Wednesday, January 23, 2019

things that caught my eye this week..

Credit: The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography

  • as a fan of photography, I loved seeing these rare photographs of 19 century China! Incredible.
  • also, have you ever made or eaten chickpea cookies? I'm dubious.. but intrigued!  
  • love how chill Alex Honnold is about his sweet van.. his documentary Free Soul looks so crazy (I'm afraid of heights).. I don't know if I could watch it! Here's the trailer:

Have a great week.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


living as an expat is exciting and fun, but one thing that is super hard is always having to say goodbye to people and places. Some days are harder than others, and today these song lyrics are reflecting my mood.

"every thing i said 
playin back in my head 
every sweet moment 
every place we went 
is a part, is a mark in me 
every burn is a brand i see 
gotta tattoo in my soul 
memories inked, permanent black gold" 
#3 Forever by Sam Ock

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

glimpse of Istanbul

I was in Istanbul for 7 days a few months ago.. it was amazing. Here are some pictures!

hopefully more to come...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

reading roundup

  • Reading Cait Flanders "The Year of Less" was a treat. Thoughtful and brutally honest, told in a way I admire immensely. The idea of completing a year of 'Buying nothing' has always appealed to me. In some sense, I'm functionally doing that, but the process of intentionally tracking it and blogging about would be even more helpful. Sidenote: it iss such a joy to read Canadian authors, I'm like "Yusssssssssss Girl!!"
  • Dwelling in the ancient book of Psalms, ruminating over it. It's been so incredibly rich for my soul.
  • This blog post was a random find, but incredibly well written and powerful. Makes me both hesistant and inspired to type something and send it out into the world. The power of remembering.. (

Hoping to get more reading done this month. I feel I've been in a sort of Tornado season, running to and fro, busy from morning to evening. Now the storm has passed and I don't want to let myself get so insanely busy again.
Have a wonderful day.. I'm working on my Istanbul pictures, hope to post them soon!


Thursday, September 27, 2018

peeps of August

Quick peep into the lovely interior of Black & Smith Country General, Jerseyville, Ontario. They had an exhibit of the work of Niki Kingsmill and I loved seeing her work in this beautiful shop space, especially the line drawings of women. Definitely pop in if you're in the area.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

tightropes in Dagestan

Photo by

As you know, I love photography. These images from this acrobatic tightroping club in Dagestan completely captured me this morning. Where the heck is Dagestan? Yea, I had no idea either when I first read it this morning.  Check out the Nat Geo article and marvel at this beautiful country and the youth who have a fearless hope for the future.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

“The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.”

- Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018

the best stationary shop in Toronto? (a trip to Wonder Pens)

Being back in Canada for a brief few weeks, of course I have a bucket list! #allthethings
Usually my bucket list is centered around my interests: stationary, art, food, coffee, and of course combining all those things with friends, family and my hometown Hamilton.

I've long been a fan of Wonder Pens, a small family run stationary shop in Toronto that specializes in Fountain Pens and hard to find inks. In an increasingly digital world, analogue record keeping and  correspondence has significantly decrease (case in point: as I sit here and blog) but more and more people are finding they miss putting pen to paper. Wonder Pens is a great little shop that meets those needs and has a wonderful staff with great high quality products. They just moved their store from Leslieville to Little Italy and I seized the opportunity to pop in when I was in Toronto a few weeks ago. I also needed to pick up some Noodlers Ink to refill my fountain pens with. As a Zero Waste proponent, I'm a huge fan of refillable fountain pens, and as someone who journals regularly I've found that all I need is one black, archival ink that suits all of my needs. Some people have massive fountain pen collections and a whole rainbow of beautiful inks, but as someone who is a minimalist and travels frequently, it's simple not possible for me. Off I trotted to Wonder Pens to refill my trusty stash and check out the new shop!

In short.. Wonder Pens lives up to its name. Here are some pics of their thoroughly instagrammable interior. Also, they stock a wide collection of hard to find Japanese stationary products (Superior Labour, Classiky, Travelers Notebook), as well as the staples like Field Notes, Rhodia, and Leuchtterm and a huge variety of fountain pens and ink.

love the upcycled coconut milk can ^_^

Liz has scattered great little postcards for purchase around the shop.

Mammoth Lamy pen just chilling in the corner... like nbd. 😂

Love this custom postcard drawn by Gotamago, a local Toronto artist.

green plants everywhere!

It's been so wonderful to to watch Jon and Liz do so well with this little shop. They host letter writing nights (free to join!) and classes and have even been able to hire additional staff. I browsed for quite a while and was impressed with the customer service they provided. Unfortunately, the Noodlers I was looking for was out of stock, but I had a lovely chat with Sarah and went on my way with a little sample to tide me over until the next restock.


Wonder Pens is a charming spot, definitely check it out if you are an analogue lover. While claiming the store is the BEST stationary shop in Toronto may be rather opinionated, it's definitely in my top three. I have yet to check out Paper Plus Cloth's new shop on Queen West but it features highly on The Bucket List. Until that happens I will reserve my use of superlatives.. 😉

Enjoy this Toronto gem, and if you are a stationary nerd like myself or a fountain pen enthusiast.. these people know all the things.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018


I sit here in the friction of my heart, restless.
Feeling like i could burst out of my own skin, almost on the verge of something, not sure if I should just drop it all and completely abscond into the greater world.

Abscond, what a delicious word.

Sometimes, my heart seesaws between responsibility and absolute reliability (i have this quite caring, mature, taking the world onto my shoulders side) and sheer spontaneity filled with a devil may care attitude (often epitomized in my generation with 'Yolo' and 'Wth').
Shirking responsibility within reason, disappearing into the mystery of the unknown world. Isn't this the tension we live in? The desire to be known, to know others deeply, fulfilling that deep seated longing to be accepted, to show our dark side and our vulnerabilites and to be accepted. To grow a garden and know our neighbors and put down roots. And then that other side, that says to hell with the status quo and the middle class life that speaks of diapers, morgages, conversations about grass seed and property taxes and how the world is going to hell in a 100% organic cotton handbasket. Forget the North American dream I'm gonna live in a Tiny House or even better, an upright Sprinter Van, become one with the mosquitoes and bears
and work remotely,
and make millions of dollars blogging....

Isn't that just .. another type of North American dream? My generations reaction to the previous ones stability? The #vanlife generation. 

It's called sabotage.
We sabotage ourselves.
 Comparison, jealousy, dissatisfaction and social pressures to conform, to be _________.

To be ____________________ (cool, desirable, unattached, sexy, intelligent, sophisticated, up to date on every pop culture reference.. the list goes on).

For me the thrill of absconding is always waiting for me. That childlike stubbornness, unwillingness to give in, a flash of the eyes and a 'I'll show you' toss of the head as I leave you in my dust.

And yet, at the end of the day, a resignation to the responsibilities. To a desire to leave the world just a little bit better than it was yesterday.. a total refusal to let the evil steal my joy and so I fantasize about kicking 'it' in the face. Those sour memories of being the one left holding the bag, the disappointment in the ones who absconded without you, left you to clean up the mess. The looks of disappointment in faces of those you let down, who trusted in you. A belief in the importance of finishing what I started. Knowing when your heart is deceiving you with the niggles of comparison and knowing when you really need to throw off the shackles and run free through that field of flowers. When you need to slip off your shoes and dance barefoot in an empty room.

To dwell in this friction.
To be human, in this broken, marvelous, wild world.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Zero Waste stinks! a plastic free deodorant DIY

A Zero waste deodorant recipe that will cost you about 1 dollar!! A loony!!! A buck.

While I've heard many rave reviews about Natural and Zero Waste deodorant creams like Meow Meow Tweet, I've always found them super expensive (15 dollars?!?) and hard to find for those of us who are not American. Shipping is often killer when you live outside of the US or North America (usually add 10$ on top of the price and I could eat alot of Greek yogurt for that price!).

One of the main reasons I went zero waste was to reduce my overall costs. To be totally honest, I'm not a rich person, in fact, I'm pretty darn broke. That being said, I have an abundance of things that I consider way more important than money, like friends, family, and health. On the flip side, I'm definitely not living an impoverished life! I have enough. And honestly, one of the appeals of the zero waste lifestyle is frugality. Zero waste does not have to be an expensive lifestyle!! I truly believe this. 

I digress. Back to the deo. Why spend so much money on a deodorant when you can make your own for supa supa cheap!

this is my deodorant.

One caveat:

I tried a few zero waste recipes before I found one that worked for me. So there were definitely some STINKY TIMES, y'all.  I felt awkward, uncomfortable and super self-conscious. I even caved and bought an expensive alum rock deodorant that worked extremely well for 20 days then totally stopped!! AGH. What a waste of money and the plastic it came in. *fail*
The point is: not everything works for everyone, so don't go out and triple this recipe before you actually try! If you don't like it you will waste a lot of ingredients (been there done that). Make a small batch and test it out first. However, for me this recipe has been the bomb diggity! and my wallet is rejoicing.

Enter the Zero Waste Chef's deodorant recipe:
Genius in simplicity. Above excellence in accessibility. Beyond measure in ease of assembly. 

1/4 cup baking Soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
optional: add essential oils (lemon, grapefruit, cedar, teatree.. whatever makes you feel fancy!)
I used Thieves.. because thats all I had.

Mix dry ingredients before adding coconut oil. Make sure coconut oil is runny or at least softened enough to transfer and mix easily. Warm up if necessary. Add essential oil last. Stir.
This recipe is not super precise, I had to tweak the amount of coconut oil I added until I reached a texture I was happy with. Have fun with it! 

Lastly, I wanted to do a SquawkFox style price breakdown (because she's super awesome):
1/4 cup of Baking soda = $0.29
1/4 cup of Cornstarch   = $0.26
3 tablespoons of Coconut Oil = $0.49
and I'm sorry.. I have no idea how to calculate 10 drops of essential oil price... I'm not Kerry. 
Overall actual price for this jar of deoderant?? 
$1.04 !!

So far mine has lasted for almost 6 months already! How about you? Do you have any zero waste deodorant tips you swear by? Would love to hear your experiences.

Have a great day,

Featured Post

things that caught my eye this week..

Credit: The Loewentheil Collection of China Photography as a fan of photography, I loved seeing these rare photographs of 19 centur...