Coptic Binding Workshop

Have you always wanted to learn to make your own notebooks and journals? Well, Autumn is a great time to stay inside, grab a cuppa tea and learn a new skill! I’ll be teaching this workshop at Wise Daughters Craft Market here in Toronto on Sunday, October 14. You can find more details and register here.


I love making books using this medieval-era binding method – not only is the binding very decorative, but the finished book lays completely flat – making it great for sketching and writing (especially for lefties like me).

Register soon, while there are spots left!


This Week in Review

Reading… Recently finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (it’s like Harry Potter for adults) and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. Both fantastic reads – highly recommended. I’m now onto slightly easier reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Not exactly fine literature, but entertaining nonetheless. Scottish warriors – need I say more?

Listening to… Lots of music in French – it’s nice to go back to my roots. The music site 8tracks allows you to stream playlists that others have put together, and I’ve discovered lots of great music this way. One of my favourite playlists was created by…Nikki Yanofski, of all people. She’s compiled a list of her favourite French songs, and they’re all pretty awesome. Have a listen here.

Watching… Flight of the Conchords’ newest endeavour: a song they wrote to raise funds for a sick kids charity in NZ. They interviewed kids to get ideas for song lyrics (with brilliant results), and even reunited with Murray for a band meeting. My heart is so happy to see them together again.

Discovering… This great blog called 5 Things To Do Today. Appeals to the incurable list-maker in me, and tons of great ideas to boot. Very inspiring.

Learning… About emotional intelligence. I’ve been on two separate courses on EI this summer, which have helped me become increasingly self-aware of my emotions and how I react to people and situations. I definitely want to keep exploring this topic more deeply and meaningfully.

Loving… The fantastic new haircut I got last night. I feel like a million bucks.

Hating… The lingering hot and humid days – I want fall to be here NOW!

Feeling… Excited about a night out with friends tonight. It will include Bridesmaids (the movie), a tasty meal, cupcakes, and copious amounts of wine. It’s all good.

Wishing… I didn’t have to clean my loft this weekend, but it’s quite filthy. I know I’ll feel better afterwards, though…

What have you been up to this week?

September 30-Day Challenge: Develop a Healthy Morning Routine

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I admit that my August 30-day challenge wasn’t exactly a success. My goal to post something on my blog every day was going well until I started travelling during my vacation. With sporadic computer and internet access, it was easier for me to give up rather than try to catch up with a slew of blog posts. I admit it; I was lazy.

I started September afresh and determined to successfully make it to the end of the month with my 30-day challenge. I even started practising for this month’s challenge a few days early, just to get into the groove of it.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am notorious for not being a morning person. I am usually cranky, groggy, silent and/or incoherent, no matter how much sleep I’ve gotten the night before. It’s best to just stay away and not talk to me when I’ve just woken up.

Most mornings start with the alarm going off at 7:00 AM, then hitting the snooze button as many times as I can get away with, until I finally get up in a panic. For the next 45 minutes, I’m racing to shower, dress, do my hair and makeup, and run to the transit stop to catch the streetcar to work. This doesn’t exactly make for a great way to start the day. I’m usually still half-asleep by the time I get to work, and the first few hours at the office are spent in a zombie-like state.

So my challenge for September is to develop a healthier morning routine, where I can transition from sleep to work in a more peaceful and productive way.

This includes:

It’s now Day 8 of the challenge (plus a few practice days), and I’ve been able to stick to some kind of a routine. Not every day includes all of the elements above, but I’ve been very consistent with my morning stretches and eating breakfast (though sometimes it’s a late breakfast/brunch) – I only skipped one day, when I was too sick to get out of bed because of food poisoning.

The routing doesn’t feel natural and automatic just yet, so most mornings are still a struggle. I am able to get up earlier if I’ve had a good night’s rest – otherwise, I’m back to hitting the snooze button nonstop. I’ve remembered to drink the hot lemon water and take my multivitamin most mornings, but not all.

I’m trying to be self-forgiving and not set myself up for failure by being too harsh. Early mornings are really hard for me, but I feel like I’m making progress. I’m aiming for serenity, not disappointment. So far, so good.

I’d love your thoughts – is there anything else I should be integrating into my morning routine?