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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a taste of home

The sun shines through the kitchen every morning.

It glides along the Mexican tiles as I cut up fruit for breakfast, make tea, and pull out food for house guests to help themselves.

This house has been beaming with wonderful people since I arrived. I arrived with my friend Carly from school, and now have two of my old room mates shacking up with me.

Since I have arrived life has been a celebration of beautiful dinners, dancing, talking, exploring and taking on each day with excitement. It has been so long since I've really lived in Vancouver that I feel like I've moved to a new city I need to discover little by little.

Love pumps through my veins and yet I am also nervous about the great job hunt. I still need to get myself organized in this city and figure out what I'm doing. You can't rush some things but I'm hungry to get started.

But for now, I remind myself to take a deep breath and enjoy the company of my family and friends. Life is as sweet as ever and I don't want to miss out on any of it.

little mom
carly and I
carly and I
jamming to the iphone
lighthouse park

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

oh babe take me home

After a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and a few (or more) celebratory glasses of sparkling wine I am getting down to business.

Half of my suitcase is packed, my clothes are in the washing machine, and I'm enjoying my last late night hours in this wonderful house.

Since the first night I slept here I felt at home. The walls exude Mary's warmth and charm, and loving memories of her husband Patrick are everywhere. I'll miss cooking on the gas stove, eating dinner on stools at the counter, and standing around with a cup of tea talking to Mary. I see myself as a very lucky person, and I consider myself very fortunate for having been welcomed into this home.

And now I prepare for the next stage of my life. I am looking forward to getting into a healthy routine in Vancouver. I have been all over the map for so long in my sleeping, eating and travelling. The West coast is the perfect setting for me to get a little more exersice, eat healthfully, and hopefully find a great job. I am accepting that finding my dream job may take time but am looking forward to producing some great personal projects on the side. I want to make big changes with the blog and start putting out many more videos.

Tomorrow night I'll fly to the city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty, and for the first time in five years I'll be home for a solid length of time. I'm looking forward to it.

As much as I love Toronto, I'm ready to go back to the first place I ever called home. I may be back at some point, but for now I'm craving the ocean at my toes and the mountains at my fingertips.

morning sun

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just wanted to say

I finished my last exam today and am pretty much a university graduate!

But that's all for now, bubbly and steak await me!


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Monday, April 20, 2009

demo time!

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

time moves forward and I stand still

This morning Mary and I took off to the market in the early morning light.

This wonderful woman I've been living with is so full of life, and when I mentioned I wanted to go to the market the night before she jumped at the idea and suggested we take off as early as possible.

The weather, good company, and morning market made it easy to crawl out from under my duvet.

As we drove down the sun caressed the red brick buildings of Cabbagetown, and a day as light as summer took over the city. From the car we walked down to the market armed with our plastic shopping bags and grins on our faces.

Mary has become my friend and confidante in the past few months. She took me in at a time when I felt like I had nothing left in this city and gave it all back to me in abundance. Her generosity, warm approach to life and her loving nature inspire me on a daily basis. I feel comfortable by her side and invigorated at the same time.

At the market we took the approach of strolling every aisle before choosing our produce. We passed a couple that are probably older than my grandparents yet are out every Saturday selling eggs from their farm. We passed Ruth from Montfort Dairy, people lining up to buy her incredible goat cheese and crackers. We passed Uncle Al and his barrels of root vegetables, chatty as ever to the customers that stop by.

I picked up some baby eggplants and Ontario Fuji apples before we made our way to the other end of the market for meat and bulked baking goods.

By the time we left my bag was heavy with beautiful produce and all the ingredients I needed to make a fresh batch of my grandmother's Irish dried fruit bread.

On the way home we stopped in to see Mary's brother, still waking up with his morning coffee, but his eyes and smile as bright and welcoming as Mary's at any hour. I got a grand tour of him and his partner's gorgeous space-large windows, spiral staircase and a great patio-before we headed back to the house.

I will miss Mary and all of the gems Toronto has to offer. At the same time, I'm hungry for everything else that is to come. I have been taking my days very slowly, spending a lot of time alone, doing things I think need to get done and trying to wrap my head around it all. I am moving into the next stage of my life and want to do so as gracefully as possible.

Time is moving very quickly and in less than a week I'll be in Vancouver. I, on the other hand, stand still, move slowly, and plot the days to come.

can't you guys pose normally?
The lovely Mary and I, refusing to take a nicely posed picture and me rudely blocking her beautiful face!

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

my grandmother's kitchen

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Monday, April 13, 2009

a little town called hope

I've been trying to think about what I want to do with my one wild and precious life.

As I walk down the streets on a sunny Easter morning in Port Hope, where my grandparents live, it all seems clear. I want health, happiness, adventure, beauty and love.

I want to feel excited about the way I'm living in life. I want to set goals and reach them. I want to create beautiful things, and surround myself in beauty as often as possible, whether it's out in nature, in a museum, a flower shop or a stunning boutique. I want to be there for my family when they need me. I want to love and be loved in return.

While plotting my future these are all things I need to keep in mind. I keep coming back to the thought that I need to encourage health, food and adventure in people's lives. I want to help other young women feel good about their bodies and excited about their lives. I have a few projects brewing in my head on where to take these ideas.

Tonight is my last night in my grandparent's home after a leisurely Easter weekend. I slept late, ate well (too healthfully in my grandfather's eyes), studied, spent time with my brother, enjoyed the sunshine and even put together a cooking video with my grandmother!

I am enjoying my last days in Ontario as I mentally plot my big move to Vancouver. Today I shipped off a box of Spring clothing to await me when I get back. I am excited for the sunny days to come, a little anxious about job hunting, but full of hope.

nannie and poppie's home
sexy beast
Port Hope
gryphon booka
upstairs cafe
easter morning
bright day in Port Hope
decked in poppie's clothes
Dressed in my grandfather's digs to go for a walk at night!
healthy smoothie!
Getting my grandpa to start the day off right with a healthy green smoothie!
nannie and poppie

My camera isn't working right now so all of these are courtesy of my iPhone!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

when we were young

It is hard to believe that it has been five years since I started university, and I started this blog.

As I look back on my writing I'm impressed with the young woman who moved to Toronto, walked around the city, went out dancing, and learnt to voice her concerns about love, life and herself. I am still that woman, and in many ways I have progressed, and in other ways I envy the honesty my writing once carried.

Still, I am proud of how far I've come. Now, as my university days have come to a close and I sit with one final exam on my shoulder, I feel happy, light, good about where I stand. Over these past years I've grown stronger, more experienced and better educated. I was reluctant to go to university in the first place, but I have no regrets about the four years I spent there or the year I spent living in Paris. I feel good about the decisions I've made and the person I've grown into.

The best part is acknowledging I still have a lot to learn. Maybe now, after university, I will be learning the most important lessons in life.

Monday, September 6, 2004
After days of finding myself without words, struggling to write emails, and leaving my journal pages a virginal white, I have decided to enter the world of blogging. I need to write for the sake of my sanity. I don't know where this will take me. I don't know how honest and ruthless I will be able to be. From now on however I am a journalist; I must grow accustomed to writing and writing truthfully. I recently read an article about a Starbucks worker who was fired for writing negative comments about the company in his blog. He said that none of his fellow workers had the address and that it was meant to be private; he soon discovered the internet is not private. Is it dangerous to post my heart and soul this publicly? I suppose it can be. Then again I've shared my poetry with many. It may not be as public as the internet, but I take a deep breath anytime anyone reads a poem of mine. These poems often say everything I can't, everything I'm too afraid to say out loud. Something inside me tells me to express myself in every way possible, and I feel keeping a blog is taking a big step forward.

My life has taken a big turn recently and it will be good to have somewhere to vent. I sit in my dorm room, seventeen years old, miles away from home, ready to emerge myself into a hands on journalism course. I am standing on the edge of everything. I feel numb and invigorated all at once. Everyday I wander the city of Toronto and take in everything around me. I like it best on my own, where my feet lead me where they want to, where I can stop into shops, touch fabrics, rifle through second hand books, and feed my senses. This city is alive and I can't get over the fact that it's two seconds outside my doorstep. My urban spirit is beaming in these surroundings, and so am I.

Self-portrait, first year of university.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

i only sleep when i'm with you

It's early in the morning and I'm awake, cup of tea in hand, after having been up most of the night.

I lay in bed for hours, not anxious, but wired, adrenaline running through my body, my eyes darting around the room.

This week is my last week of school. After that I have a couple of weeks before my final exam and then I'm done. Four years of school and a Bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism will be tucked under my arm as I board the plane to Vancouver. For the first time since I was a young teenager, I will be spending an entire summer at home.

In August my brother gets married, and then I may take off and travel, or return for work depending on the circumstances. It's nice not knowing. It comforts me to know that there is always the possibility of travel, and that when Paris or London whisper my name I can call back "I'm coming!"

I flew home a week ago to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday. I was presented with a bow on my collar, a gift from my aunt, to my shocked mother at a nail salon downtown. She stood speechless and took me in her arms. My short stay was full of celebration, and I was overwhelmed by love towards the people at home. My mother stuck true to being sexy at sixty and was radiant at her birthday party. When I saw my dad for the first time and he hugged his arms around me I was overwhelmed by the love and familiarity than ran through my body. I also got to see family friends over the years, to spend time with my new beau who makes my heart flutter more every time I see him, and to re-acquaint myself with my cousin, his wife and children.

Some of the highlights of my weekend included doing my make-up for the party with my six-year-old cousin, who put eye shadow on her nose and her chin declaring "I'm a laadddyy, putting on my make-up!" And going to the Vancouver Art Gallery with my mother, where one exhibit allowed us to play electric guitars, drums, a keyboard and to sing into a microphone in a soundproof room, all of the sounds playing in the lobby downstairs. Needless to say we unleashed our inner rockstars and I made my mom laugh by screaming into the microphone and telling everyone to get out of the lobby.

There is something special about coming home after being away for so many years. For the longest time I wanted to get as far away from Vancouver as possible and these days I can't think of anything more wonderful than spending a few months under a backdrop of mountains and the Pacific Ocean. I am no longer the young woman who dreaded the halls of my high school and dreamed of graduating as quickly as possible. I have graduated, I have seen more of the world, and I'm ready to come home.

And so I lie awake at night, not anxious, but excited. Dreaming with eyes wide open of all the things I want to do with my future.

mom and I
art de vivre
mom's 60th