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!

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 #2

It’s that time again! Another post about another awesome lady who kicks butt at her creative pursuit.  Check out my first interview here if you missed it!

I would like you all to meet Jen.  I have known Jen since we were both very young.  We did figure skating together through our childhood and went to high school together.  I took English classes with Jen late in high school and I could tell then something great was going to come out of her knack for writing.

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“With several years experience working in the fashion industry, Jen made the choice to switch gears and work from home as a freelance digital content writer. Working for clients across Canada and internationally, Jen regularly writes blogs, website content, press releases, white papers, and more for a variety of clients in a variety of industries.”

Q. How would you best describe what you do?

A. I’m a freelance digital content writer, so I write blogs, web pages, press releases and more for a variety of clients. I also work as a community manager for some businesses, managing their Facebook and Twitter channels.

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

A. I had a great job as a booking agent for a modeling agency. Since I was a kid my goal was to work in fashion, but once I achieved my goal I found that it wasn’t really making me happy. I loved the company, the models, my coworkers, my boss, but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. I knew I had to do something for me. So I took the jump and decided to do something that related to my journalism diploma, and decided to write. I kind of fell into freelancing.

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

A. It really depends on the month, things kind of ebb and flow, but in the past year I’ve been able to turn freelancing into a full-time gig. I’d say I have at least 30-40 hours of work per week.

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

A. I’m very motivated and disciplined. Every day I give myself a small goal, say, writing 10 pages, and I don’t stop until I reach that goal. I’m also crazy organized, which is important when you have several projects on the go.

Q. What is the best part about your work?

A. I really love how my work is very laid back, I accept the amount of work that I want to do, (which is usually a lot because I like to hustle) and from there I can do what I want. For example, if I want to spend an afternoon working on a creative project, I can hustle all morning to get my real work done and then leave the afternoon for me-time.

Q. What ‘Big Things’ are on your horizon?

A. This year I recently registered as an official business, which was a big goal for me. Right now I’m feeling really content, but I think I would like to work on collaborating a little more and just expanding on the work I’m doing right now. Taking more time for things that I love is also a big goal for me because right now I’m pretty focused on work for other people.

Q. In what ways does your work challenge you?

A. I love that my job challenges me to be creative and learn things really quickly. For example, I may get an order in for a series of blogs about a topic I’ve never heard of before, so it’s my job to research like crazy and become an expert on this topic in a short period of time. That part is challenging, but it’s usually the most fun!

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

A. Sometimes you feel a little stir-crazy working from home and not really having a lot of contact with the outside world. On days where I feel bored or lonely, I just think about how lucky I am to make my own hours and do my own thing. If I want to work in coffee shop for the day, I can. If I want to work in the evening and spend the day outside biking or paddleboarding, I can. The flexibility is amazing and I just remember how lucky I am to have it.

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

A. The work in itself is pretty time-consuming. Making sure the content sounds good, that it’s correct, edited properly, and formatted the way the client needs it to be. Sometimes if I’m writing about a really dry topic, it’s hard, but writer’s-block is not an option because I’m usually working on pretty tight deadlines.

Thanks so much, Jen! It sounds like you have really found a life that you love and you work hard to do the best work you can and to make time for personal ventures and fun! Check out Jen’s business website here

 

 

January: Looking Back

How is it the last day of January already!? This month just whizzed by!  All in all I am really happy to report that January proved to be a great month, filled with family, relaxing, getting back into regular routines, hustling and planning.  All of my favourite things, really.

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How I did with my monthly goals:

The 3 goals I set for myself this January were…

  1. Read 3 books.
  2. Get the new semester off to a good start
  3. Go tech-free for a weekend

I am proud to say that I was able to read 3 books.  I read Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham, The Wonder by Emma Donoghue and Strong and Kind by Korie Robertson.

I did get the semester off to a great start! I have mapped out my due dates, how much time each assignment will take and scheduled time with my husband when I might need to work outside of my usual times (Tuesdays, Thursdays and nap times).

I did not go tech-free for a weekend.  I actually meant to do it this weekend and completely forgot until mid-way through Saturday.  Talk about a hard goal.  I will try again another month!

Other things that were great: 

Right after the new year my family went on a nice trip to Mont Tremblant for a few days. It was pretty hectic most of the time, but my husband and I are committed to traveling with our kids and doing things so they get used to traveling and we can make family memories.

I had a nice coffee date with my cousin and his wife and adorable baby. I always love getting together with these friends and his wife and I have so much in common.  They are photographers and while baby was napping she took some photos for my blog (thanks Amy!)

As a family we have been able to go public skating a few times. My daughter asked for skates for Christmas so since then we have been teaching her how to skate and spending Friday nights at the rink!

Looking ahead to February:

February is the month of love right? Valentines day is on the horizon and I look forward to everything pink and red and hearts! My husband and I don’t normally do much but the sentiment of the occasion is nice.

For the month of February, I have set 3 more goals for the month:

  1. Purge and toss or donate.  I love doing this. I feel so overwhelmed when my living space is cluttered and not tidy.  I love purging and clearing out our space.  I have made a list of what rooms and areas of the house need particular attention and I can’t wait to clean them all out!
  2. Do Whole 30..all month! I started doing the Whole 30 yesterday and really hope that my willpower and determination will let me get to the finish line without any slip-ups!
  3. Finish reading The Nightingale. My husband got me this book for Christmas and it is the only Christmas present I have not yet read..and the length is a bit daunting.  Instead of setting a number of books I want to finish this month, I want to get through this one.  It is amazing so far and I have heard nothing but rave-reviews!

What was the best part of your January?  What are your goals looking ahead to next month? za5_1667