Monday, December 31, 2018



A shift in perspective can have a massive impact. I have been choosing to feel joy and happiness and make it the root of every decision I make. This small shift has turned obligations into acts of love; Must do’s in to glad to’s.

The best thing we can do for the world, especially when feeling overwhelmed or stuck in the thickness of sadness and despair happening all around us, is to commit to small actions 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.

Giving things away fills you up SO MUCH MORE than buying more stuff ever will.

Food is love. Never again will I feel guilt for indulging in beautiful flavours, tastes, experiences, and shared, cherished moment with people I love.

Making your bed holds enough power to shift your entire mood for the day.

Writing a letter to your MP or MLA is wildly cathartic.

Words have meaning and are deeply powerful. If someone expresses feeling hurt or upset by specific words or phrases, we need to stop saying them.

Less is more. Less clothing, smaller houses, fewer possessions and obligations. Scale it all back and breathe.

The only exception to the above ‘less is more’ rule is: books, kisses, and photographs. And maybe delicious treats.

Loving other people's kids like your own is the most fulfilling way to heal a broken heart AND add so much meaning to life in the process.

Kindness and empathy are radical acts.

The heartache and tribulations I have experienced in this lifetime have given me SO MUCH. Clearer perspectives, deeper and wider-reaching empathy, an unwavering voice for things I am passionate about, reclaimed and recalibrated priorities, and boundless hope - Each a transformative gift.

No one that loves you is judging your messy bathroom.


Being more impeccable with my thoughts and words.

Giving love freely and abundantly with no expectation of reciprocation or acknowledgment.

Listening more deeply and reigning in unsolicited advice giving. Allowing quieter, underrepresented voices to take the mic and blaze a new path for all of us to follow.

Allyship. Activism.

Sharing joy and success freely without feeling as though I’m bragging.

Sharing fear and worry freely without feeling as though I’m being negative.

Coexisting with anxiety.

Using less words to say important things. Editing back to the root of what's most important and impactful.

Prioritizing experiences over things, and sharing that love with Finn.

Further reaching into minimalism.



Multiplying Joy.

What I want to be when I grow up.

Sunday, December 30, 2018


earlier in the week, one of my favourite bloggers, elsie larson, shared about how they wanted to give their daughter a more musical childhood, so they decided they will learn about and listen to a different band or musician  each week throughout 2019.

jeff and i quickly took this idea and ran with it. our plan is to draw a name from our music jar each sunday, spending a bit of time reading about the history of the musician(s), followed by listening to a few of their songs during sunday dinner. from there, we will spend the rest of the week listening to various albums, watching music videos, and discussing what we like about them.

we compiled a list of a few more than 52 bands - one for each sunday in 2019 - and we are all eager to get started next weekend.

this is by no means a radically diverse list, though we did try to consciously include a wide range of musical styles, paying attention to ensure the voices of women and people of colour were included. that said, there is always room for more. it is not lost on me that the majority of these bands and musicians are white men, despite our best efforts for that not to be the case. my hope is for diversity and inclusion to be the underlying theme of our sunday discussions, adding to and learning more as we go along.

below is the list of groups/ artists we picked
(it's worth keeping in mind that we let finn add a few names to the list ;) )

A Tribe Called Red Neil Young
Arcade Fire Neko Case
Bad Religion Nirvana
Beastie Boys Queen
Beyonce Ramones
Bob Dylan Run-D.M.C.
Bright Eyes Simon & Garfunkel
Broken Social Scene Sonic Youth
Bruce Springsteen Stevie Wonder
David Bowie Stompin' Tom Connors
Death Cab for Cutie Taylor Swift
Dinosaur Jr. The Beach Boys
Feist The Beatles
Green Day The Carpenters
Jawbreaker The Clash
Jay-Z The Cure
Jimi Hendrix The Get Up Kids
Joel Plaskett The Rolling Stones
Johnny Cash The Talking Heads
Joni Mitchell The Tragically Hip + Gord Downie
Joy Division + New Order                         The Weakerthans
Julie Doiron The White Stripes
Kendrick Lamar Thelonious Monk
Leonard Cohen Tupac Shakur
M.I.A. Weezer
Michael Jackson Wolf Parade
Miles Davis Wu-Tang Clan

Friday, December 7, 2018


apple sauce is one small step away from apple pie in my world. it's sweet and comforting and a handy way to use up a bag of apples about to turn. even better is the fact that apple sauce is quite possibly the easiest recipe ever (the hardest step being the actual peeling of the apple skins) and it makes your whole house smell like heaven while it simmers away on the stove.

i made a bit of an impromptu decision while making apple sauce this afternoon - i had a bottle of chai baking spice in the front row of my spice cupboard and opted to use a generous sprinkling of it in place of plain cinnamon. the result was a DELICIOUS, ever so slightly spicy, beautifully aromatic, and flavorfully complex apple sauce worth sharing with the world.

i got my chai spice baking blend from the silk road spice merchant in calgary (thank you kristen and david for introducing this magical mix into my life...) it's a combination of cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel, rose petals, and mint - a combo you could definitely try to replicate with spices in your cabinet. Another great option would be pumpkin pie spice (readily available at most grocery stores) - either way, you will surely end up with an extra delicious apple sauce.

chai spiced apple sauce
:: ingredients ::
5 red apples
3 green apples
1 cup of water
1/3 cup sugar*
1 generous tsp chai baking spice OR equal parts ground cardamom, ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon.

*depending on your desired level of sweetness, you can decrease the amount of sugar or leave it out completely, or swap maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of refined sugar.

:: directions ::
peel, core, and slice apples. 
in a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and spice mix. 
cover, and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes, or until apples are soft. 
allow to cool, then mash with a potato masher or blend smooth with an immersion blender. 
bottle up and keep in the fridge. 

i highly recommend serving this apple sauce warmed up, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of heavy cream (coconut cream if you want to keep it vegan). you can also use it to top your morning oats, or as a delicious syrup substitution for pancakes. YUM! it's also the perfect jar of goodness to deliver to neighbours or friends in advance of the holidays.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SIMPLIFYING THE HOLIDAYS | guest post for room to breathe

Earlier this week, I wrote a guest blog post for my friend Indi at Room to Breathe Home Organizing - speaking about gift giving and consumption this time of year. When you consciously choose to live small, the influx of new stuff around the holidays can be difficult to deal with. But also - the flip side of this - that so many of our family and friends have so much already, and the idea of spending SO much money on more things that none of us needs, is emotionally draining (for both sides) and unnecessary

I've shared many times abou my love for New Dream and their Simplifying the Holidays Guide - It's FULL of brilliant ideas for alternative, meaningful, and zero-waste gifts ideas, refocusing on presence over presents.

There are, of course, people in our lives that we want to do something special for, and cutting out gifts cold-turkey is probably not the way to go. This guide offers a million unique and deeply meaningful ideas to share with the ones we love most, but perhaps most importantly, this shift will leave you feeling more engaged, joyful, and increase everyone's personal fulfillment during this holiday season.

A few of my favorite alternative gift guide ideas:
  • Give away the last great book you bought and enjoyed to someone with similar taste.
  • Make and package up homemade green cleaning products.
  • Put together a booklet of cherished family recipes.
  • Display a special heirloom - frame a recipe of your grandmothers in her handwriting, find a unique display box for a handmade piece of lace or knitting, or turn a pair of baby booties or a baby rattle into a tree ornament.
  • Food! Make freezer meals, soup, bread, homemade granola bars, or provide gift certificates for groceries or dinner out as a family. 
  • Re-gift a cookbook you no longer use. Highlight or flag a few great recipes.
  • Have family home videos converted to DVD, or make a slideshow of old family photographs.
  • Purchase gift cards/ credit towards car or bike share programs or ride share apps
  • Vow to send a letter or postcard each month for the entire year to friend or family member in a different city (this is especially great for kids and grandparents!)
  • Buy a gift card to an organization like canada helps or kiva and let the recipient decide where to best allocate charitable funds.
Check out more ideas on Room to Breathe's blog post (and get in touch if you are in Calgary or Edmonton and you could use a a little help getting your external space to echo the calm simplicity that your internal space is craving...) OR download the Simplifying the Holiday Guide HERE.

Saturday, November 3, 2018


my beautiful sunshine of a friend carie helm turned 40 last month. to celebrate her and all the wonderfulness she brings to our lives, a group of her nearest and dearest gathered in tofino for a weekend of ocean air, delicious food, special memories, and (lucky for us) so much sunshine. it was a magical few days spent with some of the greatest and kindest people i know - memories we will all cherish for a lifetime. jeff brought his camera and captured some photos of the gaggle of kids we brought along for the ride - if its even possible, they may have had more fun running wild than we did.

Final photo by Carie's partner, Chad - from L to R: Me, Carie, Kate, Anne, and Shellie (Tanja and Amanda not pictured)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

GUEST BLOG POST | room to breathe

Earlier this week, I wrote a guest blog post for Room to Breathe Home Organizing - a Calgary-based professional organizing business doing incredible work to help families reduce clutter, implement lasting organization, and achieve a more simple life, free from the burden and stress of our excess 'stuff'.

I have written many guest posts for Room to Breathe before, but this one hit particularly close to home for me right now. The article is about maintaining organization and reducing clutter while living with children. You know- those little creatures we love beyond words, but somehow manage to mess up every square inch of living space in the blink of an eye? I have yet to meet anyone coexisting with children that isn't engaged in a DAILY battle with the rapid influx of extra things that accompany them. And as wonderful and exciting as summer break is, it also means every toy, book, puzzle, Lego piece, cardboard box (big makerspace fans over here), and leftover snack plate has instantly taken over every single surface of our house. (Please don't get me started on the portfolio of one million masterpieces that came home on the last day of school and is still occupying my kitchen table. Sigh.)

So, I will soon be taking my own advice - purging, donating, reorganizing, and creatively curbing a winters worth of items that inexplicably walked through our front door since the last time I tackled this beast. If you need a little nudge or are looking for inspiration to edit your child-friendly home, head this way...

And - if you are in Calgary and simply need an extra helping hand to rid your life of chaos once and for all, give Indi a call! She is truly an amazing woman - non-judgemental, kind-hearted, and gifted at the work she loves doing. Hiring a professional organizer is hands down one of the best investments you will ever make.

Monday, March 12, 2018


i am in the process of half-heartedly trying to curb one of my most life-consuming bad habits: i am massively addicted to the 24-hour news cycle.

i read online A LOT. like, always. much too much. and most especially too much about the bad things happening in the world (i'm looking at you, united states.) it's like this itch i can't ever scratch and any spare moment i have is spent scouring the depths of my own personal echo chamber to read any and all trending news hurling toward me.

it's exhausting, but more importantly, it's totally incapacitating. obviously it makes me worried and stressed and irrationally (or maybe totally rationally) scared. it takes me out of being fully present and engaged with whatever is happening around me, and fills my brain with so much useless crap. it's also all so much, that i feel paralyzed to ever take action- each bad thing worthy of my energy is trumped by the next even more bad thing.

that said, i don't think that quitting ALL media is the answer. i have tried in the past, and was ultimately left feeling uninformed and apathetic. but in an effort to stop consuming 100% bad news 100% of the time, i have been shifting my usual outlets over to podcasts, books, and non-trump related online reading. bite size pieces, instead of constant scarfing.

i recently read an article titled 'how to read less news but be more informed, according to a futurist' - one of the tips they suggest is to consciously aiming for a wide context of information by choosing quality over quantity. in other words, triangulate between breadth and depth. the more information is available, the less we tend to digest, so it makes sense to consume less and better data. an easy way to do this is by following reliable, thoughtful, forward-looking publications and journalists online and let them do the heavy lifting, finding the most interesting info for us.

and for me, canadaland does exactly that. 

canadaland is a crowdfunded podcast with a focus on media criticism and CANADIAN media reporting. the stories they break are super interesting and often ones i had, until now, only heard about peripherally. getting to dig deeper into news that literally takes place in my own backyard has been incredibly satisfying.

something canadaland's host, jesse brown, said that really resonated with me is that by comparison, canada is so small - we simply don't have the resources, person-power, or ad dollars to create as much news/noise as the united states. and for that reason, many of us don't know what's actually going on around here. having far fewer avenues to acquire the information we need, we instead latch on to the giant shiny shitshow that is shoved down our throats by our neighbours to the south. 

consciously choosing to consume canadian content, canadian media, and canadian politics has been a welcome shift - not only from a feelgood standpoint of knowing i am supporting fellow canadians doing meaningful work for their fellow canadians, but also in the conservation of the wasted outpouring of the energy i used to reserve for criticizing things happening beyond my boarders - an act that literally got me nowhere in addition to taking my attention away from important conversations happening in and about canada. there is something wholly empowering about pouring energy and thought into issues that you have the ability to get involved with, advocate for, and even change- that flow of energy (instead of a stifled build of anger) feels so good!  

EPISODES TO LISTEN TO RIGHT NOW (a few of my faves)...

it was illegal to print their names: alberta's lost children

since the late 1990s nearly 800 children in alberta government care have died. veteran edmonton journal columnist Paula Simons has been shining a light on this crisis since the start. (warning: this episode speaks candidly about child physical and sexual abuse and death. it's SO important, but proceed with caution if this type of thing may be triggering or effect you more deeply.)

robert jago: decolonizing canada in his spare time
after ending the campaigns of several tory candidates with his muckraking during the 2015 federal election, macleans dubbed robert jago, “the most dangerous blogger in canada”. jago has quickly risen as an incisive, evocative voice in canadian media. he’s a regular contributor to the walrus and CANADALAND — but he says he doesn’t plan on giving up his day job anytime soon. so. who is this guy? one of the most interesting and passionate interviews i have ever listened to.

my awkward date with sarah polley
growing up, road to avonlea was one of my favourite shows, so its no surprise that i adore everything sarah polley touches. hearing her eloquently and factually discuss hard issues like domestic abuse, sexual harassment and assault, and the culture that fuels it, although incredibly depressing is also incredibly important. 

daniel dale the toronto star's daniel dale has become one of the most-watched journalists in washington in part by simply enumerating donald trump's lies. this interveiw offers a perfect mix of laughter and dumfoundedness- it also served as the perfect crutch for me as i began my self-weening off US media.

Monday, February 5, 2018


our wonderful friends, katie and bob, invited us to ring in the new year with them in tofino. neither jeff or i had ever been to tofino before, so we pretty much jumped out of our seats to make it happen.

as the whole world knows, tofino is a pretty incredible place. the photos we took are some of my most favourite ever, but i still don't think they do they do much justice in capturing the pure amazingness of the island. thanks katie, bob, and arlo for always letting us tag along on your adventures and giving us so many wonderful memories to cherish in the process.