Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again." ~ Flavia Weedn

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Needing to be Inspired ...

Well I have used the word Passion (career way) lately in my conversations - as I am in the need of finding out what mine is in life. A friend of mine the other day took a leap of faith as it were ... she left her full time job to pursue her passion of speaking, writing, and sharing her story ~ in truth it left me speechless, a touch envious and made me look at myself and where I am.

Life is in a bit of a chaotic way of late, so it seems as if the passions (interests) ect. are being put by the wayside, and I keep saying "well when we finish this" or "when this gets settled" or "when a bolt of lightning hits me in the side of the head" ha ha ~ making life excuses to not even take a venture out and start feeling the waters.

So I decided this week I was going to start somewhere - I do have some ideas (a hazy form of a path dare I say) of where my passion may lay. Time to start my gluten free blog - this one is my personal one and on it I have collected and resources interests and goals, it has seen me travel through joy and heartbreak ~ I wanted to create a blog that does the same thing but with my learning to love food and being comfortable with being a Celiac, and my ups and downs of being a woman, a mother, a partner, a friend, a family member and a person learning to live gluten and lactose free.

my blog: http://highonlifeandglutenfree.blogspot.com

It's a start ...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My son turns 21 today - seriously can't believe how the years have gone by. I am so very proud of the man he is becoming, and so very blessed from the day he came into my life (after many hours of labour ha ha) -

Happy Birthday my dear son - you will always be the most precious thing I have in my life - and my best accomplishment!!!! Love you :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So ... Here I am ...

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. ~Barbara Bloom

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

There will be these days ...

If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I have been struggling to keep a positive attitude ~ I have not been winning the fight with my health lately and it is amazing how not being well affects everything in life, the big one is your mental state and how you view your "world". I think the biggest and most important difference from where I am now and where I was three years ago - is knowledge and awareness. Three years ago feeling like this would control everything in my life ~ I would be so wrapped up in the pain and the misery of how I felt that my mental state would trully match my physical one, it would be a mess. There would be no struggling to keep a positive attitude, one would likely just not be found. How my life has changed since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and putting a name to what my body was doing, how it was attacking itself.

It's no fun feeling almost like I did when I was first diagnosed, I know there are more issues and likely some different avenues I will have to follow once I have more testing done, but at least now I do what I can to make a difference. I do my best to watch what I am eating, I make appointments with doctors and specialists to get the ball rolling, and I look for avenues to inspire me and motivate me to keep my spirits up. And I try not to fall into the unwell "depression and anger" that I know is out there ~ I have a name for this now, something to continue to work with. And I try not to be as hard on myself as I know I can be.

Try Try Try ...
because that is all we can do in life ... going back to the "near-perfect" analogy :) It's what I tell my son even today - as he heads into finals and exams for University - "All you can do is try and give it your best, if that does not work - then you try some more."

There will be these days ... the days where I feel sick, achy, headaches, and the feelings follow of being edgy, and angry, and sad ... yes they will come ... but they will also go ... and then a better day will follow ... and I will "try" again to make it a grand one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Today's thoughtful pause ...

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height ~ A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question,'half empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... she inquired with a smile "How heavy is this glass of water?".

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night.... pick them up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've conquered!"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What are you planting?

"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don't count on harvesting Golden Delicious." ~ Bill Meyer

I came across this quote this morning and found it struck a cord in my thinking today ~ and I stopped to think "What AM I planting today?" I find our lives are ever changing ~ we have daily challenges, successes, goals, disappointments, frustrations and dreams. The reality of life today is that in our societies we are set up for the fast paced ever changing day ~ and sometimes it simply can be exhausting to look to far into the future.

I enjoyed this quote because it simplified the process a bit, it cut it down to simple thoughts ~ a thought at a time. I have more control over my day and my thoughts if I take them a thought at time. We are all going to have the odd "crab apple" thoughts - as that is what part of being "near-perfect" is all about ;) but what if we took the power - the energy - the spirit - then back in our own hands - and changed our "thought" to a "golden delicious" one? We can handle "one" thought can't we? One moment in time? It's a process that takes some effort at starting to establish, I know myself when "negative, depressing, frustrating, disappointing" thoughts enter my head - my first instinct is not to "smile and think "golden delicious" haha - no my first instinct is to let the feeling take over, to find support in my negative - and if I hit a positive wall (a friend who says oh it's not too bad) I cringe ha ha.

So it's a work in process to take a "crab apple" thought and turn it into a "golden delicious" one ~ I am constantly searching and exploring ways in life to do that. Whether it is to say something complimentary to my mate, my son, a friend or family member ~ sincerely and to feel the "positive" off their reaction ~ we just don't compliment those we love as much as we should. Or someone who isn't a loved one - it's intriguing when you sincerely say "you look great in that color you are wearing, I like what you have done with your hair, have a nice day" or "Hello" even to someone around you during the day who may not expect it ~ again the positive flow is a boost to "golden delicious" thinking. Or I go to the ever expanding internet and search up some inspiration - whether it's finding a simple quote like today or finding an amazing gluten free recipe to try, or just looking up some information or advice on an interest ~ take control and take charge of your thought/s. Or take a walk - enjoy something simple - a plant, a ray of sunshine, a child's laughter, anyone's laughter ... just breathe in.

"Easier said than done" - you say - "Yep" I say. :) But possible ~ if we just take it "one thought at a time". And don't put any more pressure on ourselves than that. And one thought at a time - it's possible. :)

I am sincerely wishing you a "golden delicious" thought kind of day ~ hugs. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Near-perfect ME :)

I have fallen into a bit of a funk lately ... I think that the weather outside has alot to do with things ... our endless winter that is dragging me down and alot of my friends that I connect with everyday. Spring needs to come ... Spring is always a time of renew ... of action ... of a promise of longer and warmer days, green grass, more energy and opportunities to get out and enjoy life more. I have also been struggling with my health of late - a little frustrated with my body, have gained weight to the point of my dress clothes being uncomfortable ~ and have more tests scheduled in late spring to see if I can get back on track. So I have been less than thrilled with the woman in the mirror, a touch emotional and very hard on myself because of not feeling like I am "getting it right" - that I am not where I want to be and feel that I am disappointing others.

I love this picture of my dear friend Kelly - it shows her beautiful silly and playful side - and I think sometimes we lose that in our daily "deal" of life. This picture of her inspires me - and it always makes me smile. She wrote a new blog post the other day that really spoke to me - about perfectionism.


She writes:

Perfectionism is impossible, unachievable and highly overrated

That spoke to me - I need to remind myself - I am not perfect, I am not expected to be perfect, I will never be perfect - and I am okay with the woman I am and the woman who is going forward in life. In fact I need to remind myself that I love the woman I am - I am proud of the woman I am ~ and that I have people in my life that feel the same way, and that's what counts!

How about being Near-Perfect?

She writes about how about striving to be near-perfect instead of setting yourself up to fail by expecting the 100% of yourself right off the bat. To instead to strive for "near-perfection" which I have defined for myself as doing and being "the best I can be in that situation, moment or time" - this should be the goal. I can do that! I can be that!

And being that I am not perfect one of the most important ways I need to let up on myself is judging myself when I have an "Off" day. With all the sad tradegies in the world around us we tend to beat ourselves up when we are down about seemingly simple things in life, or even thoughts ~ and really we shouldn't be. Being not perfect also means giving yourself the space to be "sad, upset, worried, concerned" about whatever it is in life you need to do that with ~ I think the ticket is to not let this "moment in time" stop you from growing, reaching, hoping, dreaming, and loving life. There is so much in my life that I am deeply happy and feel sincerely blessed and humbled by, doesn't mean I can't have my "down" days ~ just means that I bounce back and keep on bouncing!!!

Thank you Kelly for reminding me that I am not perfect - and to remind me that I am okay with this and I am even better I am a perfect example of being the best "NEAR-PERFECT" that I can be!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gluten Free and loving the options!

As I am a celiac I have really come to have a deep appreciation for good food ~ and since I have become a part of a couple I have found a love of making good food, as now I have someone to share, cook, eat, love and laugh with. We both eat gluten free and both of us have a lactose intolerance so sometimes eating out can be an issue ~ I know I have blogged about my favorite restaurant "The Creperie" but there is another spot that has also earned my commendations because I have never had a bad meal there - and it is honestly the first place I have found that I have had a decent and delicious hamburger at! Yep a gluten dairy free hamburger - really somethings you do crave once you can't have them like you use to ~ anyway I would be talking about the Delux Burger Bar on 142st (Crestwood) ~ I recently wrote a comment on the blog "Gluten Free Edmonton" - which on a side note has been a valuable and informative resource I have come to enjoy reading - new and old posts have so much information about products and restaurants and just living gluten free it's been awesome!!

Back to my post:
"WE have been to both West End locations ~ and I have to say I have never been disappointed with the burger (the guilt free gf free burger and bun) at the 142nd ave location. The burgers have always been juicy and cooked perfectly and on a soft and delicious bun, we have it with the side salad with a little of the vinegarette and it is awesome! Our West Edm. Mall experience was not even close to as good, maybe they are too busy in that location to show the same care in preparation?? We did comment on it while there, and the waiter and host were very good in saying they would research why the other burger was surperb and that our next dining experience there would be fabulous ... haven't tried it yet. The chef at the 142 ave location knows how to make a yummy satisfying gluten free burger! :) "

I have to say there is a real sincere effort in customer satisfaction at the 142nd street location ~ my guy and I were there a couple weeks ago (we had gone to a movie in the mall and decided we wanted a burger and so traveled to the Crestwood location - it's just never disappointed us) and when I was up paying our bill the gentleman at the till asked how our meal was. We had a nice little conversation - we talked about our experience at the WEM location and he was very interested in our observations and thanked me for my honest opinion - I did not complain just simply stated the fact that their burger at this location far surpassed the one in the mall. He then handed me his card, I found out he was one of the managing partners - Jim Skagos - said if I ever have any more issues or comments please to make sure to pass them along. It is that kind of attention to care and detail that I find refreshing in todays service market and one that keeps me as a loyal patron to a business. I sincerely believe that they would look into both locations and see how the can better service, and I just may head over to the WEM location one of these days soon and give them another try ... cuz every so often just gotta have that burger! :)


Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday's quote:

Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong. ~Peter T. Mcintyre

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finding Inspiration ...

I recently came to know about this site called Tiny Buddha - one of my friends had "liked" it on facebook and I took a look and quickly became a fan myself. It's really full of down to earth stories and inspiration ~ that apply to everyday life ~ the joys and the struggles.

I have had a struggle of late myself - of sorts ~ and I really really enjoyed this article today:


I love when you are searching for "something" whether it be inspiration, motivation or even just a pair of nail clippers ~ and you find it when you need it haha. I love that "aaaahhhhhh ... nice" feeling it gives you. This article today did exactly that.

Good for the soul reading. :)

And today I am going to meet my friend Kelly Falardeau and get a copy of her newly published book "No Risks No Rewards - a burn survivor's journey from near death to success". So proud of my dear friend for opening up her life and story knowing that she can be a good inspiration to people ~ I say "wow".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My heart overflows ...

Today on fb my scrapping and fb friend Darlene posted this on her status:

If you have a wonderful man, who helps balance your whole world, who isn't perfect, but is perfect for you, who works hard and would do anything for you. Who makes you laugh and drives you crazy, who is your best friend, who you want to grow old with, and who you are thankful for everyday. Who you could not live without... then post this as your status.

So I grabbed it and did just that ~ as every word rings true about Kevin and I was so touched when he grabbed this off of MY status and then reposted on his own profile but changed it to "wonderful woman" ... aaaaaawwwwwww so touched my heart and soul ~ a simple act really but means so much. I think that is something I really appreciate about this relationship and about Kevin. Is that we constantly do simple things to show that we care about each other, don't take for granted that we do ~ and that we are not shy or hesitant about letting others know we have that special person in our life. I think that has been the biggest blessing of this relationship - the fact I can share it with the world. :)

It's good to be this much in love ...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Creperie

Kevin and I went for supper on Friday night and we happily chose The Creperie to dine at that evening ~ this dining establishment (for it is surely more than a "restaurant") continues to be my favorite place to have supper at ~ and has fit a number of occasions. I have gone there with girlfriends, just having a friendly supper with two, for group dining - either work collegues or sister and her friends, and my favorite way to go is of course with my man Kevin ~ for a romantic and lovely meal out on the town. :)

For someone who has high standards being a Celiac - I think the service at the Creperie is an established bar set for other restaurants to look at. From the moment you walk in you are not only struck by the pleasing and cosy ambiance of the place, but the fact that they serve patrons with Celiac/Gluten Intolerance right from the "get go". Not only do they place a menu in front of you that looks the same as the other menus with gluten on them, bound and leather (not a binder or sheet of paper) but it is a full menu - they give you plenty of options. Appetizers, salads, full list on entrees and deserts! And the food is seasoned and sauced just like you would do in your own home, not a plain hunk of meat on your plate devoid of taste.

AND they bring you gluten free bread to the table as a courtesy starter ~ like any other patron that receives this courtesy. That from the first sitting at this establishment impressed me beyond any other experience I have had in a restaurant. MY OWN bread!!! Safe, warm, and yummy. :)

We started our meal with a delicious appetizer of Crab, Artichoke and parmesan cheese dip with tortilla chips and gluten free bread. It's delicious! For my entree I chose one of the dishes that has become my favorites - the Lamb shank, I remember the first time I ordered this dish how it was explained to me the slow process they have for preparing this dish, it's amazing the meat is so tender and tasty, literally falls off the bone ~ and served with a healthy portion of mixed seasonal vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes. Heaven.

The ambiance of The Creperie is so inviting - the front entrance really is nothing to look at and as you come down the stairs you wonder at first what kind of dive you are entering, and then you are swallowed up by old world charm, the cozy and woodsey feel of wine cellar, very private and romantic, or just cozy and intriguing ~ like I said whatever the reason I go to dine there, the atmosphere has always fit the bill. And I should not forget the staff!! From the host/ess, to the waiters and servers I have always found them to be pleasant, accomodating, and professional. And I have to tip my hat to those I don't see, the men/women in the kitchen who bring such talent in making the fabulous food that is set in front of me, bravo and thank you from the bottom of my heart and my stomach haha. :) The Creperie is a top notch experience and the best service in dining that I have found to this date in the city. :)

Definite thumbs up for us ~ and I can see myself dining there again and again for many years to come!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shall we jump?!

Into the new year?? I am starting to feel the tell tale itch of restlessness and the need to be inspired and motivated ... to do ... not to watch ... to be ... not to be still. :) Now it's just a juggle to figure out how to get the projects started that I want to ... how to look into researching the projects I want to get started ... find the time I need to dedicate to things I have put aside ... and learn to get the most "life" out of each day that I can.

I got a bit of a "crazy" idea the other day ... and the project is growing on me as well as the people I have pitched it to are all for it and want me to go forward ha ha (that's what happens when you let people in on your nutty ideas - they actually support it haha and then you are hooped to start being serious about it). It started with me diligently searching up recipes for Ukrainian Christmas, lead to searching recipes of Ukrainian dishes that I grew up on and so on ~ the difference is I want to re-create these fave dishes so that they are not only gluten free but that they are dairy free, as I am a celiac with lactose/casien intolerance. So here I am looking up recipes and then pulling other recipes together - 2-3 recipes here and there to make one that I want to try thinking man I wish there was a reference for a Ukrainian girl that wants to cook Ukrainian GLUTEN free ~ hhhhhhmmmmmm well maybe I should just thinking of writing a cookbook! Or I think Kevin and I should write one ~ well I mentioned it to a couple people and have received such strong feedback that now it has become a line on the list ~ there are certain ways I would like to go about it, and alot more reading and research will be involved, plus the big part we need to start cooking what I want to write about! ha ha I have been impressed with the resources that there is out there if you want to look ~ and the lack thereof on some counts ~ like I said maybe a crazy idea but starting to take shape nonetheless. :)

I have a feeling this year is going to be a busy and full one, and I am ready for this kind of busy and full - mostly the good, fabulous, amazing kind of year ...

My amazing friend Kelly is publishing her book and speaking about it ~

So proud of what she has accomplished in the last couple years towards her goal of becoming a public speaker ~ she has inspired so many people and with her truthful down to earth real story I am sure she will continue to do so.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Reflection of 2010 ...

I am sitting here thinking back to this time last year ... where I was at ... what life was like ... how content or happy or sad or confused I was then ... it has been a very full year ~ 2010. I lost my scrapbooking mojo almost a couple years ago now ~ it's amazing to me actually all that has happened in life in the last 5 years not even just the last one ~ but I am lately really getting the itch to get creative again. I am looking to be inspired - to be motivated ... I think parts of my life are full of that now and to keep the flow going I need to get creative and start back into a craft/art/form of expression that has always meant a great deal to keep me that way ... Inspired. So if I was to pick a word or words to sum up the majority of last year's events or happenings - I guess it would be "Adventure" maybe even "New Adventures" - some were not the best but a majority of these events/happenings that would fall under these words have been positive and life changing. A fellow friend and blogger Laura did her looking back in a couple ways that I really loved: one she did this in point form, and two she started with the positive - not the order of of things. I am going to blog-lift that from her hee hee: So some of the highlights of 2010 (in no certain order) :)

* I sat myself down and really took a look at what I needed to have in a relationship and a man that would make me or keep me committed to someone.
* I put my trust in a close friend ~ a male friend ~ and we proved to ourselves and others that two people of the opposite sex can have a close and trusting relationship without getting messy and akward.
* I MET AN AMAZING MAN - who we had an instant bond and connection from our first date - and for one of the first times - I went with it and trusted my instincts AND FELL IN LOVE and it has only grown deeper as time passes. Trully have found my soulmate. :)
* My son finished his first year of University.
* My son went to work at a labour full time job for the summer - matured for the experience, and changed his course in his schooling.
* He started back into his new school year with a renewed determination and dedication that I haven't seen in a long time ~ gave me confidence in his new career path.
* My niece had a precious little baby girl - and I became a Great Auntie! Wow!
* I got my passport!!! Finally!!!
* My amazing friend Kelly working on her book about her life story - she is amazing and I am so proud that she is on the path she is ~ she is inspiring.
* Kevin and I have gone on a few get aways - started with a trip to Calgary to visit friends,camping, then a trip to BC to visit family, Jasper for my birthday, and then in December our big trip - our get away to VEGAS!!! Amazing times, amazing memories. I have done more travelling with Kevin in the last nine months than I likely have done in the last 8 years :) and more are planned for the future!
* Had an amazing visit with my grandparents in September - short but so heart felt.
* Have been introduced to another whole new set of wonderful people that now are family - especially Mom Sylvia - she is dear to my heart and I am thankful she is the amazing woman she is and blessed that as Kevin's mom we have such a great relationship.
Dull or not so high moments:
* Lost another friend to their battle with cancer.
* Passed the first anniversary of losing dear Dave - missing him.
* My dear cousin Robbie's cancer coming back strong ~ his tiring battle to try to survive - he is three years older than me with boys close to my son's age.
* Grandparent's health taking a downward turn - both in mid 80's now, both have had cancer, and dealing with all the side effects that toll has taken on their bodies.
* Beginning of last year - had my heartbroken ~ and though it turned out for the best and changed my direction ~ still was achingly hard to go through.

I have a future ahead where there are some amazing things in the works ~ from buying a new home with my man to doing more traveling, to having family visit, to my son graduating from his University course, looking forward to my friend Kelly publishing her book about her life as a burn survivor, and my sister having her first show as a bead work jewelry designer, and myself maybe going back to school to take some courses in photography and photoshop. :) On the whole life is looking good ...
I am looking forward to getting my home organized, getting back into scrapbooking, spending more time re-connecting and connecting with friends and family, old and new ~ and enjoying life to the fullest. Turning obstacles that may seem like mountains into molehills and mere bumps in the road ... and sharing my life with a man I am extremely proud of, admire and love with all my heart.

To us all ... may the word for 2011 be "CHANGE" and may the changes in our lives be good, the heartaches few, and our blessings many.

Hugs to you all ~ Cheers