moving-in-a-new-directionThat photo of the Christmas present has got to go.  Good grief.  It’s already March, I can hardly believe it.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since this girlaboutOtown has pulled together a post.  Here goes…

January, February and half of March.  Almost three full months into 2014, and the days seem to be flying by. Winter as usual I suppose – but this year something has changed.  I’ve noticed a significant shift in how I’ve been spending my time.

More than ever before, I find I’m driven to make a difference in the world.  At the risk of sounding cliché, I really do feel compelled to contribute to our collective future in a more meaningful way.  Maybe it’s my age, or because my daughter continues to grow, who knows.  What I can say for sure is ‘doing good’ is fast becoming a significant concern.

Years ago when I started this blog, I was craving colour, creativity and a greater sense of community.  Back then, Ottawa was a very different city. Foodies were few. Our hopping restaurant scene was yet to be.  The fashionistas hadn’t found each other, options for shopping were limited, and the handmade revolution was still new.  Looking back, I wasn’t alone.  There were many like me to wanted to see Ottawa become more cosmopolitan. But let’s face it – those days are over.  Ottawa has really come into its own, and personally, I’m no longer into the latest trends or the fanciest new home. 

Instead of searching for outfits, trying new restaurants, and uncovering furniture finds  – I’ve been attending community meetings, government consultations, and volunteering my time.    Turns out, this really is how I prefer to spend my days, and I’ve decided to continue participating this way.  While I still do design and real estate, I’m now making it my work to help catalyze positive change.

Youth entrepreneurship, affordable housing, public interest design,  social enterprise, and women’s leadership – these are just a few of the areas in which I’m increasingly interested.  From here on in, this is the sort of stuff I’ll be sharing, when I can.  A new direction maybe, but one that truly feels right,  at least from from where I stand.


The Shoebox Project

The-Shoebox-Project-for-SheIt’s December already.  Sheesh.  How did that happen so fast?

Anyway, I’m checking in today to share news of an inspiring Christmas initiative, and to encourage you to participate.  Just yesterday,  a friend flagged  The Shoebox Project, and I immediately agreed to spread the word.

The Shoebox Project is a nation-wide gift drive for women in need.   Yup.  It’s that simple.  And so easy to do.

Just fill a shoebox with a few lady-like luxuries  – valued around $50 – and wrap it up.  Drop the box off at any of these Ottawa locations before December 13, and over the holidays, volunteers will deliver shoeboxes to women living in shelters.

Launched in 2011 by Caroline Mulroney Lapham and her three sisters-in-law  Jessica, Vanessa and Katy Mulroney, the Shoebox Project began with an email to close friends.  It took off like wildfire, and news traveled word of mouth.

Last year,  2,700 shoeboxes were collected by volunteers in 10 cities, and The Shoebox Project  just keeps gaining steam.  Donors, sponsors, and volunteers are generously lining up to lift the spirits of women over the holiday season, and are on target to distribute 4,000 shoeboxes of good cheer this year.  Sign me up too please!

Simple.  Easy.  Incredibly special.

For drop-off details and a list of suggested filler items, visit