2018: Simplify

For the last couple of days, I’ve been trying to think about what goals and resolutions I want to focus on this year, and I’ve been trying to figure out my word.  Other years, it has felt like it has come easy to me.. that I just know what I want my word to be all through the last week of the year, and it’s been easy to write about.

So, today I sat down to really think about it.  And as I thought, and as I looked to other words for inspiration.. it became really obvious to me.

Over the last few months, I have become really interested in the minimalist lifestyle, and the concept of hygge (which is Danish and basically means “cozy contentment and enjoying the simple things in life”).  I’ve been slowly trying to rid myself of baggage, and things that weigh me down over the last few months.  Whether it’s clutter, or emotions.  I’m trying not to let things get to me as much (and this is a huge work in progress haha).  I also tend to overthink things, and stress over things that, ultimately, don’t matter all that much.

So, my word for 2018 is simplify.  Stop over-thinking.  Declutter.  Simplify!

What is your word for the year?


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I’ve been writing this post in my head for a few days now. At the beginning of every year, I have been picking a word for what I want the year to be about and I’ve decided that the word for 2017 is BOLD. 

I love all the definitions of this word. I want to be impactful, vivid, bright, strong, daring, brave, take risks & show confidence. I want to stand up for myself and others when things bug me. I want to make 2017 BOLD.

Now, to figure out how 😉 

What’s your word for 2017?

Happy New Year! 

Xoxo, Alysa 

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Things I’m going to do differently for Next Christmas

Christmas Stockings

I know, Christmas JUST ended and I’m already thinking about next Christmas? Yes. I am. :p

This year, I had big plans to do a buy local/give homemade gifts kind of Christmas.  And for the most part, I was able to accomplish that!  I will probably try to do that again next year. A lot of it was really fun, especially when it came to following new small shops on Instagram, and heading to lots of craft sales and makers markets.  It was so great!  Plus, shopping local is good for families in my community.  I was able to (for the most part), give in a way that helped local families with their businesses.  Always great!

However, here are some things I’m going to do differently next year:

  1. Start earlier
    The thing about doing homemade gifts is that they take time!  As it got closer and closer to Christmas, I had to take more and more off of my list because there simply wasn’t time to some things.  For example, we have all these wooden birch discs in our back porch and I wanted to paint them and put them on our mantle.  It literally never happened.  It was on my list for a long time, too.  Maybe sometime between now and Christmas 2016 I’ll be able to do it!
  2. Listen more
    I read a really good article about what makes someone a good gift giver, and that was that they listened throughout the whole year.  People casually mention things that they like and want all the time, so apparently if you really pay attention, you’ll know what to get for someone.  I hope I’m able to do that for next Christmas and really blow people away with their gifts Leslie Knope style.
  3. Take more photos!
    I feel like I say this every year, but this year is no different.  I took A LOT of pictures over the year, just not so many AT Christmas.  I hope that next year I will take more pictures at Christmas time when everyone is all together.  I honestly don’t know why I didn’t.  Probably too busy having fun and put my camera down and then forgot.  Next year!

What would you like to do differently for Christmas next year?


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New Year Joy

2015 joy

I’ve been pretty big on resolutions in the past.  2014 was all about more: more baking, more reading, more active.. something else too? I can’t remember.  That should tell you how long I actually followed those resolutions.  I think I gave myself way too many, and then burned out on them.  It happens.

2013 was about not buying new clothes, which worked really well for NEW clothes, but I did a lot of thrift store and second hand shopping instead.  Is that better? It’s hard to say.

2012, I don’t even think I made any! It was the year I got married though, so that was pretty great.  2011, I didn’t make a resolution, but instead focused on a word and what that word meant to me.  2011, for me, was fearless. I wanted to try new things, and not be scared to do things.  It was a great year, and I like that it was pretty limitless.  It wasn’t a specific list of ~things to do~ and stuff I needed to get done.

So, 2015 I’m going to be doing that again!  No specific list of stuff to do, but instead I will focus on a word and try to live that word as much as I can.

For me, 2015 will mean JOY.
Not that I didn’t live with joy in mind in 2014, it was a great year.  I just want to really focus on living with joy!  I’ve had a lot of great things happen in 2014, and I want to continue that joy into 2015.

What are your new years resolutions this year?


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October Reads



29. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
I enjoyed this book, especially as my due date gets closer.  In true Shopaholic fashion, she tells a lie and then tries to cover it up and it snowballs and snowballs.  Hilarity ensues.  Pretty much the same as the other books, except that she’s pregnant.  One thing that I really liked about this book, as someone who is currently pregnant, was Rebecca’s thoughts on how the baby was going to come out.. which was that by the time she gives birth, there will be a better way to make that happen.  It was pretty funny!

30. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book was way more serious than the last book I read.  I love that it was from the perspectives of two women, and how they started out, how they met each other, and how they became best friends.  It’s a very sad book though.  I enjoyed reading it.

31. The Penny by Joyce Meyer
This was a really easy read.  I don’t know how I got this copy of this book, but it was large print.. so I finished it pretty fast.  I feel like it was geared toward someone younger than I am, but that’s ok.  It was just really easy to read.. I could read it without having to think too much, which is different than the last book I read also.

And now I’m reading through Wicked!  What have you been reading this month?


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October Goals

october goals

I haven’t written about my resolutions in a while, possibly because I haven’t been doing them.  Since there are only 2 months left in the year, I figured it might be a good idea to do a little update, and then add to the resolutions with a few October specific goals.

My New Years Resolutions:
1. Get More Sleep – still doing pretty well on this! It helps that I have most days “off” (ie: I don’t have to leave the house most days), and my one class doesn’t start until 2:30pm.  I feel pretty rested… most of the time 😉 And not for a lack of trying!
2. Bake More – Nope. This one stopped happening as soon as we moved.  I wanted to do a new cookie recipe/week, and I definitely haven’t done that.  And then our oven here broke, so I couldn’t do it, even if I wanted to.
3. Be more physically active – More or less. Lately, I’m slower and I can’t do as much.  I do try to do something active most days.. even if it’s just a small walk.
4. Read More – Still doing that! I’ve read 28 books this year so far!  That’s at least 2 books/month 🙂 Pretty great!

October Goals:
1. Pack hospital bag
I see SO many lists of things I apparently need to bring with me to the hospital when I go into labour.  I should probably get that ready pretty soon.

2. Stay ahead of my schoolwork
This one is proving to be pretty tough, but hopefully I’ll still be able to get my work done in advance. I really hate doing it at the last minute, especially right now since every day is different, and only some days are good for productivity.

3. Relax!!
I need to sleep in as much as possible while I still can, because I know that as soon as the baby comes, that will change indefinitely.

I think that’s pretty good!

What are your goals for October?


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June Reads

24. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
So, even though I am reading all of the A Song Of Ice And Fire books, I decided to read other books in between, and this book was a great one for that!  It’s based on a story in the old testament.  In the Bible, the only thing we hear about the main character in this book, Dinah, is that she is raped and her brothers seek revenge.  This book is from her perspective and tells the story of what is happening with the women in the Bible story.  I really liked being able to read about how the women in Biblical times lived, because that aspect of the story is kind of left out of the Bible.  I definitely recommend it 🙂

Share in the comments what you have been reading this month!



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Habit Forming

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Outfit Info:
Scarf: Gift
Shirt: Joe/Superstore
Leggings: American Apparel

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit.  Once you’ve done something for those 21 days, you will always do that thing after.

I don’t know if this is always true. I once did a 30 day hot yoga challenge. I did a hot yoga class every day for thirty days. It was INTENSE. And after that, I didn’t go back for 2 years.

Some habits I do have though:

This term, I have gotten into the habit of doing my notes the night before the class so I could be prepared for class.
I’m in the habit of blogging daily!
I’m in the habit of drinking coffee in the morning, and of being early for class.
I’m in the habit of showering at night.

I know it’s the 22nd of January, but how are your resolutions/new habits going?  Looking back on my resolutions for this year, I’m glad that I have been kicking the procrastination bug.  I haven’t been exercising much but (warning: excuses excuses) I’ve been sick, so I haven’t really felt up for it.  My main one was that I wouldn’t buy myself any new clothes, and so far I have done that!  Though, I did buy my husband a new shirt on Sunday 😉


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New Me Resolutions

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Please excuse the giant bag of garbage. It is filled with wrappers and cardboard from IKEA purchases.

Outfit Details:Dress: F21
Cardigan: Garage
Belt: somewhere in the States
Boots: Rooster on River av
Tights: Zellers

So everyone seems to be doing their New Years resolutions! In true Alysa style, I have been putting it off.

Last year, I decided to take it one month at a time and have a resolution for the month only.  That didn’t work.  Well, it worked for the first few months, but then Lent hit and I was committed to being sugar free.  After Lent was over, I didn’t really make any new resolutions.

There are a few resolutions or changes that I actually started before the New Year.  The first major one was actually exercising.  I had been doing hot yoga, and at one point I had a gym membership.  The problem with these things was that I wasn’t ever available at the time of the classes, or I had trouble actually getting to the building due to lack of vehicle.  We have an elliptical machine in the apartment, and my goal is to work out at least three days a week.

The biggest resolution I have set for myself isn’t something that I am adding to my life, it’s something that I am taking away.  I am not allowing myself to buy any new clothes for myself.  As someone who is currently unemployed, it doesn’t seem right to be spending money on clothing. If I “need” to buy clothes, it can be second hand or made by me!

Finally, I am going to kick a lil habit I’ve had my entire life: I am going to stop procrastinating!

Wish me luck! And I wish you luck in your New Years resolutions!


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