Every Sunday morning after meditation I indulge in reading blog posts. I have been doing this for ten years. One of the first blogs I began to read with regularity was The Broadside by Caitlyn Kelly. She is a Canadian freelance journalist and author living in New York. She writes about her travels, her lifestyle and her apartment in ways that have me dreaming about those places. She has become a part of my Sundays just like pancakes, coffee and meditation. This week she posted the FT’s glossy magazine How to Spend It runs a 21-question survey of people whose taste and opinions they consider interesting. How to Spend It is not a periodical that I would normally read, so it was interesting to read the survey and think about the answers. I wouldn’t consider myself someone who is materialist. I am definitely about the experience, but I do enjoy functional material items. I thought I would also share because I need some fun in my life. Something that distracts from the everyday surreal reality we are all experiencing.

My personal style signifier

Something that isn’t my green pair of converse? I always have a scarf, usually wool or linen. I learned this trick from Valerie Pringle. She always traveled with one because it could be used as a blanket on a plane, head cover in foreign places, a shawl with a cocktail dress or for warmth around the neck. I have used it for all of those reasons and as a colour statement on the back of my office chair. My favourite is a blue pashmina from Jordan – a gift from my mom.

The last thing I bought and loved

My new stove that is arriving tomorrow? I think it would be my bed. It is the grey king-size button tufted monstrosity that is hard to climb into. It is pretty and comfortable. I spend half my life in it. I love it.

On my wishlist

A butler’s pantry. I have a large walk through pantry that I would love to add cupboards, a counter and a window to. One day…

The best gift I’ve given recently

The best gifts are the ones that I don’t request, they just show up unannounced and are given because the person was thinking of me. The last gift like that would have been from my daughter for my birthday. A saint candle of David Rose. It was hilarious and I light it regularly.

The best gift I have ever received

A trip celebrating my 50th birthday and new job. It was to the Wickaninnish Inn. It remains the single best vacation of my life.

In my fridge, you’ll always find

Cheese, oranges and wine.

My favorite room in my house

My deck, but that is outside my house. I guess in my house would be my bedroom. One day it will be my dinning room. It needs a makeover and I have big plans.

The last album I downloaded

I don’t download anymore, I stream. The last album I did download was Breakup by Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson. It still is one of my all time favourites.

I have a serious collection of

Crystals and running medals.

An object I would never part with

The kite made by my grandpa.

An unforgettable place I’ve traveled to in the past year

Jasper Park Lodge during secret season. It was a slow year for travel but Jasper never disappoints.

The best souvenir I ever brought home

I found three sand dollars at Morro Beach. I am positive these were a gift from my grandfather. There were two old men on the beach fishing that day and we chatted about their catch. They reminded me of my grandpa and his pal Tiny. There were hundreds of sand dollars on the beach. Grandpa and I used to explore tide pools and we would find things like sand dollars. He was with me a lot on that trip. I was thinking about my three friends that I was close to during that time. The sand dollars were symbolic of those friends I had. One broke before I made it home – so did that friendship. One broke after another falling out. One remains in tact which is surprising since the last friend and I haven’t spoken in over a year. Maybe it means it isn’t done yet.

Recently I’ve been reading

Before Wallis: Edward VIII’s Other Women. It is a departure from my usual book genres but I am enjoying it none the less. It’s mostly about Anderson Cooper’s great aunt. The opulence of that time is mind boggling.

The best book I’ve read in the past year

Its a toss up. Either In Five Years by Rebecca Serle or Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening by Martha Beck. But shout out to The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani – it was creepy and took me out of my comfort zone. I have read 32 books since January. Those three stand out for me.

A recent “find”

Silk Road Spice Merchant!!!

If I could, I would collect

I am trying to declutter – I don’t think I want anything to collect.

I had a memorable meal at

Victoria and Albert’s private dinning experience and The Pointe for breakfast. Both times the food was the best thing I ever consumed.

My style icon

Billy Porter – there is no other.

My grooming staples

No.7 night cream, tooth paste and any soap from Rocky Mountain Soap company. I am a simple gal.

If I weren’t doing what I do, I’d have been

A Disney cleanup artist.

I can’t wait to get back to

The ocean, any one will do.

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