Tuesday Thoughts

Well hello, there!

I've wanted to blog for a few weeks' now but never knew where to start. Isn't that something we all struggle with? Where to begin? What to do first? What to stick with? What to love the most? What to get rid of and leave behind? So much has been going on as of late, its hard to know where to start and what to share.

Springtime

There is something about this spring that has awaken me to so many new things. New things about the world around me, about people, but most importantly, about myself. The new greenery and flowers blooming, even the fresh smell of spring has awoken me in a different way than the last few years. I've happily welcomed this.

Motherhood/Back to Work #onthecampaigntrail

Its an overwhelming bittersweet time for me personally right now. I'm transitioning from my year off on maternity leave, entering back into not only the workforce, but the campaign trail. Ontario's provincial election is 23 days away on June 7th. When I began working 4 years ago in politics at Queen's Park, I knew this election time would come eventually, I just didn't think it would come this fast. Much like my time with Blake. Where did this past year really go?

Because of the transition heading back to work, it has meant closing the book on being a stay-at home mom for the past year. It has meant starting a new chapter of watching Blake transition to day care. I'm also preparing to move back home to Peterborough for a few week's while I work #onthecampaigntrail. I promise to blog about this exciting adventure in a separate post.

What the last few weeks has taught me is about sacrifice. Loving what you do for a living, while you have to watch what you've did for the past year fade into the sunset. Knowing that while it is hard to watch your child grow up, this is what life is all about.

I've been trying to soak up as many friend hangouts, family catch up's, sunsets on the dock and coffee shop visits before reality sets in next week when I officially go back to work.

I love me some routine

I've enjoyed setting up a productive routine for the past little while, knowing full-well that, that routine is going straight out the window now that the campaign has started. If there is something I have learned about myself, its that while I love new things and discovering the unknown, I thrive on routine. Don't we all as human beings? I've learned this the most from watching Blake. He loves meeting new people, taking in new things, not going to bed on time once and a while, but he pays for it a few days later. He sleeps better, eats better and you can tell he's just an overall more happier baby when he's in his routine. This is us as adults too, we just don't like to admit it.

Learning Overload 

I've been the type of person that has 100 tabs open in my browser; articles saved to read; and so many random notes about motivational TED talks written down in my notebook but it hasn't been until recently that I've wondered... is it too much? I'm not saying I want to stop learning but at some point, is it too much? If I want to speed up in the areas of my life I want to succeed it, does it mean I have to slow down in other areas of my life that don't allow me to grow? If anything, Blake has been the greatest reminder for me to slow down.

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Processing Random Thoughts

I've found this week to be draining for some odd reason. I alluded to this yesterday on Instagram.

I'm not sure if its the lingering hangover from Daylight Savings time or a flurry of ideas that are sitting in my brain. Regardless, that aching feeling of wanting to get the ideas out is enervating. I shared the photo of paint splatter as a way to try and capture what I {think} my brain looks like on the inside right now. I was glad to hear from other on instagram who could relate.

And so, to find a solution, I figured I would share some of these random thoughts. The thoughts that are swirling around in my head. Expect some blog posts to come from these:

Positivity. This is the basis to the world functioning better. There can't be enough of it in the world and I'll admit, some days, the realist in me sets in more than the optimist. I'm not sure if research supports this (send me any papers you find if it does!!) but am I wrong in saying that millennial's seem more positive than baby boomers (cue the tomato throwing now, I'll duck). It is so refreshing (regardless of age) when you sit down at a table and have a meeting or conversation and sharing of ideas when it is all positive. Positivity, or the lack there of sometimes, is why I sometimes question if more millennials are not pursuing careers in the sector I work in, Agriculture. So many thoughts on these two ideas - millennials being more positive and positivity within the sector I work in and how millennials view it.

Millennials. In keeping on this same topic, I am one. A millennial. I talk about them a lot here on the ol' blog. And they seem to be a conversation starter. Scratch that, its all people have been talking about for the last 5 years or so, since it became apparent that we as a generation weren't going away. When people recognized that we're going to leave a profound impact on this world and not to mention, we have surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation now. Well, at least in the US according to this article. Millennials seems to be at the forefront of many of the conversations within my social circles and network recently for some reason. Especially when it comes to career conversations. Things like the role of millenials on Boards; what millennials value that differs from baby boomers; and is the workplace ready to evolve to these values. Either way, I have lots to say from my experience (both professionally and personally) so look forward to blog posts upcoming!

Motherhood. Is it OK to feel that you want to go back to work earlier than expected once you realize your baby can now breathe, eat and sleep on his own and perhaps doesn't need you like he use too? Blake's crawling away from me tells me that he is going to be just fine come May (his first birthday). Also child care, why doesn't anyone talk about the beast that is finding child care? :S

Personal Brand. Ok, one more millennial thought. It seems that every millennial has or wants too establish their own personal brand along with maintaining their role/jobs within a company in their 9 to 5 job. This can be done, but with a bit of sacrifice on the millennials part and the company depending on expectations. Where previous workers/generation were so loyal to their company's brand, are workplaces ready for this millennial "selfishness" as I've heard it called? And even more, are workplaces OK with millennial's side hustles perhaps taking the spotlight away from the work millennial's do in their 9-5's?!

Creativity overload. As a creative entrepreneur, how do my fellow CE's quiet your thoughts? How do you stop, or should I say, harness, the creative ideas waterfall that can come on the most random days? Do you write everything down on paper and pen? Put it in your iPhone notebook? How do you orgnaiz the thoughts? How do you tell your brain right at bedtime to stop thinking and put the ideas to rest? Literally. I would love to hear your tips!

Productivity. I am almost done this book and it is hands down, one of the best books I've read in a while. An easy, simple yet thought-provoking read, it has calmed my mind as a women but also fueled my motivation to want to do better, but in a more efficient way. Grab your copy, you won't be disappointed!

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13 Ways to Maintain Personal Infrastructure

We are 37 days in to 2018. Have you been able to keep your New Years Resolutions or goals, that you so keenly set back on Jan 1? Yea, its hard eh? We all have the best of intentions but once reality sets in, its hard to get out of our already-established routines.

I shared my 5 goals for 2018 in my first ever podcast. I'm happy to report that I at least kept the first one - take vitamins for 30 days - which I did successfully in January. Great goal right?! lol I keep telling myself its the small things! ha Now I can focus on my other 4 goals for 2018 :P

A majority of us hop aboard the 'new year, new me' train at the beginning of January. But by the second month in, most of that enthusiasm and willingness to hold ourselves accountable to new goals goes out the window. We tell ourselves, "At least we tried, right?"

One thing I've personally been trying to hold myself too, is a system that holds me accountable to executing both my personal to-do's and professional goals, all in one place, in an organized (less chaotic) way.

Its what I've been calling 'personal infrastructure.' Its what systems, tools, resources, apps, etc I've put in place to help me execute my goals as best as possible. Take a look at the 13 ways I'm trying to maintain this personal infrastructure:

  1. Planner/Organizer - I shared a list of planners to use last year; this is the weekly planner I chose to use for 2018. I am a list-makin' machine, there really is nothing better than crossing off your to-do's once you get them done!
  2. Cozi calendar app - I recently discovered and downloaded this app to help manage one consistent calendar, so both Andrew and I can use and update all of our important dates in one place.
  3. Feedly - there are a lot of well-written and inspiring blogs out there. The Feedly platform allows me to read them all in one organized place.
  4. Pocket - I blame the overabundance of articles that I find on Twitter as to why I always have a million tabs open. I fixed this by downloading this app to easily store and read these articles at a later time.
  5. *To Read* inbox rule - I subscribe to newsletters that can sometimes fill up the ol' inbox. I created a rule within my personal email inbox that automatically puts all of those newsletter subscriptions into a 'To Read' folder when they arrive. You can set up any number of rules so all of your emails come in and are sorted in advance of opening up your inbox #genius
  6. Evernote - I have this on my laptop to help organize random chicken scratch ideas and my writing.
  7. Tweetdeck - this platform is what I use to execute tweets on Twitter if I have planned content to send out in advance.
  8. Planoly-  this monthly subscription app allows me to organize and execute my Instagram feed.
  9. VSCO - the app I use to edit photos for social media.
  10. Canva - I have this website both as an app on my phone and open and readily available on my laptop, which I use to create images for my blog and social media.
  11. Unsplash and Pexels - two great websites to source free stock images when necessary (remember to give credit where credit is due!)
  12. The Bullet - my morning daily eBlast read to keep up-to-date with all the latest news, and all conveniently in one place!
  13. Notes in iphone- if everything else fails, writing down notes on my iphone has been a saving grace.

Hope you find some (or all!) of these ideas and tips valuable in helping to maintain your own personal infrastructure, whatever that may look like!

"Embrace Bold:" My 2018 Buzzwords

This is a big post for me.

Not only is this my first post of 2018 but this is my first ever PODCAST! (Can you hear my excitement through the cap locks?!)

Starting a podcast was a goal I had in 2017 but I kind of had a baby, so I wasn't able to get around to getting this goal done. BUT, I'm kickstarting 2018 off in the best way possible and I'm making my first post here on the blog, my first podcast!

2017 - Beautiful Chaos

In my first episode, I reflect on 2017 and the 5 goals I committed to achieving last year. I'm happy to say, I accomplished 4/5 of my goals but by far, the best thing we did in 2017 was welcome our healthy baby boy Blake in May!! He is by far the greatest thing we'll be able to say we EVER did. Its incredible to think love creates life like this. I summarized last year as 'Beautiful Chaos' but I also stuck to my buzzwords 'Adapt and Adjust.' Isn't that what parenthood is all about.. adjusting and adapting... all.the.time?!

2018- Embrace Bold 

I also share in my first episode, my 2018 buzzwords which are 'Embrace Bold.' This was partly inspired by the Little Book of Hygge and Oprah's recent Golden Globes acceptance speech which if you haven't saw it yet, you can watch it here or read the full transcript here. Based on this mantra of 'Embrace Bold,' I'm also sharing my 5 goals for 2018 on the podcast.

Take a listen to my first podcast by clicking on the play button directly below. I hope you enjoy listening and I'd love to hear what you think.

Oh and by the way, HAPPY 2018! 

 

 

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.
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