Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things I’d Love

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For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, The Broke and The Bookish have challenged us to list the Top Ten Bookish Things (that aren’t books) That We’d Love To Own. Here are some fun Bookish things I found:

1. I would love to have a room like this in my home.

from bookcases5094.wordpress.com

 

2. Twirly skirt + Harry Potter Reference = Happy-geek-in-me

etsy.com

 

3. Because Hamlet always has the right answer…even if it might take him 700 lines to get to it.

cafepress.com

 

4. The perfect poster for my home office…which will be finished one day soon (home renos taking FOREVER!)

gonereading.com

 

5. For those days when I simply cannot put my book down and must change baby’s diaper.

barnesandnoble.com

 

6. When my office is done and I have books on a shelf again instead of in boxes scattered throughout my house…these bookends will look great!

ebay.com

 

7. Because sometimes reaching for my smartphone to look up a word takes too much effort…an electronic dictionary bookmark!

waterstones.com

8. Fun somewhat bookish pillow

indigo.chapter.ca

 

9. Just like there can never be enough shoes…there can never be enough bags to carry your books in.

indigo.chapters.ca

10. Adorable bookmarks perfect for the little readers in your home.

indigo.chapters.ca

 

See anything you might like? What are some of your favourite bookish things (that aren’t books)?

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Friday Five: Favourite Trips

My Friday Five Favourite Things WM I love to travel. There is something about travel that naturally invokes introspection. And, it always makes me appreciate my home and the place in which I live all the more.  These are a few photos of five very memorable trips.

Medellin, Colombia 2011 – the last time I saw my grandmotherIMG_4273

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London, England 2007 – kick started a great year for travel for hubby & I

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2013 – first time my son visited the Caribbean

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Paris, France 2008 - cliché, yes, nonetheless my favourite city in the world

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Split, Croatia 2007 – love the Adriatic & the history!

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Where have you made your favourite travel memories?

 

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Wednesday Quotables: Positive Thinking

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It is said that we have complete control and power over our lives if we simply tap into the power of our thoughts. Our thoughts shape our reality. While I find some of the “new-agey” rhetoric a little tough to swallow, I do believe that being positive, optimistic and grateful go a long way in helping to lighten a load that might otherwise feel crushing. Every experience is made more brilliant and meaningful if we choose to see it as such. Each moment we spend contemplating negative thoughts is a moment of happiness we rob ourselves. We have one life and are constantly reminded to live it fully…well, we can. Just think positively.

from alameleadership.com

from alameleadership.com

from cordelia.typepad.com

from cordelia.typepad.com

from indiehelp.net

from indiehelp.net

from verybestquotes.com

from olivesnwine.com

from olivesnwine.com

from fhdphotos.com

from fhdphotos.com

 

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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Spring Cleaning

It’s April 8th and I woke up to wet snow.  My backyard, which was a swampy mess yesterday, was once again adorned this morning by a layer of icy white. Not the pretty fluffy powder that warms my heart in December. The heavy, wet, chunky clumps that tighten my chest because it’s April 8th. Yesterday, I had the windows open and cool air refreshed my home as I thought of spring and not far behind…spring cleaning. Bright sunny days make me want to make my house shine. The grey days of winter mask the dust that rests on the baseboards and cloak the piles in bottomless closets. The instant the clouds give way to the sun and rays of light pour in through the windows there are spotlights on every single crevice that needs tidying, purging and a good scrub.

from beautifulhomesandgardens.ca

I have to blink several times to adjust to the light and then I simply must move.

Spring cleaning goes beyond the building in which my family and I live. I also pay attention to the body I inhabit. There is an energy inside me that has been building up all winter (in addition to the few extra pounds from all the chocolate I’ve consumed) and I must unleash it.

So it is generally in the spring that I take up one of my favourite forms of exercise. I run. I am not a runner – I do not measure my run by distance. I do not even run continuously during the 20-30 minutes I am outside. I will jog, walk, sprint and run. My heart pounds in my chest, my lungs hurt, my legs scream and I love it. I do not stop. It is normally when I am running that I do my best thinking. I purge every negative emotion that crept into my soul during the long, dark winter. I remember that life is wonderful. I give thanks for the beauty of my life and for my ability to move. I feel the sweat cleansing my body of the dust I have accumulated over a long winter.

In my mind, this is me:

from motionshoelab.com

This is probably more what I look like:

from mynextrace.com

Once I’m back inside I proceed with another favourite, yoga. I love yoga. It’s a lovely way to settle my aching muscles down after a good run. I close my eyes, breathe deeply and smile as I abandon myself into each pose (until my son decides he absolutely needs me urgently, like right now mommy because if he doesn’t get that toy on the top shelf he might pass out from boredom because he has no other toys in the house). Now, back to breathing….

Where envision myself doing yoga because my mat is normally sandwiched between the couch and coffee table and I’m surrounded by toys:

from womenshealth.com

The last part of my spring cleaning routine is to reacquaint myself with my journal. I’m sporadic in pretty much everything I do. I dive into every project with passion and find myself consumed by it, until I get bored or lose the energy to persevere or find another endeavour that enraptures me. And, so is my relationship with my journal. I look back at the journals I’ve accumulated over the years and all of them have huge chunks of time missing. It’s like I disappear for months (a few times for years!) at a time and then I dive back into journalling trying to make up for lost time. In any case, while I’ve been more consistent with journalling of late, it’s still something that calls to me more in the spring.

I’ve enjoyed enough springs to know that my home will always have corners that need a mop, my body will always carry an extra 5-10 pounds and my journal will always have gaps in time. I am also fully aware that the strange energy I feel is simply nature’s way of waking me up after a long (long) sleepy winter and that this energy will surely lead into the lovely, hazy, lazy lull of summer’s heat. Nonetheless, I will enjoy every second of polishing my home, pushing my body to its limits and my pen across the page. It’s how I shake off winter and welcome spring into my life.

What are your spring cleaning rituals?

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Wednesday Quotables: Resilience

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It’s spring – so the calendar says. Yet, it’s freezing out. My child is still in snow pants and every one I know is tired of the cold, the snow, indoor living…

This week’s quotes are all about Resilience. Because we will get through this interminable cold.  We will. We will survive the winter and all of the challenges it has carried…weather-related and otherwise…

 

from quoteporn.tumblr.com

from quoteporn.tumblr.com

 

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

 

from tofurious.com

from tofurious.com

 

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

 

from danthemans.squidoo.com

from danthemans.squidoo.com

 

Resilience is about growth and learning. We become resilient by witnessing our strength through struggle. And, yes, this is more than just about surviving the weather.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Mommy Mondays: Second Time Around

Mommy Mondays WM

When I became a mother for the first time it seemed like I was constantly on high alert. I was stressed about my baby boy’s sleeping (or, non-sleeping) habits. It was all organic, home made foods. I rushed to wash his hands, change his clothes or his barely used diaper whenever a hint of germs or spit up or whiff of foulness was detected. My radar was sharp. I missed nothing.

I would invariably catch the attention of a more relaxed mother, perhaps on her second or third child, who would smile (condescendingly? nope, I think remembering her own hysteria) and say “he’s your first…it’ll be so much easier with your second”. I would nod and laugh and say something short like “I bet” while groaning inwardly.

or

The blissfully relaxed smiling face would say “You’ll be so much more relaxed with your next child” and I’d say “I guess so.” But what I really meant was:  ‘Really? You mean you can see my anxiety-ridden shoulders that are practically in my ears and my tight smile that is about to make my cheeks explode?”

or

Mother of Year would say “You’ll worry less with your second”. No response. Just a head nod as I would think, “Mind your own f***ing business because if I decide to have a second I’m not going to let that child swim in their own shit, be covered in vomit and drag themselves all over the grocery store because I’ve learned that babies/toddlers are tougher than we think.”

Ahhhhh. Even though there’s nothing worse than someone belittling your present experience because in the future it’ll seem like a trifle, I know that they all meant well.

Well, I’ve had my second child. And, while I still strive to give my daughter the same attention and care I gave my son…it is different.

Am I more relaxed? Yes, but not in her care. I am more confident in my abilities to care for her and to read her. I don’t necessarily find her easier – it’s more that I don’t feel like a baby-idiot any more.

I accept that the intentions of those mothers who were trying to help me relax with my first baby were good. Don’t we all love to impart the lessons we’ve learned to ease the hardships or trials of others. Except it doesn’t really work that way. We learn through our own experiences. Period.

I’ve been a mother to two children for three months now.  So, how have I changed my approach to motherhood as a consequence of my experiences?

  1. I will carry and hug and kiss and cuddle my children as much as I want. They grow fast and I will never, ever have this day with them again. I want my children to look back at their childhood and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were loved.  And even if they do get a little spoiled with hugs and kisses…better that than feel less than important.
  2. When my baby cries I will pick her up. If my baby needs to fall asleep in my arms, she can.  If she wants to sleep with me, she can…because her brother did…and now he’s fine and sleeps independently…well not since his sister was born (but that’s another story)…and I doubt either of them will require to sleep with us when they’re adolescents…
  3. If I am in any way feeling irritated or less than patient, it is better to wait a few minutes before tending to my children. A deep breath, a moment to myself will help me be there for them without feeling exasperated.
  4. I can leave my baby in her play pen to simply take in her surroundings, check out her toys, get to know her hands and the sound of her own voice. I am not neglecting her because a baby does not require constant stimulation.
  5. I know that dirt won’t kill them. I get it that it is good for their bodies to be exposed to germs. I know that rolling around on grass, kneeling in soil, playing in sand, and jumping in mud puddles should be done with abandon. And, afterwards it should be thoroughly cleaned off. I cannot leave them dirty or in dirty clothes for long. Making the memory is awesome…smelling the memory, not so much.
  6. I will now approach my first born with the same confidence that I do my second born. My experiences with my son will always be a first for me…it’s not fair to him that I muddle it all up with anxiety to then breeze through life with my daughter.
  7. Babies just want to feel loved and protected. All the extra stuff that marketers wish to push down our throats … it doesn’t matter. The same goes for older kids too.
  8. Everything else can wait.
  9. My health matters. I will take care of myself because I hope to be with my children throughout their journey. As my son loves to ask me, “Mommy, how old will you be when I’m 100?”

Now that I’m doing this for a second time…I’m still on high alert but my shoulders are squared where they should be. These are a but a few ways…if you’re a first time mom and these help you out, great! If not, revel in your anxiety and worry…should you choose to do this again, the anxiety will magically disappear. However, I would never dream of telling you so.  

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Wednesday Quotables: Aging

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Aging. Yuck! Yet, not so yuck.

It was my birthday last week and as I near the big 4-0 I realize that I look pretty damn good for my age. Even better, I feel amazing. I am comfortable in my freckly, sunspotty skin, with my some days curly/some days frizzy/some days stright hair and my softer post-pregnancy curves. Life is beautiful and aging is too.

Enjoy today’s quotables. I hope you find inspiration in your own aging.

from enjoyingtheepiphany.com

from enjoyingtheepiphany.com

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

from funnyrinx.com

from funnyrinx.com

from huffingtonpost.com

from huffingtonpost.com

from mundanecstasy.com

from mundanecstasy.com

from huffingtonpost.com

from huffingtonpost.com

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

from barbarashallue.typepad.com

from barbarashallue.typepad.com

from pinterest.com

from pinterest.com

We live in a youth-obsessed culture. We must fight that obsession by being our best and loving ourselves at every age. My goal is to be a little old lady wearing a great pair of shoes who can look back at her life and smile.

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Bookish Thursdays: My Son’s Life In Books

Bookish Thursdays WM

For the past 5 years my husband and I have been adamant about instilling a love for books, an appreciation for literature, a mind that thinks beyond the screen in our son. And, so, my son’s books could very well stock a day care, preschool and library. No regrets on the money spent on books or the fines on overdue books. We are left with rich memories of bedtime stories, rainy day tales and early morning reading when it was way too early to be up and about.

Age 0-2 years:

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These were some of our favourites. I exaggerate not when I say I read Good Night, Sleep Tight every night for 2 years. Every. Single. Night. We even took it on holiday. At 3 he was able to recite most of these by rote. I recited them in my sleep. By seven months he knew what “turn the page” meant and loved flipping to the next part of the story.

Age 2-3 years:

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We graduated to more sophisticated, longer reads. He loved reading about his favourite television or movie characters. The best part was giving life to the characters with different voices and intonations. Oh, and we read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas well into July.

Age 4 – present:

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This phase of his reading began with Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (Read about that here). It was love at first word. He was hooked and now LOVES chapter books. We read them to him, and now that he’s learning how to read he helps with the reading too. It is incredible to see his brown eyes light up with delight, joy, laughter, curiosity, intrigue…as we read each book and listen to the plot unfold.

My son’s journey through literature has been exciting, fun and adventurous. There is nothing we love more than cuddling up to a great read. I can’t wait to see where his journey takes him next.

Wednesday Quotables: Love

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As a woman in her late thirties, love is about the breakfast my husband leaves ready for me in the morning before he goes to work because he knows I’ll be too busy with the kids to feed myself. Or my organizational help in the evenings once the kids are asleep and I yearn for my bed but know that he values my input on his projects. Love is not about the one time fall, it is about the continued falling and growing and living together.

My husband and I don’t do a big Valentine’s Day thing because it is our son’s birthday. Even though he’s an extremely private man, I’ll dedicate today’s post to him. We’ve been together for 13 years…married for almost 8…3 homes and 2 children later…here we are knowing that we’re in this together and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

quote on love 4

quotes on love 8

quotes on love 7

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quote one love 2

quote on love 3

Happy Valentine’s Day readers! May your lives be full of the kind of love you need right now.

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Wednesday Quotables: Surrender

Wed quotables 3

This week’s quotatbles are all about surrender. Too often we find ourselves in challenging situations and we don’t know why and we wish we could wish ourselves out of them.  It is only once we are through those situations that we see why we had to live through them…and we learn that had we simply allowed ourselves to live through them, we probably would have had an easier time.

Surrendering is not an easy lesson to learn – nor is it easy to do because it requires trust.  (We can do next week’s quotables on trust.)  However, it is the most peaceful approach to all circumstances and surrendering actually helps you keep your sanity.

from yogametaphysics.wordpress.com

from yogametaphysics.wordpress.com

Surrendering is a great way to show yourself compassion, love and trust. I love this quote because it reminds me to breathe. It is my way of reminding myself to surrender. Once I got over the fear of not being in control it actually brought me a huge relief!

from zenstillness.com

from zenstillness.com

from shadowtext.net

from shadowtext.net

from wordsonimages.com

from wordsonimages.com

Surrendering teaches you about yourself.  It makes you get out of your own way and allow your path to unfold in ways you would have never imagined. It is pretty empowering to watch yourself grow and be the person you know you are.

from motivationalquotesabout.com

from motivationalquotesabout.com

from femalefundamentals.com

from femalefundamentals.com

from imgquotes.com

from imgquotes.com

These three quotes go hand in hand…accept what is happening, no matter how terrible because it will end and inevitably you will come out stronger.  The process and the outcome will teach you things about yourself that you never imagined…you will blow yourself away with your strength! Also, isn’t it wonderful to know that the past can stay there? That your present is completely in your power to create as you wish?

I hope these quotes help you through the rest of the week. Right now I’m dealing with surrendering to this crazy, frigid cold and figuring out how to battle cabin fever! It’s all good.

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