Staying organized with: Online calendars

Staying organized with: Online calendars

Like many people, my passion isn’t my full-time job. Yes, I get to write at work, and that’s one of the elements that makes me enjoy my job as much as I do. That said, writing fiction–and this blog–is what I’m passionate about. Since I’m not making enough from that to make it a career yet, I have to relegate it to my spare time.

The only problem with that? When I think about everything I need and want to get done in that spare time, I get overwhelmed. There’s my writing, yes, but there’s also housework, socializing, relaxation, eating, and a million other things I can’t think of off the top of my head.

People talk all the time of work-life balance. A situation like mine feels more like work-work-life balance some days, but it comes down to the same principles. One of the most important is finding the organizational system that works best for you.

I’ve found mine, and I’d like to share it, in the hopes that maybe it will help someone find theirs. It’s too much for one post, however, so instead you’re getting a series of posts over the next three months.

Today, we’re starting with a look at online calendars.

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Where I got my love of food

Cooking and baking are two of my favourite activities. You’ve probably figured that out by now, if you’re a regular reader of my blog. I’ve shared a fair number of recipes and recipe reviews over the years.

A question I often get asked, once people catch on to my love of food, is where this love came from. The answer, as far as I can tell, is simple: from my mom.

When I think of cooking, I think of my mom. I think of the French Onion Soup she learned to make because it was such a family favourite at restaurants. I think of the spaghetti sauce recipe she perfected by shadowing my great grandpa whenever he came to visit. I think of the Yorkshire puddings that I only ever remember her making, of the perogies that took over the kitchen table as she folded them by hand, and of the countless home-cooked meals we’ve enjoyed throughout my life.

My mom’s kitchen–like many of those you’ll read about in Wayfair’s #MyMothersKitchen stream–was and continues to be a place of delicious, loving memories. It may not have held much of the modern furniture and extra storage you can buy today, but what it did hold was something better: good food, good people, and a whole lot of love.

This post was written as part of Wayfair’s #MyMothersKitchen. More stories will be added as Mothers Day approaches, so sure to to keep checking the hashtag.



We had incredibly nice weather for a while, and then suddenly it got really cold really fast. I’m not an outdoorsy type of person at the best of times, but when it’s that far below zero? That’s when I find myself a nice, cozy place to settle in as often as possible.

Lately, my living room has felt particularly cozy, more-so than usual. I’m not sure if it’s the lighting, the blankets, or just the mood that I’ve been in, but there’s something in here that just keeps calling out to me. Regardless of where I am–at work, at the gym, out with friends–I always seem to end up picturing myself back home, curled up on my couch with a warm drink and a blanket wrapped around my shoulders.

Do you have a cozy place that keeps calling out to you? Or are you much happier outside, regardless of the cold?

#Scrivathon16: Get to know the campaign


Have you heard about #Scrivathon16 yet? If you haven’t, then this is the perfect opportunity to learn more. This is the campaign’s first year, and I’m happy to help you get to know it a little bit.

To help with that, I’ve asked A.Y. Chao, the organizer, to give us a bit of a rundown on what to expect. The actual event will be happening on Nov. 12, but there’s still plenty of time to sign up as a writer or to donate. To learn more about either, simply visit

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Pretty in purple


There were a lot of things that Gerda’s bridal shower had in common with Steph’s. Both were a lot of fun, both had plenty of food–too much food–and both had wonderful, pretty decorations.

But, you see, Gerda and Steph are fairly different people. So while the showers shared some similarities, they were different enough to suit each bride perfectly.


Gerda chose a beautiful shade of purple for one of her wedding colours, so we tried to incorporate it as well as we could. We contrasted it with a nice, clean white, and threw in a bit of sparkle where we could.

It turned out beautifully. The different shades of purple were abundant, without being overwhelming. And the pops of white just made it all the better.


For games, we made sure to pick a few that would keep people engaged and entertained. We started with the ‘How Well Do You Know Each Other’ game, where Gerda had to add a piece of gum to her mouth for each question she got wrong.

Near the end of the day, just before Gerda started opening presents, we introduced ‘Present Bingo.’ It’s a pretty straightforward game. Each person is given a bingo sheet, and they write a possible gift in each square. Then, as the bride opens her presents, they mark off any that they wrote down. The first person to get a bingo wins.


The game that I think people enjoyed the most, though, was the Toilet Paper Bride game. Have you ever played this one before? I think it’s become almost a bridal shower classic at this point.

As you can probably guess, Gerda’s bridal shower, while different from Steph’s, was just as great. I hope she enjoyed it as much as the rest of us did.