Tag Archives: Inspiration

Where has Merzybean been?

30 Oct

I feel like I have written a few justification blogs, explaining my lack of presence in the blogosphere. I guess I don’t really owe anyone an explanation, but how can I expect to have a loyal readership if I have been MIA.

Truthfully, there isn’t one particular reason as to why Merzybean hasn’t been buzzing. Is “I’m tired” not good enough? Well, that’s the truth. I have not felt inspired to sit down and blog because there has always been something that takes priority over writing and once I have cleared my to-do list, I have no energy to write.

However, I want to get back to writing and putting my thoughts out into the universe. Not that what I have to say is all that important, but I just love to share my passions with others.

Hopefully this is the first of many posts to come in the near future. I have some ideas brewing, so stay tuned!

Thanks for all of the people who have been visiting Merzybean all along the way, even during my “blogging hiatus”. It makes me happy to see and it inspires me to keep on plugging!

Until next time,



Merzybean Just Checked In At The Gym

14 May

Why bother checking in once I have arrived at the gym? Why bother posting pictures of my workout successes after leaving the gym?


I never used to be one of those people, and it’s a crying shame. I have been going to the gym five days a week for the last month and have “checked in” on Facebook every single time I arrive at the gym. I used to think that this was unnecessary when I would see other people’s gym check-ins appear on my Facebook Newsfeed. Boy, was I wrong! There is nothing useless about doing this. In fact, the exact opposite effect is achieved.

This idea of checking in at the gym and having people know when I was working out didn’t really mean much to me until I started to see other people do it and I began to feel motivated by them. On Instagram I started to follow people who were posting inspiring pictures of weight loss successes, their workouts, and healthy meals. A friend of mine started to share pictures of her post-workout success by taking a picture of her Polar exercise watch after each workout (workout time and calories burned were captured).

Everyday I would see these healthy lifestyle pictures and eventually I got inspired to the point at which I decided enough was enough. I was no longer going to take a backseat to this healthy lifestyle, I wanted to be the person to check into the gym everyday, to post how many miles I ran and how many calories I burned at the gym, and to be that person to inspire others.

When people say that it is obnoxious or unnecessary to share with the world every time you go to the gym, I beg to differ. The influx of text messages, Facebook messages/likes, Instagram comments/likes, Tweets and face-to-face conversations I have had with friends who feel motivated by seeing my daily check-ins are a true testament to the power of social media. Social media can directly influence and inspire people to make a change in their lives. I was inspired by others and am honoured to be able to inspire my own friends and family. The amount of positive reception that I have received has overwhelmed me. On days that I feel lazy or do not have energy to drag myself to the gym, I remember the people who have inspired me and those who I have inspired.

regret the workout you dont do

The only workouts I regret are the ones I don’t do. I’m not posting about working out on my social media to brag or show off, believe me when I say this- I am far from being able to brag! However, if my harmless check-in can keep me motivated and inspire someone else to get off the couch and go for a run, I must be doing something right!

Keep moving,


Interview: Smart Girl World

29 Jan

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I have an exciting interview for you today, as I spoke with Dominica Valentina who created the inspirational business and website for girls all around the world. I stumbled upon Dominica’s website via a YouTube video and once I finished perusing the website and blog, I was on board with the Smart Girl World Movement. I think that it is incredibly important for girls to bond together, rather than bringing each other down. As a girl who has been through many highs and lows in my own life, I value what Dominica is doing and think that it is valuable for girls to have a community in which they can unite and celebrate each other’s differences and similarities. Without further ado, let’s see what Dominica had to say about the Smart Girl World.

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MB: How and when did the Smart Girl World develop?

DV: I was 15 years old when my mom told me I could be or do anything I wanted in life as long as I believed in myself. She gave me a ring and told me it was my “Smart Girl” ring. She wasn’t telling me what to do, she was trusting that I would always make the best decisions for myself in life and follow my dreams. It wasn’t until I was 19 when I decided to take this idea and expand it into a business for other girls to share and be apart of.

MB: How has your mother positively influenced you to be a smart girl yourself?

DV: My mom is the one person I can go to and talk about anything with. She listens to me when I have boy drama and is always there to give me the confidence boost when I need it. I think the most important way she influences me to be a Smart Girl is by teaching me to always follow my heart. We go through so much in life as girls, we make mistakes and none of us are perfect, but when we choose to think for ourselves, and always learn lessons in life, we grow and become stronger. My mother’s main goal for me in life is to teach me to have confidence in myself, believe in myself and love myself. When you do that, you will create whatever your heart desires in life.

MB: What do you hope to achieve with the Smart Girl movement?

DV: My main goal with the Smart Girl Movement is to show other girls that none of us are perfect. If one girl has been through something, there has to be thousands of other girls who feel the same way. I wish to bring girls together to support each other and encourage each other to achieve any desire they want in life. It’s cool to see other girls comment and really give another girl helpful encouragement and support!

MB: What have you learned about yourself as well as other girls since starting Smart Girl World?

DV: Each blog post I do is about something I am going through in life, or about something my girl friends are going through. It’s crazy because once I post something about how I’m feeling, I get so many girls emailing me saying they feel the same way! Or girls thank me for kind of opening up their minds about certain situations I blog about. When I first started this I didn’t think that many girls were going to relate to me, It turns out we all kind of feel the same way! I have definitely learned that by being real, people will relate to each other, and I think I have taught other girls to “not judge a book by its cover.”

MB: A large part of the Smart Girl World is setting and dreaming up goals. How do you achieve your goals?

DV: I love writing down my goals and putting them up all over my room and bathroom where I can see them everyday! I feel I have accomplished something when I can cross it off of my list! Sometimes I set goals that are too big for myself and get discouraged when I don’t achieve them quickly, so I’ve learned to set little goals for myself that eventually get me to the goal I desire 🙂

MB: What advice do you have for young girls struggling through personal issues?

DV: Just know that you are not alone, you could look at the most beautiful girl in the world and if you ask her if there is something about herself that she doesn’t like, I guarantee you she will tell you a list of things she wishes were different about herself. My main goal with helping girls struggling through personal issues is to love yourself. Constantly tell yourself that you are pretty and perfect just the way you are. Once you love yourself it will show and you will radiate confidence! It’s a struggle and it’s easier said than done, but that is my main goal with helping girls get through personal issues.

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My proverbial hat goes off to Dominica, keep the Smart Girl World spinning and continue to inspire young girls. You can connect with Dominica and the Smart Girl World on Twitter, Facebook, and of course the Smart Girl World Website itself!

The power that girls have when coming together is so much stronger than when girls turn on one another. The perfect thing about girls is that we are not perfect, and the Smart Girl World is a refreshing reminder of this.

From one Smart Girl to another,


Struggling to Pull Inspiration Out of Thin Air

20 Aug

I am ashamed to say that this is my first blog post that I have written this month! I went on an unplanned hiatus from blogging because life became too busy and this truly affected my ability to be creative. When I did find myself at a computer, with ample opportunity to write, my creativity would not spark.

My good friend Carly, over at Charlotte’s Web, wrote a blog post that inspired me so much today about doing absolutely nothing! I have had a very busy summer, between friends’ weddings, my own wedding plans, work and play! Carly writes about the importance of taking time out of our hectic schedules to sit back and do nothing. She too writes about having “interruptions” that blocked her creativity. I truly relate to what she says because often I come up with great blog post ideas and I make a quick note in my phone to remind myself to write about that particular idea or topic. Unfortunately, that has yet to happen this month.

Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to pull inspiration out of thin air, forcing myself to be creative and to think outside of the box. The harder I try, the more of a struggle it seems to become. Herein lies the double edged sword of writing: being creative can be so effortless when the inspiration is ignited, when there is no inspiration the mental block is extremely frustrating and difficult to overcome.

Some ways that I get my brain moving include:

  • Read blogs of writers whom I admire and whose writing inspires me
  • Look up the headlines from newspapers online
  • Check out the trending topics on Twitter (this sounds a bit odd, but Twitter has some substance to it in terms of being able to spread news like wildfire)
  • Have conversations with people about important topics (of course, our daily chatter is wonderful but there is something truly inspiring about having a conversation with someone about what is going on in the world)
  • Read a book
  • Go for a walk/exercise (my mind goes all over the place when I’m exercising)

It just takes one idea!

A huge thank you to Carly for being the one to inspire me to create the Merzybean blog, as well as for inspiring this post! I dedicate this to you.

With love,


Live in the Moment

17 Jul

In light of the recent summer shootings in Toronto, I started thinking about how quickly life can be taken away from us. The cliche line, life is short, couldn’t ring truer in instances like this. Reading headlines about the lives of innocent people being taken leaves me feeling rather gutted.

I start and end my days (most of the time) by reading the news. So often we are inundated with “bad” news and news of devastation locally, nationally, and all around the world. My mind started to wander as I read the news tonight and lead me to this blog about living in the moment. I haven’t blogged in a while because I have been busy wedding planning so why not live in the moment and write this post!

Some of the ways I strive to live in the moment:

  • Be spontaneous– I don’t always like having a set plan, sometimes an adventure turns out to be more exciting than a scheduled plan.
  • Be grateful– Sometimes it is easy to forget to stop and count our blessings. I am so grateful for the people in my life and for the opportunities I have been rewarded with.
  • Don’t sweat the little things– The little bumps in the road can be a set back but remember to look at the big picture and try not to internalize obstacles, as they help shape who we are.
  • Have no expectations– This is not meant to sound as cynical as it might appear, but this helps me avoid feeling disappointed.
  • Be confident– Confidence will get you through ANYTHING!
  • Trust your gut– When I have that nagging feeling of “should I?” “shouldn’t I?”, I have learned over the years to trust my gut instinct and just go for it. When I ignore my instincts, I often regret it!
  • You only live once– Not to quote Drake or anything… but we really only live once. In my life, it is my goal to try everything once. I don’t like to say no to something I haven’t tried and so far this has proven to get me into some exciting situations!

What are some of the ways you live in the moment?

Thanks for stopping by,


Guest Blog: Raising Money. Raising Hope. Raising Changes.

25 May

It is my great pleasure to post the first guest blog here at Merzybean. My friend Michelle is partaking in a fundraising event that hits very close to home for me, The Sears Great Canadian Run. I am disappointed that I had not heard of the event until Michelle brought it to my attention, but am thrilled to include a blog post about something that pulls on my heartstrings so much. I am very impressed with the fundraising event, as Sears is working towards making a difference in the lives of children and families in need, while contributing greatly to pediatric oncology initiatives at SickKids Hospital. I spent a bit of time at SickKids with a very special little girl, and am dedicating this post in honour of sweet Savannah, an angel taken far too soon.

I extend my congratulations and best of luck to Michelle and to everyone who is participating in the Sears Great Canadian Run. Events like this must be championed and appreciated because it is so important to spread awareness and fund raise in order to make a difference. With that being said, I am pleased to introduce my friend Michelle:

The Sears Great Canadian Run 2012

Hey everyone, thanks to everyone for taking the time out to read this guest blog. First I wanted to tell you all a little about me. I am avid traveler, fierce soccer player and Harry Potter enthusiast!

The main purpose of this blog is to get a message out. This message is about a great battle that many Canadian children find themselves fighting. This battle is with Cancer.

On average, an estimated 1,310 children and youth aged 0-19 years develop cancer each year. Cancer is the most common cause of non-accidental death in Canada’s children beyond the newborn period. In the past research in the areas of children’s cancer have been neglected as it was believed that cancer in children and in adults was the same. The types of cancer diagnosed are vastly different than those found in most adults. These cancers affect the body differently and are found in different areas of the body. There is a great need for more research on the effects and causes of children’s cancers.

Since 1985 the mortality rate of children diagnosed with cancer has declined (luckily). Although this his statistic shines a ray of hope on the fight the downside is that, although they may be considered cured, the effects of cancer treatments have a long-term affect on these children. It is a never ending fight. Their fight never ends.

I will be participating in fundraising running event on September 22 to help raise funds for research and support. The Sears Great Canadian Run is now in its second year. The run is a 100km course starting in Toronto and ending in Blue Mountain.  I will be participating as part of a Welcomehome Relocations team. We will work together, running different legs of the race to complete the course. It’s about going the distance together and enjoying the journey.

The Run will support the Sears Canada Charitable foundation. Sears aims to be a significant fundraising resource in the childhood cancer area. The funds generated from the relay will be directed to The Hospital for Sick Children and national initiatives across Canada that support the research and treatment of kids cancer and help fund 16 national pediatric oncology centers.

I am actively working toward either finding more team members or donations. So far I have received $200 in donations. It’s a great start but I want to raise more. If you would like to make a donation you can visit our team page or my personal donation page. Every little bit helps toward finding a cure.

Once again I thank all of your for taking the time to read this entry. I hope that I was able to bring some awareness to the issue of kids cancer. I would love to hear your stories and experiences with kids cancer.

Finally, I want to give a big, big, big, big thanks to my dear friend Mary-Anne for posting this blog and allowing me to use her platform to get my message out. She has been a great friend of mine for many, many years and many, many years to come. Her writing style and insight has been a great inspiration to mine.


Bully Movie: Don’t Be a Bystander, Stand Up.

21 May

Bullying seems to be a much more popular topic of conversation today. Why is that? There used to be days where being a bully was cool. How disgusting, right? There also used to be days where it was cool to be the popular kid making fun of the nerds in front of a crowd in order to gain popularity and to get a laugh. Who started this? Why was it ever “cool” to treat someone less than equally because someone deemed them “uncool”? The topic of bullying hits very close to home for me on a personal level and it is something that I am extremely passionate about.

When I was in elementary school we had ICQ and MSN. Kids today has so many more social media outlets that put them in a vulnerable position and essentially puts a target on their backs. Between text messages and the World Wide Web, kids can’t escape bullies even when they get home from school. It’s bad enough to be scared of the bus rides to and from school, and to dread lunch time. Now kids are dreading going home in fear of what might be written about them on Facebook.

When I was in high school, my friend and I approached our vice principal, and together we collaborated to create the Anti-Bullying club. We wanted to make a change, it needed to become cool to stand up for others and to stand up against injustices. It is clubs like this and films like Bully that need to keep popping up across the world in order to eradicate bullying.

I’m so pleased that Bully has been created and that people can watch this raw documentary so that they can see the harsh reality of bullying. Bullying is an epidemic that needs to be stopped. It is inexcusable and heart shattering that kids are committing suicide because they cannot bear the brunt of the name calling, the teasing, the being pushed around, and the torment. It isn’t good enough to make excuses or to turn a blind eye in hopes that the bully is just going through a phase. It isn’t good enough to be a bystander and to do nothing when you see your others getting picked on. It isn’t good enough for teachers and principals to brush punishments for bullies under the rug. Excuses are not good enough anymore.

The trailer for Bully reveals the intimate and heartbreaking stories that the film will reveal, showcasing to the world that bullying doesn’t go away. The impact of bullying is devastating, when are more people going to stand up and make a change? It’s not cool anymore, it never should have been. It’s cool to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

Please share this post and the trailer for the film and try to help make a difference. Don’t just be a bystander, stand up.

Passionately yours,


Gutsy Walk: It Takes Guts to Find a Cure

2 Mar

The purpose for this blog is to help shed some light and awareness on something that not enough people are well versed in. Crohn’s Disease. While I had heard of Crohn’s Disease in the past, I did not know the details and effects of the condition. The basics of Crohn’s is that it is an ongoing disorder that “causes inflammation of the digestive tract, also referred to as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease can affect any area of the GI tract. Because the symptoms of Crohn’s disease are similar to other intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, it can be difficult to diagnose.” I found this basic definition About.com.

Why am I blogging about this, you ask? Because it hits very close to home for me.

The Gutsy Walk is an event held by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada in order to not only raise awareness, but to raise money to find a cure for inflammatory bowel disease, in particular Crohn’s Disease. This year the walk will be held on June 10, 2012. I think that events such as the Gutsy Walk are so important because they serve as an event that bonds and unites individuals and serves as a place of belonging and understanding.

Please take the time to become informed about this important cause, and if you can make a donation in honour of my dear friend, Nikki, that would be so wonderful. Whether you can make a donation or not, I think that it is very important for everyone to read and become aware. Nikki is proudly going to be walking with her fiance, sister and her parents! You can read more as Nikki candidly shared her personal story on her participant page: Gutsy Walk.