Life Updates: Vol.II

Hello, friends!

I have decided to do a little life update post to check in with you lovely readers and share some of what has been going on with me lately. Why? Well because why not?

Anyway, seeing how this year is kinda almost sorta over, I thought it would be a good time to check in with everyone on my progress of some goals, let you know what is coming up for Scale it Simple and tell you what else is new in my extremely interesting life.

Thanks for stopping by.



Reading Goals…

For those of you who don’t know, at the beginning of this year, I made a personal goal to read 30 books by the end of December. At first, I thought this was madness and completely impossible, but the more I got reading the easier it became. Currently, I read through almost a book a week, making me basically an awesome, super smart reading machine.

Check out my Goodreads to see what books I have been reading here.

I have shared two posts about some book recommendations also, so feel free to check
those out. One on self-love and the other on womanly inspiration!

You can expect more posts like these coming your way, and possibly a recap of all books read by me at the end of the year! Hooray!

Listen up nerds.

I have been thinking about creating a 2017 reading challenge to start up at the beginning of the new year. For all of us to keep each other motivated in reaching our reading goals for 2017! What are the thoughts on that? Would you join a 2017 reading challenge?

Cabin Life…

What else have I been up to?

Well perhaps one of the main contributors to me reading like a madwoman has been the fact that I have been in self-imposed isolation for most of the summer. Literally living in the woods. It has been marvelous.

Living out of town in the middle of almost nowhere has been so peaceful and enriching for my soul. It is wonderful to be away from the hustle and bustle of everything and close to nature.

Being unplugged with a cup of tea and a book almost every evening, hearing the sounds of loons and owls and looking at the milky way out my window while in bed has given me all the happiness I ever need. I mean what more could you want?

So my summer, in a nutshell, has consisted of quiet and calm moments like the one pictured below. Now that winter is coming (hehe) it is back to snow and city life until next spring, a thought that gives me little comfort.  Just saying.


Meditation has Changed my Life…

I have always been interested in meditation and Buddhism as some of you may know from reading my blog. However, about 3 months ago I decided that I needed to take my personal practice to the next level. I took a leap and began going to a mediation center to begin group meditation. A decision that has slowly been changing my life.

I am now on the Shambhala path to being a practicing Buddhist.

Do you think that’s weird?  Well, you wouldn’t be the only one. When people find out I’m a practicing Buddhist half of them think I have joined some kind of weird hippy community, and look at me as if I have three heads and possibly a LSD addition.

Regardless of the judgment I sometimes experience, I am understanding to the fact that it is a very foreign concept to practice Buddhism in the west and even more strange to practice in Newfoundland. As the main “religion” is still Irish Catholic in this province, with little communities that differ from that mainstream. But there is a whole community practicing Buddhists here from all different walks of life practicing a life of loving kindness, and i am happy to now be a part of that community!

Meditation and Buddhism allow me to stretch my knowledge of my own consciousness and has been an amazing addition to my life.

If you have any questions about Buddhism or Shambhala please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to talk with you more about it! I will also be writing about these topics more in the future, so stay tuned.

Travel Plans…

Alright, so we all know that I am a bit of a travel junkie. I and my boyfriend have opted out of the white picket fence for the time being and decided to make travel and adventure the priority. No regrets there!

We traveled to Belgium and Amsterdam in May, a trip that was in the works for over a year (I love to plan.) It was worth every bit of planning because the trip was everything I had hoped for and more! You can check out some posts about that trip here. 

So of course as soon as we returned I began planning the next adventure, and I think we have made a decision on where to go. The goal is Portugal, September 2017. Awesome, yes I know.

Why Portugal? Great prices, it’s a culture like none I have experienced before, it has some of the best beaches and lots of cool AF history! I love me a good history lesson.

So that’s the travel plan as of now. Any thoughts? Have you ever been to Portugal? Anything I should see or do?


Tell me what’s been going on with you.

  • What have you been up to lately?
  • Would you take part in my 2017 Reading Challenge?
  • Have you ever traveled to Portugal? Any tips?
  • Do you have any questions about meditation or Buddhism? Thoughts?



Don’t forget to join Scale it Simple this Saturday for the first ever Fall Feeling Blog Party! 

Bring a cup of tea, your favorite blog posts and be prepared to discover some new bloggers. I can’t wait to “see” you all there!




  1. Buddhist Tarot Chick | 29th Sep 16

    You look absolutely beautiful in front of the canal in Amsterdam. And you had a wonderful year, with wonderful experiences including finding peace in nature and meditation. I hope that you continue to grow and be happy.

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you so very much! It has been a very nice Summer for sure 🙂 Loving life!

  2. Briana Marie | 29th Sep 16

    I love it! I would have loved to have spent my summer in a calming environment. That would’ve helped me out a lot but I do plan on taking a peaceful vacation somewhere. Lol. I’ve been working a lot on my blog and home-based businesses but also working a lot on eliminating the chaos from my life. So organization has been a strong focus! I love to read and would love to join your reading challenge. Also, I haven’t been to Portugal but it is on my list and I saw a pretty interesting trip to Portugal coming up through my travel club so I’m hoping to be able to make that one. My sister’s boyfriend is there currently (and has been for about 2 weeks now). He’s having a blast although he’s there for business. Lol. Lastly, I’m a huge fan of meditation and finding a place to do group meditation would be great. I guess when I go to yoga that’s essentially group meditation right? Thanks for posting!

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Wow! Seems like we have a lot in common. I am glad to hear that you would be interested in joining my reading challenge, gives me a little push to actually do it 🙂 Yoga is absolutely a form of meditation, it has many of the same effects as meditation, but rather than the breath being the anchor for your mind it is actually the movement of the body and the flow of the breath! Thanks so much for popping by and taking the time to read my post! Cheers!

  3. Kristin | 29th Sep 16

    I would love to hear about your Portugal trip. Duolingo had got me practicing but I feel like I was confusing it with Spanish haha! I can’t wait to hear about your trip next year!

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Oh I will definitely be getting Duolingo going once it gets closer! that is one regret I have from my last trip, not learning the language more. It just makes things easier! Especially ordering food! Only one year to go! Yay! haha

      • Kristin | 29th Sep 16

        Yay. I wonder what they eat there.

        • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

          I know that cod is a pretty big thing, (just like in Newfoundland) we have a lot of portuguese things here in newfoundland from all of the fisherman that used to be here. Names of places and statues dedicated to portuguese saliers. Other than fish I have no idea. I want to eat everything :

          • Kristin | 29th Sep 16

            Lol i had no idea it was so Portuguese ish there

          • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

            Well it’s not that Portugeseish here, but I guess when you know you pick up on it a lot more. haha

  4. Joanna Malefaki | 29th Sep 16

    I never set goals at the beginning of the year coz well, I never follow through. I like that you stuck to your reading goal though. I love reading! I haven’t tried to meditate but I am curious and tempted. I live on a Greek island though so don’t know how that will happen.
    Joanna from

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Thank you for reading! The reading goal was fun and it was nice to keep track on my goodreads. You should try out a guided meditation from youtube those are a great way to start 🙂

  5. Susan Halloran | 29th Sep 16

    I would be very interested in the reading challenge! And always interested in anything with meditation and Buddhism!

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Awesome! Thanks for the input I think a reading challenge will be really fun 🙂 And would love to write more about Buddhism, I just need to find what to write! Thanks for reading my post!

  6. Chrissy Z. @ The Brave Wanderer | 29th Sep 16

    Love that picture of you in Amsterdam!

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Aww thanks so much 🙂

  7. holdinggold | 29th Sep 16

    How did you first get into meditation? Was there a particular book or website cues you followed? I have been meaning to try it but I don’t know where to begin!

    • StephJ | 29th Sep 16

      Youtube is a great place to start, as there are a lot of guided meditations there. A great book to read is Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Miphan Rinpoche. And I also found the phone app Headspace really useful. I still use that everyday, I think they offer 10 days free so its also nice to try that out!

      • holdinggold | 29th Sep 16

        Oh awesome! Yes I will definitely check those things out. Thanks!!

  8. lastchance3 | 30th Sep 16

    I am nowhere near my reading or traveling goals. What’s your name on GoodReads? I’d love to connect!

  9. styleroundtheblock | 1st Oct 16

    Beautiful place and pictures! I love reading, need to catch up my reading! Challenge would be fun!

    Rita |

    • StephJ | 1st Oct 16

      Awesome! Thanks for the input 🙂

  10. foreverinreverieblog | 1st Oct 16

    My sister does meditation too and she tells me that it really did change her life. And some of my friends or friend’s parents do Buddhism. I can see it on their faces how its changed them for the better. They are relaxed, know themselves better and so much more. Keep it going. Its great.
    Saying that…i should start with my meditations too. 🙂
    Best of luck for all your travel journeys! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • StephJ | 1st Oct 16

      Thank you very much. It is definitely a lovely way of life if it is something you are interested in trying 🙂

  11. iluvtoday | 9th Nov 16

    add me on goodreads please iluvtoday x

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