Inspiration | August 29

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Solid advice from 8 years of blogging.

Mondays are hard. This Monday was a doozy, so I liked this post from JTB about getting through Monday in one piece.

I discovered Kendi Everyday this week and I’m totally obsessed – an approachable style blog! I liked her series (part 1 here) on creating a working closet (a goal for me).

I absolutely love Olivia’s photography and this was a total beauty of a wedding.

David Mitchell was one of my favourite authors already, but this piece on him took my respect to a whole new level. I cannot wait for his new book to come out.

Great ideas and rules from Bon Appétit on dining out.

This month I donated to Compassionate Care ALS and the community of Ferguson, MO through The United Way of Greater St Louis. You can see all my donations so far this year over on this page.

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My brain is still stuck in late July/early August because it feels like we must still have at least a month of summer left. Where did the time go? I’ve had such an amazing summer, but it seems unbelievable how fast it’s gone. September on Monday?! 6 months since I’ve been in Korea?! Absurd. This weekend I’m hoping to do a little shopping and spend some time at the beach – hopefully surfing! There’s a little chill in the air, which makes me feel all kinds of feelings, mostly happy ones. Have an awesome weekend everyone!

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Lately | August

lately august

Frustrated about a knee injury that is throwing a wrench into my training plan.

Reconsidering the 10K race instead of a half marathon.

Annoyed that it would mean changing my goal BUT..

Listening to my body and trying not to be stubborn.

Voice memo-ing my friends back home like it’s my day job.

Giddy whenever I get a voice memo back.

Happy to be back on my schedule of working in the afternoons, but of course

Missing having my evenings free (can’t have it both ways though!).

Feeling a little chill in the air the past few days: it’s turning to Fall!

Drinking coffee twice a week this past month which is a very new development for me.

Loving to wear red lipstick when I go out.

Eating a lot of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peanut sauce on everything and Granny Smith apples.

Listening to Taylor’s new song and this hilarious Eminem Punjabi beats mashup. I never said I had good taste in music..

Excited to go surfing again this weekend!

Looking forward to my trip to Seoul next weekend to see the DMZ.

Sleeping better on my recently inherited bed.

Thrilled about making more money than ever from freelance endeavours this month.

Daydreaming quite a lot about the future after my time in Korea.

Itching to go shopping for a back-to-school wardrobe and school supplies despite the fact that this is the second September (second?!?! already?!) that I’m not going back to school.

Wishing I could spend the last gasp of summer in Toronto camping and going to the CNE with my fave people, but..

Making the most of my time here in Korea and I’m still very excited about everything yet to come.

Living in the now as much as I can.

Sending love to my loves back home.

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Instagram Tips: How To Add Line Breaks and Spaces to Your Captions and Bio

How to Add Line Breaks and Spaces to Your Instagram Captions and Bio

This has been bugging me for a long time, but I’ve finally discovered a way to create line breaks on Instagram. In my captions, I often find myself wishing I could insert a line break between thoughts, or after a quote, but I’ve never been able to find a consistent way to do so until now.

A lot of the online tutorials I’ve seen instruct you to use the Notepad app to write your desired caption or bio blurb, and then copy & paste it onto Instagram. I find this works for me less than half the time. If it works for you, carry on! It’s definitely worth a try.

How to Add Line Breaks and Spaces to Your Instagram Captions and Bio

For me, the surprising fix has been to use the Facebook app. It’s incredibly simple, too: open up the Facebook app and click on “Update Status”. On the screen that appears, shown in the photo above, write your caption. Remember to use the “Return” key on your keyboard to make sure the app is recording your line breaks.

How to Add Line Breaks and Spaces to Your Instagram Captions and Bio

Copy the whole thing, and paste it into your Instagram caption or bio. The apps should preserve your line breaks and when you post the photo the caption should be just the way you want it to look.

How to Add Line Breaks and Spaces to Your Instagram Captions and Bio

You can do the same thing for your Instagram bio, but I have noticed that it doesn’t preserve the full space between lines like in photo captions. For bios, it usually just jumps down directly to the next line as shown above.

I’d also encourage you to play around with it a bit! As you might have noticed, for the caption of the photo above, I had written in two full line breaks – one after the quote, and the other before the hashtags – yet on Instagram it only preserved the first one, and just put the hashtags directly on the next line. It’s hard to say why it did this for one but not the other, because it’s all a bit mysterious. It doesn’t even matter if I enter two “returns” on the Facebook app, sometimes it just gives me one line break or even just pushes the content to the very next line. Experiment and see what works for you.

Let me know in the comments below if this fix worked for you, or if you have any other tips or questions about Instagram.

You can follow me on Instagram @lifeinlimboblog to see photos of my travels.

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24 Before 24: Try Acro Yoga

Acro Yoga

For the past month, I’ve been taking an acro yoga workshop at a studio near me. It has been so awesome.

Acro yoga is a combination of acrobatics and yoga, and in some cases massage and restorative poses. The teacher I learned from, Mindy, studied at AcroYoga Montreal – which I wish I had known about back when I actually lived in Montreal! I am officially putting their teacher training on my wishlist of workshops I want to take, because after only a month I can already tell I would absolutely love to teach acro.

There’s something both beautiful and frustrating about an activity like this, which you can only do with a partner. I’ve found it beautiful in that I am able to totally trust a complete stranger to support my weight or that someone totally trusts me to support them. Not only that, it’s beautiful because it’s collaboration in its purest form. I’ve learned that acro works best not when you’re awkwardly trying to guess what your partner is feeling or wanting to do next, but when you’re talking the entire time about small adjustments and how you’re both doing. I don’t think I have enough of that kind of collaboration in my life, but it really does make me feel connected and happy.

The frustrating part, of course, is that as incredibly fun as it is, it’s not something you can practice on your own. After the class, all I want to do is come home and keep practicing!! Back before my dear friend Dylan left, he good naturedly put up with my demands to practice (even though the button on his favourite shorts was once an accidental casualty) but most of my other friends aren’t yoga people so I can only really practice during class time. I’m not used to this, since most of my favourite activities are solitary ones, but I think that makes acro kind of special.

My work schedule means that I’m probably not going to be able to participate in future higher-level acro workshops until January, but I might just keep going to the beginner’s level to continue learning and having fun. Acro makes me feel awesome: strong and light and giddy and in awe of both my own body and what other people can do with their bodies. It’s just so much fun and a really great workout too!

Ps. I actually did get that mermaid bind I was going for in the last photo, but no photo because very soon after we fell out of it. So, action shot it is! Thanks to the ladies at Kaizen for snapping these photos, and both basing me and flying with me!

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Book Club | July & August

Book Club J+A

Great news! I’m now officially only 6 books behind schedule for my 2014 reading goal, 2 better than I was at my last check-in. I’m catching up slowly but surely, and lately I’ve been loving reading more than ever. I’m really trying to prioritize it this year, because it really is an activity that enriches me – in a hundred different ways – more than anything else does.

In July and August I was loving lighter, summery books mainly, fun stuff I could read on the beach. I made it a goal to read “braver” in 2014 (ie. read slightly more intellectual novels that challenge me), and I think I have been overall, but in summer I want to read light-hearted things! That being said, there were a few very poignant, wonderful books from the last few months. You can see my favourites from the rest of this year right here.

The Vacationers / Earlier this year, I read and loved a novel by Maria Semple, and in the last couple months I read and loved two books that had praise from her on their front covers. I don’t know if that’s just smart marketing, or if there’s really something to it, but all I know is that I think I like this genre a lot: well-written novels about strong, interesting, wonderful, imperfect women who for the most part lead very ordinary lives. They’re modern books, keenly observant, smart, and relatable. This one was a light, easy read about a family vacation in Mallorca with an interesting band of characters. It wasn’t particularly ground-breaking, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Of Mice and Men / Wow. This was my first time reading Steinbeck, and I was really, genuinely impressed. I remarked afterward to a friend that a lesser writer would have made this story into a full length novel, but I think it says something that he was able to keep it short (it’s less than 200 pages) and yet so evocative that it practically sears itself into your memory. Some of the scenes are so vivid in my brain that it’s like I watched a movie of the book instead of reading it. It’s a simple story but it manages to be a tense thriller. It’s also so well crafted and perfectly set up, in that there were things I completely didn’t see coming but that made so much sense in retrospect. I think there’s a reason it’s a classic.

The Blue Bistro / This was my first time reading Elin Hilderbrand, who I only discovered from this list of the 29 Best Books of Summer 2014. Guess what, I’m a huge fan! Her novels are all set on Nantucket island, which just sounds like the ideal summer destination, and this novel made me desperately want to “summer” there and eat and/or work at this fictional restaurant every night of the week. As a foodie, I highly appreciated all the detailed descriptions of delicious food – the book’s first page is the menu, which practically makes your mouth water and totally sets the scene for the book. It’s a love story, and occasionally the main character seemed a bit naive to me, but I loved the whole world of the book. It reminded me of my waitressing days!

Astonish Me / This was the other novel praised by Maria Semple, and I absolutely loved it. I’m fascinated by the world of ballet, and this book was about that world while also being about ordinary life after being a professional ballet dancer. I thought it was interesting and observant.

168 Hours / The subtitle of the book is “you have more time than you think” and by the time I was finished reading the first two chapters, I believed it. The premise of the book is that we all have 168 hours a week, more than enough time to accomplish anything we want to. She writes about people who get an absurd amount of things done in a week – sleeping 8 hours a night, reading, exercising, spending time with their families, working, volunteering, pursuing hobbies – and I found those case studies so inspiring. The book talks about tracking where you actually spend time, figuring out how you would ideally want to spend your time, and then being strategic about fitting things in, including automating some things and minimizing or ignoring others. I came away with lots of inspiration and practical ideas.

Eleanor & Park / I flew through this book in only a day or two, because it was so wonderful. It’s a beautiful novel about two teenagers falling in love, but I wouldn’t really call it a young adult novel just because of the characters’ ages. It was smart and funny, poignant and compelling. It’s just a great love story that really swept me up without being fluffy. The characters have real problems and insecurities, but they fumble through and it’s pretty beautiful to watch them. I can’t wait to read Rainbow Rowell’s other books.

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I’ve been reading some really awesome books lately and I’m excited for the rest of my 2014 in reading!

As always, you can see all the books I’ve read and plan to read on GoodReads. Also, if you have any great book recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments below.

You can see my favourite books so far this year here, and my favourite books of 2013 here.

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