Do You Have a Life Roadmap? Yeah, Me Neither

Do You Have a Life Roadmap? Yeah, Me Neither


Lately this has been the most awful question people ask me, and to be honest it’s kind of a terrible question. Why do we ALWAYS need to have a plan, and further more, when plans change why do we immediately need a new one?

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 9.00.18 PMI have had a plan since I was in the 8th grade. Get your Psychology degree. Graduate. Get your masters. Start a family. Do all the adult things. The weird thing about having a plan then, is no one tells you how life is going to take your plan, rip it into tiny little pieces, then you have to spend your time trying to tape it back together and salvage what was once an idyllic vision of how life is supposed to be. I am about to turn 25. I am not where I thought I would be at 25. I can look at that in a negative way or I can look at it in scenic detour kind of way. When I graduated high school and turning 18, I was the manager of a hair salon. No matter who you say that to will tell you it’s a lot for someone that age. Truth be told, it is. Especially when the job requires too much of you and turns you into someone you don’t want to me. I was at that job for 5 years of my life – withstanding bounced paychecks, awful management politics, and taking blame for things that I was never responsible for or involved with. Skip ahead a few years, brushing past destructive relationships, unemployment (not including a horrible job in retail for 2.5 minutes), and the extraction of horribly toxic “friends”. Oh, I was also trying to complete my post secondary bachelors degree. This period was when I had a plan. Pure chaos.

I spent YEARS in post secondary education thinking I was going somewhere but was constantly being held back by administrative mistakes, unexpected unacceptance of credits, and course redundancies. I can not express how hard I tried to get my degree but at the end of December 2014, I came to the realization no matter how hard I tried and no matter how long it took, I would never be happy doing or finishing this degree. Myself and my family has sacrificed so much and in the end, it didn’t and wasn’t going to make me happy or leave me in a better position than I went in.

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 9.02.01 PMDon’t get me wrong, this isn’t a knock on post secondary education. It’s one of the most important things you can do with your adult life. There is much to be said about striving for a wider understanding of the world around you, but don’t do something if it doesn’t make you happy. The same goes for work, relationships, and any other thing in your life. Yeah, sometimes we have to do some things that suck or do things that aren’t are favorite in order to achieve something greater. But if you think about the long term – will you still be doing this in a few years? Will you still be unhappy in a few years? Will you look back and be happy you did it? Are you doing this for the right reasons? Weigh your pros and cons. I honestly couldn’t see myself ever being happy continuing to fight for a degree when all I felt like I was doing was drowning and failing myself.

So. I withdrew. I thought about what my options were. I had more options than most. I have a steady job willing to give me more hours and opportunities to grow and I have ZERO debt. A decision I made when I went into post secondary was to go in and come out with no student debt. It is too expensive and stressful to get yourself into a hole you can’t afford to be in. I still believe in completing school without debt, that’s just a personal opinion; it’s not for everyone. I cut my losses and left school without a definite plan. I did research other degree options, landing on the idea of a business degree with a major in marketing. I needed a break. I wanted to move on with some other things in my life that I couldn’t do while I was in school. I moved in with my boyfriend. We got a cat together. I got a car. I started a hair extension business. I’m exploring other avenues of growth at my job.

brunette in flower field

So, what’s the plan? Who freaking knows. Why do I have to know? Why do I have to explain it to people? Why does everyone need to know? I don’t know what my plan is. I have a general idea and know what needs to be done for it but I’m not going to know any better tomorrow than I will today. I will have a plan at some point but the whole purpose of withdrawing was to take advantage of being in the moment. The more stress you incur the less you live in the moment, it’s simply a fact of life.

What do I want? I want to grow my at home business. I want to grow the success of my YouTube channel. I want to grow my knowledge of skincare and cosmetics. I want to be a strong cruelty free advocate. I want to be better at appreciating others. I want to be able to see my hard work yield income and feel fulfilled by it. I want to re-learn how to take care of myself and remember to appreciate what I can do instead of seeing myself negatively. There is so much I want for myself in the present that I don’t need a definite plan for the future.

Yeah, I will go back to school. I am not someone who can lay idle and just stop expanding my knowledge – there are too many things in this world I want to know about and want to be good at. For now, I am ultimately plan-less and that’s ok. Baby steps. I’m just happy with moving day-to-day, which is something I have never done before in my life.

Chia-Deliciousness

Chia-Deliciousness

Is the words of Rihanna – where have you been? I was recently send a large bag of chia seeds from my wonderful sister and her boyfriends for my birthday. I have been seeing chia seeds EVERYWHERE lately but like many other healthy things/trendy health supplements, I am very slow jump on board. Since I have gone vegetarian my major concern has been my protein intake.  When I read more about chia seeds I was pleasantly surprised that they are extremely high in protein and their carbohydrate content are almost purely fibre. So basically they are small specks of perfection.

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Naramata, British Columbia CANADA

My chia seeds came from Real Raw Food which is a family owned and operated company out of Naramata, BC. Naramata is in the interior of British Columbia, a short drive away from Penticton. Naramata is full of winery and beautiful, lakeside scenery. My sisters boyfriend and his family own the company which is where I got the chia seeds, as well as some other delicious treats. I am currently using black chia seeds and have yet to try the white/light chia seeds.

chiacucharaMy favourite ways to eat chia seeds are in chia crackers, in smoothies, and onto of granola and yogurt. I find it to be such a simple way to get a ton of protein and fibre in a short amount of time with a small calorie count (although I don’t support calorie counting, careless eating without attention to portion sizes is the simplest way to gain unnecessary weight). Along with having great nutritional content there are so many benefits to eating chia seeds. They are high in Omega-3’s which is the fatty acid that fights free radical damage (you need to limit your intake of 6 and 9 but load up on 3’s). They are very high in magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese which are essential to cell health – one ounce of chia seeds contains about 30% recommended daily intake of each. Their high protein, fibre, and omega-3 count can help heal things like heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.

These are just a few bonuses of eating chia seeds. Yes, they are “trendy”, but they are extremely easy to work into your diet. Many people already make smoothies at some point, just throw a bit of chia in there!

Want to give chia seeds a try? Here are my 3 favourite ways to get chia seeds into my everyday diet.

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PEACH PERFECTION CHIA SMOOTHIE
(DAIRY FREE)

This smoothie is the perfect day starter. It’s light but packed with protein and is dairy free. My digestion seems to be super sensitive to dairy, although I wouldn’t go as far to say that I am lactose intolerant, so I try to keep my intake of dairy limited to ensure that I don’t feel like a pregnant manatee.

3/4 Cup of Coconut Milk (I use Silk brand 100% coconut milk)
1/2 Cup Frozen Raspberries
1/2 Cup Frozen Peaches
1/2 Medium Sized Avocado
1/4 Cup 100% Cranberry Juice
2 Tablespoons Black or White Chia Seeds

All of these measurements are approximations – sometimes I add more raspberries or peaches. I prefer frozen fruit because I like a more sorbet-like texture to my smoothies. If you like your smoothies to be thinner in consistency just add a bit of water until you get the desired smoothness. This smoothie has a total of 17g of protein and 34g of dietary fibre. Yummy, good for your small and large intestines, and is a huge portion of protein to keep you going!


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CHIA SEED POWER CRACKERS

I originally found this recipe on http://www.mayihavethatrecipe.com because I was looking for an alternative to protein bars, which tend to be high in non-fibrous carbohydrates and saturated fats.

1 Cup Flax Seeds
3 Tablespoons Black or White Chia Seeds
1 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
3 Tablespoons Pumpkin Seeds
1½ Teaspoons Salt (or to taste)
1 Table Date or Agave Syrup (optional)

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, soak flax and chia seeds in water for 15-20 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well

Spread the mixture evenly on the lined baking sheet and bake at 200F for an hour and a half. Flit it over and bake for another hour and a half. Turn the heat off and let it cool inside the oven.

Once cooled, brake it into “free form”, uneven pieces (makes approximately 35). For even size crackers, score the dough with a knife before baking or be badass and have uneven crackers. You rebel you.


Coconut-Girl

COCONUT AND CHIA SEED GRANOLA

This tropical granola I originally found on Skinny & Sweet when I was looking for some good high protein breakfast ideas. The recipe makes about 13 or 14 servings so it is perfect to keep sealed in an air-tight container and have for breakfast a couple of days a week. Per serving there is about 4g of fibre and protein, so it is a nice light breakfast option!

4 Tablespoons Organic Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Honey
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/3 Cup Pineapple Juice
3 1/4 Cups Oats
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

In a large pot, combine the oil, brown sugar, honey, salt and pineapple juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Allow the mixture to boil for several minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the oats, ginger powder, coconut and chia seeds. Stir until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a half sheet pan, and spread into a thin and even layer.

Preheat the oven to 275° F, with a rack in the center position. Place the granola into the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Once the granola is crisp and golden, remove from the oven. Allow the granola to cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring it to a storage container. The granola will keep at room temperature for 2-3 weeks.

That Cruelty Free Life

That Cruelty Free Life

So I have been cruelty free for almost 4 months now. In the big scheme of things, 4 months is no big deal, but when you are making a conscious lifestyle switch it is a huge deal. In the past 4 months I have been using up the cosmetics I had previously purchased which were not cruelty free, I have a completely cruelty free hair care routine, and everything I have purchased in the category of beauty has been cruelty free.

rat with teddy bear

In these past months there have been many tragedies in the world of animal cruelty, most noteably the illegal hunting of Cecil the Lion. This story has been everywhere and it is a touchy subject for many people. I think it needs to be understood the difference between trophy hunting and hunting with respect to the animal. While hunting is not something I would partake in, I have known some wonderful people and their families who love animals and instead of purchasing mass farmed meat they hunt and sustain themselves that way – using every portion of the animal. I can be argued that hunting in a respectable way is much more humane than purchasing a pack of chicken breasts from Walmart which has been genetically altered and has had a terrible life. IT’S A TOUCHY TOUGH SUBJECT! However, traveling to another country and paying THOUSANDS (just under $55,000 I believe) of dollars to kill a beautiful animal just so you can decapitate him, mount his head on your wall, and brag to your buddies about how tough of a man you are is horrible. It just goes to show how much of a complex some humans have about conquering other species to feel superior.

Another portion of going cruelty free is my decision to cut out most meat from my diet. I decided not to go hog wild and commit to absolutely no meat right away simply because I didn’t feel like I would be able to successfully commit to that which would result in failure which is something I wasn’t willing to do. So my diet currently is very plant based, for lunch I typically take a large salad and dried fruit, and every once in a while I will have some sort of fish. On average I will have some sort of fish twice a week. Otherwise, I have stopped eating chicken, beef, pork products, and eggs for the most part. I have noticed that I feel lighter, less tired in the middle of the day, and I am able to get my protein from nuts (cashews are my fave!), seeds (chia seeds have about 17g of protein in 100g of seeds), and beans. My next venture is to experiment with tofu! Wish me luck.

giraffe couple

So. As it stands currently, everyday it become easier and easier to be cruelty free. One of my happiest days came last month on a trip to Sephora. One of my favourite cosmetic brands is Kat Von D. I love the artistry in the packaging, the careful thought into each colour, and the naming of the products of superb. One of the products I was extremely sad to give up is her Everlasting Lipsticks. The formulation of this liquid lipstick is LITERALLY phenomenal. Anyone who has dabbled in the world of liquid lipsticks knows that finding a formula that wears for 4+ hours and is non drying is like finding a unicorn. These liquid lipsticks don’t transfer, there wear or a minimum of 5 hours without reapplying, and the colours are to die for. Until now, Kat Von D was not cruelty free because it was retailed on mainland China which, by law, requires cosmetics to be tested on animals before it is released for public consumption. Kat is an avid animal lover so I was initially shocked when her line wasn’t cruelty free. As I looked more into it, her brand is an exclusive partnership with Sephora, meaning Sephora is the sole distributor and their manufacturers make her products. It was announced last month that Sephoras umbrella brands Kat Von D and Marc Jacobs will be pulled out of the Chinese market and are now PETA certified cruelty free. They join the cruelty free ranks at Sephora which include TooFaced, Nars* (parent company not cruelty free), Smashbox* (parent company, Estee Lauder, not cruelty free), Tarte* (parent company not cruelty free), Hourglass, Becca, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Urban Decay* (parent company not cruelty free) to name a few.

It’s getting easier every day to consciously choose cruelty free products which is such a beautiful thing. It’s all about being aware and making decision that align with your passion and what you stand for. If you’re interested in going cruelty free with your beauty products, check out my other articles on going cruelty free for a good starting place ❤

donkey black and white

25 and Recalculating Life on the Regular

25 and Recalculating Life on the Regular

blonde with flowers by oceanFor reals. I have been 25 for 13 days and these past 13 days have been very busy, very rewarding, very eye opening, and full of changes. The days leading up to my birthday there were things I had discussed with a couple good friends, my boyfriend, and my family that were going to be big changes to happen in my 25th year. All of them scary in a “who knows exactly how this is going to go” kind of way but none of them too difficult or challenging to the point where I would reconsider doing them. To name a few of the things that I have been doing in the past 13 days alone is transitioning into vegetarianism – I would currently consider myself a “flexitarian”, on a daily basis I challenge myself to not eat meat and chose alternatives to animal products such as milk and eggs, upping my commitment to growing my hair extension business – I have made commitments to myself as a brand and to my clients to ensure that the quality of the hair extension installation as well as the client experience are both top priority and maintaining a high level of quality control, making commitments to my continued financial success to ensure that I am able to do all of the things in life that I want to do, and deciding to pursue an education that will directly enhance my professional capabilities.

Decisions like these sometimes have like a domino effect on other things, making the importance for other types of change extremely evident, and it also brings to light what is important for your future success and who doesn’t belong on your journey. Ah! Such is life!

13 days in and it’s been a hell of a ride. I have made lots of realizations, accomplished great strides in both my personal and professional life, and can’t wait for more. Here’s to a fantastic 25th year, and to kick it off here are my top 25 realizations about life:

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1. Invest In Yourself: Money, time, love, and education. Just always be working on yourself. Think long-term. Yeah, school sucks, but it will pay off. Let yourself be a positive investment and always put in work.

2. Be Competitive For Success, Not for Men: There is someone in my life who currently who has similar aspirations and does some similar extracurricular activities as me. I want her to succeed. I want her to be able to expand her scope of success. I consider this as a sort of competitor support, although we are not directly competitors and I would never want her to fail; however, her being better at what she does just pushed me to be the same. Push others towards success. How will you ever be great if you don’t surround yourself with other successful people?

3. Eat Those French Fries: Shove them in. I guarantee you’ll love it. Yes, life is all about moderation and sometimes you should just let yourself enjoy something. You can’t go through life actively depriving yourself from eating or doing things you crave. Let yourself enjoy life! Be vibrant and eat your french fries.

4. Make Others Laugh: Be funny! Say funny stuff! Making others laugh is amazing and it make you feel amazing too. You never know, the smallest joke or quip could brighten someones day when they need it most.

5. Adopt: I have never adopted a child but I have adopted a kitty cat. She’s the loudest, neediest tail-less monster but I feel wonderful knowing her senior years will be spent suntanning on the deck, eating all the treats, sleeping in the closet, and carrying her toys from room to room. Give an animal with out a home a loving fur-ever home, you won’t regret it!

6. Be Outrageously Independent: Pay for your own everything and work hard for your own money. Don’t be afraid to take help from others but also don’t be afraid to do a lot of things for yourself. Yeah, you probably can build that bird house. You’re baking a 6 layer wedding cake? You got this! YOU CAN DO IT.

7. Phrases You Should Never Say: “Go kill yourself”, “I hate (insert person’s name here)”, “He’s too good for me”, “I’m not good enough”, “I could never pull that off”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not pretty enough”, “No, I can’t go to that because (insert boyfriends name here) said I wasn’t allowed”, “I can’t talk to you because (insert boyfriends name here) said I can’t”. Like….just don’t.

8. Colour Your Hair: I have been all the hair colours. It’s great. I am happiest as a blonde but I would have never discovered that without being everything else in between! Go pink or purple! Go rainbow colours! Be brave and express your wildest hair dreams!

9. Wear The Bikini: Yeah, your butt might be a bit on the larger size. You never heard Sir Mix A Lot singing about tiny butts. Whatever the reason is that you feel like you can’t put that bikini on just forget it. Let the sun worship your skin and let yourself enjoy the beach. Show it off!

10. It’s ‘Ok’ To Have An Opinion: Don’t be afraid to talk passionately about anything and everything! Whether it be something small or something big, just think your own thoughts and have you own opinions. I imagine one of the worst things would be going through life, repurposing the opinions and ideas of others as your own.

11. Know That Men are Equal: If you aren’t expected to pay for everything, neither should he. I am always constantly surprised by the notion that men should support women. Doesn’t that seem a little counter productive to the whole women are just as valuable as the opposite sex? It sets the stage for the idea that women are not their own providers. Be a 50/50 partner in your relationship. If he pays for dinner one time, you pick up the next time. If he gets the groceries one time, you get it the next time. Support each other! Even on first dates, offer to pay! If you two are going to move forward, set a precedent that it will be a partnership and he shouldn’t be expected to shell out his money to buy you everything. Get your own money!

12. Chin Up, Boobs Out: Girl, work it! You only get the one body, love it. Carry it with pride. What’s that? You don’t look like Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue? Kim Kardashian doesn’t even look like Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue. Whether you’re a size 00 or a size 2000 just rock it!

13. Pop An Attitude: Sass attack. My fave. I refuse to be talked down to for whatever reason. I have always had an issue with authority. I once had a professor who continually gave me lower marks than I deserved (that sounds very self absorbed BUT a friend in the same class put together sub-par assignments knowing they were sub-par and continually got higher marks than I did) and when confronted about it he had little to no explanation and was unable to show me where I lost marks. I then proceeded to make him remark all my assignments which made a considerable difference in my grade. His laziness or oversight could have cost me a couple letter grades and resulted in a lower GPA. Stand up for yourself, if that’s misconstrued as having an attitude problem, so be it. Be ruthless when getting what you deserve and don’t let anyone tell you different.

14. Decide What You Stand For: Vegan, Vegetarian, Liberal, Conservative, whatever! Decide what you believe and don’t be afraid to stand up for it. In the same token you have to respect everyone else’s right to do the same. We live in an age of anonymity, the internet allows many people to luxury of not having to take responsibility for their actions. It’s very commonplace for someone to respond “go kill yourself” or “You’re an idiot I hope you die” to something they don’t agree with. Really? No one would EVER say that to someone’s face! Respect the fact that EVERYONE is able to have an opinion and believe in whatever, it doesn’t mean you have to agree, it just means don’t be an asshole.

15. Pet Everything: Goats, pigs, dogs, cats, cows, maybe not bears, chickens! Make a connection with animals. They hold space on this earth just as we do. They have value and they are emotionally intelligent. Obviously, don’t invade their space or force your presence upon them but admire them for what they are, what they add to the world, and the unconditional love they are able to show.

16. Don’t Let Your Boyfriend Decide What You Like: Just because he likes you in a certain outfit doesn’t mean you have to agree. Just because he wants you to dye your hair doesn’t mean you have to do it. He can do whatever he wants with his own self and so can you. Stick to what you like and he’ll just have to deal with it, if he can’t he can just roll out.

17. Don’t Run: Debt, ex boyfriends, past pain, etc. Just don’t run. If you don’t deal with things head on they will catch you. Pretending it doesn’t exist or acting like it never happened isn’t an effective way of dealing with things. Get help, whether it be with a counsellor or financial advisor or whatever type of assistance would be best suited for you. They will help you with a plan to move forward in a positive way.

18. Don’t Be ‘Ok’ With Being “Just A Pretty Face”: I once had someone tell me at a job interview that I was “smarter than I look”. Pardon me? Typically beauty is not synonymous with intelligence, a stereotype which is complete crap. If you have ever had anyone tell you that you don’t look intelligent or imply that most of your value if superficial, let your mind speak for you. Be a sassy, intelligent beast and my favourite move is to make them feel as stupid as their comments about you. I find it to be the best, most effective vengeance.

19. Take Avantage of Education: Free education is available for a very small portion of your life. Take advantage of that. Afterwards, pursue it whether it is free or not. This education doesn’t have to be academic, just do anything that expands what you know about yourself, others, and the world. Floating through life in a close minded fashion is a waste. Always be prepared to expand what you know and be open to learning experiences.

20. Do What Makes You Feel Good: Make YouTube videos of you singing, play soccer, take break dancing lessons. Do it! Just get out there and feel passionate about making yourself feel good! Silence all the voices saying that you can’t do it for whatever reason and just go!

21. Recognize and React to Red Flags: This relates to both men and friends. Do your friends almost require you to dislike whomever they like? Did your date advise against you getting french fries instead of a salad? BYE. You don’t need that in your life. If you want a french fry, you go get it. If you like someone your friend doesn’t like, maybe that person doesn’t know how to be a good friend. Just realize how much you deserve, the level of respect and kindness that should be shown to you, and make sure you stand up for yourself and what you believe in.

22. Don’t Diet: What’s that? You’re on the cucumber diet where you don’t eat anything but cucumbers for 14 days? That sounds amazing. What’s going to happen when you start eating real food again? Oh yeah! That’s right! You’ll be back to square one! Basically, just eat consciously and with your optimal health in mind. Eat your fruits and veggies, get adequate vitamins and minerals, and make sure you are getting enough protein. Just don’t eat that whole box of cookies in one sitting and you’ll be golden.

23. Avoid Debt: Especially, consumer debt. We live in a consumer world and it is INCREDIBLY easy to find yourself in an incredible amount of debt in a short amount of time. I personally am afraid of debt and have made is thus far without student loans or debt. Yes, paying up front for post secondary education is EXCRUCIATINGLY STRESSFUL; however, I will be able to get ahead faster post-university and will not be struggling to pay off anything. Struggling and hustling is for your 20’s and 30’s, 40+ is for enjoying life and with today’s student loans people are typically still paying them off through the majority of their lives. Just…don’t spend money you don’t have unless it’s an emergency and you will be able to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time.

24. Put Yourself First: Your success and happiness should be a huge priority. Don’t let being guilt you or persuade you into doing things you don’t want to do. Do you!

25. Fuck ’em: Don’t let people tell you who you are, what’s wrong with you, or how you should be. At the end of the day if they feel the need to tell you how you should be as a person, think of the inferiority complex they must have about themselves that they need to dictate to you what you should be. Bye Felicia.

Thanks for reading
-Bee

What My Relationship With My Boyfriend Taught Me

What My Relationship With My Boyfriend Taught Me

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Although I am no expert, I would like to think through experience I know a thing or two about being in love and being in a relationship. My current relationship has been one of my most nurturing and loving and has lead me to some realizations about what a “good” relationship should involve. I don’t believe in constant compromising or that a relationship should involve a lot of work to maintain. It should be natural. It should naturally grow and flourish with gentle assistance. It should be built on a foundation that is honest and committed. It should develop over time and with out being rushed. We are now approaching our 1 year anniversary and here is what our relationship has taught me not only about myself but about being in love:

1. The relationship is between you and your significant other. No one else should be privy to your intimate details. The more people involved the easier it is to be confused about where your opinion ends and the opinion of another begins.

2. Your mutual happiness is most important. It’s not about keeping the other happy, or keeping yourself happy. Be happy together. Find ways to do things together that keep you happy. Watch a show together that you both enjoy, go on dates to places you both enjoy. If you can’t find mutual happiness in everything you will never be mutually happy with each other.

3. Remember when you fell in love with the other person. Remembering such a special moment, in detail, can be an overwhelming feeling. I find it to be a sort of romantic meditation. Remembering what you were wearing, how they looked at you, and where you were can often subside any uncertainty.

4. Remain an individual. Don’t transform into one person, maintain your individuality. This allows you both to be at your best and support diverse interests. You like shopping and he doesn’t, that’s fine. Don’t make someone else change who they are to fit you and you should expect the same in return.

5. Pick your battles and don’t sweat the small stuff. Fighting over nothing is the worst thing you can do not only for yourself but for your relationship. Don’t fight over stuff that in 5 hours or even 24 hours won’t matter. Who cares if your dinner date got cancelled or if your hang out plans changed. There’s always tomorrow and time will bring other opportunities.

6. You are your own worst enemy. No, you’re not as fat as you think. Yeah, you do look sexy in that outfit. Yes you are thinking too much. The person you’re with is with you because they think you are something spectacular. You are a unique combination of traits that, to them, is captivating. Don’t you think that is a remarkable concept? They appreciate everything you are, as you should them.

7. Appreciate everything small. Oatmeal cookies. Spending an extra 15 minutes in bed in the morning. The perfect cup of coffee. When you start to love all the small things they add up to something much greater. Appreciate your partners laugh, the scars on their body that tell stories, and the way they love you.

8. Put away your phone. Yes, I spend much more time on my phone than I should (to be fair it’s part of my job); however, it keeps you from being present. Don’t instagram the city line at night, drink it in. Don’t tweet your dinner, savour it. The worst thing I have recently seen is couples on dates holding hands over the table but both scanning Facebook and not speaking to each other. How can you deeply connect with someone when you can’t peel your eyes away from a screen?

9. Remember to be thankful and grateful. Thank your partner or show thanks for generous and caring act, it spreads appreciation which is an important component to being happy in a relationship. Also, thank yourself. You deserve it. You work hard and you need to be appreciated.

10. Love generously. Showing love costs you nothing and doing loving acts costs you nothing. Be thoughtful and don’t be greedy. Do things without the expectation of anything in return. Do it because you care about the person and because the smile on their face is all you want. Wash the dishes. Make the bed. Cook their favourite food. More often than not, your partner will catch on and return the favour.

Everything in life should be counted as a learning experience, both the good and the bad. All experiences are what you make it so why not make it great.

Til’ next time,
le grá go deo