Hello, Goodbye 

Love, Open Letters

It has been an amazing year, undoubtedly. On the horizon there are so many things to look forward to. But, in retrospect, it has been a pretty tough year.

With some miscarriages and struggles to make our own family grow, the death of one of my students, and having to put our lovely boy, Felix, to sleep, I’m a little relieved to say goodbye 2016. So, this year will be all about appreciating. 


This is our little family, with Chester, who doesn’t mind being the only cat in the house. 

Looking forward, though I don’t believe in ultimatum-style resolutions, I certainty think that there are lots of things to lay out as a plan that might make the year amazing.

First, gratitude. Every day I will try to find one thing I am sincerely grateful for. Today, it’s on the homefront: I have a bed that I get to sleep in with my wife each night. It has clean, beautiful sheets, a warm duvet, it feels like heaven every time we lie down. 

And, second, I’ll be embracing acting like a grown-up:

  1. I’ll invest in myself. More sleep. More downtime. Going to the gym. Keep doing my awesome pole fit classes. I’m getting stronger by the day, and it feels good. Eating well. All the foods I love, all in moderation. 
  2.  Learn more. Try new recipes. Read more books. Write things down that I’d like to try or do, right away, and then make an effort to do them. For example, I’d like to make my own textile wallhangings. I’m also going to keep up with the fantastic app, meal lime, which has us eating such tasty, easy meals.
  3. Communicate with the people I love. Send cards. And keep up my habit of calling as soon as it occurs to me that I’d like to talk to someone…instead of calling them later. My granny just celebrated her 100th.  She loves me, despite what her face is telling you. 
  4. Shop less.
  5. Be a grown-up. Or at least look like one. Wear beautiful pajamas, while avoiding clothes that encourage me to feel lazy. No bumming around clothes. The better I feel, the happier I will be. This doesn’t mean no comfortable clothes, it just means getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t look or feel good. This is the perfect excuse for a clothing swap. This includes decluttering and paring down on ‘stuff’. 
  6. Stop procrastinating. See list above. And this especially goes for schoolwork and marking. Divide and conquer it.
  7. Plan better so that we can use our money on cool experiences. This year I’m going to try the money challenge.
  8. Keep doing the things that make me feel youthful. Even if I feel tired the next day… work hard, play hard. 
  9. Shower my friends and family with love. 
  10. Remember to be less critical of myself. I will never be more young, with more of my life ahead of me than I am today. That’s a message I wish I could go back and tell myself at 15. Twenty years later, I’m more confident than ever and capable of making life exactly what I want it to be – and what I can’t change, I’m strong enough to handle. I may be two decades older. But from where I’m sitting…life is pretty sweet. No filter needed. 
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New Year, No Resolutions

Indulge

One of my favourite sites, Domaine.com, had some on point ‘suggestions’ for making 2016 a standout year. Among their list of Thirty Resolutions Everyone Can Try were a few that really resonated:

1. Drink more champagne (we know it’s good for your health) and we can come up with at least 22 reasons why you should always have it on hand.Make coffee at home instead of dropping dollars on an artisanal blend every day.

2. Revamp your living room with a coffee table makeover.

Scratch that, I’ll enjoy the beautiful space I’ve made for myself and stop wasting current joy in the search for future ‘perfection’ – because we all know that the perfect home is just one scan of Pinterest away from the next impulse to redecorate.

4. Stop worrying (as much).

I’d like to see how that works… worry is my biggest nemesis. But I’ll give it a shot.

6. Plan a trip to South America.

Or anywhere. Yes, please.

7. Create an evening ritual that helps you wind down at the end of the day and number 8: Do like Arianna Huffington and make sleep a priority.

10. Learn a week’s worth of new recipes.

I’m always excited to try out a new recipe.

12. Keep a gratitude journal.

13. Throw a themed dinner party.

15. Declutter your home and your workspace.

18. Streamline your Gmail. You’ll feel like a new person when your inbox is organized.

22. Remove the word “sorry” from your vocabulary (at least during business hours)

24. Take care of yourself. You can never underestimate “me time.”

25. Stop repeating the same relationship mistakes.

29. Get creative with date night.

Yes, these are things I can get behind.

But, while these all sound like things I’ll probably do… I don’t want to set myself up with any more fake expectations and hypothetical ‘to do’ lists that will add stress, or guilt (ultimately), rather than add joy and well-being. I hate being told what to do, even by myself.

Instead, I’ll embrace listening to myself, my gut, my emotions and my instincts. I will stop eating when I’m satisfied (thanks, Alanis); I’ll dance like no one is watching, and like everyone is watching, because I know I’m a performer, but I’ll be doing it for myself. I’ll take pole-fit classes, because it’s fun … and taking care of myself should be a pleasure. I will try to improve my spinal health – because you only get one of those, and having a sore back and shoulders makes me cranky. Proactivity is the word of 2016. I will say now not later, unless I really don’t feel like it. I will try to let more things slide, except the things I really care about. I will be nice to myself and let all those good vibes reverberate out into the relationships around me.

That … I can commit to.

Big Time Sensuality

Home Sweet

I love a room with a sense of identity, quirk and a lush vibe. Here are some visuals that really fit the bill. Rooms can definitely be sexy. What room or corner of your home inspires you and makes you feel transported?

These are spaces and feelings that I aspire to, plus a few New Year’s resolutions thrown in for good measure.

*all photo links and credits available here

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Serenity… now. Wouldn’t we all love a home that transports us and soothes us, stimulates us and rocks us to sleep? Something full of texture and contradictions. Something that feels timeless and makes us live in the present. In the New Year, my goal is to appreciate the beauty around me, to take comfort in the refuge of family, friends and home. To say ‘yes’ more. And ‘no’ more. And to floss regularly.

Happy New Year and cheers to a beautiful year ahead.

xo A