Birthday Lists

29 Favourite Things

Me sitting on a park bench in the Fall

I turned 30 last week and it was as wonderful as it could have been under the circumstances. Here in Ontario, we just got locked down again with some of the strictest guidelines we’ve had at any point during this pandemic. I feel lucky that I could celebrate my birthday safely, outdoors with some of my loved ones before everything got really bad again.

As is my personal tradition, I wanted to take some time to share the top 29 things I loved when I was 29. It has been a hard, long, incredibly painful year, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t goodness too. It was rewarding to reflect on the things that brought me joy this year despite all the hardship we were living through. It’s a beautiful practice, and I know that when I’m old and grey, it will be just as fascinating and special to look back on. So without further ado, here are the 29 things I loved most at age 29, in no particular order.

Someone is sitting on a pink couch facing a window, only their legs are visible

The pink couch | My boyfriend and I stumbled upon this pink velvet couch on Kijiji when looking for a cabinet for him. Little did we know we would find both from the same seller, and…drumroll please…both would be FREE?! Considering how many times I’d searched for a pink velvet couch in recent months, it felt like a sign – and sure enough, not even 2 weeks later I found the new apartment of my dreams where this couch would fit perfectly. It was in mint condition, beautiful, and so comfortable, but most importantly it was a catalyst for change in my life.

Nespresso Coffee Maker & Milk FrotherMike got me the frother for Christmas and the coffee maker for Valentine’s Day, and combined they have created the most magical morning coffees. I’m not that much of a coffee person, but having this machine makes me feel like I’m having café-worthy lattes at home! And now that I’m a part of the Nespresso coffee pod recycling program, I also feel a bit less badly about the waste being created. As a single person who lives alone, I would almost never make myself coffee since I’d never drink it all, so this feels like the perfect compromise.

Flexitol Heel BalmIf you know you know, but if you don’t know: suffering from dry feet & heels is a pain in the…well, foot. My heels have a tendency to crack, especially when the weather is dry or if I’m wearing sandals (aka all summer). Believe me when I say I had tried EVERYTHING to remedy this, but this cream is the only thing that’s ever worked for me. Such a lifesaver, now I use it after almost every shower.

Purple Always pan on the stove

Always PanWorth the hype. 100% worth the hype. I caved when these were on sale in the fall and I have never looked back. In fact, I have retired almost all of my other pans and use this one exclusively on a day-to-day basis. Beautiful, light, easy to clean, non-stick even with eggs?! It’s wonderful. I have the lavender colour and I’m obsessed.

Overalls! | After being influenced by some of my fave folks on the internet, I decided to hop on the overall bandwagon and get a couple pairs of my own. I now have a pair of overall shorts and a white denim overall skirt, and I can’t stress enough how much more fun it’s been to get dressed in the summertime. Overalls make you look more put together somehow, even though they’re just as much work as putting on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Love. Will be buying more, most likely.

Matching Watches | On a whim last year, Mike and I got his and hers matching watches from Fossil and it’s been such an unexpected delight. Every time I put it on I think of him, I love how we coordinate, and the watches themselves are so well-made and beautiful. Believe it or not, I took some convincing to go this route (I had my eye on some other, not-so-matchy designs) but I’m so glad he persuaded me.

A top down view of someone sitting on a rock by the water, only their shoes are visible with a backdrop of water

Sperry TopsidersI’d been wanting a pair for years, and I’m happy to report that they did not disappoint. They are such a comfortable and stylish shoe, and I don’t have to worry about them taking a beating. They look even better when they’re broken in and well-loved! As someone who daydreams about having a cottage on the lake one day, getting these shoes felt like a step (lol) in the right direction.

Mystic Mondays TarotFor our twice-annual retreat this year, my friends and I decided to buy new tarot decks and I chose this one, which I’d had my eye on for a couple of years. The art is stunning, the cards are high-quality and have silver edges (!) and the readings so far have been on point. I love that I got to use these cards during our magical retreat and then take that energy with me afterwards into my everyday life.

OXO Ice Cube TraysMy family made fun of me for spending $20 on ice cube trays, but I do not care. They are worth every penny! Let me extoll the benefits: they come in a pack of two, they’re stackable, they have a cover that blocks out those funky smells from your freezer from making the ice taste bad, they’re sturdy and well made (aka not flimsy, aka not going to crack), and the ice cubes come out in a pleasant shape. I love them.

Girl holding a pink iced doughnut

Daddy-O’s DoughnutsLiterally as I write this my mouth is starting to water. These doughnuts, which we found almost by accident one freezing-cold day this winter, are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Period. Something about the way the dough itself is made makes them incredibly tasty, plus then they have so many fun toppings and flavours. The rest of their pastries and scones are equally delightful. Can I stop writing this and go right now?!

Madewell Jean JacketAs I write this list, I am reminded of how many of these items are things I’ve wanted for a long time and finally purchased for myself. I actually don’t feel badly about that – I am a pretty conscious shopper and like to consider purchases for a while before deciding on exactly what I want. And this jacket is the perfect example – the culmination of years of searching for the perfect jean jacket! It also doesn’t hurt that Meghan Markle has the same one 😉

Notion | I cannot describe just how much switching all my productivity systems to Notion has changed my life. I’d tried it out a few years ago and it just never stuck for me, but watching Marie Poulin & August Bradley’s videos really brought it to life for me. I spent an entire weekend fully designing my own setup & system, and have never looked back. I am truly, madly, deeply in love with it.

Mike kissing me on the cheek at an outdoor party, I am wearing a straw hat

Wide-Brimmed Straw HatWhy have I waited so long to get back into wide-brimmed hats for summer?! My very practical Taurus friends were always talking about them, but wearing a hat in summer was something I literally just hadn’t thought about at all since I was a kid wearing Tilley hats! Consider my life changed by this beautiful hat that I bought on a whim and promptly wore daily for the entire summer. More hats!

Home Decor YouTube Channels | I went IN this year on the home decor world. It is my new favourite thing to watch and I would consider myself addicted to several different channels, including Alexandra Gater, Lone Fox, The Sorry Girls, Tasha Leelyn, DIY Danie, Xo MaCenna and more. If you have recommendations, please send them my way!! I need to feed the beast!

You Need a BudgetTechnically I was obsessed with this before my last birthday, but I am appalled and confused by the fact that it was not mentioned on last year’s list?! You Need a Budget has changed my life in countless ways and continues to make me happy and bring me peace every single week. It’s a budgeting system based on the envelope method, and while it does take more time than what I was doing before (aka: nothing), the peace of mind and confidence it brings me is worth every minute, and every penny. I am a true convert, but my major caveat is that if you decide to check it out, you need to watch these videos first!! Otherwise, you will get stuck & hate it. Trust me on this.

Holding The Book of Longings up against a background of a beautiful tree

The Book of LongingsMuch like Joyful was my favourite book from last year, this was my favourite book from this year. I found the experience of reading it so transporting, all-consuming, and even transformational. It’s a beautiful, heart-breaking story of the (fictional) life of the (fictional) wife of Jesus. The author imagines what this woman might have been like, given that it would have been very common for a man of Jesus’s background to marry. I absolutely loved it and found it so relatable and interesting.

Unlocking UsBrené Brown launched her podcast right around the time when the lockdowns first started, and the world rejoiced. Her voice, personality, and humour were a huge part of what helped me get through those first few, incredibly scary weeks. I love the interviews she does, her point of view, and of course the nuggets of wisdom that she shares on every episode. I’m a bit behind on listening because she moved to Spotify (incredibly annoying that they are doing this), but still such a huge fan.

Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Hand SoapThis doesn’t need a ton of explanation, except to say how much I love the smell of this soap. It is such a delicious flavour that when I first discovered it at a friend’s house (back when we could go to friends’ houses), I loved the way my hands smelled so much that I had to get some of my own. Now it’s the only soap I use! Huzzah! I buy mine from in the refill jugs.

Mike and I outdoors in the snow wearing matching Carhartt hats

Carhartt Winter Hat & Mitts | This past winter, I was utterly determined to be less cold than in winters past. It was not entirely successful, since I live in Canada, but investing in this hat and these mitts was definitely a game-changer. The hat is a bit annoying since it tends to slide up over my ears, but I have yet to encounter a hat that doesn’t do that with my hair, so it’s not a huge deal. It’s stylish without trying and WARM, as are the mitts. My hands have been quite toasty in these throughout winter social distancing activities, and for that I am grateful.

Into The Unknown DocumentaryI am currently on my second watching of this Disney documentary about the making of Frozen II, and more broadly what it’s like to put together any Disney animated movie. Watching the teamwork, the creativity, the organization, the hard conversations and decisions – all of it is so incredibly fascinating. I love getting a glimpse into how brilliant people manage their work, and this series is such a treat. Highly recommend.

Raneir Pollard HIIT WorkoutsEarly on in the pandemic, I became someone who does HIIT workouts! I had never been interested in trying them before, but being stuck at home gave me very few options for exercising, and after my boyfriend and I discovered Raneir Pollard, I was hooked! I am less consistent with them now, but I love Raneir’s attitude, energy and personality and he definitely makes working out just a little less painful. Plus, I find that I actually really like the HIIT style and have gone on to discover other instructors that I love too!

My sandy feet on the beach on my blue and white picnic blanket

Picnic Blanket | I picked up this blue-and-white striped picnic blanket from Indigo last year and it totally improved my whole summer! It’s lightweight, portable, less susceptible to spills and stains than some materials, and most of all it’s CUTE. I love the striped look and it makes every picnic or outdoor reading date that much more special. Definitely plan to continue using this all summer long.

Board Games | Being stuck inside made me really want to invest in creating a solid board games collection, and that endeavour is well underway. So far I only have a few. I started with Bananagrams, which is a family favourite. Then Mike got me Villainous for our anniversary which we have had so much fun playing. And lastly I got myself Dutch Blitz after it took my family by storm! I’m excited to keep adding more games to my collection so that I have things to do during these incessant lockdowns.

My Book Clubs | This year I was particularly grateful for book clubs! Even when we needed to transition everything online, the book club format was still a great contender for socializing. I kept up with one book club I’ve been part of for four years (!) and also decided to start a second one in order to read and discuss romance novels. So far, that one has been incredibly fun and packed with smart, funny women. If you’re not already part of a book club, start one! It’s so fun, and I always end up reading more broadly than I otherwise would on my own.

A polaroid picture of Mike and I being held up against a backdrop of the lake

Fujifilm Instant CameraAnother thing that I’d had on my wishlist that Mike treated me to for Christmas! I have the light pink one (obvi) and it’s been so fun so far to use. For my birthday this year, he got me this Adventures Book for couples, which has spots for instant photos, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving! I’m such a fan of old school Polaroid-looking photos, so it’s such a treat to be able to capture and save some of my own.

Go Clean Co.Wasn’t this everyone’s favourite Instagram account this year? I am fully obsessed with @gocleanco and everything they post. I bought the ebook, got the full kit of supplies, and have been blown away by how satisfying it can actually be to keep things clean and tidy. It’s a whole new world and I’ve learned so much! The powdered Tide alone has changed the game for me. Go fall down the rabbit hole!

A bowl of delicious mac and cheese!

Sprouted Kitchen Cooking ClubI will be the first to admit that I have fallen out of my routine with this cooking club program, but I still love getting the ideas & inspiration in my inbox every week. Sara puts together four recipes a week that are fresh, different, and delicious, and sends you all the grocery lists & instructions you need to make them happen. For a while there I was incredibly consistent (it was so helpful to not have to decide what to cook!) and the results were always incredibly delicious. As I write this, I am setting the intention to get back to it soon! Very worth it.

Pink silky robeThis was another item we bought for one of my personal retreats, and it makes me so happy. It is such a soft and silky fabric in the perfect colour, and it even has little ruffles on the sleeves! It’s such a feminine, timeless piece and it makes me so happy to wear around the house.

Quarter Sheet TraysI love the size and shape of these trays. They’re so much easier to maneuver and wash than my full-size trays, which is great for when I just need to quickly heat something up. I still love my big trays for roasting veggies and the like, but these are so great for everyday cooking.

A photo of a bed next to a big window

My new apartment | This one snuck in right under the wire, as I moved in only a week before my 30th birthday. But it needs to go on the list, because I don’t think I could possibly love it any more. It has tons of huge windows, so much light, a big balcony, lots of space, great details, and is in a beautiful house in my favourite neighbourhood. Couldn’t get much dreamier, if you ask me! Feels like such a miracle that I’m here after months (years) of searching, and it came at the perfect time. I feel grateful for it every single day.

I am so delighted by this list! All my favourite things from when I was 29 years old. As always, I’m sure I’ve forgotten things, but this is still a pretty good time capsule of what brought me happiness & peace during a very difficult year. Writing it all out on what is a fairly depressing day is a good and important reminder for me that it’s the little things that can make a big difference. Sending you all kinds of love and joy and delight, wherever you are in the world.

If you’re curious, you can also see my favourite things from when I was 28, 2725242322, and 21.

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.

29 Before 29

28 Before 28 >> Life In Limbo

Updated: June 4, 2020

The birthday posts are back with a vengeance this year! It feels great to be back to them, because taking a pause for a bit of reflection and a bit of intention-setting is (as we know) one of my favourite things ever. So why would I miss this birthday opportunity!?

My birthday list is a little collection of fun experiences I’d like to have or things I’d like to do before my next birthday rolls around. I never complete the full list in one year, but having these ideas recorded somewhere means that I end up doing more of them than I would otherwise. And that’s the whole point! So here are my 29 before 29:

  1. Take a trip somewhere warm during the winter
  2. Get a beautiful Monstera plant
  3. Visit Prince Edward County
  4. Go to La Scandinave spa
  5. Go camping with loved ones
  6. See the Infinite Kusama exhibit
  7. Get a signature perfume ✓
  8. Swim in the ocean
  9. Print more square photos for my parlour ✓
  10. Visit Montreal in the summertime
  11. Throw a dinner party in my new dining room
  12. Visit the Ripley’s Aquarium
  13. Ride the forest roller coaster at Blue Mountain
  14. Visit the Winter Stations installations
  15. Get a beautiful ceramic platter/altar piece
  16. Get a statement rug
  17. Go on another Nurture Nurture retreat 
  18. Take a class at the Underground Dance Center
  19. Go to a musical with my sister ✓
  20. Host a business retreat weekend ✓
  21. Do a waterfall hike
  22. Play hooky on Toronto Island on a weekday
  23. Go to a movie at the Cinesphere ✓
  24. Do NaBloPoMo or NaNoWriMo again
  25. Go leaf-peeping in the fall ✓
  26. Go skinny-dipping
  27. Stay in a very quirky Airbnb
  28. Try acupuncture ✓
  29. Something that makes me surprise myself

Curious about past years? You can check out my other lists here: 26 Before 26 | 25 Before 25 | 24 Before 24 | 22 Before 22

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