A very good place to start

Happy 2018, friends!

Given my last post of the 10 best things from 2017, I’ve decided to write down 10 things that I’d like to do in 2018 – let’s not call them resolutions, though, perhaps just leave it as a to-do list as things seem more likely to happen that way.

  1. See more of Canada, or even just more of Ontario – it’s a big, beautiful place and I’d like for me, my husband and our son to know more of it.
  2. Learn more about the things that I find most interesting – in this vein, I’ve just registered for my first class on tea, so I’m hoping that my hobbyist’s interest can stand up to the rigors of actual education.
  3. Buy less, generally speaking.  We need to continue to decorate our home and finish our basement, but I probably definitely don’t need any more clothes.  I know that Kian is my weak spot in this because I have zero willpower when faced with small clothes, but let’s see what we I can do.
  4. Learn how to fix stuff – I want to be able to stop the toilet from running, make the cupboard doors align, change a light fixture, all that kind of thing.  I also want to learn how to refinish furniture, but that may be a lot for one year.
  5. Read more books, and read less internet.
  6. Become a relentless curator of our home, sticking close to William Morris’ rule of “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Throw out more stuff, including gifts – no one’s gonna care if I still have the placemats they gave me last year.
  7. Paint and draw and write.  I have the tools now, including this blog, but I need to actually practice.
  8. Be more strict with my time.  I’ve let my paid job infiltrate lot of my home time, and while I’ve (mostly) been able to hold back the interruptions until after Kian goes to bed, I’m tired all the time and I think it’s because I don’t ever (ever) turn off.
  9. Do more work within our local community.  Help people who need it most.
  10. Most of all, spend more/better time with my husband and son, doing things that we love.

For Auld Lang Syne

Once again, we find ourselves here in the middle of Christmas, hardly believing that a year has gone by since the last time we celebrated this holiday.  I hope that this finds you all well and enjoying the best that the season has to offer… and all the beautiful snow that will become annoying snow as soon as January 2nd shows up.

Since my last post, we’ve been enveloped in the busy-ness that fall brings – lots of work (too much work), lots of celebrations, lots of general life happenings.

I think sometimes about what the end of the year means – while I know that it’s just an arbitrary way of counting time past, it always makes me a bit wistful (which I’m sure I have in common with most of the world). So, in keeping with the theme of looking back, here’s my top ten list of favourite memories from 2017.

  1. Moving from our condo into our house in April – it marked a huge transition for us, and one that we’re still marveling about almost daily.
  2. Going to London – a trip just for two, our first since our son was born.
  3. Celebrating milestone birthdays for three of my four parents/parents-in-law – three good parties.
  4. My first day of work at a new job, one that I’d been waiting to take on for a long time.
  5. Taking Kian to the cottage for the first time, and watching him learn about the world around him.
  6. Learning about the new neighbourhood we live in, both just by ourselves and with the various visitors we’ve been fortunate enough to have hosted here.
  7. Making some new friends, and keeping up with my old friends.
  8. Decorating for holidays with Kian – his reactions to the decorations for Diwali and Halloween and Christmas have been perfect (my favourite is, “It’s booful!” which I think translates to “it’s beautiful”).
  9. Taking a week off in November for a staycation with my husband – so great to have some time together after the worst of the fall rush was over.
  10. Listening to Kian as he learns language – the boy sings all day and night, and when he’s not singing he’s talking.

If I could offer some completely unsolicited advice here, I’ll suggest that you take a few minutes in the next little while to come up with your own lists of bests from 2017 – looking back helps to clarify your goals and purpose for the new year ahead.  It also gives you the chance to stop and enjoy the memories, and think of the people who helped to make them with you.  Tonight, I’m thinking of each of you and sending love and wishes for a beautiful Christmas and amazing New Year.



A Kid at the Cottage

We took our son to my family’s cottage for the first time in his life this year.  I’d delayed it until this year due to my own anxieties about dangers both real and imagined that could potentially lurk in the relative wilderness (despite my having spent so much time there as a child myself… I didn’t say my anxieties were logical).  Turns out that the kid really likes it up there.

My family’s cottage is not glamorous.  Definitely not one of those places that could be confused with someone’s actual home.  It’s pretty rustic and, in some places, unfinished.  Whenever I go, I start making lists of things that I’d like to do… but then I get caught up in the quiet and the general sense of calm, and everything else goes out of my head.

Located near in South Algonquin near the east gate of Algonquin Park, our little piece of Ontario offered our son a chance for fresh air and seriously unstructured playtime.  He basically did exactly as he pleased for a whole week, stopping only for mealtimes and rest.  He waded in the water and dug big holes, built wooden towers out of offcuts of wood with his grandfather, put pinecones in his pockets, and ran down the path from the cottage to the shore over and over and over.

We took a couple of trips into the surrounding area, including to Barry’s Bay and Maynooth, wherein I bought a dress and a giant inflatable floating peacock, respectively.  If you’re up that way, the Ash Grove Inn does pleasant family-style meals just outside of Barry’s Bay, and the Sun Run Café in Maynooth has honestly amazing lemon squares and makes a delicious grilled cheese. Should also mention that Foxfire Gallery, Gifts and Antiques in Maynooth is an excellent place to spend an hour hunting through cool old stuff – I found (and bought) midcentury stainless steel espresso/demitasse cups as I explored.

I think we’ll end up heading back before the year is out… show the boy what autumn looks like in the woods, and enjoy some more silence.






A Fresh Start

September of 2017.  Sounds like a good place to begin.

2017’s been a big year for us already.  We bought a house and moved in, and are now in the process of making it our own.  We were lucky enough to have found a place that was move-in ready, and so really what we’re doing now involves decor, planting, and finding the right vibe.  I’ll share what that looks like in coming posts as the plan evolves.  In the meantime, the image above is of our little backyard all lit up at nighttime.

Our son has turned 2, and is a whirlwind of new words and phrases, play and tantrums. He’s everywhere all at once and it’s pretty mind-boggling to think that a year ago he could barely walk and his words were limited to “mama” and “dada”.

We took our first international trip without our son – headed to London to visit family and do some work.  We’ve done some local trips with Kian which have been pretty great, and it seems that he’s at an age where he can be engaged in pretty much anything, especially if it’s outside.

So basically, it’s been a good year thus far, and thus a great place to really start documenting things as we move forward together.




An introduction

Why, hello there.

My name is Devyn, and this is my new/old blog, Desperately Seeking Sustenance.  I’m a wife and mother in my mid-30s, living in beautiful downtown Toronto, Canada.  I have a day job where I sit at a desk and think about things, so this is my side hustle, without much of the hustle part at the moment (I have a 2-year-old; you know how it is).

So, welcome to this corner of the internet, where I’m hoping to tell you stuff about what my husband and I do with a toddler in Toronto, things we eat, read, and wear, places we go, and generally how my family seeks sustenance from our daily life.

I look forward to getting to know you.



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