Montreal Hotel Hop

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

The Canadian end of winter has been acting up. On our recent journey, we ended up booking a hotel in Montreal just to spend the night. The ordeal wasn’t planned, yet it turned out fun. We enjoyed what the bar and cuisine had to offer, along with my complementary Starbucks fix. Nothing better to paint a smile on my face upon wake up.

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

I’ve really been mindful of cultivating a positive attitude towards the weather, among other things. I can’t change nor shorten the Canadian winter. So I will simply accept it, work around it. I’ve been roasting veggies – mmm, the yummy smell spreading across my place as I’m writing this – and just enjoying the freezing air walks. Happiness radiates from within. It has very little to do with the temps. But finding your sparkle is the hardest.

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

Starbucks at a Montreal Hotel

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

I’ve been sick with the flu for four days now, plus outside the weather is gray and icy rainy, so it felt like a good idea to post out my last pics of Florida. These sunny shots give me the vitamin boost I need. They remind me that the sun will again be out in my life, too. When you’re sick, it forces you to build character. I hate having to cancel lessons. I take my work very seriously in the sense that I love what I do, I am truly grateful for each and every student – I take no one for granted – and I just feel my best when being an active part of this adventure called life. But when your head is turning and every joint and muscle you have aches, you cannot do what you were meant to do. So I’ve had to accept that and take each day as it comes.

A Bit of Sunlight

I realize that the spring is a tough time for me stamina wise. That’s when viruses seem to get the best of me. Recently, I’ve really gotten into healthy eating. I’ve tried some new cooking experiments like roasting veggies in the oven or making things with beans. Eating a more plant-based way should load me up on vitamins. It does feel good to know that what you’re putting into your body is actually good for you. I find a lot of inspiration from Instagram pics. I just kind of get the gist of the dish, and then try to throw together something similar. I’ve even Instagrammed some of my creations. It feels fun to experiment with different types of images, although I think that fashion will always stay my number one.

A Bit of Sunlight

Since I’ve had more time, well less energy to really do much, I’ve also done some soul-searching. I just feel that the more I get excited about a plan, the sweeter life will feel. I’ve wondered about the purpose of my life. What’s my goal? What do I work towards with enthusiasm? I think it is centered around encouraging, boosting and inspiring. Whether it be my job as an entrepreneur English teacher or as a writer of this blog, or even the one that gathers English-speakers together here in Quebec City, I long to bring positivity, new openings and new exciting ideas around me. There’s always something good. We just have to see it.

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

A Bit of Sunlight

Do you love your body?

Do you love your body?

What do you think about your body? To me the question is difficult. There’s the automatic perky answer, and then there are those darker thoughts that can even ruin a good day if I’m not vigilant in regards to my attitude. I keep telling myself not to compare to others, notably to those countless Instagram fashionista shots that I often gaze. I keep trying not to wish for a flat, tightly skinned tummy since mine hasn’t shown the capacity to get quite there.

I eat clean. My nutrition consists of whole grains, veggies, nuts, fruit and protein like ham, chicken and the occasional egg. I do at least one hour of sports daily mostly using my stepper, or if not then walking, skating, skiing, doing zumba or jogging. I started teaching my own latino aerobics class last August. I used to teach fitness so that has felt gratifying. I have got to deliver a fun and structured class, and the challenge pushes me forward.

That said, I regularly battle with feelings of “I’m not thin enough”. These thoughts have never really left my mind ever since I once discovered the world of body unhappiness at the age of fifteen. Where does that feeling come from? The question is very large and I’m not sure to be able to find the answer, ever. So, I have to work around the issue. You know, my constant quest for positive attitude that transforms life and in the end renders things enjoyable.

What is it then that I can do to love my body the way it is today? Focusing on what I can do, and not so much on what I look like doing it, is a key element. If you don’t allow your body the proper nutrition, you cannot be active to your full potential. A body that eats is a body that has energy to perform. Another thing I can be mindful about is “competing” with myself. We all have our specific genetics and age. Being slim at fourteen is most likely easier than at forty. So, if I am to compare, I should do it with people in my age group in order to give myself a fair chance. Comparing isn’t good though, so the ultimate goal would be to stop following those Insta feeds, or other pictorial impulses that I allow myself to see. If one could just be strong enough to take home the fashion inspiration and leave your own body putting down aside.

As I’ve written this text, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be more mature about how I see my body. I need to be realistic. I need to appreciate the weight that my body has chosen in the healthy conditions that I have given it. If I do my best in providing good nutrition and daily exercise, so then the weight that my body needs to be happy should make me happy too. The key to happiness then is in changing the way I think of the ideal weight for myself.

Do you love your body?

Do you love your body?

Do you love your body?

Coffee Love

Hitting Anxiety at its Core

I really love coffee. Especially that of Starbucks. There’s something so smooth and a bit smoky to its taste. These pictures were shot at another coffee shop, actually physically the closest to my place, Second Cup. Their coffee is more acidic in my mouth, but their pastries are better. At Starbucks I go for a chocolate chip cookie, the few times I actually buy food, and at Second Cup I fall for their lemon poppy seed scone, even if I usually am not a huge scone lover.

Hitting Anxiety at its Core

I make it a point to visit my favorite cafes several times a week. My work schedule is very scattered throughout the day. I typically work both in the morning late into the evenings. In the time space between, I try to make the most of my free moments. That includes long walks in the city and its parks as well as lunch or afternoon coffee hangouts. I usually pack some healthy food  with me along with a magazine. I read some articles and also write down creative things or just journal on the magazine pages. My glossies are full of handwritten notes, and I love it that way.

Hitting Anxiety at its Core

Time for myself is my way of centering. My work is very sociable. I am always with students. I take pride in being encouraging and focused. That needs counterbalancing. To be able to give as I wish, I need to upload. Those coffee shop lingerings provide me with a savory way to enjoy life when I can in a simple way.

Hitting Anxiety at its Core

Hitting Anxiety at its Core

 

Sun Dance

Sun Dance

The beach is my happy place. I love seeing the vast mass of water. There’s hope and dreams and opportunity in all that. I encourage you to find “your beach”. You may not have access to a veritable waterfront, but there are places everywhere where you can retreat for a moment. Connect with yourself, and a higher power, if that’s how you roll. Find that time – and you’ll feel more centered.

A good life is really made of simple things. This week mine has been about working, doing sports and connecting with my husband. Choosing to invest time in people that you value – and doing it generously – pays off. You’ll feel more supported. Someone’s got your back.

My goal for today is to live every passing moment with enthusiasm. I called my mom today. (She’s a faithful reader of this blog, so I know she’ll be reading this.) That conversation was a path of life lived together. It was nothing special yet it was very special. We were open and honest, just sharing life as we had experienced it. No need to sugarcoat or overdo. These kind of moments make the day worthwhile.

We can all invite meaningful moments into our days. By reaching out to others, the ones that our heart is leading us to, we go from a thought to actual action. Who is it that you’ve been meaning to call for a while now?

Sun Dance

Sun Dance

Sun Dance

Inauguration

Inauguration

Before I headed out to Starbucks to savor writing this post, I watched Donald Trump take his first steps down the inauguration parade route in Washington DC. Prior to that, I had watched Barack Obama say good bye to his staff and supporters at Joint Base Andrew. My emotions are shuffled. I don’t quite understand how my country got where it is today.

Nevertheless, I’ve always been a huge believer in positivity. In general, I try to accept the facts as soon as possible, and then see how I can find my happy place within the defining factors I cannot change. Future remains to be seen. Within that, I feel that my place is to keep shining the light of multiculturalism and inclusion. I think that a great deal of our societal problems of today stem from the fact that a part of our society, be it in the USA or elsewhere, doesn’t find their true place in it.

If I on daily basis spread the message of respect to everyone I come across, be it the barista, cleaning lady or bus driver, if I reach out to them with a friendly smile, a few words to acknowledge them being a part of my day, that will help everyone feel like their input is valued and needed. I know that this takes energy. The day isn’t always opportune to breathing out positivity. Yet, if I challenge myself to this task, I am the first one to reap the good fruit. A smile blesses the smiler first and foremost.

Today I inaugurate a mandate of daily positivity. I swear in with a desire to be the voice of encouragement. I am in control of my life. My individual actions matter. They are my precious daily doings – nothing counts more than that. I hope you’re down with me…

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration

Inauguration