Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tunesday: History Repeating by Propellerheads ft. Miss Shirley Bassey

Without knowing it, I've loved Shirley Bassey for years. Her powerful voice, her over-the-top dramatic delivery... it's everything I've wanted to be but not been able to express!

If you don't know who Shirley Bassey is, start singing the song "Goldfinger" in your head... yup, that's her.

So throw on a sequined gown and a plump feather boa, elbow-length gloves if you've got 'em, and allow Dame Shirley to envelop you in a fantasy of luxury, stardom, and vocal power, darling. Or, if you prefer, add a glint to your eye and become the sophisticated, criminal mastermind you've always dreamed of being... or globetrotting super spy.... if only for a moment.

If you want the glamorous party to continue, I highly recommend some of her other hits:

As a little bonus, here's my favourite television nerdy brothers, Niles and Fraser Crane being coerced into singing Goldfinger in an empty bar.

What do you think? Was this week's Tunesday a hit or a miss?
Would you rather be a James Bond or a high ranking, sleek criminal mastermind? If you were James Bond, where would your movie take place?

(If you want the villain/bond theme music to continue, check out my other post about Miike Snow's Genghis Khan music video. Not only does it contain diabolical scheming, it comes with a sweet twist and some pretty amazing dance moves)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Three reasons why Minimalists fascinate me

I can't stop watching videos and reading blogs about minimalism:

1. Because of their look book perfect aesthetic.

Whenever I see someone who has that black and white and grey minimalist aesthetic, I envy them because .... damn, they always look good! Aesthetically, if they are a minimalist that follows a minimalist aesthetic (not all do, I fully understand this), they really can't go wrong. Black and white can be casual, it can be professional, it can be sloppy, it can be neat ... and best of all, all of your items will always go with each other! Black and white go together. White and white go together. Black and black go together... it always wins! Your home decor and your closet will always look on point because everything matches, everything is following a theme... People are going to think you live in a lookbook, because everything feels so put together. They are all going to envy you, be inspired by you, and hate you all at the same time.

I personally am torn. I know how much personal enjoyment a house and a wardrobe that look good can be... but I just love colour and pattern so much! I would be so sad if I couldn't wear yellow ever again, or pick up a shirt with a funky pattern on it. At this point in my life, the minimalist black and white aesthetic is not where I'm at... but that may change, and if it doesn't, I know I am going to look fantastic.

2. Because I envy their freedom.

I find that there is nothing that makes me feel like the fattest, biggest, lump of lard than moving house and watching other people haul my belongings around. The idea that you can pack up your belongings into a backpack and just go feels so freeing to me.

When starting their minimalist journey, Minimalists ask themselves "Do I need this?" "If I let this go, can a replace it if I decide I need it?" While I acknowledge that minimalism is a mindset coming from a privileged western position... I also acknowledge that I grew up in, and am still currently in a position of western privilege. I have the luxury of being able to go to the store and replace anything that breaks pretty easily.

I've been asking myself "when was the last time I used this?" "does it spark joy to own it?" If the answer is "I can't remember when I used it last" and "No, It does not spark joy, " I toss it. I have purged quite a lot using this method.

There is something so lightening and freeing about opening a closet or a cupboard and it not being crammed full of stuff. My boyfriend and I downsized our bedroom, moving into the second bedroom, so that we could turn the master bedroom into a study/gym/studio and fully take advantage of the extra space. It quickly became our overflow, junk room and I hate it. I can feel it when I try to work in there. I'm working on fixing this, reorganizing and donating things slowly.

Most of my "toe-dipping" into minimalism has been in this sphere. Thanks to Marie Kondo and her Konmari method I have really cut down my wardrobe to only the pieces I know I will wear. Gone are the frumpy sweaters that I have hung on to because they were gifts. Gone are the shorts that I vow to fit back into one day.

3. Because I admire their "against the grain" attitude.

This is something I'm coming to terms with owning myself; My boyfriend and I became vegan almost two months ago. Sometimes, even though there is no reason to feel ashamed, being vegan can feel like your "dirty little secret". It's a statement and a lifestyle that a lot of people have an opinion about.

From my limited experience "coming out" as a vegan, I have been met with questions and defensiveness. People want to know why I don't eat meat. It seems such a silly question to me, because if you stopped and thought for a microsecond about what needs to happen in order for you to eat meat and animal products, I think you'd have a hard time eating meat, eggs, dairy or honey again too.

The point I'm trying to make is that I feel that Minimalists are like vegans, but instead of animal products, they abstain from consumer products. Just like vegans, the reason why minimalists become minimalist has many layers: ethical (don't want to support factory labour), environmental (don't want to support the depletion of natural resources or contribute to unnecessary waste), emotional (people feel better, less tied down, when they have fewer possessions, and/or their belongings were infused with negative emotional baggage).

Whatever the reason that inspired the lifestyle, you cannot deny that the philosophy of minimalism goes against a lot of what we stand for, here in the west. And anyone who has the nerve and analytical intelligence to observe the world they live in, come to a personal conclusion about it, and act on that new informed mindset deserves much kudos.

And so, to all the minimalists out there, bravo. I am in awe. You inspire me daily.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Perfect for Summer!: Rosehip Green Ice Tea with Lemon and Mint Recipe

It's summer here in Toronto, and while I usually don't mind not having air conditioning in my apartment, there have been a few days where it is been hard to handle the heat.

I like to drink ice water to keep cool, but sometimes you want a little sugary, sweet, summery something-something, yah know?

This homemade iced tea recipe is the result of some improvisation, but it turned out so delicious I had to share it!

Things you'll need:
  • Electric or stovetop kettle
  • Large glass bowl or any metal pot (anything that is heat resistant should work)
  • A juice jug
  • 4 green tea bags
  • 2 tbsp loose rosehip tea leaves
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1/2 lemon (or 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  1. Fill your kettle with as much water as it will hold and let it boil
  2. While waiting for your water to boil, slice your lemon into semicircles/half wedges, like you would find in a restaurant.
  3. Once the water has boiled, pour it into your large glass bowl or pot. I used a regular stovetop pot because I knew it would be able to handle the heat of the boiling water
  4. Throw in your tea bags, loose tea leaves, sugar, and mint.
  5. If you are using a real lemon, squeeze in the juice before adding the lemon wedges to the pot. If you are using lemon juice, add them now. 
  6. Wait. I usually leave the pot to cool down before I'll transport it into a juice container and then put that container in the fridge to get nice and cold. If there is not enough tea to fill your juice jug, don't worry! Just add some cold water from the tap. 
  7. Wait some more as the tea becomes icy cold in the fridge.
  8. Get out your favourite glasses, toss in some ice cubes, a straw...maybe a drink umbrella, and enjoy your homemade summery drink!

My boyfriend likens this iced tea to fruit punch. It's a great way to get that sweat sugary drink you crave in the summer without hundreds of calories. We both highly recommend adding a splash or two of gin, or vodka, if you're in a festive mood. 

What is your favourite summer drink? Is it oppressively hot where you are too? How are you handling the heat?

If you make this tea, please let me know what you think!

Stay cool, everybody! 

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Tunesday: Harriet - "Irish Margaritas"

Shout out to Abbie Paulhus for the super cute lemon sketch.  

Will there ever come a day when I stop singing the praises of Spotify's "Discovery Weekly" playlist and it's uncanny way of introducing me to songs I can't get enough of? I really hope not!

Lemme introduce you to this sweet sugary beverage: the Irish Margarita.

The music video kinda looks like something you would find in the graduating show of an art student, but if that kind of 'narrative' isn't your thing, open a new tab and enjoy this poppy synth song and it's tight vocals. The melody is so catchy, I find myself listening to it over and over just for the pleasure of singing along with the "but we're better off alooone" part.

What do you think is in an Irish Margarita? A shot of whiskey topped with lime? Does it have a salt rim? Does it have a zest of Catholism with a hint of peat smoke?

Take a listen! What did you think?
Was this week's Tunesday a hit or a miss? Let me know down below.

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Take a Free Instant Vacation in Two Simple Steps!

It's summer and you want to go someplace fun and new... but you're super broke, or you're in summer school, or you need to work as many hours as you can in order to pay for university next year. Sound familiar? That's my life right now. I've been feeling totally overbooked and drained from work and school recently and have been craving a vacation hard core.

Never fear, I have found a solution.

All you need is:

  • a computer/phone/tablet (whatever device you are reading this blog on should work)
  • headphones

  • a yoga mat, blanket and/or a soft pillow 
  • a sunny spot (preferable!)

Step one:
Plug in your headphones and pop them in/over your ears.

Step two: 
Go to calm.com. Choose a location of your choice. A lakeside cottage up north? A cosy ski chalet in the swiss alps? Close your eyes and poof! You're on vacation!

It's just that easy! 

Right now I'm writing to you from a sun-kissed beach in Cancun... or at least I'm there in my head!

Earlier today I rolled out a yoga mat in the sun on my balcony, set a "self guided meditation" timer for ten minutes (you can find one on Calm.com - Just click "begin" and scroll down.), popped in my earbuds, lay down and magically found myself transported to paradise.
I used to use calm.com to help me study during my undergrad. I find putting on nature sounds really helps me focus and puts me in a good head state to get work done, which is really helpful when you have assignments and readings you don't want to do. I've used nature sounds to help me fall asleep after a stressful day. I find adding nature sounds to bedtime reading makes getting lost in a good book extra luxurious. 

This post was not sponsored by calm.com in any way (I wish it was!), I just recommend it because the website is so clean it's really nice to use. You can use any nature sound website/app/youtube video, whatever works for you! Calm.com also has a pretty great body-scan meditation that's not "new age-y" and overly spiritual in the way other guided meditations can be. In fact, this site was my gateway into meditation! (I feel a post brewing about meditation, so stay tuned!)

Are you craving a vacation just like me? Where would you go right now if you could drop everything and go on vacation? Have you ever used nature sounds before? If so, what did you use them for? If this post inspired your first time, please let me know what you thought! Where were you transported to? 

If you take a little mental vacation, please don't forget to send me a postcard!

Bon Voyage,

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Tunesday: Get Low by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz

Here's a throwback to grade seven.

This little ditty came to me in the shower this morning, and has been stuck in my head ever since. Don't ask me why. It was immediately followed by cringes and furrowed brows at the thought of any 11 or 12 year old kid listening to it... and then grinding at the local dance with a boy she just met. *facepalm*

Funny. My tweens were much more promiscuous than my 20s... (shout out to erotic fanfiction and diiiirrrrty rap songs like this).... and I'm okay with that. Ha ha!

What kind of memories does this song bring back for you? I clearly remember my friend hijacking my computer, putting this song on, and being so worried about my mom hearing it... after all, the song does say "balls" in it! How uncouth!

As a bonus, here's Usher's "Yeah" just for good measure. A good workout has a few sets to it, right? So consider this the mid two thousands throwback workout. Better yet, throw this video on and follow Usher's sweet dance routine and get your sweat on!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

I dunno, just book stuff: Michael Ondaatje's "Divisadero"

"I dunno, just book stuff" is (for lack of a better word) a series where I just write down my thoughts after finishing a book. It's not quite a book review, it's .. just book stuff.

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

My rating: 3/5

This book had been sitting on my bookshelf for a long time. I am a huge fan of the English Patient (both book and movie) because it evokes such a sense of orange sandy desert. I just feel warm and all alone when I read it. I know it's rare to enjoy a book forced upon you in a high school English class, but I loved it, even with its annoying ambiguity and "penis sleeping like a seahorse" descriptions that send classrooms into waves of snickering. I picked up Divisadero with the hopes of finding a similar, all encompassing reading sensation. While engrossing, I would not say it hit as big of a punch as the English Patient did.

It seems like this sense of loneliness pervades Ondaatje's writing. His characters seem to have an inability or a complete lack of desire to become close to anyone. They all seem so lost, so not of this world. They inhabit places abandoned by war, out in the unpopulated countryside, or live in a past where everyone was anonymous.

Ondaatje has a tendency to get a little flowery at times. A friend of mine likes to describe his writing as very "purple". I'll admit that there were times when I would zone out but those were mainly in the sections where characters would muse about their pasts. The sections that were focused on card houses and Californian farm life were much more grounded in reality.

This story centres around a pair of sisters and a farm hand who grew up together in California as part of a family of circumstance. Ondaatje has us follow Anna and Claire and Cooper as they become adults. The thing about Ondaatje's stories that has me coming back time and time again is his exploration of how certain events in a person's life can effect them forever. It is something I worry about for my own life: Will I experience something that will destroy me? Will someone's death change my outlook on life? Will I forever be haunted by a lost love? All of his characters survive their lives, but I don't know how many of them thrive in life.


Please let me know in the comments below:

Have you read Divisadero? What did you think? Are you a die hard Ondaatje fan or can you not stand writers who get a little flowery?

What should I read next?

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Tunesday: Mr. Mistake by Nevermen

Another great song shown to me by my music bff, Spotify: Mr. Mistake by Nevermen.

Simply put, I like this song's wacky vocal overlapping and whimsical way of talking about heavy things.

What do you think: Was this week's song a hit or a miss? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 4 July 2016

5 Lessons from Marie Kondo and Madam Chic

I've been reading a lot of non-fiction recently in this round-about way of searching for (for lack of a better/more apt term) mindfulness. This unconscious quest has led me to read "Quiet" by Susan Cain, a book about introverts. I wish I had found this book as a child; it would have put me at such ease to know that wanting to stay home and read, or just have solo time, instead of going out was okay... that I wasn't lame, or a loser, or had no friends, etc. I love this book so much I asked for it for my birthday just so I could always have a copy. I plan to have a copy in every one of my classrooms so it can potentially fall into the right hands and help someone out.

"Quiet" is not what I wanted to talk about today (wait until I re-read it, then I'll write a post about it). In my quest to become a fully functioning adult, I came across Marie Kondo's "Spark Joy" which, Konmari Methodhype aside, is a wonderful book. Not only did her advice radically improve how I organize my house (yay!), but the way she writes is so cute and so calming, I took to reading it when I was stressed out by assignments just to calm down.

I don't know how I came across the "Lessons from Madam Chic" series by Jennifer L. Scott, but I quickly devoured all three of them in a week, searching for tips. While I do not 100% agree with everything Scott writes -- as much as I'd love to believe it, I know for a fact that no apron, regardless of how pretty, would protect my clothes from getting paint on them when I paint. There is paint on all of my clothes somewhere -- both Kondo and Scott come down to the same points:

  1. Today is a special occasion!

    I really like this principle. Both Kondo and Scott talk about making every moment count. Do you have dishes or fancy cloth napkins that you dream about using one day? Use them today! Make today that special occasion because it is a special occasion!

    Special Meals: According to Scott, French people always sit down for a meal; C'est n'est pas chic to eat breakfast on the go! Whenever possible, sit down when you're eating and enjoy it! What we put into our bodies has a huge impact on our health and well being, so we should take a moment to even recognize what we're eating.


  2. Only keep things that are in good condition.

    As a poor student, I struggle with this one. It can be really hard to not hold onto things when you never know when you might need it, or you tell yourself that you'll fix it one day, or use it in a project. There are lots of ways you can figure out what you do not use: the flipped hanger method, the box method, or just plain old reflecting on your daily life. If you haven't used it in 6 months, give it away. Relax! If you find you need it again down the road, you can buy another one new, find one at a thrift store, or maybe even trade something for one.

    I'll get into this more in item #5, but if you have white shirts that aren't so white anymore, or socks with holes in them, or shirts with paint on them (guilty!), or face clothes with mascara stains, if budget allows, get rid of them and replace them. Or set a goal to mend those socks by the end of the week, or else toss them. To put it in an extreme way, part of viewing every day as a special occasion means valuing yourself and respecting yourself enough to only give yourself the best.

    I find this step is really helpful for making you feel more like a real adult with a real adult home. I was at a friend's childhood home recently and scoured it to find out what exactly about this house made it feel like a real, accomplished adult home? The answer: things in good condition that matched! Something as simple as hand towels that match makes a big difference.  


  3. Only keep what you love.

    Marie Kondo's whole book revolves around this idea: Only keep things that "spark joy" within you. This principle definitely motivated me to donate some of those articles of clothing that I have hauled from apartment to apartment but never wear... and when I do wear it, I hate how I feel in it. Why would anyone keep clothes that make them feel like that?

    I think that if you follow Kondo's message and only surround yourself with things that make you smile, things that you truly love, then your home will be your favourite place in the world. I gave Kondo's "Spark Joy" to a dear friend as a Bon Voyage present when she headed off to Korea to teach English for a year because I think that creating a home-away-from-home that is full of things that bring you joy would really help with homesickness. (Also, Kondo's way of folding clothes makes your suitcase fit WAY more items than before. Not only that, if you only have clothes that you love, it's a lot easier to decide what to bring in the first place, I find).

  4. Think of your future self!

    Think about future you. I don't mean five years into the future you, but tomorrow morning future you. When I am dead tired and just want to go to sleep, I force myself to make lunch for "Future Leslie" and in the morning, I say "Thank-you, Past Leslie!" My boyfriend always laughs at me when I do this, but it really works for me. I'm really appreciative of my past self, because no matter how much I try, Future Leslie will be running out the door and is so thankful that Past Leslie made lunch the night before.

    Kondo promises that a decluttered home will make cleaning a joy (huh?). Scott talks about adding a 15 minute tidy into your pre-bed routine. I haven't quite got the tidying down yet, but I do see the benefits. A clean home makes me so happy and I try to remind myself of that whenever I shy away from tidying up the living room, or am tempted to let my clean laundry sit there instead of putting it away. I like to think about Future Leslie, waking up to a clean house, which I find make mornings feel that much sweeter.

  5. Put your best face forward.

    What's that old adage: "Always wear clean underwear in case you get hit by a bus"? As odd as it sounds, it's a good way to live your life. Always be the best you can be. Don't panic! That doesn't mean spending hours on hair and make-up before leaving the house, it just means a little easy upkeep. Figure out what works for you. I for one never leave the house without quickly wiping on some eyeliner and mascara. You never know who you will meet! The man of your dreams, you future boss, your mortal enemy from high school... Think about what you would want to be wearing in those hypothetical situations, and then figure out how you can make it a daily reality. I'm not saying that you should become horribly vain and primp all the time... it's just that life's too short not to be fierce on a daily basis. ;)

    I think this idea is super important for someone who is in their 20s, but can benefit everyone. You never know who you will run into, who you will meet, and when you will meet them again (or have to work with them again!). Be kind, be courteous, be polite, and don't leave the house in your pyjamas! 

While there are some things that I don't quite jive with in both books --- like Scott's belief that you should make your home less comfy and more like a nicely furnished waiting room to discourage slumping, slouching and snacking --- I will say that I am glad that I read them and the change they have inspired really has made a difference. I'm not quite where I'd like to be as far as maintaining balance and happiness, but I feel like I'm getting pretty damn close.

Have you read Lessons from Madam Chic or Spark Joy? What did you think about them? Have they changed your life? Have the habits and organizational techniques stuck?

If you have any self-help/life-hack type books that you love, please share them in the comments below! I'm a sucker for these kind of books and am dying to read more.

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tunesday: "Tokyo" by Teen

Although I cannot understand a single word sung in this song, and all of my hunting for lyrics online has proven fruitless, "Tokyo" by Teen has been stuck in my head all week long.

According to the review of this song on NPR's Songs We Love. "Tokyo"  is a song about "a crumbling marriage and infidelity".. not that you can tell from how catchy and pop-y it is.

There is something about the irregularity of this song that makes it so irresistible. Once you think you get a sense of how the section goes, its a little different the next time through. I'm a sucker for a song like that.

Take a listen and let me know what you think. Was this week's song a hit or a miss?

Monday, 27 June 2016

Thoughts from the nail salon

It was my friend's wedding this past weekend and what a wonderful wedding it was! Very beautiful and perfect for the couple. It really opened my eyes to what a wedding can be, and set the bar very high for all the weddings that followed. I digress... in order to make sure I was looking my best (and to give myself a little treat) I went and got a manicure and a pedicure.

Oh boy.

I used to get them semi-frequently with my mom while I was in high school, to get your feet "summer ready" and all that, but as I have gotten older, and more aware of the world at large, I find it harder and harder to go to a nail salon. I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but I'll focus on what the nail salon I went to in Toronto, Ontario was like because it pretty much sums up all of my nail salon experiences.

Imagine if you will... a store at the foot of an apartment complex. Lavender walls.


Humungous, horrendously photoshopped fantasy scenes, as wide as a human is tall, framed in crisp white floorboard trim, covering every inch of the place... except for that oddly placed, way-too-large-for-the-wall-let-alone-the-room out of place advertisement. Immediately my mind is flooded with questions: Who the hell thought those paintings were good? Who the hell CREATED those paintings? Who the hell (over the age of 12) paints fairies riding unicorns on a beach at night and actually shows someone else what they have done. Who the hell sold them/agreed to sell them... therefore agreeing that the image was good, and was good enough to take to market because they believed there was a market for such horrible images? Where did the nail salon owner FIND these images, and then decide to PURCHASE them? Was this before or after they applied for a loan to open said nail salon ... because I want to know what bank agreed to lend these people money if they had seen what wonderful artistic choices they deemed as appropriate for business success.

Art by Jim Warren 

Okay. Now that you've got the airbrushed faery/fairy fantasy decor etched into your eyeballs, we add the second, more uncomfortable layer: the staff. All nail salons (except maybe the high end ones) are staffed by immigrant women, usually from Western Pacific countries like the Philippines, or Thailand. If you're lucky, the woman who is scraping away your glittery polish shame can speak English and so you can fill the time with conversations about the weather and summer holiday plans. If not, you sit there and flip through a magazine or watch the horrible low-brow comedy that they put on the TV screens mounted above the fantasy paintings (more on that later).

I can't help but feel bad when I go to a nail salon; everyone's heard the stereotypical story about the taxi driver who was a doctor or a professor back in his home country and then moved to America/Canada/Europe only to have his qualifications not respected, and he is now forced to become a taxi driver to make ends meet. I can't help but wonder if that is the same story of the people who work in these nail salons. I wonder how many of them came to North America not knowing that this is what they would have no choice but to do, here in the "land of opportunity". Maybe it's my white guilt, but I really do not like other people waiting on me, regardless of the form that this service takes. I hate any situation where I feel like I'm in the roll of "rich bitch". (Articles about nail salons being involved with human trafficking can be found here, here and here)

All of this critical thinking/social status inferring thought completely destroys the illusion of luxury that comes with getting your nails done, I find.

Okay, after you've come to terms with your feelings, and have perhaps found piece between the side of you that yearns for perfection and luxury and the other side that has a social conscious... you have to come to terms with the fact that you can only read your book (that was me) or look at your phone for so long. Your time with your feet soaking in your massage pedicure chair will have to end and you will have no other choice than to watch whatever they were playing on the TVs. When I was in the salon chair, it was the Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore picture "Blended" that was being served for my viewing pleasure.

My thoughts and expression exactly, cast of Blended.

In the movie, Sandler and Barrymore end up in a resort in South Africa that is the closest thing to a live-action racist 1940s cartoon I have seen in a long time. I really cannot believe that their treatment of Africa was given a green light. At least now we have a failproof system: Ask someone if they liked Blended, and if their answer is yes, end the conversation then and there and walk away.

Welcome to Africa, white tourists!

The other ladies that were in the store with me were a diverse range of the same character; one, a business lady coming in for a polish change, who popped in her headphones and shut out the world; a spacey senior British ex-pat, clearly a regular because they knew her name and she knew theirs, who just wanted a colour change because her travelling British friends are "popping down from Alaska" for a visit; the busy, pushy young girl who had places to be; and the two friends who ordered the nail technicians around, changing colours and demanding nail swatches. Most of the women in the place treated the staff very rudely. I was very uncomfortable and tried to smile and make small talk as best as I could.

In the end, experience aside, I'm torn. I love having clean, well kept hands and feet. I am a 100% believer in the need to keep up your physical appearance because it greatly impacts how you interact and are perceived by the world. My first tutoring job two years ago really awakened me to the importance of clean, well maintained hands. As a tutor and teacher, I work a lot with my hands; often, my hands become the image associated with my voice as I guide students through their work by pointing at places on the page. As a waitress, I don't want to hand a customer a plate with unclean hands. Unfortunately there is just something about getting your nails done by someone else that results in them doing a much better job than you ever could. They don't get hung up on keeping your pinky nail long while the rest of your nails are short just because you couldn't believe you were capable of growing a nail that long; everything is polished and buffed to perfection. The arm massage is a nice touch too. Fortunately, the price range keeps it out of the possibility of a mani-pedi becoming a regular occurrence, so I can quiet my inner battle about it until next year when I need to become "summer ready" once more.

In short. I want to get better at maintaining my nails at home. If anyone has any good tips, or knows of a good tutorial on youtube, please let me know!

How do you feel when you go to a nail salon? Do you go regularly? Have you never been?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tunesday: Karmin - "Bitch Better Have My Money"

While her music might not always be my thing, I love Rihanna. I love how she doesn't give a fuck about what people think about the clothes she wears (and the bras she doesn't), along with giving reporters shit when they ask about her love life.

When I Karmin's cover of "Bitch Better Have My Money" showed up on my Spotify discover weekly playlist I could not stop listening to it on repeat. It took a song I loved and turned it into something so much more. I only wish it had a crazy music video to go with it, like Rihanna's original version does. (Warning NSFW or little 'uns).

I came across this video the other day which turned out to be about Bibi Bourelly, the 20 year old girl from Berlin who wrote "Bitch Better Have My Money" for Rihanna. Berlin is another place that fascinates me, partially due to a horrible personal experience I had there (but I learned a lot from), but mainly it's gritty urbanism. With night clubs that stay open 24 hours a day and run all weekend long, Berlin is my number one recommendation, if you want to dance out the end of the world and go out in a drug induced glory. Needless to say, I love learning about people who live there because they're always a little weird, ya know?

It's really a shame that this is the best remix that Karmin has made because it is phenomenal! Their other covers sound like lame generic acoustic covers and are very bland in comparison. It's really too bad. Their original music, on the other hand, has a lot of potential. Their recent hit "Sugar" is a pop hit with all it's sugary goodness.

What did you think? Was today's song a hit or a miss?

Monday, 20 June 2016

Summer Slugishnes

I've gotta be honest with you folks. I don't know if it's the warm weather or what, but I'm having a hard time getting motivated to do anything! I've got two assignments for my summer school which I keep putting off and putting off... I'm not excited to exercise or do my morning pages, which is something I used to love doing in the morning. I've got two or three blog posts sitting as drafts because I tell myself that I'll finish them later. Everything seems like a chore. I just want to lie in the shade with a book and not have to do anything!

On the incongruous flipside, however, I've completed a few major home improvement tasks that I've had on a to-do list for months. I've painted my old wooden dining room chairs daffodil yellow and lime green, and painted the patio table robins egg blue to match my blue planters, and I must say, the balcony looks delightful as a result!

How can I be so productive on one side, and so totally unmotivated and sluggish on the other... and of course the "other" side is the one that is actually important, and involves grades and stuff.

What do you do when you feel unmotivated to do something that you have to do? Is the summer heat making anyone else feel like a slug? Have you been sprucing up your home to make it more summer ready? Please let me know!

Also, have you been listening to any good music lately? A music funk has just happened to coincide with my productivity funk, and I really thing some fun new music would get my excitement back up.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Tunesday: Deal Casino "Bare Hands"

Spotify lead me to discover this song, and what a catchy little rock-pop song it is. Have a listen and I guarantee you'll be singing along before the song is over and mashing repeat before you know it!

What do you think of the song? A hit or a miss?

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tunesday: Epic Rap Battles of History - Pablo Picaso Vs. Bob Ross

This rap battle makes my (not-so inner) art history nerd giggle with delight. I can't get enough! Not only are the lyrics peppered with art history shout outs, the editing is out of this world! All done on green screen, holy crap!

I'm gonna keep the battle going and also post my second favourite rap battle: Gordon Ramsey vs Julia Child. This is the battle that got me back on the Epic Rap Battles of History band wagon. Not only that, it features a fantastic performance from one of my favourite youtubers (and future friend one day? Hey girl, hey!) Mamrie Hart of "You Deserve A Drink" as Julia Child. If you're looking for some sharp wit, terrible puns and a but of cross eyed, booze filled humour, definitely check her out!

Who won? Pablo or Ross? Ramsey or Child? YOU DECIDE?

Monday, 6 June 2016

Teacher mindset vs Management mindset

Rose coloured glasses (c) Leslie Taylor
As a student in teacher's college, I've learned about the good and the bad of education. I've been inspired by the great changes in education that are happening, and felt blessed that I have been given the chance to work in such a field where I can make a huge, positive impact on a student's life. I have also been reminded daily of the less sunny side of education, like the systemic racism around special education labeling that is the result of societal racism.

Dear stock photo: where's my photo of classroom diversity? 

A big proponent to teacher education is the philosophy that if something is not working for a student, it's not the student's fault, it's the teacher's. If a student's not getting it, is bored, or is disengaged, it's the teacher who needs to reevaluate what they are doing in the classroom. The student is not broken or bad, the classroom environment is just not right at the moment. It is up to the teacher to find a better fit. I believe this wonderful worldview will make such a big difference to students especially since they are legally required to be in school during such powerful formative years.

I work as a waiter part-time, and during a conversation with my boss, I was reminded that this philosophy sadly does not live in many places outside of the school yard, especially not in the workplace. From my experience in the workplace, it seems to me that unless it's a company with a strong union (read: it's hard to fire people, so you're "stuck" with your less-than-motivated employees, in the same way that teachers are "stuck" with unmotivated students), any problems of underperformance will be blamed on the employee and the employee with be fired as a result. I would think that if your company has a very high employee turnover and you, as management, are consistently unsatisfied with the work done by your employees, you might begin to wonder if the problem lies in how your system operates. You've gotta realize that it's a two-way street, a relationship between management and employee, and the problem can't always be only one sided and all the subordinate's fault.

Sadly this is not the case at my place of employment. I often think that my boss sees himself running a completely different restaurant in his head, an AU restaurant, where everything runs smoothly and he swims in a pool of cash a la Scrooge McDuck. It seems to me that he thinks that he is somehow being cheated out of business, that it's not his fault his restaurant is not constantly full, it's his staff or the public's fault. Like the education system, my workplace is also home to some racism, but with much less effort to hide it or "solve it" using delicately worded policies. Workplace racism is "justified" because it is linked to the business' ability to make money, and thus remain a place of business.

(p.s. I totally know I didn't touch on another teacher's college buzzword: "differentiated learning". That could be a topic for another week's post. The concept of differentiated learning seems to totally go out the window when you leave school and enter the workplace. Sadly, the likelihood management is ever going to take more time to try to teach you in a different way because the way they taught you the first time wasn't conducive to your learning style is so slim you should consider yourself unemployed.)

Let me know down below: Have you ever worked at a job where your manager blamed their staff, not their management style, when a problem arose? Were you ever fired from a job for a totally unfair reason or had a boss that you thought was working in a completely different universe than you were?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tunesday: Kero Kero Bonito "Flamingo"

This song is so cute. Even the artist's name is cute to say: Kero Kero Bonito!

A simple, cute, crisp song perfect for walking down the hot streets of Toronto with some rose coloured shades on.

I hope this song brings a smile to your face.

Have a great day guys!

Monday, 30 May 2016

The Scary 9 Things about Starting a Blog

Everyone has a shitty blog to their name. Everyone who owns a computer with internet access has started a blog and after a post or two has left it to rot. Personally, I've lost count how many shitty half-baked blogs I have to my name. Every year or two I start a new one with new enthusiasm and gusto "This time, this blog is going to be the blog that works!" and so I go scouring the internet for advice: what platform should I use?; What advice to successful bloggers have for new bloggers starting out?  I find myself deep down a Pinterest rabbit hole full of words like "branding" and "social media optimization" and am subsequently filled with so much uncertainty and anxiety that my blog boner has wilted.

If it wasn't for my morning pages repeatedly telling me that I want to start a blog and renewing my motivation to regularly post to it daily, this blog wouldn't be here at all.

So here's my advice from one just starting blogger to another:

#1"Pick your blog theme? How? I don't even know what I want to write about?"

Whenever I read the advice to pick a theme and create a blog around it, I was like: "but, but, but I don't know what I want to write about, and I know I certainly can't limit it to only one thing?!" I decided to say "fuck that" and just write what I wanted to. My theme, then, if you must categorize it, would be "personality blog", but that doesn't even fit the mold. It's an blog where I post artwork, share music and internet videos I like and then reflect or write long form about something on a Monday. That's what I'm bringing to the table, and hopefully people will find it and like it enough to keep coming back every week.

#2 Quantity leads to Quality.

The blank page is a terrifying sight, I know, but you've got to overcome it and write. Just write about whatever. At the start it is all about getting over hang-ups and creating a habit of blogging. 

#3 Social Media Optimizing?

This one is a good idea. If you don't share your posts across multiple platforms then no one is going to ever find it. I have a twitter, and instagram and a facebook page which I share things to. It's early days so I'm not sure how effective it has been, but my page views do grow with every day, so some progress must be being made. I highly recommend setting up a Hootsuite account because you can send out and schedule posts in advance all from one place, which is really helpful because, well, life happens! 

#4 Make it personal!

I love reading blog posts for the human voice of the writing. If I didn't want to get to know the author of an article I was reading, then I would read the news! Stay true to you. Don't put on airs, because this blog is an extension of you. It's your voice out there in the interwebs, so keep it respectful. A good rule of thumb I like to keep in mind is to ask yourself "Would I want to show this to my grandma? Would she be proud of me after reading this?" If the answer is no because she'd probably go and rinse my mouth out with soap, then maybe you shouldn't post it. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the internet is a wonderful networking tool. You never know who could be reading your work. They could really like it and reach out to you for an opportunity, or it could be someone in HR researching your name after you submitted a resume. Moral of the story: put your best face forward. 

#5 Find Blogger friends and Comment on their pages

Ugh. Barf. 
This is something that I struggle with and rarely do myself. I think the fact that I read a lot of my blogs on my phone really influences if I leave a comment or not. Part of the key to having a successful blog (or so I've heard) is to comment on other people's blogs. This is done with the hopes that they will come back and read and comment on one of your posts. I feel a little cheap doing this as it feels disingenuous, only posting a comment to get something back in return, so you need to ask yourself "why am I leaving this comment?" If it is because you genuinely enjoyed the content, then please leave that comment! If you only are doing it so that it leads to a page view for your adsense revenue, then maybe you need to rethink what blogging means to you. 

#6 Always end blog posts with a "call to action"

Dance, readers, dance! Muahahaahaha!

I am so shitty at this. Part of me feels cheesy asking a question at the end because I'm like "everyone will know it's just a cheep shot to get people to reply to me so that I am validated through comments" but no, it's all part of creating a community through your blog. I started this blog with the hopes that I would find like minded people

#7 Schedule and write posts in advance

(c) Toothpaste for Dinner

As I said in point three, life happens. If you're serious about your blog, you're going to need to be posting regularly to keep people interested and coming back for more. If you have themed days, like how I have Tunesday where I share a song ever Tuesday, try to plan those posts well in advance, write them and schedule them to go. Hunker down one day and hammer them out, and then boom, you have just taken care of Tunesday for the next three months! I like to use Hootsuite to schedule advanced posts, and also have a good old fashioned paper calendar that lays out what I'm going to be posting when. Find the system that works best for you. 

#8 Word limits, lists and click bait titles

There are so many limits put on bloggers before they've even started writing! "Don't make your posts too long! People don't like to read!" If people don't like to read, why are they even looking at a blog? Word limits are something I really disagree with. I don't want to edit myself to suit other people. Even if I post into cyberspace and only get silence in return, fine. Eventually I will attract the people who are willing to read slightly longer-form blog posts. Heck, I'm sure Dan Carlin got the same pressure to edit down his podcasts, but his 4 hour long, multiple chaptered Hardcore History podcasts have a huge following. There is an audience out there for everybody so keep doing what you're doing.

That being said, as a student of Graphic Design and user design, people do love lists and bullet points. They love things that are easy to read and have lots of blank space that breaks up blocks of text. I wish there was a way to create columns in these posts to shorten the line lengths. Eyes get tired when they have to travel too far, lazy peepers. 

To me, the urge to create a catchy title feels like selling out before you've even started. There is some truth to it though. But lets be real, hasn't everyone caught on to those click-bait titles and can spot them and their horrifically ad-riddled posts a mile away? Dear humble readers, I assure you, if I ever use a click-bait-esque title, it will be done with the most heartfelt hipster irony and so I hope you enjoy it. A little wink from me to you. 

#9 Have fun!

The truth of it all is the likelihood that your blog brings you fame and fortune is very slim, so if this is something you're going to be putting your heart and soul into make sure you enjoy it! That joy will come through in your posts and your readers will be able to tell. 

Let's talk, dear readers! 

Does reading a blog on a mobile device without a physical keyboard deter you from leaving a comment?

Are you thinking about starting a blog yourself? What is stopping you?

Is there anything you'd like to see done differently on this blog? If you've been checking in for a while, thank you! I'd really value your input!

Have a lovely week, guys! 

Friday, 27 May 2016

Lady Power!

Without going into much detail, I work as a waitress and the other night I had the worst, most disgusting, experience with sexual harassment I have ever had. It made me really think hard about how we deal with victims. "Why didn't you just tell him to fuck off and go away?" is a common question, and I was asked that myself, but the people who say that weren't there. I learned a lot about how you never know how you are going to react to a situation until you're in it, and past experiences don't dictate how you will react the next time (and the unfortunate reality that the likelihood that there will be a next time, and a time after that, is so high it's practically a guarantee).

I'm sending this video out to all you ladies out there who have had been treated shitty by a guy, whether he was a customer who felt he had the right to take liberties (also the animation is pretty epic). If you have regrets and mull over what you did and didn't do, remember whatever happened and how you reacted do not define you.

Regardless of what happened, you are a boss ass bitch.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Preach it, sister! The Gospel According to RuPaul

Trying to capture the fierceness that is RuPaul,
Queen of the Matrix
E. Alex Jung's interview with RuPaul in Vulture came out March 23, 2016 and I've been thinking about it ever since. It dropped some bombs on me and shook the way I look at the world. If you haven't read it, I highly, highly, highly recommend it (click here).

In writing this response I had to stop myself from just copying and pasting the whole article because I love it so much. Instead, here's one of my favourite parts, one of the most poignant:

Jung: They often say that drag saved their lives. 
Ru: Right. And I'll tell you why. Because you get to a point where if you're smart and you're sensitive, you see how this all works on this planet. It's like when Dorothy looks behind the curtain. Like, "Wait a minute. You're the wizard?" And you figure out the hoax. That this is all an illusion. There's only a few areas you can go. First, you get angry that you've been hoaxed and you get bitter. But then, take more steps beyond the bitterness and you realize, "Oh, I get it. Let's have fun with it. It's all a joke. You mean I don't have to stick with one look or one whatever? I can shape-shift? Great." That's when you can save lives because otherwise the mediocrity and the hypocrisy is so mundane, it's better to just not do it. I'm not going to say "end it all." But that's why it saves lives. Because for people who are highly sensitive and super-intelligent, it tickles the brain. It gives them something to live for. It's the irreverence. I was the same way when I was 15. I said, "Okay, I'm gonna do this life. But I'm gonna do it on my terms, and I'm never gonna join the Matrix." That's why it saves lives. 
Jung: Would you say that drag saved your life?
Ru: It actually didn't save my life, it gave me a life. I don't think there is a life in the mundane 9-to-5 hypocrisy. That's not living. That's just part of the Matrix. And drag is punk rock, because it is not part of the Matrix. It is not following any rules of societal standards. Boy, girl, black, white, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. It's none of that. We shape-shift. We can do whatever we want. 

I have been a big fan of RuPaul's Drag Race for many years and have shown it to my friends, resulting in many multi-episode marathons as we all gag on the makeup, fashion and shade of it all. This article was the first time I really heard his voice, and it beamed right into my core.

Some people say that this interview doesn't sound like Ru, but listen to even a few minutes of his podcast What's the Tee with Michelle Visage and you'll have no denial that it is Ru's voice coming through loud and clear in this interview.

Ru is so smart, so self-aware, so aware of society. He knows exactly what's going on and why it's happening. Seeing this intelligent and punk rock side of drag, I want in...but as a woman I am unsure how to go about doing it. I'm not a gay man so I can't enter it in the "truest" sense, nor am I a lesbian to become a Drag King. It doesn't seem right to be to encroach on something that is so tied to their sexuality if I was a straight Drag King. Yes, there are straight males who perform as women, the most famous example being Dame Edna, but I don't want to perform as a man. I want access to that femininity that I am not allowed to have as a straight woman. If you dress or act too sexy, you're a slut; If you have an elaborate hair or over the top make up, you're a vain bitch. If you dress one way, you're frumpy, if you dress another you're prude, and so on and so on. In drag everything is worn on purpose. If you're dressed frumpy, it's for a reason, and you are aware you look frumpy so you call it out, laugh at it and own it. It doesn't seem fair that this freedom is available to gay men. They've manage to take all that being a woman is yet is societally not allowed to be and triumph with it. I can't help but be jealous, you know?

I am also intrigued by Ru's use of the word 'Drag". I've been listening to his podcast and both he and Michelle Visage use the them to refer to Michelle being in Drag, meaning big hair and lots of make up. They do say a lot of celebrity women are in drag, but seem to limit that to the altering of their physical appearance (to meet western standards of female beauty) not so much the punk rock, social comment, fuck the matrix part.

I haven't quite figured out what my version of drag is, but I do know that this blog is part of it.  

I'm sure if Ru read this post he'd give me crap for searching for a definition of Drag and say "quit stalling and just do it! There is no definition, kittyguuuur!" The definition fully lies in being what mainstream is not, right?

In the meantime, while I continue down the Ru-rabbit hole, I've been inspired to wear whatever I want. I've been doing this for years, as someone who has never really felt she belonged, or that anyone has ever 'got' her. I've always felt like someone on the outside, watching what was going on and not wanting a part with most of it. My version of drag was being identified as Gifted in school, and finding solace in that title and the "enhanced otherness" that is implied. It kinda gave me an explanation for how I felt, especially since the term indicates a different mental make up, not just being really good at math for example: "Of course I don't fit in, and don't want to, I'm gifted." I am still unpacking the term 'gifted' and all that it means. Gifted kids have the highest school drop out rate, which seems to fit well with the "fuck the matrix" attitude of drag and with Ru's Dorthony metaphor which really attracts me.

The lesson I have learned by going crazy with my make-up (which on busy days becomes my only artistic act of self-expression, and so I cherish and enjoy painting my face every morning) is: no one cares. Wear what you want. If people like it, they will let you know and you'll get a nice confidence boost. If they hate it, they won't say a word and you will never know. This law might not work online with the freedom of anonymity, but in person this law holds true for me.

I saw this video of female drag queens. I don't quite know what I think about it. I love that it's happening and hope it brings great things, especially for females like me who want to give it a try. What do you think?

Jung: How do you feel drag's function has changed? Ru: The function hasn't changed. It's been the same since the beginning of time when shamans, witch doctors, or court jesters were the drags. Which is to remind culture to not take itself seriously. To remind you that you are not your shirt or your religious affiliation. You are an extension of the power that created the whole universe. You are God in drag. You are dressed up in this outfit of a body, which is temporary. You are eternal. You are forever. You are unchanged. And this is a dream you're having. So don't get to attached to it. Make love. Love people. Be sweet. Have corn dogs. Dance. Live. Love. Fuck shit up. But it's all good. You can't fuck it up because you're eternal.

For more of the gospel according to RuPaul definitely check out his podcast. I couldn't recommend it more!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Artist's Intensive: Week 2 Recap

This week got off to a bumpy start. I received an email from a professor asking me to re-work an assignment, so I found myself forcibly wrenched out of summer mode and back "into the office" so to speak and as a result, my momentum for this project got thrown way out of whack. Also, I got hooked on Stardew Valley, so that ate up quite a lot of my time this week. (It really is a fantastic game, and entirely made by one person! If you liked Harvest Moon, you'll like this game. I've never played Harvest Moon myself, but my boyfriend says it's very similar, but with a little bit of magic and melancholy mixed in. I highly recommend it! It's more fun than it has any right to be. Be warned!)

The Artist's Way: Week 2

The only complaint I have about the tasks this week was that they all needed to be done at the end of the week. Some of them ask you to look at your week and break down how much time you spent doing certain things, and notice if those things were something you wanted to do or had to do. Since this involved waiting until the week was up to analyze my time, I felt like I had a big task looming over my head the whole week, where as I would have liked to tackle the tasks at the beginning. 

I did not read the Basic Principles to myself every morning. I kinda dismissed this as not important because I don't really like the wording of the Basic Principles (too wishy-washy spiritual for my tastes), however I did remind myself of their overall message every day, which I interpreted to be: You are meant to be creative. Humans are creative beings. Allow yourself to create.  

I also found it hard to complete task #7, list ten changes you'd like to make for yourself. Looking back on the list now, I discovered that I had completed one of the tasks without even realizing it! Huh! Yay me! 

My Artist's Date this week was a 30 minute dance exercise video. Admittedly, I did not plan it too far in advance, but I did let myself choose it over my regular, body weight heavy exercise routine because I wanted to have a little fun. It also tied into one of the tasks for this week, task #3, which involved listing 20 things you enjoy doing and date the last time you did those things (I found it very hard to write 20 things, which surprised me). This also touched on task 8 from week one, which involved thinking about what kind of other lives you would lead if you could, and trying to bring aspects of those lives into your daily life, or choosing artist dates that are in a similar theme (i.e. If you wanted to be a cowboy in another life, try to see if you can sign up for horseback riding lessons.) 

In the same way, I don't feel too bad about spending so much time playing Stardew Valley this week, as it fed my "play" quotient, which, after completing task #7, I discovered was quite lacking.

Check in: 
Morning Pages: 7/7 days.
I love morning pages. It makes me feel like I know myself better. Just giving myself the opportunity to talk to myself every morning and really listen to myself is fantastic. I find myself being so much more focused and recently have found myself being able to own the concept that it's my life and I'm going to live it how I want to (which ties in with a few of the tasks this week). I feel like I am slowly working towards being less caught up in those people who block certain aspects of my life and accept that by not sharing that side of my life with them, it is in my best interest to keep it to myself or only share it with people I know will support it. 

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: Chapter 3 & 4 

The drawing exercises this week were really fun. I had done them in the past when I first got this book, and anyone who's flipped through the book at my place seems fascinated by the idea of copying an image while its upside down...and that it will turn out better than had you drawn it the right way up. Its very cool! Also, the Picasso sketch you get to copy is amazing. I love the bold lines and the slightly skewed perspective.

I also really liked reading into what tasks the left and right lobes of your brain are generally responsible for. Some of the studies she talks about were really cool, pinpointing moments when there is a disconnect between the two sides and they don't really understand each other. She describes it as almost having two different brains inside

One thing in particular I found pretty cool was how when you're in "visual mode", since it is such a separate part of your brain from verbal mode there can be some disconnect and you find yourself unable to name things. I do this all the time. If you know me, you know how terrible I am with names... names of anything: books, people I meet, shows and movies I watch. I find I need to see the name written down before I have any chance of remembering it. I wonder if I am just a little more visually orientated than verbal? 

Ways of Seeing: Part 3 & 4

Boobs. Boobs. Boobs.

This week was all about boobs, what they mean in art, who's meant to look at them, what it says about the woman who is showing them... everything. 

I loved this chapter because it sums up so much about art history and about being a woman in the west in just a few pages. It's an interesting discussion about the difference between nude and naked, about why the female nude is such a common image in art, and how that changed over time. It also touches on the phenomenon of the "male gaze" which totally blew my mind the first time I learned about it, and is something I don't think you can ever overcome, which I don't know how I feel about that.... 

Keeping in mind, since it is such a short passage, there are a few sweeping generalities... also it is a bit outdated now, I feel. But, all in all, if you've never looked into art history, or have never enjoyed going to an art gallery, or don't know how to start appreciating art, I highly recommend this book. It's a bite-sized place to start that covers all of the major themes. According to the accolades on the back cover, John Berger was quite revolutionary back in the day, and I guess his thoughts now have become commonplace, which is kinda cool.

Philosophy: Aristotle

I did try to read this at the beginning of the week while at work, but it got too busy. I procrastinated this task until the very end and only started reading it on the Saturday. 

Things I liked about this week:

  • The Ways of Seeing chapter about the Nude in Western Art. It packed a big punch in only 10 pages
  • Copying an upside down image
  • Learning about what ways humans have inadvertently expressed truths about the left and right brain specializations through language and connotations for "left" and "right" terms. For example, Latin for left is sinister meaning bad, and the Latin word for right is dexter where our word dexterity comes from. Left in french is gauche which means awkward, and is where we get the word "gawky". Neat! 

Things I want to do better next week:

  • Commit to the Artist's Way tasks. I feel I kinda skimmed them this week and didn't tackle them as in depth as I would have liked to
  • Commit to making in depth notes as I read. 

How are your goals coming along? Have you joined me in my artist's intensive? I'd love to hear how they are going! If you are having trouble with you goals, I highly, highly, highly recommend adding morning pages to your day. If you would like to know more about morning pages, I've written a whole post about them which you can find here. I cannot praise morning pages enough! They have made all the difference in my life, in only a little over a month. It's amazing!
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,


p.s. For those of you wondering if I have abandoned the analogue blog format, fear not! Since I have a lot to write about each week in review, I thought the best way to get the information down was by typing, otherwise I'd be writing for pages and pages!  


If you would like to join me in this artist's intensive course, you can find out more information about the books I'm reading here: [BOOKS] and watch my intro video and find out the syllabus here: [INTRO]