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Daring to Live 2.0 has LAUNCHED!!!

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To all my amazing, loyal, fan-freaking-tastic subscribers – thank you. 

The day has arrived…. I’ll go on record to say this is the third most exciting day of my life (next to my wedding day and the day I became a mother).

Today I release my dreams into this abundant world knowing that success is already on its way and has already reached me in so so many ways.

 For many of you, you have known this day was coming – but for some this is brand new news. But regardless of your anticipation for the Daring to Live 2.0 site, your impact on my life has been deep.

So here I am inviting you to take a look at what I have spent countless hours contemplating about, fretting over and clinging to the depths of my soul, to finally admit to the world what my true passion and calling is in this life.

This has been a journey of total self realization, abounding discovery and a whole lot of light shining. And the moment has finally arrived….

So without further ado, please click on the video below to watch my new sizzle reel for Daring to Live – and don’t forget to check out the site as well (www.daringtolive.ca) and if you you would like to continue to receive the blog updates, make sure you sign up (its on the right hand side of the website).

www.youtube.com/Daring2L

ps. I would be forever grateful if you would tell EVERYONE you know. My vision is to spread my light all over this world – into every little nook and cranny, so no oceans or mountains will get in my way ~ so please share away

peace, love and gratitude

xo nicki

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Ok so here is the skinny – tomorrow I am embarking on a 21 day Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse that is sure to rock me to the core. For the past year and I half, I have been tossing around the idea of going plant powered (veganism) to get me through each day. It was a decision that was met with criticism from myself and that every eager voice to pipe up and tell me (along with a few other people in my life) that I can’t do it, that its too hard.

The truth is that I, for the previous 27 1/2 years was powered by cheeseburgers and chocolate cake and an intense fear of feeling anything. I used food as my shield, as my protector, as my guidance and escape and now looking back can see a sad un-passioned young woman just looking to love herself.

The constant back and forth of inhaling a cupcake and then turning around and skipping meals to make up for it, the self loathing for allowing myself to give in to the constant urge to numb myself. Well the last year and half has been exactly the opposite – searching to un-numb my soul and food was the last and most scariest task to tackle.At the end of the day all you pile onto your plate is fear and oppression, wishing for something more beautiful,  hoping that one day will be different.

So now after reading and teasing myself about everything vegan, I have decided it is time. Time to stop waning for the ‘right’ opportunity when we don’t have a wedding to go to. The time is now and couldn’t be more serendipitous as I embark on a very very important month in my life. So loaded with veggies, green smoothies and green tea, I am changing my perspective and releasing those fears as I go, ready for my soul to shine even brighter, to ignite with more passion as I release all the junk that’s been built up for the past 29 years.

So here is to peace and veggies as Kris Carr would say

xo nicki

Turning off the chatter….

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Good morning my gorgeous sisters. I am a week and a day away from launching my new site (fingers crossed) and I could not be more ….. afraid. Oh those nasty self criticizing voices in my head have again kicked it up a notch to tell me that this, everything I am sharing, starting this business is well…ridiculous. That I am going to go out there exposed and raw and everyone is going to laugh at me. And well because I know when feelings like this come up – stop, feel them, question them and then create a new story. Here is an excerpt from my journal that I wrote late last week

August 24, 2011
” I can feel this whirlwind within my right now. The questions, the hesitations – they keep floating around the walls of my tummy like a red fiery ball of flames ‘can I actually do this?’, ‘will anyone actually take me seriously?’ ‘will they think I am a fraud?’ now I know this feeling, I know how to extinguish the ball of flames, I know the truth. but regardless as each new day approaches, I seem to feel more & more uneasy – the fear keeps screaming ‘don’t do it – do not be vulnerable – they are going to reject you’. There are a million reasons why I don’t think I can do this and just one reason why I believe I can. I just need to stay connected to that one reason because that reason is and always be ‘my truth’, not anyone elses truth, just mine, my gift. I have spent the last ‘too many years’ listening to the million reasons and ignoring the one, but no longer. I am acting anyways & this feeling many not get any better but that won’t slow me down ~ it won’t stop me from moving forward because this is my calling – to go out into this world to be a mentor, to be a teacher, to write, to speak – to be the change and to do it in a HUGE way” 

So fear is rearing its ugly head yet again but regardless I know that pushing through that fear, doing what I am most vulnerable to do…. is where the magic lives. And I will never be able to conquer anything unless I can learn to live with that feeling – be comfortable with being uncomfortable, spread your wings and jump anyways.

xo nicki

we are gonna sizzle…..

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I am at the edge of my seat bouncing up and down trying to keep all the exciting things I have been throwing down in the past month in….. 

I am about ready to explode but it’s not quite the time yet but I want you to mark your calendars for a few very very important dates….. 

09.19.2011 The Official Daring to Lives ’cause life is supposed to ROCK’ launch. New website and not just a blog anymore – can you say programs, e-books and a whole lot of dancing?????? Because I love each and every one of you soooooooo much – the evening is totally free and will be held in Chilliwack (my quaint and lovely hometown) but of course I didn’t forget about all you amazing out of towners…. I am going to be (fingers crossed) ustreaming this LIVE! so anyone, anywhere can join us…. details to come *** and a few dance video’s 

10.01.2011   Launch of “I ♥ ME” 30 Days to Learning to Accept the Love Handles, Wrinkles and Sagging Boobs (cause I know you don’t). I am so over the moon excited to share this with you. 30 days of non stop love for that beautiful body of yours so you can get over the frickin number on the scale and get on with living. Again anyone, anywhere can join us and of course details and a few dance video’s to come!

10.17.2011  First official monthly ‘dare’ jam session. I am going to be hosting monthly meetings with some seriously hot, sexy, fabulous women (yep, YOU) who are ready to take their lives back and dare to live inspired. It will always be the third Monday of every month and well you know the drill anyone, anywhere can join us and of course details and a few dance video’s to come!

So can you tell I am excited… can you, can you????? I hope more than anything that you will join me so you can get catch the contagious zest for life I have and as a couple of the girls I work with say “sh%t rainbows”

see you soon,

xo nicki

one whole year…..

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WOW- I can’t believe that is has been one whole year since I first told my fear to take a hike as I pressed that ‘publish’ button for the very first time. I will never forget how freeing (and terrifying) that moment truly was as I put out into the world all of my hopes and dreams, ready for the taking.

I wish I could have bottled that moment in time and use it boldly when I am stuck in the ‘i am not really sure what to do’ outhouse of my own worst enemy: my own mind.

This past year I have grown leaps and bounds, I have grown wings and learnt how to fly, I have let me heart (not my head) guide me to inner peace, to freedom and let me tell you…. it is heaven. 

One year ago, I made the decision to follow my truth down a path I had no idea where it was going to lead too, with no idea of the possibilities, with no idea of the beauty I was entering in to.

As I sit here and revel in the amazement this past year has brought me, the doors that simply by surrendering have opened, a life I never thought possible… I ask… what is the day that you will look back on and know you accepted the dare to live your most beautiful life?

 

xo nicki

 

You Raise Me Up

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Relationships are understandably one of the hardest things to maneuver through in life and I am not talking just about romantic relationships, every human interaction we have is the beginning of a relationship – sometimes brief but sometimes can last a lifetime. The beautiful thing about each of us is that we are hardwired with individual sets of circumstances, perceptions and experiences. We all see life through different lenses.

During my recent 40 Day Fear Cleanse, we spent a week focusing on the relationships in our lives and were asked the question “do the people in your life raise you up or do they bring you down?” That question really made me think about the relationships in my life – friendships, co-workers, acquaintances.

It is not a question of whether or not you like someone or have the same interests. It is not about what they have or what you have. It is not about the fact that they have known you for 2 weeks or 20 years. It is about how you make each other feel. It is about bringing the best out of each other. It is about raising each other up so you can both be the best in your relationship.

I have had many different types of relationships fall to the way side, parted ways or in the case of ex-boyfriends split with vengence and it used to hurt me on a very deep level because of my intense fear of rejection. But as I now remain grounded in my authenticity, I realize that a relationship should never be struggle, it should never feel uncomfortable, awkward or fearful – it should simply just be love.

be the change you wish to see in the world” Ghandi

xo nicki

Gettin out of that FUNK

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OK I am going to let you in on a little secret – sometimes my life isn’t all liquorice and lollipops and occasionally sh%t hits the fan. I had one of those days yesterday where I was just off. I couldn’t seem to shake it (yes I tried) off. No amount of affirmations, positive thoughts or meditation could get it off me. It was just there, like a green slimy sludge, and it was growing as the day went on. It was this uncomfortable anxious whirlwind circling around me – it was my ego telling me that I finally am getting the message “this is all just make believe and it is never going to happen” and so after countless hours of fighting the feeling and trying to remove it, I took a deep breath and realized I needed to surrender and embrace it.

Yes embrace it – fear was ruling me yesterday and most likely it was coming up because I had such a powerful day on Monday. My red hazard lights were going off like there was going to be a nuclear meltdown. So I decided instead to have a little chat with myself – a pep talk to my fear and it went a little something like this ” sister, I know you are scared sh&tless of what you are creating in your life right now, it takes courage to own your truth and build a life around it but its ok, we are going to be ok, in fact we are going to be amazing. I know you are just watching out for me and I am so grateful but we can’t stay small anymore, we are planting big seeds right now, seeds that are going to grow beyond our wildest dreams, so please don’t try to get in my way, please let me spread my wings a little bigger each and every day”

We are all going to have those days when you just feel off, you feel overwhelmed, you feel stretched, you question what is going on with your life and you just feel flat out funky.  Well not to worry or give up faith, just embrace those feelings of muckyness and get on with it. Allow yourself a moment to reflect on why they are coming up and gently tell them ‘i’ve got this’

xo nicki

Gettin My Hands Dirty

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Well life here has been a tornado of awesomeness over the past 6 weeks. I have been stirring up my big pot of “lets get this shit started” soup and I am so giddy to share it with you. When you truly realize your life’s truth there is nothing that can distract you, nothing that can slow you down, no one can tell you NO, you can’t do it and I am so fully committed to spreading the love that is brewin within me –

I seriously am exploding!

So wondering what the heck am I talking about…..? I thought you would never ask.

Daring to Live is about to kick it up a notch…. a major notch, we are about to enter Daring to Live 2.0 and if I may say so – it is going to kick some major ass in your life if you are ready to join me.

SO cupcake – no more excuses for not getting in the game, no more holding back… in another month from now we are going to launch this puppy and because you have been such amazing faithful inspiring accountability butt kicking partners in crime there are going to be some juicy juicy love bursting pressies for you.

SO ARE YOU READY?

Really ready to do this?

I hope so and I hope you will tell the world with me.

Cause quite frankly – the world could always use another bold daring kick ass chica.

 

xo nicki

 

What Commandments are you Living by?

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I am in the middle of reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, which a dear friend recommended I pick up. Although it is far less ‘spiritually inclined’ from what I have been reading lately, it is a beautiful memoir of Gretchen’s year spent looking at her life and how she can infuse a little more happy! She opens the book by writing what she wants her 10 Commandments for Life to be and this concept immediately got me thinking – what are the commandments that I want to live by? After a week spent on a family vacation along the Oregon Coast this is what I know my Commandments to be:

1.  Be Nicki – always remain authentic to who I truly am, stay connected to that beautiful light and never apologize for shining that light on the world
2. Live out of Love – see the love in every moment, situation and simply be love
3. Be present – get out of my head. You can’t change the past or predict the future, live for this moment
4. Serve others – do not give to get. Always remain “what more can I do to serve”
5. Lighten Up – life doesn’t always have to be so serious, see the humour
6. Forgive Often – forget about differences and say ‘I’m sorry’
7. Only Eat when I am Hungry –  be connected to my body and to the nourishment I put into my mouth
8. Pray – have a daily relationship with God and the Universe
9. Surrender – allow what is meant to happen, just happen – get into the flow
10. Be Still – allow peace in, remain quiet and listen
(and an 11th for good merit – Have Gratitude –  be thankful for everything in your life, you have more than you will ever need)

These Commandments came to me quickly and with ease and truly depicts how I want to lead my life, they are a calming reminder to stay connected and gently encourage me to continue seeking. When you have a moment of quiet, start thinking and writing about the commandments you want to live by, it can inspire change in your life, remind you of how far you have come or simply just solidify the gifts you already have in your life.

xo nicki

Today…

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It’s been a few years nows since I have embraced the thought that “this is my life and I am responsible for everything going on in it right now” – this isn’t to say that there isn’t a larger power at hand, because I truthfully do believe there is and that power is infinitely wiser and more forgiving than I am; however I have spent a good part of the last 18 months surrendering to the fact that my fear has led me down some pretty gnarly roads and I have fully allowed it, in fact embraced it.

It’s sometimes hard to look in the mirror and know that your decisions have made you arrive at the destination of today but I instead choose to use it as motivation ~ motivation to know that in this moment, I have the power to change any of it, I have the power to grow, to choose love, to start over, to forgive, to embrace this moment and make my life better than the past would have allowed. Today is the gift and regardless of where you came from, whatever story you may be telling yourself – today, you have the power to change, to take responsibility and do better.

xo nicki

Simon Says…..

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Do you remember when you were a kid – I would spend countless hours playing Simon Says…. determined to not be the one who would go outside of what was asked of me. Lately as I have pushed the envelope of my hearts desires, stared my fear down and got cozy with the woman I truly am… I am beginning to realize that The Big Book of Life is just another game of Simon says….

Simon says – graduate
Simon says – go to college
Simon says – get a decent job with benefits and a great RRSP matching program
Simon says – buy a house
Simon says – get married
Simon says – have children
Simon says – your dreams should only ever be hobbies

Well I am here to say to Simon – tough sh*t…. I think I’ll sit this one out. And even though I haven’t always followed Simon’s rules, I become victim to being a victim to feeling that my dreams are really more of a hobby than a sustainable life path. And so here I am laying some new ground rules

I say – color outside the lines
I say – live with your heart wide open
I say – do what sets your soul on fire
I say – don’t do something because every one else is
I say – question why you are here
I say – realize your purpose
I say – always listen to that beautiful authentic voice inside of you (she is always right)
I say – trust the journey
I say – be present

And as I walk through this life, I know that simply changing my perspective, wearing my rose-colored glasses and being open to love – my dreams will meerly be the diving board for a life that is greater beyond my wildest dreams.

xo nicki

Recharged and very READY!

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WOW – I can’t begin to tell you how enlightening the past month has been for me. For those of you who joined me on my “Inner Rockstar” month, thank you, just by signing up you gave me the gift of accountability which forced me to be beyond honest with myself in so many aspects of my life. But now I am feeling recharged, grounded, aware and totally ready.

Back at the beginning of 2011, I decided to choose a word that reflected how I wanted to live this year, instead of just a list of resolutions. My word for 2011 is COMMITTED and I am about to take it up a notch. Fear has been popping up left, right and centre for me, being bossy and cutting me down but I now have the tools to tell my fear that we are going to be ok, we are going to commit to our dreams, and together we are going to make it happen.

Last Monday with my sister-in-law, we excitedly launched a new website called Sparkled Life, which is a big piece of my authentic puzzle and my creative outlet. However with the anticipation of that site going ‘live’ I realized a drive to breathe more fresh air into Daring to Live which is vitally important to my emotional connection to myself and every woman who wants to join me. I am committed to creating a community of women who want to better their lives, live their best, be who they truly are and embrace their fears. I am committed to bringing your Inner Rockstar out in FULL force!

So expect over the next couple of months to see some BIG changes to ‘Daring to Live’ and get ready to get off the sidelines and hop in the game ~ this is your life and you only got one of them BABY, let’s make every.single.day.count.

Hugs and huge love to each of you,

nicki xo

calling all DARING, kick ass chicka’s (yep thats you!)

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OK – I am calling all my sista rockstar’s out there – are you ready to blow the roof of this life? are you ready to fully grasp everything you have ever wanted? are you ready to challenge that nasty little voice inside of you? you only get one friggin chance…..

I certainly know I am – I am ready to be BOLD, fearless and totally kick some ass

Here is my latest ‘Inner Rockstar” entry from this evening (if you would still like to sign up please email me at nickibullock@hotmail.com, I will send you all the past entries)

what the FUCK am i waiting for? 

Ok here it is – raw, exposed and brutally honest. I am ready to listen, really really listen…. What the FUCK am I waiting for? Well truth be told, I am waiting for someone to give me permission, to pull me aside and say “Nicki – you got this”…. well newsflash girlfriend – its all YOU! Every single friggin moment is you and only you. So I wanted to take this month to regroup, get organized, feel like less of a fraud and really its all bullshit at the end of the day – I am holding myself back cause I am scared shitless that everyone is going to think I am off in my woo woo crazy lady land, that no one is going to respect me for ditching my good salary 9-5 bullshit ass kissing job and that I am never going to be able to support myself financially…. I am pissed right now – pissed off at myself, that I have allowed myself to tell me anything other than to go for it, to grab it by the friggin horns and just DO THIS.
I am done – done with not fully living, not fully trusting, not embracing me and for not putting a shit load of faith in myself.
June was my month to release my INNER ROCKSTAR and this is her speaking, I am ready to kick the shit out of this life, ready to turn the dial up and be the person I already am, ready to take full responsibility and tell that nasty little voice in there to FUCK OFF!
SO I hope you ask yourself – the pretty vulgar but necessary question “What the FUCK are you waiting for?” cause baby you are the only one who is holding you back. Watch the hell out world, cause I am gonna tear the roof off.
And for the song of the evening – cause “success is my only motherfucking option, failure’s not
(ps sorry if the vulgar language offends you, it just needed to come out)
~
Yep we are going to rock this but I need your help and I am not going to let my fear of rejection hold me back. I am trying to get my FaceBook page to 500 people this summer – yep 500 – I am only at 49 right now so I am hoping that you can spread the love and let all the women in your life know about this site – cause I want to spread the love across this entire friggin universe baby!The link to our FB page is right at the top of the page and you can also get here this way  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Daring-to-Live/162964393728853

Peace out my sister rockstars xoxoxox

nicki

I’m on to somethin good….

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AS you all know, I have been really focusing on my energy and aligning it with my inner rockstar lately and some pretty awesome kick-ass things/ circumstances (which we all know are never really circumstances) are starting to happen. Miracles are happening every day and some beautiful momentum is building.  But I have realized today that there are still a couple little pockets in my life that I feel discomfort in, places where I know that my energy is not aligned with my inner rockstar and is not shining through.

I have a deep desire to be ‘whole’, connected, grounded entirely to my life, my feelings, my desires. So while I feel that the momentum is building these few areas are holding me back from wholly reaching my full potential.

So I am dubbing June my “Inner Rockstar” month and I am hoping that you will come on this journey with me. For me, it means listening to the voice of that fierce girl within me and unleashing her fully on to this world – and giving myself the permission to become the person I already am.

So here is what I am on to, to really kick this into high gear – if you are interested in coming along with me for the month, I am going to be creating a group where I share this journey with you, it might be the questions I need to ask myself, or maybe a link to an outrageous seminar I have seen online or just a little insight into some insecurities I need to ditch – regardless it is my hope that through me working through some of the s**t that is standing in my way, you two will release your Inner Rockstar.

So ladies…. if you are interested even just slightly, drop me a line at  nickibullock@hotmail.com, I’ll be sending out dailyish emails with what I like to call ‘my mindful ramblings’, and hopefully we will have a couple of opportunities over the month to hash things out over the web with a cocktail in hand so we can really get down to the nitty gritty of what the eff is holding us back!

Invite your sisters, friends, mothers, neighbours or your sisters cousins daughter – this is totally free but will be chock full of A.MAZ.ING, toe tingling substance cause I got a life to live and I seriously do not have any more time to waste!

xo nicki

Take Center Stage of your OWN life

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“Use your life to serve this world” – those words spoken by Oprah last Wednesday, seemed to have been sent straight to me, as if we had been sipping tea together swapping life stories. For me, seeing Oprah take her final bow was an emotional rollercoaster – hanging on to every last wise word (and saving it on my pvr to view again and again). Since a very young age, I have always believed that one day our paths will cross and I will be sitting across from her sharing our passion for assisting others to find theirs.

Oprah was the beginning for me – a glimpse into a life of possibility, she offered a different story, where girls triumphed and your dreams were possible. And now more than ever, it all seems to make sense.

Our job in this crazy amazing life is simply to just find our calling – find what ignites our souls, makes us laugh, brings us joy, gives us peace. And although now I cannot imagine being on a different path I am currently on, it has taken me years to come to this place and without all those moments before I know I would not be here. But now more than ever I realize that a calling is not just a job, a company or job title – it is a lifestyle, an attitude, a way of living.

So I hope you are ready to take center stage in your own life – to stop hiding behind fear and insecurities and to be proud to share your insane beauty, your shining light and your magic.

xo nicki

Yep, we look a little different….

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So divine intervention has struck again…. and while my focus is still on creating inner joy, this voice wouldn’t stop yelling at me to align the blog ‘branding’ more with who I am. So when it flows from the soul – just roll with it!

Why the red shoes??? – well, honestly I have a pair of sexy red stiletto’s that I have not been able to wear for the past two years (because of my ankle injury) but they represent something fierce in me: whenever I wear them, confidence erupts and I am always willing to be totally un-inhibited and BOLD … and I realized that is what a daring woman is – confident in who she is, bold in making her decisions, ready to conquer her passions and not afraid to go after them.

So you will be seeing more and more as I unleash this tigress from the depths of my soul but she is pretty kick ass and ready to do this! (yes I am talking about myself in the third person)

ps. I love definitions…

ti·gress//  (tgrs)

n.

1. A female tiger.
2. A woman regarded as daring or fierce.

xo nicki

My AH HA Moment

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Seriously I love life – and I love that it always delivers exactly what I need at exactly the right moment. For years I ignored these moments of clarity and sometimes I still do – usually because my ego gets in my way and tells me that things are just not possible but as I continue on this journey I am realizing more and more that everything in my life is happening for a reason; a really awesome reason.

I have been reading like crazy, reflecting a lot, meditating every morning (which has been mind-blowing) and praying (yep, the on your knees kind – wow that felt good to get out) and the results have been overwhelming.

I have been practising a lot lately the art of knowing that the Universe (or who I like to call God) has my back and has a path for me that is far beyond what my own brain can conjure up and I have to admit, my life is totally rocking because of it. However this brings me to one vital piece in the puzzle… The Daring Woman Project.

Since I sort of  ‘launched’ it back in January I have been really wishy-washy with the direction and with committing to getting started – I know in my heart & soul this is the direction I want to take but was uneasy about it. Yes fear was there, I am deathly afraid that something that is so a part of me could fail however all of a sudden it hit me today…. who the hell am I to tell you to go out and live if I am not doing it myself?

Wowza – ah ha moment, loud and clear. There are many things I want to do in this life and I don’t think I need to accomplish all of them before I can start to ‘coach’ others on how to get there but I do feel I really need to settle in to the process of finding the joy in my own life and right now that means a few things:
1. take my own advice – cause sometimes it makes a lot of sense
2. perfect my process – which for me means taking care of myself and live in the moment
3. nurture my relationships – with myself, my hubby, my child, my friends and my family
4. start living the dream now – in any way shape or form that is within my means
5. get some outside inspiration – there are a lot of brilliant people in this world that I really connect with – learn from them

So I am pledging to spend the next month or so really figuring my s**t out, ground myself even deeper and get connected to my own life – so then I can spread the joy even further and really do this! (this doesn’t mean I won’t be writing, if there is anything I have realized, it has been that writing is my key to freedom and a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy)

xo nicki

Beauty in Words…entry #11

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“I am not afraid – I was born to do this” Joan of Arc

This quote conjures up some powerful emotions for me. “I was born to do this” – although sounds so loud, I take it as a quiet knowing, an acceptance, free of fear.

What were you born to do?

xo nicki

Creating the Ripple Effect

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It is always so refreshing to stumble onto something inspirational, something that challenges me to take risks, push harder and be better. The purpose of this blog was always intended for me to have a place to write and take a journey inward – a public place to set my intentions so I couldn’t let myself off the hook anymore but the more I write the more I realize that creating a ripple effect is my main purpose.

Being of service to others has always been a passion, participating in this world towards the greater good, smiling at someone when they might just need it the most – you just never know how you are changing someone. You may think that because you don’t volunteer or donate big dollars you aren’t participating in this world but I believe that we are all participating if we come from the perspective of wanting to serve the greater good; this is through your job, the way you treat others and the way you treat yourself; just by being you, you are creating a powerful ripple effect – one that someone, somewhere along the line will notice and too be inspired.

So today may you go out living passionately, living truthfully and loving life.

xo nicki

Living an inspired life

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“How would your life look if you were listening to the voice of your soul?”

This question came across my desk earlier this week and really made me think. I often get wrapped up in the day to day hustle and bustle of work, commitments, mortgage payments and obligations and although I do a tremendous amount of self reflection every day, the simplicity of this question made me stop and think. With those few words it takes ‘living my best life’ and puts it smack right in my own hands, into tangible things I can do every single day to move closer to living that life.

I have big plans for my life – but that doesn’t take away that fact that I am living right now, right here. There are so many little things that my soul is just screaming for me to do, screaming for me to move towards and I continuously hold back ‘waiting’ for my complete dreams to come true. The truth is though my dreams have already come true – right at this moment as I write this, my soul is gleaming, my heart is ruling over my head and I am filled with inner peace.

So I hope you ask yourself the same question and continue to ask it until you know that your soul is singing over all the other rubbish your head is telling you to do. Let inspiration be your guide, let love rule and always, always let your soul sing.

xo nicki

Miracles happen…

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Today is the day to celebrate mothers and to me that means to celebrate miracles. For me, becoming a mother on January 09, 2010 was a miracle, not only did my husband and I create a precious life together; something in me shifted the moment I laid eyes on my son – yes it was an overwhelming sense of love that was beyond me but more so it was an instant realization that I needed to be the best ‘me’ I could for him, so I could be the best mummy. It was that moment that I knew that tiny baby had given me so much more than I could ever give him.

For me being a mother has not meant to become selfless, to give up my identity and sacrifice everything I have ever known but instead it has been an opposite experience for me. Now more than ever I know how vital it is to be able to know myself, to give space for the person I truly am, to make time for myself so I can give more to the people in my life, my husband and my son and to allow the space for my dreams to take flight.

I have had beautiful examples of mothers surrounding me all my life and they have come in all forms; my own family and the legacy of women that have come before me, my friends mothers, mothers I have passed along the street, mothers I have never even met – they have all touched me and taught me about love.

And although I believe that being a mother is about all the day to day things we do, at the end of the day it is truly about love. It is about a love that does not waiver, does not fear, does not ask questions but a love that encourages you to become the beautiful person that they know you already are.

So today, believe in miracles, believe in love and whether or not you are a mother, take a moment and celebrate all that you are and all that you will become.

xo nicki

Open the floodgates…

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I have been reading a lot lately and every time I read a new book, blog post or message, I look for the items that continue to pop out at me – I think that is the message I am meant to take away with me. For the last week that message has been loud and very very clear…. FORGIVE.

I am not a person who has collected enemies or childhood resentments, however practising forgiveness is exactly that – a practice, and for me now a daily one. It could be the man who cut you off on your way to work, the little old lady in front of you in the grocery line who is taking forever, the father that you felt abandoned you, the friend who betrayed your trust or it could be you. I have been focused on forgiving myself – for not being exactly where I thought I would, for letting my weight get to the point it has, for allowing my negative thoughts surrounding my accident consume me for over a year, for feeling guilty about needing time for myself when I have a husband and child who I could be spending time with, for allowing my paycheque and position to dictate my self worth… the list is long and the criticisms constant but today I am choosing forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is the key to freedom – beautiful, life altering freedom. When you hold on to something that has upset you or hurt you or a your own negative self talk, you feel it in every muscle and bone in your body. Just take a minute to think about someone or something that upset you over the past couple of days, you can feel your body harden, your forehead becomes hard and quite frankly you just feel icky.

Forgiveness is a step to change and although sometimes life doesn’t seem fair, holding on is allowing those people or situations to control the rest of your life. So if you are holding onto a grudge or find yourself easily irritated by people – take a moment to stop, forgive and release. The key to your own happiness lies in opening the flood gates of forgiveness.

xo nicki

29 years of life…

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Well today marks the date of my 29th birthday and I feel blessed. Every year at the time of my birthday I embark on a journey inwards to check in with myself – trudge through the waters, dig a little deeper and climb a little closer. Thinking that this is the last year in my 20’s has shifted something miraculous within me- giving me an opportunity to reflect on this decade and what it has brought to my life, how my experiences have moulded me to be the person I am at this very moment.

I wish I could have spoken to my younger self at 21 and shared with her all the things I have learnt along the way – that boys and bodies don’t matter if you aren’t being true to yourself. That you can’t find happiness, true happiness, looking for someone else to fulfil that within you – it has to radiate from your beautiful heart.

I am a big fan of living life and although I feel that part of my 20’s I desperately looked for accolades and approval from everyone but myself, I have had an amazing blessed life. I have an amazing family, beautiful friends, an unbelievable husband, a breathtaking child; but now most importantly I have me, the real me, the me that dances in the sun.

So as I embark on my 29th year, I feel fulfilled beyond measure, secure in my strengths, embracing my flaws and ready to keep on shining.

xo nicki

Putting the U in Balance?

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I sometimes wonder how they came up with a word like balance and it doesn’t contain the letter u! Balance and my constant hunt to find it, has been haunting me lately until today (this was written on Monday).

I recently started a new work schedule, which is having me work 4-10 hour days so I am able to have Monday’s off and let me tell you it has been a miracle. Something happened when I realized that today, I have the whole day, to re-establish the balance in my life. For me that meant, spending some quality time with my son, weeding the front yard, my fourth online photography lesson, planning my herb & veggie garden, making a batch of carrot ginger soup for the week, chicken enchiladas for dinner and of course catching up on some much-needed writing.

It’s a gift – plain and simple… and as tempting as it was to simply just coast on the couch all day, getting up and doing the things I love to do (cooking, gardening, playing, writing) gets me aligned almost instantly, my happiness skyrockets and I feel I can conquer the world again (and a condensed work week).

Most of us spend hours upon hours complaining about how we need balance in our life but the moment we have time to ourselves we feel so exhausted we don’t want to do much but hide under the covers all day or feel obligated to fulfill someone elses list. But now I am going to challenge you and throw it back on you… what is stopping you from having balance in your life? Why are you throwing yourself into something that exhausts you but not into the things that inspire you?

I have several things I love to do which realign me to my authentic self and it is those moments (even if just for a few minutes a day) that I feel like ‘me’. So if you are feeling constantly overwhelmed and just downright exhausted, I invite you to step back for a moment and really look at what is holding you back – I can almost guarantee that the only thing that is holding you back from balance is you!

xo nicki

The Power of Words

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Every now and then I receive something that stops me in my tracks and makes me think. I received this video this morning from my mum and it brought tears to my eyes – human compassion is something I believe is rooted in all of us. It tends to be a little deeper down in some but for so many of us, it is the thread that binds us together.

This video however shows the strength and power in what our words hold – how we tell our story, share our experiences and certainly what we believe for ourselves. I always try to remind myself that the stories we share and the tales we tell ourselves shape our outer world and our experiences.

So I hope you see the beauty in this and how by just changing our words (both internal and external) we can change the world.

xo nicki

Putting up walls where there should only be windows…

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I am starting to notice a reoccurring trend – whenever I get a moment of inspiration, get on a roll, or get overly excited about a new idea, only moments later, I seem to stop in my tracks and the inspiration fizzles. It is something that has been niggling at me for the past few months and I couldn’t seem to figure out why – that was until I couldn’t sleep last night and it hit me… I have a massive, paralyzing fear of failing.

I mean it is so obvious that I am sure most people looking in would see but for some reason I have kept it harboured in my subconscious until last night and it all seemed to come into complete focus with resounding clarity.

I have suffered from a fear of failing my whole entire life – propelled by the need to feel successful according to everyone else’s standards, comparing myself to my successful ‘friends’ (yep even the Facebook  and twitter ones) and constantly feeling the fear that perhaps there is a chance that this business (that I) will FAIL.

Just saying it out loud scares me – I mean who fails in life? And then I take a moment, calm the panic inside and breath. Who doesn’t fail? Don’t get me wrong, I  fail every day and always beat myself up about it- but overall I strive to succeed in a completely overachieving unhealthy way. I have built up a massive wall around myself because of this and it’s totally ridiculous now that it is so clear.

So now I am in the process of starting to put up windows where those walls existed and begin to surrender this fear, let it go completely and know that miracles large and small will now have a means in which to enter.

xo nicki

The Mirror Inside

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Well it’s been awhile since the last time I sat down at the computer but I have spend the last couple weeks really looking inward and challenging some of my belief systems. I know how I want to live my life, but sometimes living it is a whole-nother ball game – and that is what I have spend the last couple weeks contemplating. Why? Why I am standing in my own way? Why am I allowing my toxic negative thoughts consume me somedays? Why do I have no problem talking negatively about some of the pessimistic people in my life?

When I have moments like I have had the last couple weeks, clarity begins to restore itself but it takes a long cold look at the mirror inside to see what it is I have been reflecting to the world – and it hasn’t been pretty. But the thing I love most is that it only takes one moment to completely change it. I like to get back to the basics of what I love – this weekend, I spent time in my garden, danced a little by myself, went to a hockey game with my family, baked some good for you cookies and changed the way I was feeling- because in all honesty, I have no business with being negative. I have far to many amazing people, who do nothing but fill me up with gratitude and love and things in my life to ever complain.

I have never understood why it is so much easier to talk about what we don’t have than what we do have – why is the basis of so many relationships built on tearing other people down? Why does complaining make us feel better for a moment? I can only chalk it up to fear – it takes so much more courage to stand against what everyone else at the water station is doing but this has become my new mission. I am only interested in going into this world with love, one step at a time. And I am only interested with talking to myself with respect- cause if you heard the way I talk to myself sometimes, people would truly wonder.

The key to life is not rocket science – it really isn’t – but it takes a great deal of courage and determination – just be happy. be grateful for what you have. be open to new opportunities. and walk this planet with love for every single thing around you. because life is just to damn short.

xo nicki

The Accountablility Factor

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I always shake my head when I hear people complain about how unhappy they are with their current circumstances and although I do often do this myself, I know better…. I know that everyone one of us has the ability to simply change and find the happiness within that circumstance. I know that looking at the positive will not only change your outlook, it will change your opportunities.

It’s a hard pill to swallow for some people to realize they hold the key to their own happiness – personally I find it empowering, the greatest adventure, my reason for living. I have never understood ‘choosing miserable’, ‘choosing hard’ or ‘choosing struggle’ – who wants to spend their life-like that?

At the end of the day, you are only accountable to yourself – you and you alone- and regardless of your circumstance, situation or past choices, start today. Today instead of struggle, choose peace, choose happiness, choose joy because there is no one telling you otherwise.

xo nicki

Beauty in Words… entry #10

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“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.  May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are.  Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”

In the last day this has become my new mantra, I love what it says on every level – each new sentence has so much wisdom I can hardly wait to read the next. But this came to me at the exact moment I needed it too, a reminder of the journey and of all the infinite possibilities there are in this life. No one is held to their circumstance, that is just the right now and you have the ability to change it in that moment – to look at the positive and to remind yourself of all the amazingly beautiful gifts you have been given and then to go out into the world and share them.

xo nicki

The Art of Happy

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I have noticed more and more that there seems to be an increase of attention around the art of being happy and what that small change in attitude can bring to your life. As I read through a few of these articles, I began to see a change in my own perception. I completely wholeheartedly buy in to the ‘happiness factor’ and I try to live my life focusing on joy each and every day but I sometimes find myself automatically seeing the negative, so I put together a little reminder list of things I can do to stay in the ‘happy’.

~ Live out of LOVE – pure, whole love – for yourself, the people in your life, your job, the earth and everything that crosses your path.

~ Wake up each and every day thinking about what you are grateful for. Even if you can only think of a few things (although if you really start thinking about it, I am sure you have so much more to be thankful for), say them over and over again as you start your morning routine. Being grateful for the people and things you have in your life will open up opportunities that will be life changing.

~ Always look at the positive. We all have unhappy moments in life but as those moments are happening, try to stay focused on the positive and if that is impossible, think of something completely different that makes you happy. When we complain, argue or think negative thoughts; we only feed more and more into negative opportunities to come into our lives.

~ Begin to eliminate the people or things that make you unhappy. This can sometimes be an uncomfortable process as so many of us feel ‘obligated’ to fulfill so many demands. In order to live your most happy life, you need to remove as much ‘should haves’ as possible and start filling your days with ‘want to’s’. This will transform you from the inside out.

Let your own happiness guide you and I promise your life will instantly become more beautiful and fulfilling.

xo nicki

Get in the Game…

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There are two things in life that break my heart and send me into a tizzy at the same time 1) people who are to afraid to live up to their full potential 2) people who simply just watch their life pass by them standing on the sidelines…. GET IN THE GAME!

Each of us has such infinitely beautiful skills that are completely unique to us and yet so many of us are ok to simply just settle for the status quo, for ordinary, for just all right. I think you are not only doing a disservice to yourself but to this whole world, never allowing us to experience your inner passions. It’s not about getting rich or becoming famous – its about spreading your joy from one end of this world to the other, about shining your light and being heard, about saying I will not stand in my own way!

“Don’t ask what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” – Harold Whitman

xo nicki

Letting go of expectations

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I truly believe that expectations are as poisonous to us as our negative self talk. To be honest, expectations is something I struggle with myself – not only the expectations I set for myself but the ones I set for those around me. I am a goal junkie, in fact, without a list to accomplish I am completely lost; but expectations and goals are two very different actions.

I try to face every day with a clean slate, wake up with a smile on my face and go out into the world with my head held high and my heart open wide but I always find as the minutes pass by, these expectations of what I should be accomplishing start to weasel their way into my mind. Call me a overachiever, a perfectionist – these words just seem to always push my expectations of myself and what I can accomplish even higher.

But at some point there is always a disconnect between being a productive human being and just beating yourself up – I walk that fine line every day with some days turning out better than others; but I am trying to simply accept that as long as I have tried my hardest, put forth my personal best, that is more than even I can ask for.

And although I know that Rome wasn’t built-in 1 day it’s all about finding the balance of accomplishing all the amazing things I see in my future without the constant loom of ‘what I should have accomplished’ hanging over my head, instead it really is a process of acceptance.

xo nicki

Beauty in Words…entry #9

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” always be creating”

These 3 words have become my life’s mantra, my life’s goal and my life’s celebration. It is both simple and intricately beautiful – no fluff, no excuses. I see it both in the literal sense and a much deeper one.

I know myself well enough now to know that when I am being creative and expressing myself through ‘doing’ I am a much happier me. It can be baking cookies, hand-making cards, working in the garden or carving pumpkins – my soul feels at peace when I am using my two hands to create.

However I also look at this quote and it invites me to “create” the life I live – it beckons me to make wise decisions, work towards my dreams every single day and never ever stop – even though I may get a version of it, keep ‘creating’.

I love quotes that push me to keep going, that give me the nudge I often need, so needless to say this is now posted above my computer screen – so every time I look up, it warms my heart and invites me to keep going, stitch by stitch.

xo nicki

Don’t turn a blind eye to yourself…

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I am first going to disclaim that turning a blind eye is exactly what I did for about 2 years. I first had the idea of starting the Daring Woman Project almost 3 years ago now and it was only this past summer that I actually decided to start moving towards it. Now I have had lots of idea’s in my lifetime; businesses I would love to start, jobs I would love to try – but this idea, this idea stuck with me on lonely nights, cuddled up next to my heart when I had long days at work and was always slowly encouraging me to come closer. I knew deep within myself that if I never tried, I would have regretted it deeply because that would have meant I had suppressed a part of myself that was just waiting for the moment to dance.

I see people all around me who are in the same situation – holding on to an idea, a piece of themselves, and are scared s**tless to throw it out into the universe – hey, I get it, I know just how unbelievably scary and nerve-racking it is to say “world – here I am, here are my dreams and I am going to go for it”. And in no way am I the perfect example – I am living in baby steps, one foot at a time, slowly and diligently working so eventually I am ready to stand on top of that mountaintop with my arms wide open screaming “world- I have arrived”.

So here is my invitation – if you are holding on or holding back, join me, take this journey with me or beside me and together we can conquer the world.

xo nicki

to join a Daring Circle please visit The Daring Woman Project

Our Strength Runs Deep

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The strength of the human spirit amazes me – the things we can endure and yet keep going humble me, usually on a daily basis. I haven’t lived a completely naive life and fortunately it has always made my stronger. But last week was a challenge, digging up some skeletons I thought had been deeply buried in the closet. I reverted back to a place I don’t ever choose to go to – its black and grey, cold, rainy and everything is dead.  At first I diverted it, letting this situation roll off me like someone had just thrown a worm at me but quickly realizing that just meant I gave it my power, which I am not interested in. So instead I came in to it, head first, prepared and with 100ft high boundaries around myself, which I miraculously held on to.

We all have demons that live within us – triggers that are put on our path to test our human strength. There have been some sad, confusing times in my 28 years of life but none that could stop me then or now – in fact they just motivate me to stay in the place where the sun kisses my cheeks and I dance until the moon comes out.

Whenever you are having one of those days – just remember that you are stronger than you think and tomorrow is always a new opportunity to kiss the sun.

xo nicki

Live your Bliss

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I’m not sure if it was cleaning the house that has sent me into a creativity tornado but there seems to be things flowing around my head at a more rapid pace than usual. I would like to think its due to the fact that as of Thursday, I actually started the motions of making my inner essence come forward and I am more motivated than ever.
Life really boils down like this = live your bliss, listen to your inner most voice and suddenly out of nowhere, your outside world will start to match – realign. And while nothing profound has happened, something has shifted and the universe has already begun to deliver.

So if you are telling yourself you don’t deserve everything you want, that there is no possible way the things you dream of will ever come true – do yourself a favour and stop. Embrace that voice, get your groove on with that voice, become best friends and start loving her without hesitation.

xo nicki

Shine On

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This is a very special moment for me – a moment that I have been dreaming of and holding back from for the past 3 years. As I write this, I have goosebumps from anticipation and the unknown is haunting through my veins but like nothing I have ever experienced I feel the deep need to simply throw my dreams into the universe.

Fear has held me back for as long as this desire has lived within the walls of my heart – but today, just an ordinary day, I am choosing to fly.

I can tell myself over and over again that I am not quite ready, that there are still details that are a little crinkly – but then I would be giving in to the fear again.

It has been a long journey for me to get to this very moment, sometimes completely strategic and others hopelessly emotional, each serving its perfect place but at the end of the day, all of this has simply just been living inside me. This is not just another business idea, this is my joy, my most inner peace, my light – breaking free.

So without further ado….. The Daring Woman Project. It is my eternal optimistic hope that every one of you will join me in finding your path home… home to where your joy dances, dreams, breathes and shines.

xo nicki

 

Beauty in Words… entry #8

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“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I feel as if I am forging on unknown territory, with my machete in my hand and a flashlight for hope, I am forging into the unknown – except when I am here, I feel more at home then I do any other time of the day. I was uncomfortable with the notion of exploring around inside my own head; my feelings, I figured only people who wore hemp clothing and played the guitar had the freedom to become ‘one with themselves’ – I figured people would look at me and think I’ve completely lost it, that I’ve gone all woo-woo on them. 

But today (I am actually writing this on Sunday for the Thursday post, now due to me going back to work) I am feeling more raw than normal, more committed to achieving that inner gnawing that has been relentless the last few months – which means I write, I write and then peace overflows my soul and then what lies within me starts to pour out.

xo nicki

“I have a dream”…

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Well it was Martin Luther King Day yesterday and I thought there is no better way to inspire change than to walk in the footsteps of those who have already accomplished so much.

May this inspire you to stand up for all you believe in

xo nicki

Beauty in Words…entry #7

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Whether You Think You Can or Can’t, You’re Right”
Henry Ford

This quote has popped in and out of my life and every time I see it, it always gives me chills. We are always so quick to tell ourselves whether or not we can do something, be someone – and we are always right. What if we always told ourselves that we could – that there were no limitations? Each of our belief systems seem to dictate what level of success we will have, how our relationships will end and whether or not we will ever be truly happy.

I really wish they would teach this in schools, instead of how to do long division – I think it would get each of us so much further in life. And although I know this logically, I am still humming and haaing over whether I am ready to release The Daring Woman Project into the world- because in all honesty, I am dealthy afraid of it failing and even though I have moments of brilliance, where I almost hit publish on my website, there is still that little niggling voice saying ‘we’re not quite ready’… but very very soon I will be telling that little voice to step out of the way and watch me fly.

xo nicki

OWN your truth

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I’m not sure what has gotten into me lately but I seem to have no mercy when it comes to owning, claiming and making no apologies for who I am. In the past couple of months I have had the chance to really ‘cozy’ up next to myself- I have been questioning who I really am and what I truly want out of this life. It was a long process of hard questions and deep soul searching, a few counselling sessions and some tears but now this new person has emerged and she is someone I haven’t seen in a while- if not ever.

She is confident, sure and very very determined. She is vulnerable but not nieve, strong but patient. For some reason it has always been a negative thing for people (especially women) to be confident and take charge- well I’ve kinda been that way my whole life and I know I’ve ruffled some feathers, rubbed people the wrong way, even offended a few and I use to apologize for it- I use to feel shitty about myself because of it but lately it seems to be rolling off my back like water to oil.

It’s not about being obnoxious and in your face about it but simply quietly knowing- I am comfortable in my own skin beyond belief right now and it feels amazing. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, lets face it, this journey is just getting started for me but I today, right now I feel ‘whole’.

At the end of the day we all have the answers to our own questions; the truth isn’t out there- the truth is in you- you just need to be brave enough to dig it up!

xo nicki

Welcome 2011

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I have decided that this is my year, my year to shine, to dig deep, to get on with accomplishing my dreams, to get creating. I am not going to hold back and I am not going to take NO for an answer- this is my life and I am going to ROCK IT!

2010 was a great year, I found my footing, grasped the depth of where I want to take my life and now I feel that I am standing on the edge ready to take the plundge and never turn back. This is about ME- creating and designing the life that I have always dreamed about- not just reacting to what life hands you.

I now have 365 days to make a difference, each and every day, every moment to be working towards my dreams and I am not going to slow down.

What are you going to do with the next 365 days of your life? Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride of life or grab it by the horns and go after everything you have ever wanted? Think of all we can accomplish in 365 days let alone the next 5 years- It’s my New Year’s goal to commit to the life I have always wanted and make decisions that support me to getting that much closer. No one is going to get in my way- espcially myself, cause let’s face it, that’s usually the person that puts up the biggest fight.

So here’s to making 2011 the year that you made all your dreams possible

xo nicki

What’s your word…

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Well 2010 is now coming to a close and I always look forward to starting a new year. I am one of those people who take a few moments to reflect on the year I have had and also begin to look and plan for the year ahead. I do love New Year’s Resolutions but when I saw this idea, it stuck with me.

Choose a word for the year- a word that will help inspire and direct you throughout the entire year. I have spent the last few days really thinking about it and mine is going to be COMMIT.

I spent 2010 in some unchartered waters, being a new mother and doing some deep soul searching about the person that I am and really want to be. I came out of that fog just a few months ago and am now ready… ready to COMMIT.

I am not going to sit around and wait for the things I want in life to just happen- every day I am going to COMMIT to working towards them- through this blog, through some new idea’s I have and in my day to day decisions around what’s important to me. All to often we just sit around waiting, waiting for life to simply just hand over our wish list- I think I am old enough and wise enough to know that a little elbow grease doesn’t hurt. And although I have HUGE apprehensions about saying that I am committing to the life I dream of, I know it needed to be said- out loud.

SO I encourage you to throw your resolutions out the window this year and pick a word (it’s usually the first one that you think of- at least mine was, and generally the scariest) and wether you share this with anyone or not, decide what your life with that word with look like for the next year. It is my hope that going in to 2012 we all look back at what an amazing year we have had. So what’s your word for 2011 going to be?

nicki xo

Merry Christmas

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“Love is what it is in the room on Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen”

Merry Christmas to you and your entire family. I hope you are filled with peace, love and joy this Christmas.

xo nicki

Twas the night before Christmas…

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‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!
“
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

May the magic of Christmas fill your heart tonight

xo nicki


5 more sleeps…

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Who is getting ridiculously excited for Christmas? I certainly know the anticipation is swirling around our house as each day passes. By now my stockings are hung, my house smells of constant baking, the presents are sitting patiently under the tree and we are in full Christmas party mode. But as I was putting the chocolate pecan bars in the oven to come and write I realized that I actually am ready for Christmas this year- and I don’t mean I am ahead of the baking game, but I am ready for what I believe to be the true meaning of Christmas- love, peace and joy.

Whether you believe in God or anything else for that matter- Christmas for me truly means being filled with joy, being surrounded by love and having peace in your heart- not an easy feat this time of year when bills are higher, parking lots are crazed and expectations overwhelm.

I wish I could pinpoint why I feel this way- I suppose I owe most of it to the fact that I am actually happy where I am in life, content you might even say and excited for what the future holds of us.

I hope as you are reading this, you feel the same way and that life is only crazy because of all the parties and dinners you have planned for the next couple weeks. But regardless of how you are feeling, I do hope you can take a few moments over the next 5 days to reflect on the joy that you do have in your life, parking wars and all.

xo nicki

Share a cup of Christmas Cheer…

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The fondue pots were sizzling, laughter and chatter filled the house and I took a look around the table and realized just how amazingly blessed I am in my life- I have girlfriends that are the definition of what it means to be ‘best friends’. We are the keeper of each other secrets, we push each other to be better, we wipe tears and laugh hysterically; we have been through a lifetime together and sometimes it hasn’t been pretty- sometimes its been confusing and hurtful, we have watched ‘friends’ come and go, we have held each others hands through heartbreak and triumph- but forever we are tied.

We have watched as we each became our own woman; we have been to war and back, through break-ups, tough personal growth, falling in love, weddings, babies and all those times in between. I take for granted sometimes that they have my back- no questions asked- they are the friends that every person deserves. I honestly am not sure what my life would be without them- they are the glue that has had to hold me together, my biggest cheerleaders, my safe haven and I am forever grateful. I owe so much of who I am to those beautiful ties that will last forever.

So this Christmas- stop and share- if even just a few moments with the people in your life that take your breath away.

love you girls xox nicki

Bake some love…

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Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a big box of baking and yesterday I got the chance to start my yearly baking marathon. This year I wanted to attempt to make fondant icing for my sugar cookies and with my 12 year little brother spending the day with me, I thought it was the perfect chance to try it out!

Well 4 hours later, there was something that resembled fondant (this was many attempts later) but what made it all worth it were the laughs we had in between. Being in the kitchen with a child or in my case a pre-teen and my 11 month old baby, makes it interesting- and a whole lot more fun. The flour was flying, sugar dusted every inch of the floor, marshmallow gooyness was attached to every utensil but laughter ran throughout the house, filled every corner.

Yesterday was a gift for me- a chance to not only spend time with my little bro but a chance to ‘slow’ down the Martha crazed perfectionist inside of me and hey, we may have only made 20 cookies in 4 hours but we made memories that I certainly won’t forget.

xo nicki

Creating traditions

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I am a sucker for traditions- there is nothing that connects me to my childhood more than thinking of all the traditions we had. Now that my son is here, I am wanting more and more to create new traditions for our family as well as continuing on some of the old ones.

It’s no surprise that I love traditions, I wouldn’t exactly say that I am all that spontaneous and the idea that I know what to expect from the season calms me just a little more.

Here are some of the traditions we had growing up:

Our advent calendar was actually a felt tree that we cut out and glued on glitter. My mum would hide a box (made from old Christmas cards) every morning and we would take turns each day looking for it. It was a small box but was brimming with candy- all sorts of candy- and I secretly use to think that those store bought calendars were a total rip off!  I now have the felt tree and although its now the 8th of December, I have yet to hide a box for my husband to find, I will get there!

New Pajamas on Christmas Eve. There is nothing better than slipping into nice, crisp new jammies- you have a way better sleep and we always looked so cute when we were opening our presents the next morning.

Spend a night looking at Christmas lights- this one was always one of my favourites- we’d make hot chocolate, climb into the car and spend a night driving around on the hunt for awesome Christmas light displays, while singing along to all our favourite Christmas tunes.

So what ‘connects’ us to a tradition? Is it a feeling of happiness that we hope will continue to be year after year, a sense of belonging to something much bigger than ourselves? I’m not sure but I know that I feel deeply ‘rooted’ in family when we continue these beautiful little traditions.

xo nicki

p.s. I would love you to share some of your traditions- may just inspire me or someone reading this

peace begins with me…

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Today has been one of those days – filled with life errands to run and emails coming in fast and furious to attend too and in the middle of this flurry is me. The list of what needs to get done today is swirling and whirling in a state of constant chaos and then it hit me…. peace begins with me.

peace isn’t something that happens to you – its your internal state. peace isn’t having an easy day – it’s your reaction to what life hands you. peace isn’t hoping for a different outcome – its acceptance of your life, just as it is. peace isn’t getting things done – it’s being grateful for all you are.

So as my to do list escalates, I have decided instead that today I will be filled with peace. Peace with what I am able to accomplish (or not), peace with spending time with who it matters, peace with enjoying this moment.

xo nicki