Push Your Boundaries

LEAVE your Comfort Zones

I've always believed those who leave their comfort zones will find an unexpected beauty, a new opportunity, a connection that leads them to something greater. A happiness that is found outside the worlds of mediocrity. 

Traveling has always forced me to push the barriers of comfort and interact in a new way with the world. The nooks and crannies I find, strengthen my sense of curiosity and in return, heighten my creativity. 

If you have the chance, explore a new a place. You don't have to go far. 

Push your boundaries of comfort. 





happy days



How is that those with so little are so happy?


We might not have what we want or what we think we deserve. Let your mind leave those thoughts and choose to focus on the awesomeness of your life. Celebrate in the simple yet beautiful parts of your day. Be grateful for what you DO have and share it with those around you.

Happy Saturday! 




Getting Lost in the City

I've left home for a while and am currently working, traveling and soaking up the beauty of Belgium...

Follow my adventures here on INSTAGRAM @claire.bouvier + @clairebouvierphotography

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
— Saint Augustine

Traveling on a Budget

It's all about getting outside your comfort zone, jumping in the car and driving down the road. You will discover some of the greatest adventures right in your very own country... AND on a low budget! 

I am so grateful to have spent a weekend with a group of wonderful women as we explored and enjoyed Montreal on a budget. 

Continue to be creative, curious and remember to keep spreading your awesome!



Ask Yourself the Right Questions


Do you get nervous before an interview?


As I was getting ready today to head to my interview with the local TV station, I started to think about what it is that helps me prep for an interview. Above is a stream of thoughts as I bumbled through my afternoon to get ready.  

Thank you CKWS for spreading so much local love! 

Something on the other Side

Accepting the Here and Now

It's easy to drown in worry about what we think we might not find and yet so hard to let go of what we think we've lost.

Keep moving forward. 
Push through.
There is something on the other side.

Keep careful watch.

There will be magic.


After the Darkness

Child in the Streets of Cambodia

Child in the Streets of Cambodia

The night is quiet. 

The streets are empty. 

But I cannot sleep.

As the rain pit patters on my window, I find myself unsettled in the darkness. My mind is exhausted with thoughts and images of today's tragic attacks. The sadness of Brussels weighs heavily in my safe and quiet loft. 

My heart feels heavy.

Maybe yours does too. 

Social media platforms and news outlets continue to push content and bombard with updates. It becomes overwhelming. You might feel helpless and confused.
I do. 

Questions lead to a place of blame. Blame leads to resentment and then what? 
I don't know.

In the quiet hours though, I have come to learn that despite the destruction and disaster, there needs to be hope. Where there is hope, there is love. If we stop hoping, we kill the light. And then love grows cold. We grow cold.

And more than anything, love needs faith. The foundation of truth. If we have faith that there is good, we will find in ourselves an abundance of hope. 

As you read this, feel the weight of tragedy and embrace its pain. But hold onto your hope. Have faith there is good
and love.



Super Team Secrets

Secrets to the Super Team

Secrets to the Super Team

The Two Secrets to Create your SUPER Team
both at home and work

 Why is it that Google has been ranked by Fortune as one of America’s top workplaces? What is it that makes a place like Canada’s Shopify so desirable to work at?

Workplaces like google and shopify are considered some of the top places to work because they dedicate a lot of attention, money and time to “people’s analytics”. They are always trying to increase workplace happiness and productivity.

In the last few years, I’ve been particularly interested in learning about the studies conducted for optimal workplace happiness and productivity. Perhaps you’re reading this and feel completely disconnected from the office worlds such as google and shopify and that’s okay! However, the results from these amazing studies can also be applied to your personal life and to your home life.

Imagine if I could tell you right now the two secrets to having the best team, the best family, and the best relationship? Well, heck, here we go…

Psychologists over the last ten years have devoted special attention to answering the question, what makes a “SUPER TEAM?”. You might be assuming it would be comprised of superstar individuals but interestingly enough, not at all. According to Duhigg's book Smarter, Faster, Better the super team is essentially composed of average people that work collectively in order to take their individual “averageness” to team “superstar-NESS”.

 To have a super team you need the following:



The Claire Closet Camp

The Claire Closet Camp

A Shared Voice

Any team can become a SUPER team when every person has equal speaking time. This is important because each person needs time to be validated and respected. Their speaking time provides individuals to share their thoughts without feeling embarrassed or the fear of being punished. When there is an imbalance of talking time, team members become isolated and others become less respected. However, when each team member has the chance to speak, there is equilibrium and a shared vulnerability that effectively fuels the camaraderie in order for the SUPER TEAM to form.

 Social Sensitivity

The second secret to the SUPER team is when team members share a heightened sense of social sensitivity. This means that you can easily read others’ facial expressions and react appropriately in that moment. Being socially sensitive is a powerful tool. For example, if you can sense someone is feeling left out or confused, those with a heighted social sensitivity would notice and subtly give him or her the attention and encouragement needed for them to feel validated and respected. When you have a team of empathetic individuals there will always be a subtle, yet driving force of needed harmony.

Have you ever heard of The Reading the Mind in the Eyes test? This test developed by Professor Cohen at Cambridge University and has the ability to see if you are able to read the emotions of others. “The ability to read the emotions of others is linked to social intelligence which, in turn, is linked to performance on team-based problem solving tasks.” Take the test and see where you score: http://socialintelligence.labinthewild.org/mite/

Queens University Soccer Team

Queens University Soccer Team

REMEMBER the most important point is that THE TEAM LEADER must set the example. If the team notices your vulnerability and empathy towards your team members, it will be positively echoed by your teammates.

So, if you want to create your SUPER TEAM.

1.     Give each member EQUAL SPEAKING TIME

2.     Encourage your team to become more AWARE OF OTHERS’ FACIAL EXPRESSIONS

Like anything awesome, it cannot happen overnight. However, start to nurture this newfound ideology in the teams that you are a part of. Overtime, I will guarantee there will be a little more awesome coming your way both in your work and home life.

Let me know how it goes and keep spreading your awesome!

Rock the REAL.

chiang mai


When we make the conscious decision to accept ourselves just as we are then the awesome of life begins!

So much time is wasted on focusing on our defects, limitations, and fears. Sometimes we might even convince ourselves that we don’t deserve to be loved. All this thinking and worrying is dangerous and will exhaust us. Eventually it could blind us from accomplishing the awesome.

The secret to more energy is accepting ourselves simply as we are.

This might be one of the toughest challenges of your personal life. It is for many. Particularly myself. I couldn’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with my mother, my therapists and dear friends about the importance of truly accepting myself. That includes ALL the blemishes and the beauties. Once we remove this worry, a huge weight is lifted. And this is where we will discover a newfound energy and appreciation for life.

Sometimes we refuse to admit our defects and weaknesses. We hope they might simply disappear or they won’t cause us too much pain. But eventually they do.

If we cannot accept ourselves it will be hard to accept others. And this is a tough and lonely life to live.

Today’s standards of being successful can easily weigh us down when we are constantly trying to keep up in our online and offline worlds. It can be particularly damaging if we pretend to be what we are not.

So, start by thinking differently! Start talking to yourself. The REAL you. This is so important. Keep your good sense of humor, it will be so much more fun.

As I write this here at the Hong Kong airport, I’m still laughing at what happened earlier this morning. I obliviously stepped onto a moving walkway (flat escalator) while it was moving the opposite way! Before I realized what happened, I was thrown backwards (backpack and all) and a whistle was blown to alert me by the security staff (too late!). The busy Hong Kong travelers all stopped and stared. Despite my utter embarrassment, I knew I had to appreciate this moment and at least laugh at how I managed to not see the gigantic sign in front of me…

It’s so important that we learn to accept, love and celebrate our REAL selves. Remember, love is free! Start by loving the awesome you and this will gush into the world around you.   

Today, I’d like to give all the women in my life a big hug. Continue to accept the awesome YOU and spread that to those around you. Remember, we’re all on the same team. Let’s work together. Let’s WIN together!

Happy International Women’s Day from the hustle bustle of Hong Kong!


Feel it All

Today, with shaky hands and tears of joy, the Vietnamese woman beside me gave birth on the flight from Saigon to Da Nang, Vietnam. 

Jetstar. Row 5, Seat 6C.

I heard the flight attendant nervously request for any medical physicians to immediately come to the front of the plane. Frozen in awe, excitement and nervousness, I watched a doctor and two nurses miraculously emerge from their seats and move quickly up to where I was sitting. Despite the language barrier, they seamlessly took on the roles needed to smoothly deliver a baby as the plane descended. The Vietnamese flight attendants were magical. It was their swiftness and gentle demeanor that calmed the Vietnamese mother and everyone on the plane.  The doctor and two nurses worked like clockwork knowing exactly what needed to be done. The mother was so brave and strong as she gave all her trust to the medical team. I was so proud to be a part of the rawness and beauty of human nature. A true moment of international love to be celebrated.

As the mother bravely went into labor, I kept my eyes dancing in the fluffy white clouds while I ferociously prayed for this little miracle to arrive safely. Within thirty-five minutes, I heard a hard little cry. A beautiful little Vietnamese baby was born on flight #590. The plane erupted in applause. I scanned the plane to see hundreds of beautiful people smiling and embracing one another as we shared this incredible moment of joy. It was then I looked over to the sweet little Vietnamese mother as she cradled her newborn. I caught her eye. Weakly she smiled at me and peacefully bowed her head.  A moment I will cherish forever.

Ironically enough, the book that I was reading just before take off, opened with a quote from the bible: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die.”

Well, today was a time for birth all right. The awesome that erupted on the plane today was a magical moment for everyone. I want to thank those that respected the mother and quietly gave the space needed for the medical team.

A photograph or a video will never be able to truly capture the beauty and rawness of all life’s precious moments. So it is in times like this, I ask you to appreciate the moment for what it is. Quietly celebrate the little miracles.        

And, feel it all.   

Fancy a Funny Face?

Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta

This beautiful man in the photo works incredibly long days working on the Mekong.  Every time I looked back at him, he would respond with a funny face despite how exhausted he was. His cheerfulness was beautifully contagious.

Perhaps the world is pushing and pulling you in different directions.

Life feels topsy turvy. 

Nothing seems to make sense. And you're exhausted.

Take a breath.                 (but actually)       

And make a funny face. Look in the mirror and make a ridiculous face.

Suggestion: Best to warm up to the idea when you're brushing your teeth.

It's so easy to get caught in the present moment. So give yourself a reset. Make a funny face. At the very least, you'll make yourself laugh and loosen the tense muscles in your face.

Give life a little bit of goofy. 

Make that funny face and spread that awesome.



Put Your Heart in the Present

The Killing Fields, Phnom Penh

The Killing Fields, Phnom Penh

"Things seldom happen as we expect. Most of our fears and apprehensions turn out to be completely imaginary. Difficulties we anticipated become very simple in reality; and the real difficulties are things that didn't occur to us. 

It's better to accept things as they come, one after another, trusting that we will have the grace to deal with them at the right time, than to invent a host of scenarios about what may happen- scenarios that normally turn out to be wrong.

The best way to prepare for the future is to put our hearts in the present." 

- J. Philippe

My Monday Magic Man

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I can still hear his laugh.

It was magical.

His energy and excitement for the simple life brought me so much joy. 

With so little, he gave so much.

He lived simply in that moment.

                He was my Monday Magic.

Find the Monday Magic in you and share it with the strangers you see today. You have so much to give.

Let it out.

Be somebody's Monday Magic. 


Share Your Sorrows

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Deep down we feel a deep need to share our insecurities and our fears. When we are brave enough to do this, we nervously wait and hope that the world will be generous and support this courageous act of vulnerability.  I applaud those that have been brave enough this week to share in these personal obstacles of life. You have selflessly opened yourself up to the world in order to help others and break down social barriers that have paralyzed many of us.

Thank you for your bravery.

I challenge all of you to live everyday with this beautiful sensitivity. Let all your relationships humble you and comfort you. We all walk around with different weights of life. We all have moments where we feel lonely and misdirected in this busy world.  Continue to share your sorrows and seek support.  We are all in this together.

You are never alone.





Be Kind in the Chaos.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I've never been so at peace taking a photograph. This lovely Vietnamese man was enjoying his Friday afternoon just sitting and watching the busy life of Ho Chi Minh city move along. Even though I spent a few minutes with this man, his kind smile left a mark.

Look around you right now. If you can, dedicate time today to be away from your electronics and take in the world around you. Sit and enjoy doing nothing.  Appreciate what is right in front of you.

Share your kindness in the chaos.

And smile. 

Leap into Another World

TRAVEL profile pictures.jpg

Leaving the comforts of your home can be scary. The 'unknowns' make us feel uncomfortable and can prevent us from exploring new places. But the world is an exciting place with even more exciting people. 

Trust in the unknowns. Leap into another world. 

Let the world give you something new and wonderful to take home with you.

It will continue to surprise you and give you gifts for the rest of your life. 

Confidence in the Unknown


Looking ahead can be scary. It's full of unanswered questions and unknowns. But remember the magic of life is in the mystery. Get excited for the opportunities, experiences and people you will meet in the following months. 

Carry yourself into the unknown with confidence. You will receive an abundance of awesomeness when you embrace the hardships and joys of your life.