I’m ready for an adventure

by Lara on April 22, 2014

I have travelled far less than I intended to in my life.  I feel like I have the heart of a backpacker, but never was one.  Or maybe I just like to imagine I have the heart of a backpacker because I don’t think I’m *quite* as brave as I would need to be.  Either way, I wanted to explore the world.

I lived in Korea in 1999/2000

If you had asked me in my twenties what kind of travel I wanted to do, it was to see and experience new things. I got just a taste of Asia when I lived there in 1999/2000 but wanted to go back and see more. I wanted to explore countries all over the world and learn about them and try new things – even if they were scary.

The idea of all inclusive resorts and cruises had zero appeal because I wanted to be discovering new cultures and trekking around the world.  But then I went to an all inclusive and I’ll admit…  It was awfully relaxing.  I wasn’t bored.  I had naps and ate too much food.  And I learned the difference between a holiday and travelling.

Then I had kids and the idea of travelling sounded like a lot of work. I was tired. Relaxing sounded better and so I started making all of my travel dreams about holidays and sleeping and sand and drinks and pools and beaches.

I’m not really any less tired as I write this, but I’m realizing that I’m spending a lot of years forgetting to have adventures and I want to stop that.  So I’m planning an adventure.  It probably won’t be a wild and crazy adventure (like travelling through India, which I want to do, but not yet) but it’ll be an adventure.

To have that adventure I need to save up some money.  I also need to figure out where I want to go, what I want to see and how long I’ll be gone.  Given the fact that I can’t be gone for months at a time and I’m not ready to bring the kinds on an adventure, I’m thinking maybe Europe would be a good place to start.  My mind is spinning at the idea and I’m excited to get going. But I think I’ll still plan for a holiday next year too :)

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On keeping secrets

by Lara on March 22, 2014

When I was 18 I got a tattoo.  It’s on my back and it’s a tribal symbol and it has absolutely no significance other than I liked how it looked, and I wanted a tattoo.  It’s on my back because even as a teenager I was fully aware of my tendency to get bored of things and so it’s on my back so that I don’t see it enough to get sick of it.

I got the tattoo and didn’t tell my parents…  for like, 2 weeks. The fact that I didn’t tell them ate at me like I was keeping something incredibly important from them that I shouldn’t.  When I told them, it was out of guilt for keeping this secret. Even now, looking back, I don’t quite understand why that would feel “wrong” but it did, and I have a feeling it still would today.

In fact, that kind of mentality still creeps up on me and the point of this post is mostly to say “WHY?”  Why would I feel like I was doing something wrong if I went and did something that was just for me?

If I went to a spa for an afternoon and told nobody… I’d feel like I was being sneaky.

If I decided to go treatments of some kind and didn’t tell anyone… I’d constantly feel compelled to tell people even if I wasn’t sure I wanted to.

If I got another tattoo… I’d feel the need to announce it formally.

I’ve been trying to figure it out and haven’t come to a conclusion.  Why do I feel compelled to not keep “secrets” from the people in my life when I’m perfectly entitle to privacy and things that are my own?  Do I need to overcome it or do I just accept I might just be the kind of person who likes to share?  Am I doing it because I need approval?  (I think I’m going with this one as the most likely – using the tattoo examples, I knew my parents wouldn’t like that I’d gotten a tattoo which is why I didn’t tell them but I probably wanted them to tell me it wasn’t a bad decision) Oh the self reflections and deep thoughts!

I am accepting theories… on why I do it, if you do it, and if it even matters at all :)

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I’m ALL about the selfies

by Lara on March 1, 2014

Right before the new year my friend Annie (PhD in Parenting) posted a link to this post about something called #365feministselfies.  I read it and it resonated with me on so many levels.

Selfies

People seem to think that people taking photos of themselves are self-centred, and trying to make sure everyone thinks they’re beautiful/attractive etc.  I think they are so much more.

Am I a fan of the endless sexy duckface lowcut top selfies?  Not really.  But, I also think that there is a lot of good in getting comfortable with how you look and taking selfies definitely does that.

Love yourself

It’s hard.  It’s really hard for me to take a photo of myself every day that I feel comfortable enough posting to the internet.  Trust me, I rarely look the way I want to.  I do it though, because it’s doing a few things for me

- It’s making me take a long hard look at myself regularly.  I think that’s a good thing.

- It’s documenting my life more than it ever has been before and I think it’s creating great memories.

- It’s opening up a conversation about the concept of selfies with a lot of people and I think that may have been the most fascinating. Why?  Because so many women DON’T love themselves.  I have encountered GORGEOUS, and I mean beautifully, immaculately put together women who can’t handle taking a selfie because they don’t like how they look.

This is the selfie I like the best of the 54 I’ve taken in 2014.  I feel pretty and kind of glamourous, but I also know that it helped that it was over exposed.

More often than not I look like this:

I like that these photos are teaching me to see the beauty in the daily moments.  I like that they’re teaching me to stop hiding even if I think I don’t look great.  And I like that I’m getting more comfortable sharing moments I wouldn’t have shared before.

Practice

It helps that I’m doing this so much.  While a lot of what I see makes me want to improve things (use more moisturizers, lose more weight, take more photos from above because it smooths out my skin, has my chin always been so pointy?!) because of COURSE we always want to look our best, I also realize that I look pretty ok without a ton of effort on most days, and that’s great for my overall confidence.

I think I look French in this photo. Eric doesn’t get it. Anyone else think that? :)

I’m going to keep taking these (almost) daily photos.  If you want to see them, follow me on Instagram.  Sometimes I post them to Facebook and Twitter too, but more often than not I leave them on Instagram only.

I challenge you to take a selfie today, especially if you never have or rarely do.  I’d love to see them, so leave them in the comments or leave me a link and I’ll come and see it. It’s time for a bit more selfie love.

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I got obsessed with UK Youtubers

by Lara on January 23, 2014

This Fall I finally figured out how so many people make a fortune by posting videos on YouTube by becoming one of the people who spend ridiculous amounts of time watching videos on YouTube.

So let’s talk about how this all started (and make sure to check the very end of this post if you get bored with all the rest of this before that ;).  It started because I like songs with ukuleles.  They’re happy!!  They’re fun!  I love them!  So somehow I was looking for songs with people playing the ukulele because they make me happy and I found a song on Tom Fletcher’s YouTube channel.  It was this one:

I had no idea who he was, and you likely have no idea who he is either since you’re likely Canadian like me, but he’s in a band from the UK called McFly and I like their music too so that was a win.

Then, he recorded a version of the band’s newest song with his sister and it turns out she’s bigger on YouTube than he is.  Here’s that video:

Then I found out that she was dating another popular YouTuber – but NO, they had broken up and their YouTube audience was pretty sad about it.  Luckily they’re still friends and make still make videos together.  And then I discovered that figuring out how everyone was connected to each other and who was dating who was really fun in one of those “why on earth am I wasting so much time on this?” kind of way.  (It’s the same as enjoying People magazine I’ve decided.)

And so on any given day I am now wasting 10-45 minutes watching videos, many from the UK but I’ve found some from the US I like too (can’t find any great Canadian ones though.)  Sometimes I eve learn lots, like from the vlogbrothers.

Yesterday, when I should have been doing something completely different, I instead decided it was the time for ME to vlog.  So, while I am hesitant and unsure about even sharing this (I didn’t even ask for a thumbs up or subscribe at the end which is key from any vlogger), I present to you my first vlog for your viewing pleasure.

Now I’m going to stop watching YouTube videos and be productive.  I think.

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Time to make some magic

January 19, 2014

How do you break through over a year of writer’s block? Writer’s block that’s grown from a need to shift an online presence from “mom” to social media professional.  That has grown from the importance put into being eternally cognizant of your personal brand. That yells “if you have time to write it should be [...]

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When they stop making me grouchy

December 7, 2012

I’m not sure if I’ve made this clear through my blog, but I am fairly easily irritated.  I really don’t like to be inconvenienced and I don’t like to pay for things I think shouldn’t cost money. For EXAMPLE cell phone costs.  What drives me crazy? Having to pay an activation fee when I just [...]

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Snowflake: it’s fun and games with a side of lies and threats

November 30, 2012

Elf on the Shelf. I heard about it and I loved the concept.  ”WHAT FUN!” I exclaimed. (disclaimer, I don’t remember what I said, but I liked the idea) We’ll get an elf, he’ll do all kinds of funny things every day and the kids will have to find him and be amused. Super fun [...]

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I’ve made mistakes. So have you.

November 1, 2012

Amanda Todd’s death hit many of us really hard, for so many reasons.  She was unhappy for such a long time. Despite the sadness of what she went through, I think the video she made of her struggles has helped make us all think a bit more about what’s going on with kids today. What [...]

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5 more minutes?

September 15, 2012

So, apparently drinking almost a pot of coffee a day…. not ideal.  APPARENTLY. But let me tell you this. 6 years of a combination of sleepless nights, tiring days running after kids and my distinct inability to give up being a night person has me struggling with mornings in a major way and REALLY wanting [...]

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It’s the best time of the year!

September 12, 2012

We’re well into week 3 of back to school in our house and the twins start back at preschool on Friday.  That Staples ad about this being the most wonderful time of the year?  It’s been running through my head since about the second week of July. As I watch some of my friends struggle [...]

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