2014: Year In Review

December 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

At first, I didn’t think I had enough to write about this year. After all, it was mainly spent as Henry’s first year of life. Wasn’t I just surviving the challenging first year of a new baby? But after reviewing my entries, I realized that no, a lot HAS happened! It’s also pretty incredible to see Henry’s accomplishments and developments fast forwarded through monthly updates. And through it all, I actually managed to do a few things on my own as well ;)

Here’s my recap of the amazing year that was 2014. Happy New Year!

JANUARY

It’s a very cold and snowy winter, and I have a newborn baby. My patience is tested again and again, but I continue to remind myself that life is good.

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Nick goes on his first trip since Henry was born. Very little sleep was had. I almost cry when I see how much they missed each other when he returns.

FEBRUARY

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We celebrate our first Family Day as a family.

We officially survive the super-challenging Newborn Stage!!!

MARCH

We hire two babysitters for Henry. One works out great (the other, not so much). Our good friend Annie also starts to watch him every Sunday morning so Nick and I can go to yoga together, then we come back and all eat lunch together. I loved this routine!

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Nick travels to London for work and his trip gets stretched to 5 days because of a New York snowstorm. Henry only sleeps an hour at a time, for 5 nights in a row. (Recording this event is a surefire way to make me second-guess ever having another baby!)

After that trip, we decide it is time to teach Henry to sleep. It’s not as hard as we thought and life improves 9000%. The only downside is that he stopped taking a bottle. I decide sleep is better than freedom anyway, and anyone who disagrees has never truly been tested with sleep deprivation ;)

I take on my first social media client since taking maternity leave in October. It’s great to use my brain for work again! I also begin to wear jeans again.

Henry starts to reveal his amazing sense of humour.

APRIL

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The dark hair Henry was born with falls out and comes back in blonde. He is doing great with sleeping through the night and takes three naps a day!

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The three of us fly to Toronto to spend Easter with my family. Henry is more interesting to his cousins than he was at Christmastime as a 1 1/2 month old and I get to see Jenn who is pregnant with her twins. My uncle Brian recently found out he was sick and I’m so happy that he, my aunt Sam, and cousin Hillary all come for a visit too.

MAY

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Henry is 6 months old! He starts to sit up and gets his first tooth. He also falls in love with the baby swings at the playground.

The nice weather is such a game changer for passing the day with a baby. We start to spend most of our day, every day, outside. It’s especially wonderful as Nick continues to have to travel for work.

Nick and I book our first babysitter for an evening date. (Why did it take us so long?)

My first Mother’s Day is a bit of a disaster as I find out that Henry is allergic to nuts in a very dramatic way. The day was salvaged by a lunch visit from Annie and Sarah.

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We enjoy our first long weekend as a family! Every weekend should be three days long for those with kids, as far as I’m concerned.

JUNE

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Henry starts to eat solid foods including avocado, pears, sweet potato and banana.

Nick’s first Father’s Day is a success and his Dad even comes to visit.

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My parents also spent a weekend with us!

JULY

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We lost our wonderful babysitter Sherry to a full-time job, but she showed us what we wanted/needed in a sitter so we were able to find Henry’s new best friend, Valerie.

Mealtimes with Henry continue to be a little trying as he gets used to the notion of eating. He demands that stories be read to him continuously through each meal.

We start our tradition of taking him out to Brooklyn Label for lunch every weekend, which he LOVES. (Ceiling fans and pretty girls to smile at!)

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Henry really starts to get enthusiastic about things like swinging, reading, and pigeons – he will let out a very loud shriek of excitement!

Nick and I celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary :)

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We take Henry to Canada for the third time to celebrate my Grandma’s 80th birthday with a ton of family at my parents’ cottage. I also get to see my friend Sara, who now lives in Scotland, for the first time in 5 years.

Henry starts really crawling while we are at my parents’ house!

AUGUST

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Jenn has her twins, Charlotte and Cameron!

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Henry continues to crawl and wants to practice pushing himself up to sit from a crawling position in his crib before every nap. This results in multiple instances of falling asleep sitting up. Of course, we had to take pictures every time. Thanks, video monitor!

As Henry starts to eat more food and needs me around less to nurse, I am able to have my first client meeting in the city for work. This feels like an amazing break instead of actual work!

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Julia, Jay, and Blake come to visit us in Greenpoint.

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Nick and I go to Ben and Haley’s wedding at the end of the month. Henry is put to bed without me for the first time ever and does great.

SEPTEMBER

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Our good friends the Vastanos welcome their second son, Royce!

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Henry is no longer satisfied with just crawling and starts to pull himself up to stand. He practices on the couch in the living room, along the walls, the wall unit, the windows, and in his crib while he should be sleeping. The afternoon nap is a thing of the past. Sleeping through the night is also waning :(

OCTOBER

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We spend Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Nick’s birthday with family in Canada. We get to meet the new Martin twins!

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Henry’s first Halloween is a success as he actually wears a complete donkey costume, including the head, for a walk to the kids’ store hosting a party and around the neighbourhood. Nick and I were dying of a cute overload.

NOVEMBER

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Henry turns ONE YEAR OLD! We have a birthday with his closest friends and family. He is now officially a toddler.

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We are thankful for extra time together over Thanksgiving.

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We take Henry (and his bottle) to the New York Transit Museum.

DECEMBER

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I was lucky enough to get to see Smashing Pumpkins play Webster Hall the night before their new album is released. I also visit Billy Corgan’s tea shop Madame ZuZu’s pop up shop at Physical Graffitea in St. Mark’s Place that day to buy a SP mug and some MZZ tea.

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Celebrated the holidays with my old company, The Agency Group, after being invited to their Christmas party by Kate.

Sadly, my uncle Brian passed away five days before Christmas.

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I was happy to be able to spend Christmas in Canada with family as usual and to give everyone a hug after going through a tough time.

Tonight, Nick and I will be continuing our New Year’s Eve tradition by watching When Harry Met Sally. Can you believe this is what we did two years ago?

2013: Year in Review

January 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

2013 was an incredible year for Nick and I for one very obvious reason: we had a son at the end of it. I got to experience pregnancy, and all the changes, compromises, preparedness, and the well-meaning funny/strange/weird advice that comes along with it. While this definitely dominated the year, there were still some great events that happened and memories made. Let’s review, if you’re interested.

JANUARY

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Nick and I began 2013 in Paris!

30 Rock (this blog’s namesake) had its final episode :(

I dealt with a painful and annoying arm injury from yoga, but after many chiropractor appointments and changes made to some poses in my practice, I got it under control.

FEBRUARY

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Julia and Jay came to visit from Toronto. Julia was nearly 3 months pregnant and knew we had been trying as well, but she didn’t realize that she’d be here the morning I had my positive pregnancy test! (Which was actually Family Day, for you Canadians. What a coincidence!)

My family celebrated my nephew Everett’s first Angel Day.

I got really into animating my friends.

I finally got to see Desaparecidos play. (They were great.)

MARCH

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I went for a very frigid visit up North to visit my family and friends – and waited a few days later until Nick joined me to tell them I was pregnant. It was hard to not tell my parents as soon as they picked me up from the airport, but I kind of just convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant and just lived the lie for two days to make things a bigger surprise when everyone was all together!

Saw a hilarious comedy show by Jim Jefferies.

APRIL

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The tragic Boston Marathon bombing happened.

Saw another great comedy show – Jim Norton at Caroline’s in Times Square.

Nick and I attended a very interesting and informative Choices In Childbirth meeting. It definitely inspired us to learn all we could about the birthing process so we could make the right decisions for us.

I tried acupuncture for the first time after my arm started flaring up again. It was actually very relaxing!

I went with Nick to Lancaster, PA’s Launch Music Festival and had a great time. (It’s also always pretty sexy to see your husband speaking as an expert on a panel ;)

Once we finally got past the first trimester, we announced our pregnancy to the world!

MAY

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My wonderful parents came to visit us in Brooklyn.

Canada’s music industry lost an agent and the world lost an amazing guy – Paul Gourlie passed away.

The Banana Stand came to New York!

I saw an exceptionally great – and very exclusive – Creative Mornings talk by Seth Godin.

Super fun Toronto friends Jana, Mike, Amy, and Bettie came to town. Bettie was part of a very impressive furniture show in Chelsea!

Nick and I found out we were having a boy!

I got rid of my trademark platinum blonde hair.

JUNE

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My good friend Kate’s adorable son was born!

I hit the halfway mark of my pregnancy and started to feel Henry move and kick.

My mom and sister threw me a baby shower during my Toronto visit.

Saw Postal Service perform at Barclay’s Center. What a fun show!

Finally made use of my building’s party room and threw Kate a baby shower.

JULY

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I visited Toronto again, this time with Nick, and it would be my last plane ride until Christmas. We attended the first ever TURF Festival.

6 months pregnant! Things were getting real. I started prenatal yoga and officially made the decision to give myself a Canadian maternity leave and take a year off once Henry was born.

Nick and I had our Babymoon in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island.

We also celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary with a steak dinner.

AUGUST

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The third trimester began! We started to clear out a lot of records, books, and random stuff we didn’t really need to make room for Henry in the office. Nick started nesting enough for the both of us. A crib and stroller were chosen!

My Grandpa turned 80.

Nick and I played hooky one Friday to thoroughly enjoy each other’s company before there were three of us. We visited the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

I had a great Brooklyn baby shower, hosted by my yoga studio!

Julia gave birth to her son Blake just 2 hours after her due date!

SEPTEMBER

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8 months pregnant! Doing more prenatal yoga than Ashtanga, walking slowly, toured our hospital, and Nick started reading to my belly nightly.

Was thrilled to be featured on Well Rounded NY’s Bump Envy series.

Two of my favourite Canadian girls came to visit me.

OCTOBER

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My due date month! All I want to eat is blueberry pancakes and I don’t care about my birthday. Nick was even out of town for it, so I just went for an indulgent Italian lunch with Kate that day.

Nerded out big time at the Wes Anderson Collection book launch.

Had a short and sweet visit from Angela in Williamsburg.

Did yoga and rode my bike up until my 38th week of pregnancy. Had to stop when I got painful sciatica in my right hip.

I thought I could just stay pregnant forever, but by my due date, I was so ready to have this baby!

NOVEMBER

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It was like November 1st didn’t even happen. I went into labour on Halloween and 35 hours later, Henry Nichols was born!

We spent two nights in the hospital and about 20 minutes after we got home, my parents arrived to meet their new grandson. My Mom was a superhero and stayed to help us for two whole weeks. Best gift ever.

DECEMBER

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Our first night out as a family happened December 14th at Annie’s Christmas party. Henry slept in the Baby Bjorn the whole time, despite the party being so loud we had to shout to talk to each other. What a trooper!

After applying for a passport for Henry when he was just two weeks old, it arrived in time for us to all go to Canada for Christmas.

…And that brings us up to date! I hope your year was as fantastic as mine and that 2014 is even better!

2012: A Year In Review

January 3, 2013 § 1 Comment

2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.

JANUARY

– On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.

– That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.

– Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!

FEBRUARY

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– The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.

– Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.

MARCH

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– I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.

– I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.

– Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.

APRIL

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– Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!

– I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.

– Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!

MAY

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– Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.

– Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!

– Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.

JUNE

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– Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.

– My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!

– The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.

– Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.

– Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!

JULY

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– Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.

– Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.

– Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!

AUGUST

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– Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.

– Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.

– Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.

– Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.

SEPTEMBER

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Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.

– Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).

OCTOBER

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– Celebrated a great 31st birthday.

– Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.

– Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!

– New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.

NOVEMBER

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– My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!

– Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.

– Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!

DECEMBER

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– Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.

– Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!

– After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!

– Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.

– Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!

If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?

2011: A Year In Review

December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

Happy New Year’s Eve! As Nick and I prepare to do our traditional New Year’s watching of “When Harry Met Sally” and make/share our lists of goals for 2012, it seems like a perfect time to look back on 2011. Even though this year seemed to fly by, so much happened!

JANUARY

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– After the holidays, returned to work at Insound to find approximately a trillion online orders for the new CAKE album that had to be processed and sent out

– Met Ezra who was hired temporarily to help get the records sent out quickly. We realized we had a lot of the same musical taste and I declared him my New York Eli.

– It snowed and snowed and snowed

– I spent most of my mornings holding on to the iron gate below so I wouldn’t slip and fall on my way to work

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FEBRUARY

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– Nick and I attended our first New York Knicks basketball game, which was a ton of fun.

– We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple at – where else? – Peter Luger!

– I changed positions at Insound from White Label to Fulfillment.

MARCH

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– The Japan earthquake and tsunami bummed me out

– After a few weeks at my new job, I started to experience serious leg pain. Turns out, my hips and knee joints were inflamed from over use. My body was very unhappy with my new job, working in a warehouse and running around all day. I started to get hives and thought I had shingles!

– Needless to say, I gave my resignation. I need legs more than I need discounted records.

– I planned a trip home to Canada the weekend after my last day at Insound. I needed some family, friend, and Canada time, big time!

– Coincidentally while in Toronto, my old employer of 6+ years, The Agency Group, was throwing themselves a 15th anniversary party! I was invited and of course I went.

– An old coworker from The Agency Group who now manages bands got a hold of me and hired me to do design, web, and social media for one of her clients, USS!

– I also started doing a freelance wedding planning assistant job for an older couple from New York

APRIL

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– By April, my freelance work was really coming along and keeping me busy. I stopped applying for other jobs.

– Experienced the best “April Fool’s Joke” ever – Elvis Costello playing three of his best songs before The Strokes hit the stage at Madison Square Garden!

– Nick and I moved into a fantastic new apartment, just one block away from our old one. Check out our sweet “box blinds” above!

– I attended my first of many Creative Mornings  in DUMBO

– Started doing Ashtanga yoga, instead of the usual Vinyasa, and fell in love with it. Have been practicing 2-4 times a week ever since.

MAY

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Jenn at Babycakes

– Celebrated Cinco De Mayo with Kate and some Mexican wrestlers

– Nick and I discovered comedy shows at Caroline’s in Times Square. We saw Jim Jeffries, Bill Burr, and Whitney Cummings while eating dinner, sipping beers, and laughing. What a perfect night out!

– Kate & I continue our fun by attending a Seychelle’s party. We drink free vodka, eat a free dinner, then later pay $25 for a glass of champagne, justifying we would have normally spent more than that anyway!

– My sister, Jenn, comes to visit for a weekend. I take her to Babycakes for gluten-free treats, Risotteria for gluten-free dinner, then help this hard-working mom get drunk for the first time in 7 years on red wine!

JUNE

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– My old roomie, Angela, comes to visit from San Francisco. We attend the opening of Jeremy Fish‘s art show, then a rooftop party in Chelsea.

– I attend Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and fall in love with all the food stands

– June’s Creative Mornings helps get me a few other jobs when I meet Mark from BCS Interactive while waiting for the lecture to start. We nerd out on fonts, design, and then he and his partner Lou hire me to do Social Media for some of their accounts.

JULY

The apple of his eye

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Julia and Jay visit, Nick and I get to feed them all our favourite things. Of course, this includes another trip to Smorgasburg.

– Nick and I spend the 4th of July weekend in Lancaster, PA with Nick’s Dad

– Went to the beach in Long Island a few times and actually got a tan

– Nick and I fly up to Toronto, just in time to experience the hottest day ever! Luckily, we later go up to my parents’ cottage and swim in the river under the shady trees for relief.

– While in Toronto, we celebrate our first wedding anniversary

AUGUST

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– Canada’s NDP Leader Jack Layton passes away

Courtney and Jesse move away to Atlanta

– In preparation for mine & Nick’s trip to Europe at the end of August, I read an entire guide book on Paris and create the most-organized and complete trip itinerary of my life.

– Attend limited-time dumpster pool party “The Palms” in Long Island City with Olivia.

– Nick and I travel to London, attend the Reading Festival, take the train to Paris, then back to London to fly home

– I read most of The Girl Who Played With Fire on the plane, train, and our Parisian balcony and decide there’s something to this novel series.

SEPTEMBER

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– Nick goes on his yearly “man beach trip” with his best friends so I decide to treat myself to a bonus Canada visit

– Get to attend Julia and Jay’s engagement party while in Toronto

– I manage to get a ticket to one of the unattainable, sold out in 31 seconds Radiohead shows in New York. Go to the show solo, but end up chatting with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.

OCTOBER

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– We mourn the death of Steve Jobs

I turn 30, promptly get called a cougar

– Julia and her two other bridesmaids visit, I finally have an excuse to go to Lovely Bridal shop and watch her try on dresses

– I luck out and get another trip to Toronto! My fourth of 2011. It’s a quick one though, just two days, but still enough time to see two shows, friends, and a family dinner at a steakhouse.

– While we’re in Toronto, New York gets a freak snowstorm! The snow melts in approximately one day.

NOVEMBER

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– Nick and I finally try out the Grand Central Oyster Bar

– I take part in a Rainbow Parade

– We finally get to see Louis CK do standup live during the New York Comedy Festival

– We spend Thanksgiving at home, celebrating with a trip to Central Park, another Jim Jeffries comedy show, and turkey tacos for dinner

DECEMBER

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– I realize now that I work freelance from home, I have no Christmas parties to go to! Then I get invited to The Agency Group NY’s party. Phew!

– Nick and I go to Lancaster for an early Christmas to visit his Dad. We scope out the mall, find Simpsons DVDs on sale at a music store, and the biggest assortment of gummi candy ever!

– We go see the Rockefeller Center tree a mere 3 days before Christmas and it’s a mob scene!

– Fly up to Canada for Christmas with the family. Spend 4 out of 5 days living in a cabin in the woods and have 5 moose keep us from being able to get to the grocery store.

How was your 2011? What was the best part?

Feeling nostalgic? Check out:

2010 + 2009

A Year in Review

July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I absolutely love this idea for a Christmas card/year end summary about a married couple’s year-long achievements and highlights.

This makes me want to do something similar for my family and friends, since most of them are in Canada. I’m sure having a letterpress in your home makes you want to create all kinds of things!

[created by Amanda Jane Jones]

A New Years Trip To Paris

January 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

To top off the busiest travel month I’ve ever had, Nick and I flew to Paris on an overnight flight on the eve of December 28th. We had heard that it was a great place to celebrate New Years Eve and thought “why not?”.

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We decided to splurge on a nicer, more comfortable hotel since we wouldn’t be spending quite so much time outside. We settled on the wonderful Hotel Relais Saint Germain, located in the 6th arrondissement of Saint Germain. There was a view of a tree with books hanging from its branches from our room (above) and even free wifi!

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Like Stockholm, we crashed as soon as we got to our hotel (red eye flights are awful) and woke up later that afternoon to get some dinner and walk around a little.

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We were both obsessed with Shakespeare & Company and decided to see Notre Dame again since it looked so pretty at night.

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The next morning, we got up in time to enjoy our hotel’s free breakfast. This is no Best Western continental breakfast. We were given a basket of very fresh croissants and baguettes, fresh juice, a cup of orange slices, amazing cheese, and ham sliced right off of a pig’s leg on display at the bar. And of course, amazing coffee. After this deliciousness, we walked along the Seine to Musee D’Orsay.

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This museum is made from an old train station and is so beautiful. Unfortunately, a gazillion other visitors to the city had the same plan as us, so we didn’t spend too much time inside. It was very cool to see some Van Goghs, Monets, and Renoirs in person though!

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It’s hard to tell, but this room was absolutely PACKED. You’re not supposed to take photos here, which I just don’t think is right, so I did anyways. Someone was poking me on the shoulder to scold me as I walked away. But look, that guy’s doing it too!

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Walking down along the left bank, we found more visual treats, like some Arago Line markers. AKA Rose Line, if you’re a Dan Brown fan or a conspiracy theorist.

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I guess I was supposed to stop in here, but didn’t!

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The view of the Louvre from across the river.

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I see you, Nick!

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One place I wanted to make sure we went was Les Deux Magots, a cafe that used to be an old literary and arts hang out. Hemingway, Wilde, Camus, Picasso, Sartre. Think: Midnight In Paris.

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Nick The Coffee Hater even drank a cappuccino here!

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This visit, we spent most of our time in Saint Germain and didn’t even get on the subway. It’s such a great neighbourhood with so many shops, cafes, restaurants, etc, we didn’t even have to. On another note, look how generously they fill your glass of wine in Paris!

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Of course, we also had to go back to curiosity and taxidermy shop, Deyrolle!

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And see the Louvre at night.

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Such a beautiful place.

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The following day included a visit to Saint Sulpice church and much more cheese, bread, wine, and coffee.

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That night, we had New Years Eve dinner reservations at Pinxo, so we got dolled up to celebrate right.

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Our prixe fixe meal was 5 delicious courses, including my favourite, dessert with macaroons!

After dinner, we walked to the river so we could watch the Eiffel Tower’s light show for the countdown to midnight.

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Once, it was 2013, we walked back to Saint Germain over the Pont de l’Archevêché bridge to add our love lock. This was by far the most romantic New Years Eve I’ve ever had!

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We spent New Years Day, our last day in Paris, with more walking and eating. A walk through Jardin Du Luxembourg was absolutely beautiful on this warm, sunny day.

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We spent our last night in Paris at the movies! We’d been meaning to see Argo for months and it was playing around the corner from our hotel. Who would have thought we’d finally see this American movie in English with French subtitles?

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Thanks for a lovely time, Paris! Such a magical city that we hope to return to someday for more coffee, bread, wine, and cheese!

More Paris:

15 years ago today

September 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

On September 24, 1996 I went to my first concert – The Smashing Pumpkins at Winnipeg Arena.

I don’t remember many details from the concert, but I do remember being 15 years old, impressionable, blown away, and instantly catching the music bug. I began playing bass. I made new friends whose lives also revolved around music. I joined a band. I met other bands. I got a job in the music industry where I met my husband and the rest is history.

So thank you, Sylvia Wollman, for getting me into that show 15 years ago and to the Smashing Pumpkins for making high school – and probably my whole life – much more interesting.

P.S. While google searching for an image for this post, I found a live recording of the concert, which I’m listening to now. The internet was barely around back then, how does it do these things!

P.P.S. The 6th result for “Smashing Pumpkins Winnipeg 1996” was a link to the concert review on my old music page from the 90s! Hilarious.

Review: Social Media Week

February 6, 2010 § 1 Comment

Toronto was added to the roster of cities this year for the 2nd annual Social Media Week. The week long, international Social Media Week conference is designed as a series of localized events, which city partners are responsible for organizing. Ironically, my social media resources had failed me and I hadn’t heard about the event until the week before. Since tickets to the conferences are, for the most part, free, they went fast and I was only able to secure my place in one conference, Architects of Community, which took place yesterday from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. It turns out, that’s all I needed to become inspired and enamored with the idea of this new media.

Architects of Community focused on the idea of building community within social media. The panelists included Erica Ehm, former MuchMusic VJ and CEO of YummyMummyClub.ca; Alan Cross, curator of ExploreMusic and the host of The Ongoing History of New Music; and Amber Mac, co-founder of new media agency MGImedia.ca and host of various web-oriented programs on TV and online. The conversation was moderated by fashion blogger Jyotika Malhotra.

Initially, I was drawn to this panel because of Alan Cross (I love the Ongoing History of New Music!), but Erica and Amber were amazing as well. All three presented different and interesting ideas about the subject apparently without even discussing with each other who was going to cover what. They all appeared to be genuinely fascinated with each other’s presentations and each engaged the audience of 50 with questions and a sense of humour.

I wasn’t prepared to take notes, I figured I’d just take it all in and hopefully remember the valuable points later, but there were too many tantalizing ideas to keep straight! Thank goodness for the memo pad function on my blackberry.

Erica appeared to be the most passionate about her newfound love for social media. A self-declared Twitter addict, she insists that if Facebook is for the friends you already have, Twitter is for the friends you’re going to have. In her three months of tweeting, she says that “retweeting” (RT for those Twitterers out there) is the best way to get noticed by an influencer. She says she found all her employees for her website online, as it is the best way to hire bloggers – they should already be out there, blogging and getting ready to get noticed. While she spends a lot of time online, she realizes the importance of taking it offline to make real connections and strengthen your community with events and meet ups.

Adorable techie Amber Mac taught us “the ABCs of reaching out”:
Authenticity – be honest and accessible.
Bravery – do something different.
Consistency – share everywhere, measure everything with site analytics. She calls this “feed and seed”.

Alan spoke about how music has changed since the inception of the internet. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how things used to be – if you wanted that new Bush X single, you had to spend $20 and buy “Sixteen Stone”, even if the rest of the record sucked. The way you heard about new music was from your older siblings, friends, magazines like Circus or Rolling Stone, or the guy at the record store.

These days, there is music everywhere. There’s nearly too much music for average music fan to handle. Alan outlines the fact that confusion, panic, and doubt have increased as the amount of music available has increased with a lovely line graph. There’s less time spent savoring music because you’re always in search of newer, cooler bands and as a result, the life cycle of artists has decreased from years to months and even weeks. These days, we depend on curators like Pitchfork, last.fm, and Pandora to help us weed out the crap.

It’s not all bad though. With the internet came a sense of community. When Napster illegally exploded onto the scene, music lovers found people just like them on the other side of the world. They discovered new bands they might not have found otherwise. Music discussions ensued, benefiting not only the listener, but also the artist. The future of music truly lies online.

I left this conference with this feeling of excitement. This media is so new that the only experts out there so far refer to themselves as such followed by a stifled laugh. It’s all about conversing and meeting new people. It’s not as competitive since everyone has something different to offer. I hope it continues on the path I witnessed yesterday at the Spoke Club, because it was a truly inspiring one.

My Favourite Things of 2013

December 19, 2013 § 4 Comments

Can you believe there’s only a few weeks left of 2013? You know what that means: time for a recap!

Before I do my personal Year In Review, I like to do a round up of my favourite things of the year including books, music, and more. I know, I know, usually they each have their own post, but I’m a mom now and don’t have time for such things. So let’s get down to business.

ALBUMS:

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Atoms For Peace – Amok

Lorde – Pure Herione

Grouplove – Spreading Rumours

Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana

Baths – Obsidian

Nick Cave – Push the Sky Away

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

On And On – Give In

Young Magic – Melt

BOOKS (not necessarily released in 2013, just read in 2013):

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Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan

Tell the Wolves I’m Home – Carol Rifka Brunt

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple

FILMS:

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Blue Jasmine

Happy

Sound City

This Is The End

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

(Note: In my opinion, this year’s offering of movies was pretty dismal. I’m guessing my actual favourite movie of the year is still to come. Possibly Anchorman 2 or Her.)

TV:

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Mad Men

30 Rock (for the series finale alone, which made me cry. Why did it have to end at all?!?)

Breaking Bad (ditto, minus the tears.)

Louie

Arrested Development

House Of Cards

Girls

Big Bang Theory

Orange Is The New Black

BLOGS/WEBSITES:

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A Cup Of Jo

Mind Body Green

Bunnyfood

Swiss Miss

New York Times

Refinery 29

Humor Train

A little something we’ve been working on…

April 19, 2013 § 12 Comments

Those of you who know Nick and I well know that we have never had a boring relationship. We dated long distance for over two years, before I finally decided to take the chance and move to New York almost 4 years ago. That led to us getting engaged, but then I got stuck in Canada for 8 months while I applied for an engagement visa. After much frustration, tears, phone calls, waiting, and a visa interview, I arrived back in the States legally and we got married!

It’s been a pretty great 3 years. I’ve been able to « Read the rest of this entry »

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