December 30, 2015

Living With Depression From A First Perspective


I have to say I'm kinda jealous of today's generation. I wish all this mental health awareness was being shared and talked about when I was a teen. Twenty years ago -before it was normal, I was fighting  battles with depression every day. And I almost lost the war... I'm neither ashamed nor proud of my condition. But talking about it is necessary to bring the truth to light. It is not taboo and everyone is susceptible to mental illness.

Depression is not a state of perpetual sadness. It's being happy while at the same time questioning whether or not that happiness is genuine. It's feeling like you're on top of the world and then crashing into a pit of self-loathing. It's feeling love and kindness towards others, but not being able to actively show it.

My truth is that I live this every day. Depression is and always will be a part of me. By age seven I knew it. I just couldn't explain it. I was internally panicked at the thought of going to school in the morning. I couldn't make decisions for myself. I worried about others more than any kid should... And that was just the beginning.

I've been motivationally challenged and late for everything since I can remember. Waking up has always been the hardest thing for me to do. It takes a few hours of snoozing. Whilst I slip in and out of dreams thinking I'm awake the whole time. This being a result of Hyper-somnia. Then, the alarm goes off and my "groundhogs day" starts all over again. Because of this cycle I have chronic anxiety at the start of my day. The shift from dreams to reality is simply exhausting for me...

Between anxiety and the ever inadequate sleep I get, I feel week and incompetent most of the time. I wish to be more pro-active. But I can never determine how much sleep I will bank or how well I will feel when it's time to get going.

With depression and anxiety, the struggle starts internally and then is aggravated by the external environment. It interrupts my daily abilities. It rules my emotions. It ravages my routine. It leaves my inner clock unbalanced. And, ultimately, it manifests physically. In particular, depression triggers excessive pain and emotional flare up during my time of the month. No fair!

I am riddled with excuses as to "why I can't" almost every day. I avoid others. I avoid plans. I avoid commitment. I need to cope with my symptoms privately. Because I do not have a poker face. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Living with depression is like being in a relationship with a wall. Some days you're able to work around it. But most days are like ugh! Just leave me alone. Let me be! It's always there, in your way. Your altered ego making you compromise the things you truly want; lie to others about the amount of time you actually sleep; and, creating a wedge between you and your own Will Power!

The long and the short of it is that humans are not designed to thrive in such a fast paced society. We are disconnected from relationships while we waste our lives on social media. We push and push the younger generations to grow up too quickly. We rarely take the time to just sit and do nothing. It seems that our minds are trying to tell us there's a problem. Because more and more people are being diagnosed with mental illness. Our brains are not getting the right attention and nutrition, therefore we lose our emotions due to duress from imbalanced hormones. It's also related to the toxins in our environment and the strain on our physical health due to industry in this "dog-eat-dog" world.

I personally believe that the best answer to this epidemic is natural and available to us. We need to slow down and have a cup of tea, so to speak. Stop planning for the inevitable and learn to live in the moment. We need to fuel our bodies right, release stress positively and return to organic lifestyles. I hope that one day I have the opportunity to move out to the county and connect back with nature, my symptoms will seize to bring so much drama into my life and allow me to live a comfortably humble existence.

I know it will never go away. Most of us are predisposed to mental illness. But above all the stereotypical troubled minds in the world today, there's got to be a better way to live without perpetuating the cycle. And the answer just might be old wisdom.

Keep your chin up doll!

Angélique

September 12, 2015

A Call For Help ~ Suicide Awareness Week


It was brought to my attention that it's Suicide Awareness Week. I shared the link I saw in my Facebook feed along with telling my personal story on the topic. To my surprise the post was received with much appreciation. It got a bunch of likes and positive comments overnight. A few friends and family members thanked me for sharing and complimented the depth to my words. In turn, that gave me a desire to share my thoughts on the blog and elaborate. If only to inspire one person to choose life. 

So here it goes... When I was seventeen, I attempted susicide. However, I was blessed and surrounded by guardian angels, so the attempt was unsuccessful. Thank Goodness!

I can still remember the looks on my parents broken hearted faces. My dad was speechless and my mom was confused and tripping over her words. I totally threw them for a loop! I hurt their baby girl. And I'm truly sorry for that.

During my three week stay at the hospital many friends and family came to visit me. What they all said in common was that I scared them. And they begged me to never do that again. I am sorry for causing them such worry.

Nowadays, when I get overwhelmed I recall those concerns of others. And I remind myself... You're never really alone. Someone cares about you and depends on you to be in their life. Everything is okay.

Recently, it dawned on me that I almost missed out on the last nineteen years of my awesome existence. Its' been wonderful and challenging and messy- because life is. But l get to SHARE it with my amazing network of loved ones. And lean on them when I'm not strong enough to take it all on my own.

The real deal here on earth is that our lives, no matter how isolated or selfish we may feel, are not only ours. We belong to our community... You have so many fans it's ridiculous that you could even fathom a world without YOU! Seriously. So many people count on you just to be there. So please, if you ever feel the urge to take your own life, consider the domino effect you might create. Think of the people you'd be leaving behind and the pain that would cause them. Picture their sad faces over you.

If you feel sorry for yourself. If you're disappointed or angry when you look in the mirror. Even if you think no one will forgive you or love you again, because in your heart you don't deserve it. You can change those thoughts. You can move on and find a sense of worth.. You can become your best self one day. You should look forward to meeting that person! Take the first step and get help now! Talk to a friend. Talk to a family member. Seek professional guidance. You can even talk to your cat (it works for me! lol)... My point is, don't keep it to yourself. It is your right to express! It helps to think out loud. Your burdens can be lifted simply by sharing with others.

Always remember that you are naturally beautiful and perfectly normal exactly the way you are. You're just navigating through a difficult time that your'e not equipped to handle alone. You're human. Mental illness is real. Just like the body, our psyches required TLC and time to heal. The mind is a mysterious thing. 

Living in a fast paced society that bombards us with pressure from dozens of sources to be everything except who we really are, is messing with our creative instinct. We push ourselves beyond human capacity. We forget to love ourselves because the media tells us we are not complete. But we are born whole. We come into this world pure and abundant. So what's missing? Don't be swayed by manipulated propaganda. You fill a space in others hearts and minds that can never be replaced. You come from love. So, love yourself from the inside out.

Be strong. Be you! Love your quirks & imperfections. Don't be ashamed to admit you're in a funk if you've had a bad day that lasts for weeks. Life isn't always happy. If you're depressed, not everyone can understand you. But I guarantee someone will listen.

You deserve the future that is yet to come. It's yours to design. You are an important part in others lives. It's true! Be thankful for the opportunity to make memories every day. You can learn to live with anxiety, depression, pain or stress and manage it well enough to enjoy life. I promise... I am living proof. I am here and now. I absolutely love the life I've created for myself! And, though I may still struggle most days, I know that I am lucky to be alive. I've had two decades of the greatest "do-over" one could ever imagine. I am thriving. And, I am so very grateful for that.

xox
Angélique

July 24, 2015

Easy DIY Surface Wipes!!


After popular demand from a few colleagues at work, I figured it's time I share my simple surface wipe recipe on the blog! It's easy to follow. You can make these wipes exactly as I do or play with the recipe as you like. All you need is a few ingredients, paper towels and a (plastic) container.

I buy the Lock & Lock containers at Walmart. I bought a few of them because I made one for a friend and needed one for work and home. These containers come with two littler sized pieces so be prepared to make a lot of snacks to fill those little guys. lol... I haven't been able to find these containers as individuals. You can use any container that you like. It doesn't have to be plastic either. I just find that these containers work the best.

Most homemade disinfecting wipe recipes on the internet call for white vinegar and water. I tried it. I actually clean with vinegar for most chores. But using the vinegar wipes on my desk at work was nauseating! lol... sitting there, for eight hours, smelling the vinegar lofting up from the desk... blah! I quickly changed the ingredients to water, rubbing alcohol and peroxide. Since I already use peroxide as a surface spray, straight on it's own to disinfect my work station before I make crafts. I thought why not use peroxide in my homemade surface wipes!? Ahhhh... Epiphany!

Peroxide is a natural disinfectant. Rubbing alcohol is antiseptic. And, both ingredients are completely non-toxic so it's a win-win-win and sure to beat cooties everywhere!  The rubbing alcohol also acts as a de-streaking agent.

Distilled water is best. It just is. I find it at most grocery stores in the bottled water section.

You don't have to use Bounty paper towels, however make sure to use a quality brand. Whatever works for you! It's good to note that paper towel will slowly disintegrate when wet. So, the wipes will not last long with a lower grade brand. Most quality brands tend to use thicker designs which are also more durable for cleaning tough surfaces.

Take one large paper towel role and cut it in half with a very sharp knife. I actually bought a new knife specifically for this job... It's almost like you have to saw the paper towel. Be patient and put some muscle into it! You might even have to pull each side and twist it apart because it's impossible to cut in a perfect line. There will be bits of material hanging about on the sawed end after the initial cutting. No worries. I just use sharp scissor to trim the bits off. There's no need for it to be perfect.

If you don't know what castile soap is, you can use dish soap instead. But change the amount to four or five drops instead of half a tablespoon. I originally used dish soap as called for in another recipe and found it to be too bubbly. The bubbles leave residue on the surface which we don't want. Castile is very gentle and light on lather. The purpose of soap in this recipe is to loosen stickiness and grime making it easily wipe away. You can find castile soap at any natural/bulk store. I haven't checked but I think grocery stores might even carry it.

I'd like to make a note about the essential oils chosen for this recipe. Each essential oil is known for its bacteria fighting and antiseptic properties; therefore, act as natural disinfectants. These three essential oils are also common in most areas and accessible to the public. Lastly, these essential oils used in small amounts are non toxic and safe for children and pets. You can change the ratios as you like. Or use your own favourite essential oils if you prefer. There are dozens of essential oils that can be used for this purpose. Be sure to do your own research. If you choose not to use any essential oils that is fine too.

Now for the recipe!

DIY Surface Wipes


1 Cup Distilled Water
1/2 Cup Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 Cup Isopropyl Alcohol
1/2 Tbs Liquid Castile Soap
9 Drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
9 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 Drop Tea Tree Essential Oil

A Tall Lock & Lock Snap Tight Container
Half Bounty Paper Towel Role

  





In a 2 Cup measuring glass, measure out the water, alcohol, peroxide and essentials oils. Stir. Add the castile soap last and stir very gently again, so as not to make many bubbles.

Slowly pour the liquid over the paper towel.


Leave the container with the lid on for about thirty minutes...


After letting the liquids soak in to the paper towel the centre cardboard should slip out easily. If not, give it a few wiggles. Grab the edge of the paper towel and pull it up!



There you have it! Your very own homemade disinfecting surface wipes! Save money and be good to yourself with a natural alternative!

I hope you try this easy DIY project and love it as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by!

Angélique

July 16, 2015

In The Garden And My First Harvest


I'm in love with growing plants! And, intrigued by the prospect of growing produce. In my garden I am growing vegetables of all sorts! Well, to be honest just a few. But enough to keep me busy in the wee hours of the morning. :)


I've managed to keep my Swiss Chard lettuce alive for a few months now. I had started with spinach, leafy lettuce and the swiss chard but it was just too crowded and no one was happy. So I pulled up and tossed the other guys because they were yucky, then repositioned the swiss chard to give each bushel more space. I especially like Swiss Chard lettuce because it stands tall instead of drooping over and getting mushy in the dirt.

I learned quickly that lettuce needs to be pruned back often! At first, I was just pruning the largest/tall leaves to give the plants balance. But by mid june I was harvesting and eating home grown lettuce in my salads. Boo Ya! :)


I have two types of tomatoes. Super sweet tomatoes. And baby cherry tomatoes. So far I've harvested two big red sweet tomatoes! And one little cherry tomato... lol



My cucumbers and dill are growing tall. I wish I'd given the cucumbers a trellis to grow on in the beginning instead of tomato cages. But, I added a few long poles for those babies to twist and tie themselves around as they climb. The cucumbers have started to produce fruit (tiny cucumbers) after these lovely yellow flowers bloomed. I am growing Straight Eights and Baby Pickling cucumbers. I am super excited to jar some pickles this year. Garden gods willing...




I was shopping for more garden accessories at the Dollarama and I stumbled upon this little guy... He's a thermometer! And, I love frogs! So, he's my little garden frog hanging on the window above the herbs.


This is the first place I want to go after work. Actually, I go out on my balcony to look at my plants almost every time I come home from anywhere. The reality of growing a garden is a learning curve every day. I recently drilled holes in my vegetable pots and added the basin tubs so I can water the plants from the bottom. I'd read in a book that tomato plants are never to be watered from the top. And, I learned the idea to use the basin tubs from my aunt when she shared pictures of her tomato plants in containers on the sun deck.

One positive thing about my growing efforts this year is the lessons and advice I've gathered. I have a ton of notes. I keep gardening books on my bedside table. And, I scour the internet for the best tips. I look forward to next year's growing season when I will have a better plan and understanding of the cycles that plants transition through during the seasons.

For now, I just love being surrounded by the green and colourful life I've created and guided along with my own two hands. I am grateful for the experience.

What are you growing this year? Have you received much bounty from your garden? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Cheers!
Angélique

June 18, 2015

After a Season of Settling in I am Home...



This place. My new home. It's perfect! I am so thankful every single day! Filled with glee! Excited and alive again. I am certain that I have the ability to make anything happen. I would not be where I am right now, at this moment, if I didn't believe in that ability. All I have to do is imagine... Even when I couldn't visualize exactly what I was looking forward, I focussed on the feeling I was hoping for. I pretended I was already sitting somewhere new thanking the universe for guiding me there!

Welcome to my apartment! It's so nice to show you around.


Here's what you see upon opening the front door...


...And, with the door closed.


Here's a close up of the dining room window...


And, a shot of the dining room as seen from my most favourite perspective. The couch! lol...


Take about ten strides forward and turn around. You'll see the living room from the dining area. It's a quaint little place I live in. I am overjoyed with the knowledge that I've made it to where I belong. I wanted to be here. I was most attracted to this location and the amenities of this building. I could not have asked for anything more! I received what I truly deserve. A clean, quiet & secure home. And, the people who live in Tecumseh are so friendly!


I tried to picture every angle of the apartment... Here's a shot from the balcony. The living area is actually really spacious! And there is a ton of closet/storage space. My apartment is just right for me. I am very lucky to have received such a blessing. I keep finding more things to be thankful for too! How awesome is that!?


Now, out on my balcony I have an oasis in the sky. A bird's eye view of the neighbourhood. The cats like to sit out there with with me. It's nice to have a little outdoor space. And it's especially great that my balcony is kind of private. I worked on a few projects to make use of this airy space. I put up chicken wire so the cats are safe. I'm growing a container garden of herbs and vegetables. As well as strawberries. I put up a beach umbrella for shade in the afternoon. And, I added a few splashes of colour with flower pots!

So, life is great on the home front. Work is good, but so busy and often overwhelming these days. I am especially thankful for my balcony oasis on those days. It's like a sunroom. My happy place.

~ Namaste ~

Angélique

June 11, 2015

What I Really, Really, Really Want To Do...



It all started with Lucky and Boo...

I had two bamboo plants that I combined because at the time it made sense. (lol) At my old apartment Lucky-Boo shared a window with another plant I've had for over ten years now. In that window my bamboo flourished. It's leaves were emerald green. And it just kept growing. One day I decided to trim it down a bit. I'd heard that plants actually require some pruning which encourages new growth. I kept the trimmings in a vase with water because they were really pretty. You know those babies sprouted roots! So, I planted the trimmings in dirt topped with stones.

Unfortunately, my first attempt at unwittingly propagating a plant was unsuccessful and the trimmings died. But, Lucky-Boo still continued to grow long thick deep green leaves. And new shoots sprouted out.

A while later (in fact last winter) I trimmed some cuttings again. But this time I paid better attention to nurturing them. I kept them in a large mayo jar. I left the water level at only a few inches and I changed it every week or so. I also took the time to rinse the individual bamboo cuttings at each water change. I think that step helped prevent moulds from taking over. I also learned by this point that bamboo doesn't really like dirt. It is happiest in gravel sized stones. And the water level should never be higher than the stones...

Another interesting factor I did differently this time is that I kept the cuttings all together in the large mayo jar for over four months. When I finally potted those babies the roots were about three inches in length! I think time made all the difference!



I placed two cuttings in each vase and gave two of those away. I'm keeping the third one and I named her Tes... (Yes, I name all my plants, lol)


The feeling I had after giving away my babies was really humbling. It made me realize my purpose in life, a little more. And in one single epiphany EVERYTHING came together.

I want to grow plants for a living. I'd like to bring more awareness to Aquaponics and other self sustaining techniques. Since I'd rather spend my days in the garden than working at an office I think it would be a blessing to grow organic produce to sell locally. And, manage a nursery of seedlings, flowers and bamboo! My goal is to make it a year round production because I plan to grow indoors in large greenhouses. I might even have a worm farm!

So this is my new dream! I'm warmed by the memories of when I used to follow my grandma around her massive garden. My sister and I would pick strawberries, peas and cucumbers and eat them right there. I know I inherited my green thumb from my grandma. So, when I visit her in the nursing home I am eager to tell her about my houseplants and the vegetable I'm trying to grow. :)

What are your big dreams? Do you believe they really come true? Tell me what you think in the comments below. Sometimes, just knowing what you want is enough to make it happen...

Be Free To Choose,

OXO
Angélique

April 24, 2015

The Air Upon My Face...


I just want to be outside.
Touching the grass.
Feeling the air upon my face.
I want to break out of this corner!
Find a new purpose
And leave this place.
I just want to go outside.
Hear the breeze in the trees.
See the birds give chase.
If I could go outside...

I just want to be outside.
Sitting quietly.
Feeling the air upon my face.
I want to get out of this corner!
Stop holding my breath
And leave this place.
I just want to lay outside.
Bathe in the sun's rays.
Drop out of the race.
Lets go outside...

~ADB~


It's spring and I'm wishing for some fresh air. And when it finally gets here I won't have much time to enjoy it because I work nights. I could enjoy the day, if I woke up earlier. But I don't really like the daytime. It's too bright! On the weekends I get up earlier (or stay up altogether) to enjoy the day and get errands done. I basically work afternoons and sleep a midnight schedule. My bedtime is between 6am to 8am. And I usually wake up by 4pm. So I'm cooped up (at work) during my peak hours... The early evening is my favourite time of day. I love a good sunset!

Ah, if I could be outside more often life would be a little more breezy. Hmm, I think I'm gonna get back in the habit of going for a walk on my break. Yea! That should help me feel less stress. And give me the pick up that I need to get through the busy work day!

The poem is just a rant by the way. I feel better, thanks! ;)


OXO
Angélique

April 23, 2015

Out With The Old...


I did not expect this long journey of change would consume so much of my time that I'd refrain from blogging for such a long period... Nearly two months have gone by since I last posted anything new. I do apologize for that. I can guarantee it won't happen again. At least, not in the near future. :)

I may have been quiet on the blog but I have been quite busy in the real world. I moved in the middle of march and since then I've been working overtime just about every day! I love that I have the opportunity to work so much and make the extra money. But it's really taking a toll on me spiritually and creatively. In fact I know I could have written these last weeks but I just didn't have the energy. Or, the inspiration. Even though I am ridiculously happy. I'm just not "On" these days...

I didn't have pictures on my computer to show the before and after of this grand adventure. So my plan to write an epic series of blog posts about my move just didn't seem to fall in to place. But, here are a few pics of the old place upon packing it all up.








This last picture belonged to my parents when I lived in the first house I grew up in. It has a partner with a longer phrase but this one is my favourite. I truly believe that smiles and a joyful spirit are contagious. Everyone genuinely means well. We just get wrapped up in our own bullshit that we forget to smile sometimes.

I had this picture and a bunch of other items from my parents up until this last move. They were pieces of my childhood. I donated the things I needed to let go of. I'm not gonna lie. It was hard to say goodbye to many items. But it was time.

It's interesting to note how dark the colours were in my last place. I didn't realize how dim it was at the time...

I'll write another post about my new apartment shortly. I just needed a jump-start to get back in the groove of writing & posting again. So there we have it. The end of an era! Shake it off!

I am excited for this wonderful new beginning. And blessed to be guided by angels.

Thanks for listening,

OXO
Angélique

February 19, 2015

These Three Things Make A Humble Heart...


FAITH
HAPPINESS
GRATITUDE

I have spent many nights laying in bed trying to sleep but my mind and heart race to make sense of the day and life in general. I need closure with everything. I analyze things over and over until I'm ready to let go... It's no surprise I'm a writer.

In my young adult years I wrote in a journal almost every night. I'd start off with a piece of random verse. It was a code of thoughts pertaining to events and circumstance around me with an eloquent twist that proved to be a magical instant journey for the soul. I'd follow those paragraphs with a journal entry written in plain english. Venting my heart to the ruled lines of spiral notebooks, while tears rolled down my cheeks staining the pages. I have about six notebooks filled. I compiled the paragraph sized poetic pros in a manuscript that is over one hundred pages in length. For a girl who never finishes anything, I sure have a lot to work with...

One day I saw a female doctor on Oprah who discussed a lot of cool things regarding women's health; specifically, women in menopausal years -which I am not. But her advice on feeling one's best was a hundred percent true! I wish I could remember her name, but I am at a loss. I apologize for that. Because her best advice changed my bedtime journal ritual.

She explained that each night we have the opportunity to harness the energy of the day for the best. To obtain freedom and negate worry. It's also the perfect time to practice gratitude. Send it all out to the universe. Let it go. And be grateful...

Now I write just three things:

  1. What I really, really, really want...
  2. What the happiest part of my day was...
  3. What I am most thankful for...


Daily Blessings/Prayer Journal



I've been writing bedtime prayers and considering the things in life that are positive more often for over five years now. Some nights I am too tired to physically write them down because I've forgotten and am already curled up in bed. So, those nights I go over the day and ask for blessings in the manner of these three statements in my head.

It helps me sleep better. I believe in myself and my dreams more. And it makes me view the day through a positive lens instead of whining with teenaged angst. Overall, it's changed my life because it helps open my heart.

If you're trying to create a bigger sense of joy throughout the day, then you should give this a try. Write down these three things at night before you go to sleep. If you already have some sort of bedtime ritual that helps settle your mind while giving thanks to the universe, than leave a comment below. I'd love to hear from you!


Blessings,

OXO
Angélique

February 5, 2015

The Many Hats I Wear... Writer, Blogger & Technology Guru!


Okay, so that's the only picture I have of myself in a hat. And it's not the greatest quality, but you get the idea. ;)

I've been dealing with some interesting setbacks lately. My computer is outdated. It still works, I just can't use any new programs because it's not compatible with the latest software. I'm doing alright trying to figure out some of the tech things to my blog. And I understand my computer more than I used to because running a blog efficiently requires probing your computers potential. But a new computer will make my photos and graphics more vibrant! So, I'm saving up for that.

Recently, I learned about URL's, RSS's, CSS & HTML (just a teensy bit). It's pretty fricken awesome! So, I know the reason my recent blog posts weren't updating on Bloglovin & Google. Ya see, a while back I ventured away from Blogger because I couldn't figure out how to create individual Pages/Tabs and I thought maybe Wordpress would be more helpful. NOT! OMG! If you're a beginning blogger do yourself the favour and stick with Blogger until you're confidant with code (computer jargon).

Wordpress will not allow you to personalize any of the free templates either. Which was a total bummer after spending hours setting up my account. Not fair! Personally, I don't want to pay for a platform until I've got an established following. And, when I started blogging, my blog's focus was still in it's infancy.

One day, Blogger emailed me advising that they'd made their Pages more easy to find and use. Exciting! I came back and managed to bring my domain with me (all by myself). With the help of tutorials I found on the internet, of course. From the Pages menu I learned to navigate my Dashboard more accurately. The only good thing about Wordpress is that after signing up I was able to purchase my domain, www.easygoodness.com. Blogger didn't have the option to purchase domains when I started Easy Goodness. I came back to Blogger and I dedicated myself to poking around and understanding what goes on behind the scenes. I've managed to learn a lot in less than a year. My registered domain will be up for renewal in March.

So, what happened with my RSS feed, you might ask? Well, I had the brilliant idea to add the Wordpress URL into my Bloggers settings with the hopes that it would revert anyone who typed in easygoodness without the world wide web (www.) predecessor. For some reason typing just easygoodness brings you to http://easygoodness, in Wordpress which states Nothing Found. Since I put that URL in my Blogger settings (with the hope it would link the Wordpress site to my domain) I disrupted my URL and that created errors in my RSS feed... Pretty smart thinking, eh? :)

I had an epiphany when I connected the dates of my missing posts on Bloglovin and Google to around the time I had the idea to put the bogus URL where it didn't belong. lol... I'm impressed with myself for being persistent enough to discover a solution. Well, I came up with a theory which was successful in the end. I removed the bogus URL and my RSS feed was back! I have a well deserved feeling of relief & satisfaction.

I often get down on myself before I try. Which is exactly the reason I've started/abandoned three blogs since 2008. I've been working on this one, Easy Goodness since 2012... However, I only recently started posting frequently. With purpose. I used to give up too easily. Now, I want "This Something" from the bottom of my heart. More than I've wanted anything before. Blogging brings all of my potential together in one place. It's a forum in which my callings are answered. I really want to know my blog as well as possible. It's a relationship I'm creating here. Between me and my audience. And in a way, a relationship with my best self. After all, publishing my endeavours unveils a point of no return. It helps me to follow through.

I owe a shout out to Dana Fox from Dana Fox Creatives. I found two of her blogs and in merely days I've learned things I never expected I'd ever come across. In fact I thought I'd have to hire someone to help me with such simple details. In the future I may consult with graphic designers but I'd prefer to figure it out for myself for now. Dana shares her creative side on -Wonder Forest- and nails the perfect blogging/tech tutorials on I can build a blog. If you guys are interested in starting a blog, or if you already have one of your own I highly recommend you head over to both of Dana's blogs and read everything that suits your fancy. She's also a fellow Canadian who lives in Ontario (the same province I live in). Which is super exciting for me. I look forward to meeting her one day. In fact, I'd love to meet all my blogging idols.

I have one blogging friend whom I work with. She's the first blogger friend I have in the real (not virtual) world! Stephanie from Crochetapy. Her blog is pretty neat. She shares all her crafty projects from crochet to knitting and lots of photos of the world as she sees it. Her crafting nature has reawakened mine. And I am thankful for that.

Each of my blogging idols offers advice and amazing energy to lift your spirits. Their words resonate through me and I hear their voices in my daily life. It's amazing how reading a quick blog post can totally make your day! Or change your perspective entirely. It's like a nugget of inspired information from a wise sage. For the time being I have a list in the sidebar that will link you to my favourite bloggers. I aspire to be a successful blogger like them one day. You should take the time to visit their blogs. Who knows? You might just find the answers to the things on your mind...

Happiness is definitely an attitude!

Life has offered me some wonderful changes these last few months, and I couldn't be more grateful! For one thing, my application for the apartment I really wanted was approved. I am moving to the east side in March. It's a little scary but it's almost perfect too! I have to give up some things I own in order to fit into the smaller square footage. But it's so worth it. The new apartment has a pool and a sauna. And, a dishwasher in each unit! My body will benefit from swimming/water activity because it does wonders for fibromyalgia pain. And the sauna will warm/soothe my sore muscles and sweat out toxins.

Having a dishwasher will help me be more productive. My greatest challenge when it comes to getting crafty in my kitchen is that I don't like washing dishes by hand. No one does, right? Well, if I didn't already have arthritis I wouldn't mind so much. But my hands start cramping after just a few minutes. My fingers, knuckles, palms and wrists suffer from burning aches twenty-four hours a day. They get strained from basic use. Saving my hands from the extra pain of dishes will give me more "hands on time" towards projects! Yay!

I've been purging the excess and packing up a life I created in this apartment. I'm looking forward to my new beginning. And it's just in time for spring! I hope you're ready to follow along.

OXO
Angélique

February 3, 2015

Claiming My Blog on Bloglovin...

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/12831043/?claim=hxtfynq9y3x">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>


Hey guys!

I'm still learning how to work things on the blog. Recently, I came across a blog that offers tutorials on layout and template design. So that's pretty cool. Things are shaking up around here!

I am having trouble claiming my blog on bloglovin... I don't know what the problem is. I've claimed it at least three times and it hasn't updated since my first posts of the month. Ironically, now that I am sharing on a weekly count the main blog sharing/reading site acts finicky. Fingers crossed it works this time! :) Oy! lol

Check out my bloglovin feed here and follow me please. It only takes a minute. And, I'd really appreciate it.


- ADB - 

January 27, 2015

And so God Created a Blogger...




And so God Created a Blogger

They called us prophets...
We were revered as oracles.
Foretellers of the great future.

We became known as philosophers.
During a time of great thinkers.
We were the enlightened ones...

Over centuries our names have changed.
But truth be told we are really angels.
And though many hats we've come to wear.
Only one fits in this twenty first century.

Now, we are simply known as bloggers!

Others need something to believe in.
And we are the ones who inspire...
People need something to learn from.
So we publish our life stories for example...

Yes, we are simply known as bloggers!

Interwoven by an international movement.
Embracing our voices and speaking from the heart.
Creating change within our own lives,
And sharing for the world to discover.

We are made by god's hand.
Touched by a vision of perfection.
And ingrained with goodness.

We are still prophets, oracles and philosophers.
Our wings always allow us to fly.
But with a flash of light and the blink of an eye
We've grown with the earth over time.

We are bloggers. By many names.
Messengers delivered by god.


- Angélique Dawn ~ 2015 -

January 22, 2015

The Power of Positive Thinking And Practicing Gratitude...

I've decided to downsize from a two bedroom spacious upper in a duplex to a single bedroom cozy sixth floor apartment on the opposite side of town... I still haven't caught my breath. But here's the short version of the story.


It's been an emotional journey but I am pretty sure I found a place to call home! Tomorrow, I am going to the bank to get a money order for the last months deposit. And then Friday I'll bring the application and money order to the manager. So, I can't exactly say that it's mine yet- but I'm already visualizing the the puzzle of fitting my furniture into the layout.

In my previous post I mentioned that I'd heard a two bedroom might be available in a building that I really liked. This information was faulty. However, like a "hail mary" play, I asked to view the single bedrooms available in this particular building. Though it is quite petite, it's exactly what I need!

It's your basic apartment building unit. You walk into a mini hallway looking at the galley kitchen. Beyond the kitchen is the dining area, which extends to the living room. The cats will enjoy running in circles! Off of the living room is another small hallway with a closet. Beside that closet is the bathroom. And beside the bathroom is a bedroom. It's just big enough to fit my queen size bed, my glass-door cabinet (handed down from my mum), and my nightstands. I have to get a new tall dresser because my long one will not fit. But I think I have enough plastic drawer organizers for small clothing items and the bedroom closet is pretty big. So maybe I don't need a dresser after all... There is a coat closet at the entrance and the unit also has an en-suite storage room that's basically a large square closet.

I plan to keep the cat litters in the storage room. I'll have to clean the litters much more often now... Being in such a small space. Oy! Well, at least the cats will benefit from that. I do however keep two litters for the three girls. They won't have a problem with the smallness of the apartment, I am certain of that! All three of them pile in bed snuggled up either on me altogether or each close enough to touch. They shouldn't be bothered by the size themselves, but I definitely CANNOT get anymore critters! lol

My fav awesome feature is that this apartment has a long balcony! I will get to start and grow a garden (right in time for spring) using the containers I've saved from my past indoor gardening trials. I will also be able to enjoy sitting out on the balcony because it faces west. Another great feature, being that I work afternoons and sleep all day. I will actually have sunlight in my home during the afternoon when I'm awake and getting ready.

The new apartment has a large dining window as well as the glass balcony doors so I will still be able to keep most of my plants. Well, the ones that have names anyway! lol I am giving a few to my friend Lindsay. She helps take care of my cats when I am out of town. And I should at least let go of a few plants. I do honestly talk to my plants. I take time to admire them during my watering routine! I talk gently to them whilst I prune their leaves and I do the same as I repot them into new containers. I can't believe I've had some of my houseplants for about ten years. I guess they've grown on me... I really love being surrounded by luscious greenery. I just feel so alive watching life thrive on the very basics of nature. However, houseplants and vegetable gardens are completely different creatures. I am excited to see what and if I get to harvest any bounty in the fall.

Wow! Look at me getting ahead of myself here. Goodness. I just have this feeling, ya know...

So, I can grow a garden outside on the balcony during the comfortable weather and bring it inside under the grow light in the winter. I think it will work out swell! The apartment unit has a dishwasher. On top of laundry facilities, the building has an indoor pool and a sauna, a cozy common area and a party room. I could actually host a family gathering. How cool is that? I think living in "The Terrace" will be my next best adventure! I am lucky to have so many people in my life, supporting and loving and wanting the best for me. I believe the universe has heard all of our prayers and happy thoughts.

I owe a great big shout out to my sister Natalie! Without her help I wouldn't have had the motivation to search and search the internet and streets for a new home. She is patient and purposeful and her opinion in these matters has been a guiding light.

I also owe a shout out to my parents! For listening. And listening. And listening... ;)

In a few days when I know that things are locked I'll write another post to share that update. I just can't stop thinking about it. How amazing is it that my intentions and prayers directed the universe in my favour? I am forever grateful.

Each morning (though I fight a wall of crankiness) I am thankful to be alive. And each night (whilst I mull over possibilities) I recall how lucky and blessed I am to have the things I've prayed for in the past. There is no doubt in my mind that good will, visualization and a constant sense of gratitude are the ingredients to a want fulfilled. And living fulfilled is thriving, my friend...

OXO
Angélique

January 15, 2015

A Make Over For The Season ~ In Celebration Of Change!

From the very beginning I've been trying to do it my way! I often feel that I want to join in with the others, but I never want to follow along. Until, finally- I break down and try what's all the hype! Then, I wonder what took me so long...

I have a lot of imagination, but only so much patience and my drive is sometimes questionable. The thing is, lately I can't shake this feeling of dissatisfaction. I hope that when I move to my new "home" that feeling will fade and be replaced with comfort and joy. I look forward to the new scents, sights and sounds I will come to know in the near future. For now, I've started packing, I am vigorously looking for a new apartment and I'm trying to keep it cool. But my heart is up in my throat, I can't take it much longer! lol



I have my mind set on a particular apartment. Well, it's a building that I have "inside information" that a two bedroom is coming available. I'm on the waiting list. I received an email that their tenants only have to give thirty days notice so I hope that I am at the top of the list and they reach out to me on February 1st. It's a bit more than I wanted to spend but it has an indoor pool and sauna. I haven't even seen it in person. I just fell in love with it on the site. For the prices of what's out there I don't mind paying a little more for better amenities.

I plan to go see some more places over the next few weekends. I don't want to settle for what's easiest like I did when I moved in to my current place. I need to learn to live more frugally. Choosing a home because it's cheap does not suit me anymore. I deserve the best!

I expect that paying more for where I live will teach me to take my money spending habits more seriously. I hope it does... Because I've concluded that frivolous spending is a side effect of being a commercial junkie! As much as I preach that I am trying to keep it simple- I still can't get over my ingrained fear of not having enough. And I am so easily convinced that I do need things. Whether I buy it from a big company or a hand crafted local business I am still acquiring more and more things every day! I need to go on a spending fast lol...



I've noticed that many of the bloggers I follow have recently had facelifts. And most of them maintain only one side bar throughout their blog. I didn't want to get on that band wagon for a long time, but I figured with the new year, the new home search and the itch I can't seem to scratch, I might as well update the blog too! It's ironic too because I was having difficulty getting my gadgets/etc. to fit efficiently. I had way too many photos (for no reason), and I couldn't get the recommended sized adds to fit in either side bar. My stubbornness was a big challenge to overcome, I suppose.

I removed the left side bar, made the right side bigger, fiddled for a few days with the layout and I think I am happy with how it looks now. I still like the way my blog flows like a journal/diary. But with all those pictures and fillers my posts seemed crowded and lost in the stream. I think I've got it balanced now. The main posts will get much more attention as they have space to breathe. And my OCD can rest for a while...

Going along with the popular kids is quite an achievement within itself. It's an attitude like that which will lead to my success. You have to follow the trend to keep the public's interest. I'm not a copy cat. I don't like trying to be like anyone else. However, I want to make a greater impact on my readers. I want them to come away feeling changed for the better when they read these pages. I want my fans to grow with me. And I believe that following those who have created their own success will help me to do so. No worries, I'll always be keeping it real! ;)

Feeling Restless,

OXO
Angelique

January 7, 2015

My Awesome Indoor Winter Garden Fail...


I set off on a goal to grow an indoor garden for the tenth time. It all started nice and pretty. Excitement overwhelmed me each day as I entered my spare room filled with sprouts of good intentions! But again, my little babies didn't get to grow into the beautiful bounty they were meant to be. Alas, my indoor garden just doesn't work...

Dancing Dill Sprouts! :)



I ordered these two important starters on Amazon Canada. A mini green house and a heating pad to mimic the right conditions. This is exactly what seeds need in order to sprout. High humidity and warmth. Within a few days I welcomed new life all around me! I personally find sprouting and starting plants to be a rather easy task. But other than houseplants, I have a hard time compelling my babies to mature. Most seem to fade before they get a real chance to live. I believe the most likely explanation is that my apartment is too cold. And I really don't know what the heck I'm doing yet... lol... It's been a lot of trial and error learning to work my green thumb.






Lettuce Sprouts

Lettuce about a week old...
Lettuce almost a month old...


Cucumbers repotted in their new home...
A little while later!






Just this week I finally gave up on my cucumber plant. It was so beautiful and flourished for a long time, but just as soon as it started to flower it dried out. Almost overnight... It's such a heartbreaking moment when you notice your plants shrivel. But such is life when it comes to being green.

My peppermint is still alive. It's a slow grower but it's growing. And there are these tiny bitty leaves that have been poking out of the dirt for a few weeks now. They weren't part of the original sprouts from the greenhouse. I know peppermint is basically a weed, so it makes sense why it's still kicking. I look forward to some fresh mint one day!

So that's what's going on with me. Besides looking for a new home. I'm knitting more and reading a lot. I am totally dreading the idea of packing up this apartment over the next couple months. The task seems so much bigger than it really is. It's true. So, I may not be posting much on the blog over the next while. Just to let you know...

Stay Warm out there!

oxo
Angelique
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