Life

Fancy Lacy Insight: Beyond The Genesis

Hello lovelies,

Let’s go back to where it all began.

Five years ago, I wanted to start blogging. Surprisingly, every day I found excuses to convince myself not to do so. While in this process, four years passed me by and it all hit me, I needed to take an action. So I decided to give it a try to conquer procrastination, boredom and frustrations. Now, we are moving beyond the genesis of Fancy Lacy.

Remember, Iryn and Anna ? Well, I got new things in store for you. What’s not better then having two new voices joining us? Here they are:
imageMeet Rita. A self-described travel addict and citizen of the world, she is fascinated by all things global.  She is also a former competitive boxer, fitness enthusiast, and always a Student of Life and she loves to write about these things.  She is the voice behind Passporter’s perspectives.

 

imageErin Davalos, a wanna-be hippy and humanitarian is the founder of Mamas 4 Mamas, a non-profit dedicated to supporting maternal and infant health projects in under-served communities around the world. Her passion is for community development and in particular, the health issues faced by women in rural areas. Erin writes about her journey through parenthood and her attempts at living a green lifestyle.

These beautiful two ladies , Rita and Erin, will bring in a nice  beautiful tweak to Fancy Lacy. Look out for their posts, coming soon.

 

Thank you for reading,

XOXO

Judith

 

 

2015 was exciting, now let’s try to make 2016 Fabulous

Hello lovelies,

What are you grateful for today?

Each year, I sit and set new life goals. Sometimes, I go even further to implement lifestyle’s changes. This year, I suggest for you to add or try something completely different to what you usually set as goals to appreciate your life. We are so busy trying to bring changes into our life that we forget to savour life. The way I look at it, sometimes, life can be unfair.  So, I make an effort to accept this when a situation arises that I can’t pin down an explainable concept for it.

First, start and end your day with a firm positive thought. You see, instead of just pouring all the 100% energy on trying to establish new things in life, I recommend you take also time to invest in gratitude. Gratitude has the power to change the views you have about life. It can be a little bit hard when you start. Trust me, after a couple of tries, the brain will get trained to accept this routine. Putting all the energy you have on future concerns, it will suck life out of you. Instead, focus on appreciating things that you are grateful for. It does not have to be huge, it can be as  small and simple as loving a beautiful weather.

Happily then, stop and learn. I know there are some unpredictable negative life events, however, try to find a positive thought to get you by despise the negative happenings. I truly beleive there is power in positive thoughts and energy. When you only concentrate on what you don’t have , what could of been and feed on your fears, then you will never have enough. Program the mind to let go things beyond your control.

It is never too late to try something new for your well being. As the says goes : ” the happiest people don’t have everything. They make the best of what they have.” Here are some other quotes to help you embrace this concept:

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Thank you for reading,

Judith

INSPIRATIONS FOR A HAPPIER 2016

Dear Fancy Lacy Community,

I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

For those of you who had a super-mega-fantastic 2015, I hope the coming year will still beat the record.

And for those who struggled more so than flourished, I pray that 2016 will compensate you generously.

We will shortly be embarking on a 366-day journey through seasons, birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and promotions, and many other exciting (and not) moments that make our lives unique and special. Remember – this year we have an extra day to make a difference! Appreciate it, and embrace it!

As I’m getting ready for the new start, here is what resolutions are shaping in my mind:

  1. Appreciate and maintain your health. It’s the one thing that physically enables you to go after your goals and dreams.30ee926f55d2f9b07c49b82bcd4fe8bd
  2. See your health as a combination of healthy diet and active lifestyle. Eat more whole, nourishing foods and exercise regularly. Both habits are so rewarding!
  3. Surround yourself with positive people. We become like the people we are around most, and I choose optimism and enthusiasm over negative thinking!
  4. Learn to feel good about the quiet time. Every now and then, it’s okay to not fill every minute of your time with chores. Take time off screens; learn to relax in silence and stillness.
  5. Aspire to growth. Learn ways to get better at what you do. There’s no limit to enlightenment and education.intellectual-growth-should-commence-at-birth-and-cease-only-at-death-quote-1
  6. Enjoy what you do. Love your work, and if you don’t – consider alternative options. Life’s too short to waste a third of it on something you find no satisfaction in doing.
  7. Learn to cope with stress. Stress is inevitable, so have coping strategies prepared.
  8. Try new things. Go into a “Yes-Man” mode from time to time, you never know what’s waiting to happen. It may end up being the best time of your life.Untitled
  9. Be kind and patient. Both make us human. Both have the potential to make a difference.
  10. Remember what’s important. Decide on your priorities and act accordingly.new-year-wallpaper-hd

Until next year!

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

6 Steps To Control Winter Rage

So simple, keep busy.  This makes me forget that Winter is here. The temperatures in Prairies’ Winter could give you “rage”. There is no escape so I forget the rage and embrace the weather. Read our previous post about things we look forward to in Winter times.

When it is nice, take advantage of the moment by taking a walk or a run outside. You will feel refreshed. Stop and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take some pictures, make a snow man, and the snow angel. Since temperatures fluctuate easily around here, some people choose to take warm vacations.  I, in the other hand, travel in my mind with great documentaries, movies, and books.

 

Now let’s recap:

1. Keep busy – Declutter, refresh your space, and read a good book. Photo Source

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2.  Embrace the weather – try to relax. Take two minutes and tell your “facial muscle”- relax

Photo by Madisin Bradley

M Photo by Madisin Bradley

3.  Go out when it is nice, enjoy the scenery.

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What a lovely picture! Enjoy the scenery and forget about the rest. From Deco Collin

4. Take pictures, build a snow man or snow angel

5. Watch a good comedy or documentary. One of my favourite movie of all the times is ” Life is beautiful.” I go from great laughs to tears. This makes me forget about everything that is happening outside. Photo Rogerebert

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6. Take a good nap. Sleep Foundation states ” Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.”

 

XOXO

– Judith

CAREER VS LIFE: IN SEARCH OF THE BALANCE

Dear Fancy Lacy Community,

It’s the season to be merry and my post is hardly going to be cheerful, but as the end of the year approaches, there are a few important things to consider for a more balanced, healthier life in 2016.

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A friend of mine has recently had a work-related nervous breakdown followed by immediate hospitalization. This person is a career-driven, hardworking woman and has given her job a lot time, energy, and – as recent events demonstrate – a lot of her physical and mental health. Unfortunately, she is one of many who work long hours at the cost of quality family time and healthy lifestyle. Given the state of the economy, we should be grateful that there is a job to go to, right? Well, yes, and no. Sacrificing yourself in the name of work and income may sound noble, but I would like to question this all too common scenario.

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Just to be clear, I’m not speaking generally about everyone. I’m certainly not referring to the low-income families whose livelihood depends solely on the hard work of their providers. A lot of people have to work whatever jobs come their way in order to merely survive; while some others choose to become workaholics. And then there are some people who get caught up in their work and lose track of time and priorities. I’ll go as far as to suggest that at some point in their lives most people have experienced how “going with the flow” may have taken them to places they did not want to be.

The dreadful experience that my friend had to go through is an extreme example of how an imbalance between work and life may affect a person. While you do not always end up at the psych ward as a result of work pressure, stress undeniably takes an enormous toll on your health and relationships.

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I may not be in a position to judge, since my part-time work leaves me with enough time and energy to look after my health and lead an active lifestyle. But here is something I’ve learned from her story: it’s all about setting the priorities and acting accordingly.

work-life-balanceFamily is of great value to me, and a family-friendly job was high on my priorities list. I’m currently working as an English teacher to newcomers to Canada. I enjoy it and on most days come home happy; I feel that I’m making a small difference in the lives of others; and I have the time to do other things I enjoy – spending time with my husband, running the household, implementing a healthy diet, and maintaining a good physical shape. I may not be making quite enough yet but that will hopefully change once I transition into a full-time employment. I’m not implying that everybody should get out there and look for teaching jobs. Of course, not! What I’m trying to say is that you need to remember your values when you are looking for ways to support them, because, at the end of the day, your job is a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Or is it?

And if the whirlpool of life starts to blur your vision making it harder to focus on your priorities, don’t panic. Reboot – reflect and re-evaluate – and restart.

Let this post be a reminder to embrace your priorities in the new year.

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

And cue the last minute christmas presents

It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it can also be very stressful.

Where I grew up in Western Uganda, Christmas is all about large family gatherings and food – a seemingly endless supply of food and drinks, but never the exchange of presents.

But since I have called Regina home for almost a decade now, I have assimilated quite a bit into the Canadian tradition of exchanging presents at Christmas. When In Rome and all that. Mind you, it doesn’t mean I’m good at it.

I find it quite stressful guessing at what family and friends expect from me for presents. This is why I love kids. You can ask them what they want and they’ll tell you. And you can negotiate with them (No. That’s too expensive!)

Adults on the other hand aren’t always forthcoming. They tell you they’ve got everything they need but really they do expect something (Surprise me!)

If you are a procrastinator like myself and have yet to conquer that Christmas shopping list, here are a couple of suggestions for unusual holiday gifts from right here in Saskatchewan.

1. Give the gift of REST

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Float houses are rapidly becoming popular across Canada and in Saskatchewan as well. A quick google search turns up three Spas in Regina’s downtown alone.

REST, or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, works on the principle of sensory deprivation.

This is how it works. You get locked up in a pitch black tank filled with salty, body-temperature water, wearing nothing else (OK maybe a swim suit) but earplugs. Sounds terrifying, right? Wrong! From what I’ve heard from those that have floated, it is a deeply relaxing experience. And if you buy someone you love a gift certificate to one of these spas, they’ll tell you all about their floatation therapy experience. It’s a win win really.

2. Locally made one-of-a-kind jewelry

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Saskatchewan is an arts and crafts hub. We have some really wonderful artists making unique pieces. Some, like Regina jewelry artist Megan Hazel, will work with you to design something that can’t ever be replicated. Megan can also take your old jewelry rings that don’t fit anymore, and give them new life in the shape of another piece of jewelry like a necklace or earrings.

3. Give the gift of art

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Almost anyone can take a selfie these days, which has kind of ruined portrait photography in a way. But how cool would it be to have the likeness of your loved one captured on canvas? You can commission a local artist to paint a portrait of your loved one or something else symbolic like your favourite wedding photo. I know one Saskatchewan artist, Brandi Hofer, who can work off of photographs. But I think it would also be really amazing to sit for a painter, to get to be a muse for an hour or two, and see how the work turns out. It’s a timeless gift and experience, and there’s certainly no shortage of artists/painters in Saskatchewan to make this happen.

Image sources: 1/2/3

 

Thank you for reading,

Iryn Tushabe

4 Simple Good Reasons To Re-gift

Happy Monday!

Are you counting down for your holidays? This upcoming holiday season is about giving. When I think about giving sometimes re-gifting come to mind. Most people have mixed feeling when it comes to re-giving or re-gifting. Personally, I love the concept when it is done right. I came across an article on Psychcentral where one statement really summarize the difference between re-giving and re-gifting. The author states “I like to make a distinction between re-gifting and re-giving. Re-gifting often is an effort to meet an unwanted obligation. Re-giving, on the other hand, is passing along something that suits the receiver and is given with thought and care. Re-gifting is about the gift. Re-giving is about the relationship between the giver and receiver.” I really love this statement; it makes sense to shift from re-gifting to re-giving.

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The post that came with this picture really encourages one to explore different ways of giving. From venture village.

Here are four reason why you should re-give:

1. You know that the gift you received will never be used in millions years. You know a good friend who will love it. Keep the receiver in mind. Is he or she going to appreciate the gift? If yes, I beleive there is no harm in re-giving.

2. Some say a re-gift is being cheap. I don’t agree with this statement. I think it is all about the intentions. Re-giving really make financial sense when you come short in your gift shopping during Xmas times. An unused gift card can come to the rescue. These days, we have plenty of visa gift cards. What about that new dress or pair of shoes that you purchase but never wear. Re-giving could also be an opportunity.

3. You are uncomfortable re-giving in your network. Please consider donating to charities. It will help you unclutter  your space with things you don’t need or you will never use.

4. Who says about being all secretive about it? It is about the receiver and not the gift. So other alternatives like a swap party comes to mind. When you accumulate lots of unused things or gift, it is definitely an excuse to have a swap party. In the past, my friends and I used to have this. One of us will host, people bring “treasures” they don’t use anymore. Items can be new or used but in great conditions. You will be amazed how it will turn out. It is really a win and win situation: you give and receive. Items that are not selected go to the charity.

XOXO

– Judith

A GIVE-AND-TAKE GAME OF OUR DIGITAL DEVICES

Dear Fancy Lacy Community,

Reclaiming conversation

Last week, I stopped by the library and picked up an interesting book titled Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle. The author talks about the role of technology in, what she calls, a “flight from conversation” – the diminishing face-to-face interactions in which the parties involved are both, physically and mentally present. The book hit the bull’s eye. As if speaking on my behalf, it grasps perfectly the way I feel about the world of tablets and smartphones we’re living in, especially my feelings of worry and sadness for the younger generations. So, today’s post will address a few issues and concerns raised in the book. Perhaps – and hopefully – you won’t identify with all of them. The fewer, the better! The chances are, though, that you will think about other people you know – and quite a few people, may I add.

Human beings are fundamentally social creatures, with conversation being the most basic medium that satisfies our hunger for social interactions. And today, we have an unprecedented diversity of means to fulfill this innate longing. We can be miles and time zones away from each other, yet with Skype and FaceTime we get to feel as connected as if we were in the same room. Ironically, though, this very connectedness and the sense of closeness come at the cost of disconnecting us in a subtle, sneaky fashion. How? Let’s see.

  • We cannot help the desire to be elsewhere.

Isn’t it astonishing that we reach for our phones even when we are in the company of people with whom we genuinely enjoy spending time? It’s like being in the “here and now” is no longer enough, we seem to have an urgent need to be up-to-date with what other people are doing, which these days is immediately shared on social media. So, yes, we may feel more connected – to the fellow Facebook dwellers – but our attention is subtracted from our immediate environment. According to the book, “average American adults check their phones every six and a half minutes”. After reading that, I started analyzing my relationship with my iPhone and realized that, perhaps, we’re a little too close. Not even two years ago I was a proud owner of a Samsung G600 and an advocate of a “simpler phone for a simpler life” philosophy. And I used to get really upset when my husband’s gaze was locked on the screen of his phone while I was trying to make conversation. Who am I to preach any more? From now on, I intend to watch and keep my why-don’t-I-pick-up-my-phone-out-of-boredom impulse under better control.

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  • Multi-tasking is the new given.

We’re torn between “here” and “elsewhere” and can no longer concentrate on doing one thing at a time. One of the following scenarios is frequently at play: we talk and text, talk and browse the net, text and browse the net, or do all three at the same time. In our chase after the highest speed and volume of interactions, we go back and forth between the apps, and in and out of our conversations. We find it hard to settle for what has seemingly become an inefficient use of time, i.e. a non-fragmented, mutually reciprocated face-to-face conversations with friends and family. My husband and I both find it frustrating when one of us unexpectedly exits during a meaningful conversation to check email or a text. Are we not worth each other’s full attention? We are. I guess the desire to see who’s reaching out to you may be worth just a little more.

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  • Our devices “spare” us from boredom and solitude.

When I happen to be alone, it’s my chance to enjoy the silence. I get sufficient TV exposure when my husband is around, and otherwise prefer to go about my business in silence. The book refers to solitude as time for “mind-wandering”. I’ve never thought about it that way until I actually started noticing how the most bizarre memories would surface in my mind in the moments of my silent self-reflection. I was cooking one day and suddenly recalled my friend Julia’s grandmother telling me a funny story about Julia’s childhood. How random is that? I heard this story over five years ago and have hardly thought about it again, but somehow my mind brought it up for my amusement. And perhaps it’s such a small thing, but travelling back in time and reliving that moment – as I was munching on homemade Russian cabbage pirozhki on a hot summer afternoon – brought warmth to my heart.

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The moral of the story: sometimes instead of looking outside – on your tablet, phone or TV – it’s worth turning inward and spending a quiet time alone with your thoughts and memories. Seriously – you never know what may cross your mind, so surprise yourself! A bit of mind-wandering and self-reflection won’t hurt; if anything, you may end up feeling more in touch with yourself and others around you. Oh, and one more thing: we don’t always have to be doing something – especially if the “something” in question involves using our phones. Less can be more.

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age is readily available for purchase on Amazon; you can also check at your local library.

Thank you for reading,

Anna

Photo source: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Fancy Lacy Update/New Contributor : Meet Anna Dyachenko

Hello lovelies,

Happy Thanksgiving, to all my Canadian’s readers. Well, it has been a while. Crazy good things are happening in my life right now. I’m back to working full time. I now realized that I took few things for granted: sleeping in, being off work for two years,  and blogging. You have no idea how much I miss these things. For the most part, Fancy Lacy (blogging and you reading me here) is what I long for more and miss the most.

These days, even though I am an early bird now, 24 hours in a day does not cut it for me. After work, catching the bus, driving around the city, studying, keeping up with the kids, quality family time, I’m  exhausted. Seriously,  I really need help with Fancy Lacy. I can’t keep it up. I kind knew this was coming.  Remember few weeks ago,  I made an announcement, here. Later, you met Iryn (she sure made me fall in love with fall again). Now, I’m so excited to introduce you to another voice. Meet Anna, She is impeccable.

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Her passion is photography, traveling, baking and an active/healthy lifestyle. Nothing brings her more joy than spending quality time with her husband Mark. Together, they regularly indulge in sushi rolls and tempura at Wasabi and spicy noodles at Wokbox. Anna loves cats and kittens. She can’t imagine her life without music and gym membership. She has two dreams: running a full marathon and attending a Linkin Park concert. In her lifetime, England was once home (she studied there). Her roots lie in Kazakhstan (born there) and now she is a Canadian prairie girl by choice. Follow her journey on a Fancy Lacy as she documents her passions.

Thank you for reading,  stay Fancy and come back again.

XOXO

Judith

Five reasons to fall in love with fall

Hello Fancy Lacy Community,

I simply cannot get enough of fall. I’ve always wondered if its because I was born and raised in a tropical country where the leaves were always green and the sun never seemed to ever want to go down. It’s a magical time of transitions. Leaves turning into all kinds of enchanting oranges and yellows and reds, the summer heat getting drowned out by the autumn breeze, chilling it just enough so you can wear a sweater and shorts, and of course there’s an abundance of pumpkins!

But if you still aren’t feeling the season, here are a few reasons to inspire you to fall in love with fall.

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Fall for the hues: There’s nothing quite like walking (or driving) down a street canopied with tree branches shedding all kind of colour leaves.

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Fall into fitness: The cool days of fall are a jogger’s paradise. You can run for miles without feeling like you are about to keel over and die (That happens to me in summer). It helps build up your endurance and it’s a great way to gradually acclimatize your self to running when the mercury finally dips below zero in winter. If you want to get into running, fall is the perfect time to start.

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Fall Fashion: From cozy cowl sweaters to knee-length boots, fall is the best time of year fashion-wise. Indulge your inner fashionista.

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Fall for comfort food: The great thing about fall is that you don’t have to be a whiz in the kitchen to whip up delicious tasting food that fills your home with delightful smells. Also, hot pumpkin spiced latte!

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Bring fall indoors: While summer is great for drawing us all to the great outdoors, the crisp, cool autumn air certainly brings us back in. Bringing the autumn beauty indoors with us can be an exciting experiment in interior decorating. Try some fall accents in your living room.

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Thank you for reading,

Iryn

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Iryn Tushabe is a freelance journalist, filmmaker and passionate gardener. She writes about science, health, wellness, and social change. Iryn’s writing has appeared in the Leader Post and the Star Phoenix (As well as their respective weekly magazines, QC and Bridges). She’s also a contributing writer for the Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting.

Follow her on twitter @wordsweaver.