Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Direction

Welcome to a New Year!  Zora Neale Hurston once said "There are years that ask questions and years that answer."  2013 did both. It was a year full of challenges and changes but I am starting 2014 feeling both centred and excited.

When I first started my blog inn 2009 I wanted it to be a place to share "my thoughts on those people, places and things that make me feel 'alive, and very much so.'"  In short, the things that make me glad.
I am as "alive" and as "glad" as ever - possibly more so - but I no longer found my old blog format inspired me. There's still so much I want to share - images,ideas, quotations that inspire me - but I wanted to find a new platform to do so.  You'll still be able to find the old blog posts here but all new content will be posted at I hope you'll join me over there!

So welcome to a new year - I look forward to sharing it with you.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#bringitdowntown: stay all day

I was lucky to be asked to participate in #bringitdowntown again this year. Each year Downtown Fredericton invites local bloggers and social media personalities to "Bring the Love Downtown" to help promote the shops and services in the city's downtown core.  This year we each were given themes.  Mine was "Stay all Day" so a few weeks ago I shot this promo video.

On Saturday I had another "Downtown day."  It started with brunch at the Palate with my sister-in-law and brother who were visiting from Saint John.  A great choice in casual fine dining, this popular brunch and lunch spot may mean a little wait for a table but it's well worth it.  I indulged in the lobster eggs Benedict - so delicious!

After brunch it was time to go pick up my Uncle John for our annual Christmas shopping afternoon.  First up was a stop to visit our friend Luke at Thinkplay and Endeavours.  It was a frigid day but the shop was hopping with people on the hunt for unique toys and top quality art supplies.
I picked up a great metallic pen to make my cards and gift tags shine and I scouted a few ideas for my artist father.  I'll be back before Christmas.

Then it was off to Savour Decor where we are always confident that Janice can help my uncle find just the right thing for my mom and my sister-in-law.

Savour Decor sells a number of locally made products - how cute are these snowmen?
I'm still knitting up a number of Christmas gifts for a stop at Yarns on York was a must for supplies.  Uncle John waited very patiently while I roamed the shelves and shelves of yarns looking for just the right thing.

After that we popped across the street to Urban Almanac where I picked up some festive tea - I needed it to warm up during the weather we've been having!   After a stop at Westminster Books I dropped off Uncle John and it was time to call it a day but not before I stopped by the newly unveiled Memoria Address - a public art piece commissioned by Downtown Fredericton Inc. and the City of Fredericton.  (I wrote about it here)

If you're looking to cap off a great day in Downtown Fredericton, treat yourself to dinner at The Blue Door.  We were there a few weeks ago and their chef and kitchen are firing on all cylinders these days.  For a more casual option I am loving Park's Noodle and Sushi on the corner of Regent and Queen - cozy up in a window booth and watch the city pass by.  

There's a week left until Christmas and you can be sure I'll be out and about supporting Downtown businesses as I wrap up my holiday shopping! I hope you'll show some love for your local businesses this season too!
Dinner at the Blue Door - a Downtown treat!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

welcome back

My Monday surprise from my new boss.
I can't believe it's been five months since I last posted!  Actually I can.  It's been a crazy few months with lots of experiments and lots of changes.  Some successful, some less so.  As a consequence I chose to prioritize on reflection, decisions and my relationships and the blog got a little bit sidelined.  (I still blogged over at Fredericton Tourism so you  can find some of my adventures there!)    But this week I started a new job with a new team and I'm very excited about it.
Now with a new routine and new energy I am ready to share adventures with you once again! 
So what have you all been up to? 

Friday, June 7, 2013


As the lights dimmed in the Playhouse last night, the air was thick with anticipation.  The dull roar that had filled the theatre seemed to hush with a collective intake of breath as the audience waited for the film to roll.  The crowd of invited guests would be among the first to see Copperhead  the latest feature film from director Ron Maxwell (Gods and Generals, Gettysburg ).  The film was shot last summer on location at Kings Landing Historical Settlement about 20 minutes west of Fredericton.   

From the opening strains of Laurent Eyquem’s stirring score we were transported to upstate New York in 1862 at the height of the Civil War.   With its lush rolling farmland and ribbon of river, Kings Landing shimmered like a painting from the Hudson RiverSchool of painters

While the film will almost certainly gain a lot of attention from Civil War buffs,  Copperhead  is a Civil War movie for people who don’t think they like Civil War movies.  I’m included in that.  I don’t typically gravitate to epic battle movies but with Copperhead, based on the 1893 novel by Harold Frederic,  Ron Maxwell has chosen to show us the war at home.   As he explained in a post-screening discussion, when the troops march out of town in most war movies the camera follows.  Copperhead is notable for showing the impact of the war on those left behind without showing a single battle scene.   It’s also compelling because it comes to the much trod territory of the American Civil War from a perspective that I don’t think we’ve ever seen on film before.

Soft-spoken dairy farmer Abner Beech (Billy Campbell) despises slavery but he also despises sending boys into battle to fight what he believes to be an unconstitutional war hundreds of miles away.   Local anti-slavery zealot Jee Hagadorn – played with wild-eyed brilliance by Angus MacFadyen – stirs up the town against him and his family with tragic results.

Because history has generally determined that American Civil War while terrible and costly was ultimately a good and necessary thing for abolishing slavery and maintaining the union, I never really considered that there were good and noble men who opposed it.    While I headed into the theatre looking forward to seeing familiar faces and places (“hey!  I learned to milk a cow in that barn!”)  I mostly wanted I wanted to see a good film.  And I did. 

So how can you see it?  Copperhead opens in limited release in American markets at the end of the month with wider release coming in late July.  Because it’s not a major studio production, the film-makers are really banking on grassroots support of the film to convince theatres to bring it to audiences.  Currently their website offers a “DemandCopperhead” feature for American audiences but they are working to include an option for Canadian audiences as well so stay tuned! 

Together with the stately homes along Waterloo Row and the soaring spire of the Cathedral, Kings Landing is one of my earliest, fondest memories of the part of the province I would eventually call home.  The settlement opens for the season this weekend and I’ll be heading to spend a day there for an upcoming Frederictontourism post. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

it's the weekend: stay dry

If only we could all look as cute as Brigitte Bardot in the rain.

Rain, rain, go away... as much as I hate to complain about the weather the constant grey, drizzly weather we've been having this week has not exactly been uplifting.  BUT it's Friday!  I'll be spending the weekend sifting through all the things I learned from Alt Summit and working on some great round ups of summer activities for the Fredericton Tourism blog.  

To wrap up the week here are some links I've liked  lately:
  • As we all know the world's gone Gatsby mad. I fully support this if it means we get to break out the Prohibition-era cocktails featured on Refinery29.  Is it too early in the day for a French 75?
  • These vintage food poster PSAs from World War II on Brain Pickings are delicious. 
  • Through the magic of algorithms and some resourceful human journalists Times Haiku publishes serendipitous poetry from the New York Times daily.  (via How About Orange)
  • Dreaming of a summer getaway?  Check out New York magazines roundup of amazing summer rentals - working lighthouse anyone? (via A Cup of Jo)
  • Speaking of interesting homes... Apartment Therapy is holding their 9th Small Cool contest.  Amazing to see the stylish spaces people can create with very little square footage.  At 165 square feet (!) I think this home in Italy takes the cake!
How are you spending your weekend?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ira is my homeboy

Note card by 4four
It should surprise exactly no one that I love Ira Glass.  And my love grew even more on Saturday when Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day shared this quote during her Alt for Everyone presentation.  It so completely summarizes I have often felt but never been able to articulate:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through ― Ira Glass

How have you handled this gap between your work and your ambitions? Do you feel you've closed it?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

alt for everyone

Whenever I see the #altnyc or #altsf hashtags start to show up in my social media feeds, I always feel a pang of envy.  The Alt Summits have become the  hot ticket for rookie and established bloggers alike.  Given that tickets to the Alt Summits in New York, San Francisco and Salt Lake City are notoriously hard to get (they cap attendance at about 300) and since my budget is a little lean these days, I jumped at the chance to sign up for Alt for Everyone.  For the first time Alt was taking their summit online.  Over the course of three days I had the chance to hear from some of my favourite lifestyle bloggers and connect with other bloggers from around North America.  
I got to learn from some amazing bloggers including (clockwise from top left): Joy Cho, oh joy! |  Jordan Ferney, Oh Happy Day! | Chris Gardner, and Man Made DIY | Liz Stanley, Say Yes to Hoboken!
It was so perfectly timed!  I've recently cut back my hours as Director of Communications at Theatre New Brunswick in order to pursue other communications consulting work as well as my own projects. Continuing to build and develop The Glad Girl is definitely part of that plan.  I can't wait to work on the tips I got!

I'm also working my through the blog roll of the participants - so many lovely blogs to check out and I hope to share some of my favourites here with you.  I have to give a special shout-out to Crystal from A Bunch of Britts who included The Glad Girl in her Alt roundup.  She's a designer, Starbucks addict and new mom. Go check out her blog!