WORK | Cue Cards
cue.cards.JPG

I saw this post from Elizabeth Gilbert on instagram.

& I realized I was missing this key ingredient. Cue cards. (Or Index Cards). I have tried various forms of this but never with simple cue / index cards.

As a screen writer,

one learns that story boarding with index cards is essential.

As a writer / creator,

I hadn’t considered how this may help my practice for other projects, ideas and organizing all their bits and scattered thoughts and ideas.

I am still creating my own method around how to best catalogue my ideas, story arcs, characters etc but I am finding it a mysterious and alluring process.

Will make sure to update on what process I find most productive, fun and agreeable.

If only I had boxes like Elizabeth Gilbert has in that picture to file these cards away….

LIFESTYLE | Cardio Bursts
cardio.byamygrace

Movement is medicine and a privilege.

Awareness of how movement affects me began while I was learning to figure skate as a teen. I found joy, creativity and atheltisim in that form of movement. Something I didn’t think was ever going to be for me.

Athleticism.

I began to understand gradually why athletes had to have an excellency and persistence in what they did. I was tasting it, and I LOVED IT.

A slow discovery of various forms of movement began. From figure skating, to yoga, to swing dance, to blues dance, and also to my daily cardio bursts.

Being a writer…

doesn’t allow for much movement. Although, I am finding that working 10 minute cardio bursts throughout my work day or any day I am less motivated is a way I can keep fresh, awake and determined.

And a Woman…

It wasn’t long ago I heard the very true statistic that in Canada, the number one killer of women over the age of 55 is heart disease. It made me realize that although I need to maintain health and wellness for my overall care, that I also need to remember that my heart is also a muscle, that it needs to be worked in order to be strong.

Fitting in 10 minutes of cardio in between or during transitions in my day has given me a renewed sense of awareness of how much movement my body needs. (we are all different.)

Movement Routine:

Mon, Wed, Fri : Morning Yoga, additional walking / cardio bursts

Tues, Thurs : Morning Cardio, additional walking / cardio bursts

Sat / Sun : Nature walk or dancing, additional cardio bursts if needed

*additonal movement is there when it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to maintain a certain number of either minutes, weight or calories. This is about knowing that I am giving myself what I need & staying in tune with my body. The more you check in with yourself physically, the more you begin to notice that your brain fog may just be the need for fresh air, or sore back may be needing a good stretch a.k.a yoga, etc. Stay mindful, rooted and thankful.

WORK | Professional Wellness
professional.wellness.JPG

As I take on more work and find ways to adapt to the various projects at my desk, I have found the need to practice wellness in my professional life.

This isn’t a call of selfishness. This is a call for excellence.

Over the course of the year, as I have been pursuing excellence, I have realized that it doesn’t come from the work that is perfect.

Excellence comes from the person who has taken great care and thought in the work they do, to make the time and space for it.

This means, not taking on what you cannot follow through on.

It means giving oneself creative space to play and interact with new ideas and not taking the whims too seriously.

It means, that when committing to something of a professional nature, making sure that how you take it on, not only honours you and your work practice, but also the practice of those you will be working with.

The beauty of it all?

Is that the excellence happens while you are following through with these things. It’s not an over night success that speaks volumes. It is the daily , weekly, monthly and yearly care one takes to reassess and find new ways to better honour the work in which they are called to do.

That bit of truth here is:

Wellness has it’s place not only in the personal but also in the professional.

LIFESTYLE | Clear the 'Table'
 Along the Bedford Basin

Along the Bedford Basin

This is the time of year we are often swept into what is often called ‘the holidays’ but so often referred to as the ‘rush’ to get it all done.

This year, as with last year, I am making a more consistent effort to not get caught up in the ‘expectations’ of this time of year, but mindfully and thoughtfully consider how to approach the holidays, work, new year preparations and personal life.

This means, weekly making the time to ‘clear the table’ so to speak to make sure priorities are in order.

Being the list maker that I am, that’s my first step

To Consider:

  • Events

  • Traditions

  • Relationships, both friends and family.

  • Personal appointments

  • Professional deadlines

  • End of the year goals / deadlines

  • Preparations for the winter season (Winter tires, yard / house maintenance, etc)

  • Pressing issues / stresses

  • Hobbies / extra curricular

Then one must thoughtfully articulate how each of these elements prioritize themselves.

Both personal and professional life has it’s weight and it can be a tricky balance.

Then:

Circle the elements that are the biggest stressors / most pressing.

After circling, then:

Star the elements that bring you joy and are excited about.

Then:

Review those circled and cross out at least one element that truly isn’t as pressing or important as you make it out to be.

Lastly:

Make a list of both the circled and star’d elements that you know you need to do. The rest go at the end.

Each week find ways in which to address them and remind yourself of the reasons you prioritize them. If the reason doesn’t stand up well, let it go.

I repeat:

Let it go.

don’t make me sing that song….

SPOTLIGHT | Kothai Kumanan
Kothai.spotlight.

I’ve known Kothai over a year now and although our lives are each uniquely full, every single conversation we share has been one of depth, encouragement and intelligent inspirations. What she has to share is true and deep insight to reflect and soak in.

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as creative, passionate and spontaneous. I don't work on a daily basis in the traditional arts community, nevertheless creativity is an important part of my life.  It is a lens I see life through, whether it's to instill an appreciation of the esthetic in my children, to centre myself by engaging in the creative output of others , or to use creativity in my work, which likely appears rather removed from the world of creativity!  Passion is one of my favourite words- my mother used to say that if you're going to do something, do it fully. I think she was describing passion to me.  Whatever I jump into - mothering, a business opportunity or my everyday work, I think it's important to be driven by a higher purpose and to engage in what you do fully.  And finally, spontaneity is a way of embracing change and being resilient in life. To have a gypsy approach to life and to embrace opportunities as they arise is powerful to me.

What role does creativity play in your life?

I touched on some of this in my previous answer, but I do think creativity is foundational to having a healthy perspective in life. Even in the most mundane things- like cooking a meal- creativity is nourishing to the soul.

What are you currently working on?

My professional and mothering life doesn't leave me a great deal of time to work on the 'extras'- yet these two things offer me many creative outlets, too! Outside of that, I am currently working on consulting work  that touches on how palliative care services can best be organized in Nova Scotia. For me research is a highly creative endeavor that also engages my need for critical thinking. While I typically engage in the arts- music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and art shows- as a consumer, I am trying to get back to my first love- Indian classical dancing!

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

I recently saw the movie, The Wife, starring Glenn Close.  In it, she is the supposed muse of her husband, whose literary genius has earned him a Nobel Prize.  As the story unfolds, we learn she is so much more- and so much less.  It left an impression on me as a woman and a mother of daughters: what we are taught to value in society as women and in particular, creatively driven women. As Glenn's close's character, Joan, does, I , too, have considered my decisions and thought more deeply about choices I've made and have yet to make after I saw this movie based on Meg Wolitzer's novel.

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

I'm not sure that I would be qualified to give advice, but from my own experience, what I'd offer is don't let the world or society or others define what creativity means to you and where its outlets are for you that give meaning and depth to your own life.

WORK | Respect the Work Flow
work.flow.halifax.byamygrace

With working on my own projects, taking on freelance work, balancing the mama life and maintaining family and friend relationships I have been meditating on

‘Flow’

How do I respect the flow?

What is flow?

Flow is tossed around within the creative and millennial communities as a term we use to describe what it means to be in a good productive working physical and internal atmosphere.

Flow Professionally:

Means I do my best to accept and actively do work during my prime productive hours.

For me, this looks like mornings for technical work, and evenings for creative work.

I have noted over the years as a student, freelancer & human being that from 1:40pm - 5:00pm I am a zombie of energy. During those hours I tend to dip in energy (no matter what food or exercise routine I do) and am apathetic in motivation. This could be due to the way my energy is at an all time high from 7am - 1pm, or that I tend to stay up till close to midnight most nights for creative and inspirational purposes.

Either way, I have learned over the years, and especially at this stage in my life, that working to match that rhythm produces my best work.

Flow Personally

Means I create routine and boundaries for the things in which I value and know feed my soul.

For me, this looks like having bi-weekly routines of date nights, friend dates, farmers market visits etc, while also making sure the times I am least energetic is where I am at rest, read, journal, etc.

Knowing yourself is a huge part of optimizing your flow.

As an example, I know I am a social introvert. I am stimulated by intimate settings with others, but too much and I am drained. I also realize that I do need that time to retreat and reflect in order for me to continue giving out in a healthy and high quality manner.

& with that…

I am at my best when I respect and adjust my days to match the work flow that brings me to where I need to be.

Optimizing your personal and professional work flow and respecting those limits is a way in which to produce excellent work that continues to grow in concepts and depth while also protecting oneself and the work from burn out.

LIFESTYLE | 2019 Bullet Journal Prep
b.j.19.07.amygrace

Bullet Journaling has changed my life drastically.

Pre-parenthood I would buy any day planner and fill in where necessary.

Then as technology progressed, I went to using my phone with a day planner in tandem. Events / meetings etc went in my phone while specific tasks went in the day planner.

Post-parenthood I was at a loss.

How do I do this? Nothing is predictable and yet the tasks are piling up and somehow, for my own personality and sanity, I needed to find a new way to keep track of it all.

It was finding Bullet Journaling that really put life planning and preparations in perspective.

Although it’s a necessary chore that can feel hard to overcome while balancing motherhood, work, aspirations, busy family, friends and personal needs, it can also be a place and time where I map out every ‘right yes’. Bullet Journaling has helped me to see my personal and professional choices laid out in a manner that excites me, and brings me into a place of alignment with my values and my choices.

Here is how I am designing 2019’s Bullet journal so far:

  Starting with an overview of the year like this….

Starting with an overview of the year like this….

  Milestone events will be highlighted…

Milestone events will be highlighted…

  A wellness wheel which will allow me to identify what I need to work on and add / take away from my life.

A wellness wheel which will allow me to identify what I need to work on and add / take away from my life.

  A seasonal ‘bucket list’ of sorts with a way to track what wardrobe additions will be needed for the season.

A seasonal ‘bucket list’ of sorts with a way to track what wardrobe additions will be needed for the season.

  As much as I wanted to try a new monthly layout, I couldn’t seem to shake this one. It’s very direct and specific in it’s visual.

As much as I wanted to try a new monthly layout, I couldn’t seem to shake this one. It’s very direct and specific in it’s visual.

  A new way to track the daily.’s I haven’t done it vertical before so this will be new for me. I also am going to change the word from “Today” to “Dailys” where underneath I will have the daily routine. i.e. Tuesday might look like: - Cardio, - Clean Kitchen, - Hair Rinse.

A new way to track the daily.’s I haven’t done it vertical before so this will be new for me. I also am going to change the word from “Today” to “Dailys” where underneath I will have the daily routine. i.e. Tuesday might look like: - Cardio, - Clean Kitchen, - Hair Rinse.



WORK | Communication
communication.byamygrace

My Question:

How can we communicate authentically and respectfully?

Communication plays a huge role in most, if not all professions.

Professionally and personally, I take communication seriously. I am hard pressed to not take deep note of how body language and words are presented. Since focusing my work away from the interpreting field, and into writing, working amongst creatives, and the performance industries, I have noticed how the communication style various in huge ways.

This presents itself through email, one on one conversations, social events in a crowded room or even just a glance as we pass eachother in the street.

There is no one size fits all in the performance / artistic industries.

The biggest thing we can ever do for each other professionally and personally is to seek clarification when there is a shimmer of confusion or doubt on the intent of a communication, be it verbal or physical.

Especially as a woman, we are in a world today where miscommunication can be the complete break down of a professional / personal experience.

What I wonder at and am theorizing, is how good we are at accepting that someone was put off, hurt or misunderstood by our own intent? How they might have got it wrong, and we also might have communicated wrong?

We can’t get it right 100% of the time, we are human after all. What makes us think that we are above that?

I ask this question not because I seek to create positive and empowering experiences with those I communicate with and I know that I won’t get it 100% right all the time. There is no world in which I will, and I would hope and trust, that those around me would be capable and empowered enough to seek that clarification from me, challenge me and continue to pass me grace for when I didn’t have the words or ways in which they needed.

Personally and professionally, this is what I desire.

LIFESTYLE | Reflect
reflect.byamy.grace

This past week it rained everyday.

I love rain. For me, it’s a little permission slip to pause, watch it fall and reflect.

Not much in life can make me do that to be honest.

I am a reflective person in nature, sure, but I am one in constant motion. A lazy day for me consists of sitting or indulging in something frivolous for over an hour.

Anything past an hour and I get annoyed and ready to move to the next thing.

Being still and reflective for me, is a practice. My mind whirs and isn’t very willing to not be processing the next task, project, event etc.

There is something very true that happens in reflection.

A sense of understanding and clarity we don’t often find in the busy.

Understanding

For what we do not yet or may not ever understand

Clarity

For what we have needed the space to see. It is hard to truly comprehend something when you are nose to nose with it. Having space, allows one to take in it’s entirety.

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WORK | AUTUMN 2018
autumn.2018.byamygrace

After a very hot summer in Nova Scotia (avg between 28-40 degrees C with humidity) on days on end, I am more than happy to be moving into Autumn cripsness. Although as I speak, the past two days have been 28 degrees C and only dipping down into the teens overnight. (note: this was written second last week of September…delayed due to Spotlight post & various personal events)

Here is a ‘coles notes’ work update:

Summer

Brought clarity and insight into my next steps both professional and personally. After a challenging Spring of raw interactions and professional setting circumstances, it’s empowering to know that with showing up, comes a continual growth.

This clarity was what I was hoping and aching for.

Autumn

Brings new projects & possible contracts

A Research / Writing project on my Paternal Grandmother

I will be focusing the majority of my writing time on my grandmother Joan Francis Gooddday Lugar. Who she was, what she did and why I find her life story one that needs to be shared.

WORDS

Looking to expand the words project.

Brilliansea

Joining with Claire Fraser, the Spotlight Series will be expanding into something more in a video / documentary format.
Stay tuned!

Freelance Screenwriting

Accepting contracts and opportunities when feasible.

LIFESTYLE | Autumn 2018
autumn.2018.byamygrace

Sweater weather is here!!

We got to the beach so many times this summer and it’s only enforced our full enjoyment of getting out and enjoying the best of what each season has to offer.

Autumn Goals:

Crisp Walks

flannels

As the weather get’s colder and rains more in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s easy to want to stay inside, but that is a total cop out. There are still plenty of sunny and or overcast days that can be enjoyed. Getting out for those crisp Autumnal walks are a must. Hot coffee or hot chocolate for the walk didn't hurt anyone either.

Dancing

Autumn is the season where our city’s Swing Dance Society starts back up in ‘full swing’. As much as we can, we are going to try to attend events and get some of those beautiful dance opportunities in.

S’mores

Summer is not the end of S’mores. There are still plenty of nights where S’more dip or Traditional S’mores can be had.

Flannels / Blankets

Switch to flannels and pull out the cozies. We are in full blown cuddle mode over here.

Candles

Getting a few autumn scented candles and some plain ones are a great way to make Hygge happen in the home.

SPOTLIGHT | Rebecca MacDonald
Rebecca.macdonald.spotlight

I met Rebecca over ten years ago while we were both pursing the path of American Sign Language Interpreting. Although each of us have since chosen different career paths, Rebecca (in Real Estate & helped us get our dream first home) continues to be a woman I seek out to enjoy personal and professional solidarity. We may not share the same profession anymore, but we do share a desire to live our personal and professional lives with joy and excellence. She is amazing in her presence!

Her contact Info :
1 902 210 7653
Rebeccamacdonald@kw.com
Facebook Page

How would you describe yourself?

I'm a #motherhustler. Just heard this the other day and I love it. I love how cheeky it sounds but how it also inspires me. I've been so blessed to work and keep my girl home with me for nearly 2 years but I'm ready and she's ready for different. I'm passionate about my loves, my work and my life. I'm quiet and shy in new situations but a dragon slayer when needed. I'm funny and not afraid to admit it ;) Confident in a modest way. Compassionate, respectful and so honest. I LOVE following rules. I like to do list that I create, and I like being able to ignore them sometimes too. Positivity sometimes makes me cry. And I'm tired. Always have been, seemingly always will be ZZZZzzZZZZZZZ (and I'm done feeling bad about it too) 

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is problem solving for me, my family and my clients. I'm a firm believer that everything can be fixed with a solution that's a win win for everyone in life and work. Communication is key.

What are you currently working on? 

Right now I'm focusing on how to better reach buyers and sellers organically. I want to help people like you make their house dreams come true. I've got a lot of feelings on doing what's right for the client and working in their best interest. I want to not only make a difference for my immediate clients but also for the industry. 

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

Goal Digger with Jenna Kutcher and I owe it all to you ;) 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

If you're passionate about something others will see and feel it. Not all creativity comes in the form of a product or something tangible. 

LIFESTYLE | Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2018
summer.capsule.2018.byamygrace

Top Centre - Clockwise: Blue tank top | Frenchies, Blue / White striped Dress | Banana Republic, China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan | Indigo, Blue T-Shirt Dress | The Gap, Blue dress | Second Hand from Jasmine Alexander, ‘Faux’ Lipstick | Mac, ‘There in Heartbeat Necklace’ | Bryan Anthonys from Jasmine Alexander, Blue Tank top | Modcloth.com , Folded up Black romper | The Gap, Sleep Aromatherapy Body Cream | Bath and Body Works, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop | Bench, White and Yellow Striped Scarf | Indigo, Starfish Keds | Softmoc, Nutragena SPF moisturizer | Shoppers Drug Mart, Joggers | Roots, Fresh Soy Face Cleanser | Sephora, Green Shorts | The Gap, Tribe Engraved bracelet | From the bestie Nicole Payzant, Jean Shorts | H&M, Off White Jersey Summer Dress | H&M, Lagom Book | Indigo, White silk Tank | Bootlegger

BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE….

Can you tell what colours I like by now?

This summer I finally felt like I had a fully well developed capsule wardrobe to pull out for the summer.

What I Added

Banana Republic Blue Striped Dress : Bought for the purpose of wearing to the Wedding Shower I was hosting as a Maid of Honour, and for any future special summer events that happen in our coastal city / atmosphere.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Tank : I wear my two yoga tops on a weekly rotation and one is loosing it’s appeal, I thought adding something motivational and different for my ‘spring/summer’ workouts would be a great boost and also practical way to get me motivated.

Roots Joggers : I looked high and low. It could be that I was looking in the late spring into summer, but even still the joggers I found for women were either too cheap / thin in fabric or had insane detailing that ruined the look. I do not want ‘rips’ pre-made into my joggers thank-you….let’s leave those for the girlfriend / boyfriend jeans! Roots joggers although expensive on the outset, I imagine, will last me many years. They are plush, cozy, durable and make me feel attractive. There are many a rainy day or Sunday early writing morning that I don’t want to be in jeans or yoga pants. These are a great alternative, & admittedly, my husband is glad that I am not stealing his joggers to wear on a damp day!

H&M dress : insanely cheap. This jersey dress cost me about $18 give or take , has pockets and flows perfectly. Being short in stature with ample sized breasts, most dresses that hang without some sort of form to it make me look pregnant, but this one doesn’t! It has just the right shape to indicate my body shape underneath and also just enough flow to feel like I can be out and about with a more relaxed posture.

Bootlegger White silk Tank: I bought this knowing I wanted it for work occasions. Although it is a bit low in the cleavage area I have found that when I wear it, I only have to be aware when I am bending down and in awkward positions. Of course, being a mom, that seems like all the time, but wearing this to events has been a a confidence booster. White in the summer is such a breeze.

What I am thinking of letting go of

The blue dress that Jasmine has in my closet that we have shared through out the years has a slight rip near the top of the back. I am reticent to get rid of it, even though I know it is not fixable (The fabric is sheer there and just not worth my time to fix it, although this specific dress has certainly given Jasmine and I years of wear and memories.)

What isn’t pictured here:

Swim suit, flip flips, runners, workout shorts, pyjamas.

WORK | Discipline as a Practice
discipline.byamygrace

Discipline
verb [with object]

• (discipline oneself to do something) train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way: every month discipline yourself to go through the file.

I am dedicated to being the full time caregiver of my child until she is of school age. These years are precious and yet as she is growing I am taking on more and with that is even more reason to continue my practice in discipline.

This means knowing two things:

Who I am In My Personal Life

I am a woman who values quality over quantity. I would rather have less in every aspect of my life, as long as what I do have, is of good quality and experience. I realize that my joys and my true value comes from enjoying quality time with those around me and the season I am in. Having enough time to eat well, exercise, get fresh air, invest in relationships with friends, family and my own personal development is highly important. I recognize and have learned that when these values are pushed aside by my need to not disappoint others, I experience the physical symptoms of anxiety and when I am in alignment with these values, I am at peace.

Who I am In My Professional Life

I am a woman who values follow through. Committing to my work and projects are of high importance to me. I recognize that I am personally affected when someone I am working with does not follow through with what they had committed to doing. I also recognize that this happens and for whatever reason, I cannot control others and their own agendas. I can control myself and how I work and communicate. I value clarity and humbleness in others and therefore I must remember to maintain that clarity within myself. I am driven and I am stubborn which I use to my advantage when going about my work. I will not give up on something I know has true value and quality behind it.

And as I navigate the next stage of my journey I remember to have:

Grace for those who don’t understand my boundaries and my striving for my dreams.

LIFESTYLE | Summer Toddler Capsule Wardrobe 2018
summer.toddler.capsule.2018

Top Centre - Clockwise: We Are Better Together Book | Gift from Great Aunt Linda & Great Uncle Keith, Rose Gold Pineapple Cat Ear Hat | Carters, Kitty Pyjamas | | Carters, Red / White Striped T-Shirt | Carters, Octupus Charm Bracelet | From Tai Ma in Hong Kong, Pink Dress | H&M, Jean Shorts | Carters, Green Sunglasses | Carters, Colourful Tank top | Carters & Second Hand find from Auntie Nicole, Swimmer T-Shirt | Carters & Second hand find from Auntie Nicole, Sneakers | Zara, Flower Romper | Joe Fresh, Christopher Robin Adventures Poems | 1932 Book given to my paternal Grandmother when she was a child, Chalk | SuperStore, Teddy Bear Sticker Book | Indigo, Beach Cover Up | Carters, Swim Suit | Carters.

NEW:

Swimsuit

I try when buying new items to buy what I believe fits my little’s specific taste and personality. So many swimsuits for toddler/pre school girls are either bikini style or super girly. This was a beautiful middle ground while also offering more sun protection than a toddler bikini.

Red Striped T & Jean Shorts

Believe it or not, these jean shorts are size 18 months and still baggy on her. That’s just the way her body is, long and petite, but I did love how this red striped T was a sweet weekend combo.

LAST YEAR:

Pink Dress

We bought this dress for her child dedication at church in early Spring 2017. This summer it’s become the perfect little linen dress for post beach or on an extremely hot day.

Romper

Originally bought last summer, we were thankful to see this romper still fit.

HEAT WAVE

This capsule is very minimal for many reasons. One of them being, as much as we could this summer, we let her go as ‘raw’ as we could. It was so hot that often we skipped pyjamas and let her play around the house in just her underwear.

This was the hottest summer in Nova Scotia ever recorded and I was amazed at how the heat never let up. Sitting at 30/32, sometimes 35 degrees on any given day, with humidity in the air pushing the temp closer to 40 was such a hard adjustment to us east coasters. We love our wind, rain and overcast days more than we realize.

All in all, this season was very minimal with re-using a lot of the lightest weight clothes and we are looking forward to seeing what sweaters, and shirts she still fits from last winter / Autumn wardrobe.

WORK | Back to School Vibes
back.to.school.byamygrace

As students go back to school there is no reason us adults can’t get a work refresh as well. With new work coming my way, I figure it’s time to recenter and recalibrate.

Here are a few essentials to think about:

Materials

Know exactly what materials you need and will create a productive atmosphere for you. For me, this is my MacBook Pro, headphones, notebook & bullet journal, along with whatever beverage I am drinking (water, coffee, tea, etc.).

Nutrition

This is the time of year that colds start getting shared & I am loath to get sick. When I do get sick it’s usually a doozy, so I do everything I can to avoid it, including taking vitamins (specifically, probiotics, garlic tablets, vitamin C and my regular multi vitamin), eating salads, kale smoothies and adding meat to my diet when I feel I need it (I specifically know that I crave and need extra portien when approaching my period).

Movement

Getting some sort of exercise is not only known to help with mental wellness, it is key when working at a sit down job. As a writer, all I do is sit down to work. I make a huge effort to maintain an equal amount of moment into my life. This usually means, 20 mins of yoga, 20 mins of cardio and a walk during the day. Extra movement looks like: (skating, swimming, swing dance, nature walks / hikes, hot yoga).

Dress

Using the ‘getting ready’ part of the day as a mindful exercise in preparing and choosing items to wear that will help me embrace the work I am about to do is essential. I am highly aware it is a privilege and a luxury to have items to choose from, products to use and the time to set aside to prepare for the day. I mindfully express gratitude as I prepare and never forget that although I may at times believe I want more, that I in fact, have more than enough and am content with the life I am breathing this day.

Inspiration

However you work, it’s important to have what inspires you in proximity. For me this is having a few privately chosen places for knick knacks that are meaningful to me and that only I can see. A tab on my laptop specifically for bookmarked articles, videos relating to my professional development that will help me grow, a background on my laptop I love and music that I can play while I work if the work fits that.

However you refresh your work lifestyle for the Autumn, do take it into account.

There is nothing like realizing you can do something to boost your ‘practice’ to be more full, enjoyable and productive.

eat well.byamygrace
LIFESTYLE | Summer Favourites 2018
summer.fav.18.byamygrace

Succulent Terrarium

We made a terrarium a couple years back but (SOMEONE ...ahem... not me...) over watered it, so we had to dump it.  This late Spring early Summer we started anew with these beautiful new succulents from The Flower Shop.

Beach Towels

Since 2011 we have been using old Beach Towels of mine and Jeremy's parents.  This year I waited for a sale on these Luxurious oversized towels at Bed Bath and Beyond.  No regrets.

China Rich Girlfriend

#2 in the Crazy Rich Asians Series, this book lives up to it's expectations.  Funny, true and insightful.

Beach Rocks

Collecting beach rocks is a way of anchoring ones soul to the ocean.  Hopefully this year I will get around to painting these.

Starfish Keds

Walking everywhere in these shoes.

Morning Breeze by Juke Ross

Something about this song gets to me.

"Take all your things and take the past with you, Your selfish ways I cant wait to loose. I'm… With the morning Breeze, I was right by your side But your arms released me, now I'm flying high..."

Lagom

Reading this book during the summer months has been a sort of meditation.  Remember not to take life so seriously and take it one section at a time.

Yellow Striped Scarf

I have had this scarf since 2010 from Indigo, and it continues to inspire me in the summer months.

Aromatherapy Sleep Body Cream

This is an affective cream for calming the senses.

Other favourites:

The Good Place - For the extreme laughs & character development.
Mad Men - Re-watching this series is so much more impactful at age 29 then when we first watched it.  Let's be honest, 10 years ago we watched it for Don Draper (Jon Hamm), now, with new eyes we watch it for Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss)
S'more Dip - For that seasonal snack
Nova 7 Wine -  This one in particular
 

WORK | Striking Gold

Striking Gold is a long term project that has evolved and continues to find it's place in this world out of the souls of two friends.

Jasmine Alexander & I have been forging through friendship, faith, creativity and life's intricacies together for years now.  Heading into our thirties (me, sooner than later...) we have realized that our friendship, conversations and discoveries go deep and we have found a thread of connection and relevancy within our friendship that has surpassed our own understanding.  

Watching and experiencing her discoveries are as awing and moving as if they were my own. And so we go forth, at a distance, discovering together, and discovering apart.

Our journey as friends has brought us and continues to bring us to a place of grace, celebration, empathy and mindfulness.

It's that thread of friendship tangled up with our passion for creativity that has urged us to continue to find ways of creating together, albeit a country wide apart.

We don't know the future of Striking Gold, but what we do know, is that our love for sharing deeply, listening intently, seeking wildly is something that continues to give us great passion and joy....

Join in following our project on instagram:

Where words & imagery collide

LIFESTYLE | Bachelorette Time
Heidis.bacherlorette party.byamygrace

With a family wedding up and coming and being the Maid of Honour, it's a privilege to be able to help celebrate the traditional wedding events & have fun while doing it! 

Overview of the evening:

Wine Tasting at Obladee

Was informative as it was enjoyable.  The woman who walked us through the tasting was informed as she was pleasant to listen to.  It was fun to learn more about what rosé wines were available in our province and also a deeper red from out of town.  The Brides favourite was between the 'L'Acadie Vineyards Vintage Cuvée Rosé' and the 'Cherubino Pedestal Cabernet Merlot'.  My favourite, due to the hot summer and my yearning for Autumn, the 'Cherubino Pedestal Cabernet Merlot'.

Dinner at Lot Six

The Bride & I were both ravenous by then for their hamburger and a glass of red.  The combination was amazing.  Highly recommend their atmosphere and menu. 

Dancing

In-between dinner and dancing we went to a bridesmaids house in located in the city to primp some more before taxying downtown to dance.  (what better way to end the evening than to dance?)

We were planning on going to a newer more retro dance club called 'Vinyl' which plays all the older eighties music and has throwback eighties dance atmosphere, but in the lead up to this event we found out they closed for the duration of the summer.  We opted for the safe bet in The Pacifico.

I have always enjoyed the Pacifico for it's happy & safe atmosphere.  It allows for everyone to have fun while not permitting any rowdiness, which when hosting a bride is exactly what we want.  Safe & fun! 

Let the hair fly!!! 

or, as we found that warm night, put your hair up in a bun & continue dancing....

We tied the night up with late night pizza followed with a brunch the next morning.

It was so exciting to realize as we cheered our mimosas we were getting to the home stretch of celebrating this wedding. 

October is just around the corner!!!! 

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