Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mixtape: FM Radio

There's big stuff going down on the homefront, but first, a mixtape for you.

My mixtape form a few weeks ago, Sunny Bike Ride, was called "the best hits of AM radio" by my boyfriend. Yes, I guess my taste tends to skew a little vintage. So I decided to do a followup mixtape, inspired by some of my favourite hits from FM radio.

I had to cut so many songs to get this little set, because I just wanted to include everything from the past 15 years. My goal was a mix of songs that you already know all the lyrics to, and are just rarin' for radio singalongs. It harkens back to the glory years of pop and hip hop, the late 90s/early 00s. Even when I'm trying to be modern I'm not, I guess.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DIY Nails: Let's Get Geometric

I've just discovered something quite wonderful. Maybe I'm a bit behind the curve, so forgive me if you've seen this before. While everyone online is going nuts over newsprint nails (which, admittedly, are pretty awesome), I've just discovered tape.

These are a few days old, so don't mind my crappy cuticles.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How do you love?

You know me—navel-gazing as always, seeking out some clarity on life matters. Last night, my BFF Gillian tipped me off to a neat concept, the Five Love Languages. The website is a supplement to books being hawked by Dr. Gary Chapman, the primary one being The 5 Love Languages, but there are a few catering to different relationships (parents and teens, marriage, children, etc.) Yes, it's a little Chicken Soup for the Soul-y, but the free quiz is well worth checking out.

You answer a few questions and it ranks how best you experience love in five categories. Roughly, those are:
Words of Affirmation: you need to hear, verbally, how much people love you.
Quality Time: you like to spend uninterrupted bonding time with your loved ones.
Receiving Gifts: you enjoy the thoughtful effort behind choosing something that suits you well, and love cherishing gifts from others.
Acts of Service: you love when your loved ones make life easier for you, such as washing the dishes without being asked or running an errand for you.
Physical Touch: you love physical intimacy with your loved ones, like hugs, a thoughtful touch on the arm or holding hands.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

On Penelope Trunk and challenging your notions

Are you reading Penenlope Trunk's blog?
Do you care about your career/life/passion?
Then you should be reading Penelope Trunk.

Lately, I've grown more and more interested in creating a meaningful life. I think Laura's been feeling similarly, and the posts around here have been reflecting that. The past few years I've been, quite honestly, lazy—I've been working in a comfortable job that's creatively unfulfilling, and I hadn't been giving myself the alone time or creative outlets that I need to feel satisfied. How do I know that? Because I drink, smoke, eat and laze around too much, and my nerves still feel on edge. I've been taking steps to rectify that, but it's scary to start creating a life that looks different, because when you've been told, "do a, b and c and you'll be fine", and then you're not, you're left without a road map.

Gen Y likes road maps. I know this because of Penelope Trunk. I know lots of things because of Penelope Trunk, like how Gen Z will change education, or the 4 big lies about social media, or how to write a stellar resume. She's who first encouraged me to take a Myers-Briggs test (INTJ, btw). Hands down, she gives the best career advice on the web. I'd go so far as to say life advice, but the only thing that hold me back is how shockingly, brutally, earnestly open she is with her often messy life. But that is so inspiring.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Life is Cool

the view we normally see

About a month ago my parents noticed a robin building a nest on the inner section of their porch—the only time this has happened in their 25 years living there. I visit the house fairly often, I work right near by, and the presence of this robin and its family has transformed the mood in the house.

Until the robins came, my parents house was a pretty typical situation. They are emptynesters, with a 20-year-old son living with them for the summer; they are plagued by difficult, stressful jobs, aging parents, and a 24-year-old daughter who steals all their canned goods and towels.

The robins have brought a sense of calm and reflection to the house. This may seem totally silly, but watching the progression of their upbringing has, to my parents, mirrored their own lives in this house. The two parent robins took turns sitting on the eggs, protecting them—three eggs, we think—and warding off the city's predators. During this time, every time someone would walk onto the porch, the dad robin would freak out and flap around, thinking that we were going to cause them harm.

home sweet home

About two weeks ago, the babies were born, and since then we have all been actively watching as they grow. They look gross, as the pictures show, they have some feathers but are mostly weak little wrinkled things that make the saddest chirping sound you could imagine.

We watch them, we worry for their safety, and we haven't seen the mom since they were born. The dad takes care of them full time, bringing them chewed up worms, and the only time we see them is when they are chirping for food.

They're making us all reflect on how quickly time moves, how soon they'll be able to fly, the nest will be abandoned, and life will go on. But for now this family, which is now all adults and has passed the time of parental dependency, will keep watching the robins grow.

even the cats are watching

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On the First 8 Minutes of True Blood Season 4

True Blood is batshit bonkers, guys. I know everyone watched it back in season one when it was actually good, but have you kept watching it? Did you stop after the fifth black-eyed orgy in season two? What about when Bill turned his vamp fuck-buddy's head the wrong way around mid-coitus? And then Jason started dating a werepanther and was, at the end of last season, given the mayorship of Meth-Werepantherville? Or when Sookie found out she was a fairy? Have you kept watching just because of Eric's undeniable babeliness?

I simultaneously love and loathe True Blood, because it's one of the more unpredictable shows on TV. You really don't know where the series is going at any given moment, because it's made a sport of shark jumping. Every time you think it's reached a new low, there it goes, making you WTF louder and laugh harder than anything else being made right now. In the beginning, it held promise as holding up a darkly distorted mirror to society—I really liked the parallels drawn between gay rights and vampire rights—but somewhere along the way, Alan Ball done lost his damn mind, and he's embraced the crazy wholeheartedly.

The first eight minutes of season four make that perfectly clear.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On Breaking In Your Summer Feet

Summer sure has a lot going for it. Sunshine warmth, ice cold treats, good strong fans, swimming and beaches, parks and picnics. But there's just no way around it: summer fucking blows for feet. Strappy sandals with no arch support, cute little flats worn without socks, pieces of foam tethered only by a toe thong – these are the enemy.

It's only the first official day of summer, and already my feet look like they've had a particularly vicious case of chicken pox. Blisters, bruises and spots rubbed raw and red, crisscrossed with peeling Band-Aids and graying spots from previous plasters. Yeah, I know it's gross, but it's TRUE and you probably have feet that look similarly attacked by wild dogs. No pedicure is going to save these babies – in fact, it'll probably make them worse, buffing off the callouses I've already earned and garishly drawing attention to these gnarly tootsies with colourful polish.

Breaking in your summer feet is a ritual for most women, but it's a despicable one. Not only are you trying to soften the leather/canvas/plastic of your shoes, you're trying to develop rub-resistant spots that won't leave you walking gingerly on the regular. I am currently in the midst of trying to break in at least 20 pairs of shoes, and have maybe one pair that consistently doesn't hurt (and that's assuming a previous pair hasn't left my feet particularly vulnerable).

These are the things that help me cope with the pain.

The big ones that the backs of your heels are begging for. Because every strap or heel, in any material, is going to hug that spot and slip up and down, causing a painful red welt. Don't even bother buying the cheap drug store imitation brand, Band-Aid is best (and they make you pay for it too, with 10 strips costing roughly $7, ouch).

My favourites are the Extra Large Tough-Strips because I find the fabric lasts better than plastic and pads your blisters well, but they come in a duct-tape-like waterproof version too (I remember these leaving behind lots of grey gunk though). I carry a fistful of these bad boys with me everywhere I go, because I get heel blisters so regularly and so painfully that I pretty much just stop walking after a certain point. Like, "nope, no further, guess we're eating dinner at this convenience store" done. Carry around a few regular sized Band-Aids too – they're good for the little spots rubbing in other places, and you can blast through them a lot faster without guilt. Know that if I am chilling with you, and your feet start hurting and I give you a Big Band-Aid, I truly madly deeply love you.

Salt, Water and a Bucket/Big Bowl
You should be washing your feet daily now, because they get a gross buildup of city grime and sweat, and you probably don't want those dirty dogs in your bed. But after a particularly painful day, I follow up my soap routine by soaking my feet in a big bowl of warm water and a few tablespoons of salt. This helps clean any raw spots on your feet and helps them heal faster, I think. I don't actually know. It makes me feel better by doing it, and I think decreases the swelling, so I'm fine with it. Epsom salts probably work better, and if you're not too tender, you could even use a sea salt or sugar scrub. I put my bowl in the tub and then fill it, so I don't have to fill the whole tub and I can rinse off easily. Bring along a towel, a magazine and a cold beer, and just rest for 5–10 minutes. Insta-therapy. You will feel human again. You're welcome.

I hate these shoes. I hate the sound they make, I hate their nasty foam soles, I hate how dumpy they make your legs look, and I hate the way I walk like Popeye in them. I just hate them. But you should have a pair. You WILL have a day when every part of your foot hurts, and you will want as little as possible touching them. Just wear the flipflops, and hopefully by the next day you'll be able to put on some big girl shoes. I have a pair of leather ones I bought during an emergency (see above), but I think you can get a pair at Old Navy for like, $1. If you have a blisters in between your big and index(?) toes, well, good luck to you, and maybe you should put your feet up and just stay home instead?

Hopefully my hard-won tips help you, as they have helped me. It's time consuming, but worth it unless you're one of those ultra cool girls who can make Converse sneakers work with any outfit. After a weekend in the above flipflops, I caved and finally ordered a pair of Worishofers. They're those trendy German orthopedic sandals popularized by grannies and aspiring grannies Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I shouldn't really be buying a new pair of shoes right now, but I realized that by mid-July, I'll probably have spent that amount on Band-Aids anyway.
Do you have any summer feet tips? Any recommendations on how to wear in shoes faster (especially leather)? A pair of shoes that is always comfortable? Please, share your wisdom with me.

Edited to add: I bought these shoes through US Amazon yesterday at 1 pm.
They shipped from Kentucky at 7:30 pm.
They went out for delivery this morning at 8:30 am, so I should be receiving them today.
UPS, you're a godsend.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hair Plans

Growing out bangs in the summer is a hard thing to do, and I'm getting bored of the styles I've got, which is why I perked up at the sight of this post by the beige. Headscarves! They are always there, always forgotten, but perfect for the hot weather. Keep your hair off your face! Wear them with earrings and look instantly chic! Pair with big sunglasses and pretend to be a celebrity with your venti Starbucks iced coffee (or not, that last one was purely delirious Laura)! You don't have to look like Nicole Richie.

You can look like this!

the biege

Or this!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mixtape: Sunny Bike Ride

It's an all new music mix, fresh off the presses for you cool cats and kittens.

My idea when making this one was that feeling you've got on a warm sunny bike ride, a car ride to the beach or walking to meet your friends in the park. A general sense of good weather, sunshine and anticipation, if you will. And damned if this isn't one of my favourite mixtapes ever assembled, a collection of some of the best songs my ears have ever laid lobe too. Perennial faves, standouts that remind me of a specific era (70s Music Explosion, hollah!), and a couple that routinely make my heart leap (Born to Run, I'm looking at you).

1. Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out) – The Hombres
2. Oogum Boogum – Brenton Wood
3. Two of Us – The Beatles
4. Brand New Key – Melanie
5. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
6. Carey – Joni Mitchell
7. Summer Breeze – Seals & Croft
8. My Baby and Me – The Kodaks
9. Jack the Ripper – Link Wray
10. How's Your New Love Treating You – Debonaires
11. Sweet Thing – Van Morrison
12. Frankie & Johnnie – Les Paul & Mary Ford
13. Look at Your Game Girl – Charles Manson

Download it, upload it to your music device of choice (let's be real, your iPod), and take it out on some sunshine adventures, why dontcha.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


By the time you read this I will be on a Greyhound bus to Detroit, my second favourite North American city. Dan and I are taking a much needed vacation away from school, work, and soon-to-be moving woes to visit his friends and fam, see some great shows, watch a baseball game, drink big slurpees, eat at diners, and do some thrift store shopping. What I am excited for the most, though is THIS.

Detroiters, from what I understand, will put anything on a hotdog, but the coney is my favourite kind. YUM.

Here are some other pics that have inspired my travellers imagination.

messy hair
short shorts and sheer blouses

blonde hair, laid back, big boobs

platform laceup boots

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

For Your Pennies' Consideration

I love feeling inspired by the work I see my friends doing. I feel surge of pride when I read their names printed magazines they've contributed to or come up in the credits after TV shows or films they've worked long hours on. There's really nothing like it, and it makes me want to help out in any way I can. Luckily, having this little corner of the internet makes it easier to feature our friends' creations.

A generally awesome guy I know, Evan DeRushie, is trying to fund his stop-motion animated short film, The Fox and the Chickadee. It looks like a pretty sweet concept from the promo video he's created, and I've loved Evan's earlier work, including this cool little music video he directed for The Jessica Stuart Few. I'd say he animated the whole thing too, but he got more than 80 people to draw each frame, giving it this vibrant, energetic look. Check it out:

The Fox and the Chickadee is already partially funded by the National Film Board of Canada and has a crew of animators on board to make it move, but he's trying to raise the money to craft the beautifully detailed sets and puppets. There are lots of cool extras up for grabs when you donate, so you get something more than pure warm and fuzzies out of the deal (I signed up for a DVD of the finished product, complete with making-of features).

I know in the past, I've loved contributing to independents I haven't known working on new and exciting projects. I just wanted to share this one with you because a) I think it'll be totally awesome, b) I selfishly like my pride to feel justified, and c) I'd like to help Evan out (I am stealing his roommate – it's the least I can do).

For more details, please check out his IndieGoGo page!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Hard Truth

Can any of you relate to this article? I think all of you can, whether you are still in school or working in the industry that you want to be in. Continuing with the theme we have going on, which is all about advice on living the life you want to live, this article talks about how we have been ill prepared for the task of starting off in the real world. It's not playing the blame game, though, which I am not interested in. It is saying that the mantras we have learned, the importance placed on picking a dream job or career or occupation before we know what it entails, is faulty.

Brooks argues that the whole idea of finding yourself and realizing a career path afterwards should be, and often is for successful and happy people, the other way around. This doesn't mean settling for a job that we aren't interested in, it means that many external factors are going to effect our lives and take us in different directions—looking inwards only is going a disservice. Individual gen Yers feels like we are at the centre of the world, Brook explains, because that's what we've been taught. But this will only bring us further away from the qualities we admire in others.

I know that this is not an easy article to agree with whole heartedly, but it really spoke to me. What do you guys think? Are we too self-centred or is this a bleak view of the future?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dear End of June

Get here sooner. Look, I know it's only the 13th and we still have to tango for another 17.5 days, but I have shit to do, and the sooner June is done, the sooner it can start happening.

What kinds of things, you ask? Well, for one, my boyfriend is moving in with me. It's something I'm really excited about, but also something that makes me tired when I think about it too much. I'm tired of everyone warning me how "things will change" and worrying about how they actually will change, and I'm tired of feeling exhausted by the prospect of reorganizing all our stuff, but most of all, I'm tired of packing a fucking bag every night. You wouldn't know anything about that, June, because you show up, you set up shop for the most temperate month of the year, and then you hibernate for another 11 months. Having your life be in two separate places simultaneously blows, and I've spent too many hours over a year and a half making it work.

Two, I'd really like to start this thing called a routine. This goes hand in hand with the whole two homes lifestyle I've been living over the past year. I'd like to start waking up in the same place at the same time everyday, and having fresh groceries in the house, and doing those exercises my physiotherapist showed me but I always forget to do. I'd like to become an adult, please, and I feel like a regular schedule is the key to adulthood. My wallet will be fatter, my body will be thinner, and my teeth will be way healthier from all the flossing I'm going to unleash. Who knows, maybe by mid-August I'll realize that isn't true and being an adult is all about your mindset or actually sticking to a budget, but whatever, that's August's problem.

Three, I'd like to get a dog. This isn't going to happen until I'm closer to mastering Two, and that isn't going to happen until I get more practice. So fucking chop to it, for Future Fido's sake.

Four, I'd really like to start implementing all of the way cool decorating ideas I have. I feel like I've fine-tuned my current bedroom to near perfection, and although I'm going to miss it after you're through, June, I need a new challenge. I need to mess some shit up and spend a few days sanding and painting walls, hanging pictures and buying houseplants, arranging bookshelves and conferring over what sofa placement best suits the living room's flow. I basically want to live in a cocoon for all of July and emerge with a beautiful butterfly of a house. It's going to be so rad, June, and although it makes me sad you won't get to see it until next year, you just need to back the fuck away so it can happen.

So while I love my currently living situation and I'm looking forward to enjoying my friends' birthdays and other plans, you have the sad fact of being the home stretch, June, so I don't get to appreciate our time together. This month, for me, is characterized by impatience and excitement and anxiety. The sooner I start living my future, the sooner those things won't be such pressing issues and I can start working on actual issues, like what I'm going to be when I grow up and how to find time to better myself and my relationships with those I love. I feel my attention is divided and I need this looming change to be through so I can focus and WORK. So enough, June. Kindly fuck off and let's get July in to clean house.

Love you, hope the rest of the month's great, and I'll see you next year!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Shamless promotion

Today's just a plug, I'm afraid, but I promise it's a good one. For a few months now I've been working for Sweet Paul Magazine, which has great recipes, DIY advice, and awesome decorating ideas—all on the cheap! Amanda turned me on to this magazine back in the winter, and I cannot get enough! 

the cover

two of my favourite pages
I love copy editing recipes, and testing them out makes me feel like I'm doing my job better! I can tell you now that I've already made a few of them, which I can share with you now! Check out page 33 for the Rhubarb Strussel Cupcake, page 66 for the Roasted Tomato and Curry Soup, page 76 for the Potato Salad with Honey Mustard, and page 132 for the Raspberry Tarts with Mascarpone Cream. They are all super easy! If I can make them then you can.

The mag is only online, which makes it free and really easy to share. Congratulations to everyone involved, and I'm excited to start on the fall issue soon!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Living a Creative Life

I was lucky enough to have my dad send me this article this morning, a perfectly timed reminder and road map on a day when I'm feeling less than inspired. It's a transcript of the commencement address given by J.C. Herz at Ringling College in Sarasota, Florida, and it sums up the keys to a creative life.

It's funny, given how superfluous it appears, that it can be physically difficult to be a creative person. That it can be an ache that lurks in your bones and a gnawing in the pit of your stomach. That you're reminded of it at inconvenient times, like when you're trying to fall asleep at night. That you scribble down a personal shorthand of furtive ideas—or worse, when you don't catch them at all, and you're left grasping the tip of your tongue for that lost stroke of genius. Being creative can be a joyous, powerful experience if you've made peace with yourself, but it can be a harrowing one when you're just learning the ropes.

I think this is probably the hardest period in our lives, these 20-something years when we're merging our professional lives with our passionate ones. Where once we had boundless time and enthusiasm, we're now left with the inbetweens of 9–5s, the endless nagging of self-doubts, the paying back of student loans and a moving target of what constitutes a career path. A time when we have the taste but not the talent. And if, like me, you don't exactly know what you want to be when you grow up, that's paired with anxiety about how to find some direction, any direction. It's a tough time we weren't entirely prepared for, and finding traction when there are so many variables can feel a bit daunting.

Sometimes you need a wake-up call, a reminder to pay attention to the life you're snooze buttoning through, and start shaping a life that looks closer to your ideal.

Which is why I found Herz's advice so powerful and moving. It's not a commencement address urging grads to 'follow their dreams and the money will come', nor is it congratulating them on acquiring their hard-won diplomas. It's a guidebook and a warning: now comes the hard part. It's easy to lose your way. It's easy to become complacent. Don't.

Don't get lost biding your time, waiting for the 'right' project to come along. Don't get lost down the abyss of Facebook/Youtube/Google Reader/insert your own internet drug of choice. Don't be pacified. Don't be stagnant. Be healthy. Be able to unstick. Be busy and have side projects. Be kind to yourself. Be daring.

This is the hardest thing in the world to do, because it's the opposite of what we've been trained to do, what's demanded of us. We're encouraged to dull our impulses by acquiring things. We 'like' when we should go for what hurts. We take the path of least resistance rather than forging new paths, finding new roads, challenging ourselves and facing our fears. It's the opposite of our survival instincts, but it's the only way we'll be able to contribute the things inside us that are begging, just longing to come out and shake things up.

So please, if anything I've said has rung true, even a little bit, read the commencement. I promise you, it will be the best 15 minutes you've spent all day. Herz is far more elegant than I've managed to be here, and I truly believe her advice should be printed on the back of every arts and humanities diploma.

Good luck, and be brave out there.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kell convert

Kelly "If you have to cry go outside" Cutrone. She's nuts, but I've got serious respect.
via inc
Kelly Cutrone is a crazy-ass bitch, but in the best possible way. Sure, she never wears makeup, has a bad temper, and believes that "dancing everyday is gift to God," but she is also pretty cool. I first heard of Cutrone when I watched The City, that awful reality show on MTV about Lauren Conrad living in New York. Conrad interned at People's Revolution, the company that Kelly basically built from the ground up, and instantly stood out as totally telling it like it is. Since then she has only attracted more limelight. She has released two books and has a reality TV show of her own, Kell on Earth, which I have been watching religiously for the past two days. My friend Catherine has her books, which I've been reading as well, so I've kind of been immersed in this bizarro world of fashion PR. The embedding for the videos has been disabled (what else is new), but you can find the first part of the first episode here, and that will take you to the rest. I highly recommend watching this show for several reasons.

1. You think your job is hard? Just imagine working in this office, and getting put down every goddamn day of your life. Also, communal working table with the boss? You can't pick your nose, you can't take mini zone-out breaks... No wonder everyone look so miserable.

2. If you ever feel bad about yourself or incompetent (which, let's be real, we all do sometimes) you will love seeing the interns on this show standing around looking like idiots. It's not even the interns though! Watching Cutrone's assistant Andrew trying to figure out what to do when the printer is out of ink makes me feel like the smart (but also most judgmental) person in the world.

3. Do you feel like you have no time for anything except work? These people work from whenever in the morning until late at night. They are in that office all. the. time. The young ones always complain about getting like three hours of sleep because they had to organize the seating chart for a runway show (which I am not saying is easy, just really, really sad). Sometimes the staffers talk about their lives outside of work, and they go home to their immaculate, empty apartments that they spend no time in. It seems that Cutrone is the only one who spends time at home, but that's because she lives above the office. Everyone is constantly stressed out. Sometimes I am like "They are going to all give themselves ulcers, and for what.!" It's all in the name of fashion, folks (which is cool but not important enough to risk your health for).

I'd never want to work for her, but I'm glad there are women like this out there. Here is a light, happy, cute vid of her and her giant wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Five Non-Essential Essentials I Need to Remain a Functioning Human

1. Coffee
I debated even putting it on the list because coffee's like water, you know? Brown water with wonderful, nourishing caffeine particles lighting up my brain pathways so I can string sentences together. This is what I'm paid to do and in a big way, helps me survive, so it's pretty essential. A grande caramel americano with a splash of soy milk for when it's cold, and I take that shit black and iced when it's hot.

2. Kraft Dinner
I swear, if I don't get a KD fix at least once every two weeks, I'm toast. I don't know what it is. I don't know what magic is contained within that slender box, but I know I need it in my cupboard at all times, and a few times a month, I'll spontaneously call off my plans with everyone and make myself a box of KD and savour it alone and all is right in the world. Sometimes I even break out the fancy spirals when I want a treat, but then I always feel somewhat cheated because the original KD noodle is the god-I-don't-believe-in's most perfect creation. My soul feels absolved, I swear—KD is the closest thing I have to confession.

PS: there was this one time I had to work late, and Laura was like, "I'll make dinner!" and I came home at like 9pm, just as she finished making two boxes of KD with cut up hot dogs in it. I knew it was true roomie love and kismet right then, and I will be eternally grateful for that, girl.

3. Nail Polish
Yeah, we've been over this. But I can't describe to you how happy it makes me to look down at my hands doing anything—typing or knitting or brushing the cat—and feel the surge of pride that a) I kicked my lifelong nail biting habit, fuck yeah! and b) I can paint such a tiny surface passably and even impressively. The ritual of nail painting is one of the girlhood tenets I've never slacked on, so it has all sorts of nostalgic feelings mixed up with a visible improvement in my hands' appearance. Thumbs up to polished digits.

4. Twitter
I love Twitter and I'm not afraid to say so. I know it's like Fight Club where we're not supposed to talk about it, but I just want everyone who doesn't use Twitter to know how wonderful and beautiful a place the internet can be, a place that makes Facebook seem a grotesque funhouse of a social media parody. I can't even tell you why, because your Twitter experience will be totally dependent on the people you follow, but I will say that I have gotten a job interview through Twitter, I have made new friends IRL through Twitter, and my writing has vastly improved since using Twitter. Yes, it has the dumbest sounding vernacular imaginable, but it's no worse than "liking" and mostly requires you to use actual language (except when someone tweets something perfect and you just retweet it in its perfect glory). Download TweetDeck, add me and I'll show you the ropes.

5. Belts
Most of what I wear are shapeless oversized sack dresses or high waisted pants. These things require belts to make you look like you actually have a waist, to make your pants look neat and not bulging, and to remind you to sit up straight. That's one of my favourite reasons to wear belts actually—I have a terrible slouching problem, and belts force me to take note and thrust my shoulders back. Also the best part of the day is when you come home after work and take off your belt, because then your body knows for sure it's time to relax. Insta-work stress relief.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Weight

‘Tis the season for shorts, sunning and summertime fun. But hand in hand with warm weather frivolity comes the guilt of an ice cream cone, the disheartening try-on of last year’s favourite pair of cutoffs, and the anxious mirror inspection to decide whether you're comfortable going sleeveless or not.

I’d like to claim immunity from this. I like to think of myself as a gal who’s embraced her frame, and that a 6 foot tall woman (5’11 and ¾”, to be precise) is never going to be a lithe size 6. Not that would I really want to be anyway—I stand firmly behind the fact that I’d rather eat what I want, when I want; that it’s way more fun to hug people with meat on their bones; that in the end, no one notices a few pounds as much as you do.

But you do, and your clothes do, and that's often worse. You know when something doesn't fit like it used to, and then it's banished back to the part of your closet I've now nicknamed Summer '09, a time when I biked everywhere, ate baby carrots and hummus for dinner nightly, and invested my paycheque in thrift store wiggle dresses. It pains me when I see those hard-won frocks I'm just not ready to part with yet, because I'll never find them again once I do. And it's really just the hips that don't fit, because in the two years since that summer, I've earned myself some bodacious lady hips and a pair of thighs that grind like awkward adolescents every time I walk. High fives back atcha, Indian roti place on speed dial.

I hate weight as a topic of conversation. I hate that it's something we're supposed to actively work against, whether through exercise or dieting, or that it's a commonplace topic to comment on (like, weight as water cooler talk? WTF?). I hate telling someone worrying about their body to stop worrying about their body and then getting "but YOU don't have anything to worry about!" response (that was not code for "stroke my ego please!", and also, bitch please, I'm a bundle of neuroses like, most of the time so of course it's on the list). And I hate myself for loving dieting tips supplied by friends or particularly anxious Google searches, which I then squirrel away for late night grocery store runs.

So it's (un)officially summertime, and while you get sunshine (yay!), you also get a steaming pile of women's issues with body weight shoved onto every RSS feed, magazine cover and clothing rack (was every woman in the past a 28" waist or lower??). And I'd like to have some sort of solution for how to unite my two fronts—the proud-of-my bod gal who shuns the conversation, and the prideful gal who wishes she'd wake up tomorrow returned to a size 8—but I can't and I don't. I guess being more active is probably a start but ew, movement.

Feel free to leave tips on how you've reconciled your self-loathing/loving halves, recommended activities for lazy people, or just some ego-stroking in the comments.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happiness is...

There are only three things (selfish, stupid things) that would make me even happier than I am today.

velo price


A bike basket, some outdoor herb plants, and a whole lot of Raspberry Wheat KLB would just make me the happiest girl in the world. I am going to work towards getting both of these things this weekend. Have a good one!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A few of my favourite things: Summerland

I thought I'd start sharing some of my favourite online shopping destinations. It's something that eats up a lot of my web-browsing time and I love shops that have well-curated, thoughtful collections. These are the places that inspire my love of fashion in tangible ways, and I'd like to acknowledge them for making me want to give them all my money (that's no easy task for a miser like me).

Sweet Nothings Necklace by In God We Trust

I'll start with Summerland. Boasting a dedicated coterie of followers, this Portland-based online boutique stocks vintage treasures, thoughtful designer labels and handmade beauties. You'll find Karen Walker sunnies mingling with Dear Creatures dresses, layered with In God We Trust charms (how great is that Sweet Nothings necklace?).

I'm so in love with this amethyst ring by Stone & Honey

You'll also find loose dresses and summer staples by Dace and t.b.a., a cedar and rose scented hair tonic by perfumerie Olo, and a special line of totes by Toronto-based hero Fieldguided.

Wild Heart Tote from Summerland

Best of all, the taste is to die for. Summerland's recent collaboration with fellow Portland-native Clever Nettle resulted in a dreamy lookbook of ballet-inspired numbers. These, understandably, have spread like wildfire across the web—the palette is right on pointe (ha!) with S/S11 trends, and the styling is impeccable. You can see all of the lookbook images here.

 Visit Summerland today! I'm sure you, like me, will want to just pass them your paycheque.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

No time? Follow this advice.

This post by PARK & CUBE totally placates my slight OCD tendencies when it comes to fashion.

This adorable info-graphic-style post outlines a basic outfit and then adds simple accessories over top. I love that although the outfit is totally simple it still looks really put together. I'd like to think, that in a more organized world with lots of excess time, this is how I would construct my outfits, rather than just throw on what's clean on my way out the door. It takes the idea of getting dressed in the morning and gives it an almost-scientific approach—giving the impression that if you follow a pattern or outline, you can't go wrong. Is anyone else with me on this? I know the idea of it is kind of rigid, but I love that it takes out all the guess work. I feel like it has the perfect title, Chill Pill, as if it's saying like "Don't worry, this is foolproof, it's all gonna be okay." No risks (maybe not as much fun), but no disasters either.