berries and a beach


Yesterday I spent the morning doing some cleaning in the house. (And, some thinking about cleaning, it’s frustrations and the joy of having it done, too. Mulling stuff for a post down the road.)

Then it was time to get outside. The day had gotten warm. I put on a bathing suit and a sundress, and headed out. I had to go to Sydney Mines to Princess Printing, to pick up an order for a client (birthday cards I had designed), and then I wanted to check and see if Rendall’s was selling strawberries at the stand in Bras d’Or yet.

They were!

So from there I was close to Point Aconi/Battleman’s Beach, so I headed there, munching strawberries as I drove, and throwing the leafy tops out the window.

pointaconi2 pointaconi3

But it was too cold to swim! Even the little kids at the beach were only going in so far. I strolled along the edge for a while, and refreshed my ankles. I took pictures of rocks:


And as I was leaving? I spotted one of my bumper stickers! I don’t know whose car this is, which makes a first for me (seeing it on a car where I don’t know the owner).

pointaconi5 Here is the post I wrote when I was doing my 10 Beaches/2012, and visited Point Aconi beach.

Have a lovely Tuesday!


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

four new goals


It’s past the middle of the year now and I’m ready to ditch my first four simple goals and call them done. And, I’m ready to make four new goals!

First, an catch-up and an update:

Catch-up: This is the post from the beginning of this year where I talked about why I was picking four goals, why I was picking “one little word,” and what those goals and word(s) would be. This is the post where I talked about how the goal of “moving more” was going, and this is the post where I talked about how the goal of “figuring out the next step” was going.

On “Deal/Lead”: I haven’t done much with this, except “have” it. (How do you “have” a word, anyway?) Meaning, it’s printed out on a piece of paper and taped somewhere in my office, and I look at it every now and again. I haven’t journaled with it, or scrapbooked with it, or otherwise illustrated and explored it. Just thought about it a bit.

On “Use My Sketchbook More”: I did this, but not in a huge way. Maybe one day I’ll write a post about sketchbooks and the value of them, but not today. This goal was a good reminder to me to open the sketchbook, take out a pencil, and draw and write out ideas, something that always, always helps my creative process, but which I overlook a lot, thinking, “That will be too hard!” Which is ridiculous. Because it’s not hard at all, it just takes making it a habit.

On “Plant A Garden”: This is coming along! Check out these Instagram posts of mine to see: manure pile, garden books, and lupins with a bumblebee. There will be more pictures real soon, too. It’s coming along more slowly than I would have liked, mainly because there are other things on my plate than just gardening, but it is coming along. That’s the main thing. I’m hoping this week that myself and Adam’s dad will build a big box for growing veggies, and I can transfer that manure pile and some seedlings into it.

On “Move Every Day”: See this post. It’s all still true, more or less. I’m tracking my movement by making a crayon mark on a calendar tacked to my wall (see here for a recent shot), and getting movement in when I can. Nothing earth-shaking or totally life-changing, but enough that I feel good about it.

On “Figure Out The Next Step”: Done! Check plus. I have a job that starts on August 4th and goes for one year. Other than that, I’m sort of always refining what the next few months of my life will hold (as much as that’s under my control, haha) and thinking about what I want to be doing with my time, cutting out the stuff that no longer suits, and going after the stuff I want to be doing. More about that whole process in another post, perhaps.

Now for the fun part! Picking four new goals.

headstand 1 // Do a headstand.

I have no idea how long it’s going to take me to accomplish this. I just know that it looks really cool and that I want to push my body further with my yoga practice. I’m using this video for direction, and so far I can get into the first position (downward dog with forearms and hands braced, and head in my hands.) I’m going to do this every morning, going as far as I can each time.


2 // Make some paintings.

Mainly because I told two people that I would give them paintings in trade for things. But also, again, because it just sounds really fun to me right now, and I’m also excited to push myself into a new spot creatively.


3 // Buy something yellow + polka-dotted from a thrift store.

This one is because I’m itching for more fun colours and patterns in my wardrobe, and also because I want to push myself to spend some time thrift-shopping. When it comes to buying clothing, I get lazy and tired of shopping really fast, so when I need new clothes I go buy them full-price for the simple reason that it’s easy. But it’s also the most expensive option, and least environmentally-friendly. I figure doing it scavenger-hunt style will be a fun way to get me digging in the racks and bins of thrift stores.


4 // Eat more local.

This one is a constant toughie for me. But at the same time it’s not hard at all — I love markets, and I know a fair bit about them and where to find them. What is hard, then, I guess, is making the time, shifting my habits, and doing that extra bit of work to incorporate what’s in season into what I cook. It’s also a bit harder because there are a lot of different foods my partner doesn’t like to eat. He’s a super-entrenched creature of habit, and his habit is “meat-and-potatoes” and what he thinks of as “the proper way”. Like, he thinks it’s crazy to serve garlic bread with soup. For him, garlic bread goes with Italian food, and Italian food only. So for a while I kind of just went with the flow (his flow) and didn’t go to markets as much, because I didn’t want the food I’d buy there to go to waste. (Big bags of lettuce, mushrooms that only I will eat, etc.) But I’m venturing back into those waters, going to markets, pushing myself a little bit more each time. Eating local food and putting my dollars where my values are is, deep-down, really important to me, I’ve realized, and too important to let Adam’s habits become my excuse for not doing it.

Alrighty, that’s it! Have a great Monday.

Posted in Active living, Community, Day to Day Life, Design, Food + agriculture, Leah's thoughts, Markets | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

links loved / july 5


Above: a shot I took while I was at my kitchen table making the lupin/island art that I used in yesterday’s “Share That You Care” graphic.

So it’s Saturday again! The day of the week when I like to do a Links Loved round-up. (Inspired by Elise and her Weekend Links.)

Here goes!

I love, love, LOVE Leah Kathryn’s photos and words of her stay in Cape Breton last week.

My former classmate (and forever friend!) Hollie is hi-larious on YouTube: “Lies Graphic Designers Tell Themselves.”

I’m starting to work on doing some inverted yoga poses. They feel awesome, strengthening and fun.

This guide to doing a handstand is clever and funny to read. While I may not get to a full handstand for a while, I’m going to start practicing!

Fun make-your-own colour powder!

A flamingo-themed dance party.

I’m addicted to Erika Ray’s birth photography. This is her latest post in her birth photography series, and it’s about a mom giving birth to her third son.

I’m also totally loving this song lately: As Above So Below by Anthony David. It’s reflective, flowing, moving, quiet, and powerful all at once!

Have a great ol’ weekend!!

Posted in For Fun, Leah's thoughts | Tagged | Leave a comment

my new job! at Horizon Achievement Centre


So I can finally! tell you all! about this new job!

Can you tell I’m excited? Yeah. Just a little bit. I’ll lay off the exclamation points from here on out, I promise. Especially since I think I used my quota all up in that first sentence.

Anyway, here goes: I’m going to be a Youth Intern for one year (a paid position!), hosted at the Horizon Achievement Centre in Sydney.

The details: While I’ll be hosted at Horizon, I’ll actually be an employee of the Coastal Business CBDC — the letters stand for “Community Business Development Corporation” — as part of their Youth Internship program.

This program places recent graduates (like me!) in jobs at about ten different non-profits around the island, and I applied not knowing which of the ten positions I might get, if any. After the interview with Coastal Business, I was offered a position with a place called the Horizon Achievement Centre (more about them in a minute). The position is actually doing more IT work than I was trained to do in my Graphic Design program, but I was the candidate with the skills closest to those required, and I also am really passionate about the work and can’t wait to learn more skills on the job.

The “Youth Intern” position is a one-year paid placement, and you can read more about the program on Coastal Business’s website, here.

So now about the place I’ll be working. Horizon Achievement Centre is a vocational training and employment service centre, located in Sydney, for adults with mental disabilities or those facing multiple barriers to employment, residing within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. (That’s all pretty much taken right from their website, but it’s well worded and true, so I’m leaving it as is.)

The Centre offers banquets, catering, baking, mail and printing services, assembly and promotions, to the general public, as well as provide job placements to their clients in two coffee shops. The Centre currently serves 134 adults but has a waiting list of 50+, and has recently started a campaign called “Beyond the Horizon” to raise money for a new building. (Read the Cape Breton Post article about that here.)

So what I’ll be doing there: the Centre, which has been in operation since 1984, created a database to keep track of all the information about their clients — things like what tasks the clients have accomplished, what choices they’re given, health information in case of an emergency, and a lot more. This database is really advanced for the sector, and other Centres around the Maritimes are interested in using it. What I’ll mainly be doing is working with someone at the IT department of CBU to turn the database into an app that can be easily used and shared with the other Centres. (And learning a whole heck of a lot in the process!) Other than my IT skills, I’m confident that my design skill set, as well as my community work and fundraising experience, will all find uses in the day-to-day operations of the Centre.

I visited the Centre last week and really enjoyed myself! I got to meet some of my new co-workers, and some of the clients who work there too. I had a long chat with Carol Pendergast, the Executive Director, about the Centre’s history and about the database I’ll be working with, and then Amanda Burt, one of the Coordinators, gave me a tour of the whole facility. It is a really busy, positive and inspiring place, and I’m so looking forward to working there, starting in August! You can see photos of the operations, clients and staff on the Facebook page for the Centre, here.

So I guess I can check one of my “four simple goals” off the list, lol. Anyway, I can’t wait to start, and to share the experience with you all!

Have a great Friday! And Happy Independence Day to all my American readers. And to everyone on the East Coast, stay dry and safe while Arthur rolls over us.

Posted in Community, Day to Day Life, Design, Education, Jobs, Work | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

30walks: White Point


Last week I drove down to Ingonish and Neil’s Harbour. I stopped in Ingonish at Salty Rose’s and then in Neil’s Harbour to visit a friend who is in the nursing home there. Those were the main reasons for my travel Down North, but since I was close to it already I decided to carry on towards White Point and go for a walk.

Background: I turned 30 this year. On my birthday, in April, I decided to start a new documentation/adventure project, called 30walks. You can read the first post about it here, and read the other walks here: Johnson Lake.

This is walk #: 2.

This walk is at: White Point, at the top of the island. Directions to get there can be found at this link. More pictures (including the trail without fog) are here at

Easyness to find: pretty easy.

Easyness to walk: pretty easy. A few uphills, but the track is wide and relatively smooth.

Other notes: There is something powerful to driving down North, for me. It’s part of the same island I live on, but it definitely feels like — and is! — a whole different place. It’s wilder, rockier, with fewer people, but the communities there are almost as beautiful to me as the landscape they’re settled into and perched on.

When I got to the end of the point, I sat and just looked out for a while. I looked out, around, down. I looked at the shore, and at the waves coming in, and out, and in again. I looked at the swallows flickering through the air, swooping up and around one another. I looked at the fog soaking the air and wrapping the rocks.

I had just visited a friend who can’t speak or move very much, who had an aneurysm several years ago and is still suffering the effects. During the visit, we looked each other in the eye a bunch, and I talked to him, laughing and telling stories. He was definitely there, holding my eye contact. It was overall a really good visit — especially since I hadn’t been down to see him since he was moved from Baddeck to Neil’s Harbour — but I always come away from that sort of visit with a need to just sit and look out at the water. Thank goodness White Point was there.


Please forgive my creosote stain on the Nova Scotia Atlas.


Can you see my Yaris, Pepper Potts?

30walks-whitepoint02 30walks-whitepoint03 30walks-whitepoint04 30walks-whitepoint05 30walks-whitepoint06 30walks-whitepoint08 30walks-whitepoint09 30walks-whitepoint10 30walks-whitepoint11

Posted in 30walks, Active living, Leah's thoughts, Outdoors | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments




Much-needed, soaked-up, lazy lazy fun times. Ahh yeah…good stuff, vacation.

(We just got back from three days hanging out in Eastern Passage with Adam’s cousin’s family, and assorted neighbours and friends who would come by to eat barbecue and drink some beers. I got to see my brother too, who lives in Halifax these days. At one point he and I went on a drive out to Lawrencetown Beach just to check it out. Here are some photos!)

Also, this heat wave feels really sudden to me… anyone else? Maybe that’s because I don’t really pay attention to the weather forecast.

And, this week is KitchenFest! Have you been taking in some of the shows? I… haven’t. But I might. See above: lazy.


longweekend3 longweekend4

Me rocking the goofy glasses-over-glasses look.
longweekend5 longweekend6 longweekend7 longweekend8 longweekend9 longweekend10 longweekend11 longweekend12 longweekend13 longweekend14 longweekend15 longweekend16 longweekend17 longweekend18 longweekend19 longweekend20 longweekend21 longweekend22 longweekend23 longweekend24 longweekend25 longweekend26

Posted in Day to Day Life, Leah's thoughts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

links loved / june 28


Oh hey! Happy Saturday. We’re on the move, heading to Eastern Passage for the weekend to visit with family. (This is a post from when we were there in 2012.)

But first! Some links loooooved. Inspired as always by Elise Blaha and her Weekend Links!

My friend Krista’s post about podcasts got me to check out Totally Laime and I have been a little bit — OK, a lot! — obsessed ever since.

I had this dessert at a dinner party last week and holy crap, now I think I might just have to make some.

I met this gal last week too. She’s a photographer from the West Coast who’s the partner of one of my childhood friends. And we share a name! Yay!! Anyway, she’s real fantastic and takes amazing photos.

A dose of super-cute.

Do you want/need more hip-hop in your life?

OK I better run, Adam’s getting cranky and wants to hit the road. I’ll be on Instagram all weekend for sho, and then back here possibly Tuesday. Not sure yet. We’ll see!

Have an amazing weekend!

Posted in For Fun, Leah's thoughts | Tagged | 2 Comments