April Goals 2015

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I thought February was a busy month, but March was even busier!

With only three weeks of school left I’ve been scrambling to complete assignments, study for tests and applying for jobs (and working!). Unfortunately that meant Peace and Chaos got put on the back burner for a bit there. I was sad to have accidentally skipped March’s Rebel Book Club link-up, but before I knew it, the last Friday of the month had come and gone and I hadn’t even read a quarter of my book yet, let alone completed the review and post for it. I also skipped March’s Delightful Directory because I didn’t have anything worth sharing; I barely spent any time playing around online. I didn’t even watch much TV this past month.

Also, remember how I told you I had two job interviews? Well, I got the first job! A freelance writer position from home and I wrote three news articles and one blog post. It’s not a lot of hours, but it’s a step in the right direction. The other job interview was for a part-time job at my dream company, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Boo. Can’t have it all I guess.

As for my March goals, well …

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March Goals:

Money: Start saving $1 a day. Nope. I didn’t save any money.

Health: Stop binge eating at bed time. I’d say about a third of the time I didn’t eat at bed time. I’ve noticed that my bad eating habits actually start at breakfast though, because I skip it. Then I skip lunch and don’t eat until dinner, so by 9 p.m. I’m starving. I have to fix this.

Home: Hunt for something bigger. We still want a bigger place, but I realized there are a lot of benefits to living in a small apartment. Instead, we switched bedrooms with Sidney and it works for now.

Marriage: Go on at least one date. Well we went on several! Mostly out to eat, or grab a pint, but it was enjoyable.

Parenting: Spend more time doing activities. And boy did we! We went tobogganing, cosmic bowling, to the movies, the park, for a bike ride, the library and even did some origami.

Social: Connect with at least one new person this month. And a big nope. But Nick and I have spent some time with our current friends, which is always nice.

Learning: Get good marks in school and submit entries into the journalism awards. Done and done! Wish me luck!

Now, for April things are about to get crazy. This month I need to focus on finding a job, getting back on track with my health and spending more time on things that matter now that school will be finishing up. – Note: I’ve decided that categorizing them is helpful, but sometimes categories change. They get passed because that part of my life is doing peachy-keen, and sometimes new ones appear that are needing some TLC.

I’ve decided to give April three words: Healthy, Productive, Creative.

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April Goals:

Money: Get a job! Like, a real grown-up job. I now have the credentials to do so, some experience under my belt and the drive to make this happen! Interview number three happens this Thursday!

Health: Well, now that I’ve realized my entire eating habits are all screwed up, I guess I should start by having regular meals at appropriate times. That would make sense, right? Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. :)

Home: I’m happy that we switched bedrooms. Sidney loves her new room, even if it is smaller, and I can now fit a desk in mine and Nick’s bedroom. What I really want to focus on in April, though, is fixing up my desk space so that it’s functional and inspiring!

Parenting: We had a lot of fun this past month getting out, playing and creating together. But, I’ve noticed that Sidney doesn’t get to play with many children outside of school. I’d like to set up at least a couple of play dates with a friend or her cousins this next month.

Work: I already mentioned that I’m looking for a job, but I also consider Peace and Chaos like a job, too. A part-time job, mind you, and it does need a bit more attention. I want to create an editorial calendar and complete my secret project this month!

Social: There’s a lot of great events in my city that I would love to attend. Capturing Cambridge has frequent events and Idea Exchange often hosts a variety of festivals and events, too. It would be fun to attend at least one or two.

Learning: Well, school is almost over, just three more weeks! Of course, learning doesn’t stop when school ends; it’s a forever kind of love. I signed up for a few online courses through my library and I plan to complete them in April.

Me: This is a special category, one that was recommended by Melinda last month, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself! Duhhh! Anyway, I’m in desperate need of a haircut. I haven’t had one in well over two years and yes, my hair has grown a lot but I’ve realized I actually hate having long hair. Time for a new hairdo.

What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself?

Peace,
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*All photos are taken from my Instagram!

Benefits of Living in a Small Apartment

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When Nick and I first looked at our current apartment almost two years ago I instantly fell in love!

We were moving out of my parent’s house (again) after a rough year and needed a place of our own. Nick was working full-time, but I was unemployed and getting ready to start college. We didn’t have a lot of money and our rent budget was really small so our options were extremely limited.

After looking at a few typical 2-bedroom apartments that looked identical to our first one, and feeling rather dismal about our new home, we finally found a place that wasn’t just cheaper than average, but also unique.

Our apartment is the top floor of a century old house in a mature neighbourhood. We’re a short walk from a great elementary school, an awesome park and downtown; it’s the perfect location. Our neighbours are also much older, but all of them are very nice. To make it even better, we have a large balcony, two parking spots and gardens all around to play in.

But a major problem became apparent after we started to unpack – it’s small. (Plus, we have to go to a laundromat.)

Living in a small space has it’s challenges for sure! Especially for a family of three, one of them being a growing girl, and also having two separate home businesses on the go, but there are some benefits to living in a smaller home.

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Money

Our apartment is a one-bedroom plus den, which we turned into a bedroom. The average cost of a two bedroom apartment in our area is at least $200 more a month than what we are currently paying and doesn’t offer much more space, a three bedroom apartment goes for about $300 more and a small townhouse is at least $400 more, plus utilities.

The amount of money we save each month on rent makes it possible for us to splurge on simple pleasures like eating out, attending events, taking Sidney to the movies and such, and having a social life. Of course, if we were smarter with our money we would save it but I like to have a little bit of fun now and then. At least when I do start to make more money, I will be able to save some!

Get Creative

When you live in a small space you have to get creative to make it work! That means finding new ways to organize your belongings, to fit everything you need and keep it functional.

Up until this week, Nick and I had the bedroom for ourselves. It’s about a third of the size of the den which we turned into Sid’s room. But when I started freelancing I realized I needed a home office to conduct interviews and work uninterrupted, a luxury that doesn’t and can’t happen at the kitchen table. Since our bedroom is too small to fit a desk in with our dresser and queen sized bed, we knew we had to find a better solution. We’re now in the process of switching the bedrooms over and although Sid was sad at first to lose her large floor to play on, we’ve promised to get her a loft bed to open up that extra space.

My point is, sometimes you have to try different things before you find a solution that works, but getting creative with your home decor can be a lot of fun!

Less Stuff

In a smaller space you’re forced to keep your list of belongings short because there’s no room for extra knick-knacks and junk items.

This is a good thing! No more wasting money, time and energy buying up worthless stuff – time to curb that impulse to over shop!

I don’t know about you, but when I lived in a bigger space (ie, mom’s house) I would leave the dollar store with two gigantic bags of crap! Crap I didn’t necessarily need, but hey, when it’s only a dollar or two why not? In the end, those two bags of crap ended up costing about $60 on average. Not to mention thrift stores! OMG! The amount of money I’ve spent there is kind of ridiculous. Now that I’m in a smaller home, I often contemplate my purchases a lot more. “Do I really need another toaster?” The answer is no.

Added bonus, this goes for my daughter, too, who know has to learn about smart spending habits.

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Cleaning

Less square footage and less stuff means less cleaning!

I remember when I lived at my moms house, my sister and I were required to make sure the place was clean every day before she got home from work. It was so exhausting! So many bedrooms, bathrooms, large yard space and a garage – it takes a lot of time and energy to keep up with a larger household! But in a small apartment, there’s definitely less cleaning involved, which gives me more time to focus on things I’d rather be doing like this blog, art, writing, playing with Sid, watching TV and baking yummy treats!

Quality Family Time

When you live in a tight space you’re kind of forced to hang out together. With no rec-room and only one TV we have to decide on a movie to watch together. We also have to eat together at meals because there’s only one table. And, to be honest, if you stand in our hallway you can see into every room! We can’t get away from one another, unless, of course, we close a door or leave.

BUT, just because there are benefits that doesn’t mean there aren’t downfalls. Luckily, I’ll be sharing some tips for making a small apartment work in your favour very soon!

Do you live in a small home? What are some of the advantages you’ve noticed while living there?

Peace,
signoff

Pictures by Nick Miller of Tubular Retro.

9 Reasons Every Woman Should Shave Her Head

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When I was a teenager I went against my parents rules and got a bi-hawk, which is like a mohawk but there are two rows of hair.

It was during March break in grade 10 and I was spending the week between my cousin’s house and our friend’s house when I decided to just go for it. I booked a hair appointment and later that day walked down to the salon with my group of friends and a picture of a really cute girl sporting her own bi-hawk. Safely hidden at my aunt and uncle’s home and a clubhouse where we spent more nights then I can remember, I was free to fan my six inches of awesomeness.

Of course, when I finally did return home a week later my parents flipped out. My mom made another hair appointment for the following weekend and my beautiful locks were doomed to die at just two weeks old. But something else exciting happened, I got a chelsea in it’s place.

Started by the skinhead movement in the 1980’s, the chelsea haircut is quite beautiful with the back shaved or buzzed and a fringe in the front.

I’ll never forget that day, the excitement of watching my hair fall to the floor and then, finally, the sound of the clippers buzzing away what was left in neat little rows. I kept my head buzzed for years, alternating it between a cute bob, then shaving it again into a chelsea. Finally, after growing it out for a few months I got the urge to just take it all off and I did.

I think every woman has thought of shaving their hair off at least once in their life. I know that when I went around bald and proud, women of every age and style would come up to me to admire and compliment not only my bold hairstyle but my bravery. When you have no hair on your head, there’s nothing to hide behind, your entire face is out in the open and there’s something about that that just made me feel good.

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So, I feel that every woman should shave their head at least once in their life and here’s why:

1. Confidence

A lot of people fear that having no hair will make them feel too exposed or “ugly” but I know from experience that is not true!

I’ve always had bangs because I’m self conscious of my larger forehead, and I’ve always worried that having a shaved head would emphasize that. Well, once I got over the shock of not having anything to cover my forehead with, I found myself feeling a lot more confident. I walked taller, I talked more freely with strangers and I felt really good about myself. There’s a sense of power that comes with having a buzzed head.

2. Low-Maintenance

I think the obvious benefit is not having to spend time fixing up your hair! It seriously saves you so much time in the mornings or getting ready to go out when you don’t have long hair to fuss around with. Plus, it gives you extra time and attention to play around with your make-up and wardrobe.

As a bonus tip, if you’re going to sport a bald head make sure to add some girly flair to your overall style with some sexy outfits and gorgeous accessories.

3. Save Money

You save quite a bit of money by not spending a fortune on hair products, shampoo and hair dye when you have a shaved head. No more hairspray, pomade, serum, conditioner, dry shampoo … etc. etc.

4. Healthy Hair

Say goodbye to your dead ends, frizz and kinks and hello to new, healthy hair. If you’re like me and you enjoy experimenting with your hairstyles and hair colours you’re bound to cause some serious damage. Shaving your head can help you start fresh!

Plus, when it does start to grow in you can finally see what your natural hair colour is again! I was shocked to learn my hair is still blonde.

5. Donate

If you already have healthy hair you can donate it to make wigs. I know of a lot of wonderful people out there who do this frequently and it’s such an amazing gift to people who can’t grow their own hair.

6. Fundraising

Speaking of donations, you can shave your hair off to raise money. This style of fundraising is done quite often because it works! Start a fundraiser by raising money leading up to your public head shave and your co-workers or classmates are bound to help out.

7. Perfect for Summer

Having no hair in the summer is just about perfect: you can swim without worrying about chlorine or wacky beach hair, it doesn’t stick to the back of your neck when it’s hot, hats and helmets can’t leave your hair flat and awkward and

8. Different Lengths

Finally, when you are ready to grow your hair out again, you get the added benefit of trying out different hairstyles at different lengths. Once you get a couple of inches, you can get it trimmed into a cute pixie, then a bob, a layered shoulder length hair-do and so on. It’s really a lot of fun growing your hair out. Even during those awkward lengths you can play with different styles!

9. It Feels Awesome!

And of course, buzzed heads just feel really cool! I mean literally feel, with your hands, as in touch. After you shave your head you’ll want to rub it all the time!

It’s been a long time since I’ve shaved my head. Now I’m on a new hair adventure and for the first time in years I’ve actually grown my hair long. It’s now down my back. But I’ll always daydream of those blissful days when I had no hair and it was fucking awesome! (Sorry, but using the f bomb was the only way to describe that effectively.)

Have you ever shaved your head fully or partially? What did you like best about it?

Peace,
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3 Major Confidence Boosters

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I’m one month shy of graduating from my journalism program and I’ve already started that scary, but very exciting, process of applying for jobs. I’ve even had two interviews.

But here’s the thing: it’s damn near impossible to land a job if you’re not portraying confidence.

Luckily, confidence is a mindset and it’s one you can improve.

Since so many of us are in developing stages of life: we’re finishing up a term at school and excited for the next one, or we’re graduating and looking for that entry-level job for our dream career, or maybe we’ve started a business or are expanding an already existing one. Basically, in life there’s always something happening that requires a wicked sense of confidence.

But how you do gain that confidence to take the next step?

I’ll be honest with you, I suck at showing confidence. I tremble, my hands sweat, I talk too quiet and I have a difficult time showing a more bubbly personality when I’m put on the spot. So I get it! It can be hard. Even the most confident people still fumble, but with enough practice anybody can walk into a room with a confident stride, a firm handshake and their chin held high.

1. Dress to impress (yourself!):

A huge part of feeling confident is looking confident. You know, fake it ’til you make it!

But, before you do anything else make sure you’re clean: shower, brush your teeth, wear deodorant. The last thing you want to do is start fretting about whether or not your breath smells or your pits stink.

Then, pick out a killer outfit starting with your undergarments. It’s amazing how powerful a nice pair of matching underwear and bra can make a woman feel. Continue your outfit right down to the perfect accessories. The key though, is to wear what makes you feel invincible. If leopard print makes you feel like a diva, wear it! If wearing the colour pink makes you happy, wear it! Whatever makes you feel fabulous, wear that!

2. Strut your stuff:

Confidence shines through your body language.

If you’re walking about all hunched over, arms crossed and looking downwards people can tell that you’re uncomfortable (this is my go-to thing whenever passing salespeople).

But, if you walk into a room with your head held high, your posture is good, with one hand on your hip, and of course a BIG SMILE then people are going to notice how brilliant you are.

Speaking of superheroes, before you have to do a presentation, an interview or a meeting, take a moment to stand in a superhero pose with your hands on your hips, legs widened and your head held high! Then, throw your arms up straight into the air as if accepting an ovation! This pose is known as a power pose and will give you a major confidence boost.

3. Visualize:

Visualization is a great way to achieve your goals, and it’s also a great way to achieve confidence.

The next time you have to do something that feels scary and you’re not sure if you can do it, visualize yourself doing it well! I do this every time I have to conduct an interview for an article, because interviewing people still makes me nervous. When I take the time to visualize my interviews going extremely well it pumps me up for the actual thing.

So, when you need a confidence boost, close your eyes, take deep breaths and daydream it going swimmingly.

Practice!

Like everything in life, the only way you’re going to get better is to practice because confidence is something you can learn.

What are some things you do to boost your confidence?

Peace,
Cole

Unique Wedding Style

*This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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When I think of spring I think of flowers blooming, the smell of rain, pastel coloured bunnies and of course, weddings.

A lot of people I know choose to get married in the late spring because of the gorgeous weather; it’s not too hot and not too cold.

In fact, two of my best friends are getting married this year and they have asked me to be one of their bridesmaids. I haven’t been in a wedding party since I was a little girl, dolled up in a matching burgundy dress with poofs and pleats and an up-do that made me feel like a 1990’s prom queen! But the truth is, most bridesmaids have been known to get a little weird about the dresses they’re forced to wear.

Luckily for me, my friends are very non-traditional and have decided that each of their bridesmaids get to pick their own dresses as long as they’re emerald in colour.

Modcloth’s Wedding Style has beautiful dresses and accessories that could work as gorgeous and affordable bridesmaid dresses, or even add some serious style as a guest!

This dress could easily pass for vintage in it’s shape and style. I love that it comes in a wide range of sizes and will exemplify my curves rather than hide them. And because I can never do anything too simple I’d pair it with these shoes and this hair pin!

 

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1.Tough Entre’acte to Follow Dress in Emerald / 2. Fantasy What I Mean? Hair Pin / 3.Just Add Fab Heel in Jet

How about you? Do you have any weddings to attend this year? What would you wear from the ModCloth Wedding Style collection?

Use #marriedinmodcloth to share your gorgeous ensemble with the ModCloth community!

Peace,
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