26 Things to be Grateful for this Holiday

I am writing this as I watch the World Junior Hockey Game, in my Roots track pants, on Boxing day. You can’t get anymore Canadian than that! I hope you had a fun holiday yesterday with your loved ones and took in the special day of the year. I’ve been so overwhelmed (in a good way) for all the small details that I thought I would share some here on Boxing Day - 26 things I’m grateful for this holiday. Maybe some of these small moments will resonate with you as well :)

  1. Waking up without an alarm clock
  2. The smell of coffee as it begins to brew (and knowing its acceptable to put Baileys in it because heck, its the holidays!)
  3. Volunteering before Christmas and seeing how you’re helping to make a difference
  4. Getting your emails done to a 0 inbox!
  5. Crossing off all of your to-do’s for the day
  6. Finishing a big project at work and then celebrating with colleagues
  7. Saying Merry Christmas to a random stranger on an elevator
  8. Holding the door open at the local coffee shop for someone... and then getting your coffee bought by the person in line ahead of you
  9. The feeling you get as soon as you walk into Chapters #HappilyOverwhelmed
  10. Finding the best deal at Winners for a Christmas gift #StarttheCar
  11. That feeling of success after finishing a baking recipe that took way too long but you're hoping is oh so yummy
  12. Cracking a new bottle of wine.. yum!
  13. Biting into the freshest, squeakiest piece of cheese… and knowing there is an entire plate left to eat
  14. Singing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs as if you're the best singer... for some reason Blake loves the 'I Want a Hippopotamus' song.
  15. Seeing friends after so long and catching up like nothing ever changed
  16. The smell of wood burning as you walk outdoors in the nighttime cold air
  17. Sitting down to the best homemade meal you helped to make
  18. Eating a salad you made for lunch and feeling so good about yourself afterwards for (finally) eating healthy!
  19.  Starting to watch a series on Netflix you’ve heard people rave about #TheCrown
  20. Watching the World Junior Hockey games.. its a national Canadian pastime at Christmas
  21. Sitting around with family on Christmas Eve and watching Christmas Vacation, so many good laughs (even though we've already seen the movie like a thousand times!)
  22. Playing games with your siblings and laughing so hard
  23. Knowing its acceptable to wear track pants the entire holiday season
  24. Sitting in the darkness with only candles flickering while you dive into a new read or magazine
  25. Watching your son open up his first Christmas present and knowing he has no idea what all of it means
  26. Knowing you can chase your dreams, following your passions, raise a family, love hard… and feel so damn good about it all.
[Photo Source]

Take Your Goals Seriously - Get Organized

We're 8 days into September, our second New Years or as I've been calling it, New Years 2.0. Oh and Christmas is 108 days away. Crazy, I know.

I'm not sure if its the teacher in all of us but most of us appreciate the 'reset' that September offers. Places like Chapters tug on all of our organizational heartstrings and all the new planners come out on the display racks. I personally love it. I joke to Andrew that if I am ever lost, he can find me in the stationary/organizational section. The stationary lover in me fan girls over the latest planners every year when they are released.

If your actually serious about (finally) tackling your goals or getting your side hustle or daily work organized for 2018, a new planner is a good start.

As techie as I am, there is nothing like putting pen to paper to keep everything organized. I haven't yet been sold on fully transitioning my calendar completely to my iPhone calendar or through an app. I have an electronic calendar but also manage my appointments, commitments and to-do's through a hard planner.

One of the best feelings in the world is checking off your to-do items in your planner when they are done and accomplished #Check #Done #KickingButt

Here are 9 options (some of them I've tried!) to try and put on your  planner wishlist:

[1] Emily Ley's Simplified Planner - I've heard rave reviews about this planner. Emily Ley is a #GirlBoss herself and many fellow #GirlBosses I follow have ended up choosing this planner as their go-too.

[2] Day Designer - I had this planner for 2 years and LOVED it, just didn't think I needed a page per day but otherwise loved this planner.

[3] Plain Notebooks from Chapters - If you don't need anything fancy, too expensive and want to just 'do it yourself' with your notes, you can always refer back to the good ol' notebook where you can make your own planner like this one or this one (The message on this one is SO true in my world of too many tabs open on my laptop!)

[4] Danielle Laporte's Desire Map Planner - I've never personally tried this planner but if its anything like Laporte's books, I'm sure it is an amazing planner packed with tons of inspiration and kick a$$ motivation!

[5] Rifle Paper Co Planner - Love all the details in this one including its 17-monthly calendar year and the beautiful floral design typical of Rifle Paper Co. It also has so many delicate touches inside.

[6] Kate Spade Planner - I have tried this planner but needed more space to write down more to-do's each day. I still loved the details though in this planner including how each month had tabs and the pocket included inside.

[7] Eccolo 12-month planner -  This is the planner I used for 2016 (a larger version) but this exact version is what I used for the majority of 2017. I actually didn't purchase mine from Chapters though, I was introduced to Eccolo in the Winners' check out line where I bought the first planner for $9 #score

[8] Erin Condren's Life Planner - I love how much you can personalize this planner and how colourful and bright her designs are. How can you not get creative when you get to open up that beauty every time?!

[9] Bullet Journal - I contemplated doing this for 2017 but at the last minute, chickened out. It seemed like a little too much work for me, but I swore to myself that if my current planner failed, I was going to give it a try!

Book Review: 'Our Turn'

Book Review- Our TurnWhile enjoying a spa day on holidays in Mont-Tremblant last weekend, I hit an individual milestone. I started AND finished a book in one day, in ONE sitting. 'Our Turn' by Kirstine Stewart was an easy page turner which provided just the right amount of insight, research, and thought to make it a really enjoyable read. Stewart is a Canadian business figure that I've always admired (and follow on Twitter) and after reading her book, I have a new found appreciation for just how experienced and talented she is. Her take-home message of "there is no better time in history for women to have 'our turn'" made for a really motivating after math that inspired me to share my favourite take-aways from the book. Enjoy some of the take home messages from 'Our Turn' - its certainly a read I would recommend to women and men of all ages and business backgrounds!

Of course, one of my favourite quotes from her book had an 'agricultural' feel to it when she discussed the now 'knowledge economy' we're a part of and how we should grow our ideas as leaders: "You have to grow ideas and that first means clearing a field, planting the seeds and then nurturing them."

On the Business World

  • "The knowledge economy is upending business models. Qualities essential to modern leadership includes anticipating events/needs of others, listening, collaborating, multi-tasking, and being flexible"
  • "Our customers have become our bosses and we need to manage 'out' not down."

On Women

  • "Traditional feminine traits are now at the core of successful/modern leadership (mult-tasking, empathetic, communicator, listener, anticipating the needs of others)"
  • "A Pricewaterhouse Cooper report said women will make up a third of all CEO's by 2040."

 On Leadership

  • "You don't have to be the boss to be a leader."
  • "Changing landscape of tremendous opportunity for those who are willing to listen, learn and adapt."
  • "Leading today is not about what the boss thinks, but how the boss responds and the more input a  leader can draw from a dynamic and electric team, the better that response will be."
  • "Personal capital is your currency."

On Social Media and the Web

  • "Through social media, everyday people, regardless of status or station, have an unrivaled ability to inform and be informed, to praise and to punish. Its a power that drives customer reviews, boycotts, protests, revolutions and web uprisings."
  • "Information as power has lost its currency. Today its not having all the information that counts, its what you do with it."
  • "When it comes to technology, understand your limits, know when to floor it and when to put on the brakes : flow, not balance."