Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My 8 year old niece is wise beyond her years.  I'm always astonished by the things she says (most of the time in a good way!).  The other day she was getting me to write down a list of things she wanted for her birthday and she asked that I write "Birthday Wishes".  She asked me if I wanted to know why she called them wishes and I said yes.  She told me that she calls it a wishlist because you're supposed to write down all of the things that you wish for, not just the things that you hope to get.  Not surprisingly, the item on the top of her list is a great dane!   She teaches me to hope and dream for things, even if they seem so far out of my reach.  Oh how I love her for that.
I think that I'll write a list of my wishes.  Maybe for things that I hope to manifest in my life more than the material things I want, although that couldn't hurt either!  Let me know if any of you have lists like this.  Do you keep them up to date?  Do they help you reach your goals and live your dreams?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Inspiration and Staying Positive

via pinterest

These are two things that I have been thinking about lately.  I love it when I am totally inspired to create something or to work on something.  It gives me a purpose and makes me happy.  When I am not inspired, I feel restless and at loose ends.  There are times when it's good to just relax and be but most times I need to feel some sort of pull towards something whether it be a book, a movie, a project etc.  I like having something to look forward to when I get home from work.  I think being inspired is directly linked to being positive and staying that way.  How can you not be in a positive mindspace if you are doing something you love?  I am a true believer in thinking positive and staying healthy.  Negative feelings eat away at a person and in my opinion if your mood is bad for a period of time, your immune system is suppressed and you are likely to feel the physical effects of negativity as well as the emotional.  That's why stress kills and depression hurts.  That's not to say that we won't ever have any negative feelings or that when a person does, they should ignore them.  I think that if you are feeling something, you should embrace it, deal with it and eventually move on.  Stuffing feelings down is never a good choice, however, obsessively ruminating over negative feelings is unhealthy.  I guess that's why I like my journal so much.  I can write things down and purge them from my mind when I'm feeling down and when I'm happy, I can keep the mood going and remember it by writing it down.  Works both ways.
Lately, I've taken to writing myself messages on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker.  It is one of the first things I see in the morning and it starts my day off on the right foot.  I know it might sound cheesy but it totally works.  I'm all about the person mantra.  Lately it's been "You are beautiful, your are loved, you are worthy."  Whether you believe it's true or not, after reading this every morning for a few days, a person begins to believe it.  It might be subconsiously at first, with a lightness in your heart but eventually you will actually come to believe these things.  I mean, why do so many people think they have to be a size two to be happy, worthwhile and important?  All of the ads they are assaulted with each day in the media is the clear answer to that!  So why not change what you see and hear each day to something more positive?  I truly believe that if we work on being positive, it will not only resonate in us but in others around us and that's catchy.  It could really make the world a better place to live.
So go out and get inspired and think positive! Let me know how it works for you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another new journal

When choosing a journal to write in, I almost always use a moleskine.  This summer however, I decided that I would try again to change my habits as I have been looking for a thicker book to write in.  I wanted something with a lot of pages, something substantial.  So when I was in Spokane, I went to a Barnes and Noble and picked up a Miquelrius notebook.  It was appealing to me on several levels.  First of all, it was thick.  Even though it was quite a substantial notebook, it wasn't heavy and it was small enough to comfortably fit in any of the bags I own.  This is a must with any journal I have as I tote them with me everywhere. 

Secondly, it has gridded pages that allow me to write as large or as small as I want and I quite like the look of my writing against the lines of the graph paper.  This is also very helpful when it comes to creating my monthly calendar. 

Third and not least of all, it was very inexpensive; only $9.99 US, which this summer was an even better deal for me because the Canadian dollar was doing so well!  So far, I have been using my new notebook, whom I've since dubbed Scarlett, since the end of August.  Admittedly, only a couple of weeks but that's about 10 days longer than any of my other attempts at using something other than a Moleskine to write it have lasted.

What kind of notebook/journal are you using?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pug love

So, even though I'm endevouring to write more in a public forum, I can't help but post some pics of the girls.  I don't know if everyone is as crazy as me for pugs but I believe that anyone looking at pictures of pugs cannot help but smile.  So here are some recents:

Little Rosey with her tongue out for the camera
Ruby wants a journal just like mine!
Rosey just can't keep that tongue in her head!

This weekend we are also babysitting our friend LittleMissEmmaLarge.  We love her.  Hope you're having a great weekend!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thoughts on writing

I write entirely to find out what
I'm thinking, what I'm looking at,
what I see and what it means. 
What I want and what I fear.
-Joan Didion

So lately I've been thinking more and more about writing and why I do it and how to get better at it. I've always written daily in my journal but mostly about random stuff that's happening in my life in order to help me to gain some perspective on things.  I'm still doing this but lately I've been thinking more and more about actually writing articles, essays, opinion pieces etc.  I am a perfectionist and although I love to write, I often believe that if I were to try writing something other than my personal journal (that would only be viewed by me) that I would somehow fail and my dream would be lost.  Today I'm thinking that if I don't ever try, my dream will be lost to me for sure.  So it is with that thought that I begin to write once more on this very neglected blog.  Not only will this help me gain some confidence (writing for others, even if only one other person reads this, takes a lot of courage), it will help me practice and get better at my craft. You'll notice that I even changed the layout to coincide with my newfound insight.  I'm not saying that what I write here will be grand but I will be writing for an audience so consider this my playground and feel free to comment on what you read.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Books on Journal Writing

Hey there! I know it's been a while.  I'm fighting the winter blahs.  It's the first day of Spring and we are expected to get 18cm of snow by tonight.  I think it must be close by now, it's snowed all day long!
When it snows outside, I like to sit in my big comfy chair with a cup of tea (or a Chai Tea Latte from Sbux) and read a good book.  I try and read fiction and non-fiction at the same time so that when I get tired of one, I can read the other.  Right now I am reading this:

and this:

Sherlock Holmes books are written as diary entries of a sort by Watson.  I watched the series on the BBC this Christmas and was hooked.  The books are even better. 
So far, I am finding Tristine Rainer`s book very interesting and inspiring.  I try to write in my journal at least once a day and sometimes I`m at a loss for what to write about.  She provides many different writing styles and reasons why to write to keep me going.  I am not done reading the book yet, however, I would recomend it so far!
And although this is not my beloved Moleskine - here`s a bit of inspiration for you.  I found it via a link on Shaynie`s blog.  You should check her blog out too, she`s one cool girl!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Of Pancakes and Women and other randomness...

I am pretty excited today because it's Fat Tuesday, meaning I get to eat pancakes for dinner tonight!  Yeah!!! And as if that weren't reason enough to celebrate, today is also International Women's Day.  It's good to be me!
On another note, I woke up this morning with covalent bonds on my mind.  What is a covalent bond, you ask?  I didn't know either so I googled it and came up with this:  A covalent bond is a form of chemical bonding that is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms, and other covalent bonds. In short, the stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms when they share electrons is known as covalent bonding. Wikipedia
This is what I call a brain leak, when my brain leaks out information that is no longer useful to me.  Apparently I am leaking Chem 12 these days.  Of course I had to look it up to make sure it wasn't something that I should be holding onto, however, I don't think Chem 12 will make or break my day. Does this ever happen to you or am I the only weirdo out there?
I also happened upon a quote that I quite like while browsing the interwebs today:
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
 ~Toni Morrison

I found it here.  You should really check out this girls flickr.  She's rad.

And because this wasn't already random enough, here's a photo I took in Ireland. My name on some random wall in Belfast.  That's how I roll.

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's over...

Well, dear readers, I had to call it quits.  I just cannot write in a Clairfontaine notebook.  I miss my moleskine.  I think my mistake here was trying a notebook that was not in the least bit similar to the moleskine.   I need to take baby steps and wean myself off slowly (if at all).  So my friends, it's back to the large, red, ruled moleskine for me. 
I found that I need the narrow lines, the back pocket for all of my secret treasures, the elastic closure to keep everything in and the beautiful manila paper with the rounded corners.
I found that my writing became artificial because I was trying to think of things to just fill up the page so that I could be done with the notebook faster.  I wrote about ten pages and then decided that I was being totally ridiculous and decided not to punish myself further.  This could all be related to my OCD, however, I think that many writers need the proper tools in order to write well.  One of my necessary tools is a moleskine journal.
Are any of you like this when it comes to notebooks or journals?  Do you have a preference of "tools"?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Journal

(Andrea Joseph, via we heart it)

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you'll have realized by now that I love, love, love the large, ruled moleskine journals.  I have been using them for the past five or more years exclusively, however, I've recently become aware of a few things that have made me think twice about being so exclusive.  Firstly, I read an article in this month's Chatelaine magazine that says that people who are attached to certain brands tend to get really anxious if they can't find the product they always use.  Heaven forbid they quit selling that product entirely!  Also, Moleskines are now mass produced in China and although I have not seen a problem with quality, some other bloggers (sorry, can't remember the link) have had issues with the bindings and covers.  Moleskine will still replace any defective product but if they are being mass produced, there is a larger margin for error and why hasn't the inevitable savings in production flowed down to the consumer?
So, because of this revelation of mine, I decided it was time to try out a different journal.  I ordered three different types from a company called Stylus Pens in Edmonton, AB because it was in Canadian dollars and I had my journals in my hot little hands within 3 business days (I'm very impatient!).  I ordered a Clairefontaine Age Bag journal, a Quo Vadis Habana and a Semikolon Features Notebook.  When I received them, the first thing I noticed was that the Quo Vadis Habana was too small.  It was more like a pocket sized moleskine, also the pocket in the back of the book was pretty shoddily attached and the elastic closure looked as though it could rip through the cover; a tiny tear had already started.  I realize I could order another size up but the quality isn't as good as I had expected so I am wary to order another one.  The Semikolon is a nice book, again a little smaller than what I'm used too but the thing that will deter me from using it is the widely spaced lines.  I like college or feint ruled.  The narrower, the better.  So that brings me to the Clairefontaine Age Bag Journal.  It is slightly larger than my large moleskine, there is no elastic closure and the paper is bright white.  All things that I can deal with.  The paper is nice and smooth and the lines are narrow.  Also, they are made in France, not mass produced, hopefully.  So my choice has been made.  I will update you on how it wears and how I feel about it after using it for awhile.  I realize that my opinions on the other two journals are made with rather limited experience and high expectations, so next time, I might wait until I'm in an actual stationary shop and only buy the journals that I can see myself using and then see how they pan out.  It's often hard for me to get to a good quality stationery store because I live in the boonies!  I'm sure I would have given the both of the other journals a try if I had ordered a size larger and actually inquired as to the line width.  I think I was thinking in inches and they were in centimeteres.  Oh well.  So please don't take my word solely on my sparse dealings with them.
I also picked the Clairefontaine because I can customize it a bit - paint the cover, add a pocket etc. and make it mine. I will show pictures when I am done.
What kind of journals do you write in?  Are you exclusive to one brand or type?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My baby is sick

Ruby has been scratching her nose for two days now.  She just had her yearly checkup on Saturday and all was good but I had to take her back because of her obsessive licking and rubbing her face on things.  She kept me awake all last night licking her nose!  Turns out she has a skin infection common to pugs called Pyoderma.  Apparently it doesn't take long for these infections to crop up, which explains why she was fine on Saturday and by today she has a full blown infection.  Thankfully, Dr. North fixed us up with some antibiotics and anti inflammitories and sent us home to rest up.  Ruby is a little drowsy from the pain meds but otherwise she's doing well and looking for some cuddles.  Poor baby!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Meet Rosey

My mom got a new puppy a little while ago.  Her name is Rosey and we love her.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On keeping a journal

I guess in some way or another, I have been keeping a journal since I first learned how to write.  In elementary school, we kept journals in which we were sometimes allowed to free write and draw a picture to accompany the text and sometimes we were given a topic to write about.  I've kept personal journals off and on, my first one being a little red book with gold edged paper and a lock with key.  I loved that book.  I've had various journals since then, but in the past five years, I have been using moleskines pretty much exclusively. 
I write about anything and everything.  Whatever is bothering me that day or things that make me happy or something funny someone said.  I've also taken to glueing in the detrius of my life:  movie ticket stubs, receipts, stickers, packaging; anything that takes my eye.  Sometimes I paint the pages to brighten them up or I colour around things with felt tipped markers.  I tape in pictures with washi tape and glue down stuff I have printed out that meant something to me.  If you were to look into one of my journals now, I think you would have a pretty good sense of who I am, not just by the writing but by the stuff that I have saved or chosen to collect.
I love keeping a journal.  It's become such a habit, that if I don't write for a day, I miss it.  I pack my journal around with me everywhere.  I write whenever inspiration strikes.  I often write down lists of things to buy or pick up or books that I've heard about and might like to read or movies that I want to see.  I'll even clip reviews from magazines for books or movies and paste them into my journals as a reference.  Sometimes I write down a quote that has stuck with me or words to a song that I like.  Over the years, my journals have become my constant companions.  They know all of my secrets and when I finish a journal, I feel almost sad to let it go.  I don't ever really feel alone when I have a journal with me.
Lately, I have been obsessed with journal writing and looking for new inspiration.  I have found many cool blogs such as Journaling Saves, Journaling Journeys and Journal Addict to name a few.  Check out the side bar for other blogs on notebooks and such.
Do any of you keep a journal?  What do you do with yours?

Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Back!!!

(via we heart it)

I've decided I'm going to contribute more to blog writing now in order to connect with others.  For awhile I was feeling a little overwhelmed and blogging was just another thing on my to do list. But I've missed it and I've decided to make an effort to post more and connect with other like minded people.  So without further ado, here is what I am looking forward to this weekend:
  • seeing this movie
  • sleeping in
  • Ruby's one year vet appointment (I can't believe she's already a year old!)
  • writing in my journal
  • hot mugs of tea
  • cuddling with Ruby and mom's new puppy Rosey (pics to come soon, promise)
  • reading more Sherlock Holmes (i'm addicted)
  • writing letters
What are you looking forward to?