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.

27 Things

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

It’s April again! How did that happen? Life is moving so quickly since I moved home almost three years ago now. It feels like an instant! I love that my birthday gives me a built-in opportunity to take stock of things and check in with myself. It’s also a great time to be blown away by how much things have changed in only one short year’s time.

Every year I love to recap my favourite things and moments from the last year of my life. Last year around this time, my websites were hacked and it was a crazy nightmare, so I never got around to writing out my lists. I feel sad about that, but I’m getting back to it now! Here’s what I can remember loving while I was 27.

Aigle rainboots | Stylish rainboots with a little tassel? Sign me up please! I got these on sale from my favourite shoe store and proceeded to wear them for the entire winter whenever it was even a little mucky. So comfy and so cute.

Matt & Nat backpackI needed a good-looking bag that was big enough to fit my laptop, so I bought this one and have never looked back. I wear it everywhere and am always very relieved that it’s a backpack instead of a shoulder bag.

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

Sunday’s Company | I was fortunate to meet Mel, the founder of this botanical skincare company, at last November’s Nurture. She is very inspiring & her products are so beautiful. I’m slowly building a collection!

Keona Boutique Earrings | I have two pairs of earrings from this boutique jewellery line and I get complimented on them every single time I wear them.

Co-Star | This past year of my life was definitely the year that I became interested in astrology on any level, and downloading this app which lets you remember your chart and see your friends’ star signs was a very fun part of that journey.

Airtable | If you’ve been anywhere near me over the past year, chances are I’ve probably talked your ear off about Airtable at some point. It’s like a spreadsheet, but so much better because you can easily filter & re-group your data in various ways. Don’t just take my word for it! Run, don’t walk!

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

Ultralight Down JacketThis was a Christmas gift from my sweet mama, who also chose the raspberry colour for me. I love it and have been wearing it non-stop this Spring.

Palo santo | I am so in love with this scent and what burning it represents for me now. It’s been such a staple of my time at retreats and special evenings over the past year, and now it feels like such a lovely ritual in my life.

Seth Godin’s smoothieI remember hearing about this smoothie recipe on an old episode of the Tim Ferriss podcast, but I decided to try making it this year when I was looking for a new breakfast idea. So delicious! And lots of good nutrients inside.

AsanaAnother tool that incessantly makes my work life better! This year I fully committed to putting all my personal & work tasks into Asana and it’s been such a game-changer. I feel so much more productive and I never forget anything! Plus it’s so satisfying to check things off, especially on mobile.

Binge Mode: Harry PotterI got *really* into this podcast this year while re-reading the books alongside. I love their characterization, their funny impressions, and all the hundreds of facts they have to share that make the reading experience even more fun. Such a great show.

TeachableThis year was also the year of my very first online course! That process was hard and time-consuming, but using Teachable really made it so much easier. I am grateful for a service that easily helps me to put up my content and collect payments and make it look really pretty.

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

Next Year, For SureOne of my fave reads of last summer. I love books that make me feel real feelings, and this one really did. Love is weird and complicated, and I thought this book did an excellent job of depicting that.

AnchorI switched all my podcast hosting over to Anchor this year and oh my goodness I’m glad I did. Not only am I saving so much money every month, I also find their interface so easy to use and make updates within. Such a fantastic tool for podcasters.

Vanilla salt | Need I say more? I developed a true love for vanilla salt last year but couldn’t find it anywhere, so my friend Sonja made me some of my own to have. It’s truly exceptional, even in oatmeal.

CirceAnother book I loved this year. I wish I could re-read it for the first time! It’s a long book but feels incredibly short because it’s so hard to put down. And somehow the author makes hundreds of years feel compelling and rich and interesting. Loved this tale of Greek mythology told from a captivating woman’s perspective.

Bose headphones | These were a birthday gift a couple years ago, and I love using them so much. They’re awesome for blocking out other noise when I’m working at a café, and I’ve also recently started listening to music through them sometimes at home just because they make everything sound so much better.

Romance novels | Yes, I said it. These were a very fun part of the past year! There is something so delightful about stories about love and romance – they make me laugh sometimes with how cheesy they are, but it’s a good time. Caution: some are better than others, as with anything. Lol. I liked this one and this one.

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

Houseplants | The past couple years have really solidified my status as a plant lady, since I’ve managed to keep several plants alive in my cozy little apartment! Favourites include my Pothos plants, my snake plant, and my ZZ plant.

BananagramsMy family became truly obsessed with this game this year. We now each have our own set, and always play a few games anytime we’re spending time together. It’s so fun and funny and a great brain-teaser.

ShakshukaI was obsessed with this meal this year. Delicious tomato sauce with runny eggs & naan bread? Yes please! I love to make this for myself on weekend mornings, or sometimes just for dinner. So yum.

Dense DiscoveryThis was my favourite newsletter of the year! I love the links they find and the quotes they include and the thoughts they share.

My Grandmother’s teak furniture | This year I inherited my grandmother’s teak dining room table & chairs, which I have loved since I was a kid. They are absolutely gorgeous and have changed the whole feeling in my apartment for the better. I adore them.

Light timer | I installed one of these in my living room this winter and have been so thrilled with the results. It turns on every morning to help me wake up, then switches itself off, then comes back on in the evening and switches off at my bedtime. So handy! I want these for all my lights.

Hurry SlowlyI am obsessed with the way Jocelyn K. Glei thinks about the world. She asks the best questions to the most interesting guests! I always look forward to listening to her ideas anytime she has new episodes to share.

27 Things >> Life In Limbo

ArteryI am such a huge fan of the Artery platform and all the incredible talent I’ve gotten to witness as a result of being acquainted with it over the past couple years! I’ve been to showcases of dance, music of all kinds, poetry, food, pirate ships..and each one has been such magic. Go learn more!

Red lipstick & liner | This year I got a up-close tutorial of how to put on lipstick, including the step I’ve somehow always missed that you need to use lip liner first! Since then, I’ve become a huge fan of lipstick and love wearing it.

And there you have it! 27 things I loved over the past year or two. I love how these lists are like a time capsule to my future self. I know that ten years from now, I’ll have forgotten what little things I loved, but I’ll be lucky to have these lists to help bring those memories back.

If you’re curious, you can also see my favourite things from when I was 25, 242322, and 21.

25 Things

25 Things >> Life In Limbo

It’s that time of year again! Every April around my birthday, I like to take stock of the past year and record what stands out. Last week I posted about my 25 favourite moments, and today I wanted to share my 25 favourite things. Everything on this list makes me so happy! Here we go:

Red Wing BootsI saw these on Cup of Jo, instantly ruled them out because they cost too much, and tried to find a copycat style. Long story short, I didn’t like any others as much as these, so I splurged. That said, considering they’re meant to last 20 years or more, I haven’t once felt guilty about the purchase. They’re exactly what I wanted, and make me feel awesome.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing LotionI became a true convert to this lotion over the past year – so much so that I have a bottle for every room in my house. It’s also the first year that I didn’t get flaky lizard legs during the wintertime, so I’d say it’s been a great strategy! I love how fast this absorbs and how non-greasy it is. I have found my lotion!

Shellac manicures | Now, I know people say these are not great for your nails, and I will admit that this is a recent fave in only the past couple months. But I’m obsessed! My nails have never looked better, and it lasts forever even though I’m not careful with my hands. Regular manicures last exactly one day on me, whereas these last until my nails grow out.

Uniball Jetstream Pens | I feel like I have found my forever pen. I just love these pens – they’re so smooth, they’re retractable, they don’t smudge. I am a bit of a pen nerd so this opinion is subject to change, but for now, these are the ones. A little more expensive than I’m used to, but so far they are worth it.

LovesickI think I’ve seen this whole series three times in the past year, which is a new record since normally I can barely watch things once. There’s just something about this show that gets me right in the feels but also makes me really happy. It’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s sad – I love it.

25 Things >> Life In Limbo

Quaker Microwave Steel Cut OatsIn just one year I have gone from oatmeal-hater to eating these for breakfast almost every single morning. Thanks to Dad for having them at his house over the summer! It’s probably the cheapest breakfast you could buy ($4 for like 2 weeks worth), filling, and yummy. I eat mine with peanut butter and cinnamon.

Philips Wake-Up LightI currently live in a basement apartment, so this thing has been super essential over the past several months. It does exactly what it sounds like – wakes you up slowly by turning the lights up gradually. It also has a mildly annoying alarm that goes off, but usually by the time it does, the light coming on has already woken me up somewhat. Thanks Mom!

Taking baths | Very recent phenomena in my life, mostly because in Montreal my shower was gross, and in Korea & Ecuador I did not have a bathtub. So this has been the first year that a tub has been available to me, and I started to take advantage of that! It’s fun to lock myself in my bathroom, light a bunch of candles and read my book. I never stay in very long, but it’s soothing nonetheless.

Tuesdays TogetherThis one little meetup has made such a huge impact on my life in just a few short months! It’s a group for creative entrepreneurs with chapters in several cities around the world. I’ve met so many awesome people through going to only a handful of meetings so far, and it’s been an amazing experience for both my business and my personal growth. Highly recommend!

Stevia DropsOne of my goals for the fall was to cut out more sugar, and these were a huge part of making that a success. I find sweet desserts relatively easy to turn down (though around my birthday it’s more of a challenge!), but I can’t seem to get used to black tea or coffee. Having these on hand has been awesome, and I’ve cut down a lot on my sugar intake. Yay!

The Wirecutter + The Sweet HomeAs someone who tends to do a ridiculous amount of research before buying anything, these websites have been absolutely amazing. Basically, they review every single product in a particular category, score them, and then tell you the best one for both price and quality. It’s actually hilarious how many of their top-rated products I now own, mostly because it makes the decision so easy and productive! I love everything I’ve bought on their recommendation.

Lands End SlippersMy dad got us all matching slippers for Christmas this year and there are precious few moments these days when I am not wearing them at home. They’re so cozy, and I think it’s fun that my whole family matches.

Cerave Products | I am such a huge fan of these products. I love how mild their formulas are, and how they don’t use fragrance. I also love their packaging and the way the bottles are constructed – perfect for travel! I now have their foaming facial cleanser, AM moisturizing lotion with SPF 30 and PM moisturizer.

1 Second EverydayI actually put this on last year’s list too, but it warrants another mention. In 2017 I’ve gotten serious about this project and haven’t missed a day so far, touch wood. It’s been so fun to see the video growing day by day, and even though I don’t always capture the most exciting moment of the day, it’s always a special one because it brings back all kinds of memories. Love this project.

Spotify (Premium) | I have long been a fan of Spotify, and I think it’s made one of these lists before, but I have to give it a special shoutout in this, my first year of full-time freelancing. It is kind of crazy how much Spotify I listen to every single day while I’m working, and even more crazy that I didn’t upgrade to Premium until a couple months ago. Why did I listen to so many ads every single day instead of paying $10 a month? I have no idea.

Hamilton Soundtrack | Speaking of Spotify, I seriously hope that there’s no ‘usage report’ anywhere on there, because I know it would be embarrassing to see how much I listened to this soundtrack this year. It somehow became my concentration music, meaning that if I put it on, I get into the zone, work-wise. I love it, and I love Lin Manuel.

Roncesvalles Village >> Life In Limbo

Roncesvalles Village | My beloved neighbourhood. I moved here in October, and it is already so dear to me. When I thought I might have to move out of my place, I was crushed mostly because of how much I love this place. I’m near the park, near the lake, near the library, near a bunch of adorable coffee shops and restaurants, and near tons of transit options to take me into the heart of the city…and then back out again to my peaceful hood. I never want to leave!

Self-RegI’ve only scratched the surface of this powerful framework, but already Dr. Shanker’s work has made a huge impact on me personally and professionally. I’m taking the Foundations course now, and starting to see the world more and more through a “Self-Reg lens”. Such a fascinating blend of science and practice. I can’t wait to learn more.

HomegoingI read a lot of great books this year, but when it came time to make this list, this is the book that stood out the most. It’s so powerful and moving, and also so well-crafted as a novel. It feels so rich and is told so beautifully, even though each section is relatively short.

Bic Multipurpose LighterMy Grandma gave me this as a housewarming present, and it’s turned into one of my favourite things. I never used to like lighting candles because I’d burn my fingers or get annoyed by matches. Did I ever think of buying a lighter? No. But now I have a lavender-coloured one and use it constantly.

Rusk CTC Hair DryerThis was the year I learned how to blowdry my hair, and it never would have become a regular part of my routine without this hair dryer. Yes, it’s a pick from The Sweet Home (see above!) and I love it dearly. Lightweight and super hot (almost too hot at times) = fast hair drying. I love this thing.

Ergonomic Keyboard + MouseMy chronic back pain has all but disappeared thanks to this easy setup that I use whenever I’m working from home. The layout might not be for everyone, but it works for me and has been such a lifesaver over the past year of full time (computer-based) freelancing. It was affordable, and I matched it with a simple riser for my laptop and have been so happy with the results.

25 Things >> Life In Limbo

The Triangle QuiltThis quilt was my favourite project to date. I have since given it away, but it taught me that I can make a quilt and how enjoyable that process can be. I already have a second quilt top sewn but have been dragging my feet on finishing it. Time to get back to it!

“When the satisfaction or security of another person becomes as significant to one as one’s own satisfaction or security, then the state of love exists. Under no other circumstances.” -Harry Stack Sullivan | I think I heard this quote on Alanis Morissette’s podcast, and it struck a real chord with me. I’ve done a lot of thinking this year about relationships, and this idea was one that I found so powerful. 

Just looking at this list makes me ridiculously happy. How lucky am I, to get to surround myself with lovely things and lovely people? The luckiest. I never stop being grateful for the life I’m living right now. I can’t wait to see what 26 has in store for me! So far (one week in), it’s been wonderful.

If you’re curious, you can also see my favourite things from when I was 24, 23, 22, and 21.

24 Favourite Things

24 Things >> Life In Limbo

Each year around my birthday, I like to reflect on the past year of my life and remember what made it special. My 24th was a beautiful year, full of lots of beautiful memories. It’s so much fun to record the things I loved, so here they are in no particular order, my favourite things when I was 24.

Coffee | I didn’t drink coffee until I became an English teacher in Korea. I left Korea right before my birthday last year, but this year has really converted me into having a real fondness for coffee. I don’t need it – some mornings, I forget – but I really enjoy the ritual. I bought myself this cold brew coffee maker for Christmas which makes my coffee habit cheap & easy.

Yoga in the park | We started a free yoga class in the park here in Quito in October, but it quickly turned into one of my favourite things….ever. We have met some wonderful people, gotten some career opportunities, and most importantly created something to anchor us to the community here. It’s always a high point of my week.

Spanish | I was trying to learn Spanish while in Korea using Duolingo and Memrise but not having a ton of success. Luckily, just a couple months after my birthday I met my now-boyfriend, a born and bred Ecuadorian to practice with. After moving to Quito, my Spanish grew by leaps and bounds and I’m happy to say that I’m told I even have a Quiteña accent. I enrolled in a Spanish course at the local university just before my 25th birthday and it’s drastically helping me to refine my verbs and grammar.

1 Second Everyday | I only started using this app in January, but it still makes the list of my favourite things. It’s such a simple, lovely way to document your life and watching the video gives me so much joy.

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