Stationary Drifting


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Best of Blogs: March

best of blogs_march

I didn’t really keep up with my posting schedule for this month but I do want to keep up with my ‘best of’ posts. The monthly posts are a great way for me to record my goings on for posterity or whatever, and I really love the best of blogs posts because I really love blogs! I don’t have a lot of readership, and some of the blogs I follow don’t either (though I’m sure they all have more than me!), but whether we just read each others’ or if we have thousands of hits a day I really love these blogs and I want to give them the recognition they deserve.

This month I would really like to highlight 2 blogs that have inspired me to get back into blogging as a way to share my day to day and what makes me happy. I think that these were the first 2 blogs I really got into, and started reading daily (or whenever they posted). They both are incredibly honest in their approach to writing, which is refreshing and so so brave. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put myself out there like they do (either on the web or in real life) but I very much admire their writing. They remind me to not fall into the trap of blogging only about beautiful things but to find beauty in the sharing the hard things too.

Click here to see February’s best of blogs – there are some great blogs on that one that I am still reading daily.

REMINDER: all the photos belong to the blogger they are associated with, click each photo to be taken to their corresponding post.

blackandwhiteandlovedallover{click blog logo, or here, to be taken to the site}

/// above photos belong to Ellen, click on each photo to be taken to their source ///

Ellen from Black and White and Loved All Over is one of the first bloggers I started to follow regularly. I really can’t remember right now how I came across her blog but I remember being really really excited about her writing style from the beginning. There are a few blogs I have come across that I loved so much that I read pretty much all their archives like the site was a novel, hers was the first one I did that with. I had no idea that I could get that into the ramblings of a fellow internet user but Ellen proved me that writing and just putting it out there can be so powerful.

These days Ellen is a mother of 2 really really gorgeous girls (pictured above!) and blogs a lot about her experience of motherhood. She is so real and honest about the joys and challenges of motherhood, its refreshing. I haven’t quite found anyone who expresses so well (what I imagine is) the complexities of loving little people so much while simultaneously acknowledging that its a damn hard job. She also blogs about home decor, DIY culture, being a freelance writer, living in Nashville, her husband, and other regular life stuff. I can’t help but having a driving need to visit Nashville and see the beauty of the place she describes with so much love.

I really suggest clicking the links and checking out blackandwhiteandlovedallover. Its a really wonderful space on the internet and I hope she keeps up the writing for a long time (no pressure Ellen, but seriously I would really miss you if you stopped).

Also, she just seems like a cool person, the kind I would enjoy sharing a beer with and rolling our eyes about life’s twists and turns.

{click blog logo, or here, to be taken to the site}

/// above photos belong to Drea, click on each photo to be taken to their source ///

I don’t know why I follow so many mom bloggers…maybe there’s something about being a mom being at home for that first little bit that gets people into it, maybe its a desire to document your child’s life that comes out of parenthood (I’ve seen a fair few dad bloggers too), I don’t know I’m not a mom. Drea from ohdeardrea is another blogger I follow that is also a mother of a really lovely and sweet sounding daughter. I think I found Drea’s blog through Ellen from blackandwhiteandlovedallover (above). She is the second blogger I remember getting into and the second blog that I got so excited about I read nearly all her archives. What made Drea stand out to me at first was that she was (at the time) a single mom blogger. Which is pretty rare, I find, in the blog world and kind of refreshing to see that people are thriving as single, happy parents out there. The other thing I really liked about her blog was how raw it was. She did not hold back at all in talking about her struggles and what was going on for her. Which is also really rare in the blog world where everything is tied up in a neat little bow that was hand crafted and photoshopped. These days she is a little more, I don’t know, restrained in her writing. Which makes complete sense to me because people on the internet can be pretty judgemental. But she still retains an honest voice, and journal quality that makes her really great to read on this side of the screen. The kind of read that makes me feel like struggle and happiness can be tied together and beautiful either way.

Besides being a mother, Drea also writes about being vegan, crafting, cooking/eating/being a foodie (ohmygod the eating that happens in her house!), travel, living in Florida, friends and loved ones, and general life stuff.

Check out ohdeardrea for a some really heartfelt and entertaining blogging, oogle her incredible floral couch, and dream about living in Florida.

Like Ellen, Drea just seems like a really great person that would be fun to go out dancing with.

///////

And that’s it for March Best of Blogs. Thanks to Ellen and Drea for their permission to use photos from their blogs. I have to admit that its a bit of a thrill to send and get emails from people who’s blogs I really admire.

Thanks for reading, and let me know what your favourite blogs are in the comments! I’m always happy to find new great and inspiring sites to read!


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.


Welcome to Calgary

view from the Bow Falls in Banff

view from the Bow Falls in Banff

Okay not exactly welcome welcome since we leave tomorrow but this is the first chance I’ve had to blog since my computer was fixed and since I arrived here almost a week ago so it will have to do.

Mom & Me

Mom & Me

M and I arrived late on xmas eve to the town I spent my pre-teen to teenagehood. My mom still lives here in the house I grew up in with my step-dad. Calgary is the first stop of our 2 week, 2 city, 2 sets of parents tour that M and I are doing to cap off a solid year of living together. Its an intensive of where I’m from but its nice to finally get the chance to show off my roots and spend some more relaxed time with the family. It helps that no one is getting married this time.

Mom's tree

Mom’s tree

Christmas was quiet as usual. We mostly stayed inside, fed ourselves a lot of sugar and read books or talked technology and music. We took a night trip out to Banff for M’s birthday which was beautiful. Its always so fun to travel with Mars and this time was no exception. Especially because it was their first time in the Rockies. The Rockies are breathtaking for me and I’ve seen them many times, it was incredible to see them through M’s eyes and definitely a lot of fun. I’ll post a few pictures at the end of this post. We got a really sweet upgrade to a loft suite with a king sized bed and a fireplace. We didn’t ever want to leave!

Starting a fire in our sweet suite

Starting a fire in our sweet suite

I spent some quality time learning some new things while I was here. Stuff that I will share in later posts (I have a million posts planned right now, I can tell its winter and I’m getting back into writing mode). Also, handmade holidays worked out pretty well, everyone seems to love what they got so far. Recipes and photos will be going up very soon.

Hope everyone else had nice holidays and are excited to start a new year. 2013 man, where did the time go?

 

Driving into the Rockies

Driving into the Rockies

Mars from the loft

Mars from the loft

M's 'gangsta deer' really didn't care that we were that close

M’s ‘gangsta deer’ really didn’t care that we were that close

mountain view

M and the Banff Springs Hotel

M and the Banff Springs Hotel

more mountains

M's new buddy

M’s new buddy

winter can't stop me

winter can’t stop me


Small Things Project: Day 59 (sept 16)

Phew, I only worked 2 full days and I’m exhausted. Something about waking up to an alarm makes me sleepier. I guess it didn’t help that I stayed up really late on Thursday night on a double date hangout/goodbye to my good friend B, who has left town to return to the states for a bit. Either way, I was exhausted and not a little thrown off by this new work schedule and being stuck at a desk all day so I haven’t been on the ol blog.

SO, to return to STP:

Today I am happy that its beautifully sunny out and cooler. It feels like real fall, and although I’m kinda feeling sad that I missed summer in my haze of job hunting/being broke/feeling shitty, I am very happy that the fall is turning out to be beautiful. Maybe I should organize a weekend get away to the Eastern Townships with M at the beginning of Oct. I seem to end up there every fall, its a great place and M and I could use a weekend away.

I’m preparing a lecture for tomorrow on media life narratives for the class I’m TA’ing. Doing a real lecture is pretty scary but I’m happy for the opportunity.

Mostly, my happiness for these past few days goes out to M for being such a great husband. He’s been getting up early and making me lunches to take to work, climbing the mountain of laundry that we had built up, and picking up the cleaning and daily home stuff that I can’t do know that I’m away all day without complaint. I’m a pretty lucky wife.


Small Things Project: Day 43 to 49

[warning: this post is a little disjointed because it happens over a 5 month span. There are no pictures and frankly I’m just posting it so I can start anew]

Day 43: (april 8)

Today I’m happy for my easter gift to myself, fancy new nail polish in spring colours, and M’s gift of lunch. And Sil’s gift of a few hours doing laundry by myself in her quiet apartment with her lovely and loving cat.

I’m happy that I came home to a tidied up apartment and dinner on the stove. My fiance is so great.

I’m happy for the grey, spring Sunday light that made everything feel in slow motion. I love slow motion sundays.

I’m happy that I got to sleep in, and that I took the weekend off from the gym but that I’m excited to get back to it tomorrow. Operation get healthy is still in effect. I was too hungover yesterday from Friday night to start my cleanse but I’m getting to it tomorrow. And I’m excited for that too.

Day 44: (april 9)

Today I’m happy that M & I got our health nut lifestyle on and went to the gym for a spinning class. I’m happy that we are really on the same page about this. We even worked out for another 45mins after spinning for an hour. The best part was when I was slowing down in class and sweating my life away and M looked over at me and told me that I could do it. Having a gym buddy is really great.

I’m happy that we got a bunch of good foods at the market and now, as I drink my cleanse tea (which is so far going great), M is preparing us a really good smelling lunch. I’m telling ya, spring is the time for resolutions. M is even quitting smoking!

Today I’m also very excited about my writing more for my brother’s magazine. Check out my Field of View post or the website to see more.

Day 45: (may 10)

Phew, a whole month went by, I don’t know what happened…But I’m back at it! So today I’m happy for not beating myself up about small things and for not giving up. I’m happy for allowing myself to enjoy my routines in their own time and to allow myself to prioritize as needed.

I’m still glowing from my long walk with Josie yesterday and for knocking a bunch of chores off my list of things to do. Today I’m happy for my coffee, the fact that I’m still working towards feeling healthier, and a full day of work ahead of me. I’m also really really grateful for all the great friends and family who have offered so many ways of helping with this wedding planning. I’m so lucky to have these amazing people in my life.

Day 45: (may 15)

Today I’m happy for all the love and support we enjoyed at last night’s fundraiser. I’m grateful to Mars for cooking up a storm and for everyone that came and ate soul food, enjoyed the beautiful evening with us and donated towards our marriage.

I’m happy for the quiet train ride to snooze and reflect. I’m excited to be in the states again an am looking forward to eating a cheesesteak!

I’m looking forward to being done traveling for the day and for getting shit done tomorrow.

Day 46: (aug 9)

Today I am happy to get back to my blog. Too long, WAY too long since my last post.

As much as I was annoyed have having to stay home and wait for the Internet guy today (it’s been out for 2days) I was happy to spend some time in the kitchen. It’s been such a hot summer and I’ve been so distracted that I haven’t really cooked in ages. I made bread (from this recipe), banana bread (from here), an extremely spicy fried rice and some extremely spicy spiced tea. M said I was a spicy lady today, which was probably my inadvertent desire to burn the exhaustion out of me (I suspect it’s due to germs). On a side note: I experienced my first chili on skin burn today and yow did it hurt. After trying a few Internet suggestions I finally succumbed to M’s suggestion and sat for almost an hour with my hand in a bowl of iced milk. It still stings under my thumb nail but its so much better than it was I’m not complaining. The burn set in just as the Internet guy arrived, I think he probably thought I was insane as I kept disappearing to the bathroom to wash my hands, and at one point cut a lime in half and took it to the bathroom (where I squeezed it on my hand).

I’m happy for the cooler day today. It’s been a really hot summer, consistently hovering at 30 so that only my heartiest plants (the chilies and the Mediterranean rosemary and lavender) are still doing okay. I’m sad for my lost strawberries just as they were strawb’ing. The cool-ish weather and rain today was most appreciated.

I’m happy that my grant proposal is written and ready to be sent, and that my summer internship is drawing to a close. I am once again redoubling my thesis efforts. I really want to be done before I’m 30 but would settle for before the end of 2012 if I must, either way that requires writing though so I’m going to be off to the library and other quiet places lots in the next weeks.

Day 47: (aug 10)

Today I am glad for rainy, cool, grey, quiet afternoons. I’m happy for some solid perspective in the form of a presentation by a fierce lady named Kim Pate about Prisoner Justice for women. I’m happy for a new blog to read (hey there the stork and the beanstalk, you’re very cute). I’m happy for some quiet dinner and reading and for the fact that M is throwing a really great party tonight for 2-qtpoc.

Day 48: (aug 11)

Today I’m happy for a successful and SO full Transformative Justice workshop. Everyone was so inspiring and awesome. We worked through some really heavy things and although we didn’t come to any definitive conclusions I certainly came away with a sense of community interest and support.

I’m happy for tea with a sweet friend post workshop where we talked about life stuff. I feel like I should have taken a different path and become a counselor….

I’m happy for a job interview at an interesting organization. I’ve been to SO many job interviews in the past while that I don’t have my hopes up but I was happy to have gotten a call back, I wasn’t expecting one.

I’m thankful for a quiet night at home. This week has been epic. To say the least.

Day 49: (aug 13)

Today I’m happy for it being the last day of work so I can focus on writing for the rest of the month.

I’m happy that my best buddy is home and available for hang outs again. It’s been a minute too long that he was away.

Mostly I’m proud of myself for mcguyvering the bathtub with a ton of baking soda, vinegar and a plunger and finally getting it to drain properly. It look me a while and spot a small amount of frustration but I didn’t break and go get drano, which makes me super happy! No harsh chemicals for me or M!!


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Sibling double birthday

photo cred to Jared

china town nyc

lady liberty

some of my film pictures from the sibling double birthday trip to nyc last fall. Jared and I headed down for a couple of days. It was a really short trip but he had never been, he was about to leave for LA after living with me for 3 months, and our birthdays are a week apart.

Jared's camera

Guggenheim

Guggenheim

Guggenheim


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Jared in NYC

Blurry in China Town

Jared in NYC

Double birthday fun, also we’re both photographers we ended up both being models as well on this trip. Luckily my brother is ridiculously photogenic (jerk).

in front of the Guggenheim

more Guggenheim

When in Rome. I don't know what Romans do but in NYC you eat street pretzels

no smoking at MOMA

train home

I finally gave up on trying to find my camera cord and just took these photos with my phone.