Tuesday, March 24, 2015

College Towns, Not Too Cool For School

Photo courtesy of University of Lethbridge
My younger cousin is looking at doing a post-secondary certificate, and it reminded me of this package I contributed to last summer for Enroute magazine about cool college towns. I didn't go away to attend uni, but part of me always wishes that I did. I think it can really play a formative role in "growing up" and becoming an adult. But I guess I turned out okay despite missing out on that experience.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Homes of the West

Photo by Don Molyneaux
I'm just working on another Homes of the West feature for Canadian Cowboy Country magazine, and thought I'd link to the photo galleries of past features. It's a cool bit in CCC mag where we feature a home in the mag that in some way represents a Home of the West. It doesn't have to be western themed or inhabited by cowboys, though they can be, but the defining factor is that the homeowners consider their home a Home of the West whether the connection is through history, decor, location, or lifestyle. The current issue features the home of equine artist Kim Penner while a past story featured the abode of my lovely neighbours and friends Jen and Tom Gordon.

If you have a Home of the West or know of one, drop me a line! I'd love to hear about it and perhaps feature it in the magazine.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Back to Work or More Accurately: Back to Paid Work

Baby Boy is coming up on a year so I find myself making the transition back to paid work. Sure I freelanced a bit here and there, especially since there was no EI for this self-imposed maternity leave, but now I'm going to to attempt to return to some steady work to line the pocketbook and regrow my brain.

Not surprisingly, parenting has been top of mind, and so, I hope to write some parenting pieces in the near future. In the meantime, here are a couple of pieces I did for Today's Parent magazine. One is about colic (thank goodness we didn't have to deal with that!) and the other outlines an interesting study that showed ethnicity may play a role in birth weight.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Second Babies Get the Shaft?

Baby Levi may be second, but not second-rate!

Being a second baby myself, I wanted to make sure my second baby didn't get the shaft just for showing up second. But for a whole bunch of reasons, and despite how hyper-aware I was about trying to keep things equal between my kids, I did and continue to find it a challenge to give my second-born all the attention and fawning I did for my first. This phenomena has been coined second-baby syndrome, a subject I explore for The Calgary Herald.

I have noticed that my son is way more laid-back than my daughter, and seems much more at ease about going with the flow. I can't say for sure that this is because he is the second-born and has had to be shuffled along on his older sister's schedule for most of his eight months of life so far, but I really do think that being a second child helps develop a stronger adaptability. That's the case among my siblings.

I know that many fellow parents feel they've fallen victim to second-baby syndrome, but as you'll see in my story, it's rarely as bad as we make it out to be. Unfortunately, guilt seems to go hand-inhand with parenthood...fodder for a future story.

ps. Clearly my blog has fallen to third baby or more accurately, 10th or maybe 20th. Ha! Hope to stay better updated as I re-enter the working world. No year-long paid mat leaves for this freelancing momma; fodder for a different future story...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

From Spaceman to Horseman

Last month, William Shatner AKA Captain Kirk was the Calgary Stampede's Grand Marshal. I was sent to find out what the good ol' captain had to say about the job for Canadian Living magazine. Mr. Shatner did not disappoint; he was chatty and funny, and I felt like sitting on his knee (in a friendly Santa way, not a creepy old man way).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mum's the Word

Wow, have been very delinquent about updating my blog! I guess that's what happens when a new baby is on the way. Sorry folks, had to focus on wrapping up mostly corporate contracts to make sure we had a bit of a nest egg saved up before baby arrived. Don't have the luxury of EI for this mat leave, what with the whole freelancing life!

I did make time to write my first cover feature story for Swerve. It's about my search for answers into my family history, a story I've wanted to write for a long time. In this piece, I focus on my mom and her journey across continents, uncovering family details I never knew before. It was a learning process for all of us; difficult to research and write as is the case for most really personal narratives, but rewarding in the end.

I'm glad I got to write it, and even happier that Swerve gave me a forum to showcase the work. The feedback I've received has been overwhelming; strangers have messaged me to say that they wish they had probed deeper to find out more family history before their parents passed away while longtime friends have revealed things like they were shocked when they discovered I was first-generation Canadian. One friend's wife who is also Chinese wrote me a page-long message telling me how similar her family story is, and how it was so amazing for her to see it mirrored in my story. She says it's rare for her to find stories that really resonate with her.

Plus, my parents were quite proud, which was really important to me, of course.

It's so gratifying to know when your stuff is not only being read, but touching people in some way.

Hope you enjoy the read.

Monday, September 16, 2013

New Orleans on My Mind

With the weather starting to turn cooler...who am I kidding? It's nicer out right now in the Calgary area than it has been for most of the summer! Anyways, with the leaves starting to change colour, I can't help but reminisce about my visit to scorching hot New Orleans.

Reminisce with me, or if you have yet to go, plan your visit with my "First-Timer's Guide to New Orleans" on BCLiving.ca. From gators to beignets to jazz to Mardi Gras and more, I've got you covered.