It’s crazy to think that 3 years ago I was 99% bald (all over) and weak as a kitten from cancer treatment and was starting my first ENCORE class at the Y.

Flash forward to today and I am now teaching ENCORE (a free 8 week after breast cancer exercise program at the downtown Victoria BC YWCA). Life will take you down a crazy fulfilling path if you let it. 💜

I’ve never changed my ID photo because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.  🙂

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This last year Gerry and I have been working on renovating our kitchen. Yes. it took over a YEAR!! 🙂 Maybe longer.

When we moved into our condo 8 years ago the kitchen was dark (so dark) and dingy and right out of the 70’s – but not the good part of the 70’s. The grandma part. We looked into renovating the kitchen – but all the quotes we got were $30, 000 to do the kitchen. We were like WHAT?

Take note of the drop ceiling and the florescent lighting. Yikes.

So we did some minor updates to the kitchen that we could afford. We painted the cabinets white and I removed a bunch of doors so I could have open shelving. We changed the counter top to something more neutral, got a new sink. I put down tile on the floor.

For a few hundred bucks we managed to change the look of the kitchen to something that was a lot nicer and brighter and it was a functional kitchen and it worked for us for a while… But there wasn’t a lot of room for me to prep my food and the flow was weird. The fridge was alllll the way down at one end and my prep area was at the other end and I had very little pantry space.

Anyway … then I got sick (and yada yada breast cancer) and we focused on more important things and spent all that time getting through that and recovering from cancer treatment.

Long after treatment was over and I was starting to feel like myself again – I was making dinner and I looked at Gerry and said “It’s time to do the kitchen.” So we started saving up $$ and I hopped onto the Ikea website and started making a plan.

We are pretty handy so I figured we could do most of the work ourselves. First thing we decided to do (which I think was smart) was to do the “stove-side” of the kitchen first. That way we still had a functional kitchen while we worked on the stove-side. It meant it took us a little longer to finish the kitchen – but it also afforded us the ability to not suffer from “renovation fatigue”.

In my new layout I moved the refrigerator to the “stove-side” and filled up the walls with cabinets where there used to be a breakfast nook – because who needs a breakfast nook when you have a dining room that’s just off the kitchen? I am so pleased with how it turned out and about all that pantry space! It’s divine!

Yes – I sold Samantha my vintage stove. It was a hard decision but we could not make her fit into the design. We found her a very loving home. Don’t worry.  🙂

The hardest part of the whole project was that my dining room (and part of the living room) became Ikea Central (for months and months).

While Gerry went to work – I went to work on putting every cabinet, drawer and handle together. I really love Ikea. It’s like Lego for grown-ups.  🙂

We took a little break after phase 1 to renew our energies and not get too fatigued (and to save up some more money to do the other side of the kitchen. Off we went putting together more boxes and working on the “sink side”.

The “sink side” needed a little more professional work. I wanted to move the sink over and have more prep space. Gerry didn’t think it was possible – so I got a plumber to come over and he said “For the right amount of money – anything is possible”. ha.

So we splurged a little and had him move the sink over 6 inches. 6 inches doesn’t sound like a lot – but does it ever make a difference to my prep space.

The last piece to the puzzle was the flooring. I had done the gray and white tile myself – but this tile drove me crazy. I could NEVER get it clean enough no matter how much time I spent mopping it.

Plus with the new all white cabinets – it was starting to feel VERY white in there and I wanted something a bit more earthy to ground the kitchen so we went with a simple cork floor.

I am so so so so so happy with the flooring. It just ties the whole room together.

I learned a lot doing this reno – my only regret is that I went with a simple (but beautiful) subway tile (with a soft pattern) but I wish I had gone with my original idea of doing a crazy patterned back-splash.

I asked too many peoples opinions about the back-splash and instead of going with my own esthetic – I chose something more pedestrian and I have a little regret about it … but I can live with it.  🙂

Because we did 80% of the work ourselves – we saved a lot of money and were able to splurge on the cork floors and the granite counter tops. It was a really fun project to do with Gerry.

A few weeks ago we finally were able to clean up the dining room of all the tools, boxes and Ikea scraps and just have the dining room be a dining room again.

Gerry said “I’m so glad to be done.” and I said … “Yeah but now we gotta start saving up to fix the bathrooms.” ha ha ha. Poor Gerry.  🙂


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No Plan

Blackstar was released last year on this date and I didn’t get a chance to play it before the news broke that he had died and then I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the new album.

Days passed. Weeks. Months and then out of the blue Prince died. It was a two fisted gut punch that I’m still reeling from.

I started listening to Prince music right away… I soaked in his catalogue like a bubble bath but I couldn’t bring myself to listen to Blackstar.

Today NO PLAN was released for Bowie’s birthday and I sat at the dining room table with Gerry as we both worked on art and listened to both albums in their entirety. It felt like the perfect moment. ⚡️👨🏻‍🎤 #happybirthdaydavidbowie

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Maria Wimmer

My dear pal Maria Wimmer drew this crazy portrait of me. She posted this on her instgram with the following beautiful words. She had me weeping. 🙂
screen-capture-6December marks 16 years that my husband and I have been vegan. When we first went vegan we were totally overwhelmed.
We bought a terrible vegan hippie cookbook and that was about all we had access to as vegans. The internet was not as helpful as it is now and just finding a store that carried tofu was a major score.
A year into being vegan we were very young and newly married and soooo poor. We splurged and went out for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant that had vegan options in Missoula.
While there I spotted the cookbook How It All Vegan. I bought it. We definitely could not afford it at that time, but we were desperate for a book that was not filled with super weird recipes.
We read that cookbook cover to cover. I learned so much about being vegan and about cooking. On top of the content we were drawn to the style and personality of Sarah Kramer; she seemed like someone we could be friends with…it was all so exciting.
So today I am happy to celebrate 16 vegan years and to commemorate that anniversary I have drawn my friend Sarah. Thanks for being an inspiration!
Love you MARIA and your sweet hubby E.K. Check out Maria’s artwork here (http://www.mariarosewimmer.com/)
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New New New

Been doing some fixing up of the old homestead. On the left is the sample of cork floor I decided on for the kitchen. On the right is what arrived. 😳 I made the floor dudes stop and we are sending it back. 😢


In other news we also replaced the carpet in the bedroom and I could not be happier.  🙂


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‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer

13603621_10153629490802536_1166821293337870237_oThis is a great article.

Give it a read: ‘Going Flat’ After Breast Cancer

It echos all the reasons why I decided to go flat.

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Dearly Beloved…

My friend Graham took this shot of us in 2014. I was fresh from treatment – my face still a little round and puffy from all the medications. 

Gerry vowed “In sickness and in health” when we got hitched in 1996 but we didn’t anticipate how sick. 

The statistics are staggering – many woman survive breast cancer but their marriages do not. 

We do not take our bond lightly and we were so gentle with each other during my fight with cancer. It wasn’t easy but we made it through. Hold tight to your loved ones. 💜 

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Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Father’s Day!!! I am so lucky to have a dad who encouraged me to be myself (even if everyone else thought I was weird). He’d say “Who gives a shit what other people think. What do you think?” 😜

He also taught me about the value in being creative, about following your passions and most important that it was ok to use swear words as long as you didn’t use those swears to hurt someone else’s feelings.


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I’m going back to my hometown of Regina Saskatchewan in a week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my Dad’s theatre company. 

I’m hoping to visit the tree I planted when I was little. 

I also hope I get to stand in this mud-room again. 

I mailed off a letter to the owner of my childhood house in Regina asking if I could come visit. 😍#ihopetheysayyes

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