Spring Bucket List

Hello again Friends! Long time no post.. Sorry again!  I started to worry about how my blog was suffering a little bit and then stopped when I realized how many valuable things I have going on in my life right now- I would feel worse if I was wasting my time but I have been spending lots of time with my husband and kids, working on 2 really neat side projects (Can’t wait to share in the future) and pushing through my 100 day project!  So as sorry as I am to see my blog posts go a bit further without posts, I am okay with it right now.

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Image found here

It seems like spring is taking its sweet time to get here so while the days are not-so- hot and sunny, I am going to assume it is here and start my spring bucket list.  Even though the weather has been less than spectacular, I have been able to check off a few items already! Here is my Spring Bucket List for this year:

-Play at the Park

-Buy Seasonal Toys 

-Take a Long Walk

-Go For Ice Cream

Go See the Horses 

Long, Sunday Drive

-Stop to Smell the Flowers.

What is on your spring bucket list?! I would love to hear about it!

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Exploring my own town.

Hi Friends!

I am always excited when I find new places that I love without having to make the 45 minute drive to Ottawa, where most of the cool things seem to be.  Living in the country has its advantages but the lack of neat shops and eateries is not one of them.

So imagine my delight when I tried a local coffeehouse, Maphins Coffeehouse, with my mom and sister and not only were the coffee and treats delicious, but it was such a neat place to be inside!

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I ordered the caramel latte and the brownie and both were incredible! I will be getting both of these again! My sister ordered a ham and cheese breakfast sandwich and hot chocolate and I think those passed the test too! My mom ordered her first latte and said she was a fan!

The coffeehouse is also decorated so neat, with pages from a magazine Modpodged on an entire wall and an eclectic collection of furniture and the most beautiful windows that brighten the whole shop up!

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If you live in the area, I high recommend you check Maphin’s Coffeehouse out! Try the brownie and let me know what you think!

 

FabFitFun Spring Box

Hey! It is really starting to feel like Spring here in small town Ontario and I cannot wait for the warm days and the green grass and beautiful flowers to all be here in abundance.  I was so excited to finally receive my Spring FabFitFun box after tracking it and watching it go back and forth past where I live and not ending up at my house for almost 2 and a half whole weeks! (And it never actually arrived to my house, instead I saw via the tracking info that it had arrived at my post office on a Friday afternoon, so instead of waiting for it to be delivered on Monday, I went on Saturday morning and picked it up myself.. yeah, I was excited)

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It was another great season for FabFitFun and I am overall pretty happy about my box.  Some of the items were revealed before the box was sent out and though I would have preferred the surprise I was so excited when I finally got my box because I knew there were some seriously cool things that I couldn’t wait to try.

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My box included:

Gypsy05 Roundie: I had never heard of a roundie before, but I am excited to own one now.  It is essentially a blanket that is circular.  The one I received is the prettiest, sing pastel colours.  I can see myself using it at the lake to camp out on at the beach or to lay on and read.  I could also see it staying in our car and acting as a blanket for impromptu picnics and plays at the park.

MILLY Zip Pouch: The pouch is pretty big and is a water resistant material.  Mine is purple and says “Haute Mess”.  I was hoping for the one that said “Beach Please” or “Resting Beach Face”, but this is probably more appropriate.  I can see this pouch being used for wet bathing suits after a swim with the kids or to keep liquid makeup and beauty products.  I love me a good pouch so I am happy with this.

Emerald Duv Joshua Tree Cage Bracelet: I could have chosen whether to get the bracelet or the earring that were offered, but since I couldn’t find either online to see what I was getting I decided not to pick and have them choose for me.  I wish I would have chosen the earrings now that I have seen the bracelet, which really isn’t my style, but that’s life.  I will probably consider gifting this bracelet to a friend.

Deborah Lipman Nail Polish Set: I haven’t had a chance to try these out yet, but can’t wait to see how they hold up.  I got the blue/white set.  I have had my eyes on the look out for a nice white nail polish for sometime now so I hope this will apply nicely and last.

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Karuna Hydrating + Face Mask Set:  I loved that this was included in the box because I have also been trying to find something like this but haven’t found anything in my price range yet that seemed worth trying out.  I haven’t have a chance to try it yet but am really looking forward to it.  I also love that there are 4 masks in the set so I can see if I really like it.

Realher Lip Kit in Deep Nude: This was one of my favourite items in the box. The colour was perfect and I love that I can mix and match the liner/gloss/stain for the best results for whatever the day brings! I also like that I can use the liner with other lipsticks I already have!

Dr.Brandt Microdermabraison Age Defying Exfoliator:  I tried this product for the first time this morning and I loved how great it made my skin feel and it allowed my BB cream to really cover my skin too! Scrubbing the product on my face felt a bit rough but it didn’t look like there was any damage and my skin had a great glow afterwards!  I love taking care of my skin and can see myself using this twice a week as it suggests.  It is a premium skin product (with a $80 value) so I hope I can get the most out of it!

Briogio Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-in Conditioner: Another great product! I used this after my most recent hair washing and felt my hair was softer looking after styling it with my hair dryer and straightener.  Hoping to see results as the sun and heat do a number on my hair! It also smells great!

 

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Did you receive a FabFitFun Spring Box? What was your favourite item?  Were you happy or disappointed overall with the box?

 

#the100dayproject

Oh hey! If you follow me on Intagram (@thisbusylifeblog) you may have seen that I am participating in #the100dayproject.

 

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The 100 Day Project is a free global art project that encourages participants to do something creative for 100 days in a row.  It was created by Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thompson.  Check out the hashtag to see what other people are doing.

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I have wanted to participate in The 100 Day Project since first hearing about it about 2 years ago.  This year, since I am maternity leave, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  The official 100 day project campaign runs from April 4-July 15, but since I start my next Master’s semester early July, I decided to start my 100 day project about 8 days earlier than the official project, so that it doesn’t run into my course work.  After giving a lot of thought to what I wanted to do, I decided that I wanted to write down memories from my life and write about the people and things that are most important to me.  I wouldn’t call it a memoir, but more like a journal.  I am going to write these memories and thoughts in Word and after the 100 days I am going to use lulu.com to compile my writing into a self-published, hardcover case wrap book.  I have always wanted to write a book and decided that it was time to just start writing. The object of self-publishing isn’t that someone will read it, necessarily, instead it is that I will get to physically hold something that I spend time compiling and writing.  I am so looking forward to seeing this project completed and to hold that book in my hands.

 

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Rules:

I knew that to make this project successful I have to make some rules for myself to work within.  Here is what I came up with:

  1. I must spend at least 30 minutes on the project each day.
  2. Time can be spend writing, editing or formatting.
  3. No ‘looking for inspiration’ on Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

I also made a spreadsheet before starting with the ideas I had for essays and sorted them into columns with ‘written, edited and title’ so I could organize the essays once written and get them ready to format into the template.

I am excited to update you on how my project is going. I post often about it on Instagram using the hashtag #lizwritesfor100days. It isn’t a very photogenic or glamorous project, like some of the others people are doing, but it means a lot to me to have the finished product so I hope that will be the motivation I need to persevere through the next 80-some days!

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Have you ever taken on a big creative project? I would love to hear about it and any tips you might have for me to keep motivated and inspired!

That time I went to Almonte…

Oh hey Friends!? Remember me? It has been a while since I have published a post and I feel so guilty for neglecting my blog. Anyways, I am here now and I am really excited to share my experience from nearly a month ago, when I checked out the beautiful town on Almonte.

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I found an Instagram goldmine that was all of the shops in Almonte and after .333 seconds of looking at them decided I must get there ASAP to check out all of these awesome shops.  I took my sister and my mom with me and together we spent a very (incredibly) cold and windy morning checking out the shops, searching for antiques and taste testing our way along Mill St.

If you live close to Almonte (which is about a half hour from Ottawa) I suggest you get there and check it out. It really is a hidden gem.  Some of my favourite shops included Cheerfully Made which was handmade items, The Tin Barn Market which was antiques and home decor and Doree’s Habit which was clothes.  I also loved the beautiful florist shop, Acanthus Floral and Botanical.

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We had lunch at the delicious crepe restaurant and I enjoyed a local beer with my goat cheese and pancetta crepe and squash and apple soup.  It was a wonderful day and I can’t wait to get back to Almonte again in the warmer weather!

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Leading Ladies- Interview #3

Once again, I am excited to share with you another interview with a lady who is kicking some serious booty with her fantastic work! If you have missed my previous interviews, please check back here and here to read about two other ladies who do very different work but are dong it amazingly!

I would like to introduce you to Kami! She is the lovely lady on the right. I have known Kami since I was in high school and have had the pleasure of watching her co-create and grown her incredible business, Custom Events.  Here is what Kami has to say about starting this business she c0-owns and the wedding planning industry.

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My name is Kameron Payeur, I am a co-owner of the wedding and event planning business Custom Events. Owning and operating an event planning business, with my good friend Amie Jackson (pictured above on the left),  is an amazing adventure that certainly keeps me on my toes! It’s paperwork, late nights, design, marketing, and a surprising amount of lifting (which definitely helps when I need to point out the direction of the nearest beach). It’s a busy world but I am thrilled to be a part of it!

Q. How would you best describe what you do?

A. Event planning is combination of creativity, logistics, planning, and execution. When we work with our clients our goal is to understand their vision and objective and from there put everything into place to achieve it. We design rooms and tables, create and manage budgets and guest lists, and we are there on event day to ensure every detail previously discussed is running smoothly. If it’s not, we’re there to put out the fires.

Q. Describe the path that led you to your current work.

A. I’ve always had a desire to create but I wasn’t necessarily artistic in the common forms of drawing, writing, and music. I went to university with a blurry idea of what I wanted to do. I was in my second year of studying communication studies when I started to get a clearer vision of the career I wanted to have. I wanted to used what I had learned and blend my desire to create to plan events. It had the organization and planning aspects as well as the physical work I’d like to have in a career. My worst fear when choosing my path was that I would become bored. I never wanted to think of my career as a job that brings home a paycheck. Event planning offers the balance and excitement I was craving.

Q.On average, how much time would you say that you work each week?

A. This varies per week for me due to the fact that event planning, especially wedding planning, has on/off seasons. Currently, my business primarily focuses on wedding planning as this service is in high demand for us. When wedding season is in full swing and I’m working events, managing emails, paperwork and maintaining our marketing and public image, I easily work 40 + hours a week.

Q. What are some important skills that you have that make you well-suited to your work?

A. I am a problem solver and that is invaluable as an event planner. I work diligently to prepare for my events to make sure everything is perfect but that’s not how life works. Life throws curveballs that you have to be prepared for to the best of your ability. The best compliment is when the event is over and the client has no idea what I had to do to make sure it ran smoothly. That’s when I know I did my job right.

Q. What excites you most about your work? 

A. I touched upon this earlier but the most exciting part of my work is that it’s always different. Sometimes that’s what makes it so hard, there is no set system that works for every single client. The challenge is what makes it so interesting. I learn something new from every event and with each lesson I am able to grow the business and develop new ways to provide the best service possible.

I also absolutely love seeing my clients’ reaction when they see their event and vision become a reality. They often come to Custom Events feeling overwhelmed and unsure. It’s amazing to be able to help them with such an important moment their life.

Q. What goals are you working towards? 

I am so excited that Custom Events has grown enough that we were able to add two members to our team for the next season. Amie, my business partner,  and I have had so many late nights, conversations and, quite honestly, some tears in this process. Right now, our goal is to integrate our team members into the world of event planning and really focus on continuing to provide solid, exceptional service.

Q. In what ways does your work challenge you?

A. I have had some events that have challenged me both mentally and physically. I’ve had to develop thick skin because criticism is part of this career. The role of event planner, especially on something as special as someone’s wedding day, means you don’t get to make mistakes. When you put yourself in this position of control and leadership you need to take on the responsibility of your title. When my name tag says “Event Planner” it removes the human element and perfection is expected.That means accepting fault, even when it is not the result of your direct work, and holding accountability for the outcome of the event. You can do everything right on your end but if something goes wrong it’s ultimately on you. I’ve learned how to process the criticism, how to respond to it, and how to grow from it.

Physically my work is challenging because well have you ever carried 200 chairs up multiple flights of stairs? I think I might need to do some more cardio to prep for my future events. It’s all worth it though when that room is complete and my client is smiling!

Q. What inspires you to keep going on the hard days?

A. My family. There is no doubt that everyone has had days when nothing can make them smile but for me having the incredible support system I have keeps me going. I am constantly growing and learning but I definitely get caught up in the compare yourself to others game and I feel as though I don’t offer enough to my clients. There was one day in particular when I was very down on my abilities and I just didn’t have a productive day. I was venting to my husband and he just looked at me and said, “I don’t think you realize how good you are. “ My husband telling me he is proud of my work just instantly took me out of my funk and I was back in the office creating, improving, and building my business.

My business partner, Amie, is amazing to work with. We use each other for support, honest opinions, and just to improve every event. We are friends and business partners, which means I can let her know what’s going on in my life and how I’m struggling and she can completely relate. From there we pull each other up and move forward.

Q. What aspect of your work takes the most time?

We receive a lot of inquiries all through the year. With each inquiry we provide service information and custom quotes tailored to their needs as a client. In order to get these details we have a lot of communication and time put into each inquiry. As any service provider would tell you unanswered quotes are just part of the job.

In terms of booked events it remains the paperwork. From contracts and timelines to design boards and details I spend a lot of time on the computer preparing for each event. Event day is only so long (typically 12-14 hours a day for a wedding) but the prep to ensure it’s perfect is the result of many hours.

Thanks so much for offering us such incredible insight into your unique career, Kami. I learned a lot about this industry that I had no idea was such a big part of your daily job.  I am very inspired by your expertise as well as your positivity.  Check out Kami on Instagram (@customevents). You can also check out their website here. 

 

February Looking Back…

I guess I would not be exaggerating if I said that February was such a short month..after all, it is at least 2 days shorter than the others.  February was a month that I am very proud to have behind me, not because it was bad but because it was awesome!

 

Here is a recap of my February goals in case you would like a refresher.

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How I did with my monthly goals: 

The goals I set for myself in February were:

  1. Read The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah
  2. Do Whole 30 all month
  3. Purge and Toss and Donate.

Another successful month- I was able to achieve ALL of my February goals!

Not only did I read The Nightingale (spoiler- it was AMAZING! totally lived up to all the hype I was hearing!) I read a second book, Cold Tangerines, and started a third.

Not only did I complete Whole 30, but I think it is safe to say that it was a game changer.  Read more about why here, if you missed the post I wrote last week all about my experience.

Not only did I purge, toss and donate, I rearranged out kitchen cupboards and feel like they are much more functional for us.  Our kitchen cupboards are an area of the house that always have me wanting to pull my hair out…the tupperware drawer that is always overflowing but never with complimentary pieces, the abundance of things I can’t seem to use on a regular basis, the million sippy cups..I could go on but I digress..But i tackled this in February and I am probably more excited about it that I should be.  I was also able to take advantage of timing and donate all of our used kids’ items to our local Christian school’s thrift sale.  win-win!

Other Things That Were Great: 

maple.syrup. season.  My family has a sugar shack and collects and boils sap into maple syrup.  Family weekends at the sugar shack are something we look forward to from fall until early summer but once production starts for the spring season it is full-tilt and we love every minute of it.  The weather has been up and down so the season hasn’t really been too crazy yet.  I love making memories at our sugar shack.

My little guy is crawling! and clapping! and saying dada! I was starting to think he was going to be gracious to me and not grow to quickly, being our last baby and all, but then last week and the week before BAM! all the milestones at once! Still no teeth though..

Whole 30 success means that I also lost 14 lbs! I could not be more excited about this and the change is clear in how my clothes fit and my energy levels and my sleep quality. Yay!

Looking Ahead to March:

How is it March already?! Did we just celebrate the new year last week? No? ok..

I have set 3 goals for myself for the month of March:

  1. Read 3 books. I have already finished one that I started at the end of last month.  Ambitiously, I started reading 2 books at once last night and this morning so hopefully I can get them both finished! (Follow me on Goodreads to see what I am reading)
  2. Start 100 day project. One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to complete a 100 day project.  See more about 100 day projects here or by searching #100dayproject on Instagram to see some really great visual projects. I have more to share about this in a future post, but my 100 day project will be writing-inspired and should start around March 26!
  3. Try to walk at least twice a week. This goal might have been a bit ambitious, looking back, because while the spring weather is on the way..there are still some very cold days, some very windy days, and some very busy days.  I still want to try to get out walking as often as I can, but today for example, is super windy and yesterday was super cold…

What goals did you accomplish in February? Was it one for the books or just more meh..?

What are you looking forward to in March? I would love to hear your hopes and goals in the comments!