SOLO DATES are the best dates.

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.

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.

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I saw Real Friends a month ago (alone) and they were AMAZING.

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.

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?

happy sunday!!  – L

SWEET NOTHINGS: happy happy, joy joy!

I had a great plan for posting every day – I filled in a calendar and everything!  But unfortunately (or, y’know, not) I have been just living life lately, and writing has taken a bit of a backseat.  SO today’s post is just a rambly personal one about what I’ve been up to lately – I’ll be back to talking music/netflix/school/whatever else it is I talk about very soon.

I dunno what it is exactly, but the last few weeks have just been really good.  Productive, and fun, and just… full?  All of my days have been really full and wonderful.  I’m basically just living the Toronto dream.

Right before school picked up again I checked out the Royal Ontario Museum with a friend and it was just so cool?  A little nerdy, but it was incredible.  And being able to just walk through and chat with someone about life and look at all these amazing things and be out in the world was really wonderful.  Plus it was followed by sushi (rip my bank account – why do I eat out so much?), which always makes for a fantastic day.

I started a new set of classes, and I’m actually really liking them so far (except accounting, which is… well, accounting).  I have to take a first year sociology class because the university I started out at didn’t have an equivalent (this is frustrating seeing as how I’m in THIRD year and taking upper level classes at the same time as this one?) but my prof seems like a total badass – on the first day he told us about playing in punk bands, and how the punk scene introduced him to anti-racist politics.
Um, COOL??  I went to chat with him after the lecture, basically to ask him the best way to get out of the class, and it doesn’t look like there is a way – but he did tell me it would be cool to have someone who understood and cared about the material, so that was nice I guess.
I’ve also been doing this thing where I actually review and rewrite my notes after lectures and HEY, turns out it’s a really good idea?  So glad I’m figuring that out three years into my degree.

I also went to the gym a few times?  And it wasn’t even that awful.  I really like this thing called a “recumbent bike”, because it’s basically like a comfy chair except that you pedal.  I spent like 45 minutes on it one day, pedalling away while I drafted a blog post that I’m VERY EXCITED ABOUT on my phone.  That is the ultimate machine for multi-taskers – I’m going to bring my textbook to the gym tomorrow I think.  Will that be weird?  I’m going to do a whole post about gym-ing (not a “here’s how to get a flat tummy/poppin’ booty/whatever the fuck it is you want – just some strategies for making it the most painless experience possible and maybe some fun stories about me embarrassing myself) sooo stay tuned for that.

ALSO ALSO I went to the AGO (the Art Gallery of Ontario).  I can’t tell you much about this because it plays a central part in the aforementioned very exciting blog post, but know that it was gorgeous and I can’t wait to go back, probably alone, and take all the insta-pics, etc.

Last but not least – yesterday I went to the Toronto Women’s March with a couple of friends and had the most wonderful time.  It was SO beautiful – I love women supporting women – and it just filled me with so much hope and excitement for the future.  As much as the current political climate is a little bit terrifying (even here in Canada – did y’all hear about Kevin O’Leary?) it’s comforting to know that literally MILLIONS of people around the world are willing to stand up for lovepositivity, and diversity.  Plus I went for brunch with my lovely lady friends afterward, and then shopped around Queen West, which was a pretty fantastic way to end the day.

Just for the record, I thought it was necessary to add some pink eyeshadow to the day’s

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shout out to NYX’s avant pop palette in art throb!

look – y’know, since I couldn’t figure out what to wear.  It was all basically gone by the end of the day, but here’s THAT, just because:

SO yeah, life’s just trucking along for me.  I’ve been DOING things, and it feels pretty incredible.  Hopefully I get to… continue that.

What fun things have YOU been up to?  tell me about your life!

talk soon – L

 

 

PS, on a completely unrelated note, Brendan Urie is absolutely incredible and I am in near constant awe of him.  Here is a video for proof.

 

SURVIVING (NOT THRIVING): that ontario winter.

I woke up this morning to a voicemail from my mom, warning me about what the weather was supposed to be doing in Toronto today.  Yeah okay mom, I thought, you’re 3000 km away, just chill.  But then I opened up the weather app and saw that it was -8 degrees; -23 with the windchill.

WOW that is cold.

Being a West Coast gal, I have never experienced that kind of cold before; anything below zero meant I did not leave the house.  If I was lucky it meant I didn’t leave my bed!  But of course now that I’m a real Toronto person, I had to get up and go about life as if I was completely unfazed.

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basically my life today

Today was definitely the coldest day so far, but the last few weeks have certainly still felt pretty frigid; temperatures below zero aren’t even a shock anymore.  And slowly but surely, this West Coast girl is learning how to survive (but definitely not thrive) this winter.

If any of you are experiencing a killer (apparently this is actually very normal, but it’s definitely killing me) winter for the first time right now, I got ya.  Here’s what you absolutely must have.

1. a zippered purse.  I really really love just carrying around all of my worldly possessions with me everywhere I go – kind of like a Tibetan monk, if Tibetan monks were full of anxiety and owned a lot of lipstick.  Anyway the purse that I usually carry is a very cute (and very big) one from H&M, but it has no zipper or way of closing it.  As I discovered last week, that is a surefire way to end up with a purse full of snow.  Also a great way to ruin all of your class notes!  So yeah, a purse with a zipper is essential – don’t tell anyone, but the one I’m currently using was 15 dollars at Ardenes.

2. hand cream.  My hands were literally bleeding a few days ago because it is so damn aveeno.jpgcold and they are so damn dry.  I bought a tube of Aveeno hand cream, and I swear by this stuff now.  Officially can not live without it.

3. good chapstick.  My lips were also definitely suffering – I had been applying burts bees like crazy but it was not helping.  Time to pull out the big guns – Blistex, all day every day.

4. a toque.  What do non-Canadians call toques?  Are they just… hats?  Whatever you call it, you need one, immediately.  Pull it down over your ears and put your hood up for the ultimate cozy experience.

5. waterproof boots.  Listen, no one looks cute in winter clothing, okay?  But believe me on this, once your feet are cold there is no going back.  You will wish you were dead.  I mean it.

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currently on sale at express!!

6. a blanket scarf.  One of the most important investments of my life.  Doubles as a cozy blanket for those late nights at the library!

7. those text-y gloves.  I finally got a pair of these today.  It was a little hard to text what with the snow that was constantly pelting my screen, but STILL better than nothing.

8. waterproof mascara.  I learned this lesson the same day as the purse thing.  My friend Kelly, who grew up in Ontario, was actually dying laughing at me.  A quick lesson about snow: it will hit your face, it will become water, and it will turn you into that snapchat filter with the running mascara.  Not cute.  I’m currently using one from L’Oreal that I like a lot!

9. a totally shameless attitude toward keeping warm.  In spite of the fact that I have literally never experienced weather quite like the blizzard I walked through today, I was actually really not that cold.  Why?  Because I was so damn prepared for it (thanks mom!).  When it’s -20 you don’t get to concern yourself with looking cute.  Wrap your damn scarf around your face, put up the hood of your parka, wear 8 pairs of socks and leggings under your jeans.  I look dumb as hell in hats but you better believe I will not leave the house without one until I can finally see the ground beneath my feet again.  I never look that cool anyway – may as well look like a warm dork, not a shivering/dying one.

All in all, I’m very much looking forward to hopping on a plane in four days and flying home to Victoria for a little reprieve from the magical winter wonderland Toronto is becoming.  I love this city more than anything, but I miss my family, and the ocean, and being able to go out without worrying about losing my fingers.

How do you cope with winter – any real Canadians out there who can give me tips?  Also, important question; why does walking through snow feel like such a damn workout?  I’m over it.

On a slightly related note, I’m thinking this is going to be a new feature – “surviving (not thriving)”.  Too many blogs are teaching you how to be the very best ever at everything !!! and that’s great, but I think maybe if you want to one day be the best then it’s important to first get yourself to the point where you are… well… surviving.  So far in the works are posts about uni, moving out, and dating.  Any other thoughts or suggestions??

I have an exam tomorrow (actually 10.5 hours from now, if we’re being precise), so I’d better go get a bit more studying in before I call it quits.  I have to be at the school by 8am, which just seems cruel and unusual, considering the recent developments of my sleep patterns.  Wish me luck!

Enjoy the snow – L

Day 1: BLOGMAS is ON!

WOW, it’s been exactly a month since the last time I came on here and announced that I was BACK!  If consistency is key then I am… not holding the key.

There’s gotta be a good DJ Khaled reference here, I just don’t know exactly what it is.

Anyway, the point is, I was clearly not back.  But hey, guess what starts today?

Oh yeah.

It’s Blogmas.

It’s a common complaint from people that as we get older Christmas gets less exciting and, at the risk of seeming a little jaded, I have to agree.  I’ve already eaten all the chocolate out of my advent calendar, there are no lights on my house (my landlady is Jewish), and I haven’t even thought about Christmas shopping.  The most festive thing that’s happened to me so far is that it snowed, and while I was walking around feeling like it was a Christmas miracle, no one else in Toronto seemed all that bothered.

I think part of the problem is that December is a crazy time for most students.

Like, yeah, I’d love to be baking gingerbread cookies and taking tours of the great Christmas lights, but I have to study!!  Trust me, I’m bummed about it too.  By the time my exams are done it’s usually days away from Christmas, and I’m lucky if I’ve maybe had time to buy a present for my mom.  For me I’m also flying home on the 18th and celebrating my birthday on the 19th.

Simply put, Christmas is crazy and a lot of the time I feel that it’s gone before I’ve even had time to get excited about it.  Bah Humbug, right?  Well

NOT THIS YEAR, BABY!

Because for the next three weeks I’m embracing Christmas wholeheartedly… and it’s going to be messy.

Crafts, recipes, make up, music, exploring the city…I’m mustering as much Christmas spirit as is humanly possible this year, and I’m going to document it all right here.  Because a lesson that I’m learning lately is that you have to spend your days off doing things or else you never… well… do anything.

Not that I’m having many days off lately what with exams coming up.  But you get the idea.

And hey, to make it all the sweeter, I talked my blogging babe Brianna (that’s a lot of alliteration) into doing it with me!  Bri writes about books, and always makes me want to go lose myself in a new novel.  She’s one of my favourite bloggers and best friends – and also she’s the grinch.

Like literally when I texted her about this she said “but I’m the grinch.”

Join us as we stumble through the holidays with a lot of uncertainty, a little sass, and hopefully some wine.
Oh, yeah, and also holiday cheer.

If you’re also participating in Blogmas this year, let me know!  I can’t wait to see everyone’s festive posts.

Only 24 days to go!

– L

SWEET NOTHINGS: i’m obsessed with Toronto.

I tell people that I “just moved here” on a fairly regular basis.  It’s my excuse when someone asks me for a club recommendation, or makes fun of me for wearing a scarf in the beginning of October (it’s fucking cold here guys).  But truthfully, it’s been five months now – that’s almost half a year! – and Toronto really does feel like home.  I’m happier here than I’ve ever been, and I think I’m finally starting to resemble a real Torontonian.

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I grew up on Vancouver Island; I went to high school in a town of 8000 people, and then moved to Victoria when I started university.  It was so beautiful, and it’s home – there’s no way I could ever really hate it.  But… I didn’t exactly like it, either.  Maybe it’s pretentious, or maybe it’s immature… but I never felt like I belonged.  It just wasn’t the right ‘fit’.  And, well, maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I’d like to think I DO ‘fit’ here.

Here are a list of things that make me feel like I Belong™ :

  1. listening to Drake (predictable)
  2. calling people ‘babe’ (but NOT ‘fam’.  Stop trying to make ‘fam’ happen, Toronto)
  3. knowing whether I’m facing North/South/East/West
  4. that one time my coffee came in a mug with a huge crack in it and I asked for a different one (do you have any idea how much bacteria gets in there??  A lot.  My friend Andrea literally looked at me and went “what, you think you’re a torontonian now?” – yes, yes I do)
  5. milk in a bag.  I don’t drink milk, but if I did, I would drink it from a bag.  Like a real Toronto person.
  6. buying fruit and veggies from cute little fruit and veggie stands (especially in 2016-09-02 06.33.05 1.jpgKensington Market – which, incidentally is where I am writing this from)
  7. ordering take out (take out options are very limited in a small town.  Simple pleasures, guys.)
  8. kissing people on the cheek in greeting
  9. when people ask me for directions and I can actually help them
  10. walking through a crowd of hundreds of people and somehow managing to avoid eye contact with every single one

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I wouldn’t say these are necessarily all positive developments… but honestly, at this point, I don’t even care.

Here’s the thing about Toronto… it’s alive.  It’s glittery and it’s fast and maybe it’s a little Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 2.26.35 PM.pngbit snobby… but maybe I needed to learn a little bit of snobbery.  Maybe I needed to learn that it’s okay to ask for a clean mug (politely, obviously) or tell a guy I don’t want to give him my number.  It’s okay to wear lipstick to class and to accept favours and to take the last available seat on the bus.  It’s okay to look out for yourself.  Everyone else is doing it.

ANYWAY, this is my ode to Toronto.  Where do you live – do you love it?  And if you’ve ever been to Toronto, tell me – is it too pretentious, or just pretentious enough?

xo

– L

HERE WE GO…

This blog was an accident.

It was late, and I was having one of those days.  I was spinning around in my desk chair, staring at my giant to do list and feeling utterly uninspired to do any of it.  I wanted something to work on – some creative project that was just for me.

Instead of doing something productive, I started Skyping my friend Sarah.  Sarah’s a photographer, a snapchat aficionado, and a personal cheerleader for everyone she meets.  She’s the one who suggested I start blogging again, and her positive attitude made me think that maybe she was right – maybe I would be good at it this time!  In fact she got me so excited that I went and bought my domain name right then and there.

Then the call ended and I started to have a bit of a melt down.

what am I doing??  I don’t have time for this, I can’t do this, I’m not interesting enough for this.
Oh, and I’ve tried blogging before… it’s hard.

So there’s that.  

It was a long night – there was a lot of freaking out.  Sometimes I think I buy things that I think will help me live a certain type of life (it never works)… and I had just done that very thing with a damn domain name.  At least when I buy too many lipsticks I can wear them to work!

I decided that I wasn’t going to move forward with it – that I would just forget about the whole thing and try not to dwell on it too much… but my mind kept wandering back the idea.  I started thinking about what my aesthetic would be, and titles for blog posts wouldn’t stop popping into my head.  So hey, I thought, why the hell not?

And thus, MOMPUNK was born – for real this time.  I started making lists, coming up with a palette of colours, gathering photos for instagram and drafting posts… and now we’re here!  I haven’t done as much prep as I wanted, but they say the hardest part of anything is the start, and I have a feeling that if I don’t just hit that publish button, nothing is ever going to go up on here.

SO, that unnecessarily long story was basically to say… hello!  Welcome!  This is MOMPUNK.

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MOMPUNK HQ, aka my very cluttered desk

 

Here’s what you can expect to see here:

+ playlists of some great tunes
+ my favourite make up products
+ university talk
+ my sad attempts at DIY projects
+ tips for life (or something)
+ real talk about things like sex, feminism, and how hard it is to be an adult
+ just me, ranting, raving, rambling, and being the mess of a woman that I am

So, any tips on who to follow, what to post, or how to… y’know… be a blogger?  Let me know!

see you tomorrow,

– L