‘Round the Web: September 2015


It may have been a couple months since my last ‘Round the Web…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been bookmarking the goods.

For your browsing pleasure…

*Advice on Writing From The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates

*How dogs get older (so sweet)

*15 inspiring career books recommended by women

*The kids and families who vacation at Burning Man

*Great interview with Elizabeth Gilbert on her new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

*I would never do this, but I respect what it stands for

*Getting a kick out of this instagram account

*If this movie gets made, I will definitely be seeing it

Friends, is it seriously October tomorrow?

xo ~C.

On Two Years of Marriage

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Today Joe and I are celebrating our two year anniversary! We went camping on Saturday to Silver Falls State Park and enjoyed just hanging out and relaxing with some red wine, dinner and a campfire. It was our last camping trip for the year, and we learned an important lesson: when camping in fall temperatures, bring an extra blanket. The weather was beautifully clear and sunny in daytime, but got pretty crisp overnight. While warming up with coffee Sunday morning I said to Joe that on one hand I like to think we are seasoned travellers prepared for anything, and on the other hand we still do things like forget to bring enough warm layers on a trip. Life, the continual learning curve. :)

Two years into marriage, I am feeling Continue reading

An Antidote to Anxiety


Last week I was feeling a bit anxious for a couple different reasons. And even though it’s never a good idea, I skipped my regular yoga class, which added to my sense of being off kilter. By Thursday I was counting down to the weekend, because Joe and I had plans for something that always eases my mind no matter what life is dishing out… Continue reading

The (One) Book I Read this Summer

Keaton_Then-AgainYou know those ‘summer reading lists’ people apparently compile when the weather gets hot?

I’ve never done that.

As much as I love the idea of lounging with a book at the park/beach/cafe, summer never seems to be when I spend much time reading. (Aside of course from the daily online articles…of which I probably read too many.) Joe and I spent four days in July camping with friends at a lake in B.C., and other than flipping through Vanity Fair one lazy afternoon, I didn’t read a single thing. (Too busy chatting!) For me, downtime in summer is more about little trips, socializing or exploring the city or nature. And this summer I worked on several extra client projects in addition to my usual workload, which left less time for straight-up chilling. (And less time for blog writing, hence my infrequent posts!)

But I did read one book. Then Again, a memoir by Diane Keaton, was recommended by my friend Kate, who wrote in a comment on this post about my dad: “On child-parent sentimentality and getting to the heart of our parent’s life experience: have you read Diane Keaton’s memoir? It’s superb and I think you would adore it, likely eating it in one sitting.” Continue reading

Line Break: ‘Hit’ by Ali Blythe

Today there is nothing
on the radio in my head
but the hotel radio is playing
“Drops of Jupiter” as my nausea

waits by the tracks for the rush-by
to stop. Being in a train or a Top 40
is like being caught in a lion’s
mouth that is still moving very fast.

I know I can’t really put on
a body other than my own.
And I know I can’t wear you forever,
sick blanket, or you, animal coat.

Children and doctors
are precise with their removals
of the heart and other
unmentionables. I am,

after all, alive, with a hint
occasionally of their fluttering
knives. When sense stops
coming through and the station

overruns with static
I get a rubbed-the-wrong-way
backlit feeling that is high
and whipping like the wind

reading Monday’s paper.
Not much in it if it comes at all.
I hope something is about to
pick me up in its mouth and run.


Ali Blythe’s poetry has been published in multiple literary journals and magazines including Descant, PRISM International, The Malahat Review and This Magazine. ‘Hit’ is from a first book of poems, Twoism, forthcoming with Icehouse Poetry at Goose Lane Editions on September 15, 2015. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. CBC named Twoism one of the hottest Canadian poetry collections coming out this fall.

Ali is a friend and former classmate of mine in the writing program at the University of Victoria. Ali’s poetry blew me away from the first workshop we had together, and I’m honoured to feature the work here. Ali, thank you and congratulations on Twoism!


Tonight in Portland: Alabama Shakes!


A couple years ago, I saw a band I’d never heard of perform on Saturday Night Live that blew me away. The singer Brittany Howard’s voice and stage presence was so distinct and powerful that I was completely mesmerized by her.

This is the clip…

Tonight I’ll be seeing Alabama Shakes live at Edgefield, an outdoor venue outside of Portland. Joe and I got tickets a few months ago and will be joined by our good friend Sam and a couple other folks. The band released their second album, Sound & Color, in April, and are touring across North America. After watching these recent performances from Lollapooza, I’m even more excited — they’re incredible!

In an excellent New York Times profile, the writer Joe Rhodes describes Howard on stage: Continue reading

Goin’ Camping…


Tomorrow morning Joe and I leave on a week-long mission to camp with friends in B.C., next to Lake Mahood at Well’s Gray Provincial Park.

I’ve never been there, but the park’s site describes it as “a spectacular, pure wilderness area.” We’ll be camping four nights total, with two nights at my brother and his fiance’s home in Vancouver en route and back.

This trip has been in the works for months. Everyone’s coordinated through a group facebook thread that has gotten increasingly more active in the last couple weeks as we all prepare. Our crew includes 10 families, approximately 21 children, and a whole lot of gear…more so now that the forecast is calling for rain! (Huh? What? Did the rain Gods not get my memo about floating on the lake in an inflatable raft in the sun, cold beer in hand?)

Other unexpected factors that have been discussed: Continue reading

Inside My Best Friend’s Home: Vancouver Apartment Tour

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Every time I visit Melissa, my longtime friend from childhood, I notice different pieces of art on the wall, the furniture slightly rearranged, or a beautiful display of plants. She has a knack for making her home feel fresh, happy and put together with unexpected little touches. (Needless to say, her style has changed a lot since the forest green walls and New Kids on the Block posters of her middle school-era bedroom, where we spent A LOT of time. :))

Melissa and her partner Steve live in a 750 sq ft condo in Vancouver’s Fairview Slopes neighbourhood with their 10-month old daughter Lily and dog Rufus. I’m thrilled to give you a glimpse of their home and Melissa’s approach to decorating in my first Home Tour on the blog! She shares secrets to reviving a small space, a cool option for kitchen flooring, her (very early) morning routine and more…

What made you choose this home as ‘the one’?

We liked that it has a large patio and a small garden plot for us to do as we wish. Very rare for condos around here. We also liked that it was mostly a blank canvas. All the walls were painted white and the flooring laminate, which we didn’t mind, but we had a vision of how to improve the space and make it ours.

Fairview Slopes is about a 20 minute walk to downtown. It has a massive park, the ocean and Granville Island just a stroll away.

livingroom 2

patio 3

Did you have a design theme in mind when you started decorating?

I didn’t initially have a theme in mind but I found myself very drawn to Scandinavian decor so it has just kind of evolved. I would describe it as Scandinavian eclectic. Our place is north facing so it doesn’t get direct sunlight. I knew I wanted to keep things bright and have pops of colour throughout.

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Continue reading

The Only Shortcut

photo-1433162653888-a571db5ccccfLast night in yoga class, while we were holding a somewhat challenging pose, the teacher said something I’d never heard before:

“The only shortcut in yoga is deep breathing.”

Deep breathing, she said, can make tough poses feel like they go a bit quicker. Of course later I thought about how this relates to life, in particular to my life regarding the emotional terrain I grapple with around my mom, her health issues and our complex relationship.

Oh, how I would love, love (give anything for) a shortcut. Continue reading

Line Break: ‘Dark Pines Under Water’ by Gwendolyn MacEwen


This land like a mirror turns you inward
And you become a forest in a furtive lake;
The dark pines of your mind reach downward,
You dream in the green of your time,
Your memory is a row of sinking pines.

Explorer, you tell yourself this is not what you came for
Although it is good here, and green;
You had meant to move with a kind of largeness
You had planned a heavy grace, an anguished dream.

But the dark pines of your mind dig deeper
And you are sinking, sinking, sleeper
In an elementary world;
There is something down there and you want it told.


*Gwendolyn MacEwen (1941-1987) was a Canadian poet. ‘Dark Pines Under Water’ was published in 1969.
(Image by Yu-chuan Hsu via Unsplash)

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