about me

I am a transplanted American (New Yorker!) now living in Toronto (after living in small-town Ontario and Montreal before that) with my husband, toddler, and dog. In my undergraduate degree at Loyola University in Maryland, I studied writing, political science, classics and Asian studies. In 2010 I completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Concordia University in Montreal. However, I am beginning to think I just went to school because I just really like to learn (and I fear I might go back).

My husband and I opened our own jewellery store called Allison | Brown when we first moved to Toronto, but we closed the store after adding a wee one to our family! As a result, I am in such a different place than where I was when I started writing the self-styled life. I’m now a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom and while it’s challenging, I’m really loving it! With all of these changes, I’ve learned that there’s no endpoint to the process of being happy and living a great life–I will always have things to talk about here!

*  *  *

If you’re new here, check out the post that started it all, or some of my favourites:

The Freshly Pressed Post: Procrastination, Productivity… Progress?

The Ideal Self

Interview with my Mom Part 1 and Part 2

The Adult Gap Year: Sabbatical

Throwing the Yogurt (on feeling overwhelmed)


If you have any comments or questions, email me: theselfstyledlife@gmail.com


20 responses to “about me

  1. Hi there! I’m Sue, and I’m from SlimKicker, a fitness/diet app and website. I saw your blog yesterday and it captured my interest!

    I was wondering if we can do a giveaway for your blog readers?

    Our website basically turns people’s fitness/diet goals into a level up game with challenges such as quitting soda for a week. We’re looking for new challenge ideas, so was thinking of holding a contest where your readers leave a comment on a health challenge idea + sign up on our site

    We’ll pick our favorite challenge idea, use it on our site, and give the winner either a free digital health scale, slow cooker, or digital heart monitor. We’ve done many giveaways for bloggers in the past – you can google ‘SlimKicker giveaway’ to see. I also encourage you to sign up for our site to see what we’re about too 🙂

    Let me know if you’re interested! You can email me back at sue.zheng (at) slimkicker (dot) com.


  2. Welcome to my home and native land! But….can you sing O Canada en francais yet? I taught at Concordia in 1988 and left Montreal that year to follow an American man to NH then to NY where I’ve been living since 1989, but I grew up in Toronto and am Canadian.

    If you’re working retail, you might enjoy my new book about what it was like for me (albeit in a totally different environment)…


    • Thanks for checking out my blog! We sound like reverse twins or something! I will definitely be reading your book, especially since we are in the process of opening our own store…

  3. You are a breath of fresh air! I love your blog. I am currently starting my own…it’s process, but one I am diligently thriving on. Thank you for all the wonderful insight!

    • Hi, Piers! Thank you for reading my post. I am sorry if I am inadvertently perpetuating a myth! Thanks for sharing your work-it’s very interesting. Perhaps I’m not a true perfectionist, or procrastinator, for that matter, but I am always trying to improve upon what I feel gets in the way of my personal progress. I appreciate your professional contribution to the discussion!

  4. I love reading your posts. You are so candid and straightforward about your life. I hope to write the same way one day. Keep up the great work! I hope you like it here in Canada!

    All the best

  5. Wanted to let you know that I think your blog is a great and enjoy reading your articles.
    I also wanted to invite you to tweet about your blog for free with my website BlogBuzzer.com


    • Yeah, there’s just so much to learn, how can we not be tempted to explore more! Thanks for reading–your blog looks like a lot of fun, too! (I’m recently-ish married–will be 2 years in July–so I can relate to that!)

  6. I like this. Congratulations on achieving your “Freshly Pressed” status, especially since you are two months into this. I enjoyed your book review on Jane Eyre and the Generation Y commentary. Keep writing.

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