Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Reading is my first love. My family always jokes I needed glasses at the end of grade two after long hours of reading by the light of my nightlight after bedtime (totally happened, totally didn't cause my poor eyesight). I vividly remember the year I won the summer reading challenge at our public library, reading more books than any other child my age. (It's right up there with my proudest accomplishments.)

When I started my first (of many, many, many) years of post secondary education, reading for pleasure trailed off. I was spending so much time pouring over science textbooks the joy of reading was lost on me. In my 4th year of university I had an easier work load, more elective courses, and rediscovered reading for fun. Since medical school my reading life has again been hot and cold until recently.

This year I discovered the Good Reads app and the What Should I Read Next Podcast. Both have completely changed my year. I listen to the WSIRN podcast for book recommendations and then search the books that interest me on Good Reads. I have logged all of the books I have read this year on my Good Reads app and have surpassed my goal of 10 books by reading a total of 23 so far (and it's only September)! I also love following what my friends are reading!

If you're interested or looking for book suggestions, this is what I've read in 2016 (starting with most recently read and including my rating from 1 to 5 stars):

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ****
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice by Bill Browder ****
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey ****
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum ***
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson *****
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels #3) by Elena Ferrante ****
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling ****
The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia #3) by C.S. Lewis **
The Story of a New Name (Neapolitan Novels #2) by Elena Ferrante *****
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach ***
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett ***
The Magicians Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S. Lewis ****
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan ***
Little Bee by Chris Cleave ****
The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith ****
My Brilliant Friend (Neapolitan Novels #1) by Elena Ferrante ***
Starting from Happy by Patricia Marx *
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling *****
Look at Me by Jennifer Egan ***
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi ****
Exodus by Leon Uris ***
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis *****
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K Rowling *****

Monday, 19 September 2016


Hey guys!

We arrived home from Ireland last night and I wanted to write my first post before I forget our new Gaelic words!

This was our first experience staying in an Airbnb and it definitely set the bar high. The price was right and although staying in a room in someone else's home might not be for everyone, we would highly recommend the experience! Our host, Jacqueline, was so welcoming and helpful. She drove us to the bus station, spent an entire afternoon driving us around the mountains, and taught us a lot about Ireland. (She also warned us that our hostel in Dublin was going to be quite noisy...more on that later.)

This trip was a bit of a do-over because our trip to California this spring was full of bickering and seagull poop. I wanted something relaxing this time so we stayed in a medieval village (with castle and all) and spent our time being fairly low-key (living like locals, visiting the pubs, and walking).

Here's a taste of our little Irish village.

The entrance to the town. One of my new favourite expressions is "have in or take away" (instead of dine in or take out). You can see "take away" written on this Ma Bakers sign.

Other new expressions include:

Slainte - Gaelic for "cheers"
What's the craic - what's the fun/what's the gossip
Have a wee - as in, "Do you want to try that new restaurant? Why don't we have a wee?"
Cead mile failte - Gaelic for "a hundred thousand welcomes" (this was already very familiar to me because it is on a sign as you enter the campus of my alma mater)
Grand - great, wonderful, good

Our walk up the mountain led us through "Leprechaun Habitat" - ha! Of course, we found the pot of gold.

In front of King John's Castle, built in the 1200s. Everything about this town sparked my imagination because of the medieval ruins - so fun!

These are ruins of a Friary, built in the 1400s. Our Airbnb was directly on the other side of the Friary and our bedroom window faced the ruins. No hotel will ever top that!

Our host told us CS Lewis gazed over at this area of Ireland and the location inspired Narnia. I didn't want to look into these details too closely because I am very eager to just accept it. I was in Narnia. The end.

You know me and of course I had to throw in a food photo. This was from a Tea Room that was very kitschy and yet quite a novelty and very adorable. Hubby had an "Irish breakfast" which included... black pudding. (You may have heard this called blood sausage or blood pudding.) I tried a little taste of it suspecting what it was while he had no idea.

More later on a couple of little day trips we took.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


If you haven't seen me in person lately I am flourishing in my new hometown. All kidding aside, we are so happy to finally be living in a city where we have many friends and social events are easy to find! Last week my cousin, Dee Wilkie, had the launch party for her new website at Maybee Brewery and I was so excited to be able to support her. That's why we moved here - so we can see the people we love!

Dee is a surface designer which means she spends her time dying fabrics and creating patterns. She isn't a seamstress or a fashion designer.

She is currently selling products including silk scarves and pillows. She calls them Unity Pillows and you can find them here. Dee dyed the fabric and the sewing was done by a local Syrian refugee. Each pillow is screenprinted with a word like "hope" in English and Arabic translations. Very cool.

The new website is absolutely amazing. This is just before Dee debuted a stunning video available for viewing on her new website here. The video was created by Sarah Kierstead and I highly recommend you click the link! It is beautiful.

It was mentioned multiple times over the course of the evening that Dee is a strong collaborator with local business. I love this about her. She created this event to promote her new website but included a local brewery, a local magician who used her silks in his tricks, and a local wood fired pizza place (Milda's Pizza). She (and I) believe in shopping local and supporting local artists and she is practicing what she preaches! Get it, girl!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

2016 SO FAR

I'm such an absentee blogger.

To ease back into it I thought I would give you a brief summary of my year so far!

What I'm reading:
The Neapolitan Novels
The Chronicles of Narnia (for the first time since I was a child)

Where I've been:
California (San Francisco, Carmel, Monterey, Yosemite National Park)
Prince Edward Island

What I'm listening to:
The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast
Candi Staton (a really good 1960s/1970s find - some gospel, some disco)
Japanese Breakfast (a band I discovered from a podcast)

What I'm watching:
The Olympics (specifically diving and gymnastics)
Bloodline on Netflix
The Gilmore Girls (this could fall under the 'listening' category because mostly I leave it on as background noise)

What I'm doing:
Working (a lot)
Playing board games (especially Pandemic Legacy and Tikal)
Pilates (as of tonight)
Going to Dee Wilkie's launch party on Thursday

What I'm thinking about:
Setting up my office
Completing my CME credits this year
How skimpy all the Olympics gear is (male and female)
To vacation or not to vacation...always the question

I'm also going to make a big effort to keep the blog running! Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 12 May 2016


My friends know I love fashion (although my day to day wardrobe doesn't necessarily scream fashion forward my instagram feed is full of haute couture) so it was such a pleasant surprise the Oscar de la Renta exhibit was in San Francisco! It was at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park and the park itself was beautiful. We went on our last day and I wish we had more time to explore the grounds (especially the Japanese Tea Garden).

On our vacations we almost always compromise by doing something the other person enjoys and then switching. For instance, in New York we went to a baseball game and then to the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). In San Francisco the baseball game was followed by the Oscar de la Renta exhibit. Fair's fair. Basically his favourite thing is baseball. My favourite thing is art.

I was so excited and the dresses were stunning. In particular I loved seeing older designs (from the 1960s) and the more recent Met Gala dresses - in particular the black and white design Sarah Jessica Parker wore a few years ago. I took about a thousand photos as inspiration for my cousin, the surface designer - see her blog here. She creates hand painted silk designs so of course I sent her photos of the same medium from the exhibit. Enjoy a very select few of my photos below!