Teeny-Tiny Packable Travel Souvenirs

Whenever I travel, I opt for backpacking over suitcase-rolling since my habit is to bounce around from city to city - I have a hard time sticking to a single destination if I know another awesome place is just a short trek away. Luckily, I married someone with the same thirst for cramming as much as possible into a single trip.

Keychain, jewellery and knick-knack from Paris
We're always on the go and usually seeking out the least expensive method of transportation (water taxi, tuk tuk, chicken bus, pounding the pavement), so it doesn't make sense to cart a big suitcase around. Those rolling suitcases can be a bigger pain than heavy backpacks despite the perceived perk of having wheels, plus, some touristy towns frown upon the use of rolling suitcases on their cobblestone streets. That is actually a thing in Venice! That said, it leaves us very little room for shopping.

Just Married!

I'm a married lady now! And, now that I'm back to a normal life, I'm slowly getting my online self re-organized.

In the nine months that led up to our wedding, I didn't post much due to the constant distractions and stressy feeling in the pit of my stomach. A lot of stuff got put on the back burner during that time. But in the coming weeks (read: months), I'll be sharing posts about all the plans that led up to our awesome-sauce wedding. I feel pretty accomplished for having organized a destination wedding à la carte.

It was a whirlwind nine months that involved a lot of organizing and daydreaming, and then poof! It was over! Everything went perfectly, everyone had fun and I didn't even have that post-wedding bridal withdrawal I was worried about experiencing.

Anyway, here are some photos from the wedding day taken by my new sister-in-law Megan. The official photos by Kim Ing Photography will be posted at a later date. Enjoy!


Catching up!

The past couple of months have zoomed by and I barely noticed that I wasn't updating my blog. I have a few things to catch up on. First Christmas and New Year's happened and I completed my full year of thrift shopping - I'll share some of my best purchases from the last year soon. I also made a couple of sales on Etsy - yay!

Then we got into the swing of one of Ottawa's coldest winters on record, and some big-time wedding planning. There was a bachelorette party with lots of panties, there was a practice makeup run with my cousin Lindsay, there was an intense hunt for giant balloons and Instax film, and finally, the big trip to Florida with a suitcase full of wedding gear - an exhausting journey that included a snoring five-year old,  a car stuck in snowdrifts and an extremely sweaty arrival in Fort Lauderdale.

Winter on Etsy

It's cold outside so today I'm featuring some of my colder pictures on Etsy. If I can get myself organized I'll be adding more wintery images to the shop very very soon.

#DIGITALDIPLOMACY

Today the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (ie. my place of work) hosted an event on modern diplomacy in the age of social media. The three part presentation was aimed at showcasing how the department has evolved and where it is headed in terms of digital diplomacy. The event featured a panel discussion with Canadian diplomats abroad, a Q&A with representatives from the Canadian branches of Twitter, Google and Facebook, and finally a discussion with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and Sweden's former foreign minister Carl Bildt, which was moderated by Paul Wells of Maclean's magazine.

In the presentation, it was noted that the department has an impressive 400-plus twitter accounts around the globe for various missions and branches. Social media is becoming a useful tool in advocacy which is experiencing a campaign-style shift as the tools become more and more integrated in our work place. It is also being used to send strong messages on consular issues and foreign policy.

Old and Pretty

Every time I visit my parents I end up rummaging through old things in search of I-dunno-what. Sometimes I take things that might come in handy, other times my mom will decide it's time for things to move on, like the rolling pin and bowl that long sat in storage after Grandpa passed away.

Crowded Room

Over a year ago, Dean had an idea for the studio (Gallery Recording). It kept coming up in conversations, the idea kept getting bigger, and he kept telling me he was working on it. I didn't know how far it would go but I did know that people seemed very keen when he described the idea to them. He had a concept, a purpose, a name and even objectives for expansion if it takes off, but he didn't have a team yet.
Over the months, he talked to various people about collaborating on the idea but it wasn't really taking off, but then earlier this year he talked to the right person. He and Craig Allen Conoley of Dan Rascal Productions met for drinks and idea became a project in development - when Dean came home that night, he was more or less effin pumped.
"50 people, two bands, and a film crew walk into a recording studio.No punchline, just one hell of a concert."

Summer's End

Summer is over, fall is here. Let's have moment of silence and share some sunny memories on this Fall equinox, as the temperatures drop and the days get shorter. *sniff*

#2030NOW

Experts, activists, celebrities and world leaders met in New York this week, alongside bloggers and social media experts for the Social Good Summit. This four-year old annual event, which takes place in conjunction to the gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA),  is hosted by the United Nations Foundation, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 92nd Street Y (92Y) and the social media news site, Mashable.

The conversation is about the world we want to live in by the year 2030, and the goal is to instil a sense of purpose among those who might feel otherwise useless - for lack of a better word - when it comes to resolving some of the major issues on the planet. The interactive event is built upon social conversation and the open line of communication that is social media.

Pesto!

Since our plants might be in for more frosty nights, I decided to collect some basil leaves to make a little jar of pesto. And, it was divine. I won't list out the steps or the recipe since I more-or-less followed Jamie Oliver's recipe but I will suggest this: if you own a food processors, save yourself the time and effort of squishing leaves with a mortar and pestle and just use the modern technology.