Posts in Lifestyle
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.

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.

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

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

Thirty.

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

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

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

What I am taking into my thirties.

That seat at the table

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

A unique voice.

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

A well rounded intelligence

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

Relationships that go both ways

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

Delicious food both healthy and indulgent

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

That comedic take on life

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

Embracing every inch of my strong capable body

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

All that strong visioning skills

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

Gut instinct

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

The raw vulnerability

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

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

LIFESTYLE | Fourth Birthday
Zoe.lai.byamygrace

four.

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

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

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

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

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

Happy birthday to the one full of life.

LIFESTYLE | April 2019 Reads
April.2019.reads.byamygrace

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

12 Rules for Life | Jordan B. Peterson

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

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

Voyager | Diana Gabaldon

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

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

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

The Book of Essie | Meghan MacLean Weir

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

Dare to Lead | Brené Brown

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

Television Series of Note

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

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

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

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


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

Why?

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

What I have loved so far:

ricotta.banana.toast

Ricotta Toast

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

Typical Scrambled eggs Breakfast.

Typical Scrambled eggs Breakfast.

O.G. Breakfast

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

House Waffles.  ;)

House Waffles. ;)

Home Made Waffles

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

The Work Morning Croissant

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



LIFESTYLE | Little Shore Loft TLC
littleshoreloft.tlc.byamygrace

Major life update:

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

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

This means:

Replacing the dishwasher (was there from past owner)

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

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

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

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

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

kitchen.reno.byamygrace
LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Playlist
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I LOVE ALL THE MUSIC…

that’s no secret.

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

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

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

A few notables:

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

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

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

Find the full playlist here:

On Spotify

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019
spring.2019.byamygrace

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

You think you know everything & then…

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

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

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

Take heart , everything in its time…

So this Spring my personal goals are to:

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

  • Seek proper footwear & needed apparel replacements

  • Add variety to breakfasts.

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

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

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

*fInd me where the wild things are….

LIFESTYLE | March 2019 Reads
march.reads.2019.byamygrace

Dragonfly in Amber | Diana Gabaldon

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

Attachments | Rainbow Rowell

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

Silent Flowers | A Collection of Haiku Poems

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

The Royal Runaway | Lindsay Emory

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

Television Series Currently On the Go of Note:

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

LIFESTYLE | Winter 2019 Favourites
winter.2019.favourites.amygrace

Here are a few of my Winter Favourites…

Outlander & Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

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

ROOTS Cabin Socks

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

Homemade Kale Smoothies

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

Bedazzled Black Mittens

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

Presidents Choice Hot Red Pepper Jelly

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

Essie Bourdeaux Nail Polish

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

QUO Best Dressed nail Polish

Classy, sassy and a bit bad assy.

Peppermint Scented Candle

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

Blue/Grey Blanket

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

LIFESTYLE | Winter 2019 Preschooler Capsule Wardrobe
Top Centre - Clockwise:  My Daily Calendar  | Gift from Mimi & Yeye,  Cash Register   | IKEA,   White Bear Robe with Stars  | Winners,  White Christmas Pyjamas   | Old Navy,   Blue snow pants   | Joe Fresh,   Purple Winter Coat  | Gift from Neighbours,  Wooden toy camera with lenses  | Gift made by Uncle Tyler,  Gold dress shoes  | Gift from Auntie Heidi,  Socks   | Zara,   Ear Muffs   | Zara,   White Sweater  | Gift from Auntie Heidi,  Green head phones graphic shirt   | Old Navy,   Grey Cat Graphic Shirt   | Carters,   Off white pants   | Zara,   Graphic Winter pants with girl faces   | Carters,   Nordic White Pants   | Carters,   Grey Kitty Sweater  | Gift from Uncle Tyler & Auntie Jasmine,  “FAMILIA” Sweater   | Zara,   Pet Shop & Pets  | 90’s Fisherprce toy from my childhood,  Frog & Toad Storybook Treasury   | Chapters

Top Centre - Clockwise: My Daily Calendar | Gift from Mimi & Yeye, Cash Register | IKEA, White Bear Robe with Stars | Winners, White Christmas Pyjamas | Old Navy, Blue snow pants | Joe Fresh, Purple Winter Coat | Gift from Neighbours, Wooden toy camera with lenses | Gift made by Uncle Tyler, Gold dress shoes | Gift from Auntie Heidi, Socks | Zara, Ear Muffs | Zara, White Sweater | Gift from Auntie Heidi, Green head phones graphic shirt | Old Navy, Grey Cat Graphic Shirt | Carters, Off white pants | Zara, Graphic Winter pants with girl faces | Carters, Nordic White Pants | Carters, Grey Kitty Sweater | Gift from Uncle Tyler & Auntie Jasmine, “FAMILIA” Sweater | Zara, Pet Shop & Pets | 90’s Fisherprce toy from my childhood, Frog & Toad Storybook Treasury | Chapters

New To Her

My Daily Calendar is a perfect learning tool for a pre schooler she has endless fun talking through ‘the days’ changes along with just doing her own thing with the board. We still have yet to hang it up in her room, but that will happen in due time.

Purple Winter Coat was a pass along from our lovely neighbours. Gifted to them for their youngest who clearly didn’t fit this uniquely sized jacket. Although it’s very long in the body and short in the arms, this jacket keeps Zoë bundled for our winter walks and outings together.

Wooden Toy Camera: This has been a precious and meaningful gift.. Handmade by Uncle Tyler in B.C., this camera came with two magnetic de-tachable lenses. It also took us way too long to realize that a small letter ‘Z’ had been stamped into a corner of the camera.

Still Going Strong

Sweaters: Her sweaters remained the right length in arms and although some might not be fitting perfectly, they all fit so well.

Fisher Price Doll House : Not pictured here, but worth noting, the fisher price dollhouse that I had as a child continues to be Zoë’s main source of entertainment. Over fifty percent of her time is playing with it and I need to give my parents a good and healthy nod. It was their money that bought the ENDLESS items for me as a child and it was their decision to store it that has allowed Zoë to have this much time with it. (although my mother knows very well that I don’t want every single toy that she has saved in big rubbermaid containers in her ‘cave of wonders’!!! I am still very thankful that she kept my most special items safe for me over the years so that I can re-share in their joy again.)

Time to Go

Graphic Pants: thankfully, many of her pants from winter were just long enough to still fit paired with long socks. This was a relief but they won’t last longer than this season.

LIFESTYLE | Winter 2019 Capsule Wardrobe
Top Centre - Clockwise :  Pink Scarf   | Suzy Shier  , Reading animal socks   | Indigo / gift from my Aunt,   BlueBella Blue silk pyjamas   | ASOS,   Bedazzled Black Mittens   | Bootlegger,   Headband  | gift from my mom,  NARS duo orgasm blush   | Sephora,   black & gold tank   | Reitmans,   Peppermint Candle   | Gift from a close friend - Saje,   White knit Sweater   | Suzy Shier  , Black skirt   | H&M,   Black pants (bottom right corner)   | RW&Co,   Pleather pants   | Zara,   Blue jeans   | the Gap,   rose gold watch   | Fossil,   Pink Sweater   | Aerie,   Outlander by Diana Gabaldon   | Chapters,   Black Basic long sleeve   | H&M,   Glasses, Grey Joggers   | Roots,   Yoga Pants   | Aerie,   Cabin Socks   | Roots,   Red Flannel shirt  | Winners,  Wool Winter Jacket   | RW&co

Top Centre - Clockwise : Pink Scarf | Suzy Shier, Reading animal socks | Indigo / gift from my Aunt, BlueBella Blue silk pyjamas | ASOS, Bedazzled Black Mittens | Bootlegger, Headband | gift from my mom, NARS duo orgasm blush | Sephora, black & gold tank | Reitmans, Peppermint Candle | Gift from a close friend - Saje, White knit Sweater | Suzy Shier, Black skirt | H&M, Black pants (bottom right corner) | RW&Co, Pleather pants | Zara, Blue jeans | the Gap, rose gold watch | Fossil, Pink Sweater | Aerie, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon | Chapters, Black Basic long sleeve | H&M, Glasses, Grey Joggers | Roots, Yoga Pants | Aerie, Cabin Socks | Roots, Red Flannel shirt | Winners, Wool Winter Jacket | RW&co

This winter started out mild & became cold quickly! This made my additions to the Winter capsule focused on warmth over other pieces I may have been looking at.

New to Me

Bluebella Silk Pyjamas was a late autumn purchase that took forever to arrive due to the Canada post mail service interruption. Thankfully they still arrived & they were 100% worth the wait. I am not a fan of many ‘silk prints’ & finding a classic look in the city was difficult. ASOS is a great place to check for what you can’t find in your own city.

White Knit Sweater was a fun purchase from my mom to me. I was griping about my lack of sweaters and although she knew I was looking for something of a high quality, she thought this one might tide me over until I can make my mind up. & it has done the trick. Although already pilling a great deal it has given me a winter level up & received compliments where ever it goes.

Wool Winter Jacket was a combination of my own money and gift money from Christmas. I was given a lovely tank top that was a size too small (busts are a thing ya’ll) and upon return I realized that although we had gift cards to this store that would allow me to find other various tops and then some, the smartest and most valuable purchase would be to FINALLY get a proper winter coat. This coat is EXCELLENT at keeping one warm and although it won’t be one that I romp in the snow in, it is one that I can wear any other time and feel stylish while also staying ‘oh-so-toasty’.

Black Yoga Pants from Aerie are a lesson learned. Last year I bought a pair from them that had meshing along with some ‘hole’ patterns. It was my mistake to buy a design I knew full well may not stand up to my daily use. This pair of pants from Aerie has meshing and some stylized lines but do not have any places where wear and tear should show. Yoga pants being something I wear at least once a day , are a purchase not to be taken lightly!

Black Bedazzled Mittens from Bootlegger that my mom gave me for Christmas are the WARMEST mittens I have had in a LONG LONG time!

Still Going Strong

Roots joggers bought late Summer have continue to be a high enjoyment during a snow day or just any day that I am preferring cozy comfort wear.

Eye glasses I ‘had to’ purchase almost two years ago are still doing their job. Although I am due for a check-up…. my biggest decision is should I buy a new pair or forgo a new pair for an actual pair of prescription sun glasses?

Time to Go

The red flannel shirt pictured hear has MANY rips on the sleeves. Being a purchase from winners it continues to prove to me that shirts from winners don’t hold up as well as one would hope unless they are of a silk variety. I will not be getting rid of it per say, but I will be looking for a replacement next autumn.

The zipper on the Zara pleather pants is becoming a problem. It’s not the pants that should go, but the zipper itself should be looked at and possibly replaced.

Utterly ecstatic to pull out the warmer weather clothes and remind myself of what outfits are in store for me again!

LIFESTYLE | February 2019 Reads
February.2019.reads

I Found You | Lisa Jewel

This novel, although it didn’t wow me, was an enjoyable rapid read. This would be the perfect book for a summer read, be it at the beach, on a road trip or just on one of those summer rainy days. It’s story arc keeps you flipping the pages guessing and it does twist and turn in a way that isn’t fully predictable.

The Gifts of Imperfection | Brené Brown

This book and it’s content has been one that our little family has found some solace in over the past few seasons. Brené has a way with words that marry’s logic with the emotions. Her words pack a good punch in truth and empowerment.

A Woman of No Importance | Oscar Wilde

Not the first time I borrowed this collection of plays from the library but this time for this particular play which speaks to the lack of respect for and about women & their own unique autonomy.  Oscar Wilde always brings to light deep matters in a light hearted way.  Tongue in cheek style. .

Televisions Series Currently on the Go of Note:

Grace & Frankie S04 - plodding along & enjoying the quippy humour that brings out the realities of ageism & being an older woman.

Bull S03 - I believe this show is vastly underrated. It’s ability to deal with a case and a story line in one episode while also creating characters you want to come back to every week is a very unique & beautiful thing.

LIFESTYLE | Valentines Day 2019
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Over the years Jeremy & I have enjoyed giving these boards as wedding presents. Watershed Wood Designs is a local business that creates beautiful pieces with laser etching.

Every time we buy a board for a married-couple-to-be we are more than a bit envious, which led us to use this valentines as the excuse to buy one for ourselves!

*insert #happyasclams <—- need I say more?

For us, living on the coast (Bedford Basin) & calling our little home “Little Shore Loft”, this sailboat design was all too fitting.

Here is how we used our board for the first time:

Various cheeses we found at  Petes Frootique  in Bedford, along with a few truffles from  Newfoundland Chocolate

Various cheeses we found at Petes Frootique in Bedford, along with a few truffles from Newfoundland Chocolate

the sailboat etching is our personal fav….

the sailboat etching is our personal fav….


LIFESTYLE | Why I Skate
IMG_5812.jpg
Amy.zoe.skating.byamygrace

On the Ice

I have a special spot in my life and heart for skating / figure skating. I found my passion for it during a rough time in my teen years. Learning how to skate along with the basics of figure skating not only introduced me to what it means to experience an athletic perspective in mind and body, but also what it means to move through emotional pain.

I could have easily accepted the darkness in my life back then. It seemed as if everything was falling around me. Everything I knew and loved was separating from me. Pulling apart with no warning and a finality that scared me. I am amazed that it wasn’t to drugs or other forms of unhealthy coping that I retreated to.

I can only believe that I was heavenly protected during that season of my life. That my drive to thrive was stronger than my drive to crumble. & that the ice rink across from my high school was a bit of a heavenly gift of freedom.

Looking back, I believe it was through figure skating that I learned I could be graceful, healthy, overcome my fears, push myself farther than what I thought possible & find joy amidst turmoil.

Why We Skate

Introducing my daughter to my love for the ice, isn’t about wanting her to be a young figure skater, but about sharing with her the place that helped heal me. Stepping onto an empty rink at 10:00am during my free period from high school, being allowed to slip in my own burned CD on the speakers and practicing again and again different basic skills brought me to a place of freedom and trust.

For my daughter, it may be something different. She may find her places of healing elsewhere, but I want her to know, that for me, it was the ice where I found it & if we open our eyes to the little ideas of dreams and whims held within, we will find those sacred places of healing in the places we least expect it.

LIFESTYLE | His Thirtieth
Family birthday party deco

Family birthday party deco

In the run of the days, months, seasons and years of being together… treating Jeremy isn’t always easy. He’s easy going, not one for attention and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Turning thirty, to me, seems to warrant more than just a gift and a card.

How much he has changed

We often joke how much we have changed since we were those 16-18 year olds flirting with each other. Jeremy was very reserved and shy when we first met. He’d flirt, as only a 16 year old can do, but he would often shut down in crowds and become closed off. I never understood this as I would find him fully engaging and wonderful one on one. Often my own version of rough housing and ‘romping’ around with someone I love wouldn’t translate with him and he would struggle to fully laugh and find the humour in just being silly for silly sake.

& this is the amazing thing about growing together and encouraging each other to grow into more.

I am proud of Him

This man laughs quicker now. My romping and silly word play is now met with one up man ship and although he is still the more reserved out of the both of us, it is now out of a quiet confidence. (& ya’ll, there’s nothing more sexy than quiet confidence…)

He plays with our daughter and entertains her whims while also training her up to be thoughtful and encourages her voice.

16 year old Jeremy may have just wanted to flirt with a girl over msn and share a smoothie, but 30 year old Jeremy has taught me that life is not stagnate. It’s possible to become over and over again and how important it is to listen to each other and dig deeper to find out how to better grow in our own unique and glorious ways.

Burgers &amp; Beers &amp; Darrells - Halifax, NS

Burgers & Beers & Darrells - Halifax, NS

At the Timberlounge - Halifax NS

At the Timberlounge - Halifax NS

LIFESTYLE | January 2019 Reads
January.reads.byamygrace

Bird by Bird | Anne Lamott

A book on writing and life that I have begun and will be savouring during this winter. Anne has a lyrical way of putting life and writing in the least amount of words that I find refreshing and a healthy dose of grounded spirituality.

The Hound of Baskervilles | Arthur Conan Doyle

A winter read that Jeremy and I will be reading aloud, our cold (which affected our voices) had to put this on hold for three weeks, but we are just about ready to get back to it! Reading Sherlock aloud is so enjoyable as the written format of the books is paced so like the character himself. Quite the challenge!

Outlander | Diana Gabaldon

Being one who loves television series as much as I love reading, it only made sense that before watching the episodes of Outlander, that I would begin to read it. This book has COMPLETELY taken over my life. A testament to her writing style and ability to take the highland history of Scotland and weave a tale of intrigue, history and suspense. I think it’s safe to say that this is a stand out novel and I will be following the series form her on out!

Television Series currently on the go of note:

  • Outlander S01 , slowly watching as I read.

  • Parenthood S06 - my rewatching of this amazing series is coming to a close with only a handful of episodes and tears left.

  • This is Us - Currently following the season being aired. Always amazed at the layers of life they pull out.

LIFESTYLE | Autumn 2018 Capsule Pre-Schooler Wardrobe
From top Centre - Clockwise  : My Shapes Sticker Book  | Gift from Great Auntie Linda,  FAMILIA Sweater   | Zara,   Doctor Costume  | Second hand on kijiji ,  Nature Pyjamas   | Old Navy,   Pink Zipper Jacket   | Zara,   Off white Pants   | Zara,   Flower waffle Shirt   | Old Navy,   Grey Cat Shirt   | Childrens Place,   Jeans   | Zara,   Black Sweater  | Gift from Auntie Jasmine while in Korea (still going strong)  , Pink Waffle Shirt   | Old Navy,   Kitty Sweater  | Gift from Uncle Tyler &amp; Auntie Jasmine ,  Winter Boots   | Joe Fresh,   Hair Bows   | Carters,   Dress Up Doll  | Gift from Grandma  , Kelidascope  | Gift from Grandma.

From top Centre - Clockwise : My Shapes Sticker Book | Gift from Great Auntie Linda, FAMILIA Sweater | Zara, Doctor Costume | Second hand on kijiji , Nature Pyjamas | Old Navy, Pink Zipper Jacket | Zara, Off white Pants | Zara, Flower waffle Shirt | Old Navy, Grey Cat Shirt | Childrens Place, Jeans | Zara, Black Sweater | Gift from Auntie Jasmine while in Korea (still going strong) , Pink Waffle Shirt | Old Navy, Kitty Sweater | Gift from Uncle Tyler & Auntie Jasmine , Winter Boots | Joe Fresh, Hair Bows | Carters, Dress Up Doll | Gift from Grandma , Kelidascope | Gift from Grandma.

New to Her

The My Shapes Sticker book arrived in the mail late Autumn from my Aunt who is now living part of the year in British Columbia and the other part of the year here, in Nova Scotia. While settling in over the summer she learned of Zoë’s affinity to stickers and mailed her one after she traveled back to B.C.. This was carted around the house for weeks.

The waffle long sleeve shirts were great additions to the wardrobe and a relatively cheap purchase from Old Navy. Her long arms are finally properly covered.

The Zara pants were a necessity. Not only does Zoë have long legs but she is petit in nature which means most pants in her length fall right off her. Zara thoughtfully has waist adjustments in their pants which is perfect for us.

The hunt for proper winter boots were on and thankfully a family member nudged me to go looking for them as an early Christmas gift. Joe Fresh has the best quality boots for a lesser price. So glad they had a pair that worked for Zoë.

Still Going Strong

The Carter hair bows have been used on Zoë since she was a baby. It is hilarious to think they still fit her, but she did have a very round head for a baby & quite big for her size. These hair band bows were easily stretchable and have grown with her. There is nothing better than seeing her walk down the stairs with one she has put on in a way that looks a bit edgy as spots and then chases our cat into a love cuddle.

That black sweater from Korea took forever to fit baby Zoë but now that she’s older we’ve got at least one more winter season for it to fit her.

The Dress up Melissa & Doug Doll was a favourite this Autumn. Not new to her, but a toy we generally keep up on a shelf and bring down when asked. She asked daily this last season it seemed.

Time to Go

It’s hard to remember what needed to go as it has been a month since I have transitioned our wardrobes but those cute little woodland pyjamas were grown straight through over the course of her having them. A toe poked out one morning along with a ripped pant leg, and that was that.

LIFESTYLE | Autumn 2018 Capsule Wardrobe
From top Center - Clockwise:  Pleather Black Jacket   | Suzy Shier,   Apple Bourbin Candle   | Foxhound Collection,   Open Black Blazer   | H&amp;M,   Silk tank with gold Zipper   | Bootlegger,   Nivea Hand Cream  | Gift,  INSPIRE t-Shire   | RW&amp;co,   Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum   | First Aid Beauty,   Pleather Pants   | Zara  , Blue tank top  | Second Hand,  Brown leather KEDS   | Soft Moc,   Black Heels   | Call it Spring   , 2 tone Scarf / wrap   | Indigo,   Graphic T   | Threadless ‘12,   Girlfriend jeans   | The Gap,   Dark Jeans   | The Gap,   Green Pants   | RW&amp;co,   Focus Body cream   | Bath &amp; Body Works,   Green Sweater   | Bootlegger,   Mini Moet  | Maid of Honour gift.

From top Center - Clockwise: Pleather Black Jacket | Suzy Shier, Apple Bourbin Candle | Foxhound Collection, Open Black Blazer | H&M, Silk tank with gold Zipper | Bootlegger, Nivea Hand Cream | Gift, INSPIRE t-Shire | RW&co, Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum | First Aid Beauty, Pleather Pants | Zara, Blue tank top | Second Hand, Brown leather KEDS | Soft Moc, Black Heels | Call it Spring , 2 tone Scarf / wrap | Indigo, Graphic T | Threadless ‘12, Girlfriend jeans | The Gap, Dark Jeans | The Gap, Green Pants | RW&co, Focus Body cream | Bath & Body Works, Green Sweater | Bootlegger, Mini Moet | Maid of Honour gift.

This Autumn I was able to focus on adding the pieces that would continue to carry me through my professional life.

New To Me:

The black blazer from H&M was more than I wanted to spend, but when I considered how long I would have it and why I was hunting for a blazer it seemed like the right choice. I enjoy the lack of button on it as well as the already sinched up sleeves.

INSPIRE T Shirt from RW&Co was a find that matches my visions, goals and personality. Solidarity is key in my life and I truly believe in the concept of togetherness over solo life.

Two Tone Scarf from Indigo was the first purchase of the season & the most worn. It’s versatility was everything I have wanted. (I secretly have envied a producer in the maritimes for her scarf / wrap she wears & was inspired to hunt one down that was closer to my price range)


Still Going Strong:

The black Pleather Jacket from Suzy Shier bought last spring was in full use this season & I have to say it’s an absolute favourite. It has that edgy feel accompanied with a feminine appeal. I adore Feminine & Edgy combos.

The Graphic T from Threadless has a quality of continuity to it. It could be the Inkwell concept that speaks to me as a writer, but as the years have gone by it continues to have a renewed life in my wardrobe.

The Brown Leather KEDS are my absolute favourite KEDS I have ever owned. (The blue nautical ones coming in at #2) These have such a great structure to them & I hope to be able to wear them over many seasons…although I am known for wearing my favourite KEDS out to the ground.

Time to Go:

The reality of the timing of this post, is that I don’t actually remember which items I donated / purged over Autumn. I will be more mindful to document this part of my capsule wardrobe experience.

Looking forward to next Autumn to see how this capsule morphs again!