I think it is pretty safe to say that my Blog was my Favourite “thing” this year.  Outside of the fact that Isla Pearl gives me a foundation to highlight and talk about everything that I love about life from my favourite jogging pants (I think we sold them out) to my soul searching journey – Isla Pearl has brought people, experiences and opportunities into my life that I now can’t imagine ever living without.  Although from the outside it might appear as though my life has dramatically changed (still a hot yoga, latte, jogging pants, fancy shoe loving girl) but on the inside it most definitely has – in the most profound ways.

My Favourite Things This Year in no particular order:

CityLine.  So this was by far one of my favourite and least expected moments of the year.  While scrolling through FB one day I came across a post asking for people to submit a story about their BFF.  Within minutes I had crafted the words and the submission was sent because quite honestly I could go on for days about my BFF and our 30-year friendship.   So clearly we were asked to attend the show and on route we both said how nice it will be to just sit and relax.  Within minutes of arriving we were asked to come with the Producer (insert heart palpitations).  Long story short our story got us enough attention to be positioned in the first row (cue the moment of regret for not spending more time getting ready that morning) and personally interviewed on the show by Tracy.  Oh – and we also won a trip to Boston (minor details).  Anytime I write, say or do something I know that whoever is on the receiving end might be impacted, inspired or influenced.  This submission to CityLine was no different and as a result…..well, we headed to Boston.

Boston.  You know how you always say “we should do this” or “we should do that” and then you never do it?  that was us.  My BFF and our hubs’ have always talked about going to Boston for a weekend and then Great Wolf Lodge and Disney happened (which wasn’t terrible) and suddenly the priority to book ourselves on a trip away for the weekend sans children just seemed, well – not a priority.  It was meant to be (much like all things in life) because were given the gift of this trip which also happened to coincide with the Blue Jays playing the final weekend series of the season in Boston (um, that was not the universe at work but my BFF and I being strategic about setting ourselves up for days on end of shopping #genius).  I think my husband may have shed a tear as he walked into Fenway for the first time in his life (keep in mind he is “baseball obsessed like a 5-year old boy who dreams of making the big leagues” kind of love with baseball).  For a guy who gives and is everything to his family I was so excited and happy for him to experience one of the very few things on his bucket list.  Even my BFF and I will admit it was a pretty incredible night, even if it was pouring rain……like sideways!   Don’t wait to experience all of those things that you “should do”.  Life is too short.  P.s.  Universe Gods if you are listening, the next trip we “should” take is Atlantis.  Just going to throw it out there.

Pool.  After years of thinking about it and talking about it we finally pulled the trigger and made the decision to move forward on something we have always wanted, but didn’t know if we would ever be able to do.  We are the parents who say “no” to the little things.  We don’t buy them random toys or whatever they ask for.  So much so that we struggle to figure out what to get them at Christmas time and their birthdays.  Instead we believe in experiences and opportunities no matter how big or small they are.  When the water finally went in the pool we both felt an overwhelming sense of emotion – for how fortunate we are to be able to have it and how hard we both work to make experiences and opportunities happen for our kids.  It was a moment when we knew we had made a really good decision.  Be thankful for all that you have and all of the experiences and opportunities that come your way because of the hard work you put into your life – you deserve it.

Photo shoot.  There have been moments over the past year when I could literally break down into tears (I think crying on set of a photo shoot is frowned upon though so I held it together, I wanted to be asked back).  This moment had very little to do with the boutique full of clothes and flowing champagne (although it didn’t hurt) – it had to do with seeing yourself in a different light.  One that others see you in, but you often don’t see yourself.  I felt as though I really stepped into something that day, something that was craving all of the feelings that came along with it.  We so often say no to things that scare us, push us out of our comfort zone and most definitely when our gut reaction is “what? me?” – take those moments as a sign to say “yes”.  When you do I can almost guarantee you that you will step into a part of yourself that you have failed to recognize and honor….and when you do you will have officially lit up a different part of yourself.

Yoga.  I know, insert your eye roll now if you must.  I started doing hot yoga years ago because I wanted a sweaty workout.  Instead it profoundly changed my life.  The one thing I have learned about myself this past year is that as much as I love things wrapped up in a pretty package (not like literally, but pretty packages don’t hurt either) and with Isla Pearl as my foundation I was struggling to find something that would fulfill the “getting out and socializing with others on a regular basis”.  I mean, photo shoots and meetings are great and all but the reality is I’m not going to be hired to be walking on any runways any time soon.  I’m not sure why it took me so long to realize that I didn’t just “like” yoga, it has become an integral part of my life and how I live it.  As of March I will be officially certified to teach (as long as I don’t totally screw anything up I suppose) which means that if you know anything about me I already have a vision of what that will mean.  My training was one of my favourite, challenging, exhausting, life-changing experiences of last year – so much so that one of my 5-10 year goals has probably turned into a 6 months – 1 year goal.  Stay tuned.  I’m crazy excited!

The one thing I know is that whatever it is you want out of your life you need to start taking steps towards it – big or small – and without hesitation.  Don’t get caught up in the plan, or having a plan, or what the steps are in your plan – just start moving towards what feels right.  For the first time in my life I had NO plan.  In fact, I think the phrase “I have no idea what I am doing” should have been my tagline for 2016 alongside the word I choose as my inspiration “believe”.  Ironic?  I’d like to think that was the universe at work.  My advice to you – as a former up-tight A-type plan-aholic – as you start this New Year…..take steps towards what you want your life to be and don’t worry so much about the plan.  When you drop your self-limiting beliefs and follow whatever it is you want out of your life, “the dream” will present itself.  And it might not look like anything you had envisioned in the first place.

Here’s to 2017 my friends!  What were some of your favourite things this past year?