Browsing Tag


Personal Essays

Looking Back at 2015


It’s been a big year. Before I headed into 2016 I wanted to take a second to look back and reflect on everything that happened in 2015.

Blog became, moved from Squarespace and relaunched with a whole new design on a self-hosted WordPress site, and I started a Facebook page.



I set off in April with the goal to read 41 books during the remaining nine months of the year. I ended up coming in at 20, or about one book every two weeks.

I underestimated was how much reading I was going to have in my Masters degree (which I didn’t count on the list) and how much time I’d have to read during our massive road trip (why read when you can climb a mountain or go on a once-in-a-lifetime outdoors adventure?).

That being said, I’m still proud of everything I managed to read and I’m going into 2016 again with the goal of reading one book every week.

Some of my 2015 favourites:




I had the chance to sit down in a Russian tea room, I wrote about how to make great matcha, Halifax got its very own tea festival and I reviewed some great tea from Canadian tea vendors. I fell in love with Taiwanese oolong at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland and sampled teas throughout San Francisco’s Chinatown. I drank tea at the oldest tea house in Canada during the tea house challenge.


I also completed my third tea sommelier course with the Tea Association of Canada. I’m excited to write about tea sommelier training and tea history to come in 2016!



With my Masters starting in September I stayed put for the second half of 2016, but in March I hit up Boston to go to the Women in Travel Summit where I met lots of amazing travel women. Then I was off to Milwaukee to attend Bloghouse and then did a huge road trip across Canada for the month of August. I travelled to World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon and then decided on a whim to rent a car and drive down to San Francisco for a week.


Right now I’m in Goose Bay, Labrador in the Canadian north, where there are skidoos and dogsleds to ride. Dry air that sucks that moisture out of you and the smell of wood fires to put you to sleep after you come in from the cold.


I ditched my heavy Nikon D800 DSLR kit and bought a Fuji X-T1, shot again for Lawn Summer Nights, a cystic fibrosis fundraiser in Halifax and wrote my first photography how to.

My best moments of the year on Instagram, using BestNine. Our surprise mountain engagement took the top spot! Following close behind are two shots from the day we took the tea house challenge, when I visited the beautiful Milwaukee art museum during Bloghouse, when we stumbled upon a sunflower field in North Dakota, and this ‘Just Start’ wallpaper with the Fairmont Chateau at Lake Louise as seen from the trail behind the lake.



I had the chance to be on the radio a lot this fall thanks to my university. Learning how to put together short stories for the ear, write for the ear and also live hosting and interviewing was a treat. I also got to interview a lot of really interesting people for The Radio Room on CKDU 88.1FM.

Here’s the last piece I put on air before the holidays:


I left my job at a law firm and started a Masters Degree in Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax and got engaged. Between leaving jobs, going back to university and doing all that traveling, plus freelance work on the side, it made for a busy year. This year I’m going to work on carving out more space in the day to write. This will likely be accomplished by trying to wake up a half hour earlier at 6am instead of 6:30am.

What’s Next?

I recently went to a 2016 focus workshop with a bunch of female entrepreneurs. We each picked a word to focus on for 2016. I wrote completion. I started spinning a lot of great plates this year and my goal for 2016 is to work on keeping them in the air and bringing them to the finish line.

What’s on your horizon for 2016?


Welcome To My New Blog (+ Free Stuff!)

Hi friends. Thanks for reading. I’ve changed a few things around here.

What’s New?

  • I’m now self-hosted and running WordPress. I did some tech-lifting and coded/switched everything over by myself!
  • My URL is now People usually recognized me by my synonymous Twitter/Instagram handle anyway, so I thought it made sense to brand the site so everything matched. There’s also a little tea mug I drew in the logo now. Yay!
  • There’s a Facebook Page. This is a whole new thing for me!
  • Re-Designed Layout
  • Cleaned up post categories. There was a mess of categories from old iterations of my site. I’m still working on sweeping up some of the debris, but I’ve introduced a whole new category system, which I think gives a better impression of where I want the site to go.

What’s Coming?

  • Tea Shirts! I’m designing a line of tea and travel-related shirts for purchase. I’ve ordered some testers and will let you know a soon as they’re available!
  • The Great North American Road Trip. My guy and I are setting out from Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 1st, and plan to make it to Vancouver Island and back by the first week of September. The summer of the road trip I always dreamed about.
  • Tales from J-School. I’m not sure what to expect from journalism school, but I’m sure I’ll be all over the Maritimes covering interesting stories starting in the Fall.
  • More Posts! I’ve got about 1,513 ideas (That’s the note count on my Evernote ‘Post Ideas’ Notebook). And I’ve got 22 almost ready to go (The count on my ‘Post Drafts’ Notebook).

Some Growing Pains: When I was moving my site to WordPress, I just could not get the old Disqus comments to appear on my posts over here. I tried everything recommended on Disqus’ site, but nothing worked. So for now none of my old comments are displaying. I do have them saved to an XML file on my desktop, and I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out how to get them up, but if you don’t see your old comments, that’s why.

Thanks again for keeping up with me. I look forward to more travels and getting to write and have discussions about tea, travel, life, photography, and philosophy.

Now, the fun:



To celebrate the new design I wanted to send a surprise present to one reader.

I’m not 100% sure yet what the contents will be, but I plan to put together something special while I’m visiting San Francisco and Portland over the next two weeks. In addition to one giveaway surprise there are also be two consolation prizes.

How To Enter: Just leave a comment below! Please make sure to include your name and email address in the comments form so that I can email you to let you know you’ve won. I’ll be drawing names from a hat, so your comment doesn’t have to be long or fancy to win. The deadline to will be  9am Pacific on July 14th.[/white_box]


p.s. Did you say Portland and San Francisco?

Yes! I’ll be on the Pacific Coast from July 8th until July 22nd. I’m going for World Domination Summit in Portland. I have rented a car to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, where I’ll be staying another week. Tea drinking spots, the Californian Redwood Forest, and Big Sur are on my list, but if you have any good suggestions for stuff to do in and around Portland or the Bay Area, please leave them in the comments below!



Winners Have Been Picked! I was having a lot of fun shopping for souvenirs on the Pacific Coast, so I decided to double all the winners.

Two Giveaway Surprises:

  • Brenda Linstead
  • Denise

Four Consolation Prizes:

  • Kristine R
  • Bonnie McGrath
  • Mel MacCoubrey
  • Jackie Kidd

Names were picked using a random name generator online. I had to enter all the names manually though, so if anyone has any insight as to a better way to take entries for future giveaways, I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks everyone for playing! I’ll reach out to the winners to get their addresses for present fulfillment. 🙂