Covid19 – Busy, Busy, Busy: 10 Tip Challenge to Stop being a Trophy Woman

Seriously, how are we all doing with this new way of living so far?  It was all quite chaotic at the beginning, adapting, re-focusing, shifting it around, re-inventing, and now hopefully…settling in? I really hope we are all slowing down and taking a breather.

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Are we, though,  really taking the time to breathe, to refocus, to take time for ourselves, to soak up our faith, to talk and rekindle with our loved ones, or, are we just trying to keep busy, busy, busy?  Haven’t we been there done that- and complained about that?  So why are we trying to re-create that?

Seems to me that although many of us have begun to take a liking to this new pace and newfound ‘getting back to basics’, most of us have not allowed ourselves to do so. 

We have been packing in our schedules as though we have to justify something.  I’m guilty of this too.  Fault of a societal mentality that we must always be busy, busy, busy always somewhere to go and something to do.  Well now we can’t go anywhere.

So, what have many of us started doing?  We are getting busy, busy, busy around the house: exercising more, cleaning more, cooking more, planning more, working more (yes- some of us are actually putting more hours into our work from home than we did at the workplace!).

What’s wrong with this picture- especially for us women? NO need to justify ourselves through what we do.  How about we plan some true introspective work in all of this?  But- by all means if this stay at home is giving you more freedom and time to do what you actually love doing (and that could be: exercising, cooking, planning- and job-related as well)- then by all means, knock yourself out! Do it! For yourself.

But if you’re just feeling like you ‘must or else’ do something, well maybe now is the time for letting go and just ‘being’.  Being with your family; being quiet with yourself; reflecting; meditating; being in nature, praying more…Something to just slow you down.  We women are guilty of always wanting to do more.  How stressful is that? And- do we really need to create more stress for ourselves in these times?  Doing does not define us.  We are enough.

Ladies, except for the necessary work-related deadlines, there really are no other deadlines except for online grocery pick-up times- or the ones we create on our own!

Covid19 Stop Being a Trophy Woman Challenge:

  1. Get up and actually sip and smell the coffee; slowly.
  2. Take off the timer when you exercise- just do it for your body- not the schedule or number of minutes or steps.
  3. Pamper yourself the way you want- when you want- you’re the boss of that (not that beauty guru on youtube).
  4. Laugh with your kids- homeschooling is just that – your family relationship means more than turning into the teacher (reality check: you’re not the teacher…Unless you really are the teacher).
  5. Stop stressing about keeping up with posts on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook…no one is going anywhere special or doing anything sensational…no trips allowed.  You’re not missing anything.
  6. On that same note, keep posting if you love it! But if it starts feeling like a job- quit now; the pay is too low (or non-existent)- Plus- no one is that obsessed with what you’re up to.  Do it for the fun!
  7. For work:  Put in your 9- 5 and then shut the computer.
  8. A word on chores: Stop with the deadlines or to do-lists.  You’ve always hated cleaning the chandeliers (that’s why you only do it twice a year) …why does it absolutely have to be done this Tuesday?
  9. Take time to give Thanks. On very few selected times in history have people been given the opportunity to be on ‘hold’- in my parts of the world this type of taking a break only happens on snow days (which usually only lasts one day).
  10. The only mandatory rules that mean anything are:  Wash your hands, disinfect all that comes in from the outside, keep social distance, stay home.

We can do this.  We are enough.  No more unnecessary stress.  No one is handing out trophies. Have Faith.  Stay Safe!

#Confessionoftheday: For me blogging and taking the time to write to my heart’s content is actually a way of relaxing! Finally getting to write whenever I want.

I love reading other great blog posts- so I thought to include some really good ones for you to check out! They have linkup parties where you can link your own posts. Go check them out and show some love. Have a good one!

MONDAY LINKS

Glass of Glam

A Pocket Full of Polka Dots

TUESDAY LINKS:

I Do De Claire

Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Walking in Memphis in High Heels

The Fashion Canvas

Shelbee on the Edge

Style Splash

WEDNESDAY LINKS:

Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Anne in Residence

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

THURSDAY LINKS:

A Labour of Life

High Latitude Style

Doused in Pink

FRIDAY Links:

Shelbee on the Edge

Nancy’s Fashion Style

The Upside to Confinement

Who would have thought it would come to this?  And now we are all in it together- even though we must keep apart.  Can it be that this confinement due to Covid-19 can actually bring us back to a newfound quality-time? We shall not be defeated!

Here are some ideas for how this Montreal girl spends her time:

  • Exercise. It doesn’t have to be something too strenuous (unless you want it to be).   I started taking long walks on a more regular basis.  This helps with the cabin fever and to refresh my mind.  Try taking a different route than usual and start observing the nature around you with more intent- it’s beautiful. Or- my favourite…dance to some 80’s fab music!
  • Cooking! Oh how cooking releases my stress, I can’t say enough about this!  Comfort food and the whole process- I’m loving it.  Why not cook up a recipe that you’ve been dying to make?
Check out the Highlights over at my Instgram feed @lucybertoldi under Yummy and Yummy 2 for tasty recipes
  • Start journaling.  This can be in written form, art, or other.  I make art.  Can anything be more cathartic?  The whole creative process keeps you in the moment (which weirdly enough makes time fly!).  I do mixed media art on canvas but also a lot of journaling.  If you’re interested on seeing more just head on over to my Instagram: @mtl.diva.art

Art heals

  • Meditate- keep your faith.  In the same lines with journaling or making art- try some meditating.  For some this could be in form of prayer, yoga, or whatever other form you get into.  This helps us refocus, regenerate and ultimately brings us inner strength- leading to hope and positivity!
  • DIY’s and projects!  Why not work on some of the things that always get set aside because of no time- can’t use that excuse right now!  Revamp your stuff and feel a self of renewal and accomplishment.  This is probably my favourite thing to do lol!  But projects can also be cleaning out something (like your closet!) …which btw, can also be cathartic!!
  • Sit down with a good book you’ve been longing to read! A bit of quiet time to indulge in the topics you want to learn more about.  Researching new things can be so much fun to help open your horizon for your present job, career, sport or hobby.
Adorned in Dreams, by Elizabeth Wilson is a fashion historian’s dream for real.

Click on link below to watch a clip of my review of Illustration Now! Fashion by, Julius Wiedermann Taschen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2dP8zuPSHI&feature=youtu.be
  • On these same lines, on your own (or with those you’re cooped up with!)- maybe watch a movie (or finish a Netflix series- or start one!) And why not play a game of sorts: cards, monopoly, backgammon…
  • Pamper yourself.  Take the time to finally indulge (without a darn schedule to follow!).  I think I will finally start trying those 12 different masks I have piling up in my try and review bin!
  • Heart-to-heart time with those you love (at home with you- or through Skype, messenger…). What better time to tell those you love how much you care for them?  This could be a good time for those talks you’ve been setting aside for ‘the right time’.
  • Lastly, try to remain positive, thankful and appreciative.  So difficult to do- but certainly doable!  Look at all the positive things you can actually do within this confinement period.  We’ve been geared up to always be on the go-go-go that we’ve forgotten how to stop, be still and appreciate.  Maybe a forced situation such as this one, just maybe, can bring light upon the things that are good around us.  For once we don’t have to say: I don’t have time.

#Confessionoftheday: Reminding myself that the sun always rises. Working hard on not letting anyone or anything take away my joy. A constant battle well worth the fight.

Stay Safe

When Looks Can be Deceiving…

Pick the right outfit, take some photos; edit, crop, delete or switch around-, write a post, share on all your social platforms, inspire and set a trend! Repeat.

For me this is always a fun and easy process, as I love: writing; fashion; trend setting and inspiring. But I also am very intent on always being genuine when I post. I like relevancy and good dose of honesty. Which brings me to the photos I decided to post this Monday afternoon…

These photos were supposed to post last Thursday evening- time appropriate for my preparations for Greek Orthodox Easter. Lots of happiness, calmness and a look of peaceful ease on my face. That’s exactly how I felt on Thursday- but for some reason I ran out of time to post.

And then, on the following day, Montreal was on flood alert!

Right upto Thursday we were doing fine…but come Friday morning, all hell broke loose. My entire family and I spent the next 3 days bagging and placing sandbags around our property. Neighbours also pitched in, as did the police and firefighters. We worked knee-high in water, around the clock up until Sunday afternoon.

I believe in kindness and of giving of oneself to help others- but what I witnessed went beyond. It was cold, raining, but no one stopped. Drenched in two feet of water- everyone diligently built those walls- helping to keep my house safe and dry. Neighbors offered extra pumps, tape, snowblowers..you name it. Anything to get the job done and get that horrific water from destroying it all.

The waters finally tamed on Sunday evening…and all is stable so far. That’s how we spent Easter weekend.

But! No water came in. We are not flooded. The situation is stable. We are Thankful.

 

Why am I telling you all this? Well it occurred to me that when I would be ready to post my fashion photo today, it also needed to be genuine. I feel very relieved today and also extremely thankful that the water has calmed down, that I have a wonderful family, fantastic neighbors, a city that responded, that my family and I are safe.

There. Now I can post these photos the way they were meant to be posted: I am happy, serene, thankful, and blessed.

My look is not deceiving…I am genuine- the way I always want to come through. Today is the right day to post. Hoping your weekend was a blessed one xx.

#Confessionoftheday: Breathe. All is well:)

Part 2 of Your Life… Are You an Empty Nester?

Middleage Divas…Welcome to Part 2 of your life. This is what I call the part of life where almost all the kids have grown and have either moved out for school, or to be on their own, or for marriage…

I’m not quite the empty nester yet; my eldest daughters got married last year but since I still have 3 kids at home, the next two are seemingly very close to leaving the nest. So, the exiting part I’m kinda getting used to, or rather expecting. And perhaps I’m not quite phased about this because I never really imagined my husband and I ever being on our own.

With 5 children, there’s always been a full house. And, the fact that we had our last at 40, I simply never even thought about living in an ‘empty’ house. It often feels like that little one will be with us forever. So, my darlings, the real thing I never even thought about or imagined was…being an empty nester.

Where has time flown? My youngest is still only 17. And by the time she moves out, I’ll probably be at the grandma stage from at least one of my four other children. But this one is my baby. So this is what is drumming on my mind and soul- when she leaves the house one day- that will truly be the end of this act for me.

Did I think she would be a baby forever? Yes I did. Of course she’s not leaving anytime soon- but still, I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared. This one has been around for my better part of my parenting years. I love all my children equally, yet sometimes I feel I was granted a second chance to do things a bit different. With my first four – all were very close in age, and I was much younger myself. Life was more hectic and what I did for one, I did for all. With my last, she had the stage pretty much to herself. Maybe she had it a bit easier and better- Not that she would agree of course…when you’re 17 you don’t realize any of this. So right now I feel quite grateful that I still have a few more years of this fantastic time. But I know it won’t be for long…

It’s all bittersweet and part of life. So as I realize this, I find it all the more important that women over 50 find something meaningful to call their own. Personally I don’t believe I’ll ever find anything more important than the raising of my kids; the citizens of tomorrow’s world. And yet! Maybe this is the time to rethink our paths. All that devotion and care taking took first place and consequently, many of our personal passions we learned to simply forget or closet away somewhere.

Today, I do feel wiser, more assertive, more spiritual, more carefree and more accepting of myself. I like to believe that all those years of mothering paved the way for this. This is the new me. Darlings, there’s so much we put on the back-burner (because of love and devotion!)- And now we get a second chance! So let’s get out there and live our dreams – big or small- the time is right! And that’s the best part…TIME- we finally have some! So, take up a course, catch up on your reading, make art, travel, start up a business, volunteer, exercise, become a chef- the sky’s the limit!

And, dear Darlings, if like me, you still have a young one at a home, then all the more reason for getting a start in planning ahead. Hopefully, by being prepared, when we hug and kiss her as we send her off one day, that dreadful lump we fear so much will be that much easier to swallow. It might just help make things seem a little less empty. We can do this. Let nothing or no one stop you. Remember: If God is for us, who can be against us? Rom.8:31

#confessionoftheday: letting go is the hardest part for my mommy heart

 

Are you an Empty Nester yet? If not…are you prepared?

The Unfashionable Side of Christmas…

Has the Christmas hustle and bustle caught up with you yet- or are you ready and as cool as can be? I think that organisation is key, that’s for sure. But more than that, is to have a serene and organised state of mind.  To be at peace that “all is well”.

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For years I’ve always regretted missing out on the true spirit and fun of Christmas due to over-fussing and detailing everything…it kinda took the whole joy out of the season. In fact, it came to be that right about November my anxiety level would go up. I stressed right up to Christmas Eve. And then, like every other year before that, by Christmas morning I felt a huge sense of relief and that’s when I started enjoying myself. I didn’t like this pattern. AT ALL.

Why did it have to be that way? I mean with so many Christmas parties, get-togethers and festivities around me-all fun stuff-so, why the anxiety? It all boiled down to preparations and the fear of forgetting something or just not getting it all done on time. And after all had passed I regretted the fact that I had missed out on so much due to all of the anxiety.

Well since then, I’ve changed a few things. My way of shopping has been reduced and narrowed down to Black Friday week. I’ve swallowed the pill that if I’m gonna be amongst a hectic crowd to shop, it may as well be way before Christmas- and done!

As far as food preparations go; My list is done a couple of weeks ahead and one week prior, the groceries get done. I start cooking a few side dishes 2 days before up until the very day. And my table is also set a few days before. Done. Ahhh! All this spread out organisation helps me breathe and gives me time to enjoy the Christmas season and what it’s really about.

Through better organisation, I’ve understood that Christmas is not about giving in the whole material kind of way. I’ve known this forever I think…but when have I really given it much thought? Giving means giving of oneself- and that my darlings means to offer your time and love to those you care about. Taking that extra time to sit and talk, to celebrate and yes, give thanks.

Had I forgotten the real reason why my family and I celebrate this time of year? It’s a special festivity that was given to me by my faith. Yes, that’s a very unfashionable thing to say these days- but it’s just the way it is. I didn’t write history… Christmas was given to us through the birth of Jesus. It’s because of Him and through Him that all this began. So why all the anxiety?

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Because honestly, we slowly shut out our faith by giving it less and less time. It just all became about “stuff” and more “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong! I love the glitz and glamour that all the festivities bring. And I’ll be the first to try to set a top notch dinner table and dress up the house (and let’s not forget my wardrobe for this time of year darlings!). But, all that is but a side note to the real deal.

I’ve grown of the mindset and heart that I’m doing it in someone’s honour; while I help keep tradition alive. I’m preparing a big hearty feast fit for a King, for my family and I, to celebrate Christ’s birthday. After all that He’s given us- this is the least I can do! This has given it such a deeper meaning for me. With this comes the realisation of the importance to keep my family rooted to our faith. I’m pretty sure all this has to do with the fact that I am getting older- and that one day soon I hope to have grandchildren. And with that, I believe it is my duty to teach them about our faith and traditions. Otherwise, what is the point to Christmas?

If there is no deeper meaning to Christmas; just non-stop spending…who are we doing it for? Just to make the economy roll? I doubt this is the key to happiness and fulfilment- and the spirit of love and giving for that matter. (Just look at people’s faces and attitude next time you’re in a mall during the holiday season). No, I’ve decided that for my life, it’s gonna be different.

Organisation early on is key if you want to make time for volunteering, maybe going to a Christmas concert, or choir, and Church Services…certainly beneficial is some breathing time to pray and give thanks (call it meditating if you want!). Personally I’m really looking forward to visiting and receiving…And of course- precious time with the famiglia! It may not be the way for you- but for me, this is what I choose. I’m content and fulfilled with keeping my faith first especially during this time of year.

On that note my darlings, I pray you keep the faith and have yourself a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays- hoping yours are filled with much love, health and joy!

Oh! And of course, once you’ve made time for the real deep down important stuff, please do take the time to be ever so fashionable during this Merry time!

Blessings!

#confessionoftheday: so what if some of the laundry stays bunched up in the dryer for awhile…at least it’s out of sight.

IMG_20181217_191756A.M.D.G.

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