32 Favourite Things

Hello dear friends! I turned 33 this weekend and so it’s time for another one of my birthday lists. I used to be so consistent about these back in the day, but I’m so sad to see that I wrote my last one was when I was turning 30. That’s two years gone! I know it was a hard season for me, and it makes sense that I lost the thread, but I always regret it when I stop documenting things, so I’m excited to pick this one back up.

I was first inspired to do these by Elise Cripe, who put out a yearly list of favourite things and favourite moments each year on her birthday. I always loved them, because they gave us such a wonderful glimpse into her life and some wonderful recommendations to boot. Plus, it’s a wonderful reflection activity, much like my recent ‘what’s saving my life’ post. It’s nice to recognize the good things, and it’s nice to memorialize them for future versions of yourself who will no doubt forget what life looked like these days.

So here we go! My 32 favourite things from the past year, with a few thrown in from the years I missed, if I can remember them. 😉

Bruno! | I cannot believe it, but the last time I wrote one of these I had yet to adopt my sweet puppy. He came to me in the autumn of that year. As of this September 1st, I will have had this constant companion of mine for three entire years, a fact which completely astounds me. He can drive me crazy sometimes, but I truly cannot imagine my life without his goodness, his enthusiasm every time he sees anyone he loves, his sweet cuddles, and his hilariously loud groans when he changes position. I adore him, and I am so grateful he is in our lives.

Mrs. Meyer’s Acorn Spice SoapHilariously, I mentioned another scent of this soap brand the last time I wrote one of these posts, but this is my new favourite (I still love you, lavender!). I cannot describe the smell at all (it doesn’t smell like acorns, I can tell you that much 😂) but it is so sweet and nutty and truly delicious. It makes me happy every time I use it, which is daily.

DaystampThere was bound to be some overlap with my ‘what’s saving my life’ post, but this one absolutely deserves being mentioned in both. I scoured the app store on Christmas Day looking for the perfect habit tracker and probably downloaded 6 or 7 to test out before I found this one. I have since converted several people to using it to huge success, which I consider a massive win. I love how customizable it is, I love seeing my streaks build up for different habits (especially in the year view) and I LOVE that it has a widget on my phone’s home screen so I don’t actually forget about my habits altogether. It is so good.

The Notorious RBG Reading Retreat | In my last favourite things post, I briefly mentioned the feminist romance book club that I’d started in an attempt to make more friends and reclaim the genre of romance. In the time since, we have continued the book club AND officially instated a yearly reading retreat, which is exactly as magical as it sounds! Last year, we had our second-annual retreat on a perfectly sunny, crisp, warm weekend, and spent the entire time in wonderful company, eating great food, co-reading, and re-watching Practical Magic. ‘Twas a dream & I cannot wait for this year’s rendition.

Victorinox Serrated Kitchen KnifeI’ve actually loved these for a long time, but I only ever had one that I’d gotten from my mom as a gift, and never thought to get more. This Christmas I decided to buy one for a friend of mine and picked up a few for us to have at home too, and y’all! I cannot get through the day without using them at least twice. They are just perfectly sharp and can cut anything nicely (including tomatoes), and are also perfect to use at the table for things that a basic butter knife can’t get through.

Donating Blood | I gave blood years and years ago when I was still in high school & university, but after traveling to certain countries I was restricted from donating for several years and then got out of the habit. Now I’m back baby, and committed to donating quarterly! These days, they have a fancy app that tells you your stats (if you’re a nerd like me), they give you great snacks, and most importantly it only takes about 20 minutes and will literally help save someone’s life. It’s rad, and it gives me such a good feeling every time I go.

Tiny Sketchbook | At our Nurture retreat last spring, we had a workshop from Sarah Aranha, who taught us about observational drawing and it inspired me to want to doodle more. I am also quite inspired by Leeandra Cianci’s doodling practice! I bought myself a tiny 4×4 sketchbook from Michael’s, which I love because it’s so easy to fill a page and not intimidating at all. It also makes a very fun thing to do when you’re waiting for food or passing time with someone – I now have several adorable & hilarious collaborative drawings I’ve done with friends & family.

TodoistI’ve actually had an account with Todoist since 2013, but it’s only been in the past year that I’ve really started using it in earnest. I’ve always loved the design and loved using it off and on for my personal stuff, but it was missing some key features I find useful for my work (namely a calendar view)…until recently! Just this week I upgraded to a Pro account and moved all my work tasks into it too, and I’m loving it so far.

YouTubers | I love YouTube and have so many favourite channels. It’s probably my favourite website on the internet, because I just find it so interesting and entertaining and often *real*, which is not something I can say about Instagram most of the time. Right now, my favourite Youtubers are Caroline Winkler (hilarious and thoughtful), Beatrice Caruso (hilarious + fitness-ish), Life of Riza (cinematic and beautiful), and Brian Lagerstrom (delicious + practical). They’re all so different, but that’s what I love about this platform. There is so much creativity here and it inspires me daily.

Striped Hammock | The one I have is definitely not very high quality, but it brings me no end of delight. We will need to find a good place to hang it at our new place here, but that is a high priority for me, lol. There is nothing better than lying in the hammock in the sunshine! Especially if Bruno is closeby and I have a nice drink and a good book. Perfect.

Voice Memos | The past few years have been VERY heavy on the voice memo-ing with my besties. They are such a great way to keep in touch! They are like having a personal podcast to listen to on your walks, with all the best information and details from your friend’s life, or their thoughts & feelings, or their recommendations. I am obsessed with both sending and receiving them, and they are now my favourite way to keep in touch with people.

We Can Do Hard ThingsSpeaking of podcasts, this one’s my favourite of the past few years. I love Glennon, Amanda & Abby so much, and I love that they talk about the real things. I always feel more grounded and sane after listening to them talk about literally any subject, especially when it’s just the three of them.

Tiny Tiles QuiltI made this quilt for my friend Katie’s new babe Roisin and it is definitely the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made with my own two hands! I was so proud of how it came out, even in all its imperfections, and watching her play on it was such a joy. It’s such a great pattern and way easier than it looks (just a lot of repetition!) so if you are looking for a pattern, I highly recommend!

SlowpreneurThis is my own thing, but I need to mention it because it has brought such joy, meaning & healing to my life. I started this podcast to celebrate the new philosophy I was experimenting with after burnout & some mental health struggles: that of slowpreneurship. I first thought of the term on my own, but later found out that several very smart people are also talking about this and using it in their businesses. It’s been a game-changer for me, and it really renewed my passion for my work. I love helping people find more calm & intention in how they run their businesses, and I love making a podcast about it.

Hamilton, Ontario | Mike & I moved to Hamilton towards the end of last year and it has truly felt like home right away. It might help that we are living (by accident) literally a ten minute walk from where I lived as a baby and only 25 minutes away from my mom & grandma. Not to mention we are only about 2 minutes away from Donut Monster, which is an absolute delight, to say the least. In short, we love it here and are so excited to explore the city more when it starts getting nicer outside.

Our Apartment | Speaking of Hamilton, I would be remiss not to mention our delightful apartment. It has the most amazingly high ceilings and so much crown molding and herringbone wood floors and so much natural light and a perfect little patio for my perfect little lavender bench. It’s truly the apartment of my dreams and even though it’s old and rough around some of the edges, it’s so perfect for us in this stage of our lives. We love it and can’t wait to keep making it our own.

Souper CubesAnother repeat from this post because I love these things. My mom and I now have cooking days where we make the same recipe side-by-side, and I take mine home in my cubes to freeze. They’re such a ridiculous simple invention, but they actually help me EAT things I freeze, which makes them genius. I have the 1 cup version, which is perfect for freezing single portions of stews or soups to heat up for lunches.

Pizza Night | My sister gave me a sourdough starter for Christmas, and while I am pretty terrible at making sourdough bread, I am quite good at making sourdough pizza dough (because it is essentially foolproof). We’ve created a weekly pizza night tradition where I make a dough with my discard and cover it in as many random toppings as I can find in the fridge. It has been so fun and we both love it. Yum.

Capstone Pattern Co.I’m biased, because Laura is a client and friend of mine, but I truly think her sewing patterns are the best in the world, especially for beginners. Every single detail is carefully thought through and beautifully wrought, and it makes sewing each of them so easy and fun. I have sewn three tops now, including recently the Juniper Tank in a gorgeous raspberry gingham. It hasn’t been warm enough to wear it yet, but I truly cannot wait.

Tiny House Upgrades | Since moving into our dreamy apartment in November of last year, I have been on a mission to make as many small but delightful changes as we can to improve it. We’ve swapped out the showerhead, installed an automatic sensor lightbulb in our closet, re-glued the pot lights that were falling loose, and most recently used a little metal doodad to cover an empty hole in the top of our sink that drove me crazy every single day. I love making these tiny changes, most of which have cost less than $10.

EMKFit VideosMy friend Moni first introduced me to Emily’s video for The Greatest Showman (you heard me) years ago, but I forgot about her stuff until recently. This year I’ve been trying to exercise daily, and now her videos are a go-to for me. They’re so fun, and an excellent workout without feeling like a slog. I obviously am partial to the musical ones, but at this point I’ll try anything she puts out. May I suggest starting with the Mamma Mia one?!

Simple Modern TumblerEveryone and their mother has a tumbler with a straw FOR GOOD REASON. I never cared about to-go mugs or water bottles until this one, which I now take with me absolutely everywhere. There is just something about the straw that makes me actually use it, and I am obsessed with the lavender colour I got.

The Lazy Genius | It is a surprise to nobody who knows me that Kendra Adachi’s work is on this list. I first discovered her through her YouTube series, but have gone on to become a superfan. Her podcast is one of my favourite listens every week. She is just so smart and practical, and I love the way she thinks about life and the world. I never fail to learn something new from her perspective and find it so useful and refreshing.

Friday ThingsSpeaking of smart people I love learning from, I have also become a huge fan of Stacy Lee Kong’s work at Friday Things, both her articles and her social commentary on Instagram. She is brilliant and incisive, and often notices things that I don’t, or puts words to things that bother me. She has her finger firmly on the pulse of pop culture and takes it seriously in a way that I really love, since pop culture shapes the way we see so many things in our daily lives. Her work is important, and she is probably my favourite follow on the internet.

Sip & Sip | For the past two years, Mike and I have been joining our friends in Almonte for what we call Sip & Sip, which basically consists of going down the Mississippi River on inner tubes with tons of refreshments and snacks, for an entire afternoon. It is truly the most relaxed I feel all year and I cannot wait to do it again this summer.

Anti-Depressants | These were a precious thing to me this year, and I do not say this flippantly! I was on medication for just over a year to help support me through a very tough time, and I am so grateful to have had the support when I needed it. My doctor described it this way: you’re out to sea and you’ll still have to work to swim to shore, but the medication will make the swim easier and less turbulent. That was exactly my experience – it gave me a bit of a boost so that I could pull myself up and get back to feeling good.

Thereoke | My friend Julia invited me to take part in her first-annual Thereoke™️ night and it was one of my favourite things this year for sure. Exactly what it sounds like: gather with friends in a private karaoke room and SCREAM into the void while singing along to all your favourite songs. My pick was ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’, but there were so many other bangers and it was exceedingly cathartic.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow | This was probably my favourite read of the past year. It’s so charming and fun, such a beautiful story of friendship and play and creativity. I loved it so much and I wish I could play all the games they create! Mike also read it and loved it, which is high praise! Other notable fave reads: Demon Copperhead, The Wishing Game & Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies.

Dawn Power WashWe have reached the era where I care about cleaning supplies and let me tell you, Power Wash is IT!!! GoCleanCo taught me that (contrary to popular belief) it is not just regular Dawn in a fancy spray bottle, it has its own chemical formulation that makes it super sticky to grease and really hard-working. This literally – no exaggeration – got the oil and grease off parts from my CAR with little to no scrubbing required.

Tide Rescue | While we are on the subject, let us also discuss Tide Rescue, which has no right to be so effective on food stains. It is a running joke among everyone who knows me that I literally spill something every single time I eat (embarrassing, but true), and this stuff works miracles even if I just use it to spot clean things. I’m talking wine! Pizza sauce! Avocado! It’s so good.

HamiltonLast summer, I was finally able to see Hamilton (the musical) after many years of delays. I was meant to go in April of 2020, but of course that couldn’t happen. Then I was meant to go in March of 2023, but we ended up getting the chance to go to Kenya to shoot a wedding (!) and our tickets were non-refundable, so I gave them to Sonja & her partner. Finally, last June, my sister Bron and I went and it was SO joyful. I absolutely love every single song, and it was so fantastic to finally see it in person. Yay! I also love the Disney+ version, which carried me through the pandemic years.

Mike | Cheesy but true: I would not have made it through these past few years without him. Mike makes me laugh every single day, even (especially) when I am too grouchy and in my head to be fully present. He is one of the funniest people I have ever met, while also being gentle, sweet, creative, inventive, and kind. He can fix anything, is best friends with my grandma, and has taught me the importance of putting googly eyes on everything. (Yes just like in EEAAO! I cried when I first saw it!) We’ve had some *hard* times in recent years, but I really do think that those times brought us closer together. Currently we’re doing better than we ever have, and I’m excited to see what our future holds.


And that’s all, folks! All the lovely things that made my life better in the past couple years. I love this tradition and I am glad to be back to it after a few years off. It feels like capturing a moment in time of who I was and what I cared about, and I love seeing everything all together like this. Yay for favourite things, and yay for birthdays! Grateful to be another year older, and grateful to be back to feeling like myself again. ❤️

If you’re curious, you can also see my favourite things from when I was 29, 282725242322, and 21.

What’s Saving My Life

I recently discovered that Kendra Adachi has a podcast! I’ve been a big fan of Kendra’s work at The Lazy Genius ever since I saw her YouTube series for her book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen. I love the way her brain works: she is smart and systematic, but always makes sure that when solving problems, we name what matters and customize any solutions to us personally. I couldn’t adore her philosophy more if I tried, especially since it really mirrors my own approaches to business & productivity coaching. There are no one-size-fits-all answers, because the answer depends on who you are and what you care about. I could go on and on, but the point is that I love Kendra, and now I love her podcast too.

One episode title caught my eye as I was scrolling: What’s Saving My Life. In it, she explained that this is an episode she tries to do quarterly to share all the things making her happy, helping her feel more grounded, or making life easier overall. By acknowledging what’s saving your life in this season, you are appreciating it and feeling gratitude, and you’re also sharing things that might save other people’s lives, too! Of course, I was instantly enamoured of this idea and immediately started thinking about what’s been saving my life in this particular season. It is a very fun exercise, and I think also gives a great snapshot of what life looks like these days. I’m going to try to do it quarterly from now on, and each time I’ll share ten things that have been making life better lately. Here we go! 10 things from the past quarter-ish that are making life easier.

Protein Coffee

I got this idea from Sarah at Go Clean Co. who shared that she struggles to get enough protein in the morning and sometimes forgets to eat breakfast at all. I likewise don’t like making breakfast, but I’m cranky and exhausted if I don’t eat anything, so enter: protein coffee! She makes hers with a milk frother, but I have been shaking mine up in a blender bottle (just make sure to let the steam out after the first few shakes!) and it works like a dream. I find that I don’t need any added sugar or cream, and it works great with both vanilla and chocolate protein powders. Easy, simple, and makes the mornings a little bit better.

Souper Cubes

Mike sent me a Lee Valley email newsletter (beware, all ye who wish not to spend money, unsubscribe thee hence!!) featuring these things, and I immediately purchased them. I got the two-pack of the 1-cup size and have already used them to freeze chili and soup into perfect little cubes that stack up nicely in freezer bags in the freezer. I particularly like that they’re frozen in individual serving sizes because my biggest issue is figuring out what to have for lunch and accessing it quickly. I have plans to fill them again tomorrow with mulligatawny. Yeehaw!

Eufy the Vacuum

All my friends already know that I am truly, madly, deeply obsessed with our robot vacuum Eufy, who I found on Facebook Marketplace for a mere $50 cash. It was one of Go Clean Co.’s top picks for robot vacuums because it’s very effective, very slim, and not very loud. And we love this thing. We have not vacuumed since we got it, and our floors have never looked better. It gets stuck sometimes and it bumps into walls a lot like a little drunk robot, but we feel very fondly towards him and he makes life easier every single day. I am not exaggerating when I saw it is the best $50 I’ve ever spent. (And yes, obviously we put googly eyes on him.)

DayStamp

A recent discovery, this little habit tracking app has been saving my life since the very end of 2023. I am using it to track my daily habits of meditation, exercise, writing and flossing, and I love so many things about it. It can track unlimited habits, which is great because many such apps max out at 3. It’s simple and clean and customizable, so I can add emojis and colours to make it more personalized. And most importantly, it offers a little widget for my phone’s homescreen so throughout the day I can quickly be reminded of which habits I haven’t done yet today, and they’ll grey out as I complete them. I cannot wait for the end of the year too, because they have a really cool-looking colour grid for each habit, showing how many times you completed it.

StrongLifts

This app/program has been making it easier for me to get into weight-lifting without feeling intimidated or overwhelmed. It is an extremely simple but well-rounded program that has you do five sets of five reps for 3 exercises per day, on alternating days. This makes it super-simple to follow along and (for me) to stay consistent with it, because it never feels that daunting or super long to complete. You can read an *extremely* comprehensive explanation of why the program is designed this way here, or just download the app here. I only have dumbbells at home so I don’t always increase by the amount the app tells me to, but that’s okay! I’m still growing in how much I can lift, which is pretty fun.

Free Swimming

The rec centre near my house has free swimming nights every Monday, and I’ve been really enjoying them! I have always loved to swim, but haven’t done it too much in recent years except for fun in the summer months. It feels good (and also hard!) to get back to swimming lengths and treading water. It’s such a good workout and feels so good to come home and bundle up afterwards.

The Lazy Genius Podcast

I already mentioned this one up top, but I have been loving the show as a whole so it deserves a mention! As I said, Kendra’s way of approaching problems really resonates with me, and I have been enjoying catching up on the backlog of episodes about everything from holiday downtime to division of labour to being a lazy genius about audiobooks. I just like her no-nonsense approach to figuring out what matters most to you in a given subject or season, and finding ways to customize your life and habits to support that. One of her principles is “live in your season”, which I just absolutely love. Finding solutions for the season you’re in is a genius idea, and one I wish I’d known more actively last year in a particularly tough season. Highly recommend giving the show a listen!

Dinner Candles

Since we moved into our new apartment at the beginning of November, we have had candles for dinner almost every night. I was inspired particularly by Elise Cripe on this, who recently thrifted a vintage match holder/striker to mount in their dining room to make dinner candles easier each night. Actually, writing this is reminding me that since we put away the Christmas candles this week, I have yet to put new tapers out for the table! Must remedy immediately, because nightly candles just makes life feel a little more special, which saves my life in this dark season.

Clementines

I have a big bowl of clementines on our dining room table and one on our coffee table, and every day it makes it easier for us to eat more fruit and get more vitamin C. Mike almost always gives me a piece of the one he’s peeling, I always have one after lunch, and we usually have one as a snack while we’re watching TV at night. When people come over, they often have one too! They’re fun, easy and delicious – and cheap. Since tis the season, I can get a big crate of them for almost nothing, and they make me happy for weeks.

Street Art

I’m not going to lie to you, lately things have been feeling a bit dreary, especially since we took down the decorations and the sun has only shown itself like once in two weeks. It’s grey and it’s cold and there is not much growing right now, so my daily dog walks tend to be a bit dull. Except! Our new neighbourhood has a whole bunch of hidden murals in its back alleys, and I seem to discover a new one every few days. Seeing that burst of colour and beauty makes everything feel a bit brighter, even if it’s cloudy and overcast. They light up my morning, and I love posing Bruno in front of them as a souvenir.


Okay! Fun! I love this concept and I love this list. Looking it over, I feel a sense of joy at all the little things that are carrying me and making life better in this particular season. It is really nice to take a moment to appreciate each of them, and to realize what really does make me happy. It’s a good reminder to not stop doing what works (aka, go get those tapers right now! go back to swimming on Monday!) and to continue looking for small things to brighten my days.

PS. This reminds me of my birthday favourites lists! Here are my favourite things from when I was 29.

2024: Strength

Illustration by Morgan Harper Nichols

By now I’ve shared quite a bit about the past few years and how I’ve felt throughout them. In short: not great! When I think back, what stands out the most to me is my overall feeling of fragility. Of not being sure what small thing was going to make me break down in tears, or of feeling utter despair at even the most minute setback. I often felt unsure I could handle a small uncertainty or try a new thing without it rattling me.

I hate that I’ve spent so much time feeling this way, because this is really not how I think of myself as a person. I grew up going on adventures at overnight summer camp and taking on singing musical theatre roles and bossing my younger sisters around incessantly. I was not delicate! I’ve always been a big feeler, but I’ve also always been confident. Even when I was nervous about something (examples: backpacking Europe by myself, moving to Korea for a year and Ecuador for another, starting my own business), I’d feel the fear and do it anyways. I knew I wanted to be the kind of person who did those things, even if I wasn’t sure I was that kind of person. Surprise! By doing the things, I became the kind of person who did the things.

Baby Steph in Italy, 2009

Until I wasn’t anymore. Until a pandemic and toxic neighbours and a crazy puppy tore through my life like a hurricane and deposited me in Sad Town, USA. I lost myself, and for a long while my confidence was shaken and my resilience felt practically non-existent.

As I shared in my Year in Review post, I’m in a better place now, but I feel like my muscles of confidence and resilience have atrophied more than I’d like. I’ve held onto several bad habits from The Dark Years™️, like hibernating at home instead of adventuring, or hitting the snooze button non-stop every morning, or mindlessly scrolling all night instead of reading a gosh-darn book. They’re relics of a time when I felt like hiding and/or numbing, which I don’t want to do anymore.

Instead, I want to show up for myself & my people. I want to rebuild my confidence and feel more resilient. I want to be less thrown off by small things, and more equipped to tackle big things. At the risk of sounding like one of those “Become Your Best Self!” people, I really do want to get back to feeling like my best self. I want to remind myself of my own strength, and offer that strength to others.

So my word for 2024 is Strength. As with most of my words, this one kept appearing to me as the year came to a close, along with other ones that felt aligned. Strength, strong, resilience, stamina, discipline, embodiment, fortitude, endurance. Challenge, practice, tough, core, spine, habits, routine. Dig deep, stand tall. As my mom always says, “Strong like bull.”

These words have an edge to them. They aren’t gentle and comforting, as many of my previous words have been (ex. soften, grace, abundance, embrace). They ask more of me. They remind me that sometimes the more compassionate, kind thing to do is bring in some structure, some discipline, some accountability. Being lax is not always being loving. Sometimes, you need that strong mama bear energy: do no harm, but take no shit.

Really, I’m choosing this word because I want to constantly be reminded that I’m stronger than I think. When I’m tempted to fall back into patterns that don’t serve me, or crumple when confronted with a challenge, I want to remember who I really am, deep down. And not just remember, but also create myself anew. There are places where I have always lacked strength, and I’d like to actively build up that strength for perhaps the first time – in my boundaries, in my biceps, in my bedtime routines.

One thing I love about strength is that it’s not binary, something you either have or you don’t. It builds up gradually, and it fades away steadily if not in use. We all possess various strengths and lacks thereof, but we always have the choice to build up our strength layer by layer, day by day.

Strength

  • the quality or state of being physically or mentally strong
  • the influence or power possessed by a person
  • the capacity of an object to withstand great force or pressure
  • the emotional or mental qualities necessary in dealing with difficult or distressing situations
  • a person or thing perceived as a source of mental or emotional support
  • bravery in dealing with difficulties

Synonyms: Courage, tenacity, fortitude, power, vitality, effectiveness, backbone, steadiness, health, anchor, spirit, vigour, virtue.

Intentions

  • Body: Quite simply, I want to get stronger! I’ve been weight-lifting at home lately with the StrongLifts program and it’s helping me discover the joy of strengthening underused muscles. I also need to get help & support with my back, which has been giving me problems and pain for years. I know the solution will involve literally straightening and strengthening my spine, which feels like a metaphor if there ever was one.
  • Mind: I have let my meditation & gratitude practices slip dramatically since the pandemic years, and I’d like to reclaim them. Meditation especially, because it helps me become less reactive and always brings me new ideas, two things I sorely need. I’d also like to reduce distractions, minimize multi-tasking and seriously curb my social media usage. To strengthen my mind, my focus, and my creativity, I need to limit the things that weaken them.
  • Reading: On a related note, I’d like to strengthen my reading practice! Over the past few years, I’ve tended to avoid challenging books in favour of nourishing romance that brings me delight and joy. To be clear: this is great! In my opinion, there is no moral hierarchy to books, different genres serve different needs at different times. BUT. I also like to read books that push me, that change the way I see the world and introduce complex new ideas, and those have been lacking in recent years due to my burnout. This year, I’d like to strengthen my focus and return to deeper reading.
  • Habits: I am also really excited to strengthen my habits in 2024. I’ve chosen four to track throughout the year: meditation, exercise, writing, and nightly flossing. I’ll be using DayStamp to monitor them, which offers a very cute visual report each month and year, plus a widget for my phone to show me what I haven’t done on a given day.
  • Community: We’ve just moved to Hamilton, and I’d love to spend time this year cultivating my community. One way I plan to do this is by starting a Cookbook Club locally, an idea that utterly delights me. I am lucky to know several friends in the city who I could deepen my relationship with, and some new online pals I’d like to meet up with. Plus, I’m living only about 20 minutes away from my mom, stepdad & grandma, who I adore. I’d like to host more gatherings & dinners, meet up with friends more often, make regular plans with my sisters and find the local entrepreneurial community here in Hamilton. When I lived in Toronto I had a very vibrant community, so I’d like to find it again in my new city.
  • Relationship: Mike and I are in a good place right now, but I want our relationship to become even stronger. For us to communicate better, strengthen our friendship, fight less and have more fun together.

And as my friend Sonja always says: more will be revealed! I’m curious to see how this word (like all my previous words) surprises me in ways good and bad. My friends and I often joke that when you choose a word, you also choose its opposite because that always seems to be the case. But I prefer to reframe it this way: when you choose a word, your attention gets drawn to all the ways that you are currently blocked from accessing that feeling or state. All the yucky stuff holding you back comes to the surface and needs to be dealt with before you can feel strong, or energized, or however you’d like to feel. So this year, I expect I’ll be shown where I am weak. I will likely feel weak on my way to strength. But that’s okay too, it’s all part of the process.

Welcome to 2024. For me, it’ll be the year of Strength. What will this year be for you? 

If you’re curious, you can explore all my past words below:

2013: Reach | 2014: Abundance | 2015: Grace | 2016: Light | 2017: Embrace | 2018: Flow | 2019: Energy | 2020: Devoted | 2021: Soften | 2022: Present | 2023: Sustainable

One Second Everyday: 2023

I’m so delighted to share my 1SE video for 2023. This is my seventh year completing this daily video project, and every year I do it I am beyond grateful to have this time capsule of my life. Those who know me know that my memory is fairly abysmal, so having little glimpses of what daily life looked like each day helps me remember and appreciate.

In every year (and every yearly video), there are lots of boring days where nothing much happens and you’re going through the motions. The challenge is to find what’s special about that day, or see something in your life in a new way that makes it feel special. And worst case? You capture the boring moment, and when life moves on and your everyday life looks completely different, you’ll be grateful for that snapshot. At least: I am. I always am.

So here is my life in 2023. Not always easy, but steadily building towards something beautiful.

xo
Steph

PS. This is the app I use to create these videos! If you’re curious you can watch my previous videos here: 2016201720192020, 2021 & 2022.

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