Today was always meant to be a park day. The sun is shining and the sky is mostly clear. It’s the perfect spring weather, winter in the shade and summer in the sun. The kids were happy to be free of winter beanies and coats and instead got to sport canvas slip ons and zip up sweaters. I scored this darling cashmere sweater on clearance from Joe Fresh after Christmas, and it was perfect for layering with a leather jacket. It has become a new favourite piece for me since it is so versatile. Mila originally wanted me to wear my favourite black pumps, and I almost agreed but I really wanted to take them for a little walk to the park after running errands and felt they weren’t the most “park appropriate.” Luckily she compromised with a pair of wedges.
We ate graham crackers in the sun, I sipped my London Fog and the geese flew overhead in little pairs. Asher tested out his newfound walking skills on uneven ground. Mila’s shinbones found a few extra playground war wounds today, and there were many kissed owies.
This is Momlife. Coffee and boo boos and snacks. There was something on my pants and diapers in my designer bag. I have a handful of lipsticks in my purse because I always forget to put it on at home anyway. Wet wipes and extra undies, because, toddlers. Kate Spade paired with Kate Spade paired with my current read, Eat, Pray, Love.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn’t have kids. What would I be doing, who would be my friends, who would I be? My kids have changed me in ways I never thought parenting would. I feel like I’m a better person, more empathetic; but that I worry a lot more. I worry about the world, and about educations and schools and bullies. I worry about art and music and politics and healthcare and GMOs and chemicals in the air and in shampoos. I worry about what their lives will be like when they’re 18. How much will school be, and will it be any good? Will they know how to be happy, or meditate, or ask questions?
Momlife is a different life, but it’s a good life. I don’t remember what I used to do with my days before I had children. My days are slower now. We are park junkies, and outdoor explorers. I see the birds and I see the bugs and I smell the flowers because my children do. I notice the art and my attention is drawn to toast in the shape of Santa’s sleigh. Make up is half applied and coffee half drank because toy sharing needs to happen and “no Mila, you can’t eat chocolate for breakfast.”
Momlife is a good life. Momlife is just the life for me.
I hope the sun is shining wherever you are.
Our bathroom renovation is finally complete. It has been actually for a few weeks. But there were a few finishing touches I wanted to do before sharing.
We have done extensive renovations to this home since we purchased it two years ago. We gutted the bathroom before moving in but didn’t get to the tiling until just recently. I had quite some time to ponder a design style. I finally decided and when I told Justin he looked at me like I was rather loony.
“You want to tile behind the mirror…all the way up to be ceiling?”
He did that big inhale, eyes wide open and stared.
It’s his wtf look.
Anyhow. I just went and bought the shit and said “this is what we are doing,” so there was little room for argument. It was at that time I also decided to tile up to the ceiling above the tub. A decision I am very happy about. It was also after I had originally thought “why not tile up to the ceiling,” we went to a friend’s house who had just had their bathroom professionally renovated and guess what? They had tile up to the ceiling as a tub surround AND a backsplash. Bingo. I felt less crazy.
As for the towel rack, it was a Pinterest win. We are always hanging towels over the shower curtain rod because we reuse towels 3-4 times to save on water. This was okay when it was two, even three of us because I would share with someone usually. But now that there are four we seem to use a lot of towels, and the towel clutter was getting ridiculous and stressing me out.
This was a great solution because not only do we hang our towels, but our bathrobes, clothes to re use and I even dried my macrame plant hanger after washing it that I scored at the thrift store.
Undeniably my favourite part of this bathroom is the art. It was designed by my best friend Laura’s, sister Jennie Rutz, who just oozes talent, brilliant boho vibes and literally glows; even after giving birth- which she just did to a gorgeous little goddess. I first saw this print in Laura’s nursery for her new baby girl, Macie, and I just had to have it. It is actually my phone case too because I wanted to take this siren everywhere. I mean, can you really blame me? I think we all have a little mermaid in us.
Now that this room is complete, it really did little to calm the desire to design and finish the rest of the house. Although some people may think decor and whatnot is a waste of money- all I can say is “what is so possibly wrong with surrounding yourself with beautiful things you love dearly,”
I can personally attest that doing such improves my mood, makes me more grateful, peaceful and calm. So why not shake things up a bit. Change out your window treatments. Shop the thrift store. Get rid of old clutter or something that just isn’t speaking to you anymore. You’ll know when you find something that speaks to your soul.
My darling great uncle passed last friday. He was 94. I always said he was my favourite, since the time I could talk. And I was always sitting on his lap, since the time I could sit. I gravitated to him. Whether it was because he was an easy target for my incessant chatting because he was unable to get up and leave, or because he genuinely liked me I don’t know, but my favourite he’ll always be. He had a condition similar to ALS; slow progressing, it took is ability to talk and walk back in the 80’s, and he has been in a home for more than a decade.
I went and visited him just before Mila was born and I’ll never forget his face when I walked in. He jumped up from his wheelchair and came back down, throwing his arms into the chair, his mouth in an ear to ear grin. I knew he shouted my name, but it no longer sounded like my name. I couldn’t help but tear up as I hugged him. His gentle huge hands rubbing my back.
He was the same yet not at all. He was tired. I pulled out my laptop and showed him all my photos and he diligently listened to every story I had behind each one. And after he wanted to rest, dinner was soon. And square dancing was tomorrow. His lovely wife, my Aunt Francis took him every week, pushing his wheel chair to the beat of the music. She was there every morning, spending lunch and the early afternoon with him. Leaving for a short time and often coming back after dinner before bed. Every day. True love.
When I left that evening for the drive back home from Kindersley, I told my mom,
“Mom I couldn’t understand him anymore. How long has it been like that?” When I visited he communicated in a series of grunts mostly. She kind of giggled.
“Mik, He hasn’t spoken in years,” She laughed. I paused for a moment. I was seriously confused.
All the years as a child I would chat with him and he would chat back to me. I’d bring him all sorts of jars of frogs I caught at the farm or dragonflies from the swamp. We would talk and talk and it was never grunts, it was words. I understood every word he said.
“I never knew you could understand him. I always wondered, because you two were always chatting.” she sighed.
The thought makes me smile now. I’ll always miss him and our little talks. This is a hard post to finish for me, because I despise the mundane “he’s in a better place now.” Its not that I think its “better,” its just where he is supposed to be right now. He’s been called home. I have a deep faith that this isn’t IT. But I also have a deep faith that rainbows and clouds and unicorns isn’t IT either. That whatever is beyond is just the latter half of the journey.
I’m sad, and I miss him. But I know as I garden this summer that every dragonfly I see among the petunias will just be him saying hello in another one of his ways.
Love you dearly Uncle Bill, rest peacefully.
photo from here.
Just after I wrote my post about our dear friend’s passing and hit publish, I got a call from our realtor. We had an offer on our rental house. I had a hard time being happy considering the circumstances, as well as being burned twice before in regards to the sale. But the reminder of what it meant to us was still there; freedom.
Here we are now; days away from completely signing over title to the new home owner. And not just anyone. Someone that really REALLY loves this little house. As much as we did. After all this was the place we met and grew our family and brought Mila home. We came home to it after our wedding. We tested our marriage with DIY renovations. We fought and made up and loved and said goodbye to friends. There are so many memories in that little house. Beautiful ones. Painful ones. But they are all worth remembering. And now she can move in and make it her own. She can love and create and live within those walls with deep intention; And that means so much to us.
This next chapter in our life is very exciting. This is life changing, as this sale will allow us to move closer to our dreams, which is to travel, finish our renovations and make our house a home. What we really want is financial freedom. We are sick of the rat race to get more shit, have a bigger house, have a nicer truck. The things we wish to buy will only make our life richer and those are experiences.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast life changes. And this is a testament to that. The past two weeks I have felt every emotion imaginable, and I have tried my best to do it mindfully. It’s been a bit exhausting I’ll admit. I’ve felt the burn out of emotion overload and not enough self care. But as things once again, predictably calm down and turn into blue skies once more, I’ve made it a priority to care more for myself. Go slower. Expect less. Don’t rush. Dream a little harder. Because it was dreaming that got us here. And only dreaming will continue to get us to faraway beaches, spicy street food, foreign yoga classes, and handmade artisan trinkets.
Wherever you are and whatever your situation, just keep dreaming. Find whatever you can be grateful for and throw as much intention into it as you can. Times are tough. This I know. But I also know that everything can change and rather swiftly. Don’t let the pain dissipate your magic. Keep dreaming. Keep dreaming. Keep dreaming.
A little blurb about my outfit. The cardigan is by a company called California Moonrise (IG found here) inspired by free spirited bohemians and I have just recently become one of their ambassadors so stay tuned for more boho chic outfits I can’t wait to style! And check out their other stuff over here!
cardigan (link coming soon!)
Late winter/early spring is my least favourite time of year. Its just a bit too messy, windy, snowy, brown and drab, but mostly completely unpredictable for me. One moment you feel elated that winter is gone, the sleep is over, and the next snowflakes begin to fall but not enough to cover the brown grass. The trees have yet to bud, and flowers have not yet made their appearance. Its a bit much for this impatient soul. I wish spring would just get on with it.
So to get through it all, I buy myself fresh cut flowers. I think its good for the soul to buy yourself flowers, or have fresh plants. Anything green really. Maybe its because it cleanses the air, that I feel I can breathe better with plants in the house. But I like to think its because they have this beautiful vibration, one that resonates with the wild in us, that is trying to remind us to be a little more free, walk barefoot, be mindful and stop and smell the flowers.
Heres to hoping this inspires you to love something green. I promise it will love you back.
I have always had a thing for hats. From pom-pom beanies to fedoras and floppy brim hats. I feel like that take an ordinary outfit to another level. Kind of the same way the right shade of lipstick can completely transform an entire look. My biggest inspiration when it comes to wearing hats is Rachel Zoe. From her flared jeans, leather jackets, drapey blouses, six inch heels and wide brim hats, she exudes boho-chic in an positively timeless way.
I remember once as a little girl I always tried to get my mum to buy me different hats as part of my summer outfits, back to school shopping and winter gear. She usually said no, because I mean, how many hats does a person really need. I didn’t stop asking until one day I rushed to try on a military style cap and someone I was with said “oh god, put it back, you look stupid.”
I was utterly devastated. Maybe that was cruel. Maybe it did look kind of silly on me. Maybe they just didn’t have the same appreciation for hats as I did, who knows? Those things are out of my control for the most part. But what was in my control was whether I would let the idea of “I’m stupid,” rule my life or not. Might seem silly to think one little phrase could transform the mind like that, but my ego took it and ran. Throughout the rest of my adolescence I projected “I’m stupid.” onto nearly everything. I had this intense fear of being seen as stupid. If I got the vibe someone didn’t like me I was sure it was because I had done something dumb.
Its not anyones fault, I don’t blame anyone, not even myself; it is just part of the journey to the self. Everyone has one of these fear based thoughts that they project over and over onto future events. But there is always a choice in choosing love over fear.
Two years ago, I walked into a boutique to shop around and saw this lovely white wide brimmed hat with sea shell detailing. I put it on. Took it off. Put it on. Hesitated and said to hell with it and bought myself a hat. The voice in my head was loud, but I decided I would tell myself I looked good in it anyway.
So today a hat is more than just a hat to me. A hat is a symbol of my perseverance to break free of a fear. And every day I wear one it reminds me of the day I chose love over fear, chose to love myself a little harder, to stop the voice of ego, and just buy the damn hat.
Could it be, yet another fashion blog? Seems a bit out of place, I’ll admit. But when I ask myself, WHY NOT? and take down the walls of the conventional, it really isn’t that farfetched to add beauty and fashion to this spiritual place called Mikala’s Musings.
I believe in beauty. My religion is love. And I think it should extend into every facet of our lives. I love clothes. I also find a deep solitude in fashion, the ritual of make-up and a beauty routine. It is my self care. My armour. My war paint. It makes me who I am and has made a drastic impact on how I view myself, carry myself, and how I am today.
So in having a blog about navigating the strange waters of motherhood, life, spirituality and self care; fashion has become something I also wish to share with you. To me, its more than just some clothes, my fashion is my ability to express myself without ever having to speak. Its about breaking rules and being a walking form of art.
I’ve talked once before about labels, it was one of my first ever blog posts. I mentioned in it that, I struggled with finding who I was because I didn’t fit neatly into just one label. I liked crystals…but I also like Louis Vuitton. I’m crunchy and as granola as they come, running barefoot, avoiding GMOs, trying to save the earth and eating as organic as possible..but I don’t have dreads, I don’t wear tie-dye, I wear perfume, and I really really love shoes. Preferably one that comes with at least a four inch heel. I felt because of this divide I wasn’t authentic. But it is this dichotomy that makes me, ME. It is this love of everything, the great opposites that bring balance and beauty to my life. The life of a High Heeled Hippy.
The conversation sparked by the intro of labels was overwhelming. I had so many people reach out to me and say I STRUGGLE WITH LABELS TO and I DON’T KNOW WHO I AM EITHER. My heart broke for all these people searching to see where they belonged, and it made me realize I wasn’t so alone after all. My mind turned, like great cogs on a clock, with ideas; ones of creating this conversation, this blog, this place of community where people were free to come and be who they were. I wanted to inspire people to love themselves, as I have learned and am still learning to do. I wanted to inspire people to find their truths, even if it seems as messy and confusing as Malas, meditation and make-up; and shout it out at the roofs tops.
So here I am, opening myself up in another way in hopes that it too, will make you pause, reflect, love, be unafraid, just a little more. I hope that in being fully me, it will encourage you to bloom too. Because you are beautiful, dear reader, just the way you are, just the way you’ve come, and just the way you wish to go.
And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Boots; found here.
Vest- (sold out at gap) similar found here
Cashmere Sweater- (out of stock) similar here.
Anytime I am in a state of gripping anxiety or grief I clean or bake. I happened to bake chocolate chip cookies last night so dust bunnies it is.
I’m not trying to be neurotic, but I would be lying if I said this past week wasn’t the week from hell. In fact, it finally topped the one I had back in high school where I had my wisdom teeth removed, suffered extreme pain from dry sockets, got H1N1, the boy I was in love with broke up with me, which certainly had something to do with me failing my logarithms test; my cat died, and a childhood friend also committed suicide.
This week, my kids were sick, the ‘big news’ we had is no longer big news anymore- the people interested in buying our rental buggered off on us, leaving us waiting for two weeks, then never returned our calls. We are short a mortgage payment now as we had no tenant. In fact we never would have needed a tenant because our previous tenant was only moving in anticipation of the sale of the house. Our dreams of being debt free gypsies is put on hold. I got locked out of my car, from my phone, kids, money, everything, in the city. I froze my ass off waiting for some ghetto locksmith. I sat through torture watching Mike the Knight live, and was later locked out of my rental property. Twice. Don’t worry I was beginning to see a theme.
I eventually just broke down on the phone to my mum because it was all just so much. Everyone was crying, and it just sucked.
And then the death of a friend. 31. All the details I don’t know, nor will I speculate, it doesn’t matter.
31 is too young to die. Period.
My husband is absolutely devastated. They grew up together, no more than just a few days would go by before they saw one another as kids. Their birthdays were 5 days apart, always over Thanksgiving. James was often the only one there since everyone was with their families. But James was family to Justin. Together, they watched James’ mom die. He was the only one who showed up when he heard Justin was admitted to the ICU for observation after a terrifying choking incident. He was at our wedding, his girlfriend catching my bouquet. James even asked Jus what to look for when buying engagement rings. They played hockey together just days ago, shootin’ the shit, drinking beers and eating wings. Just being guys.
But now he is gone, and the air is heavy with pain. We are left with memories and sadness and a reminder of our own mortality.
It makes me unbearably numb..but it also makes me want to live harder.
Live loud + live wild + live fearless + live free
Just fucking be free.
Free from all the incessant bullshit you’re plauged with day in and day out. I’m tired of caring what some people think of me. The ones I want to like me but that don’t even notice me. Why! Why do I even put ANY energy towards them?
I’m telling you I don’t know. But I do know I asked the Universe yesterday to help me get over this fear, this fear of being disliked or being seen as stupid and not good enough to those specific people. I asked for guidance in just PUTTING MYSELF OUT THERE. In being FEARLESS in sharing my ideas and hopes and dreams. In just not needing permission to live my wild, messy, beautiful life.
So love me or hate me, I really hope at least the only thing you take from this is to live whatever life is calling you. Do what makes your heart beat fast and to listen to the voice in your head screaming TAKE THE LEAP. Cry and scream and laugh and love.
Love with all your energy, with all the intention you can muster.
Just love, okay?