give like you've never given before

so i've been on a podcast listening kick lately. it started out as a little side-project for work and has turned into a full-blown addiction.

a few that i've subscribed to through itunes are the big vision podcast, idealist.org, carruthers creek community church, and social innovation conversations, which are put offered by the stanford graduate school of business' centre for social innovation.

(if any of you guys happen to have others to recommend, then please let me know - i'll gratefully appreciate any additions to my repertoire. i don't have cable, so remember - a girl's gotta listen to something while she's living a productive tv-free life!)

anyhow - i came across this one by big vision about the 29-day giving challenge. i'd never heard of it before but am drawn to programs that support the link between well-being and being a good person.

cami walker, founder of the challenge, says:
The first day of my personal 29-Day Giving Challenge was preceded by a sleepless night. I was awake all night feeling angry and sorry for myself during a difficult flare up of my Multiple Sclerosis. When insomnia hits, I often go through old journals and read them. I found a note that I'd made during a phone session with one of my spiritual teachers, Mbali Creazzo, two months before. The note said, "Give something away each day for 29 days." It was 3 a.m. and I decided in that moment to take the suggestion.

And so my 29-Day Giving Challenge began that morning as I gave my first gift -- a simple supportive phone call to another friend living with MS. I woke up the next day and the next day after that feeling excited about what I might give away. And I began to notice that the more I gave away, the more abundance I was experiencing for myself.
i'm gonna try doing my own lil challenge over the next 29 days .. i'll post about it here (i'll make it brief so that you all don't get bored, but it'll be my little way of staying accountable) and you're more than welcome to join me, if you're interested. leave a link in the comments, and i'll be sure to link to you.

even if it doesn't radically change my life, doing something nice for someone else can only serve to put out positivity into the world .. and it needs a bit more positivity, i think. don't you?

you can read more about the challenge here or listen to cami's podcast here.
image from here


a lil glimpse

i have a confession to make.

for the first year and a bit of wunderbug's lifespan, i was pretty shy about being public about it.

scratch that - i was downright closeted.

i'd read about adventures and stories of supportive friends and family of other bloggers (you know the ones - where, in the middle of a dinner or joke, they'd ask "are you going to put this on your blog"?) and think that i'd likely never quite get to that point with my family. they still thought it was ridiculous to take pictures of food for my posts, and that the amount of time i spent on my computer is excessive. coming home from work to publish thoughts about my life seemed a silly and pointless thing to do ... even if i did come across some pretty awesome sites and resources via my network of daily-reads.

curiousity killed the cat, though, when i started putting links to my updated blog posts on facebook. my sitemeter would show quite a few clickthroughs tentatively popping over to say hi; most of them lurking for a few minutes and then clicking away, rarely - if ever - leaving comments.

that is, until liz mentioned it one night as she was visiting over tea. it was just before we went to quebec and i'd posted about our new life sans cable. as it turns out, she was one of my more regular anonymous visitors, and loved to read my posts about my mini-adventures to the ribfest this summer, and about the various recipes i experiment with. which was, needless to say, massively encouraging to someone who loved to blog but wasn't quite comfortable to go public with it.

over the course of the summer, i gained confidence with being open about my love of blogging, which was fed by the fact that my mom and liz went to see julie & julia and came home saying that amy adams' character reminded them of me.

ha. cute. i was pretty flattered.

anyhow, since then, i've been more open with my bloggy life (even though i haven't been able to post as often as i'd like over the summer because work's been busy), and most people have been pretty interested in it. maybe it's the celebrity factor - who doesn't like to see their name mentioned in a blog? it's up there with getting comments on a post?

and then - i reached that point with them that i'd read about for so long - for a while during the summer, they were impatiently asking when i was going to bust out my camera so that i could take pictures for my blog. (as a matter of fact, for the last photo in this post i was called away from getting dressed that morning to capture the moment for the blog). they still have yet to get over the eye-rolls over me taking pictures after i've tried a new recipe, but i figure that'll come in time.

anyhow, in the spirit of supporting the ever-growing network of awesome bloggers, check out some of the new + relatively new + somewhat new bloggy peeps that i know. everyone needs a lil support and encouragement - and these talented ladies most definitely deserve it!
  • julia at pink mixers & broken egg yolks: this girl's got so many cool ideas for her foodie blog, it'd make your head spin. or at least make you think that she's been at the bloggin' game for a few years.
  • genevieve at rubber pants: holy hannah, this girl's got some cupcakey talent. saving the world one cupcake at a time, indeed!
  • aleks at brand new socks: preparing for her brand new teaching job in england. i love her writing style; her matter-of-fact photo captions never fail to crack me up.
what new-ish bloggers are you loving lately? leave them some linky love in the comments and let's give 'em a round of applause!

photo from here


no slump here


i'm not exactly sure what did it yesterday, but i got out of my funk a little bit and am feeling more me.

my desk was messy; i tidied up the worst of it.
my calendar was unkempt; i kempted it. (yep. kempted.)
i had 152 "unread" emails on my work email address (most of which i'd already previewed in order to prioritize responding, but i'd never gotten around to marking them as read), so i got that done yesterday. there's something lovely about not having that little bold number shouting at you every time you open your email, seas of red-unread emails screaming at you. it's unpleasant. am considering changing my inbox settings to show unread emails in blue text. blue's so much more soothing than red.
i had a surprise drop-in office visit with an old friend from high school who's going here now for his second BA, and while we were leaving the coffee shop after a delicious caramelo coffee, ran into another friend who i'd not seen since grade 8 who's here for her PhD. (smartie-pants!)

most importantly, i asked for help and got it. not in the way i expected, but more in the realization that if something's not within my power to fix or change, there's no sense in worrying about it all day (and then checking my work email again at night to worry some more). i let go and chilled out, and remembered that i need to not take myself as seriously as i have been lately for a little while. i love my job; i just need to disconnect from it in order to be able to think about things unrelated to work, and to be able to blog better, create better, and live better.

so that's the plan, stan.

tonight: i'm going on a date with mike. we see each other every day, but it's been a while since we went on an honest-to-goodness date. he asked me on tuesday, and it's been something i've been looking forward to all week. we're gonna go out for dinner and then see that new bruce willis movie.

this weekend, i'd like to do more me-stuff. make beets. buy jar labels for my growing stock of pickles and jam. do some painting. go on a driving adventure and look at the autumn leaves. maybe do some picture-taking. whatever. it's gonna be good.

photos from here and here



know what i need today?

a quiet cafe, a good book, and some earl grey vanilla tea with milk. and maybe - just maybe - a peanut butter cookie or two.

what rejuvenates you when you're feeling frazzled?

images by gabrielle kai


be still. then begin.

oy. what a day.

i feel kind of like a walking drought. i need a little rejuvenation. i'm re-posting this post from a while ago, just because i came across it today and it's reminder hit me like a ton of bricks.

i frequently need to re-remind myself of these things.
how about you?


i've been in an incredibly introspective mood lately. poking through my brain and reflecting on myself; why i do the things i do and why i think the things i think. how i've made it this far in my life. things i like about myself. things i dont like about myself. how to go about implementing positive change in my life, and how to go about implementing positive change in my world, starting with touching others around me. (subsequently, how also not to drive others crazy while trying to identify these changes).

i'm not hinting at anything in particular that i'd like to see changed - i'm a pretty positive person overall - a logical balance between realist and optimist (if ever such a thing could ever exist). as usual, there's just so many things that i've got on my to-do list that i find myself needing to slow down and just be.

then (and only then), can i just choose something and move forward with it. which brings me to this quote; i came across it during my internet travels today, and it slowed my mind. and i stopped. i love the simplicity of it. begin anywhere.

just pick and go. 'cause there are so many places and times in this life that we all get tangled up in ourselves, in our jobs, in our partners, and Who We Want To Be that we start to trip up. slip up. we forget and get overwhelmed.

dont get overwhelmed. just be, and then begin. anywhere.



glowy + great

SLAM! not much time for a full post today, but i came across these yesterday while browsing through the home decor section on etsy. love love LOVE the colours and the product pics.

nothing makes me happier than a gorgeous product with equally gorgeous pics, don't you think?

pinwheel nesting bowls by catherine reese
in the light by amelia kay photography
light blue platter mantou by atelier BB
corks by vacco


just peachy

oh hello tout le monde!

getting back into regular routine has proven to be a more difficult task than i'd anticipated ... even more difficult than last year. nonetheless, i'm a determined lil person and it gonna happen. this week.

  1. i've dyed my hair brown. loving it. loving it. new pics are en route.
  2. amidst the orders for custom houses and my budding at-home colorist side gig, i've committed to doing my first-ever big big painting. 46 by 32 inches of bare canvas is currently sitting in my hallway, anxiously awaiting it's fate. any tips for an amateur painter embarking on her first big big painting are most welcome.
  3. my affinity for thank-you cards has gone haywire - i've recently purchased three more packages because i just love the designs on them. i'm gonna have to get a-thanking, that's for sure. (mostly because while looking for cards to feature for this post, i browsed through 22 pages on etsy of new listings and it was oh-so-hard to choose just four). and i've decided not to allow myself to buy more of something until i've completely used up what i had of it originally ... thank-you cards included. oy.
it's lookin like gratitude is gonna be the new attitude for the next little while around here.

which isn't such a bad thing anyhow, you know.

vintage lace letterpress note set by pistachio press
t is for thank you by hijirik
you're a peach by letterary press
gratitude by green fingerprint


full spectrum

i came across these images on for me, for you and they've caused me to reflect in the most peculiar way. for some reason, whenever i think of the past, i don't generally picture it in full colour. i imagine the 70's to be lived in highly-saturated technicolour, and most things prior to that (particularly those in the early 1900's), in black and white.

for the most part, i attribute this to the fact that all of the media from that time is in black and white - except these.

check out kate's original post for the whole story, but these are revolutionary colour (yes, colour!) photos taken in russia in the early 1900's. fascinating, no?


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