odds & ends {liebster edition}

About a week ago, my dear soul sister Ashley at Ashley McElyea passed on the liebster blog award to this little corner of the online world. For those who've never heard of it, it is a virtual award passed from blogger to blogger (with under 200 followers) where the recipient tags the one that bestowed it, lists 11 facts about themselves, answers 11 questions, and nominates 11 more people to answer 11 new questions. While I don't usually do this kind of thing, Ashley asked some great questions and I figured it would be a nice change from the long stories I usually post. Don't forget to check out Ashley's writings & the blogs of those I pass this along to! Also, I'd love you to leave a comment listing a few facts about you so I can get to know you better.

11 facts about me:
  • I got my first (and only) tattoo shortly after turning 16. No, my parents had no idea and no, I do not regret it. It's the eagle emblem from the Ramones logo and I love having the reminder of who I was when I got it vs. who I am now.
  • I've lived in 3 provinces & 1 state and I've gone to 6 high schools and 2 universities. All my possessions are stored between the 3 provinces so it makes looking for a book rather difficult.
  • When I was 12 my family and I went to a big cat sanctuary in Spokane and I hand fed a tiger. He took the meat so gently that I was convinced he must live in constant gratitude to those who saved him from the drug lord's house.
  • A few years ago I was pretty into zines and had two on the go; one was my personal writing under a pen name, and the other a feminist compilation zine. Two copies of each were purchased by Columbia University for their library and I think it may have been the first and only time I was proud of myself.
  • Hockey makes me more emotional than almost anything else. When I go to a Canucks home game I get tears in my eyes and a flutter through my stomach. Partially because I played as a kid and it gave me my first sense of identity and partially because the Stanley Cup run in 2011 was one of the best times of my life.
  • If I could live in flannel shirts, white tank tops and baseball caps everyday I would be a happy woman. 
  • I love horses more than almost anything. I've recently found a horse to spend time with and ride in the area without charge and already I feel as though my soul is more rested. Horses can speak to me like no human can.
  • My hair has been dark blonde, bleach blonde, regular blonde (natural color), black and bleach dual toned, little mermaid red, bright pink, light pink, dark orange and orange with yellow highlights and the streaks I've had while blonde include purple, pink, red and a red feather. I haven't used any dye at all for 2.5 years and while it's nice it feels strange not doing something new every few months.
  • The most consistent job I've had involves books. I worked at Chapters for 1.5 years as my first job and loved it; I've also spent the past two summers as a keyholder for the indie bookstore in town.
  • My partner manages a private vineyard, and a few times a week I'll go to work with him. I love working with the plants and the dirt, it does the soul good as well as the body.
  • I really don't like my big toenail.

My answers to Ashley's questions:

What is your ideal Sunday?

Waking up next to my love and staying in bed huddled close while the sun streams in. Slowly making my way to the kitchen to make a coffee in the perkulator. Cooking a breakfast skillet in my cast iron pan while Johnny Cash plays and my love steals kisses. Going for a late morning walk through the trees and mountains hand in hand before parting ways so that I can nestle myself into a corner of a coffee shop to write. Reuniting in the evening along with friends at our place for beer, barbecue, bonfire and music.

If you could pick any decade to live in, what would it be and why?
When I was a teenager I always wished that I was a teenager in either the 70's in New York City so that I could have been there during the Bowery punk scene or in the 90's in Olympia so that I could have been at all the riot grrrl shows and movements.

Pick up the book you are currently reading. The author is your lunch date. What do you talk about?
I'm just finishing Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, my favourite author. He's Ojibway and has lead a fascinating life – I would talk to him about spirit, the earth, Native ceremonies and the sacredness that surrounds us.

What are your must-haves in your travel bag?
Headphones, laptop, a sweater or stuffed Simba to use as a pillow, mints, a journal, and 3 different books – a work of heavy fiction, light fiction and non fiction so I can read something that suits whatever mood I'm in.

If you could manipulate one element which one would it be and why?
I would definitely want to manipulate water. I would manipulate all water to be drinkable so that people would stop dying of water borne illnesses, and I would run across oceans. Also, I really like tubing and wakeboarding so I definitely would not mind getting to do that at any time.

Pick up your book again. Flip through it without looking and write the first sentence you land on.
We were a league of nomads, mad for the game, mad for the road, mad for ice and snow, an Arctic wind on our faces and a frozen puck on the blade of our sticks." - Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

What is your favorite home cooked meal?
I have so many that I cannot name just one, but last night my boyfriend's mom made a type of chowder/stew called beans & peas & new potatoes. It's a Canadian Maritime meal, and back there it's considered a horror if you make it when the produce isn't in season and if the vegetables don't come from your own garden or farm. She told us stories of eating it on the rural farm she grew up on and I just loved how the dinner she prepared us had such a history for her. 

If you could ask pick one person to travel with the for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?
My love and partner Tyler. I can't imagine living life without him and I love watching his face light up at the dawn of a new adventure; I love hearing the passion and excitement in his voice when we're going somewhere new. I would also love to travel with my little sister as she is the best sister one could ask for and I'd love to share new experiences with her.

Pick up the object next to you. What is it and what are you using it for?
The cinnamon candle pumpkin in my hand is warming the room with its fiery light; it's calming me with its gentle aroma.

What is your favorite season and why?
I love blackberry season – the last two weeks of August and the first two weeks of September. The days are still warm but the evenings are crisp; the atmosphere is filled with the anticipation of new beginnings and honest conversation.

If you could have a conversation with your 16 year old self, what advice would you give her?
At sixteen I was in a very dark spot and I was getting advice (both good and bad) from an overwhelming amount of people left right and centre. If I could be in the same room of my sixteen year old self I wouldn't converse – I would simply hold her close, tuck the hair that she hides behind out of her face, and rock her gently, telling her that there will come a time when she will look forward to waking up in the morning.

Nominated Blogs:

Due to the fact that a lot of the blogs I follow have large followings, I am unable to pass this on to 11 blogs (feel free to comment with your blog URL so I can check it out!) but I highly recommend you check out these lovely beings.

Juniper Anne: This lovely blog is run by my youngest sister Jennifer - she's the veteran blogger of the two of us and her photography is amazing! She often posts her daily fashions, and I am forever jealous of the way she can put an outfit together. 

Life, In Creation: Amy writes about her life in Alaska, her favourite Etsy shops and her life as a small business owner. I love the flow in her writing and her photos are beautiful!

Morrowmoon: Chelsea's blog is quite new but I guarantee you will be blown away by her breathtaking photos. Her images and words have a depth that I only wish I could emulate.

My questions for the bloggers (and anyone else who would like to answer): 
  1. What book has had the biggest impact on your life and why?
  2. If you could only listen to 3 music artists for the rest of your life, who would they be?
  3. What was your favourite playground equipment as a kid?
  4. East Coast or West Coast?
  5. What is your "spirit animal," and why?
  6. What is your biggest wish for the next year?
  7. Can you play any instruments?
  8. What was your favourite junk food as a kid & now?
  9. What is your go to routine after a bad day?
  10. What are your top 3 favourite quotes/song lyrics?
  11. Do you wish on shooting stars?
If you're reading this and want to answer these questions, consider yourself nominated - I would love to read more about your lives. Take care loves!

PS: I've recently become addicted to Instagram - come find me @northernrustication so I can creep admire your photos!


  1. I love this and I love you. I am so glad you did this! I know it's long and super random. Lol. I want to read that book you are reading! It sounds wonderful. And I also want to go horseback riding with you. And I want to wear flannel shirts!

    I LOVE your questions and I want to answer some:
    1. Eat, Pray, Love. I know a lot of people give it hell and say it's narcisstic, but I read it at a time in my life where I thought no one understood the inner turmoil I was going through. And by golly, Elizabeth Gilbert did!
    4. Can I travel from East Coast to West Coast?
    5. I have two. A phoenix because it appeals to my constant want of transformation. And currently also an elephant. I have no idea why. Maybe because I have been so into yoga and it's a thing lol.
    11. No....but I should.

    1. Let's teleport you here! I have plenty of extra flannel shirts and there's an extra horse you could ride :) I've never read Eat Pray Love.. I think I need to, just because I've heard so many conflicting thoughts on the book.

  2. I love this. I really got a sense of who you are and felt your honesty and love for life. I look forward to reading more. ~ Ashley from the sacred sisterhood

  3. haha i love these type of lists.
    I don't hate my big toe nail but I'm not very fond of the actual toe.
    however, I was thinking about another body part of mine yesterday and it was a really tiny thing but I was looking in the mirror and saying 'oh god it's awful' when I realized that it was the smallest most unimportant problem in the world haha


    Valentina Duracinsky Blog


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