Hello! I’m so glad you’re here.


Hi! My name is Elena. I live in Bonn, Germany with my sweet economist husband, preschooler son and baby girl. I grew up in beautiful blue Nova Scotia (Canada), but of course didn’t realise how good I had it there and made a beeline for Toronto at 18! I finished a BFA in visual art from York University and spent the next four years tinkering around, making videos, glitter painting dance costumes, schlepping gorgeous flowers through the bowels of fancy hotels and getting to know some sparkling kids with autism. I married a ruddy cheeked, kind hearted german guy in 2009, and went back to school for an MSc in occupational therapy. On one level, it seemed like a big divergence – and writing papers, yeah, it felt that way! But it also felt so natural.

See, my biggest thrill is a beautiful idea – the kind that makes people come alive. I love art because it’s a trove of gorgeous ideas – providing perspective, connection, inspiration, understanding and joy. Art makes my heart dance!

But science is full of beautiful ideas, too. I studied rehabilitation science – the science of enabling and empowering people to do the things that are meaningful to them. And I assure you – even if, like me, you typically do not see yourself as “a science person”, this stuff is awesome. I love these words from filmmaker Bonnie Sherr-Klein (as in Naomi Klein’s mom!), who had a catastrophic stroke in her 40s:

“Art and rehabilitation have a great deal in common: both involve risk-taking and living with uncertainty; they ask us to be open-minded, to look for new pathways around obstacles, to paint outside the lines.” 1

A beautiful film or a striking psychological finding, they both whisper the stunning possibility of changing lives! And friends, that possibility is what I am so totally smitten with.


About This Blog

Elena’s Treehouse is a joyful little place where art and science meet and mingle. It’s my spot for creating and collecting gorgeous ideas on authentic happiness, living well and thriving.
And of course, it’s a place for working out my messy, ridiculous, beautiful trip too. I am so excited that you are here and I hope you find something that makes your life a little more delightful.

I’d be so, so stoked to hear from you! You can email me at: elenastreehouse (at) gmail (dot) com

Can I use your _____?
Unless otherwise noted, all content (words and images) is created by me! Please be sure to credit and link back if you’d like to repost something. And drop me a line! I’d love that. ☺

Can I trust what you’re telling me?
Sometimes my posts are purely reflective, based on my own experience or that of other interesting people, and that should be clear. However, when ideas are based on empirical evidence I will cite or link to sources and do my best to ensure that they are trustworthy.


  1. Townsend, E., Stanton, S., Law, M., Polatajko, H., Baptiste, S., Thompson-Franson, T., Kramer, C., Swedlove, F., Brintnell, S., & Companile, L. (2002). Enabling occupation: An occupational therapy perspective (Rev. ed.). Ottawa, ON.