LIFESTYLE | Kitchen Renovation
kitchen.july.2019

kitchen.july.2019

We began our full gutting and kitchen/Dining room renovation on May 18th.

What we did

  • Gutted the kitchen with the help of friends

  • Replaced the sub floor, insulation and dryer vent

  • patched up holes in walls, etc.

  • put proper plug covers in walls

  • Painted

  • installed IKEA cupboards & island (no easy feat with a 50 year old curved walls)

  • Installed dishwasher & fixed a few slight pluming weirdness (hired a trusted professional and friend)

  • Cut and Installed IKEA countertops (Birch)

  • Cut Hole and installed drop in Sink

  • Installed Faucet

What we have left to do

  • Finish installing hardware

  • Put in flooring

  • Install trim

  • Install kick boards around the cupboards and island.

I am so excited for when the whole space is done but for now, having a functional kitchen is a huge step into this journey. After two months without a kitchen sink, I was more than ready for it when it went in last week.

So far we have learned through this project we are more than capable to handle big projects and we are so thankful to be able to make it happen.

WORK | Mama, Writer, Producer etc.
On set with mama. 2019

On set with mama. 2019

Over the past year I have been on a journey on what it means ‘for me’ to be both my daughters primary care giver and to be active in my chosen career.

What I have found thus far:

I schedule around the time with my daughter.

Before a new work week begins, I sit down and see where the windows of time will be where she is on a visit to a grandparents, will be doing activities with her father or anyone else. Then I schedule in my work after that. (notwithstanding, previously arranged meetings, appointments or filming shoots.)

I honour the work and my daughter.

There are days I would rather just kick it around the house or goof off with a friend, but I realize if I don’t show up for both my daughter and my work I become resentful to whatever has distracted or is keeping me from either.

I grow at my own right pace.

As I grew into this motherhood thing, I realized that I valued my work and wanted to grow and mature professionally in a manner that was steady, healthy and challenging in all the right ways. My pace and someone else’s pace will be different and that’s okay.

What I wish others knew

I work really hard to be present.

I give you and my life 100% of me, which is naturally just a part of who I am as a person. It also means I can drain my reserves quickly if I am not managing myself properly and keeping margin in my daily life.

I love being there for both my daughter and my work.

There is nothing that makes me happier than having a day with a meaningful activity with my daughter and getting some work done amidst it all.

I need you to reach out to me too.

I take maintaining relationships seriously, and I have realized that although I am the driving force in many relationships, I need someone else to take the drivers seat off and on.

*A Note on ‘Being Busy’ & Celebrating the Exhaustion…

There is this unfortunate celebration of the woman who is balancing everything and continues to take on more and more. We like to enjoy saying ‘look at her, she does it all!’ We don’t take the time to look at how all of those things are affecting her personal and professional life in ways that are unseen. We just see the list of tasks and roles and celebrate , like it’s a ticket to success to be run into the ground with nothing but a few hours to sleep at night.

fyi: that’s not long lasting success. That’s a fast ticket to a burn out. I won’t be boarding that train ya’ll.

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019 Playlist
playlist.summer2019.byamygrace

Summer is the perfect time for a good mixed tape.

Here is what I am listening to this season

Summer 2019 Playlist

Stand outs

Heavy | Bird Talker

Entering into summer I am feeling a sense of curiosity and joy of what is to come after so many months of slogging through some tough personal decisions. Investing in others and finding a way to connect on deeper levels through the summer months of sun and salt water.

Counting Every Blessing | Rend Collective

This version of Rend Collective’s song, (with the ukulele) is a lovely light hearted song about staying thankful and grounded in what remains true. A perfect ‘drive to the beach’ song.

I’ll Be There | Jess Glynne

This song has such a great vibe and I love dancing to it with my daughter.

I Found You | Alabama Shakes

Blues Rock brings me right back to blues dancing until 2am on sticky hot summer nights in my early twenties. Something about this type of music takes you straight into your core and summer nights is when I listen to this the most.

Mamma Mia | Mamma Mia Soundtrack

Does this even need an explanation? A summer musical song for the car rides.

SPOTLIGHT | Kirstin Howell
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Kirstin Howell | “Kiki”

Actor & Teacher

Kiki can be found acting in theatre, film and television, while also coaching and teaching a variety of students in their projects and performance skills.

Kiki is motivated by bringing humour to the table in her work and life and finds a unique way to create and share in unity and abundance for not just the experienced performamce artist, but the new and up and coming.

She also happens to have a way of carrying a gracious, encouraging and uplifting spirit while also leaving you with incredibly constructive feedback and advice that leave you inspired and wanting to strive further in your life and work.

More Kiki

The L.A. Technique

https://www.facebook.com/TheL.A.Technique/

The Insta

https://www.instagram.com/auntiekiki/

LIFESTYLE | 2019 so far...
Fireworks from Dewolf Park. Bedford. NS

Fireworks from Dewolf Park. Bedford. NS

I think it’s safe to say the first half of this year has flown by…

At the beginning of 2019, I felt it impressed upon me to focus on the word ‘Curate’ and it has remained with me every day since.

Personally

This year has taken turns we were not expecting. Dealing with a beetle infestation and having to embrace that our home needed us to put some financial investment into it not down the road, but right now, was a blow to a few of our plans this year. In reflection, I see how those hard and confusing months allowed us to see how important it is to invest in our home and property and that we are 100% capable of doing so. I believe that God has a way of providing what you need exactly when you need it. So many little things along the way helped me to see that even when it feels like a step back, so often that step back is so you can leap forward in a more clearer and better direction.

Professionally

Earlier this year I had a break through with my use of time. I recognized I was acting as if I still had a very dependant toddler at home when really we were thriving together and individually. When I started assessing how busy I felt I realized it was because I was doing tasks like a scattered mom with young children. Making an effort to re-evaluate how I can have a better work flow has been essential and of course I discovered all of this to only have to put a lot on hold to deal with our home, but that time of distraction allowed me to see how necessary developing a proper work flow for this new stage was and how efficient I could be for my work and projects.

As I enter into the last half of 2019

I recognize I still want to continue curating our home and it’s atmosphere. Putting our house back together after months of upheaval in a mindful and intentional way will allow us to find rest, to host others and commune together in it. I also want to continue re-evaluating on a weekly, monthly and seasonal basis how I allot time for paid and non paid work. Both are worthy causes and both deserve the appropriate attention.

WORK | Spotlight Series - Summer 2019 Update
Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Making the last day of filming happen in heat & with little in tow.

Two weeks ago we wrapped up our last set of Spotlight Interviews until the Fall. Right now our studio is in an attic which quickly becomes an oven during the warmer seasons, so we are forced to take a mini but much needed filming hiatus.

In many ways, this is a great opportunity for us to review our series so far, catch up on editing and implement a few more items into our series that we haven’t had time to do.

During this break

We want to create a proper intake and documentation of those interviews we have done and those we have on our ever running docket list.

Up until now everything we have done has been very ‘on the ground’ and informal. We started by reaching out to the women we believed would be interested and an asset to pushing the series forward and then we began asking for recommendations. For the fall we hope to be able to better keep track of the women on our various ‘lists’ and our aim is to make sure we curate and produce a series with various ages, mediums of work, backgrounds and diversity.

Creating an opportunity for funding.

Now that we have 20 interviews under our belt we are going to be seeking support and funding so that we can continue to create this series in the ways that will better honour the project and ourselves. We recognize that in order to continue serving and creating in a way that develops this series to it’s fullest potential, we need the financial freedom in order to give it that attention.

Until then, keep watching as we continue to drop two interviews monthly!

LIFESTYLE | June 2019 Reads
June.reads.19.byamygrace

The Favourite Sister | Jessica Knoll

Set behind the scenes of a reality tv show this book follows a handful of women in the lead up to ‘the main event’ which the specifics are unknown to the reader. A mystery read, this one didn’t leave me flipping pages in excitement, but it did play out well. A good Summer beach day diversion.

A Well Behaved Woman | Therese Anne Fowler

Still in the thick of these pages. Therese reimagines both fact and fiction from historical women. Based on ‘Alva Belmont / Vanderbilt’ and her essential place in the history of the women’s suffrage movement. I love reading Therese’s sassy take on these pillars of womanhood. (still reading)

The Queen of Hearts | Kimmery Martin

Adoring the best friends that hold this book together. A bit like a book for those who adore “Meredith Grey & Christina Yang” from Greys Anatomy. Step into the world that these doctors hold both professionally and personally. (Still reading)

Duped | Abby Ellin

Abby Takes us behind the scenes of her experiences being engaged to a con man and her never ending research trying to find the why’s and how’s of those who live double lives and have false identities. Another book written wth a journalists hand and she manages to write with intrigue that makes us want to read through her findings and research. Fascinating in every way.

SPOTLIGHT | Gwyneth Christoffel
Gwyneth.quote.brilliansea

Gwyneth Christoffel

Animator, Illustrator & Film Editor

Gwyneth can be found working during the day as an editor and illustrator while also bringing smiles to faces with her creative outlet ‘Gwyneth Draws’, on instagram.

Gwyneth is driven to create inspiring, quippy and impactful work and has fully embraced her own unique way to inspire a sense of solidarity and joy through what she does.

She also happens to have a calm and joyful presence that surrounds her that makes it easy to see where all those quippy and light hearted illustrations flow from.

More Gwyneth

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/gwynethdraws/

Store

https://society6.com/gwynethdraws

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019
Bedford basin.

Bedford basin.

and here we are in summer…

How did this happen I wonder? It’s as if I fell asleep as the spring rain begun, awoke with the trees in full bloom and our loft filled with humid air once again.

I enjoy preparing for the turn of the seasons, but I confess, this season there has been less preparation and more of a treading water while I wrap up the ever running list of action items. They haven’t all been attended to in time, but a feeling of satisfaction for what has been dealt with lingers with me today.

I am approaching the summer with a bit more intrigue.

Personally

we are over half way done a kitchen renovation. Getting close to putting the counters in gives me hope and interest on what is to come once we have it finished (meaning a functioning kitchen, I’m no sucker, I realize this won’t end anytime soon) and how we will celebrate the hard work we have slogged through doing it mostly (90%) ourselves.

Professionally

finishing up a short documentary with Claire Fraser (adding the last segments along with colour grading and music) while also taking on a new roll as a ‘Women in Film and Television Atlantic’ board member. It all leaves me very curious and intrigued over the next few months.

I am welcoming curiosity into this next season of my life and I wonder where summer will take us?

WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Favourites
spring.favs.19.byamygrace

Spring was a very full three months of home upheaval and yet through it all, these little things brightened up the renovation slog and put a smile on my face.

Turkish Dish Towel

Found a set of two of these at Winners and got incredibly excited. This towel has that Turkish design to it but the inside is very absorbent for drying dishes when needed. (A harder thing to find than one would realize)

Lightfoot & Wolfville Riesling Wine

A beautiful reminder of lunch and tour of the Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery during my 30th birthday weekend. I cherish the memory of the time with my oldest and close friends that day and am in no hurry to open this bottle. I admire how this specific vineyard runs and do their best to nurture and cultivate the land that has been in their family for generations.

Eternal Optimist Essie Nail Polish

Adore this light toned pink nail polish. Something between nude and pink.

The Secret Garden | Francis Hodgson Burnett

Every Spring I give this classic a re-read or a rewatch of the film. Each time I feel renewed and find new mysterys within.

Learn Me Right Sheet Music

Learn Me Right debuted in the Disney film “Brave”. This song became an anthem of mine as I was learning to become a more fuller version of myself. It speaks of grace, humanity and the ability for renewal.

Puff.Me.Light

I adore the time with my hair stylist & this time around she used a ‘puff.me’ product and it was everything. I believe I ordered the lighter version of what she used in my hair.

KarlLagerfeld Patten Leather Flats

I hunted for a pair of black flats for a long time. Coming across this pair was everything and thankfully my mama bequeathed them to me for my birthday (I may have hinted at her to jump at a timely sale….). So thankful to have them in my life. Perfect for dressing up and dressing down. Jeans or dress, they stand alone. I almost want to set aside some cash to buy more pairs for when I wear these out. And I will wear them out, because they are my FAVOURITE!

Glossier paint, Highlighter & Boybrow Products

A 30th birthday gift from the bestie & literally everything perfect for a busy and ‘no muss no fuss’ woman like me. Sure, I like to be polished and classy but on the daily’s I am more a ‘wear these 5 outfits on rotation’ and use these few main products ‘to boost the face awakening thing’. Give me simple & minimal any day!

Cotton Foxhound Candle

Having a candle to burn throughout the current season is a pleasure of mine that I adore keeping up. The Cotton candle was a lovely fresh sent for Spring made locally. (Nova Scotia)

WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
spring.2019.

Spring was jam packed with personal endeavours.

Birthday parties, our first home renovation and many regular/additional ‘spring cleaning’ items on the list. I was able to give that heavy and long list of personal items a lot of my attention, while also leaving my creative self longing for more luxurious time at my desk.

This spring I have been learning the art of ‘curating time’.

I would say I had already learned this, since anyone who has a baby knows that the time between the ages of 0-3 years of age are years that one looses their hold on ‘having control of their own time’. That being said, I am on a new journey of what it means to take on more, handle bigger projects both personally and professionally and enter into them acknowledging the potential of overwhelm while also creating boundaries for my own mind and spirit to maintain and curate peace in all that I do.

I have learned

when tackling big projects I need to stick to the matter at hand, stop myself and even at times, my partners in crime from wondering too far ahead so as not to feel the weight of what has yet to be done.

I have learned that unplugging for 24 hours once a week is exactly what I need to monitor my anxiety as well as give my every fast paced mind a forced break.

I have learned that I do extremely well when my expectations for myself and from others are clear and I have prepared a bit in advance to meet them.

Overall, this Spring has been full personally, and professionally I have gained a lot of strategies to handle the projects and work that lies ahead.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

What my work space looked like for almost 3.5 weeks & still has a lot of kitchen items chilling with me as I post this.

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Pre Schooler Capsule Wardrobe
Top Centre - Clockwise:  Mermaid Pyjamas   | Old Navy,   Magnific Graphic T   | Joe Fresh  , Black Shoes   | Shoe Company,   Donuts Graphic T  | Gift from Mimi & Yeye,  House Puzzle  | Gift from Mimi & Yeye,  Mother Teresa Book   | Indigo,   Amelia Book  | Gift from Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean,  Unicorn purse  | Gift from Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean,  Bunnies  | Gift from Grandma & Grandpa,  T-Shirt Dress   | Old Navy,   Mermaid   | Fluffy Bottom Babies,   Mermaid Sticker Book  | Gift from her Birthday,  Mermaid Pyjamas  | Gift from Mimi, Yeye & Great Grammie,  Graphic rainbow Pants  | Gift From Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean,    Green Pants | Old Navy,   Flower Pants  | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole,  Crayons & Drawing Pad  | Gift from Auntie Jasmine & Uncle Tyler,  Chambray Top  | Gift From Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean,  Blue Flower Blouse  | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole,  Graphic Blue Pants  | Gift from Mimi & Yeye.

Top Centre - Clockwise: Mermaid Pyjamas | Old Navy, Magnific Graphic T | Joe Fresh, Black Shoes | Shoe Company, Donuts Graphic T | Gift from Mimi & Yeye, House Puzzle | Gift from Mimi & Yeye, Mother Teresa Book | Indigo, Amelia Book | Gift from Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean, Unicorn purse | Gift from Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean, Bunnies | Gift from Grandma & Grandpa, T-Shirt Dress | Old Navy, Mermaid | Fluffy Bottom Babies, Mermaid Sticker Book | Gift from her Birthday, Mermaid Pyjamas | Gift from Mimi, Yeye & Great Grammie, Graphic rainbow Pants | Gift From Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean, Green Pants | Old Navy, Flower Pants | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole, Crayons & Drawing Pad | Gift from Auntie Jasmine & Uncle Tyler, Chambray Top | Gift From Auntie Heidi & Uncle Sean, Blue Flower Blouse | Second hand find from Auntie Nicole, Graphic Blue Pants | Gift from Mimi & Yeye.

New to Her

Mermaid Pyjamas

If you didn’t know it already, the theme of Zoë’s fourth birthday was mermaids and it turned out we were right on brand. Many gifts were either mermaid pyjamas or stickers.

Birthday Dress

I adored finding this dress. It’s perfectly balanced in both comfort and relaxed and feminine. I don’t know who Zoë will grow to become and what she will like in the future but this dress, for now, says everything I know about her. Imaginative, poised, articulate and goofy all in one.

Baby Bunnies

Finding cute small easter things has been harder than I thought it would be. I admit, I am trying to find the equivalent to what I would have had in the 90’s but I didn’t think it would be this hard. My mom was able to find these two bunnies in the little critter collection, and she used that as a little easter gift.

Still Going Strong

Magnific Graphic T

This T I picked up late last summer and trusted it would still fit come next spring. It does and is the perfect little long t.

Green Pants

Picked these up late winter and although they fall a little bit around her hips, I trust they will fully fit by fall and until then, they do the job.

Time to Go

Pyjamas not seen here

Countless pyjamas wore out over this Spring. Holes in pants were the common theme.

Socks not Seen here

Let’s just say, it’s time to get her new socks.

SPOTLIGHT | Kayla Short
Kayla Quote.jpg

Kayla Short

Lifestyle Blogger

Kayla can be found documenting her journey on her personal social media platforms, exploring the corners of Halifax and beyond while also sharing with others that staying true to who you are both inwardly and outwardly is not only of value, but possible.

Kayla is grounded by finding a well rounded wholeness in life and maintains that wholeness in everything she shares allowing us to take part in the discovery of self, others and the world around us.

She also happens to have a lovely way of skimming past the surface and taking you into the deep of life that is full of insight and celebration.

More Kayla

Website

http://shortpresents.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/shortpresents/

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewIEH9yFK_li-5J_Ev3Gyw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shortpresents

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Capsule Wardrobe
Top Centre - Clockwise  - Black/White Dress   | H&M,   Dare to Lead by Brené Brown   | Indigo,   White Silk Tank   | RW&Co,   Black Blazer   | H&M,   Glossier Tint, Glossier Highlighter, Glossier Boy Brow   | Gift From Jasmine,   Lavender Shirt   | Pseudio,   East Coast Lifestyle Hoodie   | Pseudio,   Psalms  | Gift from Jasmine,  Girlfriend Jeans   | The Gap,   Missing in the gap is Green Pants   | RW&co,   Graphic T   | Threadless,   Blue Tank   | RW&Co,   Silk Rose PJ Pants   | La Vie En Rose,   Patent Leather Shoes   | Birthday Gift from mom,   Essie Nail Polish | Shoppes Drug Mart, Grey Dress |  Second hand from Jasmine,  Cotton Candle   | Foxhound,   Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon   | Indigo

Top Centre - Clockwise - Black/White Dress | H&M, Dare to Lead by Brené Brown | Indigo, White Silk Tank | RW&Co, Black Blazer | H&M, Glossier Tint, Glossier Highlighter, Glossier Boy Brow | Gift From Jasmine, Lavender Shirt | Pseudio, East Coast Lifestyle Hoodie | Pseudio, Psalms | Gift from Jasmine, Girlfriend Jeans | The Gap, Missing in the gap is Green Pants | RW&co, Graphic T | Threadless, Blue Tank | RW&Co, Silk Rose PJ Pants | La Vie En Rose, Patent Leather Shoes | Birthday Gift from mom, Essie Nail Polish | Shoppes Drug Mart, Grey Dress | Second hand from Jasmine, Cotton Candle | Foxhound, Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon | Indigo

New to Me

Black & White Dress was a last minute whim moment with the bestie Jasmine. After lunch together she nudged me to go for a quick shop to see if we could find a new dress for me to wear to my 30th birthday party. I was BEYOND thrilled to come across this dress and realize I had been eyeing it for about a year. Now was the perfect excuse to buy it. Jasmine get’s all the credit for this lovely addition into my 30th year.

Glossier Products were introduced to me via Jasmine. ‘For the busy woman doing all the things’ is something like what she said to me when she gave them. I am already hooked at their natural affect and how easy they are to apply.

Lavender Shirt with the bat like sleeves which is folded here, was a purchase made out of necessity and also a ‘need-to-add-a-bit-more-style’ to my wardrobe.

Patent Leather Black Flats are everything! I have been yearning to find the perfect pair since having to throw my last pair out. Thankfully, my mother came to the rescue and helped me hunt these down and gave them to me for my 30th birthday. They are the perfect addition when you want something simple that says ‘smart & classy’.

Still Going Strong

Graphic T from Threadless bought in 2012 is still a staple and is obviously made to last because it is thriving.

East Coast Lifestyle Hoodie continues to be the first thing I grab in the morning after I put on my exercise clothes. This hoodie may have been a ‘trendy’ purchase but it sure does the trick and I like representing my favourite coast as I start my day.

Girlfriend Jeans are everything. The perfect fit and feel for the weekend life.

Time to Go

Rainboots from Winners. Of course I always forget to take pictures before I pass things along or throw them out. I had bought a pair of rain boots back in 2011 with money from my first year of working and felt so utterly proud of them. They were purple rimmed with coloured rain drops with a white background. This year I wore them out and sadly realized they had cracked in more than a few places. I was sad to see them go. ESPECIALLY, as a Nova Scotian woman… I am now in need for rain boots / shoes.

WORK | Brilliansea Updates
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Branding

Five months out from launching Brilliansea we are enjoying refining our values and our vision for this platform. What we are coming back to again and again is ‘the voice of a woman’ is to be treasured. Making space for that one voice is an important and integral part of our vision. Yes, we are also focused on the ‘brilliance’ in all women, but we want to bring them all out to celebrate their unique voice.

This is what we have been driven by and finding even more clarity in.

Spotlight Interviews

Spotlight interviews have been and are life giving. These sessions, for us, are full of joy, celebrating the woman we have in front of us and finding the depth in the simplest of moments. We have enjoyed creating the spotlight series so much that we are going to be releasing them bi-monthly starting May and we are so pleased to be able to do that.

Documentary

Pulling together a short is multi-purposed for us. It allows us to play with the narrative we are beginning to see, gives us a bit of face time with the footage we have accumulated, puts an action behind our filming and gives us something we can share.

Other

We have begun to start giving ourselves permission to explore what other projects and ideas might fit well under our platform and as we are doing so, it becomes more obvious how much we are LOVING running this platform and it’s presence in our life is one of our greatest sources of fulfillment.

LIFESTYLE | May 2019 Reads
may.19'.reads.byamygrace

May is equal to or even more busy than December for our family, so the reading had to be a bit more limited this month:

The Library Book | Susan Orlean

This is a must read for anyone who is an avid book lover and grew up with libraries in their life. The Library became a weekly occurrence in my life as a child and as you can see, still is. I tend to borrow my reads from the library unless either given or able to qualify a book purchase as something I will re-read or need to learn / study from.

I wouldn’t say this book was riveting, in fact, I might have enjoyed it more if it was an audio series podcast. It is journalistic in it’s delivery and some sections are very dry with history. That being said, I still am very glad I had read it. If you are an bookish dragon like me but enjoy audio books / podcasts when appropriate, maybe get the audio book version of this out. It has a unique charm that every lover of books & library should experience.

Red Clocks | Leni Zumas

As the front quote from Kelly Link on the cover says “Strange and lovely and luminous.” A perfect description for this book on the female body and autonomy. I am loving it’s strange other worldly but not so unlike our world’s modern day technologies and verbiage towards the female reproductive system. In a world with “The Handmaids Tale” making a striking impact, Red Clocks makes its own unique impact about the female anatomy and the women who inhabit them.

SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan
lizane.quote.brilliansea

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

Website:

https://lizanetan.com/projects

Instas:

https://www.instagram.com/lizanecrna/

https://www.instagram.com/narrativeincidents/




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

Personally

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.

Professionally

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
aonewoman.show.byamygrace

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.