Hi there! Welcome to my site. I'm so happy you're here. Allow me to briefly introduce myself: I'm a freelance writer, content creator, shop owner and part-time ESL teacher. I have many loves: my son, my husband and the rest of my family; my pets, my friends, my city; coffee, french manicures and wine; cooking, reading and traveling. I value positivity and kindness. I'm a proud Canadian and live in Toronto, where I was born. Through this blog, I aim to educate and inspire, and hope to make meaningful connections with you, my readers.
Now, if you'd like to know a lot more about me, here's a more in-depth introduction:
I started blogging in early 2010 because I wanted to write creatively, and a blog was the perfect outlet to do so. Blogging was still a relatively new thing back then, and I had only 1 friend (ONE!!!) who actually had a blog; I enjoyed reading it and wanted to start my own. My first blog was called The Sweet Life and was a place for me to muse on all the things that make life sweet - I wrote about fashion, travel, food, and anything else that was on my mind. I was really enjoying the writing process, but I wanted something more focused, and so, after only two months of starting The Sweet Life, I created a second blog called House Before Spouse: A Modern Girl's Adventures in First Home Buying. As you can probably tell from the title, I was a single woman on the house hunt, and I wanted to document the process of buying a house. That process, from the moment I met with my real estate agent to the day I signed the paperwork to purchase the house, took only 26 days. I was an aggressive house hunter! (Also, the real estate market was different in 2010. That's not to say it was easier or any less stressful, but I digress.) Although I found my house, therefore ending the process that started my blog, I wanted to keep writing, and House Before Spouse turned into my journal of house-related matters and I wrote about decorating and renovating, and all things home, decor and DIY. I eventually wanted to branch out and write about the 'lifestyle' interests that initially got me into blogging, and in the summer of 2013 I re-branded and named my site after myself. Throughout my years of blogging, I discovered a community of other bloggers and have made significant and lasting friendships. I saw the evolution of blogging as it went from hobby to business to becoming a full-blown industry, and though I didn't monetized my blog and maintained it for fun in the first eight years, it opened me up to opportunities that may not have otherwise come my way.
Education & Professional History
I don't want this section to sound like a resume so I'll be brief (but if you do want the resume version, connect with me on LinkedIn here). I didn't know what I wanted to do for a career after finishing high school so I studied general arts at university and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Humanities. I supported myself through school by working part-time at a bookstore (and not just any bookstore!). By the time I was in my final year, my school schedule allowed me to take on more hours at the store and I became a full-time employee. About a year after I graduated, rumours began circling that the store's lease was coming to an end and would not be renewed, and this was the kick in the pants that I needed to start seriously thinking about my future, because even though the company would have found a position for me at another store, I wanted to have control over where I ended up. That's when I started applying for jobs at the head office of the company. I already had a taste of corporate life from spending one day a week for close to a year helping out in the fledgling General Merchandise department (home decor, tabletop items, decorative accessories, etc.) and within 3 months was hired on full-time (and just two months shy of the store's closing date - the rumours were true!). Fast forward through a succession of promotions and various roles, and I can proudly look back on nearly 17 years spent working for that company!! And though I feel good about the accomplishments I made, and the learning opportunities that came my way, the corporate world wasn't fulfilling me creatively. So I enrolled in a couple of interior decorating courses at George Brown College as a fun hobby because I've always had a passion for design, and after only a few weeks in, I knew I wanted to complete the entire program. Two years and three months later, I became a certified interior decorator. But even with this new distinction, starting my own design firm wasn't what I wanted (in fact, I realized that halfway through the program, but wanted to finish it anyway). I've since used the skills I learned at GBC to continue decorating my own house, as well as to help decorate friends' homes; I've even done a bit of staging to help friends get their homes ready for sale.
In my post-corporate life, I'm a partner in a media company that produces apps and websites that aggregate content and news for various industries, that also act as social media and marketing tools for brands and consumers in those industries.
In January 2019, I started an online shop called Monocle Fox, for which I design graphics for clothing and products that appeal to mamas and their little ones. The inspiration to launch an online store came to me in the summer of 2018 while I was pregnant with my son, Motherhood has become a very important part of my identity and my blog content naturally shifted to writing about pregnancy and parenting, and forming the shop was an organic step from there.
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about me!