Things To Do This Summer: A Bit of Everything


You may be a student, a teacher, or like me the perpetually half-ill and jobless but sometimes there is a lot of space to fill in the summer while most people are working. Consequently, you never realize how lucky you are to be able to work when you are bored at home and spending your days not doing much at all. But I try to keep busy, so here are some of the varied ways I do:

You tube Videos: Some of my favorite include ClothesEncounters with JenM, Pixiewoo makeup lessons, and Pilates intense work out videos. I also enjoy TED talks because they really make you think and consider different issues in the world. I was very excited to go to my first TEDx event in Edmonton this Spring it was awesome!

Summer Style JenM Clothesencounters

Pixie – Healthy Baby Glow Makeup

Dance with Me Pop Pilates

 

Ted Talks:

How To Live Before You Die – Steve Jobs

Another large chunk of my time is taken up by writing. I write creatively and for as many of you have seen my articles know, Flurt Magazine http://www.flurtsite.com.  I love writing and would love to one day write something prolific because I feel it’s something I am capable of doing. I would love to write novels and poetry books but the truth is I have really just begun to write. But here are some of my most recent articles for Flurt:

Summer Time Style

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/summer-time-style/

Female Succession to the British Throne

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/female-succession-to-the-british-throne-will-have-to-wait/

Settling For a Partner

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/settling-for-a-partner/

Orange Julius Smoothy

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/orange-julius-smoothie-recipe/

 

Another thing that I love to do is spend time catching up with  my friends and family. Tonight I am really looking to have some drinks and some fun with my best gals at Julios on Whyte. Many of you Edmontonian’s know it has one of the best patios on Whyte Ave along with the greatest bulldogs and Margaritas. They also have some pretty excellent Mexican food if your inclined to eat.

http://juliosbarrio.com/edmonton/

 

There’s a handful of other things that I love to do such as walk my dog, yoga, and lift some little weights – you know I can’t do much exercise; listen to music; spend time with my guy as much as I can – I think we mostly like to eat, shop, hang out together, and just be; I like reading many articles and researching ideas for articles; I enjoy fashion magazines and Romance books, books of many kinds – books on growing up, mysteries, weird little books with all their quirks – I love to read too much; I scrapbook, I draw, and sometimes I even paint; I shop online to pin online on Pinterest -dangerous things can happen when you shop to shop online a lot; I keep a journal of ideas that I started in art class this last Winter and glue and paste and write into it anything of worth – it’s a great way to keep track of your ideas; lastly, I go out and be among people and just enjoy crowd watching sometimes there are some pretty interesting people out there and I am always thinking about characters in a book or what someone would be like – in reality I am really shy so I don’t think I’d ever go up to someone unless I was really curious; I go to movies; I plan and keep organized – routine of some kind runs my day and helps me get through it and if I know what is coming, what I am facing, I am a much happier girl – not really big on surprises just maybe the occasional one; I watch Madmen and Netflix. And that’s how you spend a summer.

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Things Are Getting Better and The Future is Bright


There are several ways you can look at situations in your life. When things get bad you can become depressed, be hard on yourself, and call yourself stupid. Or you can pick yourself off, dust off your pants, and get back up. You can remember that everyone makes mistakes and that you are not the only one with problems. You can look at the world and see that ” mountain you’ve been climbing is just a grain of sand, and what you’ve been searching forever is in your hand” ( Carrie Underwood). You can see that so many other people are dealing with such bigger problems, and you can actually turn your way of thinking so that you see how much you’ve accomplished, instead of what you cannot do.

The thing that gets in people’s way the most is the picture of life they have, instead of living the the life they are actually experiencing the best way they can. So although I feel a bit trapped right now, I have found my silver lining. I have a wonderful home to live in where I am loved and safe, in a good neighbourhood until such a time occurs that I am ready and able to move out. I have a dog who keeps me company during the day, who would dearly, miss me if I left her because let’s face it, I am her favorite lap to climb into and she’s got 9 years left max.

In almost 5 years I have gone from a point where It took me three days to fill out an application form because I was having trouble writing and concentrating to a point where I blog too much, write articles for a wonderful women’s magazine, and have even begun to explore short story and poetry. I have rediscovered art skills. My highest mark in interior decorating certification was an -A in architectural drawing and you should have seen my first art out of the hospital. No, depression is not an easy illness to live with, no illness is, but everyone can choose to look at life in a better way.

We can always do things to improve ourselves and sometimes the changes we need to make to gain control of our lives such as paying down debt, teach us life skills and give us experience to be better money managers and smarter shoppers. Lastly, I think that no one can tell you how to be happy but you. You must make the decision for yourself even if you are fighting tiredness and irritableness and other mood changing symptoms. You can choose to be an active participant in every moment you live or you can choose to let life slide away.

Also, know no matter what, God will never leave you. I don’t know what many of you understand God to be like but I’ve always learnt and felt that he is a loving God who does not want us to be in pain. That is why He is our refuge and strength, why He as in the famous foot prints prayer, carries us at our lowest times in life – when we cannot see his foot prints beside us.

Ignore my depressing blog, two blogs ago. Talk with your friends and coworkers, your family, and gain perspective on life. No situation is hopeless, a light always shines in the darkness.

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Playing the Waiting Game


Dear Significant Other,

Two days ago I tried to talk to you via text message. Now text messages are not the most understandable forms of communication and text messages or lack of text messages can often be misinterpreted. You said hello to me I was thrilled that you did that on your own and I didn’t have to text you first. We had a 2 minute conversation but I wanted, I needed to talk to you for about 20 minutes about your homeland Morocco. You were in Saskatoon then and I didn’t know when you’d be leaving for home yet but I wanted to hear from you what is your home like. Frankly, later, when I watched some YouTube videos on it and read some Wikipedia I was a bit freaked out that you lived in such a large bustling city full of interesting smells, winding streets, and woman some who were covered up and some who seemed okay in a knee length skirt and t-shirt. I never imagined your country of birth to be like that, as one of the largest medieval cities in the world, it is nothing like the new cities we have in Canada.

Anyway’s getting back to my point you told me ‘later,’ so I assumed later we would talk, I told you I wanted to. Then later you said’ S’up’ and didn’t tell me much about Fez where you live in Morocco other than the fact that it had a famous university. I don’t know why you wouldn’t or couldn’t say more but you didn’t even when I asked you to. So I freaked out. I got scared. Because things are always good when you are here in Edmonton but then you leave to visit friends or go back to work and I barely hear anything from you. So I said all this stuff about being tired of being mad and trying to keep a connection with you, which is important to me especially since you are leaving soon and I won’t see you for 7 long weeks. I freaked out I know but I didn’t understand why you couldn’t text with me for 20 minutes. Aren’t I worth it? It is not to much time to give to your girlfriend of 1 year and 3 months is it?

The next day I knew I overreacted but I wanted to talk to you still. I waited until you had sufficient time to sleep around 1:30 pm since I knew you were probably up late eating with your friends for Ramadan and I called you, no answer, and I called you again that day until I stopped around 8 because I was worried, you always return my calls quickly. I was worried you were mad or something and I just had this feeling inside me that we really needed to talk – so I called 5 times. I left two pathetic messages and I was sure something was wrong with us because why would you ignore 5 calls from me? Why wouldn’t you call me back. And if you were travelling or in Morocco why wouldn’t you tell me? We both have nationwide calling in my head I worked it all out. I want to stay connected to you and nationwide unlimited would allow me to call you once a week so I would feel better and not so far away from you, at least while you were in Saskatoon or at work. You didn’t respond to me on Facebook either so now I’m feeling a bit panicky.

We are in a committed relationship right? And I told you I love you and I meant it. I never loved a guy before ever, not like this. It’s nice but a bit painful really. It makes me worry more. But you never told me it back except when we were fooling around the first time. When you love someone you want them to love you back so you need a lot of assurance, girls do in particular, even just a ‘ it’s okay. Yes I love you and will talk to you next week’ would work. You know how to do it, you always make me feel better on a bad day. And yesterday was a bad day not just because all of this but because, I’ve had some other realizations about my life that scare me and your my guy. Your who makes me feel cherished and calm.

Today I called you again and left a message. There is no answer. If your still around I wanted you to come to my birthday celebrations with my friends and meet some more of them if you are here Tuesday. But I don’t know anything. If this is all in my head or what?! Maybe you don’t want me anymore, then what. I just go back to being alone, but I thought even though it was difficult we saw a future for us? Didn’t we?

My significant other, I am writing you because you are very important to me and I need reassurance from you. It would make my month if you could provide me some. Otherwise, I’m going to keep thinking you don’t want me anymore. And if you don’t you should have the courage to tell me that at least over the phone. So, I’m playing the waiting game. I know you often see situations differently than I but maybe this letter will help?

XX Bisou

Amanda

Utterly Trapped, by my own stupidity and life.


Some blogs I write I have a purpose, most do I think. I like to teach by example or share an article, video, or poem. I am a creative person but today I have discovered something I detest. In the midst of life I’ve been cornered. I’ve been trapped by my own actions and the reality of my situation as a disabled person. I’m not sure how I feel about it, angry to say the least. It’s like I turned around and it was too late the train coming down the railroad of life just crushed me.

First, of all I was so stupid to waste all the money I had saved up in my bank account from when I was first Ill and had little expenses. I was also stupid enough to take on more credit card debt than I can handle. Almost $18 000 to be exact. Now for the next five years I must pay off $390.00 a month and live on a tight budget.

But that is not the worst of things, the worst of things is that tiny little extra $400 some dollars I had I could have used to go to university and get my Master’s in Creative Writing. Instead I cannot even apply; the debt weighed on my mind so much that I did not put a portfolio together. Also, I could have paid for school one course at a time with my extra $400 and scholarships because I am only in one course and a disabled person. Now I cannot. Point number one, I am cornered at.

Point number two, I cannot afford to move out and pay rent even in low income housing because I have to pay that $400 in debt. It would have been hard if not impossible with that amount but now for sure it is out of the question. I will be 33 years old before I can move out and because of my disabilities and inability to work and the fact that disability will just steal back whatever I make from work unless I can make more than $1900 which is doubtful in my condition, it will probably not be somewhere safe and nice. It’s not a standard of living I want to consider. I always thought I would have this ability to work hard and take care of myself. That has been taken away from me and I don’t know why? Again I am cornered, to live at home when I really desperately want to be
independent and make a life for myself. Also cornered, because even if I work, what is the chance the income will be decent, that I can handle more than 6 hours if that a week?!

Every door seems to be closing. The only future I can see is to stay at home and take art courses in drawing for the next 4 years?! Perhaps, that will prepare me for something? It goes with the interior design and writing. I so desperately want to be taken seriously as a writer but it seems every time I try outside the magazine I’m at I do not have the experience? How can I gain experience if I cannot get it! Which leads me back to the master’s that I cannot get. Cornered. Where’s my window?

If I live on my own I cannot afford school. Because I cannot pay student loans back I cannot get those because who knows if I could ever handle work. And if I work will the insurance company forever bother me with can you increase your hours?! No, I’m still sick, never healed fully!
It’s all such a mess and I’m so confused and depressed about it I don’t know what to do.

Usually I have this sense of direction in life. I can accomplish many things with a goal in mind. Now I feel aimless like the breeze going back and forth in the sand, you know no matter what the sea will come in soak you or the sand will come at you and sting your skin and eyes.

So no purpose today, just cathartic writing. Praying for direction because I don’t function well being cornered or without direction. How about you?

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Flurt Articles


Hi everyone. Here are some Flurt articles from the past week. Enjoy!

To Pretty To Keep Her Job

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/melissa-nelson-too-pretty-to-keep-her-job/

Mother’s Be Good To Your Daughters

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/mothers-be-good-to-your-daughters/

Is Obesity A Disease?

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/is-obesity-a-disease/

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Forgiveness and Moving On


When I was a little girl I forgave easily. I did not hold grudges like other little children did. Sure I fought back every once in awhile. I threw some books in John Zammits face and burst into tears when he wanted the same books I did in grade 1. I was 6 years old and I can’t say why but I really didn’t like the kid at times. I kicked Keisha, a girl in my grade 2 classes sister because she was so big, annoying, and ungirlish at the time. But generally, I was a good kid kid and good at forgiving people for what they did to me even though sometimes I was bullied. I suppose the other reason was that my parents told me if another kid ever bullied me kick them back. And I have to say that method of reasoning worked great for me.

But as I got older forgiveness became harder to give. Altercations were not just about silly little things anymore. Hurt was personal and deep. It wasn’t physical fighting but emotional and psychological battles that most girls played. Sometimes it was so hurtful I wished they really would have just tried to punch me because although I was gentle I was tough. Ignoring people was the best thing to do my parents told me. Thus after, girls who were my friends talked behind my back, called me names, but I knew they were just jealous of something – I just ignored them and the mind games stopped.

Harder than that was the high school type bulling I experienced in University. Suddenly, some uber good looking guy liked me and sparks flew between our eyes. Girl’s I never knew were calling me Bitch in the bathroom. Guys who would talk about the situation loudly as you walked by did not like to be ignored. Everyone thought I was some Bitch and would say it as I passed by, people I’d never even met. I had no clue what the guy I liked thought or why he never defended me. Eventually I resented him and I think forgiving him for not caring enough to defend me and spend time talking with me as he waved and winked at me and played games while breaking my still teenaged heart was something that took me a long time to forgive. Something for some reason that really ticks me off even today 7 or so years later. I have moved on with my life but a little part of me is still angry at the guy and his friends.

Now today at 28 I think forgiveness feels almost impossible at times. But it’s really important. One thing that makes Christianity really unique from other religions is the forgiveness Christians are supposed to show to other people. Jesus advocated the ‘ turn the other cheek’ policy meaning let the person hurt you all they want just be forgiving. Is this not impossible? But if you think about it makes more sense than all the hurt caused by vengeance and getting back at people. It makes more sense than countries at war over land stolen hundreds of years ago. It makes more sense than the high cost of casualties because someone couldn’t walk away from a situation and forgive.

I don’t know about you but I have pride, but letting someone just abuse you and ignoring them or even standing up for yourself non-violently is tough. People just instinctively hurt one another. Maybe some of us are to cold and maybe others of us are insensitive but I think it’s a really valuable lesson: forgive each other. Maybe you don’t forget but you move on – forgiveness allows you to do that. To leave a hurtful part of your life behind and go on. Even if you just pretend to forgive until it becomes true I think that’s something to be proud of such as forgiving someone who broke your heart or maybe accidentally hurt you really bad in a car accident. I just think if people could forgive each other as much as they could, what a better place we’d live in. But perhaps, this like all things wrong with the world is impossible. But that I suppose, is up to you and I.

Flurt Articles: Is it Okay to have a traditional Marriage? Sunless Tanning


A couple of Flurt articles for you guys this morning. One on Orlando Bloom’s wife who believes on treating her husband like her ” knight in shining armour” and the second article talks about the best way to tan safely this summer.

A Traditional View On Marriage – Miranda Kerr – Is that Okay?

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/a-traditional-view-on-marriage-is-this-ok/

How to Get A Healthy Tan

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/getting-a-healthy-tan/

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Date Night


Tonight is date night! I am really excited. Even though my guy and me have a lot to talk about this evening I’m stoked! Date night’s are really fun time to be a girl! You get to dress up for your guy and you, do your nails, make your skin extra soft, put on some classy makeup and do your hair even. Of course, not all dates are like this but this is one of those special dates and the weather is beautiful so I feel inclined to make myself irresistible! What I wanted to share with you tonight is my date night look from Pinterest. Of course, everything is not exactly the pictures I have shown you but the idea of the picture and the look is the same. Enjoy! What are your favorite date night looks?

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Flurt Articles: Alyssa Milano Sport’sWear, Northern Gateway Pipeline, Compulsion to Shoplift, Amanda Bynes


Three new Flurt Articles for everyone to enjoy:

Alyssa Milano Sports Themed Clothing Line Touch

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/alyssa-milanos-sports-themed-line-touch/

Northern Gateway Pipeline and West to East Pipeline in Canada?

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/would-a-northern-gateway-pipeline-and-west-to-east-pipeline-be-good-for-canada-and-its-provinces/

The Compulsion To Shoplift

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/06/the-compulsion-to-shoplift/

Amanda Bynes Are We Judging Her To Harshly?

http://www.flurtsite.com/2013/07/amanda-bynes-are-we-judging-her-too-harshly/

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Celebrating Freedom and Moving Forward


Happy 4th of July to all my American friends and family and Happy Canada Day (because I could not write that day to everyone in Canada). Although the US gained their freedom after war Canada was simply granted freedom from Britain in 1867. What is even more vital to remember is that both our countries have fought and sacrificed many lives for our freedoms throughout history. Think about D-day, Vimy Ridge, the Iraq war and many battles fought in other places so you, I, and other people could preserve our rights and be strong and free democratic nations. The US has the big guns but Canada has the peacekeeping and diplomacy behind those big guns in recent years. Either way hope you enjoy(ed) celebrating your freedoms in two of the most blessed countries in the world.

With our national holidays passing, I wanted to focus on moving ahead in our lives into summer and beyond. Summer is a time of freedom for many of us. We get to sit back with a cold drink and enjoy the tranquil summer nights after the heat. We also take vacations to even warmer destinations or to places unknown to us before. I had my foray into Montreal, my friend gets to go there for a conference and vacation too. My brother took off to Vancouver a week and my parents to Germany for 12 days. Other years we have gone to Phoenix, Anaheim and Disney Land, Las Vegas several times, and one year I had a second trip to Victoria. There is something about discovering or rediscovering places in our lives – seeing new sites, being around new people, getting to break the routine of daily life. Vacations are a time to move ahead to re-evaluate our lives as they are and the world or just to get away from it all so you can come back to ‘real life’ in a better mind set. That’s moving ahead.

Another thing summer allows us to do is to work on the hobbies we have and clear away the clutter. Now that classes are done for this year I have started the cleansing process reorganizing my room – throwing out and reorganizing papers, clearing the dust away and the clutter, letting my decoration scheme in my room show through. I am almost a certified interior decorator and if there is one thing that I have learned is that you want to be in spaces that are decorated and organized. We are drawn to the color or tranquility of a room, to the peacefulness or energy it inspires. Sometimes going into a room that is disorganized – that has stuff everywhere can be overwhelming and make you want to turn around and go the other way. That is why beyond not being dirty, it is important to declutter and clean our spaces. I have yet to clear out my art space downstairs and a couple of bathrooms. This is a form of moving ahead as well. Not only do you want to spend time in your clutter free spaces but you have a clean slate to begin your life around again – to start new art projects, to bring order to your life, to better enjoy time with your friends and family.

Thirdly, summer is a really important time to emotionally settle. To reacquaint yourself with friends you get to see few times during the year and to just spend time with loved ones. It is also an important time to look inside you and say these are the things I handled well over the past year and these are the things I did not. How can I better handle situations like that said situation that are difficult for me and what things do I just say I’m not doing that anymore, it’s not healthy for me? Maybe for example, you smoke or drink a lot of pop when your stressed out and you want to find healthier ways of dealing with stress. Summer is a good time to research this and other issues and to build yourself up for whatever might happen to you in the future. Maybe the opposite issue is important to you as well. For instance, maybe you liked that you and your significant other always took a Thursday date night ever second week and you want to continue that to stay connected to your partner and because it just makes you feel good. How will you continue to make sure that happens? Perhaps the greatest thing you can do in summer is to sometimes not think at all – to just enjoy things as they come and take the time to relax and let loose. These are all steps we can take to move forward in our lives.

May you have a fulfilling summer, relax, and take the time to simplify life.

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