let your hair down and relax a little with me, won’t you? it’s been a while since we’ve been casual on a friday.

i’m not too pumped about the snowfall on the roofs. being away for six weeks of fall, i feel like i really didn’t get to experience my favourite season. winter has come too quickly, and i found myself only half-jokingly texting the friend i went to mexico with asking when we can go back.

there is a new happiness i’ve found by being home. it was really tough at first; change always causes me to worry – you’d think i’d stop creating so much of it, but no. but now, i’ve experienced the things that convinced me to move: so much sister and family time, long days laughing with my bestie, a quick lunch break catching up with friends on a weekday, (and a new crop of online dating profiles). i had wondered if i made a rash decision (though, it was years in the making) leaving calgary, but i know that’s not the case.

saying this, i have also been anxious about re-joining real life; i’m feeling a great deal of “imposter syndrome”. like i’ll be figured out soon enough – as what, who knows?! – and get fired from any new job i get within the first month. how does that fear go away? why am i such a nervous person? i’d love to blame it on menstruating, but we’ll see what happens next week.

i learned how to read! no, that doesn’t sound right. i knew how to read read, but i’ve only recently learned how to read books. i never knew how to sit still and hold a book without my neck or arms hurting; how do you get comfortable? it takes more concentration than one thinks. but since we got back from Europe i’ve read 11 books and have a goal to finish 15 by the time the year is through. i haven’t really narrowed down which genres i like yet, but nothing too scary. if you have any suggestions, i’d love to hear!

with all of this reading, i’ve been thinking more about my book lately. i don’t want to abandon that dream yet, which probably means i should actually schedule out some time. they always say the busiest people are the most productive, so maybe creativity will come once i’m busy doing other stuff? plus, from some of the stuff i read – they publish some really bad writing/storylines, so i may be in luck!

sister promised me breakfast doughnuts from the guelph farmer’s market tomorrow morning, so i already know my weekend will be great. hope yours is, too!

making: sachertorte for sister’s birthday. it turned out pretty well…except the glaze. who new glazing a cake could be so difficult? that part did not look good at all.

eating: mini kitkats that i got for 70% off at Target post-halloween.

drinking: every hot beverage available. i can’t get warm enough.

reading: many books! this month so far: Whiskey in a Teacup by Reece Whitherspoon; The Bungalow by Sarah Jio; Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger; Pandora’s Daughter by Iris Johansen; Always by Sarah Jio; and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

wanting: a bit of stability – job, housing, relationships…pick one!

looking: for christmas presents.

playing: “show me, don’t tell me” by arkells on repeat.

wishing: the Go Train to Guelph had a much better schedule.

enjoying: just about everything.

crushing: on first dates and first kisses.

waiting: on my new glasses to arrive in the mail.

liking: walking everywhere; sometimes even with purpose.

wondering: where my next trip will be. i don’t have any flights booked, and that feels strange.

needing: my own space – aka to stop intruding in other people’s space.

smelling: like peppermint halo by saje wellness.

wearing: pantyhose…and i hate it!

knowing: i’m pretty darn talented.

watching: the snow fall.

listening: to the jazz version of the nutcracker suite – it’s pretty good. thanks, queens quay starbucks!

noticing: how my anxiety still hasn’t disappeared when it comes to “new”.

opening: my day planner for the first time in months.

planning: one day at a time.

giggling: at jokes from Paris. “it’s very free.”

feeling: happy.

this post is sponsored by Bayer. to make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

it’s no secret i love to travel. when the opportunity presents itself, i’ll be on a plane, train or bus headed to somewhere new. between five weeks in europe and a spontaneous week in mexico, i know the first step to a successful journey is a well-packed bag.

whether you are travelling to escape the cold or visiting family during the holidays, forgetting something important can put a damper on the fun. that’s why i have put together this handy list of items you may have forgotten to pack.

documents: keep your passport, itinerary, booking reference codes and insurance forms close! preferably in your purse or carry on, since a misplaced bag at the airport could leave you stranded. make sure to back up your documents with an online copy. use a secure place like Google Drive that can be accessed from anywhere in the world – and i give both digital and hard copies to my dad.

comfortable shoes: no matter what you’re travelling for, you can bet you will be doing lots of walking; in five weeks i covered over 310km across europe. make sure to pack a comfy pair of shoes that will keep you going all day. sometimes you have to put fashion aside, but your feet will thank you.

RestoraLAX: traveler’s constipation is very common because of the lack of physical movement while in transit, stress and change in diet. RestoraLAX is an easy way to restore your body’s natural rhythm. you can easily dissolve RestoraLAX into your favourite hot or cold drink – there’s no grit or taste!

insulated water bottle: not only will you save money by bringing your own water along, but it’s also a helpful reminder to stay hydrated. it’s always important, but this is especially important if you are going somewhere hot or will be doing lots of activities.

earphones: other people’s noise is one of my least favourite things. that’s why i always make sure to pack my favourite pair of earphones. you can zone-out and enjoy yourself on the journey, chill-out on the beach or even block out the commotion of other travelers during the holidays.

allergy meds: you’ve probably packed your vitamins, deodorant, glasses and toothbrush, but did you pack your allergy medication? going to a different climate or environment can expose you to potential allergens and make for an unpleasant trip. Claritin Rapid Dissolve gives you 24-hour, non-drowsy allergy symptom relief, so you can enjoy every second of your vacation. these dissolve instantly on your tongue so you don’t need water. from the ocean to the mountains, you can take it anywhere!

i hope you enjoy your next vacation and don’t forget to show me the photos!


this post is sponsored by Bayer. to make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.