Goal setting for 2019

“Staying the same has now officially become more painful than the actual act of changing:  I am proud to say I have exhausted my options as a loser. “

First of all, I thank God to have made it this far, almost the end of the year. I know I do sound like I am receiving an Oscar but getting to the end of 2018 truly does feel like receiving an Oscar indeed! Actually every day above ground deserves an Oscar:).

I am so excited for 2019, I started compiling a list of things I’d like to be more intentional about.

I know what you’re thinking: It’s not 2019 yet. I know but I just want to start taking a look at what I want to better for the coming year as 2018 draw to a close.

Year 2019: Theme

The theme of the year is ACTION, PROGRESS and TEAM WORK. I know what you’re thinking: My baby is all grown up now (insert tears emoji).

In 2019, I will move in pack. There’s power. Nobody gets left behind!

“Most of the times we plan with the higher self in mind and forget about our lower self-sabotaging self. We have a plan to do but we have no plan for when we refuse to do even after we swear we would do.”

Writing group

The older I get the more I realize the power of accountability, so many things we did growing up we simply owe to our parents being on our back 24/7 double checking on us. There is power in having someone to report to. Someone to makes us do what we want to do.

Barbara Sher said it best: “Isolation is a killer of dream”. Nothing can motivate you more than a group of people who are bent on making it and who refuse to give up on you. I’d like to build a network of people who writes and are even more serious with their writings as I am with mine. There’s a lot of motivation to be had in such groups. There truly is power in numbers. It keeps you motivated, focused and accountable.

Among things that are on my radar: QWF (Quebec writer’s federation) shut up and write sessions. These are intense writing sessions where writers of different levels and at different stages meet and write. I also want to set up other writing sessions with writer friends.which means I need more writer friends.

Progress tracking

I’d like to start tracking my actions/progress. A lot of time I get discouraged thinking I haven’t made any progress at all or very little because I have no record of my progress or actions. I want to change that, I want to be able to have a clear view of what I have accomplished as the year unfolds.

Accountability

Who’s going to make sure I do what I said I am going to do?

Most of the times we plan with the higher self in mind and forget about our lower self-sabotaging self. We have a plan to do but we have no plan for when we refuse to do even after we swear we would do. I suppose that’s what societies have laws : to make sure their citizens do what they swear they’re going to do.

Why am I doing all this? Why all this motivation all of a sudden? What has changed? Don’t get me wrong, changing is still very much painful. It is just that staying the same has now officially become more painful than the actual act of changing. I also feel like I have exhausted my options as a loser. I honestly didn’t think it was possible but yet, here we are. Looking back you’d think I was trying to earn an Oscar. Also I feel like my belief as a writer has somehow solidified a bit more. One thing for sure :I want to do. I want concrete and tangible progress.

Next week I am planning on going into more details wit h tools and other bits of planning I want to add to my arsenal. Gros bisoux and thank you for passing by:)

What makes for a satisfied and memorable meal: Writing about food using all your senses.

I recently signed up for a food writing class and it’s been a blast! Lately I’ve been trying to spice up my writing and attack the whole process from a different angle which is why I’ve specifically signed up for the class. Here is an excerpt of the class introduction on the QWF (Quebec writer’s federation) site:

“But it isn’t just what’s on our plates that we write about when we write about food. As the famous American food writer M.F.K. Fisher once wrote: “It seems to me our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it… and it is all one.” 

As a first  generation immigrant, food is a way for me to carry a bit of my culture’s ADN with me wherever  I go and being able to hopefully pass some of it down to my children some day. I am Haitian and the surest way to kill me is to prevent me from eating rice or all sort of grain for that matter. You do that and you’ll have my death on your conscience :). I was raised on grains, healthy grains that is. I have been eating that stuff since I was a baby! In fact, in Haiti, we don’t really have food specifically dedicated to babies, except for the occasional Gerber baby pot which is not used that often. Our version of baby food is usually a mash version of adult food except that it’s packed with a lot more food designed to fortify and nourish like spinach, carrots, bananas, beans, plantains, etc.,. All of this is introduced as soon as the doctor allows solid food.

“Food is not just about fuel and sustenance. It’s about people and places and the history behind those people and places. It’s about a mood, a specific time and place coupled with a specific emotion…”

Throughout the class, one question that keeps coming up time and time again is: What makes for a happy, satisfied and memorable meal? Is it the people we share it with? the emotions and memories it evokes long after the experience is gone? Is it a specific time and place? I am inclined to think it is all of the above.  Food can carry so much memories, so much meaning fueled with faces and places and emotions. In class, we are encouraged to use all of our senses when writing a piece of food review.

Our third class was about food photography. For this class, our teacher prepared a tray full of all kinds of sins worthy of a game of throne gathering. Here is a pic below. It is not one of my best because we were pressed for time and my phone was dying:

Mood: “A lazy Friday night in with sex on the menu and possibly a few episodes of Game of thrones…”

Taste: “This bread right here tasted like the first day of Spring after a long harsh winter…” and yes I am on a low-carb diet 🙂

I came to this class to better my writing and instead it’s been like a trip down memory lane and a reminder of my roots. Our exchange in class makes me realize food is one of the few small pleasures we can all enjoy to some degree. A way to make life more full and happy. Since starting the class, I try to be more appreciative of what I eat and enjoy it a bit more more and not rush it. I am also happy to report writing scenes demanding a  great deal of description  in my novel has gotten a lot better and easier. I now feel like I have the right tools to progress in the right direction.

Thank you for passing by and don’t forget to comment, like or share this article. Gros bisoux!

 

 

 

What returning to work feels like after one week of vacay

“It literally felt like drinking cod liver oil on an empty stomach.”

Before you ask yourself what all the drama is about, I urge you to remember that being a Libra, I am the queen of drama :). Give me five minute by a window and a good cup of tea and I can convince myself I am the queen of England.

Today I returned to work after a sweet, sweet, week off. It literally felt like drinking cod liver oil on an empty stomach. I was starting to enjoy having full 24-hour days all to myself. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the people I work  with and my work too, to some extent, because I am extremely good at it but it was hard. I felt like I was just starting to relax a little and then it was all over 🙂

But then once I got there and got to mingle with my co-workers once again, it felt like home. I realized these are really nice people and it felt good to get back in the swings of things.

So to cheer myself up, I decided to do my favorite version of a happy color combination with a red turtleneck and big thick hoops in a bright metal.

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I wish I had a couple of good pics of the whole outfit but dear husband was starting to show teeth and gums (read not happy) after the 15th :”Let’s try this again, honey”. Mind you, it was after a long day at home nursing the beginning of a cold. I know what you’re thinking: “Asking a sick man to snap pics of you, how cruel!” I must admit my higher self was cringing but my vain lower self got the best of me. I have a shoot scheduled in the beginning of November so all is well. I am also thinking of setting up a home studio to start practicing my photography skills. We’ll see!

All in all, I am happy to have a job to return to. I just wish I could write this with more conviction though 🙂

Thank you for passing by. 🙂 Don”t forget to like, comment or share any writing piece on this space to your heart’s content :). Have a wonderful week my lovely friends:)

It is my birthday week!!!!!

“When life hands you a lemon, don’t make lemonades, find good lighting and take a selfie!”

The day I took these selfies, I went for some vaccine and receive quite a bit of disappointing news. I was discouraged. While I was sitting in the health clinic waiting room I noticed my particular corner was literally flooded with the most amazing light. I felt like I was sitting under the glow of a 1,000 candle lights. My vain little self immediately took over and before I knew it I was pouting and posing as if my life depended on it. At some point I even stood up trying to get a better angle of my accessories. The poor man sitting across from me looked very worried. He was probably asking himself if he should call out one of the nurses 🙂

I thank God everyday for my vain self!

Last year I turned 40 . I felt like a bitten human being turning into a vampire for the first time. This October I turned 41. Forty-one. Can’t believe I am already 41! Of course, I look nothing like it people, let it be said and pondered and remembered 🙂  I have no words of wisdom except “Do what works for you and stay pretty”.

“We are all going to age no matter how many collagen masks we do.”

 I am grateful. Yes I am! No matter how many times I have ranted about the fact that I am getting older. Now more than ever I do realize lots of people would have liked to be alive today celebrating another milestone. But they are not because life decided otherwise. Still, sometimes ungratefulness kicks in and I forget all about it 🙂

Celebrating my birthday also means that Fall is here to stay. Yes to hot drinks and Netflix marathon with my main squeeze (only squeeze, really)! And most importantly: Christmas is around the corner so I can start listening to Christmas music 🙂

Thank you for passing by 🙂

 

 

 

 

Timeless Summer outfit: The Not your everyday white tee

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“This ensemble screams boss lady who can’t seem to switch off even for a Saturday brunch with friends”

Can you tell I refuse to let go of Summer? Fall has settled in quietly but surely here in Montreal but yet here I am parading in a simple tee and long skirt. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall, it’s just that I like to get a full Summer before I get to enjoy Fall. Summer was so shy here: Some days it’s nice, some days it’s raining and some days it’s windy (insert “why me” emoji here). Anyways as a proper goodbye to Summer, I thought I’d do a last timeless basic kind of outfit post.

I can’t live without tees especially white ones. The trick not to get bored is to focus on small details. I especially like the shoe-like lacing at the front of this one.

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Tees are for every season: you can wear them in Summer, Fall and even Winter under a nice biker or denim jacket and some denim bottom or layered over a thin turtleneck. The thing is to pick them in various sizes and in materials of various degree of thickness and warmth depending on what you’re planning on wearing them with. I usually get my size plus a larger one that I can wear over a thin turtle neck for Fall and Winter.

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So that’s it for today, dear friends! Thank you so much for passing by and if you enjoy this post, feel free to like, comment and subscribe. Gros bisoux and talk next week 🙂

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Bisous ! 

 

LOOKING UGLY IN PHOTOS: THE CAMERA DOESN’T JUST ADD 10 POUNDS

This week in first-world problems: The camera adds 10 pounds…

“…The camera is like that bitch of a friend who’s always the first one to tell you you’ve gained weight and the last one to wish you a happy birthday…”

Picture this: It is Saturday morning and I am meeting with my photographer in 2 hours which leaves me with about one hour tops to get ready. But no matter how in a hurry I am, I somehow always have time for a quick 5 minutes dance session (insert John Travolta emoji here) followed by a quick 2 minutes face check (to make sure I haven’t morphed into Cinderella’s famously ugly stepsisters overnight). By the time I am done with these two “essential” activities I have already lost a good 15 minutes which puts me into overdrive for the remaining 45 minutes. Fast forward an hour later and I am miraculously done, with perfect make up and outfits for photo shoot in tow. Now comes the most important step in my entire morning routine: The mirror checks.

 

“…In my case, the camera usually doubles my butt, triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size….”

First thing first, the bathroom mirror check and the verdict is: “Hello beautiful”. Second, my hand mirror, the verdict is still the same : “Hello beautiful”. Walk to the bus stop and take a selfie (I obviously take this very seriously), verdict is even better: “spectacular”.   I then arrive at said photo shoot location late but with a glow that not even the best filter can match and get compliments from hot buff guy in construction uniform (go ahead and use your unbridled imagination here). At this point, my ego is abundantly flowing through my veins like the Nile river. That day I went home looking smug and proud as if just named most beautiful woman on earth by Vogue. Fast forward two weeks later. Receive photos and the verdict is: 80 % of pics? “Mildly good looking with a risk of ugly”. 20% of pics? “spectacular”.

They say the camera adds 10 pounds but that is not completely accurate. I think the camera doesn’t just add 10 pounds, it adds 10 pounds of bad fat and remove 10 pounds of good fat. In my case the camera usually doubles my butt (was born with a perfect butt so don’t need that), triples my belly, adds a double chin and remove a breast size (throws outraged fist in the air). Now I don’t mean to sound vain but I think I was created perfect but somehow the camera doesn’t seem to pick up on that.

“when in doubt always chose to be beautiful.”

But once again, since I am an ageing and vain little person, I decided to focus on the 20% and ignore the 80% and retire forever into the very comfortable and happy world of denial. Being vain saves lives, I tell you!

Thank you for passing by and don’t forget to subscribe, like, comment or share this article and most of all I would love to hear your take on this “very serious matter” 🙂

Gros bisous!

Hairdresser from hell made me look like a baby dinosaur

I remember it like it was yesterday when I call to book that hair appointment. I had been thinking about a drastic haircut for a while now. This time I had told myself I wanted to look completely different. A real departure from my usual self. I wanted to feel elevated and posh (Insert pink champagne emoji here). It just happened I used to pass by a certain hair salon all the time on my way to work. To be truthful it looked a bit posh with people coming out of there looking like retired models. I guess I was hoping some of that chic vibe would rub on me. Go figure…

“I could already see myself walking out of there finally looking like my higher self: long, lean, with hair that could double up as a parachute if needs be (I never seem to have enough volume)……..”

 When I called to make the appointment, the clerk made it a point to let me know that the person who does my type of hair is part owner of the salon and does mostly photo shoots and big projects with the likes of artists and such. In other words, I should feel grateful he even accepted to touch my mere mortal head (at this point I am feeling rather emotional and grateful). Fast forward a few days later and I am sitting at the salon waiting for the haircut of my life. First of all, the assistant who shampooed my hair acted like my scalp was made of broken  glass. Although I like a bit of a scrub, I refrained from mentioning it for fear of sounding like I usually get my hair washed by Shrek. After the shampoo she announced the “coiffeur” won”t be long. After her departure, I sat there conscious my life was about to change forever, a historical moment so to speak. Well, my life was about to change all right. 

 “I came in looking like a law abiding citizen and came out looking like a baby dinosaur who just survived a hurricane”

 Finally, the headmaster deigned to gratify my mere mortal broke self of his presence. He looked rather annoyed, like a true artist who’s forced to earn a living while waiting for ‘his art’ to sustain him. I suppose I was not his type of clientele. Nevertheless, he “sucked it up” and got to work. When I tried to show him a few pics I had brought, he silenced me with with a raised eyebrow. I felt as intimidated as if I had interrupted a famous painter. When he finally finished what he probably thought was his “work of art “, he let out a big sigh.  Then and only then did I dare look in the mirror. Shocking. I no longer looked like I belonged in the human species. In fact, I looked like a baby dinosaur who just survived a hurricane.

I was so shocked I didn’t say anything for a good little while. He was beaming. I had become “his creation”. I briefly thought about crying but realized with such a haircut, I would probably look even worse (read: deranged baby dinosaur). I ran my fingers through the few strands of hair I had left and mustered enough courage to ask him how he thought I should style it. His answer: “Just let it do its thing”. My answer: “Ah, I see..”. I had expressed interest in a set of comb upon my arrival, he graciously gifted it to me. He might have realized I was this close to commit murder. Confused, I said thank you and rushed home where I spent the rest of the evening alternating between moments of staring at myself in the mirror trying to look like a cute baby dinosaur  and moments of intense cursing out loud.  

My advice: If you’re not used to the hairdresser and you’re going for a drastic cut, go progressively. This way if the first haircut doesn’t work out you can at least leave your house. Second: Ask to see their work (Obvious, right? Well, apparently not cause I didn’t do any such things…) Did I mention I was a sucker for eccentric and weird human beings? Well, now you know.  I suppose that’s what you get when you have a penchant for incompetent people masquerading as eccentric artists…

What about you lovely readers? I’ d love to hear your own experience…

Thank you very much for liking, commenting and sharing this article and gros bisoux:)