Monday, March 20, 2017

Jan to March Shenanigans

Let's get caught up! I was reminded via a post by Poppy Barley, that I haven't been on the blog. So, here's an update:

I was invited by Poppy Barley to an International Women's Day event at Lifestyle Meditation in partnership with Lululemon. It was a wonderful afternoon; hanging out with some of the loveliest ladies in Edmonton; hearing more about the Poppy Barley story and, the beautiful people they work with at their factory in Mexico; participating in a meditation session; working through a values session with a talented facilitator. It was the perfect afternoon. 

On another evening, a bunch of us went to see the Mayor read mean tweets. Rapid Fire Theatre was kind enough to host Don, and they made a whole show out of the choice correspondence he receives through social media! We (especially those of us who work directly with Don) laughed and cried. It was magical.

I was out at a school, talking my talk about poverty in Edmonton.

I brought greetings to a school's leadership rally, and met these fantastic future leader ladies. 

Alice was bored while I was filming a Dinner Television segment as a parent panel panelist. 

Made a delivery of a TV to Nina Haggerty Centre For The Arts as a party of Apricity's partnership with them this year.

Speaking of Apricity, a bunch of us went out to support KidSport's first Ladies and Littles free skate!

Celebrated the achievements of our best volunteers and supporters of the 2016 UW campaign, with my United Way Cabinet Co-Chair, Tom - At the Red Tie Gala.

On another evening, I was supporting Lurana Shelter with a bunch of friends.

AND, I was hanging out with a bunch of the sisters from Lurana Shelter. THE BEST.

Last weekend it was the Edmonton Police Service's 125th Birthday - Yay!

Apparently the guy in the middle there plays hockey or something ;)

Oh, and I walked in this charity fashion show thingy:

Until next time! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Goodbye Holidays, Hello 2017!

Happy 2017 to all of you! I thought I'd share some photos of holiday break since it was a blast. The first week was nonstop partying and hosting and hanging out with all of our old friends who return home each Christmas. Don and I are basically some of the only people that stayed in Edmonton long-term, so all our high school and University friends are long gone. This makes the holiday convening intensely joyous and... exhausting (I'm old, and can't party the same way I used to). After new years I was full of love and joy, and had bags under my eyes from late nights. 

The holiday season began when I made a whining Alice put on a dress, for my students' Christmas piano recital. I only managed to get her to wear the dress for the photo. Afterwards, she took it off and put on sweat pants. 

 We carved out a bit of time to take kids on a tour of city hall!

Lounging around with two of my besties - We had an abbreviated visit, but every moment together was pure sweetness.

Had a chance to wish the wonderful staff and ED at Boyle Street Community Services a Merry Christmas, celebrating Apricity's partnership with YEG Cycle for Boyle Street's H.E.R. program

I, uh... went to a dinner party and was REALLY into these toy yorkies. 

Took the kids sledding on new years day - Hanging out with the cousins and their crew.

 Then, Don and I did some road tripping through the mountains and skied on Maligne Lake. It was C-O-L-D but, as usual, once you put on all the layers and start moving around... sweat.

The next day we skiied just outside of Clearwater. It was gorgeous! It was a beautiful day, the trails were fantastic, and we even ate our brown bag lunch in the little warming hut they have there. We just pulled in on a whim, and it turned out to be amazing.

Getting back from vacation featured back-to-work whip lash. Although I was emotionally happy and felt rested, that whole week was rough.

Here is my attempt at a well-lit, daytime self-portrait that was required for a publication. There was a tight turnaround and I didn't have time to find somebody so I did it myself. Non-phone selfies are hard. But, out of the hundred or so I took, there were 3 that were salvageable. So, let's chalk that up to successfully completing the assignment.

We were so lucky to enjoy 2 shows of Mayor Reads Mean Tweets, graciously donated by Rapid Fire Theatre, with all funds raised going to United Way! It was exactly like what it sounds like.


 And, bedtime snuggles with the babies.

Good to be back into the swing of things. Here's to 2017 being a great one!

Saturday, December 17, 2016


I've been working, you've been working, we've all been working. 

In the home. Outside of the home. With our kids, as partners, as volunteers, in addition to being employees or parents or friends or whatever. It's what we all do! 

I was chatting with a fellow mom while waiting for our kids to get out of class a few months ago and I don't quite remember how it came up but, she mentioned that my life looked... and I quote - glamorous. 


Was my response. If there had been food or drink in my mouth, I probably would have spat it out. 

It was funny to me, because I know how much work goes into work. The good news is, the appearance of glamour must mean I'm doing a decent job. She mentioned that I get to go to a lot of events (true) and get dressed up a lot (true). 

I told her that the behind-the-scenes stuff requires a lot of coordination and attention. Arranging for babysitters; Paying for babysitters; The kids staying over at my mom & dad's all the time; Allotting time to do my hair & makeup (or, having a full face of makeup on all day since there is no time to transition into the evening after teaching); At formal events I need to wear a gown, bought and paid for with my piano teaching money; Once I'm at an event I have no idea who I'll be meeting or what sorts of social graces I'll need to pull out of my arsenal (assuming my social graces arsenal is all stocked up)... it's a whole thing! 

The part where I get to meet awesome people who do amazing work in the city, and where I get to celebrate cool things happening in Edmonton? That part is super fun. 

So here's to all of us out there, hustling so that we can get our jobs done. No matter what the job:) 

Scroll down to see some of the non-teaching, non-mom work I've been up to this fall... 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Lobster Fest
First Oilers game at the new Rogers Place!

Supporting my friend Krista, at her DKNY shopping event in support of iHuman Youth Society.

My own DKNY event in support of ALL IN FOR YOUTH, a United Way collaborative that provides wraparound services in Edmonton's inner city schools.

A work dinner with a travel theme. 

All is Bright light up festival on 124 St with Don and the kids.

Launching Apricity's partnership with Nina Haggerty Centre, hosted by Poppy Barley!

Art Gallery of Alberta's Holly Ball.

Wrap-off competition with my friend Jamie, to promote Xmas wrapping services at Southgate Mall in support of Bissell Centre. Suggested donation of $2 per gift, with all proceeds going to Bissell's many programs. Available until Dec. 24th!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Ever since September hit, with back to teaching and back to school, it's been nonstop. From what I'm hearing out there, this has been the case for many. The good news is that I'm having a lot of fun!

Funny thing. I started writing this post (like that first few sentences up there... months ago. It's now almost Christmas and, well, here I am again! 

Youth initiative with United Way continues to be a blast. I get to go all around and talk to students about local poverty issues, with Alice in tow (you can try to spot her in the photos). The extrovert in me gets tons of energy from curious and sweet students and the more kids I get to meet, the more of Edmonton I get to see, and the more hopeful I become about our future. 

Something people may now know about me is that I fret about the state of our world all the time. I was talking about climate change over coffee with a friend last year and I started to cry. During coffee. Like, on a Tuesday morning.

Btw, in case you didn't know, the situation is pretty bad.

Even though we should have gotten ahead of stuff like climate change; urban form; early intervention; housing first; active transpiration (and the list goes on) a generation ago - There is no better time than right now. 

And, these kids get it! They're the ones who are going to make it all happen. 

So here's to them! All the young and inspiring people who put a smile on my face and challenge our perceptions of who gets to have a voice and an impact in our community. 

I always think about what the executive director (Liz O'Neil) of Big Brothers Big Sisters said to me 
one time. To make a difference, she said, all you have to be is somebody who cares.

These kids care! And, they've got that bit of wonder still about them... sort of like how maybe a tiny fraction of them still believes in magic, and maybe ghosts (like me).

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Been Hustlin'

I'll have to do a retrospective I had so much fun over the summer post at some point, but ever since September hit, I've been hustlin' like crazy with my cabinet co-chair gig! In no particular order, I hereby inundate you with images of STUFF. 

Up there is the invitation for a fundraiser I'm throwing with some pretty amazing partners. Want to come? Please do! Tickets can be purchased here. If you come a part of me will love you forever - I can seat you next to my mom if you like?

In other news, Alice & Associates has been pounding the pavement hard

 Here we are at the United Way Government of Alberta campaign kick off! It was at the legislature, so naturally we took the train.

 As a treat for being a decent partner of her firm, I let her run through the fountains until a security guard told us to stop.

As she's growing up it's becoming more and more obvious that Alice wants to have things her own way (apple doesn't fall far from the tree). Here we are at the United Way super campaign kick off and she's so over taking pictures with mom.  

  I joke that Tom of Chandos is my work husband, but it's sort of true. What a great co-chair to work with! And, my UW work husband, Mike Kluttig, who was tweeting about us! Tom and I gave some welcome remarks and I only verged on crying as opposed to the all-out river of tears I usually produce when talking about people in our community that I care so deeply about.

Then, on another day, I presented a literacy champion award on behalf of Edmonton Literacy Coalition.

So. Short.

Hilariously unrelated is my paying work - Teaching.

Students are all back and it's a delight to see them again and to work with them - After all these years of teaching I'm still learning! The studio is looking pretty serene these days.

 At my Big Sister gig, I saw the cutest little student election posters all around the school :) My little and I discussed who he might be voting for, and why. Adorable.

 I generally can't do media in the morning because Don is at work already and I've got to get the kids to school. This past Tuesday the media call was so early that I was able to do it AND get back to get the kids to school!

Thanks to Global and Jennifer Crosby for having us, and being total pros.

 And, finally, my friend and principal at Berlin (Michael!) led an awesome think-tank marketing sort of session with a bunch of amazing younger people. United Way is also looking at how we're going to connect and engage with the slightly-younger-than me future leaders. So, we're looking into it!

That's some of the stuff I've been up to. Not really riveting, but alas, I'm having tons of fun and am excited I get to do really cool work with people I like. 

I'm one of the lucky ones.