This Week’s Pile: Hungry leaders, cheese sauce, and my favorite Illustrator right now.

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Happy new year everyone! You can bet that I have a huge list of things ready to check off for this upcoming year. No resolutions (okay, I do want to floss everyday) just 30 achievable one-time events or goals that can have a definitive “check” next to them. Lots of people get too ambitious with their yearly goals, but as long as you can track your successes (and failures) you’ll be able to make progress (or notice when you’re not). My 2018 list is inspired by some of the links below, like painting a mural, donating time to charity, and attempting some of my goals of before I’m ready.

For reading on long commutes to work: Why Leaders Eat Last.
To inspire more murals: Everlane’s 100% Human activation in NYC.
For adding more low-key laughter to your instagram feed: BC dude Hiller Goodspeed with drawings about doing your own thing, good advice, and the biggest wish of everyone I know.
For eating on everything: Vegan cheese sauce. I like to add a bit of smoked paprika and nutmeg to make it a little cheesier. I’ve eaten this sauce on nachos, pizza, and smeared on baked potatoes.
To remember before it’s too late: This Quote from Amy Poehler
To try: This ginger-y herbal cocktail, yum

Ps. This column is named after the newspapers and letters that my step-dad would pile up in the kitchen every week for things he’s ‘going to get to reading soon’ (and saving the comics for me).

Phone link via Daniel Ehrenworth.

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The Grindstone – 6

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Black on black. It’s so classic and effortless that this look is from Paris Fashion week way back in 2013 and still looks on-point today. If you walked into your office in this outfit, no one could accuse you of being under-dressed or over-dressed. That’s what I love about it. The gold accents and menswear inspired leather belt add the perfect, subtle, amount of polish.

Honestly, I should turn this into my work uniform so I can wear of version of it every single day of the work-week. Only extra purchase for this outfit… a good lint roller!

Image from Harpers Bazaar.

Follow more modern workwear inspiration on The Grindstone Pinterest Board.

See the full Grindstone series here.

Trending: Herbs & Greenery

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In the midst of Canadian winter… long, wet, snowy, and grey… I’ve been looking for freshness and spring things to try and urge the sun to come sooner than normal. Enjoy this collection of ways to bring spring greenery into your home a little early this year.

Today I made this kuku sabzi frittata for brunch. It has an insane amount herbs stirred into eggs and was so herby and filling. I invited my favorite friend Jules and her husband. The live super close, but we don’t see each other enough, so we were trying to make something new and special.

Lovely down-to-earth herb based arrangements you can do yourself.

Love Potion cocktail with Thyme

A few weeks ago I used up some leftover sage and cinnamon and rosemary for homemade smudge sticks. These beautiful ones above were a bit above my level.

Trending sums up some of  the recurring themes I can’t get out of my mind.

About – OkGoods on Instagram

There’s no doubt that sharing on social media is easier than creating a blog post, so if you want more frequent updates on random things from OkGoods (aka me) then you can follow along on Instagram for fashion sketches, plant portraits, and random pictures with good light. ; )

Follow me here at OkGoods.

Here’s a bit of my life lately:

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Trying out a new ink pen

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Celebrating spring weather practising watercolours and drawing a cocoon coat.

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A vibrant denim rainbow sketch

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Hoping to do a clay class later this year and painting textural pots while I wait

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Finally hanging a beautiful planter we bought in San Francisco

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Our apartment is covered with plant babies, and we can’t help but keep buying more.

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Sunny weekend views on a chilly Sunday #NeverGoOutside

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Some of the gang, including a stubborn Spider Plant I’m trying to rescue

Thanks for reading!

The Grindstone – 5

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Monochromatic wins my heart again. Navy is my favourite colour to work all at once… Of course, an all black look is classic and forgiving, but something about navy is more rich and artistic feeling, especially when paired with gold accessories.

Hopefully this inspires you to throw together a polished one-colour look as easily as something a bit too business-casual (I’m thinking of my own running pants and giant sweater looks). Mix textures, but not colours – so easy for cold mornings standing in front of the closet hazily putting together an outfit! ; )

Image from Vanessa Jackman.

Follow more modern workwear inspiration on The Grindstone Pinterest Board.
See the full Grindstone series here.

The Office Gift Guide – For your awesome intern

Ok Goods Gift Guide for your awesome intern

 

 

You’ve spent months mentoring and working with a young talent, and sadly you don’t have the best gift they could ask for, a job. So in lieu of a full-time contract, here is a list of things they can use to help them land their dream gig, or just to say thank you and GO GET EM.

1. A real and amazing reference letter or even a LinkedIn recommendation will be useful for years to come, and even better, it will boost their confidence for interviews and they’ll remember your supportive words at all the awkward networking events when they are building up the guts to talk to someone. (And before they leave, please look over their resume and portfolio to make sure they’ve put all the hard work they’ve done with your company into use and the world can see it)!

2. Holding a physical printed magazine in your hands is a pleasing in a way that digital can never top, and it’s also one of those things that most people can’t justify for themselves when on a tight budget. Give them a year (or two!) of industry inspiration and aspirational articles to read through and pile on their shelves.

3. Some say gift cards are a “no no”, but there’s a catch with this one… Load up a coffee shop gift card and present it with a suggestion to only buy coffee for others. You never know where a coffee meeting will lead them! If they really just want a card for the mall or amazon, I’m not against that either! This gift is meant to say ‘thank you’ after all, so don’t feel pressured to put rules on it.

4. Getting started in your career can be a tricky and expensive time. You need decent interview clothes, have student loans about to come due, and probably financing a laptop to help you with freelance work on the side! Even though there are free networking sites and social media channels for self-promotion there are some classic ‘work things’ that will help them feel more like a young professional and less ‘imposter‘. Try funding an industry membership, website hosting, or some fancy business cards (or stickers!) that they create with a template.

5. Celebrate the end of the internship by growing their liquor cabinet with a bottle of something dressed in a witty label. Add a book of cocktail recipes or a decorative bottle opener just for fun.

See all Gift Guides here.

The Office Gift Guide – For your boss

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This person might be the trickiest one on your holiday gifting list. You can’t buy a gift card, jewelry is too personal, and something generic is worse than nothing at all. Pro tip, avoid buy anything that involves choosing a size, or something that would be difficult to hide if they don’t like it. The idea here is to show appreciation and thought. Your gift should be personal or not at all. So here’s a list ways to be thoughtful and affordable (because honestly… they know how much you make).

1. A kind and sincere holiday card is the most meaningful thing on this list. Adding a message of your support, gratitude, or a fun memory will go a long way for holiday cheer. Simple.

2. Another affordable but heart-warming gesture is baking up some homemade treats. You and your boss spend long meetings together, order take-out some days, and snack on the same things — so you know the kind of treats that they run to during that 4 o-clock wall (and you probably know if their allergies). Classic chocolate chip cookies or some really good banana bread are safe bets. If they aren’t fond of sweets, try a bag of fancy coffee beans instead.

3. If we learned anything from Master of None, it’s that a fancy candle can go a long way in a small space like an office. Plus it’s fun to smell all the candles while you’re shopping.

4. Most people, no matter the pay-grade, appreciate indulging in fancy versions of everyday items. Switch up their kitchen routine with a small splurge on a shelf stable item like seasonal jam or olive oil. For bonus points attach a simple recipe that showcases the ingredient.

5. Use some of that personal knowledge you have from years of working together and get them a classic record for their underused record player, or pull from an inside joke and get them something weird to make them smile.

If none of these ideas fit the bill, look for something local and support a small business in your neighborhood. If you’re in Toronto, check out some of my favourites; Lost & Found, Easy Tiger, and Good Egg.

See all Gift Guides here.