Health: The Stability Ball

As I mentioned in my 2022 goals post, I’m making my back health a priority. I’ve had a sore back for a little while now, which I think was a result of sitting in a not-so-ergonomic chair at my desk all day staring at a computer. As steps to improve my back, I’ve been going to physiotherapy regularly (which always makes me feel better), practicing daily yoga (18 days straight…hooray!), and sitting on a stability ball at my desk.

Everyone, I already feel so much better! I can barely believe it!

this is the exact Gaiam stability ball kit I bought from Amazon

While I’ve been going to physio for a few months now, I really think the 18 days of yoga plus the stability ball chair have really sped up my sore back recovery. I was skeptical that either would help, so you can imagine my surprise when the combo of both (or all three changes, in fact) have helped me.

So now I want to buy every Gaiam product out there and continue to build my strength and stability by doing every day things – like sitting at my desk!

I do have an ergonomic chair on its way, but I think I may end up alternating between the chair and the ball throughout the day or week.

Fashion: Cozy Slippers

Who else is dealing with a major snowfall today? On blistery, snowy days like this (when I don’t have to leave the house), I love staying extra cozy with a great pair of slippers. If you’re like me, and you hate having cold feet, then you may enjoy browsing the online shops for a new pair of slippers. Here are several that I’m considering as my next slipper purchase.

faux shearling slippers, $34.50CAD, Indigo; Sorel faux fur slippers, $64CAD, The Bay; faux fur slippers, $29.50CAD, Indigo
Eberjey slipper socks, $46.20CAD, The Bay; Vero Moda slippers, $29.40CAD, The Bay; Ugg slippers, $99.99CAD, SoftMoc
Smoko heated slippers, $48USD, Urban Outfitters; Sherpa slippers, $58CAD, JCrew; plush slippers, $65CAD, Knix; teddy slipper, $23CAD, Everlane

I’m leaning toward the UGG gold ones because, well, they’re gold, and I do love gold shoes!

Design at Home: House Projects

We moved into our new home in June 2021, and while the house does not need any major or minor work (really move-in ready!), I have a list of projects to make the house feel ours. Since June, we have done a few things that were quite necessary like installing a water softener, leveling patio stones, hiring an arborist, and getting our chimneys cleaned.

Merging two houses has also meant that we have spent a good chunk of time sorting through our pieces of furniture and artwork and deciding what we want to keep, sell, and donate. We’ve also worked on a few different layouts in different rooms as we’ve learned more about what kinds of spaces we need and want in our home.

While we don’t actually need anything for our home, there’s a bunch of stuff I want to do in 2022. Here’s my list (which my beau mostly agrees on, too):

  1. Install a new sink, faucet, and countertop in the kitchen. Replace the cabinet handles. Add a backsplash. (Affordably!)
  2. Upgrade lighting (modern, modern, modern) in as many rooms in the house as possible.
  3. Add rugs to certain space to increase cozy factor.
  4. Install a backsplash in our basement kitchen.
  5. Invest in a upright freezer.
  6. Organize and make better use of our garage and shed.
  7. Continue to hang artwork (and maybe buy a piece that both of us like).
  8. Invest in a good office chair (for my office).
  9. Continue to design my beau’s office.
  10. Add a secondary TV area.
  11. Finalize a design plan for our sitting room.
  12. Organize the kitchen pantry.
  13. And I’ll probably keep adding to the list as the year evolves!

It’s fun to have design projects on the go. I’ll check on this list in a few months or in a year to see how far we’ve come.

Design at Home: My Office

This past weekend, I worked to get my office finally cleaned up. I added a new rug and light, and I saw my design vision come to life. I love my office. It’s a positive place to work, and I think it’s an accurate reflection of me.

I originally had two similar plans for the main components in my office. One version had black accents, and the other had white. In both design plans, I had my heart set on mixing old antiques with modern elements (which is the aesthetic I’m aiming for elsewhere in the house, too). When I made the design boards, I had just purchased an antique desk similar to the one I featured.

Now, my office looks like this:

I was lucky to find my antique desk here in Waterloo from a seller who told me it was her long-time writing desk. How perfect! She bought it in Montreal decades ago, and I think it must have come from France originally. Oui oui! The desk has a leather top inset (protected with glass), wood inlay, and brass details. It’s a special piece of furniture.

Not too long after that, my mom sent me a link to an antique Italian armoire at an auction, and I jumped on it. Things were moving quickly, but I guess timing was right because before I knew it, it was mine! It is lovely!

I feel fortunate to have these two pieces of exquisite craftsmanship in my possession, and they fit beautifully into our historic home. I met the previous owners of each of these pieces, and I could tell that they had strong attachments to them. They cared for the pieces, and I promised that I would, too.

The final two pieces were the rug and the light. I tried to get the black and white striped Ikea rug (seen above) on several occasions, but it was constantly out of stock, so I took it as a sign that the rug wasn’t for this space. Instead I opted for the “let the pieces find me” approach, and when I came across a soft white rug, I took it as a sign that white accents was the way to go for my office. Then I spotted a modern, airy light, and I could see my vision come to completion.

You’ll notice that I have a lot more wood in this office than I ever had before. The pieces are so refined and I just love them against the white walls. And speaking of white, there’s still plenty of it!

The design plan is just about complete. I may exchange the rug for the next size up, and I’m waiting for the delivery of an ergonomic desk chair. In the meantime, I’m using the balance ball and have already noticed that it’s better for my back (core and legs, too) than the dainty antique chair that came with my desk (but it’s just so pretty!).

Personal: Goals for 2022

Last year, I drafted a list of goals, and I checked in monthly about my progress (or lack thereof). I liked the exercise, so I’m going to repeat it for this year.

Here’s my current list of goals for 2022 in no particular order. I may add or delete goals as the year moves on.

  1. Write with my fountain pen. It’s so beautifully designed, and it writes so smoothly. I’m going to try to use it as my regular pen, so that my mundane notes (e.g., weekly to do lists) are prettier.
  2. Complete house projects. I’m drafting an evolving list of house projects for 2022, so the aim is to complete them. Obviously.
  3. Practice yoga. My back has been sore for several months now, so one of the things I’m doing to improve it (and hopefully my general health) is yoga. I’m going to stick with Yoga with Adriene for a while and see if I notice any changes in my back and general flexibility.
  4. Host people. We love having people over, and we did a good amount of entertaining since we moved into our house, even with ever-changing restrictions. We’ll continue to do so.
  5. Travel. I am really hoping to travel outside of Ontario in 2022.
  6. Read more. I will aim for 1-2 books per month, I think.
  7. Tame garbage. Reduce waste. One of the things that I noticed early on in my days of cohabitation was the increase in garbage production. Oh my goodness. There’s just so much garbage (compost, recycling, regular garbage, yard waste). I’m going to try to reduce the garbage we produce (and get the rest of the household members on board, too). I don’t yet know how I’m going to put this goal into action, but I’ll use this month to brainstorm some steps.
  8. Floss regularly. A couple of months ago, I started to floss every day. Every day! Who flosses every day? Now, I do. I feel like this is a very responsible goal. I use disposable flossers, which is great for function, but terrible for waste (see #7).
  9. Walk regularly. I’m not going to worry about how long and how much, but I’m just going to walk regularly.
  10. Stop procrastinating. This goal mostly relates to when I procrastinate on marking my students’ work. Some weeks are just so slow going!
  11. Have fun!