What This Year Was, And What The Next Will Be

This year was good to me.

It was. I can look back at January and realize that I had just started working at a school that wasn’t quite yet a school, making peanuts and generally being totally unsure of where I was going and what I was doing.

I’m still plenty unsure about where things are going, but I’m a lot more secure in my insecurities.

I buried a lot of insecurities this year. I have a generally older peer group, and 2013 is the year in which I owned being the youngest person in most of the circles I travel in. Yes, I’m 26. But I’m also a classroom teacher in one of the toughest markets I could have picked, good at what I do, and I can hold my own.

2013 wasn’t perfect. Many parts of it were tough, and scary. But I moved forward. We moved forward, Natalie Joy and the girls and I. And moving on to 2014, I’m taking the site’s tagline and turning it into a mantra.

I have the most incredible little family. They’re my everything and I am excited every day to see what they’re going to bring into my life. But what I forget from time to time is that I have incredible friends too, and they deserve more of my time. I’ll devote more time to pursuing the things I love and less to things that are passingly interesting or entertaining. I’m a nerd and a skeptic and an admirer of whimsy and my goal should be to enable all those things. And I truly, deeply love this city, and I want to learn so much more about it.

I start things. I make and make but things always seem a little less than done, or things are well on their way to being completed only to end up entirely not done. I build and write and draw and should do more of all three. I want to finish the things I love to make and to be more proud of the things I’ve made. I need to work on focus and prioritization and scheduling time for me. And I also need to recognize more often when things are done, and to take joy in completion.

I have stuff in my Moleskine that is worth reading, worth sharing. I have artwork kicking around that could be surfaced and posted. There are so many things I’m constantly psyched about and I should make more of an effort to put my work out there in the world, to put myself out there.

2013 was a solid year. A year that moved me closer to a lot of goals. 2014 is the year in which I stop looking towards when my goals are achieved and start looking to doing the things I love more in the moment, and making time rather than waiting to just find the time.

This is it. Love more. Make more. Share more.

See you in the new year, folks.

Paddle your own canoe,



5 Reasons Why You Should Support Cardamom & Cloves’ Indiegogo Campaign

Cardamom & Cloves is an upcoming herbs & spices shop in Ottawa. It’s on track to open, and Jodi, the proprietress, is running an Indiegogo campaign to help launch the store with the appropriate level of pomp and awesome that the foodie community here in Ottawa deserves. Here are 5 reasons why you should support the campaign in its last 14 hours.

5. Ottawa is a frozen, blasted wasteland and we’ll turn to cannibalism without it.

Don’t let the pretty lights fool you. Ottawa is the last bastion against the elements and against the horrible Clawed Elk of the North. A castle to protect against tunneling bears and feral moose and beavers with rotary saws instead of teeth that would otherwise move further south. You’re welcome, Toronto. 

That means, though, that we’re completely cut off in the winter and without a store of decent fresh-grown herbs & exotic spices, we’ll turn to seasoning our meals of snow and mouldering, long-stored grain with human blood instead of spices. Once Cardamom & Cloves opens, we can freely allow ourselves to be cut off from the rest of the world in this northerly fortress without worrying about resorting to cannibalism.

4. The world is a dangerous place, and we don’t want to go there.

For most of us, the idea of going as far as Barrhaven or Orleans is arduous enough to climb into a sleeping bag and hibernate for a month. Jodi has no such fears. Want an exotic spice from Farlandia? She’ll find a way to source it for you. She’ll probably punch a leopard in the mouth to do it, too, because Jodi is fearless. And she knows good ingredients when she sees them.

3. Sometimes, dreams do come true.

Every time you donate to the Cardamom & Cloves indiegogo campaign, an angel gets its wings. Or something? I don’t quite recall. I might have been more to do with chicken wings than angel wings. That makes sense, actually. Donate to an herb & spice shop, and your wings will taste way better, because you can get rad rewards like spice starter kits.

2. Jodi is super awesome.

She’s an awesome food blogger. She teachers cooking and food stuff. She is a human jetpack. She once ate a mountain and spit out diamonds. She drop-kicked the moon into orbit. She is a formidable person. She doesn’t need your help with the store, but this isn’t just a shop — it’s a new chapter opening in the foodie movement, and she’s inviting you to be a part of it, the way Kennedy invited America to the moon.

1. It’s about time we spiced up the capital.

A wise man once said, “Ask not what your spices can do for you, but what you can do for your spices,” or something like that. Look, it’s a community service to donate here, because Ottawa doesn’t have a rad shop like this yet. We should have a place that’s dedicated to making the things we eat more interesting and more fun. Jodi is committed to that vision, man. Throw her a couple of bucks to help make it happen.

Click through to donate!

Click through to donate!