February 18, 2014


Dear Heather,

This was the year you surrendered. It was hard for you to let go of the reins, at first, to unburdened yourself from the unknown. You embraced discovery, and were surprised by the beautiful and unexpected things that happened when you stopped dipping your toe in and started swimming with the current.

This was the year you stopped hiding and started seeking. You shared more of yourself this year than perhaps ever before, and it was so freeing (surrendering is an act of bravery). 

This was the year you began to feel comfortable in your own skin. You cared less about what people thought and trusted your decisions (and indecisions) more. Being you is much easier than trying to be the person people want you to be. And easier still than the person you think people want you to be. Because inside, looking out, is the only point of view you really need to know and the only one you can ever truly understand.

You thought less and did more. You connected, and reconnected, and disconnected – to people and to places and to opportunities. You learned over and over that action can provide incredible clarity, and planning can be, and often is, overrated.

You took things slow, and you rushed when you needed to.

At the end of your 34th year, you are calm and underwhelmed. You are trying to find the overlap and also realizing there is no overlap: it’s you, real and whole and unapologetically so.

Thirty-four is a shift in priorities: a closet full of high heels you have no desire to wear.

You’re a long way from 14, and in some instances, an even longer way from 24.

You’re surprised to find 34 is not unlike 17 (still your favourite age): on the cusp of something new and extraordinary, but content to rest where you are for a little while longer.

Breathe it in, and let it go, and take what comes.


Live |

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gift guide cyclists biking

Have you heard of this gift-giving method? We tried it last year and not only was it a simple way to keep our budget in line, but the want/need/wear/read categories provided just enough direction when shopping.

Gift giving gets even easier when you apply the categories to the intended recipient’s special passion or hobby. Here are a few ideas – and a giveaway – to help you shop for the cyclist or bike enthusiast on your list.

[Heart it? Keep reading.]

Celebrate |

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guelph craft show round-up necessary arts creative spark fair november 2013

The thing I love most about the holiday season isn’t decorating, or baking, or eating. Nope: it’s the plethora of seasonal craft shows.

I try to spend a good chunk of my gift-giving budget on handmade or local goods, and if I can wrap both of those into one gift, I generally feel pretty awesome about what I’m giving.

I’m looking forward to checking out the One of a Kind show and sale next week, but as usual Guelph has got its festive bases covered with a stacked line-up of handmade holiday sales. This is by no means an exhaustive list – I haven’t even begun to cover church bazaars and the like – but these three promise amazing artisans, creative local goods, and a much-preferred alternative to the mall or even shopping online.

The biggest challenge? Not buying everything for myself. Giving, schmiving.

This Weekend | Fair November
Thursday, November 21 – Sunday, November 24 / 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / University Centre, University of Guelph
Much like the One of a Kind show in Toronto, Fair November is a juried sale that has been running for 30+ years, so you can be sure it has loads of high quality goods and long-time artisans. I’m hitting this one up today!

Next Weekend | Necessary Arts Holiday Handmade Pop-Up
Saturday, November 30 / 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. / St. George’s Square (beside Buon Gusto)
More than a dozen makers and artists are gathering for this one-day handmade holiday pop-up in downtown Guelph. It’s hosted by Necessary Arts Company, a newish shared creative space. Check out their upcoming workshops too.

In Two Weekends | Creative Spark Winter Market
Saturday, December 7 / 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. / Dublin St. Church (Dublin/Suffolk streets)
Bring a non-perishable food item to the market, and your admission is free. I visited this one last year and picked up cute art for Graham’s room. This year, it’s in a larger venue and that means more awesome makers offering a variety of handmade goods: wearables, edibles, toys and more.

Happy shopping!

Shop |

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