Month: October 2014

On Living a Quiet Life

Life is about priorities.

My priorities consist of maintaining my mental health, my physical health, and being a good wife, dog mom, daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend. My life revolves around my family and friends. For the most part, it is a quiet life.

I live in a medium-sized city with my husband. We recently had to put our dog, who was an older mutt, to sleep, and are now fostering to adopt a new dog, another mutt from our humane society. Doing this has provided us with great happiness. My husband and I had been tentatively planning to go on a late honeymoon to Prague in December. Now that we have our dog Sasha, these plans are on hold. There are those who would judge us for putting these plans on hold.

We are choosing our priority here. For me, taking care of our new dog takes priority. We could have waited until after the trip to get a new dog, but we discussed it and decided waiting wasn’t something we wanted to do, and the trip could be postponed.

Honestly, travel stresses me out. I don’t like airports, I don’t like airplanes, I don’t like crowds or really big cities, as the two tend to go together, and at the end of a trip I am usually just desperate to get home. Staying at home and not traveling is much more appealing to me. Travel is a priority for some people, but it is just not something that is *super* important to me. I know that there is so much history and culture that I could be seeing, but I think there is value in staying at home and living your life quietly. Also, with the craziness of this year, living a quiet life for the last couple months of 2014 sounds pretty darn good.

There are many things about living a quiet life that are important to me.

Examples:

  • I find value in waking up every day and taking my dog for a long early morning walk, in all types of weather. I stomp through the puddles in my rain boots, bundle up in scarves, hats, mittens, and find great happiness and peace in those walks.
  • I find value in cooking healthy meals. Events in the past two years have led me to realize that your health is not something you take for granted, ever. I am not a very good cook, but I am definitely working on it, and that makes me happy.
  • I find value and peace in going to my weekly yoga class. I may make it to yoga more than once a week on occasion, but I schedule once weekly yoga to not put too much pressure on myself. I feel myself relaxing and letting go of any worries or troubles that have been plaguing me during the week.
  • I find value in learning about culture and different countries through watching videos and reading books. What a novel idea! (Ha ha, get it?)
  • I find value in enjoying the city where we live. It may not be a big city, it may not be a city that many people have heard of, but it is a city with a definite sense of community. Although I do not participate in the community as much as I would like, I know that I could, and I like living in a place where people care about what happens to the community.

The other thing that bothers me about people who judge those who don’t travel is this: travel is a luxury. Not everyone can afford it. I am lucky enough to have the means to be able to consider travel, but I don’t take that for granted and I certainly don’t think anyone is better than anyone else because they are ‘traveled’. For some people, travel is a priority. I respect that. Just for me it is not, and I reserve the right to be respected for that decision as well.

Quiet time at home is valuable, wonderful time. I am happy and know what makes me happy, and that is what matters.

Pumpkin Pumpkin Pumpkin! Give me all the Pumpkin!!

Crisp air, leaves on the ground, pumpkins decorating our homes and doorsteps, and most importantly, filling our bellies. I love Fall.

It’s funny that I say give me all the pumpkin, because usually I have a stockpile of canned pumpkin in my pantry at all times during the year, should a craving hit. I assumed my stockpile was intact, only to discover the other day that when I wanted to make a pumpkin spice smoothie, IT WAS ALL GONE! DISASTER!

I haven’t made a proper trip to the grocery store since this pumpkin disaster occurred, so i can only dream of the pumpkin flavoured foods I am going to make once I have those cans in hand.

If you want to get some ideas, check out my Pinterest board called Pumpkin Foods. Below are a few of the recipes I want to try:

Fall Skincare Essentials

It’s that time of year again, the time when the leaves start to change colour, the air begins to feel crisp, decorative gourds abound, and my skin starts to dry out like you WOULDN’T BELIEVE.

While I am unfortunately one of the many people out there who suffers from dry skin, I have found ways to combat the dryness, through much trial and error, and would like to share!!

Here are what I consider my absolute essentials, things that I either have repurchased, or will repurchase once I run out because I simply cannot live without them.

PicMonkey Collage moisture

(Clockwise from top left)

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion: This stuff is supposed to last 24 hours, and I think that claim holds up pretty well. After I take a shower I slather this all over my legs, the main problem area on my body, and I’m usually okay for the day. After I put it on my legs really do feel like they’ve calmed down and are soothed. Excellent stuff, I’m on my second tube.

The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Cream: I have gone through about four of these in the last 12 months. That will tell you how much I love it. It really sinks into the skin and feels good when you really rub it into your nails as well. It smells amazing and is just worth every penny.

Clinique Moisture Surge gel: In the dead of winter I put this on over the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, and use it about once a week as a five-minute mask, as they suggest it can also be used. I’ve repurchased this, but didn’t find myself using it in the summer. It’s waiting in reserve. It’s so light and feels cool and refreshing going on.

The Body Shop Body Butters: In the dead of winter you need to bring out the big guns. I went through about four of these bad boys last year. I take whatever scent I have lying around, which is usually a few as The Body Shop products are popular presents.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair: This is great for my eyes, I originally had a sample and I wasn’t going to repurchase, but then I started using other samples and they burned, dried my eyes out, so i figured I would return to what I know works, even if it is very expensive.

Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm: I use this at night, it keeps my lips moisturized overnight. It’s very thick and I feel like it takes the whole night to really sink in, I don’t like to use it during the day unless my lips are really chapped and suffering.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion: I love this because it’s so light, I have used this all summer as well as all winter underneath the moisture surge stuff. The only downside is that it doesn’t have SPF, but that makes it good for wearing under makeup if you are going to be photographed and want to avoid flashback.

These are the products I use, and love. There are others in my rotation but these are the ones that I’ve used for at least 12 months and can recommend with absolute certainty.

Introducing Sasha

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My husband Will and I had to say goodbye to our Basset Hound/Rottweiler mix Copper in September. We were absolutely devastated, but with the passing of a few weeks we knew we were ready to open our hearts and home to another puppy.

We went to our local humane society last week and met a few doggies, but fell in love with Sasha. She is a Rottweiler mix. We don’t know what her mix is – she’s very very skinny, and not broad like a Rottweiler at all. She is almost two years old and is very quiet, gentle, and well-behaved. She was with an owner before who taught her commands, so she knows things such as sit, stay, come, paw, high-five, down – very different from the poorly behaved, hard to train hound we had previously!

Sasha is with us as part of the foster-to-adopt program, as she is not yet spayed. Once the humane society has an appointment to spay her, they will call us, and we will take her in, the same day we will sign the paperwork to officially adopt her.

It has only been a few days but we are settling into a routine and I think we are going to be a very happy family of three! Life just isn’t the same without a doggie in it, and we are happy to have Sasha in our lives.