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Kissed by Autumn. (October 22, 2014)

My friend Sarah and I took it upon ourselves to savour Autumn’s little gifts with a small picture-taking road trip. I haven’t done this in a while and by “this” I mean going some place beautiful to take pictures with a friend who loves photography as much as I do. And I pretty much always forget how refreshing and therapeutic it is. Today was quite literally the perfect Fall day, too. The sky was blue with just enough puffy white clouds and the temperature called for just a light sweater. I think I’m going for a second round of this tomorrow morning because another beautiful day awaits. Sometimes you just have to break away from the chaos that is your chores, to-do lists, action plans, and just go to your happy place for a boost that you didn’t even know you needed. This is actually our happy place, which I suppose would make us quite simple beings at the core. Small things like this make us very happy.

There are several more pictures to share but I have to tackle these in doses or I’d be here for countless hours and not get anything else done, which is not the right idea. Case in point – I have my book open in front of me and it is taking me two hours to get through content that should really only take an hour, so that’s my cue to shut this down and focus. :)

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Houses in the middle of nowhere. (October 20, 2014)

I have a thing for them. They’re just pretty.

On this gloomy Monday, I’ll leave you with Sarah Lewis’ Embrace the Near Win TED Talk to lift your spirits. It’s just fabulous.

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The voyage of discovery. (October 19, 2014)

I love that my “eyes” will change perpetually and will never be the same as yesterday. I love having new eyes today, tomorrow, and the day after. And not just in the context of travel but in the context of life and everything in it. Every new experience, no matter what it is, brings you a slightly altered perspective and makes you see things just a little differently. It’s actually a beautiful process.

Random note: I want to think much faster on my feet! There’s a workshop that’s held in Toronto except it’s $1,500. Why so much?

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On our way to the cold winter. (October 16, 2014)

And already missing the summer we didn’t have.

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School is so good. (October 15, 2014)

Today, the dream team and I are delivering a presentation on the House of Marley in our Customer Experience Design class, which is quite a phenomenal class. In a nutshell, take everything you know about marketing and turn it on its head because they’re no longer the most effective ways of reaching your consumers. It’s hard to say whether the concepts and frameworks being taught work flawlessly in practice but the value is in challenging/stretching your thinking rather than giving you a set linear formula to follow. And of course, convincing others of this new way of thinking is a challenge in itself – you’d have to a) know it really well so that b) you can articulate it really well so that c) you can sell it really well. I wish I could share all the lectures. Professor Markus Giesler teaches this course and boy does it help to have someone as passionate and energetic as him to deliver such spectacular content. The combined power of stellar delivery and engaging content is unbeatable.

I’m also really looking forward to our kick-off meeting with our site on Friday for our capstone course project, the 7-month Strategic Field Study (“601″). Our team is made of rockstars and that’s always half the battle. Funny enough, all my MBA teams thus far (no matter self selected or randomly selected) have been made of rockstars and have brought very pleasant and successful experiences. So great an experience that there is always bittersweet sadness when it’s time to adjourn. This is quite contrary to the undergraduate days where you almost always had at least one free rider in every team project who made you want to rip your hair out. Reading week officially starts next week as well. Can’t wait.

Some days I’m completely good and other days, I want to book another small trip before the year ends to hold me over. I’m flip flopping all the time. Below is Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

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Free shipping promotion! (October 13, 2014)

I haven’t thrown a promotion in a while and felt an urge to, so I’ve launched a FREE SHIPPING sale at my Etsy shop for all orders up to an 8×12! Offer is valid until Monday, October 20th. Use promo code: HAPPYSHIPPING. Enjoy! The print below is newly listed.

I wish you a happy thanksgiving (although every day is a GREAT day to reflect and be thankful for everything you have rather than sulk about what you don’t have :)).

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Addicted to TED Talks. (October 11, 2014)

It takes me hours to get out of bed because I keep watching “just one more” TED Talk and quickly reach 8-10 TED Talks in one sitting. I’ve come across some pretty compelling ones the last couple of days but I’ll leave you with Simon Sinek’s How Great Leaders Inspire Action. That was probably the most relevant one for me. Every business has to have a purpose. Seriously, shut up with the features and benefits. That’s all secondary. :)

Chris and I have decided not to take another trip this year. It’s smarter to save the money and splurge on a bigger trip next year for the combined MBA graduation/honeymoon trip. So, in the mean time, I’ll just have to keep the nostalgia coming by visiting old travel photos. I couldn’t decide which version of these photos I liked better, so both will get some love.

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From the art show. (October 6, 2014)

Quick documentation of the Pancakes & Booze Art Show! I didn’t really know what to expect at this show from a format standpoint and was a bit underprepared as a result of not asking enough questions and being completely distracted by other things in my life. Luckily, it was more of an art showroom exhibit and therefore, wasn’t a marketplace for selling, which minimized the effects of my underprepared-ness in a big way. I was also fortunate to have caught a gentleman come back to my wall four times, which lead me to eventually introduce myself without feeling intrusive. He ended up buying the oceanside piece for his girlfriend. :) Feels so good every time. You know what else is extremely satisfying? Just watching people peruse through your work and take pictures of it. I can’t even explain. Anyway, thank you to my amazing husband for ALWAYS supporting me through my little side projects that can be a huge pain in the butt.

I’m in the middle of my application to the One of a Kind Show for March 2015. Wish me luck!!! This one’s a big one and I really want to do it. Did I mention that the application process is arguably more intense than a job application? I like it.

I’ve been procrastinating today. I have to get started on a case study analysis that’s due tomorrow. It’s on Louis Vuitton, so it’s at least interesting.

Photo below was taken with my iPhone 4S, so the quality sucks but it’s always better than nothing! I picked up my iPhone 6 yesterday though and I JUST LOVE IT.

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Pancakes & Booze Art Show! (September 30, 2014)

Guys & gals, these favourite pieces of mine will be available to buy at a Show Special price at the Pancakes & Booze Art Show this Friday, October 3rd! Tickets are only $5! If nothing else, then just come hang out and celebrate art! The show starts at 8pm.

Side note: I’ve added a section in the Abouts to start covering off shows I’ve participated in. I’d like to do more and more and more. :)

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Raw footage of life. (September 25, 2014)

I’m not caught up on the rumours at all but love this performance by Jay Z and Beyonce for what it is. I love, love, love video reels of sweet nostalgic footage stitched together like that and man, what a beautiful touch on their part. “This is REAL LIFE”, it says! Way to turn on the water works.

I’ve always hoped to have enough footage of my life with people I love captured so that I can make my own reel one day. And I’m beating myself up for still not making this a priority. Videos play such a critical role in memory keeping. And let’s just make sure we understand that I’m not talking about skillfully edited, stylish, funky videos by any stretch. I’m just talking about plain, simple raw footage of LIFE. It sounds like I’m stating the obvious but judging by the time it took me to realize what I’ve been missing out on, it may not be as obvious as we think! It takes more effort to capture on video but it’s completely worth it. The last time I had this exact same realization and then went on to harp all about it was in this post from November 2013!! I swear, this blog keeps me accountable. We’ve actually just ordered our iPhone 6’s yesterday (YAY!) and our new video camera with purpose will either be that device or a real video camera but a super compact one like the Canon VIXIA mini X. We’re still deciding but this needs to get done.

Speaking of iPhone 6’s, why am I only hearing about #BendGate today? After I ordered the phone? (Haha.) Anyway, it doesn’t matter. We love Apple too much.

Photo below was shot in Santa Cruz, California. “Forever Young” caption is inspired by Jay Z and Beyonce’s performance of course.

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Let me take a selfie or two or three. (September 24, 2014)

I did not cut my hair for at least 6 months because I was growing it out for the wedding. So as one can reasonably expect, there was a split-ends epidemic going on. It felt amazing to finally get a hair cut!!! And most importantly, I got bored, so I got bangs. I generally love it except for the fact that it takes a long time to blow dry them to the right shape. It’s shocking how incredibly easy it is look stupid with bangs if not styled properly! I don’t have too much patience for the blow drying, so I hope it gets easier. :)

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Emma Watson`s Speech on Feminism. (September 22, 2014)

If you haven’t already watched Emma Watson’s speech for the U.N., please do so right here, if not for interest in the topic of feminism, then simply for witnessing an absolutely stellar delivery. Topic aside, she really did nail the delivery. She’s only 24 years old with her best years still ahead of her, yet she has already accomplished something so profound that most of us will never experience in our lifetime. As a fellow woman in her 20’s, I am truly in awe.

I don’t really know where I stand on the subject of feminism (pardon my ignorance) and that is perhaps because I’ve fallen into the very trap that’s so clearly articulated in this speech. We can all acknowledge that a stigma has developed over time around the word “feminism”, making many women feel uncomfortable associating themselves with it, including myself. Agree or disagree, the speech does encourage you to re-evaluate, hence this post. Perhaps all too often, I look at this issue through my First World lens, in my First World bubble, where I’ve been lucky enough not to experience gender inequality. Not enough to be a cause for concern anyway. I tend to think that we are so damn privileged in a million different ways that it seems so trivial to belabour things like.. not having enough female executives. There are bigger fish to fry so to speak. I could be wrong for saying that but it’s one opinion.

The reality is that outside of my bubble, I know there are extreme gender inequalities, especially in countries where women literally have rights closer to an animal than a human being. That level of inequality is what puts a fire in my stomach. It makes much of our First World inequality issues seem like child’s play. We really have it pretty good and there are other groups that need way more help. There are numerous books and films representing the voices of women who have truly been victims of extreme inequality. I’ve read them and I’ve watched them and while it bothers me A LOT and makes me sick to my stomach to hear stories that my mind can’t even fathom, the problem is so “far away” from my reality that it finds a place in my heart for maybe 15 minutes at a time and then gets filed away until next time.

Watson quoted Hillel the Elder: “If not me, who? If not now, when?” How can I make a small dent somewhere?

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More cityscapes. (September 20, 2014)

More San Fran cityscapes. :) These were taken at the top of Twin Peaks. I remember that the wind was so strong that day, it was a bit scary to be so high up. It was gorgeous though. Chris and I are planning a small trip to the southern US, potentially New Mexico for a Breaking Bad road trip. The place looked pretty scenic in the show, so it’s definitely tempting.

I have my first assignment this semester due on Tuesday. You know what they really love to teach you in business school? Michael Porter’s Five Forces. My god, that framework has been hammered into our heads over and over and over and it sinks in a little deeper each time. They really want you to get good at it and to get good at it, you have to use it A LOT and that’s exactly what’s happening. It ought to come in handy.

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Our barn wedding day! (September 19, 2014)

I want to blog about our wedding before too much time passes. September 5, 2014: Our barn / farm wedding came together beautifully. It was honestly the absolute best day ever and I am so happy to be married to the love of my life. Chris is the most perfect person in the world for me and our day was filled with the sweetest memories. Words cannot express the overwhelming joy and warmth that is brought by friends, loved ones, and family coming together to celebrate your day. We were extra overjoyed because the weatherman was calling for rain the whole week leading up to our wedding day. We had planned an outdoor ceremony on a hill and rain would literally have been the worst thing that could happen. We didn’t even make a Plan B because rain was simply not an option. We prayed and prayed and prayed tirelessly. And then came the greatest day. Clear blue skies and although very hot, the heat was negated by a lot of wind, and our ceremony carried on outdoors as planned. The weather continued to stay awesome and the rain held out until a couple of hours after the reception had started inside the barn. Then it came. It was some serious rain with some crazy wind, we thought the barn would take us to Oz. :) But all of our stars aligned and prayers were answered as always. Our God is so good to us. My advice to those debating an outdoor-ish wedding, just do it! Greater risk, greater reward. :)

We all ate delicious food, danced plenty, sang sweet songs, spoke from the heart, played games, gave hugs, gave kisses, said I love yous, held hands, laughed a whole bunch, cried a wee bit, made promises, felt more love than ever, and it has all become a beautiful memory. I’m so grateful for our parents, wedding party, and talented vendors who helped make our dream and vision come together. I really hated most of the planning process (I don’t have patience for event planning) but it was undoubtedly ALL WORTH IT in the end. Would I do it all again? Yes. :) The wedding day was that much fun that I’d go through the dreaded planning process again to re-live the day.

So, despite the overload of awesomeness, no one tells you about post-wedding blues until you find out for yourself! I didn’t even know that the darn thing existed. I was overwhelmed with pure happiness for a few days when we were on our minimoon at Ste. Anne’s Spa and then BAM! I transitioned to this happy-sad state, if that makes any sense. Like sweet sorrow almost, which came just by suddenly realizing that the most perfect and amazing day has come and gone!!! What an insane realization. And then despite how amazing the day was, I started to overthink every detail of the day and the little things I had missed as a result of not being on my A game and deciding to let our wedding day take me away completely. How stupid does that even sound? (Lol). But I’m happy to say that two weeks later, I’ve beat both the post-wedding blues and overthinking the details. It takes a bit of time for us mildly crazy people. The cure? Talking it all out, blogging, and editing imperfect pictures curated from the cameras of family and friends. We won’t be seeing our professional photos and videos for another 2-3 months – that really hurts me to think about, lol. But I will share when they’re ready!

So, here are a few imperfectly perfect pictures we can call our own, thanks to all of our picture-taking guests!! I’ve only posted a few on this blog because I don’t want this post to overpower all my other posts (even though it kind of already has, seeing as I’ve rambled on for a few paragraphs now). Instead, I’ve provided a link to our wedding blog where more of the photos can be seen: click here. :) I also think I’m going to preserve our wedding website and keep it alive for a while. I’m a memory-monster if you can’t already tell.

Anyway, what an experience to remember. Love it!!! #OntoTheNextThing!

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