Inspiration: April 24

Every week on Friday, I share a list of the most interesting and inspiring content I’ve read lately here on my blog. You can expect thoughts on productivity, happiness, balance, spirituality, politics, and more. Subscribe here to get updates. See archives here.

Inspiration: April 24 >> Life In Limbo

This week I started listening to Priya Parker’s new podcast, Together Apart, on my friend Dimple’s recommendation. It’s all about creating meaningful gatherings and celebrations, even when we have to be apart. So good!

I recently treated myself to a little Pocket Farmacy using some of my birthday money, and there’s something so fun about the little kit that the blends come in and the idea of using different roll-ons for different things. It’s added a bit of whimsy to my day!

A couple days ago I started doing Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day HOME Challenge on my sister’s recommendation. I’ve loved Adriene’s videos for years, but it’s been a while since I did one of her challenges. It’s kicking my butt, in a good way!

My friend Deanne is taking on the wellness/pseudoscience/spirituality industries in this post about why healing is bullshit. She does such a great job of communicating a lot of my own discomfort with the “health” promises we’re sold – and is kind enough to credit me for sharing Brooke Castillo’s 50/50 philosophy.

Wandering Aimfully have done it again with this mammoth 5-step checklist to improve every aspect of your online business. What an amazing resource.

I love Alexandra Gater’s YouTube channel and was so inspired by this mini closet makeover that she did all while in quarantine.

In case you missed it, this week on my business blog I wrote about lots of ways to optimize your business for the digital world. PS. If you want to get my business newsletter, you can sign up right here!

Another week in self-isolation has flown by! It is still not easy by any means, but it’s getting easier to cope with this new reality every day. I am keeping busy with client responsibilities and (virtual) plans with friends, and I am grateful every day for my cozy home that I enjoy spending time with, and for my close proximity to the park and the lake. This weekend I’m hoping to do a lot of reading, spend time outside, and get some groceries for the first time in 2 weeks, I’m running a bit low on things! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. xo.

Inspiration: April 17

Every week on Friday, I share a list of the most interesting and inspiring content I’ve read lately here on my blog. You can expect thoughts on productivity, happiness, balance, spirituality, politics, and more. Subscribe here to get updates. See archives here.

Inspiration: April 17 >> Life In Limbo

I finally bought myself a Smash + Tess romper as my birthday gift to myself, and WOW. I am obsessed. I may never wear anything else ever again!

I can’t stop telling people about Brené Brown’s new podcast. I’ve recommended episodes so many times! The two that stand out the most for me are the one on FFTs and this interview with David Kessler. (This written interview he did was also really good.)

Stay Home Take Care is such a fun & helpful collection of activities and resources from Girls Night In.

Good reminder now and always: writing “work on ________” on your to-do list is a sure-fire way to avoid that task completely.

Dear Sugar is back! Cheryl is calling writers over the age of 60 to get their advice on navigating this pandemic.

Another podcast I’m loving lately (which is new to me) is Food Psych by Christy Harrington. So refreshing to learn more about intuitive eating and health at every size.

In case you missed it, I wrote my annual birthday blog posts over this past week! Here were my 28 favourite things and my 28 favourite moments.

Hello again! As you may have noticed, I took the last couple weeks off from writing this newsletter. I’m re-evaluating a lot of things in my life right now, and giving myself permission to switch things up. For now, I’ll still be dropping in with links when I feel like I have the time & bandwidth to do so! And I’ll keep you posted when and if that changes. I hope that you’re staying well and that your loved ones are healthy. Sending you lots of good vibes & support during this challenging time! xo.

28 Favourite Moments

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

Life was so good when I was 28. I feel like I finally settled into a groove in my business, in my friendships, and with my family. I have traditions and standing monthly dates and a coven and a mastermind group and a book club. My apartment feels cozy and lived in. I really got into thrifting, and went to the beach a lot, and cherished the people I love. It was so good! So great.

It’ll be so interesting to make this list next year, after all the social distancing is over (please let it be over by then), to see what stands out. A lot of TikTok dances, probably? We’ll see. For now, here are 28 moments that stand out from when I was 28.

2019 In Review >> Life In Limbo

Coven Cottage Weekend | My coven (minus our beloved Or) went up to Deanne’s cottage for a weekend in July and it was the most relaxed I’ve been all year. My happy place is being waist deep in lake water while reading a book and drinking a cider. Or being at the front of a boat whipping across the water. Both are perfection, and both happened this weekend. God bless a friend group of introverts who are more than happy to co-read all day.

Bear’s Den | I went to this concert with both my sisters, which was so special in and of itself. My favourite memory was right at the end, when the band came out into the middle of the crowd only a few feet away from us, stood in a circle, and played Blankets of Sorrow acoustically while the entire crowd was silent. It was magic.

Porch Celebration | This fun party happened to be during one of the hardest weeks of the year for me, but it was so wonderful to be there with my closest friends to celebrate together. Great food, moving speeches, and a whole lot of love.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

Trip to Ithaca | Katie and I both drove to the quaint little town of Ithaca to celebrate our birthdays together last April. It was a bit rainy and still a bit cold, but we had the most fun together as we always do. Milkshakes and grilled cheese at the diner, misty hikes past waterfalls, long afternoons drinking at a local brewery, watching weird TV shows and eating Trader Joe’s snacks, discovering the hilarious local bar scene. The best.

The Forest Glen in Warkworth | A couple friends and I visited Warkworth to see our friend Mel and her beautiful studio space for Sunday’s Company. One of my favourite parts was visiting her friends’ property, which has a literal forest glen with a beautiful creek running through it, next to a tiny house. We stopped there to walk out to the little island surrounded on both sides by the creek, and we were happy.

Casablanca at Sorauren | I don’t love this movie, but I DO love being at the park with my two best friends watching this movie. It was such a treat to have Katie visiting me in the summertime, and so fun to have a little picnic with Sonja to celebrate her being there. We were so tired after trekking to the Aga Khan museum in the heat, so it was nice to just lounge out and eat popcorn. Plus there were so many cute dogs around!

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

My Bougie Meekend | Get yourself a best friend like Sonja who, when she found out I would be alone for the entire Labour Day weekend, designed an elaborate bougie staycation scavenger hunt for me to complete. I took myself to Shakespeare in the Park, bought beautiful nail polish, took myself out for romantic dates, and much more. It was so much fun and made me so happy.

Dear Evan Hansen | My most favourite tradition of recent years has been going to see a musical with my sister for our birthdays. This year, we chose Dear Evan Hansen and had so much fun going together on a beautiful summery day. Afterward, we walked down to the water and had drinks, snacks & good chats at Boxcar Social.

Togetherness | My worst moment this year was finding out my Dad had cancer and needed to have surgery. But some of my most meaningful moments were the togetherness at the hospital and in the days afterwards that it brought my family. I felt so lucky that I could take time off to be there with them, to drive back and forth, to help out.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

My Work with Make Lemonade | This is a three in one, but I so loved all the teaching I did with Make Lemonade this past year. Teaching my class, Do More In Less Time, was SO much fun both times I did it live. And I loved coming in on a weekend to film my whole class Operations 101 with the team. It was my first time filming anything professionally and I loved it.

Getting tickets for Hamilton!! | Sadly, I won’t be able to use them because of the coronavirus pandemic. Or perhaps it’ll be postponed – who knows! But that doesn’t change how happy I was when I snagged amazing seats to Hamilton for my birthday (again, didn’t happen lol). I’ve been trying to see this show for at least 4 years! I still hold out hope that this will be my year.

Ice Cream Socials | My fave new thing is summertime Ice Cream Socials™ with Sonja. Any given weeknight, we’d meet at the ice cream parlour, get what we like, and then sit on the steps of the Polish Credit Union to have a catch-up. The perfect casual and fun hang to make the most of the weather and spend time together. I really hope we get to do this again this summer.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

Sunnyside Café | It was a great moment the day that I realized that I could go down to Sunnyside Café with my laptop, order a beer, and get some work done while looking out at the water. Genius! Why wasn’t I doing this every single day?! Runner up in this category were the days I went to the park with my computer and worked on picnic tables there. Just the best feeling.

The Wooden Sky | This night will go down in history for me because it was so fun and funny. Stirling, Sonja and I went to see The Wooden Sky at the dive bar attached to the Lithuanian Community Hall. The music was beautiful and transcendent – they are so talented. But the best part was that right next door, attached by a mirrored secret door, was a ballroom where the Toronto Swing Dance Club was having their Friday night open dancing. So of course we all went over and learned to dance. I can’t fully explain how fun and whimsical this was, but I loved it.

Surprising Sonja with Donovan Woods | I had her convinced that we were going to a very serious book reading about traumatic relationships (as you do), but instead surprised her with tickets to see our boyfriend Donovan perform at Koerner Hall. It was such a fun moment to see her be so surprised (she had no idea!) and such a delight to be able to give her that experience as a birthday gift. Plus, the concert was unbelievably good.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

First Annual Client Holiday Party | What an absolute JOY it was to throw my very first holiday party for my clients this past year. After a full year of running The Foundery, it was so surreal and beautiful to see everyone I’d worked with all gathered together in a room, eating and laughing and drinking mulled wine. It made the holiday season feel that much more special for me to be able to bring everyone together and thank them for supporting me.

Boxing Day Scavenger Hunt | My mom and her partner have set this up for my sisters and I for the last few years, and it’s always so much fun. The day after Christmas we bundle up and trundle all over the snowy property, looking for clues, solving riddles, laughing our heads off, and playing with the dog until we complete the scavenger hunt. There’s always a hot chocolate pit stop and it’s always the best.

Fall Fun Fam Jam | All our fam jams are fun, but this one stands out from last year. My mom & her partner came up with a bunch of fun lawn games for us to play together in the backyard, as if we were at a fall fair. We did a lot of laughing, and a lot of running back and forth across the lawn. My grandma was there too, taking part sometimes and cheering us on from the sidelines at other times. So special.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

Brunch Parties with My Sisters | We all finally lived in the same city for a big chunk of this year, and it was such a gift. We did a lot of brunch parties, but my favourite was the one we did at the adorable Airbnb house with the red door that my sister was renting for the month, right next to Trinity Bellwoods Park. There was an adorable patio out back and we sat in the sunshine and had bagels and strawberries and strong coffee. Such a lovely summer memory.

Vision Boarding on New Year’s Eve | One of my favourite NYE moments on record was this one, with my coven of girlfriends. We drank champagne, ate a smorgasbord of snacks, and talked about life & love while creating vision boards for the year to come. At midnight we did a countdown and then danced to Lizzo. What more could you want?

Impromptu Concerts | One of my favourite moments was running off the streetcar after going to see a very weird, avant-garde play at the Theatre Centre, bursting into one of our local bars to find our friend Stirling who’d just played a set, and then convincing him and Sonja to take over the stage again to play more music on a whim. At one point, they were joined by a violinist who had also played earlier, and it was this rush of magic in a tiny neighbourhood bar, I swear to you.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

Nurture Nurture: Hamilton | This was our first time going to another city to do our twice-annual business and life retreat, and Hamilton was the perfect locale. We went to adorable restaurants and witchy stores, played with the golden retriever in our Airbnb, and worked through a LOT of old shit that was weighing us down. My favourite moment was finding that picnic table outside the little café, bringing out the toolbox full of oracle cards and markers, and getting down to work on our goals and ideas.

That Surprise Second Date | An extremely fun & thoughtful multi-part date full of surprises that involved driving to a city 45 minutes away, an escape room, a trip to T&T, buying each other gifts at Value Village, and a romantic walk around a fairy-lit small town. It was perfect.

Laura & Mike’s Ceremony | I always get emotional at weddings, and this one, where I was one of the bridesmaids, was no exception! Add to that the fact that Sonja & Eric were playing beautiful music as everyone walked down the aisle? Let’s just say my mascara was running, a lot. So fun to watch Laura & Mike exchange vows in front of all their loved ones.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

My first ballet | Well, it was technically my second, since I went to see The Nutcracker once in Mississauga when I was a kid. But this year, Sonja surprised me with tickets to my first professional ballet as an adult and it was magical. It feels so fancy to go to the ballet! I loved the music and the dancing, and it’s a great format in that they have long intermissions after each piece so you can discuss it at length with your neighbour. So much fun.

That Il Volo concert | A family friend gave me tickets to see Il Volo when she couldn’t go at the last minute, so I took Sonja and we had the world’s best time. The crowd was WILD for them, even wilder than at rock concerts I’ve been to. We spent the whole time laughing at old women openly and repeatedly defying the security guards who kept coming by to stop them from filming the show and enjoying the music & the dynamic between the performers.

Radford Summit | This was such a fun professional success for me. I presented a talk on goal-setting at the Radford annual company summit at the Hazelton Hotel, in front of their entire team. There were beautiful printed workbooks and everything! I was really proud of that talk and the connections I made while I was there.

28 Favourite Moments >> Life In Limbo

My First Retreat! | This entire weekend was absolutely perfect, better than I’d even imagined. I got to hang out at a beautiful heritage home, look at horses, spend time with five inspiring entrepreneurs, do strategy sessions and masterminding, eat Nurture food (inspired by ME!?), and experience that deep sense of togetherness and solidarity. It was a lot of work, but it was so worth it.

Life is so wacky right now, so it’s a gift to think back on all the goodness and togetherness that happened over this past year. It helps me remember that so much more goodness and togetherness will happen again, and soon. And hopefully we’ll all be more present and grateful for it when it does. As I sit here, I am so thankful for all of these moments, and all of the ones that didn’t make the list but were just as special. Life might be wacky, but it’s also so wonderful. xo.

If you’re curious, you can read about my favourite moments of 212223, 24, and 25 and 27.

28 Favourite Things

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

Another year has gone by, which means it’s time for my annual accounting of what I’ve been up to and what I’ve loved over the past year of my life. I have to say that this year was by far my weirdest birthday, because I was social distancing from the people I love and the world as we know it was closed down. It was still special and definitely memorable, but strange for sure.

But as much as the world feels surreal right now, some traditions remain the same. No matter what, I know I’ll be happy to have this time capsule of memories someday. So without further ado, here are 28 things I loved when I was 28.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

TikTokThis is a recent addition to my life, but such a wonderful one. I resisted downloading it for a long time! Little did I know just how hilarious I would find it, or how much I would love learning dance choreography again, or how much joy it would bring me during a global pandemic. Bless TikTok and its weird, hilarious ways.

Sheertex TightsWatch out, these tights are no joke. They are essentially indestructible by human hands and yet very comfortable, which makes them the best tights I’ve ever owned. They *can* snag on a sharp point or toenail, so you still have to be careful, but even if they get a snag they won’t tear or run the same way regular tights do. These were expensive, but very worth it.

The DailyOver the last few years, whenever I’d go to New York to visit Katie, we’d listen to The Daily in the car and I always loved it. But it wasn’t until this year that I listened to it religiously at home as well because of the impeachment trial, the democratic primaries, and now the coronavirus. This is the only way I consume the news now and I am eternally impressed at the professionalism and the coverage they bring to tough issues. (My favourites are the episodes with smart kids.)

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

Essie Gel CoutureThe only nail polish I’ve ever found that even comes close to mimicking the look of shellac manicures at home. I get compliments on my nails all the time because of this stuff! Make sure to get the top coat too, because it makes a huge difference.

Dymo Label BuddyI found mine at a Salvation Army in Hamilton for 99 cents, but you can get one on Amazon for less than $20. These are SO MUCH FUN and are the perfect way to label things in a cool-looking way instead of a dorky-looking way (which, for the record, I’m still fully on board for). I bought black embossing tape to go with mine and now all my bottles look very chic.

Bon Appetit | I figured out how to download my favourite magazine for free onto my iPad (using the app RB Digital and my Toronto library card!) and it’s been so fun to get back into reading the issues each month even without a subscription. I adore the subculture of Bon Appetit and am also recently loving their YouTube channel too.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

Glasslock ContainersWhen I successfully started doing meal prep (inspired by this YouTube channel), I bought myself these as a ‘reward’ for having done my meal prep for a month straight. They keep things fresh for me longer than my (also beloved) Pyrex containers, and are so satisfying to open and close.

Tiny SpellsThis email newsletter is such a delight. Little self-care prompts, with a bit of witchiness thrown in for good measure. I rarely do all (or any) of the things she suggests, but just reading it helps me feel calmer and happier. It’s fun, and thoughtful, and there are a lot of emojis.

Wild Woven Shower Curtain | I have this gorgeous hand-painted and botanically dyed shower curtain hanging in my bathroom and it makes me happy every time I see it. Pink polka dots make everything better.

Uniball Jetstream 1.0mmI have been a fan of the uniball jetstream pens for years now, but I’ve always bought the retractable ones. This year, I was introduced to the regular version by my friend Priyanka, and I have been hooked ever since. I still absolutely love both, but taking the caps on and off these ones is pretty darn satisfying. And if you haven’t written with either of these pens: you are in for a treat!

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

The Introspective RetrospectiveThis was such a fun project to work on with my friends. To reflect on 2019, we each came up with two deep & meaningful questions to ask the other women in our coven, and I packaged them together in a fun PDF with lots of emojis. Then we made it available to anyone who was interested, and were blown away by the response! So delightful.

WhatsappAfter YEARS of resisting, I am now a Whatsapp convert. The ability to quote texts is killer, and searching in a conversation is so easy. (With iMessage, the search function NEVER works properly and it’s impossible to find what I need.) I’m obsessed and trying to convince my bestie to move our text convo over to Whatsapp so we can search & quote to our hearts’ content.

Airpods ProAnother thing I resisted for a long time, mostly because I really don’t like the look of the first-generation Airpods (I can’t unsee this meme 😂). But after a lot of research and my regular headphones glitching on me one too many times, I finally bit the expensive bullet and got these. I have never once regretted it and in fact am totally obsessed with them. They make it so much easier to have calls, to do chores, to go for walks, etc, especially in winter when I had to wear mountains of hats & scarves that have a tendency to get tangled.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

Knix | I had big love for Knix this year! I now have several pairs of their extremely comfortable underwear, a few of their amazing bras, and this super-cute, very comfy pyjama set. Their fabrics are amazing and so is their customer service. Big fan!

iPhone HolderSuch a simple device, but it comes in handy a lot more than I expected. I can use it for filming Instagram stories and TikTok dances, but it’s also helpful if I’m FaceTiming! This was an excellent use of $22.

Alexandra Gater’s YouTube ChannelI am totally obsessed with Alexandra’s style and makeovers. She specializes in renter-friendly updates, and her suggestions are always fun, colourful, and inspiring. She’s taught me a lot about home decor and watching her videos always makes me want to improve my own living space in ways big and small.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

My Blue Coat | By some miracle, I found a mint-condition cashmere & wool coat (this $500 coat, to be exact), in royal blue (a great colour for my skin tone), at Value Village for a grand total of $21.99. I still don’t understand how it happened (Sonja helped), but I do know that this coat has been such a joy for me. I love the shape of it, and it’s so stylish and warm. Praise be!

Maker’s Clean Cloths | For years I used crappy cloths and paper towels to clean my house, but this year I finally upgraded! I have the Small Space Kit from Maker’s Clean and it’s amazing. My favourite is the glass cleaner cloth, because it leaves my mirror so clear and shiny, but all of them are great.

Human DesignLet it be known that this was the year I became interested in the quirky, odd, but helpful concept of Human Design. It’s kind of like astrology, but weirder somehow. And yet, I’ve found it so helpful and interesting to learn more about the framework – it’s really helped me inform how I live in the world. If you’re curious, start here or here.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

East RoomMy friend Kate is a member at this coworking space, and has been good enough to let our mastermind group meet in the space each month! I could not be more obsessed with their aesthetic, attention to detail, branding and vibe. It feels so good to be there, especially when I’m so used to working from home. So much light, so many plants, so many people up to interesting things. I love.

Value VillageThis was the year I really became obsessed with the glory that is thrifting at Value Village. Up until this pandemic hit, it had really become one of my favourite pastimes to head to the big store near me and putter around while listening to podcasts. I have found so many beautiful, unique things to make my apartment feel more special! I can’t wait to get back there.

Radford FaceThis year I did some work with Victoria Radford and her management team, and was given their beautiful moisturizer as a gift. I adore how it smells and how it feels on my skin – it’s a dream. I’m also a big fan of their lip tint glow!

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

Wandering AimfullyAfter many years of admiring their work, I finally joined the Wandering Aimfully program this year and have been completely blown away ever since. Jason and Caroline are consistently delivering value, and doing so with heart and empathy and intelligence. I love being a part of the community, I love their coaching style, and I love all the resources I haven’t even had a chance to dive into yet. Such a great investment.

Burberry BritUntil this year, I hadn’t worn perfume consistently since high school. But I was so thrilled to find my new signature scent (or one of them!) this year with Burberry Brit. I’m so obsessed that I get excited when I re-wear a shirt that I’ve previously worn while wearing perfume. Is that weird? I just love the way it smells and it makes me feel so polished.

Romance novels | While this technically made this list last year, I have to put it down here again because this was really the year of romance for me. I now have a romance novel book club (!) with two friends, plus a spreadsheet of all our favourites. I also listened to this amazing podcast about why reading and writing romance novels can actually be a sacred practice. It’s become a feminist issue for me! Romance novels are disparaged because they are an art form by and for women, and hence in our culture, they must be “stupid”. I’ve had a very enjoyable time proving that belief wrong this year.

28 Favourite Things >> Life In Limbo

JoyfulI absolutely adored reading this book, which is all about the biological factors that bring humans joy: colour, surprise, abundance, and more. Her explanations of each of these elements was such a delight, and I’ve been thinking about the content ever since. Her Instagram account is very wonderful too.

Amazon Alexa | I have the Echo Dot, and while I am only scratching the surface of what this technology could probably do, it’s brought me a lot of joy this year. I love being able to ask for a song at any time, and have definitely listened to a lot more music as a result. I also like waking up knowing what the temperature is outside, or being able to get reminders about what’s on my calendar. Simple but helpful.

Zoom | Last but not least, this was the year I was most grateful for my Pro Zoom account. Thank goodness for stable video calls that don’t glitch (much) and can have practically unlimited participants. I don’t think I’d be getting through this pandemic without it.

And there you have it! 28 things I loved while I was 28. It is always so much fun putting these lists together. I mostly do it for myself, so that I can remember my life in more detail, but I also hope that something on this list can bring you some joy or delight as well. These days, we need all the lovely things that we can get.

If you’re curious, you can also see my favourite things from when I was 27, 25242322, and 21.