The Sunday 7

  1. If only it was March right now and this beautiful sunny, Sunday was an indication that Spring was here. Unfortunately, looks like we may have to brace ourselves for some more winter weather (I mean, it is January still). In the meantime, I am enjoying as much time outdoors as possible and snapped this photo above on the city limits of Guelph overlooking the countryside #MyFavouriteViews #RemindsMeOfTheFarm
  2. I  can't wait to try out this Mexican restaurant in Waterloo that I read about in Toque magazine, a free amazingly-designed magazine I found (for free!) in my local Balzacs in Guelph.
  3. I purchased this refreshing face mist from The Body Shop over the holidays and I'm loving it! Its the perfect mid-day pick up.
  4. I also recently bought these beauties (thanks to Winners!) and can’t wait to get to wear these.. in bare feet, with warm, sunny weather.. sometime soon hopefully #dreaming
  5. This place in Prince Edward County for a creative genius retreat looks ah-mazing! Who wants to hit the road and go with me for a weekend of brainstorming, writing and no cellphones (only for photos of course!)
  6. How is it February in 4 days?! We have lots of exciting plans in store for the next month. To keep me organized (and happy every time I open up my laptop), I found this cute February desktop wallpaper.
  7. Bell Let's Talk Day is coming up this week on Wednesday, January 31st! Be sure to participate on social media if you can or at least watch some of the awesome shows that will be airing featuring real-life people talking #MentalHealth#EndtheStigma

The Sunday 7

Inspired by Interior designer and blogger Shea McGee at Studio McGee, I've followed suit and started my own 'Sunday 7' series here on the blog. Shea was the keynote at the Blog Podium conference I attended in Toronto this past September. This series can be a fun a way to capture all of the random work + play items-articles-happenings-design inspiration-photos-thoughts that spark my interest.

Hope you enjoy!

  1. Loving this DIY calligraphy wrapping paper that may look ah-mazing all year round, not just under the Christmas tree.
  2. If you are in need of some of the cutest cards and prints, check out local Ontario gal Sarah's Etsy shop, 'Sweet Simplicity Paper Co.'
  3. I ordered matching beanies for Blake and I from Muskoka Baby, a Muskoka mom making handmade and fashionable baby products and accessories!
  4. If you haven't yet read about 94-year old tweeter Harry Leslie Smith, do yourself a favour and read this fascinating article about him.
  5. My family and I visited the Toronto Christmas Market for the first time together this weekend, in the well-known distillery district. What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas and take in the historic buildings in a beautiful setting. Oh and it was my first time trying mulled wine (so good!). I'll be trying my hand at  making mulled wine over the holidays with this recipe.
  6. We are heading west this week to visit the in-laws in Manitoba for Christmas. You'll be able to find me in the quiet countryside, cozied up with a new good read and browsing (for hours) in my favourite little shop, Pineridge Hollow.
  7. The first major snowfall this weekend at home on the farm was so peaceful and calming. You could tell even Duke our farm dog enjoyed the new blanket of snow. I was able to write a blog post about this welcomed 'quietness' that the snow brings, I'll be sharing next week!

[Photo Source]

I have Rural Ontario to Thank

Working in Toronto and coming from rural Ontario proves there are stark differences between the two landscapes but that at the end of the day, we all live in one province. I love seeing someones face when I'm working in the city and I tell them I was raised on a dairy farm or come from a small town. I'm not sure if they are expecting me to look a certain way or talk a certain way but I always enjoy seeing the look of surprise on their face. It is a cool feeling knowing I may have changed their perception or expectations of what they may have thought someone from rural Ontario looks like.

I Have Rural Ontario To Thank

A typical follow up question they also ask is where I got my passion for agriculture for what I do both personally and professionally. While I blogged about this years ago when I first started this Passionate Voice platform, my answer always comes back to my days in the country, growing up on my parents dairy farm. But it was also my parents encouragement of trying new things and dreaming big that now has me working in downtown Toronto. Yes, there are some days I would feel more 'in my element' being back at home or in the country (cows really don't talk back which is awesome!) but there is an opportunity that presents itself in Toronto that feeds my hunger for 'challenging the status quo' everyday in what I do to help promote Ontario's agriculture sector for the amazing industry it is and the impact it has here at home in Ontario.

My appetite for communication, connecting with people, wanting to make a difference, and providing inspiration for other young professionals proudly came from my upbringing. I have Rural Ontario to thank along with my parents and family for  my continued drive each and every day.

It is why this platform The Passionate Voice was born and why I love helping others tell their story through social media and public speaking training.

If by chance, you are a country-born reader enjoying this post, make sure to take the time to enjoy Ontario Agriculture Week this week across the province, which is being celebrated from October 5th to 11th.

And a side note to end this post, I personally took  the above photo of a wheat field overlooking my family's dairy farm and the Trent River this past July before the wheat was harvested.

This view will never get old!