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  • Do you desire a life where you feel beautiful, you know your inner purpose, you travel to exotic places, explore and enjoy local sites and organic food, and your favourite part of the day is evenings spent sipping on your favourite drink while surrounded by inspiration, love, and you feel successful in your life and career?

    This is the story of dream lifestyle and business curator, Lesley Stefanski. Told from her perspective she'll share her insight and knowledge on how she designed her ideal lifestyle and business as well sharing the places she travels to, the images she captures, and the life she creates for herself!

    To stay up to date with everything she'll be sharing, sign up for the newsletter!

Balance living out the life of my dreams and reality

I’m now a full time mama, and the emotions I’ve felt over these past few weeks has been the lowest of the lows, and the highest of the highs.

During the nine months of being pregnant I didn’t have the energy for blogging, business, or even dreaming for that matter. I felt like I was putting myself and my life on hold while I grew a baby inside of me. It was probably one of the most difficult seasons in my life, as I didn’t even have the energy to write through it to help me gain perspective.

However, within five days of giving birth I felt like a fog that I had no idea I was walking around in had lifted and I’m rediscovering who I am, the dreams I have, and the direction I want to take my life.

Through rediscovering who I am, I realize I’m unsure where my blogging will go, but I am blogging again!

I’m learning the balance of living out the life of my dreams and taking time to just enjoy it.

Images from Amish Solanki

+ - 5 comments

March 3, 2014 - 11:58 PM

Jenny - welcome back Lesley !I love those images of the three of you.

March 6, 2014 - 2:20 PM

Lesley - Thanks Jenny!

March 13, 2014 - 2:29 PM

lily - so lovely to see these pictures adn updates Lesley :) i’ve missed your posts! hope all is well.

March 13, 2014 - 7:54 PM

Lesley - Thank you Lily!

March 26, 2014 - 9:49 PM

Halley - Small steps win. every. time. :)

What I’m thankful for this year

In the five and a half months I’ve been silent here, much has changed in my life. I finished my schooling and said good-bye to another chapter in my life, we packed up our familiar condo and moved across the road to a new one, we went on a spontaneous trip back to Europe where we visited London, Paris, and the region of Normandie in France. But the biggest change was realizing that my life would never be the same again, that whatever I attributed ‘normal’ to, I would never fully experience again. From that moment forward I would forever be a different person.

In the middle of May on the same day we found out that our offer on a new condo was accepted, we also found out we were expecting. In the middle of finishing up my program and working with wonderful clients I suddenly found myself dealing with being constantly hungry and no energy to dealing with the a month a half of intense morning sickness where I couldn’t hold anything down. It was so bad that I didn’t even get out of bed most days and when we were packing up our home and moving into a new one, my mum had to come and help while I laid on the bathroom floor hoping the cold tiles would cool me down.

I won’t go into the details, but it was one of the most frustrating moments of my life.

Once I felt like I could get out of bed, I suddenly found myself working back in corporate. None of my ideals of what my life would look like if I happened to ever to get pregnant were coming true. I went through probably another month of dealing with what I thought my life would look like to what reality really was. If I’m honest, I really resented being pregnant and the changes it was putting on me that were completely out of my control.

Once I thought I had morning sickness and my resentment under control, my body has been wrecked with migraines. I’ve dealt with them before, but being pregnant has left me with no way to take medication other than rest and a dark room.

Then, in the middle of it all, there was a moment when we thought our baby was sick and we didn’t know if our future would have our baby in it or not. I have never felt so completely helpless than those three weeks of stressful waiting.

Yet through every single step of this season in my life, this has been the only time I have ever felt so confident and peaceful about the decisions I’m making. Call it mother’s intuition or instinct but I’m so at peace with everything this pregnancy has brought me. It is not the pregnancy I dreamed of (mostly because I never dreamed of being pregnant nor wanted children) but I do believe that this is the pregnancy I’m supposed to have. I’m being shown something: that through this all I’m still living a gorgeous life, that I’m surrounded by positive, beautiful, and loving family and friends. That life isn’t always what we expect it to be, but that the beauty is still there if you’re willing to look for it.

That even though life throws you curve ball after curve ball, your heart will expand to see beauty in moments that you would have hid from. That somehow when you think you can’t take anymore and you are weeping on the bathroom floor praying that someone would make it all stop, you find yourself with more strength than before and you’re able to stand tall (in four inch heels), head held high, hair done and feeling proud, graceful, and so full of love and happiness.

This year, on this Thanksgiving Monday, I am thankful for the life I am living. That I have a wonderful loving husband who has stood beside me (or comforted me when I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore), my family (both his and mine) who have done everything in their power to ease this pregnancy, for friends near and far who check in to see how I’m doing – even when I don’t have the strength or energy to send a response, and also for our baby that is strong, healthy, and growing in my belly – for all the little kicks when I sing, of somehow knowing when I need comfort it does a little tumble in my body, for teaching me that life isn’t perfect but no matter what it’s beautiful and so full of love.

In light of Thanksgiving, before we met up with family, Mister took me for a mini photoshoot to celebrate this season in my life. Even though it hasn’t been easy these pictures reflect internally how I feel: beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, and ready to face the world!



+ - 6 comments

October 16, 2013 - 6:54 AM

Natalie - Lesley, you look stunning – as you always do! Heartfelt congratulations to you, I hope the remainder of your pregnancy is smoother sailing.. goodness, I feel for you the last few months! Take care, best wishes to you xx

October 16, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Tanja - Congratulations to you and your hubby! :) Vancouver is such a wonderful city for a child to grow up.

October 24, 2013 - 12:21 PM

Anouschka - You look GORGEOUS!

October 30, 2013 - 3:52 PM

Rebecca Sehn - You look beautiful. :) xo

March 10, 2014 - 1:09 AM

Jenny - you look so pretty !!!

March 13, 2014 - 7:54 PM

Lesley - Thank you Jenny!

Do what you need to do

Sometimes you need to give yourself permission to do what you need to do. All morning I’ve been fighting with myself, my  to-do list, my obligations to sit down with my notebook and pen and write out some very significant details to help me prepare for next month (I’m finishing school!). It’s been on my to-do list for some time now and I know I need to write it out, but instead of sitting down I started doing everything but that.

I cleaned our home.

I washed dishes.

I did the last bit of laundry.

I sat for hours scrolling through internet stories.

I started trolling people on facebook.

And each time I did one of those things other than writing in my notebook, I started feeling guilty and would chastise myself. How could I spend all this time doing other things when planning for my future should be more important. Or at least they should be the most important – it’s creating goals!

I then decided to stop doing everything else to just sit down and write. I would stop feeling guilty then, right?

However, instead of feeling inspired I started thinking about how I should restart my phone, perhaps take a nap, or should I clean the windows? I still resisted writing.

I then decided, that sometimes you need to give yourself permission to do what you need to do. And today I need to give myself permission to do not what I feel is important but just do the things I want to do. Even if that means cleaning the windows instead of planning for my future. It doesn’t mean my future isn’t important – it just means it’s not the right time to figure it out, that clearly my mind and body has other things it wants to enjoy instead of planning and making goals. It just wants to be.

Funny enough, I had been feeling guilty for not creating a blog post for a couple of weeks due to school, but I’ve been feeling so drained and tired by the end of the school day that I feel like I have nothing left to give. But the moment I gave myself permission to do what I need to do, I felt inspired to write this! Magic happens when you leave space for permission.

Design your lifestyle assignment
What have you been feeling resistance to lately? Do you need to give yourself permission to let go? Set some time aside to think about what you’re really needing to do (watch the world go by, clean the floor, take a nap) instead of the things you’re feeling obligated to do, even if you know they are important. Listen to what you’re body and mind are telling you, what are you able to make space for? Give yourself permission to do what you need to do.

Please feel free to share your discoveries in the comments below!

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+ - 1 comment

June 12, 2013 - 12:46 AM

Jenny - your words just fit perfectly this week as I start my day with a full to do list an empty fridge and floor that needs to be cleaned and i just can’t get anything done. isn’t it hard to sometimes prioritize everything in your life – business, the house, yourself and sometimes you even need a little time to rest for a minute? I really struggle with that.

Living the healthy authentic life

I was that person who would go to McDonald’s, Subway, any chain restaurant to spend time with my friends and from that gained 40 pounds of extra weight that I didn’t need. I wasn’t living the healthy authentic life I wanted which meant I wasn’t happy with myself, what I was putting into my body, how my body looked and then in turned hated myself. It was an endless circle of hating who I was and who I was becoming.

It’s quite astounding how before I decided to live a life that truly reflected me, I spent so much time being and doing things that I truly didn’t enjoy, but did anyways because it was expected of me. Or even worse, I didn’t know any different. Have you felt like that before?

I didn’t feel anything along the lines of beautiful, sensual, or confient. I didn’t even feel smart because I knew what I was doing. It was impacting who I was, in a negative way.

 

The moment that I started to live an authentic life of who I truly was and what I wanted in my life my eating habits and my lifestyle started to change.

How I truly wanted to feel, I started to consume:

I desired to feel healthy and fit while able to run, workout, or hike a mountain. I also wanted to provide healthy meals, to not only myself, but for those occasions where I was invited over for a gathering and offered to bring a dish. I wanted to bring something healthy, clean, nourishing food that I’ve gone and sourced and prepared. It was a way to show I cared.

Through living an authentic life I’ve implemented a way to consume food and feel good about what I’m putting into my body and then also start living a healthy lifestyle through that. I run, go to the gym, walk the seawall, and I hike mountains without feeling like I’m going to pass out!

Because I’m eating well, I don’t want the food I consume nor the workouts I’m doing to go to waste! These two go hand in hand and keep me accountable to make sure I continue to live an authentic healthy life!

Once I realized I wanted to feel fit, healthy and confident in my body it completely changed what I was willing to consume and put into my body. They were small steps by implementing more vegetables, less meat, and keeping an eye on sugar. I still enjoy wine and cheese, but I feel healthy and fantastic living an authentic life that truly reflects who I am and what to be!

Design your lifestyle assignment
Is what you’re consuming how you want to feel? Almost everyone I meet wants to feel fit and healthy, but what you are feeding yourself is that contributing to the lifestyle you’re desiring? If not, what can you do to change just one thing? It could mean shopping at a farmer’s market, eating more salads, finding inspiring recipies on Pinterest. What is it that you can start living a fit, healthy, and authentic lifestyle?

Please feel free to share your discoveries in the comments below!

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Image by Denise Birdsong at Modern Love Photography

no comments

How to get where I want to go

I was sitting on a gorgeous terrace in the middle of my city when this came to me: When I admire people it shows me how to get where I want to go. Before I would never want to admit this, because it could easily be taken as I’m jealous of them or envious of their lifestyle. But the truth of the matter, is that I’m not. I just admire who they are and what they’ve done with their life, and I want that too.

I quickly ran home and wanted to share my insight with you.

But then I stalled, I was nervous that even if I shared that admiring is a fantastic way to show how to get where you want to go, it might be frowned upon. That you might say, “Lesley, we should be able to do it ourselves”. Or even worse “I’ll never, ever, reach what they’ve got”.

You believing that you’ll never reach your full potential or the life you so desperately want to live, is a belief I so want to help you change.

This video is now a bit out of date, as our local hockey team was swept out of the playoffs earlier this week; but the content is still true. And I’m sorry that it looks like my head is floating in the screen, learned not to take video from that angle again!

Design your lifestyle assignment
Who do you admire? Take some time this week to write down or discover who it is you admire and what about them that draws you to them. Once you realize what it is that you’d like to include in your life, write one step that will get you there. Then start implementing that step. You’ll soon find your way creating the life of your dreams!

Please feel free to share your discoveries in the comments below!

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+ - 2 comments

May 9, 2013 - 9:25 AM

Natalia Chouklina - Lesley, this is a wonderful video and it has a great energy! I can tell that you are very passionate about this topic and right so! I couldn’t agree with you more. Often people we admire mirror the qualities we want to cultivate in ourselves. It may not even be the life we want for ourselves but we want the feelings. The freedom, the authenticity, the love… They say that if you can’t imagine it, you can’t create it. Then to create you have to take action. I often tell my clients that imagination +action = miracles. Both parts of the equation are critical. Great job on spreading the message and being open about the fact that it’s often not as easy as it seams but it’s so worth it!

May 10, 2013 - 8:35 AM

Jenny - This is such a wonderful post. I love to see you speak and remember the lovely afternoons we had with tea and wine in Den Bosch and Utrecht. You are a great inspiration and I admire you for being so passionate about your new business. I love to see this happening to you. I often look at people that I admire – there are a lot of different women and even some men ;-) every one of them gives me something that I want to strive for in my life. Giving it the right recipe to put it all together and still be me and not a mix of them is the challenge and above all the biggest challenge I find is to get started and not only look at them.