Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Off we go...a family vacation and last post on Fishly News


Of we go indeed! We are escaping the cold Ottawa weather for a week of sun, fun and Disney characters! 

But this is also the last post on Fishly News. For two and a half years I've been coming here on a regular basis - sharing our renovation adventures, our crafts, family vacations and many recipes with you. What started out as a small little corner of the web and was read by my mom, sisters and best friend, has grown to capture a much larger audience. For the last year I've been working on improving my skills both behind the camera and in the kitchen - it is that part of blogging that I enjoy the most and this is what I want to stick with going forward.

This is a big and scary step for me - walking away from growing readership numbers, walking away from mentions and featured photos and posts, walking a away from part of an audience that I know is interested mostly in our renovation adventures or craft ideas and walking away from a schedule I know and am comfortable with. But I need a change - I need to break the mold, challenge myself, focus and dream big. It's time to let go of something I love, to work on something I love even more.

Where am I going and what am I planning? After we return from our vacation, I'll be blogging at Audrey's  exclusively. It's my new Wordpress platform that gives me more flexibility and allows for much better display of my photos. My first step was a custom logo that my sister created for me - the second step will be some platform tweaking, some customization,some new widgets and plug-ins that will make the site as good as I want it. But I'm not rushing this - one little step at a time.

Most importantly, the focus of Audrey's will be a lot more me and where I'm at now. I'll be sharing recipes and food photography - but I'll also share snippets of our life, our family and travel adventures we might have. While you'll find a great birthday cake I created, or a trip to the sea, you probably won't find posts about bathroom renos, curtain choices or driveway replacements anymore.

I really hope you'll join me at Audrey's and that you'll follow along. It's our next chapter - a different adventure that I'm looking forward to sharing with you. Thanks to all of you for your time on my blog, for the comments, the emails, the conversations and making me feel like people are listening to the random things I'm sharing on this site - it's been such an amazing ride!

“Find what you love. Don’t stop until you find it. You’ll know when you do.” SwissMiss

Postings will be less frequent on Audrey's - probably once a week, but I'll have to find my new rhythm - my new groove. Thanks again and I hope to see you soon in my new corner of the web! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Airports, panels, parties and design camps

Wow, what a whirlwind! I am back from Salt Lake City, where I spent three days at ALT Summit.

My head is full to the brim with information, inspiration and fun memories. Truth be told, I'll have to process a lot of it over the next couple of weeks in order to make the most of it for myself and my blog. There is nothing like being in a venue with 600+ people that know what blogging is, that have great ideas, done great stuff, are willing to collaborate and are just genuinely nice. I don't think I've ever been at an event with such a collaborative and adventurous spirit.

While I enjoyed the business focused panels, I got the most from the design camps I attended, the networking and the amazing keynotes by Chris Anderson and Stefan Sagmeister! The keynotes were so inspiring, so forward looking with out of the box thinking that just resonated and inspired!

Everything was organized so well, the parties were amazing, the sponsors fit the needs of bloggers, the food was great, and, and, and...

Photos - by Justin Hackworth and Brooke Dennis for ALT Summit 2013

PS: Getting to Salt Lake City from Ottawa is hard in the middle of January. Both my travel days were disasters with broken planes, weather cancellations, rerouting, etc...blehh. But I finally got there, and I finally got home to hug my family.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Heading to Salt Lake City

I'm on a plane right now, heading to Salt Lake City for ALT Summit. I wasn't planning on going, but then I won a ticket in December, so how could I resist? I'll be busy attending a bunch of panels, workshops, round tables, parties and listening to key note speakers. But most importantly, I'll get to meet some new and old blogger friends! I'll see you briefly next week before we head out on our family vacation!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Winter in the Neighbourhood

It snowed this past weekend - another winter wonderland and a temperature reprieve before the cold front moves in and makes it impossible to spend time outside. We went sledding, threw snowballs and spent time in a snow covered playground. I love our neighbourhood.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Ice Marbles

Earlier this winter we made ice marbles. Have you seen them on Pinterest? They are a fun way to bring colour to your snow covered front path and a great project to make with the kids.
  • Gather as many round balloons as you plan on making marbles. 
  •  Carefully add a few squirts of food coloring to the balloon.
  • Stretch your balloon over a narrow faucet and carefully fill with water. You can go quite large, but remember to leave enough room so you can safely knot your balloon without the colored water splashing all over your hands and sink.
  •  Carefully place your filled balloons in a bucket and transport them outside.  Let them freeze completely and remove the balloons.

Tataaa! Beautiful colored marbles – each with a slightly different pattern and color. Don’t be surprised if people stop and comment on your new addition to your front walkway - the furnace repair guy asked a lot of questions about them.

PS: The marbles won’t be perfectly round since water settles a bit before freezing and you’ll have an indentation from the air bubble. If you place them in snow it will take a couple of days to completely freeze – snow is an insulator and you’ll be surprised how long it can take – make sure to rotate the balloons every so often to speed up the freezing.

PPS: I also wrote a post on the Neighborhood blog about these and how to make a perfect snowman. Check it out.