a refresher on life’s perspective

i never get tired of these…

10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s

1. Start Saving for Retirement Now, Not Later

2. Start Taking Care of Your Health Now, Not Later

3. Don’t Spend Time with People Who Don’t Treat You Well

4. Be Good to the People You Care About

5. You can’t have everything; Focus On Doing a Few Things Really Well

6. Don’t Be Afraid of Taking Risks, You Can Still Change

7. You Must Continue to Grow and Develop Yourself

8. Nobody (Still) Knows What They’re Doing, Get Used to It

9. Invest in Your Family; It’s Worth It

10. Be kind to yourself, respect yourself

the full article, written by mark manson, can be found here. it’s really worth a read.


something about winter…and other things.

nothing prompts thinking, writing, wanting to express oneself like spontaneous free time + a snow filled view…with sunshine. what a beautiful morning.

oh, + i’ve missed writing thoughts down. i’ve missed it a lot. the writing slowed to a stop right around the time that i found gainful + regular employment.

+ even though this special outlet hasn’t been far from my thoughts, i haven’t made a concerted effort to come back to it…until now. because i’m off work again. but this time due to a wonderful, beautiful, new baby son. + how i love his little self.

this morning has been a perfect combination of a sleeping babe, a hot shower, and a market run with coffee + sunshine.

just wanted to put it out there that we’re very grateful + feeling very blessed.


wonderful winter

today i woke up to the kind of morning i’ve been waiting for since the temperature started to head in a downwards direction.

it. is. snowing.

outside it’s monochromatic…black trees + each intricate branch tendril framed by the grey sky, small white flakes twirling + swirling until they meet the white blanket on the ground. it is quiet. it is peaceful. it’s still early enough that there is nobody outside to disturb the winter tableau i see out our front window.

this morning is so peaceful.

yet, i am restless. i should probably pull a snow suit over my pajamas, shove my bare feet into my barely-used-this-year winter boots + go run around with the dog. he’s prancing around, looking at me with a pointed “um, let’s get out of here” expression. at least, that’s what i interpret it to mean.

i love winter. it is beautiful, magical, + brings a quiet + peace to my heart + fills me with a sense of wonder that i don’t find with any other season. it makes me sad when people complain about winter + how cold + long the season is, as though we need to be catered to with warmth + comfort. i find a connection to our humanity + our history of living in the cold air that hits your face when you step outside + enters your lungs as you breath deeply. it makes me feel hearty + whole. it makes me feel invigorated.

it makes me feel alive.

once upon a winter


monday fave five

here are five things i’m grateful to my new job for…

No. One

steady paycheque. i won’t say stable job just yet, because it’s not…for several reasons. but in this ‘economic climate’ i’m grateful to be working + bringing a regular paycheque into our household.

No. Two

its location. my job is located in the downtown area – not in the core, but on the fringe of the downtown. literally on the ‘other side of the tracks’. + i’m able to see + experience this area in a way i wouldn’t have otherwise been able to. it’s an area in transition. it’s bordered by many shelters, soup kitchens, good will + salvation army stations, + is also being invested in by the city for improved infrastructure. seeing the changes is really interesting as the sense of place around the area evolves.

No. Three

learning new skills. the firm i now work for is a high-end residential design firm with a retail showroom. i’ve never done residential before. so i’m learning lots from a design point of view. + also learning how to deal with many different personality types – some more extreme than others.

No. Four

the people i work with are really funny + interesting, motivated + ‘get it done’ attitude type people. even though it’s really challenging, stress levels are high, + it’s incredibly fast paced, there’s a positive vibe between staff members for the most part.

No. Five

getting to ride to work with M in the morning. it’s probably a good thing we don’t work together anymore even though i enjoyed it when we did…but things are more interesting when we get to talk about our day instead of just knowing what went on. i love that my work day is bookended by seeing is face + being able to drive to + from work together.

monday’s fave five

thinking of everyone along the coast as this super storm goes on. i feel very thankful to be in an area that does not experience extreme events.

no. one

food. today was wet, rainy, cold + windy. not only did we have enough, it was filling, comforting, hot + soulful.

no. two

a job. i’m thankful for this new job i have started. today was a great first day. now, i’m exhausted + ready to sleep.

no. three

heat. our home is cozy. today is the first day that we’ve turned the heat on. two years ago M got me a heated mattress pad for christmas because i’m always so cold. i’m so looking forward to curling up in a toasty warm bed.

no. four

hydro. our power is still on. we have contingencies if it should go out. and i know there are many people who’s power has already gone out today. i hope that those without power are kept safe + those who rely on power for life saving services are being taken care of.

no. five

warm socks. socks have always been a super comfort to me + my tootsies. there are few special treats that come close to slipping on a pair of soft + fuzzy socks onto freezing cold feet.

hoping that people stay safe in the storm.

puzzle solved!

this has been bugging me every single time i have watched harry potter and the order of the phoenix – there is an arrangement of music that plays when harry enters the ministry of magic for the first time:

starting at 1:12


+ i have felt ADAMANT that i’d heard this music previously, but couldn’t figure out from which movie…i finally figured it out. turns out it’s not a movie at all, but from les miserables, + it’s not the exact same arrangement, it’s just so similar…

starting at 0:13


also, colm wilkinson is phenomenal.

anyways, happy tuesday!

monday fave five

No. One

a new job. the details haven’t been worked out yet, so trying not to count too many chicks…but, boy, am i ever thankful. i’m hoping to start next week, as i need to get my contract, sporadic work scheduled + figured out. the new place is willing to be relatively flexible, so hopefully the first little bit might be a bit hectic but will then even out. i’m just, really, so thankful. + will continue to pursue the things that really turn my crank…

No. Two

my new niece. she’s beautiful. last week was pretty much taken up with the busyness of her arrival. my sister is recovering from the birth. + again, we’re just so thankful that everyone is healthy + happy.

No. Three

i love my husband.

No. Four

my parents were down to see the new babe + to help my sister out a bit. they visited very briefly this morning before heading out + we had a really quiet, enjoyable cup of tea. i really enjoy being able to host people at our home, + it was amazing to get an hour or so of quality time with my parents. they don’t live close, so these are rare, special moments.

No. Five

my home. i have to say that i’m going to miss not being able to enjoy being in it as much, once i’m out all day with this new job. the changing leaves + chilled air of fall does make one want to cozy up with a blanket, tea/coffee/hot chocolate + a movie/book/computer…feeling very nesty in my home.

oh, + a bonus!

we sold my jeep. M did all the kijiji work. but it no longer sits in the driveway dripping oil. it was my first vehicle that i could really call my own, so i felt reluctant to let it go for the longest time. but since the wedding – i’m not sure what the root cause of this is – i’m working hard to get rid of as much clutter + unused ‘stuff’ as possible. + having the jeep not be in the driveway has definitely caused a significant feeling of lightness…the weight is gone!

a weekly 5 fave

one of these weeks, i’ll get back on track with doing a monday fave five, but i wanted to post one, as it’s been a while.

No. One

being married. who would’ve thought that things would feel any different having spent almost every day for the past three years together? but they do, + i’m thankful for that. thankful to know that being married does make a difference – for us! it doesn’t have to for everyone. but this is the right fit for us. it made a difference to make a public + open declaration of our commitment. it wasn’t for the party or gifts, + to be honest, the day wasn’t a fantasy or dream come true. it was beyond beautiful + amazing to have our friends + family around, most of which had traveled very far to be with us on our day. but we didn’t get to spend as much time with everyone as we would’ve liked – which is to be expected, but i was still hopeful, particularly as we had tried to plan a few things on the friday + saturday to maximize the amount of time that we could visit with people.

there were a few hitches, which, to be honest, i’m still not over. one involved the hostess at the church, locking us out after the ceremony – the photographers’ equipment was still inside the church + it took about 45 minutes to track down someone who could open the doors for us. this put us majorly off schedule + the rest of the photos were rushed. i had been looking forward to this time so much – the time to relax, have fun, take pictures, have some special moments celebrating the fact that we had just been married, + there were a bunch of shots that i really had wanted to get, which we ended up not having time to do. as much as i had wanted to go with the flow, or thought that i’d be mentally prepared to deal with the hiccups which were expected to happen – because they do – i guess i really wasn’t. but the photography – the pictures – this time immediately following the ceremony – it’s one of the elements of the day i was looking forward to most…+ it was not how i had expected it to go.

the caterer…also didn’t live up to our expectations…as i write this down, i can hear or realise how inconsequential it seems. but again – on the day, i had been SO looking forward to sitting down at the table to enjoy a dinner altogether as a group. the caterer waited way too long between courses, people got bored + were up walking around to visit with other people…which is awesome – everyone said they had a good time (but of course, who would say otherwise), however i ended up eating the majority of the meal on my own because our table was up + visiting with others. i feel like i’m whining about it, really, which isn’t a good thing. i could’ve asked the caterer what was going on, to serve the courses more quickly, but at that point, was so exhausted i felt more like an observer than a participant. + this added to a litany of other misses by the caterer…it just wasn’t the evening i had spent so much time + effort planning. we attended a friends wedding a month later +  it was amazing! it was so much fun, the company was fun, the wine was flowing, food was abundant, the little elements + touches the couple put together really made for a full, fun evening, which everyone was talking about afterwards…the point is. it’s not a competition. they were so happy with their day – it was exactly what they had wanted + it went off without a hitch, really. ours was a bit different, + i don’t think i’ll think back on it with a particular glow. but that might change once i see our pictures…see the day through someone else’s lens.

so for all the things that didn’t go the way i’d hoped for…+ the whole event was over so quickly. not the day, itself, but the whole week before + after. it was so wonderful to be surrounded by friends + family who had traveled so far to be with us. + most of all, i’m sad that there won’t really be another occasion that this particular group of people will ever be together again. my expectation for the wedding day was so high – even when i didn’t think it was – because it was a rare + precious day. our photographers were amazing. our dj was amazing. our florist was amazing. they were also all friends of ours. the ceremony was what i’d hoped for – i’d spent a lot of time planning the ceremony + putting together the ceremony program. friends helped put all the things together that i hadn’t been able to get done before the wedding. my brother-in-law jumped in as the MC at the very last minute – i’m talking right as we’re coming up to the reception hall + he came out to say the dj didn’t realise that he was expected to MC. my brother-in-law is amazing. he’s hilarious, thoughtful, + loves my sister so much. my husband’s best friend handled the video of the ceremony, speeches + dances. deciding on getting it all recorded was also a last minute, week of the wedding decision. + he got it done, in addition to a bunch of other last minute “i’ll take care of that” items. my sister + girlfriends threw the most thoughtful + special shower – it was a wonderfully laid back opportunity to visit with each other + drink a lot of wine. but so much more than that. my girlfriends traveled from toronto, ottawa, BC, + england…to celebrate with us. i don’t think i can express how much it meant to M + i to be surrounded by so many loving, wonderful, thoughtful, giving + generous people. + i love being married to the man who is now my husband.

No. Two

our dishes. this might be a silly item to have as a fave. but, it’s my silly item to have.

we registered for a set of dishes from an artisan potter in quebec. i had learned about these dishes from a friend who had them on her registry when she got married last year.

i wanted to write about them because i think they are just so beautiful. the company is called cermik b, + the dishes are crafted by a woman named basma.

basma was so lovely to work our registry out with – if felt like you were forming a relationship with her as we went through the process of organising our registry + determining what pieces we wanted to include.

M has never really been on board with the dish registry. the pieces aren’t cheap + we had dishes in the cupboard. very practical, he is. however, we’re only getting married once + i wanted a special + unique set of dishes to have our family meals on. something that was for us, as a couple. not a remnant of our former ‘single lives’.

however, they’re being used every day and we’ve served a few meals to friends + family. for some reason they make even the most simple + plain foods look amazing + artful. in my opinion.

we have eaten more dinners at the table since these dishes arrived than we have in the past year. so, i would even go so far as to say they’re improving our relationship!

basma was delightful to work with. + she included a gift with a little note with the shipment. unfortunately, one of the bowls arrived broken (despite the fact they are so well packaged!). i let basma know, + she replaced it within a week.

registries are a funny thing. on one hand, it sort of seems like a cash/gift grab. on the other – it means you don’t end up with 5 crystal vases + 2 fondue sets. unless that’s what you’ve registered for. sometimes it feels like it’s a little hard to justify stating the things that you want (because, really, it’s not stuff that we need), but if people will bring/send a gift, it’s nice that it’s something that will be special + used for many years.

+ that’s how i feel about our new set of dishes. they’re unique + special. we’ll have them as our kids grow up. they’ll be what we serve our every day + special occasion dinners + meals on. which is why i’m excited to have them in our home as part of our daily life.

No. Three

fall. i love this season. it’s been a great season so far, too. it hasn’t come on all of a sudden, in a rush of rain + cold. it’s slowly been getting chilly, the leaves are changing. there are clouds + there has been rain, but there’s also been sunshine + if you’re able to catch a bit of sun it warms you up just enough to appreciate the chill. it’s been perfect weather for layers + warm apple cider.

No. Four

baby is coming. not for us. my sister is due in the next few weeks. the baby hasn’t turned yet, however, so she has a series of appointments to help the baby turn, + if baby doesn’t, a c-section is scheduled. she’s calm about it. because she’s like that…trusts in her docs, understands there’s only so much she can do, that the situation is beyond what she can control…i, however, am slightly concerned. i am frightened about how much lack of control there is in having to have surgery to have your baby born. my aunt had two c-sections. my new sister-in-law had two or three. but this is MY sister + she is my best friend. she is an outstanding human being. so i’m concerned. everyone will be happy when baby is here + we can get on with helping her heal. we’re thankful for what science, medicine + technology can do in this day, making a breach baby birth possible. so thankful.

No. Five

it’s almost been one year since i was laid off. it has been an interesting year. but the search + wondering is at an end. no it’s not. but no more effing around. the resumes + applications are going out. i’m not working as much as i need to.

before the wedding, it didn’t seem as apparent or as much of a problem because i had things to work + focus on when i wasn’t doing paid work, ie., the wedding. i felt i could justify my time pre-wedding. + there’s still so much that i’d like to do. but if it’s not contributing to our financial stability + well-being, then i can’t reasonably justify it.

it doesn’t mean that there won’t be opportunity to pursue these other things that i’d rather be doing…i have found a passion that i’d be willing to stay up all night working on. which i found surprising. it wasn’t what i thought it would be. it’s strange, as well, because i knew that i wasn’t willing to work myself into exhaustion for design. i love it – i appreciate it – i can even do it, + am sometimes good at it! but i’m not so in love or moved by it that it drives me to distraction. it’s not on my mind all the time.

other things are on my mind all the time, other things that i want to be able to do all day, every day, at night, things that won’t leave my mind alone. + i don’t want them to leave my mind alone. i want to sit with them all day, + work out how to make it real. + now that i know what this thing is that i want to do, i feel more driven to find a job that i can do to help support our home + financial future. so that i can work in my spare time on this thing that i’ve discovered, to the point where it can support us.

it makes no sense, really. but i can’t responsibly justify making this new thing my life if it’s not contributing income for M + i. we already live on a tight budget. but, for a variety of reasons which i would like to get into in another blog post, i also didn’t want to just find a job i didn’t love or wasn’t passionate about. until i found this new thing that i feel driven to work on. now that i’ve come to some sort of realisation of what moves me to the point that i want to work on it all the time, i’m ok working in a job that’s not my passion, in order to make my passion possible. sound messed up? it does to me. but it also makes a lot of sense. so i’m going to go with it.