Self portraitWelcome to Carly Loves.

About the blog: This has been my online home since 2010. When I launched the site, I wanted a place where I could share my enthusiasm for all of the wonderful things around me. I think it’s easy to get caught up in negativity, and I was determined to do the opposite.

For a long time I wrote mostly about food, but earlier in 2013 I re-framed Carly Loves as a place where I can share personal essays and reflections on the things that matter to me most. So far these things have included family, love, and animals. I gravitate towards these topics because on a day-to-day basis they consume most of my thoughts. If a particular idea or problem keeps popping up in my brain, the best thing I can do is write everything down. Not only can I find solace in playing around with the words, I can connect with readers who may identify with my work. And that’s amazing.

About me: My name is Carly Pender. I am a busy, ridiculous girl with crazy red hair and a lot of books. I grew up in small-town Ontario but now I live in Calgary, Alberta, with my fiancé, Ian, and our French bulldog, Ruby.

By day I am a communications professional in Calgary’s vibrant non-profit sector. I arrived at this career after receiving a journalism degree in 2010, and today I love using my writing for research and advocacy purposes – that’s why I studied immigrant entrepreneurship in graduate school, and why I work for an immigrant-serving agency.

Athletics and food take up an awful lot of my mental landscape. I have been a long-distance runner for over a decade, and need to run almost every day to behave like a Normal Human. To fuel my workouts I eat a healthy vegan diet. I love to cook almost as much as I love to run.

My creative life is quieter. I love to paint, draw, and take photos but don’t have much time for those things these days. Writing, though, is my one non-negotiable artistic activity. Writing is what makes me feel like me, and that’s why I’m here typing away right now.