Friday, 27 December 2013

Avoiding The Christmas Blues

Every year around this time, I normally hit a wall and mentally crash.  I become negative and experience really unpleasant emotions of sadness.  I contribute these bad feelings to over extending myself and over indulging.  This year I promised myself I was going to work towards not feeling this way, I was going to enjoy Christmas, all of my time off and go into the New Year with a positive and healthful frame of mind.

Over the last six months I have gradually become more aware of my body, mind and spirit and how it reacts to certain situations.  I have slowly tried to move further away from activities and substances that don't make me feel great and I have made an effort, to spend more time on the activities  that energize me like, prayer, yoga and exercise.

Because I have been applying myself to constantly improving my lifestyle, I didn't want to throw it all away just for two weeks of holiday fun, so I decided I would stay on an even keel and head into the holidays just the same as I have been facing all my weeks prior, with the goal of finding balance in every situation.  Now, please do not miss understand me, I do not claim to be perfect, I simply have a new awareness of how I am in control of how I feel and that I have the power to make myself feel great.  I have still enjoyed delicious unhealthy food and drink over the holidays but just not in such abundance that I hate myself for it a day later.

The holidays are not over yet but I am feeling on top of the world.  I have a few planning projects that I have been picking away at for CCI Studios over the last few days and I am excited for what is in store for me in my career in 2014.  I have discovered a love of yoga and the spiritual path it is taking me on and look forward to continuing to follow this journey in the new year.  Spending time on my mat has also allowed me to spend more time in prayer, getting to know God better and the more I spend time with Him, the happier I become.  My husband continues to surprise me with his affectionate heart and I feel like we grow closer everyday.  The older I get the bigger my heart grows for my entire family as my understanding of their value in my life grows.

2013 was an excellent year for me, I think this year I have taken some large steps in personal happiness and I think I have gained some very useful tools that will help me to face any challenging times that may come my way.  I am so excited for 2014, I look forward to finding out what it has in store for me.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

I was watching the Sound of Music (the new version with Carrie Underwood) and as she sang "My Favourite Things",  I started to think about all of my favourite things about Christmas.  As I get older and time passes a little quicker, I realize how important it is to spend your time well.  At the beginning of each Christmas season, I always have a mental list of the things I know I want to enjoy, here are some of my favourite things to enjoy during Christmas.

1) A lit Christmas tree in my living room.

2) A lazy day on the couch with my snuggly dog and husband watching movies and eating junk food.

3) A snow storm.

4) Finding the perfect Christmas gift for someone and watching their excited expression as they open it.

5) Gingerbread lattes, coffee, specialty coffee and any warm drinks in the winter.

6) Giving.

7) Cooking a turkey dinner for my family.

8) The way a roasting turkey makes your house feel warm and smell amazing.

9) Christmas movies, The Family Stone, Family Vacation, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, just  to name a few.

10) Telling people Merry Christmas.

11) Writing Christmas cards.

12) Remembering that the real meaning of Christmas is Jesus and embracing the love that comes with knowing he came for me.

13) Old family holiday traditions and making my own, new holiday traditions.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Learning To Say No

Its not always easy but sometimes saying no is the best thing to do.  A few days ago, I was suppose to travel out of town for work, which would have occupied the rest of my night, leaving not much time left at the end of the day to do anything else.  There were multiple looming deadlines at work and just a ton of stuff to get done (which is a good thing) but as I thought about the best way to prioritize what needed to be accomplished in my evening hours that night, travelling was slowly moving to the bottom of the list.  So we cancelled our plans to go out of town and that was that.

It felt relieving knowing that I now had sufficiant amount of time to complete the tasks that needed to be completed without wearing myself out and you know what, the next day I was ready and raring to take on what the day would throw my way.

I don't know about you but, when I am tired I make bad choices on what I eat, do and say, but I am learning to listen to my body and be aware of my limits.  I have learned that when I over extend myself the days following are less focused and productive so instead of trying to cram everything in, I am working on balance more than ever and ensuring I have time for things that continue to make me healthier, happier and stronger.  Saying no use to be followed by feelings of guilt but now I know, that I will be better for it if I am near the end of my rope.

On the flip side of this note, I do not believe in perfection, my life and schedule will never be perfectly aligned but I feel good knowing that I am taking positive steps in the right direction.

Ever on a quest for improvement and balance.....
xoxo Audrey

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Guest Blogger - Shar Stock, The Best Thanksgiving Tradition

My good friend Heather has asked me to write a blog about my family's Thanksgiving traditions. This has taken me a while to get around to because I am in my final semester of a degree and have been busy focusing on that. But, I have decided to make time today to sit down and fulfill her request. The same way that I have to make time and commit to following through with promises to friends, my family has a tradition of putting aside a weekend to spend quality time with one another.

My great-grandfather, Gareth Maybee, was a true family man. He recognized the importance of keeping a family strong and worked towards instilling the appreciation of family in the future generations.

My Great-Grandfather and his wife, Phyllis Maybee had three daughters; Jane, Nancy and Lynn. In 1953 Gareth Maybee began a tradition of taking his family away on every Thanksgiving weekend. Once a year, a weekend was dedicated to just spending family time together, with no distractions.

As his daughters got married and had their own children, the thanksgiving group began to grow. Soon Gareth's grandkids, including my father, were all experiencing the tradition, and developing close relationship with their cousins as they learned about the importance of family and began to appreciate how special this tradition was.

Eventually, Nancy and her husband and children moved out to the West-Coast. This distance did not stop her
and her husband from continuing the tradition of Thanksgiving Weekend get-aways. Her family continued to grow, at the same rate as her sister's families. Soon there were children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all a part of Thanksgiving weekends. One group in Ontario, and one group out West.

My great-grandfather was a very successful patent lawyer who was able to fund these weekends for our entire family. We have always known how lucky we are to experience a weekend away with meals provided, nice accommodation and tons of family time, free of cost to us.

Although my great-grandparents have both passed on, our Thanksgiving weekend now includes family gatherings in two different provinces, spanning four generations and over 45 people including what would have been Gareth's great-great grandchildren. This past thanksgiving weekend was the 60thanniversary of this tradition – something worth celebrating.

Every year since I met Heather, she always makes a point of recognizing how wonderful my Thanksgiving family tradition is. I am happy to say that I agree with her. I have never taken it for granted. I am so grateful to have had so many weekends of fun and bonding with my extended family. It has kept us as a tight family unit and allowed me to watch my cousins grow up. I not only have genetic ties to my cousins but I also have friendships with them, something that can be partially accredited to that one weekend a year where nothing matters except for strengthening our bonds.

The money that my great-grandparents left to their children has continued to fund our weekends away, and although my grandparent's health is failing and they may not be around for many more thanksgiving weekends, I know that it is a tradition the rest of our family will continue to pursue in legacy of a man who cared enough about his family to make time, without distractions, once a year and instill his values in to the future generations of his family.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Today is an exciting day, I have been appointed Vice President of CCI Studios!  The company made a post on our Facebook page so I have been feeling the social love which I am very appreciative of.  This new role will bring its challenges, which is exciting, it will also bring much more responsibility which makes me a little nervous too.  All in all, I am just feeling really happy that I have found a career I can sink my teeth into, and that I have an awesome boss who teaches and pushes me, and shares his company with me.  Also, that we have such an amazing team that makes it easy to get things done, have fun, be creative and support one another.  

As I was reading through my Facebook comments my daily bible verse reminder popped up on my phone, with this verse that I think is extremely fitting for me today "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" 1 Peter 5 verse 6.

This verse is just a good reminder for me, especially today, that in all roles humility is key and that in everything I do, I should seek the Lord first.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Year Two

Happy second wedding anniversary Tyler!

You are kind of a crazy guy, a wild child, defiantly a mans man and have the biggest most affectionate heart.  While some of these characteristics can get under my skin at times, they are also the exact reasons I love you!  Thanks for being you, thanks for choosing me to be your wife and thanks for year two!  

I am cherishing right now and always looking forward to our future!

I Purchase Scenarios

I once heard a quote "women don't buy clothes, they buy scenarios".  Light bulb moment, this is completely true for me.  I have marvelled at the structure of a blazer and thought, "I would exude so much confidence wearing this jacket during a professional presentation" or dreamed about the romantic night that waited for me in an evening gown..... etc.

This quote completely explains the way I shop and the way I get dressed each day.  I am not sure if all you women out there would agree with me but this is how I put together my outfits.

I just thought I would share this quote as I am a self proclaimed fashionista and enjoy creating fantasy with my wardrobe.  I try not to take myself or my clothes too seriously and just have fun.

Happy dressing,
xoxo Audrey

Monday, 30 September 2013

Go With The Flow

This weekend I was in Fergus visiting my cousins, we were hosting a baby shower for my aunt.  Saturday evening after the shower, us cousins decided we wanted to get out for a bit so we headed to Guelph.  The first restaurant we went to had an hour and a half wait so last minute Ken recommended his friend's, dad's restaurant.

We headed to Manhattans, a cozy, elagent pizzeria, that happened to be hosting three comedians for a live recording on CBC radio.  There were barely 4 spots left at the bar for us, but the charismatic, welcoming host and owner made us feel right at home with the best seats in the house.

The service was excellent from start to finish, the pizza was fresh and delicious and the combination of wine and live comedy made for a perfect Saturday evening.  This comedy show was my first but I have a new appreciation for this form of entertainment and am already planning the next show I will see.

The whole point of my little story here, is that the whole evening was kind of a wonderful fluke.  We were all feeling up for anything and because we were willing to "go with the flow" we got something amazing. Emily, Nicole, Ken and I, made some great memories together on Saturday night and it was because we were open to the possibilities of a good time.  "Going with the flow" is something I have been working on for awhile now, when you trust that you are where you need to be at all times, and allow yourself to relish in it, amazing things can happen.  Open your heart and let yourself be! 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Keep It Simple But Make It Interesting

I am the Sales Manager at CCI Studios and much of my job requires me to communicate.  I communicate face to face, over the phone, email and social platforms.  Sometimes I walk away from my day wondering if I shared what I was trying to say in an interesting effective way?  Are people understanding my message and is it enjoyable to listen to?

I am particularly questioning myself today because I have been to multiple networking events presenting my "30 second commercial" and sending out quite a few introduction emails.  These are the tasks that consumed all my days when I first started working at CCI, now that I have clients to manage my time is split between various tasks and I am feeling as though my info sharing is a little on the rusty side.  

This being said, I think these questions are something I will always consider, not only for my clients sake but also for my own, as I want to continue to grow and keep things fresh.

I need to be sure the info I share is clear enough for someone who has no familiarity with our industry to understand and for a connection or emotion to be present, I need to be able to do this in an interesting engaging manner.

I think of the above quote by Albert Einstein when I consider how to present my message, about the products and services we offer at CCI Studios.  I am confident that the more I learn about my industry the easier becomes for me to explain it and how it can benefit a business, but I wonder if my approach to simplicity is causing my information to be a snore for the person on the receiving end.

Now, to find the balance between sharing information simply and making it interesting.  I tell each of our sales people that their personalities are very important to their roles within our company and because of our variety in people, we will have the capacity to attract a variety of customers.

I think its time for me to remember my own advice and inject my corporate communication with a little Audrey storytelling flare because it has been lacking a little lately.

Time to take my story telling to the masses, I will let you know how it goes.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


Yesterday morning I woke up to a windy, cool and crisp day, I think it is officially autumn.  Fall is my favourite season, it energizes me and gives me a sense that I have opportunities to start something new and fresh or refine something I am already working on.

I like the felling of being cozy in my house, cooking comfort foods like soups and casseroles.  The rejuvenating feeling that comes with the change of any season is what is so great about living in Ontario, I think the only season I would adjust is winter, by making it a little bit shorter.

The old saying of "the older you get the faster time passes" is holding true for me and every time I am presented with another fall season I think to myself, "make sure you make the most of it".  Here are a few things on my to do list for this year:

Attend the Brigden Fair
Attend a new fall fair
Pick pumpkins from a patch
Make a couple Halloween costume for Tyler and I
Cook some new and old comfort food recipes

What do you like to do during autumn?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Lessons Learned In The Storm

This week has been a little bit of a bumpy ride for me.  There was not one specific thing that was making me feel sad or frustrated but just multiple small things.  I don't like feeling uneasy or restless or out of sorts, but this week was just that.  I am learning to deal with these times in my life better than I use to and even though I didn't enjoy the past week, I feel like I have come out of it with some tools to deal with the next time a few wrenches get thrown my way.

1) I am learning to, not only pray and lean on God for everything, but also to leave the worry with Him and open my heart and mind to the path I need to take, to meet Him where He needs me to be.

2) I take time to do things that make me feel good about myself.  Right now yoga is bringing me a lot of peace and joy so I have made an effort to fit it in everyday.

3) I talk to one friend about the problem or my feelings, consider there opinion and then move on.  I find that getting the thoughts out of my head and sharing them with a best friend is very therapeutic, even if my friend can not offer advice its just nice to have someone listen to you.  Once it has been shared though, there is no need to talk to another person about it and rehash all the bad feelings again, I believe that repeatedly talking about my problems, just makes me feel worse.

4) I let myself roll with the punches, if I am exhausted from thinking about it, I rest.  I also try to have fun, when my mind is wrapped up in something that is causing a lot of thought, I often just stay in and hide from the world.  But getting out and having fun is a good break from my thought and offers me clarity or a new perspective on the issue.

5) The storm will pass.  All rough patches in life will pass and they happen for a reason.  I think the important part is to take away the lessons learned and look at it as an experience on my life's journey.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Vacation Is Great, But Nothing Beats Coming Home

Today is the last day of my vacation and I am feeling blessed to have the extra day off with the long weekend to get my house organized.  I am feeling refreshed, organized and motivated to start a new work week.  

Mine and Tyler's vacation was really a perfect mix of everything we love.  We got away to a pretty spot on the water where we explored the lake, I cooked, we read, I stayed active, we shopped, we spent time with family and friends and we just enjoyed each others company.

We ended up coming home from the cottage a fews days earlier than we had planned.  The friends that we were staying with left half way through the week, so we were able to enjoy some alone time, but then we started to feel a little home sick.  So we decided, why fight it, we have enjoyed a great time at our cottage and now we are ready to head home.  We took our time on the way home stopping to do a little shopping at a mall we had never been to before.  When we got home, we were happy to have the extra days to unwind and spend with our friends and family.  

We had kind of forgotten that Captain Kid Days (a festival with activities for the kids in the community during the day and bands for adults in the evening) was on this weekend.  After spending some really fun nights out with our friends, we were reminded of something that vacation always reminds us of, it is wonderful to go away, but nothing beats coming home.

This is especially true when you are lucky enough to live in a town with such, loving, friendly and fun people as we do.  So it was great time off, well spent with people we love and we are feeling ready to head back to work. 

Our cottage was 30 minutes north of Huntsville in the Muskoka area.  I love being out on the lakes up in this area and can't get enough of the water and trees that surround you. 

Our cottage was so pretty and clean (you never know what you are going to end up with when renting a cottage) and the dock was a perfect place to catch up on some reading.

We rented a fishing boat and explored the lake, the boys fished and the girls read magazines and caught some rays.

We were so excited that we got to see one of our favourite bands Two Crown King because we came home early from our trip.  As usual, they killed it!

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Drive Is Half The Fun

Last Saturday morning we started our vacation.  If you are anything like me, the car trip to your holiday destination is half of the fun of the whole vacation.  I don't like having an agenda for these trips, so if you see something cool on the side of the road, you have time to stop and check it out.  The car is also a great place to get familiar with a new album, listen to some old favourites that remind you of vacations gone by, get a little work done, read a book or magazine, or just have some great conversations with your travelling partner.

Our first stop on our travels was a huge garage sale on the side of the Highway.  Tyler loves garage sales so there was no driving past the sign that said "Huge Garage Sale".  He not only garage sales all over Ontario, while he was in New Brunswick a few weeks ago, he hit up a garage sale and picked up a  hat, hoodie and some art work (I use the term "art work" loosely here).  This trip, he found some cassette tapes of some of his favourite bands - Blind Melon, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Metallica.  Our cottage ended up having a tape player, this trip to Muskoka will forever sound like those three tapes.  

I wanted to stop at Webers for lunch, I had never been there and I have heard so much about their legendary burgers.  By the time we reached Webers it was prime lunch time, there was a huge line up and we were starving so we decided we were not feeling patient enough to brave this line.  This is still on my "Places I Have To Eat" list.

Luckily for us we found Bangers just a little while up the road.  It was a super small food truck that only had two things on the menu, Bangers and CocaCola.  They did not need anything else because the Banger was a smash hit and our chef made every detail of that lunch special.  The bread was fresh, slathered with butter and grilled on the flat top, we topped ours with meat sauce, onions, hot peppers, mustard and parmesan cheese.  The man that ran the truck had been doing this for something like 30 years.  The food was unexpectedly great and we were so glad we stumbled upon this culinary gem! 

We arrived at our cottage shortly after our Bangers, excited to continue our vacation.  I will be sharing more of our vacation with another post in a few days.  As always, thank you for stopping by and please feel free to leave a comment or share this story.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Date Night

A few weeks ago Tyler and I were preparing to be apart for a week.  Some people might think thats not a big deal but we have not been apart for that long in years and it was causing us a little bit of sadness.  It was an exciting trip Tyler was going on but none the less, we were not excited to miss each other.

The anticipation of the trip made us realize we had not been on a date for awhile, so we went out on an in prompt to date during the week.  We went for dinner at Chicken In The Rough which was delicious and a place I hadn't been since I was a kid, then we headed to the beach to watch the sun set, snap a few pictures and skip stones, and then went for ice cream at Ice Cream Galorewhich if you are from any where in Lambton County you will agree that summer just is not summer, until you get ice cream from Ice Cream Galore.

We had the best time just enjoying the simple little things our own little town has to offer, and we realized how important date nights are to our relationship and having fun together.  We agreed that we would not wait until the next time one of has to go away for a week, to go on a date.

Thursday, 18 July 2013


It is officially summer!  How do I know, my weekend was packed with fun in the sun and water and I was so busy playing outside, I started a new work week with a messy house and a sunburn.

I am truly blessed to live where I do, Corunna has the river and the beach I grew up on is only a 30 minute drive away.  Both Saturday and Sunday, as soon as Tyler and I hit the lake or river, we both looked at each other and said, we need to be out here more often.

We have so much water, that is safe for swimming at our fingertips and I think sometimes we forget how lucky we are.  I also think we are getting a little bit of a late start to our summer season as June was not that hot so we are extra ready for it.

Well, this weekend is suppose to be another nice one so I will be hitting the beach again and spending some time with my sister and parents.  Hope you have a great one and find a place to keep cool.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Living In Caos & Loving Life

Do you ever think, "once I accomplish 'x' I will then be able to accomplish 'y' but until then I am stuck."?.  I sometimes find myself in this position, banking on something happening before I can take the next steps in another area of my life.

I am realizing that this can sometimes be unproductive and disappointing.  Life is not without defects and all my ducks will never be in a row, there will always be something that is not perfectly in line with my plans.

I am learning that a) its not all about what I have planned and b) learning to live and work through the chaos of life is so much more satisfying.  I have found happiness in places that frustrated me previously and I am actually accomplishing more.

Life is not perfect and it never will be, but if I focus on the positives and the things I can control and improve, then I will continue to move forward, feel accomplished and be happy :)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A New Routine

I am in a pretty good routine right now where I get up before work to go to the gym, get ready for work there and then start my day.  I am really enjoying this time in the morning dedicated to myself getting energized, healthy and positive for whatever the day has in store for me.

I have been loving playlists and music from Songza, its fresh everyday and keeps me moving.  To keep my workouts interesting without the help from classes or a personal trainer, I have been working off my Fitness Pin Board.  Every few days I search Pinterest and the internet for new routines, pin them to my Fitness pin board and bam, new workouts everyday.

I am in my fourth week in a row in this routine and today while I was working out I decided I would try to make up my own routine.  Below is the one I am going to attempt tomorrow, I will let you know how it goes and if you should pin it to your own Fitness Pin Board.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Silly Times

Sometimes I take myself a little too seriously and I forget how to have fun and just be silly.  Thats why I love spending time with Shar and Meghan.  They remind me that it is not only ok but that it is healthy to let loose, act a little wild and just be silly.

We had a fun girls weekend in Hamilton over the May long weekend.  Monday we went to the zoo and got a little "wild" and the rest of the weekend was filled with girl talk, wine, cheese and belly laughs.  By the end of our visit we were all feeling a little goofy, and unfortunately for Meghan (who had to head to school early Tuesday morning) Shar and I were even feeling mischievous.  Shar and I left Meghan a little, harmless, funny surprise for when she returned home from school on Tuesday.  Thanks girls, for being silly with me, its just what I need from time to time.

Shar and I decided we would reorganize Meghan's place by taking all of the books off the shelf and lining them up across the floor as well as flipping all the kitchen furniture upside down ;)

What do you like to do when you are feeling silly?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Capturing Memories

Near our 1st wedding anniversary we had a photo session with Shannon Turner Photography to create some memories of our first year of marriage.  The third picture from the top shows Tyler and I reading a small book.  These books were the numbers on each of our guest tables at our wedding and we asked the people sitting at each table to write us a message in their book.  On each wedding anniversary we will open the matching table number book and read the messages our friends and family left for us on our wedding day.  The hope is, these messages will remind us of the love and support we felt the day of our wedding and to keep that with us through all the years of our marriage.

Shannon did an amazing job of making us feel comfortable and natural as she took our photos.  She is energetic and her passion for what she does is obvious.  Thank you, Shannon for providing us with some beautiful keepsakes to commemorate our first year of marriage.