October has arrived, and at least here in Toronto it has brought a chill with it. I for one am ready to bust out my scarves and sweaters and make the switch back to HOT coffee. Are you?
My mantra, as of late, has been let go of what no longer serves you. I suggest you all take this month to do the same — a boy (or a girl), a job, or anger over that THING that happened to you three years ago. Maybe all three, if you’re feeling ambitious. The best way to move forward, I’ve decided, is to put yourself smack in the path of what you want — and what you need.
In other news, the completely lovely Emily Koopman has launched a new website. It’s called Girls Help Girls, and it’s all about badass women empowering, uplifting, and inspiring each other. Annie E. Clark, the incredibly inspiring co-founder of End Rape On Campus took the time to chat with me during the summer, and her interview will be live on GHG very soon — make sure you go check it out!
Also, broken record I know, but I have a new posting schedule… a very chill one. New posts are coming to you on Fridays, and on the first of the month. That’s it. I’ve been waiting for the beginning of October (one of my favourite months) to unveil this plan to you because school has been nuts, and I figured there’s already been a significant absence of…. me… so what’s a few more weeks?
I likely have an all-nighter to pull tonight (whoops), so I’d better get off my butt and get to work — but I will see you all on Friday. Happy Autumn!
I have to be honest, I haven’t logged in to WordPress in a WHILE… but today seemed like the right day. Maybe I wouldn’t even post anything; maybe I would just take a peek around. Lord knows I must have missed a thousand new posts by some of my favourite bloggers, and being incredibly nosey I must know what everyone is doing always. So yeah, I was sitting around in my pjs and I thought… let’s just see what’s going on over there. And it turns out… it’s my birthday?
Well, MOMPUNK’s birthday. Which might even be better, if you ask me.
It’s funny, a part of me feels disappointed… like I’ve been at this a full year and if I had just been consistently putting in the effort, I could be a lot farther along. But another big part of me is quite pleased with how things are going around here. I’ve found a rhythm that works for me, a stronger voice than I started out with, and a new hobby that, massive success or not, has been a great deal of fun. Truth is I love playing the part of blogger (and, dare I say – writer???). And I think I’ll continue.
…and I’m officially getting my biggest, most favourite fresh start…… the new school year. Is it any wonder that we ring in the new school during virgo season? I don’t know about you guys, but I am truly feeling a deep desire to clean my room, colour code my notes, fill in my calendar, start a new diet…. you know, just virgo things.
This month I’m using that energy to create a big, juicy year for myself. Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential calls this creating a strategic future by design — and I am about it. I have a bit of a tendency to let things just HAPPEN, and that’s been fine… but it’s never more than fine. It’s always once you start hustling (or whatever dumb trendy word you want to use) that things start to really fall into place. You need to have a vision of what you want before you can make it happen.
Exciting news is coming, life is changing, and I can’t wait to show you pictures of my new room!!! in the mean time, I suggest that you watch this video and consider making your bed in the mornings; I’ve been doing it and I love the energy it establishes for the rest of my day. Plus, like the video says, coming home to a fresh made bed is incredibly comforting.
Wishing you all a sweet, sweet september,
PS, here’s your (okay, well, my) anthem for the month:
I haven’t done a first of the month post since MARCH… but with one month left of summer, and so much to reflect on, it felt like a good time to pick the habit back up.
July was… a weird month for me. It started off strong — I was working lots, seeing lots of friends, meeting new people, drinking more than my fair share of organic apple ciders on various downtown patios. It was exhausting, but also kind of magic — my bustling big city life was all coming together.
Then I lost my job.
Well, okay, one of my jobs… but still, it threw a bit of a wrench into my plans.
I needed a bit of time to soothe my ego – truth be told, it’s still a little bruised. But last night I had the realization that holy shit there’s only a month left of summer. And honestly, it freaked me out a little.
I guess this month is a good reminder that the end of things is not the time to give up. Summer is ending, and 2017 is more than half over, and it kind of feels like it’s going out with a bit of a… fizzle? Like I could just sit here and wait for the next thing, wait for school to start or the New Year New Me buzz to kick in. Wait for that excitement to bring me back to life. But why?
This morning was good for me — I drank my coffee, I read my horoscope, and I refocussed. It’s never a good time to give up. It’s never a good time to wait. Why wait for the next thing?
This month, it’s all about focus. Enjoying the now. And keeping in mind that, hey, summer ain’t over yet.
How are you making the most of your last month of summer? Soak up that sunshine.
I hang out by myself a lot. Some of my friends think it’s weird, but honestly I’ve realized that sometimes if you want to do something you have to do it alone. Whether you feel like treating yourself or you just want to get your ass out of the house and all your friends are busy, taking yourself on a sexy solo date is kind of the ultimate indulgence… at least, I think so.
I know it feels awkward sometimes, but honestly… it’s okay. Even if you get a little nervous or awkward or uncomfortable. It’s all cool baby. Not everything has to be a group activity — not all the time.
If you’re ready to dip your toes into the world of solo hangs then this post is for you. Here are my five favourite solo dates to go on.
I promise once you get used to it you’ll never want to stop.
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
coffee. Coffee is first on the list because it’s the easiest, and also because I just… love coffee? It’s cheap, it’s simple, and literally no one thinks it’s a weird thing to do by yourself. Grab a book, a journal, or your laptop (maybe all three?) and set out on a mission to find the cutest, coziest cafe in your neighbourhood. If you’re in Toronto try out literally any Jimmy’s — they’re all the cutest. I frequent the one in Kensington (everything in Kensington is so kitschy and fun), but the cutest one is probably the one at Ossington and Queen. I also love love love The Common on Bloor W (and it’s, like, half the price of Starbucks).
hit a concert. Okay, people act like this is a crazy thing to do alone but honestly it’s perfect. Think about it — once the music starts you can’t talk to anyone anyway. If you’re on your own you don’t have to worry about losing your friends in the crowd, or embarrassing yourself with your extremely off-key singing. It’s easier to work your way to the front when you’re alone. And anyway if you go to enough small local shows you start to see some familiar faces. Since I’ve lived in Toronto I’ve probably gone to a dozen shows by myself and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
get your beach on. Sometimes it’s really nice to just put on your cute bikini, slap on a big floppy hat and some sunscreen, and lie in the sun……. alone. Bring a book or a trashy magazine (or I guess a non-trashy magazine, if you really must), and work on that tan, girl. Don’t forget to pack snacks.
museums + art galleries for days. One of the things I was most excited about when I moved to Toronto was the abundance of galleries and museums that I’d finally have access to. One problem? None of my friends are quite as enthralled. I guess when you grow up here, going to the museum sounds less like an awesome adventure and more like your third grade field trip. Anyway, museums and galleries are sick by yourself because you don’t have to look at anything you don’t want to, you don’t have to leave anywhere you’re not ready to leave, and you can walk as slow or as fast as you want. Feel like reading every plaque under every painting? Guess what – that is your perogative.
one of my favourite paintings at the AGO
outside the ROM
take yourself out for brunch. Yep. This is at the end of the list because I know it’s the hardest. Even for me, an experienced self-date-r. It’s kind of scary to eat alone because what can you really occupy yourself with when you have a plate of eggs benny in front of you? First of all, the answer is eavesdropping. But second of all, who cares? I usually bring my laptop to “get some work done” (what does this even mean? everyone knows I’m just scrolling through twitter. I don’t have an adult job.) or maybe a book. At least that way everyone gets the message that I planned to go alone. The first time is scary, but I promise you it’s really lovely. You can chat up your server, spy on people, and eat a delicious meal. I don’t know why but brunch is my favourite meal to eat alone — and if you go on a weekday you’ll probably have the place mostly to yourself. OH, and for the record? I’m writing this from one of my fave Parkdale brunch spots, Easy, and there are three other people also here by themselves.
Honestly guys… you can do this. It might make you nervous, but once you start you won’t want to stop. And hey, if you feel awkward, just do what I do – fake it. That’s all anyone’s really doing at any given time, isn’t it?
The internet loves to talk about self care. What’s your self care routine? We ask each other constantly, as if looking after yourself is as simple as a nightly facemask and a cup of peppermint tea.
The truth is, self care comes in a million different shapes and sizes. Some nights it’s a cup of tea, and sometimes it’s a bottle of wine, ya know? Sure, taking a hot bath and spending the evening painting watercolours in your silky robe is an act of self love (I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing…). BUT it’s not always exactly the most practical option. We don’t always have the time or the funds to pamper ourselves — not in the ways that instagram would have us believe we should, at least. But does the fact that I work every day, or that I can’t afford to go on magical vacations and glamorous outings mean I can’t participate in the fun and fabulous world of self love?
Hell to the nah.
I find a lot of ways to love myself – some frivolous and fun, and some a little more practical. Eating a salad can be self care too, after all. SO, here we go; 10 ways to practice self care in the real world. Some of them require a little more time than others, but I promise you they are all very real, super cheap (or free), and incredibly satisfying.
✨ snuggle yourself into the covers and read your horoscope before you get out of bed. I like the astrotwins, but you have to find a source that works for you.
✨ drink a glass of water. Squeeze in a bit of lemon or toss in some mint leaves, if you can.
✨ put some oil in your hair. I am currently obsessed with this one because it smells amazing and is working wonders for my hair.
✨ eat something REAL. I don’t know about you but I tend to get caught up in life and forget about, y’know… food. Real food, I mean. Cook yourself a meal, make yourself a smoothie, or at least grab an apple.
✨ spritz yourself with your favourite perfume and throw on some lipstick. I don’t care if you’re doing anything fancy afterward or not, nothing will make you feel “together” faster.
✨ go for a walk. Maybe try some walking meditation, while you’re at it — or just throw in your headphones and turn your favourite song loud.
✨ answer your emails. Not exactly glamorous but as someone who currently has 126 unread messages in their inbox, I can tell you that it is a constant stressor.
✨ exfoliate. Am I the only one that finds exfoliating super satisfying when I’m having a bad day? It’s like you can feel the bullshit going down the drain.
✨ grab your journal, and leave your phone and your laptop at home. Take yourself on a coffee date and just write.
✨ paint your nails. Nothing like a fresh mani to make you feel like a whole new woman, am I right?
SO lovelies, tell me… how do you look after yourself when you have Real Life happening? Would love some things to add to my list.
I do a lot of things that might be considered “group activities” alone; I go to restaurants and coffee shops, I stroll through the museum, and I go to tons of concerts by myself. Sometimes — a lot of times, in fact — I prefer it that way. Once you learn to enjoy your own company, the world really opens up to you — but that’s a post for another time. For now all you need to know is that, done right, nothing is better than getting on an airplane at 7am…. alone. I’ve done it enough times to know! In fact I’m writing this from the aisle seat of a very uncomfortable airplane right now.
wish I was traveling in this much style…
I guess I should point out that this isn’t exactly a solitary travel expedition, nor is it a real “vacation” — at least if vacations, to you, involve a beach and the sun and a hot pool boy. I’m going home to Vancouver Island to visit my family.
No hot pool boys for me.
Still, this is not my first rodeo when it comes to flying solo. And it turns out solo is the very best way to fly, at least if you ask me. You have no one to keep track of, no one to slow you down, and you don’t have to… care about things? That’s the best part. Sure, change my seat. Yes, make me voyage across the airport to find a new gate. Fine, let the baggage carousel take 98389475 years. Who cares? I’ve got no one standing next to me grumbling. I can drag my ass through the airport at lightening speed and I’ve got nothing but time once I land.
I’m a very easy-going traveller.
ANYWAY, if you’re taking a solo trip, here are my tips to you.
✨ check in and pay to check your bags online. It’s easy and quick and when you walk into the airport you look like a damn frequent flyer because you know what you’re doing. You’ll get everything you need sent directly to your phone via email (or you can print it at home). A word to the wise — screenshot the emails in case you run out of data or can’t connect in the airport. Nothing is worse.
✨ Don’t stop for food until you’re past security. This may seem like a no-brainer, but turns out it’s not. You won’t be able to get through and find your gate with outside food and drinks, and sometimes you have a lot more frantic searching to do than you think, so hold off on that coffee just a few more minutes.
✨ Indulge in a trashy magazine (cosmo 4ever). You deserve this.
✨ get yourself a bottle of water at one of the little convenience stores by the gates. I always try to hold off — they’ll give you water on the plane — but I always regret it. Have it with you. Drink whenever you want. Control your own destiny.
✨ pack a hoodie in your carry on. No matter how warm you think you are, or how perfectly appropriately dressed you feel, a hoodie comes in clutch when you’re on a chilly plane, or when you need to squish something up into a make-shift pillow. Besides, it’s much cozier than whatever cool fashionable jacket you wore (me, today, denim).
✨ most importantly? Airports have a certain magic to them; there are a lot of big moments happening there every day and you kind of get the feeling that maybe you’re having one too. You could be anyone, going anywhere, sitting there waiting for your flight. Wear a cute (+ comfy) outfit, pack your laptop, sip a coffee and let your nails clack against the keyboard. Make everyone think you’re glamorous and important. You are.
My go-to flying outfit is stretchy black pants (ok, they’re leggings, but they have butt pockets so it seems acceptable), a big comfy t shirt (usually a band shirt because that’s the majority of my wardrobe, but today I’m sporting stripes), either a jean jacket or a leather jacket, and my favourite pair of Forever 21 booties. Annoying because I have to take them off to go through security (and no one even cracks a smile when I express my concern over their smell), but worth it because they would otherwise be taking up a ton of room in my suitcase, and they really pull an outfit together. The pros outweigh the cons in the end.
I’m excited for the trip home; it feels like a century since I saw my poor mom and my old friends (though it’s only been since Christmas). I love Toronto, and I wouldn’t trade my life there for the world, but it’s always kind of refreshing to go home and see people who have known me my whole life. You don’t realize what a big deal shared history is until you have it with no one; every story requires years of backstory, and most of the time it’s not worth it.
ANYWAY, how do you feel about traveling by yourself? Do you love the freedom and the mysterious aura that you seem to take on, or do you just die for someone to talk to in those hours that your phone is on airplane mode? Tell me all about it.