Friday

----------T-W-E-N-T-Y - E-L-E-V-E-N---------

Happy New Year everyone!

Here are my new years resolutions for 2011:

1. To live a more balanced life
2. To have more face-to-face time with the people I love
3. To bring homemade lunches to work more often
4. To stretch and get my heart rate up more often... I don't want to grow old & stiff!
5. To live within my means and de-emphasize the material.
6. To keep this blog going so I can keep in touch with all of you... it really brings me so much joy.

Happy 2011 folks! May this year bring us all a happier, more honest, and more fulfilling life.
oxo
Vanessa.

Tuesday

Words To Live By - The Lululemon Manifesto


I've always loved the Lululemon Manifesto. It just resonates with me. 
And with New Years approaching, I find myself in a state a self-reflection and questioning. 
This is the perfect time of year to make positive changes in your life.


So if you've never taken the time to actually read this thing, I think you should now...  it really is full of great advice:

the lululemon manifesto

  • Drink FRESH water and as much water as you can. Water flushes unwanted toxins from your body and keeps your brain sharp.
  • A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions, helps you be at peace with yourself, and offsets stress.
  • Do one thing a day that scares you.
  • Listen, listen, listen, and then ask strategic questions.
  • Write down your short and long-term GOALS four times a year. Two personal, two business and two health goals for the next 1, 5 and 10 years. Goal setting triggers your subconscious computer.
  • Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle setbacks.
  • Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.
  • That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.
  • Stress is related to 99% of all illness.
  • Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to.
  • The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW, DO IT NOW!
  • Friends are more important than money.
  • Breathe deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.
  • Take various vitamins. You never know what small mineral can eliminate the bottleneck to everlasting health.
  • Don't trust that an old age pension will be sufficient.
  • Visualize your eventual demise. It can have an amazing effect on how you live for the moment.
  • The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.
  • Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water, Vancouver will do nicely.
  • Observe a plant before and after watering and relate these benefits to your body and brain.
  • Practice yoga so you can remain active in physical sports as you age.
  • Dance, sing, floss and travel.
  • Children are the orgasm of life. Just like you did not know what an orgasm was before you had one, nature does not let you know how great children are until you have them.
  • Successful people replace the words 'wish', 'should' and 'try', with 'I will'.
  • Creativity is maximized when you're living in the moment.
  • Nature wants us to be mediocre because we have a greater chance to survive and reproduce. Mediocre is as close to the bottom as it is to the top, and will give you a lousy life.
  • lululemon athletica creates components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. If we can produce products to keep people active and stress-free, we believe the world will become a much better place.
  • Do not use cleaning chemicals on your kitchen counters. Someone will inevitably make a sandwich on your counter.
  • SWEAT once a day to regenerate your skin.
  • Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
  • What we do to the earth we do to ourselves.
  • The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness.
(Download the pdf file here)

Sunday

Make Homemade Cinnamon Sticky Buns!

These sticky buns are OUTRAGEOUSLY good! If you want to impress your guests over the holidays, make these., they're seriously unbelievable! And they're actually quite easy to do, and everyone will go crazy for them, I promise! 
Here's the The Recipe from Pioneer Woman. You gotta try it ; )

Saturday

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night



I can't wait to catch up with you all... but in the meantime, I hope you're having a lovely holiday. Enjoy every minute!
oxo 
Vanessa

Sunday

Weekend Moments: Christmas in the City


Hey there lovely readers. Sorry for the absence from the blog last week. The holidays are just so busy.... but I'm not complaining, I love every minute of it!

My cousin Mike has been staying with us, so we've been exploring the city a bit more than usual. Yesterday we stumbled upon this really cool light installation in downtown Montreal. 
 I'm still not quite sure what it's all about, but it was beautiful.

We've also been enjoying lots of tasty goodies... basically chocolates for breakfast, lunch and dinner ; )
Mike made us this delicious avocado and smoked salmon salad.
Don't you just love having house guests that cook for you!

Montreal has so much going on for Christmas.
There's live music on street corners and in the parks,
 and chestnuts roasting,
and gorgeous store windows,
it's all so magical!
 I hope you've had a lovely weekend.
oxo
Vanessa.

Monday

Weekend moments: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

I just love early december weekends. It always seems to be snowing (in Montreal anyway), there's always yummy baked goodies lying around, and people everywhere seem to have that little extra skip in their step.
I love that the Holiday parties have started and everyone's in a festive mood.... 
wearing santa suits and elf hats, holly in their hair or bells on their toes : )

I hope you had a sparkly weekend!
oxo

Friday

Have a Warm & Cozy Weekend!



I hope you have a lovely weekend... stay warm, drink tea, eat some clementines and get some rest.... that's my plan anyway!
oxo

Wednesday

I Heart Live Local Music



This past weekend we had the privilege of watching Toronto's Shawn Clarke play at the Moonshine Cafe, and let me tell you, it was such a treat! 

I kind of have a thing for acoustic folk music. And listening to Shawn sing his beautifully written songs, while sipping hot Bailey's coffees, was the perfect way to spend a snowy Saturday afternoon.


Shawn is a really talented up & coming artist, he's also a friend of mine and a really great guy all around. You should definitely check him out. 
Have a listen to this song... (I love that it's about falling in love with Toronto)


We also got to see Sarah Burton play live. She was completely amazing too.

And you know what else is amazing? The girl's bathroom at the Moonshine Cafe.
Ok, so it's a little creepy to take your camera into a bathroom, but I had to show this to you... it was like your funky grandmother's living room, with a random toilet in the middle!

So anyway, it was a great afternoon....
nothing like beautiful music to soothe the soul!
oxo

Tuesday

It's a Snow Day - Time to make some soup!


It's been snowing for the last 36 hours in Montreal and it feels as though the city has been cast under a magical spell. It's beautiful actually, and it's the perfect kind of snowy day for staying indoors and making soup!



There's nothing like a warm bowl of homemade soup on a day like today. 
I made spicy red lentil soup and cheddar cheese biscuits... and now that my tummy's nice & full, I think I might crawl into bed for a long winter's nap!

Read on for the recipe....

Monday

Unique and Alive - Holiday Wreaths

Succulent Wreath

Organic Bay and Chilli Wreath


Citrus wreath

Fresh Protea Wreath

Lavender and Rosemary Wreath

Classic Bay Leaf Wreath

I've been completely inspired by all these amazingly original wreaths I saw on Apartment Therapy today. I've never actually made a wreath before, but now I think I have to at least try. Tell me, which one is your favourite?

Thursday

Loving the feel of Madewell this Winter

There's nothing like thick chunky knits over delicate silks & chiffon...

I'm in love with these military legging jeans (I bet you could do yoga in them!)
 these booties make me want to go traveling...
and I gotta have this hat...
Loving this scarf...
 Love this tank... so simple, so perfect...
Love all these layers...
Oh right, I'm supposed to be out looking for gifts for other people... 
I keep forgetting ; )

(All images from madewell.com)
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