A Journal of January 2016


Welcome 2016!

This is me, plain and simple (thanks Dad, for your blue eyes and rosy cheeks!), out for a walk on a snowy January/New Years day at the Country House. I can't believe it's already the 31st of January (and that I haven't yet blogged this year..bad me!) and I also can't get over how much fantastic "stuff" has already been packed into this year. This post is a photo journal of the comings and goings of 2016 so far....and what a fantastic time it has been!

I had a furry friend with me on that snowy walk at the Country House! Charlie absolutely loves the snow...My almost 11 year old pooch turns back into a puppy whenever he's outside in the white stuff!

It was then time to sit down (ok, or maybe lounge in bed) and set some plans into place for the year ahead. Whether it was personal or professional, I got out my Danielle LaPorte Planner, my notebooks and some sources of inspiration (The Happiness at Work Program - stay tuned for an upcoming post on this - and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and began to map out my 2016. There won't be any drastic changes, huge epiphanies or enormous lifestyle changes...but it always feels good to get thoughts out on paper and see how to guide myself into a year that I know will be filled with fun, great times and success!


January has also been a month of 'sprucing things up' around the house a wee bit. Some new pieces of home decor, tidying up, organizing and really just continuing to make my City Cottage my home. And yes, as the sign says, feel free at anytime to get me drunk and ask me about New York...I have some great stories (keep an eye out for an upcoming post on NYC from my trip there in December).

Life wouldn't be complete without gal time and what a fantastic gals weekend at The Rock again this year in Port Elgin (Thank you soooo much Carlie!!). As is always the case when you get a bunch of women together, there is plenty of yummy food, lots of laughs and many new memories made! We even made it to MacGregor Point to go skating through the woods and hiked along Lake Huron at sunset. Thank you to all the Donut Dolls for a fabtastic time!

I've also been spending the odd Saturday at WillowHouse In Cambridge. If there was ever a store I would want to move into, it would be this one! Kim, the 'out of this world' owner of this beautiful shop, has such an amazing eye and sense of hitting every little detail just perfectly....Thank you for allowing me to become part of the 'family'!

One thing I really do want to focus on in 2016 is trying new things and making memories! I've always loved the quote, "Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to share, not stuff to show". I plan on doing this by pushing past my comfort zone and really living every moment possible. A friend and I decided to go out for dinner on Friday night to Manhattans here in Guelph to enjoy live music while dining on terrific food! It had been a very long time since I'd been to such a venue and it was SUCH a fun evening!! The band, the Eclectic Vinyl Orchestra was fantastic and uber entertaining and our dinner was scrumptious...Thanks so much Em for the wonderful suggestion!

So cheers to 2016... I'm really looking forward to seeing what this year has to bring!


Carpe Diem...

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Every time I put on this bracelet from my friend's boutique, a smile comes across my face and a sense of motivation to face and seize the day (or night) comes over me.

Some may say, "Really? How does something as simple as a bracelet do that?"....My response to that is that everyone's motivators, triggers and coping strategies are very, very personal (and need to be in order to truly 'work' for you) and I cannot express how important...and critical... it is to develop these strategies for your day-to-day health and well being.

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I come home to this guy everyday and no matter how upsetting or 'bad' a day it may have been, to have him greet me at the door with that grin and tail wagging a mile a minute, it puts things into perspective quite quickly and I can't help but smile. Our evening walks allow me to clear my head, to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. In the summer time (ie. flip flop weather) as we go for our walks, I can look down at my right foot and see 4 words with so much significance and meaning to my family and I, that I can't help but refocus. 

Earlier this week I received news that literally knocked me to the ground and I immediately needed to put in place every single coping strategy I could in order to navigate my way through, along with my friends, what had happened and come to terms with the fact that I will never, ever see an old friend again.

Text and Facebook messages turned into phone calls and walks down memory lane with old friends, turned into tears (many, many times), turned into support and encouraging words (and beautiful flowers) from new friends, turned into quiet time looking through photo albums and lots of reflection.....

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As I looked through photos and yearbooks from highschool, talked to friends who I haven't spoken with in quite some time and hugged one of my best friends after hours of talking through memories...one thing remained constant...How much we cared for Greg and how so very, very much he will be missed. 

Life tests us at times....it throws us curves balls (...this just made me remember that Greg was an amazing ball player)...it pushes us to the brink....

It is those times, when you feel that that there is no end in sight and that there is no way out of the situation you are currently in, that I hope you are able to find a way to dig really, really deep and activate those coping strategies. Lean on those who love you and to try and remember that tomorrow brings a new day and that new day is yours to seize, no matter what life may be throwing at you.

As I'm writing this, the sun has come out.....tears are welling up....... I'm looking at the photo album full of memories from happier days..... and happier days will come again. Life will never be quite the same, but life will move forward and continue on with one less amazing person here with us.... It is the sunshine streaming through my window onto these tulips from a great friend that reminds me of this......

The sun will come out...Grey skies will clear...Thank you Greg, for bringing us sunshine today, yesterday and always.

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