My First Book!

This as a crazy moment. You should have seen me at the Post Office, picking up my slimmer-than-expected brown cardboard package, practically beaming with delight as I thrust my delivery notice at the bored cashier. I held it together until I got home, I definitely didn’t hyperventilate at the crosswalk or anything (okay, so I did. In a good way.), and then did a happy dance in my apartment. Cause it’s just cute, right?

This is the first book I wrote myself. It was a labour of love. And sometimes hate. There were times (they were usually way past my bedtime times) where I couldn’t express how much I resented my pre-November self who decided to take this project on. Other times, those 1667 daily words whizzed by – but those times were rare. But being able to hold a bound copy of my work, flip through and look at my words (half of which I no longer remember writing)…it makes it all worth it.

I printed a “proof copy” from CreateSpaceNaNoWriMo winners get 5 free copies of their novel, but only after paying for a proof copy – and guess what? I didn’t double and triple check the file, so my book showed up missing the last few pages. Let me emphasize: this was because of my own stupidity. CreateSpace couldn’t have been easier to use. So I’ve now uploaded the right file and will probably order another copy in the future.

How do you think my name looks in print? I’m hoping this won’t be the last time I author a real, tangible book. A belated thank you to everyone who egged me on during that crazy writing month – I’m thrilled it helped me get to this point. Thrilled, I say!

Have a happy Tuesday. xo.

How to Do Morning Pages

How to Do Morning Pages

This week on Guinea Pigging Green, Laura and I are talking all about morning pages! If you’re not familiar with them, the idea is to do 3 pages of stream-of-consciousness writing first thing in the morning, by hand in a notebook. The purpose is to get rid of your internal judging voice, and get all the junk and insecurities and worries in your head down on paper before you start your day. I’ve done this before, for several months back in 2012 around the time when I did NaNoWriMo for the first time! Back then I was going through some things personally and I found the process incredibly helpful in working out some of the stuff in my head at the time.

About a month ago, Laura sent me an article she’d seen on the Daily Muse about morning pages and asked if I’d like to do them together for a month to see what would happen. I was definitely interested and happily recommitted to this practice I’d let slip out of my life nearly 2 full years ago. I’m happy to report that I love doing the pages more than ever.

So, how can you do morning pages yourself? It’s very, very simple. The official definition specifically says:

There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages—they are not high art. They are not even ‘writing.’ They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind—and they are for your eyes only. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page.

How to Do Morning Pages

Previously, I’d been using 750words.com, an awesome site based on the idea of morning pages which tracks your progress and saves your words every day. It’s an awesome way to ease into it if you’re new to the idea and want to give it a try. That being said, I think my experience writing it by hand in my notebook this time around has been a thousand times more enjoyable and helpful. As Laura put it, it’s just so much more cozy to write your pages by hand each morning in a nice notebook with a nice pen. I also love that that means I’m doing my morning writing before opening my computer. It has been so refreshing to take that time for myself before checking in with all the distractions my computer brings.

I’m also delighted that doing my morning pages has been an anchor for my morning, giving me something to do before I get swept up in the day and distracted by other things. It’s led to a bit of a domino effect lately too where I have begun meditating right after finishing my pages using the Headspace app. Then after that, I’ll have breakfast and do my 7 minute workout. And voila! A productive morning where one good thing flows into another. I find that no matter what else I do all day, I’m always so grateful to have taken that time to check in with myself before I start the day.

You can find out more about my experience with morning pages by tuning into the podcast here, and you can learn much more about the pages themselves on Julia Cameron’s blog here.

What National Novel Writing Month Taught Me

Photo thanks to Vintage Tartlette

It was completely surreal to hit 50,062 words last Wednesday. I finished my book while sitting in a comfy Starbucks armchair, just as the store was closing, serenaded by festive holiday music. I just typed my 1320 words, finished up my story, and that was it. It was so…BIZARRE.

I learned a ton from this experience, both about myself and about writing. Below, my insights:

1. Do What Works For You

I was disciplined enough to do my 1600+ words a day (even though some days I hated every second), so that I was always right on schedule. Staying on schedule was remarkably (and disconcertingly) easy. It was odd. If I forced myself to do it, no matter what, I was always hitting the little progress bar, and slowly but surely it crept up to tens of thousands of words. By the time the last two days rolled around, I wasn’t scrambling or stressing. I just wrote my daily quota, again, for the 30th time.

Now I’m not suggesting that my way of completing this crazy month was superior, but it was really the only way I personally could have done it. I guess to a certain extent I need to be meticulous. I knew that if I fell behind, I would never catch up, because with everything else going on I wouldn’t be able to devote hours in a day to binge writing.

I guess you could describe my writing style as organized. I know Gabrielle, when she gets into her story, can write thousands of words in just a few days – she’s overcome with the passion of writing. And while I admire that, love that, wish I was like that…for now I know what works for me is putting one foot in front of the other. I hope that one day I can become consumed by my stories and write like the wind, but for now I’m proud that I even carve out the time to let myself write creatively. Which brings me to my next point…

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Writing: Inspiration & Motivation

Since my last post about writing, I’ve been trying to incorporate writing into my day-to-day life. I think I’m making some progress, and that makes me feel so happy. As I said in the last article, writing is something I want to practice, improve and enjoy. I want to make it more of a priority! And I think I’m being successful so far, so I wanted to share some of the things that have been helping me with my goals.

Inspiration

I’ve been really drawing inspiration from the world of writing over the past week! I’ve written out about a dozen cards, filled with great quotes about writing. There are some great resources for quotes here and here. The cards are scattered around my workspace, and my eyes tend to fall on them while I’m spacing out from work. Great system so far!

I’ve read some great articles about the art of writing! My favourite is a piece from The Guardian about various writers’ top 10 rules for writing. There are some contradictions, definitely, but it’s so interesting.

I watched Finding Forrester a few days ago, and definitely got some inspiration! It was wonderful to take a look inside (albeit a fictional) writer’s life, see how they work and what they suggest. His line: “write your first draft with your heart, re-write with your head” is a great one that will stick with me for some time. I hope to watch some other films about writers, like those listed here.

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Lessons From NaNoWriMo Week One

Well, it’s official. Today marks the 7th day of National Novel Writing Month, and I am pleased to report that I have been diligently sitting down every day and writing my 1,667 words. Currently I have:

  • 20 pages
  • 10, 219 words
Ooh, it makes me giddy just to see those numbers! It’s true that it’s daunting to have over 39K words left to be written, but I plan to just keep on truckin’ and meet my daily quota. If I do that, I’ll be proud of myself. Today I wanted to share some of the lessons NaNo’s been teaching me over the past week. Hopefully even those who aren’t participating/aren’t planning on it will still find something of value here!

1. It feels good to do something every day.

Lately, I’ve been learning this lesson with respect to my “morning pages” on 750words.com. But adding this crazy project of writing a novel to the mix really hits the lesson right on home. There’s something inexplicably satisfying in doing something, consistently, every day. Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project highly recommends doing something every day, saying that it teaches us to find pleasure in our routine.

The things you do every day take on a certain beauty, and provide a kind of invisible architecture to daily life. – Gretchen Rubin

I would also venture to say that doing something every day is a boost to our self-esteem. I know that every time I hit my word quota, my chest practically puffs up with pride. It’s rewarding to see the number creep up, and to have the satisfaction of a job well done.

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Black & White Marble Cupcakes

Did I stress bake again? This is getting out of hand. Let’s pretend it’s NOT stress baking. Instead, this is celebration baking. 

What am I celebrating today?

  • Today, November 30th, is the day I finish my first novel! 1320 words to go!
  • After today, I will have only 17 days until I get to go home for the holidays!
  • Tomorrow is December 1st, the start of the most wonderful month of the year!
  • The pain in my teeth has finally started to subside, and the antibiotics will start kicking in soon – yay!
  • I’m nearly done the paper that has been causing me grief for a while
  • I’ve got all sorts of exciting ideas for hand-made Christmas gifts planned!
What are you celebrating today?
Yesterday, on a brief hiatus from the editing/re-writing of that darned paper, I took a moment to indulge my Top Chef: Just Desserts side (a show that I discovered a few days ago, to great delight!!). This is also little bit of a tribute to my experience at NaNoWriMo. The black-and-white swirls and stripes is in honour of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, because I found out this month that she wrote it during NaNoWriMo a few years ago! That inspiring tidbit has been getting me through my month. I was so impressed that such a wonderful novel could come out of that speed-writing experience.

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2012

These are my measurable, ongoing 2012 goals. For my 2012 intentions, click here

I’m setting a number of goals for myself in 2012, in the personal, creative, and physical domains. Check this page to see my progress throughout the year.

Personal

Creative

  • Write 100 blog posts (2 a week!) (finished July 27)
  • NaNoWriMo 2012 I feel a bit sad about this one, but wasn’t able to wrap my brain around committing to NaNoWriMo when November rolled around this year. 
  • Submit writing to 3 different newspapers or magazines
  • Project 365 (see the photos on Flickr)
  • Complete 10 DIY projects (check them out here)
  • Write an ebook

Physical

  • Take a photo of everything I eat  This was a nice thought, but it’s just not going to happen! 
  • Lose 20 pounds My new goal is just to stay fit and healthy. I no longer care about the actual number. For more info on this, see this post
  • Be able to run 10K (furthest so far: 8.35K!)

Lately | November

Currently November

Getting used to my new short haircut

Tackling a mountain of library books on everything from going vegan to feminist pop culture

Watching a whole lot of Scandal (can’t explain my love for Shonda Rhimes!) and Netflix documentaries

Learning the ropes at a new part time job

Skyping about exciting projects for my exciting new internship

Perfecting my Green Monster smoothie recipe (bananas, orange juice, chia seeds, coconut oil, berries, and a mountain of spinach)

Doing yoga every day for the last few weeks (!), either at home or at Power Yoga

Writing a novel for NaNoWriMo – it’s a slog sometimes but I’m doing my daily words

Missing my friends and living on my own desperately

Making plans to remedy that

Knitting a pale blue sweater, slowly but surely

Looking forward to seeing Les Miserables live on Saturday

Annoyed it’s getting dark and cold outside

Proud of Guinea Pigging Green’s Fall In Love With Yoga series

So excited to be making progress on my tripod headstand and yoga in general

Starting to get a little bit of a rhythm going (only took 1.5 months)

Always looking and planning and thinking about the future

29 Before 29

28 Before 28 >> Life In Limbo

The birthday posts are back with a vengeance this year! It feels great to be back to them, because taking a pause for a bit of reflection and a bit of intention-setting is (as we know) one of my favourite things ever. So why would I miss this birthday opportunity!?

My birthday list is a little collection of fun experiences I’d like to have or things I’d like to do before my next birthday rolls around. I never complete the full list in one year, but having these ideas recorded somewhere means that I end up doing more of them than I would otherwise. And that’s the whole point! So here are my 29 before 29:

  1. Take a trip somewhere warm during the winter
  2. Get a beautiful Monstera plant
  3. Visit Prince Edward County
  4. Go to La Scandinave spa
  5. Go camping with loved ones
  6. See the Infinite Kusama exhibit
  7. Get a signature perfume
  8. Swim in the ocean
  9. Print more square photos for my parlour
  10. Visit Montreal in the summertime
  11. Throw a dinner party in my new dining room
  12. Visit the Ripley’s Aquarium
  13. Ride the forest roller coaster at Blue Mountain
  14. Visit the Winter Stations installations
  15. Get a beautiful ceramic platter/altar piece
  16. Get a statement rug
  17. Go on another Nurture Nurture retreat
  18. Take a class at the Underground Dance Center
  19. Go to a musical with my sister
  20. Host a business retreat weekend
  21. Do a waterfall hike
  22. Play hooky on Toronto Island on a weekday
  23. Go to a movie at the Cinesphere
  24. Do NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo again
  25. Go leaf-peeping in the fall
  26. Go skinny-dipping
  27. Stay in a very quirky Airbnb
  28. Try acupuncture
  29. Something that makes me surprise myself

Curious about past years? You can check out my other lists here: 26 Before 26 | 25 Before 25 | 24 Before 24 | 22 Before 22

Inspiration: February 12

Inspiration February 12 >> Life In Limbo

I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried (like a baby) when I watched this beautiful video.

Go Axe, for finally including more than one type of masculinity in your commercials, brand and paradigm! A great Superbowl ad.

Humans of New York is always and forever inspiring, but this post in particular touched my heart. I’ve really been enjoying all of the interviews with prison inmates – they’re often surprising and touching.

I love both Seth Godin and Tim Ferriss, so this interview was wonderful to listen to. It’s long – 2 hours – but I barely noticed the time going by.

I’m considering doing a Camp NaNoWriMo (writing a novel in a month besides November) to get back into the writing groove. Their writing resources are very helpful as well.

I made this zucchini bread in muffin form this week and they are unreal – so good!

It was exciting to see new products and a shop update for the Get To Work Book.


It was a quiet week around here, a long weekend for Ecuador until Tuesday so things got off to a slow start. We had my boyfriend’s family over for dinner last night though, which was lovely. I made a frittata (a riff on this recipe) and a big beautiful salad (with this homemade salad dressing) and everything was delicious and cozy and I felt very happy. This weekend one of my best friends is arriving from NYC (!!!!!!) and I’m so excited to show her around this city as best I can. Yay! Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Lately | October

Lately October >> Life In Limbo

Buzzing with creative ideas for an e-course and new listings for the shop.

Listening to new Drake, old Drake, Anaconda and new Taylor Swift. Don’t be like me, kids. Or do, it’s so fun and we can have sweet dance parties.

Totally obsessed with Serial and having uber-intense discussions with my friends after each new episode airs.

Enjoying my nightly walks around the neighbourhood to get in my 10,000 steps a day.

Walking everywhere in either these shoes or these. (See also: pretending summer isn’t over.)

Proud of these photos + article I wrote about a favourite restaurant in my neighbourhood here in Busan.

Touched by the response from family and friends about my piece for HWY. Truly.

Wavering about whether I want to do NaNoWriMo again this year. Leaning towards no. But maybe?!

Excited for this movie, and this one too.

Still doing morning pages.

Painting my nails wine-red.

Meditating every day. I don’t always love it, but in general I love it.

Looking forward to a semi-formal event in a couple weeks, hikes in the changing fall leaves, and all the amazing stuff that’s going to happen in November that I can’t and shouldn’t try to plan for.

Gobsmacked at how fast this month went by (this feels like it was the same month).

Missing my besties + family back home, but…

Loving my friends + life here.

Planning for my next steps but trying not to freak out. As I’ve learned, 5 months is both really short and very long.

Happy.

Looking Back on 2011

2011 was an awesome ride. Like any good roller coaster, there were some amazing highs and some crazy lows, and lots of drama in between. All in all, I think it was one of the best years of my life to date, because of all the growth and change I went through. I’ve learned a ton about myself and what I need, and that just means that 2012 will be an even greater year as I build on that knowledge!

What I Did

Where I Went

  • Ottawa twice: once for Winterlude, and once for Canada Day.
  • Quebec City for a romantic weekend away
  • Cancun, Mexico for a fabulous week in the sun with my family!
  • Los Angeles, CA for a week of surfing, eating, and exploration.
  • And of course, back and forth between my beautiful Montreal and Toronto to visit family & friends.

By the Numbers

  • Books read: 50
  • Blog posts: 77
  • Articles published: 14
  • Novels written: 1
  • Photos taken: 5, 391 in 167 events (according to iPhoto)

In 2012, I want to read more books, take more better photos, and travel as much as possible. Stay tuned for a concrete list of New Years goals & a round-up of my 2011 NYR! (Spoiler alert: I didn’t get as many done as I’d hoped, but I’m still pretty thrilled.)

What are your favourite 2011 memories? I’d love to hear them. 

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Food For Thought: Killing Us Softly

Photo thanks to syafira2191

Hey y’all! I am currently 4 days into NaNoWriMo, and it’s really challenging! Last night, making myself write 1,600 words was like forcing a three year old to eat their vegetables. But to have 11 pages of a novel written? What a great feeling. I’m going to keep pushing through, and report back soon. Anyone who is participating, best of luck! I hope you’re doing well. Please chime in a comment about what gets you through! :)

As I’m heading toward the weekend, I wanted to stop in and share some “food for thought”. I’m taking a sociology of gender class this semester, and it has really opened my eyes to the world. A few weeks ago, our teacher shared a film with us: “Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women”. The filmmaker, Jean Kilbourne, has been making these films for several years. In them, she explores the way that the media portrays women, and investigates how these images affect the treatment of women in our society.

I truly believe these films should be “required watching” for everyone. Even if you’re not compelled to take action after watching, at least you’ll be examining advertising with a more critical lens.

I couldn’t find a copy of Killing Us Softly 4 online, but Documentary Heaven hosts Killing Us Softly 3, a version (still relevant!) made in the early 90’s. I watched about half of this one, and much of the material was identical to that in #4. I would encourage you to watch this version in the absence of a copy of #4 because it explores the same issues!

And here is the trailer for #4:

I hope you find these perspectives interesting, and thought-provoking. I certainly did. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Have a very happy weekend everyone!

xoxo,

Summer Bucket List

A couple weeks ago, I wrote down some of my thoughts on summer – some of the things I hope to experience before a chill sets into the air again and I’m back off to school. Today, I want to solidify my summer bucket list to ensure that despite my full-time job, I still live my summer to the fullest! Life’s good in the summer, and I don’t want to miss a thing. Here’s my summer to-do list!

  1. Have a picnic
  2. Go to the closest amusement park – July 20
  3. Spend a day at the beach
  4. Buy fresh produce at the local farmer’s market – July 4
  5. Take a hot yoga class – June 17
  6. Go for a motorcycle ride – June 29
  7. Attend a music festival – Montreal International Jazz Festival: June 25-July 4 (attended ~5 performances)
  8. Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo
  9. Throw a BBQ
  10. Practice my Spanish on BBC Languages
  11. Cook fresh lobster – July 10
  12. Take a cooking or a dancing class

Ooh I’m getting excited just writing it all down. So far this summer, I’ve already had so many amazing experiences: drinks at a live jazz club, long talks in an abandoned gazebo, reading on park benches, being showered by love by an outdoor tabby cat, poker nights with doors and windows wide open, fresh pie at midnight on an outdoor patio.. it’s been absolutely wonderful. I’ve been working hard, making friends, practicing my French (I speak exclusively French at work!) and enjoying the beautiful weather. I can’t wait to get the keys to my adorable new apartment and start making myself a home. So many exciting things to look forward to!

Tell me, what’s on your summer bucket list? Have you already had some amazing summer experiences? Let me know!

New Year’s Resolutions Update

Check out my New Year’s Resolutions Quarterly Report to see the progress I’ve made since March!

It’s August 15, which means we are 8 months into 2011, just slightly under 3/4 of the way through this year! As a reminder to myself, I wanted to outline my progress on my resolutions, so that I don’t forget them as I head back to school. Maybe this post can serve as a hint to you too: have you made progress on your resolutions!? How about your goals, wishes, desires, dreams, ideas? If yes: congratulations, I am very proud of you! If no, you still have 3.5 months to go, so get crack-a-lackin’! I know that this post is going to be a kick in my pants, for sure. :)

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Projects

Word of The Year

One of the ways that I try to bring more magic into my life is to choose a word or theme for each new year. It’s an idea I picked up from Elise Cripe via Ali Edwards, and 2019 will be my seventh time choosing a word.

 

NaBloPoMo

In 2017 I completed National Blog Post Writing Month for the first time. You can see all my posts from that month of daily writing here.

Birthday Lists

For a few years now, I’ve made lists of things I’d love to complete by my next birthday. Usually the things on the lists are something fun I’d like to do, or a skill I’d like to learn, or both!

29 Before 29 | 26 Before 26 | 25 Before 25 | 24 Before 24 | 22 Before 22

Book Club

For the last few years I’ve set – and met! – a goal of reading 75 books in the year. I write about the best books I’ve read every few months right here. Also, you can always follow along with my progress on my GoodReads profile.

Videos

One of my favourite projects is to make little videos of my daily adventures, edit them together and set them to music. I love to have a little snapshot of what my life looked like at any given time in my life. I usually make videos every time I go on a trip, which you can see all together here. I made seasonal videos when I was in Korea in 2014 and early 2015 which you can see right here. In 2012 I made monthly videos.

Photo Walks

Sometimes I take a walk with my camera looking for colours or patterns, and then post the photos here on the blog.

Red | Orange | Yellow | Green | Purple | Pattern | All

Past Projects

Guinea Pigging Green

From 2014 – 2017, I co-hosted a podcast about health, wellness and eco-friendliness with my good friend Laura. Listen to archives of the show right here or read our blog here.

Project 365

In 2012 I took a photo every day for a year! Click here to see the book I made from the photos.

NaNoWriMo

In 2011 and 2013 I participated in National Novel Writing Month.

 

Writing Inspiration

Writing Again >> Life In LimboI started writing for fun again! I haven’t done any creative writing since probably November of 2013, unless you count the creative nonfiction piece I wrote about my wonderful mother. I think in my mind I had at some point, probably after my second NaNoWriMo, unconsciously associated writing with word counts and deadlines and typing gibberish even though I wasn’t in the mood. Thinking that way was the only way, I sort of shut it down completely.

But it started creeping back in, especially over the past few weeks. I spoke to a friend who wants to move to Spain and write his novel. I found some old snippets and scenes on my computer and didn’t completely hate them. Another friend talks about her daily writing practice and has given her book of essays a publication date in her mind. I read a piece that asked you to remember what it was you loved to do when you were very young.

So on Sunday, eating brunch by myself at my favourite café, I took out a notebook and started writing. It made me feel so good that I found a podcast on writing that I listened to while walking and bought a new notebook for writing scribbles on my way home. Later the podcast sparked a conversation with a friend of mine and she told me about the fan fiction she used to write.

It’s been so fun these last few days to just write, to practice, to live in a little world of my own making. It’s been great to let myself completely off hooks of any kind and just enjoy it without worrying about how much I need to write or what I’ll do with it. It’s been freeing (and laughably obvious) to realize that I don’t have to be a published novelist as my career or do absolutely no writing, but can find a little sweet spot for myself somewhere in between.

In the spirit of the thing, here are some links to awesome writing inspiration I’ve found or re-visited lately:

All Write Already is “a completely unpretentious literary podcast” where they talk about writing and interview authors about things like their writing processes and thoughts about storytelling. I’ve listened to a few episodes now and have found inspiration in every one so far.

I used to follow Sarah Selecky a lot more closely, back when I wrote more, and had subscribed to her daily writing prompts. This week I revisited her site and found this gem of an article about writing longhand (which I’ve been loving) and signed up for her twice-monthly letters.

I haven’t read either of his novels, but on the recommendation of two friends with impeccable literary taste, I read Junot Diaz’s short story A Cheater’s Guide to Love this week and liked it a lot.

I also used to read Fiction Fridays by Rachel on the Elephantine blog. She would post a scene or a poem on her blog each Friday and they were always very inspiring and very good. She’s since stopped because she’s working on her novel but I read through some of the archive this week and enjoyed them as ever. I don’t think I’m ready to do something similar on my blog here, but maybe one day..

Happy Wednesday!

2012 Goals

My 2012 intentions are set, which means it’s time for the juicy measurable GOALS! I don’t know about you, but I love tracking things, and seeing progress. Which means that I have a lot more fun with measurable goals than with intentions – even though intentions are really important too!

To see the fully updated 2011 New Year’s Resolutions post, click here. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I might have liked, but I aimed for the moon and was really happy with where I landed.

This year, I am being no less ambitious. I know I could have made my blogging goal, so it’s staying the same. Turns out 100 books was too high, so I’m cutting it by a quarter. I’ve made simple adjustments to other goals and added some new ones. Each of them reflects something I want to learn or improve upon, and I think hope know I can get them all done by the end of 2012 if I really set my mind to it.

I’m posting my goals as a page on the blog here and will be updating it throughout the year. I’ve also created a public spreadsheet that I’ll be updating weekly with my progress. Gotta have that accountability!

Now, without further ado, my 2012 measurable goals!

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I Like Links

Photo thans to endless smile

Because it’s Wednesday. Because I have a midterm later. Because I’m trying to write a novel in a month. Because my brain is still boggled from TEDx and I don’t feel like coming up with any original ideas just yet…

…I decided to give you links to the beauty that other people have created. Yay, outsourcing!

The Bloggess (aka funniest person on earth) released this blog post a little while ago. I’ve never laughed so hard at a computer screen before. And I was in the library, where laughter is looked down upon. Gee, thanks Jenny.

I loved this list: 30 Books to Read Before 30. It’s interesting – I started reading a couple that made the list just a few weeks ago. Interesting how that synchronicity stuff works, isn’t it?

Every week, I get really excited on Monday nights. Wanna know why? It’s because every Tuesday morning there’s a little missile in my email inbox from Marie Forleo, queen of entrepreneurship. She makes Q&A Tuesday videos that are chock-full of advice for every area of life and business. I wish more people made quality product like this!

Danielle Laporte is master whiz at packing a punch with her blog posts. Her latest one was no exception, it’s about doing whatever it takes to achieve your dreams. Very inspiring!

I CANNOT stop watching the trailer for The Hunger Games. I just can’t, y’all. It’s right here, but watch at your own risk – you may fall into a deep depression when you realize it doesn’t come out until March 23.

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Thoughts on Summer

Bird of paradise in Cancun

I think it’s summer. I’m sitting beside an open window, in a skirt, sipping on lemon water, listening to Joy the Baker’s new podcast and loving life. Anyone else listen to it yet? Anyone else find that bloggers’ real voices never, ever match up to how you imagine their voices? It’s disconcerting.

I’m back in the downright gorgeous city of Montreal for the remainder of the summer. I’m in the process of looking for a new apartment, and I may have located just the one! I don’t want to jinx it though, so I’m going to keep mum on how much I like it until I can figure out how to acquire it. Tomorrow the job hunt begins – I get nervous about handing out resumes, but it’s got to happen and I’ve got to stay confident.

For now, though, I get to fantasize about the rest of the summer. Concerts, festivals, dinners al fresco, farmer’s markets, reading in parks. If the last couple days are any indication, the next few months are going to be heavenly: free, breezy, relaxed. Work and play in equal parts.

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