Happy 2018 and This Life: Episode 2

pink Lilly Pulitzer popover

Happy New Year! I've been celebrating the holidays by spending time with family indoors. In case you haven't heard, or do not live in and around Ontario, we are in the middle of a deep freeze that started right on Christmas. 
I have to say, this is the first time I remember it being so bitterly cold on Christmas. I'm not complaining though because it means that I got the white Christmas that is oh so important to me. I've been asked a few times (once by my own mother ha!) why I love the snow so much. The answer, because I.Am.Canadian! Truthfully I did go through a period where I was not snow's number one fan. Once I stopped racing GTs and thought snowsuits were no longer fashionable around 14 it's wasn't until I started skiing with my husband and playing in the snow with my own kids that I went back to appreciating our cold climate.

As an amateur photographer, the winter season gives me so much to work with. I recently spent the afternoon bundled up in a forest, while it snowed, snapping nature pictures and testing out my new tripod (the only thing I bought on boxing day). I wanted to capture the heavy snow weighing down the evergreen trees and for a moment in time, capture the beauty of a gentle snow fall. It was all very artsy. I have still yet to find a way to photograph falling snow so that it looks as pretty as it does to the human eye, but luckily I have a good three more months of cold weather to practice. 

Each year on the blog I like to look back and recap the year but this time, I'm feeling much more excited about the future than I am about the past! 2017 was a great year filled with some amazing travel, exciting partnerships on the blog, personal success at my full time day job, and also saw me pivot Celebrating This Life to be focused more on fashion. I started the year aiming to create three new outfits each week and I hit the mark almost every week! I am hoping I can keep up the momentum and continue to bring you some attainable fashion inspiration filled with colourful and feminine clothing that you can find at your local store, guide you in restyling some items you probably have in your closet from last season, and even how to add a few vintage items into your modern wardrobe. 

All that being said, I will be taking just a little break from blogging (not too long, I'll be back in a little over a week!) but in the meantime I thought I would share my goals and resolutions for 2018, as well provide you a little update on what's been going on in my world lately. 

2018 Resolutions

Stop swearing - I've gotten into a bad habit of swearing like a sailor even in my everyday conversation. In 2018, it's out the window (I reserve the right to swear at my tv during baseball and football games)

Going Dry - No more alcohol or coffee. Nuts right? How long will this last is anyone's guess but I'd like to at least go dry for January. No real reason. I didn't spend New Year's hung over and swear I'd never drink again. I just found that I sort of lost my taste for anything right now. That bottle of champagne I'm holding in the photo above, I had one glass at 11pm on New Year's and that's when I decided I was done for a while. As for the coffee...I spent 2017 going weeks, then months, without my daily fix and always felt better when I didn't drink it. I would have one cup at 9 am and have the world's worst heartburn at night. I have a bottle of Tums beside my bed as we speak! I drank my last cup of coffee on New Year's Eve and have only suffered through two headaches since. Caffeine addiction is no joke! 

Use Time More Effectively - I really want to bring some of my clothing designs to life in 2018. All day long (when I'm not working my day job of course!) I am in my head designing and creating the dresses that I would love to be wearing. Things I can't readily find in Canada or in my budget. That's what I want to create and it's been this ever looming dream of mine. So what's stopping me? Oh, I'm too busy you see. Busy doing what? I don't know, dishes, vacuuming, spending three hours a night reading magazines on Texture. In short, I am holding myself back because I am not using my time effectively. This year I am changing that because I really, really do want to pursue this dream of mine! My Texture app come up for yearly renewal and since it is the biggest time drain for me, I didn't renew it. I'm planning to use this time at night to draw, design and create what I can. I'll cover my tips and tricks for becoming more effective in a future blog post but until then, look at where your spending your biggest chunks of time. Look at those blocks of time very critically and only focus your attention on the ones that matter most. 

You Can't Win Them All - It's ok to fail. I'm saying it because I need to say it out loud to alleviate the shame and stress I carry after a failure, and so you, my dear reader, can see and hear that we don't always win and that's ok. Just before Christmas, I was in a week long course (for my day job) for a notoriously hard to get certification. I attended the course and studied every night. I also took two practice exams and passed with flying colours. I went into the multiple choice exam knowing it would be hard, but that I was ready. I failed by 1 question. The absolute worst part is that it's a requirement of my job to hold this certification and I've been working in the field for years. 

I don't like to fail. No one does. I spent the day after the exam mourning my perfect image of the lady that passes everything (have I mentioned I can be overdramatic?) and I spent the following day trying to figure out what lesson I was supposed to learn from this. After some time, I came to realize that my lesson here is that it's ok to fail. We learn so much about ourselves, and from other's stories of failure, so why are we so afraid to talk about it? When I told my boss (bless her, she's the best!) she said don't worry we won't tell anyone, you can just try again. I thanked her because obviously, I was pretty embarrassed by this defeat. But I quickly realized this is part of the problem, sweeping failures under the rug. This year, I'd like to help in any small way that I can to normalize "failing". We all can't win all the time. I really do believe the old adage that to appreciate the sun, you need to accept a few rain drops, so now I'm applying this same idea to failing. To truly appreciate success when it comes my way, I need to accept that failing is just a part of life. It's something we should all accept for ourselves and for others when they share of a defeat.  

On the home front, we've got two working teenagers in the house. They've got their own money and their own lives which is why if you've been with me since the beginning of this blog, you might be wondering where my kids are. They're still here, and still at times contribute to this blog by taking photos. They have their own lives to live and I want to give them the privacy they deserve so you won't be seeing them on here, and I am planning on keeping their life updates off of here. I once read a semi-funny quote that said given enough time all fashion blogs turn into mommy blogs. I'm headed the totally different way since I started as a family/lifestyle blog and have turned it into a just for me fashion blog! The same goes for my husband. He's still here in the background cheering me on and taking thousands of photos for me, but I choose to keep him off my blog and social media. My family is doing great but let's face it, being on mom's blog is kind of lame, so I hope you're all ok if I keep my updates just about what is going on with me and my budding business. 

B-A-H-A-M-A-S That's right, I just booked a week vacation to The Bahamas this February! This has been a dream destination of mine since... I saw Casino Royale the movie! It's true, I fell in love with the Bahamas because of a James Bond movie (which is actually one of my fave movies ever!) I can't wait to see the crystal clear water, white and pink sand beaches, candy coloured buildings and key areas that were featured in the movie! I bought this vacation package on a Boxing Day sale and the price was just too good to pass by. Actually, it was either this or Hawaii and while I'd love to visit Hawaii, the Bahamas is just higher on my list of places I want to see. 

As I mentioned, I am taking a week off from blogging because I am working on implementing a new website (it's the most complicated update I've ever done!) and I need a little down time to create some content. I've always said you need to live a life to be able to write about life! In 2018 I plan on continuing to bring you fashion content, travel recommendations and I'm looking forward to adding everyday beauty how-to's, decor advice and some exciting collaborations coming up with Kendra Bester Design. Kendra and I have spent months talking about what our collaborations could be for 2018 (remember this party and this Halloween treat?) and we have so many ideas, we're just bursting at the seams! We both take the art of living very seriously and our hope is to share that love with likeminded readers. 

From here on out these life updates are going to be about what is going on in my world, my business and my collaborations. I'd love to hear from you if you find these interesting or not, or if there's anything you'd like to me cover! Feel free to email me at Celebratingthislife@gmail.com. 

Happy New Year to you all! Thanks for following along in 2017 and I look forward to sharing with you my adventures in 2018! xx R


  1. Happy New Year lovely! It is so nice to get an update on your life and progress. I can't wait to see more outfits! I didn't know that you have a dream of designing dresses. I would totally wear what you create! I'd love to see the snowy tree photographs, too!

    You're so optimistic and positive about your test. I think a lot of us have failures, but we aren't as forgiving as you are. You will kick that test's butt next time!

  2. I really like your resolutions! They are realistic (minus that no coffee one, haha) and are relatable. I'm guilty of not trying new things because I'm scared of failing. It's a good reminder that it's okay to not be perfect at everything.