new developments…

Hi! I’m now blogging over at

Check it out! Hope to see you there 🙂


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Exactly one month ago today, I took a leap of faith and returned to a city that has become a home. It’s been a hectic, helter-skelter kind of month, but I don’t regret that decision for a single moment.

I lived in Toronto for almost 5 years, mostly while in University, and was extraordinarily happy during that time. I was a bit concerned that I was chasing a faded past by returning, somehow subconsciously expecting to pick up right where I left off. But the city has changed, almost unrecognizably, and I have, too. We are becoming reacquainted on a new level, not necessarily one that is deeper, but one matched to a different stage of life.

My life is starting to take shape now, though I won’t jinx developments in the works by discussing them. Needless to say, I will share when the time is right…. Hopefully soon!

A very good friend of mine works for the University of Toronto (my alma mater) and he recently showed me a view of the University and the city that I had never seen before. That slight change in perspective drastically altered my impression of the appearance of an area I used to know quite well, and seems to symbolize my newly-forming relationship with my adopted home.

Once I decided to move back to Toronto (really more of an epiphany than a decision), I needed to figure out when. I made the decision in early summer, but as I was working on a thesis that was due at the end of August, it didn’t make sense to uproot myself before then. For one reason or another, I remained at home for most of September, but I promised myself I would be sure to spend as much of Autumn as possible in Toronto. It really is the best season (winter = too cold, summer = too hot, spring = doesn’t really exist…)  and I’m making it a top priority to enjoy the sunny days, the changing leaves, the wind that whips my skirt up over my head, and even the rain before it gets so cold that I only want to hibernate…

I’d like to finish this post with a few quotes about my favorite season, as I’m feeling rather poetical tonight and enamored of Fall.

” Just before the death of flowers, And before they are buried in snow,

There comes a festival season, when nature is all aglow.”  — Unknown


“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,

and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings,

as now in October.”  — Nathaniel Hawthorne


“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself,

than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”  — Henry David Thoreau (That man just CRACKS me up!)


“I ‘m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers!”

— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (One of my favorite books to read when I want/need to rejoice in the absolute wonderful-ness of life!)


“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves.

We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”  — Humbert Wolfe

Now for October eves, indeed! I wish you all very Happy Falls, full of crisp blue skies, hot tea and chocolate sipped while wandering through the multicolored outdoors, and many friends and lovely times in cozy places while the rain and leaves fall outside!

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Filed under Torontoto (not in Pasadena anymore)

climb every mountain

**Ok, so I just wrote an entire blog post, and then promptly lost it. Just an example of the kind of day I’m having (see below) Now I’m going to try to re-write it…

So, I arrived in Toronto exactly 2 weeks ago, and to quote Big Chris, It’s been emotional….

Like a rollercoaster, as they say, complete with elating ups and stomach-dropping downs. I have to give full credit for the ups to my amazingwonderful (and very lovely) friends, who have done everything to make me feel at home here. One of these exceptional friends treated me to a evening at Roy Thompson Hall last night, where we watched/listened to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and vocalists perform some of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s biggest hits. Now, I’ve always been a big fan of musicals, and I never fail to be amazed when a song manages to capture certain feelings that simple speech just can’t grasp. Three-quarters of the way through, I leaned over to my friend and whispered that the only sad part of the concert was that I couldn’t sing along (at least without getting ignominiously kicked out…) Lo and behold, the soloist singing Edelweiss not 5 minutes later invited the audience to join in! Just like in the movie! (Coincidentally, this is also the point in the movie when I lose it, sobbing as if it were my country being wrenched away from me. Something about nationalism that I can’t quite seem to relate to except through song…) It made me so sublimely happy, and all was right with the world.

Until today. Today was just one of those days. One of those days when the world seems to want to laugh at you. Hysterically. First off, I had to pay customs fees for a package that I had to also pick up from the post office. As if I don’t already pay enough taxes. Then, while I was in the PO, the sun came out. Now, I realize that this is normally considered to be a Good Thing. However, I had decided I didn’t need to bother toting my sunglasses with me (I know, I was just asking for it!), and was squinting and cursing the nice weather all the way home. I was also too hot in my clothes at that point, which I absolutely despise! Anyway, I won’t bore you with the rest of the details (except to comment that I’m using my crock pot for the first time, and it smells a bit suspicious… kind of like it might decide to blow up at any moment…)

I’m trying to keep my momentum going with the help of youtube, listening to inspiring musical tunes while singing along and dancing around my room… Join me!

Except that I can’t whistle… I feel like an ugly duckling who will never be a swan when I try…

I CAN sing, though! So here are some more:

I feel like that one is my theme song, right now…

“What will my future be? I wonder.

It could be so exciting, to be out in the world, to be free!

My heart should be wildly rejoicing

Oh, what’s the matter with me?

I’ve always longed for adventure,

To do the things I’ve never dared.

And here I’m facing adventure!

Then why am I so scared?”

I may not be off to take care of 7 troublesome children, one of whom definitely Does Not need a Governess, but these lyrics resonate with me on a personal level right now.

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October 10, 2012 · 8:57 pm

Watch this space…

Hi friends!

Ok, yes, it’s been a while… let’s just dispense with the apologies and start fresh, yes? yes! The past few months have indeed been crazy, both in terms of my actual activity level and various internal whizzing and banging… And after much (very much) hemming and hawing, I made the decision to move back to Toronto.

I arrived in TO about a week and a half ago, and have been welcomed back into my adopted hometown by numerous friends. It’s been lovely, truly, but now comes the somewhat more arduous task of building a life for myself in a city that is in many ways just as I remember, but in other ways very much altered (I know it was cold before, but this cold?? And yes, I know it’s only going to get worse…)

So please do watch this space! I will update it on a regular basis (I promise!), and regale you with tales of my Brave New Grown-up Life — You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll (probably quite frequently) shake your head in exasperation, and hopefully it will help me find my sea legs in the great white North and not feel so very far away from everyone I’ve left behind…

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you make me feel like dancing!

Today is Valentine’s Day! In my humble opinion, love in all its forms should always be celebrated, but it’s nice to have at least one day dedicated to this practice. I hope you all told at least one person you love them today, and that someone returned that affection. Whether it’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, father, brother, sister, neighbor, dog… even a perfect stranger!

Here are some videos that make me smile. Whether you’re dancing alone, with a special friend, or even a household appliance; on a plane or in the kitchen doing the dishes; in shoes, bare feet, or roller skates, Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU!

xoxo Julia

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Filed under silver screen, small pleasures


Hey friends!

The past couple of months have been super busy, but quite enjoyable! I have managed to make it to the movies a few times, and today I finally saw The Artist. Personally, I thought it was just remarkable, and the use of sound definitely deserves plenty of recognition. But what I wanted to talk briefly about is Hollywood’s obvious current interest in its own beginnings and the power of the inspiration that can be found in the world of film. In addition to The Artist, I can see this trend in several other recent movies, namely Hugo and The Muppets. All three of these aim to show cinematic productions as akin to magic. I’ve found all three to be incredibly inspiring, from an artistic standpoint, and they’ve also given me a newfound appreciation for my hometown and its contributions to the world. They make me want to enter that world, but not the one of 2012; I find myself wishing I could have been a part of the early days of film…

In terms of a more realistic goal, I’m seriously considering taking tap dancing classes… How’s this for inspiration?:

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It’s Nice to be Nice!

Hey friends,

Lately I’ve been lucky enough to come across a slew of websites encouraging people to be kinder to themselves, their earth, and their fellow humans. Sometimes brightening another person’s day can be so easy, and I’m grateful to be reminded of the many ways we can accomplish just that. Hope you enjoy perusing these sites as much as I have!


Toronto Subway

I took this photo in Toronto when I was over there this summer. I was heartened to see such a public show of kindness in the middle of a busy city! Then again, it is Canada, so I shouldn’t really be surprised. Go Canada!

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