Saturday, October 9, 2021


over the summer, we moved back to calgary. a decision nine years in the making, and one that came with all the expected bitter/sweet heartstring pulls. it's been an adjustment for all of us in different ways, and all though we miss so much of our life in vancouver - our village, our chosen-family, the life we built there - something about coming home feels all right. rediscovering a city that has changed SO MUCH in the last decade has been a wild adventure. seeking out the pockets of magic, consciously looking for the simple beauty in our everyday, and finding our new rhythm has been delightful. falling back in love with your hometown is an experience everyone should seek out. 

calgary is (still) awesome.

below are a few photos from the last couple months. 

Sunday, August 1, 2021


on a rather busy corner in a painfully expensive city sits a big purple house. our house. it's 112 years old and surely has a great many stories tucked away in its ever-expanding archives. the walls are thin and the floors creek and the ceilings slant and it always feels just a touch damp. on nights when sleep is scarce, i lay awake worrying on repeat about mold, rodents, old trees on the cusp of collapse, how quickly the wooden structure would go up in flames if ever a spark were to wander. 

but it's a beautiful old house. a place that has kept us warm from the rain. where we've baked bread and watched our babies grow. a place we've celebrated birthdays and christmases and welcomed family and friends from all over the country. a place close to the beach and the mountains, our favourite book store, and a short walk to the best coffee this side of main street. it's a place that has kept us safe. 

the house has shape-shifted over the years. originally built as a single family home, it has since been split into three separate suites. we live on the ground floor, our landlords live above us with their two daughters and a bird-snatching cat, and a revolving batch of young couples and working professionals pass through the top floor suite. some staying for a short while, others departing before the seeds of neighbourly friendship can be sown.   

living underfoot of someone for any amount of time inevitably teaches you a lot about them - their daily rhythms and patterns. guitar strumming echoing in the heating vents, the smell of sunday dinner intensifying as the afternoon creeps forward, long forgotten loads of laundry rediscovered in the communal dryer, foot stomping and smoke alarms and dance parties and movies played just a touch too loud. we catch the occasional argument, belly laugh, loud sneeze, the bathtub being drawn followed by a holler for sticky children to hop in. kitchen chairs screeching across the floor, the faint tapping of small cat paws prancing, the outside gate slamming shut behind each coming and going.  

we've also been there for many of the hard things too; miscarriages, lost jobs, closing businesses, the death of far away family and pets, and, perhaps worst of all, cancer. 

there is something truly breathtaking about seeing your life seamlessly intertwine with another. to silently invite people in to witness you at your best and worst and mundane in between, without ever actually saying a single word. to sit side by side, above and below, and lay out your most intimate and vulnerable moments on any given tuesday. slowly over time, inevitably and without any conscious consideration, you become a family. connected through proximity and closeness and routine and the best and gentlest kind of force. 

and so, leaving this behind feels impossible. how do you transition away from people, from family, that you've known so deeply for so long? how do you leave and try to begin speaking words when words never needed to be shared? how do you move out from underfoot and watch someone new take up that space? 

how do you start all over again? 

Saturday, January 2, 2021


Which 3 People Influenced Your Thinking the Most in 2020?

Ericka Hart || sex educator, radical social/gender disruptor, black activist. 

Ericka continually pushes me further beyond my bias and status quo comfort zone, speaking to issues through the lens of white supremacy and heteronormativity. Their views are often sharp - they aren’t always easy for me to immediately agree with or accept, but they ALWAYS challenge me to dig deeper, question my tension/resistance, check my privilege, and keep pushing myself to (un)learn. They also focus on sharing black joy- something not typically highlighted by other forms of media. 

Glennon Doyle || author, feminist, activist, and founder of the organization Together Rising. 

Several of her books have truly changed my life, including her most recent 2020 release, UNTAMED, however, it’s her ability to show up, speak clearly about big, important, often scary things, and activate when she is needed that have landed her on this list. Her not-for-profit, together rising, has a mandate to turn collective heartbreak into effective change, donating every single penny they receive to people in need. In 2020, they raised over $4.5 million for projects like migrant family reunification, covid relief, and holiday support for families in need.

Julie van Rosendall || chef, cookbook author, food access activist, writer and inspiring Calgarian.

I’ve loved Julie since my days living in Calgary listening to her talk about food on CBC, but this year has really solidified her place in my heart. Her love of community and cooking has completely overhauled my relationship with both in 2020 - I’ve cooked and baked so many delicious things with her guidance, cookbooks, and Instagram lives. The way she loves and passionately celebrates local food and business has really sparked a new appreciation in me for small rituals, indulgent moments, everyday celebration, and fiercely supporting/protecting local.

What was the Best Book or Article you Read in 2020?

Book || Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed 

Article || The Unraveling of America

What is Something you Changed your Mind About in 2020? 

The power given to the word ‘racist’. To call or be called a racist has always felt like the harshest, most bitter of insults. After spending time last year really unpacking and reeducating myself about race issues, white privilege, and colonialism, it’s been explained that we as white people all have racism inside of us to some degree - we have grown up in and benefit from the societal norms of a world built on white supremacist ideologies. Unlearning and dismantling these everyday systems of oppression and continually doing the hard work to become anti-racist are both things I will keep very close to my heart in the new year and beyond. 

What was the Most Profound Lesson from 2020?

That giving things away is so much more rewarding then receiving will ever be. Our connecting to community is truly the most valuable thing we have in life. The world fell apart for so many of us this last year - people struggled in ways we’ve never had to experience in our lifetime. But through it all, the small acts of community, of people coming together to pick each other up and carry us all through was life changing. Jeff and I stretched ourself to give more this year - to not hold on so tightly and trust that the universe will continue to take care of us, as it always has. Some of the things we did that have allowed for more meaningful community connection: 

We joined our neighbourhood buy nothing group on Facebook - this has allowed us to give away items and connect directly with our close-by neighbours, some of whom are have been struggling this year, rather than just donating to a second-hand store.   


Last Christmas (2019) I bought a couple rolls of loonies and quarters from the bank. The idea being we could all always have a pocket full of change available to give whenever we saw someone in need around the city. It’s something we continued doing through all of 2020 and something I have no plans of ever stopping. The menial cost to us is completely unnoticed, but being able to have a moment of connection with someone going through a hard time has been deeply meaningful for me, but more importantly, for Finn. I always want him to know that sharing what we have and taking care of those around us is just something we do.  


I joined a mailing list called Rapid Response - it’s run by group of community organizers in Toronto working towards the equitable redistribution of land, wealth, and power in Canada. The RR mailing list is a resource for marginalized people and groups struggling for justice to ask for urgent support from folks who have access to more resources than we need. Emails are sent on an as-needed basis- typically a few times per month. Whenever a request comes through that really speaks to me or I feel like we have $20 or $30 to spare, I send some money through. It has been a really good way to hold myself accountable and remember to give on a more continual, ongoing basis (rather than just around the holidays, or when a friend shares a go-fund me request.) If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the link.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020


this is what 29 straight days at the beach looks like. drinking up salty air, vitamin d, and far too many popsicles. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


Rhubarb is not something you often see left uncomplicated or on its own. Bakers everywhere seem to believe it can't hold its own - a world duped into muddying it up with strawberries, raspberries, or custard.

My grandma was famous for her rhubarb pie. In the early summer, she would make them by the dozens, freezing the majority to be enjoyed during the out-of-season months. For as long as I can remember, it has been my undisputed favourite - a recipe that drops me right back at my grandparents dining room table

Each summer, when the giant leaves begin to peek and the beautiful red stocks show up at farmers markets and grocery stores near by, my daydreams immediately turn to my grandma. I have an unwritten rule that I only make one rhubarb pie per season - primarily because I'm unable to control myself from eating every last crumb when it's around. I can allow this indulgence with a single pie, but more than that seems unreasonable. Also, the Calgarian in me cries actual tears each time I pay real money for rhubarb at the market - a ‘weed’ that thrives abundantly through Calgary’s bitter cold winters, and hot, dry summers. A quick walk down any alley will yield more than your arms can carry, which is not so much the case in East Vancouver, where I’m learning the stocks are harder to find in the 'wild' and, as a result, are much more coveted by their growers.

Below is my Grandma's rhubarb pie recipe - Always to be topped with a lattice pastry top (the photo above is an attempt to try to make my lattice more interesting, but i ended up with messy instead), served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. A hot cup of tea isn't frowned upon either.

Holly Sherwood's Rhubarb Pie
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg - beaten
2-3 Tbsp on butter, divvied up as needed.

Chop rhubarb into small, bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium sized mixing bowl.
Combine sugar and flour and pour over rhubarb pieces. Add in beaten egg and mix everything together until the rhubarb is coated evenly.
Place rhubarb mixture in your bottom pie shell, adding several small chunks of cold butter over the top of the rhubarb filling. Seal the pie with lattice pastry top.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes; Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 30-35 minutes more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


the zero waste movement is definitely having it's moment in the spotlight - the masses have waged war on plastic straws, single-use plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, and bottled water.

'plastic' is slowly becoming an evil word- and perhaps rightfully so.

over the years, i have found my whole-hearted commitment to environmental crusades has ebbed and flowed from time to time. i've struggled with the knowledge that industry is at the top of the environmentally destructive food chain. industrial farming, emissions from manufacturing, and the damage from fossil fuel extraction all being big pieces of the complex pie. it can feel disheartening, even trivial, to try and make any meaningful dent in the catastrophes currently taking place. my voice is only so loud, the impact of our personal decisions only stretches so far.

so why bother?

one of the things that has resonated very strongly with me lately is this: the best thing we can do for the world, especially when feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed with the sadness and despair happening all around us, is to commit to small acts with great love in our own community. family, friends, neighbours- making small changes in our own backyard ripples outward to all the bigger things we can't control.

and perhaps that sounds fundamentally flawed or silly in the grand scheme of endless sorrows taking place, but those ripples- especially when linked arm in arm with other ripple-makers- slowly become waves. our small voice echos and amplifies when we take a firm stand, change our behavior, vote with our dollars, write to politicians, share ideas and information, give back to our community, and focus on radical acts with unconditional love. we hold the power to change the world, we just continually give that power away.

last month, i wrote a guest blog post for my friend indi and her professional organizing business, room to breathe. whenever i write for her, it never feels like work - words flow with ease and i find myself being gently reminded of our priorities in this lifetime - a commitment to minimalism, living small, conscious consumption, valuing experiences over stuff, and using my voice to share these ideas. i am grateful to indi for always allowing me to write and share from a place of heart - for seeing the value in amplifying important, change-making ideas and giving our collective voice a larger platform and wider audience than the one i have on my own.

this most recent blog post is a zero-waste challenge - a few ideas for habit changes to start those outward ripples. meeting you wherever you are at, and hoping you will link arm in arm with us, joining the good fight.

have a peek if you are so inclined and feel free to share some of your waste reduction ideas in the comments - i'd love to hear from you. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


In case you didn't know, Dr. Seuss was a racist. 

A few months ago, an instagram account I follow (The Conscious Kid - they're the best. Go follow them.) published a study in Research on Diversity in Youth Literature about their findings with regard to racism in Seuss' children's books.

The report shares:

"Before and during his career publishing children’s books, Dr. Seuss also published hundreds of racist political cartoons, comics, and advertisements for newspapers, magazines, companies, and the United States government. In spite of Seuss’ extensive body of explicitly racist published works dehumanizing and degrading Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and people from other marginalized groups (including Jewish people and Muslims), many differentiate and defend the author’s children’s book."

Researchers Katie Ishizuka and Ramon Stephens found that only two percent of the human characters in Seuss's books were people of colour. And all of those characters, they say, were depicted through racist caricatures.

"In addition, some of Dr. Seuss' most iconic books feature animal or non-human characters that transmit Orientalist, anti-Black, and White supremacist messaging through allegories and symbolism. These books include The Cat in the Hat​, ​The Sneetches​, and Horton Hears a Who!”

Seuss regularly depicted Black people as not human - drawing Africans and African Americans as monkeys and apes, in subservient positions to white men. Outside his children's books, his work frequently used the n-word.

Though perhaps most importantly, Seuss lived until 1991 and before he died, he took the opportunity to look over his extensive body of work to decide if he wanted to make any edits to his depiction of people of colour, or even pull certain book from publication. He chose NOT to make any edits or pull any of his books.
If kids open books and "the images they see [of themselves] are distorted, negative [or] laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society in which they are a part," Rudine Sims Bishop, a scholar of children's literature, wrote. But when they see themselves represented in a positive way, it can have a similarly powerful effect.

Dr. Seuss stories encourages “the development and reinforcement of racial bias in young children. Literature has an impact and an influence on the early development of self, the understanding of self, how children come to know themselves and […] their potential, therefore, we need to pay attention to the way literature conveys messages.”

You can read the report in full HERE
We all need to be willing to explore the things that shape the young minds of our children - and be willing to change our own minds when presented with new truths, even if they might not always be comfortable to process.

So for us, it was a no-brainer. With the ABUNDANCE of amazing and diverse literature available, Dr. Seuss is a really easy pass. Good riddance.

And if you are looking to add a wider variety of voices to your children's literary collection, check out my good friend OUR BOOK BAG - Carie regularly and consciously shares authors and books that feature traditionally under represented voices.

Photo via Our Book Bag