Make it Work


Hello everyone! How have you been?

It has been a month with nary a word from me. Writing this blog is one of my favourite things, and yet I let it go for a while in order to catch my breath.

Every now and then, I get really tired. I mean, really tired. Sometimes it happens when I’ve been sick. Other times is happens when I’ve been through a stressful time. Occasionally it creeps up out of nowhere. Suddenly, I just feel compelled to rest a great deal. I can’t get enough sleep. All the usual solutions to fatigue, including exercise, supplements, hydration, healthier diet… they don’t help much. I just need to take it easy until my body is ready to get back to normal.

Of course, in the meantime, I don’t get as much work done. I don’t go out buying new stock for the shop. The housework falls behind. My relationships don’t get the attention they need. My devotion to creating delicious and healthful meals starts to slide. My personal projects fall by the wayside. Then I find myself sitting here, a month later, wondering how I’m going to catch up. The answer is always the same: one day at a time.

Those of you who struggle with chronic fatigue, depression, and other recurring, debilitating disorders might find this pattern quite familiar. It has taken me over a decade to accept myself the way I am, stop myself from overdoing it, and recognize when my energy is starting to wind down. I just have to step back a bit and do what I can.

That’s what I’ve been doing all month. Making it work, putting family first, and sleeping. Cough… a lot of sleeping.

All of that to say, sorry! I feel good, and I’m glad to be back at it. March is going to be totally awesome. Whee!

Much love,



Happy New Year!


Happy New YearA new year is upon us. How is it looking to you, so far? I am feeling calm and collected after a couple of weeks of restful busy-ness, and am ready to get back into the swing of things.

I’m not normally one for New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate at regular intervals, and make goal-setting a regular thing. That said, I’m feeling optimistic about this year, and I have a few things that I’m really setting out to work on in 2014.

  1. Read more books.
  2. Save more money.
  3. Plan meals in advance, and always make something wonderful.
  4. Really make an effort not to let other people’s negativity affect me. (this is a big one)
  5. Be more productive, and create beautiful things.
  6. Enrich my life with more music, more flavours, more art.
  7. Improve my fluency in Français and Svenska.
  8. Take good care of myself so that I can take good care of my family and loved ones.
  9. Be a better gardener.
  10. Travel.

Did I say a few things? Okay, I’ll stop at ten. There’s nothing on my list that is particularly daunting or difficult, right? I’m not going to kid myself into a gym membership or anything outlandish!

Do you have any resolutions for the new year? How do you aim to keep yourself on track with your goals? I’d love to hear what everyone else is resolved to do this year.

Meanwhile, I wish you all the best for an enlightened, fulfilling, prosperous and joyful 2014!


A Merry Christmas from Fox and Rook



I’ve been taking the past week to spend time with my little family, and enjoy a little bit of peace and quiet before we open our new shop on the first of the year. I didn’t realize I was so exhausted until I stopped buzzing around like a madwoman. It feels so marvelous just to pause for a bit. I hope everyone is enjoying all the best of the season, in good health and happiness!

I’m looking forward to 2014 with great anticipation and excitement. I have big plans, bigger goals, even bigger dreams, and I am feeling really positive about all of it. It all starts tomorrow with a hair appointment. :)

Much love,


Fox and Rook Fundraiser for MSF Typhoon Haiyan Relief


Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 11.05.14 AMBetween now and December 9th, I will be donating 20% of each purchase from my shop to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, for Typhoon Haiyan Relief. The government of Canada is matching donations earmarked for this relief effort, but only until December 9th.

If we sell 20 items between now and the 9th, I will donate an additional $100.
If we sell 40 items between now and December 9th, I will donate an additional $250.

I’m starting the ball rolling with a $50 donation. Please help me to support this incredible organization in their effort to aid our brothers and sisters in the Philippines.

MSF Canada:

Canadian Government Press Release on Matching Funds for Typhoon Haiyan Relief:

x_logoClick the logo to start shopping!

Please share, tweet, email, re-post, re-gram and holler. Thank you so much for your support!

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Happy Halloween



Happy Halloween, everyone! Have fun, be safe. If you are looking for someone to play a trick on, I suggest the man across the street who has been using a leaf-blower for over 5 hours while I lay in bed with an excruciating headache. 5 hours of leaf-blowing noise. Ever heard of a rake? Cripes! Go forth and ‘ween it up, y’all!

Happy Thanksgiving



It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I’m going to be toiling away in the kitchen for the next three days, because nothing says, “I’m super grateful for what I have” like overindulging in food. Or something. Enjoy your weekend, have fun, and we shall be back in action next week.

All the best,


Somebody Loves Me


Liebster AwardThe darling ladies at The Duck and The Owl nominated Fox and Rook for the Liebster Award! Wheee, thank you so much! What a cool way to share new blogs with people. I am now bound by the rules to nominate 10 more blogs, and answer a series of questions. It’s like a chain letter of blog love. I have completed the questionnaire, and as the final condition of my award, I shall take some time to choose ten new blogs that I’d love to share with you. Thanks to Sarah and Kaitlyn for the nomination. I hope I have answered the questions to your satisfaction. :)

If you could date any fictional character, who would it be?
Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey (before the fatal automobile accident, please), or Kurt Wallander as played by Kenneth Branagh… a little chubby (in the first series), scruffy, miserable… HOT! In fact, let’s move him to the top of the list. I would love to wake up on a Scandinavian mid-century sofa in the middle of the night with a bottle of wine on the floor and Wallander snoring at the other end.

Control yourself, Hollis! Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander - Photo from is your favorite word?
So glad you asked, but I have a few. Grotesque, péluche, archaeopteryx, Pontefract. Say them aloud, doesn’t your mouth feel good?

What is the last thing you texted?
“Ok, I get it. You don’t want my soup.”

What song just “gets you” right now?
I don’t know! I haven’t had that moment in a long time. The one where you go, ah ha! This song is all about me! Either I’ve become entirely un-relatable, or I’m not listening hard enough.

What did you have for breakfast?
An apple, some almonds and a cup of coffee.

If you were deserted on a itty bitty island and could only take three books with you, what would they be?
This is really a tough question! The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, for sure. A rather comprehensive cookbook would be good. Something by Jacques Pépin, perhaps. Finally, How to Get Off a Desert Island, by whoever has written such a thing. That would really come in handy.

List three things that you like about yourself.
This is perhaps a funny thing to say, but I like that I know myself well enough to accept my flaws and work with them. I like my teeth. I like seeing myself in my daughter.

What Hogwarts house would you be in?
You guys are hilarious. Ahem, I choose Gryffindor. How else am I going to hook up with Ron Weasley. I mean, he’s not going to run off with some old lady from Ravenclaw, now is he?

Yes, I'm going to hell. What is he, like 8 years old?  Photo from redcarpetcrash.comWhat shows do you constantly watch reruns of?
I don’t really watch too many things more than once, but I do seem to watch a lot of Pingu, thanks to my kid. In fact, it’s on right now. She calls the seal, Sealy Dan, which is pretty funny. I could definitely watch reruns of The Prisoner though. Patrick McGoohan…

Dang. Patrick McGoohan. If I had a time machine... Photo From fanpop.comLast question: Of course we must ask, what animal is your spirit animal?
The Fox. The Red Fox, to be precise. He and I have a thing.
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