Showing posts from 2016

My year in review - 2016

It's time for another year in review. 2016 was a very eventful year for me! It seems many people feel that way. 

I had big plans for 2016. It was supposed to be the year I got things done. Well... it didn't quite work out that way. Things got done, but most weren't even on my list.

I had a very difficult time with my daughter this year. We had a few crises. Things have stabilized a bit, but they still feel a little fragile. Perhaps it’s just how it is during the teenage years…

I had a bit of a breakdown at the beginning of the year and ended up taking February off of work to rest and recuperate. When you don’t deal with your emotions, it catches up to you, sooner or later. In my case, it hit me like a ton of bricks and forced me to stop.

Although I wasn’t quite ready, I went back to work in March. I still tried to take things a little easier than before my mental health break so that I could continue to work on healing, even though I couldn’t dedicate as much time to it as I …

Last minute Christmas shopping

It’s Christmas the day after tomorrow. Are you still rushing around trying to buy your Christmas gifts? Why? Does Billy really need another toy? Does mom need any more slippers? Does your teenager really need another new trinket to add to that pile of stuff strewn across her bedroom floor?

Well, Dominique, if I don’t buy my loved ones a gift, how will they know I love them?

Oh, my dear friend, give them your time!

Here’s what I’m doing for Christmas. I’m giving cards to my loved ones. In those cards, I’ve set up a date to spend time with them. For one of them, maybe it’s a meal out at a fancy restaurant. For another, perhaps a trip to that museum they really like. For another, maybe some kind of concert, play, or movie. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that we spend time together creating memories.

I’ve started doing this a while back when I ran out of ideas on what to give my niece and nephew. We don’t often get to spend one on one time together. So by doing this, we spe…

A new hobby

Well hello there! Did you think I forgot about you? Well I haven’t! I wouldn’t.

How’ve you been?

I’ve been well. I’ve been busy! Back in October, I started a new job. It’s way more intense than what I was doing. In this new job, many things happen, and they happen quickly! Keeping up takes some getting used to.

The projects I work on can (and probably will) directly affect many people. So the level of attention, professionalism, and skill I have to bring to the table every day is significant. And, well, that can be tiring.

At the end of my workday, I’m mentally exhausted! So I haven’t spent much time writing. I’ve been crocheting instead.

Yes… you read that correctly… crocheting. It’s a new hobby I picked up from one of my new co-workers. She taught me how to crochet a granny square, and I fell in love with the hobby! It’s pretty much become a new obsession.

There are a few reasons why I like it so much.

First reason, I’m able to do it. That significantly increases my enjoyment of the …


Hi. So maybe you were expecting How to be a minimalist - Part two this week. It's not ready yet. Things have been a little intense lately (and still are), so I haven't had much time to devote to blogging.

I've learned to listen to my body. Right now, my body is telling me I need to minimize my priorities and slow things down a little. Things are mostly good, just intense… at least for me. So that means that for now, blogging has to be paused. I’m not sure for how long.

In the meantime, please explore my site and revisit some of my old posts.

Until next time, dear reader!

How to be a minimalist - Part one


"Packing and moving is overwhelming." I texted Mr. Romantic one late August Sunday morning as I was alone at the condo looking over my stuff. Even though I've gotten rid of many, many, things over the past year and a half, I still have stuff. And that stuff needed to be moved out of the condo. Now that all of that stuff has been moved, Mr. Romantic and I are working on finding a place for whatever I moved into our home. Two fully functioning households need to be combined. So far, he’s been excellent in making room for me in our home, even if that means getting rid of some of his stuff. We’ve been deciding together whose stuff to keep. For example, some of my small appliances (like my food processor and blender) were better quality than the ones he had, so we kept mine. But most of his pots and pans were much better quality than mine, so we kept his. However, I did supplement with a few of mine when he didn't already have something equivalent that I enjoy using. Wh…

City to the burbs

I had the chance to live in downtown Ottawa for almost a year. I had fantasized about doing so when I was a teenager in the 90s wandering around downtown to temporarily escape, even if just for the day, my suburban home where I lived with my parents and my little sister.

It seemed to me that living downtown would be THE life. I mean, come on… all the downtown cafés and bars and boutiques and museums and people. I had this romantic idea in my head of living in an old apartment building with high ceilings, charming creaky wood floors and thick baseboards. I would write and paint and draw and have cool artistic and eccentric friends drop by on a whim.

Fast forward to 2015-2016. I finally got my chance to live downtown, but in an old 80s condo that has seen better days. The commute to my government job was fantastic – a mere 5-minute walk. But the ceilings were regular height. The floors were a combination of ugly white tiles and ordinary laminate. I wrote on my laptop in my bed. I didn’t p…

Doing a second round of Whole30... again - final report

As promised, here is my final report to you on this experience.

"But wait, Dominique. This can't be a report on the end of your Whole30... it hasn't even been 30 days yet!"

You're right. I chose to end the Whole30 before the day 22 supper.

Yep. With only 8 days to go, I decided to stop. It was just too much. I started a new job on Monday (day 22). Although it was a nice first day, I underestimated the effect that the disruption in my routine would have on me. I felt exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed. Close to breaking. So I gave myself a break before I would break.

Mr. Romantic and I had supper at a restaurant with the kids after I was able to convince him that I really was OK with my decision. And I am. Really.

I still feel like I benefited from this Whole21.66. The pain in my butt is gone and I lost 10.2 lbs. But more importantly, for breakfast and lunch on what would have been day 23, I made less than ideal food choices. All that did was make me crave a healt…

It may be junk to you, but it's not junk to me!

This summer, we had a little weekend getaway in Kingston, Ontario. During our last day, we visited Fort Henry and stopped in at their gift shop. Like a typical kid, my daughter kept asking for this and that. There was no real rhyme or reason for her requests other than she just wanted something. Anything.

At one point, I got a little impatient with her and said that I wasn't about to waste money on junk, something that she'll just discard in a few months, or maybe even in just a few days. (The item in question was a small plush toy goat.)

Well that's when she freaked out and yelled at me "I'm so sick of you saying these things are junk. They may be junk to you, but they're not junk to me!"

In all fairness, my daughter has a greater challenge controlling her emotions than the average kid and tends to overreact at first when things don't go her way. She's working on it. And although these reactions are often very unpleasant, I really admire the fact t…

Doing a second round of Whole30... again - the deets

As I was writing my other post about my second Whole30, I realized that some of you may just want my thoughts and feelings about going through another Whole30, while others might want the bite by bite of this journey. So for the bite by bite people, this is for you. The follow-up to Doing a second round of Whole30... again:

Day 1
Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs, mixed nuts, a banana and a black coffee
Lunch: leftover steak, potatoes and broccoli, and a few pieces of orange bell pepper and four cherry tomatoes from our garden that were sitting on the counter, all fried up in ghee and topped with an egg over easy, an apple and water
Supper: barbecued chicken with homemade ranch mayonnaise for dipping, roasted vegetables, olives, grapes, and water with leftover juice from the lemon that I used to make the mayonnaise. 

Day 2
Breakfast: omelet made with leftover roasted vegetables cooked in ghee, cucumber, two clementines and a black coffee
Lunch: leftover barbecued chicken with spaghetti sauce ove…

Doing a second round of Whole30... again

Sorry for not posting at my usual time. It was a busy week this week and I didn't get around to finishing my post until now.

This is going to be a fairly long post.

A diet consisting of simple foods totally falls in with a minimalist lifestyle. At least, in my opinion. Simple healthy ingredients lead to a healthy body and mind, which helps in living a simple life. Truly living life.

I’ve been a little quiet about it, but I’ve started another Whole30. So far I haven’t been able to successfully complete a second round. But this time is going to be different... I hope!

Why do I want to do another Whole30? Because I want to be healthier. I’m (was) in constant pain. Some days are (were) worse than others. It’s tiring! And I know it’s all food related because many of these issues were gone during my first Whole30, and for a few months after that.

But now that my habits and weight are pretty much where they were before my first Whole30, all of these issues are back. Heartburn. Joint pai…

It happened again...

I've moved!

Yep, you read that right. I haven't been enjoying the condo. Although I love the commute, the things I don't like about the condo couldn't easily be changed.

I did what I could with the space I had. Like when I added the island to give me more prep space in the kitchen. That was working out well. And the noisy-in-the-middle-of-the-night neighbour had quieted down after a couple of complaints to the superintendent.

However, there's nothing I could do about the extremely loud and inefficient furnace/air conditioning unit (which I blame, along with the old windows and patio doors, for the unreasonably high hydro bills for such a small apartment), the poorly designed bathroom, and the noisy city neighbourhood.

I tried to live with it, but found that the combination of all these issues frustrated me too much. I want to feel calm and happy in my home.

But really, the best reason for moving was that Mr. Romantic and I decided to live together. So it's back…

Hold your horses

It's easy to get caught up in acquiring things when you get into a new activity. Especially when it's one you really enjoy.

I've recently discovered that I love camping! I love being out in the woods with Mr. Romantic. That being said, I also like convenience and comfort, as most people do I'm sure.

While on our first camping trip in July, I made a list of things we should have while camping (such as particular items of clothing, kitchen utensils, etc.), and a list of nice-to-haves for camping that we might acquire over time (you know, luxuries, like a bigger tent).

Then, Mr. Romantic and I planned a second camping trip at the end of August. This time, it was with my daughter and her friend. So a couple of weekends before the trip, we went to look at camping gear that we might want for a more comfortable experience, especially since it would be with more people.

Have you ever walked through a camping equipment section of sport-supplies retailers? They have things f…

What happened

Hi! I hope you've been enjoying your summer!

I must say, it was nice taking a couple of months off from blogging. Even though I love writing, I haven't taken much time to write during the summer. I've spent most of my time living and preparing. It's been somewhat of a busy time for me.

We had family barbecues. We took a family day-trip to Upper Canada Village, another to the MacKenzie King Estate, and one to Britannia Beach. My mom, my daughter, Mr. Romantic and I had a weekend in Kingston where we visited Fort Henry, took a boat cruise, and visited Boldt Castle. I painted my daughter's new closet and changed the flooring.

Mr. Romantic and I went to see movies, spent time out on patios, took walks and hikes, and had a last minute camping trip to Kearney Lake in Algonquin Park in July. It was my first time camping since I was a kid. I loved it! In fact, I loved it so much that we went on a second camping trip last weekend to end off summer and we invited my daught…

Summer break

I've decided to take a break from blogging for July and August. Life has been quite stressful for me lately. Many good things. Some bad things. A lot of movement... Ah! life!

I want to slow things down a little and concentrate on me, my loved ones and some upcoming changes. I'll tell you all about it when I'm back in September.

In the meantime, slow down and enjoy summer if you can. Get out in nature. Go hiking. Go swimming. Go picnicking with your sweetie, your family, your friends. Stay up late once in a while to lay back and look up at the stars. Go on adventures. Live!

Have a great summer and see you in September!

The ultimate “should we live together” questionnaire

As promised, here is The ultimate "should we live together" questionnaire.

These are questions I thought Mr. Romantic and I should answer and discuss before deciding if we want to live together. I think they put us in a better position to make a more informed decision.

In my opinion, having answers that don’t match doesn’t mean we shouldn’t live together. It just means we have more to discuss. They're meant to help us learn more about each other.

I’ve made a few edits to take away the more personal aspects of these questions and made them a bit more universal for any of you to use if you’re thinking of shacking up with your sweetie. Perhaps you'll think that some of the questions are a little negative or morbid, but in my opinion they're important nonetheless. Maybe they can help you make the important decision of living together.
A little work before might mean a simpler life together afterwards.
Relationship Why should we live together?When should we live tog…