Who Needs Resolutions

I tend to be the type of person who does not make resolutions for the new year. They stress me out. I do, however, usually create goals plans for the coming year. It’s less stressful because it’s less “I NEED to do this” and more “I WANT” to do this.

For 2018 I have created some plans, and even a couple of goals. One of which has already been achieved. (That will be a separate blog post in the near future.) I noticed something interesting this year though.

A little history first: Late last year, I transitioned from bullet journaling to an actual planner. The Happy Planner by Me and My Big Ideas has become my planner of choice. It’s more fun and a lot less stressful for me because I don’t have to worry about creating a new spread every single week. With my planner, I can just write down what I need to and I can jazz it up with colour and stickers as much or as little as I want. It’s working beautifully for me.

And now, back to the interesting thing I noticed: Since I joined the online planner community I have seen the intriguing trend of choosing WORDS to live by in the new year. I think this is such a fun idea. You can choose your words and live by them in whatever way works best for you. I decided to jump on board with this trend. Why the heck not, right?

I have chosen three words for 2018:


2018 is the year of taking care of myself. This is the year of focusing on my personal creative endeavours, of taking care of myself both mentally and physically in every way possible, and learning to truly love and accept myself completely for who I am. I feel good about this. I think this will be a great approach to the year.


An Absentee Blogger Ringing in the New Year

The final three months of 2017 were a bit of a whirlwind. A lot of reflection took place, some changes in priorities as well, but mainly, a very sick kitty took up a lot of my time and money.

On top of that, my mental health has been a treat to deal with this year, and the holidays kicked my ass.

But let’s take a quick look at what my 2017 was like. As always, there were many ups and downs, and several changes that took place. It was a hard year, not unlike any other though.

The Ups:

  • My low key board gaming 31st birthday party was awesome
  • Huxley joined the fam
  • I was able to attend my cousin’s wedding in Manitoba and see a lot of family we don’t get to see around here near often enough
  • I took my first proper vacation in almost a decade!
  • I met the Internet-friend who has been a solid place in my life for the past year and a bit in real life
  • Tobi finally reached a healthy weight
  • I was promoted at work

The Downs:

  • I didn’t pay down much in terms of debt
  • No savings
  • Huxley had to make 2 trips to the vet in 2 months and cost me a lot of money
  • My mental health took a hard tumble in the fall, though things are better now

The ups far outnumber the downs for what may very well be the first time ever. Aside from witnessing the state of politics down in the United States, I can say that it was not a bad year.

There were a few changes that took place in 2017 for me personally as well. They were more mindset shifts than anything else. The first was that I decided to sell my DSLR camera. As much as I love photography, I just couldn’t keep a piece of tech like that around making me feel guilty for not using it. Ultimately, I made the decision to sell it and focus more on writing than on photography. The second change, also a mindset shift, was regarding future plans. New rules have been put in place that make it much more difficult for someone like me to get a mortgage. I’ve decided instead to focus on enjoying life and making it easier on myself as much as possible. I still love my apartment, and I don’t think I will grow out of it any time soon, so I will be sticking around here a good while. The other major change was Huxley joining our family back in February. He has been such a joy and I love him so much. I can’t imagine home without him!

I learned a few new things about myself as well. I learned that the state of my mental health has a huge effect on my every day life including managing important things like my finances. In light of this, I have come to understand that self-care needs to be a very important part of my life. My plans for 2018 encompass this. Those plans include a strong focus on taking care of myself first and foremost – the ways I intend to do this include fostering creativity as much as possible, working on self-love, and making sure self-care is a part of my daily routine. My other more “practical” plans include paying down as much debt as I reasonably can, saving $1000 and keeping it saved, and the big one: BUYING A CAR! It will be a significant added expense, but it will pay for itself by making my life significantly easier as well. I’m almost 32, and as much as I don’t love driving, I’m ready to not have to struggle to travel around the city or make arrangements to visit friends in the next town over weeks in advance! It is something that will make a huge different in my quality of life on a daily basis. I call that worth it!

So here’s to a happy and healthy 2018 to all of my friends, family and readers.

100 Things I Love Part 5: 81-100

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best in 2017. I am feeling a lot of positivity about this coming year and am looking forward to seeing what it brings. In the meantime, I bring you the last installment of my little self-care project. 100 Things I Love, has been really uplifting, and I have found that I have generally been able to keep a more positive attitude versus before. I am calling this self-care project a success!

  1. Watching my friends’ and my sisters’ kids grow up
  2. A freshly tidied space
  3. Scented candles that smell like baked goods
  4. Breakfast
  5. Scarves – I hate having a cold neck!
  6. A nice hot bath
  7. That I can take medication to help manage my depression
  8. Super hero movies
  9. My antique desk
  10. Being able to play PC games again (It’s been years.)
  11. Organizing my clutter
  12. Coming home after time away
  13. Sleeping in my bed after I’ve been away for a night or two – it really feels amazing
  14. Being able to drink tea from a travel mug!
  15. A sense of accomplishment at the end of the work day
  16. Writing when I can; when I feel inspired (however rare it may be)
  17. Curling up in bed right before I fall asleep when I am good and tired
  18. Fresh starts
  19. The amazing friends I have in my life
  20. Coming up with this list

And there you have it. 100 things I love, complete.

2016 was a heck of a year. There were a lot of changes, and a lot of things that stayed the same. I started a new job, and as a result I made an amazing new friend. The new job also resulted in working at the first job I’ve ever felt appreciated and respected. She is truly wonderful. I finally started loving living alone, and that has resulted in being able to focus on things I wasn’t able to before. My best friend moved across the country. I am thankful however, that we are able to keep in touch thanks to Apple! I had a health scare with Tobi, but we weathered it and she is healthy now, aside from the continuous issues she has had to deal with for most of her life.

I have big plans for 2017 though. I plan to travel! I plan to meet people! I will be starting my house savings. I will be improving things around my apartment, a plan for which has already been set in motion. I will be taking better care of myself and my health as well. I have many goals I have set out to accomplish. I am excited for these things, and will of course be sharing what I can.

Happy New Year!

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

Oh boy what a year 2015 was. Many changes took place, and I think things got better in many ways through the year.

The first of those things being how I spent my holiday season. I was able to spend it where I wanted, with my family. I attended the traditional Christmas Eve gathering at my Grandma’s house for the first time in probably five years. I stayed overnight at her house and helped her cook Christmas Dinner.img_2006 We played some pretty rad board games with some “healthy” competition to boot. On Boxing Day, my sister and I had Christmas dinner with my dad. I also watched my sister get a bit emotional over her gift from Dad. Also, Boxing Day included a morning of colouring with my sisterimg_2019and an evening of Magic: The Gathering and wine. After the Christmas rush, I had a gift exchange with another good friend. I made her a scarf, and she gave me a collection of Classic Doctor Who novelsimg_2030! Super geeky and awesome! The 28th brought a day of yarn shopping, kombucha brewing and home improvements, and the evening a img_2046Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie date with my step-sister Nikki. It was a really good Christmas this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Now for all of those changes and lessons that happened in 2015… There were a lot of them! Let’s look at a few of the changes, and the things I’ve learned. Here’s a little summary:

  • I became single.
  • I started living along – for the first time ever.
  • I’m much more happy than I was, though I still have a ways to go.
  • My cat is happier, less stressed and less anxious.
  • less stressed and less anxious.
  • I started learning how to manage my money on my own – it’s tricky sometimes!
  • I started reconnecting with friends, forging new connections – being more social in general.
  • I started to put myself and my happiness first, rather than that of others
  • I fully embraced my geek.
  • I started learning (however slowly) how to be me and how to not allow others to define me and who I am as a person.
  • I learned that only I am responsible for my happiness and the direction my life goes.
  • I learned that only I know what’s best for me.
  • I  made huge strides in coping with my anxiety and depression, thanks to my therapist’s help (even though I do still have some really bad days).
  • I started learning how to stand up for myself.

This is not an exhaustive list of what I learned and what changed, but it is a pretty comprehensive one. I experienced a lot of personal growth, not without the help of friends and family. I even spent my New Year’s Eve with friends and some pretty cute kids. Today, on New Year’s Day, I am looking forward to what 2016 will bring for me.

I was a little bit cliché this year and I came up with a small list of goals I want to accomplish in 2016. As always, I refuse to call them resolutions, it just seems so lame when I do . Anyways, this is THAT list:

  • Be kind to myself, stop holding myself up to the ridiculous double standard I have up to this point.
  • Get properly healthy. E.g. eat better, make use of my gym membership, generally be more active
  • Break some bad habits.

Since I moved into my new place and settled in, I’ve developed a few bad habit and kept up with some old ones. They include leaving the dishes for days, sitting and not getting things done that need doing, and riding the bus to avoid walking. These all easily remedied if I set my mind to it, and I finally have. Motivation is key and this year I hope I have found it in a way that I never have before. Here’s to 2016 and being successful in my goals, and you in yours!

Happy New Year!

A Year of Firsts and Learning

The new year brings many things for many people: fresh starts for some, and new plans and goals for others. Some of the take the form of the “New Year’s Resolution”. The resolution isn’t really my thing. I think it is to much of a cliché to even bother with. But I DO tend to make new plans and create new goals for myself. Sometimes they have to do with things I want, things I want to do, or slightly more abstract things like self-improvement. I’m not really on for things like getting healthy and losing weight. I feel like these are things I work on anyway, however slow the process. I like to make my plans and goals a little more specific… Or a lot more in some cases.

Here is a snapshot of the kinds of plans and goals I have been making for 2015. As the title of this post states, they have themes of learning and firsts, sometimes both together.

Attend Rib fest
Attend a play during the Fringe Festival
Get the tomato situation right in my garden
Submit a photo to an online collective
Go for a hike at the Fanshawe Conservation Area

Learn to crochet
Take a writing course
Learn to balance my hobbies, start stitching again
Take full control of how I live my life

I chose these ‘firsts’ because I want to try new things. I played things a little too safe last year, and I have the goal of changing that this year. My main goal is to be a little more adventurous and open to new things this year. I spent much of last year hiding from life, and just don’t think that’s an option this year. These plans help me to accomplish this goal, as they are all things that are completely new to me. I’ve been to local festivals but never Rib fest. We strolled through last year but never participated. I’ve always wanted to see a live play here in my city and I think Fringe is the perfect opportunity. In four years, I’ve yet to grow a successful tomato. That will happen this year. I kind of pot my photography practice on hold late last year, but I intend to pick it back up and put my work out there, and I thought submitting an image to The Broken Light Collective is the perfect way to start. Finally, I’ve never been on a proper hike and I’ve never been to the Fanshawe Conservation Area. I want to spend more time outside. BOOM. Two firsts in one!

Through 2014, I discovered how much I was actually missing learning. Learning in all forms. I decided to start learning again. I started last year by taking an online comic books course. I am continuing this year with the learning trend. I need to keep my mind busy! Starting January 12, Jay and I see taking an online course together in astrobiology. I’m excited as I think it will be very interesting. Jay is excited for it as well. For myself though, I have set up a few more plans for learning some new stuff. As I love writing, but don’t think I write all that week, I plan to take a writing course. Improving my writing skills, even if just technically, can only help me! I also have a friend who is going to teach me to crochet. She is always making beautiful things and I want in on that! I’ve actually featured some of her work here on the blog. As much sad I love and miss stitching, I have this urge to learn to make things that can really be useful. I love a good snuggly blanket, and that will be the ultimate goal in learning to crochet. My last two learning plans fall more under the self-improvement category and are therefore a little more abstract at first glance. For me though, they are quite specific. I want to learn to balance my hobbies. I find myself getting overwhelmed trying to do too many things at once, and this year I plan to finally get that under control. Lastly, I plan to take full control of how I live my life. I worry way to much about what others think of me and how/why I do things. This year will be the year of me focusing on being happy with myself, and not showing other people’s thoughts, actions or words dictate how I feel or act. Thus will be huge for me as I really do with far too much about others opinions of me and not nearly enough about my own opinions of myself.

I think 2015 will be a year of personal growth and expansion of my perspectives. It can only be a good thing for me to make these happen and I think I need for them to happen. I am looking forward to learning more about my changing self and sharing my journey and new experiences with Jay. He is so supportive. Much more than I give him credit for. And I love him so much for it. Moving forward together in this new year will be exciting.

The New Year Begins with a Bang

Hello 2015,

You haven’t gotten off to too bad of a start this year. At least I’m not complaining about it yet!

Already, things have been quite busy. This past week has been an overhaul of all of our home tech. Computers cleaned up, dying storage hard drives replaced, computers repaired… It has definitely been productive. And to think, it all started by accident!

My mom brought over one of her laptops saying it was running slow, adding if we could refresh it a bit, get it running better. Jay looked at it, being great with that kind of stuff, and discovered the hard drive was dying. He first aided it, and was able to save it for the time being. In the meantime, we discovered that one of our own hard drives was on the brink of death. This turned into a frenzy of backing up data and the like (which is never a bad thing)!

So our ailing hard drive was replaced, and my mom’s computer saved. That left our own computers. We have several in the house, as it is kind of a hobby of Jay’s. It’s convenient when weeks like this happen. Jay installed a Windows 10 preview on a netbook (it’s pretty nice!), dual booted the other with Android, and cleaned up the desktop on his main computer. Awesome, right!? And then there was mine…

There have been storage concerns with my computer for awhile, and it has been running progressively more sluggish over the last while. These storage issues were to the extent of not being able to figure our where approximately 100GB of my used storage was being used! It’s a treat though because you see, my computer is a Macbook Pro running Windows. It has been dual booted with Mac OS X and Windows for the last three years because Mac OS X and I had some disagreements… Several in fact. Anyway, my computer got a complete refresh. Fresh install of Mac OS and fresh install of Windows. It’s running quite nicely now…and guess what! No more storage issues! Turns out a few other things were broken as well…minor things like my headphone jack not lighting up like it’s supposed to, and my Bluetooth not working. These were things I didn’t even know were broken. But they are working now, and my computer is running quite nicely. It will be ready for some blogging in no time (yes, I’m writing this from the app on my phone). I already miss blogging from my PC!

So how’s that for a fresh start in the new year? Our computers our all working as they should again!

I should also add that after a very warm and green Christmas, the winter weather has arrived. Time to bundle up!

So, 2013 Happened

And what a year it was. I’m not sorry to see it go, either. It definitely was not the easiest year. We had our fair share of struggles and issues to deal with. I am optimistic that 2014 will be a much better year. We have high hopes and are looking forward to positive change in the New Year.

I looked back on the goals I set for myself 2013 and I found that I didn’t accomplish as much as I had hoped. In keeping with my re-discovered positive attitude though, I have just added those goals I didn’t accomplish in the past year to the list for the upcoming New Year… There are only a few hours left, you know!

I also looked back on my finishes from 2013. I have a few, but again, not as many as I had expected or hoped. I won’t dwell on this. Again, I will just look forward to accomplishing more of what I set out to do in 2014.

As I mentioned just a couple paragraphs ago, I made my list of goals and things I plan to do or accomplish in 2014. I don’t make resolutions, I feel like resolutions are always always always broken. I feel like if I just make them plans and goals then there are no resolutions to be broken. If I don’t accomplish them all there is no reason for me to feel guilty about it as I would if I had made actually resolutions. This list is a bit longer than the last year’s list but I think this coming year will be the year for accomplishing things. Because  I’m not really too worried about the long list. So here goes…:


  • Read 35 books in 2014 – I set a goal of 40 books in 2013 and only read 27. I thought maybe decreasing the goal a little bit was pertinent.


  • FINISH THE VINTAGE COLT – this was on my list for this past year, and it obviously didn’t happen…
  • Stitch on linen/evenweave – this was also on the list for 2013, also didn’t happen


  • Continue learning Photoshop – I learned a lot in 2013, but I have also learned that there is always more to learn!
  • Learn to use flash – I would like to do a bit more indoor photography and I think this would help me out a lot
  • Invest in a tripod
  • Print some of my best photos and have them framed and put on display in the apartment
  • Complete a photo project or two – I have a few ideas!


  • Keep tomato alive! – my tomato died again this season
  • Keep lettuce from bolting – my lettuce bolted again
  • Apply the lessons I have learned in years 1 & 2 of the balcony garden – there was lots learned, hopefully the 2014 season will be the best season yet!
  • Learn how to start tomatoes from seed and do it
  • Use the window boxes we purchased late last season – I’m thinking some nice flowers!
  • Get a stand for the second lettuce pot
  • Build a new garden stand to replace the rickety one I currently have – I’m thinking of building it out of cedar, both beautiful and durable
  • Grow one less container of green onions


  • Post more regularly – posting in 2013 kind of fell to the wayside and I hope to remedy that in 2014
  • Research self-hosting and decide whether or not I will start to self-host this blog
  • Create some new blog series – resurrect finishes around the house and possibly add some new ones


  • Continue the process of getting healthy and getting my health under control
  • Try some more crafting
  • Do more around the city – there are always things to do, and I want to do more of them!

I put this list on the blog for a couple of reasons.  1 – it makes for a great year-end/beginning of year blog post and 2 – it gives me a really easy way to look back at what I set out for myself to do in the year. It’s win-win really. I hope everyone has an excellent new year’s celebration and I wish nothing but the best for all of my readers in 2014.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2012

The new year has arrived. 2012 is here. I am ready for the fresh start I actually feel like is happening this year. I am ready for things to get better. I am ready to do what it takes to make things better. My optimism is returning (unusual that it had disappeared, as I tend to be the eternal optimist if you speak to my friends).

New Year’s Eve was lovely though. My boyfriend worked until 8, and as we are housesitting for some friends, he stopped at their house to check things and take care of their cats, and then we met downtown, taking advantage of the free buses. From there we walked to Victoria Park to see what kind of festivities were taking place. They included some local teen bands and skating and free hot chocolate. We ourselves braved the lineup at William’s to get a real coffee and made it back in time to see the fireworks that were set off from City Hall. It was fun, if boring to some people. But my boyfriend and I are no means partiers anymore. We were quite content to just spend the time together and enjoy each other’s company. I am looking forward to the opportunity to do more things like that together as I really enjoyed the change in scenery. I am thinking that the evening bodes well for this new year.

Being in a cliche sort of mood, I have come up with a few New Year’s resolutions… (lame, I know):

1) finish reading all the book series I have started (currently at 3: A Song of Ice and Fire, the Earth’s Children, and the Hunger Games Trilogy – a total of 11 books, though I do hope to read more than that!)

2) continue on with my new health routine that has kind of fallen to the wayside during the holidays

3) find a (preferably) permanent job that I enjoy

4) cross-stitch up a storm! (and try some new more detailed charts)

I figure these resolutions aren’t too outrageous and I think I will enjoy them… aside from the actual looking for the job of course… that is a job in itself! But the end result will be worth it.

And so ends my first 2012 post. Again, Happy New Year!


Out with 2011

It’s New Year’s Eve folks. The end of 2011 is nigh. I for one, am happy to see it go.

It has been a rough year. My problems this year pale in comparison to some of the trials of one of my best friends, but nevertheless it was very difficult and trying for me. The latest blow of course, was losing my job earlier this month. It was just kind of the icing on the cake to be in the exact same position I was in this time last year. I was hoping to have progressed somewhere. I guess at least I still have a roof over my head, a fantastic boyfriend and my cats who know just what to do when I am feeling down. I have nice things. I have a great family and some amazing friends.

That being said, I am hoping that 2012 brings bigger and better things for myself, my lovely friends who have been there for me throughout this year, as well as everyone else. Trying not to be too cliche… but all the best in the New Year.