{winter solstice} love

Friday, December 20, 2013

Even more than New Years, I have come to see the Winter Solstice as my time of new beginnings. It's as though, for me, everything condenses to this shortest day of the year and then it is like a fresh new start as each day afterward becomes longer and lighter allowing for more space, more time, more growth and more expansion.

And so, this year, rather than getting swept up in the societal norm of setting New Year's resolutions and then completely ignoring them because they just don't feel true to me, I am creating a new tradition around the Solstice that involves both looking back, with gratitude and a sense of completion, at the year I have had and then cultivating the intentions to build the year ahead of me.

If you are anything like me and feel that you might throw up at the idea of setting another "I will go to the gym x amount of days" or "I will not eat french fries" type of a superficial resolution, and really want to get deep and intentional with your year, then consider asking yourself some or all of the questions below.

Gratitude For A Complete 2013:
1. What gave me the most joy in 2013?
2. What did my career look like in 2013?
3. What do I feel was my greatest accomplishment in 2013?
4. What old patterns and habits did I let go of in 2013?
5. What did I do to take care of my mind, body and spirit in 2013?
6. How did I grow my friendships/relationships in 2013?
7. When did I feel the most inspired and alive in 2013?
8. What was my greatest lesson, challenge or growth point in 2013?
9. What did I create in 2013?
10. Is there anything I need to do to complete 2013?
11. Use one word, or a very simple sentence, to summarize 2013.

Cultivating 2014:
1. How, and in what areas of my life, can I add joy in 2014?
2. What will my career look like in 2014?
3. What do I want my greatest accomplishment to be in 2014?
4. What new habits will I  encourage in 2014?
5. What will I do to take care of my mind, body and spirit in 2014?
6. What aspect of friendships/relationships do I want to focus on in 2014?
7. What will I do to feel inspired and alive in 2014?
8. What am I looking forward to learning, challenging myself with or growing through in 2014?
9. What do I want to create in 2014?
10. What do I need to do to begin 2014 beautifully?
11. What one word, or very simple sentence, will be my theme for 2014?

Keep a copy of your intentions handy and read them as often as you can.

And, of course, add any questions or intentions that deeply resonate with you.

I'd love to hear about how you get introspective this time of year...what is your process for clearing out the old and welcoming in the new?

{I think I'm onto something here} love

Friday, November 8, 2013

Ever since P first started taking part in the germ storms known as "playschool", "preschool" and "kindergarten", I have spent from October to April, the entire six months of winter, battling the colds that stubbornly set up camp in the wee men.

It is insane.

And I have tried everything.

Essential oil diffuser? Check.

Humidifier running all night in their bed rooms? Check.

Upping their Vitamin D? Check.

Upping their Vitamin C? Check.

Pureeing and sneaking extra fresh, organic vegetables into every single thing that I could? Check.

Mixing oregano oil into coconut oil and then rubbing it on their chests? Check.

And don't get me wrong, all of these things are GREAT things to do and definitely seemed to do their part in ushering those colds along their way. However, as soon as one symptom/bug/virus/germ/infection was out, there was a fresh guy keen and willing to hop right in and take up residence.

Now, here's where it gets good.

Third week of September, with P almost a month into grade one and B two weeks into playschool, they each got their first colds respectively and then over the next couple of weeks, swapped them, mutated them and became hot little messes. I was not surprised and so I started running through all of the above measures to help them out. And then, I read on facebook about a friend's success with putting Vicks on her daughter's feet at bedtime and then a pair of socks over top. I tried it, and it definitely kept the nighttime coughing to a minimum. But then, bum bum baaaaaaah, I took it a step further.

Here's what you need:

1) Organic Oregano Oil

2) Thieves Oil

3) Eucalyptus Oil {I use radiata and globulus, just to cover all my bases}

4) Saje's Sleep Well blend

5) Coconut Oil or Lotion

Then, at bed time, I put a little dab of the coconut oil or lotion in the palm of my hand and add one to two drops of each of the oils, rub my hands together to mix it all up and then rub the soles of the boys' feet. Pop a pair of socks over top, kiss their sweet faces good night and that is it!

Doing this cleared their colds up SO. FAST.

And now, at the first sign of a sniffle, I run through this little bedtime routine and am so delighted to say that so far they have been healthy!

**be sure that you are buying quality essential oils...Blaine Andrusek and Saje, here in Calgary, are very good and Young Living is also very reputable
***be aware of your own children's skin sensitivities/allergies and I personally wouldn't have tried this on the wee men if they were under twelve months

{sneak peek} love

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quickly popping in to share a few "sneak peek" photos from a session I did recently.

You may remember these two little girls from last year, here and here.

What a difference a year makes!

{new perspective} love

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I am fresh off of a week long meditation retreat.

That's right.

One week. Of meditation. All of it done from the comfort of my bed at the Honeymoon Bay Lodge.

Dreamy, right?

And yet I still don't know exactly how to describe it, or if I even want to try. Suffice to say that it was a ridiculously profound, deeply uplifting and most definitely life changing experience.

And what I do know is that every single one of us should, at some point in our lives, take that week away to get so, so quiet and so, so grounded with our own soul. I suspect it would make for a pretty different human landscape!

Anyway, since I am still in a fairly right-brained space and the words aren't exactly free flowing, I thought I would share this spectacular video. It both sums a lot of it up and inspires in a most beautiful way.


{terrarium} love

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yesterday was the first day of Spring!

We wore rubber boots, jumped in puddles, went without the rigmarole of mittens/toques/jackets...it was a proper first day of spring.

Today is the second day of Spring! Or, as I like to think of it, the twenty-eighth unnecessary comeback of Winter.

Today we are bundled back up in winter boots, toques, mittens, jackets. The snow is dumping down and the wind is a blowin'.

To say that I find this bipolar climate of ours frustrating would be a spectacular understatement.

Ah well, at least we had yesterday!

Today, to brighten up our home and spirits {well, my spirits, the wee men love the snow}, we made a trip to the greenhouse to load up on the supplies needed to make terrariums.

{our local greenhouse also has a pet section, so we were able to get all of the supplies there...NO trip to Michaels!}

If you want to create your own, here's what you'll need:
-a glass container
-succulents {number and size will depend on the size of container you've chosen}
-large-ish rocks
-smaller pebbles
-a bag of cactus soil
-any little decoration type items you may want {figurines, crystal, decorative rocks, drift wood...the possibilities are endless}

The process:
-spread a thin layer of charcoal on the bottom of your container {this helps with drainage and keeping the smell down}
-next place your large-ish rocks around on top of the charcoal...try and place some strategically against the walls of your container so that they will still be visible as you add the next layers
-the next layer is the smaller pebbles {we used the kind you buy for an aquarium}...pour them over the large-ish rocks and then give the container a gentle shake or twist to settle the pebbles into all the spaces
-then add your soil, patting it down to get rid of any air pockets...oh, and be sure to make the soil layer deep enough that it will cover your plants roots entirely
-lastly dig little spaces for your plants, tuck them in and pat the dirt back in around them and then add any decorative items you've chosen

That. Is. It.

The wee men and I really enjoyed the process, digging in the dirt, planting the plants...a little faux gardening for our winter smothered souls!

And, pat on the back, I think they turned out beautifully.

I am pretty certain I will be making one more for the wee men's up and coming shared room but this time using layers of the brightly coloured aquarium pebbles. And maybe a little tractor and cowboy in place of the Buddha and amethyst crystal!

{natural therapy} love

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

So, here's the thing about me. Whenever I am asked to describe who I am as a person or summarize my nature or any sort of thing where I have to put words to the "type" of person I am, it is like running smack dab into a wall. It is potentially the only time in life where I am ever truly at a loss for words.

And it's not because I'm all humble and don't want to come off as boastful.

And it's not because I'm all esoteric and "won't be put in a box, man".

At the very root of it, I feel it comes down to two main things:
1) I have a terrible memory and can't actually remember if I've always been a certain way.
2) I have commitment issues and zero sense of structure and can't make myself stick to one thing for too long.
and {sneaky third point that just came to mind}
3) I am a seeker and am therefore always seeking what is new and once you learn something or stretch your soul you don't get to unlearn or unstretch and therefore are continuously changing.

Those three points aside, I do know that I have always been a "sharer". If I find/learn/hear/see/read/discover/buy/make/you-name-it anything that is awesome? You will hear about it. I love to share anything and everything that I perceive to be amazing.

{this point may already be fairly obvious if you've spent any time reading my blog}

But, for the first time EVER, I have discovered the equivalent of a unicorn and have been hesitant, for completely selfish reasons, to share. And being selfish is not kind. Or loving. So today I share!

Her name is Shellan and she is a Natural Therapist and, no word of a lie, she has magic in her bones.

I don't even want to try to describe her or what she does as I truly won't be able to do her justice.

Here's her site: Modern Natural Therapy . And I would suggest if what she has on there at all peaks your interest then GO and see her. You will not regret it.

 B's first visit!

{thirty-three} love

Sunday, February 10, 2013

It's my birthday tomorrow!

Thirty-three this year and so here is my bucket list for the year...thirty-three wild and dreamy wishes for my thirty-third year!

1) Read The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge.

2) Meet up with old and new friends for some body/mind/soul evolution in Tulum, Mexico in December under the guidance of Ally Bogard, Tara Judelle and Kristin Campbell  {and, fingers crossed, Tanis Fishman}.

3) Get in more horseback rides.
 {Riding a horse for me is instant freedom and instant connection to the wild and untethered thing I once was.}

4) Complete my training to become a SolePath Certified Mentor.

5) Take a dance class. Preferably African.

6) Purge my closet.
{That mountain of laundry that keeps appearing in my room that I have so often complained about? Pretty sure it has a fairly direct connection to me having too many clothes.}

7) Try out some past life regression stuff.

8) Continue to meet up with the magical Heather Orton for general spiritual wellness.

9) Read My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolty Taylor

10) Listen to my astrological yearly update.

11) Start running again.
{I am torn on this one as I know it will be good for me but I also detest how quickly it tightens up my muscles.}

12) Start up ladies' bike night as soon as the weather permits.

13) Read any or all of my Wayne Dyer books

14) Practice gratitude.

15) Practice the awareness that in every single action, re-action, emotion and so-on I have a choice. And then work to always move from a space of love.

16) Get confident using my camera in manual mode again.

17) Take an aerial fusion course.

18) Paint something big, bold and directly from my heart.

19) Read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
{This is my favourite book ever. Of all time. Please read it and see for yourself.}

20) Take P to Disneyland.

21) Train one of the many young horses out at the ranch.

22) Get away with just Kev.

23) Go somewhere new. Nope, make that four somewheres new.

24) Do something {blurb book, magnets, prints} with all of my very favourite instagram photos.

25) Give myself the gift of waking up earlier than the wee men for some much needed "self" time. I'm not sure what this looks like yet. Like, do I wake up at five in the morning so that I can walk Bernard/practice yoga/meditate/write? Or do I wake up at six-thirty so that I can just have a half an hour of quiet? I am leaning towards five so that I can really get some stuff done that I struggle to fit in otherwise but, well, five IN THE MORNING is not at all appealing. In conclusion, I'll keep you posted!

26) Maintain this blog that I love so much.

27) I've gotten pretty good at getting myself to bed by ten-thirty at the latest...this feels SO good and I am therefore shooting to keep it up.

28) Enjoy my wee men.

29) Go antiquing.

30) Turn the storage space under the stairs into a special and cozy little private space for the wee men.

31) I keep feeling this strong pull to make and sell something that I've made. Lately the idea in my head is malas {prayer beads} but I need to actually sit down and flesh out the ideas that are always rolling around in my head.

32) I've started a massive overhaul of our house, mostly in my head, and I want to see it through.

33) Find an arrowhead.

And that's it.

I'm excited.

Simply excited.

Here's my first phone purge in a looooong time!

*all photos are taken on my iPhone and edited using Instagram (follow me @amillionlittleloves) then dumped into a collage template on iPiccy*

Have a beautiful week friends. 

And, if it speaks to you, treat yourself to some extra love. Or maybe just become more deeply aware of all the beautiful love that already surrounds you.

{eating disorder awareness} love

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I used to be bulimic.

I suspect I still am.

Actually, I'm sure I still am.

What I suspect is that, like any addiction, you are never technically free of it. You just become smarter and stronger than it.

What I have noticed is that, for me, it has been somewhat of a spectrum disorder. For example, from the age seventeen to twenty I was REALLY bulimic. I threw up every. single. day and, at my least healthy, weighed in at one hundred and fifteen pounds.

Then, in very short succession, I had several burst blood vessels in my eyes {thanks to how violently I was making my body heave to get every last bit of food out}, I had a seizure and I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. Oh, and I was weak and exhausted.

And terrified.

It was a much needed wake up call to the fact that I was slowly but surely destroying myself.

And that's when I gradually began to move over to the other side of that spectrum where I'm not as extreme in my bulimia. Now it shows up less frequently, and never disguised as anything to do with my body image but fully in it's ugly glory of control. For example, about six months ago, I had a crummy day, not a horrible day just one that wasn't great, where nothing really went as expected {which is basically everyday in my life as a mumma, so why this one set me off is a mystery...}. To cheer myself up at the end of said crummy day I treated myself to some a big bowl of homemade mac and cheese {comfort food} and then, unreasonably, felt even more disgusted with myself and went and threw it all up.

{spoiler alert: that didn't make me feel better either}  

And before that incident it had probably been a couple of years.
And it took me a full TEN years to get to that place where I could confidently say that I am smarter and stronger than it. 

As much as I'd love to be able to tell you a lot about the ins and outs or facts of bulimia, I only carry my own experiences. However, one of my very best friends {who has battled so hard against this disease} is doing her doctorate in clinical psychology so that she can work specifically with eating disorders. Her purpose in life truly is to raise awareness of eating disorders and to initiate change in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders. 

{her other, less cerebral, purpose in life is to make me laugh so hard that my throat hurts and I can't breathe} 

I am so proud of her.

Please, check out her blog...

Feed Your Soul

And, if you have a moment, please pass the link around. I promise you that, whether you know it or not, someone in your life is struggling with body image or an eating disorder.
Unreasonable expectations.


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