A Week in Reflection

+ One of the greatest controls I realize we can have in modern day times is knowing when to unplug from social media and take breaks when you need them most. This is something I did this week. Not worrying about taking pictures in the moment and just capturing those moments in your mind to cherish, is needed more often than I think we realize.

+ One of those moments this week, was watching Blake turn two months. The smiles and giggles that are coming from him more and more everyday are so much fun.

+ There is nothing better for the soul than walks outdoors in beautiful summer sun, especially when its with your best friend (and her baby!) or husband and a good cup of coffee.

+ Another thing that feeds the soul? A good book like Erin Loechnre's 'Chasing Slow' which I have completely consumed this week. The way in which Erin writes is truly incredible - its as if she can read my mind.

+ You can make chocolate chip cookies a hundred times and still make a batch that is a #BakingFail.

+ Visits from friends during the day, mid-week for a quick coffee and chat are the best.

+ There truly is no way to know what Donald Trump will get up too next and what his tweets may result in by the end of the week #FacePalmEmoji

+ Sometimes, you just need those deep-fried pickles you are craving. And so deserve (that's what I keep telling myself anyways).

+ Fresh cut flowers in the house brighten up everyone's mood.

+When you search out some awesome finds at the local antique market in Aberfoyle and negotiate the price too!

+ That feeling of accomplishment when you get through your weekend to do list (almost all of it anyways)

Food for Thought [volume 4]

Food for Thought

Happy Ontario Agriculture Week, being celebrated across the province! I'm this, there and everywhere this week as its a busy week in agriculture and food but I'm kicking off this week at the Advancing Women Conference in Toronto. I'll be reporting back on what is going to be an amazing week with 400+ women from across Canada who are involved in the agri-food sector {and proud side note: my mom is one of the scheduled speakers at the conference #fangirlmoment!}

In the meantime, enjoy these reads from my weekly round-up of 'Food for Thought' articles :)

+ A powerful read by self-made entrepreneur and finance blogger (whose blog I've followed for 5+years) Cait Flanders  'Your salary is not your worth,' who so perfectly with her writing, shares why we need to make sure we check-in with ourselves to ensure we'not valuing our worth strictly by how much we are paid.

+ Will volunteering on a resume ever have the same weighting as job experience? These study findings show just how powerful volunteering is on a resume - 92% of respondents believe volunteering expands an employee's professional skill set and 85% of hiring managers conducted for the survey are willing to overlook resume pitfalls when an employee includes volunteering on a resume. Even more reason to get out and volunteer!

+ I'm adding some of these 9 hidden Ontario places to visit to my #Travel list. I would love to try and go ziplining or tubing down the falls in Elora or visit the Scarborough Bluffs but my time is running out! #Fall

+ I tend to follow the 'celebrity gossip scene' enough to know what is happening in Hollywood as I love to see how each handles PR, Social Media and Crisis Management so differently, so when I heard of the Kim Kardashian vs Taylor Swift a few months back, I couldn't help but think of how true this article is about how to appropriately control your brand in the #PublicRelations #SocialMedia domain.

+ Want to hold yourself to a 'list of things to do' list before you turn 30? Here is an awesome list I found that I wouldn't mind trying to accomplish by the time I hit the BIG 3-0! The rush is on :)

+ A worthwhile read for corporations, companies or businesses to better understand how they will need to adjust their corporate strategies for #millennials, a generation that is now the largest generation in the Canadian workforce. 

+ Did you miss watching Hillary Clinton's glass ceiling shattering acceptance speech earlier in the summer? Read it here. While I was watching, I was trying to pinch myself to remind myself that I was taking part in a historic moment of time that will be talked years from now #HistoryBooks #ImWithHer

Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries

Hope you are enjoying your coffee this morning like I am, how awesome are Saturday mornings?!

Something I've gotten A LOT better at in 2016  (there is always still room for improvement, of course!) is trying to set more healthy boundaries in both my personal and professional life. It dawned on me over the holidays at the end of 2015 that the insanity that is life, will always be this crazy and insane. Its how you manage it and decide to make it as crazy/insane (in a fun way!) that will dictate how much of the journey you enjoyed in life.

I realized that if I continually take on more activities, to-do's, say yes to too many things, push myself TOO far and TOO hard, burn the candle from both ends and don't refuel and recharge myself, then it is a recipe for disaster. I really am a 'work hard, play hard' type of person but at what point do you decide that you are over-doing everything and not really enjoying anything? Its something ask yourself.. something I'm glad I did at the end of 2015.

In an effort to try and help myself, I proactively decided it was time to set better boundaries to everything I was doing, both at work, at home, with The Passionate Voice and in my extra-curriculars. I have taken small steps to create some helpful boundaries that really do add up to more free time throughout my day resulting in feeling a lot more productive and purposeful at the end of the day. If you're in the same position as I am and need some quick and actionable steps to feel like you're making changes that will help,  try one (or all) of these changes I've made and let me know what you think!

10 Steps I've Taken to Set Healthy Boundaries in 2016

  1. Removing Facebook from my phone as an app
  2. Not checking social media as often as I do (even though it sometimes kills me to miss certain conversations online, its not life or death so I'm fine!)
  3. Use social media more purposefully - setting scheduled tweets/posts and using it in a more professional/productive manner rather than just wasting time on it
  4. Creating a 'To Read' folder in my inbox and setting it up so all of the subscriptions/eBlasts I subscribe too automatically go into the folder for me to read at a determined time
  5. Using 3 methods to capture all of my blog reading I like to do by using Feedly, Pocket, and creating a Microsoft OneNote for all the articles I want to save and reference for future use
  6. Limiting the number of blogs I follow and read - this one has been hard because I've been a loyal blog reader for 10+ years  to many blogs but there comes a time where only the blogs of most value and the ones that are the funnest to read are what I consider the most enriching so I've got 100+ blogs down to under 25!
  7. Creating a reading schedule so I only check and use these 3 above mentioned platforms and read from my 'To Read' email folder once a week. I have apps on my iPhone and desktop so I can easily save articles of interest, but I only read them at a scheduled time slot every Monday morning.
  8. Going to bed earlier and (really) making a conscious effort to not use my phone before bed
  9. Working out more - this has seriously changed how healthy not only my body is but my mind as well - I have felt so much sharper and fresher since I started working out on a regular basis again.
  10. Taking planned days off and getting outdoors where I don't plan anything; don't open up my laptop to send one last email and try and get outdoors to do something fun (since I spend a lot of my time indoors during the week)
[Photo Source]