my new job, so far + thoughts on scheduling


Doily and drawing from a client at the Horizon Achievement Centre. Script piece by Kal Barteski.

Two weeks ago I started my new job at the Horizon Achievement Centre in Sydney.

And of course, ever since then I’ve been thinking, “I must blog about this!”

But, I’m still not sure what I want to say. I know that I want to talk about the work that is done at the Centre, in general: the social enterprises, the teaching of life skills to disabled people, and the integration of disabled people into the community. I know that I want to talk about the work I’m doing, although it’s still so new and still kind of getting sorted out.

I also want to talk about what it’s like to be there, five days a week, working in that environment. I want to talk about how different it is, and special, from any workplace I’ve ever had before. There are challenges, for sure, and there are unique joys.

But, I’m still not entirely ready. I’m going with my gut on this, and my gut is saying, “Wait a bit longer, watch the place a bit more.”

The other part of why I haven’t written about it in length is that I haven’t had the time. I’m the process of cutting back my life schedule + my commitments, because I really want to have more time at home and to myself, to relax and cook proper meals with my partner, to daydream and go for walks, to read and to write — or just to do whatever feels good in that moment. All of those things, I’m realizing, are very important to my own creative life, and necessary to protect.

So, I’m working on it, but I’m still not there yet, not at the point where my schedule feels loose and flexible around me. There are still a few things (like client projects) on my schedule, and that coupled with my 8:30–4:30, Monday-through-Friday job, as well as making more of an effort at home to be present and cook meals and be with Adam, (and not just blogging or writing in the next room, and eating chicken fingers and fries for dinner), means that currently for my blog, I steal a few minutes in between breakfast and leaving for the day, or on my lunch break at work. And that’s not enough time to do justice to what the Horizon Achievement Centre is, as a day-to-day workplace.

Anyway, I better run off to work, speaking of it!

Have a great Tuesday.

Posted in Community, Jobs, Leah's thoughts | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

multitude monday / august 18


My friend and former design classmate Katie MacLennan writes a great blog called Polka Dot Soup. On it she writes a post some Mondays called “Multitude Monday.” She writes, “Mondays are about documenting the little (or big!) things in life that make me oh-so-happy. Let’s make Mondays a day to reflect on the goodies, and not the baddies.”

Also, a few months ago I read Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly: How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead,” in which she writes, “The shudder of vulnerability that accompanies joy is an invitation to practice gratitude, to acknowledge how truly grateful we are for the person, the beauty, the connection, or simply the moment before us.”

(The last Multitude Monday post I wrote, last week, is here.)

The ten things I’m most grateful for right now:

141. Meeting Alyce most mornings at our favourite coffee shop for ten minutes of girl talk before work.

142. A spontaneous beach trip with two friends on Saturday. (Photo above.)

143. Having the time to do that because of having cleared my schedule.

144. Picking ripe tomatoes from the plants in the backyard.

145. Eating the tomatoes right there.

146. My office – full of inspiration and creativity, a space all to myself.

147. Inexpensive lunches at my new job — a salad for $2.75 and a sandwich for $1.75.

148. Dinner out on the weekend with Adam’s family at our favourite restaurant.

149. Planning a fun get-together in September with some female graphic designers.

150. When Adam makes me laugh.

I hope you have a good day today! May you see the multitude of goodness all around you.

Posted in Day to Day Life, Love | Tagged | 3 Comments

links loved / aug 16


It’s Saturday! For me that means spending some time off and “going where the wind takes me,” as my friend Alyce said the other day. Even if the wind just takes me around my house and garden in a random sort of way.

But first! Some links loved goodness for y’all. This is where I post a list every weekend of some rad stuff I’ve seen lately on the internet. It’s inspired by my hero, Elise’s weekend links series!

A collection of stunning sentences from the novel “Astonish Me,” over on Mighty Girl.

There’s a free concert tonight in Open Hearth Park in Sydney!

Speaking of free concerts, on the other end of the island is Granville Green, and I just love the design of their posters and website.

Alison Faulkner’s party in Minneapolis looks like it was really fun. I love the shots in the video where the women are learning how to style shots, I’d love to do a session like that!

Such a cute way to document yourself and your kid: side by side, what you’re reading, playing, eating, wearing and watching, month by month.

I think I need one of these mountain rings! Well, “need” might be a strong term…

This post by Kal from March of this year describes sort of where I’m at these days, or at least where I’m heading: “I’ve been very conscious of where I put my time, what calls to me, and what that looks like.”

I’ve been really loving on this song lately! This video is shot from the crowd, so that’s a little annoying, but I couldn’t find a video with the studio recording of the song. It’s still good though. A nice long groovy jam. You can hear a clip of it here on iTunes.

This is the best piece I’ve read since Robin Williams’ passing, about suicide and depression and what suicide isn’t.

And, if you’re looking for a sweet beach to visit this weekend, check out my 10 Beaches series from 2012!

Alright, that’s all from me folks. Have a fabulous weekend! xo Leah


Posted in Active living, Art, Community, Day to Day Life, For Fun | Tagged | Leave a comment

quick post Friday


I just did the 6:45 am yoga class at Yellow Dog, grabbed a coffee (it’s part of the class, at the end! Brilliant idea) and now I’m at home for a minute to change before I head off to work. I snapped this shot of the beautiful delphinium that are currently blooming their little hearts out in the front garden, to share. I hope you have a lovely day!

Edit: I’ve been informed this flower is monkshood, not delphinium. Oops!

Posted in Day to Day Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

blueberries and branding


Yesterday I attended a workshop in Sydney. It was put on by the Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia, which is a great organization that supports the non-profit sector in the province. Their website is really well done – check it out!

Anyway, the workshop was all about branding, and the guy putting it on was Sean Kelly, who used to be the director of communications for Cuso International. It was a really great workshop — and I’ve been to many, good and bad — and it got me thinking all about what goes into a brand, what goes into public image, and all of that.

Then when I got home, I went out for a walk in the field near my house. I wanted blueberries. When I got to where they grow, I was thinking about branding still (things stick in my brain like that). I was thinking, “What image of these blueberries would appeal the most to people? And what audience?”

Would it be a picture of just the blueberries on the bush, as above?


Would it be blueberries in someone’s hand?


A much close-up image of those blueberries in the hand?


A picture of a person holding the blueberries out to you?

blueberries5 Enough with all of that — I’m just going to eat the blueberries!

Have a lovely day.


Posted in Active living, Community, Day to Day Life, Environment, Food + agriculture, For Fun | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

sunlight on a tile floor

wednesday1 wednesday2 wednesday3

When the day is too full with other things to write a long blog post, at least there are always pictures!

Above from top: the front entrance of the Horizon Achievement Centre, as I was leaving yesterday, a tree I often park beside, and my office space yesterday. Time to dig in and learn Microsoft Access! Woot, good times!

(I’m only being half-sarcastic: my inner nerd loves a challenge, and the words field, data and table.)

Posted in Day to Day Life, Work | Tagged , | Leave a comment

stretching and flexing

tuesday tuesday2 tuesday3 Yesterday I went to yoga. I hadn’t been there in two or three weeks. Summer’s been busy, I’d been lazy, or just needing a break from weekly yoga, and it was a little hard to convince myself to get my buns in gear and go back, yesterday. My friend Molly had suggested we do the beginner and the intermediate classes back-to-back (we usually just do the intermediate class) and I thought, “Why not! That will be a good way to jump back into it. The beginner class will be like an extended warm-up.”

And it was a good idea, although the beginner class was a bit more involved than I had thought. But all the same, after the two classes my body felt flexed and stretched and happy.

After the first class, a woman who is a rep for an essential oil company passed out cooled cloths with lemongrass oil on them, and rubbing the cloth on my face and arms was a serious, sensual treat. So lovely.

And in between the classes I stepped outside the studio and got some fresh air. It felt really good, to just stand on the sidewalk and look at the traffic on Commercial Street, and up at the sky, before going back inside to stretch and flex some more.

I’m mulling things over to write a post about my new job, but I’m giving it a bit more time — til the end of this week — to really settle. There’s a lot to mull — the Horizon Achievement Centre is a pretty moving and different place to spend my workdays. I’ll share more thoughts soon.

And when I got home last night I heard the news about Robin Williams’ death. That certainly gave me pause for thought and reflection. There is talk that Robin Williams was fighting depression, and that he committed suicide. The pain he must have been in, the pain anyone is in, when suicide becomes an option, it breaks my heart to think about. Treatment of mental health has come a long way, but there is still work to be done, to break apart the stigma, and to allow people with mental health issues to feel welcome and whole in our society. I know this keenly, quite personally, as I’ve fought and sometimes still fight depression and anxiety.

So in the days after Robin Williams’ death, let’s flex and stretch our hearts, and practice open-hearted compassion towards one another. Everyone is fighting some inner battle. Love can do wonders.

Posted in Active living, Community, Day to Day Life, Health, Leah's thoughts, Love | Tagged , , | 5 Comments