Thursday, 30 August 2012

Keeping Busy On A Rainy Day

Hey lovelies! So the weather in Toronto has been quite strange to say the least. It's cold one day, raining the next and then scorching the following morning. What's up Mother Nature? However...I can't reaaaally complain since it was actually thanks to the rain that I decided to cross off something off my DIY list. Yup, that's right...DIY bracelets! I have to admit, I think I had much more fun finding and choosing the perfect beads than I did actually making the bracelet but I already have so many ideas in my head for my next little project that I just can't sit still! Anyways, here's some pictures of the first one I ever made. It's a simple black bead bracelet with silver stopper and a silver skull to go with it. I'm planning to make another one with all silver beads and a silver skull to help accent it and make both of them part of a set! Until next time, happy crafting readers xo

Monday, 27 August 2012

Top 5 Things I Survived As A Child

1. Switching from white bread to whole wheat- Tell me, how many of you have gone through this and thought you would die without white bread? Okay...maybe not die, but become severely food deprived due to a reluctance to eat anything but this. I remember when my parents made that dreaded switch to whole wheat, I cried and claimed I would never eat a sandwich again (and trust me, growing up in my family, this was an everyday food plan for school). But no, I have clearly gotten over this minor bump in the road, as I am still alive and well as I write this post (and still happily eating sandwiches may I add!) And while wheat bread never gave me the quite the same amount of joy moulding white bread into butter balls did, I can safely say this is something your taste buds will get use to! 

2. Watching the last episode of your favourite television show- Ah, that bitter sweet feeling of finally figuring out how your favourite superhero was going to defeat their evil nemesis and save the world! (okay, let's face it...this is how pretty much all children's shows ended. And if it didn't end this way, you were probably not watching a child's show). But then what? The main character is shown surrounded by their friends and loved ones as a sunrise peeks its way into the distance. The main hero smiles, says some quirky line about love, life, always being friends, never giving up on your dreams (gosh the BS goes on and on) and then the closing credits come up with some epic music and pictures from their future lives (still surrounded by friends and having an ubberly awesome time might I add). And then you sit there at first, still tingling with excitement at how great the big battle for good was! And then...well, and then it hits you. You will never see this main character do anything again. Yup that's right. No more adventures, no more seeing them go days without end wearing the same outfit, no more "let's band together and use the power of friendship!" bullshit (really? like really?), no more corny one sentence slogans, just no more. And while this is still relevant in my adult life today, trust me there are other fish in the sea. You will have a mourning period of about one week where you will re-watch every other episode (possible in another language), youtube your favourite scenes, google endless images of the cast (be careful there are some weird fanfictions one) and cry yourself to sleep in your $40 fan made t-shirt. And then...and then you will find something else to watch. Trust me, that's just how the media works! And while I swear Ash from Pokemon should a 25 year old man, with the same gosh damn pikachu (who is probably level 99 by now or something), this show never ceases to amaze me at how ridiculous the episodes keep on getting. So believe me, good television shows end for a reason. And a good one at that!

3. Switching to basic cable- When my mother told me we were going from 150+ channels to less than thirty, I told her you might as well rip my other lung out because my reason for existence had just been compromised (jokes, although I had a minor temper tantrum). But seriously, what was I going to do for the remaining 4 hours I had after finishing my homework? Study? Heck no! Anyways after this decision, I was determined I would never going to be home that much so that I wasn't going to be bored. I would be out and about and doing something productive. And well, although this is not 100% true (I was probably over exaggerating), I can safely say I've probably been able to keep off about 10 pounds by not gluing myself to the television screen. So good job mom, good job.

4. Banning all pokemon, digimon, yugioh cards and beyblades in elementary- I seriously never understood the purpose behind this. Really, Mr. Principal Sir? Are they that much of a threat that you cannot just simply confiscate them and possibly build your own set of hallographics? A set that may possibly may fund your retirement! Anywho, I remember when these dinky little things were banned and all the guys in my school had a major hissy fit (I did too, but being a girl I had to keep my pain on the inside. It's okay, Michelle, it's okay). The boys then resorted to sneaking in their cards and then playing them after school. So in all honestly, what was probably supposed to be a smart move really ended up being minor rebellion and more free time for the boys to annoy us girls around at recess. JOY.

5. Not getting a pizza lunch- I know, tragic. Having grown up in a middle-income family, my parents never bought into this idea of paying an irrational amount of money for a measly half-warm, ugly square piece of pizza, an oversized cookie that tasted like cardboard and a juice box I could hardly puncture without spilling all over me. And although I agree with this, I find myself contemplating whether I'd do the same for my own child. I mean really c'mon, you're not buying the're buying their happiness and inclusion with their classmates! I mean, think about it. Didn't it totally suck when everyone was lining up for pizza while you quietly unpacked your stupid whole wheat sandwich!? (okay, maybe I still hold some resentment). Everyone laughing, eating that dumb cookie that was bigger than their head, sipping on some artificial sugary substance that ended up on their shirt anyways. Oh how I envied them. But now looking back on this as an adult, I can somewhat see what my parents were thinking. By not buying into this program, they not only saved money but they also saved me from a lot of unhealthy food. And besides, once you get to grade 7, pizza lunches became lame...going out for lunch was the new cool!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

If You Want To Date Someone Great, Be Someone Great

AUG. 21, 2012 By NICO LANG

How many friends do you have who are holding out for the “the girl of their dreams” or “the perfect guy,” like Alicia Silverstone in Clueless? The folks who are always single because no one is ever good enough, “at their level” or “get” them, who seem to find something irreparably wrong with everyone they date? We’ve all heard dismissals like, “They didn’t get the check,” “They make less money than I do,” “They’re just not my type” or “They’re too tall”/“They’re too short”/“They have weird teeth”/“They wear bowties, and I hate bowties.” Once I made a list of all the things I wanted in a future wife, a set of standards I thought the perfect mate had to conform to. She would only drink clear liquids, wear lots of pink, ate only the brown M&Ms, had silky chestnut hair and if she wasn’t actually Jennifer Love Hewitt, would have to look just like her.

You might think this was weirdly specific and creepy, but I was also in middle school and watching a lot of Jennifer Lopez romcoms at the time—so cut me some slack. Even though I was a kid and didn’t know what I was talking about, I think that even as adults we do this all the time, even if we don’t realize it. I recently read Marry Him by Lori Gottlieb, which discusses the pressures that women (and men) put on themselves to find a mate that adheres to very specific variables of what they are and aren’t looking for in a partner. Many of the singles that Gottlieb profiles (including Gottlieb herself) list hundreds of irreconcilable deal-breakers. If you were to go on a date and tell the person you are sitting across from that you require your mate be “spontaneous, charming, loving, funny, a great dancer, a sharp dresser, a dynamo in bed, tall, whip-smart, aggressive but not too aggressive, sexy but doesn’t know it, driven, an avid reader, loyal, great with kids, well-endowed but not too well-endowed and fluent in at least one other language,” do you think they’ll line up for a second date? If you were to put that out as an OKCupid ad, would anyone respond?

Tellingly, Gottlieb talks to a lot of women and men who require that their partners make a certain amount of money a year, even if they themselves don’t make anywhere near that, and I think this sums up the problem. Gottlieb seems to think that the issue is that singles’ standards are too high, but standards aren’t the problem. Standards are great, and as Britney and K-Fed proved, people should have more of them. When you have standards, it allows you to set goals in your life and hold yourself accountable to the relationships you have and the person you want to become. (Fact: I love those Oprah goal boards. I go apeshit over that stuff.) But the problem isn’t that people have too high of standards; it’s that they have the wrong standards, ones they don’t require of themselves. This is because they’ve been taught to want the wrong things, on attaining perfection and this impossible notion of “having it all,” as if that were even possible. Life is not Stepford or Sex and the City, and you can’t have it all: Not at work, the buffet at Golden Corral or the take out menu at Mr. Taco. I can’t even get it all from my vibrator (who I would marry if it were a human being), so why should I expect that from my love life? And so many people get stuck on that—thinking you “deserve” Prince Charming with a 401K and a Benz—that many can’t accept the relationships that are in front of us.

If you want to set benchmarks from other people, focus less on external criteria like looks, money or status; none of those things last anyway. For example, here’s a thought experiment: Prince(ss) Charming gets in a car wreck, Vanilla Sky-style. Their face and car are both smashed, irreparably, and they look like Mickey Rourke after a fight with a garbage disposal. While mourning the loss of their perfect cheekbones in the hospital, they get a call informing both of you that they lost all of their money on the stock market. Are you still going to want to be with this person? When people get married (or so I’m told, because it’s still not legal for me in my state), they exchange vows that promise that each party will stay with the other person no matter what their bank account says or their face looks like in thirty years — when gravity stops working in your favor. What’s going to matter to you isn’t what they used to look like or who they were when you met. What will matter is the person they have become — the one you’ll want to be around for as long your version of “forever” entails. If forever’s in the cards, you’re going to want to have spent your time with the one you wanted to grow old with. Don’t end up Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin.

I discussed this recently with a friend I think has the best relationship I know. I’ll call her Karla Marx. Karla’s amazing—and I can actually picture men killing each other for her like in The Hunger Games — and her relationship reflects that. They’ve been together for two years. They talk about marriage and kids openly, bicker all the time in that Hepburn-Tracy way and complement each other in ways Cheng and Eng would be jealous of. (As the most single person I know, being around them sometimes makes me want to set my face on fire and scream.) When we got on the topic of modern relationships and I brought up Gottlieb’s theory that we are empowering ourselves into singledom, we both disagreed with Gottlieb. The problem isn’t empowerment; it’s the rhetoric around it, which is largely just Spice Girls knock-off stuff. Empowerment needs to go beyond simply either “girl power” or the aforementioned annals of money and sex. For her, sexual liberation is amazing (otherwise, Rush Limbaugh), but intercourse by itself isn’t what gives her power. That sex needs to be coupled with achieving a greater sense of self-worth — empowerment with a capital “E.” The thing that makes her feel strong is being strong — making good choices, knowing that she deserves to be treated well by the person she’s with and being loved and respected in the right ways.

Someone once told me that if you want to attract a certain type of person, you should become the person you want to date. This is silly advice, because then we’d all date ourselves and Seinfeld already explained what a bad idea that is. Instead, the example Karla shows us is that if you want great, you should be great. Challenge yourself to be someone that you would be super jealous if you saw your ex with. Be that person who plays racquetball over lunch, volunteers at an old folks’ home and a soup kitchen, runs 5Ks, reads a book a week (that isn’t by Dan Brown), calls their parents every day, writes poetry as well as John Keats, bakes in their free time and dreams of joining the Peace Corps someday. See? Wouldn’t you date that person? If you wouldn’t, you must kill kittens in your free time.

So, instead of worrying about The One, forget about that and be The One You Would Want To Be With. Go running every night, smile at every person you meet, pick up that James Joyce novel you’ve been putting off, start writing again, join a support group to work out your issues, go back to get another degree, help old ladies cross the street, work on forgiving your parents, take Tai Chi to learn to let go, get involved at the local community center and/or take a cooking class. Push yourself to get out and be better; you can’t control who you meet, but you can control the person you are when you meet them. You probably won’t find perfect (and no one wants that, because as Celeste and Jesse Forever shows, perfect is boring). However, you might find something a lot better than what you could have even imagined when you were twelve and making silly lists. You’ll find the thing you didn’t know you were looking for all along.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

August Haul

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of posts lately! I've been ubberly busy (haven't we all?) and have lacked the energy to update my blog! Anywho, here are just a few purchases I bought in the month of August! School is just around the corner and I really need to start stocking up on some new fall clothing. Can't wait for my favourite season of the year xo,

From left to right: Aritzia "Wilfred" Silk Slip, Evil Twin Cardigan, Aritzia "Wilfred" Marais Pant, Aritzia "Wilfred" Crepe Pant, American Apparel Circle Skirt, Aritzia "Wilfred" Silk Shirt, Aldo "Corinette" Studded Loafers, Dark Red Nail Polish, Top Coat Nail Polish, Little Burgundy Cross Hand Chain, Little Burgundy Silver Claw Ring
My two new pants! I know in my earlier post I had the Marais Pant in camel, but I decided to switch it to black so I could wear it to work! Works out perfectly, since I ended up getting the Crepe Pant in brown!
New silk slip. I actually have this in black but I think I'm just going to tuck this into some high-waisted shorts and pull it off as a tank. White is waaay too see through. On another note, this leopard cardigan has already been on my body twice and I just purchased it a few days ago! Pretty much my favourite piece right now.
These shoes have finally arrived after 2 weeks of waiting! I absolutely adore them and while I struggled between this one or the black, I'm happy I went with the more feminine one of the two :)
Little Burgundy I love you. I definitely needed more silver pieces in my wardrobe and with this, I'm happy to say I'm adjusting to the silver change quite nicely!
Finally, a dark red nail polish! I've been needing one for the longest time! And on top of that, I needed a top base coat to help my nails remain nice and chip free throughout the week! Luckily for me, these were on sale at the CNE for less that $2 a piece! Joy!

Friday, 17 August 2012

The Art of Aging

Today's post was inspired by a recent incident that happened at my store today. Actually, make that two experiences. Having worked in the lingerie department of The Bay, I can safely say that I have seen just about everything when it comes to women. From women unbuttoning their shirts to show me their bras to women pulling out their overused underwear out from the plastic bag they brought to the store. "I want this exact underwear, 100% cotton, in a size large. I hate polyester." I'm starting to think cotton is as valuable to a senior lady than finding a unicorn is for me. Anywho, although the physicality of women never ceases to amaze me, today I found myself truly appreciating women for their mentality and attitude instead.

In one scenario at The Bay, I came face to face with a hardened and bitter old lady who at first glace at me, decided to lash about the inconsistency of the signs sprawled around in the department. For some reason, she thought, there should be arrows pointing to each department to make life easier and help locate items faster. Yes, I thought, because this is some sort of runway for planes. I could clearly see she was bothered at this trivial thing and apologized on behalf of...well the entire company (working in retail gives you that right. It's called excellent customer service). But I guess my apology wasn't good enough as she went on and on to complain about pretty much everything about her life. What started off as small talk turned into a full on lecture about how I disgraced my grandparents because I didn't learn the languages of my country (having grown up with a Filipino mother and a Spanish father it was mostly best to just use English or else I'd end up with something like "mucho salamat"). I couldn't stand it, she was just so bitter and so angry about everything. And of course, being the loyal and mannerly associate of The Bay, I just took her thrashing in hopes that at one point  I could slip in the fact that the bathroom mats she was looking for were thhhaaaaat way. Then finally after 10 torturous minutes she took off and made her way down the aisle I directed her to (I actually had no ideas where the bath mats were but I figured I could hide in the change room for 10 minutes in case she came back to complain).

Luckily for me, however, I didn't have to do that. Soon after having such a horrendous experience with that lady, a pleasant older (probably not as old as the one I just serviced since she claimed she was in school in the 1920's...dear lord) woman stopped me and asked me for some help. She was so sweet and explained that she was having a bad day and thought shopping would be some sort of excellent emotional therapy. She even claimed in was better than...well uh...she never finished her sentence, but I assumed she meant chocolate. Yes it must have been chocolate. Anyways she then went on to tell me how she recently just got into designing and making her own clothes and excitedly drew all her vintage finds from within her bag. Okay, so they weren't the galaxy studded shorts on Queen street but they were all unique and beautiful in their own way. And she was so proud of her finds, I couldn't help but smile. The rest of the conversation, however, is what really inspired me to write this post. The woman told me that until now (being 60) she never felt that she had the confidence to wear anything beautiful. She didn't like the attention before as a young woman, but now, she said "I can wear whatever I want without having to feel self-conscious." At first I didn't know what to make of this. Shouldn't women should be able to wear what they want without having the fear to be hit on? (I should take my own advice) However, she quickly appeased my curoisty and went on to explain it as a quite liberating experience of age. She told me that at her age, she found dressing up to be empowering and fun. She confidently told me stories about having one too many drinks at several local bars, even slipping in the words "beer goggles" and "after parties" in her vocabulary. And while I would never want to see my mother do that (double good lord) I couldn't help but appreciate this youthful, energetic, fun loving woman. And that's when I thought, age is just a number. Age does not define us, our attitude and spirit does. I found myself immersed in her stories about her clothing adventures, the suitors she had at one time in her life, her journey for love and sex (yes even that) and got to thinking about the beauty of aging so gracefully. Funny enough, I really look up to this woman. Of course, I would never want to feel only free at the ripe age of 60, but I don't think that's what she meant through her story. To feel confident, young and free at any age, that's the real lesson. To enjoy life and feel confident in your own skin. I most definitely learnt something valuable today. I think being young is beautiful, but to have a youthful heart, well that's the real art of aging.