Music to get you moving!

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Coral Boutique: Elegant Coastal Themed Jewelry

Recently one of my best friends started an online business with one of her friends on Etsy – Coral Boutique. They specialize in beautifully hand crafted coastal themed jewelry made in the East coast of Canada – Nova Scotia. Take a look! Prices are reasonable and their work is amazing! I want everything!!

Below is a sneak peek of their jewelry:

On the Waterfront Earrings - Elegant Sterling Silver, Freshwater Pearl and Glass Earrings

On the Waterfront Earrings – Elegant Sterling Silver, Freshwater Pearl and Glass Earrings

Starlight Star Bright Necklace - Long and Delicate Sterling Silver Necklace with Cluster of Clear and Coral Crystal and a Silver Starfish

Starlight Star Bright Necklace – Long and Delicate Sterling Silver Necklace with Cluster of Clear and Coral Crystal and a Silver Starfish

Sea of Dreams Bracelet - Delicate Sterling Silver Bracelet with a Beautiful Turquoise Crystal Link

Sea of Dreams Bracelet – Delicate Sterling Silver Bracelet with a Beautiful Turquoise Crystal Link

Flip Flop Season Necklace -Sterling Silver Chain Necklace with Aqua Crystals and a Fuchsia Jade Briolette

Flip Flop Season Necklace -Sterling Silver Chain Necklace with Aqua Crystals and a Fuchsia Jade Briolette

Take a deep breath and release your stress.

Before I moved to California I was working in a fast paced industry and city. Life at times was overwhelming with a sense of feeling defeated by the grind. This stress manifested in more places than just my work life. My closest relationships started to fall a part around me. I felt like I was all alone. It wasn’t until a close friend of mine told me she needed to have a ‘break’ from me because I was too negative to be around, that I realized what I was doing to myself and the people around me. It was there and then that I began my journey to self recovery. I was the only one that could get myself out of a self-pity state of mind because I allowed myself to get into this situation in the first place. The first thing I decided to do was to only focus my energy on the people and things in my life that give me a real sense of peace, love and happiness. Anyone that was a negative influence in my life, I distanced myself from immediately. This was the beginning of something more powerful than what I realized at that moment.

Now that I am through those rough times I can look back on them and truly say that I am grateful for those struggles. I learned a lot about myself and the people around me. Today I am a stronger and happier person for those experiences. Real friends and family stuck by me and were open and honest with me. The close friend I mentioned before, that needed a break, gave me something more than she will ever realize that day. It was my ‘ah ha’ moment. For that I will always be grateful. We remain extremely close friends today.

As you read this, perhaps you are starting to relive some tough times you’ve experience in your life and what you did to cope with the stress. Or maybe you are going through something stressful now wondering, how I was able to turn my situation around. It’s a simple concept really….our thoughts manifest our reality. If we focus our energy on negative thoughts that is what our reality becomes. If our thoughts become more positive our reality will shift to be more positive. Our minds can be our most powerful tool or obstacle in life. It’s how we choose to use our mind that will make the difference in our life experiences.
(For more on this topic I suggest you read Deepak Chopra’s book The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence as he goes into great detail about how our mind can help us create a more fulfilling life. However there are many other books written on this subject such as The Secret, The Power of Now etc.)

In addition to having a positive attitude I started reading about the physical and mental benefits of meditation and breathing and how to incorporate all 3 for a more balanced life (in additional to exercise and eating clean). Today I am still on a life long journey of self recovery but instead I like to call it self discovery. I have made a goal to learn more about different breathing techniques and to continue meditation this year so that I can enhance clarity in my thoughts, reduce stress and improve my energy. Personally I am not the type of person just to believe something ‘because’. I need proof that there is real benefit – scientifically – before I will invest my time and energy. Below is a short video that demonstrates how breathing can change your life positively both physically and mentally from a more scientific perspective. I’ve also listed some of the resources I’ve used in my readings.

An encounter with the Grateful Dead in northern California.

If you read my About Me page you already know that I am from Atlantic Canada and that I grew up in a small coastal town. The special thing about my town is that there are many locals that haven’t entirely left the 60’s which made for a different but fun upbringing. It’s hard not to be influenced by the hippy era in a town like St. Andrews, NB. When I was in junior high my friends and I used to be obsessed with the song Sugar Magnolia when most kids my age were listening to more modern artists such as  Destiny Child, K.C. & Jo Jo, and Backstreet Boys. For the most part we were the new generation of hippy wannabes hanging out at camps and on the beach wearing bell bottom cords, dead head tie dye shirts, learning how to play guitar and listening to bands such as Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Cat Steven’s to name a few.

With that background you will understand my surprise and excitement with what I believe to be a great find in northern California!

One Saturday morning in July my husband woke up and in a spontaneous gesture suggested we take a drive north of San Francisco without any real destination in mind. Once we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge we saw signs for a community called San Rafael in Marin County and decided that would be our destination. Since it was around lunch time we decided to stroll around and find a place to eat. Across the harbour we could hear live music coming from a huge patio hidden by tree’s and foliage. It sounded like a lot of fun so naturally we walked over to check it out. To my surprise and excitement we stumbled upon Grateful Dead founder and band member, Phil Lesh’s restaurant – Terrapin Crossroads!

We absolutely loved the vibe, the food and the band! The band playing was nothing other than Phil Lesh’s two son’s @Grahamelesh and @BrianJamesLesh. Let’s say talent didn’t fall far from the tree. They had a crew of friends helping them out with sound and what looked like an entourage at a table in the front. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun random day. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to see the dead live and considering that won’t happen it was pretty cool to see the next generation jamming at brunch for an audience of locals.

@Grahamelesh and @BrianJamesLesh Performing at Terrapin Crossroads

Aside from the music the food was amazing. We split the chopped salad and burger which was a great choice. We quickly learned that they “support local, organic and sustainably produced vegetables, meat and fish”. I totally dig this. Even the perimeter of the patio was outlined with planters filled with herbs!  This was without a doubt my type of restaurant – the perfect fusion of creativity, music and sustainably conscious food. I will definitely be back and hopefully Phil is there performing with his friends and son’s. 

 

Friendship is an amazing thing….

FRIENDSHIP

Friendship is something that doesn’t happen very quickly and when you finally have a strong one it takes just as much work to maintain as any other relationship. I’ve learned over the years to really cherish the few ‘real’ friends you have in this world. You never know when you’ll need them or they’ll need you.

I’ve been blessed to have some amazing woman come and stay in my life. I’ll never take either of their friendships lightly or for granted. They are all different but similar in small ways. I guess you could say they each have a different role in my life. They’ve each been there during different times in my life and have impacted who I am as a woman just for being there for me.

I recently got married in my new home state – beautiful California on Carmel River State Beach. I know most couples say this about their wedding day but it truly was an amazing and magical day. We only had 30 guests (including the wedding party). We decided to only invite immediate family and close friends who are like family. I think some of our imperfections on the day ended up being the highlights – such as: scuba divers joining us for an impromptu photo shoot, forgetting cake cutting utensils and then having to use a plastic fork, one of my lovely brides maids completely skipping the aisle and just going straight into line (haha), forgetting my vows at home and my sister forgetting her maid of honour speech at home. These all made for great memories!

After the reception I cried happy tears due to being overwhelmed with emotion because I couldn’t believe this many people from across the continent and 3 different countries would come to our wedding. I’ve never felt more loved in my life. It’s a really special feeling to see your childhood best friend make friends with your university best friend and then with your first career colleague best friends and then to see my sister and new sister in-law thrown into that mix was all so amazing. To see these woman who you love and respect individually get a long and genuinely laugh together was something I’ve always wanted to see.

To each of my amazing and lovely best friends that made the journey to CA for me I love you all so much and appreciate the friendship that we have together. I look forward to many more memories being created in the coming years!

XOXOXOXOXOXOX

Did you know?……

Photo: SweetOnVeg/Flickr

Photo: SweetOnVeg/Flickr

Kale has more iron than beef per calorie.

Photo: SweetOnVeg/Flickr

Photo: SweetOnVeg/Flickr

1 cup of cooked quinoa gives you 20% of your daily value of fibre (5 grams) and contains all 8 essential amino acids.

There is almost twice the amount of the antioxidant, alpha-carotene in iceberg lettuce than either romaine lettuce or spinach.

Photo: Steenburgs/flickr

Photo: Steenburgs/flickr

Matcha tea has the potential to fight against cancer, HIV and fat.

A beautiful west coast sunset.

Last Thursday I spent a very special evening with my husband in Carmel, CA. We love this small sea-side community and frequent it almost every weekend! It reminds us of my home town St. Andrews By-the Sea in New Brunswick, Canada. The people are so kind and generous and the scenery is breath-taking.

Since being in CA I hadn’t seen a ‘real’ west coast sunset yet, so we braved the chilly sea breeze and walked down to the beach with our dog Charlie to catch a ‘real’ west coast sunset. Below are a few photos that I was able to capture. To view them in a larger format click on one of the images below to start a slide show. Enjoy!

World’s First Text-Enabled Espresso Machine

Congrats to the guys over at @Zipwhipinc for being innovative with the android platform. I definitely see value in this type of technology – just not for personal use. However, if I was staying in a hotel or was in a small office I would love for this technology to be available!