Make your future self proud

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Hello!

Today’s post will be short and sweet. I had no internet this morning and after cursing at the top of my lungs and realizing I’m an wireless junkie, I’ve decided to roll with the punches. As you know, that’s soooo not my style so here’s to some (arguably) well deserved mental high fives.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my goals and what makes  a person successful. I think we often attribute success to luck, and maybe there is an element of this, but hard work is the ultimate deciding factor.

Hard work is what gets you out of bed in the morning. It’s what helps you check things off your To Do List, what has you researching how to do something and what encourages you to work towards something even when you really really don’t want to.

I love the idea of taking each day and trying to work towards a goal. Maybe you want to backpack India in three years and today you’re going to go to work and start saving money. Maybe you want to run a marathon and today you’re going to go to the track and do sprint intervals. Or maybe, you want your blog to be more successful and today you’re going to wake up at 5 am only to find there’s no internet…

What will you do today that your future self with thank you for? 

xx

Ursula

Pressing Reset on my Diet

veggies

You’ll never find me talking about weight loss on this blog. Not because I don’t think about, but because I don’t believe it should be my focus. I’m a healthy weight and I prefer to focus on balance instead of calories. So when I write about “my diet” I’m talking about my everyday food. It’s not restricted to a calorie count and is all about feeling good from the inside out.

After finishing my big triathlon race earlier this summer, I let my diet slip. I continued to eat as if I was exercising 1-3 hours every day and I was treating myself to one too many portions of dessert.

This past week, I’ve hit the reset button. I’m focusing on fruits, vegetables, limiting sugars and trying out new vegetarian recipes like spaghetti squash, zucchini pasta (thank you Rasa for this suggestion) and roasted corn salad.

For me, hitting the reset button is important because at times, eating healthy can become a chore instead of a lifestyle. Consciously making better diet choices helps transform my healthy eating back into a habit.

So here’s what I do

Eat the colours of the rainbow

Don’t you love looking down at your plate and seeing a plethora of colours? or is that just me? I get such a thrill out of a colourful plate because my mind reads “nutrients! nutrients! nutrients!”. On top of that, variety helps keep things interesting.

Eat fruit for dessert

Instead of having a bowl of dark chocolate chips, which, by the way, is one of my all time favourite evening snacks, I’ve been eating fresh fruit like watermelon and nectarines. I remember being a kid and being so disappointed when my mom would make fruit salad for dessert. At this time, I wanted brownies, ice cream and cake not melon and berries. Now I realize she was onto something and that getting into the habit of eating fruit for dessert is a wonderful and healthy habit.

Prep meals

If I come home at lunchtime or after work and have to prepare a meal, I’m going to start snacking on carbs and sugar. Worst yet, I’ll just eat that instead of an actual meal. Taking a few hours on a Sunday night to prepare some ready made snacks and meals makes a world of a difference.

Stop rewarding myself with food

This is a big one. I often tell myself, “it’s okay if you an entire bag of chocolate covered almonds; you just ran 16 km, you deserve it” but this is a dangerous habit to get into. Food shouldn’t be a reward because it implies that if you eat something you don’t “deserve” you’re bad and should feel negative about yourself. Instead, I’m trying to eat because I’m hungry and eat food that’s good for me. That should be reward enough.

Have you ever pressed reset? What do you do to clean up your diet? 

xx

Ursula

How I Got a Whole New Wardrobe for Free

update your wardrobe

Every September I have an overwhelming urge to buy a whole new wardrobe. I think it has something to do with the changing season or (perhaps my materialism) but regardless, when the leaves start changing colours I’m longing for a trip to Club Monaco.

This year my wallet is feeling especially small given I’ve had to pay my entire life savings to school. Unfortunately, my desire for a whole new wardrobe hasn’t been quelled so instead, I’ve learned to be creative.

After sorting through my closet and giving away two giant bags of old clothes, I took a look through Pinterest (what else is new?) and came up with some simple ideas that helped me transform my old wardrobe into something “new”.

I added elbow patches to old sweaters and a blazer

This was ridiculously easy and inexpensive. I used material that I already had lying around the house and yes, I will be posting a DIY on elbow patches later this week because you know I love a good craft.

I started wearing funky nail polish

Like most girls, I have a few random nail polishes hanging around my house. Mixing and matching them is such an easy peasy way to spruce up any outfit. Now I just need to stop biting my nails. Suggestions?

I started wearing statement necklaces 

I’ve been collecting these things for years but I almost never wear them because they can feel a bit costumey or fancy. So I started easing into it by wearing my more subtle pieces before working my way up. I found that by wearing them with the right outfit, I look less like I played in my mother’s closet and more like I know what I’m doing (sort of). Anyways, it’s time to start incorporating them with my everyday t-shirts and button ups and maybe even making a few of my own.

I ripped up a pair of old jeans

This is probably my favourite “new” item. Using a cheese grater and a pair of tiny scissors, I transformed my boring old boyfriend jeans into something new. Well not exactly new but I made them look like new jeans that are meant to look old.

Maybe next year I’ll be able to afford those booties from Steve Madden that I’m coveting, but for now, time to stick to the what I have and learn to live with less.

What do you do to change up your wardrobe when you’re low on funds? 

xx

Ursula

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Making Tough Choices

goingtoschool

Turn and face the world, ch-ch-ch-changes.

Ah, don’t you just love using David Bowie references to describe life’s big moments?!

Well life is about to change for me as I am going back to school in one week to complete my masters. One week. I still can’t believe it.

It’s been over three years since I was last in school and I’m finally ready to be back in a classroom. It took me a long time to decide whether or not this was the right choice, but now I’m confident.

Which brings me to today’s topic; making tough choices. They’re the choices that will literally alter the course of your life. I realize that that’s sounds overly dramatic but it’s kind of true.

When I was younger, I never worried about my big life decisions because I knew that I always had time to change them. I never felt like life was time sensitive but now that I’m a bit older, I recognize that the decisions I make today effect where I’ll be in the future and how quickly I’ll get there. It’s not a bad thing, but for me, it’s made making decisions more difficult. If we get a dog, can we still move abroad for a year? Should we have kids? If we buy a house, when’s the next time we’ll be able to go backpacking?

Continuing my education has been one of those difficult decisions. At this point in my life, I’m not willing to commit three years and thousands of dollars in student debt for just anything. I have to know it’s the right choice. Or at least the best choice for me right now.

I hummed and hawed and in the end, I decided that having a career I’m passionate about is important to me. I love my job now, but I want to be in a career that combines my interests, my hobbies and my income. Live to work as they say, instead of work to live.

So there you go, I’ve made a decision that will ch-ch-ch-change things. Hopefully for the better.

(Look at my little photo bomber! I was all ready to go with a “elegant outside of school pose” when Atlas the Dog came up to me for some scratches. I’m such a suck.)

How do you make tough choices? 

xx

Ursula

My Small Town

mountainbiking

I grew up in a big town.

Well a relatively big town. There were 360,000 people and it was the kind of place were you might know you’re neighbour, but you didn’t invite them over for dinner.

Two years ago, Ian and I moved to a small northern town in British Columbia that is home to 20,000 people. It’s perfectly small.

Our nightly shops to the grocery store inevitably involve a run in with friends, there is only one bike shop in town where the owner knows your name and the coffee shop knows your order the minute you walk through the front door.

I never thought I’d be a small town girl but now I can’t imagine life any other way. After living in Vancouver for years, I’m thrilled that I no longer feel as anonymous as I once did. People notice us and they care about us. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and while I miss the shopping, the nightlife, the music scene and the restaurants in the bigger cities, I am just as happy to visit before returning to my beloved small town.

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What do you love about your town? Have you ever lived in a small town? 

xx

P.S. I love that picture of Ian mountain biking. Photo credit goes to my roommate Sean who is leaving today to move down south. Excuse while I shed a few tears over the autumn “exodus” that occurs every year when the firefighters leave for the wintertime.

Ursula