I'm pleased to introduce Tahnee Fournier as today's guest blogger. She is a multi talented woman who manages to balance her love of family, yoga, jewelry design and horse riding with effortless grace and beauty. Meeting Thanee and number of years ago, I was struck by her inner and outer beauty, quiet confidence, and warmth. I consider myself fortunate to reconnect with Tahnee during her move back to Saskatoon and find her to be a true inspiration.
How do you balance motherhood, yoga instruction, jewelry design and horse riding?
My dear friend Marques Wyatt (DEEP LA Founder) reminded me that it’s about priority management and not time management and that has been my philosophy. My family is the first priority (husband Gary and 2 girls, Tehya and India), then the fur family (Jack Russell Paddy, 2 cats, Sparkles and Finnegan, 2 fish, Jelly-bean and Pinky and the Thoroughbred Sweaters). Life is VERY busy and so I’ve learned to be comfortable saying no more then yes. Its important to me and our family that we have time together and not run from activity to activity, eating supper on the run. The kids participate in one activity and that’s enough; they get more time to play and relax. We love hanging out at home, going for walks and watching family movies on the week-end. Both my husband and I travel for work so its essential we have down time and we absolutely refuse to take on more then we can handle. Life is to be enjoyed and that is a priority.
I’ve been teaching yoga for well over a decade now (teaching in Saskatoon since 2003) and currently co-direct the Yoga teacher training program at Bliss Living and Yoga in Grand Cayman (best job EVER!) I do teach in the city but the family comes first and try to work my classes around the family schedule. I have yoga videos coming out soon which allows me to spend time with the family while the girls are younger and wanting me around!
Jewelry design is often for those rainy days or when the kids are at school. I love being inspired from nature then seeing what I can create at my desk. I love making something and have someone buy it right off me on the street (happens often!) Seeing my designs go to a good home and the right person is an amazing reward; it’s personal for me and I love watching someone else light up when wearing my designs.
What brought you back to riding?
Ireland is the mecca for equestrian riding; we lived there for a few years and near us was a stable called Ravensdale Lodge. I adore this equestrian centre, it is completely picturestic, acres of rolling greens, jumps and horses everywhere. It was time to try riding again after 20 years away. I contribute my yoga practice to get back in the saddle and straight into jumping. Now I own Sweaters, my 14 year old bay thoroughbred who stands at 16.3 hands (he’s big!) I love my barn Riveriene Farm Brenda the owner works so hard ensuring the horses are well cared for; its clean, spacious and one of my favourite places in the world to be and Sweaters loves it too.
What are your essentials for both horse riding and yoga?
My philosophy is to have less stuff but more quality items that I can rely on over the years. I live in my Dubarry Country Boots from ireland. They are expensive ($500cdn) but so worth it as I wear them all seasons. I’m also partial to Horseware Ireland for clothing, they are made in the town we lived in in Ireland and their blankets for horses and clothing for humans are amazing. Treats for Sweaters are Polo Mints, we both love them. I also love a cold coca-cola after a hot day in the saddle, or a spritzer. I don’t need much with Sweaters, its time with him that is important. He is a great teacher, listener and I’m so thankful for his presence in my life. He was my 40th birthday present from my husband.
For yoga, I also don’t need much. My Manduka Mat Black Mat Pro has been with me now for over 13 years. It’s been burned by a candle, used as a scratching post for the cats and has travelled around the world with me. I only use BKR glass water bottles, the studio in Cayman introduced them to me since then I’m addicted. They are the best water bottles around and trust me, you will want more then one! I practice in Daub and Design leggings from Vancouver; I love the style, fit and design and recently became an ambassador for the company. Normally I listen to Marques Wyatt for musical inspiration and finally, I must have a mala (prayer beads). I love infusing them with intention and wearing them for comfort. I make mine to wrap around the wrist and tend to wear them more as a bracelet these days.
What led you to create a jewelry line?
I’ve been designing jewellery since 2006. It something I’ve always enjoyed. I believe in quality and my pieces reflect that. I want to ensure my customers have a good relationship with me and know I’m there for them. I would love people who wear my designs to cherish each piece and pass it down through their families.
With so many interests and talents, tell us how you would fill an "ideal day"
Great question! Here or Grand Cayman?!
Here - Coffee on the deck with early morning writing, either on my blog or in my journal. Dog walk with Paddy. A yoga practice either at a studio or at home, then a little designing in the studio. Lunch! I love going out for lunch, somewhere like Aydens with a glass of Prosseco (a more common practice in Europe and we need to embrace it here) head to the barn for a ride with Sweaters. Get the kids (assuming they are at school), go for a bike ride through the park, dinner, and enjoy a class of wine outside on the deck with Hubbie. It is the simple pleasures in life that make me happy.
In Grand Cayman,
Early morning coffee gazing at the beach, morning contemplation and writing followed by yoga practice besides the pool. Head to the studio to teach. Lunch at Jesse’s where they make the best cold steeped coffee I’ve ever had. Janelle (owner of Bliss Cayman) and I love having yoga discussions over wine, it’s one of our favourite things to do especially over lunch. Then a beach walk with MJ and her fur family (pugs Ernie and Stella), more wine, then dinner and sleep. I’m happiest when I can soak up great conversation with my amazing friends, I feel pretty blessed.
Life is for us, and I know we all have been brought forth to deliver our gifts as a way to enhance the world and each other. Someone told me years ago, pick 3 things to focus on and I have found that to be true. Pick something that moves you to be better, what ever it is and keep moving forward. Yoga has taught me that life is a process and its the journey that is important. It fuels me to make the moments in life matter because the simple moments are best. Coffee on the deck, cuddles with the family, time with my horse, seeing someone fall in love with one of my designs, and spending quality time with people (usually over wine). Life is for living, the more we put into it, the better it gets! And if I can add, a huge shout-out to you Miss Karyn for your incredible sweetness, exquisite taste and beauty you share through your lens and with your heart. You are a gift to the world and I’m so grateful for our connection.
Thank you Tahnee for sharing your time and talents. You are truly an inspiration. Make sure to visit Tahnee's website for insightful blog entries, yoga talk and a soon to launch on-line jewelry store.