WORK | 5 Things to Do to Start Anything
At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

At Claire Frasers Studio where we collaborate on the Brilliansea Projects.

A creative entrepreneur’s reality is that they are often creating things from nothing that are not always easy to communicate to their audience or even, to themselves.

When starting anything here are 5 things to do.

Have an Anchor Point

In any concept an anchor point to the project is what you can keep coming back to & it becomes something that others who are your consumers understand to be uniquely you. Be it a symbol, a mascot, a specific action you do within your ‘making’, make sure it’s there and you know why you do it.

Use What You Have

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to have the right set up, the right products etc. Comparison is the thief of joy. All good things come in time, so use what you have and make do. Podcasts, vlogs, film makers, artists of any medium learn to use what they have and build on that over time.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key. You will never improve or gain traction if you are spotty in consistency. Maintain a consistency that works for you. Once a week or once a day is better than here and there.

Do it For You (& one other person)

Never do anything to impress others. Do the thing to bring satisfaction to yourself and to at least one other person. That one other person doesn’t need a name, it could just be the ‘you’ out there you wish it would have been available for.

Aim To Improve Each Time You Do It

Every time you produce or create or bring forth whatever it is you do, aim to improve it. Ever piece of work you make has a new perspective from something you learned along the way.

When starting anything these five things are not only essential but they are also life rafts when you are unsure of where to go next or how things are going. It’s not always clear where the ‘motivation’ comes from to start things and continue them and circling back around to these foundational things can help remind, refresh and bring revelation to your doing.

LIFESTYLE | Spring 2019 Favourites
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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)

WORK | Spring 2019 Work Reflection
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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 | 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.

SPOTLIGHT | Kayla Short
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Kayla Short

Lifestyle Blogger

Kayla can be found documenting her journey on her personal social media platforms, exploring the corners of Halifax and beyond while also sharing with others that staying true to who you are both inwardly and outwardly is not only of value, but possible.

Kayla is grounded by finding a well rounded wholeness in life and maintains that wholeness in everything she shares allowing us to take part in the discovery of self, others and the world around us.

She also happens to have a lovely way of skimming past the surface and taking you into the deep of life that is full of insight and celebration.

More Kayla

Website

http://shortpresents.com

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/shortpresents/

Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCewIEH9yFK_li-5J_Ev3Gyw

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/shortpresents

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.

WORK | Brilliansea Updates
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Branding

Five months out from launching Brilliansea we are enjoying refining our values and our vision for this platform. What we are coming back to again and again is ‘the voice of a woman’ is to be treasured. Making space for that one voice is an important and integral part of our vision. Yes, we are also focused on the ‘brilliance’ in all women, but we want to bring them all out to celebrate their unique voice.

This is what we have been driven by and finding even more clarity in.

Spotlight Interviews

Spotlight interviews have been and are life giving. These sessions, for us, are full of joy, celebrating the woman we have in front of us and finding the depth in the simplest of moments. We have enjoyed creating the spotlight series so much that we are going to be releasing them bi-monthly starting May and we are so pleased to be able to do that.

Documentary

Pulling together a short is multi-purposed for us. It allows us to play with the narrative we are beginning to see, gives us a bit of face time with the footage we have accumulated, puts an action behind our filming and gives us something we can share.

Other

We have begun to start giving ourselves permission to explore what other projects and ideas might fit well under our platform and as we are doing so, it becomes more obvious how much we are LOVING running this platform and it’s presence in our life is one of our greatest sources of fulfillment.

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.

SPOTLIGHT | Lizane Tan
lizane.quote.brilliansea

Lizane Tan

Graphic Designer & Part Time Seasonal Flight Attendant 

Lizane can be found using her graphic design skills in freelance projects, working as a part time seasonal flight attendant, while also connecting with others and being inspired by the world when traveling.

Lizane is richly inspired by the creativity in the world that she explores and uses that inspiration to connect us deeper to the stories we are trying to tell with the work she creates.

She also happens to have a grounding presence that allows space for learning, inspiration and a celebration for the unique self within.

More Lizane

Website:

https://lizanetan.com/projects

Instas:

https://www.instagram.com/lizanecrna/

https://www.instagram.com/narrativeincidents/




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.

WORK | A One Woman Show
aonewoman.show.byamygrace

Everything in stages

After spending a day story boarding her life, I took another step into the direction of writing a one woman show about my grandmother, Joan Francis Goodday Lugar by beginning that first draft.

Because of her importance in my life and the weight she carries, I have found myself caught between the urge to see this fantastic, complex and very straight forward woman characterized on stage in her many facets and the anxiety that I will get it all wrong and not serve her story properly.

I press on.

Baby steps have been taken to start taking the storyboard onto paper and I have given myself this year to meander in pulling it together. I trust that I will be able to see that final first draft by late autumn of this year and begin to hone it after.

What I see when I look at the photos of her, is a strong capable, woman who was beyond her time. She was sharp as she was tender and quippy as she was also observant.

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.

SPOTLIGHT | Bethany Dunn
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Bethany Dunn

Comedian & Teacher

Bethany can be found improvising and working with the improv troupe Hello City, helping to connect others with their passions through Skills Canada while also sharing her love for improv in teaching classes through Halifax’s Neptune Theatre.

Beth is highly focused on her work and delivers a passion and excellence that ripple affects into those who are privileged to learn through her.

She also happens to have an ability to keep you captive while she acts, talks ad communicates through her intensely engaging and stunning eyes.

More Bethany

Websites:

https://www.facebook.com/hellocityimprov/

https://www.facebook.com/SkillsWithBeth/

Hello City Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/hellocityimprov/

Personal Insta:

https://www.instagram.com/sarabethanydunn/

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.

WORK | Wellness & Work
wellness.mbs.byamygrace

mind.body.soul.

I have noticed during this season of my life, as new things begin and momentum grows, that I am coming up against an anxious mind. 

the night hours like to whisper self doubt. 
the lack of sleep likes to drain and agitate.
the decisions like to stack up to mirror impossible obstacles. .

& yet I realize that these are the moments that require an extra dose of welcoming peace to come in and sit with me. To set aside a moment to nourish despite the world around me & despite what I think I should or shouldn’t be doing.  That it’s all being held for me while I take a moment in the chaos of my mind to be still.

To serve others and the work one is called to do, one must respect themselves enough to take a step back and assess their own ways. We affect each other and to be mindful of our wellness, means we are also mindful of others in return.

Mind

Seek to sort the tasks in a way that brings clarity.
Avoid overlap in responsibilities.
Allow that unplugging / disconnecting from the world to allow the mind to reset.
Encourage a healthy sleep pattern whenever possible.
Tickle your fancy in interests…it does wonders for actively seeing things in new lights.

Body

Aim for a balanced diet daily.
Indulge mindfully. & with joy.
Move more than once a day.
Fresh air is good.
Invest in one thing a month to improve yourself physically. (spf moistrizer counts)
Celebrate the body that holds your spirit in ways that is natural for you. (selfies are not selfish)

Soul

Pursue the still small voice inside.
Seek whatever is true, right, pure and love.
Seek out one deep conversation weekly.
Let go of what is distracting you.
Watch the words around you. What you say and what is being said.

“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” - psalm 18:19

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!

WORK | Dare to Lead
daretolead.byamygreace

I do my best every season to pick a book to read that will inspire and develop me both personally and professionally.

Dare to Lead being Brené Browns latest book was fitting as I adore her work, words and insight on what it means to live a full and meaningful life.

What Struck Me about Dare to Lead

This book takes her work on vulnerability, courage and fear and brings it into the professional arena. As I step into co-leading Brilliansea with Claire Fraser, I want to be able to ‘rumble’ (a word Brené uses to identify the process of processing through tough conversations / topics) with the work, my colleague and stay open and honest in the process.

What I learned

Vulnerability is not just for my personal life.

Taking time to identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths will allow room and space for you to recognize when perhaps, your own work methods or ways of being are conflicting with the matter at hand. To address that, may mean facing that you are not skilled in one aspect of your work and you may need to set up boundaries for yourself and others to partner with you in that weakness to create a better work flow and life.

Recognize one’s nature and profession.

I have also found that it has given me more compassions and insight for why my partner in life, often sees problems before he sees solutions. His nature, work and training has taught him to find every problem before ever seeing something successful. Where as my line of training and work has taught me that there are multiple ways to perceive something (none of which are wrong) and also, hundreds of ways to reach the final destination.

*I am still in the process of reading this book but I am taking it slowly and ‘rumbling’ with it.

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.



SPOTLIGHT | Ruth McMullen
ruth.quote.jpg

Ruth McMullen

Founder, Podcast Host of Optimistically Depressed & Team Member of The Halifax Social Network team

Ruth can be found making impactful sound waves on her podcast ‘Optimistically Depressed’, working with the Halifax Social Network team to create community, while also being present for those she loves and cares about.

Ruth is deeply passionate about creating space for and bringing the internal journey into the light so we can all feel a little less alone.

She also happens to have a way of speaking directly into your soul that makes you feel heard, understood and cherished.

MORE RUTH

Website:
https://optimisticallydepressed.com

Listen:
https://open.spotify.com/show/3f0CQ0HWvGeUeArY4Y7MsX

Personal Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/ruthhailstone/

Optimistically Depressed Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/optimisticallydepressed/

Halifax Social Network Insta:
https://www.instagram.com/halifaxsocialnetwork/

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