Wednesday, December 31, 2008

dear year

dearest year gone by:

i have the photographic evidence of the goodness you've given me.
i've been perusing it lately, amazed at how much beauty i've witnessed.

you've been a gentle year. slowly pushing me to take steps towards my dreams
but giving me the space to let myself deal with some growing pains.

mostly i just settled further into figuring out who i am now that i know what i'm not anymore.
it was a bit of a process but worth the work.

and i'm starting this coming year, jumping right into the change i want to make.
i'm ready for a courageous, adventurous, open hearted year.

i'm looking forward to trusting more (trusting my intuition, trusting others, trusting the universe)
to letting go, to living more and more and more.

its time for a little less gentleness and a little more newness.
its time to be more myself and less scared.
its time for less staying put and more dancing through life.
its time to be more open and less worried about the outcome.
its time to let myself be beautiful and not shy away from my uniqueness.
its time to shake it up, to push myself, to risk more for the sake of a full heart.
its time for less shy....more sass! (if i'd have to make a mantra for the coming year...this might have to be it)!

dare i say it, dear year to come....i think you have the potential to be one damn good year!!!

love vivers

Sunday, December 28, 2008

december views: xmas

simple. replenishing. quiet.

not really words one would likely relate to christmas holidays, but thats what it has been. i can't remember the last time i've had so much space and time to relax to this degree. often in the morning i'll get up really early to drink coffee and visit with mom and then climb back into bed for a whole lot of reading. before it got all icy there were lots of walks and skiing. we also kept it really simple gift wise this year. just one person to buy for, picked randomly in a draw, a decent amount of money to buy that gift with but far far less than what one would spend on gifts for each family member. though the scene under the tree was sparse, it felt so good to keep things simple. mom still did the stockings but also kept it pretty simple. we don't need a lot. we're lucky in what we do have and are all trying to not overconsume.

speaking of overconsuming...perhaps its time to write about food. while gifts were kept simple, food was plentiful. we're quite a collection...2 celiacs (one of whom is dairy free), 1 Dairy/Sugar/Yeast-Free Eater and a Vegetarian. My mom worked wonders and made a christmas dinner where all of our plates were full. Gluten~free stuffing, the best potatoes ever, turkey, a big salad, squash, a mushroom gravy and a meat gravy. My belly and I are so grateful for having yet another Gluten~free Christmas.

its been a bit wild around here as I've come home accompanied by my two wonder~cats and my brother came home with his bff cat, a kitter like no others (who happens to be the size of my cats put together). after a day of them all hissing like snakes, they've become one big happy feline family (much to our relief).

i hope your holidays have been beautiful!

see other december view participants listed here!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

december views: montreal style

montreal highlights thus far:

~brunch at aux vivre with the fam. vegan deliciousness. i especially loved that they served coconut milk with the coffee, all warmed and frothy! i never pondered that as a dairy substitute for coffee and it was just dreamy!

~a visit with old friends. I love the comfort of being around folks that you've known for a while. big hugs and catching up totally hit the spot. also meeting my first blogger pal in real life!!! J of Wonderings and Wanderings was just as lovely in person as you'd think she would be from reading her blog! it was so good to be able to chat with someone and say things like 'shutter sisters' or '50mm 1.4' and not have to explain what you're talking about. I think its mighty rad that we would have probably ended up at the same gathering yesterday even if we hadn't figured out how small the world is and that we have mutual friends, but even better to be able to actually meet someone via blog~land and then in real life!

~inches and inches and inches of snow on the road into where my folks live. especially when combined with snow tires and 4 wheel drive. i haven't seen this much snow in years! i'm loving it, especially admiring the snow from somewhere warm!

~making a much needed stop at a photobooth while waiting for my train. my self portrait journey began years ago by visiting photobooths very regularly until i finally got a camera. i remember finding a black and white photobooth at a metro station years ago....and am hoping they haven't gotten rid of it...seems like a good challenge for a photo~adventure!
any montrealers know where i might find one?

~the pile of movies mom and i are slowly working our way through (and surely we'll restock once we've seen all these). last night watching chocolat was the perfect way to end a snow stormy day!

~putting on the weepies sunday morning and having my parents break out into a full on dance party to the song 'all this beauty'. well, mom was serious and dad was joking (i think)! they are pretty darn lovely people. i'm a lucky kid.

~a walk today with my mom, both in a nearby park and on the trails behind our home. i'm a city dweller but a country kid at heart. I was having a very sensitive morning, but all was put into perspective once i was knee deep in snow, walking through the forest.

~oh reading...i don't know if i've read this much all year. i'm reading Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen and am loving getting lost in tales of the circus. many hours have been spent in bed lost in my book...that what feels most holiday~like right now...having the space and time to do one of the things that makes me the happiest.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

december views 5

happily settled into the relaxed pace of life at my parents home in montreal. its crazy beautiful with snow everywhere and insanely cold (for a wimpy west coastie). i'm aching to break out the cross country skies and get moving. but today i was happy to go to a nice warm yoga class with my mom and try to acclimate to this winter wonderland. hence, so far all my newest additions to 'december views' are indoors...but i've got ideas galore and can't wait to get out into the snow and onto montreal's vibrant downtown streets! i've also loved how many blogs i've seen the ART video on...i love when goodness spreads!

Friday, December 12, 2008

december views 4

sigh...vancouver is a bit manic right now. yesterday was so sparkly and spring~like with wide blue brilliant skies. then today i woke to see snow falling (it snows once a year or so) and now it has turned to pounding rain. i just spent the last half hour with a bucket and my rubber boots emptying my flooding front entrance! oh dear. but i'm happy to be now nestled in for a cozy weekend of getting all organized for my upcoming adventures, with two evening breaks full of friends and yummy food! the adventure begins in 4 sleeps when i head out to montreal for two weeks of family goodness. hope your weekend is wonderful!

as soon as i pressed 'publish' i got off the couch to go make dinner and realized there was an inch of water under my feet. yes, my place was flooding. it's a basement suite and as mentioned i'd just emptied my stairwell of water, but it was back in even fuller force. somehow i managed to keep quite chipper throughout it, especially because of the following things:
a) having two pairs of rubber boots to keep me dry while throwing bucketfulls of water out of my home.
b) that i wasn't the one out front knee deep in cold water in the sump well. grateful for that!
c) that i have tile floors and that although the big rug got really wet, at least i don't have carpets (mold is my enemy).
d) that a task on my to-do list for the next couple days was to mop the floor. done!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

art art

oh my gosh...please watch this! caroline (my favourite video maker) sent me this. she didn't make this one, but its actually a video for a song made for a musician i knew years ago. she, tanya davis, is a super talented poet, storyteller and musician and this video is just pure loveliness!

i have a feeling it might speak to you...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

december views and beautiful days

only one december view today and its a narcissistic one at that! but i felt really beautiful today and wanted to capture that feeling for days when i'm feeling the opposite way. maybe it was the haircut or the new red dress or an inner love glow but the stars were aligned in my heart today and i just felt radiantly beautiful all day. i love these days when everything just feels so in place!

gosh this feels like a vain post but it also feels important. so much in this media driven world reminds us constantly of why we aren't enough and I for one take on far more of that crap than my feminist ideals would like to confess. so i'm feeling some radical self acceptance and believe in my own beauty, inside and out, right here and right now!

i know we know this, but we need to remember it...we are as beautiful now (likely even more so) than if we changed all of those things that we dislike about our bodies/selves. its all about confidence and an inherent belief in ourselves. and its time. it almost makes me ill to think about how much energy in this lifetime i've put into putting myself down. i wouldn't dream of ever talking to someone else that way. where did i learn that? why did i accept that way of thinking? i'd answer those questions but today i'd rather just feel strong in my own beauty rather than focus on the why and how. i'd rather change than ponder change today.

p.s. i think you're beautiful too! very very much so!

p.p.s. are you up for some radical self acceptance today? you deserve it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

more december views...

i'm back in vancouver, snuggling kitters till they start a purrfest. i'm laughing at seeing myself in the mirror, looking like clinton and stacey stole me away to new york for a makeover (when in fact it was some seriously good success at the fat fancy store and target). thats what i so love about my trips to portland...i always come back feeling even more rooted in my~self.

most of today was spent on a train to seattle and then a bus to vancouver so i don't actually have many pictures to today so i'm going to share more of the things that have made me visually swoon over these past few days:

did you know the headquarters for bitch magazine are in portland?

my bro in law, me and sis in xmas hats just after putting up the silver~vintage~rotating~xmas~tree!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


hmmm...excited that it is time for december views again. my camera has been in great use lately and here's some of what i've been seeing.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


i'm in my beloved portland. sigh.

ever since the first moment i came here i've felt at home. there's something about this city that feels so familiar...people look familiar to me too. and since vancouver, in all its glory and in all these years i've been there, still doesn't have that sense of 'home' for me, it becomes even more apparent what does and does not feel like home.

and i'm lucky enough to have family here, so i try to take a trip whenever i see a possibility. and its been way too long since my last trip. so happy to be home.

highlights thus far:

~going to the fat fancy store. they are only open one weekend a month, and i'm so happy it was this weekend. scored a few vintage dresses and a gorgeous coat! plus it felt so lovely to be in a place based around gorgeous plus sized vintage clothing. loved it. it totally made my day!

~lunch at por que no with my sister. the last 24 hours has been a mexican food bonanza...and if i just leave off the cheese, it makes me a happy gluten~free girl. we don't have good corn tortillas in canada, and they kinda taste and feel like they would have wheat in them, but don't....makes me feel like a digestively~normal person.

~touring our favorite neigbourhoods, cute shops, vintage stores (don't ask me how many more vintage cameras i got today...but they were such good deals i couldn't resist) and there seemed to be good deals everywhere. yummy.

~portland has the best coffee i've ever had. its stumptown coffee everywhere. i love a place that has really high standards for coffee.

tomorrow we're going downtown which is a part of portland i haven't been to much.

if you've been here i'm all for suggestions of things to check out here!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

4 beautiful things

~another gorgeous video by my super talented friend caroline.

~going to a unicorn birthday party this weekend. complete with pin the horn on the unicorn, a unicorn piniata and goodie bags containing magic sparkles. and no this wasn't a kids party. it was beyond beautiful.

~going to the east side culture crawl (an art studio tour) and the new sketch i bought from one of my favourite local artists jordan bent. also that he had a klezmer band playing in his studio during the tour.

~this song and video (and the idea of singing so loudly in the middle of the woods...i wanna do that)

my days have been a mix of being sick and in hibernation and of going to every social event i can to be sure to see everyone i can before i leave for the holidays. as well i'm continuing the seemingly endless task of culling my belongings....which is going really well and feels so good. somewhat without words lately (as well as having lost my voice today) i'm looking forward to december when darlene is bringing back the 'december views' in which one can join the task of blogging pictures rather than words.

so there they are. 4 beautiful things.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


two weeks ago i made a surprise decision to go on a cleanse. i gave myself about a day to eat whatever i had that i would soon be parting with and then went for it. i did this cleanse way back when i was 16, and did it for a number of months and after the cleanse i felt the best and healthiest i have ever felt in my adult life. and i'm ready to feel like that again.

so, i'm saying bye to dairy, sugar and fermented foods. seeing that i already live gluten free, you'd think that i'd be in a complete world of depravation and have nothing to eat, but really its not true. honestly, i'm just putting in even more effort to make food for myself and most of the time i feel pretty blessed that there is so much i can eat.

i though i might share a few of the things that are keeping me feeling like i still have quite a delicious world of food ahead of me.

~larabars. they don't contain any sugar or dairy and have so many amazing flavours...i'm mostly smitten with pecan pie and peanut butter cookie flavour though they all are quite scrumptious.
~stevia. oh stevia, i'm not sure i'd be able to do this without you! stevia doesn't spike blood sugar or feed candida, so its safe for those who can't have sugar. i'm using unsweetend almond milk and adding a bit of stevia to it makes it much easier to consume!
~kale. one of my favourite things to eat right now is kale cooked up with a whole bunch of garlic and shallots. so scrumptious. having salad with no dressing (as most have sugar and vinegar) doesn't make me too happy, so kale is taking its place in my life and i'm lovin' it!
~vega protein powder. i've been using this protein for years and nothing will sway me from it. it is made of pea, rice and hemp protein, sweetened with stevia, has lots of fiber, digestive enzymes, probiotics and i think it tastes mighty good. i use the plan flavour. add some blueberries and almond milk and it's an ideal way to start my day, have as a snack or drink during one of my night shifts!
~kinnikinnick yeast free, dairy free, gluten free rice bread. pretty much the only bread i know of that i can eat right now. corn thins are also making for a great bread substitute.
~squash, garlic, roasted root veggies (yams, beets, parsnips), granny smith apple, peanut butter and banana sandwiches...very thankful for all these things!
~books. healing with whole foods tells me everything i need to know about food, the complete candida yeast guidebook is my bible on the rules of the cleanse (there's so many variations on this cleanse), and the gluten~free girl book is my favourite, as shauna is super inspiring through sharing her excitement about what she can eat in her gluten~free life.

as inspired as i am feeling about food, the first portion of a cleanse is tough. fatigue and headaches are increasing as the toxins are being banished from my body. i'm feeling worse, but know that i will feel better in the long run.

and since i'm probably going to be on this cleanse for a while and surely i'll get sick of smooties and kale, i'd love if anyone has suggestions on their favourite gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free things to eat!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

fear vs love

another reason why we need to chose love, not fear:

i live in a country where i have the right to marry who ever it is that my love~journey takes me to. I don't take that right lightly.

I wish I were in california right now so I could join in the marches and protests protesting the right for all people to marry in that state being revoked. I fully believe that things won't stay the way they are....i believe that the way I believed (and no pessimism could sway me) that Obama would become the next president. Because it has to happen, because its time for change. Because Hope can trump Pessimism if we try hard enough, because Love can swallow Hate whole if we try hard enough. This setback has motivated people who believe in LOVE to take action. Like this video (if you have 6 minutes to spare i highly recommend watching the whole thing...its so well said). Love trumps all else, it counteracts the reasons why people voted for prop8. When it all comes down to it, don't we all just want to be loved in this lifetime?

Monday, November 10, 2008

living in love

i heard someone say this the other day 'i want to live in love not in fear'. those words have been sinking into my skin and have become a bit of a mantra to keep me present during my days. almost everything in my life that I am not content with is based around fear, whether its worrying if i will find love again, body image, social acceptance...all stem from a place of fear. so i've been trying to put this practice whenever i start feeling the fear rise up.

there are days that i just feel the essence of love, breathing it in and out, feeling in my heart that i am smitten though there was no object of my affection prompting that feeling at that time. on those days i find it so easy to be present, to give, to connect. but these days come and go. i just hope to find ways to bring myself to that place. and sometimes it might be like my morning run was today...brutal and hard to keep going but once you push through you just get to a place of calm and just experience it.

its the way this sentence calms me. 'i will live in love and not fear'. for each of us it may be different words that bring us back to the path we want to be on. right now, right here...i think i've found mine.

***it feels peculiar to write this after spending 2 of the last 5 years in a depression. now that i feel relatively happy most days, i'm seeking even more happiness, when in the past all i wanted was to not feel sad. but we deserve all the happiness we can manifest for ourselves in this lifetime***

i took this photo for the courageous living project which is organized by the lovely kate swaboda (who's blog is wonderful. i really love her honesty about her journey...i think she's very courageous). i've been painting quotes that move me on my mirrors for a long time and am enjoying a revitalized focus in mirror messages! i encourage you to try it! I have this message on the full length mirror that stands near where i get dressed. its a great reminder to be kind to myself when i look in it.

yesterday i read this post called ...the next single thing, by jen gray. now, its quite often that a blog post nearly brings me to tears, but this one brought me past the verge into full on tear~land. she wrote these words that speak to my heart so strongly right now. to take the next step that keeps me true to my heart, that aligns me with love and spirit...and trust that all will work out. her reminder that
"if you knew the final destination, you would rush to get there and miss really crucial scenic routes along the way" was just what i needed to hear right now.

"love is at the end of this trip.
i promise you that.
and i swear to god you will never
be so thankful and so aware of
how this journey will give you your life back.
the true life you were destined for"

these words get me all choked up every time i read them. love is at the end of the trip and love is here now. it always was and always is here. i spend so much time worrying/fearing that love will elude me, pass me by, never find me. the thing that speaks clearest to my heart right now is to leave that fear and try, and then try harder, to find the love that is here in my life already, that is here in my every day, that is here in me.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

three very beautiful things

1. that u.s. citizens came together and elected a truly moving new president (thank you, thank you, thank you)!

2. this beautiful video my lovely friend caroline made (and there are more videos of gorgeousness on her youtube page).

3. the wonderful leonie's new creative goddess e-course. i can barely wait for it!