The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells: A sweet, warm, and mystical cherry trifle of a novel

I got a bad perm once, one of those tight spiral 80s style ones, except it was 2001. I was depressed for 6 months solid. Unhappy every time I looked in the mirror. I only started to feel better when on a particularly bad hair day I walked into to a salon I’d never been to and got a cut from a Russian woman. She took each one of the curls and cut the tapered to widen them. The curls got looser and my hair was bouncy and fun again. So, you won’t find me diminishing the sacred value of a great hair stylist and the contribution to the mental health of her clients she can make.

While finding her own place in the world as joys and tragedies open her up and close her off from life, Rebecca Wells‘ title character in The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, is on a quest to use her “healing hands” to release people of their sorrows giving them a feeling of relaxation and confidence through their experience at her salon. She follows the guidance of the “Moon Lady” as she was taught by her. Calla Lily is a colourful girl whose mother believed everyone is better off dancing though life, and Calla Lily does her best to honour that with her own life and choices, though she discovers it’s hard to do what you know to do in the face of hardship.

Rebecca Wells was weaves spirituality and a little mysticism with everyday trials of life in a way that is delicate and light-hearted, when Calla Lily experiences loss you are right along with her, and also learning from her journey and her will to resurface and open up again to life as he mother in Calla’s eyes, always did. Calla Lily and her friends and family leave you longing for the richness and space of a simpler life that Wells’ depiction of small town of La Luna seems to offer.

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder, is a worthy, easy read that will bring tears to your eyes and leave you laughing, while reminding you to take time for yourself, to forge strong friendships, and  to open to love fully when it comes to you, while always making sure you’ve got a hair-do that makes you feel beautiful beyond words.

Here’s what Rebecca Wells herself has to say about the novel:

Vancouver Skyline at Night

What should Vancouverites do if they can’t afford to buy in the city they live in?

Vancouver Skyline at night – photo from

I’m inclined to agree with Spencer Thompson‘s article “The Problem Isn’t Vancouver’s Astronomical Housing Costs— It’s the People Who Buy“, in which he comments on the cause of, and solution for, Vancouver’s housing market becoming increasingly out of reach for it’s citizens. Thompson purports that when we sell our real estate to foreign investors who don’t want to live here we make “zero-value” people become the only ones who can afford to live in Vancouver which systematically squeezes out high-value people–those who build their lives in Vancouver and thereby increase our economic and cultural landscapes, thus increasing Vancouver’s overall value.

Among other solutions, Thompson proposes we levy a 1x (eg. $1mil for $1mil home) tax to investors with no intention of living in and contributing to our city, with funds allocated to a city trust fund to be managed by a future-focused entrepreneur.

What do you think is the problem? What’s the solution? Do you agree with Spencer about creating a special tax? Leave your thoughts and comments below.


I’ve highlighted some great excerpts, you can check out Spencer Thompson’s full article here.

Also, check out this great article by Vancity Buzz that reviews and compares Vancouver and Hong Kong real estate markets.

Cities are nothing more than a collection of individuals who occupy an area based on a number of social factors: family, employment, access to lifestyle, climate, etc… And as a collection of people, the value of a city lives and dies with the quality of those people.

The secret that no-one actually wants to talk about is that the quality of a city is mostly determined by a simple factor — the number of smart, ambitious people who live there. These people are the ones who want to drive that city forward by investing in opening businesses, donating their time to the arts & community, participating in city planning, etc… Without them, growth wouldn’t happen and you wouldn’t get all of the benefits that great cities enjoy.

The biggest contributor to the decline of a great city is simple — it’s the decline of those smart people. When they decide that the cost of living in a place outweighs the benefit, they move. They don’t just take their money with them, they take their intellectual and future capital with them.

He also references a New Yorker article that states:

If there are enough rich people in China who want property in Vancouver, prices can float out of reach of the people who actually live and work there. So just because prices look out of whack doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a bubble. Instead, wealthy foreigners are rationally overpaying, in order to protect themselves against risk at home. And the possibility of losing a little money if prices subside won’t deter them. Yan says, “If the choice is between losing ten to twenty per cent in Vancouver versus potentially losing a hundred per cent in Beijing or Tehran, then people are still going to be buying in Vancouver.

Here Thompson describes his proposed tax:

IF you want to buy a home in Vancouver to “park” your money here (aka you won’t live here and you won’t create any value) then we are going to force value out of you. I propose that we create a “tax” equal to 1x the value of a home that goes straight into a fund that will encourage small businesses to start up. The average cost of a home in Vancouver is now $1,000,000. So for every million dollar home sold — $1M will go into the fund. Don’t like it? Go park your money somewhere else — the nice effect is that this should also decrease the demand for houses and naturally decrease prices. BUT, if people feel that the cost is still worth it — we will add millions of dollars to a fund that will go straight to the people adding value in the city. The key here must be the people actually managing the money. They need to be entrepreneurs themselves, not risk-averse accountants or consultants who don’t know anything about business.

via The Problem Isn’t Vancouver’s Astronomical Housing Costs— It’s the People Who Buy — Spencer’s Collection — Medium.

A SUPER FAST CHARGING battery alternative that is also 100% BIODEGRADABLE? YES PLEASE!

Imagine being able to charge your electronic devices in seconds, or your electronic vehicle in a few minutes without the negative envorionmental impact of a traditional batteries. That could be just what Brian Golden Davis and his team are about to unleash on the world. Check it out:

14 Morning Rituals (That Seem A Little Out There) But Will Totally Change Your Life

Mornings are tough sometimes, establishing a routine that sets the tone of your day, that works with your values and goals for living is a really great idea. The mornings when I’ve wakened with enough time before I have to hit the road and take a lavender scented bath, or enjoy my coffee while writing in my journal are days when I am permeated with peacefulness and contentment. Life becomes more than a To-Do list, feels better, and makes a lot more sense!
What are your favourite morning rituals?

What do you do in the morning to set yourself up for a great day?






Originally posted by Briana Wiest on Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog

Take Epsom salt baths. Okay, so maybe you’re a little too hurried to bathe leisurely in the morning, but that’s only because you’ve structured your schedule that way. Get to bed earlier and wake up so your morning isn’t a miserable trek through stress-inducing tasks. Epsom salts (especially the eucalyptus ones) remove toxins and ease muscle tension and pain, among other health benefits. Technicalities (or claims) aside, you step out feeling like layers of stress were lifted off of you.

Set intentions. It’s not that much different than scribbling down your “to do” list except for one major factor — your intentions don’t have to be tasks and responsibilities. To be most effective, they should be how you’ll approach your tasks and responsibilities. To not have anxiety on your morning commute, to answer your emails first thing in the morning rather than put them off, etc.

Put on something warm as…

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Make a Fabulous and Super Cozy Infinity Scarf in 30 mins!

This looks absolutely luscious and cozy warm –and scraping frost from my windshield this morning made it even more appealing!

Here are the instructions from Audra at The Kurtz Corner:

12 stitches wide
20-25 links long

Brand: Lions Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick
Super Bulky #6
Colors used: Lighter scarf – Oatmeal
Maroon/Red scarf – Spice

– 2 skeins of yarn are necessary
– The tail goes around your thumb as you are casting on and will get shorter as you go which is why we start with a really long tail.
– You can use 2 different colors!
– My scarf was 12 stitches wide and about 25-30 links long
– You can use less bulky yarn, but to achieve this look you will need #6 bulky

TheWestJet Way: How to Win Christmas, the Internet, and Advertising in 3 Simple Steps.

I love this! We spend so much time bombarded by advertising, it’s refreshing to encounter a company making me feel emotional and hopeful with their marketing effort. Advertising really is a powerful way of communicating and it’s great to see more and more businesses exploring ways to make their marketing effort win-win by boosting sales, brand recognition and identity, while bringing joy to people, encouraging kindness and generosity? Here are 3 smiple steps to dominating the internet, making lots of money, and making the world a better place!!

Step 1

Do something generous, kind, and unexpected for someone, or a giant group of people. Remember, though, it’s not always the bigger the better, combining the most heartfelt with the most unexpected is the magical formula!

Step 2

Film the process, haul a friend with you, use your iphone, your android or an old Super8 Camera (although, that may involve tangential film to digital transfer steps that aren’t covered in this 3-step list), get a few teary interviews, layer it all together into a 2-5 min video clip with a catchy title and skip joyfully onward to Step 3!

Step 3

Upload to YouTube, sip some tasty eggnog, and enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling in your heart as the views, and shares rack up.

Happy Holidays!

Gina-Lily ❤