WORK | Mid-Year Review 2018
Amy.grace.june.18

In January I made this statement:

"Focusing on excellence in my work, my choices and my lifestyle ideals are what is forefront in my mind as I journey into this next year..."

How has this played out?

IN THE PROFESSIONAL

I have been in the process of levelling up in my work quality.  I have created a few pieces that surprised me and they are in various stages of development.  I have also had to learn what it means to say no.  To have to stand up for myself in a professional setting shook me up.  It reminded me of my values, of what I will and will not work towards.  It reminded me of why I do what I do and what type of writer that makes me.  In essence, excellence might look a bit like having a strong sense of self tied directly to my professional being.

IN THE PERSONAL

I have a better sense of where I want my energy to be poured out in my family, my friends and my community.  I have a better sense of what I can be giving and it has created some clarity over the past few months.  Attending our local church has allowed me to truly sink into creating deeper relationships with people who live near us.  It has been an anchor and given me space to inhale and exhale while connecting with family, friends and anyone else who crosses my path.

OVERALL

This half of the year hasn't been easy by any means, but it has developed in me a sense of strength and discernment in situations that are beyond me.  I have been reminded of Who made me, Why I am driven to create and What makes me unique.  Striving for excellence has never been about prerfection, but about truly understanding who I am, what I can fully bring to the table and how I can serve. 

 

 

 

LIFESTYLE | Spring Favourites '18
spring.2018favs.

1. Innisfree Masks 'bamboo'

Not crazy over mothers day, so these masks from Innis free fit the bill for me.  Some simple pleasures to enjoy during busy weeks. 

2. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am savouring this book.  Knowing it was coming out as a film this year, I wanted to make sure I had read it before going to see the film.  Crazy Rich Asians is a deep dive into the various dynamics of the modern Chinese culture around the world.  It is deliciously descriptive, hilarious in it's delivery and so relatable to anyone who is remotely near or in the asian culture.  Cannot wait to see the film adaption!

3. Life Factory Water Bottle

Getting my H2O is more enjoyable when I am drinking through my 'bubbles'.  Easier to keep track.

4. Champagne Bubbles DW Home Candle

I typically enjoy having a small candle on my desk to light when I am working.  I replaced one that was emitting too much scent with this little one from Winners Homescense.  What I love most about it , is that it literally is amazing in the dark, showing lots of different bubbles.

5. Essie Coral Nail Polish

This colour added so much fun to my wardrobe this season.

6. Loreal Boho Babe Nail Polish

As much as I like a good shade, this nude colour is great for anything. 

7. Saje Zap Toner

Never having toner I thought I would add this acne fighting toner to my repertoire.  Ever since stopping breast feeding last summer I have noticed my monthly hormones are less predictable.  

8. White linen button shirt from Old Navy

This cheap linen shirt was all I needed to complete many outfits.  This is a staple I will always maintain in my wardrobe. 

Also enjoying 

- The Americans : for the history, intrigue & incredible actors
- Chardonnay: for that refreshing warmer weather beverage
- Gourmet Burgers : for the thick patty with cheese, and interesting condiments
- Wildewoman by Lucius : for the swing in my step
- Having a fan on while we sleep : for the deeper sleep

WORK | Film & Television Writer
televisionseries.byamygrace

Learning the craft of writing for film & television is a journey.
I still am in the process of attending workshops, studying up, and surrounding myself with like minded people. 

Let's be honest.  

I am doing all of this while being the primary caregiver of a three year old.  It's not as if this journey is going to be completed in a season or two.  

What I am learning so much of right now, is that giving myself grace and space to learn, grow and be inspired is of the upmost importance.  

Grace to not have it all figured out, and the space to take as much time as I need to get there. 

What I have accomplished so far :

- Written and continuing to work on various drafts of the pilot and series pitch of a television series that I alone created.  I have done this with the previous and continual help of various women who are also excited by the concept. (That in itself is amazing!!!!) 

- Written a short film that accurately displays the type of female characters that I am known for writing.  That displays my love of womanhood, friendship and humour. 

 

I think at this point, to get this far has been a considerable feat and I shouldn't downplay it no matter how I may feel when I look around at the various women slaying their hustle.

 I too, have been doing amazing things.

Here is to the continuation and development of much more!

 

 

LIFESTYLE | We Heal Together
 Forever singing over each other.  'We are diamonds, rising up out of the dust'. 

Forever singing over each other.  'We are diamonds, rising up out of the dust'. 

The past month has been full of challenges.  I have been and still am processing the weight that comes with wanting to 'go through it', instead of around it.  How do I journey this healthy?  How do I use these broken pieces of me and others and stitch them into something that could be healing?

Amidst the pain, a new life is born.  Our best friends are now parents and everything that is raw, tender, new and reborn has happened.  They are absolutely beautiful in their newness and the love is expanding.  We get to open our arms to more of them.  More of who they are.  Our little is witnessing what 'new' truly is.  

Amidst the pain another best friend visits.  He brings with him that grace and peace that has been hard to anchor and we are again reminded that healing is not a solo job.  Healing is a collective agreement.  Healing is a raising up of eachother. 

I woke up the next morning after his visit with those song lyrics "You Make Me Brave" in my mind.  

We are called to embolden each other.  We are called to enter into each others pain and questions.  We are called to hash it out in the safety of acceptance of one another.  Without that safety, we cannot heal.  

I had so easily forgotten.

This was my calling too.  

Over any of the doubts I carry personally and professionally. 

That I seek to create a safe place for collective healing.  For myself.  For others.

& it's in that healing that courage and bravery is found. 

 

 Tender moments with Uncle and this new little life.  

Tender moments with Uncle and this new little life.  

WORK | Theatre Writer
themomshow.byamygrace

I am going to level with you.

I am not out to be the next hit Canadian performance.

I think, that itself as the goal, distracts from the whole point of it. 

The pressures we allow to be put on ourselves internally and externally are insurmountable.  They sit on us and tell us how unworthy we are and how our attempts are always going to pale in comparison to anothers.

Here it is:

I want to be so focused on honing my craft, creating true and resonating pieces of work that the distractions fall away.  That I surround myself with what I need to be empowered enough to press in and keep on carving away at something I truly believe in.

I am pursuing characters whom I truly love and adore.  I am their advocate and their biggest champion.  I want to see them breathe in the mediums I have chosen for them and I remain hard at work bringing them into the place they need to be.

That is what it's about.  Not the recognition, not the networking, the support or the lack thereof.  It's about the voices that have been given life through the work and whom made it past the cutting room floor into a place of story. 
 

LIFESTYLE | When You're Ready
ready.byamygrace

"Do it when you're ready." 

Simple words sent in an email.  

Simple.  

Empowering.

This isn't a few words on 'self-care'.

This is just a simple quiet moment recognizing that maybe it's not that simple.

Maybe, 
a few more intimate conversations with people who want to hold you.
a few more lonely days working through the pain.
a few more empty conversations of meaningless pleasantries.
a few more journal entries.
a few more deep breathes.
a few more rallying nights wrestling with deep thoughts.

To get to where you need to be.

To do what you need to do.

To say what you need to say.

To be who you need to become.

because the simple truth has always been:

Everything within it's own time.
 

SPOTLIGHT | Priyanka Varkey
Priyanka.spotlight.

Priyanka is one of those women you meet and never forget.  She is infectious in her presence and absolutely stunning in her dance.  She is genuine, tender and has a beautiful charm.  I am honoured to call her friend and happy to be able to share her words with you on creativity and dance. 

How would you describe yourself?

Passionate, empathic, loyal, trusting to a fault.  A dancer, nature lover

What role does creativity play in your life?

I never really thought of myself as a "creative person" growing up as I was always geared towards science. I always enjoyed dancing but never dreamed of it being such a huge part of who I am today. When I was introduced to lindy hop, it was like being introduced to a side of me that I never new existed. Dancing is my creative outlet, my release- be it lindy hop, blues, salsa, bachata, tango, or kizomba. It adds meaning to my life and brings me joy. The dance floor is where I lose myself and temporarily forget anything else going on in my life.

What are you currently working on?

I have been working on a couple of lindy hop aerials with my partner as well some lindy hop technique and styling. I have also been taking pole classes, some kizomba (my newest dance venture) lessons and have very recently joined a salsa dance team.

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a candle in the  dark - Carl Sagan

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Be fearless in whatever way you choose to express yourself. Try something new. Put your whole heart into what you love and don't compare yourself to someone else's accomplishments. Live, love, laugh. 

 

LIFESTYLE | Farmers Market
 A very small market haul in May.  A flat of eggs, jar of honey & sausages.

A very small market haul in May.  A flat of eggs, jar of honey & sausages.

For anyone who knows us well, they know we adore going to the Seaport Farmers Market as much as we can.  Normally, this looks like every second weekend, but not always can we make it that often. 

Why do we love it?

It's local.

Their are many markets in HRM.  For us, the Seaport Market became a habit, and we love knowing we are buying from local vendors to improve our own local economy.  It means we have a relationship with the woman who sells us our eggs and we know that guy who sells Susie's Cupcakes (a local bakery)  while we drool over them every time. 

It's culture

We are exposed to the many cultures our port city is blessed to have within it's core.  The German bakers, the asian cuisine and the Indian spices are just a few.  Mixed with that all to well known maritime food and music. 

It's fresh

Knowing I am buying from farms that bring their produce in from various places over Nova Scotia gives me a peace of mind and also an amazement over how differently they taste in comparison with the grocery stores imports.  Even something as simple as an egg from a local free range farm tastes completely different than from super store. 

It's community

Even though many of the people we knew who lived in the downtown core have since moved away , we still find it amazing the people from our lives we bump into.  The market has a way of creating enjoyment for everyone's tastes buds and ultimately, I love how connected I feel to my city every time we go. 

VARIOUS CAPTURES at the Market.

 Very much pregnant. 

Very much pregnant. 

 Winter/Spring Haul 2017

Winter/Spring Haul 2017

 Winter 2017

Winter 2017

WORK | Mindset, Heartset
mindset.byamygrace

Getting in the right mindset is essential for me.

Our minds can play the leading role in our day to day and they say it's an 18 inch journey from our heads to our hearts.  

18 inches.

So I only have to travel those 18 inches to get my head and heart aligned together.  

I am very much aware of the disconnect.  I see it in myself, in others and in the world around me.  To do real soul seeking, story unearthing work, I want to be malleable.  Capable of being vulnerable enough to travel the distance from my head and heart and back again without bumping up against my own ego.

And I will.  Bump into my ego.  We all do.  Our ego is our best and worst friend.  It likes to tell us we are right and we know all there is to know here. 

As a trained interpreter I know all too well the 'interpreter-ego' who sits beside me and rolls her eyes at the things people say and their contradicting body language.  Or the way in which what people are avoiding in showing comes out so clearly through their body.  

But the truth is, it's what I studied and what I was trained up to recognize but it isn't fact.  Not in the punitive sense. 

What is fact, is the inner soul journey a person is going through and even then, that is their own reality.  Their own personal journey from their head and heart and back again.  Be it distorted or aligned with the majority.

For me, this all comes back to mindset.

A mindset & heart set

I want my mind AND my heart to be communicating with eachother to bring me to where I need to be in my work and personal life.

It's an 18 inch journey they say, but I think it takes more than just a hop skip and a jump.  I think it takes a desire and a courage that works past what we thought we knew and works towards a more whole and empathetic experience.  For our individual self and for others.

 

LIFESTYLE | 29
29.byamygrace

No one tells you that the older you get the more you love yourself and the better life can be. Sure, there are always battles, trials and heavy situations to journey... but just having the opportunity to wake up and inhale a new day and get at life is an incredible honour. To live and breathe in fresh air is the biggest gift. 

If anything, I am journeying this last year in my twenties with a deeper sense of awareness of how much I have changed and become since turning 20. Amy then in many ways is foreign to me, and yet, the Amy now still has that core within her. I am still addicted to stories, musicals, raw emotional music and driving solo with the windows down and the volume turned on the loudest notch. I still dance and organize every inch of my life. 


Yet. 


I have shifted and learned more about what it means to be Amy. All of her. As she is. Without approval, affection, adoration. 


I have learned what it’s like to walk alone and yet not feel alone. I have learned to breathe and I have learned what my middle name really and truly means.  

Here’s to this last year of my twenties and whatever else they have left for me. 

WORK | She Is
IMG_2778.JPG

This Sunday I presented a short piece that I was commissioned to write for a Sunday morning service.

Attending Bedford Baptist Church has been a nice shift for our little family.  To attend a church in our own community is new for us and we love how connected it is making us feel. 

'She Is', in my mind, an attempt to capture the life stages of women and present them with varying degrees of perspective.  It's easy to look at youth, middle aged and senior and leave it at that. But what happens when we truly look at a woman in each stage at all angles?

Depth.

In this little piece I attempted at showing the varying depths of a woman.  I was blessed to have  five women stand as representation while leaving an empty chair representing the indigenous women who have been missing figuratively and literally from our societal conversation. 

Even after presenting this, it is not lost on me that I could only present a limited amount of angles on women and there were and still are so many more I could have touched on.  

This piece has me meditating on that depth that is seen and unseen.  We are programmed to see something in others because we personally decide that is what we are seeing based on our own life experiences.  But there is always more.  More we don't know, can't know and won't know unless we get closer and ask each other, spark conversation and dare to get more intimate with one another.  Relationship with eachother, especially as women is, I believe, the main way we find solidarity and peace within ourselves.

bedford.baptist.
LIFESTYLE | Third Birthday
z.lai.third.birthday

Three Years.

For three years Zoë has been changing the atmosphere around her and it was this past year that she took her expression and communication to the next level.  One day she was saying only a handful of words and still in diapers and the next she was retelling stories with description and using the bathroom like it was no big deal.  

As a parent each of these stages can feel like a lifetime.  Patiently being there for a little spirit with the right balance of encouragement, comfort, presence and peace.

We have always sensed that she held a lot inside and processed internally.  It wasn't until this year that we were able to truly see how beautiful it all was.  Zoë's ability to connect deeply with the world around her goes into a place that humbles me.

She is the spirit that deeply sees.

She is the spirit that deeply hears.

She is the spirit that deeply feels.

I am not sure what this all means as she grows, but what I do know it means in part, is that as parents Jeremy and I are called to be more vigilant with our actions and communication with each other and the world around us.  

To model what it means to feel all emotions with acceptance, presence and the knowledge that to live a deep and whole life, one must accept every layer of emotion.

Sometimes, I want to be selfish, have my own pity party and temper tantrum.  Believe you and me...there are days that I have a bubbling up of emotions that need to be dealt with and yet that is where she teaches me.  Her presence is teaching me that I cannot just let my own emotions and issues bubble over onto her, for that would do more harm than good, but that I seek a healthy and true processing release that allows her to witness these emotions in ways that models to her it is okay.

It is okay to be sad.

It is okay to be confused.

It is okay to be angry.

It is okay to be hurt.

It's how we process them, feel them, act on them and experience them within our lives and project them out to others that matters.

In our home I have put words on a wall, tucked quietly beside a light switch a reminder for us and anyone else who feels deeply.

"We have room for all of your emotions here."

I want that to be true for my daughter as she grows.  That her home is her safe place.  That her parents are people who feel lot's of things and who are not scared to process and journey through those feelings.

Three years seems like such a short time, but in three years, she has taught me more about how I express myself than any of the twenty-six years before.

 

SPOTLIGHT | Grace Szucs
  Grace and I offically met while being on a blues dance weekend in Montréal. It was there that revealed to me how epically cool this woman is.  She is the beautiful embodiment of class, depth, mirth and thoughts.  I find her wholly unique and wonderful in the space she holds.  Here she let's us in to some of that space.  

Grace and I offically met while being on a blues dance weekend in Montréal. It was there that revealed to me how epically cool this woman is.  She is the beautiful embodiment of class, depth, mirth and thoughts.  I find her wholly unique and wonderful in the space she holds.  Here she let's us in to some of that space.  

How would you describe yourself?

Quirky. Stubborn. Brave.

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is a barometer. When it’s is present, everything I do feels connected. I find a thread of continuity between a genre, a physical activity, a personality, a risk--they inform one another. If I find my crafts abandoned under the couch and work feels like a slog, I am probably approaching or in a depressive phase. I do sure enjoy the ride when it’s flowing, and try to be patient when it’s not.

What are you currently working on?

My latest venture is in website building and design. Right now I am working with templates, but I’ve been taking advantage of the Canada Learning Code (formerly, Ladies Learning Code) workshops to dip my toes into technical skills like Photoshop, HTML and CSS, and concepts like machine learning. I find these basic intro classes to be so incredibly helpful for framing the new ways of thinking you need to learn these skills.

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Here are a few episodes I’d recommend.

“If a Badger Dreams” an episode from Out There is the story of Charles Foster, the naturalist who spent a year living like a badger. 

Mystery Show, by Starlee Kine, is filled with the most excellent writing. Her style is perplexingly familiar and unique at the same time.

David Rakoff’s story “Mister Prediction” on This American Life is about his failure to recognize some impactful trends. Given his perceptive writing and what he was able to accomplish in his life, these stories are a gift.

I’d also recommend Roxane Gay’s book of essays, Bad Feminist, particularly the essay on Scrabble, “To Scratch, Claw, or Grope Clumsily or Frantically.” 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

I don’t want to tell anyone else what to do, but for myself, I’m trying not to aim for the dull plateau of happiness. This year I started to play roller derby and signed up for a four-day camp in the middle-of-nowhere-Nova-Scotia to learn to shoot an arrow from a horse. I hadn’t tried to learn a new physical skill for such a long time--learning to roller skate put me back in my childhood shoes, which is a frustrating, but humbling place to be. I recommend it.

LIFESTYLE | Spring Films
spring.films.byamygrace

The Secret Garden

A classic on all accounts.  There is a beauty in this version that comes out in the cinematography and music.  It transcends the medium and get's into your soul. 

The Importance of Being Earnest

The introduction to this film was given to me by a close family friend who is no longer with us.  The memory of her knowing that I would find this film exceedingly funny and enjoyable is one I like to revisit.  A classic Oscar Wild this is full of humour and complex story lines.  A lighthearted mood.

Father of the Bride II

A longstanding favourite in my family, Father of the Bride II has the same quality as the first film with an added double pregnancy to the mix.  Steve Martin and Martin Short are the best as a duo.  I could watch these characters for days.

Virgina's Run

Filmed in Nova Scotia it's hard not to love this movie.  With it's beautiful embracing of our coastal weather in it's cinamatography to it's beautiful choices in music, this film follows a young girl who wants to overcome her own personal pain and put it into her passion for riding horses, while still keeping her family happy.  If you you're a Nova Scotian by birth like me or never been, this film will make you fall in love with this place.  

Girls

When I watched the first episode I thought I wouldn't watch it anymore.  There was something gritty and too revealing about this show.  It was uncomfortable.  I was put off and annoyed.  I thought, I'll watch episode 2 and then leave it.  That's when I got it.  These 'girls' were me.  Different, sure.  But they were my age, asking the same questions and trying to find their place while mostly failing at it, and sometimes succeeding.  For me Girls was a banner show where I realized the lines can truly blur on how much you related to a character and how much impact characters can have on your life as you watch them grow and evolve.  I and my best friend grew along with Girls and when Season 6 ended and the show was done, it was bitter sweet, but I will ALWAYS remember those spring days watching or re watching girls in our pyjamas because the day just seemed too much to handle.  Girls took us from girls to Women.  

Secret Garden

My favourite Korean Drama.  A classic Freaky Friday moment occurs between a young man and a young woman who can't stand each other.  Something about each other not only intrigues them but they are now stuck together in order to find a way to switch back to their bodies.  It's a simple concept put into a love story that just has all the spring vibes and feels.  

 

Other Spring Films & Television

Thoroughly Modern Millie - Throwback 1920's musical in New York.
The Catch - Only two season of cat & mouse lovers with a light hearted tone.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show - The rise of the feminist character
Tuck Everlasting - Whimsical, bright, light and love ache.
Bambi - Animated with nature in mind.

WORK | Go Deep for Gold
go for gold.

Dig deep and you might find gold.

Personally and Professionally.

Nothing of true depth comes out of nothing.

& the gold is the otherworldly value that we find in moments we showed up and gave ourselves to.

The gold is more than just a medal, a prize, a title, a raise, a salary.  

The gold is not material. 

The gold is a concept, a feeling, a belief, a faith, a trust, a hope, an idea... a peace.

The gold can't be held in your hand.  

The gold is held in your spirit.

It's inner.

It comes from the journey and it is uniquely yours.

 

Amy LaiComment
LIFESTYLE | Spring Reads
IMG_2035.JPG

Spring Reads!!!

In a nut shell:

I Capture the Castle | Dodie Smith

For the spring romance and the whimsical way of describing life.

The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgosn Burnett

For the nature and beauty around us.

Peter Pan | J.M. Barrie

For the imagination and pure delight. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit | Beatrix Potter

For the child in us.

Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert

To shake us up, to inspire and absolute come alongside our own journey.

We | Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel

For the reminders of how we should treat each other.

WORK | Projects in Stages
projects.byamygrace

Something clicked just over a month ago.  

I can and should have multiple different projects on the go in various stages of development at all times. 

This has been true for me at different times in my work, but never intentional.

It hit me while sitting and listening to women in the storytelling industry.

It is normal and in fact, part of the creative industry to be multitasking with various projects.

You see, that is not in my nature.  I am a multi-tasker in my day sure, but not in how I live my overall life.  If I want to do anything, I am guns blazing from start to finish.  I want to start at the beginning and get to the end, as fast as I possibly can.  

That is not how it works in the theatre, film and television industry.  

It takes Months.  Seasons.  YEARS even.

This realization is blowing my mind and still a challenge to comprehend.

At this point, all I can truly say, is that I am learning how to be more comfortable and capable with balancing this reality.  Having four projects this season seems daunting and overwhelming and yet, it also seems absolutely possible and motivating. 

As my awareness and understanding of how this works develops for me I will definitely be documenting and sharing my process and learning.  

Until then,

With various projects I go....

 

 

 

LIFESTYLE | Winter Toddler Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Top Centre Clockwise:  Pink Striped Shirt |  Zara,  Taupe Dress |  Zara,  White winter hat |  H&M,  Winter jacket |  Joe Fresh,  Pink Boots |  Joe Fresh,  Pink Pom Pom |  Bib & Tucker,  White Cable knit sweater |  Carters , Grey Dream Big Shirt |  Carters,  Ice Skating Sticker Book |  Indigo,  White Cable knit Mittens |  H&M,  Winter Girls leggings |  The Gap,  Nordic Leggings |  The Gap,  Merry & Bright Shirt |  Carters,  Today Book |  Indigo,  Grey Zip Sweater |  The Gap,  Winter graphic shirts |  Carters,  Red Horse Pyjamas |  The Bay,  Water colours |  Micheals ,  Paint Brushes | Korea, Fisher Price Dollhouse people |  from my childhood,   Buiscuit Book series |  Gift from Great Aunt Susan and Great Uncle Neil

Top Centre Clockwise: Pink Striped Shirt | Zara, Taupe Dress | Zara, White winter hat | H&M, Winter jacket | Joe Fresh, Pink Boots | Joe Fresh, Pink Pom Pom | Bib & Tucker, White Cable knit sweater | Carters, Grey Dream Big Shirt | Carters, Ice Skating Sticker Book | Indigo, White Cable knit Mittens | H&M, Winter Girls leggings | The Gap, Nordic Leggings | The Gap, Merry & Bright Shirt | Carters, Today Book | Indigo, Grey Zip Sweater | The Gap, Winter graphic shirts | Carters, Red Horse Pyjamas | The Bay, Water colours | Micheals , Paint Brushes | Korea, Fisher Price Dollhouse people | from my childhood,  Buiscuit Book series | Gift from Great Aunt Susan and Great Uncle Neil

This was such a fun capsule to grow.  

From last year, her snow gear all still fit aside from the hat and mittens.  A quick jaunt to H&M for the next size up was all we needed to do to make sure she had all her snow gear ready.

Christmas pyjamas and a Christmas dress were a must for me to have for her.  There is something so special about having a special pair of pyjamas and a special outfit for the holidays.

For christmas, we gave her first shopping request.  The pink pom pom stuffy.  It took me by such surprise when she pointed to it and asked to buy it.  Of course this being in October when she saw it, I had so much fun tucking it away for christmas.  She and anyone who see's it gets a good laugh.

Another hit was her Dollhouse gift for Christmas.  Which, let's be honest was mine.  My mom stored my 1990's fisher price dollhouse and ALL, and I mean ALL of it's accessories.  Z has no idea how much more to the dollhouse there is.  Every special occasion we are gifting or rather 're gifting' the accessories to the house and she cannot get enough. 

"You play with my dollhouse with me" is her favourite phrase.

The zip sweater is a favourite as it''s easy to put on and off around the house and her little shirts have been fun to pair with her leggings. 

I have a feeling that not much will fit her next Winter length wise, but I do believe that the cable knit white sweater will still be carried into next winters wardrobe and maybe her Zara striped shirt.

SPOTLIGHT | Amy Trefry
spotlight.amy.trefry

I met Amy just over a year ago now and something about her tenacity was hard to miss.  I saw it again during the Women Making Waves 2018 conference when she pitched her short film 'All the Owls' and won.  She completely astounded me with her grace while addressing her multi-faceted skill set.  Her ability to stand wholly as a woman of many skills and skills yet to achieve was a fierce and holy vision to behold.  I will forever hold close that image of her at the podium addressing the box we put her and many women in, simply because they are acting differently than we had 'imagined' they should.  Her words and work are impactful.  Enjoy!  

Her Work              Her Buisness

 

How would you describe yourself?

I don’t really know to be honest.  I know how others *might* describe me, depending on what context they know me in, but I don’t really know how I describe myself. 

Tangibly and straight forwardly I am a wife, daughter, sister, and aunt.  In what matters to me, I am fiercely dedicated to building community and friendships.  In how the world wants us to define ourselves?  Well, my education no longer categorizes me, but often creeps into my self-identification as a justification of my value as a person, and my work is varied and I hold no specific claim to ‘being’ any one thing. I don’t really have a succinct answer to the opening social greeting “so what do you do?” I am a long list of “used to be/do” that I sometimes have a hard time letting go of. I am an absolutely certain, but always shakeable, “I want to be an actor”. But how would I describe myself? Probably by shrugging, awkwardly laughing and avoiding the question with a quick “I just am who I am”.          

What role does creativity play in your life?

It is the greatest measure and control of happiness and fulfillment in my life.  When I am creating I feel on top of the world.  When I am around others who are creative or get inspired by other people’s work I am able to see a clear path for my own life’s purpose.  But on the other side of the coin, when I question my value and worth as a creative person or the quality of my own work I am at my lowest.  It demands absolute honesty and vulnerability and in that brings both light and dark – as with anything of immense value to anyone’s life I believe.  

What are you currently working on?

I am currently producing a short film ‘All the Owls’ that I co-wrote with Brent Braaten as well as in the research phase of a documentary on bi-phobia that I am working on with Emily Jewer.  I am production coordinating for John Walker’s latest documentary ‘Assholes: A Thoery’ and I always have half a dozen writing projects on the side it seems that are mid project and that I am applying for funding for!   

Outside of making films I am excited for the 2018 film season in Halifax to see what acting opportunities come up! 

What was the last book/movie/podcast etc. that left an impression on you?

Book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro about cloned children who are bred for organ donation and must nurse one another through their “donations” until, at a horribly early age, they “complete”, or die.

Podcast was This American Life: Really Long Distance where Producer Miki Meek tells the story of a phone booth in Japan that attracts thousands of people who lost loved ones in the 2011 tsunami and earthquake. A Japanese TV crew from NHK Sendai filmed people inside the phone booth, whose phone is not connected to anything at all, all of whom place a call to speak to the dead.  

Movie was “Call Me By Your Name” directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Andre Aciman. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Being creative is just like any other job but harder, you need to work at it even when you don’t feel like it and no one is telling you that you have to.  Don’t wait to be inspired or motivated to work, let your work be what makes you feel motivated to create, and let your own creativity be what inspires you.  Surround yourself with other people who are creative that support you and can help you feel like you are part of a community of colleagues and collaborators.  Never let fear or uncertainty or self-doubt prevent you from saying yes to an opportunity, even if you don’t know how to do it – that’s what google and questions are for.  Find one or two people who believe in your ability more than you do and have their numbers on hand whenever you start to question your own value so much that you feel like giving up.  Celebrate your achievements no matter what scale they are on.  And no matter what stage you are at, make learning your highest priority, if you do that you will enter every situation with humility, an open mind and the ability to connect with others and you will always walk away having gained something.  

 

LIFESTYLE | Winter Capsule Wardrobe 2018
  Top centre clockwise:  Reading socks |   Indigo ,  Darling Magazine. Issue 22 |  Darling  , Green Sweater |   Bootlegger,   Chrome Nail Polish |  Essie | Quo,  Naked Heat Pallet |   Sephora,   Bedazzled Gloves |  Gift , Innis Free Rose Mask |  Amazon , Blue Jeans |  The Gap , Thigh high winter socks |   Aerie  , Christmas Pyjamas |   Suzy Shier   , Plaid pyjama pants |   La Vie en Rose  , Romper |  Korea , Black turtle neck |  Winners,  Pleather Pants |   Zara,   Gold top |   Reitmans,   Grey Sweater |  MEC

Top centre clockwise: Reading socks | Indigo, Darling Magazine. Issue 22 | Darling , Green Sweater | Bootlegger, Chrome Nail Polish | Essie | Quo, Naked Heat Pallet | Sephora, Bedazzled Gloves | Gift, Innis Free Rose Mask | Amazon, Blue Jeans | The Gap, Thigh high winter socks | Aerie, Christmas Pyjamas | Suzy Shier , Plaid pyjama pants | La Vie en Rose, Romper | Korea, Black turtle neck | Winners, Pleather Pants | Zara, Gold top | Reitmans, Grey Sweater | MEC

This winter I embraced the hyggelit aspects of winter by focusing on warm and cozy item additions.  

For Christmas I received two cozy pyjama sets from La Vie En Rose, one pictured here, the pink plaid pants which came with a t-shirt that says "The Snuggle is Real".  The grey socks are a quick find at Aerie and another Christmas gift in the white reading socks.  I also found this beautiful green sweater from Bootlegger which I needed badly!  

These items really did add a comfort to the cold days! 

Not pictured here are the year round yoga wears with the addition of these Yoga Pants from Aerie (they were in the wash when I took this photo), tank tops for underneath shirts and a few carry over items from Autumn that I used in this capsule.

The other mention is the Naked Heat pallet I painstainkly researched and saved for.  I have not been known for makeup skills but over the course of the past three years have been learning more about products and what works for me.  These tones are my absolute favourites and I figured with youtube tutorials etc it would be a great way for me to embrace learning how to properly apply eye makeup using the right techniques and shading.