this is thirty-three.


Thirty-three doesn’t wear makeup if she doesn’t feel like it (even on her birthday), doesn’t always remember how old she is, expresses her feelings with relative confidence, and knows her self-worth. She is really damn good at her job. She is still wonderfully in love with her partner, and loves how they have grown together over the last decade or more.

Thirty-three sometimes suffers from imposter syndrome, isn’t too in love with her body’s shape, and still doesn’t wear heels. She sometimes shouts at her kids, but still hugs them extra tight at night. Thirty-three is hoping to run a half marathon while thirty-three, but it may have to be thirty-four. She wears a watch now because watches are practical.

Thirty-three is well loved, has few regrets, and isn’t done figuring out who she is quite yet.

Thirty-three also orders tequila at dinner because, well, thirty-three.


Post soon – for now, other good reads.

Today is my last day of my current job – I’m moving towards an exciting opportunity but away from work and a team that I really love. This article about how your brain reacts to change really hit home.

I am so looking forward to seeing some friends tomorrow evening. In real life. Like a real grownup. I’m following this advice!!!

More things I’m digging recently:
How to best ask for help (from a mentor, colleague, or friend).
Re-imagining Motherhood.
More on Gilmore Girls’ contribution to feminism.

Good Things This Week

As we lead into International Women’s Day next week, there is lots of goodness on the internet for feminists – here are a few good things you may want to check out yourself!

As I look forward to picking up my growler of Freedom Machine, a craft beer by Bicycle Craft Brewery inspired by the name the suffragettes called the bicycle, this weekend, I will re-read this great piece on the connection of the bicycle to the movement for gender equality.


As critical as I can be of the dominance of the Lean In philosophy, this is a great discussion of impostor syndrome (that shit is real, people). 

Eleven Canadian women talk about gender inequality and sexism. Yes.

Now that it’s available on iTunes and GooglePlay, I can finally check out She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. I’m only about 20 minutes in on my lunch break, and so far, it’s awesome. A wonderful reminder for women to continue to share their stories so that we’re not just feeling like we’re failing, instead we know that society may be failing us.

Also, check out my YouTube playlist below – I have been collecting videos to share via social media for International Women’s Day for ages – I’ve now just put them all in place here- you may find some familiar faces, as it includes videos from IWD Ottawa over the last several years, and my TEDx Talk from 2015.





Sorry for shouting folks, but did YOU know that I am now on trend??

Yes, it’s true.

Apparently after years (decades) of being told that boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glassesglasses are ON TREND.

Yep, the highlight of the awards season was women wearing fashionable frames and seeing properly without having to poke themselves in the eye! Not one single person said something sexist, rude, or stupid about women wearing glasses!



Wait, what?

You say that most of the comments were about whether or not it was cool for Kate Winslet to wear glasses with her ballgown? That they were about the fact that they might make her look old? That they were (gasp!) CROOKED?

Holy hell, I will never understand the polarizing effects of seeing glasses on women’s faces.

You see, I do it every day. Put on my glasses. So I can see and avoid debilitating headaches. I don’t think about it, I just do it.

I end up thinking about that simple daily act only when the media goes all wild about a woman in glasses. Someone who chose to put something on her face in order to be able to see. God forbid that we, as women, choose to do something for the betterment of our life experience over how we might appeal to the male gaze.

This fall, Elle shared an article titled The Quiet Feminist Act of Wearing Glasses.

It’s also a sort of quiet and daily feminist act, a way to resist a culture that tells me that being bespectacled robs me of my beauty.

It’s interesting to me to think of wearing glasses as a feminist act. I really like my glasses. I own several pairs. I do it because they are functional (as in, help me see) and fashionable (as in, I coordinate frames with outfits), and in reflecting on glasses-wearing as a feminist act, I can see how it fits.

Wearing glasses may allow women to avoid being schmucked by a car, help them read labels, function more effectively in their jobs. Might provide the opportunity to learn more, observe more, maybe get a raise (ha!)? Wearing glasses can also be fashion statement, a way of expressing oneself. A challenge to the idea that femme ≠ feminist.

So, fellow four-eyed gals, let’s celebrate! Don’t cave to the pressure to put in contacts if you don’t want to. Find a pair of frames you love and rock them.

It’s a feminist thing to do, apparently.



Am I doing enough Feminism?

I’m kind of over being a bad feminist.

For real, I’m over it. I’ve been a bad feminist forever. I decided to share a name with my partner – his name. I like to bake and cook and play hostess. I care about how I look. I worry about my weight. Blah blah. Bad feminist. I get it.

The problem is, I now wonder if I’m doing enough feminism.

You see, I happen to be one of those folks that believes that in order to adopt the label, you have to take on the cause. You have to be active in your feminism to be a feminist.

To be honest, having kids was one of the most challenging things to my activism. No, it wasn’t due to becoming a mother. Instead, it’s the challenges I now face in parenting my young family and in trying to really aggressively pursue my career after years of setbacks due to underpaid, undervalued non profit work and two maternity leaves which genuinely hindered my career prospects and progress.

I get that I’m not alone, but I do wonder if my actions are enough. Is sharing an article, having a conversation with a colleague, wearing a teeshirt enough?

I’d like to think that for now, yes it is.

I address micro aggressions. I am a total smartass when faced with sexist garbage. I try to always call it out. When asked who wears the pants in a couple at a bridal shower, I snarkily respond that I think they both wear pants.

I try to think critically. I try to think about whether or not conversations are heteronormative. If they are oppressive. If things and situations are culturally appropriative. I address language, challenge stereotypes.

I attend the events when I can.

I give what I can to organizations I trust.

I try, oh how I try, to read and to keep on top of the goings on.

I try to find some damn time to myself. Minutes. I’m aiming to find minutes in a row. Imagine that.

I may not be doing as much feminism as I used to, I may not be able to be the feminist I once was, but I am trying to be okay with the feminist I am now.

I’m trying to be kind to the woman I am now, as that seems like the biggest act of feminism I can accomplish right now.

So that’s something, right?



…or – what I did when I found myself in the middle of a Dad Blogging conference in Washington, DC.

In February of last year, Mike, the kids, and I found ourselves in three different countries. I was off supporting a team of students from the university we work at during a community service learning trip to rural Guatemala, the girls were here at home living the good life with their grandparents, and Mike was in sunny San Francisco at a dad blogging conference. Yep, they exist.

He came home and told me that I just had to come with him next year. Which is how I found myself in beautiful Washington DC last week, for the 2016 Dad 2.0 Summit.

I had a general idea what to expect – lots of sponsors, lots of panels and presentations, lots and lots of dudes. What I didn’t know, is that even if you’re not a dad, even if you’re not all that reliable a blogger, you too can have a really REALLY fun time at a dad blogging conference.

It was super refreshing to hang out with people and not awkwardly try to think of things to talk about that aren’t related to your kids. Honestly, I don’t have much of a life outside of my work (which I love), and my kids (who I love) and so sometimes grownup conversation topics are scarce. What was great was that every convo cut to the chase – “Hey, I’m so and so. Where you from? Cool. How many kids do you have?” and you’re off and running.

It was also super great to be in a room of guys who are really, genuinely, trying to change the public perception of fatherhood, and want to talk about shared parenting beyond adopting the catchphrase of “leaning in.”

Listen, my partner is awesome. He is a phenomenal writer and blogger, a great dad, and really just super fun to be around. We are lucky to still be pretty smitten with each other even after over a decade together.


That being said, the media hasn’t quite caught on that most men are somewhat like him, and women, even feminist women, still seem to think it’s ok to crack the “dumb daddy” jokes. It ain’t reverse sexism, but it’s still not cool. These are really involved, hands on, engaged dads.

Case in point – the welcome reception had a bourbon experience bar – everyone was having a grand old time (myself included!) and when I wandered down the hall to powder my nose I couldn’t help to notice all these fellas on their phones.

excuse the bourbon fuelled typos...

excuse the bourbon fuelled typos…

The Dad 2.0 folks offered everyone some really phenomenal experiences, whether it was listening to Brad Meltzer talk about legacy, having Derreck Kayongo get us all up to sing together at the closing keynote after talking about raising inclusive and exceptional children, snagging a great pair of super comfy Lee Jeans (that I can’t wait to wear for casual Friday tomorrow!), watching your partner struggle into firefighting gear, or visiting the Museum of American History for a private event hosted by Lego (where the open bar and mac and cheese reigned!). My favourite session on shared parenting was pretty on point, moderated by the fantastic Brigid Schulte, and provided me an opportunity to fly my feminist flag high.


I also met bloggers who I follow regularly (super weird that all these internet people are real live humans) and get to know some new folks and faces.

The highlight, however, was seeing my favourite fella share his words with all 400+ in attendance. Even though I held my breath the entire time, and tried not to blush or cry, there haven’t been many moments in my life that I have been prouder.

Sometimes I escaped to explore beautiful Washington DC and hit as many Smithsonians as possible when I felt I could duck out, and enjoyed both time with my partner, time with other fun adults, and time by myself. It really felt like we were on vacation – and I am so grateful.



I thought it might be weird, being the tag-along partner at a dad conference – like I was crashing the party or something, but I never, ever felt that way. In fact, I’ve heard that other fellas are talking about also bringing their partner to Dad 2.017 – so I must not have been too big an intrusion after all.

See you in San Diego, new friends. Oh, and on the internet.

They said it better.

Some good reads for y’all:

A couple pieces about how Facebook’s “Motherhood Challenge” made me feel all weird inside, despite the beautiful photos of strong women and their children: Facebook’s motherhood challenge makes me want to punch my computer screen & Facebook’s “Motherhood Challenge” feels like it’s there to pit women against each other

On learning about the hijab: Wearing Hijab: On Truth, Fear, and Empowerment

On why I feel weird to tell people that I’ve been married for nearly 10 years (it’s super weird being congratulated): Getting Married is not an Accomplishment.

On making peace with the camera: So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed…

On Brooklyn, and Anne T Donahue affirming that it was just fine to ugly cry as much as I did alone in the theatre: That’s What She Said: Words and Work by Anne T. Donahue

Also, if you don’t subscribe to Anne’s newsletter, you just gotta.


Barbara Millicent Roberts

I played with Barbies until I was about 12. Older than most, I know. Maybe it was 11, maybe 13, but a long, long time.

There are very few toys from my childhood that I loved more than I loved my Barbies.

I don’t remember when I received my first Barbie doll. By the end of my Barbie tenure, however, I had lots. Like two large rubbermaid bins full, the full deluxe dream house (spotted in my parents closet weeks before gift-giving), three cars, a couple Ken dolls, a Joey McIntyre doll and a Jem doll (hey, 90s kid here). My lifelong best friend had the camper. I was, and perhaps still am, really jealous. I had a Skipper, a Kelly, and a Teresa. She had brown hair.

I loved my Teresa barbie. She looked like me.

Now, I had it pretty good. I’m white. Able bodied. And still, to have a Barbie that looked kind of like me was a big deal.

Now, with the news today that Barbie is set to launch a new line of dolls – with different body types, heights, skin tones, features, and yes, hair colours, I am tickled, well, pink.

This one looks like me and this one looks like my mom. Right in the feels, people.

Barbie is a contentious issue for feminists.

I know that Barbie is the poster-doll for an unrealistic body image. I know she is a product. I know she makes money for large corporations that surely don’t need any more. I know that this new line was likely introduced to reinvent the Barbie doll – to sell Barbies when Barbies aren’t really selling so great anymore. 

The thing is, for me – a thirtysomething feminist mother of two young girls – Barbie is more than a toy. Barbie is my childhood.


I learned to sew so that I could make Barbie clothes. I learned about gender, and played around with the idea of family dynamics and structure with Barbie. My Barbies married each other. They became lawyers. They were teachers. They went on adventures – camping, mountain climbing, to the moon. I remember making Barbie and Ken have (gasp!) S-E-X under the blankets in their bedroom in the Barbie dream house. I learned that you should always put the scissors in the hands of a hairdressing professional.

My best friend and I would spread a blanket out on the front lawn and play Barbies for hours. We learned about life, about relationships, and about friendship through Barbies.

And you know what, I have been okay giving Barbies to my kids. Even before this big announcement, I have happily played with Barbies with my girls. I know the problems associated with a toy line, but I’ve felt able to balance it out a little with using that time to teach, to demonstrate, and to share with them stories of my own childhood, of their Auntie Dar, and of how my mother used to tell me she only ever had one Barbie herself, and aren’t we so lucky to be able to have so many things to play with.

I even like the self-deprecating Life in the Dreamhouse – there’s some smart humour in there obviously aimed at adults who also grew up with Barbie.

So yes, I’m aware that Mattel is a company selling toys for profit, that this release likely has some very smart marketing behind it. Of course they are making money – hello capitalism! But if consumers have demanded (both vocally and through buying power) that children’s toys look like the children playing with them and the company has responded – I’m all for it.

Is this new line perfect? Hell no. Curvy Barbie reads as “average size Barbie” and there is no sign of any larger sizes coming down the pipe. Introducing new Barbies, however, that look younger and wear less makeup, have the ability to wear flats (this girl’s go-to), are different heights, body shapes and skin tones, and some even wearing freakin’ glasses, my girls can not only pretend to be anyone else, but Barbie may also perhaps help them figure out who they are too, as they can see themselves (and their mama) in Barbie.

And if you need me, I’ll be patiently waiting until this Barbie becomes available. Because she looks just like me.



More Barbie:

In defense of Barbie (Bustle)