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!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

My Favorite Books to Read While Taking a Break from Boozing

Hi Everybody and happy Thursday!

It's a beautiful, sunny day! It's DAY 3 of my no-booze March, and I'm feeling great and super-motivated.
Over the past few years, I've been really interested in learning about alcohol use, abuse and addiction.
I've always been a fairly regular drinker with an insatiable appetite for cider and wine.
I wanted to know: what is the correlation between what I FEEL and what I DO?
How often (and not always consciously) am I turning to alcohol to soothe an emotional or psychological problem?
How can I incorporate more efficient and healthy ways of coping with daily stresses?
Side note before proceeding: Alcoholism is a serious, potentially fatal disease. I am not a doctor and do not suggest that people with serious addictions can simply read a book and be cured. Professional intervention and treatment are critical and irreplaceable.

OK, now, having said that, let's jump into the books that have really helped me over the years:

1. Codependent No More by Melody Beatty
 
 
This book is probably the top book of my LIFE (so far!) For years, I found myself in destructive relationships due to unresolved and/or poorly managed  pain from the past. I clung to relationships that weren't making me better. I stuck around and accepted some pretty unacceptable stuff. Then, one day, browsing Amazon for a new self-help read- I came across Codependent No More. This book showed me how I had been subconsciously self-sabotaging myself for years. I remember how liberating and exciting it was to feel like, there are other people who get this; I'm not crazy, and I'm not alone anymore! It gave me the tools to face my fears, work hard, and not look back.



2. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp

I read this book last September. I had just come home from a very boozy (albeit very romantic) week in Paris with my boyfriend. It was the perfect opportunity to swap wine for sparkling water and curl up with this gem. Knapp tells the tale of her journey from casual drinking to full-fledged alcoholism. The language she uses to describe her drinking- the shame after having had too much to drink, battling hangover anxiety far too regularly- really resonated with me. Not only is her story personal, it's relatable. This book allowed me to see what my drinking triggers were, and how easily it is to fall down the rabbit hole if you don't practice responsible drinking.

3. The Sober Revolution: Women Calling Time on Wine O'clock by Sarah Turner and Lucy Rocca

This is the book I read right after finishing Drinking: A Love Story. I was sort of on a sober-book-club-binge: and it was really fun! Reading stories about people overcoming addiction (of any kind, really) is super-inspiring on many levels. This book is a triumphant compilation of stories, written first-hand by alcoholic women of all walks of life. Although a little big on the Jesus-references (I'm unashamedly not a follower of the Catholic tradition), I put that aside, because, it is a positive, easy-to-read book. One thing that really shocked me was how badly edited it was! This book was FILLED with typos that made me want to pull out a red pen and start correcting.


4.Emotional Sobriety by Tian Dayton, Ph.D.
 
 
I'm super excited about this book, and I haven't even finished it yet. Firstly, it's filled with lots of scientific backing. Written by a doctor, this book explains in detail how trauma is physically stored in our bodies' limbic systems. Our limbic system is an intricate collection of nerves and pathways in the brain that control many of our basic drives and emotions. Dr. Dayton explains how unresolved childhood trauma, PTSD or relationship trauma physically stay in our bodies. When trauma is unresolved, the brain reaches for self-medicating adaptors that help ease the discomfort. Addictive and compulsive behaviour is explained thoroughly in this book. Furthermore, Dayton equips the reader with tools and tips on how to remove harmful escape patterns and replace them with more adequate, emotionally sober techniques. How awesome is that?
 

 
 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Happy Birthday Bon Jovi and Other Musings....

Yesterday was a catastrophic day. Migraines, anxiety, 37 minute delay on train home in subarctic weather. Not many fun things happened!
Although yesterday roughed me up, today, I'm sleepily getting back on the 'ol high horse. Misery doesn't suit me too well. Despite being a HSP (highly sensitive person for those who don't know, and YES, it's a real thing!!!) , I never let the negative stick around too long.
Today- I am going to kick back my "attitude of gratitude" with 3 things that are great today:

1. It's John Francis Bongiovi, Jr's 54th Birthday Today

Happy Birthday BABY! My love affair with BJ started when my Aunt Donna sent me the 7800° Fahrenheit album for Christmas. It was probably 1992. From there, I grew my Bon Jovi tape collection. I had Bon Jovi books, I WROTE Bon Jovi books and I even hosted the infamous "Bon Jovi Party" when my mother refused to let 9-year-old-me go to the Bell Centre to see his life concert.

This man is at least partially responsible for my super unrealistic romantic expectations.

2. I'm Wearing My Favorite Lipstick and My Skin Looks Pretty Even

Both good things, yes?
The lipstick is Too Faced Melted Metallic Peony; my girlfriend got me the Melted Metal kit and I love it!!!

The face is, mine, but looking less splotchy and tired (very surprising considering I had about 2-3 hours of sleep last night).
Maybe 48 hours of no booze is already freshening me up! Yeah!
**I'm even doing my "selfie face" for you!




3. I Spent 45 Minutes Planning What Macaroni to Eat at the Mac N' Cheese Festival Next Week

Because your true friends will take the time to go through all options, consider the ingredients, and make an informed decision.
The winner is....The Lord of Griffintown at Lord William Pub.
Cannot wait to post about this next week. Stay tuned.
Here's a sneak peek:




OK that's it for now. I'm tired and need to work. The sooner I get out of here the sooner my vegetarian food/movie date night will kick off :)
Just what I need...relaxing with a very sweet and very cuddly Swiss citizen.




Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Dry March and Finding Ways Through Blocks

It's March, and I'm giving up booze for 31 days!  I am putting down the bottle for the entire month. Here are the main reasons why:

1. It feels really nice (emotionally/physically/spiritually) to not have alcohol in your system. Moods regulate, skin and hair rejuvenate, sleep improves.

2. I like the challenge. I've always been a pretty regular drinker, so it is a bit of a test to go a month without a glass of wine or pint of cider

3. It helps me get into my Zen zone. Let's face it, hangovers are not that uplifting. Bloating, anxiety and dehydration associated with too much alcohol are some of the things I'm happy to leave in February. I'm ready to ditch late night wine sessions for late night meditation sessions and bubble baths.

4. I know I'll eat better and workout more. Alcohol has got to be the world's biggest saboteur. A few pints of beer later; the gym is a distant rumination and I'm covered in honey garlic chicken wing sauce (that actually happened last night). Not drinking means I am going to be more accountable for what I eat and moving will help me feel good too!

5. I can't really think of another point but lists shouldn't be only 4 points, so I'm going to use my 5 for ranting. I feel like shit today! I have a super bad migraine that keeps hitting my brain in different places. I don't normally get headaches like this. I'm sure it's a mix of immigration stress (trying to import my Swiss boyfriend is not easy!) and beer fog (we had a few drinks last night due to immigration stress). Trying to keep my outlook positive- we have been working on this for over 2 months and sometimes it feels like we haven't made any progress...I think we should just go to Thailand and iron out the details later. Ah well, as Yogi Bhajan said, "There is a way through every block". Certainly, there have been blocks way bigger than this in my past that I successfully kicked in the balls. The only reason this has got my head spinning is because I love my little hamster and hate thinking that we might be separated again after a year and a half of long distance. I know this little challenge will have an amazingly happy ending, so I will focus on that instead of being a Debbie Downer.
Also, does anyone read my blog yet?! I hope to one day have at least some fans...