What April Taught Me

Another month is over! Wow that went by fast – even though some days it felt like time had slowed down. There are a bunch of highlights – we got a play set for my step son, his swimming classes also started (which he was asking for since Feb) plus i got a Cricut Explore Air 2. It’s really amazing what this machine can do – being a paper and stationery lover – I have to say that this was an unexpected, exorbitant and satisfying purchase.

This is no spring - play set covered in snow - second winter for Edmonton!
This is no spring – play set covered in snow – second winter for Edmonton!
Mothers day card using cricut
My first Cricut project: A mothers day card. I didn’t have the scoring tool so messed up a bit while turning. Gluing could use some refinement 🙂 but overall really impressive cutting.

Five Things April Taught Me:

  1. Make time for activities that truly refresh your soul || This month I played a bit more with stamping, watercolor and paper craft. It truly is freeing to express ourselves with blobs of paint. This also imprinted on me that how “set” I had become in my routine and life that coloring outside the lines was preposterous to me. Blank pages are not always inviting but a little scribble here, a little stamping there and feels like acceptance of all that goes around.
  2. Not to worry about things that are out of my circle of influence || I have tendency to get stressed over stuff that’s out of my reach of action.Things that i cannot do anything about. This would remain a work in progress!
  3. Giving is always better than receiving || Always. Always. Doesn’t matter if we have too little or too much. Making a different in someone’s life can be a smile, encouraging words or just a cup of coffee.
  4. Enjoy the slow-days as much as fast-calendar-full days || We all have different days depending on the activities but I tend to freak-out quickly when I have stuff to do back to back. Reality is that even if things-on-the-todo-list don’t get done, it’s fine. The sun would still shine (or snow would still come lol)
  5. Workout is not just for the gym || There are other ways to moving the body. Husband had to stop going to the gym because of pressed-disc; since we both go to the gym together this affected my motivation/desire to workout. I just wanted to take time off too. What I noticed last month was that everything helps: gardening, cleaning, dancing, jumping jacks every couple of hours! Just move more than you usually move.

Overall, it was creative month. How did your month go? Tell me all about it!

5 Ways to Be True To Yourself

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day. -John Wooden

Each one of us is unique and we have our own experiences that shape our lives and thought process not just about ourselves but about those close to us, this world and our community. I strongly believe that it is very important to be honest with yourself, live openly and follow your heart.

EssentialLifeSkills.net states that “To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.”

5 Ways To Be True To Yourself:

1) Take responsibility for your life & actions.

We are responsible for our life. When we understand that we have to be true to ourselves, life then takes on a whole new meaning. Thing is, too many times we are stuck with what people have done to us and not what we have done to others – that’s how it usually is – but that’s not where we have to be.

We have to really understand that life is fragile, short and full of joy and we must take on the responsibility of our life with not just with our words but our more so with our actions.

2) Understand your Values

It’s important to know what your values are, for an honest talk. Having values and being able to define them makes life easier. Value is “a strongly held belief about what is valuable, important, or acceptable”. Values are important because they act as guidelines for the events in your life. It took a while to find my own values – I am a homebody who values hard work, nurturing, passionate about loving people in my life and making a difference. To me, it’s important to encourage people to be their best not just with words and actions but by being transparent about my own life and struggles.

The sooner you find your values, the easier it becomes to be true to yourslef because your behavior is guided by a set of values and not just how you feel at the moment.

Find your values here and you’ll find your center.

3) Have Goals And Align Them With Your Values

Do not just sleepwalk through your life but have some goals. Set some limits, create some boundaries, etch some lines in the sand and reach those lines and stretch yourself. Create the structure of routine and discipline. Be a better person than you were yesterday.

4) Pay extra attention to self-talk

We have wicked ways to convince ourselves of that one more handbag that we have been wanting to buy or that extra bite of chocolate that seems harmless. But this very self-talk makes us believe things that we either later of feel guilty about or develop a distorted view of how things should be. While chocolate and handbag are in the lower pedestal – what we think of others or what we want other to think of us or how others should be treating us something we must have a firm grip on – to be whole. And this is where attention to self-talk comes in.

Learn to separate lies that the “negative-self” could bring up or anything negative that undermines your own strengths. Remember that it’s easy to judge or condemn others but remain honest with your true self by monitoring your negative thoughts.

5) Choose Grace Over Guilt

We all make mistakes and when it comes to the realization – drop the big ego, admit your mistake and learn from it! It doesn’t make any difference if we continue to do the same thing that hurts our near and dear ones. And even if you end up doing something you regret, forgive yourself – choose grace over guilt. Understand that you are learning and growing and it’s ok to make mistakes. Just let it go and start over!

Tail End of Winter 2019

By now if you have a friend living in a snow-covered city, you would have heard of how tired they are by now. Of the cold. Of the sun-less days. Of the dull winters. But I won’t repeat the same because even though this was one of my coldest winters EVER it was also the coziest, reflective time to enjoy the indoors. I enjoyed being indoors with books, tea, heated blanket. I can’t wait for the snow to melt and see little spuds peeking out. The coldest in Edmonton this year has been -46C!! With days starting to get longer and brighter in the mornings and time change just around the corner – spring is just around!

Here are a few pictures. Enjoy.

Hello October!

October has brought yellow leaves and colder winds with varying degrees of snowfall. Fall skipped this year when we woke up to a white thanksgiving morning. Our basement renovation is done 3/4 of the way and it’s a big relief that we will be moving our offices in the basement just shy of a month. As thanksgiving is a time of pausing and counting our blessings; I want to express my gratitude to my better half who not only supports me when I need him but is not hesitant to gently guide me when I stray away from following Christ. I hope you have a fantastic fall and as we get closer to Christmas and end of the year; let’s cherish the good we have in our life and this world. I will leave you here with some pictures I took on our trip to muttart.

The Joy of Being Rooted

Caspedia produces round flowers that can reach the size of a tennis ball. The flowers bloom almost all year in warm climates.

Being fully present these days is hard! There are many things seeking our attention. From what to eat, what to wear, and what to do to there is not enough time for XYZ. Nature, however reminds us that BEING ROOTED is the key to THRIVE. If you have seen a lone plant thriving amongst the dead ones, you know what I am talking about.

Throughout my journey of raising and then accidentally killing plants; a lot of them have actually thrived because I paused, observed and then adjusted either (a) their environment or (b) sunlight or (c) water or all.

If we are rooted in Christ and we still listen to the mindless chatter: negative self-talk & not believing in our capabilities then we are actually leaning away from light. However, if we adjust our thoughts, align them with our purpose of serving each other – we would truly thrive!

Moon at Muttart

Last week, we took one of our family members to Muttart. I am so glad we did because what greeted us in the #feature pyramid was this giant inflated moon. Truly spectacular!

The Museum of the Moon is created by U.K. artist Luke Jerram. The installation measures seven meters across and features 120-dots-per-inch imagery of the moon’s surface.

Each centimetre of the moon represents 5 kilometers of the moon’s surface and is based on NASA imagery.

 

How amazing is this sight!

 

 

Past week also brought SNOW ❄️ yes, it snowed here!

Seems like fall disappeared on us! Anyways, here is to a great week ahead.

Much love ❤️

Hello September!

We are closer to Christmas this side of the calendar and with temperatures dropped here in Edmonton, we are well into the fall! 🍁

Things have been on a roller coaster since we are getting our basement renovated; main floor is now full House with 4 adults(in laws here until October) and kid (part time) – combine that with our full time jobs from home + husband’s 2 aunts from UK arriving tomorrow for 8 days, I am pretty much on the edge going away on vacation myself. Sigh. But family company is we enjoy and long for when it’s just me and husberry in the winter. So this is THE perfect time to cherish family.

Plan of Action

So for the next 8 days, me, husband & kiddo are moving in to a family friends’ basement. Our offices are being moved to our unfinished basement. There is a lot of change and as much as I like my comfort nook and space, change stretches and helps me to grow.

Hope your last month was great and that you have a productive month ahead!

Flower Power

Everytime we go to a greenhouse to get a “specific plant” it’s never just one plant! I never had a green thumb – for years I killed indoor plants by either forgetting to water and then watering too much hoping that I’d redeem myself of the mistake. The following is our new haul of flowers – let’s hope I can keep them flowering by end of the season 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Adventures & Summer Update

Well, hello there! Hope you are enjoying this much warmer Spring in the praries. I’m popping in here to share our adventures in the past month and a half. We had pretty amazing two weeks of summer in India (where temperatures hovered anywhere from pleasant 17C to hot 37C) My parents had organized a get together to welcome Mr. Swytch into the family. I met a cousin whom i hadn’t seen for 20 years! And the best part, the garden was blooming with Dahlia’s! They are my favorite flower to photograph. We also went to the mountains for 2 day trip to Jasper mid-May and boy it was amazing! The majestic mountains always take my breath away!

Here are a few (or many) pictures so show you what I mean 🙂

blue sky with puffy clouds
On the way to Jasper

 

athabasca fall with blue sky and fluffy clouds
Athabasaca Fall

 

 

 

Jasper from top of Jasper tram

Plans ahead:

Mr. Swytch’s parents will be joining us this Friday for their 4-month stay with us and we plan to go to Banff at some point. Elk island and hikes along the river valley are also something that I want to do more of this summer. I haven’t gone back to workouts fully yet! It has been over a month since the surgery so far I’ve added long walks and biking but i really want to go back to HIIT workout.

Hope you have some amazing plans lined up for summer. I mention this because we Canadians hibernate in the long winter so this is perfect time to stretch some legs and explore 🙂

XoXo