two things

I just have a couple quick things to say.

1) I just finished my first audio book. Thanks to a handy little app (OverDrive), I can link directly to my local library and borrow ebooks and audio books in just a click or two. Love.

I didn’t know if I would like listening to a book or if I’d even have time. Our car rides are dominated by the kids’ playlist, Raffi CDs or the traffic report. But on the rare occasions I’ve been riding alone, I’ve listened. I’ve put my headphones on during my lunch breaks at work. I’ve even fallen asleep to it a few times (it has a sleep timer function!).

While I’ll still be reading my good ol’ fashioned books, this app has found a new little nook in my heart.

2) The audio book was Basic Black: The Essential Guide to Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life) by Cathie Black. I’ve recently taken on a leadership role at work and I’ve already been faced with situations in which I’ve been outside of my comfort zone with my peers. Enough that I felt I’d like to read some advice on the topic. The book is interesting and informative. It’s a little more of a bio than a reference guide, but engaging and helpful nonetheless. I’d definitely recommend it. Through interesting anecdotes, the book suggests some ways to navigate the working world, specifically as a woman in publishing (hello!).

OK, that’s all. Back to your regularly scheduled snow day.

(And by snow day, I mean work day. Unless you’re my husband or my kids. Notbitternotbitternotbitter).

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days of the week

What’s that? You think I can only write a blog post when prompted by a list of questions? Seems that way, doesn’t it?

January 11 | What’s your favourite accessory?

I got a family tree necklace for my birthday and I’ve worn it almost daily since. I love all that it represents at this point in my life.

January 12 | What is making you mad?

Nothing in particular. Except maybe drivers who think their destination is more important than everyone else’s. Sometimes I wish I’d see them broken down on the side of the highway so I could stick my tongue out on the way by. Karma will get you.

January 13 | What did you have for dinner today?

It was book club special, aka pitas and dips, salad, a quinoa dish, veggie tray and cupcakes. I heart potluck food.

January 14 | What did you get done?

I ploughed through a ton of work to dos that I won’t bore you with. Do you want to know a secret? Sometimes I add extra things to my to do lists, just for the satisfaction of crossing them off.

January 15 | Who last called you on the phone?

My mama on FaceTime.

January 16 | Who are you in love with?

Husband. What we share is far from perfect, but it is honest and I wouldn’t want to live my days without him.

January 17 | What are you grateful for?

My healthy, happy family. That’s all I need.

January 18 | The best part of today was ______________.

It was a quiet day at home. Both of my boys were feeling less-than awesome, so we snuggled a lot, watched a few movies, and focussed on getting healthy. One thing I did do that was stand out — I cooked dried chick peas for the first time. It is so simple and less expensive than canned. Cheap and easy? What’s not to like?

January 19 | My current favourite website is ____________.

I’m enjoying a lot of great content on Huffington Post lately. And Pinterest, of course.

January 20 | What was the hardest thing you’re dealing with?

Finding balance. Letting go of the little things. Putting all of my focus on one thing at a time. Shutting my mind off when I need a mental break. OK, that’s more than one thing.

January 21 | Today I wish I had more _______________.

Time. No matter when you ask me this, the answer will always be time. Time to sleep, time to play with the kids, time to get work done.

January 22 | Tomorrow will be better because _______________.

It’s Friday, of course. Pizza Friday Family Movie Night! Whoop!

January 23 | What made today unusual?

I spent a lot of time doing something I hadn’t planned on doing at work. There’s nothing overly unusual about that. Except it had a lot to do with crunching numbers and nothing to do with words. At the end, I needed a nap. And a glass of wine.

January 24 | What are you looking for from life?

I’m not looking for fame or fortune, that’s for sure. Well, a little fortune wouldn’t be so bad. My needs are unbelievable simple. I just want to feel content. I want the people I love to be healthy and happy. I want to see some more of the world, do a few new things, and experience life through the people around me.

January 25 | What is your favourite thing to drink?

Coffee. Always coffee.

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five days

January 6

What possession could you not live without? This is tough, but it’s not. I considered my house, my car, my bed. But the answer is my iPhone. I use it to connect with friends and family via phone, text and social media. I do work on it using my work email and Google Docs app. I track my schedule in my calendar. I take photos and videos of the kids. I listen to music, occasionally use it to read the latest book club pick, check the weather, look at the flyers and so much more. It’s a whole lot of everything in a pretty tiny package. I love, and can’t deny, its versatility.

January 7

Can people change? Yes. I know I have. I know Husband has. Life is evolutionary is an infinite number of ways. Some are positive, some are negative. Sure, old habits die hard, but changes are possible.

January 8

What is the last “good” thing you ate? If we’re talking good from a healthy perspective, the answer would be a cauliflower-chick pea-curry dish (this recipe swapping potatoes for cauliflower — I also added sauteed mushrooms, green peppers and onions this time. I’ve made it a few times and switch it up a little each time based on what I have on hand. If we’re talking good from a taste perspective, the answer is the same because OMG curry.

January 9

What is your current favourite snack? Healthy(ish) snack: Beanito BBQ flavour chips. Bad-for-me snack: Potato Skins a la Bunin (which we make at home by cooking frozen wedges and topping with cheese and green onions).

January 10

What made you smile today? It’s Saturday! What’s not to love? A day off work with my house full of boys. A movie date with my oldest. And a night out with the ladies this evening. Hooray for the weekend!

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a family of schulers

One day, one of us called the other a “schuler” (pronounced shoe-ler) … It happened when Jacob was a baby and I think we were trying to avoid saying a swear word. Neither Husband or I can remember how it really originated; all we know is that it stuck.

Our family throws the word schuler around like a term of endearment or an insult, depending on the situation.

“Stop being such a schuler!”

“Can you believe how cute those schulers are?!”

I think that’s what I love most about my little family — we are all so different (and so alike in plenty of ways, too), but our shared experiences link us in a way that is inexplicable.

It’s weird, but it’s all ours.

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PS. How cute is this new basket in my kitchen?! $12!

daily reflections

I was trolling Pinterest the other day, as I often do, and came across a post about blogging. This directed me into a wormhole of ideas and inspriations to help with creativity and writer’s block.

I found a link I liked to daily questions. Whether you use these for your diary or journal, or post them to the world on a blog or via social media, I think it can be a fun way to see where you are now and look back a year from now to see how things have changed (or stayed the same).

January 1

What is your number one goal for this year? Be more attentive and less distracted. This is much about my phone, as I’m sure you assumed, but also puttering around doing chores when I could be playing, watching TV when I could be chatting with Husband, or being insane about my to do list when I could be savouring a few moments to relax and decompress.

January 2

What are you most grateful for? My health and the health of my loved ones. If I’ve learned anything in my adult life, it’s that we need to be proactive about our health. Life is far too short to let our well being — physical, mental, emotional or otherwise — slip away.

January 3

Are you content? Mostly, yes. To help me be even more content: Let go of the little things, practice more positivity, stress less and relax more. I need to spend more time doing what makes me feel happy and less time worrying about things that don’t matter.

January 4

What is your best memory of last year? Being surprised with a trip to NYC was an unbelievable highlight. Not only of my year, but of my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve such an incredible trip to celebrate my 30th birthday, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience from start to finish.

January 5

What was the last major accomplishment that you had? Earning a promotion at work was a recent highlight. It means more responsibility and accountability, but I thrive a fast-paced, deadline-drive environment. I love that I can take on a leadership role now and influence real change.

I’d love for you to join me on Pinterest. Click here.

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oh she glows

I know I’m probably the last vegetarian in Canada to crack a copy of the oh she glows cookbook, but I got it for Christmas and I can’t stop pouring over every recipe.

One of my unofficial goals for the year is to be a better vegetarian. I don’t really think about my meals in a balanced way, I’m often lacking the protein I need, and I want to make my food more interesting.

In an attempt to accomplish this goal, I plan to cook through every page of the oh she glows cookbook this year. I started over the weekend with the maple-cinnamon apple and pear baked oatmeal recipe. I made it for my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew, as well as my own boys, and it was a pretty big hit. Our littlest inhaled two bowls.

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When our oldest wakes up (aka the Hulk), were going to try out the classic green monster smoothie. Did you know the Hulk only eats things that are green? I have a feeling that it too will be quite popular.

Happy snow day!

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