow my business, and this post is such a gem. I already knew about all these different types of content, but Sarah is so thorough in her explanation of how each of them works and how to use them successfully, that I know I'll keep coming back to this post over and over in the next few months.

Overcoming That Failing Feeling by Julia Engel - Starting and growing my own business has been such a steep learning curve for me that I've had a "failing feeling" for most of this journey so far. Reading Julia's post and identifying so much with her words was a great reminder that our fears and doubts can show up regardless of how much or how little success we're experiencing, and that it's up to us how much power we give them.
"I’d say almost everyday I experience this panic. A panic that I’m failing at life and failing with my business. [...] And even when I’m feeling happy in the present, I’m normally forecasting my failures through self doubt, thinking I’m not good enough to do something in the future."

Farmacy: Eating Your Way by Almila Kakinc-Dodd - This guide about eating our way and listening to our bodies is chock full of so many simple yet valuable bits of advice. Many of them are things I would recommend to my own clients but the timing of the post itself was great. I stumbled on it at a time when I was experiencing some short-lived but uncomfortable digestive issues too, and being on the receiving side of these recommendations helped me to refocus on taking care of myself, and to resolve my issues.

How I Overcame Shyness and Made My Own Success by Bianca Bass - As someone who is both shy and introverted but, at the same time, has to put herself out there in order to grow her business, I'm constantly told that I have to get out of my comfort zone and go against my nature in order to be successful. This post, written from the perspective of someone who is also introverted, at its core, offers the same advice: you have to put yourself out there. The main distinction that it makes however, is that, us introverts can become successful because of the way we're wired, and not despite it. In other words, being shy and introverted is a strength, not a weakness - and this thought makes such a difference for me.

I'd love to know, what have you been reading lately that you particularly enjoyed?

August 30, 2017

Summer Hiking


Around here, it seems like summer is essentially over. I remember waking up a couple of weekends ago, and getting this feeling of autumn being in the air. The sky was covered with dark grey clouds, it was windy and crisp, and it really felt like a fall day. Since then, most mornings have been just as cool, and with school being back in session this week (there's an elementary school two streets away from us, so we can hear the bells ringing and the kids laughing and playing outside on their break again), it really feels like summer is over.


To be honest, I'm not too upset, at least not as much as I usually am, to see summer go. For one, we didn't really have much of a summer to begin with. It was mostly rainy and cool, with just a few bouts of heat and consistent sunshine in between.

Also, at the beginning of the month, when I felt that little knot in my throat realizing that my favourite season is once again almost gone, I decided to do something about it. Instead of wallowing in sadness, I started looking forward and planning for the season ahead. I have to say, it's worked quite well. I really am excited for fall now, and ready to get to work on my goals and enjoy all that the season has to offer. Before that though, I do want to take a moment to look back on summer, short as it may have been, and remember some of my favourite moments from it.


We weren't able to book a long vacation this year, so instead we decided to explore and enjoy the sights closer to home. We spent several weekends hiking through parks within driving distance of our house (ones that we could get to and come back from in the same day), so before I turn the leaf on this summer, I wanted to share a few pictures of the beautiful places we've adventured to this season.








Tell me, what are your favourite memories from this summer?

August 13, 2017

The Time Between


So much has happened since I last updated this space, I can't quite believe it. I start every week with the best of intentions to put more time and love into this blog, yet somehow it keeps slipping through the cracks. Often, it really does feel like time flies by, even though I don't like to say it or think of it that way (mostly because I think it's up to us how much we fill our days, and whether we take time to be present). So, to help "slow down" time a little bit, I thought I'd look back for a second, and take stock of some of the things that have happened since the end of May:
I turned 28 mid-June and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing day to celebrate. The best part of it for me was, no doubt, sweating through the warmest day of the year until then. There's just something about sunshine and hot weather that makes me really happy.
This blog turned 7 years old (!!!) which might be the most incredible thing of all. My life has changed in so many ways during this time, and I kind of love that the blog has been a constant through it all. I admit that, looking back through the archives, I kind of wish I had documented more of what took place (both with and around me), which is a big reason why I'm still trying to show up here consistently.

I started working with a marketing and mindset coach who is helping me break through some of my limiting beliefs and take steps forward in my businessAs a coach myself, I can't believe it took me this long to recognize how valuable a (great) coach would be for my business. Thankfully, once I did realize it, I stumbled on the opportunity to work with my current coach within a few days.
I met one of my online friends in real life, which was easily one of the highlights of this summer for me.

I struggled with navigating tough times and keeping a positive mindset through it all, but eventually found several ways to focus on the good most of the time and not let the bad affect me as much. This doesn't mean that every day is sunshine and rainbows now, or that I no longer have bad days. It simply means that I've been consciously working every single day on myself to cultivate a positive mindset, with good results. 

I explored a few parks from our part of the world and really enjoyed hiking the trails with my family, including our pup Toby.

I've stayed inside, busy at my computer, for too many days, and forgot or neglected to take time to enjoy the sunshine. The good news is, there's still a bit of summer left, and a few more weeks to appreciate this favourite season of mine.

Tell me, what has your summer been like so far? What are you still looking forward to this season?

May 26, 2017

Kitchen Goodness

It's probably no surprise from a blogger, but one of the main ways I get inspiration for my meals is from....blogs! Of course, food blogs are great, but I also love looking through health and wellness blogs. One of my favourites from the latter category is JSHealth by Jessica Sepel. I've been following Jessica's work on and off for the last few years and during a recent weekend, after reading one of her new posts, I decided to click through the entire recipe section for some inspiration.

Right away, I found plenty of ideas that I liked, and started making a mental list of the ones I wanted to try out soon. Once I got to a 5- or 6-point mental list, I remembered that I rarely follow through on these things, so I figured I'd share my favourites here too, both to keep myself accountable and to perhaps help anyone else who might be in need of a bit of (healthy) cooking inspiration.

Photos via JSHealth: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Most times, I eat eggplants roasted and mixed into a dip/spread similar to baba ganoush, so I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate them into my meals

I'm thinking that these balls could easily be formed into patties instead and served as a great veggie burger option

I only started cooking with brussels sprouts regularly this past fall and winter, and this bowl seems like a lighter, springier option for this otherwise hearty vegetable - I'd love to try it out with quinoa

The colour of this mash is incredible, and I've been loving the flavour of cumin lately

Most of my dessert cravings involve chocolate or cacao, and making a chocolate bark (and getting creative with the toppings!) has been on my list forever

I usually love a savoury breakfast and I'm partial to breads, so this one looks like a perfect fit for me


Of course, there weren't only 6 recipes that caught my eye, so here are a few "honourable mentions" that I'd love to try as soon as I've had a taste of the ones above:

Banana & Dark Chocolate Blender Muffins
Healthy French Toast
Coconut & Banana Quinoa Porridge
Carrot Cake Muffins
Baked Sweet Potato with Spinach, Chickpeas and Lemon Tahini Drizzle
Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea and Mint Tabouli
Tomato Onion Brussels
Creamy Thyme Mushrooms
Cauliflower Rice
Cumin Spiced Asparagus
Healthy Nutella Mousse
Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut, and Sea Salt Teff Cookies

Please tell me, would you try any of these recipes out? Where else do you find cooking inspiration?

May 6, 2017

Life Currently // May 2017


It's been a while since I last shared regularly on this blog, but lately I've been thinking more and more about it, and itching to make it a bigger part of my life again. I do have some ideas for posts, but it seems that I've gotten so out of the habit of actually sharing those ideas that, every time I open a new blank post to start writing, my mind goes blank too. So, I thought I'd start simply for now, with a little snapshot of what life looks like these days:


cherishing all the short periods of sunshine in between the clouds and pouring rain

smiling every time I take a peek at the daffodils and hyacinths in our front yard (so happy that it's finally that time of the year again!)

getting back to daily morning walks around the neighbourhood with the pup

trying hard to get into the habit of working out regularly

working on two knitting projects at once: a pink scarf that keeps my hands busy on evenings when my mind is tired after a long day, and a set of placemats that is the perfect excuse to learn a new stitch

staying organized with the Bullet Journal system, and feeling thankful to have found a way to wrangle all the thoughts that are constantly swimming through my mind

making progress on the content I am planning and creating behind-the-scenes for my health coaching website, and looking forward to sharing it with everyone who is ready to start being proactive and taking charge of their health and wellness

feeling excited about new work projects, especially a potential new collaboration with a fellow coach I've really been enjoying connecting with over the last few months

watching loads of Instagram Stories and losing track of time a little too often

dreaming of seeing more of this world, in no small part thanks to all that time spent watching Instagram stories


Well, that about covers most of the things that I'm spending time on and thinking of right now. I'd love to know, what's going on in your life these days?
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