Step 4. F

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sunset at Whitecliff Park

Last night we decided to take my fiance's dad to watch the sunset. It's a very rare occasion when his father is home, and not working. I decided I wanted to share one of my family moments, as these moments are what is closest to my heart. 

This is Toli with his grandfather 'Gido' (arabic for grandpa).

We will be moving a touch farther away from 'Gido' (only a few blocks hopefully, but it'll still be a change), and as the month passes I feel like it's time to really get together and spend time with one another. I have to say that Toli is probably one of the luckiest kids around- he has loving parents, a mass amount of grandparents and great grandparents who all love him so dearly, along with my closest who refers herself as 'Aunty Mum'.

Family life is probably one of the most important aspects for a healthy life in my opinion, because when life at home is not in good shape, then other areas in our life won't look so good either. 

In this article "4 easier ways to be a happier mom" Leah Rocketto talks to the ever so awesome happiness guru Gretchen Rubin who wrote "The Happiness Project" (a book I'm reading currently). I personally loved this article, and I try to incorporate what I can out of the steps already. Dada doesn't leave for work until we've all had our hugs and kisses, and my son and I have a 'Monday Toli Day' -which I will share with you in the near future- where we focus on him for the day which is full of adventure. Please have a look at Leah Rocketto's article! I think if we all incorporated just a few of these steps into our days we could simply live a happier life.

Hope your enjoying the spring weather! Toli and I will be going for a nice walk in the sunshine with one of his favorite Aunty's in the world this afternoon.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What matters?

It took me some time to really delve into this aspect of my life, and share it with you. I don't know if you live in a high-rise or not in downtown Vancouver, or even if you live in Vancouver at all.

Picture shared from

As you've probably heard, we felt the effects of the 6.7 earthquake just off of Vancouver Island last week, and it was actually quite a shaking (no pun intended) experience for me. It made me start thinking about what I actually wanted to do with my life, how I wanted to live, and how I wanted to feel. 

Was I really living the life I wanted to live? Well, at first glance, 


After 6 years of being with my fiance I am in love with him more than ever, I love raising my son, and since I started blogging I really feel like I am doing what I am meant to do. I love it! Blogging is at the heart of my creativity, and I'm so glad that I decided to follow my heart- as I usually end up doing in the end anyways

But I still feel like I could be doing more with blogging, like I'm holding myself back in fear. But I'm not sure how to get past it at this point. Sometimes I'm wasting time on Facebook, or looking into new platforms for my blog in the social media world- and I don't really have any clear goals other than writing 3-4 times a week or how I can make my blog 'successful'. 

As I sit here and ponder, I think its time for some more organization in my life- like a 'to-do' list. Remember that post in Feelin' Good? With that picture of my daily goals, and Toli's scribbles? I think its time to solidify those daily goals into a reality. 

I tend to do really well with schedules. It makes me stay on task. I was just reading 'Intentions and Goals' from Danielle Laporte's "The Desire Map" last night, and I've been pondering this whole goal list of mine like, what would feel good? And am I setting myself up for failure by having a 'list'? Danielle talks about doing things that 'feel good', and this list will do just that!

I need a 'to do' list to stay on track, otherwise I can just get lost in doing a whole lot of...well, not working on my goals! This list was inspired by another blog I was reading on 'organization'- as I want to be incredibly organized with our new place in June 
10 Simple Solutions for Organization

  • Blog 3-4 times a week (Tuesday- Friday)
  • Read blogs, and comment 1-2 times per day Monday- Friday
  • Research the industry every Friday
I'm going to elaborate this list with pen and paper for the rest of my life as well. Once it's in ink I will have what I need- which is a more concrete plan to live the best of my life. 

I'll be writing a post on the organization of my new place when I get there and will post pictures as well- a white board will be my new best friend, along with the calendar on my phone- which I'm working on as I write this- to alert me of specific times to get things done.

Is there something rattling around in your mind that you've been pondering? A goal you haven't done much with yet? Write it out, type it out. My best advice to you is to just get it out of your head! Leave a comment and type it out here too if you wish too!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Take a time out- For yourself!

This image is courtesy of usamedeniz/ free digital photos

Yesterday I meant to blog, but our son has been teething both nights since Tuesday when he got home. If you're a parent, then you know my pain, especially if you've gone through the last of the molars (I wrote about his teething pain in "Worlds toughest job" as well). Needless to say, my day looked a lot like- bringing lunch to his Dada at work, coming home, and sitting. There was a lot of sitting and gazing off into wonderland, and daydreaming about a full nights rest.

Toli fell asleep on the car ride home from viewing an apartment, which was about 5:45pm, and he slept right through the night. Poor kid has been running on fumes since Tuesday, as he has not been napping well either. So aside from me having to run to a drugstore to buy ibuprofen for my little munchkin (since he was inconsolable from about 2-5 am I decided to reach out to a mummy group on Facebook and ask for some help around his teething pain at 1:30 am- most answers led to ibuprofen over tylenol for teething pain), I decided it was time for some laid back "Lyssa time". I ran a bath with geranium oil, epsom salt, and baking soda with a new exfoliator, and face mask by my side.

Who knew how refreshed I would feel? I mean, yes the active ingredients in my organic facial products do leave a refreshing feeling (I love the Giovanni skin care line!), but the whole experience of just laying in a wonderfully warm, and inviting bath with skin softeners (baking soda), and natural relaxers (epsom salts- also amazing for the skin) and essential oils... I can't even begin to explain how awesome this was for me after a long 48 hours with my family and this whole teething thing!

The thing is, I used to do this all the time for myself- before I was a mama! And, as parents we tend to forget about ourselves along the way. So from one tired parent to another- take a time out for yourself! At least once a week! We can come up with excuses like "I never have time"/ "I'm too busy", but we aren't! We just aren't! If so, the dishes can wait a day, the laundry can be folded tomorrow- and if needed, take your time out while the kids are sleeping during naptime, or bedtime, or hire someone for an hour or two. It can be done! 

What was one thing that just soothed your soul 'back in the day' before you were a parent? Was it a walk in the woods? Meditating? Dancing? Reading an amazing book? I'd love to hear what you used to do, and I want to hear that you'll do it again sometime VERY soon! Let's stay refreshed as parents so we can give the best of ourselves not only to our children, but the world too!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

3 reasons why you should "just do it"

Ever hesitate?... I do. Like when my honey comes home from a long day of work, and all I want to do is grab him and hold him but I feel like I can't. But guess what happens when I do nothing? Usually bickering happens. Someone forgot to put their dirty socks in the laundry basket, or the garbage wasn't taken out. When we hold back from important aspects for our relationship (like giving our honey and hug or a kiss when we get home from work), we miss out on some pretty amazing things.

  1. Kiss your honey. Yes, you probably do it all the time, but do it again! Not only does it release happy hormones for the both of you, but it can also boost your self- esteem!
This image is courtesy of tiverylucky/
        2.  Hug it out. Did you know that hugging strengthens your immune system? 

        3.  Jump in and do something new that you've been wanting to do with your partner. If you've been together for a few years, sometimes its great to liven things up a bit. Like your "dating" for the first time again. 
This image is courtesy of Savit Keawtavee/

With a toddler roaming around the house its hard to remember to do these things sometimes and get lost in "Mommy land" of things I needed to do I started to remember how much fun my relationship with my honey was in the beginning, and have been reading up on some blogs on how I could reignite that spark again. So I've started a "Date night ideas" list in my phone that I  will begin to execute and blog about in the near future. 

If your like me and sometimes forget the value behind the parents who work so hard to raise a child and forget to foster their relationship sometimes. Try these three things out, and I'll keep you posted on future endevours I've already found in Vancouver to do for dates- fun stuff, romantic stuff. Stick around to see how those ideas come to fruition.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Life Changes

Doesn't it always? I sat contemplating the direction of my life (once again) over pasta, and red wine at one of my favourite local restaurants in downtown Vancouver- Basil Pasta Bar. Gluten free, and dairy free options. 

Just. Plain. Amazing. 

So I had my trusty journal (to write out my thoughts while I waited for my food) as my mind swirled with contemplation 

"What is next? What feels RIGHT?"

My mind was swirling with thoughts, or 'creative juices', something I hadn't always given myself credit for- I've stifled my 'creative flow' for too long! 

My life has taken me on so many journeys, which seem like they are all completely different paths, but it helped me end up where I am today- another fork in the road. Those 'creative juices' I spoke of? Well, I hadn't given myself permission to use them to their full potential. I envied 'those' people who were living to their full potential

"Why hadn't I given myself permission?"

(Danielle LaPorte writes a guest post on Positively Positive on "Permission from the Universe", have a read. Not only is this woman amazing- but so too is this post!)

Sometimes things stop feeling good, sometimes something you thought you wanted may stop feeling like you want it anymore. Personally, I think that that's ok. It's ok to follow your heart. No matter how turbulent it may feel. Because out of what you may deem as a 'mistake' was actually guiding you to what you actually need in your life. We all hit learning curves (if we so choose to use those opportunities), so when things do stop feeling good- use that to move on to the next step! Stop beating yourself up! I know I tend to do that. 

Some people strive for happiness. Some for money, some for other things. I choose happiness. And I love to follow my heart. It has brought me to so many wonderful places that I can't even describe that I'm so grateful that I've done for myself. Because I don't see life as a journey to become "successful" in money terms- yes, of course "money makes the world go 'round", but so too does just being content, happy and excited with life. How wonderful this whole experience is, and why do we miss out? Because we deem ourselves unworthy? Try again! 

Give yourself FULL permission to live your own life!

As my gramma always says "you can't take it with you". No,
money will not follow us into the the other side... But that's another talk on its own. 

Image is courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Feelin' Good!

Have you heard Michael Buble's "Feeling Good"? I love this guy! I saw him a total of 3 times with my Gramma so far, and will be seeing him again this summer.

As I start this post, I'm listening to his song (I get goosebumps listening to it almost every time!).

I talk to my sister about life a lot of the time. What's going on for her, what's going on for me, and anytime something is going on she usually gets kinda snarky with me and says "your such an optimist!". And I've always loved that she said that about me. I am an optimist- most of the time. I always tend to see the brighter side of life.

The reason for this post, is that I want to feel good physically right now, and I'm optimistic that I can make that happen in not too long a time.

I grew up as a really skinny girl, my sister used to call me Pinocchio because I was so 'stick' skinny. And I've taken that for granted. I never really took care of my physical body by working out, and always felt ok about how I looked. And when I did workout, it took 1 session to get a flat stomach. But now that I've had my little Toli- Bear and am nearing my 30's (yes, I'm kinda shaking on the inside about my "30th" which comes up early next year), I'm finding that its not so easy anymore.

Hence this post. I've already started a 2 week planking challenge and am on day 5. To be honest with you I'm not seeing results like I usually do, and this does not make me feel very good as I have a Vegas trip coming up in a few weeks (yes, I'm prepping a bikini body) with pool parties, and sunshine. So, lets just say I'm motivated at the moment to look, and feel healthy.

Just to bring you up to speed I made a daily goals list a few days ago- don't mind my sons creative art added below :) And a part of this list is to workout, go for a walk, and meditate- among other cool things that we can talk about later

Keep in mind this is my idea of the 'perfect day'. I'm not there yet, but little by little I'm adding more steps into my daily routine.

It's the small steps that lead to big change in the end

Among the coolness of the 2 week planking challenge, I've started the 7 minute workout app that I've had on my phone for months. Yes, I started it. And yes, I stopped. I set the darn thing onto daily notifications so its nags at me. Every. Single. Day. 

It requires no gym equipment, and is a scientifically researched workout routine. All you need is a chair, a wall, and of course yourself (once you've peeled yourself off of the couch). If done at high intensity everyday its like doing an hour long workout, and is great for your metabolism. So, I'm back on that train again with a great motivator to look good for the upcoming month, but I still need to start this whole walking thing. It's nice out (most days), and I've been walking more than usual, but its time to make this a daily habit. I live in Yaletown, the water is 2 blocks away, and I need to get my cardio in anyways. 

Who's down to make some exercise goals happen with me? Write down, or comment here on your top priority goals. Let's get this whole feelin' good thing down together. We can keep eachother on track for these spring goals, and motivate one another.

So today I pledge to you to start my daily power walk for at least 20 minutes every day


-Also, on a side note I have been meditating on a daily basis with Oprah & Deepak 21 meditation experience which I would totally recommend! This round with Oprah and Deepak is on "Finding your flow", and it just started 5 days ago so if you start day 1 now, you can keep up, or even catch up (from the day it began it is available for 5 days afterward). 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Quick 20 minute recipe

Last week on a beautiful, sunny day in Vancouver, I decided while cleaning my home that I needed to refuel, so I needed a simple lunch idea. This one took me about 20 minutes to make.

I needed something really quick, so I could continue to focus my energy on spring cleaning. If your like me, and want to eat healthy, but also like simplicity I urge you to try out this recipe!

Here's what you need:

2-3 Chicken thighs
1 tsp for each pan of Coconut oil
1/2 c. Bread crumbs (I use gluten free)
1/3 c. Flour (I'm using what I have on hand for gluten free which is potato flour
3 handfuls of Spinach
2 cloves of Garlic
handful of Nut or seed of choice (I'm using pinenuts)
Salt & pepper to taste
Seasoning of choice (I'm using "no salt added- table shake seasoning")

And sliced avacado on the side (I need to use mine up, so whatever is on hand- use)

If you want to bake- preheat the oven to 350f, and bake for about 30 mins. Or warm on medium heat a large and small pan. For my "quickness" I'm frying the thighs. 

Throw the flour and bread crumbs in a bowl with salt pepper and seasoning. Mix and add rinsed thighs to coat. Put into oven or frying pan with a tsp. of coconut oil. 

As the chicken cooks, put about 3 big handfuls of spinach into the large pan with a tsp of coconut oil salt and pepper. Put a lid on the spinach to steam. 

While the chicken and spinach is cooking press garlic, and add to spinach with a touch more salt and pepper (I find when I layer the seasoning it seems to balance the flavour in steaming the spinach). Mix spinach, and put lid back on for another minute or so- until wilted. 

Slice avocados, and place food on plate with the rest of the food (I decorated my dish with pinenuts)

I wanted to add my reason for using coconut oil. Coconut oil is heat stable, so it's very safe to use over other oils (even my favourite olive oil) for cooking- along with an array of awesome healthy benefits and uses.


Friday, 11 April 2014

Toddler hunting season

Is your toddler gluten/ dairy/ whatever else free? Or, maybe you're just looking for healthier options aside from the usual chocolate Easter egg hunt (p.s.- I LOVED that as a child! But my teeth sure didn't!).

My Easter egg hunt- which is happening at my Gramma and Papa's will be inspired by hunts I had at my grans place when I was a kid. 

The hunt will start from the bedroom where he find his Easter basket, and a trail of plastic easter eggs with healthy goodies inside, and the trail will lead the living room with some books, and other small fun toys. Below is a brainstorm:

Easter hunt ideas: (inspired by Adventures with the Little Man)

  • Easter basket
  • Easter inspired books
  • Magnets- alphabet/ other
  • Bubbles
  • Bath toys
  • Bunny ears (something I already have laying around the house)
For plastic eggs

This week I'm off to collect what I need at 
Nice and cheap for the most part. I've been seeing people talk about buying Ipad's, bikes and whatnot on Facebook. That's not really what I remember from Easter egg hunts as a child. I look at Easter as a time of creative fun! I may come up with some crafty projects if I feel so inclined to.

Happy shopping, and creating for the Easter hunt!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Wishing, hoping, daydreaming...

Ever feel like you loose track of time? Of "things" that you want to do?

Before I started my weekend I had fleeing thoughts as I looked outside my window.

I wished all of a sudden that I had the stamina to go outside with my son Toli to walk through the cherry blossoms when it was sunny out yesterday, or the day before (I really wanted to, but with some really bad back pain, I just couldn't see myself chasing my little ball of energy around). And then the weather changed, it clouded over and looked like the picture above. 

I had envisioned a fun time with my son, so I felt a bit sad about the whole thing, but we were already packing up to stay at my grandparents for the weekend. 

And a few things popped into my head as I had this thought. Firstly, we were going away for the weekend to see my grandparents- YAY! We always love going there, its relaxing, calm, and so serene.

Secondly, I just purchased a new book at Chapters- The Happiness Project, because who doesn't need a little more happiness in their life?

I had only skimmed through a few sections while I was at Chapters, but it basically talks about being happy in every area of life. That, and I also had a talk with a close friend around "complaining" recently. Complaining just sucks the darn life outta ya, all the positive vibes go down, and you just don't feel good, do ya? So instead, with just a little inspiration, I decided to look at the positive aspects of life instead of looking outside and seeing a dreary day, and a failed attempt at exploring the newness of spring with my son.

The article on complaining talks about choosing joy over complaining or sarcasm (I tend to lean towards sarcasm when 'trying' to be witty/ funny, and I've run dry on humour, but sarcasm is not a 'joyful' state). This awesome blog is by Rebecca Butler who did a guest blog on Mind Body Green (one of my favorite go to blog sites). 

So when your feeling in a yucky mood, try and look at the more positive aspects of life that may be happening for you. The glass is either half empty, or half full. 

You choose

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Wonderful Renewal

Well, we all know spring has started. You want to know how I can tell? The sun shines into my living room in the early morning- I love it!

I don't know about you, but I get excited about this time of year. It's a time of change, a time of letting go, a time of growth, and best of all, everything is colourful and NEW!

So what do we do when this time of year comes up? We spring clean! Well, most of us.. But it really IS the perfect time to do so! With all this 'newness' of the year, its a perfect time to let go of what no longer serves you- emotionally, mentally, and physically.

You may be asking,

"well, where's the best place to start?"

I have a great notion that starting with your home is the BEST place to start! So many books I have at home on clutter (I've been diligently working away at it for about 10 years, yes, 10 years), and one in particular called "Clear your clutter with Feng Shui" by Karen Kensington that discuss's how physical clutter reflects your internal clutter. If your looking for a book on how and where to start, I would recommend this simple, and easy to read book- it's pocket size so you can put it in your purse or bag, and read it on the sky train (if you live in Vancouver like me), bus, or train while on your way to work, or if your toddler is taking a nap (that's my free time). The chapters go into different areas of your life like physical clutter in the home, mental clutter, and emotional clutter- all are inter-related.

Personally, I know when I'm not in a good place. I can tell when I'm stressed because my house becomes cluttered; papers gone awry, laundry basket  becomes overloaded, dishes are piled up in the sink. My mental clutter shows in the way my house looks.

Are you holding onto old clothes, gifts, or just plain old "stuff" that just sits there? There's a great rule I've read, and it goes something like this

"if you don't use it, lose it!"

Maybe that's just my saying, who knows.

If it all seems just too overwhelming, and it CAN feel overwhelming, start with just one space. Maybe it'll be your

  • junk drawer
  • closet 
  • living room
  • car (YES, your car too!)
Gretchin Rubin talks about physical clutter in the beginning of her book "The happiness project", on how we actually have MORE energy by clearing away things we no longer have use for (or maybe, truthfully NEVER had use for).
The only way you'll get through your clutter is to

"Just do it"

this is one of my favourite mottos to live by.

I haven't started my spring cleaning yet, but I'm excited to! With a toddler in the house I actually try to do a mini spring clean every season, and with a move coming up for my family and I at the end of May, I'm really in the mood to purge as much as I possibly can (less to pack? I think yes!).

Here's a great blog called "5 strategies to spring clean your entire life" by Trish Allan for some additional tips on spring cleaning. I know I can always turn to Mind Body Green for great content from awesome bloggers. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Have you started spring cleaning, or just don't know where to start?  Where ever you are in your process, I'd love to hear about it, and maybe we can help each other out!