Dashing through the snow…

Jack Frost has finally come to town!

I can’t tell you how much I love winter. Most people in Canada are split. You either love it or you hate it. Personally, I can’t understand why anyone would hate it.

Lately, it’s been snowing for days on end and I can’t get enough of it. I love how the snow settles on the trees and how it glistens in the sun.  I love how on a warmer day when the snow is falling it just has this magical feeling in the air. But most of all, I love what winter means to me.

Of course there is the annoying aspects of it like scrapping off your car and the occasional treacherous driving conditions, but I like to think of all the positive things that winter brings. For me winter is all about homey comfort foods, big sweaters, and of course winter sports.

Having been raised in a fairly athletic family, I have grown up learning to love winter activities. I love to skate, ski, hike, snowshoes, cross-country ski, and of course toboggan. It’s a part of winter that bring so much joy to so many people who make the effort the put on a few extra layers just to have some fun in the snow. For me winter in Canada is a lifestyle. It’s a part of who I am and a part of what I love. It doesn’t hurt that it’s my birthday season either, but mostly I just love to gear up, snap into my skis and hit a few runs on a hill, especially when it’s snowing. To me that is the epitome of winter – slightly warmer, less windy, but snowy days.

When I’m not hitting the ski hills, I can be found in the kitchen whipping together hearty meals. I love to make stews and soups and casseroles.. especially now that I bought some new casserole dishes!:) There is just something about eating an inviting hot bowl of homemade chicken soup or a big plate of lasagna or homemade Mac and Cheese. Helps to keep everyone warm and our of the cold when you got a deliciously fattening meal in the oven!It’s a nice feeling to be able to make a delicious meal and to be able to share it with good friends and have a few good laughs in the process.

Speaking of laughs, winter is a great time to catch up on all those movies I might have missed during the busy summer months. It’s a perfect time to grab some hot chocolate and my favourite blanket and curl up on the couch alone or with friends and watch a few good movies. Winter is a time to appreciate each other company even more because most likely you aren’t going outside as much so it’s good to keep people close, watch a few movies, and maybe play a board game or two. It’s not just about the hot chocolate either. Winter means ciders and spices in drinks too. Can’t you just picture yourself drinking a hot cranberry or mulberry cider with cinnamon sticks in your favourite mug while you watch the snow fall down?

In the end, people in Canada are lucky because we get a wide range of seasons and even though it might be cold and the roads might be rougher to drive on, winter is such a big part of Canadian living that it’s almost hard not to take it for granted sometimes. So this winter season, I hope everyone gets out their favorites recipes, invites some friends over, and gets outside every once in a while so they too can enjoy a wonderful winter season!

The Happiness Project…

It’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote something to update everyone. I know I keep saying this but I really want to try to make more of an effort to blog more and keep people informed on what’s going on.

I’m writing this blog today for a reason, but before I get down to that, I want to bring people up to speed so I’ll keep this short. I am no longer living in Lac La Biche and I’ve moved to Athabasca, Alberta. I’ve been here just over six months. I’m still working as a reporter for the paper here and I really enjoy all the people I’m meeting. I’m currently single and although I’m enjoying my life right now, I do wish I had someone in my life to share it with other than my friends, even though I have awesome friends. I think that sums it up nicely.

So the reason I’m writing this blog today… Well it’s about time I did some more things for myself and got happy. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am happy with a lot of the things in my life and there are a lot of things I wouldn’t change and that I’m thankful for, but I have other things I want in my life too. This is why I’m starting The Happiness Project.

I’m thinking of this as my first step in my own version of “Eat Pray Love”. I think this is going to be a way for me to start to get the things in live that I value the most and ultimately make me happier. this is going to be one year in the making. My goal is to accomplish my goals. Is that oxymoronic to say? Well maybe it is but the point I’m trying to make is I want to be able to say I’ve done all the things I’ve always wanted to do or I keep complaining about. So as of today, I’m starting a list, a list of all the things big or small I want to try to accomplish in one year. Now I know one year isn’t a lot of time, but it’s enough to get the ball rolling. This list is ongoing and ever-changing as I finish some things and look for new ones.

Throughout the year I intend to keep a journal of all my efforts and successes. I want people to know how things are going and to also maybe start their own Happiness Project and then we can help each other keep track and keep going. I also want to have a happiness jar so for every time someone good happens to me I can write it down and put it in the jar. Come New Year’s I can open up the jar and read all the things that have happened to me in the past four months. It would be something to look back on and remember that even when times are stressful there are good things that can happen too. For every time I put a note in the jar, I want to put in $0.25 also so that I can also buy myself something new with the money collected. After the New Year, I think I’ll keep doing the jar and looking at it every four months and go from there This is also going to be an art project so that I can decorate it and start accomplishing that art goal I have too.:)

I’m sure I’ll add more to the list and add more the project as I go along from myself and friends, but it’s a start. So here goes, my TO DO LIST for happiness.

  • Lose 20 lbs by January 2013 – 5 lbs per month should be a nice goal
  • Bring more art into my life
  • Write more for personal reasons – journal more
  • Scrapbook my life in Alberta – the trials and tribulations of a reporter
  • Freelance more stuff out to other media outlets… start writing for a magazine on the side.
  • Find  the right boyfriend or me
  • Get out and have more fun, not always work
  • Save more money – hopefully almost $4,000 by the end of June