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Last night I was sitting in my living room with the blinds closed when I realized there was a bright pink light peeking through them. My thoughts went from “Oh no there must be some emergency and the fire trucks showed up in the neighbourhood!” to “Oh my gosh that is the sunset and I am missing it!” I will never get tired of prairie sunsets. I watch in full on jaw-dropping glory every time I witness one. Last week one of my friends was driving us around the city and I kept zoning out of the conversation as I swiveled around like a bobblehead figurine. I finally had to explain to her that these sunsets are not normal. Manitobans – or maybe us prairie Canadians in general – are very lucky people.

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I really thought I would miss the mountains more and sometimes I do. When I was back in BC this winter I felt right at home flying over the forests, mountain ranges and Pacific coast. But the wide open space and the endless sky puts me in my place. It reminds me of how small we are in this world, but also how limitless it is for us to explore. I will never get tired of this nightly miracle, I am so glad it is that time of year again when I can sit in my apartment and watch the sky become a rainbow.

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What outdoor scene in your city takes your breath away? 

 

Happy almost weekend! I walked to work for the first time ever this morning and it felt so good. Only took me 30 minutes (I just can’t stop gushing about how much I love where I live!) so I would like to try walk a minimum of twice a week in these summer months. Our summer events require the most driving around town to pick up prizes and equipment so my car is necessary, but on the days it is not I will take advantage of my close location. I suppose the +40 humidex days will just have to be an adventure.

I am looking forward to stopping on the way home at a waterfront restaurant for drinks and girl talk! Perfect way to kick off the weekend. Then some family time tomorrow and a “fancy party” (actual name!) in the evening. Any excuse to get dressed up is a good time for me. And work on Sunday – not quite as fun haha. Here are a few of my favourite things from the last week…

Favourite song:

Favourite first choice for next late-night talk show host:

Favourite thought-provoking article:

should and must

Favourite idea for apartment art:

canvasart

Favourite new summer plans:

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What are your favourites from this week or weekend plans?

Yesterday was a big day at work. In fact, it will likely go down as one of the most important in our organization’s history. After several years of collaborative, thoughtful, hard, all-encompassing work, our Community Task Force to End Homelessness and the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council announced a plan to end homelessness in Winnipeg. I will let The Plan do the talking, I don’t need to explain it to you, but I knew I wanted to blog about this day and I didn’t really know what to say. When I got to work yesterday morning though, I picked up one of the summary pieces hot off the printer and read this story:

endhomelessness

I knew it perfectly summed up how I felt about this issue. Our belief in the ability to actually end homelessness, the way we all react when this topic comes up in conversation, our opinions on what led someone to this life – it is perfectly captured in how we react to someone who is a little worse for wear calling out to us on the street. Do you stop and say hello? Do you reach into your pocket to see what change you have? Do you offer a smile? Do you walk past blindly? Do you shrink away and cross the street?

I hope you make some kind of connection with them. I hope you look into their eyes and recognize them. There is a lot of hurt and despair in our world, it comes in many forms and each of us are affected differently by that. We may feel a stronger pull to certain issues because of past experience or personal connection. I understand that and I believe it takes all of us with our different convictions and the organizations that represent them to make up our world. But I hope homelessness becomes an issue that you take the time to learn more about and help make a difference in your own way. Everyone deserves a place to call home and so many people in our country still don’t have that basic right.

So tomorrow when you go on your lunch break and head out of the office to walk around the neighbourhood, don’t just grab your purse and umbrella. Bring your respect, your compassion, your smile, and offer it to someone. Look them square in the eye and show them that you see them. That they matter. That you are equal.

“I know that when I look into the eyes of another woman or man, or into the face of a child; when I hug a stranger as I wander the streets looking for someone who will take my two bags of recycling each week, I know I am giving more than money. I am giving dignity and hope the way someone once gave it to me.” – Dr. Lucy Miller, President & CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area

 

Happy Easter Sunday! Spring has finally arrived (fingers crossed for no more random snow) and it is blue skies, sunshine and maybe even +14 degrees today. I bought five bouquets of tulips this past week and made easter egg garlands around my apartment. Usually the days I feel the loneliest are holidays when I am used to traditions with my family who now feel so far away, but I was really looking forward to Easter. I took some time off work to make it a four-day weekend for myself and I think after such a long, cold winter spring feels extra special.

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I feel like in some ways on this blog I haven’t really shut up about how the past year has been surprising and challenging. I have struggled with homesickness, found it frustrating to settle into work, been slow at making friends, and simply felt lost. But the past few weeks have felt better. I decided that I cannot complain about things if I am not actively trying to make life better for myself.

So I have worked at turning my apartment more into a home, spoke up at work about what I want, put thought into friend dates, and prioritized quiet time to reflect through out the week. And the truth is, I have had several moments when I stopped and realized “this is what I have waited and worked for”. There were so many weekends in the last two or three years where I had a mountain of textbooks piled around me in my room and hours of work to do and I daydreamed about what non-university life would be like. So now that I’m done, it turns out it can be exactly like my daydreams if I make it so.

And that is what this proverb reminds me of (plus it just looks pretty for Easter) – if you work on yourself and what is important to you, that is true and lasting happiness. It’s not the quick fixes, but the hard days and difficult questions that you force yourself to face because the results are so worth it… a continual feast!

I hope all of you bring a happy heart to your Easter feasts tonight! And p.s. I actually made Sunday morning pancakes today…

easterpancakes

I spend plenty more time than I should every day on social media, but it has led to some worthy finds that make me smile, pause, laugh out loud, and reflect daily. So let me show you my favourites on all three social media channels and hope that it brings you a little more light in your life!

Facebook: Humans of New York

I probably started following HONY about two years ago and since then I have tried to get all my friends hooked on it. Brandon Stanton is the man behind HONY and travels around NYC with his camera capturing human moments on the city streets.  Even better than the photos are the captions that go along with them, words that often startle me and change my perspective on strangers I pass by every day. The comments from Facebook fans always bring humour and Brandon never posts who in the picture gave the quote so we are left to guess. His cute Microfashion series featuring kids and their street style will warm anyone’s heart!


Instagram: Tyler Knott

I only came across Tyler on Instagram about two months ago, but since then his posts have completely brought out the romantic in me. Between his Daily Haiku written in gorgeous handwriting and the Typewriter Series that gives some love to the old-school technology, I find myself wishing for a sweetheart to share these words with! I am impatiently waiting for his book to come out this fall. If you need a little more love in your life (and who doesn’t?), I recommend bringing Tyler into your daily Instagram scrolling.

Twitter: Dana Weiss & Andi Lavinthal (when they are live-tweeting during The Bachelor tv episodes)

I can no longer watch any Bachelor episodes without constantly hitting refresh on Twitter to hear what Dana and Andi are thinking. Their snarky humour always cracks me up and they say exactly what all of us at home are chatting about with our friends. I know this follow isn’t a daily smile, but they make it worth it every time The Bachelor launches a new series. You won’t be disappointed!

 

Do you have any favourite follows to share?