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.

One Second Everyday: 2019

I’m so excited to share another year of one second everyday! This is such a fun practice that I’ve done twice before, in 2016 & 2017.

I am always so grateful to have these little home videos of what my everyday life was like during a given time. I always think the chapters of my life are going to last forever but (of course) they never do. It’s fun to see what things change and what things stay exactly the same as I move through my life. I’m so thrilled to have this record of what 2019 was like for me!

If you’re interested, this is the app I use to create these videos.

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

27 Moments

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

Another year older, and another year of beautiful memories to look back on. I’m so sad that I didn’t get around to writing this list last year, because I have such a terrible memory and lists like these are an easy portal straight into my own past. Which I need, desperately! Without taking the time to document it all, my favourite moments have a way of being lost to the sands of time. So this year during my birthday week, I’m forcing myself to sit down and remember. To preserve for my future. Here are my favourite memories from the year I was 27:

Celebrating my grandma’s 90th birthday with our whole extended family (& even some Welsh rellies!). We were lucky enough that day to also experience a First Nations ceremony, organized by my uncle (who is First Nations) and his friends. The whole day was so special and heartfelt.

Having a photoshoot with Amber Ellis of Creating Light Studio. We took the photos on a gorgeous sunny day last June, and every moment was surreal. I didn’t feel “ready” or “skinny enough” or like I was a big enough deal to warrant the photos being taken. But they’ve (without exaggeration) changed my life & business. She’s magic.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

Sharing my heartbreak story on stage in front of a jam-packed room on a sweaty Montreal night. I’d gone through a bad breakup two nights prior, word-vomited all my feelings onto a piece of paper, and then spoke them out loud. My voice shook, but I felt so strong.

That time when someone bought my Inbox Zero course before I’d even officially launched it. I had mentioned that it was almost ready to launch in an email newsletter, and before I knew it, I’d sold a spot! Definitely a pinch-myself kind of moment.

Launching my podcast into the world! This project has been such a joy to create, and has brought me closer to so many of my friends. I love the insights we’ve found together, and I’m so glad that I finally pulled the trigger on this project that was marinating in my mind for years prior.

My first session of The Foundery. This January I started a group strategy program for women entrepreneurs, and our first meeting was such a wonderful moment for me. It was like I literally brought a photo (from my shoot with Amber!) to life in front of my eyes.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

Having a boudoir photoshoot a week and a half after a breakup. This initially felt like the worst timing ever, but it turns out, it was the best timing ever. There’s really nothing like seeing yourself in a new light. It was such a fun experience and I really treasure the photos. I will be so glad to have them when I’m 80!

That one perfect weekend up at the lake. Lots of swimming, lots of good food, lots of puppy cuddles, lots of sunshine, lots of reading. What could be better?

Going to Broadway Drag brunch in New York! These are a few of my favourite things, and I got to experience them with a few of my favourite people. What could be better?

Launching The Vault. This year I was proud to be a part of launching a digital magazine called The Vault. It took a ton of work and strategy and planning, so it was fun and rewarding to put it out into the world.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

Introducing Raffi in concert! I got the opportunity to introduce Raffi as part of my work with The MEHRIT Centre last summer, and it was a lot of fun. I brought my sister with me and after I’d said my piece we sat in the audience and laughed and sang to all the songs from our childhoods. So fun.

Singing at Marie’s Crisis, always. I went both times I was in New York during my 27th year, and both times my heart was full of joy. There is truly nothing I love more than being in that little dive bar singing my heart out.

That day on Toronto Island with Sonja & Salimah. We played hooky from work, missed the ferry, caught another one, walked across the whole island, got carrot cake, and talked about boys all day. It was so. much. fun. Can’t wait to do it again this summer.

Dogsitting for Bodhi. It was so lovely to be out at The Hideaway by myself, with just the quiet and the puppy to keep me company. Bliss.

Being at Riverfest Elora by myself. It brought me right back to my solo traveling days, when I could experience an event in exactly the way I wanted to. I got great food, explored downtown Elora, met up with a couple friends who were working there, and mostly just listened to great music and felt happy and free.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

Going to Sojo Spa Club with Katie. Um, hi. What is this place? We got in for approximately $0 because they were having an anniversary 2-for-1 sale, and it felt like we had been teleported straight back to our Korea days. It was truly remarkable, and such a cozy way to spend a chilly January day.

Getting my front tooth fixed. I’d had a chip in it since university, so fixing it was the best. I feel so much more confident in my smile! It broke off a couple times and had to be repaired again, but it seems to now be there to stay, hooray!

Going to RuPaul’s Drag Race live with my friends. This was a recent experience, but it was so fun that it made the list. Getting to experience one of my favourite shows in a group atmosphere helped me to finally understand why people like sports so much! Also, it’s great to get to see more of Toronto’s drag community.

Going ring shopping for Laura with Mike. The universe has a sense of humour, because this ironically happened the morning after my breakup. But it also ended up being the best possible timing, because it showed me what true love & care look like, and that was inspiring and cry-inducing and humbling.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

That backyard showcase at Christine’s. I was lucky enough to be in my friend Christine’s gorgeous backyard twice last summer, and both times were moments I’ll always remember. It’s like a paradise garden oasis, in the middle of Toronto! So lovely to hear my friends play music in the coziest little space.

That pirate ship showcase. My favourite thing in life is whimsy, and there is not much more whimsical than showing up to a pirate ship, buying a drink, and sailing along the shoreline listening to cello duets by extremely talented musicians. What a dream.

Going to A&W and Wicked with Bron. Even though it was pouring rain, and we ate in the food court at the Eaton Centre, I can’t think of any other way I’d rather spend a birthday celebration than being silly and watching musical theatre with her. She’s the best and I’m so glad we’re finally friends.

When Laura asked me to be her maid of honour on the bridge. She proposed to me! With a cute pink ring and everything! I was suitably honoured, and still am.

27 Moments >> Life In Limbo

All the Nurture Nurtures. Like I said on Instagram, these life/business retreats I do with Sonja and Moni are not exactly glamorous. In fact, they’re sticky and kind of embarrassing, but they also create change and progress and movement like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. If you want to do your own, I share more about the process here!

Going to Cobblestone Farm for the day! This seemed like such a small moment at the time, but it ended up being one of my favourite memories from last fall. So lovely to play hooky with my friends and drive to somewhere so beautiful and so different. And to see horses and dogs, my fave.

Doing magic tricks for all my friends! I had been practicing for weeks and was so nervous that I’d mess up on the night itself. But in the end, they all went flawlessly and it was SO MUCH FUN to make some jaws drop. Again: whimsy.

Both Nurture weekends! Exhausting, rewarding, fulfilling, beautiful, unbelievable, life-affirming, lovely. I’m the absolute luckiest to get to be a part of these retreats and to get to meet these women.

And there you have it! I’m sure I’m forgetting some, especially those small, tiny moments that light me up. But I will say this: it was a challenging year for me. There were a lot of tests and trials and tribulations galore, but on the other side I can see that they were all leading me to a better place. I love my life and am so grateful for everything I’ve gotten to experience.

I love doing these reflection posts every year. If you’re curious, you can read about my favourite moments of 212223, 24, and 25.