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Friday, 30 December 2011

It's been a Long December

"and there's reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last."  Counting Crows, Long December

The Eve of a new year is upon us and I'm feeling pretty good about 2012.  You know, 2011 was supposed to be my year!  I was turning 30, moving up in my career, I had all these grand plans.  However, like most good intentions, they kinda petered out by late February.  2011 brought a lot of changes to my life; both good and not-so-good but all enlightening.

I have been reading The Happiness Project and follow Gretchen Rubin's Blog:  She has a great post about creating effective resolutions and keeping them.  Check out the tips below:

1. Ask: “What would make me happier?” It might having more of something good – more fun with friends, more time for a hobby. It might be less of something bad – less yelling at your kids, less nagging of your spouse. It might be fixing something that doesn’t feel right – more time spent volunteering, more time doing something to make someone else happier.
2. Ask: “What is a concrete action that would bring about change?” One common problem is that people make abstract resolutions, which are hard to keep. “Be more optimistic,” “Find more joy in life,” “Enjoy now,” are resolutions that are hard to measure and therefore difficult to keep. Instead, look for a specific, measurable action. “Distract myself with fun music when I’m feeling gloomy,” “Watch at least one movie each week,” “Buy a lovely plant for my desk” are resolutions that will carry you toward those abstract goals.
3. Ask: “Am I a ‘yes’ resolver or a ‘no’ resolver?” Some people resent negative resolutions. They dislike hearing “don’t” or “stop” or adding to their list of chores. If this describes you, try to find positive resolutions: “Take that dance class,” “Have lunch with a friend once a week.” Or maybe you respond well to “no.” 
4. Ask: “Am I starting small enough?” Many people make super-ambitious resolutions and then drop them, feeling defeated, before January is over. Start small! We tend to over-estimate what we can do over a short time and under-estimate what we can do over a long time, if we make consistent, small steps. If you’re going to resolve to start exercising (one of the most popular resolutions), don’t resolve to go to the gym for an hour every day before work. Start by going for a ten-minute walk at lunch or marching in place once a day during the commercial breaks in your favorite TV show. Little accomplishments provide energy for bigger challenges. Push yourself too hard and you may screech to a halt.
5. Ask: “How am I going to hold myself accountable?” Accountability is the secret to sticking to resolutions. That’s why groups like AA and Weight Watchers are effective, and there are many ways to hold yourself accountable. Accountability is why #2 is so important. If your resolution is too vague, it’s hard to measure whether you’ve been keeping it. A resolution to “Eat healthier” is harder to track than “Eat salad for lunch three times a week.”  Track your accountability on a chart or ask a close friend or relative to be your Accountability Partner. 
I tried to employ these tips while creating my resolutions which I outlined in a recent POST .  I was also presented with an interesting challenge last night.  My best friend, Aaemie said that she would like me to create a resolution for her.  This would help her to be more accountable to the resolution as she wouldn't just be letting herself down (which is sometimes not that hard to do) but also myself, if she didn't keep her resolution.  I think that's a great idea and had discussed that very thing earlier with Terry.  I asked her to create one for me too.

In order to try and keep myself accountable, I will be tracking my resolution progress on the blog.  I haven't yet figured out exactly how I'm going to do this but will keep you posted.

On that note, back to work I go.  I wish everyone a Happy New Year!  Be smart, stay safe and for the love of God (or whomever you bow your head to) DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE!

xo M

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Magic of Christmas

In the spirit of one of my all-time favourite Christmas movies, The Nightmare Before Christmas, I created this Christmas card with one of the November Kraftin' Kimmie stamps: Voodoo Lady.

I have to say, I think it turned out wonderful and is probably my favourite card I've done this season.  It will go to my best friend and fellow stamper: Aaemie Ali.


According to Wikipedia "New Year resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to one or more lasting personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit".  The dawn of a new year is an opportunity for self-reflection and I love it!  There have been a few big New Year's Resolutions that I have been able to keep in the past such as quitting smoking however, I don't think I have ever had such an adult list of truly doable resolutions as I do this year.  Without further ado...

1.)  Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle
      This includes continuing my 4-6 day a week workouts at The Motion Room, not eat out as much and drink WAY more water then I do now.  I have been pretty good for the last two months regarding the gym stuff but the drinking more water and adhering to a healthy diet will be the challenges.

2.)  Quit Drinking
      Booze and I have had a tumultuous 15 year relationship and it's time to let go.  Although we have had some great times together, trust me when I say that as of late, nothing good comes out of it.  I am a binge drinker and I can drink A LOT.  There are times when I can have a couple glasses of wine and relax but most of the time, once it hits the lips...well, you know how the story goes. 

3.)  Call My Gram Once a Week and See Her Twice a Month
      I used to live with my Gram and saw her every day.  Now, I have to admit that our time together is sparse.  This must change.  She is 91 and although she's a tough old bird, I need to face the fact that she may not be around for very much longer.  I love her and she is one of the most important women in my life.  I have to commit to spend more time with her. 

4.)  Walk the Dogs For 1 hr Every Day
       Yeah, I bet you thought I was some super dog owner and walked my dogs like a boss.  I don't.  They are taken for 3 short walks a day as of late, I can see the results.  They are not happy and neither would I be if I were a dog.  It is good for them and good for me. 

5.)  Smile More
      I don't smile nearly enough and am told so all the time.  For years I fought against the cheery masses, claiming that I just didn't have a smiley face.  My resting face looks like a frown bc my mouth naturally turns down.  Who the hell goes around smiling all the time, like some clown?  Well, I do as of January 1st :)  And you better smile back.

6.)  Save More Money and Follow A Budget
      I am the WORST at saving money.  Oh sure I have an RRSP and some other crap like that but as for a savings account?  Forget it.  I can save a few hundred bucks for something specific but to be honest, even with a six- figure household income, there's not much left in the account at the end of the month.  I am a shopper.  I LOVE to shop; and not just for myself.  I love buying things for people.  I would like to replace these material things with time.  This is going to be a tough one for me as I will also be trying to reform Terry...

7.)  Get Back In Touch With Old Friends
      The recent death of a close high school friend really affected me.  There was a celebration of his life that I didn't attend because I thought that no one wanted to see me or that it would be weird and awkward bc I hadn't seen any of my old friends in so long, etc.  I have had the pleasure of being friends with some amazing people in my 30 years (and some not so great ones too) and I wish I had of put more effort into maintaining those friendships.  I believe that it's never too late to reignite the spark.  Keep an eye on your inbox old pals :)

8.)  Clean One Area of the House a Day
      Yeah right.  But I am really going to try.  Between working full-time, running a business, two dogs, a cat and a man my house can be a fucking disaster and sometimes the mess is so overwhelming that I would rather crawl into bed and ignore it than clean it up.  My mom's house always looks great so I asked her for some advice.  She came up with resolution number 8 and again, I will also be reforming Terry.

9.)  Appreciate the GOOD things and don't focus on the BAD
      This is a big one for me.  I tend to be an extremely cynical and negative person.  Everyone around me is an idiot, no one can do anything right, someone is always trying to fuck with me, I'm too fat, too ugly, blah, blah, blah.  Who the fuck wants to be around a person like that?!  Not me.  I have a great life, a great partner, a great family and I'm working on the great friends part.  i have a lot to be happy about and thankful for.  It's time I start acting that way.  Do worry, Imma still tell it like it is ;)

10.)  Make Time For Me
        So much of my life is spent doing things for other people: colleagues, friends, family, strangers and I often become very resentful.  I am going to learn to say NO and make sure that I am taken care of as well as the people in my life. 

I was only going to have Ten Resolutions but I think that this one is very important.  

11.)  Set Aside at least 1 Hour a Week to Volunteer. 
        Giving back to your community is so important and although I do a lot of charity work, I have let this important part of my life fall by the wayside.  There are so many opportunities to do good right in your own backyard.  Whether it be reading to Seniors in a retirement home, snuggling kitties at the animal shelter, tutoring kids at an after school program or cleaning up a park; volunteering feels so good :)

Well, there you have it.  11 Resolutions that I am going to my darndest to keep.  One of the ways that I am going to attempt to keep these resolutions is to write EVERYTHING down in my agenda.  I just need to get myself a nice new one first...

Merry Christmas Everyone!  Love You Lots!

xo M

Friday, 16 December 2011

The JOY of Christmas!

I have been a busy little card-making beaver this season.  My goal is to give everyone on my Christmas card list a handmade card and I've done pretty well! I have 7 cards left to make in 7 days.  I think I can do it!

Here is a card that I will enter into the One Crazy Stamper December Challenge

Once again, I used a Kraftin' Kimmie stamp: Virginia.  I love the new Martha Stewart snowflake punch that I got and am getting better at using my copics

Stay tuned for something a little out of the ordinary...

xo M

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

In The Garden, Eating Worms

Because it's clear that nobody likes me.  Or at the very least, nobody wants to really be my friend.  And I have TWO examples that prove said claim:

Oh facebook, how I loathe thee.  You're like a bad lover that I just can't shake.  You bring me so much joy and so much pain.  I know that you're no good, but I keep coming back. Case-in-point: I discover things about people that make me angry.  Even though I kinda already knew they weren't so great.  Or a sneaky, gossipy snake...  I had a very messy falling out with a friend just about a year ago. (Oh surprise! Yup, another one.) And I kindly asked all of my friends and family to remove her from facebook since she was nothing but a drama queen.  I blocked her.  So when I recently reset my facebook settings and decided not to worry about blocking the people who were blocked, I was surprised to see that a member of my family hadn't removed this person and in fact, communicates with her.  However, I'm not surprised.

Example number two:  A friend from high school passed away on Sunday morning.  I found out via face book yesterday.  Not the best way to find out but no big deal as I haven't seen or spoken to most of that crew in over 4 years.  What did and does bother me is that when scanning the recent photos that friends had posted, I came across a photo posted on a "Life Celebration of Danny Schmaltz" page.  I thought to myself, "Excellent!  I have a funny picture that I found of Danny, Brad and myself that I will post on the page."  You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that it wasn't a page but and EVENT; taking place this Saturday in honour of Danny.  The picture for the event was familiar as it is from my Super Sweet 26th Birthday album, but I was not invited to this event.  Every single other fucking person that we went to high school with was invited BUT ME.  I cannot believe it was an oversight since the picture was taken from my album.  The reason that Danny and I haven't spoken is because he was best friends with my ex and Brad and I didn't have the best break up.  I understand that no one wanted to maintain contact with me as their allegiance was to Brad.  But Danny and I were good friends for a number of years and his death affected me.  And my feelings are hurt that I wasn't included in a celebration of his life.

I don't feel like writing anymore and sometimes wonder why I even bother.

Rest In Peace Danny.  I'll miss you xoxo

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Motion Room Wants YOU!

Well ME but you get the picture.

It's been a while since I've blogged and it is not for lack of interesting things going on in my life, it is due solely to lack of time.  December is a CA-RAZY month for me being the Events Manager at one of the hottest venues in town and all.  AND running my own balloon decor company.  *phew*

I have also been training SIX days a week at The Motion Room alternating between Personal Co-Training and Re-Energizer Boot Camp.  Yeah, I'm one dedicated mofo.  I recently did my first round of Results-Success Testing and I'm not gonna lie, some tears were shed.  I am way heavier than I thought I was and my body fat percentage is 33%; which according to the computer is OBESE.  WTF?  My cardio is also waaaay weak :(

However, I am HELLA strong!  Like Superwoman strong :D  That was encouraging and the not so great stuff (weight, body fat percentage and cardio) was motivating so I'm looking forward to the next year.

That being said, I have put myself into the proverbial ring and applied to be a Motion Room Ambassador.  You can see all the deets HERE on their Facebook page.  As an ambassador, you are responsible for documenting and communicating your health and fitness journey to the masses through facebook, twitter and your personal blog (which I do anyway) and in return, should you meet the goals set out for you by TMR staff, you will receive SIX MONTHS FREE training!  I'd say that's a win-win situation for shizz.

Hopefully they choose me because I really believe in the program and am super stoked to continue my fitness journey.  If they do pick me, I'll make sure I take lots of pictures including a before - which will be crazy scary bc I ain't no model anymore - but a bit liberating I think...

Stay tuned.  I plan on sharing some good news real soon :)

xo M

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

I am no longer facebook friends with my former best-friend (I guess I can use former now). I discovered this when I tried to tag her in a funny post that only she and I would get.

I have been rather apathetic throughout the past 8 months of not speaking and had convinced myself that I didn't care that we were no longer friends.  The sick feeling in my stomach and lump in my throat betrays my supposed indifference.

Why should something as insignificant as a facebook friendship matter so much?  Perhaps because as long as we were still facebook friends, there was still hope.  I shouldn't be upset.  I wasn't going to reach out to her.  I had done it too many times and felt that for once in our 22 year friendship, she should make the effort to maintain or reignite the friendship.  I guess I just wasn't worth it.