meanwhile, elsewhere

Friday’s online finds: Cozy up and dig in.

  • I did this (Man Repeller)
  • 100 Must-Read Books Of 2018 (#91 is the next-up on my list) (Medium)
  • A Final Proving Ground for Guide Dogs to the Blind: Midtown Manhattan: A school for Seeing Eye dogs uses the chaos of New York City as its ultimate test when matching young dogs with their blind masters. (NYT)
  • Great! I love Dove (Peta)
  • What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? (A Life in Progress)
  • Brown Point Shoes Arrive, 200 Years After White Ones (NYT)
  • NASA Astronaut Completes Boston Marathon in Space (Space)
  • Chief of Disguise: Coolest job title ever (Kottke)
  • Here’s what happened when I quit drinking a year ago (The Washington Post)
  • Everyone Should Host a ’70s Dinner Party Exactly Once: “It’s offensive to my eyes,” he said, “but only mildly insulting to my taste buds.” (Grub Street)
  • Plantfluencers (NYT)
  • Scratch Thanksgiving, I’m bookmarking this for Christmas (Shutterbean)

One good thing about the Fall: Amazing movies (Go. Now!)

Have a great weekend!

PS. There’s still time to place an order for my Hello 2019 Desktop Calendar! Deadline, December 3. Thanks!

it’s calendar time

Mark your calendar, 2019 is coming!

The Hello 2019 desktop calendars are in production and I am taking orders now! This year I have decided to give 50% of the earnings to a special organization that is near and dear to my heart: The Canadian Association for Williams Syndrome. I wrote about my buddy Aden a few years ago and it gives me so much joy to be able to support his family and their hard work with CAWS.

The cost of a calendar is $10 (and $8 if you already have a case and just want a refill).

Thanks to all of my great friends and family, last year I was able to donate more than $200 to both Hope For Wildlife and Feed Nova Scotia!

Here’s a look at the Hello 2019 calendar (hello stocking stuffer):

If you are interested in one (or more!), please send a private request and payment to before December 3 (be sure let me know if you want a case) and once the calendars are ready, I will contact you and make arrangements for pickup. *If need them mailed, I will add shipping to the cost. 

Everyone near and far will receive their calendar by December 23.

I hope you enjoy this year’s calendar as much as I enjoy making them. And I hope all my loyal refill clients are up for supporting CAWS.


Here’s some information on The Canadian Association for Williams Syndrome (CAWS):

CAWS provides support to Williams syndrome individuals, their families, and caregivers, coast-to-coast. Our grassroots, parent-volunteer run organization is on a mission to spread awareness, raise funds, support research and connect families touched by Williams syndrome. We are a small but mighty National Registered Charity, whose impact can be felt in tiny towns and big cities across Canada.

We strive to connect families, researchers, caregivers and medical professionals across Canada; building a national community to help those with Williams syndrome reach their full potential. We support families through initial diagnosis, the school system, post-secondary schooling opportunities, and skills training, adult employment and housing.

What is Williams Syndrome?

Williams syndrome is a rare genetic condition that is present at birth. It is caused by a spontaneous genetic deletion of a small stretch of 26-28 adjacent genes on chromosome 7, including the elastin gene and can affect anyone. It occurs equally in males and females, in all cultures and to birth parents of all ages.

Williams syndrome brings medical issues, including sometimes life-threatening cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, social challenges and learning disabilities. At the same time, those with Williams syndrome exhibit striking verbal abilities, highly social personalities and an affinity for music. Williams syndrome is thought to occur in approximately 1 in 10,000 births.

While accurate, this clinical description falls short of describing the vast and varied qualities that make Williams syndrome individuals some of the most memorable people you’ll meet. Their highly social personality often manifests in an open-hearted approach to life, a love of meeting new people and a joyful spirit.

There are challenges too. There are health concerns to be monitored or managed at every stage of life. Early intervention, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy is invaluable. Learning disabilities make navigating the education system challenging.

Many with Williams syndrome have difficulty with numbers, spatial relations and abstract reasoning. This can make everyday tasks harder.

In adulthood, supportive housing helps individuals with Williams syndrome live to their fullest potential. Contribution to the community is made through volunteering or paid employment.

The desktop calendar is about the size of a CD case: ~5″w x 5.5″h


Thank you for your support!

meanwhile, elsewhere

Friday’s online finds: Cozy up and dig in.

  • Can they be any prettier? (HonestlyWTF)
  • If the 1960s were about touching the void, microdosing is about pulling back from it… If cocaine kept Wall Street humming at all hours in the 1980s, LSD today keeps the ideas flowing in Silicon Valley… Once an afternoon delight of recreational trippers and high-school seniors, LSD has become a drug of power users: engineers, salesmen, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, writers, the anxious, the depressed. The trip isn’t the thing; instead, microdosing helps maintain a fragmented, frenzied order, little by little, one day at a time. (The New Republic)
  • BIG IN JAPAN and another reason why I must get to Tokyo for the marathon. Post race chocolate (NYT)
  • America’s teens are extremely stressed out about school shootings. They’re not wrong to be. (VOX)
  • Why Are We Still Teaching Reading the Wrong Way? (NYT)
  • Welcome to the Petty Hall of Fame (Topic)
  • Bravo HBO. In the wake of #MeToo, the network hired an intimacy coordinator to make the filming of sex scenes on ‘The Deuce’ safe for all. Now, they’re doing it for every show and movie they produce (Rolling Stone)
  • CBD: “Physically, it’s like taking a warm bath, melting the tension away,” (NYT)
  • Did previous generations have so much trouble mastering the basics? (Citylab)
  • How to Manage Your Seasonal Depression (Lifehacker)
  • By conventional standards, she is doing nearly everything wrong. But she’s beating a lot of the people who are still training the “right” way, so perhaps her path shows there’s room for a more flexible definition of what the right way can be. This is probably true for more than just distance running. (NYT)
  • Me in seven months: An Aging Marathoner Tries to Run Fast After 40 (Wired)

Have a great weekend!


meanwhile, elsewhere

Friday’s online finds: Cozy up and dig in.

  • My thoughts on turning 40 (Oh Lovely Day)
  • Aging is terrifying. I’m optimistic that we’re on the cusp of understanding enough about it to be able to intervene. Finally, the drug that keeps you young (Technology Review)
  • Is this ugly in a good way? (Anthropologie)
  • Dream job (Fast Company)
  • 5 ingredients, 26.2 miles of energy (Food52)
  • These tiles (Aimee Lacalle)
  • I follow this rule (Life Hacker)
  • Justin Bieber and the Burrito-Eating Strategy That Divided a Nation (Vanity Fair)
  • Mid90s (A24)
  • Walking Pad: A treadmill that can be stored under your sofa (Rue Daily)
  • The figure of the kidult exists as a warning that you should not move on to the next step until you’re certain you’re ready (Hmm Daily)
  • Check.Out.This.House (Design Mom)

This is going to destroy me:

Have a helluva weekend!(image)

muggles and wizards and way bigger fans than me, oh my!

At the tail-end of our trip last month, we went to The Making of Harry Potter studio tour just outside of London. David and I had just finished reading the fifth book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and watched the first four movies. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it’s a studio tour and not an adventure park. It sounded kind of boring, the cost was no joke and commute was long (2 hours, both ways via train, subway, and bus!) But despite my reservations, I knew it’d be exciting for David – he put up with running around Berlin, watching my marathon so we could do this.

I thought it’d be fun to share our top 10 favourite things from the day since it is Halloween and all…

  1. The fans. They’re legit and come in all shapes and sizes. I will admit, seeing the kids *and big kids* freak out when the bus pulled up to the studio was…. dare I say… magical.
  2. The staircase. The very first thing you see is the room under the stairs – it’s where it all started. The tour begins with a guided introduction with what I think is the better story, J.K. Rowling’s imagination and her ability to dream up this magical world and then how even after the first book was written, it was a little girl that convinced her dad that the movie(s) would be worth making… Lesson: Listen to kids, they know what’s good! Once we were given this little bit of history, the curtains were drawn, and the doors to the Great Hall were revealed (yes, I got goosebumps!)
  3. The Great Hall and the Goblet of Fire. This is where the guided tour ends. I won’t tell you whose name flew out from the Goblet of Fire.
  4. The sets. Once you’re out of the Great Hall, it’s up to you how fast you want to go through the rest of the building. There are tons of props, sets, costumes, and details about the production of the movie. The cast is just a small part of it all. It’s huge and full of many gems so make sure you eat before the journey.
  5. The props. Oh, so many props! As an art student who majored in design, learning about the makers of props and sets was pretty cool, they deserve so much credit.
  6. Butterbeer. Not going to lie, I went for the butterbeer. What the heck does it taste like?!? David and Mike were not fans, it’s fricking sweet, but I endured, got the picture and checked the experience off the list.
  7. The wands. David wanted a wand. I wanted a wand. David got a wand, but I resisted the temptation. I was pretty excited however that he chose Hermione’s wand. Throughout the tour, there are a few fun experiences you can partake in (broom flying with a green screen, photo opts, broomstick spells, etc.) but a quick lesson on how to use a wand was pretty cool.
  8. The Hogwarts Express. You can walk inside and see the passenger rooms – one decorated for each movie.
  9. Diagon Alley. It really felt like you were winding your way through an alley and you see all of the familiar store signs.
  10. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I can’t put into words how cool this was – a massive model of the castle that you can walk around – look down on, look up at, examine and see how they took it to the big screen. I am pretty sure if I was ten and seeing this, I’d want to be an architect. It was breathtaking.

If you are a big or little fan, I’d highly recommend the tour.

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” – J.k. Rowling