Bottle It Up

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I’ve recently been on the road for work for what feels like weeks and weeks. When in fact, its only been two weeks of travel. The travelling life is not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be. The airport shots of our luggage, the Starbucks coffees, the perfectly manicured nails…. yea, it is far from that. I don’t take for granted the opportunities I’m being afforded with my business and how travelling makes me feel (when there are no snow storms and flight delays/cancellations which has been my travelling life as of late). I really do love travelling. Just the right amount of it.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m travelling. I’m not sure if its because the time on the plane without a phone allows my brain to fully relax. Or because when I travel, I’m taking in new sights and experiences so my brain is on creative overdrive.

In my recent trip to Ottawa, during a snow storm around dinner time, I put on my winter parka and went for a walk and man, despite the blowing snow in my face and the crazy looks I was getting by drivers passing slowly by me, were the ideas ever a swirling around in my head.

I find this too whenever I’m travelling with Andrew down the 401 in our hauls from Guelph to the farm. The long stretch of highway, knowing how far we’re going and how much time I have to just ‘be’ makes me feel at ease. The ideas come rolling out of me when I have time to process my thoughts.

I (finally) have time to read all those open tabs on my laptop, read 100+ pages of a book in one sitting or take in hours of a podcast that I’ve been dying to listen too.

I wish I could bottle up this energy I seem to harness when I’m travelling. I wish I could also bottle up all of these ideas I have floating around in my head since I started my business late last summer. The notes pages I’ve ended up scribbling down are far too many and its not the ideas I come up with that I’m in love with – it’s the action I want to take out of them. I want to actually DO something with all of these ideas I’ve seem to have bottled up.

Anyone else with me?! #BottleUpmyBrain

Side note: this highway photo above is one I snapped from a recent trip to Mont Tremblant with Andrew. MT is one of our most favourite places and this was one of the BEST trips we’ve taken in years. There is just something about those Laurentian mountains that sets our souls on fire and makes us feel at ease. 💕

What Holds Us Back From Being Hungry?

Quebec City

Bonjour! I just returned from a trip to Quebec City, my first time to the capital city! I have to say, I’ve returned filled and fired up. And not just filled with the best pasta, escargot and local craft beer. Filled with gratitude and inspiration from the city, the charming old streets and our rich history.    

Oh, what a place Quebec City was.

I think every Canadian should make a point of visiting the oldest city in Canada to appreciate the architecture of our earliest settlers but also the history of our country. It is a seriously beautiful city with so much to take in – beautiful countryside, too many good things to eat and drink and the feeling you get while walking the quaint streets is a feeling like no other. It feels like you’re in a different place, far away from home. As if you’re across the pond walking down some European street.

It was not hard to be inspired while I was there. Inspired to write more, share more, do more, think more and just be more. As I opened my laptop each morning filled with excitement to write, it reminded me of why I hesitate to write when I’m ‘back at home.’

Why is it that in a foreign place or in the most random of times, we get some of our best ideas and want to openly share them? And then the minute we get home or ‘back to our routine’, we are more reluctant to share that same blog post, tweet or idea?

For years in my job in politics, I learned to watch how every word could be taken. Manipulated, spun, used against me and my boss. It just came with the job, I knew that. Every time I’d thought of blogging for the past number of years, I’ve always wondered if what I said would be taken and spun against me professionally. There was an instance that something was spun against me, but that my friends, is for a whole other blog post.  

So, now that my political days are behind me, it is a weird feeling to know that the only thing that is holding me back is ‘moi.’ There is no consequences to what I want to say now. I can’t get fired. My words won’t affect my boss. I only have me to think about me again and my personal brand. And yet, I still feel like I have to watch what I say because with our digital world, we’re never really sure when/where our words will be used against us. It comes with the territory of using platforms like social media to share our ideas.

I think this notion is why so many people hold back in saying what they want too. They are either:

  1. scared of what others will think of them;

  2. worried how their words or ideas could impact them/their family/their work

  3. feel like what they have to say has no value or that someone else has already said it

How fitting then, that while I was in Quebec City, I watched the movie The Star is Born (which everyone seems to be raving about BTW and I can see why.. go and download the soundtrack!). And how cliché then that while watching the movie and thinking of this notion of why people (like myself!) don’t actually do or say things they want too, that the main character, Jackson Maine aka. Bradley Cooper says the following:

“Look, talent comes everywhere, but having something to say and a way to say it so that people listen to it, that’s a whole other bag. And unless you get out and you try to do it, you’ll never know. That’s just the truth. And there’s one reason we’re supposed to be here is to say something so people want to hear. So you got to grab it, and you don’t apologize, and you don’t worry about why they’re listening, or how long they’re going to be listening for, you just tell them what you want to say.”

So, where do we start and where do we go once we have the courage to finally say something? I don’t know. If I knew the answer to that, I think I’d be retired :P

But the point is to start. I think every self-help book starts with this premise. Start whatever it is that makes you hungry. Its why I’m going to get back into this writing thing and share more on my blog. No, but really, for real this time. I’m hungry again.

The Sunday 7

Oh, Sunday's. 

1. We saw Nelly this past week. Like the rapper. Who say 'Hot in Here.' Yes, it was epic. Like circa 2004 epicness that made my high school-University self sing WAY too loud. It was the best $45 I've spent in a while. It reminded me how we need more of those random nights out with friends that turn out to be the best nights.

2. I have a day in Toronto planned for some work-related things and meet-ups.. a day in the big city sans babe is what my heart needs right now.

3. This tote has my heart swooning. I'm just wondering if it's big enough to hold all of my stuff.. and Blake's stuff :S

4. Now that Spring may be here (the last two weekends have been sunny and made me hopeful here in Guelph!), I'm wondering where the Instagram spring stickers are now?!! Come on #Instagram!

5. If we're talking about Spring, a good ol' 'Spring clean' of the house is necessary. I found this handy list of one item you can do each day for a month to get your place clean super helpful.

6. A place we forget to clean that we use daily? Our smartphones. I used this list to give the iphone a good clean tonight!

7. Talk about a fun-filled week, we celebrated the upcoming nuptials of my girl Mac at The Fancy Design Co with a girls night out. It was wildly fun, I wouldn't expect anything else from our group of friends. A night out with the gals celebrating one of the best people I know was SO needed after a week of Blake being sick with a cold. We had dinner at Gilt in Kitchener and oh yum, was that menu amazing.

{Photo Source}

The Sunday 7

  1. After spending the last 7 days in 25+ degree heat in Jamaica, to say I'm ready for spring is an understatement. I'm just thankful after returning today that we didn't have to dig ourselves out from under snow. Our recent getaway was the reason why I was quiet on social media and boy did it feel good to disconnect. It reminded me that I can function in my own head, away from all the distractions. And when I chose to use my phone or laptop, it was on *my* terms. Such a liberating feeling! I'll be sharing more about our trip on instagram this coming week :)
  2. The only way I'm curing my Caribbean hangover tonight is by watching the Oscars. I love me some red carpet fashion & awards #Oscars90
  3. Back to spring being around the corner, daylight savings time is this coming weekend AND the other sign that spring is close by? All the maple syrup festivals across Ontario are starting to take place including my local hometown Warkworth Maple Syrup Festival this weekend. Can't wait!
  4. It was the best feeling changing my laptop desktop wallpaper calendar to March. Here are some cute ideas for your desktop wallpaper here, here and here.
  5. While on holidays, I finished  Joe Biden's book, "Promise Me, Dad." What a gut wrenching, page turning read it was - so good! I'm now re-reading Simon Sinek's "Start With Why" which I have already dog-eared so many pages.
  6. The only other thing that made coming back from Jamaica somewhat bearable? Getting my Spring issue of Magnolia Journal in the mail... oh, and a Big Mac :P
  7. And just to make my travelling heart feel a bit better about getting back from a much-needed trip like Jamaica? My mind is already wandering, thinking about possibly planning a solo spring trip to somewhere like New York, Chicago or Montreal. Seems like a lot with a young babe but I'm feeling so inspired by travelling #Wanderlust

The Sunday 7

  1. If you follow me on Instagram, you have saw what travels I got up too today on a random Sunday drive. Hint, it included discovering this Flea market pictured above, in my the backyard of my hometown that I've drove by a million times. Found some pretty cute antique pieces too #ExploreYourOwnBackyard
  2. Also on our Sunday drive, we stopped in at this amazingly cute and homey coffee shop in Warkworth, ON, Our Lucky Stars. Definitely coming back for another cup of coffee soon, so glad we stopped in!
  3. As a women who loves and works in politics, if you are in and around the Guelph area and want to attend a campaign school for those interested in politics, check out this event being offered at City Hall.
  4. I recently had a salad that had a beautiful looking veggie in it that I had no clue what it was. How did I not know before now, what a watermelon radish was? #facepalm Perfectly summed up, "If Cinderella were a vegetable, she'd be a watermelon radish."
  5. This dreamy backyard porch oasis has me dreamin’ of warmer, sunnier temps where I can be blogging from my backyard. #SpringSoonPlease?
  6. I already had enough reasons to love the stationery line, Rifle Paper Co, but now I see why the stationery is so brilliant, after seeing this home tour of the mastermind behind the brand.
  7. Have a long drive coming up? Listen to this 'How I Built This' podcast with Kate & Andy Spade, the husband-wife duo behind the famous brand, Kate Spade. Thanks for the reco, Sarah :)