Thursday, May 24, 2012

I've moved!!

Hey friends! :D

I just wanted to let you know that my new blog space can now be found at !!

I'm blessed to have a talented and creative husband to support me in making a bit of a dream come true with a dedicated space for this blog!

I'll be posting a lot more frequently and highlighting others who are out in the world doing the work of loving simply.

Hope you can join me over at our new space :)

hugs and loves
sarah d.

Friday, May 18, 2012

the long drive home.

Hello my loves!

Off we go...I got stuck in traffic yesterday. It was awful. I tried to take a different route and got stuck in construction traffic. It was more awful. No one was answering their phones to keep me company on the drive (I have a Bluetooth device, don't worry!) Finally I got my mum on the phone for a bit, but she was distracted and waiting for dad to come home. She just kept telling me, 'Oh I wish you had just taken your regular way home!' So had I…

 photo cred Samuel-Leo

As I was driving I got to thinking about all the people that have long commutes every single day. The dads that work in the city and their family lives in the suburbs. The single mom that has to ride the subway to the other side of town after dropping her kids off at school. The nearly-retired grandpa that tries to make it over to his daughter’s house to kiss his grandkids goodnight after a long day at the office. The step-mom who runs three errands before 8am and then parks her car at the station before getting on the hour-long train ride into the city to work a 9 hour day. The young man who gets up before the sun to get started on his hour-long walk from his home to the home of his employer to work for the day.

We all appreciate the work that you do every day.
We are all sympathetic to the time you have to give to your travels.
We all wish you well on your everyday-journey.
We send you happy-thoughts and prayers as you try to stay positive on your commute.

hugs and love
sarah d.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

always in our heart..

Hello my loves!

Today my mum opened her Mother's Day gift early. To her credit, it was being shipped by some unknown work-from-home-mom in the States. Therefore, not knowing it was her gift, she ended up getting her present early! Chatting with her about it today made me think...

See, I got my mum 150 paper butterflies so that she could have those colourful little guys all over her house all the time. Why butterflies? When my brother passed away 16 years ago, my parents participated in a butterfly-release ceremony with a ton of other families who had experienced loss that year. It was a very special and memorable event. Since then, butterflies have brought my mum peace and remembrance of all the good times. 

That's me trying to smile like my big brother a long time ago!

Then that made me think of all the moms (and dads) who have had a child pass away. It's an unbearable loss.

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, I thought we should send some happy vibes and tons of love to any momma's out there who are remembering their kiddo's that they've had to say goodbye to. 

We love you MOM!!

sarah d.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

it's a tough job.

Hey team-love!

I've worked in the Social Service industry for nearly 5 years, and have volunteered with it in one way or another for the past 10. What I'm getting at is that I've worked with a lot of Case Workers. (You may know them as Social Workers.) Wow.. now that's a tough job. 

I work with Case Workers every day who have anywhere from 15 to 37 kids on their case-load. Essentially, their job is to parent, nurse, counsel, support, challenge, discipline, care for, encourage, drive places, pay for, motivate, listen to, advocate for, .... the list goes on. 

A lot of the kids struggle with mental health issues.
They all come from broken homes.
Most have been abused in so many ways. 

And a Case Worker's job is to meet these kids needs at every possible turn. 

They work within a huge and challenging system and they come up against barriers daily while they're trying to advocate for their 'kiddos'. 

It's a tall order and no matter what your experience with different Case Workers, they deserve support and love. 

Image found here

Come on team, let's send some love their way.
While they cheer on their kids, let's give them a cheer too!!

Keep up the good work!!

sarah d.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

everything in moderation...

...except laughter!!!

Hey team :)

I trust you are well, loved, and sending love back out into the world. 

I was driving the other day and took note of some of the exercisers out and about. Most of them were joggers/walkers. A lot of them looked pooped, but were pressing on! They were all shapes and sizes and in very colourful spandex clothing. (There were Lululemon logos as far as the eye could see! lol)

I've worked hard and lost 30 pounds in just over a year. Unfortunately, the last couple weeks I have really dropped the ball and have been feeling kind of down and depressed about it. Seeing all those people out there working hard, especially the bigger ones, motivated me so much! 

Shortly afterwards, I was putzing around online and found this:

Don’t you give up. It doesn’t matter how many times you stumble, how many workouts you miss, how much cake you eat at 3 am. Don’t quit. It’s the first rule of BodyRocking. BodyRockers never give up. I fail all the time. If you are training for a life well lived – if you are going after your dreams – you are going to fall down now and then. It’s frustrating, but this is real life. We are real people.

I came across this on an awesome and fun FREE resource online and it made me cry. It's just how I was feeling - like I had given up. I hadn't necessarily eaten cake at 3am, but pretty darn close. So, I started the program 4 days ago and I'm loving it and the health I'm feeling again. 

photo cred: hathuyanna

  • Eat a healthy and high-in-protein breakfast every morning. 
  • Eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies. 
  • Eat lean meats. 
  • Drink tons of water. 
  • Get your heart rate up for 12-20 minutes, six times a week, doing aerobics and weights.
  • Walk/breathe/meditate/do yoga often.
  • Eat a small piece of dark chocolate a few nights a week. 
  • And indulge a couple times a month in something seriously delish and sinful, but only a half-serving! lol
  • Laugh as much as possible!
  • Play like you're 5 years old from time to time :)
  • And love. 

This is my recipe for success and I bestow it unto you my friends. Simple really. Like most things in life. 

This week I'm sending my love out to those rain-or-shine-pavement-pounders and all the rest of you working on a healthy life!! I think we could all use a little extra love and support. 

hugs and love
sarah d.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Who is your family?

Hello friends, 

I trust you all had fabulous weekends!

Two years ago tomorrow, I said 'I will' with my best friend in front of two families and a bunch of friends who are like family to us. Every year at this time there's a ton of celebrating going on in my world, and I love it! My dad and hubs share the same birthday, our anniversary is four days later, and Easter is always nearby. 

We've been having lots of fun visiting with family over this long weekend and it's been so. much. fun. =) 

And all that visiting got me to thinking:

How are people holding up that don't have family? 
How are people that are all alone, or feel all alone? 
How are people who have lost family?

Family is incredible, and takes on so many forms. I really don't believe that you need to be blood-related to be considered family. I hope that you all have people in your life that you consider family, even though they might not be on your family-tree! 

In talking with all different kinds of people, I learn their definitions of family. I hear things like:

I can be myself with family. 
They'll support me no matter what. 
I can stink with my family. 
They don't judge me. 

I chose to show the family from the hit show Modern Family because I think 
it is such a fun and light-hearted example of a complicated family that 
works hard to love and accept each other right where they are. 

So while I said goodbye to my family after a wonderful visit, my heart filled with love for those who don't have family, or who are trying to define who their family is. Everyone deserves people in their life who accept them for who they are: fun and faults, strengths and struggles. 

Will you please send some love and joy to those in the world who feel all alone?

We are well loved dear ones, and we must spread that love in every way that we can. Let's get creative this week and let those people around us know that they are a true joy!

hugs and love
sarah d. 

Monday, April 2, 2012


Hey team!

Today's post is a little more fun. 

Yesterday was April Fools Day. Were you fooled? I was. For about 15 seconds, but still, I totally was. I was reading a Facebook status of a friend, and as I'm excitedly telling my hubster about it, I stop mid-sentence and say, 'wait a minute.. April Fools Day!' hahaha

So as silly as it sounds, this week I want to send my love out to the gullible people out there. I've been a gullible person my whole life. I try to spin it by saying I just really trust people. And I DO! 

That's really the issue.. people who know me well, and some people who don't, take advantage of the fact that I'll believe the things they say.. and voila, gullible! 

I can't count how many times I'm happily listening to someone's outrageous story and nodding away, while they're practically nudging the person next to them as if to say, 'get a load of this dim-wit!' 

It can be a little disheartening at times. And at many points in my life it caused me to feel rather stupid, silly, or wonder if I could trust the people around me. Those were not fun feelings. 

photo found here

So let's send our love out to those easy trusters. 

I pray that you know you're loved. 
That you can laugh at yourself. 
That the people around you who love you let you know in creative ways. 
And that you continue to share your love and trust as easily as you always have!

sarah d. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

what if we simply loved?

Hey dear ones, 

I've been ruminating on this post for some time now, and I decided that there's no easy way to talk about it, so I'll just dive right in. 


When I drive to work every morning, there are people standing outside a nondescript building. They have signs and buttons and they're always drinking coffee. Finally one day I looked over to read their signs. They had messages on them like:

Women regret abortion. 
Abortion is murder. 

Some of the sign-holders look bored. Often they are just chatting with each other. It's been cold lately, so they pretty much always look like they're freezing. 

Here's my question - I wonder if their time would be better spent reaching out to young women, men and couples in the community and becoming their community. 
Spending time supporting, encouraging, teaching, mentoring, and loving these people. 
Then maybe we wouldn't need to talk all that much about abortion. 
Because then we would be taking care of each other, supporting each other and loving each other. 
We'd be a community, a family. 

photo cred: wanderingghost

I'm going to send some happy vibes to those people holding the signs this week. I hope that they are getting a chance to know their community better while holding those signs. And I pray that they are opening up to all kinds of new ways to love and support people through hard and challenging times. 

I'm also going to think on the young women visiting that clinic. Be strong. You are well loved. 

sarah d. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

buy buy buy more

Good evening oh lovers of love!

I had quite an experience on the weekend.

Basically, I went to a special after-hours shopping party at a glamorous store and there were 'stylists' on hand to help. I was placed in clothing that challenged my concept of who I am... on the outside anyway. And I was also reminded about who I am on the inside, and what I value.

I should have expected this of myself. Trying on clothing is generally always a traumatic event for me. But this time it wasn't traumatic for the usual reason, self-image. It was traumatic as I considered the true value of the things I purchase, and whether or not I really need the things I say I do sometimes. 

When faced with the decision of potentially going over to the till with a pair of jeans that were apparently valued at $220, I was frozen. One woman said, "You'll regret it if you don't get them. They fit you perfectly and you looked so beautiful."

This was my response, nearly verbatim:

Oh, I will NEVER regret not spending over 200 dollars on a pair of jeans. Never. 
I don't want to shame anyone here. You all looked beautiful and I have no judgement on anyone who is buying clothes. 
The thing is, I actually know a kid in Ghana, Africa that has to walk a mile to a dirty pond to wash his one pair of shorts and one shirt every day, just so he won't have to walk around naked. I know him. I spent time with him. 
So it's hard for me to justify the spending...
I know what 200 dollars could do for him, for the kids I work with every day. 

Needless to say, I didn't buy the jeans. 

image found here

Why am I writing this blog? I'm writing it for us consumers. 
And I'm writing it for my kiddo in Ghana, whom I desperately hope has been taken in by some kind family and given more clothes, as well as some much needed and deserved love. 

I'm suggesting something...
Before you make your next purchase, just ask yourself a few questions:

Do I need this?
What is the value of this? 
Is it worth it?

Then do what ya gotta do: buy it, or put it back.

I bet just asking those questions will likely help your pocket-book.. and it may just help people who struggle to get by day after day.
It will help them in a small way because every time I stop and ask myself those questions, 
I will think of them, 
and I will love them. 
Will you? 

hugs and loves
sarah d. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

You are valuable.

Hey friends!

I hope this greets you well and loved. 

I have been feeling a pressing in my heart lately to send some love to young women. It's a broad group, and it may even include you. 

In my line of work (social services working with at-risk youth), I come across far too many young women who don't know that they have value. They have mostly identified worth with outer appearances, and spend a great deal of time worrying about how they are perceived and interpreted by others. While many people spend their whole lives concerned about what others think of them, to varying degrees, there is an abundance of young girls who are losing themselves in the quest to be what others want. 

They have lost their sense of self, and have virtually no idea that they are valuable. 

photo cred EinnaEsor

There are many things that could be said about this topic, but the fact of the matter is, it's up to us to start building up and encouraging the young women of the world. They need to know they have worth and value that far exceeds what they look like, the way that they talk, or even what their test scores are. 

The aftermath of this lack of esteem, this lack of worth, can take on so many forms: depression and anxiety, self-mutilation, drug and alcohol abuse,  isolation, even falling into sex trafficking. While these may sound extreme to some of you, it's nearly the entire population of young women that I work with every single day. It's the girl serving your dinner, it's the girl pushing a stroller, it's the girl on the corner... Have you seen her? 

Take some time this week to purposefully send some love and care to young women who do not know their own incredible worth. 

And if you're faced with an opportunity to encourage a young girl, or a young woman, talk not of her appearance, but of her character and her heart. 

(Really fantastic article here challenging how we think about talking to young girls.)

hugs and loves to you and yours this week
sarah d. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

sleeping in the snow

Good evening fellow loves!

I hope and pray you are well and blessed on this chilly and snowy evening.

I was lucky enough to be able to sneak away from work early and go visit an old friend while she cut my hair. When I emerged with my new locks, there was snow everywhere! Where did that come from?! Well, I guess it is February in Canada afterall... should be expected. 

And here I sit in my cozy living room looking out my big window at the fluffy white stuff that is falling. The heat in my house keeps popping on, as it's an old house and doesn't seem to keep the warmth in very well. (Or maybe it doesn't keep the cold out...) In any case, it got me thinking.. where are all the people that don't have a home going to sleep tonight?

If you're curious, there is a lot of valuable information on homelessness in Canada on this wiki site. There are many misconceptions about the homeless population in regards to mental health, opportunities available to them, and using the shelter system. The wiki site covers the basics and can enlighten you to a few things. 

photo cred 2bitphoto 

Regardless of all the reasons why and why not, who and who not.. it's snowing, and it's cold, and I worry about the people, young and old, who don't have a home to go to tonight. The people who don't have a roof and some walls tonight. 

I only played with my dog in the backyard tonight rather than going for a walk, because it's cold and snowing and kind of miserable out there. I can't imagine facing that as well as the question, 'where am I going to sleep tonight?'

Would you send some love their way with me this week?

I am sending thoughts of


hugs and loves to you friends, 
sarah d.  

Sunday, February 5, 2012

study study!!

Good evening team-love!!

My husband is diligently studying his way through his Computer Science degree and I'm very proud of how hard he is working. He is busting his butt spending hours and hours outside of class time studying, learning and computing. He's pulling in some really fantastic grades, and it's definitely because of how he loves his program and how hard he is studying. 

So while this is a shorter blog, it's an important one. The minds of the future that will be supporting us all are working hard in classes right now and need our happy thoughts and support. They have families and friends who likely miss them from time to time when they are buried under piles and piles of books!!

hugs and loves
sarah d.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom, Momma, Mother, Mum

Good afternoon you sweet-senders-of-love!

I trust you have been well and that while you've been sending love out to others, you have also been receiving lots of loves too!

Now, onto the subject of the day:

1) My parents are at that retirement-age, and have decided that they like spending about a month out of the year down in Mexico when it's cold up here in Canada. They golf, they walk the beach, they have lots of dinner parties with people that have become close friends and they decompress. They left this week.

2) I'm very close with my mum, and especially with the passing of my brother many years ago, we stay in very close contact. In fact, on my way to work every morning, I use that lovely little Bluetooth-y thing in my car and give her call. It's hard with them being in Ontario, and me here in Alberta, but we do our best.

1 + 2 = me having a hard time cuz I can't call my mum every morning and debrief life with her!! :(

Especially since getting married, I value my mum more and more as she supports me through the trials and tribulations of committed-long-term-relationship stuff. And my mum does not beat around the bush! It's straight to the point whether I want to hear it or not, and frankly, even though it's hard to hear sometimes, I really appreciate it.

  • She'll kill me for posting that first pic, but you know what, it's already on facebook, so what're ya gonna do?! haha 
  • The second is from my cousin's wedding nearly a decade ago. 
  • The third is when my mum and I went and got tattoo's together!! (The artist, once finished, said, 'There you go, now you're a bad-ass mom!') 
  • The last pic is from my wedding nearly two years ago. One of my favorite memories was sitting with mum and talking in the bedroom before the madness and partying began. 

I've been through the gamut with my mum and am blessed to have her in my life and to consider her my dearest supporter, teacher, confidant and guide.
(I adamantly did not use the word friend, as while I'm close to my mum the way I am with my closest friends, she is of a different status altogether in my life, and I need her there. I have lots of friends, I only have one mum.)

I realize that all of us have different kinds of relationships with our mothers, or people who play the role of mother in our lives. But, I hope and pray that whomever you consider 'mom', you love and appreciate her and the role she plays in your life.

I also know that some of you may have been hurt by your moms through her words or actions. For you, I'm sorry. I hope you are supported, loved and adored by other people in your life so that there is no hole to fill.

We all have a different story.
We all have a mom.
Let's send them some love.

sarah d.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

dear old friends

Hey team, 

I trust everyone is well and sending their happy vibes out into the universe! ;)

This week will be a more personal post.

I spent some time in one of the greatest cities in the world, Hamilton, ON, and loved living there. One of the biggest reasons I loved it there so much was the people. I met and spent time with people that cared about community, love, growing, and supporting each other. Some of those people were whole families, some were work friends, and others were just individuals that had the biggest hearts. 

I learned recently that one of my dear friends from Hamilton is facing a challenging battle right now. His name is Eric, and he was just diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. Eric was one of the very first people I met when I arrived in Hamilton. It was a few days later when we found ourselves playing music together in a church band that I realized this guy was really fantastic. Afterwards, as happens, a group of us went out for a bite and I really enjoyed getting to know this man I would shortly thereafter think of as my brother. In time I was adopted by his family - his little sister is now my little sister, I've played music with one of his older brothers, I've had many wonderful conversations with his oldest brother, and I adore and respect his parents for who they are and how they've supported their children, their friends, and even me. 

When I heard the news, I was thrown. One of my first sentences was, 'Where did THAT come from?!' To learn that there isn't even a family history of it really frustrated me. I've supported people through their battles with cancer before, but for some reason, this time it finally hit me - cancer has no prejudice. None.  

That's Eric, in the light blue t-shirt. (And that's another friend Dan, love that guy!) We were having a Boccee Ball tournament and got to goofing around. These two weirdos thought it would be fun to see if they could do a flying horizontal kick at each other's chests. I managed to capture it with my camera. We were falling all over the place with laughter the whole afternoon at silliness, and this moment was no exception. 

That's my friend. 
He's a husband, a brother, a son, a friend, and a believer in all things good. 

I know you have a friend that has gotten terrible news. And if not a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or someone you grew up with... someone you care about. Someone who has a family that you think about and wonder how they're holding up. 

Will you please join me in sending some love to Eric and his family?
And let's send some love to all of your friends/family/co-workers/old friends who have received terrible news too. 

May they be blessed. 
Cared for. 
Laughed with. 
Listened to. 
Given peace. 

May they be loved. 

sarah d.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Good evening friends, 

Two things to cover in this blog, and they conveniently coincide.

Number 1: My resolutions. 

I'm the kind of person who loves to learn and grow all of the time. And so, I look fondly on new years resolutions as an opportunity to refocus my energy and get specific again about areas I'd like to see growth. Over the years, I've found it increasingly important to create reasonable and measurable goals. So, here they are, and of course, there is always room for additions:

Move for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Eat in a way that my body and mind will be healthiest.
"Act the way I want to feel." (Thanks to Gretchen Rubin for that one!)
Blog once a week.
Get someone to smile every day. (Bonus points for laughter!)
Do something musical once a week. (Writing, practicing, researching artists, etc.)
Listen better. Listen more. (I don't ALWAYS have to add something.)

Nearly two weeks into January, and I'm going strong. Another thing I've learned over time is that with most things, when I drop the ball and make a mistake, I don't simply give up and walk away. I start again, sometimes immediately, sometimes the next morning, but I keep trying. And so onward and upward I go!

Number 2: Negative thoughts.

All that said, I still struggle with negative thoughts.. I have an 'editor' - that little crappy voice in my head who tells me I can't, I won't, I'll fail, there's no way I'll ever... Do you have an 'editor'? Through years of practice, I've learned to acknowledge and silence mine with relative ease. (However, there are times when I'm extremely thankful for a patient husband who helps me with my sometimes skewed perspective.) 

photo cred: Olivia Napoli

Bad thoughts can be like the birds in this image, and peck away at us until we have only struggle and frustration left. There's pages and pages more that can be said about what life looks like for people drowning with negative thoughts... but I think we can all empathize and agree that it's awful and tiring. 

This week, while I am intent on growing and being more positive, I will send my positivity outwards. I will focus on breathing in the dark, ugly, hard stuff that people are facing every day; and I will breathe out the light, positive, beautiful breath that we all need to be joyful. 

Will you join me in simply loving those that are being berated with hard and bad thoughts? We could all use a little help from time to time. 

sarah d. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

where did the time go...?

Hello dear ones,

I have no concrete reason as to why I've been away from 'love simply.' Time just got away from me I guess, and other things took priority. In any case, I am going to make a concerted effort to make 'love simply.' a priority this year, as it helps me gain some needed perspective in the madness of daily life. 

Being that the new year is upon us, I'm drumming up some resolutions with the help of friends, a book I'm reading, and my heart. I'll post them once I've flushed them out a bit. 

Are you going to be working on anything in particular this year?

Until then, I feel compelled to send some love somewhere... Perhaps to everyone headed back to work after holidays. To be completely honest, I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. It's been a nice break, and I've been reminded of how much I'd like to work for myself. 

Let's send some joy and happiness to everyone going back to work after a break. 

May you feel excitement about seeing work-friends again.
May you be thankful for the structure that is returning to your daily life.
May you be blessed with many more opportunities to bring love and laughter into someone else's life.

Until we meet again,

sarah d.