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Workspace | Writer and Editor Erin McGann’s Mobile German Office

The Anthology’s Workspace column takes us inside the very creative spaces of some very creative people.

I am dying to go traveling overseas, but I’m too chicken to do it with a toddler and a preschooler. Erin McGann, however, is not afraid of traveling — or moving — overseas with a family. Here, the freelance writer and editor, who chronicles expat family life on her blog, shares her rotating workspace in her own words…

Since we moved to Heidelberg, Germany, I’ve not had a dedicated office space. There’s a desk in our living room I share with my husband when he’s working at home, and I sometimes work in the kitchen. Or on the bed!

I often work for a couple hours in a coffee shop after I drop off my son at his bilingual German school, though I’m not as spoiled for choice as I would be in Vancouver — free wifi is not as common here. My favourite spot is Coffee Nerd, though I can only drink one of their coffees or I will be vibrating until 10pm. My Swiss friend can drink two in a row with no ill effects and it blows my mind.

When I work in the living room…

-We have a plain Ikea wood worktop with simple legs, because three overseas moves makes Ikea your best friend.

-Our drone, a DJI Mavic Pro, that we are learning to make some interesting little travel films with, like this one.

-Some travel and history books about Heidelberg, as I’m just finishing recording an audio tour for the lovely little German city we call home now.

-My “I love London” muc, which came from Anthropologie. We spent seven years living in London, and it was where my son was born, so it will always hold a large piece of my heart.

-A signed print by Tony Cliff we picked up at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. He writes and draws the excellent Delilah Dirk graphic novels, and lives in Vancouver.

When I work in the kitchen…

-I often work in here when I’m editing long policy papers (one of my other freelance hats, we all have ten of those, right?), and I need my laptop up at eye level so my shoulders don’t seize up. This stand has a couple different configurations. It’s made by a Danish startup called Flio.

-The table is made from old wood rescued from a 19th-century Steveston warehouse. We had it made for us by Vancouver Reclaimed when we first moved back from London.

-The wall art is actually fabric from Ikea’s Svartan line, a collaboration between textile designer Martin Bergstrom and fashion students from India.

-I have an irrational love for this head planter, which I picked up from Etsy.

-The mini bell jar came from this terrific store called Flying Tiger Cophenhagan — I am totally obsessed with their bonkers products.

Want to know what Erin writes from all these workspaces? You’ll find plenty of tips and tricks for travelling in Europe (with or without kids) on her blog Erin at Large.

[First photo by the French Californian, 2nd – 6th photos by Erin McGann, last photo by Saffron Consultants]

P.S. Know someone (like, say…you!) who needs an excuse to tidy up their super stylish desk? Send a note to KDundon@TheAnthology.ca — we’d love to see your workspace!

Travel | I’m officially a Honolulunatic

honolulu

I never had much interest in Honolulu. Hawaii as a whole, yes – I first visited the state when I went on a three-week-long scuba diving/marine biology field trip to Maui while I was in high school. We camped in huts on the beach, dove with eels at night and shook scorpions out of our scuba booties in the morning. It was heaven.

More recently I wrote a series of travel articles on living like a beach bum with a butler in Kauai (highly recommend), driving the treacherous north shore of Maui (you definitely shouldn’t do this), and snorkeling at night with manta rays on the Big Island (actually scarier than diving with eels) – but Honolulu never called to me.

Until now.

honolulu airport aloha welcome to hawaii

For a girlfriend’s stagette we were in search of a place that would be warm in January, easily accessible from the west coast, a place where you could lounge by the pool if you wanted to, eat incredible food, go dancing at night. A place that’s small enough to walk anywhere you wanted to go, but big enough that you could break off into a smaller group and head in whichever direction the trade winds take you.

diamond head waikiki honolulu hawaii

Honolulu fit the bill. The hiking at Diamond Head, the standup paddle boarding right outside our hotel, the whales we saw during our sunset catamaran trip, the karaoke bars — they were just bonuses. Really, really fun bonuses.

Pig and lady 2

I feel like it’s my responsibility now to shout from the rooftops that this city is underrated. Hence this PSA. Go to Honolulu, embrace its Palm Springs-like shopping strip. Revel in its busyness, embrace the tiki overload, make reservations at restaurants you’re worried will be overrated (but aren’t), bail off your paddle board because the surf is way bigger than you can handle.

You can visit a sleepier island another time.

honolulu from the air

I’ll be back, Honolulu. I’ll be back.

P.S. There are more photos where these came from so follow @KelseyDundon on Instagram.

Trippin’ | Las Vegas, Kind of

Polaroid Cosmopolitan Pool Las Vegas

If I went to Vegas for 24 hours, but didn’t leave the hotel once, can I still say I went to Vegas?

YVR

I flew there (without either of my babies, which was perhaps the highlight of the entire weekend!).

The Cosmo Hotel Las Vegas

Spent some quality time by the pool (not at the peaceful one pictured above, but the pool at Marquee Day Club, which was so crowded it looked like human soup).

Las Vegas Airport

Then flew home the next morning after a delightful in-room breakfast. It was pretty well perfect.

[Photos by @KelseyDundon on Instagram]

P.S. Trying to figure out what to wear to a pool/beach party? You’ll find a few ideas in my recent (blooper-filled) segment.

Pinstagram | Pink sofas and red suits

The Anthology’s Pinstagram column marries the dream (Pinterest) and the reality (Kelsey Dundon’s Instagram photos of places and faces in and around Vancouver).

chairs

Seating arrangement. My midcentury Danish chairs that replaced the sofa that used to sit under that window + a blush sofa that could replace anything it wished to.

flowers

In bloom. My desk looks like spring + so does Rachel de Ravenel’s bench (photographed by Diana Koenigsberg for C Magazine).

Pools

Wading pool. A sunny weekend in Whistler + a sunny series of pools.

kids

Backyard. I put up a tire swing in an effort to turn our backyard into a playground + I should just give up because this backyard hideaway is the coolest.

red

Seeing red. I stopped into Coach to meet with their team and shoot with my bright red phone + a red hot suit.

P.S. There are more photos where these came from so follow @KelseyDundon on Instagram.

Pinstagram | Fuchsia couches and blue mountains

The Anthology’s Pinstagram column marries the dream (Pinterest) and the reality (Kelsey Dundon’s Instagram photos of places and faces in and around Vancouver).

Talking trends on a big red couch at Global BC (watch my trend segment here) + a modern fuchsia couch I’d love in my living room.

Baby style. A leopard print look from a kids’ trend spread I styled + one very stylish young lady.

Party! A media dinner hosted at Oliver and Lilly’s and catered by Farmer’s Apprentice + a holiday-ready celebration.

Queen of hearts. A nightlight I found on Etsy + a lovely garland.

Mountain women. A walk to Lost Lake in Whistler + another picturesque mountain somewhere in BC.

P.S. There are more photos where these came from so add The Anthology on Facebook and follow @KelseyDundon on Instagram.

Trippin’ | 24 Hours in Toronto

People are always shocked that I’d never been to Toronto. And I suppose it is weird. I’ve travelled a fair share, I’m as Canadian as a loonie and I’ve passed through Pearson Airport a lot, but I’d never actually been to the city itself.

Until my friends at Canadian Tire turned me into a little Christmas elf and flew me out for a media event. (Long-lead publications plan things very, very far in advance so editors start thinking about the holidays mid-summer.)

I spent the day bauble-hanging, glue-gunning, ribbon-wrapping and sharing a few of my favourite decorating tips and tricks and DIYs.

Alongside Toronto-based stylist Renee Elliott of Re:Creative Studio.

Which was a heckuva lot of fun.

And then exactly 24 hours after I arrived I hopped on a sunset flight back to the West Coast. Thanks, Canadian Tire! Next time I’ll stay longer so I can actually explore the city.

Put a Pin in it | Kid & Coe

The Anthology’s Put a Pin in it series does what it can to fuel your obsession with Pinterest.

I love the concept behind Kid & Coe — it’s like airbnb but with baby gates, high chairs and toy chests.

I haven’t yet stayed in any of their homes but boy, do they make me want to pack up the playard and trek across the globe.

Their Pinterest boards are as beautiful as their homes.

And some of them are quite cute to boot.

So put a pin in Kid & Coe and The Anthology too.

Setting Up Camp

Bright and early Thursday, August 8th I’ll be on CTV Morning Live discussing one of my favourite subjects: camping. But not the kind of instant oatmeal-eating camping you did as a kid. I’ll be armed with glamping necessities like a portable espresso machine, a hand-cranked blender and a stove that charges your iPhone. You know — for when you really want to unplug and get away from it all.

Don’t forget to set your PVR, mom!