Sober September //
Fall, Goals, Inspiration, Life, Wellness, Wine & Cocktails


Tonight’s post is a something a little bit different — I’m sharing my Sober September experience. September has always signified a fresh start for me, so I decided to completely cut out alcohol last month to help me refresh, reenergize and focus on setting goals for the rest of 2015. While I totally love wine and could never give it up permanently, I took September as an opportunity to reevaluate my relationship with alcohol and be ultra productive! If you’re curious about what I accomplished, or are thinking about trying a sober month yourself (Sober October has a nice ring to it!), check it out.


To give you a bit of context, I wouldn’t say I drink a lot. Sure, I love my wine, and on average I enjoy a few glasses every week. If I’m going out a lot, or having dinner with friends, I drink more — like most people. And then on very rare occasions, there’s still a good old-fashioned, totally crazy night that results in a horrible hangover the next day. Haha. I definitely don’t party like I used to, but sometimes I did find that I was drinking more that I wanted to. Let’s say I went out 3 nights a week, and had 2 or 3 drinks each time — that’s a lot of alcohol!

Sober September //

That, coupled with spending a really fun (and extremely wine-filled) week in the Kootenays for Kelsey’s wedding in late August (read about her Tuscan Kitchen Themed Wedding Shower if you’re interested) and I came home feeling run down and burnt out — with a mountain of work waiting for me. So, I decided I would do a Sober September to get back on track and pump the brakes on the drinking train. Now that I’ve been able to reflect on my experience, I thought I’d share some of my goals and accomplishments.


Sober September //

This is nothing groundbreaking, but since September was such a busy month for me, Sober September was a way for me to slow things down and make time for the things that really mattered to me. I started going to bed earlier, waking up earlier, and journaling in the mornings and at night. And you know what? I was way more productive. I also made more time for friends, family, adventures, and other creative endeavors that make my heart happy. These are simple things that I’d been wanting to do for a long time, but September was the month I finally put them into action. These are things that make my life feel balanced.


Sober September //

As someone who’s been an entrepreneur for over 8 years now (gulp!), it’s really important for me to take a step back and focus on the big picture of where business is headed. Sometimes I can get so caught up in my day-to-day hustle that it’s difficult for me to do this. So, I made a schedule for myself for the rest of 2015, and really figured out what I wanted to get accomplished and how I was going to do it. This also included a rough editorial calendar for the blog, and a few content goals. When I have my work life in check, it makes it easier to plan my personal life. So with my mind at ease in the work department, I was able to make plans to visit Spain in 2016 — which has been on my bucket list for years.


Sober September //

We’ve lived in our place for over 3 years now, and it’s the longest time in my adult life that I’ve never moved! Let me tell you — it’s really easy to accumulate a lot of stuff that you just don’t use. I purged storage, closets, the kitchen, my wardrobe — pretty much everything! It felt amazing to get things organized. I’m also working on re-doing my office and a few furniture pieces, and it helped so much to get everything cleared out and started planning exactly how I want it to look.


Sober September //

I think it’s easy to go through life without checking in with yourself enough. This is something I’m mindful of, so I used September as my time to really reevaluate a lot of things, including relationships in my life. One of the relationships I reevaluated was my relationship with alcohol. The first two weeks of September were stressful business-wise, and I realized that my immediate reaction to stress is to have a glass of wine at the end of a long day. While that’s not a terrible way to deal with stress, it’s definitely not the healthiest way, either. I started going back to yoga, taking walks, and getting out of the city more. By the second week, I didn’t default to wine as a cure for stress anymore! I also made a point not to say no to social situations that involved drinking — I went and totally enjoyed myself just as much, without drinking. And guess what? It’s way cheaper! I relearned that every time I go out to dinner, I don’t have to order a glass of wine. And when a friend wants to meet up, it doesn’t always have to be over drinks.


Sober September //

Habits, that is. I changed a lot of old habits in September. First — I totally changed my morning routine. As I mentioned above, I get up earlier (because I go to sleep earlier), and I journal. I set an intention. Some days I even get a little 15 minute workout in. It’s amazing to start the day in such a positive mindset! I also rediscovered my love for tea, and made a lot of new fresh juices and smoothies. There are so many unique beverages on menus that don’t include alcohol that I would usually overlook! Now, I crave tea more than a glass of wine. Overall, I feel refreshed, balanced and ready for the rest of 2015! Mostly, I relearned balance in all areas of my life. I didn’t necessarily need to cut out alcohol for a month to do it, but I think it definitely helped me get serious about accomplishing my goals.

Have any of you tried a Sober September? What did you take from your experience? What did you accomplish, and what new habits did you form? I’d love to hear from you, so leave me a comment below!

P.S. – The ‘Get Organized’ image in the post is a quick iPhone snap from a styled shoot for Mint Event Management. The beautiful succulents are from Kensington Florist. I’ll be sharing more from that shoot this month!

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  • Reply Anneke Forbes October 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    I love this post Justine! The photos of you in the field are beautiful, and the journal cover made me giggle :). As someone who doesn’t drink much, I was unsure I would relate to the post, but boy was I wrong! Every paragraph was super inspiring to make a new start. This weekend is the first I’ll be spending in town and unoccupied in a long time, so I’m looking forward to a mini life review. Thanks for the nudge and good luck maintaining your new habits!

  • Reply Justine October 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the kind words, Anneke — I’m glad you found it relatable and inspiring! It feels so good to do those mini life reviews every once in a while. That journal is from Steeling Home on 17th, they have the coolest stuff there. I meant to tell you that I didn’t end up going to Park Luxe — we were helping friends move that weekend. How was it? And I also meant give you some adult colouring book recommendations; my friend Sheryl brought one on our trip in the summer, and she can’t remember the name of it, but it was full of geometric patterns — kind of like a kaleidoscope! There are lots of colouring books at Michael’s like that right now.

    • Reply Anneke Forbes October 16, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Yes! I was hoping to see you at the event! It was a great night, so you’ll have to make it to a future one. I know Parkshow is in Edmonton on November 28th, but not sure when the next Calgary one will be held.

      Please tell me the name of the colouring book your friend found if you’re able to remember it – it sounds amazing! Maybe I’ll have to make a stop at Michael’s next time I’m nearby.

      Enjoy the weekend!

      • Reply Justine October 19, 2015 at 12:24 pm

        Hey Anneke, here’s the colouring book info! One is called ‘Secret Paris’ by Zoé De La Cases — it’s full of Parisian-inspired illustrations — I think you would really like it! And the one with the kaleidoscope-like patterns was actually from Michaels, it’s called ‘Stress Less Colouring: Mosaic Patterns’. Let me know if you pick them up! 🙂

        • Reply Anneke Forbes October 19, 2015 at 3:54 pm

          Thanks so much for passing them along – will check them out for sure!

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