2017 Year in Review (websites, travel, books + records)

I love reading year in review posts, but have always felt squeamish about writing my own. Too personal! Too vulnerable! No one cares! F that. This is partly for me as a way to keep track of successes and good times as well as places I want to improve and grow in the new year.

Fave Websites I Made this Year

I love all the projects I work on, but some sites stick out as my favourites. These were my favourites this year.


partial screenshot includes: cute owl drawing with text search our online library. 2 buttons on right with text: Do Something, find out how and New to Activism? We've got info
I worked at the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group for 7 years. It’s where I learned communications for non-profits, figured out I loved graphic design, and planted the seeds for my current career. Designing and building their website was like coming full circle.

Big Bright Dark

Bee art with text: episode 1 And the Bees were calling me Heather Talbot interview

A new podcast I helped create with a group of friends about climate change. As the resident web dev, I built the site first on a theme, and then remade the entire thing a couple of months later from scratch. Because that’s my idea of fun.

Contact No Contact

partial screenshot includes: Space Between Nations, Story Gathering Project. Namwayut, We are all one Rober Joseph cut off video image. Text piece on right: Colonial Rescue, Pegi Eyers
A project out of GEIST Magazine, Contact No Contact is like a Humans of New York, but with stories about modern contact between indigenous folks and settlers in Canada.


Woman with tattoos in dancer yoga pose with text personalized care unique to you, learn more
Finished right at the end of the year, I really enjoyed remaking my chiropractor’s website.

Honourable Mention: Good Jobs BC

Good Jobs BC partial screenshot including logo, menu, part of a video and two buttons on the right that say Join the movement of progressive employers and Top arguements for a living wage
Built on Nationbuilder as a campaign site for Living Wage for Families. I don’t love working with Nationbuilder, but I do love working with Living Wage for Families.

Other work I loved:

bright cover with text: Building Solidary in Diversity. A report on Unifor's Equity Audit

Unifor Equity Report [PDF]

48-page report that Unifor presented at Canadian Council in August.

The report included many pages of infographics exploring the diversity and meaningful representation of marginalized groups throughout the union and across Canada.

I designed the report in both English and French, for print and for web.

Things I learned:

The big one is coding websites from scratch. Up until earlier this year, I believed my web design skills outmatched my ability to code my designs. I took the leap and coded the SFPIRG site from scratch in June and loved it so much I haven’t looked back.

Favourite projects

Big Bright Dark – I loved working with a group to make something political and creative. We’re about to release a new episode, check back in the next week to hear it.

Money goals reached

  • Divested from fossil fuels
  • Started monthly savings in socially responsible investments with Wealthsimple (I put these on hold after I left my day-job and started my own business)
  • Started funding a 6 month emergency fund (to cover sick leave, EI etc) – 1.5 months saved so far.
  • Upped monthly donations: 350.org, Pivot Legal, OpenMedia


March: Hawaii Ladies Yoga Retreat

May: NYC for my 40th

June: Roadtrip up north: visited Carolina in Prince Rupert, camped in the Nisga’a area and saw the lava beds


August: Sointula, whale watching + camping with friends

August: Hiked the Cape Scott Trail

December: Cuba for Sharmeen’s 40th

The Gondola is closed for the day, easiest way down is walk 10.5 km down a service road Thornhill Mountain hike, Terrace BC

Memorable Hikes

  • Cape Scott Trail (53kms in 4 days)
  • St Mark’s Summit
    (too crowded, the nearby Tunnel Bluffs was better)
  • Thornhill Mountain, Terrace BC
  • Crater Lake Trail, Smithers, BC
  • missing the Gondola on the Sea to Summit Trail



  • July: Design + Content in Vancouver BC (excellent, as always)
  • November: Seattle Wordcamp (felt much bigger than Vancouver’s – might start going to this one annually)

my hands on the steering wheel of a vw golf, forest road through the windshield

Because I turned 40:

  • Bought a car (first time in my life)
  • Covered up a tattoo I got at 19
  • Bought a bed

2017 Goals

  • Buy a record a month (fun goal right?). Partial success: stopped buying records when I was travelling lots in the summer.
    Records include: Sade, Nicolas Jarr, Sirens; Jamie xx; the XX; Massive Attack, Blue Lines; Sufjan Stevens, Carrie + Lowell; Bon Iver, For Emma Forever Ago; NTS buy more albums by women next year.
  • Write a blog post a month. Fail. Wrote 2 posts in series about technology and activism and then stopped.
  • Do something every month to not feel so trapped and hopeless by political dumpster-fire. Partial success: started a letterwriting club, went to protests, signed petitions, upped monthly donations. Was more active in the early part of the year. Still felt pretty hopeless – but not always.
  • Read 40 books. Success! Read 44.

Fave books read this year:

  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Return to the Dark Valley, Santiago Gamboa
  • The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy
  • Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
  • Next Year for Sure, Zoey Peterson

Random Local Faves

  • Yoga: Lana’s Friday class at Open Door
  • Bread: sourdough magic by Fife Bakery
  • Beer: Echo by 33 Acres

2018 Goals/Plans


  • Focus more on website strategy and development: work with graphic designers for look and feel (contact me if you’re a web designer with a background in non-profit work)
  • Redo my website (build from scratch, minimize and focus content, update offerings)
  • Write a blog post a month (for real this time)
  • Teach again (WordPress)
  • Learn CSS Grid
  • Get better at PHP
  • Go to a couple of inspiring conferences
  • Make more connections to people doing similar work (non-profits + development + design)


  • Colombia (April/May)
  • Toronto/Hamilton (June for sister’s wedding). Maybe add on Montreal or Detroit?
  • Sointula  (August)
  • Live/work in Budapest for a month – not currently planned for this year, but could still happen (in the spring/fall?)
  • Brazil for Lana’s yoga retreat in the fall? Long shot, but would be great!


  • Get better at podcasting and publish at least a episode a season
  • Volunteer: Ladies/Kids Learning Code, Rainbow Refugees?
  • Finally put together an emergency kit

Thanks for reading, and happy new year!
xo, KK.

One comment on “2017 Year in Review (websites, travel, books + records)

  1. What a wonderful update! Wow, and such a full year! Your work and YOU, just you are lovely to behold!

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