Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Love Your Self(ie)

I don't always love the way I look.

It's part of human nature, especially for women, to sometimes feel amazing, and other days to really dislike the image reflected in the mirror.

I try as hard as I can to love every version of myself, from the made up glamazon going out on the town, to the girl who wakes up with dirty hair and racoon eyes. Some days are easier than others, especially when the hair gods decide to bless me with the perfect curl. 

Other days, self love is a struggle. It's not easy being a confident woman, especially with the bombardment of media that perpetuates an ideal of beauty that most women can't achieve. It's disheartening falling in love with a dress or a style of makeup, only to find out it only looks good on a certain type of woman - a type that you most definitely are not. 

Enter the selfie. A lot of people find them narcissistic and vain, and while I admit there is an aspect of vanity whenever I post one, there's more to the simple snap of the picture. Because we are constantly being shown pictures of women photoshopped and altered, a selfie (even when put through a filter) can help elevate our confidence. It's a way of saying to the world: "HEY! I feel great today! Look at me, a normal woman with no extra help from a trainer, or stylist, or makeup artist, and I still feel sexy!"

If taking a selfie helps me love my face and body a little bit more, then where's the harm? 

I also love seeing other people's selfies. I love seeing a wide variety of bodies and faces, especially when the picture was taken by the person in the picture. It represents a moment where they feel their best, which is incredibly attractive. Self love is sexy, people.

So go ahead, snap as many selfies as you want. You look damn good, and everyone should know it. 

Do you love or hate selfies? Your own, or other peoples. 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Quick Trip to Toronto

This weekend I had the opportunity to head to Toronto for the night, and jumped at the chance. I stupidly did not pack any cute dresses or heels for our opening nights at the theatre, so I had to book it to the mall and spend way too much money I don't have on things I don't need. #fashiongirlproblems

But first, food. I got in to Toronto around 8pm, so I made my way to "Fresh" restaurant to see my bestie Adele, and eat all the delicious vegan food.

We started with quinoa onion rings, and a side of chipotle mayo. My last trip to TO was also spent with Adele and quinoa onion rings. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I had to branch out from my usual dragon bowl and ordered the goddess bowl, which was a bunch of greens, pickled ginger, tempeh, nuts, on a bed of soba noodles. It was fantastic, of course, but my eyes were way bigger than my belly and I could barely finish it. Don't get me wrong - I DID finish it, but I thought a normal person probably wouldn't be able to.

Adele had the squash tacos, which are new and she says they're fantastic. "Fresh" recently came out with new menu items, and I can't wait to go back and try them all. Count down is on!

After food we headed to the cool part of town for drinks. I say the cool part of town, because I am super un-hip and was wearing a wind breaker and sneakers while the hipsters around me wore denim cut offs and sunglasses at night. I am aware of my lameness, and embrace it. #selflove

After a night of girl talk (and checking guys out on Tinder) we called it a night and I crashed with Adele. Sunday morning, we woke up with the sun, at 11am. That's when the sun rises, right?

We went to "Grasslands" for brunch. Last time in TO I went there for supper and was blown away, I can't tell you how excited I was to try their brunch menu. Brunch is hands down my favourite meal time.

We started by splitting the chipotle mac and cheese. It was incredible.

I ordered the chicken and waffles. I don't want to sound dramatic, but THEY CHANGED MY LIFE. First of all, I have never had chicken and waffles, but the idea is brilliant. Secondly, it was absolutely phenomenal. The chicken tasted real, which didn't weird me out so much this time, and the waffles were sweet, and this chick loves sweet and salty food. Holy yum. "Grasslands" is officially one of my favourite restaurants, if you have the chance to check it out, I highly recommend it, vegans and carnivores alike!

After loading up on food, Adele and I split ways and I headed to the mall. After hours of shopping at stores that are way too cool for me, I finally found a few cute outfits and a nice pair of shoes for our openings.

Side note on body image: I haven't worked out in a few weeks, and though my body is softer, I actually still feel pretty great about the way I look. I understand that my body is constantly changing, and am trying to remind myself that there is so much more to me than my reflection in the mirror. With that in mind, I bought a dress that is super tight and sexy. Normally I would shy away from it, but why should I? It made me feel great, so I'm going to stop waiting til I lose the last 10lbs to wear adorable clothes that make me feel hot.

I grabbed a soy latte over ice for fuel, and gave them my favourite name. Totally channelling Colleen's favourite girl, too.

Supper was another big city favourite, Chipotle. With as much guac as I could handle (which wasn't enough, in my opinion).

A short and sweet trip to the big city, but I needed some quality vegan food and cute shoes. 

If you only had one day in a big city, what would you do? 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Day of Theatre in Stratford

I have been living to the fullest lately, and totally living in the moment and breathing it all in - but I do miss blogging, so I'll try and post at least once a week, just to stay connected to all of you :) 

Last Sunday a few of us took a road trip to Stratford, where one of Canada's largest theatre festivals is up and running. Before we caught a few shows, we walked along the water, and it reminded me so much of home! Yep, I'm officially home sick.

We saw "Mother Courage" and the production was incredible. I'm not a huge fan of Brecht's work, but the actual production of the show was so well done, and all of the actors were equally strong. The second act was especially moving - I highly recommend the show if you get a chance to see it. 

After the show we grabbed a bite to eat. I insisted on Thai food, because the town I'm staying in only has pub food, and this gal needed some veggie friendly options! Plus, Thai is my favourite. We went to "Stratford Thai" based on local recommendations. 

I was starving and clearly deprived of quality food, so I ordered the veggie skewers as a starter. Tofu, plus veggies (and pineapple, the best) with a side of peanut sauce for dipping. 

And because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, I ordered Pad Thai as my main. It was good, but I've definitely had better. I shouldn't complain though, because even okay Thai food is still Thai food, and better than fries any day.

Just when I thought I was stuffed and couldn't have another bite, we stumbled upon a local ice cream shop "Scoops." There was lemon sorbet, so I thanked the fashion gods that I chose to wear a stretchy maxi skirt, and I convinced my body to expand for the sweet taste of sorbet. In a waffle cone, of course. Worth. It. 

After ice cream, we had tickets to see a reading/sing through of "Next to Normal." For long time blog readers (hi mom!), I worked on this show last year, and it was my first professional Stage Management gig, right before I started my apprenticeship. It's crazy that almost a year later, my life has drastically changed and yet I was still listening to a sing through of a show that considerably affected my career.

Of course it was incredible, and of course I bawled my eyes out. 

It was a great day with awesome people, and this weekend I'm headed to Toronto for some more fun with best friends. 

As a side note, my blog is typically centered around healthy eating and working out, but neither are a focus in my life right now. While I don't have much time to blog, the time that I do take may have different subject matter. It's not that healthy eating and exercising aren't important in my life, it's just that I have other priorities, and my blog may reflect that in the next few months. 

Please let me know if there's something you'd like me to cover, such as my experience with a long distance relationship or having to constantly move around for work. These are topics I will absolutely discuss, but if you're curious about other things, I would be happy to reveal different parts of my life with you. 

Thank you for reading! I appreciate it more than you know. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Being Present

I have been doing something I haven't done in years. 

I've been present.

I've been living life, and I've taken a step away from anything online. 

I haven't thought of blogging, I haven't thought of any social media, and the extent that I use the internet is to check my email for work. 

I've been spending time with friends. I've been staying up way too late and getting up way too early, all in order to be around amazing people. I've been working my butt off at work, and I've been partying just as hard. I have been truly living. 

I used to blog about these things. I used to seek out new experiences in order to write about them to encourage YOU to go out and try something new. But for once, I haven't felt the need to whip out my camera during an experience, in order to later write it here. 

I've been choosing memories over pictures. 

That being said I'll never truly step away from the blog. This space may grow quiet over the summer, just know that my life is nothing but excitement outside of this space. And I hope yours is too. 

Some amazing things that I've done so far include...

- Eating octopus from a frisbee on the beach. I'll try anything once...

- Axe and knife throwing after work. Turns out this is a special skill I didn't know I had, so don't f*ck with me. 

- Picked up the guitar again and jammed with friends. I've rekindled my love of music. And early 2000's rap turned into folk songs.

- Had amazing dance parties with every single person I work with. Nothing like grinding your boss to solidify your relationship. 

- Haven't worked out. This is new, and scary, but amazing for my spirit. I don't need exercise to have a positive body image, I need exercise to clear my head. I finally understand the difference. 

- Spent the entire day on the beach, got badly sunburned, then spent the rest of the night playing losing my money at poker. 

I hope you are having an amazing summer, and I hope you can step away from social media and truly take in all the incredible things happening around you. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

WIAW - Sharing A Fridge With Roommates

Living with roommates is both a blessing and a curse. I lucked out and am living with the best people ever, and we're all doing different jobs on different shows so we always have something to talk about. The only downside is that we're four ladies, sharing a fridge that is only slightly bigger than those mini fridges you get in dorms. I've had to get strategic with my food, as there are no cupboards either, but I think I'm finally in a meal planning groove that I know what I can keep in the fridge, and what delicious curry dreams I need to leave on my shelf.

Breakfast is, and always will be, banana oatmeal with a huge dollop of almond butter, and two cups of coffee with Silk french vanilla coffee cream. 

My house has two blenders, so I've jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon and now drink a green smoothie a day. I've noticed my skin has been looking RADIANT, and I'm pretty sure it's because of the green smoothies. (It's definitely not from sleep, or lack there of). 
I've also been adding one tsp of Kiss Me Organic's matcha green tea to the smoothies, and I've noticed a crazy spike in energy. It doesn't make me jittery, but when I don't have time to drink coffee or it's just one of those days, the matcha green tea definitely makes me feel more alert. 

Lunches are hit or miss - sometimes I have an hour or two to prepare an amazing meal, and some days I have twenty seconds to shove whatever food is closest into my mouth. I made this Gado Gado sauce and put it in a mason jar, pre-make a big batch of brown rice on the weekend, and all I have to do is chop up some veggies and tofu, and throw it all together in a pan. 

Snacks vary, but are typically a granola bar + a piece of fruit. Right now I'm obsessed with white flesh nectarines. 

And of course, there's always chocolate. Thank you Colleen for an amazing care package that included my weight in chocolate. My love for you is expanding (just like my waistline). 

My favourite meal for supper is a big salad, romaine lettuce, roasted sweet potatoes, veggie sausage, all topped with Oh She Glows Lemon Tahini Dressing. It's my favourite dressing in the world, I could drink the stuff. And yes, I eat out of a tupperware. The bowls here are not massive enough to contain my epic salads. 

Nighttime snacks vary, but are often more chocolate, or blue corn chips, or beer. I was planning on going the whole summer without alcohol, and then I moved to a small town where my co-workers are amazing and hang out every night, and that has led to me drinking tequila on a Monday night. Hey, at least I'm drinking green smoothies, right? 

Have you ever had to share a fridge? Any tips?

***Disclaimer: I was sent the matcha green tea to review. All opinions and poor life choices are my own.