Is it Monday yet?

Why do Mondays get such a bad rep?  The start of a new week reminds us of the short time off that most of us had on Saturday and Sunday.  A reminder that we need return to the routine of the “regular” schedule – of work, the “grind”, and back to things we HAVE to do in order to be worthy of the weekend, only five days away.

On a Monday we often say “Ugh”, “I’m so tired”, “the weekend was too short” or “Is it Friday yet?”

Mondays don’t get the glorious recognition of the weekend days.  Even Hump Day Wednesdays get better recognition, as we are halfway through the week.  Other than the social media-cue to identify our “Man-crush” or eat “Meatless”; Mondays get the short end of the stick.

Well, I would like to plead the case for Mondays.  I’d like to invite you, to invite Monday to come.  To start the day with, “I’m glad you’re here.”  Not with a groan, or a sigh.  The fatigue of the weekend may still linger, but Monday doesn’t have to own it.

Also – “Monday” doesn’t mean you have to start a new diet/goal/project.  It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, or great effort to plan.  It simply starts with the intention of welcome.

‘Undeliverable’: A Book Review of The Postmistress

Set in the midst of World War II, in the months before the bombing of Pearl Harbour, is where Sarah Blake’s “The Postmistress” begins.  The book explores parallel storylines on the European war front and in a small town in Cape Cod, and the struggles of the main characters during this time.

The premise of the book is the decision that postmistress Iris James makes, when she purposefully fails to deliver a letter.  At the same time, American radio broadcaster Frankie Bard is on the front lines, observing the bombings in London and relaying these stories to captivate a nation.

I enjoyed this book for a variety of reasons – I am a fan of historical fiction, and it was a compelling story that kept me up till the wee hours of the morning.  But what I liked most is that it got me thinking about the power of story-telling.

What influences our choice to keep a secret?   What information do we choose to include/exclude, in order to elicit a certain reaction or response?  What secrets do we keep with the goal to “protect another from the truth”?

Do we only choose to blog/share stories about the happy things in our lives?  Do we omit the emotional, and stay objective?  Why is it important for us to make these types of decisions?

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to these questions, but regardless of the outcome, “The Postmistress” reminded me that we are held accountable to the stories we weave, and “truths” we choose to share.



The Road Often Travelled

On most days, I’m looking forward to heading straight home from work.  And I know the fastest way to get there – which short cuts to take, which areas to avoid traffic.  When I took public transportation home, I learned to time my transit connections to minimize waiting for the next bus to catch, hop off the closest bus stop, and walk the quickest route home. After a long day of work, I could not want for anything more.


Lately, I’ve been avoiding my regular route home.  Turning off a road three blocks early.  Finding the side streets that are wrought with speed bumps.  Forcing myself to slow down.

The result: noticing.  The bright red barn in the middle of farmland.  Turning off the radio, as I take in the sunset from a newly-discovered vantage point.  Noticing.  That I’m choosing to slow down.  Focusing more on who/what I am going home to, rather than where I was spending my day.

And what will you notice when you veer off the road often travelled?  What do you do differently in that moment?  Try it out, and let me know what you discover.

This is me in 2014, baby

Here I am, wondering how I got to this very moment, halfway through the year.  I’ve had to refer back to my handwritten journal to remind myself how I wanted to “show up” in 2014.

The most unexpected thing that happened is I find myself in a brand new job.  I had no intention of looking for something new, and yet the opportunity presented itself.  And I was faced with the decision – what is more important – doing what I love? or answering the call to serve where I am needed? In truth, I think you can be in a position where you can love what you do because you are fulfilling a greater purpose in your life.  But trust me, two months ago, part of me was thinking that I was making the worst decision of my life.

ImageTrust.  2014 is teaching me a lot about trusting in the higher purpose that has been laid out for me.  The purpose that I ultimately have no control over, and learning about what faith in God actually means.  And given the joys and surprises that have already been revealed to me, there’s no telling what the next 194 days have in store.

I am hopeful.

I am willing to “lean in” to whatever successes and challenges are laid before me.

I am learning to stand in my own power.

I embrace the yogi within me.

I am striving to be a better wife and best friend to my husband.

I am answering the call.


One Good Thing

Let’s talk about how I didn’t want to talk about the last couple weeks.  Crummy.  Absolutely crummy.  Usually it doesn’t take long before I pick myself up and turn back towards the brighter side, but this time it was different.  I was really down in the dumps and it took me some time to get out of the rut I was stuck in.

I tried to cheer myself up with a bit of retail therapy (which helped for the most part.) And  I had the good fortune of having people who were available to be there for me.  Being in a job where I am an emotional support to others,  I was humbled to receive that same level  of support from the most unlikely of people.

The hardest part of my crummy time was the moment I felt I couldn’t find anything to be thankful for.  Expressing gratitude is something that I normally find easy to do, and when I couldn’t, I knew I was truly sad (and angry, and frustrated.)  I struggled to find one thing – just ONE thing … ANYthing to remind me to stay hopeful and positive.

It felt like I was pulling teeth, but I came to acknowledge how grateful I am to be living in my sweet neighbourhood of Steveston.  It is the neighbourhood of my childhood, and yet, I haven’t fully appreciated it till I moved back here almost two years ago.  It was the one good thing I could find.

tree lightimage: taken June 2013

If there is a lesson to be learned here, I think it is to persevere in seeking gratitude.  On our happy days, I’m sure it is quite easy to identify many of Life’s blessings.  In those low times, it is difficult to see the Good, but I do not think it is impossible.  Take a moment now, to seek your one good thing, and I hope that doing so will brighten your day.

Same Book, New Page


For the longest time, I had this pile of half-written journals, a reflection of the different occasions I had decided to “reinvent” myself and needed to start “anew”.  In the moment it had made sense – I wanted to begin carte blanche, and move away from whatever I had written before.  I thought of those of old entries as being “unwanted” and no longer serving who I was at that moment.  Sometimes, it was the fact that I hadn’t written for awhile (i.e. several months) and I thought that cracking open a brand new journal would motivate me to write more.

It was a big deal, then, when I completed my first journal, cover to cover.  This happened about  three years ago, and I was thrilled to fill in the last lines of the last page. ( I think, in fact, that the final entry was about being able to finish those last few pages!) I looked back through the book – though disconnected with gaps of weeks between the entries, it still felt whole.  Somewhere along the way, I had let go of the need to completely start from scratch.

Which brings me to Today.  Save the slight face-lift in design, and an upcoming revamp of my “About Me”, you’ll find that some things haven’t and won’t change on this blog.  I haven’t deleted any old posts and I certainly haven’t changed the site name.  I honour my past writings that have brought me to this moment, and the connections that have emerged as a result.  It’s why I have kept coming back to blog.

I won’t venture far from my Truth and my wish is that you won’t either.  We can still pick up from where we left off, mindful of the choices we have made in the past, and choosing to retain what is positive and what will make us happy.  Moving forward means being able to honour the sum of our experiences, good or bad, that have brought us to this very moment.

On that note, it’s wonderful to be writing here again!  Blessings to you and enjoy your weekend!

Guest Post: New York City – Places to Visit

Just when my birthday celebrations had wrapped up, I quickly went into trip preparation mode, as I geared up for a visit to New York City.  Funny enough, I’m here right now!

My blogger and Instagram friend, Kelly (who I have yet to meet IRL) had sent me an email prior to my leaving with some great suggestions on where to go while I’m here!  I couldn’t keep her tips to myself, and she kindly let me share them with you!

I’ve already taken some of Kelly’s tips to heart, and I can’t wait to share them with you, and with Kelly – that is, when we finally get to meet each other in person!  Thanks for sharing your knowledge about NYC, Kelly!


FOOD (Most important, right?)

Bagels, pizza, and egg creams – Aside from fine dining, stopping in a deli, diner, or authentic Italian restaurant is a must-do in New York!

Chinatown – I haven’t explored many of the restaurants in Chinatown, but would recommend any place that serves noodles and dumplings for cheap. Excellent Dumpling House ( has delicious (and pretty) lobster and shrimp dumplings, as well as great bbq pork buns.

Japanese – A lot of Japanese restaurants serve really fresh seafood and are actually run by Japanese people (unlike Vancouver). I liked Sasabune Express ( in Midtown.

Momofuku Milk Bar ( – I did not visit, but my friends bought some delicious cookies and cake truffles. I didn’t get to sample anything else, but have heard many good things.

Momofuku ( – Forget the ramen – there’s way better for cheaper in Vancouver – but do try their pork buns and shoju slushies!

The Original Soupman ( – This is the man the Seinfeld character is based on, so it’s a must try! Two words: lobster bisque. If you’re lucky, you may get some extra bread, fruit, or chocolate with your order.

Alice’s Tea Cup ( – I have only visited Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter II; they have wonderful scones, teas, and sandwiches, plus a cute atmosphere. Should you fancy some alcohol, try a delicious mar-TEA-ni!

Nobu ( – I went to the original Hudson Street location and my only tip is: you must do omakase (chef’s choice multi-course meal; starting at $100 USD). The pacing of the meal is excellent, the food is amazing, and you will never feel too full to eat another bite (even at 8 courses).

OBAO ( – I visited the Midtown location of these modern Thai/Vietnamese fusion cuisine restaurants, and loved the atmosphere. Make sure to order a Thai iced tea and the crispy pork belly appetizer!


Candle 79 ( – This will be the most amazing organic vegan food you will ever experience. Save room for dessert, because there must be some magic involved in making those cannolis!


The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Don’t try to see everything in one day or you’ll wear yourself out. Choose one or two wings as your must-see stops and just make sure you stop by again on your next (two or three) visit(s)!


MoMA – You don’t have to be an art or design connoisseur to appreciate this space, and the MoMA gift shops are full of innovatively designed items. If you do go exploring inside, stop for a yummy bite in the café on the second floor.

Empire State Building – I love going at night and seeing the city all lit up, but make sure to dress warmly! If you purchase a CityPass, you can now visit twice in one day, so no need to choose!

American Museum of Natural History – What’s better than dinosaurs? Maybe outer space, but it’s a close match. There are a lot of great things to see at the AMNH, and again, you’ll need to pace yourself.

The Frick Collection – The Frick houses an amazing art collection that spans centuries. This stunning mansion is worth a visit for its sheer architectural beauty. Have a seat on one of the stone benches in the private garden; it’ll be impossible not to feel tranquil.


All you really need to know is that there’s NO TAX on clothing purchases under $110 (insert jaw drop).

Uniqlo – NYC is the only North American city with Uniqlo stores, so you have to go to the flagship location on 5th Avenue (near the MoMA). It has multiple floors (unisex and kids) and everything is great quality for cheap! Stock up on HEATTECH and AIRism products!

NBC Experience – Pick up some merch from your favourite NBC show!


• I haven’t gone to any Broadway shows, but was told Book of Mormon is possibly the funniest thing ever.

• A metro pass is a good investment. You can buy one at most subway stations.

• Sensible walking shoes is a must, but consider insoles, a nightly foot soak and painkillers as well. Getting enough sleep is important!

• Do as much as you can to experience the city like a local!
Of course there are must-sees that I haven’t included (what is there to say that hasn’t been said already?) and many other art and design museums I love. Going by guidebooks and others’ suggestions is a great starting point, but make sure you cater your trip to your own interests, first and foremost!

Birthday to a Tea

The month of May is like Christmas-time for my family:  almost every week, there is a birthday to celebrate.  Which means that it can be a very hectic, but celebratory time. 

While I normally opt for a low-key form of celebration, I chose to hype it up this year, with a couple days worth of events.  This photo-heavy post documents my first day of celebrating another new year in my already-happy life.  I am so blessed!

The day began with brunch with my parents, and being welcomed by their “Hello, Birthday Girl!” greetings.   Then I was whisked away by my Bestie, but not without a surprise of her own!  Helllllooooo Kitty!!

birthday balloons 2

Next we were off to fulfill one of my birthday wishes – to celebrate in high tea fashion at Patisserie Fur Elise.  Yes, you read that right.  And given the fact that I enjoy going on high tea adventures, it was obvious that this would be the place to go.  The second-floor of this converted, heritage home houses the high tea service.  There is a narrow staircase leading upstairs, which proved challenging for my guest who was a young mother, so take note:  strollers-beware!

high tea sign

I was very excited to be wearing my dress from the Prabal Gurung x Target collection that launched earlier this year.  This coveted piece was acquired by stalking the site until the stroke of midnight, when I could snag this dress before it disappeared off the online shelves.  It was my first time buying clothing from Target online, and fortunately my guess on size worked in my favor.  The best feature of this dress – the pockets!  Adorable dress with hidden pockets?!?  Yes, please!

high tea prabal gurung

What’s more to accessorize when you’re wearing a vivacious print!  I capped off the outfit with a pair of heeled sandals from Payless Shoes that I bought a few years ago.  (My Instagram photo of this outfit failed to show off these cute shoes.)

Our tea with presented in the perfect form, with Victorian-esque tea pots and vintage tea cups.  I also liked the individual tea filters that were shaped as birds!  We placed these filters at the edge of our cups and poured our tea through.  I guess this prevented any tea leaves that weren’t initially caught by the tea pot’s filters, from reaching the bottom of our cups!

high tea place setting

Before our tiered plate of yumminess arrived, we started with an adorable serving of creme brulee, which was made with vanilla bean, and topped with an orange slice!  Great for getting our taste buds going.

high tea creme

Then came our feast of treats!  I’m used to seeing three tiered plates, but this presentation was perfectly fit for us four adults who came to tea.

high tea tiered platter

We had a nice spread of sandwiches and sweets to try.  My guests humoured me as we tasted each selection together.  I liked the sandwiches, but was disappointed that there was no Devonshire cream for my mini scone.  Scones without Devonshire cream?!?!?!  Also, the vegetarian options were limited for Bestie, which was another unfortunate downside to this place.  The sweets were delicious, and I was happy to see macarons in the mix.  Mini cheesecakes were mostly yummy, but we all agreed that the green tea and red bean cheesecake was our least favorite.

High tea birthday collage  Overall, I’m glad we had a chance to try this place.  The ambiance and decor is probably the best in terms of high tea venues I’ve been to, and this would be the main reason I would come back here.  In terms of the food, it was good, and there is a bakery on the main floor that let’s you take home macarons, other sweets, and their featured teas.

And that’s it for my high tea birthday!  Lucky for me, I have a Bestie who organized a birthday dinner the next day!  More on that in my next blog post!

high tea guests

The Day They Became Parents

I wish I could go back in time to the moment they held that baby-version of myself for the very first time.  If only I could get a glimpse into their hopes, joys and fears of being new parents, with the unknown future before them, and the memories of their new life as a trio beginning to grow.

I would tell them not to worry.  I would tell them that all the choices they are to make will be the right ones, and the mistakes will turn into stepping stones of growth.

I would tell them that they are already amazing, because they are the first two people to ever show this baby Love.  And if there were only two lessons that she takes from this life, it would be that she love deeply and live joyfully.  All this learned in those first few moments of her birth.

I would tell them that a young woman awaits them in the future.  Filled with determination and ambition.  Head held high, and proudly displaying her heart on her sleeve.  Loyal. Caring. Loving.  A woman with a heart willing to help others.

A woman who would always be their little girl.  Who would never tire of their “Birthday Girl” greetings.

A daughter, filled with gratitude on her birthday.

Elisse’s Pieces: In Vested in denim

Hmmm, could the title of today’s post be any more corny? I can’t help it – after spending the past month debating whether I should add a denim vest to my wardrobe, I caved when I saw one on the rack as I was heading OUT of my local Forever 21 store.

Does that happen to you?  You’re just about to leave a clothing store (whether or not you’ve purchased something(s)) and you find that item on your wish list.

It was love at first sight, I’m afraid.  To the point that I wore it almost immediately.  At least I paid for it first.

style me 5

But it looks like this vest inspired me more than I thought! Today, I threw it over a lace top and a pair of floral pants.  And my hubby was willing to take photos for me too!

style me 4

A close up of the vest, lace pattern and floral print.  Oh – and the accompanying arm party of course!

style me 3

The vest and pants are from Forever 21, lace top from Dynamite, bracelets from J Crew, Birds of a Feather and Dynamite, and shoes from Payless Shoes.  My tired smile is courtesy of an emotionally exhausting week at work.

style me 1

Would you consider adding a denim vest to your wardrobe?  Any outfit ideas that you see adding a denim vest to?