studio files 01: prioritize


since going full-time with my studio, hatch & harbour, i wanted to create a series on the blog to document everything from things i learn along the way to business tips . knowing full well i have much to learn, i want to share about it all mostly to help anyone that can relate, but also for accountability.

the first thing i wanted to talk about is time management, which is something we all practice in life, but something i’ve become more focused on since starting out as a designer in school. we all have to find our own way of tackling time and we never stop learning about. since going full-time, i’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me immensely.

there is a constant saying i think we’re all guilty of uttering a great deal during out lifetimes “there’s never enough time.” i recently read a quote that really stuck with me when it comes to this:

“…our first waking thought of the day is “i didn’t get enough sleep.” the next one is “i don’t have enough time.” whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. we spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… we each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set of scarcity. once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency… it is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough and that we are enough.
sufficiency resides inside each of us, and we can call it forward. It is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances.” – Lynne Twist


i think constantly repeating “i don’t have enough time” is a debilitating thought. instead, i try to stick to the present and focus more on the tasks at hand and what i can accomplish during the work day. here’s a few things i’ve learned about time management.

make lists + prioritize 
i’ve come to be an avid list-maker. it seriously helps me prioritize my tasks. i use the bullet journal method, but i colour code it for what the tasks are for (ex. studio client, blog post, finances, etc). I also put a red star next to the things that are most important – like ones i need to get one that day or that week. if you find it too overwhelming making a massive to-do list for your whole week, make one per day. write down all the tasks you would like to get done that day and go from most important to least and start tackling.

be realistic
sometimes we can get a little over-ambitious in our to-do lists. pay attention to how long tasks usually take you when you make your day list and how much time you have to work that day. if you know a task will take you 8 hours, don’t bank on getting it all done in one day if you have multiple things to do. pick out parts of the task you want to complete first and tackle them to start. and don’t get down on yourself if you don’t complete it all – it happens – other things come up like time sensitive jobs or calls from clients.

set time limits 
this is something that has been HUGE in helping me manage tasks and timelines since starting full-time. i use a self-made version of the pomodoro technique. i don’t use a timer, but i like to set goals and time limits. so say i have a bunch of revisions to do on a client brochure but it’s almost lunch time. well, i make a goal that i’ll get those revisions done and then i can go make lunch. then i don’t move from my desk until the task is completed. it works really great to maintain your focus.

eliminate distractions  
if you’re like me, at times social media, phone or catching up on the latest blogs can be a big source procrastination. i suggest using the time limit technique to get your tasks done. allow yourself the time to complete whatever it is you need to get done, separate from these distractions (ie. turn your phone on vibrate) and then you can browse through your feeds and check your texts.

make time for rest + play  
this is key. respect your bodies’ need for renewal. becoming overworked and overtired can be detrimental to our jobs. if you are living your dreams and love what you do don’t loose that by becoming exhausted. create meaningful work that doesn’t drain you and try to stay aware of when you’re becoming overworked. i am completely guilty of taking on too much, and sometimes i need to take a step back, reflect and take on a little less so i have time for rest and play. those two things are so important to our creativity, drive and inspiration. it’s difficult to function riding on coffee alone!

i am constantly learning about prioritizing, time management and rest, but the more i practice these things, slowly but surely, the easier it seems to get. what are some of your favourite time management tips and tricks? 

make it: flourless banana pancakes


since switching to a paleo lifestyle, i’ve had so much fun finding and inventing different recipes to make. one thing i have not really missed is carbs (due to the heavy and painful feeling they leave in my stomach) but finding alternatives to carb foods has been really fun. i stumbled on a recipe for flourless pancakes and decided to give it a go! from the original recipe i found, i made some changes to my taste liking and also came up with a paleo friendly syrup to go along with it. these are hands down the simplest creations and they are unbelievably delicious! i had to share my version and the syrup solution with you guys. i hope you enjoy them as much as we have!


the ingredients and how quick they are to make will blow your mind if you haven’t heard of these before:

ingredients (makes 4 small pancakes):
+ 2 eggs 
+ 1 medium sized banana
+ 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon
+ 1/2 a tsp. of pure vanilla extract
+ coconut oil cooking spray (optional – i use this one)


simple fruit syrup:
+ strawberries
+ pure vanilla extract (to taste)


to make the pancakes simply mix the eggs, bananas together (i recommend blending these two so that the banana is smooth – not chunky). take the blended mixture and pour it into a mixing bowl, add the cinnamon and vanilla and stir it all together.

in a regular sized frying pan on medium heat, spray some coconut oil cooking spray, and pour a ladle-sized scoop and cook until lightly browned on both sides.


for the syrup cut up some strawberries and blend with vanilla. i don’t usually measure the amount of vanilla, instead i add a small amount and taste test, then add more to desired taste. top with a few cut up strawberries or other fruit and enjoy! these are also amazing sans-syrup, combined with berries.


i have always been a big fan of weekend breakfasts, taking the time to make something you wouldn’t normally make during the week. this has become a staple saturday morning breakfast for troy and i (with a side of bacon). what are some of your favourite weekend breakfasts??


music mondays: slow wake up


welcome to a new monday, a new week to conquer! i hope you all had a wonderful easter long weekend full of family, friends and maybe even a little relaxation! now that i’m settled into my new office and caught up on work, i’m able to focus more time on the blog (which i’ve missed dearly)! this week i’ve got lots of new posts for y’all that i can’t wait to share!

i wanted to kick the week off with a new music monday playlist and one that i have been listening to in the mornings. i’ve mentioned before that i like my mornings calm with a side of reflection. it’s no secret that i do not like being rushed, so i like to be intentional with my mornings, making sure that doesn’t happen. some days i when i’m making breakfast, i really like to listen to a calming playlist and reside in the stillness of the new day. it really helps me stay focused on the goals and tasks that need to be completed that day. i feel like taking that bit of time for me allows me to be at my best when i’m working. so i wanted to share this playlist with you all in the hopes that it might make your mornings a little calmer. whatever your normal routine is, i hope these tunes will help! what are your favourite ways to have calm mornings??

these waters | BEN HOWARD
02+  st. clarity | THE PAPER KITES
03+  re:stacks  | BON IVER
04+  the breach | DUSTIN TEBBUTT
05+  sons and daughters | ALLMAN BROWN  
06+  shutters HAYDEN CALNIN
07+  be the song FOY VANCE
08+  for my help | HAYDEN CALNIN
09+  memo | YEARS & YEARS
10+  walk away | LANY 

listen on rdio or 8tracks.


year of discovery 03: when you find it


among the other changes i talked about on monday’s post,were some changes to this space. over the past few weeks, with all these new things happening in my life, it took me to re-think my blog a bit and take a look at my content, passions and the things i feel have been carrying the most weight. if you’ve been following along, since january, my life has taken a huge transformation towards a healthier lifestyle. as i’ve been sharing a bit more about my journey and getting more and more feedback from you guys, i realized that this space gives me a platform to share my story really openly and honestly. from day one my goal with blogging about it, has been for the sole purpose of knowing that somewhere out there someone might relate to what i’ve been through, what i am currently going though or my goals to get though and that if there is even a slight chance of me having an impact on their journey – all the time spent and my past struggles are worth it.

so with all that being said, you may have noticed some small changes on the blog here (apparently i’m all about change this week!). i have decided to take this space in a slightly different direction than i had originally planned when i set out starting it over 2 years ago now. transformation is something i love when it comes to blogging – the fact that our lives, our careers, our goals, our personalities are constantly evolving and so are our spaces! so i am excited to announce the re-birth of as a fitness and design blog. what this means is that the majority of the regular columns and design content will still exist and be posted regularly, but there will also be new series, dedicated to healthy living and what i’ve been learning along the way! look out for recipes, workout guides, lessons i’ve learned with personal development and more! i encourage you to look to this space for positive reenforcement and perhaps even motivation!


now, to dive into the part of my story i want to share with you guys today!  i mentioned before that i was starting a new fitness plan and an eating lifestyle change that i kicked off in the middle of february. i wanted to talk about that today and invite anyone who’s interested to join in with me!

after a lot of research, i decided to start eating paleo. right now i’m probably 80% paleo and 20% not for the times when no other option is available or i just really want something that isn’t considered paleo. the basic principles of the paleo diet (not a fan of using the “diet” word because people associate it with a diet and this is a lifestyle change) is to eat more lean meats and proteins and less carbs. my decisions for switching to these eating habits were not strictly weight loss related, actually they were barely weight loss related. because eating the way i previously was for so long didn’t seem to be agreeing with my body (constant stomach aches, bloating and headaches) i decided at the very least trying paleo couldn’t hurt. since switching, i have noticed a huge improvement in the way i feel physically. i don’t feel stuffed to death after eating a meal, my food doesn’t make me feel weighed down like it used to, and i find i have more energy and am a lot more focused. *disclaimer: i wanted to note that i am in no way saying this form of nutrition is for everyone or is “the right way to eat”, i am simply sharing what is working for me as i’m learning and growing.

the fitness plan that i have switched to is a little thing called insanity max 30 by beachbody. i am serious when i say this plan has changed my life. when i started on this journey, i was still pretty confused as to whether what i was doing was working or not. one day, a few months ago, i stumbled on this lady’s instagram account and saw her transformation with beachbody. not only was i insanely inspired, but i thought maybe it could help me to. at first i had a whirlwind of skeptical thoughts: that maybe it wouldn’t work the same way for me, maybe it was too much money, maybe i wasn’t in shape enough to even try it, etc, etc. after a few weeks of mulling it over, i thought WHY FREAKING NOT! what did i have to loose? what was really holding me back – except fear of failure? and i thought about how i had been considering a gym membership but really had no desire to go to the gym. in comparison to a membership, this set of dvd’s didn’t even compare it was so much cheaper and i could do it in the comfort of my own home as many times as i wanted to!

so i ordered and anxiously awaited the delivery. the great thing is there was also a nutrition guide with portion control to help me along the way with the 60 day challenge. i am now almost 30 days into the program and i am obsessed. i have been taking measurements and photos weekly and i’m blown away by the results. *bragging moment* in the first week i lost 6 pounds and an entire inch off my thighs! of course, that doesn’t come without hard work, but i am sooo enjoying pushing myself further and further with each workout – and i am thrilled to say i haven’t missed one! i’ve even done extra! transformation photos to come soon. 

in the last 10 ish years of feeling hopeless, helpless, uncomfortable in my own skin, and completely unhappy with my appearance – i have never found anything that not only gave me results like insanity max does, but motivates me like it does. after putting a lot of thought into it, i decided to take a leap to become a beachbody coach so i could share my story with as many people as possible and support them along the way in any way i could. sometimes all you need to stay with a program like this is simply a support group of like-minded individuals going through similar things you are! so in honour of support i am putting together a challenge group to do a second round of insanity max 30 with me! and guess what: you’re all welcome to join!! if you’re interested in participating, leave a comment with your email below or send me an email. also, please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to chat about anything i’ve shared today, i am here for each and every one of you and totally open to chat : ) if you made it this far, thanks for reading along today on this longer post – happy wednesday! 


ChangeIsGood-TaraVictoriaphoto | type by tara victoria

wowee, the past two months have been full of unexpected, sudden changes all trickling down one after another challenging us and creating new opportunities. there has been a little bit of radio silence on here these past few weeks and i wanted to pop by today as things start to calm down a bit and give y’all a little update and share just a few of these new changes. oh, and be sure to come by later this week for another, really exciting update! 

firstly, we found out about a month ago that we were going to have to move out of the house we’re currently in because the landlords are selling it. we had a pretty difficult time finding the place we’re in now and had expected to stay for more than a year so it came as a bit of a surprise to us. finding a new place is stressful, but we have been searching actively for the past few weeks and i am happy (and so relieved) to say we found a place and made it official this weekend! i could not be more excited! it’s funny when you’re faced with what seems like a struggle, most of the time it ends up being a beautiful opportunity in the end. the new place is just amazing and i’m a bit obsessed. we also move in less than 2 weeks (ahhh!) let the packing commence!


another large change that i am so thrilled to announce is: officially as of this past friday, i will be pursuing my design studio, hatch & harbour full-time. with a few opportunities that have presented themselves in the past few weeks, this has been a decision i have put a lot of serious thought into. there’s been a lot of brainstorming, business planning and visioning about the direction i want to take my studio in and i am really stoked about this move. as most of you know, i have been working full-time, from home for a company for almost a year now. while it’s been really great working for them, i have decided to focus all of my energy into the studio so hatch & harbour will no longer be a part-time gig!

stay tuned for upcoming updates, more recent work and best of all a brand new website coming real soon! in the meantime you can stay up to date on: facebook | twitter | instagram.

if you are a business in need of design work, branding, websites, and more, feel free to get in touch, we currently have availability and would love to work with you!

between lenses: saturdays


for the past few years, saturdays have become a really important day for me. they are the only sure day that my boyfriend gets off work and is not away from home. they have unintentionally become our days, whether that’s going on an adventure, spending it with friends, or cuddling up on the couch.

my favourite kind of saturdays are the ones with a slow wake up, laying in bed feeling the sun peek through our dark curtain windows, telling me to get up and start the day. troy is always up early and usually lets me sleep in, coming in to see if i’m awake and lounge around while i open my sleepy eyes and let them adjust to the light. i take my time getting out of bed, sometimes reading a bit or peeking at instagram. then we slowly head downstairs to make some breakfast. as of late, scrambled eggs, bacon and fruit is our favourite. i brew my coffee and make breakfast while it slowly drips into the pot, anxiously awaiting the loud beep of my coffee maker telling me it’s ready. we enjoy our food, clean up and start the day. whatever we end up deciding to do, even if it’s just heading to the grocery store, i’m happy to spend our saturdays soaking up each other’s company until another work week creeps up. 

i truly have come to cherish these days. i love that it has become such an important part of our week – making time for each other and making little moments to remember for years to come.


trina’s photo is the perfect combination of calmness and warmth. i absolutely loved seeing how similar our saturdays are, both a special time for each of us with our guys. this photograph just screams deep conversations and laughter to me. head on over to trina’s blog to see what makes her saturdays something for her to look forward to!


 this is a bloghop!

trina and i would love to see you join in and share your imagery! you can easily link up with us via the following steps:

1+  create your blog post and feel free to use the header image in which you can download here.
[please only use images for between lenses posts and be sure to attribute to trina or myself]
2+ copy your blog post’s url.
3+ notice where it says click here to enter – click that and follow the easy instructions. be sure to only link up with one of our blogs, not     both. no worries – since mine and trina’s blogs are interlinked, your blog post will show up on both!
4 + and for fun, you can share your photo on instagram using the #betweenlenses hastag.

our goal for this collaboration is to capture & reflect upon life, to cultivate inspiration among one another and to connect with other bloggers. and we hope that you’re one of them!

upcoming between lenses themes:

wednesday, may 6th // simplicity