Storytelling: My Pandora Bracelet

This is my official Pandora bracelet, and I’m enamoured by it! ❤️ I started it back in November 2019 and completed it by the end of the holiday season. Looking in retrospect, I shrivel with a wee bit of guilt from my hasty whims, but I was so madly in love and obsessed with collecting charms that I couldn’t pace myself. “There she goes with her Pandora again,” my sister would laugh. Yeep.

Collecting charms is not only a fun and creative hobby or passion — albeit, eek, a very expensive one — it’s also a sentimental and charming way of storytelling. My bracelet holds many charms with different stories and meanings to me, most of which highlight my loved ones’ significance and role in my life, but my favourites are the “Little House Charm” and the “Elephant & Blue Balloon Dangle Charm.”

I could almost clutch my “Little House Charm” in my hand and nestle it cozily against my heart. For me, it symbolizes my family and childhood roots because it looks almost identical to my old childhood home in Ottawa that I grew up in, with the same two top windows and flowers in front. (I lived there for about 25 years!) I fondly remember the orange flowers that would grow every summer and could still picture Dad watering them. I’ve had bittersweet memories in that home and it’s the place that’s deeply shaped who I am today. That home, which has now been demolished, has become the centre of my heart and soul. To solidify its meaning to me, my parents have even gifted me this charm which was very sweet.

While the “Little House Charm” carries a soulful significance for me, the “Elephant & Blue Balloon Dangle Charm” wins the title of being the cutest charm on my bracelet. It also carries its own meaning. It’s a mommy elephant with a baby elephant on her back, and both are hanging from a blue balloon. I had bought this charm when I was pregnant and found out we were having a boy; it was to symbolize my little Keaton and I. This charm was no longer available in stores, but through serendipity and elemental forces that were in my favour, I was able to stumble upon it.

I love this bracelet dearly. It reminds me of this past holiday season when my parents came to visit us and I was pregnant. Pregnancy was challenging, but wearing my beloved bracelet — a little detail in my life — gave me a boost of warmth and energy. But because I’m a mommy now — a full-time food source, human pacifier, and archangel of cuddles — I can no longer wear it, as it’s heavy and chunky. Sometimes, however, I do try it on — even whilst in pjs — just to remind myself of its cute existence, and to, you know, feel a bit cute myself, especially now that these days I feel like a dusty ancient relic.

I can’t wait to wear this bracelet again; it’s been a long time since I’ve given birth and placed it safely in its box. I’m also currently working on bracelet number two! I’m aiming for it to be an all-silver tone and am super excited about the new charms I’ll be adding. Now… to pace myself.

Turquoise summer

my sweet keurig

It feels like it’s going to be a turquoise summer. It’s a warm and sunny afternoon, and here I am, sitting on the balcony with my delicious iced coffee and my laptop and headphones — basking away in my sweet and much-needed bubble.

There are certain burning moments in life when you appreciate the small details with every atom of your being, as if they’re the catalysts that fuel the deep inhalations that you require but can no longer humanly muster. This is true for me presently, especially now that we’re in a quarantine and the world around me feels strangely deserted and lifeless, and now that I’ve become a first-time mother which itself produces a set of challenges.

“Remember when you used to enjoy quiet mornings and staring out the window while contemplating life, with a cup of coffee for sweet company?” My mom would comment and laugh, with both a comical reality check and empathy, as she watches me scurry around with my shaggy lioness hair that hasn’t been brushed in weeks. It’s true, life was no longer about me and my whimsical longings for silence, solitude, and reflection. Coffee mornings were no longer existent, and if they were, they were inundated with anxiety-filled thoughts that the Little Lord would wake up and feed at any moment. (If I can’t poop in peace, forget drinking coffee in peace.)

I bow down to my mother’s feet with gratitude. I’m forever thankful to this beautiful woman, mother, wife, and soul who’s been pregnant with five children, and who’s mothered us with dignity, strength, and uttermost compassion and kindness. 

Motherhood is currently, and always will be, my dearest life journey. Yet it can be clumsy and challenging at times, especially when it’s your first experience. And when you give of yourself fully and relentlessly and finally receive something in return — a little something that’s enough to re-ignite your soul — it almost feels as if you’ve been gifted the sky and the mountains. It feels that good to me — and increasingly so — now that something as simple as going out for a serene walk has become an abnormal occurrence in our everyday lives during this quarantine and for the most part we find ourselves cocooned inside our small apartment, and now that I’m a new mother that rarely has time to herself.

Then came this Keurig machine by mail this morning. The excitement and anticipation grew as I watched Bruno carry in the box from the stairs, and I felt like a little kid who was just given an ice cream cone. It gave me a reason to be giddy and cheerful. A different reason. One that wasn’t about the world out there in its state of chaos and neuroticism, that wasn’t about my family and dear son, and that wasn’t about the pile of laundry that needed to be folded. It was about me, if only for a brief and candied moment. This coffee machine would become a place of solace.

This summer will be short and arduous if the coronavirus lockdown persists, but knowing that I’m fully equipped with my sweet love and son, and knowing that there’s a world in which I can always slip into the kitchen to make myself a cuppa coffee during my little one’s late morning naps — and knowing that there’s life and beauty in that fleeting moment of great escape — makes it all the better and the more bearable. It’s enough to cheer me up and grow fluttering butterflies of joy inside my belly.


We moved Keaton’s crib into our room, so for now my vanity is in his room!

This vintage vanity is another turquoise piece that’s my happy place. (I do have a fiery and passionate love affair with turquoise.) I fondly remember sitting here last summer — I was in the early days of my pregnancy — and putting on my makeup and getting ready to go hand-in-hand with my love to the market or to a vintage bazaar. It was my very own personal space and soulful corner of the home where I could bask in my femininity — and that felt refreshing. Even if I won’t be dressing up to go anywhere anytime soon and life may feel like a surreal dream, it will still be my happy place alongside my coffee machine. A turquoise summer is most definitely in order.


I showed a photo of this turquoise Keurig to my sister in passing, and as usual, she made it a dream come true with my parents’ tribute and support. She scoured the market to order it for me. I’m head-over-heels crazy about it! It’s as cute as a button. Thank you, Mel, and mom and dad for this thoughtful Mother’s Day and birthday gift. 

Thank you to my big sister who’s always been there for me since I was a shrivelled little prune and who knows my heart well. And thank you to my parents who’ve been deeply loving and supportive, even from afar, and whose familiar faces through a video call never ceases to warm my soul. 

To Bruno, my sweet love, cheers to many romantic coffee mornings on the balcony this summer. Cheers to coffee made for you with love and joy by your Tiffipoo, with her dainty coffee machine that’s enough to make her glow. 

To Keaton, my sweetest gift of life, as you grow older, just as mommy learns the map of your soul, you’ll in turn learn mommy’s idiosyncrasies and little moments of joy. 

To Keaton ♥️

I’m officially a mommy, and my heart is elated. Baby Keaton was born in early March, and he is, and always will be, our greatest joy, accomplishment, and adventure. We’re deeply and wholly in love with our sweet baby boy — a sacrificial and wholesome love we never knew before.

He’s grown much since his birth, and it’s heartwarming to learn the maps of his heart, mind, and soul on a daily basis. I have mommy guilts already — I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself as a new mother — but something I’ll never regret, is not having been present enough with him. I can say that so far, I’m proud of myself for being relentlessly present with him with each passing breath he takes.

I love him so dearly, so tenderly, so compassionately that my heart could explode. I love that his personality is shining through evermore each day; I love the way his toe beans curl around my finger; I love the way he throws his arms up with glee as we change his diaper; I love that his hair’s growing fuller and into a light ash brown shade, that I myself have always dreamt of; I love pondering if he looks more like me or his daddy; I love the sense of safety and exuberant joy he feels when we place him between us in bed and attack him with kisses.

I love him to the moon and back, and beyond. 

2020 has been bittersweet. The arrival of our son was the climatic point in our lives, both individually and as a cohesive unit. Yet what was intended to be a celebratory time, became a trying moment. Therein lived an inescapable lesson in life: there was no light without dark, and no dark without light. Both were inextricably linked — the yin and yang of the cosmic law, and the Romeo and Juliet of our human existence. This was the dance where tragedy and romance fell in love and became forever intwined.

Shortly after the birth of our boy — the happiest time of our lives — the coronavirus pandemic began, my grandmother passed away, and we cancelled our wedding. It felt as though the universe was mocking us, and laughing at the naiveté of our all-encompassing joy. An all-time high was followed by an all-time low. Life was no longer the same, and sometimes I found myself shaking my head as if to try to wake myself up from a dream.

Hopes to take our newborn to a farmer’s market on a warm spring day to pick up fresh flowers to adorn our home, felt light years away. Instead, we were now watching the trees and birds and bees from the confines of our windows. Grieving my grandmother’s passing also became an individual experience within the confines of our walls, when what we needed was to be with family, and to hold and be held. Everything felt impossibly surreal. Possibilities felt so close yet painstakingly far — a dream within a dream.

Yesterday was our scheduled wedding day. Reminiscent, I looked at our wedding decorations and fairy lights, and there they were, nestled in the closet — coated with memories of the past. Soon after, it was 4 PM and I turned to Bruno and said, “It would’ve been the time of our ceremony, when we got married.” He began tearing up and I felt my heart twist and churn. Yet we knew that the only sane thing to do during an insane crossroads of our lives, was to simply be. To simply be present with each other — with what still is. We had our love and our strength to celebrate, and best of all, Keaton.

All was as it should be. Timing was always right in the grand scheme of life. Baby Keaton was proof — a small and cute one at that — of the synchronicity of events. He arrived at an uncertain moment in all our lives, and for good reason: he was needed. He was the uplifting joy to his grandparents’ day, and the smile that made life a little more bearable in the midst of unpredictability and darkness. He was the bearer of love and light, of strength and courage, of will and resilience.

In the end, we had our son. He was the emblem that married us, that tied us together evermore intimately and sweetly. No, life is never as it should be. We never had the chance to introduce my grandmother to her great-grandchild for the first and last time, nor have we had the chance to show him the world, nor did we ever get to walk down the aisle together hand-in-hand. But then again, yes, life is always as it should be. And every day, I thank the moon and the stars for our son, for he’s the greatest blessing in our lives.