Posts in Lifestyle
LIFESTYLE | 8 Years Married 12 Years Together
8th.anniversary.byamygrace

Change is the one constant in our lives together.

We have learned how to grow and change together and to continue to find that theme in every passing month and year.

Every couple has there ‘loop’. The default settings of how we were raised, our personalities and genetic makeup. That being said, the longer you are together you have two choices. You either submit to the loop and allow it to control you, or you work to stay aware of the loop and allow it to inform you.

Over the past year with our home renovations and many personal situations that have overtaken our lives we have been faced again with that loop and given the opportunity to talk it out and find togetherness amidst the insane world.

I have watched my partner sink deep into the responsibility of this home renovation, while putting his all into his professional career and encouraging me in my own. We have worked hard to find corners of our lives to reconnect and that is everything.

We have no idea where this next decade of our lives as individuals and as a couple are taking us (30’s-40’s) , but we both find an anchoring in our lives together and I would say, that it is the anchoring in our togetherness that allows us to flourish as individuals.

I am so intrigued by this next season of our lives.

Off we go.

LIFESTYLE | Back in the Kitchen
kitchen.byamygrace

Being back in a functioning kitchen is everything amazing.

I ADORE food and especially, find solace in baking. We haven’t had a lot of time to relish in our kitchen yet, but slowly we are getting back into a normal and healthy cooking, baking and eating routine.

Being that it is summer and we are still on a hectic schedule, I am trying to utilize our kitchen for a bit of fresh food creativity. Quickly whipping up a cream cheese filling for strawberries and doing a quick scan of toast ideas on Pinterest that can utilize our fresh fruit has been a great way to ease back into our love of ‘kitchen life’.

I am beyond thankful to have this new space and am anxious to have more time in it. Time has a way of flying by when life is happening.

When the tired and busyness kicks in, I take a deep breath and think of autumn blended soups, waffle brunches and all the Christmas baking that will be happening in here sooner than later and it keeps me going into a new week.

& onward we go.

strawberries.jpg
toast.byamygrace


LIFESTYLE | Unplugged
unplugged.byamygracce

Inhale. Exhale.

Early this year I began ‘unplugging’ on Saturdays & by that I mean: putting my phone on airplane mode & not working or being accessible via email, texts, phone etc.

I still will watch a favourite show or movie, or pop on my laptop to sift through Pinterest inspiration etc, but it means I am not attached to the world behind my screens. I take my phone with me out and about, but it only acts as a camera & place for me to quickly jot notes in. (as a writer, this is essential.)

I find the more I take on, the more ‘pause’ I need to properly rest and digest everything. It’s not a bad thing, it’s part of what one needs to keep in check the mental, emotional and physical load.

Making space.

Margin.

Pause.

LIFESTYLE | July 2019 Reads
July.2019.reads.byamygrace

July Reads…

City of Girls | Elizabeth Gilbert

The latest from Elizabeth Gilbert & I am treasuring this read and so glad I could use a birthday gift to purchase it. Thus far City of Girls has proven to be a beautiful, magical and majestic description of what it means to be a woman with eyes wide with wonder and an endless horizon before you. Elizabeth proves each time she writes, that her writing is capable of meeting the story where it is at and I always feel as if I am meeting a new side of her with each new book.

The Summer Wives | Beatriz Williams

To be started when we go on a road trip, The Summer wives is apparently a dishy fiction about a woman who finds herself amount the elite of society in the summer of the 1951. I have a soft spot for reading a bit of frivolous throw backs where you can indulge the romanticism of ‘class’ and society.

Summer | Melissa Harrison

One anthology of a set of 4 (for the four seasons) I am allowing this book to equip me with literary snippets about the season of summer. A bit of poetry, essay and observations mixed into one small but full book.

A Place Called Perfect | Helena Duggan

Always eager to take in a few ‘new to me’ middle grade reads within the year. Part for the interest of knowing what’s out there for my up and coming little reader, and partly because I find comfort in reading books geared to the middle grade. They are neither boring, nor overly complex. They assume the reader desires to be engaged while also not boring you with 'trying to be a literary genius’ on page.

A Place Called Perfect has given a bit of ‘perspective’ on what it means to see past facades and how important it is to ask questions through the story of a girl coming to a new town in which all the residents must wear a specific pair of glasses or they go blind.

LIFESTYLE | Kitchen Renovation
kitchen.july.2019

kitchen.july.2019

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

What we did

  • Gutted the kitchen with the help of friends

  • Replaced the sub floor, insulation and dryer vent

  • patched up holes in walls, etc.

  • put proper plug covers in walls

  • Painted

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

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

  • Cut and Installed IKEA countertops (Birch)

  • Cut Hole and installed drop in Sink

  • Installed Faucet

What we have left to do

  • Finish installing hardware

  • Put in flooring

  • Install trim

  • Install kick boards around the cupboards and island.

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

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

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019 Playlist
playlist.summer2019.byamygrace

Summer is the perfect time for a good mixed tape.

Here is what I am listening to this season

Summer 2019 Playlist

Stand outs

Heavy | Bird Talker

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

Counting Every Blessing | Rend Collective

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

I’ll Be There | Jess Glynne

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

I Found You | Alabama Shakes

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

Mamma Mia | Mamma Mia Soundtrack

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

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

Fireworks from Dewolf Park. Bedford. NS

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

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

Personally

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

Professionally

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

As I enter into the last half of 2019

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

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

The Favourite Sister | Jessica Knoll

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

A Well Behaved Woman | Therese Anne Fowler

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

The Queen of Hearts | Kimmery Martin

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

Duped | Abby Ellin

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

LIFESTYLE | Summer 2019
Bedford basin.

Bedford basin.

and here we are in summer…

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

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

I am approaching the summer with a bit more intrigue.

Personally

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

Professionally

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

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

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

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

Turkish Dish Towel

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

Lightfoot & Wolfville Riesling Wine

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

Eternal Optimist Essie Nail Polish

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

The Secret Garden | Francis Hodgson Burnett

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

Learn Me Right Sheet Music

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

Puff.Me.Light

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

KarlLagerfeld Patten Leather Flats

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

Glossier paint, Highlighter & Boybrow Products

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

Cotton Foxhound Candle

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

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

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

New to Her

Mermaid Pyjamas

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

Birthday Dress

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

Baby Bunnies

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

Still Going Strong

Magnific Graphic T

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

Green Pants

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

Time to Go

Pyjamas not seen here

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

Socks not Seen here

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

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

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

New to Me

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

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

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

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

Still Going Strong

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

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

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

Time to Go

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

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