Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2018 Best Bits

In 2015 I blogged a personal list about my favourite bits that took place over the course of the year. It's a nice little reminder for me of how my year went IRL and on the blog. This year is no different and here is my 2018 best bits (if you're interested here is 20172016 and 2015).

Most popular Instagram photo:
Surprisingly my most popular post was from my winterlicious dessert at the Royal York in Toronto. It was part of a terrible date, but lovely sorbet nonetheless.



Favourite Moment:
Not a specific moment but my favourite thing to have happened in 2018 was all the cat sitting I did. It was a gig I fell into this past year, but I thoroughly enjoyed doing it. Staying in Toronto, imagining I could afford to live in the places I was living and spending time with sweet little kitties.


Most popular blog post:
Blogging kinda fell by the wayside this past year, especially these past few months.
Did you notice?
I know my mum did, when she saw me open up a draft page over the Christmas holidays she excitedly asked, "are you writing a post?!" She's my biggest fan.
So although there was a limited number of posts, I was well pleased to see my 6 Must do walks of London as my most popular post of 2018. Check it out, it's a good one!


Favourite trip:
I only took the one trip this year, but honestly, it was great! Reconnecting with a good friend and exploring a new place, San Antonio, Texas. We obviously went to The Alamo and did the Riverwalk, but I loved our day trips to towns outside of San Antonio. Catching a band at the Gueren Hall, a pint in the German hall in New Braunfels, it really whetted my apatite to head back again and explore more of the Hill Country.



Best meal:
Getting in right under the wire, Christmas dinner on Boxing Day in Montreal. It wasn't the food so much as it was the company and atmosphere. I was feeling a bit blah this year, until we arrived at my aunt and uncle's place. As the noise and activity grew in the familiar home so did my Christmas spirit.



Happiest moment:
Is it terrible that I had a hard time identifying my happiest moment of 2018. Looking back at the year, there were some great moments (and some not so great) and I'm not in the same spot I started out in this time last year, which is all kinds of great. I have a new job that I enjoy, my own apartment with a balcony, and a new town to explore.

Saddest moment:
Leaving Black Creek Pioneer Village after working there for 4 years. I do wish it could have provided me with a sustainable income, because quite honestly where else do you get to dress up in a pretty dress, frolic with livestock, interact with the public and make things with your hands for work? I already miss this place, but I'm glad to have had the opportunity to work here, I learned some great things and made some great friends which I hold dear.



What were your best bits of 2018?

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Monday, 31 December 2018

2019 Travel Wish List #travellinkup

I didn't get to travel much this year, so I'm glad I was able to get a trip to Texas in, early on in the year. After starting a new job, I promised myself I would definitely be booking a big trip for 2019. So Although I know I'll certainly be heading back to my favourite place and taking the number one spot on my 2019 travel wish list.


1. UK/Ireland
Summer 2019! Whooohooooo!

2. Iceland
Possible layover on my way to England? Yes, please.

3. Buffalo
A bit weird, I know, but someone told me that there is a Frank Lloyd Wright home in Buffalo and I've always wanted to see one in person!

4. Pennsylvania
I have a new interest in oil history and I'd love to check out the Drake Well Museum and Park in Titusville, PA

5. Portugal
Throwing a random one out there, because why the heck not. It seemed like everyone and literally their mother, went here in 2018, so call it a bit of fomo.


What are your travel plans for 2019? 

At the beginning of each month, I like to take part in the monthly travel link up hosted on the incredible blogs by AngieEmma, Binny. You can join in too by leaving a comment below, checking out other posts on the link up, or adding your own post to the widget now until January 7th.

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Thursday, 6 September 2018

How to Feel Confident When You Feel Anything But

I know I'm not alone in occasionally suffering from the Imposter Syndrome or generally feeling like a big, fat, faker of adulting. My mum has always said to me, "Fake it til you make it!" which is a rule I do live by, since oftentimes when I'm in new situations I can be overwhelmed with thoughts of self-doubt and self-criticism.

Starting a new job, as I am doing, these same negative and harsh remarks make their way to the forefront of my brain and I begin to question EVERY MOLECULE OF MY BEING.

Not wanting to completely derail my first week of work when I should be excited and looking forward to new experiences instead of not being able to focus on things because the voice in my head shouting, "You can't do this!" is too distracting, I headed for Pinterest and researched some ways to make me feel more confident and comfortable in unfamiliar settings.

Clothes make the (wo)man
As in the old expression, "The clothes make the (wo)man." Originally it meant that, one could tell one's status by what someone wore and although this is still true, the idiom has also come to mean, dress comfortably and confidently and you will be comfortable and confident. That's why all those career advice articles tell you to dress for the job you want, not the job you have or that if you work from home, still put on real clothes, which will make you more productive than if you stay in your pajamas all day.  Also, after spending several years in uber casual clothes that are great for giving tours and getting physical, but not so office appropriate. I'm totally looking forward to a lady trouser in my future.

Positive Affirmations
Beyond the typical positive affirmations--my current fav, "I can do all the things", be kind with the way you speak to yourself. The world can be harsh enough, no need for you to pile it on too. Instead of criticizing, remind yourself that you are enough and that you got this!
A few years ago, I was starting a new position at work and I was feeling overwhelmed. A friend of mine told me that in Dutch, they say the word "sterkte!" to wish someone the strength to persevere whatever challenge they are facing. I really liked this and still say it to myself today.

Power Poses
Pseudoscience or not, I love the idea of practicing power poses to help boost my confidence. With fists on hips like Wonder Woman, I can't help but feel like I can conquer the world! Or at the very least, the small task in front of me. And even if it doesn't give me the little boost I'm looking for, body language speaks loud and proud and others will see you as confident. Just don't confuse the Wonder Woman pose with the Superman pose.

make a list
I have a bullet journal and one of my favourite things to do in it is to write a weekly inventory of achievements I accomplished that week. Sometimes the list includes major achievements like absolutely nailing an interview and other times it's the little wins, like woke up before 9am, that are celebrated. Creating a list of things you are good at and things you've accomplished is a good way to remind yourself just how much you rock.

Speak with Confidence
Rephrase how you speak, to instead speak with confidence. It's no longer, "I don't know", now it's "That's a good question, let me look into that and get back to you."

Rally Crowds
I once attended the London Marathon (merely as a spectator) and as runners passed by my friend and I noticed the name bibs on each participant. The crowds around us shouted and cheered people on, calling out their names even though they didn't personally know them. As an aside, I noticed a lot of Dave's running and called out to them each time with a hearty, "YEEEEEEEEEAAAHHH DAAAAVE!" Wouldn't you love to have a crowd should out encouragement to you everywhere you went?
When you need them, call on your personal cheerleaders, those people that are super supportive and say encouraging things to you and who have absolutely no doubt in their minds that you will be a success. It couldn't hurt.


These are some of the things I'm doing to trick myself into feeling more confident than I actually am just yet. Gaining real confidence will only come with time, as I become more comfortable with my surroundings, more familiar with the history of the organization and more informed about the industry.


Update: After posting this I discovered the newly launched The Insecure Girls' Club by the bad-ass blogger Liz Purvis. She's developing her club for women who need to be reminded "that you can be successful, outgoing, good company and confident and still be insecure at times...[the club is] a place for girls who want to kick ass, but still feel a bit wobbly at times." We aren't alone in our moments of insecurity even while being awesome and capable. Sometimes it's just nice to know we aren't alone, it's not all instagram perfection out there.



Do you 'fake it til you make it?'

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