Friday, January 16, 2015

Making My Word Work For Me

I have learned over the years that the One Little Word exercise is different for everyone.

For me, the One Little Word exercise is about opening your mind up to all the possibilities to allow yourself to fully experience, learn from, and grow from the expression of your word over the year, while at the same time being REALISTIC about those possibilities as well.

I follow a site that focuses on the "Capsule" wardrobe: Project 333. Part of my "Simplify 2015" process this year is to tackle my closet and eliminate a lot of the stuff I don't wear/need/use/love. (See yesterday's post) She offers other advice and courses on simplifying other aspects of your life. A recent post on her blog includes a link to a course she is offering called "Simple Year". Essentially, you get expert advice every month on simplifying different (all) areas of your life.

At first glance, this seems like the perfect "A-HA" moment!

"I chose my word, and now this year-long workshop to help simplify my whole entire life falls into my lap! It was meant to be!"

Except I hate classes like this. They stress me out, they overwhelm me. They always seem to ADD to the complexities of my life instead of help alleviate them. And while usually do end up taking away some useful tips and strategies, I cannot justify all the baggage that seems to inevitably accompany them.

I am not making excuses to avoid the hard work involved in a class like this.

I am listening to myself and my experiences, and proceeding accordingly.

I may or may not find something that clicks and helps guide my "Simplify 2015 Journey" this month, or next month, or at all.

Sometimes it just doesn't work that way, and that's cool.

But I'm keeping my eyes (and heart...feelings aren't lame) open all the same!

Happy Friday Yo! This weekend I am looking forward to:
- Printing my December Daily photos and putting that baby to bed!
- Working on my 2015 Stories Album (my memory-keeping project for the year...perhaps a post is required)
- Farmer's Market!
- Swimming!
- Cleaning my living room... #onedayatatime #babysteps
- Starting construction on the record storage legs for my plant shelf!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

SIMPLIFY: My Closet

Those people that have a "casual uniform". You people! I am so jealous* of you.

Y'know y'know y'know the people I am talking about. The "plaid shirt + jeans" guy, or the "slouchy white tee + sweater + black jeans" girl. They wear some combination of the same thing everyday and look damn fine doing it. They have figured out what makes them look and feel good, and they just press repeat.

They have figured out what makes them look and feel good...

I am having an identity crisis. And it can (strangely) be connected back to my closet.

I have long been told (longer than memory...in my mind always) been complimented on my style. My clothes. My outfits. I always thought that I didn't dress for those compliments, but my prior reluctance to simplify things speaks otherwise. I have realized this past week or so that I have been dressing based on how I

And when the weekend comes and I put on a t-shirt, my denim button up, and some leggings or jeans, I feel much more myself. It's a simple thing, feeling good in your own skin. And I definitely feel good in my own skin. It's my clothes that I'm struggling with.

A thought that spiders out from this is that I am more than my clothes.

I hope that once I move toward a more "boring"** simplified wardrobe, the people who were complimenting me on my amazing style will still see my personality under that white tee. On the other hand, who cares?!

My clothes are an extension of me. They are not me.

I am damn awesome. And I know that. And people who really care about it know that too.

So I am going to make a conscious effort to separate my feelings from my clothes this month (this year), and simplify the shit out of this mess.

Side note: One of the great things I have discovered about myself after going through a really shitty time, is that I have started to give myself permission to feel confused, or crappy, or tired, or lazy and not feel bad or guilty about it. I'm allowed to have shit days or choose to give myself a break, without it taking over. Have my moment, leave it behind. End Note.

I still have to work out how this is going to work for me. I don't have lots of cash just lying around to re-vamp my closet. But I have committed myself to purging a lot of items this past month and I already feel slightly lighter. But there are still holes. And those holes stress me out in the mornings when I have to make a decision. (Have I mentioned I hate making decisions when faced with too many choices...)

For now, I am off to make my first baby step. My first action item in the grand scheme of things!

I am going to buy a plain, white, V-neck tee.

Wish me luck! I hope there aren't too many choices....HAHAHAHAHAHA!

*Jealous is a word-feeling that I want to work on this year. Like, really work on.
** Boring is a loaded word that comes with assumptions and I am trying to move away from those thoughts, which is obviously going to be difficult for me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Simplify 2015

I have found my "One Little Word" for the year. Or rather, it found me.

Simplify

And not the math-related version of the word, 'cause that's the top Google results.

SIMPLIFY the process.

SIMPLIFY my expectations.

SIMPLIFY my house, my closet, my life.

2015 is the year of SIMPLICITY.

Oh man...this is going to be hard...I started and stopped writing this post a dozen times. I am not good at simplicity. I am good at drama, and over-complicating things, and over-analyzing things. And apparently I am rusty with my goal setting as well. But perhaps this tiny non-post of a post is for the best. I am, after all, trying to simplify things this year. Why make this more complicated? Why not just leave it here...

p.s. Apparently "One Little Word" is a trademarked thing. So you should check out Ali Edward's site for more info. Or whatever...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Book Report

Umm. Hi. I guess it's been awhile. And that's okay. Feels good to be here though. I've been feeling kind of lost these past few weeks months. Feels like I am re-connecting with an old friend!

Anyhoo, back to the report. It's been awhile since I did one of these. In fact, it's been 2 months. I checked. I'm not going to review each book I read (or didn't read...probably). Just the ones that might interest you. And definitely the ones that interested me!

Soulless // Kind of a mash up between steam punk and fantasy. Vampires and werewolves type fantasy. Also a romance. It was okay in terms of "chic lit", but I will not be seeking out any further titles in this series, if that's what this is. You can tell it was written by a fan of fiction like this, which isn't meant as an insult or anything. Just not my cup of tea. A spinster with a mind of her own (and an Italian father, which is apparently even worse than just being a spinster), who has no soul is attacked by a vampire at a posh party, and has to dispatch of him with her trusty parasol. And the whole situation is a bit fishy, so it is investigated by the equivalent of the Supernatural Police, led by a handsome Scottish werewolf. Supernatural folk are disappearing and appearing at an alarming rate, and Alexia seems to be right in the middle of it!

The Paying Guests // This is one of those books where I kept waiting for the climax and then the book ended. Which isn't to say there wasn't a climax, just that it wasn't very climactic for me. I did really enjoy the details, the minutiae of everyday life in a different time. Essentially, a spinster and her widowed mother take in boarders - of a lower class - after the war in order to be able to afford to continue living in their home and then stuff happens. "Routines are shaken up"...I can't actually write anymore or I will give away what little surprises there were. Scandal! Cover Up! Toilet in the backyard!

Editor's Note: I have never heard of the author, but apparently she is very famous and many of her books have been adapted for TV. And her earlier books have received some better reviews, so  perhaps I am not finished with Sarah Waters after all.

The Giver // Definitely Young Adult, like, really young. I can see handing this one over to Lucas this year. As a cynical adult, the very very open-ended "ending" left me floundering. But given a child's imagination and a more innocent take on the world, and I could definitely fill in some blanks there and see past the disappointment I felt. Which is probably what they had to do with the movie, because the book is all of 180 pages.

Behemoth // The second book in the Leviathan series. Not as good as the first, but I am still very impressed and very enamored with this alternate reality that the author has created. The Leviathan has moved on to Istanbul, where they hope a gift from the Crown will sway the Sultan to the side of the Allies. But the Germans have beaten them there, and have bigger and shinier gifts. The prince on the run has to leave the ship behind, but finds friends in a resistance movement. They have really cool toys.

Dude & I are still madly in love with The Deltora Quest audio books! We are on the final stretch - I think I am waiting for book #6 to come available - and have a lot of guesses about how it will end. I am saving my review of the series until we've finished the final book, but I can safely recommend this series to young readers. It was especially exciting to listen to it read by an Australian! (I'm a sucker for accents...)

Tried and failed...these are the books that I didn't finish. Because, reasons.
Insurgent // Was so terrible I didn't even make it past 30 pages. I think I reached the first "love scene", promptly threw up in my mouth, and rain it back to the library. It looks like I will not be finishing this trilogy.

A bunch of Neil Gaiman graphic novels. Apparently my love for Neil Gaiman does not extend to his comic writing. Sandman was very gory, disturbing, and did not interest me at all. And while Marvel 1602 has an amazing premise - today's Marvel superheroes re-imagined for the world of 1602 - it was really long, and there were SO MANY CHARACTERS! Like, all of them. And I am not familiar enough with every single Marvel personality to keep them straight when faced with all of them presented anew on every page.

I did read a very intriguing graphic novel called Sex Criminals. A lady and gent discover they can exist outside of regular time when they orgasm, so they plan a bank robbery. Only to be caught by other people who can do the same thing! Amaze balls!

I think I will save December's books for another post. I have already started my 2015 Book List page and am slogging through my first book of the year. 52 in 2015 begins now!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Just Make Stuff!

Whoever picked that name for "my" January kit at Treasured Memories is a frickin genius, and knows me quite well.

Check out the eleven layouts I created with product from the kit, all hand-selected by myself to coordinate and just generally be awesome and inspire you to make something beautiful!

I apologize ahead of time for the shit formatting...blogging is not second-nature to me any more and this took a lot longer than I anticipated.

The following three layouts are done with photos from my cousin's October wedding in Calgary. 

My sister is so purdy! She takes after me...wink...

Gah I love this face! He is such a performer!

I have so many layouts documenting our Symphony traditions. And one more will never be too many.

Zoo Lights at the beginning of the month was so spectacular! (Not to mention BFF got to meet my sister and her boys...) The animals were super active, Dude had so much fun shimmying around on the ice, and all the lights were really magical. Even though all my photos are shit! HA!

Losing Grandma last winter really hit home to me how much I love and appreciate my grandparents. And how I don't spend near enough time with them! I treated Grannie & Pa to a live radio show at Fort Edmonton Park in December. I bet this is their first selfie!

I remember my view and my understanding of this kitchen from my childhood. It's still full of love and good conversation, but now I get to help with the dishes!

Matinee! Mom, Amy & her boys, me & Dude went and saw the Muppet's Christmas Carol at Metro. It was Evan's first movie. I really enjoyed sharing my favourite movie theatre with Dude, even though he was suspicious about it as we drove up!


  This boy...this boy keeps me sane while at the same time making me crazy. He makes me so happy and so proud.

It was a month of movies! I took Dude & Jacob to the "All You Can Eat Cereal And Cartoon Party" at Metro. For cereal...lots and lots of cereal. And (mostly lame) Christmas cartoons. But it was still an adventure!
 
Here's the link to the kit contents, if you are so interested: Just Make Stuff. The official kit actually has MORE stuff in it than I had to work with. I can't even build a simple kit properly without missing something...but that's a whole other miserable diary entry that I will not write because I am trying to combat the negativity year!

I have changed my approach to scrapbooking in the past few months, and I am already feeling much better about it! I had to recognize that this is a fluid hobby for me, and its manifestation in my life will not always look the same. It's weird starting a new year where I am not actively blogging and scrapbooking, as these items have formed such a large part of my identity in the past, and for many years.

Blah blah blah the end!

Expect to see more of me around these parts over the course of the next month. I like to work out my goals on here, and I will be updating my Book List and posting some end-of-the-year reviews here.

Until then...