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Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a very happy and safe holiday season! Sorry for the belated post, but I've been busy trying to survive retail during this busy time of year. As usual, I hope you enjoy this little Christmas photoshoot with Callie.

Wishing you all a happy new year, and I'll be posting again soon!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Life Update

Hello my friends,

It's been a while since I last posted here and it's because I've been very busy with some life changes. To give you an idea of what I've been up to, here are some pictures from the last month and a half:

It's official: Callie and I have moved back to Ontario. At the end of June, I packed all of my belongings in two U-Boxes and flew with my cat five hours across the country. As usual, she blew me away with how well she handled everything. She was relaxed while exploring the gate at Vancouver International Airport and slept through the entire flight. 

My family is hosting us temporarily while we sort things out, and so far they've fallen in love with Callie. I'll be back soon with more updates now that things have finally settled down. 

Until then, I hope you're all doing well.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Wild Geese

Wild Geese
Mary Oliver

"You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves." 
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My Vision Board

The last few months I've struggled with my motivation and energy, especially in regards to my thesis. I'm in the last stretch of my academic journey and at times the writing feels like tackling a giant mountain. My counselor gave me the task of making a vision board. She wanted me to have a visualization tool to help me push through the painful rough patch I'm in now. 

I worked very hard on creating a visually appealing vision board since I knew it would sit in my living room above the computer desk. This is the first time I've made a collage since high school, and although it was tedious at times, it was a fun challenge to piece together bits of my future from different magazines. 

Here's a closer look at the vision board, which I broke down into 9 different squares for areas of my life. 

My Career

The career square of my vision board was the most important in motivating me to finish my thesis. I started my Masters because I wanted the experience necessary to land a job in biology or wildlife management. For those who don't know, the topic of my research is carnivore management. I haven't spoken much about it on my blog because it's a controversial but necessary topic here in BC. As a result, it's been a draining project to work on alone and has been delayed a few instances due to the politics. 

I'd love to continue working in biology. I want to have a job where I feel like I'm making a difference to an environmental issue. My experience so far has led me to wildlife management, which combines the challenges of biology, politics, and economics. It's truly about managing people and ensuring our species are protected into the future. 


My health square in a wonderful compilation of nutrition, exercise, mental health, and self-care. I wanted to focus more on being healthy inside and out, as opposed to focusing on a physical goal. I understand the importance of being in nature for my well-being and wanted to keep that reminder on my vision board, along with deeper meanings like, "Love your hair" which is something anyone with trichotillomania could probably relate to.

My Family

I wanted a square to represent my ideal future family. As you can see, there are no children in this section. To be honest, I'm still not sure I ever want kids and I've been fairly certain about this from a young age. Instead, I wanted to focus on what I definitely want: a loving partner and a happy family of animals. I have the most amazing cat in my life right now, but eventually, I'd like to add an adventurous dog for hiking and camping. And of course, there's the dream of one day owning a goat (or even a small ranch of rescue animals). 

My Friends

My friendships are probably the one thing in my life that are in the best shape possible right now. Because of this, it was surprisingly difficult putting this square together. I have no new goals for my friendships, I just want to continue focusing on my amazing friends and being as supportive as possible. A subscription to my alma matter magazine came in handy because I was able to cut up photos from the University of Guelph and add "Reconnect" directly to my vision board. Overall, for the next year or two, I want to focus on fun, making more memories, and having a supportive circle of women in my life. 


Ah yes, my love life. Since becoming single again late last year, I'm not sure what the future holds for me here. At this point, I'm not even sure where I'll be living in a few months. I just know that I want someone who brings out the best in me, inspires me to go on adventures and who also enjoys the outdoors. I suppose I just want a partner in crime. As you can see, love of animals and future pets are also an important dynamic in this square. 

Inspiration and Communication 

This section is all about my creative outlets: photography, painting, and blogging. For this square, I simply found photos that really appealed to me, along with my goals for these pursuits. I'd love nothing more than to be an excellent storyteller and inspire people with my work.

Fashion and Beauty

It may seem a little vain to have this section, but I've learned to accept that I find makeup and clothing an important outlet in my self-expression. To me, it's about telling a story with the way I look and feeling free to experiment with the way I present myself. I love bohemian, natural vibes and lipstick. I've also been thinking recently of dabbling in hair color (I've never colored my hair!). Stay tuned for the possibility of a new 'do.


This last square was an extra space that I decided to dedicate to a more concentrated look at my goals. The whole vision board is my aspirations for the next several years, whereas I wanted this square to represent the priorities I'd like sooner rather than later. I want to graduate and feel secure about my future. Hopefully, I'll start my career in the next year. I also added important reminders, like my desire to be a morning person, and that even if I don't own a car, I can always rent one. I'd also really like in the next year to move to a smaller community and rent a small house instead of a small apartment (and it would probably cost close to the same anyway). 

So there you have it, my first vision board! This may be a really in-depth look at my life and goals, but it's something I felt would be worthwhile sharing. Feel free to take this as inspiration to make your own vision board, or even just for brainstorming for your own future.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Recovering from the Flu

Just a little snippet from last week when I was fighting the flu. Thankfully I'm nearly recovered now (just a slight cough), but I spent a miserable 4 days with a fever. As you can see, Callie was the most supportive cat imaginable.

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Hello my dear friends,

I hope everyone's had a safe and enjoyable start to 2017 already. It's that time of year again where I do a "year-in-review" post. I feel like a lot of people share my opinion that 2016 was a rough year, especially those who live close (or within) the United States and were affected by the shifting political views. Speaking for myself, I'm very apprehensive of what's to come in 2017.

2016 has been a transitionary year for me; it wasn't awful, but it wasn't great either. I've been slowly working my way out the depression that's plagued me for the last few years, so 2016 was about health, rediscovery and breaking bad cycles. Considering this, I'm not sure if the resolution system is a productive tool for me anymore, especially since I tend to set overly ambitious goals and become burnt out or disappointed.

At least my 2016 resolutions were much more realistic and healthy than previous years.

2016 Resolutions:
✓ Progress not perfect
✓ Self-care and self-love
✓ Rebuild and strengthen left leg
✗ Finish thesis
✓ Spend more time in nature

The past year was definitely about progress; I finally was prescribed anti-depressants to help me move through my depression, I've rebuilt strength and confidence in my knee, and I made the financially risky decision of taking a chance on a wonderful, yet sick, cat.

In fact, I think a lot of the progress I made this year was because of Callie. She brings so much happiness into my life and provides a source of unconditional love that I've been craving ever since I was a little girl wishing for a pet. Thanks to Callie I took a part-time retail job to help pay for her costs, which led to me spending 8-9 hours a day on my feet, allowing me to strengthen my bad leg. I also have a better outlook now that I'm working retail in addition to academia. I get to meet new people and feel accomplished at the end of a successful workday. 

This year I also started writing down my small successes and saving them in a jar. I think I'll definitely do this again for 2017. It's amazing how many good things happen throughout the year that you would otherwise forget about. 

Some of my favorites from this year include:
"Was finally prescribed anti-depressants"
"People at work like me :) "
"I got a consulting project with pay at $24/hour"
"Successfully presented my research and got great feedback" 
...and my personal favorite, "I'm getting a cat!" written the day before I picked up Callie. 

My greatest hope is that I continue this positive momentum into 2017. I created a vision board with my goals for the next 2-3 years (which I'll post to the blog soon), so my year's resolutions mean a little less to me now. Overall, I just want to keep taking little steps in the right direction this year. 

2017 Resolutions:

  • Progress not perfection
  • Rehab to get back on the ultimate field 
  • More adventures
  • More time doing the things I love (blogging, art, reading)
  • Finish my thesis 

Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe 2017!

Amanda xox