Levelled Up!

September 17th of this year I turned 30.
A month ago (yesterday!) I celebrated with a day that I will never forget.

2

Turning thirty was an incredible milestone for me.
Most people from my generation that I’ve spoken to, who have either passed this marker of life or are creeping up to it quickly, express their lack of excitement for the same.

For me, it’s a joyous occasion.  One that I wasn’t even sure I would be here to see.
I’ve dealt with a lot of trauma and mental health issues over the course of my life thus far, and there were times that I fully expected to not reach this age.  Sometimes, the darkness just felt too heavy and it was more than I could bear.

I’m glad I got here.

Thirty is a beautiful privilege.  It’s afforded me opportunities, experiences, and relationships that I would have missed.  It’s provided me with wisdom, security, self-acceptance, and the knowledge that I am worth so much.  It’s proven to me that I have a purpose on this Earth.

Turning 30 was a momentous occasion, so it was only appropriate that the day of celebration reflect that.

I was so fortunate that I was able to have Leaving Thomas come and play for my closest family and friends.  It was a celebration for myself, but it was also a token of appreciation for those in my life who have stood by me, who have supported me, and who have guided me; a thank you, if you will.

use3

I also had the incredible honour of joining Annika and Bryton on stage to sing on of my favourite LT songs, “Wreckage”.  It was really fun to see all of the reactions to our little surprise!

Check out the video below, OR head over HERE to their YouTube channel (and have a gander at the rest of their content – they’re totally worth the visit)

use1use2use6

threeamigos3

I was also lucky enough to have my boyfriend capture the evening in photographs, but I won’t share those photos here to protect the privacy of my guests (aside from these with my BFF who couldn’t care less LOL)

❤ ❤ ❤

Lust For Life

Proclaiming to love yourself in this world is seen as brave, as courageous, as rebellious.

In a world that profits from your self-loathing, saying a big ‘Fuck You!’ to the people that perpetuate this hatred within you is seen as incredible…and I find that so disturbing.

I am not brave or courageous for loving myself.
I am not defying the odds, or society.
It is not heroic to love the flesh that you inhabit; it’s human.

Just tonight as I was waiting in line with my groceries, I glanced over and saw a reader’s digest style magazine, and every single cover line was about women shedding 2 pounds, 4 pounds, 10 pounds QUICK!  I literally flipped it the bird, and I know it was a superfluous act, but it felt SO. DAMN. GOOD.

1 year ago, I would never have seen it that way.
1 year ago, I would have snuck that trash onto the belt hidden amongst the rest of my purchases.
1 year ago, I would have felt immense shame within myself seeing those bold-font reminders that I am taking up too much space in this world.

Today is a different story.
Not every day is easy but – this day, this hour, this minute, this precious fucking second, I can stand exposed in front of glass coated with metal amalgam and admire what is reflected back at me.

I can gaze at it with soft eyes that carry love instead of hated.
I can caress each curve, each line, each bit of abundance with compassion and pride.
I can move and twirl and bounce, and watch with joy and childlike whimsy.

It has taken me so long to stand here today.  I am tired – literally fatigued – at the notion of having to wake up every day and despise this shell that affords me so much on this Earth.  I simply refuse to do it any longer.

To love yourself allows your mind to truly be free.
To be free of invasive thoughts that steal the light of day.
To be free to see the stars that twinkle against the velvet night sky.
To be free to breathe in every molecule of oxygen so deeply that you taste the pine on the trees.
To be free to live with lust and valiance.
To be free to drink in the magic of the world that surrounds you.

I will not allow others to police my body any longer.
I will not allow others to impose rules upon my autonomy.
I will not allow others to cripple me within my own soul.
I will not allow archaic, misogynistic views of female nudity to remove my power.

I am here.
I am evolving.
I have worked hard to peel back the layers that have been plastered unwillingly onto me to keep me ‘sheltered’ and ‘compliant’.
I don’t want to be sheltered, and I will never be compliant.

I will own my womanhood.
I will own the divine beauty that resides in my soul.
I will own the flesh that houses every speck of dust within me.
I will own this life, and all that I am gifted by it.
I will shower with gratitude those who see my true light, and I will walk away from those who don’t.

And I will not apologize for any of it any longer.

“‘Cause we’re the masters of our own fate
We’re the captains of our own souls
So there’s no need for us to hesitate
We’re all alone, let’s take control…”

 

I am beholden to empowering, inspiring women like Jan Stolee (who is credited for the breathtaking photos below).

Without whom, I would not carry such meaningful conversation regarding change, allowing growth, and coming into yourself.
Without whom, I would be unable to (literally) see the spike in my confidence through her lens.
Without whom, I would still be ashamed of my uncovered skin – instead of being gifted the vision of the true beauty that a woman’s body holds.

1267891011131719202122

WOMEN WHO EXPLORE – GOLDEN, BC

How do I even begin?

How do you compile all of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions into one tiny little post?  I’m going to try, but I can’t say it’s going to be easy…or length conscious.  Fair warning.

I guess… I will start from the beginning!

A couple of months back, I wrote a post about how I didn’t get into my program of choice for school, and how hella bummed I was about that.  As fate would have it, I was scrolling through my social medias for happiness inspo (or anything to keep me from completely falling apart, really), and I stumbled across an ad for Women Who Explore.

It was advertising a Soul Sisters Getaway for Golden, British Columbia.  There was to be two nights spent in a luxury river lodge, with all meals (including a wine tasting and a gourmet meal), hot tubbing, and of course activities meant to conjure fun fun fun!

I was feeling very lost, and I really needed something to revive me, so on a complete whim I just booked it.  I said “FUCK IT”, and threw myself into probably THE most uncomfortable position I could put myself into: travelling far from home alone for the first time, travelling solo and not knowing anyone, driving my own ass that far, spending more than a couple of hours with complete strangers, ALL the social interactions, just generally taking a huge leap of faith and trusting that the Universe had my back.

After arriving back home yesterday, all I could say was THANK GOD I TOOK THAT CHANCE.  This past weekend has changed me, in ways I never knew I needed, and in ways I still haven’t discovered yet.

I want to share with you the magic of my experience over the past 3 days, because if you’re someone who is craving a new/life-changing experience, connection with other women, or just need time away for yourself – pay attention.  I think this is JUST what the doctor would order.

Friday

I left home Friday at 12:30 pm, right on time to what I’d been planning (for once in my life!).  I thought I would give myself enough time to make a couple of pit stops in Calgary and Banff on the way in (LOLLLLLLLL).  What I didn’t take into account was that Google Maps is a dirty liar, and the 90 km speed limits severely ate at my time.  I didn’t make any unnecessary stops, and I made it to the ranch RIGHT on time!  Check in was at 6 pm, and I got there with 5 minutes to spare. WHEW!

I was the first of the guests to arrive after the team.  The first face I saw was Jenny’s, who rushed out to greet me.  The first thing I said was, “AM I IN THE RIGHT PLACE?!” because I am severely directionally challenged, and save for my GPS, I could have ended up God knows where.  She assured me I was, and out bounded Lindsay to say her hello’s as well! They offered to get my gear inside, and graciously lugged all my shit into the cabin (I don’t pack light…).  When I initially registered, I had requested solo slumber accommodations if possible; I was so freaked out that I had actually booked myself for such a social event that I was hoping against everything I would at least have a quiet place to chill and be with myself if it all got too overwhelming.  I was SO lucky that they were able to accommodate my request, and they took me straight to my own bedroom (which had a STELLAR view of the mountains/river) – complete with a custom wooden name-tag and a little goodie bag filled with all kinds of amazing things.

Not long after, everyone else started to arrive.  We all sat out on the deck chit-chatting amongst each other as everyone started to come in.  The alcohol came out, and we had a good time laughing, and beginning to get to know the rest of the crew.   Once everyone arrived, Jenny and Lindsay did intros and went over the “house rules” for the weekend.

PC: Ally Pintucci

Friday night was incredible, inspiring, heart-wrenching, and everything I could have never even DREAMED about.

After a late dinner, we all went down to sit in a little gathering circle around the fire pit.  Lindsay came around with a bag of Jelly Belly’s and asked each of us to take some – but wouldn’t tell us how many or why.  We later found out that the number of jellybeans we’d taken was the number of things we had to share about ourselves.  I literally grabbed a handful of 20 fucking jellybeans.  I DON’T EVEN KNOW 20 THINGS ABOUT MYSELF TO SHARE.  I managed to keep it together as I sort of just word-vomited more than I’ve ever told anyone on a first meeting.

I have to say – Friday night was the best night I’ve had in a long, long time.  15 women, sat round a fire, and shared intimate details about themselves with complete strangers.  They were uplifting, inspiring, heart-breaking, intense, strong, courageous stories.  I was awestruck by the openness of these women, and how much I could relate to them.  HOW ON EARTH is it that you stumble across a group of women that are so accepting, so non-judgemental, that you feel you can share the deepest, sometimes darkest parts of you?  The Universe absolutely had my back, and I was in the exact right spot in that moment of time.  I left that campfire feeling so humbled and hopeful.

Saturday

Saturday was met with a delicious breakfast from our lovely hosts (mimosas included).  Seriously, so good.  It was our fuel as we were off to check out some of the surrounding scenery!

We sat down as a group and decided what we were going to do for the day.   We collectively agreed to hit up Emerald Lake and Cedar Lakes.  We parted to get ready and pack our lunches (food provided).  At last minute, I was asked to be a driver which was totally cool! …. except that I’m a total idiot and forgot my wallet, containing my license/money/registration/insurance, and so I had to turn back to get it costing us precious time 😦  We ended up only having time for Emerald Lake, and I felt like a total loser.  Who forgets those things?! LOL C’est la vie!

PC: Lee Horbachewski

Our day at Emerald Lake turned out to be a riot.  We went traipsing in there, us 15 women, our horde of inflatables in tow – to the utter horrifying shock and amusement of the other tourists.

Some of the people near us got a real kick out of it, and even asked to take photos with our “props”

We spent the afternoon floating in the frigid waters of the lake, basking in the warm sunlight.  It was a gorgeous day for a float, and was so peaceful.  As Lee and I were in a raft, a few of the other women decided to attach themselves to us to save their hands from frostbite and we paddled them around.

PC: Ally Pintucci


We retired back to the cabin to check a couple of “firsts” off my list!  Once we arrived back, we were treated to a wine tasting (thanks, Thom!).  I’ve NEVER been to, or experienced, a wine tasting before.  It was definitely interesting!  I learned A LOT about wine that I never would have otherwise.  A very cool experience…my only recommendations would be to most definitely eat before you do a wine tasting, and if you MUST do it on an empty stomach, try to avoid sitting in direct sunlight HAHA.  The wine definitely hit me REAL good.

PC: Ally Pintucci

To follow the wine tasting, we were treated to an incredible, eye-pleasing, absolutely DELICIOUS five course meal courtesy of Dustin.  This was also one of my firsts, as I’ve never experienced a multi-course meal like this.  And OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDDD.  My tastebuds were orgasming in my mouth.  That’s literally the only way I can truly describe how fucking incredible this food was.  I’m kicking myself now for not taking photos of each course, because not only did it taste unreal, it was SO beautifully plated.

While I don’t have photos to show you of each course, I DID keep the menu so I can tell you what we ate (and you can bathe in your jealousy of it)

*Amuse Bouche (zucchini fritter, honied tomato and goat cheese; pictured)
*Roasted cauliflower pecorino soup with pumpkin seeds, crouton and basil oil
*Smoked duck and baby tuscan kale salad with roasted pistachios, dried cherry relish, shaved parmesan, lemon vinaigrette
*Sous vide Safe Farms grass fed flat iron steak with squash puree, mushroom risotto, seasonal vegetables (carrots and asparagus)
*Lemon tart with fresh raspberries and whipped cream

Yeah, I KNOW.  If only I could eat like this every day…

Supper was phenomenal.  We ate, we laughed, we drank, and drank, and drank…

One we all could eat no more for fear of bursting, we made our way back outside to spend the evening in and around the hot tub.  We found a gas fire pit which saved us a treacherous drunken trek (thank GOD), and it allowed us to all stay close.  We feasted on smore’s and Nutella straight outta the jar.  We passed around binoculars, trying in vain to see the man on the mountain (3rd peak in and swoop) that was either dancing the YMCA or dead, whom Jenny insisted was there (HAHA, love you babe!).  We snuggled on the golden swan floatie under blankets.  We star gazed and eagerly waited for the Aurora Borealis storm to come our way.

A few of the ladies had set up their cameras and tripods as we waited for the Northern Light show to arrive.  Shouts rang out as their screens lit up green, and we all gathered around the deck watching in excitement and awe as the lights started to dance above us.  I grew tired and exhausted from such an amazing day, so I retired to bed early.  The rest of the women stayed up a bit longer, and after heading to bed for a short while themselves, were awoke to an exhilarated Ally who, had noticed the show had intensified, and got everyone up and outside to see the masterpiece in the sky.  I slept through it all, but luckily for me they were able to capture some pretty unbelievable shots.  They speak for themselves, so take a look.

My heart bursts with happiness for everyone who experienced these lights for the first time that night; it’s truly something you’ll never forget.

Sunday

Sunday was the day we said farewell 😦

I stumbled out of my room to the sweet ring of Jenny greeting me, “Good morning love! How did you sleep?”.  In that moment, I realized just how much I was going to miss after I drove away.

I showered, packed, and prepared to go.  We all said our goodbyes, exchanged information, wished each other well, and shed a few tears.

I never could have anticipated walking in just how difficult it would be to walk out.  I managed to keep my eyes dry until I got in my car and hit the highway home.

Everything about this weekend was perfect.  Any imperfections only made it that much more authentic, that much more real, that much better (though I’d be hard pressed to tell you what those imperfections were because I failed to see any – other than my own stupidity).  If you’d have told me on Thursday that the weekend ahead would leave me rocked to my core, indescribably inspired, unexpectedly heartbroken to have to leave these incredible women behind… I would have laughed.  I never could have guessed where this adventure would have taken me; I’m sure that any notion I could have had had been far surpassed in every facet.

I learned so much in my time at the River Ranch with the Women Who Explore, both about myself and about my perception of others.  So many times, we place these barriers upon ourselves by seeing our fellow sisters as competition instead of collaboration.  If we can just be brave enough to look past our own insecurities, and appreciate other women for their stories … oh the bonds and connections we can create.  I am so incredibly thankful to have met every single Soul Sister in Golden.  I am forever changed, in the best of ways, because of all of you and for that I am so grateful.

I can’t wait to connect with you all once again, and for all of the new connections waiting to be born on my next Soul Sisters adventure.

❤ ❤ ❤

MASSIVE THANKS AND ALL MY HEART TO:
Our beautiful, spirited hosts: Jenny and Lindsay
Our photographer: Ally Pintucci
Our unofficial photographer: Lee Horbachewski
To all my Soul Sisters:
Amber
Megan
Taleea
Lena
Bear
Leah
Shannon
Marion
Ashley
Amy

And our guest of honour, Koa ❤

PC: Ally Pintucci

Forty Nine

DISCLAIMER: There is strong language used in this post.  #SorryNotSorry for it.  I’m fed up.

belly

I started this blog primarily as a fashion blog.  To essentially play dress up with my favourite outfits and share them all with you.  I’ve always been complimented for my sense of style, so it’s been fun to share my creations and to gather inspiration from others!  For a while now though, I’ve been finding my love of the fashion world dwindling, and after this past week, it’s safe to say: fashion can FUCK OFF.

Yep, I said it, and part of me can’t even believe it, but there it is.  Now I think I understand better why some (most) women hate shopping for themselves. I am feeling SO defeated and just…nothing positive, so I won’t even express those feelings out loud.


Since I started my medications about 2 months ago for my depression and anxiety, I have gained a significant amount of weight – about 12 pounds.  It wasn’t super shocking; I expected this knowing weight gain was a potential side effect. While that might not sound like much, in 2 months on my 5’5″ frame – that’s a lot… and honestly, I hadn’t really given it much thought; if I did, I would redirect those thoughts in a positive direction.

👉👉👉  re: cute little belly is cute.

Standing in *generic store name here* though, I found that an impossible task to do. I could not escape the extra weight in those lovely 360 degree mirrors.  You know, those mirrors that I swear to GOD are designed to highlight every “flaw” you have and implant a deep-seated hatred towards yourself – one that has you walking out having spent more money than you intended when you walked in in an effort to curb the loathing.

Walking in wearing a size 6 pant with room in the waist, having to choose size 8 and 10 from the racks, and struggle to gain the cooperation and permission of my newly thicker thighs, I felt a very familiar disgust towards what I saw in the mirror.  I gave up.  I just stood there in my skivvies, bare and vulnerable, going over every inch of my new body with a fine-toothed comb.  I’ve been working SO HARD on building and promoting self-love and positive affirmation when I gaze at my reflection, and all it took was 5 fucking minutes in a dressing room to unravel all the work I had done.  The industry that I had so loved before had enormously let me down.

I was disgusted; disgusted at the dimples and extra rolls that stared back at me, and disgusted at myself for having fallen back into this trap of negativity.

That disgust SHOULD be directed at the companies who clearly don’t know how to size clothing anymore (how can I be 3+ sizes at one fucking time?!), but my disdain immediately went to my newly developed ponch and I wanted to just admit defeat and cry.


In talking with others, and in seeing different posts on the internet regarding this exact topic, I just wonder… How does the fashion industry think that it’s okay or even necessary to vary clothing sizes so greatly? (Anyone else remember when they were one size in every single store, but are now probably any variation between 4-6 different sizes?) How can they do so knowing how this will absolutely affect girls and women psychologically?  Anyone in fashion familiar with the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”???

WHEN DOES IT END? WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE FUCKING LINE?!

Had I been younger, this experience would have had me revisiting my ED tendencies. I’m struggling to keep those thoughts at bay even now…

Fortunately, there is always a silver lining.  For me, it’s that I have my eyes wide open to the stats and the struggles that I was so blind to in my privilege before.  My whole life, even previous to my dealing with anorexia and bulimia, I have been tiny statured by nature.  I was always able to go into any store and find something that fit, and that I felt great in.  I never understood why some people hated shopping.  I never recognized the struggle that others faced because I couldn’t relate to it..and I have no problem admitting that now.  I was naive.

While we’re here, let’s review some stats, shall we?

  • According to a 2002 survey, 28% of girls in grade nine and 29% in grade ten engaged in weight-loss behaviours (in a class of 30 students, that’s roughly 8 to 9 people).
  • 37% of girls in grade nine and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat (in a class of 30 students, that’s roughly 11 to 12 people). Even among students of normal-weight (based on BMI), 19% believed that they were too fat, and 12% of students reported attempting to lose weight.
  • In a survey of adolescents in grades 7–12, 30% of girls and 25% of boys reported teasing by peers about their weight. Such teasing has been found to persist in the home as well – 29% of girls and 16% of boys reported having been teased by a family member about their weight.
  • Body-based teasing can have a serious impact on girls’ attitudes and behaviours. According to one study, girls who reported teasing by family members were 1.5 TIMES MORE LIKELY to engage in binge-eating and extreme weight control behaviours five years later.
  • In a study of 14–15 year old adolescents, girls who engaged in strict dieting practices were 18 TIMES MORE LIKELY to develop an ED within six months than non-dieters, and had almost a 20% chance of developing an ED within one year

  • At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
  • Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders have the highest morality rate of any mental illness.
  • 13% of women over 50 engage in eating disorder behaviours.
  • 16% of transgender college students reported having an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders affect all races and ethnic groups.

These stats (and others) can be found here and here.



More than anything, I’m fucking angry. This bullshit that if you’re not between the sizes of 000 and 3 that you’re not valid or worthy is just that – BULLSHIT.  That if you don’t look like the woman on the cover of a magazine, you’re not acceptable.  You know, that woman who doesn’t even look like the woman on the cover of the magazine? Yeah.

FUCK these societal standards and FUCK these oppressive fashion standards.

What’s unacceptable is how the modern fashion world operates in tandem with society; what’s NOT is YOUR BODY.  I find my love of the fashion world diminishing because I can no longer cater so heavily to an industry that literally propels itself on the destruction of the very demographic it’s created for.

It’s not that I didn’t realize these things before.  It’s that I ignored them, turned a blind eye, because I felt like they didn’t directly affect me.  All you have to do is flip open a history book to see how productive that mind-set really is…

So going forward, this is what I want you to take away from this rant:

I can’t say that I won’t ever do any fashion posts again.  It’s not true, and I’d be lying to myself and to you if I said it.  But I will do my absolutely best to shop consciously and create in a way that is body positive and inclusive.  I’m still learning and growing myself.  I hope you’ll allow me the space I need to expand my thinking, and the constructive criticism that will help me get to a better place.

Women can be vicious creatures, especially towards one another.  I hope that we can create a #GuildofGirls who pledge to stand up for and support each other, while standing against those who seek to pit us against one another and tear us apart.

MOST IMPORTANTLY:
You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of happiness, love and acceptance; you don’t have to be thin to BE happy and loved and accepted.

You don’t have to strive to look airbrushed 100% of the time.  You don’t need to keep hurting yourself to fit into a mould that isn’t even REAL.  A favourite quote of mine is: “Beyonce doesn’t even look like Beyonce.”  Cut yourself some slack.  You are a bona fide beauty just the way you are.

That cellulite, those belly rolls, those angel wings (aka extra flap of skin under your arms) – EVERY SINGLE WOMAN has at least one of the above.  It’s normal, it’s okay, it’s beautiful.  You don’t have to be ashamed of these parts of yourself.

IT’S OKAY TO STRUGGLE WITH HOW YOU FEEL WHEN CHANGES HAPPEN TO YOU AND TO YOUR BODY. I’ve been struggling to accept my new body, but I’m trying, and that’s what matters.

Unfollow those IG accounts that have you uttering hateful things about yourself every time you browse them.  Stop reading magazines if the only reason you’re picking them up is to measure yourself against what you’ll find inside.  Respectfully ask those in your life to refrain from commenting on your body, and be okay with letting negative people go in order to maintain your own sanity.  Seek out body positive people in your life, and in your social medias.  Reach out and ask for help, or lend support to others who are needing it.  We are all in this together more than we even realize.



“Your body is not the enemy”. No. It absolutely is not.

You are SO MUCH MORE than what you look like.


Cover photo courtesy of Wear Your Label
Shirt available for purchase here.  Use “MAYETTE10” to save! ❤

 

#BellLetsTalk

Hi Marshmallows!

blt

It’s one of my favourite days of the year  

Just a few years ago, I would have had a very different reaction for this day (hint: it wouldn’t have been excitement…). I would have done everything I could to spend the day like a hermit and avoid conversing at all costs.  It’s a dark place to be in when even you’re afraid of your mental health struggles.

However, today is a different day and a different time; the further I come on my mental health journey, the easier it gets to talk about the obstacles I face and advocate for abolishing the stigma so others feel safe in sharing their stories, too.

So – #BellLetsTalk about how it’s OKAY to make noise about Mental Health.  It’s OKAY to struggle and talk about those struggles.  It’s OKAY to have bad days.  It’s OKAY to give an honest answer when someone asks you, “So how are you REALLY doing?”.  

Donning my #AnxietyAlliance tee proudly from @wearyourlabel to let others know that I’m anxious, too, and it’s a welcome and safe invitation to enter a conversation about it

All of us have hardships and struggles, and lately my anxiety has been a real big one for me.  I’ve had crippling days; days where I can’t get out of bed, let alone even think about leaving my house.  Days where I feel like I’m not good enough for anything.  Days where it all just becomes so overwhelming.  Days where I honestly think things will just never, ever start to get better.  But they do, and they have.  Had I known that reaching out for help and telling my story to someone sooner would have resulted in my healing beginning a lot sooner, I wouldn’t have suffered in silence for so long.  My eyes were also opened to just how many incredible, supportive, loving people I had around me when I allowed the walls to fall and the dam to break, and I am so SO grateful for each and every one of them.  I would not be able to so openly stand up and share my story today if not for them all.  I may not even have been standing here at all.  ALL my love and support right back. xoxo

And I want you to know, if you’re reading this and struggling, that it’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to ask for help if you’re ready to take that step. You are valid, you are worthy, and you’re so NOT alone in your journey. Whether you realize or not, there is a community of warriors and of survivors that will take you by the hand and support you every step along the way.  

It takes a lot, for a lot of people, to talk about what they have experienced or what they are going through, and so I just want to throw out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has shared their story today.  I’ve seen so many brave, inspiring stories full of strength on my News Feeds…far more than I’ve ever seen – and what an incredible sight, indeed.

Your openness, willingness, and trust is helping to pave this road so that those who have come before us, those who are with us, and those who will come after us will have a much smoother journey. From someone who has only recently taken the first steps toward the sunshine, that is something so amazing.

Today is not just for today.  Let’s keep the conversations going for the next 364 days. Not all of us struggle with mental health obstacles, but we all have mental health to take care of.

All my love to all of you XOXO Never be too humble to reach out.

Forty Six

Hello Marshmallows!

It’s 2017!  A whole new year!

I’ve been thinking about doing a New Year post for, well, precisely 9 days now.

As New Years posts go, they generally include some kind of “New Year Resolution”…though, I’ve tried really hard this year to not have anything specific, or anything written in stone.  As history would show, I don’t have the best luck with them.  Generally when I would profess any kind of resolution in the past, it wouldn’t actually end anywhere other than my own misery and disappointment.  In light of this fact, I’ve decided this year to throw any and all promises of doing out the window, and allow myself the space to just do.

Resolutions are usually always about “new year, new me”, but I don’t need to be a “new me”. I don’t want to be, either. Instead, I want to simply look back on how much stronger I am, how much I’ve grown, and the things I’ve actually accomplished without obligation. Instead, I want to look forward to how much I have to gain, how many possibilities are out there to grab hold of, and concentrate on becoming a better version of yesterday’s self.

In expressing that, I also decided that this was the perfect timing to throw all caution to the wind and start living my life FOR ME.

Which is why I did this:

hair1hair2

Yep!  I took a HUGE leap of faith and just did it.
#PinkHairDontCare *insert sassy emoji girl here*
(thanks to my amazing stylist, Jesse! ❤ ❤ ❤ )

My Christmas gift to myself was to do something I’ve wanted to do for years but never actually had the cajones to do.  I’d been too afraid of what people would say, or how people would react, that I was always able to talk myself out of doing something that I really wanted because of someone else – or a few someone elses.  Isn’t that how it always goes?

(Can we just take a moment to acknowledge how CRAZY that sounds when you say it out loud?!) 

I can’t even express how freeing and magical it feels to throw everyone else’s opinions out the window. I’m finally allowing it all to be on MY terms now – how it should have been all along. No more second guessing my own happiness for the thoughts of others and the fear of what that might bring. No more allowing anyone else to dictate how my story should and will be written.

People will forever have opinions about you. People will always judge you.
For anything, for everything.

Forget the haters and do whatever the hell you want. THEIR OPINIONS DON’T MATTER. You do.  Your opinions matter.  Your happiness matters the most.

It’s been almost 2 weeks now that I’ve had pink hair, and the only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.  Every single time I see it in the mirror, I can’t help but smile and giggle.  It makes me SO HAPPY, and it’s brought me a level of confidence that I wasn’t sure would ever exist.

For the first time in almost 30 years (that’s a LONG FRIGGING TIME PEOPLE), I finally – truly – feel more like the me that was meant to be in this body than ever.  I don’t care if people think I’m weird, or different, or too “out there”, or “not conservative enough”.  It doesn’t matter.  Whether people love my hair, or whether people hate my hair – it makes absolutely no difference to me because I adore it, and that’s the bottom line.  Being “normal” is far over-rated (what is normal, anyway?), and life is utterly too short to not have fun.

On a related note, I suppose the same can be said about myself in general.  Somehow with my fuschia locks, I am newly entitled to this freedom to just BE ME – whatever that actually looks like.  I’ve thought a lot about this blog and what I want it to look like, and I’ve realized that I’ve been lying to myself this whole time.  I’ve been trying to fit myself into this pre-constructed mould of what I SHOULD look like in the blogging world.   Instead of writing about and sharing the things that bring me joy completely, I’ve been neglectful and resentful because I feel like I can’t keep par.

Fashion is one of the things that I am passionate about, but there are SO MANY OTHERS from all different facets, excluding the fashion world.  I’ve decided that I’m going to turn the focus from this being an exclusive blog about fashion to a blog just simply about me – and whatever that entails.  Whether that be mental health, or what I wore to the movies, or the newest adventure I’ve been on.  It’s not going to have a specific topic focus.  It’s going to be messy, a little all over the map, and have some kinks and quirks that I will not iron out.  It’s going to be “everything but the kitchen sink”, so-to-speak – and that’s just how it should be because that’s just how I am; a little bit of everything.

So … I have absolutely no idea what this means going forward, but I’m hoping that I will be able to once again find the jubilation in writing, and in creating.  Whether you like me, whether you hate me, or whether you simply just tolerate me – it makes not much of a difference.  This is a journey I’ve begun – to start living and doing – for me, and no one else.  But, if you’re on this journey with me, regardless … thank you.  I’m looking forward to what will unfold.

Forty Three

I’m just going to start this off by saying that I had the BEST NIGHT EVER last night.

Disclaimer: This post is going to be regarding Terri Clark’s Back to My Roots solo acoustic tour…what I thought, how I felt, what I experienced, what I wore – you know, basically everything there is in the hand basket.

tc3

Last night was a great night.  I (as mentioned above) attended Terri Clark’s Back to My Roots solo acoustic tour – and it was honestly everything I thought it would be, and more. 

My evening started off a little hectic. I was running late, rushing to get ready after work.  I had requested Meet and Greet passes, and was confirmed for them, so I was as stressed as a balloon in a vice that I wouldn’t get there in time.  I still had to travel to Calgary, find my way to the casino, AND find parking.  Luckily, we made it! *phew*

Meet and Greets are always so fun, yet I always feel like I mess them up just by being my socially awkward self.  THE PRESSURE.   

This time, I was determined as ever to have it go smoothly.  For the 20 minutes I had before I went into that little room, I went over and over and OVER what I was going to say in my head.  As I got nearer and nearer to the meeting point, I started sweating more profusely (thank God I remembered deodorant), though I was still (shakily) confident that our exchange would go as planned….until it didn’t. LOL *sigh* As I walked up to greet her, the ladies behind me caught her eye (they obviously knew one another) and her excitement (sweet as it was, bless her heart) TOTALLY threw me off my game; everything I had planned to say disappeared from my mind like someone had hit Control-A-Delete.  And, just as I’d feared, my socially awkward self came rearing forward to take control of the situation, and it ended in a pretty hilarious, yet cringe-worthy (on my end) exchange.

(Sorry, Ms Clark!)

tc5

PS – I wanted to tell you that your vest game is A++ lately, but you know, social anxiety…! 

tc4

PSS: How cute is my mom?!


After completely embarrassing myself once again, I was happy to go and find my seat so I could immerse myself in the music and forget all about how badly I need to work on my social cues.   I have to say, I’m pretty sure I ended up with one of the best seats in the house.  Front row, almost centre.  It don’t get better than that!

Now, I’ve been to a few of Terri Clark’s shows before, and they’re always a good time.  She’s an enormously talented entertainer, both in song and in story…however, this particular show seemed different – in a great way.  As it’s a solo acoustic tour, which means there’s no band and no fancy travelling along with her, it had an air of magic about it.  Maybe it’s just me, but I felt like last night we got to experience the truest Terri behind the Award-Winning persona. It was hard NOT to have fun right along with her; the joy she was experiencing just radiated off the stage and into the audience like a mist.  She, of course, sang her songs – as singers usually do (I was so happy to hear so many classics in the mix!), she made some beats (whilst we talked amongst ourselves), she had us all splitting a gut with her story telling (particularly in reference to those majestic Rocky Mountains), and I was both mesmerized and ready to spill out of my chair in laughter when she presented us with her John Anderson covers.  

She touched us all by including “Smile” in her set list once again.  Though she gracefully, and beautifully, sang her way through it, I can’t say the same for the rest of us.  I’m not sure there was a dry eye in the house…and I couldn’t help but have been brought back to when Ms. Clark played at the Westerner Days in Red Deer in 2012.  “Smile” was on the set list then, too, and I remember thinking, as she sang her heart out with tears streaming down her cheeks, “Now THAT is strength, grace and love.”  

tc2

The night seemed to just fly…had it gone on until the wee hours of the morning, I would not have had a care in the world – even though I still had to travel home and work the next day.  I didn’t get many photos, in part because I don’t want to be that annoying person who blocks the view with my phone the entire time, but also (and more importantly) I was just enjoying myself far too much, and remaining too firmly in the present to pay much mind to anything else other than what was unfolding in front of me.  

I’ve been fortunate enough to see many concerts in my time so far, and I know I’ve probably said it before, but real talk: this show truly, genuinely, was the greatest show I’ve ever attended.   It was raw, and it felt more like a giant get-together with your closest friends.  Terri is SO funny, so goofy, and charming as hell.  She’s a genuine soul, who delivers the whole authentic package, and who is so humble that I don’t even think her reflection acknowledges her fame.   When asked what the best part of being a celebrity was, her response was simply, “I’m a celebrity?” … I mean, COME ON.  If that doesn’t make you smile… 

I’ve been a fan of Terri Clark’s for as long as I can remember…and I’ll remain a fan of hers until I’m old and grey and can’t remember anything anymore. 

My advice to you is this:
if you love good, home-grown country, you need to snag yourself some tickets to this tour.
If you’re a TC fan already, then you’ll walk away an even bigger fan.
If you’re not, you definitely will be post show.

(and also, what is wrong with you?! How are you not already a fan?!)
tc1
(Rocking my new TC Logo Raglan Tee! EEEEEEEEEE…and puppy filter, because you know I’m obsessed)

Flashback Moment – I’ll never, ever, forget my very first M&G with Terri. I was 12, and I was obsessed with the colour green, as I recall.  I literally wore a green turtleneck, with lime green eyeshadow packed onto my lids like icing on a cake, and my khaki green nylon purse from Wal-Mart.  When I found out that I had to go in alone (my mom didn’t have a pass) I was so scared that I almost didn’t even go.  I remember as I walked into the room and up to shake Terri’s hand (she must have smelled my fear), she immediately opened up with the warmest of hello’s and complimented profusely my lovely purse from Wally World.  I was just this awkward little kid who didn’t know much what to say, but that experience has stayed with me all these years, and still puts a smile on my face 🙂 (Now if only I could find that old photo…)

Now, as promised, what I wore: 

(Please excuse the wrinkles in the backdrop.  I don’t have a steamer and I wasn’t expecting to use it so soon! I’m such a professional… haha!  But hey, I never promised or claimed to have my poop in a group.  Please don’t judge me.)

tc12tc6tc7tc9tc10tc11tc13tc14tc15

BTW: This Raglan Tee is available here if you want one 🙂 It’s SO COMFY. 

Ten

I’m going to deviate a little bit, and share in this post an excerpt from my book – a collection of personal prose.  I’ve been noticing the last little while a trend, not just in my own life, but in those around me as well.  With the new year, I’ve been making a lot of changes in my life, and this piece of writing can definitely fit that context.  Can you relate at all?

(Side note: reminiscing back a few days ago to the super mild Canadian temperatures because tonight it is FREEZING!  How many more months until summer?!!!!)

—————————————————————————————————————

“Backseat drivers.  Those people who hop in to join you on a leg of your journey, and think it’s entirely appropriate to dictate how you drive.  Slow down.  Speed up!  Use your turn signal.  Stay farther back.  You shouldn’t park there.  Turn here – I know a better way.  Some even have the gall to reach for the wheel, as if you’re not in control at all.  Most of us have been this person, whether we’ve realized it or not.  We all know these people; you’re probably holding a name in your mind right now.  I’m willing to bet these same people are also backseat driving your life.

Why do we let people tell us how we should live our lives?  Why do we carry such guilt when we stand up for ourselves?  We don’t want to be a disappointment; it’s not in our nature to cause pain in another.  But what about what YOU want?  We have become so obsessed with tip-toeing around the feelings of others that we completely disregard our own.  Taking care of ones self above all else has been labeled as selfish.  This is false, and this mentality needs to disappear.  You come first;  if you are not taking care of you, then you are doing a disservice to others.  Happiness and content ripple.  Do not allow any other person to dictate how your life should be.  If it won’t satisfy you, if it’s not what you want – don’t do it.  We should never do anything for the sole sake of satisfying another’s wish for us.

Many people have probably told you to get a degree for a job that will make you rich.  It all sounds great, and probably even practical, but is it what you want?  A dollar sign doesn’t make you truly rich in life.  What you want for yourself is important; more important than what anyone else desires for you.  Your life’s road map should be created for you, by you.

If your dream is to become a doctor or a lawyer, then seek that dream.  If you don’t want to go to college, then don’t!  If you want to start a business, become a musician, or run away with the circus, then pursue those dreams.  Seek and listen with your heart; throw all of your passion into whichever direction that leads you.  Let no one tell you otherwise.

When someone tells you that you can’t, scream, “YES, I can!”
When someone implies that you will never succeed, say, “Watch me.”

Take the steering wheel of your life back.  Keep a firm grip.  The only person who can tell you that you can’t is yourself.   But, you can.”