2016/2017 Tag!

I few weeks ago, I was tagged by Jen from the blog GypsyBus28 to do the 2016-2017 tag. How fun! Go check out her blog for beautiful recipes and fun reviews. I have to say this tag asks really hard questions, but I guess that makes it a useful reflection tool.

The tag was created by David from The Guy Who Said Always No.

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Questions:

1. DESCRIBE YOUR 2016 IN 3 WORDS.

Busy, change, priorities

2. WRITE THE NAME OF 2 PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHARACTERIZED YOUR 2016.

Well, I can’t pinpoint two people, but I can pinpoint two categories of people. I think that’s okay! I really relied on these people for moral support and also inspiration and courage. As 2016 was a real transition year, I really needed that!

My support system: my boyfriend and my parents

My inspiration: Anna,  from The Anna Edit as my favourite blogger/youtuber and Angelia Trinidad, founder of The Passion Planner.

3. WRITE ABOUT THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE YOU’VE VISITED IN 2016 AND WHY YOU LIKED IT SO MUCH.

Last February, my boyfriend treated us to a week-end in Sutton, Québec. We got to stay in a pod in the middle of the trees. The setting was magical.

4. WRITE THE MOST DELICIOUS FOOD YOU’VE TASTED IN 2016.

Hum, that’s a really hard question! I think I’ll have to go with a new food discovery that I did last summer at the market with iceplant.

5. WRITE THE EVENT WHICH HAS MARKED YOU MORE OF THIS IN 2016 (EVEN GLOBAL EVENT).

Deciding to take a break from teaching was definitively the most important event of my year. I’m still dealing with this. I’m still not sure where I’m headed, but I think it was a good decision.

6. WRITE THE FINEST PURCHASE YOU’VE MADE IN THIS 2016, AND IF YOU WANT, LINK A PHOTO.

My essential oil diffuser! I love this object so much because it enables me to change the atmosphere of any room instantly. It was really handy over the holidays to create a Christmasy feel, and I use it daily to freshen the air in my office. Completely in love with this!

7. WRITE 3 GOOD INTENTIONS FOR THIS 2017.

  1. Sleep more
  2. Create more
  3. Spend more time with my friends and family

8. WRITE 1 PLACE YOU WANT TO VISIT IN 2017.

I would love to go to Italy or Iceland.

9. WRITE 1 PLATE/FOOD YOU WANT TO EAT IN 2017. 

I don’t have anything specific, but I really hope to discover new variety of fruits and vegetables to try out this year.

The wonderful people I would like to tag are:

Rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag: The Guy Who Said Always No.
  • Use the image that you find in this article
  • Mention the blogger who has chosen you: Jen, from GypsyBus28
  • Answer the questions
  • Mention 9 bloggers/friends and let them know through a comment on their blog.

Go check out Go Study Annie!

When you are working on a blog or on an Instagram account and trying to build an audience, each milestone is important. Every new subscriber or follower is a personal victory. Well, my cousin has recently reached 50 followers on her instagram Go Studie Annie. Congrats Annie! To celebrate, she suggested that we did a Q+A collab. So, we exchanged questions and here we go! You’ll be able to check out the interview she did for me on her blog.  Before you get to read her answers, I’d like to introduce her a little bit. Annie is probably the most resilient person I know. She lives with very serious health issues, but she always stays positive and curious about everything. I’m extra proud to see where she is now and can’t wait to see where she will be in the future. She is a true model of courage and perseverance to me, and my only regret is that we live so far apart. I really hope we’ll be closer in the future to make exciting blog posts, go journal shopping and practice yoga together. So, without further ado, let’s get on the fun stuff: her interview!

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1. How did you get into bullet journaling? What do you like about it?

 

Well you see, I have always watched a few YouTubers to gather some information of how the system evolved with time for them and read a few blog posts as well. I would watch Kara from Boho.Berry and read a few posts from Anne, my cousin on MyLightHeartedKitchen! I loved how she incorporated recipes of her’s into one page and then adding  a to-do list into her weekly spreads. Anne sparked my interest one day from her post and I just HAD to get my hands on one of my notebooks and try it for myself!

2. What pages always come back in your bullet journal?

 

I LOVE to listen to music. When I have a favorite song on the radio, I would ask Siri “What song is this?” and then take a screenshot of her answers. This took up so MUCH room on my phone, so I decided to a “Song Title” section not too long ago! Hmm, maybe I should turn this into a page, don’t you think?

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3. What pages were introduced, but ended up being unused?

 

Ahh, this is a good question!  To be honest, I am still in progress of evolving my bullet journal to fit my needs. I tried to work in blocks for my monthly and weekly, but that never worked for me. I’m actually keeping these pages as a simple list now! Another thing that I have tried with my bullet journal is the page tracker. Honestly, I only added in this page because of the designs that people made with their tracker.

4. What are your top 5 studying tips for other students?

 

I am NO professional advisor, but here’s what I would recommend for students:

  1. NEVER ever turn work in late.
  2. DO NOT be shy when it comes to asking questions.
  3. ALWAYS remember, if you can work on your favorite hobby for long hours, you CAN study for long hours. Never give up!
  4. Study in SMALL groups. No, not big groups. You’ll lose your focus on studying and venture into something else so easily.
  5. TRY YOUR BEST TO NOT PROCRASTINATE, trust me, it’ll save you time and energy!

5. What are your top 3 motivational tips for students?

 

 

Put your phone on silent,  don’t forget the “Do not disturb button” as well, or hide it if you have to! If you’re feeling lazy that day, put on some tunes that correspond with the subject you’re studying for! And my number one motivational tip for students would have to be, NEVER GIVE UP. Cliché, I know, but think back to why and who you’re doing this for.

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6. What do you like about yoga?

 

I actually have been enjoying yoga from the moment I was introduced to it! Yoga is a way for me to massage my back and neck while exercising. Yoga also helps me deal with the weight on my shoulders. Another great tool from yoga is that it creates a break time for me while studying! We all need a break once in awhile, right?

7. Do you see yourself practicing yoga for a long time? Why?

 

Yes! Yes I do :D. I love how yoga works with my back muscles. Yoga has been helping with my neck lately as well! You see, I had back problems a while back and am still affected by the weather. Yoga helps me to relax my neck and back muscles just a little more when I need it to.

8. What’s your favourite hobby?

 

Oooh, my favorite hobby. I love crocheting and knitting. I have become one with the needles actually :P.

9. What inspired you to pursue this hobby?

 

I love the reaction that I get in return when I send off my gift(s) to the person. I see pure joy in their smile and that always makes me happy. There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing someone smile <3.

10. Who’s your favourite youtuber?

 

Hehe, I could go on AND on with this one! I have so many that I love watching right now, but I’ll cut the list down to three. For now, I am watching LustreLux, Chrillsims3, and Bubzvlogz. These three always entertain me with their work of art! I sometimes watch Lustrelux for her beauty tips (which I can never accomplish), Chrillsims3 for his interesting story lines in The Sims, and of course, Bubzvlogz for her adventurous life with her little family.  

So, I hope you enjoyed reading her interview. You can visit her blog to read mine. While you’re there, say hi to her! You can also find us on Instagram @gostudieannie and @mylightheartedkitchen if you’d like more daily musings. Finally, let me know if you’d like me to do a Q+A post with your questions!

 

Relaxing Tea and workshop update!

Today was such an exciting day! If you follow me on Facebook, you have seen that I organized a workshop that happened tonight. I was really nervous that no one would show up, but 20 people came, and they were the best people I could have hoped for for my first vegan workshop. I seriously had a lot of fun discussing nutrition and meal planning with everyone who participated. Thank you so much!

 

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Thank you so much for participating in my workshop! It was great meeting you all!

 

So now that I’m home, I’m looking forward to enjoying a nice cup of herbal tea and reflect on this wonderful evening. Here is one of my mom’s favourite: Three Gingers by Pukka. We love Pukka teas: the packaging in itself is just so ridiculously beautiful, it’s a great reason to get those pretty boxes. The flavours are also so authentic and fresh. This one is a mix of ginger, galengal and turmeric: perfect for when you have a cold, ate too much, or just feel like something soothing and exotic.

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Give this a try if you have a chance! I’ll be posting some pretty exciting recipes by the end of the week, so stay tuned. I’ve been really busy these few days, but things should be back on track in the next few days. Again, thank you for you support and for reading this blog! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!

Life Update + Giveaway Winner

We moved! For the first time ever in my life, we’ll be living in a house. So far, I’ve lived in six different apartments, so it’s exciting to have a little house. It’s so nice to have a little garden where we’ll be able to set up a vegetable patch, grow some flowers and add a birth bath and feeder. It’s also amazing to be able to have breakfast outside. It’s so peaceful and relaxing, it’s the perfect way to start the day. I feel really lucky to have this new space to play with and enjoy.

 

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I’m a sad cat, living in a sad box. She stayed in that box the entire time we were packing up.

 

The move is even more exciting because we left the city! That’s right, we are not in Montreal anymore, but in a small, small town. Everything is so cute and unfamiliar. It’s a great feeling to have new places to discover; it’s like a holiday. Plus, our new home is set in the most wonderful place if you like being outside: bike and hiking trails are just around the corner, and we have a ski station literally in our backyard. It’s really nice because when we go outside, we can see people running, biking or just walking around. It’s such a nice quiet small town. The feel is so different from the big city, but I think I’ll get used to it pretty easily. That is if I don’t break down from unpacking everything! I’m so tired of lifting and moving boxes around. The temperatures are really not helping: it’s so hot and humid, even just sitting down seems like an effort.

 

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Why are you doing this to me? In a far away kingdom, lived a cat that spent its time perched on the highest of all boxes…

 

Our cat is going crazy! She is exploring every little nook and cranny and wondering what she’s doing there. She’s also quite excited to see all the birds and insects that are going back and forth in the yard. She’s not too happy to see the boxes disappear, but we truly are!

 

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Okay, life not’s so bad here!

 

Speaking of boxes, I’m happy to announce that Melissa from Working Mom Musings  is the winner of the Manitoba’s Harvest Hemp Hearts! I hope you enjoy your prize! Thank you all for participating and giving me and others such wonderful ideas as to how to use hemp hearts. I’m currently working on other giveaways, so keep your eyes open!

 

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You can’t see them all, but everyone’s name was entered 🙂

 

Sunshine Blogger Award!

A few days ago, I was nominated by My Vegan Dairy for the Sunshine Blogger Award! How fun! If you haven’t visited this blog, you should go over there if you are looking for yummy and beautiful vegan recipes. I love how simple and wholesome her recipes are. Seriously, they all look incredibly delicious!

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It’s so much fun to receive an award from a fellow blogger. Blogging is great because it enables me to share my passion for food with the world, and I love getting messages and comments from people all over the world. I love the sense of community that blogging creates! It’s great to be recognized by other bloggers for the work that I do here. It’s the best feeling! Thank you for giving me this award!

I was really excited about this award because it’s part award, part tag. Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

Here are 11 blogs I think are making the internet a better place. They make my days better and I love reading their recipes, checking out their amazing pictures or travel stories. Go check them out! They are all equal in my mind, so don’t focus on the order:

Now, this is cool! Here are My Vegan Dairy’s questions and my answers!

  1. How do you generally relax or unwind? 
    • I love yoga! It’s relaxing, energizing and it gets my mind out of my head and back in my body for a “right here, right now” moment. If I’m feeling like a complete larva, I also like to cuddle up with some tea and a nice book.
  2. Your take on self motivation?
    • Self motivation is really important! I find that I never perform as well as when I’m truly intrinsically motivated to do something. If it doesn’t come from me, I won’t do a good job. So, the key to being motivated for me is to find something I like doing.
  3. Bake or Cook?
    • Both!
  4. In food, what best describes your weakness?
    • Frying stuff up. As a kid, my mom terrorized me with nightmarish stories about what would happen to me if I tried frying stuff on my own. Still can’t do it. That’s how you make your kid a healthy eater!
  5. Favorite author?
    • I’m completely obsessed with Kate Morton at the moment. I finished reading The Lake House this week, and I can’t get it out of my head. I love that her stories take part in England and are so mysterious. I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden as well. It’s one of my favourite book.
  6. What in a daily routine bores you?
    • I don’t think I have a daily routine that bores me. I like to change things quite often even if it’s small things like switching shampoos or holding my toothbrush with the wrong hand. Variety is key to avoid boredom!
  7. What is the one thing you would want to do to make the world a better place?
    • To make the world a better place, I would ensure that every kid gets access to primary and secondary education. I think quality, non-confessional education is the key to building strong, confident and reasonable individuals that can then evolve to be assets in their communities. Education is the most important thing you can give a kid, and it should be a given that everyone has access to it. Having every kid in school would also end child labor and child marriage which are two issues that make me really sad and revolted.
  8. Do you have a sweet tooth?
    • That’s the only kind of teeth I have! My life would be so sad without chocolate!
  9. How important is your tea and coffee time to you?
    • Very important. Seriously, my tea collection is borderline pathological. I love to sit and drink a nice cup of tea. It gives me time to think, and it helps me stay focused if I’m working.
  10. On a rainy day, what would you ideally do?
    • Cuddle up in bed with a cup of tea and a good movie with my boyfriend, my cat and my knitting.
  11. Best vacation so far?
    • My one-month road trip I did a few years ago in France with my boyfriend. It was the best feeling to discover new places and to wake-up in a different place every day. I was amazed by the variety and richness of this country. And don’t get me started on the food.
  12. What is the one thing you would want to change in you?
    • I would love to be able to fly. Wouldn’t that be great?

Finally, here are my questions for the amazing blogs mentioned above.

  1. What do you usually eat for breakfast?
  2. What is one thing you can’t live without?
  3. What is your favourite herb or spice?
  4. What is one thing your are proud about?
  5. What is one thing you feel lucky about?
  6. If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
  7. What would a perfect day be like for you?
  8. What is your best childhood memory?
  9. If you would visit any city in the world, which one would it be? Why?
  10. What is your favourite daily routine?
  11. Who is your role model? Why?

I can’t wait to hear your answers!

I’m a mindfulness instructor!

I feel like I have reached a new level in “hippie-land”!

Joke aside, I have completed my 12 weeks training with Mindful Schools to be a mindfulness instructor this week. How exciting! As an end of training celebration, I’m sharing some thoughts on how this happened.

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Flashback to the beginning of the year: This year, I have been assigned with six groups of 30 to 38 students. I know most of them as I taught them last year too, and I know that many of them have a great potential that is hindered by their anxiety, stress, or strong feelings/emotions.  This is my problem because it makes it difficult for students to learn when their minds are busy processing all kinds of thoughts. It is also a personal problem because teaching is hard! You are dealing with so much more than the curriculum: student meltdowns, administrators, parents, and taking all this personal stress at home because you care for the kids in front of you. Add this to regular-human-being stress, and you are pushed off balance on a daily basis. So, this beginning of the year is hard, and I feel resource-less.

Meeting with Charity Bryant: At a teacher conference, I get to meet Charity Bryant who is a mindfulness instructor who started out as an English teacher. Her presentation is inspiring, and I feel like she is describing my students when she tells us about her own students and experience bringing mindfulness in the classroom. I need to know more so I write to her ,and she tells me about the online training given by Mindful Schools.

Training with Mindful Schools: I start with the six weeks mindfulness fundamentals and follow through with the mindful educator course. I feel very lucky to have received a scholarship because this training is very complete and thorough, but would have been inaccessible to me as I’m paying it on my own.   Not only does this training help my students, it also helps me face difficulties and deal with my emotions better. Things are still hard sometimes, but I feel like I have a better tool set to face them.

Introducting mindfulness at school: To give me courage, I start offering a mindfulness workshop once every two weeks for interested students. As the meetings go by, I gather experience and confidence with this ideal group. I then introduce mindfulness as a daily routine to my different groups. I am amazed by the curiosity and willingness to try that my students are showing. Most importantly, I feel that my most difficult, disturbing students are responding to this very positively. I also welcome their suspicious as to this “voodoo stuff” and discuss research and brain functioning with them. I really like how it creates an open, ready-to-learn environment where the students are taking time to slow down and connect before starting to work. Is it time lost? Not really. Since they are relaxed and available, I don’t need to bring them back to the activities as much, instructions and modelling take less time because their attention is there, and I can tap in to their new capacity to pay attention with a shared and understood vocabulary.

The results of implementing mindfulness in my classroom might sound magical and untrue. And yet, they are real. My students are still teenagers, but somehow, they are more focused, calmer and more available to learning, to their peers and to my interventions. I really love our 15 minutes of practice each class because it gives me a chance to teach them something out of the curriculum that is precious and truly helpful. I am really glad to have done this! Let me know what you think!

 

 

Two Peas in a Pod

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This week was our 5 year anniversary. My great boyfriend had made reservations for us at Le Domaine du Diable Vert, which is a  wonderful site in the Eastern Townships where you can rent different size cabins and pods. Only two hours away from Montreal, this “mountain resort” is near Sutton.

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Pods are really fun one-room cabins equipped with a wood stove and possessing an amazing bay window.

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Because they are so small, they can be installed practically anywhere, and they make you feel like you are completely alone and secluded, while still remaining toasty. Speaking of toasty, we realized that we were complete novices when it came to wood stoves: we succeeded in creating a blazing hot atmosphere into which it was impossible to sleep, let alone think, while not being able to boil water on top of said-stove. Quite talentuous people we are.

Anyways, the whole point of this week-end in the “wilderness” was not to stay in and boil water, so we went out and did some hiking and some snowshoeing in the wonderful setting. Here are a few pictures to make you jealous:

As you can maybe make it out for the pictures, the Diable Vert has an amazing view on different mounts. It is always breathtaking to get up there and to see the open space, which is not what you would expect from the road.

Overall, a great week-end away from the city!

 

Family Friendly Daddy Blog- Featuring me!

I can’t believe how exciting this is! Seriously, totally changing my views on today: it’s also parent-teacher night, and as a teacher, those are quite exhausting especially after a full day of teaching: 12 hour workday, here I come!

Me inside today!

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Family Friendly Daddy Blog which is a very nice and happy place where a dad shares tips and tricks, thoughts and stories about being a dad, vegan, and many other fun things (movie reviews are really useful!). The particular post that hooked me in was a call for submissions.

So I wrote a post and sent pictures, and I’m featured! Please go check it out as this article tells you a little bit more about my vegan journey now that it is past my 2 year milestone.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

Brand-new name, brand new attitude (hopefully)

On this lovely and sunny Monday afternoon, something fabulous happened: I found my new blog name!

Why “My Lighthearted Kitchen”?

Well, for the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about my life, my beliefs, and my attitude. From this introspection came the realization that I used to be a lot more lighthearted, but that somehow with stress, work, stress from work, and growing up, this quality has started to crumble out of my personality.

This is not a good thing. (see what I mean?)

So, in an effort to show more lightheartedness, I decided that working with a name that was scary and limiting had to stop. Why scary? Well, try telling someone you barely know, like a colleague for example, that you are vegan. When I did, I certainly was welcomed with fear, misunderstanding, teasing, concern, and often anger. Not very lighthearted words.

This was taken last summer, when I was working with kids and really channeling my inner lightheartedness. Look at these wonderful Montreal grown figs! They were delicious!

This was taken last summer, when I was working with kids and really channeling my inner lightheartedness. Look at these wonderful Montreal grown figs! They were delicious!

Also, I really want to share my recipes and show others that it can be easy and simple to switch to a vegan diet. Of course, I cannot do this with a scary name. As I didn’t want to go with the new vegan (plant based) word, I tried to focus on a quality that I wish my work here to stem from.

So, yes, my recipes will still continue to be vegan and gluten-free. However, the spirit in which they will be done and shared will be different.

So, in all lightheartedness, I hope you enjoy the new content, and let me know what you think!

And I’m back again!

Hello amazing people!

Where was I? Well, last year has been a really busy and weird year.

First, it was my first year teaching, meaning that my personal life almost died by the time June came. I really thought that I would write or film everyday of the summer, but after a year of intense work, I really couldn’t get myself to do it. In fact, this was probably the worst summer of my life.

For the first time ever, I got insomnia and spent multiple nights crying and asking myself if I had made the right career choice, or if I had just made the wrong decision.

Then, September came back and so did school. I really did not feel like coming back and felt enormous pressure as to my teaching performance. I questioned myself continuously about how I would face the students, the administration and the other teachers. Of course, because of our weird education system, I didn’t even know if I would get the same  job as last year, if any for that matter.

A week before the beginning of the school year, I got a call for the same job I had done last year. I restarted and try to forget about my doubts and aspirations. See, between two sobs, I thought about what I could do if didn’t have a job come September. I realized I really wanted to pursue veganism and share my experience and knowledge about being vegan. I also wanted to push my gardening experiments. Finally I started to write my own recipes and found great ones that I want to share! However, because life as an adult is, well, life, I did come back to school.

I have to say, things are a lot better than last year, and I feel very excited about sharing things with you again. Also, I have reconnected with an old friend, and I am very happy about what this means as she has recently become vegan. Collabs on their way, maybe! 🙂

Anyhoo, come back often to discover new recipes, exciting reviews and videos!

Something yummy this way comes!

Something yummy this way comes!