Thanks for dropping by.

My name is Elissa. Mom gave me my middle name⁠—Joy⁠—and taught me to use my words. Now I pay the bills doing so. Yep. No more corporate dress code. Most days, I wear slippers for a living. Didn’t see it coming but I’ll take it. Thanks, mom.

I am a writer.

After my stint in corporate communication, I (somewhat accidentally) settled into life as a freelance writer. (Fun story for another time.)

I now spend my days as the managing editor for Simplify Magazine, working with this guy and this guy. I also pair my fleeting thoughts with pictures. A memoir is in the works.

I am a perpetual optimist.

Let’s also add daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, and dreamer to the list. I’ll be a pupil until I’m in the grave. I have so much to learn.


I take things slowly.

My passion for simple living came into focus over a six-month period. I packed up my comfortable life and moved from Vancouver to Scotland with my husband and baby boy in 2011.

Almost immediately, my identity as a physically fit city-dwelling corporate professional dissolved. I was no longer the overachieving in-the-know community builder. I was a stranger, roughly 60 pounds overweight, clothed in discomfort and postpartum depression.

And then one morning, I suffered an unexpected seizure and woke up face down in our foyer.

Life came to a screeching halt. I was forced to take everything slowly. I went inward, reevaluated my life on every front, and focused on the bare essentials. 

“I used to wanna be important. Now I just want to be alive and without fear.” – David Le’aupepe

Five years in Scotland taught me to get my priorities straight, abandon busyness, and lean into simplicity, not out of desire, but out of necessity. It was hell. And then it was so, so sweet. Life on that jagged coastline transformed me.

Life in North America is…another story. Smartphones are a thing. Inconvenience is not. Simplicity requires tenacity here. The routine looks different on Canadian soil but my goal is the same: an uncluttered life rich with slow-motion possibilities and purpose.

I am a noticer.

I have a reputation for paying close attention to life. I’m head over heels for the world we share. It is unpredictable and broken and yet full of beauty.

Lipstick. Butter. Handmade slippers. Dry Shampoo. Gin. Opera. Mind-blowing Indian cuisine. I try not to blink. Life is the sum of little things and if we pay attention we can experience tremendous joy in the ordinary.

I am on the mend.

Epilepsy and I have been a pair since 2003. It was casual in the beginning but things are more serious now.

My midlife crisis dropped by early. I was 24. Now I exhale vulnerability and welcome tears. People tell me saltwater is my superpower.

My journey so far has taught me a few things.

Truth heals.

Mercy wins.

Sincerity is paramount.

Perfection is oppressive.

People must come first.

Unwarranted kindness is always the best way.

Emails sown to strangers reap a harvest of wild stories.

Love Gin comes to life with a slice of grapefruit.


Writing is therapy.

Whether it’s work or play, I love what I do. Enjoy my rambling thoughts. Thanks for lending your attention. Please don’t send an invoice.