life timeout.

I cannot believe it has been almost 6 weeks since I last posted. The summer is flying by!

1a01351fbe2c29940c5395ba00dede6dThe last few weeks have been full of challenges that required my full attention, so I took a “time out” from life. What I mean by that is I needed down time to spend alone, with my amazing hubby and with family & friends. I feel grateful to have the¬†ability to recognize when I need that down time and how to experience it wholeheartedly, without guilt or shame. Life is full of ups & downs, we all deal with issues differently depending on what it may be. Knowing when you need some down time is the best gift you can provide yourself. That same ability is a sign of personal strength, you are strong enough to admit when you need a few more quiet moments. The last few weeks were also an opportunity for me to really appreciate who and what I had in my life, I have never felt more grateful.

Now, moving on from that philosophical opening!

Great news, our kitchen is ALMOST done! I can’t wait to show all of you photos, I am in love with how it turned out. AND… I can’t wait to show you what can be done to transform a kitchen for less than $5,000. You don’t need a huge budget to give a kitchen a complete overhaul! (…and I don’t mean painting the cabinets either!)

Stay tuned! Renovation reveals, DIY projects, recipes, workouts and reflection posts coming up! ūüôā

marissa7

Where have you been all my life?!

I am back! I know, the last few weeks haven’t been as active on the blog as I had hoped but the madness of spring time hit my life. Plain and simple.

Spring is always a crazy time for me. Professionally, I hit numerous re-occurring deadlines, as well as the beginning of new projects. I start to travel a lot for work as well, which is extremely time-consuming but a nice change of scenery. My studies semester always ends around the same time, so I have been completely consumed by final research and papers.

2d2b89eeb85c9ffe843b6df877dce826I am sure I am not alone when I say spring time gives me a little bit of spark, I start to feel more alive after the bitter cold of the winter season is over. I begin to think of all the projects I want to get done and try not to get ahead of myself… something that has never been easy for me!

This week was also my birthday. It is the last year of my 20s, which is somewhat bittersweet. The last decade has been a complete world wind and has provided me incredible memories.¬†I think this calls for a whole post in itself though… so, more to come!

I can’t wait to share all my little projects I plan to start this weekend and in the weeks to come. I feel like there are so many little things to do and some BIG paint jobs. So stay tune ūüôā

marissa7

How do you smell!?

I am a huge fan of perfumes, scented lotions and anything that smells delicious! As I matured, my taste in the scents I gravitate towards have noticeably changed. One of the most significant changes was when I started my career in a corporate environment.

IMG_1364I work in an office where we are asked to be respectful of our co-workers and apply any scents within reason. You may work¬†in an¬†environment that is “scent free” due to allergies or sensitivities of fellow colleagues, so the products you can use will be limited. A few years ago, I started to¬†notice that¬†my perfume was not as “mature” as I once thought it to be. It was the same perfume that I wore throughout university and it suddenly didn’t suit the professional image I was trying to convey. I wanted a scent that was light and mature but fresh and feminine. After months of trying out various samples, I have found a new scent that is work appropriate but doesn’t impede on my fellow colleagues.¬†This process was a lot more difficult than I initially imagined. I couldn’t believe how many scents exist that truly do not¬†suit me or didn’t give off the aroma that would work in a professional environment.

Personally, I believe how you smell is just as important as how your present yourself physically. Together with a polished wardrobe and appropriate grooming habits, a personally fitting scent will finish off your professional image.

What scents do you like?

marissa7

Keeping Up with the Virtual Jones’

Social media has become a huge part of our society, whether you are looking for the most up-to-date news or what your 10th grade ‘best friend’ had for dinner, the images and information is there. It is there to obsess over, it is there to¬†tell us what is going on in the world and it is there to remind us what we don’t have that someone else does. It is called Social Media Envy. It is¬†real thing.

At some point in our time with Facebook, I am sure we have logged on to see photos of our “friends” taking incredible trips, buying big beautiful houses, new clothes or a fancy new car. We think to ourselves, “Oh man, I wish I had that!”¬† Here is the thing, the type of posts you see can generally be put into one of two categories:

#1: The Bragging Post– New houses, vehicles, clothing, promotions or job changes, lavish trips, selfies (because obvi- I look amazing!), baby/children (they are the cutest/ best at whatever sport/smartest/ etc.)

OR…

#2: The Attention Seeking Post– “I had a terrible day!”(because I want people to ask me so I can feel important but won’t answer them), “New workout routine!!” (meanwhile they are skinny models who just want to be told I am socially accepted and beautiful), the natural me selfie (looking for reassurance that they are attractive in their “natural” way even though they still have make up on), Ranting/venting posts ( everyone is entitled and should agree with their opinions, right?) and the ever so classic passive aggressive posts that are about¬†an unnamed individual (sorry, are we supposed to care?)

imagesB4JE6KIMAs annoying as the attention seeking posts may be the bragging posts seem to have a significant psychological effect on us. A University of Pittsburgh study determined those who frequent social media multiple times per day have higher credit card debt and lower credit scores. Social media envy creates a need for us to compete with our virtual circle, so we buy things to make ourselves feel worthy and accepted.

“Keeping up with the Jones'” does not mean our next door neighbours like it did 25-30 years ago, it means your family, your friends from primary school/middle school/ high school, university, your past jobs, people from your church, sports teams, ¬†volunteering organizations, etc…etc…etc…etc, are all the people who you need to compete with.

It isn’t always easy to remember but photos are only a snap shot, they are not a true¬†representation of real life. Most of us don’t want to expose or¬†remember when¬†our house was a mess, when¬†we¬†were having a ‘fat day’ or¬†when we were struggling financially. We certainly don’t want others to have¬†negative¬†images of us as the snap shot of ours lives. The social media world creates a high degree of competition without exposing the true circumstances (i.e.: debt, unhappiness)¬†or sacrifices our glamorous Instagram superstar had to endure to create that “perfect life” we all see.

The Jones family has just gotten bigger by going virtual. Does social media create envy or jealousy in your home? How do you manage those feelings?

marissa7

Listen to Life’s Messages

I am afraid I have to admit, the last few days of being back at work I have been dreaming of this…

IMG_0981How could you not, right?!

Various parts of Canada were hit with large volumes of snow and chilly temperatures, our area was no exception. I can assure you I would prefer the white sand beaches to the white piles of snow.

As I head into February, I feel myself trying to gain a sense of grounding. I have a lot coming up on my schedule, which for the first time (ever??) is “new”. For the last few months I have taken a step back, time to relax and spend more time at home. I should clarify my state of “relaxation” is still probably busier than the average person because I am certifiably nuts but nevertheless, it has been absolutely delightful!

Now, some of that relaxation was forced because I have had a nagging knee injury but I welcomed that environment with open arms. I am a firm believer that life has a way of telling you when you need a break and this was mine. I am not the type of person who will not go back to the gym if I miss a day, I am a dedicated gym junkie. With that said, the last 3 years have taught me a very important lesson about listening to¬†my body. In the past, I use to push through pain no matter what I was feeling. Since I have never been someone who experienced many injuries I didn’t think I needed to “take breaks” but now I completely appreciate and understand the value of not pushing yourself. It is a lesson that I feel fortunate to have learned.

I have a sneaking suspicion the last few months were the¬†“calm before the storm”, we shall see! Stay tuned ūüôā

marissa7