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Category Archives: Love Lists

Getting a good night sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for my productivity and sanity. I need a good night’s sleep, I’m sure you do too, but how many of us make it a priority to make sure we’re getting the correct amount of sleep our bodies require, and making sure that sleep is steady and not interrupted? Now before you leave saying, boring, I have something to tell you.

I am an insomniac.

In the twelfth grade insomnia crept up on me before I even understood what happened. One night I was sleeping soundly in my loft bed in my parent’s basement and the next night I spent the whole evening tossing and turning that eventually just lead to me staring at the ceiling until the sun rose. It lasted for almost 10 months. Nights would go by and I wouldn’t sleep a wink; I had so much on my mind and going on personally that the only way my body was able to handle the stress was to stay awake. I ran the dark streets with my dog by my side or did laps around my backyard when she was too tired to run with me. I’d skip in my bedroom if it was raining and I didn’t want to get wet. I would lay on my bed and count sheep, count my breathing, or say “sleeeeeep, sleeeeeep, sleeeeep” in the most calming voice.

I’ve been dealing with seasons of insomnia for over 10 years now and I can’t tell you how wonderful a good night’s sleep means to me. Mister makes fun of me for how much I love to linger in bed, but it’s mostly because I just never know when insomnia will come back again and sleep will be hard to find.

Because sleep is so precious to me I’ve learn to maximize my time with it to make sure it’s fulfilling my body’s needs. Here are a few things I’ve learned to make sure sleep comes and maximizes my productivity:

get a good night sleep, designing a life you love, lifestyle design

Write it out
I keep a moleskin notebook with me at all times, because I never know when an idea will strike or something on my to-do list will pop into my mind. But I can guarantee, nighttime seems to be my brain’s favourite time to fill me with ideas (blog posts especially). So I write it down, whatever is going through my head just before I go to bed, to allow some room for my genius.

Calm your body down
Just like when you are training a child to prepare themselves for bed, you must do the same. Dim the lights, turn down the noise in your house, read a book or take a hot bath. Do whatever that calms your body down to prepare you for sleeping.

Invest in a good bed
Investing in a good mattress is overlooked by so many people. They’ll easily purchase a $40,000 car but will balk at the idea of spending $2000 on a mattress. We spend 1/3 of our life sleeping, we should invest in a good mattress that protects our bodies while sleeping as well as making sure we get uninterrupted sleep. Mister and I invested in our mattress about four years ago and love it. When we were living in Europe we would lie in our ‘rental’ bed at night and talk of our bed back home. We missed the mattress we picked out that was just for us.

Know how many hours you need
Everyone is different, but really check in with your body to see how many hours of sleep you need to function properly and productively. Knowing how many hours you need will help you make sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour and set your alarm to wake you up, if your body isn’t already doing it for you. I require between 8-9 hours of sleep, Mister, however, requires between 7-8. Since we’re on different schedules someone is usually in bed longer than the other (me!) so we’ve learned to make sure to give the other person their space.

Get an eye mask
This is hands down a life changer for me. I’ve been sleeping with a proper eye mask for six years now and will never go back. My sleep has been fabulous since I’ve slept with one! The one I use is a $6 investment from Target – has a satin outside for a bit of luxury but the inside is plush with a soft mound to fully cover your eyes and is all black to block the light. When you’re dealing with a sleepless night, having a sleeping mask tricks your mind into thinking it’s super dark out so it must go to sleep. If you don’t have one, go, get one now. You can thank me later!

Do you struggle with sleeping or have any tips to share on how you get a good night’s sleep? Please share in the comments, I would love to hear about them!

Original Image by Andrey Ivanov

What keeps you motivated

The past couple of months, through an exhausting and eye opening process, I have been analyzing my life along with my business to streamline each process and activity I enter into. There are so many tasks that I feel obligated to do, that some had to go while others give me such happiness I can never get enough. And throughout them all, Songza has been giving me the perfect background music.

While listening to Songza I’ve been analyzing my love/hate relationship with the Love List posts. While I do love sharing what I’m enjoying, the idea that each and every month I needed to come up with four items that I haven’t already talked about was just too much pressure that there ended up being a couple of months I missed because of that. So I’ve decided that to continue sharing and posting that I’ll post them whenever something strikes my fancy and I think you’ll enjoy it as well. So that might mean they’ll be one or four a month or nothing at all – but no matter what I’ll sharing what I’m loving.

This new format seems much more manageable and streamlined to me, I can’t wait to continue sharing!

What do avocados and candles have in common?

It’s been a awhile since I’ve put together one of my love lists. I’ve been meaning to do them and make a list of what to include but I just couldn’t do it. You see, this transition to Vancouver has been difficult for me. More trying and difficult than I ever anticipated. I’ve struggled to get out of bed most mornings and the thought of gaining energy to do a love lists just couldn’t be found.

I work really hard to keep the space here uplifting and inspiring so when I’m I’m feeling a bit off I can’t seem to formulate the right words. So I won’t. It’s hard and difficult, but I’ve gained some energy lately to get out the house and find comfort in these things!

AVOCADOS! I can’t seem to get enough of these delicious fruits. I toast some bread on the pan and then lather my toast with them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and I’m good to go! I’m also throwing them in my green smoothies and it makes me feel like I’m doing something good for my body.

CANDLES With the days getting shorter and the rain flinging itself against our windows I’ve been lighting candles non-stop. The flickering flame, the shadows that dance along the walls, and the warmth it gives off soothes my wistful soul. It’s the small things right now that make me happy and lighting candles is one that brings a smile to my face everyday.

EARL GREY LAVENDER LATTE It’s all about what brings comfort right now and the foaming latte, the smoothness of the earl grey, and then the floral aroma of the lavender has my heart singing a small tune. and starting a new notebook

The month of June is going to go by so quickly, I’m shocked to find my calendar stating June 5th already! Seriously, it’s already half way through the year! (How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?!) and most of this month is spent traveling that I’m sure the next time I look at my calendar it will read December. Along with my crazy traveling schedule I’m going through a business growth period which means I’m spending more time implementing my dreams instead of just writing them down. It feels awesome!

Here are the four items that are inspiring me this month!

GREETING CARDS I’m excited to step into some of my favourite card shops while I’m at home to see the new designs and perhaps pick some up to add to my collection. I love sending cards to clients, partnering vendors, loved ones and friends. I search long and hard for nice designed ones so when I recently came across Out of Print, I fell in love with the Pride & Prejudice greeting card. Great Gatsby is another fabulous one.

NEW MUSIC New music, artists, and mixes. I can’t remember how I came across, but I haven’t stopped listening to it. During the week I usually listen to some mellow indie mixes, Saturdays are for upbeat Ambient, and then Sunday we put on our favourite French mixes while sipping on lattes. I always look forward to Sunday music.

NOTEBOOKS I talk about notebooks a lot. Probably too much, but I really do love them. I recently finished two black moleskine notebooks and opened a new one to begin writing down new dreams and plans. I love that new fresh notebook smell, it has the aroma of opportunities and hope.

QUOTES We are meant to live a life that is beautiful and wonderful! I created a board on Pinterest keep inspirational quotes to help me to stay focused on my goals when I’m feeling down or not quite where I thought I would be. Do you have any inspirational quotes you love?

Inspiring elements

THE WELLNESS WARRIOR  I cannot recall how I came upon Jess Ainscough’s blog called The Wellness Warrior, but I do know I was hooked the moment I started reading. She has documented her journey from learning she had cancer to changing her lifestyle so that she could conquer her battle with cancer and live a long healthy life. She’s inspired me to really look at what I’m putting into my body and how it’s going to effect me. Check her out, plus she lives in one of my favourite places in the world.

LUDOVICO EINAUDI I found this ‘new to me’ Italian pianist while listening to 8tracks, I was immediately hooked. I instantly purchased his CD, Una Mattina, and have been listening to it on repeat most days. I find it so beautifully inspiring.

BEYONCE I’ve always been drawn to women who know exactly what they want in life and have this amazing drive to see it come true. Beyonce is one of those amazing women. I recently watched her documentary about her year of creating 4 and found myself sitting closer and closer to the screen inspired by how she wants to change the world. Watch it and be inspired!

EUROPEAN BLOG CONFERENCE The moment I saw The Hive I knew I wanted to go. Berlin, another favourite European city and a conference all about blogging, hook me up! Sadly, I won’t be attending due to some scheduling conflicts but if you’re into blogging I highly suggest you go. It’s next weekend and they have some amazing speakers from all around Europe to talk about how to blog for the European market and of course how to make your blog top-notch!