Mother of Puppies, First of Her Name

My family receives many hand-drawn cards and K’s recent birthday was no exception. I had the idea to make him a “coat of arms” type card, which is kind of a thing for sovereign nations or Meghan Markle, but is also a super fun way to make something highly personal. For K, I put in references to travel, skiing, space, and hockey, and humble brag, it turned out awesome. 

 
K’s spirit animal is the bear, who lives in the alpine and eats a lot.

K’s spirit animal is the bear, who lives in the alpine and eats a lot.

 

Then we caught wind of these awesome customizable insulated mugs, done by a Canadian company called LAMOSE. We hit up their storefront in Southcentre mall and they engraved the image straight onto a coffee mug! #notsponsored

 
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We got to watch it come to life right in store, which was very cool, and now K has a really sweet coffee mug at work. He reports that the insulation works very well, and the mug is heavy/ stable enough to avoid most tipping ‘incidents’. 

 
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Honestly it was such a fun project I kinda want one for myself! I’m not sure what my coat of arms will look like but it will probably involve champagne and puppies. Suggestions?

Sunita LeGallou
July Playlist
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Where did summer go? Alas, the typical heart-cry of the August long weekend. If you need some summer tunes for your upcoming road trip, I made another playlist on Spotify. This is all the music I listened to on repeat in July. 

Pretty Pimpin, Kurt Vile: A totally fun, upbeat track about what sounds suspiciously like a mid-life crisis. 

Back on Top, Gloria Gaynor: Gospel music isn’t usually my thing, but this is a phenomenal album. I had trouble picking one track, so this is my pick for pump up music. 

Your Love, The Outfield: Don’t ask. An EDM-remix was playing at the gym, and it drove me into an all-out 80’s dive. 

Art of Doubt, Metric: Oh, just listen to the whole album. 

Maps, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s: Actually, my favorite version of this song is an acoustic take (I couldn’t find it on Spotify)

Keep a Light On, Jenn Grant: I’ve been singing along to the lyrics all month and still can’t decide if this is a happy love song or not. 

On the Roof, Mo Kenney: Mo Kenney is pretty new to me, but she’s Canadian and her album cover features a bad-ass salmon colored pant suit, so… I’m a fan.

Is She Really Going Out With Him? Joe Jackson: I thought this was an Elvis Costello song, right up until I tried to find it on Spotify and ended up combing through Ask Metafilter. (I heartily agree with the OP’s final comment at the bottom.)

If I can’t Have You, Shawn Mendes: Are you sick of this radio-candy-crush-addiction yet? Because I am not. 

Never Really Over, Katy Perry: An excellent running/ head-bobbing track. 

Sunflower, Post Malone, Swae Lee: This is from the animated Spiderman: Into the Multiverse Soundtrack, and the whole thing is MY FAVORITE EVER. The movie! The graphics! The plotline! Spider-Gwen’s haircut! I love it all, and I love this song most of all. 

I did end up painting to quite a few of these songs, so I’ll post them once I’ve got some decent lighting for photographs.

Sunita LeGallou
Books Read in June/ July
 
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A blog post about “Books Started and/or Purchased in June/ July” would be a lot longer, tbh. Also, I intended to do this monthly, but it turns out I really didn’t read a lot of books in July! So, here’s my very brief report on “summer reads”, if you need something for August.

Long Way to an Angry Planet, Becky Chambers. A happy romp through space. I expected more conflict, but honestly it’s quite hopeful and very LGBTQ+ affirming. Read if:

  • You thought Expanse was too dark 

  • You want some sci fi that isn’t quite so straight + white

  • You enjoy your coworkers but don’t want to live on a long haul spaceship with them (I imagine this is most of us)

Off the Clock, Laura Vanderkam. One of my favorite productivity authors, LVM focuses this book on how to get that delicious vacation “I don’t know what time it is and I don’t care” feeling. Read if: 

  • You’re trying to max out your summer vibe 


Sister Mine, Nalo Hopkins. I ADORED this book, it was the kind of read I have to pace myself not to devour in one sitting. Magical realism + incredibly real family dynamic + tragic stakes = all the feels. (It also inspired some teary ‘can I ever write like that probably not’ internal angst.) Read if:

  • You’ve ever wondered if sea monsters live in lake Ontario (answer: maybe)


Planetfall, Emma Newman. Again, so good! I did not pace myself and definitely read this over the course of 36 hours. It is somewhat dark, and somewhat spooky. An interesting sci fi read which raises a lot of questions about religion and free will. The ending is ambiguous, but it’s 1st in a series so interested to see where this goes. Bit of a trigger warning on mental illness. Read if:

  • You thought Expanse was not dark enough

  • You are somewhat interested in cults

  • You are OK with being dropped into a mystery from page 1

Sunita LeGallou
#BanffSciComm

I just came back from a course on Science Communication by Beakerhead at the Banff Centre. It’s a 10 day program covering science media/ journalism/ communication in today’s era, complete with sessions on podcasting, video, social media and of course, writing + pitching. 

 
 

I came away with so many ideas buzzing that honestly, I don’t know where to start!

The course was super intense, but in a mind-blowing way. I learned a ton and got hands-on practicum time on pretty much everything listed above and more. They cover a huge toolkit, and I’m not sure exactly what I’ll pick up to use in my future career, because it was like drinking from a firehose. For 10 days. 


The course culminates in a group project, and you can check out mine here! (For the next 28 days, at least - we didn’t want to pay to host it indefinitely.)

Our group project was called Coven of Curiosity, and it’s a web magazine, podcast (I’m the co-host!), and video channel all devoted to freaky science. Our tagline is Science for Slytherins. Check it out!

 
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Sunita LeGallou
Long Weekend in Kelowna

We celebrated Canada’s birthday in true summer style - driving on highway 1, eating a bunch of BC cherries, and dodging thunderstorms. The weather wasn’t as face-meltingly hot as anticipated, so we adapted our priorities to wineries > beach. 


This trip, I hit a nice balance of painting in-the-moment and after-the-fact. I love painting on location, it’s a cool way to really melt into a place. I slow down, observe all the details, and really savor the view. 


That being said, I also have a lot of fun illustrating things that either 1) happened really quickly or 2) didn’t/ couldn’t be captured on camera. Like us running over this kids soccer ball! He kicked it into the parking lot just as we were backing up and I thought we’d blown a tire. Or some critical piece of the engine. 

 
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Fortunately (for us, not for the kid’s soccer game) it was neither of those things, and we continued our trip. But I’ll never forget that moment now, because it’s in the sketchbook! It’s canon


Planning a trip to Kelowna? Don’t think you can find a bad meal there. But, I highly recommend:

  • Block One Restaurant/ 50th Parallel Estate Winery 

  • Jack’s Pizza 

  • Red Bird Brewery 

  • Annegrets Chocolates (amazing gelato in, of all places, the mall)

Sunita LeGallou
June Playlist
 
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Who loves mixtapes? This girl. I remember calling into radio stations to request songs, then hitting “record” on the cassette player. I always got accidental snippets of the DJ. 

(This makes me the oldest millennial *ever*, like reminiscing about the internet dial up tone.)

Anyways, I made a mixtape for June. It’s on Spotify here if you need some new tunes in your life. Let me know if you have recommendations for July!

Big Boss Mama, Tami Neilson: I’m kicking this playlist off with a bold rollicking pump-up song. Cue this one up before strutting into a job interview or first date. Or just, you know, being a badass. 

Because the Night, Patti Smith: I love her books. Check out Just Kids, or A-Train if you want to feel a bit stoned. 

To Hell & Back, Maren Morris: I adore the entire album, but I chose this track for it’s highly feminist love-story message - “You didn’t save me, didn’t think I needed saving, you didn’t change me, didn't think I needed changing.”

The Chain, Fleetwood Mac: As I write this, I’m realizing half this playlist was released 6 months ago, and the other half is from the 70’s. Oh well. 

The Knife, Maggie Rogers: Honestly no clue what the lyrics are about (the title is a bit dark), but it’s a smart sexy synthy tune to make you shrug your shoulders and pretend like you weren’t dancing in your chair. 

Crying Shame, Jennifer Castle: Break up music, but the nice kind.

Secret Love, Stevie Nicks: Ooh, am I allowed 2 songs with Stevie Nicks? There are loads of rules for mix tapes. (I’ll give myself a pass since one is off a solo album.)

Your Type, Carly Rae Jepsen: A fun, bittersweet follow up to Call Me Maybe, to play if you’ve been “friend-zoned”.

Rocky Mountain High, John Denver: Who doesn’t love this song? No explanation needed.

Sunita LeGallou
Hello!

Hello!

Welcome to my blog. I’ve blogged in random spurts before, but I often ran out of momentum. I felt like I had to write about Big Topics with Big Opinions.

However, I’ve realized that most of the blogs I personally enjoy reading are quite… ordinary. Just people living their lives, writing humorous little snippets that make me feel like I’ve gotten to know them. 

Hopefully this will be that for you! I’ll write about art, and writing, and science, and dogs, and music, and fun things I do, and boring things I do, and maybe a little bit of travel along the way. 

(If nothing else, now my mom has a reason to use the Internet.)


Sunita LeGallou