SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan

Lizane Tan

Graphic Designer & Part Time Seasonal Flight Attendant 

Lizane can be found using her graphic design skills in freelance projects, working as a part time seasonal flight attendant, while also connecting with others and being inspired by the world when traveling.

Lizane is richly inspired by the creativity in the world that she explores and uses that inspiration to connect us deeper to the stories we are trying to tell with the work she creates.

She also happens to have a grounding presence that allows space for learning, inspiration and a celebration for the unique self within.

More Lizane



LIFESTYLE | Enneagram 7 - The Enthusiast

I remember my first personality test book, my aunt gave me as a pre-teen, based off the Myers Briggs format . I didn’t necessarily get the whole concept then, and in part probably because I was still a teen and it being hard to know what your full personality is at such a young age when so much is changing. Even still, that was my first foray into it all & I loved it.

Recently one of my best friends got me into another form of personality testing. The enneagram. This personality frame work isn’t easy to step into. A lot of it is based on various aspects of your personality that make it hard to just take a quiz and get an answer. After many discussions at random between her and I, she guided me to the type 7 which is 100% me.

7 | The Enthusiast
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

What I have learned about myself

Not an extravert.

I often get pegged as an extravert and this framework not only helped me solidify that I am not at my core, but that I enjoy having fun with others and enjoy variety. This means that I meet people with excitement wether I feel it or not. This is how I relate to others and the world around me. I still need that down time.

Fearing Deprivation & Pain

Any time I feel that my joy is being cornered and pushed aside I am begin to slip into a struggle with my own inner battles. Overworking, too many social events, not enough social interaction, relational discord, financial constraints…anything that beings to put my overall life and self into a restricted place, I begin to spin out.

This is such a big awareness for me and has explained why taking on work contracts is such a huge practice in setting aside my fears and how I need to make space for myself when I take on new things. How parenting solo while my partner was at sea was an emotional challenge, how traveling with a busy schedule or expectations overwhelms me… they are all seemingly small things, but they set my fears of constriction in life in motion & this knowledge has been so enlightening.

Desiring contentment & satisfaction.

There is nothing better for me to end the day knowing that I have done the day with enthusiasm and with success. To feel satisfied by my work, my relationships and my down time is what brings me into a contented place. & in so many situations I don’t require much. Time to care for my house, some face to face time with a dear one & some time to enjoy my work.

“Un peu de tout”

At my Best

In growth I become focused and fascinated with life.

At my worst

In stress I become overly structured and critical.

How to apply this knowledge


Realizing that my life partner is an Investigator brings me into a better understanding of why and how we tick as a team. I am also realizing why people have pegged me as an extravert for so long and how I can learn to work with that misconception knowing that my enthusiastic nature is what connects me to others.


The Enneagram insight has given me intense insight on how I react to my work life. Emails, requests and scheduling work around mothering and other integral things like medical appointments, house renos etc have me spinning out on the best of days. The insight that my desire of not being in deprivation (of personal time, ability to meet my commitments, deprived of work due to lack of child care etc) has been the source of much of my own accumulated stress in the professional side of life. Giving myself more grace for the week that is before me will hopefully allow me to respond to my colleagues, work partner and those around me with a more well rounded mindset.

WORK | A One Woman Show

Everything in stages

After spending a day story boarding her life, I took another step into the direction of writing a one woman show about my grandmother, Joan Francis Goodday Lugar by beginning that first draft.

Because of her importance in my life and the weight she carries, I have found myself caught between the urge to see this fantastic, complex and very straight forward woman characterized on stage in her many facets and the anxiety that I will get it all wrong and not serve her story properly.

I press on.

Baby steps have been taken to start taking the storyboard onto paper and I have given myself this year to meander in pulling it together. I trust that I will be able to see that final first draft by late autumn of this year and begin to hone it after.

What I see when I look at the photos of her, is a strong capable, woman who was beyond her time. She was sharp as she was tender and quippy as she was also observant.

taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.

taken by Jasmine Alexander at ‘The Watch that Ends the Night’ , Dartmouth, NS.


The turning over into a new decade. Something worth celebrating.

10 new years to sink deeper into who I am, where I am called and discovering gold in the corners of life.

Many things are being left in my twenties, things that made me new and things that forced me to grow despite my own fear.

What I am taking into my thirties.

That seat at the table

I am not questioning the seats that open up for me anymore, and neither am I going to continue doubting wether the fold up chair under my arm will match enough with others at the table. It’s apparent that I have work to do in this world that is uniquely and specifically mine to show up for.

A unique voice.

I am permitting and embracing my own unique voice to exist outside of my own perceived safety zones. Pushing back and letting my voice represent me has been an incredible journey thus far and continues to bring me closer to the One who made me.

A well rounded intelligence

I am celebrating the intelligence that resides within me. I have had incredible experiences so far, both personally and professionally that have led me to where I am. What I add to a team, a vision or just in conversation is so worthy. Each experience grows us when we stay open to it.

Relationships that go both ways

I am lavish and loyal in relationships. In embracing my unique love languages and how I best connect both personally and professionally, I am enlightened to realize that my worn out spirit has choices. Investing in personal and professional relationships that can thrive with a healthy amount of expressive interaction, space and trust is everything for this next decade.

Delicious food both healthy and indulgent

I am healed by the act of taking in delicious food. I have learned that at the dining table I have found an awareness of myself and others that has left me inspired, encouraged and made new again. To share that experiences with those I love and continue to grow my pallet is an exciting adventure.

That comedic take on life

I am anchored by humour through every season. I didn’t realize how much laughter I had been raised on until I started raising my own child. Finding the laughter in even the toughest season is where I am the best of me.

Embracing every inch of my strong capable body

I am incredibly capable as I am. I am daily practicing to love every inch of what I have. Long legs, short torso, aging hands, crinkly eyes, stretch marks, high cheek bones, sharp eyes that disappear when I smile... All of it. It’s mine to celebrate until I die.

All that strong visioning skills

I can see projects, ideas, concepts, styles, etc before they are created. I have an incredible eye for design & creation. I won’t be letting that sit idle. Time to use it with joy.

Gut instinct

I am insightful and it’s easy to disregard when faced to explain it to someone who doesn’t sense the same thing, but enough life has passed for me to realize that it’s a skill to trust and not doubt.

The raw vulnerability

I have journeyed some incredibly tough situations the past ten years and through it all, what does remain is a raw vulernability that I have learned is a strength. Hard to feel strong about that when in the middle of a ‘storm’ but it continues to be what has kept me going, thriving and learning. That raw vulnerability may feel terrible in the moment, but it has moved mountains I am only just now learning about.

& with those tucked close, onward I go, into the next decade of learning, loving and luscious living.

SPOTLIGHT | Bethany Dunn

Bethany Dunn

Comedian & Teacher

Bethany can be found improvising and working with the improv troupe Hello City, helping to connect others with their passions through Skills Canada while also sharing her love for improv in teaching classes through Halifax’s Neptune Theatre.

Beth is highly focused on her work and delivers a passion and excellence that ripple affects into those who are privileged to learn through her.

She also happens to have an ability to keep you captive while she acts, talks ad communicates through her intensely engaging and stunning eyes.

More Bethany


Hello City Insta:

Personal Insta:

LIFESTYLE | Fourth Birthday


Her growing voice ripple effects further than she has any idea of. 

This year Zoë has not only gained an awareness of her own autonomy and personality but continues to express her empathy and concern for the world and others by feeling deeply.  We are reminded daily by her relational driven spirit that our words matter, our spirits affects others and that laughing is the best source of exhale.

Zoë continues to ADORE books, her dollhouse, creativity and lives in a rich imagination.  She has embraced the unknowns in tackling skating, swimming, making new friends and attending Sunday school.  She loves to have loud music in the car, drag our 8 year old tabby cat around the house & talk on the phone with her close people. 

Above all she continues to create space for those who need it.

& if that’s all we are able to impart on her, that making space and room for your own voice and the voice of others is a sacred and beautiful thing that creates a compassion, grace and love in a world that needs it. 

Happy birthday to the one full of life.

WORK | Wellness & Work


I have noticed during this season of my life, as new things begin and momentum grows, that I am coming up against an anxious mind. 

the night hours like to whisper self doubt. 
the lack of sleep likes to drain and agitate.
the decisions like to stack up to mirror impossible obstacles. .

& yet I realize that these are the moments that require an extra dose of welcoming peace to come in and sit with me. To set aside a moment to nourish despite the world around me & despite what I think I should or shouldn’t be doing.  That it’s all being held for me while I take a moment in the chaos of my mind to be still.

To serve others and the work one is called to do, one must respect themselves enough to take a step back and assess their own ways. We affect each other and to be mindful of our wellness, means we are also mindful of others in return.


Seek to sort the tasks in a way that brings clarity.
Avoid overlap in responsibilities.
Allow that unplugging / disconnecting from the world to allow the mind to reset.
Encourage a healthy sleep pattern whenever possible.
Tickle your fancy in interests…it does wonders for actively seeing things in new lights.


Aim for a balanced diet daily.
Indulge mindfully. & with joy.
Move more than once a day.
Fresh air is good.
Invest in one thing a month to improve yourself physically. (spf moistrizer counts)
Celebrate the body that holds your spirit in ways that is natural for you. (selfies are not selfish)


Pursue the still small voice inside.
Seek whatever is true, right, pure and love.
Seek out one deep conversation weekly.
Let go of what is distracting you.
Watch the words around you. What you say and what is being said.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” - psalm 18:19

LIFESTYLE | April 2019 Reads

Even when life is busy, I ALWAYS carry a book with me for those little moments in-between to squeeze in some pages.

12 Rules for Life | Jordan B. Peterson

When I posted this pic on my insta-feed this book got a few negative reviews. I will say I knew there was a contraversary with the author and I believe this is what peaked my interest to read it. It was already on my “TBR” list and wanting to understand more about the controversy and what this author puts out there in the world via book & in spoken world was my motivation for picking it up.

All that to say, I got two chapters in, and being the minimalist that I am, I realized that I didn’t want to commit to 40 plus pages of ‘academic’ lectures on why standing with your shoulders back and head held high was a good idea. I did not finish the book. As Emily Gilmore says while tossing something, : “no joy.”

Voyager | Diana Gabaldon

Only a handful of chapters left on this fourth installement in the Outlander Series and I am dreading it coming to an end. I enjoy every single word in this series.

I have chosen to read in pace with the Starz Outlander Television Series which means I will not start reading book #5 until Season 5 is about to be released. I am doing this for the personal luxury of drawing out something I am LOVING, but also for the professional study of seeing how an in-depth book series is being turned into a television series. They are very different mediums and I am finding it a helpful way for me to grow in my story -arc thinking skills of how to craft a Sega for various mediums.

This book has us in two worlds, two time lines and many different characters to enjoy.

The Book of Essie | Meghan MacLean Weir

This read proved to be such a delight and intrigue.  It poses questions like, what happens to reality television stars who are born into it? How does one break out of a controlled environment? How does one break out of a carefully curated life and embrace space from ‘media’ and the constant need to ‘keep up appearences?’ These questions seem to only relate to the specific circumstance of the main character, but the author does an amazing job in showing us how they can also relate to us and the ‘everyday’ person.

Dare to Lead | Brené Brown

Dare to Lead is my spring Professional Development read and I am loving how Brené Brown brings her works into a professional arena.  She takes vulnerability, communication and courage to embrace leadership to a new level. I am spreading this read out over the next month or so to take my time and properly ‘rumble’ with it in it’s entirety.

Television Series of Note

Outlander S04 - The beautiful scenes in this series keep me coming back for more!

WORK | Dare to Lead

I do my best every season to pick a book to read that will inspire and develop me both personally and professionally.

Dare to Lead being Brené Browns latest book was fitting as I adore her work, words and insight on what it means to live a full and meaningful life.

What Struck Me about Dare to Lead

This book takes her work on vulnerability, courage and fear and brings it into the professional arena. As I step into co-leading Brilliansea with Claire Fraser, I want to be able to ‘rumble’ (a word Brené uses to identify the process of processing through tough conversations / topics) with the work, my colleague and stay open and honest in the process.

What I learned

Vulnerability is not just for my personal life.

Taking time to identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths will allow room and space for you to recognize when perhaps, your own work methods or ways of being are conflicting with the matter at hand. To address that, may mean facing that you are not skilled in one aspect of your work and you may need to set up boundaries for yourself and others to partner with you in that weakness to create a better work flow and life.

Recognize one’s nature and profession.

I have also found that it has given me more compassions and insight for why my partner in life, often sees problems before he sees solutions. His nature, work and training has taught him to find every problem before ever seeing something successful. Where as my line of training and work has taught me that there are multiple ways to perceive something (none of which are wrong) and also, hundreds of ways to reach the final destination.

*I am still in the process of reading this book but I am taking it slowly and ‘rumbling’ with it.

LIFESTYLE | Breakfast
Peanut Butter & Banana Toast (literally, just PB & B.)

Peanut Butter & Banana Toast (literally, just PB & B.)

This Spring I have challenged myself to have different breakfasts on the daily.

This means I get seven days to have a different breakfast and then on the first day of the week I refresh and start again.


I was in the habit of rotating breakfasts between berry / fruit smoothies & oatmeal, Monday through to Friday. Not only was it becoming predictable and boring but it was limiting my morning diet routine.

What I have loved so far:


Ricotta Toast

Simply add Ricotta cheese, sliced bananas and mix up a bit of Tahini, Cinnamon and honey to make the drizzle.

Typical Scrambled eggs Breakfast.

Typical Scrambled eggs Breakfast.

O.G. Breakfast

Scrambled eggs, a bit of avocado & cherry tomatoes on the side with a slice of bread (English muffin) with peanut butter. Can’t go wrong. Protein, healthy fat and a bit of fruit.

House Waffles.  ;)

House Waffles. ;)

Home Made Waffles

For a Saturday or Sunday morning, indulge in the waffles. We have a reputation for our waffle breakfasts over here, but have been out of the habit due to house work / renovations. With our kitchen being ripped up soon, we’ll probably have to ‘table’ them again until further notice, but we do love em’.

The Work Morning Croissant

Don’t let your early work mornings get you down.
Find a way to indulge and re-charge with a croissant.
This one was a Prosciutto & Provolone & it was everything.
It was 8am and I caught up on emails, social media and my own thoughts before heading to a shoot.

SPOTLIGHT | Ruth McMullen

Ruth McMullen

Founder, Podcast Host of Optimistically Depressed & Team Member of The Halifax Social Network team

Ruth can be found making impactful sound waves on her podcast ‘Optimistically Depressed’, working with the Halifax Social Network team to create community, while also being present for those she loves and cares about.

Ruth is deeply passionate about creating space for and bringing the internal journey into the light so we can all feel a little less alone.

She also happens to have a way of speaking directly into your soul that makes you feel heard, understood and cherished.




Personal Instagram:

Optimistically Depressed Insta:

Halifax Social Network Insta:

LIFESTYLE | Little Shore Loft TLC

Major life update:

The weeks leading up to Spring we realized what we thought was a minor carpet beetle issue in our house (no carpet involved, it’s merely their name) had become a big one. This is very common in the area we live as we are close to water and in an older building, but it has caused us to need to make some quick decisions.

In its lifetime our little loft condo has had very minor inner renovations (we have done some extensive work on updating the outside structure) done to it and through all of this extensive cleaning we have realized it is time to give our home a lot of well needed TLC.

This means:

Replacing the dishwasher (was there from past owner)

Replacing the hot water tank (from past owner & it’s at it’s expiration date soon)

Gutting & renovating the kitchen (the biggest home Reno we’ve ever done!!!!)

This is huge for us but the timing is apparent and clear. We love our home and although we would have wanted to wait on renovating the kitchen a few more years, we are realizing it is a necessity and we are up for the challenge.

As we have been journeying the many decisions we have had some incredible confirmation and insightful people come alongside us. We are reminded daily that even when life is not what we expect, there is more to this life than just our own versions of what we think should be happening. When we release our plans, there is a Grace that steps in and gives room for what can be and shows us a deeper place to be.

*I quietly document our little home from time to time here @littleshoreloft

WORK | Everything is Progress

As work and projects have shifted,

it became very clear that I needed new business cards.

Here is what blew me away about looking at past cards I have had for byamygrace until now:

Every year I become more and more who I am supposed to be.
Every year is a refinement and these little cards are a testament to the journey.

Looking at this business card I feel truly connected to what I am presenting more so than ever before.
That is me and it clearly states what I am about.

It is hard in the moment of the slog of ones own work and creative pursuits to see the story that is being woven together with every action, every day, season and year… but when you pan back and see the progression over years, you begin to see that you have been growing, changing and becoming.

It has led me to the realization that every little thing is progress and there is room for just a bit more growth in every small and simple thing we do.

*“Baby steps and short breaths. Anything is progress. You sustain my every moment.” - Steffany Gretzinger

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Playlist


that’s no secret.

although I have struggled to organize the amount of music I have accumulated over the years. Scads of old favourites, groupings of new ones. Some come out through my childhood and others have been found in my adult years.

Starting to gather it all for a quarterly playlist to put on my iPhone to be one the go with me has begun to grow on me and work for me.

I have also begun mirroring that playlist on Spotify so I can use the ‘songs like these’ feature to explore more music in that mood I have curated.

A few notables:

She’s Always A Woman - Josh Groban : turning 30 with a stronger sense of my womanhood.

Songbird - Eva Cassidy : Walking in faith and singing over those I love.

Extravagant - Amanda Cook & Steffany Gtretzinger : Heading into Easter with an open heart in faith.

Find the full playlist here:

On Spotify

WORK | Brilliansea Documentary
Photo taken by:  Carter Hutton

Photo taken by: Carter Hutton

This year began

the process of putting together a documentary via Brilliansea with a working title “Young Female Entrepreneur”. This documentary is seeking to showcase various women who have started a unique business concept, who are either young, or ‘young in business’.

While filming these interviews and capturing these women in their work environments, we are also documenting ourselves starting our own media platform and finding out first hand what it means to start something new and unique from the ground up.

Women we have filmed thus far:

Korayne Romanchuk | Owner and Founder of KoKo Mod Flower Shop

Sharlene Loveless | Owner and Founder of The Glo Barre

Kate Pepler | Owner and Founder of The Tare Shop

Our next steps

To pull together what footage we have to create a short that shows a sampling of what we are doing.

Continue seeking out unique women and their businesses to feature in this process.

Continue documenting our journey.

Our goal in it all

To find the brilliance that is unique in each woman we encounter.

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019

This spring feels more special to me. It could be that I am ending an era by turning thirty in about a month, or it could be that life is doing that Spring thing where it makes you feel that everything is coming up new again. Either way…

You think you know everything & then…

Developing ‘a new way' of doing things to grow in my capacity to handle what I am wanting and needing to take on has had it’s successes and falters. I have found a joy in making better rhythms and routines with social media, chores & various activities. I have also found that there are unplanned and unforeseen life circumstances which can derail any form of ‘efficiency’ and more often than not, will arise the MOMENT, you think you have it all figured out.

As we welcomed Spring we were and still are in the thick of a home maintenance issue. Currently still in limbo with dealing with the issue at hand, this has made me quite unhinged both personally and professionally.

I have been holding onto the idea that these are the life things which want to derail you from what is good and amazing in life.

Take heart , everything in its time…

So this Spring my personal goals are to:

  • Work in spring activities with my family where probable and possible.

  • Seek proper footwear & needed apparel replacements

  • Add variety to breakfasts.

  • Tackle home projects & decisions one week at a time.

  • Continue to follow and add boundaries to tech tools & distractions to be more present (i.e. check emails at a certain time daily etc)

& we are all just working hard to stay present and cultivate the ground we were made to stand on.

*fInd me where the wild things are….

WORK | Winter 2019 Work Reflection

This winter has in many ways gone by so fast.

Looking back, I realize much has happened in these weeks since the Holiday season.

This winter I have finished writing contracts, launched a collaborative platform Brilliansea with Claire Fraser & have begun arranging my necessary work tasks in a way that leaves room for more play and more time for cultivating and curating the work I do.

This winter I have learned that my work will sometimes be seasonal. Busy some months , where other months a bit more wide open.

I have learned that spending more time staring and browsing through social media is not the answer for me.

I have also learned that I thrive with variety and in doing so, need to level up on my administrative tasks so that I am not bouncing around from thing to thing with no direction and yet a lot on my mind. (a.k.a. mental load)

Leaving Winter, I leave satisfied and more than a bit proud at the shifts and changes I have found along with what I have accomplished. There is so much to be thankful for and so much more to explore.

LIFESTYLE | March 2019 Reads

Dragonfly in Amber | Diana Gabaldon

The second book in the Outlander Series, albeit not as riveting as book 1 , but just as engaging and beautifully written as the first.  I think this book serves the necessary purpose of moving the life & plot forward with a touch of French flair. King Louis XIV anyone?

Attachments | Rainbow Rowell

Set in 1999 when office email was in full throttle and being read by someone paid to make sure empoyees were using their time wisely and professionally. I am only in the beginning of this book as I write it, but it’s already giving me nostalgia for that ‘old school’ excitement when you’d get an email from a friend.

Silent Flowers | A Collection of Haiku Poems

Little poems about nature and the varying seasons in a year. This little book re-introduced me to mindfulness and what it means to mull over words.

The Royal Runaway | Lindsay Emory

A light chick novel with a bit of nonsensical diversion. I don’t buy into the story persae but I do love the ease in which I can get into the story and keep flipping pages.

Television Series Currently On the Go of Note:

Outlander S02/S03 : Following along as I read. It is important to be said that in no way can the television series make up for every single scene in these hefty books. One season per 800 some odd page book means they are having to leave a lot on the cutting room floor and add bridges in the plot for the viewers to scale over. If you think they are rushing through the plot at times, it’s because there is SO MUCH of it! It would take years to fully shoot all of these scenes and characters.
Survivor : Edge of Extinction : We are nerds over here. I leave it there.
The Good Doctor : Something in this medical show is palatable and unique. I still can’t put my finger on it.


Yivii Su

Swing Dance Instructor & Urban Planner

Yivii can be currently found dancing and teaching with her partner in Halifax while also dreaming up new ideas and ways of connecting with the community near and far.

Yivii is passionate about enriching the lives of others and creating spaces that allows for easy conversation.  

She also happens to bring a thoughtful and light hearted presence where ever she goes. 




*note from Amy:
Meeting Yivii for the first time was a bit like meeting a long lost friend. She accepts you wholly for who you are and takes part in the joy in life. Yivii lights up a room & I am so honoured to call her friend.

LIFESTYLE | Winter 2019 Favourites

Here are a few of my Winter Favourites…

Outlander & Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

The Outlander series has always been in my periphery. It wasn’t until this Winter that I decided to pick up a copy to see what all the fuss is about. To say I like it would be an understatement. I LOVE IT! I have been swept away in Diana’s beautiful way of weaving history, romance, time travel, science fiction, drama, comedy and so much more. This woman is a master at creating a world that one doesn’t just get swept into, but falls into and never wants to return.

ROOTS Cabin Socks

I have been slyly wearing my husbands Cabin socks for over a year now and figured it was high time I got myself my own set. I LOVE how these are perfect in boots and keep the toes warm and dry.

Homemade Kale Smoothies

Good for whatever ailes you. There is nothing like a Kale Smoothie after indulging in holiday sweets, or just to boost the immune system.

Bedazzled Black Mittens

I may have MAJORLY hinted to my mother that I liked the look of these mittens at Bootlegger before Christmas. The biggest surprise upon receiving them was how warm they actually are. Warmer than any mitten I have ever owned.

Presidents Choice Hot Red Pepper Jelly

We have always liked this jelly on a cracker with harvarti cheese, BUT, for about a month after Christmas finding this Jelly was almost impossible. Finally it is back in stock and we may have gone mad over it….

Essie Bourdeaux Nail Polish

It’s just a great winter red…what more can I say.

QUO Best Dressed nail Polish

Classy, sassy and a bit bad assy.

Peppermint Scented Candle

A gift given from a close friend with a lovely holiday scent that isn’t too strong.

Blue/Grey Blanket

So utterly soft and comfortable. We have been LOVING this blanket the whole season since receiving it at Christmas time from my Aunt and Uncle. We comment about how much we love this blanket at least once a week.