Posts tagged spring
WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
spring.2019.

Spring was jam packed with personal endeavours.

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

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

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

I have learned

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIFESTYLE | 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 | Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2018
Top Centre - Clockwise:  Grey Sweater wrap  |  Bootlegger,   Striped Hoodie sweater |  Bluenotes,  Zap Toner   | Saje,   Black Pleather Jacket |  Suzie Shiers,  Black Dress  |  Reitmens,   Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan   | Chapters,   Blue tank top  | Second hand on a road trip,  Sail boat pyjamas  | La Vie en Rose,  Candle   | Foxhound,   Black Workout shorts  | Winners,  Sketcher Runners  | Soft Moc,  Light Ripped Jeans  | H&M,  Bamboo Sheet Masks   | Innisfree ,   Pink socks  | Winners (Lemon) ,  Graphic T |  Threadless,  Brown Leather Keds |  Little Burgundy,  Black Camisole   | H&M,   Four Leaf Clover Knic Knack  | Chapters , Green Pants   | RW&Co,   Heart Beat necklace | a gift from a bestie , White Linen Shirt   | Old Navy,   White Yoga top  | Local Yoga Store

Top Centre - Clockwise: Grey Sweater wrap | Bootlegger, Striped Hoodie sweater | Bluenotes, Zap Toner | Saje, Black Pleather Jacket | Suzie Shiers, Black Dress | Reitmens, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan | Chapters, Blue tank top | Second hand on a road trip, Sail boat pyjamas | La Vie en Rose, Candle | Foxhound, Black Workout shorts | Winners, Sketcher Runners | Soft Moc, Light Ripped Jeans | H&M, Bamboo Sheet Masks | Innisfree , Pink socks | Winners (Lemon) , Graphic T | Threadless, Brown Leather Keds | Little Burgundy, Black Camisole | H&M, Four Leaf Clover Knic Knack | Chapters, Green Pants | RW&Co, Heart Beat necklace | a gift from a bestie , White Linen Shirt | Old Navy, White Yoga top | Local Yoga Store

What is that!?!?! Is that some green sneaking into my wardrobe!?!

With the purchase/find of these green RW&co pants I realized that I really do like this shade of green.  It's earthy and it adds another tone that matches so nicely with my greys, blues, whites and blacks.  I am thinking this is a tone in which I will continue to add more of into my various capsules.

I was able to add some much needed articles this season.  My parents thoughtfully gave me the leather jacket for my birthday (Which I had been aching for after my brown pleather jacket bit the dust after six years of wearing it all the time a couple years ago.)  A white linen shirt which is loose and yet feminine and gives me something relaxed to be in that still can be worn to work meetings or just around at home.   And that black cami, which is so much fun to pair with the pleather jacket, a knit sweater, or just a pair of jeans. 

Reading Crazy Rich Asians slowly has been a fun additive to my spring and that heart beat necklace from my bestie away was a great comfort reminder of her solidarity.  

Missing here is another gift of a bracelet with the word Tribe on it from another bestie, an extra yoga top , under tank tops, extra pyjamas and pair of jeans. 

Overall, these were the tried and true articles of Spring.  The additions fulfilled a lot of my last needs.  The gaps of what I still need each season are getting smaller and smaller.  Very soon it will be just about replacing much loved but worn items along with a meaningful accessory or two. 

I LOVE THIS capsule wardrobe thing!!!

Can ya tell?!?!

 

LIFESTYLE | Spring Films
spring.films.byamygrace

The Secret Garden

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

The Importance of Being Earnest

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

Father of the Bride II

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

Virgina's Run

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

Girls

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

Secret Garden

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

 

Other Spring Films & Television

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

LIFESTYLE | Spring Reads
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Spring Reads!!!

In a nut shell:

I Capture the Castle | Dodie Smith

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

The Secret Garden | Frances Hodgosn Burnett

For the nature and beauty around us.

Peter Pan | J.M. Barrie

For the imagination and pure delight. 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit | Beatrix Potter

For the child in us.

Big Magic | Elizabeth Gilbert

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

We | Gillian Anderson & Jennifer Nadel

For the reminders of how we should treat each other.

WORK | Spring 2018
amygrace.byamygrace

Thank-God for Spring!  Everything comes up new.

And that is exactly how it feels professionally for me right now.

Attending Women Making Waves 2018 was a reminder that my courage and ambition are rightly placed and well timed.  That my projects have merit and my stories have a voice.

Since that conference I have embraced what it looks like to be a professional writer in the performance industries.  It means a lot of hard and well though out solo work.  A lot of applications, a lot of socializing and finding those whom click with your own work ethic and values.  

It means patience, perseverance, and a lot of play time.

This Spring:

I anticipate announcing a few new and exciting projects.

Introducing new and inspiring women via Spotlight posts.

Continuing to share my learned experiencing in life and work.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive, and to do so some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style." - Maya Angelou

 

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2017 Toddler Capsule Wardrobe
Clockwise from Centre:   Key Rock made by   Jasmine Alexander  , Light Flower Long Sleeve -   Carters  from Mimi & Yeye , Pink Cat Heart T-Shirt -   Joe Fresh  , Heart & Sailboat Rocks painted by   Jasmine Alexander  , Blue Bird Rock painted by  Amy Grace , Blue Jogging Pants -  Carters , Jean Shorts -   Carters  , Rainbow pants -   Children's Place  , In My Heart: A Book of Feelings -   by Jo Witeck & Christine Roussey - Indigo   - , Red Hooded jacket -  From my childhood , Green Pants -   Carters  , Pink Dress -   H&M  , Magnetic Doll -   Melissa & Doug from Grandma & Grandpa  , Whale Panamas -   Carters  , Tea Set -  Hape From Mimi & Yeye    , Grey and White Baseball T -   Carters  , Caterday Sweater -   Joe Fresh  , Yoga T-Shirt -   Carters

Clockwise from Centre:  Key Rock made by Jasmine Alexander, Light Flower Long Sleeve - Carters from Mimi & Yeye, Pink Cat Heart T-Shirt - Joe Fresh, Heart & Sailboat Rocks painted by Jasmine Alexander, Blue Bird Rock painted by Amy Grace, Blue Jogging Pants - Carters, Jean Shorts - Carters, Rainbow pants - Children's Place, In My Heart: A Book of Feelings - by Jo Witeck & Christine Roussey - Indigo - , Red Hooded jacket - From my childhood, Green Pants - Carters, Pink Dress - H&M, Magnetic Doll - Melissa & Doug from Grandma & Grandpa, Whale Panamas - Carters, Tea Set - Hape From Mimi & Yeye , Grey and White Baseball T - Carters, Caterday Sweater - Joe Fresh, Yoga T-Shirt - Carters

Spring was a great season to watch Zoë explore the getting dressed and undressed process.  She's beginning to show preference and have favourites.  She loves anything that has a cat on it, and absolutely ADORES her whale pyjamas that match perfectly with the whale she was given for Christmas by an Auntie.  Zoë also fell in love with this red hoodie jacket that her Grandma put on her one windy spring day (that I wore for a short time as a toddler.  Apparently I outgrew it quickly) fortunately it not only fits Zoë perfectly, but it is a staple item that would never go out of style or loose its quality appeal.  

Littered about this capsule are a few story rocks which Jasmine and I made for Zoë over the past 2 years.   We are into a stage where she not only enjoys putting them in and out of a bucket, but is able to identify the images and make scenes with them.  

Also worth mentioning now that we are in a new stage of toddlerhood with Zoë, the 'In My Heart Book' is a perfect story time read that captures what each emotion feels like.  As an adult I relate so well to the descriptions and often find myself appreciating the reminder of how valid our feelings really are. 

With this Spring Capsule I know that the life of her t-shirts and blue joggers will soon be outgrown and so they will continue to be around this Summer for as long as we can wear them!

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe
spring.2017.capsule.byamygrace

Top Left - Clockwise: Second hand shirt - from bestie, Darling Magazine Issue #19 - Darling Magazine, White Yoga T - Bavhana Yoga Boutique Halifax, Black pants - H&M, Lace sleeve shirt - Amazon, WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere - Indigo , Home is Where the Anchor Drops Pyjama set - La Vie En Rose, Homemade Painted Succulent planter by Nicole Payzant and my daughter, Giving Key : Claim - The Giving Keys, Jean Shorts - Bluenotes, Heels - Call it Spring, Striped long sleeve - Pseudio, 3 sockets - Psuedio, Felt Hat - Indigo

As the season began I realized I needed a few practical items. A long sleeve shirt for the chill that still hung in the air, a light weekend pyjama set that was warm but cool enough for the changing temperatures, and finally, a pair of black heels that I can truly wear and use.  Every woman who wants to add that touch of heels should have a black pair.   Although I do own a pair of black heels they are what theatre would call "Character Shoes".  My character shoes are thicker, with a strap and are perfect for performances but not the type of heels I want to throw on for a classy night downtown.  These new heels are the perfect size for me.  They are not very tall but still add a kick of 'sass and sexy' to my dark jeans or dresses.

Coral has begun to creep into my wardrobe and I am enjoying that pop of colour when I desire to stand out a bit more. 

What isn't pictured here is 4 other sweaters that I have out year round along with 2 pairs of jeans (light and dark), tank tops for wearing underneath shirts and a few other t-shirts that tend to stick around from season to season.  

What I am loving the most lately about my capsule wardrobes is that with every season change I am seeing my needs lesson as I purchase items carefully and complete enjoyment with the clothes that I do wear.  Nothing makes a woman feel more of herself than a well curated wardrobe.  

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2017 Favourite Things
spring.2017.favs.byamygrace

Spring has kept me on my toes and amidst the weeks that have flown by I have found these items have brought joy into my life.  
Clockwise from Middle.

1. Darling Magazine Issue #19. - A gift from best friend Jasmine Alexander.  She knows how much I adore creatively driven work and this magazine does creative women to a whole new level.  

2. WE : A Manifesto for Women Everywhere by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel -  I purchased this book to read over the Spring months.  It is a beautiful ode to what the elements of living an intentional whole life would look like for any person.  It also specifies  what it means to also carry womanhood along with these values and is a perfect way to drive home how important values of 'honesty, kindness, grace etc' in life and with each other as women.  I will re-read this when I need a boost.

3. Succulent in Mini Planter  - The planter painted by my Best Friend Nicole Payzant and daughter Zoë for my birthday.  It was such a touching item to receive and filled me with joy to know that they both enjoy time together doing various activities.  The succulent is a perfect addition to my spring decor. 

4. White Life Factory Water Bottle - I had a light blue bottle that broke when I dropped it without the lid attached.  They have since come out with many designs and sizes, but I realized that white is just fine for me.  I adore this brand, due to the glass (I don't like metal made bottles that leave an aftertaste of the metal) , and shape.

5. Sephora Face Sheet Masks - A gift from my husband and daughter on Mothers Day.   These masks are fun and good to have around when I feel my skin needs a bit of self care.

6. Essie Nail Polish  - A new shade for every season is a fun thing to look forward to.

7. Fiction by L.A. Eyeworks Eye Glasses - As a first time eye glass wearer I didn't know what to think, but not that I have these I realize how blurred my vision had become for long distance and TV screens.  I love how this pair makes me feel more of myself.  I don't feel different.  Just more of me. 

8.  LA LA LAND Film - Growing up I loved collecting movies.  It's hard in a culture where media is becoming more and more stored electronically to collect copies.  I made the decision as I embraced a more minimalist/intentional life that I would commit to buying and collecting musicals.  Musicals are not only a childhood enjoyment for me, but my favourite art form.  Having a copy of a musical fills me with joy.  

2017 | Spring
Spring Planning.  Bullet Journal. 2017

Spring Planning.  Bullet Journal. 2017

It's not a secret that this is my favorite time of year.  For me, Spring is reflective of a renewed mind, body and spirit.

Having expierenced two young deaths this winter in my own broader social circle, I realize that Spring may be painful to those around me.  It marks the continuation of living without.  It creates a point in time where everything alive is thriving and everything not alive, has passed.

But I'd like to think there is hope in spring.  Hope that there can be beauty after pain.  Hope that deep sorrow can be planted in this fresh soil and bring forth something, anything.  Anything to remind us that our grief is of value.

I am moved to deeply pray for those of us who know this pain, that we allow ourselves to be renewed again and again.  That we live as quiet reminders for those in the midst of the pain.

We need to be mindfully aware of what we are planting for those around us.  What will they see in our secret little garden? 

Spring's renewal in me:

MIND | Exploring the Film and Television Industry and claiming my value as a writer and creator has opened a 'Secret Garden' for me. I feel like Mary Lennox asking for her 'little bit of earth' and starting to see her garden grow.   I want to stay as hungry for learning, for inspiration and work as I feel now.

BODY | Enjoying the slow exploration of a beauty/hygiene routine.   Mindfully learning about products that I can use, or proper routines for skin care is becoming a meditation.  Slowly applying a hydrating night cream as I contemplate the days blessings and struggles.  

SOUL | Maintaining habits that are good for my overall wellness.  Sleep routines, healthy eating, quiet time, turning my phone off... simple daily check ins that are allowing me to thrive and strive in my life.  Underestimating the power of healthy habits is proving to be a misstep.  

Spring 2016
byamygrace.spring.16

The air is different and the sun is warmer.  There is a quickening in the beat of my heart that happens this time of year.  It's a knowing that around the bend there will be something that will take my breath away.  

Spring does this to me.  I get all frisky, jittery, hyper, feverish and completely strung out for living.

So I'll let you in on a few things that are making me mad for life.  

1.  A Deadline.

There is a rush of adrenaline that comes when a deadline is nipping at your heels.  Will it devour me before I reach the finish line? or maybe if I just push a bit further I might just make it.  And the thrill of knowing that the deadline is nipping at my heels only because I choose it to be.  Maybe I'll let it pass...maybe I won't.  Only it and I know how this story ends. 

2.  A Podcast.

There has been a burning happening in the depths of mine and another womans heart.  We have been seriously digging in all the rubble of life, art and love and carefully planning a podcast.  The launch date is still unknown, but we have been tending to this gem carefully and making sure we collaborate in ways that brings quality.  This has me on my tippy toes and near tears of joy.

byamygrace.risingstrong.

3.  All the ladies.

I love women.  I am a complete feminist and love it when a woman rises strong amidst the rubble.  We were made to be strong warriors.  It's not a mistake that we are tasked with bringing forth new life.  Men are not built for that kind of stamina.  I have women who filter in and out of my everyday life who are beacons of warriors in heels, in shoes made for men, in  barefeet and in old socks.  I love their bodies, their minds and the way our laughter rings out in the night air.

And Spring days have a way of unfolding like a flower... here are a few I am all ants in my pants about:

1. Zoës first birthday.

Her first year of life has been a roller coaster of growth, change and events for all of us.  Celebrating this little golden arrows first birthday takes my breath away at the thought.

2. Mama & Zoës first road trip.

While Daddys away the girls will play.  We are making the most of the time alone together while Daddy is away this season and have planned many adventures to keep us loving and living life to the fullest.  

3. Les Miserables - A Choir Fundraiser

I joined a spectacular ensemble at Bedford Baptist to raise money for Syrian Refugees.  After almost two years off the 'theatrical' stage this thrills me to no end.  I leave rehearsals with goosebumps every time and cannot wait to spend a day performing these beautiful songs. 

REnew
©2014 Jeremy Lai

©2014 Jeremy Lai

renew |riˈn(y)o͞o|
verb [ with obj. ]
resume (an activity) after an interruption
give fresh life or strength to.
— New Oxford American Dictionary

"Go through your scripts and highlight every time a 'season' is referenced."  He said from his place behind the piano.  This musical director means what he says.  His appearance, though always relaxed, holds a specificity to it, that draws one in.  He is relaxed enough, but because he knows exactly where he has to be with every note.  

It was this that triggered thoughts on the word of the week.

Spring Awakening may just be a musical to take stage in less than a month, but it is becoming a title that means more than just teenage awareness.

Seasons are apparent in the city of Halifax.  Our Summers are glorious and full of cars rushing to the coast to catch a wave or spot on a sandy beach.  Autumns are crisp and crunchy with starbucks coffee in hand as people walk in and out of places to be.  Winters are (like with any east coast weather) unpredictable and windy.  Snow falls and turns to slush, and trees are barren.

Spring

Spring in Halifax, is an awakening of life.  Suddenly, outdoor resturaunt patios are being put into place, the faces of people along the streets are no longer hidden by hoods and scarves, and doors are open for the fresh air to flow through.

As a creative, I need fresh air.  So frustrated I was one night with my rolling thoughts keeping me awake, that I rushed to the windows (which had a plastic insulation shrink wrap over them to conserve on energy) ripping them down I shoved the window open to take in the cold, but dewey air of winter turning spring.

And this is what it means to give fresh life or strength to.  We need that air to rush through our lungs to even think better.

I need to breathe without being restricted, held, suffocated.

Our perspective on life can be suffocating.

Limiting.

Allowing money, timelines, status, plans to be the reason for anything...

It suffocates the life-breath.

Creatives may speak about this more, but even those who don't take on the label need to breathe.

"The fear of what is next is just your bodies way of asking "What is next?".  It is a way for your body to see 'what are  the things that are important for you in the next part of your journey?'"  - Danielle Doiron (Halifax, Actor & Friend)

And this I breathe with.  I see the renewing with the opening of windows. 

 

I highlight the seasons of life in script and in my walk through this journey...