Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Blue and white is a color combination I will never tire of.  It is one of the defining characteristics of my personal style, from my wardrobe to my home décor.  Since I live by the ocean, I think my color preferences are influenced by my environment.  I’ve been wearing these little high-waisted denim shorts a ton lately.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but they have a cute scalloped detail around the pocket. They are nice and cool and allow me to move freely when doing chores or chasing after my mischievous little puppy. Today I tried paring them with this cotton shirt I’ve had for ages (tied at the waist) and I really liked the simple, classic combination. The red shoes were the cherry on top (or I guess on the bottom in this case).  Do you have a consistent color palette in your summer wardrobe, or do you like to mix it up?

Monday, July 27, 2020

This is me at age 4. I’m pretty sure I vomited shortly after this photo was snapped. I had spent the day alternating between my post on that fence and the nearby snowbank. It was “sugaring” day at our cottage, and I was indulging in the unlimited supply of maple taffy on hand. Our affinity for sugar is definitely innate, but surely there is a “nurture” aspect to it. To this day, I have a weakness for maple syrup. At one point in my life it could have been considered one of my major food groups! The more sugar I eat, the more I want and crave it. Chapter 4 of my book is titled “Say No to Nibbling”. I talk about a few strategies I’ve developed over the years to keep my nutrition goals on track while still finding pleasure and indulging in treats. What’s your weakness? 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Since self-publishing my book, I’ve had a number of people comment to me that they have always dreamed of writing a book of their own. The first thing I want to say is, “Just go for it!”  There is nothing stopping you from opening a Word document this instant and drafting the first chapter of your very own book.  We all have life experiences and personal perspectives to share.  Maybe you have a juicy fiction novel bubbling inside you!  The scariest part of the whole experience has been putting myself out there and sharing my private thoughts with others.  I am an introvert and a private person, so I’ve really pushed myself outside of my comfort zone!  In return, however, I’m connecting with like-minded people and furthering the discussion on living well.  If you are serious about wanting to write a book, I recommend you read “The Chic Author” by @fionaferrisnz. Not only will she will walk you through all the steps required to self-publish a book, she will inspire you with her words of encouragement.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Do you wear nail polish? I like the look of a polished nail, but I’m also a fan of clean, bare and buffed nails. When I do wear polish on my fingernails, I always use a light, neutral shade. I think it has an understated, elegant effect. Chips show up a lot more with darker colors, so a nude polish seems to last a bit longer. I always opt for red on my toes (changing the shade with the season). I guess this is as daring as I get. Polish lasts so much longer on our feet, so it’s easier to go with a darker shade. I recently treated myself to a bottle of Chanel’s Le Vernis. I was previously using the bubble bath shade from OPI. The Chanel polish is a lot more expensive, but so far it has been worth the price. I can’t believe how long the polish is lasting. I’ve got my hands in and out of dishwater all day long. It’s been five days and there is a not a chip in sight. Anyone else have highly durable brands to share?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Most of us are sticking close to home this summer for obvious reasons. If you could Star Trek beam yourself to an exotic location right now, where would it be? You would find me in the Provence region of the South of France! Chapter 3 of my book encourages you to “Create Your Life’s Movie Soundtrack”. Music has the ability to elevate your mood and transport you to a different time and place. I’m currently listening to the soundtrack for the documentary “Van Gogh – Of Wheat Fields and Clouded Skies”. I imagine myself sitting in a quaint Provençal café, sipping my sparkling water and typing away on my latest book for the afternoon. Instead I am sitting at my computer desk with headphones on while my nacho-eating kids are watching YouTube loudly on the couch next to me. On this morning’s run I plugged into my “Ode to Bon Jovi” playlist. (Yes, I had a love affair with Jon Bon Jovi in junior high.) If you were a rocker chick who was “Wanted Dead or Alive” wouldn’t you run a little faster? I know it all sounds kind of frivolous and silly, but it is fun to tap into different moods with music. What’s on your playlist today? I just publicly admitted to listening to “Livin’ on a Prayer", so please don't be shy to share!

Friday, July 17, 2020

Do you have a favorite stylish celebrity that you look up to for inspiration? I have many, but one of my style idols is Sofia Coppola. One aspect of her personal style that she is famous for is her love of navy. We definitely have this in common! I adore the combination of navy and black and incorporate it into my outfits almost daily (particularly in the cooler months). I think it is unexpected yet classic and oh so chic. My husband can’t get his head around it as it seems to contradict color combination lessons from the past. I am always reminding him that he can certainly pair his black pants and his navy sweater and no one is going out laugh him out of the office! Do you enjoy combining black and navy? What is your all- time favorite color combination?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Do you lay out your outfits each day before getting dressed? It is something I enjoy doing. It has actually become a bit of a necessity these days because my husband has now set up a home office in a corner of our bedroom. I can no longer saunter out of the bathroom in a towel. I make sure I bring all my clothes with me on my way to the shower. I DO NOT want to end up on one of him Zoom calls looking anything less than fully dressed! I’m still sporting lots of jeans and sweaters these days. Who wears mohair in the summer? I do! It’s 15 degrees Celsius today. I half-joked I wanted to light the woodstove!!

Chapter 2 of my book is titled “Connect with the Animal Kingdom”. Over the years I have adored many, many different pets: rabbits, hamsters, quail, chickens, ducks, sheep, parakeets and dogs. Each one holds a special little place in my heart. This particular photo is over 7 years old, but it is one of my favorites. Fluffy was my son’s special pet chicken. (Yes, that is a bow in her feathers!) This little hen was so incredibly tame. He carted her around everywhere with him and even taught her a few little tricks. All the animal lovers out there will agree with me that pets elevate your life on so many levels. Animals are so fascinating to interact with! My little pup Coco’s constant presence and companionship is such a comfort in my life. I realize pets aren’t for everyone and don’t suit every lifestyle. If this is your situation, check out my chapter for ways to incorporate animals into your life. Does anyone else have any creative suggestions?

Monday, July 13, 2020

The first chapter of my book is titled “Elevate Your Ride”. You can actually read it for free on Amazon’s “Look Inside” function. I did not write the chapters in any particular order as the book is designed for the reader to pick and choose areas of interest. I was inspired to write this particular essay because I had just done a quick spring clean-up of the interior of my vehicle. I was feeling particularly uplifted by the fresh, calm feeling that was left behind. Now that the lockdown measures are lifting, I am officially back on my summer “road trip to nowhere”. Although my boys’ schedules are less hectic than usual, I am still spending tons of time behind the wheel as I ferry them from point A to B. I just read the chapter again myself to give myself a boost! It inspires me to view my car interior as an extension of my home environment. Just as a pleasant and orderly home leaves me feeling peaceful and relaxed, so does a tidy and uncluttered vehicle. Have you checked in on the state of your vehicle lately? Could it use a little pick me up? It is amazing how a tidy car can you leave you feeling calmer and more confident behind the wheel. Tell me your vehicle horror stories! I have plenty of my own. Someone I know once had a squirrel in her car eating the leftovers on the floor. It probably can’t get much worse than that!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Although I love the convenience and instant satisfaction that e-books provide, it is important for me to have certain titles in hard copy format on my bookshelf. These are books I reach for time and time again. These two books in particular are very special to me. I read them every summer. I loved “Tuesdays with Morrie” so much that I named my second son after him. Morrie was such a kind, generous and warm-hearted man with a true zest for life. “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is such a treasure. It is astounding that it was first published over 50 years ago. She speaks with such wisdom about issues facing women in their roles as wives, mothers and members of the community. Her insightful words feel so very relevant in today’s hectic and connected world. I highly recommend both of these (obviously!). They are quick, yet thought provoking reads. Have you read either of them? What are your impressions and thoughts? I’d love to hear!

Saturday, July 11, 2020

One of the most enjoyable parts of self-publishing my book was choosing artwork for the cover. I scoured stock photos on Shutterstock for something that spoke to me and reflected the feelings I wanted to convey to my readers. I came across this sweet little pair of shoes by Elka Silenkova ( @flourishellis ). The image was simple, sweet, beautiful and whimsical. I knew immediately I had found “the one” for the cover. I felt like slipping on this little pair of shoes in real life would certainly elevate my day with each and every step! She and I seem to share a love for the beauty in simple, everyday objects. In particular, I love her food and flower paintings.

I was looking for a few other smaller images to complement the shoes, so I contacted Elka directly on Instagram. She was so kind and helpful! She sorted through her images for me and came up with a few options for the additional images. If you end up purchasing a paperback copy, I have included one of her gorgeous illustrations of a rose on the back cover. What felt so amazing to me is the fact that we don’t speak each other’s language! Technology is so amazing when it comes to communicating and connecting with people on the other side of the world!

If you have any interesting projects that require images, please have a look at Elka’s work. I am dreaming up all sorts of ideas for personalized stationery and Christmas cards! Thank you Elka for adding beauty to the world with your work.

Friday, July 10, 2020

I’ve become obsessed with the smell of roses and lavender lately since everything is finally in full bloom. I’ve been experimenting with making potpourri. Air drying on a screen produced the best results. I tried the oven method but the colours and scent faded so quickly. Has anyone else tried this? I’m looking for tips on retaining the scent. I sprinkled some rose and lavender essential oil over top of it to give it a boost. I’d like to think this pretty bowl of blooms with lift me up in dark January days! 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

While eBooks are certainly convenient, I still prefer holding a physical copy of a book in my hands. Maybe I am old fashioned! My book, Elevate the Everyday is now available in paperback format on Amazon. It was definitely a lot more work to prepare my manuscript for printing, but it was important for me to hold this baby in my hands.

Do you prefer eBooks or physical copies? I love the “instant gratification” aspect of eBooks! If I’m in the mood to read a certain title, it is available in an instant. My e-reader is also very valuable for travel and for slipping in my purse. That being said, when it comes to special titles, I always order the hard copy for my bookshelf.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

I have an exciting announcement to make. I wrote a book! “Elevate the Everyday” was just released on Amazon today!

Like so many of you out there, I am passionate about seeking ways to enrich the experience of day to day life. As a professional accountant, I have always found great pleasure in approaching my life with an analytical and observant mind. I enjoy tweaking the various areas of my life to infuse as much beauty, peace and joy as possible into my days. I am excited to share some of my experiences and ideas with the world. The concepts discussed in my book are not ground-breaking or earth shattering. They are the very topics many of us consider and explore often in our daily lives. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle reminder or a dash of inspiration to revisit them. The topics I discuss include wardrobe, food, fitness, finances, housekeeping, attitude, beauty….and so much more!

I need to give a special shout out and thank you to Fiona Ferris , author of “The Chic Author” (and many other amazing titles)! Her inspiring words and wisdom were my guiding star throughout the entire process – from beginning to end. If you dream of writing a book of your own, I encourage you to read Fiona’s book. I read “The Chic Author” in one day and literally started my own manuscript the next morning. It is such an achievable goal!

I hope you will join me on the journey to “Elevate the Everyday”. It is currently available on Amazon in Kindle edition, with the paperback coming soon. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A month ago I posted a video of a family of ducklings in my neighborhood. Wow! They have grown! Here they are this morning. One less ducking 😢. Honestly I am impressed there are still six of them because they were literally waddling down the centre line.

Monday, July 6, 2020

I was poking around a dusty barn yesterday and stumbled on this antique jar. It looked to be a perfect vase for wildflowers. Upon further inspection I noticed the lettering said CORONA! How appropriate! The dealer threw it in for free with the purchase of an old fireman bucket for my potted plants. My mom and I went for a walk today and picked these pretty wildflowers. I don’t have much of a garden so I’m always scrounging around for free blooms. Pink yarrow, aster, chamomile, Queen Anne’s lace and bedstraw make a pretty and nostalgic looking bouquet! What wildflowers are blooming near you these days?

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Are you a Country Mouse or a City Mouse? I love an odd trip to the city to browse shops and eat in a restaurant. That being said, I am a lover of wide open spaces. Today I’m on an overnight getaway to visit my parents. Coco and I are soaking up the beautiful pastoral view.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Even little Coco is going for a French chic look with his new collar. I have clearly gone off the deep end. Even my son noticed, “Look Mommy! Coco’s new collar matches your black and gold purse!” Really? I hadn’t even noticed!