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Inspiration for living a luxuriously and balanced life

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Going Solo This New Year? - Things to Do

The calendar will be turning to 2018 in just a couple of days ~ if you are going it solo, look at it as an opportunity to pamper yourself, explore new things and step outside of your comfort zone. There are plenty of things to do in Toronto (or in your city - check your city's website) when going New Year's Eve solo. Here are some suggestions for celebrating whether you choose to stay in or venture outside your door. 

Go Downtown:
The perks of living in a city like Toronto is that there is an array of things to do for any occasion. Use the transit system to get around - in Toronto the subway is complimentary starting 7 pm on December 31 until 4 am on January 1. If you don't live in a big city, consider checking yourself into a hotel downtown and celebrate to your hearts desire.

Check out:  Single in the City's one-of-a-kind Thai themed New Year's Party 
                   King Street Club Crawl - Why ring in the New Year at 1 club - when you can do 4 
                   Toronto's Largest Singles NYE Party at Rosewater - presented by Match.com
                   Nathan Phillips Square NYE Party (outdoors)

Make it an Impromptu NYE:

Host a Pot Luck:  We all know people who are going solo or couples that wait to the last minute to 
                             decide on what to do. Why not give them a call and suggest an impromptu Pot
                             Luck gathering. With all the to-go-meal options available at grocery stores these
                             days, no one has to cook - and a quick stop at the Dollar Store will provide some 
                             NYE trinkets.

Head for the Airport: On New Years Eve morning score a last minute ticket to somewhere you have
                                   been wanting to go (preferably a  hot spot) or let faith decide, go to the 
                                   airport and get on the next plane heading out. Think of the adventure!! Don't 
                                   forget your passport!

Consider it a Gift of Free Time:
Look at this as an opportunity to catch up on things you have been neglecting. Maybe reading, catching up on a project, watch your favourite movie, write a letter to a friend, do some decluttering, plan the year ahead! ~ look at as as just another day.

Pamper Yourself!
Whether you start NYE day with a trip to the spa or a massage, use this time to focus on you! Say good-bye to 2017 by cooking yourself an indulgent meal or ordering from your favourite restaurant. Get some bubbly (or if you are like me there is already a bottle chilling in the fridge); put on some soft music, light some candles, enjoy a luxurious bath , slip on your pjs and curl up on the sofa with a good book, watch movies. Watch the ball drop in NYC,  or fireworks from Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square, or Niagara Falls at midnight from the warmth and comfort of your sofa. Start the New Year taking care of you!!

Share in the comments how you are celebrating the arrival of 2018?

Happy New Year Lovelies,

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Most Important Thing I Learned in 2017: and 17 Other Things

The last six months of 2017 have been the most challenging of my life so far, and if you have been a long time reader of this blog - you would think, like I did, that nothing would top surviving what should have been a fatal pedestrian/car accident; or the death of a soul friend. When my life did a 180-degree turn in July, it numbed everything within me, even breathing seemed impossible. Surprisingly my body managed to carry on the motions of  day-to-day life. For weeks I kept reliving that moment, when my whole world collapsed beneath my feet, not able to process the pain, hurt, betrayal. It felt like a cloak of darkness pushing me down to the deep bowels of mother earth, where I would be buried, discarded and forgotten - like the plans that had been made at the beginning of  the year. 

I always say it is not what happens to us that defines us - It's whether we choose to let it keep us down or use it to spring board us towards the path we are meant to be on. I'll be honest lovelies, it was a lot of hard work to get to that point this go-round but, with the support, patience and caring from long time and new friends, along with lots of journaling, reflecting, self care, and yes copious amounts of bubbly may have been involved, at times. Here are 17 things and the most important thing I learned, which helped get me through to the end of 2017 in one piece. 

17. Love is not always enough.

16. Furbabies are affected by life changes as much as their human(s).

15. Sometimes you will never get the answers or know why; have faith the universe has your back.

14. Your thoughts really do create your reality. Think positive.

13. When you think you can't go on, Meditate, you will discover you can.

12. Your tribe of women friends will appear when you need them most. You know who you are!

11. Letting go is crucial to moving forward.

10. Another's actions are a reflection of  who they are, not you.
  9. If your libido goes dormant - don't assume you know why - get your hormones checked!

   8. Every Life Chapter comes with an ending, and not all characters will make it to the next.

   7. Your environment directly affects your productivity and state of mind.

   6. Some friends truly are extended family. 

   5. You become the average of the people you surround yourself with. Choose carefully!

   4. Time is the best healer.

   3. Have no regrets, each experience teaches you something. Learn the lesson.

   2. There is such a thing, as a hurt so great - that you literally can't breath when it hits you. 

   1. The importance of taking a solo break - to re-connect with yourself mind, body and spirit.
The most important thing I learned in 2017: It's not whether the glass is full or empty... it's that the glass is refillable! Sometimes, the best thing that happens is when the glass falls over, and it's contents are entirely spilled. Pick it up, rinse it out and REFILL IT with the best things in life.
Heidi Allen - Founder The Positive People Army

I had this AHA moment after listening to Heidi share it in a video, earlier this year. She mentioned it again in the above video. Lovelies this was truly a game changer for me. There will be times in life when no matter how positive, forgiving, understanding or optimistic you are (try to be), the best thing you can do is empty the glass, because it can be refilled - with confidence, self growth, self love, and everything you need to live the life you want to be living! AND with a POSITIVITY great than anything you could have imaged.

Learn more about the Positive People Army HERE and discover more inspirational videos by Heidi HERE.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Piece of the City

Celia with Director Mozen Mossanen
Last week I had the privilege of attending a private pre-screening of My Piece of the City, at Daniels Spectrum. A brilliant documentary by Director Moze Mossanen and Producer Teresa M. Ho. The film gives audiences a glimpse of the early days of this area in Toronto; how it came to be Regent Park and the current revitalization as viewed by youth who call this community home.

I walked away feeling Regent Park is more than just a Toronto neighbourhood, and definitely not what the media has represented it as. It is a community of amazing people - young and old from all walks of life. And what a blessing that it's part of Toronto! The cast gives a wonderful performance, I found myself connecting and cheering them all on - as their journey came to life with each frame of the film. I highly recommend you put this on your must see film list - World Premiere Screening Saturday November 18th 2017! (see below to reserve your seat)

MY PIECE OF THE CITY is a new feature-length documentary that tells the story about a group of remarkable young artists in Toronto’s inner-city community of Regent Park as their community undergoes one of the most dramatic urban revitalizations in North America. The young artists come together to perform THE JOURNEY, a musical that helps them explore various challenges during this crucial period of their lives.  MY PIECE OF THE CITY follows these young artists as they create the building blocks of the show, soar with their own artistry, and explore all that they have lost and gained as a new world builds around them.    

My Piece of the City , is showing as part of the 15th annual Regent Park Film Festival - which runs November 15 - 18, 2017 at Daniels Spectrum: 585 Dundas Street East (easily accessible by the 505 street car).... Reserve Your seat  HERE  ... It's a free event.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Port Party on a Monday Night! ~ iYellow Wine Club

If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know that there is always a reason to celebrate, and relaxing is not optional! And what could make these two things even more fabulous? Well, a flute of bubbly or glass of wine of course. So imagine my delight when I discovered a local wine club that offers wine events, tours and classes.

One of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow is SuperWineGirl, and lovelies she is a local Torontonian!! Her Insta feed is filled with all things wine, and amazing food pairings, great tips and parties.  Angela Aiello is the gal behind SuperWineGirl, and if inspiring us with her adventures and wine photos wasn't filling our love for all things wine? I recently learned she is also the creator of iYellow Wine Club, 
"The coolest place to learn about wine. The Best Wine Classes in the City." ~ Toronto Life Magazine

As a Portuguese born gal - whose favourite port wine is Taylor Fladgate, there was little arm twisting needed to get me out a Monday night to attend the Taylor Fladgate 325 year Port Party - hosted by iYellow Wine Club at Spoke Club, with a gal pal, last week; and let me tell you it was an amazing 
experience - in my friends words "best wine party we have attended together in a long time!". From the friendly staff, to the entertainment, snacks and wine sampling it was all done with elegance and attention to detail. I had the opportunity to speak with Angela, and she is most lovely and friendly. I look forward to attending future iYellow events and taking a class or two to learn more about different wines. With the holidays just around the corner the class on Holidays favs is already on my possible activity list for November.

Here are some photos of the Taylor Fladgate Port Party I attended ... enjoy!

A beautiful vision!!! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Life's Seasons ...

NOTE: I originally wrote this post as a guest post on Hopefilled-Living April 2, 2012 - Titled Life's April Showers.

As the cold and darkness of winter make way for the warmer, color filled days of spring it is the perfect time to be reminded that no matter the season we may find our lives in, it is only a matter of time before it too changes.

When we find our lives in what seems like and eternity of late Autumn and Winter, it is easy to forget all the wonderful Spring, Summer and early Autumns we were blessed with. And remember the days we find ourselves in - are temporary.They will pass, it is the unknown of exactly when they will end and brighter days begin, that add to the frustration of a situation, and the forgetfulness that they will change.

Sometimes the darkest and coldest days, are the ones that end up helping us to appreciate the good days, but more importantly learn to be more compassionate, loving and caring towards others. These are also the days that when they are replaced with Spring, will help us to stop and actually smell the flowers and try to live in the moment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Toronto Island Park - Discovering Toronto

It's been a very long time since I've been to the island, so as Toronto remains under an extreme heat warning - 3 days into autumn, I thought WHY NOT! To get to the island you need to take either a water taxi, private boat or the ferry. With it being a week day and school back in session - it was a relatively short wait at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

No island map ... just take a photo 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Accepting Change - 5 Tips to help you get there

Change is inevitable, whether you realize it or not everything in life involves change. But, change is not always easy to transition through - even when we initiate change, the unknown of how the change will impact us can leave a very unsettling feeling. And when change in our life is not of our choosing, especially when it's unexpected can send us onto a roller coaster of emotions such as: shock, denial, guilt (you could have done, been more), blame (someone else caused this), and eventually you will think with a clarity you didn't think possible, and accept what has happened. Once you accept the change - you will be able to start moving towards creating a new life.

5 Tips to help you Accept Change:

1. FEEL the emotions and carry on: Too often we don't allow our emotions to be felt - we've all read and possibly shared phrases such as "put your big girl pants on" or "suck it up butter cup"or "build a bridge and get over it", you get the idea. By suppressing our emotions we are setting ourselves up to keep holding on to whatever has occurred. 

You will go through a series of emotions (fear, anger, joy, relief, grief,sadness etc.) - there is no "magic" order in which you will experience these emotions or if you experience one, a few or all; the length of time each will last; nor the repeat of these until you accept what has occurred (this is isn't to say even when you have reached the AH HA moment of acceptance that some of these emotions may not creep up from time to time). But having allowed yourself to experience them in the raw - will make it much easier to acknowledge should they creep up again, and not let them take over your life.

2. ASK yourself the question WHY - you are feeling so depleted by the change: is it that you are letting ego get in the way? is that losing a loved one - makes you realize your own immortality? after a break-up is that you are feeling lost, alone, betrayed, unsupported? When we are able to identify why we are feeling a certain way - it helps us to put the situation into perspective, which then enables us to put action steps in place to help us through the healing process.

3. Be THANKFUL for all the amazing people and things you have in your life. Take a look through your gratitude journal if you need a little reminder. Don't have a gratitude journal - perfect time to start one. Start writing down at least 3 things that happened in your day that you are grateful for - could be as basic as food to eat, a roof over your head, conversation with a dear friend or a stranger that smiled. Make a point each evening or morning to add to your gratitude journal.

4. LOOK for the silver lining, sometimes you may have to really look but, I promise you there is always one! Loss of job, could lead to a better career or opportunity to go back to school to study a subject you have always wanted; loss of a loved one, appreciate the family members you still have; the end of a relationship, frees you to explore other parts of you which you may have forgotten about or not realized existed.

5. BREATHE ... whatever the change, know that as long as you are breathing you have an opportunity to create an amazing life. It will be different - but know "The Best Is Yet To Come"!

Take care of you!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Light Cafe on Baldwin

Whether you are looking to satisfy your appetite, sweet tooth or looking for a hot/cold beverage Light Cafe is serving up a great selection of gourmet cafĂ© food and drinks with a contemporary twist. Super friendly and welcoming staff. A great up beat vibe, lots of natural light filters in from the floor to ceiling window ... and the live plant wall really is a wonderful touch of green - it's like being outside indoors.

The Lobster Bisque is scrumptious!!

I fell in love with this yummy treat! The strawberry mille feuille is a delectable melody of light flaky pastry, cream, fresh strawberries, a petite scoop of strawberry ice cream, and an infusion of strawberry puree. It really is a party for the senses!!

Feeling a little parched or looking for a place to enjoy a hot or cold beverage? Light Cafe has you covered with their extensive offering: espresso bar, slow drip hand brew coffee, infused loose leaf tea, au laits, and refreshing alternatives.
On a recent visit ... I took a little break from my writing day with leisure reading and a cup of Earl Grey Rose Au Lait!! ( lovelies if you enjoy an Au Lait, you must try this one, you will thank me!)

Light Cafe is located at : 23 Baldwin Street
Easily accessible via the St. Patrick TTC Station or the 505 Dundas street car McCaul stop.
See menu here or visit their website: LightCafe.ca
NOTE: this is a CASH only establishment

If you have experienced Light Cafe, would love for you to share your fav menu item in the comments. 

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