Favourite Things

32 Favourite Things

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Well.ca 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 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.

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