Site has moved…


Hi all … I will be shutting down this site but have transferred the content over to my bigger and better site: http://www.collectingdaisies.ca

Hope you’ll following me (via Bloglovin’) and Instagram (@collecting_daisies).

“Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.” …

E. xo

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Social Media Smack Down


For a very long time it was my business to have an account with every new social media platform, post regularly and share whatever was going on in my day – I was in digital advertising and marketing, and social media marketing was what kept the elevator doors opening at our office.

Social media changed my life. I went from being a relatively private person to opening my kimono every chance I got. At a race or swim meet – post a picture. Sunset at the cottage – post a picture. Twinsie day at the office – post a picture. Have a good laugh at the office – post a picture.  Eat a meal – post a picture. Sharing these moments started because I was proud of my family’s accomplishments and wanted my friends and family from all over to stay informed of what had been going on in my life. Over time and after so many comments about how people loved seeing the fun I was having (and I promise you my profiles are 100% real and not staged for effect) I became ecstatic with the thought that I was making people happy or giving them a good chuckle. It made me appreciate the fun I was having and I admit, I loved seeing what others were up to and watching kids I’d known since birth grow up. Social media became more than a paycheck – it was a place I could be happy.

Yes, I saw social media as a “place”. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were real life for me… they were my friends. They gave me news, updates on family that lived far away and shocked me when I saw those ‘going back to school’ pics each September (I still marvel at how big the kids get over the summer!) It was a place for me to retreat and soak in some goodness on a bad day. No joke – I could spend two-hours on Pinterest and not even notice that anyone was home. Oh. how I love Pinterest. 🙂

 

Fast forward a year and a half and I’m no longer working in marketing/advertising and I no longer post as frequently – the change didn’t come because I lost interest, but because I’m tired of how negative people have become – and the US election doesn’t help. I’m tired of the Trump vs Hillary crap and the comments that go along with these posts/ads. My opinions of people have started to change based on their comments and that isn’t a good thing. The positivity I once clung to has been replaced with unnecessary negative expression and hateful rhetoric. It’s as though social media – Facebook in particular – has become a dumping ground for racism, ignorance, false news and sadness.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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“I got bronchitis, ain’t nobody got time for that!” – Sweet Brown (wait for it. right after the :20 second mark!)

A few weeks ago I got to a place where I needed a break from Facebook – the negativity. I had posted what I thought was a funny, sarcastic comment but the smack down that proceeded this was my tipping point. If my posts – my harmless, usually very happy or funny posts – can result in upsetting people (who are unrelated to my posts), then clearly this was no longer my “place”. Unnecessary drama is not, nor has it ever been, a place where I like to be. In fact it makes me sad and uncomfortable – so I’ve been staying away from Facebook (other than sharing the odd Birthday wish) and have found that to be a really good thing. I know I’ll be back (especially after Nov 8th), but in a different way.

For now I will continue to partake in Instagram and of course Pinterest – everyone is much happier on these sites, but visit them less often as I’m finding that I don’t need social media to be my happy place – although I do love a great motivational and/or inspirational post (!) – I’m so much happier in my offline reality. I don’t need to post an experience to make it real or to know that others care about what I’ve been up to.

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Earlier this week…

I still care about and love seeing your happy, proud, everyday posts…and maybe I’ll get back to posting too, but for now, I’m going for a walk with my puppy.

-E. xo

 

Week 3 Sucked. Keeping it Honest.


This week sucked. How is that for honesty? Blah. That is how I feel. How I have felt.

I did everything right this week – I stuck to the Weight Watchers program even through TWO Thanksgiving dinners and I continued my running and walking. I was a super star. No weight gain, but no weight loss. That is good. No?

I should be stoked that I didn’t gain, and I guess deep down I am, but I’m an overachiever and expect better results. In fact, I’d say that I expect significant greatness with every action. Unreasonable? Yes. My reality and my perceived expectations rarely align and usually disappoints. This week was no different. In fact, I had a really crappy week. I’ve been super low energy, not feeling great and super tired. Zombie-level tired. And just like that she was back, crushing down on me, taking hold and squeezing tight. Depression. She’s back.

She’s like a nagging neighbour that shows up uninvited. She knows how to make me feel bad about myself, even when I’m doing great things and she is the best at sabotaging my every thougscreen-shot-2016-10-14-at-10-32-47-amht. She sucks the life out of me and I hate her for that.

I work hard at trying to break-free from her grip, but this week I was not successful. I gave in without a fight because I had no fight in me. It’s been a long week but I feel her grip loosening and I will fight until I feel free once again. As I always do.

While it was a crappy week, the one thing that remains constant is my deep desire to stay motivated with healthy eating and exercise choices and to appreciate the beauty that surrounds my life. It’s not easy, but I am stubborn, tenacious and willing to fight for the things that matter to me. And I have a beautiful life that is always surrounding me – even when I struggle to experience it.

So while the scale seems to be as stubborn as I am, I took measurements today (wish I had done this back in August) because I am starting to see changes in my appearance. This is a really good thing. Physically I am able to do more – go further, go longer and do everyday things without hip/knee pain. These are beautiful things. Simple, yet beautiful.

I think this week has taught me that while I have depression and anxiety, I need to push through and keep doing good things for me. The change I am working so hard at making is good for me – physically and mentally. And my drive to keep it up is proof that (while my depression/anxiety may win some battles,) I will win the war!

-E. xo

 

 

Beautiful Destination


Went for a run yesterday with Nunzio. It was tougher than usual. But he reminded me that it doesn’t matter how experienced a runner you are, everyone has a tough day every once in a while. And when we got home, he high-fived me and said he was proud because I got up, out and finished.

He made me realize that it’s ok to have a tough day because there will be great days in between.

“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations”

I am that destination.

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Keeping Me Honest. Week 1.


I have become obsessed with weight loss, fitness and lifestyle blogs. Literally, obsessed. I am reading and following so many incredible, inspirational folks across Canada and the US that are helping me make a difference in my own life.

While reading stories of significant weight loss, dramatic life-changing occurrences and healthy changes in eating habits I knew I could be one of the success stories. I knew it because I have been trying to make similar changes in my own life for well over a year now with some success. My success to-date has felt great but I know I can do better. After all, I am an overachiever in every aspect of my life so why should this be any different?

“I knew I could be one of the success stories”

In my quest to overachieve in this facet of my life, I made two changes recently that I haven’t talked much about but want to share. Why? Because I like to share. And sharing makes me accountable and keeps me honest. And it makes me feel good. So, my changes include exercise and eating. These are two things that I set out as 2016 Goals in an early blog posts… If you haven’t read them, you should. My blog is highly entertaining and worth going back to read all my posts. Honestly.

Exercise: Change 1

Exercise. I am hooked. Yesterday marks week 6 of running. Yes, running. I have consistently run 3x a week over the last 5 weeks. I went from just over 2km each run with loads of walking to 4km only breaking to bring my heart rate down. I’m trying to do the majority of my runs outside because I know it’s harder and is better prep for the 2-5kms I have registered for in November – but the treadmill is so much easier. Over the last 5 weeks I have discovered that while running itself is hard on the lungs, legs and hips, it’s more of a mental challenge for me. I bet bored within the first 5 minutes. It’s only when I refocus on critiquing people’s gardens, door colours and general garden maintence does it become somewhat entertaining. But that only lasts so long with so many horrible choices being made in our hood.

Regardless of the outright lack of good gardening around here, I am honeslty loving how I feel when I return home  from a run, feeling so accomplished. The dread that once loomed over me in the early days is no longer there and I find myself planning my next few days based on when I need to get out and hit the pavement. Feels really good.

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A little encouragement can go a long way! I have great friends and family helping me through this lifestyle change!

And yes, I did say I am doing 2-5kms next month. Did you ever think you’d hear me say that? I know, but it’s true. I’m doing the Hamilton Marathon’s Road to Hope 5km and then  a couple weeks later the 5km at Ironman Arizona in Tempe. I’m a little nervous but I know I can do it. I have proven to myself that I can. And the overachiever in me really wants the medals!!

Eating: Change 2

Another promise I made to myself this year – drop the pounds. I started the year off right – I lost 12 lbs between February & June. … Gained back 7 of those pounds this summer when I went back on my crazy meds. “It’s better to be sane than skinny” I’m told. But remember what I said earlier about being an overachiever?  I have decided that I can be sane and 50lbs lighter, so I joined Weight Watchers last Monday.

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Day 1 – Weight Watchers (September 26, 2016)

In doing so I took a picture of myself on day 1, which I have posted here, to officially draw a line in the sand. I’m going to track, blog and share my experience, not only for my continued motivation, but in the hopes that if anyone ever reads this blog that they too will be inspired by what I’m going to accomplish. And I’m excited to bring you all along for the journey!

It’s been just over a week and I’m feeling great – I think the hardest part is planning meals but I’m getting a lot better at it. I’m creating new habits and learning new things about myself – what I like and what I want my future to include. Putting me closer to the top of my priority list has become a reality and it feels SO GOOD! Wish I started this when I was 34…

After a week on WW and I’m down 3lbs. I know it will be a long journey, but I’m taking it one day at a time and finding motivation in how I feel. I’m going to track my progress and experiences and hope to become someone elses’ inspiration along the way.

And the best part about all of this is that I’m feeling mighty proud of myself at this moment.

#watchme #ichooseme #motivation #strength

-Whiskey in a tea cup xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Win some. Lose Some.


I think I may have blogged about the hard decision I had made to go off my depression & anxiety meds. I spent the better part of two-years working on CBT, mediation practices and other ways to bring my boil to a simmer.

Two. Years.

I’m happy to report that after 5-months of weaning off the meds I was free of all medications. I was successful. I was proud.

Nunzio and I sat the teens down and we talked about how I might go off the depend a few times before I figured out my new existence – and believe me – it’s a different world being med-free after 20-years – and how I needed their understanding and patience. Yes, I asked two teenagers to be patient. (I really am crazy) They were rock stars. Supportive, calming and gave me hugs when they saw I was in need. They ensured I was not alone in this journey – Nunzio was right by my side even when I was loosing my mind over the simplest of things.

I felt good. I felt sad. I felt anxious. I felt out of control. I felt alone. I cried. Screamed. Laughed really hard and didn’t know why. I felt crazy.

In my follow-ups with the doctor he’d ask how I was doing and all I could do was sit there and weep. Why? I don’t know. But I did. At several appointments.

It was really, really hard.

And then July hit. It was an interesting month. There were some significant changes at the office that had me in such a downward spiral I though I would never recover. I was a mess. A hot stupid crazy mess.

That is all it took. Cue the prescription for Cipralex. Just like that it was like the 2+ years I worked so hard to be med-free never happened. Poof. Gone. Medicated.

My compromise with the doctor was a lower (than before) dose. It’s been 6-weeks and I cry less for no reason but get angry for the right reasons. I’m still incredibly proud of the hard work it took to ‘say no’ to the drugs, but it wasn’t meant to be. Not now anyways.

What I’m most impressed with is how awesome my fam was throughout it all. I know living with me over the last 6+ months has not been easy. But they chose to stay and hold my hand through it.

These three exceptional people carry my heart. And I carry their’s in return.

So while I may have lost this one, I know I’m still a winner. screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-5-56-09-pmBut not in the crazy Charlie Sheen #winning sort-of-way!

 

E. xo

 

 

 

The Backyardigans:Control the Noise


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Pre-read warning: this blog post may offend parents of smaller children. And if you are offended,  you are the reason I am writing this.

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This blog is both an apology and a complaint.

It’s an apology to my neighbours of 13 years who have sat silently in their yards waiting for the endless hours of kid fun to end. Splashing in the pool, screams of marco/polo that went on for hours and the tireless screams of sibling names that went unanswered for hours. You know what I’m talking about… Emma, Emma , Emma, Emma, Emma, E MMM MMMMMM AAAAAAAAAAAAAA…. Yup, those were my kids. And it went on for years. I admit, I didn’t find these sounds of summer fun at all, in fact they drove me nuts. Even though they were my kids I found the noise obnoxious and I did my best to quiet them down. Not only did the noise bother me, but I was concerned about disturbing my neighbours.

Nunzio and I would take turns reminding the kids to answer when their name was called, to stop screaming and annoying one another – we tried to control the noise of our backyardigans. I’m sure the sound of our pestering annoyed the neighbours just as much as the screams did.

There were times I thought we were bad parents for curbing their summer fun – but the sound of their voices screaming drove me crazy – and if it drove me crazy, how did the neighbours feel about it?

Over the years there were countless moments when Nunzio and I apologized to our amazingly quiet neighbours about the endless hours of noise coming from our yard and they were always so gracious: Don’t be silly, what noise? And my favourite, we love hearing the kids having so much fun. 

But now, with my teens up in their rooms and me alone in my yard, I realize that their responses to these apologies were lies. I know this now because of the insane noise coming from other yards on our street – young children screaming wildly without consequence – without parental control.

So here is my official apology, to my neighbours, whom I adore: I am so sorry for the obscene noise levels that came from my yard while the kids were little. While we tried to control it, I’m sure listening to “we’re the muskrats, vote for us next year” was far more annoying to you than it was to us. And that says a lot.

***

As the first long-weekend of the season comes to a close, I feel like I have been part of the never-ending get-togethers of those same folks (mentioned above) on our street that clearly can’t hear the insane noise coming from their children. As Nunzio so honestly put it,”it adds an exclamation on what little shits kids are that they need to hear their name 20 times before they respond. Where are their parents?

Great question – where ARE their parents? Oh, they are in the yard with them, being just as loud. They are with their children as the daughter clearly chooses to ignore her name that another child has said at least 30 times now. The parents are there – ignoring the children and their neighbours.

My complaint goes out to all those parents that don’t even try to curb the noise. I get that kids are loud and having fun means being even louder sometimes, but when did it become acceptable to let kids be so wild and loud that they interrupt the lives of others? Where are the parents and why aren’t they doing something about the decibel level coming out of their kids?

Where are the parents?

I get that now that  my kids are teens people will see this as an old person’s complaint. But I’m not old – I’m 43 and my teens still make noise. When they get too loud I still tell them they are being too loud and that they need to be mindful of the neighbours. I do this because its considerate, it’s polite and it’s the right thing to do. My mom taught me “do unto others as you want done to you”, which was a life lesson that meant something once upon a time. It still means something to me.

 

And now as the sun begins to set and my yard has been quieted by bath and bedtime rituals … being a kid and being loud go together like PB & J. Especially in summer when being outdoors is the best place to be. But don’t be that parent that allows the insane level of noise oozing from your kids interrupt the lives of those that live next door.

E. xo

 

 

 

 

Jenny Lawson is my hero. For reals.


Uniquely odd is the way I have described myself for years. Why? Have you met me?

The closest person I have come across that I resemble maybe the most is someone I have never met – and I really hope she doesn’t mind me talking about her here. I happen to think she is amazingly smart, resilient, funny and probably THE most honest person I have never met. I say I resemble her but really I don’t, her wit is much more intellectual than mine and she will literally have you peeing in your pants. Ok, maybe that’s just me. But that doesn’t take away from the hilarity and honest approach she takes when sharing her story about living with depression. It is her story that I relate to.

I’d like to introduce you to Jenny Lawson, The Bloggers.

I began my blog because of Jenny Lawson. Her honest and extremely funny take on living with depression has brought huge smiles to my life and made me feel that my ‘uniquely odd’ self is a great person to be – the only person that feels like me and the only person I want to be. Knowing there are others out there that feel the same way and talk about it so candidly has been therapeutic. Soothing. Helpful.

If you haven’t read her books or even checked out her blog, for goodness sake, go now!

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This bizarre, weird (in a great way!), uniquely honest lady has vividly captured many moments of my life and she doesn’t even know it. I thank Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggers, for sharing her world so folks like me can can keep chugging away at being uniquely odd.

And in the words of The Bloggess: Be bizarre. Be weird. Be proud of the uniquely beautiful way that you are broken. Be furiously happy. * 

*Taken from: http://thebloggess.com/furiously-happy/

-E. xo

Mother’s Day or Thanksgiving?


I have two wonderful children. They are the reason I get myself out of bed each morning. They make me laugh. They make me proud – every second of every day. I am thankful for being a mom because it wasn’t something that came naturally to me – but I’m not sure it was for my mom either.

When I was going up I thought I could never love another more than I loved my mom. She was my world. There wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t stop to think about how strong  and fiercely independent she was – how I wanted to grow up to be just like her. I remember Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 8.39.44 AMhaving an undeniable need to tell her I loved her all the time – I couldn’t leave the house before walking to school without shouting it out every few steps – to her embarrassment I’m sure! But I was compelled to tell her – what if I never saw her again – she needed to know how much she meant to me, and therefore I guess the neighbours did too!

As I grew-up I put my mom on a pedestal – she was raising two fiery daughters on her own and it must have been hard. It must have been lonely. It must have been exhausting and frustrating and so many more crappy things rolled into one big ball of single-momhood. And while I’m sure it was hard, she figured it out in her own way. She did it her way.

While wildly inappropriate (I realize now at 43), my grandmother used to tell me stories that a young girl probably shouldn’t know about her mom and the issues that plagued my parents marriage, yet it made me feel closer to my mom and tehrefore thankful for the knowledge. The trust and respect I had for my mom grew stronger because I understood how she became so fiercely independent and strong. It reinforced why I wanted to be just like her when I grew-up.

Now at 43, almost 44, I realize how much I am just like my mom – I too do it my way. I am sassy, strong, tenacious and independent. I say what I think  and rarely does my inner monologue work – what you see is what you get. 100% transparent. But where we differ is in our need to show our emotions. I remember growing up craving my mom’s hugs and kisses. I knew she loved me but I wanted a sign – an easy to read symbol that showed me she loved me. And while I still recall how badly I wanted her affection, I understand now that she didn’t need to show me, because I felt it – and still do.

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2014 Mother’s Day. My niece, daughter, sister and mom.

Unlike my mom I am a highly sensitive person – I may have shed a tear or two writing this. I can probably (and just did to my husband) blame it on the fact that I am no longer on my anti-depression meds, but I am who I am. A bundle of emotion that I do not control well – if at all. I need physical and emotional connections – I hug and kiss my kids several hundred times a day and tell them I love them a million more times. I am an over-sharer of emotions and love. (I’m sure this statement just made Nunzio smirk)

Over the years I have learned that my mom is not perfect, nor does she belong on a pedestal and that is really ok. No-one is perfect and no-one should ever be placed on a pedestal – it’s not fair to them or you. But what I can say is that my mom did the best she could with the deck she was handed – and I could not love her anymore than I do. I love my mom – fiercey.

I am writing this post to thank my mom. I’m thanking her for teaching me that it is ok to be strong, independent, outspoken and fiery. I’m thankful that she let me be me growing up, telling her how much I loved her every step of the way – literally. I have no regrets in my life because she taught me to be confident and trust in myself. She taught me to respect myself and that it is ok to find my own way. She taught me that love is felt – deep down in your heart and soul.

My mom did a lot in her life to set me and my sister up for success as human beings – I can only hope that I am doing the same for my kids. I am not a perfect mom, but I am a mom who loves her kids with all of her heart. My mom taught me how to do that.

I love you mom.

-E. xo

 

Blurt it out. Go for it.


I just came across an incredible social campaign about what depression doesn’t look like (didn’t I just blog about this?!?!) Hm, maybe I started a social movement without even trying. 😉

#WhatYouDontSee 

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Found it on BuzzFeed. Fell in love immediately with the hashtag, concept and the organization behind it: “Blurt, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of depression, launched the campaign Monday, asking people to use the hashtag to share their experiences”

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Wanna join in on the fun? Check it out on Buzzed. Share #WhatYouDontSee

-E. xo