Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Pregnancy Perks or...The Story of How My Entire Life Changed In One Summer

This is my first pregnancy, and so far, I am loving it. I had really bad morning sickness at the beginning, but other than that, its been pretty smooth sailing the last 23 weeks and 4 days!
Most of the good feels have nothing to do with my physical state, actually.
What I want to talk about today is how miraculously my life shifted- in every area- from the moment that I saw those two pink lines.

So let's kick it off with a preggo selfie to set the stage, then we'll jump right in!


Hi!


DISCLAIMER: I'm going pretty deep today.

I want to share with you the most significant part of my pregnancy journey (so far!) I've been a personal development/self-help junkie for just about 10 years now. I've put in A  LOT of hours doing psychological/physiological/emotional and spiritual research. Mostly, because it feels good to me.
I love challenging myself to grow out of old ideas, expand ways of thinking and get out of the box of habitual patterns. So, no one was more surprised than I was when my new baby came along (or, let's say "was conceived") with a message and a lesson for momma. You know what the message was? You still have some work to do and some demons to face.
And, he was right.
I needed to get real and honest with myself about my bad habits. The smoking. The drinking.
These were self-sabotaging tools that I learned early in life and never got in check.
I struggled with how much and how often I engaged in these unproductive activities.

Bad day at work? Go to the pub and forget about it!
Happy day? Have a glass of wine to celebrate! Have the bottle!
Stressed about something? Us too! Drink until you don't feel it. While you're at it, smoke a shitload of nasty cigarettes too!

This is pretty much how the cycle went for....well, a long time. I think the worst part of my excessive consumption was that I knew (as all of us with dependence issues know) that I was falling down the rabbit hole, just a little bit at a time.

Drinking and smoking are just so socially NORMALIZED and acceptable, that it's really easy for it to become a problem that no one really thinks is a problem. Do you see what I mean?

Now, the nice things. As soon as I saw those two pink lines, a couple of things happened.

1. RELIEF.
A big part of me was like, "YES!!! Now I can chill out and take a vacation from drinking! I have a real reason to practice sobriety for more than 20 days in a row (previous record!)

2. OVERWHELMING JOY AND HAPPINESS.
This was instant but also has grown SIGNIFICANTLY as each day passes. I have NEVER felt this naturally happy. I know now that it has a lot to do with the fact that I am not loading my body with toxins and chemicals. My brain, heart and lungs are functioning naturally. Any "highs" I feel are natural highs, which are the best kind.

3. SINCERE GRATITUDE FOR EVERYTHING.
This is such a biggie. All of a sudden, life, that was already pretty darn cool before, is just beautiful in a way that I can't even describe. I feel really, really ALIVE. I feel grateful. For everything. I feel in tune with the Earth and the Universe and all beings. I don't feel the same levels of stress as I did before. I want to say "thank you" for everything, even the things that are stupid and used to be meaningless. I almost cried before folding my husband's socks, cause I had this thought... they could be any socks, but they are his, and they are beautiful.  (OK, THAT I am willing to chalk up to pregnancy hormones!!!)

The bottom line is this. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason. I know that when you ask the Universe for something with all your heart, you get it.
I know that answers come as signs, and that sometimes you feel like you're struggling for a long time before you see the light.
We all have different obstacles to overcome- different challenges to face and different truths to accept.

With a brave and open heart, ask for the guidance.
I did, and the answer was more beautiful than I could've imagined.
Not only am I getting a sweet baby boy to love and nurture, I have also reconnected to myself on a soul-level. My soul is not covered in tar or drowning in cider anymore, yeah!!!
The funny thing? When you stop running away from what you think are the scary bits of life, the scary bits lose their power.
TRUTH.
Now that my head and heart are clear, I realize that the things I ran from were ILLUSIONS. FEARS. NOT REAL.


The gifts of the Universe are limitless.
Dream big, keep your heart open and believe in miracles!!!


...And go have lots of babies!!!

<3






Friday, 21 October 2016

Stranger in a Strange (Cheese-Filled) Land

So, I've been in Switzerland for just over 2 months.
I'm pregnant, too, by the way!
15 weeks! 

We'll save that for next post, because what I REALLY want to do is make a listicle of some of the oddities/cool stuff and weird stuff I've noticed since arriving here.

If I was in a sour mood, this could have become a Debbie Downer style list of all the things I am having a hard time adjusting to, but I am having a pretty darn good day, so let's look at the bright side, too, shall we?!

So, without further ado, let's look at the good, the bad and the fugly of this odd little place.

1. Bananas are super affordable (PRO)

This is a weird observation, I know. In Canada, a large banana can cost you as much as $0.75! No joke, today, at the grocery store, I saw a bag of 15 BANANAS for less than 2 francs (that's about $2.45 Canadian). They are super cheap, and I am happy about this.

2. People generally seem miserable; neutral at best (CON)

I don't want to take too big of a stab at the Swiss, but it's hard for me to fully understand the line between privacy and misery. Where is the line?! I know that the Swiss appreciate privacy (cool, so do I) but it's weird that no one smiles at each other in public.

3. Buses and trains are always on time (PRO)

This is a pro for me. I have always been the "on time or early" type. Catching a bus or train here is a breeze. No irritation when a bus rolls in 15 minutes late (hello bus line 123 in NDG...) or, not at all (also you, bus line 123 in NDG)

4. There are fast food discrepancies (CON)

So, I knew when I moved here that I wouldn't be able to walk into town and buy a poutine (although there IS apparently a place that makes them in Lausanne). Despite this, I find that fast food here is not up to par. Sure, they have the standard "chains"but that's not usually my jam. The thing I miss the most? Greasy, cheesy, $0.99 pizza slices. Here, we need to either buy an entire pizza, or make it at home. Why can't I just get a slice?!

5. Kebabs are everywhere (PRO)

On the upside, the Swiss are big fans of kebabs, otherwise known as shish taouk in Montreal. There is no shortage of Lebanese restos serving up amazing pitas, falafels and salads. This is good.

6. Swiss TV Fucking SuuuuuuuuuuCKS (CON)

Probably because I don't understand any German. I've heard that the German channels are great! I've never watched so many episodes of Two and a Half Men in my life. Pretty much that, Catfish on MTV, BBC News and the nightly movies. Grateful for Netflix more than ever!

7. No Sales Taxes (PRO)

This is a super welcome change to my previous reality. Gone are the days of adding 15% taxes to almost everything I bought. Now, I can spend all my francs at the local H&M without worrying about not having enough once taxes are added!

8. Cheap Cheese (VERY PRO)

Cheese is super inexpensive here (obv.)
I remember how much of a treat it used to be to buy a big chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano. It could cost you $15 in Canada for a big 'ol piece. Here? Practically free. I think I spent 4 francs on a big piece a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful moment.

9. Villages are hard to live in when you are from a big city (CON)

This probably has more to do with the fact that BEING AN EXPAT IS HARD (see #10).. But, it's worth mentioning. I'm used to living in a city that doesn't shut down on Sunday's.
A city that has shopping centers. A city that you can walk around all day and not see the same sight twice. OK, this is making me too nostalgic. Proceed to point 10.

10. BEING AN EXPAT IS FUCKING HARD!

There, I've said it. Despite all good intentions, you can't "intend" yourself to be a master cultural adapter in a foreign country.
You know those stupid memes, "this is what my mother thinks I do, this is what I think I do"? It's kind of like that.
You have a vision of what your new life will be like BEFORE arriving, then it changes while you're here, then it changes again and again and again.
The process of integrating into a new culture, while struggling to retain what is familiar to you (yet far away) is super duper strange and challenging.
There is enough material in point 10 to write an entire sub-post, so let's end on that!

It is now time for me to make some delicious pasta, and then go see the new Bridget Jones movie!
Yeah yeah yeah!!!!






Thursday, 29 September 2016

Becoming a Writer

For as long as I can remember, I have been writing.

When I was young, I kept a journal.
This was my safe place to escape from the world and get deep into the art of self-analysis.
I wrote about everything. At the beginning it was trivialities; which boy was cutest, what I wore to school.
In my teenage years, I wrote about family fights, nights out drinking in the park and other general hooliganisms.



Or many worlds?

The bottom line for me, is that writing is my main source of therapy.

Every major obstacle I have overcome in my life has been written about from every imaginable angle.
In a way, it's like a puzzle.
I write out different feelings, different perspectives, until something fits and I see the big picture.

Perspectives and feelings change, too, which is part of the beauty of writing.
It is fluid.
I can go back and reread my past work (sometimes, with a horrified smirk) and see how my evolution has spiralled into a new direction.

The thought I had today was this.

I have always considered myself a writer.
In the past, I would say it in a dreamy way, as if I was a writer in my imagination in some far off land, but could never actually be one in real life.

I usually referred to writing as a hobby, cause I mean, come on, isn't it a little gallant to pump my own tires?

When I quit the corporate world (2 month anniversary! YEAH!), I realized that life and dreams happen in the now. Not tomorrow, not the next day, and not in 5 years.
People put off doing what they want to do in life forever, and that is probably one of the biggest tragedies.
Not everyone automatically knows what their soul calling is, and that's OK too!
You have time to figure it out.
But, let's say you do know...and you're not doing anything about it, ask yourself...why?

I let fear of failure hold me back from pursuing what I wanted to do for a long time.

I was afraid I would not find work.
I was afraid I would not be able to support myself.
I was afraid it wasn't a respectable career shift, after having climbed the corporate ladder for so long.

But you know what? The drive was bigger than the fear, and I did it anyways.
Worth noting that I have an extremely supportive husband who has backed my dreams from Day 1.
I would not have been able to do all of this without his help (or I would, but probably from the spare room at my mom's house. Mooching meals and personal supplies. Kind of like I did this summer! Joking. Sort of. Hi Mom!)

8 weeks ago, I started networking to find some freelance projects that I could work on.

It took some time, at first.

I sifted through a lot of proposals that didn't interest me.
But then, something cool happened.
I started getting offers and projects for things that DID interest me.
In fact, I got so many that I'm almost at my weekly capacity and have to restructure my chore and Netflix schedule.

So, here I am, working from my little home office (well, it's a chair and windowsill FOR NOW, but we are going desk and office supply shopping this weekend!) thinking, AH. I did it, and it wasn't even that hard.

Why was I so afraid of this for so long?

Say my name, motherfucker.








Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Swiss Miss: Marriage, Travel and International Relocation

Hello!

It feels so good to type. I missed it.
The past month has been a whirlwind of travelling, marriage preparations and execution, parties and visits with friends and families.

It feels like the first time in a loooooong time that I have been able to sit (on my new comfortable Swiss couch, no less) and relax and let myself get back into the story-telling.

So, in a nutshell, everything went better than I could have possibly imagined.

Here's the listicle of what's been going on, in chronological order:

1. Thomas arrived in Montreal on July 23

The reunion was wonderful- as expected.
We hadn't seen each other since he went back to Switzerland at the end of March.

We only had a few days in Montreal before we departed for Barbados.

Reunited for good....with more hair than ever before

My beautiful engagement/wedding/love ring! So perfect.


2. I had my last day of work on July 28th

This was a huge moment for me. I had spent far too many years shackled to corporate jobs that sucked the creative life out of me. I can say this now, openly.

My perfectionist nature is partly to blame for my experiences; even if I could have put in less than 100% effort, I wouldn't have, because it's in my nature to work hard and get EVERYTHING done. Even if that everything is impossible (it was).

Leaving this job freed me from so much deadweight stress and unhappiness that I had been carrying around. I felt more like myself the minute I walked out of there.

Yeah! Fuck corporate jobs that kill your inspiration and make you forget that you were born to LIVE.


3. We travelled to Barbados on July 31, got married on August 3, and returned to Montreal on August 8

This was THE BEST WEEK. We had a beautiful boutique hotel room with close to 800sf of space, including a wrap-around balcony overlooking the ocean.

We ate and drank with the locals, walked on the beaches, spent LOTS of time chilling in the hot tub...oh, WE ALSO GOT MARRIED!

The wedding was magical.

We got ready at our hotel (Thomas was quarantined on the balcony while I was getting dolled up by my hair and makeup girls), and then drove to a secluded beach on the West Coast of Barbados for the ceremony.

We said our own vows, drank champagne on the beach and frolicked around while our photographer snapped pictures of us.

Afterwards, we had an amazing dinner at The Cliff- hands down the most beautiful restaurant I have ever been to.

Feeling quite pleased with my choice of husband

The best love <3


So once we were wed and all excited about our new "statuses" (we kept looking at our rings and making cute husband and wife references), I got a nasty throat infection two days before flying home.

I was feverish and delirious, but Thomas took good care of me and I made it home safely.
Antibiotics were issued the next day and things cleared up pretty quickly.

4. We had a wedding celebration/going away party to celebrate with our friends and family on August 13

This was super, super fun and also very bittersweet.

We had about 60 guests who came to celebrate our marriage with us.
We were really happy to have the opportunity to see all of the people that we are close to in Montreal before leaving for Switzerland.
One of my oldest and dearest friends, Michelle
My sea-ster!
Dancing with my nephew, Xavier

A million photos of our love <3




5. We flew to Switzerland on August 15 to settle into our new life!

The "back to reality" moment! We have been in Switzerland for just about two weeks.
It hasn't been the easiest transition for me, so far, just because I am not used to living in a small village....in Switzerland.

I love Montreal, and it will take some time to shift from urban girl to small-town villager (LOL).

No, it's really not that bad. There is everything I need here: lots of cheese, a LUSH store, some pretty sweet mountains, my dog and my hubs.


Having the opportunity to be a housewife for a little while is quite nice, too.

:)








Monday, 18 July 2016

New Life Things...wedding, switching countries

What a crazy last few months it's been!!!

I kept meaning to update my blog: I really can't even believe that I haven't written anything since APRIL! I'm in such writing withdrawal.

I couldn't remember my password or the font I usually use.
Time to get back into this.

The  good news: I am officially finished work in 10 business days.
I will then embark on a super fun wedding/honeymoon vacation with my darling and THEN move to Switzerland!
Blog-worthy!

So this past weekend, my friends threw me a beautiful bridal shower.

Here are some of the fun highlights:



My hairdresser made my hair look very bridal and fancy
My friends' made a signature rum punch in my favorite colour


I enjoyed drinking my mermaid juice throughout the evening

My bridal party! I have a best man, a maid of honour and bridesmaids...spoiled!

My talented friend Lando did this portrait of us!!!

Adorable A+T Bracelet with an aquamarine stone

Today, an article of mine was published on Tiny Buddha.
I am super, SUPER excited about that.
I really want to branch into some sort of motivational coaching/writing- just trying to find my fit!
I know that it'll come.

In the meantime, you can read the article here:


I promise I'll be back this week with more insights and updates.

xo

A


Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Biggest Detour

I'm moving to Switzerland in July.

This long-distance love will finally have a stable home.
The last two years were filled with a lot of travelling and a lot of lonely time.
Every single personal sacrifice was worth it.
"There is a solution to every problem" has been the relationship mantra.
I'm really proud of what we've accomplished; the relationship stability we've managed to create, despite being 6000km and an ocean apart.
We are both willing to go that extra mile, literally, to be together.

Now, I'm going to outline a very, very adventurous detour that I've concocted for my upcoming move.
I seriously think that this could be the inspiration for my first full-length-autobiography (yes, I plan on writing a collection of memoirs...)

The steps are...

1. Take bus from Montreal to NYC
2.Take Queen Mary 2 transatlantic crossing to either Southampton or Hamburg
3.Depending on port of entry, either visit family in England, then cross English Channel to France and drive to Switzerland OR, spend a couple of days driving through Germany from top to bottom
4.Enter apartment in Switzerland and begin new life

I'm OK with 8 days of swimming and fine dining

And now, the explanation..

He has no idea what's coming... Swiss residency awaits this little Tibetan fella

So I'm not afraid to fly. That is clearly a non-issue. My little pugface Milo, however, is another story.

He's naturally nervous as it is (foams-at-the-mouth-for-a-nail-clipping-level-nerves).
He's afraid of vacuum cleaners and plastic bags.
He has separation anxiety.
I do too. I actually have "everything anxiety".
So, this is bad.


Then, throw in the additional research findings...since 2005, 189 animal deaths have been reported...AND 98 OF THOSE WERE BRACHYCEPHALIC BREEDS. That's snub-nosed animals, AKA MILO. So, over 50% of ALL animal deaths reported were like...Milo's distant relatives.
Am I taking that risk?! Ummmm fuck no, no, no way.

Even if he was the chilliest, most Zen animal on the planet...even if he was the Bob Marley of pugs...even if he could speak and TOLD ME it was his dream to fly...still NOPE.

I'm just so incredibly NO on this issue.

So...I'm taking 9-13 days to travel to Switzerland, instead of 8 hours.
But whatevs, seriously. YOLO and so does Milo, and I know that my peace of mind and my pet's life are more important to me than convenience and saving time.

I have a very loving, patient boyfriend. I will shower him with kisses and apfelstrudel
while we drive home.

The best part is that I'm finding all these perks to my detour...

1.Get to hang in Brooklyn-WITH MY DOG!- for a day or two before embarking my boat
2.Tons of fine dining/spa treatments/swimming/reading/writing/cruise activities---->a nice time to relax before starting a new life
3.Happy Milo... I can just imagine how much he'll love the ocean air and being able to sit on mommy's lap and watch the sunset from the balcony. He can even get his photo taken with the QM2 lifejacket
4.Small mini-vacation, either in England with family + France, or a huge Germany tour
5. Just being able to say to my future children, "When I was your age I had to take a boat to cross the Atlantic and join your father in the promised land" + this adds even MORE romance to our already super rom-com life.

So the moral of the story is: problem-solving requires flexibility and adaptability.
And also, I really, really love my dog and my Swiss.

Me in Switzerland in JANUARY, wearing no jacket and no socks...I can get used to this weather

A lifetime of fondue and this sweet man awaits <3

Monday, 4 April 2016

Big Life Changes # 355- Moving to Europe for Love

Goooooooooooood Morning!

It really is a good morning, for quite a few reasons.
In true listicle fashion, let's review:

1. I quit my job! My last day of work will be on Friday, July 8th...and then, I'm OFF TO EUROPE!
We came to this conclusion in February after weeks of immigration frustration with the Quebec government.
Given our situation, we will have more opportunities in Europe.
We are looking at England or Switzerland as final destinations.
Boyfriend has both passports, so it really depends on how my job search goes.
Very exciting to think of starting a brand-new life.
It feels sooooo good to let go of responsibility and the stress of having a demanding position.
I can now really focus on transitioning into a new dream position- possibly something more artistic/creative.
Doggie will be coming with, naturally.


This is us 5 years ago!! We look so young!!

2. I've been consistently sticking with a soberista lifestyle for quite awhile now.
It feel really, really good to always have energy, save more money, practice better self-care and prioritize healthy habits!
I've also cut out cigarettes (finally!) so I'm breathing easier and hitting the gym more.
Feeling really good physically and mentally.


3. Spring is around the corner, the weather is getting better, and soon I will spend all my free time outside at the dog park with Mister Milo.
Cannot wait.

4. In preparation for the much-anticipated move, I'm cleaning up, organizing and minimizing!
Nothing says "this is not important" like packing up and moving to a new country.
I've moved several times over the last 5 years.
I've gotten accustomed to selling and buying furniture.
I don't get attached to possessions like I once did.
This is really liberating.
I am not my couch, or my dining table...I guarantee that these tangible objects will not be packed up and brought with me into my next life.
I am what is in my heart, and that comes with me everywhere I go <3

Monday, 28 March 2016

Monday FunDay

Hello!

Today is such a typical Case-of-the-Monday's- Monday.
I'm not even that moody or down, I just feel like I should be.
It's rainy and gray outside, I ate way too much chocolate yesterday and I'm hormonal.
Recipe for some blues, right there!

Yeeeeeep.

So it's the first day back to work after a long weekend.
This was the first weekend without my boyfriend, and despite everything, it went pretty well!
I jumped right back into my "self-care" routines to keep myself uplifted and healthy/happy.
Lots of long bubble baths, Netflix marathons, chores (I love cleaning, best therapy ever).

I am not the only one who engaged in a little "rest and relaxation" this weekend


Friday, I went to the gym for an embarrassing 20 minutes, and then saw the new Tina Fey movie with my pal Ash. Saturday, I went for a tattoo session and Sunday was my family's Easter brunch/lunch.

The entire weekend was spent booze-free..yeah!
This helps tremendously in managing moods.
Alcohol makes me feel so unstable sometimes, I feel so much more centered when I am free of it!

Saturday's tattoo session was pretty ouchie, but I survived.
I have one final session to colour in the flowers, the lion's eyes and the frame- I'm really excited about this piece!
It really serves as a reminder of how far I have come in my journey.
I'm proud of what I've accomplished in the last 10 years; professionally, and more importantly, personally. I feel pretty darn grounded these days; sure I still have minor setbacks, but I really don't think there's anything that I couldn't handle.
I'm a warrior lion!

The flowers are going to be so pretty once coloured in :)



Yesterday, unfortunately, a TMJ migraine struck me down mid-Easter-celebration. I took some Tylenol and Advil throughout the day, but I had this nonstop surge in the right side of my head, near my temple.
I never, ever suffered from headaches until this TMJ nonsense started.

Thankfully, after icing it all night and early bed, I woke up pain-free.


Taking a little nap in Momma's best, mid-Easter celebration. My nose looks SO crooked here! Yeah for non-symmetrical faces!


Tonight I am very likely going to do a workout video at home because Monday is my most lazy-bones day, and quite frankly, the gym was made for Tuesday-Sunday.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Despair in the Departure Lounge

Uggghhhhh  my heart.

I jut said goodbye to my beautiful boyfriend at the airport.
After 9 wonderful weeks together, he had to go back to Switzerland to work.
This is our 6th airport goodbye in 600 days (today is actually exactly 600 days since we met!!!)

The truth is: it doesn't get easier to say goodbye.

The first night apart is the hardest.
I find myself in this weird, hazy fog of emotions and memories.
Everything reminds me of him.

I don't want to listen to music. Everything will make me sad, or fake-happy.
I don't want to sit on the couch, because that's where we spent a good portion of the last 9 weeks, together.
I especially don't want to go to bed, because I know that when I turn in the night, I won't be turning into a warm, comforting body.

It just has to run it's course.

I know that in a few days, the despair will seem a little less dark.
I'll get back into my regular activities and routines.
I'll start planning our next adventures together.

One thing I know: the most beautiful part of this long-distance love is that we never, ever take each other for granted.
We show gratitude for each other constantly.
I never feel insecure in  my relationship, because I know that we are equally invested in each other.

I have found in him all the things I searched for.
He is my lover, my best friend, my cheerleader, my muse, my inspiration.
My absolute #1

I love him for helping me see that I am loveable.
For fighting for me when I didn't want to fight for myself.
For believing in me and helping me combat my fears.

In a mere 90 days- we will be together again.
This time no more goodbyes.

I know, and have always known, that we came into each others' lives for a reason.
We have so much love to give, to each other, and to the world.
We are so strong together. An unbreakable bond that probably started in lives' past.

A new life awaits, and I swear I'm going to enjoy every single moment of it...with him, the King of my heart.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

It's Fondue Night...a Review of Our Romantic Traditions

So, tonight is a bittersweet night.

It's bittersweet, simply because fondue night precedes "airport day".

Over the last year and a half, my honey and I have endured the following heart-wrenching airport goodbyes (ranked on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest)

1. ZURICH, CH, JAN 2015 
 7/10
This one was pretty tough. It was our first time seeing each other after our meeting in August.
We adored this trip together; it really set the tone of the relationship...sweet, cheesy (literally) and passionate.

When we said goodbye, I stuffed my face with beautiful, expensive, Swiss chocolates, looked at photos of our trip together, and cried.

This was the delicious beginning of the "goodbye, don't cry, fondue ceremony"


2. MONTREAL, CAN, MARCH 2015
9/10
Ouch! I remember this one!!! This one sucked particularly because Thomas flew in for a mere 5 days to spend time with me.
The gesture was so romantic, spontaneous and John Cusack-y.

Saying goodbye was really hard.

I had anxiety attacks the entire day and almost sent him to the airport alone.
I'm really glad I didn't ditch him (that would be so regrettable).
We added a second part to the goodbye ceremony on this trip: the chicken wing/chicken finger and beer send-off!
Basically, we shovelled chicken and beer down our throats in an attempt to eat and drink away all the feels.
End result: two super bloated International lovers making a huge crybaby scene at the airport.

I was so sad when I got in the taxi, that I got out 2km from my apartment and cry-walked home.
So hard to face his half-eaten bowl of chips and the shirts he left behind.


 This was the first time Tommy Boy met my momma.See the Swiss chocolates in the forefront?!


3. MONTREAL, CAN, MAY 2015
8/10
This one was really rough too.
It was the longest time we had spent together, up until that point.
20 consecutive days.
We went to Barbados for 11 days.
So relaxing and romantic.
We met our first "SHARED" friends.
We ate macaroni and cheese, chicken wings and fish fish cutters.
We drank lots of Mount Gay Rum and played Crazy 8's on our oceanfront balcony.

The good news is that we had a few additional days together in Montreal before he went back to Switzerland.
The bad news is that my heart was feeling like it had glass in it for at least 4 days.


All pasty and pale before we got our tan on under the Bajan sun
True love: when your boyfriend gives up his last fiver to pay for this monkey photo

 

And then the Monkey Man gave him a freebie photo---this remains the cutest photo I have ever seen.


4. Paris, FR, SEPTEMBER 2015
5/10

I think that we would both agree that it was a bit easier to part ways in Paris.
Probably because we were both catching flights.
This, along with a last-minute eye infection that struck me on the way to the airport, provided enough distraction from the heartache.
We couldn't find a place that sold chicken wings, so we just had sandwiches and beer.
Then, we had to track down the pharmacy to get eye drops as I was virtually blind in one eye.

We knew we would see each other again before too long; so this goodbye was probably the easiest!

Sidenote: I just had a flashback...After saying goodbye, I bought two little mini bottles of red wine and chugged them in the airport smoking lounge. Maybe "easy" was a bit of an exaggeration.


I swear we were there!



AND NOW HERE WE ARE.
Another goodbye ceremony is upon us.
I know that tomorrow, after 9 weeks in the company of my soul mate, I will be crushed.
I've gotten so accustomed to him.
Our oddities and quirks just blend so damn perfectly together, and I can't imagine not seeing him after work when I get home.

The good news: we have a plan.
A real plan, that will be disclosed publicly in the coming weeks.

We have survived 600 days as a long-distance couple....what's another 90?!

We got this.

Next step: no more goodbyes, my love. <3



Monday, 21 March 2016

Manifesting the Life of my Dreams- cause, why not live now??

Hi Friends!

It's Monday morning and I'm pretty slow-going after a busy (but very nice) weekend!

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to the Law of Attraction. Manifesting the things you most strongly desire, almost effortlessly.

We've all see The Secret. The premise of LOA is quite simple. The Universe's magnetic powers draw like energies' together.

 If we look at the Universe outside of the time-space-continuum,  human existence is part of the life force phenomena, which is all-encompassing. We are no different than a rock or a tree, in the grand scheme of things. The energy, or Source, that flows through our beings, is equally moving through all things. There is no separation. Everything is one.

The Universe doesn't know the difference between "good" or "bad". Labelling thoughts, events, activities and behaviours as either positive or negative is part of the human condition; history has shown that our moral code changes from generation to generation.

People have immense faith in archaic religions; never stopping to question why they take everything at face value.
Is there, perhaps, another way of seeing, of being, of believing? (this could be the start of a song...)
I BELIEVE THERE IS!


So anyways. Most people think I'm crazy and/or annoying when I talk about this stuff, but, whatever suckers, it freaking works and it feels great.

I just know that when I focus my energies on the right thoughts, in the right places and the right ways- I will get exactly the things that I desire.

So now, I'm about to start a serious manifestation. Seriously big. Seriously life-changing. Because I know I can and I know I deserve it.





So here's a short list of some of the main things I will be focusing on.

1. Finding the right home for my boyfriend and I (the Universe has a way of untangling our international strings!!!) I know there is a solution where we can both work, be happy AND be together.

2. Health/activity levels are gonna go waaaaay up! I want to be the healthiest version of myself, physically, mentally, emotionally

3.Staying grounded in the NOW and always choosing the "feel good" thought. I realize that all of the scary stuff in life is created by my ego; it is an illusion that I refuse to be tied to

4. Focusing on my passion for writing, and allowing myself to bravely share my stories and words with the world.

OK so that's it for now.
I'm also thinking of maybe getting a haircut or doing something sort of dramatic to signify a new chapter in my life. Maybe the massive lion  tattoo I'm working on is enough. We'll see!

Maybe I should manifest "being able to fit into my fat jeans again cause even those are too tight on me lately".
But that's OK.
It was winter in Montreal. I ate a lot.

OKbye!
xo

Thursday, 17 March 2016

You're A Sweet Girl with a Big Heart...But You're Also An Asshole (smily emoji)

Holy shit! A week has passed since I last wrote?!
Whoa- not OK!

Admittedly, I have been choosing to spend most of my down time cooking, watching movies and going out on dates with my boyfriend. We're always sweet and romantic with each other (he's definitely "my person")...BUT THIS WEEK IS EVEN MORE ROMANTIC!

It's like I'm floating on a cloud of Kraft Dinner while holding a dozen baby pugs and being spoon-fed cheese-cubes.

We've been in a near-constant flow of gratitude for each other, nurturing and adoring each other and planning our future.
We're laughing constantly. Creating new, stupid pet names for each other on a daily basis. Sharing embarrassing memories. Talking about the 90's. Yesterday, he came home with white roses and I made him pizza that looked like this:




So, this morning, a co-worker passed by my desk and asked me how my relationship was going. I gave her a slightly condensed version of the above.

Her response was, roughly, this:

Oh very nice, very nice. You know, you're such a sweet girl with a big heart, but sometimes (here she kind of punched the air) you can be....(no word, just a weird "hrmmmph" sound).
But, if your boyfriend knows your character, and sees the inside, you will be very happy.

And the thing is, she's totally right. I can now comfortably say, I am the girl with the biggest heart in the world. I really am. And I am also an asshole from time to time.

The world knows, and I know.
And I'm OK with that.




P.S. Do not Google search "sweet girl who is also an asshole" from your work computer and expect the Internet to respond with anything but porn

Thursday, 10 March 2016

TMJ, Spring Fever and Mac and Cheese Week

Wow, I haven't written in 5 days! It's been a bit of a busy week.

Monday, I had an appointment with my dentist. I've been a pretty vigorous day-clencher and night-grinder for years.
Last spring, my dentist suggested that I get fitted for a hard, acrylic occlusion guard. This $700 plastic monster was supposed to help to protect my teeth at night.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

I started to notice changes in my mouth and jaw.
 One day, I was trying to bite my cuticles, and my teeth couldn't latch onto the skin, as they had faithfully done for over 20 years. 
 Gone are the days of ripping open a bag of chips with my teeth. They simply don't grip that way anymore. It's horrifying!

As the weeks progressed, I was waking up with severe cheek and jaw pain; so I went back and dentist confirmed that my chompers had, in fact, moved around in my mouth. Comforting!
3 weeks ago, I had a new set of molds created.
They photographed the shit out of my face to see where the discrepancies were.

 

At Monday's appointment it was confirmed that my jaw is indeed full of discrepancies! I have one (or two?) cross-bites, my teeth only connect at one point (like two teeth in my entire mouth can connect while my jaw is in correct position, the rest are all up in the air), and he said something about a 6mm disparity between where my jaw IS and where the Universe intended it to be.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, my friends.

It's been a rough last few weeks; migraines, ear pain, restless sleep, tension in entire upper quarter of body...
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME AND MY POOR MOUTH/JAW/FACE?

A few things:

1. I need to follow up with an orthodontist. My dentist, much to my despair, was kind of hands-in-the- air-I-dunno-how-to-fix-this.
He said it would take a lot of moving teeth to get my jaw into the right alignment; and who knows if that will fix the bigger issue (potential joint damage/injury).
So, we'll see what the ortho thinks.

2. I need to relax the eff out. It's no surprise that I'm a high-energy, always-thinking, always doing kind of person. I internalize stress/tension and it is ALL going straight to my face.

The ayurvedic doctor already told me to take it easy; so this is two medical professional's that now agree that I stress way too much.
I didn't really need professionals to confirm what my besties have been telling me for 15 years...BUT it is more of a wake-up call.

So...doctor's orders! I'm now scheduling in mandatory relaxation bubble baths, more meditation and writing, the occasional dose of medical marijuana (just kidding, I only tried that last night for the first time).

3. I am going to put my faith in holistic therapy until further notice. I've been reading a lot of TMJ forums, and many people have had great alleviation of symptoms by introducing holistic remedies.

Swimming, hydrotherapy, massage, exercise, meditation, jaw exercises...these will all be incorporated into my life to see if it makes a difference.

I am also taking a Calcium Magnesium supplement daily, trying to reduce my caffeine/alcohol/(enter toxin of your choice here) intakes.




In more positive news, it's starting to feel super Spring-like outside!

I can't get enough fresh air. I've been walking 8-10km a day, on average.

Time to walk off all of the take-out I partook in over the last few months.

Tonight, I'm going for Mac and Cheese for the Mac and Cheese Week festival (completely contradicting previous statement).

No matter how devoted I am to losing weight, I love mac and cheese and will never pass up the festival of my dreams.
I'm doing a 45 minute Booty Ballet workout class before, so I think it'll cancel itself out. Right?!

The below picture accurately represents how I feel about mac and cheese, cheese, and cheese products.




Saturday, 5 March 2016

Ayurveda, Long Walks and Swiss Food

Today is a very special day! It is my darling dearest boyfriend's 30th birthday! We kicked off the day with a super vigorous team cleanup of the apartment. I love the feeling of balance and harmony that comes with cleaning...it really set the tone for a super-charged, inspiring day!

Next up, I left the birthday boy home alone for an hour while I went to my Ayurveda consultation. This is something I have been interested in for a long time. After a sluggish winter, I feel like I need to boost my health, and this was a great starting place.

Unsurprisingly, she confirmed that my nervous system is overwhelmed (yep!) due to poorly managed stress/working too hard/worrying too much/thinking too much....
That's me! I definitely feel like there is a disconnect between my mind and my heart; and this is what I need to work on balancing.
Without further ado, here are my main assignments for the next 6 weeks:

1. DIET: first of all, it has to change! My Dosha is almost equal parts of Vata and Pitta. I naturally have a lot of "fire" in me, so I need to eat calming, soothing foods to get back to a good balance. Chicken, fish, green veggies, fruits, almond milk, wild rice, quinoa, eggs. I can work with this. Actually, being more aware of my diet and restricting certain foods helps keep me very focused on my plan!

2. SPIRITUAL: I need to meditate more. Sit in silence and reconnect with myself. I'm going to be doing morning and evening rituals that calm and soothe the mind.

3. PHYSICAL: Daily body brushing/massage will be incorporated in order to stimulate my blood flow and lymphatic system. I'm supposed to give myself a foot massage with oil every night before bed...I wonder if I can tweak the rules and have boyfriend do this for me?!

4. LET GO: This is the biggie! I need to let go. In my appointment, the practitioner told me something that really resonated with me:
 
You can chase something and try to force it over and over; get yourself all worked up. If it is not meant for you, no amount of fighting will change a thing.
On the other hand, if something is meant for you, you can't escape it. Let it come to you. Let go and let what is yours come to you.
 
 
Beautiful, right?!
I got so teary-eyed and almost lost control of my emotions when she said that. It was one of those "YES! YES! I want to let go and trust the Universe so bad!" moments.
Totally inspiring.
 
This afternoon, we went for lunch and a very nice long walk in the sun. We talked about our lives and how there's a solution to every problem; even immigration and work permit frustrations. We're not going to let this get us down- we are the masters of our lives' and we're going to find the way!
 
Life changes, things are always in motion, and we really must find happiness in insecurity. We can't grasp on to life, or people, or things out of fear of losing them. We must let them be, stand back and admire them, in order to really benefit from their beauty and teachings.
 
Instead of thinking so much, worrying so much, planning so much, stressing so much...let us play and enjoy and lighten up a little!
 
 
 

Tonight I have a hot date with the most beautiful, kindest man I know. I am so lucky to have his partnership and love. Tonight I want to curl my hair and wear pretty lipstick and celebrate all the victories and growth; celebrate all that we have done together in the last year and a half. Life is for living and growing and enjoying; tonight we're going to eat Swiss food and pretend we are in a small Alpine village in his mother country.
Also....5 days no drinking and going strong!