November 18, 2014

New Weekly Mantra - We think too much about what goes wrong..

I realized that I've been acting ungrateful lately. I'm quick to point out all of the things that aren't right, from the littlest things, to the larger life items. It is always when I read international news, or look up for a second from my own world, that I realize that I have much, much, much more than I'll ever need; even if everything is not quite where I want it to be.

This week's mantra relates. Enjoy! x

"We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savouring what went well." - Dr. Martin Seligman via Brain Pickings 

November 14, 2014

The List - On Fairytales, Montauk, Activism, and Getting Published

It's Friday, so here's some of the things I've been reading, and liking this week! Enjoy.

Credit: Bruce Buck for the New York Times 
The List

1. Keira Knightley in The Edit talks about the fairytale trope and not waiting around for a man to save you.

2. I was published in my first magazine (!!!) Best Health to be exact. I wrote about blurring products for the holiday season.

3. Brooklyn Beckham nails it in the latest from T Magazine in one of my favourite vacation spots, Montauk.

4. If there is one family I'd like to be part of, it's the Missoni family. Check out their quirky Milano dream home.

5. Need music to relax to? The score to the film, The Theory of Everything is, well, EVERYTHING. My pick: Cambridge, 1963

6. These photos of top floor NYC bathrooms would turn anyone into an exhibitionist. (Photo above)

7. One of my best girls, Jaimie has a blog, Returning to Humanity where she tackles the pressing issues of race, conflict, activism and human rights. Read it. Trust me.

November 13, 2014

The Sleep Diaries

image via Pinterest
"How do you sleep?"

I was asked this recently by a friend due to the fact that my mind is always racing. I'm always thinking. (This sounds strange, I mean, if you're not thinking than what exactly is your brain doing?)

But for me, it's more of an over-analyzing situation; my brain on a ferris wheel.

When you're a "Thinker" like me, sleep is very important. Over the years I've learned that a lack of sleep is linked to a myriad of problems like: disease, loss of memory, weight gain, etc. My cure for getting a good night's sleep is a good eye mask. Sleeping in a cave for a year (also known as a room without a window) turned me into a female bear. I no longer can sleep if there is even the smallest bit of light in a room.

My pick? DIA Collection Sleep Masks. They were kind enough to send me a mask to review after I spotted them in Novella mag. Their masks have ear loops, and are made of 100% silk. The loops make them easy to stay on, without creasing your hair. The silk feels soft on your eyes, and refreshes what I like to call "Computer Eyes" aka staring at a screen all day.

Mine is in black (but they have plenty of colours) and it's my new secret weapon against sleeping...and thinking. To find out more, head to

November 10, 2014

Published: Man Repeller

One of my favourite websites is Man Repeller. The creator, Leandra Medine turned her popular blog into a business, a book deal, and a revolution from dressing like a mannequin.

The blog recently started a writing club, and each week they ask for submissions for a new topic. Last week the topic was Fan Fiction. I was watching quite a bit of Full House on Netflix and somehow this story just fell from my fingertips. I submitted and they chose it!

If you've ever been a Full House fan, this one's for you: Date Night with Dr. Dare

Happy Monday!

November 5, 2014

Spy Girl

When searching for the first place of my own, I didn't care about square footage, or building amenities, I wanted a balcony.

My current view doesn't sweep across the geometric Toronto skyline, and it doesn't stare at a body of water, or a wild forest. Instead, it faces a narrow alleyway where I can see a sign for a dental office, and a dry cleaner. Adjacent to me are two apartment buildings.

I can see inside other people's lives, while they watch The Toronto Maple Leafs lose win play another hockey game, or as they step outside to smoke a cigarette. I can see people shaking their sheets to make their bed. My view has an Alfred Hitchcock Rear Window kind of feel, minus murder, binoculars and Grace Kelly. I'm not trying to pry, it's just right there.

When I was a kid my hero was Harriet the Spy.

She was always writing things down with her scratchy pencil in her black and white notebook. She observed the world in her own way. She was brave. While Harriet got busted by her friends when they found her notebook, I know better than to have my personal thoughts lying on my kitchen table. Instead, I have password protected word documents. While I do have this blog, I am a very private person. Even after five years of writing, I still struggle with sharing my thoughts and photos publicly.

While I'm not a professional spy, I sometimes dress like one. I also write to figure out my small place in the world. As my favourite writer Joan Didion once said, “I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

I don't know if I'll ever stop.

Photo credits: Stefania Sgambelluri

November 4, 2014

New Weekly Mantra - Tay Swift

My old roommate Nisha is a Taylor Swift fanatic.

We'd have debates about her sweet persona, her hair changes, her award show speeches, and her music. (I always played the offensive, even though I enjoyed a good Taylor song)

And yet, living with Nisha for one year, slowly converted me into a super fan. Every time Swift released a new album, I vowed that this time I was going to outgrow her music. And then within a few days, I was nodding my head, tapping my toes, dancing around, or crying in my car? (Okay the crying is probably from her 2009 Fearless album. I was young, okay?)

1989 is her first pop album, and since I purchased it, I can't stop listening. I don't usually buy full albums anymore, as most are streamable online, but Swift doesn't abide to steaming services. With my album purchase, I received the digital booklet, also known as the album jacket that comes with physical CDs.

I read a quote from her foreword that really resonated with me. Enjoy!

"The debate over whether people can change is an interesting one for me to observe because it seems like all I ever do is change. All I ever do is learn from my mistakes so I don't make the same ones again. Then I make new ones. I know people can change because it happens to me little by little every day. Every day I wake up as someone slightly new. Isn't it wild and intriguing and beautiful to think that every day we are new?" 

 quote via Taylor Swift / image credit via we know the dj.

October 28, 2014

The List - NYC Spots

On my latest trip to my favourite city, I discovered some new spots and visited old favourites. Below is a round-up of my favourite NYC hits for brunch, cocktails, shopping and caffeine. Enjoy! x

1. Sweet Science - Sometimes bars look scary in the daytime. Sweet Science, in Brooklyn is a cozy day spot for brunch with graffiti art and natural light. Try: the black bean burgers.
2. Jack's Wife Freda - I've read about this trendy SoHo brunch spot, and had been meaning to check it out. The food is South African Israeli Jewish inspired. Try: the Mediterranean breakfast. Note: it's a bit loud on Sundays, and you may have to wait in line. Do some shopping before!
3. Warby Parker - I've been a fan of Warby Parker since their initial launch. Warby provides affordable eye wear and donates a pair of glasses to someone in need with every purchase. My friend Cam is an optometrist at the Upper East Side location and I loved their library-inspired space.
4. Dunwell Donuts - I brought this place up before, but I can't seem to walk by without grabbing a vegan donut. This time I was up on that vanilla and chocolate sprinkles flavour.
5. Stumptown Coffee - Coffee is my jam in every city I visit. When heading to New York, I no longer visit tourist attractions, but instead try to find new cafes. Stumptown has a few locations, and I chose to visit their shop located in The Ace Hotel. Notes: great coffee, cool lighting.
6. Roebling Tea Room - I have a pen pal (more on that later) and we met at The Roebling Tea room in Williamsburg for a catch up and cocktails. The bar/restaurant/tea room is moody and lush, with the most perfect windows. I loved, loved, loved it.
7. The Ace Hotel - I found myself in the lobby of The Ace Hotel (see photo below) and I did what any aspiring writer on vacation does: I found a spot, opened my laptop and typed until I forgot what time it was. I was surrounded by other people doing the same thing, and I felt like I was transported to some hipster college library. I'd definitely consider staying at the hotel in the future.

October 27, 2014

New Weekly Mantra - Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta passed away last week at the age of 82. He was one of my favourite designers, and I wanted to start the week off with a quote from him. Enjoy! x

“I really hate nostalgia. I don’t look at the world today and say, Oh, what a pity there are no Babe Paleys around. That’s not how to live your life. And the only manners I am interested in are the manners of the heart.” - Oscar de la Renta via The Cut
/ image via Pursuitist