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Summer In Style

Summer In Style

It’s finally summer! As the temperature rises, it’s the best time to get outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun in your skin. We’re bidding goodbye to layers and saying hello to light fabrics and accessories that are perfect for the warm weather.

Whether you’re enjoying a day at the beach, spending an afternoon at the farmer’s market, meeting your friends for brunch, or jamming at a summer festival, it’s always great to make a statement with ethical clothing and accessories.

Start sorting your summer wardrobe with these fashion must-haves!

BRIGHT ACCESSORIES

A pop of color can instantly brighten your day. Adding bright colors and playful patterns to your outfit will surely help you sport a summer-ready look. Don’t be afraid to go for bold and bright accessories. We’re thinking bracelets, earrings, and necklaces in bold colors like yellow, teal, and pink!

 Sunny Necklace

Sunny Necklace. Shop Here.

Summer Love. Shop Here.

SUMMER DRESSES

It’s the season for light, flowy and breezy dresses. When temperatures are soaring, it’s best to opt for cool fabrics and an open neckline. We love summer dresses because they’re easy to wear, doesn’t make you feel constricted, and also comfortable enough for the heat.

These dresses are also perfect for strolling outdoors or as a cover-up over your swimsuit. And the best part is they’re also very easy to accessorize. It’s always fun to mix and match accessories with a dress.

 

Pepper Dress by Reformation. Shop Here.

GO-TO BAG

You won’t have to worry about impromptu trips to the beach with summer bags that will fit your sunscreen and sunnies. No other bag scream summer more than our Rounder and Raw Leather Tote bags. Make sure to also bring your water tumblers – don’t forget to stay hydrated!

 

Rounder. Shop Here.

 

Raw Leather Tote. Shop Here.

STURDY SANDALS

It’s time to store your bulky shoes and bring out ethically-made sandals that you will walk in the entire summer. A timeless pair of sandals will last you several summers, so make sure to have a high-quality pair that is comfortable to wear. Sandals that break apart, especially while walking, is everyone’s nightmare. Comfortable and well-made should be your mantra when choosing your summer footwear.

 

Joselyne Double Strap Sandal by ABLE. Shop Here.

SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR

Of course, summer won’t be complete without a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach. Whether you opting for a one-piece, bikini, or rash guard, choose only those that are made ethically. Oh, and don’t forget to wear safe, non-toxic sunscreen before you enjoy the waters!

 

Dorada Stripe Gia Top + California Bottom by Vitamin A. Shop Here.

SUMMER HAT

Complete your summer look with woven summer hats. They are not only stylish but is a great way to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. They’re also ideal for days at the beach or when running errands under the summer heat. Pick one that you absolutely love and take them with you everywhere this summer.

 

Dorfman Straw Hat With Fringed Band Ties by Reformation. Shop Here.

Shop mindfully and always choose stylish and sustainable products. Invest in things that you love and can wear for a long time, and you won’t worry about what to wear in the next summers to come!

Do you have other summer fashion essentials? Share them in the comments below!

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New Season, New Habits

New Season, New Habits

YAY! The season is a changin’. Thank goodness for more sunshine and warmer days. Spring is such a refreshing time of rejuvenation and GROWTH. The trees are stretching out with green buds of renewal, the grasses are growing, the smell of wet ground and the occasional sound of a lawn mower all symbolize that winter is finally OVER! A new season means new ways of living with longer days and inviting temperatures.

So how are you going to make the best of this season change? What new habits can you take on that will support you living a fun, fulfilling and healthy life? Here are some tips for living it up this Spring!

GET OUTSIDE

It’s easy to get out of the habit of taking in nature once a day (especially when it has been cold and dark for the last 1000 months). So remind yourself to take action by setting a date with nature once a day, even if it is for a ten-minute walk.

Model is wearing a Hipster from Mango + Moose

PURGE YOUR CLOSET

It’s time to let go and donate the winter clothes you did NOT wear all winter. If you have gone a whole season without wearing that too short hoodie once it might be time to give it to the local thrift store so someone else can enjoy it. Plus it feels soooo good to clean up and organize your closet space. Time to bring out some of those short sleeve shirts and flats you have stored away.

MAKE A DATE WITH A FRIEND

Let’s make connection a habit this Spring. Over the winter people tend to hibernate and time with friends gets dropped for the comfy pants and warm home option. But with Spring things change! Make a date with a friend and go sit on a patio downtown at your local coffee shop or restaurant. Bring a sweater in case it is chilly…. or even a jacket… either way get out and bond with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. IT FEELS GOOD.

Mudcloth Pillow Cases from Mango + Moose
Blushing Tassels from Mango + Moose

CHECK YOUR GROCERY SHOPPING

Many of us get into a rut when doing grocery shopping each week by buying the same old stuff and forgetting that with a new season there are fresh new options! Mix up your veggies and fruits and be sure to visit your local Farmers Market. Your taste buds and nutrition will thank you for it.

There you have it. A new season means new habits. Take some time to check in with your daily routine and reflect on how you can mix it up to incorporate the awesomeness of the warmer weather and longer days!

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Hostess with the Mostest

Hostess with the Mostest

Gathering our tribe of friends and family should be a time of CONNECTION not STRESS. Ahhhh but how often does it snowball into all kinds of crazy hustle and bustle? I don’t know about you, but I often go into Hostzilla mode when I feel the pressure of company coming. I am getting better as I get older, but I admittedly still get a bit STRESSED when thinking about everything that needs to be done before the people arrive.

So much of that stress can be alleviated with some planning and relaxation of expectations. I mean my guests really won’t notice how clean my baseboards are — I hope to keep them too busy eating and drinking to notice!

Here are some tips for enjoying your gathering!

PREPARE THE TABLE IN ADVANCE
If your party includes celebrating around the table, be sure that the table linens, place settings, napkins, etc. are all set prior to the arrival of the guests. I give this job to the kiddos and have released expectations of it looking as good as I want it to. “The kids set the table.” is often heard coming out of my mouth as we gather to sit…. just in case my friends are judging me for the disarray of the cutlery…. WHICH THEY ARE NOT.

FEEL COMFORTABLE ENLISTING HELP
Regardless of how well you plan and simplify your party, entertaining a large group of people is a lot of work! Pair up with a friend or a couple, or ask for the assistance of a teenager to lend a hand. You don’t need to do it all by yourself! Don’t hesitate to ask guests to lend a hand either. That is a hard one for me but you know people LIKE to help, so if someone offers to help – SAY YES! Pretty simple.

ADAPT YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Having one less appetizer to make or taking dessert off your plate will make your life so much easier and will make your guests feel welcome. Although you are hosting the party, you don’t have to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’ on your list.

PREP PREP PREP
Make as much of the meal as possible in advance. Some recipes can be made entirely in advance and reheated before guests arrive; most can at least be partially prepped in advance (for instance, veggies washed and chopped).

DON’T BE CLEAN CRAZY
You do not have to clean the whole house every time people come over. Really. You don’t. Close bedroom doors and hide stuff in the closets. That may be bad advice for organizing, but it’s essential for busy hosts who need a quick clean!

SET THE LIGHTS
Want to set a warm and cozy mood? Turn off the overhead lights and turn on the lamps. This is the easiest way to create the perfect party ambience. Maybe even get a disco ball (kidding…sort of).

FINALLY, ENJOY YOUR COMPANY!
Don’t forget that as a host you get to enjoy your time at the party too! It’s a right! If you are busy flitting around cleaning up glasses and plates as the party goes on, your guests will not feel relaxed and will often feel obligated to jump in and help. Enjoy your own party and let clean up happen once the evening winds down (or… dare I say it… do it the next day!)

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A Simple Easter Outfit

A Simple Easter Outfit

When I think about Easter, I think about foil wrapped eggs, Spring tulips budding out of the ground, stuffed bunnies lining the fronts of grocery stores, the first barbecue of the year. I think of bright colours and blue skies, opening the front door and airing out the house for the first time since the frigid winter months closed us inside.  The time of year that is bright, light, new and refreshed.

I can imagine my mom popping out her fuchsia lipstick and wearing it with her floral print dress and jean jacket. We went to church and had a family barbecue afterwards. Us kids would be eagerly waiting in expectation for when the Easter egg hunt was going to commence. We could already spot some of the shiny foiled eggs around, so we knew where we were headed first. We would bound through the dewy grass, and pan through the lines of bushes to find our treasured delights. After that quick raid of the garden it was quickly a competition to count to see who tracked down the most chocolate treasures. I never won, my brother always did, but it didn’t matter once our aunty told us we would all get a big gold bunny to get our fingers into too! What precious memories.

Still I can see my mom endearingly looking at me with her sparkling blue eyes as she saw me spin in my Easter dress. I miss those sun kissed days; memories that glisten with joy, love and light. Those same feelings come around now, when I am about to be married and start this crazy next chapter of life.  Little things like colours and textures, patterns and smells can elicit that same freshness of spring. 

For my spring outfit choice this year, I chose the Sunny necklace, a beautiful piece with multi-coloured and multi-textured beads and brass accents. It looks beautiful with a basic white t-shirt, tucked into high-waisted dark wash denim. Loose, comfortable but with bright fuchsia and stunning aquamarine accents that elicit those cheery, bright and exciting vibrant vibes of spring.

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Spring Cleaning and Clearing (out your closet!)

Spring Cleaning and Clearing (out your closet!)

The time of year when moods lift and energy brims, and for good reason! The air feels crisp and clean. The sun is out and it’s time to prepare last year’s frostbitten planters and put away the duvet-like coat I buried myself in all winter long. Gathering inspiration from those warm sunshine hugs, I realize, what a perfect time to de-clutter my home and life. I know I’m not the only one overcrowding my cozy one bedroom apartment with things, and while most of my belongings are well loved, there are plenty of things I can send to a new home. If I’m not loving it or using it, someone else will. You can use the Marie Kondo method (does this item bring me joy?), or simply just know it’s time to let go of an item. It feels so good to purge and keep only what you need.

There are so many ways to de-clutter your life. It can be overwhelming and hard to figure out where to even begin. I will check in with myself a couple times a year to overhaul my home, my phone and my routine. I think about the most used areas in my life, so my apartment. I make sure to keep my kitchen, bathroom and bedroom tidy on a regular basis, but inside the cabinets and closets could use some attention. So this is where I start.

Setting up is crucial for success. I sort items into three categories – one box for items I can sell (more valuable things – like never worn shoes), another one for donations (anything in good condition that I don’t ever use), and one garbage bag. You will know which category something is as you look in each cabinet and realize you haven’t touched that meat slicer since you first bought it. I found a couple sweaters I didn’t wear once over the winter, and to me that is wasteful. Someone else could be kept warm next year, so I donated them. The broom closet had unused products, empty bottles and torn up rags I could throw out. Go through each room in your house and do this until you have only things you actually use. Seeing only the things you love makes you think more clearly and makes you happier. 

Even with a clean house, in the age of technology, we can still feel the overbearing attitude of “too much”. I usually take five photos of the same thing, clogging up space on my phone. This is where I go next, to clear my virtual life. I pick the best shot and delete the rest – from everywhere (my photos auto save to Dropbox, so I delete it “everywhere”). Filter through photos and apps that you won’t ever need again. Go through your social media and decide if you really want to keep following that account you got inspired from that one post, eight months ago. 

It’s true when you clear out the old you make room for the new. I invite the next chapter by being thankful and grateful for what has brought me to this new time in my life. If your winter felt extra long and challenging like mine, rest assured we can come out of hibernation with big grins and hungry for change.

My choice for change this season is to pay more attention to the products I bring into my space. I think about where I donate my clothing before dropping it off at a big retail second hand store. Additionally, I try to source new-to-me products instead of buying brand new. Supporting ethical, fair wage companies has become important as well. There are so many amazing products available now that help make a positive impact in the world. Check out the home goods from Mango + Moose, like these Pillowcases and Belly Baskets.

The pillows are sustainably sourced from Mali and the designs are hand-painted on each pillow, making them a unique statement, perfect to throw on your bed or patio furniture. These baskets are super versatile – I’ve seen them used as beach bags, laundry hampers, or to accessorize a planter. They can help keep your newly de-cluttered home stay that way! All these amazing functions, AND you’re supporting Artisans in Vietnam. How neat that while updating your home, you are also helping someone else maintain his or her home and community.

Purging your things is a major key to a healthy mentality, but it doesn’t have to stop with your belongings. When making a change in my life, I like to take a look at the people I spend my days with – are they helping me grow in the direction I want to be faced? Most of them are people I’m blessed to know, and I am grateful for what they bring to my perspective. Sometimes, however, I will reflect on a friendship that feels more draining than energizing. I don’t need to go out of my way to tell this person the way I feel, as that is just rude. Instead, I actively pay more attention and ask ‘what is this relationship really about?’. If it’s more one-sided I make the conscious decision to let distance grow, creating more room in my life for the successful relationships to flourish. It’s a natural part of growing, learning and maturing.

Now that you’ve got the know how on how I clear my clutter, I’m curious to know what you’ve done for Spring cleaning! Leave a comment below, and don’t forget to check out mangoandmoose.com Continue reading

Well Hello Guatemala!

Well Hello Guatemala!

I love waking up to you each morning; whether in your enchanting city of Antiqua, or breathing deeply as I inhale the peace and beauty of Lake Atitlan, or instantly feel the heat and hear the thud of waves at your stunning black sand beach in Monterrico. You truly have so much beauty to be enjoyed and cherished.

All of the above is a side mention to the true beauty of Guatemala – her people! I spent the day learning and being. Just being. Like any business, Mango + Moose is a hustle and bustle most days, many moving parts and rarely a moment to celebrate and rejoice over the victories. This trip is a time to celebrate! To sit in the company of the makers of our wares is a true honour.

Visiting San Juan:

Aura, a mother to three and a smiling new friend greeted us with a warm embrace before proudly showing us around her group’s newly constructed medicinal garden. This garden is one of the social impact initiatives that Mango + Moose supports when working with this community of Artisans. Accompanying Aura was her brightly decorated binder, and as she shared about the healing properties of each plant she also showed me the colours of thread that are made from each particular plant – an amazing scene that I would soon see!

As we wandered down the small garden lanes, Cecelia arrived bursting with a grin and a small boy tucked into her side, equally as excited with their delivery. Here in San Juan, the village known for its cultural works of art, there was to be a great celebration and Cecelia had made the traditional festive drink Atol de Etole. This only happens once a year so to be able to share it with us was a great pleasure for her and treasure for us! YUM!

Finishing our garden tour, I couldn’t help but wish our medicinal practices were as holistic as theirs. I felt truly grateful for the big chunk of aloe that Aura broke off for Scott and I to ease our bodies with later and sooth our aching burns. Oh when will we learn…. Perhaps in our fifties?!

We arrived at the home of Vicenta and were greeted with many smiling faces and welcoming Artisan friends. Some of these women have been working together for thirty years; some are newer and only have three years experience with the group, but they have grown up learning the craft setout before us.

First we must dye our thread, of course! The dye is made using boiled leaves from the plants of the garden we just visited. Purple coloured water is produced and I learn that this is what makes large batches of bags so difficult. It is impossible to have the exact same colour from one batch to the next, the climate, the time of day, the moon, the leaves, all play a part in making the colour and never will you be able to replicate the exact colour no matter how much one tries. Same amount of water, same amount of leaves, same time of day and voilà – a different colour! A thing of beauty if that is how you choose to see it.

Next we must allow the thread to dry, but we cheat and use pre dried thread! Now from here it gets too complicated for my non-craft brain to even comprehend! Follow the steps in the pictures below and know that I messed up the pattern we were trying to layout at every second turn. Working with Anna and her mom Maria Rosario, I was quickly straightened out each time.

I enjoyed watching Estella as she sat flawlessly creating at her loom! No drama, no flare, just a peaceful work to create a thing of beauty. The hours, the days and the weeks in some cases that it takes to create a particular design is mind-boggling.

And what brought them joy? Seeing themselves and the bag they made for Mango + Moose beautifully displayed in our lookbook! It was so fun to share it with them. I think it is true for all of us that we create because we love it, and we do it for this sole purpose, but to share the beauty with others makes it an even greater joy!

 

This does not stop at the beautiful textiles that these women weave, but continues straight to their pride in making delicious traditional culinary dishes! Once again we were treated to a meal that is a staple at any and every holiday, or for a special visitors like us I guess 🙂

 

I am one of those people who just eats, I forget to photograph it because I am eating it! Last minute I snapped a few shots of the dinner we shared- whew! This soup is an add as you go soup, all the ingredients surrounding the bowl are eventually added into the broth with the cabbage to make for an amazing delicious treat!

To sum up the perfect day, we shared stories of families together and I was truly blessed to hear overwhelming gratitude for the work that Mango + Moose has brought to them. It was said that their children were going to school and that was most important to them. The group also offers classes on gender equality; the affected change of this is huge! The women shared how their husbands are helping more at home, how they see the value of their daughters attending school and are recognizing the need to support their wives in their heavy work loads. Many men will help with the simple tasks of the weaving process. Scott shared with me later how touched he was by their stories and their sincere joy to be working with Mango + Moose. He added that they are Momprenuers just like me! How very, very true that is. We are all women working toward a common goal of caring for our families through creativity this is the beautiful work of femininity.

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Dream. Do.

Dream. Do.

I needed to hear this 15 years ago, so I’m sharing with you in hopes you feel empowered to make choices that support you! Here it goes: THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING.  And I think one of the most common ways we self-sabotage is living in servitude to the POWER OF THEY. This shows up in two main ways:

#1. What would THEY think?

How many times have you done or NOT done something because of what you think others would think? This may be bold of me, but is it possible that in some cases, you create stories for yourself about what others would think to keep you comfortable with NOT having to take action for what you say you want?

For example, I didn’t think someone I admired really thought I was capable, so I DIDN’T try to get the gig that I really wanted (‘cause my story at the time was that there was no point if “they” didn’t want me there). The end result? I DIDN’T TRY SO I DIDN’T GET.

DREAM. DO. You do deserve it!

With awareness you can create change. If you intuitively know you have created a story about what “they” might think as an excuse to not step up to your possibility….STOP DOING IT. Take action for what you want. How do you do that? One small step at a time (courage, confidence and clarity will come with action…not before it).

Dream.do T-Shirt and Marble Bar necklace from Mango + Moose

#2. What would THEY do?

You know what is crazy exhausting? Trying to live life based on what other people are doing. Personally, when I start making decisions based on the business and lifestyle practices of other people, I begin to lose connection with my unique way of being.

Being inspired by other people is a good thing. My sister in law is so obsessed with Jillian Harris she will pretty much buy anything that woman endorses on Instagram. While she admires Jillian, she is also confident and expressive in her own right. Her admiration for another person does not diminish her fashionista awesome-ness.

It only becomes a problem when we become so engrossed with what we think about another person that we begin to compare and hide behind the stories we have created in our minds. AND THEY ARE STORIES!

Have you ever done this? Instead of being inspired you feel inadequate. It’s a mental roller coaster of “not enough”. This mindset sucks the life out of your light and all that jealousy and shame detracts from your success. It just does. It’s just not fun.

With awareness you can create change. Next time you feel yourself being sucked into the vortex of comparison and shame….STOP DOING IT. Take action for what you want. Focus on doing one thing today that makes you feel more alive and healthy. Show yourself some love. You can do one thing. #yesyoucan

Remember—THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. Stop looking for approval and acceptance from others. You are worth more than that and only you know what is best for you. You can not acquire faith in yourself from “them” (it must come from you beautiful). Stop hiding behind the expectations of others and don’t let other people’s excuses, successes, beliefs and actions get in the way of you creating the live you know you want to live AND YOU DESERVE. 

DREAM. DO.

You got this!

Dream.do T-Shirt and Sunny Necklace from Mango + Moose
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A Conversation with Nature

A Conversation with Nature

When my world gets overwhelming I know the best cure is to get outside. A girls’ night out for appies and wine is a close second, but by far connecting with nature is my go-to for stress management.

There is a public dock on Okanagan Lake (google the lake images…. it’s a gem!) close to where I live and is my place of refuge from all forms of busy and crazy. After dropping off the kiddos for school and daycare I will drive to the pier, hang my legs off the end and simply watch the water lapping against the wooden beams. I breathe in the fresh crisp lake air and hold my head back to soak in the rays of sunshine. I listen as the water rhythmically dances around me. I watch the clouds moving across the sky.

I spend five minutes of my busy day just being in the moment. And it is liberating. I am reminded that there is ebb and flow to all things. The sun shines everyday and the clouds float along no matter the triumphs and struggles of my own life.

Nature provides a sense of peace and calm for me. It also grounds me in gratitude and humbles my perspectives. There are so many reasons to intentionally connect with nature. Here are more!

Model is wearing a Nest Cover in Indigo from Mango + Moose.

BENEFITS OF BEING IN NATURE

1. Exercise
Getting outside usually involves some level of exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. Even 15 – 30 minutes of exercise each day has long-term benefits for your mind and body, and it decreases your risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.


2. Stress relief
Studies show that being in nature reduces tension and depression. A study done in South Korea showed that just looking at pictures of natural settings increases people’s positivity and emotional stability.


3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D has a wide range of health benefits. It also helps boost our immune systems. We all need just 10 – 15 minutes of sunlight per day for our bodies to produce the proper levels of vitamin D. Get outside and treat yourself to some vitamin D.


4. Sleep
Being in nature can increase sleep quality. This is partly due to stress reduction, but also because exposure to sunlight during the day can increase your melatonin production at night. Melatonin is needed to regulate your sleep cycle.


5. Eyesight
So much time behind a screen can take its toll on your eyesight. Spending time outdoors gives your eyes a chance to focus on objects farther away. This can reduce eyestrain.


6. Creativity
Researchers in the US and Germany found that being in nature helps improve creativity. The German study showed that even looking at the colour green for a few seconds triggered greater creativity than other colors.


7. Relationships
We spend so much time in front of a screen. Getting out into nature is a great way to reconnect with family and friends and catch up in person.

So this week how can you carve out even 5 minutes to have a conversation with nature? You will never get back and wish you hadn’t.

🙂 ENJOY!

*adapted from https://cvc.ca/conversations/top-7-health-benefits-of-being-in-nature/

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Tips to Rock Gratitude

Tips to Rock Gratitude

Rocking GRATITUDE in our adult lives is key to truly flourishing (and having more fun). Fulfillment, positive relationships, confidence, compassion and purpose are intensified in our lives when we practice the habit of being grateful. Dr. Caron Goode says, “Grateful people are happier, more resilient, and less depressed.”

It all sounds so EASY right? Of course it does. It’s very easy to be HAPPY and GRACIOUS when times are good – when we are getting what we want and feeling satisfied and uplifted as a result.

JOY, HAPPINESS + FUN ARE ALL BUILT ON GRATITUDE.

But how do you react when things go awry? When you are disappointed? When you are hurt, angry or rejected? It is in these moments when we really need to SHINE our light of gratitude. To own the experience, learn from it and move forward.

“WHAT? Feel gracious in a pissed off moment like this? Do you have any idea how mad I am right now? Seriously!” I hear ya.

And if you are in that place right now, or have been in the past, remember that, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.” (It really, really will.)

It’s HARD to be grateful when the twist and turns of daily life seemingly smother our best intentions. The snowball effect of negative thoughts born from frustration, a sense of lack of control, over-commitments, minimal valued personal time and deep-rooted belief systems can, and do, completely UNDERMINE our ability to FEEL grateful.

BUT! Grateful people (those with a positive and resilient mindset) do have a more fun and flourishing life experience. They just do.

Here’s some tips I have gathered from knowing, and coaching individuals with a life-enriching mindset of GRATITUDE.

1. DO IT DAILY
While enjoying the first sip of your hot latte, soaking in the bath or driving to work pick a ritualistic time DAILY to think of one thing you are grateful for. Gratitude is a mind-set, a positive perspective that, with practice, will become a life-altering must-do habit.

2. DON’T JUST THINK IT. DO IT. 
Gratitude is a verb (ignore the whole dictionary noun ‘thang). It takes intention and action to exist. What have you done today to show you are grateful…..for the people in your life?…..for the circumstances you are living?…for your health?….for yourself? If you desire to take charge of your well-being you are going to want to start actively expressing, through action, what and who you are grateful for. TODAY. Not tomorrow.

3. BE GRATEFUL FOR THE DIFFICULT TIMES 
If there is one thing I have noticed about grateful-minded people –they don’t wait for the silver lining…they actively create it.

Always remember to enjoy the journey!

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Self Love Tips

Self Love Tips

Ah it is the month of LOVE! I adore this time of year because it’s an excuse to celebrate all things cupid, hearts, red, chocolate and of course LOVE. While it is a celebratory time of appreciating and showing love for partners and family, it is also the PERFECT TIME to intentionally focus on self love too.

Give me a mental high five and YES if you could use some self-love lovin’.

Who’s with me? Of course you are!  But wait…. this self-love thing is just soooo much easier said than done. Especially for many of us who have schedules so busy it can seem impossible to get our needs and me-time met.

Pom Pom Scarf from Mango + Moose

After many, many (many, many) months away from the gym since my last baby was born, I decided to go to a class last Thursday. ME TIME! YAY! I announced it to my entire family. I added the class into the shared family calendar. I was determined to get to that class because this class was not just about burning calories, it was about STAKING MY CLAIM to me time!

The class was set to begin at 6:45pm. At 5:45 pm my 16 month old was asleep on my chest with a high fever. Sooo….that class will have to wait. I admittedly got a little mommy-frustrated (we are human right?). I will get to that exercise class another week. In the mean time, I have a checklist for all us busy people out there to lean on when feeling like a little self-love is in order. Take a look and circle at least three you can do this month to celebrate AMAZING you.




SELF-LOVE CHECKLIST (it’s the mindset of self-care)

  • Thinking and acting with kindness.
  • Focusing on empathy, gratitude and love, for yourself and others.
  • Eating a cookie. Enjoying it GUILT FREE. Really, really enjoying it…and then NOT eating ten more.
  • Moving your body. Yes…exercising. Not because you have to, not because you want to lose weight, but because exercising makes your body stronger, healthier and full of energy (walking around the mall counts…yes it does).
  • Meeting a mom who has an “amazing” body and NOT feeling less than or jealous.
  • Taking 5 minutes a week to watch the clouds roll across the sky – once a week! You can fit that in.
  • Following your gut instinct—even when logic tells you otherwise.
  • Fuelling your body with powerful nutrition.
  • NOT starving your body with unsustainable, no-fun fad diets. Seriously. They are no fun.
  • Embracing humility and growth.
  • Being open to the beautiful, chaotic, intense and uniquely awesome evolution of WHO YOU ARE.
  • Accepting what is reality.
  • Remaining hopeful of what will be the future.
  • Understanding your stories of the past. And then letting them go, gently.
  • Expecting respect from yourself and others.
  • Feeling happy about your body while clothes shopping. Every body is different and should be celebrated regardless of your size and shape. Decide to feel good about yourself. Yes it is a choice.
  • Investing in relationships that matter in your life. Starting with the relationship you have with yourself.

Take yourself on a date this month and celebrate your life in a way only YOU can. Enjoy your me time.

Always remember: YES YOU CAN.

You are entitled to a respectful, loving relationship with yourself. Show the love. xoxo

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