Birthday Girl

August 9th has always been a special date for me – it’s the day when I was born. Summer heat baby! A zealous lion with a passionate, big heart. A personality that can be hard-working and ambitious at its best, and addicted and easily convinced (maybe even taken advantage of) at its worst. Today I celebrate my 44th birthday. I feel much younger though. I feel energetic and excited for life. I have lots of good things as it is, and an excitng new work perspective coming up.

In my forty some years, I have lived in four different countries. That is something I am proud of. Finland, USA, France and Canada have all left their mark on me. I feel connected to all of them on some level. Yet in each, there are also things that I do not adhere so much to. But that is wisdom that my 44 years have taught me: nothing is perfect, yet there’s beauty and enjoyment in imperfection and giving grace, to ourselves and others. I am the unique mosaik of my experiences. So are you. We each have value and a story to tell. We just have to pause and listen. Listening is so important. That is where we learn and are changed, from the inside out.

Below are some pictures of my past year. I wanted to share these highlight with you.

Camping on Cape Cod.

Camping trip continued to Connecticut.

Summertime glamour where we live, in the old town of Quebec City.

Yoga in the fall.

Taking a walk and enjoying the cooling temps and the beautiful Quebec foliage.

Exploring Austin, Texas, at Christmas.

Striking a dancer’s yoga pose in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Celebrating the arrival of spring at the Ottawa Tulip Festival.

That’s been my year. Thank you for having been a part of it, in person or thru here! I value each person who pops in to read my posts. This blog is my creative outlet and it’s been my faithful companion since the start of it in Paris in 2007.

Cheers to the new year and our continuing adventures together!

Smell the Summer Roses

Summer vacation has started, and oh boy does it feel good! Lazy mornings when you can get up at your own pace and decide whether it’ll be a run, yoga or just chilling with a cup of Joe. I’m taking the time to plan some new things professionally for the next season. There’ll be some exciting news to announce soon. I’m continuing with my English teaching business, yet adding something new into the mix.

Summertime is the perfect opportunity to tune in with your core. Find out what it is that you need at this time of your life. I realize that I crave yoga’s toning yet lengthening power. I long for walks in the forest and time to sit in the sun and read or write down my thoughts.

I also stop to smell the flowers. I appreciate their beauty, here and now. They remind me of the fleetingness of life. This realization should not make us sad but to encourage us to live fully in the moment. It should also boost us in loving the people who love us back. Knowing that they’re there now – and that’s a gift.

Blowing rosy kisses your way!

So British

My district’s, the gorgeous Old Quebec City, Business Owners Association SDC Vieux Quebec organized an evening of all things British. This comes to show that the English language and culture is well alive in this Francophone city.

  • There was an introduction lesson to swing dancing, David’s Tea and delicious Queen Elizabeth cake from Quebec City’s best French bakery Paillard. I often takes students to Paillard for a fun lesson around a cup of steaming coffee.

Quehec City’s heart, the Old City is well alive and a fun playground both for tourists and locals alike. When you take lessons with me, we tour the intriguing streets and learn hands on. Whether it’s with me or not, come check out the summery glow. Dress up and be “so British”!

Sparkle Time

Today I want to talk about finding your sparkle thru learning. I make my living with teaching English. Yet I really think that I do so much more than just teach the grammar and vocabulary of the language of Shakespeare. As we continue to meet with my clients, week after week, we end up creating a link. We share our thoughts and opinions. We open up questions that need answers and we find the lost or hiding sparkle.

When you decide to learn something new, you decide to open your mind and heart to new ideas and opportunities. You take a brave step into something unknown. Sometimes the stakes aren’t that high. If you don’t like it, you can move onto other adventures. Other times you invest a lot of time, energy and money, and you definitely want your investment’s worth. I see clients who start to open up as you encounters progress. They grow more confident in their English, express themselves better and suggest ways for us to progress together. Amazingly, changes can also be seen in other areas of my clients’ life. Self-confidence comes from repeated experiences of being succesful. Sparkle invites more sparkle.

If you succeed in learning English, why couldn’t you take on other challenging things as well?

Hugs, Kisses and Ballet Misses

This week has been so intense. My business is running so smoothly that I had work up to the point of going thru a couple of days of not having time for anythng else than work. Literally, I didn’t even get out of the house. But I made it, and everyone seemed happy with my services. That’s entepreneur life right there, you’ve got to show up when you’re called. Slower times shall follow. They always do.

Today we had friends over for lunch, after which us girls headed out to the Grand Theater of Quebec City to see Cinderella. The National Ballet of Ukraine was in town. The show was magical. We had seats in the box. First time for me. I loved the ambiance. Following the ballet, we went to Starbucks. Our rosebud tea and Americano were just what we needed to top off the awesome day.

Dallas Big

Luckily we were able to visit Dallas yesterday because today both Sebastien and I are sick and confined into staying in bed at our Airbnb. Obviously, this is a tough moment on this trip.

Dallas is quite visitor friendly. A lot of the sites turn around the shooting of President Kennedy.

Here you see the landmark, the Dallas Tower.

Cute Christmas decorations were visible all thru the city. We strolled in the freezing city, after which we warmed up at a Starbucks at one of the classy tower buildings.

The Dealey Plaza close to where John F. Kennedy was shot at the end of his presidential parade. The spot is still marked with an X on the ground.

I found lots of books on Jackie Kennedy and other first ladies’ style in the Kennedy shooting The Sixth Floor Museum bookstore.  My cropped, fur lined gloves weren’t a bad idea in the freezing cold Dallas December weather.

The Giant Eyeball is an interesting sculpture in the heart of Dallas.

Now we are at our Airbnb hoping to get better really soon. It has been a fun trip yet shadowed by me being sick almost all the way. I have tried to be courageous about it. I have tried to accept things as they come. I have tried to learn a useful lesson on patience and trust. Now I can only trust the medicine to clear up my ears and sinuses enough to be allowed to fly back home on Saturday.