Pumpkin Spice Granola

It’s hard to keep your wits about you this time of year. The sun sets at what feels like 3pm. The wind chills. Sickness pervades. The stretch between now and December holidays feels longer than the rest of the year combined.


Leaning into cozy comforts like reading, candelit yoga, ginger tea and cedar incense helps me to get through these long dark stretches. I heard recently the Danish call this kind of holed-up coziness “hygge” but I just think of it as “every night of my adult life.”

Anyhow here’s a recipe I’ve been making and enjoying a lot lately. Simple, tasty and perfect for November mornings.


Pumpkin Spice Granola
inspired by the Minimalist Baker

  • 3 cups rolled oats 
  • 1 cup crushed almonds
  • 1 cup pepitas
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, spices, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add maple syrup and coconut oil. Stir well to combine.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes. Turn the pan halfway through for even cooking.
  4. Once the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool completely. It will crisp up as it cools.
  5. Store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks…or as long as it lasts.




mental health, reflections


I can’t pinpoint exactly when feelings went viral, but it happened. 


me, as a munchkin, feeling all the things

And now we’re surrounded by posts, memes, snaps, grams and vines that talk all about feels: catching feelings, having feelings, knowing feelings, getting hit in the feelings. You get the idea. Most of this feelings-based content hinges on the fact that it’s detached and irreverent. Feelings are the punchline.

But lately I’ve been wondering, since psychoanalysis taught us that humour is often a window to our unconscious, what are we really talking about when we talk about feelings online? Based on some very unscientific twitter, tumblr and instagram trolling I have learned that, most of the time, we are talking about 1 of 3 things:

  1. DRAKE.
    The king of pop-feelings. From his first mixtape, Drake was publicly mocked for talking about his feelings too much. However it was exactly this vulnerability (and his IDGAF attitude about it) that made him famous. Fans like to vicariously experience difficult emotions –  things like regret, nostalgia, loneliness, isolation – major themes in Drake’s music. It’s the same reason Kurt Cobain resonated with Gen X’ers. Or why I can’t stop playing that new Adele song even though I don’t like it. We struggle to express ourselves, to identify our emotions, and music helps us put words to what we don’t understand.
    The majority of #feelings on the internet are unsuprisingly related to crushes, breakups and relationships. “Catching feelings” is an especially common turn of phrase. And sure it’s pretty cute. I like the idea that emotions are something that overtake you – unexpected and often unwanted. The thing I don’t love is the negative connotation of “catching feelings.” If we think of feelings as a contagion, it perpetuates the idea that our natural state is somehow “neutral” or without emotions. Which is not true and sets people up for unrealistic expectations of both love and life. The reality is, emotional stability is something you will always have to contend with.
    Obviously teenagers rule the internet in a myriad of ways because they are so much better at it than the rest of us, but nowhere is their reign more supreme than the public expression of irrational emotion. Twitter – the epicentre of anonymous feelings – is full of teens who unabashedly post about their latest dramas. It’s so embarassingly, beautifully earnest. No thirty-something is going to post 80 updates in a day about the guy who won’t text them back, but a teenager will! They are saying what everyone else wants to say, but won’t because we are adults with self-respect and boundaries. Do yourself a favour and search #teenfeelings. It’s like a livetweeted bildungsroman.

Okay…then what aren’t we talking about?

I’m not breaking ground when I say that social media places a high value on positive emotions and experiences. An instagram post with you looking happy and full of joie de vivre will get you likes. But what happens when you’re not feeling so hot? The trouble is that with so much value placed on appearing positive, fun, outgoing and excited online we devalue and deny our negative emotions. And moreso, in our desire to connect and “be social,” we forget be alone with ourselves which gives us less time to identify and express those difficult emotions.

I think ultimately our fascination with feels and feelings is our attempt to experience and contend with emotions we’re uncomfortable with. Experiencing the intimacy of male friendship? Post a pic of you and your bro #feels. Struggling with the relationship between you and your mother? Post a review of the new Meryl Streep movie #feels. It’s our attempt to go there without really going there. 

And yet, safely expressing difficult emotions allows us to identify what’s causing them and to address those causes. This is an important – essential – coping skill that contributes to our overall mental health and well-being.

So, to wrap up this touchy feely post about feels, here are a few ways to express negative emotions…positively:

  1. Write them in a journal.
  2. Talk to a professional.
  3. Talk to a trusted friend.
  4. Draw or paint them

And once you’ve done those things? Learn from them. Make positive changes. And release them. Through exercise, dance, cooking, writing, painting, or (if you prefer) as hit records….like Drake 🙂

culture, reading




  • The Goldfinch, by Donna Tart.
  • How to Grow Up, by Michelle Tea.
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein.
  • The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic, by Jessica Hopper.
holidays, recipes

How To Adult Halloween


My costume this year, courtesy of Queen Bey.

Halloween has never been my favourite October Holiday. I’m definitely more of a root-vegetables-and-pie kinda gal. But lbh any occasion that allows me to binge-watch movies while eating chocolate and playing dress-up is okay in my books. That said, as I get older I have found that some aspects of Halloween begin to change particularly the things I want to eat/do/wear/go home with. So here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years to ensure I have a great time on Halloween and don’t hate my life come November 1st.

DO’s and DONT’S of Adult Halloween

  • DO watch a horror movie (or 10). One of the best parts about grown-up Halloween is that you can finally watch all the horror movies you were too scared to watch as a child. Some of my all-time favourite gory/smart/creepy/weird/feminist/moody/campy horror movies include:
    • Rosemary’s Baby
    • Sleepaway Camp
    • Ginger Snaps
    • Scream
    • The Craft
    • Susperia
    • Death Becomes Her
    • Carrie
    • Hocus Pocus
  • DO hang out with kids at some point. This will keep you from feeling gross and empty, like the whole holiday is just a bleak excuse for adults to engage in adolescent debauchery. A tiny munchkin in an astronaut costume will cure all of that existential questioning right up for you.
  • DO NOT “dress to impress”. Sexy and/or elaborate costumes are fun but they hinge on the validation of others which is a variable you can’t control. I suggest wearing a costume that’s fun, comfortable, utilizes items in your own wardrobe and doesn’t cost more than $50 to make happen. Then spend the whole night telling everyone else how great they look in their awkward pleather skirt, madonna bra and full face of MAC skull makeup.
  • DO NOT go to a party that isn’t walking distance from your house. If you’re anything like me you can’t enjoy a party unless you have an easy escape plan and since cabs are impossible to find after midnight on Halloween and uber fees go through the roof…best to just stay in your hood.
  • DO enjoy a few of your favourite sweet treatsWhich is where I come in!




  • 12-15 medjool dates, the softer the better. 
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Boil a few inches of a water in a medium sized saucepan. Place chocolate chips in a metal mixing bowl and set on top of sauce pan. This DIY double-boiler will melt your chocolate but keep it from burning.
  2. Pit dates making sure to keep the date in one piece.
  3. Press 2 salted peanuts into each date then fill date with peanut butter and smoosh shut. It won’t be pretty but that’s a-okay! Continue until all dates have been filled.
  4. Dip dates into melted chocolate using a fork or slotted spoon. Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. To speed the cooling process place baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Store in the fridge/freezer, but enjoy these treats at room temperature so that they are nice and soft when you bite into them! Enjoy.
holidays, recipes



Last night I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner as an adult. It broke tradition in many ways. I shared the meal with my friends, not my family. No turkey was present. We ate on the floor (who has space for a dining room table?) But there as candlelight, cuddling and conversation that wasn’t about work or kids or real estate. It was the Thanksgiving I’ve been wanting to have for years.

Your friends are the people who are there for you every day. Who take care of you when you falter, which in my case is more often than I’d like. Who get your jokes and make you laugh so hard you spill your wine. Nothing against my incredibly loving and supportive family, but on this occasion it felt so good to sit with the people I share my life with, get drunk and eat pumpkin pie.


Here’s what was on my menu:

  • Bourbon glazed pecan, apple and spiced chickpea salad
  • Roasted carrots and brussel sprouts
  • Wild rice and mushroom stuffing
  • Maple Salmon


Continue Reading




Every season has two opposing sides for me, feelings-wise.

In the wintertime I waver between self-acceptance and depression. Spring is an insufferable combination of optimism and restlessness. Summer is liberation and crippling FOMO. And fall…well fall is the season of wistful introspection and harsh self-criticism.

Questions I’m plagued with between September and November:

  • Am I living up to my potential?
  • Is this where I wanted to be by [insert whatever young age I am that I’m convinced is ANCIENT]?
  • Should I go back to school?
  • If I’m in a relationship, is it the right one?
  • If I’m not in a relationship, what am I doing wrong?
  • Are the dysfunctional dynamics of my family ever going to change or improve?
  • Will mom make me gluten-free stuffing at Thanksgiving this year?

In an effort to help those of you who may be struggling with these and other soul-crushing questions, I thought I would share a few of the strategies I’ve developed to help survive my pumpkin-spiced feelings:

  1. LEAN IN. 
    One of my favorite ways to manage fall feelings is to completely indulge them. Get wistful af. Watch reflective seasonal movies like Hannah and her Sisters, Harold and Maude, Home for the Holidays, Stepmom (whatever I love that movie). Call an old flame. Facebook stalk your college self. It might prompt you to remember things like: being a student kind of sucked, your old friends were alcoholics, being young is fun but being old and smart is SO MUCH better, and so on.  Sometimes a trip down memory lane is exactly what you need to feel confident and comfortable with where you’re at right now.
  2. TRAVEL.
    I rarely recommend travel as an emotional solution because – like drinking, binge-watching Nashville or obsessing over a new crush – your problems will still be there when you come back to reality. But sometimes hopping a plane, train or automobile is just what you need to gain perspective and self-respect during times when you are being harshly critical of yourself and your life decisions. Traveling alone often helps me remember how free and self-determining I truly am.
    Often fall feelings are prompted by the fact that everyone around you seems to be bettering themselves by going back to school. Whether it’s fresh-faced college kids or that girl at your work who just picked up and went to med school (!), it’s hard not to feel left behind by it all. One thing that can often make me feel better during these periods is to make a concerted effort to reengage my brain. Join a book club, listen to a science podcast, add the new yorker to your morning blog rotation. Something that leaves you feel engaged, energized and less like a strung-out netflix drone.
    I probably suggest this too much but trying something new is also a great way to shake off the autumn blahs. Cooking. Crafting. Painting. Climbing. Yoga-ing. Rowing. Running. Activities in general are, in my opinion, the healthiest form of emotional diversion.
    This is key, particularly as you move from autumn into the holiday season. When people ask what you are up to these days it can often trigger negative, self-deprecating responses unless you have something tangible like a new job, partner or house to talk about. So I encourage you to write down a list of all the things you do that actually make you happy right now and when people ask you what you’ve been up to, be honest. Some examples I’ve used in the past: “I started painting,” “I’ve been hanging out with my awesome niece and she’s the best,” “I’ve been really good at balancing work and friendships lately,” “I just wrote a really elaborate grant proposal,” etc.  I know it’s dorky, but when you take the time to tell your story in an authentic way, you take control over a conversation that might have otherwise left you feeling bad about yourself.
blogs, culture, reading

Friday Reading

Let’s face it. The first week of work in September is always a slog. Summers over and you never did get to that cottage. Fall is in the air and you start thinking…maybe I should go back to school (probably you shouldn’t). Regardless, there’s no way any of you are going to be productive after 3pm today. So here are some links to keep you occupied…
These drawings by Aiden Koch.
Karly’s defense of Tinder and hookup culture.
This scathing inditement of positive affirmations.
This sweet reflection on the benefits of traveling solo.



IMG_2500.JPG When I’m lucky enough to be gifted a bunch of flowers, I secretly look forward to them dying. Okay wait…that sounds bad. I look forward to them drying. Ever since I was a little girl I loved dried flowers almost more than the real deal. Their muted colours, their antique qualities – they seemed like the kind of thing that should be hanging in the house of an eccentric aunt (which it’s my lifegoal to become).

The problem is that in my apartment now there’s never anywhere good to hang them. I end up awkwardly taping flowers to the wall where they inevitably fall down or hanging them from my bedposts (which houseguests have informed me makes me look definitively crazy). So last weekend I designed this minimalist flower drying rack so I could always keep beautifully preserved dry flowers in my home without coming off like a Sanderson sister.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 coil of flexible copper wire
  • 8-10 copper fitting reducers 
  • 3 nails
  • a hammer
  • several bunches of dried herbs or flowers (I used lavender and rosemary)

What to do:

  1. Begin by measuring out the size of wire you’ll need. Mine was about 6 ft since I was using a large wall.
  2. Using a tape measure and a level, hammer your two nails into the wall equidistant from each other.
  3. String a taught line of copper wire between the two nails. I just wrapped the copper wire in tight circles around the nail to secure it. Hammer your third nail in the middle of the wire for stability.
  4. Now, cut a length of copper wire about the size of your forearm. Begin by wrapping some copper wire around the end of the flower stem to secure it, then string flowers through your copper reducers. The stem should come out of smaller end of the pipe. Thread the remaining copper wire through the pipe and wrap it around to hold it in place.
  5. Hang flowers in their pipe “vases” from your copper string using additional wire or small mental hooks.
    IMG_2533.JPGC’est fin! 
mental health, reflections


IMG_2105.JPGI am chronically indecisive. Otherwise known as a libra.

I had my first panic attack at a Japanese restaurant when I was 12, deciding between the spicy tuna and the unagi. At 21, after hearing the news that I’d been accepted to a prestigious Masters program overseas, I was so paralyzed by the decision I contracted a stress-related viral infection usually reserved for octogenarians. Decisions – big and small – have the ability to bring even confident, self-assured people to their knees. There are many reasons for this but here are a few of the ones I tend to get stuck on:

  1. Decisions require us to commit to a path while it is still uncertain. We have to take a chance. Take the classic airplane conundrum: “Chicken or beef?” You can watch as each passenger on the plane goes through a mini-existential crisis over the question. But it’s because we’re forced to make the decision before we really know which is the better option. And, in that case, there is always a better option.
  2. Decisions mean choosing one thing over another (potentially) better thing. If you’re the anxious type, the ambitious type or the curious type, this is simply unacceptable. When you give something up you might never have the opportunity to get it again. What if this is the best unagi in the world and I missed my chance to eat it? Like FOMO, but for commitment.
  3. Decisions require us to take responsibility for ourselves. When you make a decision, the result – good or bad – falls on you. Suggest a dinner spot to a group of friends? If they love it, great. But if they think it’s too expensive or loud or there aren’t enough gluten-free menu options, all eyes side-glance to Mr. Know-it-all.  When you avoid committing to a decision you can say “it wasn’t really up to me” or “I never wanted to do this in the first place.” Those are much easier to say than, “I was wrong.”

With all of that said, the benefits of committing to a decision are limitless. Your Saturday night is more fun when don’t you troll facebook obsessing over which event will be the most fun, you just pick something and go for it. Your career flourishes when you put your all into it and don’t criticize yourself for “selling out” or doing the wrong thing. Your relationship will be more rewarding when you’re all-in and not constantly considering who else might be out there. The best way to counteract decision paralysis is to do the hard work of finding out what you honestly want. Once you know that, it’s so much easier to go after.

So…how do you figure out what you want? There’s no easy way to do this. Self-awareness is a process that takes time. But there are a few questions I have started to ask myself when I feel deep-leveindecision that have helped me figure out what my real desires are.

The first question is HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME FEEL? Think short-term and long-term here. Does it feel good today? Will it keep feeling good in a week? A month?  Which brings up the next question CAN I ENVISION THIS IN MY FUTURE? If you can’t seem to picture it, you probably don’t want it. Even if you want to want it. The last question, and the one that has helped most is DOES THIS MAKE ME PROUD? In my experience, if you don’t want to shout it from the rooftops or brag about it to the people you care about you probably don’t really want it.

Figuring out what you want takes time, patience and practice. But saving yourself the struggle of indecision or (worse) decisions made for the wrong reasons makes it a worthy effort.

fitness, inspiration, reflections

How to Make Health(ier) Choices


There is a lot more to life than salad and spin class.

There is art that alters your perspective on the world. Travel that alters your perspective on yourself.  Music that makes you feel things (drake). Work that if you’re lucky fulfills you. Friends who enrich your life. Loves who make you feel timeless. Families who support you and give life meaning.  I am of the opinion that a “healthy lifestyle” can and should include all these elements. But not to the detriment of self-care.

Eating well and moving your body deserve to be prioritized as well. Different but equal. The older you get the more you’re forced to accept that. So if you’re the type of person who tends to prioritize work, friends and relationships over self-care (me! me! me!) here are a few tips that have helped me over the years to strike that tenuous balance.

  1. Drink a little less
    I’m SUCH a deb, I know. Drinking = friends = fun, right? I don’t entirely disagree. I think drinking is a great thing to do sometimes, but moderation is key. Drinking multiple times a week means you’re home less which leads to a messy apartment and no groceries. It means you blow money on overpriced drinks at the bar instead of saving that money or spending it on other more meaningful aspects of your life. It means you spend less time hanging out with close pals, more time with acquaintence-type psuedo-pals (boo!). Cutting back on drinking (even just 1-2 nights less than usual) is one easy way to free up time, money and energy so you can foster other interests.
  2. Wake up a little earlier
    Now that you find yourself drinking less, you may notice that you’re waking up earlier (even on weekends!). And what are you going to do with this extra time? Productive stuff that’s what! No one cool is up early in the morning so there’s no one to hang out with. Mornings are the time to do things like catch up on your credit card payments, skype your mom, do your laundry, cook a batch of healthy food to eat all week long, tidy your apartment, make something, go for a walk, etc. Who knows? You might actually start to meet other “morning” people who have cool morning-person interests that you might be into as well.

  3. Eat a lil something for breakfast
    I know I’m not breaking ground by suggesting that a healthy breakfast is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but I do think it’s important and it definitely changed my own approach to eating. A little something in the morning boosts your energy and keeps your hunger in check for the rest of the day. I always notice I’m a lot more “snacky” in the evenings on days when I postpone breakfast. Some simple favourites of mine include overnight oats, oatmeal, green smoothies, poached eggs on whole grain toast or my healthy banana oat pancakes.IMG_2220.JPG
  4. Eat a few more vegetables

    I’ve said this before, but I am of the opinion that it’s better to focus on adding things to your diet rather than eliminating them. And the easiest and most obvious addition to your diet should always be to just EAT MORE FREAKIN VEGETABLES. Like double what you’re eating now. For me this looks like serving my lunch on a big bed of arugula, adding vegetables to my snacks or doubling up on side dishes at dinner time (salad AND green beans). Your body will thank you for all the extra nutrients and the fibre.

  5. Move a little more
    Doesn’t matter what you do. Aim for 30 minutes a day. Walking, biking, yoga, weights, skipping, crossfit, whatever. I’m not going to tell you why because you know why. It feels good. Short-term bad, long-term good. Make the time.
    You betta wrrrrrk