Posts in Lifestyle
LIFESTYLE | Wrapping up 2018
byamygrace.2018

Let nothing hinder you.
Let everything propel you.
Let the trials deepen you.
Let the accomplishments inspire you.
Let the passion empower you.
Let the uncertainty intrigue you.

2018

Has awakened me & has allowed me to see deeper into elements I would not have seen.

There has been disappointments and heartache in projects.
Misuse of power and behaviour in settings of learning.
Boundary lines crossed.
Periods of anxiety, fear and confusion.
Unsettling moments of communication.
Emotional roller coaster rides in parenting.

and

There has been confirmation in passions.
Connections reaffirmed.
Opportunities provided.
Memories made.
Time with good friends and family treasured.
Professional growth.
Freelance opportunities.
Collaborations developed.
Friends returned.
Celebrations had.

&


Through all of these very real and true experiences, there is a thankfulness for it all. For the one who leaked their insecurities, which provided me the courage to use my voice and not back down. For the collaborator who has passions uniquely her own that can confidently express her directions and how they coincide with mine. For the boundary lines crossed that reminded me that the lines drawn are founded. For the friends returned whom reminded us what it means to have depth in relationship.

For all these experiences has brought me here, to right now & continues to carve me out, to be the person I need to be. & while I take a break and reflect on where to go from here, I am truly thankful for it all because I know, it is within that thankfulness that I will find a deeper sense of peace and healing, so I can continue to become who I am called to be.

LIFESTYLE | Preparing for Christmas
preparing.byamygrace

This week & weekend marks the beginning of our Christmas Preparation.

A combination of wanting to be decorated for hosting, knowing that the next bit of time will fly by and realizing that as Advent approaches we want to get our ‘busy’ activities behind us so that we can truly take in the process of Christmas.

This year I was able to find an Advent candle which we have never had before.

Knowing that we will be daily burning this candle, is an exciting and also mindful choice.

While the candle burns:

I will be mindfully taking in the day.

I will be reflecting on what the advent week is : Hope, Faith, Joy, & Peace

I will be considering what parts of my year, life and baggage need to be set down for the coming ‘year’.

As we ready for Christmas,

a time of year we spend with others, consciously give and take in the treats of the season may we also mindfully consider how our hearts can be made new and seek ways in which to find that stillness no matter what time of year it may be.

LIFESTYLE | On Parenthood
onparenthood.byamygrace

This Autumn I decided to start re-watching Parenthood.

We’ve loved this show for many reasons. Its characters show realistic family dynamics with deep, raw and real connections while also allowing each character room to grow, fail and struggle through life. Its value system is varied with each family and yet follows the wholistic vision of what it means to try to have a well intentioned, honouring family dynamic. It shows diversity in thought and individuality while also showing how we share our families traits, inconsistencies and that our hurts don’t just stop at one person, they follow through into each generation.

The ‘Little Bedford Family’ is certainly not ‘The Bravermans’, but the authenticity we want to create in our home and with the family and friends we have around us is a very real and present value in our hearts and minds.

The values this show has & reminded us of, again and again:

Stay Relational

Human beings are relational at our core. We crave to be seen as we are and often that means a lot of misfiring and mishaps as we go about it with our already self-perceived aches and pains in life. Being individuals, we all experience life a bit differently but we are all intertwined in various ways. Staying current in each others lives, expressing in our most outward form in effort to connect and finding each other amidst the busyness is an important quality. (for us, as a married couple, this means daily connecting after 10pm in conversation about the day, our latest thoughts, concerns and sharing in one of the television series that we are following.)

Stay Self-Aware

Knowing our limitations and boundaries with ourselves and with each other are effective tools in life and in family. Knowing what those are is not a way to stay divided, but to find ways in which to stay healthily connected.

Stay Lighthearted

Life is already heavy enough. Enjoying each others company and finding the joy and humour in the little things has a way of making memories and having something to laugh at when things are rough. (My cousin Kylie is a great example of this. We live provinces apart and still she is CONSTANTLY bringing up (via text or phone call) our childhood ridiculousness or even old or recent laughs at random. & there is nothing better than a good laugh during a rough day.)

Stay Gracious

When we cannot for the life of us understand the other, to do our best to pass grace in a way that honours ourself and the other person. We are not supposed to understand each other fully because how would we be able to practice ‘grace’ if it was that easy? And passing Grace doesn’t mean ignoring hurt or allowing toxicity, but it does mean allowing a gap for those things to exist as you recognize that there is much that you need to be given Grace for and much we need to give grace in return.

LIFESTYLE | Cardio Bursts
cardio.byamygrace

Movement is medicine and a privilege.

Awareness of how movement affects me began while I was learning to figure skate as a teen. I found joy, creativity and atheltisim in that form of movement. Something I didn’t think was ever going to be for me.

Athleticism.

I began to understand gradually why athletes had to have an excellency and persistence in what they did. I was tasting it, and I LOVED IT.

A slow discovery of various forms of movement began. From figure skating, to yoga, to swing dance, to blues dance, and also to my daily cardio bursts.

Being a writer…

doesn’t allow for much movement. Although, I am finding that working 10 minute cardio bursts throughout my work day or any day I am less motivated is a way I can keep fresh, awake and determined.

And a Woman…

It wasn’t long ago I heard the very true statistic that in Canada, the number one killer of women over the age of 55 is heart disease. It made me realize that although I need to maintain health and wellness for my overall care, that I also need to remember that my heart is also a muscle, that it needs to be worked in order to be strong.

Fitting in 10 minutes of cardio in between or during transitions in my day has given me a renewed sense of awareness of how much movement my body needs. (we are all different.)

Movement Routine:

Mon, Wed, Fri : Morning Yoga, additional walking / cardio bursts

Tues, Thurs : Morning Cardio, additional walking / cardio bursts

Sat / Sun : Nature walk or dancing, additional cardio bursts if needed

*additonal movement is there when it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to maintain a certain number of either minutes, weight or calories. This is about knowing that I am giving myself what I need & staying in tune with my body. The more you check in with yourself physically, the more you begin to notice that your brain fog may just be the need for fresh air, or sore back may be needing a good stretch a.k.a yoga, etc. Stay mindful, rooted and thankful.

LIFESTYLE | Clear the 'Table'
 Along the Bedford Basin

Along the Bedford Basin

This is the time of year we are often swept into what is often called ‘the holidays’ but so often referred to as the ‘rush’ to get it all done.

This year, as with last year, I am making a more consistent effort to not get caught up in the ‘expectations’ of this time of year, but mindfully and thoughtfully consider how to approach the holidays, work, new year preparations and personal life.

This means, weekly making the time to ‘clear the table’ so to speak to make sure priorities are in order.

Being the list maker that I am, that’s my first step

To Consider:

  • Events

  • Traditions

  • Relationships, both friends and family.

  • Personal appointments

  • Professional deadlines

  • End of the year goals / deadlines

  • Preparations for the winter season (Winter tires, yard / house maintenance, etc)

  • Pressing issues / stresses

  • Hobbies / extra curricular

Then one must thoughtfully articulate how each of these elements prioritize themselves.

Both personal and professional life has it’s weight and it can be a tricky balance.

Then:

Circle the elements that are the biggest stressors / most pressing.

After circling, then:

Star the elements that bring you joy and are excited about.

Then:

Review those circled and cross out at least one element that truly isn’t as pressing or important as you make it out to be.

Lastly:

Make a list of both the circled and star’d elements that you know you need to do. The rest go at the end.

Each week find ways in which to address them and remind yourself of the reasons you prioritize them. If the reason doesn’t stand up well, let it go.

I repeat:

Let it go.

don’t make me sing that song….

LIFESTYLE | 2019 Bullet Journal Prep
b.j.19.07.amygrace

Bullet Journaling has changed my life drastically.

Pre-parenthood I would buy any day planner and fill in where necessary.

Then as technology progressed, I went to using my phone with a day planner in tandem. Events / meetings etc went in my phone while specific tasks went in the day planner.

Post-parenthood I was at a loss.

How do I do this? Nothing is predictable and yet the tasks are piling up and somehow, for my own personality and sanity, I needed to find a new way to keep track of it all.

It was finding Bullet Journaling that really put life planning and preparations in perspective.

Although it’s a necessary chore that can feel hard to overcome while balancing motherhood, work, aspirations, busy family, friends and personal needs, it can also be a place and time where I map out every ‘right yes’. Bullet Journaling has helped me to see my personal and professional choices laid out in a manner that excites me, and brings me into a place of alignment with my values and my choices.

Here is how I am designing 2019’s Bullet journal so far:

  Starting with an overview of the year like this….

Starting with an overview of the year like this….

  Milestone events will be highlighted…

Milestone events will be highlighted…

  A wellness wheel which will allow me to identify what I need to work on and add / take away from my life.

A wellness wheel which will allow me to identify what I need to work on and add / take away from my life.

  A seasonal ‘bucket list’ of sorts with a way to track what wardrobe additions will be needed for the season.

A seasonal ‘bucket list’ of sorts with a way to track what wardrobe additions will be needed for the season.

  As much as I wanted to try a new monthly layout, I couldn’t seem to shake this one. It’s very direct and specific in it’s visual.

As much as I wanted to try a new monthly layout, I couldn’t seem to shake this one. It’s very direct and specific in it’s visual.

  A new way to track the daily.’s I haven’t done it vertical before so this will be new for me. I also am going to change the word from “Today” to “Dailys” where underneath I will have the daily routine. i.e. Tuesday might look like: - Cardio, - Clean Kitchen, - Hair Rinse.

A new way to track the daily.’s I haven’t done it vertical before so this will be new for me. I also am going to change the word from “Today” to “Dailys” where underneath I will have the daily routine. i.e. Tuesday might look like: - Cardio, - Clean Kitchen, - Hair Rinse.



LIFESTYLE | Reflect
reflect.byamy.grace

This past week it rained everyday.

I love rain. For me, it’s a little permission slip to pause, watch it fall and reflect.

Not much in life can make me do that to be honest.

I am a reflective person in nature, sure, but I am one in constant motion. A lazy day for me consists of sitting or indulging in something frivolous for over an hour.

Anything past an hour and I get annoyed and ready to move to the next thing.

Being still and reflective for me, is a practice. My mind whirs and isn’t very willing to not be processing the next task, project, event etc.

There is something very true that happens in reflection.

A sense of understanding and clarity we don’t often find in the busy.

Understanding

For what we do not yet or may not ever understand

Clarity

For what we have needed the space to see. It is hard to truly comprehend something when you are nose to nose with it. Having space, allows one to take in it’s entirety.

IMG_1994.JPG


LIFESTYLE | Autumn 2018
autumn.2018.byamygrace

Sweater weather is here!!

We got to the beach so many times this summer and it’s only enforced our full enjoyment of getting out and enjoying the best of what each season has to offer.

Autumn Goals:

Crisp Walks

flannels

As the weather get’s colder and rains more in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s easy to want to stay inside, but that is a total cop out. There are still plenty of sunny and or overcast days that can be enjoyed. Getting out for those crisp Autumnal walks are a must. Hot coffee or hot chocolate for the walk didn't hurt anyone either.

Dancing

Autumn is the season where our city’s Swing Dance Society starts back up in ‘full swing’. As much as we can, we are going to try to attend events and get some of those beautiful dance opportunities in.

S’mores

Summer is not the end of S’mores. There are still plenty of nights where S’more dip or Traditional S’mores can be had.

Flannels / Blankets

Switch to flannels and pull out the cozies. We are in full blown cuddle mode over here.

Candles

Getting a few autumn scented candles and some plain ones are a great way to make Hygge happen in the home.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2018
summer.capsule.2018.byamygrace

Top Centre - Clockwise: Blue tank top | Frenchies, Blue / White striped Dress | Banana Republic, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan | Indigo, Blue T-Shirt Dress | The Gap, Blue dress | Second Hand from Jasmine Alexander, ‘Faux’ Lipstick | Mac, ‘There in Heartbeat Necklace’ | Bryan Anthonys from Jasmine Alexander, Blue Tank top | Modcloth.com , Folded up Black romper | The Gap, Sleep Aromatherapy Body Cream | Bath and Body Works, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop | Bench, White and Yellow Striped Scarf | Indigo, Starfish Keds | Softmoc, Nutragena SPF moisturizer | Shoppers Drug Mart, Joggers | Roots, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser | Sephora, Green Shorts | The Gap, Tribe Engraved bracelet | From the bestie Nicole Payzant, Jean Shorts | H&M, Off White Jersey Summer Dress | H&M, Lagom Book | Indigo, White silk Tank | Bootlegger

BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE….

Can you tell what colours I like by now?

This summer I finally felt like I had a fully well developed capsule wardrobe to pull out for the summer.

What I Added

Banana Republic Blue Striped Dress : Bought for the purpose of wearing to the Wedding Shower I was hosting as a Maid of Honour, and for any future special summer events that happen in our coastal city / atmosphere.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Tank : I wear my two yoga tops on a weekly rotation and one is loosing it’s appeal, I thought adding something motivational and different for my ‘spring/summer’ workouts would be a great boost and also practical way to get me motivated.

Roots Joggers : I looked high and low. It could be that I was looking in the late spring into summer, but even still the joggers I found for women were either too cheap / thin in fabric or had insane detailing that ruined the look. I do not want ‘rips’ pre-made into my joggers thank-you….let’s leave those for the girlfriend / boyfriend jeans! Roots joggers although expensive on the outset, I imagine, will last me many years. They are plush, cozy, durable and make me feel attractive. There are many a rainy day or Sunday early writing morning that I don’t want to be in jeans or yoga pants. These are a great alternative, & admittedly, my husband is glad that I am not stealing his joggers to wear on a damp day!

H&M dress : insanely cheap. This jersey dress cost me about $18 give or take , has pockets and flows perfectly. Being short in stature with ample sized breasts, most dresses that hang without some sort of form to it make me look pregnant, but this one doesn’t! It has just the right shape to indicate my body shape underneath and also just enough flow to feel like I can be out and about with a more relaxed posture.

Bootlegger White silk Tank: I bought this knowing I wanted it for work occasions. Although it is a bit low in the cleavage area I have found that when I wear it, I only have to be aware when I am bending down and in awkward positions. Of course, being a mom, that seems like all the time, but wearing this to events has been a a confidence booster. White in the summer is such a breeze.

What I am thinking of letting go of

The blue dress that Jasmine has in my closet that we have shared through out the years has a slight rip near the top of the back. I am reticent to get rid of it, even though I know it is not fixable (The fabric is sheer there and just not worth my time to fix it, although this specific dress has certainly given Jasmine and I years of wear and memories.)

What isn’t pictured here:

Swim suit, flip flips, runners, workout shorts, pyjamas.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Toddler Capsule Wardrobe 2018
summer.toddler.capsule.2018

Top Centre - Clockwise: We Are Better Together Book | Gift from Great Aunt Linda & Great Uncle Keith, Rose Gold Pineapple Cat Ear Hat | Carters, Kitty Pyjamas | | Carters, Red / White Striped T-Shirt | Carters, Octupus Charm Bracelet | From Tai Ma in Hong Kong, Pink Dress | H&M, Jean Shorts | Carters, Green Sunglasses | Carters, Colourful Tank top | Carters & Second Hand find from Auntie Nicole, Swimmer T-Shirt | Carters & Second hand find from Auntie Nicole, Sneakers | Zara, Flower Romper | Joe Fresh, Christopher Robin Adventures Poems | 1932 Book given to my paternal Grandmother when she was a child, Chalk | SuperStore, Teddy Bear Sticker Book | Indigo, Beach Cover Up | Carters, Swim Suit | Carters.

NEW:

Swimsuit

I try when buying new items to buy what I believe fits my little’s specific taste and personality. So many swimsuits for toddler/pre school girls are either bikini style or super girly. This was a beautiful middle ground while also offering more sun protection than a toddler bikini.

Red Striped T & Jean Shorts

Believe it or not, these jean shorts are size 18 months and still baggy on her. That’s just the way her body is, long and petite, but I did love how this red striped T was a sweet weekend combo.

LAST YEAR:

Pink Dress

We bought this dress for her child dedication at church in early Spring 2017. This summer it’s become the perfect little linen dress for post beach or on an extremely hot day.

Romper

Originally bought last summer, we were thankful to see this romper still fit.

HEAT WAVE

This capsule is very minimal for many reasons. One of them being, as much as we could this summer, we let her go as ‘raw’ as we could. It was so hot that often we skipped pyjamas and let her play around the house in just her underwear.

This was the hottest summer in Nova Scotia ever recorded and I was amazed at how the heat never let up. Sitting at 30/32, sometimes 35 degrees on any given day, with humidity in the air pushing the temp closer to 40 was such a hard adjustment to us east coasters. We love our wind, rain and overcast days more than we realize.

All in all, this season was very minimal with re-using a lot of the lightest weight clothes and we are looking forward to seeing what sweaters, and shirts she still fits from last winter / Autumn wardrobe.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Favourites 2018
summer.fav.18.byamygrace

Succulent Terrarium

We made a terrarium a couple years back but (SOMEONE ...ahem... not me...) over watered it, so we had to dump it.  This late Spring early Summer we started anew with these beautiful new succulents from The Flower Shop.

Beach Towels

Since 2011 we have been using old Beach Towels of mine and Jeremy's parents.  This year I waited for a sale on these Luxurious oversized towels at Bed Bath and Beyond.  No regrets.

China Rich Girlfriend

#2 in the Crazy Rich Asians Series, this book lives up to it's expectations.  Funny, true and insightful.

Beach Rocks

Collecting beach rocks is a way of anchoring ones soul to the ocean.  Hopefully this year I will get around to painting these.

Starfish Keds

Walking everywhere in these shoes.

Morning Breeze by Juke Ross

Something about this song gets to me.

"Take all your things and take the past with you, Your selfish ways I cant wait to loose. I'm… With the morning Breeze, I was right by your side But your arms released me, now I'm flying high..."

Lagom

Reading this book during the summer months has been a sort of meditation.  Remember not to take life so seriously and take it one section at a time.

Yellow Striped Scarf

I have had this scarf since 2010 from Indigo, and it continues to inspire me in the summer months.

Aromatherapy Sleep Body Cream

This is an affective cream for calming the senses.

Other favourites:

The Good Place - For the extreme laughs & character development.
Mad Men - Re-watching this series is so much more impactful at age 29 then when we first watched it.  Let's be honest, 10 years ago we watched it for Don Draper (Jon Hamm), now, with new eyes we watch it for Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss)
S'more Dip - For that seasonal snack
Nova 7 Wine -  This one in particular
 

LIFESTYLE | Bachelorette Time
Heidis.bacherlorette party.byamygrace

With a family wedding up and coming and being the Maid of Honour, it's a privilege to be able to help celebrate the traditional wedding events & have fun while doing it! 

Overview of the evening:

Wine Tasting at Obladee

Was informative as it was enjoyable.  The woman who walked us through the tasting was informed as she was pleasant to listen to.  It was fun to learn more about what rosé wines were available in our province and also a deeper red from out of town.  The Brides favourite was between the 'L'Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvée Rosé' and the 'Cherubino Pedestal Cabernet Merlot'.  My favourite, due to the hot summer and my yearning for Autumn, the 'Cherubino Pedestal Cabernet Merlot'.

Dinner at Lot Six

The Bride & I were both ravenous by then for their hamburger and a glass of red.  The combination was amazing.  Highly recommend their atmosphere and menu. 

Dancing

In-between dinner and dancing we went to a bridesmaids house in located in the city to primp some more before taxying downtown to dance.  (what better way to end the evening than to dance?)

We were planning on going to a newer more retro dance club called 'Vinyl' which plays all the older eighties music and has throwback eighties dance atmosphere, but in the lead up to this event we found out they closed for the duration of the summer.  We opted for the safe bet in The Pacifico.

I have always enjoyed the Pacifico for it's happy & safe atmosphere.  It allows for everyone to have fun while not permitting any rowdiness, which when hosting a bride is exactly what we want.  Safe & fun! 

Let the hair fly!!! 

or, as we found that warm night, put your hair up in a bun & continue dancing....

We tied the night up with late night pizza followed with a brunch the next morning.

It was so exciting to realize as we cheered our mimosas we were getting to the home stretch of celebrating this wedding. 

October is just around the corner!!!! 

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LIFESTYLE | Reading Life
reading.life.byamygrace

I am a reader. 

A book dragon, as some might say. 

My biggest accomplishment in Jr.High was graduating one of my jr. high years with a certificate for being the student who read the most books along with a gift certificate from my English teacher to a book store in my city.  

Yeah... Book nerd! 

Looking back, I am proud of that.  I may not have been the popular kid but so much of that silly social school dynamics never truly mattered, even if I thought they did.  I was a reader, and this meant my view of the world was already wider than my peers by just opening myself up to various perspectives.  

As an Adult my reading life looks like this:
I make a point to read from these categories:

- Fiction
- Plays / Scripts
- Non Fiction
- Graphic Novels
- Memoirs / Biographies etc.
- Magazines
- Newspapers

This usually means I have various types of reading on the go.

Currently:

- China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle
- A Real Simple Magazine
- Ms.Marvel - Mecca - G.Willow Wilson
- An Illustrated History of Nova Scotia by Harry Bruce & Dan Soucoup

I would like to better document what I am reading in some artistic manner and am still grappling with how...until then, I thought a little post would do. 

 


 

LIFESTYLE | Over a Decade Together
Amy.jeremy.7.

This month it is our eleven year anniversary of being together and seven year anniversary of marriage.  

Over a decade together has changed us, 

drastically. 

We often half laugh and half cringe at how much we have changed over the years.  He is handsomer, more manly, more in tune and sensitive.  I am in his words: 'sexier, more driven, more confident and gutsy.'

We have traveled some dark roads together and we have also seen first hand what it means to start again.  

I love that about us.  We didn't have the easiest start to our life together as a married duo but we were young enough that as we did the hard work on ourselves we learned how to be stronger and better together. 

What I hope this next decade to be, is our celebration of this life we have re chosen again and again while finding ourselves in those simple moments as we grow and re-grow in new and deeper ways.  

 

LIFESTYLE | Want S'mores?
s'mores.byamygrace

One of our favourite summer time indulgences ...

S'more Dip

Oven safe bowls / skillets
Chocolate Chips
Grahm Crackers
Large Marshmallows

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees

2. Butter the bottom of the oven dish & add enough chocolate chips that cover the bottom and add as much depth of chips as you would like.

3. Cover chocolate chips with marshmallows.

4.Put in 400 degree oven and let bake until marshmallows are turning light brown. 

5. Let cool for a few minutes and then begin dipping with crackers. 

ENJOY!

 

LIFESTYLE | Weekend Road Trip
weekend.roadtrip.byamygrace

Last weekend we took four days and visited family.  The drive from Bedford, Nova Scotia to Montague P.E.I is a stunner.  It has a way of calming and relaxing me.  The ferry that runs during the warmer months breaks up the journey & gives us a chance to enjoy the fresh air. 

The Highlights of a Family Road Trip & Visit 

Reading

Tradition has evolved over the years that when we arrive to P.E.I. we begin to swap books out, debrief on the latest reads and make new reading / life goals. I have noticed that Jeremy enters into reading here and that now that our 'little' is older her car travel rides consist of her flipping through books for hours.

Games

Having an uncle who is a board game youtuber has it's benefits.  We are constantly learning new games when we visit and laughing along the way.  This time it was 'The Mind' & 'Gladiators in An Arena' (heh) that really stuck out to us!   (I LOVE 'THE MIND')

Naps/Rests

Having a three year old with a nap-time has a way of setting the 'quiet time' tone, but I think it's safe to say that when all of you but one have a book in your lap and your eyes closed , it's time to admit defeat.  

Being

Although PEI has it's touristy activities which I am sure as our toddler ages we will take advantage of, visiting this family has a source of peace to it.  We take each day as it comes and don't overload.

 

I am not really sure how to define or explain that ease and peace that we find together but it's there.  As the years go by I am recognizing that the peace in togetherness and time well spent is so much more valuable then the next crazy adventure or the next task on my to do list.  

I left feeling refreshed & ready for the next wave of events and work.

 

LIFESTYLE | Lagom Lifestyle
lagom.byamygrace

This Summer I have been slowly working through this book and enjoying the beautiful aspects of what it means to live a 'Lagom' life.  Being a minimalist at heart and desiring a balanced life makes me more than open to this concept of "Not too little, not too much".

What I have learned so far:

Limit Work

In Sweden and other nordic countries working yourself to the ground is not something to be proud of.  You show up to work on time and you leave work when your work hours are over or leave early to pick up your children.  You put your full energy into your work when you are there and maintain attention and productivity but it is seen as a concerning and unhealthy habit to be working past your allotted work hours. 

Enjoy food!

There is no shame in having a 'Fika' moment as they call it: Coffee & a sweet with a friend (usually a cinnamon bun or other pastry).  Food is seen as a way to connect with others and nourish your body.  Diet is not restricted but is mindfully assessed and they especially enjoy taking advantage of what food is in season.

Move with Mindfulness

Movement and exercise is worked into their lifestyle.  Big on bicycles and early morning dips (morgondopp) the Sweden lifestyle is no stranger to cold weather.  They don't let that stop them from enjoying every season and reasons to get out there.   I use their joy for movement by finding every excuse to walk to the errands / places I need to be.  I may not be big on cycling myself or going out of my way to have a 'morgondopp' but I can start the day with yoga and stay mindful of what my day has to offer in various aspect of movement and adjust accordingly.

Embrace each season

As a Nova Scotian I find a kinship with the Swedish / Nordic lifestyle.  We have short Summers and long winters.  (or at least, it can seem that way) Looking at life through their eyes makes you realize how much more we can enjoy and find useful in each month of the year and how snow, cold temperatures doesn't have to stop us from enjoying both in and out of doors.

LIFESTYLE | A Wedding Shower
 Heidi Collins & Sean O'Briens Wedding Bridal Party Shower at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, NS.

Heidi Collins & Sean O'Briens Wedding Bridal Party Shower at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, NS.

wedding.shower.byamygrace.balloons

Being asked to host any event for people you love is a daunting task and it also a fun one.   You want to make sure that they have the experience and time they were hoping for and that the guests also enjoy themselves while being brought into the atmosphere.

We hosted this Wedding Shower event at The Stubborn Goat in Halifax, bought some balloons & an emoji pictionary game off of Etsy and let the atmosphere take care of itself. 

What I loved the most about this event was how easy it was to enjoy the company of those who came.  The Stubborn Goat put us in the centre of everything which may seem daunting but it also meant we could easily get up, and talk with others and access the bathrooms.  As the evening turned into night the natural lighting gave way to the star like lights hanging from the high ceilings.  A truly magical effect. 

It is an honour to walk through this journey with Heidi.  She may be Jeremy's cousin, but for all intents and purposes she really was and is his sister.  So having the honour as a 'sister-in-law' to put together an event for her is one of the most precious and honouring of tasks.

Here's to many more opportunities to celebrate their milestones together.  

wedding shower.h&s
LIFESTYLE | Beach Days
walk.to.beach.byamygrace

When you grow up in a coastal city, the ocean becomes like the blood in your veins.  It is always there, like a heart beat.

Everything collapses on itself in the ocean.  Everything is stirred, pulled, mixed and churned. 

Everything is washed over.

We go to the ocean to be made new in some way.  

We are taking advantage of as many Beach Days as we can.  It doesn't take much.  Swimsuits, sunscreen, a few sand toys, towels, sandwiches, water, books & a healthy dose of a playful spirit.

beach.byamygrace