Happy Valentine’s Day!  Yep, there are some of you out there today who are rolling their eyes with the mere thought of getting “sucked into” a revenue-generated holiday.  Here’s the thing, I think the idea of Valentine’s Day is a good one – and one that you should probably try to incorporate more into your life beyond just February 14 (besides, roses cost a LOT less on every other day of the year….but I digress).  If you are only giving attention to the things and people that you love on Valentine’s Day than I think you need to re-think your game plan.

Here are the things I love everyday:

Baking.  It’s more than just the raw cookie dough and smell of fresh baked cookies though.  I never considered myself a baker or even necessarily someone who loved to bake more than the odd banana bread here and there (I mean, who doesn’t love banana bread) but as Katie’s love (ah hm, obsession) grew for it, so did mine.  I used to think it was the raw cookie dough or licking the icing that she was after but I suddenly realized one day that this is our thing that we do together.  Just us.  It isn’t about the cookie or cupcake, but using our creative spirits together for something that we love.  And the result is usually Martha Stewart worthy.  That’s what happens when you combine all of the things you love.  The universe cannot resist responding in the same way.

Flowers.  We used to have pretty strict rules in our house about flowers after one “online order” that went terribly wrong.  All I am going to say is that I basically received a $150 bouquet of greenery and baby’s breath.  From that point forward the rule was pretty simple – $25 or less.  I have started to make having fresh flowers in the house a thing.   You would be surprised how a fresh bouquet of your favourite flowers will breathe life into a room.

Pretty things.  Yep, call it what you will – but I love pretty things.  I am not a hoarder or even someone who holds onto or has a lot of things.  But the things I do, I absolutely love.  They bring peace, calm and positive energy into my day because of the positive vibes I have attached to them.  You think I’m crazy don’t you?  I dare you take every piece of clothing, shoes, whatever from your closet that you don’t love and put it into a garbage bag out of sight.  See how much differently you feel when you only surround yourself with things that you absolutely love.

Becoming.  I like who I have become, or rather “un-become” (not sure if Webster’s Dictionary will approve that word, but whatever) over this past year.  Someone who cares less, loves more and lives life on her terms.  I have been told what I am doing is “brave” which is kind of interesting to me.  When you stop and think about it we praise and applaud people for living their life the way they want to, maybe going against society’s expectations or the rules that have been set for us.  Seriously, just start becoming and being who you want to be.  Put aside the rules and what you are supposed to do.  Start caring less about what others think, start with loving yourself more and start living life on your terms.  It’s time, there has never been a better time.

Running Shoes & Sweaters.  I’m pretty sure I could live out the rest of my days in a pair of running shoes, jeans and a great sweater.  I think the whole style thing is complicated.  Too many rules, trends and pressure.  My style (if you can even call it that) is not Pinterest worthy yet for some reason people compliment me on “my style”.  Seriously, I wear running shoes and sweaters.  Wear what YOU love, what YOU feel great in and how YOU feel best.  THAT is what creates your style and that is what people makes people notice.  Not because of the clothes you wear.

My Kids.   They are the reason I laugh more, stress less and have chosen to live a better life.  They are my reason, not my excuse.  All we want for our kids is for them to be happy and live a full life, on their terms.  You need to set the stage for them and show them through your actions, not your words.  Because I mean really, when was the last time they listened to anything you said anyway?

Coffee.  It’s basically a daily essential.  I’m not going to lie.  I love coffee.  I’m pretty sure it contains some sort of superhero magic in it.

Writing.  Much like the title “baker” I never would have considered myself a “writer”.  So much so, when someone called me one recently I was doing that whole looking over the shoulder thing to see who they were talking about.  You don’t need to be a professional writer or one who publishes every thought that goes through her head, but start.  Thinking things vs. writing them down in your own words is a completely different experience.  This is where insight, reflection, patterns and self-discovery lies.  In your own words, written by you.  Even if it’s journalling for 5 minutes at night.  Just write.  Whatever you are thinking or what is on your mind.  Get it out of your head so that you can create more space.

Yoga.  Yoga Teacher Training exam DONE!  one more month of class and this girl is official to teach.  This experience has been a life changing one, and it wasn’t a coincidence that it came into my life during the most transformational one of my life.  I can’t wait to bring my voice, perspective and personality onto my mat and into the studio.

Traditions.  I’m not usually one who holds onto things (clearly, as noted earlier) but I do have a handful of things that have become a part of my every day life.  My grandma’s rolling pin and pie plates (however I think we are letting her down miserably in the flaky pastry category) and my nana’s pearls.  If you had known them you would know how much these things perfectly represent them and in turn me.  I think there are some pieces that are worth holding onto.  Making them a part of your daily life, not tucking them away in a box for safe keeping or something you just talk about.

Books.  From Self-Help (I mean, come on Chapters – can we seriously pull a committee together to work on a more inspirational category of books) to style I surround myself with them.  I think that books is where you find the answers, clarity or a new perspective on things.  Every time I have gone and picked one up or the online gods have “recommended” one for me, it has always been exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it.  I think they allow you to get out of your own thoughts and help to propel you forward.  Who would have ever known this girl was a baker/bookworm right?

Reading Socks.  This is becoming a bit of a joke.  People now associate me with these Reading Socks and will even stop me on the street to tell me how much they love them (I wish I was joking….just changing lives one sock at a time over here).  But I do love them and I wear them everyday.  And they have become my go-to gift.  I love them, you’ll love them.  I’m pretty sure Oprah would love them.

I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day full of love today – and everyday.  Full of your favourite people, things, moments and experiences!