Saturday, 31 March 2018

Do we ever get the life we thought we would?

When I was younger, I fervently hoped that my life would look like one of those fun beer commercials. You know the one: a bunch of impossibly beautiful people are piled up in a SUV, top down, laughing and singing along to the radio, driving to the beach. Once there, they run attractively in slow motion to the water, dancing and laughing and having the time of their lives. They keep dancing, swigging from their beer bottles. Then, night falls. Couples find each other, and cuddle up in hammocks, gazing up at the stars. Or, my personal favourite: they all go to a beach house, where they stretch out on pillows and blankets on the floor, watching a movie together.  
I imagine them all living together, as a happy, slightly dysfunctional family (but charming dysfunctional, not devastating dysfunctional), cooking together, going on road trips together, being young and wild and carefree.

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Vanilla with a dash of spice

I used to be the girl who was afraid to stand out. Who thought that being different was about the worst thing that could happen to a person.

I used to be the girl who wanted to blend in. I didn't want to be invisible, oh no; I wanted to be like everyone else, indistinguishable from the people around me.

I used to be the girl who thought that being universally liked was a goal to strive for. Even though people tried to convince me that that was impossible, I was sure that I could do it, if I just tried hard enough.
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Sunday, 25 March 2018

Good news all around

It's Sunday afternoon, and we've just spent an hour moving massive, 600-lb hay bales around. Before that, I loaded up the pick-up truck with garbage for a dump run. Not having a garbage pick-up at our place is one of those things that other people might find inconvenient, but that I find quaint. It's so rustic! So rural! For a declutter-enthusiast, it's a cathartic and cleansing ritual, and the frugal part in me rubs her hands with glee every time I remember that I used to pay $30/month for garbage pick-up, and now I pay maybe $5. It's the little things, guys, it's all about the little things. 

In other news, the snow is almost gone! (The above picture is from last weekend.) We are in this barren, in-between state where spring hasn't quite sprung yet, the white is all gone, and nature is mostly brown and a bit desolate looking; but I fricking LOVE it. It's so easy to walk again! No sinking into knee-deep snow drifts, no risking limb and life on treacherous ice, no being exhausted after 5 minutes because every step is hard work. Life is easy again! 

I spent the last few days with my new best friends Bobby, Kamaro, Antoni, Jonathan and Tan, aka "The Fab Five" from Queer Eye, aka the best feel-good-show on Netflix right now. It's such a beautiful, heart-warming, positive show, even if you have sworn off reality TV like I did (or thought I did), you have to watch it. Have to. It's non-negotiable. 

Not only are they kind, funny, supportive and stylish as hell, but they are all about being kind to yourself and making the best of what you have. They make over more than just the men's wardrobe, house, food and styling regimen - they help them find their confidence, value and worthiness. From what I've read, everybody who has watched them feels the same way I do, which just proves once again: kindness is badass. Helping others find themselves is worthwhile. And being well-dressed and taking care of yourself has nothing to do with being vain, and everything to do with feeling good. We can only do good if we feel good, and that's why it's so important to put our own well-being on top of the list. 
These guys are good for your soul, for your self-esteem, and for your sense of style - so please, go ahead and watch them! I guarantee that you won't regret it.  

The other super-exciting news is that my sister is coming to visit us this June! We've done a few sister trips over the last few years (we've been to London a few years back, and went to Paris last year), and we had discussed going to Barcelona this year. However, it didn't feel right, and when I asked her if she would like to come here instead and be my first guest in my she shed, she said yes. I'm thrilled!!! We have planned some ATVing, horseback-riding, boating, a couple city trips, a huge party (Rich's birthday happens while she's here), and just lots and lots of sister time. 💓 

Last good news:
We have a release date for my book!!! Get out your calendars, babes, and mark down June 5.
That's when my memoir Let's Pretend This Is Normal is finally coming out!!!!!!

For now, you can pre-order my book here
But if you want to wait a little bit longer, I will have an exclusive, limited event right here, where I will sell a few of my signed books, with a little surprise, for a special price!
Stay tuned for more ~soon~!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a kick-ass week babes!

xoxo Miriam

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

5 Years of Blogging



On March 15th was this blog's 5th birthday! 🎉 Anyone who knows me knows that there are few things I love more than recaps. Looking back at the previous year, be it around a birthday or New Year's, is something I enjoy thoroughly. How else can you appreciate everything that's been happening in your life? Taking the time to reflect and practice gratitude are the best ways to realize how good we have it.

When I think back to 5 years ago, it's crazy how much has changed. On the outside, I had a few big changes: selling our house and moving to our dream place; quitting my job without having a new one lined upgrowing my hair out (and pondering to go grey); getting serious about writing; Rich getting Lyme Disease.
But I think the bigger changes are the ones that happened internally. I learnt that it's okay to cut toxic people out of your life; that nobody has life figured out, we're all just pretending we do; that everybody carries around their own baggage, invisible to others, but at times so heavy for us that we are in danger of collapsing under it. I learnt that being kind to yourself and others, of laughing at life's unpredictable jokes, and of enjoying the good with reckless abandon are the best way to live.

For you left-brainers out there, here are a few numbers:
907 published blog posts
2,535 followers
over 738,000 page views  (that's more than double from last year, meaning I got more page views in the past year than in the first 4 years combined!)
Most popular post of the last 12 months: Thankful (893 page views)

I do a recap every year, here are the ones for year 432, and 1.
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Friday, 16 March 2018

Why it's okay to fall apart

I think I'm having PTLD: post-traumatic Lyme disorder. Now that Rich is getting stronger and doesn't need my help as much anymore, I'm falling apart. I can keep it together at work, but as soon as I'm home, all I want to do is eat chocolate and watch one Grey's Anatomy episode after another. 
I have no energy, I could sleep all day long, and I'm permanently exhausted. 
Since I'm a healthcare professional (ha!), I have diagnosed myself: not only do I have PTLD, but I'm also currently in the 4th stage of grief/loss: depression. 

You've probably heard of the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. 
It occurred to me that while I haven't lost anyone (thank you, thank you, thank you!), Rich and I both went through a traumatic event. 
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Let's Pretend This Wait Is NOT Driving Me Crazy...


... even though that would be a lie. I'm dying a thousand little deaths over here, people. 

Do you remember how I used to go on and on about how I wanted to write a book? First, I was talking about it for quite some time. (Years, people. It was years.)
Then I felt the overwhelming need to explain the reasons why.
Then I talked about it some more. What can I say? We writers are angsty people, and writing about our problems is how we deal with life.

But then the amazing thing happened: I actually finished it!!
And then I found a way to publish it!!
Everything was on track and going awesome.
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Friday, 9 March 2018

5 reasons why I love my small town



Rich and I have been living in our new town for 15 months now, and we love it more than ever. A lot of the time it feels like living in a soap opera, and what's wrong with that? It's endlessly entertaining, and I get a kick out of the many little intrigues and dramas that are happening around us. While I'm sure I only see the tip of the iceberg of everything that's going on, that's more than enough to give me plenty of reasons to adore this sweet town.  
I mean, just look at what's going on here:

1. We have Dancing Mask Man
We have a mystery dancing man in town, and everybody is talking about it. He sets up his boom box in different parts of town, and dances. Because he's wearing a mask, it's slightly pretty creepy, but he seems harmless, and he sure managed to spark curiosity and conversation around here. Who is he? Why is he doing it? Is he sending a message?
So far it's unclear why he is doing it, which only increases the mystery. People are scratching their heads, and I love it!
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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mornings


My morning started with spilled coffee and Nutella on my car seat.
And on my coat.
And on my hands.
And on my face.
Nutella everywhere!
Not an ideal way to start the day – but then again, there are worse ways.

It also started with a kickass sunrise.
And -11 degrees.
A dog licking my hands.
And another one puking up the plastic he pulled out of the garbage yesterday.

It started with a 6am-phone call about how noisy the geese are. (It’s mating season, they are hella loud). Rich conceded to sell a few! #downsizingonebirdatatime
It also started with making plans with our friends to meet up later today after their 5-week vacay.

It started with a hot shower in the dark (dark showers are wonderful – try it!).
And with the good soreness after a stretchy yoga session the day before.
It started with being recognized by a man I never met before (small towns, what can I say).
And with the appreciation, once again, of how much I love where I am.


This morning, with the chocolate and dark shower and sunrise and 6am-phone call and puking dog and licking dog and being greeted by name by strangers and making plans with new friends – this morning was wonderful. Messy, imperfect, and wonderful. Just like life.


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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Best (and worst) of February

February was an odd month. For the shortest month of the year, it sure felt long. Like January, it was filled with snow and ice, which is not surprising for winter in Canada, but it sure gets old after a while.

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights:
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