TFGIF – c’est l’halloween

Halloween on a Friday is either the best thing that ever happened or a huge mistake. I have a whole weekend to recover from tonight and I will probably need every minute.

This year I’ve got a group costume going and it is going to be epic:

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Happy Halloween! Do the Mash!

(Can you guess which character I’m going as?) Continue reading

thirty-four

About a month ago, I planned my 34th birthday. I was going to take the day off of work, go hiking and then go out for ramen with my friends at night. Simple. Easy. A great combination of everything I love, in one day (outdoors, friends, food, fun). The night before, I was in bed, in a hoodie, watching TV-on-the-computer and texting with my best friend. “What are you doing for midnight?” she asked me. “This,” I answered, and sent her a snap of my hoodie-clad, bed-dwelling self. Half an hour later at 11:55, she was suddenly at my door, champagne in hand. We toasted and she gave me the most amazing gift – a model water tower she found in an antique store (I’m weirdly obsessed with water towers).

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The next morning, we went hiking in the woods near Caledon. It was the sunniest, mildest Fall day and every fifteen steps, the scenery changed: from a carpet of bright yellow leaves, to pale, swaying fields and green rolling hills to mossy rocks and dark, pine-needle woods.

Back in the city, I got ready for ramen. I had booked the party table at my favourite noodle joint, Ryoji, something I have always wanted to do (it’s an awesome table). Everyone came – I mean, everyone! I haven’t had a birthday party that well-attended since elementary school. Seriously, my whole heart was full. I have the greatest friends.

As for 34, I’m not sure yet. What I mean is, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel about it. I’m don’t feel old but I’m pretty sure I’m old. Then again, as a 25 year-old reminded me today, age is irrelevant (so easy for him to say). Still. I think it’s always good to take stock and pause to recognize these kinds of milestones. And to put down words, like I’m doing here, to remember it.

Next year, though. Oof.

 

the giving with the thanks

Fall Blur

Thanksgiving’s OK. This year I spent it cat-sitting for Faith, partly because I love cats and miss mine and partly because I like to spend the least amount of time in my apartment as possible since said Kitten died. Still!

So I lived in Bloordale for three days – ran along the rail path, drank at 3 Speed and Bar Neon, cuddled with Faith’s cat Penny and spent some quality time with other Thanksgiving orphans like myself. These little holiday’s are annoying when you’re far from home, like Easter – who travels for Easter? Instead you stay put and get to wander the ghost town the city becomes.

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Last night I got lucky and was invited to my friends’ second annual Misfits Thanksgiving dinner. I took Nick who is in town for the launch of some furniture he designed at Klaus Nienkamper. Nick is really cool, see:

I’m obviously thankful for my family, but these smaller holidays remind me how lucky I am to have such amazing friends. I’m constantly surrounded by smart and interesting people who I have real connections with. They are teachers and architects, environmental specialists and engineers, business owners and brokers – the most random professional assortment of close-as-hell people you could ever put together. You know who you are and you know that I love you, because I tell you all the time. I know I’m lucky and that’s why I’m thankful.

To you and yours. XO

Change the View

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I rarely, rarely, respond to pitches I get for TVB. Don’t get me wrong, if it’s a decent match for my content and written by someone who has clearly researched my blog, I will consider covering or reply with a polite pass (I am in PR, so I know how nice it is to get a “no thanks” instead of radio silence). However, the majority of the pitches I receive are for alcohol (The Vodka Blog is a deceiving title) or events I would love to attend…if they weren’t hundreds/thousands of miles away. “Dear Ms. Vodka Blog” appears more often than you would think.

So when a good pitch comes along, it’s like, “Finally!” And it’s a special bonus when it’s tied to a good cause:

Clearly Contacts (y’all know who they are) have a charitable arm called Change the View. Its mission is to “…change lives by improving eye health globally, regardless of economics or geography.”

The goal? To assist 2 million people by providing eyeglasses to restore vision, sunglasses to protect from sight deteriorating UV rays and Vitamin A tablets to prevent the early onset of eye disease in children by 2020.

The company already donates a portion of the profits from their glasses to the project, but to augment this donation and in support of World Sight Day, they’ve created #WhoBlinkedFirst – a staring contest challenge for participants to film the battle and post it online. For every video shared, Clearly Contacts will donate a pair of prescription eyeglasses, Vitamin A tablets or UV protective sunglasses to someone in need.

If you’re in Vancouver, you can participate in an in-person staring contest with the chance to win $1000. For everyone else in Canada, support the cause with a #WhoBlinkedFirst video. You can upload your video here or share it on your social media channels (make sure you tag it so it’s counted for donations).

(I FaceTimed with my brother to do the contest and we made three videos in which I burst out laughing within 5 seconds. Turns out no laughing is one of the rules = doy! Will update with a new attempt tomorrow)

change(look at this awesome dude in his Derick Cardigan’s)

 

The best at-home face mask(s) ever

Skincare post! It’s been a while since I’ve had one of those. Just because I’m not blogging about it, doesn’t mean I’m not still obsessed with ways to make my skin look better.

Goals: moisture, redness reduction, age prevention.

Reality: spend literally hundreds of dollars on products that seem to work, then stop working and clutter up my bathroom cabinet.

Then I found this book:

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Not only did it teach me how to make my own facial oils but it got me thinking about the ingredients I’ve been putting on my face. Why spend 20 bucks on an astringent when lemon juice is the most potent, effective astringent there is? Honey is known for its healing and antibacterial properties, what could it do for inflamed, irritated skin?

So I researched and experimented and dug up another favourite repurposing-for-skincare staple – Aspirin! It contains salicylic acid and Willow Bark, both naturally anti-inflammatory. You crush 5-6 non-coated tablets up with enough water to form a paste and voila (you can also add milk or honey).

So that’s my new regime:

  • Step 1 – Lemon Juice – lightens dark spots, helps the healing of scars and exfoliates
  • Step 2 – Aspirin – soothing, softening and, depending on how thoroughly you crush the tablets, also a gentle exfoliaant
  • Step 3 – Honey – healing, anti aging and moisturizing (make sure to use raw, organic, unpasteurized honey for the best effect)

Photo on 2014-09-30 at 9.46 PM #2 Wine contains grapes whose skins contain Resveratrol, which is anti-aging, so.

You can combine the steps into one mask, but I like the step-by-step process and let me tell you, when you’re done, you won’t believe how insanely soft your skin feels.

Try it!