Best Books of 2016

Best Books of 2016 >> Life In Limbo

Even though I share my favourite books every couple months here on the blog, it’s fun to look back over my full year of reading and see which ones still stand out and speak to me the most once some time has passed.

All of the books on this list had an impact on me, taught me something, or made me feel stuff. I would recommend any of them to anyone – and have been doing so nonstop! I’ve mentioned some of them in posts this year already, but others are new, and as always you can see the full list of my 2016 reading on my Goodreads profile here.


Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley: A love letter to man’s best friend – in this case, the author’s lovely dog, Lily.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson: Three parallel love stories. This book is so romantic and made me giddy with happiness.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak: Endlessly clever, observant, hilarious, satirical short stories. I loved this book.

The Bees by Laline Paull: What it might be like to grow up in the caste system of a beehive. Such a cool idea! It’s basically a dystopian novel based on the real science and biology of bees.

The One and Only Ivan by Katharine Applegate: A majestic gorilla grows up in a heartbreaking zoo in a strip mall off the highway.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: Pride & Prejudice, if it took place in Cincinnati in 2016. (How do I love thee Curtis Sittenfeld? Let me count the ways…)

Slade House by David Mitchell: Creepy, clever, kept me up at night.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: One of my very favourites of the year! A historical novel set during WW2

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez: The stories of several Latin American families living in Delaware, trying to make lives for themselves in a brand-new place.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: An absolutely brilliant telling of several generations of one family, from the very beginnings of slavery in Ghana to the present day in America.

Best Books of 2016 >> Life In Limbo


How to Be a Person in the World by Heather Havrilesky: Advice about finding true love, being a creative person, and building the life you want to live.

Shrill by Lindy West: Brilliant essays about feminism, love, body size, and comedy.

This is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick: How to grow to love the place you live, no matter where in the world that is.

I Need Your Love – Is That True? by Byron Katie: Four simple questions to help you work through any difficult thoughts or beliefs.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton: A memoir about finding love again, both for herself and for her husband. Their relationship ultimately ended, but there was still so much to learn from her story.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero: Personal development for cool people.

Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett: A love letter to the author’s best friend. There should be a different word for this kind of friendship: kindred spirit? Soulmate? Person?

What are the best books that you read this year? Let me know your favourites and recommendations!

You can see all of my book recommendation posts here, and you can see what I’m reading over on Instagram.


Inspiration: January 13

Inspiration January 12 >> Life In Limbo

The biggest hit of inspiration this week was hands down my first Tuesdays Together meetup with Rising Tide Society here in Toronto. I was meant to go with a friend who had to cancel at the last minute and I almost didn’t go because I was really scared. But I went alone anyways and it ended up being a bit of a breakthrough for me personally. I had been feeling stuck, wanting more connection and energy and inspiring people around me but was trying to think my way to all those things. Instead by going I got not only a night full of inspiration, but also two days later a strategy session and an invitation for a coffee date with an amazing entrepreneur. Long story short, if you have a local chapter: go. It’s so cool.

Pro tip: if you want to send Facebook messages but don’t want to be sucked into the abyss that is scrolling through Facebook, go to It’s actually that simple!

On a recommendation from one of the aforementioned entrepreneurs, I started using Trello this week and can feel myself falling for it, so to speak. Its capabilities are seemingly endless and so I was warned not to get overwhelmed at first, but I’ve been starting small by just keeping to-do lists and idea lists inside for now. We’ll see how it goes but so far, very good.

What to carry for self-care in your purse: heart-eyes emoji to this whole post.

I particularly liked the Happier podcast this week for its discussions of personality quizzes and book clubs (these are a few of my favourite things!).

I started knitting this blanket this week – isn’t it pretty!? I’m doing it in a dusty rose and cream.

Jess Lively is getting into the topics of energy, flow, and vibration on the show lately and I’m really enjoying it. Yet another perspective to fold into the mishmash of stuff I find inspiring on a daily basis.

I’m feeling really energized and inspired just from spending time around like-minded people who are doing it: running amazing, creative, not-so-small businesses while still being healthy and authentic and mindful. It makes me want to take my game up a hundred levels in all the areas of my life. I have a lot to digest this weekend! I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. xo.


2017 Goals & Intentions

Goals & Intentions for 2017 >> Life In Limbo

This year, I’m keeping things simple. In the past, I’ve been all about setting tons of goals, checking stuff off, and working towards things. But back in December, when I started thinking about what goals I wanted to set for myself in 2017, I just felt tired. Looking at my list of goals from last year felt a little exhausting and a lot discouraging, because it made me feel like I “had failed” because I hadn’t checked everything off the list. The last thing I want to do is create more standards to measure myself up against and subsequently “fail” at!

That’s not to say that I don’t want to try new things and feel a sense of progress this year, it just means that I want to do it with a different kind of energy. The idea of hustling and striving and obligation is just not sitting right with me at the moment. It’s the idea of flowing, allowing, accepting, embracing, and doing things from a place of enthusiasm that is really speaking to me.

Which means I don’t have a lot to say in the goals department this year! Here are some of the few goals and intentions I’m hoping to cultivate more of in 2017:


Unplug often

When I embrace silence, I experience miracles. -Dr. Wayne Dyer

I want to create more time and space in my life when I’m not tethered to my phone. I want hours to go by without checking social media, and I want to cultivate a morning ritual that doesn’t include any technology whatsoever. My work is on the internet, as are some of the ways I choose to spend my leisure time, so I never disconnect unless it’s intentionally done. This year, I want less comparison, less scrolling, and more of my eyes on my own mat, so to speak.

Embrace the situation

Whatever the present moment contains, embrace it as if you had chosen it yourself. -Eckhart Tolle

I talked about this a little in my one little word post, but this year I am very interested in the idea of wasting so much less energy on resisting the way things are. When I embrace situations, I accept and love my people for who they are. I bring the light to the moment. I am forced to stop complaining (mentally or otherwise), moaning, criticizing. I experience so much less tension than when I’m trying to steer the ship or make something happen. Things feel easier, lighter, and more abundant (heyyy all my past words hello hi). In short, life is better.

Celebrate the Everyday

Embrace the amazing potential magic of today’s everyday moments. -Zina Harrington

I used to do a photo project called Everyday Beauty! And then I did one called Steph Loves Today while I was living in Korea. Those both feel like so long ago, but the idea was exactly the same: pay attention to the beauty of your life, just as it already is. When you notice it and appreciate it, things start to seem brighter, lovelier, and happier. You start to see the ordinary things for what they actually are: special and precious. I’m only setting one goal in this department (see below), but it’s a feeling I want to carry with me to encourage me to document things more.


Read 75 books

You didn’t think that having fewer goals would mean giving up my reading goal, did you?! Wild horses couldn’t keep us apart. As always, you can follow along with my progress over on Goodreads!

Film 1 Second Everyday

This is one of the more concrete ways I’m hoping to celebrate the everyday in 2017. I love looking back on my 1SE video for 2016, and even though I missed (several) days of the project throughout the year, it’s still just as special because it’s mine. That’s how life looked, and seeing it just brings me right back. By the end of the year, I’d really gotten into the habit again of taking my one second video, so it felt natural to continue. But hey, I might get bored of this project or abandon it, and that’s okay too.

And that’s it! Simple stuff this year, because that’s what feels good. Maybe next year I’ll want to make lists again. Maybe next month I’ll want to make lists again! But for now, this is what feels right.

What do you want more of in 2017?


Inspiration: January 6

Inspiration January 6 >> Life In Limbo

This article (and especially the visuals) are pretty jarring – it’s all about how much time we really have left to do the things we love and spend time with the people we care about. Scary but strangely helpful.

Books that make you less of a horrible person! The two books on this list that I’ve read were incredible, so I’ll definitely be reading his other suggestions.

I love the idea of asking yourself “Is this a good time?”, especially in this context of checking your phone (or email).

How great is the idea of writing a list of 100 things that made your year? I’m going to have to try this, it seems so fun and a great way of memory-keeping as well.

New Year’s Resolutions that don’t suck and actually seem kind of fun and lovely.

Love the idea of Think Days.

I made a video of my family’s Christmas season this week and it makes me really happy to watch it.

Books I’ve been reading this week: Year of Yes and The Invisible Bridge.

The first week of 2017 is already almost over! Only 51 weeks to go. Since reading that Wait But Why piece (linked above), I feel way more conscious of the passage of time, which is both terrifying and empowering. How has the first week been for you? For me it’s been both busy and quiet, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things at work and start up my healthy routines again! This weekend I am excited to have the first meeting of my book club (we read Homegoing) and try to do my first unplugging day of the year. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too! xo.