Author: Undertones

The Caffeine Addict’s Guide: Coffee Hacks

I’m by no means a coffee aficionado, however, I do understand the last dregs of dark roast poured from a dispenser labeled: French Vanilla, is “swill” compared to the craft-coffee served up by more reputable roasters. Regardless, when the post-lunch fatigue sets in during the average workday, I’ll gladly down anything with a caffeine content high enough to jolt me from my 2 p.m. stupor.

I have a few friends whose standard of what constitutes “real” coffee far surpass my own. Their kitchens are outfitted with sleek, Italian-engineered espresso machines and every coffee oriented accessory on the market, ranging from the essential to the obscure. Over the years I’ve picked up on some of their fundamental tips and tricks. Here are a few of my favourite coffee hacks to help improve your daily grind (pun intended), and elevate your average cup of jo.

Friday Favourites! Week #1

Fridays are perfect for sharing newly discovered favourites. Whether it’s an enticing page-turner, exciting destination to explore, stunning design element or glow-worthy beauty regime infused with bee venom and reishi extract – I’ll be sharing my latest and greatest finds or “favourites” here on Undertone(s).

Personal Disclaimer: These shared favourites will undoubtedly feature one of my many plant purchases, which are leading to the slow but gradual conversion of my apartment into a greenhouse. Or of lamps. I have an inexplicable love of lamps (and subsequently, a very well-lit home).

Exploring Portland

Portland is wonderfully offbeat. Quirky. Odd. The city’s unofficial slogan of “Keep Portland Weird” is a tidy summation of what this metropolitan gem charmingly subscribes to. “Weird” is the term appropriate to this hub of eccentricities, which lays claim to endearing titles including host to the world’s largest bookstore and site of an inexplicably high number of bridges. (Seriously, Portland, why so many bridges? There are like, twelve of them). Though Portland offers an abundance of amazing locales, here are a handful of favourites, which fully lived up to their hype.

The Imperfect Time Is Now

Our most insightful moments often arise during challenging periods, when things do not go according to plan, and we need to be our most resourceful and inventive selves—situations which lend credence to the tenet of tough times fueling our inner innovator. This isn’t to say that all pursuits need rise from the ashes of adversity (though it certainly does feed into the stereotype of the angst-ridden artist, doesn’t it?), but rather is meant to drive home the point that every moment possesses a measure of the inopportune. So, why not embrace the notion of it being the imperfect time by pursuing an aspiration or two in the enticingly flawed present?


Sisterly love. Since time immemorial, it has been the ultimate usurper of self-interest and ego. That bothersome, burdensome, stubbornly unyielding familial glue that binds us to our female siblings with the tenacity of Super Glue, but with ten times the messy residue.

An Introduction

Hi there and welcome to Undertones, a humble little writing niche I am carving out in the big, wide blogosphere. My name is Jackie. I live in Calgary, Alberta but grew up on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I read voraciously, write obsessively, and explore the great outdoors frequently. I also possess an impressive, if not slightly off-putting, ability to out eat most folks at the dinner table. I love dogs to a fanatical degree and like to surround myself with creative and quality people, who I am fortunate enough to call my friends. This will be a forum for airing confessions, fostering creativity, sharing experiences, and indulging in humor. Overall, my hope is that it will be a gathering place for positivity and some entertaining reads. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy!