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.
Writer’s block is really punching me in the face lately, and I’m not loving it. Bear with me, because this is going to be incoherent.
My friend Kelly uses every hip slang word/phrase ever, and lately her word of the moment is shameless. As in “yes that outfit is shameless” or “I wish I could post this on insta but I’m just not shameless enough” or… well, you get the picture. And I like it, actually, because it makes me think about living my most shameless life. And unfortunately I am so boring that for the most part that just means posting more on social media… and a little bit of wearing less/going out more, ya know.
I think a lot of the time the less you write, the less you feel motivated to write. Especially when it comes to something like a blog where your only measurable “success” comes from the number of people engaging with you and the number of people engaging with you depends on how present you are…
The longer I go without writing, or posting a snapchat story, or tweeting something, the more I stress about it. Like, now it’s not just a post it’s a damn comeback, and I’m not ready for it. But if I would just GO FOR IT every once in a while maybe it wouldn’t be so hard. If I made snapchat stories (or god forbid instagram stories) every day, then it wouldn’t feel like such a big deal. If I wrote shameless blog posts about my mediocre make up looks and my favourite body wash and whatever other stupid shit I’m doing then I wouldn’t have to think so hard about how to reappear on the internet all the time… you know?
I have posted one instagram story in my life, and I was quite honestly pretty intoxicated… but I think that’s something I will be doing from now on — follow along here! (shameless plug). I’ll be writing things that I don’t think anyone but me cares about — because yolo, why not? And you know, just in general, I’m going to start showing off, living life, and being my fabulous, most shameless self.
Why not, right?
For the record I fully support any and all shameless posts by you guys, so pls link me to wherever you get the most wild — insta, snapchat, your blog, etc. I need friends, you know.
ANYWAY what have you all been up to? I started a new job a few weeks ago as a receptionist at a wax bar, hence the radio silence. Between that and my other job, I’ve been running around like a mad woman lately. I think I’m finally starting to get into the swing of things, though — thank god. And of course I’ve been finding time for patio drinks, cute coffee shops, and the odd night out. Sleep is not high on the priority list at the moment but, hey, I’m young. What’s new with YOU?
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.
Remember all that stuff about change? turns out I wasn’t joking.
Since my last blog post I’ve finished school, moved into my friend’s apartment (sleeping on her couch this summer seemed so romantic and adventurous in theory), changed my hair colour (yes, I do miss red already), and of course made all sorts of BIG SUMMER PLANS.
I do this every summer – and I think I write about it every summer too. THIS IS THE ONE, you know? I’m going to do YOGA and kiss BOYS and drink GREEN JUICE… or whatever. Only this year I’m taking a different approach. This summer I’m just going to do me.
I texted my friend Kelly a few days ago: “plans for this summer: wearing less and going out more”. That’s IT. And sure I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a SUMMER 2K17 sticky note on my laptop with things I want to do (make jewellery, go on more dates, keep an epic summer journal, blog like a real blogger), but those really are things that I want to do. I want to be creative and meet more people and make more things.
The reason I haven’t posted in so long is because I didn’t want to log back onto wordpress until I had made a real editorial calendar and planned things and focussed and blah blah blah… but honestly? that is very much not in the spirit of MOMPUNK, the spirit of me or the spirit of my summer.
how am I doing me this summer?
More concerts. More art. More time outside. More coffee. More wine. More nights out. More “yes”. More opening up. More exploring new places. More writing. More being honest with people. More being honest with myself.
Surprise, surprise – the blog this season will reflect all of those things. I wanna talk about how to have your best summer ever while remaining a real human. Y’know, one who has no money, who doesn’t actually have that many days off, and who has rolls when she bends over. One who occasionally sleeps, admits she hates running, and doesn’t (CAN’T!) always stick to her schedule. This summer we’re going to talk about learning to love your tummy, lilac lipstick, summer date ideas (can’t write this until I go on some dates), at home pedicures, and my endless attempt at conquering fake lashes. And hey, who knows what else? I sure as hell don’t – still flying by the seat of my pants.
Speaking of my pants, they are now unbuttoned (lots of Chinese food was had today), and I’m drinking my favourite herbal tea so that must mean it’s time for a bit of netflix and sleep!! Hope you’re all as excited as I am for some SUNSHINE!! Wish I was a little closer to the ocean, but for now I have some pretty impressive lakes to keep me company instead.
The security guard at work last night had been watching me fidget and listening to me groan for, like… an hour. I couldn’t STOP.
“I literally have no idea,” I admitted. “I’ve been freaking out all day. Life is just really getting to me lately, you know?”
That was the best answer I could come up with – the angst was just a side effect of generally being alive. It hadn’t been an especially good day, though there wasn’t a lot to be done about it. I had slept too late, I had neglected my homework, and my room was messy. It was all just starting to feel like… a lot. And the worst part was I didn’t feel like doing anything about it. I didn’t know where to start. He surprised me when he offered some real advice.
“You need to change something – something in your routine. Just keep changing things until they feel better.”
The problem is, of course, that I don’t have much of a routine – I’m constantly trying to switch between “work mode” and “school mode” and, my personal favourite, “totally lazy asshole mode”. There’s always too much to do any not enough time or energy to do it, and any time I try to make a schedule for myself I just… don’t hold myself accountable. The other day I read a really interesting article about not negotiating with yourself – it resonated with me. I am the queen of self-negotiation; I can talk myself out of doing ANYTHING. I’ve never thought of it as a habit, but it TRULY is, and one what I need to break.
Anyway just for the sake of change, Tevin suggested I delete my social media apps for a bit – just to see if anything improved. And I, being the impulsive thing that I am, decided that was a great idea. I deleted the apps right then and there. This was last night, and I spent most of the day today staring longingly at my phone. I literally didn’t know what to do with myself… BUT just realizing that was interesting. It turns out he was right; that tiny change made my life very different.
[[I’m going to be taking a little break from the blog too – just to switch things up a bit. That was the point of this post before it got soooo melodramatic. I know I’m not actually posting all that much lately, but I definitely am thinking about it a lot. Quite honestly I have a lot of other things that I need to focus on right now anyway.]]
I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking about my habits, my routines, and my excuses. There’s a lot to work on – and with no instagram how will I get my #inspo??? Lord knows. But you can be sure I’ll keep you all posted on it when I return (probably in a week or two). There likely wouldn’t be many blog posts coming your way in the next little while anyway, with the semester wrapping up, so this seems like a logical time to take a step back. I read an interview today with a lady who was very against half-assed blogging – and here at MOMPUNK we are no strangers to that. Maybe she’s right though – maybe it’s time to throw myself at life a little more whole heartedly – ORRR time to realize that I can’t commit to that at this moment and take a break instead.