cait +tiff

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T / ladies drawing brunch

ladies-drawing-brunch-headerSo last week, Rhiannon and I were chatting.  Specifically about how we both needed to draw more. And further, that we should draw together. And that we should invite other creative ladies in our lives to join us.  We wound up with two pros (Rhiannon and crazy talented visiting Nat) and a wonderful group of incredibly creative lady friends (including singers!).  Under the shade of the very hospitable Rambutan’s Phnom Penh Resort on a bright and cool Sunday in the city, we ordered tasty things, delicious leftover birthday cake was had, all pastels and coloured pencils came out.  And most importantly, we planned for future crafternoons. It was really the perfect thing.

ladies-drawing-brunch-tiff1ladies-drawing-brunch-tiff2I’m naturally easily distracted. Especially if I have a new toy with me.  So I was more than eager to shoot all the creating that was happening around me.

This afternoon was inspired by Leah Reena Goren’s new book, Ladies’ Drawing Night.  I’m a huge fan of her work.  Alongside fellow illustrators, Julia Rothman and Rachael ColeI love their push for this collaborative creativity.  We brought together a bunch of beautiful women, some of our dearest friends, some of whom had never met each other.  I was bursting with excitement watching new friendships form and hearing a desire for more events like these to happen. (Because I tend to be that creepy fly on the wall).  To be in this company of women?  Epic.

Rhiannon lead the session with timed drawing exercises surrounding a theme.  Your crazy uncle!  High heels!  Feet! The person sitting across from you! You have 3 minutes! Go!!  Check out what Rhiannon can do in that tiny speck of time.  Tiffany Tsang

Tiffany TsangWherever you are, I definitely recommend grabbing a bunch of your buddies, and spending a few hours letting your creative freak flag fly and discovering a side that doesn’t typically come out over just a glass of wine.

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use. Cait + Tiff are not liable for any pastel-related clothing stains.


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T / on community

Photo Credit: Abodia Lifestyle

Artwork Credit: Abodia Lifestyle, Words: HRC

When I was in junior high, my mom gave me a book by Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was called It Takes a Village, and it contained not only my mom’s values she practiced of community and giving, the ones that I hold dear now, but also the ones I hoped would be spread around the world one day.  At the time, my response was something like “ugh, really?”  Because in true socially progressive hippie tiger mom fashion, she made me write an extra-curricular book report on it.  During the summer.  ?!?!?!  Twenty years later, I am incredibly thankful for this.

Zipping around town on my scooter on Tuesday, I had really hoped to write about this book feeling stoked and sprinkled with all the feelings that come with the first female leader of the USA.  I’m not American, and yes there have been female heads of state in the past.  But this felt bigger.  The kind of holy shit big, the world is going to change for the better, let’s all rejoice because all of the world’s problems are no longer.  Panacea. Drop mic.

But that moment never came.  We receded.  We are now working through the stages of grief.  We are allowing ourselves to regroup, reconnect with ourselves and our loved ones, to acknowledge the fear of the future. And to figure a way to overcome every single anticipated hurdle.  I loved Grace’s words on all these feelings.

It Takes a Village is a book about raising kids.  The science, biology, psychology of childrearing.  But it’s so much more than that.  It’s about kindness and community, it’s about how our world has changed, it’s about those values that we really need to hold onto in order to push forward a new generation of kind, authentic, inclusive, hard working and resilient people.  (Sure, it could be updated now to feature clearer and more diverse definitions of family, but hey, I think the author has some other things to do right now.)

These values have continued to resonate with me through adulthood.  I couldn’t have surmounted a bunch of obstacles without them.  But in the past 24 hours, they’ve been reverberating in me even more deeply and intensely.  The village, its elders, its healers, mothers and fathers, leaders and lovers, sisters and brothers have never been more important than now.

The next days will be about recalibration.  Assuming warrior pose.  Appealing to our better angels.  All of the ways to keep the good going.  I’ve always been about rebirth, the phoenix rising from the fire.  I hope these themes of community, kindness and rejuvenation will all be part of the narrative over the next years.


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T / happy monday / magical book release day


Photo: Tiff Tsang

First of all, L’SHANA TOVA! Second of all, a heck of a ton of good books come out this week.  Specifically on October 4.  I’ve had my eye on them for months.  So the fact that this is all happening on one day sends me over the library moon.  The best thing too is that they’re all by some of the best women the web and writing words have to offer.


everything-i-want-to-eat-and-motrEverything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking by Jessica Kolsow

Maybe it’s because I know Cait’s going to be having jam here tomorrow.  Or that I’ve been following Jessica Koslow and her clean and delicious approach to food over the few years.  In any case, this book is coming at me soon and I’m so excited for a new batch of recipes and some freaking cool clean design.

Molly on the Range by Molly Yeh

I very much wish that Molly Yeh could be a distantly related cousin.  I would love to bask in her half-Chinese, half-Jewish, sugar beet farm dwelling, percussionist, baking, halva-loving glory with all the best lit food photos.  And she has a cookbook now.


in-the-company-of-women-and-tomorrowIn the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

Reading Grace Bonney’s Design*Sponge reminds me of growing up in Toronto.  The diversity of voices is a big comfy cushion and now it’s a book!  Since college, I’ve benefited most from having some of the best lady bosses a girl could ask for.  And since the career pivot, the community has been the same.  This celebration of women who are making waves in creative entrepreneurship gets me really motivated and I can’t wait to have this one on my bookshelf for the rainy days.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple

If you haven’t read Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, you have to go do that first.  In her newest novel, Semple offers another take on the weary, weathered and working woman.  It’s also really funny in the way the PNW wants it to be.


28273664The Trespasser by Tana French

I actually kinda miss having a commute or a monthlong assignment in the middle of rural Laos for the kind of reading that means plowing through an entire crime series because there is literally nothing else to do.  I did just that with Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad collection, recommended them to a bunch of equally professionally peripatetic friends and they got addicted too.  If you want to deep dive into the rabbit hole of crime in Ireland.  Do this. Now.