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.

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 7.47.28 PM

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


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:


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!

shh, listen – Father John Misty


I’m Writing a Novel was the first Father John Misty aka Josh Tillman song I ever heard. The first song that stuck, anyway. I still get lost in its story- the Hunter S-esque pace of events. When “Violet whips her hair” I can see the leather and mirror and neon of the strip club. It’s a great. fucking. song. The video’s pretty great too.

Maybe this one’s better? I don’t know! They’re all really good.

Other things I’ve learned about Josh Tillman:

But mainly, I love his songs. And he should have more out soon because these are two years old.

(oh wait and he’s a drummer who sings. Drummers who sing are my favrourite- case in point)

just great



You know when you’re just starting to get sick and there’s that annoying tickle in the back of your throat/deep deep down in your chest? That’s what’s up and I can only assume the tickle is the epicentre of a massive flu developing inside of me. It’s coming and I’m battering down for it – fresh oranges, white bread, freezies and Neocitran. And Netflix. And cozy sweat pants. And calls home to my Mom where I whine and she does the Mom “tut tut tut” thing, which makes me feel better.

Is it weird that I kind of welcome getting sick? It’s a break from the buzz. My mind goes quiet in the fever fog and I can just be with myself, not thinking about all the million other things I could/should be doing.

The only thing missing is the Kitten.