The Completely Vain Reasons I Want to Lose Weight

I know, I know…I should want to lose weight primarily for health reasons. Get more energy, lower the risk for disease, look after the only body I have…and such. I want those things too. I want to be healthy and strong and energetic and enjoying my super healthy self. But sometimes, I just want to lose weight for totally vain reasons. No, not “skinny people are prettier” or any of that bull. I think women of all shapes and sizes can be beautiful. And I don’t want to be “skinny” per se. Maybe I should have titled this “I want a healthy body but I also want that body to be bangin’!” Anyway, in an effort to be motivating for myself and maybe you, here are my vapid reasons. 

1. I miss so much of my wardrobe 

In the last year I have put on about 35 pounds. On top of the existing “extra 20.” Between stress, antidepressants and a whole lot of fast food and candy, it came on quick. I left my clothing in the dust. I miss so many of my cute outfits that just DO NOT FIT. Especially when summer rolled around and I realized I had two pairs of shorts I could pull over my thighs. Left behind were those cream crocheted shorts I got in Mexico, my best pair of denim short-shorts, my board shorts that I live in over my bikini bottoms, and many more. They sit sadly in a pile shoved to the back of the closet, lest I gaze and them and start crying and debating just how tight is “too tight.” I want these babies back. And the cute shorts are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t even get me started on sundresses and tank tops.

2. I have an “at risk chin”

Yup, Amy Schumer just gets me. If you don’t know what I am talking about, watch this:

Amy talks to Ellen about living in LA  

That side profile in the mirror is showing me an extra chin layer that wants to come out and play. For those of you who are like “I saw your new picture on Facebook and your chin is fine,” you have no idea the selfie attempts and angles that it took to achieve that kind of magic. Smoke and mirrors people. I would like my old jawline. I would also like my “over 30” hormones to stop growing black hairs from my chin, but that is another story for another day.

3. My feet are getting fatter

There was once a time when I believed my feet would just stay as they were. No matter what, I would fit shoes in my size. Now, I am still an 8.5, but I only seem to fit shoes with a higher yoke. I tried on almost 30 pairs of cutesy flat sandals and one…ONE PAIR didn’t slice red marks into the tops of my feet. I think if I don’t get my crap together I will only fit Crocs. I just cannot allow my feet to wear Crocs anywhere but camping and gardening.   

4. I have to be careful about haircuts and sunglasses 

I have an oval face shape. Go read stuff about oval face shapes. We are the chameleon of face shapes. Long hair, short hair, round or square or heart shaped sunglasses. I even looked cute in 99% of hats. Now, my oval face is rounding out and I have to check to see if my new haircut frames and narrows my face, or makes me look like an Oompa Loompa. 

5. I want to wear a bikini

 
 Ok, I think you should just wear a freaking bikini if you want to. But see #1. Mine don’t fit. Even my cover ups don’t fit. I spent years of teenagedom thinking I had to be super modest/I wasn’t skinny enough for a bikini. I have serious time to make up and I want to OWN THE BIKINI. 

6. Those flowy outfits

  Ok, I clearly am a clothes whore and that is the real problem. But really, I love those flowy, shapeless hippy dippy dresses and shirts. When I wear them now, I lose all shape whatsoever. I want to wear a potato sack with shoulder straps and not feel like I am hiding. Right now, my flowy clothes are for days when I want to hide something.

7. Eat all the food

Ok, this one sounds pretty counterproductive, but I can’t wait to be at a healthy weight where a workout means ice cream; not ice cream means “well, there goes that 5 km hike.” Unhealthy mindset, maybe. But this is MY vain list, remember?

8. I want to love my body

I want to look in the mirror and be like “ooh yeeeaaaah.” I want to love what I see. And that has been gone for a very long time. Oops, I went and got all serious on you there. But you get it, right? I don’t want to catch a glimpse of myself in Warrior 2 in yoga class and only be able to focus on sucking it in. I want to be like “those squats gave me a killer booty.”  So it is time for me – time to get a move on, and love that girl in the mirror. Cuz she is pretty awesome, at risk chin and all.

XOXO Aubrey

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Decorating My Bookshelves – Obsessive or Inspired?

I have two main bookcases in my living room. They have doors on the bottom that hide all sorts of DVDs, office supplies, and excess home decor that I am not currently using. I loved them in all their multicoloured book spine glory for years. But I had a fairly colourful living room already – grass green walls, turquoise and natural accents. I wanted to bookcase to fit in more. I wanted it to add to a feeling of calm in my living room. Because even if the rest of my life is in a state of chaos, my bookshelf doesn’t need to be.
So I took it to the streets…aka family and friends on Instagram and Facebook, to see what they thought.   

Mostly, I got no help, just comments of “I like it the way it is!” and “You clearly have too much time on your hands.” (I just let my dishes pile up while I do home decor projects, it’s all relative).

My older brother actually gave decent advice, to organize them by spine colour, which I had thought of too. Mostly because Martha Stewart’s BFF Kevin Sharkey does his that way and it is impressive! Also, I have seen it at Anthropologie, and they do no wrong.

But deep down, I wanted cream and brown and calm books, organized in delightful groupings on the shelves. And I had found such lovely inspiration!

 Willow Decor

 

escapade 

 My Faux French Chateau

Full of ideas, I got to work! I started by ripping a bunch or the excess books off the shelves. They were full to bursting or books and decor, and they no longer told a story. And clearly I rushed with these “before” photos – I mean, there is a weight bar in the corner!  

 
Covering the books took some time, but a season of some crappy Netflix show and a pair of scissors gave me a chill afternoon. To make it easy, I layers each book down on the paper, traced the height of the book and cut the length with enough to cover the book and fold into the front cover. I taped the paper to the book cover using making tape. This made sure it would stay in place but wouldn’t damage the book if I wanted to remove it later.The fun part was writing the book titles on the spine. I used black, gold and bronze Sharpies to write the titles, and kept it interesting with a variety of fonts. If you suck at hand lettering, just do ALL CAPS – haha!

  
I kept any books that had neutral coloured spines as they were, for added texture and balance. All the was left was added some of my favourite treasures.

Here is the end result – I hope you are inspired! 

  
XOXO Aubrey

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

PS – here is a gratuitous photo of Kiely, the blog dog :)

Decorating My Bookshelves – Obsessive or Inspired?

I have two main bookcases in my living room. They have doors on the bottom that hide all sorts of DVDs, office supplies, and excess home decor that I am not currently using. I loved them in all their multicoloured book spine glory for years. But I had a fairly colourful living room already – grass green walls, turquoise and natural accents. I wanted to bookcase to fit in more. I wanted it to add to a feeling of calm in my living room. Because even if the rest of my life is in a state of chaos, my bookshelf doesn’t need to be.
So I took it to the streets…aka family and friends on Instagram and Facebook, to see what they thought.   

Mostly, I got no help, just comments of “I like it the way it is!” and “You clearly have too much time on your hands.” (I just let my dishes pile up while I do home decor projects, it’s all relative).

My older brother actually gave decent advice, to organize them by spine colour, which I had thought of too. Mostly because Martha Stewart’s BFF Kevin Sharkey does his that way and it is impressive! Also, I have seen it at Anthropologie, and they do no wrong.

But deep down, I wanted cream and brown and calm books, organized in delightful groupings on the shelves. And I had found such lovely inspiration!

 Willow Decor

 

escapade 

 My Faux French Chateau

Full of ideas, I got to work! I started by ripping a bunch or the excess books off the shelves. They were full to bursting or books and decor, and they no longer told a story. And clearly I rushed with these “before” photos – I mean, there is a weight bar in the corner!  

 
Covering the books took some time, but a season of some crappy Netflix show and a pair of scissors gave me a chill afternoon. To make it easy, I layers each book down on the paper, traced the height of the book and cut the length with enough to cover the book and fold into the front cover. I taped the paper to the book cover using making tape. This made sure it would stay in place but wouldn’t damage the book if I wanted to remove it later.The fun part was writing the book titles on the spine. I used black, gold and bronze Sharpies to write the titles, and kept it interesting with a variety of fonts. If you suck at hand lettering, just do ALL CAPS – haha!

  
I kept any books that had neutral coloured spines as they were, for added texture and balance. All the was left was added some of my favourite treasures.

Here is the end result – I hope you are inspired! 

  
XOXO Aubrey

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

PS – here is a gratuitous photo of Kiely, the blog dog :)

Selling Our Home – Some Thoughts and a Tour!

I have lived in my home for 8 years. Off and on, because of work, Colin has lived there with me! This was our first house purchase, our fourth home during our marriage, and has stored so much more than just our furniture. It is a home full of happy memories, and many difficult times.

So the time has come, the walrus said…we are selling the house! We are SO ready to move, to find a new home, and to create new memories. There is a bittersweet mixture of saying goodbye to this house, and looking forward to a fresh start in a new home.  But selling a house is a huge pain in the butt. Keeping it neat as a pin 24/7. Having strangers traipse through my house while I waste an hour in the truck driving around with the dog. Then Kiely is out of sorts for hours as she sorts out the new smells the buyer has left. Ugh. Please someone, buy my house so I can leave for work without worrying if Colin put down the toilet seat.

On the plus side, I have really gotten into the habit of keeping the kitchen picked up, of putting away something as soon as I am done, of making the bed each morning. You know, all those basic tasks your mother told you to do as a child, so as an adult you ignore it all and let clutter and dishes and bedsheets pile up. I really must stay in the habit of all this daily cleanup once I have my new home! Haha! All this “adulting” can really wear a girl out!

Once this place sells I can do up a list of all the amazing things we did to make our house more attractive to buyers. Unfortunately, the only reason it hasn’t sold is because most people don’t like having bedrooms downstairs. Get over it people, it is gloriously cool in the hot summer weather. And your house guests stay on the main level, away from your dirty underwear and the bathroom with makeup all over the counter. Win-win!

Since my house is the tidiest you will see it – here is a little tour! 

The living room and office are my favourite space. They are relaxing and colourful, and really speak to who Colin and I are as a couple. A few antique finds, an antler here and there, and mostly my own art on the walls. This is truly a place I feel at home in.

  
   
The fireplace holds a price from an early shipping crate, a jar of wine corks we have collected (save your judgement on the amount of corks in that one!) and a large glass jar full of the wooden handles from Colin’s Grandad’s tools. I think that jars full of “like” items are a fantastic way to decorate simply and to give a home to pieces that may otherwise not fit into your decor.

The kitchen is truly what sold us on the home. It is big and open, and has storage for days! I have a small…ummm major love for kitchen tools and gadgets, so the storage is a must! And all of the counter space has allowed me to show off a few of my LeCreuset pieces.

The chalkboard piggy and the EAT barn board sign are two of my own DIYs, as well as the green refinished bread box on the left counter.    
    
 The dining area has framed book pages (one of the rare times I ruined a book for decorating). I bought it cheap with the planned destruction, so take it easy, I am a bibliophile too!

The wall behind the table has been painted in stripes that alternate from matte and shiny. We did this by taping off the stripes and painting with varathane. We think it is just subtle enough.

We really worked to bring the turquoise and grass green throughout the main floor, so there is flow and cohesiveness.

This little nook is my personal excuse to buy new decor and update the tablescape periodically. Even with a small home, the hunt for the perfect piece to fit in “that spot” can make all the difference for the beauty of your home.  Our main bathroom was the most recently renovated room in the house. Lightening the walls and removing excess cabinetry really opened it up. When my sister in law and I found the shelf above the door, we fell in love! It fits perfect, draws the eye upward, and gives me more space to decorate – aka another excuse to shop at HomeSense.   

  Our entryway is lots of fun. I did up the subway art and the rest is pretty much all finds from HomeSense…I should really buy shares there.  

 We are so excited to move, and to find new spaces and places for all our fun decor. This was my first home where I really got to do what I wanted, so the next house will be even more exciting to fix up to our taste.

Next post – the bedroom and the backyard! But the end, I hope you want to move to small town Alberta and buy my house!

XOXO Aubrey

Friday Free for All: July 31

Ummm…how is it August tomorrow? How have I been away from the blog for so long? I have had a busy summer – we have the house up for sale, and getting the house all ready for buyers was no overnight task. And to be honest, my energy was all used up, so I slacked on the blog. But sometimes (all the time), life and family take precedence over blogging…

So here is a long-awaited Friday Free for All! A few of my favourite things this week!

1. Chateau de Gudanes

An Australian family is completely renovating a French castle. Their Facebook page and website are addictive little gems. One day they are salvaging woodwork and the next they are finding sections of the castle no one has seen in decades! Be prepared to drool and dream. This is the French countryside in all its glory. All I need is a bicycle and a baguette!  

2. This hammock setup

I would live there with wine and a book all summer!

  
3. This Quote 

  
4. This Mexican restaurant 

I went there with my parents a couple of weeks ago while I was in Vancouver. It was so delicious, like being right back in Nuevo Vallarta! If you are in the Yaletown area, I highly recommend it. And I get picky about Mexican food…  

5. It’s the Long Weekend! Get out there, enjoy the sun while it lasts!

Xoxo Aubrey

Growing Pains

I’m just going to come right out and say it – most of my life, I thought of myself as “the perfect child.” I gave my parents very little grief, I got good grades in school, I didn’t drink or smoke or hang out with “the wrong crowd.” I had university paid for by my scholarships. I dated and married a boy they loved, from a family “like ours.” (brag brag brag)
So my life should go pretty smoothly right? Didn’t I, precious little me, deserve it all? Life has a cruel funny way of showing you that you still have a long way to go. 
God likes to take those A-type, perfection-complex, stubborn girls and show them they aren’t in control (He also likes to do this with their stubborn husbands). It always seems like your glass house is a lovely way to see the sky until those cracks start letting the rain in. 

 

For a really long time, I thought I had full control of most of the things around me. My career, my home, my husband. Yeah, I just said that out loud. Ask him, it isn’t so fun having a wife who is the youngest of three and used to getting her way. And then pouts when she doesn’t. 

 

So I have been getting changed. That uncomfortable word – change. I like to embrace change – when I am the one to initiate it. When change is thrust upon me, I get overwhelmed really quick. What’s that God? I’m not in control? You are? YEAH RIGHT! WATCH ME! 
Crap.  

 

So the last few years have been a season of change. Some of it hurt. Some of it opened doors I never expected. Some of it made me take a step…scratch that, a GIANT LEAP back and reevaluate who I am and how I act and how do I want to move forward? What kind of woman do I want to be? What kind of wife, daughter, friend? I have had to relax into the knowledge that I am not in control. And thank God for that – because I can kind of suck at being in control. 

 

 
And you know what, I am pretty proud of who I am becoming. Less judgemental (still pretty sarcastic), more patient, less demanding. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. But I am growing.
 
Aubrey Lively 
——————
 

 

 
 
 

 

Yay for Freebies! (Love the Home You Have)

My copy of “Love the Home You Have” by Melissa Michaels arrived today!  

 

I am beyond excited and I can’t wait to curl up with a cup of coffee and a highlighter! This book is beautifully laid out and full of little gems like this: 

 

The back of the book even has a list of challenges to help you implement the tips in the book. 

As much as Colin and I want to move and be in a larger home, I have really done my best to love the one I am in. To decorate with things I love; to put our own mark on it; to make it a welcoming and warm place to have friends and family. I still often find myself tripping over what I see as problems. Apologizing for those dishes in the sink, wishing I had the Pinterest features I drooled over. But unless you are Martha Stewart, you likely don’t have 3 houses and the opportunity to make them all “just so.” That is why I am eager to read Melissa’s book – she really wants to guide us all to a place of embracing where we are. 

Stay tuned, once I have read through this book cover-to-cover, I’ll give you the full deal on what I think. In the meantime, here is another quote for you! 

 

Have a great week!

XOXO Aubrey