On Tough Love.

‎"Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own." -Robert Tew

Source: LiveLifeHappy.com

Twice this past month, I’ve had to have difficult/courageous conversations with people I deeply care for. I’ve had to make painful choices and issue ultimatums, and somehow find the strength to stick to my decisions for my own health, happiness and sanity.

I don’t think I would have had that strength just a few years ago. It’s amazing for me to look back and see how much I’ve evolved in recent years. I’ve become much more assertive when I feel that I (or others who can’t or won’t stick up for themselves) aren’t being treated right, whereas in the past I would have mostly remained quiet and passive (or passive-agressive).

This evolution has surprised many people close to me, some of whom aren’t particularly thrilled at the new, more assertive, me. But I believe that if I can’t live honestly and with integrity around these individuals, then I probably don’t need or want them in my life.

It means making tough choices that sometimes hurt. A lot. But when I believe deep down that these choices areneeded to remove toxic situations from my life, I know I’m doing the right thing in the long run.

And if those individuals with whom I’ve had those courageous conversations still respect me, I know they’re exactly the type of people I really want to keep in my life.


RIP David Rakoff.

I was saddened to hear about David Rakoff’s passing yesterday after a battle with cancer. As a huge fan of This American Life, I always enjoyed listening to David’s smooth and soothing voice as he read his hilarious essays on the program podcasts. Last May, I has the pleasure of experiencing the TAL program that was broadcast live to movie theatres across North America, at which David was a special guest. This is a video of his performance on that evening (he is introduced by the ever-adorable Ira Glass):


I remember thinking during the live broascast that David was much thinner than I expected (I imagined someone with a much heavier frame).

I was surprised to read today that Daivd was born in Montreal and raised in Toronto – I hadn’t realized (or I didn’t remember) that he was Canadian. That explains why he had such a wicked sense of humour…

Likes, Dislikes and Pinterest Boards

I’m really getting into the groove of this 30-day blogging challenge thing. I stopped worrying about it so much the moment I realized that my blog posts don’t need to be long, rambling pieces of writing – they can simply include photos, lists, videos, whatever… What a relief.

I’m already thinking about what next month’s challenge could be. And since I’ve been spending so much time on Pinterest this week (hurray for vacations!), I thought I’d put together a 30-Day Challenge Pinterest Board to keep the inspiration flowing.

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my likes and dislikes. Here goes…


  1. Lists 🙂
  2. Literary tattoos (so much so that I recently got one myself)
  3. Jane Austen (see #2)
  4. Grilled cheese sandwiches
  5. Coffee (especially double americanos)
  6. Art and travel journals
  7. Handwritten letters
  8. Quirky, foreign films
  9. Chocolate mint ice cream
  10. Road trips


  1. Clowns
  2. White socks
  3. Selfish drivers
  4. Bad manners
  5. Reality TV (part of the reason I don’t even own a television)
  6. Traffic jams
  7. Crowds
  8. Leggings worn as a replacement for pants (they’re NOT pants, people!)
  9. Misspelled words/Bad grammar
  10. Loud noise

Care to share your lists?

The Week So Far

Reading… The Book of Negroes bu Lawrence Hill. It’s along the same vein as Roots, but written from a female African slave’s perspective – I’m only at page 50 or so, and completely engrossed with it.

Listening to… The Boxer by Mumform and Sons and Jerry Douglas. Entirely obsessed with this song:

Watching… Fun, quirky films that take are set in France: Chocolat, Amélie… They’re inspiring to watch while creating handmade books 🙂

Discovering… I have way too many interests, which makes spending any amount of time on Pinterest dangerous (yet inspiring). Loved discovering so many new-to-me Mexican/American female surrealist artists at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (in Québec City).

Learning… How to do not much of anything all day. And it feels absolutely wonderful.

Loving… The weather in New Brunswick this time of year (25C every day, no humidity…it’s absolutely perfect)! Also loved the road trip from Toronto to NB (minus the broken car air conditioner) and spending a night in Québec City earlier this week.

Hating… The thought of finding out how much repairing the air conditioning in my car is going to cost me tomorrow.  :/

Feeling… Exhausted, but grateful that I can spend the next two weeks relaxing, being spoiled by my parents, taking naps, reading, watching films, spending time with old friends.

Wishing… This vacation could last…permanently 🙂

And what have you been up to this week?

Québec, je t’aime.

A few photos taken this past weekend during my overnight stay in Québec City:

Rue St-Jean

Near rue St-Jean

Portes St-Jean (St. John’s Gates)

Sunday morning at the Brûlerie Saint-Roch

La Cavalière de Charles Daudelin (on the steps of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec)

Poster for the Adventures in Wonderland exhibit at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

This trip has convinced me that I definitely need to spend more time in this beautiful city!


I’ve been on the road for the past two days, travelling from Toronto to New Brunswick. I was really looking forward to this road trip – I love driving on the open highway, singing to music blaring on the stereo, even though I usually make the long trip by myself. I especially love having my satellite radio for these road trips – I can listen to 80s music, all the time, if I so choose. 🙂

Except that this road trip coincided with one of the hottest summers on record for Ontario, and within minutes of hitting the road…I discovered that the air conditioning in my car wasn’t working properly. A few minutes of cool air would be followed with loooooong stretches of hot air blowing into the car (and onto me). Bloody h*ell! This meant driving almost 9 hours in the heat with the front windows wise open, which of course completely tangled my easily-tangled hair. First world pains, I know…but still pretty annoying.

I had the good sense to pre-book a hotel room in Québec City last night – I haven’t stayed there overnight in many years, so this was a great treat. I arrived just in time for dinner, so I walked around Old Québec until I found something interesting. (Read: I picked one of the few restaurants that didn’t have a long lineup.) A nice dinner followed by an even nicer gelato and long walk, and I was ready for bed!

This morning I had a leisurely double americano at the Brûlerie Saint-Roch – a great little coffee house with lots of character – before heading to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (Québec’s provincial art gallery). They have a fascinating exhibit on surrealist women artists in Mexico and the US, which included several paintings by Frida Khalo. I’m so glad I caught the exhibit before it ends in just a few weeks…

Then it was time to hit the road again for the last leg of the journey. Thankfully, it was cooler the further east I drove so the heat was much more bearable. Finally arrived at my parents’ home around dinner time, and I’ve been relaxing all evening. I think it’ll be another early night to bed.

I’m too tired to write any longer tonight (13.5 hours of driving in two days will do that to you), but I look forward to sharing some photos of Québec City in tomorrow’s post…

P.S. You may notice that I broke the 30-day challenge by not posting anything yesterday. True enough. But I did write a post yesterday using my smartphone’s WordPress app for the first time. Unfortunately I kept getting a network error every time I tried posting anything (including photos). Now that I have access to a computer, yesterday’s update doesn’t even appear in my drafts…grrr.