September Favourites

I’m still shocked it’s actually October. September was a transitionary month for our family. Abby started middle school. After 5 years of ongoing projects, major home renovations are complete. I survived my first stint of solo-parenting since February.

There were a lot of changes to routine; some moments felt euphoric and others felt…rather irksome. As we muddled through new experiences and routines, we managed to make some great memories and I used several items that really hit the mark in terms of being a Favourite.

Robovac – Eufy

Eufy hanging out with me at 10 pm in the kitchen…a blur of motion. Go Eufy!

So…I didn’t wait to add this to a Christmas wish list. When John read my post looking for feedback on robovacs, he launched into research mode. We agreed we wanted to start with a relatively basic vacuum and ended up going with one from the Eufy brand. We might get a second robovac for our basement level, so it made sense to start with an entry-level model (which he managed to snag on sale + a coupon).

Several people commented that having a robovac was life-changing. I’m not sure if I’m quite to that point yet (without laser guidance, chords are a bit of a nuisance), but it is definitely life-improving. I’ve loved setting it up to run in the hallway and kitchen while we’re watching a show together as a family on Friday nights. Or I’ll get the kids to pick things up off their bedroom floors and leave Eufy to vacuum while I make myself a cup of tea.

I think my favourite feature – which seems so obvious now, but never crossed my mind – is the fact it gets under chairs and beds!!! “Behind-the-scenes” areas of our living spaces have never been so clean.

We talk to our Eufy like it’s a pet and give it positive feedback constantly. The kids will follow it around like it’s a puppy and say things like “Good boy, Eufy” or “You can do it.” It’s hilarious, bordering on ridiculous.

The charging hub fits under the hutch in our front entryway and is basically unnoticeable! Can you spot Eufy? This sounds like a line from a preschooler picture book!

vileda spin mop

Keeping on with a discussion of floors – I think I’ve mentioned before how much I loathed mopping. Mostly, I now realize, because I never had a good mop.

The laminate floors in the top level of our house (which you can see in the pictures of Eufy) are very hard to keep clean. They show every single drop of water and speck of dirt but would always look horribly streaked after mopping.

After multiple friends (and two professional cleaners) recommended the Vileda Spin Mop, I finally caved and ordered one. I have tried many mops, and this is definitely the best one I’ve ever owned. After almost a year of using this mop, it definitely deserves the title of Life Improving. It’s such an easy system and it DOESN’T LEAVE STREAKS on the laminate.

The mop head fits into the top spinning basket and you just press down on a foot pedal to spin the basket…which wrings out the mop!

I will be the first to admit I should mop more frequently than I do. But at least now when I do mop, the floors look great. For five minutes…before a child comes inside with dirty shoes or sits down to eat a snack.


Speaking of food…these corn tortillas are delicious. I have never been a fan of wraps, but we’ve been using these regularly for about a year now and I love them. They do need to be warmed first to maximize flavour and texture (I use the microwave, but they heat up great in a frying pan, too). They’re hearty and flavourful. Yum.


I’ve tried various brands of sparkling water, but AHA is my new favourite. I’ve had all the AHA flavours and every single one is a winner in my books. I only drink a few cans a week, and each one feels like a treat!


There are still lots of little things to pick away at inside and next year our focus will shift to landscaping (we had to excavate all the hardscaping that was in place at our house when we repaired drainage issues years ago; now that we’ve upgraded some of the interior, it’s time to do outside work…but that’s a job for 2023).

Which means, for the most part, we are now looking at weeks – months! – with nary a contractor on site. This is very, very exciting.


This is my favourite weather of the entire year. Crisp mornings. Warm afternoons. I take a coat everywhere, but often don’t need it. The leaves are changing and the colours are truly magnificent. It’s getting darker earlier at night, so I get to pull down the shades and turn on lamps after we finish supper. It’s cozy, but with so much diversity in the weather still. No winter boots or mittens, just invigorating air. How I wish I could bottle this weather and experience it 365 days a year!!

Your turn. Any particularly wonderful items or memories from September?

Header photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

August Favourites

Tomorrow it’s September. This is typically the point when I ask: Where did the time go?

In reality, August felt like it lasted a long time. We had a jam-packed schedule: company and travel and work were all packed in around renovations and everyday life responsibilities (all while navigating some decisions about the future – stay tuned).

Now fall routines are on the horizon, but before we lace up our non-marking indoor shoes…here are a few items/events that stand out as favourites from August.

earring studs

I’ve written before about how I “never” sleep with earrings. In fact, one of my favourite aspects of my morning routine is selecting a pair of earrings from my little stash.

But back in early August I put in a pair of studs John gifted me for Christmas…and I’ve basically never taken them out again. I can sleep comfortably wearing them and since I always feel more put together when I’m wearing earrings (and in the middle of all the August chaos, the extra step of picking out a set of earrings each morning had started to feel like an added chore) leaving a pair in permanently has been a real treat!

PC Semisweet Chocolate chips

A handful of chocolate chips and raisins mixed in with a giant handful of unsalted peanuts has been a go-to roadtrip snack this summer. I add a sprinkle to the kids oatmeal, add a generous helping to our favourite banana muffins, and more than once have grabbed a few as a post-dinner treat.

My absolute favourite chocolate chips are the Loblaws store brand here in Canada – President’s Choice Decadent Semi-Sweet.

keeping compost in the freezer

I blogged about this earlier in the month, but over an especially hot summer, this trick has been wonderful for keeping fruit flies at bay. Also, having an unusually high volume of overnight company circulating through our place means there were some sharp spikes in the amount of fruit and veggie peelings moving through our kitchen, so this hack was extra helpful.


Twice this summer we’ve done fireworks at the lake. My brother treated us to a display back in July and when we descended like a tornado on my parents place last weekend, John brought along a box of fireworks. We spent the evening singing songs by the campfire (accompanied by my Mom’s autoharp; this is as quaint and adorable as it sounds), interspersed with John and Abby setting off a series of satisfyingly beautiful – yet relatively quiet so they didn’t wake the toddler – fireworks.

We never set off fireworks when I was a kid. And Abby and Levi have never attended a fireworks display – most were unavailable over COVID and they’ve always been too young to stay up that late – so the whole experience felt extra satisfying as a new-to-us quintessential summer experience.

golf (the card game)

A month ago a friend innocuously taught us the card game Golf. The rules are simple, you can finish a round in several minutes and the only necessary supplies are two decks of playing cards.

We have played hundreds (HUNDREDS!) of rounds of this game. Levi, in particular, is obsessed. Since it provides a great opportunity to stretch his mental Math muscles, I try to say “yes” just about any time he requests a game. It’s downright fun to play, and it is definitely a family favourite from August.

summer memories

We’ve made a lot of memories this summer and while I am relieved to reach the end of such an intense period of time, I’m also proud that we managed to do so much together. From our trip to South Carolina to our epic Toronto-NYC Roadtrip, we’ve also fit in various trips to the lake, along with two stretches of hosting company!

For the last decade, John has been juggling a work schedule that often required travel over big chunks of the summer; then came COVID, and many of our normal activities were shuttered. So this is the first summer since having kids where we’ve had this level of flexibility. While the pace sometimes went against the grain of my introverted soul, in retrospect I’m thankful we were able to capitalize on so many of the special things summer has to offer.

That’s it from me for this month. How about you? Any favourite experiences or items from August you’d like to share?

Header photo by Kelly Brito on Unsplash

July (Travel) Favourites

Where do these months keep going? Bam. July is in the rearview mirror and I’m starting to think about class lists and fall wardrobes.

I thought this month I’d pivot a bit and highlight my favourite things from our family roadtrip. It’s a mixed bag!


Without a doubt this was one of my favourite accessories from the trip. I’ve long suffered from headaches in the sun. While I try to avoid excessive heat/exposure, sometimes it’s just not feasible based on our activity. The answer? Straw hats. I wore the one pictured (purchased last summer second-hand from a local consignment store; $8) almost every day we were on vacation. They protect my face and neck from the sun and keep me significantly cooler.


Vintage; my Mom’s from 40+ years ago.
Abby’s favourite – she calls it my “Sprinkle” dress. From a thrift store for $5.50.

Staying with the clothing theme, I love wearing dresses. Because of my shape (relatively small waist with large hips), dresses are so much more comfortable than pants or shorts. They also tend to be cooler, require less mental energy (I don’t have to coordinate a top and bottom), and they’re easy and light to pack. I wore a handful of dresses on repeat for most of our trip, and am already bemoaning the cooler months ahead where dresses won’t be practical.

mike and Ike’s

We took a lot of food with us on our roadtrip, including some treat-bag stash the kids received at a birthday party. The runaway hit? Mike and Ike’s. They’re delicious, they don’t go mushy or sticky in warm weather, and they’re a nice sugar hit after long walks. Each day I packed up a small container (see below) with a handful of Mike and Ike’s and would dole them out slowly over the course of our daily adventures. We were nearing the bottom of our stockpile when we visited my sister who had gifts for the kids which included, you guessed it, a new box of Mike and Ike’s. Ironically, she had no idea we’d been enjoying them on our trip and these a new family favourite, so not an established candy option in our house. Her contribution to the cause saw us through to the end of our trip!

Collapsible + mini storage containers

At Christmas, John gifted me two collapsible storage containers. I’ll admit, I wasn’t overly impressed at first. I found them impractical for storing things in long-term as the lids close very securely/somewhat awkwardly. But for road-tripping they were PERFECT. They can hold two mini brioche buns without crushing them. The lids are attached, so I didn’t have to keep track of a container + lid. And, when they’re not in use, they collapse into a small footprint (see above left vs. right). We expanded these for cereal each morning in NYC and the kids each used them regularly for lunches/snacks in the car. They were great.

And these little blue containers (IKEA) were the only other containers I brought. The perfect size for our beloved Mike and Ike’s.

zippered travel bags

This trip I worked hard to have designated bags for different items. One bag held our masks. Another bag always held my cell phone, some Nivea lip balm, bandaids, and our hotel key (this is the bag with a wrist strap; while it wouldn’t necessarily be my go-to pattern, having a strap was incredibly handy). Another bag held the charging cubes/cables for my watch and iPhone + my eye mask for sleeping at night. Another bag always held toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.

One of the things I found most challenging about our trip were the regular changes in sleeping locations. It’s a lot of work to manage packing and unpacking frequently (especially since I still oversee a lot of the kid’s organization). But having specific bags for high-priority items (like masks, my cell phone, and charging items) made it so much easier to pack and find things quickly as we moved from place to place.

cell phones

I didn’t actually make many calls on my phone, but I definitely appreciated having it for taking pictures and for GPS capabilities. I never felt like I got my bearings in NYC this time and that made me a bit sad. When we first visited years ago, I remember leaving and feeling so proud of how well I understood the (very intuitive) layout of the city. Not this time – we relied exclusively on the GPS and I felt like I was constantly unsure of my location. That said, because we were navigating a big city with kids, I think my normal method of orienting would have been more challenging. And for that reason, having access to the internet really did help us plan and execute this trip relatively seamlessly.

best western premier gateway

This was such a great hotel for our family! Highly recommend if anyone is staying in New Jersey and willing to take a public shuttle into Manhattan.

The staff were lovely, having access to free garage parking is incredible, the room was gorgeous, the price was great. I don’t have a single negative thing to say about this hotel experience.

eye mask + white noise

I found having an eye mask SO helpful. I always sleep with one at home and since I brought it with me (I actually can’t sleep without it anymore which is a nuisance; I will wake up if it slips off)…every new room feels vaguely like home because no unique lighting at night throws me off.

When we travel I use an app called BetterSleep for white noise. This specific app has been my go-to for years, but I think it would be hard to mess up a oscillating fan or rainstorm? I’m at the point I can’t sleep without white noise either – high maintenance? – and having an app on my phone is perfect instead of carting around an actual white noise machine. While I still hear loud noises, it does help make unusual sleeping environments on vacation feel a bit more like home.

And there you have it. A few favourites from July that relate to our roadtrip. Your turn: any items or experiences that stand out to you from the last 30ish days!

More Things I Like (or Love)

I’m back with another round of things I like (and love).

It’s fun to do these roundups. And it’s nice to know I can counter those many areas where I wish I enjoyed something, but don’t.

  • Driving alone and playing the radio. Loudly. I love when a favourite song comes on the radio and I’m all by myself and can play it as loud as I want. Sometimes I rig the game and put on a favourites playlist from Spotify. Bonus points if it’s a warm sunny day and I can roll down the car windows. And yes – I sing along!
  • Taking alternate routes home. This might seem obscure, but it always makes me happy when I’m driving through our little town and see a traffic jam or want to pass by some particular landmark…and can easily adjust my route. Knowing different ways back to our house contributes to making our town feel like home. And there’s something very comforting about that realization.
  • Cold water. We consume a shocking amount of water, and I love cold, cold, water.
  • Walking into a clean, neat house. This is especially wonderful if the floors are clean. Ahhh. I love this during ordinary times, but my favourite is experiencing this after a trip away. Before we leave, we take the extra time and effort to do a relatively thorough cleaning. Laundry gets done, dishes are washed and put away, I scrub down the bathrooms and leave the floors vacuumed (sometimes even mopped)! Coming home to a blank slate – and clean counters – is one small but effective way to beat some of the chaos.
  • Smooth-writing pens. There is something so satisfying about a good pen that doesn’t smudge. I’m not fussy and mostly use fine-tip Bic pens, but it makes me happy. Writing with a bad pen is a very unpleasant experience, indeed.
  • Looking at the alarm clock on a day we don’t have to be anywhere. I love the feeling of rolling over to see the alarm clock and knowing we don’t have to rush out the door. Or of waking up long before anything/anybody needs to be kept to a schedule. It feels so liberating.

Your turn. What task/item do you love? I’m expecting we can all agree a smooth-writing pen is one of life’s little pleasures. (And that walking into a room/home after a deep-clean feels delightful.) Maybe you love a quiet car and drink your water room-temperature.

Header photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Makeup Hack: Use a Q-tip

That someone would turn to me for makeup advice sounds laughable, so when a friend told me she had started using my “hack” of using lipstick for blush, I was floored.

Maybe I’m missing a lucrative career as an influencer in the makeup space?

Then again, probably not.

As a refresher, this is literally all the makeup I use and own. I don’t wear it every day, but definitely feel better when I do. Especially if mascara is involved.

For years, every single time I applied mascara I would end up with little black smudges on my eyelid (at the base of my lashes). I’m sure there are many hacks to avoid this – and I’ve tried a few unsuccessfully – but one day I thought, I bet I could wipe this off with a damp Q-tip.

Turns out I was right.

I buy regular mascara (not waterproof), and a damp Q-tip gets off that little bit of excess mascara in seconds. (You could do the same with makeup remover if you use waterproof.)

There you have it – a second makeup hack. I’m practically a Kardashian.

Your turn. Any great makeup tricks – or life hacks, those are always welcome, too – you want to share?

Header photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

June Favourites

Another month and more things I’m ready to designate “Favourite”. As I mentioned in May, these aren’t necessarily items that are new, but they’re all things I’ve used and appreciated over the last month.

large ice cubes (+ my Yeti)

I realized the other day we only own “unusual” ice-cube trays. One makes long, slim ice cubes that can fit inside the narrow mouth of a S’well-esque water bottle. And the other creates these behemoths, which are my favourite (especially when used inside my Yeti).

If I pop a few big ice cubes into my water first thing in the morning, it stays cold all day – even if I leave my Yeti in the car while we’re off adventuring. I can refill it over and over again throughout the day and the ice cubes are usually intact until supper time.

child nail clippers

Years ago, when Abby was an infant, my sister taught me a trick: child nail clippers work well for adults too. And now it is all I ever use on my own nails.

I find these smaller nail clippers easier to hold and maneuver, plus they seem to be much sharper (so they create cleaner lines than adult clippers). And it’s yet another way to eliminate extra clutter in the bathroom (our whole family also uses the same toothpaste, soap, and shampoo).

baby wipes

Let’s stick with the theme of repurposing infant care materials and discuss baby wipes. I know these are not the most environmentally friendly option and I use them sparingly (1-2 packages a year), but find them invaluable – especially when we’re traveling.

I occasionally use them to do a quick clean of the bathroom before company arrives, and they work wonders for cleaning hands after a sticky ice cream treat on a hot sunny day. (I always, always have a package in the car).

pretty mugs

I’m not much for souvenirs and I can’t stand kitchen clutter, but one of my go-to solutions is buying a mug.

I’ve already talked about my mug from White Point (I still love this thing), and we recently picked up another mug from South Carolina. It has a huge handle to accommodate the little spoon (adorable!) and I’ve loved drinking out of it. A steaming cup of coffee or tea out of this mug first thing in the morning feels extra special.

I think we’ll soon be reaching the end of our cupboard space for mugs, but it has been a really fun collection to build up over the year.

Another favourite mug – Levi’s demitasse from Paris. He LOVES to drink coffee from this thing (I included the second picture for scale – it is small, but not so small it’s not functional for a 7-year-old).

All Creatures Great and Small

I’ve talked briefly about the Masterpiece series of All Creatures Great and Small before, but it was a favourite of mine this spring. It didn’t provide mind-blowing acting prowess. But it was funny. And consistently entertaining. And so easy to watch with its relaxing and heartwarming 1940s charm.

time with family

June offered up a lot of time with family – from our whirlwind adventures in South Carolina to a quick stop in New Brunswick to see my parents, to various family visits in Ontario…it was so nice to reconnect with loved ones. We live, relatively speaking, quite far from family and the pandemic just stretched our infrequent visits even farther apart than normal.

As someone who avoids phone conversations, I have a tendency to drift away from the day-to-day activities of my siblings. To be able to see and hear and interact with everyone face-to-face was a true blessing!

Okay – your turn! Does anything stand out as a special item or event in June?

Header photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

Things I Know I Love

Years ago, during a particularly rough patch of solo-parenting (John’s work schedule had him away regularly), I flipped to the back of my planner and made a list titled, quite unoriginally: Things I Like. At the time I was most certainly not enjoying: feeding, bathing, and diapering little kids by myself. Bedtime was an exhausting trainwreck; mornings weren’t much better. So it helped, a bit, to be able to reference a list of things I actually enjoyed, including: thick blankets, hot showers, watching Blue Jays baseball, and eating sushi.

While I’m still no fan of solo-parenting, life looks a lot different these days. There are no diapers to change and mornings/bedtime are a lot more tolerable without an infant or toddler in the house. More generally, I’m being intentional about spending time doing things that I actually like doing (and finding ways, where appropriate, to avoid the rest).

So I don’t love fresh flowers or sweating or spicy food or rollercoasters…but here are some things I do love.

  • Photography. Taking photos, editing photos, looking at others’ photos – I love it all.
  • Tidying/Decluttering. Organizing a sock drawer, clearing out the fridge, sorting through old clothes in a closet – these are happy activities that both calm and energize me.
  • Reading. I’ve loved books my whole life and browsing at a library or looking over at my bedside table and seeing a stack of new books never fails to fill me with joy.
  • Writing cheques. I’ve talked about this quirk before, but I absolutely love writing cheques. Weird/random, I know.
  • Going to my favourite coffee shop. I don’t go often (an average of once a month?), and I always get the same thing (Earl Grey with oat milk), but I love this space. Sometimes I meet friends and other times I take a book or my laptop and enjoy solitude. It’s such a warm, inviting place.
  • Eating. While there are a few things I tend to avoid (cheese, spicy food, and quiche), for the most part I love all foods. I know many people enjoy eating, so this isn’t necessarily very original but, occasionally, I hear about someone who genuinely doesn’t care about how food tastes or looks (how, I ask?!) – or has a lot of food intolerances – and it just reiterates how much I love food and appreciate my ability to enjoy a wide variety of foods! Favourites: sushi, roasted sweet potato, peanut butter, eggs (any form but quiche), oatmeal, Twizzlers, cherry cheesecake.
  • Hot showers. While I’m not always a fan of getting wet – mostly because I find it a huge nuisance to deal with wet hair – I love long, hot showers. The long and hot parts are key. I don’t take one every day, but in the winter a hot shower is one of my favourite things to do when I’m tired and cold. (Incidentally, I loathe baths and often go years without taking one.)
  • Massages. I know some people don’t like the sensation of a massage (especially face massages), but I love them. One year we had an especially great insurance plan and I maxed out every penny of my massage allowance!
  • Opening curtains in the morning. Specific, I know, but opening curtains never fail to delight me – even if I’m in a hotel room. I crave natural light and find any space looks mildly (or, in some cases, majorly) depressing until the curtains and blinds are open. Thankfully we have a lot of windows in our house and once everything is opened up our house is very bright.
  • Closing curtains/turning on lamps at night. On the flip side, I love making the house cozy and warm in the evening. Shutting curtains and blinds and turning off overhead lights in exchange for softer lamp light makes for a satisfying evening transition.
  • Laughing. I love to laugh. John makes an effort to get a chuckle (or cackle, I have a range of equally awkward hilarious laughter sounds) at every available opportunity and he is usually successful. I’m trying to go out of my way to seek laughter these days. In terms of a specific comedian, Nate Bargatze is my favourite because of his deadpan delivery and the fact his material is family-friendly (I don’t enjoy crass humour, which seems to make up the majority of standup acts).
  • Behind-the-scenes. I love documentaries and memoirs. When I was in high school, I went through a major Tolkien phase. As much as I loved the actual Lord of the Rings movies, what I liked far more was watching behind-the-scenes footage – learning about costume design and location scouting or watching outtakes was the epitome of good entertainment to me.

I also love: going to art galleries or museums with John, holding hands with the kids when we’re out running errands, warm Magic bags when I’m cold, long walks with family and friends, washing dishes (if there aren’t too many and my sink will drain), the smell of permanent marker and, well, a lot of other things!

The older I get, the more I’m learning to give myself permission to be okay with admitting there are things I simply don’t enjoy. I don’t have to eat the melted cheese on lasagne or hop on a rollercoaster. I realize that saying yes to uncomfortable things can be fun and part of life’s adventure – to that end, there is a good chance I will end up on a rollercoaster this summer. I try to factor in the discomfort where it feels appropriate and a net-positive experience.

But other times, it’s okay to admit that life feels best when I’ve closed the curtains and turned on the lamps by 6 pm on a Saturday night. Closely followed by hopping in for a hot shower and putting on cozy PJ’s before sitting down to watch Nate Bargatze on an at-home date night with John.

Your turn. What are some things – big or small – you genuinely enjoy? Does anyone reading here like baths, leave curtains closed during the day, and feel apathetic about photography?

Header photo by Eddie & Carolina Stigson on Unsplash

May Favourites

Another month, another set of favourites.

A lot of these are, admittedly, more general “life” favourites that aren’t specific to the last month. In fact, I’ve been using most of these items for years. In that case, I suppose it would be more accurate to say this is a list of enduring favourites?

cell phone cameras

Having a (high-quality) camera everywhere I go is a perpetual favourite. While it can be easy to get sucked into excess screen time, I’ve been satisfied with my overall usage lately (hovering around 45 minutes/day). And the one aspect of my smartphone use that feels overwhelmingly positive is the easy access to taking pictures to preserve memories.

nivea lip balm

Specifically, this Nivea lipbalm. I’ve tried the strawberry variety, and the SPF version, too. But this is my favourite and I use it daily.

sticky tabs

I’ll admit the horror expressed by some readers when I revealed that I regularly dog-ear book pages has led me to mostly rely on sticky tabs to mark my place. They’re great!

ARm band for running

I know there are divided opinions on this product (E Tronic Armband; I got mine off Amazon), but I really love it. It’s a zippered compression sleeve for carrying keys/a cell phone while running.

I ordered the medium but it was too tight (I’ve read this product runs small, but I also have large upper arms so I might be an outlier on their sizing chart). The company told me to keep the medium and then sent me a large which is very comfortable, yet stays in place well and I’ve been using it for several years now.


I have a handful of these ear coverings and wear them about 300 days a year Really! I have issues with painful inner ears (even on a sunny day in the summer it’s not uncommon for me to wear one because of wind).

These make exercise or even running to the store for errands so much more pleasant. I love that I can wear them if my hair is up, and they accommodate ponytails/buns so much better than a hat.

bottom-loading water cooler

At least once a week since we bought this appliance (2.5 years ago), someone in our family (or a guest in our home) mentions their love of our water cooler. It is sleek and tucks neatly into a corner of the dining/living room. It’s also so much easier to load since the water jugs fit in the bottom. I didn’t clean off the kid’s fingerprints before snapping this picture because #WhoHasTheTime…but it does clean up very well. In fact, I don’t have a single complaint.


I know people are divided about eggs, but I love them. I consume eggs almost every day and consider them to be one of the most delicious and versatile foods. A perpetual “favourite” in my life.

Your turn. Anything stand out as particularly memorable or useful in May?

Header photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash