April 27, 2014

getting organized.....

Hi friends, how organized are you when it comes to your food? Tonight, while cleaning out the fridge, and tossing away food that's gone bad, (maybe the expression is gone off? Gone bad sounds like it's holding other food hostage....) I was tired of the waste and thought it's definitely time to get a meal plan going. I leafed through my cookbooks and came up with meals for the next four days to see if I notice a difference in the money spent/food wasted. I'm also going to pack meals to work to see if I notice much of a difference in savings. Do you meal plan? Do you find it leads to less waste from your fridge? Do you pack your lunches? Do you eat out a lot? As an aside, while getting groceries with my new "I'm going to be so organized!" shopping list in hand, I noticed a few things tonight: For starters, I forgot my cloth bags, and nothing makes you feel more like a douche than pushing a cart overflowing with plastic bags past people shaking their heads at me wearing their "keep calm and recycle on" or "leave nothing but footprints" t-shirts.....Also, have you noticed at checkouts how most stores ask you if you want to donate an extra dollar to (insert any important disease name here) ? I can't help but always say yes. They've got me with $1.  It's brilliant. I mean, I'd feel pretty bold saying, "$1 for the fight against cancer?" No effing way! I'd rather buy a Kit Kat!  "$1 to help fund MS research you say? "Not my $1 thank you very much!" "$1 to help send sick kids to Disneyland?" "Hey, no one is catching a free ride on my 10 dimes!" I cave every. single. time. 
But back to being organized. If you're already rocking the food organization, or if it simply does not interest you than why don't you join me this month in trying to form a new habit that will help make your life easier/better? I'm also ramping up my fitness as part of a new habit because I want to be as healthy as possible, to be more energized/get an endorphin high, to bust some big life stresses and to be around as long as I can for my little bub. Click here for a good, quick read on how to make a new habit stick. At the end of May, I'll check in with a progress report. (Don't expect pie charts and bar graphs or you'll be very, very disappointed.) Good luck with your new endeavour! xo

April 26, 2014

365 catch up....

Saturday, Apr. 26 Nature is my playground.
Friday, Apr. 25th. It's Friday, sound the whistle!!! 
Thursday, Apr. 24 - Lunch visit with mom & friends.
Wednesday, Apr. 23 - our new favourite canvas.

I hope you're having an amazing weekend friends! xo

April 22, 2014

Aha you say!

I seriously love these sunny nights where we check out parks and playgrounds in the area after dinner. I think we have just as much fun climbing and playing as she does. Here are a few AHA moments that I had over the weekend: 

  • Teach your daughters to stand on their own two feet - encourage their intellect, their earning power, teach them how to drive - show them how important independence is so that they have choices in this life. Give them this gift so that they never, ever stay in a bad situation because they are scared to be self sufficient. I've seen this too much lately and it really breaks my heart. 
  • do something kind for someone else because nothing will make you feel better, faster.
  • Friendship is the best foundation for romance. I know that very sentence pretty much oozes sex appeal doesn't it? But seriously, all of the couples I know who are rocking it lately, are the ones who love hanging out with their partner - who share the same idea of fun and look forward to spending time together. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you have to be glued at the hip, but I like to think, if anything big/small happened in your day, they'd be the one you want to call first. And to be honest, these are the couples who I enjoy spending time with the most, because you can just sense their ease with one another, their mutual adoration. There has got to be a similar sense of humour (for the hard times, because no one is immune to hard times), some common interests (so you are both enjoying your time together), and a similar outlook of what you want out of life (be on the same page). Over dinner last week, friends and I were summarizing it as that person you could do a big road with in a winnebago (or some other confined space) and not want to toss them out the window. 
  • life happens one moment at a time. No matter how difficult/overwhelming/anxious/insert your personal challenge here/ it all happens one breath at a time. And it's not until you get hit with something really big, do you realize how much time/energy is wasted on things that don't matter. 
  • No matter how tired you are, how much your day has worn you out and you are dying to sit down, get moving. Just getting out for a walk each night gives you a boost like nothing else. It's been our mantra and it works - every. single. time.
  • And last but not least, well okay, this is the least important, but listen up: nobody, and I mean nobody looks cool taking a photo using an Ipad. Grab a camera or use your phone. Holding the equivalence of a mini-laptop in the air whilst casting a massive black square shadow on your photo subjects looks nothing short of ridiculous. In my books, it conjures up the same emotions as when I see people travelling around on Segways.

prepping the garden....(my fancy term for weeding)

Monday's 365. I'm over the moon when I'm home early to a sunny night like this. xo

April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Did you do anything special for Easter? This adorable bunny hopped into my parent's yard for the afternoon. The kids were so pumped and were POSITIVE that this was the Easter bunny. It was pretty awesome timing. I hope you were surrounded by loved ones today. xoxo

be still my heart.....

Saturday's 365. I got to take her to ballet class, and watching her spin, leap and run around the room made my heart want to burst. I was so proud to see how much she loved it and how she was enthralled by everything the teacher said. My greatest love growing up were dance classes - the combination of music and movement tapped into a part of my soul like nothing else. It's such an amazing form of expression where every fibre of your physical self is engaged. Ok, so this is beginner's ballet, and I don't know if she'll fall in love with it like I did, but it was a pretty giant life-list kind of moment for me to see her beautiful movement.

April 18, 2014

my happy place....

Happy Easter weekend friends! What have you got on your line up? Today was one of those great days from start to finish: we took our little gal to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, had tea in the garden with mom, and friends had an impromptu bbq on their beautiful, sun soaked deck. 

Last night, over dinner, a friend mentioned that she had followed the book "The Artist's Way", by Julie Cameron. And in the book, it suggests you take yourself out on a date, to gather inspiration. What would you do if you took yourself out? Where do feel most inspired? For some people, it's the art of eating or creating a beautiful meal, or it's getting absorbed in an engaging movie, or live theatre. It might be a run along the seawall, a stroll through a local gallery, a sports event, a concert, a road trip to somewhere you've never been.... Why don't you treat yourself to a moment that completely connects to your soul. Honestly, for me, it would be to grab my camera and head to a place as beautiful as the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, full of gorgeous pathways, sprawling open vistas, wildlife everywhere and the chance to get lots of exercise in the great outdoors. Nothing rejuvenates my spirit more effectively.  
Why don't you give it a whirl? Pick a date on your calendar, and start planning a fun date, just for yourself. Turn off your phone, and fully immerse yourself in your own company. We spend so much time focussing on everyone else's needs, why not plan a little romance, just for ourselves? Happy planning! xoxo

April 14, 2014

bunnies: the original hip hop

reminds me of the brilliant lyrics from Rapper's Delight:
I said a hip hop,
Hippie to the hippie,
The hip, hip a hop, and you don't stop.

April 13, 2014

365 catch up....

Thursday, Apr. 10: a few of my favourite things lately: our new birdfeeder - located right by our living room window, we all enjoy watching these little chickadees gather. My other favourite purchase: I'm obsessed with mason jars and green juice, both individually and together. This concoction I threw together is: 4 stalks of celery, 5 leaves of kale, one granny smith apple, one lemon and half a cucumber. It is completely addicting.

Friday, Apr. 11th: This was a great day. After work, we took dinner over to Mom & Dad and were thrilled to see Mom gobble up all of her food. It's such a wonderful thing to see her appetite returning after some challenging post chemo days. We all sat in the garden and I taught my little gal how to hit the baseball. It was heartwarming to see mom out of bed and regaining her strength. After a great visit with my folks,  the hubs met some buddies at the pub and the girls came over for some catching up. The more people I talk to, the more often I'm struck at how many people are going through Big, life altering changes this year. 2014 is one of enormous challenges. Everyone is leaning on one another. While it has been the most difficult year so far, it's also been the most beautiful. My perspective is razor sharp, I'm finding strength that I never knew I possessed, and I've seen the most beauty that I've ever witnessed in people. The outpouring of support and kindness is beyond anything I've ever seen. I feel like my mom has such a fighting chance with so many people in her corner. She has spent her entire life caring for others, and it's beautiful to see everyone repaying her the favour.
Saturday, Apr. 12: A day in the city. I worked during the day and had roughly three hours to myself before meeting up with the girls for dinner. It's amazing how foreign it felt to have so much time for myself. I was cursing that I didn't bring my running gear because it was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon in Vancouver.  I hit the bookstore, walked up and down Robson Street, bought my daughter some surprises for Easter, sat in the sun people watching whilst sipping delicious green juice, grabbed a veggie dog from a street vendor, bought some sunglasses for $10 (pretty sure they aren't optometrist approved). It all felt so indulgent to have so much free time, and yet oh, so rejuvenating. I met up with the girls for dinner, we hit the Flying Pig, just in time for their happy hour.  We shared some delicious appies and had a great catch up session. It's amazing how much time can pass between visits with everyone living in different cities, but I still feel like we don't miss a beat when we're back together. It's a wonderful dynamic.
Sunday, Apr. 13: Today was an absolute stunner. It felt like a beautiful summer day. After work, I was so excited to play in the sun that I raced home (well, I didn't think I was racing home, but apparently the police did). We ate our dinner on the deck for the first time this year, and I felt really amped for everything sunshine related: farmer's markets, camping, outdoor concerts, beaches, swimming, patio time, gardening, travelling - I just felt the excitement in my belly today. Have you started planning your summer fun? 

April 9, 2014

the sun on our faces....

I hope you had a chance to feel the sun on your face today. We ventured to one of our favourite playgrounds and had a picnic by the lake. There's nowhere I'd rather live than this province when the sun is shining. (In November, I'd rather live in Maui, but we're talking about right now.)

April 8, 2014

in bloom....

I don't take anything for granted anymore. I try to savour it all. Today I had a great visit with a table full of women who are near and dear to my heart. We chatted about some huge life changes happening among us, and are so thankful we're all in it together. 
I drove past the dreamy blossom filled street in the above photo after a beautiful bedside visit with my mom. She's been having some rough days lately, feeling worn out and nauseous after her first chemo session, so I brought soup and the same fruit juice popsicles that helped me through my pregnancy nausea. We went through old photo albums and shared some happy tears. When I left she was smiling and sitting up, which made me happy to see. One day at a time. One beautifully shared moment at a time. I grabbed this photo as one of my new favourites to frame. She honestly is the most beautiful woman I know, inside and out. Isn't she a knock out? xo

April 7, 2014


Tonight I arrived home to find this giant box of art supplies, including paints, canvasses, waiting for me. My friend Forbes, who has been one of the biggest support systems - snuck it over to my house, full of projects for my daughter, mom and I to work on together.
I honestly think it is one of the most thoughtful gestures. I was chatting with someone today about how I feel like I'm in the real throws of life right now - fully feeling it all - the truest sorrow my heart has ever known combined with the most incredible awe, for these kind hearts that keep showing up time and time again to reveal the most beautiful support. My mom's friends went over today to do her ironing and plant vegetables in her garden. Seriously, how amazing is this network? I think they could change the world. xo

April 6, 2014

feeling lucky....

Today I got to spend time visiting my mom and then went to Craig's mom's birthday. With all that is happening in our lives right now, I have never felt luckier to live so close to our families and be able to spend all of this quality time with them.  
When I was running today, I was thinking about how we're so often told that it's the pursuit of happiness that we're all striving for. We've seen the shelves lining the book stores with every self help guru trying to cash in on their shortcuts to becoming happy. But isn't happiness just an emotion, like sadness, anger, etc? Isn't it just a temporary feeling that settles in for a bit, depending on what is happening in our life? I think the greater pursuit, should be one where we're functioning at a level of deep satisfaction - soul fulfillment. It's one thing to go through the arbitrary checklist: career, home, car, spouse, children, investments, travel.....or whatever we're "supposed" to have achieved. But I know so many people who have all the right boxes checked off, who exist in a plane of tremendous dissatisfaction because they're clinging onto someone else's checklist. They haven't put enough of what speaks to them into their lives. My joys are simple: time spent with my family/friends, time spent in nature, time for my creative outlets (photography, writing, art, music, reading), exercise and exploring new places with my loves. I'm so entirely grateful for this because it means most of my days are spent injected with things that fulfill me and they don't have anything to do with my bank account balance. Here's a website I highly recommend for how to look at your life in a new, more meaningful way: Becoming Minimalist. xoxo

April 5, 2014

at my door......

I came home to find this treasure of gifts waiting for me. Magazines + homemade chocolate cookies = a very happy Kelly. I can't thank my friends enough. This generous combo was from my friend Tricia, who seriously has angel wings lifting me through this. I have also received numerous check-ins today from friends wondering how mom made out with her first chemo appointment. Honestly, I know people with gorgeous hearts. I wish I was Oprah and could gather them all in a room and say, "you get a car! And you get a car!...." and repay them for all of this moral support.
Life can turn on a dime, but when you have people who show up for you in the face of adversity, you really do have everything. xoxo


I snapped this photo while driving (hello distracted driver) to Mom's chemo appointment on Friday. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, and I love the architecture of this bridge (The Port Mann). Looking at this photo, I am reminded how each of us are these pillars, made up of all of these levels of support holding us up. (Putting my English lit degree to excellent use via analysis).  While sitting in the chemo room, mom and I were saying how we've never seen a greater support system than hers, and really hope that all of this amazing positive energy gives us more time together.
To be honest, I was a bundle of nerves going into Mom's chemo appointment. I was worried that it was going to make her feel so much worse than she already did. I was worried that it was going to deplete her energy when she needs it the more than ever to battle this.
The cancer patient is allowed one visitor at a time to sit with them, while they are receiving chemo. Dad and I were going to take turns back and forth. Dad went first because mom wanted him there while she got the IV put in. It took the nurses one hour to get the IV in. Apparently mom isn't too veiny. She would have made a horrible heroin addict. I cracked open my book and glanced up every now and then as discreetly as possible at the people sharing the waiting room with me, most of them cancer patients. I saw women younger than me without any hair, older women, swapping stories and laughing about various doctor appointments. I saw older men swapping iphone tips, making me smile.  I was tremendously moved by the people around me. They were so courageous, and had so much dignity. I began to wonder how many people we walk by in our day to day lives are battling cancer. I also realized how many people could really learn a thing or two from seeing these people, facing life's biggest struggle, with such a positive attitude, when we complain about so many stupid little things in life that really aren't important in the grand scheme of things. Trust me, your health is everything.
When it was my turn to go in, I went to find mom's spot in the chemo room. The space was divided into various nurses's station, with each nurse having four recliners in her section for patients to sit and receive their chemo IV drip. I saw older women, showing the nurses photos of their grandchildren, people holding hands with their visitor, people going through their treatment alone. The nurses were outstanding: positive, upbeat - the perfect disposition for people who really need it most. After four hours of chatting, and mom drifting in and out of sleep (might have been my stories) - we were ready to go home. It is imperative that chemo patients check their temperatures frequently to see if they are reacting to their treatment and if so, to go to emergency right away, where they show a card and immediately jump the line up because your body could go septic. Upon hearing this, I was afraid of how mom's body would respond. But during her first night post treatment, she slept well, and woke up without nausea, so I am over the moon. This is really a process to be taken one day at a time, but then again, so is life, right? xoxo
Friday's 365.