The Present of Presence

My family never really focused too much on gift giving during the holidays. We usually made our way to Nigerian Christmas Parties, visited the homes of our parents’ friends, connected through conversation and dancing to traditional music while stuffing our faces with tons of food. Sometimes our holidays involved going to places around the city such as the theatres or museums where we could learn something new. My parents really focused on family time and in respect to Nigerian culture, getting together and enjoying each other’s company made a world of difference and still does. While I was in the swing of the holidays, I really want the new year to be about creating memories with the people who have a positive energy, places that bring out the best in you through positivity and presence and food. 

I always like to start off with the staple of making a meal with family or friends. Nothing says good vibes like good food and cooking can be a fantastic way to be in the moment. I remember sometimes watching my mom work her magic making copious amounts of food.  Even though I wasn’t very interested in the meals at the time (or ever! Sorry Mom!)  hanging out with her and being able to tell her almost anything really meant a lot to me. I mean we still do it now when I go to see her. Just these holidays, I help in the kitchen however I can plus, our conversations are about parenting, because I still feel like I need a 5000-page how-to guide with notes. Which leads me to other ways you can create memories.

Immersing yourself into an activity can be a great way to create long lasting memories. As I mentioned before my family likes to go out to different places so that’s why I’m a big fan of Happy Place in Toronto, Ontario.

Exhibits are great for this time of year when it’s cold outside and a lot of us get a bit gloomy – not to mention they recently extended for a few more weeks! Positive experiences sometimes need enticing through our senses and Happy Place does that by using multi-sensory rooms to light up smiles on faces. I know that Lincoln would enjoy himself based upon Daniel & Annick’s visit late last year when the exhibit first opened!

Why miss out on holding an amazing six-foot tall chocolate chip cookie?  You can find the joys of making snow angels only this time within a room filled with half a million pieces of confetti.

These installations are bright and bold capturing not only your eye but your smile. I mean jumping into a pot of happy right in the rainbow room sounds fantastic too!! It’s finding the joy in the things that we used to think about ages ago. Happy Place is perfect to take the people you care about and its fun for all ages. I know for sure I want to create some amazing memories there. It’s a place where you can let loose, capture your happy and capture the happy of those close to you.

Inspired by finding happy in my life, my plan for 2019 is that it doesn’t matter if I stay one night in a cabin, spend a few weeks in another city or country, getting cozy in a comfy sweater during a staycation, burning my muffing recipe only to realize it was really for making cookies or maybe taking up a new skill such as chain mail design (I’ve been really wanting to create armour from scratch for Comic-con!) – it’s about doing it because it makes me smile.

Positivity has been my theme these days and I’ve been putting forth some extra energy into creating memories not only for myself but with my circle. An experience doesn’t have to crazy extravagant as you can see the ones, I mentioned are not only fun but also easy to do. It’s easy to get caught up but just remember that providing the gift of memories for our loved ones is one we can share with them on a deeper level.

Nothing says presents like presence. I hope you have an amazing holiday and get creating!

Join me on my wild journey through Instagram with #DoTheDaniel, and see how I try to handle life in the Ottawa Valley, running a business, being an amazing partner and being a yogi while raising this amazing child that has given me a new sense of purpose (and a few grey hairs!).

To Memories and 2019,


Mom + Movement Teacher