INTERNATIONAL BAN.DO PLANNER DAY

There are so many reasons why I love Ban.do agendas, and since today is International Ban.do Aenda day, I thought I would share of few of my favorite aspects of them.

O N E – THE DESIGN

All of the prints on the agendas are so pretty and floral (there are a few plain one colored agendas too). For the 2018-19 year the Ban.do team added a few new designs to their Agendas and you can find them directly on their website here. As you can see in the photo above, I opted for the pink floral design for this year.79BDDDB9-33DE-473D-9237-5A26C0F88632

T W O – THE LAYOUT 

If there’s anything more important in an Agenda, it’s the format. There has to be enough space to write in points for each day, but also, there can’t be too much space for it to seem like you are leaving huge white space which is unnecessary. These agendas have just the right amount. In addition, at the beginning of each month there is an overview of the entire month – which I always find very useful.

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T H R E E – INTERNAL DESIGN

At the beginning of every month there is a fun quote with a two page design to start the month off right. Throughout the entire agenda there are little quotes and actions (suggestions) to make your week more entertaining and fun.

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Happy International Ban.do Day!

MY OWN SPACE: OFFICIAL DOMAIN

It’s been a long time coming for this and it finally happened. I’ve FINALLY created my own blog domain; no more Blogger or WordPress endings. We are now operating fully on our own domain and it feels so good!

I’ve had some time recently to reevaluate my goals + passions and it has led me to this. I always tell people to follow their dreams and to just go for it with something they feel passionate about. I’ve finally taken my own advice {with the support of a few good friends + of course my husband} and decided it was time to branch off into my own online space (domain, technically).

The minute I received the confirmation email with the domain registration I got butterflies in my stomach – this is your place in the online world, like, did I just buy a house or something? Now what. All of a sudden a thousand different ideas crossed my mind – where do I start now; the template, the posts, the social media? Luckily, being the organized control freak that I am, I knew exactly where to start. The notebook obviously.

So, it’s all coming together slowly, and I m  beyond thrilled for this new outlet and experience. As always, I’m happy to continue to inspire those who follow my posts – there really aren’t many other things that bring me as much happiness, as those that I discuss + share on my blog.

Thank you for all the support as we continue to grow + build The Prettier Life!

SUMMER EVENING #OOTD

During the summer months, I can’t live without dresses! I could wear a dress every single day and for every occasion if possible and the only reason I don’t is usually just because of the insane Air Conditioning that occurs here in Canada in the summer. It’s quite painful really; for me, it’s to the point where I can’t walk into a store with a sleeveless dress on without freezing over to the point of joint pain…

Anyways, this is one of my favorite dresses. It’s flowy, light, floral, and Zimmerman (one of my favorite designers) inspired. You just can’t go wrong with floral dresses in the summer!

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I paired the dress with a sunshine yellow cardigan, kitten heeled sandals (totally vintage and I love them), and my go-to summer night out bag from Kate Spade.

SATURDAY IN THE CITY

Growing up I told myself I would work and live in the heart of the City – there’s a type of lifestyle downtown that I craved; big city + corporate life. Funny enough, now that I’m “all grown up” I run as far away from all of that as I possible can. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spending time in the city, corporate structures are necessary, and city life is enticing, BUT, I’m happier in the suburbs.

When planning our move to Ottawa this year we were beyond excited for the opportunity. Whoever we talked to and whatever we read about life in the Capital region was right up our alley; just what we were looking for in our lifestyle choices. Settling in a BIG CITY but living in a small town vibe was just what we wanted. It takes us 20 minutes to drive into the heart of Ottawa (Parliament Hill), and we are situated in a quaint family oriented suburb, surrounded by endless fields, greenery, and all the necessities (grocery stores, shopping malls, etc). Keeping in mind, as I mentioned, we are 15 minutes away from the heart of the City.

I can say honestly, with my hand on my heart, this is perfection. Waking up to the sunshine beaming through my windows, and looking out to see fields, greenery, and homes in the distance. They layout is truly ideal for our liking. Not only is everything close by, but when we do decide to go into “the City” it feels so much more special.

Last weekend, we took our Friday Night Date Night right into the heart of the City, into an incredibly pretty location called Byward Market. The date started with wood-oven pizza and Chardonnay, on a cozy flower covered patio, overlooking the picture perfect market promenade. After dinner, we picked a direction and started walking, discovering whatever was ahead of us; in this case, Embassy’s, museums, and some of the most beautiful architecture and views in the city.

Every single time we step out of our home we find a new and beautiful location in this City. There is still so much we have to explore and I can’t wait share more experiences of this mesmerizing region with you!

BE PRESENT + ENJOY LIFE

How many hours a day do you spend on your phone/tablet/computer? Do you spend more time “living” on an electronic device than you do in the “real world”. I must’ve admit that I have been guilty of this type of lifestyle. When you’re chasing your dreams and working hard, it’s hard not to spend hours on your electronic devices writing posts and coming up with content for your social media accounts. I’d transition from being on a computer all day at work, to spending my evenings on my phone or laptop working on content and researching inspiration.

About a year ago, I decided it was time to take control of this precious time and rethink my social media strategy vs. being aware and present regularly. On a side note; it’s actually not healthy at all to be facing a screen for that many hours – so that can be a motivator on its own.

It wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be. Although I own many journals, it was always easier to jot things down on my phone. For starters, my phone was always by my side. Luckily, there was an easy fix for this. I bought myself a small journal which I was able to fit into the majority of my handbags. I make sure to pack a journal with me now wherever I go, and to pull it out to jot down notes even for the smaller things.

Another time when I realized I was too focused and engaged with my phone than my actual surroundings was during our travels. I was always so anxcious to take photos, share my experiences, and connect with others during my vacations; this actually left me minimum time to actually live in the moment and breathe in the experiences. On our most recent trip to Europe I decided I would take this measure further; I grabbed my phone only to take photos. After taking the photos, I wouldn’t post them right away. I used social media minimally and was able to be present and take in all the experiences on the trip fully! By seeing the trip through my own two eyes rather than my camera lens I felt that I truly had a vacation.

Now, please don’t take this post literally to the point where you don’t use your social media at all. PLEASE use social media! It’s one of the most powerful and inspiring tools we have in this world. But, use it wisely! What’s most important in life is your presence and your memories – that is to be cherished.

 

BOOK REVIEW: ALL WE EVER WANTED BY EMILY GIFFIN

“People make time for what matters to them” – Emily Giffin

Picking up this book, I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down or get it out of my mind until I finished it. Just like that, I finished the book in two straight days, and I’m still thinking about it. It’s not surprising, as all of Emily Giffin’s books do that to me; the story pulls me in and I can’t stop reading to find out what will happen next.

All we ever wanted in a non-fiction story told from the viewpoints of the three main characters:

  • Nina: The wife of Kirk and the mother of Finch. Born and raised in a small town, before moving away for college, and then falling in love and marrying Kirk; and into the Nashville Elite.
  • Tom: Just a Nashville boy who fell head over heels for a beautiful girl at a bar. The pair had a daughter, Lyla, who Tom is now the sole guardian of, and struggling to keep up with the teenage drama which comes with growing up.
  • Lyla: It all starts with Lyla – just living out her teenage girl ways until she finds herself in a troubling situation.

 

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The overall plot of the story entices readers on learning one of life’s most important lessons; that sometimes thing’s aren’t what they seem. Each of the main characters face their own fears and come to life-changing realizations. Without saying too much.

 

Personally…

When I pick up books like this; a mix of lifestyle drama and potential romantic engagements, I usually don’t assume that I will learn a lesson along the way. This changed with this book; I think Emily told a great story and defined a very important message with her story. Now that I think about it, she often does that in her books; without being too pushy and aggressive, the reader is able to read between the lines and figure it out. I love a good non-fiction story as much as the next person. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who asks about it.