Thirty-two.

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I turned 32 the other day. I’m not going to lie, I’m struggling with this one. I loved 30, was fine with 31. I’ll probably like 33, because it’s frankly just a great number, but 32? Meh. I had a vague sense of dread and anxiety as the big day approached, and since I believe that gratitude is a really powerful antidote to anxiety I’ve been trying really hard to feel grateful and to think about how much more centred and self-actualized I am than I was five years ago. Wise, even, some days. I mean, I use words like ‘self-actualized.’

So I started thinking about some of the most important things I’ve learned in my 32 years, and I figured I would share them with you, after another long blogging hiatus. It’s a mixture of borrowed wisdom, advice to my younger self, things I’ve learned about myself, things I’ve learned about other people and the world. A lot of it is stuff I’m still working on accepting / understanding / integrating into my daily behaviour. Like I said, I’m only wise on my better days.

Anyway, here’s what came to mind one evening in Crab Park…

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Happy Christmas.

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And I’m off. I’m up extra painfully early this morning to fly off to the Great White North, where I’ll be spending Christmas with my folks and a few rellies at my Auntie Dini and Uncle Tony’s home on Bouchie Lake. I can’t wait.

I’m going to try to take a bit of a digital detox while I’m away, so I’ll see you in the New Year (or when I fail miserably at my detox, whichever comes first).

Until then…have a cozy, delicious Christmas and New Year. I hope you’re surrounded by your very favourite people…and endless food and wine.

Thanks so much for reading — today, this year, and always.

xo

A Whole Lot of Christmas

Finding the perfect Christmas tree

So anyone who knows me, or who’s been reading CTS regularly, or has visited my Pinterest, knows that I’ve gone a bit Buddy the Elf on Christmas this year. I’m feeling the holiday spirit big time this year, in a way I haven’t in many years. Last Christmas, I was in a pretty dark place, and before that I was in Australia, where I had a tough time feeling very Christmassy.

If you need a little help with getting yourself into the festive spirit – or need help finding last-minute gifts – here’s a roundup of all my Christmas content this year, plus a bit of extra holiday goodness.

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Gift Guide: Volume 4 // Gastown Gift Guide

Gastown Gift Guide Forgive me while I get a bit Vancouver-centric on you. Because I’m a big proponent of supporting local, this next instalment of my gift guide is all gifts that you can buy in my ‘hood – Gastown: the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver and home to heaps of adorable little boutiques. If you happen to live in Vancouver, spend a (rainy) day in Gastown this weekend. Grab an eggnog latte, take a wander, and pick up gifts for all your people. Continue reading

Gift Guide: Volume Four // Books for Everybody

Hayneedle-126-640x454 Last year, my family started a new holiday tradition: a white elephant book exchange. We’re a family of readers, cooks, and travellers, so it works well for our clan. During our inaugural exchange, I was inclined to throw a bit of a tantrum when I lost The Kinfolk Table to my sister-in-law, but I’m hopeful that this year I’ll walk away happy.

Books (along with beautiful socks) are among my very favourite gifts to give. If I weren’t saving them all for this post, my previous gift guides would have included a great many more books.

So, friends, if the idea of Christmas shopping makes you wary, might I suggest popping into your local bookshop and getting all your shopping done in one go?

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Friday Photo.

Today I begin a new tradition. Wait, no, that’s too strong a word. A new series. Friday Photo. Two projects I’m working at at the moment – redesigning this here blog and creating a photo wall for my very bare-walled little flat – require sifting through a lot of the old photos, a lot of them from past adventures to faraway places.

So I’ve decided to bring these photos out from the deep, dark recesses of my Dropbox and share them, week by week, along with a little story. Because I’m staying put these days, this little series is as much about me travelling vicariously through my twenty-something self as it is about showing off my photography skills. Those, I’m still working on.

So here it is. My first Friday photo…

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Give a little bit.

Slezak-WBR-Zambia-600Time for a little break from the covetous and consumer-driven Christmas content I’ve been creating these last few days. It’s Giving Tuesday – our little breather in the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and before the holiday madness begins; a day to think about giving back and paying forward all the good fortune in our lives. In honour of the day, I thought I would share a couple of organizations that I think are very worthy of any extra dollars you may be able to spare.

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