How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

I still can’t believe this is a blog post I’m even writing, this feels like a simulation. I’m putting this out in hopes of helping anyone feeling worried, scared, or trapped by the current situation. To my lovely readers who are social distancing for the first time, allow me to be of assistance to you. I have been social distancing for quite a few years so I’ve been preparing all along for a pandemic unbeknownst to myself! Since I began working from home, it’s been nothing but me at home alone. While I do get restless from time to time, overall it can be a pleasant experience. Here are some tips for living in semi-exile inside your home and how to fill time while social distancing.

Get Dressed

This seems like a random item to include, however, it’s with good reason. Normal work days are often punctuated with transitions – changing into appropriate work attire, commuting etc. One of the biggest issues I’ve faced with working from home is the fact that there isn’t a transition time. I go from bed, to breakfast, and walk down the hall to my office. It can be difficult to get into the swing of the day when I’m still dressed for lounging. While I don’t go full out editorial mode every day (as seen above). I’ve made a point of at least changing into my favourite leggings (Lululemon Aligns, of course) to at least give the illusion to myself that I’m now in work mode. Plus, I find I’m less likely to feel like a serious piece of trash at the end of the day when I’m not still in my jammies. (As comfortable and wonderful as they are.)

Make A Schedule

If you’re also working from home, this is essential! Figuring out how your day is going to look before it starts sets you on the right path. With set time blocks for different activities you can make sure to balance work, breaks times, and personal time for yourself so you don’t “lose it”. Typically, I try to get my most mentally arduous tasks done in the morning. Any emails that aren’t urgent can wait until after that. My job is dependent on light as well so I use that as a barometer of when I should be doing things as well. Making sure I break to drink LOTS OF WATER as well as staying active in some sort of capacity. Also here’s my Quiet Work Day playlist in case you need some tunes.

JOURNAL!

Journaling has been the one constant in my life. It’s helped me through many difficult times in my life and I’m so very grateful for it. Not only was it a great way to get all my feelings out, I now have a log of my life. It’s such a gift!!!! 

Stay Active

Staying active both physically and mentally will serve you in so many ways. It alleviates the doomed feeling of being trapped in one’s surroundings. It can be as small as dancing with wild abandon to your favourite songs for 15 minutes or meditating for 5 minutes. All of this will drastically improve your mental well-being. There are countless workout routines on YouTube and guided breathing exercises (my friend Cecily just turned me on to this one). Be sure to schedule in some dancing / meditating / and stretching sessions throughout the day. Even if you run around the house with a string for your cat to chase once every hour, you’re doing great! If you live in a sparsely populated area, even treat yourself to a walk! (Use your best judgment on that one). If you need some upbeat music, I’ve made several playlists on my Spotify account.

Reading Lists

I know many of us have stacks of books we slowly pick away at. Oh to have the luxury to read for long stretches of time! Guess what, that time has come. Get through those books many of which will hopefully spark some joy or creativity in your life! 

Bath Time!

I feel like this goes hand-in-hand with reading. No further explanation is needed.

Digital Declutter

Boy have I been putting this one off. My phone is ALWAYS at capacity and my computer could use some organizing. Perhaps this is the time you get around to cleaning out your phone (and while you’re at it, cleaning the exterior too.) All those random screen grabs of books I’ve meant to read and blurry shots my camera took by accident… it’s time for them to meet the trash. 

Crack Open A Cookbook

If you’re anything like me, there’s at least a couple cookbooks you haven’t ever used yet. Perhaps now is the time to try making something new? Not only is cooking a great way to actively spend time, you also have a physical reward at the end – something (hopefully delicious) to eat!

Consume Positive Media

While I believe it is important to stay informed with such trusted sources as the World Health Organization, I also think that we need a healthy dose of entertainment to balance it out. My trifecta of media is YouTube, podcasts, and streaming movies/tv. (I will be creating a post about all my favourite podcasts shortly as a follow up to this post!) Figure out what media you enjoy the most. Is it PR hauls on YouTube, reruns of Daria, or the rewatching the entire series of HBO’s The Wire? Mine is all of the above in addition to the latest garbage Bravo is shilling. Whatever it is, make a list and start peppering doses of it into your daily schedule as little easter egg treat. Also feel free to check out my YouTube channel or read other posts from my blog too!

Crossing off the To-Do List

This excess of time spent at home is a great way to finally tackle a to-do list. I’m finally painting my hideous office because I’ve got the time, baby! I also plan on finishing my taxes, organizing my vinyl record collection, and cleaning my makeup brushes! There is always a never ending to-do list that keeps getting put on the back burner because life goes on. Try to incorporate one small item from your to-do list every day and one large item every week. 

Stay Connected

While this can vary in meaning to people, part of what keeps me sane is staying connected to my inner circle. Whether it’s calling my parents to catch up or leaving my best friend voice memos on what’s app, having some sort of verbal connection with people who I care about and who care about me is imperative for the daily isolation.

Start a New Hobby or Rekindle an Old One

Just the other day I was thinking about how I should start sewing again. Perhaps it was the mounting pile of garments that need to be fixed. Either way, it’s a hobby I used to love dearly and I believe fashion school ruined for me. But I’m ready to get on that horse again! Is there an instrument collecting dust in your house? Did you used to enjoy drawing? It’s time to revisit or start up these hobbies!

How to Fill Time While Social Distancing

And if all else fails…. play some stupid board games. My all time favourite is Mille Bornes. Thank you for coming to my Sandy Talk. Also, if you have any other suggestions I may have missed, please leave a comment below! I’ll be updating this list should other things come to mind. Hopefully, together we can all flatten the curve by choosing to stay home. xo

p.s. wash your hands 🙂

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10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

Here we are yet again. Another bookend to a chapter in my life. An arbitrary unit of time marking a closure and a beginning. I’m sure it’s cliché to say it feels like yesterday when I wrote 10 Things to Accomplish in 2018.  However, it certainly is the truth. Falling in line with last year, it almost took me a full month to digest the previous year and decide what I want 2019 to look like. Then I put off writing about it and decided that further reflection was necessary. Now my birthday is rolling around and it seems like the true beginning of the year for me. Forget the true yearly calendar, I’m going by my own set of time. So what will make the list of 10 Things to Accomplish in 2019?

A YEAR IN REVIEW

Looking over my last list, there was some major gains and epic fails. For the wins:

  • I did read more
  • I continued working out regularly and even ran the Lululemon Edmonton 10K and didn’t die.
  • Eating mostly plant based happened.
  • My digital life is cleaner but I’m still a photo hoarder on my phone (when will I learn?)
  • I even improved my office organization sort of, at least when it came to my taxes.
  • I finally started that dang YouTube Channel I’ve been meaning to.
  • Stillness was found! I actually continued to meditate throughout the year 🙂

That’s a solid 7/10!

As for the fails:

  • My house in fact did not become a home. My dining room did but the other 4+ rooms were sad AF.
  • I didn’t stay inspired, in fact, I did the opposite and had a serious existential crisis/meltdown about my job and life.
  • I did a bit of travel but it was to places I had been before. Which is fine but not exactly what I was going for.

SO HERE IT IS

Much like last year, a few those accomplishments are rolling over into this year in different forms. By posting this, I hope to achieve two things. 1 hold myself accountable for the duration of the year. And 2 help inspire someone else. It’s difficult to distill down which things are worthy of focus, so hopefully this will help you identify something you want to improve upon. With that, I give you my 10 Things to Accomplish in 2019.

GET INSPIRED (AGAIN)

As I previously mentioned, I really fell out of love with my job and life in general when I had my crisis last summer. Everything seemed pointless, as if I were just a cog in the capitalist machinery. And while, I kind of am since I need to pay my bills which requires me to take on carefully selected partnerships, I need more to feed my soul. Looking back on what used to bring me joy and inspiration (hint: it’s not scrolling Instagram mindlessly.) I remembered simpler things. Watching classic movies, sewing, taking walks, and going to museums. I NEED MORE OF THIS IN MY LIFE.

Action Items
  • Set aside time each week to “feed my soul”
  • Start thrifting more often (this always relaxes & inspires me)
  • Pull out my sewing machine and begin a new project 
  • Visit museums / art galleries while on trips 
  • Read more books on fashion / photograph / architecture 
  • Take my old half filled sketchbooks and make new collages, doodles, fabric swatches, pressed flowers, etc
  • Photograph other things than just clothing / beauty products

WRITE A BOOK ALREADY

Truth be told, I have been putting this off for years. YEARS. The first idea I had for a book came to me while I was on a 26 hour train ride from Edmonton to Vancouver back in 2013. I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT IT. And then I never started it. I let it marinate to the point where I wasn’t excited about it anymore. How big of a bummer is that? While I haven’t completely tossed the idea out, I have come up with another one. An idea that I am even more jazzed about and cannot risk losing momentum on. So this is it. This is the year Sandy Joe finally does what she’s been talking about doing for the last 6 years. I’m pushing aside the fear of beginning and going for it head on. 

Action Items
  • Pick 3 days a week that I devote an hour or more to intense writing
  • Make cue cards for each topic and write down the main points / stories associated with it
  • Create a schedule that include solid due dates with deliverables. Have someone hold me accountable (you know who you are)
  • Use my handy MiGoals journal*, weekly pad*, and get shit done notepad*. I mean business. I am a goal digger.

DO MORE THINGS THAT TERRIFY ME

It’s truly the only way to grow as a person. Last year I climbed Cathedral Rock in Sedona and wedged between rocks I was petrified. But I did it and the view was unbelievable. It was 100% worth it. A lot of my fear stems from the fact that I never believe I’m good enough / can do anything right. When in reality I’ve clearly made it this far and haven’t died / created my job out of a creative outlet. Pretty sure I got some things under control. I digress. Over the years I’ve slowly become more of a recluse that shys away from putting myself out there in reality and sometimes online (I’m not the most forthcoming on my social channels either.) Guess what!? This year I’m working on it. 

Action Items
  • Say yes to asks that I would normally reject (public speaking!)
  • Be more open about myself on my social channels (ie next time I have a meltdown maybe mention it rather than disappear?)
  • Continue to go on hikes that scare me a little.
  • Dance in public? Maybe. We’ll see. 

EXPAND MY PLANT BASED COOKING

It’s time to take it to the next level. I’m talking about sushi and baking. Not only that, but making homemade pasta is another dream of mine. These are things I talk about with the notion that one day they will just ~happen~. This just in: nothing ever *just happens* because we want it to. It happens with planning. If we learned anything from the book I never wrote years ago, homemade sushi and pasta will sink lower on this list if I don’t take action. 

Action Items
  • Make that sushi! 
  • Try a new baking recipe once a month (First Sunday of every month? That’s easy to manage)
  • Find my mixmaster with the pasta making attachment I received as a gift in 2008 and use it. 

FINISH DECORATING MY HOME

Can you imagine me living in a finished condo? I certainly can’t. It feels like just yesterday I was picking up the boxes and boxes of makeup launches off my office floor and organizing them into my bathroom vanity. To have a decorated and functional home would be like Christmas come early. And maybe at this rate, I may have that completed by the holiday season. 

Action Items
  • Hang my curtains, the apartments across the way don’t need to see me filming YouTube videos anymore.
  • Pictures on the walls would be a nice touch.
  • Remove the rest of the renovation stuff / tools / etc from my living space

DEVELOP A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PHONE

It looks like we’re going to be together for a long time, a lifetime even, so we need to set some boundaries. Firm boundaries. I mentioned this book before in my How to Have a Restful Sleep post, but it has truly made me realize the negative effects of constantly being on my phone. NEWS FLASH people enjoy having your undivided attention and it’s pretty rude to be on the phone all the time. I’ve made a point to keep my phone in my bag whenever I’m spending face-to-face time with people. Why bother making plans to meet someone if you’re just paying attention to your phone anyway? That went off on a tangent, but basically…. I want to continue to monitor and cut my screen time down when I’m supposed to be off the clock. 

Action Items
  • Continue to leave my phone downstairs when I sleep
  • Limit my screen time to set business hours
  • When I have a spare moment, live in that space instead of filling it with mindless scrolling

SPEND MORE TIME WITH THE PEOPLE I CARE ABOUT

This is the most important! Time is precious. Spending it with the people who mean the most to you is key. While making time to see my parents has proven difficult with their retired snowbird schedule, I always manage to find opportunities to see them. And when I do, I definitely try to keep my screen time at a minimum (see previous section.) Aside from family, my partner and good friends are on the list.

Action Items
  • Continue the weekly Saturday Farmer’s Market & Ramen date with Jesse and add to this QT repertoire
  • When my parents are in town, schedule weekly visits to play boardgames, have dinner, go for walks etc
  • Write more letters to my out-of-town buds! My snail mail game has slowed down over the years despite how much I love to send letters and postcards. I am the stationery queen after all. 👑 
  • Be on top of my WhatsApp voice memos from my out-of-town buds! It is, after all, the next best thing to having them live in the same city.
  • Take more candid photos for my own personal log

GET BACK INTO MY FITNESS ROUTINE

It was a long ass winter and for some reason *cough the endless -40 temperature cough* I could barely get myself to leave the house. And if I did, it certainly wasn’t to go work out. Thank goodness spring has hopefully arrived for good. 🤞I can get back into running outside because laps on a track in a gym is utterly uninspiring for anything over 20 minutes. 

Action Items
  • Get back into my running in the river valley 3+ times a week
  • Treat myself to those 💸pricey💸hot yoga classes because I love them and I need to stretch 

HAVE A *REAL* VACATION

As a full-time person who shares their life on the internet, it’s hard to resist the photo opportunity that presents itself when traveling. It’s a prime time to get content. However, not EVERY vacation needs to be a working holiday. Last summer I took nearly two weeks off while visiting my parents on Gabriola Island. It was divine. We played the 1971 version of Mille Bornes (a french card game about road trips – it’s been a favourite of mine since I was a child.) We watched birds and ate fresh blackberries right off the bush! It was exactly what I needed and I plan to have that in my life again this summer. 

Action Items
  • Plan when I’m going to Gabriola.
  • Drive there.
  • Let the poor cell reception make my plans for the day.
  • Eat all the blackberries and take no photographic evidence of it.

READ MORE BOOKS BY FEMALE AUTHORS

I’m tired of reading stories written by men. More often than not, they’re completely unrelatable. I do hold David Sedaris in high regard and will continue to consume his hilarious books until I’ve read them all. There are countless books written by women that deserve my attention and I’ve decided that 85% of the books I read this year will be written by non-male authors. I’m already well on my way. 📚

Action Items
  • Consult my to-read list and select books that are not written by men
  • Read all of those books 
  • Keep an ongoing list of completed books

(AND A 1/2)  KILL LESS PLANTS

Of course I need a half added to the list because this is too ridiculous to be its own accomplishment. What can I say? I am no gardener. My thumb is so black, I’ve been known to kill a cactus. It pains me to admit how terrible I am in this arena, mostly because I LOVE PLANTS! Alas, it is a skill that eludes me; three jade plants and countless others have met their demise under my watch. No longer will this be the case! I am a 32-year-old and I can keep plants alive! I have access to the internet and own a water meter. This is my year to make a change.

Action Items
  • Actually use the water meter before I carelessly pour water into a plant pot
  • Take a minute to read about the plants I own and under what conditions they thrive under

10 Things to Accomplish in 2019

After reviewing this year’s list and comparing it to the past two years, it appears that many of the same things keep coming up. I guess some things continue to be a challenge within our lives. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the big picture and that’s why I find it so helpful to break each major thing into smaller steps. The process becomes more manageable when minor action items can be done and in turn those become the bigger whole. And if you really want to feel like your problems are insignificant, just take a look at a full super moon. Hot tip from a pro. 😎

xo Sandy Joe

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz / Jesse Sand

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I Ran A 10K and Didn’t Die: A Memoir

I Ran A 10K and Didn’t Die: A Memoir

I Ran A 10K and Didn’t Die: A Memoir

At the end of July, I did something a little crazy. If you haven’t already figured it out, I ran a 10k. This was my first race since I ran Bloomsday in 2005! That was 13 years ago. I recall having issues walking afterwards. Unlike last time, this is a race I DID train for the run! And I’m happy to say, it definitely paid off. In addition to the vlog “I Ran A 10K and Didn’t Die: A Memoir” I was also interviewed by Lululemon about my training for the race. Keep scrolling for some ~lifestyle~ shots of me in my favourite running gear.

WEARING

Top: Short Notice Tee
Bottoms: On Pace Crop
Hat: Baller Hat Translucent Brim
Jacket: Mesh on Mesh Jacket
Shoes: APL Women’s TechLoom Phantom in Rose Gold
(all c/o Lululemon)

Run Collective

A major part of why I was able to stay on track training for the 10k was thanks to the Run Collective. They are a community that goes for runs every Wednesday at 6:30 pm from the Lululemon store on Whyte Ave in Edmonton. It’s free and open to all levels. Each week there is always something a little different on the docket. If you have even the slightest interest in running I sincerely suggest you try it out. It’s truly a welcoming group of people, I have never felt more encouraged while working out in my life. On top of that, they have pacers for every level of runners.

Let Your Mind Run Free

All in all, it was such a great experience that I have continued to go to Run Collective any Wednesday I can make time for it. It’s much easier to stay in the zone when you make it a regular occurrence. Plus, it’s a great way to see the nuances of each season and watch them slowly morph into the next. I talk about that in my other post 5 Things I Wish I knew When I Started Running. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me next! Perhaps a half marathon? 😉 In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel – I’m updating it every week!

Photographs – Des Iles

 

Many thanks to the Lululemon Yeg family that made all of this possible! <3

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How to Have a Restful Sleep

How to Have a Restful Sleep

How to Have a Restful Sleep

Ever found yourself enduring the misery of a sleepless night? I am no stranger to the agony of a restless slumber. What if it were possible to avoid a bad sleep? Join me on a zen ride while I share all my tips on how to have THE BEST SLEEP EVERRRRRRRR in this video. Or maybe it is just some tips and tricks on how to have a restful sleep which I suppose could be considered THE BEST SLEEP EVER.

BEDDING

When I decided to fully commit to being an adult (baby blankie and snoopy stuffed animal notwithstanding), incorporating proper bedding was a must. Once I slept on high quality cotton sheets, I could never look back. My current set up includes:

– Four SleepEnvie pillows – two Skyler, two Violet
– Brooklinen Sheets – luxe cotton in Smoke Stripe & Reverse Smoke Stripe 
– Brooklinen Duvet cover – luxe cotton white
– Casper – Duvet
– MUJI – Men’s PJ’s
– MUJI – Slippers
– SLIP – Silk Sleep Mask Navy 
– SLIP – Silk Sleep Mask Pink

For those of you who are curious about Muji or already love it as much as I do, they opened their newest Canadian location in Richmond Centre in Richmond, BC. I will definitely be stopping by on my way to the island this summer to stock up on my FAVOURITE pen in the world.

LEAVE YOUR DEVICES AT THE [BEDROOM] DOOR

This one is a hard one, I know. After many attempts and setbacks, I have officially made my bedroom a device-free zone. In addition to that, I avoid electronics 1 hour before bedtime to help my body naturally produce melatonin. Instead of my phone being my alarm clock, I use my Google Home to set alarms. If this sounds preposterous to you, I suggest reading How to Break Up With Your Phone.

DEVELOP A ROUTINE

The surefire way to help your body relax for bedtime is developing a routine that lets it wind down for the day. I like to start with my skincare routine. Then I either read or meditate, or both! (Not at the same time though 😉 )  I also avoid screens an hour before bed to help my body adjust as well.

CREATE AN AMBIENCE

Scenting a room for the right vibe is of very great importance to me, I’m that person with a Saje Diffuser in every room. Calming scents truly help my body relax and put me into a great mood. Lately I’ve been loving a giant dose of lavender before bed. If you need more tips on ambience, check out my post 10 Ways to Make Your Home More Spa Like.

HOW TO HAVE A RESTFUL SLEEP

I hope some of this tips will help you have the best sleep ever! And like I said in the video, when all else fails, there’s always melatonin! If you have any other tricks for how to have a restful sleep, I would love to hear them! In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re enjoying what you see. 🙂

photographs – Sandy Joe Karpetz

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WELLNESS | 10 Things to Accomplish in 2018

WELLNESS | 10 Things to Accomplish in 2018

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10 Things to Accomplish in 2018

I spent a full month deciding what I would like to get done in 2018. Part of that involved reflecting on the past year. I looked at which of my goals I nailed (treat my body like the temple, nurture important relationships) and which ones were quickly abandoned (learn to play the guitar better). If you’d like to see the complete list from last year, here are my 10 Things to Accomplish in 2017. Some of those accomplishments are rolling over into this year in different forms. By posting this, I hope to achieve two things. 1. hold myself accountable for the duration of the year. And 2. help inspire someone else. It’s difficult to distill down which things are worthy of focus, so hopefully this will help you identify something you want to improve upon. With that, I give you my 10 Things to Accomplish in 2018.

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STAY ORGANIZED

My desk is marginally cleaner than last year. However, I have loose papers all over my office. It is the definition of CHAOS. Fortunately, I have a few ideas on how this year will be different.

First off, I’m trying out a new agenda by MiGoals. The first few pages are all about reviewing the previous year and setting goals for this one. BOOM! Plus, there’s a separate book to break down each goal and follow it through in chunks. This is what I need to force myself to stay on task. I am becoming a full fledged GOAL DIGGER this year. I’m going to get my taxes done ahead of time like a total boss. You watch me.

Second of all, I want to streamline my contact list and get my invoicing down to an art. I’ve decided to switch my archaic methods and convert everything to Google Docs. That way, I can access all my vital information from any device, anywhere!

 

Action Items
  • File all my receipts and invoices as I get them to avoid the dreaded shoebox of paper come tax time.
  • Recycle paper the second the information becomes redundant (why do I have grocery lists from months ago!?)
  • Set deadlines and keep them thanks to MiGoals and my 2018 Diary, Progress Journal, and Bucket List
  • RESPECT TIME! Working from home without a schedule can mean putting things off till the very last second. Not anymore. I’m a gal who’s going to respect time this year and not squander it falling into a Youtube vortex of cute kitten videos.
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STAY ACTIVE

Last year was a mixed bag in terms of fitness. For the things I did accomplish, I have a couple of people to thank. Andrea Rice at Lululemon YEG is one of them. She helped inspire me (and outfit me) to get my run on – bless her heart. (see my post 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running). In addition to running, I have been trying out classes I normally would never have dreamed of checking out – Soar, hot yoga, and even a weekly HIIT class. Lastly, my partner Jesse who has been accompanying me to these classes, holding me accountable, and encouraging me on my running journey.

Action Items
  • Continue going to all the classes I love and challenging myself with new ones 3-4 times per week  and challenging myself with new ones.
  • Make my running a year-round activity.
  • Discover new ways to stay active all year round
  • Create a network of workout buddies to hold me accountable!
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On the right is my first run ever, solo, in the river valley. It was terrifying and liberating. It’s only gotten better since then, especially with how far I’m able to run in an hour! I may not be running Bloomsday like when I was 17, but I’m making progress!

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EAT MORE PLANT BASED

Last year I read a book that has changed my life forever more. It has changed the way I look at food. I’ve returned to my vegetarian ways and have been seriously questioning the necessity of dairy in my life. This lifestyle change deserves a whole post on its own. In short, eating plant based is so much better for my health so it’s something I am working towards.

Action Items
  • Re-read How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD and commit it to memory
  • Find more dairy alternatives to replace my favourites
  • Continue to try different recipes every week
  • Make a habit of choosing plant based options when dining out
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READ MORE

Last year I made a goal to read 20 books. I was just shy of that number despite spending the majority of the year in a major literary drought. This year, I want to double that and add a few additional goals within this goal. I’d like to vary the books I read to include: fiction, self improvement, and biographical. It’s so easy for me to get hyper focused on one genre and neglect my other interests. Not this year!

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Action Items
  • Be the information ninja I know I am and use my library card as much as possible
  • Rotate between genres after every finished book
  • Possibly join a book club or start a book club? Anyone interested in that?
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FIND SOME STILLNESS

Part of the allure of running is having the excuse to spend time in the river valley. Connecting with nature during an otherwise hectic week is essential. Last year, I said I was going to meditate; I did not even begin. This year, I’m setting aside time and making it happen. I spend so much time staring at screens and splitting my attention. This is no way to live a balanced life!

Action Items
  • Set aside time every day to use my Muse headband with guided meditation
  • Find more ways to connect with nature all year round (running, cross country skiing, snowshoeing etc)
  • Put my phone down more and be present
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RUNNING ON EMPTY

I have spent one too many years cursing at a laptop that’s on the brink of being full. The time and energy I have wasted dealing with devices that are beyond expiration is astonishing. This is the year I have finally said no to this. I went and bought the laptop I’m currently typing this on (shout out to my dear Greg at Apple for helping me out). I intend on running a tight ship from now on.

Action Items
  • Back up old files on to my external hard drive once a week
  • Update my desktop when it financially makes sense
  • Delete useless digital clutter before it becomes overwhelming
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MAKE MY HOUSE A HOME

I’ve been in my condo for two years and it is still….. quite empty. The renovations are finally complete! However, I haven’t made time to actually outfit it. At the end of the day, it’s a giant white box and has zero personality aside from the smoked glass mirrors from the 70s. I think I’ve maxed out the time in which I can justify living with only a desk and my bed.

Action Items
  • Start unpacking my life!
  • Curate the space carefully with thoughtfully picked out pieces
  • Finally share my space on the blog!
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TRAVEL MORE

Last year I went back to London to trace the footsteps of my former life. It was such a treat traipsing around reliving my old neighbourhood. Reminiscing was wonderful, but discovering new places was equally as great. In addition to revisiting old favourite places (Arizona, Gabriola, London), I also explored some new places. Iceland and Morocco were two new places I finally went to, both of which were wonderful in such different ways. I always feel the most me when traveling and seeing new places. That feeling is something I want to continue to chase.

Action Items
  • Watch flight sales and book on a whim, figure out the details later
  • Write a list of dream places to go and slowly start crossing them off
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STAY INSPIRED

Last year was marginally better than the year prior. Between travelling and reading more, I managed to find bursts of creativity. The drawing every day did not last more than a month. Truth be told, I just asked my partner “How do I stay inspired?” He laughed at me. It is always something I continue to strive for, something to be sought out on the regular, a muscle that must be worked on otherwise you lose it. It’s easy to get caught up in mundane details and forget about what stokes your creative fire.

Action Items
  • Read, write, draw as much as I can
  • Watch old films to dig up old new ways of dressing, doing, creating
  • Be pickier about the media I consume (aka less Housewives)
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GET IT ON TAPE

The idea of populating my Youtube channel with travel and beauty content has been percolating in my mind for years. I talk about it. I come up with ideas. And that’s where it ends. Anti-climatic if you ask me. In my travels, I have accumulated an extensive collection of video clips that are just waiting to become something. It is TIME! The thought of editing everything is the thing that has held me back. That and not having enough space on any of my computers to edit a video without crashing. Half of the problem has been solved!

Action Items
  • Make a hard deadline to edit two videos per month using old footage
  • Once it becomes a habit, up that goal and continue to hone my skills editing
  • Share these videos whether or not they’re “perfect” – done is better than perfect when you are goal digging
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10 Things to Accomplish in 2018

One little piece of advice is to keep an ongoing list during the year of all the good things and wins that happen during the year. It gives you a better idea of how the year actually went. It also helps to focus on all of the positive things, big or small, you may have forgotten about. What are you hoping to accomplish this year?

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GIFT GUIDE | Holiday Gift Ideas for a Health Guru

GIFT GUIDE | Holiday Gift Ideas for a Health Guru

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Holiday Gift Ideas for a Health Guru

My final installment of the holiday gift guide series for 2017 is about health, of course. Everything begins and ends with good health! I’m positive there are a few people on your list who immediately came to mind when reading the headline. Here’s a few holiday gift ideas for a health guru in your life.

MUSE MEDITATION

It is no secrets the immense health benefits that accompany the act of meditating. However, I know it is sometimes difficult to get motivated to start. Enter Muse, a meditation app and headband that’s so sophisticated. If you’re anything like me and need to see hard numbers when it comes to self improvement. This is the app for you if that statement is a resounding yes. It guides you through your meditation with nature sounds, when your mind begins to drift, you’ll be notified by the weather sounds intensifying. Bonus: the app has an alarm function that notifies you when it’s time to meditate.

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VEGETARIAN COOKBOOKS

Naturally, cookbooks are synonymous with healthy living. The food we consume is the foundation of healthy living! Thus cookbooks are high on the list of holiday gift ideas for a health guru. While plant based eating is ideal, even eating vegetarian can improve your health in so many ways. A couple books I have been turning to quite regularly have been Vegetarian Heartland, New Feast, and my most favourite, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition. It even includes some added vegan recipes! All three books are accessible to varying skill levels too.

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STAY HYDRATED

One of the best gifts I have received was a high end water bottle from my Mother last year. It has traveled to Morocco and back. It kept my water cold for 24 hours. When I got ill abroad, I was able to keep my hot eucalyptus water steamy for 12 hours. It is magic! Insulated steel water bottles are the way to go. Lamose is a locally owned Edmonton company designing water vessels. They even have the option of etching any design onto the bottle should you want to personalize it!

HONEY & MATCHA

For that person who has everything, get them consumables! Things they will actually use up and won’t crowd their life. I’m a huge fan of high quality honey as a gift. Nude Honey is an excellent brand which I recently went into depth about on this honey post. Raw honey is superior in so many ways! Especially when it comes to taste. Another consumable gift idea is individually packaged  Teapigs matcha sachets for a grab and go green tea! Or a tin of their matcha which is 100% ground green tea leaves from Japan.

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SMELL LIKE THE WOODS

SCHMIDT’S

I recently discovered this line of deodorants and soaps that smell like getting lost in a forest in the PNW. That’s how good they are. You’ll be smelling like a dreamy pine with Schmidt’s Oh Christmas Tree deodorant but without the mess of pine needles. Their Lavender & Sage soap is equally as potent. I am immediately reminded of driving through fields of lavender!

WOODLOT

This woodsy theme continues with the addition of candles and essential oil from Woodlot. I mean, it’s in the name! Their Wildwoods candle is one of my all time favourites. It’s made of natural coconut and soy wax. It smells of balsam, fir, and clove. They’ve recently launched essential oils as well. I love their Cascadia blend. It notes are Fir, cedar, and patchouli essential oils.  DEEP BREATH.

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