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 & Beers & Darrells - Halifax, NS

Burgers & Beers & Darrells - Halifax, NS

At the Timberlounge - Halifax NS

At the Timberlounge - Halifax NS

SPOTLIGHT | Megan Piercey Monafu

MEET MEGAN PIERCEY MONAFU

Founder & Artistic Director CSArt Ottawa
Playwright / Director


Megan can be found in the midst of deep conversations, creating community through art and working to connect with others through the projects she creates.
She is passionate about the art of hosting, and finding new ways to spark conversation.
She also happens to have a beautiful sense of humour that carries her through life.


MORE MEGAN

WEBSITE:
http://csartottawa.ca

INSTAGRAM:
https://www.instagram.com/csart_ottawa/



Note from Amy:
*I met Megan in Highschool in grade 10. Something about her then, told me that this young woman would be someone I could have more than just a good laugh with. As we have grown over the past decade plus, Megan continues to amaze me at her ability to grow and become even more of herself. I think that’s what we want most for anyone who played an important role in our lives at any one point. That they become even more deeply who they are and isn’t that such a beautiful thing to behold.


Megan.quote
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.

SPOTLIGHT | Claire Fraser
KmrjPcF5.jpeg

Meet Claire Fraser

Owner of Claire Fraser - Photography & Videography
Artist & Entrepreneur


Claire can typically be found shooting events, weddings, portraits and headshots. 
She is passionate about variety, and creating content that is impactful.
& also happens to have the cutest cat of all time….


MORE CLAIRE

WEBSITE

Claire Fraser - Photography & Videography

INSTAGRAM

cf_photovideo



Note from Amy:
*I saw Claire at a distance at a conference & was amazed by her calm and professional presence while she was working. Her ability to be at ease with herself and others in personal and professional settings is one of the main reasons I wanted to get to know her better. She continues to amaze me with her solid presence & ability to connect, inspire & ask the deeper questions.


SPOTLIGHT | Amy Grace
Amy.quote.spotlightseries

Meet Amy

Creator of the Spotlight Series & other byamygrace projects
Writer & Creative Influencer


Working to connect and create empowering conversation with women on creativity since 2013.
If she’s not at her desk writing, planning, or scheming, she’s either reading, walking along the Atlantic Ocean or playing with her daughter.
& also happens to adore good food.

More Amy

Instagram:
byamygrace

Twitter
byamygrace

WORK | Introducing The Brilliansea Platform
Brilliansea.set

Over the past six months Claire Fraser & I have been carefully collaborating and refining this platform. The development of this is ongoing and we are thrilled to officially share it with you and bring you into our journey together.

What is it?

Brilliansea:
pronounced the same as ‘Brilliancy’

A platform for sharing the voice of women in creative and entrepreneurial positions.

PROJECTS

The Spotlight Series

Through the Brilliansea platform Claire & I are continuing my work with the Spotlight Series by adding a video component that will serve as a way to better share the interviews and to better serve what we see in the various women we find brilliant.

Young Female Entrepreneur Documentary (2020)

While filming for the Spotlight Series we are in tandem, interviewing women for a documentary to focus on young female entrepreneurs. We are excited to bring you into this journey along with us.

How to Find & Join Us

Instagram
Follow us on Insta to get the latest content & personal updates.

Youtube
Follow us on Youtube to get the latest spotlights & video content.

#sheisbrilliant
Join us in our collective work by using the hashtag #sheisbrilliant for resharing , highlighting women you know who captivate you & for your own empowering creative & entrepreneurial process.

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 & 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.

WORK | Freelance Bit Writer - Eyes for the Job
bit.writer.byamygrace

This past Autumn I began learning and gaining experience as an extended script & bit writer for a television series ‘Eyes for the Job’.

Eyes For the Job is a ‘do it yourself’ television series of two hosts who tackle different projects in and around Halifax.

What I’ve been Learning

Integrated Described Video (IDV)

What is unique about this series is that it integrates from the ground up described video. This is done so that a viewer who couldn’t visualize the show clearly, can still fully apart take in the show and know as much as any fully sighted person what is going on, and how it looks without the typical ‘Described Video’ overtop.

This means I have been learning over the past few months how to write in a way that includes this information. What does the project look like, where are they, what does something feel like?

Having worked four years as an American Sign Language interpreter this type of writing style is a fun challenge and taps into a side of me I haven’t used in a while.

Bits

Currently I am working on bit writing. The transition segments that take about 30 - 60 seconds long that tackle a quick tip or project in-between the bigger projects. I am having a BLAST with these. I am verbose by nature, so this work is not only a challenge for me, but a practice I am learning to embrace whole heartedly and find a unique satisfaction in.

The Takeaway

This experience is giving me active feedback on my writing and an active way to grow in this industry that fits where I am in this season of my life. I am learning not only the craft of brevity, but what is required to get a series like this on air.

& in honour of that learned brevity, to sum up:
knowing that the work I am doing here is contributing to a bigger project that gives others more equal access, is a satisfaction that goes beyond the work itself.

LIFESTYLE | Autumn 2018 Capsule Wardrobe
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.

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!

WORK | Scheduling
scheduling.byamygrace

Entering into 2019…

with more to balance and maintain has enforced the need for scheduling and I am working on embracing it in a more effective and succinct way.

What I am Using:

Moleskin Plain Pocket Size

I use these Moleskins to keep track of various aspects of my personal & professional life.
- Movement & Diet
- Inspirations (quotes, ideas etc)
- Seasons (Winter activities, recipes, etc)
- Work Log
- Home Maintenance & visions

Kate Spade Journal

There is a shortage of these journals as Kate Spade is releasing less of them yearly, but I make a point of buying them when I find them & I use a journal for each year for my personal notations / writing about life and thoughts.

Leuchtturmn1917 (A5)

I use Leuchtturmn journals for my yearly bullet journaling. I do not follow the ‘bujo’ method to a ‘t’ but I apply what works for my own methodology and it seems thats what Ryder Carroll was aiming for.

Fossil Watch

New to me this year, for less attachment to my iPhone when checking the time. Doesn’t hurt that I am addicted to metallic tone fashion statements.

Sharpie & Midliner Pens

Knowing that these are the pens I use simplifies the tools I reach for. Decision fatigue regarding finding a new pen: ‘be gone’.

WHAT I AM AIMING FOR & WHY:

Reducing my scheduling hours and methods is one of my main goals this year. As great as it can be to have time to sit down and schedule the week ahead it can severely stir up anxiety when given too much space to be dwelled on. It also can swallow up much needed rest and quality time with others.

I am giving myself a year to work on the craft of scheduling because I realize it’s a task that I am going to have to unlearn bad habits, try new methods & simplify again & again.

As I hone the craft of scheduling I am keeping these words close to me as a reminder:

Create. Cultivate. Curate. Centred.

Here we go…

Lifestyle | Autumn 2018 Favourites
autumn.favs.18.byamygrace

Autumn literally flew by.

Here are a few of my favs from the season:

MIDLINER PENS

These pens are perfection for my bullet journaling. Goodbye mediocre highlighters & random coloured pens. Midliners are where it’s at!
I found these at Michaels.

FOREVER 21 PURSE ‘14

Bought this purse in New York City in 2014 when my then brown purse fell apart. & it’s just now that it itself is falling apart. My beloved favourite. I adore a purse in this tone & style. 4 years is a good life when you are one of 2 purses on rotation.

ESSIE NAIL POLISH | BORDEAUX

I wanted a better seasonal tone. This one felt just right.

PARENTHOOD SERIES

You’ve heard it many times. This Series is everything. Currently it’s on Amazon Prime Video.

BATH & BODY WORKS AROMATHERAPY | FOCUS BODY CREAM

I enjoy having a cream in my bathroom. Here is the updated purchase.

CURATING FAMILY PHOTO ALBUMS 2015 - Present

Finally completed my 2018 goal of curating our family photos into a nice album. Highlighting the ups and downs since becoming a family of 3. This album I found at DeSerres downtown Halifax.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

As soon as November hits, I start Christmas baking and this is the one staple my mom passed down to me I will never go without. These Chocolate peanut Butter balls pass every test. They are essential.

NIVEA SMOOTH CARE HAND CREAM

Gifted to me in the Maid of Honour gift package from my cousin/sister-in-law from her wedding. This cream blew me away. I adore it & am savouring it.

INDIGO 2 TONE SCARF

Purchased at the top of the season, this scarf can be a wrap, a decorative additive to an outfit or a literal item to keep one warm. It’s so multi-faceted. I am so glad I bought it.

WORK | 2019 - A Year of Curation
New Years Eve Sparklers | 2019

New Years Eve Sparklers | 2019

The ground is shifting.

It’s quaking and rumbling beneath my feet. I can sense the place in which I am planted is about to change in this new year.

If I am being honest, it has created a lot of questions for me.

How will I manage in 2019 as these shifts take place?

Will I and what’s important to me, fall through the cracks?

Will I find that I am even more capable, or will I crumble?

Spinning these thoughts in my head over the past month has led me to the unique word: ‘Curate’.

Curate verb

• select, organize, and present (online content, merchandise, information, etc.), typically using professional or expert knowledge:

& although it’s often reserved to explain an art gallery or other aspects of gathering information/elements together, it has struck a chord within me. As I am adjusting to the ‘shifting’ and ‘growing’ in my / our lives, it is time for me to make careful and precise choices with where I place my energy and time.

PERSONALLY

Raising a ‘little’ into a child to equip her to handle the various aspects of life that will be thrown at her in less than 2 years (entering the public school system) means we need to be even more focused on bringing her the opportunities to grow, learn and mature in a new way. My time with her in this format of life is limited. Instilling values of kindness, empowerment, literacy, imagination, etc, before her world becomes more than just us, is increasingly heightened in importance.

As a family we are capable of more than we ever have been before. Leaving the baby/toddler stage has meant we are more able to connect and interact with our community, family and friends on a deeper level. It’s time to open up and pour out our energies in a new way.

PROFESSIONALLY

Continue to carefully align myself with the work atmosphere, collaborative teams and projects, knowing that what I commit to will get my full attention. Learning not to downplay myself & what I have to offer is a practice. I have learned so much in the past year about my craft, the industry I work in and where my boundaries are. Continuing to cultivate these interactions and various work projects while upholding my values is not a risk, it’s an integral part of who I am and how I choose to function within this world.

& as I close on this first day of the New Year,

by learning how to ‘curate’ in both my personal and professional life, I will be finding the proper footing to keep my feet actively on the ground while also gaining insight on how to adjust wherever 2019 puts me / us.

Happy New Year!

LIFESTYLE | Wrapping up 2018
byamygrace.2018

Let nothing hinder you.
Let everything propel you.
Let the trials deepen you.
Let the accomplishments inspire you.
Let the passion empower you.
Let the uncertainty intrigue you.

2018

Has awakened me & has allowed me to see deeper into elements I would not have seen.

There has been disappointments and heartache in projects.
Misuse of power and behaviour in settings of learning.
Boundary lines crossed.
Periods of anxiety, fear and confusion.
Unsettling moments of communication.
Emotional roller coaster rides in parenting.

and

There has been confirmation in passions.
Connections reaffirmed.
Opportunities provided.
Memories made.
Time with good friends and family treasured.
Professional growth.
Freelance opportunities.
Collaborations developed.
Friends returned.
Celebrations had.

&


Through all of these very real and true experiences, there is a thankfulness for it all. For the one who leaked their insecurities, which provided me the courage to use my voice and not back down. For the collaborator who has passions uniquely her own that can confidently express her directions and how they coincide with mine. For the boundary lines crossed that reminded me that the lines drawn are founded. For the friends returned whom reminded us what it means to have depth in relationship.

For all these experiences has brought me here, to right now & continues to carve me out, to be the person I need to be. & while I take a break and reflect on where to go from here, I am truly thankful for it all because I know, it is within that thankfulness that I will find a deeper sense of peace and healing, so I can continue to become who I am called to be.

SPOTLIGHT | Heidi Collins
Heidi and I met over eleven years ago when I started dating her cousin. I was always aware that Heidi had an ability to allow her interests and creativity space in her life. She was consistently pursuing the various facets of creativity and I have been moved by her excellence in those areas. Heidi never does something without precision and elegance.  Here are her striking words in this months Spotlight Interview:

Heidi and I met over eleven years ago when I started dating her cousin. I was always aware that Heidi had an ability to allow her interests and creativity space in her life. She was consistently pursuing the various facets of creativity and I have been moved by her excellence in those areas. Heidi never does something without precision and elegance. Here are her striking words in this months Spotlight Interview:

How would you describe yourself?

I pride myself on being a hardworking, honest, and dependable person

What role does creativity play in your life?

Creativity is a huge part of who I am as a person, from learning piano at a young age, to my teen years passionate about pastry arts, to my now adulthood pursuing photography as my main hobby aside from my 9-5 work life. Each passion has opened up a new area of creativity for me through rhythm and feel, precision and patience, timing and trying to catch just the right angle.

What are you currently working on?

Honestly, right now I’m taking a much-needed break. I’ve been busier than I could have ever imagined and it’s been a rollercoaster of a year; starting off with tragic loss and ending with one of my biggest and most exciting life events to date – marrying the love of my life. My husband and I will be taking our postponed honeymoon end of this month to the sunny West Coast and when I come back rested, I’m hoping to jump right into some photography projects.

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

I read a book a few years back called Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. It was truly eye opening for me, as someone who’s grown up being the big introvert that I am, this book gave me a new perspective. I needed to start saying YES – YES to going out on a Friday night, YES to being comfortable in my own skin, and YES to speaking the truth and accepting my voice. 

What advice would you give to other creatively driven people?

Pursue what you’re passionate about – whether its performing on stage through concerts or theatre or being that person who’s always behind the camera. Whether your creativity is somewhat reserved or overly expressive, no matter what your passion is, whatever is an outlet for you and brings you pride and joy – just go after it.

LIFESTYLE | Preparing for Christmas
preparing.byamygrace

This week & weekend marks the beginning of our Christmas Preparation.

A combination of wanting to be decorated for hosting, knowing that the next bit of time will fly by and realizing that as Advent approaches we want to get our ‘busy’ activities behind us so that we can truly take in the process of Christmas.

This year I was able to find an Advent candle which we have never had before.

Knowing that we will be daily burning this candle, is an exciting and also mindful choice.

While the candle burns:

I will be mindfully taking in the day.

I will be reflecting on what the advent week is : Hope, Faith, Joy, & Peace

I will be considering what parts of my year, life and baggage need to be set down for the coming ‘year’.

As we ready for Christmas,

a time of year we spend with others, consciously give and take in the treats of the season may we also mindfully consider how our hearts can be made new and seek ways in which to find that stillness no matter what time of year it may be.

WORK | Collaborations with Claire Fraser
Claire.fraser.byamygrace

In the quiet of the corners of our life,

Claire Fraser and I have been cooking up and working on a colloberation that stretches beyond ourselves.

It’s early days and I think there is something important about not over sharing our projects too much too fast.

Not because of trust, but for the protection on its infancy. We are just now starting to emerge and begin to walk with it.

What I can say:

We have identified that parts of our individual work and projects overlap.

We have identified that what will help us continue, will be to focus on the process of creation. To be working on remaining present in each moment and each stage of this collaborative journey.

We will be walking this into 2019 and are excited to work with many more women in both the creative and business industries.

Stay tuned…

LIFESTYLE | On Parenthood
onparenthood.byamygrace

This Autumn I decided to start re-watching Parenthood.

We’ve loved this show for many reasons. Its characters show realistic family dynamics with deep, raw and real connections while also allowing each character room to grow, fail and struggle through life. Its value system is varied with each family and yet follows the wholistic vision of what it means to try to have a well intentioned, honouring family dynamic. It shows diversity in thought and individuality while also showing how we share our families traits, inconsistencies and that our hurts don’t just stop at one person, they follow through into each generation.

The ‘Little Bedford Family’ is certainly not ‘The Bravermans’, but the authenticity we want to create in our home and with the family and friends we have around us is a very real and present value in our hearts and minds.

The values this show has & reminded us of, again and again:

Stay Relational

Human beings are relational at our core. We crave to be seen as we are and often that means a lot of misfiring and mishaps as we go about it with our already self-perceived aches and pains in life. Being individuals, we all experience life a bit differently but we are all intertwined in various ways. Staying current in each others lives, expressing in our most outward form in effort to connect and finding each other amidst the busyness is an important quality. (for us, as a married couple, this means daily connecting after 10pm in conversation about the day, our latest thoughts, concerns and sharing in one of the television series that we are following.)

Stay Self-Aware

Knowing our limitations and boundaries with ourselves and with each other are effective tools in life and in family. Knowing what those are is not a way to stay divided, but to find ways in which to stay healthily connected.

Stay Lighthearted

Life is already heavy enough. Enjoying each others company and finding the joy and humour in the little things has a way of making memories and having something to laugh at when things are rough. (My cousin Kylie is a great example of this. We live provinces apart and still she is CONSTANTLY bringing up (via text or phone call) our childhood ridiculousness or even old or recent laughs at random. & there is nothing better than a good laugh during a rough day.)

Stay Gracious

When we cannot for the life of us understand the other, to do our best to pass grace in a way that honours ourself and the other person. We are not supposed to understand each other fully because how would we be able to practice ‘grace’ if it was that easy? And passing Grace doesn’t mean ignoring hurt or allowing toxicity, but it does mean allowing a gap for those things to exist as you recognize that there is much that you need to be given Grace for and much we need to give grace in return.

WORK | Cue Cards
cue.cards.JPG

I saw this post from Elizabeth Gilbert on instagram.

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

As a screen writer,

one learns that story boarding with index cards is essential.

As a writer / creator,

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

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

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

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

LIFESTYLE | Cardio Bursts
cardio.byamygrace

Movement is medicine and a privilege.

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

Athleticism.

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

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

Being a writer…

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

And a Woman…

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

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

Movement Routine:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The beauty of it all?

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

That bit of truth here is:

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