marie kondo spark joy tips
I haven’t exactly been quiet about my love for Marie Kondo’s latest book, “spark joy”. Quite the opposite. I’ve been bragging up “spark joy” every opportunity I get (you’d honestly think Ms. Kondo pays me… I assure you she does not -ha!).
I really wanted to spend time going through the book several times before sharing the key points that resonated the most with me. “spark joy” is very dense with information, so it took me a bit to really narrow it down (again why I recommend purchasing the book for yourself, because what speaks to me may not necessarily with you).

1. Purge by Category and Not by Room: Since sharing my KonMari journey, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people going through their own home purge/organization process. Most were following the KonMari method, but some were opting to do their own thing. For those that weren’t going with Ms Kondo’s method, they all seemed to prefer purging by room or area in their home, rather than by category as Marie suggests. In “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” it is made clear that the method involves purging by category, but no real reason for this is provided. “spark joy” confirms the reason, by making it clear that only when we really look at the volume of each particular category is it made obvious how much we should discard. A ha!

2. Purge First, Organize Later: If you’ve followed by journey, you know that this was a very vague area within “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and actually caused me a considerable amount of grief. Marie unfortunately didn’t make it clear whether purging should be done first, followed by organizing or if the two could be done simultaneously. In “spark joy” however Ms Kondo puts the debate to rest, confirming that purging is to be done first, and organizing second. Her reasoning is simply that if your home isn’t entirely purged first, you won’t know how things will be best stored and organized. Having only what you know you will being keeping with a lot more free space in your home, will make organizing a much easier task that you’ll only have to do once.




3. “For essential things that don’t bring joy, look at what they do for you”: The only hangup I’ve had when it comes to using the KonMari question of “does it spark joy?” as a measure of whether I should keep something, is when I was faced with tools and home cleaning supplies. Of course my broom doesn’t spark joy… but, what would I do without it? The reality that my broom aids in my housework and makes it easier to keep my floors clean, does spark joy.

4. Don’t Confuse Clutter for Rebound: Life is busy and sometimes we simply don’t have the time to keep our home clutter free; things build up and suddenly we find our house looks like a still shot from the show Hoarders. Fear not says Ms. Kondo if you’ve purged and gone through the home organization process then it’s simply a matter of putting back the things left out to their designated places and with a bit of effort everything is tidy again.

5. Grey Items: When it comes to purging, there are only two options: chuck it or keep it. However, sometimes it’s not that black and white and we’re undecided on what to do about  certain items. If you feel like you’re undecided, then don’t hide the item – display it and reflect on the ever important question of whether it “sparks joy” and then do what speaks to you. Hiding the idea away will delay the decision process.

6. Make Your Own Power Spot: Create an area in your home that is your mini sanctuary. If space allows, designate a room or a corner area for this purpose. If you find yourself unable to make a larger power spot, opt for something smaller like a corner on your kitchen counter. The purpose is to have an area for yourself that is strictly for enjoyment and will give you a “joyful” feeling every time you spend time in the space or look at the spot you’ve designed.

7. Keep Like Feeling and Similar Material Items Together: Materials create a feeling: metal for example feels industrial and sterile, while wood and fabric feel warm and inviting. Keeping this in mind, organize in likeness for the feeling you want to create in the space you’re organizing.

8. Marie Kondo’s 4 Storage Principals: 
1. Fold it
2. Stand it upright
3. Store it
4. Divide storage into square compartments




monthly goals february

Some months I really have to work to come up with my five goals, while months like this one, it’s very apparent to me what they should be. February’s five goals were made obvious through the month of January as I started the year off very focused on establishing my work and family life balance. I’m creating more content than every before and couldn’t be happier doing so; but with this comes more of a time commitment. The investment of both my time, resources, and the support of others deserves my full acknowledgement of being “work”. This is the focus on the first half of my goals. The second half, is concentrated on gratitude and acknowledging the beauty in those I’m blessed to have in my life. Oh, and water… always with the water.

Monthly Goals for February

1. Own What I Do: I naturally shy away completely avoid telling people what I do. I find it almost impossible to give myself the title of, “content creator” for a number of reasons. I worry people aren’t familiar with my line of work and it will require a lot of explanation. It causes me anxiety to think people will judge me and I always find myself justifying or convincing. It should be noted that no one has ever made me feel like what I do isn’t significant, it’s purely my own insecurities that hold me back from being able to confidently name my job. However, I recognize that I am far too committed and passionate about what I do to not fully embrace it. I will work this month on being much more vocal on naming my job.

2. Stop Making Excuses: Being a content creator takes far more time than I ever would have imagined. As I mentioned in my first goal, being able to produce content requires a large commitment of time that I will no longer apologize for. Again, this is my own hang up, but definitely one I need to get over (like yesterday).

3. Write Down a Simple Gratitude Everyday: A sunny day. My reliable vehicle. Healthy children. A strong community of supportive friends and family. A phone call from my Mum. My third goal this month is to give a moment of reflection at the end of each day in which I will pen down one thing I’m grateful for.

4. Recognize the Attributes in Others. My fourth goal involves letting others know the wonderful traits and qualities I see in them. It is so easy to think there is time, or worse, that others already know their strong suites, when neither is the case. Pointing out the attributes I admire in others will be made a priority.

5. Increase my Water Intake… I know, I know. Someday, friends.

konmari kitchen organization
I’ve only just recently recovered from how much work purging our kitchen was (seriously, how can such a seemingly small space hold so much stuff?!). Knowing I had to face the same space again and reorganize it all, had me stalling. If you find yourself feeling the way I was, fear not friends, I got through it and not only did I survive, I promise it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, having a strategy and keeping things simple made it almost fun (yes, really) to work through our home’s busiest space.

Using Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy as inspiration, and going with her key point of having your kitchen serve the purpose of encouraging you to want to cook, and having things stored in such a way that it’s easy to maintain tidiness, this is what I’ve come up with for an easy strategy for achieving an organized kitchen:

Step One: Get a Game Plan!
Spend time in your kitchen and really look at the way things are currently set up:
1. Take a good look at the different areas of space in your kitchen.
A. Are you making the best use of the “prime real-estate” storage spaces? Keep your most frequently used items in the most accessible spaces, while storing your infrequent things in the lesser preferred areas.
B. Is your kitchen set up in the most practical and efficient way? Look at the way you use your kitchen, where you prepare your food and drink and evaluate how you currently have things stored in relation this.
C. What can you change to make your kitchen work better? Play around with different ideas, until you come up with a solution that “clicks” and makes the most amount of sense.
2. If you’re struggling with establishing what changes need to be made, seek out help from someone else!

Step Two: Plan
Once you’ve determined what changes need to be made, it’s time to plan:
1. Measure (and measure again) all the different drawers and cupboards – include measurements for different configurations of how you can organize each space (buying ideal sized containers isn’t always possible, you may need to play around with layouts)
2. Take an inventory of all your staple food products and make a list of all the containers/jars you need to purchase
3. Bring container list and measuring tape to the store (Dollar stores are wonderful places to buy containers and storage solutions)
4. Buy containers in one colour to keep things looking uniform.

Step Three: Get to Work!
Now that you’ve planned and prepared, it’s time to organize!
1. Work in sections to avoid your whole kitchen being a disaster zone!
A. Pull everything out of the space you’re working in, clean the drawer/cupboard, insert organizational aids, and put food in storage containers.
B. Don’t be afraid to put like products in the same container to conserve storage space
C. Label jars/containers if necessary.
D. If needed, implement secondary kitchen storage (closet, hutch, etc.)




sparkjaymariekondo
Not to be too dramatic, but I have counted down the days in my planner to the circled January 5th release date of Marie’s Kondo, “spark joy”, for well over the last month. I had questions that only Ms. Kondo could answer and I hoped this companion book would finally shed some light on what I felt was vague or completely omitted in her first book, “The life changing magic of tidying up”. And friends, Marie Kondo, delivered.

Before I get into things, a disclaimer is only fair, I have not finished the book… yet. I wanted to share with you my first impression of “spark joy” because I’ve been asked my opinion of it, and specifically whether it’s worth purchasing. So, a full review is coming, but for now this is what I can share.

Buy the book! If you’ve started the KonMari method, I truly suggest purchasing this book now and when questions arise (as they likely will), refer to ‘Part One: KonMari Master Tips” as you’ll likely have your issues addressed in this section. Take it from someone who didn’t have this new book while going through the process, it will really help. If you’ve completed the purging portion of the method and are in what I call phase two of organizing, this book is going to sort out all the storage potential your home has to offer… with visual aids, hurrah! See, you need the book.

Though I haven’t read cover to cover yet, I have finished ‘Part One’ and flipped through the book enough times to confidently say, Marie Kondo has really revamped her delivery and overall writing style. Compared to the first book, which introduced the method, “spark joy” is much easier to follow; it’s detailed and specific, the drawings provide the perfect accompaniment to her descriptions which doesn’t leave room for confusion, and I love her  breakdown for home organization into almost every area of the house and category of items imaginable.

If you’ve had a chance to dive into “spark joy”, I’d love to know your thoughts please feel free to share!




 

great village nova scotia

 

Every once in awhile I find myself in a place that is exactly where I was meant to be. This was the case in early November when I packed up our two youngest children, met up with my Mum, and went for a gorgeous road trip to a place in Nova Scotia that is one of my favourites, Great Village.

Great Village is known for its quaint antique shops that make you feel as though you’ve truly been transported back in time. It’s intimate and a treasure trove for finding the most unique pieces (at reasonable prices!).

Though I love all the shops, Nesting Antiques has my heart. It’s owned by Rhenore Collins (whom you’ll hear the voice of towards the end of my video) and it’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever been. I could take everything in her shop home with me. From small pieces of coral, to old photographs, jewelry, Victorian clothing, and large furniture pieces Nesting Antiques is a time capsule of beautiful things time has been kind to.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was to find her store closed when we arrived. I knew she was inside, because a gentlemen told me he was speaking with her, but that she wasn’t opened for business. It was my Mum (thanks, Mum) who gave me the nudge to still knock on the door, and in the least, say hello to her and ask if there was another time I could come back. Rhenore graciously welcomed me into her shop and instantly I felt like I knew her forever (some people just have that way). She chatted about her love of treasures, living in a barn as a child and watching the barn swallows fly above her head as she fell asleep, she shared that as a little girl she carried little bits of things she found in a cigar box because it always made her feel like home to look at them… she touched my heart. Rhenore also afforded me as much time as I wanted to explore and film her shop so I could share it with you. My footage conveys my experience better than my words ever could, so please take a look:





nuts and bolts mix recipe I was SO looking forward to including this recipe with you all as part of my Christmas series, but things played out a bit differently this month (you can read about it here), and it just wasn’t possible to get this up… until now. Though I prepared this as Christmas gifts, the mix would still work wonderfully for New Years (or let’s be serious, any time of year)!
Before I jump into the goods, I have to give a big shoutout to a friend who kindly shared this recipe with me. After receiving this mix for a couple Christmases (and secretly hiding it in the back of the fridge from the rest of my family… totally serious), I just had to ask her if she wouldn’t mind sharing and she didn’t at all (woo hoo)!

Here it is:
CHRISTMAS NUTS & BOLTS

DRY INGREDIENTS:
-1 Box Chex cereal (equivalent to 4 cups or as desired)
-1 Box Cheerios (… 4 cups or as desired)
-1 Pkg Cheddar Cheese Bits n Bites mix
-1 Pkg Cheddar Goldfish crackers
-1 pkg Bugles
-Nuts as desired

SEASONING:
-3/4 cup oil
-3/4 cup melted butter
-1/2 tsp chives
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 tsp garlic
-1.5 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
-1/2 tsp celery salt
-1 tsp lemon pepper
-2 tbsp dill weed

DIRECTIONS:
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Combine dry ingredients in large roast pan
-Mix seasoning ingredients together
-Add seasoning mix to dry ingredients, combining until dry ingredients are covered
-Bake for 1.5 hours, stirring mixture every 15 minutes

ENJOY!
If you try this recipe, I’d love your feedback!



winter holly

Hello, friends!
As I’m sure you can relate, sometimes despite our best intentions, life becomes unpredictable and causes us to have to readjust, reevaluate, and simply take a step back. Such was the case for me recently. I shared on my YouTube channel a very candid video in which I spoke about what has been going on and the reasons for why I haven’t been posting as frequently as usual and as much as I had planned (specifically in my Christmas series). I know I have readers of my blog who don’t necessary watch my videos, or catch all of them, so I felt it was only appropriate to keep you guys in the loop and bring my blog up to speed too.

December has proven to be as busy and hectic as I’ve ever known, but not for the predictable reasons I’ve become accustom to during this time of the year. Mairi, our youngest child, was going through an epic teething spell that started at the beginning of the month. You guys, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before… constant crying/screeching, unconsolable discontent, and an overall miserable mood (which is not our Mairi). After about a week, my Mum instincts kicked in and I felt a visit to the doctor was required, so off we went, only to discover that she was dealing with a raging ear-infection. You can imagine how truly terrible and ill-equipped I felt as a parent. Since the diagnosis, it felt like a never ending issue – first 10-day round of antibiotics did very little, follow-up appointment confirmed this, second round of meds finally remedied her symptoms and after more than two weeks, she was herself again – hurrah! Unfortunately this also coincided with the death of three close family members on my side, passing away within six days of each other. During this time our washing machine broke and we had family visit and stay with us from Australia. All around busy, mentally draining, and tiring.

I’m sure based on the above, you can appreciate why I simply couldn’t manage everything on the home front while also trying to keep up with posting both on my YouTube channel and blog. I had a lot planned that I was excited to share, and simply couldn’t. Such is life, less than ideal, but a very common occurrence… or so I’m learning.

With Christmas in two days, I’m still aiming to share with you as much as I can, but it will posted on my blog instead of both in video and written form. I want to make sure that in the least, I share with you the recipes I had planned, because even if you’re unable to whip them up in the next couple of days – you’ll be able to save them for the future.

On a very personal note, I want to thank each of you who have offered support and understanding during this trying time. Your encouragement has meant more to me than I can convey. You guys are the very best!

giftguideheader

 

I love giving a gift that I know to be practical in that it will be enjoyed and used. Putting together a “be good to me” present is simple, but sure to be appreciated because it involves curating products that are little luxuries that not everyone always buys for themselves. Gifting someone a present that encourages the recipient to make “me time” and/or is an item that will be fun to display or wear is the most thoughtful way to give a heartfelt gift.

I’ve put together my own “Be good to me” present of all the little treasures I enjoy and am confident others will as well. A full breakdown can be found below!

 

gift guide giveaway

Products listed above:
1. Lush Star Dust Bath Bomb
2. EcoTools Spa Moisture Bamboo Socks (Canadian link)
3. Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub
4. Krystal Acker “Love you more than coffee” Print
Krystal Acker is a Nova Scotia based graphic designer, artist, and illustrator. You can see
more of Krystal’s amazing designs here: Facebook Instagram Twitter
5, Skin Fix Lip Repair Balm:
6. Bath & Body Works be Joyful body cream
7. Newfoundland Chocolate Company Yes B’y Sea Salt & Caramel Milk Chocolate bar
8. Little Lovelies Swarovski crystal pearl and aurora borealis crystal bracelet
Lorraine is the creator behind the Little Lovelies Jewelry business. She has perfected the
craftsmanship of jewelry making to incorporate custom designs, including family heirloom
pieces. You can take a look at more of the beautiful jewelry line here: Facebook
9. Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel hand cream
10. Life at Home (Loblaws) Spiced Apple candle: No link available
11. Milani Color Statement nailpolish in Pink Blush (31):
12. True Brit Earl Grey tea: No link available
13. Simply Gorgeous Naturals eye makeup remover set
Simply Gorgeous Naturals is a line of products I am so happy to have discovered. Emily is the creator of the business which offers a wide variety, of naturally derived, body care products that are produced in Nova Scotia. Find out more about the Simply Gorgeous line by checking out: Facebook Etsy

To hear what my thoughts on each of the above mentioned items, please check out my coordinating video (which you know to be chatty!):

 

entergiveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway

Going by the feedback I received, my ‘KonMari Inspired’ How to Shop for Children at Christmas video (below) and blog post proved helpful to a lot of you who have little ones on your shopping list this holiday season. Should you wish to pin or save this image for your reference, I thought I’d elaborate on the original post and include examples. Share away, friends! Oh, and a lot of you mentioned that you’ll be using this strategy for others, not just children, and I think that’s brilliant!

Christmas Shopping for Children How to

 

Morgan Webb Photography for the win… again!
You guys know how much we love our fall family photos (you can view them here) and the overall experience we had working with Morgan; so when the opportunity came to get the kids booked in for Morgan’s holiday mini sessions, well clearly… I can’t even handle these photos, I adore them so much!
The whole shoot took about 20 minutes and will make for our cutest Christmas cards yet… which I need to order. Now!

In addition to very cute cards, these photos are also going to double as decor! Since going through all our seasonal decorations, as part of the KonMari process, I purged way more decorations than I thought I had, and was a bit shocked at how few Christmas items we have left. I won’t buy for the sake of buying just to make our home feel festive, so instead I’m going to fin-ally buy some photo ledges and set up a Christmas gallery wall which I think will be the perfect show piece for these pictures and really add to the holiday feel in our home. Win/win!

The photos ledges I’m purchasing are the ‘Mosslanda’ 115cm in white.

Mosslanda

I’ll do an updated post to show you how it comes together (hopefully this Christmas, not next – ha!).

december monthly goals

 

December… can you even believe it?!

November, though it didn’t even seem long enough to count as a month, proved to be quite successful as far as my monthly goals are concerned. We won’t get into the specifics regarding how I faired out with walking and drinking more water, suffice is to say, they’ve been put on the list for December (perhaps 2016 will be my year to finally get it together in the way of making these two goals happen). I had TWO outings with friends; one was a dinner with girlfriends and the other I was able to visit with a friend who moved away over the summer and another friend joined us as well. Both were so lovely and proved very beneficial in terms of just getting out and having some fun. Rob and I managed a dinner date, where we purposely tucked our phones out of reach and just enjoyed each other’s company. It’s important to reconnect and check in with one another. I did a couple “me” things, though I know I could have squeezed in more, I was overall pleased with myself in prioritizing time to do simple little things like paint my nails a couple of times over the month (it’s the little things, right?).

For this final month of 2015 (still, how is this possible?!) these are the five goals I will be focusing on accomplishing:

1. More water: This month I’m going to post a visual reminder on the kitchen cupboard that house our glasses and hopefully this will help (fingers crossed).
2. More walks! As the colder weather settles in, it becomes even more of a challenge to bundle up and get myself outside… perhaps I need to find an alternative form of exercise for the winter (or just get over myself and deal with the fact that I’m Canadian – ha).
3. Don’t stress and enjoy the season of Christmas: Easier said than done given my personality, but this is a goal very much worth my effort and attention. Pacing myself and keeping to a schedule has made me feel less anxious than previous years, so I think I’m putting myself in a good position for achieving this goal.
4. Let friends know I care about them: Though my absence can sometimes seem like I’m aloof, I’m not and I want to let those in my life that have patiently taken a backseat to everything I’ve piled in the passenger (how’s that for a metaphor), know that I care about them.
5. Be mindful about my snacking: Put down the chips/chocolate/candy! Or at least not be reaching for them as much as I have been lately (I swear my body goes into hibernation mode this time of year).

So, that’s it, reasonable and meaningful goals to wrap-up 2015 and start focusing on 2016. What are some of the goals you’ll be working on this month? If you care to share, I’d love to hear – please feel free to leave a comment below.

konmarichristmasshopping

If you’ve followed my KonMari series, on my YouTube channel, I’ve spoken a lot about how much this method has changed the way I shop. I am much more aware and intentional about what and how I purchase. With this shift in how I buy, Christmas naturally will be very different than it was in the past; basically no more buying for the sake of buying! I came across a very neat concept that I’ve elaborated on and this is what I will be following as my shopping outline for our three children this year. It’s simple, purposeful, and a great balance of “want”, “neat”, and “meaningful”!

Something they WANT: This category is for the fun present, the one they’ve circled in the Wish Book and have written to Santa about. I do suggest waiting to buy this gift until closer to Christmas. Children tend to change their minds on what they’re hoping for on an almost daily/weekly basis (or at least mine do); to avoid having to return a gift bought months in advance, wait until children are certain they know what they want under the tree.

Something they NEED: This is a great opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone” (such a terrible sounding expression, but you know what I mean). Something that you likely would have had to purchase anyways wrapped up and given as a present (aren’t you the clever parent). New piece of sports gear, hobby equipment, etc.

Something to WEAR: This will likely be more applicable to older children that perhaps want a piece of name brand attire or more expensive clothing than is usually bought. I always include fun socks, a neat hat, or some other piece of clothing accessory that has them excited. Again, win/win!

Something to READ: We’re huge into books (you all saw the proof during my book purge), and we include two books during Christmas. One is enjoyed Christmas eve as a holiday themed family book and a smaller one is given to each child in their stocking.

Something to DO: I added this category, because not all gifts need to be tangible. It’s fun to include a present that allows for an outing such as: a movie date, trip to the museum, fun manicure, etc. If your children are still a bit young to be impressed with a gift certificate, include some pictures for them to visually see what the activity will be.

Something for ME: This is my favourite category as it’s something that will last for years, possibly a lifetime. Something made or reflective of the past year, or the child. An ornament, a photo album (using online sites is so great for these), a piece of art, jewelry, etc.

For FAMILY: A gift for everyone to enjoy together. Some suggestions include: a board game, a family outing, game consoles, even a larger item even like a new TV, etc. I hope this list offers you some guidance in how to streamline your gift buying this year and inspires you to buy a bit more intentionally for the children in your life. Check out my corresponding video on this below:

As mentioned in my video, Krystal Acker has partnered with me on two awesome giveaways. You can enter both below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway will be open internationally and I will email the winner directly.

Krystal Acker is an amazingly talented graphic designer, illustrator, and artist from Kentville, Nova Scotia. She works with businesses in creating the design of their brand and creates wonderful prints and customizable art. Krystal’s authenticity is very evident in her pieces and it’s not hard to tell she invests and is passionate about her work. Krystal can be found at the following places:
Facebook
Website
Instagram

Family Fall photos Blogger Headshot

Last evening was an exercise in owning my truth and passion, and it was huge for me. Let me fill you in. On a whim, I reached out to a friend who is an entrepreneur and owns her own business to see if she wanted to attend a local women’s networking event with a very known speaker who works in the field of promoting and encouraging women’s leadership. Based on the event write-up, it seemed like something I would benefit from on a business level. If my friend wasn’t up for joining me, I would have given into my insecurities and more than likely not have attended (personal fail number one). Thankfully, she had also heard of the event and was game. So, we showed up, chatted with one another, and waited for the talk to begin. After the guest speaker’s introduction was given, it was announced that we would each stand up and give a 30 second “pitch” on who we are and what we do. Regardless of knowing how insightful the presentation would be, or really anything else about the evening, had I of been privy to this activity in public speaking, I wouldn’t have attended (personal fail number two). I don’t like speaking in a group; I’m neither comfortable nor confident when all eyes are on me, but that’s not the reason I was scared (truthfully almost petrified). The real reason is that I knew I would have to stand in front of this group of successful, skilled, professional women and tell them my pitch, “I’m in the infantile stages of being a YouTuber with a coordinating blog” and the idea of that had my heart beating so fast I could physically feel and hear it. Sitting there waiting for my turn, I felt awkward, intimated, and beyond insecure. I wanted to leave, but I didn’t.

Half the group had their turn and then it was mine. I don’t really remember what words quivered out of my mouth, but I was honest in sharing my short summary of who I am and what I do. I wanted to cry, because while I feel more fulfilled than ever by what I do, owning it still isn’t easy. I continually stumble over a job title and the little voice in my head, which isn’t exactly quiet, always questions “will people chuckle when I tell them?”, “what do people really think behind my back?”, “what will be thought of and said about me if this endeavour doesn’t work?”. I’ve reinvented myself so many times already in my life, I’ve started and walked away from just a few business pursuits and I think that’s in part the reason for my unsettlement, my insecurity. I think another, and perhaps the main reason, is that I’m putting myself out there in such a vulnerable way, and despite how “natural” some have thought this to be for me, I assure you it is not.

Okay, back to the evening… So, I said my pitch and sat quietly mortified until we were welcomed to mingle again. I turned to my friend, expecting we’d just continue our conversation, when several women came over to ask about what I do. Some knew about me (um, what?) while others wanted to be filled in. They were intrigued, excited, and supportive. I wasn’t prepared for this. It’s not that I haven’t received support from family and friends, quite the opposite, but in a room full of established women with big titles and amazing success stories, I didn’t expect such reception towards my “unique” job. That encouragement alone made showing up for the event well worth it; but then during the talk this revelation was expanded upon and really affirmed for me my calling and moreover, working towards confidentally owning it.

So, this is the take away, this is what I want to convey to you. Self evaluate whatever is holding you back from really claiming your own title and following your passion; both confidentially and without apology. Is the fear of failure and worrying what others may think worth the cost of not being true to you and honouring your passion and truth?  It’s easy to live in the quiet of your inner voice, it’s safe there, but it’s not honest nor productive. When you force yourself to stand, even if you find your legs shaking, and own your title/passion/opinion it’s incredible the shift in your sense of self. You’re also likely to find that the reasons for doubt have no substance and live merely in the insecurity of your own mind. Being brave and stepping outside of your own comfort is the only way things really happen. When you take the leap of faith, when you step outside of what feels safe and (cliche as it may sound) believe in yourself, you establish the foundation for growth and allow possibility. Like last night for me, this is not easy. I would have been fine to have said any of the other women’s titles as my own, but that’s not who I am. Who I am is a work in progress; I’m being brave in trying something unconventional and there’s a lot of potential in that (how exciting and liberating)!

I share, because it’s cathartic for me to express myself. Sometimes it’s lighthearted and other times my musings are likely more suited for a personal diary; but either way, should my  sentiment be meaningful to you, I hope you find encouragement in my story. If you’re one of the lucky ones that live a fully-balanced life of following your passions and callings, please offer your support to those following behind – we need it!