Let’s Celebrate

It’s about time I did a Happily Now post. There has certainly been no shortage of reasons to be happy. In particular I want to talk about Friday, October 4th. This day in general will forever be one of my absolute favourite days as it is my husbands birthday!

This birthday was particularly special as it was the first birthday we got to spend together for him. The previous year distance separated us. However, this year not only were we close in proximity which was amazing BUT it was a milestone year for him.

Clearly, I couldn’t let this day pass by without doing my part to make it as memorable as possible, and to be honest planning his birthday was BEYOND fun! I started a month and a half before the big day and it was well worth it!

You gotta love Pinterest, this is the site where I found the idea that sparked and ignited my own interpretation of a gift… or rather gifts.

Allow me to share the end result with you in case you are looking for birthday gift ideas for someone special in your life. May I say, for the record that giving brings unimaginable joy and I am not referring to expensive gifts, rather, thoughtful gifts. The type of joy I felt on his birthday was priceless. Throughout his entire day I felt full to the brim with love and joy as I watched his sincere excitement throughout the day.

So the gifts…. I am not sure if you’ve ever come across the idea of 12 gifts for 12 hours. Each hour for 12 hours from when they wake up to the evening when they are ready to go to bed essentially. What makes it more special is that you open the gift on the minute that they are turning in age. For example my husband turned 35, so we opened his gifts at 9:35 am, 10:35 am 11:35 am and so forth for a solid 12 hrs. This is the idea the pinterest gave me and I ran with it and added my own touch.

My own touch:

For each gift I wrote a clue as to what might be wrapped. Something unique and fun. For example, one of his gifts was a car flag to hang from the rear view mirror, this particular flag is special because it is the flag of his home country Zimbabwe. Generally a Nicaraguan flag has hung in our car, because that country represents a part of my heritage and the car we drive was mine prior to marriage. Thus the flag remained the same when the car became ours jointly. So my clue was as follows “Time to change things up…. REPRESENT!”, not a clue that one can guess the answer to right away BUT as soon as he opened the gift it made sense and we had a good laugh over it.

Another gift was a touque for his favourite soccer/football club; Liverpool. The clue attached to this gift was, “I never met such a committed man”. My husband will literally wake up at 4 am to watch a game. Commitment my friends – that is some serious commitment.

Essentially, the clues went a long with each gift. The gifts varied in prices from a package of $2.50 shotbloks, to a deck of cards with 52 reasons why I love him, a photo album filled with pictures from our past year together, a bag of his favourite chips (that I introduced him to when we started dating) up to a nice pair of Nike trainers. The fiscal value of the gift does not matter, what matters is the thought behind the gift and ideally being as creative as possible.

He opened his birthday card at 9:35ish with his first gift to kick off the day. I made us a glorious batch of pancakes to enjoy. Let’s just say we are definently pancake people. Waffles are lovely, BUT pancakes are life.

We both took the day off, which helped with the fact that I had wanted to record him opening his gifts. He had no idea there would be a gift for each hour, so the fact he had the day off was perfect.

I gratefully recorded each hour when he opened his gifts and at the end of the day made a movie compilation. I love making movie compilations so that we have it to look back on and share with family who couldn’t be with us. I’ve always wanted a reason to use my video camera and I can definitely say that since my husband entered my life it has been used LOTS. Side note: That was another gift for him – a movie compilation from the beginning of our relationship.

For his cake I baked him a cheesecake. A Reese’s Pieces peanutbutter and chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust. It was my first time baking a cheesecake BUT I think it was a major success. My husband loves cheesecake, peanutbutter and reese’s pieces chocolate. Thus the cake was inspired and brought to life for those reasons.

It was a memorable day in my books, and I’m pretty confident my husband felt loved at the end of it all which is all that matters. 1 gift or 12 gifts I know he would have been happy, I just l wanted to make it EXTRA special, which is fitting because I’m sure if you follow my blog you can tell I’m a little EXTRA as is.

Definitely a win in my books; I would highly reccomend this gift idea for your loved ones birthday if you are looking to shake things up. And if you can, I would favour doing the clues as well, a little extra work BUT it is so fun to listen to the guesses and see the reactions as the open the gifts.

Not my usual day to post, but I wanted to share this part of my life because my husband and marriage bring me happiness. There was a time where I thought being in a healthy, happy relationship wasnt attainable. It was a fairy tale – fictional. But my friends, my relationship is real and it is the happiest story I’ve ever encountered. I’ll probably right another post about my first year of marriage because the big 1 year anniversary is on the 13th of this month! Crazy!

I think I’ll try to still keep to a Friday post this week if I can manage, Friday will be the day of my 28th birthday – so we shall see if I can find the time.

If not, it has been a blast being 27!

– Steph

2 Out Of 10

So I had a completely different post ready for today, alas this post came to my mind last night and was written this morning and I’m using it instead.

I have been in a bit of a weird mood lately and I think that has magnified some body issues that I have. It’s no secret I’ve battled with my weight especially since being medicated BUT as I mentioned in a previous post I’ve joined weight watchers and I am down 16 lbs which is huge win because I haven’t been able to drop anything after the 10lbs I lost on my own. You would think I’d be happy with this. Believe me – I am, but I know there is still 10-15lbs to go, thus I am not thrilled with where I am at. It’s not only that. I realized this past month or so that I’ve been killing myself with self talk in the worst way.

Self talk is some thing I’ve blogged about on many occasions and I firmly believe it can make a huge impact on your life. After my engagement photos I ripped my appearance apart. I cried when I saw the photos and I’m not sure if I’ve completely recovered. I’ve never wanted to get cosmetic surgery BUT after that photo shoot the idea crossed my mind on numerous occasions, I even looked into clinics in my city. Furthermore, one of my best friends just a had a minor procedure done. I’m never going to encourage someone to alter their appearance (she is gorgeous without it) BUT it made me want to do it myself.

I look thru social media on the daily and I think that’s also been messing with me. What’s real? What’s fake? What’s photoshopped? Whats not? It’s mind blowing the types of apps they have that alter your appearance. And the types of procedures available to get the “perfect look”.

I feel naive to be buying into the glam that some of these people have but I look at them and I look at myself and I’m like wow maybe I’m a 2 out of a 10. Maybe I’m not, but I’ve been talking to myself like I am.

I used to consider myself someone who was dressed on point, makeup and hair was on point and now – I rarely do my hair in a style, my make up is sub-par and my clothes remind me of a librarian. I think the fact I hate my sense of style is affecting my mood. Heck. I don’t even think I can say I have a style at this point.

To a degree I feel like I’ve lost part of my identity and maybe that’s why I’m so upset. I used to feel so inspired when I put together a look and now I drag my feet because I’m not happy with any of the outcomes. So then I think I’ll look online to find inspiration and BAM it makes me feel like I’m a 2 out of 10 again.

The more medicated I’ve become the less creative flaire I’ve had in so many aspects if my life. I’m calling myself out on it BECAUSE I want it to change. I want to be the girl up till 2 am designing and sewing because fashion was my life. I haven’t sewn in the past 3 years or sketched. Nada. When I go to design I draw a blank. I have no sense of style to build on. I feel like I’ve lost it all.

To add to it…. it’s not to blame but within my religion it’s encouraged to adhere to certain modesty standards and because I want my actions to reflect my faith I adhere to these standards (I haven’t always when I was younger) this makes certain styles and things that I’m drawn towards unacceptable. This is super frustrating and something I’ve struggled with. Like I said I haven’t always adhered to the standards and that’s probably when I liked my style the most as sad as it is to say. Right now I feel so bland. I feel like my selection is limited and consists of the same silhouettes which are boring in my eyes right now – maybe they won’t always be. Maybe it’s my mentality that is preventing me from seeing the style within my limits but I just feel stuck.

I feel like I have a mental block and it’s been there for a while and I’ve been putting it off, telling myself it’s not a big deal or it will sort itself out on its own. It hasn’t. And I’m unhappy with where I am.

At this point I feel like I’ve been a let down for my fiance. He loves me and tells me how beautiful I am BUT he has rarely seen me look completely put together. I think now that I am getting married and in this relationship there is a part of me that is saying “step up your game you have so much more to offer!” I’ve been so numb to expressing myself out side of this blog and writing and even then sometimes I struggle to post because I feel like I have nothing to say.

I feel like I don’t even know where to begin to pull myself out of this bleak hole. I just want to feel creative and comfortable with how I look again. I love me. I love myself. But my agonizing criticism isn’t reflecting that.

It’s important to have an identity with your appearance, and I think that’s why I’m so upset. I feel like I have no identity. I feel so uninspired.

I honestly just don’t even know.

I wish I had some positive outlook to express in this post but I’ve got NIL.

I think I’ll challenge myself to say one positive thing about myself for the rest of the month. I need to get a grip on my self talk and show myself a little more love. Right now my self talk isn’t cutting it. I know it’s a problem that if I don’t face will do damage and potentially ruin all the work I’ve done to have a happy loving relationship with myself. That’s a break up I don’t want.

I always encourage self love and I think that’s why I wanted to make this post. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and this is my journey, I am human and sometimes I fall off the wagon – which I have, and I am presently working to get back on it.

I don’t know my friends.

I guess chin up. I know I’ll come out on the other side. I’ll find my groove I’ll work on my creativity as silly as that sounds. Hopefully sooner than later. I’ll find some inspiration and I’m sure before I know I’ll feel like I can strut down a runway…. or not BUT it’s a nice idea.

I’m sorry if this post seems all over. I’m having a hard time keeping up with everything I’m thinking and I don’t know if it’s translating into a post that makes sense.

I have some serious work to do.

– Steph