dinner party

Posted on Wednesday, 29 April 2015

I am so lucky to have amazing girlfriends in my life. A community of creative dreamers who support each other is such a gift. The idea for a community and conversation driven dinner party has been in my mind for a while, wanting to go back to cultural roots of ceremony, gatherings and living a simpler life fuelled by a collective. The idea was ever more present on a recent trip to LA, where Emily and I found ourselves at photographer Sarah Shreves' beyond beautiful downtown LA loft where she told us about her own trait table dinner she was hosting.

That day we decided to host our own when we came back to Toronto and continue it monthly. We chose a theme (Mexicana because we love tacos!) and wrote out a series of words that would be conversation starters for the evening. Inviting friends that inspire and ignite our souls we brought together a diverse group of incredible women to spend the evening with. Everyone gathered around the living room floor in Emily's eclectic and charming house in the Junction and her decor couldn't be better suited for our theme. Each of us picked a word and beautiful discussion of each topic was had. Everyone had their own idea of what the word meant to them, stories were shared and intimate details revealed as each of us trusted our community and really embraced the authenticity of the moment and the connection we had to everyone in the room. It was a truly magical experience to learn so much about everyone in such an honest and fun way! Having these nights are so important and rewarding and I cannot wait until the next one!

wedding wear

Posted on Monday, 27 April 2015

My hair is having a bit of an identity crisis right now, a trip to the salon is much needed. But it doesn't matter because how pretty is this bright and fun lilac dress! I have several weddings coming up and I am opting to wear fun colours. Black dresses are easy but after this long winter I am craving some colour. I actually love going to weddings. I use to work at a ton of weddings when I worked for a banquet hall in Toronto and no matter how many I witnessed there was always something magical about them. The tradition is still alive, the romantic devotion to spending your life with someone, I see it as a way to expand with someone, create something new together and have someone there when your soul needs healing. Call me a hopeless romantic but there is still and always something so ethereal about it all. 

earth day

Posted on Thursday, 23 April 2015

The earth is on my mind all the time, and especially present today on Earth Day. It's amazing to have a day to celebrate our earth but we should try to incorporate it every day. The earth is our home and what sustains us, being kind to our planet is being kind to ourselves. Everything is connected and every action we take (or do not take) comes back to us, affects us. Even the way we think has a force. 

I have been volunteering with a great environmental group in Toronto called Toronto350. We had a block party a week ago to block energy east. We had drummers, our own edible pipeline, a craft table, music and an incredibly inspiring group of people who believe we can change things, we can set things right again for our planet. The block party was a huge success as MP Adam Vaughan came out to speak and answer questions (we were stationed in front of his office). The best thing I got from his talk was the idea that everyone needs to work together and cut down consumption for us to start seeing a difference. We can still fight to stop the pipeline and the injustices against our rights, that is very important, but we also need to take a stand individually - right now- by decreasing our carbon footprint. Here are some ways I have found to decrease mine, as I continue to look for ways. 

Products // The simple act at looking at your current daily products and finding ways to eliminate the need for harmful wastes. 

Bamboo Toothbrush: I have switched over to using bamboo toothbrushes. They do the same thing as standard ones but they don't add more unnecessary plastic into our landfills. To properly dispose of them you can upcycle them by using them as seedling markers in your plants, or you can remove the bristles and place the bristles in recycling and then place the handle into compost -  which will compost in 6 months! 

Tote Bags: Another product that is amazing to use is canvas tote bags for shopping. The less we can take home plastic bags the better. Fieldguided makes some really cute ones that you will want to just wear everyday. 

Beauty Products: This is something that I have wanted to experiment with, the creation of my own makeup. Until then I have cut down my consumption by wearing less and incorporating healthier options for my skin. I love argan oil and coconut oil as moisturizers and all of the burts bees products are amazing! I recommend checking out Wellness Mama, she has some amazing beauty recipes on her site. 

Energy // Living in a Victorian house built in 1884 is amazing but comes with many energy issues like heat! This has been a challenge for us but we have tried to do simple things like only turn on lights when its absolutely necessary and unplugging items when they are not in use. Another great idea I found recently on the free people blog was to add a weight to the back of your toilet. This makes it into a low flush toilet and decreases the amount of water. 

Food // In the past year I have changed my diet to mostly be vegetarian. I only eat meat if it is locally sourced, humanely raised and organic. For someone on a tight budget it can be difficult to eat non factory farmed meat, but it is so essential and worth it. Factory farming accounts for 37%, 20 times the global warming potential of CO2 (more facts on dosomething.org). Not to mention the life and wellbeing of the animal. The stress on the animal, in my opinion, affects every cell in the animal and gets transferred to the person eating the animal. We are connected is so many ways that we cannot see. Along with decreasing meat consumption I travel to my local market every other day. I only purchase food items I know I will eat in two days, eliminating waste and food that just goes bad in the fridge. If you have a local market you can walk to then getting fresh food everyday will improve your health, add to the local economy and save you money on purchasing food that you don't end up using. 

There is an abundance of ideas that we can incorporate in our everyday lives. It is all about being conscious of our actions and how those actions have an effect. With a little bit of extra planning and routine you can start to easily incorporate these ideas into your life. 


into the woods

Posted on Saturday, 18 April 2015

My roommate Andrea is a wise woman. She is the first person I call if something is going on and I need help or guidance or you know if we are out of chocolate ha! She taught me something so essential this week, you need to take a day off at least once a week for yourself. My days off were usually spent kinda doing things for myself and kinda working on my passion projects. I love my creative work, it never feels like work but I realized I was going to burn myself if I never took a day to just do something for me. As I've been experiencing so much anxiety and fear with this massive creative project I have I needed a day to just breathe.

Side note: I have been using the flower remedy daily as instructed and I have been able to feel the effects of it, its a slow progress, it doesn't really hit you and BAM you are healed, it comes in delicately. But yes my confidence has gone up, my fears gone done and my outlook of "just keep going and do it for the love of it" steadily increases.

We escaped to the country, stopping along the way to explore, exploring an abandoned house (there may have been a squatter still there upstairs) and explore nature with no agenda and no need for validation. I turned off my phone for the day and I know we all know this but moments are so much richer and connected when we aren't "connected." Just having your phone on you are subconsciously waiting for it to go off, waiting for something new to stimulate you. It was amazing to digitally and physically disconnect, exactly what I needed to refuel my creativity.

Crop top from garage clothing (for $8!!) and overalls from hollister.

setting intentions for the april full moon

Posted on Saturday, 4 April 2015

The full moon is always a good time to do a little check in with yourself. With that extra boost of lunar energy you can get yourself back on track, even if it just serves as a reminder and grounds you in the present moment. With the added lunar eclipse it is a time to find new and vibrant goals, not to reaffirm old ones that are not serving us. The pull of the past can be strong during an eclipse so we must be extra aware of that inner voice, it is a time to respond to situations differently finding a new path (from Sarah Varcas).  The problem arises from not exactly knowing where we are headed coupled with a sense of "I need to get there now!" This full moon is all about stopping, waiting and listening. For a full moon ritual I like to burn some sage, light some candles, listen to soft music, meditate and write a list of new intentions.

With all this uncertainty in the air I have been feeling that anxiety of not knowing the next step, a block in my creative space. In asking for guidance I was drawn to stop by The Health Hut today, a lovely shop on Harbord st. What is interesting is that I was already on my way there to pick up some flyers at UofT and couldn't initially find the shop until my drive home. When I did find the shop the owner had just arrived and just opened the store as she was running late. If I would have arrived there when I intended I would have thought it was closed for the Easter weekend, clearly I was meant to go in today and purchase the flower remedy by Alexis Smart that I have heard so much about. I initially wanted to try "wholehearted" but settled on "Ganesh" a part of the "Confidence" formulas. The owner of the shop was explaining that the formulas work best when they are addressing the specific need of the time. When I read "fear of failure, untapped potential and creative block" I had a sense that this one was right for me at the time. I am excited to try it out and will write about my progress and anything I notice in the next month.

Have a great Easter weekend, enjoy the nicer weather and set some new goals and intentions for the month!

spring days

Posted on Wednesday, 1 April 2015

This pretty bird came to visit me in Toronto, and whenever she does I always want to snap some photos of her, because look at her! And her outfits are always on point. Allan Gardens was our tropical escape today as we tried to hide out from the cold and remind ourselves what it's like to soak up the warm weather; we were sweating the whole time, it was glorious. Genevieve also had the best idea to pretend we were sunbathing in my super bright kitchen in preparation for our camping days ahead. I think we should maybe prepare how to construct a tent and start a fire, you know essential survival things. I have never really roughed it in the woods, maybe this is the year that I do that...yes this is the year.