MIMM #13: Fall Reading Week

Happy Monday! Was anyone else thankful for the extra hour this weekend? I definitely found it earlier to wake up this morning for my 8:30 a.m. Chemistry lecture, although I must say the commute back to London last night was dark and dreary since when I arrived at 8:00 p.m. it was theoretically 9:00p.m. As I mentioned on Thursday, Western incorporated a Fall reading week into this year’s timetable, although I would hardly call it a “week” given it was only 2 days long! Regardless, it was marvelous to be home and I managed to get a lot accomplished.

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Thursday was Halloween! Initially I had been planning on taking Lottie to Oakville’s Halloween Parade but the rain-washed away our plans. Instead, I got some homework out of the way, followed by pumpkin carving, Halloween decorating and of course some other festive activities such as Trick-or-Treating. I was amazed that Lottie wasn’t afraid of the spooky and loud decorations in our neighbourhood. She has a brave little soul! She even clung on to her Coffee crisp chocolate bar (Her favourite block is of similar shape, size and colour) the entire night which ended up melting in the palm of her hand!IMG_8930 1450211_360966527372465_1594242286_n

Friday started off with homework again, but by mid-afternoon I headed to Hamilton for a coffee date at Red Crow. It’s a family owned café which provided a marvelously welcoming  atmosphere. I love when coffee shops have unique mugs, electric furniture and a bookcase full of novels to borrow. Joyce and I spontaneously decided to frequent Limeridge mall because I had some time to fill before catching the go-train. We settled on Yoguen fruz as a snack despite the temperature being almost below zero. There are barely any Yoguen fruz’s left in the GTA so whenever I see one it’s an automatic “purchase”. We also got matching charms so that we will “Owl-ways” be together… Pun very much intended 🙂555564_10100626062398541_1488594823_n704045_206993216103131_1303692529_o

Saturday morning I got great customer service at Apple, which is always marvelous. A button on my iPhone was broken and since I have Apple care I was given a new phone free of charge. My dad and I squeezed in some grocery shopping just before I met my mom, my sister Caitlin and Lottie to attend the Holiday Marketplace Craft Show at my old High School. It’s always such a treat to support local businesses and it definitely starts the holiday season off with a cheer. It’s crazy to think it is already November and that I will be home from Winter Exams in about 40 days! One of my favourite teachers who is essentially a second mom to me organizes the craft show so it was lovely to see her and her daughter! It was the first year I wasn’t helping out so I really got to explore the vendors. While I didn’t buy anything, Lottie got the next size up in one of her alpaca wool sweaters and my mom got a necklace that looks like it could be right out of the catalogue of Anthropologie.1415776_360924004043384_958492818_n

More studying happened on Saturday (I am a student after all) but it was pleasantly interrupted by a trip to Starbucks with Caitlin! I was greeted by marvelous red and white décor because Starbucks is ahead of the game in bringing back their holiday beverages and merchandise. I helped Caitlin finish her boyfriend of three year’s anniversary gift (She made a trivia game filled with generous gifts), which was a wake-up call that I am seriously lacking in the department of boys. I guess that’s what attending an all-girls University does to you! 954402_360924000710051_2107842245_n

Sunday I woke up “early” because of the time change, so I finished the last of my studying before adventuring out to Michaels with my mom. I was definitely in a crafty mood and ended up getting some supplies for knitting and scrapbooking. I think they’ll both provide nice study breaks and maybe I’ll be able to make a few Christmas gifts. My dad drove Marissa and myself back to University, and generously helped me carry up my laundry (Thanks mom!), textbooks and what not. I’m not a light packer, nor is Marissa, to say the least. There are still no working elevators in our residence, which makes for a tedious trudge up to the fifth floor.  I’m pretty sure I have accumulated more books, clothing and craft supplies in my University room than I have back at home. My dad also stocked my fridge with some essential healthy study snacks (yogurt, apples, oranges, 5 lbs of carrots, celery, big tub of hummus, beans, chickpeas, lentils and oatmeal) which is pretty marvelous to say the least.MiMM1

Marvelous is so many things, including feeding Lottie, hugging Lottie and just being around Lottie (If you meet her you’ll know what I mean). It’s getting marks back that reflect the amount of effort you put into studying (which in my case was a lot), listening to new upbeat songs (Today’s Pop Lite is my favourite on Songza), being in the company of family (I love my parents and siblings), figuring out what I hope to become career wise (with the advice of my mom), studying (while enjoying what you learn), eating (Without guilt) and even taking naps or sleeping (because your body needs it). Thanks Katie for hosting Marvelous in My Monday so I could reflect on how fortunate I am to have had such a marvelous weekend. Can’t wait to share what is in store for November later this week. What marvelous events do you have planned for this new month? ♥ Molly

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” –H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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MIMM #10: Get Togethers

Another marvelous weekend was spent here in London! I pride myself for working hard throughout the week so that I can enjoy marvelous outings on Saturday and Sunday.  I deserved a break, especially after completing my first midterm of the year on Friday evening. Thank you everyone for thinking math-y thoughts for me. Your kindness and my studying definitely paid off because the midterm went well. There were some challenging questions but I tried my best so I am hopeful to see a good mark when I get my results.MiMM

Not only was Friday marvelous because my midterm was a bit of a reassurance that I can succeed in University, but I thoroughly enjoyed my Food and Nutrition lecture. How it works is we have three professors who rotate through the different three sections that are taught on Friday morning. As opposed to having a big lecture of all first year Food and Nutrition students, they break it down into smaller sections, which allows us to have great discussions.  This past week our class’s topic was Digestion. I was fortunate to be able to take a Food and Nutrition class taught by an excellent teacher in grade 12, and my High School’s biology program was thorough so this lecture was a bit of a review for me (but much needed since I haven’t seen this material for 2 years). It fascinates me when Food and Nutrition brings together Chemistry and Biology in the form of Digestion. I find it neat how our food uses chemicals to break down food in conjunction with mechanical digestion. Our bodies are composed of some pretty specialized and marvelous cells. Honestly I could probably do a whole post on abnormal digestion, for example Celiac and Chrohn’s disease, but I have a feeling it might be a bit boring.1380598_348788808590237_2011727979_n

Friday was also marvelous because golden beets were back in the salad bar. I’ve decided that I should start loading up on the vegetables that I most enjoy for the days when the selection is scarcer. I also roasted acorn squash at 10:00 p.m. because that is what you do when you have a craving.1393003_348788748590243_441210251_n 1383879_348788785256906_1454995811_n1378730_348788765256908_1811413386_n

Saturday I slept in until 8:30 a.m., which was a marvelous, win in my books! I woke up intending to study but received a text message from Chelsea asking if she Andrea, Shannon and I could get together. Chelsea and Andrea had intended on visiting London the following day however a change in schedules meant that Saturday worked out better. A spontaneous car ride on their behalf left them arriving in London at 2:00 p.m. leaving us with just enough time to do a quick residence tour before we had to head to the Covent Garden Market to meet Shannon. On the way we stopped at Starbucks where I tried my first ever Salted Caramel Mocha! 1/4 syrup, non-fat milk with whip cream is definitely the way to go as it is pretty sweet! I really only purchased Nutritional Yeast (Chelsea C. you would have loved all the spices at Snack and Bake) because I was too busy catching up on everyone’s life to focus on fresh produce. Afterwards we visited Organic Works, the bakery and café that Chelsea used to work at. It was my first time visiting (although I’ve tried their bread before) but will not be my last. The eatery is so eclectic I just know my Mom would have loved their displays. It was a tough decision between the Smoked Salmon Sandwich, Kale Salad or Vegan Taco Salad, but I ended up deciding I wanted the crunch of black bean tortillas and a bit of a Mexican salsa kick. Although it was big, it wasn’t super filling, which is why I had plently of room for Chil frozen yogurt. After trying Chil with Shannon earlier in the year, no generic frozen yogurt tastes as good as organic Greek frozen yogurt offered at Chil. They are completely GMO free and offer Kerif, Soy, Almond Milk, Gelato and other dairy free options. This time I opted for Plain, Maple and Cake Batter Greek frozen yogurt with apple and pumpkin pie, sprinkles, butterscotch chips and oreo bits as my toppings. My bowl definitely was not full enough for my appetite. 1390697_348788658590252_1262545042_n 1383818_348788618590256_2092311122_n 1374306_348788638590254_2119040308_n

Sunday I managed to sleep through my alarm until 9:00 a.m.! Clearly sleep was a priority in my body’s mind but I felt a bit guilty for wasting valuable study time. I had been meaning to grab lunch with Victoria but we decided to grab coffee instead. This girl literally reads my mind when we are together; we have so much in common we could talk for hours. She’s definitely been a great support as I transition back into University. Her hugs make me feel so loved and her texts offer equally as much marvelous care.1378282_348788601923591_871201385_n

Apart from blog reading, pinteresting and chatting with my floor mates, my weekend was composed of studying. Last night I tried my first slice of Pumpkin pie thanks to Katie, which was absolutely delicious. I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like pumpkin! I was missing out!1381773_348788571923594_412897182_n

I’m counting down the days until I get to go home on Friday afternoon. I had been hoping Friday classes would be cancelled for Thanksgiving but we have an in class assignment instead. It’ll be marvelous to be in the company of my extended family over Canada’s Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to bake some festive desserts. I’m also looking forward to the leftovers that I will get to bring back to residence with me. Some Universities get the week off (Fall reading week) and I am so envious! I could use a week of marvelous “me” time to catch up with my sibblings, parents and friends!1375306_348788585256926_49624765_n

So as did last weekend, Saturday and Sunday were so marvelous they flew by. I could have used a bit more sunshine as it rained a fair bit, but that did not stop me from walking around campus (My hair sure paid price (FRIZZY))! Nothing too big is happening this week which will give me time to review and work on group assignments. Thanks again Katie for hosting MIMM, I hope you are having fun at Kalahari, that Rubber Duck definitely couldn’t fit in Rocco’s baby bath! MIMM sure does make Mondays a little more marvelous and manageable don’t you think? Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend. What was the highlight of your weekend? Has it started to look like fall in your neighbourhood? Are you a fan of frozen yogurt? Will you be celebrating Thanksgiving this coming weekend and if so what are traditional dishes that your family serves?  Take care, ♥ Molly

“One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

MIMM #9: Weekend Home

Early last week I started to miss my parents a lot. As beautiful as my residence room is, it still doesn’t feel like home. It’s not as though I haven’t made friends but our relationships naturally aren’t as close as those that I have back in Oakville. Thankfully the commute is only 2 hours and my mom was able to pick me up on Friday afternoon so that I could spend the weekend in my own bed.

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Coming home to parents who will cook you meals, clean up after you and chauffeur you around is pretty marvelous after living independently for 2 weeks. London is full of marvelous opportunities such as the Covent Garden Market but it is a bit of a trek to walk or bus everywhere and the rainy weather has discouraged me from venturing off of campus. IMG_8110

I had an incredibly marvelous weekend and it started out with some marvelous mail. Joyce knows my obsession with tea and owls too well which is probably she sent along this variety of David’s tea (there is an owl on the package). Joyce also wrote a beautiful card and enclosed it with Owl stickers and sticky notes. As well, I received my Vega One French Vanilla and Vega Sport Vanilla, Silver Drinking Straws from the Maine Drinking Straw Company and the book “Whole Foods to Thrive”. Charissa put so much work into hosting the Colourful Smoothie Contest and I am so thankful that I was able not only to participate but win a prize.IMG_8173

The marvelous-ness continued when my mom picking me up from Chemistry class. The fact that she didn’t make me walk up the Brescia hill was not kind but pretty good door-to-door service. We had so much to catch up on the drive flew by. I’m pretty sure I talked my mom’s ear off. IMG_8187

Marvelous is being given Moon Cakes to celebrate the Harvest Moon. Our neighbours, the same ones who gave us Lobster from P.E.I, surprised us with Moon Cakes on Friday evening. They are so generous and thoughtful.The flavour and texture is definitely acquired and I can’t say I’ve ever had anything quite like it before. The box they delivered the cakes in was beautiful.

554664_342894899179628_1807322675_nMarvelous is getting together with Chelsea because we seem to relate on so many levels. It’s pretty obvious Chelsea’s blog is one of my favourites so I never turn down an opportunity to meet with her. It’s also pretty evident that our preferred places to meet up include Kindfood and Whole foods so it should be no surprise that I tried my first quinWOW bowl and fell in love with the marvelous miso gravy.1234268_342894942512957_1400790597_n

Marvelous is also attending Yoga class with Chelsea. We wanted to add in an extra component to our usual lunch date but the weather forecast was not promising which ruled out our idea of apple picking, frequenting the farmer’s market or hiking. Thankfully Chelsea had heard Be Yoga and Wellness was celebrating their birthday by teaching free yoga classes. We weren’t sure how hard it would be so we decided to stick to Hatha 1, but neither of us were overly challenged so we agreed to try Aerial or a more difficult level next time. I could definitely tell that my Pilates workouts have helped strengthen my core because I found myself more balanced while holding the tree pose. I haven’t practiced yoga in ages which is probably why I woke up sore the next morning. Amanda, the instructor, had a beautiful voice and finished the class with a powerful chant. The class was accompanied by live music so you could really feel the energy waves and rhythm of the beat. I found it a bit distracting because I wanted to watch the drummer and singer, but it definitely made for a positive atmosphere.1260869_342894869179631_1096412141_n1239528_342894962512955_1285484907_n

Marvelous is also discovering new local bakers. Nourishing Nook was giving away free samples at BeYoga and Welless so I got to try my first Sweet Potato muffin. She had kale chips that I found to be quite good since they were had a bit of a spicy kick to their crunch. Chelsea and I each had a granola circle and tried to decipher the recipe but found ourselves finishing the last bite before we had identified all the ingredients. I guess that just means I’ll have to purchase some which is definitely not a complaint on my end since they were marvelous.1368914_342894759179642_443416321_n 1371409_342894762512975_659219238_n1375906_342894845846300_507576849_n

Marvelous is also meeting Caitlin for coffee or watching Lottie blow bubbles and giggle. It’s having my last ice cream cone of the summer and then huddling with a blanket because Fall is definitely not frozen dessert weather. It’s hugging Emma, seeing Nathan, getting advice from my Mom and grocery shopping with my Dad.  It’s waking up to the smell of breakfast food and a full stocked fridge and winding down the evening with a cup of tea and in the company of my family. It’s being given the opportunity to go to university and to study a subject I am so passionate about. It’s taking time for myself just to be and it’s finally catching up on blog reading after being so behind. It’s being able to participate in things such as Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday tradition. What was marvelous about your weekend? What is marvelous about this upcoming week?  ♥ Molly

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey 

MIMM #8: Orientation Week

Without pain happiness is not nearly as special. Joy is so much more enjoyable in comparison to grief. It’s sad to say that it sometimes takes a tragedy to open our eyes to how marvelous life really is. Last week is a bit of a blur. There were definitely moments of happiness amongst the tears and sadness, but many of the memories were clouded by confusion and tiredness.

I am glad that I had already done Orientation Week once because I did miss out on a few key components such as the “Can I Kiss you Speech” which talks about building trusting and healthy relationships, “One Love Rally” which brings in influential speakers to discuss controversial topics in hopes of building respect and equality within Western’s campus, Jacob Deng who is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and even “Foundress Day” which was a blessing of the Dining Pavillion an event unique to Brescia University. I also was unable to participate in Shinerama, which is one of the biggest fundraisers for Cystic Fibrosis, but I am happy to have donated regardless and to be able to participate in the Terry Fox Run next weekend.

Thankfully even without the preceding opportunities there were plenty of other events to attend and motivational performers to listen to. The week was rather marvelous as Katie would say.MiMM

Marvelous is tie-dyeing bandanas to wear to opening ceremonies. It wasn’t exactly marvelous to get blue tie-dye on my purple dress but my mom is a miracle worker and managed to get it out even after it had set for 5 days.4 5

Marvelous is attending opening ceremonies and cheering your lungs out. I am beginning to lose my voice and I woke up with a throbbing throat. Everyone frosh student learns a dance for their faculty and or residence and has the opportunity to perform it during opening ceremonies. Some of the cheers are pretty impressive, Brescia residence included. Opening ceremonies was also fun because the Emcees were entertaining, I got to meet the President of Western University and Student Council, the music was loud, the crowd was louder and there was a hypnotist as a closing act.1234094_336746163127835_122455623_n 1

Marvelous is beginning to cook a feast at 11:00 p.m and eating until 1:00 a.m. The orientation week schedule was so crammed that events went until 2:00 a.m. each morning. There was “Around the world cooking” where about 30 frosh students and 10 soph leaders cooked Butter Chicken, Poutine, Tabouleh, Guacamole, Fresh Rolls and even Vanilla Cake! My stomach asn’t too thrilled about the assortment but each dish was so intricately prepared I couldn’t pass any down!212 19

Marvelous is making an appearance at the school’s carnival. It’s getting a henna tattoo, popping for powdered donuts, spinning wheels for prizes, jumping in a castle and just pretending to be a kid again in general!10 6 12

Other marvelous events were listening to MJ speak about her “Rethink” Breast Cancer campaign, participating in a campus wide scavenger hunt, attending a mock lecture and meeting some of my professors within an open house, winning free Brescia apparel such as a lanyard, shirt, bell and some bows, throwing Thursday (The orientation theme is “Kicking it Old School”) back while watching Clueless and Fresh Prince of Belair, attending toolkit seminars to learn tactics for test taking and bussing it to Fleetway for rock climbing, glow in the dark mini putting and bowling.14 16 17

Marvelous is also returning home for the weekend. I hadn’t expected to return to Oakville so soon but it was kind of nice to reunite with my family and friends, pick up some items I had forgotten and even take Lottie on her first apple picking excursion. Friday and Saturday were very low key so it was nice to do something fun as a family on Sunday. Caitlin, Aaron, Lottie, My parents and I all went to the Willis Family Fruit Farm for some apple picking and picture taking. Afterwards we headed to Starbucks to catch up some more. Don’t you love when Starbucks accidentally makes you a smaller size and compensates you with a free bigger beverage and lets you keep the one they mistakenly made? I had no complaints about drinking a tall and a grande non-fat Americano misto. Yum!3

Overall my week was very marvelous and it is only continuing into today since September 9th marks the first day of classes! Marvelous is so many things including learning, living, loving and even squeezing in blog writing and reading between the gym, class and studying! I find myself having to remind myself to slow down and take time to reflect on all that life has to offer. I worked hard to be back at school and although it was a tragedy to lose a friend, I have to remember that my needs are equally important and I can’t let my health fall by the wayside. At first I felt a bit guilty for enjoying myself but Brock would have wanted me to make the most out of my university experience. Thank you to all whom privately messaged me as extra support. None of those comments went unnoticed. ♥ Molly

“Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” – Sarah Ban Breathnach

MIMM #5: Time Flies When You are Having Fun

Did last week go by in the blink of an eye for anyone else? Maybe it was because we had a long weekend so my Dad was home on Monday? Of course it could also be due to the fact that my schedule was jammed pack with marvelous moments!MiMM

I became a Healthy Living Blog, which was pretty marvelous. Amongst other things, they share some incredible tips, offer ways to promote your blog and build a sense of community. I really want to attend the Healthy Living Summit in September, but I know it’s not a good idea to leave for Minneapolis the second weekend of School just incase I have a mountain of homework. I suppose it gives me something marvelous to look forward to for next year!HLB

Does anyone else love back to school shopping? I have most of my residence décor from two years ago, however my sister Emma is moving into a new apartment so she needed to pick up items that she and her roommate were still missing. Ikea is our go to place for marvelous deals. I found these cute flower tea infusers that match my pink and green room decor. They also have really good frozen yogurt that I’m convinced is a greek variety.IMG_6696

Of course if you go to Ikea, you can’t help but fall in love with their interesting dishware. My goal is to improve my food photography and I am using that as a perfect excuse to pick out accent cups, marvelous mugs and printed plates. They are a bit mismatch to store, but hopefully they allow me to be more creative. Earlier in the week I also picked out some more latté and serving bowls from Anthropologie. I might be slightly addicted.

My Kobo is marvelous but having a hard copy of a book is pretty fun too. I’ve missed flipping real pages. Thanks Tammy for the new book! I’ve been to Me to We, read most of Craig and Mark Kielberger’s novels and also done volunteer work with Free the Children, so this book was right up my alley.IMG_6683

Year after year we have garage sales, claiming that it will be our “last one”. The trouble is we end up with extra antiques as my Nana downsizes or style changes. This year I learned that I am a firm bargainer, some customers look forward to our annual garage sale since we have “neat things”, what an angel food cake cutter is (a customer taught me), and that near the end discount like crazy because “everything must go”. It felt marvelous to donate the remaining items to goodwill, although to tell you the truth it was so successful we didn’t have that much! I did manage to find two retro lamps for my dorm room, and I also picked out a nutrition book that must have been my Nana’s because I had never seen it before.IMG_6688

After the garage sale Lottie came over but I was so tired I just wanted to have a nap. My time is limited with this little cutie, since soon I’ll be away in school, so I couldn’t pass up an offer to spend time with her. I scooped her into my arms and brought her on my bed hoping we’d both fall asleep, but she was too fascinated with my glasses, nose and lips to let me close my eyes. I don’t know where she gets all of her energy from?! She’s starting to get ticklish and it’s marvelous to hear her shriek and giggle when you touch her tummy.Lottie

Driving. Despite my driving instructor cancelling on me twice, I haven’t lost motivation to practice driving with my Dad. I’m getting more and more comfortable with higher speeds, although I am still learning basic tools such as parallel parking and three point turns. It’ll be marvelous to have my license so that I can drive myself to social gatherings.

I met up with an old friend of mine, Alexis, downtown Oakville. We opted to go for a walk along Lakeshore instead of sitting down for coffee because the weather was too beautiful to pass up enjoying. I took a few photos, since she is very photogenic and the sailboats were picturesque, we got frozen yogurt and then we even found our way to a park with sand. I love wiggling my toes through sand but I miss being able to swing without feeling motion sickness. Sometimes I think it’d be marvelous to be a kid again.IMG_6652 IMG_6662

Last night I concluded my weekend with a trip to Whole Foods. Chelsea C was home for the weekend and decided to venture into Oakville with her parents for dinner and a treat. I haven’t seen her parents in years so when she invited me to join I had no trouble saying yes. The food selection was marvelous as always and it was great to reconnect. We’ve been friends for 6 years but don’t see each other often enough. 1080233_323666541102464_1035833262_n

Every day seems to be falling into place. Sometimes I start the morning with no plans but end up with a full plate of activities. This week is going to be filled with packing and last minute marvelous get togethers because I leave for Myrtle Beach in 8 sleeps and will only have 3 days in between returning home and moving into residence. Time seems so precious these days, I hate when days slip away. Thanks again Katie for hosting MIMM! What was marvelous about your weekend, morning, or week ahead? ♥ Molly

“The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that your the pilot.” – Michael Althsuler

MIMM #4: The Little Things

I got to see a lot of Lottie this past weekend. She truly embodies a personality I strive to achieve; free-spirited. Her curiosity and genuine happiness is not only fun to watch but also to be around. Her smiles are contagious and her hugs are oh so cute. Some of the sounds Lottie is learning how to voice (mostly giggles and shrieks) melt my heart. It’s inspiring to see how small things light up her life. Pictures just don’t do her character justice because she focuses on the camera, which takes, away from her true charm.12337_320806111388507_1107668_n

My life hasn’t been extremely exciting these days, but like Lottie, I am finding value in the marvelous world that surrounds me. No matter how hard I try, I’ll never be able to just sit still because there is always something preoccupying my time. Lately it’s been a last minute coffee or ice cream date so who am I to complain?541725_320841111385007_681069601_n 946307_320841194718332_1623604002_n

On Thursday Lottie, Emma, Caitlin, my Mom and I all went to the new “Toronto Premium Outlet”. It is beyond my knowledge why they decided to call it “Toronto” given that it’s location is in Halton Hills which could not even be considered Toronto’s outskirts. Fortunately it is easily accessible as it is situated directly off a major highway. The name is a bit misleading to tourists but if they do happen to visit the mall they won’t be disappointed. It’s an outdoor concept, which is rare design for Canadian Malls because of winter weather. Based off of “Prime Outlets” in Buffalo New York, the mall features popular stores that carry both the regular clothing line and garments designed specifically for the factory outlet stores. To name a few, Kate Spade, Coach, Nike, Lucky Brand Jeans, Fossil, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Oakley are some of the well known brands. Since we went on the opening day it was busy, but it was truly marvelous when we found a parking spot quickly.533709_320841348051650_1119198784_n539627_320841368051648_2009733506_n

Friday I met up with Chelsea for the opening of Lululemon Athletica in Mapleview Mall. We both enjoyed taking some snapshots in the photobooth. I think I’m too good at making funny faces. : ) We went late enough in the day that there wasn’t a lineup which was marvelous, but unfortunately all of the free cupcakes from Kelly’s Bake Shop had been given away. I ended up buying a shirt but I loved almost all of the apparel they were featuring. I will have to watch out for sales because I still have money left on my gift card.1005473_320841328051652_479868278_n945952_320847491384369_75177439_n

I spent a lot of the time in the kitchen this weekend, helping to prepare meals or baking away the day. The aroma of freshly baked muffins filling the air is pretty marvelous. I baked “Date Newtons” and can hardly wait to share my recently created recipe with you later this week.  It’s marvelous when a recipe works out the first time around. Warm cookies dipped into a glass of cold milk is pretty marvelous as well.IMG_6449 IMG_6448

Marvelous is also when the flavours you throw into a blender compliment each other perfectly. I love using almost-too-ripe fruit in smoothies because they tend to be naturally sweeter. I have been following through with my one smoothie per day challenge.IMG_6384

Since today is a Canadian Civic Holiday, meaning it’s a long weekend, the gym has been empty since many took the opportunity to travel or visit their cottages. It’s truly marvelous to have a lane to yourself as you swim. In addition the long weekend means that my Dad is home for an extra day – what’s not marvelous about that?

Here are some other activities that I found to be pretty marvelous

  • Enjoying the first scoop of soy nut butter out of a fresh jar
  • Getting a parking lot pull through while I practiced driving
  • Arriving at the go-train station (unplanned) just before the train was about to leave
  • Starbucks Treat Receipts
  • Meeting up with Joyce
  • Lottie Hugs
  • Reading by the pool because it was finally sunny and warm
  • Trying a new Frozen Yogurt Flavour while catching up with Heather

1080839_320805528055232_1990466839_nThere are many marvelous activities awaiting me this week. For instance, the Bachelorette! Call me crazy but I am really looking forward to the season finale tonight. I started watching the Bachelorette as a way to get together with friends since they previously were Bachelorette fans. I never thought I’d enjoy reality television shows but I’ve (gasp) become a bit addicted, especially after last week’s cliff hanger. Desiree gets to go on some pretty marvelous dates, it’s no wonder they have so many contestants. I’d go on the show just for the travel perks! Kidding…

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What was marvelous about your weekend and do you have any marvelous plans awaiting you? Thanks again Katie for hosting Marvelous In My Monday! It’s easy to dwell on the fact that the weekend is over but MIMM is a great way to reflect on the fun things present within a workweek.  ♥ Molly

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

MIMM #4: Positive Reminders

I think it is important for you all to know that I am still working on my recovery from mental illnesses. I am by no means 100% recovered from disordered thinking around food, weight and happiness. These days, my mood is much more stable and I am pretty happy-go-lucky however I do still have episodes of negative self talk that bring me down. “Bubbly, Personable, Happy, Smiley, High-Spirited, Fun” are all terms used to describe me but they also go against my diagnosis of being chronically “sad”. How? The reality is you can be depressed and cheerful at the same time.

I don’t say this to earn sympathy but rather to avoid comparisons. Too often bloggers glaze over their lives only highlighting the “happy” moments. I post pictures of my room when it is tidy and avoid photographing it’s areas of clutter. I only post recipes that I have perfected but that doesn’t mean they started out as 100% fail-proof. I appear as though I never get in fights with friends or family but in truth, I am a human as well and I don’t have flawless relationships. Some bloggers are inclined to showcasing the fun activities they do, without letting on that they have moments of “doing nothing” as well. I don’t think I’d earn many followers if all I ever did was complain since nobody wants to be left feeling emotionally drained after reading a post. I think it’s strong that some bloggers are able to admit to the hard times they are facing and shed light on issues so many of us battle on an everyday basis. CaitPlusAte and ItzLinz are two of my favourite blogs for this reason since they address sensitive subjects while remaining positive and inspirational.

So while I might appear to have my life in order, rest assured it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I live a happy life and most of my smiles are genuine, but that’s because I have plans in place to lift my spirits when moments of sadness arise. Marvelous is having continuous support and unconditional love whether I feel I deserve it or not. My friends and family continue to remind me that they have my back. In times of sadness I have a little bucket of marvelous “reminders” as to what is marvelous about life and what others find marvelous about me.

IMG_6295 Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 2.54.58 PMPositive Affirmation Books: No matter how old you are, I truly believe you need to own at least one picture book. These three books, “Heart Thoughts”, “In the Garden of Thoughts” and “Every Thing Is Going To Be OK”,  contain inspirational thoughts that are not only uplifting but empowering. Accompanied by whimsical illustrations or photographs, these books always leave me feeling happier and more optimistic.  “If you stumbled today, remember where and how it felt. Tomorrow, take a different path. Life flourishes from its pain and the lessons we gain.” – Dodinsky

IMG_6305Blessed Bracelet: The idea is to wear this bracelet until it fades in colour and eventually falls off. These bracelets have been carried through India and blessed with love on the banks of River Ganges. I was given two from my Life Coach as a reminder not to worry about the past or future but to live blessed in the moment. The colour red symbolizes protection, healing, commitment and spirituality. The first one stayed on my wrist for over four months and I have yet to tie the second one onto my wrist. “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.” – C.S. Lewis

IMG_6113 IMG_6302“Why We Love You” Letters: For my twentieth birthday, two of my best friends, Elyse and Caitlin, compiled a box filled with 20 letters from my closest friends and family members for me to read next year when I am away at University. Since I couldn’t wait until I felt sad, I read them all in one night, but I will definitely continue to re-read them in moments when I need to be cheered up. It was neat to see which memories were most prominent in the minds of others. My dad wrote a poem recalling when I ran around an MBA court with the “Raptors Flag”. The comments were so flattering and made me feel very important and special.  Some were stories from when I was a baby, others were work-related,  some were just funny things I’ve said (and wish others had forgotten by now) and of course some offered advice for my future. One of my favourites came from my niece Lottie as she signed it only with ooo’s (not xo’s) since she still hasn’t learned to kiss yet! What a cutie! Elyse and Caitlin also included some inspirational quotes and fun photographs they pulled from my instagram and pinterest accounts. “I remember your drive, passion, determination, and insane energy from your grade 7 year like it was yesterday. I remember your landfill, your lock bridge, your uber-organized binders and your straight A’s. I always loved how you presented yourself with such poise, but were so darn adorable in your little cardigans.” – Tammy

photo-89Willow Tree Angels: Angels are said to represent protection, inner peace, virtue and love. Today I have three and each one offers me comfort when I am searching for answers. I purchased myself the Angel of Freedom, was given the Angel of Happiness from my grade 12 English teacher on the day I graduated, and the Angel of Friendship actually belongs to my mom but I keep it in my room.
“Angels have no philosophy but love.” – Terri Guillemets

IMG_5982Pandora Bracelet: Last year for my birthday, Elyse and Caitlin gave me my Pandora bracelet along with the “Inner Strength”, “Journey” and “Angel of Hope” charms. They both have the “Journey” charm as well to symbolize that they will always fight alongside of me. While we were away in France, my family gave me the “Eiffel Tower” charm. They also gave me the “Camera” charm since I love photography. This year Joyce gave me the “Faith” charm. Each charm is so special since I didn’t purchase them myself and instead they were given to me as a reminder of friendship or love. While wearing the bracelet I am constantly thinking of those who believe in my potential. “Friends give us the courage to lift the blinds on our hearts to open up and show what we generally keep hidden from the rest of world.” – Ritu Ghatourey

IMG_6292Oracle Cards: These decks help me to manifest my thoughts and put words to my feelings. They seem to relate to whatever emotion I am experiencing, happy or sad, confused or awakened, and offer vague advice open for personal interpretation. “Today I will tell myself that who I am is okay, and that what I am doing is good enough. Of course I make mistakes and get offtrack sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not as good as everyone else. No one is perfect and that’s just fine.” – Melody Beattie

MiMM1Happiness is a journey not a destination, similar to the path towards recovery. You don’t get to a state of utter confusion and chaos overnight, so you can’t expect to be healed in a second. Even in my worst days, there is something marvelous to be celebrated. Thank you Katie, for yet another wonderful link-up that reminded me to take time to reflect on marvelous memories.  ♥ Molly

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

MIMM #1

This summer I am not working, so I am able to live a more relaxed lifestyle. While I do love a schedule to keep me on task, it has been nice to make last-minute plans with friends. Despite not having a set routine, I still seem to be keeping pretty busy. From the upbeat “Color Me Rad” race, to low-key Strawberry picking, I’m so thankful for everything that I’ve had the privilege of doing this summer. My life has been pretty “marvelous” so in appreciation, I’ve decided to participate in Katie’s “Marvelous In My Monday” link-up.

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Marvelous is sitting down for a family meal, cooked by someone with love. It’s learning about what is going on in the lives of your parents or siblings, because you are truly interested in hearing what they have been up to.

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Marvelous is for the moments when you wake up to the sound of birds chirping in time to see the sunrise and for the times when you sleep in unexpectedly. It’s for falling asleep while reading a good book, but also for the times when you wake up energized for the day ahead.

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Marvelous is being able to get together with a friend who you haven’t seen for a while, without it being awkward since you share so many similar passions and interests. It’s for having friends like Chelsea, who you can ask for good recommendations when it comes to television shows, books, restaurants and foods.

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Marvelous is trying a new restaurant or a new dish, and eating until you are completely satisfied. It’s being able to pick an item off of the menu that you truly want or are craving, able it’s being able to enjoy every mouthful without regret.

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Marvelous is staying active in your every day life, whether walking to get the mail, biking to the library or completing a workout video. It’s being able to go to the gym five days in a row because you enjoy exercising, but it’s also being able to take several days off without guilt.

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Marvelous is catching up on a TV series with a cup of tea in your hands. It’s being able to watch an uneducational show without feeling lazy, because you find yourself entertained by the humour and suspense.

Marvelous is spending time smiling and laughing with family. It’s watching your niece learn and grow, as she discovers new things each and every day.

photo-95I have so many great adventures to come this summer, but already, I’ve managed to make my day to day life pretty marvelous. Thank you Katie and everyone else, for reminding me how marvelous my life truly is. Be sure to check what other bloggers find marvellous in their life, as it is a great way to find favourite products, DIY projects, new recipes, motivating quotes, fun songs and of course fitness tips. I bet Katie has had a lot of marvelous moments this past week, as she recently delivered a handsome and healthy baby boy named Rocco. He is definitely a bundle of joy and my best wishes out to their growing family.  ♥ Molly

“It is always the simple that produces the marvellous.” – Amelia Barr