lifestyle · motivation · self-help · Uncategorized · weight loss · Writing

Happiness Habits

If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.
– Steve Marboli

Hello friends.

What are your happiness habits?

A few years ago I probably would have rolled my eyes at someone if they asked me that question.  But the more I study the people who have created great lives for themselves, I realize that they all do what I call happiness habits.

Mimi and Alex Ikonn, Tony Robbins, Oprah, Marie Forleo… They all start their day with gratitude.  They are also immensely successful.  Is this a coincidence?  I don’t think so.

The thing is, especially if you live in the Western world, we are so fortunate.  We have big homes, beds, tooth brushes, heating, ample food, money, and clothing.  Even the poor are rich compared to the homeless in other countries.  But we complain a lot.  Most people I know complain all day – myself included (working on this BTW).  Most people do not take any time to be grateful, to feel the gratitude inside them for all that we have.

I decided to create a daily practice to state 10 things I am grateful for in the morning and before I go to sleep.  I also ask my husband three things he is grateful for every day and we share these together.  This way we reflect together on how fortunate we are.  Its a nice change to focus on the positive especially when we live in a world that is focused on the negative.

If you do not have a practice of gratitude, I suggest you start one.  See how you change your perspective of the world.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

Uncategorized · weight loss

Setting myself free

This morning I stepped on the scale for the first time in a long time and it read 197.

197.

Normally I would have freaked out to see this number.  I would have cried.  Not today.

I have been telling myself a story this year that lead to this.  I need to rest, I need to take care of my mental health first, I need more sleep, I have been eating right, I don’t have time…

Truth is, exercise is the self-love I need.  Eating right is the self-love I need.  Motivation is the self-love I need.

I have been judging other people trying to make myself feel better.  That person is bigger than me, I must be healthier than them.  Did you see what she ate?  No wonder she’s the size she is…  Things like this.  Every.single.day.

Or the opposite.  I will never look like her, no matter how hard I work I will never look like that, I will never, I will never…so why try?

This self-deprecating behaviour is exhausting and I am truly done.  It’s time to work on true self-love, true-self care and no more comparison, because no one else is me.

I realized that I created my identity around my weight.  I was always the chubby one.  My weight was commented on since I was a child.  I would never be small, I was big boned, I was just a big girl.  I would lose weight every few years, then gain it all back within months.  I started to set myself goals – I will lose “x” pounds by June, I will do this I will finally wear a bathing suit this year.  Then I would proceed to tell myself a story about how I have stretch marks everywhere, so I will never wear a bathing suit anyway, so why try.  I’ll always have cellulite, so why try.

This is the end of those excuses because I am greater than them.  Today I am committing myself to the greatness I can be and I will stop carrying around all this extra weight – this extra hate.

I will be chronicling my journey here.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

self-help · Uncategorized

Ten Secrets for Success and Inner Peace

sunset

Here are Dr. Wayne Dyer’s 10 principles for success and inner peace.  I have been reflecting on them a lot lately and thought I would share.

  1. Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.
  2. Don’t die with your music still in you.
  3. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
  4. Embrace silence.
  5. Give up your personal history.
  6. You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.
  7. There are no justified resentments.
  8. Treat yourself as if you already are what you’d like to be.
  9. Treasure your divinity.
  10. Wisdom is avoiding all thoughts that weaken you.

I hope you take some time to reflect on these principles and I hope they help you too.

Jacqueline

Historical Research · history · Uncategorized · Writing

No Place Like Home – Introduction

no-place-like-home

It is odd really, diving into someone else’s life.  When I found this book (or the book found me) I realized I really didn’t know much about the past.  I’ve watched period films, read historical fiction and history books, but none of these things prepare you for what its like to read another person’s words, seeing their thoughts, feeling their struggles, their happiness.

It’s hard to block out your own voice while reading other people’s words. I kept questioning why this, why that.  I suppose that’s why I kept reading.  Our minds, in our current culture, I think, cannot fully understand or accept a lot of things that have happened or why life was the way it was.

The reason why I study history is because I want to sink into what it must have been like to be these women – a 12 year old girl, sent off to another country to be educated; a wife sent off to sea with her new husband; a teenager coming of age.

To me the most difficult part of studying these women was to understand their view of the world.  Where did their voices come from?  Their church, their schooling, their husbands, their families..

One thing’s for certain, the influence the church had on these women’s lives is undeniable  This has become a big part of my research of these women – what were their churches like?  Their ideals?  Was it a fear based worship or a hopeful one?  Obviously some of these questions answer themselves.  The depth of their worship, though, is something that is still very alien to me and because of that, I find it fascinating.

This book, No Place Like Home, are journal entries and letters from 15 women from 1771 to 1938.  I’ve decided that I will do entries regarding these women in pairs, showing further glimpses of their lives.  It has truly been a journey for me and I hope you enjoy what is to come.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

baking · Recipes · Uncategorized

Pumpkin Bread + Books I Love

I wanted to share a few things today that I have been loving lately.  Around Canadian thanksgiving,  I made this gorgeous pumpkin bread and thought I should share.  And it is easy-peasy to make.

I also wanted to share some books I have been loving lately.

First, here’s the recipe for the pumpkin bread.

pumpkin-breadIngredients

One 15oz can of pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (melted butter or coconut oil is a fine substitute)
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or mixed spice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sultanas (optional but makes a sweeter loaf!)

Method

Preheat oven to 350F and ensure oven rack is placed low if you have a small oven, or in the middle if you have a regular sized one.  Grease bottoms of two small loaf tins (8×4), or one big one (9×5) and place parchment paper on the bottom.  I trace mine out before hand so it fits in perfectly.

In a bowl mix pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla & eggs until well mixed.  Stir in remaining ingredients except for the walnuts and sultanas.  Once the mixture is well combined, fold in sultanas and walnuts.

Pour mixture into pans and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It took me approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for the big loaf tin.

Cool 10 to 15 minutes on wire rack before removing from the tin.  Let cool for two hours or so before slicing.  And enjoy with a cup of tea.

And here are the books.

all-souls-trilogydiary-of-a-witch

The All-Souls Trilogy is amazing for people interested in history, witches, and a bit of academia.  It was nice to find a series regarding witches, vampires, and daemons, geared towards adults.  If you are a fan of the Elizabethan era, I would suggest you do read these, as the second book is based during that time.  I think I enjoyed this series so much – and I have read it three times – because the author, Deborah Harkness, is actually a historian, so there are a bit of fun facts thrown in while you read.

The second book was a bit of an odd find at my local bookshop.  It is a fictional story, however, it does bring you into the darker parts of Scotland’s history – the witch trials.  The book is mostly in diary form which I love.  I must warn you that some parts of the book are truly violent and if you are squeamish or easily disturbed by violence (and sexual violence) against women, this is not the book for you.  I must say this book surprised me in its quality and I hope you do pick it up.

As you can see, these books do have a bit of a witch theme, and I suppose being halloween, it seems a natural selection however I must admit I have a fondness for the history of witches so I tend to read about them a lot.

I hope you all have a great Halloween/Samhain.

Thanks for reading.

Jacqueline

baking · Uncategorized

The best white loaf

My favourite bread recipe!

bread

Ingredients

500g flour
1 sachet fast-action yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
300ml warmish water

Method

Mix the flour, yeast and salt. Add the olive oil and gradually stir in the tepid water, adding only enough to make a soft dough. Knead using your hands on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth and bounces back.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Oil a large loaf tin (I always use butter to grease for bread, but olive oil is ok too).  Knock back the dough and form into a log and place into tin.  Cover the tin with a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled in size once again.

Heat oven to 220C/425F.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Place on cooling sheet and brush with butter.

(recipe from bbcgoodfood.com)

Jacqueline

 

Uncategorized

Struggles

I have been struggling to be inspired to write on this blog.  I didn’t want to turn into another beauty blogger, writing about drugstore hauls and the perfect lipstick anymore.

I am diving deeper.  Trying to figure out who I am.  I feel like I have been an impostor, trying on different faces, personalities.  Trying to find one that fit best.

I am scared to be myself.  Truth.

I scan the pages of tumblr, watch endless youtube videos, browse and browse, trying to figure out who I am, what my interests are.

I probably won’t be writing about beauty for a while.  Or maybe ever.  I think it’s time to go deeper.

So here’s to finding me.

Jacqueline.