i use wikipedia all the time.

like all the time, all the time.

its my go to resource for learning these days. if i don’t know what something means, like say dukkah, then i’ll just type it into google and click on the first link which on a normal day is wikipedia and bam, i now know all about that lovely mixture of spices, herbs and nuts. i used that example because it was the last thing i used wikipedia for while researching a very delicious looking carrot soup recipe.

i digress. i could give you many many many many more examples of such cases. from imporatnt things, to simple things, to silly things. the last time i went on i noticed the message above along the bottom of their page. and i felt compelled to share with you.

“wikipedia is something special. it’s like a library or a public park where we can all go to learn.”

i know, we are all weary of scams and being duped to shell out our money these days, but for some reason a free learning tool for all seemed to be a cause i wanted to stand behind. and one that is distraction free is so valuable in a time where everywhere you scroll an ad for something (usually something you like or have shown previous interest in) pops up or mysteriously finds you. that’s just the way of our world now. but, for someone like me, who is driven by images and attractive things, it can get very hard to concentrate, very fast.

so, if you’re so inclined, take a little time and help me in helping keep wikipedia ad-free and online.

what do you think? tell me the last thing you searched and learned from wikipedia. just try denying its usefulness. ;)





daani’s been picking up the camera a lot these days.

“i just wanna take your picture,” she says.

i’m actually pretty excited about this because she’s getting to a good age to start learning about some of the tools i love to use to express and share. which means we can share in that. and sharing is caring and caring loves people. at least that’s what my niece ayah says.

so she goes into my phone and sets up her shot and clicks away. and she literally does just that. it’s something i teach my students not to do, you know, the quick succession of shots without a steady hand or distinct aim…

just clickclickclickclickclickclick.

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but you know what? there’s some real magic here. i love how the viewer sees only snippets. there’s a little mystery. and mood. and it’s kind of abstract.


she’s got a style all her own. like mama, like baby.




i’m trying to get organized. a new year is almost upon us and i don’t feel like playing catch up on my goals, aspirations and dreams then. i have been getting by on the last-minute tip for a long time and i realize it’s not how i want to go further. i want to be prepared for 2015. to actually live purposefully and full of intent vs just saying it. i resolve to do this type of thing every year, and as resolutions go, they somehow just fall by the wayside. but this time around i plan to be more prepared for what i want to come.

you create your own destiny.

that’s what resolutions are for. and even if they get broken it’s important to make them. to achieve or “fail” is besides the point. it’s about assessing and re-assessing as you go. making progress.

resolve n. a firm determination to do something.

and i have that – the determination to do something part, down. it’s the firm part that comes in the way a bit. but that’s another story.

so i’m getting organized and first up is planning a few fun events for the year, (soup and salad exchanges – yes… plural, cozy ted talks screenings, clothing swaps…,) some new features for the blog (i’ll be sharing more on each of these as they become more solidified plans,) working more consistently on my goods + art and of course taking my photography workshop to new heights and insha’allah reaching many, many more people.

the thing is i’m notorious (to myself) for being all over the place, with notes here and there, on my phone (awesome note, evernote, the built-in notes, text messages to myself…,) on notepads, loose papers, in a notebook, in my head. it’s just all too much and i can’t keep track of my thoughts. my desk space is not working for me and i’m rarely ever at it. things are piling up, there’s so much to do, yet i often blank when i have time to do things.

its ok, but come on… get it together already!


i’m looking at the root causes of my disorganization and coming up with solutions to make things work better. efficiencies. productivity. etc, etc.

these are a few of the things i’ve picked up on while working on getting organized so that i can live and work with purpose.

1. dailies / decide on a list of daily tasks that you complete everyday. they should align with your life goals and aren’t meant to be specific tasks. more broad-based and covers the important things. they can be as many or few as you like. everyday i’ll aim to do them. and everyday, i’ll check them off my list. this practice is good because it instils habitual behaviour, which i lack, and aims to keep me on my life course.

2. five things / another list, but this one is of specific and achievable tasks to accomplish that day. these things will likely overlap with your dailies and that’s a good thing. it’s kind of the point. get these done and everything else you do that day is gravy. i’m still determining if its better for me to write my five things the night before, or the morning of.

3. everything has a place / tidy up as you go. i try to implement this with my kids all the time, but have not been the biggest practitioner of late. im leaning towards minimalism more and more these days and have been doing major sweeps in the house getting rid of the many unnecessary objects hanging around so that this tip is easier to accomplish.

4. use a calendar and planner / i have been meaning to get a family calendar for the wall for a while now, but the designer in me isn’t satisfied with what’s been available. i realize that i need to get over it to get into it. in this case practicality is going to have to trump aesthetics. (this calender is gorgeous, but doesn’t fit my needs…) i want to be able to see on a full-page what is coming up for us short-term and what i have to look forward to on the horizon. the calendar on my phone has important dates in it, but not everyone can see it and i believe the daily visual is to its success. i like this calendar and this planner seems to be exactly what i’m looking for. what a great idea to balance goals, dreams, and actionable tasks in one place!

5. balance planning and being flexible / i have a tendency to let that day take me one way or another. i say yes a lot. im down for fun, so i’m a good friend and partner for adventure, but it’s taking a toll on my task list. i could plan each half hour of my day to fit everything in, and likely get a lot done, but i dont think i would be very happy. my pH wants a little looseness, some freedom. but i’m realizing that if i plan a little and am productive with my plans, then there can be ample time to flit and float about the rest of my day. or at least the portions of my day that i have planned for freedom. : Russell + Hazel Acrylic Tape Dispenser : Office Products

organization takes time. it’s a search inside for what’s really important. and that to me is a pretty important task in itself.

have you started planning your year yet? what tools do you use to stay organized? wouldn’t it be fun to be organized using all of these pretty tools?

credits / office space : found here





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1. all smiles at breakfast time is golden.
2. this past weekend was a rainy one. so fort building was on the agenda and i think it’s gonna be a thing in our house from now on. or at least for this long cold winter we are about to enter. it’s such a cozy thing to snuggle under blankets together and read a gazillion books together.
3. baby legs and new pj’s. that is all.
4. oh hello. this is toque 2/2 and i’ll be wearing it for at least half of the time you see me for the next 6 months. don’t tell me i didn’t warn ya.
5. daani’s been real helpful lately. everything she does now is because she’s “this much” (said while holding up three fingers.) i love this extra confidence and sense of capability in her.
6. a semi-throwback of me and him from a few weeks ago. we have almost no pictures of us anymore. so when i saw this on his phone i grabbed it immediately for my own records.
7. attempted beet frites yesterday, and they were eh…. gotta experiment with the cook times a bit. i still chomped them all up, the girls… not so much. i snacked on them while preparing dinner and topped our salad with a few of the extra crispy ones.
8. new print up in the shop. for me it’s a reminder of who this is all for. a You and only You kinda thing.
9. a little blurry mirror selfie. maybe not the prettiest, or most clear shots, but i like it.
10. we almost switched niyya’s crib into a toddler bed this weekend, but i got cold feet even though we switched daani from crib to bed at about the same time. i can’t, or maybe just don’t want to imagine her as a big girl. im being a little too sentimental about this, but if you can’t be sentimental about your own kids, then who on earth can you be that way with?! it will have to happen soon though, daani wants to be able to hang with her sissy in the mornings and after quiet time. she want to crawl in her bed and cuddle with her and “take all the things.”



my eye is leaning towards this colourway these days.

it’s rich, it’s warm. cozy and perfect for fall.

so, how do you bring these colours into your real life? think orange tones for your next art project, black washi tape to tack up your real life pins, a goes-with-everything camel coat, or a a healthy mix of eggplant, tomatoes and coconut for your next meal.

credits (clockwise from top) / lexicon devil : harold hollingsworth / washi tape wall : found here / spice : found here / girls in camel coats : fashion gone rogue / curried roasted eggplant with smoked cardamom and coconut milk : recipe here / interior : found here


all of these and more inspiration can be found on my pinterest. pinning too? follow along with me, let’s bounce ideas off one another.



my sister and i decided a few weeks ago that we wanted to do a weekly soup exchange. we were making a big batch of soup for the weeks lunches and some dinners anyway, and thought why not just mix it up a bit and share. and we didn’t want to wait for my annual (yes, i’m calling it annual even though i have only had one, it’s the intention that counts!) soup exchange that’s being planned for january, we want soup now. i got sally on board and now we have a threesome! we see each other every wednesday already for family dinner, so the tradeoff can happen without any disruption to our already busy schedules.


these days i finalize my meal plans, that now include a soup, after i go to the market because i’m trying to get inspired by the fresh produce there. and most weeks there is a bit of carryover in my crisper so i take a little of the old and a little of the new and come up with something.

i think my sister was nervous i’d make her an apple based soup since i was going three/four weeks strong on that tip. apple squash, apple zucchini, apple apple apple. i knew i needed to diversify my ingredients and to her luck (and mine) i came across a really delicious soup on jeanine donofrio’s blog, love & lemons, using cauliflower and leeks. i was searching for a soup with leeks, but did not want to use potatoes and voila, this one caught my eye!

it’s creamy, cloud-like and flavourful.


come, have a bite.

i didn’t have cashews, marjoram or white wine vinegar like the recipe calls for, so i subbed in sunflower seeds, coriander powder  and white rice vinegar. i guess that’s the consequence for my new method of meal planning, but i look at it as being resourceful and a little bit creative in the kitch. isn’t that how the best recipes are developed anyways?



ps. thinking of starting a soup exchange? do it! i’d suggest keeping it to four committed peeps that live close by, or that you know you will see on a regular basis, who you think are good in the kitchen. i mean, you wouldn’t want to trade your awesome soup with a sub-par one right? just kidding. haha ;) check out my soup exchange post for a few guidelines on getting one started.

pps. in case you missed the link to the recipe above, it’s here. and seriously this blog is so good. lots of great easy and seasonal meals, beautiful imagery that makes you want to eat everything up, and a really well-rounded use of vegetables for a non-vegetarian food blog. bookmark that.




peach, pink, black, cream.

if i had things my way, my whole house would revolve around these colours. they are bright, fun and not overly girly. right? i said not overly. and whatever man, three girls out of four people means we get final say! haha. sorry mase.

this art is gorgeous. the colours are on point. and to me, that’s a huge part of what makes art good. your strokes may be genius and done just so, but if your colours are off, then sorry chief. you do not get a pass from me. which is the funny thing about art. what may look appealing and incite a wowowowow to my eyes, may totally turn you off.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

anyway, this is a mixed media piece by russian artist lyozin michael and i really love it.

this space is styled to perfection, perhaps too perfect for me. but it’s nice aspiration/inspiration. i have always wanted open shelving, but never thought it practical with all that cooking splatter. it’s really nice though. perfect for little vignettes and displaying art and well designed items. and obviously all that white. drool on the face.

credits / art : lyozin michael / space : photography by donna griffith, styling by tara ballantyne for style at home

art/room is my pairing of a space with artwork that would look good in it. i have always dreamed of curating peoples homes with artworks and findings, so this is my place to play a little.




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