recommendation + update

let me tell you, i came across gwen bell and her fantastic blog by creeping through jennifer jeffrey's twitter list, and let me tell you - she's lovely. absolutely lovely. she's most definitely up there amongst my best blog finds of 2009.

anyhow, since having come across her blog, i've found a new and interesting blogger every day. (what a well-connected chick!) lovelove. if you haven't come across her yet, check her out. you won't regret it.

what else has been up:
i'm sick. i've been sick for just over a week now, and that's balls because i hate being sick during my vacation time, especially during the time that i'm supposed to be hanging out with jess and ava. i had huge plans to get painting and creating, but that's been cancelled due to coughing. yuck.

i have a few digital projects up my sleeve, though, and i'm almost done all of my christmas shopping. that's good enough for now.


to the edge - best challenge '09

as is the case with most workplaces this year, there's been quite a bit of transition in mine; combine that with the fact that the university was in the midst of recovering from a strike in the 2009 winter semester, and you've got a recipe for some backlogged programming.

now - in case you haven't noticed, i'm a details person. i like to run events and i like to run them well, and i like to track all of the details during their development. i prefer not to do things last-minute, and rushing a deadline makes me feel like i'm going a little bit crazy. but sometimes you do what you have to do, particularly when things get backed up.

this conference was my first national conference. i was antsy because the planning wasn't going as i'd envisioned it (what with the management turnover in the office and all) and i knew that others were a bit nervous about it too. however, as the conference date moved closer and closer, the student team that i was working with pulled together marvellously in order to get it all done (and then some!).

the conference was a hit.

the success was as a result of a combination of the right people, a sense of ownership from the student coordinators and fabulous support from the rest of the office that provided assistance where and when we needed it. most definitely, it's a great example and reminder that we're not meant to do everything ourselves; no one person has the skills, connections and stamina to give 150% of their energy 100% of the time.

moral of the story: understanding your weaknesses + asking for help = a stronger you in the end.

image: myself, my boss and the student conference coordinators along with a few of the delegates after the closing brunch.


moment of peace

it was early summer and the weather was just on the brink of heating up. i got up early - before any of the students or my coworkers at the retreat - and went for a walk down by the water.

there was nobody but a few groundspeople already awake (and a few mosquitoes). the early morning sunshine was sparkling golden off of the lake; i walked down to the dock and dangled my bare feet in the water while i watched the minnows skittering about the rocks on the bottom.

if i could've, i would have laid down on the dock and gone to sleep.


(more photos from my moment here)


one of a kind show '09, toronto style

oh good morning world!

as per our yearly tradition, mike and i made a day of wandering the aisles of toronto's one of a kind show this weekend, absorbing all of the talent and unique ideas that had to be offered.

a few of my top three personal favourites:
gorgeous text and graphic art by blair chivers
precious metal and wood jewelry by jenny greco
reclaimed wood jewelery and accessories by billy would

can't wait for the spring show.

(still to come: i'll be playing catch-up for my best of 2009 entries later today, after jess, ava, arianne and i run some errands.)


new favourite + best of '09

oh hello there.

baby ava is awesome. she rocks so hard for a little person (she also rocks pretty hard for any person - she's likely my most favourite person in the world!) big love to this little newbie. we've been kickin it this week and watching boxed sets of friends in between feedings (which i don't really have much to do with) and burpings (which apparently i have a talent for extracting) until all hours of the night. for all of the fuss that everyone said she'd make, she seems to be a pretty laid-back lil chica.

what's better than a month off of work (thank you lieu time from all of the overtime i've accrued over the past year) to hang out with my first ever niece? not too friggin much.

more on sweet baby ava later.

anyhow, i came across gwen bell (blog and twitter) and she's got a blog challenge that features the best of 2009. i'll be participating so feel free to join in!

today's challenge:

my fave 2009 book is, without a doubt, is michael pollan's in defense of food. i read it as a follow up to the omnivore's dilemma (which i was totally gonna put as my fave 2009 book but i have a sneaky suspicion that i finished it in 2008). it was a much shorter and significantly less dense read than it's predecessor, so i found that a lot of the facts were easier to digest (excuse the pun!) because i already had a foundation of knowledge from the prior book.

pollan's basic recommendations: eat food. not too much. mostly plants.
“My aim in this book is to help us reclaim our health and happiness as eaters. To do this requires an exercise that might at first blush seem unnecessary, if not absurd: to offer a defense of food and the eating thereof… But I contend that most of what we’re consuming today is no longer, strictly speaking, food at all, and how we’re consuming it — in the car, in front of the TV, and, increasingly, alone– is not really eating, at least not in the sense that civilization has long understood the term.”
check out gwen's blog for the upcoming challenge themes, which will go all the way up until the end of december. join in, and send me links so that we can all share in the best-of-2009 love. oh, and sign up at the bottom of her blog too so that she can check it out.

tomorrow: mike and i are making our annual pilgrimage to the toronto one of a kind show. am going to miss ava, but she's visiting her daddy's family tomorrow. so it's ok. will tweet updates as i go, and i may try to sneak an iPhone photo or two.


Coming soon..

Best of '09. Shh. Don't ask questions. You'll find out soon ... And will want to join in!

welcome to the world, lil Ava!

Ava Alejandra Alarcon, born Nov 30th at 10:02pm. 6lbs 15oz. such a sweet face.

check out mike's blog for more info!


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