I remember a time when I didn’t love running. I did it because it was a good cardio workout and that was it. Now, if I go more than a few days without running I feel like a lab puppy cooped up inside all day.
And I don’t remember there being a specific moment when I was like “Oh yeah, I totally love this now!” It certainly was gradual and there are times (like on kilometer 40 of a marathon) where I think “Why on Earth am I voluntarily doing this?”
If you think you are a person who hates running just realize that it’s not a special feeling. Most people don’t like it because it’s crazy hard at first, your body feels all weird, and you feel as slow as molasses.
But, just like ANY skill in life, the more you do it the better you get at it. Your body will respond quickly and, most importantly, your mind will begin to build all these new synapses that will make you feel good after each and every run. And trust me….you feel SOOOOOO good.
Here are some of my tips on how to stay motivated:
run on a regular basis for at least 3 weeks
buy some new running gear, specifically shoes that fit you correctly
read other people’s motivating stories (especially this one by Alexandra Heminsley)
track your progress (I prefer using RunKeeper)
Tell your friends and family (public pledges are known to help smokers quit so why would it be different for this healthy behaviour?)
Sign up for a race (having a goal and a commitment to work towards is definitely motivating)

I remember a time when I didn’t love running. I did it because it was a good cardio workout and that was it. Now, if I go more than a few days without running I feel like a lab puppy cooped up inside all day.

And I don’t remember there being a specific moment when I was like “Oh yeah, I totally love this now!” It certainly was gradual and there are times (like on kilometer 40 of a marathon) where I think “Why on Earth am I voluntarily doing this?”

If you think you are a person who hates running just realize that it’s not a special feeling. Most people don’t like it because it’s crazy hard at first, your body feels all weird, and you feel as slow as molasses.

But, just like ANY skill in life, the more you do it the better you get at it. Your body will respond quickly and, most importantly, your mind will begin to build all these new synapses that will make you feel good after each and every run. And trust me….you feel SOOOOOO good.

Here are some of my tips on how to stay motivated:

  • run on a regular basis for at least 3 weeks
  • buy some new running gear, specifically shoes that fit you correctly
  • read other people’s motivating stories (especially this one by Alexandra Heminsley)
  • track your progress (I prefer using RunKeeper)
  • Tell your friends and family (public pledges are known to help smokers quit so why would it be different for this healthy behaviour?)
  • Sign up for a race (having a goal and a commitment to work towards is definitely motivating)

running fitness motivation running like a girl health runkeeper

When my Dad was dying from cancer, writing on my blog helped me cope. Something about writing all the horrible, depressing, self-pitying, sad thoughts down got them out of me without making them too real.

It’s been 6 years, to the day, that my Dad has passed. A lot is the same. But more of it is different. 

I’m writing, sharing my thoughts on my blog, and creating little pieces of art. I’m doing it all just because it makes me feel happy.

happiness missing death cancer family dad love coping

People have said this word to me a lot - DEDICATED - and while it’s a super, fly compliment it makes me think about what it is that I do that shows my dedication. It’s so much more than doing things, it’s more of a feeling, but I attempted to capture the essence in a few sentences.
One thing is for certain, being dedicated to your health is a lifestyle, not one-time event.

People have said this word to me a lot - DEDICATED - and while it’s a super, fly compliment it makes me think about what it is that I do that shows my dedication. It’s so much more than doing things, it’s more of a feeling, but I attempted to capture the essence in a few sentences.

One thing is for certain, being dedicated to your health is a lifestyle, not one-time event.

dediction inspiration fitness quote reasons workout fitspo

When I’m sad I don’t recognize it as me being sad. I see it as something wrong with the world, something bad that happened to me, someone who wronged me, (or worse) something wrong with myself. In the moment I don’t recognize it as a normal, chemical reaction, a response to my environment. I don’t look at it logically because i’m sad and being sad clouds my judgement.
It’s okay to feel sad. I just don’t want to feel sad for very long, so, I accept it, I stop trying to control it, and turn my focus to just let. It. Go.

When I’m sad I don’t recognize it as me being sad. I see it as something wrong with the world, something bad that happened to me, someone who wronged me, (or worse) something wrong with myself. In the moment I don’t recognize it as a normal, chemical reaction, a response to my environment. I don’t look at it logically because i’m sad and being sad clouds my judgement.

It’s okay to feel sad. I just don’t want to feel sad for very long, so, I accept it, I stop trying to control it, and turn my focus to just let. It. Go.

emotions sad poem spirit fitness running mental health 25randomthoughtstherapy

One of the smartest things I learned to do was relax, to have downtime. A lot of it. Almost boring amounts of downtime.
And instead of feeling as though I was missing out, or forgetting to do something, or behind on [insert project here] an interesting thing happened: I had more time to do the things I wanted.
Now I do things like read. And draw. And try to hula hoop. And nap (see photo above). And volunteer. And blog, for no purpose other than I like to blog.
Do yourself a favour, say no to busy. Learn to relax.

One of the smartest things I learned to do was relax, to have downtime. A lot of it. Almost boring amounts of downtime.

And instead of feeling as though I was missing out, or forgetting to do something, or behind on [insert project here] an interesting thing happened: I had more time to do the things I wanted.

Now I do things like read. And draw. And try to hula hoop. And nap (see photo above). And volunteer. And blog, for no purpose other than I like to blog.

Do yourself a favour, say no to busy. Learn to relax.

saynotobusy relax time management skills domecile fitness nap sleep

I truly feel that anything can be solved by sweating it out. I know firsthand how good it feels after a fast or long run, or yoga, or weightlifting…pretty much anything that gets your heart racing and blood pumping will work.
While there’s tons of evidence to support my seemingly random anecdote, I encourage you to test it out for yourself. The next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious, uninspired, angry, sad etc., strap on some runners and get moving, do anything to get your heart rate up. The interesting thing is the more you do it the less stressed, anxious, uninspired, angry, sad, etc. you’ll feel and the more you’ll want to sweat it out.
Win-Win-WIn.

Bonus points if you can bring a stellar workout partner along with you, like my gorgeous hubby in the photo ;)
My gear: Energy bra by Lululemon and, our course, my trusted Oakley sunnies.

I truly feel that anything can be solved by sweating it out. I know firsthand how good it feels after a fast or long run, or yoga, or weightlifting…pretty much anything that gets your heart racing and blood pumping will work.

While there’s tons of evidence to support my seemingly random anecdote, I encourage you to test it out for yourself. The next time you’re feeling stressed, anxious, uninspired, angry, sad etc., strap on some runners and get moving, do anything to get your heart rate up. The interesting thing is the more you do it the less stressed, anxious, uninspired, angry, sad, etc. you’ll feel and the more you’ll want to sweat it out.

Win-Win-WIn.

Bonus points if you can bring a stellar workout partner along with you, like my gorgeous hubby in the photo ;)

My gear: Energy bra by Lululemon and, our course, my trusted Oakley sunnies.

running fitness james partners exercise science spark book ratey emotions health lululemon oakley love

You’ll love my nuts! Seriously, these roasted almonds* are delish. Not only is it a super healthy food but they are so easy to make**.
1) Buy a huge bag of plain, raw almonds (Seriously, head to your local Costco and buy a couple bags. You’ll eat so much you’ll need it. Also, better for your wallet.)
2) Pre-heat oven to about 350 degrees (Keep in mind that ovens vary.)3) Pour them into a large roasting pan - All of them. Yes, the whole bag - and put them in the oven.4) Every 2-5 minutes you’re going to pull them out and shake them around. This is so you make them more evenly roasted while at the same time check for completeness
5) Now, this is the part where it’s more art than instruction and the more you make them, the better you’ll get at it.  It’s the smell and look of them that will tell you when they are perfectly roasted. You don’t want to set it and forget it. Pay attention to your nuts. (I usually make a tea and sit at my kitchen island puttering around on Twitter).
What you’re looking for is a brownish-black colour (like, just a hint of black on some of the nuts) and the smell will be the same - a tiny bit of burnt…the tiniest bit, and a wonderful nutty, almost bread-like aroma will fill the room.

6) Take them out and let them cool. Seriously, nuts have oils in them and they get seriously hot.

7) Enjoy!


We store ours in an airtight container to keep the freshness. I eat about 2 oz of these puppies every day. Yeah, some people might freak out about the calorie and fat content but they are SO FREAKIN’ GOOD FOR YOU. And, it’s way better to pig out on some nuts then pig out on a bag of chips (which I’ve been known to do every now and then).

*Almonds aren’t nuts, they’re stone fruit. But saying You’ll love my stone fruit! just wouldn’t have the same effect. 

**Hat tip to my Mom for perfecting the roasting method. We used to do them in the microwave but you can do more volume in the oven and they taste way better.

You’ll love my nuts! Seriously, these roasted almonds* are delish. Not only is it a super healthy food but they are so easy to make**.

1) Buy a huge bag of plain, raw almonds (Seriously, head to your local Costco and buy a couple bags. You’ll eat so much you’ll need it. Also, better for your wallet.)

2) Pre-heat oven to about 350 degrees (Keep in mind that ovens vary.)

3) Pour them into a large roasting pan - All of them. Yes, the whole bag - and put them in the oven.

4) Every 2-5 minutes you’re going to pull them out and shake them around. This is so you make them more evenly roasted while at the same time check for completeness

5) Now, this is the part where it’s more art than instruction and the more you make them, the better you’ll get at it.  It’s the smell and look of them that will tell you when they are perfectly roasted. You don’t want to set it and forget it. Pay attention to your nuts. (I usually make a tea and sit at my kitchen island puttering around on Twitter).

What you’re looking for is a brownish-black colour (like, just a hint of black on some of the nuts) and the smell will be the same - a tiny bit of burnt…the tiniest bit, and a wonderful nutty, almost bread-like aroma will fill the room.

6) Take them out and let them cool. Seriously, nuts have oils in them and they get seriously hot.

7) Enjoy!

We store ours in an airtight container to keep the freshness. I eat about 2 oz of these puppies every day. Yeah, some people might freak out about the calorie and fat content but they are SO FREAKIN’ GOOD FOR YOU. And, it’s way better to pig out on some nuts then pig out on a bag of chips (which I’ve been known to do every now and then).

*Almonds aren’t nuts, they’re stone fruit. But saying You’ll love my stone fruit! just wouldn’t have the same effect.

**Hat tip to my Mom for perfecting the roasting method. We used to do them in the microwave but you can do more volume in the oven and they taste way better.

recipe almonds nuts health nourish food

Being outside, close (or just closER) to nature is good for us. We know this. It shouldn’t be a big surprise.
So go outside. And don’t make it complicated. It doesn’t have to be some big planned event, where you go to MEC to buy all this equipment and organize some big trip. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, take the time to just stand up and walk out the door.
And if you complain that the closest “outside” to you involves parking lots, roads, and strip malls, I will give you a piece of advice that will simplify all of that:
Look up.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what the weather is like, going outside and looking up will bring you closer to nature.
Bonus points if you’re able to lie down and relax….even if it’s for 2 minutes.
A word to the wise: That gorgeous photo was taken in the middle of a work day, on the grassy knoll behind a Target, in between a busy road and parking lot, while I was dressed in business clothes. Up is the same no matter where you are.

Being outside, close (or just closER) to nature is good for us. We know this. It shouldn’t be a big surprise.

So go outside. And don’t make it complicated. It doesn’t have to be some big planned event, where you go to MEC to buy all this equipment and organize some big trip. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, take the time to just stand up and walk out the door.

And if you complain that the closest “outside” to you involves parking lots, roads, and strip malls, I will give you a piece of advice that will simplify all of that:

Look up.

It doesn’t matter where you are or what the weather is like, going outside and looking up will bring you closer to nature.

Bonus points if you’re able to lie down and relax….even if it’s for 2 minutes.

A word to the wise: That gorgeous photo was taken in the middle of a work day, on the grassy knoll behind a Target, in between a busy road and parking lot, while I was dressed in business clothes. Up is the same no matter where you are.

nature outside tree scenery fitness inspiration featured

I love vacations that make you feel like a local and not a tourist. This past trip to Halifax we were able to rent a house in a sweet downtown location (thanks, AirBnB) and live like a couple of Haligonians on a stay-cation.  

While I am happy to be home (where my heart is) there are a few things that I really wish I could have brought back with me:

1) The ocean smell - that salty, fresh smell that seems to cure every allergy and breathing problem known to man. I don’t even need the ocean, just that invigorating scent.

2) Proper glasses in bars and restaurants - I know this seems silly but I love when I order a beer it comes in the glass with the name of the brewery it came from. It drives me bonkers when I order something here and they just give me a generic (or different brand) glass. I also found that most places had their own branded glass, so when ordering wine or other drink they’d have a subtle etching on it. Nice touch.

3) The pace - It’s so easy to relax right in the middle of the city, no one seems to be in a hurry.

4) Our friends - This is what I miss most of all. People that you haven’t seen in years and when you spend time with them it’s as if you saw them yesterday. Truly truly great people that I need in my life more often.

East coast living is the life for me. 

Photos from top to bottom: one of the beaches at Point Pleasant Park; Drinks (L to R) from Granite Brew at Lion’s Head Tavern, wine at Morris East, & a brew from and at Rock Bottom Brew Pub; backyard patio at Humani-T Cafe in the heart of the city; the friends we visited; me in my East Coast Lifestyle tank that I practically live in now.

halifax travel canada east coast living east coast lifestyle craft beer fashion ocean domicile

Neat freak, I am. And I totally take it as a complement. I thrive when my environment is in order, so I take care to keep it that way. It brings me joy to colour code my closet, to have matching baskets separating my toiletries, to have a custom built drawer for my kitchen knives, and to join the mason jar club for my spice rack.It’s not just with physical space and materials items - my natural ability extends to organizing concepts, thoughts, and processes efficiently and accurately (It’s why I’m such a good project manager). I admit, a life of structure does impose certain limits. Those are limits I am exploring and hope to bring out in this blog. But for this post, I’m relishing in the beauty of organization and sharing that with you.Tips on being organized:
Have less stuff: The less stuff you have to organize, the easier it is.
A place for everything: Each thing should have a dedicated spot. This also helps minimize those times you “misplace” something.
Everything in its place: When you’re done with something, put it back where it belongs. That way, you’re not left with a big mess to clean up at the end of the day/week/month/year etc.

Neat freak, I am. And I totally take it as a complement. I thrive when my environment is in order, so I take care to keep it that way. It brings me joy to colour code my closet, to have matching baskets separating my toiletries, to have a custom built drawer for my kitchen knives, and to join the mason jar club for my spice rack.

It’s not just with physical space and materials items - my natural ability extends to organizing concepts, thoughts, and processes efficiently and accurately (It’s why I’m such a good project manager). 

I admit, a life of structure does impose certain limits. Those are limits I am exploring and hope to bring out in this blog. But for this post, I’m relishing in the beauty of organization and sharing that with you.

Tips on being organized:

  1. Have less stuff: The less stuff you have to organize, the easier it is.
  2. A place for everything: Each thing should have a dedicated spot. This also helps minimize those times you “misplace” something.
  3. Everything in its place: When you’re done with something, put it back where it belongs. That way, you’re not left with a big mess to clean up at the end of the day/week/month/year etc.

organize neat freak order diy clean structure mason jar domicile

I think everyone on the planet needs to do this team building exercise. Stat.
We had 10 minutes to interact with as many colleagues as possible. No chit-chat allowed (my favourite). All you had to do was tell the other person what you thought their strengths were as they wrote them down. They would then do the same for you, exchange a “thanks” and then off to the next person.
While it was wonderful to hear the positive things my colleagues thought of me (pictured above) the most rewarding part was sharing what I thought about others. 
You don’t need to wait for a team-building exercise to do this. Go do it right now. Go do this with friends and family, not just your work mates. Trust me, it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
An afterthought: I do want to point out two of my favourite attributes. One being that I don’t encourage small talk (I love that someone saw that as a strength) and the other being that talking to me is like talking to the wind. I try to portray that online and sometimes I think that doesn’t come through as I’d like it to. 

I think everyone on the planet needs to do this team building exercise. Stat.

We had 10 minutes to interact with as many colleagues as possible. No chit-chat allowed (my favourite). All you had to do was tell the other person what you thought their strengths were as they wrote them down. They would then do the same for you, exchange a “thanks” and then off to the next person.

While it was wonderful to hear the positive things my colleagues thought of me (pictured above) the most rewarding part was sharing what I thought about others. 

You don’t need to wait for a team-building exercise to do this. Go do it right now. Go do this with friends and family, not just your work mates. Trust me, it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy.

An afterthought: I do want to point out two of my favourite attributes. One being that I don’t encourage small talk (I love that someone saw that as a strength) and the other being that talking to me is like talking to the wind. I try to portray that online and sometimes I think that doesn’t come through as I’d like it to. 

strengths positive inspiration team building

Man on the moon, hangin’ around my neck

image

I love this necklace and that’s saying a lot because I don’t love material things. I assign practically zero sentimental value to “things”. I love throwing stuff out or giving things away. If my house were on fire (and everyone was safely outside) the only thing I’d grab would be a beer. Something to drink while I watch the fire.

Call it a quirk or whatever. I wrote about it once but I don’t try to over analyze it because it’s just what I’m like.

Anyway, of the few things I do love this pendant tops the list. The last time I was in Greece my grandmother took me to a jewellery store and told me to pick out anything (she wasn’t rich, just generous). When I picked the Man on the Moon she urged me to pick something more substantial, I think she thought I was being modest because I didn’t want her to spend too much money. I hope my insistence convinced her that this was actually the thing I wanted. 

That was 18 years ago. Of all the things I’ve tossed and forgotten, this was not one of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.

fashion home moon jewellery memories grandma love