In A Nutshell

As an ambitious 25 year old still figuring out parenting and my roll in the adult life I'm determined to get the most out of myself. Right now my main personal values are Challenge, Curiosity, Self-respect, and Belonging.

Every person has an inner voice telling them what they need, it says "wake up now" in the morning it says "don't eat that" when we're full. Growing up means learning that nobody can be that voice for you. You have to learn to hear it, and find the strength to listen over every other voice calling for your attention and telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

I Dream Of Thriving Neighborhood, 5 Ideas To Shake Things Up A Bit

Whats behind the door? Every person is like a treasure trove of precious resources, as long as they remain isolated and absorbed in grief and consumed by their troubles those precious contributions remain locked away. Ironically healing does not come from being consumed by your trouble, be it depression, loneliness, insecurity, it comes by redirecting the mind from unhealthy thought patterns and replacing them with gratitude, appreciation, and goodwill.

There has to be a better way to connect individuals overwhelmed by social, mental, physical strains to the resources they need to flourish. My brain is always clicking, clickety clack, and the same theme keeps coming up, community. Get people connected. There are so many groups and initiatives bettering peoples lives. Finding both people to utilize the resources and people to make resources available, and discovering that the same person may be responsible for both, as they're supported, being able to give back.

What can you do to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood from your own home as the presence you occupy on this earth?

Here are a couple recent ideas:

City Social Networking Structure

When you enter Facebook and start selecting friends, the website automatically suggests possible friend interests, when your on a website at the bottom of the post there's a prompt "you may also be interested in" essentially, the idea behind city social networking is that there are neighborhood coordinators responsible for networking individuals based on interests and proposing friendships.

They would present a questionnaire to people in their neighborhood and connect people with similar interests, not virtually connect them with an online relationship, but with someone down the street from them. They would also suggest resources and groups operating in the area. It would be an event and friend finding service tailored to each unique neighborhood.

Every isolated life is like a closed door in the vast empty hallway of a community. How quite is your hallway?

Neighborhood Welcome House / Information Center

Have volunteers who open their home as neighborhood welcome houses and information centers, Who are part of a group that is staying current with local events, they can be set up with house improvement grants and grants for outdoor playgrounds and kids toys (many cities already have "beautification" grant money for home improvements in their budget but there is a qualification process) for neighborhood families to meet and bring their kids. The focus is on bringing families together out of isolation and out of goodwill and kind hearts. have training courses for the volunteers to learn basic counselling skills.

They would live in their home in the neighborhood they work with and get to know the people around, come up with ideas for everyone to do together, like block parties, ice skating, bake exchange, picnics, and art programs and have regular times throughout the week when they host guests on an appointment and drop in basis. While the neighborhood coordinator goes out, the welcome house is available as a connecting point.

Neighborhood Coordinator

These are people who would have a full time job getting out the door and talking to people in their designated area, each "area" would be responsible for about 1000 households, meaning every day of the year they would need to visit 2 households a day to visit them all in a year. They would be responsible to know the social events, community groups, local initiatives, and helpful resources. Essentially they collect information on what families are hoping for, what they can offer, ideas they may have to make it a better place, and connects them with friends in the area that may have similar intersets.

They would put together an information package and go door to door asking  people about what they want out of their city and what they would like to see done here, then connect them to resources that could be helpful to them.

First step: find resources in town

Second step: talk to people door to door and connect them to the resources and making a contact list so if a group of interest comes up they could be called and informed.

The Neighborhood Questionnaire

There would be questions along these lines:
  • What they're looking for from their neighborhood and what they would like to get from living where they are.
  • Do they have any ideas to try to make the neighborhood a good place to live.
  • What would they be interested in getting involved in, with a list of some of the local events and groups
  • What cause or mission would they get behind and support?
  • There would be an ideas sheet left to hang on their fridge with a map of their neighborhood and a contact number to call

Switch Chat

This is an event I'm pretty excited about designing, more on it another time, essentially it's a concept that can be used with any social setting to stimulate relationship building and connections.
There would be an online interactive map with information about everything going on it town.
three doors image credit Salvatore Vuano - freedigitalphotos.net

Friday, 13 December 2013

Are You A Wounded Healer Or A Wouded Wounder

Don't just live where you reside on this planet for what you can get out of it, a good facade, status, peace and quite. What do you think of the house you live in and the neighborhood where you live? Reside on this earth and in your home for what you can bring to those who live around you. What can I give to my neighborhood? How can I improve life for everyone who lives around me?

In a cyber connected world it's easy to forget that we occupy real space and we share it with others. How can you be warmth on a cold street or light in a dark alley? There are both small and big ways, every act of kindness has more depth of meaning and power to change lives than acts of violence.

There are two sorts of people, wounded wounder's and wounded healers. When you wound others out of your woundedness you perpetuate the chaos and damage in your own life as well as create it in the life of others. When you use your wounds to heal others you bring healing to yourself.

I've deliberated with myself how personal I would allow myself to be on this blog, and in the future I may decide to remove this post, but the personal has recently burst into all elements of my life.

Two months ago I left my husband and became the single mom of 2 children in a 420 sq ft apartment. People say, "why would they stay in that kind of relationship" but what a stupid question to ask from a healthy relationship. A terrible marriage is still a marriage and what's the alternative? Right now life looks small but I'm still dreaming big and thinking, how can I be a loving presence in the life of my children, my neighborhood, and my city.

image courtesy of xedos4 / www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sunday, 24 November 2013

What If School Was Kind: The Objectives Of Our System Are Off Base And 3 Suggestions For change

How many kids struggle in school because of unkindness?

Or because their made to feel stupid?

How many young adults are headed down a path of healthy financial habits that will improve their quality of life and that of their neighborhood?



Transform education objectives for the purpose of building a strong competent communities:
What if there where 3 main learning outcomes for every level of education with the ultimate goal of creating a better community to live in utilizing the education system to implement change in the next generation, in this order:
  1. Kindness
  2. Financial Stability
  3. Strengths Finding
Everything outside these three learning outcomes would be a bonus.

What kind of community could be built up around, kind, financially stable adults who are competent in their abilities that they utilize through skills.

Kindness
How do you foster kindness in children toward one another, their community, and nature?
Financial Stability
How do you help children learn about the importance and responsibility of financial stability, debt, saving, and investing?
Strengths Fining
How do you help children find their strengths so they know what abilities they bring into any line of work and add skills to complement the abilities?


If children where kind to each other, if adults where kind to children, if men where kind to women, and women to men, if we where kind to our neighbors and co workers, how much better would quality of life on a personal and communal scale improve?

What if the primary goal of every school, day care, grade school, and high school, was to pursue these three outcomes for every member? Integrating them in a holistic approach involving the entire experience, student, teacher, and every staff member.

Currently the focus of our education system is on skills the teacher is expected to bestow on the child, however if fostering character is the focus, skills are naturally acquired by the student from their natural willing desire to learn and improve as a person.


This is my idea for how to ensure the learning outcomes where being explored and executed in creative and meaningful ways:

Each school would have 3 learning outcomes coordinators 1 assigned to each goal, and the coordinators from each school system would collaborate regularly including a monthly meeting which would be webcast live to all teachers, parents, and students who wanted to participate in the collaboration, and get discussion going on the topics, feel involved and share ideas and skills.

The Learning Outcome Coordinators would spend a significant portion of time together in one large office space filled with comfortable standing height desks, easy chairs, hammocks, a space inductive to creativity, creating plans for teachers, volunteers, and students to try out. the rest of the time would be spent in their assigned school taking initiative to talk to teachers and students.

In this way the plans being pursued to accomplish the goals would update in real time, instead of being developed once, packaged, and sent out into the system, needing a complete overhaul before being updated.

How was your education experience? If your school had focused on these three goals as their mission how would that have changed the experience? I think it's a pretty good idea, what would you contribute or change? comment or send me an e-mail thisgiftisforyou@gmail.com

Update: I found this website about a kindness and empathy centered curriculum!
http://www.lifevestinside.com/

Not a Cage

However you feel now, whatever your lifes circumstances are, it is not a cage keeping you from the life you wish you could live and the person you wish you could be. Its a training ground, every choice and action a new skill to take you to the next stage.

Imagine that your going down a highway, its easy and not a whole lot of concentration is involved but there's a problem, this highway will never ever end up at the destination your trying to find in fact, it circles it.

It is a great big highway that you can whip around all you like but never end up where you want to be. How can you get where you want to be?

The next time you see someone caught up in an unhealthy habit, or overweight dont think "why dont you do something with yourself." instead think "theres someone on a highway and getting the motivation and support to get off and build a new road is very difficult"

Your going to have to get out of the car and walk, navigate unfamiliar terrain in unknown conditions for an uncertain period of time, and although there is no way in to your destination by car there are many many pick up points along your hike that will take you back to it if the trail gets to difficult. But once you take pick up point, you'll have to start the journey all over again if you decide to try again. This path is difficult. But only at first.

What im describing are habits and the way the brain functions based on the most used neural pathways, some of those bad habits are highways in your thought life. If your on a highway that isn't taking you where you want to go, your going to have to build a new one and it's going to be a lot of work, but once it's been built, it will be just as easy to navigate as the one your currently on.

I've Been Cleaning In My Sleep Since I Was 11... Okay, It Was Only Once, But Still

I do this in my sleep!
I finished lunch and was going to serve up some vegetables for myself when I checked the table for my plate, it was not there. Looking around the room it was nowhere in sight, I just had that plate where did it go? Unconsciously into the dishwasher, score! My conscious efforts to change my messy habits seem to be taking effect is that awesome or what?

It brings to mind the time I started cleaning my room in my sleep when I was 11. As I fell asleep I looked around the room and decided it needed to be cleaned tomorrow and had a dream I was sitting on the bed stacking books, I put one stack on the floor and started stacking another. I woke up with a book in my hand and peered curiously at the side of the bed, where yes, there was the books I had stacked in my sleep.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

You Can Do This For Yourself Right Now: A 5 Minute Life Plan To Get You Dreaming

Basing my birthday as the start of a new year in my life I sketched together ideas for the next 50 years to see the general direction I'd like to be headed, the first number is my age, second numbers are my kids ages.

I'd like to share my love for art with my children as they grow up, and I'd like to work with them on their education so they graduate early and can move right into doing what they love, whatever that turns out to be whether art, mathematics, trades, whatever.

I painted this for my sister in 2011, it hangs as a canvas at an insurance office in town, people are always commenting on it asking where it came from... maybe I should pursue this talent...

25   3, 0      finish independent living program (Every Dream Alive)
26   4, 1      become professional artist, teach the EDA program
27   5, 2      paint professionally, teach program
28   6, 3      paint, teach program to more teachers
29   7, 4      exhibit in galleries across Canada and US, keep up with programs progress
30   8, 5      apply for schooling at the Royal Academy in London
31   9, 6      art school
32   10, 7    art school
33   11, 8    year in Canada with relatives
34   12, 9    world travel, painting
35   13, 10  world travel, painting
36   14, 11  settle in Canada near relatives
37   15, 12  Wesley starts art school (if that's what she is interested in)
...
40   18, 15  Hayleigh starts art school
...
44    22,19  spend winters travelling and doing art, summers in Canada
...
50    settle on a hobby farm near relatives

you can do this for yourself right now, pull out a piece of loose leaf and number the margins with each number for the age your going to be, your birthday is the start of the year. Include your children's ages so you can consider them and what they might need at that stage in their life.

I've also taken this and plotted it into months on a year calendar for each year from 2013 - 2015 so I know what I need to focus on each month to reach my goals.

What do you think? Do you figure I'll be able to do it?

Getting Stuff Done

Time to just do it. Just do it.
Sometimes I don't want to. I don't want to put my kids for a nap, clean the house, wake up in the morning on time. I just want to sit eternally with no end to the sitting, to give up. But then I think about what that leads to and don't want any part in that.

I tried to go off caffeine starting yesterday, nope didn't go over so well, I was sluggish and depressed all day yesterday, oh goodness I may be addicted... so to solve my dilemma I poured myself a delicious cup and yummo, how I missed thee my coffee. Perhaps some day I'll successfully go off it, but I have to much I'm trying to get done right now to focus on ditching an old friend that may not be good for me, or maybe it is, or maybe it isn't. One things for sure, the sugar isn't but I can't reduce the sugar either. Why have it at all if I can't enjoy it's bitter sweet flavor.

Maybe I could try caffeinated tea with honey, there's an idea! I doubt it though, because the flavor is a pretty big part of the experience.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Insanity Of This Lady And Her Fitness Craze: A Video

Here's a video about my fitness journey spanning three years and the birth of my two children.

Throughout this period I tried a number of programs including P90X, Insanity Asylum, Brazilian Butt Lift, Daniel Fast, and currently I'm trying out the Bony to Bombshell beta (it's still in the process of being made put together)

12 Weeks Bony to Bombshell Progress

Remember what I said 8 weeks ago about never giving up when I was back up to 175 after the first 4 weeks? Here's why...


.... it wasn't a wasted month of effort, because now 8 weeks later I'm down to 166! When you slip up don't give up, keep trying until you succeed. I've got more work to do but I'm very happy with the progress I'm already making.


Height 5'8"
- Start weight: 175.9
- Current weight: 165.8
- shoulder circumference: start 45.5, current 44.75
- waist circumference start: 33.5, current 32              
- hip circumference: start 44.5, current 43.5
- thigh circumference: start 28, current 27.25

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

On top of the World

I am so excited, really I am, finally after much thinking and writing...

My brain has conceived and in the next couple weeks of labor it shall birth an amazing brain child!

In the evening as soon as I lay my head down on the pillow and close my eyes ideas start coming together independently, this really doesn't take any work. If I spend the day purposefully trying to figure something out, say a layout for a piece of art I want to work on all I have to do is spend a couple hours browsing pinterest and enjoying the process of finding beautiful things then without fail ideas come to me in flashes as soon as I close my eyes at night... as you can imaging that doesn't always give me a lot of sleep lol.

I jump out of bed and am sketching for the next hour or three, and the next day try to figure out how I can complete the project. So if there's a project you just can't figure out, have fun looking at other peoples solutions, immerse yourself in it and be sure to keep a notebook close to the bed cause something's going to come to you, Surprise yourself and try it!

Here's the finished product of a wedding present idea that arrived in my mind last month for my brother in law

The wedding portrait idea
So why am I excited?
Because of the idea that made it's way onto paper at 3 AM last week, actually a couple ideas but I'm going to have to choose one and run with it. It's an idea for how to create an easily customizable menu board and nutrition tracker for the teen girls I work with and the independent living program.

Also I've been dreaming about my ideal wardrobe and dream home, which leaves anyone in a good mood. I found the property I want, it's just a bit early in the life plan for that particular property, sigh. It's 58 acres 10 minutes outside the city oh drool. Well the dream is that in five to eight years I'll be in a position to purchase my dream acreage and build a great family home on it, just in time for my littlest to be old enough to enjoy horses with me.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Motivation, Courage, Peace of Mind

The path to change begins with three foundational practices: thankfulness, inspiration, and giving.

Thankfulness is your motivator. I believe motivation to explore and create rises from an appreciation for what's already present

Inspiration fuels your courage. Borrow courage from others walking the same path. Quote their inspirational words in your journal every day, quote them in your mind, and on your walls, surround yourself with the support of courageous words.

Giving is your peace of mind, it's "the state of being where your mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep yourself strong and face discord or stress". "How can I bring joy to others?" is a question that gives peace to your own heart and works therapy on your soul, it says, "I am content with all I have for myself, and have so much to offer others"

My hope is to build these three practices into the starting point and accumulative purpose for the Independent Living Program both in the Life Skills and Self Discovery portion. Essentially, organizing your house, time, life, finances, and learning about yourself is accomplished for the purpose of becoming more thankful, inspired, and live to bring your light to the world and all you have to offer.

The program will begin with a very basic foundational habit like this:

Every morning label the top of the page something like "Life is Good" and write three things your thankful for, remember graphically a specific reason your thankful, write details of what situations and circumstances make you so thankful.
Feel the invigorating energy, warmth, or whatever positive feelings settle in your heart as you think about those good memories. Write a note about the feelings writing these thankful words bring like "I feel content" "I feel loved" "I feel peaceful"

Life is Beautiful

Thursday, 20 June 2013

4 Week Bony to Bombshell

The most important thing about your fitness journey is to never give up. Don't give up on yourself, if you never give up you'll make it I promise you that. Not reaching my goals is not an option for me, I have an entire wardrobe of clothing to fit back into, the ever coveted size 6 jeans (from what I've read apparently most women feel at their best in about this size, including myself).

4 week before and after
4 week before and after testing out the "Bony to Bombshell" Beta this is 175.6 lbs. before and 172.9 in the after
There's not a big loss of weight here but my abs just popped right out I couldn't believe it. A weeks vacation threw my eating plan completely out of whack and I'm back up to 175 lbs. but I won't give up, I know that this program works and is going to give me the lean toned look I'm going for so it's back to it this week.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Event 1 - Soul Song Heart Sick

I've got the first event in my self discovery exercises ready. These are one part of a larger program I'm developing for young adults ages 16 - 21, I post a new event every second Friday.

This week were going to make some collages to become more self aware. Collect images and words that lift your spirit and bring you joy, and images and words that bring you down

Vision
Inspiration creating vision to spark motivation for independence

Purpose
The programs intention is to prepare youth to be self sustaining by the age of 21. The program will have them owning 3000$ in assets, 1/3 of which they earn themselves (it's a funded program). They will have learned technical skills such as following a routine, cooking, cleaning, managing paperwork, and budgeting finances including knowledge and experience with credit cards.

On top of technical skills each young adult will leave the program with a mixed media life planning tool kit they've created to continue building bridges to a sense of purpose in their life, find a creative voice, and stay connected to their ambitions. consisting of their ideas and positive affirmations including: core values, inspirations, roll models, and positive self talk so they can feel empowered to believe in themselves and begin their next adventure.

Objectives
Value the individuals personal ambitions, demonstrating support and belief in their ability to problem solve and make decisions by involving them as full partners in developing their plan and making day to day decisions. Leaving them with the knowledge to manage a home and defining a vision for their life.

Here's the video as promised explaining the details of the event:


Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Heart Sick Mosaic

Here's one of the two mosaics I'll be making for the very first self-discovery event I've called, "Heart sick, and Souls Song Mosaics"

As you can see, not the most encouraging or uplifting patchwork of images. Ominous and upsetting are two words that come to mind. Actually while working on this it was interesting to observe the impact the images had on my mood, I found myself irritable.
As part of the Independent Living Program I'm developing I took video for the first "Self Discovery Event" last Friday and am planning to post it this Friday. I hope to publish two events a month, every second Friday. And on the side continue working on the "Order In the House" portion of the program, where I'm creating a multi media method for keeping household tasks in order and in they're place so the fun and uplifting things that make life worth living don't get left behind with childhood.

I've already done this with one group of young ladies to test it out and have tweaked it a little since then, so I'm very thankful for my test group and will ask them if they'll let me share some of their own creations. I was busy leading the event so didn't get a chance to do my own until this week.

When's the last time you where able to take a bit of time to do something fun and creative that you wanted to do? If there's 15 creative things you wish you had time to do, try this anti-procrastination remedy: "choose three and do one" just choose three and try to do one of them. Once you get on a roll you'll likely end up getting the other two done as well.


Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Firepit Concept

After a blissful day exploring pintrest for outdoor decorating ideas my head started overflowing with ideas and I had to get some of them down on paper before I forgot. Here's the concept I drew up for a fire pit area beside out house. The concrete pad was there when we bought the place but we use the driveway for cars so don't use it,

in my ideas almost everything is made of pallets, the privacy fence, couches, and planters. I'll have to draw up a more detailed "how to" regarding the way the pallets are going to fit together and make a design for that canopied love seat in the image to the right.

the fence would give some privacy and enclosure to make a cozy visiting space, and I'd like to put LED lights into the fence for some ambiance on late summer evenings

I have a pintrest group where I'm currently collecting the paint and fabric swatches for the project
http://pinterest.com/meghanm21/my-outdoor-project/
Right now we have a tiled cement area beside our house that I want to turn into an outdoor living space

Here are some of the inspirations for this idea:

An image of the sort of fence I'd like to make
...
This is about how the couches would work, depending on the design of the pallets I can get
...
Another nice pallet couch
...

Saturday, 1 June 2013

My Outdoor Project

I spent most of yesterday vicariously satisfying my creativity on pintrest, until I couldn't sit back any more and had to create... my creative work was the design of these outdoor living spaces, a firepit for my side yard, and eating area for out the back door.

With all the cool inspirational stuff I saw for outdoor projects I had to decide what all I wanted to use my outdoors for:
  • front porch sitting area, two arm chairs and a bench, or a swing, definitely needs a canopy to sit out in bad weather
  • a fire pit at the side of the house where we already have a concrete pad
  • a dining area that connects to the fire pit area, and is easily accessible from the back door
  • a vegetable garden
  • a playhouse/garden shed. Garden shed below with stairs to a playhouse tower
here is the labor of love that is my super cheap outdoor living concept, did you know all the cool stuff you can do with pallets? I sure didn't, I went to bed last night and new ideas kept coming to me, I see why your supposed to keep a pencil and notebook by your bed.

I have a pintrest group where I'm currently collecting the paint and fabric swatches for the project
http://pinterest.com/meghanm21/my-outdoor-project/

Here is the back porch concept, I want to have led lights under the porch. Those are homemade planters, and the fence with plants hanging on it and couch in the background are also made of pallets and are part of my fireplace concept

Here are some of the inspirations for this idea:

This was the main inspiration for the design here, the roof and pallet coffee table, with the pallet deck, I thought a pallet couch might be overkill though...
...


Absolutely gorgeous! Here's why I want a pallet deck with cushions on it, right here. (original source)
...

On the far right of my concept drawing you see some plats growing in the wall, this is where that idea came from (original source)
...
And I'm going to have to post my fireplace concept later :)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Weekly Outline Thoughts

I'm going to try write out a couple things that I have to do, or would like to do every week and pencil in a day for them

There's a couple things that have to get done every week to keep things running smoothly let's see... cleaning the fridge, menu planning, grocery shopping, paperwork, two blog articles each week, developing my household coach idea, filming self-discovery activities, prepare something thoughtful for a friend or family

I also have a couple events that I'd like to start attending weekly to get out and socialize a bit: a moms and kids group on Tuesdays, and a ladies group on Thursdays

Monday events:

  • cleaning the fridge
  • menu planning

Tuesday events:

  • moms and kids
  • grocery shopping

Wednesday events:

  • work on household coach idea
  • blog article

Thursday events:

  • ladies group
  • paperwork

Friday events:

  • film self-discovery activity
  • blog article

Saturday events:

  • do something thoughtful
  • work on my self discovery project

Sunday events:

  • family time
  • work on my self discovery project

And this is a very basic break down of a typical day, I'm going to get more in depth about what some of these involve.
  • 6:00 - 12:00 Morning is house cleaning and chores
  • 1:00 - 3:00 Afternoon has a nap time for kids... and usually mom too when I wake up I make supper
  • 4:30 -7:30 time set aside for that days event
  • 7:30 - 9:00 family time and sleep prep routine
  • 9:00 whatever, not planned at the moment, usually finish up whatever I felt like continuing from the days event

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Thinking About Spritual Health

When I go through my day and come to a moment that challenges me I think to myself "lean in".
Lean into life, not lean back or coast. Those small moments that you let pass by as insignificant but make up the bulk of life and put your personality out there. Thinks like taking a minute to approach an acquaintance you bump into and catch up or going across the street to talk to your neighbor about something interesting in their garden when your both outside.

Spiritual health is in our connectedness. We are connected to ourselves, to other people like our family, friends, and community, even the rest of the world. We're connected to God and connected to nature. Caring for your spiritual health is respecting our connectedness.

Sister friends

The world is in a balance displaying the depth of our connection, it's light on one side of the clouds and dark on the other, volcanos erupt and cause destruction, floods and famines make life difficult which of these three is more significant? There's a natural order to the world and we keep looking for it, knowing somehow it's not as it should be. With all the injustice and suffering, we're trying to figure out why nature causes us so much pain and wonder there has to be an answer.

We're all connected in a way that can't be measured or given quantity. I hope to be able to align my actions in life with my desire to show respect.

Family, grandparents, and everyone who was a big part of our life at the time

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Bathroom Organization Ideas

To begin cleaing my bathroom fist I had to think about what all I do in there in order to eliminate unnececary items and products, and be sure I had everything I needed on hand for a quick and simple morning takeoff. There's no point cleaning and sorting a bunch of junk I'm not using. When I write out my routine I'm able to breeze through a checklist knowing I won't forget anything important, and where I can take shortcuts if I'm in a rush.  

Morning Bathroom Routine

This is everything I could think of that I'd do on a regular morning numbered in the order I do them. Green are essential things I'd do even in a rush, blue are what I like doing most mornings.
  1. shower
  2. shave
  3. brush teeth
  4. floss and mouthwash
  5. body moisturize
  6. morning face skin care (for me with dry skin that means moisturizing with an sunblocking face cream)
  7. dress
  8. scent management
  9. blow dry hair
  10. style hair
  11. makeup on
  12. accesorize with jewlery

Evening Bathroom Routine 

  1. makeup removing face wash
  2. evening face skin care (once again with dry skin, I apply an overnight moisturizer)

Supplies

here's some ideas I want to try out for organizing my bathroom so I can find everything quickly and not have loads of useless clutter in the way.

keep in the shower:
I'm going to try use a kitchen supplies wall suction holder to keep my toothbrush and toothpaste on the wall of the shower and brush while I condition my hair.
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body wash
  • razor
  • tooth brush
  • tooth paste
basket on the counter:
I'm going to try holstering razors to the wall with two tacks or two nails
  • floss
  • mouthwash
  • one body lotion
  • face skin care supplies
  • deodorant
  • body spray
  • smaller container with boby pins and hair pins
  • shaving gel (for men)
In shoe organizers behind the door:
Here's a neat one, with multiple family members, each could have a couple rows for their products
I'm going to try organizing my styling products by the order their used in. for example if you spray your hair with heat protect, blow dry with a volumizing brush, then straiten, spray with a shine booster, and brush with a boar bristle brush. If I put all the supplies for that routine in order I imagine I'll be able to grab the ones I need, return them, and grab the next one's I need.
  • blow dryer
  • hair brushes
  • styling supplies
  • hair bands
elastics
  • hair clips

  • On the counter or under in easy to grab under the counter containers:

    Maybe a cheap plastic tackle box organizer would work for an under the counter makeup storage option and pencil holders for brushes.

    On the Wall in the bathroom or bedroom by the mirror:
    I've heard of dangling earing off of metal mesh or chicken wire, I want to try make my own using a picture frame from dollarama, mesh, and flat thumb tacks, once I make it I'll be sure to post some pics and how to ;)
    In the past I've put a couple tacks in the wall to showcase necklaces, if you try this and have a couple women and young ladies in the house, make sure borrowing understandings are clear between family members (wether that's no borrowing, bring it back when finished, replace it if broken or lost)

    Bathroom Cleaining Routine

    Here's the order that's been working great for me. I can do a quick clean to get the bathroom sparkling in 5 minutes most mornings. Once again, green is for a quick clean, blue is for an ordinary clean. Here's something new: purple is for an occational cleaning
    1. pile laundry
    2. clear counter top
    3. spray and squirt
    4. wipe mirror
    5. wipe countertop
    6. wash articles on countertop
    7. wipe tub and shower
    8. scrub toillette
    9. wipe down toilette
    10. wipe windowsills
    11. shake out bath matts
    12. throw bath matts in laundry
    13. throw shower curtains in laundry
    14. transport laundry
    15. sweep
    16. empty garbage can
    17. clean out drawers and cupboards

    Cleaning Supplies

    keep in a bucket to pull out easily when washing:
    • multi surface cleaner
    • grunge spray cleaner
    • toilette bowl cleaner
    • rubber gloves
    • scratch free scrubber
    paper towel or microfiber cloths and grungy tea towels, store near the bucket
    laundry basket
    toilette brush
    garbage can

    Friday, 17 May 2013

    Bathroom Super Shape Up

    It's spring, which gets me in the mood for cleaning, somehow... so being the order obsessor that I am I'm not only spring cleaning the bathroom, but also making a breakdown of morning and evening bathroom routine and colour coding it for a rushed morning (green), and a regular morning (blue). This way I'll know what supplies I need to keep on hand in the bathroom and what can get put away into storage, I don't think I need four moisturizers and three body sprays piled up in a drawer.

    I'm also creating a list of the bathroom cleaning routine for a quick clean (green), a thorough clean (blue), and a repair clean to be done maybe twice a year. Repair clean would be things like touching up the grout, filling holes, spot painting, refinishing floors that sort of stuff. I haven't decided what colour repair tasks are going to be yet maybe purple? Does purple say, "don't worry about me, take care of this task  every couple months." Green gives me the impression of being lively and full of energy, like a rushed clean. Blue is calming and ordinary like the everyday tasks that brighten my home.

    
    Here's most of the supplies for a "purple" clean. I don't have any holes in the paint or touch ups to do so there's no grout, mud, paint, or spatula among the tools

     Once I've finished making my morning and evening bathroom routine, cleaning routine, and the stationary to put up on walls to keep me on track I'll be sure to post it :) pilots have loads of schooling and training, but even they need a check list before taking off. Check lists are awesome they save time and energy from having to motivate yourself for every little task and decide which one to do next. Just follow the list and tick it off.

    current floor before cleaning grout
    Here's the floor as it is now, the grout isn't awful, but lets see what that grout cleaner can do. I'm really looking forward to putting it to work on my tiled countertops, which could really use a good cleaning.

    Wednesday, 15 May 2013

    Decorating Ideas for Mothers Day

    Throw a great spring theme party this year! This particular party was planned for mothers day. I enthusastically volunteered myself to decorate for mothers day, my brother and his fiance where going to be hosting it. When I hear party, I jump up, oh can I decorate!


    Colours:

    pink and green

    Supplies:

    • hanging baskets of flowers at least 1 for each mother who's attending to take home after
    • floral/femenine scrapbooking paper in pinks and greens
    • tissue paper in pink, green, and white (some of it to make hanging pom poms)
    • pink fake flowers and a couple vases if you don't have any
    • double sided tape, or regular tape
    • if there's going to be kids make sure there's colouring sheets and balloons for them to play with

    Groceries:

    • fruit platter
    • veggie platter
    • corn on the cob
    • sweet potato
    • frozen chicken breast
    • white cake
    • heavenly hash ice cream
    • juice, tea, coffee
    • box of chocolate

    Menu (super easy):

    • Fruit Platter and Veggie Platter
    • Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast
    • Sweet potatoe wedges
    • Corn on the Cob
    • White cake and Heavenly Hash Ice cream
    • Juice, tea, coffee
    • Box of Chocolates 

    Itinerary:

    • 4:30 guests arrive have coffee, juice, and snack platters ready
    • 5:30 serve supper and a while after have dessert
    • 6:30 make sure there's fresh coffee, hand chocolate box around, set the rest out into bowls in the living room and dining area

    2 Weeks Before the party:

    • write a list of everyone your going to invite
    • create a group on facebook and send invites to people in your contact list
    • check the list and make sure everyone on it was invited
    • make phone calls to everyone who didn't get an invitation

    Before the Day of the party:

    • make pom poms
    • pick up baskets of flowers
    • pick up fruit and veggie platters make sure you have the groceries and decorating supplies


    If you're going to be making your own pom poms I'd suggest doing it before the day of the party, I had mine in bags in the shed from my daughters 2nd b-day party so could skip that step here's the video I watched to learn how to make them:
    

    

    11 AM Decorating on the Day of the party:


    Take the hanging hook off of the hanging flower baskets and tape tissue paper around them to make them more aesthetically pleasing and hide the ugly green pot they come in. I taped sheets of scrapbooking paper to the walls, double sided tape works very well for this
    Daddy and Hayleigh out on the couch for an afternoon nap mid party
    Here's the pom poms hanging in the corner of the living room and a basket of flowers on one end table and the coffee table. Fake pink flowers where dropped into vases already on those shelves and another large flower head put on top of one of the shelf boxes.


    The basket of flowers on the table and some more scrapbook sheets above the couch



    3:00 PM Start super easy supper:


    Super Easy Chicken: simmers 20 mins
    • On hi heat bring to a boil about 2 cups of water into a pot that has a lid with 2 tbsp of any oil, throw in about 3 tbsp of a premix spice like lemon pepper, or italiano,
    • Once it's boiling add the frozen chicken breasts and return to a boil.
    • Put the lid on and turn to low heat to simmer about 20 minutes.
    • If you like you can keep the chicken water to use as a broth for making soup.

    Super Easy Sweet Potato: simmers 40 mins
    • Scrub the sweet potatoe, cut it into large 2 or 3 inch chunks.
    • Bring enough water to cover the potatoes to a boil with about a teaspoon of salt and toss in the sweet potatoe chunks, return to a boil.
    • Put the lid on and turn to low heat and simmer about 40 minutes

    Corn on the Cob: simmers 40 mins
    • Shuck corn.
    • Bring enough water to cover the corn to a boil with about a teaspoon of salt and toss in the corn, return to a boil.
    • Put the lid on and turn to low heat and simmer about 40 minutes

    Sunday, 12 May 2013

    First Week of Bony to Bombshell

    My Sunday update for Bony to Bombshell: start weight 175.6, it's been 5 days since I've started and I'm now at 174.0 lbs. I stayed within the programs fat/carb/protein nutrition ratios and I stayed inside my calorie intake goal for my goals.

    So far I've been being conscious of my posture and practising it against the wall a couple times throughout the day, pour myself three litres of water into a jug and make sure it's gone by the time I go to bed, and I've been keeping track of what I eat. This coming week my babysitters start and I have a membership at the gym, with the progress I'm already seeing and feeling I can't wait to see what adding the strength training in will do.

    I really enjoyed the nutrition section, I read it twice and took some notes to put up on my fridge I love the sensible way that it talks about how to loose weight, or gain weight by looking at the whole effect food has on your body throughout the week, not just from one day. The program seems to be a very holistic approach to health right down to striving for a peaceful social life. It's not just a diet with some exercises, or an exercises program with a nutrition guide. It made me feel as though I was reconnecting with things I already knew about health but wasn't paying attention to.

    It's relieving to be able to be conscious of health but still be able to live a fulfilling social life and be able to enjoy good food with friends and not feel so guilty about one scoop of ice cream that I end up eat another three, however that seems to make sense in my head lol. I was able to have a cupcake and some chocolate at my anniversary, and some treats on mothers day and still loose weight by paying attention to the other foods I ate, that's amazing!

    There's also a very helpful section talking about how to approach self control and practical ways to improve it. So far a great program!

    Check out "My Goals" tab to see the big dreams.
    
    My Fitness Goal
    This is a sketch of me once I've acheived my fitness golas, the feet and knee are a bit wonky and the eyes sort of squinty and small, but I figure every sketch improves my skills a little.

    Saturday, 11 May 2013

    The Tough Stuff

    I sent Wade out of the house this evening, and this time it wasn't to prepare a surprise for him... when I get mad I shut down and want to be left alone to fume on my own a while. Brick wall mode.

    If you run away from the things in life that are hard then you'll miss the opportunity they bring for growth. Life isn't about getting what you want, it's about developing character, and sometimes what you want is in the way of character growth. That's one of many reasons why I'm still trying.
    
    This is Wade and I in 2004 when we where entering high-school (grade 10) and just became friends
    I want a great relationship with Wade where we talk respectfully to each other and live in harmony even with our differences. Where we say yes more often than no to the small things, like close the door, or put the laundry in the dryer. In light of "be the change you want to see in the world" my end of the deal has room for improvement. Sometimes I throw up my hands and say ahg! Forget it. I get flustered and forget what I want from myself.

    Looking at the long run I figure relationships are similar to a fruit tree seedling. Your going into a new relationship hoping for fruit but all you get is work. The seedling isn't ready to produce yet, it needs nurturing, but most of all it needs time. When I'm cutting an apple or a pear into slices for Wesley I take a look at the seeds and think of my relationship with Wade. So when I feel as though I'm the only one putting effort in to making this a good relationship, I tell myself it'll be worth it.

    Another thing that keeps me going is good memories and my commitment to connectedness. I want to remain connected to myself, to the people in my life, family, and community, connected to nature, and connected to God. That's what I think spiritual health is all about, acknowledging and respecting our connectedness.
    This was the last family photo we had taken in 2010. The families gone through some hard stuff that has put happy photo's on the backburner. Maybe if we started living life like everything is okay, things would start to become that way.

    There's some broken connections in my life right now with a couple family members on both sides, and they're points that make my heart greived to think about and I'm sure they're draining some of the health out of my spirit in way's I can't messure or identify. I'm hoping there will come a point when I can get creative and courageous to find a way to bridge the divide, maybe I'll make that one of my goals.


    Friday, 10 May 2013

    Clean up After the Party

    Waking up at 6:30 I optimistically thought I could clean up from last nights party in an hour. I vastly underestimated the amount of mess i had made rushing around to prep and decorate from craft supplies to dripping candle wax, I've got to figure out how to get it off the table cloths. Between caring for the wee ones, laundry and tidying it took me until 2 in the afternoon.
    melted wax
    I need to invest in some more effective candle holder options next time... Wesley was very amused though.
    In the morning mom came and dropped Wesley off, she almost immediately found the cupcake wrappers and said "oh no I wanted to share some, there's none left for me." When I told Wade said he'd bring some home for her after work... when he came home he brought six, so yeah I ate two cupcakes today. It will take more than cupcakes to derail my fitness efforts though!
    cupcake time
    Daddy brings home six cupcakes yay!
    I had been hoping to re-read the fitness section of the "Bony to Bombshell" e-book and watch the workout videos I may still have some time this evening though.
    
    Btw go check out "The Goals" page! I'm tracking my journey to the inspired life, and take a couple minutes to think about your own goals. 

    Our 4th Anniversary

    Menu

    • Chicken Cordon Bleu
    • Red Baby Potatoes and Feta
    • Broccoli Soup
    • Cupcakes
    • Coffee and Pepsi

    Itinerary

    • Dinner
    • Dessert and Coffee
    • Movie and Massage
    • Bath

    I had a bit of a surprise yesterday evening and had to do some quick thinking when I found out at 1pm that Wade was coming home at 5:30 instead of 8:30.

    I had pittered around in the morning dabbling with this and that then finally abandoned my procrastination and got Wesley and Hayleigh loaded into the car to do my running around. By the time 4:00 was rolling around I still seemed to have an insurmountable list of things yet to be done... so I just said fine, we'll have a late supper! Once the chicken was in and the potatoes where waiting their turn I felt things where under control though.

    Wade came home to my cooking disaster and saw the cupcakes in the fridge
    "It's just our anniversary you don't have to make a big deal about it" I thought, oh you ain't seen nothin yet.
    "How about you have a bath while I finish getting supper together," I run the tub and put on candles then I went downstairs with Hayleigh strapped in her baby wrap to madly scribble together the stationary and put on my face and some jewelry. He didn't head for the bath and watched some TV on the computer.
    "What are you doing down there?"
    "Just sorting my craft supplies!"
    A while later, "are you coming upstairs?"
    "In a little bit."
    I hear him muttering to himself "fine I'll just stay up here all by myself." aw poor guy thinks I'm ignoring him on our anniversary, probably that I'm grumpy at him, maybe he's not giving it a second thought?

    
    The stationary, I also put some foot hand and body lotions in the basket
    Finally I reemerge from the basement and he's a bit grumpy I tell him, "Suppers going to be a while go have a bath" I have to get him out of the main room so I can prepare it... I close the door behind him
    "Hey why are you closing the door?"
    "It's a surprise"

    First I hang the star backdrop rush around up and down the stairs all the while Hayleigh fortunately napping away in her wrap. As the finishing touch I warmed up some pyjama pants and a shirt in the dryer and brought the stationary basket and left them in the bathroom for him to check out. I put Hayleigh on the couch and get into a nice tank top, "you can come out now." I'm feeling a bit nervous, I've made the place look lovely, I look great, but now I'm in charge of the evening and need to own it.

    
    I had hoped Wade would walk in to the evening all put together and ready like this instead of the shoo to the bath option I had to improvised


    Hmm what do I do from here. I stand over by the table waiting for him to come out but haven't heard the jets turn off yet... "Hey come on out, supper is ready!"

    When he comes out he looks a little quizzical I haven't done something like this, ever. I've done smaller things in our first year and less in our second, but nothing this big. "here's your seat" I gesture to his chair and sit down. we talk a bit, a little awkwardly at first. And Hayleigh of course wasn't going to be content on the couch for the whole evening so when she started fussing I brought her over to sit on my lap, she's still a bit young to send for an overnighter with grandma and grandpa.




    The anniversary movie options we considered where:
    • Edward Scissorhands
    • Meet Joe Black
    • Stranger Than Fiction
    • The Illusionist
    • Wall-E
    • Men of Honor

    We settled on "Men of Honor" for a movie, Hayleigh eventually fell asleep, and we had a great evening. Pulling this off was a real confidence booster, I think I can continue to be adventurous ;D

    Wednesday, 8 May 2013

    It Starts

    Just began this blog yesterday, it's a place where I'm going to log my life journey to accomplishing all my dreams. Check the goals tab to see a breakdown of what they are as of yet I'm sure more will develop over time. Also, I've started posting positive voices to my Google account, every morning I give myself encouraging words to get the day started :)

    I have a LOT of dreams, loads of them. I'm a creative person and everything I do bombards me with ideas of great things I could do artistically, relationally, physically. I just want to live an inspired life and lead it by my passions rather than the pay cheque, my purpose rather than my purchases.



     
    This is my man and me on our wedding day May 9, 2009 <3 it's our anniversary tomorrow, so, tomorrow's goal is going to be to search the interweb for an idea to do... with zero dollars, ah poor financial planning, one of the many changes I plan on making in my life (check goals btw, do it)

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